credit: Google images

credit: Google images

 

The week has been weird.

It first started off with an epic attempt at gourmet cooking for the Easter Meal. Actually the strangest start to the week was that we had “Easter Dinner” on Monday. But anyway, I LOVE to cook. There was a time when I seriously deliberated not finishing my Bachelor’s Degree (I only had one year left! Crazy person!) and enrolling in Cooking School. Thankfully, I spent that summer in training under the Chef at the new and improved “Grizzly Grill” and soon learned that I wasn’t meant to have a career in cooking. But I still love cooking…everyday I look forward to cooking something tasty and I gotta say, I’m not a half bad cook

These days I usually just cook for myself. Sometimes my boyfriend but never large groups of people like I had done in Colorado. Easter dinner was finally my chance to impress a larger crowd! I decided to make a Caesar Salad, garlic and herb mashed potatoes and “chicken fritters.” Late Sunday Night I slaved over the hot stove boiling potatoes , mincing garlic and shallots, pouring heavy whipping cream (the secret to heavenly potatoes), melting butter (if your food doesn’t taste that good….just add more butter!), chopping a ridiculous amount of chicken, and my favorite part..shredding cheese. Cheese is something I simply cannot live without.

Although I have never made a chicken fritter before in my life, I was like, “How hard can it be? I’ll just wing it!” No recipe, No nothing! I mix together pounds of this chopped chicken I had just credit: google imagescooked and seasoned(which ended up being a crazy concoction of about 30 different spices…BIG NO in chef world) and throwing it in a big bowl along with whip cream, shallots, cream cheese, and cheese….a crazy amount of cheese. I had this vision that my fritters would turn out something like a cheese stick: tons of gooey cheese but with a surprise of chicken. Are you getting an idea of where this is headed?

I gathered bread crumbs and mixed it with herbs and flour (as if the 30 spices on the chicken were not enough!) and then decided I would not dip the mixture in an egg solution of any kind. The mixture was moist enough….I figured…moist enough to hold on a floury encasing surely. I don’t have a deep friar, so I poured a heck of a lot of olive oil in a pan on the stove and turned that puppy onto medium low heat…my stove is practically an antique all the temperature gauges are off so most of the time I just guess! By now its nearing midnight and I am ready to be done with cooking…I had been at it for a good 2 hours and I just wanted to hit the sack.

I toss in the fritters and notice the oil wasn’t exactly bubbling hot like its supposed to be…Oh well….whatever. More and more fritters go into the pan. I watch the fritters “fry” and notice the oil doesn’t cover them completely. I think, “Oh well, I will just flip them over after a few minutes.” YEAH RIGHT. In a few minutes there were no visible solid objects in the pan. Panicking I touch a heap of a now “life less” fritter and it completely desentigrates into a brown mush. I touch more of the remains of the other fritters to find they had suffered the same fate.I now was cooking a thick brown greasy soup, that was sure to be a crowd pleaser at the Easter Dinner. After five minutes of brainstorming on how to fix this hash that was once chicken fritters I realized there was only one thing that could be done. With a swift flick of the wrist I skillfully tossed the “chicken fritter soup” in its entirety into the trash. COOKING FAIL.

Other weird things that happened to me this week: going to the store and not realizing I left my wallet until I was at the register; I ended up paying with my boyfriends credit card that was randomly at the bottom of my purse. I hope I don’t look like a Josh! Leaving a flash drive with necessary information…vital information on it at work; my driver’s side door deciding not to open. (that has been fun…I feel European…not really)

Last night I grabbed tea with a friend in the cutest coffee shop ever. I had not seen her since my sister’s wedding in Colorado so there was much to talk about. We chit chat back and forth about life until she says, “I’ve had an off week.”

I’m like,”Me too…it’s something in the air I guess.”

“First it started off with this total disaster of food I was bringing to Easter Dinner!” She exclaimed.

Eyes bulged. Am I hearing this!?

She went on to tell me that she made koleslaw that turned completely purple. Like Barney the dinosaur purple.

After I tell her about my lovely, “Chicken fritter soup” we suddenly both burst into laughter…at our selves ….at each other…..at the whole situation.

Learn to laugh at yourself!!! When life throws you lemons….if you were me….you would eat them and be happy because you LOVE lemons….but if life throws you lemons make lemonade!!!

You will be a happy person If you learn to not take yourself too seriously and laugh a lot!

So…this is probably the most random post I’ve ever done.

So...this is probably the most random post I've ever done.

Photo credit: Google Images/campaign against landmines

I was at work searching for art for a newsletter bite on Ketchup and Mustard. During my searching, I found THIS. A ketchup packet that gives a representation of what happens when someone steps on a land mine. =( I have never seen anything like this before, (maybe I am just out of the loop!) I could not stop looking at it so I decided to share via blog/social media.

At first I wasn’t sure if this was too much…and I am still not sure!(I do think this is fabulous marketing/graphic designing. Well, not for selling ketchup-I actually don’t think I would be able to par-take in ketchup from one of these packets, it would be really sad!)

My first thought when I saw this was “This is so sad/horrible!” but the next thought was, “I want to help stop this!”  I do have to say that, even though this marketing is rather gruesome and kinda graphic it really does complete it’s mission and goal. It raises questions and awareness very quickly. I’ve heard that sometimes you have to look square on to the “ugly” to be able to  fix it.Right after seeing this I wanted to find more out about helping getting land mines removed from these 89 countries. (if you do want to help I believe the website to go to is: CALM, New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines)

Your Thoughts: did they go too far in marketing their cause or did they nail it?

…..Just Because

ImageOne Vacation to Virginia Beach sticks out in my mind.

Not because the sun was shining extra brightly making each and every day perfect (well, actually one day there was torrential rain!), not because the people I was with are people packed with laughter and fun, not because of all of the tasty eateries(my favorite is this Italian hole in the wall place-I CANNOT remember the name, sadness!), not the ocean, or volleyball, or boogie boarding, or walks under a starry sky along the water. Something else made this vacation extra memorable.

That summer we decided to add something to our vacation “to do list”: Make a stranger’s day. Each of us in the group set aside $25 with the soul purpose of making other random people happy. We decided we would share the stories of our “random acts of kindness” on the drive home.

BOY this is such a fun, memorable thing to do! The stranger that sticks out in my mind was a guy who bussed tables at this fabulous Italian Restaurant. I noticed him cleaning the tables and doing a great job, but something in his eyes told me that he was having a rough day. After dinner I went over to him and said, “Hi, umm…so I wanted to let you know you are doing an awesome job!” I handed him a crisp $10 bill. Yes, it was only $10 but I think it meant a lot more to him. The look on his face was priceless! His face literally was glowing and he got the biggest smile. He thanked me over and over again and kept saying you are AWESOME! He ran around and told other employees and then said while waving as we left, “You guys are all so amazing! You really made my day, you have no idea!”

So even replaying this memory in my head makes me happy (i am literally smiling right now….=) ) There is something WONDERFUL about helping or doing something nice for someone for no reason at all. One of my favorite quotes is, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”-PlatoWant a full, happy life? Bless the strangers and friends around you…JUST BECAUSE.

Do you have a story where you did a random act of kindness or where someone did something kind to you?

 

Sky Lantern Crisis, operation: Bucketlist

Sky Lantern Crisis, operation: Bucketlist

One of my bucket list items is to one day see and be apart of “Sky Lantern Festival.” I am pretty sure there can’t be much out there that is more breath taking.

My chance ALMOST occurred in August of last year….yes…ALMOST.

Right now I am in that phase of life where everyone around me is getting married. Especially everyone in my close group of friends. We would laugh to each other and say after each wedding, “And then there were 5” after the next wedding, “And then there were 4”, and so on and so forth. (Btw now it is “And then there was 1” can you guess who that is? Yes. It is me. Another story, another time…haha!)
So my little sister, Katie got married last August and she like me ( and probably two billion other people out there) was IN LOVE with these sky lanterns. She and her fiancé bought about 70 from some “not commonly known” internet site. But who cares? Their “wedding exit” was going to be an epic event. And I was going to be able to cross something off my bucket list. Everyone in the wedding party was THRILLED.

Except Katie’s future father-in-law, Dave.

“I don’t think this is a good idea,” he would say shaking his head.
“You guys are gonna light somethin on fire,” more head shaking
“I think those things are illegal” followed by look of disapproval

Katie and Noah decided, to ease Dave’s fears by testing out the lanterns a few weeks before the wedding. Even during the testing Dave was warning against it.

“Dad, it won’t even do anything. Look the label says that the fire extinguishes in air, hundreds of feet above the ground and then it slowly comes back down. There won’t be any fires,” Noah told him in his usual happy-go-lucky voice.

“I REALLY think this is a bad idea,” Dave said firmly and added, “and I think it’s illegal in our township.” (btw….I never heard or knew townships existed before coming out east…so complex people!)

“I’ll just see if it will raise into the sky and right when it starts to lift, I’ll grab it and put the fire out. Dad, It WILL BE OK!” Noah said holding one sky lantern in his hand.

A group of us gathered on the back porch to watch: Katie, me, my boyfriend, and a hesitant Dave.

Noah opened up the lantern the best he could and lit the wick (which was a square contraption-I have no idea how it worked.) We all watched with twinkling eyes waiting for that magical moment when the sky lantern would lift. And there is sat. And sat. And sat.

Thinking it was defective Noah set up and lit another lantern. Same thing. No movement, not even an inch off the ground. “Let me give it a boost.” Noah said and lifted the lantern about an inch off the porch. Nothing. He tried over and over again, raising it higher and higher each time; still the lantern just sunk to the floor. We were all disappointed, except Dave, he was clearly relieved.

I wasn’t ready to give up on the lantern. LIGHT BULB goes off in my mind! “You guys, in the movies you have to ‘send it off’ almost push it into the sky,” I said picking up the lantern and imagining myself as a native of Taiwan. I lifted it high over my head and pushed it off.

IT WAS FLOATING!!

We all gazed on it starry eyed….but then it was 15 feet in the air.

“Noah-grab that sucker!” Dave hissed.

“CRAP!” Noah leaped into the air in a futile attempt to bring the sky lantern back to earth.

It was now floating twenty feet above our heads. Noah grabbed a nearby snow shovel and attempted to bat it from the sky. But it was no use, the lantern had officially set sail. Fifty feet, one hundred feet, two hundred feet it went up. We watched it become a speck in the sky.

Dave was frazzled. “This is bad. This is very bad. The police are going to come.”

“Dad, they won’t know where it even came from, besides it was an accident,” Noah said.

We watched the speck of the lantern hovering over the city, thrilled that it worked and believing there was nothing to worry about.

“It’s so beautiful! These will look awesome at the wedding!” Katie and I exclaimed.

“See, Dad, no worries. They are harmless–

Noah hadn’t even finished his sentence when Dave cut him off, “Is it just me or is it coming down? It is coming down-fast!”

We watched in horror as the sky lantern seemed to pause in mid air then come crashing at top speed back to earth still on fire.

“Someone get water!” Noah screamed and went running in the direction of the lantern.

I grabbed a bucket and filled it with water from the kitchen sink and went running after him to find that the lantern had logged itself into a tree.

This just got from bad…to worse. We watched helplessly as the fire still remained flickering fifty feet up in this tree knowing that it would be just a matter of moments before the tree was engulfed in flames and an entire mobile home park was in danger.

Then, like promised, the fire went out. BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. We all screamed cheers and started to breath again.

Needless to say, Katie and Noah didn’t have sky lanterns at their wedding- so seeing a sky full of sky lanterns is STILL on my bucket list. (and yes, I am tempted to use the remaining 68 lanterns…maybe a beach adventure?)

Anyone else have a bucket list/ wedding disaster?

Liebster Award…nominations coming soon!

So…super excited to have been nominated for the Liebster Award!!Thanks again John Guillen!

The 11 random facts about myself:

1. I am a twin…but people might already know that. (btw random twin fact…twins typically don’t like to be referred to as “the twins”….we have names!)

2. I am terrified of heights

3. Unless by unavoidable circumstances…I will NEVER cut my hair shorter than my shoulders. I have done it before and yeah…NOT MY LOOK!

4. I have lived in Alaska before in a town of maybe 500 people(me and my twin sister were the most popular kids in our kindergarten class upon arrival to our school! I don’t think the town we lived in ever had seen twins before!)

5. I am a hiking fanatic but I think people that hike Mount Everest are crazy…admirable…but crazy! Way too cold and too high!

6. I suck at most sports except Badmitten (lol) and Ultimate Frisbee.

7. When I was little I came up with a bunch of different ways to get out of eating vegetables…my favorite was throwing them in the toilet..until I got caught because I forgot to flush!

8. This one is really weird: I am a “super taster”…I have like a million “sweet” taste buds that pick up on the sugar flavor so intensely that anything with a sweet flavor (apples, chocolate, cake, peaches etc.) tastes like too sweet (imagine a cup of juice with half a cup of sugar -that is what anything sweet tastes like to me.) I never eat icecream-candy-fruit (except lemons!)

9. Nerdy Life Moment: joining a mime group in junior high…yeah…what was I thinking?

10. My brother-in-law looks almost exactly like Tim Tebow.

 

11 Questions I’m answering. (I hope I’m doing this right!)
1. What kind of music do you listen to, if any while writing?
Sometimes I set Pandora onto “Love Songs”..I’m obsessed with romance. But most of the time I just don’t bother listening to music while writing (I get carried away with singing to the music eventually).
2. What is it about writing that keeps you going, when you are not sure you want to continue?
There is something deep inside me that loves it. I don’t think I could ever loose this love.
3. Who is your favorite author?
Autumn Komzik…haha no…I have a few. Classic Author: Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is a fabulous book. Nicolas Sparks I think is great at characterization. I don’t love all of his books but The Guardian and Safe Haven and The Last Song are phenomenal. Great writer!
4. What genre do you read but swear you will never write?
Every now and then I will pick up a Biography. History Nerd Alert!
5. What do you do when you tell yourself something along the lines “I will only procrastinate a little bit longer”? Hopefully I understood this question correctly.
If I am procrastinating I am probably hanging with people, cooking, getting carried away with Pandora and singing to the tunes, reading a super good book, pondering life.
6. What brings you right into a writing mood, how do you keep it that way?
Reading a great book, thinking about my novel, looking up amazing places/ interesting historic sites and facts, letting my imagination run wild…usually this keeps me going the most…often happens when I am going on a walk all by my lonesome.Trying new things or going new places or meeting new people.
7. Favorite series and favorite stand alone:
The Hunger Games. I think I read the last two books in one week. The last book in two days. (Another great series: Sebastian St. Cyr.) Well, I don’t think I have a favorite book but the book I have read the most is “The Captive” by Victoria Holt.
8. Have you ever seriously messed up your sleeping schedule because of a book? Was it worth it? What were you reading?
Sometimes I write deep into the night because it is the only time I have alone. Job, life, ect. can fill my day pretty quickly. But reading a book deep into the night: “The Last Song” was my most recent. “Why Mermaid’s Sing” was another.
9. What do you do to remember those ideas you come up with when you are not able to write?
Sticky notes and random pieces of paper! I also have a “writing notebook.” Sometimes I can’t whip the notebook out at work…but sticky notes and scrap paper are always available in the office!
10. Any books or series you thought were great and then the ending ruined them for you? I read this book in high school, I can’t even remember the name, but it was a fictional story about this man who had survived the Holocaust. He and his wife got separated in Germany during that awful time and afterwards he spent his whole life looking for her. In the book he is in his 80s and randomly meets this lady who ends up finding his wife for him. As they are just about to meet again (the wife is literally walking through the door) the man has a massive heart attack and dies without ever seeing her. Left me feeling totally depressed.
11. Why do you write?
It gives me this feeling that I can create things: beautiful things, interesting things, thrilling things. And I can connect and touch hundreds of people that maybe I have never met or will meet through writing. And it is so much FUN!

So I will nominate soon….I just have to figure out how to tag people…I’m sorry =( There are so many good blogs!!!!!! I love reading them all!!! So Nominations will be coming!!!