Friday, June 4, 2010

No-Fuss Doesn't Mean No Order

So when I went on vacation to Maine a couple of weeks ago I had my bedroom area almost exactly how I wanted it.  And then, through packing, unpacking and bringing back the whittled down contents of storage unit, suddenly it looked like this again:

And I decided, there is no way that I am going to be able to study for grad school (which I will have started by the time you read this) in this kind of mess.  So I spent the day, cleaning, organizing and (most importantly) watching season 3 of Sex and the City on DVD.

So here are the before:

And now on the after:
The desk area

Wire cubes filled with books and teaching materials

The desk

In/out tray with my Rolodex (the rolodex is another post)

This desk doesn't have any drawers so we have a 3 drawer rolling cart.

Let's have look in those drawers shall we?

Extra supplies.  
Notice how I have whole section dedicated to postie notes.
I have entered a 12-step program for postie note addiction.

Anyway, I got the boxes on the clearance at (of all places) the grocery store.
They are plastic pencil boxes and I just leave them open and use them as dividers.

In here we have checkbooks, envelopes, address labels, stamps and some computer stuff

Paper (regular and heavy weight), extra binders, and page protectors

The best organizational idea ever!
These are my iPod sync cord and camera sync cord.  
I use them all the time and so I like them out but I don't want them taking up desk space. 
 I sent out an SOS on Facebook and one of my friends sent me this link.
In his words it's "crazy brilliant".

The desk is right next to the bed so it doubles as a side table.
This is pile of reading material.

It's not totally done.  I want to switch the places of the wire cubes and the tall boy dresser.  I also need do a sort and purge of the other (unpictured, purposely) side of the room.  But for now it is good.  I have place to study and get this grad school thing done.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Things I love about being home in Maine:
  • Trees (There is a severe lack of tree in Los Angeles)

  • DUNKIN DONUTS (You knew that one was coming)
  • Nature sounds
  • Adorable cousins

  • Driving the Turnpike without any traffic
  • Laddie

  • Awesome friends

  • Italian sandwiches from Sam's (I've attempted to re-create them but it's just not the same)

  • Chatting with my mom
  • Lunch with my dad
  • General foolish-ness with my brother
  • This group

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Sometimes I get overwhemed when I compare my life to my friends and aquaintences.

One of my best childhood friends had a baby yesterday.  One of my absolute best friends from high school has a three year old.  I will be a bridesmaid for another close friend this summer.  It seems like everytime I go on Facebook another friend is getting engaged, picking a date for their wedding or having a baby.  Most of the time, I'm happy for them.  They are doing what makes them happy and that makes me happy.

But there is no way that I am there yet.  I can hardly balance my own life and responsibilities let alone be responsible for someone else.  I feel like even though The Boy and I live together things are separate in a way that they won't be when/ if we get married.  We don't pay bills together first of all.  We still ask before borrowing things from one another.  And doing things for each other still seems like favors instead of obligations.  For instance, I knew that I was going to have a break at work the other day and when I got there I thought "wouldn't it be nice to get some knitting done while I am on break".  So I called him and asked him to bring my knitting stuff to my work and he agreed.  But there was no obligation on his part to do so.  I do little errands for him also but also not because I have to but because it is something nice to do for my partner.  Somehow once the ceremony is over, those little things that were favors when you were dating, or even living together, come to be things that are expected by the other person instead of appreciated as small gifts to each other.

And don't even get me started on how I don't need a baby right now.  I LOVE babies and kids, but I know that I am not in place right now to have one.  First of all I'm 3,000 miles away from any physical supporters.  If I am going to do the baby thing, I know I am going to need some support and I am also going to want to share that baby with everyone.  Not to mention the whole going back to school and working full time thing.  If I had to I could make it work, but since I have the choice, I am going to wait.

Now all that said, hearing about all the engagements, wedding plans and adorable new babies, makes me ache a little inside.  
I can't help seeing their happiness and beening just a tad bit wistful.  Just for a moment.

I love my life the way it is and I don't see me really truly beening ready for a big change anytime soon. 
I know it will happen for me someday.

And in the end that is what brings me back to being happy that all my friends have happiness too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Heaven in a CrockPot!

I found this recipe over on a Year of Slow Cooking and I knew from the second that I saw it that I needed to try it.  Tonight I finally got around to making it and let me tell you it is delicious.  If you want a yummy, easy dessert, this is a real winner.

Only don't do what I did and make it on a night when there is no one to share it with.  I'm trying not to eat the whole thing myself.  A tough problem to have, I know.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas!

The Boy got an invitation go to a convention in Las Vegas for free.  When I found this out, I said, "I'm coming right?" And we were off!

We stayed at the Stratosphere because they had the best rates and ratings for a hotel on the Strip.

We really liked it.  The rooms were clean and there was a upbeat, non-depressing vibe to it that we didn't feel at some of the older hotels on the Strip.

The first thing that we did was head over to the Bellagio for the buffet Brunch.  It was delicious.  We got there at the perfect time because while we were there they switched over to dinner.  We got dinner for the afternoon price!  My favorite dish was the Lobster Ravoli with cream sauce.  The Boy enjoyed the Roast Lamb and the manicotti.  We both loved the desserts.

After that we got discounted tickets for Cirque de Soelil Mystere at the Tix4Tonight booth.  If you don't have any real idea for what you want to see while you are in Las Vegas, these booths are great because there are always tickets for quite a few shows and they are discounted.  We didn't have enough time to go and change so we went over to Treasure Island where Mystere is located.  We picked up our tickets and then wandered around until seating started.  It was nice to just sit and people watch.

Mystere was amazing.  I always have fun watching Cirque shows.

We wandered over to the Bellagio to watch the water show that is set to music.  It was gorgeous.  A great FREE thing to do .  The shows happen every 30 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes at night.  Definitely worth seeing.

Then we headed back to the Stratosphere.  We hung out at the Blackjack table for a couple hours and met a couple interesting characters.  The most vocal of these characters was a Hollywood producer/ director who was there for the same convention as The Boy.  He was basically narrating everything going on in the casino.  Then a guy who had won a Viper earlier in the day joined us and played a few hands.  And then there was the handsome young man who looked so familiar but I just couldn't place.  Then it hit me.  I had been watching ABC Family the other day and Bring It On: In It To Win It was on.  This guy was the romantic interest of the main character.  I was just a little bit starstruck.

That was it for us for that night.  I had a fun day shopping the next day which I will post more about another day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to Make Your Own Taco Ring

Now you may be asking yourself "What is a Taco Ring?" and I will tell you, the best use of crescent roll dough ever. EVER.
Here is a picture of a finished Taco Ring.

It looks delicious doesn't it?
*Note:  For some reason I only bought one tube of rolls for this.  Your finished product will have more crust

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls
  • 1 lb of you meat of choice (I made these with shredded chicken, but you could use ground beef or turkey)
  • 2 tbs chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust for your taste, we like things SPICY!)
  • Toppings (sour cream, salsa, avacado, anything else you like on your taco)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Heat up a pan and brown your meat, when it is browned, stir in the spices and turn off the heat.

While the meat is cooking, get started making your ring.  Open up the crescent rolls and separate it into triangles.  Grease a cookie sheet.  Then lay out the triangles in a circle with the corner on the short ends over lapping.  It will look like this but yours will have twice as many points because you didn't forget a second tube of dough.

Next add your filling on top of the crescent rolls.  Now you will lift up the points one at a time.
And tuck the point under the filling and attach it to the bottom of the ring

And keep going, doing the same thing with the rest of points.
It will look like this:
 Then pop it in the oven for 15 minutes until the crust is nice and golden.

Then cut it into wedges and top it with your favorite taco toppings.  Serve with salad or coleslaw.  I'll post my Mexican Slaw recipe another time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What's Been Going On

I haven't been very good at updating lately but I'm trying to get back on track.

A quick (and exciting!) update.  I've been accepted to graduate school.  The program that I got accepted to is a dual program and in the end I will have both my Masters of Arts in Special Education and my Educational Specialist credential from the State of California.  I decided to apply to grad school after months of job searching and being unable to get a full-time teaching job.  I knew that eventually I would have to get my Masters and I wanted to be in a field that was more specialized then Elementary Education.  In the fall I will be in a full time PAID internship in an elementary school.  I'm very excited and also a little bit scared.

I know that the next year (and especially then next 2 months) will be hard but I know that it will be worth it.  It is all the more important that I continue to live with no-fuss.  I will need to be even more mindful of living economically and healthfully.  I will continue to write here about how I manage to do that.  I will include what works, and what doesn't work.

Coming up this week:
  • Recipe and step by step for making a Taco Ring
  • Appetizer night!
  • Our trip to Las Vegas
  • How to make your own DD Iced Coffee
  • Organizational results of the massive cleaning I am doing this week
Hope everyone has a great week and hope to hear from you soon.