Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Art Project

I'm currently working on an art project and I need input.  Specifically, I need YOUR input.

Every year my company takes part in an event called 'On My Own Time'.  It is an art showcase among corporations that allow employees to share art that they produce on their own time.  Last year I won the People's Choice award at my company for this picture.
Artsy fartsy, I know.  However, this year I want to do a piece that gives back to my community.  I have a lot of readers from various countries and I'd appreciate you taking 3 minutes to fill out a survey.  Once I have completed my art piece I will share it on my blog (no matter if it places in the art competition or not).

Take the survey by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quick Dish: Carrot Green Pesto

If you make this pesto you'll want to jump back and kiss yourself.  Seriously.  It is ah-maze-zing!
All the ingredients a girl could ask for.
I received my bi-weekly container of local produce from Greenling (on Twitter @GreenlingDFW) on Friday.  My box included carrots and Meyer lemons.  When life gives you Meyer lemons you dance like no one is watching because they are pure delight.  Then you make carrot green pesto.

Ingredients
  • Carrot greens (I ended up with probably 4 cups of carrot greens)
  • Juice from 1 Meyer lemon
  • 4 cloves of garlic (boil the garlic for a minute to cut the strong flavor but maintain their sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup of roasted pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil (quantity varies)
  • 8 leaves of fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Prep all of your ingredients ... juice the lemon, cut the cheese (HA!  Fart joke!), and boil the garlic.  You can boil the garlic in its paper as the paper will remove easier once it is done.
Place the carrot greens in a food processor along with the lemon juice and garlic.  Pulse a few times.  Scrape down side of the food processor through the process (not as the processor is running, dummy).  Add the cheese and pine nuts.  Pulse some more.  Once all of your ingredients are finely chopped turn on your processor and drizzle in olive oil.  I probably used 1/2 cup in my recipe but you can adjust it to your liking.  I added a few leaves of fresh basil from a live basil plant that came in my Greenling box.  It could have been planted but I already have two containers filled with basil so I chose to add them to my pesto.  Add salt and pepper as needed.
Carrot greens are mild but quite delicious.  And very nutritious.
The whole process takes a few minutes.  You are left with an amazing pesto to utilize through out the week.
Full of Vitamin K!
I used it on some wild caught salmon I baked in paper pouches.  The lemon in the pesto was the perfect amount for the salmon.  Very simple dish but the taste is incredible.
Would pair nicely with cooked carrots and a simple salad.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Quick Dish: Seafood Soup

I blogged earlier about the Asian market in my town.  During that visit I picked up some packets for a Korean hot pot.
Traditional Korean hot pot. Source
I do not own a Korean hot pot.  But I make do with what I got.  One of the packets I bought was a seafood soup base.  I like soup and I like seafood.  Win-win in my book.
English instructions are on the back.
I improvised the hot pot by using my Le Creuset soup pot.  I think it worked just fine.
This contains frozen seafood ... imitation crab, shrimp, muscles, squid, oysters and octopus.
Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of water
  • Soup Base for Seafood Hot Pot packet
  • 1/2 cup of sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
  • 1 frozen packet of seafood marina mix
Combine the first four ingredients and bring to a boil.  Add the seafood marina mix, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through.
It is really that simple and very tasty.  It was great on a cold spring evening.  It has a great seafood flavor and the right amount of spice to it.  I paired my soup with a green tea that I infused with strawberries.
Light but exotic dinner.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Photos are Up!

I am fortunate to have some really cute nephew and nieces.  Plus, they are just plain fun and super smart.  I also love their unique personalities and quick wits.

I don't know how parents can keep straight faces most of the time.  And it is even funnier when I watch my brothers be parents ... these are guys that played video games hours on end, shot up toys with BB guns and destroyed my precious Barbie convertible from the roof of our house.  Now they are negotiating with 5 year olds and the 5 year old is a great negotiator.

But I digress.

Every year for Christmas I ask for pictures of the kids.  I don't need expensive gifts for the holidays and I definitely don't need trinkets in my house.  And this past Christmas I got a plethora of pictures.  Score!!!

However, I do not have a plethora of frames.  Frames cost money.  I live on a budget.  Co-nun-drum.

Pinterest to the rescue!  I strung picture wire in my home office and used clear clothes hangers to display the pictures.  I love this idea because I can add more pictures, replace pictures and move them around without putting holes in the wall or deal with mismatched frames.  I plan to add more wire for all of the photos I have but it is a good start!
This wall is directly in front of my desk and their pictures definitely brighten up my work day.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Calories for a Good Cause

A wonderful co-worker of mine is raising money for the American Cancer Society.  She's doing it because the money goes to a great cause and she has a hard time asking people for money.

I know how she feels because I loathe asking people for money (no matter what my parents say).  However, the American Cancer Society is a worthy cause because we all know people who have been affected by cancer.  Listen to me closely ... CANCER IS A BITCH!  I have had family members battle cancer and one of my aunts is currently fighting it.  I'd like to get rid of cancer pronto but I don't have the labs or research tools available to me.

But the American Cancer Society does.

Therefore, I'm helping my co-worker raise funds by spreading the word.  She is working with Chili's in Mansfield, Texas to raise money as well as accepting donations through her donation page.  This coming Monday (March 25) Chili's in Mansfield will donate up to 20% of their profit to the American Cancer Society.  If you ever wanted an excuse to eat dessert, this is it!
You must present this flyer at Chili's in Mansfield to participate in the event.
I'm proud of my co-worker for facing her fear to ask people she may not know to help in a great cause.  This experience will open her eyes to things she didn't know she could do before.  And possibly get a step closer in erasing cancer for the future.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tit for Tat Cat

Yesterday I raked, shoveled, watered, and planted my way into spring.  My front yard is starting to become more presentable and the backyard garden is taking shape.  There was a lot of sweat and a lot of dirt.  A lot of sun and a lot of fresh air.

Yesterday was lovely.
Not my backyard but maybe one of these days. Source
After I got everything planted and picked up I thought I'd let the cat out in the backyard to stretch his legs and explore the fenced in yard.  He's a house cat.  Most of the time he prefers to lay on his bed and look outside ... not actually be part of outside.  However, yesterday he wanted to explore so I let him.

As he snooped around the yard and sniffed everything I watched him.  I was content.  It was a beautiful day.  The plants were happy.  The cat was happy.  I was happy.  And then it happened.
Not my cat but close enough. Source
Attila the Cat rolled in the dirt.  DAMN IT!

I gathered him up, went inside and gave him a bath.  Come to find out, Attila hates baths.  He acts as if the tub is filled with lava and he is burning.  He was PISSED.
Again, not my cat. This cat isn't nearly as pissed as Attila was. Source
I let him dry out a bit in the guest bathroom while I did other things around the house.  Instead of drying out he moped, cried and tried to open the door to freedom.  After 20 minutes I let him out so he could mope in the living room on his mat.  He still wanted to sit on my lap and he craved my attention but he was torn because he knows I just gave him a lava bath.

I left to go out with friends last night and when I returned he was dry and a happy fella again.  Good enough. I went to bed and Attila soon found his way next to me and fell asleep.

THEN ...

3:21 a.m. hair ball.  On my bed.  DAMN IT!

Touché, cat.  Well played.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Vegemite Sandwich

At the end of 2013 I'm heading to Australia for a long visit with one of my best friends.  Super excited to visit her home and explore a new place.
Perhaps I'll even learn some new animal taming tricks! Source
I've been emailing my friend my flight itinerary, figuring out the logistics of travel, coordinating time off, and planning things to do in Sydney and Melbourne.  She asked what I wanted to do while there.  So far we have the following things planned:

The hike to the Wilson Promontory Lighthouse is a day hike in and a day hike out.  I'm literally going on an Australian walkabout.  You know who else was going to go on a walkabout?  I need to learn how to throw knives.
John Locke from Lost. Source
However, the real reason I want to go to Australia is to witness the toilet flush.  By god, I want to see that water flow the opposite direction!  Honestly, I learned a lot of what I know about Australia from The Simpsons.
This will be a FANTASTIC adventure!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nerd Poster Child

I went to a health clinic last weekend thinking I had the flu.  I was suffering from aches, exhaustion, congestion and fever.  When I did an Internet search of my symptoms it came up with "flu".  Figured I could go to the doctor, she'd give me some meds and I'd be back to normal sooner rather than later.  Instead, the doc said I had a sinus infection with a possible case of strep throat.

Whatever.  She might have "M.D." behind her name but I can search on mayoclinic.com and diagnosis anything.  Therefore, I overrode her prognosis and declared I had the plague.  Seems logical.

My plague had me in a pickle.  I needed to be productive at work but the mindless fog in my head limited my thinking capabilities.  Plus, I was just plain exhausted.  I ended up finding reprieve on my couch, in front of the TV and watching Netflix.  I could easily stare at my TV screen while blowing my brains out through my nose into mounds of tissues.  (Pretty picture, I know.)

Then, something else happened.  I started watching Battlestar Galactica (BSG for those who aren't geeks).  I became the poster child for adult nerds everywhere.  I sat on my couch, wearing my glasses with a runny nose, and watched BSG non-stop.
Pretty much what I looked like sitting on my couch. Source
I have survived the plague but I have not survived the attack of the boob tube.  And I'm still quite addicted to BSG.  My life will never be normal again.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What I Learned From Yoga

My monthly challenge of yoga ended this past Thursday.  And I have to admit that I really enjoyed it.  I also have to admit that I no longer find it intimidating.  Yoga really is about centering your thoughts on yourself.  I learned that I'm stronger than I thought I was and I have much more to explore.  Therefore, yoga will continue to be part of my life.  It is not part of my exercise routine but actually part of self discovery.

I'm still working through Rod Stryker's book "Four Desires" and plan to do all the activities he suggest in his book.  The activities will help me define what my purpose in life is.  If we all knew what our purpose in life is (teacher, artist, connector, etc.) just imagine how much happier our environments would be.

That's deep, folks.  Real deep.
Yoga or break dancing? You decide. Source
My monthly challenge for March has been delayed.  Mainly because I'm sick.  Just writing this blog posting is taking it out of me.  I'm taking bets now on whether it is just a cold or the flu.