Thursday, July 21, 2011

If Not Now...

So I have been thinking about this for a while but I really want to volunteer. And if that isn't inexpensive, I mean free, fun I don't know what is. I have been missing my 'kid' fix. Until my current real world situation I always found a way to volunteer with or babysit the kiddies. I miss them. But my problem is I work full time. I am a contributing member of society I tell you! So finding the right volunteer position is going to take some research and finangling (real word? I don't think so but I bet you know what I am trying to say).

So far I have found three contenders: 1) Girl Scouts, shaping the women leaders of tomorrow? I'm in! 2) Everyone a Reader with the San Diego Unified School District, I think we have already established that I love reading and children so what could be better? 3) Boys & Girls Club of America, mentor kids while working out? Perfect? I think so!

So now how do I decide? I have been thinking about this for a while and haven't made the next step. I'm hoping that by telling you all that it will help me hold myself accountable and actually do this. My next step is to figure out the time commitment for each and see if I can continue to work a normal day or if I will need to ask to work on flex time the day a week in order to volunteer.

Do your jobs give you time to volunteer? Our partner United Way gives their employees time each week to volunteer. Cool right? They only work 38 hours a week so a lot of times they end up"volunteering" for United Way cause they are stuck at work. But in theory it sounds great. I luckily have flex time where as long as I work 40 hours I'm good. If I work late for a board meeting or early for a presentation at 5:30 AM (AHHHH) then I get to leave work early on Friday to head to the beach. True story happened last Friday and the week before that!

So this week, actually give me next week too I have a really busy week this week, I am going to call these three organizations and see what my options are. Let's see if they have the perfect opportunity for a girl like me who enjoys spending time with kids helping them be stronger people while they help me be a better person.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Wanna Read! Do you?

So I have been obsessed with The Hunger Games like most people I know these days.

Have you read them? You should. They are about a different, future world after natural disasters, civil wars, everything, where The Capitol controls 12 Districts of what used to be North America.  The Capitol, in a way to display their power, mandates that every district have a lottery to send one girl and one boy, from the ages of 12-18, to the Hunger Games where they fight to the death.

Before you go "Woah there Elise a little intense all of a sudden?" Yes, they are intense. But they are compelling, riveting and capitvating. Collins has taken me into their world. While I definitely don't want to be a part of it forever, it has been one fascinating place to visit.

So after reading that amazing trilogy I needed something else that could compare. A friend suggested The Giver  and since I never read it in school (I went to a public school in Southern California, a sad state of affairs if you ask me) I decided to pick up a copy.

I feel like I won't do it justice by saying this but OMG. So fascinating!! A completely different future world where everything is the same. Sameness goes. Everyone is fed, and clothed, and is a contributing member of society. Doesn't sound so bad does it, just wait. Please read it if you haven't yet, or just haven't in a long time. It has rocked my young adult mind. I finished this lovely little pocket book (my favorite kind BTW) in no time flat.

And now I need something as fascinating to read. How in the world am I supposed to top these four books? I can't possibly go onto some summer beach read from here. I need your help Sparklers. I wanna read! What are you reading? I heard about a series called The Maze Runner that is supposed to be similar to The Hunger Games but still doesn't compare (the same reference says). Have you read anything riveting lately? Thanks.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rustic Spaghetti

This is a meal that I love to make. It is a variation of a meal that my Italian friend V taught me to make when I was in her home town of Milan last February. (funny thing is her name is actually V. Well not on her passport or anything but her nickname. Usually I call my friends by their first initial on Sparkle just to keep their privacy but she is actually V. Maybe I should change her name here? ha!)
It is delicious and easy and always impresses people when you tell them you are making/have made homemade spaghetti sauce. So here is the recipe!

First thing I did tonight is prepare some chicken. One of the great things about this dish is you can use whatever you have or whatever you feel like. We haven't had chicken in a while so chicken it was tonight! Just pretty basic- salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic, and this creole seasoning. We just moved in and are lacking some pretty basic seasons such as anything resembling Italian.

Then I started the veggies- specifically onions and bell pepper. As I finished cutting the bell pepper I realized that I should have used the yellow one I had instead of the red one that so that my dish would be more interesting. Oh well.

I wanted to sweat these in some olive oil. It's not an exact science. Just yumminess. Onions, bell peppers, salt, pepper, olive oil, red pepper flakes cause the Boyfriend and I love it spicy, and more of that creole seasoning.

 By the way, the water in now boiling in the back. I always add some salt to my water as I'm bringing it to a boil so my pasta is more flavorful. Another trick I learned on my Italian adventure last year.

Then I start loving the tomatoes. Roma tomatoes to be exact.

I think next time I'll use heirloom tomatoes. My old roommate always used them and they are absolutely delicious. But when I was at Trader Joe's last they didn't have any, or at least I didn't see any.... 

So I like to cut them up into quarters sort of... I like the sauce to be rustic :)

Then I throw them in the pan with the onions and bell peppers. And let that stew. We want it to be saucy and yummy. I'm getting tired of how often I am using the word yummy. Sorry. I can only imagine how you all feel. I'll try and be better next time but this dish is just too yummy- shoot! I did it again.

So once the veggies are soft and saucy and your noodles are done. Add the cooked chicken to your veggies, drain your noodles and get ready for some deliciousness.

And a beer. Yum.

I hope you all get a chance to embrace your inner Italian! Enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stop Being Sad, Start Being Awesome

So Saturday evening my silly emotions got the best of me. Poor Boyfriend. I was just weepy. There is something wrong with me. I had absolutely no reason to be weepy, but I was. I eventually began "sucking it up" and we were able to get on with our evening but not before I cried on the bed and he spent time consoling me...

Well I really wish I had thought of my good friend Barney when all of this was happening. Most of the time his advice is less than sound, but every once in a while he comes up with something worth while. One of my favorite blogs posted this image on Saturday actually! It's fate I do believe. Thank you Jennifer from Style Your Life and Barney.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Keep Calm and Watch Gilmore

Not feeling so hot today- sore throat, head ache, not cute. But watching a little Gilmore always makes me feel better. Gilmore Girls is definitely on right now.

Hope you all are having a lovey 7-7-11 day. Hey do you think 7Eleven is giving away slurpees like the old days?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Loving the Warm Weather!!

The time has come! It is officially bathing suit season!

For the past few years I have patiently waited for Victoria's Secret bathing suit sale to make my yearly bathing suit purchase. These are some of my favs this year-

LOVE the ruffles! Enough said! I almost bought this one!

I have an addiction to blue suits. Love how simple and cute this one is. And apparently it's padded...

Love this color

Ohh wait! Love this color!

And after a lot of deliberation I decided on....
This one! Look how cute the ruffles are on the behind!! (yep I just said behind)

And the best part about all of these suits is they are all $49 and under! I say yes please and thank you to sales!

Have you bought your new summer of 2011 suit yet?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Birthday Goodies from Lou Lou!

I am so excited to have received some adorable goodies from Lou Lou for my birthday!!

Thanks B!!!!! I absolutely love them!!!

(P.S. Sorry for the time lapse! We just got internet tonight for the first time since June 27th!!)