Friday, March 28, 2014

A Day in the Life

I see these kinds of posts on all different types of blogs and it's always interesting to me to read about how people spend their days. I have always thought that no one would care what my DITL looks like cause to me it's usually pretty boring. :) However for the past 2 months at work I have been working rotating, weird hour shifts and I kind of want to document it so that when I look back years from now I can remember this weird time in my life. I say weird because I have days go by (or whole weeks) where I'm like, "What the heck have I done these past few days besides sleep and work? Oh, nothing, that's right."

And who knows, maybe one of you will find this interesting?? I decided I would document one of my days working midnight shift because that is the weirdest transition for me and the hardest to get anything done (outside of work) during. I am on midnights this week so I picked Monday to share with you all.

4:30 pm - Wake up. My first thought, "Ughhhhh..... I feel like I've been hit by a truck...." I am really good at falling asleep and sleeping during the day, but when I wake up I feel horrible.
4:35 pm - Meander downstairs to eat dinner. I make some of my favorite pasta and pack some leftovers for work later. I also have some strawberries and spinach salad.
5:00 pm - Clean kitchen and pack the rest of my food and fill my water bottles for work.
5:15 pm - Walk back and forth between the living room and kitchen 5 times because I am too disoriented to remember what I was going in the living room for.
5:20 pm - Oh yeah, I wanted to check my cell phone. Grab it and zombie upstairs to get ready for work.
5:50 pm - Make my bed, clear off my nightstands (trying to create a good (daily) habit), pack my purse

6:00 pm - Head out to run some errands
6:30 pm - Off to improv rehearsal before work
9:30 pm - Improv rehearsal is over, time for second dinner! I grab a Greek salad and sandwich from my favorite Greek restaurant and head on to work. I get hungry a lot more often when I am on mids for some reason.
10:00 pm - Get settled at work and take over for the person before me.
12:00 am - Wow! Those first 2 hours of work flew by!! Time to eat some snacks. I have a granny smith apple and some cheez-its. Yumm.

1:30  am - I am hungry and my co-workers are getting tired so they aren't telling jokes and entertaining me anymore.
3:00 am - Time to go heat up my leftover pasta. Yay! 3rd dinner!

3:30 am - Pasta was delicious and eating killed some time. :)
5:00 am - Someone sneezes over our intercom system. I find it hilarious, but no one else laughs. I am an awkward person.

6:45 am - My relief is here! It's almost time to go home!
7:00 am - I am on the way to freedom.
7:15 am - The person behind me honks their horn at me because I am not moving and the light is green. I didn't see the light was green because I was so engrossed in eating my egg and cheese biscuit from McDonald's. :( Sorry dude. I proceed forward with biscuit hanging out of my mouth.
7:30 am - Home sweet home.
7:35 am - After rinsing out my water bottles and cleaning my food containers, it's time for a quick shower.
7:50 am - I am knocked out for the next 8+ hours.

People always feel bad for me when I tell them I am working the midnight shift but really it's not that bad. You gotta make a living somehow! Anyway, I usually have fun while I am working - it's a unique and fun job. It is stressful at times, but I like it. Yes, it is strange hours, but I don't have too hard a time getting used to it. My problem is adjusting back to day shift after midnights. Yikes! That is a nightmare.

I also find that I am more tired and hungry the weeks I work mids. I'm not really sure why that is...

But like I said, a job is a job and I am very fortunate to have one at all, especially to have one I really like. :)

In case you are wondering why there are no pictures of me in my DITL post it's because I didn't want to ask my co-workers to take any of me. That would have been weird, but here's a picture from my work trip to Houston in November. This is what I sometimes look like at work, except my console is never that clean (there would be lots of snacks surrounding me) and I have to wear a headset.

This was completely posed by the way. I wasn't actually working here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Laundry Room Evolution

So on Ellen the other day, she gave a family my couch! Well, not the one I own, but one just like it!!

I feel so cool now!!

If you're wondering about it, it's the Linden Street Friday sofa from JCPenney. Yep, who would think to look for their couch at JCPenney? Well, me. It's listed on JCPenney's website for almost $2000 right now, which is crazy..... I definitely didn't spend that much when I bought mine.

Here's what the house looked like yesterday when I was washing the slipcovers:


And on to what this post is really about. The laundry room/pantry.

It had bland beginnings.

Then I painted it Apple Green.

Now, for the actual update.

 I used Jen from I Heart Organizing's idea of covering wire shelves with foam board. I have always been so annoyed by these wire shelves. Things were always tipping over or falling through and it was so frustrating. Like Jen, I covered the foam board with contact paper.

It's so much easier to store things on the shelves now!! No more tipping over.

And here's a shot of the other side of the laundry room.

I added a 'counter' to the top of my laundry machines by just painting a piece of plywood. Afterward I sprayed it with a clear gloss spray so that it would be smoother. I put down some of that grippy shelf liner so that the counter would stay in place. It's been awesome, but I still want to do something that will cover up the stuff in the back.

View from the garage. This is the door I come in when I get home.

Close up of the contact paper. Sometimes it can be unwieldy!

You can see my lint holder and cleaning rag bucket. :)

And myself cutting out all those pieces of foam board.....

It took hours for me to cut the foam board to size, tape 2 pieces together and then measure, cut and apply the contact paper, but I am so happy with the result.

And the mess after.

And they all lived happily ever after. The end.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Homemade Peppercorn Ranch Dressing

As promised yesterday, here is the peppercorn ranch dressing recipe I use.

I originally got this recipe from, but I can't find it on there now. So here it is:


1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder


That's it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Week of Easy, Vegetarian Meals

I want to offer you a week of easy, vegetarian meals.

I often am asked by meat eaters what are my favorite dishes and what I commonly eat. I usually just say pasta because that's the first thing that comes to my mind, but I've been thinking about it for a few days and wanted to document some of my favorite meals. These are meals I can make on a weeknight because I usually keep these ingredients on hand and they are relatively quick to make.

You will see spinach salad on here with almost every meal because I actually do eat that all the time. I love it, it's good for me and it's easy.

For dressing, I like to make homemade peppercorn ranch dressing or balsamic vinegar. I'll share my peppercorn ranch recipe tomorrow.

1) Tri-color rotini pasta with green beans, bread and spinach salad.

I love this recipe. I have it memorized by now because I make it alllll the time. I always have the ingredients on hand for this one so it's a go-to dish.

I found the recipe many years ago on Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade website, but I can't find it now. Here it is from my recipe book:


1 (1 pound) package of tricolor rotini (I like the hidden veggie kind)
1 package frozen broccoli stir-fry mix (Birds Eye brand)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups shredded Parmesan

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Add the stir-fry mix to pasta water during the last 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well.

In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, pepper, red pepper and salt. I like to add basil too. Add the pasta mix and cheese, tossing to coat. Serve.

Here's the recipe for the Focaccia.

2) Baked Potatoes, parmesan green beans and spinach salad.

This one is easy peasy.  There's only like 5 minutes of actual cooking time for you! You just have to plan ahead to get the potatoes in the oven. I first pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. I wash/scrub the potatoes, cut up aluminum foil for each potato, rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt on and then wrap them in their little aluminum foil blankets and toss them in the oven. After an hour they are steamy and ready for eating.

When the potatoes are almost ready I start the green beans and prepare my salad.

I've shared the green bean recipe before, you can find it here. They are soooo easy! It takes about 5 minutes to make them.

3) Lemon pasta, spinach salad, edamame

The pasta is Pioneer Woman's Baked Lemon Pasta

In the picture those are Parmesan green beans, but I like to switch it up sometimes and have edamame. It's yummy and easy (I just heat up one of those 'steam in the bag' packages in the microwave) and they have protein.

4) Pita pizzas, fresh fruit, spinach salad

This one is just fun. I like this for guests because they can put whatever they want on it. I buy the pitas when they are BOGO at Publix. :) On mine, I like pesto sauce, a little sea salt, spinach, cut up tomatoes, olives, mushrooms (if I have them), mozzarella cheese.

This is the brand of pitas that I buy, but I prefer the wheat kind.

I put them in the oven for about ten to fifteen minutes and they're good to go.

I always keep fresh fruit around the house. I like to wash and cut it up when I get home from the store so it's ready to go, so whatever I have on hand I serve.

5) Stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Yes, I like cheese. I will admit this one takes me a little more time because I have to prepare the items for the "stuffing" of the bell peppers, but it's still easy.

I found the recipe I use on the blog Mom Machine. I love these peppers! I add cayenne pepper to mine cause I like the rice to be a little spicy to contrast with the sweetness of the bell peppers.

And there you have it,

Man, I could have listed even more. I didn't even get to the soups yet. Yum, soup.

Now, please don't let me mislead you into thinking that I cook every night. I don't. On days that I have improv rehearsal (yes, I really do improv) or church I usually head straight there after work and eat leftovers when I get home. These are just ideas for meals that I make pretty regularly. :) I also have the habit of when I cook, making a lot extra of stuff so I usually can eat on it for a few days and take leftovers to work so that cuts down on how often I cook too.

And sometimes I just eat this for dinner. :)