52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge – Why Start This Challenge?

I started this challenge because I feel like it would be a good way to keep up with my blog. For the last 3 years or so, I’ve kept saying “I’M GONNA START MY BLOG AGAIN” or “I’m gonna post more often” and never did. I think my record is posting once every month for two months haha!

If you look at all of the topics that are included in this series, it’s a great way to show gratitude towards people I love and also things that I don’t normally question or think about when it comes to me. For example the “5 things you like about you” blog will be interesting. Not because I don’t like anything about myself but because I *never* know what to say when questions like that are asked so it’ll be fun to see what I come up with. I’m excited to express gratitude to people who have inspired me, who have been there for me, and people I don’t think I’ve ever expressed gratitude to out loud.

Since I’m 10 weeks or so behind, I’d like to start with talking about…

The City I Live In – Manchester! (Week 6)

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know too much about Manchester, but I can talk about how I ended up here and what I’ve enjoyed so far.

To those of you who are reading for the first time, I am from California, my husband is from Glasgow, we met online, were friends for a couple of years, fell in love, he moved over to California for uni, we got married, and he got into a PhD program out here in Manchester. There’s a ton of videos about us on my YouTube channel, glowpinkstah and a bunch of little vlogs about our lives together on my gloriashurinava channel so please check them out if you’d like to know more about us.

We are constantly working and don’t get to explore much but one of my favorite places we’ve visited so far in the area (and not exactly in the middle of Manchester) is:

Lyme House! Lyme House is Mr. Darcy’s house in the movie based off of Jane Austin’s book, Pride & Prejudice. I’ve never seen the movie or read the book but when I posted pictures of my husband and I visiting everyone got REALLY excited. I have heard about Mr. Darcy coming out of the lake and it’s all scandalous because his shirt is all KIIINDS of wet though.

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Ooooh Fancy!!!  – The back of Lyme House (my favorite view)


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Waiting on Colin Firth to come out that lake!

It’s a beautiful house that was built in the Tudor period but expanded over the last few centuries. It’s full of pretty gardens to walk through, a lake to sit and have a picnic (as seen above) with your best squirrel friends and loved ones, but my favorite part of it all was what was actually inside the house. Even though my knees died from going up and down multiple flights of stairs, I really enjoyed taking the time to explore into every room. I loved the high ceilings, the stained glass windows, the library, and most of all, the dining area! Can you imagine having dinner parties here?!


I know that this isn’t what people think of when they think of Manchester, but it’s so beautiful that I had to share! You can also watch me attempt to play croquet, here!

I’m tired as frick and don’t feel like I’m 100% here at the moment but here’s a list of restaurants we love just in case you’re ever in the area.

1. Shaad – Indian Curry – the best curry I’ve ever had.
2. Luigi’s – The best pizza I’ve had in Manchester
3. The Stoker’s Arms – A pub. I love their burgers!!

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More from Lyme House cuz it’s cute ^


To myself that I’ll start using this again. Not only is it therapeutic but that also means I can find my recipes for shii I’ve made and that means that I remember exactly how I made things to my liking 🙂


Crustless Quiche!

I posted a picture of my food yesterday on my more under the radar IG account where I mostly post food and my workouts and someone asked for the recipe! This is a mix of of a couple of recipes but it’s more or less the same prep. Here’s the link for reference. Now the ingredients that I used!


5 eggs
3 cups of shredded cheese (I KNOW)
6 strips of bacon
1.5 cups of chopped broccoli
1 package of spinach
1 small yellow onion
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp low sodium salt
1/4-1/3 cup of 2% milk

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1. I put the bacon in the pan and let them cook until they were nice and crispy then put them aside. I left some of the bacon fat in because I’m a horrible person and just wanted to try it. (A woman at a bbq told me she used it for making gravy and for whatever reason that inspired me to do this? LOL)

2. While the bacon was cooking, I cut up the onion TINY cuz I hate chunks of big onion cuz that’s gross. I put the bacon fat on low heat because I like to take the time to cut up my veggies and still have something cooking while I’m doing it so it’s not just PREP PREP PREP then nothing’s going at the same time cuz it takes FOREVER… to me anyway lol!

3. I chopped the spinach because Ali hates “wet leaves” or things that feels like they’re slimy crawling down his throat. He came into the kitchen and chopped them finer because it wasn’t TINY ENOUGH APPARENTLY LOL. After that, I chopped the broccoli into little tiny pieces as well and tossed them all in the pan to let the spinach wilt down a little and soften the broccoli and cooked until most of the water was evaporated.

4. While all of that was going on, I mixed the cheese (I used a low sodium cheese but use whatever) eggs, salt, pepper, and milk into a bowl. The recipe I linked you to didn’t use bacon, broccoli or milk but I like it so yolo.

5. Once all of that was done, I added the bacon fat friends into the bowl and stirred around until everything was coated with the eggs to make sure nothing chunky was sticking out… mostly cuz I wanted it to look cute. Then I poured it into a dish.

6. The recipe said it should be done in 30 minutes but my dish was pretty small and a bit deeper than a normal pie pan so it took about 45 minutes for it to be golden on the top and not runny on the inside.

When it was all done this is what my nummy slice looked like:
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YOHHHZZZ!! If you decide to try this GO FOR IT!!! This was my first time trying to make something like this and I’m happy to say it was pretty yummy! I’m going to find ways to make it taste better and not use as much cheese next time cuz for the most it’s pretty healthy… minus the bacon fat and 8390248023lbs of cheese lol. Enjoy!!

“Paleo” Nachos

I put quotes around Paleo because the way we have it isn’t exactly 100% paleo. I’m no paleo expert but I did find this on a paleo website? (Say “crack” again….CRACK) LOL here’s how we make it:

Should be 3-4 servings

2 large sweet potatoes (or 3)
Package of lean ground turkey
Half of an onion (finely chopped)
Garlic (2 cloves)
Green onion chopped (1 sprig but if you like more then go for it. Ali doesn’t like too much so I just use one.)
Cilantro (garnish/to chop for the meat)
Tomato paste (1 tbs)
Worcestershire sauce (5 dashes)
Medium cheddar cheese (whatever cheese)
1 avocado
Tomato (chopped and seeded)
Cumin (dash)
Cayenne (half of a teaspoon)
Low sodium salt
Black pepper
One lime
Chili pepper flakes (if you like em)

We use coconut oil for the meat and this spray thang to put the sweet potatoes on in the oven. If you don’t have coconut oil then use olive oil or whatever oil you like, yolo.

Cooking dat shii
1. Slice the potatoes about 1/4 of an inch thick (unless you like them thinner to be more like chips then go for it!)
2. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes (375 F) flipping halfway through. You’ll need at least 2 baking trays LOL. Don’t worry about overlapping some of them since they shrink when cooked anyway.

3. While the potatoes are baking, chop the garlic and onions finely then sauté them for about 3 minutes.
4. Put the meat in and break it apart (obvi) and let that cook on medium heat.
5. While the meat is cooking chop up cilantro, tomato and green onion. Chop the cilantro finely and add to meat. Keep the green onion for serving
6. Add seasoning (little by little and to taste) and the tomato paste. Mix around blah blah you know how to cook. Cumin is hella strong so be sure to add that little by little.
7. Squeeze one half of the lime

8. Mash the avocado then add the other half of the lime, some salt and pepper.

Once everything is done, I like to layer everything starting with the meat. Then the potatoes, meat, cheese and some green onion. Then repeat! Save the avocado and the rest of the cilantro for the top.

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Here are pictures that I posted on my Instagram. I add black beans sometimes and jalapenos most times if I don’t forget. We don’t use sour cream anymore but bought greek yogurt instead. This recipe is very yummy and filling and I LOVE IT. Obviously make it however you would want it. I tend to like things hella spicy so I like to make ours extra spicy… Ali sometimes needs a glass of milk LOL oops!! ENJOY Y’ALL!!

Happy New Year!! My Knee & GloriasGoals


I’m such a fail… in the last two months I’ve posted twice. It’s mostly because of Christmas and…………………………………… playing Guild Wars 2. OMG. But that’s besides the point. I felt the urge to write today because of my knee. Early last year I hurt myself doing cardio kickboxing (which I loved) and have basically been unable to walk comfortably. Going up and down flights of stairs was VERY hard, going DOWN stairs was worse. Even on our wedding day my knee was in pain and that was about 3 months after it happened. I think the alcohol helped a lot with the dancing hahaha! So, as the months have gone I’ve noticed that my knee has slowly been getting better. As weird as this sounds I feel like my knee actually needed to REST and not put any strain on it by working out. Last year I REALLY wanted to work out, and even after I hurt my knee I still continued to do walks (and play Just Dance) but eventually had to stop altogether. Both because the wedding was getting closer and because even walking on the slightest of inclines was painful.

Here’s a better timeline before I go on:

March 2014 – I hurt my knee
March 2014 – I still pushed myself by going on walks(WRONG)
End of March – Tried doing Hot Hula Fitness with a hurt-ass-knee
June 2014 – Got married to my lo0o0o0o0ve

SO AFTER ALL OF THAT, it took me up until about November/December to start getting used to walking up stairs and hills again. I still hate hills. Will always hate hills.

I remember doing Hot Hula back in March and even the simplest of dance moves hurt to the point where I eventually got frustrated that I gave up. I felt so damn defeated and useless and emotional ugly things and all I wanted to do was follow a freakin Hula workout DVD. I learned briefly years back how to do hula by a friend and joined her group for a couple of months until I couldn’t afford it anymore hahaha!

Almost a year later, I’m working a lot harder, but also have big (awesome) distractions like Guild Wars 2, watching shows on Netflix. I’ve mentioned on my gloriasgoals instagram that I’d be starting to workout at the gym and doing weights with Ali, but that won’t start for a few more days. I’m eating much cleaner and have for most of January now and I’ve got a lot of people inspiring me and I don’t want to let them down either. Of course I’m doing this for myself, but it’s always an added bonus to have inspiration and know I can do the same for some. This morning I thought to myself “Hi, you’ve been watching Dollhouse when you could be working out instead of binge watching while you clean… get off your butt.”

After breakfast I decided that I would do at least one part of the Beginners DVD of Hot Hula again. I was nervous because I absolutely did NOT want to feel my knee crunching from under me and working up a sweat because I was in pain and not actually doing some cardio. When I tried it, I was only in pain because my thighs were feeling the burn. YIHHH!!! VICTORY!! It feels so good knowing that I can do what I consider fun workouts again. I plan to do at least 20-30 minutes of the DVD at least 2-3 times a week and go with Ali to the gym another 2-3 times a week. I refuse to go 5-6 days like he does. I will overdo it and hurt myself again. I am so excited and looking forward to seeing some progress in 2015. I’ve kept most of my weight off, and lost some of the stupid holiday “I love food give me all of it because I have no self control” weight and now it’s time to eat cleaner and push myself (just a little bit) harder with exercise. If you’d like to follow my food journey, please check out my gloriasgoals instagram where I post what yummy foods I’ve been eating and when I fail to do so LOL.

My Weight Loss Journey (So Far) and The Ups & Downs

I just want to start off by saying that I want to be as honest as possible. I’ve gone through a lot, as everyone does, and I really do just want to be honest. SO HERE I GO.

I’ve lost 40lbs, I gained 15, and I just lost another 10, leaving me at a total of 35lbs lost.

Let me start forrealzies at 2008, me at 20 years old:

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Aside from my obvious love of Taylor Swift & Katy Perry I was a LOT smaller than I am today. Went out going to a lot of cool kid clubs and had fun without drinking and being sober was actually preferred. Then I turned 21 and it actually wasn’t so bad, here’s a picture of me in 2009 on the way to a Halloween party


Still a bit chubby, I noticed I was getting a bit bigger but it didn’t really bother me. I felt like I could walk around just fine, keep up with my friends whether it was doing cool kid clubbing or staying up all night doing what cool kids do. It wasn’t until 2010 that things actually got out of hand so0o0o0o0o…

I started to party and drink a LOT. I gained 50 lbs in 2010 and it wasn’t pretty. I was already pretty heavy but I started to notice a lot of changes in my body and the way I felt. My moods were different, I always felt like I was out of energy, and I just didn’t care. I have no one else to blame but myself. I will never blame anyone but myself.

This is what my meals would look like from Burger King for example:

1. 2 double cheeseburgers (or a double whopper)
2. large fries
3. onion rings
4. 2 orders of chicken tenders
5. large vanilla milkshake

I don’t know why, but I never thought about the consequences. Not once.

I would also order a venti white chocolate mocha with an extra 2 shots, and passion tea lemonade sweetened just because I could.

Now that I think about it, by the summer I looked pretty different. I don’t think it took me an entire year to gain that 50lbs, and I actually noticed from the pictures I’m going to show you that I think I weighed more than I thought I did. I’m pretty sure I weighed more than I thought. Here’s some pictures of me in 2010:

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Those were all taken at “flattering angles.” Even the one where I’m wearing a black and flowery dress. This is where I started to notice something was off. I was doing some auditions back then and I actually found them recently… this is at a “normal” angle.

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Jumping ahead to today, I felt sick watching myself like this. I remembered how I felt and hearing how I sounded (which was sick.. literally I sounded like I was sick for most of that year) It was really hard to watch myself in those videos and it made me feel so crappy.

In 2010, I started to feel my heart racing, I noticed it hurt to walk sometimes, I felt like I couldn’t breathe and a lot of the time I would stay up very late at night thinking I wasn’t going to wake up the next morning. I would leave the lights on because just in case someone walked in and I had died or something bad happened, they would see me. I didn’t want to be alone,  and he doesn’t know this, but I would sometimes sit next to my brother while he slept and his presence helped ease my anxiety. I had gone in and out of the emergency room at least 5 times that year. I always felt like I was going to have a heart attack. When I finally saw my doctor, she told me that I was feeling anxiety. I never felt anxiety, let alone knew how it felt, and I never knew what a panic attack was, but I sure felt like I was going to die.

This was a huge wake up call. Continue reading



When I cook, I tend to look at a bunch of recipes (or experiment but mostly look at a bunch of recipes) and add things that I like and what I have in my pantry. 

I felt like having turkey burgers so for dinner I made my husband and I some turkey burgers. I wanted something spicy so I looked up a couple recipes from AllRecipes & FoodNetwork and tweaked them to what I already had. This is what I ended up using: Continue reading