Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lasagna

Joe was supposed to come home from work and show me how to make Lasagna. However, he stopped to get gas, so he was a bit late. I had already started boiling the pasta strips (putting in a decent bit of salt and olive oil so that the noodles didn't stick together) and browned the meat mix (hamburg meat and sweet Italian sausage). So I was either going to be left with noodles that stuck together or a imperfect lasagna trial mess... you know me, I tried the later.

After the meat was browning for a bit, I added minced garlic, cilantro, Italia seasonings, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper.

Near the end of the browning period, I added a cut up red pepper.

At the very end, I also cooked up some spinach. Three heaping handfuls, it literally heats up to nothing. After this was cooked a bit, I added it into the meat mixture. By this time, the pasta strips were almost done.

I strained the pasta strips and waited for them to cool a bit.

Joe walked in as I started layering. Thank God, or I would not have started with a layer of sauce!

We took out a pan, sprayed the bottom with Pam. Then we put the cup of sauce down. We used a Roasted Peppers and Garlic Sauce.

We put down 4 strips across the pasta sauce, then a layer of the cheese mix, layer of the meat, layer of sauce, layer of 4 pasta strips across, layer of cheese mix, layer of meat, layer of sauce, layer of 4 strips across, layer of sauce, sprinkled mozzarella.

The cheese mix was made from a bag of shredded mozzarella, 15oz ricotta cheese can,  light Italia seasoning and an egg.

Really good for a first try! The only bad part was that I cracked the egg into the cheese mixture... instead of cracking it into a separate bowl. A piece of egg shell was left and Joe just happened to get it. Winner Winner? oops

Shrimp Scampi

Feeds 2-4

Boil half a box of linguine pasta

Haha & those are not my man hands! I'm taking the photo.
1/2 lb Uncooked shrimp <- shell it by pinching the tail and pulling off the exoskeleton. You may have to push away the sides of the exoskeleton from the shrimp too.

Take your shelled shrimp and lightly mix in a half cup of floor, powdered garlic and onion, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, Italia seasonings of choice to taste.

Once they are lightly dusted with the seasoned flour, stick them in a hot sauté pan that has been prepared with butter.

After 5 minutes add more butter, minced garlic, cilantro or choice Italian seasoning.

Sauté shrimp until bright pink.

Strain pasta once cooked.

Once the shrimp is fully cooked, mix in the pasta (into the sauté pan).

Let simmer for a minute then serve!
Yum!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Halloween 2012

Update on the Halloween post: We had our Bentley Class of 2012 zero year reunion at Tequila Rain. It was Tequila Rain's Monster Mash! How silly of Bentley to plan it on a Halloween weekend, we were all really concerned that no one would show up with such a mash up of events. But it ended up working out really well - we even broke the most attended zero year reunion record. We topped 300 students, which is over a third of our class. I was impressed. I would always hear admin stating thing like: your class is much different than previous classes. (emphasis on the much) I think we're pretty awesome.






& I guess you all know what I was for Halloween. The Statue of Liberty! I cannot tell you how many people came up to me saying, this is the perfect costume for you! Their reasoning: you love America, and you're tall...

Advertising




If you've been following this blog at all - you'll know how much I enjoy branding, typography, advertising, pr etc. I enjoy seeing all sides of a company and enjoy participating in different facets of advertising. I have been in commercials for The Pawnbroker and have done some modeling. Most recently, I participated in LaceAffair.com's seasonal shoot. The owner is adorable and has such an incredible vision for her business. I really enjoyed reminding myself what it's like to be on the other side of the camera. More recently, I have been the one taking photos. Hopefully, I'll be taking some adorable holiday photos of my cousin, she just lost her two front teeth! (All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!!) I love photography and editing in general, so I can't wait to start this next project while I'm waiting to find the perfect job! :)


The Mo'


The end of November is nearing, so I have to post about Movember. Thankfully, not as many adults participate in this charity movement, as much as, the college scene seems to. As of November 1st for one month, mo-bros start clean shaven and work their way towards a classic mo of their choice. Last year, 854,00 individuals participated to raise 126.3M for programs supporting men's health. I really disliked the college scene Movember. Most of my guy friends would grow out their stache. I wish they had come up with a cute "wear the color blue" campaign like Pink for Breast Cancer... instead of the Mo idea. Scratchy beards are not fun to kiss! The movement started in Melbourne and has since gained worldwide mo-mentum.

The Movember Effect: Awareness & Education, Survivorship, Research
The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and testicular cancer initiatives. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.
                                                                                            Source: http://us.movember.com/

Advertising

I have always loved adverts. I am obsessed by them. I love analyzing them and am not afraid to state my opinion to anyone in the room. My friends tend to roll their eyes when I get more involved in the commercials than the T.V. show.


I am sure my roommates of 2010 loved my intense screaming regarding the Reebok advertisement for toning sneakers. It just angered me so much that they zoomed in on this woman's butt. As if this is the most important aspect of being fit. A cute butt. My guy friends called me a feminist and one of my girlfriends bought the shoe to achieve a cute butt. (I don't think it worked) Regardless, I was completely turned off of Reebok as a result. I also wrote them an email telling them so. I was really offended and learned a ton of other women were as well! When applying for jobs recently I have been highlighting my ability to analyze adverts critically, this is not an ideal  review example, just a demonstration of how strong a critic I can be with my personal opinion and how I follow through to ensure the right people hear it.


What are your favorite commercials lately?! Mine has to be the Slinky on an Escalator by GEICO. So stupidly "awesome." The number of times I hear this in a day just confirms how great it is... we'll see how much longevity it has, I'm sure it'll get annoying at some point. Even more recently, I have been enjoying the Chevy commercials featuring good ol St. Nick.







Thanksgiving

My father has everyone from my mom's side over for thanksgiving each year. We had over 30 family members in attendance. My mom has eight brothers and sisters and a few of them have kids who are having kids! Makes for a three level tier of family members running around my house every fall. Apparently, this year, I fell asleep after dinner. I was watching football with Joe and I thought I was up the entire time. He claims I am mistaken because he was helping my family do dishes while I slept. I don't remember doing any dishes this year, so he might be right... I do remember getting jumped on by my little cousins and chasing them around the yard playing tag. I can completely understand if I fell asleep on the couch! (oops)

My favorite part of the the Thanksgiving Break is the Turkey Soup and Pilgrim Sandwiches (Comprised of the usual turkey leftovers, cranberry sauce and stuffing) my Dad makes the following week. So good!

This Thanksgiving was a bit hectic. Usually I go out with my high school friends, but this year I decided to hang out with Joe and his family the night before, then went to brunch at 8am,  then to his high school's football game at 10 am, next was lunch at my house, then we went to watch the Patriots at his grandparents. It was a pretty busy 24 hours.


Take a Gamble

I'm not a gambler; however, I would describe myself with a calculating risk-taker. I have put down $25 on black in roulette - won $50 bucks, walked away.  

It's time to dig deep here. 425M Powerball ticket is at stake! So, I am going to buy a quick pick and one carefully crafted list of numbers and hopefully win big! I've always wanted to be successful enough to buy my dad a place in Maui to take my mom to VK for the winters. Maybe this will help make that happen quicker!

The News

Recent news stories have had me in tears laughing. I cannot wrap my head around the multiple sources relaying faulty information. It's a joke how people believe everything in today's world and it is absolutely terrifying how quickly things can spread without proper investigation. People spread news without even looking for a source or reason as evidenced by Facebook's most recent privacy hoax.  Most of my tech/digital "in the know" friends were re-posting a viral privacy notice, so a lot more of my friends did as well.  

This was circled through facebook users in the form of statuses. The only reason why I did not re-post myself was that I searched Berner Convention and all that returned was a Berne Convention. The UCC code made no sense  to me as I had taken a Contract Law course while at Bentley University, but one could easily have researched the code as well to learn that the code has nothing to do with online privacy.

The second thing that had me in tears in the past few days was a story that was picked up by a state newspaper in China. The Onion, a satirical news outlet, has struck again!
"The People's Daily on Tuesday ran a 55-page photo spread on its website in a tribute to the round-faced leader, under the headline "North Korea's top leader named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012."
Quoting The Onion's spoof report, the Chinese newspaper wrote, `'With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true."
"Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper's editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile," the People's Daily cited The Onion as saying.
I am still laughing, my mother gasped when I read her the article and chortled a bit. Hope you all are enjoying these media blips as much as I am! And are taking away the key message of this blog post - Check for sources! Don't believe anything. 

The third crazy news piece that has actually made me more nervous about who has access to our personal information, including government officials, is the latest news surrounding the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. A young man noticed the letters SSN followed by a number on one of the fallen pieces of parade confetti. This tipped him off and he started picking up the strips of paper and noticed various pieces of protected information from the local police department. Including a piece of information about Mitt Romney's motorcade route. We live in one crazy media world. I hardly believe that any of our information is truly protected anymore.





Monday, November 26, 2012

Newport




After dropping off my sister at Salve Regina. We wanted to go on a tour of the Newport Mansions, better known to locals as the Newport Cottages as they were the summer homes of America's wealthiest. We decided to go on a tour through Marble House as it is one of the three cottages decorated for the holiday season. Marble House is so called as it is comprised of 500,000 cubic ft of Marble. It was home to Alva Vanderbilt, a woman with particularly lavish tastes and a solid belief in education. She used her home to educate and bring European architecture across the sea. The entertaining room was brilliant with it's golden leaf decor. The Gothic room reminded me of Westminster Abbey. My favorite room was the library with commissioned art on the ceiling of four matriarchs (geometry, algebra..). My second favorite room was her bedroom, it looked like a fantasy room with light purple patterned tapestry adorning the walls.  She was a realist. She knew that, if you were a woman wanting to achieve anything significant prior to the 19th C., social and economic standing were the only two things of importance. She fought hard during the suffrage movement to help women win the right to vote.
In addition, to the well designed self-guided audio tour, here are some sources I glanced through: http://americancivilwar.com/women/Womens_Suffrage/Alva_Belmont.html 

We would have liked to do the Elms and Breakers - the other two Newport Mansions decorated for Christmas. I have heard from secondary sources as well as from first hand accounts that Marble House is  supposedly the most glitzy of the three decorated mansions. The Breakers has the most Christmas Trees. The Elms is supposedly decorated most associated like a hunting cottage, not quite sure what this means, but I cannot wait to see them for myself!  My favorite decorated room in Marble House was the kitchen. It smelled divine. It featured hundreds of lemons, oranges, clementines poked with cloves and pine. The coolest part of the kitchen was what looked like an antique baking mold in the shape of a military man and ship. 



After our mini tourist trip we went to Brenton Point to watch the sunset. We then went to pick up my sister and her friend to take them to dinner at the Gas lamp Grill. Everything was delicious, exceeded our expectations - mostly because we were expecting more along the lines of pub food.  The chowder had an entirely different taste than expected. It was a tad spicy!  







Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wonder


Just finished reading "The Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins. It was a readable account of his personal and conscientious reflective journey as a so-called EHM. The overall message leaves the reader wondering how many people contribute to the corporate and government conspiracies throughout the world. More importantly, to what extent do we all contribute to these conspiracies and financial facades in our everyday lives.

This book really got me thinking about our most recent presidential election. I am most displeased with the inconsistencies that occur throughout our nation. I hate big government with a passion; however, voting regulations should be consistent throughout our nation. My sister Juliette was able to vote in NH. While I am happy she finally registered (as all members of the US should be allowed to vote), the registration period had already passed in MA. She was able to vote in NH due to the recent "Out of State Student" legislature that recently passed in September. No offense to NH, but I would not want out of state students, who live in NH for a total of 4 years max, voting for laws that effect the entire state's long-term population.  Regardless of that side issue, with today's economy and technology, there should be a viable way for individuals to vote anywhere in this country. It's ridiculous that technically anyone can vote by walking into a building, stating a street, and claiming a name. While it is illegal, is it possible? Absolutely  Why do we need photo identification? To drink? Yes. To buy cigs? Yes. To get a library card? Yes. To vote? Nope, not needed. Voter fraud should not be able to occur. The corporate world and tech stars who create what grandparent's consider "big brother apps"i.e. "Find My Friends" should be able to solve what I see as an issue with today's voting system. It's simply outdated, and the recent voting machine and system glitches is a clear sign that something has to be fixed.

A few things I considered before voting:
Who will most let federal government act as a guideline and protector for allowing the individuals, county, and state legislature to act freely.
Who will create the most opportunities for individuals to succeed. I do not believe entrepreneurs and business owners should be taxed the way they are currently. People who have the perseverance and gumption to get ahead in this world, individuals who are creating more jobs and increasing domestic trade by opening businesses, should be punished and hindered by excess taxes.

Additionally, I am supportive of all efforts that encourage international students, who study and prove they are capable of applying their higher education in the states, to stay and build a life here. Thereby, contributing to building this nation in a positive and proactive nature, and encouraging the continuance of the ever stifled "American Dream."

Regardless of who I voted for, I hope that Education and the encouragement of preventative care (nutrition and fitness) continue to be two of the most consistent items on our nation's agenda in the upcoming years.  I feel these two topics are closely related and if these issues are left to fester, they will surely become this great nation's Achilles Heel.

"EDUCATION AND INCOME 
Obesity has long been associated with education and income. The report found that about one-third of adults without a high school diploma were obese, compared with about one-fifth of those who graduated from college or technical college.
And one-third of adults who earn less than $15,000 per year are obese, compared to one-quarter of those who earned $50,000 or more per year. The obesity-poverty connection reflects such facts that calorie-dense foods are cheap and that poor neighborhoods have fewer playgrounds, sidewalks and other amenities that encourage exercise."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-obesity-us-idUSBRE88H0RA20120918