Archive | January, 2011

One down, 11 to go

31 Jan

Well, it’s the end of the month and that means time to check in on how I am doing with my goals for 2011:

*Pay off one credit card by 2/15/11.  

 Success! I paid off one credit card this past Friday so that’s one under my belt and now just one more with a larger balance I need to take care of. Luckily, it has a 0% interest rate until June so I don’t have to worry about the extra interest I’ll be paying but I am going to start paying down more on that.

*Quit my job. 

Oi. Ok, I am still not loving my job….it’s getting busier, I’m getting more accounts in my portfolio and I had to go in this weekend to play catch up. I want to quit and say eff it but the biggest reason I don’t want to is because I don’t want to dip into my 401K money to live off of. In the six years I’ve been with the bank, I’ve saved up a nice chunk of cash and I would hate to take out some of that. There is a potential 10% early withdrawal penalty and if I were to withdraw, there is a 20% federal income tax withholding. Eek. I’ve worked really hard to save up that money so I won’t have to work so hard when I’m older and would hate to see it go away so I could live off of but at the same, if it means I’m happier, who cares? Who knows if I will be around in 35 years, months, days, hours. I c0uld die tomorrow for all I know. Also along with that, I work for a good company (as much as I bitch about it). Alot of people are trying to get their foot in the door at the company that I work for since they offer amazing benefits, vacation time, compensations, etc. I’ve been there six years and in that I have more than doubled my salary and get hooked up with four weeks of vacation plus eight sick days and two personal days not to mention tuition reimbursement, 5% matching on 401K contributions, etc. I would really hate to leave the company but I think I am going to look at other cities still where my company is located.

I had a one on one with my manager last week and told him how I feel about this job…..but in a diplomatic way. When talking about subjects that I am passionate about (such as my life), I get emotional. I start to talk fast, turn red and usually end up crying. The last thing I needed was for my manager to see that so when he asked me how things were going, I kept my cool. I smiled and told him I was going to be honest and laud it out on the table…..

I told him I wasn’t a good fit for this job

I don’t like it

 I don’t want to be in this position long-term

 I’m looking at other fields and possibly leaving the industry/company

I really don’t sleep that much as night since I’m so stressed and that I have to take Valium just to be able to sleep (ok a little fib about taking Valium to sleep, I’m saving those suckers up for when I really need them but a little dramatic effect never hurt. I wasn’t lying about the sleep though, I have major sleep issues due to stress)

He thanked me letting him know all this and seemed to be a bit overwhelmed with all the information I just laid out to him. He asked if there was anything he could do to change my opinion about the place and I just said no, it’s just not the job that I thought it was. I almost threw in there how I wished I would have stayed in my old position since they did major lay offs the other week but didn’t want to get overly dramatic. I felt really good after I said all of this and have been in talks with people in other departments who are trying to help me out come April, when I can apply for other positions within the bank. So quitting is still a possibility but it just may not be as soon as I originally thought.

As for culinary school, I am still going to look into it a little more but don’t think it’s going to be a real option for me. Mostly due to cost and what my schedule would be like. I worked in restaurants for seven years between high school and college and I somehow seemed to forget that it was night-time hours for the most part. While I hate being stuck in a cube, I want to work when it’s light outside and be able to enjoy weekends and holidays with friends and family. So much to think about!

*Check out cities that could potentially be my new home.

 On the list to do still….this time of year is tough. I usually like cold weather but get a little sick of it by February so I’m trying to figure out if I want to move somewhere that is alot cooler than here or stay somewhere warm. Plus there is always the possibility of moving back to Phoenix. I wish I could find a company that will take my personality, goals, location desires, etc. and just tell me where to go, that would make things so much easier for me!

*Pay a little more on my car payment each month so I can pay it off quicker

Success! I’ve been paying $20-$30 more each payment, hoping it will add up over time and pay off the car a few months ahead of time.

*Cut down on  Starbucks and eating out.

I’m proud to say I’ve only been going to Starbucks two-three times a week, which is a drastic reduction for me. I used to go five-six times so this is definitely helping me keep some cash in my pocket. I’ve been eating out less as well and trying to use Groupons, Living Social deals and BOGO coupons whenever I do.

*No new clothes until March.

Still on track with this one! I haven’t bought any new articles of clothing but I have been hitting up the thrift stores and found some awesome finds this past Friday. Come back this Friday for a series on Thrifting!

*Plan a stay-cation instead of jetsetting all around the country.

I haven’t even had a chance to think about this one really but have trips to Arizona and Colorado in the works. Plus, it would be nice to go to Indiana to see my sister and nieces and to Florida to see my parents. My sister is going to Florida for a week to visit her timeshare so I may try to kill two birds with one stone there and knock out visiting both Indiana and Florida. I don’t think this goal is going to be attainable this year.

*Sell what I don’t need.

I haven’t sold anything yet but I am in the works of putting together everything I want to sell, take pics, put on Craigslist, etc. If anyone in the Charlotte area is looking for a Wine Refrigerator, let me know 🙂

*Try out new ethnic recipes.

Doing alright so far with this although I could vary it up some more. I made falafel for the first time, tried pupusas and am looking forward to more ethnic variety in my life.

*Be more consistent with taking my vitamins.

I suck at this. I give myself a C- since I haven’t been on the ball with this. I remember to take them every now and then at work—they are sitting right next to my phone so I can’t believe I forgot to take them! I also have a bottle at home to take some on the weekends and that hasn’t been happening at all. I like to think since I’ve been eating more veggies, it cancels out the multi vitamin but I still want to get into a consistent routine of taking them daily.

*Cut down on my meat intake.

Huge success! I’ve been toying with tofu, tempeh, even ordering veggie meals when I get Chinese take out and making meatless Monday a regular thing! With replacing meat with everything mentioned above plus various beans, quinoa, etc. it’s been a lot easier than I originally thought it would be.

*Use skim milk or almond milk in my coffee instead of half and half.

 Success! I am still not a huge fan of it but it’s been a success. When I do go to Starbucks, I will use skim milk plus a tablespoon or two of half and half to fatten it up (i.e. make it more tasty) but I haven’t bought any half and half for my house since the new year. This is big.

Day 5-a time you thought about ending your own life

I haven’t-sorry?! I like to think that life will never be so bad that I would consider suicide as an option. Plus, I have a little fear of death which is ridiculous since it all comes to us at some point or another.

How are you doing with your goals thus far?

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Day off? Not so much.

30 Jan

I feel like today has been crazy and hectic-just like a week day for me but hold up, it’s Sunday. I have tomorrow off from work yet again for more dental work. Yay. I have to get a crown and my appointment is in the afternoon so I just figured I should take the whole day off instead of going to work, cramming to get a bunch done and then leaving again for the day. I already had a ton of things to get done on Thursday afternoon that was going to be pushed until Tuesday so I went into work today. Ugh.

I wasn’t too thrilled to go in but I knew if I held off on this stuff I would be behind the rest of this week plus I wouldn’t have any distractions from other people, emails, calls, IM’s, etc. I knocked alot of stuff out-of-the-way but didn’t catch up completely. This week will go a little smoother for me though since I finished some of the major things I needed to finish. It was nice to have my Pandora playing without a care if someone didn’t like the song it was on and it felt wonderful to do some stretching and yoga moves in my cube while printing something out. When I was done, I went to Starbucks just to say hi to my baristas and they asked if I wanted any coffee. Naturally, the answer was yes so I scored a free coffee without even asking for it. I love my baristas!

It was another gorgeous day in Charlotte-sunny and 70–what what?? Global warming, you’re a tricky little minx but I’ll enjoy the nice days you give us in January. I drove around for a bit without a plan-I could go back home and do nothing. But it was around lunch time so I went to Panera (since me going twice in one day last week wasn’t enough). I went to a nice one to spice it up a bit and got the Pick Two combo with broccoli and cheddar soup with the smoked turkey sandwich. Classic, simple, yummy.

The food was enjoyable however I had horrible luck with seating. The booth in front of me had an older couple and the woman was on her phone the entire time—like before they even sat, through their meal and when I left. Hello rude! I wanted to invite the older gentleman over to my booth to lunch and we could talk about whatever–WWII, Jersey Shore, Obama, you name it. The ladies behind me were talking about their “friend” who has ugly children. And both tables were extremely loud and not trying to mask their volume whatsoever. I just don’t get it. I may take a quick call if I’m out with someone but I will step away and make it quick. How can someone have the nerve to be on their phone through an entire meal? Even though I was dining alone, I flipped through this cookbook that my sister got me for my birthday

There’s too much in this book that appealed to me and I forgot my mini post it’s which I always stick on recipes I want to try it. Still, it was fun to finally sit down was thing and see what it’s all about.

I got back home, hung out with Lincoln and took him out for a 30 minute walk then came back home and was restless. I couldn’t relax or sit back yet I really didn’t have anything that needed to be done right away. I flipped through the channels and nothing was on–which proves my point of Sundays suck without football. I ended up going to the gym even though I intended to have a day off. I did a 35 minute interval session on the Precor Crossramp. I did the entire session striding backwards which is surprising even to me since I rarely do an entire session going backwards. I’ve never done the interval session but actually enjoyed it and felt like the time breezed by!

I felt like doing a little more afterwards and did hip adduction (110 lbs, 2 sets) and hip abduction (135 lbs, 2 sets) sets then leg presses ( 180 lbs 14 reps, 2 set/220 lbs 14 reps, 2 sets).

Quite a nice burn–especially since I wasn’t even planning on going to the gym today!

Dinner was all Trader Joe’s tonight. I had a few pieces of Mandarin Orange Chicken that I wanted to use up

While I let that bake, I threw some mushrooms, red onion and sweet peppers into a pan and let cook with red pepper flakes, garlic, black pepper and soy sauce.

I had frozen broccoli warming up in the microwave and once that was finished, threw into the pan and let cook with spices and sauce

Soon, the veggies were finished and ready to eat!

Then, threw the chicken on top and a quick, healthy meal was set!

I grabbed my chopsticks and chowed down-this was a delicious meal even sans carbs!

30 Day Challenge. I’m choosing to answer there whenever as I’m not a girl who is disciplined and can stick to a plan.

Day 4-Your views on religion.

Religion is a touchy subject and I’m not a very religious person so this is going to be short and sweet. I pray every night but don’t go to church since I feel like I don’t get anything out of it. I don’t mind people who are ultra religious since they have that right to be but like anything, when you try to push your beliefs on me, that’s where I cross the line. Everyone deserves to have an opinion that should be respected but I hate when others try to push their beliefs/views on you.

All this being said, I’m tired. I feel like today wasn’t even a day off and I’m completely wiped. Explains the lame post huh? Hope everyones Sunday was a bit more exciting than mine.

*Do you dine solo?

*Ever try one of the Hungry Girl recipes? If so success or meh?

Something old, something new

29 Jan

The last few days haven’t been too exciting. It’s consisted of some old things

*Going to the gym

I love being back at the gym! I feel like each workout I’ve had has been a solid one involving both cardio and strength training not to mention a pretty sweet calorie burn

*Bowl of oats

I never have an idea of what I’m going to put in rolled oats when I started making them on the stovetop. When they are cooking, I go through the cupboards to see what can be added. I’m not much of a savory and sweet breakfast person but today I was. I had oats with walnuts, shredded coconut, maple syrup and flax-seed–absolutely delish!

*Sonic

I rarely go to Sonic anymore but used to go all the time when I lived in Phoenix. Their slushes are great not to mention their chicken wraps and their to die for tots.

And some new things

*Falafel Salad with baby spinach, carrots, cucumbers, tomato, kalamata olives and Laughing Cow wedge

*Root canal

I had my root canal on Friday. I can’t believe how quick and painless the procedure was!  They couldn’t have been friendlier and I had such a great experience. I told them how scared I was and they assured me that everything would be alright and it would be a quick. painless process. After hearing about root canals gone wrong and how horrible they are to go through (ok and possibly from watching Little Shop of Horrors too much as a kid and thinking dentists are out there to hurt me), I was a bit apprehensive. They numbed me up, let me know that if I felt any pain just to raise my hand and started to drill. And you know what? it wasn’t bad at all! Soon, they were finished and I was like “Huh, that’s it? Really, that’s it?” They explained the post-procedure care in depth and the surgeon even let me know about an Italian restaurant or two to try that were unknown to me. Working on my grill and talking restaurants? Hell yes!  When can I get my next root canal??

*Special K Chocolatey Delight

Hello, where has this been all my love? Or more like, why did it take me so long to try this? I’m not a cereal person whatsoever but bought this on sale a few weeks ago and cracked it open last night. I’ll admit it-I had two bowls in a row. It was wonderful.

*Do it yourself dog wash

I don’t have a bathtub so I can’t give Lincoln a bath in the tub like I used to. And sometimes, dare I say, Linky gets Stinky. I don’t know what he does but he stank this week so I researched a few do it yourself dog wash places and found Bark Street

They have a couple of bath tubs set up along with shampoos, conditioners, dog cologne, towels and dryer so it’s a one stop shop. Lincoln is a bit skiddish so I knew this would be an interesting experience. Um, Lincoln didn’t like his mama giving him a bath. He wouldn’t sit still and kept jumping up to the edge to give me kisses and was shaking like a little drowned rat.

Soon enough, we were home and he was happy sitting in the sun

*TASTYKAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, not necessarily new to me but it’s been forever since I’ve had one but I owe this beautiful reunion to Kace from Then Change It. She hosted a Tastykakes giveaway and since I need my ass to get bigger, I entered and was on a mission to win! Ok, I don’t need my ass to get bigger (trust me, it is not a white girl booty) but I can’t resist the power of Tastykakes!

Thanks again Kace for hosting the  giveaway and sending these my way!!

*Queen’s Feast Restaurant Week

I’ve never been to RW here but it’s a great deal—$30 for a starter, entrée and dessert. I went to George’s Brasserie and they had a varied menu list that would make an omnivore, pescatarian and vegetarian happy. The starters ranged from soup to mixed greens to shrimp and the main entrée menu had chicken, spinach and mushroom crepes, snapper and short ribs. The dessert menu offered rich desserts such as creme brulee, chocolate mousse and apple tart. Service was absolutely out of this world and I couldn’t have asked for more plus they have really cute servers, nothing like some eye candy while dining–hi boys!. Our server explained the wine list to me since I was intrigued by the whole “Interesting” section and how it compared to the merlots, cabernets, etc. He was on point with filling our bread basket along with refills and was prompt with taking our order.

The food let me down. It was good don’t get me wrong but nothing that made me want to foodgasm. I started with the Mixed Greens topped with fried Brie, candied pecans, fresh pears & pickled red onions with raspberry vinaigrette

Fried brie?? Any kind of fried cheese is welcome in my belly and the brie was bomb. I’m not a huge brie fan but fried brie and I could totally be best friends.

Next was the entree-Pan Seared Snapper with lobster & corn basmati topped with herb beurre blanc

The snapper was fresh and meaty but lacked flavor. The lobster under it was a nice touch and was good but it seemed a bit dry. The basmati rice both were laid on was just mush without flavor. Totally edible but no one flavor popped out at me.

The left dessert-Rustic Apple Tart  with Chantilly cream

You can’t really go wrong with apple tart. The cream on top was amazing and decadent…..not one bit of this was left behind!

What’s something new you’ve recently discovered?

Also, does anyone know how to fix an Open ID problem? I can comment on WordPress and self hosted sites but when I try to comment on Blogger sites it won’t let me—very frustrating! So if you don’t see me commenting, I am trying but the commenter gods won’t let me.

Frugal Friday-last one in January!

28 Jan

Happy Friday all! Today is a Saturday for me since I’m not at work …..but not for a fun reason- I have a root canal this morning. I’ve never had one and completely petrified about the process but gotta do what I gotta do right?  They assured me that I won’t be able to feel anything and that better me the truth (or should I say tooth?) Regardless, I still have a good number of vitamin V on hand so I am ready for this procedure!

But enough tooth talk, let’s get onto some deals of the week!

*Citipass book

I love my Citipass book. So much that some nights I ponder cuddling it with it instead of Linx, which is just crazy talk!

I got mine through the local Kiwinas club that was selling them for $25 and after two or three uses, it pays for itself. It has BOGO deals all around the Charlotte area for restaurants, shops, spas, sports, coffee and more! Anytime I meet up with a friend for lunch or dinner, I always suggest going to somewhere from the book so that we can save some dough.

With my Citipass book, I got a couple of good deals this week-

*Great Harvest Bread

Their bread is so fresh, fluffy and tasty (not to mention preservative free with no artificial ingredients) I wonder why I don’t stop there more often. Then I remember that loaves are around $5 a pop which isn’t horrible but I don’t like to keep bread at home since I can go to town on a loaf when having a craving for bread. But every now and then I like to indulge.

I got a loaf of their honey whole wheat and their rosemary garlic bread. Both can be frozen however on their site they say not to refrigerate it, perfect for me since it will be less accessible to my bread loving hands!

*Donato’s

After the CrossFit class on Saturday, I came home and napped and couldn’t move. I had plans on making pizza but my body didn’t want to do anything that involved standing so I flipped to my trusted Citipass book and saw a coupon for Donato’s.

I noticed it didn’t say a specify a size of pizza so I ended up getting two individual pizzas for the price of one. Perfect since I wouldn’t have cold pizza in the fridge to grab and go in the morning (I love cold pizza for breakfast!)

*Morningstar Products

I love Morningstar however buy it rarely since I don’t want to spend too much money on something processed plus rely on that as my main source of veggie friendly food. But I got these two coupons at Harris Teeter a coupon of weeks ago and I held on to them so I could use when Morningstar goes on sale so I could get more bang for my buck.

I saw all Morningstar products on sale this week for $3.33 each and used these coupons so I got a box of their “sausage” and new Sesame “chicken” frozen meal for $2.33 each

Also while at Harris Teeter, I went through their clearance carts and saw Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit for $.49.

I figured, why not try it out, it’s only $.49 and while I am trying to eat less meat I’m not giving it up completely so this can come in handy

*Qdoba voucher

I received this voucher last year when I bought my sister a gift card from Qdoba for Christmas. We have Qdoba downstairs in our building and feel like I go there all the time but a practically free lunch? I can get down with that!

 I got their naked chicken burrito with all the fixins and it was terrific. Why have I been getting the tortilla all this time when I could have deliciousness in a bowl and less mess? Plus I love how they say “GO NAKED!” or “GET NAKED” when you order a naked item!

*McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal

I wrote to McDonald’s earlier last year regarding a really bad experience there and apparently, they are trying to win me back with sending me free coupons!

I don’t go to McDonald’s too often but I am willing to try their oatmeal for free, I don’t want to see those coupons go to waste . On a somewhat related note-did you know that McDonald’s makes their own apparel for their employees? I knew they did it for their shirts and hats but didn’t know they had an “Apparel Collection”. I wonder if there is a Mcdonald’s museum in Illinois that shows you the apparel through the years along with food trends, promotions, etc.

Seen at Value Village this weekend

I’m glad to see that Frugal Friday is getting such a good reception and want it to continue! That being said, if anyone wants to do a guest post for Frugal Friday–let me know! I love getting new tips on how to save whether it be on food, cutting down on bills, living expenses, bank accounts, etc. If you have genius ideas of you own, I would love for you to do a guest post–contact me at simplyshaka@gmail.com—let’s make this happen!

Do you have a Citipass or Entertainment book?

Happy Savings!

 

If there was a carbo, yo I’ll eat it

27 Jan

Check out my meals while I try to de-meat it!

(sang to the tune of Ice, Ice baby)

And sadly, yes, I sang that all day long yesterday since it was another meatless day. I was craving carbs all day long. I almost went downstairs on my break to get a “snack” of french fries because the idea of them seemed great but then I started to remember this trying-to-eat-healthy thing I’m trying out. And I had dinner plans but they were canceled in the afternoon and I had absolutely no contingency plan of making anything at home and almost opted for a bag of chips for dinner-wtf is going on with me??

For breakfast, I made a quick breakfast sandwich at work. The idea was to make an egg mc-muffin knock off but I forgot the eggs, kinda important component huh?

So, instead I settled for a Morningstar Mc-Muffin with Morningstar Veggie Sausage, cheese and ketchup on a whole wheat english muffin. Tasty but didn’t fill me up. Thankfully, I had two cups of coffee right after that since something major was going to happen……

The two most boring hours of my life.

I looked at my calendar and remembered we had a two-hour training session on financial statements and cash flow. Oh, just what a girl wants to learn on a Wednesday morning. Mind you, even though I work in banking, I am not a numbers person. I hate numbers and often get dyslexic with them so I have to triple check my work most of the time which is frustrating as is. That being said, learning how to understand tax returns and balance sheets was not high on my priority list. That’s what the other people on my team are there for-to help me! I tell them if they help me, I will cook for them or bake them goodies. This seems to work so why stop a fool-proof thing? To make it worst, I felt like there should have been a two drink minimum with the presentation. These guys were trying to make common stock and accounts receivable seem like a fun thing? Um, no. Sorry, not in my world.

However, I had to keep myself occupied and look like I was talking notes so I budgeted for my next paycheck, went through my “To Do’s” for the day but that was done within 10 minutes. So I started to look around the room since there were a lot of new faces in there of people who I don’t work with too often but in the same department as me. And I noticed a couple of doppelgängers!

One guy looked like a younger, beginning stages of balding Ed Burns. And no ring. Hello!

(source)

I’ll be your Christie Turlington, bitch!

And then there was a guy who looked like the character Greg Marmalard from one of my most favorite movies, Animal House.

(source)

Looked just as douchey and with that bad of hair.

So that helped pass time a bit but I was itching to get out of there. Especially since I had my phone and kept seeing responses to yesterday’s post about pets sleeping in bed with you. It seems like more of you than not are all for letting the dogs in the bed but it seemed like the ones who don’t let them sleep in the bed are bigger. Lincoln is only eight lbs and doesn’t take up a lot of space but I can’t imagine sharing a bed with a big dog! The worst is that Lincoln is a male. So he falls asleep then leaves me in the middle night…..but he always comes back in the morning before I wake, thinking I won’t notice or anything. That little scammer.

We finally got out of the meeting  then back to work but it was around lunch time and was already hours behind on work so I worked and scarfed down lunch at the same time–leftover whole wheat spaghetti with mushrooms, onion and parsley.

 

I could have had two more servings of that if it was up to me but soon it was done…….and then on the hunt yet again searching for carbs. I knocked out a bunch of shit in the afternoon since I’m off on Friday since that’s root canal day and have a ton to do today so I feel a little more at ease. But then when I was making a call to a customer, I got this song in my head since dude’s name was Rico.

Whatever happened to Gerardo??  And did he ever cut that dreadful hair off? Bad hair or not, I used to think he was such a hottie. I like how the You Tube caption says “One of his greatest hits from the 90’s”, he had more than this one? Maybe on the latin music world? On another note, I wish I could roll my r’s…..

When I got home, I still had no idea what I was going to have for dinner. I was in the mood for pad thai but didn’t want to drive to the ethnic area of town in rush hour traffic so I ended up at Zen Asian Fusion. I live near this place but never bothered to stop in since the prices seemed a bit high from the looks of its decor but once I checked out the menu it wasn’t that bad. I ordered Garlic Eggplant and Tofu with brown rice.

The meal was delicious but not as garlic-y as I would have liked it to be. Mind you, I’m Italian and garlic runs in my blood but the sauce was smooth and tangy. Plus the portion was huge so I have leftovers for this week. Carb craving =success! And can I just give some clicks to myself? I usually opt for some fried fest of chicken like sweet and sour chicken or general tso’s chicken when getting Chinese food so not ordering that is major.

Day 3-Your views on drugs and alcohol

My name is Tiffany and I’m a drinker. 

I didn’t drink too much in high school due to working, playing sports, volunteering and partaking in various clubs. I was too busy to drink! But when I went to college, all hell went loose, appropriately so b.c I went to one of the biggest party, drinking schools out there—WVU!

Just another typical Thursday night out on the town. The bars had ladies night specials and this bar had free wine and champagne until 11P so we would hoard as many as we could and then go to town!

The year I dressed as a pimp for Halloween, some alcohol may have been involved….

A memorable night during Greek Week with Neyal

Leila and I looking like ladies at the Panhellenic dinner. I believe we were there for the free booze though.

Hooray for hayride! Yes, I’m carrying a 2 liter of soda but there was major Captain Morgan action going on it.

Sitting pretty in Jamaica. Jamaica spring break deserves an entire post of it’s own…..if only I could remember it!

After college, I still drank a good bit but definitely not as much as my college days. As the years passed on, I kinda lost a taste for it. Maybe I had my fill of it and just didn’t want it anymore? But as always, it came back to me and I started drinking again frequently when I lived in Arizona and when I moved to Charlotte. This time period is when I gained a large amount of weight so go figure. Plus the fact that I crave bad food when I’m drunk doesn’t help, neither does it that Phoenix had a number of 24 hour drive through mexican places all ending in ‘berto–Alberto’s, Humberto’s, Filiberto’s, etc. I thought there were more but that’s all I can think of. Leila??

When I decided to start taking care of myself better my alcohol consumption went down…..alot. Almost to practically nothing but I would still drink every now and then but wasn’t a weekend warrior anymore.

Bonging a Natty Light since I’m classy like that.

I have nights that I still have fun, like this one, dancing with random old men at the bar but I just can’t imagine drinking as much as I did 10 years ago. My body seriously hates me for all the damage I’ve done to it via the hooch but you know what? I had some great time, some wonderful memories that I may or may not remember 100% correctly and wouldn’t trade my drinking life back there for anything. Best. Time. Of. My. Life. Now, I prefer to have a beer or three or a couple of glasses of wine and call it night. I like going to bars but not obnoxiously loud ones since my hearing is horrible in my right ear and in normal situations, it’s difficult to hear you (if I am ever with you, I will try to be on your right hand side so I can hear you better). So liquor, I like it, just not as much as I used to.

As for drugs, if you like the ghang-rock on. I am not a huge fan of it but if you partake, do your thing.

The coke, heroin, x, meth? Not so much a supporter of. Especially since one of my friends from childhood had a brain aneurysm from a bad Ecstasy pill.

Do you drink?

Are any of your co-workers doppelgängers? Have you ever been told you look like famous and if so, who? Not me, I’m unique looking like that!

I’d like to buy the world a Linx

26 Jan

 I love my dog. I think you all know that from all the stories about him, the pictures and his own page on here. The boy just makes me happy….especially when I come home from work. He is so damn happy to see me every time no matter what and he never lets me down with lack of enthusiasm. I walk through the door and he starts to hyperventilating while jumping around and attacking me with his halitosis puppy kisses (don’t worry, working on getting him into a normal dental regime, we do things as a team here!) Then he sniffs me to see if I’ve been out with another doggie and once he is done with his assessment, he can breathe again.

When his breathing is back to normal, we finally go outside and he sashays down the street, hopping around like a deer and one would think he is the happiest dog ever. I live off of a major street so when I get home from work, people are stuck in traffic and just look downright depressed. Then they look at Lincoln hopping around without a care in the world and smile and some people even roll down their window to tell me how cute he is (Tell me something I don’t know people)

Seriously, how could you not love this face?

I always tell Lincoln that everyone loves him and he is so cute but it never goes to his head. I like to believe that his enthusiasm and general happiness make others feel good and smile. When we get home, he gets a treat if he goes potty and then we play. His favorite game is the dead game. I drop down on the bed face down and he hops over me like I’m a hurdle. It’s more fun that you would imagine. Then he burrows under my body trying to get to my face so he can give me kisses and will dig into my hair so I look like I have JBF hair. Fun. I’d like to buy everyone a Linx so he could bring them joy every day.

But then I saw this on GMA yesterday and was sucked in watching it (which made me a little late for work), sleeping with your pet can be bad for your health?

Mama, I’m tired. No way I’m leaving this bed!

He is my little portable heater and my cuddle bug, no way that’s stopping. I don’t care if it does make me sick, there have been numerous studies that pets are good for your health. Then to make it worse I perusing the news online and saw  a SC woman was charged with killing “ devil dog” because the dog chewed her Bible. Check out the article, she doesn’t look deranged or anything.

Regardless I was in a super happy mood yesterday morning and actually excited to go to work—what’s up with that? I was smiling from ear to ear and had no clue why. Maybe it was laying the best of my worst dates out on the table or delirium from lack of sleep but this girl was in a great mood! My co-workers must have thought I got some the night before but sadly, not true. I was just in a good mood and didn’t even have a sinking feeling in my stomach like I always do on the way to work. Unfortunately, that changed towards the end of the day in a meeting. I won’t go into details but I basically got called a moron and a spazz all in one. The banking world doesn’t like spazz’s (spazzi?) Again, tell me something I don’t know regarding the spazz part.

I’m glad you all enjoyed the post on Monday on the bad dates, 30 day challenge and all that. It’s nice to know that some of you can relate with me on the bad dates. The sad thing is that’s just some of them! I think I’ve pushed all the other bad dates into a corner of my mind I don’t wish to revisit. But maybe one of these days…..

So let’s go over the eats now…….

For breakfast, I mixed it up with nut butter. I don’t like nut butters and don’t go ga-ga for them like many other bloggers do. I just don’t get the appeal of it unless it’s covered in chocolate of course. I am trying to like it since it’s packed with protein and you can vary up a lot of different things with it but still not a fan. I used half a packet of Justin’s Honey Almond Butter that’s been sitting in my snack stash drawer for awhile, spread on an English muffin and topped with bananas. A simple breakfast, can’t go wrong there.

Lunch was leftovers of my last bowl of chili. Always delicious and this one had my mouth on fire! Love it!

When I got home from work, I was spent. But I kept on truckin and made the dinner I planned on making–Greek stuffed chicken with sweet potatoes.

I pounded one chicken breast until thin (very good release after a frustrating day)

I mixed hummus, kalamata olives and red onions in a separate bowl

I spread one wedge of Laughing Cow on the chicken then spread the hummus mix on it

Then folded over and toothpicked that sucker up. Lots of cussing was involved as always since the chicken was not too keen on cooperating with me

I massaged with extra virgin olive oil and black pepper then let that bad boy cook!

I don’t know if it was because the stuffing wasn’t solid enough but the chicken didn’t hold too well together but still turned out tasty.

It was good but not as good as the stuffed chicken I made a couple weeks ago.

Afterwards, I was feeling meh. I was full, cuddling with Lincoln and the last thing on my mind was the gym. It was cold and raining outside and I just wasn’t feeling it. But I made the mistake of posting on Twitter, I was going to the gym and I had some ladies call me out on it, so yeah, to the gym I went.

I had a decent workout, I did 25 minutes on the Precor AMT with a resistance ranging from 7-13 then did 10 minutes of rowing. I had a calorie burn of 400 and felt great afterwards! All I needed was a little push to get me there and even though I didn’t go balls to the walls, I had a nice workout.

And now for Day 2 of the 30 Day Challenge-Where you’d like to be in 10 years

10 years? Wow, I have absolutely no clue. All I know is I will be 41 (ay effin chihuahua) I would like to have traveled to Europe at that point. I want to have my student loans paid off and have a nice retirement nest egg by then (which I am well on my way to the way my 401K is growing!) I don’t even know where I will be in six months so 10 years is hard to say!

On a fun note—another one of my closest friends has joined the blogging world! She popped her blog cherry Monday night so please stop by and say hi at Looking Up While Slimming Down! While you’re at it, check out my best friends blog–she ran her first half marathon over MLK weekend in the PF Changs Rock N Roll Half  and wrote a wonderful (and inspiring) recap!

*If you have a pet, do they sleep in bed with you?

*Do your close friends blog?

Happy hump day everyone!

What made me smile today…..and some bad dates

24 Jan

This post is going to be all over the place so hang on!

Today was actually a great day for a Monday, who knew that could happen??

For breakfast I tried a new greek yogurt snack—Athenos Greek Yogurt

It’s separated into the greek yogurt portion and then the “fruit” portion which was more like a strawberry jam. It was just enough to hold me over until my mid morning snack and provided some protein (11g) so clicks to that.

I met up with one of my former co-workers for coffee at Caribou Coffee. She recently got laid off (for the second time) and has a few more days on the job and is actively looking for other positions within our company. If my company told me I was being laid off then expected me to work after that, I would think they were out of their minds. But then again, I probably wouldn’t be able to get any severance so would comply. We have some openings in our department so I wanted to give her a background on what we do to see if she was interested. My job isn’t horrible (for as much as I complain about it), I just don’t think it’s a good fit for my personality.
Can I just say how happy Caribou’s cups make me?

 Starbucks should start writing inspirational sayings on their cups just to play the game.

They were also giving out free samples of Somersaults Sea Salt nuggets. I grabbed a few for the road as I love me some free samples.

It was cute, when the cashier told me about the free samples they had both the Sea Salt flavor along with the salt & pepper flavor. I grabbed a salt & pepper one but he said “Oh, the salt & pepper ones aren’t free however they’re coming out with a Destiny’s Child one soon” I tilted my head then nodded and finally laughed, it took a few seconds for me to get especially since I only had one cup of coffee in my system but I thought it was a witty remark. Witty remarks plus free samples on a Monday is guaranteed to plaster a smile on my face for a full 10 minutes.

We had a huge company wide call we had to be on a bit later. I was thinking that they were going to talk about lay offs or something negative but it turns out they were going over 2010 performance. We also found out we are getting a bonus! My company has an incentive plan each year where if the whole company does well with profits and stock price, they award out a nice bonus to eligible employees. And this girl is so eligible. It’s going to be $500, which is nice but isn’t as high as it used to be. When I first started with the company, it was around $2,000 but then the economy went down the crapper and here we are. I like that you can defer to entire amount to your 401K (plus they will match up to 5%) or you can defer just a portion and then keep the rest. I aways try to defer half of it to my 401K then get a little to play with since they tax the hell out of it.  Hooray for money!

Last night, I made whole wheat spaghetti with mushroom and onion sauce and topped with fresh parsley. I had a little for a late dinner as well. I was sooooo full from Growler’s and the smorgasbord of food but needed to get a little something in my tummy before going to bed. I had for lunch today as well along with a piece of Great Harvest Bread Rosemary Garlic bread. The bread was absolute perfection-I dipped into the spaghetti sauce but it was moist and didn’t need any extras such as butter or extra virgin olive oil. Their bread has no preservatives and no artificial ingredients so I don’t mind paying a little more for it (around $5 a loaf).



Another thing that makes me smile? When celebrities open up restaurants. I’m not ashamed to admit that I kinda want to visit Iowa to check out Flavor Flav’s “Flav’s Fried Chicken”

For dinner, I had no idea what I was going to make. It’s Monday, so I wanted to stick with Meatless Monday so I began to heat up some red onions, jalapenos and black beans on the stove top.


Why do black beans seem more like purple beans most of the time?

While that was cooking, I nuked a baked potato while jamming to the Rolling Stones. I simply cannot cook to silence anymore, I must have my Pandora on. When that was done, I topped the potato with the black bean mixture. I think sub consciously I was inspired from The Auspicious Squirrels baked potato goodness

Then topped with salsa


And no tater is complete without cheese

Yes, a cheese-tastic, meatless meal made in minutes made me smile.

And we can’t forget about this little guy

Lincoln always makes me smile. Even if he does do the thug pose with lifting up his chin in the air like he is all tough and stuff. Rock on you little eight pound poohuahua!

Another thing that made me smile?

New challenges!

I saw this 30 Day Challenge on Janetha’s blog  the other night and was instantly intrigued.

Yeah, I like talking about my day, random things, food, workouts, etc. but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up a bit so here we go!

Day 1-Your current relationship,  if single, discuss how single life is.

I am single. Which I am fine with for now. I would love to be in a relationship however the main thing that is holding me back at this time is me. I am not happy with my weight. I’ve lost a lot of weight in the grand scheme of things but have gained about 15 lbs back this year due to me not consistently going to the gym anymore, stopped running and eating out too much. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin at the moment, which is really sad. I don’t care at the moment what I dress like or how my makeup or hair looks when I go to work since I am not looking for a relationship (plus every guy is either married or too preppy for me). Along with that, I am kind of over drinking at the moment. I love a drink more than anyone else but I am not going to sit at home and have drinks by myself, that’s just sad and a bit unhealthy. So while friends have been inviting me to go out to drink at night and meet guys, I’m really just not interested since I don’t like how I look at the moment. But that’s why I am going to the Y again, consistently working out so I can change this and get back to my old regime and get this weight off.

Not only with my weight, I am not at a point in my life where I think I should be in a relationship due to my work situation and not knowing what I want out of life. This is something that is on my mind almost every minute, every day….which is a bit exhausting. I need to figure out what I am doing with my life, where do I want to be, etc. before jumping into a relationship.

That being said, I thought I would share some of my interesting dates in the past :

*Nips guy-his nipples wouldn’t go soft throughout the whole date. Absolutely disgusting. And it wasn’t like it was cold out—it was May….in North Carolina….that means hot!

*Young Rush Limbaugh-One guy took me out to a local sushi bar. I had been to that sushi bar twice previously that month on two other dates and had the same waiter each time! So by the third time, he came up and greeted us and shook his head when he saw me there with yet another gentleman. When he asked what we wanted to drink I smiled and said Captain and Ginger (like the previous two times) and winked. I am so not a winker but felt quite sassy doing it. The date ended up being a right-wing nut whereas I am a liberal kind of chick. He started spouting off why I should own a gun and shoot at anyone that invades my property and how all gays should be deported. Yeah. So I drank….and drank….and drank some more trying to drown him out. Oh, I forgot about the edamame. We were chowing on edamame as the appetizer and his tooth kept falling out into the bowl. Beautiful. And then he ended up getting so drunk, he stumbled into the womens restroom thinking it was the mens. Some old lady who was in there started to  shoo him out of there and I believe that was the only part of the date that I smiled. That and when I saw he picked up the tab.

*The Ex Convict-this could be my worst date ever. For starters-we were walking around Uptown Charlotte and decided to go into Starbucks. I was wearing a white and black top (along with a new Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy bra) and felt cute. My hair was kicking, the conversation was flowing and we were going to get java. How could this not end well? I order a raspberry soy mocha and the lid wasn’t on all the way, so yes, it spilled down my new white and black top and seeped into my bra so I smelled like a lovely raspberry soy mocha. I laughed it off (I had to or else I would cry) and we continued walking around Uptown since he wasn’t familiar with the area. While walking, I walked smack dab in the middle of a pole. I was sober. So embarrassing occurrence #2 out-of-the-way. We finally settled on dinner and went to a local sports bar/restaurant and sat in the patio area so we could people watch and be able to actually hear each other. We ordered an appetizer of spinach and artichoke dip and whatdoyou know, while going to take a bite of it, it spilled down my cleavage. At this point, I smelled like a sour raspberry soy mocha and spinach and artichoke dip-who wouldn’t want a piece of this?? The first date conversation was there, asking questions, answering, etc. when he casually said “Yeah, when I was in prison” Exsqueeze me? Huh? And he snuck it in there by saying it all casually, that’s what killed me! He said it in the tone of “Yeah, when I go to the supermarket,  I like to buy bananas” You don’t say something about your time in prison with that inflection. So I smiled, put down my napkin and just said “Spill” and he told me the story of how he went to prison for statutory rape with a 16-year-old when he was 20 years old and was there for four years. At this point, I wanted to get out of there but dumbass me let him pick me up at my place so he had to get me home. Grrrrrr. I wished I was smarter. We finished dinner and on the way back to my place to drop me off, he stopped at the gas station and told me he wanted to pick up a surprise for me. I hoped he didn’t mean condoms b/c yeah, not happening. While he was in there, I texted a friend to tell her what happened and to call me in a few hours to make sure I was alive. When he got back to the car, he wouldn’t tell me what he got and then drove me home. He asked me to come up to my place and I let him because why not let an ex-convict who’s a lot bigger than me and could rape me into my home? Lincoln didn’t like him one bit so that should’ve been my sign right there and he wouldn’t stop barking his balls off when we got in. So I finally asked him what the surprise was and he told me he was going to make me a clink meal. A) Didn’t we just have dinner? B) What the f*** is a clink meal?? Being a curious girl with an insatiable appetite, I let him make said clink meal.

 The contents

*Beef Ramen

*Cheetos

*Ketchup

*Mustard

Crush the cheetos until they are a fine texture. Make the ramen noodles as normal, mix in the flavoring then drain the water out. Mix all ingredients together and voila-a clink meal. I’m ashamed to admit but it was actually a good meal and liked it. Until he told me that they made it in the trash cans in prison. Eww.

*Red Coat Guy-a guy who I dated back in college. Really nice guy however when it was time for my sorority’s spring formal to roll around he brought some suits over to my apartment to get my opinion on. He brought two-a red one and a purple one. And no, he was not a King of Comedy. He was just a white boy from Jersey who really liked the colorful suits. I was wearing a simple red dress with spaghetti straps so I told him red would be the best option since we would color coordinate well together. That we did. My sorority sisters still talk about Red Coat Guy.

*Tow Truck Driver. This one is a long story but I’ll keep it short and simple since it was a long time ago. He took me to Denny’s one night, which is oh so classy, I know. And you know, on a date you ask each other what you’re thinking about getting, etc. He asked me what I was going to get and I said “The roast beef sounds good” he slowly put down his menu and said to me with a straight face “That’s too expensive” I’m sorry? Denny’s roast beef is too expensive?? So being a girl who holds a grudge, when our waiter came over to take our order, I order the roast beef, plus an appetizer….and a shake. Eff that. If you want to enjoy my company, you will buy me the damn roast beef. When I went home a couple of summers after that, I saw him on the front page of the local paper and that was wanted for aggravated stalking. Beautiful.

With a track record like that, maybe you all can see why I don’t want anything at the time.The sad thing is that these are just a glimpse of my bad dates and not all of them. I clearly do not pick the right men and need some help in that department. If you know of someone who I would like and vice versa along with nipples that go soft, not a right-wing nut, hasn’t been in prison and will buy me roast beef- holla atcha girl!

What made you happy today?
What’s your relationship status?