Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cantaloupe-Carrot-Berrry Protein Smoothie

A nice Summery melon taste in this smoothie, also with all the benefits of carrots and kale to keep it from tasting too sweet.  You can definitely taste the flavors in this one and they make for a delicious combination.

1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
2 Cups Cantaloupe (Rhined & Chopped)
1 Leaf Kale (Ripped into pieces)
3 Large Carrots (Peeled & Chopped)
1/4 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Milk

Add the frozen ingredients into the blender first and then add the protein and the remaining fruit, top with the milk (This helps ensure a better overall blend).  Blend on medium/high speed until well blended and serve.  This gives you 2 smoothies to enjoy so that you can take care of 2 days at once, refrigerate the remaining smoothie.  Enjoy!

Add all ingredients to the blender
Blend thoroughly
Serve & Enjoy

If you interested in more smoothie recipes here are my previously posted recipes

Cucumber-Watermelon-Mint Protein Smoothie

Heirloom Carrot-Watermelon Protein Smoothie

Watermelon-Triple-Berry Protein Smoothie with Kale

Friday, May 30, 2014

Foreverland is Dead

I must disclose that I did receive a kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Brilliant…. Simply brilliant. When I first started this book I was coming off of the high of the amazing creation that was the 1st book in this series The Annihilation of Foreverland.  That gem was told from the perspective of boys. Needless to say it was vastly different from Foreverland is Dead.  To start with, you start out in the mind of a girl and are seeing things from the girl side.  

Foreverland is Dead starts out with the main storyteller of a girl named Cyn.  She wakes up in a bunk house with 4 other girls, all with shaved heads and nothing but a long t-shirt.  They find themselves in the wilderness of someplace akin to Montana or Wyoming.  None of the girls has any recollection of who they are and even who their names are, apart from nametags on a box of items below their beds.  

Stress and tensions are quickly escalated as the girls find themselves resorting to survival mode without any more idea of what is going on than when they first woke up.  At least 40% or more of the book has you wondering if it will even be connected with the first book in any way….  That is when the plot thickens.  I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say, that this book explores a similar virtual reality realm in a completely different way than the first book.  

Foreverland is Dead is written by the rapidly expounding author by the name of Tony Bertauski.  Tony already has quite the plethora of novels under his belt and upon finishing this 2 book binge of altered reality I will indeed need to check the out.  

The last book was so great that I started this book out ready to roll right in to the same type of action as the last book ended with.   Needless to say I felt kind of slowed down in the story establishment of this new story.  I started out enjoying the story but more at a level of 3 stars as opposed to the 5 stars awarded its predecessor.  However, I was still very into the story and as I got about 40% in, it was a solid 4 stars….  I binge read to finish the story that quickly sped up and sucked you into the crazy dystopian world of the girls and the ending was truly a work of art, firming establishing its rightful place as a 5 star novel.  If you are into character development, virtual reality, tough societal issues, survival issues, and dystopian worlds, than this book is definitely for you.  I can’t even decide which one of these was better as they are so vastly different and yet so vastly amazing.  Don’t sleep on Tony Bertauski and his Foreverland novels or you will missing out on some seriously epic storytelling. 

Here is my review of The Annihilation of Foreverland

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ham & Purple Potato Soup

I have been sick all week and I was really wanting something warm on my sore throat.  This was so delicious and tasty and allowed me to use up my beautiful purple potatoes!  Everyone raves about this recipe!  I highly recommend it, and it is fairly easy to make. 

5 Tbsp Butter
2 Garlic Cloves (Diced)
3 Carrots (Peeled & Sliced)
3 Celery Stalks (Sliced)
2.5 lbs Smoked Ham (Cubed)
1/4 Cup Flour
4 Cups Chicken Stock (32 oz Container)
2 Cups Water
2 tsp Alpine Touch (Salt & Pepper)
5 Potatoes (Peeled & Cubed)
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
Green Onions to Garnish (optional)
Shredded Cheese to Garnish (optional)

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat until golden brown. Stir in carrot, celery, ham, and garlic.  Cook for 5-6 minutes, until the vegetables soften. 
Stir in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, 1 cup at a time. Add water and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Simmer on medium-low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Stir in potatoes; cook for 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Skim fat if desired. 
Season with alpine touch to taste and add cream. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with fresh chives and/or shredded cheese.  Serve & Enjoy!

Melt butter in a large pot
Add the ham, carrots, celery and garlic
Add the flour

Add in the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil
Add in the purple potatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes
Add the cream and mix thoroughly
Serve & Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Annihilation of Foreverland

I wasn't really sure what I was going to think about this book.  It was technically a young adult books I suppose, but I felt like the issues and everything that was being faced was much more adult themed.  This book starts out with boys waking up on an island with jumbled memories about their past and even who they are.  The boys are sent into an alternate reality called "Foreverland."  They are told that they must go into Foreverland to heal themselves.  Danny Boy is the newcomer to the island and  he is about to find out what exactly "Foreverland" entails and how much being healed can cost. 

This book starts out intensely with one of the boys being tortured.  This books wasted no time in jumping into the story.  And a very imaginative story it is.  Set slightly in the future, but not too far off in the realm of possibilities, it delves into a new type of "virtual reality" of the mind.  I have never read a story quite like this.  It was very descriptive and very intense and not afraid to venture into some sensitive topics. 

I don't want to give away too many details.  I definitely recommend this book, more so to adults than even young adults.  There are many messages and great lessons in this book, and yet upon finishing I was still left with a feeling of unease in the way that people think and what lengths people will go to in order to obtain what is most important to them. 

The Annihilation of Foreverland is written by Toni Bertauski and has a sequel that I started on today called Foreverland is Dead.  I was swept into this story from the beginning and somehow managed to finish it in a few short days.  I loved how the book was broken up into Rounds with a newspaper clipping at the beginning of each to leave clues and insight into the direction the story is going.  I loved the ending and it left it open for many questions.  I must commend Mr. Bertauski on his incredible imagination. 

I highly recommend this book with a 5/5 stars.  It is very innovative and has a Matrix-esque feel to it.  It tackles a lot of societal issues.  It was written with great flow and could be made into an amazing movie with the right script writer.  If you are interested in things like virtual reality, lucid dream states, or dystopian fiction, than I would highly suggest that you check this book  out. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DIY Toddler Activities Part 6

After a long weekend in the house, I keep wondering why Liam and I didn't get more DIY projects done, so now it is time to plan for next weekend!  Here are some of the great ideas that I have come across, please feel free to share any of your own activities as well!

Nature Names Craft

This is such an excellent idea for teaching letters in names and for playing outside.  I love thus one.

Nature items

Hand each person a brown paper lunch-sack or even a plastic bag
Go out in nature (your backyard, a park, campground, the beach, anywhere!) and find things that you can use to create the letters of your name: such as sticks, rocks, leaves, grass, pine needle, flowers, berries, shells, bark, dirt etc.
On a piece of cardstock, write your name (or have it prewritten).
Use glue to get your nature items to stick to each letter to spell your name!

Pasta & Beads Bracelets

Yay, we can finally use our Kool-Aid Dyed Pasta for fun :)

SuppliesPipe Cleaners
Pony Beads

Start off with a loop fastened at the bottom of the pipe cleaner there is an end to catch the beads as you work.  Bead the pipe cleaners to make their bracelets! This activity also works on fine motor skills too: fitting the beads on the pipe cleaners.  Once you are about 3/4 of the way up the pipe cleaner, take the end of the pipe cleaner through the hole to latch them together and weave the excess pipe cleaner through the last bead.

Fire Truck Collage

My son has an insane love of all things firetruck.  In fact I am already planning his December birthday party to be firetruck themed.  So of course I had to jump at this opportunity when I cam across it.

Printed Fire Truck Template (or you can freehand your own)
Construction paper
Yellow Straws (or pipe cleaners)
Black paint and brush
Something sparkly for the light like sequins or glitter glue

Trace the template onto red construction paper and cut it out. Cut out the windows from the template (they will be white if you printed the template out on white paper). Glue the windows in place on the red fire truck and glue the fire truck onto a piece of construction paper.
Use straws (or pipe cleaners) to make the ladder. Cut two long pieces for the sides, and small pieces for the rungs. Glue in place on your fire truck.
Glue something glittery to the top of the truck for the flashing light. You can use a glittery pom pom, a few sequins or glitter glue. 
Now it's time to paint on the wheels with black paint! If you don't want to use paint in your collage you can also cut wheels from black paper to stick on, or you can buy self-adhesive foam and just stick the wheels on!

Salt Painting
This is a great and easy way to have a fun painting time at home with not too much of a mess.  I have seen a lot of people try this and similar things out in the past and have been wanting to try it with Liam since he is totally into creating different works of art. 
I keep wanting to do this one and find that I need to buy salt haha.

-Construction paper/cardstock
-Paintbrush and/or medicine dropper
-Colored water (we used about a tablespoon of water with 6-7 drops of food coloring)
-Little bowls for colored water

Have your child draw a picture with glue.Then sprinkle the glue with salt.  We did this on top of a piece of cardboard, but a baking sheet will work well too. Next have your child take a paintbrush or a medicine dropper and drop colored water, one drop at a time onto the salt.
Some tips: Make sure they lightly touch the salt with the brush.  It also helps to have a bowl to clean the brush in between colors...otherwise you lose the colors start blending together and you lose the vibrant colors because they become murky. 

If you would like to see the past DIY activities that we have completed together, check them out here:

Homemade Liquid Sidewalk Chalk

Penguin Activity Game

Kool-Aid Dyed Pasta

Cardboard Owls

Alphabet Train

Make Your Own Rainstorm

Orange Sugar Scrub

Meditation Bottle

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Croods

I have been wanting to watch this one since I first saw a preview for it.  Now that it is on netflix, I keep trying to convince Liam to watch it with me.  Finally I forced it upon him.  I can say that I enjoyed it more than he did, but he was ok with it.  He likes the visuals, but I think the moments between action would start to bore him a bit as it was more  of a story and not a musical like some kids movies are. 

In case you also have not seen The Croods, it is a 2013 3-D animated adventure comedy.  It did definitely have some hilarious moments that had me laughing.  The Croods was produced by Dreamworks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox.  The Croods are a cave dwelling prehistoric family that have their world turned upside down with the world starts to shift.  It takes place in a fictional prehistoric time with imaginary creatures.  The man of the cave (Grug) finds his place as leader and security provider threatened when a prehistoric genius gets the family to leave their comfort zone for future safety. His teenage rebel daughter Eep is enamored by Guy (the genius) which makes him even more adverse to the new guys "ideas."

The voice talent of The Croods is as follows:
Nicholas Cage as Grug (National Treasure, Ghost Rider, Lord of War, Windtalkers, Family Man)
Emma Stone as Eep  (The Help, Easy A, Amazing Spiderman, Zombieland, Superbad)
Ryan Reynolds as Guy (Green Lantern, Just Friends, Turbo, Definitely, Maybe; Smokin' Aces)
Catherine Keener as Ugga (40 Year Old Virgin, Captain Phillips, Capote, Death to Smoochy, 8 MM)
Cloris Leachman as Gran (Raising Hope, Beerfest, Malcolm in the Middle, Touched by an Angel)
Clark Duke as Thunk (Hot Tub Time Machine, Two & a Half Men, The Office, Greek, Kick-Ass)

The Croods premiered in the US in March of 2013.  It received mostly positive reviews and was considered a success with earnings of over $587 million on a $135 million budget.  This success caused the movie to launch a sequel that will be released in June in 2017 and a tv show that is already in development stages.  The Croods was the first feature film to be featured in 4DX format featuring strobe lights, tilting seats, blowing wind and fog as well as odor effects in Budapest, Hungary.  The Croods is the second highest grossing Dreamworks Film behind King Fu Panda. It received a lot higher reviews internationally and opened at number one in 54 countries.   It was nominated for many awards including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Overall I thought this was an excellent movie.  I think that the American crowd prefers the animated features with musicals.  I thought that the story line was great, it even made me cry, and had some great witty humor jokes built in.  I think that older kids and adults would enjoy it a lot more than my toddler did.  I definitely recommend this movie and give it a 4/5 stars. 

The Croods Movie Dreamworks Official Site

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spiced Red Sangria

I have been waiting for Memorial Day weekend to make a yummy pitcher of red sangria.  Given the rainy weather that we have had all weekend, I decided to make it a spiced kind of sangria, to give comfort to the dark and rainy comfort weather we have been having.  I hope that you like this one as much as I have. 

Ingredients: (makes about 7 or 8 large glasses)
2 Cups Merlot (I used 2010 Rambouillet Vinter's Select Merlot from the local Christoval Vineyards)
3 1/2 Cups Pinot Noir (I used Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir)
1/4 Cup Orange Vodka (I used Grey Goose)
2 Cups Apple Juice (not from concentrate is best I used Simply Apple)
3 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
10-12 Dried Whole Cloves
2 Peaches (Pitted & Sliced)
2 Apples (Cored & Sliced)
3 Pineapple Slices (Quartered)

Add all ingredients except fruit to a pitcher.  Stir thoroughly.  Add in the fruit and stir again.  Allow fruit to sit in sangria for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Serve & Enjoy!  (Feel free to eat the fruit and add to your glass)

Add all ingredients except the fruit to a pitcher and stir
Add int he fruit and mix it all up well
Serve & Enjoy!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Grilled Pork Chops with Hibiscus Nectarine Glaze and Ginger-Garlic Sauteed Veggies

This is another one of those delicious recipes of using what I already have.  Their turned out very well.  I definitely recommend anyone trying it with the veggies they have in their house.

Grilled Pork Chops
4 Pork Chops (bone-in)
Olive Oil
Seasoning (Alpine Touch (salt and pepper), Tarragon, Spicy Montreal Steak, Cinnamon)
3 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Hibiscus Jelly
3 Nectarines (pitted and sliced)

Brush Olive Oil on the pork chops and generously season.  Grill until browned all the way through.  In the meantime add all of the remaining ingredients into a sauce pan and cook on low until pork chops are done and serve by pouring over the pork chops. 

Ginger-Garlic Sauteed Veggies
3 Tbsp Butter
1 Garlic Clove (minced)
1 tsp Ginger (minced)
4 Leaves of Endive (chopped)
2 Radishes (chopped)
1/3 Daikon (peeled and sliced)
3 Mushroom Caps (chopped)
2 Broccoli florets (separated)
1/2 Orange Pepper (seeded and chopped)
1/2 Zucchini (peeled and sliced)

Add the butter, garlic and ginger to a fry pan and heat on high.  Add all of the veggies and mix together until thoroughly saturated.  Serve & Enjoy.

Brush the pork with olive oil and generously season
Grill until browned all the way through
In a sauce pan combine all remaining ingredients and cook on low hear
Heat the butter, ginger and garlic in a fry pan and continue to simmer the glaze
Add the veggies to the fry pan and finish simmering the glaze
Remove the pork when thoroughly cooked

Serve & Enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Today I was lucky enough to get to make it to the theater to see the new X-Men movie: Days of Future Past.  This held  true with all X-Men movies, that they stay consistently good.  I think that with the first class character that James McAvoy did a MUCH better job playing Professor X.  I wasn't really seeing him as fitting into the role well in X-Men First Class, but the way he had to play his character is a role he is familiar with and he delivered it well.  Michael Fassbender (Magneto from the past) once again did a great job and actually had me imagining Magneto as a hottie.  As a Jennifer Lawrence lover, I thought that it was great getting to know Raven/Mystique more intimately.  Of course we can't leave out that Wolverine plays a pivotal role with ever badass Hugh Jackman who is looking even better than ever in his bulking up, if that is even possible after his last Wolverine movie.

In case you have lived under a rock or have missed out on any part of the series this movie:  X-Men Days of Future Past is the 7th film in the X-Men series and brought back director Bryan Singer (X-Men & X2).  The release order of the X-Men films is X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past.   The X-Men Franchise is the 15th highest grossing movie franchise of all time.  As far as timeline is concerned..  X-Men:Days of Future Past is a sequel to both X-Men First Class and X-Men: The Last Stand.   X-Men Apocalypse is set to be released on May 27, 2016 and will focus on the origin of the mutant series which places it as a sequel to X-Men:First Class set in the 1980s and will feature a young Cyclops, Jean Grey & Storm.  Wolverine 3 will be released on March 3, 2017, as a sequel to The Wolverine. 

X-Men: Days of Future Past as I stated before is a sequel to both X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Last Stand.  It is dealing with the future and with the younger characters in 1973.  In the future, year 2023 Sentinels (sentient robots) are exterminating mutants and humans who help them.  Kitty Pryde has the power to send Wolverine back to the year 1973 to try to change history and save everyone's lives. Wolverine must make Professor X and Magneto work together to save Mystique or else there will be no change in the future outcome. 

X-Men delivers another great and familiar cast for the most part:
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine (Les Miserables, Australia, Prestige, Swordfish, Van Helsing)
James McAvoy as Young Professor X (Wanted, Atonement, Becoming Jane, Last King of Scotland)
Michael Fassbender as Young Magneto (Inglorious Bastards, Prometheus, 300, 12 Years A Slave)
Jennifer Lawrence as Young Raven/Mystique (Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook)
Halle Berry as Storm (Cloud Atlas, Monster's Ball, Perfect Stranger, Gothika, Die Another Day)
Nicholas Hoult as Young Hank McCoy/Beast (Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Slayer, About a Boy)
Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde (Inception, Juno, Hard Candy, To Rome With Love, Smart People)
Peter Dinklage as Dr. Bolivar Trask (Game of Thrones, Low Down, Death at a Funeral, Nip/Tuck)
Evan Peters as Peter/Quicksilver (American Horror Story, Never Back Down, KickAss, OneTreeHill)
Ian McKellen older Magneto (Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, Stardust)
Patrick Stewart as older Professor X (American Dad, Family Guy, Star Trek, Safe House)

 X-Men: Days of Future Past wasn't supposed to be released until July of this year but ended up coming out 2 months early.  From the initial movie posters it appears that Rogue was initially supposed to play a larger role, but almost all of her scenes were cut in post-production.  It is reported that her cut scenes will be featured on the DVD release of deleted scenes.  The story line was inspired by the "Days of Future Past" comic story line.  Most of the filming was done in the Montreal, Canada area.  20th Century Fox was said that this is the second most expensive film they have produced since 2009s Avatar.  Overall the film has received mostly good reviews with a current score of 8.8 on IMDB and a rotten tomatoes score of 90/95% for critics and audiences respectively. 

Overall I have to say that this film did not disappoint.  The combination of the new and old cast as well as the darkness of impending doom and the time travel to the 1970s made for a great movie.  The dynamics worked so much better than it did on X-Men First Class.  I felt that they did an amazing job with Quick Silver's part and with creating super freaky sentinels.  The fighting style from the future was quite creative.  I highly recommend this film for both new and old X-Men fans.  I would give it a 9 out of 10 starts, so for 5 star cases a 5 out of 5 stars.  Check this one out.

You can also check out my review of The Wolverine

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert is a book that I had the honor of winning in a Goodreads giveaway.  It is about a 24-year-old woman named Ivy Clark.  Ivy is a high-fashion model at the tail end of a career that has lasted 10 years.  The realization that she may be getting too old to be a model for much longer.  The book starts out with Ivy on the outs of a lasting contract that has kept her employed.

This book starts out a bit slow in setting the scene, and for about the first third of the book, I felt that it was hard to visualize the location and atmosphere in the book.  I distinctly remember several times towards the beginning of the book where characters were talked about but I just couldn't picture what they look like or what the room they were in was like, aside from a generic idea.  The story was still enjoyable as the storytelling is primarily around Ivy and her world falling apart around her.  Luckily the rest of the book gets much more descriptive, as I like to visualize the world that the story is about.   

As someone who isn't usually much for Christian Fiction novels, I can admit that I probably wouldn't have gone for this book initially if I would have known that it fell into that genre.  Luckily I didn't realize that because it was not detracting from the story.  Katie did a wonderful job of sneaking a lot of it in without shoving it in your face.  Regardless of your beliefs the underlying message is one that is useful to anyone.  We should all look for forgiveness, redemption and love. 

Despite a slow start, the book is never not enjoyable to read.  Katie does an amazing job of creating realistic characters that have realistic problems.  She wrote about many difficult issues in this book and there were times where my heart just broke for some of the characters and I would have a tear or two drop from my eye.  As you are reading you can really connect with the characters and feel their pain and their frustration at life and themselves.  Overall I definitely enjoyed the story and the message that it brought forth, bringing us all a little deeper into fashion, photography, and what it feels like to be "broken".  I definitely recommend this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars.  Great job Katie Ganshert, I will definitely look into your previous novels: Wildflowers from Winter and Wishing on Willows.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hilarious YouTube Videos Part 6

Just wanted to share some humor with you all with the long Memorial Day weekend coming up.  With the sadness looming, it was time for some laughs to prepare us.

I love that during the stare part the same music is played as Twilight stares haha. The cast names had me dying haha.  Definitely wanted to share this one in anticipation of the new X-Men I will get to see on Friday :)

This one is less funny but it is necessary to know the signs as the long weekend is coming

I honestly don't know whether to laugh or be disturbed by this video....  any input?

There were some pretty great wins and fails in this one

Hahaha I can't believe this is a real story.

In case you have missed the hilarity in previous blogs, you can check them out here: 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How You Are Embarrassing Yourself Online Without Even Knowing It

Normally I try to leave my complaints about crazy views in articles to myself, but sometimes one sticks out so markedly that I just can't keep my mouth shut....  While looking at Digital Citizenship Articles for class, I came across this "gem" of an article.  I just had to share it.
The article that I came across that I felt intense disagreement with was  How You Are Embarrassing Yourself Online Without Even Knowing It  written by Simone Smith.


Smith starts out by talking about profile pictures not being as straightforward as one might think.  I agree with her that superficial evaluations of appearance still count."  However, with that being said I have to disagree when she says “Pushing an agenda, an obsession, or parental pride in posts is annoying enough; should you use an image of a child / fictional character / pet / cause / spouse as your profile photo, you are performing the equivalent action next to every single post you make.” 

When I read this my first thought was that she is obviously not a parent.  As a parent I love to see the pictures of my friends’ children and hear about their hilarious antics.  Fictional characters also tell me a lot about a person and again, if I can relate I like it even more.  As an animal lover, I am always ok with animal photos.  Using a photo of a spouse is broadcasting your love for someone who matters to you.  Broadcasting something like marriage equality or breast cancer causes are in no way annoying to me.   I find that if this is done on a social networking forum such as facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. that this is perfectly acceptable.  I can relate to all of these things (even if I do not have a spouse).  I feel that this article was written by someone who was very close-minded about the world and found annoyance in many aspects of life.  I consider myself to be an open-minded person and I welcome anyone to have the ability to broadcast to the world what matters to them and what their likes are.  It is THEIR Facebook page, not mine.  If I do not like it, I do not have to look at it or be their Facebook friend, I can even hide their posts. 

Towards the end of the article Smith also said “Having no online presence at all can be one of the most damaging mistakes you can make. Those who refuse to craft and maintain an online presence run the risk of being seen as arrogant, paranoid or technologically unsophisticated."  There is so much wrong in this statement for me.  The biggest negativity I have felt towards someone without an online presence is that when getting to know a possible dating prospect it is either one: a lie about having a profile or two; they are married.  Other than that, I don’t consider anyone to be arrogant if they do not have a Facebook.  A lot of people feel the same “annoyance” as Smith at things that people post, so they choose not to have a Facebook or twitter account.  Other people have children online and do not want to see what their kids are doing.  Although, you better believe I will be cyber stalking my son’s activities like nobody’s business.  Another example I can think of is younger adults that do not want their parents seeing what they are up to.  This is more an option of privacy.   There are also the people who are constantly working, or even living overseas in censored countries.   People do survive without connecting every day. 
Smith goes on to say “Unless you are over 60, you should have a persistently-maintained online presence. Even if you have a really good reason for not wanting to have an online presence, the majority of people won't see it that way. Consider how difficult it can be to eat out with a friend who only consumes gluten-free, organic, vegetarian, locally-produced food. Those choices might be healthy, ethical and even safer, but they give you fewer means of interaction, and might even give you the feeling that this friend thinks he's better than you.”  All I can get out of this is that old people obviously don’t need technology….  My 80+ grandparents are all on Facebook so that we can keep in touch and share photos.   Also that once again this article was written by a very close-minded individual that finds anyone’s interests outside of her own to be negative and a personal attack on her lifestyle in one way or another. 

Smith then finishes off this thought with “At a minimum, create a complete LinkedIn profile and/or a respectable Facebook profile. Those basic steps can prevent friends -- or even potential employers -- from completely discounting you (many companies do not even recruit people outside of LinkedIn and some will not hire individuals without active Facebook pages.)”  Although I can agree that employer do search your digital footprint for activity, I have never known any employer who did not hire based on lack of social activity.  Being a part of hiring processes myself, the first places we searched were places like to see if anyone has been arrested for something that would affect their security clearance, and then we go on to sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.  However, especially in my career it is always important and openly encouraged to privatize your social networks as much as possible if you so choose to have one.  This could lead to someone being unsearchable whether they have a social networking profile or not. 

Smith goes on to rant about status message content by saying “If you have many friends, but very few Facebook likes or comments on your posts, honestly ask yourself whether you are providing something of value to them (if nobody cares enough to like or comment on what you posted, chances are the answer is "no")…… The more boring you become, the less likely you are to never even show up in a friend's feed. This is not only just due to special algorithms, but friends actively choosing to un-follow or manually hide your posts because they are tired of seeing them.”  According to Smith, your Facebook friends are obviously (I am exaggerating here) only on Facebook in order to entertain you and to seek your approval on life and that boring people do not deserve social media.  As a self-proclaimed “boring person” I can personally take offense to this statement.  I honestly am not even sure what else to say that I have not even said.  I feel as though with these types of views that perhaps Smith needs to reassess the Facebook friends she has so that no one has to listen to her negativity on whether or not their social networking is fulfilling her life of petty judgmental nature.  According to Smith a digital footprint is all about making your life appear much more interesting while never boring or annoying your “friends” who most likely have no real interest in who you are as a person.

Here are some of my annoying pictures

Monday, May 19, 2014

Burger Stuffer Trial

For my birthday my mom got me a nifty new burger stuffing tool.  With as much as I love cheese stuffed burgers I have been wanting to try it out.  Here is the recipe and directions for the delicious result! 

1 lb hamburger
Seasoning (Barbecue, Burger Seasoning )
1 Egg
Cheese Slices
Hamburger buns if desired
Condiments as desired

Put the hamburger into a bowl and season generously, add an egg.  Mix it all together with your hands.  Grab a big handful of burger mixture and pat it into the burger stuffer.  Press down to make a hollow middle in the burger.  Take two cheese slice and fold them into the hollow middle.  Press down again and remove from the burger. Shape the burger around the cheese.  Repeat for remaining burgers.   Cook in a pan on med-high heat.  Press down with a spatula to flatten some for the hamburger bun.  cook until desired level of completion (you may have to cook in several batches depending on how many burgers you created).  Serve and enjoy!

Mix up the burger, seasoning and egg
Take a handful of burger mixture and press it into the burger stuffer
Press down to create a hollow middle
Press the cheese into the center and remove from the burger stuffer

Reshape the burger around the cheese
Repeat with remaining burgers
Cook on high heat
Serve & Enjoy!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ultimate Garden Salad

When you get as many veggies as I end up with, you start to wonder what in the heck you can do with all of them...  Yesterday I came up with an ultimate garden salad.  You could make this using whatever crazy veggies you have around the house, but this is what I had at my disposal.  Enjoy!

Hand Full Radicchio
3 Stalks Kale
2 Radishes (Chopped)
1 Stalk Celery (Chopped)
1/2 Zucchini (Peeled & Sliced)
1/2 Cucumber (Peeled & Sliced)
2 Large Mushrooms (Chopped)
4 leaves Endives (Chopped)
4 or 5 Cherry Tomatoes (Chopped)
1 Avocado (Pitted & Sliced)
3 Heirloom Carrots (Peeled & then Shaved)
Dressing (I used Guacamole Ranch)

Place the radicchio and the kale on the plate, add all toppings, top with dressing.  Serve & Enjoy!

Add the Radicchio & Kale to the plate
Add the radishes
Add the celery
Add the zucchini
Add the cucumber
Add the mushrooms

Add the endive
Add the tomatoes

Add the avocado
Add the carrots
Top with dressing

If you like salads you can also check out my Blueberry Walnut Salad and my Steak Gouda Salad.