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Monday, December 30, 2013

Accidental Inspirations

I was getting the peanut butter out of the pantry to put on celery sticks. In the meantime I spilled the dark chocolate raisins my mom sent me for Christmas. I picked them up as fast I could...two second rule and Petey had been woken out of his slumber. It hit me as I was picking them up I could make a twisted version of ants on a log. So out of an accident I had inspiration and it was delicious.  


Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Boil an Egg

Yes I'm serious.  There are many times I go to boil an egg and google the best way before.  So here goes the method that works the best for me with no pictures:

1) Put eggs in a saucepan in a single layer. 
2) Cover eggs with water, about an inch above eggs
3) With pot uncovered, turn heat on high
4) When water begins to boil turn off heat and cover for 10-15 minutes
5) Run cold water over eggs for a minute or place in ice water

Perfect eggs every time. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

What you gon' do with all that ham?

All that ham inside your trunk? I'ma get, get, get, get you drunk.  Whatever I'll stop now.  That just came to mind when I was trying to come up with a title for this post. So any who or anyways...depends if my old self is talking or my young hip side....on to the ham...

Every year for Christmas Jarad gets a ham from work.  We never eat the ham by itself with sides.  That's just boring and boring is one thing we are not.  We always make those ham sandwiches... wait who am I kidding, I always make those ham sandwiches.. ain't no one helping me (that's my ghetto side talking.  My personalities are equal opportunity.)   It's always "Calista, you going to make those sandwiches?" but with Calista being said all Wedding Crasher style.
 
The recipe has been floating around Pinterest like gnats on a fruit basket.  But they're so good.  Hawaiian rolls, mustard, cheese please... and I never get a picture because they are gone so fast.  But half a ham is so much meat.  So Sunday when Plain Chicken posted her weekly What's for Dinner? post I immediately liked it for future reference.  She posted a recipe for Ham and White Beans in the slow cooker and a recipe for Ham and Egg Salad.  I made both of them last night and they are both DELICIOUS!!!! yes I'm screaming at you. 

The ham and white beans with siracha on top was amazing. And then I couldn't just make a boring Ham and Egg Salad sandwich so I made it grilled with American cheese.  I should have made two or three or just eat the salad out of the bowl like Jarad did when he got home or on top of crackers spread with Cheddar Horseradish spread (from Aldi.  I think it's a seasonal thing and that makes me soooooo sad because I could eat it noon, day and night.)  Yes I needed a bedtime snack.  Don't you?!?!


If you have too much ham in your trunk, try these recipes out.  I still have more ham after using it in three recipes.  I will be making ham sandwiches for NYE because they are expected at this point and perhaps a little more Ham and Egg Salad for finger sandwiches for the ladies bridge club (that's my old southern lady talking with pinking finger up whilst sipping her tea.  She may have a little British background as well).

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another Christmas Holiday...done and done

Another Christmas is in the books.  Ours was low key and perfect.  It started with a weekend at Lake September. We always love being able to spend some time in Orange and this time was no different. We were only going to be there Friday thru Sunday but we were having such a great time we stayed till Monday morning but I had to get back to set up a new store. Campfires, fishing, shooting clays, a little casino action, games where girls win, yummy food, Christmas presents, family and friends were what filled the weekend. We call it Misfit Christmas but I never find anything misfit about it when we have so much fun together.  Well.....I mean the only thing misfit was Saturday night when we scared ourselves so bad with sounds and stories, we all ended up laying together in the middle of the living room floor covered in quilts waiting for "Fenga Papit" to just leave us alone.



 

If Duck Dynasty goes off the air they can always call me and I'll fill in the time spot. 


Painting Thomas and Katrina made for us. Words are lyrics from Night Right for Love sung by Robert Earl Keen. It was the song we danced to at our wedding.
 
 

We may not win at the casino but it's fun and the nachos are delicious. We do however win at Scene it Squabble. 
 

Christmas Eve Natalie and I prepared Jarad and I's traditional Christmas Eve meal, steak and scallops. This year I followed Pioneer Woman's steak Oscar recipe. It was my first time making Hollandaise sauce and although it wasn't awful it wasn't amazing. The recipe was too lemony and was ok on the asparagus.  I wasn't about to ruin the steak with it.  So we made deconstructed Steak Oscar.  The scallops were made following a lemon truffle baked scallop recipe.  I enjoyed the Panko and parmesean crust on top but Jarad said he prefers pan seared scallops.  Natalie made veggie pizza. I love that appetizer but always forget about it.
 

Christmas morning we got up and opened presents and stockings.  We got the cutest photos of our nieces and nephews and had to create our own.  We're goobers like that and Natalie has no arms?!?!  Then we went and saw The Wolf of Wall Street.  It wasn't an awful movie but wasn't the best movie ever either.  Leo and Jonah played their part well but three hours is soooo long. I prefer movies to be two hours or less.
 

Christmas decorations came down today and back up in the attic. Valentine's Day decorations are out...just enough. It's only a little over a month away so I don't feel it's too soon.  And although I once hated anything with hearts on it or shaped liked hearts, I now like them in small doses. 


Now it's time to get my head back in the excercise, eating right game....I know, I know I keep saying it but I'm getting puffy and it's got to stop. For serious this time...started with a little walk with the pup tonight. Baby steps


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

People

I feel like I've always had a pretty good intuition about people. Sometimes I let people in too far, too fast. I have an uneasy feeling about them but I let it slide. Soon something always happens to confirm my suspicion about them. But my intuition can be off as well.  Because there are times I form fast, rash opionions about people and they prove me wrong. They turn out to be amazing, thoughtful, fun, etc rather than an asshole, put offish, etc. As I grow older, I'm learning to take a little longer to form my perception of a person. I also learn what to share, hold back and how to be me around different people. It's all in your social awareness and tailoring you to every situation. I'm not saying you change you for the company you're in. I am a stronger personality and I've learned to pull back when necessary or go full force when appropriate. Being aware of all this, I feel makes me a better friend. It makes me better in business. And I can realize when someone is a friend for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Cliche?? No it's reality. 

Random Thoughts

- I love the microwave egg cooker by Pampered Chef.  So easy to get eggs quickly in the morning.
- I was out of town last week for convention... long days and nights. I took a 2 1/2 hour nap when I got home. And then slept 12 hours last night. 
- Petey is feigning for attention. He won't leave my side. He missed his mama I suppose. 
- Instead of losing the 5lbs I wanted to lose before the beginning of 2014, I've gained 5lbs.  Must stop the bulge NOW. 
- Excited for misfit Christmas this weekend.  Can't believe we are already a little over a week till Christmas. This year flew by.  Slow down life. 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Does It Really Matter

- I made turkey enchiladas from the leftovers.  They were delicious the first day.  I didn't like the consistency of the tortillas the next day. Kind of reminded me of when in school they tried to make chicken and dumplings. Gross
- I ate PB&J instead. Mmmmm
- I had a cheese quesadilla for breakfast. Who says specific types of foods have to be eaten at specific times?
- We now have a heavy bag hanging in our garage. I bought MMA gloves or whatever and next time you see me, I'll be in a ring in Vegas. Ok not really...would have to wear a helmet thingy. I don't want cauliflower ear.
- I've had one phone call so far today and of course the weather that's suppose to come in tomorrow was part of convo.  Houstonians think the world is ending or we're going into the ice age again when temps dip below 50. 
- We were given a dress code or more like colors we have to wear next week at a convention for work. First off, I don't like being told what to wear and second, I don't own a lot of pink.  I dug deep in the closet and found a shirt that will work.

Make it a Great Day!!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thankful and camping

This year for Thanksgivig we decided to do something a little different...Friendsgiving camping style. We headed to Lake Somerville Thursday morning which is 70 miles from the house. 



It is far enough but close enough and is a pretty area of Texas. 

Everyone decided that even though we were going untraditional in our location, we still wanted the traditional food fixings. So the menu consisted of everyone's must haves and favorites. 

- Fried Turkey
- Mac and cheese
- Hashbrown casserole
- Green bean casserole
- Corn soufflĂ© 

The turkey obviously was fried in a turkey fryer. We injected it with Tony Cacheres and put a whole stick of butter under the skin. We had never fried a turkey and it turned out delicious. Jarad did a good job cooking it and carving it. 






The sides we fixed were all done in a crockpot. I mixed them up the night before and put in large plastic containers ready to put in the crockpots once we arrived. Between all of us there we had enough crockpots to cook everything. It was a sea of crockpots. 


The weather was nice and clear but quite chilly. We went through 10+ bundles of wood in only 2 days. Spent a lot of time just hanging out, playing games and relaxing. 





Petey did not like the cold at night. He shivered so bad even under mounds of blankets. He probably just wanted extra loving and attention. 



Friday night we had chili dogs and wings. We decided to reuse the oil to fry the wing rather than grill them. Peanut oil is expensive and we wanted to get a lot of use out of it. Natalie was our resident wing fryer and did a phenomenal job. They were pretty delicious and we may even fry wings this weekend too. Katrina was her cheerleader. 




Overall it was a great time and something that may become a tradition if I have a say so. Now I have to rest up and get ready for the "Olson" sister invasion of Houston this weekend. 




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Does it Really Matter

- After our half marathon one of the things available was corn that you added mayonnaise and siracha sauce to. Don't knock it till you try it. I may or may not be eating that right now as a snack. 
- I'm excited that the weather forecast for Thanksgiving is cold. Bring on the sweatshirts, campfire, hot chocolate and quilts. 
- I use men's razors. They're cheaper and get same result. 
- I ate really good, healthy last week. I've bombed all that since the weekend. Taco Bell after trivia last night. Slap forehead. Get it together Calista. 
- I ran for the first time Monday since half and it felt so good. 
- I feel like I'm getting sick. Not an option.
- I'm so ready for my hair appointment tomorrow. That is the understatement of the week eh month. It's been awful since last cut. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Silky smooth...skin

Everyone wants silky smooth skin not itchy, ashy and dull skin.  I do a very good job at moisturizing my face and neck at a minimum of once a day.  I am miserable at putting lotion on any other part of my body.  I've seen Vaseline's commercial for their Spray and Go and I've wanted to try it for sometime.  I've also recently seen commercials for St Ives spray moisturizer. So this weekend I was buying one of these products at the store when grocery shopping. Kroger only had the Vaseline one and I'm proud to say I've used it for three days now. My skin is soft, it's fast to absorb and has a nice but faint smell.  I would definitely recommend this product. There are three types, total moisture, aloe fresh and cocoa radiant.  I went with the total moisture.  If you're like me and fail to take care of all your skin, do yourself a favor and pick this product up on your next trip to the store.  Winter's coming and your skin is going to be even drier...just saying.  Hurry. Go. Now.  Run. Get out of here. What are you still doing here!?!?



Monday, November 18, 2013

Gumbo is good for the soul

I don't think I ever had gumbo until I moved to Houston 7 1/2+ years ago.  I love a good gumbo.  I've had good and bad and you definitely know when you're having a good one. One of my favorites is from Babin's Seafood House which makes New Orleans style seafood.  During their happy hours you can get a bowl for $3 and they have happy hour on the weekends too.  Not that I've ever been...once maybe...ok ok twice ;-)  This weekend I was craving gumbo but wanted to try making it myself. I have only made it once before using a family recipe that a friend gave me. I couldn't find the recipe and so I followed a one I found on Pinterest.  After 7 hours of cooking it turned out delicious and was even better tonight.


I think the key is having the perfect roux.  The recipe said it took like 15 mins....it was more like 30+ mins till it was as dark as I wanted. Just when I thought I was done, I would cook it a little bit more and it would become an even richer color. You can purchase roux at the grocery store or at least I did the first time I made it.  Making your own just takes time and patience. 



A pot on the stove would be just as easy to cook on low but the crockpot allows you to set it and leave it.  I never worry about putting something in the crockpot and leaving the house but the stove and oven are a whole other story.



When I made our plates for dinner I served it like I see at restaurants.  If it wasn't going to taste good, it was going to look good.  But alas it was delicious served with a side of French bread to dip into it and will enjoy it probably all week because I doubled the recipe.  Bon appĂ©tit 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Does It Really Matter

- My winter workout clothes are from Walmart and I love them. Thumb holes in the sleeves anyone???
- I have a hole in one of my eyebrows. I have no idea how it got there. I guess I pulled it out in my sleep. Who knows?!?!
- I'm excited to decorate for Christmas but will refrain till after Thanksgiving. 
- I'm not a fan of Olive Garden but will go for my husband. It's one of his favorites.  However, I should stick with soup and salad. I'm always disappointed with anything else.
- Thankful posts on Facebook are annoying.
- I have a note on my iPad that's been there for like a month planning our Thanksgiving meal. 
- I made a one page document analyzing the available rooms at Big Cedar Lodge (Bass Pro Shop's resort in Missouri) for a friend's wedding next May.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Half Marathon Recap

My first half marathon experience was pretty exciting and the weekend was equally as relaxing and fun. I arrived in Fort Worth Friday evening and we planned on a low key night. We went to dinner at Hooters. I mean where else would two girls go for dinner?!?!  When we got there it was families, a table of women behind us, couples but in the middle of the meal it seemed to change to all men. We weren't surprised by it just funny to see the switch. We went back to Natalie's apartment to watch a movie or something. I suggested we watch the first episode of Damages. Loved that show but never got to finish it when it switched to a DirecTv only channel.  Natalie didn't make it through the entire episode and fell asleep on the couch.  I then had to put sheets on her bed myself. I think it was all part of an evil plan. She blamed me for her spending most of the night on the couch.  I did try to wake her.


Saturday we woke up for some FaceTiming with sweet Harper Lily. She felt the need to show us her crackers in her mouth. She has so much personality and oh so cute. We got dressed and went out for a quick walk in the neighborhood behind her apartment.


 We ran some errands, picked up our race bibs and then went back to the apartment to get ready while watching football in order to go to the Greek Festival.  It was a smaller festival focused mainly on food and the food was so good.  They made a gravy to put over the rice.  It was my favorite out of everything and so I asked the lady who was serving on how to make it. She was pretty vague but I found some recipes on the Internet that I think are what she was trying to explain.  



Naps, water and carbs were in the picture the rest of the evening.  At BJ's Brewhouse we had the "pleasure" of sitting next to a guy who was from Louisiana but cheered for Alabama. He said "Roll Tide" a minimum of a million times while we there.  We couldn't take it anymore so we left to watch the rest of the game at home.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to sleep but I had a really good nights sleep.  Start time for the half was 8:00am. We wanted to leave by 6:45 to give us plenty of time.  I was a ball of nerves not knowing if I had trained properly, how my body would handle it all, etc.  We got there with plenty of time.  We stretched, drank some water, talked with some other runners and of course a selfie.  



They introduced a guy who had just started running the beginning of the year and had lost like 50+ lbs.   They surprised him by getting his mom here from Aberdeen, Scotland. It was the sweetest thing.  They hugged and they cried.  I may have teared up as well. We learned a little more of their story because we ran a bit in the middle of the race with his mom.  She had arthritis and was carrying 60 extra lbs. So two years ago she started running.  They were the sweetest people. Unfortunately for her son his knee gave out and we passed him walking at the 8 or 9 mile mark.  When he had passed us before we got to the turn around, he was very encouraging to us as we're a lot of the other runners. I love the atmosphere of a race and the way everyone pushes each other along.  Some of my best runs are at busier parks because I race other runners there even though they don't know I'm racing them.  I guess it's the competiveness in me no matter what I'm doing.

Having support from friends and family throughout the weekend helped as well.  My phone went off several times throughout the race and we were happy and motivated to push through because of all of those cheering us on from different places across the country.


Before we knew it was time to line up.  There weren't any corrals because it wasn't that huge of a race.  The countdown began and we were off.  


knew I had to pull my pace back from where I was in my training runs cause I didn't want to gas out at the end.  We started a little faster with all the other runners and then pulled back.  We kept a nice pace through out, walked for the few seconds at the water stations and had fun when there were guys to take pictures.  


The first half we felt good and after the first and second mile my legs were on auto pilot. Once we were close to the turn around I felt a little tired but not too bad. A couple shot blocks and I was good.  I made sure to alternate Gatorade and water at the stations.  They also had orange slices and bananas which helped cause I started to get hungry at points even though I had eaten breakfast.  I just kept telling myself there are fajitas and beer at the end.  I really felt good through the whole thing and when the finish line was in sight I pushed the turbo button and took off.  We finished at 2 hours and 51 minutes and very proud of ourselves.  We sat on a curb, drank some water, watched as other runners came through and still in shock that we had done it.  


The race was very well organized and it was the perfect race to be our first half.  The race had very few hills and was flat with lots to look at through out the course.  The finishers medal was a belt buckle which I thought was a neat change from a regular medal. (I've only got a medal from one other race so it's not like I have tons) I'm ready to start training for our next race, which we plan to do in February.  Most people finished around the 2 and a half mark and so my goal for the next race is obviously to beat this race's time but also get as close to 2:30:00 mark as I can.  




Running for me is not all rainbows, skittles and cotton candy.  There are days I hate it. There are days I love it.  My body is getting use to it.  I had aches, tightness and pain Sunday evening and on Monday but again not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The mini massage at the race expo afterwards probably helped.  I still can't believe I did it and smile or get this feeling when I see the sticker on the back of my car.  When I started running at the beginning of the year the most I thought I would do was a 10K. A 5K felt like an acheiment to finish and now three miles is a walk in the park.  I don't have a desire to do a marathon...for now. I'm just going to focus on my goal of two half marathons for next year.  Anyone can be a runner because it's just you and the road.  You don't need fancy equipment.  You just need the desire.  It truly is mind over body and once you figure that out, it's not that daunting.

Friday, November 8, 2013

It's THAT weekend

No it's not my wedding weekend.  Been there, done that.  It's not a holiday. Although they are coming soon and my mouth is already salivating for all the Thanksgiving yummies. We're camping for Thanksgiving this year so preparation should be interesting but I love a challenge which kind of segues into why this weekend is going to be er uh um....epic?!?! A little over 3 moths ago I got a text from all the way across the pond asking if I wanted to train for a half marathon and how about we do it in November.  Sure. No. Sure. was kind of my response. And you guessed it folks....this Sunday Natalie and I will be running our first half marathon...13 point freaking one miles.  Oh and that's what our shirts say too.  My longest training run was 9.69 miles.  I don't think I'm scared by the amount of miles. I think I'm just anxious, scared and nervous for the experience as a whole.  I've read about marathons. I've read about how to prepare, what to do the night before and the morning of but in my head I feel like there will be a sign on my back that says "it's her first marathon. She doesn't know what she's doing."  But then I remind myself all I have to do is run, run and run some more.  Let's just hope I don't cry like a fool like I did after 8.69 miles because I was by myself then and no one's pretty when they cry. 


I have run several 5ks and I will say the race day experience and environment is awesome. I'm totes looking forward to that and know everyone's enthusiasm will push us through. So by next week I'll be able to order the cute half marathon charm from James Avery and who knows, I may put a sticker on the back of my car.  



I'll rest a week and then start again because well my goal for next year is to do two half marathons. I have the ones I want to do picked out and I really hope they both pan out.  

So wish us luck, send us good mojo and be on standby should we collapse.  Here goes nothing....