Yesterday I was on my way to work, tired and disgruntled, when I came across a mom with her child of about two. He was wearing a huge raincoat down to his shins and repeatedly running through a little puddle. It must have been just a couple feet squared and had less than a centimeter of water in it but this kid was absolutely in love with it. He’d waddle from one side to the other trying to splash as much as he could and then he’s turn around and do it again. All the time giggling like crazy.
This sigh reminded me a) that kids really do the stereotypically cute things I thought were only talked about in books and b) how much I love their ability to live completely in the moment and be entertained by the smallest occurrences in life. Cause I mean, why not derive that much joy from putting whip cream on a customer’s hot chocolate? I don’t know that I’ll ever laugh giddily as I clean the inside of a Starbucks’ toilet – but why not try it out and see what happens? I feel like every task can seem a little more entertaining when you look at it through the eyes of a child. So from now on the world will be my very own splashy puddle!
I am always looking for recommendations for new foods to try. Tonight my sister and I knocked Pho off the list. It’s a Vietnamese dish this is a combination of noodles, meats and vegetables in a broth. So it easily covers all the important food groups. I tried the seafood version while my sister got the beef. I can’t say it’s something I am dying to have again but I’m still really glad I tried it. I might go back eventually just to experience some different flavors. I love Thai food, Japanese food, Chinese food and Korean food so it only seemed right that I give Vietnamese a whirl. I have absolutely no regrets. Definitely worth a try if you’re looking for something new!
So as I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’m training for a half marathon and trying to nourish myself as well as possible so my body can perform at its best. This is a huge challenge because I have one job that places me in front of dozens of sugary baked goods and another one that forces me to run around without eating for hours at a time. I’ve notices that my body often feels lethargic and I think part of that has to do with the fact I’m not getting enough protein or veggies. So my mission for the next three weeks is to get as much good food in my body as possible. And this Frittata is a great place to start because it creates multiple servings and is easy to take with me to work. Hope you enjoy!
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 button mushrooms, washed and chopped into quarters
- 4 cups shredded spinach
- 3 tablespoons bacon bits
- 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- salt (to taste)
1. In frying pan, combine olive oil and onions on medium heat until onions begin to sweat.
2. Add in mushrooms. Allow them to cook for about five minutes and then add in spinach.
3. Whisk together eggs, milk and butter.
4. Once spinach has wilted, drain any excess liquid from the pan. Distribute the veggies evenly in the pan. Sprinkle bacon, dun-dried tomatoes and feta over veggies. Let sit for a minute.
5. Pour egg mixture evenly into pan. Allow to cook on low-medium heat until eggs have solidified. For an added flare, broil frittata in the oven to crisp up the top and make sure it is cooked fully. Enjoy!!
These are my favorite snack/side dish because they’re so yummy and also super good for you. Plus they’re very easy to make. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Fries
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- Sweet potatoes (about half a sweet potato per person – or more if you have healthy appetites!)
- Olive oil
- Salt (to taste)
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Peel skin off the potatoes. Chop potatoes into thin strips (try to make them as even as possible so they require the same amount of cooking time).
3. Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil until evenly coated. Add salt and combine thoroughly. You can also add any other herbs or spices you’d like (pepper, cayenne, etc).
4. Lay potatoes flat on cooking pan and place in oven.
5. After 20-25 minutes you can remove the pan, flip the potatoes and return them to the oven.
6. After another 10-15 minutes (so about 40 minutes total cooking time) they should be evenly cooked. There will likely be some crispy sides and some tender sides but that’s okay – the variety just makes them even more fun! They are best served right away but can also be kept in the fridge and reheated later if you have leftovers.
Useful tip: When you have a free moment chop up a bunch of them and keep them in an air tight container in the fridge. For the rest of the week you’ll be able to grab the amount you need and toss them in the oven for a convenient side dish.
Alright everyone…there’s officially under 90 days until Christmas! That’s less than three months! So much to look forward to!
So I will now begin my countdown of Christmas awesomeness – which will basically just be me sharing something I love about Christmas about once a week. My first item…
The fact the Christmas season starts at least a month in advance.
This means you get 30 or more days of carols on the radio, twinkling lights in the mall and peppermint flavored everything. Everything just seems more cheery. I just love that there’s christmasy type stuff to get excited about before the actual holiday has even arrived. So the fun times are really less than 89 days away! And that is DEFINITELY something to be happy about!
I think it’s so important to keep learning new things and picking up different skills. And even though my jobs allow me to be constantly learning, sometimes I feel work-related learning isn’t quite enough. Sometimes I want to do something totally random and challenging in a completely different way. So here is a list of all the classes I want to try and take over the next year:
- Art classes (painting, pottery)
- Cooking classes (specialty baking…maybe how to make fancy cupcakes!?, cultural cooking – I would love to learn how to make really authentic Indian food)
- Dance classes (of every style imaginable!)
- Language classes (Start with Spanish and knock the rest down one by one)
If you’ve taken any other good kinds of classes that you’d recommend please let me know! I am always in search of new ways to broaden my horizons!
I continue my exploration of Starbucks’ healthier options by delving into their food options. My personal meal favorite is the breakfast wrap. It’s egg whites, spinach, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese in a whole wheat wrap. It is warmed in the oven for you so it’s crispy on the outside and blissfully warm on the inside. Made with lots of good-for-you ingredients and absolutely scrumptious! (I should know – I’ve eaten half a dozen in the last few weeks!)
I think I really need someone to explain to me how retail therapy works. It sounds like a lovely way to relieve stress in theory but every time I try it I never end up buying anything – or if I do I just feel really guilty about it. For example, today I had a day off so I decided to go shopping but I just wound up tired and felt like I had spent more money than I should have. Granted it was for work clothes so maybe that factors into it. I mean, who really likes to spend money to work? But even when I do go shopping just for the sake of it I always talk myself out of getting anything.
The interesting thing is that I never feel guilty when I buy fabric or craft materials. Maybe because I know it’s something I’m going to work on for a while and get enjoyment from along the way before the final product is reached. Perhaps the joy of buying a shirt or pair of earrings is just too short lived for me.
However, I will say that I get incredible joy and satisfaction from a good deal. It’s hard to feel guilty when you buy a much needed pair of jeans for13 bucks or six pairs of earrings at 75% off. So maybe there is hope yet for me grasping the joy of retail therapy – I just need to keep an eye out for awesome sales and jump on them when I need some shopping relaxation.
I had left over fabric from a dress I made that I really wanted to make use of. I bought that pattern and got started a while ago but got overwhelmed by the complexities and gave up for a bit. I am proud to say that it is finally finished! I used Butterick pattern #5497
I am very pleased with the results so if you’re up for the challenge of a lot of ruching and slightly complicated instructions then give this pattern a whirl. Here’s a look at the finished front and back
I’m just so happy it’s finally done! And now I can get started on some Fall and Winter wear…
I made a 3/4 sleeve, off the shoulder shirt years ago and then somehow managed to lose the pattern. But recently I discovered that I am severely lacking in comfortable, fall shirts and decided to make one. I refused to let a lost pattern stand in my way so I used my old shirt as a model for creating a new shirt. Here’s how I did it:
- 1 yard of fabric
- matching thread
- sewing machine
1. Fold fabric in half and cut shirt shape like the following (you can use an old shirt as a model if you need to – and then just leave half an inch around to allow for sewing and make sure to leave room for a wide neck):
2. Cut two equal sized rectangles like to following for bottom trim (the trim should be equal to the length of the bottom of the shirt so that they match up perfectly):
3.Pin good sides of fabric together down the sides and along the shoulders and arms. Then sew together.
4. Zig-zag stitch along cuffs and neck to prevent fraying.
5. Pin cuffs and neck then stitch in place.
6. Pin good sides of two rectangles together and then sew in place (do not sew long sides together):
7. Press seams on rectangular trim and fold in half lengthwise so good sides of fabric are facing out. Pin this trim to good side of bottom of the shirt and sew in place. When complete the inside of the bottom of the shirt should look like this:
8. And here is the final product!
My directions aren’t the easiest to follow so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. The shirt is so comfortable so I really hope you get a chance to create your own!