Friday, August 30, 2013

Saw It on Pinterest: Egg Muffins

Here's another one that I don't actually have pinned. I saw it on some paleo websites and emails that I get, and just tucked it away in the back of my mind to try sometime. So pin away, using this as your link if you'd like.


Eggs - proportionate to the amount of tins you want to fill. I actually used egg whites from the carton, mixed with one organic egg, for flavor's sake.
Bacon - I used turkey bacon
Veggies - these were made using broccoli and canned green chilis

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray
Line each tin with bacon. You can spiral the bacon around in there, or I cut the bacon into smaller pieces so it would be more manageable
Pour your egg mixture in - my mixture had the diced chilis in it already
Put the veggies in

Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes

Verdict: Delicious. I took some with me to work for breakfast that morning and refrigerated the rest to have the next day. Definitely a keeper.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Saw It on Pinterest (Kinda): Fruit Roll

This is another one that I really didn't find on Pinterest. Or if I did, I don't have an actual link for it - probably because I saw it on someone else's board and thought it sounded like a good idea and I'd give it a try sometime. It's another easy one that I figured not even I can mess up, which is generally my rule of thumb for trying new things. (Insert lecture here about not being able to grow/change/learn/develop if you're not willing to do things there may be a chance you can fail at them, but this is Pinterest, y'all. It's a breeding ground for failure. I want to find stuff that works.)

Basically what I'm saying is, I don't have an original source for it. If you want to try this or pin it, then you can reference this. Ha!

1 roll of refrigerated, pre-made crescent rolls
Whatever you want to put inside of them

I had some blackberry jam and fresh blackberries. The berries were huge, so I cut them up into smaller pieces. I put a spoonful of jam on the roll, threw in some of the berries, then rolled them up.

Follow the directions on the can for baking. I think these were 350* for 11-15 minutes. These could have been baked a tad more.

But they turned out really nice. Even Cim, who is tentative at best when it comes to trying my Pinterest experiments, pronounced these as delicious. I would like to try them using other fillings too. Dulce de leche? Chocolate pudding? Nutella? Bananas? Nutella, bananas and marshmallow cream? The possibilities are endless - limited only by your creativity and taste buds. 

Verdict: It's a keeper. The hardest part was opening the roll of rolls. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saw It on Pinterest: Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Before you judge too harshly based simply on the name of these cookies, check it out - two ingredients. Well, four. But I bet they're ingredients you have on hand already.

Here's the website they originate from.  And here's their recipe:

2 large, old bananas
1 cup oats
Then they suggest whatever mix-ins you want to throw in there - chocolate chips, coconut, cinnamon, whatever.

I obviously used chocolate chips. I also threw in some peanut butter, which is what I've seen suggested on other variations of this.

Grease the cookie sheet, bake at 350* for 15 minutes.

Verdict: Keeper. They're gluten-free, healthy (kinda, but you know what I mean), tasty and filling. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Just Became That Girl With the Weird Shoes

For several years I've been running minimalist style - hardly any sole on the shoe. I have really noticed a huge difference in my form, endurance and overall comfort. It seems counterintuitive I know, especially when we're so used to the SUPER SHOE with all sorts of padding and support. For me personally, I believe it was all the padding and support that was partially to blame for me having plantar fasciitis. The first time I went for a run in minimalist shoes, I felt like I could have easily doubled my usual distance (three miles at the time) at the same level of effort. It was a wonderful feeling.

I've taken the next step to "finger shoes." I resisted trying them for a long time for two reasons. One, I have inherited weird toes. They have a mind of their own, and I wasn't sure they would fit into individualized pockets. Subreason - I don't like having my toes touched, so was also sure I would be extremely uncomfortable for that reason.

Two: They're dorky. 'Fess up - you've seen someone wearing these and have totally snickered at her. If Stacy and Clinton were around, these would be the first thing to go into the trash bin. They are not fashionably okay.

I don't care.  They're comfortable, and I love them. I am trying to find more ways to wear them to work.

Yep, I'm that person now. Go ahead and laugh - I totally understand. I am too. But I'm doing it with comfy feet. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Saw It on Pinterest: Christmas Lights Lamp

I think this is one of the first things I pinned, way back in the day. Maybe that's why I can't find it on any of my boards now? You'll just have to take my word for it, I suppose. It came from a website with lighting ideas for dorm rooms. I figured it would be simple enough for even me to do, because it involved a string of Christmas tree lights and a jar. It would take effort to screw it up. The only reason it took me so long to actually do was needing to find the right jar.

I finally got around to that when Cost Plus/Pier 1 Imports/World Market had a 50% sale on jars. This one was categorized as a hurricane jar, and if I didn't have the idea of throwing a string in lights in there, I would probably be using it for a spare change jar. I also wouldn't have gotten it if it weren't half off. I mean, it's a cute idea, but you don't want to spend money on this. It's a $5 string of Christmas lights, fer cryin' in the night.

Verdict: Good. I'm sure someone more artistically inclined than I could creatively arrange the lights in there so it's not a clump, but you've got me and my skills, so this is the result. I have it plugged into a timer so it's already on when I get home from work, and it's the perfect amount of light to have in so I'm not walking into a dark room. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saw It on Pinterest: Refrigerated Oatmeal

I am always looking to be more productive and healthy in ways that don't interfere too much with my already unproductive and unhealthy routine. Ha. All I mean by that is that I am finding that if I don't follow the same routine pretty much every day, I forget something. I like eating oatmeal for breakfast, but don't like to take the time to make it fresh in the morning, so I rely on keeping instant packs in my desk at work.

The idea of refrigerating oatmeal and having it ready to go in the morning was very appealing. Getting some fruit in there is a bonus, and not having whatever chemicals go into making the instant variety sounded even better.

I'm including one screenshot of the recipe, but can't find the actual link right now. This is actually how I  read the recipe as I was making it - I used the screenshot of it instead of actually going to the link. If it was good enough for me, it's good enough for you.

There were all sorts of variations, but the basic recipe is the same:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (use 2%)
1/2 cup (or so - you might want to add more) of milk. (You can use regular milk, coconut, almond, or rice milk. I've been using almond milk, because it's what I have.)
Fruit - this is where the variations come in. Throw in some berries - your favorite, or some sliced peaches, or dried cranberries - whatever your little oatmeal/fruit lovin' heart desires.
1 Tbs chia seeds - optional, but this is a great source of Omega stuff.
Refrigerate overnight.
Take with you to work (which is what I do) and enjoy!

Verdict: this one is a keeper. I've used it many times in the past weeks (I just need to remember to actually make it the night before). It's tasty, healthy and super-duper easy. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

POTUS: My View

The President made local news in my area last week since he visited my neighborhood. I didn't take notice of it except that it affected my drive home. He was making an appearance at The Tonight Show, which films a block away from where I work. Local street access was severely limited (aka completely blocked) for all the obvious security reasons. This meant I had to drive a very long way out of my way to make the three mile drive home. Poor me, right?

Some people I know lined the streets hoping to catch a glimpse of him. Another friend could see the entourage from her window at work.

This was my view of him as he took a helicopter from LAX to the NBC studios in Burbank:

What's that, you say? You can't see it through my rain/dirt-spattered sun roof?  How's this:

Yep, the President of the United States flew RIGHT OVER ME, you guys! 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Saw It on Pinterest: When It Goes Wrong

I've been spending more and more time lately on Pinterest. I've had an account there for years,  but as more and more people/friends have joined, it's become more dynamic and interesting. I can spend hours laughing at the funny captions on those vintage postcards, oohing and ahhing over the cute animals, and daydreaming about what my dream house and yard should look like. (Besides the time, that one's the most dangerous because it's so easy to get caught up in the false perceptions of wanting to be like the Joneses.)

Anyway, I've actually been trying some of the ideas I've found there. After all, isn't that what we're supposed to do with the ideas we find there? Some have been more successful than others, so I thought I'd report about my attempts - the good, the bad and the failed.

The caption on this cute little photo (I figure if I leave it as I saw it on my own computer screen I can't get in trouble for copyright issues) that humorously encapsulates the potential problems with trying things you find on Pinterest: "This is where most Pinterest recipes go off the rails - when you add 1 cup of hedgehog," because who doesn't think that's the cutest thing ever? (Besides the photos of the baby elephants I saw last night.)

Welcome to my Pinterest experiment! And if you've had any Pinterest encounters of your own, I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Magic Portals

The other day I was speaking to a friend about British TV versus the available offerings of American TV, and she mentioned the grittiness and reality of many British shows, versus the shiny prettiness of both the actors and the plots that get nicely tied up in 44 minutes on American shows. I think there’s a corollary to that idea of reality and normality – it all seems so much more relatable because they are people like me. They’re not extraordinarily beautiful or someone I expect to see on the pages of a glamour/fashion magazine. They have flaws just like people SHOULD have flaws, because not everyone fits into the Golden Ratio category. I know I don’t, so it’s perhaps nepotistic of me to like someone more due their simple ordinary-iness. Whatever it is, I like it better. Except for the teeth. I know it’s a stereotype that the British have bad teeth, but I count it among my blessings that for all my British heritage, I have rather nice teeth. Now if I could only overcome my ancestors’ genetic lack of pigmentation.

Speaking of British things, the background on my work computer right now is scenes from Ireland. Among pictures of sweeping sheep-filled pastures and old ruins and castles, one of the pictures that comes up is this beautiful library:

I figured out (once I finally decided to look it up) that it’s the Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin. Then I saw this website that has gorgeous pictures of other European libraries and I said, “I want to go to there,” only not really, because the point of libraries is to be able to enjoy the books, and as beautiful as they all are, I imagine I would only truly enjoy the function of the ones where the majority of the books are in English. Although to be fair, if someone handed me a ticket and said, “Here, go see these libraries,” who am I to turn that down? I’ll brush up on my German, French and Latin to make that worth my while.

I’m thinking of libraries because I saw this article today about the best fictional libraries. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them on the list, because they’re either references I don’t know, or they’re ones I do know but I never thought, “Yes, please” the first time I saw them. The Sunnydale library is one I wouldn’t mind having access to, but imagine that I’d need more training than just the basic Dewey Decimal system to find my way around. And of course I like the Beast’s library. Rather, I like the idea of the Beast’s library, but in execution, none of those books seem real. Even the depiction of it in the Animation studio in California Adventure seems a bit too cartoon-y. Not included in the list, the library from Warehouse 13. Perhaps it’s not technically a library? The Jedi library, definitely please. Which then brings us back full circle to the Trinity College library, which is immediately what I thought of when I saw the Jedi one, even without the link to it in the article.

One of my fondest memories of my childhood is my neighborhood library. My sister and I would ride our bikes to the library every couple of days during the summer. We were allowed two books each at a time, which seemed like such a bogus rule, but I totally understand now that my parents didn’t want to be responsible for lost/overdue fees, and two seemed like a manageable amount. But it meant that many more bike trips to the library. My parents – evil geniuses – making us get exercise of both the physical and mental variety during our summer vacations. Bonus - the library was air-conditioned.  Sometimes we even got to stop at the Greyhound station on the way back for a soft-serve ice cream cone. I miss the simplicity of those days – how easy it was to be content with some frozen milk and good reading material.

Fictional or real, architecturally stunning or just a little local branch, I think all libraries are magical. It’s like walking into a room with countless portals to other worlds. You can travel to anywhen, anyplace just by immersing yourself in the pages of magic traveling machine. Hyperloops be damned – give me a good book any day.

But I’ll still take that hypothetical ticket if it gets offered.