Thursday, March 31, 2005

Time Off

Today my new manager told me that we're going to get to the point where it's okay if I take vacation for a week. Not that I can't now, I just choose not to, because I know I would just have to work twice as hard when I got back.

That is good. I am taking a day off tomorrow, even though I will technically still be "on call" but we are getting new carpet, and my parents are coming, and maybe I will also go for a run! Good times!

In other thoughts. I was not happy about Jessica Sierra being voted off American Idol. Actually I was just not happy with the Bottom 3 last night. It should have at least been Scott and Anthony. Who are the people voting for these 2? I can't even think that Scott is getting the 11 year old girls vote!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Honey-Spiced Chicken with Carrots and Grapes

Here's a recipe I tried last night. Interesting. The cinnamon is actually what I tasted the most. I will make this again, it may not be a regular dish, but good. Try it... See what you think.

Honey-Spiced Chicken with Carrots and Grapes

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
3 medium carrots, cut into julienne strips (2 cups)
2 cups seedless red grapes cut in half
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp balsamic or red vinegar wine
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Hot cooked rice, if desired
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired

Remove fat from chicken. Place chicken and remaining ingredients except rice and parsley in 10” nonstick skillet. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Remove chicken; keep warm. Heat sauce in skillet to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve chicken on rice; pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.


From Betty Crocker’s Healthy New Choices

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Aggressive at the Library

I think I may have been a bit aggressive at the library last night. I checked out 4 books that are due back in 3 weeks.

Hopefully I will have time! ha! too funny! No time. We are getting new carpet on Friday and will have to spend every evening painting and tearing out the old carpet. But it will be nice! We will not want to move!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Mr. Maybe



I just finished reading Mr. Maybe, by Jane Green.

Excellent book! It came recommended from Steph. I got so caught up in it, and I wanted to get it done, that it never occurred to me that I have no idea what I am going to read next! I will have to read one of my post-poned magazines tomorrow on the bus and get to the library tomorrow night! I'd love to hear any suggestions!

The book was what I would classify as a girly book. Girl who loves to shop falls in love(?) or does she... you'll have to read it to find out! This was definitely a fun book, and if you can't get it from the library, buying it might be worth it, because your girlfriends will enjoy it too! (Or ask Steph)

Pear Spinach Salad

Today for our family Easter dinner, I made this salad. It's called officially Festive Dinner Salad, and I found it at kraftfoods.com. Very quick, and VERY tasty!

Pear Spinach Salad

8 cups baby spinach (I used regular and it was still good)
2 medium pears, sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced
3/4 cup cashews
1 cup raspberry vinaigrette (KRAFT Light Done Right!)

Combine Spinach, pears, onion, and cashews in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing just before serving.

Make-Ahead
Combine all ingredients except the pears and dressing. Slice the pears and toss with the dressing. Refrigerate the salad and pears separately until ready to use. Toss the salad with the pear mixture just before serving.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Mmmmm... Good Muffin


Betty Crocker's Cinnabon Cinnamon Streusel Muffins. If you ever want to take bagels or muffins to work or anywhere, this a cheaper alternative than buying them at a bakery, and so good! I always get asked for the recipe when I do make them! Currently I've found it at Simon Delivers and Cub Foods. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Spring Holiday

Tomorrow is Retek's "Spring Holiday". I wonder how many odd company holidays fall on a Muslim or Hindu holiday. I'm not complaining. I get a day off!

What am I going to do with my day off? Hopefully have lunch with my friend Sarah. She better have caught up on AI by then, as she found out who got kicked off last week, by reading my blog before she watched the show!

I am off to watch the results now. I've had to wait 2 days due to the phone number mishap on Tuesday! I thought they all did pretty well, with the exception of 1. I think Carrie was my favorite though.

Enjoy the holiday weekend if I don't make it back until after!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Good Earth



Today I finished reading The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck. It is a Pulitzer Prize winning book (1932), as well as an Oprah book.

I'm guessing that currently "Oprah" probably carries more weight than "Pulitzer".

It was an excellent book. It takes place in 19th Century China and is a story that follows the life of the main character, Wang Lung. I read it for my friend Jodi's book club, and am looking forward to the discussion, because there are so many phases of his life and themes of what is important in life and survival. When I started I was not extremely interested, but it was one that I could not put down. I highly recommend this book! And since it is considered a classic, it should be available at the library, but is also pretty inexpensive through Amazon (especially if you don't buy the Oprah version)

Monday, March 21, 2005

The World is an Ashtray??

I have a new pet peeve! I was standing waiting for the bus today and looking around on the ground I see no litter except for about 25 cigarette butts? How come so many smokers think it's okay to throw their butts on the ground? They aren't biodegradable at all. Just another fact that this is a dirty dirty habit. And it's not just bus riders, but you see people flick cigarettes out the windows on the highways too. Or dumping ashtrays at stoplights. YUK! Turns out this doesn't bother just me, but I discovered by google that cigarette butts are estimated to be around 40% of litter!

Check out:
CigaretteLitter.org
CVW Cigarette Litter Home
Keep America Beautiful - Cigarette Litter

So, yeah, this has annoyed me for awhile, but I have just decided this is my #1 Pet Peeve. And I may have to invest in this bumper sticker.



But to cheer myself up, I went to Target and bought the Maroon 5 cd.

I think any album named "Songs about Jane" has to be top notch!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Busy Busy

It was a busy busy weekend! I got a lot done! It's amazing how much I can get done with fewer distractions! (My big distraction was in Nashville for the NCAA tournament)

I pulled the carpet off our steps and painted the walls there! The walls look great! Hopefully we'll get some carpet ordered this week and that installed in the next few weeks! I was also able to get some shopping done for some valences or curtains for the living room.

All in all, it was a nice productive weekend! And heading into a 4 day week, I feel pretty good for a Sunday night! Off for some milk and pumpkin chocolate chip bread! Yummmm!!!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I tried this recipe today! Yummm!! I got it from Karin.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

2 cups sugar

2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup vanilla pudding (2 Handi Snacks)
4 large egg whites (or 2 large eggs)
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 5 ingredients (sugar -->eggs) in a large bowl, stirring well with whisk. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl, stir well with whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring until just moist. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into 2 loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack, remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Conan

I've never watched much of Conan on Late Night, but this clip is pretty funny! You'll need sound and about 8 minutes! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Almost There

I'm looking forward to the weekend!

The voters got it right... at least last night they did

Lindsay got voted off American Idol last night, and based on the last few weeks, I think the public got it right. She was not my least favorite of the 12, but she just hasn't been on her game like the others. Not like I have any reason to complain otherwise, because I didn't vote. It's still to early to choose one favorite.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

It's Only Wednesday!

This has been just a horrible stressful week at work. I just feel like I never have time to sit down. It just feels like I can get more accomplished if I work at home with no one stopping by, and maybe make other people stop and think before asking me a question!

Ever have one of those days? Grrr...

Chad leaves tomorrow for his annual NCAA tournament. I'll miss him, but it will be nice to have a few days on my own. I will probably spend some time working on the basement, but hopefully I will feel better before going back to work next week...

So sad, that I'm planning my weekend already and it's only Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

2nd Chance for Nikko and Fiddler on the Roof

I'm waiting for Chad to get home so we can watch AI together. I was pretty happy to hear that Mario dropped out of the competition, and that Nikko was able to join. I really liked Mario, but he'll do well enough without the competition, and I think Nikko got robbed! Actually my real opinion is that Scott should have been booted last week, then I'd be really sad to see Mario go.

I just hope it's a good competition. I don't even know what the theme will be this year. Wonder if it can top Barry Manilow night from last year??

Anybody out there listened to Gwen Stefani's new album? I really like her new song, but it may just be because I absolutely loved the Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack as a child. Probably only 2nd best to Free To Be You and Me, which is a TOTAL classic!

Note: It's 29% off at Amazon.com :)

Monday, March 14, 2005

TiVo Take Me Away...

Ever have one of those days where you feel super stressed and you're not really sure why, and then something stressful happens, and it was like you were just anticipating that stressful event throughout the whole day!

I woke up with a sore jaw this morning, signs that I was probably clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth in the night. And then got reamed by a customer late this afternoon. My body knew before I did...

And then all I want to do is come home and veg out in front of my TV with my girl scout cookies, and there isn't even anything good on Monday's anymore! No American Idol and no Bachlorette! So I guess Chad and I will go carpet shopping instead...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Save Karyn


I just finished Save Karyn. Pretty interesting. Hard to believe it's not fiction, because I can't imagine charging that much! Quick read, but definitely a book to get from the library. Posted by Hello

Budget Living - Organic Living Subscription Deal

If you're at all interested in Budget Living or Organic Living. Follow this link to get both 1 year subscriptions for $20!

I had a subscription to Budget Living last year. It was okay, but it was like Budget Living on the East Coast. I don't think I am especially cheap, but there was a lot of stuff in the magazine, that I would still consider out of my price range...

To Start It All Off

I like to send emails to my friends about books that I've read and recipes that I've tried. In fact when I was a Pampered Chef consultant, the part I loved most (besides the free kitchen products) was writing the newsletter and trying new recipes to put in my newsletter. But email can be tedious for those who don't want to read it!

So here I am, I'm going to try out another power of the internet! I've just read the book Save Karyn, all about the girl who successfully put up a website and asked strangers surfing the web to give her $1 to help pay off her $20,000 of credit card debt. Now I'm not asking for anything! I'm just thinking about how I can use the internet to my advantage. And I figured free blog? I will try this! In fact this might be my way I go about distributing recipes to my friends now, so I wouldn't clutter up your inbox with lists of books or recipes! You can just come here to my little blog!

Plus I might have humorous side notes about my weekends and discuss what I think about the contestants on "American Idol" or the most recent fashion goof exposed on "What Not to Wear".

So if you want to see what my day to day life is like read on!