Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Best Of

One of the blog post ideas from Joy the Baker was to do a "best of" post. She says that it's a great opportunity to appear as though you're on top of things when you're actually lazy. Which happens to be what I was tonight. My dad is out of town, so it's just me and the momma, so we decided to do Chipotle tonight instead of Try-It Tuesday... Chicken burrito bowl, Diet Coke, my mom, outdoor seating... It was pretty perfect. AND it was a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: posting about Try-It Tuesday and doing a "best of" post.

Here are some of my favorites since I started Try-It Tuesday back in August! A Best Of Try-It Tuesdays if you will...
Chicken Curry in a Hurry. I love this stuff. The curry flavor isn't too overpowering (although if it was, I'd still be ok with it.) It's just a fun variation of a curry dish. And so easy!

Thai Turkey Burgers. Probably one of my favorite recipes I've made for Try-It Tuesday.

Cajun Chicken Pasta. This is pretty tasty. It was good the first time, and better the second, I'll have to try it again to see if I can make it even better!

Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple. Check this out... a recipe without chicken breast!

Creamy Chicken Taquitos. I liked these when I made them, but turns out they were even better as leftovers... Strange, I know, but true.

Chicken Tamale Casserole. This recipe kind of lied and said it was healthy... It wasn't really. But it was indeed delicious.

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice. The longest name ever but the recipe for sure lives up to the name. One of my favorite recipes ever.

Jambalaya. I loved this stuff. Rice. Chicken. Veggies. Spice. So good.

Until next week!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Somewhat Ridiculous Unsolicited Advice.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I thought it'd be fun to try out Joy the Baker's list of blog post ideas. I thought I'd just go ahead and get the advice post out of the way. When hearing about this blog post idea, my aunt Georgie told me a story of a recent trip to a restaurant where the waiter dropped her food off at the table, asked her if she'd had the dish before, and then went ahead and told her all about how the meal she had ordered wasn't very good. That, my friends, is some pretty serious ridiculous unsolicited advice. Hopefully the advice that I will offer you isn't quite so ridiculous. So... here it goes.

My advice: encourage people. Compliment people. Keep your eyes open for the strengths of the people around you... And when you have the opportunity to tell them about what you've noticed, do. And if you don't have the opportunity... make one. Tell people how special they are. And don't just say, "Hey, you're special." Say, "Hey, you're special because of the way you really listen to people when they talk to you." or, "Hey, you're special because of the way you can make people laugh like no one else can." Be specific. It's more special that way.

There are so many ways to encourage people. You can take an afternoon and go to a coffee shop and just write people letters telling them how great they are. I did that this last week, and it made my day and the days of the people I sent it to. Or you can be crazy like me, and in the middle of a heated board game say, "Ok, although things are getting tense, I can still name 3 great things about each person in this room." So I did! I got a chance to tell some people how specifically great they were (and win a game of Settlers of Catan) and it was great. Find these ways to spread encouragement. Please.

All this to say... start trying to open your eyes a little wider. Believe the best in people. Notice the good in them. And tell them about it. It'll make their day... and yours too. Promise.
My letter after crossing a few states and reaching my dear friend Valeria, in Houston.

(P.S. Sorry this is so long. Thanks for hanging in there... I'm a bit passionate about this, if you can't tell.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Confession: Last time I went to the dentist I was told that I have two cavities. Confession: I drink way too much Diet Coke and don't floss... therefore, cavities. Confession: I had a filling today on one of them and my mouth is still numb and my tongue feels like it's the size of a rolled up sock. Confession: I didn't make dinner tonight. Confession: My mom did and she's a better cook than I (she made Italian beef sandwiches and they were delicious!). Confession: I am such a loser that I planned ahead and tried a recipe a couple of weeks ago that I had planned for tonight. Confession: It was soooo good.

Alright, enough of that. A couple of weeks ago I tried Iowa Girl Eats' recipe for Chili Lime Chicken Burgers. I have realized something about myself... I really like fancy burgers. They intrigue me and excite me and I could probably do a whole month of Try-It Tuesdays: Burger Style... but I won't. Anyway, this recipe was great! And it encouraged me to make my own guacamole which I had never done before! And it was pretty healthy! And I loved it! Y'all, if you like fancy burgers, try this recipe!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ten (Super Rad) Blog Post Ideas

I would say my favorite blogger out there is Joy the Baker. She comes up with some pretty great recipes, but on top of that, her outlook on life is pretty positive and inspiring. Recently she posted a list of Ten (Super Rad) Blog Post Ideas that she uses when she's stuck in a rut and doesn't know what to blog about. I don't know if I'm stuck in a rut (who knows, maybe I am...), but I'm a big fan of lists, and crossing things off of lists, and I'm a big fan of blogging, so I thought it'd be fun to try out her list. Here's the list... so here's what you can be expecting to see from me in the coming weeks...

1. A How-To Post
2. Inspired By!
3. What Are You Reading?
4. Let's do a list!
5. A Best-of Post
6. A Diary Excerpt
7. Somewhat ridiculous unsolicited advice
8. Before-and-After
9. A Day in the Life
10. A giveaway!

Some of these are going to be a little out of my comfort zone... A diary excerpt? I don't know if I have one that's old enough to be funny... A how-to post? I don't know if I'm good enough at anything to tell y'all how to do it. Unsolicited advice? Well, I'm pretty good (or bad) about doing that in real life, but in writing? ... That's awkward.

Anyway, it should be fun! So get excited!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Print from Etsy.
"Creation is a better means of self-expression than possession; it is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed." -Vida Dutton Scudder, The Privilege of Age
I've got to admit that generally when I "read" magazines, I don't actually read them. I am the queen of flipping through and acknowledging the pictures... and that's it. But May's Real Simple had a feature on how to become more creative... and it really piqued my interest. Inspired me, actually. Here are a few things that stuck out to me that I really liked:

1. "Accept failure. Enjoy it, even. Embrace the suck, for the suck is part of the process." Apparently Picasso created about 50,000 paintings, and a good portion of them were lousy... But he had a few winners, didn't he?

2. Be a kid. Sit on the floor to brainstorm ideas. "Logic is important. But if it comes in too early, it ruins things." This is hard for me...

3. Stay positive! "Research shows that a positive mood is most conducive to creative thinking; negativity inhibits ingenuity." I've got a lot of weaknesses, but I would say that positivity is probably one of my strengths. At least I've got that going for me, right?

4. Brainstorm in groups. You may not always find the idea while in the group, but the ideas of others could spark something in you later on. Brainstorming in groups is scary for me, but that could be because I struggle with point number 5 below...

5. Don't be afraid to look dumb. "You cannot be creative unless you're willing to walk around with your pants around your ankles."

Hope you were inspired as I was...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I don't know what it is about Wednesday mornings, but for some reason... I love them. I'm always (well maybe not ALWAYS, but often) in an extra good mood. Most people resent hump day, and I may track more with those feelings toward the end of the day... But Wednesday mornings? I love 'em...

It's possibly because things seem slower at work. For some reason, people don't have their 401(k)s on their minds on Wednesday mornings which means I get to have some quality time with the blog world in between calls. This morning I came across Annie's Eats post about a birthday party that she threw for her daughter's first birthday. It was so cute and now I want to throw a party. Really bad. I wish I could throw a baby shower for my friend Jessie... but she lives in Austin. I wish I could throw a birthday party for my brother Joel... but he lives in Austin. Or my cousin Julie... but she lives in Oklahoma City. (Poor Abby, all of her friends up and left her...) So, I guess I'll have to be on the look out to throw a party for someone. Because I'm in the mood to party. And it's Wednesday morning.

Yep. It's official. I want to be a party planner. It involves: creativity, organization, people, and celebrationg... AKA everything that I love!

Here are some parties that I've seen on various blogs that I think are pretty stinking cool.

Shimmery Silver and Mocha Party

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Gingery Chicken with Peaches

Happy Tuesday everyone! Spring is alive and well so I decided to make something kind of spring/summer-like for dinner tonight. Gingery Chicken with Peaches! Peaches? Yes, peaches. My dad was a bit skeptical going into the meal. Peaches with chicken... really? ... It was good, though! We enjoyed it! It was very fresh and light and pretty tasty! My mom and I were big fans. Dad said that it was good... but he's still a "pineapple man" so the peaches were a little weird for him. I'd say a do-over... at least in my peach-friendly opinion.

I'm tempted to not even show my picture because it looks nasty... but it tasted good!
The peaches themselves were actually better looking than my picture of the meal, so I thought I'd leave you with these... Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Driving to work with this sunrise as my backdrop.
I've been reading this book called A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller. I'm not going to lie... it's kind of been blowing my mind. For a pretty upbeat person, I never realized how incredibly cynical I am when it comes to God and prayer.... until reading this book. I've learned a lot: about myself and God and everything in between. (You should read it. Seriously.) Anyway... I was reading it today, and there was this quote from a non-religious woman about Christians and their outlook on life. She said:

"They have an expansiveness of spirit. When they walk along a stream, they don't just see water falling over rocks; the sight fills them with ecstasy. They see a realm of hope beyond this world. I just see a babbling brook. I don't get the message."

While it makes me pretty sad for the woman in the book... I am pretty thankful that I'm on the "ecstasy awareness" side of life. Pretty thankful that God has opened my eyes to the glorious things out there. Here are a few examples of the things that have caught my attention recently...
"Laying" about 100,000 Easter eggs for an Easter egg hung that my church put on.
Having the afternoon off of work and doing nothing but laying in bed watching Hulu.
(I love the New Girl, by the way.)
Seeing glimpses of the sunrise through a sea of cubicles.
Taking the winner's trophy home that my friends and I have for game night.
(God can appreciate competitiveness... right?)
Admiring the beautiful tree in my front yard.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Oh hey, it's Tuesday! I'm worn out, so I'm going to make this quick. I made dinner tonight... I don't know if you know this... But that's what I do on Tuesdays. After searching for recipes all day, I went with Annie's Eats recipe for Creamy Chicken Taquitos. It was really easy so I whipped it up in no time. I'm not really sure how I felt about the recipe though... It was good. But was it spectacular? I'd say no. It was lacking something... a kick, or a spice, or something. I think I'd like to do it again but add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper or something... But I'd say if you're a fan of taquitos, you should give it a go!

One thing that did get me excited is that I made my own guacamole! Before last week I had never made it before... It's the little things that get me excited. And tonight... homemade guacamole was it!

Happy Tuesday!