July 28, 2009

Unplugging Update

Well last week's Inaugural Unplugging was such a great success that Garrett and I have been looking forward to tonight for pretty much a week straight. I have to admit that on my drive home last week I had a little bit of anxiety. I stayed at work to get a few extra things done on-line (cheating a little bit, I suppose) and when I got home, my first thought was CRAP! This house is quiet.

I decided to remedy that quick by popping in a CD that I had been listening to in bits and pieces on my way to and from places, and it was remarkable what a different experience it was just listening to the whole album in its entirety. I miss that kind of thing. Sometimes it feels like I can hardly find the time breathe, let alone sit down and appreciate an entire album, but I guess that's the whole point, right? It was kind of exciting to know that there are many more Unplugged Nights to come. It made me a little giddy to revisit some old albums and discover some new.

Which then made me think of all of the other things I could/should/would be able to do on these Unplugged Nights and so of course I just starting spouting ideas out to Garrett and got up to go start making a list to which he basically said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa...there are no lists in this little experiment."


No Lists.

Just Taking Time For Myself.

Not Wasting Time With Computers/Phones/DVDs.

UN-Complicating My Life.



(This I assure you does NOT come natural to me.)

So of course we did the usual cook dinner, eat, and talk about our day business, but then we started talking about a new book I was going to start reading but just couldn't motivate myself to pick up, and Garrett suggested that I start reading it out loud. Reason #675 Why I Love This Man. So we read the book together for about an hour and a half and then conked out about 9:30.

Can I recommend Unplugging if only to allow yourself to get a really fantastic and restful night of sleep?

I woke up feeling great on Wednesday and was sort of sad that things were going to go back to Business as Usual that evening. I'm looking forward to seeing how things unfold tonight!

July 27, 2009

What's For Dinner?

It's been awhile since I've posted a menu, but rest assured they go up every week around here. If I didn't have a list telling me what to make every night we would undoubtedly eat microwave quesadillas for dinner all week.

This week Monday is my mom's super comfort food enchiladas. We call them White Enchiladas around these parts and they are full of cheesy, olive-y goodness!

Tuesday's Taco Salad is a staple in our house. Garrett pretty much loves it and it couldn't be easier. Ground Turkey, Taco Seasoning, Olives, Avocado, Tomatoes, Kidney Beans, Red Onions, Thousand Island Dressing, Hot Sauce, and Red Onion. So Easy, yet So Good.

Wednesday's Pork is just traditional breaded thin pork chops and the Beautiful Rice is a recipe I picked up over here, so I'm trying it out this week for something a little different. I'll cook up some kind of veggie (maybe roasted cauliflower -- a favorite) but I'm not sure what yet.

Thursday is exactly what is says. Caramelized Onions are my new favorite pasta topper. Sounds weird. Totally isn't. I promise.

Friday is my favorite chili with some cheddar cornbread, and bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers (died and gone to heaven!).

Saturday we'll be getting our hands dirty with Teriyaki Wings (I hate buffalo wings) and fresh Corn on the Cob (Flossing Emergency, hello!)

And Sunday it will be left over city!

What are you all cooking?

July 21, 2009


A year and a half ago, one of my favorite bloggers took on an interesting project that she dubbed 52 Nights Unplugged. You can watch a clip about it here if you like, but I'll give you the Cliffs Notes as well. Realizing that she wanted to be a little more "present in the present" and after attending a workshop about finding balance between technology and soul she decided she was going to spend 52 Nights Unplugged.

"One night a week, I am going to completely unplug from anything with a screen. This means no Internet, no sidekick, no watching DVDs."

At the time I thought it was a novel idea. Sure, the Internet is great, but how many times have you turned on your computer to check out one little thing, and looked up later to find yourself with a giant pain in your ass and a sense of bewilderment regarding where the last few hours had gone? How many times have you sat down to do something productive and gotten sucked into something on TV or texting back and forth with friends about something silly only to push aside the to-do list? I know I am seriously culpable when it comes to those behavioral patterns and so when I read about this project, I thought her choice to be proactive about the situation was incredibly noble. I wasn't going to run out an join her right that second, after all I certainly didn't think I had quite the same problem with technology, but I was really excited to hear about her progress from week to week.

A year and half later, however, I still find myself thinking about that project quite frequently while I'm at home, and Internet, if memory serves I think *they* say the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?

::::waves hello:::::

And here we are.

The more I think about it, the more I realize it's not so much a technology problem (don't worry, I'm not trying to rationalize here) but rather a time management problem with a technology enabler. I feel more and more overwhelmed by all of the plates I spin in my professional and personal life and lately when looking for ways to diffuse that stress, I find that I don't have any time because I have blogs to write! Text messages to send! Phone calls to make! Articles to read! Facebook statuses to update! Pictures to upload and edit! HOLY HELL WHY AM I ALWAYS BEHIND?

Do you see what I'm getting at?

So why don't I just give it all up, you ask? I mean obviously all of those items fall in the Nice-To-Do category and certainly not in the Need-To-Do category, right? But for those of you who don't know me personally, here is a little insight into my curious little psyche. I have always been a bit of an obsessive documenter. As a child I was constantly writing my way through whatever was going on in my life, my room was always surrounded with photo collages of friends and family, artistic inspiration torn out of magazines was always hanging around (OK and some pictures of TV heartthrobs, whatever), and there was no shortage of little ripped pieces of paper that chronicled my next brilliant idea. It's just the way I was made.

Even as an adult I have written countless pages of randomata and I'm actually quite grateful for it. When I moved in with Garrett I had so much fun looking back on my observations from the early days of our relationship. In short, my brain is always going. Getting all of that head chatter documented IS a Need-To-Have for me because putting that stuff somewhere allows me to heave a sigh of relief and just get on with my life already! Now with the advent of technology it has just made the tools I use a little different. Is that better? Probably. But it does come with a price, and that price is feeling sort of stifled by the constraints of electronics at times.

I'm not saying that my goal is to stop depending on technology (NEVER gonna happen!), but what I am saying is that I do need a bit of a reboot once in a while, so I've decided to piggyback on Ariel's idea of "Unplugging" and starting tonight when I get home from work I'm going to just Turn. Everything. Off. My hope is that by doing this weekly (every Tuesday) this will force me to regularly to hit the pause button which will allow me not only the luxury of decompressing but it might also give me the illusion of extra time to squeeze in some of those things that I feel like my harried, fast-paced life does not allow for. Taking walks. Reading. Writing on paper instead of on the Internet. Thinking. Hell, just breathing. These things are important to me, and no one else is going to prioritize them for me.

You may be wondering how Garrett fits into all this. I actually approached him about this idea last night and I thought for sure he would giggle at another one of my crazy schemes, so imagine my surprise when before I was even through outlining my reasoning behind everything he blurted out, "Let's Start Tomorrow!" He also feels the pull of so many different commitments, so rather than coming home and partaking in our usual routine -- dinner, trashy television, phone calls, computer time, and then off to sleep, lather, rinse, repeat -- he is going to unplug with me on Tuesday nights as well. Hmm...it'll be like Date Night meets Little House On The Prairie.

I'm thinking it will be fun. And different. And a little bit nutso. But this is me we are talking about.

Were you expecting something different?

July 15, 2009

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Gina sent me a fantastic recipe for this Black Bean Salad that I have been enjoying NON-STOP for the last few days so I thought I would share.

It's a delicious combo of black beans with corn, and I don't know about you but in the summertime I can't get enough corn. The best part about it is that you probably have most of the ingredients sitting in your pantry. I adapted the original recipe, which was a Guy Fieri recipe on Food Network, because there were a few ingredients I didn't have on hand and going to the grocery store was not in the cards that day. It is so simple and tasty.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 Can of Corn
***Can I HIGHLY, highly recommend Trader Joe's canned corn. It is the best corn from a can that I have ever tasted. Crunchy and sweet, and from a can? Seriously good.
2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
1 Red Pepper, diced
1/2 of a Red Onion, diced finely
3 Scallions, Chopped
1 Jalapeno -- leave the seeds in for more heat otherwise seed -- finely diced
3 TBS honey
Juice of 1 lime
1 TBS kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
A few pinches of cumin (I love cumin!)

*Also, some cilantro would be fantastic in here. I just didn't have any on hand.

Mix well and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours and then enjoy! It is perfect to pop in a tupperware for lunches all week. I wish I had some in my lunch today!

The next summery salad on my list to make is this Asparagus Summer Salad.

I'll let you know how it turns out!


Related Posts with Thumbnails