A New Direction- Floral Arrangements

Ever since I took the floral arrangement class a few months ago I have been making bouquets and center pieces left and right. Even some of my friends have begun asking me to make them for them and their friends’ homes and parties. I really enjoying designing and creating them, it is nice to channel my creativity in such a productive way.

floral-arrangements
I recently was considering applying for part time florist and floral design jobs. I think it would be fun and I would be keeping myself busy. This morning I built up the courage to apply for a few florist jobs around town! It was really exciting, I felt so good about myself afterwards. I have grown so much in the past year; I don’t think I would have ever expected myself to be doing what I am today.

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I have learned so much from the class I am taking but, I think if I was in a setting where I was constantly being challenged, I would thrive and learn so much more! Learning is key in growing old; or at least that’s what I think. I notice my attitude become so much more positive and upbeat when I am learning or engaging in something knew.
Reading the summary of duties on the job posting made me nervous and excited about the possibilities. I would be designing arrangements, producing special orders, setting up at venues, and providing inspiration for seasonal presentations. I haven’t had a job that allowed that much creativity EVER! I think this would be an incredible opportunity.
From beginning my Tai Chi classes and participating in the Floral arranging classes my mind has been so much clearer. I am using learning to beat the empty nest syndrome…and menopause. 🙂

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Keep your fingers crossed, I really hope I get this position. I feel like it would be a great step in the right direction.

Until next time,
Nancy

Easy Pinterest Recipes

This week I was in a cooking mood. I always enjoy trying new foods and recipes, so I decided to challenge myself to a new recipe every day this week. And being the Pinterest addict I am, I found almost all my recipes on there. Gosh, I love Pinterest so much!

It was fun cooking something new every day. I would encourage more people to try a week of new recipes. Your taste buds will thank you! Here are my recipes I tried from Pinterest! 🙂
shrimp-veggies-grillShrimp and Veggies on the Grill
Ingredients-
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 large lemon, juiced
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 dozen large uncooked, deveined shrimp
• 2 cups mixed vegetables
Instructions-
• In a glass measuring cup, combine oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
• Place shrimp and vegetables in an airtight plastic container. Pour oil mixture over shrimp and veggies, gently stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate while grill is preheated on medium heat.
• Create foil packets by folding the ends together and spoon shrimp and veggie mixture in.
• Place packets on grill, close, and cook for 10-12 minutes until the shrimp is cooked and veggies are hot. Enjoy!

Steak and Spinach Quesadilla with Provolone
Ingredients-
• 1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil  steak-spinach-quesadilla-provolone
• 2 oz. steak (leftovers work great, or whatever you have on hand)
• A big handful of spinach
• 1- 6in whole grain tortilla
• 1 slice provolone cheese
Instructions-
• Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet. Add steak and heat until heated through. Toss in the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove steak and spinach from pan. Place one tortilla in the pan and heat through. Flip the tortilla and place half a slice of cheese on one half of the tortilla.
• Layer the steak and spinach over the cheese and then place the other half of cheese on the top. Fold the tortilla onto itself to create a half moon. Place a tea kettle or another heavy pot on top of the tortilla to press it down for about 30 seconds. Flip quesadilla and do the same on the other side
• Remove quesadilla form the pan and allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup-

chicken-tortilla-soup
Ingredients-
• 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 1 can chopped green chilies (7 oz.)
• 1 can diced, or crushed tomatoes (8 oz.)
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 ear of corn, shucked (or 1 cup of frozen corn)
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• ½ tsp. paprika
• ½ tsp. chili powder
• ½ tsp. black pepper
For serving and topping (optional)-
• Crushed tortilla chips
• Fresh minced cilantro
• Fresh lime juice
• Cheese
• Hot sauce or fresh chopped jalapeno
Instructions-
• In a slow cooker add all the soup ingredients. Gently mix together all the ingredients to make everything combine well.
• Cover and cook the soup on low for 7 hours or about 4 hours on high
• Gently shred the chicken with two forks and stir the soup to mix the chicken in evenly.
• Top the soup with crushed tortilla chips, cilantro or other optional toppings. Squeeze some fresh lime juice on the top and enjoy!

I have also made some really good snacks this week-
coconut-cinnamon-applesCoconut Cinnamon Apples-
Ingredients-
• 1 large apple (any variety)
• 1 tbsp. coconut oil
• Cinnamon
Instructions-
• Slice up the apple and pan sear it in one tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook for a few minutes, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Wedges-

sweet-potato-wedges
Ingredients-
• 2 medium sweet potatoes
• Approximately 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
• Sea salt
Instructions-
• Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Cut potatoes into small wedges and place in large mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and sea salt on the wedges and mix until fully coated with olive oil and salt.
• Transfer sweet potato wedges to a cooking sheet and bake for 20 mins. At 20 mins, toss the wedges around to prevent from sticking and bake for another 20-25 minutes with an occasional toss.
• When the wedges are turning light brown, turn the oven to broil and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

I also made stuffed tomatoes and shrimp and spinach pasta in a garlic cream sauce. It was such a good week of new meals. Follow me on Pinterest to see all the yummy recipes I find! 🙂
Until next time,
Nancy

“It’s up to you, New York, New York”

WOW! New York was everything I expected and more! Words do not begin to describe the beauty of that city. The snow falling from the sky with bright lights illuminating the streets put me into a movie scene.

When we first landed in New York I felt like a kid in a candy store. My face was glued to the window in absolute awe. Looking outside, the snow falling peacefully, and the sun making each flake sparkle was exactly what I wished NYC to be. The cab ride from the airport to our hotel was probably one of the best cab rides of my life. 🙂

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We stayed at the Hilton Times Square so we drove through Times Square and got our first glimpse at the Big Apple. Our room was so nice and had a beautiful view. My husband got us a suite for the week…so romantic. I think this was one of the first times I have ever stayed in a suite; I felt like a princess.

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After getting settled we went on a walk around Times Square and just wandered through the streets. There is something about New York City that is so magical and spectacular. It is like a fairytale.

We were able to fit in almost everything on my list. The holiday markets throughout the city were outstanding. I thought we were just going to go to the Columbus Circle Holiday market but we ended up going to three other ones. Even though Christmas is done, the spirit of the holidays is definitely still in the air.

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I faced two fears this trip; heights and ice skating! I am so happy I found the courage to get past my fear and try new and exciting things. We went ice skating in Central Park at dusk one day; I’m going to say it again, SO magical. We also went to the lookout deck at the Rockefeller Plaza. WOW, just WOW! The views of the city literally took my breath away. I also got to see Grand Central Station and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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The highlight of my trip was TWO BROADWAY SHOWS! I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it to any, but my husband surprised me with tickets to Wicked and we loved it so much we got tickets for The Lion King too. I am so happy I was able to experience a Broadway Show in NYC, now I can check that off my bucket list. 🙂
Our trip to New York City was INCREDIBLE! I have never been in complete awe for so long. The city, the people, the architecture, everything is just beautiful. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband who knows me so well. We did a lot of relaxing and sightseeing throughout the week. I feel like I was really able to connect with him and feel like newlyweds again. Traveling with him made me realized that the world is ours and we really need to take advantage of it. This was, by far, the BEST anniversary present ever! I think I may have even caught the travel bug? 🙂

“Big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York”

Until next time,

Nancy

WELCOME 2015

Happy 2015 everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s! I had the best couple of weeks with my family, I am so happy. It was a great way to say good bye to and ring in 2015!

A little recap; Christmas was so wonderful! Dinner with our family turned out delicious, my hot chocolate meringue cake was a huge hit! We scarfed the entire cake down for desert. Bobby was scooping it was cutout sugar cookies…can you say sugar overload! My in-laws were really happy to see Bobby and Clara too. We had a great dinner, exchanged a few gifts, and laughed all night.

Bobby and Clara left on the 31st to go celebrate New Year’s Eve with their friends. It was sad saying good bye but I know they will be home again soon. The hubby and I stayed in on New Year’s Eve drank a little champagne and watched the ball drop on TV…if I wasn’t excited for our trip before, I am so so so excited after seeing Times Square on TV. It was the perfect New Years, simple and romantic.
2015-happy-new-year
I have been cleaning up the house since Bobby and Clara left. It is ridiculous how much of a mess my kids can make in such a short period of time. 🙂 On a positive note, I have gotten back into my routine, walking, biking, and watching what I am eating. I am proud of myself, I actually stuck to my goals I set before the holidays. I was able to exercise three times a week and eat fairly healthy. I think my biggest accomplishment was learning when I am satisfied after eating, instead of eating to the point of discomfort…go me! 🙂

I feel like the past couple months have flown by, we leave for New York City in TWO DAYS!! Words do not begin to describe my excitement. I started packing for myself a few days ago…and packing for my husband too; if I didn’t help him pack, he would just bring one change of clothes…men, I tell you! 🙂 I am excited to wear my new clothes I got special for the trip. I have been shopping periodically, finding good deals on “chic” NYC clothes. I figure, if I dress like I belong in New York, maybe I will just end up staying…:P Just kidding.

I know I keep saying it but these past couple months have been nothing less than extraordinary. I am so thankful for everything I have accomplished, everything my family and friends accomplished, for everyone’s positivity around me, and I am happy I’m blogging! I will miss reading some blogs that I’m following when I’m at NYC, so you shouldn’t miss them:

http://anextraordinaryday.net/
http://emptynestcountryliving.com/
http://www.over50feeling40.com/

I know this is the time when I should share my New Year’s resolution, but my resolution is not to have a resolution. I want to keep doing what I am doing and not change anything. I am so happy with everything in my life right now, I couldn’t wish for anything more!

Happy New Year, it is going to be a good one!

Until next time,

Nancy