Monday, January 26, 2009

On the verge

You know that point that you reach when you can physically feel the tears building up behind your eyes? When you have to blink REALLY hard and VERY fast to keep them from starting because you know if it starts it will be all over! That's where I've been this past week.

I just feel so beat up. Mostly by the my job. In fact 99% of it by my job. And it's tough because I don't want to worry my husband by complaining about it too much. We have to have my income. We can't survive without it. So quitting is not an option. And I'm pretty sure it would be nearly impossible to find a new job right now.

My career has always been something I've taken immense pride in. I've always worked the hardest, worked the longest and moved up the fastest. My career was my "baby" and I did everything to make it better. Since I've gotten married that has drasitically changed. And I really didn't mean for it to or anticipate it. Being the first one in and the last one out is now longer so important to me. In fact I've become somewhat of a clock-watcher. I find myself making choices I never would before. Before if asked to work on the weekend I would have gladly done it, now probably not unless it is mandatory. I would rather spend my time cuddled up with my hubby on the couch laughing at Tropic Thunder.

But I do enjoy working. Always have. I love how I feel after I close a big deal. I love putting a plan into place and seeing it come through. I love being successful. And I hate to be a failure. That's what I feel like right now. A failure.

I'm never very good at seperating one part of my life from another. I'm not very good at hearing people criticism me or my work and learning to distinguish between constructive criticism and just plain bitching (sorry but that is TRULY the word that describes it.) that it isn't REALLY about me but it's more about the whole in general. I'm not used to not being number one. I'm not used to not being the most valuable player. I internalize so much of it that I reach my boiling point and either burst out in tears (always classy and professional) or take it out on the nearest ears. It's very hard for me not to bring it home and take it out on hubs and dog (yes, even the dog gets it.). I know that there should be a way to TALK about it and not complain or take it out on him, but that's really difficult for me.

So that's where I am. Trying to find my way through. There's a life lesson in here. I know there is because I've come up against this sort of situation before. Now if I would only learn the darn thing so I could stop facing it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There's Love There

I may not have voted for him. I may not have agreed with everything that he said but what I did always take notice is that President Obama and his wife Michelle are always very affectionate and truly seemed to love each other. At the Inaugral Ball Beyonce performed "At Last" while the President and First Lady danced. I tried to find a good copy of the video but YouTube failed me so check it out here. There's true love there friends.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I have a mushroom growing out of my wall.

This might be the longest post I have ever written but I have had a weekend. Bear with me. Read it in stages.

The title of this post is not a metaphor. It is not secret code for something else. It is ACTUAL and TRUE. I HAVE A MUSHROOM GROWING OUT OF MY WALL.

SEE:
I cannot even tell you what these past few days have been like. Saturday I spent most of my day cleaning and trying to straighten up the room that is SUPPOSED to be our extra room but has somehow turned into the computer room/craft room/Bree's closet/let's-put-all-our-crap-in-here-we-don't-have-a-place-for room. I was feeling all proud because I did get my little sewing area set up. It ain't fancy, but it's home.

I was wandering back through the dining room/living room when I noticed a weird thing on the wall under my kitchen table. I thought it was trash. I pull out the chair, drop to my hands and knees and low and behold. . .MUSHROOM. I just about blew a gasket. I was freaking out. I have had previous experience with mold and that ended me up in the hospital, plus I have asthma. Like I need weird crap floating around in the air making it harder for me to breathe.

Look at my pretty mushroom.

I immediately began calling the office at our complex. They weren't there. Of course. Oh and the EMERGENCY pager number they have on the answering machine? Yea, that is an invalid number. Oh yes. So I proceeded to blow up the office telephone. I left them 3 messages. I then did what any self-respecting person would do. I started stomping around my complex looking for other residents to harass, I mean ask advice from. Go with me. I'm in my sweats from working out, my sports bra, the largest TIE DYE t-shirt I own, slippers and bun in my hair. Oh yes. I saw a 12 year old girl, yell at her from across the complex, make her go and ask her dad where the manager lives. That proceeds to bring out 3 other neighbors to whom of course I spill my tale of woe. Finally someone gives me the apartment number of the manager with strict instructions that I'm not to tell who gave it to me. So I stomp my unhappy butt up to HER door and bang on it. Lucky for her, she wasn't home. I left her one of those really specific notes where you underline the really important thing about 12,000 times. I'm so grown-up. I lost my mind people. She did call me late that night and left me a message that they would be at my apartment on Monday to take a look. Fantastic. Now I have to go into work late on the ONE day we have mandatory meetings.

Sunday I was just upset. Upset, upset. I was mad at the mold, I was mad at the complex, I was mad at my husband for not being mad enough. I was thinking about bills which always puts me over the edge. I was just plain pissed.

I don't have one of those easy-going personalities. I can't let things just slide off my back, down my back, whatever the heck that saying is. I stew. I fester. I worry. I stress. I think of things that haven't happened so I can worry about those. I have an issue. I know this. I'm working on it. Day at a time.

We went to dinner at my parents Sunday night and I bawled the whole ride over there. I bawled when I got there. I bawled later when my sister bawled. Ugh. I just wanted to sleep. I definitely didn't want to deal with my moldy mushroom and my boss who I knew was going to be none too happy about me not being at work.

So this morning I wake up and I'm feeling a little better but I'm worried about the work thing. So I call my boss again and it was like talking to a different person. This man is normally very easy going, extremely understanding and easy to work with. Today? Not so much. Basically he was like, "Make a choice Bree. Monday's are mandatory. If you're not here I'm marking it as an unpaid day off." So I told him that unfortunately my health was more important and that I guess I would take the day off (I had ever intention of working from home.). End of conversation. 20 minutes later I get a call from my one friend at work (a whole other story to tell someday). She thinks I'm playing some trick on her. Something about a strike? Huh? I have no idea what she is talking about so we start calling around and low and behold, we are on strike. Only nobody told us. Great. Did you know that you do not get paid during a strike? Did you know that they can hold your paycheck you ALREADY EARNED during a strike? Hello owner of my moldy apartment, I went on strike, can't pay my rent. Think they would go for that?

I finally get in touch with somebody and I'm told that I need to get down to the picket line! Right now! Sign in! Show my support! FABULOUS. One more thing to deal with. No wonder my boss was so cranky.

But there is a conclusion to this madness my 11 readers (I know I have that many because that's how many follow me.).

I currently have a hole in my wall. Apparently we have fixed the leaking pipe (oh and when the guy came to look at it I thought he was going to fall over and he pushed on the wall with his finger and it went RIGHT THROUGH), we have sprayed the mold with vinegar to kill it, we have placed a fan in front of the hole to dry all the crap out and I get a brand new foot of wall on Thursday.

And the strike? Ended tonight at 5. And I was told in no uncertain terms to be there bright and early tomorrow. Tuesday should be fun.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

First Shoot

I told you guys that I would be working with The Memory Journalists this year and actually SHOOTING. So exciting! Last night was my first shoot as a "MJ shooter" and Jen and I had a great time!
Henry and Tina (gorgeous former MJ bride and groom) were celebrating not only their one year anniversary last night but also the grand opening of deVeres Irish Pub. The cool thing about this pub is that not only is it run by Henry and his brother but it was designed in Ireland and shipped over! Everything! The walls are all decorated with pictures and stories of Henry's family and they even have the bell from the ship that Henry's grandmother come over from Ireland in.

The pub itself is so beautiful. There are two separate rooms and the back room is this gorgeous red. All the people that work there were so great and we had a fabulous cosmo from James and great conversation with Courtney.


And I can't pass up the opportunity to say, "LOOK! Jen's in a dress!!!!"

All in all it was such a great time and a great initiation into the MJ team. Thanks for taking me Jen!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The First Date

I got this as an email forward and just about spit water all over myself when I read it. This is so funny. Well, at least I think so.

If you didn't see this on the Tonight show, I hope you're sitting down when you read it. This is probably the funniest date story ever, first date or not!!! We have all had bad dates but this takes the cake.

Jay Leno went into the audience to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever had. The winner described her worst first date experience. There was absolutely no question as to why her tale took the prize! She said it was midwinter, snowing and quite cold. The guy had taken her skiing in the mountains outside Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a day trip (no overnight). They were strangers, after all, and had never met before. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon. They were driving back down the mountain, when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte. They were about an hour away from anywhere with a rest room and in the middle of nowhere! Her companion suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while. Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point where she told him that he had better stop and let her go beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car.

They stopped and she quickly crawled out beside the car, yanked her pants down and started. In the deep snow she didn't have good footing, So she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself. Her companion stood on the side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the situation.

Upon finishing however, she soon became aware of another sensation. As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender. Thoughts of tongues frozen to poles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly apparent that she had a brand new problem, due to the extreme cold.

Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor of the moment, she answered her date's concerns about "what is taking so long" with a reply that, indeed, she was "freezing her butt off" and in need of some assistance! He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater and then, as she looked imploringly into his eyes, he burst out laughing. She too got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma. Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem. Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal! Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in the first place both quickly realized that there was only one way to get her free. So as she looked the other way her first-time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.

As the audience screamed in laughter, she took the Tonight Show prize hands down. Or perhaps that should be "pants down." And you thought your first date was embarrassing! Jay Leno's comment was, "This gives a whole new meaning to being pissed off."

Oh and how did the first date turn out? He became her husband and was sitting next to her on the Leno show.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Chili-Beef Tacos


I'm so happy to be cooking again (No comments from the peanut gallery! I'm looking at you Michelle!)! After a few months of not being able to do it I'm enjoying expanding my culinary knowledge. Plus I'm cooking a lot healthier these days so I've got lots to share. And for you seasoned cooks don't get annoyed with my step-by-step instructions. It makes it so much easier when you cook a recipe for the first time in my opinion. Today it's Chili-Beef Tacos. Yum. I don't know about you but Mexican food is my FAVORITE. I'm not saying these are real authentic or anything but hey, there's a taco shell in there! Enjoy!


Chili-Beef Tacos
serves 4

Ingredients
2 TBSP chili powder or Mexican seasoning
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
8 oz uncooked lean ground beef
8 oz canned tomato sauce
8 oz canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
8 taco shells
4 tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
4 tsp cilantro, fresh, chopped

Instructions
Toast chili powder and cumin in a medium skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add oil to skillet and heat; add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beef and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and beans; cook 5 minutes more or until heated through (To turn up the heat you can toss in some chopped chipotle peppers with the tomato sauce). While your meat is cooking the last 5 minutes heat up your taco shells. Fill each taco with the beef mixture, sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro. Dinner is served!

This recipe is WW, so for those of you who care. . .each taco shell gets filled with 1/4 cup of beef, 1/2 TBSP of sour cream and 1/2 tsp of cilantro. Each serving is two tacos and is worth 6 points.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What a cute bag!

Photo by Hot Butter

How cute is this bag? I LOVE it! Hot Butter is having a giveaway on her blog for this and a few other bags. Check them out!

My pal

Sometimes you just need to let a person know you appreciate them. So here it goes.

I've known my pal Michelle since I was about 13. We went to the same church and eventually the same high school. We weren't the best of friends then, but we ran in the same circle. Around 17 we both went our separate ways and lived our separate lives. We contacted each other now and then randomly but mostly lost touch. About a year and a half ago we got back in touch for good. We were different than each other remembered. We were more alike. We were snarky. We were irreverent. We clicked.

We have seen each other exactly 3 times since we got back in touch. My visit to her home town, her attendance to my wedding and her visit to my last apartment. But it hasn't mattered. I can truthfully say that she has become a dear friend and my confidante. She actually introduced me to blogging (You must go check her out. She is freakin' hilarious!) and has shared my obsession with the internet. I can always count on her for a sarcastic comment or a snarky uplifting word.

So thanks Michelle. Here's to the Tiny Uterus and Dirty Squares.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vintage Hunting

My husband's uncle owns the Shabby Shack dowtown Sacramento. I've been there one time before but my hubby goes every couple of weeks. He and I both are in to "old" or vintage things and we already have a few pieces from the store. Last week Hubby went and picked me up a dresser and also got me some old Pyrex glass bowls. LOVE them!

So we are in need of a hutch for all the kitchen crap I have and we headed down there to see what they had. And here's where you come in. I found 3 different ones I liked but I don't know which one I like better! So you vote.

Hutch A

Hutch B

Hutch C

I also found these little Pyrex food containers. They are a little beat up, but aren't they cute?


So cute they came home with me. :-) Now vote people!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken & Spinach Calzone

I read a lot of blogs. A LOT. And I would say a quarter of them are food/cooking blogs. That's a lot of recipes. One of my favorite cooking blogs has to be We Are Not Martha. These girls whip up some pretty tasty stuff and often it's not all that bad for you. And most of the recipes are very user friendly. I tested out one of their recipes a few days ago and it was really good. Hubs enjoyed it too. The original recipe is from the Mayo Clinic of all places and I followed that one more exactly than the one on We Are Not Martha. Without further ado:



Chicken & Spinach Calzone.
SERVES 6

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts1 package
(10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese
2 egg whites, divided
1 frozen whole-wheat bread dough loaf (16 ounces), thawed, not risen

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute, turning occasionally until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool to the touch, cut the chicken breasts into cubes. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta cheese, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese and 1 of the egg whites. Mix until well blended. Set aside.
In another bowl, using a wire whisk or fork beat the remaining egg white lightly.
Cut the bread dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. On a floured surface, press each piece into a circle. Using a rolling pin, roll each dough piece into ovals 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. Brush the edges of the dough ovals with the lightly beaten egg white.
Place 1/6 of the chicken cubes in the center of each oval. Add 1/6 of the spinach mixture to each. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges together. Crimp with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until browned and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Hubby


On Saturday we celebrated the Hubs 38th birthday. Geez he's old. His birthday was actually LAST Saturday, the 3rd, but as you well remember we were moving. So some of our family got together at our little casa and we hosted our first dinner party/birthday party. You can see from the pictures how TERRIBLE the light in our new place is. More to come on the new place soon!

My sister whipping up the Birthday Boy's requested dessert on my teeny tiny counters.


All dressed up and no one to save.


The spread.



See my little niece hiding back there? She's about to comb her dad's hair with the dog brush.


Thanks to everyone that came. We both had a great time!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas Documentation, Part 2

Did I ever share my Christmas pictures with you? No, I don't think so. And I KNOW you've been dying to see them so almost a month later. . .here ya go. You're welcome.




Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Biggest Loser

I've never watched this show. I'm not really sure why. Everyone has always told me how good it is but I just didn't have any interest in it. But then I got a brand new DVR and I can record everything under the sun and I thought, "Heck, why not?" And I cried.


I cried through half of this show. I cried because they are way braver than I can ever imagine myself being. I cried because my weight is a constant battle and one I'm losing very badly right now. I cried because they are so hopeful. I cried because they are making a change that they so desperately need. Something about this touched me. I'm going to keep watching and hope for inspiration.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Life. In Pictures.

Remember last year when I started my Project 365? Well, it went OKAY. I did pretty good but not fantastic. HOWEVER, I do enjoy going back through and seeing the pictures for the year so I'm going to keep it going. But this time it is more about just chronicling my life in pictures, not getting a random picture everyday. So add it to your blogroll and stop by and enjoy the view.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Buried in boxes

I hate moving. Haven't we already established this? I am sorry to be so absentee during this most important blogging time of the year but I'm so overwhelmed by boxes and STUFF that I need to take nap. I'll be back soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009


Happy New Year peeps!