How to avoid getting a real person job; travel

I am currently writing from my hotel in Lisbon Portugal, or as the locals spell it Lisboa. Please forgive if this all does not make sense. It is the combo of an 8 hour time difference, no sleep, and writing on a computer with a different keyboard. I had to ask one of the hotel clerks how to make an @ symbol (it is alt gr 2. not sure about the apostrophe yet)

Why you ask am I in Lisbon? Because I can. After almost 6 years of college,undergrad and masters, a vacation was needed. So when asked my friend Lacey where she was going to be June 5-16, she said Portugal. And I booked my ticket. So here I am.

My first day was mostly traveling. I left the midwest with big hair. Got to London where the security guy told me 1) I had too many liquids(there is a limit now?) 2)  Almost lost my ticket and passport in the whole liquid debate (he put it to the side and another airline employee almost took it.) 3) In London you wait an hour before your flight for them to announce your gate which is great if half of that time is not spent trying not to miss your flight. But I got to Lisbon in one piece.

I spent the first afternoon just exploring the area around the hotel. A lot was close because it was Sunday, but few were still open. I wondered into an arena slash mall slash restaurant where I ate what appeared to be chicken, rice, potatoes, mussels, and something else, The picture looked good, and that is what I pointed to. It tasted very good and different from anything I have had before. I just hope it does not make me sick lol. Side note: not as bad as I thought eating a meal in a restaurant by yourself without a book or something as a barrier. Good time for people watching.

I then walked around, fell from my flip flops in the cobble streets, and explored a beautiful church, one of the few things open on Sunday. I have never seen this church before, but I have a thing for old churches, temples, and what have you. I probably sat there for a hourish. I tried to understand the services, but I do not speak the language. Side note….I understand I am in a different country, but I think this maybe one of the few times where I have met more people who did not speak English than anywhere else. I found it kind of cool, but hard to figure things out.

Well I am off.  I am going to try to see if I can watch the NBA finals anywhere at 1 am. Tomorrow is my city exploring, more trouble to cause, and more food to eat. Oh speaking of: I had this amazing chocolate cake from the bakery around the corner. May need to steal the recipe.

Until we meet again…


Week 13: From Broke College Student to Chef


The family that cooks together…

Like many families, food is a centralized part of my family. We eat when we are happy, sad, because it is Tuesday; we love food. And this week is no different. My cousin Mike has been trying to make many of his mom’s recipes for the last couple of weeks including salsa, carne asada, and other fine recipes. For this week’s blog Mikey talks about cooking his mom’s chile verde in the video and pictures below. We don’t have a recipe because most of this was done through hear say like “a pinch of this” and you make this with your hand, but if you really want to make it, you can google your own.

Chile Verde

Chile Verde

Just so you know, I decided to end this portion of the blog. If I find recipes I like, I will still post them, but not every week. I will still keep up my blog, but not just with cooking. Thank you to those that followed and sent recipes. I really enjoyed learning to cook, and have found a new love for it. It has helped me during a crazy semester, and couple months.So thank you for reading, enjoying, and whatever else.

Week 9: From Broke College Student to Chef


West Coast Girls Become a Little Southern

How I understand Fat Tuesday goes a little something like this: Day before Ash Wednesday, therefore you indulge is one of the seven deadly sins. Actually that is not the story, however it is a great set up for why we indulge in the sin of eating way too much and celebrating a Fat Tuesday with some of my girls

Now I know on the west coast we have our own dishes like Mexican Food. In fact I was prepared to cook some Mexican food this week because really where can you go wrong, when I saw a little story on the news about celebrating Fat Tuesday with some traditional New Orleans Cuisine. One of the dishes they were preparing was BBQ Shrimp(which is not actually made of BBQ thank you Man vs. Food). I decided that Mexican can be good anytime, and decided that some BBQ Shrimp, Cornbread, and Asparagus (you know to keep it healthier) screamed New Orleans at least to this west coast girl, no beads needed. All recipes can be found at And please beware of the butter content. We are not trying to be Ms. Childs here


BBQ Shrimp

BBQ Shrimp


  • 5 pounds medium shrimp, with shells( If you are feeding four women, you only need a pound and a half of the extra large ones)
  • 2 pounds butter(maybe it is a Southern thing, but listen. We do not need anyone dying of a heart attack. A pound does the same work, and you will get less of a heart burn)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in as many baking dishes as you need. Set aside.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, parsley, Creole seasoning and rosemary. Cook and stir for a few minutes, until onion is tender. Add the rest of the butter and cook until melted over low heat. Stir in the pepper, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Pour this mixture over the shrimp so that the shrimp are completely submerged.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until shrimp are pink, 15 to 20 minutes.(for me it took about 16 minutes, and then I put them in a crock pot for more flavor)
Although good, this dish is muy muy greasy, but that didn’t stop us from this:
And this was just Karli's Dish

And this was just Karli's Dish

And now to the sides:




  1. Grill in a large pan with some butter. If you screw this up, give up on cooking
  2. No further instructions
Corn Bread

Corn Bread


  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Combine the eggs and milk. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
  2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm.

Let me end by saying this. If you are not use to greasy foods, have a sensitive tummy, or are not from the South, eat this meal with precaution. You may develop a slight stomach ache and/or a southern accent as demonstrated by Karli, Cristalle, and Aubrey below. Wear stretchy pants. Thanks for the recipes, and keep them coming!

Week 1: From Broke College Student To Chef


Kitchen Did Not Burn Down

Week One: Steak and Arugula

So week one sort of went off without a hitch. I did almost forget, and my motivation lapse to post this due to nap time, but here we are. My first week, and who better to be a tester than my baby brother Nathan. I offered it to other people, but for some reason they were all busy, or had already ate. I found my recipe in the latest People Magazine. Who knew my obsession for trashy magazines would benefit in the end? The recipe goes as follows:

Steak and Arugula

Rumor has it that this is suppose to serve four people. Orginial chef clearly not from a Mexican family.

What you need:

1 12oz boneless sirloin steak
2 (1/2) tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground salt (hell if I know what this is. It tasted great regardless. If you know, I guess more power to you)
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
4 cups arugula
1/4 cup of Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese.any cheese would work if you have no idea what any of these cheeses are. I used feta)
Balsamic vinegar to taste(remember to check to see if your roommate used it all up before you are done preparing the meal. Sad face. Italian dressing works just the same)

What you do next

1) Preheat Oven to 400
2) Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and garlic in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat(Be sure to pay attention to the pan because you may burn the garlic. This may or may not have happened)
3) Coat the meat with about 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Season both sides of meat with salt and pepper.
4) Sear meat in hot skillet 3 minutes per side, moving as little as possible.
5) Using an oven mitt (a towel will work just as well)transfer meat to the oven and cook until medium rare, no more than 3 minutes
6) Remove meat from oven, let rest 3 to 4 minutes and slice against the grain (shout out to those who listen to Dan Patrick) into 1/2 in. thick pieces.( you can also do it before you cook. I wouldn’t recommend it. Actually don’t do this, and follow directions. Cutting raw meat is gross. Learned this the hard way)
7) Divide arugula among four plates and top each with 4 to 5 slices of steak
8 ) Top each plate with 2 or 3 cheese shavings and drizzle (love this word)with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

And there you go. My first meal went off without blowing up my kitchen. I did burn a few things, and my brother hated the salad, but at least he is still alive as of yesterday. He gives his review below, and remember I am still looking for recipes.

From Broke College Student To Chef

9)Learn to Cook

So here’s the thing: I am not a good cook.

It’s not because I am truly bad at it like say my driving, I just never found it fun or interesting, and I truly never really had to learn. I can read directions, depend on the kindness of others, or I am fabulous talking on the phone.

So far in life, it has feed me pretty well. Have you seen my butt? I could continue on with this, but  while making my list of 25 things I want to do before I turn 25 it hit me, I don’t know how to truly cook, and while I can depend on others, what if I move away from my family and friends? Who is going to cook for me then? And even then, most people won’t think the broke adult thing is as cute as the broke college thing, therefore lack of food.

So what is a girl to do while trying to complete her list and become adult? Well I decide to turn to social media. Being a former reporter and current student, I am really good at deadlines, therefore if I give myself a deadline then I will more likely follow it.

So here it is, every week starting with the first full week in January, I will post what I learned to cook that week with recipe, review, comments from the peanut gallery what have you. I will do this probably until I turn 25 on November 18, maybe longer. Maybe fun, may get food poisoning.

But I need recipes. They can range from starters to main meals to desserts, whatever you can think of. You can post the recipes here, email, Facebook,Twitter, or whatever.

So please send me what you got, and I will do my best not to burn down my kitchen. Thank You and Happy Holidays.

25 things to do before I turn 25


Yep, that is me 20 years ago

That time of year again. In the next couple days this 23 year old will be turning 24. And although 23 has been a great year, I believe it will only get better from here. So here is my list of this time of 25 things I want to do before I turn 25.

Let’s start with the things from last year’s list that I didn’t get to:

1) Donate my hair to locks of love

I promise I will do this before next year. I am trying to grow my hair out really, really long so when they cut it, I will still have some hair.

2) Go Zip Lining

In the state of Arizona, we were only able to find places where you had to do zip lining as a group, therefore I need to travel somewhere else to find zip lining. If you know of anything, please let me know.

3) Write a funny story about my Grandpa

I think this one has been the hardest because of how personal it is. However if there is a will, there is a way

4 ) See the Suns win a championship…*cross fingers*( might change this before I die)

Considering how there have been tons of trade rumors for Steve Nash, I am not sure if this will happen. I have faith in my time, but this will be on the list until there is no need for it.

5) Buy a lottery ticket when the jackpot is 100 million

I have never been a gambler when it comes to money. The rush I get when I gamble is not a fun one,therefore I rather avoid it. However maybe one dollar could change the world.

6) Take an unplanned trip

After not writing the story for my grandpa, this is the one I had wish I had done.

7) Learn how to ride a bike

I will admit it, I am clumsy as hell. I fall just simply walking. However, when someone goes “well it’s as easy as riding a bike,” I can never nod in agreement, just more in awkwardness.

8 ) Go to a Cardinals game in their new stadium

I have not done this, but if anyone has extra tickets, I am more than willing to fill that seat.

And now the new things:

9)Learn to cook

Listen, I am the greatest at calling in food orders, reservations, etc. However, sometimes even that can get boring. And while it can be fun, I want to enjoy cooking.  I can make the basics, but with grad school, it is often hard to find time to eat, little lone cook it. I am hoping as it winds down it will be easier.

10) Visit a new country

Last year I got to see some great new states, but it is time to broaden my horizons. Time to see more of this crazy planet.Maybe somewhere in Asia. Maybe Costa Rica. I got a travel bug.

11) Finish my applied project

So far, my project has been a pain in the butt. From getting it started to what I want to accomplish. Hopefully it will get off the ground because I need it to:

12) Graduate from Grad School

To be honest, grad school has been the hardest, most rewarding thing I have done. I have written about three novels worth of papers and essays, read millions of pages, and slept very little. Lost a couple things from its effects, but in the end the gain will be worth it….I think.

13) Find a job that fits my career, and that I love

At the end of May, I will have two shinny pieces of papers that will tell the world two things. One: I spent a lot of money. Two: I am qualified. So please hire me. *fingers crossed*

14) Sing in front of a crowd

I am not talking like Karaoke because that is more fun and off key. But maybe with a band or seriously even just one time. I by no means want to make a career out of it, just something that would be fun.

15) Donate Blood

I hate needles. In fact, I hate blood. However, with recent family and medical events, you start to realize life is short. You have to live it and give back. Here is one way i can do it.

16) Learn to change a tire

I will admit, I am kind of dumb when it comes to my car. It is almost like I completely zone out anytime someone talks about cars, therefore I want to learn some basics.

17) Improve and strengthen relationships.

A lot will be changing during my 24th year. People will leave, some will stay, and some will enter my world I never thought would. I want to keep those relationships close to my heart, no matter where the world will take me or them.

18) Take a dance class

I know some of you maybe shocked to know I haven’t taken classes as an adult. Shocking I know. Therefore I would like to take a class, and see how it goes. Maybe my new thing.

19) Learn Spanish

I joke a lot about this, but I am really upset at myself for not being fluent in Spanish. I kind of took it for granted, but I don’t always want to be like this. I want to be able to speak, write, and communicate Spanish.

20) Run a 5k without stopping

Not sure how I am going to do this because I hate running, but hey let’s try this

21) Move

This maybe one of those things that can wait until the next year, but here is a brief summary of my moving experience. I lived in the house I grew up in for 18 years, then my current local for almost 6 years with a brief break down under. I love having one steady locale, but I do feel it is time to move. Just not sure when

22)Try a new restaurant  where I have never eaten that type of food

I am not sure where to go with this, but maybe like Ethiopian or something like that.

23) Take an Improv Class

I may really suck at it, but hey at least I tried.

24) Streaking?

Maybe not that per se, but do something out of character that is fun and excited/ Life is about enjoying it, not going through the motions. Sometimes I have gone through the motions, but lately, I am trying to to take chances.

25) Make 24 the best yet. 25 will then be better

Life After I Gave Up My iPod

Below is a reflection of my week sans my iPod. Didn’t read it? Well let us back track:

My obsession
Why I gave it up
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven

Let’s be honest, you have time to kill. Once you have done that, you may understand my last afterwards. For the record, I am never doing this again. Almost didn’t make it:

I keep re-reading about my week without my iPod, and to be honest, at first, I sound a bit crazy. How is it that this medium has taken over my life the way it has? I know I once lived a life without an iPod, but I am not sure how to do it again. However as friends and family commented back on my blog postings, I began to realize I am not alone. Many others couldn’t live without their iPods and other forms of media for a week, and wondered how I am doing it.

By keeping a small journal and timeline of my thoughts throughout the week, I somehow found a way. I believed it better captured what I went through without my iPod. My journey showed my feelings of emptiness, withdrawals, and my dependency with this medium. At moments my feelings were heightened when people mention my week without my iPod. In a way, it made me want it more because I missed having it as a part of my everyday life and how I function with it. For me, it isn’t about the iPod itself, but what I use it for. I use it like a musician uses a metronome. It seems to keep the tempo and rhythm throughout my day, and when that was taken from me, everything seemed off, from working out to simply walking around.

As reflected throughout my notes, I felt that disconnect more than I thought I would. It didn’t seem right doing many of normal activities without my iPod, and when I tried other things, it felt as though I had put my shoes on the wrong feet. Sure I am wearing shoes to protect my feet, however it didn’t feel right. I am used to have this particular medium close by and as a part of my routine. At times, it did feel like I was wearing my shoes on the wrong feet, and while I did use other media to replace my iPod, I missed its functions and noise.

As I repeated many times, I love having noise around me whether it is music, someone talking, etc. While other media like television and radio did provide the noise I needed, I was sometimes left with little choice of what I wanted to listen to, and often times commercials and breaks interrupted the flow of the noise. Had I been plugged into my iPod with my own music and podcasts, I wouldn’t have the distractions of commercials and breaks.

On one hand, it could be said that being constantly plugged into my iPod disconnects myself from those around me, but this is not the case. I use my iPod to catch up on the latest news, talk to friends online, listen to music, and many other functions. I could do this with my phone, and do, but for me, my iPod is my choice for information and music because of its functionality. My iPod may not help my face-to-face communication; however it does help me to stay in touch with the world around while I am out living in it. I still feel connected to the world, and my iPod has allowed for such a thing to happen within my daily life and routine.

On the other hand, I can always change my routine and how I function. There are many times throughout my week and time without my iPod where I normally wouldn’t use it and/or need it. It was during these times where this medium wasn’t a part of my routine, therefore I didn’t feel lost without it and I was alright. It was moments like these that made me think maybe I could live without my iPod.

Can I honestly say I would not properly function if I had to give up my iPod forever? My first reaction is of course not. I need my iPod to live. However, there was a time I didn’t have my iPod, about 22 years beforehand, and I seemed alright. As much as media controls us, we do have the option to break away. As I have learned, that detachment can be hard, but as we have gotten use to having this particular medium, we can also get used to not having it. Media of any form is more of a want rather than necessity. It is not a part of the bottom portion of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs like food, water, and shelter. One needs those things in order to survive.

Media is something we want in our lives for entertainment and to make life easier which it does, but it is something one can live without. It merely comes down to our habits, and how we choose to handle them. For me, my habits revolve around media as a way for entertainment, getting information, and getting through my day. It is media in all forms that I like having around me, and when one is taken from me, something doesn’t feel right. However, not using my iPod wasn’t on my mind all day, but rather periods of time when I am use to it. Like when I first incorporated my iPod into my routine, with practice, it can be taken away.

I maybe alright with this.