Friday, January 30, 2015

Recipe: Leftover Loaf

I've mentioned in other recipe posts that I enjoy playing a game with myself where I will choose an ingredient, and built off of it in an attempt to make an edible meal. This was the case when I made up what I have dubbed "Leftover Loaf." (Thanks to Kristi with the alliterative suggestion!)




The basic concept is to take anything in your pantry or refrigerator and toss it in some ground beef or turkey to make a meatloaf. Sounds easy enough, right? It is.

The basics ingredients:

  • Ground beef or turkey
  • 2 eggs or equivalent egg whites
  • A dry ingredient (bread crumbs, crumbled saltines, stale Cheerios, etc.)

That's it! The rest of the ingredients depend on what you have to use up. Here are some ideas:
  • Canned beans
  • Leftover cooked vegetables
  • Half cut onion
  • Unused greens
  • Raw carrot (try grating it!)
  • The possibilities are endless

Just mix all of your chosen ingredients into a bowl, mix it together (I used a potato masher because, ew). Form it into a loaf shape on a broiler pan (to allow grease to drain) and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes or until it's beginning to brown and is cooked through. Easy-peasy!

Here is what I used to create my Leftover (Turkey) Loaf:

Ground turkey, Italian bread crumbs, the last of a carton of egg whites, minced garlic, 
1/2 red onion, leftover diced jalapeno, and some Parmesan cheese


Mix


Bake


It's ready!


Cut, serve and devour.


I'd love to hear any other ingredients  you would include in your Leftover Loaf! Share them in the comments. I may use your ideas in my next loaf.  :)


Until next time - - 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recipe: Homemade Pizza Sauce

I love Mondays! Well, I love Monday nights. Now that another season of The Bachelor has started, I'm back to my Monday girls' night. We rotate homes and watch The Bachelor (or Bachelorette), and the host home is in charge of dinner (the others are in charge of wine). Because most of our gal pals have moved away, its just Casey and myself for now. 
(Bonus: I get to take advantage of the weeks she hosts by sneaking in some baby Colin kisses before he goes to bed!)

I hosted this past Monday night, and it dawned on me that I had nothing planned for dinner! I considered picking something up, but she made such a delicious dinner last week, I hated to not put any effort into it. Spying a can of peeled tomatoes in our pantry, I decided to make homemade pizza. (Because that's the natural connection that my brain makes...can of peeled tomatoes...pizza!)




After looking at a few recipes online, I decided I didn't need anything extra in order to make the sauce. I had everything (or a substitute of everything) on hand. Which just helped justify my decision!

Here is the recipe that came out of my efforts. The beauty of making your own sauce is that you can customize it to your own taste. Like garlic? Add more! Like it sweeter? Toss in a little sugar! It's up to you.

And, since you know I love anything that freezes, I split the leftover sauce in half and put 2 bags in the freezer for future meals (spaghetti, another pizza, etc.). Yesssss.




Ingredients:

  • 28oz. can of peeled tomatoes
  • 4-5 tbsp. of Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (not pictured)
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. of minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
  • Put all ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Mix with an immersion blender (don't be like me and lift it up out of the mixture. It will splatter red all over your freshly painted cabinets). It was actually my first time using it - I got it from Santa Claus and was SO excited when I opened it! I need to find more things to use it for. It's fun!
  • Taste the sauce. If it needs more seasoning, add more. More salt? Toss in another pinch. This can be totally customized, so go for it!
  • There are no more steps. Move on to your recipe! It's as easy as that :)




Do you have any recipes that I could use my leftover red sauce in? Please share!


Until next time - - 


Monday, January 26, 2015

The Liebster Award!

Happy Monday, friends!

I'm honored to announce that have received my first blog award! Alexis from A Blissful Haven nominated me for the Liebster Award, which is an award for bloggers with less than 200 followers by other bloggers. Thanks, Alexis!



I'm honored that anyone even reads this little 'ol blog, let alone would nominate me for an award! I'm approaching my 4 month "blog-iversary" and am excited to see where I am in 4 more months!


Now for the award rules:





I'll be doing this a little out of the order listed in the rules, but it's all there.




First, I will answer the questions from Alexis...



1.  Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I felt I needed some sort of hobby that would allow me to be creative, as well as to find a community of people who had similar interests. The communities I already find myself involved with have been so wonderful! 

2.  If you could be a character from a TV show who would it be?  Why?

Hmm. Probably Lady Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey. I am so intrigued by that time period, and her clothes are beautiful. But I'd like to think I wouldn't make so many mistakes and poor life decisions, haha.

3.  What is your favorite flower?

I love peonies and hydrangeas. I had both in my wedding bouquet and it was beautiful! If only me and my black thumb could grow them.

4.  Where is your favorite place to blog?

My "office" at home. It's basically a sofa table with a chair and a lamp in my living room.

5.  What is your favorite thing to make?

Probably any type of meal. I love to cook!

6.  What is your style and what is your favorite thing to wear?

I'd say my style is pretty classic. I like neutral colors and earth tones, and a good pair of jeans and boots. On a weekend, though, you'll likely find me in leggings and a long cardigan!

7.  If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Definitely Italy...which we are doing this May! I am so, so excited!

8.  Describe the best evening ever.

Ooh, tough one. Since I'm a homebody, I'd have to say a night in with my favorite guy, my husband Spencer. I love when we cook together, so we would make dinner (he would do the dishes, of course), and play a board game with a bottle of red wine. Sounds pretty nice to me!

9.  What is your secret obsession?

Secret obsession? Hmm. For lack of a better, more juicy option (maybe I'm just boring), I'd say "Old Hollywood." Sometimes I will find myself in a Wikipedia rabbit hole, just reading about old celebrities, their romances, and the homes they lived in. One link leads to another and bam, lots of time wasted haha.

10.  What do you do to relax?

I love to read a really good book that I don't have to think too much about. If I can do that in a bubble bath with a glass of wine (is there a wine-theme here?), that's even better! If the weather is nice, I'll also go lay in Spencer's hammock and enjoy the sunshine.

11.  What is your dream career?

I ask myself this all the time - I don't really have an answer! I suppose it would be something that would allow me to be creative, but to also have a flexible schedule, and maybe work at home from time to time. 

________________________________________________

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

  1. My birthday is Dec. 28th. I've never minded having a birthday so close to Christmas, except that the rest of the year is a little boring because all of the fun is crammed in at once.
  2. I'm the youngest daughter of 6 girls...and I have 2 sisters and 3 step-sisters!
  3. My ring size and my shoe size are the same: 6.5
  4. I have to sleep with a small fan. Not for the breeze, but for the noise. Mine faces the wall, and is on its last leg!
  5. I would rather have a night in with a handful of friends than to go out to a bar. Bar + 5'1" gal = no fun
  6. This year I will celebrate my 5 year anniversary at my full-time job. It was my first job out of college, and I can't believe it's already been 5 years!
  7. I am horrible about keeping in touch with people. It's not for lack of caring, it's just something I am bad about!
  8. My favorite book of all time is Gone With the Wind. If you haven't read it, do it. It's long, but so wonderful.
  9. I have more of a "salt-tooth" than I do a "sweet-tooth." Potato chips and popcorn, all day.
  10. My biggest fear is losing someone I love in a car accident.
  11. I am a grateful to serve a Lord who pours out so much love and forgiveness! I'm a sinner in need of it often.

_____________________________________________


I am excited to nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster Award. If you don't already, you have to go check out their blogs and hook up with them on social media. They're all wonderful, kind people that you will love getting to know!

Ok, nominees - congratulations! Here are your 11 questions. I look forward to reading your answers!

  1. Who in your life do you most admire? Why?
  2. Name one new skill you'd like to learn.
  3. What is your all-time favorite book?
  4. Do you have any siblings?
  5. Chocolate or Vanilla?
  6. If you could meet up with anyone for coffee, living or deceased, who would it be?
  7. Describe your perfect Saturday.
  8. What was your first email address or screen name?
  9. Name one item you carry with you everywhere, all the time.
  10. Do you have a guilty pleasure? If so, what?
  11. Why do you blog?


Thanks for reading along, and for connecting with these other amazing bloggers. :)


Until next time - - 





Friday, January 23, 2015

National Handwriting Day

Happy Friday!

I hope you arrived to the end of the week sane and in one piece. It always seems that the 4 day weeks go more slowly than the 5 day weeks. Or is it just me?

Anyway - did you know that today is a holiday?! Because it's always fun to have a reason to celebrate (if Friday isn't enough).

Join me in celebrating National Handwriting Day! Yes, that's a real thing, and yes, it's today. January 23rd was actually dubbed National Handwriting Day because it is John Hancock's birthday (and we all know what he famously wrote).





National Handwriting Day was started to reintroduce people to the good, old fashioned pen and paper, and to re-explore the purity of handwriting. It is one of the most basic skills that we learn in school as children, and in this age of computers and smart phones/tablets, we do not use this skill nearly as often as previous generations. Let's make a point to change that today! #bringbackthehandwriting 

You know what's neat? Everyone has unique handwriting. It's kind of like a thumb print, or a snowflake. No two people write exactly the same. And many times, you can distinguish the writer by the handwriting (a parent, a friend, a coworker...). It's crazy when you really stop to think about it!

So, in honor of today's holiday, I am vowing to hand-write and mail notes to some dear friends. Who doesn't love a surprise note in the mail in the midst of bills and junk mail?

How will you celebrate?


PS: Keep an eye on my Instagram account (@yellowdoordiaries) for a giveaway on Monday! Go follow me if you aren't already. :)



Until next time  - - 



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

True or False: Iron Out Carpet Stains

As you remember, I started a new series called "True or False." If you missed the first post where I tested out cleaning up headlamps with toothpaste, you can see that here

The next test I had to try was ironing out carpet stains. I pinned this pin, and have been wanting to try it for myself. So, I did. 




(Side Note: no judging my dirty carpet, got it? If you do, we can't be friends)

My supplies:

  • Windex (I used the clear Windex with vinegar, but the person in the pin used blue and said it worked fine)
  • White cloth (you can use any color, but I wanted to see if the stains were being lifted)
  • Iron (dry setting)
It's as easy as it sounds. First I located a mystery stain on my carpet...which in person was orange, but looks alarmingly brown in this photo (wasn't hard to do - please tell me I am not the one with carpet that has oodles of stains that seemingly appear overnight while we're sleeping. What on earth?!).




After squirting the stain generously with Windex, I placed the cloth over it and ironed as I would a piece of clothing (as in, not holding it in one spot to avoid scorching). 





Within 5-10 seconds, I could see color appearing on the cloth, in the shape of the stain underneath. Hmm...sure enough, when I lifted the cloth, voila! The stain was gone! It was absorbed into the cloth. Woohoo!

 



If you're anything like me, then you probably already guessed that I giddily flitted around my home, squiring and ironing anything I could find. 

Be aware. Two stains I could identify did not come out: ink and a paint drip. Can't blame a girl for trying.


Verdict:
TRUE (with exceptions)


Monday, January 19, 2015

In Honor of MLK

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an incredibly inspiring man. He was brave and bold enough to stand up for what he believed in, but did so peacefully. With so many present day groups like ISIS and the Taliban fighting violently for their beliefs, it's important to remember and honor a man who made such a big impact in history without violence. 

So, in honor of a great man on a day set aside to honor him, take a minute to read his famous "I Have a Dream" speech and just imagine the same speech made today in honor of people worldwide who are not allowed the same freedoms and rights as those of us blessed enough to live in the US. 



I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
                Free at last! Free at last!
                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!



Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Club: January 2015

If you've read my post "The Women Behind the Blog," then you've seen that I participate in a local book club. I have always loved to read, but as my life becomes seemingly busier, I don't take as much time to get lost in a good book as I would like. Joining my book club has been a great way to push myself to do so. I also enjoy the social aspect of meeting up to eat and discuss the book, as well as the push it gives me to branch out and read a book I wouldn't ordinarily select for myself.

I thought I could virtually share a bit of these perks with you (a look into books you may not have heard of or thought about reading), as well as the social aspect through comments and social media interaction.

Our book for January is "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban," and so far it's fantastic. I am about half way through, but am finding it to be one of those books you have to read "just one more chapter."




The two aspects I find most intriguing about it are first, that it is a true story written by the girl that lived it firsthand (Malala, who is also the youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize), and two, that it has already taught me more than I previously knew about the War on Terror and the happenings Pakistan and Afghanistan from a local's perspective.

Amazon writes:

"I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday."

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.



I would highly recommend this book if you're searching for an interesting, inspiring, and educational book!







Until next time - - 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Most Recent Regret



Y'all. I finally did it. And I totally wish I hadn't.

Yes, I replaced the battery in our digital scale. We've had a dead battery in it for about two years, so I used that as an excuse to shove it in our closet. Well, I decided to dust it off and pick up a new battery during my most recent trip to WalMart.

I stood on it to make sure I inserted the battery correctly, and wanted to immediately remove it and return it to get my money back. Surely that number wasn't right. Right?

Wrong.

It's true. I've gained happy pounds. Way too many of them, I might add. Spencer? Nope. Same trim, fit figure as always. (Men...eye roll.)

Something's got to give. I seem to be the most motivated to work out when I lay down for bed, probably because I'm a night owl. However, if I work out at 10:30pm, I'll be up all night long. What's a girl to do? Why can't I just be motivated like normal people, and at normal times? What is wrong with me!? Please tell me someone can relate. 

Well, if anything will jolt me back to reality, it's the number I saw on the scale this weekend. Ouch. And if I plan to be gallivanting through Europe this May, I don't want to look like the chubby American. So that's that. 

Spencer, get your weights and medicine balls ready. This girl is ready to drop some pounds.




Until next time - - 

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 Word of the Year


Since New Years, I have enjoyed reading other bloggers' "Word of the Year" post. It's in place of resolutions or goals (you can see mine here). Choosing a "Word of the Year" is a year-long quest to apply or meditate on the chosen word. I really contemplated what my word would be if I chose one. When it occurred to me, I thought I should probably share it, as someone else may also need it and we can hold one another accountable.

My word for 2015 is "Perspective." Many times, I can over-react, over-analyze, and be overly-sensitive. I've told myself that it's just how women are wired. But truthfully, most times I allow myself to do this simply by not resisting it. I give into the temptations to over-(insert verb) and let it control me rather than me controlling my own emotions.

perspective

/pəˈspɛktɪv/
noun 
1.
a way of regarding situations, facts, etc, and judging their relativeimportance
2.
the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity:try to get some perspective on your troubles

If someone at work gets upset with me (which if you know me, you know is completely devastating to the natural people-pleaser in me), I often let it throw off my whole day. I did something wrong, they're mad at me, I stink at my job, they're going to tell everyone, they're going to remember it forever...whatever thought goes through my mind, at times I can let it consume me. 

PERSPECTIVE. Did I really mess up? Go apologize. Fix it. I didn't really do anything wrong? Well, then I can't do anything to fix it. Keep working hard, and they'll realize they were wrong. And if not, it's not that big of a deal!

If I don't feel well (which I'm sorry to say has been quite a bit this past year, due to being prone to migraines, and also due to some other personal reasons), man oh man, can I wallow! I don't want someone to tell me to suck it up, that I'll be fine. I want to be coddled, to be catered to, and I want empathy (note: not from everyone, I'm not THAT bad. Mainly from my husband, and growing up from my mom. Basically anyone who gets the honor of living with me!). When I think about it, I have to roll my eyes at myself. I mean, honestly.

PERSPECTIVE. I have friends and family members battling illnesses that they would give anything to trade for whatever measly thing is bringing me down. Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, accidents causing years and years of painful recovery surgeries, you name it. The funny thing is, these are the people that I never hear complain. If that doesn't keep things in perspective, what will?

If I get pouty because I can't buy something I want, or think that I "need," I wish that we had more money. "So-and-so has this, and they're younger than I am!" "I saw on Instagram that so-and-so got that watch I want so badly. I'd be sooo happy if I can have that, too!"

PERSPECTIVE. If my happiness rests in what I have or don't have, what trips I can or can't take, or lusting after others' things, I have my priorities all out of whack. That's when I know I need to step back, dive into my Bible and into prayer, and really remind myself that the only thing that can make me happy is finding my identity in Christ and resting in that. All of my other blessings are sprinkles on top. And everything else I don't have but think I want, well, the Lord has reasons for keeping things from us for our own good.

So for 2015, my word of focus is "Perspective." I hope this will train my mind and my heart to focus less on myself, and more on helping and being there for other people. 

If you'd like to join me in this, let me know! We can encourage each other. 

What word would you pick for 2015? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time - - 


Friday, January 9, 2015

Guest Post: Typical (Unpredictable) Friday Lunch with the Birthday Girl

This post is a bit disturbing. It is written by my friend, Casey, about the birthday lunch she treated me to today. Prepare yourself - it's bad. And if you live here in Columbia, SC, take note!



GUEST POST by Casey:

Morgan’s birthday, being on December 28th, often gets sucked in with the holiday hustle and bustle, unfortunately.  Well, we decided earlier in the week that we would go to lunch today (Friday).  I gave her 3 places to choose from since I would be treating the birthday girl.  Who said you could only celebrate your birthday in your birth month anyway?  Hello, January AND the month to celebrate Morgan’s birthday!  Anyway, the choices were Liberty, Blue Marlin and Grilled Teriyaki.  I knew she would pick Grilled Teriyaki because we both LOVE that place.  We both have very fond memories of going out to Five Points during our college days and stumbling, I mean gracefully walking, to Grilled Teriyaki at 2 am for a delicious meal that left us with the lingering scent of smoky, burnt chicken.  Those were truly the days...

Needless to say, off to Grilled Teriyaki we went.  Morgan noticed that they did some updating to the exterior of their building and they even had a new menu.  We both ordered the Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, duh.  Our order arrives. We lather it with their amazing “white sauce” and chow down!!  I am ALWAYS a part of the Clean Plate Club there!  

UNTIL……… are you ready for this??  (DISCLAIMER:  IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH DO NOT READ ON)  

I stare at my plate. Speechless. I think I blinked a few times, looked at Morgan, looked at my plate, said "ummm Morgan….." She covered her mouth and gagged. Yep, it was a roach.  
Belly up, fresh, all legs still attached, tossed in teriyaki sauce, roach.  

It was like my eyes didn’t convince my brain what I just saw!  Morgan conveniently made eye contact with the waitress and like a little school girl she raised her hand and motioned for her to come to our table.  I looked at my plate and the waitress picked it up to take a closer look, and stated that she had never seen anything like it and that she was very sorry.  She also proceeded to say that they just had the restaurant "serviced" last week.  Well, I was thinking "serviced" like DHEC same in and inspected (I guess because I have been dealing with DHEC at work, and I had a straight shot at the door with a big fat A posted on it).  Morgan later mentioned that she took having it “serviced” as meaning that Pest Control came.  Which continues to bring up unanswered questions!  So, have they been having a pest problem?  They knew about this?  They have an "A" rating? How did the roach get in the chicken?  Where do they store the chicken? Does it not have a lid?

The waitress took my plate and proceeded to come back to our table to ask if I would like anything else to eat.  Hummm...I think my look answered her question.  She stated that the manager would comp our meal today.  Well, thank you Mr. Manager!  Manager that never came to the table, never made an effort to apologize, nothing.  

I left the waitress a tip (because it wasn't her fault) and we quietly left.  As we were walking out I thought, "man we should have told the people around us."  Why were we so quiet leaving?  Maybe because we were still in shock that we will no longer will eat at our favorite restaurant?  I told Morgan that I am not one to write much on Facebook and especially to complain, but I wanted to BLAST them and called the news reporters!  I now feel like I need to do a full body detox and throw up the food I just consumed!

If you know me, I could eat a cow.  Needless to say, I was still hungry.  I asked Morgan where we were going next.  But seriously, I needed something else to eat.  I knew Morgan would go for something sweet so she immediately said, ice cream.  Ummm, Morgan, did you realize that it has been a high of 43 degrees the last few days and you want ice cream?



 
Off to Marble Slab we went.  Being a little paranoid, every bite that had a crunch made me a little uneasy.  Do you blame me? I just had a roach in my lunch!  Anyway, we ended up laughing about it and cutting jokes. Morgan jokingly stated that maybe something needs to happen like this every meal so that she could control her portions. Haha!  After all, it wasn’t the best lunch, but the company was fantastic!





**Let me make the point of this story very clear to my Columbia friends- I would NOT recommend going to Grilled Teriyaki (it breaks my heart and taste buds to say that)!
The food is not what it used to be as a college student (or maybe we just didn’t pay that much attention to the food or to the fact that the customer service was not up to par)!

Sincerely,

Disappointed, no-longer customer of GT