Thursday, September 11, 2014

Destiny


Do you ever believe you are destined for something bigger? Something better? Something that will change the whole world you live in? I sure have.

The big question is. What is my destiny?

Every morning my alarm sounds at 6:30 am and I hit snooze three times before I turn on my Ray LaMontange iTunes station and groggily head to the bathroom, brush my teeth, curl my hair, put on a few strokes of makeup and under eye concealer. I walk in to my closet and grab a dress, slip on some flip flops and my glasses. I wander in to the dark kitchen and grab my pre-packed lunch and out the door I go, racing to meet the bus to the bus stop.

20 minutes later on a crowded bus, I exit at the 7th street stop, walk into my building, and take the elevator up 49 floors. I stop by my desk, switch out my flip flops for heels, grab my drinking glass and head to the kitchen to store my lunch and fill up with water.

The next 9 hours I sit in an open cube with no cube mate. The offices around me are dark and quiet. I send a few emails, enter some expense reports and collect some files. For the most part, I sit and wonder, what is my destiny? Surely this can't be it.

I think about all the things I think I could be. All the things I'd rather be doing than staring at two monitor screens, one with email, one with multiple calendars pulled up. Something more exciting. With more freedom. More creativity.

A hair dresser, jewelry designer, web designer, photographer, mother, wife, cook, top blogger (yes, that would be rather cool), fitness instructor, etc.

I've always wanted to take a cooking class, and a photography class, and a jewelry making class, and a screen printing class (however I did that in 7th grade. Doesn't count).

Years ago my parents got a nice camera but they never use it. I'm picking it up soon so I can learn how to use it. Maybe teach them a thing or two. I think my trip down Destiny's Way will start with photography. Maybe even a photography class. My food pictures will look much more enticing so maybe that will be my next turn. Food.

I feel like I have all these passions but not all the tools to complete them. To make them what I want.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weekend Review 24: White Wedding

I have a special treat. This Weekend Review did not take place at a cabin or lake. However it did take place in Wisconsin, so that's still the same.

Friday morning Kari picked me up and we ran our Personal Attendant errands which included picking up some gladiolus from the Farmers Market, a wedding cake and the grooms ring.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, the jewelers didn't open for another hour from when we arrived so we walked up and down Grand Avenue in Saint Paul, popping in to every nail salon we could find. As we came upon the 6th salon, our final try, they had room and we were able to get our nails done!

It was all by chance that we stopped in, but for $15 for a basic manicure, I would definitely make the drive back to Grand Ave. and have them do my nails again. So if you're in St. Paul, check out LA Nails. They were awesome.

Once we had the ring, cake and flowers we were off to River Falls for Erin and Tony's wedding weekend!

Their wedding was being held at Larson's Barn just outside River Falls. There was a lot to do as far as decorating, setting up the bar and tables, arranging flowers, setting up the chairs for the ceremony ect.


And playing with horses of course.

I didn't get anything really from the day of because I was running around keeping the brides wine full and finding groomsmen to attach boutonnieres to, but here's some pictures I did get.


Ceremony


Table/Name Cards


Guest Book Tree/Favorites Table w/ Koozies and Cow Pies


The Grand Reveal Stolen From My Sisters Instagram


It's All About The Meat (catered by Kafe 421)


It wouldn't be a wedding without a wedding day selfie. You have to make sure you look good in pics, so they don't turn out looking like this....


You're welcome.

Sunday morning we all got up and headed home so we could catch the Vikings game. I may or may not have napped through the first half, but boy am I glad I didn't miss the second half. I'm pretty excited for football this year. 



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Shave Time. Shave Money.

*Dollar Shave Club did not compensate me for this post. From word of mouth I know they are a great service and one I wanted to share with you!

I've been intrigued by those advertisements on my Facebook page advertising quality razors for as little as $1 month. I spend $20 just on refills every couple of months! So when Dollar Shave Club asked if I wanted to write a post about how I Shave Time and Shave Money, I hopped over to their website, watched this video, and soon realized I don't change my razors nearly enough as I should. Then I happily obliged to writing the article.

Here are ways that I Shave Time and Shave Money in my life.

Shave Money.Clearly a lesson I just learned, and I hope you learned as well, is to quit spending money on your drugstore razors and sign up for Dollar Shave Club. So I'll get right on that.

Shave Time. Have a hot date tonight but that favorite shirt of yours is at the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper? You also have to get in a workout so when 'Hot Date Guy' picks you up you can tell him you worked out and he'll think you love fitness. Throw in your load of laundry then hit the gym/trails for a 40 minute work out. When you get back, wash will be done. Transfer to the dryer and jump in the shower then do your hair and makeup. Boom another 45 minutes gone and the dryer buzzer is going off. Bonus, you smell like fresh laundry. No one can resist the smell of fresh laundry. I do this all the time, but not for hot dates. Usually because I want to watch as many episodes of True Blood in a night as I can without interruption.

Shave Money. Don't waste your money on cable. Especially during the Summer months when everything is on repeat. Subscribe to services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. The great thing with these services is that you can share them with friends! Divide who subscribes to what since you can have multiple profiles and stream on different devices at the same time. For whatever reason my provider thought I'd love HBO with my 10 channel package, well, they were right. I do love HBO. Now I can just bring my HBO GO wherever I go and share it with my friends. Hello Summer Heights High! If that's not a good order pizza and drink wine with friends kind of show, I don't know what is.

Shave Time. Make lists. I love making lists! Then I forget them at home, at work, in the car. Now I make lists in my phones notes section because these days, no one goes anywhere without their phones. A good place to store your lists you'll repeatedly use is in Google Drive because, like I said, you always have your phone and everyone Googles. I make lists for grocery shopping so I stick to what I need and don't miss anything. Nothing like planning to make spaghetti and meatballs and you forget the marinara sauce. I make lists for packing for vacation. Going to Mexico and forgot your SPF 50? Enjoy spending $30 at the hotel gift shop for an 8 oz bottle. I also make lists for my daily tasks. When you see it written down on paper, or in your phone and you can cross it off, there's more satisfaction in just getting the work done so you can relax or play later.

Shave Money. Pack your lunches! I work downtown where there are restaurants around every corner and it's impossible to find a lunch without a beverage for under $10. That's $50+ a week just spent on lunches. That doesn't even include the groceries you have to buy for breakfast and dinner! Sundays I make my list of groceries that I'll need for the week and spend the day prepping my meals. I love to cook, so each night I'll double what I'm making and it will be my lunch the next day. This works great for salads, spaghetti, soups and chili's, etc. Plus you aren't eating the same meal twice in one day, so it doesn't really even feel like you're eating left overs. I also like to keep a stock of Ramen and instant soups or canned veggies at my desk in case I felt like gorging the night before and not leaving any leftovers for my lunch.
*Tip - eat lunch before leaving the office and walking around so all the amazing smells of fried foods, food trucks and hot dog carts don't suck you in.

How do you Shave Time and Money?



Friday, September 5, 2014

Baked Chicken Strips With a Kick

Where I live I'm surrounded by a plethora of amazing restaurants. When I get off the bus after a long day at the office where I get the pleasure of eating leftovers for lunch, my taste buds go nuts for all the smells wafting through the air.

It really messes with my mindset of saving money (don't eat out!), eating healthy-ish (all the fried foods!), and digging in to a second round of leftovers (save money!).

My stomach negotiated with my head and and came to a compromise that I would make an alternative to what I would have most likely ordered if I went out. Chicken strips and fries. So, I walked to my local grocery store to pick up a few items for Homemade Baked Chicken Strips to satisfy my craving.

I loosely followed this recipe but added one special ingredient, cayenne pepper!


Mix 1 cup panko bread crumbs with 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, onion powder, pepper and cayenne pepper. If you don't want a kick to your strips, leave out the cayenne pepper. Trust me though, you'll love it.


For the chicken you can either cut up some thawed chicken breasts into strips, or use chicken tenders. I went the chicken tender route and cut those in half.

Since I cook for one I make two servings. One for now and one for leftovers. I used 6 chicken tenders, cut in half, for 6 strips per meal.

Crack two large eggs in a bowl and beat well. This will be the glue that holds the panko bread crumbs to your chicken.

Smart Chicken is the only chicken I will buy.
Before getting your fingers all messy, take a sip of that reisling sitting behind the eggs there why dontcha.

Now you're ready to go. Take your chicken, dunk it in the egg mixture so it's fully covered and then roll it in the panko bread crumb mix. Make sure to cover the whole piece. Set on a baking sheet and repeat until all your chicken is gone.

Put in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then an additional 5 minutes under the broiler.


Make sure you have some ranch or ketchup for dunking, because these strips scream DUNK ME! 


If you have kids, babysit, or eat like a 5 year old at 30, you will definitely love this recipe. It's simple, baked and uses all staple kitchen ingredients.

Ingredients (Serving for 2)
6 chicken tenders cut in half
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs

Directions
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix panko bread crumbs with the remaining dry ingredients. Beat two eggs in a small bowl. Dunk chicken strips into eggs and roll in panko mixture. Line the chicken on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 20 minutes and an additional 5 minutes under the broiler.

Nutritional Information
191 calories per serving
2 g fat
30 g protein
1 g sugar
13 g carbs