Showing posts from 2014

My Year in Books 2014

I set myself an ambitious goal this year, 30 books (because, where was I going to find the time to read, right?) Apparently I found the time to complete 34 and I am in the middle of 35, but I don't think I will finish Drums of Autumn before midnight tonight. There should be more here, I started a lot of free ones that turned out to be rubbish and a waste of time, but the ones that I did finish, I at least rated so I could go back later and write reviews for. Maybe that should be my resolution for 2015 -- to finish everything I start writing.

As much as I love real books, my tablet is infinitely more portable. I read almost entirely on my Nexus 7 using either the Kindle app, Google Play Books, or Overdrive. At the beginning of the year I used the library a LOT (until I forgot to return some dead tree books ... and, some of you may know how that goes). My goal this year was to actually read more than listen to books, though sometimes audiobooks are the only way I can get through my …

Nerdvember Recap

Unlike the smart people who made time to do weekly recaps, I thought it would be easy to do a recap at the end of the month. But you know what? Instagram doesn't exactly make it easy, even with the ability to embed. But, thanks to Google-fu, I found a few nifty tools to help me through the consequences of my procrastination.

Collage created by (thanks for the heads up BonjourBlogger) and LoupeCollage

Now, the fun part (if I dressed up well enough). The collage above is not in order. If you weren't following my antics before, you should be able to hover over and match the photos to the descriptions below.
Tiana as Naveen (Cross-play)Zoe Washburn t-shirtT.A.R.D.I.S.EeyoreJedi in trainingCosima (Orphan Black, if you have not watched this show, get on it! New season starts soon!)Wonder Woman #1Big Bang TheoryPaternoster Gang/Powerpuff GirlsMrs. DoubtfireSteve Rogers (Capt. America in street wear)River SongI tried and failed to do John Watson to my satisfaction, …

Menu Plan Monday: Cooking for One

I hate hate hate hate hate cooking for only myself!

Last week I pretty much refused to, since getting lunch was usually large enough to be two portions. But, by the weekend I was down for the count. No energy, back problems, not completely attributed to the change in weather, but more likely to the increased gluten (bread) intake (yes, I have been emo-eating again. Peppermint brownies, can you blame me?).

So, yesterday I started cooking for myself again and clean eating.
Sunday: Ghetto Fabulous Claim Jumpers Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Monday: Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders (no breading) with steamed veggies
Tuesday:Tilapia with green beans and grape tomatoes
Wednesday: Cedar Planked Maple Salmon - or leftovers from work holiday party. I'll be making Sweet Potato Pie. No, it does not taste like pumpkin pie, it tastes MUCH better.

Thursday:Curry Shrimp and Spinach
Friday:  Something with steak.
Saturday: Primal Jambalaya

Throwback Thursday: Disneyland 2003


Movie Review: Interstellar

I'll try not to give away any spoilers.

I went into this movie a little skeptical because as much as I adore Matthew McConaughey's accent, I wasn't sure I could take him seriously as a father and the hero of a serious sci-fi movie. I wasn't sure that I could take Interstellar as a serious movie for that part either, but OMG! Did it ever deliver!

Disclaimer up front, I took Physics for Dummies in college. The topic fascinates me, but the math is entirely over my head, so I won't be addressing any of that below.

First off, I was stunned and impressed by the score, and lack of it. The silence was used perfectly. By the way, the IMAX theater I saw it in had no issues with the sound mix. I wasn't taken out of the movie at any point due to sound issues. The score did exactly what it was supposed to and then some.

The Hunk was with me (and he's an A/V nut) was so stunned by the visuals of the gargantuan and I quote "What music?" He did notice the silenc…

Geek Out in November!

Cosplay everyday? And I have to go to work in corporate wear and can't wear t-shirts? Challenge accepted.

I think I might be nuts. The first few days were easy with Comikaze going on and some easy inspiration:
#nerdvember 3rd T.A.R.D.I.S. Style #settostunning A photo posted by Annette (@dananner) on Nov 11, 2014 at 12:00pm PST
#Nerdvember 4th. "Thanks for noticin' me. " #settostunning #eeyore Am I doing this #DisneyBound thing right? My daughter bought me an Eeyore necklace a few years ago and it became inspiration for today's outfit. Including a thistle-like piece of hair jewelry and gray stitched flats (American Eagle at Payless). #PhotoGrid A photo posted by Annette (@dananner) on Nov 11, 2014 at 10:56am PST but by the end of the week I was taking polls on G+ (still am, at least every other day) and letting the interwebz help pick my outfits.

So far, I haven't had to buy anything new, but the day may come where I need something shiny and metallic, or red. …

Menu Plan Monday: Let's try this again

I admit, I fell off the bandwagon, a few times lately it seems. We've been eating in/out a lot (thanks +EAT24), and a lot of rotisserie chicken, and breakfast for dinner, or popcorn for dinner. I just haven't been motivated, you know?

So this morning I gave myself a kick in the ass and went through all of my recipes that could easily be converted to dairy-free, soy-free (the hardest part), and gluten-free. I had no idea how many items have soy in them! We're trying out three different butter alternatives right now. I got some ghee at Trader Joe's for myself (going to try Bulletproof coffee - but with k-cups and coconut oil) and two other brands, one explicitly soy-free, the other has soy lecithin, from Ralphs. I also need to find some coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative), but Joy has been OK with me making any Asian meals with the spices and no sauce (like Beef and Broccoli).

I only made it to the C's in Pepperplate (available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Kindl…

Wordless Wednesday: Splish Splash


Menu Plan Monday: Reset

Either my scale has been lying to me, or my emo-eating is out of control. I have managed to regain 3-5 hard lost pounds. This does not please me. Oddly enough, except for the Keebler version of Samoas, it's all been "gluten-free" treats -- double chocolate chip cookies, bread (Cajun Salmon, avocado and romaine on a slice of Trader Joe's brown rice gf bread #mouthgasm or maybe I was just really hungry and getting rid of leftovers), pizza, and other baked goods. I even bought gluten-free brownie mix, but haven't made it yet. My persistent food-baby-belly is calling me on my bullshit.

I also noticed that my Starbuck's consumption is way up. Time to start tracking my food intake again (just for accountability +John Lieske, I have a tendency to eat just about anything put in front of me). No one ever complained about me being a picky eater when I was a kid.  Overall I have a healthy relationship with food. I like it and it likes me, a little too much. I like to co…

Menu Plan Monday: Adjustments

I was going through a downtime and didn't realize it. S.A.D can affect you even if it's sunny and 90+ degrees outside, because you aren't getting outside... because it's to damn hot! I was only getting maybe 15 minutes of sun and had stopped taking my Vitamin D supplements. All the cues were there -- ennui, lack of interest, no motivation, and I just wanted to sleep. I was blaming the heat. I mean, it's draining when you feel like you're melting! The week before I had been in more humidity than I like. You shouldn't feel like you'lre breathing underweater all the time. Thank goodness for AC.
Anyway, I had gotten off track, no menu planning in weeks, and even though my daughter kept asking me to go to store, I kept putting it off, to the point that I ordered in at least twice last week and cooked just the very basics for her. Oh  yeah, I was emo-eating a lot of chocolate, in any form I could get it.
So Joy took matters into her own hands. We're still a…

Sisterlocks Style: Octopus Bun

How do I know it's time for a re-ti*?

I can barely stand my hair and want to chop it all off! Instead, after much Pinterest searching and YouTube hunting, I came up with a bastardized bun for short to medium locks. A large part of the problem is that on installation day, my hair ranged in length from 8-11 inches and there was no way I was going to have them cut three inches off in various places! So my locks are not a uniform length and ... some days are interesting hair days.I wasn't in the mood for a ponytail and wanted to try something a little more elegant. When I was younger I would do braided or twisted chignons for my grandmother. My first attempt this morning was at a sock bun (I wish it would have worked because then my Tiana hair would be set!) However, that was a total fail. The shortest locks just did not want to get tucked. I also needed at least two more hands.

So I parted my hair down the middle into two high pigtails (because of my ridiculous thickness). I took…

Throwback Thursday: NYC

Helping the economy.

The next day, I went by 1 WTC as it was still under construction.

There Was an Old Lady...

I'm not saying that I am old mind you. I'm barely approaching middle-aged these days, but my children, they insist on aging me prematurely. In trying to decide how to describe my current home life,  I couldn't decide between "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly"

or Tom and Jerry.

Why? Because the menagerie now includes a dog, a cat, and two mice. TWO! Because they get depressed and die if there is only one. Or so my daughter informs me. I really don't care as I try to keep each little scream in as she hands tries to get me to pet them. Hmasters and guinea pigs I can deal with. Mice ... are mice. Know what I mean? But at least she isn't allergic to them (yeah, she's allergic to dog and cat dander now too).

I hope no one swallows a fly. I am not buying a bird!

I am NOT a Mac

... But, in the last 24 hours I have learned way more about maintenance and repair on a Mac than I ever imagined knowing. Because, they are supposed to just work.

Given all of the time invested, maybe I should have taken +Robert Partridge's suggestion and installed Linux, but I'm sure K12 would pitch a fit at that (see friendly banter below).

They recommend Chrome, but not Chromebooks.

I'm so very grateful for the Mac forums and one friend who completely understood what I was seeing and experiencing from some badly articulated grunts, curses and huffs of frustration. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make me inarticulate???

Now I know about Spotlight and that Disk Utility is just as useful as on a PC and a few more keyboard commands that saved my sanity. Mostly. Three hours to repair permissions. Can you believe it? Oh, and the disk had to be repaired too.

I started composing this when I thought I was practically done and only needed to install Google Drive ... I wa…

Shakeology Day 1 Refresh

Here goes. I'm starting at 171 lbs. Sigh
At least being pear shaped means I am at less risk for all the diseases that have me wanting to lose weight in the first place.

I used SparkPeople to help me get my measurements, because in all honesty, I have never taken them before and I wanted to make sure I was measuring the right areas.

Result:Estimated Health Risk:Estimated Body Shape:0.80 or belowLowPear
Since storing excessive fat in the abdominal region (known as the "apple" shape) is correlated with an increased disease risk, this test is one way to measure your risk for lifestyle and weight-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and more. Storing fat in your lower half, known as a "Pear" shape, is actually a healthier site for fat accumulation. The less common "avocado" shape is somewhere between an apple and a pear, with health risks higher than a pear-shaped person, but somewhat lower than a true apple-shaped person.

App Review: Videostream for Google Chromecast™

Two nights ago I nearly had a minor mental breakdown/temper tantrum because I just wanted to watch a movie in my room on my Chromecast (instead of passing out on the couch watching the DVR'd version. Redundancy people). But it was in .mkv format and VLC still hasn't released a Chromecast-enabled Android app, and casting the tab from my laptop didn't send the audio either.

For a minute I was baffled. I considered rebooting my Chromecast. Then I decided to use Google. Guess what? It's a well-known issue. I finally stopped looking for a solution, none of which that I felt like implementing since the majority involved some sort of media server like Plex. Making a Plex server is on my to-do list, but not last night. I finally opened Handbrake to convert to mp4 format and then, like the heavens opening up ....

I changed my search parameter one more time and was presented with Videostream for Google Chromecast™ - a Chrome extension that does the conversion for me (and anyone …

Menu Plan Monday: Dietary Restrictions and a Picky Eater

My daughter is a picky eater. In the last three months she has developed intolerances to wheat, dairy, and soy. Just need nuts and seafood to be complete (knock on wood).

Creating menus each week just got more interesting. Luckily, she can eat just about anything from El Pollo Loco, but we have both gotten tired of that in the last month.

Cooking from scratch in 30 minutes or less (most nights)...

Monday: Beef and Broccoli - minus the soy sauce and water, so I guess it was more of a stir fry, but she had multiple servings.
Tuesday: Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
Wednesday: Beef & Bean Chile Verde - I make mine with Fresh and Easy Salsa Verde

Thursday: Chicken Avocado Salad Wraps
Friday: Primal Jambalaya - minus the cauliflower rice
Saturday: Paleo Avocado Turkey Burgers - reminds me of the burgers at the District Pub (also much cheaper to make at home).

Menu Plan Monday hosted by:

Throwback Thursday: Aunty