Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November Aloha's

I blinked and October was over. As fast as it went so did all my goals on post's for the month. Shamefully, I admit I have not been the best at keeping up with this blog. I truly do love it and with time I will become more consistent. What I have been doing is focusing on myself and taking care of my health. I've lost 15 lbs. and recently tested within normal range for my A1C since I started my Diabetes diet two months ago. Not bad, right? Still though, maintaining and staying focused on my overall goal of losing 15 more and welcoming back more energy will be the key to my personal health success. 

Above is my Grandparents and the kids Great-Grandparent's. One day I hope to give my kids an in depth picture of just how much these special people sacrificed and provided for me as a child and even now. Although we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like, my kids gravitated to their Great Grandparent's the entire visit. Never once leaving their lap or letting our beloved Grandparent's have any down time, keeping them full of stories and information which was confirmed to be fine by them. We are missing them terribly.

Another special person who came to visit was my Great Grandma Mary Lou. As a kid, I spent a lot of time with my Grandma Lou, playing her organ as she cooked me my favorite "fish patties".  Then bird sighting out her living room window and trying to identify names in all her bird books. The memories of time spent with her and Grandpa Paul came pouring back into my mind as I watched her searching for new bird species wherever we went. Serving this woman in my home blessed my heart. After all the meals she prepared for me and quality time that was put into my up-brining nothing I could ever do now would be enough repayment for the love she has shown me.

And now as I sit and pour through all the pictures of their visit my heart is heavy. I love this paradise that we live in but having my loved ones around and influencing mine and my children's life is priceless. Thank goodness for Skype calls. And also the forgiveness they have for me when I am not the best granddaughter.

Mahalo for keeping up with me on my journey, I look forward to spending more time with you in the near future!



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

First Month Diabete's diet: Done & Done

Note to self: Stop thinking you are the last one on earth to realize you need to get on a diet or your going to die. Ok, maybe you are... but, probably not. First and foremost; Food and water logging has been an excellent step to take when trying to manage my calorie intake for the day. Sometime's I forget what I ate for breakfast so logging right away is best. 

If you want to know the truth, I've found a great support group through my fitness pal app. Not everyone log's their food or exercise -- and you don't have to. Being able to look at the food your buddies are eating helps me create a variety of snack's/meals to get through the day. I like variety. I love flavor. And I get bored easily with the same meals. For as long as I can remember, diet's have not been considered highly favorable within those categories in my social circle. So, I give myself a break every now and then. Allow a bite of a candy bar. The first! Because that's the best. Or splurge on pancakes for breakfast and hope I have energy to walk off the extra carbohydrates before bed. It's important to forgive myself for wanting to eat or drink bad things. We are human and we find comfort and love through doing both. Right?

What I love most about the past two weeks has been the discover of black chia seeds. There are a multitude of ways you can incoroport them into any diet. A superfood that give you super energy and well, speeds up digestion. Win!

One way to use the seeds -

How to make chia gel: Soak whatever amount you want of seeds in water just enough to cover them completely. Add more water if you want it thinner or less dense. Stir and place leftovers in fridge for day. Toss any extra you don't use after that. 

Remember: You can also use the seeds dry in just about anything you prefer. Don't go overboard but get creative. Sprinkle it on top of your favorite salsa or on top of your sandwich bread.(in sandwiches is my favorite) 

On toast, in any juice or water, sipped from the spoon, let your imagination lead the way! 

Feeling and staying fuller longer has been helping me get through the day without any sudden binge eating. I found a hearty amount of black chia seeds at our local Costco. Now, it's not like a magic sprinkle that will shrink every stretch mark on your body, or bring you euphoria after each bite. Not the case. Rather a progressive feeling that if you stay on track with your snacks handy, you are not going to die. Well... maybe you would want to consider if your a diabetic and your sugar drops low...


When the hunger cravings start and you want to grab whatever is in sight, think of this -  if you keep planned snacks lined up and are getting nutrition through a multi-vitamin or somewhere in your diet, then all will be okay. Just chill. Think of something different. You already had to think about when and what you were going to eat today. That is enough. Eat a snack and feel better. One day at a time. 

And well... here is the reason I get any computer work done. He is sooo dreamy when he sleeps. 

My plea... if you want to join me in my journey of self-help and love. Please, feel free to drop a comment on this blog. Or send me an email. Call/Text. Whatever you need, I am here for you and will accept any love and guidance you have for me. My fitness pal Facebook page is here. Where I'm tracking food/water/exercise intake. My username is: tasiamurrieta. Clever, I know. Do you use another way to log food intake and exercise? Let me know and let's do this together! I need your inspiration and motivation to keep going. Diabetes sucks. Friends rule. 

Mahalo & Aloha!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Week three diabetes diet

Week three on the diet and it is a B! The struggle over living and dying is so real. I wish I could lie and say that lifestyle changes are easy and that in the end it get's easier. I really can't though. And I still don't have any fancy recipes or tremendous positive sentiments to leave you with. This week I have to be better and not so hard on myself. Allowing at least one cheat meal a week.

Because I can't leave you without a pic... here is my four year old on sunday morning. 

Her smile is contagious. I love my girl.

 ~ Tasia

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jeyes Jaxon's September Love Letter

Dear Jeyes Jaxon:

I've yet to decide if I'm ready to part ways with your beautiful curls. Many encourage us to leave your hair alone, but, I cannot handle anyone mistaking you for a girl. You are ALL boy. I am so proud to call you my son. Those locks of yours love Hawaii's environment and so does your skin. We barely use lotion on your dry skin anymore. Now is the healthiest it has ever been. That makes me happy. We need to get you a dentist appointment soon for your pearly whites. You love your "shake-ups" (Pedia Sure) and although they are good for your tiny body, I fear they have taken a toll on your teeth. Just how in the world am I going to get you to cut back on these things? I have to add that the smile those drinks put on your face brings me the greatest joy. You'll lean in close to my face and say "peese shake up mama" and kiss me. So smart you are! One day I'll learn to stop giving into your charm... one day...

What I see when I look at you is everything I ever dreamed of in raising a boy. Your brown skin has turned two shades darker since we've been in Hawaii. You receive many compliments on it's coloration. And I am always flattered to admit you are part polynesian. I hope that one day you will understand (and not let it get to your head) just how gorgeous you are from the inside-out. I won't pretend for a minute that your not always my happy little soldier. And sometime's you throw the nastiest fits over tiny things like whether or not the lights in the house should be on or off. Sheesh - I thought I was picky. Having a firm sense of what you want is a great quality. Never let anyone tell you what you want is wrong. Maybe it isn't right at the time but you are always entitled to your opinion and I encourage you to speak up and let it out. 

These past weeks I could tell you have been needing more interaction with other kids. Wanting so desperately to do be involved in whatever your sister is doing - I sent you to pre-school with her two weeks ago and you have done great! I am so proud of you! I'll admit I have been very worried you wouldn't be nice to other kids or cry wondering why I left you. Twice a week while you and sister are at school, I get a 2.5 hour allowance to which I have been focusing on exercise and tending to anything that needs my attention most in and outside of our home. This time has been very healthy for my psyche and stress level, allowing me to be a better mother which you 100% deserve. While I am away from you, I never stop worrying or wondering if you are safe. When you think back to why I sent you to school so soon, never think it was because I didn't want to spend time with you. I want for you to be strong, independent, and learn to build friendship's without me hovering over your shoulder. I promise you, my son, this break from each other has made us appreciate all the time we are blessed to spend together. 

Thank you for loving me so passionately. I love you, now, tomorrow, and forever. 


Mommy Tasia 

Friday, September 13, 2013

More Dress-Up Less Housework

She's four years young and still loves to play dress-up. While Jeyes was napping this week, Teilani asked me to help her put on her princess dress. How could I say, no? It's ratted and her favorite. We've had it for more than two years. Lasting through many washes and tons of play-dates. Needless to say, this pink beauty is on it's way to donation. Or the trash. For all the memories created this has been $10 well spent on 2011's halloween costume if you ask me. 

I grabbed my camera after she was dressed and snapped these photo's. Never wanting to wait until they are uploaded to the computer, we skimmed through the photo viewer on my camera together and picked out our favorites which I'm sharing with you. Twirling and posing, I watched her grow up before my eyes. I want to lock this moment and moments like this in my brain forever. 

The innocent silliness that lives in my girl reminds me to take a break and slow the hell down. Make more time to play dress-up, read fairytales, and play barbies. Laundry and dishes will always be there. This won't last long... 

Next time I blink - I'll be helping her shop for prom dresses and wishing I could rewind time back to the days when life wasn't as serious. They tell you - big kids bigger problems. I hope that's not true. But for now, I'll sit in this moment and enjoy all that is true. Which is, she is four. And I am her "favoritest mommy in the whole world"..."daddy's going to think I'm so pretty in my dress". 

I love you, Teilani Marie. I'll never stop loving every frill of your beautiful soul. 

Love,  Mommy Tasia 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week 2 Diabetes Diet: Thank You for the LOVE

It's been a week since I started my diabetes diet. Food. Food. Food. Is what bounces around in my brain all day long. Which is a good thing compared to when I would grab handful's of tortilla chips without a care in the world and dip them in fatty spinach artichoke dip. I really love to dip. And I super love tortilla chips. We will meet again old friends of mine...

After I posted last week, I continue to be humbled by the amount of support shown by my friends and family. I know I have more than enough cheering me on, keeping me positive and full of ideas for exercise and meals. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart! I won't let you down and I WILL pay the love forward.

I vaguely remember how hard it was being pregnant with Teilani while I was on this diet in 2009 with gestational diabetes. What I remember most was always being hungry. Most of it was normal pregnancy cravings and the rest was my inner emotional eater freaking out because I was about to be a mother. Funny how emotions will make you turn to food for comfort. Besides missing Mcdonald's crap food and those yumm tortilla chips I mentioned, my meals are starting to make me feel better. If I am late for a snack my blood sugar crashes and I feel sick to my stomach, like I will faint if I don't inhale every carb in the house right at that moment. I chug a ton of water, have a seat, and eat a normal snack. After 10 minutes or so, all is well again. Keeping on time with snacks and meals has been most important.

Let's be friends through MyFitnessApp! We can track our meals and exercises together. Write inspirational or funny tidbits on how we stay on our game plan. All of my information is public so feel free to take a peek anytime and give me tips (if your feeling super awesome) on how I'm doing. My username is: tasiamurrieta.

All of the meal planning, errands, routine stuff inside my home can stress me out to no end. Forcing myself to take walks, get out of the house, notice beautiful things surrounding me has been very therapeutic. Then sharing it with you makes me even happier. And I really hope it makes you happy, too.

Teilani and Jeyes know Mom can't have sugar and they have been forced to be on the diet with me. Though not as strict as I am with myself they must eat at least one bite of vegetables with their dinner and whatever meat we are eating they eat that too. I might have also had my nutritionist tell them they can only have TWO "milkshakes" (they could guzzle up to four) a day. HA! I'm looking at this lifestyle change as the greatest blessing for my family. By week three I hope to have a post up about some of the meals that have been incorporated into my diet. My hope is that it blesses you and helps make your meal planning easier. And you maybe you might even have some idea's on where I can show improvement.

Mahalo for all the outstanding support!



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Type II Diabetes: My transition to better health & wellness

Photo credit: Teilani Murrieta

Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself and immediately wanted to delete it? If you're like me, you're probably guilty of this more than once in life. I barely recognize myself anymore. I look at pictures and say "this is NOT me". I've been feeling less than fabulous lately but chalking it up to the motherhood duties wearing me out. Too stubborn to go to the doctor, I bit the bullet a couple weeks ago for a routine physical in order to get clearance for an allergy appointment. I have Hypothyroidism and take a hormone ever day to keep my levels where they need to be. This should be checked every six months so I knew that test had to be done. And my levels were fine. What was NOT good was my Hemoglobin A1C & cholesterol. I tested at the bottom and within range for type II diabetes. This week I meet with a nutritionist to talk about a diet plan to control my sugar and cholesterol. While dieting has been swirling around in my mind the past months, I now have no choice. Well, I sort of do...I could settle for this disease and die a slow and painful death or I could suck it up and get this right because I owe it to myself and to my loved ones.

My question to you, my readers:

Do you know someone with type II diabetes? How do they stay on track and keep a positive mindset? Better yet a positive transition to rising above and conquering? I could use some help and a lot of prayer's over here. I started a board on my pinterest  page with  some recipes for diabetic friendly food here. If you're feeling extra lovely and have some idea's -- drop a comment, email, or follow me on pinterest <--, and tag me in your pin. I would be beyond grateful for extra help. More updates will be on the way as the weeks pass. I have until the end of October to prove to my primary doctor I can bring my Hemoglobin A1C levels down and avoid insulin therapy and glucose testing.

Aloha & Mahalo <3


Monday, September 2, 2013

Anniversary Love Letter to my Husband

Dear Jarrod:
Nearing a decade as your wife, these past years have flown by. Through all our highs and lows in our marriage, your tenacity always encourages my soul and lifts me high above the negativity where I so often get stuck. No one has ever loved me so fierce and tender as you do. The night I met you replays in my mind like a scene from my favorite movie. I bandaged your finger, trying not to shake so you wouldn't sense my nervousness. I remember your eyes, the way you looked at me, I felt respected. Your voice was deep, soft, like a relentless gentle wave that pounded at my heart telling me to never let you go. Nobody could tell me I was wrong for choosing you as my husband. You were and always will be the perfect match to my crazy. Thank you for my two beautiful babies and the strong leadership you continually provide for our family. 

I love you and pray God continues to bless our lives with health, happiness, and more love from now until forever.

Happy Seventh Anniversary, my giant love.

Forever & Always,


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Las Vegas Sullivan Wedding

Let me start this Vegas wedding adventure by clearing up any misconception's out there by saying "I am not a professional photographer". Now that I have a fancy camera, I have found more love for photography and this blog helps me express that with my readers. There are many professional photographer's that I follow and admire in the social networking world. They inspire me to take better pictures and keep me motivated to always do my best. Their dedication to this fine art inspires my heart.  

Phew... Now that I got that out, I feel like I can share our Las Vegas adventure and photo's I captured along the way. I hope you enjoy as much as I do. 

I was beyond honored to stand beside this beautiful bride as she wed her true love in Las Vegas. I'll tell you I wasn't nervous for our trip to the mainland but that would be a lie. Traveling with little ones can be hectic, but well worth it once you've reached your destination and continue the memory making process. Could it have been my nerves that caused an allergic reaction the day before the wedding? was it dayquil? I honestly do not know. My face blew up. Like, literally. Throat, tongue, eyes and lips. I broke out in hives from the neck down and in true LV experience fashion made a trip to the ER where they pumped me full of epinepherine, saline, benadryl and prednisone. I missed the bachelorette night before the wedding because of this episode and tried my best to get the swelling down before pictures. Thankfully, by the next day I was a little less scary and with the help of a professional (and lots of encouragement from my family) I was back in the game.  I'm working with my doctor on getting my health back to normal. Not a ton of great news this week. Also, not the worse... more on that in a later post...

For now, I want to share intimate moments I was witness to while the bride was getting ready for her big day. The lighting in the room was perfect. I had my camera handy so I shot some pictures (with permission) of the talented Annika at Once upon a primer glamorizing Mrs. soon to be Sullivan. This amazing beauty professional is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Along with the bride, I trusted her with my make-up on this same day. Her soft-spoken voice and gentle encouragement was exactly what I needed to rock some smokey eye and red lipstick. Big thanks to Annika for helping myself and most importantly my dear friend, the bride feel beautiful on her wedding day.  

Have a big night out in LV? Need a professional to hook you up in the beauty department? Another link to Annika's Facebook fan page can be found here

Annika - you were so wonderful! Thank you, again! 
One of my favorite iphone photo's of the flower girls 
A very handsome barefoot ring bearer  on the dance floor
First dance as Mr. & Mrs. J. Sullivan
The bouquet toss winner was my Sister :) She looks excited don't you think? 
Now that we are back on O'ahu from our Arizona Summer Adventure and Sullivan Wedding, real life feels like it is finally beginning for us on the island. Teilani started Hula last week and this coming week she starts pre-school. While I am excited to get into a normal routine, I will admit that I sort of like chaos and more than that LOVE to travel with my family by my side. If only those plane ticket's were more affordable... Oh, the places we would/will go! 

Thank you, Sullivan's for sharing your wedding day with my family. Thank you especially for helping me feel comfortable while I was down and swollen on your couch. I value our friendship more than words can express. God Bless you both! 



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Arizona Summer Adventure

A couple weeks ago, my family traveled to Arizona to visit my in-law's in Prescott Valley. If you have been following the news lately, you'll know that this is within an hour of Yarnell - where the Granite Mountain 19 Hot Shot Crew lost their lives in a wild land forest fire. At the time of the incident I was in Honolulu, no where near the fire. Though my heart felt like I was right in the middle as I flipped from one news channel to another watching the story develop. So, given the opportunity to visit the memorial in Prescott during our trip, my husband and I eagerly went to see the outpour of support his hometown town has offered. Let me tell you, it was unbelievable. What started as a plywood sign hung on the fence bordering the station in Prescott, quickly grew to a block full of letters, mementos, and tremendous love for the friends, families and Heroes 19 that were affected. As I stood in front of the memorial, I watched car by car drive by nearing to a stop in the middle of the intersection. Maybe they hadn't seen the sight before or perhaps this is exactly the power all this love has on anyone who stops by. I'm not sure how much longer they will keep the memorial up but if you are in the area or know someone that is, have a look for yourself and show these heroes some love. 

This is a sign my Sister in Love left via Prescott Area Tennis Association. A group that has been raising money for the GM 19 since the incident. God Bless You All!

Taking full advantage of having family available to watch our little ones, Jarrod and I stopped by the Prescott Brewing Company later that day and bought their Heroes 19 beer. All proceeds go directly to the families. It was GOOD! There is also a link on-line where you can by a "virtual pint" if your feeling generous from home. Donate a virtual pint here

There is no place in the world like Arizona. Prescott Valley's sunset's are one of a kind and the community is close-knit and loving. I look forward to our next visit this winter where we will bundle up and hopefully get to see some snow. Some shots of the next leg of our adventure into Las Vegas, Nevada is coming up! 



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dragonfruit Strawberry Mango Salad

I have been craving mangoes like crazy since we moved into our new house. It's almost like the mango tree in our front yard is begging me to create dishes with this fruit. Then I stumbled on Foodland - Hawaii's Facebook page and saw this recipe that includes dragon fruit and mango. YUM!! Since dragonfruit was on sale at Foodland this week I scooped up the kids, jumped in my car and got their ASAP hoping they weren't sold out. Thankfully, they were not. Anyways. Along with picking up dragon fruit, I wanted to incorporate something else I love into this salad, so I chose strawberries. 

I have far too many memories of picking strawberries off a raised garden in my Grandparents front yard. Nowadays I watch my children pick mangoes off the ground that have fallen from the tree and wonder if mangoes will remind them of home like strawberries do for me. 

Back to the fruit salad... The process to making this is really easy. For directions on how to dissect a dragon fruit click here 

After the dragon fruit is diced, add it to a mixing bowl with one mango that has been muddled and 3-4 diced strawberries. Give it a quick mix and then place the mixture in the leftover skin of the dragon fruit (for an extra fun serving dish) and squirt half a wedge of lemon over the top. I didn't even use a fork after I took this picture. I inhaled both halves all to myself. Next time I promise to share.

Dragon fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, fiber, and natural antioxidants that prevent dangerous free radicals from attacking the body, causing sucky cancer and other undesired health problems like diabetes. Cancer + Diabetes = yuck. Dragon fruit = WIN. I hope you take my advice and try this fruit salad on a hot summer day when the mangoes are ripe and dragon fruit is on sale.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Photography Adventure & Avocado Leaf Tea

I keep reminding myself that it doesn't matter the quality of the photo. For now, just capture the moments as they happen and the details will come in time. I have dreamed of a new camera for. like. ever. With the support of Daddy J - this week we were able to make my dream come true. Don't get me wrong, you can still shoot beautiful photos with an iphone. Which has been my means of photographing life the past few years. Through my iphone camera is where I discovered a passion for photography. I still use it daily with no plans on throwing in the towel, always tinkering with fun filters, posting to Instagram and #hashtagging like a #mommarazzi. HA! BUT, I LOVE my new Canon Rebel t5i. I mostly shoot in auto mode. A few times I tried adjusting my own setting's but have been less than satisfied with the outcome. Boo! I have so much to learn. Let the photography journey begin!

What I won't do is let the time we have in Hawaii go by without documenting what my eyes see. In what I hope to be a tactful and not like an "oh hey, I'm in Hawaii, be jealous and look at my photo's" kind of way. That's lame. These particular photo's were taken in and around our yard the past few days. Our neighbors are growing some pretty amazing things. Any opportunity I have to take in their knowledge of gardening I grasp it. So far they have been very generous in educating my green thumb, which is a work in progress... 

My first day shooting I was noticing a huge vegetable growing on a fence next door. I used it as my first photo lesson along with far too many of my kids, only snapping about 20 of the same photo. Then I wandered over to our other neighbor's house and noticed all sorts of beautiful flowers. And also, wait for it... an Avocado tree. WHAT THE?!.... Another dream come true. I LOVE AVOCADO'S. They clearly noticed my stalking of the tree and said I could pick as many as I like anytime I want. And the leaves too. Leaves? I ask... Yes, Leaves! They make a great tea that offer's an array of wonder's for the body including cleansing of the kidney, lowering blood pressure, and more. So that is what I did. I picked a bundle of leaves with my cute boy, and I made tea. Any time I eat the smallest amount of whole avocado my mouth swells and I break out in hives. Thankfully, this did not happen with the tea. Maybe I'll build a tolerance? Hives, swelling, coughing, all equals a pain well worth it (I'm crazy, I know) when prepared with benadryl. This weird allergy onset after my pregnancy with Jeyes. Who would've thought? Blah. Oh, pregnancy...  

The process to making this tea is quite easy:

1. Pick
2. Rinse well
3. Boil 10-15 minutes
4. Extract the leaves after boil
5. Pour in your favorite cup of course and enjoy

My house smelled earthy and clean while it was boiling. A great treat. After it is poured - add any sweetener, honey, flavoring you would like, whatever fancies your drink. I didn't add anything and still thought it tasted just right. 

So there it is... my first photo's from the beloved Canon. And a little "who knew?" about Avocado tree leaves. Do you own a Canon? How was your first experience? My question's are only now beginning. Mahalo in advance for any love you could throw my way.