Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blonde Girl Single Anniversary

This week commemorates one year that I have been single.  I don't know the exact day, just like I couldn't tell you the exact day that I met my exhusband or the exact day that I left him, or the exact day that I met my exboyfriend and not sure of the exact day that I left him.  However I do happen to know that broke up with him during the week after Thanksgiving so I'm just going to call the last day of November my single anniversary. =)

It kind of goes hand in hand with my blog from last night, Life Remote Control?.  I was miserable in my living situations, I tried and tried my hardest to make the situations work, and since I was not happy with my life situations, and nothing else I tried worked, I decided I would take life into my own hands, control what I could, which was me leaving the situations and starting over. Take charge and change my own life.

I see people sit in miserable relationships for years, complaining to everyone around them about how bad it is, but staying in it.  And then we see people divorce after 20-30 years and have no problem saying that they had never been happy or hadn't been happy in years.  I stuck the first one out for 10 years, I got married young and had that naive idea that marriage is supposed to last FOREVER no matter what!  HA!  And it ended horribly.  So when I was in the second relationship I just got to the point where I knew it wasn't working and it was never going to, I had to dig deep in myself and to be an adult and end it before it got to the point to where it turned to complete shit, it already was kinda, but it could have gotten much worse.  It took a lot for me to be able to end something while I still cared for the person, however I've resolved in my heart it's better to end it before it turns into a situation where I pretty much hated them.

So now that I've been single for a year I've come a long way.  This is the longest I've been single since I was 19, because I met my exboyfriend the same week I moved out of my exhusband's home.  Yeah I fell into the rebound thing, they never work I hear.  Luckily I'm a person who actually enjoys alone time, actually thrives from and needs alone time.  I've rarely felt lonely during this year, I've had my moments, but they never last long.

I left behind a lot of nice things that I either purchased or helped purchase.  Though I have a lot of stuff, I still need/want a lot of other stuff.  So over the past year I've been able to get some of those things, and I'll hopefully be able to continue to get them.  A couple of my major goals is I desperately need a new/used car, the one I have is living on borrowed time and I'm thankful every day it gets me where I need to go. Secondly I would love to get out of this tiny apartment and possibly move into a house or something.  I'd really love for my dog, Balue, to have a fenced yard again!  As mentioned in the blog last night I was able to upgrade my job and hopefully will continue to be able to upgrade my life.

What does my future hold for me?  I have no idea.  I have goals and aspirations.  But I'm not worried, I know I always end up where I need to be.  Even if my last two relationships weren't all great, they weren't all bad, but more importantly I learned a lot about life and myself during both of them.  So even if they didn't last forever, not everything is meant to, but I was where I needed to be at the time, because otherwise I wouldn't be where I am now.  And it's a really good place.  And I'm grateful for that.

Truly loving, trusting, and respecting yourself will get you through anything.

Whether you are single or living life with another person or people... always strive to better yourself.   

A virtual toast to the people who are able to move on and move up in life no matter their circumstances!

Life Quotes, Life Quote Graphics, Life Sayings

Much love!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Life Remote Control?

Today someone posted this little image on Facebook stating "Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself!!"  It reminded me of a blog that I wrote on another website a few months ago, and since I've pretty much integrated myself to only blogging here I thought I would transfer it over to share with you.  Life may not always be easy, but that is the beauty of it, to go through the good the bad and the ugly and to grow and make a life for yourself.


Luck, Fate, Dedication and a lot of Gumption. ~Written by Me on 9/1/11 

Today was my last day at the job I was at for little over a year.  When I took the position the pay was fine, however I was in a relationship and there were two incomes.  Supporting yourself is not so easy on a low wage.  Over the past several months I realized that though I loved my job and my coworkers it was time to move on for bigger and better things.  I tried working my way up in the department I was in, unfortunately I was unable to.  There was a lot of frustration and heartbreak involved in the process.  I then began applying for promotions within the university in other departments.

After weeks of applying for positions I was called in for an interview!  It happened to be with the first department that I had applied for and the night that I applied it was the last night that the posting was available to apply for.  I then did more in depth research as to what the department actually did.  I sat down carefully thought out questions that I wanted to ask the people who would be interviewing me and wrote them down.  I also went through the job posting and reviewed the listed job duties and preferred qualifications and wrote down everything that I felt would show myself as an asset as pointers to glance at when in the interview in case I had a loss for words.

Sell yourself as someone that they feel like they need to have working for them and then you will be a front runner candidate.

Before even applying for positions I put together a carefully thought out and professional resume.  I also like to ask supervisors when I am leaving a job, or when they are perhaps leaving, for a letter of recommendation.  A great resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendation are what sell you to even land you the interview.  Out of 105 candidates I was chosen for the 10 that they brought in for interviews.  After giving the interviewers a good idea of who I was and selling myself as the valuable employee that I truly am, I was then chosen for the top 2 to come back and interview again with the head honcho.  It felt like I was on Survivor!

Would I be voted off the island or would I win the grand prize?

Out of 105 candidates I ended up being NUMBER 1!!!  I cannot wait to start tomorrow.   The promotion in position of course comes with a pay raise, that was the whole purpose of this process to begin with so that as a single person I could live a better quality of life, and stop depending upon Top Ramen to sustain me, the department I am transferring to also has a few added perks that I did not have in the old one.

This long story to get to about 8:05 this morning.  I was walking through the office and a coworker at the job I was leaving was standing there talking to someone else, looks at me and says “Barbara today is your last day.” and I say “Yep it sure is!” as I’m walking away I hear her saying to the other person “I really hate lucky people.”  This truly struck a nerve within me. 

“I really hate lucky people.”
  • Luck: Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.
  • Fate: The development of events outside a person’s control.
  • Dedication: The quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose.
  • Gumption: Shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness.
Perhaps some of the process that happened was a little luck, perhaps some was fate, but if it were not for my dedication and determination to find a better job to improve my life it would not have happened.  It was not like I sat there for years moaning about my situation never doing anything to fix it and was just walking down the street one day and BLAM new job offered to me just out of the blue.  That would be truly lucky.  No I truly struggled, and had some “bad luck” in the process as well. I persevered and saw what I was trying to accomplish through until I achieved success.

If you are a person who finds yourself quoting that same line of hating the lucky look at the circumstances that got the person there.  What effort did they actually put in to get to where they are, or have, or whatever it is you may be coveting that they have going in their life that you do not?  Make a goal, come up with a plan, deal with the obstacles, be flexible, vent when things aren’t going your way but keep going, and in the end make a better life for yourself.  Being “lucky” isn’t always just happenstance by itself and it’s not always easy.

When you achieve success do not forget to thank those who helped get you there even if all they did was lend you an ear (or read your rantings on Facebook). 

“Admiration for a quality or an art can be so strong that it deters us from striving to possess it.”
~Friedrich Nietzsche


And just an update, if you are wondering, I LOVE my new job and department even after 3 months of being there.  Taking the reigns of you own life is a good thing.

Much Love!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful Reflections

Over the past 4 days of Thanksgiving weekend I thought a lot about all of the things in my life that I have to be thankful for.  So many big things and so many many more tiny things. I slacked off was lazy and didn't blog and just enjoyed the time off from work and pretty much all reality.  Which is one thing that I am so grateful that I have opportunity to do from time to time.

I'm currently enjoying a wonderful cup of hot coco, it may sound silly to be thankful for a cup of hot coco but there are so many people on this planet who live in such dire circumstances that they probably have never even imagined that such a simple thing as a cup of hot coco exists.  To them just a drink of the fresh tap water that I conveniently have coming out of not 1 but 3 faucets in my home would be nothing less than a miracle.

Today I participated in more than one disturbing conversation where parents were talking about how much money and the extravagant gifts they were giving to their young children this Christmas.  I posted my opinion on this matter on Facebook...

"People wonder why kids & young adults these days act so spoiled and entitled... I can tell you why kids act like that, it's kind of obvious. I was lucky if I got $10 spent on me at Christmas some years. What is funny/sad is these parents spend that much on their kids and they are gonna be disappointed because they forgot something, or didn't read their minds about wanting something. Tis the season for greed, disappointment and teaching kids that everything they want in life will just be handed to them with a bow on it."

That is a condensed version of the post however the point is still made.  Some of the responses my friends came back with gave me hope that perhaps I'm not the only one left in this world who does not feel like children need to have everything adults have and everything that they want.....

"I agree, and when these kids have to be out in reality, it hits them and they can't handle it. Our kids only get 3 presents - want, need, surprise. Christmas isn't about stuff."

"Maybe they should have taken there kids to the stores and had them pick out some gifts with some of that money for needy kids that aren't going to get presents this year. And then had them donate the gifts to toy for tots! Show them that giving is better than receiving."

"We always had a good Christmas when I was a kid, but I never felt entitled to anything but air. And even on some days that was questionable."

"I'm really proud of my kid; he only really asked for one thing, a bigger gun."

"Some of my best memories involve tall grass, streams and jumping off of the couch"

When your children open their presents do they spend time whining about what they didn't get?  Do they really need everything they ask for?  Is it possible to work out a rewards system and let them actually earn some of the more extravagant things that they want?

This holiday season when you are shopping for your children stop and think what kind of message you are sending to them.  I know too many young adults, and even ones my age, who are mooches, lazy sit at home and expect to have everything given to them and act like it's the end of the world because the life of their dreams is not being handed to them.  I personally cannot respect a mooch.  

I feel like a lot of times, based on certain people I know backgrounds, that this attitude can stem from being raised in circumstances where they had little to no responsibility as a child or teenager, everything was done for them and almost everything they wanted they received.  Perhaps the start to building a better future for our future generations is to stop spoiling them and to start teaching them in the way of love and respect and responsibility.  As one of my friends stated "Christmas isn't about stuff."  Christmas is supposed to be about family and love.  Are your kids more worried about their stuff or are they looking forward to spending a special day set aside for some real loving family bonding time?

As you are looking at your child's Christmas wish list perhaps you will see a thing or two there that you can use as a learning opportunity to teach your child how to earn the things that they want, even if it is just by being more helpful around the home.  And perhaps that will also teach them to be more thankful for what they receive.

As whoever "they" are say... just some food for thought.

Much Love!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

A few days ago I ran across a recipe for homemade cranberry sauce.  I had never even thought to try to make it and when I saw how easy it is I was like what!!!!!!  Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite additions to any holiday feast and I had to try it.  Even though I had already purchased some of the canned stuff I ran out and got fresh cranberries.

This is the same basic recipe that I saw on a million and one websites.  I made some earlier and it's so wonderful!  I'm pretty sure I'll never buy that canned stuff again.

12 Ounces Fresh Cranberries
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Orange Juice

(Some people added cinnamon, I did not)

Bring orange juice and sugar to a boil, stir frequently.
Add cranberries, reduce heat to medium, stir frequently.
Cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Let cool then put in a bowl to gel in the refrigerator, for several hours or over night. It will thicken as it cools.

Yes it's that easy!!!

You'll hear these wonderful little popping sounds as the cranberries start to burst open.
I saw many people say they used a splash guard, so I put mine on at first but found I didn't need it since I used a pan deep enough that the concoction didn't pop out.
I also went ahead and added about 3 dashes of salt while it was cooking.

I also saw commentary on recipes where people had noted that they ran theirs through a food processor or used a hand mixer on it after it cooked to give it a smoother consistency. However I love the whole berries myself.

This made a little less than 2 cups of cranberry sauce, and it'll surely be a hit amongst your cranberry sauce lovers, so you may want to double or triple the recipe for a large group.

DO IT!!  It's so easy and yummy!!  Not to mention a beautiful addition to your holiday spread.  Your friends and family will be impressed that you were domestic enough to make it from scratch.  It can be our little secret how easy it really is. ;)


Much Love!  & Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole is a fantastic edition to any holiday menu!!  It's definitely one of my favorite dishes to make now.  So many years I went to Thanksgiving and other holiday feasts where the person who contributed the sweet potato dish came up with this bland from the can puree with nuts mixed in and topped with marshmallows.  Not that I did not enjoy it, however when you decide to try a homemade sweet potato casserole that actually consists of flavorful ingredients that make your sweet potatoes go boom pow in your mouth, you'll never want to go back to eating that can of sweet potato puree covered in marshmallows.  I just pulled mine out of the oven and it's so tempting to dive in now!
I'm not sure how large the ones you have there are, but the ones here are to me about a medium size and so it's about 8 sweet potatoes to come up with about 8 cups give or take a little.  I've never weighed them out or I'd tell you that, I just eyeball it. =)  Also do not forget to take your butter out of the refrigerator about half an hour to an hour before you want to use it so it will be soft and workable!


8 Cups Quartered Fresh Sweet Potatoes
1 Stick (8 Tbls) Softened Butter (I prefer unstalted.)
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Orange Juice (I use 1 Fresh Orange for juice.)
1/4 Cup Milk or Cream
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Cup Pecans (Optional)

1 Cup Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup Flour
Couple of dashes of cinnamon.
6 Tbls Softened Butter (Again I prefer unsalted.)


First up you want to wash the sweet potatoes.  Then cut the ends off of your sweet potatoes and cut the the potatoes into quarters. Put them in a big pot, peels still on, cover with cold water and then bring them to a boil.  Boil until they are tender, mashing consistency, and the peels are starting to pull away.  (Some people prefer the flavor of baked over boiled, if that is you go for it!)

Drain the water and let them cool until you are able to handle them, about 15-20 minutes.  Pull the peels away and cut out any eyes (hard black spots). 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl mash the sweet potatoes.


Add butter, mash or stir it in until it's pretty much completely incorporated into your potatoes.

Add the rest of your ingredients except for the pecans and stir well.

Spread the sweet potato mixture into a 9x13 baking dish.  (I like to do a light spray of canola oil into the baking dish before adding the mixture for easier clean up later, but it is not necessary.

Top with pecans.

Now mix your brown sugar, cinnamon and flour for the topping.  Then use a fork to turn in the butter into the dry ingredients until they are completely mixed and a nice moosh.

Sprinkle the topping over the top of the pecans. If you like less crunch and sugar on top only make a half recipe of the topping.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the topping is crispy and starting to brown.

Some people just prefer marshmallows, if that is you, skip the topping, throw on your marshmallows and cook until they are melting and starting to brown.

A couple of years ago I was actually requested to make a sweet potato casserole with  marshmallows covered in a crispy topping... hmmm!  I did my best, I covered it with mini marshmallows. Mixed roughly guessing now (I did not write it down) 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and about 2 tbls of butter, creating a more granulated mixture. Sprinkled over the top and this is what came out.  It was actually devoured by all and insanely praised.  One of those things I'm not sure if I'd ever be able to recreate! =)

I hope you and your guests enjoy!
Much Love!   And Happy Thanksgiving Eve!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Brine That Turkey

Several years ago I was watching one of my domestic goddess heroes, Martha Stewart, while she was putting on a Thanksgiving special.  Luckily it was several days before Thanksgiving because she did something I had never seen before... brined the turkey!

I was immediately fascinated and had to try it that year.  It was the best most magically wonderful turkey I'd ever made.  Juicy, flavorful, practically falling off the bone and melting right into your mouth.  Every year since I have made sure my turkey is in the brine before it's roasted.  This has become a tradition now and my brine has evolved over the years because I've done lots of reading of different recipes and techniques.  I'm not actually going to share all of my brine ingredients with you because then my turkey isn't as special if you use them too. ;)  However below I'll post some brine recipes for you to check out and try or build your own recipe off of.

You may be thinking... "what does brine the turkey even mean??  This is madness, a turkey that melts in my mouth and has flavor, I do not understand."

Trust me... It's easy!!!  And more importantly, worth it!  Basically you are soaking your uncooked turkey for 12 hours in a solution of salt, sugar, spices, herbs and other aromatics.  Be warned too much salt or letting your turkey sit in the brine too long can cause a tough not so great turkey. So when you are looking at recipes do not think, well the more salt I add the better or the longer its in the better it will be.  This is the kind of thinking that will result in people wanting to slap you as they try chewing on their Thanksgiving turkey jerky you've fed them.

Tonight kicks off the beginning of my brine process.  First I've brought to a boil fresh cold tap water with my special blend of spices... oh yeah... that's my brew.  I will be letting this cool completely and then putting it in the refrigerator so that it can become very cold over night.

 This 4 gallon bucket is my brine bucket.  It's never used for household cleaning chores.  I like the square shape of it because the awkward shape of the turkey slides right into it for full submersion.  Your turkey being fully submersed is a must for even brining.  If you cannot find a bucket big enough use an ice chest but make sure to bleach and wash it well before and after the brine process, and you will be adding a bag of ice to your brine.  However as long as you are not buying giant turkeys a bucket should suffice. 

Tomorrow what is going to happen is the 13 pound turkey pictured above will be coming out of that wrapper, giblets removed, and turkey thoroughly washed.  Then it will be placed in the brine solution that I boiled and let cool tonight and my herbs and other aromatics will be added.  Finally I will be putting a heavy plate on top to keep the turkey weighed down and fully submersed and refrigerating it.

When you take the turkey out of the brine make sure to properly discard of the liquid as well as all spices, herbs, etc that were used.  Do not use any of it to cook with!  Use fresh herbs, spices, etc when cooking.

I will be putting the turkey in the brine about 13 hours before I plan to have it in the oven to start cooking.  It will only be in the brine for about 12 hours, and the other hour is to let it come to about room temperature for extra juicy goodness, and that is a great time rub some oil of your choice into the skin.  As well to chop any onions, herbs, apples, citrus, etc that you plan to season the turkey with while cooking.

This is a wonderful fresh herb roasted turkey from a couple of years back.  Even with a horrible oven that was on it's last leg and did not heat properly I was still able to produce a nicely browned turkey with a crispy flavorful skin and juicy wonderfully flavored meat.

Warning!!  If you cook a fantastic brined turkey for your friends and family you may forever be dubbed the official Thanksgiving turkey baker and be requested upon to bring it year after year.

Seriously watch this video it's pretty great and gives you some really good tips on not only turkey brine, but turkey in general!

Some Turkey Brine Recipes

Martha Stewart's How To Brine A Turkey
Martha actually has several brine recipes on her site.
Alton Brown's Good Eats Turkey Brine
Food Network's Collection Of Brine Recipes (26)
Sheri's Turkey Brine
There are countless recipes out there!  Just do a basic internet search keyword "Turkey brine recipe"
Have fun with it and use ingredients you love and you will have an awesomely seasoned turkey!

Now that you know what's what, get your brine going!

Much love!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

MawMaw Eade's Banana Nut Bread

The week of Thanksgiving is officially here!!  I absolutely love Thanksgiving, it is my favorite holiday no matter what.

Everyone seems to have their own traditions for Thanksgiving.  Mine has always been to cook a ton of food!  It does not matter if Thanksgiving dinner is being held at someone else's house, I will bring my contribution to that dinner, and then we always have all of the fixings of Thanksgiving leftovers at my house since I had cooked everything for home as well.  A lot of years during my stay in California we would have the family gathering the day before Thanksgiving, which many families seemed to do there, so the day of Thanksgiving we would just have friends over eat and it would be a great time.  There's probably only been 2 years in my adult life that I just did not cook anything. 

This year for me is very low key.  My first Thanksgiving as a single woman and not living near family and all of my nearby friends have their own things to do so it's just me and I'm ok with that.  I'll be cooking a downsized version of my favorite Thanksgiving foods and having any of my neighbors I see hanging about with no Thanksgiving food come and help themselves to a plate.

After waking up super early and putting the turkey in the oven... My first tradition of the day is enjoying some Banana Nut Bread with some hot coffee.  This was something we always had when I was a child at Thanksgiving and I've carried it into adulthood using the same recipe that my mom used when I was a kid.  My great grandmother, MawMaw Eade's recipe.  MawMaw was very special and passed away about 18 years ago, I'm happy each year to celebrate her memory baking this bread.  I'm so not filling up on a bunch of everyday breakfast foods and making it to where I don't have room to over-stuff myself with the good stuff later.  So for me it's all about in the morning just having a couple of slices of the banana nut bread warmed up and slathered with some real butter.  YUM!!

This bread freezes well if you want to make several in advance and freeze them until it's time to eat them.  I always bake 2-3 loaves several days in advance and actually munch on them all Thanksgiving week. It's the first thing I bake for the Thanksgiving season every year and when that delicious aroma starts wafting from the oven you know Thanksgiving is officially here.


MawMaw Eade's Banana Nut Bread

1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 Cup Mashed Bananas
    (about 2 large bananas)
1/4 Cup Oil (Vegetable or Canola)
1 Tsp Lemon Zest (optional)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Pecans or Walnuts (I'm using walnuts this year)

**My MawMaw's recipe did not call for vanilla, however I have incorporated 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla Extract over the years as well.  I also forgot to grab a lemon for zest at the store so I used 1/4 tsp lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour loaf pan. (Or use a baking spray that contains flour.)

Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl. (Excluding sugar and nuts.)
Lightly beat the egg in a separate bowl.
Stir the rest of the wet ingredients, including banana, together in the bowl with the egg.
Add sugar into the wet ingredients until mixed well.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients making sure dry ingredients have all been incorporated.
Your batter will be lumpy and thick.
Mix in the nuts.
Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes. (Toothpick test.)
Serve warm with real butter!
Wrap in foil to keep moist.

Reheat slices in microwave for about 15-20 seconds to experience warm banana nut bread goodness time and time again.

If you do not have a freezer stockpile of ripe bananas and find that your grocery store does not have ripe bananas just put them in a brown bag with an apple as I've done here, these were still slightly green yesterday.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  I know there are many ways to make it, but this recipe has never failed me.  I love how it has just enough banana and it's not too sweet.

Much Love!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Disrespect, Lets Work On This

I have absolutely no tolerance for people who are blatantly disrespectful of others.  The worst to me is when they do it under the guise of they are joking or having fun.  It may be fun and games to them, however usually the person who is the object of their fun making isn't all too pleased, but a lot of times is just too nice or non-confrontational to say anything about it to the person being disrespectful, and the bulk of other people who are watching the situation are thinking that the person is a complete jackass for acting that way.  In the mean time the person is so amused by themselves they have no care for who's feelings they hurt in the process because they think they have some kind of God given right to say what they want to who they want when they want.  I think there is a thin line between fun joking and being disrespectful. Freedom of speech is not a golden ticket to be a douche.

The worst forum that I see this most often in is on Facebook.  You can act how you want in your own personal Facebook page, but some people will comment on posts and pictures and be completely inappropriate and say things that particular person's friends and family probably shouldn't see.  I'm sure I've  been guilty of this myself in my own ignorant bliss.  However I'm going to be more aware of this myself in my comments on friends pages.  Sometimes comments that you may find funny to make just shouldn't be made in a forum for the masses to see, perhaps the person you are going to make the comment to will find it humorous as well, but stop and think if this is a comment that should be made privately between just the two of you.  That's when something that is funny can quickly become disrespectful is when you blast it for all of their people to see and something they would have been amused by is now a nuisance.  In a place like Facebook where a lot of people have their mom, dad, husband, wife, children, pastors, etc though they may have a colorful sense of humor they may not be comfortable with everyone seeing your super colorful sense of humor and personality spewing out all over their page. 

One thing I hate to see is when someone starts saying a person is crazy and they need to take their meds or they are bipolar or schizo or whatever.  I've done it from time to time and felt like such an ass afterwards because I know better.  It's a pretty disrespectful and hurtful statement to be said especially when it's being broadcasted for their friends and family to see.  As well as a very ignorant statement to make because there are so many people who truly do silently suffer from mental illness and you never know when you may say it to a person who does.  I worked at the National Alliance for Mental Illness for 5 years, and sometimes I just hate to see someone treat mental illness like it's a joke, it's truly not.  Another one I've become more aware of recently is making fun of retardation.  So many people suffer from this and I'd hate to think that me being ignorant and making jokes about it hurts someone who either suffers from it or has a loved one who does. It's so disrespectful to go there, and I hope that more education is put there there to the public to make them aware as well.

Other forms of disrespect that I find intolerable is sexism and racism.  And I don't mean just sexism towards women I mean towards men too.  I love men, and yeah the occasional man joke may be funny, but if you've never sat in a circle of true man hating women that are bashing men then you have not missed anything.  Though they are typically married to men, still the hate exists.  I sometimes start defending men and then I am shunned.  I need to have a little sign to pull out of my purse and put on my shirt when I get in those situations that says "Beware I Am a Friend to the Penis Wielding Ones".  Needless to say men who are sexist against women piss me off to no end.

As for racism I find it gross when I meet someone and just because we have the same color skin they assume I share their beliefs and start talking about their disdain for other races within the first few minutes of meeting.  It's so weird to me!  And I can see why the cycle or racism stays in it's loop, generation teaching it to generation.  I love everyone.  The most uncomfortable situations to me is when a close friend who we've never even discussed our feelings on the races starts telling me a racist joke.  It's like dammit why did you have to go there.  I think we all need to have respect for each other as humans no matter what kind of genitalia we may have or what color our skin may be.

A really bad form of disrespect that is very evident in our society right now is bullying by kids at school.  It breaks my heart every time I see a story about a young person who committed suicide because they were bullied.  I feel like parents need to teach their kids to love people for who they are, and that it's never acceptable to make fun of other people just because they are different or it's fun or the rest of the kids are doing it.  Hell step it up and teach them to defend the kids who are being picked on!  Even if it means their friends will not like them they should know it would feel better to protect someone than to be mean to them.  And in the same hand I think that there needs to be a more proactive stance taken in teaching kids that none of the stupid bullshit that happens when you are young is gonna matter when you are grown.  I pretty much love Pink's song "Fuckin Perfect".  What a wonderful message!

There's a whole realm of hatred and disrespect that causes people to not love themselves.  Self esteem is hard to find when you are constantly being pushed around for being different.  Whether it's because of your skin tone, the color of your hair, the size of your breasts, your weight, being a loner, having a quirky personality, cross dressing, being in an interracial relationship, being gay, lesbian, or bi, or having a different accent or a lisp... there's so many things that people find to make fun of about people and being completely disrespectful of their feelings.  How does someone being overweight or being flat chested or having lover of the same sex or marrying someone outside of their own race affect you personally as a person?  It doesn't.  So why make that person feel bad about themselves for being them.  You don't have to like everyone or be friends with everyone, but you shouldn't be mean to them. Challenge yourself to find the positive qualities in the people who make you uncomfortable for superficial reason's such as these.  Learn how to build them up as a person instead of tear them down.  You will feel better about yourself and so will they.

I think perhaps respect is something we can all work on!  It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.  And then no, it's not funny.  I think we should all just try to be respectful, even if we don't think the person deserves it.  I know it's hard but the least we can do is try!  Have some integrity and be respectful to others.

So my challenge and homework for all of us... be more aware of yourself, of your words and your actions.  Ignorance is not an excuse, train yourself to pay attention to what you are doing.  And make apologies when appropriate.  Lets try to make this world a happier place to live in.

Much Love and Respect for you all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inner Strength

I had a few days off of work, and I took the days to kind of decompress, recoup, be lazy and avoid thinking as much as possible.  Sometimes we all need a little mental break.  During the down time I read through some of my old blogs and I thought I would share one tonight because I found it as a good reminder to myself, and hopefully it will be a good reminder to you as well.

Inner Strength - Written by me on 11/1/2006

Sometimes in life we are faced with decisions, circumstances, and situations that feel overwhelming.  Fear and confusion can consume us if we are not diligent and see ourselves as strong and able to accomplish anything we want or live through anything life throws at us.

They say the power of positive thinking is strong, and I agree.  The mind is a powerful thing, I agree with that too.

If we can bring ourselves to a point where we believe that no matter what obstacles life throws at us,  that we can push through and persevere, and make it to our ultimate goals... then the people on this earth would be a lot happier.

Not many things in life can be accomplished easily.  Especially for those who do not have someone else paying their way or a huge mental support team backing them up and cheering them on.  If you can believe in yourself, and pull from your own strength inside of yourself, then you will reach heights that you never imagined you are possible of achieving.

How do you find that inner strength?  I don't know some magical formula that will wahlah make you tap into it.  You just have to want something and not be scared to go for it no matter what circumstances surround you.  Some use the power of faith in a higher being to help them find their inner strength. 

Whether it be an awesome job, a better healthier body, a new frame of mind, or even a whole new life... if you can focus on that thing you want more than anything and take the first step to getting there, making the decision that this is really what you want, then you just may find that hidden source of strength that you've repressed all too long.

First you have to figure out what it is you really want though.  You can't be full of indecision and doubt and flip flopping on "Do I want this or do I want this".  Confusion and question about your goals and decisions will try to sneak in tear you down.  Those thoughts and feelings are natural.  You just have to work through them.

Tell yourself that you want this and you are going to follow through with what you have started.  Do not give up on yourself no matter what.  Do not let the chastising of others bring you down.  Take from that and know that one day you will be where you want and happy and accomplished and they will still be where they were at when they tried to ridicule you and bring you down.

It's unfortunate but most people in this life do not want to see someone be more successful than them, some people just do not want others to succeed period and will do everything in their power to make you feel ridiculous for what you are trying to do with yourself.  If everyone you knew dropped out of your life you would still be able to carry on with living.

Do not worry about what others think; keep pushing keep diligent and persistent.  You'll make it to where it is you want to be. Your own strength, your own support system within you, is the strongest thing you have.  Inner strength and believing in you can overcome anything.  If you know what you are doing is right for you then follow through and accomplish that or those things that you desire in your heart.  You may start a wildfire within yourself.  Accomplish one goal, then you'll be set to give it a go at the next.  

Your inner strength is waiting to be tapped, so start looking for it and you just may find it. 


That blog is as true to me today as it was 5 years ago.  Having the support of others is a gratifying and comfortable thing.  But as I've learned sometimes you do not have the support of anyone, but you know what is right for you.  Have respect for yourself, trust yourself, and always have faith in yourself.  You are awesome!

Much love! 


Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You - Veterans Day 2011

I am thankful to have men and women who fight for the country that I live in. My deepest respect and gratitude for all who have served no matter how long. I really believe that photos can say a million words so instead of writing a long blog I did an image search and made a collage with some of the pictures I found. What our military does speaks for itself.  It was hard not to cry scrolling through thousands of pictures of our military who have served over the years.  Thank you for all that you do!  Much love!!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blonde Girl Vs The Bees

The following is a blog that I wrote on another site in 2007 not long after a cross country road trip that a friend of mine, Rosanne aka Zanna, and I took at the end of 2006.  I briefly mentioned an incident of bees amongst all of the other stories, like we absolutely could not find the Alamo (blondes), and there was request for explanation of the bees.  If you know anything about Texas you know that everything is bigger there, including the HUGE bumble bees!  I was reminded of this story when I made my post last night, Road Trip Blondes Joke.  Behold my saga of the road trip bees.

The Bees The Bees The Story Behind The Bees

Well... if you refer back to my blog "I'm back but... WHERE IS THE ALAMO!" amongst the crazy, bad, good and awesome things I mentioned was a bee encounter.  I think bees are pretty and fascinating creatures, but I'm allergic to those stinging little bugs and they freak me out and we can have a healthy respect for each other from afar. 

There was this gang of bees in Texas, hoodlums if you will, that did not understand this rule that distance between me and them equal peace.  Me and Rosanne stop at a gas station to pick up some breakfast and fill up the gas tank.  I got I think some milk, coffee, soda, water and a cappuccino muffin if you were wondering.  :) 

We pulled around to the side of the station to enjoy our muffins and let the coffee sink in and brush our hair and look at the map and just relax for a minute before we headed back out on the road.  It was kinda necessary after all we went through trying to find a restaurant in the forsaken town that had none. :) 

So I'm sitting there with my window rolled down enjoying my muffin and coffee just chillen.  Then a bee flies in through my window.  I sit there kinda relaxed and hope he'll fly back out but then he lands on me and starts to hover right on me and right by my face and kept landing on me.  I opened my door and tried to kinda gently shoo him away with my hairbrush with no luck. 

So I jumped out of the car muffin in one hand hair brush in the other and hopped back in but he flew right back in after me.  This time I rolled up all the windows, YEAH that's right I didn't roll them up to begin with, :) , I jump out of the car and I run to the back, him following me the whole time, and then back to the driver seat hop in slam my door and the little crack head had followed me back in the dang car. 

Ok at this point I'm freaked out.  "Why won't the stupid thing leave me alone" is one of the many things I was at that point screeching at Zanna, who by the way, the bee was staying completely away from.  I try running back to the back of the car again and back to the front I don't remember how many times.

Now I'm surrounded by I think maybe 3-6 bees. I couldn't tell and I saw more hoovering near.  Dude, wtf!!  Why me right.  :)  The whole time Rosanne is sitting there laughing hilariously at me and my predicament. 

As I'm standing there completely flustered and thinking I'm about to be attacked all at once by all these bees or something, in the most pathetic voice I think I've ever heard come out of me I look at Rosanne with eyes pleading for this to end about to finally bust into tears and bellar "I I I don't know what to doooo!"  I'm sure I shook the hairbrush too.

I run as fast as I can all the way around the car hop in the driver seat and slam the door as fast as I can and I can't believe it no bees made it in that time.  Rosanne was lucky she made it in the car because as soon as my door shut and in a split second knew there were no bees accompanying me I hauled out of there as fast as I could across the the parking lot and through some kinda dirt lot.  I didn't care where it ended I was just getting straight away from those stupid bees.

When I was in what I thought was a safe zone I stopped jumped out and shook it off then finished my muffin.  :)

Right next to where I was parked while this whole thing was happening was a tinted window that was right behind where the cashiers stood.  I'm sure they thought I was having some kinda crack freakout running around with a muffin and hairbrush and hopping in and out of my car.  At least Rosanne and those cashiers were entertained.  :p 


In case you are wondering, Zanna confirmed that I did in fact shake the hairbrush.

Much Love!!

I got the free clipart bee from

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Road Trip Blondes

Your Friendly Blonde Girl Presents To You A Humpday Blonde Joke:


A couple of blondes were driving through Louisiana when they came to a sign that told them they were almost to Natchitoches. They argued all the way there about how to pronounce the name of the town. Finally they stopped for lunch. After getting their food, one of the blondes said to the cashier, "Can you settle an argument for us? Very slowly, tell us where we are."

The cashier leaned over the counter and said:

"Buuurrrrrr-Gerrrrrr Kiiiinnnnnggg"



This joke reminds me of a cross country road trip that my blonde bff Zanna and I took several years ago.    Here is a sign we found humorous on that trip.  There were oh so many, however this one was the most blonde friendly.  ;)

Much Love!!

I found this funny joke and many more at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

I think I've heard the statement, "Time flies when you are having fun", so many times that I'd be a billionaire if I had a nickel for every time it's graced my ears.

I said it to a coworker this morning and in that instant a different thought came to mind that has never traversed across the realm where my brain resides. 

Time for me seems to move faster the older I get, and I know many other people have said the same.  I also believe life gets better the older you get, if you let it.

So is time moving so much faster the older we get because we are having more fun the older we get? 

Maybe just maybe!!  Enjoy your time on this planet while you can, you may not have as much time to enjoy it later as you think you do.

Much Love!!

"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance." -Unknown

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fettuccini With Turkey Meatballs And Vegetables

Last night I cooked a fabulous pasta dinner that was beyond fantastic.  I had been searching for a pasta dish that was different, not the same typical pesto, tomato or Alfredo sauce.  I kept seeing recipes that looked good but not quite what I wanted.  Finally I decided to just use ingredients and techniques of various recipes I had found.  Time for a blonde girl spin.


1 - 14 ounce Package of Armour Turkey Meatballs - Thawed
1 - Pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes -Whole
1 - Bell Pepper (I used yellow for color contrast) - Sliced
1 - 8 ounce Package of Baby Bella Mushrooms - Sliced
1 - 9 ounce Package of Buitoni All Natural Fettuccine
1 - 9 ounce Package of Spinach - Whole Leaf (Or Baby Spinach)
1 - Package of Fresh Basil (1/2-3/4 cup) - Largely Chopped
1/2  cup Parmesan Cheese, Shaved
1 Bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to keep handy.
Salt & Pepper to taste

I used Baby Bella Mushrooms, you can substitute with white mushrooms, however Bella's give you such a flavor punch that white do not.  I use the Buitoni Fetuccine because their fresh pastas, that you can find in the dairy section of the grocery store, just have such a better flavor and texture than your typical dried pasta, not to mention it cooks in less than half the time.  The fresh basil gives an incredible flavor, you do not want to skip it, you'll find it in the packaged fresh herb section of your produce section.  Unfortunately I didn't think to measure the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and eyeballed that part so I'll have to just give you guesstimates on how much I used and you'll have to figure out what works for you.  Have fun and use your favored vegetables or a different kind of meatballs in your dish, this is just what I used and it was great!  You'll be surprised at how flavorful the Turkey Meatballs are if you've never used them before, and they are not greasy at all.

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Start pot of the water on the burner to come to a boil for the pasta, use amount of water called for on the package. While waiting on the water to boil start the next step.
  • Coat the tomatoes, bell pepper, and mushrooms in about 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil and a light sprinkle of pepper.  Spread out on a baking sheet and put in oven for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms and bell peppers are the cooked consistency you like, I personally like a little crunch, the tomatoes will start to burst or shrivel, stir after about 6 minutes.
  • Put pasta in the boiling water, if you are using the Buitoni it should take 3 minutes exactly, set a timer, you do not want to overcook your pasta. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the water.
  • In a Paella pan or large skillet on medium high brown the meatballs in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Once meatballs are nicely browned turn the heat to medium and add the entire package of spinach and 1 more tablespoon of olive oil.  It will look like a lot but it cooks way down.  Constantly stir and flip until your spinach has shrunk down.
  • By now your roasted vegetables are done, dump them into the pan with the meatballs and spinach, stir. 
  • Add pasta and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss together.  I found using a large wooden fork and a wooden spatula worked great.  Start with the smaller amount of olive oil and add more if it seems your pasta is sticking together.  Part of any stickiness will be resolved in the next step though.
  • Dump the Basil and Parmesan cheese and the pasta water on top.  Toss well until the basil and cheese are well incorporated, cheese is starting to melt, and the water has pretty much been absorbed, add more olive oil if needed.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately.  Top with Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper if you desire.
This dish will feed about 4 people, or 2 people who somehow have room for seconds.  I did not find that I needed anything else because this meal was very flavorful and filling.  Though I'm sure sides of salad and a nice baked bread brushed in olive oil and covered in an Italian cheese blend then baked until melted would be perfect compliments at a dinner party.  Though it may sound difficult and look like something that is a result of heavy labor, it was actually really easy to make, and will surely be a welcome change if your bored with the same old pasta dish.

Be creative with cooking and experiment, you never know what kind of awesomeness you'll come up with! 

Much love and Enjoy!!

Be kind to your non stick pans - Only use a plastic or wooden cooking utensils and they will thank you with a long life.  Amazon Cooking Utensils