Wasabi Blast Stir Fry Recipe

Just realized I haven’t posted anything in over a month. July was busy for us. Really busy. We had our anniversary (also the 4th),

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Cheers, darlin’!

the ’80s prom with our young professional friends

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I went as one of the models from Robert Palmer’s video Addicted to Love and my husband was Robert Palmer. That’s my sister in Madonna-esque get-up and our friend Badger in his Delta Delta Delta sweater.

I made fun of Bethenney Frankel posing in her 4-year-old’s pajamas.

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This is the closest I could get to fitting in my 4-year-old’s pjs.

I wanted to kill this red bird for repeatedly attacking its reflection in my car’s window, leaving its mess behind.

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Not so bright, are you, bird-brain?

I made a trek way out west to Alpine and Marfa, Texas, with my parents, my brother and his wife.

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Prada Marfa. It’s neither a Prada store, nor is it in Marfa.

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Sorry, son. You can look, but you can’t buy.

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My mom having a blast with her grandson.

 

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My dad doing the same.

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Climbing on Fat Man’s Misery at Paisano Baptist Camp with my brother and my son. It took two of us to keep my son from going over the edge. He was fearless.

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A painting of what the wild west Texas looks like. Very pretty.

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A quick stop to pose with Dinny the Dinosaur in my hometown of Iraan.

We were welcomed home by these sweet signs my husband made.

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Aw, how sweet :)

And then I rounded out the month by helping my husband and his parents sell their YardBird Jerky at the Naturally Fit Games in Austin. I was too exhausted to think, let alone write about what I was thinking.

But now things are quieting down a little, so I thought I’d link up with Mama Kat and share a recipe inspired by the YardBird Jerky my father-in-law created. If you aren’t familiar with the term, yardbird is slang for chicken. We have 3 different flavors of chicken jerky: original, herb blend and wasabi blast. I like them all in their own way, but I thought the wasabi blast would go great in a stir fry. It saves you an extra step of cooking your meat. So easy, and tasty, too. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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IMG_6823 Wasabi Blast! It’s cluckin’ good!


Wasabi Blast Stir Fry Recipe

Ingredients

2 packages Wasabi Blast Yardbird Jerky

2 bell peppers (or 1/2 of 4 different colored bell peppers)

1 sweet onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cups cooked Jasmine rice

1 egg

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 Tbs. rice vinegar

1 Tbs. Mirin (sweet cooking rice seasoning)

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 Tbs. olive oil for cooking vegetables

2 Tbs. butter for cooking rice

garlic powder and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Cook the rice following the package directions. While rice is cooking, chop bell peppers and onions in one inch pieces. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil to medium skillet and bring to medium high heat. Saute peppers, onions and mushrooms for 4-5 minutes, adding 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 Tbs. rice vinegar, 1 Tbs. mirin, 1 tsp. sesame oil, garlic powder and pepper to taste. When onions appear translucent and peppers are soft, remove from heat. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs. butter and add cooked rice and egg. Scramble egg in with rice and add remaining soy sauce (about 1 Tbs. and 1 tsp.) Cook for about 5 minutes and add the vegetables. Stir in 2 packages of Wasabi Blast Yardbird Jerky. Garnish with sriracha sauce for extra heat if desired.

 

This post is inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt 5.) Share a recipe you’re loving.

Fake It Till You Make It

Back when I was part of the working class, I used to think this saying was true. If I didn’t know how to do something that my job required, I would figure it out as I went along. Luckily for me, my bosses weren’t very astute at my lack of competence. Or maybe they were faking it, too.

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Now I know that there are certain things you simply cannot fake. Since everyone loves an easy-to-digest list, here are 7 of those things you cannot fake.

  1. Laughter - Sure, Chandler and Monica had fake laughs on Friends, and I’ve been accused of fake laughing myself a time or two, but most people can tell. At least those close to you who will call you out on faking it. And why should you pretend to laugh when something really isn’t that funny? Nervousness, maybe? Trying to avoid hurting the unfunny person’s feelings? Hey, if they can’t make you laugh, they are probably used to their jokes falling flat.  
  2. Love - Oh sure, that’s an obvious one. Don’t worry, I’ll throw some curve balls here in a sec. But this is a big one worth mentioning. I know–or have known–several couples who know they’ve lost that loving feeling but convince themselves that everything will be ok. The charade doesn’t last, and life is too short to be miserable pretending.
  3. Light - See, I told you I would have a curve ball or two. I’m not talking about the light you see every morning at the break of day. Of course you can’t fake that, so don’t try. I’m talking about how you feel, which sort of goes together with laughter. You know when you ask someone how they’re doing and they say they’re fine, but you can tell by the tone and lack of smile that they really aren’t ok. The heaviness sinks around them and starts tugging at you too, making you wonder if there is anything else you can do to help lighten their spirit without being too nosy. That type of lightness can’t be faked.
  4. Attention - My four-year-old is going through this phase where he says, “Mommy, watch!” about once a minute. Or maybe it feels that way. So of course, sometimes, my attention is elsewhere. Like on the meal I’m cooking, or the laundry I’m doing. Ok, I admit it, half the time it’s on my dang iPhone. So instead of saying my name once, he now says it about 5 times in a row until he’s sure he has my attention. I can’t appease him by saying I’m listening or watching, he needs to know he has my full attention. I can’t fake it. No matter how hard I try.
  5. Gratitude - Have you ever given a gift and the person said thank you, but you knew they really didn’t mean it? I sometimes wish we weren’t forced by politeness to pretend to be thankful. I would rather know that when a person said thanks, they really meant it. It would mean so much more if we didn’t have to fake our gratitude, but I guess that has to start from within.
  6. Trust - Ever play that game where you fall backwards and have to trust your friends to catch you before you hit the ground? You can’t fake that trust. I’m pretty picky when it comes to my friends, and I guess it all revolves around trust. I want those closest to me to know they can trust me completely, and I hope I can do the same with them. And if I screw up, you can trust that I’ll be honest about my mistake.

    Those puppies have got that baby’s back.

  7. Faith - I’ll wind this list up with one I’ve been struggling with lately. I’ve noticed that when it comes to my faith, I’ll have high moments and low ones. I don’t know if I’ve been exhausted or stressed for some unknown reason, but I’ve been in a valley the last month or two. I can tell a difference in my attitude, and I’m sure my husband can, too. There really is no other way around it but to go through it, and keep praying. And reading my Bible, which has been gathering dust for a bit. I know this, too, will pass.

It’s Still Rock and Roll

Yesterday my son got upset that I interrupted his new favorite song when I stopped to fill up the car. The song was Billy Joel’s “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.”

It was news to me that it was his favorite song, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Billy Joel is one of my husband’s favorites and was even his first concert. We don’t exactly blast Billy Joel 24/7 around the house and car, but his music somehow made an impression on our son.

So much so that when he was upset about saying goodbye to his grandmommy today, I asked if he wanted to sing a song to feel better. “This Old Man,” maybe? It’s one he likes to sing with his grandmommy. His response? “NO! Want to hear, ‘What’s the matter da da da da da da’!”

Well, what’s a mom to do but promptly download Billy Joel’s The Hits. Because $8 is a small price to pay for a little boy’s happiness. Plus, Movin’ Out, Piano Man, My Life, You May Be Right…these are good songs. We need more musicians like Billy Joel back in the scene. No more Bieber, please. Maybe we’ll all enjoy the weekend for a change.

Props to Pops

Father’s Day is coming up, which means silly commercials saying every gift is great for both dads and grads. How sad for dads. At least moms don’t get lumped in with whatever else people are celebrating that same month. Dads deserve that kind of respect, too. You know, something better than a tie. Unless it’s a bow tie.

Dr. Who knows.

So as a tribute to my son’s dad, I thought I’d share what makes him a great dad.

He inspires our son’s creativity, especially his musical ability.

And he shares his spirit of adventure.

He teaches our son how to have a great sense of humor, one not as dry as mine.

He shows our son how to have fun.

But doesn’t let him get in over his head.

Well, most of the time.

He always has our son under his wing.

When he’s not swimming with the sharks, that is.

And our son is ready to imitate everything he does.

Happy father’s day to all the dads out there! Not the grads. Just the dads.

This post is inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt 4.) Father’s Day inspired! Share something your husband does better than you as a parent.

To the lady ashamed of being pregnant with her fourth

Kristen Reichert:

I completely agree with this post. As a mother of one with not much hope of having more, I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask any mother how many children she plans to have. There’s nothing wrong with 10, and there’s nothing wrong with one, as long as those kids are being raised with love.

Originally posted on Tales from the Mommy Trenches:

I met you in the elevator on my way back from the pediatrician’s office. It was just me and Wren, and you looked at her fondly in her stroller. When the elevator doors opened, you very kindly held the doors open for me. As I clumsily maneuvered the stroller past you, I accidentally ran over your foot. “Don’t worry about it,” you assured me over my profuse apologies. “I have three children myself,” you revealed to me. My eyes traveled to your big belly. There was an awkward pause as I wondered if I could assume she was pregnant. “And I’m expecting my fourth,” you admitted. “Congratulations!,” I tell her. “That is wonderful!” I see the relief spread across her face. “Thank you!” she says, and I could tell she meant it. “You have no idea how many people offer their condolences when they find out this is my fourth…

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Instagram Grand Slam

I love Instagram. It’s like Pinterest but personal. And like Facebook but with less reading. I could scroll for hours finding great images that catch my eye. And apparently, so can celebs. I can’t tell you how stoked I was to see what appears to be the real Jason Statham like this photo:

Bond and Jason Statham know #yolo is dumb.

Bond and Jason Statham know #yolo is dumb.

And what makes Instagram more fun is making up your own quotes to add to images with InstaQuote. If you don’t have this app, get it now. And start making stuff up. Like

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It’s true. I just can’t seem to get enough.

Or

Don't ask where all those hangers came from. You wouldn't want to know.

Don’t ask where all those hangers came from. You wouldn’t want to know.

And

And of course

RIP #himym. May your writers forever pay for that horrible finale.

RIP #himym. May your writers forever pay for that horrible finale.

And you can even quote real people.

Louis CK #truth

Louis CK #truth

Of course I also have the average photos of filtered sunsets and my cute little boy being, well, cute. But why not spice things up and put a quote on it? Doesn’t matter if it’s made up. Someone might believe it.

 

Hey, if Lincoln were alive, you know he would have loved Ikea.

Hey, if Lincoln were alive, you know he would have loved Ikea.

How do you like your Instagram? More selfies than wordies? You can check out more of mine on notjustasahm and leave a comment if you like.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat‘s writing prompt 5.) Choose a recent Instagram photo and use it to inspire a blog post!

LuLu Lame-on

There is an epidemic that has been rising for the past year or so, and it’s time for it to stop. It’s called lululemon fever, and it’s been spreading like wildfire across our great nation, and probably abroad as well.

Sure, their athletic clothing is more attractive than your average pair of sweats. And they make you feel good because you spent $80 on a pair of yoga pants. Just the pants. The top will cost an extra $50.

I only cost $58! For a grey T-shirt! Source

 

And maybe they help you nail the crane or lotus headstand.

 

I don’t know because you couldn’t pay me to buy their clothes. No really. If you handed me $100 and told me to go crazy, I’d head to Kohl’s or Target and get 5 items for the price of one pair of lululemon see-through pants.

But I really don’t have a problem with their brand. Yay capitalism and the pursuit of prosperity!

What I really have a problem with is how and when women are choosing to wear this brand. It’s not just for yoga class. It’s an all-day attire. Need to run to the store after your workout? It makes sense to stay in your workout clothes. Picking your kids up from school after your afternoon workout? That makes sense too. But waking up without a workout in mind and deciding to stay in your workout clothes all day long? Let’s have some pride, people. Stacy and Clinton would not approve–at least not if What Not to Wear was still running.

Granted, I’m as guilty as the next busy mom of throwing on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, pulling my hair back in a ponytail and heading out the door. So, I get it. It sometimes feels like a bigger pain to make the effort when you have more important things on your mind–like feeding and clothing your child. But I also know that when I make a little effort, it sets the course for my entire day. I feel better, healthier, more energetic, blah blah blah. I’m more productive, all around.

So rather than bash a brand and walk away, here are my tips to get yourself out of workout clothes, into a presentable look and out the door in, I don’t know, 10 minutes. 30 if you like to take your time or are interrupted every 2 minutes by your kid like I am.

How To Look Good In 10 Minutes…Give or Take

  1. Wash your face and apply moisturizer. Sounds simple and something you can skip, but that sun damage is going to add up to wrinkles over the years and you’ll be kicking yourself for not taking this extra step. Plus, it makes you feel fresh when you don’t have time to shower. I use Mary Kay Timewise 3-in-1 cleanser and Age-Fighting Cleanser that I get from my mother-in-law, a MK Independent Sales Director. You can use whatever brand you like, but I love the skin care products from MK.
  2. Put on a little make-up.  It doesn’t take much. Powder, mascara and lip gloss if that’s all you have time for. It takes a minute and keeps you from looking like a ghost.
  3. Apply deodorant, skip the perfume. And change your underwear. Now you’re smelling like a daisy. Or a rose. Or fresh rain, if that’s your deodorant scent.
  4. Spray dry shampoo on your roots and do a little something with your hair. My hair gets greasy if I don’t shampoo every day, so this is an easy fix for days I don’t have time to shower. Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret is my favorite. Headbands, half ponytails and bobby pins are easy ways to pin back greasy hair without going for the boring ponytail.
  5. Last but not least, put on clean clothes. Not the ones you slept in, or plan to not work out in later, but real clothes. Like a cute top from Target and nice jeans. Or a sundress. I’m not a fashion expert, but anything has to be better than this:

Thank A Teacher

May 6 is National Teacher Appreciation Day, and I was lucky to have many great teachers that I can thank. Some were tough at the time, but the lessons they taught have stuck around much longer than the ones who didn’t care as much. Like my fourth grade teacher and her number sense shortcuts. Or my fifth grade teacher and her poetry lessons. But when I was approached by Webucator to share about my favorite teacher, the choice was easy.

It’s my mom.

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She was an elementary teacher for over 2 decades, and touched so many lives. While I never had her as a teacher at school, she was my Sunday school teacher for a few years and of course in every other aspect of my life. During her time she taught generations and remained true to her morals even during times of trial. Hearing her stories made me realize that teachers really do have the toughest job in the world and will daily go to battle for their “kids” for very little pay.

What made my mom a great teacher (and the others that I remember during my school years) came down to one huge difference: caring. She cared about the kids, and she made every effort to reach them despite hurdles from parents, fellow teachers, principals, testing, paperwork…you name it. When a teacher cares, the student feels that they are important. They feel some responsibility and want to do better, if not for themselves then for their teacher. Every good teacher will tell you that there’s nothing better than seeing that light bulb go off when the student gets it.

Another reason my mom was such a great teacher is that she instilled in us a love for creativity. A huge part of learning is wondering about the world around you, asking questions and finding new and different solutions. Want proof? Check out this text message exchange I had with my brother a few months back:

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And here’s proof of the creativity my sister and I had growing up:

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Please no comment about the placement of the suns on my vest.

It’s fun now to watch my mother teach my son and use that same teacher voice to gently, but firmly, get through to a child. With Mother’s Day coming up, I couldn’t think of anyone better to thank on #ThankATeacher day than my mom.

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My mom with my son the day he was born.

Happy early Mother’s Day! And go thank a teacher.

 

 

He Is Risen

On this Easter Sunday morning I posted a line from one of my favorite hymns on Facebook.

It received quite a few likes, and one comment calling Jesus a zombie. To which I replied, “Zombies are undead. Jesus is alive!” Turns out my friend isn’t the only one who has made this Jesus/zombie confusion. There’s a whole web site and memes created by those who are a little more than confused: www.zombiejesusday.org.

I can see where some would find it confusing. Jesus died on the cross and then rose again 3 days later. This is told by the four writers of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.–As a side note, have you ever played the game telephone? Where you start a message with one person who whispers it to the next and the next and by the end the last person has no idea what the original message is? So “Susie has a red bow,” becomes “Surely have I read slow,” or something like that. Well it’s astonishing me that you can read these four accounts by four different men and the details are all the same. But that’s a different post for another time.

Back to the zombie confusion. According to the experts at Wikipedia, zombies came from Haitian folklore and are described as an animated corpse raised by magical means. The key word here is corpse. Yes, Jesus died, but he is risen and is alive. Not a corpse.

Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Luke 24:6-7

Not only is He alive, but He stayed on Earth 40 days longer to prove that He is alive. I don’t know about you, but if I had just left a world of thankless people who nailed me to a cross and left me for dead, I wouldn’t be sticking around after my resurrection. I’d probably be second-guessing the whole salvation thing entirely. And that’s what makes Easter so marvelous.

Can I prove Jesus was not a zombie? I only have the Bible and my faith to go from. But if you aren’t sure and want answers, all you have to do is ask.

Easter Pictures?

Pop Quiz: Can you tell if the following #TBT pictures are from Easter?

Tricky, but judging from the white gloves I'm wearing, I'd say yes.

Tricky, but judging from the white gloves I’m wearing, I’d say yes.

All cousins have gathered together, so it's a holiday of some kind. But the red dresses and long sleeves makes me think it's Christmas.

All cousins have gathered together, so it’s a holiday of some kind. But the red dresses and long sleeves makes me think it’s Christmas.

I have no idea. It looks like my brother is looking for Easter eggs, but he doesn't have a basket. So maybe not.

I have no idea. It looks like my brother is looking for Easter eggs, but he doesn’t have a basket. So maybe not.

Yes it's Easter. And don't ask how old I was in that frilly dress. It's embarrassing.

Yes it’s Easter. And don’t ask how old I was in that frilly dress. It’s embarrassing.

Easter baskets! We have evidence! And in most of my childhood memories, my dad is wearing that shirt.

Easter baskets! We have evidence! And in most of my childhood memories, my dad is wearing that shirt.

Cousins and baskets! Double evidence!

Cousins and baskets! Double evidence!

Just threw that in there to see if you were paying attention.

Just threw that in there to see if you were paying attention. I’m the cute little toddler on the right.

Not sure, but I don't remember my mother ever wearing a bonnet. Makes me think it's Easter.

Not sure, but I don’t remember my mother ever wearing a bonnet. Makes me think it’s Easter.

Happy Easter! Enjoy hunting for eggs and dressing in your Easter best! This post is inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt 5.) A blog post inspired by the word: Easter.