Me tummus loves hummus

Hummus is a hot commodity around this household. We go through at least two small Sabra’s a week. Thank goodness Costco is opening in Knoxville on Friday. Can I get a “whoop whoop” for the ginormous tub of hummus we will buy on Sunday???

Hummus is great for dipping carrots or crackers or warm fresh bread. Mmmmm….sorry, I got lost in a hummus dream for a minute. I’m back! I love making a thick hummus sauce to put on top of a sweet potato or a thinner sauce for dressing up my salads. Don’t you just hate it when salad is under dressed?? Ha ha ha. See what I did there? I made a funny.

The (super-secret-super-easy) recipe: grab a scoop of hummus, add a few squirts of hot sauce (preferably Tapatio or Cholula), add water slowly and stir until you get your perfect consistency. PRESTO! Instant hummus dressing. It is soooo good. Don’t believe me? Well, it’s true. So much so that Trader Joe’s stole my idea and they now have a hummus salad dressing in their stores. My million dollar idea….gone!

Ok, that’s all for today. I just had a sweet potato with my hot hummus dressing and some pepitas and I just had to share with y’all. (yep, I just said y’all. My Tennessee twang is acting up!)

P.S. Whole Foods hummus is my fav, but alas…we don’t have a WF here in Knoxville yet. Sabra will just have to do the trick until WF gets their butts over here!

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Ouchiemama!

I am currently working at the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville. If you have never heard of the Gaylord Hotel before, you only need to know one thing…it’s huge. Like ginormously huge! It’s like the Disneyland of hotels. There are interactive maps that will print out directions for you, the carpets are color coded so you know which part of the hotel you are in, and it probably has its own zipcode. My first day here, I am pretty sure that I walked 3 miles before 11am.

When I’m working these meetings I always make sure to bring at least 3 pairs of comfy black shoes. No matter what shoes you wear, your feet are going to hurt. 14-18 hour days will do that to your feet and no pair of shoes will make it bearable. Here comes the bad news. I made a rookie mistake. I bought new onsite shoes and never broke them in. All day I was wearing my old Dansko’s, so I for sure looked like an 80’s lesbian. According to my husband, my black suit, blue shirt, and Dansko’s are the perfect recipe to make me resemble a lesbian circa 1980. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Back to the story– since the day was half over, I decided to trade my Dansko’s for a pair of my new shoes. I have slim heels (the body part that every woman wishes to be slim), so I put in those anti heel slip cushion thingys. Apparently, one shoe needed them and one didn’t because my one heel started rubbing and got very uncomfortable. So on my long, long walk (let’s call it The Green Mile), I decided to take out one of the anti heel slip thingys. Bad idea. Very bad idea.

Instead of making my walk more comfortable, it did the opposite. Now my heel was stuck to the shoe because the anti heel slip thingy left a sticky residue and it was pulling my skill that had started to blister. Ouch is an understatement. I started developing a limp and I had no choice but to finish my 2 mile walk back to our registration desk. Once back at the desk, I was able to properly access my heel situation. It was no small blister. It was officially an open wound. Shit! I still have 10 days of working at this hotel and I am only going to be walking more as the days progress.

Since I am a meeting planning pro, I always bring a supply of band-aids with me and my stash included a huge band-aid perfect for covering my heel. Alas, even with two band-aids on my wound and my clunky shoes back on, I was feeling the pain. I needed more protection. I needed that liquid band-aid second skin stuff. Yeah…that would do the trick.

Holy hell! Have you ever used that liquid band-aid shit? I asked my coworker if it would sting and she assured me it wouldn’t. This morning, I decided it was time to apply my second skin. My gaping wound was still crimson red and I needed to make sure it wouldn’t get worse in order for it to start healing. So, I went for it and fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck it hurt. It was all I could do to not scream at the top of my lungs. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. It hurt so bad. Like a dummy (or a masochist), I decided I could bear the pain and finish covering my wound because one swipe wasn’t enough to cover the area. It’s big. Kinda like this hotel. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhit! I know the stinging only last for about 5 seconds, but those were the longest 5 seconds.

After drying my hair and getting dressed, I decided to put another coat on. I figured it wouldn’t hurt because I already had a base coat on. WRONG WRONG WRONG! Mother of Mercy was I wrong. That shit hurts. That shit hurts real bad. Maybe if you just have a small papercut it wouldn’t hurt, but if you have a blister or a gaping wound on your heel– DO NOT USE IT! It will burn. It will burn and hurt and cause you to say curse words that you mother told you not to and you will think you are having a heart attack and you will regret the day that you ever bought that damn second skin band-aid stuff and thought it was a good idea to try.

 

 

 

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I’m a model

Have you seen my new Gap ad?


I know, Gap called and I didn’t even know that they knew who I was, but I figured…why the hell not. So, they set up this photo shoot and I was just groovin’ to some George Michael and BAM…ad history was made.

Oh my! If only in my dreams. This is totally not me, but when my old co-worker sent it to me, I really thought that Gap may have photoshopped my face on one of their lithe model bodies. I thought to myself that maybe there was a dancing talent scout at one of the recent weddings I went to where I was surely shaking my grove thing and they were just mesmerized by my sweet dance moves. Hey! It’s possible, right??? Wrong! Turns out this picture is of Nicki Bluhm. Yeah, the Nicki Bluhm that sings awesome Hall & Oats/Madonna/Buddy Holly covers in her car that I was obsessed with a couple months ago (thanks to Bess). Yeah. Apparently, we are twins when we sing and our hair is flying. Weird.

Event though I now know that my head was not photoshopped (damn, I could have sued myself in to some major Gap money), the resemblance is still a bit freaky. Of course, it is all just smoke and mirrors and angles, but I’ll take being a Gap model or just a Gap model look-a-like. I put a side by side pic below. Not too many of me looking in the same direction, but I think this is a pretty good example. What do you think? Are we twinsies or what?!?! Now, if only I could sing like Nicki….




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We’re Not in CT Anymore

After spending 6 days in our new city, it is safe to say that we are definitely not in CT anymore. This California kid had quite the culture shock when she moved to Connecticut 5 years ago, but moving to the South is a whole new experience.

Going to the grocery store is one of the easiest and quickest ways to explore a new area and our few trips to different stores have been eye opening. Let’s just put it this way…it is now clear that we are yuppies. I guess it is true…if you make an arugula, quinoa, feta, and strawberry salad…you are a yuppie. Yes, a colleague of Jeremy’s deemed his salad an official “yuppie salad” and we all laughed and made jokes, but now…I have seen the light.

All in all, my first impressions of Knoxville are good ones. People seem friendly and laid back (not at all like CT) and the small town-ness reminds me of SLO. I really think we are going to like it here, but there are times when we feel as though we do not fit in. Prime example: Jeremy hardly understands anyone. I find this hilarious and I’m sure many good stories will unfold and be told on the blog. Needless to say, things are wildly different and I am sure I will have a lot of blog material as we explore the area.

I want to leave you all today with one fun tidbit from my morning. As I was sitting at Starbucks, starting my job-hunt,  I opened my email and  was quickly reminded by Groupon Deals that (once again) we are not in Fairfield (the richest county in CT) anymore.

 

What do you think? Should I grab this deal or what?!?!

 

 

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Is there something red on my neck?

Visiting Knoxville really helped calm my nerves about the whole moving thing. The downtown is super cute, has an awesome farmer’s market, cool restaurants that serve tofu and tempeh, and people were extremely nice. No one “blessed our hearts”, so I think it was a pretty good trip!

The great thing about Knoxville is that the rent is a lot lower than Fairfield County. We decided to rent the three bedroom house, horrific floral wallpaper and all! And yes, we found a place to live within an hour of arriving in Knoxville. We rock.

Three of the rooms have very livable wallpaper, but the dining room and guest bedroom….Instead of dwelling on something that could be negative, we decided to jump in and embrace the country chic-ness of our new home. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?!?!?

So, what does one hang on walls covered with brown and green floral wallpaper???

Nothing other than Rocky the Ram, of course!

Yes, Rocky will be the new inhabitant of our dining room. I think he will be a very polite (albeit, quiet) dinner guest.

If we are going to do this right, we can’t just stop at faux taxidermy. Oh no, no. That wouldn’t be fully embracing out new found country lifestyle. I may have also picked up a red rooster at Home Goods. Frank (yes, I’m naming our rooster Frank) will most likely reside by one of the non-working fireplaces.

I can’t just stop at rams and roosters. The place is going to need a few more touches.

One DIY project that I am planning to help complete this country-chic picture is none other than some down-home redneck wine glasses!

I saw these during our stay in Knoxville and was smitten! Country perfection, don’t ya think? They are about $10-$12 each if you buy them, but I think DIY’ing it up is the way to go. Gotta save some scrilla so I can start my moonshine business!

So, with all of these fabulous home décor touches, who’s comin’ to visit? You get to stay in the pink room!!!! Yep, haven’t even delved into the pink room yet….another post for another day!

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Type A is for Anxious

Let me tell you a funny story. Once upon a time, I thought I was a type-B personality. Now, if you actually knew me, you would probably be laughing hysterically right about now.

Yes, it’s true. I thought I was a laid back, go with the flow, true Californian gal. Maybe once upon a time, I was less restricted and care-free, but think I was always a far cry from type-B. I’m from California, and I may have a mother earth side to me, but not planning something…not knowing what to do next…that is just not me.

One day, sometime during or after college, I finally face up to the facts that I was and am totally type-A.

Here are just a few of the facts that helped me face up to my type-A-ness:

  • I like lists.  I know mom, after years of making fun of you, I have finally surrendered myself to the fact that I love a list. You know what I love more than making a list? Crossing things off said list. Oooh, the satisfaction. No words can explain.
  • I like a schedule. I like to know what I’m doing and when. Oh, and I don’t like to be late for what I am supposed to be doing. If I’m not 5 minutes early, then consider me late.
  • I don’t sit still well. My husband is always yelling at me to “just sit down for 5 minutes!”. If I’m not doing something, I feel lazy or like I’m wasting time. Multitasking is in my blood.
  • I’m an event/meeting planner. Yeah, enough said.

When you are a type-A, anxious, control freak it can be a bit hard to deal with change. You can imagine how my mind must have been reeling when I learned we would be moving to TN.

Where will we live? What are the areas? How will we know if it’s a good place? I need to look at Craigslist ASAP! What will I do? Do I still want to be in events? I need to update my resume! How will I make friends? When will we move? What moving company should we use? Do they have gyms there? Will we be able to buy tofu? Is there a Whole Foods? Where will I get my almond butter? When should I quit work? Do I try to keep working for my company now? Should we have a garage sale? When should we have it? I need to buy little sticky circles! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

You get the picture. Needless to say, Xanax works wonders! As does yoga, spin classes, and repeating “you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darn-it…people like you”.

The good thing is that we went down to Tennessee, found a place, explored the area and I’m feeling a lot better about things. Sure, I still don’t know what the heck I am going to do there, but I have to remember to breath deep and trust that everything will work itself out. It always does, right? And if all else fails (like any good type-A personality), I have a backup plan: making moonshine in our tub!

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Hey Baby!

Is this warning really for reals?

I mean, who puts their baby on a treadmill??? Who even thinks to put a baby on a treadmill??? It’s called baby fat for a reason.

What baby just decides that crawling outside (or on the carpet) is for the birds and what he/she really needs is a 15% incline on the ‘ole mill??? I don’t know, but apparently there must have been some complaints about the babies taking too much time on the treadmills. 30 minute limit, baby! Shesh!

All I know is that after I saw this warning, all I could hear in my head was Dave Chappelle saying “Hey baby!”. I guess that is fitting since babies that sell crack and babies that crawl on treadmills both have problems. Maybe the babies dealing crack are the ones on the treadmill!

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Tales of my psychic iPod

Have I told you yet that I have periodic psychic tendencies? No???? Well, I do. Consider yourself told.

Most of my psychotic– I mean psychic episodes come while I’m sleeping. Yes, I am actually telling you that sometimes my dreams come true. Does it happen to you? It could.

Usually I will have a really weird, but extremely realistic dream.  I wake up in the morning thinking how weird, but extremely realistic the dream was and don’t think too much more of it. Then a week or a month or a year (you get the idea) later,  part of the dream will actually come true. It’s weird. It’s more than déjà-vu. It’s like exact conversations and events will happen. Insert creepy Twilight Zone music here.

I’m pretty sure you’re now wondering how in the hell my psychic dreams have anything to do with my iPod. No, I don’t dream about my iPod. No, my iPod doesn’t speak to me in my dreams.  No, I don’t really think my iPod is psychic, but there have been some pretty weird coincidences with my iPod when I’m at the gym. Well, one coincidence really.

I use to be a runner. Then a case of “80-year old knees syndrome” (yes- that is the technical term) took me out of the running game. I’ve slowly (and steadily) worked my way back up to running 2-3 days a week for 3-5 miles. Yeah, my past marathon self would be so disappointed in my excitement for this distance, but eh, I’ll take what I can get these days. So yeah, I’ve been feeling really good on the dreadmill lately. I’ve even been running without my brace. Yes, I like to live on the edge! Test the fates if you will.

ANYWAYS….I think my iPod knows that I need to be pushed. When I come close to finishing my run and my energy is a bit low and I’m questioning if I can go farther or faster, my iPod basically tells me to stop being a whiny bitch to give 110%. How you ask? No, my iPod isn’t speaking to me at the gym. Although, if it did I wonder what it would sound like…maybe it would have an accent, maybe it’s been possessed by Jillian Michaels….sorry, I digress. It’s really odd, but the last 5 out of 7 times I have been running, Outkast’s B.O.B comes on. That is my go to kick it in to high gear/kick my ass song.  Seriously, almost every time my run is done, this song comes on. Weird wild stuff. Is no one else blown away by this?

Sure, I realize that this is all just a simple case of probabilities. If I put my iPizzle on shuffle, it is bound to come up with songs in a similar order. Did I ever tell you I hate math? Well I do. Despise math. Always sucked at math. So instead of thinking like a rational mathematical genius, I’d rather just believe that my iPod is psychic and knows when I’m about to complete my workout and wants to hand me a good old fashioned ass whooping. Is there anything wrong with that?

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All I Want for Christmas

I know it’s that time of year when everything should be all about the giving and not receiving, but I want my iPhone 4S now! (Yes, this should conjure up an image of Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka.) Apple is playing with my emotions and it’s just not fair.

I’ve been waiting for an iPhone for a good amount of time now. Let’s just say four years. Maybe more. I’ve lost count. Why so long? Well, I have been a loyal Verizon customer for at least 10 years and I have never wanted to switch to AT&T. I knew in my heart that one day, the iPhone would be available on more than just one carrier. So I waited patiently. I pined. I longed. Then the fateful day came when the iPhone 4 was released by Verizon. Oh happy day! Alas, I still had a year or more on my two year contract and I couldn’t justify spending $500 on a phone.

November 30, 2011. The day  my two year contract was up for renewal and my phone upgrade discount would take effect. I logged in to my account, fingers twitching with excitement…GodDamnMother….

Backordered.The 4S was f’n backordered. I thought to myself, no biggie, I can wait the 16 days until it ships out. I clicked order and wished myself a merry little Christmas.

December 16th. The day of days. I woke up with a gleam of excitement in my eyes. Today the iPhone would make its journey to my loving hands. Today I would be one product (ahem-iPad2) away from the infinite Apple technology loop. Amidst the excitement, something felt awry.  I hadn’t received a shipment notice. Hmmm, that seemed  odd, so I tracked the status of my order…GodDamnMother….

December 23rd. December 23rd!!!! Now it’s shipping to me on December 23rd. Let the loud groaning ensue. UGH! I feel like a junkie waiting for my next fix. All I want to do is hold that amazing Smartphone (equipped with Siri) in my hand. My Droid knows it too. The Droid feels my lack of love and resentment that I’ve had to spend a whole more month with it. This must be a test of wills. A joke among the Apple Gods. How much longer must I wait???

Pretty much all of my sentiments can be summarized in the following video. My loving husband told me the video reminded him of me. Being compared to a fake Hitler…I’m not sure how I feel about that.

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Merry Drinkmas!

Spiked Egg Nog, warm (hard) cider, beer, wine, Jack Daniels…seems like drinking goes hand in hand with the holiday season. Drinking is to Christmas as candy is to Halloween. They just go together! And, quite possibly, make everything about it better!

Whether you need a libation or two or five (no judgment zone here) in order to get in to the holiday spirit/take the edge off all the glorious family time, you can always find a beverage to suit your needs.

My family was never really big drinkers during the holidays. Yes, we have our fair share of major dysfunction, but there was never a crazy drunk Uncle or obliterated cousin sitting at our table. During the holidays, I typically enjoy a drink or two, but that pretty much does it for me. The husband (on the other hand) prides himself in eating and drinking all day long during Christmas (and Thanksgiving, but we’ll save his passing out stories for another time). Last year I foiled his plan by getting the stomach flu and believe me, I have heard about it ever since. Last year is better known as “The Christmas Angela ruined.” Yeah. It was real fun for me.

I’m not sure where the husband’s thirst for drinking away the holidays began, but I know that the adult beverages will be flowing on Christmas Eve and Christmas at our house…and that is fine by me. I do like myself some adult beverages.

Recently, I was in Frankfurt where the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) is the thing to see and do. It was spectacular and really got me excited about Christmas. The main square (as well as many others) are covered in booths doling out everything Christmas: gingerbread in all sizes and shapes, ornaments, warm chestnuts, potato pancakes, schnitzel… Among all of the booths of Christmas-wares and food are booths where you can buy glühwein.

Glühwein is a traditional warm German wine that is made with spices and is served at the Weinhnachtsmarkt. So basically, you can stroll through all of the little booths and drink this delicious concoction that warms your heart and soul. I had never tasted glühwein before and let me just tell you…I am hooked. It is so good! I plan on re-creating this drink on Christmas Eve since we will be starting a new tradition of making a German dinner.
Since glühwein is currently making my skirt go up like whoa, I figured I just had to share how to make it. Now, I haven’t actually made this yet, so I’m just hoping that the recipe will actually taste like the drink I had while in Frankfurt.

There are many different recipes on the world wide web and I’ve combined a few that seem like what I actually had while in Germany.

Weinhnachtsmarkt Glühwein

  • 4 liters bottle red wine
  • 6-8 stick cinnamon
  • 6 whole cloves
  • Rind of half a lemon
  • 3/4 C Sugar (may need more depending on quality of wine used)
  • 2 oranges
  • One of: (optional- I think they used rum in Germany)
    • rum
    • port
    • sweet sherry

Get the Party Started (directions adapted from Dreaming of Winter)

  1. Pour the red wine into a large pot (or crockpot) on a very low heat – you must not let the wine boil or the world could end… and that is not something you want to risk…(ha ha, had to keep that part in…too funny!)
  2. Cut the orange in half, and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel, and place peel in wine.
  3. Add cinnamon sticks in half or thirds and put them in with the wine as well as the lemon rind.
  4. Add in the optional shot of sherry, port, or rum
  5. Add in 3/4 cups of sugar and stir.
  6. Stir on and off for about 30 mins to give the spices time to infuse with the wine and for the magic to occur, then taste it, and add more sugar as needed (possible up to 4 or 5 cups more in the wine is really bad).
  7. Let it cook/infuse for about 30 mins more (again, not letting it boil. There will be no world ending on Christmas).
  8. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will break.) Make sure you remove the cloves and cinnamon.
  9. Prost! Drink and be merry!
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