29 March 2012

Wednesday's Food With Friends

11:46 AM
My weekly Foods With Friends post is highlighting two days of good food and great friends. A girl shouldn't eat so good...oh but she should.

My dear friend Cecilia and I usually lunch at The Grove at least once a week. This week, I was feeling like a change. So we stopped by Farina Pizzeria for some sunshine on the patio. We both started looking over the menu to place our order, and as we couldn't decide what we wanted we decided to just share it all. Oh what a great decision that was.

San Pellegrino Limonata? Refresh!

I don't even remember what salad this was - but with crumbles of blue cheese (my fav) & apples. It was perfect.

This pizza was to die for. It had goat cheese (wait...I think that's my fav), italian bacon (I forget the fancy name for it), leeks and some other stuff on it. AHHHH-Mazing.

...and since I call myself a runner now - I feel I deserve all the carbs my tummy can handle. So we topped it all off with some spaghetti & meatballs. Desert was a frozen espresso with cream. I forgot to snap a picture before we devoured it - in a classy way of course!

Wednesday's are what these posts are really supposed to be about, so my trusted lunch group headed to Guadalupe Cafe in Santa Fe for a late lunch before I headed back to Albuquerque. This is a re-visit - and so worth it every time. I go with the Guadalupe Special (I think that's what it is called). Turkey, swiss, avocado, special mayo, noodles on the side. Yes please. Sarah went with a salad (I don't remember which one but look at the size of that thing!). Needless to say - we all had leftovers to take home!

This week's Food with Friends was another HUGE success. Farina Pizzeria on Central in Albuquerque and Guadalupe Cafe on Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe. Two thumbs up!

Until next week....

26 March 2012

Pinterst-ing - Yummy Simple Overnight Oats

10:27 AM
Thanks to Christie Ellis for sharing this on her blog Pepper Lynn. It was yummy, easy, and a new favorite of mine.

Here's what you need -

Makes 1 large serving.
  • ½ cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup milk

Mix all the ingredients in jar, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, stir in the mix-ins of your choosing.

In the picture above, I mixed in fresh strawberries and strawberry jelly. This morning I mixed in fresh blueberries, fresh strawberries, a half a banana, and strawberry jelly. I can't wait to see what I will try next!

Munchkin loves it too! It's a win-win.

24 March 2012

This week in photos

10:41 AM
A nice reminder of why I started this blog....

A few of my favorite things this week.....

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Mask - found at Target.

Essie polish in Black Licorice. Essie should send me polish to review. I love them!

Trying out a new styling product - Eco Styler. I like. I LOVE the price.

This week across the nation, a #onemillionhoodie protest was birthed in support of Trayvon Martin. I love the power of social media and that these types of cases can no longer go under the radar. I loved seeing everyone taking a stand - young and old. Here are a few of my favorite picures.

Miami Heat - #onemillionhoodies

Muhammad Ali - #onemillionhoodies

Marian Edelman Wright - #onemillionhoodies

Fortune Cookie Affirmation....


Ehhh....I hate throwing away expired coupons....

Have some faith....

23 March 2012

Upright Roasted Chicken

7:21 PM
About a month ago one of my favorite stores - Cost Plus World Market - had an upright chicken roaster in their circular. Later that week I went to the WM on my side of town and they didn't have any. I had them look all over the store. Nothing. I was so let down.

I left the store and was seriously disappointed. I had already told my Granny about it, gotten her advice on what to do with a whole chicken, and had pulled recipes from the web.

So I called the WM on the other side of town and they had no clue what I was talking about. Come on people! It was just in your paper!

So today, I stopped at that other WM to pickup the Cupcake Moscato I saw advertised this week - and as I'm walking - behold! My upright chicken roaster!

I was thrilled. Finally. Yes! I had failed to make it to the website to order it as the associate at my WM suggested. Buying online loses the satisfaction for me. Plus - I'm a cash girl (more on that later).

So - my next stop was Trader Joes because I already had a new oatmeal recipe on my list for the weekend. I quickly googled some of the recipes I had previously found while sitting in the parking lot. It is then that I remembered this hilarious post that reminded me not everything has to be so measured. So I picked up some potatoes, carrots, an onion, and yes, I bought my first whole chicken!

Love how my chicken says "minimally processed". The "grass fed, no preservatives" was double the price! We'll just have to be a little processed.

Here are my vegies -

...and a simple spice rub I made with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

She's all ready to go!

Baked on 350 for about an hour and a half. Isn't she lovely?

This was such a simple meal to cook. I'm all about the one-dish wonders! Simple prep, simple clean-up.

I'm also excited because you can basically feed a whole family of 2 on this one bird for an entire week. I have plans to turn that breast into some chicken salad for Munchkin's lunch and a nice casserole for dinner this week!

Lovin' it.

Disclaimer - This is not a foodie blog. I don't intend for it to be one. I'm just a busy chic trying to make my house a home and laugh at myself while doing it. Thanks for indulging!

Wednesday's with Friends

10:24 AM
Many great and wonderful things come out of the work I do. One of the things I am most grateful for are the friendships that bud and then bloom through our daily interactions.

For almost a year now, I have been traveling to Santa Fe to do work for the New Mexico Centennial Foundation. Santa Fe is a beautiful place in and of itself. Rich in art and culture, being there provides a magnitude of beauty not seen any place else. I'm sure you have heard of many movie stars visiting and even choosing to live in the hills of our capital city. It is the oldest capital in the United States.

It is also full of great food. If you've seen me recently my hips will attest to that. Over the past year I have consumed such great food. My life and my hips are grateful.

So back to that friend part. Me and a couple of friends have been lunchin' it up around Santa Fe on Wednesdays for quite some time, and I just got the idea that we are experiencing too much great food for me not to write about. So I'll start now - and I think we're just going to have to revisit some of our favorite places so that I can recapture the experience just for you here.

So - we'll start with this past Wednesday. My friend Sarah asked if I had a craving for something and I did - I wanted some New Mexican food. I've been craving the green! Her family are regulars at a Santa Fe staple - Tomasitas. This was my first time there and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

I had a combo plate with a Chile Relleno with green chile, a blue corn chicken enchilada with red chile, beef taco, refried beans and spanish rice. The plate was clean except for the beef taco. Not because I didn't want it but because by the time I finished scarfing down everything else I literally had no room to put anything else in my stomach.

Until -

Visiting Ellie's YoBerri is a must! This picture is actually from a few weeks back which was a combo of pomegranate and classic with chocolate chips and caramel sauce. This week I actually had a mix of cappuccino and classic with my usual chocolate chips and caramel sauce. Yum.

So, when in Santa Fe - I highly recommend visiting Tomasita's and YoBerri on Guadalupe Street!

19 March 2012

I Can't Shake This

10:23 AM
I first read about it a few weeks ago and thought to myself "why does this continue to happen in our community"? But - like many of you - I didn't stop to pay attention. Then on Friday, while scrolling through my Twitter stream - I read a tweet by Star Jones -

For me - that was enough. I spent the next 4 hours following everything that had to do with Trayvon Martin, and as I did, my heart broke a little more and a little more, to the point where all I could do was cry. There is no way I could listen to the 911 recording. I didn't want to hear someone else's son begging for his life. I just couldn't.

As I tucked my precious little brown boy in bed that night, I kissed him and my tears fell on his cheeks, because I was just so grateful I had my baby to kiss. Trayvon was his momma's baby. No matter how old they are - they are our babies.

I have heard some people question why we get involved with these kind of things only when race is involved, when little black boys are being killed every day by other black children. They ask is that ok? No. Absolutely not. It's also not ok for some want-to-be neighborhood watch captain to stereotype our boys and take their precious lives senselessly - and not be held accountable for it.

I haven't been able to shake this. In a conversation with my sister and brother-in-law last night, the tears came to my eyes just talking about it. We work so hard to raise these children. We pour our soul into them. We pray for them, we sacrifice for them, and in an instant, some neighborhood watch guy comes along and takes that. I can't shake that.

As my sister and brother-in-law pointed out, yes this case is about race, but the reality is, the world we are raising our children in is different. I pay $15 a week for my son to run around an indoor soccer field because I don't feel safe allowing him to run around out front unless I'm out there at all times. I live in one of those "gated community" type neighborhoods.

My brother-in-law made that real to me last night. He was talking about the fact that they didn't play organized sports until middle school because they were able to just go outside for hours and hours and play. Me and my sister looked at each other and said "so true". We used to ride our bikes all over Alamogordo. All over. We didn't have cell phones. We just played. Like kids are supposed to be able to do.

A few months ago while at our neighborhood park, my friend who lives just around the corner told me she sent her two oldest kids to the park and an older man walking around the park gave her son a brand new football. When she arrived at the park with her younger kids, he got in his truck and left. What was this man doing at this park with all these kids? Why did he leave as soon as she showed up? Why do we even have to worry about these things?

I am praying. Saturday I found myself not knowing what to pray for. I am praying for his parents. I am praying for peace in this world. I am praying for justice. I am praying that no child - black, brown, yellow, red, white - ever loses his or her life senselessly. I'm praying. Lord help.

I'm not trying to be poignant or make a strong social claim here - just simply a mother of a little boy feeling in my heart what I think any mother would feel. Just a mother whose heart is aching right now for Sybrina Fulton - Trayvon's mother who lost her baby.

I'll share what I would want to say if I could dig deep enough and think clearly enough to say it. Right now, my heart is the only thing able to speak. This piece is by Professor Melissa Harris Perry. His Name is Trayvon Martin.

17 March 2012

A few makeovers

8:45 AM
I realized that I did a few furniture makeovers before I started this blog that I should share here.

I'm still learning how to perfect the art of painting furniture, but one of the things I enjoy is that my furniture isn't perfect. How boring is perfect furniture anyways?

So first, my dad found this beautiful chair at a garage sale. I liked the style of the chair but if you know me - I hate "oakey" furniture. (My mom would probably cringe at me saying this).

This was my first time repainting furniture since I painted my parents lawn furniture pink when I was in middle school. :-0

I also got a hold of my dad's old desk from his car dealership. It was a mission style, brown wood desk that I didn't think to take a before picture of. I love the after.

Both the desk and chair were painted using Valspar High Lacquer Wood Black Spray Paint.

If you know me at all - you know I am adamantly against the idea of walking into a furniture store and buying a 5 piece living room set. I cannot bring myself to do it. So instead - I wait to find these little treasure pieces and then make them into the pieces I want them to be.

Here's an old dresser I found at a local Antique store. I probably paid too much for it considering I was going to paint over it - but you know - a girl gets excited sometimes.

It had some really great little posts that used to hold a mirror I assume that shows the detail in the woodwork. (Yes, I sometimes use my corkscrew as a screw driver).

I used Valspar Satin Finish Antique White paint.

Here's where we stand today. I love it. It is really a unique piece in our home that I love.

15 March 2012

This Week in Photos

9:32 AM
Doing this helps me find "joy in the journey" as my dear friend Heather Howard Earl would say.

On Saturday, my friend and line sister and I were having a usual text conversation like we do everyday - and the journey of our natural hair came up. I loved this and it's so true!

So out of that came me embracing a little self love. While I love instagram - one of my biggest complaints is that too many people take too many self portraits and it annoys me - but one is not too bad.

That night I was headed to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Salute to Youth Scholarship Award Gala held by the women of Iota Xi Omega. It was a super fun time.

I was honored to do the presentation of the debutantes and gent. It was truly an honor because I remember what a big deal that moment was for me.

Saturday morning I woke up and was dragging about having to get dolled up that night. I just wanted to relax. Then I remember that 10 years ago, I stood in their shoes and it meant so much to me. My high school friends were there. My mom and I had shopped for my dress and spent mucho dinero on getting the lace appliques taken off the body and added to the bottom to be long enough. After a hair emergency and my sister hooking me up, I was ready for this big night.

Saturday morning was also my Scentsy Delivery Day. Love getting the chance to connect with my customers and friends.

I also did a little shopping with Munchkin. He was being silly acting like a mannequin:

New Lipstick: Benefit - I think I Love You
My testimony right now:

Yesterday was gorgeous outside.

....so I ate lunch out there and look at the line already.

Scentsy VIP Scent of the Month Club mailing day -

I LOVE this. I have a strange way of getting to my destiny. At the end of it all you don't have to understand me - as long as my work withstands.

...and just how timely was this. Just yesterday I started asking that question "why" again. Why did this happen? Why did you do this? OH please Niecy - MOVE ON, LET GO and GET OVER IT!

14 March 2012

Your Struggle is Fit For Your Shoulders

7:55 PM
At many Scentsy events, Orville Thompson the owner of Scentsy, often talks about a theory of pointing arrows out. This concept looks at what you can do to serve others, not focusing on what will serve you. I love this concept, because in direct sales, you become successful by first helping those around you reach their dreams. You cannot make it in this business with arrows only pointing at yourself - bottom line.

To say the past few months have been stressful for me would be an understatement. Life has been straight up hard. Period. I now know what James was talking about when he said:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

That I have. My joy level has not changed - even through these trials. Life is still good. Even when it is hard. There are smiles to still share and others to encourage. I know that I am being fortified. But still.....when times are hard sometimes it is hard to keep the arrows pointing out. Sometimes, all arrows are pointing towards me as I get so consumed with what is going on in my own life. Sometimes....well.....I just want someone to come and save me!

So the next book on my reading list was 29 Gifts, How a month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker. It just so happens that this book was on my check-out list at this time where everything is so thick and I'm just simply praying for clarity.

At first I thought, here's another book about law of attraction that doens't work. Right? Although something happened when I started reading this book. I was happy about others pointing their arrows out.

I haven't gotten to the point where I'm sold on the challenge and committing my next 29 days to giving a gift, but God does have something up his sleeve. Our relationship is funny that way. Just this week one friend who has been waiting for a major turn around in her business called and told me she just sold it, money is flowing in and she feels a major weight is lifted. When she first said "call me" I asked "is it good or bad" because at that time I couldn't bear anyone else's bad news....I was dealing with enough of my own issues. So, when she told me it was good - I was able to focus my arrows out and celebrate with her. Then, in more of God's true fashion - a close friend calls to tell me how amazing everything in going for her career and how she's launching out into mainstream very soon. I needed to celebrate with her. At this point I'm like ok God - I get it. Arrows out, arrows out. Another friend emails me today with a testimony about how she just landed her dream job! I haven't responded yet because I want to take the time and fully read her email, take in her testimony and thank God with her for it.

I say this to say - life can get hard. I'm living proof of that. You just have to take the hard times in stride and realize your struggle is fit for your shoulders. Even when it's hard - don't focus all your arrows in. Give, give and give some more. Of yourself, of your time, of your praise. Celebrate those whose season it is to celebrate and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that your season of celebration WILL come.
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