Wednesday, August 31, 2011

[077] Sunday (Part I): Irene Arrives

At 9AM I woke to the wind blowing leaves all around the parking lot. The power came and went as I was watching the news coverage on Irene. Then shortly before 9:30AM...
Nothing too serious outside. Just rain and leaves scattered everywhere.

9:28AM (My car is surviving!)
 Around 9:50AM, we really started getting hit with heavy rain. I ditched my camera phone as soon as the rain really started to pour, but I didn't want to over-do it with the pictures and fill up my memory card too fast. (I tend to do that at the worst time.)
9:52AM (view from slider, looking right)
 You can see the water pooling just outside of our patio wall.
9:52AM (view from slider, looking left)

9:53AM (view from the window in the computer room)

9:54AM (view from bedroom window, looking straight)

9:54AM (view from left side of bedroom window, looking right)
Shortly after I finished taking pictures, Shawno yelled for me to help him with the patio as the water wasn't draining fast enough and the water level was rising. We have a fairly small patio so I knew this was going to be a one man job. Shawno immediately grabbed our snow shovel as it was the best tool to use with how much water was in the patio.
He rushed to get as much water out as he could while holding the drain down with his foot (plastic drain covers float... who knew... ... ... yeah.) While it may seem lazy of me not to jump outside and join him, I stayed inside and ran to get anything he asked me to get. Anyway, he did an amazing job getting all the water out. He suffered a battle wound on his right index finger. And of course, we were out of band-aids, so I had to grab a tissue and apply pressure while he stood there in his wet clothes. Poor guy.
The water really came down on him while he was saving the day. Thankful he noticed the water level before it was too late! As the rain calmed down, his job was done. I had dry towels ready for him, a big tupperware bowl to hold his wet clothes, and dry clothes laid out on the bed for him to change into.

Read the rest of our "Irene" experience in Part II, tomorrow at 8AM EST.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

[076] Saturday: Pre-Hurricane Weather

Saturday started out strange. After posting to wish my sister a happy birthday, I went to bed around 1AM. Only to wake up at 5AM. 
I DailyBooth'd about it.
I was confused!
Then around 7AM I refreshed my Facebook feed to see that the newest addition to our friends family arrived. If you've been keeping up with my blog for the past month, you'll know that I attended a baby shower at the end of July. At 6:34AM, August 27, Hunter was born, weighing 8lbs 1oz and measuring 22 inches long. I can't wait to meet him!

At 8AM my body finally decided it was time to go back to sleep. Four hours later I woke up to find Shawno on the couch. As I slept he went out and ran a few errands, including getting his oil changed. I wanted to go with him as I knew it would be the last outing before the storm.

I just love looking up over my monitor to see my garden owl and bamboo sitting happy on my window sill.
Garden Owl (with solar powered light)
and my bamboo sitting in a monogrammed jar.
At 2PM I sat down to start on some bookmarks (which I plan on selling! details soon!). That quickly turned into sorting and organizing my crafting materials. I actually enjoy organizing things. :]

When I'm cooking dinner I usually prepare a meal that Shawno and I will both enjoy. Tonight he decided he was going to make something for himself and that I could make whatever I wanted. I had asparagus and zucchini that I had yet to dig into since we went shopping. With the coming storm and the possibility of a power outage, I decided it was the perfect night to go all out at dinner.
Baked salmon, asparagus, sauteed red onions,
zucchini, and mashed potatoes
At 10PM I fired up some Rock Band 3. I've been all about this game lately. I'm currently trying to get myself out of "medium" on both guitar and bass. I always panic when I see that pesky orange button on my screen and I have one heck of a time trying to reach it. I get too comfy with my index finger on green and forget that I can just slide down to push orange with my pinky.

Around midnight I was very much in need of a snack. This juicy mango was calling my name.
Mmm mango.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

[075] Hurrican Irene - Posted via Text Message

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We have been without electricity since about 10am Sunday morning. I'm hoping things go back to normal here in New England, sooner than later. Prayers y'all!

Friday, August 26, 2011

[074] Happy Birthday to my sister!

Even though I just posted, this is my only post exception for the weekend. Wishing my sister, Jeanine, a wonderful 22nd birthday!

You'll forever be my best friend, my sister, and always my little NeanerWieners!
Tarague Beach, Guam - 1990
Grandma & Grandpa's - Check out those matching pink EVEYTHING, hahaha!
Before my Junior Prom, Jay in her 8th grade cheerleading uniform. - 2003

The Mall? January 2005
Neaners, KhloeBugs, and Me - June 2011
(We like nicknames, if you haven't noticed. :D)

[073] Everyone Is Freaking Out

Hurricane Irene is currently attacking the east coast. I plan on sitting at home, reading while the storm does its business, even though I honestly don't think it will affect my area as badly as meteorologists say it will.

We have all the essentials; vanilla Coke Zero for Shawno, a bunch of refilled water bottles, Sam Adams Boston Lager and 4 bottles of Killian's (which you can't see).

As a bonus, check out my brunch. That's one happy spinach and tomato omelette. :D

In the event the power goes out or my internet goes down, I've decided not to post this weekend. Don't worry, if anything juicy happens, I'll be sure to write all about it!

[072] Recipe Hunting!

I'm currently on the search for new recipes. It can be anything (so long as it's meat-free)! I would like to compile a list of recipes to try during the next few months. Hopefully this will get everyone into the cooking spirit.

But for now, enjoy this photo of some cupcakes I made in 2009.
I hate date stamps on photos.
Halloween is in two months!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

[071] Red Lipstick and Adventures in Grocery Shopping

Before my short work shift on Wednesday afternoon, I sat down and decided to get dolled up while I queued up some Buffy on Netflix. With roughly 45 minutes before I had to leave for work, I was really pushing it.

I started out with pink eye shadow, but by the time I got home from work my cheap eye shadow turned out looking... less than fabulous. As I waited for Shawno to come home I touched up my eye make-up and lipstick. There's something about wearing lipstick that really makes me feel happy, but then I sometimes worry that I've smeared it all over my face when I put my hands anywhere near my mouth.

Wednesday night was grocery night. I picked up a few extra shifts at work this week, so really it was our only night to go shopping before Hurricane Irene brings on the weather. We stopped at Wendy's to have dinner. I ordered a sour cream and chive baked potato and a large drink (I love the freestyle coke machine!) while Shawno ordered a baconator. As I was gathering straws and napkins, the girl who took my order informed me that they were out of baked potatoes and offered me value fries as a replacement. I stood there thinking to myself how is that equivalent to a baked potato?! even though they are both from the value menu. Left without other food options I took the value fries. Shawno kindly traded fries so I wouldn't sit there with a child sized fry and a large drink. Thanks Beardness!

I feared the lines at Wal-Mart were going to be outrageous, but it wasn't all bad (although a lot of products were already cleared off the shelves). As soon as we walked in, the lines were nearly into apparel, but there had to have been 10-15 registers open. Things were looking up! I had to make a quick trip to the scrapbook aisle for craft glue. I wasn't surprised that I couldn't find ZIG 2 way glue pens (seriously the best craft glue I've ever used) so I settled for Elmer's Craft Bond wet & dry dual tip glue pen.

Off to the grocery side of the store. We quickly tackled our list but it wasn't until we were inching towards the frozen foods section when I realized I forgot to pick up laundry and dishwasher detergent. I sent Shawno off on a mission to find his burgers and hot dogs while I quickly walked back to the household essentials. I knew exactly what I wanted for dishwasher detergent. Palmolive ECO+ Dishwasher Liquid Detergent in Citrus Apple Splash. It smells amazing and I like knowing that this detergent isn't as harmful to lakes and streams. As for the laundry detergent, I opted for Arm & Hammer in Clean Burst. I've used this kind of detergent at my parents house but I've never bought it for my own home. I hear it's great on your laundry, so I guess I'll find out!

Once we made it to the register, I kindly asked the girl not to bag our detergent bottles and milk. What a waste of a perfectly good plastic bag on one item. Sometimes I bring my reusable bags, especially since we just throw away our plastic bags when we get home, but you should see the looks these workers give me when I hand them my bags. I personally prefer having customers who bring their own reusable bags or decide to go bag-less. When it comes to putting bagged groceries in my cart, I don't like it when other people pile all my bags on top of one another. This usually results in something being smashed, like bread or vegetables. Even Shawno knows, I'm pretty particular with how I fill the grocery cart. While we're shopping, I have to make sure things are stacked correctly. On the way out to the car, if the weight of the bags looks slightly too heavy, I'll stop right where I am and fix said bags. I'm just a huge pain in the tail when it comes to grocery shopping, haha. Blame my mother. I totally inherited all my grocery shopping habits from her. :D

We live on the ground floor of our apartment building. So when we end up buying large boxes or bottles on a grocery trip, we just put them down in our patio so we can load up our arms with the rest of our grocery bags. I like that our apartment building requires you to have a key to the outer doors as well as a key to your own apartment. It gives me a greater sense of security in where I live. I placed some of our heavier bags of groceries in our patio and joked "Hurry, we have to get inside before ShawnoCat drinks all the milk!"

ShawnoCat is our neighborhood king of the feral cats. He truly runs this place. Pardon the terrible quality photos, he never gives me an easy shot. (Photos are from April 4th & 5th, 2011)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

[070] Recipe: Pancit Canton

Pancit (or pansit) is a Filipino comfort food and is commonly served at birthday celebrations as "noodles represent long life and good health; they must not be cut short so as not to corrupt the symbolism."

Growing up, my mother prepared a lot of Filipino food for our family, especially when we lived in Guam. Two ingredients were always the same, carrots and celery, while she would sometimes use rice noodles or mix both types of noodles together. Either way, it is always delicious when Mom makes it.

Since my mom always uses chicken in her recipe, I really didn't have to do much to alter my own, but I didn't add any seafood options this time around.

If you're military, you can find these at your commissary.
Otherwise check your local Asian market.
My Pancit Canton recipe on

1 (8oz) package of Philippine-Style Noodles (aka pancit canton)
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup onions, chopped (I used red onions because it's all I had on hand and they add a nice color.)
3 - 4 carrots, sliced (long and thin, but I like to keep mine a little thick)
3 - 4 celery, sliced (long diagonal slices)
¼ head of cabbage, shredded
soy sauce
black pepper
garlic powder
onion powder

1. In a wok (or big pan), saute the onions in olive oil.

2. Add ¼ - ½ cup of water, carrots and celery, and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until cooked.

3. Add cabbage and cover wok for about 5 minutes to allow the steam to cook the cabbage. Feel free to add a little bit of seasonings.

4. Add the noodles. Scoop vegetables and broth onto noodles and simmer until noodles soften. If you need to, add ¼ cup more water to help soften the noodles.

Feel free to add any vegetables you'd like. Green beans, bean sprouts, red cabbage, broccoli, etc!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

[069] Apartment Tour: Part III - The Computer Room

Two desks. Two office chairs. Two computers. Four monitors. Yes, that's right. Four monitors.
View from closet.
My things are on the left side while Shawno's are on the right. A lot of the things we own mesh well together, but when it comes to decorating our own space, you can see where we differ.

What was originally a tiered desk complete with a built in CD rack...
Everything about this desk is awful.
Remove the top tier, CD rack, keyboard slide-out, CPU platform, and adjust the storage shelf. Voila! Transformed into a simple desk (with awkward metal bars extending up the sides).

View from desks/window.
The futon on the right is our official "guest bed", decorated with my Burkburnett Bulldogs throw blanket and three owl plush. Above the futon you'll find an original Untitled painting by Me. On the left, we have our Canon Pixma printer sitting on top of a mini-fridge. This is where we keep beer, soda, and (reused/refilled) water bottles. Above the printer, I have a New Moon poster (a birthday gift from my sister's friend) with another cutout mustache on Edward's face.

I like to keep our rooms theme-less, but we both like bamboo, wood, earthy and natural decorations in our apartment. We're simply not in the right living space for themes... yet.

Monday, August 22, 2011

[068] Music Monday: Balmorhea

I've been considering themed daily posts and I think today is a great day to introduce Monday's. For my first Music Monday post I give you, Balmorhea.

Balmorhea (pronounced Bal-moor-ay) is a minimalist ensemble from Austin, Texas.

Video via hushrecords.

A man named Rick H. introduced me to the wonderful sounds of Balmorhea about 2 years ago. I'm glad he did! Their sound... I can't even describe it. I often find myself listening to Balmorhea when I'm crafting and creating things. There's something about a violin and cello that soothes me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

[067] Attention Vegetarians/Vegans/Pescatarians!!! I need you!

I need YOU for Vegging for Health interviews!


Whichever you are, I want you to be part of my interview series. If you've become a regular reader of Vegging for Health, then you've probably read Jenny's journey into going pescatarian. You've probably read Staci's roller coaster ride from pure-vegetarian to pescatarian. Some of you have really enjoyed what these women have shared because they're a couple of my highest viewed posts!

It's super easy to be featured here on Vegging for Health. Contact me via e-mail at with the following information:

  • Your name.
  • Vegetarian, Vegan, or Pescatarian (or something in between!)
  • Tell me a little bit about you.
  • Link to your blog if you have one.
  • Let me know if you'd like to share your favorite recipe or review a new food product you've recently used or plan to use.
We can conduct the interview a few different ways:
  • E-mail
  • AIM
  • MSN
  • Yahoo
  • Skype chat/video (transcribing recorded calls takes too long)
If y'all don't contact me for an interview, I'll be forced to interview myself. That... can get... weird. Yikes! (Although I'll probably end up doing that sometime soon so y'all can get to know me better. [; )

Let's recap.
Contact me via e-mail at
"Vegging for Health Interview" in the subject line!
Include information listed above.
I'll ask questions.
You'll answer questions.
We'll dance all about it!
You'll be featured in a post.
People will read what you have to say.
The world will be a better place.

[066] Apartment Tour: Part II - The Kitchen

My kitchen is white and I don't like it. At all. In the Chase/Young household we consume a lot of coffee and crystal light, and our counters hate us for it. Nothing a little bleach can't handle, but I'd rather have nice stained wood cabinets. Maybe in our next place. :]

As you can see we have mismatched accent rugs. The blue one matches the green rug in our bathroom and I'm completely working with what we have. :D Above the cabinets, we store our extra baking pans and a few other kitchen gadgets.
View from dining room.
To the left, we have what was originally a blank wall with just an intercom. Instead of keeping my seasonal decor (Halloween, Christmas, Independence Day) in boxes, I keep my oven mitts on display all year round. I love my bat shaped potholders.
View from dining room.
That painting on the back wall is a self-portrait I painted in ~2007.
View from front door.

Friday, August 19, 2011

[065] Dinner, beer, new clothes, and a few questions

Tonight was a date night for my boyfriend and I. I decided to get a little dressed up since we haven't really been able to go out on a Friday night in some time. A typical Friday night for me usually consists of working the closing shift. A typical Friday night for Shawno usually consists of him coming home late from a busy day of updates at work (he's a programmer), coming home late only to telecommute to tackle more tasks, or getting in some hangout time with his best friend whenever they're both available. So tonight was our night to have a nice dinner together without having to throw "What's for dinner?" around until one of us cooks something, haha.

Top: Wet Seal
Tank: American Eagle
Jeans: Wet Seal
Belt: American Eagle
Necklace: (Christmas gift) Forever 21 I think?

1. What time did you get up this morning? 9am (EST)

2. How do you like your steak? If I still ate beef, medium or medium-well.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The Hangover 2, it wasn't that great. I saw Bridesmaids before that and loved it!

4. What is your favourite TV show? Will and Grace, iCarly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, X-Files (It's hard to pick just one.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Guam. I'm desperate to go back.

6. What did you have for breakfast? Yoplait Apple Turnover yogurt

7. What is your favorite food? Baked potatoes with various toppings, especially veggie toppings.

8. Foods you dislike? Water chestnuts and anything with a heavy amount of bell peppers.

9. Favorite place to eat? Texas Roadhouse is my favorite place to go out  for a nice dinner.

10. Favorite dressing? Newman's Own Light Raspberry and Walnut

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? 00' Pontiac Grand Am

12. What are your favorite clothes? I love a nice pair of jeans and a comfy cotton t-shirt.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Wales, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Germany, China, Japan, and the Philippines

14. Cup ½ empty or ½ full? Really it depends on the situation but I try to lean towards ½full. After all, my blood type is "b positive". Wiiink!

15. Where would you want to retire? Texas, Washington, or Oregon.

16. Favorite time of day? 9am. 7am if I'm at a lake or a beach.

17. Where were you born? Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Soccer and I really enjoy watching hockey with my boyfriend.

19. What is your favorite fragrance? I've used Curve perfume for so long (because I barely use it) that I don't even know what anything else smells like. If we're talking about room/air fresheners I love hazelnut and pumpkin spice fragrances.

20. What is your favorite face cream? Honestly, I don't use a cream specific for my face. I use my fragrance-free Aveeno body lotion. Every face cream I've used has dried out my face or I've had an allergic reaction to it.

21. Favorite baby/kids products? Baby Bee by Burt's Bees is great! Other than that, I love Johnson & Johnson baby products.

22. People watcher? I'm real big into people watching. Sometimes I start staring without realizing I might be bothering people, haha.

23. Are you a morning or night person? I'm an in betweener. If I'm on the right schedule, I'm a morning person, but I also have a habit of staying up late.

24. Do you have any pets? Not since Maloney Long-fins and Mahoney No-legs passed. Shawno's not ready to move on yet. Also, I'm allergic to so many animals. Bummer.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? My page views has been pretty consistent over the last couple weeks. Considering a giveaway if traffic keeps itself up.

26. What did you want to be when you were little? A dancer/ballerina/gymnast.

27. What is your favorite memory? I have this faint memory from when I was a toddler. I kept trying to throw a snowball at my grandma's window, but I was too small and I couldn't quite throw it high enough.

28. Are you a cat or dog person? I'm definitely a dog person, but if I could find a hypoallergenic cat I would easily adjust.

29. Are you married? Nope.

30. Always wear your seat belt? Always. I had a little scare in ~1997.

31. Been in a car accident? Yes. Two and a half years ago I was driving a rental car when I was hit by a van. Zero injuries, but I had post-traumatic stress for almost a month after the accident. 

32. Any pet peeves? Inconsiderate drivers. Trashy dressed people.

33. Favorite pizza toppings? Pineapple, roasted garlic, spinach, and various cheeses!

34. Favorite flower? Calla lilies in any color.

35. Favorite ice cream? Peanut butter ice cream with fudge swirl and Reese's peanut butter cups.

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Subway sandwiches or Wendy's baked potatoes

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Zero! Passed on the first try.

38. From whom did you get your last email? 20 Something Bloggers group update

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Best Buy

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Not really.

41. Like your job? I'm content.

42. Broccoli? I love broccoli!

43. What was your favorite vacation? Virginia 2010. It was mine and Shawno's first long-distance car trip together.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? Shawno

45. What are you listening to right now? King of Queens on TBS

46. What is your favorite color? Kelly Green, any shade of green really.

47. How many tattoos do you have? Three and wanting more.

48. Coffee drinker? I'm real big on coffee and drinking it.

[064] Giveaway via My Life as Liz Taylor

You can win a $30 Victoria's Secret gift card and a sterling silver necklace. Visit My Life as Liz Taylor for all the details!

via My Life as Liz Taylor

[063] Giveaway via Matisse and Sometimes Sweet!

You can win a pair of Monet Wedge from Matisse footwear. Visit Sometimes Sweet for all the details!
via Sometimes Sweet

[062] Apartment Tour: Part I - The Bathroom

Putting my "deluxe super wide macro" lens to work. Here's the thing. The quality is terribly poor when used with my SLR and I have yet to purchase a digital SLR. So... a couple of months after I bought this lens I did a little experiment. Are you ready for this? I held the lens up to my digital camera (at the time it was a Canon PowerShot SD500) and presto, wide-ass-angled-shots.

Welcome to my bathroom. As you can see, not a whole lot of space to work with, so the decor is somewhat minimal: shower curtain, matching painting, decoration-only towels, bath mat/rug. There's a closet to the right of the shower where we keep our towels and any extra/spare toiletries, make-up, hair dryer/straightener, and iron.
Shower curtain: Target, "Tree House" $24.99 (Unfortunately they're out of stock but they do offer other curtains with owls!)
Painting: By me! I covered an old painting I no longer wanted with matching trees from the curtains design.
View from the door.
The extra mirror on the wall allows me to get up close for things like tweezing my eyebrows. With the big mirror above the sink I have a hard time getting close enough without almost falling onto the sink itself.
View from the shower.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

[061] I Love Clearance Sales

Where do you go when you walk into a clothing store? I head straight for the clearance rack. I love seeing tags with markdown, after markdown, after markdown. The same goes for online shopping. I love it even more so when clearance is an additional 50% and free shipping with the purchase of jeans. Thanks Wet Seal!

Over the last three years I've slowly ventured from American Eagle (AE) jeans to Wet Seal (WS) jeans. While I still wear AE jeans, WS provided me with comfortable black jeans for work. If you know anything about American Eagle, they rarely offer black jeans. And when it comes to sales, WS seems to offer the "buy one get one 50% off" on their jeans every couple of months. That makes my wallet happy!

If you were to check all the labels on my clothes, you'll find "American Eagle Outfitters" on roughly 75% of these tags. When I find a piece of clothing I like, it tends to stick around in my wardrobe for 5+ years. If it becomes damaged, I usually buy a similar item to replace it.

Back to the reason behind this post.

Space Dye Crochet Top - paid $7.99 (Regularly $22.50, Clearance $15.99)
Space Dye Crochet Top

Lace Crop Top - paid $6.99 (Regularly $19.50, Clearance $13.99)
Lace Crop Top

Showstopper Skinny Jean in Med Potassium - paid $14.99 (Regularly $26.50)
Showstopper in Med Potassium

Free Shipping + $0.00 Tax = $29.97 total
This package came in the mail today! I plan on going out to dinner Friday night with the boyfriend, which might serve as the perfect opportunity to wear one of these new tops. :]


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