Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Social

It's Sunday again! I can't believe how fast the weeks are going by...

1. What is your dream job? Wife and mom. Simple as that :)

SAHM...I'm starting to feel ready for this!

2. If you had just won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time? I would be a boss SAHM! I loved that my mom was home when I was a kid, and I want to be able to do that for mine.


3. What piece of career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field? uhhhh.... I don't really know that I'm qualified to give career advice... I spent an insane amount of money getting my degree in Interior Design, and I work for the cable company. I loved college, and I love design, and I love my job, buuutttt.... I could certainly do what I'm doing without the debt that I've got now. How's that for inspirational? lol

4. What would be your ideal “just for fun” job? Freelance interior designer or interior design consultant. Taking jobs here and there when I have the time, but keeping my family as numero uno.

5. What was your first “real” job? My first real job was part time at a local pre-school after school program. I was 15 I think.

Sunday Social

...and now back to watching my Cowboys kick some San Diego booty!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

August Julibox

This post is quite a bit overdue, but I still wanted to tell you all about the newest subscription box service that I signed up for. I thought it would be fun to try out Julibox for a couple of months and see how I liked it. Julibox is a curated cocktail subscription. They send you everything you need to make 2 different cocktails (enough for 2 each) minus anything from the grocery store like lemons or limes. 

This is what August's box looked like when it came:

The August cocktails were a traditional Mai Tai, and something called Between the Sheets. The Mai Tai was apparently so yummy that I forgot to take any pictures at all! 

action shot....
The Between the Sheets was VERY strong. But if you like stiffer drinks like Manhattans or Martinis, you would like this! Here's the recipe:

I need to get myself some martini glasses

Here;s a sneak peek of September's box. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

Since it's Monday I thought I would share an easy dinner with you all. This recipe is a big hit in our house. It's so yummy and one of my favorites to make. 

Here is what you need:

Chicken breast
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil
4 oz. Pancetta or 4 slices of Bacon
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 cubanelle pepper, sliced (sometimes these are called Italian peppers. They are worth it they are so yummy!)
1 red or green bell pepper
1 small fresno chile or jalapeno, thinly sliced or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 32-ounce can fire-roasted crushed or stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock

And the step by step:

Heat the olive oil. S&P the chicken on both sides, and brown in the pan. Remove and set aside.

Render out the bacon or pancetta. Once brown, remove and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan.

Add the bell pepper, hot pepper and Italian pepper. Sautee for about 2 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic, salt and pepper. Sautee another 3 minutes.

Once veggies are a little soft but still a bit al dente, stir in the tomato paste. Let that warm up for a minute, and deglaze the pan with the red wine, making sure to scrap all the yummy bits of the sides and bottom.

Add the tomatoes and chicken stock.

Add the chicken and pancetta/bacon back in.

Cover and let it hang out for about 25 minutes, or until you're ready to eat!

I like to serve this with egg noodles, and bread for soaking up all those yummy juices. I really like these ones from Pepperidge Farms because I can cook however many I need, and throw the rest back in the freezer.

And then we eat!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! So easy and so good. Try it!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Social

1. What is your favorite handbag you’ve ever owned? I really love the Grace Adele bag I carry now, but one of the bags I've liked the most, and probably the one I got the most complements on was an Ecko Red bag that I got at TJ Maxx a long time ago. I carried it until the lining was all ripped up. I loved the tough leather with the girly ruffles.

2. What is your dream handbag you lust over? I would looooove a buttery leather tote in a cognac color. This Marc by Marc Jacobs bag is PERFECTION. I want to rub my face on it. Ahhh I'm dying over it! I imagine it with dark skinnies, a button down shirt, cognac boots and a big fluffy infinity scarf. Fall perfection.

Marc by Marc Jacobs  front

3. What are the daily essentials in your purse or work bag? I really don't use a lot of "stuff" that is in my purse. Keys, wallet, sunnies. That's pretty much it.

4. What’s in your purse (with pictures)? I wrote a post about it! Here's the overview, but feel free to check out the full post for more info.

Sunday Social

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sunday, er, Thursday Social

I missed Sunday Social on Sunday, but the questions were all about my favorite time of year, so I had to answer them!!

1. What is your favorite fall activity? Lounging with a pumpkin spice coffee! Picture it: Comfy yoga pants, a fuzzy sweater, a warm blanket, and a steaming PS latte.

2. Do you follow a football team? If so, which one and why? America's team baby! So we haven't been so great the last few seasons, but this one is perfect so far! And against the Giants at home, no less! I'm also devoted to New York's college team, 'Cuse!!!

3. What is something fun about fall in your area? Upstate New York is SO beautiful in the fall.

Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY
Lake Durant Campground, Blue Mountain Lake, NY
Adirondacks National Park
4. What are your favorite fall staple outfits? Big cozy sweaters, leggings or skinny jeans, with boots. Feel free to check out my Style board on Pinterest.

 "Chilly Fall Mornings" by felicia-alexandra on Polyvore

5. What things are you looking forward to most about this coming fall season? Relaxing!! I love sitting around the house on a drizzly day. I'm such an introvert. In the summer I feel guilty if I'm not out enjoying all the sunshine, so the fall weather is like a free pass to be lazy.

6. What is your favorite fall holiday? Tradition? My favorite fall holiday is Thanksgiving. I love spending the day with my family, the food is comforting and yummy, and there's football all day!

I also have a favorite fall tradition. In upstate NY, we are part of the salmon run, and every fall since Jeffry and I have been dating, we have visited the Salmon River Fish Hatchery at the peak of the season (right around Columbus Day). It is so cool to see all the fish swimming upsteam to the hatchery, and getting herded in where their eggs will be harvested for the next generation of Salmon. It is also really fun to watch the fly fishermen catch them.

It's weird, but it's ours, what can I say :) <3

Stay tuned for pictures from this years trip! Coming next month and I can't wait!

Sunday Social

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where were you?

It was 12 years ago today, and I remember it almost like yesterday. And I'll never forget it.

9/11, new york, rip, september 11th, skyline

I was in 10th grade. It was the beginning of 3rd period, we had all just settled into our seats in chorus. The chorus director came out of his office, a man respected by all who would attend Chittenango High School during his time there, a man we all called 'C'. One look at his face and there was instant silence, even in a room built for the acoustics. It was then that he broke the news.

Being only 15, it was something hard for us to wrap our heads around. Being New Yorkers, even from upstate, we knew what the Towers were, and some of us had family in the city. We felt the shock, sadness, fear and anger along with everyone else.

The rest of the day passed like a dream. I remember it almost like I was watching it happen from above. Little work was accomplished. Any teacher who had a TV or a radio had it on. 

The mood was somber when I got home. To say the least. My dad was home, I don't remember why. But he was glued to the television. By that time, the towers had both collapsed, with hundreds of civilians and first responders inside. Being a firefighter himself, he deeply felt every loss. I feel like that sentence doesn't do justice to the pain he was feeling. He was also still dealing with the loss of his good friend and partner in a house fire, just that past March.

It's hard to stomach someone losing their life, and even harder to fathom someone losing their life trying to save others. But being a fire fighter takes a special breed. Obviously not anyone can run into a burning building while others are running out. And if you know a firefighter you know they love what they do. It's almost a strange love, to an outsider. You're not just a firefighter from 9 to 5, but 24/7. My parents got their first microwave, because my father was always having to run out in the middle of dinner, to go help someone else.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention all those first responder spouses here as well. It takes a strong person to stand behind a firefighter, always with that voice in the back of your mind when you kiss goodbye in the morning, wondering if it would be the last. My mother did it for over 25 years before my father retired, and I ask myself sometimes if I really could do the same. I'm not sure that I could.

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
Custer National Cemetery, Crow Agency, Montana
Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, New York
Fallen Firefighters Memorial, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Today I am thinking about everyone who lost their life that day, as well as everyone who lost a loved one. I am thankful for the men and women who have fought for our freedom in the years that have followed. I will never forget the sacrifices made that day, and all the days since. 

God Bless America. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tropical Green Smoothie

Green smoothies seems to be all the rage, and the other day I whipped one up with stuff I had on hand, so I thought I would share. Its a little random, but super yummy, and packed with the nutrients you need after a workout. Its a great snack with some steamed veggies to hold me over until Jeffry gets home.

Tropical Green Smoothie
1 c. Frozen Pineapple
1 pkg. Dole dark chocolate covered banana slices
1/4 Avocado, diced
1 c. (or so) Spinach
1 c. Trop50 Orange Juice
1 tsp. Lemon Juice

Pack in all into your blender or  Magic Bullet and whiz away!
I use these because they're pre-measured and only cost $2
I told you I just used what I had laying around.
You could use plain frozen bananas too of course. But this was what I had.

The nutrient count couldn't be better either. The whole thing is about 250 calories, perfect for a snack, and contains loads of Vitamins like A & C, iron, potassium (which helps with muscle cramping!) fiber, protein and good fats from the avocado. You could even use more avocado but I don't like to taste it. And I also don't like the slimy texture it gives if you use too much. Experiment! Use what you have! This would be good with all types for fruit and greens. Berries.... mangoes.... yum!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Football (Nails)?!

This week is opening week of the NFL season, and I couldn't be more excited! Football is my favorite sport, and it means that fall is right around the corner. I am so ready for sweaters and changing leaves and fall everything!!

So in honor of opening week, I came up with this football mani. My team (practically my whole families team) is the Dallas Cowboys, and we have a big game this week! Sunday night against the Giants!

I had to get a little creative here, because I knew I wanted my "turf" to be textured. I searched everywhere for the right color green, but in the end I ended up using Sally Hansen Sugar Coat in 250 Spare-A-Mint (which is really teal, don't let the name fool you) and then I did a coat of NYC 298 High Line Green on top for a real grass color, that you can see below.

My football brown is China Glaze 648 Unplugged, and my Cowboys blue is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear 250 Blue It. By the way, stars are hard. Especially trying to get the "turf" around it! So please excuse my mess.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Let's Talk About Shin Splints

I feel a little bit like a broken record saying this, but I have been trying to get back into working out lately. It's been a couple of weeks now, and this is usually about the time that my enthusiasm wanes, and I fall back into my old lazy routines. And one of the reasons for that is, after 2 weeks of some pretty good work outs, I develop excruciating, debilitating shin splits. Shin splints that could take down a water buffalo.

this guy ain't no wimp either
If you have never suffered through a run with shin splits, you are one lucky mother. They are not. fun. So this time I have been trying a couple new things to help with them, and I thought I would share my findings.

Let's start with a couple things that I have been doing wrong:

Cheap shoes. I don't run marathons. Heck, I barely run a mile. And without knowing if I'm going to actually stick with running, I sure as heck am not going to drop 100 bones+ on some primo running shoes.
Girl's C9 by Champion® Motion Glyde - Gray/Pink
These are my shoes. They were on sale for like $15 at Target. What can I say I'm a cheap mother.
Neglecting stretching. Here's another no-no. What do you mean you can't just hop on the treadmill, run a mile and then plunk down in front of E! network? ....

So here's what I've been doing differently this time around:

Insoles. Trust, homegirl is still on a shoestring budget, but what I can afford is 20 bucks for some insoles. These are the ones I've been trying out:
Dr. Scholl's®Active Series™ Insoles - Women's
$19.99 at Target
Lots and lots of stretching. Maybe it's overkill, but for the time being, I've been stretching. Alot. Can't hurt right?? I do a warm up stretch series, as well as a 3 minute walk before my run, and a cool down stretch series after. Then after a smoothie and a shower, I do ANOTHER leg stretch series. Maybe its overkill, but I can't lie when I say my legs feel great today. Here are 2 of my favorite calf stretches for shin splints:

hold each for 30 seconds, then repeat on other side

Warning: I am about to sound like an infomercial. I was not paid or perked for any of this, I just REALLY love these apps. Apparently I like being told what to do. But only with my workouts. Who knew. But here is what I have been using. All apps are by lolo, just go to the app store and search lolo. They aren't free, but if they actually get my butt working out, I think they're worth the couple bucks.

I use this for all my stretching routines. They have running warm up and cool down, as well as targeted (such as legs or back, and full body routines.) And it counts for you.

I like this so much better than Couch to 5k, which I have also used. Jeff Galloway is a marathoner and coach, a huge proponent of walk breaks (probably the only thing we have in common) and he'll even pipe in during your work outs with affirmations and tips. 
One of the things I dislike most about working out is the time it takes! So whats nice about this app is getting a full body work out in only 7 minutes! You tell the app what equipment you have available (like dumbbells or a stability ball) and it whips up a total body workout you can complete at home in 7 minutes. 

So that's been the deal lately. I also have to give a shout out to my sister-in-law. Even though she lives hundreds of miles away, she just always seems to know when I'm sitting on my ass, and will tell me to get the hell off of it. She's been the best motivator! 

Check back tomorrow for my favorite green smoothie recipe!