Monday, September 26, 2011

Food Bloggin'

Sometimes I pretend that I would be an awesome food blogger.

Then I make an amazing dinner and eat it and wanna talk about it but realize I didn't take a picture of it. Probably not the best way to amp up my food blogging reputation.

However, I do need to talk about one of my favorite vegan dinners that I actually created (!). True, there is no picture, but it is so easy to make this delicious, healthy meal!

All you need is Trader Joe's Veggie Fried Rice (or any brand of fried rice with no egg), Temphe chopped up (an Indonesian all-natural soybean product), and diced mushrooms, onions and red and green peppers. Cook the rice separately, and saute the temphe and veggies in balsamic vinegar. Mix everything together and you're set! I came across this recipe because I was eating all the fried rice in one sitting and wanted to add something to it so I wouldn't eat it all at once. By putting all the veggies and temphe in the rice, it makes enough for 2 dinners and adds more flavor/nutrients. I also usually have a side spinach salad with strawberries and berry vinaigrette dressing. It is very healthy, all-natural, and vegan. I will try to remember to post pictures at some point.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Property Virgin

Another milestone of my life was reached today- I went on my first house hunting showcase! I am pretty positive that I will buy a place between now and next June, and I have been looking online and around the fan all summer at condos. I have been eying the trends, the prices, and the types of places going on (and off) the market. It has been fun to look and plan (you know I love planning)!

I looked at four places today. It was definitely nice to actually be visiting the places as opposed to just looking at pictures online, and it makes a huge difference- places I thought I loved I realized I didn't and places I hadn't given much thought to I realized I really liked. I felt like I was in an episode of house hunters! I don't have many deal breakers in buying a place like some of those people (besides bugs or holes in things), though. I know where I want to live, and to me, location is more important than what the place is actually like. I do have a wish list though: a porch, washer/dryer in unit, close to 1000 sq/ft, two bedrooms, and at least 5 rooms. I don't need granite counter tops, wood floors and a fresh coat of paint (many of those things, with the right price, I can do myself later). The perfect place is really never perfect, so I am not so set in my ways as to not budge on some things (porch...tear).

What I am finding while thinking about where I want to live, though, is that people can ultimately live any place and they mostly live the same. You go to work, eat, sleep, socialize and hang out. Does it really matter where that is or what it looks like? Yes and no. I know I could never live in a dump (by choice) just for the heck of it, but I know that my home is what I make of it and it's all about perspective. You can make yourself happy if you choose to be. It all goes back to that 'wanting what you have' thing. So I am taking the approach of condo hunting casually and not as a life and death situation. If I find a great deal or a place that I really want, I should take it. If I don't, I know I will be ok where I am or holding off for a while.

After all, sometimes looking and thinking about something is the most fun part.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My New Claim to Fame

That's right, folks. I'm famous.

I am the doughnut eating champ from the MBK faculty tailgate. I ate 11 doughnuts (yup, try not to throw up thinking about it) in 3 minutes. An average of 3.7 doughnuts per minute. Yum.

I only competed against females, but the male champ ate 14 in 5 minutes, which was an average of only 2.8 doughnuts per minute.

So I even beat the dudes. It was not too awful, actually, and besides crashing about 4 hours later with an awful headache, I felt ok afterwards. I was even told I should drop my doughnut eating champ facts as a way to pick up guys. We'll see. That might be a 2nd date conversation.

If you want to see the guys and gals in action, check it out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today

I was fifteen, a sophomore in high school. I was in my chorus class for 3rd period when the band teacher came into the room and told my teacher that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I had never been to New York and didn't even really know what the building was. We were all confused, and many of my classmates got nervous because they had family or friends in NYC. The bell rang and I went to my next class (Mrs. McGrath's Perspectives course) and we told her what we had heard. We had access to a TV and watched it all unfold. I stood by the TV to give it better reception. We saw (live) both towers collapse. There was confusion and sadness. I remember most how sad I was for something and people I never knew. It was as if everyone knew that with those Towers collapsing, life as we knew it would never be the same.

I have now been to New York City 5 or 6 times. I have seen where the Towers stood and walked where the devastation occurred. I have watched the videos of that day near Ground Zero and know how scary and awful it was. Most of my adult life has been post- 9/11. Terrorism, airport security and a different New York have been most of all I have ever known. In 5 years half of my life will be post-9/11. It is getting harder to remember what it was even like before, though I still hold on to the little that I do.

But what I take most of that day is how people came together; sitting in front of the TV in shock and knowing that life would be different; that our world was changing and as safe as we felt or thought we were, we really will never be 100% safe again; that there would be a before and after 9/11. And a distinct difference.

However, as time has gone by, life feels just the same that it did. I used to get choked up whenever I thought about 9/11. Now it doesn't hit me as hard. But I always remember it when flying or going to NYC or driving by the Pentagon. It will never be forgotten, but the pain is less and life is more like it was before. Maybe that's not good, maybe the feeling I used to get while thinking about that day should never go away. But life is about moving on and I will always remember 9/11/01 as a day of sadness and shock, but also as a day that America really came together. I only wish it didn't take tragedies like that to unite our nation as one.

Ten years later it feels different, but is never forgotten. I will never forget.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

No Power, Day 5

...Just sayin'.