Wednesday, December 18, 2013

which niche?

One of my new year's resolutions for 2013 was to find a hobby. [hob-ee] noun: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.

I guess the definition above doesn't take into consideration that some people actually enjoy what they do as an occupation. What do you do in your free time Tricia? Well I really like to cook, but that's what I do for a living so I guess it can't be my hobby. Hmm. But I think it's true that sometimes you need a break from what you do on a daily bases in exchange for money. And that is why I let Chris do the majority of the cooking in our household. ;) But really, I enjoy cooking, and I get to do it everyday as a part of my job. While others may sit at a desk hating what they do, and go home to make cook which is their hobby. Prime example- Julie Powell from Julie and Julia. I would say that I am pretty lucky to be able to turn my main hobby into my everyday job.

But I started the search, because everyone needs a relaxing activity that is not what they do for a living. 

Reading has always been one of my hobbies, and I have taken time in this year to read, but not as much as I would've liked.  Curling up with a cozy book will always be my longest running hobby.

I started canning. Bought a bunch of supplies and decided to can foods for people as Christmas gifts. Canning is a seasonal thing. I imagine that in the late summer early fall next year I will can wonderful vegetables that are in season. But it's difficult to continue canning into the winter season. Am I supposed to buy those tomatoes that have been flown in from California and cost more than the great tomatoes that are fresh from NYS when they are in season? How do I justify making and canning jam in December when obviously the two feet of snow on the ground are telling me that berries are not growing anywhere close to me? It just doesn't seem right.

I thought I would take up crocheting. I was quite the fanatic when I was younger and so I bought some needles and cool colored yarn. I made a couple of pot holders, which was my goal. And I made a teeny tiny hat, that might fit a barbie. I couldn't figure out how to make the hat bigger, I got frustrated. That faed fast.

Cleaning is something I wish was my hobby, but instead it's something I have to do and do not enjoy so much. I think some people have it easier than a house with two chefs in it, because we cook every night, and we use at least four pots or pans, some with lids, lots of cooking utensils, cutting boards, etc. Although our food is good, when we finish eating our meal, we are exhausted and the dishes seem like so much more than a chore. This is what I do in my free time mister hobby police. I help cook dinner and then I clean!

I tried yoga. This is a hobby that I would really like to continue when my life slows down a bit and leaves time for hobbies (Christmas party season is upon us.) My yoga experience is very slim and none. I am not about to go to a yoga class and embarrass myself in front of many a seasoned yoga pros, so I borrow a dvd from the library. Turns out it wasn't a beginner dvd and it was so hard! It had me sweating and working tons of muscles I wasn't aware that I had. The next day, it took all that I had to peel myself out of bed. I then found some great relaxation yoga which is what I was really looking for. Lots of breathing and soothing poses vs. straining myself. I still try to do some yoga breathing exercises every once and a while in order to center myself.

I guess the hobby that I have really stuck with this year is my blog. I really enjoy writing and if I could do anything in the world, it would be to write about food. Christopher suggested that I start a blog in order to fulfill my desire to write. And so I have. It has been a little sporadic in the past few months. It's tough to maintain a hobby full time as well as maintain a full time job (or two part time jobs). When it comes to prioritizing, to be honest working and breathing is at the top of my list, and unfortunately my hobby has to suffer. But I hope to continue my blog, and I also hope that people enjoy reading my thoughts. So I guess my hobby of 2013 is Real Girl vs. Big World or is it Little Girl vs. Big World? Either way, I am the girl. Thanks for reading.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tips from Tricia

1. Always use a timer when multitasking in the kitchen especially with but not limited to: croutons, cookies, and bacon.

2. It's not all about the money. Ever. Often you can find fun things to do that do not cost a fortune and homemade gifts are the bomb. Also, it's the thought that counts, always.

3. Make sure that you check that all of the little bulbs light up before you string four sets of lights up only to find that they do not work, or match up.

4. Riesling from Germany is always wonderful.

5. If you are missing your socks, they are probably bundled up at the bottom of your bed in between the sheets, still there from when you took them off in the middle of the night.

6. Snow tires make a huge difference.

7. Working without talking is way more efficient.

8. Being practical is not boring but be sure to leave room for impracticabilities.

9. You are better off folding the clothes directly out of the dryer, this way there are less wrinkles and they are more likely to get folded.

10. Teamwork is the way to complete chores, and spite doesn't hurt.

11.  If you find the perfect pair of jeans, buy three pairs, in different shades of course.

12. Not always the more the merrier. In fact smaller parties are more intimate and better connections are made.

13. One best friend is better than six close friends and better than twenty friends.

14. Thin mints are still good every single year.

15. Always have the biggest stocking at Christmas.

16. Sharpen your knives often. Cutting yourself with a dull knife is worse than with a sharp one.

17. Slippers are very important.

18. Netflix is worth the money.

19. Save your returnables but accumulate a large pile before you take them back to the store, or else you will be frustrated with the amount of time you spent that did not accumulate a lot of money.

20. Take lots of pictures, but enjoying the moments are more important than capturing them.

21. Although it may feel like it always happens to you, I guess it happens to everyone.

22. Making the VOA/Salvation Army/Goodwill one of your go to shopping spots is not a bad idea.

23. Hot water bottles are underrated and are wonderful to have around.

24. The best gifts are those you need but will not buy for yourself.

25. Drink more water than you want to. It will prevent headaches, encourage circulation, and make you an over all healthier person.

26. Wearing a watch regularly is very helpful in time management overall and will help you even when you do not have a watch on.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's the Holiday season!

it's so close!
I am a girl of tradition and Christmas is one of the times that I get upset if tradition is not kept. This year is special because although Chris and I have been together on Christmas before, this is the first year that we have a home together and so NEW TRADITIONS. Which is pretty fun. Christopher and I can mold our family traditions and also come up with some new traditions.

 December first meant that we could start the Christmas season and so we set out to cut down our first tree together. For me this has been an activity my family has been doing for years, but for Chris not so much. He always had either an artificial tree or his dad went out on their property and cut one down, so the farm experience was new. It was pretty fun, almost a treasure hunt of course to find the perfect tree. We wanted a Douglas fir because we read that they last the longest. The workers on the farm told us that all of the varieties of trees were intermingled and so they gave us a small sample branch of what we were looking for and we were off! It was fun searching for the right type of tree and the right size. We were looking for a tree around 6.5 feet and we ended up with at least a nine foot tree that just brushes the top of our ceiling. PERFECT. Thankfully my mom had found a tree stand for us at a resale shop for five dollars. Apparently they don't make the old fashioned stands anywhere anymore and now they have big plastic bulky things that just are odd.

Once we stood the tree up and FINALLY straightened it out, we had to trim a few branches off of the bottom and arrange our new tree skirt around the base of the stand.  I then sat and fashioned a sad looking wreath from the leftover branches. It looks great on our  front door, definitely looks handmade. Chris strung the lights around the tree, of course he did it wrong and I had to redo it but it's the thought that counts. ;) We then hung our knit stockings from the mantle and sat down feeling happy. Our home becomes more homey every time we add something new to it, even if it's as little as a doormat, and now that it's Christmas it's just so cozy in here!

Now we had to do some shopping to do to because, although you may not realize it until you have Christmas on your own for the first time, you don't have any ornaments. And of course I wanted those sentimental ornaments that you put on the tree each year and remember where  or whom you received it from and for what reason or how old you were when you made it. Well with the first year, I guess you don't really have that. I tried to make some ornaments with my siblings and we also had cut a section off of the trunk of our tree in order to create an ornament. We bought a lot of our ornaments from "re-use" stores and actually sat down one night and strung garland from popcorn and cranberries, surely a new tradition for us. We stocked up on ornaments and hung them in order to make our tree glisten. Only a few things were missing that we were still hunting for; a nativity scene and an angel for the top of our tree. I finally found the perfect angel after rejecting a few light up, furry, and/or scary looking toppers. And the same day my mom texted me to say she found a nativity scene and it was in the mail. It is exactly what I was looking for, sometimes I think my mom and I are on the same wave length. It looks a lot like the manger scene we had growing up. So we are now all set for Christmas. We even managed to find a little mistletoe!

Chris and I have decided that Christmas is very important to us, and we love celebrating more than presents. So a lot of the gifts under the tree will be things like, a new bath mat for the bathroom! or a warm pair of socks! or practical gifts and the like. Christmas is not all about gifts, its about Jesus, family, and traditions and it's important to keep that in mind.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Food Favorites

I like to eat soup and I like to make soup. I am a chunky soup kind of gal. The cool thing these days is to puree everything and Chris is into it. But I love a rich broth with chunks of vegetables or cubes of meat. Tonight we had lentil soup. It was delish. I really enjoy chili as well, which I think can be put under the category of soup. Today I made root vegetables soup with mushrooms.

I enjoy when Chris cooks Asian food. I know maybe that isn't politically correct because there are so many different types of Asian food, but I guess sometimes he often fuses the Asian foods together. He makes really good stir fry with rice noodles. Also I cannot get enough of his flavorful braised short ribs with white rice. AND the other day Chef Christopher made me sticky chicken wings (the only way I can describe it) and they were so phenomenal.

Lamb is my favorite protein. I don't get to eat it often because let's be honest it's pretty pricey. But where I work we make these great lamb burgers. Really good with cute little buns.

I am a sucker for grilled cheese. Such a simple meal that can be made so well. Tonight with our soup we had grilled cheese with provolone cheese and roasted red peppers. To. Die. For. really though, if I ever had a food truck, it would feature grilled cheese. You can do so much with it. Swiss with mushrooms or muenster with a little horseradish mustard. Really good.

My favorite fruit is pomegranate. Although it is hard to deconstruct the fruit is so versatile and juicy. The taste is like no other. A pear kind of tastes like an apple and has a similar texture. And a clementine is a small sweeter orange. But a pomegranate is unique and doesn't look or taste like any other fruit. It can be tossed in a salad where the seeds will burst and fill your mouth with flavor. Or you can cook it into a pie or a sauce, but my favorite way to eat it is on its own. Today I bought two pomegranates because they were on sale, and one is almost as big as my head. Crazy stuff. I actually find it meditative to deseed this fruit.

I am very into vegetables. I love them. Summer is the season for vegetables and so I find it hard to find the variety in the winter time. But because I cannot find fresh radishes or corn on the cob I try to eat as many greens as I can. I am a bitter greens type of girl, I love escarole and swiss chard, spinach of sorts and beet greens.

These are just a few of my favorites at the moment. But all of the time my favorite foods are changing. I mean when you do food for a living it's easy to change your mind when you taste something out of this world. I encourage you to go out of your box and find a new food favorite.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I want I want I want

I want world peace
I want to travel to Greece
I want a festive holiday season
I want to laugh for no particular reason
I want good health for those that I love
I want stress to be free of
I want a new knife roll
I want to strive for my goals
I want to start the new year out right
I want people to read what I write
I want everyone in my life to be happy
I want to be able to take an afternoon nappy
I want be the season to be joyful and merry
I once wanted to live with Laura Ingalls Wilder on the prairie
I want to stay young
I want to taste new flavors on my tongue
I want to make people smile
I want to put some travel miles on file
I want new socks in my stocking
I want my friends to come knocking
I want to be economically stable
I want everyone to be satisfied by the food I put on the table
I want Christmas to be here tomorrow
I want that seasonal snow!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dreams of a Big Day

First I would like to take a moment to say that I am very excited for my wedding someday.
I am in no rush, BUT I am very excited and I enjoy thinking and dreaming.

Second, when I get engaged, I will for a second be that excited girl who wants to tell everyone and show everyone her ring, but after that second I promise to not flaunt my ring in every photo because I will remember what it feels like to be the girl who is sitting there without a ring moping because some perfect girl has a perfect world.

Third, although I am not getting married, I have found that helping other people plan their weddings is an outlet. I enjoy so much helping other people with the details that you could say that it's part of my job now. You all know that I have been working with a caterer and enjoying it a lot. And this past September I helped with the decor side of a wedding that took place at my parents beautiful bed and breakfast. It was neat to be on the planning side instead of the food side, but I realized that I did not like an outside caterer preparing the food because their quality standards may not align with my own. So I have taken on the whole shebang for a wedding next September and I am very excited. This couple lives in Brazil and so they were looking for someone who would take care of all of the details for them so that they could show up, and enjoy themselves. So I have my work cut out for me. I am figuring out flowers and getting in touch with photographers, developing menus and piecing together the budget. I am very excited to build my staff and execute the event. As the time gets closer my plate is more likely to be filled but right now I am just figuring out the logistics and trying to find my way. I feel confident that by the end of the event, I will be in tears because everything went so well. I often think that this is the right kind of job for me because I am such a planner anyways, but then add to that making people's big day even more special than it already is.

 These are some pictures from the wedding reception that I planned this past fall. 

Anyway, my visions are as follows, one day.

Dreams of Rings:

Dreams of dresses:

Dreams of Flowers:

 Dreams of Shoes:

 Dreams of the rest:

Some Day.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Learning From Disney

I'd like to take a few moments to honor some Disney movies. I am not a big fan of introducing too much television in a child's life early on, but Disney does try to stick some under lying themes in the classic and not so classic movies the teach a valuable lesson. 

Love: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937 and is still the classiest of classics. Many movies and fairytales have been influenced by this one. I think it brings a humbleness to princesses. The rightful princess has to scrub the floors and do the chores, and doesn't complain. If you think just a little further down the road to Cinderella- 1950, it's a very similar story line. I think it's astonishing how long this movie has made it. Teaching children from the late thirties even to present day, that it's important to clean up after yourself, consider personal hygiene, that birds are the best tool when making a pie, as well as animals in general making the best of friends, and that you should never die because Prince Charming will always come save you! Other movies Disney made that are similar to this are Sleeping Beauty, Enchanted, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid. 

Adventure: Pinocchio which was created in 1940, introduced us to our conscience. I can remember (not back to 1940) that I would think WhatWouldJiminySay as a young child. This was also Disney's way of saying, hey boys we are here for you too! And yet, I connected with Pinocchio as a girl. Another boy friendly disney adventure was Peter Pan- another one of my favorites. Like Robin Hood is a fox, super fantastic! I would say that 101 Dalmatians hangs around this theme as well, and friendship . Toy Story is the ultimate friendship movie which includes adventure. I was not a big fan of the second movie, but the third was a hit. And people of my generation grew up with Andy, I admit I shed tears when Andy went to college, it was sentimental. The Jungle Book is another adventure book that teaches children that friends look out for each other and help you grow up. Which Brings us to Tarzan which has a little bit of family influence. Up is among my favorites and Mr. Carlson faces adventure because of love. 

Imagination: I would say that there is a variety of disney movies with this reoccurring topic. Starting with Fantasia, wonderful musical compilation, and then closely followed by Alice in Wonderland. Peter Pan is the ultimate imagination station. Children who never grow up, second star to the right, mermaids, pirates. I think that encouraging children to adventure and use their imagination is important and I can remember pretending I was Tinkerbell and that I was magical long before Harry Potter. (I love Harry Potter truth be told.) Mary Poppins is fantastic, and is the greatest sense of adventure and imagination. Julie Andrews is enchanting and the lines between animation and live action were blown away. 

Family: is a big theme amongst Disney movies. Lindsay Lohan captured our hearts in The Parent Trap and taught us all that first of all, summer camp is a blast, and also that family is forever. How could anyone forget The Lion King and it's focus on not only the circle of life but how you are connected to your family and your place in society no matter what. 

Courage will overpower all. Mulan is probably my favorite example of this, and is one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I know that Mulan also stresses the family aspect but Mulan overcomes much more than her families disapproval. She questions societal roles and my theme song is from this movie.  Pocohantes also competes against the status quo not only in the face of love but in order to do the right thing.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

what if?

What if pigs could fly?  Would we eat pork wings? Would they be good in buffalo sauce?

What if your best friend was a mermaid? Would you have trouble hanging out frequently? What would happen in the winter time? Seasonal friendship?

What if we all had Flintstone cars? Would everyone have really muscular legs?

What if magic was real? Would we all be really cool like Harry Potter? Or really lame like those people from Wall-e?

What if the first person to cut their hair, didn't? Would everyone have hair down to their ankles? Would we tie it up like CindyLou Who?

What if there were no locks on anything? Would people still steal things?

What if the sun never set? How would farmers know when to stop working? Would we have more produce because of the sun?

What if we still traded goods instead of money? Would there be as much greed in the world? Would people be more honest? Would people be more thrifty?

What if the ground was covered with a foot of water? Would someone invent motorboat shoes? Would we ice skate around in the winter time?

What if everyone spoke their mind all of the time? Would we have less friends? Would we have better friends? Would everything be simpler?

What if everyone on the planet had the same skin color? Would there have been an American Civil War? Would people find other ways to discriminate? Like hair color? eye color? sex? oh wait..

What if washers were never invented? Would people still gather at the river to wash their clothes?

What if everyone had access to a time machine? Would we cross each other's paths back in time? Would you go forward in time or backward first?

What if every person paid it forward? Would everyone smile a little more? Or would it just become the norm? We all need the darkness to see the light.

What if everyone's marriage was arranged? Would people be happy with this? Would the divorce rate be lower? higher?

What if everything you touched turned into your favorite thing? Would your favorite thing still be your favorite anymore? Would your favorite thing change frequently? Would your power be able to change if your favorite thing changed?

What if boys shared their feelings? Would it be a less stressful world? Would there be more successful relationships?

What if you fell asleep every time your eyes shut? Would someone invent something that could prevent you from blinking?

What if people hibernated liked bears do? Would we grow an extra coat of fur to keep us warm in the winter? How many of us would miss our birthday because we were sleeping?

What if your dreams are a portal into an alternate universe? What if you are actually awake in your dreams and people just explain the insanity that happens in your "dreams" by saying they are dreams?

What if your pet could talk? What would they say right off the bat? Do you think that you would still be friends if they talked? Do people need silent friends and this is why there are pets?

What if television was interactive? Would we be able to play The Price is Right from our couch?

What if there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow? Does someone have a rainbow tracker and scoops it up before we even have a chance to look for the end?

What if you challenge yourself to write a blogpost everyday for a month, and you have to rush to write something uninspired because there are not enough hours in the day? Do you write it? If a tree falls in the forest does anyone hear it? Is anyone out there counting on me to write a blog post every day?

Friday, December 6, 2013


I have always been a very independent person and enjoyed being alone. I guess you could call it antisocial, or maybe it's just shy, but my whole life I have been able to find comfort in my surroundings.

1) Reading-   I have always lost myself in books. I really enjoy reading while I am alone. I can spend hours in a book without noticing that no one is around. Recently I have been reading "The Fault in Our Stars" suggested to me and borrowed from my sister.  I have not really gotten into it yet, but once I get hooked into any book, it can be very difficult to get out of it. I think it runs in our family. The other day I was "babysitting" my teenage siblings and after bedtime I went down to check on them and scolded my sister Margot for still being awake. I asked if she had been on her phone and she said "No Trish, I promise I was reading, I can repeat the last sentence to you if you want." I just smiled. Many nights my father would come down to my room after he had been asleep for hours and tell me it was time for bed. 

2) The Bathtub- I enjoy a good spa day and putting on a facial mask and lounging in a hot bath is my one of my favorite peaceful activities.  Soaking is important for my tired muscles after a long work week. And at this point I turn on some instrumental music and close my eyes. I have tried combining the above hobby with this one and although they are both relaxing activities it is pretty stressful trying not to get the pages damp. 

3) Cleaning- I honestly enjoy cleaning more while I am alone. It's easier. No offense to the Chris style cleaning, but I like to have it all done by the time he gets home so that we can spend more time together  and it's a no stress cleaning time. I always used to clean my room and rearrange it for hours by myself when I was a child. 

4) Making Sweets- I enjoy baking when I am by myself. I am by no means a baker and I am not good at it. But I do really have fun experimenting with baked goods while I am singing at the top of my lungs to Sara Bareilles on Pandora. I do not really LOVE sweets as much as some people do but I think that when I get a craving for something sweet, I attempt to make it and by doing that I satisfy my craving without even eating whatever it was I made. Chris enjoys when I cook him up some sweets

5) Shopping- I am not a person who enjoys shopping for myself really at all. I actually get frustrated trying on clothes for hours and can get shopped out pretty easily. But I love looking for great deals and fun things for other people. My guilty pleasure is TJMaxx, and it's only a guilty pleasure because I try to go to different Marshalls or TJMaxx stores around the area to see if they have different things, and they do! I enjoy the home goods shopping more than the clothing shopping and so I guess sometimes I do shop for myself because some of the finds are for my home. There is something about the organized disorganization of this store that makes me love it. And I rarely shop anywhere else, because if you can get it at TJMaxx for half the price, why go anywhere else? I understand that you can go to the store looking for something specific and not find exactly what you are looking for at TJ's but it's like a lottery every time you go in. Yes, I am a proud Maxxinista. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Character Development

My father has had a big impact on who I am and is most probably the reason I have continued to stay as stubborn as I am. Growing up with a father who was considerably older than me was both a blessing and a challenge. I got to grow up with cool music and stories that others didn't. I learned manners because I was raised by a man who was alive in the time they were valued, and I believe they still should be. I grew up in the generation ahead of my own which helped me mature a lot faster than many others around me which was frustrating but helped me in the long run (not that I have been running that long). He also taught me most of the skills that I know. But the number one thing that my father always told me was  "never forget who you are." I feel as though I have written this so many times before. At the time, this saying did not make sense to me, how could I forget myself? But really it's quite easy to forget. And luckily I am reminded every day that I cannot forget. Not only by my father but by..

Christopher has helped me embrace who I am. There are so many negative influences out there in the world today. So many advertisements that make you hate your image and so many people who are trying to make you who they want you to be. But Chris loves me for who I am without all of the bells and whistles. And that helps me build and keep my confidence. He encourages me to pursue my dreams and be real. I am very appreciative of that. I wouldn't be who I am without the confidence that he instills in me. As I have already expressed in past blog posts I also owe where I am in life to Chris. I don't think that I would be able to face this world alone. And I wouldn't have been prepared to face the world at all without...

My mom has always had faith in me. She never once doubted that I knew what I was doing, even when I didn't. She has always pushed me to be a better person and to reach for the stars. She does it all and is happy as a clam (most days). When I grow up I want to be like her. And that's the track that I am on and why I am the woman I am today. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What to Watch

Friends- Never gets old. Honestly I laugh out loud every single episode, even if I have seen it a million times before. I started watching the show in seventh grade and haven't stopped since. Every time I think I have seen every episode I catch a new one. In our new apartment we can record shows, and so we have it set up so that it doesn't record repeat episodes and so every now and again we look at the line up and there are a few episodes that we either haven't seen or we haven't seen a million times. I mean everyone can relate to one or more character in the show and we grow with them. It wins best show of all time in my book.

Parenthood- The new show that Chris and I have gotten into is Parenthood. We started watching it on Netflix and can't get enough of it. As the name suggests it's about parenthood of all types. Any type of parenting you have had to do or have had done to you is portrayed through this great show. There are old parents and new parents, parents who have to deal with teenage children and underdeveloped children, parents who are not together and parents who are very much together, single parents and "trying to get together" parents. Christopher thought he wouldn't relate and be into it, but we are really both into it. It's really funny and yet I cry every single episode. I would highly suggest it.

A total Say Yes to the Dress girl, but I haven't seen it in a while. Every episode is the same, and yet I still keep watching because it's so nice to live through other people and everyone picks a different dress that fits their unique style.

Chris and I are big fans of Top Chef. We watch this well because it's entertaining and we can relate. We did watch Top Chef Masters and I liked it, although it was the first time that I had watched that spin  of Top Chef. I like when I know some of the chefs who are contestants, but I also like when I have no idea about them what so ever and I can form my opinions solely based on their food and attitude on the show. It's also nice because each season is in a different place and they are challenged to cook the food of the location they are in and also guests on the show are from that certain area. This season is in New Orleans which is a place that I would like to go someday so it's neat to be able to see the type of foods from that region of the world.

If you haven't been "Lost" then you need to lose yourself. Lost is an intense series that grabs you and has you on the edge of your seat every single episode. I guess when it was on television I was in some other land because I had never heard of it until I met Christopher and he referenced it so many times that I had to watch it. And he watched it again with me. The plane crashes, and you are like WHATS GOING ON! and from that point you have to know what is going on, and you make so many assumptions, all of which are wrong and then when it comes to the end of the series you don't know what to do with yourself because you have spent a big chunk of your life for the last few months putting yourself in the middle of the Island and trying to figure out it's mysteries. It gets a little shakey around season four, but if you stick to it and trudge on, you will get there. If you are looking for a good series to watch on Netflix, I would recommend this.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Beauty Review

So I decided to write a post on the beauty products that I use and my thoughts on these and other products.

I know you aren't supposed to wash your hair every day, but I do. I mean I am a clean girl, but many people warn that this will dry your hair out. My hair is healthy. Maybe it's because it's at a short length and I don't use straighteners or a curling iron on it. I have used many shampoos over the years and I have found a few favorites. The shampoo that makes my scalp feel the best is Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special shampoo. You can't find it everywhere. The only place I could find it most recently was at Rite Aid, and now they don't have the "special shampoo". I cannot attest for the other kinds- Chamomile and Lavender, but the special mint shampoo really invigorates your scalp and makes it feel fresh. Now this shampoo is expensive, but for me it makes sense because I don't have to use as much as someone with very long hair. Also, it's worth the money. Recently I have been using Dove Daily Moisturizer Shampoo. I also have the matching moisturizing conditioner, but only because I bought the conditioner thinking it was the shampoo- don't you hate that? But it has really been working out. Doesn't make my head sting with minty coolness but it doesn't keep my hair healthy. I would suggest it.

I also wash my face in the shower daily, and I have been through numerous face washes. Some clinical and some not. I once used St. Ive's Green Tea Face Wash, which I was very addicted to, until they stopped selling it. (I must have bad luck with products). I tried the other St. Ive's face products but them seemed so harsh on my skin, and dried it out even more. Now I have been through a few cycles of Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Oil Free Scrub. It seems to work pretty well and does not have any side effects that I know of.

I am a firm believer that shaving cream is the worst. It doesn't seem natural and it is hard to get the closest shave with foam shaving cream. I use Eos shave cream. It's very smooth and moisturizes my legs instead of leaving them dry and scraped. It goes on more as a lotion or cream than a foam, and it leaves my legs feel better.

One of my favorite products ever is Neutrogena Oil-free Moisturizer "sensitive skin".  (I guess Neutrogena really has my vote in the facial products.) My skin doesn't always feel dry but I try to moisturize after my shower every day in preventative action of wrinkles when I get older. Who knows if it will work or not, but it's worth a try. This moisturizer works really well and soaks into my skin as soon as I apply it feeling completely "oil free" as it says on the bottle. I was at first hesitant to apply lotion to my face because I figured it would clog my pores, but I learned that as long as you wash your face, cleaning out your pores, it is okay to fill them with lotion such as this.  I think it actually is better to apply the lotion before make up, not only because the makeup appears more even, but I know that my face is protected by the lotion and the makeup isn't going into my skin.

I started wearing makeup at a young age because of acne. Unlucky hormones. And I always used a liquid foundation, until my cousin introduced me to powder foundation. It is more natural and feels lighter, I guess because it really is. My profession does not leave a lot of time for makeup, and I don't doll myself up to sweat in the kitchen for eight hours, but my makeup is very easy to apply and feels like it isn't even there. I use Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Powder Foundation. It comes  with a very soft small brush that fits easily in my makeup bag. The powder comes through small holes in the cover and so it is easy to control how much you are applying.

I have a hard time with mascara because I already have very long eyelashes and so I have to be careful or else the mascara I pick will make me look like I have glued on some crazy long fake lashes. I recently switched my mascara from CoverGirl LastBlast Waterproof mascara (general mascara) to CoverGirl Clump Crusher by LastBlast. As you may have guessed I am not high maintenance when it comes to makeup and I try to stay very natural, but the switch to the Clump Crusher made a big difference. It does exactly what I want to my eyelashes. I go with the color brown because I guess brown brings out blue and black is pretty dramatic. I also go brown for my eyeliner which I also use CoverGirl, I go for the Perfect Point Plus. Not too thick so I don't get it in my eye.

These are the main products I use, but other products are Dove GoFresh Deodorant, Dove GoFresh body mist, and Garnier Fructis Curl Sculpting Cream Gel. These products I think are definitely specific to each person. I can't say that Dove Deodorant doesn't leave white marks on your shirt if you aren't careful, I just try to be careful. I use the body mist not as perfume but to just make myself smell fresh, it's not overwhelming and isn't for everyone, but for someone who doesn't wear perfume everyday, it's nice to at least feel like you are smelling super sweet everyday. The sculpting cream is not the best ever. Honestly my hair has probably been through the most products, probably because my hair changes so often. Do I want it crunchy, soft, free, tight, curly, straight, it always changes.

I reviewed some of these products because I had hoped that maybe it would help some people who are not happy with the products that they use now or are wondering if they should try a new product. Whenever I am looking to switch I always do the research after I have already purchased and had a negative reaction to the product I have used. So I hope that some of you who are smarter than me are encouraged to use some of these products I have reviewed above.

Monday, December 2, 2013

If I were a columnist ...

Woke up before alarm. Rolled over, snoozed. Alarm was alarming. Woke Chris up. Heard him mozy to the bathroom.  Got dressed. Looked for a deal online. No luck. Kissed Chris goodbye. Ate a piece of bread. 8:45, off to work. Christmas music in the car. Clocked in. Made focaccia dough. Checked my station. Made croutons. Wrote a list. Cut romaine. Cut mixed greens. Washed both. Croutons done. Made baba ghanoush. Tasted. Hmm eggplant. Put focaccia in oven. Cut tomatoes. Cut apples. Sliced cheese. Yum cheddar is my favorite. Ate an apple. Set up my station for service. Sliced tomatoes. Cut endive. Prepped beets. Service starts. Made a few salads. Slow day. Drank some water. Wrote another list. Attacked that list. Crumbled bleu cheese. Made a cookie plate. Crumbled goat cheese. Sauteed some shallots. Made sherry bacon dressing. Cut and cooked bacon. Made raspberry vinaigrette. Scarfed down a few noodles. Peeled beets. Made another salad. Cut beets. Asked to work tomorrow night. Does it say sucker on my forehead? Working tomorrow night. Finished off my work. Got the okay to leave. Clocked out. Two desserts rung in. Should I do them? Nah. Drove home. Ran to the bathroom. Is it unhealthy to hold it all day? Changed into real people clothes. Sat down. Wrote schedule for the week. Busy week ahead. Called my mom. Left a message. Started an email. Planning a big wedding next year. In charge of all the details. Wrote a list about what I am going to say in meeting on Wednesday. Meeting couple to discuss what we have to offer. Finalized list. Looked for pictures online. Bottom line: Rustic but Refined. Simple but Intricate. Let's sell it. Added to the email. Sent. Started a blog post. Call from Chris. On my way home. What to have for dinner. Tacos? Sure, but no lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream. Bad idea then. Talk in circles about what to eat. Burgers? Sure, but no lettuce tomato..Christopher stopping at store. Stomach rumbled. Grabbed a snack. Scanned channels. Nada. Missed call from mom. Phone tag begins. Caught her. Chatted about wedding plans. She mentioned my blog. Big fan. Only fan? Chris walks in. Rehash his day. Bear hug. Chris starts to make dinner. Wash dishes. Sit down. Say prayers. Indulge in burgers. More dishes. Retire to couch. Conversation about our day and Christmas. Watch special on Tim Ferris. Knee in pain. Receive knee massage. Currently watching The Santa Clause. Tree lit beside us. Cuddling on the couch with the one I love. All in all, good day.

*Some of you may not understand this blog post but it is inspired by my favorite "writing" monologue from a great movie. If you haven't seen it watch Marley & Me,  and read the book written by: John Grogan

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Where I travel in my dreams

I would love to travel, and in years to come I will. My first stop would be the Mediterranean in general. I cannot pinpoint one place because I want to see it all. I love the food in this region and I love the beauty of the landscape.

One of the first places I would go to would be Greece. Maybe it's because when I was a young teenager, Lena from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants falls in love not only with a handsome Greek boy, but the land; its beautiful there. I think about how civilization also kicked off in Greece. It would be neat to stare up at Mount Olympus and to visit the fresh markets along the coastline.

Right across the Aegean sea I woud visit Abruzzo, Italy. Christopher's family is from this northern most part of southern Italy. Right next door is Rome, I would marvel over all of the ancient structures and statues in the city. And I am sure Vatican city is beautiful. The language is so romantic, but not just the language, the ambience. Why isn't it like that here? Back to business.. the food, oh the food. Delicious. Just mouth watering.  Julia is my hero.
I wouldn't mind stopping in Spain to have some of the world's largest paella. One of my best friends spent a year in Spain and had wonderful stories.  Not only of the food but of the culture and how colorful everything is. I often dream of Spain specifically in colors. Did you know that in the town of Bunol, there is an annual tomato fight. Serious. That would probably be the most fun ever. It's a tradition!

My brain is pretty scattered today but that's very common. I want to submerge myself in the culture of another land in my travels. I think that is very important when you visit anywhere new. But as you can see there is a reoccurring theme among my travels: food. I guess it's good that I went to school to eat...I mean cook. Honestly, as much as I love cooking, I love eating more. Is that so bad? I dream of traveling places to eat. I recreate foreign meals and they take me to places not stamped on my passport. But one day they will be, and I may even smudge a little of the tomato sauce on the corner of the Italy page, just to remind me.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Weather or Not

I like all weather, in moderation. Right now I am praying that we don't get a lot more snow because I will get my snow tires on in a week and I have to make it until then.
Rochester weather is, unfortunate. I think that the weather is the same other places, but it just stinks when the weather is bad in a city. The roads are yuck and the traffic sucks. When it's pouring, everyones rushing around and the lights (especially in the dark) send beams everywhere. When there is snow, the main roads and highways aren't too bad, but the people who have to park on the street- AKA ME- do not have it very great. The city plows every other side of the street in accordance to the every other street parking signs. The problem is that unless your car is out of the way when the plow comes through, you have A) been "plowed in" with the snow that has been pushed up against your car, and B) make it so that there are less plowed spots on the streets for others to park. Luckily we have not run into A yet, but the plow came twenty minutes before you had to move your car yesterday and we watched as a guy ran out to his car just as the plow was maneuvering around his car. I guess since I grew up in the country, there is less chance of you ending up in a field somewhere and more of a chance that the roads are plowed. However, at least in the country you know four burly men who each have a heavy duty truck that can help you get out of that ditch. Here you just have to hope that your car doesn't slide on the ice so that you don't cause a major accident because you will. This morning when I woke up it was 7 degrees out. That's really cold. Now the temperature has risen to 25, and I am happy with that. The problem is that our first snow here was a very wet snow, and caused a lot of slush. Then the temperature dropped and it all froze. We have tried to shovel but it's impossible because of the ice. I was thinking smart and got some salt at the store yesterday, however we have now been scolded by the landlord because apparently the salt ruins the porch and he has special salt that won't. It's probably Kosher. Honestly I think that slipping and breaking something would be worse than ruining the porch, but you could say I am a little bitter. In general it's just cold and I enjoy the snowman making and fort creating but it's not like that here. Not enough snow on my little front lawn to make a big snowman and have the ground still be pretty and white. I am sure it would turn a distinct green brown and look unpleasant. We are thinking of getting our Christmas tree tomorrow, depending on the weather. Everyone keeps saying it's too early and maybe it is, but it will be December first, and our house is cold enough to keep it fresh. (We don't like to crank the heat, I know unheard of.)  Anyway we are dealing with the weather. It's not even bad yet. I just don't like driving in the wintery weather, I am a nervous driver without the snow. But we trudge on. I put a few different places in my weather update on my phone so that I can see that in Barrow, Alaska- the most northern city in the USA- is -2 degrees. And to counter that, it's 66 degrees in wonderful Hilo, Hawaii (the city farther souther in the United States).  I like to keep my life in perspective you know. Where ever you are I hope that the weather is in your favor.

Friday, November 29, 2013


One of the biggest parts of my childhood was a horrific car accident that my family was involved in. I was five years old and have little memory of the event, but the memories that I do have although short, are very vivid. 

When the cars collided, my mom was thrown from the car, and found many feet behind us. My father suffered from a seatbelt burn and major glass from the windshield imbedded in his skin. I hit my head on the light in the center of the car. I remember my father taking me out of the car, and then I can picture him setting me on the other side of the ditch while he ran to find my mother. I have a memory of   the car then spinning and spinning. This did not happen, but rather I passed out. 

I remember at some point being inside of the Ronald McDonald house, and there was a room filled with stuffed animals. I am not sure who was staying there. 

When I was in my hospital bed asleep one night I had a dramatic dream about scary lobsters ready to eat me under my bed. I called and called for my father. He slept in the chair next to me that night. The funny part was that the lobsters were bright red, which only happens after you cook them. 

Another morning, when I regained my walking ability, my dad took me to the cafeteria for breakfast. I distinctly remember picking up a box of fruit loops. The woman behind the counter asked if I was eating breakfast with my grandfather, and I was very confused. My father has had white hair for as long as I can remember and many people have mistaken him for my grandpa. But I had just suffered from a fractured skull a.k.a. a major brain injury and I could not figure out what she was talking about. 

When I arrived home from the hospital a lot of my extended family was there. I remember than my aunt and uncle were there from  California. There was a small 6 inch ramp that was between the bathroom and the dining room in our home and I can think back to walking up the ramp to use the restroom. But when I was coming down I fell, hard. I can feel the pain now. My dad carried me to the couch as I screamed and cried. He thought that I had a charlie horse and so he started massaging me where I said my leg hurt. Turns out I had a broken femur that the doctors had missed when they were so focused on my head. 

My entire family made it out okay. We survived the accident and I am so thankful. It is a big part of why our family is so closely knit. I am fascinated that I have such clear memories of such a big event in my life even if it was at such a young age, and I had a head injury at that! I don't have many other memories from my childhood and I think that even though some of the parts I remember are quite silly, I knew that the event was something I would need to remember in the future, even if I didn't understand it at the time. I am thankful for the few memories that I have from that traumatic time. Without them, I don't think I would feel so connected and thankful for my family. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Many Thanks

The thing I am most thankful for is my other half. Many of you may have become uninterested as soon as you read that. "Enough of that mushy hulla balloo."  "This blog is not for me." But I am serious, and I don't say it enough. Chris does so much for me, some things I take for granted, but this blog post is dedicated to him, and how thankful I am to call him mine.

Thank you for making me coffee in the morning when I am sleepy. 

Thank you for digging my car out of the snow, even if it means that your feet get wet and you are late for work. 

Thank you for including me in your family. 

Thank you for surprising me by cleaning the house when I am gone. 

Thank you for always drying the dishes that I wash. 

Thank you for making endless dinners for me even after you have worked all day. 

Thank you for helping me study in school even when you don't need to. 

Thank you for watching Say Yes to the Dress with me... and Dancing with the Stars..

Thank you for always fetching me a snack or drink whenever I ask you. 

Thank you for the "just because" gifts.

Thank you for taking care of me when I am sick...and dealing with the attack of the tissues.

Thank you for driving more often than me. 

Thank you for going to church with me. 

Thank you for being apart of my family. 

Thank you for always splitting a Klondike bar with are better at cutting them in half then I am. 

Thank you for telling me that I am beautiful. 

Thank you for loving 'Friends' as much as I do. 

Thank you for getting in the Christmas spirit even if you think it's too early. 

Thank you for the hugs when you can see that I need them. 

Thank you for trying to tame my hair dilemmas. 

Thank you for helping me with the laundry. 

Thank you for dealing with the landlord when I don't want to. 

Thank you for working your tail off every day to support us. 

Thank you for understanding my crazy way of thinking. 

Thank you for the kisses. 

Thank you for taking out the garbage. 

Thank you for going out to eat with me.

Thank you for eating vegetables with me. 

Thank you for allowing me to look foolish eating a burger the size of my face and not say anything. 

Thank you for merging our collection of books. 

Thanks for living with me. 

Thanks for being so clean. 

Thank you for loving me even though I don't like peanut butter...or get any references to pop culture. 

Thank you for encouraging me to start and continue my blog. 

Thank you for not giving up on me when even I sometimes get frustrated with myself. 

Thank you for always making sure I use a coaster. 

Thank you for all of the jewelry you have gotten me. 

Thank you for teasing me just enough. (Just kidding sometimes you go too far)

Thank you for teaching me something new everyday. 

Thank you for reminding me that I need to laugh at myself. 

Thank you for encouraging me to go after my dreams. 

Thank you for always being honest with me. 

Thank you for not being one of those video game guys. 

Thank you for holding my hair..

Thank you for trusting me. 

Thank you for being my best friend in the whole world. 

..Which includes thank you for sharing secrets with me. 

Thank you for being thrifty. 

Thank you for loving the outdoors as much as I do. 

Thank you for tucking me in. 

Thank you for going along with my plans. 

Thank you for being responsible. 

Thank you for being the reasonable one. 

Thank you for giving me advice. 

Thank you for surprises even though I hate them because you really know I love them.

Thank you for knowing me better than I know myself. 

Thank you for being creative.

Thank you for not being embarrassed of me even when I am having a bad hair day.

Thank you for being adventurous. 

Thank you for brightening my mood even when I want to be mad. 

Thank you for everything. 

And thank you for everything I forgot to say thank you for. 

I love you.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.