Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Short and sweet, I just wanted to say

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are all enjoying time with family, friends and amazing food. Be thankful for what you have, and today, don't worry about what you don't. Relax. Be happy. Smile.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bake

Happy Friday Wednesday!!

I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait to have a couple days off this week! Nothing is better than spending time with family, enjoying some good food, and relaxing!

If you have to work tomorrow (Thanksgiving) or Friday, let me just say this: I'm sorry.

Last night I was in the mood for some comfort food, so I put together what I'm calling a Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bake. I didn't follow a recipe, I just kind of went with what I was feeling and it ended up being WONDERFUL!

I decided to sample before taking the pic - had to make sure it was good!

Here's the recipe:

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bake

Ingredients:
  • (1) Spaghetti Squash (cooked, cleaned)
  • (1) 10oz Can Tomatoes w/Chilies
  • (1) 12oz Bag Frozen Corn (I used this stuff)
  • (1) 15oz Can Black Beans (drained, rinsed)
  • 1/3 Packet Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 lb Chicken (cooked, chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In large bowl, combine spaghetti squash, tomatoes (undrained), corn (thawed), black beans and chicken
  3. Mix some water with the taco seasoning just so it's a dressing-like consistency. Combine with mixture in the bowl
  4. Spray a roaster pan some cooking spray and put mixture in. Top with shredded cheese
  5. Put pan in oven, covered, for 30 minutes
  6. Uncover and let bake another 10 minutes
  7. Serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired

I'm a HUGE spaghetti squash eater so I always keep some on hand. In the fall, the squash at the farmers market is AMAZING and very reasonable. My mom and I stocked up and I have cooked, cleaned squash in quart-size bags in the freezer. A helpful tip if you do this, when you thaw it, let it sit in a strainer in the sink for about 30 minutes to let the excess moisture drip off.

So how's that for Random Wednesday?



Enjoy your day, all!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Yesterday was kind of a rough day.

Yesterday was supposed to be a "breeze" of a day. As a matter of fact, this entire week should be. You know the kind of week I'm talking about... the three day work week leading up to a holiday. People are easy going, work load is light, and you're feeling great about the days ahead.

We were blindsided.

Yesterday my coworker got an urgent phone call, that her dad was ill and she needed to make the 6 hour trek home, ASAP. We gathered the troops here at work, got her on her way, and all took part in covering her meetings and her workload. Now, one would normally do what is needed to help a coworker out. My team is different. We're a close-knit group of 5 women who have worked together for quite some time. In work, out of work, we spend a lot of time together. These women are also my friends.

By the time I got home last night I was floored. I was kind of mad, heartbroken, concerned and all around upset over the day's events. Not at a certain person, or at a certain thing. I know life happens, but damnit, it can seem so unfair.

Last night I basically stuck to myself. I watched my Breaking Bad, finished decorating my Christmas tree and just vegged out. The only thing going through my mind was that someone in their 20's shouldn't be going through this. Shouldn't be facing the uncertainty that she might be losing her dad.

My favorite ornament, up top!! :)

Just a couple of weeks ago she was telling us how funny he was when the family went on vacation. He'd pack a "surprise" outfit, a dorky one, really, and he'd wear it on some day during their trip. While most might find it mildly embarrassing, they looked forward to it.

I have memories like that with my dad. Awesome memories. Well, and some not so awesome ones too. But he's my dad, I'd like to think we all have a mixed bag of memories with our parents.

This Thanksgiving I'll be a little more thankful.

Linking up again this week!

Glossy Blonde

Fingers crossed and hopes high.


Monday, November 25, 2013

And... I can't move.

What a weekend.

This weekend I kind of did nothing, but a whole bunch of stuff at the same time. Does that make sense??

Let's start with Friday. Friday I stayed up until 2am watching nothing other than Breaking Bad. Truth be told, I'm hooked. I just got Netflix last Tuesday night and I'm already on episode 17 of BB. Looooser.

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At one point I ventured into my garage to grab a can of soda. Because of that decision, this happened:

 I still have yet to finish it all, but I hauled in my tree and three containers of "stuff" for Christmas. Ooftah. Here we go.

Saturday my mom and I spent the majority of the day listing on Ebay. Her and I are both sellers and we kind of have it "down" to where we are photographing, listing and shipping all at once - sort of. It's organized chaos, really, but it works for us! After spending the bulk of the day doing that I went home to relax and watch... Breaking Bad. I was hoping to go out Saturday night, at least for a little bit, but because it was pretty cold here everyone seemed to be just hunkered down for the evening. No biggie!

Last, but definitely not least... Sunday. Sunday was a "good day" as my nephew would say. Around 10:30am I headed over to my brother's house with my parents and an arm full of rakes. We were going to rake up all the leaves in the yard... in the cold. Awesome. Really, it wasn't too bad. With all of us working hard we got it done in about 2.5 hours. 60 bags of leaves. Yes, 60! Needless to say, my legs are exhausted and moving is now a chore.

My mom and I decided to do a couple more hours of Ebay stuff while we warmed up and I headed home shortly thereafter.

To wrap up my day I went to an awesome local Mexican restaurant with my friend, Andy. I hadn't seen Andy in a few weeks so it was nice to go out and catch up. We also ended up watching the Hunger Games at my place afterwards. Good company, good food, good movie. I'll take it!

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As always, linking up with Sami!


Sami's Shenanigans 

Have an awesome Monday, all!

Friday, November 22, 2013

What I'm Thankful For This Year

Before we know it, Thanksgiving will be here and gone. This week, I've decided to dedicate my Five on Friday to all of the things I'm thankful for.

Now, limiting this post to five things will be tough as they're many, many things I'm thankful for so I'm just going to go with the first five that come to mind.

[one] Family. First and foremost I'll always be thankful for my family. Without this bunch I don't know where I'd be. With the new year will come a new addition to our family - my first niece! We're all very excited and really, I can't wait to buy some pink stuff.

[two] Work. Work always has it's ups and downs... for everyone. In my case, it definitely has more ups. I love the folks I work with, for the most part things aren't mega stressful, and it enables me to live my life the way I choose (house, car, all the necessities). I've been with the company for almost four years now - since I was a senior in college - and it almost feels like home. Almost. :)

We have too much fun. Seriously.

[three] Health. I'm definitely NOT the poster child for healthy living. Not a chance. The last 6 months or so I've really made an effort to work on doing better for myself. Eating better, working out more. It definitely shows. And surprise - it's not as tiresome, hard, expensive, time consuming, stressful, frustrating, unnecessary or any other excuse people want to give why they're not taking care of themselves. It's actually pretty freaking easy in the grand scheme of things. Just do it and trust me, you'll be fine :)

[four] Ramsey. I adopted this little pain in my ass the day after Christmas last year. As much as I complain about how talkative he is (seriously, he almost doesn't stop meowing), he's my buddy. Without him around, my house is very quiet... I definitely like having something to come home to (even if he only shows me love an affection until I toss that scoop of food in his bowl)

Home sick from work and this little guy gave me cuddles - what's not to love?

[five] Tervis. Ok, this is going to sound really lame. By really lame, I mean borderline pathetic. But hell, it's on my list. I LOVE Tervis. If you don't know what it is, I've supplied you with a picture of mine at work. Part of #3 above is focusing more on drinking water than other junk. Having this cup handy all the time helps - I even have one at home. They're fun, they keep your drinks cold (or hot if it's your thing), they're plastic so they don't break, easy to clean (hello, dishwasher) and all around a great idea.


Click to buy one here

What are you thankful for this year? Don't forget to be thankful for the little things that add up for a big difference in your life - they're important too!

Have a wonderful weekend, all!




Thursday, November 21, 2013

All About Me

Because I'm pretty new to the scene, I thought I'd do one of those survey things from back in the Myspace days to introduce myself just a weeeeee bit :)

A - Age: 26
B - Bed size: King
There's the landlord, BTW
C - Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathtub... or putting away laundry. Both are pretty equal on my list.
D - Drink of choice: If you mean cocktail of choice then I'm a Stoli Razz/Diet girl. Otherwise I'll take a water
E - Essential start to your day item: Conditioner. Definitely conditioner. Without it, my hair is a wreck.
F - Favorite color: Pink
G - Gold or Silver: White gold??
H - Height: 5'3", I'm pretty good for picking things up off the floor, low shelves in the store, you get the picture
I - Instruments you play(ed): Gave a stab at the violin, clarinet and guitar back in the day. None of them stuck
J - Job: Sales development manager
K - Kids: Kid free!
L - Living arrangements: I live with my landlord, Ramsey (my cat). He pretty much rules the place
M - M&M of choice: Pretzel, all the way
{via}

N - Nicknames: Katerbabes, Katie Liz, Katers
O - Oranges or apples: Apples, all the way, they're mega versatile (cooking/baking) and delish!
P - Pet Peeve: Messy cars, nail biting, people being EARLY!
Q - Quote from a movie: "You is kind.  You is smart. You is important" - The Help
R - Right or left handed: I'm a righty!
S - Siblings: One older brother (Hi, Jon!!)
T - Time you wake up: 5:15am on weekdays, 7am on weekends
U- Unknown fact about me: I have "Megan Fox Thumbs". If you don't know what I mean, Google it. And no, it's not as bad as it may seem
V - Vegetable you dislike: Brussel sprouts. Once, my mom and aunt tricked me into eating them with the promise of being able to play Spoons (you know, the card game with spoons). I held up my end of the bargain. They didn't.
W - What makes you run late: Over sleeping. I have three alarms and some days it's like I turn them all off without actually waking up
X - X-rays you've had: How many? Beats me, but enough.
Y - Yummy food you make: Well, I do try to make all of my food yummy, but I'm a fan of just about anything I bake or my chili (especially going into winter). Yum yum!
I take a lot of pictures of my food, too. Kind of weird...

Z - Zoo favorite: I like the seals. Growing up, one of the local zoos would sell you a little cup of chopped up fish you could feed to the seals. That was pretty darn fun. And stinky.

Hope you all enjoyed getting to know me 
Not my every day specs, but they were a fun win at the arcade :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Internet!!!

Ladies and gents (mostly ladies, likely)... I've been living in a dark, dark world for three years.

For three years not only have I been without cable TV at home, but I've also been without internet.

WHAT?!

Yes, you read it correctly. However, yesterday I made a big switch! I got internet! The fastest internet I could! And now I'm PUMPED!

So while I don't have any super fancy to write about today because last night my butt was parked on my couch enjoying Netflix (I've been dying to watch Breaking Bad and now I can!!!), I thought for Random Wednesday I'd share with you my big news. Trust me, it's big news when even your boss celebrates your new connected status.

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Actually... right now all I'm thinking about is how I can't wait to go home and start episode 4 of BB.... I'm hooked.

Do you have any Netflix (or Amazon Prime) shows you'd like to recommend? Totally open to suggestions!!!



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Birchbox Review

You'll quickly find out that I'm a subscription box FANATIC. I honestly can't get enough of them. I love getting the email that my box has shipped and then waiting to open my mailbox to see that box sitting there, waiting to be opened.

One of the boxes I subscribe to is likely one of the most popular. Birchbox.



For those of you who aren't as familiar, Birchbox sends you 4-5 beauty and "lifestyle" items to sample each month. You fill out a short profile on your interests and they send you one of a variety of boxes they offer. The box you receive and what's in it is a mystery until you open that pink box!

Once you have a chance to try out the products, you can write reviews online and earn points redeemable for products on their website. Some months are definitely better than others, but for $10/month, you really can't go wrong. I don't know about you, but I could definitely blow $10 on something more ridiculous!

Let's take a peek.



Here it is. The pink box. Upon opening, you'll find an equally cute box.



One of the things I like about Birchbox is the packaging. It's always packaged up very nice and I've never received one with broken items



This month's theme was "More Good". The introduction card talks about Thanksgiving and the holiday season coming up. Currently, the Birchbox Shop is donating a portion of proceeds to No Kid Hungry. Kind of cool!



Of course when I open up this little box of delights, the first thing I noticed was the chocolate covered pretzels! What's not to love?!?!


This kind "lifestyle" item I got is Fatty Sunday's Chocolate Covered Pretzels in Smooth Mint. Now, I was a little hesitant to have a mint pretzel (yuck) but surprisingly... really good!! A pack of 5 of these delights? $6.95


Next up, Tocca Crema da Mano in Cleopatra scent! This is a grapefruit and cucumber lotion. It's pretty smooth and absorbs well. The sample size is pretty decent, too. Perfect for in the purse! Retail price on a full size: $8-20


Aloxxi Weightless Styling Gelee. Hmm. Gelee. Sounds like that should be a gelee doughnut. Why can't they just say gel? Anyway. This stuff wasn't too bad. I wouldn't call it weightless as my fine hair didn't like it. But hey, probably works for some! Retail on a full size: $20

Also pictured, Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Quartz. I like Laura Mercier stuff. I haven't come across something I don't like... but I'm not a HUGE lipgloss fan. I'm standard ol' Chapstick fan. Retail on a full size: $24



Enter Color Club nail polish. This is something Birchbox always includes WAY too much. I probably have 6-7 of them at home and honestly... I don't use them. I've tried them, and they work fine. I'd just rather receive something like lotion or lip junk that I can use more frequently. Come on, Birchbox!!! Oh, and full size... $8. But don't buy a full size. Just subscribe to Birchbox :)


So there you have it. The November Birchbox. I don't hate it, I don't love it. I ate the pretzel, I'll use up the lotion, stash away the polish with the others, and will probably keep the lip junk around, too.

But hey, next month is December. Which means Christmas.  We'll have to see what they bring to the table then!

Do any of you subscribe? Used to subscribe? Want to subscribe? What do you love/hate/wish they'd change?

Lastly, because I'm down with self promotion, here's my referral link if you decide to give Birchbox a try. Who doesn't love a little kickback? Katie's Birchbox Referral Link - Click Me!!!

Happy Tuesday, all! May it be better than Monday :)

Linking up!!


Glossy Blonde