Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2014!

2013 went crazy fast.

At least that’s what it seems like now that 2014 is here.

I rang in the new year in my sleep.

I watched a clip of the new year in London, so I counted that and went to bed early.

I did work yesterday and I work today.

So, I’m justified in my granny-style ways.

When 2013 started, I was in law school.

And miserable.

The only thing that made me stay relatively sane was my friends.

So I decided to take my life back and leave law school come May.

Law school isn’t something I regret.

I really do not regret anything.

Good or bad or worse, everything in my life is there and has happened for a reason.

Each day makes up the person I am today.

In May, I moved into my grandmother’s house, helping her with various things that needed to be done that she shouldn’t be doing herself.

I say ‘shouldn’t’ because she would do them anyway.

Like move entire rooms of furniture around while I was out.

She’s resilient, that one.

I also “helped” with construction at my dad’s house.

I now know how to put up drywall, sand and paint it, and cut and lay tile floors.

Here’s hoping that I never need to put that knowledge to use again.

I also went to Denver, CO for a job prospect, and spent many days there with my brother and Zach at their new house.

And Micah, because he came to visit the same time I was there.

Mini APU reunion.

Learned how to brew beer. It’s too complicated for me.

Even the hard cider is too complicated for me.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I discovered running at that high altitude makes me dizzy.

But I had a great time there, even if I didn’t get the job.

In mid-September, I moved to North Carolina.

The last few months have gone crazy fast.

When I first got here, I got a part-time job at The Limited.

I needed some kind of income while I looked for a “real” job.

Not that retail isn’t real, but it’s not full time and not a career (for me anyway).

Then they made me a part-time manager for the holidays.

Then one day, on a day off, I went onto Monster.

And saw an admin job for a large company.

I applied.

I didn’t expect anything of it.

Nothing ever comes from applying to jobs on Monster or Careerbuilder.

At least it never did for me.

You have to know someone to get a job these days.

Then, just 2 hours later, I got an invitation to interview.

Then I waited 11 days for the timeslots to show up.

I’d given up really.

Figured that job was a dud.

Then I got a timeslot.

Then they called to reschedule.

Then I went in, interviewed, the HR manager liked me.

Then, minutes after I’d gotten home, my phone rang.

They wanted me to come back for a second interview.

Two hours later.

I go in, I talk to the Admin Supervisor, and then…

they offer me the job.

Bing, Bang, Boom.

Full time job, just like that.

And then I started immediately.

Had to quit The Limited.

And they were not happy with me.

Mainly because it was a week before Christmas.

But it couldn’t be helped.

I couldn’t stay due to a conflict of interest.

I love my new job.

Love. It.

I work with HR things, and numbers, and I still get to move around.

I move around a lot.

I don’t think I sat down much at all leading up to Christmas.

It’s with a large retail company.

But I’m not working with customers.

I’m working with employees.

Which is so much better.

I love my office co-workers.

And they love me.

Obviously.

I mean, who wouldn’t?

I still work retail hours because there has to be an admin person there the entire time the store is open.

But that’s fine.

I like not working a monotonous 8-5 job everyday.

Working different times and days over the weeks keeps things lively.

So now I am looking forward to 2014 being a really great year.

I’ve started the paleo life.

So, nuts, berries, seeds, meat, other fruits and veggies.

No more carb counting in this house.

And no more processed foods.

Goodbye, Entenmann’s donuts.

Hello, chia and sunflower seeds in my banana-blueberry coconut milk smoothie.

Once I get some money saved up for a couple months, I’ll be looking for my own place.

It’s nice having my own chef (hehe, just kidding mom), but at 28, I need to be back on my own.

Or on my own with a roommate.

Maybe I’ll get a dog.

Or a cat.

Because as everyone likes to remind me, Quincy may have been a dog, but he acted like a cat.

So maybe I should stick to cats.

But I’m really more of a dog person.

I want another sheltie.

Or a corgi-sheltie mix.

Or an australian shepherd.

Preferably a dog I can run with.

Adopting though, because I don’t want to deal with the puppy years.

But I can’t really afford a dog with the student loan repayments that the law school gave me as a parting gift.

So maybe a roommate that already has a dog.

And now that I’m rambling on about dogs, I’ll end this here.

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

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Shepherd’s Pie

Every good Scottish girl loves her some Shepherd’s Pie.

Even if she’s only somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 Scottish.

I hold on to it for all it’s worth.

Shepherd’s Pie.

It’s my favourite meal.

Keeps you warm on cold, windy nights.

(Turns out those cold, windy nights do exist in NC…)

The only problem is that I am currently avoiding carbs like the plague.

Luckily, I adapted a recipe to fit my lifestyle.

So, here it is.

FYI, it takes a good amount of time to make this meal.

At least it does if you are a slow prepper like I am.

I spent 2 hours making this.

First off, you’ll need the (long) list of ingredients.

In my opinion, the fresher, the better.

Especially the herbs and veggies.

Ingredients:

2 cups ground beef
1 onion (slightly smaller than a tennis ball)
2 stalks green onions
4 cloves garlic
2 ½ cups of veggie mix: peas (or in my case, cut up green beans so they are roughly the size of a pea), carrots, mushroom
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 stick melted butter
3-4 heaping tablespoons of cream cheese
Sea salt
Crackled pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
Rosemary
Thyme
Cumin
Beef broth
1 egg

Instructions:

1)      Mix beef with salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and one egg

2)      Chop onions, garlic and green onions (save ½ stalk of green onion for cauliflower)

3)      Heat up pan with olive oil and toss in the processed onions, garlic, and green onions, salt and pepper

4)      Add in meat, mix and cook on medium heat. Add a splash or 2 of beef broth to keep meat moist.

(I know, that looks gross. I’m not a fan of raw meat, either)

5)      Transfer mixture to a big saucepan pot and cook on medium heat, mixing as you go.

6)      Mix in veggies, rosemary, thyme, pepper and salt, and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is browned. Now, you can use peas, that’s what it is supposed to be, but I cut green beans to the size of peas instead because peas have too many carbs in them. And also, I hate peas.

7)      Spread meat mixture in a casserole dish, and start working on your cauliflower. You need to let the meat mixture cool down a good bit before you top it with the mashed cauliflower.

8)      Fill a pot with 1 ½ inches of water and set to boil. Set in the de-leafed head of cauliflower and let cook on medium high heat until the cauliflower is fall-apart tender (honestly, around 15-20 minutes).

9)      While that’s cooking, put 3-4 heaping tablespoons of cream cheese in a bowl, along with a couple tablespoons of melted butter, some salt, and the ½ stalk of chopped green onions.

10)   When the  cauliflower falls apart with the touch of a fork, drain it, and add the cooked cauliflower to the bowl of cream cheese-butter-green onion mix.

11)   Get a hand mixer out and mash it all up real nice—creamy, no clumps of cauliflower.

12)   Spread the mashed cauliflower over the cooled meat mix.

13)   Season and brush some melted butter over top of mashed cauliflower.

14)   Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes at 400F.

15)   When the 30 minutes are up, switch off the oven and turn on the broil, and Broil it at 500F for about 3ish minutes just to brown the cauliflower a little bit.

16)   Take it out, and let it settle for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

And, Wah-la!

It tastes amazing, if I do say so myself.

And the best part, especially according to my mother, is that you really cannot tell that the cauliflower is cauliflower.

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