Thursday, March 29, 2012

Um, yeah...I'm 30.

   My 30th birthday was this past Monday. I'm still not sure how I feel about it - And by "it" I mean being 30. My best friend came down to visit and stayed the night on Monday. We chatted about old times all the crazy situations we got ourselves into, and he asked me how it felt to be 30? At that moment I began to tear up. I really didn't want to fall for that whole "30 Hype", but the more I thought about all of the dreams and plans I had as a child I start to realize how little of it I've accomplished. 30 is that age that everyone says "By the time I ..." and it hit me and I felt dumb and quickly snapped out of it. I don't like dwelling on things that I can't change, but every now and then you're allowed to sulk a bit, right? After that we went back to laughing and drinking and talking about good times. I am optimistic about the next decade. I plan to make it the decade of "doing" and not another decade of indecisiveness.

  I obviously didn't make my goal - you know the whole reason I started this blog and all. I think I'm down a total of about 13lbs from where I started. The moment I realized I wouldn't be anywhere near my goal I completely gave in. Trying to claw my way back out at the moment.
   I'm not sure what the fate of this blog will be. Most all of the time I feel like I'm talking to myself about myself and it's weird. Lifestyle blogs (is that what this is considered?) tend to be self indulgent, which is fine if you're actually interesting but I'm quite bored with myself and find me rather dull. I feel like I'm at a point where I'm realizing I'm not helping anyone here and wondering if the time I spend here - as little as it's been recently - could be better utilized doing something else. Maybe I'm thinking too much into this because really it's just a fucking blog, I'm not splitting the atom.

   Two really GREAT things did happen that I can attribute to this blog. It motivated me to go sign up for school. I've been putting that off for 12 years and it wasn't until I started blogging that I realized I NEED to do it, and do it now. The second one is indirectly or not at all attributed to this blog. Ran and I decided to try for another baby! After we had our kiddo we talked about having another one fairly soon so that they could be close in age; Going on 8 years later we finally decided mostly because I'll be starting school that this was the time to have another one. This time around it's really about strategics - I don't want to be dealing with a newborn through any part of the actual nursing program. I think I can handle work/home/baby through the first 2 years of G.E...At least that's how I'm hoping it all works out. By this time next month I could pregnant...cross your fingers!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Low Carb Poblano Jalapeno Chili

 I got this recipe from the current issue of "Cooking Light". I had to modify it only slightly to make it low carb, plus upped the spices quite a bit. To my surprise this thickened up nicely; it was very good. I plan on making this regularly. Enjoy!

Low Carb Poblano Jalapeno Chili

  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin 
  • jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil 
  • 1 Med-Large onion chopped 
  • 1 cup chopped seeded poblano (pasilla) chile (about 2 large)
  • garlic cloves, minced (Or as much or as little as desired I used about 10)
  • 12-ounce Corona Light
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder (or more to liking)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (or more to liking)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of the Best tasting, Lowest carb Marinara you can find. The one I used was 8 carbs per cup.
  • 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 Can Eden foods Black Soy beans, rinsed and drained 
  • (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained 

  • Optional: Top with Sour Cream, Sharp Cheese and for extra heat pickled Jalapenos (this really wasn't very spicy)


  1. 1. Heat a Large Pot over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef from pan; drain. Wipe pan clean.
  2. 2. Remove and discard seeds and membranes from 1 jalapeño; finely chop both jalapeños. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add jalapeños, onion, poblano, and garlic; sauté 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Add beer; scrape pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 6-8 minutes or until 50% - 75% of liquid evaporates (whichever your preference - I did 75%). Add chili powder, cumin, and salt; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in beef, marinara, broth, beans, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups chili into each of 8 bowls.

Monday, March 5, 2012

  Took all my placement tests today. I suck suck SUCK at math but passed by enough that I don't have to take the test again. Glad to have that part behind me. I'm a horrible test taker; I want to get it over with so badly that I speed through it just to be done with it. I really need to stop doing that. All I do now is wait until April when Summer registration begins and I'm a college student YAY!

  For dinner tonight made a low carb version of the "Poblano-Jalapeno Chili" from the current issue of "Cooking Light". Turned out really yummy will post the modified recipe tomorrow.

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Boys DIY Cut-offs

   The following post is weird for two reasons 1)It's still very much winter in many parts of the Country, and 2)This is so simple that I almost feel like making a post about it is lame. This seems like something that would have dawned on me a lot sooner, but doing this never entered my brain until I needed to buy some new shorts for my kiddo last summer. I just didn't like what was available at Target/Kohl's/Macy's etc. I popped into an HM that had a kid's section and found the cutest cut-off shorts, but they wanted like $20 bucks! Finally the light bulb switched on and I realized I had about 3 pairs of holey jeans that I could turn into cut-offs. Went home; got the scissors, and voila! super cute, classic cut-offs for my Boy. I kick myself for not doing it sooner - all the pairs of jeans I've thrown out over the years, ugh -  now I feel like I'm at least getting double duty out of these jeans that he seems to grow out of or wear through quickly. The only reason I'm even posting about this is because when my Aunt saw his cut-offs she asked me where I got them and I told her I made them - I saw the light bulb go off in her too. Even those of you with girls - Today I saw Target put out their girls cut-offs for $14.99 I think? Go to the thrift store pick up some jeans and make them yourself! You'll save money and you'll have some custom cut-offs. Often times the simple stuff is overlooked so if this helps even one person than I'm happy. I made a pair today so I thought I'd photograph the before and after.

He did rock the "grungy" jeans look for a bit, but the hole got a little too big so shorts they became.
This is supposed to be his sad face.

Cut at the center of the hole, use the cut piece as a guide for the other leg and done. After a few washes it'll be nice and frayed.
And this is his happy face

Friday, March 2, 2012

Five Things Friday...

  So I'm starting a new thing here on Fridays. Trying to get some kind of cohesive theme going on since my blog has been all over the place as of late. I'm going to write about 5 things from this past week or 5 things I'm looking forward to next week that made me happy/sad/scared/excited whatever! This week was a tough one so it'll be a mix of a few things. Please don't hesitate to do this over on your blog if you feel so inclined.

1) I had a really crazy teleconference meeting with the CEO of a start-up here in the Silicon Valley. One of those I'm going to be completely vague about what I want, but I want YOU to be a mind reader and know EXACTLY what I want. Needless to say I broke down in tears after. It's not that I don't feel like I could handle the task, but the pressure that I felt like I was under in that moment just felt crippling. Luckily I had a conversation with my boss the next day and he talked me back from the ledge.

2) Just got word I qualified for the full Pell Grant - WooHoo! - Thanks Government!

3) Spoke to my Dad yesterday and he was super upbeat - I love when I talk to my Dad and he's upbeat. He certainly has reason to be down in the dumps. Their home is in Foreclosure. He's caring for my Step-Mom who's currently going to Dialysis 3 days a week and dealing with complications from diabetes (one of which is slowly causing her to go blind). On top of that my Father has a brain tumor - LUCKILY the wonderful Doctors and Nurses at Stanford hospital treated him and we just found out his tumor has shrunk! Ironically, my Grandmother had the same tumor 20 years ago and the treatment was much more invasive - she ended up with shingles, partial vision loss in one eye and not to mention a petty gnarly scar. The treatment my Dad went through was 3 hour long sessions of radiosurgery, no cutting! Pretty amazing stuff...

4)I got a call from a local Indie radio station saying I won two tickets to the San Jose Cinequest Film Festival screening of "Forgetting the Girl" tonight! Sweeeeet Date night tonight :)

5)Woke up to an email from a super awesome blogger Mong's from My Thrifty Closet saying I had won her most recent giveaway of the cutest little handmade brooch. Seriously, if you have not visited her blog take a looksy. If you gave her $10 bucks and let her loose in a thrift store she will amaze you with what she can put together. Plus, she's just an amazing person on the inside. Looooove her!

  Well have a Fantastic Weekend, Folks! If you do this on your blog please come back and let me know - I'm super nosey and like to know what every ones up to :p

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Down but College Bound...

   Lately I've been feeling down about my job and my future/retirement etc. I think it's because I'm turning 30 and I feel like I've accomplished so little up till now. My 20's with the exception obviously of my Husband and Kiddo just felt like such a waste. If I had to sum up my 20's in one word "Awkward" comes to mind. Not unlike my teen years I feel like I just haphazardly lived through an entire decade with no real purpose. I'm still discovering myself in many ways;  My view on Politics/Religion/Relationships/Style (or lack thereof) - things I feel I should have established by the time I was 30.

    The biggest regret I have is that I put off College. I got a job working as a contractor for NASA right after High School graduation. Being young and living on my own of course I didn't give up a nice paycheck to go back to school. I worked there for 8 years until I got laid off. By that time I was only working part time since I had just had my Son, but I was also working part time at my current job (a small start-up). My boss brought me on full time and I've been here ever since about 4 years. I LOVE my Boss, my co-workers and my schedule is something to be envied for sure, but I just feel like I've reached as far as I can possibly go and I just don't see myself doing this job 5 years from now. The only way out of this situation is going back to school. This clicked with me last night and this morning I got the ball rolling; Signed up to get my student ID and got the schedule for the placement tests. My dream is to be a Nurse. I think part of the problem after High School was that I had so many interests that I ended up choosing none. It wasn't until my time at NASA when I joined the rescue team did I decide that I LOVE helping people. Nursing just seemed to me like the perfect fit. I know I've got a long way to go and an uphill battle - Holy cow I've been out of school for 12 YEARS! - But I'm so ready for it...I'm Stoked/Scared/Happy/Excited/Petrified all at once....

Monday, February 27, 2012

America's Got Talent Re-Cap

    We arrived in SF about an hour before the posted start time. I should have known that was not enough time as we drove up the line was ridiculous! There went any hopes of getting on the first floor. We all looked at each other and almost decided to book it to Pier 39 instead, but quickly decided to press on. We parked and got in line, waited about an hour in line before we got in. We sat on the 2nd floor in the “TV Section” but I don’t think I ever saw the camera pan our way. About 45 minutes after we sat down the taping finally started. Just FYI the shots of the Audience Booing/Cheering/Clapping/Throwing up X’s is taped BEFORE the show starts. Yes, we did still react to the performances, but about two hours in we were pretty bored, Ran was nodding off - standing up and clapping was just not an option at that point so I understand why they do that. In the 4 hours we were there we saw maybe 8 acts. We left the taping at the break (which was about 3 hours in) but apparently we only missed maybe 2 additional acts.
    There were definitely a lot of Stern fans in the audience. I heard more Ba-ba-booey’s then I would have liked, so many so that I would have probably punched someone in the face if they were in striking distance. Howard as a judge was fantastic! He X’d who should have been X’d and let go those that deserved it. He also had the ability to tell the performer the truth no matter how awful they were, without being mean. He even managed to make them laugh while he was crushing their dreams. My Mom who is not really fan was a convert when we left the show. I think people will be pleasantly surprised by him. Sharon Osbourne also seemed pretty cool. Took her a few minutes to make it to her seat after her introduction because she was giving out so many hugs (To the dismay of Nick Cannon who looked annoyed) Both she and Howard interacted with the audience during breaks which was nice. Here are some of the highlights from the auditions:

Taylor Beckett: She was filming her “Intro” while we were waiting in line so it was no surprise when we saw her walk on stage as the third act. She has this beautiful BIG voice coming from this tiny little thing. She got some flak for singing so “Big” without any build up, which I agreed with, but she sounded amazing in the auditorium. She has a classic “I-can-sing-the-shit-out-of-this-song” voice, which is nice but I tend to like the singing acts that have some kind of interesting inflection to their voice.

Chadwick Johnson (At least that’s what I thought I heard): Another singer with an amazing voice. He was a surprise because he seemed kinda nerdy, a bit introverted which is weird because he’s a bartender. Howie kept mentioning what a “Winning Smile” he had, we couldn’t tell from where we were. He could sing for sure! He had great control of his voice. I think he’ll go far if he can get some personality.

“Turf” (Didn’t catch his real name): He was the “Hard Luck” story of our visit. He is a dance contortionist and I admit I was cringing in my seat - the things he was doing with his arms and legs was pretty cool to watch. He’ll never win, but he had a story that made you want to root for him. Homeless at one point, dancing on the streets of SF to make money he seemed genuine and someone you want to see succeed.

  After the taping we made our way to Pier 39. Ran wanted to stop by the Houdini Magic shop to pick up some trinkets for our kiddo. We ate at Louie’s Seafood – Food was “Eh”, but Ran did enjoy his crab. I had pasta which was my bad - ordering pasta at a seafood restaurant :/  We then headed to Ghirardelli Square and we managed to get one cell phone shot before my phone died. The real winner of the day was the SF weather. It was BEA-U-TI-FUL in SF!

The Golden Gate is behind us, but the sun and my crappy cell camera blocked it out :(

We got home fairly early and since we were sans kiddo for the night, we walked to a nearby restaurant/bar. This is my Holy-Cow-Long-Beach-Teas-Taste-Like-Pink-Lemonade and now I'm buzzzzzzzzzed face.

All in all a good day was had by all...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Howdy Doody Tooty Fruity

      Hello Blogland! Been awhile since I’ve logged in…truth be told I’ve started a blog post a few times only to stop before getting a coherent sentenced typed out.  A lot of the time I sit here with my laptop staring at the screen with a cocked head thinking “WTF am I going to write?” I live a relatively boring, mundane life and envy those that can not only blog every day/weekly but actually have something interesting to say. In any case I suppose I could at least let you in on what I’ve been up to this past month. 
 As far as my diet I’m UP a few pounds WHOMP WHOMP. My drive and motivation pulled a “Thelma and Louise” - I’m kicking myself because I was doing so good! I tell ya this food has such a grip on me it’s unbelievable. I had a few pretty wild years when I was younger; tried just about every drug under the sun, had a really fun time, but never once found myself getting sucked in the way food seems to just encompass my brain. It’s the closest thing to a true addiction that I think I’ve ever faced. I have this all or nothing mentality when it comes to food. Either I completely deprive myself or I completely give in. I can’t seem to do the “have one bite and move on” that one bite always leads to me wanting more. I really need to find my happy medium, my 30th is fast approaching and I’m no closer to my goal than I was a month ago. I’m not delusional I know I won’t make goal in a month, but my overall goal is still attainable. I don’t want to waste another DECADE battling the bulge, I refuse to.

     Other than eating anything and everything this past month I’ve also been working like crazy - We just moved to a new office space and broke in a new intern from Singapore (From NUS studying at Stanford) fun times. I’ve also been working in my son’s class a lot.  Anyone that says Teachers are paid enough need to actually spend some time in a classroom – I’m exhausted after just a few hours. Still hitting up the thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales. My Mom and I went to one this past weekend - a total time warp. This was easily a two million dollar house, beautiful on the outside but a delightful mess of a time capsule on the inside. The woman that lived there out lived her husband and kids and hoarded everything after their deaths. It wasn’t filled to the ceiling with cat poop or anything but it was definitely a haven for dust and cobwebs. I chatted with the family for a bit, very lovely people and I’m always glad to see when family is present for these estate sales – It’s still a bit weird for me as a shopper and I’m sure for them, but a lot of the time I find they like to discuss their family member and the belongings finding new homes with folks like me. Speaking of thrifting I am a bit closer to opening an etsy store. I’ve been measuring and researching getting ready to finally photograph all my wares. All in all a pretty uneventful month - you see why I had a hard time keeping up with my blog? Pretty boring stuff…

On the Horizon…This weekend Ran and I are going to a taping of America’s Got Talent in San Francisco. Ran is a longtime Stern fan so I’m sure he’ll be trying to see how many times he can scream “BA-BA-BOOEY” before we get kicked out…

I did manage to photograph some of my recent thrifty purchases. Some things I’m keeping. Others will eventually be Etsy bound…

These little guys are cute, but have absolutely no business being in my house they'd be broken in no time flat. I think they would make darling little terrariums though.     

This is one of my favorite recent finds and I got a set of FOUR! that never happens. They are porcelain (Heavy duty) soup/salad sets. I've seen these priced $30-$50 bucks a pop I paid $3 dollars a set. Plus I think they might be vintage, the bowl has a GDR stamp on the bottom.

Cute little daisy coat hanger.

This vintage skirt screams "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" but I couldn't pass it up. It has the cutest candy colored buttons. Unfortunately I'm not a waif so I won't be donning this skirt.
Super cute tribal print skirt falls mid-calf and I love it - Can't wait for summer.
I loved this skirt from the Target Missoni line but wasn't about to shell out the big bucks for it on ebay. I found it at Goodwill for $4.99. Yup, Goodwill gets Target merchandise that hasn't sold (clothing/shoes at least)  3 months after it hits the store floors. So if you missed out on the Jason Wu line check Goodwill in a few months.
This was a pretty sweet find too REAL Missoni shoes. $5 bucks whaaaat!

Oh I'm also babysitting this little guy and his two buddies (Dogs) I've currently got 4 dogs and 1 turtle in my little 2 bedroom house. I feel a bit like Ace Venture when they all gather around me. Luckily, they all leave tomorrow with the exception of my two loveable mutts. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


   Is there some kind of surgery that turns taste buds off? If so, sign me up! I know I said I'd be back on track on Tuesday but it never happened. I'm still a bit sick so I can blame some of it on that, but really I'm just so lazy right now. I have no desire to cook - it's currently much more appealing to order in or eat whatever my Husband makes (Which is usually not low carb and seriously lacking in the greenery department).
     I wish I could say I'm fat because "X" happened or because I eat when I'm angry/sad/glad etc. because then maybe I could address it and move on. But isn't it possible that I'm fat because I just love the way unhealthy stuff tastes? I mean, I know all the health benefits of eating healthy I even feel better physically when I do, but I sometimes find the whole process of preparing and consuming said meals quite daunting. My brain is constantly telling me what I'd rather be having...That little voice is usually very convincing. Even my usual modes of motivation: blogging, thrifting, crafting are feeling like chores to me. I hate it! I need to get out of this funk!! I'm not sure how to move on from here but I don't plan on giving up just yet.

Holy Shit Maurice Sendak is still Alive!

I will admit before I saw him on Colbert last night I just assumed he died a long time ago...Come on you did too, right!?! Not only is he still alive, he's a total nut! I LOVE it...check out the video below.