Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Betty Crocker Knows Best

Every once and a while I will become inspired to cook...

In the spring I found this great recipe for "Impossibly Easy Zucchini Pie" on the Betty Crocker website. I have made it now approximately 4 times.  Not only is it easy to make, but it tastes WONDERFUL!

1 Cup of Chopped Zucchini
1 Cup of Chopped Tomato
1/2 Cup of Chopped Onion
1/3 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
2/3 Cup of Pancake Mix
(of course they suggest Bisquick®, but any brand will do) 
3/4 Cup of Skim Milk
2 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper

Most naturally I add to this list of ingredients! I want to eat this "pie" at my main entree so I add 1 cup of chopped Trader Joe's Smoke Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage. 

The great thing about the chicken sausage is that it is already fully cooked and of course all natural!!  Not only does the sausage add protein to this yummy "pie", but it adds a light sweet flavor.

For the pie crust I usually use a pre-made frozen crust that you just thaw and place in a pie dish - I can't say that I have ever been daring enough to make my our crust...

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400. 
Step 2: Sprinkle zucchini, tomato, onion, and cheese (plus the chick sausage) evenly in the pie plate.
(I prefer to mix these ingredients first that way all is evenly dispersed in the pie plate)
Step 3: Mix remaining ingredients (pancake mix, milk, eggs, salt and pepper) until blended. 
Pour evenly into the pie plate.
(I also like to add more Parmesan (preferably freshly grated) on the top before cooking)
Step 4: Bake for about 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Mangia!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vacation Cut Short....

Thanks to Hurricane Irene my family vacation to Martha's Vineyard was cut short.  Originally, I had planned on leaving today, but due to the predicted course of the storm I took the last ferry off the island on Friday and the first and ONLY train to leave South Station on Saturday.

Even though vacation may have been cut short I still have a wonderful time.  The weather was perfect for the beach.  My niece, Nica, enjoyed the beach and the water!  Even though it was her second year to the Vineyard - it was really her first opportunity to play in the sand and water.  As you can see she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

We dined and drank at our "regular" spots that we normally visit during our annual vacations; Sharky's Cantina, Nancy'sThe Black Dog Tavern, Sand Bar & Grille, The Outlook. We ate ice cream at Ben and Bill's and Mad Martha's and gorged on donuts from the home of Back Door Donuts.  We shopped at The Black Dog, Vineyard Vines, Sanctuary, and many other small boutiques in Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and Vineyard Haven.
Among shopping, dining, and drinking we visited attraction such as The Flying Horses Carousel.

I even managed to get the brass ring! O.K. actually I DROPPED the brass ring (only me) I was in attempted to getting two rings in one shot and my second ring was the brass ring which I dropped!!! Instead of taking my "free ride" I gave it to a small boy who would probably enjoy the second ride more than I did.

Even though I was on vacation, there was no vacation from training for the B.A.A Half Marathon which I will be running on October 9th.  I ran and biked along the beautiful  bike path long the ocean.

It was a great week - even though it was cut short!  However, I don't think that I am mentally ready to go back to work tomorrow.....

....Back to life, back to reality....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In the Grand Scheme of Things

I sometimes question if I went into the right career.  Or I will even question myself why I chose to study fashion design in college.  It is apparent that I have a passion within me to create something new.  There is just something so breathtaking about taking a blank piece of fabric and turning into something wearable.

I have to admit that I was very blessed when it came time for me to find my first job right out of college.  A professor once told me to disregard the "5 years of experience" within the description for a job opening - and I did just that.

After a few interviews and endless on-line searches I came across an opening at Priscilla of Boston in the Women's Wear Daily (WWD) career section of the newspaper.  However, the job, Lectra Operator, required a minimum of 5 years experience and the only experience I had was 3 semesters of learning Gerber.  Regardless, I submitted my resume and forgot about it.  No really, I completely forgot that I had sent POB my resume until one day I received a phone call for an interview.

Needless, to say I got the job and started my career within the garment industry or "fashion" industry as some would say.  Over the past four years in my career there has been so much stress about not having enough fabric to make a dress, the ivory isn't the right ivory (I know that is hard to believe), the dress won't be shipped in time - I could go on forever. 

The other week I was thinking about all the wasted energy I spent on stressing to get a mere dress completed and shipped on time.  In the grand scheme of things, life, that is pretty darn pathetic if you ask me.  I understand that it is my job and all, but honestly there are just so many more important things going on in the world other than making sure a dress, of all things, is be produced on schedule.

My supervisor asked me the other week how I was not stressing over the fact that our fall production was late.  I told her I am doing what I can to see that it isn't late, but I refuse to waste my energy on stressing over it. In the end it is truly not worth it. I would much rather hold on to my sanity.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sick Sad World....

As I was on my to the gym yesterday there was "crime scene" tape on my side of the street and across the street; however, there was no one around so I walked under the tape and continued my walk to the gym.

As I returned the tape was removed from my side of the street, but there was the NYPD Crime Scene Unit van parked across the street. *RED FLAG* something is going on!  My Yorkville neighborhood has been "safe" for the past year that I have lived here so most naturally I become concerned.

An officer was walking in my direction I stopped him asking "Has something happened in the neighborhood?"  His response "Ah, yes." and that was all he said.  As I was walking up my stairs to my apartment I became bothered by that officer's lack of response.  Here is a young single woman who obviously lives in the neighborhood and he can't inform me what has occurred - I am now wondering if I should be concerned for my well being.

After getting ready for the day I decided that I would read at Carl Schurz Park since it was a gorgeous Saturday in the city.  As I went back outside there is now a crowd of people on my side of the street.  I stopped to see anyone knew what had gone on...

It turns out an unarmed man had broke into a 27 year old woman's apartment on the first level and sexually assaulted her. Unfortunately, she had left her windows open, unsecured, and the window gate open. The intruder pulled down the fire escape ladder to assist him to get through the window and fled through the front door of the building. Neighbors heard her screams of terror around 5:15 am and found her in the hallway pant-less.

There have been no arrests since last night, but luckily through the investigation detectives found whole hand prints smudged on the windows.

Rumor has it that she is a sweet girl that is originally from Texas, went to the University of Arkansas, and just moved into the neighborhood a month ago.  She is in stable condition at Cornell Hospital where she is being treated.

This shake up in the neighborhood has made be thankful that my dear friend, Ralph, had gotten me extra locks on my windows.  He purchased these small screws from the hardware store around corner.  I feel much more at ease knowing that I have a little extra security.

It is sad that we have sick people in this world that will hurt another human being.  We must always be on extra alert at all times to make sure that we are safe. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Follow your heart

Home is where the heart is and some people leave their hearts behind inorder to create a "life" for themselves.  Ms. Liz Giordano knows this first hand - luckily she learned to eventually follow her heart and not her head.

Liz graduated in 2010 from Rhode Island School of Design with her bachelors in Apparel Design.  With her passion for fashion and her love for designing bridal gowns, Liz left her family behind in Boston to create a career for herself in The Big Apple.  She landed a job as a bridal sales assistant in the wholesale department at Priscilla of Boston (this is where we met) even though it was not a "creative" job that she had hoped for, she told herself she had her foot in the door and honestly that is all that matter at the time.

As time slowly began to pass Liz realized that the job was not the right fit for her, even though she created many wonderful relationships between her co-workers and her bridal accounts.  She was uable to express herself creatively and felt that she was not putting her hard earned degree to work. 

In March of 2011 she was offered to take a position (the job I was leaving behind) within the product development department.  It would make her another step closer to the creative aspect of the company.  After some thought she knew that the job would not give her happiness she was seeking and would just pile on more stress. Plus, she was not sure how long she wanted to stay "here" (the city that is).

I have failed to mention that Liz not only left her tightly knitted family behind in Boston, but her love interest, her boyfriend, Brett.  She did her best with keeping the flame alive within their relationship, but truth be told she would have much rather been living closer to him.

Liz began to resent to city.  She realized that she was only living here to work in order to get a pay check...
On the 27th of July, Liz found herself at her desk crying, due to her unhappiness, at 9:30 in the morning.  Within just a few short hours and a few conversations with the parentals she walked into her boss's office and quit her job.  She told me when she was giving her noticed it felt like an enormous weight was lifted off of her shoulders and she felt whole again.

Liz's last day in the city is August 31st, her lease on her apartment is up (talk about perfect timing!).  Many of her "city" friends are sad to see her go (including me), but are happy for her now that she is happy.  She will begin her new adventure in Boston - unsure what the future may bring, but she is not worried since she will now be home.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Picture...

I have this picture on my refrigerator at home and every time I see it makes me smile - no matter how many times I have already seen....

...I am smiling now as I post it. 

There is just something so captivating about the photo that is just draws me in.  Perhaps, it is her innocence and chunkiness!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Where has the time gone....

I have been missing in action for 3 1/2 months now.  I have no real excuse for not blogging.  All I can say is that I had fallen off the horse and now I am trying to get back on it.

This past weekend I travelled up to Maine for a lovely weekend with some dear friends. On my 9 1/2 hour car ride up, Hillary and I were talking about her blog Shopahillic.  She blogs about shopping experiences, fashion trends, and whatever else may come to mind.  I informed her that I too have or should I say had a blog.

And that is when it hit me! I need to get back to blogging! Why did I stop? I enjoy writing. I enjoy making others smile. So, why the heck did I give up on it?

Perhaps, it was the craziness of the new job and the fact that I am miserable within this new position.  I became proactive again in the job search, but nothing has fallen on my plate; therefore, I began to lose sight and patience.  With the frustration of not being able to find the "right fit" I began to shettler myself.  I became less socialable (which may be hard for some of you to believe) and kept to myself.

But now I have finally snapped out it! I am no longer in a rut. I just need to be patient and keep telling myself that something (a job) will come around when the time is right....

So, expect to see more postings!!