Saturday, January 11, 2014

Crazy bow lady!!

Since I have gone crazy making bows for myself, they have been accumulating all around my house! I'm pretty sure I've already lost three, and I have no idea where they could have gone. Sad, I know. 

Alas, a solution has arisen! I created myself a bow holder, of sorts. I take no credit for the idea. It is floating all around Pinterest. However, most of the pins I found had comments like "Perfect for the little girl in your life!". Which naturally doesn't help my self esteem. I know, I know. I'm a twenty something running around wearing bows, what should I really care?

And while part of me really, really, really (I mean REALLY) wanted to make the one on Pinterest that was fashioned to look like a princess dress,  to quote the internets "Ain't nobody got time for dat!". Well, at least I don't. Nor did I have the tools on hand. Plus, while Jeff tolerates a lot, (Like, seriously, a lot) I don't think he would have liked that hanging in our bedroom. 

(And since I'm sure you are dying to see what I'm talking about, check it out!)

Seriously fabulous, right? 

Well, I think mine is pretty fantastic too. It's more grown up, but not really.

I took one of those wooden letters you can get at any craft store and used my Sharpie's and Sharpie Paint Pens to deck it out. I think it turned out pretty cool. And even though I didn't put nearly enough OCD effort into it as I could have, it looks good. It is sort of a tribal-esque design. Like I said, it's not perfect. My lines aren't all symmetrical, or straight even, but it has character. 

Naturally. I mean it was made by this crazy lady. I will post an updated picture eventually of it hanging with my bows on it, but for now it is just hanging out on my kitchen table drying. 

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Om Nom Nom: Chicken Fajitas

What's Cookin, Good-lookin?

I made delicious Chicken Fajitas tonight! With the awesome winter storm that we've had, I haven't been able to go to the store yet. It has been good though! I have been cooking things from our freezer.


Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (For just my husband and I, I use one chicken breast)
A large onion
A medium sized bell pepper (we used Orange, but any color will do!)
White Rice
Fajita seasoning
Lime/Lemon Juice
Taco Seasoning
Philadelphia Cooking Creme Santa Fe Blend

The first thing I did tonight was cook my chicken. This meal can be done two ways. Sometimes I cook the chicken in my pan with my vegetables and some oil. Tonight, I simmered my chicken in water to cook the chicken breast so that I could shred it. I'm also planning to make chowder tomorrow and will use the stock from tonight in my soup.

While my chicken simmered, I chopped up my veggies. I like my onions and peppers to be thin slices since we are going to eat this all on a tortilla.

I saute up my veggies with about 1/2 a tablespoon of butter, salt, pepper, a little lime juice, and some fajita seasoning. The fajita seasoning I use was a gift from a friend. It is from Mexico and absolutely delicioso. I have also used McCormick Fajita Seasoning for this meal and it works just as well.

I let these cook down until my onions are translucent and they have slight grill marks on them. I like my onions and peppers to be soft. If you prefer them to have a little crisp to them, do not cook them as long.

While these are cooking, I shred my chicken breast. The best way I have found to this is by using two forks. I use one fork to hold the chicken in place and the other to pull the chicken apart into shreds.

At the same time, I cook my rice. For timeliness, I used minute rice tonight. On occasion, I have used regular rice that I prepare in our rice cooker before hand. I normally just make 2 servings because it is just my husband and I. 

After my veggies have cooked down to my preferred crispness, I add my chicken into my pan. At this point, I also add in my Cooking Creme. It gives my chicken a great flavor and helps keep it nice and moist.

I add in enough to cover the chicken and let that cook for a little while. The last thing I add in is my rice. I throw in another 1/2 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle a little taco seasoning, fajita seasoning, and lime juice for flavor. I also add some more Cooking Creme to flavor my rice. Stir this all up together and let it cook on medium for five minutes.

Looks yummy right? Well, even if it doesn't look yummy, it tastes amazing. We like to eat ours on tortillas, sprinkle on some cheese, sour cream, and some Ortega Taco Sauce. However, it's also really good on its own.

Any questions? Let me know! This is a super simple dinner. In total, it only took about an hour to prepare. It takes way less time to eat. =]

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why I Geek Thanksgiving

This weeks topic is Thanksgiving.

While it isn't my favorite holiday, I still believe Thanksgiving to be an incredibly important time to celebrate. This time of year we all focus more on the things we should appreciate in our lives. All too often we look at what we are missing or what we want instead of realizing how amazingly blessed we are.

Likewise, I am one of those people who doesn't like seeing Christmas decorations and merchandise in stories on November 1st. This year some stores actually had Christmas merchandise out before Halloween! We complete skipped two holidays people! I really like Halloween too...

Even in the last few weeks, if you go into most major retailers, there aren't Thanksgiving decorations out or Thanksgiving merchandise. The shelves are overly stocked with Christmas nonsense! Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year, but I find something wrong with completely ignoring Thanksgiving.

Not to mention, that we basically skip Thanksgiving and jump right to Black Friday, which isn't even a holiday but a celebration of what is wrong with our society. On this day we put ourselves first in a rush to get over priced merchandise we probably don't even need. 

Before you cry hypocrite, don't worry, I will do it for you. I have actively participated in Black Friday on more than one occasion. I am not incredibly proud of it, and I can't deny that I may not participate this year. However, I try to make sure that I am respectful of others and that I realize how lucky I am to be able to afford the things I have. I do my best to to keep up with the giving spirit of the season and that is my focus this time of year. (Check out my Post "The Happiest Time of Year" for more on that.)
This week I want to look at all the things I love about Thanksgiving. From food recipes to awesome crafts to do with little ones, or on your own!

Check back tomorrow for more Thanksgiving geekery!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Looking to the Future

What's up with this blog?

I've had to sit and really think about the direction I plan to go with this blog. Lots of bloggers like to just write about what comes to mind and what is happening in the moment of their life. Or you have blogs that focus their posts on a particular subject or purpose. 

I think I would like to be a nice mixture. 

My goal is to focus each week on one subject. Something that I "geek".

This has been an off week, since I have just started, but from here on out each week will have a purpose. 

The fun thing is, I am open to suggestions. There are plenty of things that I love and that I could geek out about. Any good writer knows you have to target your readers though. So please, comment, e-mail, message, send smoke signals, something. Just let me know some things you would like to see. 

Within the realm of my geekery, I want to create tutorials, suggestions, recipes, projects. I also want to write and just express my opinion on things. 

So bear with me as I get my footing and really figure out how this is going to work. 

I'd also really love to get feedback. How else can I improve on things if you guys don't tell me how much I suck? Well, please don't tell me I suck, but I would love to hear what you have to say too! 

As for my geek out of the day: I am so excited for the Hunger Games: Catching Fire! I've read the books, but I haven't seen the movie yet. NO SPOILERS!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why I Love Just Dance

Why I love to Just Dance

I hate working out. It is possibly one of the things I dread most. Sad right? I know, it's so good for me and I feel better afterwards, but just the idea of having to work out makes me feel so bleagh...

My husband bought me a Wii a few years back as a birthday present, and along with it he got me Just Dance 4. I was psyched. I had heard such great things, it looked like fun online. What I was not expecting was how much of a workout it was! Now, I am not the most in shape person. I don't run marathons. I can't bench press my body weight, but I do consider myself pseudo physically fit. I don't start to huff and puff and blow my house down walking up the stairs.

I love the feeling of playing Just Dance. I was a dancer when I was little, in theater and band as a high schooler. I even did Colorguard all through college and still coach one. Rhythmic movement has always appealed to me, more so than steady running. 

The best part is, I don't feel like a fool for getting the moves wrong. I really try to focus on it as a workout. Instead of just doing the moves, I try to engage my entire body. It's easy to focus on certain muscle groups with different moves. Any dance step that requires leg moving, I turn into a squat. If its a pop movement, I pull in my stomach muscles and work it like a crunch.

It is by far my favorite workout. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you should drop all other workouts and just go pick up Just Dance.  Think of it as a nice change of pace. I still like going for a jog or going over to my gym. But as a self admitted self conscious person, I prefer the ability to work out in my living room. I don't feel the pressure to be perfect or the need to look my best. I'm happy to throw on some sweats, a headband, and t-shirt and just dance to my little hearts content. 

My husband laughs at me and says it isn't really a work out, but I whole-heartedly disagree. If it isn't a work out, then neither is step aerobics, yoga, or Zumba. There are lots of people out there who would say those are definitely work outs. And I would say so is Just Dance. The thing is treating it like a work out. I see people at the gym all the time who aren't working out. Great, you're out at a gym. Good for you. But lazily walking for fifteen minutes on the treadmill at a sloth's pace is not working out. 

You have to really engage yourself in your work out and I can do that with Just Dance. Yes, it is my favored workout. And for any mommies out there, it's great for when the little one is down for a nap.

Or to play with little one! My son likes to watch the dancers and dances along with me. It's pretty adorable.

Just Dance 2014 is on my Christmas list by the way. (hint hint)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Happiest Time of Year

The Happiest Time of Year

Today I embarked on my first step in preparing for the Christmas/Holiday season (because Thanksgiving is still around the corner). I didn't put up our tree, hang a wreath, or buy any presents. I still haven't switched to listening to Christmas songs every waking hour, and I was even a little sad that the stores were playing them. 

My first holiday action was buying a dollar toy for Toys for Tots as I checked out at the store today.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying I am better than anyone who has begun the holiday season in other fashions. It is my favorite time of year, and I can't wait for December to hit. Yet, today made me think.

I always budget for the Christmas season, and a huge part of that budget is for little things like that dollar toy. Or for the red Salvation Army buckets. Or the numerous other charities and causes that spring up this time of year. 

However, as I patiently stood in line today with my one year old, I watched as each person in front of me quickly declined the cashiers question of donating. It's not necessarily wrong or bad, but when you are buying six 12-packs of soda, what is one dollar? I'm sure we all have our reasons, and I know on more than one occasion the words of "We can't afford to do that!" have crossed my lips. That's why I started budgeting money away for those moments.

When it was finally our turn, I set our five items on the counter and unbuckled my kiddo from the cart. The store had a little box of small toys sitting on the counter that you could pick to donate from. I lifted up my son and let him pick out a toy. Now, I know, he's only one. I understand. I don't my son is a genius or that he realizes what he was doing.

All that said, I still let him pick. I told the cashier that we would donate the Hot Wheels car that he had grabbed and she had us walk it over to the giant Toys for Tots box. There were only five toys in the box. It made my heart break a little. Christmas is still far off, but only five? My son let the car fall in with the others and we paid for our things and left. 

Next time we go shopping there, I will let him pick out another toy and we will drop it in that great big box. Hopefully, there will be more toys in there. As we continued our errands, we did the same thing at another store, only this time we bought a can of food to give a family for Thanksgiving. Just little things. Nothing extraordinary or special, but it is what I do each holiday season.

Which is what I have been thinking about. Why do I only do this during the months of November and December? Is there some magical spell that says people will only want or need during these two months? I know the answer is no, but why do we treat it like that's the case?

I came home today and while my son napped, I looked at my budget. Not just my holiday budget, my whole budget. The financial plan that makes up my entire year. Why don't I budget for June or July? It will take some research on my part, but I know there are ways to give throughout the whole year. I've known it all along, but I'm not doing it. I wait till the spirit of the Christmas holiday season comes upon me, just like everyone else, and then I give.

So now, I will be looking at my budget again in January and instead of putting aside money to donate only in November and December, I will budget out the other 10 months as well. I'm not sure what I will give to yet, since there isn't a red bucket outside of the department stores in May, but I will figure it out. 

As far as my son goes, I will continue to let him help in my donations. I know he is only one, but it sets a precedent. Even at this early age, I want him to have a giving and generous heart. In order to do that, I have to be the example.

I hope next time you check out at the store, the clerk asks you to donate to something. Maybe you will say yes, or maybe you will drop a dollar in the red bucket. When you do it, I hope six months from now you will remember. Six months from now, I hope you find something else to donate to like I plan to.

I Am a Geek

I am a Geek.

It took me a long time to admit that to myself, and even saying it now feels odd. I've had to re-write this post several times, because I just wasn't quite sure how I wanted to word this.

In high school, I would have been embarrassed to call myself a geek. It wouldn't have mattered, because other people were doing it for me. Geek, Nerd, and Weirdo were the proverbial words of choice. 

Today, I am proud to be each one of those things, because here's the thing. We are all Geeks. Every last person on this planet is a geek. This summer my library participated in a campaign that demonstrated this perfectly. Let me show you.

How awesome is this? The campaign featured posters of celebrities and authors sharing what their particular geekdom was, in the phrase of "I Geek ____" and fill in the blank. Which really illustrates my point.

Being a Geek or a Nerd doesn't mean you are obsessed with Comic Books or Video Games. It doesn't mean you play Pokemon or that you can speak Klingon. Being a Geek only means that you are passionate about a particular subject. It means that you could talk for days about that one thing you geek over and still find new things that fascinate you.

I am so proud to be a Geek. Now, as a Mom, I want to encourage my son to be a Geek. That doesn't mean I am going to make sure he is well stocked with comic books or that he can use an X-Box controller by the time he is two. It does mean that I am going to encourage him to pursue his passions. I love superheroes and Star Wars, but if my son Geeks football, I will be out there learning how to throw a spiral pass. I want him to be a Geek in his own right.

To anyone who reads this, I hope you are proud to be a geek. If you aren't, then you should be. The world is full of Geeks and we are all driven and excited over different things for a purpose. So wear your Geek proudly and never let anyone tell you it's a bad thing, because being a Geek is the best. Trust me, I'm a Geek.