Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marching On

March - Work

  • Get to work early
  • Aim higher
  • 1-minute rule
  • Tackle a nagging task (take that Excel training class!)
  • Volunteer

March flew by and I barely got a chance to take a breath. I was too busy to keep track of my goals on, but this month it was more about my attitude towards my job than items to tick off a list. I felt like I have accomplished a lot in the past 31 days and I feel proud that I made it through relatively unscathed! I learned a lot during my first month in HR and I am looking forward to the next few months as things settle in. There isn't much else to say about March but I hope to have more time in April to post. And to breathe.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Springtime is Lovetime

  • My garage smells like my Grandpa Russ' shop. Sweet nostalgia.
  • Kara visited and we took a lovely Saturday bike ride to Avila Beach for brunch.
  • Three of my all time favorite people met me in Santa Barbara for a girls weekend. (And I am 90% sure I am allergic to Reisling.)
  • Still obsessed with Fleet Foxes. Check out this live performance on Letterman:

  • My mom got an iPhone and we did FaceTime yesterday. Oh, I love you techmology.
  • Conversation with Steve on the way home from work today:
             Me: I like this song! Who is it?
             Steve: I am always surprised when people don't recognize Led Zeppelin.
             Me: So, it's Led Zeppelin?
             Steve: Yep!
             Me: Is he still alive?
             Steve: Is who still alive?
             Me: Led Zeppelin! 
             Today I learned that Led Zeppelin is a band, not a person! :)
  • It rained!! Finally!
  • We ordered a new bath tub. A deep soaker! Yippee! Bathroom remodel phase II: Tub demo!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Black Bean Taquitos

Another Pinterest favorite! Recipe adapted from Naturally Ella Baked Black Bean Taquitos


1/2 medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 small jalapeno
1/2 tbls sunflower - i used vegetable oil
1/2 tsp paprike
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp seasalt
1/2 cup black beans
1/4 cup cilantro
6-8 corn tortillas - I used flour tortillas
1/2 cup colby jack cheese
sunflower oil for brushing tortillas - I used vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bring a medium pot of water to simmer.

In a pan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and pepper until onion becomes translucent. Stir in garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in black beans and cilantro, cooking until beans are heated through, 2-3 minutes.

Turn off water. Taking one tortilla at a time, dip in hot water for 3-4 seconds. Place on a cutting board and scoop a spoonful of black bean filling and a pinch of cheese on top. Roll tight and place seam side down on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Repeat until all the filling is used. Brush each piece with oil.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the tortilla is a light brown color. Dip in salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.

Crock Pot Pork Chops

So, apparently I have been into pork and using my crock pot. Both of which are good things and a nice change from chicken and having to cook everything after work. The crock pot saves me SO much time and energy! And of course I found this recipe on Pinterest.

Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops.

1/2 inch bone-in pork chops
1 packet of Italian Seasoning
10 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
Russet potatoes
S & P
garlic cloves

Place pork chops and soup mix with italian seasonings into crock pot. Add chopped up potatoes. Mix all together. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove potatoes and mash them using a mixer. Add milk and butter.

Service pork over potatoes and drizzle with the soup/sauce from crock pot.

A New View

Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, which is where I find lots of my recipes nowadays. I bought two pork tenderloins from Albertsons and cooked them both. The meat turned out so incredibly tender and juicy and the glaze was delicious. I made my favorite side dish rice, curried cauliflower and rice and a salad topped with strawberries and mandarin oranges. I highly recommend this recipe for an easy crock pot dinner. 

Recipe from C + C Marriage Factory.

1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Ready, Set, GO!

Tick tock, tick tock. We are already into the 8th day of March and I am desperately trying to keep my head above water! A LOT is going on with work as you might imagine and every day is filled with more phone calls, more emails, more paperwork, and more questions than the day before. It is an exciting time. It is a crazy time. It is a fantastic time! 

It is the perfect time for this month's goals about work. I need to add a new item on my 42goals list for getting to work early because I haven't been tracking that yet. But, off the record I've been doing pretty good. Every minute before 8am is actually the BEST time to get work done. It's still hard to get up early when I have a lovey dove cuddled up next to me every morning. But, it's important to get to work early when these days I have meetings every half hour, stacks of files piling up on my desk, and the day seems to pass by in the blink of an eye. It's really an awesome thing.

March - Work

  • Get to work early
  • Aim higher
  • 1-minute rule
  • Tackle a nagging task (take that Excel training class!)
  • Volunteer

I think I can pretty much cross 'aim higher' off on my list. The 1-minute rule is vital in that I take advantage of doing the little things NOW so that those piles of paper don't turn into a pile of unorganized chaos. I still plan on taking an Excel training class, but I don't think it will happen this month. 

As for volunteering, I actually went to my first committee meeting tonight for Making Strides for Breast Cancer - the breast cancer walk that I participated in last year. I am officially a volunteer for this event, and I hope to do my best to make it the best event it can be.

Last Saturday, I spent nearly three hours in a conference room for another committee meeting for the local section of the American Chemical Society. I got our group into the 21st century and we tried Skyping with our fellow members who couldn't make the meeting in person. It all turned out great, and we are doing it again in May! Wahoo!

I also traveled to Sacramento last week for a three-day intro to HR course and let's just say I left with my head spinning. I won't bore you with details.

In the meantime, Steve has still been working on the bathroom remodel. Sunday, we installed the new window and it is GORGEOUS. 

Here is a picture of the outside of the house when there was just a giant hole where the window should be. Together, we put in the window which was quite the ordeal, only from the standpoint that I am so freaking weak. But, Steve had everything planned out so well that it was really no big deal. I will take a picture when he re-installs the siding on the outside. 

I also managed to re-pot 5 plants last weekend since they were all outgrowing their current pots. This meant I had to go to a home store to pick out the pots. I was there over an hour because they must have had thousands of pots to choose from! I came home with the biggest pot I've ever seen and two smaller ones, and two giant bags of potting soil.

Long story short, I potted a giant plant into the giant pot and filled it up with dirt and duh, it was too heavy for Steve and I to lift. We knew we'd need help to get it back inside so we decided to leave it be outside for the night and ask Steve's friend to come by the next evening. Well, of course it froze that night, and here, my friends, is what my poor plant looks like now. SOB!

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