Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Enchilada Night!

I tried to trick my boyfriend into thinking I'm domestic by cooking dinner last night. Don't get me wrong, I can bake for days, cooking on the other hand is more of a struggle. I turned to my step-mom for a recipe because she's pretty much the best cook in the world. This is her go-to when she has to prepare for the 200 person PTA meeting (she's super mom). It's actually not too difficult and super delicious! Try it out! :)

Chicken Enchiladas & Black Bean Salsa
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green
chiles, drained
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
Vegetable spray
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 (8 oz) bottle green taco sauce
Toppings: diced tomato, chopped avocado, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro and limes
Black Bean Salsa:
2 cups chopped tomato
½ cup sliced green onion
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
1 (15 oz) can black beans - drained & rinsed
1 (15.25 oz) can whole kernel corn
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
¼ cup lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
Stir together the first 5 ingredients. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over each tortilla , and roll up. Arrange in a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish. Coat tortillas with vegetable cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Stir together sour cream and green taco sauce. Spoon over hot enchiladas just before serving. Sprinkle with toppings.
Black Bean Salsa:
Mix all ingredients and chill for 2 hours.

The fresh cilantro MAKES this recipe! 

I just boiled the chicken and shredded it with a fork (3 breasts)

After mixing cheese, cilantro, chicken, sour cream, and green chilies, roll up those tortillas! 

For the topping mix green taco sauce and sour cream to spread on the enchiladas after they bake

Mmmm homemade salsa! Just a bunch of chopping!

And I had extra cookie dough left over from the cookie dough cupcakes Anna FORCED me to whip up while she was in town ;)

Nice and brown out of the oven!

Spread with the sour cream sauce

Add the salsa on top and enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Dark Side

Disclaimer: Dr. Phil called in sick today and left me to give my worldly, wise, life knowledge to the public on this fine evening. 

I'm going to start and end this post on a positive note, so I'd like to open with saying that I had a fabulous weekend with my big and little in town. Deanna also attached herself to us all weekend which was GREAT considering she's my longest, closest friend and we've both been on opposite schedules and haven't seen much of each other in the last few months. The weekend consisted of Brad Paisley, bonding, and debauchery in Arlington. Fun was had, memories were made. 
The topic of this week's post isn't necessarily as fun, but on my mind after some recent heart to hearts. It got me thinking, so I mean obviously I decided I should share it with the blog UNIVERSE.
There are rough times in everyone's life. I wasn't always the beaming ray of sunshine that stands before you now (shocking, I know). In the span of your early teen years to mid-twenties I think the likelihood of trials and tribulations is definitely sky high. I remember times where I had no idea what I was going to do or how life could possibly go on. Or those times where I wasn't unhappy but not overly happy either- life is just kind of..."blah." 
My words of wisdom are as follows:
Understand that things WILL get better and don't be afraid to be selfish. Getting yourself happy and figuring out who YOU are and what you need will lead to bluer skies in the other areas of your life. Don't be afraid to confide in a friend, parent, or even a stranger. Keeping it inside will only make things worse and make your problems deeper. We've all felt alone and helpless, I know I have. But it's important to know that you don't have to settle for mediocracy and you can't be afraid to demand and deserve to be happy. Maybe you need to move away and start over metaphorically or physically. 

My roommate's good friend (who has turned into a good friend of mine) Kelley is picking up and moving her life to Nashville with one of her best friends next month. It's a bold move and we're all super sad to see her go, but at the same time there are points where it takes that kind of leap to gain self fulfillment. I admire you for that, you go girl!

As for me, I feel like coming home after 4 years and dealing with everything I had run away from so many years ago was more of my saving grace moment. It was nice to be removed from life in college, find myself, figure out who I am, and come back a self-assured, better me. I am seriously happier than I've ever been and it's because I've dealt with life obstacles and discovered myself in the process. Luckily, I have amazing friends and family that helped me along the way. 

So for all of my friends, followers, and family members who are going through a tough time, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Believe in yourself, and don't let fear dictate who you are, or the potential of what you could be.
Here are some of my favorite "pull myself out of a slump" activities:
- Stay busy- creating a jam packed routine will give you less time to dwell on whatever isn't going right in your life, you will be interacting with people, serving a purpose, and have goals to accomplish each day
- Stay grounded- it's easy to get caught up in everything that is going wrong with you and lose sight of the bigger picture. Go volunteer, or educate yourself about those who are less fortunate (meals on wheels was my go-to in college). I'd bet you that there are so many people who are so much worse off than you who don't have the power to change the situation that they're in. In the end I think we can all say that in the big scheme of things we are pretty darn lucky.
- Exercise- as cliche as it sounds, whenever I have a regular exercise routine I coincidently seem to have higher spirits and a positive attitude as well. Running is how I take out any pent up frustration I might be dealing with, and makes me feel refreshed and in shape when I build up a solid running foundation.
- Take advantage of those around you- it's easy to isolate yourself and internalize your issues when you're feeling low. Put yourself around others even though you'd rather be alone in your bed feeling crummy. Chances are if nothing else, your friends will at least provide a distraction, keep you busy, and help you get right out of that funk you're in!
Alright, that's enough for this long philosophical post. I hope that everyone gets a little something out of it though! I said I was going to end this on a positive note, so in honor of tonight's game....
HOW ABOUT THEM COWBOYS?! ;) Enjoy MNFB tonight everyone! I'm such a fake NFL fan, but who doesn't love to stir things up repping the enemy in DC? Plus, I look super cute in my Romo jersey! 
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The pro's and con's of post-grad life

My current jam for the citizen cope :)
My trip this weekend sparked some realizations about the good and bad of taking the big leap into grown up world...

+You can go back for every football game and homecoming and party like you’re in college, without having to worry about tests or class the next day

-Your biggest worry is a little bit more extreme than that accounting test you need to pass, deciding who you're going to bring to the next formal, or what outfit you’ll be wearing to the next social
+ You might still have to do bitch work but at least you get paid for it (theoretically if you aren’t an intern for life like me)
+  When you reunite with your college friends, absolutely nothing has changed
- They aren’t all living within 4 miles of you anymore, but at least there’s a reason for you to visit all over the country now!
+You get to have crazy raccoon flying road trips with your sorority sisters to Tallahassee
+You can act as crazy as you want, get kicked out of po’boys downtown...yes not even a bar, a restaurant (Cat Nall cough cough) and not have to take responsibility for any of your actions because you’ll be out of town within 24 hours! How we escaped discipline all of our sorority years still amazes me
- You have to stay with friends if you still have any that live there. Luckily my little is 2 years younger than me and always opens up her apartment to Shannon and I when we’re in town. Oh, and real world rent is about triple the amount college life rent. I miss my walk in closet. Humh.
+You can meet up with your best friends, sorority sisters, favorite frat boys, Destin internship friends, freshmen year roommate, and Panhellenic recruitment counselor buddy all in one day
- You can’t spend all your spare time laying out at the pool, or at least I can’t given the climate difference and lack of free public pools in Arlington…oh ya and the fact that I don’t have spare time
- It’s hard to average a $10 or less bar tab in post grad life
+You can still be that crazy person who starts the fight song in the middle of the bar every 15 minutes…nobody knows you don’t go there anymore…maybe one day we’ll learn the right words Shan!
- Neon tank tops and frat wear is no longer acceptable everyday life wear…although I still rock it to the gym and get some crazy looks
- Your body is no longer used to the 10 hour tailgate and post-game shot rampage and you spend all of Sunday hugging the toilet (love you Reynolds! ;))
+ You will always have your best friends, 4 years of memories, and those couple times a year where you can go back and relive it all again…in a little more of a responsible, “mature” manner….well that might be a stretch.

The weekend was a success! Even if it was a Seminole loss I can’t imagine NOT being in Tallahassee with my favorite people for such a huge game.
Now this week college is coming to me with big and little coming up at the end of the week. I don’t know if Arlington is ready! Hope everyone has recovered from the crazy weekend, especially you Reynolds! Have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Airplanes and Life

You know it's funny. I've traveled a TON this summer, and every time I've gotten on a plane I've felt a sudden stress. I usually have this huge to-do list, tense shoulders, sweating palms, and an agenda a mile long to occupy my flight time. On my flight to Atlanta today that was just not the case.
I wouldn't say I'm settled in my lifestyle to say the least. Again I'm finding myself at a career crossroads as my current plans don't seem to be taking form. This crisis would have sent me into a stress-filled downward spiral a month ago, but now I'm at some sort of a weird peace.

Taking another conventional serving job that I thought would be a breeze has proved to be hardly the case. I have realized I don't quite have that restaurant hustle or finesse that the most skilled fine dining servers seem to exude effortlessly. Clearly, I'm still me and I have a plan B, C, and D, but I'm not overly concerned that it won't work out. I'd hate to say I'm getting complacent, but maybe rather calmly realistic. Let's face it, I think I'm a seasoned vet of the job search and career change at this point. Everything will work out as it should I suppose.
I've realized there's bigger things in life than what you do. I'm currently sitting at my brothers and sister's gymnastics practice along with the rest of the moms. While it freaks me out in the sense of procreation, it's funny to see how priorities can change in a good ten to fifteen years and what defines your purpose.
I feel pretty lucky to be able to jet set down to Florida and see all my best friends, and also have great friends at home that I'll miss even though it's only a 5 day trip. If anything I think that the relationships I have with others will prevail over any big timer job decription on my business card. Although, I hope I get there someday.

This vaca will also include some father daughter shopping and some very necessary college reunions. What the heck do I have to be stressed about?! At least not for this week....

P.S. The big day is this Saturday...GO NOLES! I think Tallahassee is going to be in rare form :)
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Autumn Anticipation

Don't act like you don't love my witty alliteration. 

This will be my first fall in 4 years! While I did adore the warm weather in Tallahassee, it wasn't great for experiencing the seasons. Now that Labor Day has passed I'm totally ready for leaves changing, fun fall activities, and getting to break out my BOOTS again of course!

Something tells me that this season is going to really be the start of a new and exciting chapter in my life. Here are some things that I'm looking forward to/inspire me/are making me happy right now... :)

Washington, D.C. is so pretty this time of year

Uhm..pumpkin EVERYTHING. The pumpkin cream cheese muffins at Starbucks are my guilty pleasure. Zero calories of course.

Boot season is a main topic of conversation amongst my roommates and I. A new fall wardrobe is not going to be great for my bank account, but completely necessary. 

I know this is a BIT repetitive, but with the big FSU v. Oklahoma game less than 2 weeks away I have to mention football season yet again. Even though I have very little football knowledge, it helps me hold on to my school and my college friends who I am missing now more than ever! I am so glad that absolutely everyone is making it to Tallahassee for the game! We also just moved up to #5 in the rankings! It's going to be a crazy weekend!

The new restaurant I'm working at opened yesterday. This is a picture of their signature lobster mac and cheese...yum! It's going to be nice to work at a place that's a bit more refined, and hopefully I'll make good money as well!

Big and little are coming to visit at the end of the month!

And Katie is coming a few weeks after that in October! I am going to try my hardest to convince her DC needs to be her new home because Boston is just too far away :( 

Fall ACTIVITIES! This is a picture from Markoff's Haunted Forest. I am such a little kid but who doesn't love wandering around in the woods getting the you-know-what scared out of you on an October night?! My roommates and I have also added apple picking and pumpkin carving to our Fall to-do list. 
And obviously I will be baking and decorating like none other....

The big trip for this season will be New Orleans in November. Is there anything better than traveling? Especially when you're in one of the best cities on earth with your favorite people. I can't wait for my new friends and roommates to meet my college and high school friends! New Orleans has never let me down. 

Disregard the two fools in the back lol. For the past couple months I actually have been getting to know someone pretty special. Many of my close friends and avid blog followers know that I am sometimes skeptical about relationships (and usually rightly so). However, I have to admit that this ones definitely an exception. He embraces my spastic tendencies, my constantly sweaty palms, and pretty much treats me like gold. I don't really think he's the blog-reading type, and will probably either kill me or make fun of me if he sees that he's in my post this week. But it's definitely a high point in my life right now so I had to include it, and I'm excited to see where things go. :)

Okay that's enough excitement for one season right?! Hope everyone in Northern VA is staying warm and dry! Have a great short week everyone! 


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