Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Hobby...

So this year, instead of coming up with a resolution that won't last longer than the first week, I decided I will start a new hobby! And since I lovingly received a knitting kit from "Santa" this year, my new hobby is KNITTING! I have always wanted to try it and now I have the motivation, supplies, and, obviously, the TIME (unemployed!) I started yesterday, and I have been working on a scarf.

I encourage you all to choose a new hobby to try this year and make something worthwhile for yourself in 2011! Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

I Hate Rejection..

So as most of you know, since moving out here to the lovely city of Seattle, I have been looking for a job. The problem (is it really a problem?!) is that I want something part-time and apparently I am either overqualified or overqualified or there are too many applicants or etc., etc., etc. Well, I just got my latest rejection letter via email but the thing that makes it so heartbreaking is that I really wanted this job. I know I would have been so good at it! I feel like could actually cry right now...and I am NOT a crier (unless it's a sappy movie like Steel Magnolias or something.) I think I am just going to crawl back into my bed and be depressed....

Or inevitably I shall preserver and continue my quest to find a job. Maybe it shall take a week, or a month, or even a year, but I shall keep on trying. I shall troll craiglist and and many other job sites, sending my resume in and being rejected, I'm sure, many more times because frankly, I have bills to pay.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Musings on an Empty House and Unemployment

This morning I woke up at 9; I stayed in bed, pretending to sleep until almost 10:30. Pretending to whom, you might ask? No one. I was just thinking that I have ALL day to do, like, 3 things that I really NEED to do and then I just have to try to figure out other things to fill up my day.

I am obviously bored and lonely. Since my recent guests left, I have come to realize just how much. Does someone want to come live with me?! I will feed you and clean up after you and all you have to do is amuse me all day. Brandon's no good because he's either at work or in his little hidey-hole downstairs. Hell, the other day I even started thinking "I wish I had a kid or something." YIKES! (No worries though; I am over that bout of craziness.)

So I clean everyday. I do laundry every day. I cook. I bake. I make Amazon wishlists. I read. I write. I walk the dog. I groom the dog. I organize my cabinets. I check my email obsessively. And since I got a new vacuum (thanks, Mom) I vacuum. I vacuum floors, rugs, nooks, crannies...even the cat...which he does not seem to like.

Well, let keep our fingers crossed that I get a job soon or I may just vacuum myself to death.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wow, I feel old...

So I just sent my first nasty email to someone about those damned reckless teenagers. I was walking Ollie down a nearby street with no sidewalk and long story short, we almost got taken out by not one but TWO cars full of teens racing down the middle this street (which is a residential road btw.) I was really seeing red! We live right next to the high school and, up until today, I was simply annoyed by the kids, mostly when they get out of school around 2 or 3pm. But I usually try to stay inside then and I miss their loud, obnoxious behavior.

But this was even before NOON! So I called the office...yes, just like an old foogie. And I don't care! If something had happened to me or my dog, I would have kicked those little punks asses! Truly though, what if they killed someone. I am sure that I was probably worse than they were when I was a bratty little teen but still...

Anyway, I called and the girl at the front desk kinda sighed like she had heard my story before and said she would transfer me to the principal's voicemail. Well, that being full, I wrote him a long, detailed, properly-worded email and nicely said I would call the police if I saw it again.

So, I am becoming one of THOSE people....grumpy and annoyed.

Food Time!

This recipe is the best for two reasons: 1- it's a healthier version of fried rice and 2- it's quick and simple to make. Now, I don't think that this is authentic fried rice in any way ( I don't even own a wok to cook it in,) but it tastes pretty darn good. And it makes great leftovers to take to work the next day, you know, if you are the type of person who goes to work everyday.

Samantha's Non-Authentic, Delicious Pork Fried Rice

5-7 cups of cooked long grain brown rice (can be made the night before and refrigerated)
sesame oil, 2 tbsp
carrots, 2 cups sliced
green peas, 1 cup, fresh or frozen
mushrooms, 12oz sliced
ham, 8-10oz cubed or chopped
scallions, 2-3 stalks
eggs, 2 beaten and scrambled separately
soy sauce, to taste

In a wok or large pot, coat the bottom of the pan with the sesame oil and heat over medium-high. Add the carrots and peas; saute for 2-3 minutes ( I like for the edges of my carrots to be a bit brown.) Add the mushrooms and ham, cook for about 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms shrink and turn brown.

Next, turn the cooked rice into the wok over the veggies and ham. Toss gently or stir with a wooden spoon. Pour the soy sauce over the mixture and keep gently tossing to coat evenly. Next add the scrambled eggs and the scallions. Toss/stir a few more times and dish out in big bowls to serve. Use chopsticks if you are feeling authentic!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mom's Visit!

I am super jazzed; my mom is coming to visit tomorrow! I feel like I could pee my pants! I have been cooking and cleaning since I woke up this morning. I am forcing her to have a late Thanksgiving dinner with me, since I missed both making my own and being at the family dinner. I hope she isn't sick of turkey!

I feel like I have so much to do to get ready today; I really want to impress her with our new house. Isn't that dumb?! I even told Brandon to get a haircut and clean up his room! Haha. It's sick how much we need our parents approval! I feel like a 5-year-old again. Oh well, I suppose that is what family and the holidays are all about :) Happy Holidays everybody!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rando Pic of the Day

This is from Halloween 2006, at Georgia Southern. As you can see, I was a kick-ass pirate than year (it's either that or my very realistic vampire comtume.) And Wes was GARY POTTER, Harry's stupid cousin, who goes to Hogwarts Regional Tech, and he is broomstick technician trainee! He even had me marker on a smiley face to his forehead instead of a lightening bolt. Hilarious!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Hate Litterbugs...

I've said it before and I'll say it a thousand times more, I hate when people litter. How can a person of sound mind and conscious deliberately throw anything on the ground?! I do not understand. Do you have no feelings, no morals?? Do you also kick puppies at the pound?!? Or are you simply ignorant? Because that makes you an idiot. Even little children know better than to litter.

I am ranting about this topic once again because I live in a beautiful city, Seattle, where I believed that people took pride in the fact that they try to keep it green and clean. Alas, like all urban centers of the world, trash on the ground can not be escaped. Since I don't own a car, I often have to walk everywhere. There is a great shopping center nearby, and I like to walk the "back way" to get there; unfortunately, so do all the litter-monsters of West Seattle! Today I spotted the ubiquitous soda/beer cans, paper cups, and plastic shopping bags. And yet I saw a couple more things that made me really fume; a pair of men's black underpants hanging from a bush and a plate, A PLATE, full of uneaten tamales!! What the HELL, people?!

There are trash bins and recycle cans all around you, so use them, litterbugs! And next time I walk through Trash City, I am taking a garbage bag and some rubber gloves and cleaning that crap up!

P.S.- In a semi-related topic, I think Seattle has the largest squirrels I have ever seen in my life.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Craft This!

I didn't have a lot of money to decorate this year and a reminder from my friend Jaime set in motion this project because you don't need a ton of money to make your place look great (unless you HAVE a ton of cash lying around in which case, Can I have some?) This whole project totaled less than $25, including the Command hooks to hang them on.

Baby Christmas Swags
Makes 4 2ft swags


9ft unlit garland,cut into 4 equal lengths
22 gauge floral wire
strong scissors and/or wire cutters
extra 6-8 inch squares of wrapping paper, 4
a spool of Christmas ribbon, 8ft
Ornaments or picks, 4 similar or the same
a hole puncher, optional but helpful
hot glue gun, if using a non-picked ornament

Step1- Take the first length of garland and fold in half. Cut a length of wire, about 5 inches, and twist around the center of the garland several times, tightening each go around to secure. With the two ends of wire, twist tightly around each other and tuck into the garland ( you don't want the sharp end to stick out and poke you, do you?!) Since this is fake garland, fluff the greenery out to make it nice and even-ish on both sides.

Step 2- With one of the squares of wrapping paper, begin making an accordion fold starting with a small first fold, about a 1/2 inch. Do this all the way to the end of the square, making sure that the last fold has the paper's pattern on the outside; you don't want the white underside to show.

Step 3- Cut the ends of the folded wrapping paper in inverted points; or you can cut them into points, round them off, etc., as long as they look neat. You can tape the back with a small piece of tape to help close the accordion, but its not necessary. In the center, punch or cut a small hole through all the layers of paper.
Step 4- Cut a length of wire about 6 inches again. Bend the wire in the center to make a loose u-shape. Thread the wire through the center hole in the paper. Attach the paper to the garland swag on the front (which ever side you like as the front.) Then turn over and secure the wire by twisting the two ends together, until secure. If you have extra long pieces of wire, you can snip them off and then tuck the end into the garland as before.

Step 5- Cut a 2 ft length of ribbon. Making sure to cover just the center of the paper in the front, bring the ends around to the back and tie in a knot. Cut the ends of the ribbon into inverted points or at even angles. Let the ends hang down the underside of the swag.

Step 6- Turn the swag over to the front and attach your ornament or decoration to the front center. If you have a picked ornament or one with a clasp, just attach to a branch of garland. If you have a regular hanging ornament, attach with a hot glue gun. Lastly, fluff your whole swag pulling out the accordion-ed paper (gently,) making sure your ribbon ends hang evenly, and then hang from a hook on the wall or wherever you find the perfect place in your house!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Food Time!

I made these and I was like "Whoa!" Normally, I am not a sweet potato fan, but this was excellent. I changed some of the quantities ma
inly because I thought they got soggy too fast.

Roasted Sweet Potato Spears with Bacon Vinaigrette
Adapted from a Gourmet recipe

Yield: 2-4 servings

2-3 medium golden sweet potatoes, peeled
1/3 lb hickory smoked bacon, REAL bacon only
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1/8 cup olive oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or balsamic is nice too)

Place the oven rack on upper third of the oven. Preheat to 450°.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then into 4-5 spears from each half; 8-10 total. They can also be cut crosswise if the spears are too long, although skinnier spears will roast faster and vice versa. Arrange spears in 1 layer on a baking with sides.

Cook the bacon in a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat until crispy and brown. Drain on a paper towel. With the bacon grease, pour over potato spears and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the spears with 1/2 the salt and 1/2 the pepper. Roast uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a serving dish.

Crumble the bacon into small bits. Return the bacon to a clean skillet and add the olive oil. Heat over moderate heat until hot. Stir in 1/2 the scallions. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar, remaining salt & pepper, and the rest of the scallions. Pour over the potatoes and serve!

Rando Pic of the Day

This is puppy when he was actually a puppy. OMG, I just want to eat his face off, he is so cute!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Food Time!

For a fabulous Friday night, make my delightful chili. I love this chili; particularly in the fall/winter time because it is so hardy and warming. And I named it Primordial from the way it bubbles when it's simmering.

Sam's Primordial Chili

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 lb black Angus stew meat
1 lb pork sausage (I like hot, but you can use mild too)
1 medium yellow onion, roughly diced
2 cups celery, chopped
2 med. cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz can diced or whole tomatoes, not drained
16oz can tomato sauce, low or no salt
1 package chili season or chili kit ( Esp. recommended is Carroll Shelby's)
1 15oz can pinto beans, drained
1 15oz can kidney beans, drained
Optional: Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped onions for garnish

In a large skillet, brown both the meat and the sausage. Drain and set aside.

Coat the both of a large pot with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Set over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic, and saute until onions are golden. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Fill the 15oz can with water and add. Stir in the chili seasoning kit. Let this cook for 8-10 minutes.

After the vegetables are tender, add the beans and meat. Leaving uncovered or partially covered, simmer that chili for 4-5 hours; stir occasionally to mix up the stuff that has sunk to the bottom.

Serve with the cheddar, sour cream, and onions. Really great with cornbread. Enjoy!

I Miss the 90's

floral print dresses with lime green Doc Marten's,
grunge bands,
Kevin Smith movies,
MC Hammer,
boy bands,
slap bracelets,
hanging out at the mall,
good MTV,
the roller rink,
Wayne's World and Mike Myers anything,
the Real World when it was relevant,
skateboards (which I wasn't coordinated enough to learn,)
Ace of Base,
Clueless (AS IF!),
chatrooms (and having an online boyfriend,)
Jagged Little Pill,
baby tees and baggy jeans,
Master P,
Leo DiCaprio,
Chris Farley,
the Cranberries,
R.L. Stine books,
Girl Power,
The Lion King

Rando Pic of the Day

This is my beautiful (and arrogant) cat Buddy. This was taken at Christmas 5 years ago (wow, I feel old right now.) My Dad thought it would be funny to cover all the cats with string and watch them flail around trying to get it off....and it WAS! I believe that Buddy thinks this is beneath his dignity and he seems appalled.

More funny cat pics:
Fat Joe as Christmas Ninja Cat.

I think Skimbees was the only cat who thought it was fun!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Craft This!

Hate when you get to the end of the wrapping paper roll with one long strip of paper left that is not wide enough to wrap anything with? Have a lot of scraps after wrapping all those presents that you hate throwing away?? Well, here's a quick little craft for you:

Wrapping Paper Trees


Stiff card stock or light cardboard, needs to be malleable
Leftover wrapping paper
Tape, both duct and clear

Step 1- Cut the cardboard into a wide half circle; don't worry too much about neatness at this point. You can trim later. Then cut a small half circle out of the top of the one you just cut, in the middle. This will make a rough U shape.

Step 2- Fold the U-shape around on itself so that it makes a rough cone shape; again, worry about neatness later. Make sure the cone/tepee shape can stand on it's own and that the hole in the top is centered or else your trees will be wonky. Using the duct tape, secure the cone closed.

Step 3: Cut your wrapping paper scraps into rough triangles; the odder shaped, the better. Starting from the bottom, using the clear tape, tape the triangles to your cone. Make sure to overlap the paper strips so that you cover all of the cardboard. Also, it looks better with more angles and strips in lots of layers. With the last triangle, make a neat point at the top-center of your tree and secure.

Step 4- Now trim the bottom of your tree so that the edges are even and straight all the way around. This will make it look nice and keep it standing up right. Run your fingernail along all the tape that shows to make sure it blends in well (*I like Magic tape since it almost disappears.)

Now make a couple more in varying sizes and VOILA! You have yourself a little X-mas tree display!

Food Time!

Well this one isn't really food, but it is for the holidays! It's a recipe to make sure your house smells like Christmas and Home and Happiness; perfect for when you have some guests over and you don't have anything baking or candles (because the good ones are so dang expensive:)

Home for the Holidays
4 whole cinnamon sticks
16-20 whole cloves
3-4 slices of orange, cut into circles not wedges
1 tbsp allspice or pumpkin pie spice
A dash of vanilla extract or a leftover vanilla shelled bean

In a heavy, large saucepan, add 1 quart of water over low heat. Add all ingredients and simmer. This will give off a warm, inviting smell for you and your guests. You can add water as needed.

Leftovers project: When finished, discard water. Dry contents on a paper towel and lay out on a cookie sheet in one layer. Set oven to the lowest temp. or place in a warming drawer for several hours (varies depending on your oven.) This will let it dehydrate, especially the orange slices. Makes a nice potpourri and vase filler.

The Simple Things...

I believe that true happiness is often found in the simplest of moments. That is the time when you realize if you are truly a joyful person. Stopping to smell the flowers, as cliché as that may seem, to reflect on how great and wonderful life can be. A monumental moment of watching a bird flit around two feet away from you, as it gathers twigs for a nest. Watching your dog bound around in mud puddles, sheer bliss on his little puppy face, and then joining it with a laugh all for yourself. That is the best of times; pure happy.