Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Freezing Sandwiches

Did you know that you can freeze sandwiches?????  I had no idea!  I mean, I guess if I would have thought about it, I would have guessed, but I honestly would have never thought to do that. (I guess I need to think outside the box more).

I have a hard time bringing my lunch to work each day.  I am always running late (darn sleep) and don't always have time to pack a lunch in the morning.  Eating out everyday can get expensive (average lunch is between $5-$10) and also the portions are way out of control.  More eating out=less $$ and bigger waistline.

Once I figured out that I could freeze sandwiches and then grab and go in the mornings, wow what a time saver!  You always hear about families who meal plan and do batch cooking, but for single people that is hard.  It takes a while to make a sandwich in the mornings (searching for ingredients, a  container, a bag, etc) or sometimes I buy a thing of lunch meat and by the time  I can use all of it, it goes bad. Sigh.  Freezing them saves me time in the mornings and also trips to the grocery store.

So, the other day I made a big batch of frozen sandwiches.  I bought two loaves of wheat bread (healthier and it freezes better), cheese, lunch meat, peanut butter, and jelly.
(stock photo)

I made the PB&J sandwiches first and I rotated the jelly between cherry and Mango Hibanero.  The lunch meat was a salami type meat, which isn't the best, but the blogs I researched said not to use mayo.  I like mayo, but only on ham sandwiches.  Turkey uses mustard, but ham ONLY uses mayo.  It's gross (to me) any other way.  I could have gotten turkey but the salami looked really good.


I do not lettuce or tomato on my sandwiches, so I didn't have to worry about freezing them.  They say not to add that to the sandwiches until you are using them and they thaw.  Lettuce and other veggies don't freeze well.

****I was going to add pictures, but they looked kind of gross with my camera phone. LOL.  Sorry!

Anyway, the first few days have gone great! I just pull one out in the mornings and add it to my lunch bag.  They thaw by lunchtime and taste the same!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jabba the Milk Stealer

My kid smells milk from a mile away.  Every time I try and eat cereal, he is all up on me and won't go away until I give him some milk.  He also whines and whines and whines and whines when I make tuna too.

Anyway, I tried to be sneaky and put it in a cup instead of a bowl, but alas, it did not work. :/  I thought it was him just seeing the bowl, but it must be him smelling it.
I love his ears in this picture. LOL.
I think this is one of my new favorite pictures of him!
I just love his little paws!!!!

So, there you go.  Jabba is a milk stealer and he is too cute for me to do anything about it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blacklight Run Houston

Here is a race recap that I didn't run AT ALL!  I walked the entire thing with my friend Teri.  We got a groupon for $20 to do the Blacklight Run in Houston.  The event started at 8:30 pm at NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) and had an estimated 16,000 people in attendance.

What is a Blacklight Run?  Basically it is a color run, but at night and there are a few blacklights on the course. Sorry, but I wasn't that impressed.  I mean, I guess for $20 you can't beat it, but I know a lot of people who paid a lot more.  These huge run companies come into town and charge a lot of $$, but don't have any food or other fun stuff at the finish line.  I guess I just like smaller runs with free bananas (that I don't take), water bottles, samples, etc.  Plus, I like the smaller ones that the proceeds go to a charity.  I don't like to pad a companies pocket with a huge amount of an entry fee.  I see on their website that they do give some money to a charity, but it doesn't specify a percentage, it only says that they do give some money.  IDK, I just like charity runs.

AND they ask for volunteers!  How can a company that is making a HUGE profit ask for volunteers?!  I think that is ridiculous, I mean you should really pay the people.  I can see a non profit race ask for volunteers, but a for profit race?  No.  Greedy.  I'm all about making $$, but these huge companies that come in get on my nerves. (I didn't realize all this when I signed up).


I also didn't like the course.  It was ALL in a parking lot that you just go back and forth in. Not fun, let me see some cool sights!  But to be fair, I think that renting NRG stadium would be really expensive and it is hard planning for 16,000 people I guess.  It was only $20 (for me, with my groupon) so I can't really say that it was too bad.

I still had fun with my friends.  I walked the entire way with my friend Teri and hung out with her and Armando before and after the event (Armando ran the entire way and waited for us at the finish line).  We took lots of pictures!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Garage Sale

I have been wanting to have a garage sale for a while now.  I am trying to de-clutter my life and get rid of tons of stuff.  It's really silly how much crap I have accumulated in a few short years.  In addition to wanting to simplify my life, it doesn't hurt to get extra $$ too! :)

I went through my house with a fine tooth comb and had no mercy.  I was getting rid of everything!  I got rid of all but two pictures that were hanging on my walls.  My walls still have the nails in them.  Old purses, scarfs, sconces, holiday items, bags, books, and more are all gone now!

I got rid of about 20 DVD's at the local DVD retailer.  I sold them for $10.10 total.  They were DVD's that I didn't ever watch anymore, so I didn't mind getting rid of them.  A new family can watch them.  A few DVD's they wouldn't take because they had too many or were too scratched up. I just threw them back in the garage sale pile.

My friend Tracie, who lives in Pearland, let me borrow her house for a garage sale.  My apartment doesn't have an annual garage sale and no one in my family would let me have one at their house. Off to Pearland I went!
Jabba loves sitting on top of boxes and he was sad when I took this one with me.

I got to her house around 7 and started to unpack my car.  Everything I wanted to bring didn't fit in my car. :/


I put everything on two old sheets (the blue one is hers and the red snowflake one is mine).  This side was DVD's, holiday items, kitchen stuff, office stuff, a few scarves, a few decorative items, etc.

This side was mainly books and bags.  Tracie and her daughter Kayla had a few other things they brought with them outside to sell. It looks kind of bare, but we really had a lot of stuff!

I sold a lot of my stuff for really cheap.  I think the highest thing was $5 (maybe $10 for one item, I can't remember), but most stuff was between $.25 and $1.  My goal was to get rid of it and make a small amount of $$ in the process.  What I don't sell, I will give away.  I made right at $100 though!!!  It isn't a ton of money, but it is $100 I didn't have.  The stuff was just lying around, collecting dust, and I didn't need it anymore.

We are having another garage sale this weekend too.  Hopefully I sell more stuff!  If I don't sell it, I will donate it to the local pet shelter resale shop that supports BARC.


Next up:  My couch!  I have been wanting to get rid of it for awhile now and I think the time has come.  It is HUGE and I am ready for it to be gone.  It takes up too much space and is a pain in the booty to move.  I just want a regular couch.  I will have to save up for a regular couch, so I might be couch-less for awhile, but honestly, that is ok. I don't need to sit on the couch for hours and watch TV, I need to be up and about doing something with my life.   I will probably sell it on Craigslist or something.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

4th of July

How many times did I say that I am a bad blogger that  I don't get posts up on time?  A LOT! :)   Well, this post is only a few weeks late.  I've been known to have posts that are over a year old post late. LOL.

Happy 4th of July 'Merica!  Jabba wanted to show you his 4th of July picture!

Here he is sporting his cool flag shades.
Cutest cat ever!
 Jabba does not like to wear hats/scarves/sunglasses/ties at all.  It takes me forever to get one good picture, but he is so cute, I have too.  Honestly, it's been 3.5 years that I have had him, you would think he would just get used to it by now. I always give him a treat when I get a good picture.
New door wreath I made for the 4th!
I originally made this red and white wreath for Valentine's day, but then I procrastinated too long to add the ribbon and middle thing.  So, it became a 4th of July/Memorial Day wreath.  I need to add some more blue, but I like it like this too.

I went to my grandparents house on the 4th to hang out with them and me and my grandma went to see the Fault in Our Stars.  It was a really good movie!  Maw-Maw asked if the movie was sad and I said no. I only halfway knew it would be sad, considering it was about a cancer patient.  However, OMG, I balled like a baby!  It was super good though.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Family Event at the Astros for $25

I love all Houston sports teams, I am a fan whether they win or lose.  I have gone to a few Astros games this year and recently went to a game for only $3!  I wanted to share how you can get those tickets cheap too!.

So, in order to get some more Houston Astros fans to come to the games, I am going to tell you all about how a family of 5 can go to the Astros game for about $25!  Score!  It is a perfect family night.

Take me out to a ball game! Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks.  (Tell me you didn't just sing the rest of the lyrics in your head)

(This scenario is a TUESDAY night deal only)

Here's how you can do it:
Tickets: $3/ticket x 5 people= $15* (see below on how to get $3 tickets)
Parking:  $10 per car (ish, some parking spots are cheaper/more expensive-just drive around a bit)
Drinks:  On the first floor, near the side with the movable homerun train, you can get two free sodas if you sign up to be a designated driver.  Yep, anyone (I believe it's 16 and over) who is a DD for their group, gets two free vouchers (see pic below) for small sodas.  Share (or bring sealed bottled water with you) the drinks!
Food:  Bring it from home!  Yes, did you know you can bring a ziplock bag full of food (sealed) in with you? Or just eat before the game.
Souvenirs:  Tell your kids no, it won't hurt them! Or bring a glove and try and catch a foul ball.
Total:  $25

*Just add $3 per additional person over your 5 person family
Designated drivers get free drinks!  Ignore my fingers that need nail polish and a manicure! :)
OK, so how did we get $3 tickets?  We brought a PowerAde or Coca Cola product to the actual ticket counter (not online).  I would suggest purchasing the tickets earlier in the week to make sure you can get the tickets.  You wouldn't want your kids to be disappointed if you came to late to get that deal.

Where are the seats?  Up high, but honestly kids won't notice and/or you can just go down to a lower level during a later inning.  There aren't too many seats that are filled unfortunately (sorry 'stros, but it's true).

Other fun stuff:
Did you know the Astros have fireworks at every Friday night home game?!  Did you know they give out free promotional items at various games?  View the promotional calendar and some additional promotions going on this season!

Play ball!

****The Astros did not pay me (or give me anything) to write this post. I just really want to share a good deal with everyone and gets some fans out to Minute Maid Park!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Coffee

I just love this, had to share it for all the coffee lovers out there.  


Monday, June 2, 2014

26 Day of Writing

I have said before that I want to become a published author.  Whether that comes true with a picture book or a novel, it doesn't matter, I just want to write something.  Becoming published is even on my Bucket List!

I have been reading various blogs about writing and they all say that in order to become a writer, you must write! Duh!  I think they meant that you should spend the majority of your time writing, not going from website to website looking for the 'next big thing' to write about or worrying about finding an agent.  Find an agent and craft a query letter after you write your story.  All the lists you make and the mental notes you have in your head will not matter unless you have a story to tell.  Multiple stories too!  A lot of the times, agents want to see several things you have written, especially if it is just 1 picture book you are submitting (so I have heard from all my procrastinating 'research').

So, stop googling 'the art of writing' and start actually writing! You have been saying for years that writing is your dream, but what have you done to make that dream into a  reality???????  BTW, I am telling this to myself just as much as to anyone who finds themselves reading this post.

Got writers block?  Let's do this challenge for the month of June (or whenever you read this).  Write down all the letters from A-Z on a piece of paper, each of them on their own line.  Pick a letter, find a topic that starts with that letter and write a story about it, or maybe an idea that starts with that letter.  WRITE THE STORY!  Once it is done (or an outline of it if it is a novel), you can write the topic next to the corresponding letter.  For instance, say that C is about Cats or T is about Timezones, etc.

Note:  These are NOT some of my topics, but feel free to use them. ;)
A
B
C-Cat
D
E
F
G
H
I--Igloos in Iceland
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T-Timezones
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Overwhelmed?  Don't be!  Take each letter, one day at a time.  Eat that elephant! By the end of the month, you will either have 26 short stories or novel outlines to expand from.  Or perhaps your short stories can be picture books.  I think it might be hard to write a novel in a day (LOL), so plot outlines would work too.  Adjust this challenge to your situation.
Be creative and think outside the box.  Writing about Igloos in Iceland that are afraid of global warming and what they are doing about it, told from the igloos point of view?  Weird?  Yes!  It's outside the box.

At the end of this, your stories might be crazy and you might only like a few of them, but at least you wrote 26 stories and/or novel outlines.

Have FUN and tell me how it goes!  I am taking this challenge myself, so I will be in the trenches with you. :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Did You Know? Vol 1

This might be a part of a series called Did You Know? but then again, it might not be. I tend not to finish series after I start them. LOL.

**********
As I was reflecting on my birthday, I started to think back about different experiences that shaped my life over the past 32 years.  One of them, was moving to a new elementary school in the 4th grade.  I came from a low income school district and moved to a higher income school district (that district has gone waaaaaay downhill since I went there). 

I loved my new school, we had tons of resources that we didn't have at my old school.  I remember my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Cobb, being very pretty and having 'a lot' of money.  She always talked about going to parties and other 'fancy' stuff that, as third graders from a low income part of town, would never even imagine doing.  Ms. Cobb talked about eating caviar and how it was so good.  I had never heard of caviar, but my mom said it was very expensive.  In my mind:  If you can eat caviar, then you must be very rich. In reality, she was probably from a richer family or she had a rich boyfriend, since teachers do not make that much money-especially back then. 

She also took us on field trips on the weekends to fun places throughout Houston.  I guess she figured that we would never be able to go with our parents, so she took us herself.  She was a great teacher and I learned a lot that year.  One day she taught us to use a 'big word', automobile instead of car.  Whoa!  She had a list of big words that she wanted us to use instead of the smaller ones, I only remember automobile though.  Anyway, I always wonder what happened to Ms. Cobb, she was probably my favorite elementary school teacher and 3rd grade was my favorite grade.  That is probably why I had it in my  head that I wanted to teach 3rd grade so bad...mistake!


So, back to the new school and all it's resources.  I was on the playground one day and one of the teachers told me that I would be taking a new class at recess (or was it gym class?) to help my speech.  You see, I had a trouble pronouncing the 'r' sound, they would sound like 'w'.  So if I wanted to say 'rose' it would sound like 'wose'.  Or if I wanted to say 'Rhonda" (my mom's name), it would sound like 'Wanda'.  At my low income school, they didn't have the resources to send a child to a speech therapist, but at my new school they did.

For two years I went to lessons on how to improve my 'r' sounds.  I remember flash cards and a Mickey Mouse game.  Looking back, I think it was one of those things that really help shape my self confidence and alleviate my frustrations.  Before I got help, I had trouble spelling and having people understand me, which is so frustrating to a child.  I would sound a word, but say it wrong because of the 'r' sound turning 'w' when I spoke.  When you have to say something over and over again, it is so frustrating.  Like when my little sister was born, my teachers asked me her name.  I said, "Tori".  They said, "Towi?"  "No, Tori". and we went back and forth a few times before I just gave up.  I am actually getting frustrated just thinking back on it.

After those two years, my speech problem was pretty much fixed.  I still have times when I say the 'r' sound wrong, but very quickly correct my mistake. (and I kind of look around to see if my speech pathologist is coming. LOL). I really wish I had her name, she was great!

To sum it up:  Get your kid some speech help if they are having problems.  It might be 'cute' to a parent, but as time goes on, your child might become more and more frustrated.  Some will even give up on school because they get further and further behind, which would be awful.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Last Hours of 31

I will be 32 in a few hours.  Yep, 32.  I was trying to recall my past birthdays, and I can't remember them all. #memorylosscomeswitholdage

16th birthday-My sister, Laura, graduated high school.  I remember being stuck in traffic on the way to the ceremony and my mom being upset that she might miss Laura graduating.  She didn't of course because our last name starts with an 'S' and there is no way that traffic could have been that long.  At her graduation party, my birthday cake was an afterthought. LOL.

18th birthday-My high school graduation and graduation/birthday party.  I was wearing brown polka dots (I have the pics somewhere).  That night I went to buy cigarettes and lottery tickets, just because I could. I didn't smoke, so the pack of cigarettes was useless. A few weeks later I got a tattoo.  Yes, I have a tattoo.

19th birthday-I was living in Philadelphia and I got three birthday cakes.  Yes, 3!  My aunt gave me one, my work gave me one, and my friend gave me one.  It was a delicious day.

21st birthday-Coushatta Casino!  My first 'official' drink was a Goldschlager shot and it was awful! It burned going down.  I don't think I won any money on that trip either.

22nd-27th birthdays-I don't remember!  Not because I did anything 'bad', but because I am old! LOL.

28th birthday-Waaaaaaaay too many margaritas at El Palenque.  Great friends and great margritas!  I remember going back to my dad's house (I didn't drive) with my friends and we sat by the pool. I also had a birthday cake with a flamingo on it that my friend Clarissa made me.

29th birthday-My first official running 5K!  My friends Krista, Ginger, Tyler, Debbie, Erika, and Oscar all came out to run it with me or cheer me on.  Afterwards, we went to eat dessert at the House of Pie.

30th birthday-80's theme party!!!!

31st birthday-lunch at work and then dinner with my dad and stepmom.

Tonight, I went to dinner with a friend at Happy Fatz in the Heights. They have the best fruit infused water there.  Tonight's water selection was apples and strawberries.  So good!  Go check them out!

So, to sum it up. I have memory loss and I have good friends to help me celebrate my birthday!

31 was a very hard year for me.  I have had lots of self doubt and depression this year, due to many things that I don't want to talk about here.  I will say that I have learned a lot this year and I hope that I learned whatever it was that God wanted me to learn so I can move past all of this. 


Here's to 32! Cheers!