Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Food Answers

I was asked what my answers would be to my Fellow Foodie Fun questions. So I thought I'd go ahead and post them here. :)

#1 Spinach
1. What food did you once hate (as a child or even more recently) that you have found an appreciate for and now enjoy? The first thing that came to mind was spinach. I hated spinach growing up, but mostly because of HOW my mother would prepare it. She loves it sauteed and wilted with no life left in it and bathed in butter and salt. I remember just swallowing it whole to get it down. Now, however, as an adult I've realized I like FRESH spinach. Spinach salads, on sandwiches, even slightly wilted in pastas. I still can't do the "creamed" spinach my mother loves though.

#2 Eggs Benedict
2. What do you normally order when going out to breakfast/brunch?That's an easy one. Eggs Benedict. I'm a sucker for properly poached eggs and you can bet if Eggs Benedict is on the menu I'll order it.

3. What is your favorite late-night snack? It really depends on if I am craving something sweet or salty? But if it's just a matter of not full from dinner and want a little something it'd either be peanut butter toast or a bowl of cereal.

#4 Pasta
4. What is the one dish you wish you could cook, but haven't yet mastered? I'd love to learn how to make fresh pasta. Right now though I have such a tiny kitchen and no real counter space it's kind of difficult.

5. What is your favorite restaurant? Where is it located and what is your favorite dish on their menu? I'm not sure if I have one ultimate favorite....I have favorites based on where I am/was living. When I lived in San Diego my go-to place was Spread, in North Park, they had a savory french toast that was killer. When I was in school it was Cuca's and their chicken rice burritos; I am still such a fan that when my aunt came up last summer we made her bring some with her. Now, living in Portland, I don't know if I have a "favorite"...I have a couple places...Departure and Ping would be the two if I had to pick (and I've blogged about Ping before).

#5 Ping
6. Who taught you how to cook? My mother (mostly) and both my grandmothers. The women in my family can cook and ever since I could stand on a chair to reach the counters they put a spoon in my hand to help. Best way to learn.

7. What is the worst cooking disaster you've ever caused? I remember once, I was maybe thirteen, I was asked to make jello and didn't put nearly enough water in. The whole thing was maybe an inch think and way gross. As an adult...nothing I would consider a disaster just things that didn't come out right. Like the Honey Cupcakes.
#8 Fish Tacos

8. What did you have for dinner last night? Homemade fish tacos.

9. What restaurant do you want to eat at and haven't? Okay, if we're talking dream meal I'd have to say I'd love to go to the French Laundry and eat anything Thomas Keller put in front of me. ::drooool::

#10 Gorgonzola Fries
10. What is your guilty-pleasure food item? Oh, normally I'd probably say "chocolate" in any shape or form. But the other night my mother and I had dinner at the Portland Seafood Company and we ordered their Gorgonzola Fries...HOLY CRAP! I wanted to LICK. THE. PLATE. Amazing. I've even gone out and bought fries to make my own at home (of course though I forgot the Gorgonzola.)

#11 Dim Sum
11. What food item/dish do you just love that your family/friends can't/won't try? Either sushi or dim sum. When I'm craving sushi I have to go out with coworkers because I can't get my family to eat it at all (although I did find out my sister's boyfriend is a fan, so we're going to find a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi and or teriyaki something for the haters). And then there's dim sum. I've taken my mother once and she hated everything we got - except the sticky rice and fried spring rolls.

#12 & 13 Chocolate Cream Pie
12. Cake or Pie? What kind? I think I'm going to have to go pie....but I like cream pies mostly. Chocolate cream. French silk. My favorite cake is Boston Cream "Pie" haha.

13. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would be your last meal? Probably my grandmother's fried chicken, a side order of biscuits with gravy and a slice of chocolate cream pie for dessert.

With Love from Portland

I saw my sweetheart almost a month ago and I'm already jonesing for some more BF time. I'm ready for the next step - for him to move here to Portland. I'm tired of being in separate cities, different states and hundreds of miles away from each other. So I think I'm using my feminine ways to seduce him back to the PNW and show him all the reasons (other than me of course) he should move here. 

Enter my "With Love from Portland" care package. He doesn't know it's coming but I've selected a few Portland items to send him this upcoming weekend. 

Portland Urban Guide, Black Butte Porter beer, Thunderegg, hazelnut brittle,  Heart in Portland sticker,
Beer/Bread yeast microbe, salted hazelnuts, spicy salmon jerky, and Oregon Ducks chapstick

Portland Tribune, Willamette Weekly, Marionberry jelly, HoneyBee chocolate, Coffee Bean soap,
mustache stickers (inside joke), Moonstruck chocolate, and Keep Portland Weird sticker.
(Not shown: WW Finder, Japanese Garden postcards, wallet photo of us together, and mementos from our visit in Feb) 

If you were sending a care package of things from where you live what would you include? 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fellow Foodie Fun

Recently there has been a wave of "Getting to Know You" type blog-chains going around. And I thought, even though I did one on my other blog, that it'd be fun to do a Food-Themed one here and tag my favorite food bloggers (some are DIY bloggers or just foodies but it'll still be fun). 

The idea is come up with 13 (a baker's dozen) questions and then tag 13 fellow foodies to answer these questions. They post the answers on their blog, come up with a new 13 questions and tag 13 foodie-friends. Simple. (Just don't forget to tell the tagged people they've been tagged).

So the 13 Fellow Foodies I'm going to tag are:

Gorgonzola Fries -
My latest guilty pleasure

Now for some food-fun questions.

1. What food did you once hate (as a child or even more recently) that you have found an appreciate for and now enjoy?

2. What do you normally order when going out to breakfast/brunch? 

3. What is your favorite late-night snack?

4. What is the one dish you wish you could cook, but haven't yet mastered?

5. What is your favorite restaurant? Where is it located and what is your favorite dish on their menu?

6. Who taught you how to cook?

7. What is the worst cooking disaster you've ever caused?

8. What did you have for dinner last night?

9. What restaurant do you want to eat at and haven't?

10. What is your guilty-pleasure food item?

11. What food item/dish do you just love that your family/friends can't/won't try?

12. Cake or Pie? What kind?

13. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would be your last meal?*

Don't feel like because you weren't tagged you can't play along....

*Thank you Anthony Bourdain for this fun food question.

Media Monday: She Works Hard For the Money

I certainly feel like I'm working hard for my money today. Damn. I mean I consider myself lucky. I have a desk job, in Higher Education, working for wonderful people. But today I'm feeling like I'm running myself ragged to make sure I keep this job.

There is some (possible) restructuring happening in our department. People leaving to go back to school, new positions being created, old ones being reevaluated and altered. And for me I'm wondering where I fit into all of this. There has been some talk about me being promoted (my current position is being turned into a PT position) but then reading through the new (possible) job description I'm starting to wonder and worry. 

Am I really qualified for this job? 
Do I have what they're looking for? 
Will I just be given the job?
Will I be made to interview for it against people who may be more qualified?

I've been worried about this for a while. And today thanks to Iz Originals (good friend in real life as well as fellow blogger) I took that next step and sent an email to my boss asking if we can talk about the job descriptions, what the next steps look like, and my place in all of it. 

Because really, if I'm not offered the job and they are turning my current job into a PT (which I can't live off) I'm going to have to start looking for other employment...which isn't what I want to do.

We're meeting today at 4...and while the restructuring of jobs hasn't been finalized or given the last stamp of approval...I'm hoping that at the end of the meeting my nerves will have been calmed and I may have something exciting to set my eyes on. 

So fingers crossed and please send good ju-ju my way!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Body as Wonderland

I've tried to stay away from just blogging other people's articles, and just link to them on Caution! Reality Check's facebook page... however this one was so amazing I had to post it here.

*                *               *

Eight Things I Learned from 50 Naked People
by Kate Bartolotta

In the past year, I’ve touched more than 50 naked people.

Don’t worry though—the fancy parts were covered—I’m a massage therapy student. They have you start on friends and family, other students and then the general public. Some people are silent during a massage; others can’t stop talking in a nervous attempt to clothe themselves with something, even if only words.

Despite our obsession with sex, American culture doesn’t really encourage nakedness (physically or emotionally). And if all the pleasantries and social constructs we use weren’t bad enough, we add social media into the mix and distance each other even further. When we’re naked and silent, all of that falls away. What I learn from what a person tells me is miniscule compared to what I learn by feeling his skin, muscle and bone. By watching him move. By listening to his breath. By feeling his pulse. So, in case you didn’t know:

1. Your body doesn’t lie. You might say, “I’m relaxed!” or, “That pressure is great, you can work deeper,” but your body may tell a very different story. What goes on in your muscles, with your breathing, with your pulse is the truest you: the you that even you might not know yet. It’s a good thing to get in touch with. You’d feel much better if you listened and let your words match up to what your body was saying.

2. When you stretch, you open up space. This is physically true, and emotionally true. When you physically stretch (or allow yourself to be stretched) you create space and allow for greater movement, greater vulnerability and more growth. It’s the same when you stretch yourself emotionally, too. Your physical and emotional selves aren’t separate––stretch one, and you usually stretch the other, too. It isn’t always comfortable at first, but it’s a wonderful thing. Surrender to it. You won’t regret it.

3. That thing you’re embarrassed about? That you don’t want anyone to see? That you tense up and hold your breath over? The part of you that you wish were different? It’s ok. Let go. Enjoy it. It’s part of what makes you so beautiful.

4. Everyone has body hair in various places and amounts. There’s no one right amount. It’s all good. Same goes for moles. Even models don’t look like they do in the pictures. Smooth and hairless is a Fifth Avenue invention designed to create discontent (and sell grooming products).

5. Everything you’ve experienced is stored in your body at a cellular level. Each cell is a record of all of it. I’ve felt it in your skin. Being born. Being held. The time you fell off your bike and weren’t that hurt but very scared. That brutal sunburn on your shoulders at 14. The time you fell out of a tree and broke your collarbone. The first time you felt deeply loved. The person who hurt you so badly you thought you were broken for good. Your muscles remember it. They remember it like it happened 10 minutes ago.

Your successes hold your shoulders high. Your losses pull your chest inward. You hold your sadness in your throat, your anger in your jaw and your fear in your belly. Your happiness rises and falls in your chest. Love rolls in and out on the tides of your breath. It’s all there, all the time. {You can release the parts that hurt, if you want to. Yoga and massage are the best ways I’ve seen.}

6. Your weight is the least interesting thing about you. I promise.

7. Your skin, however, is fascinating. Every line, every freckle, every scar tells the amazing stories of your life. Please don’t Botox, bleach or sand it all away. They’re all beautiful.

8. Your body is a f*cking wonderland. You are amazing just as you are, right now.

*                *               *

This article was just amazing in my opinion. I went to a massage therapist for my birthday a few weeks ago and she just rocked my world. She was gentle were I needed her to be and just beat the day lights out of me in other places. At one point she was shaking my limbs and stretching me out so must I thought she was going to bounce me right off the table. The LMT massaging the BF (it was a couples massage so we were in the same room) put the boy to sleep! Talk about relaxed. 

It took me years to be comfortable in my own skin. For years I hated my body. I hated the way I looked in and out of clothes. Then I started working and making an effort to embrace who I was on the outside as much as I loved and embraced my inner self. Sure there are still times, under awful dressing room florescent lighting, that I look at my thighs or stomach and catch myself thinking horrible things. But as soon as I catch myself I remember that this is ME not someTHING or detached from my self. If I'm going to love me I need to love all me... cellulite and big belly all. 

I think the reason I loved this article so much is because it reminds us that our body is with us through everything. It's the one constant in our lives and holds all our memories in our cells. If we try to lie about our body, our body stands up and smacks us upside the head reminding us of our reality. 

We all have freckles, blemishes, love handles where we'd rather not... but this is what makes us each perfect. 

Makes each of our bodies an amazing wonderland. 

Getting to Know You

It's a very ancient saying,
But a true and honest thought,
That if you become a teacher blogger,
By your pupils readers you'll be taught.

*               *               *

Sorry...I couldn't help myself...I'm done now...
Back to the real post....haha
I was tagged in a "Get to know you" blog chain by Tina at Breakfast at Tina's - both a follower and someone I follow and I thought it'd be a great 50th blog entry for Caution! Reality Check. 

So here's how it works. She gave me 11 questions (answers below). Then I create 11 questions and tag 11 bloggers (don't forget to let them know) - who then continue the chain with their own questions and answering yours.
So first thing is first. Let's tag some people!!

Now for the questions I want answered.... Muahahahaha *coughcough* Sorry. (Also, if other readers want to answer any of the questions in the comment box or on your own blog feel free. Just because you weren't "tagged" doesn't mean you can't play along. )

1. Why did you start your blog (that was tagged), how did you come up with the name/title and who is your targeted audience/readers?
2. What motto/mantra/philosophy do you try to live your life by?
3.  Tell your most memorable vacation/trip. Where did you go, why did you go, who did you go with?
4. If you could change careers/jobs tomorrow what would your new career/job be (and pretending you had the education/training for the job)?
5. Who is/was the most influential person in your life? Why?
6. What unusual or uncommon physical attribute (read: body part) are you attracted to when "checking someone out"?
7. If you could witness any event (past, present or future) what would it be?
8. What songs are included in the soundtrack of your life?
9. What story does your family always tell about you?
10. Favorite swear word?
11. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would be your last meal?

*               *               *

Now on to the questions I'm to answer... Looking at some of the questions Tina picked this may take me a while to compose. So let's get started! :)

Breakfast at Tina's Questions to Caution! Reality Check.

1. If you could go back and change one thing that happened in your life, what would it be? Oh gosh. No holding back with Round 1 there huh? I'm going to be "that person" and start off saying that I don't really have an "regrets" in life. I really do believe that everything happens for a reason and while there may be things in my past I'm not all that thrilled with....haha to say the least... they have made me who I am now.  I think though, to not be a party-pooper, for this question I'm going to say.....wait as long as I did to finally meet my BF in person. We met online and virtually "dated" long distance for...well for really all of our relationship (we're in two different towns and states). But the point is when we finally did meet face-to-face (not saying how long it took. Gotta keep some privacy here) it was pure heaven. Any doubt or wonder about chemistry in person disappeared. I fell in love with him even more than I was and even more than I though possible. Now to just get us in the same place so there's no long gaps between seeing each other.

2. What is your astrological sign, and how does it reflect your personality? So I am an Aquarius (2/2...yes that is Groundhog's Day) and think that it does reflect pieces of my personality (although I think astrology is fun I struggle with "believing" it as many due).  Some personality traits that Aquarians are known for that I think sing (very) true with me: good communication skills (I'm a talker), likes my privacy, on the eccentric side (I've been known to dance in the rain, have conversations upside down on the couch and spend an afternoon with a BFF on a fire escape blowing bubbles), dislikes violence (I'm a lover not a fighter, never been in a fight and if a man ever hit me he'd only do it once).

3. Which would you give up for the rest of your life: sex or food? Really? Sweet Jesus don't make me pick. I won't do it. I can't. Well now wait.... if I give up one does that mean I get to supplement with the other sans consequences? For example I have sex three times a day to survive? Or can eat to "satisfy" my "needs" without calories or love handles? Because if that's not part of the deal than forget it.

4. If you had to choose between killing the person you love to save the world or killing the rest of the world to save the person you love, which would you do? Wow Tina. You're not kidding around here are you? No pressure of anything. Haha. Okay. I have to say though this one (with where I'm at right now and missing the BF a lot) I'd kill the rest of the world to save the person I love... because than we could still be together (we might get sick of one another and I might kill him in the end anyway but at least we'd start off together). :)

5. What is the most valuable lesson you have ever learned, and who taught it to you? I guess it's hard to put into words. The "lesson" that popped into my head was not allowing who you are, your inner amazing self, to be beaten have your fire extinguished by the person you love (or think you love). My mother is an amazing and strong woman but for almost twenty years was married to a man who muffled her inner amazing-self. I've said all along that my parent's getting a divorce was the best thing that ever happened to my mother or us girls (my younger sister and I). After the divorce, and after she found the strength to pick herself back up, my mother taught us girls to be strong, fearless, independent women and just ROCK who we are inside and out!

6. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? So I know this is probably referring to my first name (Morgan) but I've never had a desire to change that. I was named after a good friend of my mother; who she refers to as "one of the most talented women [she] knows" - Morgan (Big Morgan as she was called when I was little) is an amazing seamstress but also sings and plays at least a dozen different instruments. I think I'll keep the name of my namesake thanks. HOWEVER, I've always "joked" about how I can't wait to someday change my last name (when I get married - yes, I'm old fashioned that way and will be changing my name). As it is know my full name (first, middle and last) is 24 letters long (first-6 middle-8 last-10) and I've always said I can't wait to marry a "Smith" or a "Jones" just to shorten writing out my name.

7. If you could get a degree in anything without having to worry about finding a job in that field, would you get a degree in? Religious studies. I just find it fascinating (see the next question) - comparing similarities and differences between faiths that seem completely different (not like Baptist vs Lutheran but more like Vodun vs Hinduism)

8. What do/did you study in college, and what will/did you do with your degree?  My B.A. is in Diversity Studies with an emphasis on Religion and Cultural studies.... and what I've done with it is use it in my work in Higher Education. I've been a Residence Life Coordinator and a Housing Director (using my awareness and knowledge of diversity to ease roommate conflicts, counsel students, etc)... and right now I'm an Events Coordinator for a medical school where I participate in a diversity awareness committee, host multicultural awareness events and (fingers crossed) may some day get to work closer with International Students and focus more of my time on Intercultural Student Life.

9. What song/movie/food/book is your guilty pleasure? Love this one. I'm going to answer all four (song, movie, food and book).....

Song: When I need to get pumped, when I need to cheer myself up, when I just need to feel good I call on my girl LADY GAGA and "JUST DANCE" What can I say? She just does it for me.

Movie: At first I couldn't think of a "guilty pleasure" MOVIE (definitely have TV shows that I call my "dirty little secrets") but then I remembered CENTER STAGE. It's not the most "quality" of movies but the music is great and I love to watch dance.

Food: Um....CHOCOLATE...duh!! So much I've even gone on a Chocolate Tour here in Portland.

Book: The books that I can read over and over again and get just as much enjoyment from them every HARRY POTTER. No, I'm not such a Harry Potter fan that I went to midnight showings of the movies...but yes, I've seen (and own) every movie.... I read each new book in a matter of days - staying up way into the night not able to put it down. But hey! It's a "guilty pleasure" remember?

10. You have a fortune that will make or break your country's economical state. Would you give it to your own country to prevent a decade of substandard welfare, or would you give it to a Third World country to start a lifetime of quality living? Go with your gut right? My gut says give it to a Third World country. Our greedy nation can deal with a decade of "substandard" welfare. 

11. How would you spend your last day on earth? If I knew it was my last day? Probably in the company of my loved ones - friends, family, BF - out in nature somewhere. In the PNW rainforests overlooking the Pacific Ocean maybe. Just spending quality time making sure the people who are most important to me know it. 

*               *               *

Hope you enjoyed my 50th blog entry at Caution! Reality Check. Happy Blogging!

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Where is Spring?

    It's predicted to SNOW this weekend....WTF? It's the end of February... my daffodils are budding, my roses are growing lots of mini leaves and the squirrels are all coming out to play. So what the hell is this SNOW business about?!

    I'm dying for sandals, shorts and dresses.

    Found here. I just love this look. If only I could find boots that fit my calves.

    Found here. Even though it's from "College Fashion" I think this is age appropriate.
    Although I'd probably skip the bows. This is a great weekend outing outfit. 

    Found here. These are stripes I think I could do (light enough) and love the brown accents. 
    Found here. This is my favorite and I basically own it already - minus the fact I need new
    sandals and I would love this bag and/or necklace. 

    The Week S.O.F.A.R.

    Haven't gotten a chance to check me out on Facebook?

    Don't worry I've got all the links and must talk items here:

    Where the Songs Linger, but the Tune is Different  (How music and culture have changed in Okinawa)

    Porn Industry may boogie out of LA over condom Law

    Birth Control-Centered Gender War Boosts Democratic Campaigns

    PLUS Model Magazine - Model Search Finalists

    A Question of Identity (The headline, the tweet and the unfair significance of Jeremy Lin)

    Why Rick Santorum would have killed my daughter (a mother's story of Rh Disease)

    The Worst of the Worst (Planned Parenthood wants to know which you think is most offensive)

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Fashion Friday - Business Brown

    This week our Board of Directors were on campus for their quarterly Board Meeting. Somehow, because of default really, I ended up attending a few of these meetings. Talk about needing to dress to impress. Anyone who has worked for a company or school with a Board of Directors knows they are the one's who make all the big decisions. Want to hire a new staff member? Want to promote a current position? Need the funds to do this? They're the final "yes" or "no".... so even though there was no negotiations or big discussions to be had it was (for me) the "First Impression" meetings.

    It did get me thinking of what I have in my closet for these more "big-wig" type meetings and the limitations (in my mind) of what I own. The one "piece" I noticed was I have very little "business brown". I have a few nice business casual brown blouses, a brown pair of shorts and a few hand bags but nothing I would have wanted to wear into a Board Meeting.

    Enter Pinterest and my internal personal shopper getting ideas and brainstorming some new pieces to add to my wardrobe.

    Even with the brown cords this would be perfect for a causal Friday - board meeting overlap

    Not that I need the sunglasses this time of year. Haha.

    This is my favorite. Those shoes are killer and just love the blouse.
    Now to just find the extra cash to build the closet up some....I ended up going with basic black for today's meeting.

    It's hard to see but the blouse is a ruffled sheer black (tank top under of course),
    black and grey pinstriped pants, black kitten heals and the necklace.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Don't Like Fighting.

    I don't like fighting. I'd rather do anything else than fight with someone. 

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    All You Need is Love

    Sometimes when life gets you down or looks to hard to face in the morning 
    just remember in the end 

    Happy 3 year anniversary my love.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    My Curve ID

    Yesterday, as I lay in bed sick and watching Endgame on Hulu, there was an advertisement for Levi's Curve ID. I'd never heard of it. Actually before I went to the Levi website to find my Curve ID I didn't even know that Levi Jeans came in my size. 

    Levi is one of those commercials that have models typically size 2 and my brain just shuts off for the duration of their 30 second commercial. But I guess, because I was already in a semi-conscious state of mind, yesterday's commercial actually sunk into my head. The question was though - would they have a Curve ID for me? 

    So I put it to the test:

    What kind of waist do you have?
    Describe your "seat"...haha I loved this one.
    How often do you have these fit issues?
    Found my "Curve ID"
    Not only that but a pair of jeans in my size that I love!
    And they're designed for my "Modern Supreme Curves" haha

    There are two reasons why this whole thing makes me happy.

    1) I'm always on the look out for a great pair of jeans and truth be told, most times "plus-size" jeans might as well come with an AARP membership because HELLO GRANDMA! I'm a young stylish woman who wants a pair of jeans that, let's be honest here, makes her ass look good. I have no time for jeans with elastic waist bands, pleating or that go up under my boobs.

    2) Levis are a good pair of jeans. They last forever and I'm tired of only wearing jeans for a few months before they start splitting out or thinning in the thighs. Just because I'm plus-size doesn't mean I don't deserve to wear good quality clothing that lasts and looks good. Me and my Supreme Curves are looking for a good pair of jeans.

    Blues for the Blues

    I'm currently battling a cold and when I'm sick it just makes me blue all over. I'm a strong believer that if you've got the blues you'll never feel any better lying around in your jammies and eating right out of the ice cream container.

    I'm not saying I haven't been there and done that. I'm also not saying there isn't the time and the place for jammies and ice cream. However, I'm a strong believer that if you've got the blues you should put on something bright and cheerful and get out into the world.

    So here I give you "Blues for the Blues" - pieces I've found on Pinterest that just shoo those grey clouds from over my head. 

    Just love this reach teal...not to mention the killer shoes

    Love the bright blue in contrast with the black and grey

    This bag is just so much fun! And even though the jacket isn't blue it's still killer.

    Please can I have!?

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Shrimp Chorizo Tapas: Pictures


    Cook chorizo

    Chop an onion

    Saute together

    Add garlic and shrimp

    Add lemon juice and saute until shrimp cooked

    Meanwhile, prepare sopitas

    Prepare the veggies

    When done - assemble.