Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Words #23 {thoughts on home buying and a free printable}

{free printable}

It's been a while since I talked about home buying. Last time we talked, we were looking in Temecula. Well, things have changed. We thought about it, prayed about, talked and talked and talked about it and came to our decision for two important reasons:

1. That commute is just too long. For me AND Brandon. For me, I thought, well maybe it won't be so bad. I'll get used to it. And then on one ordinary day my 25 minute commute turned into 35 minutes because of traffic and I literally screamed in frustration. Scratch that. I know me and I totally won't get used to it. Brandon could probably hang. He's tough like that. But I think he'd get over it eventually.

2. We wanted a baby (and now we're having one!) and with that, we wanted to be close to family. Yes, Temecula would only put us about 45 minutes away from Brandon's parents and sister, but 45 minutes is not close enough for a hey-let's-go-over-to-grandma-and-grandpa's-house-because-we-feel-like-it dinner. We definitely wouldn't see family as much as we'd like and that is a big downside.

With our $300k budget, Temecula definitely got us a lot. 4-5 bedrooms. A newer home. 2000+ square feet. A gorgeous kitchen. But it with it came a drain on a precious resource: time. Time wasted commuting. Time missing extended family. Although the draw of a shiny new dream home makes me swoon, we both realized it wasn't worth it. For some it might be. But it just wasn't the right decision for us.

So where does that leave us now? We're still buying a home. But now we're focusing on North San Diego County. It's where our family lives. It's where Brandon grew up and I spent my teenage years. I never thought I'd be back, but here we are, searching for a home. It's hard to adjust our expectations. $300k buys you a lot less here than it does in Temecula. But I'm realizing it's enough. We don't need a giant house to be happy. 3 bedrooms works. And so does 1300 square feet (although I'm hoping for more :)

We put in an offer on a short sale about a month and a half ago. The home is right around the corner from Brandon's parents' house. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths. GIANT back yard. 1700 square feet. It's pretty amazing. But we haven't heard back. So we're waiting. And waiting. And my impatient pregnant self is like "hello! we have a baby on the way, people. We need to get OUT of our tiny one bedroom." But I know it will all work out. I mean, we do have more than six months. It's not time to freak out yet.

The right home is waiting for us. The home we'll bring our baby to. That home will be filled with love and we'll make lots of memories there. I just need to keep reminding myself to be patient and that "a good home must be made, not bought".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Homemade Granola {Low-Fat & Super-Customizable!}

I learned how to make granola. And let me tell you- it's easy! My step mom gave me her recipe. My favorite part about it is how customizable it can be. Also, it uses apple sauce instead of oil making it a low fat treat. Score! We made a few batches- Vanilla Almond, Cranberry Walnut and Blueberry Almond.

You start by mixing all of your delicious ingredients together.

Then you spread it all out on a pan. And bake it.

Enjoy it. With some yogurt? Milk? Ice Cream? By itself? Up to you!

Homemade Low-Fat Granola
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup nuts, your choice, sliced or chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (optional)
1/4 cup flax seeds (optional)
1 cup grape nuts (optional)

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, raisins...whatever sounds good!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine oats, coconut, nuts, brown sugar, seeds and cereal in large bowl. In small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine honey, applesauce, water and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix well to coat. Spread evenly on greased baking sheets or pans. Cook in preheated oven 20-35 minutes, stirring every 7-8 minutes or so. Remove from oven when slightly crisp. Stir in dried fruit. Granola will harden more once it cools. Allow to cool completely and store in airtight container. Makes about 10 cups.

 Once you have the main ingredients down, it's really up to you how you want to customize it. Feel like adding some pumpkin seeds? Why not? Dried apples & cinnamon? Ok! It's up to you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

26 Before 26 Update

Let's talk about my 26 Before 26 List. So, it's probably safe to say that the following items are NOT happening now that I'm knocked up and stuff.

11.   Run a mile (apparently starting a running routine while you're pregnant isn't advised)
15.   Go wine tasting in Temecula (obvious reasons here.)
So we need some replacements. And I've decided they're going to be easy. Why? Because I might be just the slightest bit overwhelmed by what's left on the list and the 3 months I have left to complete it.

So now...
11=   Finish a book. (I have a few too many half read books lying around)
15= Go see the Titanic Exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum (This one should be easy since we already have plans to go tomorrow!)

In other news, I have a completion to report!
19.   Hike Torrey Pines

We actually went about a month ago, but you know me...major procrastinating with the blogging lately. It's one of those places that's in your hometown that you probably should have gone to by now, but just never have. I need to start being a tourist in my own city! I too often forget how gorgeous San Diego is.

The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located just north of San Diego between La Jolla and Del Mar. It's a wilderness reserve along the coast that is just breathtakingly beautiful. I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. The trails are pretty easy and short and you can avoid paying for parking if you can find some at the bottom of the hill along the beach. Just prepare yourself for the trek up that hill!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another Excuse

So I've been absent for quite a while. I know I know. I'm sorry. I've been exhausted. But I have a good excuse!

Yup. I'm preggers! And this whole baby growing thing makes for one tired mama. I'm averaging about 9+ hours of sleep a night, which means I just haven't been waking up to blog. It's been a hard secret to keep. I'm ten weeks along and we just had our second ultrasound yesterday. I can't believe how fast this thing is growing. The baby went from 6 mm to 3 cm in just 4 weeks. No wonder I'm tired! 

Here's our ultrasound. Rather than making you squint and say "yeah...I guess that kinda looks like a babyyyyy", I'll just point out the important parts.

My morning sickness is pretty mild, and my biggest complaint is that my back hurts. So I guess that's a good thing. Although when I'm up at 1:00 am with back pain, I sometimes think puking doesn't sound so bad. Chicken is now disgusting to me. And I'm craving all things sour. Pickles. Limes. Sour Jelly Bellys. Oh, and my pants don't fit.
Can you forgive me for my absence?