Sunday, March 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 3/21

These last couple of weeks have really been up in the air in terms of menu planning. I applied for an open management position at my job and had a series of 3 interviews for the job. Let me tell you, I was a wreck before, during and after each interview. This job was something I really wanted and I just didn't think my interviewing skills were going to be good enough. Especially since one of the interviewers was someone that had no idea of my work ethic or abilities and was there to be completely unbiased. After all of that, I found out I got the job and as a result, there has been some celebratory eating out and less money saved.

This week I have decided that I really need to write out a menu instead of just saying "I'll just pick something out after dinner tonight for tomorrow". I don't want to end up giving my raise to restaurant owners!

Here goes, and hopefully all goes according to plan!

Monday: Hot sausages with yellow rice
Tuesday: Herb pork chops with sweet potatoes & green beans with stewed tomatoes
Wednesday: Dinner at my grandmother's house
Thursday: Hamburger quesadillas with oven fries and applesauce
Friday: Roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots & applesauce
Saturday: Leftovers

As always, please make sure you check out Menu Plan Monday for hundreds of menu ideas!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Remington S-9500

Let me begin by saying that I know next to nothing about hair styling. For most of my life, that was just fine. I have nightmare hair. When it gets to be a certain length it knots, and by knots I mean it makes the equivalent of rats nests in my hair. It requires brushing several times a day just to keep it manageable. I remember as a kid having to sit for two hour clips while my cousin ripped all of the knots out of my very-long-to-my-rear hair.

When I got old enough, I chopped it all off. I didn't mind that from behind I looked like a boy. All I liked was that it was easy to take care of.

Then I got older, and I realized that short hair with my round face is not the most attractive thing in the world. So I have been dealing with having to brush it out a lot.

Well, today I felt adventurous. I went to get my hair cut and realized that I usually love how it looks when they use the straight iron on it but I hate that I spend an extra 10 dollars just to get them to straighten it and blow dry it. Today I decided to pass. Instead, I went to my local Target store and bought this amazing piece of hair technology!

Now, I don't even own a blow dryer, so this was going out on a limb. I came home and watched some tutorials on how to use it and then into the bathroom I went to give it a try. It was hot in 30 seconds and did such an amazing job. I never thought I could do this but I did! I am loving how my hair looks tonight!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Decision Points

Yesterday I stopped by the library to return some books that were getting close to the due date. While there, I picked up George Bush's Decision Points. I'm only 23 years old so the first presidency that I can say I actually had opinions and (somewhat) knowledge to make those decisions was the Bush-era. I was in 8th grade and 13 years old when during our "Career Block" class I first heard the news about the World Trade Centers. My entire teenage years were affected by that day, as I am sure it did for a lot of people. The aftermath also helped to shape a lot of my somewhat confusing political views.

At 13, I did not like the reactions that I saw. I have never been a person that my first reaction to any situation is violence. I have known a lot of people that their only reaction to a bad situation is to use violence. I sometimes think people make decisions to use violence as a answer to a problem because violence can happen now. Anger provides us with all the ammunition we need to rationalize a violent response. What I saw after 9/11 was that before mourning could take place and before we could see through the fog that anger produces we chose that more violence was the only possible solution to what happened to our country.

Now, I am not saying that I do not think that we should have went on the defense, but I am also saying that we could have used a cooling off period to make sure that we were going on the offensive as a way to defend our country instead of going on the offensive as a retaliatory measure. I remember being in a Wal-mart store with my grandfather when he saw a man that he knew that informed him that we "dropped our first bombs". My grandfather and this man cheered and somewhere inside of me I questioned how this was any different than the people that cheered in the Middle East during the attack on 9/11.

This all leads to the point that I did not like George Bush much at all during his administration. I did grassroots efforts for Howard Dean prior to the Democratic primary and then remember my heart breaking when George Bush was re-elected to a second term. I remember fearing for our country and after looking back all these years I cannot keep myself from thinking "What if?".

However, yesterday I picked up this book wanting to see him explain it all. Wondering if it could provide some insight that my teenage self didn't know or didn't want to know. I'm about 100 pages into the book and while I haven't changed my mind about the President George Bush - I do feel respect for the man George Bush that had to be the one to make these impossible decisions.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Menu Plan

I know it's not *Monday*, but I was feeling pretty under the weather yesterday and even though I wrote up my meal plan I really didn't feel like posting it. However, better late than never, right?

So far we are on day 3 of eating out of the pantry & freezer. I only had to buy a bag of rolls because we have some frozen meatballs in sauce that we wanted to use up in the freezer. These are actually tonight's dinner and I am so excited as these as my Italian Grandma's homemade meatballs in her homemade sauce. A couple of times a year she will make big batches of meatballs and sauce and for the price of ingredients will fill my freezer with some delicious goodies.

Anyway, this is my first time doing this so I hope it works out and feel free to check out Menu Plan Monday to see hundreds of other menu plans!

Monday: Fried Pork chops, buttered noodles, salad & applesauce

Tuesday: Meatball sandwiches, french fries, salad & peaches

Wednesday: Filet mignon, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, & applesauce

Thursday: Turkey Tacos, tortilla chips & salsa

Friday: Pulled pork sandwiches, roasted oven potatoes, salad & pineapple tidbits

Saturday: Leftovers or breakfast for dinner

Sunday: Breaded chicken tenders, french fries & applesauce

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I *need* a clean out the pantry challenge.

For the past few weeks I have been following the Living Rich With Coupons site and getting a lot of incredible deals. The only problem to this is that now I have way too much food in my pantry and freezer. Granted, nearly all of this food was for free or nearly free so it was just "too hard to pass up". However, I feel that the excitement of chasing the deals is a bit more of an encouragement than the need to actually have all of this stuff. So, I think I am going to start my own clean out the pantry challenge and see how much money we can save while we reduce our stockpiles a bit.

This is an example of what I mean:

That is also not including an extra 1 case of tomatoes and 4 cases of beans that are in my hallway. Plus, let us not even get started on the fact that somehow I have ended up buying 10 tubes of the deodorant I use.

So, now the next step that I think I need to do is actually menu plan for the upcoming week. I think this will end up being the first menu plan that I share at Menu Plan Monday. I am very excited!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Crockpot Love

I got my very first crockpot last summer. It was an oval 4qt. pot that my grandmother found at a yard sale brand new for 5 dollars. For 5 dollars, what did I have to lose? It seemed to be the perfect size because I am usually only ever cooking for the two of us. However, shortly before the holiday I was out shopping with my grandmother and I saw a programmable crockpot and commented about how neat I thought it was. Fast forward to Christmas morning, my grandmother gets me a 6qt. programmable crockpot with a 1qt. "Little Dipper". This brings my crockpot total to 3 in less than a year!

I used to new crockpot for the first time today. I tried this Pasta Fagioli recipe today. It was awesome with a little bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I didn't think to take a picture while it was still in the crockpot but this is the soup just before it went into the fridge.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The first post is the hardest

Whenever I have started a new blog I have felt that the first post has to be inspiring and life changing. This is the first post and somehow I have to come up with a reason to have created this blog, right? Well, I have. I'm a very emotional person and I have a lot going on in my life. I am lucky to be in an amazing relationship but there is only so much I can dump on him.

Plus, some of my interests don't exactly excite him. I love food and I really enjoying cooking. I get excited when I try a new recipe or a new vegetable. However, not everyone in my life gets that excited about trying a new meal or discovering an easier way to chop an onion. I do, it's one of the only hobbies I have in my life that I feel like I can share with others. Sure I love to read, but writing book reports are not the most exciting thing to do in life.

I also have a pretty crazy family. And by crazy, I mean that they should be in a nuthouse or sedated or something. But they are my family and I love them no matter how much they upset me or drive me crazy. My mom and I have a hard relationship but at least it is a relationship and I am thankful for that.

I would also guess that I am like 90% of women in the fact that I need to lose weight and adapt a healthier lifestyle. I am doing pretty good and am so thankful that I have found . Their method is the only way that I can manage to lose weight because it is all about moderation. I'm Italian and I cannot give up carbohydrates. I love cheese and cream and butter, so low-fat doesn't work for me either. So, I make healthier choices that still allow me to enjoy the food I am eating. After all, I want to be happy in life. Who doesn't?

I recently read a book by Ayn Rand called "Atlas Shrugged". It has been being recommended to me by my boyfriend since we first got together almost 5 years ago. Why did it take me so long to read it? Well, it's 1100 pages long. However, it was totally worth the read. I can really say that it gave me a new perspective on life. I realized that I need to live for me and do things with the sole purpose of making me happy. This doesn't mean I want to live a totally selfish lifestyle but it does mean that it is okay for me to take an hour of my day to exercise. It means that I should invest the time in preparing healthy foods for myself and my boyfriend so that we can be the healthiest we can be and live the longest possible life. I only have one life and I plan to make the most of it.

This is my first post.