2020 New Year’s Aspirations + Gratitude for 2019

A List of Aspirations for the New Year and the New Decade

For the New Year

  • The simple thing comes first – I’d like to lose a bit of weight this year. Yes indeed, it’s time to shed those 20 lbs that I’ve packed on in the course of a year and a half. I’ll be doing weekly posts on my food and my weight to keep tabs on what I’m doing right and what I could improve upon. As y’all know, I’ve struggled with anorexia and bulimia in the past, and my goal is to treat my body with respect and love and to be patient with myself while eating healthily and normally.
  • In addition to this, I’d like to start cooking tasty and healthy meals again in the New Year! I’m a decent cook who enjoys making meals for us, yet I’ve slacked off over the past few years due to various reasons …. I want to get back in the groove and stop relying on the convenience of restaurants and fast food (hence the weight gain).
  • Next up, I’d like to keep working on my booth at The Nat – I’m lucky to be both a vendor and an employee there, as y’all know, and I’d love to start acquiring some antiques and interesting pieces to sell at my booth area. I also aspire to continue painting skulls, bones, and antlers and keep selling them there – it’s my side hobby, and I just love working on my “Stacked V Creations”!
  • I’d also like to keep learning about the antique business through my job …. I’d like my job to “metamorphosize” into a true career! I truly feel a niche at The Nat, a niche that I’ve never felt before at my past places of employment, and I’m so blessed to have stumbled upon this niche!
  • I’d also like to continue working on our marriage – after eight years, I still have leaps and bounds to make when it comes to being a better wife. Ultimately, this year, I’d like to simply just be better than I ever was to my husband.
  • Now for a more difficult aspiration – I want to do better with my spending and help us get out of debt. We both want to start making headway on our loans instead of just paying the minimum and feeling stuck. Yes, it’ll be slow going AND we now have Luke’s student loans to pay off, but I know we can do it. It’ll take maturity and smart decisions, but we’ll get there.

For the New Decade

  • I hope to help Luke further HIS career of choice – he’d love to go back to nursing school at some point, and I’d love to see him in a career that he’s passionate about – Pak a Sak is a good job, but I don’t think he wants to make a career out of it. It’s up to him, and I want to be as supportive as I can be (this falls back to my resolution to be a better wife).
  • I want to eventually get out of the apartment and into a small to medium sized house. Luke and I have lived in a gigantic house before, and it isn’t our cup of tea. The less and easier to clean, the better, I say! We know that we’d like concrete floors for sure, but other than that, we’d be open to all options.

Gratitude for 2019

  • I’m grateful for my two jobs – Express and The Nat – in 2019. Managing at Express taught me a TON about retail, more than I’d ever thought I’d learn and I felt that I’ve been able to come to The Nat with great knowledge about the retail business. I’m blessed that I found a job at The Nat, however, as I feel it’s going to be a niche, not just a job, as I’ve touched on a bit above. I’m also lucky that I can still work at Express once or twice a month doing the floorsets and inventories, as it’s a lovely way to keep in touch with friends and a brilliant way to make a little extra money.
  • In addition, I’m blessed to have met some fabulous people through both jobs, ones whom I consider to be my friends, not just mere co-workers and bosses. Who you work with truthfully can make or break a job, and I’m so lucky that I’ve had fabulous cohorts and continue to have them at The Nat.
  • I’m grateful that I’ve slowly but surely been able to keep repairing my relationship with my Dad in 2019. I’m finding that we’re texting and calling each other more, and he and I have been able to enjoy each other’s company at times. For that, I’m truly thankful.
  • I’m grateful that I found our newest baby, Scotch, in June of 2019. He’s such an adorable, constant companion, and I’m so glad that the Universe put him into my life. He’s a true gem of a puppy dog. Of course, I could never neglect my thanks for having our three kitty babies, Calliope, Persephone, and Caprica, nor could I forget our dear ball python, Drogo!
  • I’m grateful for the MATURITY and WISDOM that I’ve gained in 2019 – I’ve matured in many ways, especially in regards to my health and lifestyle, and I pray that this continues into 2020 and furthers in momentum.
  • And last, but certainly not least, I’m grateful for my loving, kind, patient, gentle husband Luke, who is my rock and my rock star. He puts up with me and my antics (and believe me, I have daily antics), and I couldn’t be more lucky to have him in my life.

Cheers to the New Year and the New Decade!

~ M

Healthy Eating and Aspiring for Some Weight Loss

If you know my story, you know that I’ve struggled with my weight and have a very eating disordered past with anorexia and bulimia. In the past ten-ish years, I’ve ranged from 110 lbs to about 170 lbs before I went to treatment (twice).

Currently I’m sitting at about 155-160 lbs, and I’d like to get that down to about 135 in a HEALTHY way i.e. eating about 3 meals a day and watching the calorie count (not that I’ll be counting calories in reality – I’ll just eyeball it. I mean, c’mon y’all, it’s as simple as making the choice between having a big ol’ breakfast burrito from Rosa’s Cafe versus having an egg or two and an apple for breakfast). As much as I know about nutrition from my long amount of time in ED treatment, this is not a challenge.

A Few Sample Days of My Meals

Day 1

An Opal apple.

A hummus sandwich from The 806 Cafe with blue corn chips and a Topo Chico for lunch.

An Uncle Ben’s rice packet and a packet of Channa Marsala on lettuce.

Day #2

An opal apple for breakfast.

Half of a giant Italian sandwich with ranch dressing and a Topo Chico.

Dinner was Green Chile Chicken Stew!! SO GOOD!

Christmas Day Eats

My diet went out the window today!

Day # 4 

An envy apple with a bite of leftover ham.

Chicken and Dumpling soup from United.

Sushi as a little appetizer for dinner …

… and then some romaine with leftover ham, dressing, and ranch dressing.

Day #5

An apple and a banana for breakfast ….

… half of a turkey sandwich with ranch for lunch ….

… and a burrito with salsa and a light beer for dinner.

Practice makes perfect, I know, but in the world of eating, there really is no “perfect.” From the looks of my meals above, I probably need to cut back on the carbohydrates and processed foods a bit, but hey, it’s good to evaluate! I’m starting  my resolution before the New Year because, well, there’s no day like today!

~ M

Hunting + Painting

Howdy there! Long time no post, and I do apologize! I need to keep this joint updated. I’m going to break this post into two parts – deer hunting with Dad, and painting.

Deer Hunting with Dad

I went to have Thanksgiving in Glazier with my Tubb family on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day – I rode up with Dad and his girlfriend, and we had a lovely meal, and it was wonderful to see everyone, especially my Grandmother Polly. (Luke couldn’t come because of work, but he drove up the next day, Sunday.)

That night, we went hunting, and I shot a gigantic mule deer at dusk – pictures were hard to take because of the light, but here’s one taken by Dad while we were starting to process him.

The next night, Luke shot another big muley – not as big as mine, ha! – and we were super pleased with our harvest this year!

We found a nice man from Borger who processes deer heads into European mounts, and he scored my deer (the average buck is about 135″) at 181″.

Here’s a picture of my mule deer on the right next to some average ones – I’m probably not going to paint him, but I think Luke’s going to give me permission to paint his (will have to ask).

I got to spend some very quality time with my Dad on this trip, and for that, I’m super grateful. Our relationship has been rocky over the past six years, and I so want to regain his love and trust. It’s nice to feel that we’re making progress.

Painting

As y’all know, I purchased that Balinese ram skull from my awesome boss – he was $200, so I knew I needed to do a good job on him. As I posted earlier, I wanted to channel some Navajo color to him …. here’s how he turned out!

And here he is, chilling in my booth at The Nat – it’s super cool that my boss allows her employees to sell their goodies in the consignment booth area at no cost.

I also finished this guy ….

… who I nicknamed “Don Juan” (no, I’m not sure if it was a cow or a steer, so here’s hoping it was a steer).

He’ll be available at The Nat tomorrow for $125!

Up next, I’m going to be working on a few sheds to sell for like $15 each – painting sheds is an easy way to relieve stress (that’s why I paint, actually, to relieve stress and to keep myself busy when I’m not at work), and they’re going to be super cute! I’ve also gotten one more project on the horizon, “The Fate of Wile E. Coyote.”

I hope to do at least two more posts on here before the end of 2019, so I’ll try to do a Christmas post and a post on New Year’s Resolutions (which I’m starting early this year).

~ M

 

 

 

 

#Scotching

If you follow me on Twitter (MandyStackedV) then you probably notice a TON of pictures of my puppy dog Scotch (and the kitties). And I almost always use the hashtag #scotching – why? Because it’s cute and because it exemplifies what he’s doing in this little life! He’s enjoying it (for the most part – see below).

On Wednesday, my little toot looked like this – adorable, but far too fluffy.

On Thursday at 8:00 a.m. his fate was sealed to get shaved, so I drove him to Coronado Pet Shoppe and left him. Guess what? They called me to inform me that Mr. Scotch has no table manners and had a difficult time with the shaving. Poor baby! Now partly this is my fault because I haven’t taken him in enough to get groomed and to develop those manners – I think the other part is that Scotch is so exuberant that it’s hard for him to be still …. I mean, he IS still a puppy.

Anyway, the end result is this:

He’s precious, but he truly looks like a completely different dog!! Oh my! #scotching And we now have a standing appointment to get groomed because, well, my little man needs to develop those manners!

~ M

Channeling a Navajo Spirit Through Color

I’ve had the hankering to paint something with a turquoise base -hence, I’m interested in Navajo-inspired color combinations for a skull, particularly my Balinese Ram.

I think he would be beautiful with a deep turquoise base ….. but deciding accent colors is a bit more challenging! Here are a few palettes below that are proving to be inspirational ~

I’m really digging this one below ….

And, of course, I love reds and oranges with turquoise, and this is a BOLD palette which reminds me of Navajo jewelry, although I think I’d replace the hot pink with a navy, and I might add a bit of gold (and silver, if it doesn’t resemble the gray too much) in there to). I think a light blue would add contrast to the deeper reds and oranges too. Hmmm.

I also have a mule deer skull being processed, and I need to start brainstorming some interesting colors for him too!

I plan on starting tomorrow (a day off) on my ram – I’ll keep you updated!

~ M

 

 

Our Only Dish for Thanksgiving

Since Luke works on Thanksgiving (screw you, Pak a Sak), we don’t go all out for our little Thanksgiving on Thursday. Instead, I’m celebrating with my dad’s side of the family on Saturday …. it’s gonna be a big ordeal. However, once again, my poor hubs has to work that day and cannot come. I figured I’d make some kind of casserole which includes veggies, protein, and a bit of naughtiness too (I’m looking at you, creamy soups and cheese) on Thursday so my man and I can have something special to eat together.

Enter ~ Mandy’s Exemplified Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken/mushroom mix soup
  • black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste (I’m liberal with it)
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 4 (14 oz.) cans French’s style green beans, drained
  • 2 cups Sharp Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups French fried onions
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 package of bacon
  • 1 large package of sliced mushrooms

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray your casserole dishes with a cooking spray (this will make at least one and a half dishes)
  • Spray a large cast iron pan with PAM and add a bit of butter – slice up onion, bacon, add to pan, then add mushrooms. Cook until bacon is done.

  • Meanwhile, a large bowl, mix together the soup, pepper, salt, garlic powder, cheese, and drained green beans.

  • Add the bacon, onion, and mushroom mixture to the bowl and stir.

  • Add the entire mixture to the casserole dish, and top generously with French fried onions (I even add a few into the casserole while stirring).

  • Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Luke came home after a terrible night of dealing with assholes (nearly at 1, and the store supposedly closes at 12), and he heartily approved of the casserole. The holidays are so hard on retail workers, especially gas station workers who are forced by greedy owners to stay open. So please remember to be extra kind to workers this holiday season.

~ M