Sunday, July 21, 2013

Keepin busy

The past few years have been filled to the brim with HUGE milestones in my life. Three years ago I embarked on my journey to my bachelors only to be followed by a marriage proposal, acceptance into a masters program, a marriage, my first house with my husband ,a pregnancy and birth.

When I began my first semester with the SFSU speech pathology masters program and my first months as a married woman I thought that was tough enough. However, life had more in line for me. I remember the first day of dysphagia, the most intense course I've ever taken, sitting in the pub talking to my friends about missed periods and false pregnancy tests. We laughed and they assured me I was not pregnant. A few weeks later and another (3rd) period missed on my way to get a pack of cigarettes I bought yet another pregnancy test.  I figured like all the others this one would be negative. I followed the directions on the little pink box , left the little stick on the counter and went about my buisness. About ten minutes later I walked down our small hallway to the bathroom to throw away what I thought would be the final confirmation that I was NOT pregnant. I slide the stick off the counter and casually looked for the words NOT PREGNANT. Much to my surprise, in tiny black font ,read PREGNANT. Stunned I dropped the stick and sobbed.

My husband and I , freshly married , were not trying for a baby. We talked about the PERFECT time being years from now. So, to say the least I was surprise. To this day I can't find the right words to describe how I felt in that moment. I was not sad or mad or disappointed but my system was shocked. 

"What would my husband think?"
"What would my family think"
"Would I be able to continue school"
"Would I be able to nuture and prepare my brand new marriage for this new adventure"

To my surprise my family all reacted the same, pure excitement.  My fears quickly became out shadowed by happiness, excitement and a love that can only be understood through experience.

A year later and one healthy baby I couldn't imagine a better life. Who I am, who I became is exactly what I needed. Im not sure how I got through ( with flying colors) school being pregnant ( and I hated being pregnant). But I have come to realize my strength and power as a woman, a student , a wife,a friend and as nic.

My life seems like its perpetually in the fast lane but I think thats okay. The last few years are highlighted with incredible milestones and achievements. As I finish this year I will earn my masters, put another year of marriage under my belt and celebrate my babies first birthday.

I like to imagine walking across that stage once more, shaking my professors hands and looking over seeing a little chubby hand waving at her mommy.

It wasn't the plan I made , but it was a plan made just for me.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Girls night out and Magic mike:spoliers

Thursday night my friends and I decided to to a GNO and see Magic Mike. What better than a bunch of girls and male dancers..right?! Well despite the premise of the movie it failed to impress. NOT enough dancing and a plot that was ambiguous and lacked continuity at best. Channing Tatum was lovely to look at , but I can promise you this I will not be seeing it again.

Despite the anticlimactic movie and the bizarre scene with the penis pump the night was great because of the company. My lovely dear friend Rachael introduced me to three of her lovely friends Amy, Steph and Meaux( mo). They we are so sweet and welcoming to me. We started our night at BJ's ( i know the irony of the name and the premise of the movie is hilarious right?!) saw our movie and ended the night at Mel's Dinner with milkshakes and hot chocolate.

It was nice to be surrounded by some great people and get out of the house!! Can't wait until our next one.

On the Top from left to right: Rachael,Me,Steph,Amy and Meaux. Aren't we a cute bunch!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Rachael

I have only known you a short while but I can comfortably call you a best friend.We have become so close and have a relationship that is uniquely ours.I love you more than I could say and want to wish you the happiest birthday.You are incredible and hope your day is equally incredible.

P.s you're my favvourrrite ting

Gluten Free Review: The Gluten Free Mall

While gluten free is a more recognizable term now more than ever before it is still hard to find all the gluten free food, mixes, references, support for us gluten freers. Stores and their employee's have exponetially more information on GF and celiacs then just a year ago, but not enough. Its still hard to find all the special flours, foods, and support that one needs while navigating their gluten free life. One of my favorite places to window shop and read up on the latest gluten free news is the GlutenFree Mall.

" Since 1998, The Gluten-Free Mall has offered online shopping for the finest gluten-free foods and special dietary products—we are the original "one-stop shop" on the Internet for gluten-free food.
Our selection is unmatched—we carry more than 1,000 products, and over 130 leading brands—to meet the gluten-free needs of people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD, ADHD)...or for those who just want to eat a healthier diet.
The Gluten-Free Mall is famous for its outstanding customer service and excellent prices—be sure to check out the dozens of daily specials that we offer, and our huge selection of frozen foods. Ninety-eight percent of non-frozen orders ship by the next business day.
If you're not sure where to begin, just have a look at our "Bestsellers" box which appears throughout our site (see below). We also recommend these articles:" -Gluten Free mall

They are a well established company and offer endless information and yummmmmmy foods. Basically any food that you think you cant have because its riddled with that nasty gluten you can find on this site. They offer gluten free, vegan and HEALTY foods. I am not only concerned with eliminating gluten from my food , but making health conscious food choices. Their foods are often made with simple healthy non GMO ingredients.

Along with what feels like a limitless variety of foods, they have books, gluten free reviews and articles on the latest gluten free news. I subscribe to their site and The Journal of Gluten Free Sensitivity ( also found through their site) . The site is easy to navigate , but be careful because you'll want to spend all your money as you glance over and salivate over their scrumptous looking photos.

Here is a picture of their homepage. You see on the left their categories , so you'll have no problem finding what you're looking for.
 If you subscribe they send you coupons and specials. However, everyday they offer specials that you can find on their site. So, whether you are looking for something for dinner or something as obscure as GF insect repellent this place has it!

Next time you have a moment put those fingers to work on your keyboard and check them out.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July

I absolutely love the fourth of July because I get to see family. This year we did our regular BBQ, Pool time, Fireworks and S'mores. It was fantastic as always! Here are some photos!

Pat, Rambo, and me
My cutie pie cousin Bailey in the pool
My cousin Kimberly , her two kids (bailey and lily) and my cousin Ty enjoying the cool pool.

Me and my lovely friend Rachael
Pat grilling up some mallows for S'mores

Ty giving my bunny ears



mommy , ty and me

My little junebug and my parents roasting mallows
cutie pies!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Interview: Yoga for Uniforms

Yoga and exercising have always been something important to me. The benifits for your mind,body and soul are incredible. My gorgeous and talented friend Sarah Lewis has created an amazing company that intends to spread the benefits of yoga to our men and women in uniforms. As a wife of a cop I know first hand the stress that the job has on the cop and cops family. Read on and check out her amazing company.
Also we are going to do a giveaway for one of her amazing shirts. So leave a comment and your email to be entered.
Without further a do here she is

. Name,name of company,website.
Guardian Yoga Foundation, 501c3, non-profit. Program name is Yoga for Uniforms.

2. Tell us a little about your journey from your previous job to a yoga instructor.
Yoga has always provided me with an extraordinary release from whatever stressors I was experiencing. I wanted to be able to have the tools to share this incredible gift with others. I enrolled in my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and never looked back!
My role as a technical specialist for one of the largest medical device companies allowed me to attend various surgeries and continue to expand my knowledge of anatomy and physiology, I am extremely lucky to have the 'day job' that I do. It not only provides me continuous educational opportunities it helps me truly understand the importance that yoga can play in our overall health and wellness, whether it be as restorative practice or as a vigorous power flow.
3. How did you decide to create a company to support police officers?
My first 200 hr certification assigned a Seva ( service) project that was to assist us with two things: a. Deeper understanding of service and how we will use our yoga to serve
how does your company help men in uniforms?
Our service men and women are often running into the chaos when everyone else is running out. The heightened levels of stress that our first responders are faced with daily can contribute to numerous health issues. Research by John M. Violanti, PhD at the University of Buffalo's School of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Public Health and Health Professions has been ground breaking in identifying clinically the effects that job stressors may be having on our first responders. "A new study published in the current issue of Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health (vol. 64, No. 3) shows that this combination of night work, overtime and shortened sleep can contribute to the development among police officers of the metabolic syndrome, a combination of unhealthful factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), primarily heart disease and stroke."
Our mission statement is: " to support, develop and promote healthy mind, body and spirit for all those who serve in uniform by providing affordable, accessible and adaptable yoga" Our rationale for doing so is to have happier, healthier responders on the streets and as members of their family unit. We have chosen Yoga as our vehicle but our goal is to provide additional tools to assist our service men and women with their long term, overall health and wellness.

4. As a fellow wife of a police officer would you say practicing yoga has helped you deal with what our husbands do or could face every day?
Yes, from a personal perspective my practice has helped me find balance through some very challenging situations. Being a Law Enforcement Family is challenging, there is no other way to put it. I believe it is imperative to the safety and wellness of our officers that we remain grounded and supportive of their career decisions, for me yoga helps me with that. When I want to have an argument as he is about to leave for work or I am angry when I come home to the dirty dishes in the sink, my practice reminds me to breath. What they are faced with everyday are some of the most heinous, unjust acts of person to person violence and it is extremely difficult for me to support him if I am not 100% present.
5. Can you give us the top five reasons why anyone should do yoga?
Increased Flexibility: Flexibility and physical activity are important factors for our first responders. I see numerous issues with young officers, specifically around their hamstrings and lower back. Due to the pressure of their duty belt and or other equipment they have added an additional 30+ pounds around their waists and they are sedentary for some of their shift. This additional weight can cause muscle tightness and a decrease in flexibility.
Increases your focus and attention: through the focus on breath during the physical practice we are forced to be present. When we are attempting a more challenging asana, we need our breath in order to complete the pose and we need our focus to remain in the present moment to assist us with all of our balancing postures. We are retraining our brains to utilize breath as fuel for concentration. In the world of first responders, we are providing a tool that may help them make their strategy for their next move.
Decreases Stress: Everywhere you turn people are talking about 'decreasing stress'. We know that the chemical cortisol and adrenaline are released into someone's system when they become overly stressed. Clinically, we know that excessive amounts of these hormones can lead to issues with digestion, sleep and cardio vascular health. The practice of asana (postures) and pranayama (breath work) provides a tremendous outlet for relaxation and lowers levels of stress hormones provide individuals to operate in hemostasis.
Increases sleep and healthy sleeping patterns: Through the consistent lowering of your respiratory rate, blood pressure and heart beat your practice assists your body by providing you with the opportunity to come into a restful state. A regular practice has been proven to decrease stress, which appears to be the number one factor in poor sleeping habits.
Yoga is for everyone: There is something for everyone with a regular practice. You are guaranteed to see results, whether they are physical, mental or emotional through a regular practice. Any individual, who has the desire to explore yoga can. are your classes set up?
Classes are set up in a 6 part series right now. We have tried 3 part introductory workshops. Beginning in August we will move to a regular schedule of two, 1-hour classes per week from August 2012- August 2013.
Classes are free.
Who are they designed for?
All service men and women and their families.
7. Where do you see this company going in the next few years?
It is our desire to make yoga available to all service individuals in Dallas Fort Worth.
We have partnered with several local municipalities regarding our formal home for the program and this will be announced within the next few days.
Our kick off Fund Raiser is occurring 11/29 in Dallas at the Sammons Center, with the unbelievable support of several famous yogis.
We aim to expand the program to Arlington, Fort Worth and Richardson by the close of 2012.
We have partnered with the Give Back Yoga Foundation and are working to make this a national campaign for all first responders.
8. can you give us your top five favorite poses!
Balasana (Child's Pose): One of the most centering and grounding poses.
Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane Pose): Challenging and super rewarding. Great way to detox your inner organs
Trikonasana (Extended Triangle): excellent shoulder and side body stretch
Salamba Sirsasana: (Supported Headstand) nothing in this world like turning things upside down.
Savasana (Corpse Pose): Stay for the Pay. After the whole class is over, you rest, you relax and you absorb!

Here are her beautiful shirts that one of you will win


Sarah Lewis
YOGA for UNIFORMS...Stretch into yourself

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When you choose or are forced to eat gluten free one of the things you lose is the ease of eating. It becomes harder to just pull something out of the freezer and heat it up. Gone are the days or frozen burritos and other lazy snacks like that. Gluten free living involves a lot of preparation and cooking. I often find myself settling for raw fruits and veggies when I am tired and very hungry. However, more and more retailers are providing premade and frozen gluten free foods. Gluten free is more common now then it ever has been. Now it is easier to go to local health food stores and even grocery stores chains and find something gluten free. This to me is amazing because as a wife , student and soon to be worker , by the end of a lot of days I do not have time or will to cook food.

The last time I was at our local Whole foods ( a local natural ,organic health food store with an incredible amount of GF foods) I stumbled up Starlite Cuisines taquitos!! I was excited to say the least. Not only are the GF but they are also vegan. This is a hard combination to find because most vegan and vegetarian faux meats are made out of my arch enemy , vital wheat gluten. Anytime I find a gluten vegan combo I ALWAYS try it. They did an amazing job in both taste and texture.
While I am not one for eating pre-made food everyday , its a Godsend on my long days. They are perfect for a quick snack for your gluten free kiddos, a quick fix after a long night, or a great contributor to your GF vegan Mexican dinner night.

They are also much more healthy than your every day non GF taquito. They are Vegan, Gluten Free, Non GMO, Non Dairy, No Cholesterol, No Trans Fats, Rich in Protein, 100% Natural. Guilt free and easy!!

They come in imitation beef and chicken flavors!

Ingredients: Corn tortilla (white corn, water, lime), water, texturized soy flour, onion, mushroom, soy flour, cornstarch, yeast extract, salt, evaporated cane juice, salt, chili, cumin, thyme, natural spices, garlic powder, carrageenan, expeller pressed canola or soybean oil.

They can be found at local health food stores or one of my favorite gluten free online retailers, The GlutenFree mall ( which I will be reviewing later).

Give them a try!! This gluten free gal gives them five stars!!

Have a wonderfully gluten free day

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quick an easy way to spice up your summer favs on the BBQ: Asparagus!!

I love love love summer because that mean BBQing. And in my humble opinion most everything tastes better when it is cooked on the BBQ. Last weekend my brother came over and we decided to BBQ some asparagus. His friend mason suggested marinating it with something you might have right in your fridge.

What you need:
Italian dressing
freezer bag

What to do:
Cut the bottoms off the asparagus. Put in a freezer bag. poor dressing on. Shake shake shake to cover the asparagus. Let sit for a bit. Wrap in foil and throw on the grill until it is cooked to your liking!
Gluten free and vegan!

If you're like me I was uncertain about the Italian dressing covered asparagus, however it was delicious!!!!! Its a quick and easy way to spice up one of MY favorite summertime BBQ favs. So, give it a try you just might like it!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview. Arthur

Watch out world here is an interview with the gorgeous and very talented Arthur Aleksander!! Beware you'll want him to make you clothes once you see how cute he is and how beautiful his designs are, i know I want to wear the latest Arthur womanswear!!

1. Name and a little about yourself

My name is Arthur Aleksander Thammavong, and I’m currently finishing my studies in fashion design at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in Southern California, but I’m ready to explore more of the world!

2. What made you decide to get into fashion design?

It’s a bit of a long story, really, but the short story is that fashion found me, or I found fashion. I don’t really know who found whom first, but it happened.

I can tell you that I didn’t grow up dreaming that I would one day want to design clothing for people to wear. I didn’t dream of fancy dresses or beautifully tailored suits; I did, however, dream of making the world a more lively place to live through my art.

I grew up with the mindset that I was going to be an artist, though I didn’t know exactly what kind of art I wanted to do, but I knew that within me I harboured this creativity and vision that was fighting to get out. I struggled, for a long time, trying to figure out different ways to express what I had inside. I tried drawing everything, and then painting, writing, photographing…everything I could, but nothing pleased me. Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely love all of that, and I still do them all, but they didn’t satisfy me. So then I kind of fell out of that artistic mindset and ventured on to different things like engineering (which surely made my parents happy!), which then led me to want to be an architect, but then I switched to wanting to take studies in the French language and culture (Oui, je parle fran├žais!), but alas, none of it truly made me happy! But then one day someone pointed out to me, as I was sort of doodling several characters I was developing for a short story I had in mind, that I had a keen eye for fashion.

Now, at first I didn’t really care for it. I always liked fashion and looking at pretty boys and girls  (mostly boys) in pretty clothes, but I never once thought about designing clothes as a career path. But then, like everything else, I started to experiment and teach myself about the fashion world. I became a lot more particular about the clothes I wore, which led to my unhappiness in my wardrobe at the time. So, before making any real commitments to a field of study, I started to make my own clothes to try and figure out what it was that I liked. I was tired of what society wanted me to look and dress like or what my peers thought. I wanted to find myself. And I did. And I found fashion or we found each other.

I found that it had everything that I needed to make me happy: it had the creative aspect that my body and soul craved and the critical thinking and analytics that my mind sought to work through in order to problem solve. It is a field that is both functional and beautiful, artistically free and structured, liberal and conservative—it was all of these dichotomies that also best described me as a person: fashion was me and I was it. It became this committed relationship where I gave myself fully to fashion and it will serve and continues to serve as my filter for how I see the world today.

3. Do you prefer menswear or womanswear? and why?

Well, considering that I started out making menswear mostly for myself, I would love to do menswear; however, in recent years, I’ve discovered that I also want to do womenswear. I’m on this mission to show the world what fashion can be now and later.

Menswear offers me the strict, structured codes of male identity and masculinity. It has these hard-etched rules and limitations as to what a man is “supposed” to wear and be, but I want to bend those rules—I have no real interests in breaking the rules, per se, but I do want to see how far I can bend them. And then there’s womenswear whose rules are the exact opposite of menswear, it is kind of this free and wild beast that’s trying to elude you. I see the design process of designing for women as this on-going adventure to hunt down and capture what the women of today and tomorrow want to wear. It’s fun and exciting, and you’ve got to sort of make everything in life like that: fun and exciting. There’s no point for me to go on through life hating every moment of it behind a desk, in front of a computer crunching numbers—that’s not me. I’m excited to design every day, going on these excursions in my mind dreaming up new silhouettes and construction for clothing. My brain is always working this way.

4. What are you plans for when you’re done with school? Do you want to have your ownline. own store front? etc

I plan to work for a company at first. I’d like to extend my education through this, I guess, kind of like learning the bearings of the industry from both the creative and business sides. Then, after I’ve gained enough years of experience I’d like to eventually have my own line and of course my own store. As much as I’d like to say that I’m the sort to just throw everything I’ve got up in the air just to see where they land, but I’m not like that. I’m relatively calculative, patient and slow at how I go about doing things that I know will have long-lasting effects on my life. That’s not to say that I wake up every morning planning everything down to the last minute, but I’d like to weigh my chances at things and make them favour me. I don’t ever leave anything up to chance, really, I know that I am in control of my life and where I want to take myself in the future, but I also know that everything is going to take a lot of time, practice and patience. And then one day, I’ll rule the world! Hahaha.

5. Could you share some of your designs? (sketches and/or finished pieces)

Of course!

6. Where do you get your inspiration?

Honestly, I don’t know, or rather, I can’t exactly pinpoint where I get inspiration. I guess inspiration comes to me, and that’s the beauty of it. I could be walking out my door and see a homeless person walking past me and then all of a sudden I’m inspired by their clothes (which has happened countless of times, actually!). Being an artist and designer I’m sort of aware of everything. My brain analyses everything so fast that sometimes I’m not aware of it doing so, because then when I’m in class daydreaming, this vision from wherever and whenever in the past just pops into my head and I’m like, “Oh my God! That’s such a good idea!” and then I immediately put pen to paper so as to permanently record my thoughts.

Now, the beauty of note-taking for me is that although I think one thing at one point in time and then jot it down, I can then interpret it differently when I go back to my notes or doodles later in the future, because my frame of reference has changed. Then those reinterpretations turn into something completely new or they lead me down a different path in my mind and then I just start going all over the place! It’s crazy how the mind works, but then I guess I’m sort of crazy like that!

7. Who are your favorite designers and trends right now?

I appreciate all designers, some naturally more than others. It’s safe to say that my favourites are those who are closest aligned to my own personal aesthetic like Hedi Slimane, Raf Simons, Ann Demeulemeester, Rad Hourani, Hussein Chalayan, and the list just goes on and on.

Current trends that I’m totally into right now? Well, I absolutely love all this play on proportion. You know like over-sized jackets with super skinny pants or super skinny and cropped jackets with fuller pants or skirts or dresses or whatever! I love seeing people play with these proportions and creating new or interesting silhouettes. And I think that’s why some of the homeless people in Los Angeles inspire me because they are the least afraid to try new proportions because they have nothing to lose.

For example, just the other day I saw a homeless man in this beautiful shamrock-green windbreaker that was probably two sizes too big for him, so he cinched it at the waist with a rope or cord or belt and it created this odd “8” shape or hourglass figure on his torso. I think I was attracted to the way the fabric fell and collapsed on his body, creating that interesting volume and shades and lights. And his pants were short-cropped, almost like capris, and they weren’t too tight nor too loose. He also had on this makeshift scarf that looked like it had once belonged to a shirtsleeve or something. It was absolutely fabulous. He did so much with what little he had or could find. Sometimes I wish I had more courage to experiment with such extreme shapes like that!

8. Who would you love to see in your designs if you could pick anyone?

Everyone. Is that arrogant to say?! Haha! I don’t mean to be. But I don’t know, if you’re asking about a celebrity or a famous person, I really don’t know. I don’t care if anyone famous wants to wear my stuff. I mean, that’d be great of course, I’d be honoured to have someone famous wear my stuff, but I wouldn’t need them to. I just want to see people happy in my clothes. I’ve always thought to myself, “I don’t want to make beautiful things, per se, I just want to make pleasurable things.” That’s to say I want to make things where people find their own happiness in them. We’re all drawn to particular design details for one reason or another, and I want to do that with every single piece I design: I want it to resonate with the wearer.

9. And lastly what advice do you have for the first time novice sewer/designer?

Give it everything you’ve got and love every second of it! You have to absolutely love everything that you do, and the more of yourself you put into a project, the more satisfaction you will get from it. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes! I’ve learnt so much just from trying new things and making mistakes! But you have to be brave to face the consequences, good or bad! You’ll only come out stronger in the end! I think a designer or sewer who makes the most mistakes at first becomes the most confident in their ability down the line because then they know their strengths and weaknesses and how to hopefully make it work for them. Everything is a process of discovering your own personal limitations, and the more you know about yourself the better equipped you will be in whatever it is you do in your future!

Here are some of his designs :
halter_spring2012 - a floral print halter top that buttons at the back neck. Spring 2012 look

LACMA2010_01 - a "dark rose" inspired dress done for the LA County Museum of Art in the summer of 2010; showcasing for fall 2010
 a black cotton silk dress done for the LA County Museum of Art, summer 2010; showcasing for fall 2010

misc_collection - illustration of miscellaneous collections for 2012 - 2013....the four on the left are from an activewear collection for fall 2012, the grey dress is the bias dress for fall 2012; the striped dress is for spring/summer 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm back: The Best Day of my life

So, It has been one month exactly since I married my best friend.
Planning the wedding and the day of the wedding offered struggles I did not foresee, however it was all worth it. The wedding was beautiful, I was surrounded by wonderful friends and family, and I DANCED my butt off all night. With a few hiccups the day of it turned out better than I imagined. I cried more than I thought I would ( like every time I opened my mouth or looked at my husband!), I realized what a strain a wedding puts on yourself and the people involved and I realized how close I was to my mom and my pat!
I do feel however, that I grew up a lot in the process. I am slowly becoming the adult woman I know I am supposed to be.
No more talking here are some pictures!!!( just a few because I don't have the professional ones yet)

Just some of me and my man!
Happy one month and here's to mannnnnnnnnyyyy more!