Vegas 2018: Shopping, Basketball, and ALL THE FOOD

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday! Any fun plans for the week? We are recovering from another epic Vegas trip and my Wy Man has his 6th (how?!?)  birthday on Saturday! I wanted to share some fun pics from our weekend and some of our awesome eats and adventures.

As some of you know, every year we meet Tom and Gina in Vegas for the PAC12 Basketball Tournament. Click here for previous years’ posts: 2016  and 2017.

Gina and I at the finals of the tournament.

We love college basketball and all of our favorite teams play in this tourney. There is a very healthy rivalry between us but it is really all in good fun.

This year we decided to go up a day early. We have had a lot going on and Jeremy and I needed a little extra time alone to decompress. We needed to remind ourselves that we are not just two ships in the night passing while raising two boys!We needed to let loose a little and have some fun. And boy did we do that!

We got in on Thursday, checked into our hotel, grabbed a late lunch and a Bloody Mary and headed to a basketball game. I am still recovering from the plague also known as an Ear Infection, Strep, and Walking Pneumonia, so we took it easy that night.

Customized Bloody Mary
Late Lunch

Friday was glorious: Brunch at Mon Ami Gabi, shopping, Drybar, Caviar, and Basketball. Basically the perfect day.

Mon Ami Gabi
Petrossian Caviar Cafe
A little nugget of heaven
All the shoes

On Saturday I woke up feeling kind of meh. I think I did too much on Friday, so we slowed down a bit. Grabbed the most amazing brunch at Herringbone in the hotel, walked around a bit and then got ready for the tournament finals.

Herringbone
Herringbone
Chilaquiles
Lunch at The Venetian
Lunch at The Venetian

Vegas is truly a fatty’s, I mean Foodie’s dream!

After the game, we rallied and hit the hotel bar.

It. Was. Epic.

The calm before the storm

I haven’t let loose like that in forever! I would love to tell you all about the debauchery, but you know what they say. What happens in Vegas…

Let’s just say we were paying for it on Sunday, but it was 100% completely worth the pain.

We had the most amazing time with the most amazing friends, but it was so great to get home to these knuckleheads.

My babes

What are your favorite Vegas hot spots? I would love to hear your Vegas recommendations!

Talk to you soon!

B

Flablife Update

Hey, friends! Happy Hump Day! Can you believe it has been just over 2 years since I started this silly blog?!

I decided to put together this post after I shared a pic on Insta that seemed to resonate with some of you, and I wanted to expand on it a little, no pun intended!

To say that I’ve been a yo-yo dieter is an understatement. While I dieted and exercised all throughout my post-high school years, it was always 10lbs here and there, nothing too crazy. I was also an avid runner and enjoyed a pretty balanced lifestyle, and by balanced I mean lots of beer and burritos followed by Lean Cuisines. But hey, I was in my 20’s and it was WAY easier to drop 5-10lbs in a few weeks.

It wasn’t really until I got pregnant for the second time did I have a much harder time losing the weight, leading me to utilize some less than healthy weight loss methods. To give you a little understanding, I created this nifty timeline to document my ups and downs with the scale.

July 2009- +50lbs, pregnancy #1

2009-2011 -35lbs, healthy diet and exercise

2012 50+ lbs, pregnancy #2

2012-2013 -30lbs, Kaiser Diet (7: 80 calorie shakes/day)

2013 +10lbs gain

2014-2015 -30lbs popping diet pills and eating nothing, along with zero exercise (SO bad, I know!)

2016 +20lbs, due to depression and Postmates.

2017 Another year, another 20lb loss, then gain.

2018 So far, down about 5lbs, working out consistently, happy and not trying to focus so much on the scale.

In case you were more visual, I put together a gallery of sorts to document the fun:

 

I have really been working hard on myself these past few months and trying to identify a lot of my triggers that cause me to overeat and self-sabotage.

Not to say that it’s easy and I’m some crazy enlightened soul, but there definitely has been a shift in my mindset.

That said, losing weight is SO hard. Especially with children, and family, and friends, and parties, and spouses, and, well, LIFE!

But if I can finally start to get my shit together, then anyone can!

I am not yet where I want to be, but I know where I’m going and I am definitely looking at this as a lifestyle, not a diet. (Jesus, how cheesy am I?)

Are you a Yo-Yo dieter? When/ why did things finally click for you? Or are you still on the journey? Tell me!

Talk to you soon!

Betsy

10 Helpful Thanksgiving Tips

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away?!?! This year has flown by!

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I have had the honor of taking over hosting from my grandmother who did it for over 50 years. And I wanted to share a few of things I’ve learned.

  1. Keep it simple! This is not the place to get super high brow on your family. Stick to the faves and if you want to add 1 new dish or 1 new dessert to your repertoire that’s cool, but this probably isn’t the time to test out any new techniques you saw on Iron Chef.
  2. Break up your grocery shopping. A few weeks before buy all of your pantry items like the potatoes, onions, frozen veggies, canned goods, etc. Then the Sunday or Monday before, grab all of your perishables and any last minute items. I promise this will make your life much less stressful. While you might think it’s a hassle to make two trips to the store, trying to get everything on your list in one stop is daunting. I guarantee that you will forget something and inevitably have to make another trip to the store anyways.
  3. On Thanksgiving day, all you should be preparing is the turkey and gravy. I know so many people who wake up at 4 am to start prepping for this gigantic meal. But here’s the thing, potatoes, stuffing and green beans are very sturdy sides and can easily hold up for a day or two in the fridge. I make all of my sides and desserts on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Thanksgiving Day, I am freed up to hang more with the family and I feel less overwhelmed.
  4. When cooking for a large group, use two birds that are a bit smaller than one giant turkey. It will take less time to cook assuming you have a double oven, and since the bird is smaller it is much juicier.
  5. Dust the turkey with sweet paprika right before you toss it into the oven. This gives it a nice brown crust.
  6. Always pat the bird dry and let stand at room temp 30 mins before putting it in the oven for 15 mins/ lb.  (375 is my preferred temperature)
  7. If you make your own whipped cream, which really is a must: sweeten with confectioners sugar: I️t contains cornstarch which will act as a stabilizer.
  8. Do not reinvent the wheel. Coco’s or Marie Calendars can bake way better than me! So do the semi-homemade hack; buy the pie and make the whipped cream.
  9. I found that the little ones are not big fans of pie, so I always have an alternate dessert like ice cream or chocolates for the kiddos.
  10. Remember, at the end of the day this holiday is about and enjoy spending time with your loved ones above all else. Hiccups will happen, but that’s life!

    (A few pics of past Thanksgiving dinners.)

Are there any tried and true tips you have? I would love to hear them!

Have a wonderful holiday friends! xo Betsy

Holiday Comfort Meal aka Paella a la Betsy via Gwyneth Paltrow

Chicken Paella
Chicken Paella

It finally feel like winter! At least for San Diego standards. I thought this would be a great time to share this amazing paella recipe I adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s book “It’s All Good.” The recipe is hearty, filling, and gluten and dairy free. This recipe makes SO much food is ideal for serving guests over the holidays

Continue reading Holiday Comfort Meal aka Paella a la Betsy via Gwyneth Paltrow

What you believe? What do you have faith in?

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. We got to spend a lot of time together as a family, which is always my favorite.

 

Kid's Snacks
Kid’s Snacks

Friday night I hosted Mommy Happy Hour. Every month or so during the school year a few of us moms take turns hosting a happy hour where the kiddos run around and play while the mommies sip vino and catch up. It’s glorious, especially when you hit that sweet spot where all of the kiddos get along, and you don’t spend the entire time stopping them from beating each other to a pulp.
Saturday was my niece’s birthday party:

 

Wyatt and Elmo
Wyatt and Elmo

and then we played tourist around Old Town San Diego (one of my favorite spots) and met up with some friends for dinner.

 

Gina and I and Margaritas
Gina and I and Margaritas

And of course, in this house Sunday is for football and brunch no matter how many times the Chargers break our hearts.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

 

Brunching
Brunching

I wanted to share with you something that’s been on my mind. On Friday took a yoga class. It was a restorative yoga class that focused on stretching and meditation. The instructor led us through a thoughtfulness exercise that I wanted to share with you because it really hit home with me and I can’t stop thinking about it.

 

Yoga
Yoga

She first asked us: “What do you believe in?” and a few minutes later followed it up by asking “What do you have faith in?”

Lying, eyes closed on the mat wracking my brain, I had a very hard time coming up with any sort of answer. I’ve never been a very spiritual person but c’mon! I had nothing! Even as I write this I cannot come up with a solid set of beliefs or faith in something.

I very rarely take the time to stop and be mindful of my life, the past, my experiences. I tend to just keep pushing through, some days just trying to keep my head above water.

A a lot of things have changed in my life over the past 2 years and lately, I think I have been a bit emotionally paralyzed by all of it. I don’t tend to take the time to process the hows or why’s in life. I just go go go. As we wind down on 2016 my goal is to be more mindful of why things came together or undone as they have. What brought me to where I am right now, and why? What do I believe and have faith in? Am I where I need to be?

Maybe I should first look in the mirror and ask if I have enough faith in me?

So I ask you friends: What do you believe in? What do you have faith in?

Until next time. xoxo
Betsy

San Francisco Part 1: What We Ate

It is definitely safe to say that we did not starve in San Francisco. Most times when we travel we pretty much wing it when it comes to food. San Francisco though is a city filled with an incredible culinary scene so it is definitely worth doing a little homework before you head there. our first night we walked to Belden Place, an adorable alley way that is closed off to cars and tables and chairs are set up in the street. We ate at Cafe Tiramisu. It was probably one of the best meals of the trip.

 

IMG_2442
Our Adventurous Little Eater

 

The next morning we had brunch at Cafe Le Presse which had come highly recommended but honestly, it was just meh.

We continued on with our food marathon at an awesome Italian restaurant Original Joe’s in North Beach. It was everything from the dim lighting to the red booths. I need to recreate the chopped salad and artichoke dip. The menu isn’t huge but everything we ate was perfect.

That evening, we were exhausted and had promised our spoiled kiddos we could have room service. Also, as a nice bonus our hotel, an Omni brought the kiddos milk and cookies every night. We also had room service for breakfast the next morning.

 

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Room Service Breakfast

 

Now if you know anything about San Francisco, you would know about their amazing Chinatown. We LOVE Chinatown, and here is a small sampling of the dim sum we ate. I will be dedicating an entire blog post focus on Chinatown later this week!

After out trip to Alcatraz we stopped at Pier 39 and made a rookie mistake. Instead of waiting in line at Boudin we were so hangry we ate at a knock off version and it was not very good at all. The red chowder was awful, and I am still kicking myself. Luckily to make up for that lapse in judgement we walked to Ghiradelli Square and make quick work of these two ice cream sundaes. They were out of this world, and worth every single calorie.

Having walked close to eight miles that day, we were pretty pooped. Thank goodness for Postmates who delivered this awesome takeout from Brandy Ho’s!

Our last meal out was kind of a disappointment. We had spent the morning at the Ferry Building before our flight and ate at MarketBar. The service was NOT good, and the food was definitely nothing to write home about, especially for the price!

Well folks, there’s a look at our gluttony in San Francisco. Did we miss any must eats?

Until next time,

Betsy

More is Even More Rice Crispy Treats

 

IMG_2421
More is More Rice Crispy Treats

 

Happy Monday friends! We are exploring San Francisco write now, but I wanted to share this recipe with you to get your week off on the right track. And by right track, I mean with lots of gooey sugary awesomeness.

A few months ago a girlfriend emailed me this recipe for these brownies:

They were Insane! So of course when she sent me a link to Rice Crispy Treats of the same name, I had to try them. I slightly modified the recipe, and wanted to share my version with you:

More is Even More Rice Crispy Treats

Ingredients:

5 cups Rice Crispies

1/2 bag funfetti cake mix

Lots of sprinkles

2-3 Cups of crushed Oreos

1/2 stick of butta

1 10 oz bag of marshamllows ( I prefer the mini ones, they melt better)

 

IMG_4530
More is More Rice Crispy Treats Ingredients

 

In a large pan melt the butter over low heat, then add the bag of marshmallows. Once the butter and marshmallow are completely melted remove from heat.

 

IMG_4528
Step 1

 

Meanwhile take a little aggression out on your Oreos.

Mix Funfetti Cake mix, Rice Crispies, 3/4 of Oreos, and 3/4 of sprinkles in the pot.

Finally, pour the rest of the Oreos and Sprinkles into a well greased cake pan. Pour the rice crispy mix on top of that layer, and with damp fingers smoosh down into the pan (very technical, I know). Let cool at least 20 mins. Flip cake pan over and you will find a nice little Oreo/Sprinkle topping to the treats. Cut to desired size and enjoy!!!

 

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More is More Rice Crispy Treats

 

Let me know what ya think! I cannot wait to share all of our shenanigans from San Francisco. I will be rolling out a series of posts next week all about my fave San Francisco eats, attractions, and more!

Until next time! xoxo

Betsy

Changing Things Up

Hey friends! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was low key and fun. We had a cousin’s birthday party on Saturday, followed by some epic ramen for dinner.

On Sunday the hubs and I got in a little brunch/ kayaking date along the bay while my bestie Camille watched the boys.

 

As you may notice I have made some changes to this little blog. I wanted to share with you why.

While I love talking about my struggles as a fatty, and everyone’s feedback has been so amazing and positive, I have found the experience personally quite difficult. I feel that i’m focused obsessed with my weight and getting in shape and putting way too much pressure on myself. In my experience when I am trying to lose weight, the more I talk and obsess about it, the less I actually make better choices but instead rationalize that I “deserve” this cheat meal day week. It becomes a whole issue of what I can’t eat instead of making healthier decisions. So I am going to continue on my diet and fitness journey but keep those successes and failures a little closer to the vest.

 

IMG_4542
Hehe

 

Secondly, there is SO much I want to share with you and I felt that focusing solely on diet kept me from unleashing all of my true greatness 🙂 For those of you who know me personally, you know what a large part entertaining, cooking, and family play in my life. I want to incorporate these parts of my life to into the blog as well, and I look forward to sharing my passions with you!

Stay tuned for lots of exciting things to come!

Until next time,

Betsy

xoxo

You Decide My Diet!

Happy Monday Peeps!

I hope you had a great weekend! We spent this past Saturday on the bay enjoying a little staycation for my son’s birthday. It was fun, stressful, and exhausting, all topped off with a cupcake/cookie/taco binge on Saturday. Okay, Sunday too.

Next Monday is the start of August. While people with a much healthier relationship with food wouldn’t wait for a Monday, or the start of a new month to begin eating better, that is clearly not me!

So I have an idea….and I need your help!

Through Instagram I have noticed that the following weight loss/diet plans have some die hard followers:

 

IMG_4193
Whole 30

The Whole 30

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Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers

 

 

IMG_4190
21 Day Fix

21 Day Fix

IMG_4191
Ketogenic Diet

 

Ketogenic Diet

I want YOU to vote and decide which plan I should follow for the entire month of August. Once the votes are in, and the plan decided I will spend the rest of this week researching it. On Monday, August 1, I will begin that plan for the entire month. I will document my experience along the way and share with you all of my success and failures. At the end of the month I will do a complete review of the program.

So please VOTE VOTE VOTE!

 

Clean Chicken Fried Rice

Howdy friends! How is your week going? Remember, it’s Friday eve!!!

I have been lacking some major cooking mojo these days. I feel like lately my cook switch has been turned off. The thought of sitting down and making a meal plan seemed completely overwhelming these past few weeks, but I knew if I didn’t start cooking soon, we might have to sell the house to pay for all of the takeout we’ve been eating.

I also knew as soon as I got my butt back into the kitchen it would light that fire again. My first homemade meal in WAY too long was my cleaner version of chicken fried rice. It is super simple, and very flavorful.

I was not about chopping, and prepping much, so here is the almost homemade version:

 

IMG_3325 2
Fried Rice Ingredients

 

Ingredients:

1 bag mixed frozen vegetables (Peas, Carrots, and Corn)

4 Eggs

3 Cups brown rice cooked

2 Cooked chicken breasts chopped, or you can use firm tofu to make Lacto/Ovo vegetarian

4T Liquid Aminos

2 Cloves garlic minced

2T MCT oil

1T Sesame Oil

Recipe:

-In a large saute pan heat MCT oil over medium heat cook garlic about 2 mins or until fragrant.

-Add frozen vegetables until warmed through.

-Add chopped chicken, heat through.

-Move veggies and chicken to one side of pan and add sesame oil to the other side.

-Scramble eggs in the open side of the pan. Once scrambled combine ingredients in pan.

-Add brown rice and liquid aminos to the veggies and chicken. Mix well, heat through, and enjoy!

Serves 6

 

 

IMG_3329
Chicken Fried Rice

 

Until next time,

Betsy