Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying.

Source: Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying.

The Haps Over at Casa Unfluff

As you all know, my crazy family of 4 up and relocated from Chicago to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in December of 2014. Since then, we have been living a crazy and unpredictable life. First I came to MKE with just my kids and a few suitcases of clothes and the three of shared a bed at my mother in law’s house so I could start my new job while mancakes stayed in our apartment in Chicago. We’d go to Chicago on the weekends, be a family and then the kids and I would return Sunday night and start all over again. Then, we got our own apartment in December and our big move happened just one week before Christmas. After the holidays mancakes started commuting to Chicago via Amtrak 4 days a week. That meant 4:45 am wake ups so we he could catch the 6 am train and return at almost 7 pm each night. That went on until early July! We finally reached a point as a family where we could not continue this crazy schedule emotionally, physically and financially, so my brave husband resigned from his position and has been driving Uber and making tamales and keeping the kids home to make it work!

Well the craziness ends today, mancakes starts a new, Milwaukee-based job in the morning and we are giddy with excitement! I joked to him that it feels like he’s going into his first day of school tomorrow and I’m so thrilled that not only will he be working we live but he’s also making a career change from higher ed to talent acquisition and a great firm. We have been holding on for so long as a family and holding our breaths that these huge leaps of faith we were making would finally work out and it has and I’m not only relieved, I’m ready to get back to our new normal.

It hasn’t been easy function like we have been and I haven’t felt like I could really start a new fitness routine in my new city. Between the expensive multi-city commute, the crazy early mornings and just the stress of the unknown, fitness has been very far from my mind. Last week, having come back from vacation with the news that my husband had a job, I managed to get 2 lunch hour work outs in, joined a new blog as a contributor and finally cleaned the house like I haven’t cleaned it in so long! It was like the weight of worry was lifted from my shoulders and I felt like I could really “get shit done” again!

And thank goodness because this meme pretty sums up where I’m at these days:


Lord have I been eating my feelings since December! You know how you never really notice how bad things are until they get better again and you come to and you’re double-fisting tacos and coffee cake? That’s me right now. In the last few weeks, I thought I was just “bloated” lately when my pants were in reality just getting tight again. I’ve been living outside of myself during this transition, looking down at a tired and stressed woman just trying to cope with lots of coffee, pastries and meals she would only touch once in a while when she was in Unfluff mode. I haven’t been able to really care like I did before because I was just trying to survive this whole arrangement.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m so happy we chose to move to Milwaukee. I really love this city. I’m slowly but surely making new friends and finding ways to connect with other moms and Latina women in the city. That is why I jumped at the chance to become a contributor for Milwaukee Moms Blog! We launch the site on September 21st and I will be contributing 2 posts a month for the next 6 months. So I will have to start getting out there more and with us finally getting back on track as 2 full-time parents and professionals, I feel like I’m the eager kid on the sidelines ready to get back in the game. PUT ME IN COACH!

So here’s what I’m shooting for this week:

  1. A minimum of 3 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit a day.
  2. Refuse one “extra” a day. As in if someone rolls in with donuts tomorrow at work, I won’t be having one of those AND chocolate/latte/candy later in the day. Or perhaps I don’t have chips with my sandwich just because I’m having a sandwich.
  3. Try one new workout routine this week (I’m thinking HIIT)

Considering I did this stuff in my sleep not too long ago, I think I can handle it! Who wants to get in on this with me? Happy week!

❤ M.

A Ten-Month-Old’s Letter To Santa

The Ugly Volvo

Dear Santa,

 I am a ten-month-old baby and I write because my mother has been sending out my “Christmas List” to people, and her list does not in any way represent the things I really want.  I could give two s#*ts about receiving stacking cups.

And I know you’re ready to make the joke about ten month-old babies and how all we want is the wrapping paper and the boxes.  Touché, SantaTouché.   We do, of course, want those things.  But I have a number of additional things I want very badly.

My list is enclosed below.  Have a lovely holiday.

-Ten Month-Old Baby

*          *          *

A Comprehensive List of The Things I Want For Christmas:

*          *          *

1.) This Laptop Cord


I want this laptop cord more than I have ever wanted anything.   Please.  I also want the power strip with…

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The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos


The Reembody blog, up to this point, has been a thoughtful exploration of human movement, a subject about which I am extremely passionate.

Today, however, I’m mad and I’m going to tell you why.

I have been planning a blog post for a while on fitness misinformation, and it was originally going to be the same kind of thoughtful deconstruction found in my other installments. But then I read this and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever found in my newsfeed: so beautiful, in fact, that the rest of the health and fitness propaganda floating around Facebook like turds in a pool started to really, really piss me off.

So thoughtful deconstruction has been postponed for another day. Instead, we’re going to take a good look at a few of those turds and get pissed off together because, when someone preys upon your insecurities in an effort…

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Delicious 7 Points Plus Turkey Chili #healthytimes

Last night we had chili. I needed chili like you wouldn’t believe. When it gets cold I want to eat chili and stew and drink hot fudge tea all day, everyday. Mancakes found this recipe on We added an extra can of kidney beans to stretch out the servings with a higher bean to turkey ratio. We ate it right after cooking it but if you have time to let it simmer longer, it really helps build the flavor. Also, unless you like spicy chili, mind your chili powder temperature since this recipe calls for 2 tablespoons! Needless to say, it wasn’t kid friendly but our little monster angel usually eats before coming home on weekdays anyway so more for the adults!

After using recipe builder on WW’s, this comes out to 7 points+ at 2 cups a serving! That’s a hefty bowl of chili for so little points. Add some shredded cheddar cheese and fresh diced onions for an extra point or two and you’re good to go!

Simple Turkey Chili- original recipe found here
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: AMFISCHER
Photo By: Jammin’ Bread
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 8
“This is a very simple and hearty chili with plenty of flavor. It’s even better the second day!”
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cups water
1 (28 ounce) can canned crushed
1 (16 ounce) can canned kidney beans –
drained, rinsed, and mashed
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Place turkey in the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Stir in onion, and cook until tender.
2. Pour water into the pot. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, and garlic. Season chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.

Obligatory New Year’s Post #thisismylifenow

Well we made it through the not-end-of-the-world and it’s actually 2013! 2012 was a particularly challenging year for me and my little family, especially with me having gone a full 13 months without a full-time job, working long internship hours and finishing school. Concurrently, those were also my biggest achievements this year and for that I’m very proud.

I have never been one for New Year’s Resolutions but the more I think about it, the more I realize that there are quite a few things I would like to achieve this year and I need to challenge myself to at least try. So here is my obligatory list of resolutions I’d like to share and if there are any that ring true for you let me know and we can be resolution partners! Alrighty, here we go.


1. Lose weight: duh, already working on it, moving on.

2. Exercise more: although very much related to number one, I’m more so thinking about the other benefits of exercising such as more energy, better sleep, less aches and pains from sitting all day at work and more stamina to keep up with my kid.

3. Read 50 books: there was a time in my life when I read books for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I made it through #48 in the Baby Sitters’ Club series in a matter of weeks when I was 10. British literature senior year of high school? Best year of assigned books ever! Seriously, I read every one and loved them each. I am a bookworm and I need to get back to reading more and being aware of the good stuff that’s out there. That reminds me, here’s my Good Reads profile in case you wanna hit me up.

4. Write more: After 3 years of writing papers, I can’t slack off just because I am not assigned to any grad work. Ideally, I would like to update this blog at least once a week but beyond that, I’d like to get back to journal-ling and writing letters too. So much happens in my life every day and sometimes I feel like I have no idea how to slow down and remember everything. Life is short and precious and I want to savor the memories that I know I’ll want to reflect on when I’m older. Not to mention, having something to pass on to my children in the form of my written experience would be something special. I also want to start using the stationary I’ve been collecting over the years, always with the intent to write to family and friends. And for selfish reasons, I need to keep up with my husband, the poet. Challenge accepted!

5. Enjoy more joy: Nothing has emotionally and spiritually turned my world upside down like the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. For weeks, I was numb and also terrified about what this kind of violence means to me, my child and the world around me. Suddenly, I began to relish even the smallest moments of joy and love with my daughter. It was as if for the first time I understood what it really meant to cherish her and I can’t let that feeling go away just because the press is no longer covering Sandy Hook. Yes, parenting can be challenging and some days are harder than others but when I look at her, I can’t help but feel pride and joy in what her father and I have created. I want to challenge myself to always take a moment to just be with her and enjoy her ever-growing knowledge and skills and the pure joy she exudes over everything she does. I also want to make a better effort to remind myself that I too can find joy in my own moments alone or with my partner and friends. Sandy Hook, Aurora, Milwaukee and the THIRTEEN OTHER mass shootings in 2012, along with the mounting number of daily homicides in Chicago are an affirmation that is in fact a different world than the one from my youth and every day from here on out is a blessing.

Well, it looks as though I have a lot of work to do this year! I think it could be the best year yet! Time to get to work.

Project Unfluff Update #healthytimes

Apparently, it really does take at least 21 days to build a new habit. I’m eight weeks into Weight Watchers and almost 10 weeks into the Fresh20. These two moves have revolutionized our my lives. Progress on WW has been a little slow having just started the online plan prior to heading off for Thanksgiving. At first, between changing my habits and moving more due to all the walking and bus/train riding to work, I lost 5 lbs in no time flat. And then of course it started creeping back up…2 lbs after thanksgiving, 1 more lb after that…and then even after a weekend that could have ended disastrously, I was pleasantly surprised at today’s weigh-in to learn that I’m two pounds back down. To date, I’ve lost 6.4 pounds which is officially half a pant size! I don’t expect this to be an easy journey but it will certainly be a tedious one.

With so much work to be done, I want to highlight the things that I have really enjoyed about all of this because we all know I have the tendency to spend a little too much time on the negatives instead of the triumphs.

1. Control: we all know that when anything in our lives starts going haywire, the first thing to go is a feeling of control. And not to say I have necessarily had a lot of instances of chaos these last few years but there have certainly been a lot of changes, some of which were out of my control. In the span of three years, I planned a wedding, got married, got pregnant, had my first child and completed a master’s degree and a 700 hour internship. And those were the things I could actually plan out! I think the hardest part actually came after graduation when I had absolutely no idea when and where I would be working again. And because I could not control that, I reacted with a lot of emotional and boredom-induced eating. That was something I could control and now that I’m on a very well-planned out eating plan, I’m shocked at how much MORE I used to eat in the past. For no reason whatsoever, not even the most important reason being actual hunger.

2. Supply and Demand: one of the shocking truths about adapting to healthy eating is that you must change the contents of your refrigerator, pantry and overall accessibility to bad food. This past year was full of new challenges especially when it came to our budget. It became imperative that we stick to a grocery budget and eliminate virtually all trips to restaurants, at least during the work week. This exercise in willpower paired with sheer financial limitation proved to have us all emerge healthier and less cash-strapped on the other side. It is astounding the amount of money one will pay for one meal in Chicago. Most of the time, that same amount of money would cover at least a third if not half of our meals a week in groceries. We simply cannot afford or even be ok with dropping that amount of cash on something more than once a week while also consuming extra calories in the process. The Fresh 20 plan has completely changed the contents of our kitchen. Never before have our fruit and veggie drawers been so full of produce in our fridge that we also use most of the bottom shelf too! In order to keep saving money, this plan which is meant for a family of four, feeds the three of us dinner AND lunch all week. And these meals have only a fraction of the fat, salt, sugar, enriched flour and processed ingredients as any traditional recipe or even restaurant meal we’ll ever order.

Not only have our meals changed, our overall snacking habits have changed too. I’ve put more effort into creating healthier versions of the things I already like and find satisfying. Just a few weeks ago, I made a tasty 1 points plus value/serving ranch dip for veggies, low-fat blueberry muffins and the other night I made low-fat, sugar-free cinnamon rolls. Now granted, some things I’ve tried were far too different from the real thing but other things were stand alone tasty recipes that were better alternatives. Now if i go into my kitchen for a snack chances are I will reach for something way less calorie dense but satisfying to me.

3. This is the best game of monopoly ever! Ever played a really great game of monopoly? One where you strategically save your money here and there to buy certain properties, shell out a bunch of cash at the right time because you feel good and confident and then go back to saving and patiently waiting to place a hotel on park place? To me that’s what its like to be on Weight Watchers. It was a slow start at first, keeping track of everything I ate, looking up foods and calculating points, “overspending” points in the beginning and then finally balancing out my “budget” once I got the hang of it. Now it’s the best game I get to play all day. Being on both WW and the Fresh 20 plan means I can plan my day out accordingly, often times, entering my points for dinner just by looking at that night’s menu (which also provides nutrition information and serving sizes). Once I plan out my meals, I spend the day getting creative with my remaining points. Sometimes, I pack enough 0-4 point snacks to stave off hunger throughout the day and sometimes I save points for a treat or an extra serving at dinner. Either way, I’m like a kid earning gold stars in school. I loved it back then so it only makes sense that I love this points/rewards system now. Going back to my point about control, this for me is my way of having control over one very important area in my life.

4. Family habits are being established: it’s true what they say, your kids will adapt their palates to whatever you put in front of them every day. Both at home and at the babysitter’s house, my kid eats wholesome meals and tons of fruits and veggies. At 18 months she begs for apples, bananas and oranges in between meals. She eats whole wheat pasta and brown rice at home and lean meats with veggies at almost every lunch and dinner. Treats are saved for weekends and special times (like the $.50 bag of Cheetos at the grocery store to keep her calm and busy) and we’ve noticed a much more adventurous palate from her just in the last few weeks. There’s nothing more rewarding than a toddler who loves to eat healthy, fresh food. Especially when my husband and I grew up on Latino diets that consisted mostly of white rice, canned beans and meats, lots of pork and lots of fried things. Now granted, our parents have also changed some of their cuisine over the years but green vegetables are certainly a new and now regular addition to our diet at home.

To close, I will leave you with this delicious formula I have used for over a year to make granola at home. It is easy to make, makes your home smell wonderful while it bakes and um hi, it’s a solid gallon bag full of granola for a just a few bucks. Seriously, a box of granola is easily $5-7 and you only get half as much as this recipe will give you. And what’s great is that it’s a formula so you can make any variation you want at anytime. Typically half a cup is 7 points + and keeps you full for hours!

Recipe courtesy of


Basic Granola Formula

Start with about 8 cups dry to 1 cup wet for a mildly sweet, crunchy granola, but feel free to adjust the proportions to your taste from there.

Dry (choose a few or all):
Rolled oats (5 to 6 parts)
Scottish or steel-cut oats
Wheat germ
Flax seed
Almonds, walnuts, pecans
Sunflower seeds
Shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Canola, vegetable, or olive oil (1 part) ? (Don’t be scared to use olive oil; even extra virgin imparts little flavor on the final product.)
Honey or maple syrup (3 parts)
Also add (per one cup wet): 2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Preheat oven to 250° F.

Combine dry ingredients and pour onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Combine wet and pour over dry, then gently mix. Bake for about 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

After baking, add 1-2 parts dried fruit such as raisins, blueberries, or cranberries.

(Insert Hashtag Here)

It’s been a while I know, I’m sorry interwebs. I started a new job 3 weeks ago and I’ve been busy-kins ever since! I now work as a graduate school enrollment advisor for one of the larger schools in Chicago. So far, I love it! I’m really happy to be working again and being challenged in new ways. I have also been adjusting to commuting on public transportation which has been an adventure and a half so far. Let’s just say, I have run more the last 3 weeks than I have in about 9 years only to battle out 1/2 a square of standing space amongst at least 50 high school students.

Meanwhile, I have also joined Weight Watchers. It’s time I get a little more serious and structured about my weight loss goals. I have been doing the online version and I have already seen and felt some changes but next week I’m switching to the weekly meetings, in hopes that doing the group thing will help boost my results and my motivation. The one thing I still haven’t quite figured out is exactly when in my day I will work exercise back into my routine. I suspect the best option will need to be either at 5 am or after 8 pm so as to not miss out on fun times with babycakes. I’m not much of a morning person so the 5 am option might be tough but the thought of dragging myself out of the house after babycakes’ bedtime when I could hang out on the couch with mancakes would be even tougher. In the meantime, I have been taking walks on my lunch breaks to make up for missing out on workouts during this time of transition.

And what a transition it has been! So much is happening all at once that normally I would shut down with so much but I am so energized by having some professional and financial stability again! Not to mention having a new place to go and new colleagues and friends. I’m pretty ecstatic about what this new chapter will bring both professionally and physically (more on this soon!).

So as it turns out … #healthytimes


…I’m a big fat liar with stretchy pants on fire. Several months ago, you may recall that I wrote a post about my plan to get healthy and fit and I inserted a picture of a granny smith apple and walked around feeling awesome. I started tracking calories and somewhat working out but it didn’t last very long. July was an especially difficult month having applied for what felt like hundreds of jobs without a single phone call. The jobs I did interview for did not result in offers and in turn, I became depressed, discouraged and defeated. At a time when I should have cranked up the workouts to keep my endorphins up, I instead stopped caring altogether and used food as a way to soothe my icky feelings. I basically fell off the bandwagon before I even test drove the thing and it’s not the first time this has happened.

I wouldn’t call myself a yo-yo dieter, I have to actually diet for that to happen. I’m more of a yo-yo lifestyle changer. I get into something for a good few weeks and then ppptthhbbt. Tried it, did ok, don’t feel like working that hard anymore, pull up pintrest board and pin dessert recipes.

Fortunately, I have snapped out of my funk. I eventually got over myself and realized that if I put more effort back into my health goals, I would at least have one consistent thing I can say I do every single day. Just because I don’t have an office to report to everyday does not mean I don’t have ANYWHERE to report to. I thought to myself, wait, what if I at at least went to the gym everyday? If I had a place I knew without a doubt I could go to everyday no matter what, I could at least start creating more structure in my life once again. See, what I miss most about work is having a place to be everyday. I have something that gets me out of bed, out the door and into the world. So, why not make that the gym? Surely, I won’t spend 8 hours a day there but to wake up and have somewhere to go that I can plan my day around and anticipate is worth so much right now. Not to mention that the end result is not only leaving the house but also upping my heart rate and burning calories! Might as well get sexy if I’ma be putting on pants and shoes every day, am I right?

Anyway, I’m sorry I lied interwebs. Just know that I am in a much better place now.

FunEmployed! #adventuresinparenting

Originally I had this really long post about my job search and how it’s not going as planned, might as well make the best of this time blah blah blah.

No. Enough already, it’s time for fun posts once again. Today I made finger paint from SCRATCH! What!? Yes. And it was awesome and super easy and I loved it. And my kid, well she sort of loved it. She wasn’t as thrilled as I was with it but then again I only let her paint via a ziploc bag. She’s too young for the real thing, seriously there are not enough smocks in the world.

The inspiration for this project came from pinterest of course, where I spend a LOT of my time these days. I freakin’ love pinning all the things! Not to mention these extra projects are a good way to keep me occupied these days while I lay in wait for full time work.

The pins that inspired this project can be found here and here. And now for your viewing pleasure [WARNING: EXTREME CUTENESS IN FINAL PICTURE OF THIS SEQUENCE]:

Cute, right? There’s a lot of green paint due to my not having any red food coloring (durn you delicious red velvet brownies!! also a pintrest project). But I do have some leftover white paint and will invest in some red dye soon. I wish I could say my kid LOVED this and played with it for hours but this was like a 5 minute thing for her and then she was over it. BUT, I didn’t have to go out and buy any new supplies and it was fun to make! And come on chubby baby fingers playin’ with paint stuffs? Ah-dorbs.