Friday, January 31, 2014

Foolery: Things that make me go hmmm...

Today's foolery is dedicated entirely to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a Groupon deal for what I read as fleece lined leggings. I got super excited since I have been looking for fleece lined leggings FOREVER!!!. I ordered them in black, brown and white. The extra awesome part is that it was 2 per pack. SCORE! Right???

I was even more thrilled to get the package in the mail.

Well, THIS is what I got when I received them. Apparently, in my excitement of seeing an awesome deal, it failed to register in my brain that these are fleece lined TIGHTS not LEGGINGS! SMH!

So now, I have 6-pairs of fleece lined leggings. A little disappointed but I am going to look on the bright side. They are extra comfy and warm. That comes in especially handy these days. We've been having an especially cold winter this year. 

I won't even dwell on the fact that I saw them at Marshalls for $1.99 cheaper. Nope...I won't dwell on that.

Anyways, I seriously laughed out loud when I got the package. Of course you know I immediately went to check my email order. Sure enough, I ordered tights not leggings. Oh well...lesson learned. Read BEFORE hitting the purchase button :-). 

Have an awesomely blessed weekend!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nanny update

Thank you all for the kind and encouraging emails and comments.

Here's a quick update of what's happened in the last week and half.

We made an offer to a lady we liked on Sunday evening. We made the offer knowing that she would continue to look for a job in her field which is not in child care. But we liked her and figured we could just "kick the can down the road". We did ask that she give us at least a month's notice before she planned on leaving. We understand this wasn't entirely workable but we figured it was worth it to ask.
She had some hesitations with that so that also made us hesitant. I have been  a little stressed about it and going through the process all over again in a few months  within a 2-week period (since that's the standard for giving notices) once she got a job was just not appealing.

On Tuesday, we interviewed with another candidate who is a full-time nanny. We really liked her especially since she had a lot of the qualities we were looking for.

On Wednesday, we received an email from our current nanny. Due to some personal commitments with her family, they are no longer moving anytime soon.

We were VERY elated and are excited to say that she will be staying with us at least for the near future.

JOE is especially THRILLED. Not that she really knew anything about what was going on.

I took this picture this morning. Gotta love my little girl's poses when she sleeps. 

Have a fabulous Thursday. We're just a day away from the weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Photo Dump Wednesdays (PDW)

 On Sunday evening, I decided to make some Teriyaki chicken wings for dinner.

Here's how they turned out.

Happy Hump day!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fun and relaxing weekend

First, nanny update:
We had another series of interviews for a replacement nanny for JOE. We made an offer to a lady but she hasn't really accepted yet. We also have another person we are interviewing. J & I prayerfully feel that we will have someone solidified by the end of day tomorrow.

On Friday and Sunday, we had interviews. We initially had one on Saturday but she cancelled so we just decided to take advantage of the day and spend it as a family.

We are in the market for a new treadmill since its not easy impossible to get to the gym. So last week for date night, we stopped by Walmart to see their selection. During our time there, JOE decided to busy herself with picking up items she wants.
Here she is carrying a pack of 100-balls. They aren't too heavy but she was DETERMINED to have those balls so J & I got them for her. I think it was a good investment because she loves playing with them even a week later.

I guess it was a long day for her because afterwards, she fell asleep. I love taking pictures of her sleeping. Her poses are just too funny!
On Saturday, we went to the local mall after stopping by the library to get JOE her very own library card.
We often have busy weekends and just take JOE along so we decided that since we had no plans this Saturday, we would make plans specifically for her.

By the time we got to the mall though, she was asleep. So J & I decided to get something to eat from California Pizza Kitchen. We love going there and oftentimes, I order the same thing (California Club Pizza on whole wheat) BUT this time, I did a complete 180, I got a California Club Sandwich! LOL...I know...I need to vary things a bit :-).

Yummy Sandwich.

J got a pepperoni pizza. We have a deal where for a year, I get TWO pieces of pepperoni off each slice of his pizza. You don't even want to know how that deal was made :-).

CPK has a salty butter cake with ice cream on top. It was OOOOOOHHHHH so good!!!
JOE woke up right before we left the restaurant. So we headed to the kids play area since the trip to the mall was for her afterall.

Here's my little JOE making friends. The little boy in front of her was just so cute! Had almost as much hair as her.

Another friend. JOE liked saying "hi" to her everytime she came off one of the play things.

Check this out. Here she is playing with these roller things.

Other kids came over to join her but she was NOT having any of that. Yeah I know...I need to teach my baby how to share.

All's right with the world again...

We had a very successful day at the mall. JOE enjoyed herself. We have decided to make it a point to plan more activities for her.

And here's my little snug bunny on our way back from Church on Sunday. I guess she was tired after the sermon :-).

Have a wonderfully blessed week!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Yam fries and beef stew.

Last Monday, I decided to make another Nigerian fusion dish. I got a tuber of yam from the African store the week before and decided to cook it. Typically, we boil, fry or make it into pounded yam. I decided to make a version of fried yams.

Once again, I went searching for a recipe I could use. Turns out this really awesome chic in the UK has a website where she posts recipes for many different Nigerian dishes. If you are interested in learning about cooking Nigerian dishes, go check out her website. She has very good and detailed instructions and she takes the best pictures when it comes to food preparations and the actual meal.

Anyways, here we go. I am practicing my photography skills and it was pretty gloomy outside on Monday morning so I had no natural light. When I tried to use the flash, it just came out all white.

Step 1:
Peel the yams. I used the tip of the peeler to take out any brown areas hence the craters you see.

Step 2:
Wash the yam and cut them into sticks.

Step 3:
Soak them in salt water (just add salt to cold water in a pot) for 4 - 6 hours. The instructions said to put it in the fridge but I didn't have the fridge space so I just left it in a slightly cool area.

Step 4:
Drain and then throw them in the deep fryer (or a frying pan). I heated my oil up to 360 degrees. Leave them in there for 15-minutes or until golden brown.
Hubby got me this deep fryer last year and I REALLY REALLY REALLY love using it. Unfortunately, I don't get to use it much so I am glad it came in handy for this. I plan on using it again for another snack food soon.

Step 5:
Put the yam fries on a brown paper lined pan. Salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy!

The beef stew:

This was very easy. 

Beef cubes
Ground beef
Jamaican curry powder
Hot peppers
Seasoned salt
Packet of gravy mix to add some thickness
A little bit of water

Just throw all ingredients in the crock pot and turn it on lo for 6-hours. 

6-hours later, we had a very yummy dinner. I added some broccoli. Yes yam is considered a vegetable but it is a heavy vegetable :-).

Friday, January 24, 2014

Foolery: Things that make me go hmmm...

Yay!!! TGIF! It's been a shorter week for me this week since I only had to commute to work yesterday and today. I was able to telework on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the snow. Yippee!!!

On to foolery Friday...

This is completely ridiculous! There is NO reason to kill someone over a car repair bill. I mean, for real? Its not that serious! I am glad it was foiled but I am still baffled as to WHY people don't value life. This seems like something straight out of The Sopranos.

This woman is clearly "mad in the head". Why she would make up a story like that is beyond me. I mean, these are serious allegations and wasting tax payer dollars because she wants attention is just stupid! Get some friends or do volunteer work.

This story really sickens me. Why would a 14-year old kill her own 11-year old sister? I have had disagreements with my sisters before but I NEVER once thought of any harm coming to them so I am just speechless at this one.
What would drive a child to kill another child? I grieve for this mother who now has to bury one child while at the same time trying to save another. It is truly a sad story.

Have a safe and blessed weekend.

Show love to others and be kind to strangers!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Food throw back. Trying new things and practicing my photography

If you've read any of my recent blogs, you know I am OBSESSED with pinning stuff on Pinterest. Whenever I have an idea about anything, I go to Pinterest figuring "surely, someone has done it before" and oftentimes, I find ideas along the lines of what I am thinking. AWESOME!

So, I have been wanting to do more cooking at home. Hubby loves Nigerian foods and JOE seems to have a few key Nigerian dishes she can't get enough of. I decided to look for some recipes on Pinterest.

When we went to Boston, my mom made akara (pronounced ah-car-rah). They are basically grounded up beans spiced up and fried. They are oh so yummy! I have never made them before but I love them and have fond memories of eating them when I was younger.

So I found a recipe online. I pinned it and decided to try it out.

On Saturday morning, I got up and got to it (I just heard Mickey Mouse say "let's get to it!" in my head...oy! JOE watches the same show over and over and over again!). Anyways, back to what I was saying...

This recipe is really easy. You can make the akara ahead of time and store it in the fridge for another meal.

Step 1:
I cheated on this step. The original recipe said to wash the beans. I didn't have to since I got the pre-washed beans. All I had to do was to rinse it out.
In hind sight though, I should have soaked it for at least 5 - 10 minutes because it was a little hard to work with.

Step 2:
Gather your ingredients. Again, I cheated a bit. I don't care much for cutting up onions so I buy the pre-cut ones. They are $1.09 a bag and I can make 5 - 6 different dishes with just one bag.

Step 3:
Add all the ingredients in the blender with a little bit of water. You want it to have a thick stew consistency. Not a paste consistency. So add a little bit of water at a time. 
Also, start out using the pulse option on your blender then switch to the blend option. Makes it easier on the blender or food processor. I have a blender from 1998 so you can only imagine how tasking this was on it. I know I know...I need to upgrade. I also have a food processor that we got as a wedding present but it is so heavy, I would rather not take it out of the box!

Step 4:
Heat up the oil. Then using a spoon, add a little bit of the blended beans to the oil. You'll know the oil is hot enough when the fritter sizzles around the edges.

Step 5:
Add more of the batter and fry away. It took about 5-minutes on each side. Do not overload your pan. It makes it challenging to take out the fritters.

Step 6: End result. It was so yummy, JOE and J started eating it BEFORE I was done making the entire batch. This will definitely become another stable at our breakfast or dinner table.

These are really yummy and can be eaten with bread or alone. JOE ate like 3 when I made them and started licking her plate when they were all gone. Yup! She definitely has some Nigerian in her :-).

Let me know how it turned out if you do make it.


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