Friday, July 30, 2010

Excitement

I'm so ready to start my new job next week. I even got the Welcome Faith to our Company email that my new boss sent out. It even had my company email address listed which was a major shock since every place I've worked has taken a week or more to get me computer access let alone an email address!

Thursday was my last day at the restaurant. Another girl is leaving as well. She's been there for 7 years and was the bartender at my wedding. Even though it's been awhile since I was there, we're both considered old school employees. I may pick up the occasional special event shift (easy in and out money) and may pick up some shifts around the holidays. Not that things are going to continue to be tight around here, but it's always nice to have a bit of fun money.

John is also starting a new position with his company in about two weeks. He's not quite as excited about it as I am about mine, but I think it'll be a good move. It's a more secure position and will hopefully give him some additional opportunities. It does come with a lot more hours - which equals a ton of overtime, which is what he's not excited about. His job is a hard one that requires being outdoors so I know it's tough.

The store offered me another position as well. It was the position I had that I loved while I was there, but I'd actually be a full-time member of that department. That means they couldn't pull me around to other departments like they currently do. While I appreciate them wanting to keep me and making an offer, it was a bit nice letting them know that they couldn't afford me anymore. I think they knew I was leaving for more money, but not quite as much. It's nice to know that I have a place that appreciated me and one that I could go back to if I would ever choose to do so. It is a great company that takes care of its employees, I'm just not at the point in my life where I have the time to invest in moving up within the company. It would have been great if I had started fresh out of high school, but not at this point.

I'm so happy I made this change in my life and I know that I am very lucky to have even been able to do this. I know most aren't able to up and quit their jobs and are stuck in positions they hate. I know most don't have a kick ass husband with an awesome job that allows you to take a huge pay cut while you figure stuff out. Much appreciation and love goes out to John for carrying the burden for this time. I know it's not something that he's used to and I know it was hard on him. That's why I love him though, he puts up with a lot of my shit and yet still sticks around. It's probably because he's one of the few that can put me in my place. Thanks babe and love you!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Conversations with Dad

I don't talk about them a lot but my family are a bunch of characters. If I were to ever do stand up most of my material would come from my family. They'd also make a fantastic book of short stories. One day my friends. One day.

So I call home just to catch up and I get my dad who was in a talking mood for once. Just so you know my dad is not one to remember special occasions and if he does remember you generally get your gift wrapped in a Wal-Mart bag.

Dad: So guess what I'm doing for your mom and I's anniversary?
Me: I have no idea.
Dad: *with so much pride in his voice* Well it will be 33 years on the 26th and so I booked us a room for the weekend in Huntsville.
Me: *stomach drops* Dad. Please tell me you are not taking Mom to an execution.
Dad: What!? I go to one execution and you all think I've become some kind of execution groupie.
Me: Well, why else would you go to Huntsville? Last I checked Huntsville didn't exactly scream romantic weekend getaway. There's a prison there or you go hunting nearby and please tell me you're not taking mom hunting for your anniversary.
Dad: No. I have Crime Stoppers training so while I'm doing my training all day Saturday Mom can run around Huntsville and do her thing.
Me: Crime Stoppers? Like the neighborhood watch?
Dad: No. I'm on the Board of Crime Stoppers and I have to go to training.
Me: So Crime Stoppers like you call into the news to report something?
Dad: Yeah. We get to decide if people get a reward and for how much.
Me: Ok Dad. Weird. Just weird.
Dad: Well work wants all the managers involved in some kind of community service so this is my community service.
Me: So you're using your training weekend as a dual anniversary weekend.
Dad: Well they're paying for the hotel and it does happen to fall on our anniversary.

I talked to my mom later and she does tell me there are a bunch of little antique stores that she's looking forward to visiting.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dinner Love

The other day Cooking Light tweeted about a recipe for Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas. It looked delicious and it just so happened I had made a honey jalapeno chicken in the crockpot that had left something to be desired. I figured I could dress it up like the recipe suggested and get some additional use out of the leftover chicken. This recipe was dinner love!


(Photo from Cooking Light)

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tostadas)

Ingredients
1 ripe peeled avocado
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato, divided
3 tablespoons minced fresh onion, divided
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
8 (6-inch) corn tostada shells

Preparation
1. Place avocado in a small bowl; mash with a fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons tomato, 1 tablespoon onion, 1 tablespoon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and garlic.

2. Combine remaining 1 cup tomato, 2 tablespoons onion, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and jalapeño; toss well.

3. Combine chicken, remaining 1 tablespoon juice, and paprika; toss well to combine. Spread about 1 tablespoon guacamole over each tostada shell; top each with 1/4 cup chicken mixture and about 2 tablespoons salsa.

Nutritional Information
Calories:345
Fat:15.4g (sat 3g,mono 6.9g,poly 4.5g)
Protein:25.4g
Carbohydrate:26.9g
Fiber:5.4g
Cholesterol:60mg
Iron:1.9mg
Sodium:548mg
Calcium:24mg

The only things I did different was use half a jalapeno and I added a bit of it to the guacamole. I also added some garlic and salt and pepper to the chicken since the paprika and lime juice alone wasn't enough seasoning. John and I both LOVED this. It was so simple yet filling and delicious. I had thought of adding cheese or even refried beans to it, but it really was good just as is. I also reheated the chicken and warmed the tostadas in the toaster oven for a bit. It just seemed a bit weird to have those cold, but you could do it either way.

Monday, July 26, 2010

10 Years

This past weekend John and I traveled to Houston for my 10 Year High School Reunion. We stayed at the Alden Houston which I loved (aside from the crinkly sheets).

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Although the view from our room left something to be desired.

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That's Minute Maid Park in the distance where the Astros play.

Sarah got to the hotel and we headed to the bar for a drink or two before we went to the reunion.

Then we decided shots were needed and went down the street to another bar. Our bartender was hilarious.

The three of us sit down.
Bartender: Hey guys how you doin'?
Me: Good. We need shots. We're here for a 10 year reunion.
Bartender: *Looks at the 3 of us* Huh. Must have been a small class.

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We did our first shot and then decided on a 2nd.
Bartender: You guys want a fucked up shot? I'll give you guys a fucked up shot. Only rule, no questions.

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Me: Hey, this looks like an undercurrent. Is it?
John: Hey! No questions! Just take the damn shot!
Bartender: *high fives John*

After the second shot we headed back to the hotel for the town car to take us over to the House of Blues. (Another great thing about the hotel was a free town car that would shuttle you all over downtown)

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Predrunk pictures

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I moved to Houston between sophomore and junior years so I only spent 2 years at my high school. I went from a school of 900 to having over 900 people in my graduating class. So let's just say I really didn't know a lot of people. That's pretty much why I dragged Sarah along. For the first hour we were there I would point and say, "do we know them?" and then we'd go and say hi to people.

The House of Blues had some cool rooms. There was this hallway with these blue lights.

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Then there was a room covered in fabric.

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While I was in the bathroom I ran into the wife of Sarah's high school crush and she and I became drunk BFFs. Sarah wasn't happy about it but by doing so we found out about a back hall that would take you to the Blue October concert. Let's see.....high school reunion where you don't know anyone or Blue October? The concert won.

Of course wristbands were needed to get into the concert and Sarah flirted her way into getting us some with this guy.

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We made friends with those around us and they made fun of my tiny beer.

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This guy stole my name tags (I ended up with John's on as well.)

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The concert was fun

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but then it was time to go. Fun times in the hallway were had.

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I hadn't worn heels since the whole Old Man Toe thing started in January. My feet were swollen and I had cankles.

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BTW, the little footsie things are actually life savers! (The black sticking out around my shoes) My feet weren't sore from the shoes, but from standing and walking. They also do stay hidden and will tuck discreetly away into your shoe, but this was 2 am and let's face it, I was more than a little drunk at this point.

The next day after waking up and feeling like absolute crap John and I drove up to Kingwood.

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We drove past my old house

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and then paid a visit to my old high school.

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What's a 10 Year Reunion without a visit to the high school?

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Then it was time for the 3 hour drive back home which I also didn't miss making. It used to be a regular occurrence my first 2 years at college.

While we had a great time and I am glad that I went, I'm not sure if I'd do it again. I guess if I knew more people going to the 20 year I might think about it. I really only talk to 3 people regularly from my high school. While I recognized several faces, I couldn't tell you their names. Maybe for the 20 I'll crash my Indiana High School Reunion. At least I spent more time growing up with those people.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bits and Pieces

My to do list is a mile long today and I have to go into work kind of early so I don't know how I'm going to get it all done. Boo.

Closet is still clean aside from the pair of pants that are currently laying on the floor.

We started the master bath update last week and now have to call a plumber. While the sink and the plumbing mostly line up (unlike what happened in the guest bath) John's had trouble finding parts that fit and can't get one of the existing parts off no matter how hard he's tried. We've run out of ideas so that's where we're at, but have to wait another week until payday to call. We've both been living out of the guest bath which hasn't been fun. John and I don't do well sharing bathrooms.

One more week at my two jobs and then I start my new one!

This past week I had to go shopping to buy some work pants that fit (see the 21 pairs I had but could not wear from my last post). I found an amazing deal at Banana Republic and bought $600 worth of clothes for $200. I got a skirt, suit jacket, top and 6 pairs of pants for that $200. Crazy.

I chopped off all my hair again on Wednesday and am loving it. I'll probably start missing the long hair again soon. That's how it always goes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Organization

My closet has been a mess for awhile now and was in desperate need of a good clean out and so reorganizing. I'm usually pretty good at pulling a few things every now and then that I don't wear and taking them to Goodwill, but this time my closet needed to be purged. The state of my closet was this:

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Minus a stack of jeans I had already pulled out and three of the pants hangers.

The floor was a mess of shoes, random bags, clothing (usually there is more clothing on the floor - clean clothes by the way) and belts.

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I headed over to Target and bought a ton of plastic bins of various sizes to store some of my things in and then it was time to purge.

I pulled out 17 pairs of jeans and 21 pairs of dress pants that no longer fit.

That's 38 pairs of pants I had in my closet that I cannot currently wear.

That's ridiculous!

I made several piles. I had a pile of pants and skirts that fit and can zip up, but are a bit snug. I call them 5 pound pants. I figure 5 pounds is a reasonable amount of weight that one can lose and those pants should stay. (I also hung on to a few 10 pound pants that are nice pants that I still can't let myself get rid of). All other clothes went either to a Goodwill pile or to a Consignment Shop pile.

I got rid of a lot of clothes I've been hanging onto for awhile. Stuff that I love like this skirt.

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This was my very first Express purchase and I bought it in HIGH SCHOOL. I haven't been able to fit into that skirt since freshman year of college. I have no business hanging on to the skirt still.

I love this American Eagle Sweater, but it's too short now. I haven't worn it in about 5 years.

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I bought this sweater 2 years ago and have never worn it. I look at it now and wonder what I was thinking. I bet the Emo girl next door might like it.

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This is another skirt I've had for about 10 years. Yes, it's stretchy and still fits, but trust me, I should not be wearing this skirt with my thighs. Bad news.

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This skirt is a size 8. I usually have to buy skirts 1 size bigger and I cannot even remember the last time I was a size 6. We're talking high school again.

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I bought these suits in college and thought I was hot stuff. They're stretch with jackets so long they cover your backside. I have them in black and grey.

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This dress I wore on my honeymoon. I couldn't fit into it now if my life depended on it and I never really liked it, but I WORE IT ON MY HONEYMOON so I must keep it right? Not anymore.

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This shirt I bought from H&M while I was on a trip to Chicago. I have a green one that's similar but has a neckline that doesn't show off all my cleavage so it gets worn a lot more. I think I've only worn this shirt 3 times in the 2 years that I've had it, but it's H&M and we don't have an H&M here and I love H&M so I must keep it right?

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This shirt I bought while on a trip to Boston in college. It's from a store called Tall Girl and at the time I remember being so excited walking into that store and having nothing but extended length clothing all around me. I haven't worn this shirt in probably 6 years now, but have been hanging onto it because of that shopping trip.

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I filled this tote with jeans, a few skirts and the couple of 10 pound pants I kept.

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Under the bed I've hidden away the sweaters I've kept and my gym clothes.

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I also cleaned out a trash bag full of clothes to go to Goodwill and several pairs of shoes.

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After all the cleaning out my closet turned into this:

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I reorganized my shoes so that the ones I use most often are more accessible (they used to be on the bottom of the rack).

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Moving the giant pile of jeans that no longer fit freed up so space to put my shorter boots up top.

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The little pile of white clothes will soon be gone since I won't be waiting tables anymore.

These totes I filled with purses and kept out the ones I currently have in rotation. The others have my tall boots in them and the 5 pound dress pants.

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My closet is still full, but it's less packed than it once was.

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One day I'll be able to tackle my old clubbing shirts....

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