Tag Archives: books

Housesitting

2 Aug

In honor of Matilda, Neyal sent me a link about a monkey rescued from a thrift store, just like Matilda! well except the whole sadistic monkey thing like Copernicus. I read the post while at the library and had to leave because I was crying from laughing and fear of peeing my pants at the library.

And I know, there’s been a lack of Matilda lately (which you may be happy about since some think she is creepy) Although South Florida is a mecca for retirees, she doesn’t like the humid, hot climate here. While I’m in the pool each day, she just sits yearning for a dirty martini.

Maybe her shenaningans will ensue again, who knows.

 

Not a lot going on here though, I housesat for one friend this weekend. It was great-I got to enjoy HBO, wireless and be by myself again. After living alone for so many years, I’m used to silence and doing my own thing. I can handle other people but sometimes a girl needs her own space you know? I’m housesitting/dogsitting today for another friend while she is away for the day. She is coming back tonight but I get to hang with her cute pups who I am wining over with string cheese.

And she even gave me a nice gift for doing this.

She really didn’t have to but I will never turn down a bottle of wine.

Also, it’s been avocado madness lately!

The avocados my friend gave me are finally good to go so I’m starting to use those bad boys up. I made a salad yesterday topped with Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken. It was on sale for $6.99 at Winn Dixie and I had a $1 off coupon so this was the perfect time to buy plus I haven’t had any since I used to make pasta salad.

Then at night I made a Mexican casserole with pork, black beans, onions, peppers, black olives, mushrooms, cheese and enchilada sauce. I was so excited to find El Pato since I haven’t been able to locate it at the grocery stores down here. I found this huge can of it at Big Lots so I used some in this recipe then froze the rest for future use.

I didn’t have enough tortillas to crisscross for the top layer but I made due. I then topped the vegetable, black bean and pork mixture with enchilada sauce and cheese and let bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees

Avocado was the perfect topping for this! I mean really, how can someone not love avocados? The flavor, the richness, the fat—oh yeah!

There were still avocados to be consumed so today I made a guacamole knock off. I didn’t have my recipe with me so I just mixed the avocado with salsa and sour cream.

I’ve seen this chips before but I must go to Target and find them stat! Maybe all this Mexican food will boost my memory?

I finally finished The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest today.

I felty like I’ve been reading it for awhile but it’s only been a week and a half, if that. If you haven’t read this serious, please go out and get the three books! This was the best series I’ve read in a long time and I can say each book was a true page turner.

I went to the library today to pick up some Italian cds I’ve been waiting on—holy crap-in just about a month I will be going to Italy! I need to learn the basics stat! I found this gem while perusing the titles in the new arrivals aisle:

Yet another reason why I love the library here. In Charlotte, it would have taken me months to get this book but here I can get it right away but only for two weeks. Perfect motivation for me to read it quickle! We’ll see how this book is. I wasn’t overly impressed with her last book but who knows, this is a different take so it may be worth reading.

I’m trying to limit my workouts at the YMCA since I can only go a limited number of times each year, instead of month but had a great workout yesterday

I’ve also been swimming which is going quite well. I’ve been doing anywhere from 50 to 60 laps on my swimming days along with some breaks to tread water for two to three minutes. I’ve also been doing lunges in the water and that has been kicking my butt. The best part is that I feel no pain in my knees which is a welcome relief since I always have pain in my knees after a workout.

And of course, hanging out with my pups

Linky is way dirty. I need to get him in the tub and give him a bath, especially since one of my parents dropped ketchup on his nose but they won’t tell me who did it.

Sigh, I love my dirty dog.

So yeah, that’s about it. Not a lot to write home about but just waiting for the days to pass until it’s time to fly off to Europe. One of my friends is a recruiter here so I’m hoping she can help find me some part time work……if not, maybe I will try some more housesitting?

Read any good books lately? Please share with the class!

Do you ever housesit for friends/family? I love how it seems like a mini vacation, even if I am just down the block!

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Tempting Tapatio

26 Jul

Sup homies? So, the last few days have been anything but exciting. They’ve been pretty boring so here are the highlights:

#1. Operation eat leftovers is still in tact

Leftovers of enchiladas that I made on Friday

Taco salad with leftover chicken than I made on Saturday

I spiced it up by adding my homeboy Tapatio. At first, I picked him up the other night in Wal Mart and wasn’t going to take him home. But fate had a different plan. See, what happened was that I picked up one bottle and dropped it on contact. All. Over. The. Place. I’m talking my flips, capris, legs, toes-the Wal Mart floor was covered in Tapatio. It was quite nasty and I feared that there would be a midget who was craving the hot sauce around to lick it off my toes. So I walked up and down the aisles of Wal Mart searching for just one employee but couldn’t even find that. I found some paper towels around so I could de-Tapatio myself off but the entire night I reeked of it, even after showering, Even though he is a slippery bitch, I still got nothing but love for him.  I love the heat he brings to the table and how cheap he is. What more can you ask for in a man?

#2. I’m legit and got a library card here!

They have a huge selection of books plus I found these. When I lived in Charlotte, I would have had to wait a month or two for these. I’m especially excited about The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest In since I’ve been searching for the free or cheap version everywhere but can’t find it. Plus I only have it for two weeks and it’s a little over 500 pages.

#3 The YMCA sucks here. I found out that I can only go 14 times in one year not 14 times in one month as I thought. They have the basics there but I am used to more variety in a gym. They have a small cardio area but older versions of machines and mostly treadmillsI went yesterday and had a less then stellar workout.

So I am going to attempt to the scam the system and go to the one here then go to the one in the county over since it’s only 15 minutes away.

#4. I’m going to start swimming. I used to be a huge swimmer and oddly enough, that was when I was in my best shape —a long, long time ago. My parents have a pool and even though it’s obviously not an Olympic size pool, I can do laps, not have to worry about bumping into anyone else and now feel like I can be serious about it since I got some goggles after the Great Tapatio Mess of ‘11.

#5. Operation make food at home is still going on as well.As mentioned before, my parents go out to eat all the time. I told them I would be more than happy to cook for them to save some money and eat at home. Tonight I make breaded chicken cutlets and Triple Tomato Sauce penne from Food + Wine. I didn’t have a few of the ingredients on hand so I used what I had and make my own sauce, my revisions are in red:

  1. 1 pound penne
  2. 2 medium tomatoes (5 ounces each), cut into 1-inch dice one can diced tomatoes
  3. 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  4. 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/4 cup
  5. 4 large basil leaves 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  6. 1 garlic clove  about three tablespoons minced garlic
  7. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  8. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

I mixed the ingredients in my magic bullet then put it on the stovetop on low and threw in some sautéed mushrooms. I pounded two chicken breast then made smaller cutlets out of them. Then dredged the chicken in flour, eggwash and breadcrumbs with oregano and pepper mixed in then fried on the stovetop in vegetable oil.

Only three of the four burners on my parents stove work and of course every time I try to cook something, I forget which one it is so cooking in this house is super fun. However, I was quite impressed that my parents had some organic whole wheat penne on hand

And they scored it for $.99-nice job parents!

I really loved the sauce and it took no time to make. In the past I have used diced tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, wine and various spices but I haven’t used tomato paste all that often.

Another great thing about this recipe? It made a crap ton of food which means lots of leftovers-looks like I’ll be eating this the rest of the week.

#6 This living with my parents thing is not going to last long. I already had one freak out session so let’s hope I can make it to October without us at each others throats. I will be out of here for most of September however I have August and the early part of October to get through. I’m going to try to look for some temp work for the month of August so I can get out of the house and earn some money and of yeah, keep my sanity.

#7 As frustrated as I am, I still have the fur babies to keep me company

If you’re a fan of the heat-what’s your favorite hot sauce?

Have you ever lived with your parents as an adult? If so, how did you keep the peace or was that not an issue?

Whatcha gonna do with all that junk?

15 Jun

Happy hump day humpers! This week has flown by, with packing, tying up loose ends and getting together with friends. I say this every single time that I move, this will be my last move. And it never is and I have a feeling it’s not going to stop anytime soon so I better get used to the smell of boxes and moving tape.

And can I just say you all rock? Thanks for all the words of encouragement and support on my last post, it is much appreciated and each comment made me smile and reminded me why I love the blogging community. Teardrop.

On Monday, I had a bunch of errands to do before meeting a friend for lunch. But before I left, I set an easy meal in the crock pot. It only had four ingredients:

Along with half a chopped onion. I set at low and let cook for eight hours

However I forgot that I was going for Mexican food for lunch so it was going to be Mexican food twice in one day. Awesome way to start the week if you ask me! I met my friend at this restaurant called Casa Grande in a sketchy strip mall, like the kind that has a laundromat and check cashing. Thank God we went for lunch because god only knows what it would have been like during night time. Casa Grande was authentic, like menus all in spanish with no english whatsoever and no pictures authentic. I took four years of spanish and grew up in South Florida so I like to think I can get by with my espanol skills. I can understand it somewhat and read but speaking spanish doesn’t work with me. For those who know me or have talked with me, you know I talk fast so it seems like it would be a match made in heaven. I think the problem is the language is too fast for me. But not too furious.

They have specials of the day and I saw pollo y arroz so I had a semi understanding of what lunch would consist of. But peep this-all this food for only $6!

The chicken was delicious and anytime I can get a serving of potatoes and rice, I’m a happy gal. I finished half of the plate and took the rest to go so really it’s two meals for $6, my kind of place!

I stopped to get a new leash for Lincoln since he broke it on Sunday. I went to two different Ross’ and nothing. I always go there for dog accessories and toys and was disappointed they didn’t have them in stock. Disappointed not only because it was a waste of time but because when I bought Lincoln’s leash there, it was only $7 or $8. Petco doesn’t roll like that. I stopped there and got a cute, lime green leash for Lincoln for 22 bones. Ugh.

At least he will walk in style.

The chicken turned out wonderful and the chicken melted off the bone. I topped with cheese and served with leftover spaghetti and veggies.

On Tuesday, I went to Dilworth Coffee to get my wi fi on. I was sitting there, working on internship stuff, catching up on blogs when suddenly, I heard The Strokes first  cd “Is This It?”  The Strokes are my favorite band and I get giddy whenever I hear their music in public or hear people talking about them.

(Source)

I told the barista he made my day by playing that. We started talking Strokes but he seemed taken aback that I liked them. Maybe it was the Vera Bradley headband or Life is Good t shirt I had on that had my looking like a yuppie who likes Colbie Caillat?

Gah, I love that headband and so. And love that I got it for free at the thrift store since the cashier was too lazy to look up the price and didn’t know who Vera Bradley is.

Anyways, back to the Strokes. I asked him if he heard the new cd and he said he hadn’t had a chance to listen yet so I went to my car and they played it-score!

Afterwards, I dined al fresco since it was a gorgeous day out and I needed to work on my tan. I made two chicken, hummus and hot sauce wraps with sliced apple

and Lincoln did as well

And catch up with Jen Lancaster

I wasn’t feeling the book at first because it’s her first fiction piece of work and it’s based off of her life as are the two main characters, Mia and Mac. Which is weird that I say that because she is my favorite author but I guess I was expecting something different from her normal work. I just have to embrace the whole notion of write what you know, even if it does apply to fiction.  A few chapters in, I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to finish it!

The rest of the afternoon was spent packing, cleaning and cleaning out purses.

I don’t know how I have so much random crap in my purses, I’m talking random like soy sauce, chopsticks, pens, splendas, Yelp swag, aspirin, lip gloss, maracas and more.

When I cleaned out a majority of my purses that I’m giving away to the thrift store, it was enough to fill up two purses, wtf?

Do you use one purse or switch it up all the time? If you do switch it up, do you clean them out often?  As you can see, I definitely need to start cleaning them out more. I’m a hoarder when it comes to the contents of my purse.

PS–If you haven’t entered my giveaway, it ends tomorrow night!

The long drive home

23 May

Driving 11 hours sucks. Driving 11 hours alone sucks even more. No matter how hard I try, I get anxious the night before leaving for a long trip and end up getting almost no sleep which makes for a cranky beginning to the day. Lincoln and I packed up early on Friday morning and started out with a light breakfast of a banana and Nature’s Path Lotta Apricotta granola bar

Boy, that bar was sweet. Like almost too sweet to eat and I love me some sweets. It took a good 15 minutes for me to down. I think it would be really good cut up and sprinkled in greek yogurt though to even out the taste. While at the gas station (which we won’t even begin my rant on gas prices), I found this Seattle’s Best Iced Latte

I love Seattle’s Best but rarely see it anywhere so I was stoked about this. It was like any other iced latte out there but I didn’t find it to be too strong.

I had to go through Gainesville, home of University of Florida, on my way back and it was around lunch time. I was in need of something hearty and Lincoln was practically dying in the car from the sun beating on him

I did a quick search to find dog friendly restaurants in the area and found The Book Lover’s Café, located in Books Inc, a used bookstore a few blocks away from the campus.

They serve lunch items, coffee and tea but what I really liked about it was that their menu consists of vegan and vegetarian treats. I am neither however when you’re on the road, it’s difficult to eat healthy. I try to back food and snacks and sometimes want to sit down and eat but most of the selection seems to be fast food. I ordered and looked around the store for any books that might have been of interest to me. Can we say score?

Only $3.99! Perfect since I just finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I can’t wait to start this one. I got Lincoln and we sat on their patio and waited for the food to come. They brought him a water bowl and we just enjoyed the day and the freaks walking by. It’s a college town so you are going to have some weird people there and I saw a few people walking by singing and one guy (yes, guy) dressed like Rainbow Brite) it was very funkalicious.

I ordered the Hummus wrap and you can either get a side salad or soup with it-I got the salad with was hopping with veggies-just like the wrap

  

The hummus wasn’t flavored, it was just regular hummus and tasted homemade. It was flavorful but gritty in texture.  All of this for only $7! Plus I get a majority of my veggie servings in for the day while supporting a local business-win win!All in all, a great place to stop, relax, peruse the book selection and hang out. Even though we were in the shade, Lincoln was still panting like a whore in church

I think it’s sweating like a whore in church but I like panting like a whore in church much better-hello saucy!

The rest of the drive through Florida was boring. I took a less traveled state road back to Jacksonville so I could hop on I-95. While on the road, I kept seeing these billboards which was a bit disturbing

I guess Florida is trying to get rid of over population? I must have seen this billboard at least seven times.

And can someone tell me what this is? I despise personalized license plates and despise ones that I can’t figure out even more.

Of course, I pronounce OCRACOK as Okra Cock. Maybe he did have one? I don’t feel bad about saying this since he was the slowest driver ever.

And I finally figured out my cruise control after a year and a half of owning this car—clicks to that!

Lincoln was absolutely pooped by the time we got to South Carolina. So much that he felt the need to jump in my lap and rest while I was driving. Thank God I was just going straight.

While fueling up in South Carolina, I found a new goodie that is going to be on my next shopping list

Hooray for Skinny Cow candy! I love Skinny Cow products so much so this had to be tasty. There were only six clusters in the package and they were quite small but it was a nice, little treat to indulge in.

As soon as I knew it, I was back in Charlotte.

Yay. Can you read the sarcasm?

I came home to a couple of surprises though……

a bunch of mail

Then a couple of packages….hmmmm….what could be in them? Happiness! Well happiness to me because there was food and a book.

First was Lance Cracker Creations that I won over at The Food Snob

Oh Monique, your note made me smile, much needed at the end of the day Smile

The second thing was Jen Lancaster’s newest book, If You Were Here. It’s different from her books since it’s a novel as opposed to her memoirs she writes so I’m very interested to read it and see how it compares. One of my sorority sisters went to the book signing in DC and got a copy signed for me since she wasn’t coming to Charlotte this year. Oh well, at least I got to meet her last year.

What’s your favorite part about getting home from a long trip? Mine is my bed and clean clothes!

The only routine with me is no routine at all

18 May

Even though I’m on vacation, I feel like I’ve been getting a routine of my own while down in Florida. I know, I shouldn’t have a routine when I’m supposed to be relaxing and enjoying my time but it’s been working out well and not a stressful one at all. It seems like each day I’ve been meeting up with one of my friends for a meal, coffee or get together. I went to a bbq the other night and made a creamy Greek pasta salad as opposed to a Tysonlicious pasta salad.

The star of the pasta salad was gorgonzola cheese. I rarely buy the gorg because I love it so much and can make a container disappear within 12 hours. Yeah, I don’t even say 24 hours because it really doesn’t last that long in my house. So when I saw it on sale, I bought it as a perfect add in to the pasta salad along with artichokes, black olives, zucchini, parsley, red pepper and Light Greek dressing.

This turned out awesome! I don’t like to make creamy pasta salads too often because hello, creamy isn’t too good for you but it was a perfect dish to bring to a bbq for all to share!

I met up with my friend for breakfast on Monday morning. She is a writer so she tends to be busy at night and on the weekends so when she suggested breakfast, I immediately jumped since you know, the most important meal of the day thing. Plus hello, I love seeing my friends! We went to First Watch, a breakfast and lunch spot in Boca.

I ordered coffee as I waited for her and when they brought out a vat of it, I couldn’t have been happier. Well until I saw these beautiful babies that is

Don’t think I didn’t swipe a few for the road!

I liked how they had traditional breakfast and lunch fare and also a good selection of healthy options.

I should have gotten something off that menu but the meal was going to be both breakfast and lunch for me so I went with something hearty and savory to fill my belly-Key West Crepegg-A thin, sweet crepe combined with fluffy whipped eggs filled with Turkey, avocado, bacon, tomatoes and Monterey Jack cheese with a side of potatoes and an english muffin

A delicious meal (as is anything that involves avocado!) add that to catching up with an old friend and that is priceless.

I’ve been getting some good gym time in also. There are a number of gyms to go to here so I don’t think a lot of people patron the YMCA which is fine with me—more machines for me! On the downside, most of the machines are older versions of ellipticals and treadmills. They don’t even have my beloved Precor there, it’s a brand called Star Trac which I’ve never heard of.

Of course, I’ve been hanging out with a couple of handsome fellas as well.

Mickey and Lincoln are getting along terrifically! Lincoln is still a little protective of me but he has to realize that Mickey is the OB (Original Baby) I have a feeling I’m going to end up with two pups soon.

I’ve been spending my afternoon’s laying by the pool reading and swimming.

Thanks to all who recommended this book—I can’t put it down! It’s such a page turner and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Lincoln has done some swimming too and was all too happy to get out of the pool and sun bathe with me.

The parentals have been providing dinner and entertainment we went to see Bridesmaids on Monday afternoon. This movie? Holy effballs of fire, it was hilarious! However, I really wish I could skip over the sex scene parts when I’m sitting right next to my parents. It’s a bit awkward. But on the other side, I don’t want to live in a world where I don’t get to see Jon Hamm naked. Seriously, how is he so handsome?  We  went to dinner at Kyojin Sushi Buffet in Fort Lauderdale right after. I was starving by the time I got there since I really only had the big breakfast and a few snacks.

The first plate of sushi was fantastic. However right after eating it, I didn’t feel right. I felt like there was a brick in my stomach so I switched over to soup while my dad helped me with the rest of the sushi. I’ve never had a bad sushi experience at a restaurant but I felt like I was going to throw up on the way home. We’ve been going to Kyojin for the past three years and it just seems like the quality of their sushi is going down the drain.

For the first time ever, South Florida is growing on me. I was born in Indiana then we moved here when I was seven. I resented my parents that we would move somewhere that’s a completely 180 from Indiana and just wanted out. And you know what?  The first chance I got to leave here, I did. I picked out WVU on a map and moved 18 hours away. Now that I have lived there, Phoenix and Charlotte, I’m not so much if I like it up north of not. I always thought I was a cold weather girl but I am quite enjoying the warm weather for the past week and a half. I know a lot of people down here and my friends have already told me I could them my resume so a move to Florida may be in the future.     

 Random question–Who the hell names a business Hair on Fire?

As someone who has had their hair caught on fire, this disturbs me. I won’t get into the story but it involves freshman year in college, a cigarette, Bon Jovi and Natty Light.

How many places have you lived?

Anyone else have any fun, hair catching on fire stories?? Crickets, crickets….

Behind the times

7 May

Hello all! My trip plans were delayed for one day due to my lack of sleep on Friday night. I finally got some rest early Saturday morning but woke up late and decided to leave for Florida today. I was dragging for the first few hours Saturday morning and went to the gym to wake up. I did 25 minutes walking on the treadmill with an incline ranging from -3 to 6, did lower body strength training then a cool down of 5 minutes on the elliptical. Unfortunately, it didn’t help me too much in the waking up department.

I met up with some friends to see Something Borrowed in the afternoon which was perfect since the movie theater was near Dean & Deluca.

(source)

I needed a major dose of java so I got an iced coffee and went around the store trying out their free samples. I could dine off of their free samples alone since they offer bruschetta, creamy artichoke dip, hot raspberry preserves over cream cheese and other goodies.

Something Borrowed was cute. As always, the book was better and there were a few changes in the movie but I enjoyed it. And I now have a crush on John Krasinski, unlike others who fell in love with him on The Office. I am behind the times what can I say?

Another way I’m behind the times? In regards to books. I found these two titles at the library today and am excited to read them, especially since I’ll be putting in some beach time this next week!

Which one should I read first??

Fro-yo was enjoyed right after the movie. I got the mini at Pinkberry since their fro-yo seems to be more expensive that other places. I am all about the self serve fro-yo places that allow you to choose the size, adds ins and weigh it for price as opposed to a set size

After running some errands, I stopped by Harris Teeter to pick up something to eat. I went to the Harris Teeter referred to as the Taj MaTeeter by many since it’s the mothership and has just about everything there—sub station, pasta bar, pizza stone, hot bar, olive bar, Starbucks, etc. I was in complete overload of what to get to eat! I started talking with the sub girl about how I had no clue what to get and she told me since she loved my girl earrings and liked my fashion sense, I could get any of the six inch subs for $3.49, works for me!

I went with the chicken breast sub because it is heaven on a roll and little Lincoln got to enjoy some of the chicken since she hooked me up!

I’m not a huge movie girl but after seeing the previews in the theater, I cannot wait to see these two movies this summer

Friends With Benefits

(source)

Crazy Stupid Love

(source)

All I need in life is a little Ryan Gosling, homeboy just keeps getting better with age!

Any movies you’re looking forward to seeing this summer?

The wise man reads both books and life itself

30 Mar

First and foremost, thanks everyone for the encouraging words, thoughts and experiences of your own from  my last post.  I have so many emotions about quitting my job but feel like it’s the right thing to do for me and was relieved to see that others have been in the same boat. I was also pleased to see some haven’t been in the same boat and it hasn’t been all butterfly farts and rainbows so I appreciate the honest feedback!

Today was a pretty slow day for once, maybe it was because of the nasty weather outside? I woke up to rain hitting the window and knew it was gonna be one of those days. Lincoln didn’t even want to step foot outside and I begged him to just go potty for momma, I didn’t even care if he went #2 inside (he never does but I would make an exception for rain). And of course, it was one of those days where my hair looked awesome without even running a brush through it but once I stepped outside-hello Diana Ross! I felt productive in the morning but maybe that was due to this breakfast of champions?

And of course, I forgot my milk. I contemplated pouring the Red Bell &Cola into the cereal for a nano second but figured it would be the worst of the worst so I kept separate like a normal person. Because normal people drink Red Bell & Cola’s and eat cereal without milk for breakfast right?

But after a little trip to the library, all hopes of productivity went out the window. Maybe because I was really excited for the new reads I got?

And has anyone else seen Awkward Family Photos: The Wedding Edition? I was looking at this at work and I was dying from some of the pics. The girls holding up their dresses and the one with the coffin in the background are my personal favorites.

A preview of dinner since dinner is going to get an entire post of it’s own.

Those are fried risotto balls. Takes a guess as to whether I ate only two or not. Here’s a hint-I have a fried risotto food baby sitting inside of me.

What are your favorite books? Three favorites off the top of my head are

1) Bitter is The New Black (and basically anything by Jen Lancaster)

I rarely buy books anymore but make an exception for Jen Lancaster.

2) Smart Women Finish Rich

I read this two or three times a year

3) Affluenza

Did you participate in the Book It program back in the day?

Sometimes when I read, I still crave pizza. Hot, cheesy, pepperoni topped pizza. I blame this all on Book It.