Monthly Archives: July 2013

Did everybody miss me?

Today was my first day back from vacation to work and the first thing I see on my desk is Fred. He is a striped beetle of some sort. Just hanging out in a canister…they were all surprised I didn’t scream, had Fred been loose then that would have been a different story!

About the title…it’s not that you all missed me, it’s all these animals missed me! My bird was so stressed out at birdie-sitting that he didn’t touch his regular food and only ate his treat millet. 😦 he also lost .2 ounces, which is like 5 lbs to humans. That scared me since he’s 14 years old! Shoving walnuts down him to fatten him up!!! He’s also wanted to become my second skin and crawl under mine any possible moment. Under my chin, back of neck, palm of hand, he even crawled in my sleeve the other day. He’s gone crazy! Must contain the birdie love…
The other guy who missed me was Mr. Higgley. He was whining at my desk all morning and would not leave me alone! Hard to get work done when you have a bulldog DEMANDING your attention.
Today was not a good day though. I thought it awesome that I can order pizza online so I got a GF no cheese pizza from Bellagio’s. as I was eating it I thought wow this GF crust tastes just….like….the…. Um…. GRRRR!!!! Called them up and ask how they tell the difference between Gluten Free and Gluten FULL… They totally gave me the wrong crust!!! O.o
I ate a whole slice too. :(… That is the most gluten I’ve eaten in 2 years. I instantly felt this lump in my stomach. Then gradually felt it digest….I don’t normally feel my food digesting….so this is not good. I was curious to see what my body would do. The worst part was the achy joints later in the day and the extreme fatigue. I’ve been laying in bed pretty much since I got home. I did ask for a refund and a GF pizza. I actually like GF crust way better.
I think Higgley was feeling sorry for me too cuz he totally tossed his doggie cookies today. He looked so sad afterwards! We were both a hot mess.

While I was waiting for my second pizza, my co-worker and I went for a walk along the bluff in Oregon City. Such a pretty day. It’s hard to believe all this industrial ruins will one day be retail and condos! That’s a lot of work coming within the next few years. BTW I heard this waterfall is the widest waterfall next to Niagara in the US. Hard to believe, I haven’t researched it either but I thought it a cool fact.

And last picture for today is last nights sunset (bottom pic) and tonight’s (top pic). I was closing up everything when I saw how beautiful the sunset was tonight! I was trying to load the 4990 photos from the wedding I took in San Antonio this weekend and so I had to use my iPhone for tonight’s shot. The bottom shot was with my new camera. Canon T5i. I LOVE IT! More pics and reviews on it and my new camera bag coming soon….
Time to rest these achy bones. TTFN!


Posted by on July 30, 2013 in A day in the life of Jeni


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10 things you didn’t know about me…


I’ve been thinking of doing a “10 things you didn’t know about me” for a while. But after I saw this quote a friend of mine sent me it just sealed the deal.
I’ll just start right in because I’m tired and want to head to bed soon. πŸ™‚

10) I played violin for 8 years starting in 4th or 5th grade all the way up to Spokane Jr. Symphony. Playing in the opera house in front of a few hundred people is slightly nerve wracking! But playing in a quartet for summer camp is a close second!

(This pic was the last day I had super long hair…I had to rest for a while in the beginning of this song).

9) I make some of my own jewelry. I LOVE going into bead shops and seeing all the cool crazy designs people can make. πŸ™‚

(This was my hair after I chopped it…this was when I was a teenager…in a Seattle Pike Place bead shop)

8) I was voted most likely to be on Jerry Springer in my senior yearbook…. My friends must of thought I was pretty crazy! I was on the yearbook staff (main photographer where I developed black and whites all year long) and that was the only way I made the “most likely” list. :-p

7) I am the youngest out of my entire immediate family…it was kinda lame. I always got people in trouble with my naΓ―vety.


6) I’m totally into cars! I grew up in a family (mom excluded) that lived, slept, breathed cars. My dad restores old British cars. ’59 MGA, MGB GT, MG TD, and a few others… I was more into muscle cars (sorry dad…they go faster). My cousin was/is? a car salesman, so he would frequently let me test drive the latest and greatest. Unfortunately I was unskilled at a manual at that time. But I learned. πŸ™‚


(This is my dad’s MGA…it was a rusty frame in a farmers field when he first got it).

5) I’ve owned birds since I was 10. Started out with parakeets. My first one I taught to talk. He would say “pretty bird” and do a cat call while looking in the mirror. Soo conceited!! But he was awesome. :-] All parakeets following were not so smart but definitely had personality. Specially the one I hated…and he lived the longest just to spite me. He would SCREAM his head off until I put him back in the cage. For 5 whole years I could not hold my bird!! When I moved to Alaska I gave him to my neighbor to have and he died 4 days after I left. Maybe his little bitter heart got broken. :-(… But my peaches is the ULTIMATE coolest bird I’ve owned!


4) I’m a Drafter. I draw on AutoCad engineered drawings. The field I love is Civil, but I’ve also worked in mechanical, structural, electrical, utilities, surveying, aviation/transportation…just a little of everything. The coolest projects I got to work on were road jobs. I designed 3 roads (two took two years each), one was VERY convenient for me since it was a short cut from my work to my bible classes in AK. So all those late hours I had to work I could still make it to class in less than 5 minutes. πŸ˜‰

(I did the site plan for this building in Alaska. My first high rise!)

3) I inherited a southern accent from who knows where?!? It comes on me when I’m nervous mostly. But I’ve never stepped foot in the south before. (Hopefully one day I’ll get to go!) I have other accents that I can mimmic too like a very bad English accent and some others also know as Gibberish Mumbling… I remember one time I wasn’t even trying to do an accent and someone asked where I was from…The same city they asked me in. LOL!
I do have Swedish ancestors though… So I’m slightly foreign….like a few times removed….


2) I hate cooking… And you probably thought I loved it since most my blog posts are about food. πŸ˜‰
I used to love baking. But I’m trying to keep my girlish figure, so I try to keep away from sweets.
The reason I post all these recipes is because if you look up “gluten free” in a search engine, must of the time a dessert pops up…Hello?!? WE DO NOT SURVIVE ON SUGAR ALONE! Give me some main dish please! So this is mainly to help others who are frustrated with the lack of solid food for allergy sufferers.

(Taken at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood Alaska, a must see if you are traveling to Alaska on vacation!)

1) I barely passed high school but got a 3.9 GPA in college. I knew what I wanted to do and I went for it. Although I had to finish high school to get there. My Current World Affairs teacher gave me such a hard time because he knew I had potential but didn’t try. One day I was falling asleep in his class so he told me to stand up… Thankfully I sat in the back of the room. The German exchange student felt sooo bad for me she tried to convince me he’d let me sit down. Ha! I asked, he denied. Then I realized I could see the board standing up so I started taking notes. Mr. Bowden looked at me sideways and gave me a smirk. LOL! He was a teacher you could tell cared. Thanks Mr. Bowden wherever you are! πŸ˜€
My favorite subjects were Math and Science…naturally why I chose engineering to go into for a career. I could never do simple math though, I LOVED the long drawn out complex problems. Don’t quiz me today though…it’s been a while!
I HATED English classes! Would always fall asleep in them too, teacher didn’t care… Funny how I can write so easily though….but to speak I freeze up and am very shy. I guess writing lets me speak whats on my mind without having to worry about the reactions I’ll get? I haven’t quite figured that one out…


So there you have it. A day in the memory banks of Jeni. πŸ˜‰


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Drink of Choice


I seem to be regimented when at work on things I drink throughout the day. But at home on the weekend is another story. But one thing is consistent…au natural….

I have come a loooooong way to how I used to eat and drink when I lived in the frozen north (aka Alaska). I don’t know how I survived the way I ate. I’m just glad to be on this side.
My mom since I was a child consumes Diet Coke morning, noon, and night. When I was a kid I thought that awesome that when I grow up I could eat cookies and have a soda for breakfast. Haha! That is soooo bad for you! I used to hate coffee then too. Oh how the tables have turned!

(Picture source: unknown)
Yesterday I managed to make it halfway through the day on my protein smoothie (mango lemonade, orange, 2 lemons, apple, spinach, chia seeds, bee pollen, and protein powder). But man was I tired! Of course more sleep would help…novel concept!
But coffee seems to be my drink of choice. It’s got antioxidants so therefore it’s good for you. πŸ™‚
I used to like lattes, but it became too sweet for me. After going off dairy, adding soy to a Starbucks bumps up the price… So I just go brewed coffee and I bring my own powdered creamer (yes I know it’s not the best for you, but it’s better TASTING than all the other alternatives).

Brewed coffee at Starbucks is way cheaper than a latte! And believe it or not, there’s more caffeine…I just saved you a buck or two. πŸ˜‰
My next drink of choice is tea, I usually start a cup at 10:30ish. So by the time 2-3pm rolls around I’m ready for my next Cup of Joe. ~D
Teas I like lately are Tazo Zen, Stash Meyer Lemon, Stash Jasmine Green, Stash Chai, Teavana Silver Yin Zhen Pearls. It’s just based on mood which one I choose. And in-between all the coffee and tea is H2O! (With my “snake oils” to boost flavor). One of the ways I get more water into my day is taking my vitamins with it. With how many vitamins I take, it’s easy to get in a good 24 ounces at least in my day. But to get 48-60 ounces is better!
It’s important to stay hydrated, with more natural drinks. If you can’t pronounce it, I’m sure your gut won’t recognize it either!
Enjoy the summer and drink up!



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Summer Cold Remedy

Well this week I decided to repeat my soup from last week except I made minor tweaks of adding ginger, lots more garlic (I could smell it when I returned home from my errands) and black eyed peas. It smelled wonderful!!

As the title states, I feel like I’m getting sick…and at the worst possible timing. I thank my co-worker who shared this nasty bug with me. I’ve just been achy all day and felt like my head was going to explode this morning…and my “neglected” bird (he just thinks he’s neglected if I go to the other room without him) was NOT HELPING my headache. I think he knows when to pull on that cord…and you would think he would back off after the first time getting in trouble…maybe that’s where the “bird brain” comes into play…

Anyway I loaded up on the vitamin C at New Seasons Market. Got some strawberries, Valencia oranges, pink lady apples, and some lemons. I forgot some fresh ginger!! >< DOH!
One other treat I had found instead of cough drops were these organic lemon and honey drops. No artificial anything. I also snagged a pomegranate flavor too. Both taste very yummy, not too sweet to twinge your fillings, but just right!


Ok, my recipes for this week are not the typicals… They are cold remedies. One is sweet and the other spicy, but it only burns for a few minutes. πŸ˜‰

First the sweet:
Elderberry Tea
β€’ 2 tsp Sambucus Elderberry Extract
β€’ 1/2 organic fresh squeezed lemon
β€’ 1 tsp RAW honey (local preferred)
β€’ warm purified water

Start warming your water to an almost boil.
Add elderberry extract, honey, lemon juice to a mug of choice, then add the warm water. You could even use a pinch of sea salt to help with the inflammation! But it’s important to not boil the water because it will take away from all the natural antibiotics in the honey and the anti-viral in the elderberry extract.
Drink this about 2-3 times a day depending on if you are preventing or actually feel the sickness coming on.

Now for the spicy:
Cough Remedy
ΒΌ teaspoon Cayenne
ΒΌ teaspoon Ginger (I used powdered)
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar (an organic one, like Bragg’s, is preferred.)
2 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon raw local Honey

Dissolve cayenne and ginger in cider vinegar and water. Add honey and shake well. Take 1 Tablespoon as needed for cough. (Warning: warming sensation down your throat!)
Note: this doesn’t dissolve perfectly. Always shake well before using.

If you make this in small batches as the recipe is written, there is no need to refrigerate.
If you prefer, you may refrigerate this. It keeps as long as you need it. I like to make small batches (it is so easy to mix up.) and use it up in a just a few days.

So pick your poison, but I’m gonna beat this as natural as possible. Oh one more potion I’m going to try, (I haven’t tried it yet because I haven’t been sick in a long time). It’s the dōTerra OnGuard essential oil blend and I’m hoping will be the magic key. I just have to get a hold of my rep so I can skip the shipping time. I think they ship pretty fast, but I need this like pronto and don’t want to pay the expedited shipping if you know what I mean.

** hopefully the link for the dōTerra site works, the website was doing maintenance at the time I copied the link. The link I was trying to grab gives a small discount if you make an account, which I think on a single oil covers shipping, but for multiple oils is a better bargain.


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Crate and Barrel, Ferrari’s, and the perfect egg

To start off my post I’ll give my recipe, and then the fun stuff at the end. πŸ˜‰
Yesterday I went to get my hair done near Bridgeport Village. (Which is the elite/ritzy mall….but also has great GF/DF food!) After my appointment I headed over to Crate & Barrel to just look around and ask about something I’ve been wanting for a long time! Unfortunately the smaller (and cheaper) size does not do what I am looking for… So I kept walking. I found a mini spatula and a nifty egg timer. Big spender, I know. πŸ˜‰
I am HORRIBLE at cooking a hard boiled egg, it’s either gel in the yolk or green from killing it. So the egg timer is a hopeful.

I tried it this morning and it worked!! I like a hard yolk so this was perfect. πŸ™‚

Today for lunch I decided to make an egg salad sandwich. It’s been since I was a kid since I’ve had one! I had to look up how to make it it’s been so long. :-p Here’s my version of it.

Egg Salad Sandwich
β€’ 4 slices Gluten Free Bread (they are small….so if you are hungry, it takes 2 to make a thing go right!)
β€’ 4 hard boiled eggs
β€’ miracle whip (or mayo if you are a hater of the tangy zip)
β€’ 1 small shallot, peeled & diced
β€’ fresh chives, chopped
β€’ Fresh spinach
β€’ dash of Trader Joes “21 season salute”
β€’ dash of Trader Joes Smoked Paprika
β€’ Salt & Pepper to taste

How To:
Toast bread.
Wash spinach & chives then pat dry.
Peel and clean eggs, mash mash mash.
Add spices, shallots, chives, stir stir stir.
Add mayo like substance, stir stir stir.
Add some mayo to bread, lay down a layer of spinach, add Egg Salad on top.
Complete sandwich.
Eat eat eat! Molt, expand, repeat!
I actually had enough left over for one more sandwich, so it could serve 3 people. πŸ™‚


Ok now for the fun stuff. Here are a few things that are WAYYYY outta my price range, but very petty. πŸ˜€










So now you are probably wondering where the Ferrari comes in… I happened to park next to it at Crate & Barrel. I decided to take pictures when I was leaving so security wouldn’t cart me away before I got a bite to eat. πŸ˜‰


My red car is in the background. Don’t they look sooo much alike?!? His rims are way better…and the horse emblem got left off when they assembled my car too. Lol! :-p
Happy Summer!! πŸ˜€


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Summer chicken bean soup

This weekend I realized what true exhaustion really is! There were guests coming from afar (and not family, so deep cleaning is a must!) I am so glad I snatched up a Living Social deal for a cleaning lady. It really helped make my Wednesday more enjoyable. Plus having someone to talk to while you clean helps keep you accountable to cleaning! (No resting and pinning on Pinterest!)
I did so much in-town driving too taking friends to the homes they would be staying at, it was nice to have the one-on-one chat time with them.
On Thursday night I was at a friends house who lived in fireworks city! Just about every other house was lighting them off! That was pretty neat since I was thinking I wasn’t going to be able to see any this year with the events I was going to. But the drive home was kinda scary! Trying to pry your eyes open with someone chatting away while you are trying to focus on staying on the road and watching out for drunk drivers was quite a challenge! When I got home I passed out on the couch with bird in hand (he was happy about that).
Friday was more relaxed day and fun to spend the last moments with my friends. A big group of us went up to Pittock Mansion to check out the view and then Red Robin for dinner.
So after all that my Saturday was pretty lazy other than laundry. It’s nice to have an already clean home. :-]

I forced myself to make a salad, (why is salad always better when someone else makes it??) and I got some reading in while working on tanning my arms, and painting my nails.
By the end of the day I’m beat, but didn’t want to have to pick up take-out tomorrow. So here’s what I came up with in my half conscious creativity…smells good! πŸ˜€


Summer Chicken Bean Soup

β€’ 2 frozen chicken breasts
β€’ 32 oz. liquid chicken stock (Costco)
β€’ 5 cups water
β€’ 2 cans great northern white beans, rinsed and drained
β€’ 6 oz. frozen peas
β€’ 3 celery stalks, chopped
β€’ 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
β€’ 1 white onion, chopped
β€’ 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
β€’ 1 can diced green chilies
β€’ 1/2 tsp dried thyme
β€’ 1 tsp dried parsley
β€’ 3/4 tsp sea salt
β€’ 1/2 tsp pepper
β€’ 1/4 tsp cayenne

In crockpot add all ingredients and cook for 4 hours. At end, shred chicken with a fork, stir and serve.
Total no brainer!
It may not look too appealing with the peas but I like it. (Omit peas if that pleases you).

Getting some kitty cuddle time in. :-}
πŸ’—”I think I’m in luv”πŸ’—


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