Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Links I Love: The Arts and Culture

Piazza Navona, Rome.

This post was inspired by the following blog post and its embedded video created by Jennifer...
Refuse to be Dumbed Down [dailyconnoisseur.blogspot.com]
If you only click on a single link of this entire post, make sure it's this one. It's a valuable video suggesting many ways to seek out the arts, cultivate your mind, and enrich your soul.

Sure, I do agree with Jennifer about the current state of popular culture. In fact, I do not even own a TV at the moment in order to get away from it a bit and to, instead, spend time on other activities important to me, to truly live life well. You have greater control over yourself than others though. And you should participate in the arts and/or culture because you want to and it makes you come alive. So, as a former student of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University, I believe in embracing the arts and culture. You should simply do things you are passionate about. Life is too short not to lead the most exciting lifetime possible.



I wanted to share the kind of art and culture that captivate me.

The following links are cultural event suggestions with specific dates and locations...

* Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea [nmwa.org]
Every once in awhile, I will go online and check the future exhibitions at my favorite art museums in Baltimore, Washington, DC and Philadelphia. Last time I made the rounds, this particular show piqued my interest the most. I've only visited the National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC once so far, but I loved it. I look forward to viewing this current exhibition which ends on April 12, 2015. Hopefully, I can visit when I go and see the cherry blossoms this spring.

* Così fan tutte [www.marylandhall.org via livingsocial.com]
I've enjoyed the minimal exposure to opera that I've had so far. I daydream of taking in an outdoor performance in the Arena in Verona, Italy one day... This opera is on March 13th and 15th in Annapolis, Maryland. There is a livingsocial deal available for purchase at the moment, so let me know soon if you'd like to be my date!

* Cooking Classes [surlatable.com]
I've been trying to branch out in cooking lately. There's a Sur la Table close to E's so I daydreamed about taking a cooking class or two there. Upon further investigation, they do not conduct classes in that location nor at the only other Maryland store. Maybe someday I'll live close to one that does. Date Night: Paris in Spring! Ooh la la! So many of these classes pique my interest! Embrace the culinary arts too.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Anyone can take in a little culture anytime anywhere simply by clicking on these lovely links...

* What's the Italian word for good morning? [vimeo.com via facebook.com/GirlinFlorence]
I adore this quick video using language, culture, art and photography.

* Ravenna, Italy [anamericaninitaly.com]
This is just the first blog post of five documenting this blogger's recent trip to Ravenna. I've seen the mosaics in person and they are stunning.

* 13 Reasons to Love Paris Anytime [girlinflorence.com]
See why Georgette suggests that 'Paris is always a good idea' ...even during the winter!


Even though it is not a broad selection, these things mean a great deal to me. They have been on my mind lately. I hope that either these links specifically or this post in general inspire you to embrace the arts and culture. Go and find what you're passionate about, and then make participating in it at least a semi-regular part of your life. #cultivateyourmind




Monday, February 23, 2015

January Clearance Purchase and Winter Capsule Wardrobe Addition

I only bought a single article of clothing during the clearance sales of January. Next year, I will try to budget so I can take advantage of the significant savings on cashmere, perhaps a black v-neck sweater or black crew-neck cardigan... Anyway, my sole purchase was a particular piece that I have had my eye on for a long while. I ordered this black sheer Baroque Lace Tee with scalloped edges from Express online. (The black is no longer available, but three other colors are.) It's called "Baroque," the name of my favorite period of art history. As it is ornate, it is a bit of a fashion risk for me. The top fits me like a glove and is actually a bit too tight in the arms. It is too cold to wear it during the winter, so maybe I will during the spring, but, then again, if I tone my arms, it'll fit more comfortably and you'll see it as part of my Fall Capsule Wardrobe... I plan to style it with a black camisole underneath, so that the bold damask design is more subtle. Or maybe I'll consider buying a charcoal gray camisole. It is interesting, but I hope it is sophisticated as well.

With a white cami underneath 
just so you could see the design which embellishes the front, back and sleeves.

This is one of the ways I would style it: 
over a black cami with bootcut jeans and black ballet flats.

Sleeve detail.

I also recently bought the pair of jeans featured above. In searching the internet for blue jeans that I could pair with heels, I happened to come across this pair with its 29-inch inseam to style with flats on eBay. Recognizing the studded back pockets, this is similar to two pairs I bought from Kohl's for my last trip to Italy in 2011. I dislike the contrast golden stitching usually found on dark wash jeans, so I am pleased with these and their gray stitches. They are a bit of a heavier weight which is nice for this really cold winter we've been having. Levi's 515 jeans are my 'go to' and I actually didn't own a pair of this brand in my winter wardrobe. Honestly, since I do not have my own washer and dryer, three pairs of jeans is so much better than the two I've been working with this winter. This is a fantastic addition to my closet. I scored these for under $28, which isn't a steal, but I would probably pay $10 more for a new pair I liked less in a store. In excellent condition, these were officially "pre-owned" but it's like they have never been worn, not a curve nor wrinkle in the waistline. I feel very fortunate to have found them. I think this is my third eBay purchase ever and I have always been very pleased. I bought them from this eBay seller who also got them to me very quickly, even when ordering during a holiday weekend. I still need a pair with a 30" inseam to wear with heels! Perhaps I'll pick them up in birthday shopping during April.

This picture was taken after wearing them a couple of times.



Confession

E broke up with me. 43 days ago. And this is the very first time that I'm telling anyone.


As you can imagine, I have not been up to going out or calling to catch up much lately. Luckily, our real winter has totally covered for me as I have been snowed in many times. I have been perfectly functional though. My boss has asked me, "What's wrong?" just once and has unfortunately seen a brief outburst of tears but I cannot talk about it since it's important to remain professional at work. To my co-workers, friends, family and residents who have asked me about my relationship, I am deeply sorry for omitting the truth/ even lying, simply saying it's rough and crafting a quick story for Valentine's Day. I'm not used to doing so. I am trying to deal with it the best I can. The truth is... I am heartbroken. I possess endless patience for others, but that is certainly not the case in regards to myself. I am trying to be nice to myself. I am grieving my loss. It's just my second step in getting over someone is to realize that maybe he's not for me, to make the conscious decision to move on, even if moving on is still a gray area rather than black-and-white. That hasn't happened. I still want to be with him, with the man I love. Without going into detail, he's definitely worth waiting for.


Again, you shouldn't hate him. He's wonderful.

He calls me "Bella."
imbr0gli0 via maybe.lisa via Pinterest

I feel like I want to be ready for the next step in my life, hence this post in this personal journal of mine. Writing this is actually a small step in itself. I am a very happy person and wouldn't want to remain this sad for long. I usually plan every last detail of my April birthday celebration by the end of January, and it's the end of February and I still have no idea what I'd love to do. I want to blossom again for upcoming spring, a season for rebirth.

I took Philadelphia off the table when I fell in love, hoping to move in with him instead; he happens to live in another city I love, in an amazing location within that city at that. Now, I pretty much block my thinking about where I want to move next, as long as it's out of my hometown. As goal-oriented and future-minded that I am, it feels incredibly odd to not have a solid short-term plan and goal. ...but I do know that I need to give myself some time. When I'm ready emotionally, I do want a major life change.

This post is not intended to have people feel sorry for me and definitely not to send a message to E (since we're not speaking and he knows about this blog). I do not want attention. I just needed to do something to begin to move forward with my life. As an INFJ, verbalizing my thoughts truly helps. I should really talk to a friend about specifics or at least write it down on paper, even if it gets trashed immediately. I adore my readers and so, wish to request that you are patient with me. I don't feel amazingly fabulous at this time, and as a result, I may not be working on my blog daily, therefore, publishing a bit less than I would want to. You can still expect to learn about one of my simple pleasures every Sunday however.

If this post were to have a message, then I would really want it to say: Be kind. You never know what a person is going through, be it a break up or something much worse. Furthermore, be there for one another. "I'm here for you." is a simple yet amazingly perfect and strong statement. Also, if you need help, please reach out to a friend, family member or the appropriate resource. Honestly, that's at least partially what they're there for.




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Reading a Good Book. Book Review: A Paris Apartment: A Novel

I am usually reading a book. My last one was so good; I could hardly put it down! Reading about 75 pages in a sitting, the story would keep me up late, into the next day. It only lasted two days, last Sunday night through Tuesday night, in fact. I highly recommend A Paris Apartment: A Novel by Michelle Gable.


It's about an Art Historian named April who specializes in furniture for an auction house. She is assigned to describe the treasures in an apartment in Paris that has been sealed for 70 years, since the middle of World War II. It turns out the items are from an even earlier era, the Belle Epoque (1890s). In order to give greater value to the pieces, she reads the journals of its original owner, Marthe, for background. This is truly salacious! The two narratives are intertwined in this novel. April also runs away from her troubled marriage and there is a love interest in Paris.

When my mom sees a movie that is not from her favorite genre, I feel like she'll determine if it's good or not if it kept her interest throughout. This novel certainly enraptured me from beginning to end. There are twists, not every twist and turn will the reader be pleased with! The characters are well-developed, so you root for many different people. It brings up a lot of issues about love and life. I also love April's passion for this fascinating work project.

It is based upon a true story, such an apartment was actually discovered in 2010.

This book was released last April and I had heard of it from a couple different sources, but I wonder why I didn't seek it out sooner. It's right up my alley! Art History. Passion. Life. Love. Paris. Anyway, I am happy to have read it now and own it on my Kindle for possible re-reading.



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Beef and Broccoli Repeat


Last Monday, I prepared one of my new recipes again, beef and broccoli, for dinner. I followed the same recipe I came up back in November, having combined my two favorites found online. Although, I did tweak it, using a single tablespoon of dark brown sugar this time. I only managed to marinate the flank steak for exactly an hour. Having received a larger 12-inch pan with matching lid for Christmas, I (luxuriously) didn't have to brown the (pound of) meat in two batches. I am pleased in how it turned out. It was delicious, as were the leftovers. I served the beef and broccoli over white rice and indulged in Coca-Cola to drink. I can see this dish becoming one in regular rotation.


Soon, I will not be quite so poor and more able to purchase new ingredients and tools. I anticipate cooking a new recipe on a weekly basis. Maybe something warm and comforting since it's still winter, like risotto, minestrone, or garlic mashed potatoes...



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Social Media Mini Break

I plan to take a short two-day pause from social media on Thursday, February 12th and Friday, February 13th. I vow to stay off of Facebook, this blog and my biggest addiction Pinterest. (I have 2,600 pins!) Concerning this blog, I will not be writing, editing, posting, replying to comments, checking stats nor reading the blogs on my blog roll. And by "Facebook" I mean my personal account as I do often post on my employer's page for work and should continue to do so.

These things are designed to make one want to keep checking in and I am no exception. I want to thoroughly enjoy life beyond these phone apps and web browser bookmarks. I predict that this will be refreshing. They are wonderful but they truly waste a lot of time. I could be more productive without spending so much time on these distractions. Perhaps I'll use the "extra" time to give myself an at-home manicure... I realize that this is not a long break. Having only 23 Facebook friends instead of hundreds like everyone else it seems and limiting the number of blogs on my blogroll, I simply don't need it to be. I just require a brief time away.


After this little "shut down and restart" of mine, I may start limiting my time on Facebook and Pinterest consistently. I'm not sure yet ...not even sure how I would want to do that. I may set a timer and when the timer goes off, I automatically exit the application. Or maybe designating a couple of times a day for those things might be less restrictive...

I love this idea for entertaining.

I would rather look up from my phone and "live life the real way."

This post will publish on Tuesday, so I will have two full days prior to my mini break to respond to comments. See you guys on Saturday! Definitely come back on Sunday for a simple pleasure.



Monday, February 9, 2015

A Few Lessons in Love from an INFJ

I figured since this was the week of Valentine's Day, I could write an intimate post about a few lessons recently learned about love.


Disclaimer: I do not feel that a relationship belongs on social media in any kind of big way, so I will be omitting my own real life examples. I feel like I am still able to produce a quality post with only the bare minimum of specifics. However limiting this post is and private I may be, I still want to articulate the following thoughts here, just for me. As an INFJ, this is important as it is a release of what's going on in my head.



Before E, I had not been in a relationship for ten years and that previous one was mostly long distance during college. Casual dating just so happened to detail my 20s. (Odd for the serious INFJ I know, but I am painfully shy around the opposite sex and didn't find a gentleman I liked enough or rarely when I did, he didn't commit to me.) Plus, I am a different person with each passing year! Without serious relationships lately when I am the person I am today, the more I learn about love, the more I realize just how little I know how to act in a relationship.


For a long time, I thought that dating a significant other again was pretty much always a bad idea with rare exceptions. My thinking was that in doing so one was settling, forgetting the issues that broke up the relationship, in order to not be single or because it's easier than finding someone new and then figuring him or her out. I once had a boss who often advised that "tigers don't change their stripes." This previous thought of mine has truth, but, still, I have changed my mind. I am much more open-minded than I was. I now think you should evaluate the person and current situation rather than adhere to a black-and-white rule. As you know, E and I split up during early November and then reunited during the middle of December. It was absolutely the right decision for me to agree to date him again. There are many reasons that a second time around might be the way to go. I think that you learn so much about love, what you do and don't want with each relationship, that it could truly change you. Life can also be very difficult to handle at times and a relationship is added work. One should commit to treating his or her significant other as a priority not as an option, despite life. And when it rains, it pours. After the storm and having learned from mistakes the hard way, one can set a new course. Also, timing for one or both people could simply be off, in many ways, emotionally, geographically, etc. A renewed commitment with a united future view could put two back on track.


As an INFJ, I abhor conflict. I tend to avoid it whenever possible. And since speaking what I think (rather than writing it and rehearsing the script repeatedly first) is not my strength, I'm not even good at arguing. Heck, I can hardly articulate how I feel or what I want right off the bat. That's actually called something, the INFJ Freeze. Hopefully, even argument can be done in a way respectful of my nature. In addition to conflict, I also have long rejected drama. Plus, I have such a complex rich inner life, with thoughts pretty much always racing through my mind that I can never quiet down, that I prefer to cultivate a more simple calm, cool and collected kind of atmosphere in life. Even though I am strict about a few things and values important to me, overall, I am an incredibly easy-going partner, up for anything. But, another love lesson I have learned is that I do need to set boundaries and speak up for what I believe, even if it disturbs the peace. The possible consequences for laying down the law can be frightening. ...but it's definitely scarier to not be completely yourself with the one you love and to fail to express what you truly need. I want authenticity. Since I desire a deep connection, I value honesty. I agree with the quote above, which I repinned from another INFJ. I also think that many people respond well to and even crave consistent boundaries. So, why not? Furthermore, passion is one of my favorite things about Italians and it is something I desire both in life and love. Such energy leans towards loud. C'est la vie.




As an introvert, I truly understand the need for time alone. I myself need and seek brief bits of time by myself every day in order to achieve some balance. Especially after being "on" as in bright and bubbly non-stop for eight hours as a salesperson. I need quiet time with my glass of red wine right after work. For me time, I either partake in a simple pleasure or do nothing. Whenever my introverted partner needed time to deal with something, I first immaturely thought that it was a reflection of him not really liking me. When I found out that wasn't the case, I thought I wasn't enough in some way. If only I could say the right thing to cheer him up or create the ideal atmosphere for him to heal, then he would run to me for help and support. As an INFJ, I am the "counselor" after all! But, really, it has very little to do with me and much more to do with my partner. I did nothing wrong, or at least very little wrong since my need to help others is only, you know, incredibly strong. Because I lead such a full, passionate life, a boyfriend of mine needing some space simply would not be the end of my world. My brother's girlfriend J told me that she had a friend ask her how she could possibly tell her husband not to speak to her during the first 30 minutes following her arrival home after work. She needed that time alone to recharge, but she was terrified of hurting his feelings. J was the perfect person to turn to because she's a tell-it-like-it-is kind of gal. J told her to just tell him that's what she needed. It doesn't mean she doesn't love him, it's simply what she requires as an introvert. And I agree. Communication is key. As long as you voice what you need, time spent apart in a relationship is perfectly healthy, even crucial for all introverts. That is odd to think since a relationship is all about togetherness in this extraverted world, but there are all types of happy couples.
Even though I would much prefer to act as gracefully as possible, I am vulnerable in this area and have to admit that I am learning. I am growing ...with some growing pains. I don't have major experience yet, but think since I am dedicated to the cause that I am probably a natural at this love thing! An INFJ takes romantic relationships very seriously. I love being in love and despite ups and downs, simply wouldn't have it any other way.



Happy Valentine's Day!



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Sipping a Glass of Red Wine

I can't believe I've had over 50 Simple Pleasure Sunday posts before writing about sipping a glass of red wine! This is one of my most indulged in pleasures!

I will often pour myself a glass of Chianti or other red wine after work, while preparing dinner, to complement my dinner, or perhaps even to go with my lunch on my weekend days. I use a pretty large, tall glass goblet. I appreciate the beautiful deep red color of the wine. If sipping my glass just after 5 PM, I may nibble on some cheese and crackers or something similar as well. Drinking a glass mellows me out just a bit so that I can unwind for or during my evening. This is a signature drink of mine.


My 'go to' wine is Bolla Chianti, which is what I like, what I'm used to and is pretty cheap. It's medium-bodied with subtle notes of "black-cherry, plum and raspberry."


My preference is an Italian vino rosso that is either medium- or full-bodied. During the winter, I have a taste for the heavier Cabernet Sauvignon. I could be tempted to go with a lighter Pinot Noir or rosé during the summer. My sister's wine membership Christmas gift that delivers two bottles of red to my door at the end of every month has certainly worked out well. It's expanded my palate already. One way was the opportunity to sample wine produced in different countries.

I would like to raise a glass to Sundays! Cin cin!



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Walking in the Sunshine

I don't hate winter. In fact, I love hot chocolate and find snow magical. I don't even mind the cold. ...but, I am definitely looking forward to more sunlight. Sunset was finally at exactly 5:30 here today. This might not get you excited, but I have been patiently waiting. It means I can take a 20-30 minute walk right after getting off from work at 5. I feel safe walking around during the day. I can walk to the store, for example, and be back before dusk. There's a Target one block away and a grocery store just a couple of blocks down the road. If I felt like having fresh bread with that evening's dinner, I could actually pick up a loaf or baguette. Also, I could stroll through the neighborhood. I love to walk for exercise. I feel more energized when the sun has yet to set, that the day is still young.


Soon it will be lighter later and I could do more. I could walk to the salon and indulge in a manicure or pedicure. I could select a bottle of wine at the liquor store. Both establishments are about three blocks away from my apartment community. As I don't have a car at the moment and I am fiercely independent that I don't relish asking for a ride, this is a bit more freedom. I don't only have to go shopping or run out for errands exclusively on my days off. It's the little things in life...

Spring is my favorite season with its flowers, mild temperatures, and my birthday. Spring starts on March 20th this year. I can hardly wait...




Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Practicing Self-Discipline at Home: A Consistent Wake Up Time


Jennifer at The Daily Connoisseur spoke about self-discipline at home in this recent video. She says that when you make yourself do things that eventually "you will have developed habits that are now a part of your daily routine and your life will run so much better and your time spent will be so much more quality."

I commented on her facebook post that there were four areas where I'd like to implement greater self-discipline at home. Two of them, portion control at meals and working on my blog daily, are New Year's Resolutions which I am focused on already. One I mentioned that I have yet to work was getting up early and at the same time daily. Even though it's been years since I made it a habit to sleep in late, I still totally press 'snooze' for the half hour that this is an option on my alarm clock pretty much every day. Anyway, this regular routine should help with my chronic insomnia. Plus, it gives me more time to do what I want to do during the day, to have my life run smoothly and to lead a chic life.


I worked on this particular area over the last week. From Tuesday, January 27th through Saturday, January 31st, I got out of bed every day of my workweek sometime between 5:55 and 6:05, hoping for 6 AM of course. On my weekend days, I managed to climb out of bed a little bit later at 6:35 and 6:42 on Sunday the 1st and Monday the 2nd respectively. Not perfect, but I'll take it.

I have tricks up my sleeve to help. One is to put my alarm clock out of arm's reach, so I must get out of bed to turn the noise off. I have also set a second alarm, the one on my phone, charging out of arm's reach as well. Really what worked this past week was simply remembering my goal and drafting a blog post in my mind, wanting to note my success!

Once out and about, I also didn't crawl back into bed either. I usually do that at least once while my espresso is brewing or cooling or perhaps after I have had breakfast but before I jump in the shower by 7 on workdays. This bad habit probably makes me more tired.


I suppose I did both enjoy my morning routine and accomplish a bit more each day last week, but not much more. I'm sure it will be easier to do more of what I want and need in the morning when they become my habit as well, my natural thing to do. A chore like washing, drying, and putting away my breakfast dishes, for example, will become my norm. Like Jennifer says, I won't have to put much thought into it. More so, I am proud of myself for pretty much sticking to my commitment.


As an INFJ, I always want to improve. I think I might get other things back on track this week. I'm normally hard on myself, but still know I shouldn't attempt so many new things all at once. Since I am currently feeling motivation for those other goals and resolutions, I will work on those for now. Maybe next week, I'll go back to trying to be consistent with my wake up time, but this time rather permanently. I have no problem with sleeping in every once in awhile. That can be a simple pleasure.


Plus, I figure with Friday's paycheck, I could buy breakfasts that I look forward to, motivating me to jump out of bed, savor a delicious pastry and seize my day.




Monday, February 2, 2015

New Recipe #6: Roasting a Turkey

I realize that I haven't been trying new recipes lately. It's just that I've been pretty poor this past month. As soon as I can afford new ingredients, I will get back into branching out in cooking and baking. Then, I will share each experience with you. Plus, I've been wanting to prepare my first new recipe beef and broccoli again.

I was given a 21-pound turkey at Thanksgiving. Around the new year, I roasted it. (Yes, I ate turkey for weeks!) This is actually the second time I followed the kitchn's easy steps. (I love the kitchn!) I know that these posts were intended to document my first attempts, but the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving feast is a bit daunting, so having successfully cooked a turkey twice now, I feel confident in doing it all subsequent times.


I am even more confident because something went wrong and I managed to overcome this obstacle and save the bird. You see, like my first time, I purchased one of those throw-away pans at the grocery store. Likely in moving the pan, I happened to puncture a small hole in the bottom. As a result, the chicken broth leaked out, burning on the bottom of my oven, filling my apartment with a burnt smell. I put the pan on a baking sheet and refilled the roasting pan with water, which also drained out until enough fat sealed the hole, I suppose. Eventually, (a little too much) water stayed in. 

While basting over the hours, I tried to pull the turkey out of the oven each time so the heat would not escape from the oven with its door open. But with a flimsy pan sans handles, holding a heavy 21-pound turkey over a hot oven was definitely a struggle. I am a very determined gal, so I managed to lift and sit it on the burners a couple of times and didn't even throw it on the kitchen floor. Needless to say, I soon gave up, pulled the rack out just a bit and basted the bird within the oven. After thawing, this recipe took me like about seven hours from start to finish.

My Turkey
It looks a little more red in the picture than what I remember in real life.

Finally, a finished meal.

At my first sitting, I served the turkey with fresh green beans, Stovetop stuffing and sweetened iced tea. It was delicious.

Next time, I may tweak this simple recipe, adding herbs for flavor or trying to brine it for juicier meat.

I pinned this sturdy roasting pan with handles from Crate & Barrel and plan to purchase it prior to roasting another turkey next fall or winter. This is another great outcome from this cooking commitment; it forces me to add ingredients and supplies to my home, so that I may handle anything I wish to do down the road.

In the future, I wouldn't mind hosting a big family dinner like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. You know me, I love to entertain, but am only used to doing so on a small scale. 




Ingredients:
1 turkey
2 cups chicken broth (or water)
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
salt and pepper

Instructions:
1. Thaw the turkey for days in the refrigerator.
2. Sit the turkey in the pan on the kitchen counter for at least 30 minutes, more like an hour.
3. Remove packaging and bag of giblets.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Position an oven rack at the bottom third of the oven.
5. Add salt and pepper to the turkey.
6. Add two cups of broth or water to the pan.
7. Put the turkey in the oven breast-side up and lower the temperature to 350.
8. Cook for 13 minutes per pound. I roasted my 21-pound turkey for 4 1/2 hours, not including time to baste. I set the timer for 45 minutes after each basting.
9. Baste the turkey every 45 minutes. Spoon the pan's liquid over the bird.
10. At the last basting, spoon melted butter over bird to brown.
11. Check to see if the meat is at least 165 degrees F with a thermometer.
12. Take the turkey out of the oven and tent with aluminium foil. Rest for at least 30 minutes.
13. Carve the turkey.
14. Plate the first meal. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and freezer.
15. Finally, enjoy!



Sunday, February 1, 2015

Simple Pleasure Sunday: Pizza Dinner

Winter is my toughest time financially. I can pay my bills as well as purchase minimal food, red wine, gifts, needed items from Target with my hourly wage. As a leasing professional, I earn commission on every move-in at work. Commission seems to pay for everything else I want and need. Of course, with the holidays, people do not move in during December so, as a result, my paychecks are little during January. I managed to convince many to move in during January so I will finally have some slush cash on February 20th! With this bonus, I can purchase another bottle of my perfume. Hopefully I don't run out before I buy it! My signature scent is Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere (Eau de Parfum Spray) which I wear everyday. I am very pleased with the new bottle design, very similar to the iconic Chanel No. 5 bottle. I even look forward to having this classic bottle top my beautiful jewelry armoire. The new bottle also has a new size, which I predict will last me about three years. Sure, it is an expensive purchase, but cheap in the long run. Remember, cost per wear.


As a result of my seasonal poverty, I have been eating a lot of pasta lately. Luckily, this cheap food is so versatile with the different kinds (as in whole grain or not), shapes, sauces and toppings that at least I don't often consume the same exact meal in a row. I am also thankful for recent food donations from my parents and boss. On Friday, after a long day of four lease signings and four move-ins in addition to everything else I do at my apartment community, I simply couldn't face yet another bowl of pasta for dinner. Instead, I ordered a medium pepperoni pizza from a local place and had it delivered. Even though I am concerned with paying my small remaining rent balance before it is considered late, pizza is another cheap food, so I figured that my fairly-well-managed budget could handle my spontaneous decision. It was delicious! With the aid of Chianti, I ate more of it than I should have at the first sitting. It completely hit the spot. Even though my workweek actually ends on Saturday, it was a small celebration of totally rocking another week!