Monday, December 23, 2013

My, what a lovely smile you have

Apparently I needed a reminder in humility.


Friday, after a beautiful office lunch on the Plaza, I jetted off to a meeting. Confident in my preparation, I entered the conference room and took the last available seat. The seat happened to be at the head of the table next to the meeting leader and one of my work-place crushes.

The meeting went well, I spoke confidently and my ideas were well received. My work crush laughed at my jokes. I left feeling what Hilary Clinton must feel when she is a bad ass at her job.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot, I stole a glance in the rear view mirror and my entire world collapsed. It was all a facade. In the mirror looking back at me:


::baffled:: No said anything?????


Be careful out there you guys, those son-of-a-bitch garnishes are lurking around your plates just waiting, praying, to get stuck in your chompers.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vacation Change

Finding change is one of my favorite things. You know this. Amplify this love by the how great it is to be on vacation and you've got my blog post. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I just got back from one vacation and I'm already going on another. That was either a dumb move or brilliant on my part, I'm not sure.

It was brilliant.

Anyhoozle, Dan and I went to the Pacific Northwest hitting British Columbia, Portland and Seattle. All told I found  between $0.20 and $0.22 depending on the exchange rate. Not too shabby!

The Dime
I didn't see it first, Dan did. I thought he was having a conniption of some sort. His eyes were bugged out and kept darting from me to the floor. So I followed his gaze and saw what I shall claim to be the shiniest dime of all time. A Canadian (eh) Dime. It was under the chair of the table next to me. Unoccupied, fortunately, I dove under the chair and grabbed my first foreign coin score.

The First Penny
A few days later we were in Portland heading off to breakfast when I caught sight of a rather unsightly penny on the sidewalk. I *almost* didn't want to put it in my pocket but Dan washed it in a puddle for me. True Love.  

The Second Penny AKA The Penny I Didn't Pick Up
Yes you read that right. I did NOT pick up this penny. It was clean, shiny even, but, I left it where it lay. I think it was heads down but even that isn't a deal breaker for me. The real reasons I didn't pick up Mr. Lincoln was that A) it was right by somebody's foot in a crowded Apple store and B) I saw it as a good luck sign, not a coin to pocket.

The day before my phone suffered minor water damage on a hike. It was functional, but, the flash was shorting out. The Apple store said it would continue to function for an untold amount of time and that replacing my phone would be $200. I saw the penny and knew I had luck on my side. 

My phone still hasn't died and, in fact, the light has turned off!

The Nickel
After a 8 mile hike through part of the Columbia River Gorge we headed to an overcrowded, tourist favorite: Maltnomoah Fall. The waterfall is stunning and so incredibly tall. I found the nickel on our way out.

The Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Penny
After buying the subway fair from the kiosk I notice a penny at my feet. And three of his friends off to the left. Cha-Ching!

I didn't come close to breaking even on what was spent on this vacation, but, I'm convinced I came out ahead(s up). 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Live Life Like You're Camping

For the second time now I have survived camping 10 days in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. You'd be right if you're thinking to yourself "Huh? Natasha doesn't strike me as an outdoorsy type." I'm NOT a shit-in-the-woods kind of gal, but, with some creative angling and a big enough boulder I CAN pee in the woods. I think we call that personal growth.

Live Life Like You're Camping

1. Take care of your house (tent).
Close (zip) the front door to not let the flies (and spiders!) in. Close your windows when you leave. It may be sunny when you leave in the morning but an afternoon rain may (will) blow through and soak your bedding and all worldly possessions. Author note: I learned this last year.

Be neat, separate your dirty and clean clothes. Make the bed. Also, take off, and keep, your shoes outside.

2. Rise with the sun
Ok, maybe not at the exact moment that the sun rises, however, it's a good idea to not let it to high in the sky before you get up. Plus, there's lots to do. Like haul water.

3. Conserve water
You have to haul that shit. Don't waste it. Can you thoroughly wash your hands with much less water? Yes. Dan showered once with only 2.5 gallons of water. Dan also only showered once. But that's a different story.

4. Eat for fuel
The water isn't going to haul itself, nor is the fire going to light itself. There's a lot to do even before you get to the fun things like hiking, biking or just sight seeing. Eat to keep you going. I didn't always heed this one. I found myself face first in a bag of chips more than once.

5. Make time for star gazing
Instead of looking up, lie on your back and look out! Your eyeballs really gets to soak it all in and your neck will thank you. Beauty, perspective, awe. We all need more of that in our lives.

6. Appreciate the task
Without fail, you spend considerable more time preparing any meal than you do eating it. Relish the task of preparing your meal. In "normal life" these are just straight up chores. Relish the chopping, stirring, grilling and feeding your friends, family and yourself!

7. Be kind, be happy
Camping is rough. There is constant work, the sleeping conditions are sub-par and your boyfriend has only showered once. And don't forget the 12 hour drive home. There is no room for you to be a Poopy Panther. In fact, be kind and happy. Camping, and Life, is a short, precious pocket of time you get to experience beauty and love in. Be thankful for both.

Ok, I thought I was done but I really have 1 more.

8. Let the other person go to the bathroom first.
3 words. Automatic Seat Warmer.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Last weekend was Girls in the Lou part Tres. A ritual of eating, shopping, eating and drinking for Shannan, Amy and myself. We did a lot of damage.

Cocktails at a fancy schmancy restaurant. The name of this beaut is Grounds for Divorce.

Breakfast the next day! And boy howdy do we know how to chow down. With cocktails.

Mmmmmmm brownie dessert.

And really, shopping doesn't mix too well with the copious amount of food we ate, but SOMEHOW we were still able to pull it off.

Not pictured:

* The other 3 dozen cocktails we had
* The other grossly large meals we ate
* Kris Koster (MO Attorney General I saw at our hotel)
* The Pepper Accident
* Fun Bobby

Can't wait to do it again! Maybe after I detox first, though. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Yeast Infection

Just when you start to feel comfortable and confident in the kitchen --- BAM out of nowhere something comes along to knock you off your culinary horse. This most recent time the "something" was not reading the instructions carefully and not knowing the differences in types of yeast. Yeast is yeast is yeast, right???



So wrong.

I gathered all the stuff to make this. YUM. For the dressing I grabbed "yeast" since that is all I had written on my grocery list. I picked up a three pack of the little envelopes and headed home to concoct a delicious and nutritious meal.

Fast forward to the dressing. The recipe called for 1/4 cup and my three packets only amounted to 1/8 cup. A silver lining, if there IS one to this story. ::farts:: I put all my ingredients in the food processor and blended. Then tasted. "Hmmmmm, maybe add more lemon, garlic, salt and pepper?" I thought. So I did. "Hmmm, better. But the taste was still a little, well, doughy. Maybe once it's combined with the salad it will all come together."

The taste was slightly more mild once mixed with my beautiful vegetables, quinoa and lentils. And don't get my wrong, it didn't taste bad, there was just a very present flavor of raw yeast in my mouth. Plus I had just made a batch of this for my lunch for the week. I ate a few more bites and decided to look over the recipe one more time.

1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast

"What the hell? Where did that come from? I don't remember seeing "Nutritional" there before. And anyway - what IS nutritional yeast." I continue to eat my salad as I search the interwebs for this mystery ingredient and, also, the effects of eating raw yeast.

Nutritional Yeast is DEactivated yeast and  has a mild nutty/cheesy flavor and is so very much NOT the same as the type of yeast (active) I used. Both in taste and digestionally. The effects, I was discovering, of eating active yeast (while still alive) boils down to a chemical reaction in your intestines that produce A LOT of gas.


And I mean a lot of gas. I basically farted for 2 days straight. Without stopping. So maybe it wasn't so much a yeast infection but rather a yeast reaction. I hated to throw away all that food, but there was no way I could eat it for a whole week and not be shunned from work. And Yoga. And Dan.

Lesson learned. You won this time Yeast but don't count me out just yet. I'm getting back on the horse and will try this recipe again once I find your Nutritional cousin and can control my flatulence.