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6.28.2015

No Roll Egg Roll

With temperatures rising to almost 100 degrees, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven or stand over a hot stove for a long time. This recipe can be made in under 30 minutes and only requires the stove top.





No Roll Egg Roll Recipe

1 tablespoon oil of choice
1 pound ground pork
1 medium onion chopped
1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
3 green onions chopped, and separated by color
1/2 carrot peeled and shredded
1 cup shredded cabbage
3 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
1 tablespoon ginger ( I use the kind in the tube)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup roughly chopped peanuts

  1.  Heat oil in pan on medium and add onions and pork to pan
  2. Once onions start to soften, add garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and light green and white parts of green onion
  3. Stir contents well and make sure meat is broken into pieces
  4. Stir in the soy sauce
  5. Add cabbage and carrots to mixture
  6. Cook until meat is cooked through and cabbage has softened
  7. To serve, top with green onion and chopped peanuts  


4.25.2015

Clinique Redness Solutions

I have never had great skin. I was that kid that started breaking out in 5th grade.

As I have gotten older my skin started to turn red. There seems to be nothing I can do to reduce the redness. I have tried many products in the past with no luck. I eventually just decided to give up.

Recently, I decided I was going to try and reduce my redness again. I started by doing a lot of research on redness reducing skin products. Ultimately, I decided to try Clinique. I chose Clinique because of the price as well as the number of positive reviews.

I ordered my kit from Sephora for $51.  It comes with a face wash, moisturizer, and a primer.



The face wash is super gentle. If you wear makeup I am not sure it would remove it. I almost never wear makeup so this is not a problem for me.

The moisturizer has a thicker texture than most that I have ever used. I was worried that it was going to leave my face greasy, but I was pleasantly surprised. I have been applying it am and pm and have had no problems.

The primer has a green tint to help correct redness and prime your face for applying makeup. I only wear makeup if I am going to a special event or have an interview, so I am not sure how much use I will get out of this product.

Week 1:

After the first week of religiously applying these products twice a day as recommend, I have seen no improvement.

Week 2:

I am starting to really doubt this product works. After two weeks my face does not look any less red than before.

Week 3:

After three weeks, I am finally able to see a real difference in my skin. Not only is my face less red, but it has a better texture.

Week 4:

After a month of using the product I am sold. I have had a significant reduction in the redness of my skin.


Overall:

I was very skeptical of this working since I have had no luck in the past. While there has been a great reduction in the redness of my skin, I do have some redness from acne marks and scars. In order to combat the permanent redness from these scars, I need to incorporate more exfoliation, aVitamin C product, and a sunscreen for my face.

Update 6/26/2015:

I am using an additional face serum and a new eye cream.  I'll share more in an upcoming post!



4.14.2015

Hello Fresh Review

I have seen so many advertisements for meal delivery services. Hello Fresh, Plated, and Blue Apron to name a few.

As a stay at home mom for a four month old, I don't have as much time as I would like. Getting in a shower is hard enough some days, much less planning meals and going to the store.

In my Martha Stewart Living, I had a coupon for Hello Fresh. I decided to give it a try.

If you want to give Hello Fresh a try, use this code to get $40 off your first box: D95V3R

The one thing about this service is that you have to select your meals an entire week before they are sent. I had to select my second week of food before I even received my first week.

For the first week, I had to select three dinners from the following options (my selections are bolded): Chicken and Artichoke Cassoulet, Rosemary Beef Flatbread, Spicy Shrimp 'Fra Diavolo', Pan- Seared Calamari, and Roasted Butternut Squash and Leek Hash

My favorite dish was the Roasted Butternut Squash and Leek Hash. I never in a million years would have thought of this dish myself. It was also simple enough that I could easily duplicate it in the future, which I totally plan on doing.

My least favorite dish was the Spicy Shrimp "Fra Diavolo." My husband was not crazy about this because he is not really a fan of shrimp. I did make some changes to this recipe. I used roasted garlic that I had for the bread and added more garlic to the shrimp. I also used 1/2 teaspoon of the red pepper flake to give it a good kick.

For the second week these were my options: Rosemary- Walnut Crusted Chicken, Steak Sandwiches, Spring Asparagus and Shrimp Risotto, Spicy Chorizo and Tomato Penne, and Mushroom Quesadillas

My favorite dish from this week was the Rosemary- Walnut Crusted Chicken. I did do a couple of modifications to this recipe. I used addition mustard that I had in the pantry. I didn't think they gave me enough to cover the top of both pieces of chicken. I also added more rosemary to the breading mixture and the potatoes.

Overall:

It is very nice to have meals already planned for me for three days out of the week. I still had to go to the store for the rest of the meals and to pick up stuff for breakfast and lunch. Aside from them leaving out the chorizo on accident, they do provide almost everything you need for the meal. You do need to have pantry staples such as salt, pepper, sugar, and oil.

Some of the meals might have been bland if I didn't add spice to them myself. My husband and I really like robust flavors so this could just be us.

I also really liked not having to worry about portion control. You are provided with enough to make two servings. We never had any leftovers and I never felt like I ate too much. This is great for me and my husband as we are both trying to eat less.

I also liked that I had some options for the meals. Some services do not let you pick what meals you are getting.

Don't forget to use this code to get $40 off your first Hello Fresh boxD95V3R 

4.06.2015

Diaper Bag Essentials

Taking a baby out requires carrying around a lot of gear. What I pack varies depending on the outing. However, there are some items that I consider to be essential diaper bag items.

While I would prefer to carry a lovely Coach or Kate Spade diaper bag, my husband wanted a more practical and gender neutral diaper bag. 

I found this Eddie Bauer Bremmerton Duffle Diaper Bag from Target for $39.99. What a steal!

Nuk Orthodontic Bottle, Medi Buddy First Aid Kit, Huggies Wipes,
Carter's Swaddle Blanket, Thinkbaby Sunscreen


I also  pack five diapers, a couple of toys, a change of clothes, a bottle of water, and enough formula for two feedings. 



3.31.2015

Land Your Dream Job In Portland: Summary and Review

The job market today, while allegedly better than it has been in years, is still not great. In Portland, where there is a high number of educated citizens, finding a good job is even harder. Now if I wanted to serve coffee or work at a call center, I would have no problem finding employment.

I want to be gainfully employed and preferably in a position where I can have a positive impact on my community. 

In the past, I have never had a hard time finding a job. In 2008, I managed to secure employment in Iowa while living in California.I found employment in less than a month when I decided to move to Oregon.

Being unemployed for the past four months is very unusual for me. Thankfully, I have a little boy to keep my days full. However, it is time for me to get back in the job market. 

In order to stand out from the hundreds of applicants, my application has to be perfect. 

To get some help with my job hunt I decided to purchase the e-book "Landing Your Dream Job in Portland." This book is from Mac's List, Portland's top source for jobs in the city and Oregon. 

This book caught my eye, because ELGL.org did a couple of posts on it. I decided to check it out.

I purchased the book for $29 on the Mac's List website. You can find it here.



 I don't want to ruffle up the people at Mac's List so I won't give it all away.

Chapter 1: Assessing Your Interests and Skills 

"Before you can find the perfect job, you need to take a good, hard look at yourself, your loves and hates, and your strengths and weaknesses."

This quote perfectly sums up this chapter. I was hoping that the Strengths Finder 2.0 assessment would be included with this text, I don't really feel like buying another book, especially one I've already read a couple of years ago. 

Chapter 2: Presenting Yourself Online

"You need to be virtually visible- but only in the best way possible."

I don't have much to worry about as far as incriminating photos on the Internet. I keep my life pretty PG-13. However, I can do better at leveraging my online presence. Not only should your online life look scandal free, you should use your online presence to advance yourself professionally.

Chapter 3:Networking and Conducting Informational Interviews

The book says to connect with others, communicate your ideas, and create community.

This is the hardest part for me. I'm not great at networking. I won't even lie. I absolutely hate it. However, the book points out that networking is the key to the hidden job market. It is the key to the jobs that never get posted. 

While the book does make me think about my need to network, this information isn't exactly novel. 

Chapter 4: Looking for Opportunities and Experience

This section recommends finding internships, doing volunteer work, finding a mentor, or taking a temporary position in order to get experience.

Chapter 5: Applying for a Job

This chapter outlines the importance of tweaking your resume for every job application as well as writing unique cover letters.

Chapter 6: Interviewing and Marketing Yourself

The key to a good interview is being prepared. Know the company, know the job, and have some great questions ready. This chapter also talks about following up. 

I always do tons of research on a place even before I submit my application. I look into the organization, I look up the human resources staff, I look up current staff. By the time I get an interview, I know a lot about the organization and the people that work there. 

Chapter 7: Creating and Marketing Your Brand

"Embrace your passions, quirks, and differences and make them part of why people want to hire you"

The chapter takes pretty much combines chapter one and chapter 2 as a way to promote yourself. Use your passions and strengths and market your brand. It also suggests making your brand into a business by working for yourself.

Chapter 8: Navigating Your Career Path

Your career is a never ending project. 

This chapter emphasizes that you are never finished. It is important to continue to think about your career goals and to continue evaluating your skills and values. 

Keeping these things in mind, you may find that a career change is in order. Or maybe, you can advance your career by obtaining more education. 

Ultimately this book served as a reminder of the things a person needs to do to find a job. For those that are recent graduates or do not have a lot of experience looking for a job, this is a great book.

2.26.2015

On Trend: Black and White

Image Map I have never been one to be very trendy. However, I am ready to get onboard with this one. This trend can be worn by anyone regardless of age or shape. I also like that you can dress it up for work or keep it casual. I like to do all black but you could use shoes or a bag to add a pop of color.

Update:  I bought the black ad white top from Modcloth. The sleeves are a bit longer than I expected. It will make a good work shirt for the cooler months.

2.02.2015

Easy Freezer Meals

As a new parent, I don't have a lot of time. In fact, I don't have enough time to do everything that needs to be done. When my husband gets home from work, I want to maximize my time with him. The last thing I want to do is spend hours cooking dinner. 

I recently purchased this Kenmore 5.0  Cubic Foot Chest Freezer. I bought this freezer when it was on sale for $199. I could have found a cheaper one, but I wanted a freezer that I knew would last. I couldn't be happier with my purchase. 

To save time in the kitchen, I went shopping and then prepped several meals. Prep the meals, put them in a freezer bag. All I have to do is thaw it one day and put it in the crock pot the next. 


Taco Soup

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef 
15 oz can kidney beans
15 oz can black beans
2 15oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes 
1 8oz can tomato sauce
2/3 cup water
2 packets taco seasoning ( I added more chili powder for more kick)
1 16oz bag frozen fire roasted corn, or regular corn if that's all you can find
1 cup diced onion
4oz cans diced green chilies

Instructions

Brown ground beef; set aside.
Drain & rinse beans thoroughly, place in large mixing bowl
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water
Add taco seasoning and mix well
Add the corn, onions, and diced green chilies.
Finally add the beef and mix well
Once cool divide mixture into 2  gallon size freezer bags and freeze. ( or use food saver)

To cook:  Cook in crock pot on high for 3-4 hours

Deconstructed  Shepard's Pie
1 pound ground pork
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1-3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium carrots, chopped
1- 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup frozen peas

Add pork,onion, garlic,and mushrooms to pan on medium heat; cook until meat is browned 
Remove from heat 
Mix in thyme, peas, carrots
Mix in Worcestershire and broth
Once cool put in gallon bag and freeze. 

To cook: Cook in crock pot on high 3.5 hours, serve with mashed potatoes or parsnip puree 

Meatballs
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1-1/2 Italian seasoned breadcrumbs 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoons salt (I'm stingy with salt, you may want more)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix ingredients well
Roll into 2-inch balls and place on baking sheet (makes about 40)
Broil for 6 minutes flipping halfway 
Once cool divide into freezer bags ( I did 2 bags of 20)

To cook: Cook in crock pot with can of pasta sauce on low for 3 hours