10.02.2015

{Recipe} Sunday Quiche with Turkey Bacon & Peppers


Oh hi, remember me? It's been a REAL long time since my last post but I blame a new job, a friends wedding, my own wedding planning, Joey's birthday & a slew of other excuses. It seems odd to start posting again on a Friday, but when my new coworkers (I've been here for like 6 weeks now, not exactly new) didn't know I had a blog, clearly thats NO GOOD.  I made this recipe a while back & I kept meaning to share it before the weekend. Sooo here we are.

Hello Quiche attempt #2! I recently (well it was recently when I wrote this post, months ago) made my first quiche (see here) & it went really smoothly. It was easy to do & the final result came out perfectly. So this past Sunday I decided to make another one (hence the name) thinking it'd be just as easy.  Well SOMEONE got cocky & thought she knew what she was doing.  What ended up happening was an overflowing pie dish with spilled egg mix all over the oven & floor.  To rectify the situation, I attempted to place the overflowing pie dish on a baking sheet...& managed to spill the egg even more.  Instead of trying to clean up the baking sheet before I stuck it in the oven, I said screw it...which resulted in a lot of burnt egg on the baking sheet. BUT the egg that managed to survive the spillage was AWESOME.  I have tweaked the recipe below so you in theory shouldn't have the same problem.  But just to be safe, I'd place a baking sheet under your pie dish just incase you have some spillage!






Serves: 6-8
Cook time acc to me: 1 hour 20 mins
How difficult was this? SHOULDN'T be difficult with the changes made below






1 pre-made pie crust
6 large eggs
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8-9 Pieces uncooked turkey bacon
2 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1 cup light cream or half & half
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
Black pepper/salt to taste






Preheat oven to 

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Add peppers & onions.  Season with salt & pepper & sauté until veggies are tender, approx. 5-6 mins.


While the veggies are cooking, in another skillet over medium heat, spray cooking spray then add turkey bacon until cooked thru. You can also wait till the veggies are done & re-use the same skillet to save on dishes.


Once the veggies are done, set aside.  While bacon is still cooking, in a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients (minus the crust of course)


Once the bacon is done, add it to the mix.


In a greased pie dish, spread out the pie crust. Then pour the egg mix into the pie crust.  Then I tried to move the already too full pie dish & the spillage began.


Yep...that's going to burn real quickly.


Cover the pie dish with tinfoil & bake for 45 mins.  


Remove foil & return quiche for another 15 mins.  And yes, that burnt junk on the right is quiche. Here's a better look of the mess.


After one hour, insert a knife in the middle & if it comes out clean, your quiche is done.


Slice & serve...though please make it look nicer than this:


Slice 2 looked much better, albeit a bit large.








8.21.2015

Cheers to Changes!



It's rare for me to write a personal post because I find them super self-indulgent (no offense to those who do share more!) & I can't really fathom people caring or taking an interest in my personal life.   I mean, why do you care what I have to say? Also, what is a big deal to me might be not nearly as important to others (as is the case with todays post) but this is my blog & I'll do what I want. No seriously, this summer I learned an extremely valuable & life changing lesson, so I wanted to take some time to share it with you all.  I apologize for the length of this post. If you decide to stop reading now, I'll understand.

After making a big decision back in April to leave the only job I've ever had since moving here (catch up here) I decided to take some much needed time off. I traveled, saw my family, caught up with friends, spent lazy mornings drinking coffee & watching some terrible awesome TV, started playing tennis again, went to the gym, took the dogs on long walks, cooked a ton (so many recipes I have to catch up on) made major wedding plans, spent time with J, signed up as a volunteer at a no kill shelter...it was all WONDERFUL.  But, in the back of my head, there was this nagging voice telling me "you need to get a job...you need to get a paycheck" on constant repeat.

Finally, in mid June I began the exhausting search.  When you work in production, it's common to jump from job to job, never really knowing where one gig might lead or when that job might end.  For those who get bored easily, it's an incredible world to work in.  However, I happened to find jobs on shows that have long seasons & have been on for a while/were constantly getting renewed.  Financially, this was wonderful. I was always secure in my job & knew where my next paycheck was coming from, so I wasn't accustom to this terrifying yet liberating feeling.  Quitting freaked me out because I didn't know IF I could get another job at my level or if I'd have to take a step down after working so hard.  Having only worked on a few shows, I didn't have as diverse a resume as many of my production friends. I didn't know if employers would want someone with such limited experience. I didn't know what other places paid because where I came from, when you were miserable & wanted out, the solution was to throw more money at you to get you to stay.  Well, listen. Money is AWESOME & who doesn't want to be secure? BUT when you sacrifice your mental health, your relationships...your life? MONEY AIN'T WORTH IT.

I know what some people might be thinking...money is a necessity. And yes, you are correct...we all NEED it.  And sometimes, you have to take the shitty jobs in order to survive. I can speak from experience...I've worked for 8 years in production...8 years on shows I wasn't happy at. But a girl needs a roof over her head, so I did it. I get that I might sound ridiculous/obnoxious/spoiled/selfish in making proclamations like "Quit your job! You'll be fine!" when in fact that isn't an option for most people.

As I started my job hunt, I quickly began to internally freak out. I signed up for multiple job sites & quickly learned how depressing the jobs listed were.  I applied to almost everything & anything that fit the description of something I MIGHT be able to do, but I was getting nowhere.  I applied for positions way lower than I had held, but I was panicking & getting desperate. Some of the sites will tell you how many people applied for the one job...one posting said I was ranked 212 out of 400+. Well, THAT is encouraging.  I began searching production companies that did shows I enjoyed & blindly sent off my resume crossing my fingers some receptionist would see it, feel sorry for me & hold on to it.  Every time I got an email alert saying a job that fit what I was looking for was posted, I ran to my computer to apply. And crickets. I was getting no calls, no emails, no interviews, nothing.  Any time I chatted with my friends online (um, everyday) they'd ask how the search was going & I'd be all "Oh it's great...finding some good leads"...when really, I was completely full of shit.

Then the phone rang late one Fri night from a number I didn't recognize. On a whim, I answered & it was an old coworker.  She told me about a new talk show that was literally RIGHT UP MY ALLEY.  It was like my little blog was coming to life on TV.  She had the inside track & without me knowing, had already told the execs about me. Within an hour of me emailing my resume/explaining why I'd be amazing for this job, I had an interview set for Monday.  Monday's interview went REALLY well & by Monday night, I had locked a 2nd interview with one of the hosts/EP/celeb who is extremely well known & could possibly be terrifying set for the next afternoon.  Dressed in my trendiest yet most professional outfit I own, I met with said host & her manager.  It was possibly one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I. Wanted. This. Job. I wanted this job so badly & I told SO many people about it.  The execs told me they were going to make a decision quickly so be ready. And then I heard nothing.  I heard nothing for days. I emailed them to check in & was told no decision had been made yet. I was checking my phone/email obsessively & crickets.  They emailed me a few times asking if I was still available & when I promptly responded that I was, I then wouldn't hear back. It finally sank in that this job wasn't going to happen.

Disappointed & slightly crushed, I moved on.  I started to question whether I wanted to stay in production or not. I actually looked into taking some interior design classes, maybe I'd go do that instead? Then I heard about the NCIDQ exam which is similar to the bar exam...& I said HELL. NO.  Then my dear friend Kennice sent me a post about Hello. Blog Academy.  It was how to make a profit from your blog.  This sounded EXCELLENT.  So I began the course, but quickly learned this was going to take time & I still needed a real job. (But there will be some BIG changes coming here in the next few months!)

Fast forward a month & a shit ton of job applications later, I'm working a short-term freelance gig that I was hoping would turn into something more permanent (sadly, it wouldn't) when guess who comes back into my life? The talk show. They want me to come back in for yet, another interview. Instantly, I got this icky feeling.  I don't know what it was, but something in my gut was saying this was a bad idea.  I happened to know someone who was working there so I began picking her brain. Truthfully? Everything she was saying reaffirmed my icky feelings.  Long hours, working on the weekend...everything I didn't want. But, when you have no other offers & you're freaking out at the idea of being unemployed, how dumb would it be to turn down an offer?

By the time I make it to their offices that night, it's 8pm. I'm exhausted, I'm not dressed properly for an interview & I just didn't have it in me to sell myself. But I was about to become unemployed with no prospects...I needed this job. I walk into the offices of one of the EP's I had met earlier in the summer & the first thing he says "I want you to work here & we need you to start ASAP, like tomorrow"...well, that's nice. Seriously, where were you people back in June? I should have been jumping out of my skull with excitement, but instead, all I felt was dread.

The next morning, the official offer comes in. Crap. What do I do? I didn't sleep at all the night before & a giant headache isn't helping anything.  Do I accept a job simply because I'm terrified of being unemployed even though my heart is telling me this is a bad idea? Then, to put it bluntly, the universe decides to fuck with me.  I'm at my computer when I get an email from a production company I had emailed MONTHS prior wanting to discuss a position on one of their shows that I actually watch. WHAT?!?! Enter complete FREAK OUT MODE. Seriously, I freaking LOVE this company & watch many of their shows. This company was one of the first places I applied to when I began the hunt, but they don't post their jobs online, they simply have you send your resume off into the abyss & hope for the best. I mean, what are the CHANCES this company emails me on this day?!

Well, I'll spare you the details as this post is already long enough, but after a LOT of debating with J/my family, I turned down the talk show offer & accepted the opportunity to interview for my dream company. I mean, was that a huge mistake? Turning down an offer just for the chance to interview? I guess we'll see.

Well, one week later I know I made the right choice because this coming Monday I start my new job with a company that just feels right.  Will it be as glamorous as the talk show gig? No. Is the pay amazing? Nope. But will it give me a chance to work on a fun show while still having a life? Yep. Will I work the weekends? Nope. Will I be staying past 6-7pm during the week? Absolutely not.  Will the people I work with on the show hate me afterwards (like my old job)? Nope. Will it give me the freedom to still work on my blog & volunteer? Yep.

I. CANNOT. WAIT.

So what did I learn this summer? Well, it was actually J who taught me to STOP settling, STOP being afraid of being unemployed & START going after what you REALLY want.  Cheers to new beginnings!


7.31.2015

{Lately Loving} All Things Tufted

Hello lovelies & happy Friday!  It's been a long week, so I'm keeping things simple today & sharing something I've been loving for quite some time & not just lately. Usually over time I tend to get bored with certain style accents, but that hasn't happened yet with tufts. And thank goodness for that because our semi new couch that I plan on having for a while is tufted. I love the detail because it adds a little something extra to a piece of furniture. Plus, I love details in furniture...though you'd never know it by some of my Ikea furniture. But thats not important. Anyways, below are some items I'm currently crushing on! Plus...some of these items are on sale! If only I was looking for a new project...




7.30.2015

{Recipe} Stir Fry Beef Lo Mein



This dish is what I'd call, a masterpiece. I absolutely LOVED this meal & it was really easy! That is, once I figured out how Udon noodles work. But I'll walk you through that. I mean, this dish is awesome because you can completely customize the veggies to your liking, plus it is FULL of flavor!  It's been a few weeks since I made this, but I think I need to make it again this week because it was THAT good.  



I mean, look at that! How pretty does this dish look?! The recipe came from Damn Delicious & the only thing I really changed was swapping the mushrooms out for snap peas. Next time, I'm thinking I might add peppers into the mix. Anyways, enough gushing, lets get to the cookin...


Serves: 4 (generous portions...we were hungry!)
Cook time acc to Damn Delicious: 25 mins
Cook time acc to me: 35-40 mins
How difficult was this for me? Pretty easy!


2 7 ounce packages of Udon noodles (I found mine in the Asian food section & they were precooked, yet still in like a solid brick) discard seasoning packets.
1 tbsp olive oil
8 ounces beef top sirloin filet sliced against the grain (I bought pre-sliced beef just because.)
8 ounces broccoli florets
2 carrots, diced
1-1.5 cups of snap peas (I really just guessed & grabbed a handful)

For the sauce:
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (I used dry ginger, tasted just fine!)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you want more heat, use 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

In a large skillet, over medium to high heat, heat oil. After a minute, add meat & brown meat on each side, approx 3-4 mins.



While meat is cooking, in a small bowl, mix together all ingredients under the sauce. Set aside.


If your Udon noodles aren't cooked, now is the time to cook them. Follow the instructions on the packaging.

Once the meat is cooked, set aside.


Without rinsing out the skillet, add veggies. If you feel like they are burning, add a little more olive oil.  Cook veggies for 3-4 minutes until they soften up. 

Make sure to stir frequently.


Make sure if your noodles are cooking, you check in on them!  

Once your noodles are cooked, add to skillet.  IF your noodles are like mine where they are in a clump, add entire clump to the skillet.  As the noodles heat up, they will begin to break apart as you'll notice in my photo.  I just kept jabbing them with my cooking utensils.

Add in beef & sauce at same time as noodles.  Make sure to frequently stir.


It took my noodles about 7-8 minutes to fully break apart & tenderize. 


Once your stir fry looks like this, serve it!  Enjoy!


I mean, LOOK AT THAT!








7.28.2015

Reading Challenge Book Reviews #14 & #15



So, this one time I read a book & had absolutely NO CLUE it was actually the sequel to an extremely popular book from years ago.  This is actually quite embarrassing ridiculous because the first book is a STAPLE in the chick lit dept. that I love so & yet I'd never read it! Also...I happen to love the author. Oh the shame! So the category book #14 filled was "A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet"...so I read, Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner. I loved it! It filled exactly what I was looking for...light & addicting. The main character, Cannie is extremely relatable while she battles with her figure, men & work. I do tend to get sucked into the chick lit books, but ya know what? I don't care. Anyways, I loved this story but while reading it, I just got the sense that there was another book I should have read first. The main character, Cannie, made a few references that felt like she was talking about something that had happened previously, but I didn't really get it. After a quick google search, I discovered Jennifer Weiner's claim to fame Good in Bed was actually the prequel to this book. WHOOPS! So I did what any smart person would do & read Good in Bed for book #15 "A popular author's first book" & I loved it too! Certain girls was written like 10 years later, so I'm sure fans were probably more excited than I was. But overall both of these books were awesome.  The main character, Cannie is extremely relatable as she struggles with her weight, her family, her career & relationships. As per usual, I kindly borrowed the summaries from Good Reads. I recommend reading these books in order, you'll enjoy it more!

Good in Bed Summary
For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She's even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body. 
But the day she opens up a national women's magazine and sees the words "Loving a Larger Woman" above her ex-boyfriend's byline, Cannie is plunged into misery...and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.
Certain Girls Summary
Readers fell in love with Cannie Shapiro, the smart, sharp-tongued, bighearted heroine of Good in Bed who found her happy ending after her mother came out of the closet, her father fell out of her life, and her ex-boyfriend started chronicling their ex-sex life in the pages of a national magazine.

Now Cannie's back. After her debut novel - a fictionalized (and highly sexualized) version of her life - became an overnight bestseller, she dropped out of the public eye and turned to writing science fiction under a pseudonym. She's happily married to the tall, charming diet doctor Peter Krushelevansky and has settled into a life that she finds wonderfully predictable - knitting in the front row of her daughter Joy's drama rehearsals, volunteering at the library, and taking over-forty yoga classes with her best friend Samantha.

As preparations for Joy's bat mitzvah begin, everything seems right in Cannie's world. Then Joy discovers the novel Cannie wrote years before and suddenly finds herself faced with what she thinks is the truth about her own conception - the story her mother hid from her all her life. When Peter surprises his wife by saying he wants to have a baby, the family is forced to reconsider its history, its future, and what it means to be truly happy.

Radiantly funny and disarmingly tender, with Weiner's whip-smart dialogue and sharp observations of modern life, Certain Girls is an unforgettable story about love, loss, and the enduring bonds of family.
Catch up on past reviews here:

7.22.2015

Daily Deals & Steals



One of the things I really wanted to accomplish this summer in my Summer Challenge (catch up here) was starting a new series so here we are. I'm always looking for new things to buy for our home, but unfortunately with our limited space & my desire to not completely piss off J, I mostly just browse. While perusing my favorite sites I always find such great deals on furniture, art, accessories etc. so I figure why not share my finds with all of you? Maybe you guys can buy the things I want & then I can just come & drool over them. Deal? I mean,  everyone deserves pretty things! 

Also, just a reminder, this is NOT a sponsored post. These my own thoughts & opinions. Remember kids, I'm not that cool!































7.21.2015

{Recipe} Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aoli


Oh, brussels sprouts, how I adore thee. It seems every time I'm out to eat & brussels are on the menu, I just have to have them. HAVE. TO. However, I've yet to master making them at home. Sure, they taste pretty good, but I haven't really had that OH. HELL. YES. moment...until now.  These were SO easy to make & required very little prep/work, my favorite combination! Well, my favorite combination that doesn't involve the crock pot that is. Anyways, we ate these two nights in a row & even on night two, they were still pretty good albeit I burned them a little, but what else is new. I would definitely make them again as a side or even as an appetizer. Thank you Costa Kitchen for this new staple recipe!






Serves: 4-6 (with generous portions)
Cook time according to me: 25 mins
How difficult were these for me? Easy!






20 Brussel Sprouts cut into wedges
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
6 tbsp light mayo
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp parsley, chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread out chopped sprouts on baking sheet



Sprinkle with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Give the sprouts a good mix so they are coated evenly. 

You could also do this in a bowl, but I was trying to save on the dishes.


Bake sprouts for approx. 15 mins until the edges are browned.

While sprouts are cooking, in a small bowl mix mayo, garlic, lemon juice & parsley.  Fridge until sprouts are ready.



Once sprouts are cooked, remove from baking pan & serve!