Thursday, June 24, 2021

It's too hot in Houston!

I know it's summer....but it's way too hot and it's not even August yet!!!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Update on Post "Thoughts...Things I believe"

I wrote a blog post on May 20, 2009, titled "Thoughts...Things I believe". That specific post actually received a few comments. One follower said that was exactly what she needed to hear. 

Here is the original post:

There is a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. Her book talks about a false growth mindset and encourages a deeper truth growth mindset. In her perspective, if you have a true growth mindset, you will have the ability to not only change and grow, but you will have the ability to influence others.

I'm currently reading a book called AdaptAbility: How to Survive Change You Didn't Ask For by 
M. J. Ryan. 

In a nutshell, this book discusses changing your mindset during difficult times you never expected-or changing your outlook and trying to look at things with a new perspective. I have had this book forever and finally made myself sit down and read it. I highly recommend it to anyone who is going through an unexpected change in their life or growth period.

Since resigning from my corporate job over a year ago, I have been going through a lot of spiritual seeking and growth. None of us can truly grow in life without changing our mindset and being open to new opportunities, learning from others, learning from daily lessons that are thrown in or direction, being flexible, and just being open to signs from God and the Universe. 

Here are some updates on my Thoughts...Things I believe:

  • I believe "I AM LOVE" just as the mural above states. I believe "YOU ARE TOO"! This mural is painted on the side of a building in the Heights on 19th street in Houston, Texas (not far from my house). I believe we were all born and designed to love, yet we grow up learning beliefs of others. Many of us, not all, grow up learning to dislike, hate, ridicule, and become bitter towards other people for one reason or another. The world becomes divided over unnecessary beliefs. I believe it was never designed or made to be this way. We all need to learn to set aside our differences, let go of our egos, and love each other. No one is better than the next person. I don't care who you are.
  • I believe life is a school full of lessons. We learn new things every day. Many of us never learn the lesson we are presented with the first, second, third, or even the fourth time. God continues to give us the grace to let us re-learn that lesson until we get it right. He knows we are not perfect, yet He loves us anyway, with all of our imperfections.
  • I believe there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. If you are breathing, healthy, walking, have food, shelter - you are truly blessed! There is a great exercise that my son and I have been practicing this summer called The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day. You can buy the journal on Amazon, but you can also go to Intelligent Change's website and print out single pages of the daily journal to practice. This is what we have been doing. You write 3 things you are grateful for, 3 things that will make the day great and the last part for the morning is writing something about, "I am....". "Creative, Intelligent, Honest, etc.". There is also a night component of the journal. Practicing gratitude creates lasting habits.
  • I believe when we learn, we need to learn with the intention we are going to teach someone else. When we teach something we have already learned, it gives us the opportunity to re-learn the material a second time.
  • "I believe our intention creates our reality" by Ellen DeGeneres. I could not agree more with this statement.
  • I believe our words have a major impact on our children. The way we speak to them determines their future and the way they view the world in a positive or negative way.
  • I believe I am in charge of my dreams and can do anything I choose to do. I also believe you are too!
  • I believe many of us have limiting beliefs about things that were told to us at an early age, and for one reason or another, we accepted those beliefs and held onto them as if they were true. The thing I know is these beliefs are false! Whoever told you those things, lied to you! You are smart, creative, and talented! You can do whatever you want to do in life!  You just have to put one foot in front of the other and DO IT! Utilize the abilities and gifts that God gave you, have a strong "Why", and a decision that will make your life better! There is a guy I follow on Linkedin named Simon Sinek. His book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action will help you figure out your "Why?".  One of life's big questions is asking the question of "Why?". 

I hope you enjoyed my update on my original post, "Thoughts...Things I believe" from 2009. While my beliefs from 2009 still hold true, I have added to those beliefs. We all have gifts and abilities we can share with others. We just have to put one foot in front of the other and take that initial step! Life is exciting and full of wonder. If we don't step out into unchartered waters, we will never fully grasp or know what we are fully capable of. Don't EVER let anyone dictate your life's path or tell you that you are NOT good enough - OR that you CANNOT do something. I am here to tell you that you can do whatever you set out to do!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

How to Make Easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls

We live in Houston, Texas and it gets really hot and humid here in the summer! When you walk outside, you feel like your clothes are sticking to you, especially in July and August, and you start to sweat almost immediately. Every morning when you wake up, your windows have condensation on them because it's so humid outside. Your A/C is constantly running to maintain a comfortable temperature inside - at least ours is and we have a SMART meter!

I don't know about you, but when it's hot in the summer, I don't feel like heating up the kitchen with a hot oven, or even eating a lot of warm food for that matter! I know some people insist on eating warm meals. Some people are like that and that's okay. I totally get that. I don't have to eat a hot meal for dinner. I can eat a salad. Cold food does not bother me.

If you are like me and don't mind having simple, cooler lunches or dinners, then you will like this delicious, easy spring roll fix!

My blog is not a food blog and I'm not a recipe guru! I don't have the calories available for this recipe, but everything is mostly healthy, I promise!

You start out by chopping whatever veggies you want to put in your spring rolls. You will also boil your vermicelli noodles, and cook your protein while you are prepping your veggies.

I put the following items in our spring rolls:
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Red Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onion/Scallions
  • Avocado
  • Jalapeno
  • Chicken
  • Frozen Shrimp
  • Vermicelli Noodles

You will also need Vietnamese Rice Paper to wrap your veggies and protein in. Amazon has a good selection and you can purchase them on Prime if you have a Prime account. I used the Dynasty Rice Paper below:

If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute chicken and shrimp with tofu or another meat substitute. There are plenty of meat substitute items on the market.

The most time-consuming part of putting these spring rolls together is the process of chopping your veggies and filling the spring rolls. I chopped everything I was going to add into my spring rolls, and placed all items neatly onto a large cutting board in organized sections as shown above.  I placed the noodles, chicken, and shrimp in their own designated bowls. The noodles, chicken, and shrimp were all cooking while I was cutting my veggies.

I want to warn you that Rice Paper is not easy to work with, especially if you have never worked with it before. The directions tell you to put cold water on a plate, but I actually ended up putting cold water into a larger bowl (a large stainless steel bowl). You CANNOT keep the rice paper in the water for more than a few seconds or it will break, FYI! Trust me! This happened to me more than once. The rice paper may feel like it needs more moisture, but if you place one side of the rice paper in the water and flip it, and flip it again, you should be set. Now, you are ready to add your noodles, veggies, and protein.

This was the first time I made spring rolls and I filled my ingredients in steps. I have made spring rolls a few times since this time, and I ended up mixing all of my ingredients together before filling. The spring rolls actually turned out just as good, so I don't think it matters how the ingredients are filled. I will give a heads up and tell you to be mindful to not overfill your rice paper with too many noodles, veggies, or protein - or you may have issues folding the rice paper and/or the paper will tear.

First, add your noodles and chicken:

Next, add your carrots:

Next, add your cucumbers:

Next, add your red cabbage:

Next, add your basil and cilantro:

Next, add your lettuce:

Lastly, add your shrimp and avocados:

In the end, you will have a nice, refreshing summertime meal. Spring rolls are not heavy, you can put a variety of ingredients inside, depending on what you like to eat (I made them a few days ago and put apples inside). It's up to you. Be creative and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Want To Create an iTunes Podcast Widget for Your Blog?

I am an advocate for learning, growth, and, positive outcomes in life. Over the past few years, I have created a list of Podcasts that I follow, and I try to listen to as many of them as often as possible. 

My Podcast list incorporates growth and development, memorization, spirituality, entrepreneurship, parenting, philosophy, and other random topics. These are the topics I find most interesting.

Blogger does not have a pre-configured widget for Podcasts ready to install on your blog, so I searched the Internet earlier for a widget, or instructions to create a one. After a quick search, I found this post on iTunes.

The iTunes blog widget builder is self-explanatory. If you understand pictures, you can figure it out. There are no instructions, just a few drop-down menus. iTunes offers the ability to create widgets for tv, movies, & Podcasts. I only needed a specific widget for Podcasts to paste into my blog sidebar.

The first drop-down menu  in the widget builder offers the ability to choose what type of widget you will create:

 Next, you will add the “Title” of your widget followed by the “Description”. Both of these items are widget requirements. The "Add/Edit" radio button just below the “Description” will give you the option to "Add and/or Edit" your desired Podcasts. The iTunes Podcasts are already populated in iTunes. You just have to add your selected Podcasts, and they should automatically populate as long as they are in iTunes. Once you have finished adding all your Podcasts and have no edits, you can change the colors of your widget if you want – or you can leave the colors as is (I left mine as the default colors).
Here’s an example of what you will see:

Here is what the finished widget will look like: 

Please feel free to leave a comment if this the post was helpful.

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