Monday, July 18, 2016

Stitch Fix #3 and that's a wrap.



Well, this will be my last Stitch Fix box. It was fun and exciting to anticipate the arrival of my Stitch Fix. But the actual products being sent to me were leaving me slightly disappointed.

I did everything I could have done to convey what I needed from Stitch Fix. I kept my Pinterest Style board up to date. I sent feedback on each item. I adjusted my style profile and price point. And after three boxes, I feel like they were only half listening.

First issue...the items were just too expensive. I let them know that when I would checkout. To which I got a generic email from Stitch Fix suggesting that I update my price point in my profile. So I did before I received this last box. But the price point for my items didn't change. So, while I love the gray top and the distressed jeans and the cardigan. I couldn't afford to keep all of them. I can't spend $48 (which was the lowest price in the entire box) for one item. I just can't. Especially when I feel like I could get items similar for far less at a store here in town. I did end up keeping the cardigan from this box, which was $48, but only because I had a $25 credit that I could apply towards it (thank you, Vicki). At this point, I feel like the only way anyone could continue to use the service is if they work hard to get several referrals to offset the cost of the items (or if they have a lot of spare cash sitting around). And, honestly, I'm a sucky sales person on a budget.

Second issue...my style. I'm not sure how many times I mentioned that I didn't want items that I couldn't wear a normal bra with. But I know it was more than once. And yet they kept sending me items that have necklines and or straps that would require a strapless or converted bra. Listen, I know there are tons of women out there who do not have a problem with wearing a strapless bra or a bandeau or a cami with a "built in bra"..but I'm not one of them. I asked for statement necklaces, and the above is what they sent me. I'm not trying to say the necklace is ugly, just not what I was thinking of (which reflects in the Pin's I added to my Pinterest board). And again, the cost of that necklace doesn't match the size or quality of the piece. I asked for a kimono, for the last two boxes, but didn't get anything of that nature. I asked for a purse, possibly a crossbody, but didn't get any type of bag. And the two pair of shoes they sent me were really quite ugly compared to the styles I have seen Stitch Fix share on their social media accounts.

So, while it was fun for a minute, and I'm still glad I tried it, I sent my email to officially cancel my Stitch Fix account (you actually have to email them to fully cancel your account, by the way). I'm going to stick with shopping via Instragram boutiques.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Did someone say Taco Tuesday?


Ok..ok....so, I didn't exactly make tacos for Taco Tuesday. But it's in the same vein, so I'm gonna' count it.


Salsa Chicken Chulupas!

Y'all, these are so, so good. And so, so easy.

This is what you need:

~ chicken breast, skinless, boneless. I used two chicken breasts (and we have left overs). You can judge if you need more to feed your family.
~ a jar of salsa, any salsa will do. I've been using a chipotle citrus salsa you can find at HEB. It is out of this world good. Now, keep the amount of chicken you are using in mind here. You want it to be fairly saucy, so if you are using a lot more chicken you might need more salsa.
~ box of tostado shells (we used the Ortega brand, Rhonda....she asked me earlier and I couldn't remember)
~ one can, Fat-free refried beans
~ pico de gallo
~ shredded lettuce
~ tomatoes, chopped
~ shredded cheese, Mexican blend
~ cumin seasoning

So, in the morning, throw your chicken (I put mine in frozen) and salsa in a crockpot, top with some cumin. Turn on low and let it cook all day. Now, if your crockpot runs hot, hot, HOT (bonus points if you read that in the voice of Ruby Rhod.....extra bonus points if you know who Ruby Rhod is), you might have to turn it on later in the day or move it to warm later in the day. Use your judgment based on your equipment.

At dinner time, shred up the cooked chicken and return it to the crockpot. Warm up the refried beans on the stove. Once they are warm, slather a thin layer of the beans on the tostado shells. Top with some of the chicken.

After that, you can get creative with your toppings. We used pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, and fresh chopped tomatoes. You could also add some avocado and black olives. Whatever you like.

Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top and dinner is served.

*Two chulupas is 10 Smart Points

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Let's get cooking!


I joined Weight Watchers about a month ago. Since then I've been sharing my dinner plates on my Instagram account (find me: justjinny) with the Smart Points value. I asked on my Facebook page if anyone would be interested in the recipes I try out. I got enough YES responses back to decide that I'd start sharing my recipes here.

I want to pre-face this by advising I am not a real cook...I just play one in my kitchen. Some of these recipes are made up, altered, and eye balled so my measurements and timing might not be exact. You'll have to use your own judgment and cook at your own risk.

Let me start with last nights dinner.


I'm calling it Lemon-garlic spaghetti with broccoli, chickpeas, tomatoes, and sweet bell peppers.

A mouthful, I know.

I wanted to make spaghetti but without the red pasta sauce and with more vegetables (that is really key with WW...more vegetables and fruit for everything). So I did a quick google search for "spaghetti, broccoli, and chickpeas" and browsed around for a template recipe. The recipe I decided to work off of called for 3/4 cups of olive oil..for a recipe that serves 4-6 people. 3/4 cups of olive oil is 50 Smart Points people. It also called for 1 pound of rigatoni pasta (48 Smart Points), a cup of parmesan cheese (14 Smart Points), and 19 ounces worth of chickpeas (12 Smart Points). Obviously I was going to have to modify this a bit.

So here is what I used:

3 servings of 100% Whole Wheat spaghetti (a serving is about 2 oz. You might have a handy way ot measuring out spaghetti...I eyeballed it)
1/2 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
2 lemons (for the zest and the juice)
Two heads of broccoli, chopped up into florets (or you can buy the pre-packaged kind)
Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1-2 mini-sweet bell peppers, cut into strips
1/4 cup Shredded mozzarella cheese, fat free
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning blend
Garlic seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Start a pot of water to boil, be sure to salt it.

After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, throw those in a small bowl with half of the olive oil and about half of one lemon's juice. Zest a little of the lemon on it too. Add salt and pepper and set the bowl aside.

Once the water is boiling, throw in the broccoli and let them soak in there for a couple of minutes. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a colander and rinse under cold water. Add your pasta to the same boiling water and let it cook until it's however tender you like it.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet heat up the remaining olive oil (I know it doesn't look like much, but it's enough) and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic is golden. Add the broccoli, tomatoes, and bell peppers to the skillet and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the bowl of chickpeas and cook until heated through. This is a good time to add more lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. It's all to taste, so do it up however you like.

Drain the pasta, but keep about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and the water to the skillet with everything else. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until everything is coated with the "sauce". Now, I'll tell ya'll...there really isn't a sauce, really. It's just not thick enough to be called that. But the liquid does have flavor, so that's what you want to try and get all over everything.

Again, take a taste and see if it needs any more seasoning. Add what you need, you'll notice I didn't really tell you where to add all the lemon juice. It's really up to you and what you like. I like a lot of lemon zest and juice, so that's what I used.

Top with the shredded cheese and serve while warm.
It was very flavorful but light...probably because of the fake "sauce". I like all the different textures with the broccoli and the chickpeas. The recipe I started from didn't call for tomatoes and bell pepper, I just decided to add those in there. For a pasta dish, it wasn't too bad on the points. 10 Smart Points per serving of pasta. The original recipe would have been at least double that. Overall, for a "let's just add this and put a little less of that" type of dinner, it ended up being a pretty tasty meal.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Sometimes..


It's the 4th of July. My Facebook and Instagram account are full of pictures of people doing the normal 4th of July stuff. Everyone is out at the lake watching fireworks, gathering for the family BBQ, getting ready for the pool party. But not us.


Sometimes, when the world gets to be too much..when life gets a little too stressful...we retreat to our love cottage. So, we made big plans for the long weekend which revolved around not having to step a foot outside our house.


We did yard work. We read books. We watched some of our favorite shows. We bbq'ed and made s'mores. We listened to music. We enjoyed our back patio and hammock. We picked vegetables from our garden. We stayed up late and slept in (or at least I did..lol). And each night, we crawled into bed saying 'That was the best day ever'.


Sometimes, doing "nothing" is exactly what we need to recharge so we can turn around and face the world again. Not all the time, but sometimes.



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What I can do.


If there is a day to act on the Love in your soul it is today, it is this moment. ~Mike Dolan

The tragedy in Orlando has me and my husband shaking our heads. We have sat in this very office and talked all the way around the issue, over and over and over.

Why did he do it? Was he part of ISIS? Was this a hate crime? Or terrorism? Who was his intended target? Why was it so easy for him to get such a powerful weapon? Why does this keep happening?

I don't know all the details. And, frankly, I don't need to know ALL the details. Because what it comes down to is this. He was a hate-filled man. And he was able to hurt a lot of people with an easily obtained powerful weapon. That's it.

It doesn't matter what color his skin was. What religion he was. Where he was from. Who he claimed to be part of. What his motives were.

He was a man.

He killed a lot of people.

With an easily and legally obtained powerful killing machine.

So, of course, that leads us right into the never-ending "gun debate".

Why do people even need to own those kind of guns? Just because they want to? Because it's their "constitutional right"? Why can't the government find a way to make it a little harder for people to get those guns? Why does nothing ever change? Why do we keep allowing this to happen?

And that brings us to money. The government body will never move towards any type of bill/law that will hinder the NRA's ability to sell guns (any guns...all the guns). Because the NRA has lined enough pockets with enough money to make it so. As long as that type of bribery is allowed to happen in our government, nothing is ever going to change. And I don't see that happening any time soon.

So, after all of that discussion...when he and I have talked it all the way around..to realize that there is nothing we can do to fix this...I'm left feeling broken, sad, disappointed, angry, and useless.

I keep asking myself...what can I do? What more can I do than change my Facebook profile pic and post my thoughts and prayers (hashtagged, of course)? I have no faith in my government. I have no faith that my vote would ever make any difference (because of the money in the pockets...remember). So, on that level, I am totally and utterly pointless.

But, what I can do is always strive to be better to the person next to me.

At work, at the grocery store, in my neighborhood, on my social media accounts. I can always try and be the love that this world so desperately needs. I can always try to remember to look outside of my self-absorbed little bubble and not be shy about reaching out to those around me.

I can always try to be kinder. To be more helpful. To be more loving. To be more understanding. To be more compassionate.

And, like Jeremy says, 'That will have to be enough'.



Saturday, June 4, 2016

Big Birthday Fundraiser


Is anyone else tired of all the bickering on social media? I do not want to see another thing about public bathrooms or gorillas. It's not that I don't think topics should be discussed...it's just that on social media rarely does anyone ever really discuss anything. It's more like a bunch of people being in a big room just screaming their opinion at the top of their lungs.

I want to talk about something else instead. Animal rescue. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a huge soft spot for rescued animals. I don't really agree with breeding or purchasing "designer breed" animals for a ton of money. I am 100% pro-rescue/shelter adoption.

My birthday is coming up....in two and half months...but I need the time to try and get this set up and get the word out. Usually I am a pretty big diva princess when it comes to my birthday. I want to celebrate all month and I want ALL THE PRESENTS. And cupcakes. And cake. But this year, I want to try something different.

I want to try and raise money for an animal rescue. I want to try and get pledges, at least one for each day of the month of August. $1 for day 1, $2 for day 2, $3 for day 3, and so on. If I can get one person to pledge for every single day of August, we could raise nearly $500. But if I get more than one pledge for a day, I'll gladly accept that. More pledges equal more money. After collecting pledges for the next two months, I would set up a Gofundme account to be opened at the first of August and hopefully start collecting the pledged donations. At the end of the month, I would announce how much was raised and donate it to my animal rescue of choice.

And that rescue would be A Place to Bark, located in Tennessee. Bernie is an animal rescuing machine. Along with a handful of worker bees she makes magic happen for many, many animals. Please feel free to check out their Facebook page, read the posts and watch the videos. It really is a worthy rescue that can use every single bit of help.

SSSoooo, that's my big birthday fundraising idea. I'm officially opening up the fundraiser to pledges. Just comment your name, email, and which day you'd like to place your pledge. If you don't specify a dollar amount, I'll assume you are pledging the amount of the day you select (August 6th would be a $6 pledge). Remember, a pledge is just that...a commitment to pay the pledged amount in August. To kick it off, I'm pledging to pay $36 towards my fundraiser..since that's how old I'll be!




Saturday, May 28, 2016

Target Beauty Box #2


DDaaaaammmnnnn, Jonessa...back at it again with the Target Beauty Box.

Once again, I came home to a Target Beauty Box that I was not expecting. My girl, Jonessa, did me another solid and sent it to me. I have the best BFF ever.


This box seems geared towards skin care. There are four different kinds of moisturizer/skin creams and two facial cleansers. Not that I mind. I've been trying to get myself into a habit of cleaning and moisturizing my face in the morning and the evening. My sister brought me some Mary Kay cleanser and moisturizer that I've been using lately. 

I'm game to try it all, but something tells me you cannot turn back time {Cher knows}. My face is what it is. But I still need to take care of my skin the best that I can. So, I used the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser and Andalou Age Defying Night Repair Cream last night.

The facial cleanser comes out as a clear liquid and you have to rub it in your hands to get it to foam up. It has a slight soapy smell but nothing overwhelming. It was light and gentle on my face. I'm not a big makeup wearer so I couldn't say how effective this would be to remove all of your makeup. The repair cream came in a sample tube that distributes it like a spot treatment. So it was a little strange to try and get enough to apply all over my face and neck, as the directions advise. But it looks like the normal size comes in a pot, which makes more sense. It wasn't overly greasy and absorbed very quickly into my skin. It also had a very mild scent..almost no scent. Which was a little strange too. I guess if you are very sensitive to scents, these products would be great.

Those are the only two products I've used so far other than trying on the L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lip Pen in Matte-r of Fact. I liked this shade much better than the red lipstick that came in my first beauty box. Again, I don't wear a lot of makeup and I don't normally wear lipstick at all, but lip gloss. This is the first time I've tried on a matte lipstick. When you are used to something being a little more shiny and wet, it's a different kind of feeling. But it went on very smooth and stayed put.


I'll get around to trying everything else in the box, but two other products that I am super excited to try are the Hair Food Kiwi Dry Shampoo and L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Towelettes. I'll report back after I try them out.