Friday, January 31, 2014
2014 should be an eventful year, and instead of buying another year's worth of the Franklin Covey Master Plan for my FC binder, I wanted to do something different. A Facebook friend and former co-worker recommended www.erincondren.com, so I checked it out. Thanks, Sarah!
LOVE. The site, the colors, the style, the idea... so I ordered (after 2 weeks of debating which design I'd get personalized.)
I look forward to doing a detailed review in the future, but for now I'm just excited it's here.
Customer service has been messaged about a possible issue - I was eligible for a freebie that wasn't in the package. Maybe it ships separately, but just in case - I let them know it was missing.
SO excited to get this puppy set up, buy some washi tape for labeling days/events, and get started on documenting 2014.
Chuc Mung Nam Moi 2014! What a great way to start.
Check out the beautiful packaging and branding:
^^Beautifully illustrated motivational and inspirational quotes are sprinkled throughout the planner, btw. <3
Friday, January 24, 2014
How to Soak Berries and Keep Them Fresh Longer
1 sink full of cold water
Fill sink with water and vinegar to height that won't allow berries to float out of the colander, place colander in sink, and the berries go in the colander.
Easy peasy. Let em soak for 45 minutes, shaking the colander every 15 minutes to dislodge any dirt.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
I'm writing this from the patio waiting area outside of Sterling McCall Ford - the BEST dealership in Houston, not a hyperbole - and I'll explain later.
So, things have been a bit rough lately. The job I'm at now recently mandated I take a course (required for all supervisors/management) from 3-5p each Thursday from now until the end of next month. My usual schedule is 7a-4p, because my 1.25 hour drive home turns into a 2.25 hour drive if I leave after 4:30p. Hypercommuting is not for the faint of heart.
With these classes, I won't be getting on the road until 5p or later, so I have 8+ days of 2-hour drives home within the next 2 months. Not cool.
On the drive home yesterday, my rear driver-side tire blew out. I've never had that happen before, so that was fun. My roadside assistance people through Ford were friendly, and they got me back on the road within the hour. Alas, I still had a damaged tire and a spare that only allowed me to drive 55 mph the rest of the way home. I felt like such a jackass.
When I got home, Vince was happy to see I was safe, and he inspected the tire himself. A couple steps into the house, I smelled it. Bravo had stepped in dog shit and tracked in into the house on my tile floors while Vince was in the garage. If I could've snuck him out the back door, cleaned him up, and mopped up the floors, I would have. Knowing there was no hiding it from Vince, I asked for his help. We got Bravo cleaned up, Vince swept, and I bleached the kitchen floors.
We raced off to Whataburger for supper, because there was no chance I was cooking last night. Not after the trip home.
This morning, I had to make the trip into the dealership instead of going in to work. Though missing out on that place seems like a good deal, I wasn't looking forward to paying for a new tire. We were pretty sure we'd forgone the Road Hazard plan when we financed the Explorer.
Little did I know, two wrecks on Hwy 59 had caused a 2 HOUR delay, and traffic was at a standstill once I made it to the beltway. Here I am on my dinky spare tire, and now I'm sitting in a parking lot conga line. It took me 2 hours to get to the dealership - usually a 45-minute drive from home.
Sterling McCall Ford is located just outside the loop in Houston, TX. Taking US Hwy 59 N into Houston, you take the Hillcroft exit, go through the light, and the dealership is on the right side - you'll see the giant American flag.
I asked for the Service Manager, Mike Davis. He knows all about customer service, and I wish more service-industry people were like him. He and Paul Diamanti in sales make this the BEST dealership in Houston.
Though the tire would've cost around $250 for us, he went out of his way to match Discount Tire's price AND give us a discount on top of that. Talk about relief.
So now I'm enjoying the cool weather and free wi-fi outside in their waiting area. After the past 24 hours, I needed this break. Part of me wishes they'd take an extra hour to get the new tire on so I could catch up on reading, blogging, and resting. :)
Hoping for more positive things to balance out all the negative crap. If you're reading, I hope you have and excellent day!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Disclaimer: I also drank a 12oz can of Coca-Cola today. But it felt much less horrible knowing what I ate the rest of the day.
For breakfast, I had 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt with coconut flakes, blackberries, and almond slivers.
I snacked on strawberries, blueberries, Chobani yogurt, a mini Babybel cheese, and a Clif bar before and after lunch.
Lunch was a garden salad (spinach, romaine, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and balsamic) with a side of green peas and mushrooms.
At 3pm, I wanted a Coke. It reminded me that home wasn't that far away.
And I even managed to drink 30+ ounces of water so far! For me, it felt like 5 gallons.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Fried Rice with Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken
4 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
Chicken and Batter:
3 tbsp canola oil or coconut oil
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2-3 large chicken breasts
2 cups frozen peas and carrots
1 small onion, diced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups cooked rice, white or brown (better if cooked the day before and left in fridge overnight)
2 tbsp sesame seed oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
Monday, January 6, 2014
Sweet Pepper Nachos
1 bag small sweet peppers (I didn't use the whole bag, only 8-10 of the biggest ones)
1 lb lean ground beef (substitutions work well here - turkey, etc.)
1 can black beans
1 small can (6oz) tomato paste
taco seasoning or your favorite taco spices
1 cup shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Make taco meat:
Brown meat on medium-high heat, season. Once brown, add rinsed can of black beans and remove from heat. Stir mixture. Add tomato paste and continue to stir. Depending on your meat choice, it may be thick. Add tablespoons of water until proper chili consistency.
Prepare peppers & assemble:
Cut tops off peppers, then slice lengthwise, creating boats. Layer boats in 9x13" baking dish, and spoon chili mixture into boats. Any remaining chili can be on top or in between peppers.
Bake at 375°F for approx. 30 minutes, or until peppers are fork tender.
Top with shredded cheese and let it rest while the cheese melts.
Add jalapenos and diced tomatoes to the dish, and add sour cream and green onions once served.
The yellow peppers look a lot like Fritos Scoops, but taste so much better.