Pregnancy Weight Gain: Fat or Muscle?

by fitforthesoul in , ,


Whenever I see the outcome of somebody being reminded of the beautiful things in life through my posts—though they’re not exactly what I would classify as life-altering, yet a blessing nonetheless—I am reminded of why I love to share my thoughts on this blog.  I have you guys to thank for that and as God would put it in His own words, it’s all about that one soul that’s craving to be blessed!  So I hope you experience that whenever you’re here. Smile I’m kind of hoping that you’re not sick of reading about pregnancy this and pregnancy that, because I’m sure you already get your fair share of pregnancy posts in your Google Reader from so many of us being expectant moms right now, hehe.  MOMMY POWER, UNITE!  Okay sorry for that cheesiness…

What I’m about to talk about today is something that’s meant to clear up the confusion in my head, while hopefully helping another woman out there with her own pregnancy concerns.

While I’m not exactly plagued with worry about pregnancy weight gain like I thought I would be (thank goodness), I do have a load of questions that are waiting to be answered.  Perhaps what I’m looking for is simple reassurance from experienced moms, or even those who have witnessed the whole journey of pregnancy weight gain of others who were trying to stay as healthy and as fit as possible through it all.  I am fully aware that a reasonable amount of weight gain is a must in order to have a healthy child, and sometimes it is inevitable for the vast majority of us.  It’s the way our bodies are made.  It will probably happen to 90% of us!  However, I have to confess that so far I’ve “gained” approximately 20 lbs. as of 3 weeks ago, according to my doctor!  The healthy number that is recommended for most women ranges somewhere in between 25-35 lbs.

Uhhhh I don’t know if anyone else sees a discrepancy here.  But I’m just about 3 months away from giving birth and I’ve already plowed through the low 20’s so far and I am only 5’1”.  Perhaps my weight will balance itself out in the coming months, and I truly hope that that is the case for the sake of Selah.  And well, it definitely doesn’t hurt a momma’s ego when she’s able to stay fit and healthy throughout her pregnancy. Smile with tongue out

My question is, however, is this weight coming from actual fat or muscle gain?!  To be quite honest I’m kind of stomped on that one.

As you already know, I’ve been active for a long time pre-pregnancy as well as throughout the whole journey.  Even up to this day, I’m still enjoying breaking out in buckets of sweat and working on strengthening my muscles through light weights and ballet inspired routines.  My theory is that the extra pounds are coming from the baby and I have to take into account that there are elements being formed within my stomach, and any workout that I do will be like holding 10 lb. dumbbells on each hand (10+10=20 lbs)  Therefore, all the plies and releves that I’ve been performing are most likely done with “heavy weights” in theory, if that makes any sense.

The reason why I’m sharing this with you is that I’m a teeny bit nervous about going in to see my ob-gyn today.  Even though she can see that aside from my belly growing I obviously don’t look like I’ve gained much weight myself (or at least I don’t think so), she seems to be seeing it through the “BMI SCALE LENSES.”  Now, I love my doctor and I’m somewhat comforted by the fact that she last told me not to worry about it, since she will be measuring me weekly and everything else about me is perfectly healthy.  But then again, she did tell me that I need to slow down a bit or be more careful so I don’t end up gaining too much weight!  Now I’m a bit confused as to what all of this means:  is it fat, or is it muscle?

I feel like it’s not fat because I look the same as pre-pregnancy for the most part, and I do think it might be water bloat and some extra muscle…but my mind keeps telling me that it’s actually unhealthy fat and I need to get rid of it for the sake of a healthy baby and delivery, and I keep doubting myself that I’m at a healthy weight range.  I certainly don’t want that “mommy guilt” to take over me because that wouldn’t be good for Selah, but I’m pretty confused as to what I should go by.  Is the doctor right?  Or should I go by my own instincts?  Will my doctor tell me to lose some weight?  I certainly hope not!  Or, will she really take everything into consideration and give me the OK to continue with what I’ve been doing? 

I hope this isn’t coming off as whining or complaining to you guys, but I am genuinely curious to read your thoughts on this matter.  Although I already seem to know the answer the truth is that I don’t know.  Is this just like the dreaded case of BMI LENSES where the doctor tells you that you’re overweight simply because of 2 numbers that you input into the calculator?  Or is this something I should be wary of and actually take into consideration?  I know these seem like minute problems to some of you, and it can be!  But it doesn’t hurt to provoke some insight so that we can all come to a healthy resolution on this.  Any feedback is much appreciated.

Awesome Combo

Before I check out for the day, I wanted to share the wonderful sweet and salty combination I had this morning!

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You see that English muffin with the bite mark?  That would be a toasted multigrain English muffin with melted Gouda cheese, fruit preserves, and walnuts on top!  The creaminess of the Gouda and the tangy sweetness from the preserves makes this simple breakfast a heavenly, gooey combo.  Open-mouthed smile  Do give it a try!

Greg and I are going to our doctor’s visit today and then we have a date planned at Color Me Mine to finish up a project that we started for his mom.  Afterward, we might take a walk at the park if the sun doesn’t disappear on us, along with some maternity clothes shopping that he’s been badgering me about, hah!  I have a gift card to use up and I’m pretty excited!

I hope you have a great day and make someone smile, because we’re all fighting a battle.

Any thoughts on pregnancy weight gain?

Love,

Ellie <33


Updates on Life

by fitforthesoul in , , ,


Once again, I’ve been gone for quite a while (almost a week) but the good news is, I have some good stuff to share. DSC05764

Over the weekend, Greg’s parents came to So Cal to pay us a visit and to see my baby belly which is being occupied by Selah.  Well that, and also because we were in for some sweet family time at the San Diego Safari Park!  We took the above picture and up until now I had no idea how funny and embarrassing it looked.  I guess my in-laws realized how goofy it looked and went ahead and took an even more embarrassing shot…

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Hahaha, I promise this was not done on purpose!  Children, please do not attempt this trick at home.

While we were at the park we got to experience one of the coolest things we’d ever witnessed!  Besides basking in the cool and sunshiny weather while looking at all sorts of different animals we never even knew existed, we purchased the VIP passes to see the Cheetah Run.

Wow.  That cheetah (named Johari) was amazingly speedy running at 70+ miles, and she was the sweetest little thing!  I bet you didn’t know that Cheetahs are actually less fierce than you would think.  They choose flight over fight due to their speedy nature, which makes a lot of sense.  Smile  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures since my batteries ran out right after these photos.  I always do that when I’m on some noteworthy trip—it never fails, boo.

This week we also had the opportunity to choose and purchase Selah’s baby crib, ahhhhh!  My in-laws wanted to follow in the footsteps of Greg’s deceased grandma and buy the crib for us.  We felt so blessed, bad, yet, did I say blessed yet?  “We definitely don’t mind that kind of a tradition”, Greg said.  And I would have to agree or else we’d be in serious debt right now.  The whole experience made everything more “real” and exciting for us, and we’re certain that Selah and the next baby will make good use out of that crib.  I just can’t wait to show it to you guys!

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While at work I’ve been enjoying the leek potato soup that I made the other week, and since I just have to have a strong contrast in everything I eat, I sprinkled it with some Stacy’s pita chips.  Those are the best ones I’ve tried so far!  Do you have a favorite pita chip?  If you do, I bet it’s hard to top Stacy’s. Winking smile

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Sometimes when I’m on my work lunch break I like to make a quick stop at Whole Foods.  Not because I need to shop for groceries or anything in particular, but that place is like the foodie’s Disneyland when it comes to browsing through the snack aisles.  The other day I discovered this fabulous macaroon made by the company Wonderfully Raw.  It’s made with a minimal number of ingredients and it contains almond flour in the mix.  I couldn’t help but think that these wonderful bites of goodness resembled my vegan macaroons in terms of taste.   I guess I could make these at home but…I’m afraid to admit that pregnancy has me a wee bit on the lazy side when it comes to these things.  I have to be in the mood to bake, cook, and do all of my favorite stuff in order to do it right!  I wonder if this is normal for other expectant moms.

Okay so coming back from that tangent.  These Coco-Roons were so good that I could have easily eaten 4 at a time!  But just because I’m pregnant it doesn’t mean I need to gorge myself by impulse.  Anyway, it’s better to spread out my snacks evenly throughout the day, right?

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After having baked that huge loaf of Strawberry Cream Cheese Swirl Bread last week, I ran out of oats and have been trying to get creative with my breakfast.  Last night I finally bought some groceries at Trader Joe’s and this was the result this morning.

Ta-da!  Haha, nothing too out of the norm but it was so out-of-this-world delicious!  I added chia seeds, egg whites and bananas to make it extra creamy.  And what took the cake oats were the raspberries and sweet blueberries, topped with almond butter, chocolate biscotti, and get this.  Crunchy Speculoos cookie butter!  Now, I was already familiar with the creamy stuff.  But the crunchy spread takes the game to a whole different level.

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Then I took care of some house chores and mustered up the motivation to work out.  Following a rewarding upper body session with Leah I had some Fage yogurt with all the mix-ins.

Lately I’ve been needing sleep like no other and today I was not about to take a nap after a 10 hour long sleep last night!  That is totally not me and I would rather be tired through the day than sleep for so long (hello throbbing headaches), but I just had to go to bed by 9 pm.  Needless to say, I wasn’t quite in the mood to to work out today and I’ve been letting my mood rule a lot of things in my life this week, and I kind of don’t like that.  I got myself out of that rut and rebelled against that dreaded pattern by working out today.  For a girl who is usually relaxed and somewhat easy going, this new hormonal change is quite the beast.  I’ll be honest.  Even I’m scared of the emotions that I’m capable of feeling!  I give all of you women who experience PMS symptoms a huge pat on the back.

Well, I hope you have a glorious day and live it to the fullest!

Do you tend to let your emotions take over your day?

-Not normally, but pregnancy definitely has me experiencing all of that.

Does your family have cool traditions like the one mentioned above? 

-Coming from a busy Korean family, we don’t hold many family traditions, if any at all.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve witnessed in wild animals?

-Most definitely the cheetah run!  Too bad I couldn’t pet her.

Love,

Ellie <33


First Baby Registry and a Day at the Farmers' Market

by fitforthesoul in ,


DSC05745 After mulling over the thought of setting up a baby registry at Babies R Us and having people like my sister constantly remind  me of it, I finally decided to go ahead and get the hardest part started.  Which is pretty much the whole registry itself, I kid you not!  So many things that are baby related are so easy to look over because everything starts looking the same and as if it’s something that you either really need, or don’t need at all.  Sometimes you think you really need a certain item when in fact it ends up new and unused in the storage shed.

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[Source]

Hmmm a swaddling blanket?  Wait a minute. That’s not the same thing as a swaddling wrap?  Or is it?!  Those were the thoughts that were racing in my mind back and forth.

Fortunately my sister was just as excited as I was to do this registry, and she offered to help throughout the most important steps. Open-mouthed smile  Yay for big sisters!

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And lucky me—I was surrounded by my awesome brother in law as well as Daniel.  Greg couldn’t make it because he was working and to tell you the truth, we were both relieved that it was the “experienced parents” who helped us with this fun but overwhelming task.  Now we’re also thinking of going with a second registry but we’re not 100% sure where that would be.  It could be either Target or Buy Buy Baby, the latter being a company that’s related to Bed Bath and Beyond.  If you have any experience doing baby registries, would you recommend any of the aforementioned stores?

Saturday Farmers’ Market

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Thanks to a reader who just so happens to live really close to me, I finally made the time to go to Wilson Park in Torrance!  Since I’m still fairly new to the area of the South Bay, I’ve been having trouble finding some good spots to walk and relax.  I barely noticed Wilson Park last week and was curious to see what it had to offer, and today it proved to be large and full of people having fun with their families playing ball and grilling up some juicy meat.  Quite embarrassingly, I kept eyeing at the food that they were cooking up because it looked and smelled so good!

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The reader, Lisa, informed me that Wilson Park has a great Farmers’ Market every Tuesday and Saturday, so I took advantage of the energy that I had stored up in me to take a peek around the stands.  Well, I did more than just take a peek because I tried several samples and ended up purchasing a reasonable amount of food, teehee.  I guess I’m starting grocery shopping early for the upcoming week.  And Lisa, thank you so much times a million! Open-mouthed smile

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I kind of fell in love with the Cara Cara Oranges and the organic Fuji apples.  Man are they refreshing and sweet!  The oranges are surprisingly different from the navel oranges that I’m used to eating, as these have a slight pink-ish color to them and have a very tender flesh.

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I also couldn’t resist buying some really tasty French pastry as well as Greek side dishes, since Greek only happens to be one of my favorite cuisines (and Selah’s I assume?). Smile  Although the three cream colored balls may look like ice cream, they’re actually an amazing combination of cheese that consists of feta, greek yogurt, and hot chili peppers.  The other side is a lentil salad that needed just a bit more zest, so I went ahead and squeezed some lime juice on top when I got home.

By the time I got home it was already lunch time and my stomach was grumbling (hence, the half-eaten pastries while I was in the car), so I had a few bites of those sides along with a delicious crockpot soup that I made last week.

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I’ll make sure to share the recipe with you very soon and if I don’t, keep me accountable!

Have a blessed rest of the day guys.

Which stands do you lean towards when you are at the farmers’ market?

-Definitely the baked goods, fruits, and specialty foods.  If it’s not food related, anything that has to do with candles and smelly stuff.

Do you have experience with baby registries?  Any advice/tips that you can share?

Love,

Ellie <33


Keep Calm and Enjoy Life

by fitforthesoul in , ,


Hi guys, happy end of Sunday and a fresh start of the week!  I’ve been gone for a few days now and I have a good reason for that—at least it’s a good reason according to my calculations. As many of you already know, I’m working part-time in an office setting and truth be brutally told, I’ve never ever been the administrative type of person!  I mean, all those insurance calculations, claims and software that I’ve been learning have been coming back to haunt me with mistakes that I made at the beginning of this new job.  Woops.

Not that I’m trying to find a way to justify my shortcomings, but I’m really starting to think that “pregnancy brain” is more than just a myth for us expectant moms.  It’s as if half of my brain isn’t functioning to its fullest potential because of all these hormonal changes—let alone the fact that I’m not sleeping as well as I wish I could, and all these headaches and stomach troubles are [trying] to get the best of me.  But I’m a trooper, or so I’d like to think, and I’ll keep on leaning on God for strength because despite all of the pandemonium He keeps reminding me that my attitude is also a way of serving Him.  Isn’t it funny that it doesn’t take something big to please God?  He already loves me for being me, and He smiles at a small thing such as the state of my heart and the good attitude that should come forth from it. Open-mouthed smile

And going back to those mistakes, ahem, we all make them at one time or another but the bright side is that most of us actually learn from making those mistakes.  Am I right, or am I right? Smile  Please say that I am!  So yes, here I am reminding you as well as myself that we just need to keep calm and enjoy life.  Slow down.  Life is God’s gift to us and wasting it with negative thoughts would be such a shame.

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Today is Sunday the 3rd and it marks my 21 weeks of pregnancy; however, I decided to go ahead and take this shot of 20 weeks a few days ago to share that my belly is finally protruding!  I guess I’m no longer in that awkward stage where people look at me and think, “are you just disproportional or are you pregnant?!” Laugh out loud.  Trust me, you would know that feeling if you’ve been through pregnancy or are going through it.  Did I just spell out LOL?  Why yes I did!  I’ve always wanted to do that because I’m quite silly, teehee.

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I also wanted to share with you guys that you blessed me so much with your supportive responses to our little daughter and her name revealSelah Betzen.  Haha…I just knew deep down in my heart that you’d be wondering about the meaning of her name.

Well, to put it quite simply, Greg and I are big on names, symbolism and all that good stuff.  We’re firm believers in the power of word and speech and whatever we call someone will eventually affect them accordingly.  This isn’t to say that just because we call her something like ‘princess’ she will automatically act like a spoiled bratty kid, but what I am saying is that if we bless somebody with words of love and encouragement, her heart will be blessed.  Now on the contrary, if we curse somebody with words of hatred and malice, then that person is more likely to have a negative perspective of herself as well as the world around her.  It’s only natural!

We take those principles to name our daughter Selah [say-lah] because it is thought to signify pause, reflect on what you just sang, rest.  This term originates from ancient Hebrew and is found in the book of Psalms as King David sings praises to the Lord, and every now and then he would call out Selah because he just wanted to rest in God’s presence and think upon the words that He just sang.  Isn’t that a pretty cool definition?  Open-mouthed smile

Random Sunday

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This morning none of my high school Sunday class students showed up (gotta have a talk with them), so I went out for a little bit to get some fresh air in this beautiful weather.

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I decided that Starbucks sounded like the perfect place to relax and read for a bit before service started, since I needed to snap out of the physical funk I’ve been feeling for the past few days.  I have to be honest that although you obviously know that I’m not a perfect mom, I’m even far more imperfect because I’ve been drinking coffee.  *Gasp*

It is not the best thing to do while pregnant and although there have been times that I felt guilt-ridden, I finally came to the realization that one cup about 3-4 times a week can’t be bad especially if I desperately need it.  My sleep pattern has been out of control and nothing that I do seems to help me except for coffee and a good nap if I can make myself take one.  Of course, I didn’t come to that conclusion simply by my own instincts, but after my own extensive research I ran across many articles stating that unless the mom or the baby are showing signs of weakness, it is more than okay to drink one cup a day!  One cup a day?!  I thought that was pretty shocking but I figured that if one a day is safe for most pregnancies, then one every few other days can’t be that bad.

So that’s my weakness right now and more than anything I’m trying to just let go instead of worry.  Because really, wouldn’t it be better for the baby that momma is happy rather than stressed out over something so small?

And the guy totally spelled my name wrong and called me Eli as in Eli Manning, hah!  The sound of that brought back high school memories because my friends used to jokingly pronounce my name like that.  Smile with tongue out

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After a beautiful day and a baptism service I was pooped!  When dinner time came I had the highlight meal of the day—Chashu Ramen!  Mmmmmm!  It was so cheap and delicious.  I normally don’t eat at food courts very often because I always think that the owners might skimp out on certain ingredients, but tonight was different.  I had a nice meal by myself at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance and ordered this pork ramen which was full of tender pieces of pork.  I was stuffed after only eating half of the bowl but it was probably due to all the broth!  Are you hungry yet?

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Then I wandered around the market to digest a bit and came across this thing of beauty.  Korea makes amazing makeup and skin care products and my friends always tell me that they love Skin Food.  I may be pretty careless when it comes to beauty and skin care, and this whole time I’ve been surviving on great products that my mom gets me as gifts (she’s really big on skin health and spoils me with that), but I rarely go out to buy anything for myself.  Tonight I found my face to be rough and scaly because I haven’t been washing it like I should, and that alone was a motivator to purchase this rice mask for $17.  It’s supposed to gently exfoliate the skin and nourish it so that it brightens up with a healthy glow.

Never have I been this excited to try a skin care product!  Perhaps it’s because I had a stressful week and want to relax by pampering my face?  Or maybe because I bought it myself and that means I actually care?!  Haha, whatever the case, here’s to a new and victorious week guys!

Are you big on names and their symbolism?  Do you know what your name means?

-Elizabeth means consecrated to God.  Gregory means watchman of God.

What things tend to make you feel guilty, and how do you deal with them? 

What are your favorite skin care products?

-I only have these because of my sweet mother, but I love Pola, Shiseido, and Philosophy!

Love,

Ellie <33


Selah and Headache Be Gone

by fitforthesoul in , ,


Good morning dear ones!  I bet you are all pretty stoked about it being Friday as I am myself.  I’m going in to work today and working until 5 pm because I switched shifts with my co-worker who took over yesterday for me.  The reason I couldn’t go to work is that Greg and I got to do something REALLY cool and AMAZING!!! We went in for our baby’s (I’m still getting used to saying that) anatomy scan and since we’re at almost exactly 20 weeks/5 months into pregnancy, we were able to find out the gender.

And the gender is…

Drumrolls please….!

Just as we had expected at the beginning, although with a few bumps in the middle and then back to our original guess at the end--A BEAUTIFUL AND MOST LIKELY HEALTHY GIRL!!!!!

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Super squirmy girl!  Likes to dig her head down and kept putting her hand on her forehead

I say most likely because the doctor forewarned us that they tell patients that their baby is perfectly safe with a good amount of caution—since you know, technology can be quite deceiving sometimes and nothing in life is perfect.  However, I’m not worried about that at all and we are just THANKFUL to the Lord for this wonderful gift.  We both feel as if everything has “materialized” a bit more since we were still in a surreal funk, if you know what I mean. Open-mouthed smile

Oh and guess what!  We had chosen names for a boy or girl long before we got married, haha!  And we will be naming this child SELAH BETZEN. 

Right after we got out of the doctor’s office we made sure to call everyone close to us regarding the great news, and many Facebook comments followed after that.  Since I had some free time after everything was over, I decided to use the Stepmill at the gym and then drove to Orange County to see my parents.

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We ate at a Chinese restaurant right by their house and had a great meal.  The dish pictured above is one of the yummiest Kung Pao Shrimp dishes I’ve ever tried.  Although I normally don’t like fried food very much, lately I’ve been finding myself enjoying it whenever it’s being offered to me.

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We shared some Jjajangmyun, which is a Korean-Chinese fusion dish.

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And some Jjambbong, which is a spicy broth based soup with lots of vegetables and seafood.  To be very frank, none of us enjoyed the noodle dishes much because they were kind of bland and flavorless.  But hey, we’re thankful we never have to worry whether or not we will have our next meal, now do we?

Unfortunately I felt very full and had a massive headache afterwards.  This seems to happen to me every time I eat noodles!  I’m really not sure why though…

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So I did the next best thing and made myself a bowl of overnight oats.  It contains 1/4 C oats, protein powder, full fat coconut milk, water, yogurt, nutritional yeast and blueberries.  I topped it with nuts and Biscoff cookies!

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Since I like to pack my own lunch to work I roasted some rutabaga and bell pepper.  Then, I grilled a tortilla and spread it with Laughing Cow cheese and filled it with ham, dijon, and a pan fried egg.  Smile

I have to jet so I’ll talk to you later!!!

Love,

Ellie <33


35 Years of Blessing

by fitforthesoul in ,


DSC05663 Today is Greg’s 35th birthday and I am so happy to report that this week has been filled with much lovin’!  It makes me happy to know that he feels loved by friends and family, especially because lately I’ve heard him saying, “This is great!  As I’ve spent some very loooooonely birthdays in my 35 years of life.”  And this is coming from a guy who hates announcing his birthday—let alone celebrating it. Smile with tongue out

Last night my sister, brother-in-law and nephew came over to our house and we carpooled to a favorite Indian restaurant of mine and Greg’s that is located in Torrance.  This place is called Angara Indian Restaurant and although I briefly mentioned it a very long time ago, Greg and I can’t stop raving about how delicious their food is!  It is seriously the closest thing to the real stuff that we ate while we were on a mission trip in Punjab, India.

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It was my sister’s and little Daniel’s first time trying Indian cuisine and I have to say that I’m surprised at how much they liked it!  Well, Daniel only ate the garlic naan and plain Basmati rice because he’s a total carb lover, haha!  Good thing he’s a super active toddler.

We ordered four different plates to share:  the Saag Paneer, House Curry, Chicken Tandoori, and the Chicken Tikka.  Everything was so tasty and we couldn’t get enough of the spice!  Mmmmmm I’m drooling as I look at the picture.

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Angara has amazing garlic naan, baked fresh and not too oily like in some places.  Sometimes they actually drip with oil!

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Later we went back to our house to relax and cut the cake.

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Daniel has been a little pyromaniac thanks to Greg introducing him to candle blowing, and last night we had to light the candle multiple times just so he could blow it out over and over again.  Don’t laugh at me, but I used to do the exact same thing as a kid.  Okay, and as a teenager too. Open-mouthed smile

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My sister bought the cake at a bakery called Kawaii in Fountain Valley.  It was really good because it’s studded with tiny little pieces of macadamia nut and the filling isn’t too sweet.

Tonight we’re heading to Orange County to eat at Buca di Beppo with our friend Steve.  This week is jam packed with eating out which can get quite pricey, but hey!  It’s Greg’s birthday and he can cry do what he wants. Winking smile

The proof is in this crazy looking breakfast.

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Yesterday I took the liberty to buy a cinnamon roll and sticky pecan bun from Cinnabon because it’s one of Greg’s favorite treats!  Notice I said “treats” because he doesn’t indulge in these things very often, so I felt like being really nice and spoiling him just for today.  And you know what?!  I think I might have started a birthday tradition.  I think that from now on I’ll be buying Greg cinnamon rolls on the morning of his birthday.  Sounds fun doesn’t it?

Do you have birthday traditions?

Love,

Ellie <33