Monday, November 16, 2020

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This season is just the best for soups! I had read a couple recipes and used a little bit of this and a little bit of that and made my own recipe! This is such a great treat for a cold day. You can also warm it up the next day and enjoy for lunch! I used a fully cooked rotisserie chicken but you can cook your own chicken and add it in. A great idea would be to add some leftover turkey instead of chicken after Thanksgiving and have Turkey Noodle Soup! It sure hits the spot!


Servings: about 4

Time: 30 minutes 


Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 sprigs of thyme

2 sprigs of oregano

2 bay leaves (fresh)

Half of a lemon - halved into two pieces

1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour

4 cups of chicken broth

1 cup diced up rotisserie chicken (or any other chicken)

1 cup of pasta (I used Campanelle)

Salt/Pepper to taste


Directions:

1. Put your pasta to cook and boil according to directions on the box.

2. To a soup pot, melt your butter.

3. Add in your chopped carrot, celery, and onion. Let that soften a little bit.

4. While it's cooking, throw in your oregano, thyme, basil, and lemon. I squeezed the lemon and then just threw it in to cook with the veggies. Salt and pepper as needed.

5. After the vegetables have softened, add in your flour and make a roux.

6. After your flour is fully mixed and incorporated, add in your chicken broth, one cup at a time.

7. Once the broth is all in, bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, bring it down to low and cover. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes 

8. After 10 minutes, add in your chopped chicken. You can add more or less, as your heart desires! Simmer another 10 minutes. 

9. Add in your drained pasta and serve!


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Hello November

2020 has definitely been a ... different ... year. Many things have had to be rescheduled, moved, or cancelled. With all the craziness in the world, there are still many things to be grateful for. 

I am truly grateful for my health, more than ever. Hearing about everything going on in the world, my heart goes out to everyone. Please take care of yourself and make your health #1 above all else. All the money, degrees, houses, cars will stay but there is only one of you. Don't take life for granted and live life to the fullest!

This makes me think back to the time when I worked with kids. Every year around this time, we would make a 'Thankful Tree'. We would make the branches out of brown butcher paper and the kiddos would write that they're thankful for on a leaf. Once they're done writing, we would hang up the leaves around the tree branches and keep it up all season. It was one of my memorable and favorite things we did because the things the kids wrote were so random and funny that it warmed my heart. They were so silly that we even got the point where I had to tell them they could not write that they were thankful for their Xbox. (lol!) Below is a template - use it with your kids or in a journal or write a list! They say if you constantly remind yourself of what you're grateful for, you will be happier - and not just happy but truly happier, inside and out. 

Click on each picture to get a bigger version!



Sunday, October 25, 2020

My Charcuterie Board

I think doing a charcuterie board was one of my favorite activities this summer! I think they are great to do at dinner parties or when having friends over. This is actually already a Bosnian tradition (we put out meat and cheese for guests) but it was evolved into more. I did a ton of research on what the best things to put on my board would be, made a list, purchased everything and got to work. Below you will find a list of everything on my board and where I bought it! I will warn you, pretty much everything is from Trader Joe's. 

The board we've had in our house forever but you can get one pretty much anywhere - from Walmart, Target to Marshalls and Home Goods.


Cheese:
Trader Joe's unexpected cheddar cheese
Trader Joe's goat gouda
Trader Joe's manchego cheese
Trader Joe's toscano cheese with black pepper
Boursin garlic and fine herb cheese (they have this at almost any store - I got mine from TJ's)

Meats:
Chicken bologna (Bosnian store)
Beef salami (Costco)
(I would've added suho meso but we didn't have any)

Fruits:
Trader Joe's champagne grapes (these are out of season now - I recommend getting Thomcord grapes)
Strawberries (King Soopers/Kroger)
Trader Joe's fresh figs

Veggies:
Fresh cucumbers from our garden
Fresh greek peppers from our garden

Extra:
Boiled eggs (my neighbor has chickens!)

There you go! I might do another one but not until next summer. I highly recommend Trader Joe's for cheeses - if you pick anything off this list to get from Trader Joe's - the cheese is where it's at. They are super affordable and have a high variety. What are some of your favorite charcuterie board items?!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Trader Joe's Favs!

I was not a big Trader Joe's fan. I only go when I see people rave about certain products - put them in a list - and then buy them. I recently have explored more and have grown to love more and more of their items. I am picky about my food so the list I've come up with below, I can personally say is my honest opinion. They are in no particular order - just some favs I put together! I can also make a list of things I would recommend passing, but we can do that another time! At the very bottom, I put together a photo combo so you can screenshot everything in one!

1. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups




These are probably my favorite. They taste just like the Reese's peanut butter cups but they're dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is really good for iron levels so that is one great perk! They also taste super yummy - no bitterness! I've bought them every time I go!

2. Goat's Milk Gouda Cheese

I have recently learned that I LOVE gouda cheese. This one is super creamy and yummy! I've used it to shred and use on top of pizza and other foods. I mix this with other cheeses but it's probably my favorite, hands down. 

3. Smoked Salmon, 4. Everything bagel, & 5. Whipped cream cheese


One of my go-to breakfasts lately has been making a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon on top. All 3 are from Trader Joe's! I love their whipped cream cheese because it's so light and easy to spread! The bagel is topped with their 'Everything But the Bagel' seasoning. I personally am not a big fan of it on its own but on this bagel, it's great! The salmon is also super yummy and healthy! They also have other types of salmon - one that includes 'Everything But the Bagel' seasoning too!

6. Hold the cone Mini Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cones



These mini ice cream cones hit the spot! After I have my meals, I want something sweet but not overpowering. These mini cones are perfect! They come 8 in a box are are only $3! They have tons of flavors to choose from!

7. Sparkling black tea with peach juice

This sparkling black tea with peach is my new favorite! I am not a fan of sparkling water (I know, I'm European, how can I not like it!?) but I really like this! It has almost no sugar but it tastes wonderful! It has a great hint of tea with a splash of peach and it's definitely going to be another buy for me next time.


8. Hazelnut chocolate cookies

These cookies are THE BOMB! They are sweet but not too sweet. They are perfect with your morning coffee or just for fun. This is also a new one for me and I'm so glad I got them. They may or may not be half gone already. 

9. Thomcord Grapes

All my Bosnian fam - these grapes are exactly like the ones from Bosnia!! They are small, round, and a little harder in the middle. My parents absolutely love them and since I got them two days ago, we're already out. If you know the Bosnian grapes, go get these and thank me later!


10. Savory crackers


These are my favorite crackers for dips! They are perfectly salted and not too hard or soft- which is why they're great for dipping! They also come in a mini size that I haven't tried but I'm sure they're the same! Stay tuned to my part 2 post where I share my favorite dips and jams!

So far, those are my top 10 favorites! I will be posting a part 2 with more favorites. What are some of your favorite TJ items?!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Never Settle.


Don't ever settle. Not with relationships, not with jobs, not with your way of life. If you settle, you might be unhappy, and nothing is more important than your health and happiness.

Recently, I've been going through an uncomfortable environment through my place of employment. I was talking to a friend about it and she asked me "How important is the environment that you work in, when looking for a job?". This got me thinking. Yes, the people that you work with can make or break your time there, but I find that it goes so much deeper than that. The environment can majorly effect your mental health, whether it be positive or negative. If the people around you are constantly pushing you up and striving for your success, you will be successful; meaning, you will be more productive and happier, thus causing your mental health to improve. If you are surrounded by people who are constantly bringing you down, it can severely impact your happiness, thus your mental health. Having days where you wake up and have to drag yourself out of bed because you dread going and then coming home feeling emotionally drained are ways your mental health can deteriorate. Having bad days are okay but feeling that way more than once a week is concerning. I answered my friend, "If you're asking me how important is my mental health when looking for a job, I would say it's pretty important."

I once worked with this girl who, at the time, was looking for love. What she said is something I won't ever forget. She said when you ask God for a man, you need to be specific. I laughed at her because never in my life have I heard something so silly. Turns out, she was right. She goes on to explain to me how she asked God for a doctor. So, God gave her a doctor. She didn't like him. She then went on to ask God for a man who made good money. God gave her a man who made good money and she didn't like him either. She then broke it down so specifically to the occupation and place of work for the man that she is wanting in her life and will not settle until she finds him. I found this to be true to my life as well.

I genuinely enjoyed my first place of work. I made a lot of friends, the job was great, pay, vacation - everything! But after a while, I wanted more. I asked God for a relief. The next job I got was a piece of cake, but my environment was not ideal; I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time. Then I asked God for a better environment, one where I would get along with everyone, including my manager, and would love going to work. I did get it, but the pay and vacation was low. I then became more specific; I asked for a great paying job that I love. Well. Now I have a great paying job that I love but the environment isn't ideal. Now, my next list is so specific that I have it down to the hours I want to work to the pay and vacation that I specifically want, including the type of environment I want to work in. I have 13 bullet points and plan on adding more as I go.

Don't ever settle in life. Life is so short to be miserable. This pandemic has started all across the world and people everyday are losing their lives. Can you imaging living your life with just settling and then dying from a virus? Life the best life you can live and don't give up. If you feel stuck or that you have been settling and want to progress in anyway of your life, I encourage you to make a list of things you want to happen. You can call it a main goal and what you want out of that. Ex. You want to find the love of your life. That would be your main goal. Then, have your specifications: They have to be loving, caring, put me first, etc. and don't settle until you find one that matches your criteria. Some things you may think of letting slide but this is a list of things you want for yourself so make it as true to you as you possibly can. I've made a template here that will help! Use if you would like!


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


I know I have severely been slacking on my blog, but it's only because my life has been in full speed since the last time I posted. Let's catch up on what has happened in 2019: 
  • I started off unemployed - that's ok. I was coping and trying to get use to the idea of not having anywhere to go, but because I'm somebody that needs something to do, I got bored of it real quick. 
  • I got a job in March with a great healthcare organization! I loved the hours, people, job, flexibility, environment, everything! I accidentally ended up applying for a new job with a totally different organization and ended up cutting my time at that job short. I will miss everyone so much! I truly felt accepted and like I was part of a family, even through my time was not long. 
  • I spent summer just enjoying myself. I opened out of my comfort zone and try to have as many summer adventures as I could. I would say it was the best summer I've had in a long time. 
  • I got a new job in September and absolutely love it! I have been learning A TON and am really enjoying that aspect. The people are also great, the flexibility is wonderful, and the environment has been enjoyable!
  • Fall & Winter have been okay. I'm not a fan of the cold so i'm just waiting for this to pass. I would say my favorite day has been December 21 (winter solstice) because now the days are getting longer and I am ALL for that!
I guess not much has happened to me, other than having carreer changes - I know, boring. I think because of that, it has consumed so much of my time that I haven't been able to blog. Let's recap what I wished for in 2018 to happen in 2019:

So for 2019, I will embrace whatever comes my way. I have a feeling that God has something great in store for me and I just need to be patient! (I've also learned to trust my gut feeling. Oh boy. If i only knew what blessings lied ahead for me! I love when I trust my gut. I am SO glad I embraced the things that came my way because I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't!

My boyfriend is someone that I love with all my heart... I realize how much I appreciate and love him. I already know that 2019 will be the best for us! It WAS a great year for us! We have learned and grown SO much together. I feel like he is my best friend and everyday, I love him more than yesterday. 

My list for 2019 includes to travel more, have excellent health, have a great paying job that I love, pay off my car, lose a couple more pounds, and learning new skill sets. Although I didn't travel outside of the state, I did get to explore more of my "backyard" and loved it - there are hidden treasures everywhere! My health has been better than the previous year and I am SO thankful for that! I did get not one, but two, wonderful jobs this year and am sooo blessed for that! My car is still not paid off but that's okay, I can move that goal to 2020. I did lose a couple pounds... and gained it back.. lol I have nothing to comment about that. And as far as learning new skill sets, I think not only with my jobs, but with life, I have learned a lot this year. My eyes have truly opened up to a lot more that has been happening around me. 

But here's to 2020 ! I hope it's the happiest and healthiest (physically and mentally) year for everyone! Like I said in my 2019 post, I make a list every year of things I want to accomplish - whether it be materialistic items, mental, emotional, or just wishes. I find that if I have this list, I can refer to it and try to see about accomplishing my goals as much as I can. I didn't get to accomplish all of them but that's okay too - I will add them to my list for 2020.

For 2020:
  • I want to have a more positive outlook on life. I want to enjoy every moment I am in - not just think of the happy moments in the past. I want to laugh from my belly and just be in the moment. Happiness is not a destination, but rather a journey. 
  • I want to gain more clarity. There have been many things in my life that I feel I need more clarity in. I think having a lot of self reflection is a positive goal I can have, in order to think through how I'm doing and what I can improve on (as well as what is going well)
  • Grow stronger relationships and keep working at them. My current relationships are thriving but there are some that I could work on. I think being open to working on those relationships will give me more insight and growth. 
  • Then I have my other goals - some fun and others materialistic - ride a motorcycle, drive a manual stick shift car, ride a horse, donate more clothes that I don't need, get an even better job, pay off my car, lose some weight. Those are not necessarily for 2020 but I will try my best to meet as many of them as I can. 
As the year flies by, I hope to see myself grow and learn. I hope I can get to a happy mindset and continuously feel that way. I hope to be a better person, overall. 

Happy New Year! I hope you meet your goals and meet them as best as you can!