Mar 27, 2014

Light Orange Chicken

I mentioned yesterday I've tried some new recipes lately. This is one that is hands down amazing. I've tried a lot of recipes - from pinterest, food network, recommendations from friends, etc. and I've NEVER had something turn out as great as this did. It honestly tasted just like orange chicken from PF Chang's, but way better for you!

You can click here to go to the site where I found the recipe, but I'm going to lay it all out below, it was super easy.

This is my finished product - over some brown rice.

Start off with some boneless skinless chicken breast, about a pound. Cut it up into one inch pieces, or whatever size you want them to be. Put a little over a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan, and add the chicken. Cook on each side about 3 mins, or until chicken is cooked through.

I will never be a food blogger, I always forget to take pictures!

While the chicken is cooking, mix up the following:
1/3 Cup Orange Juice
3 Tablespoons Honey
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Chili Sauce (like Sriracha)
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest, Grated (I used a clementine because I didn't have an orange. And I just grated the whole exterior layer, because how the hell are you supposed to know how much a Tablespoon of grated stuff is when you put it right in the bowl? I am not getting another bowl dirty to measure)
1 Garlic Clove, Grated (I used 2 because I love garlic)
1 Teaspoon Ginger, Grated (I eyeballed it again, then ran out so I threw a pinch of ground ginger for extra flavor. I'm sure if you used all fresh it would be much better)

You are going to add this mixture to the frying pan when the chicken is cooked through. Right before you do that, in a small bowl mix 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch with 1 Tablespoon Water and once that's mixed dump it into your orange goop mixture and give that a stir. Then add everything into the pan. 

Cook everything a couple of minutes until the orange stuff starts to thicken. It will be a noticeable difference, so cook until it gets thick. 

Orange Chicken
This is the fancy picture from the website. Mine didn't look like this, but it tasted great!

Serve immediately on some rice, quinoa, or whatever you like. You could also add some cooked veggies to this. Top with chopped green onion if you want to get fancy. This was VERY good and tasted like the real thing, just without the deep fried chicken. I was super impressed how much flavor it had and how similar it was to a restaurant. 

Do you have any copycat recipes? What about healthy chicken recipes? I need knew ones and would love to hear anything you've got! 

And I also have a picture of water (finally) for Kelli's Picture Practice Linkup. The first assignment was water. And keep in mind I don't have a fancy camera, but I'm doing this anyway because I want to get better at picture taking for this blog, and I want to look at ordinary things in a different way.

This is the pet fountain I have at home. It constantly runs and has a very soothing sound, so I tried to capture the moment the waterfall hits. Again, if taken with a nice camera and not my phone, this would be better. 

Make sure to linkup for Picture Practice! Next week is Food :] 

Mar 26, 2014

Clogged Toilets Are No Fun

Let me say, once again, I'm sorry for not posting on the regular this week. A clogged toilet has really messed up my life the past few days! I spent several hours on Saturday, and all evening Monday and Tuesday working on this stupid toilet. Why do plumbers have to be so expensive?!?

If you have been reading awhile, you will know that I live alone. Well, not with any other human beings. I have 2 cats, 2 turtles, and a dog. So you would think that it might be hard to get a pill bottle accidentally flushed down the toilet. Well not in my world! 

It all started Friday night. Of course I stopped by the local bar and had a few drinks - it was Friday. I was by NO means drunk. I came home, and in typical Friday night fashion, I went upstairs and changed into my sweats. I also went pee. After I peed I stood up and hit my head on the cabinet above my toilet. This cabinet is strange. It has a pull down door - something similar to this:

But the door is the bottom shelf. I have no idea why I didn't take a picture of mine, but I didn't, so this is what you get.

Well, I open this door each morning, and put all of the stuff I will use throughout the day on this door. Then when I'm done, I put everything away (this way I KNOW I put on deodorant). I have 2 prescriptions I take at bedtime, so they sit on this ledge until I take them and go to bed. Long story short, this door was open and for some reason I hit my head on it (because I swear, I use the toilet all the time with the cabinet door open and don't hit my head). 

No big deal right? You would tell me to just pick my stuff out of the toilet and move on (although it would have to be thoroughly disinfected). Well, I'm what you would call a "lazy flusher" when I'm in my own house. As I stand, I put my arm around my back and flush the toilet (bet you didn't know you were going to learn all about how I operate a toilet today huh?). So the toilet was already flushing when my head hit the cabinet and everything started to fall. And yes, everything fell from all of the shelves, not just the two prescriptions that were on the door. 

After catching everything and stuffing it back on the shelf I did a quick inventory and immediately got that sinking feeling in my stomach. One of the prescriptions was missing. I looked down at the toilet and there was nothing in there - and the toilet had flushed just fine. First thing I think is the warning "don't flush extra pills down the toilet" and think somewhere someone is going to read my name and address on this bottle and come lock me up for flushing pills. And then I thought, "Well there is really nothing I can do about it now!" I continued my night, and went pee before I went to bed, only to discover the toilet wouldn't flush. I frantically plunged over and over and prevented the toilet from overflowing, and went to bed thinking I was in trouble.

On Saturday morning, I called my coworker who once owned a construction company, and knows how to fix almost everything in a house. He came over and we did some investigations. Yes, there was something stuck in the toilet, and no we couldn't get to it. Upon further investigation, he informed me the "guts" of my toilet were crap and needed replaced (which didn't surprise me, since I have had issues with this toilet since I moved in 5 years ago.) He said we couldn't do anything until we went to the Home Improvement store and bought all of the stuff we needed. After about 2 hours of messing with the toilet I told him I would take him to the bar and buy him a few drinks, so that's what we did. 

Since I had water everywhere in my bathroom after that 2 hours, I had every "garage/dog" towel I owned upstairs, and stacked them on top of the toilet so I would remember not to use it. Monday after work the coworker and I headed to Lowe's and spent about $30 bucks on replacement parts. And then we started working on it and realized we forgot something. So it was back to Lowe's, another $4 and out of time for the night (I guess he likes to go home and see his family, and not work on my toilet until 10PM at night). 

Tuesday it was on. As soon as we got home, we went to work - with all of the parts we needed. My master bath is very small, so pretty much he did everything, while I ran around the house getting anything he requested (rubber gloves, more towels, a plastic cup, a beer, you get the idea). I did take some good pictures though. 

I had no idea the tank could come off the back of the toilet. 

I could not believe how nasty it was under the toilet. I mean I knew it would be gross, but the grime that had built up was ridiculous. I went in and scrubbed before I would let him put anything back together. And the point of removing the toilet, was to put a snake up it and try to get the pill bottle out.

It took some serious effort, and eventually some pliers, but we got it out. 

That thing was WEDGED in there. 

After the fact, he said we did the right thing. Apparently that bottle being so awkwardly shaped (have you ever gotten a prescription from Target?) would have NEVER gone down if we had just tried to snake it from the bowl. And then we would have caused much bigger issues. It's been an interesting few days (I actually learned a lot about toilets), but I'm glad that is behind me! I have 3 other bathrooms in the house, but not having this toilet was a huge pain. I use that master bath more than I realized! Now I hope I never have to do something like this to the other 3 toilets.

In other news, I've tried 2 new healthy recipes that turned out great, and I can't wait to share them with you. I also have my spring goals, but I felt it more important to tell my extreme toilet story today. I plan to have posts up the rest of the week so stop back soon. Have you ever accidentally flushed something you shouldn't have??

Mar 21, 2014

Tablet Recommendations??

Happy Friday Everyone - I hope you are all experiencing the beautiful spring weather like we are here in Central Ohio.

Now that my Buckeyes are out of the tournament, I don't have much of a desire to watch basketball. I will watch some, but I won't be all involved like I would have if the Buckeyes were playing. So that means I'm ready to tackle the yard this weekend! I absolutely hate yard work. We were forced as kids to go out and pickup sticks every Saturday before my dad mowed the lawn. We had a big back yard and lots of trees, so there were always lots of sticks to pick up. I'm thinking that's why I hate ANY kind of yard work. But you gotta to what you gotta do, and I don't want my yard being the nasty one in the neighborhood. 

I sent this pic to my dad last spring to try and convince him to come help me do yard cleanup. Of course things don't look half as good this year!

I'm working on some realistic spring goals, and hope to have that post up on Monday. I want to limit the number of goals I set, so I can actually attain them. I feel like I always list everything and anything I want to do, and then the list is so long it's not achievable. So I want to focus on what needs done and what I will do. 

No onto the real topic today - Do you have a tablet? Do you like it? What do you recommend? 

I have a macbook from 2006 at home. I have a work computer, but I'm ready to get something a little more in the 2010s for myself. I want to be able to use a cloud and all that jazz. My 2006 computer won't let me do anything with a cloud. I'm pretty certain itunes is going to tell me I can't download music anymore because my version is too old, but I can't upgrade it because the computer won't handle it. 

So, I need something that is easy to use but gets the job done. I was almost 100% sold on the Kindle because of Amazon Prime and all the stuff you get through that. But then I decided I would make sure I could use the one app that I HAD to use - blogger. I've seen mixed answers to that question. I guess you can get gmail but not google+ or any of the other google stuff. You can sort of download blogger but it's not exactly like what it is on a computer?? Does anyone know anything about this stuff? I'm not a complete technological idiot, but I really don't want to go to the pain of researching what each type of tablet does and doesn't do. So any help would be MUCH appreciated. 

Am I stupid to want a tablet to blog with? Am I better getting a computer? Keep in mind, my ipod is from 2006 as well, and this is my phone:

circa 1999

I do have a Gallexy SII for work, but I can't download music or anything good on it. Currently that lovely gem of a phone I have is still on my parents family plan (I know I'm spoiled), and I really don't want to go off on my own and get a phone plan. If I get a tablet I intend to only use it with wifi, not 4G. 

So, any and all advice would be much appreciated! What do you use to blog?? 

Have a great weekend!

Mar 19, 2014

Extreme Couponing

Apparently couponing isn't a word per the English dictionary. Oh well, that's what I did, so that's what I'm calling it. Although I'm not sure everyone would call it "extreme," for me it was. Ang pointed out on her blog last week that Target had a coupon for $15 off your purchase of $40 of Up & Up products (the Target brand). I recently started using Cartwheel, an app for Target that is super easy to use and saves you money. What could be better? Well I went and put all of the offers for Up & Up products on my cartwheel app and hit the store. 

The $15 dollar off coupon is HUGE, and it couldn't have come at a better time. I have a bunch of old towels and blankets and have been buying pet food and litter when I see it on sale and have a coupon. I planned on donating these things to a local shelter here. Then I saw they had an actual wish list, and it was mostly cleaning supplies. So my plan was to stock up on everything they wanted.

So here is what I got for the Up & Up deal:
  • (2) Sponges - $1.69
  • (2) Bleach - $1.70
  • (2) Dish Soap - $1.87
  • (2) Hand Sanitizer - $4.54
  • (1) Glass Cleaner - $1.99
  • (1) Travel Sized Lint Roller - $0.97 (not pictured because I forgot about it)
  • (1) Lunch Bags - $1.99
  • (1) Trash Bags - $8.99
  • (1) 6-pack Paper Towels - $6.79
  • (1) Mop - I can't find this on my receipt, so I'm assuming it didn't get checked out. Which is strange, because I remember handing her the oddly shaped object and she scanned it and I put it back in the cart. So while pictured here, it's not included in the total.
Total before: $40.33
Total after: $21.15 (not including tax)
** This included my $15 off coupon, Cartwheel offers, 5% off for using my Target card, and an additional 5% off my entire purchase (coupon for filling so many prescriptions). **

To me that's amazing - almost 50% of savings!

Since I had the extra 5% off my entire purchase (coupon for filling so many prescription - thanks Cooper!), some more cartwheel offers, and coupons, I decided to shop for some other stuff.

Here is what I purchased:
  • (1) Cat Litter Box - $6.99
  • (1) Cat Litter Scoop - $1.99 (not pictured)
  • (1) Charmin Toilet Paper - $12.99
  • (1) 10-pack Sharpies - $7.59
  • (1) Tidy Cats Cat Litter - $7.79
  • (1) Big Bottle Wisk Laundry Soap - $8.99
  • (2) Arm & Hammer Cat Litter - $10.99
  • (1) Woolite Dark Laundry Soap - $7.99
  • (1) Bounce Dryer Sheets (200ct) - $7.99
  • (1) Gold Bond Hand Repair - $3.89
  • (1) 4-Pack Puffs Tissues - $4.79
Total Before: $92.68
Total After: $68.52 (not including tax)
** This included $15 in coupons, Cartwheel offers, 5% off for using my Target card, and an additional 5% off my entire purchase (coupon for filling so many prescriptions). **

Again, a big savings - just over 25%!

Now not all of this stuff is going to the Animal Shelter, but I still got some amazing deals and felt that I made the most out of my shopping trip. 

I have to give another shout-out to Ang because not only would I have missed that $15 off Up & Up products, blogging about couponing is a pain in the ass! I totally copied her format of how to present the details - so thanks Ang!! 

Do you coupon? Have you had any huge savings or deals lately? I love saving money, so please share if you know of anything great going on! 

Mar 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Did you know I have a lot of Irish in me? If you ever hang around me for an extended period of time it will be very clear - I'm stubborn and grumpy and a good drinker. I'm also currently having extreme allergies, or have come down with a cold. Honestly it could be either, since spring is my worst allergy season. Either way I feel like crap and am headed to bed as soon as my load of laundry is done. 

In honor of St. Patrick's day - I leave you with some furry leprechauns! 

In typical Kal-El fashion - he's ready to chomp me.

Cooper will do anything for a treat.

And Luthor is so chill he's up for anything. But as long as he doesn't have to move. Currently his favorite place is on my pile of mail, hence all of the junk.

Hope you all had a great St. Patrick's day!!

Mar 13, 2014

Kal-El's Story - Pet's Are People Too Linkup

I've been wanting to join the linkup Pets Are People Too ever since I found Jackie's blog a few months ago. Unfortunately, things have come up on the linkup days and I haven't been able to get Kal-El's story out there. He's finally getting his story out today!! 

Jade and Oak


Hey - it's Kal-El here. The ruler of the roost. The number one pet. The man in charge.

I have a pretty good life here in my castle. Of course it was much better when I was the only one, but the other two aren't bad. Mom used to spend a lot more time with me when it was just her and I, but secretly I'm OK with the other two getting all the snuggles. I was just snuggling to make mom feel better - I would rather not be cuddled with, it messes up my fur. 

Please don't mess with my fur.

I have a lot of jobs in this house since the other two are worthless. Number one priority is protecting the house from intruders. When someone comes in the door they will get a thorough inspection by none other than myself. That loud noise in the front of the house alerts me when the door is going to be opened, and I come running. This is such a serious job, I can't afford to sleep in the bed with mom anymore. I must keep watch on the arm of the couch where I can see the front door at all times.

Look out - I will get you!

My next job of the house is to inspect all food that mom consumes. I can't figure out why she doesn't like it, I'm doing it for her own safety. And most of the good stuff is up where I'm "not allowed" to go. Pisssshh I've learned to be stealthy and go there when no one is looking. Mom's safety is my number one priority (after protecting intruders). 

Nice action shot mom!

Of course there are many other jobs. That damn red light is going to kill someone someday. Whenever I see it I must attack. And then there is all of the fun things that dance on the floor. It's absolutely imperative to get those all hidden in closets, under furniture, wherever they are out of site. And a good meow signal must be made once they have disappeared. I also have to inspect each bed throughout the day. It's important to get under the covers and on the sheets so if there are any bad things I will scare them away before mom gets there. 

For whatever reason there was this paper dangling. It looked threatening so I decided to kill it.

Oh and last but not least is eating. I have to keep my stomach full if I need to do all of these tasks every day. Those other two just don't understand how important these jobs are. Sometimes I have to give the big one a couple of hits on the face to try and shake him into place. He still doesn't get it. Mom is lucky I'm around to keep things safe and comfortable. I don't know what she would do without me! 

Don't disturb me while I'm eating!

I'm sure you will hear the other two's stories someday. Just keep in mind, they don't do any of the necessary work around here. 

Mar 12, 2014

Humpday Confessions

Happy Wednesday Everyone - by now hopefully your week is half over (I know mine is)! I'm linking up with Kathy today for another installment of Humpday Confessions


I find myself googling grammar questions very often when writing my blog posts. I don't want to appear as I'm an idiot, but some of those things I just can't remember to save the life of me! 

I had a terrible nightmare about my dog getting congestive heart failure and the vet telling me there was nothing he could do. His brother died of congestive heart failure a few years ago. Now I'm worrying myself sick that this is going to happen. I don't know what I will do when he goes.

He is my baby and my best friend!

I ate a delicious salad for lunch today without any dressing. Not by choice, but because I forgot the damn dressing at home. Surprisingly it wasn't that bad (chicken was seasoned and cooked perfectly).

All I can think about is getting home into my sweats and turning on the fireplace. Stupid cold front - it's MARCH!!

Yes, this is my fireplace and it's beyond amazing.

I painted my nails on Sunday and I feel so glamorous. I don't think I've had painted nails in about six months. Sometimes I like being girly. But def not like put on makeup every morning and do my hair. Just sometimes. 

What are you confessing to on this freezing cold Wednesday? Be sure to link up!

Mar 11, 2014

Spring has Sprung??

It appears that spring has sprung in central Ohio. First, it's light out in the evening!!!! (I know everyone experienced that this weekend). Second, it's above 40 degrees and the sun is shining! Third, the grill was fired up last night, so that means it IS spring!!

I've said it before - I'm a winter person - but this winter really kicked my ass (and most of yours I'm sure). I'm ready to clean and organize and make things pretty. Saturday I deep cleaned some stuff and felt like a million pounds were lifted off my chest. Sunday was spent with family, and Monday I got some steaks and fired up that grill. 

I'm itching to get in my studio to clean it up, and start creating things. Unfortunately for me, I doubt that will happen in the next few days. . . apparently it's going to snow tonight/tomorrow morning. We aren't going to get the worst - obviously the more north you are the worse it will be, but we are supposed to get about 2 inches. To me this is devastating. The snow has long melted and the grass is so happy to be out. I don't want it to go into hiding again. Plus, I feel like this snow will put me back in the funk of sitting on the couch and binge watching TV. I'm really ready to plant my garden - not shovel snow!! 

This is exactly how I'm picturing it when I look out the window tomorrow.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand the meteorologists don't have the greatest track record for predicting the weather, but this one has me nervous. Will it put me back in a winter depression? I feel like I just got out of it!! Only time will tell what happens . . . . 

Has spring sprung in your part of the country? Are you going to get another dose of winter?

Mar 7, 2014

Fearless Friday

Today I decided to do a new Friday linkup with Bevelry for Fearless Friday. The idea is you write about anything you want since it's your blog and you shouldn't care what people think. I really don't have a problem doing that on a normal day, but it's always fun to join new linkups. And be sure to check out her giveaway for an ipad air! (Although I don't want too many people to enter, I want to win!)

Since my head is outside in the clouds with the spring-like weather, I can't focus to really write anything of meaning. I can't wait to get home and grill something for dinner! So I leave you with a photo dump of my furbabies, because who doesn't like cute pictures?!

Luthor enjoying the bench at the end of my bed.

Kal-El always sits like a prince.

Typical of how Cooper likes to eat toys. 

My two kitties are rarely close enough for a pic together. So when they are, I snap away.

Kal-El will always go in a box, bag, suitcase, anything. 

It looks like he has a super rough life huh?

My sister got this for the cats for Christmas, and it was a HUGE hit with Luthor. Kal-El loved it too and they actually both tried to go in at once. It was rather entertaining.

That's all for today. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!! 

Mar 6, 2014

Thankful that Trip is OVER

If you have ever read this blog, you will know I hate flying. I don't travel well in general (I hate change), but flying is the worst for me. I had a one day meeting in our Corporate office in Chicago and had to fly . . . . long story short, I lived, but barely. 

Flight there was good, and I was proud of myself for not having a full blown panic attack. Meeting went well, and by the time I got through security Tuesday evening, I was tired and ready to be home. The universe had other plans for me unfortunately. The plane had mechanical issues and after three thirty min delays it was determined "unfixable." Luckily they had an old plane in the hanger they could use, but that took another hour and half to get over to us and get ready. I finally arrived in Columbus around 1AM - a full 4 hours later than expected. There was not a panic attack victory on the ride home. We were on the plane at the gate for 40 mins before leaving, and then another 20 after landing before we could get a gate. Ugghh!!

So, it took me a day to get back into the swing of things. I had a super busy weekend and start of the week, so today I'm going to recap my weekend.

Saturday I had a sprinkle to go to for my college roommate. I cleaned the house and ran some errands before I promptly arrived at 12:50 - 10 mins before the start of the event. Turns out I was only an hour and 50 mins late for the start of the event. I wrote 1PM on my planner, and the invite clearly said 11AM. I was beyond embarrassed - I'm never one to even show up 5 mins late! It worked out well though, because I got some time to sit and chat with my friend one-on-one. 

She requested diapers, since she really didn't need much the second time around. Superman onesie WITH a cape - yes please! 

Finished product. I know nothing about babies, I just bought some stuff and put it in there. I mainly bought the Pampers diapers because I had coupons.

Then Sunday brought the Bar Olympics. I'm sure your initial thought is Bar Olympics = drinking games. That is not the case with our Olympics. These Olympics consist of 4 "sports" - Pool, Ping Pong, Video Bowling, and Darts. There are four teams of four - 16 people total. Each player earns points for how they place at each sport.  If you win all 4 sports, you total 40 points, if you get second in all 4 sports you get 28 points, and so on. The player with the most points then advances to the finals. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place win a cash prize, along with the winner of each sport in each group. Oh, and 1st place earns their name on the trophy along with bragging rights for a year.

I make a new trophy every year, because every year we have changed the sports involved.

The point of this Olympics is that you drink while you play the games, and as the games progress, it becomes harder to play well, and more entertaining for everyone watching. This year was no exception. After 9 hours of keeping score (and yelling at everyone to keep up in their sport), I ditched. Mainly because I knew I had to get on an airplane the next evening and I was already freaking myself out about it (I know I've got problems). 

Yes, I drank all day (although I drank a bunch of water too). I was still surprised to see I actually took a picture of each sport.

Then a short day on Monday before I hopped on that plane, and you've already heard about Tuesday above. Yesterday I played catch-up and it's officially been the quickest work week for me EVER. Can't wait until tomorrow - not only is it Friday but it's going to be 50 degrees!! Anyone else have good weather headed their way (finally)??