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Day 5: Cherry Blossom Art using a bottle


Today I definitely had a case of the Monday’s. I don’t know why, but the weekend goes by so quickly and Monday just drags on. I’m all for a 4 day work week and 3 day weekend…who’s with me?? In lieu of it being Monday and me not wanting to cook an extravagant meal except breakfast food (which I made turkey bacon and cheese breakfast tacos, which were amazing), I have decided to paint for today’s Pinterest Project!

Cherry Blossom Art from a Recycled Soda Bottle – At the end of March it will be exactly 100 years since the Japanese gave Washington D.C. over 3,000 Cherry Blossoms. If you have ever seen them, they are gorgeous. I’ve seen them in bloom in D.C. and when they were just starting to bloom when I was in Japan on a family trip back in 1997. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go to down to D.C. this year for the Cherry Blossom Festival because I think they are gorgeous.

It’s actually quite easy to make this artwork. You need the following supplies:

  • Black Acrylic or Tempera Paint
  • Pink Acrylic or Tempera Paint
  • Canvas or Poster board
  • Empty plastic soda bottle (1L or 2L bottle)
  • paintbrush
  • 2 paper plates

Before I began, I painted my canvas white so that I had a base, but you do not have to do this. If you do this, make sure the white paint dries before continuing.  Squeeze a small amount of black paint onto the paper plate. Using your paint brush, paint a branch onto the canvas and don’t worry if the branches are not straight. The more curved they are, the more natural they look. After you have painted the branch, let it dry for a few minutes. Pour pink paint onto the second paper plate. Did the bottom of the plastic bottle in the paint and begin stamping buds onto the branch by pressing the bottle onto the canvas. Re-dip the bottle each time you repeat the stamp. Add as may blossoms as you want until your Cherry Blossom is finished.

My Cherry Blossom picture turned out ok. I used acrylic paint, which was a bit too thick, so I would recommend using Tempera paint instead as it will make the buds look less clumpy. Overall though, I like my painting. Once it’s dry I’ll have to figure out a place to put it!


Day 4: Pizza Dip


Day 4 of the Pinterest Project is here and I decided to make Pizza Dip for dinner. You’re probably thinking dip for dinner, but that’s not a real meal and I know it isn’t, but that’s what I wanted! I spent most of my day today running errands and finishing the first book in the Hunger Games series, so I wanted to make something easy. I’ve seen this recipe everywhere on Pinterest for the last few weeks and since it is so popular, it seemed like a good recipe to try out.

Pizza Dip – I must admit that I was a little weary about trying this recipe because I don’t like cream cheese, sour cream or mayonnaise. I know, I’m weird like that, but foods that are sour or creamy like these disgust me. Also, I’m not a big pepperoni eater, but you could really add any topping to this pizza dip. I’m just going into this hoping that it really tastes just like pizza.


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (recipe at bottom)
  • 2 ounces pepperoni, sliced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano. Spread mixture across the bottom of a pie plate evenly. Spread the pizza sauce over cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano onto of sauce. Top with pepperoni slices. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and is golden brown. Eat with toasted slices of french bread.

Pizza Sauce – I personally thought this was a little too watery and thin and it looked more like tomato soup, rather than pizza sauce. I would recommend using a pre-made pizza sauce, like the one that Trader Joe’s offers.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant for about a minute. Add the pureed tomatoes, oregano and salt and pepper to pan. Simmer over low heat until it thickens for about 20 minutes. Let cool before adding it to the dip. Yields 2 cups.

I must admit, that when I pulled the pizza dip out of the oven after over 20 minutes of it cooking, the first words that crossed my mind were EPIC FAIL. My pizza dip did not look anything like the picture on the blog ‘Closet Cooking.’ The cheese was melted, but not golden brown and the dip did not look like it had set – it just looked too  runny. Like I said earlier, I thought the recipe for the pizza sauce wasn’t a good one. It was just too watery and it definitely affected the consistency of the pizza dip. Also, the base mixture of cheese and mayo just looked disgusting when I spooned some of the dip onto my bread. Some of it had clumped together and reminded me of little bits of cottage cheese, which I also find absolutely disgusting. Because I spent time making this dip, I ate some of it, but I tried to eat the top part mainly consisting of the sauce and cheese. Overall, I was not impressed with this recipe and will not be making it again anytime soon. If you have any suggestions or if you did something different and yours turned out better, then let me know!

Day 3: DIY Wrap Bracelet and Sangria


Not only is it the weekend, but it is day 3 of the Pinterest project!! Since on Saturdays I get to sleep in and pretty much do what I want, I decided to be both crafty and try out a new recipe for a get together tonight. After finally waking up at 9am, doing laundry and then spending almost 2 hours reading the first book in the Hunger Games series (which I just started last night and am already addicted to) I decided to venture outside to Michael’s to get supplies for my next few crafts. I purchased beads for bracelets, different colored hemp strings, two canvases and a package of hot glue gun sticks.

DIY wrap bracelet – I was super excited about making this because I love the Chan Luu bracelets, but I can’t being myself to spend over $200 on one, although I actually almost purchased one on Gilt for $98 the other day, but at the last minute I didn’t (my mom should be proud of me!). I must admit, that making this bracelet was definitely not as easy I had anticipated, but that is probably because of the type of string that I used. When I was at Michael’s I had a hard time finding what I wanted and the store was so crowded, that finding a sales associate was impossible. The original website where this pin came from (‘Henry Happened’) said to use ribbon, and not the gift wrapping kind. The ribbon they were referring to is that satiny cord-like ribbon that you often see used in bracelets and necklaces. Unfortunately I searched the entire store and could not find it and string made of hemp was the closest thing that the store had. The hemp was much thinner than the ribbon I wanted to use, so the process was much more tedious.


Cut the ribbon or string into three equal lengths, about 24-28 inches long. The more times you would like to wrap the bracelet around your wrist, the longer the ribbon needs to me. Start by braiding about 6 inches of ribbon and then secure the end with a rubber band. To keep my hemp strings in place, I taped the end pieces down to the table so I could braid them more easily.

Start braiding the beads into the bracelet my feeding one bead into the middle strand and tightly braiding the other two pieces around. This is where using hemp created a problem for me – the strands were so thing that I was having to hold the bead in place while trying to secure the hemp around it. Continue feeding beads onto the middle strand until you run out or get to the desired length. I used 27 beads total – 21 small beads and 6 larger beads. I made a pattern with my beads alternating 7 small then 3 larger beads. Once finished, braid another 6 inch section. Tie a knot at each end of your bracelet and you’re done!

The other portion of today’s Pinterest project consisted of me making Sangria for tonight’s get together with some friends. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a glass of cold, refreshing Sangria!

Sangria – This was actually one of the first recipes that I repined on Pinterest and was originally posted on the blog ‘Yellow song bird.’ I love Sangria, especially red Sangria, but that’s because I grew up in a family of red wine drinkers. This recipe looked amazing because of the fresh strawberries and oranges that were added, plus it was really easy to make!


  • 1 bottle red wine*, chilled
  • lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar ((or less..to taste))
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 lime, sliced
  • 1 small orange, sliced
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, cut in half
  • 10 oz. club soda


Pour the bottle of wine into a large pitcher or bowl. I used wine from Whole Foods because I didn’t want to head downtown to the Trader Joe’s wine shop. What I used though is literally the Whole Food’s version of two buck chuck from Trader Joe’s and it is a steal at only $2.99 a bottle. Also, I used Merlot, but you could really use any red wine as long as it’s a little fruity and not too dry.

Stir in the orange juice, sugar and a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Slice the lemon, lime and orange, put the fruit in the pitcher and stir. Let the Sangria chill for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Before serving, add the club soda and strawberries.

 Pour, serve and DRINK! The Sangria tasted amazing…not too sweet, not too sour, but just right! As a tip, make sure the club soda is cold before you pour it into the Sangria because otherwise it will change the temperature of the Sangria and it’s better the colder it is. Also, eating the oranges and strawberries at the end is a must! This is a perfect drink for a night with friends or a summer afternoon!

Day 2: Baked Chicken Fajitas


For day 2 of the Pinterest Project, I made Baked Chicken Fajitas. Apart from the Fajitas, I also made homemade guacamole and spanish style black beans.

Baked Chicken Fajitas – This recipe was originally posted on ‘Eat it on the cheap blog’ and was adapted from a recipe in the magazine Taste of Home. Like most recipes I make, I didn’t follow it exactly, but it was pretty close.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 12 flour tortillas, warmed to serve

As you can see, the ingredients that I used a bit different that those in the original recipe. I omitted the chili powder and opted for cayenne pepper instead. Also, I used some Adobo as a little extra seasoning in my fajitas. Also, the original recipe used green peppers, but I used red to make the fajitas a bit sweeter. Unless I’m baking, I typically don’t measure out my spices, I think I have seen enough cooking shows to know what the difference between a tsp and TB looks like in the palm of my hand – plus I also like to improvise by adding extra things in my dishes!


Preheat oven to 400 degree. Grease a baking dish (preferably one that is 13 x 9, otherwise you’ll have to use two smaller glass dishes like I did). Mix together chicken, chilis, onions, peppers and tomatoes in the dish. In a small bowl, combine the oil and spices. Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables and toss to coat. Since I had to use two baking dishes, I combined all the ingredients into one large bowl to make sure the chicken and vegetables were coated evenly. I then divided the fajita mixture into the two dishes.

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Serve on warm tortillas (either corn or flour) and with other additional garnishes (cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc) as desired.  I personally like cheese and guacamole on my fajitas!

Fajitas on corn tortillas

Fajitas on flour tortillas

The fajitas were really good, especially with a Corona and lime to wash it down! It definitely felt like I was back in Texas eating homemade Tex Mex!  The recipe for the Spanish Style beans was straight off of the back of a can of GOYA Black Beans, but I did add GOYA Sofrito (seasoning) to it as well. Below is the recipe for the guacamole I made.



  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • salt to taste

Peel the avocados and place them in a bowl. I typically cut them into smaller pieces so that it is easier to mash them up. Using a fork, mash the avocados until there are no large pieces left. Add the onions and tomatoes and mix throughly. I typically also add a tablespoon or two of sour cream to make it creamier, but I was out. Add salt to taste. Also, if you want spicier guacamole, then add some diced jalapeno. Serve with tortilla chips and dig in!

Tonight’s meal was a good Friday night meal. It was filling and perfect when washed down with a cold beer. I do have to admit though that I had a Julia Childs moment in the kitchen. When I was peeling the onion for the fajitas, I accidentally dropped the onion in the trash can! Luckily the onion fell on the onion peel, so I just picked it up, cut it up and tossed it in the bowl! I figure if anything got on it, it was cooked off, right?? When that happened, it reminded me exactly of that Julia Child clip where she is flipping an omelette and drops half of it on the counter. She picked it up, put it back in the pan and said that you’re alone in the kitchen and no one had to see what you did… That is exactly how I felt!

On that note, Bon Appetit!

Day 1: Ranch Turkey Burgers and Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries


Today is officially day 1 of the Pinterest Project! For my first official project, I am making Ranch Turkey Burgers with Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries courtesy of the blogs ‘laaloosh’ and ‘playing with sugar.’  I’ve got my girl, Adele, playing on my itunes in the background, so let the cooking begin.

Ranch Turkey Burgers – For all you healthy eaters or weight watcher participants, this buger is only 3 points.  If you add a bun, then obviously you add more points. Although I’m not a point counter myself, 3 points doesn’t seem that bad, right? Below is the original recipe.


As you can see, everything I used I got from Trader Joes except for the Hidden Valley Ranch Mix. TJ’s is the best store on the face of the earth – the prices there are ridiculously cheap and everything is fresh and amazing.

 Once you have all your ingredients, combine everything into a bowl. The only thing I did differently is I used a garlic press and pressed the garlic as opposed to mincing it. I LOVE garlic and wanted to have a stronger garlic taste in my burgers.


Once the ingredients are mixed, form four patties. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray or use olive oil to coat the pan. Cook the patties until they are completely done. It took about 20 minutes total to cook the patties. I had the burner on low as I did not want to burn the patties.

Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries – Since you typically eat fries or onion ring with burgers, I figured I would try these baked fries. They were really simple and easy to prepare, but they took a little while to cook.


  • 1 pound of medium russet potatoes (approx 3 medium potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 TBSP of Kraft Parmesan Style Grated Cheese

I changed up this recipe a little bit. First off, I did not have Rosemary and honestly I don’t really like it in food unless I’m eating italian, so I omitted it completely. Instead of Old Bay Seasoning I used Don’s speciality meats seasoning from Louisianna! My good friend, Amy introduced me to this. For those of you from the south, Don’s is a cajun seasoning, kind of like Tony Chachere’s, but better! I also used 4 potatoes, instead of 3. I don’t have a peeler, so I cut the skin off the potatoes and added an extra potato since I knew I would be wasting some of it. Also, I tried to find potatos that were relatively flat and rectangular like to make it easier to cut the skin off.

Preheat the oven 425 degrees. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into 1/8ths and place them on a cookie sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Mix all the spices and parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Take a large, freezer size ziploc bag and put all the potatoes in it. Add the spices mix and the oil to the bag. Seal the bag tightly and shake all the ingredients up, making sure that everything is distributed evenly. Dump the potatoes onto the cookie sheet and spread them out in a single layer. Bake for 30-45 minutes. I baked them for 20 minutes and then flipped them and baked them for 20 more minutes. I did not have aluminum foil, so I coated the cookie sheet with cooking spray and my fries turned out a little darker because of that, but they were still really good. Also, after they were done, I sprinkled a little more Don’s on top of them.
For the burger I used Martin’s potato bread buns and I topped my burger with avocado slices, grilled onions and bar-b-que sauce! Being from Texas, I can’t have a burger without some good old fashioned bar-b-que sauce.
The burger and fries were amazing – especially the burger. That recipe will definitely become a staple in my recipe book. Day was a success! Stay tuned for what tomorrow brings…

The Pinterest Project


I, like so many other women (and even men) am obsessed with Pinterest. When I’m bored at work, browsing Pinterest is my go-to. It’s a little sad, but I must admit that I am addicted. As of today, I have over 900 pins and 27 boards and I have only recreated maybe 3 of those pins. There are just so many recipes and DIY projects that I want to make and there just isn’t enough time in each day!

Anyway, I have decided to commit to a project…a Pinterest project to be exact. For the next 30 days, I am going to make at least 1 thing I have pinned on Pinterest a day and blog about it. This can be anything from making a craft, to preparing a recipe, to styling a new hairdo! My plan is to commit to 30 days of making Pinterest projects, but if I enjoy doing this then, I might continue it. I figure it will give me something to think about during work. Now when I’m bored I can browse my pins and find out what my next masterpiece will be!

This project officially begins March 1st, so follow along!

On a completely different note, check this out. This is the best nail polish I have ever found! I painted my nails on Sunday and look how well they are still holding up. These nails have been through 3 showers, 2 loads of dishes being washed by hand, and tons of hand washes. No chips and still good as new. I applied two coats of the polish, with NO base coat and NO top coat. Unbelievable, right?

Obviously the brand (Chanel) is a bit pricey, but it’s totally worth it. This is Black Pearl and I’m in love…

Thats the way we get by


As of late, my job has becoming extremely boring and tedious. I don’t have enough work to do during the day, so I resort to spending my day on Pinterest, writing emails to my family and friends and planning vacations I would like to take that I currently cannot afford, which is no fun. These are some things I also look at to pass the time.

The first two pictures are post-it notes that I have taped to my desk.

My mom sent this verse to me back in October when one of my co-workers was belittling me and being rude. I taped it to my desk as a constant reminder that what that person said or did honestly did not matter because God is on my side.  I need to read this verse on a daily basis as I feel like God is testing me daily at this job. I’m having to relearn to be patient and humble. I should have James 1:19 taped to my desk as well –  “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”  – but I don’t. Luckily I know how to stay relatively calm and I’m good at being slow to speak. My mom sending me this verse proves that mom always knows best.

This verse was the main verse for one of my daily devotionals from a few weeks ago. After reading it, I immediately taped it to my desk.  This verse is one of a few verses recited after the Shema which Jews recite every morning and evening. As the devotional explained, the Shema is a confession of faith and acts as a pledge of allegiance for Judaism. I think this verse should not only be a Jewish pledge of allegiance, but a Christian one as well as we need to reaffirm our love and devotion to God.

Every once in a while, I’m lucky enough to have a gorgeous view when I look out my window, like the sunset pictured above. Our office has an ‘open concept’ where the desks are lined up in rows and you have no quiet space or really even a space of your own, besides your desk. Sometimes when it’s nice outside, I enjoy getting lost looking out the window at Central Park. I can do that for hours. When the weather is really nice, I can see tiny people playing in the park and it makes me long to be outside. Being so close to Central Park is such a tease.

Considering I was super excited about having an office job after 3 years of teaching, I must admit that I find being in an office extremely boring. How can people enjoy sitting at a desk for hours on end doing nothing?? I guess I’d rather be on my feet all day then sit at a desk like a lump on a log. Oh the things we learn…