Proof that ALL Asians have Engineer Blood in them

One Saturday morning, I woke up and was going through my normal routine which includes coffee. Well, I grabbed the coffee pot and it just decided to jump out of my hand and onto the floor.

Well, the coffee pot shattered. It was brutal, it was barely 10 AM and I had to clean up glass and more importantly where was my coffee?

I was in no mood to leave the house for a Starbucks, so I had to get creative.

I stood there for a second wondering how I would make this work. For once, my brain worked and ding, ding, ding. A Coffee Maker = Pot + Hot Water + Something to strain the ground coffee in.

So I looked in my kitchen and found the following: Tea pot, water heater, a strainer, and of course, something to hold the handle in place.

I put the filter in and taaaa-daaaaa I got coffee and it was just as good as out of a pot. Granted it took a really long time, but still. I was able to clean while waiting.

I asked Tien if I could patent this since he does patent work…He just laughed, shook his head and kindly said I don’t think so.

I sent this pic to my mom, she was so proud.  Her response: Look at my baby, you are so creative and also a civil engineer to build this. Do you want momma to buy you a new one?

wpid-cymera_20140805_092702.jpg

 

For the Sake of Love or Money?

wpid-cymera_20140826_014404.jpgThis is a topic that has been discussed in some form with every girl, especially after reading “50 Shades of Grey.” FYI- I have yet to read the trilogy even though Savoy gave it to me. She said I have until February of 2015 to read it before we all go see the movie, so why rush it?

Everyone wants Christian Grey to appear in their life. They want this suave man, who can give a woman the world and do whatever he does in this red velvet room I hear about, when I read it, I’ll let you know.

I am probably one of the biggest romantics you will ever meet. One of my favorite movies is still Enchanted, so that tells you the type of dreamer that I am. But in all reality, I do think these movies and the creation of characters like Christian Grey has skewed what women want in a man.

Karen and I joke about how life would be amazing if we had a white knight come in and scoop us up, but I promise you, it would never work. We can’t be tamed.

But in all reality, Karen has always advocated looking for someone who has the right qualities versus the one who has the most money or gives the most stuff. Stuff can only last so long.

There are many girls who want men who make a certain threshold, but she and I have discussed that Christian Grey is a fantasy. She’s tried to explain several times to a few girls that you always look to see if a man has possibility to grow in the future and with your help, the world is your oyster.

One day she was making a comparison about what girls’ should look for in a man when choosing someone for the long-run.

Guy A:

  • Nice
  • Above average looking guy, not super sexy, but just an all around next door neighbor type
  • A little shy, not the steal the spotlight type person
  • Smart
  • Funny
  • Well-groomed
  • Dependable
  • Makes good money, but not enough where you can up and quit your job, but you can tell he’s a hard-worker

Guy B:

  • Good-looking
  • Smart
  • Ambitious
  • Passionate
  • Drives a nice car
  • Buys you anything you want
  • Sure road to being a CEO of something ($$$)

Who do you choose? Personally, I always go for someone who isn’t super good-looking. I like the nerd who is a little awkward, can write some type of code (Speak Java and SQL to me baby…hehe), and thinks my joke “I think you’re my favorite proton” is cute. But many girls would choose Guy B. They can’t help but be charmed by the good looks and the fact that the guy can give them an LV purse, Dior glasses, and later on the mansion and luxury car that they want. They see Guy B as a ticket to a great lifestyle, similar to the Housewives of OC.

I think these days; many people confuse what is important in life. Money is important, money is needed to live a comfortable and enjoyable life, but it’s not the only thing in life that matters.

Guy A may not make a lot of money now, but that’s when you can work together, build a life together, and create your own story. There is never a promise if things will work out, but Guy A is most likely the typical nice guy. It’s the guy who most girls ignore, but it’s the guy who will treat you best.

Guy B, not all good-looking, wealthy men fall into the arrogant category, but a majority can be. You might get every material item you want, but in the end, you might be missing a partner, someone who truly cares about you, gives you attention, and makes you a priority. Someone with wealth, power, and passion is like a drug. You are addicted, but for all the wrong reasons.

No one is perfect. With that said, no package is perfect, so as you are looking at each person, really list what are the most important qualities that you want for your future. It’s hard to find a man who is kind, loving, attentive, and on top of that you want to make sure he is already in a position with millions?

Karen has said time and time again, that you can’t just throw someone who has 99% of what you are looking for over technicality. The nice guy is the guy who will give you his hand when you fall, wipe your tears, and takes care of you when you are sick. This is the person you choose, for the sake of love or money, forget about money. Love, a partnership, and being able to be with someone who makes you laugh, who you can grow old within where your priorities should lie.

The next time a nice guy approaches you, give him a second look before moving along. He might be that person who can make you believe you have everything in life because you have each other.  Note: Nice guy is different than a pushover.

Reaching for the Stars or Reaching Back?

wpid-cymera_20140822_172817.jpgWith Karen’s first advice column: Dating a Potential vs. a Project being such a big hit, people wanted to hear more, I am giving you a double-feature today! Well that and the fact that I’m super far behind. I promised you weekly, it’s become more like quarterly now, but I’ll try to get back on track and do her justice! Karen actually named this article all by herself!

Thanks for a few of you actually requesting topics; those will come down the line. Don’t worry, no surprise I have an Excel sheet with topics.

So here is the first article…

Reaching for the Stars or Reaching Back?

Your life is surrounded with relationships: Co-workers, friends, family, and of course your significant other.

Just like any other relationship, over-time, some stay, some fade, while others re-appear at moments throughout your life.

Think of people like the changing seasons. Some stay through one season and leave for good, others stay for half the year and migrate to warmer weather for the winter each year, and the one that you want to keep is the person who chooses to stay all four seasons.

Each season leaves a lesson, an imprint, and a memory.

Dating is no different. Each time you step into a relationship, you never know if it’s just through the spring or if it’ll make it all four seasons. Some end on good terms, while others end like a fiery plane crash.

This conversation came up because all of a sudden our exes called out of the blue. I’m not sure if it was something in the water, but literally on the same day, three of us got contacted. All were unwanted. Our friend had an ex call her manipulative and narcissistic. First off, she is not, she is one of the most generous person I know, secondly its 2014, who says narcissistic versus selfish? Mine called from an unknown number and told me he made a mistake and wanted to see how I was doing, I have never hung up on someone more quickly than I did at that moment.

Karen says exes always come back and it’s true. Over the years, in some way, shape, or form they always do. When this happens, I know for me, I take a step back and say do I want to go back? Do I want to reopen the doors?

Most of the time the answer is no, but you always hear of those one-off stories. Relationships end for a reason, trust me there is always a reason.

And when that ends, you take time to mourn the relationship, reflect on the lessons, and tell yourself there is something better out there. You won’t settle for less, you reach for the stars. You find someone who becomes your Northern Star in a sense as cheesy as it sounds. You can’t expect Mr. Perfect, but you search for someone who makes you become a better you.

I asked her in what situation would you take an ex back and would it work? Before reaching back and trying to repeat history, consider the following things:

  1. Trust. The big question is if you can trust your partner again. In some situations, the relationship was so messy that the answer is no. If you can’t trust them, eventually your relationship will fail since it is the basis of everything.
  2. Fresh Start. There is no procedure or pill to wipe out the past. You both have history. Can you get over what happened before to start the relationship again? As Karen says if you cannot resolve everything in your past and start fresh, the same issues will come up over and over again.
  3. Chemistry. Sometimes you confuse old feelings versus what you actually feel about the person. You can’t help but start thinking about the wonderful times in the past. You have to be able to separate if there is still chemistry based on who you are now, not who you were in the past.
  4. A road divided. Many relationships end because both of you were on different paths in life. If you fall into the same path with the same goals, then go for it, but if you are still on different paths, you are just reaching back again.
  5. Hard-work. Relationships are never easy, even the best ones. But when you get back together after a break-up, you are not only battling the hardships that any relationship go through, you also battle a lot of issues from the past and things that was done or said the last time you ended. You have to look past and forgive all of that.

Karen completely believes that love deserves a second chance if the situation is right.

Meet me where 495 N turns into 2 o’clock- Wait what?

wpid-cymera_20140818_165325.jpg

I got to spend the weekend with one of my favorite people… Cindy. Cindy is absolutely my go-to person when anything in life happens.   We are alike in so many ways, yet so opposite in other ways, but honestly Cindy has been there with me through everything.

wpid-cymera_20140818_165041.jpg

She’s been the person who has given me advice when it comes to my career, my love life, and anything else that comes up. We can talk for hours, which we literally did the whole weekend.

She and Mitch (the hubs) flew into town for a week to go the Bethany Beach.   Well, Mitch had to drive a different car, so I was going to meet them and pick up Cindy, so we could have our catch-up time.  We talked the whole time, all he saw looking at his rear-view mirror was hand gestures and mouths moving. This is him making fun of us.

wpid-cymera_20140811_184133.jpg

As we all SHOULD know, I am beyond directionally challenged and Mitch being a super genius was speaking to me at genius level. I’m not kidding about him being super smart, he has a PHD in engineering. I am good at some things like budgets, making things pretty, finding deals, but directions are NOT by strength.

I was lost and confused and that’s when the adventure began.

Cindy wrote me directions to me a few days before she flew into town, she instantly knew it was really bad, but Mitch said it was super easy. Saturday morning rolls around and I get a call from Mitch:

M:             Hey Linda, I just wanted to call and make sure you knew where you were going. You are going to get on 495 and go straight until the end and you’ll get off on Route 50. It’s literally on the opposite side of the beltway.
Me:           Ok, so I go all the way to Tyson’s, then take 495 N and take the first exit after it ends.
M:             Yes, it’s where it hits 2 o’clock on a map. Does that make sense?
Me:           In theory, remember theory is different than reality.
M:             Ok, we are good to go.

I’m driving along and I get on 495 N, but it splits into 270 or 495 W and it says Baltimore/DC. I called and said, um am I right because it says I’m going to DC. I thought Delaware was away? Cindy said yes, go towards DC, just keep going until you get to exit 19.

My next question is A or B. Mitch said just 19. Well, I get there and A goes to DC and the other goes to Annapolis. I took A, but I was supposed to take B. Cindy predicted this would happen. So Route 50 was nowhere close to what Mitch said, it’s the Bowie exit.

Cindy took over from there and said, meet us at the Starbucks at Bowie Town Center. It’s right in the center of the place. I found her with no issues! People, I need landmarks. Even to get to the beach, I ask Mitch for directions from Bowie to Bethany and he said, go straight until you hit the ocean. Absolute lies!

Mitch is still shocked how I don’t get it when he says meet me where 495 hits 2 o’clock. Cindy had warned him I wouldn’t get it and when she finally said, Linda is directionally challenged, that’s when he said, you didn’t tell me. Cindy said, I’ve been trying to tell you.  This all could have been solved if he spoke normal people language, instead of having me figure this out…

wpid-cymera_20140818_234850.jpg

Once we made it to the beach, life was smooth sailing. But here is a recap of my favorite moments:

-It took us about 3 hours to get there and Mitch got a little upset. He called it hangry, he was angry with traffic and hungry. Hangry Mitch= Only happy with a beer in his hand. Here he is with his two favorite things. Beer and bacon.

wpid-cymera_20140811_183926.jpg

Who wants ICE CREAM? Meeee!

wpid-cymera_20140818_165141.jpg

 This is Mitch’s favorite face to make in ALL pictures.

wpid-cymera_20140818_165115.jpg

 My drawing of him as a cartoon. It looks exactly the same right?

wpid-cymera_20140818_165201.jpg

-We were standing in line to buy a few things. I kept telling him to use my number for the CVS discount. He was like no, I don’t need it. I said you do for savings! All of a sudden a lady turned around and said, oh by the way we are in Walgreens and NOT CVS. Well, I said, use my number anyways, I have both.

Sand Turtle! Mitch totally let me do this to him. His mom said that if any of them asked, he would say no. Well, actually I told him I’d turn him into a whale shark, but with no shovel even, the best I could do was a turtle. But combine both me and Cindy asking he had no choice. Look how good Cindy’s hexagons were.

wpid-cymera_20140810_234403.jpg

-I miss you! But I’m still here? On Saturday he knew I had to go home on Sunday. He was trying to bribe me with go karts and ice cream to stay another day. I thought it was cute that he already missed me before I left.

It was so good to spend the weekend with you and it went by too quickly. I enjoyed every single minute and can’t wait to see you again. Until we meet again.  FYI Mitch, I hope you just remember to give me directions like a normal person. If you need help dumbing down things, please refer to the “How to give directions for dummies” guide.

wpid-cymera_20140818_165236.jpg

How a man went from singing reggae to being featured in Entrepreneur Magazine

I’ve known Josh for 6 years now. I think he and I are different in almost every way possible. I grew-up sheltered; he grew up being a free-spirit exploring the world with no reservations and many times no money. Don’t let his easy-going, whatever…dude I’m going to rock climb and surf today persona fool you; he is one of the most intelligent people I know.

He’s shared many life lessons with me over the years and the more I know him the more I learn to appreciate his “words of wisdom” and his dynamic past that has made him into the person he is today.  I will also say, he’s one of my biggest advocates and I truly appreciate his vote of confidence.  He is one of my fans who encourages me to keep writing.

Some of you may have heard of a small…well not so small social media platform called Post Planner. Well, here is the CEO in the flesh. But to me, he’ll always be Josh and one of the things I love about him is how low-key he is about his successes. Um….yeah he was in Entrepreneur Magazine and Post Planner was listed as one of the top social media tools.  He’s a big deal.
wpid-img_26695356626330.jpeg

wpid-img_26569752178185.jpeg

I admire him for his persistence; his road to success was not easy. He went through many ups and downs before hitting it big. He’s failed in other ventures and even at the beginning struggled with Post Planner just like every other entrepreneur. But he will tell you, if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen.

He shared his blog with me and I want to share his viewpoints with you.

Please don’t ever compare my writing to his. I am honestly super nervous to publish this and have him see my writing.  First off, he majored in English and secondly, he is extremely talented. His writing is simply beautiful, deep, and if you can follow all the nuances, hidden messages, and reference to other great authors, there is always a great lesson at the end.

Here is the latest post he shared with me, which walks you through his journey as just a broke musician making his way through Europe with the hopes and dreams of hitting it big. It speaks about what he learned, how that pivotal moment helped him, and where he is today.

Read his article here on his blog-http://fatehacker.com/.

I would highly suggest subscibing to Post Planer’s Blog if you are using social media to grow your business too. It’s a fantastic blog with advice, tips, best practices, and much more. Also, it’s free!

 

This was in the MBA program.  Look how young we all are.

Josh is the guy right in the middle with the “I’m a boss” stance.

wpid-img_25862659481361.jpeg

 

Fast forward 6 years later and we’ve all made it!

wpid-img_20140512_112049.jpg

OBX Adventure 2014

Everyone in the DMV hears about Outer Banks and I’ve always wanted to go. I mentioned it to Jason and he was amazing enough to make it happen. He secured us a nice house through www.homeaway.com. It’s very similar to AirBNB or VBRO.

I would definitely recommend going to OBX as the cool kids call it at least once. It’s a cute little beach town.

This is my recap from my perspective, I’m sure everyone has their own since we had five separate cars, but again whose writing this recap? ME!

The Drive: Team Panda Love

To coordinate carpools, I set up a Doodle Calendar. On it, you can easily see what time everyone is leaving. Honestly, trying to remember what people say is very difficult and this way it allows everyone to take care of their needs. Plus, you’ll always hear me say this…We are ALL adults here. Figure it out.

Since I have a SUV, I volunteered my car and threw as many people in that was remaining after I grouped people based on departure time and approximate location.

Who knew we would get along so well? Tien said we are like family and I definitely do agree that we are a little family.

Our family roles:

-Chase is the dad. He is the one that keeps us on track and on schedule, makes the rules, and is able to rally everyone. That’s a skill, plus he has the ability to say “no” down cold, but he also has a sense of humor.

-I’m definitely the mom; I make lunch bags, make sure everyone is happy, well-fed, and enjoy everything. I over prepare and think of every detail to make sure that everything goes smoothly and effortlessly. Plus, who else, but a mom meal plans? It’s definitely something I get from my mom; she raised me specifically to be the nurturing type, especially as the eldest. She always made me take care of my sisters, I once told her, I hate being the oldest and wish I was the baby, I don’t have anything that’s mine- granted I was only 5 years old at the time.

-Thu is the sister you would want to have. She’s sweet, caring, and super nice. If there was a last piece of chicken at the dinner table, she would never be the person to take it.

-Tien is the most patient and go-with-the flow person you can be around. He’s easy going, funny, will take any picture we want him to. He can laugh at himself and lighten the mood anytime.

-Brandy is the funny one in the family. She cracks jokes non-stop. She is a spitfire; she’ll call a spade of spades when she sees it, she’ll tell it as it is. She is also the creative one that makes us all do things like gets a tramp stamp temporary tat or try to make a human pyramid on the sand dunes.

My favorite moment was when we were at a store and we found some stuff animal puppies. Brandy ran over to Chase and said, “dad, dad, dad come here.” When Chase came over, Tien was holding the puppy and Brandy asked if we can have it. Chase said no. Brandy said, then a pony? Chase said no again. Then he said, what about this cat. Brandy and Tien just looked at each other and Brandy was like, but we don’t want a cat.

Memories from the Drive:

  • Extreme Packing- Savoy was shocked when she found out I was taking 5 people in my car, but everyone else was going at different times, so it wasn’t worth us separating into one more car, but because of this, my trunk was so full, we couldn’t see out of the back window.wpid-img_117318091758902.jpeg
  • No, no…and No-Right when we started driving, we were trying to decide where to eat. Moon called and mentioned Chick-Fil-a- Chase immediately said NO! Then I said Costco food court…again No. Everything I said unfortunately got a no. So the joke is that no matter what, Chase will say no to everything, so let’s just see what Chase wants to do.
  • We have a problem-Even a CRV has its limits and I think we made it mad. The tire pressure light came on and the men had to do the manly thing and figure out what’s wrong.wpid-cymera_20140718_225443.jpg
  • Po Po Alert- It was my turn to drive and I was speeding as usual. I’m flying and Chase points out a cop, but there were other cars going about the same speed, but I was the leader in my lane. Well it was too late, so I kept going and just let my foot off the pedal a little and we saw the lights turn on. It pulled the car in front of me, it was a close call, but during this time of panic, Thu starts hiding her chips. We were like what do you have in those chips that if we got pulled over you are worried about. She was not worried about getting in trouble that we can’t see anything through the back windows, it was her chips.
  • Shotgun Rules-On this trip I learned that the person in the shotgun has to feed the driver. Even if that means it’s Tien feeding Chase.
  • Turn here, wait no here, nope now here- I took the last shift, so I needed a McDonald’s Coffee, so we pulled off the exit. Chase kept telling Tien to get off the exit AFTER we had passed it. 30 minutes later, we found a Walgreens, but it was worth it because me and Thu found glow in the dark cell phone cases for $1.25! PS. Never got my coffee from McDonald’s, just one in the drink aisle.wpid-cymera_20140811_204842.jpg
  • All about Bananas- We learned according to Chase that if you eat bananas before bed, you’ll get nightmares. Apparently he and Jason both get them, so it’s true. Then we learned from Tien that there are rules for men eating a banana. If you missed it, here you go.

Day 1:

This was a beach day all the way!

Follow the yellow brick road- We tried our best to find the sunset.  Instead, we took a super selfie.

wpid-cymera_20140721_172718.jpg

At night we went to Sunset Grill for Karaoke. First off, you have to understand, there aren’t a lot of options, just like any other small beach town and secondly, this place is very strict about how many times you can go on for Karaoke. It’s once a round to be exact and you can’t go on in groups to avoid the rule. Trust me, we tried and got in trouble. The DJ was a mean old man.

wpid-cymera_20140721_172952.jpg

Day 2:

Unfortunately, it was a rainy day, but it we still had fun. Everyone had plenty to eat.  We did go to the lighthouse and had fantastic conversations.

Titanic-

This movie still brings up emotions and it sucks you in every time. Our group got super emotional over the fact that Jack still had to die. Sorry spoiler alert. But we were talking about how cold-hearted Rose was to do that to Jack. Karen said he should have known with someone who gave it up so easily. All I’m saying it he did not have to die.

wpid-2014-07-21-18.58.33.png.png

Currituck Lighthouse- Click here for information.

This gave a great view of the city. It’s not anything like the ones you’ll see in San Diego or up in Maine, but it’s pretty and it’s only $8.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Friends that get tats together, stay together-

Brandy brought these temporary tats and body paint. It was so much fun! I got a tramp stamp hehe.

Would you Rather- You should all play this game with a group of people. We had it get very heated, awkward, funny, and confusing all within 30 minutes.

Day 3:

A lot of our group had left, but we stayed later.

The Town of Duck Boardwalk-Click here for directions.

  • The Boardwalk is a fun attraction for an hour. It’s very small compared to other beach areas, but you can feed ducks!
  • Dad gave us 20 minutes to shop. He even gave Thu a 5 minute warning to hustle in the store. Well, his plan failed, we ended up staying much longer because we ate ice cream.

You can see here how frustrated he was. He wanted to go to the Wright Brother’s Museum so badly, but his kids were unmanageable.
image

Wright Brother’s Museum- Click here for directions.

This was definitely worth a visit.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sand Dunes-Click here for details.

Chase told us about this. He gave us a choice of going to eat first or the sand dunes, of course we kids picked the sand dunes. It was one of the coolest things there. If you go, I would definitely recommend going there.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chase was not prepared with anything to go down the sand dunes with, except for a plastic bag. Watching him go down that hill was my favorite memory of the trip and I am sure he had sand in every nook and cranny.

wpid-cymera_20140721_172338.jpg

Favorite moments:

On Replay- The entire time we pretty much repeated 2 songs: All of me, Loves all of you and Rude. It was blasting on the boom box, which happened to always be tucked in the back pocket of Savoy’s butt.

Ice, Ice…In the air- The entire night, Brandy pretty much got booted from karaoke. At the end of the night, the guy let her sing Genie in the Bottle. Moon, Savoy, Alex, and Brandy got up on stage and belted out some Christina Aguilera and Savoy…was being Savoy kept doing her signature arm moves with a cup of ice water in her hand. All of a sudden the entire cup of ice and water flew up in the air and all over the ground. We all had the “oh crap, what is the DJ going to do?” face at that moment.

wpid-cymera_20140719_083942.jpg

I believe I can fly- We love jumping pics, but we’ve got a long way to go before we can be professional jumpers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I told you NO- No one LOVES karaoke like Brandy.  She tried every way to get back on stage. Jason was singing Hit Me Baby One More Time and she wanted to join, the DJ spoke right in the mic and said, I warned you. No.

Pyramid Issues- Look at this picture. We’ve got to get things together haha.

wpid-img_119174431642837.jpeg

Dub stepping- We played Loaded Questions and one of them was “What do you consider a favor in the bedroom?” My answer was “A little ass slapping.” Well, apparently my cursive is horrible because the person read it as dub stepping, so forever will that be interchangeable.

Sangria- Esther’s little brother, Josh (super cool), made sangria for us. This kid makes amazing sangria and the genius thing; he made it right in the orange juice bottle. Talk about being inventive!

Amazeballs- Moon, Savoy, and I use amazeballs all the time, but when we said it around some of the guys, they looked at us like we were crazy. When I first said it to Chase, he thought I was talking about a maze bowl.

Tien- Look at these pics and you’ll know why it’s a favorite memory.

wpid-img_116395571024335.jpegwpid-cymera_20140721_174042.jpgwpid-cymera_20140719_084241.jpg

Life Lessons:

  • Never put a retainer in a red solo cup- Chase put his clear retainer in a red solo cup and his contacts. Well someone threw it away without knowing. Never do that, ever again because they had to dig through all the garbage to find it.
  • People accept snoring- I snore and it’s a big reason I don’t go on big trips or sleepover. Well, this group doesn’t care. A) Chase snores louder than me B) They all can wear ear plugs C) They are pretty deep sleepers.
  • There is such a thing as over preparing-Because none of us knew what to expect in the OBX area that we did, I obviously over prepared. We had some people tell us depending on the location, it could be very remote. Wrong…OBX is just like any other cute beach town with shops, restaurants, grocery stores, etc…
  • Google Maps- Again, all the preparing could have been resolved if we just Google Mapped a grocery store nearby. Lesson learned.
  • Staying under budget is still cool-I bought as much stuff on sale from Costco to feed 16 people on a budget. I set up an Excel sheet with approximate costs total and per person and sadly, I was pretty much on target with my pricing because I go to Costco so much, I know the place and prices by heart. In my sheet, I had a projected budget and a goal amount. Now that I think about it, it’s sort of sad, but I’m a budget analyst, it’s what we do. I even rubbed off on Jason who was buying the perishables down there. He texted me and asked what the remaining budget was. I laughed because I was way below the costs, so I didn’t worry about his portion, but I told him I was rubbing off on him. We had one person who ended up not going and we were still under budget even covering all of their costs. I think I’m the only one who gets excited over that.

Recipes:

So I am so glad y’all enjoyed the food because I’ll let you in on a secret, I’m not a cook. I just throw stuff together and cross my finger that it turns out right. Moon on the other hand is, she made such good fried rice, I loved it and anytime she cooks, it’s amazing.

I don’t follow recipes; I just use them as more of a guideline and do my own thing. Sometimes it works, other times it is a big fat fail. One thing I was the most worried about was the fact that I cook very lean, even for breakfast; I could not make myself buy real bacon, I got turkey bacon.

I can’t really put down how much I used because these recipes were inflated to feed 16 people, but you can improvise.

Italian Salad

This one I’ve done before- Click here for the instructions.

Shrimp Scampi

This was all Thu! She was such an awesome chef and it was her first time making it.

  • Cook the pasta as directed. We used a box of wheat angel hair.
  • Pour Olive Oil at the bottom of the pan. Throw in several tablespoons of minced garlic and 2 diced onions. Stir for a few minutes.
  • Add in about 2 lbs of shrimp, add the seasoning. I used Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Stir until it’s cooked. It should be orange and white.
  • Squeeze 2 full lemons into the pan.
  • Add in about 3 cups of white wine. Any white wine will do, you are just enhancing the flavor.
  • Throw in the pasta and toss.

wpid-cymera_20140718_185241.jpgPesto Tortellini

This was so difficult. Ready?

  • Buy a bag of pre-made tortellini from Costco ($15)
  • Buy a jar of Kirkland’s Pesto Sauce
  • Boil the pasta, drain, and pour the sauce in and mix.

Chicken Fajita

 The secret is to cook everything in layers, which gives a lot of flavor without using a lot of salt. Keep a large serving bowl next to you.

  • Slice red bell peppers in long stripes
  • Slice onions
  • Dice about 3 lbs of chicken
  • Put some Olive Oil in the skillet. Throw in a bunch of minced garlic and the onions and sauté. Throw the onions in the serving bowl.
  • Sauté the bell peppers, add a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once it’s cooked, empty it in the serving bowl.
  • Add more Olive Oil and add the diced chicken. Squeeze one lemon over the chicken; add a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Cook thoroughly and throw everything together in the bowl to serve.

Veggie Omelets

Someone asked what I put in my omelets. It’s super healthy, the only way it could be healthier was if I made it solely with egg whites, but I won’t subject everyone to that.

  • Lots of eggs
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Diced onions
  • Diced red bell peppers
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced ham

This is the longest recap yet, but hey it’s a recap for 16 people and a weekend of awesome memories.

 

Life Lessons to Keep Me on the Right Path

kljNo, I have not gone rogue. I am still the law-abiding, goodie-goodie that you have always known. When I say “keeping me on the right path,” I’m literally talking about keeping me alive getting from point A to point B.

None of you should be shocked that I am directionally challenged. Many of you have witnessed this, been frustrated or busted into laughter. Well, if you really care about me, read this article about 12 Wrong Ways to Guide the Directionally Challenged, just to help me out.

I always semi-kid to my friends about making sure to take care of me, but Paolo (P) really got a first-hand experience when I got lost going to happy hour.  But…I found this place somewhere with $1 sushi, we will have to retrace my steps.

wpid-cymera_20140808_102549.jpg

We were all going to El Centro; well there are 2 locations in DC. 50/50 chance and of course I pick the wrong one.

P offered to give me a ride, but…I refused and said I would walk. He kept asking if I was sure, I gave a very confident YES! I was even so proud of myself because I got there early and told everyone I secured a table. Well, P called and said I’m pretty sure you are not in the right location, I see no other Asian here.

Nope I wasn’t which pretty much made P’s night. He asked me where I was, I said, I don’t know and named the streets. He told me you need to get on M and walk towards 30th street, but he suggested taking a bus or the metro. I said, ok, I’ve got this…go to M and go towards the bigger numbers. 4 miles later I definitely deserved my enchiladas!

wpid-cymera_20140808_102524.jpg

And…I finally made it! But first, let me take a selfie.

wpid-cymera_20140808_100818.jpg

Well here are a few things P and all of you should live by if you are assigned to the daunting task of keeping me on the right path. Ahem: Twin, Shari, Cepand, Alyssa, Moon, Savoy, Karen, Sanam(s), and Julie just to name a few. Hey…obviously it takes an army to protect me.

  1. Never let me navigate anywhere on foot. P joked that I would walk all the way to New York without knowing— Probably true.
  2. Even if I say no, I don’t need you?!? Take it with a grain of salt because I probably will need you. Either I don’t know it yet or life hasn’t decided to throw some obstacle in the way.
  3. If I say I’ve got it, don’t believe me. In my head I think I’ve got it, but in reality you can bet I’m going in the opposite direction.
  4. If I tell you I know where I’m going, I’m only 50% sure.
  5. Should I take this exit? Sure! Sometimes, I say yes and hold my breath and just guess. This especially pertains to roundabouts. It always makes confused and yes I’ve gotten stuck in them before and gone around and around. I hate them with a passion.
  6. Shiny things distract me. It doesn’t take much…hold something bedazzled or a “on sale” sign and I’m off the beaten path.
  7. I have a very active imagination. The other day Cepand told us he only had enough gas to drive 6 miles; I asked him why he doesn’t keep his tank filled? I always try to keep my tank at least half-full just in case I needed to escape. Cepand asked me where, I said duh, if zombies came after me, I could escape to Canada. Cepand just looked at me, blinked, and very seriously said first, I would never make it out of here. He asked how I would even know where to go? Good point. He then said if there was a zombie apocalypse, his soul mission would be to come and turn me into a zombie. Not cool!

P told me that keeping track of me is as hard as being given the mission of saving the world.