One Year Anniversary

by fitforthesoul in ,

One year ago today I married the one my heart loves. weddingprayer


One year ago today I realized once again how gracious God has been to me for letting me share my life with Greg.


One year ago today I woke up to the fact that I’m no longer just ‘myself’, but that I have a mate with whom I can give and take.


One year ago today I started my new life with someone who makes me laugh and shares my insanity.



One year ago today I learned that we can make a powerful duo to be a testimony, that for the hard times we’ve already endured and are looking forward to struggle through together, nothing is impossible.


Today is Palm Sunday and we will definitely be having a blast in service with joyful music blaring through the thin church walls for the neighbors to hear.  It is so ironic that the very day that Christ entered so triumphantly also signified something more grave in the end, all whilst he was aware of the betrayal and pain that He would suffer.  However, here I am today proclaiming that it is such a joyous day because without today happening thousands of years ago, I would not be standing here with the assurance that we are loved, cherished, and forgiven by God if only we simply ask Him.

It’s also such a privilege to be able to able to celebrate our one year anniversary on such a special day!  As I mentioned recently, things didn’t exactly go as we planned, but we will be driving up to Big Sur right after service and will be back by tomorrow evening. Smile

Whether you celebrate this day or not, I just pray that you will experience blessings, love, and peace today!  Because…


Has your dating or wedding anniversary fallen on a day that is special to you?


Ellie <33

Date Night

by fitforthesoul in , , ,

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, Monday is usually date night for me and Greg, and I can happily say that 99% of the time we’ve been really good at keeping it that way!  Even if we have other important things to take care of, which we end up doing earlier in the day anyway, we still do our best to at least go out to dinner or take a walk wherever the road leads.  Of course, date night is never a forced aspect of our marriage because we truly do enjoy it and look forward to it each week, and besides, delicious food is always present!  So what’s not to like? Winking smile DSC05799

Woops!  Caught him chewing his food.  But he’s still so handsome Winking smile

Yesterday was no different as we made our way to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica without a real set plan.  We kept it simple by satisfying our craving for a basic—but delicious nonetheless—American meal at Johnny Rockets.  Although I’ve never been the biggest fan of burgers and the all too popular classic American meal, lately I’ve been more than okay with having it whenever my stomach feels like it could handle all the meat [and potatoes] and bread, especially if Greg is craving it!  Boy, he must be happy about my pregnancy because it’s making me do and eat things that I wouldn’t otherwise!


Greg ordered a regular cheeseburger while I went with something spicy.  Of course.

I got The Houston burger, which is basically a regular burger sandwiching their oh-so-perfectly-thick patty with all the fix-ins plus spicy jalapenos and a good measure of their special buffalo sauce.  I always like to order those kinds of special sauces on the side though, so that way I can control how much goes in it.  And obviously, I just had to ask for lots of mustard since I kind of can’t live without it.  We were both more than satisfied with our food as it hit the spot, and I'm pretty sure Selah didn't complain either.

After walking through the Promenade and popping into several stores like Zara, Guess, Aldo, and some men’s shoe stores, we both ended up wanting quite a few items that are out of our budget, not to mention that it really made me miss regular clothing!  Although I’m extremely grateful for this pregnancy and Selah’s arrival in June, I also can’t lie that I’m looking forward to feeling normal again…and wearing regular clothes again… Smile

Anyway, coming back from that tangent.


This plate of fluffy deliciousness was also consumed last night.  We decided to have dessert at Café Crepe and devoured a crepe with nutella, banana, and hazelnut chunks!  The chunks truly made this dish in my opinion, and the vanilla ice cream balanced it out.  This reminds me…sometime soon I should make my healthy buckwheat crepes for breakfast!  I guess I will be going on a crepe excursion very soon because I haven’t had those in way too long.

Last night was a simple but great evening full of walking, talking, and people watching, which is pretty much what we love to do anyway!  I know, we’re so wild.


This morning I toasted two waffles topped with sunflower seed butter, coconut butter, greek yogurt, and fruit.  On the side I had a strip of turkey bacon.  Great way to start the day if you’re trying to save some time in my opinion.

1 Year Anniversary

Oh my goodness I cannot believe how fast time flies!  I feel like I got sucked into some warp zone where I got married yesterday and got spit back out today, haha.

We actually got married last year on March 24th and this coming Sunday will mark our 1ST ANNIVERSARY!!!  We’re planning to drive up to Big Sur on Saturday afternoon and come back on Monday; however, things are getting a bit complicated in our personal lives (not our relationship, other stuff) and we’re now hoping that things work out in favor of this trip as I have reserved the hotel and everything.  We’re just trying to make the best of our situation and thank God despite any circumstances, even if it means us potentially not going anywhere far.  Either way (and thankfully so), we enjoy each other’s presence more and more with each passing day, and I feel like that in itself disproves any claim that marriages will eventually end up growing cold and less “fun” 5 years from now.  Sure, things will inevitably happen and we’re still newlyweds, so we haven’t seen things that older couples may have experienced, but we’re firm believers that marriage should/can be just as wonderful 20 years from now as it was on the day that we said ‘I do’ on March 24, 2013.  We have no doubt that with God as the center of our lives this marriage can only thrive from here on out.  Although no marriage out there is perfect, including ours, we’ve learned that it’s the LITTLE things that truly make a HUGE difference!  A simple “I’m so proud of how far you’ve come”, a nice chat on the couch, or even a nice home cooked meal together can make such a monumental difference in keeping the marriage sweet.  Smile  I may still be young, but that’s what I’ve witnessed in old couples that I admire as well!  Now, that has to have some truth to it don’t you think?

So we’re crossing our fingers that we can go up to Big Sur, but if that doesn’t happen, oh well.

Do you enjoy classic American meals, or are you more of the variety type of person?

-I’m definitely a lover of variety!  But lately simple foods like burgers have been more than welcome!

Do you believe that marriages and relationships can grow sweeter through the years?  I hope so!


Ellie <33

Cherish Every Moment and 24 Weeks

by fitforthesoul in , , ,

Did you know that some babies in the womb start to move as early as 16 weeks into pregnancy?  I’m not quite sure if I’ve mentioned this to you yet, but little Selah has been choreographing her own “dance routine” in my belly ever since what I believe to be the 18th week!  Smile It is absolutely one of the coolest, most beautiful, miraculous, and laughter inducing feelings in the world—so much so that I constantly look down at my belly to check out the spams that look as if a tiny little creature were trying to POP right out of my skin.  You may call me crazy lady, but whenever I feel it and see it with my own eyes, I just can’t help but to burst out in giggles and constant laughter.  Yup, even in public! But that’s when I try to keep it as much on the down low as possible because let’s face it, who wants to be looked at as the crazy lady? Haha.

I thought I’d update you on my pregnancy status since right now I am already on my 24th week (6 months) and this Sunday will mark the 25th.


I'm feeling rather good and my appetite has pretty much stayed the same, not very hungry or snacky at all.  Every now and then, however, I want to eat a bigger meal than I'm used to but with a snack or two less on that given day.  Normally pre-pregnancy I used to eat 3 regular meals with 3-4 small snacks daily, and now I variate from 3 meals and 1 or 2 snacks a day.  Other than my appetite being somewhat consistent, I'm just as tired as I was at the beginning of the first trimester.  Fortunately, I always experience a bout of energy here and there and use up those times to stay active by hiking somewhere, doing Leah's routines, or getting a sweaty cardio session at the gym by walking on an incline, ellipticizing, or using the stepmill.  Oh yeah!  And my round ligaments are killing me like no other!  It is far easier to walk up a hill rather than on a flat surface; perhaps walking on a flat surface causes more impact.  The round ligament pain is almost as bad as the killer nocturnal cramps I've been getting on my calves.  You should see the comedic sight that is my right leg right now.  It's plastered with numerous Salon Pas patches and it looks so ridiculous it's actually kind of funny.  But it's all in the name of suffering out of love. :D

And moving on to some deeper stuff!

Wow, it's been six months already!  And I clearly remember announcing about my pregnancy like, yesterday!  What, wasn’t it yesterday?  Oh my goodness if this is how fast pregnancy flies by, then I’m a little bit apprehensive about how quickly Selah will grow up into a toddler, then into a high schooler, and then she’ll end up married before I know it!  Phew.  Okay I really had to get that out of my system and I hope you understand.

It’s no wonder the other day my dad told me these sweet and sentimental words:  “I feel like it was just yesterday that I would walk you to school in the streets of Argentina, trying to get you to class on time as you held my hand ever so tightly.  And now…my own little daughter is having a daughter of her own.  It’s just incredible how fast our lives move on.”  And then I thought, “thaaaat’s it!  This is too sweet and emotional for me—quick, somebody throw me a tissue!”  Since it is quite unusual for any older Korean man to speak in such a tender manner, let alone my dad who has the hardest time expressing his words aside from, “did you eat?”.  I guess some things do change for the better, huh? Open-mouthed smile


It goes without saying that it was definitely one of those conversations that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life!

And to conclude these thoughts I realized something today—something that I already knew yet noticed how easy it is to forget, all whilst taking a leisurely stroll with Greg on the beach right at sunset…


And that’s the fact that just like the sun itself which goes down within the blink of an eye, we have to be so careful to take in every moment and cherish it with much gratitude because we never know how quickly our lives may change right before our eyes.  Life is so ephemeral and it’s a phenomenon that I will never fully understand.  But as irony will have it, I was saying those thoughts aloud to Greg during our stroll and caught myself getting distracted by all these negative thoughts that were merely trying to take my eyes off of God and the precious moment I had with my husband.  Sad, I know.

I know I definitely don’t want that to be the case when other wonderful gifts present themselves before me, namely Selah.  And hey, why not cherish those times when things get tough?  Because they will get tough at one point or another as that is the inevitable characteristic of life.  In the end I want to be able to take something good from those experiences and cherish the revelations that I’ve received, instead of moaning and groaning about the woes of living.

On a much lighter note, here’s to hoping that tonight I’ll be thankful despite having to sleep on my side all the time, hah!  Last night I found myself tossing and waking up every other hour “wishing” back the days when I could sleep on my back.  Well, I guess I’ll try to cherish even the “difficulties” of pregnancy instead of wishing them away because I know that in the future I’ll be wishing for another child to be pregnant with.  And um, that might result in the form of having enough kids to form a cheerleading squad 10 years from now.  Not sure if that’s the way to go. Smile with tongue out


May you guys have a truly blessed and glorious weekend!

In what ways do you need to cherish your every moment?

Do you sometimes find yourself enjoying something, only to fall straight into the trap of negative thinking?


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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?


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!


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!!!!!


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.



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.


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


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…


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!


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!!!


Ellie <33

A Quick Look at 2012 and Baci di Firenze Trattoria

by fitforthesoul in , , , ,

I hope you all had a very warm and lovely Christmas this year, and that the berrrrrryyyyyyy chilly weather (for the U.S.-ers) didn't keep you from enjoying the end of 2012 last night. After going back and forth on how we should ring in 2013, Greg and I decided to freeze our buttocks at Downtown Disney--not that we didn't have fun, because we certainly did.


But before that took place, we called Baci di Firenze Trattoria and within a flash we got ourselves a reservation at 6pm!


[Excuse me ahead of time for the butchered photos—the lighting is too orange, but the world doesn’t revolved around food bloggers]

Now that's what I call a diamond in the rough.  Everywhere else was packed and too loud for my liking anyway, so we were more than excited to dine at this super romantic, cute, authentic Italian restaurant.  What’s even cooler is the fact that the people who work here are true Italians themselves!  They look Italian, sound Italian, and dress in super spiffy attire…I couldn’t help but think of all the restaurants in Argentina as I saw many similarities in Baci, and of course that made me miss my motherland quite a bit last night! Smile with tongue out


Our meal started off with some hot bread and a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Then we moved on to the Baci Salad which was delicious due to the green colored Italian dressing.  It was my first time trying that kind of dressing, but I loved the slightly tangy and creamy yet not overpowering taste so I could enjoy the fresh veggies in the salad.


Since Greg and I believe that Italian food should be judged by their tomato based pastas, he went with his all time favorite lasagna dish.  This one had no ground meat and instead featured some delicious Italian sausages.  It was like love at first bite because the sauce was to DIE for!  It tasted just like the pasta sauce I grew up with and try so hard to remake at home, but without any success.


Although I’m not the biggest fan of creamy sauce, I figured that I could share the lasagna with Greg and try their Rigatoni Del Papa.  I really liked it because it was loaded with mushrooms and artichokes, but the lasagna was clearly the star of the show.  Smile


To end our meal we ordered dessert and went with the ice cream truffle. We enjoyed it and cleaned up the plate, but it wasn’t something to rave about.  Perhaps it’s because we originally wanted the Tiramisu, but since it contained a good amount of Kahlua that was uncooked we figured that it wasn’t worth the risk for the sake of the baby.

We highly recommend Baci di Firenze Trattoria for anyone who is around the area of Anaheim.  The food, the service, and the amazing atmosphere is truly worth checking out!

I have also been meeting up with girlfriends pretty much every night for the past 4 days.


I’m glad I did though because it is very much needed in my life right now.

A Quick Look at 2012

As I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs, I realized that I'm not the only one in the world who thinks that New Years Resolutions are much too over hyped.  This way of thinking is something that has stuck with me since my early years of childhood, and I have always been a firm believer that in order to change things about ourselves, we need to take small reasonable steps.  And what's even more important is that there are things that we just cannot do on our own strength.  Some things just require more...Holy Spirit power, simply put.

Now I sit here in front of my laptop thinking back on the small and big changes that I've gone through the year of 2012, and let me tell you that there have been TONS of changes for me!  The only things that come to mind is how grateful I am for all the good times and the hard times that I've faced this year.

In order to "celebrate" that (if you're interested at all) I am copying Kat's idea and compiled some of my favorite posts. :D

Joyful Memories

Preparing for the upcoming wedding

My bridal shower

Some pictures from our engagement photo shoot

Bachelorette trip to San Francisco

Honeymooning in Kauai

Our Wedding

A day with the Santa Ana kids at Knott's Berry Farm

Camping for the first time

Life long prayer is being answered

Trip to San Diego

The day we found out we're pregnant

Finally, to Disneyland we go!

Thought Provoking

Learn how to dance in the rain

Semi-healthy living counts too

Face it, you can't be perfect

A shift in perspective

Everything (or most things) in moderation

Best Recipes

Honey roasted dill spiced nuts

Red velvet cupcakes with yam frosting

Vegan Thai curry with tofu

Cranberry orange snack bites

Kauai's pulled chicken quesadilla

Fermented bean stew (Korean)

Best ever guacamole (Like Chipotle)

Turkey burger

Hazelnut cookiewich with mocha cream cheese filling

Gluten free peachy millet pancakes

Salmon with sweet rosemary sauce

Vegan and gluten free hazelnut cappuccino bread

Apple chicken waldorf salad

Best Workouts

Run Your Heart out Interval

Strong and Lean Circuit [Video]

Fire up Your Legs and Glutes [Video]

Running Interval Blast

Mountain 14 Circuit

Stay in Shape While Pregnant Circuit

Okay so that was a really long list, sorry….Smile with tongue out

Have a great day and talk to you soon!

What aspect of your character do you want to grow this year?

-I want to grow in confidence!  Confidence at work, studies, becoming a momma, whoa.

Share about some “miracles” that happened to you this year!

-For me it was seeing God answer my life long prayer for my family.

The best thing you’ve eaten recently?

-Peruvian and Italian.


Ellie <33