Dreams Edition 1

So, I went to the doctor yesterday because my insomnia, which has been plaguing me for a long, long time, finally got to me…. So we chatted and he asked me a bunch of questions, and he gave me some pills to try.

The pills he gave me I have to take daily, they’re not marketed as a sleep aid, they’re actually an anti-depressant that is used as a sleep aid because of the side-effects. It’s used to treat Insomnia and anxiety as well. So after reading about it, I decided that it’s probably for the best considering I have stress & anxiety and Insomnia.

I read online about it, and the dosages, and was a bit alarmed at my dose. The doctor did tell me when he gave it to me WHY it was so high though. And I trust my doctor because he doesn’t like to give me ANY pills usually, and when he does, it’s usually the lowest dose he would deem effective. (Pain killers, Ativan, etc… in the past.) So I assume he gave me that dose for a REASON. He said normally people would start on a lower dose “but after talking to you, I doubt that low dose would be effective.” But online they said the usual dose for insomnia is 25-50 mg. And my dose is 100 mg. Shawn joked that if that didn’t knock me out something was wrong haha.

I wasn’t expecting them to work right away and while talking with Shawn, I jokingly said I should start a dream blog if they cause vivid dreams.  I’m not starting a dream blog, but I figured I’d blog about my dreams and about my road to getting a better sleep, because much like getting in the habit of good eating, I’m pretty sure it helps to write things down with sleep.

Last night I took my pill at about 9:10 pm. The doc told me to take it about an hour before I was planning to sleep and to make sure I give myself 8 hours. So I set my alarm for 6am and figured that’d be fine.

I noticed about 20 minutes after I took the pill that I was feeling a bit “Drunk”. Not tired, but a bit groggy, and light-headed.  At 10pm I decided it was time to sleep, so I laid down and it didn’t take me long to fall asleep, probably 5-10 minutes, which is a lot faster than usual. So that was promising.

Wake up 1: I was very disoriented. I fumbled around and pressed my phone home button so I could see what time it was, and it was only 11:00 pm! What? That can’t be right. But I had to pee REALLY bad. So I stumbled off to the bathroom to pee thinking the entire time “I need to stop drinking liquids at at least 7pm from now on… ”

Went back to bed, tossed and turned a bit thinking “oh great!” and that’s the last thing I remember really…

Wake up 2: 1 am… okay, not bad. 1 am. That’s 2 hours. Pee again. Went pee. Fell asleep immediately.

Wake up 3: 2:12 am. Seriously? 2:12. And I was like dying to pee. Seriously?! WTF? so I went pee. Then I realized I was THIRSTY. Like. NEED LIQUID NOW. So I stumbeled into the storage room and drank some apple juice straight out of the box (I was finishing it, don’t judge me.) And realized at that moment that if I didn’t finish my juice and get to bed like, NOW, I was going to vomit. My whole body was shaking and I broke out into a cold sweat. *Deep breath* *deep Breath* Step *Deep breath* Step… I made it to my bed, fell into bed and laid there, uncovered, HOT, wanting to heave, in a cold sweat thinking ‘please don’t puke. please don’t puke. my doctor is trying to kill me. please don’t puke. i hate puking. please don’t puke. was it something i ate? i don’t want to die like this….” at some point I scooted up and covered myself because the cold sweat was making me cold (go figure)… I fell asleep THANK GOD, and did not throw up, THANK GOD.

Wake up 4: 4:10 am… opened my eyes, checked the time and then surveyed how I was feeling. Sleepy. VERY sleepy. And it’s like when you wake up after a night of heavy drinking and you’re pretty sure that as long as you stay laying down you won’t puke and things won’t be so bad. So you just stay where you are. That’s what I did. I stayed where I was. Fell back asleep again.

Wake up 5: 6:00 am my alarm was going off. I was having the most BIZARRE dream.  I was babysitting someone’s kid and they were being a little shit head. But I couldn’t make them stop being a shit head because thier mother was there and she was a bitch. But I had to babysit because that was my job? (I think). Then Kim, Sandy, Amber, Kim S, and Paula and I went out for lunch and then they were like “ooo we’re going tanning!” So we went to this like flea-market type place and they had a bunch of beds and matresses set up outside, so they were like a “Mattress Mattress” type store, but set up outside and they were in the mattress selling business, but on the side, they had a tanning business and they were charging people $11 to lay on the mattress in the sun for an hour. So we all paid our $11 and laid on the mattresses. Then we went for a walk and had to climb like 8 million stairs, which was fine, I was totally ok with it (this is how I KNOW it was a dream) and I’m walking up the stairs and this teenage girl like shoves into me and shoves me to the side and goes passed me. And I was like “What the fuck?” And then I ended up passing her because she was standing there texting and then she did the same thing AGAIN so finally I got pissed off and caught up to her and her friends and did the same thing to her while asking her if she was enjoying me pretending she wasn’t even there and smashing into her. (I was really annoyed lol!)

That’s when my alarm went off.

So I assessed the situation. Gave myself 5 minutes to just lay there and figure out how I felt. I got up slowly and felt ok. (I think the vomit incident was because I was moving around way too quickly… I read that that happens and the best way to make that side-effect better is to just do things slowly and carefully). I got up and had a shower and got ready, and overall I feel pretty okay.

So there you go.  Night 1 – Well… I dunno, I guess good?

Things I learned: Drink nothing after 7pm (or at least three hours before planned bedtime). Keep water by the bed.


Signs you’re officially getting old…

It’s 12:37 pm on a Sunday afternoon. The sun is shining. The birds are squawking. And I, I am bored.

There is a bunch of things I *could* be doing. For instance, I could be doing the dishes that are in the sink (I need to at some point). I could be cleaning the cat box and vacuuming downstairs. I could be tidying my room and sorting through stuff in the spare room that needs to be freecycled or donated or garage-sale’d. I could be out for a walk, enjoying the weather. I could be re-loading my iPod, sorting my digital hoard, or sorting out my Gmail contacts that are a mess on my phone. I could be packing my bag for next week, and I could be going to pick up my work van (again, both things I really need to get done sooner rather than later). But instead, one of the first things that popped into my head is “man I really want a nap”.

I’m sorry brain, what? A nap? Since when do we “nap”?! We don’t. We never have. Ask my mother. She was very dismayed about the fact that we don’t nap.

Considering my issues with sleep that I’ve had my entire life, you would think that napping would be something that’s always been appealing to me. Especially considering I have insomnia, and generally don’t get a lot of sleep at night. (Some days/weeks/months are better than others…). Even as a child I remember nap time. I wouldn’t nap. I would play quietly (before I could read), and then once I could read and write, I would lay in bed and read or write in a journal. I’ve always loved reading and journaling. I would listen to music, and have quiet time. But I RARELY napped.  Maybe once or twice a year. Or if I was really sick. When I’m really sick I don’t consider it napping though.  But once or twice a year I would reach the point of exhaustion where a nap was not optional. I would just fall asleep.

The good thing, I guess about me though, is that when I sleep, I sleep deep. There’s no waking me up. However, this hinders my napping as well because if I nap, I generally wake up feeling horrible or with a headache because my body wanted to sleep for 6-8 hours not 30mins – 2 hours.

There are also times where I will be with someone I love, or trust (or both – like Shawn), and we’ll be watching a movie together and I’ll fall asleep. My parents are generally the only people that don’t take offense to that. They figure I must be exhausted and need the rest. Shawn has been patient with it so far as well. Bless him. LOL

I guess basically what I’m saying is that this has to be an age thing, where I’d choose ‘nap’ above pretty much anything else. But I guess in all fairness when I thought ‘nap’ the entire though process was – “yeah, I’ll go downstairs and make my bed and get all comfy and pick a movie and watch it.” – I didn’t really think “I’ll crawl into bed and snuggle my stuffed snoopy and go to sleep”. But I know that snuggling in bed and watching a movie could lead to sleep. And if I did fall asleep that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I’m rambling about nothing now so I’m going to end this post and go get my work van and pack my bag and do dishes and clean the cat boxes, and vacuum and clean the cat fountains and feed the lizard. And then, if there’s time. I’ll likely have a “nap”. But by then I’ll probably have found something else to do that might be fun.


Self esteem

I may not have a healthy self-esteem when it comes to the way I look, or how I believe others perceive me, but at least i have a healthy overall self-esteem.
My best friend has 3 kids, a girl and 2 boys. I refer to them as “the minions”. Girl minion will be 8 on Tuesday.  Girl minion is 8-going-on-17.  Months ago, she exclaimed to her mothers boyfriend that she was saving her allowance so she could get a mortgage. When asked why, her initial response was “so that I’m not like Jessica and living in my parents basement!” … ouch!

In a little over a week I’ll be travelling to Vegas. (on a budget, of course). 2 weeks ago Kim and I went to apply for my passport, and i mentioned something about wanting a little purse to tote around Vegas, vs my giant one. Kim mentioned that Girl Minion (who I Remind you is 7) “has that little coach purse you like” and “she’s getting another for her birthday, so maybe she’ll let you borrow it”. 

So yes, it’s a good thing I have a healthy self-esteem people, because I am 31, living in my parents basement, and considering borrowing a coach purse from a 7 year old! *sigh*

(For the record, in case you happened upon this blog and you don’t know me: I live with my parents for financial reasons, but also, I’m only ever home on weekends usually, so it makes sense for now.)


Self Improvement – I’m bad at “home improvement” so I thought I’d try this instead…

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I have burn-out – and that amplifies some other things going on in my life. Anxiety, etc…

Anyway. I’ve been reading some things, about jealousy, insecurities, how to be happier, how to reduce stress, and how to stop over-thinking. I’ve decided to start a different blog to keep track of my changes, and my road to being less stressed/anxious/burnt-out. I call it “Project HappyJess”.

I will track the changes I’m making, and try to update it frequently so that I can stay on track.

I figured I’d make it in a separate place so that if you read this blog, but you don’t want to read all that stuff, you don’t have to. :)

-Jess


Burn out- I has it

Yes that’s right blog world. I am Burnt OUT. And It sucks! I don’t even know how to begin to address it either. That’s the biggest issue. I’ve acknowledged that I am burnt-out, and that it is far worse than it should be – so that’s a good start in the right direction. But I’m currently standing in the middle of a forest of stress and anxiety going “ok, now what?”. Being the directionally challenged individual that I am, I’ve decided to do 2 things. 1) I e-mailed my counselor who I haven’t seen in well over a year now, and asked her for advice that way -since we can’t seem to find a time to get together and I really need some professional guidance. (And I like her – therefore I trust her. This is difficult for me with counselors.) and 2) I have done some internet research on Burn-out and how to solve it.

I have come up with the following changes which I am going to implement in stages. (Because I know myself and doing too many things at once causes me to say “fuck it” and go back to my old “comfortable” routine.)

1) Wake up 15 minutes earlier so that I can start the day by doing something “relaxing”. Rather than just jumping out of bed, I can spend 15 minutes meditating (probably not), or writing in a journal, or reading or something that I feel would be relaxing and give me a good start to my day. (Having a 15 minute shower probably doesn’t count. I think my skin would never forgive me.)

2) I will gradually try to change my eating habits. Try to eat healthier. I eat fairly healthy already but there is huge room for improvement, so I’ll try to be more conscious of that.

3) Exercising – I KNOW this will help, yet I have no motivation to do it, Why the hell is that I wonder? So I’m going to attempt that. If I didn’t already get up at 5:45 am (which is ungodly in my opinion) I might get up earlier so I could walk for a half hour in the morning. That could be my Relaxing thing and my Exercise… I might consider it. But Getting up at 5:00 am does not appeal to me in the least bit. So I probably won’t be doing that. However, I likely will try to walk in the evenings. Or maybe during work. I get time during my day where I can exercise – so why not use it right? (oh that’s right, because I’m busy as fuck. Oh.. but that’s why I’m burnt out… It’s a hamster wheel people…) So yeah. The point of this paragraph is that I will somehow, and some point, try to get some exercise on a regular (routine) basis.

4) Sleeping – this is something I’ve been trying to work on for quite some time. So I am going to start getting really serious about it. I will set myself a bed-time for the week nights and a bed time for the weekends (because I can’t realistically go to bed at 10pm on weekends, it’s just not really do-able) and I will set a wake-up time for the weekends and week days. I will get into a routine. I will attempt to stick to my week-day bedtime/routine whenever possible so as not to have a ton of disruption. But on the weekends I will get up at my wake up time anyway so that I don’t screw up the rest of my sleep patterns. (Should I develop some at any point…) This is going to be challenging because I suffer from insomnia. So after laying in bed for 1/2 hour trying to fall asleep my first instinct is to go online or check my phone or read. Instead I will lay in bed quietly and think about things if I need to but I won’t go online on my phone or read or further engage my mind. I will wait. And if I sleep I sleep. If I don’t, I’m sol. I also have a white noise app that I can use to help with that (it does help) and I have a sleep meditation “CD” (it’s on my ipod) that also helps when I use it. So hopefully this goes well.

5) Boundaries – I need to learn to say “no” and not over-extend myself. This is a big problem for me because I hate disappointing people. But It is something I will have to work on for the good of my own mental sanity (or lack thereof.)

6) Take a daily break from technology – GASP -This one is going to be the most difficult I think. Set a time each day when I completely disconnect. Put away my laptop, cell phone(s) (yes I have 2! – a work one and a personal one), and stop checking e-mails etc. I am going to also include Television in this. I am not going to include my e-reader because well, it’s a book, however, it has internet access and facebook and stuff, and if I find myself using it for anything other than reading when I’m in my “technology free” time I will have to include it as well. I realize my weaknesses. I’m thinking the best time to do this will be right before bed. Like 1/2 hour to an hour before bed. I can read, and then go to sleep.

7) Nourish my creative side – This I’m ok with. I crochet and cook and stuff. So I don’t think I really need to really go here. This is one of the only things I was smart enough to maintain.

8) Learn to manage stress. I will have to look into this further. But I think that’s an excellent suggestion. And I will attempt to do it for sure.

9) Slow down – Cut back whatever commitments and activities you can, give yourself time to rest, reflect and heal…. well. we’ll see about this. I will “Slow down” but I am not entirely convinced that more alone time will help with the crazy.

10) Get support – I am trying to reach out to family and friends right now. I don’t want to reach out too much because all my family and friends and Shawn have enough of their own stuff going on. They don’t need to deal with my problems too. But I know that there are people I can talk to. And I know that Shawn is there for me. I guess I just need to use my resources more.

11) Re-Evaluate Goals and Priorities. – I will have to do that for sure. I have already started doing it. But I have a bit of a rut that I can’t get out of until other things move forward, so I’m stuck in this situation for a bit longer than I would like, but I see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel so that is helpful. I need to come up with creative solutions on how to handle it until the point when I can change it.

So there you have it. Some things I need/want to do. And hopefully I can get past this burn out and start to feel somewhat “normal” again, because I sure miss it!


“The Pirates In The Carribean” – A review

This evening I went to Kim’s place for dinner. We had a nice BBQ, I baked Lemon Chiffon cakes (they turned out nicely – they were ugly but they tasted yummy), and we had a nice time.Tom & Sandy and their Girl Minion were there. So there was 4 Minion’s in total. Girl Minion 1 who is almost 8, Boy Minion 1 who is 6, Boy Minion 2 who is 4, and Girl minion 2 (Tom & Sandy’s) who is 4. (Girl & Boy Minion #2 are 2 days apart in age!)

Anyway. Boy Minion 1 decided the Minions were going to put on a play, and we were all going to watch it.

The opening act was the 3 youngest minions. Boy Minion 1 (also the Director) was dressed as Jack Sparrow. Girl Minion 2 was wearing a shiny dress and a princess Cape, and Boy Minion 2 was wearing 2 capes (a spider man, and a dinosaur). They danced to a Kidz Bop CD, and it was all very “interpretive”.

The following act involved a costume change. Boy Minion 1 was still Jack Sparrow, Girl Minion 2 became a Princess (She placed a gypsy wig on and we thought she was going to tell our fortunes, but the Director corrected us quickly, stating that she was a princess, and not a gypsy.) Boy minion 2 had a costume change, which involved him removing the capes and donning an apron. When I asked if he was a Chef, he said “no! *eye roll* I’m a cooker”. Alrighty then. And finally Girl Minion 1 Joined the play in the second act as the “Skating Gift Out Giver”. Where she fluttered around and gave us all “gifts”. Mine were fairly nice. I can’t speak for the others. I did however, win a beautiful gold necklace, which meant that I got the super prize of getting see the play again FOR FREE! – I think I will donate my tickets to the local homeless shelter, thanks.

The scene was finally set (after a brief explanation from the Director as to who was what). The act opened and there were “Canyons” firing! (who knew?) Large explosions (and spit) came from the stage. The pirate, cooker, skating gift out giver, and princess were fluttering about trying to avoid the Canyon carnage.

Then, Jack Sparrow (Aka the boy minion 1 or the director) whipped out a “Swohd” (Aka. a Recorder posing as a sword – which ended up sounding quite like a light saber coming form the noises he was making) and was ‘protecteding’ the princess from evil bad guys! (What a gentleman!).

There was some argument between the Director and the Gift Out Giver, then there was the nude scene. Where the Princess laid down and Captain Jack Sparrow removed her cape, in a romantic (?) gesture! Meanwhile, the gift out giver was fluttering around retrieving everyone’s gifts (apparently they were only on loan?).

There was some commotion and then the play was over.

Or so we thought. After we clapped and things settled down and the audience got over the overwhelming talent, The Director informed us that that was not the end of the play and that there would be another Act.

However, the Director’s evil mother told him that there would not be another act tonight – that that was the end of the play. Well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone give someone the evil eye quite as nicely as Boy Minion 1. He’s always been really good at that. He stormed off in a passionate fit of creativity – and cried, pouted, and glared for quite some time, until his mother informed him that there would be another dinner in 2 weeks, so he could make up another play for then. He was also given some constructive criticism from one of the critics in the audience, about how he should not make a sequel because sequels never do well.

I give this evening’s performance 2 out of 5 stars, and best actor going to the Director due to his melt-down at his mother.

I love those little minions.


Blogging – I really like it, why don’t I do it more?

I logged into wordpress today because I wanted to update some of my security features so that I don’t get so many spam comments, and found that I can’t do that at the moment (I’ll have to talk to Shawn when he wakes up to figure that out) so I decided I’d change the look and feel of my blog while I was in here.

I need to dedicate some time to blogging more often, I think. I really enjoy it. I enjoy sharing my thoughts, crazy ideas, and general ramblings with the general internet public, and it’s therapeutic. I often have random thoughts and think “oh! I should blog about that!” and then by the time I get where ever it is I’m going or I’m in a position to say something about it, I forget what it was, or lose my train of thought.

I’ve started a memo on my phone to keep track of all these things, so hopefully I can come on here more and share my warped mind with you all.

I figure since I’m here, I may as well give the 3 people who read my blog (I’m sure I’m over-estimating) an update about my general goings-on.

Yesterday I babysat the boy minions. The minions bring me great joy. (The minions are my best friend’s 3 kids. I love them very much. There is a girl minion and 2 boy minions.)

The neighborhood minions came over to play last night too. At one point there were 8 children under the age of 9 roaming in the back yard of my best friend’s house. I would only allow 4 of them on the trampoline at a time though, because I don’t like “incidents” and I felt that more than 4 rambunctious children on a trampoline would cause an “incident”. (or 2.)

I turned 31 on the 9th. I was going to blog about it, but then we had a sad day in our family, and I was distracted by that, which I was going to blog about, but I felt that was more of a private blog post type of thing. In short though: My Aunt Maxine passed away. She was very ill. She is an amazing woman who is very loved. And I will miss her, as will everyone else who knew her.

Anyway, back to the whole turning 31 thing. It was a bit more sobering than turning 30. When I turned 30 I didn’t really care. But now that I’m 31, I’m totally in my 30′s rather than just “being 30″. It’s not a problem. I feel this will be a better decade than the last 3 combined because I’m much more mature *snicker* And knowledgeable *cough* than I was previously.

For my birthday I got a Kobo Vox. I have experienced some inital frustration with it not being able to do ANYTHING that any of the other e-readers can apparently do (like read footnotes, or connect to Adobe Digital Editions) even though it’s a newer “better” version… But I’ve discovered some work around solutions to those issues, and it’s working quite well. And I do love having an e-reader.

I’ve been reading a lot more lately than I have in years. I read a lot at work (it’s my job to read things), so the last thing I generally want to do when I get home is read some more.

I have been reading Jen Lancaster’s books lately. She is one FUNNY lady! I love her.

The other day I was telling Shawn that I thought she was awesome and I wanted to be friends with her. And he did an amazing job of keeping quiet until later than night after he had received the book in the mail that he planned to surprise me with. Apparently he entered a contest on her page, and won an autographed book. She asked him if he wanted her to make it out to him, and he said no, she should make it out to me, because although he was going to read the book, I am a HUGE fan, and it’s something I would really love.

What a sweet man.

So yeah I’m excited to actually HAVE the book haha. :)

Alright. I’ve done enough babbling for one day. I will be back. Hopefully sooner than later!

 


Networking – it works…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned – both as a child and an adult, is that networking is VERY important. I’ve heard it time and time again, “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know…” and I truly believe in that quote. It very much is WHO you know, in any situation really. Not just work.

Today while being distracted, I remembered that Shawn had shown me a cool website where one can post their resume online. And because I’ve been thinking about posting my resume online (like it’s own webpage) for quite sometime, and kept putting it off because it would have been a lot of work to create a page myself – and I was not having much luck finding good templates because I was only half-assed looking, I went and checked it out! It’s called Re.vu (clicky) And it will actually import your information from Linkedin if you have an account there.  So I went to Linkedin and updated my profile there. It’s looking a lot better (in my opinion), but still not quite where I want it. Then I uploaded to Re.vu and now I have an online resume! Something I’ve always wanted. I realize Linkedin is an online resume too but it’s different.

I am glad to have updated both of these profiles because I really do enjoy networking and learning new things. And I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut right now and I want to develop myself further. So network more, and learn more. It makes sense, right?

So there you have it. My insignificant babble about Linkedin and Re.Vu and my online resume haha.


Ruminating – A post about insecurity, being crazy, and how I choose to deal with it…

It’s never a good thing when I have too much alone time. I think too much. Then my mind wanders to places it really shouldn’t go. Then I have bizarre dreams, that cause me to think more about things that are ridiculous really, and frankly, out of my control, and then it starts a whole hamster wheel of me being crazy, essentially.

Back Story – Because these thoughts, and rarely any of my thoughts, just don’t come out of nowhere: This morning while perusing twitter, I came across a chain of tweets that somewhat bothered me. Not for any reason other than that I am insecure. (Side note: I am working really hard on not being so insecure, and actually, I feel like I’m doing quite well at this particular task. I RARELY feel insecure anymore. However, I think that when I do, it seems worse, because it’s so rare now.) So I read the tweets. I stewed on the potential meaning of the entire chain of events. I read them again. I stewed some more, and then I decided to do something constructive, like update my blog! (But I didn’t actually get to that right away because I’m like an ADD child sometimes and I can’t only do one thing…)

This lead me to actually updating my Linkedin profile and creating my profile at Re.Vu. I then sat for a moment, feeling better and more refreshed having “wasted” at least 2.5 hours on doing both of those things (I don’t consider it being wasted necessarily because I was doing something constructive), and thought about my earlier crazy episode. I came to the conclusion that even if whatever crazy thoughts came into my head were even half true, it doesn’t matter because it’s completely out of my control. I can’t be more witty (wittier?) than I already am, I can’t be prettier, or funnier, or more intelligent than I already am. I am who I am, and if that’s not enough, well, I guess it just isn’t enough. I suppose I could TRY to be all of those things, but then it would be forced and not real, and one of the things I’m coming to realize in the last couple of years, is that you really shouldn’t try to be something you aren’t, just because you think it would please someone else.

That being said, I don’t believe the crazy thoughts in my head are true at all. They just won’t go away right now and I find them bothersome. The fact that I had a dream last night that somewhat meshed with the crazy thoughts doesn’t help either.But honestly, not that it’s going to make me feel any better if my thoughts materialize, but it really isn’t something I can control or force. It isn’t me. If anything, it’s the crazy thoughts that would cause any of this mess, and while that IS me, it isn’t any of the above noted qualities that I do or do not possess (recap: wit, beauty, humor, intelligence), it is the fact that I dwell on the crazy thoughts.

So now I’m on this merry-go-round of crazy, and you’re all standing there watching me spin and probably somewhat confused at this point because I have a tendency to jump around a lot… But I do have a point (or something).

My point is this:Posting in a blog helps me control my crazy. Writing it all down (material – in print, “on paper” or “laptop monitor” or what have you) helps me to be rational and say to myself “you’re being crazy. Seriously. You are plenty witty, pretty, funny, fun, smart, and all those other things you keep telling yourself you’re not enough of. Stop stewing on things like this. ” And I think about it and I calm down and become rational. I also point out to myself that I have similar situations myself (like the chain of tweets) that are non-threatening so why would it be any different with him? Insecurity (not jealousy, I’ve come to realize those are 2 VERY different things – and am glad to say that jealousy is not the issue) is a very powerful thing…

So in closing – I am working very hard on not being so insecure. And it’s going well for the most part, except for days like today. I blame cough syrup, cold pills, stupid dreams, and… um… olives, because I hate olives and they should die. (I realize I’m not funny, just laugh and humor me.)

Recap: I am awesome, in my own right.


Delicioso!

I’ve always loved food. You can tell by looking at me that I love food… I don’t just love food. I have a PASSION for food. I love to cook. I love to create. I love to experiment. Sometimes (most times) it works out… Others, it does not. But that’s the joy about it. I just really enjoy it. I’m also “that” person who will go to a restaurant, eat something, and then think “I can totally make this at home” and then I go home and attempt to make it. 9 times out of 10 I get it fairly close the first try. And a lot of times I find I like my version better. But some things I just have not mastered yet. (Cooking a steak is one of them. I can cook a steak, but I’m never ever comfortable with it. Steak intimidates me…)

Anyway. Yesterday I was browsing through Chatelaine magazine, and I found a recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. So as I read the recipe, and considering that my father takes a certain medication which requires some special dietary needs, I decided I’d alter it a bit, of course cause that’s what I do!  So I made my version of Chatelaine’s Chicken Enchiladas… here is the Recipe.

Jessica’s Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 Small Onion (or half a large onion), minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 3 tsp Epicure Selections Cuban Spice (or 3 tsp Chili powder)
  • 2 tsp Epicure Selections Garam Masala (or 2 tsp Ground Cumin)
  • 4 Plum (Roma) Tomatoes, Diced (I like the seeds and extra liquid, if you don’t, seed them.)
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Bell Peppers, diced/minced (I used a mix of Red, Yellow, and Orange and I minced them)
  • 2.5 cups grated Monteray Jack or Mozzarella Cheese (I used Cheddar/Jack blend)
  • 8 small Multigrain Tortillas.

1. Preheat oven to 450 and spray a baking sheet with PAM.
2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, then chicken. Cook until no pink remains, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add remaining oil to pan, then onion, garlic, Cuban spice, Garam Masala, the bell peppers, and 1/2 the tomatoes. Cook until veggies soften, 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach and stir until it wilts.Remove from heat, stir in the chicken, any juices, and 1 cup of the grated cheese.
3. Divide chicken mixture into 8 portions, and scoop one portion into each tortilla. Roll the tortillas like a cigar and place seam-side down in the baking pan approx 1-inch apart. Top with the remaining tomatoes and cheese.
4. Bake in the centre of the oven until the cheese browns, approx 5 minutes.

We had them for dinner they were delicious. And if you’re wondering where to get the Epicure Selections spices… you can order them from Me (haha), or you can order them online at the Epicure Selections website.

With those tasty rolls of deliciousness, I served a Green salad (romaine and iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, halved cherry tomatoes, fresh dill, white vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.), Refried Beans, and delicious Spanish Quinoa.

Jessica’s Spanish Quinoa:

Ingredients:
1 cup Quinoa, uncooked (I used 1/2 cup yellow, 1/2 cup red)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Onion, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 small Bell Pepper, minced (I used a combination of Red/Yellow/Orange – approx 3/4 cup)
1 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes
1.5 cups Broth (Vegetable or Chicken)
1 tsp Epicure Selections Cuban Seasoning (or chili powder)
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Epicure Selections Garam Masala (or ground cumin)

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa, onion, garlic, and green pepper. Cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes until the onion is tender, and the quinoa has lightly toasted. Stir in the diced tomatoes and broth, then season with the cuban seasoning, garlic powder, and Garam Masala. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir the quinoa occasionally as it cooks, and ensure there is enough liquid.

This recipe can also be adapted to be a Spanish style Quinoa soup by adding extra broth and a couple cups of spinach if you’re creative. You could also add some diced chicken.

 

So there you go. Delicious dinner in no time at all. The enchilada filling can be prepped the night before (make sure you warm it up a bit before stuffing the tortillas or they won’t warm up enough when you bake them.), the veggies for everything can all be prepped the night before, you could even make the quinoa the night before.

And here’s a song for your enjoyment!