Monday, June 30, 2014

Foodie Favorites

Dear Food Fairy, Why don't you visit my house more with meals I don't have to prepare and cook myself?

I admit it. I don't plan meals. I never have, and I know I need to. Planning meals would help me lose a lot more weight. But I don't plan- so there we have it. So I'm faced with the daily question from my husband and kids, "what's for dinner?" 
Half of the time I have no idea and I have to throw something together that's both healthy and delicious. ugh. 

The next question from me, "what do you want?" or "what sounds good?"
Common responses, "I don't know." or "I don't care."
Too bad I don't have recipes for those. 

Thankfully, I have a slow cooker. And thankfully, I have a slow cooker cookbook. So I've gotten a little bit better with planning some meals to where it just cooks during the day. 

My favorite recipe? Chili. I love chili of any form! It's so easy to make and there's so many ways to change the recipe 
This is how I prepared it most recently

Brown your meat. I used ground turkey. 

add your spices. This is what I use when I don't cheat and use a pre packaged spice blend ;)

Pick out some stuff to go in your chili. This is what I used. 

Throw everything together. 

Mix everything together, turn it on low and let it cook all day! Viola! 
Bonus? Left overs can be used with hot dogs and BAM! instant chili dogs! heck yeah! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

It's A Celebration!

Pardon my over excitement, but....


 Let me refresh everyone's memory: Interviews Suck. BUT sometimes the results of said interviews don't suck. 
That's right ladies (and gentlemen if you're reading along too)... This little lady got the job! Can we say "nailed it"? 
Also, I'm not sorry for the overuse of Gifs today. I'm overly excited. 
I start July 7. Which means I have one more week of "stay at home mom" status. This also means I get 4th Of July weekend to relax. I'll be at a much bigger company than my old one, so it'll be a whole new experience.To put it into perspective, my old company had a total of 200 employees between the two facilities. The new company has millions of employees... globally. 
That's where I get nervous. But I've got this. Break out the bubbly, y'all! It's time to celebrate!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Adventures in Moving

Doesn't always seem like when you get bad news about anything it usually falls in sets of three?

Bad news #1: My car died. It's gone. The cost to fix it is about as much as a new car, so we're just looking for a new car now.

Bad news #2: I lost my job. Yes, I'm still whinging about it. (Last time I promise!)

Bad news #3: We're being forced into a move. The neighborhood (read: Trailer park) we live in is being closed down. Long story short: everyone is being forced to move. It was a bit of a shock because they didn't give us very long at all.

This Meme sums up how I feel right now. My house is a wreck.  I have a lot to pack, and very little time to do so. 

The good news? We found a new place! We signed the new lease and we have keys! The only problem with the new place is it needs some painting. 
I love most of the house; it's just the kitchen, living room, and mailbox that needs work. (Adventures in Decorating to be continued on another post) . 

Here's the The front walk... I added the solar lights :) 
Behind where I was standing, there is a little garden area at the corner of the street. Complete with cute little bird house. 

The mailbox will be an easy fix. It just needs a new flag. The current flag is Georgia Tech. We are not a GT family. This will be replaced with a UGA flag if anything. 

Here's the outside of the house. It's so freaking adorable! Please excuse my husband sticking out his gut.

Here's the kitchen. I'm sure you see what I mean in that it needs work. The green will not be staying! 

So now that I've spent too much time procrastinating. (Amanda has an amazing post about such a thing here.) I need to get back to packing. Anyone willing to come to Georgia to help will be provided beer and pizza. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

TBT: I Love Vacations

Most of my family vacations were spent camping in St Augustine,  Florida. If you've ever been to Florida in mid to late July, you know the heat and humidity is unbearable. So needless to say, camping (in a tent.... roughing it) in that weather is not what most people would call the "most fun experience in the world".

However, I do have a favorite vacation though! My sister and I got the (amazing) opportunity to visit St Thomas island, part of the US Virgin Islands. My Aunt and Uncle lived there for about three years due to my Uncle's job. Tough living, right? So for two summers my sister and I got a chance to visit. Best vacation EVER!

While we were there we went to the beach everyday, snorkeled, and relaxed by the pool.

I'm on the left
My Aunt knew lots of people in town on the island so we got some really good deals for parisailing and day charters on a sailboat.

I think sailing was my favorite activity. We left the dock at 9 am, sailed out to the north end of the island and anchored down. Then we were able to swim in the Caribbean or snorkel. While we enjoyed the water, the captain of the boat prepared lunch.
I'm on the left

18 is the legal drinking age in St. Thomas so I  admit to being a little bit drunk on the sailboat. I'm sure Amanda got some drunk texts while I was there. he-he.
I'm in the towel making a face...
What was your first/ favorite vacation?

Next Week on TBT Stories: 4th Of July Celebrations! 

Pick a size! 
Peaches in Missouri

Peaches in Missouri

Monday, June 23, 2014

Interviews Suck

So, by now I'm sure everyone knows I'm newly out of work and trying to adjust. I've been applying for jobs daily. In the state of Georgia, when you file for unemployment they require you to submit at least three contacts a week where you've tried to get a job.

Last week, one of my many resume submissions actually came of something. I had an interview with a really big company. *Here's where Melissa gets SUPER nervous!*
At my old job, I was one of the ones asking the interview questions. Applicants for MAC would have a phone interview with HR (I use that term loosely), and if HR thought they were a good fit they'd interview with all of the ladies from customer service (when I left there was four of us), if they passed our interview they'd move on to an interview with the general manager (AKA the dragon).
My point being- I'm familiar with the standard interview questions. This didn't make me any less nervous about going for an interview though.

The night before this was my mind running through the reel of questions (Keep in mind, I've already had said interview... I'm just in panic mode again thinking about it because I have a SECOND interview with the same company tomorrow 6/24/14)

//Describe your most recent responsibilities at your previous job
OK! Do you have the next three hours cleared on your calendars? Holy cow where do I start? I spent a long time trying to think of the key points I thought would be good for the position I was applying for. I knew I needed to include I'm a certified green belt in Six Sigma and I know what bill of materials are.

//What did you dislike about your previous job?
I hated the fact that we didn't really have a real HR manager and the fact that all of the guys in the office thought they could treat women like trash. Oh wait, I can't say that in an interview. crap. OK... I hated the fact it was an hour away from my house. That sounds good right?

//What would you say your strengths are?
Oh, that's easy! Time management and communication skills. [please don't make me elaborate]
...they made me elaborate...

//What are your weaknesses?
UGH! I hate this question. With a passion. They want you to say something. You can't just get off with saying "oh, I'm just incredibly awesome- I don't have any weaknesses". It's not going to fly. You have to say something. But you can't even be honest either because if your weakness is not being able to get to work on time that would blow the whole interview. I couldn't sleep the night before trying to think of an answer to this one.

//Why do you want this job?
Uh, because I'd be broke if I don't have this job. Plus you're super close to home. Oh you want the real reason? Because I really want to know everything there is to know about adhesives!

Trust me there were more. Maybe to be continued.
So like I said, tomorrow I have a second interview. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TBT: We Love to Eat!

Happy Thursday!  This week Amanda and I are talking about food! No lie, one of my favorite subjects (this is why I workout)

My love for food started at a young age. I have never, ever been a picky eater.
I can remember when my sister and I were still in elementary school my dad wanted to take us to a new restaurant. My sister protested loudly saying "I don't like it!" My dad's argument was the classic parent reply "how do you know if you don't like it if you've never tried it?"
I think the place he took us was a buffet style place. It was ages ago, and I don't remember what all we ate but I do know my sister's taste in food hasn't changed much.
I still will try new things. I like calamari, sushi, and veggies; Sis likes apples, chicken, and mac-n-cheese. Luckily at least one of my kids has my taste in trying new things (Ainsley)... Zander is the spaghetti and meat balls kid. 
Were you a picky eater as a kid? What was your favorite dish? Share your story!

It's summertime now! Next week tell us about your first family vacation memory or your favorite family vacation!

Pick a size!
Peaches in Missouri

Peaches in Missouri

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm Trying to be a Runner

I did something a few weeks ago I never thought I would do. *Drumroll, please* I signed up for a 5K race!
I have several months until the race actually takes place, but I'm still very nervous and very excited all at the same time.

The date: Saturday Sept 27, 2014
The Race: Run or Dye
The location: Atlanta, GA

I'm trying to get as much training in as possible given my broken toe, so in a way I'm glad I have a few months before the race. The last time I got a run (read: run/ fast pace walk combo) in I finished 3.1 miles in 37 minutes. In my opinion not a bad time... and actually a personal best.
I'll be doing the race with my Aunt. She's been getting fit since last year and she's been doing GREAT! She started at a size 24 and  now she's at a size 16! She looks amazing!
Neither of us are what you would call "professional runners". In high school I was on the swim team. I still love swimming and if I could find some sort of adult league somewhere (that I didn't have to pay an arm and leg to join) I would totally join a swim team. Running has never (ever) been my favorite sport. The fact that there are people running cross country for fun makes my head spin. I can barely get the motivation to push myself for a full three or more miles. Having said that, I'm glad it's my Aunt doing the race with me, because her feelings toward running are the exact same as mine. Eventually my Aunt and I want to enjoy running. If that's even possible. We're working up to obstacle course races... you know, the kind where you end up covered in mud. We have to start somewhere right?

The Run or Dye race is a good place to start because they don't record times. It's just a fun race to work up to bigger races. From the website: these are the "rules"


FIRST RULE: Don't worry - be Happy! Run or Dye is for everyone. No need to worry about if you are too fast, too slow, too old, too young, or too sexy! Just come experience the magic of the most colorful 5K this world has to offer!
SECOND RULE: You are your own canvas - Wearing all white may show off the color-or get costume-CRAZY wearing that old wedding dress, 80's leg warmers, or those snakeskin pajamas. See you at the starting line!
LAST RULE: Get ready to DYE and go to heaven! The Dye Zone is where the magic happens! Our Color Crew is specially trained to administer Random Acts of Color with total efficiency. (HINT: We also love subliminal messages, such as: begging and pleading, striking that pose that makes us all uncomfortable, or dancing like a maniac. These are all code for "HIT ME WITH COLOR!")

Have you ever done a 5K? Do you love or hate running? I'd love to hear all about it! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Broken Toes and Broken Workouts

Happy Tuesday! We're linking up with Allie and Kay for Tough it out Tuesday!

I'm not going to lie to y'all... my workouts have been far from regular.

Let's go back to May. The second week of May I went on vacation to New Jersey to see my in-laws. While we were up there I managed to get a run in every other day, but I didn't do any weights or get to the gym or anything. I felt OK though because at least with running I didn't GAIN at all, I maintained. (side note: my in-laws eat a LOT of pizza!)

The week we got back from vacation: I didn't work out at all. No excuses... I just didn't go to the gym or run or anything.

The next week: I was back on track! Going to the gym everyday and back to my normal workout. This lasted until last week.
Yesterday I posted about losing my job, and that's when I stopped going to the gym. I've worked out at home a little since then, but that kind of stopped as of this past weekend.

This past weekend I broke my pinky toe on my right foot. I didn't think it was broken at first because let's face it- we've all stubbed our toes pretty bad several times I'm sure. When it happened I just brushed it off with the whole "OW! DAMN! OOH THAT HURT!" and went on to play with the kids. A few hours later I finally looked at it and saw this:
Day of accident: Friday

I thought it was just really bruised at that point. The next day it was worse... After several neighbors and my mother in law looked at it everyone came to the same conclusion: it's broken. But not at the joint. It's broken on one of the little tiny bones near the toenail. And it hurts... a lot! I'm not usually one to be a baby about much in the pain department, but I'm definitely whining about this one. On Sunday (Father's day) my mother in law came over to spend a few hours with hubby and the kids. We took a walk around the neighborhood with her and the kids... that was when I realized: I can't wear tennis shoes! So, trying to be good and let my toe heal, I'm trying to stay off of it. I've been doing ab/ arm workouts laying on the floor, but I don't feel challenged! I miss my hard-core workouts at the gym where I feel like jelly! Here's hoping to a speedy recovery! I hope everyone else is having a more productive week in the workout area. :(
day 2: Saturday :(


Monday, June 16, 2014

Follow Me on Blog Lovin

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Because I had to claim my blog. :) Just a random post.

Landing on My Feet

It's Monday. Normally I would be at work at this time either invoicing or entering a new order. Instead I'm at home with the kids. I know what you're thinking, "well one of them must be sick". Nope, I don't have any sick kids.
As of Wednesday last week I'm officially part of the unemployed statistic. The Georgia Unemployment rate is 7%, compared to the national rate (6.3%) we're high. I've been trying to see this as a good thing. Like now I'm saving on gas, and child care, and things like that. I had been searching for a new job anyway. I had been with this company for over three years, and in the beginning I thought it was a great place to work for. Turns out the only great thing about it was all of the experience I gained. If I had stayed with them for a long period of time I probably would still be making the salary I was making last week. They didn't do annual reviews, and no one had gotten a raise in the last 10 years. These are reasons I'm telling myself this unemployment thing is a blessing in disguise.

 I've done what I need to do: file for unemployment and all that jazz. I've been applying for jobs online like crazy, but I'm not entirely sure what to do with myself at home.

Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids, but I'm not sure what to do with them all day. T

he sitter they were going to was great with them. She had lots of crafts to do, games, etc. I'm not a very crafty person so about all we have is coloring books, paper, pencils, and crayons. These past few days when they get bored I've been throwing them outside to play. Thankfully the weather hasn't been too bad to where we've been stuck inside.  I'm also thankful Ainsley still naps and while she naps Zander plays quietly with his toy cars.

So happy Monday everyone! Let's make it a good one

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Give Blood, Save a Life

Thanks to twitter and Amanda, I now have a wonderful new website for useless information. Days Of the Year... a website dedicated to celebrate the completely random days of the year (for example National Donut Day)

There are several listed for today, but my favorite for today is World Blood Donor Day!

Donating blood means a lot to me. I lost one of my really good friends in 2011 to Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Ever since then I've participated annually in the Light the Night Walk to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. That, and I give blood as often as possible. 

The walk is really beautiful. It takes place at night, and each participant gets a balloon that lights up. Depending on what you're walking for depends on what color balloon you get. 
Red: You're supporting the cause
White: Carried by survivors
Gold: Carried by loved ones that lost someone to cancer. 

I definitely encourage everyone to at least give blood. It doesn't take long, and it definitely saves a life.
So there you have it... my good deed plug for the week. :) 

Last time Josh and I gave blood