Chicken + Lime Soup

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.So I’ve been trying out a new diet plan, Weight Watchers actually… and I’ve dropped 25 lbs. and counting. My diet has been largely successful because of this soup. I make it in large quantities and then freeze it for later use. I first found the recipe here on BudgetBytes.com and then modified it to meet my particular tastes.  It’s really great comfort food without the guilt and it’ll make noses turn in envy towards your direction. It’s super easy. Try it out and tell me how much you love it.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.

INGREDIENTS: (I typically double my recipe for larger quantities to freeze for later, below is the recipe without doubling the ingredients)

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 medium/large yellow onion
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 1 med jalapeno
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb of chicken breast
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of organic roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 TBSP cumin
  • 1 medium lime
  • OPTION: 1 avocado

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeno (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeno before dicing). Mince your garlic (try not to use “lazy garlic” that’s already minced in the can – too much sodium). Get out your big ole pot and cook the onion, celery, and jalapeno, with the garlic and olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until everything gets a little tender.
  2. Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, cream of chicken, canned tomatoes, oregano, and cumin to the pot. Bring the whole thing to a boil over high heat and then reduce it on down to low heat. Place the lid on top and let ‘er simmer for an hour.
  3. After simmering for an hour, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat.  Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze in the juice from one lime, get as much out of it as you can, and scrape the inside of the lime into the pot.
  4. Give it a stir and add your diced avocado to each bowl.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.

THE DIRTY DETAILS:

If you follow along with Weight Watchers, I have calculated that 1 ladle equals approximately 2 points. I divide my soup into serving sizes for freezer storage. 3 ladles = 6 points, which equals approximately 1 serving (in my book).  This is perfect for lunch when you don’t have much time to make something or can’t stand to grab another microwave lunchable. Your insides will thank you.

Something new that I learned, if you look for spices on the ethnic aisle, I have found spices in larger quantities anywhere from $1-$2 cheaper than on the spice aisle. If you’re like me and you shop on budget, this can make a world of difference. And you can get those spices you didn’t think you really wanted to splurge on.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.Alright, go on and tell me how much you love it. Oh yeah, go get a spork!

Guest Post: Mary Kay Spring Essentials

Have you ever used Mary Kay Cosmetics or Skincare? Did you think it was your mother’s make-up brand—old school? One of my besties, Kat, convinced me otherwise and she’s here to convince you too. Check out all the great essentials you’ll need for Spring. I’m certainly adding some of these to my Checkout Basket and getting in touch with Kat right NOW!

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Spring and summer are the best times to create a new look for you! Get out of the cold, darkness and spring into the new fun colors of Spring! Mary Kay has some amazing new products available that are a must have for any woman’s skincare routine!  Below I’ve outlined the newest products and some of my favorites. Mary Kay has done wonders for me and the perfect product is out there for you- no matter what your skincare concern or need may be!MARY KAY_spring1

1.  CREAM EYE SHADOWS  $14 each —- These eye shadows are simply amazing- there’s no better way to describe them! With four fun new colors you can play and brighten up you whole look. Wear it alone, or mix and layer the colors. This cream is light, easy to apply with just the swipe of a finger or brush, isn’t sticky, and stays put all day! NO CREASING OR WEARING OFF!!! These eye shadows can also be used as a primer under other colors. Colors available: NEW: Coastal Blue, Meadow Grass, Violet Storm, Metallic Taupe.  Original colors: Apricot twist, Beach Blonde, Pale Blush, Glacier Grey, Iced Cocoa (shown above).

2.  MARY KAY NAIL LAQUER  $9 each —- This nail polish puts ESSIE to the test! I had never used Mary Kay nail polish but I couldn’t resist these fun spring colors! I first used the PINK BAMBOO (shown above)and I was so happy. The color was bright and shiny- I didn’t even use a top coat. It stayed true through showers, hand washing, dish washing, you name it! I went 10 days before I saw even the slightest chip or sign of wear. I had so many compliments on how wonderful my nails looked- and I’ve been telling everyone since!

3.  MARY KAY LIP LAQUER (with brush)  $16 —- This little product has found a permanent new home in my purse! I take it everywhere. Both colors are fabulous alone or mixed with your favorite Mary Kay Nourishine Lip Gloss. My favorite combo is the Neutral Lip liner with the Chai Latte Lip Laquer. It gives such a natural color, with the perfect shine and finish. And did I mention moisturizing? My lips feel soft and smooth all day- never dried out and wrinkled like other lip glosses. The Pink pagoda is fun and bright when you need a little pick me up! I always mix it with my Fancy Nancy Nourishine lip gloss.

4.  LIMITED EDITION EYE PALETTE  $20 —- This eye palette has three fun colors to help you achieve the perfect look for Spring! Mix and match and blend the gold with the green and blue depending on your mood/outfit, and have them all in one place! This palette fits perfectly into the limited edition Mary Kay 50th Anniversary Compact ($16). The compact also holds 3 individual mineral eye colors and a cheek color! The compact is a must have for any woman on the go!. Small and easy to slip into a purse, clutch, or pocket!

5.  MAKE UP FINISHING SPRAY $18 each —- It’s getting warmer outside and soon you’ll be out by the pool, beach or lake, or just enjoying the warm sun in the park… Make sure your perfect new look stays put and water resistant with this new finishing spray. Just two sprays before you leave will help to keep your make up in place all day! No need to worry about sweating or getting splashed!MARY KAY_spring2

6.  FOUNDATION PRIMER  $16 each —- This is by far one of my favorite products! After your daily skincare routine, rub a little of this magic between your fingers and then lightly swipe/rub it all over your face. Its so silky smooth! The primer helps to minimize the appearance of pores and creates a more even skin tone. It smoothes out the skin and creates the perfect palette/canvas for you to put on your makeup. It also helps to minimize oil and keep your make up in place all day! Sometimes I’ll just slap some on and run out the door- its wonderful to just wear alone!  (This is a must have if you have problems with concealer creasing, flaking, or wearing off during the day. Use it under the Mineral Powder foundation for an absolutely FLAWLESS looking complexion.)

7.  TIME WISE MIRACLE SET  $90 —- It’s in the name… MIRACLE! This simple skin care routine does just as it’s named- works miracles! I’ve struggled with not so perfect skin my entire life. I’ve tried Pro-Active, Everything over the counter, Clinique, and even was on Accutane from the dermatologist for two years! NOTHING got my skin as clear as it is now.  I started using this skin care routine and with in a matter of weeks I could see a world of difference. My skin was not only clear or blemishes, but also looked brighter and more even! My friends and family all began to notice too and would ask me about what I had started to do differently. This set includes 3 in 1 Cleanser, Moisturizer, Day solution and night solution.  The 3 in 1 Cleanser has a cleanser, exfoliant, and toner all in one! One step to clean skin! Then follow with the awesome moisturizer- a happy little drink for your skin. The last easy step it the day/night solution. These two work with your skin depending on the time of day, to prevent damage from the elements and repair what may have already been done. The day solution has an SPF of 30 and fights against sun, pollution, and daily stress. The night solution is a calming soft serum that works while you sleep to repair damage from the day and prevent the signs of aging. A perfect complexion for under $100- can’t beat that!

8.  TIME WISE MICRODERMABRASION  $55 —- This is definitely a customer favorite. Tired of paying upwards to $75 + for a facial at the spa? Then don’t! Do it at home, at your own convenience for around $1 per application! This set has a MicroDermabrasion scrub and Replenishing Serum to rejuvenate and smooth your skin. After cleansing, pat face dry and then re-moisten. Using about a dime- nickel sized amount, begin rubbing the exfoliant on your face in small circles. I like to start on my cheeks and work my way up my nose and then to my forehead and chin. Focus on rough areas, blemish prone areas, oily areas, or areas where you may have blackheads. Continue rubbing in small, gentle circles until you feel like you have properly exfoliated your face. Gently wash face with warm water and make sure all scrub is removed. Pat face dry- you will already be able to feel a difference in the smoothness and softness of your face! Then use a squirt or two of the replenishing serum and gently swipe up your face and around to give your skin a nice drink. (your face may appear slightly pink and you may feel a slight tingly sensation, but that is just the product working it’s magic). If you wish, continue with your moisturizer or day/night solution.

9.  TIME WISE REPAIR SET  $199 —- This set is truly the CADILLAC of all skin care! We have compared it to other equivalent products from those “other” skin care companies and this has the best customer satisfaction and value around! (other sets are at least $100-$200 more!). For any age, This set has 5 different products for you to use. It is like the time wise miracle set on steroids. The difference is RETINOL! It cleanses, evens, protects and repairs but on a higher stronger level. Sun damage? Gone. Wrinkles showing up? Vanished! Dark circles or puffiness around the eyes? Poof! The cleanser washes away not only the stress and make up for the day, but works to repair yesterday and the day before! The volume lift serum is a healthy drink for tired skin, making it firmer and brighter, and of course repairing damage! The day and night solutions work the same as the Miracle set, just overtime! My favorite by far is the volufirm eye renewal cream. This is magic! Dark circles and puffiness around the eyes in the morning? Not anymore- I use this every morning and in a matter of minutes, my eyes are brighter and ready for the day. I look like I’m a well rested princess. The key is the special ingredients and the specially created metal applicator. Its cool and smooth, like a gentle massage for your eyes. The Mary Kay developers used the same science that boxers use- magnesium and zinc to control swelling and dark spots during boxing matches. You can imagine what wonders it will work for simple sleepy eyes, if originally it was designed for black eyes! This set is well worth the money. Originally $250, now only $199, doesn’t your skin deserve the best

10.  MARY KAY EYE MAKEUP REMOVER  $15 —- All the beauty magazines are raving about this eye makeup remover. No pulling, rubbing or oily mess with this! It easily and effortlessly removes all types of eye makeup- including that tough waterproof mascara. Just dab a little bit on a cotton ball and wipe it all away! (it also works to remove sharpie, pen, and other tough stains off skin and clothing). Your skin doesn’t feel red, rough, or oily when done, just clean and soft.MARY KAY_spring3

11.  MARY KAY LASH LOVE MASCARA  $15 —- For long lashes, that are full and beautiful, this is the product for you! I often get asked if I have false lashes when I’m wearing it! The specially developed brush is the key factor in this amazing mascara. It is made of a soft silicone that grabs the lashes and separates them, while applying the perfect amount of lengthening and volumizing mascara. Lashes feel soft, not hard and crunchy, and mascara stays all day- no flaking or running. All Mary Kay mascaras are water resistant, so no worries if you find a sudden rainstorm or cry, but for those water filled days at the pool or beach, Waterproof is available!

12.  TRUE DIMENSIONS LIP COLOR $18 —- Soft, smooth, shiny lipstick that doesn’t instantly wipe off with a sip of coffee. True Dimensions comes in so many wonderful colors- it’s hard to pick just one! I use natual beaute for my daily, natural look. It has just enough pink to give me color, but not so much that it’s over powering. For night or a more dramatic look- I use the Firecracker or sizzling red. Such vibrant colors that don’t stain or fade, and don’t leave my lips feeling dry- it’s a no brainer!

13.  NOURISHINE LIP GLOSS $14 —- Every Woman needs a good lip gloss, for a fast and easy- on the go, out the door look. A good lip gloss can completely brighten your appearance, even if you have nothing else on! There is color available for everyone and they easily mix and blend with the lipsticks and the lip laquers. This is one item I NEVER leave home without. My favorite is Fancy Nancy, however I do love Au Natural, and Red Passion.

14.  MINERAL POWDER FOUNDATION $18 —- Want that flawless, perfect complexion look? Well search no further! This Mineral powder foundation works with your skin to create a smooth, even, flawless look! When partnered with the foundation primer and some concealer, you’ll achieve the perfect look. Just a gentle dip, tap, and swirl of the brush and you’re on your way. This powder is incredibly light, you’ll soon forget you’re even wearing it! The powder works with your skin tone to blend and balance rough or discolored spots and create the flawless look you’ve been searching for! (foundation brushes are just $10 and are essential with the mineral powder foundation)

15.  MARY KAY 5 PIECE BRUSH SET $55 —- This set has all the brushes a woman needs to create her perfect look! The 5 different brushes are specially created to apply whichever product you’re using perfectly and easily. Get your cheek color just right, your foundation perfectly applied, achieve the perfect eye shadow color blend, all with the flick of your wrist and a Mary Kay brush in your hand! Brushes also help keep contamination and bacteria to a minimum. Mary Kay also offers a fabulous brush cleaner for only $10! Just spray a little on the brush, wipe it across a paper towel or wash cloth to remove any product, and lay flat to dry!

These are just the newest items and my top 15 favorites! Feel free to contact me (KGCagle@marykay.com) or Allison with any questions or specific skin care concerns and I will find you exactly what you need! All Mary Kay items are 100% satisfaction guaranteed- so you can feel safe and confident that you will find something you will Love!

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Email Kat at KGCagle@marykay.com

And check out the full May Kay website here.

Warning Letter

I think this probably speaks for itself but I still “LOL’d” when I saw this. Every office has that one person who has to have things a particular way. I think it’s hilarious when I find random warning letter’s scattered about the office. P.S. Have a nice day 🙂

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Today I am thankful for: going on a two mile run. It felt good. Didn’t stop once.

Spring Break: Day 1

Day 1 of Spring Break has come and gone and I’m already exhausted and I wasn’t even doing any of the hard work. We decided after a leisurely morning of sleeping in (gasp) and watching a little Sebring (no judgements, please — it’s classy racing) that we would have a productive day and take the kayak out.  We went to the Mulberry and it was a perfect day. The weather had to have been in the mid-80s with beautiful blue skies and icy cold water.

This is one of the old bridges that crosses over the Mulberry. It’s closed to cars now… and probably for good reason. But I love the beautiful rusted steel.

The hard work and play time of the day…

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Today I am thankful for: lifejackets and a boyfriend who looks out for me more than himself when floating down stream.

Listening to: Alexi Murdoch Pandora Radio Station

Trying to Re-Create Your Resume?

Last semester for class research, my friend and I decided that we would email architecture firms and see what their expectations were when looking at post-graduate resumes. As I am about to start looking over my own resume and I thought their comments might be helpful for you as well. Something to Note: These comments were from local South Carolina architecture firms. It should not be assumed that these comments are the consensus for all business types; however, they are more particular towards design firms.

What are the least effective attributes of a resume?

  • Long verbal descriptions….self lauditory claims.
  • OVERUSE OF GRAPHICS. THE PORTFOLIO SHOULD CONTAIN YOUR GRAPHIC EXPERTISE.
  • Personal logos Too personalized Too theoretical Design philosophy
  • Unnecessary graphics. Listing professors as references.
  • Incorrect spelling
  • Lengthly resumes that go into too much detail
  • Objectives and references
  • One that makes the reader rotate the page to read
  • Over design to impress
  • References
  • Students who want to add personal style
  • When people try to be cute or clever and complicate the conveyance of info
  • Do not attempt to “flower up” work experience, be factual. Highlight strong skills and work ethic.
  • Format that is not 8-1/2 x 11 size, not a professional format, too much emphasis on showing off your graphic design skills, and project examples that read as meaningless graphics.
  • Meaningless words, for example including an objective section that is so obvious that its insulting. it is very ineffective when a resume works so hard to be different but doesn’t pull it off with superb craftsmanship.

What advice can you give to recent architecture graduates regarding resume development?

  • Be clear and concise
  • Do not be afraid to show some of your work. Use photography to exhibit your skill and experience
  • Make sure that you do not have any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.
  • SIMPLIFY
  • Focus on work exp
  • Maintain a positive attitude in the printed presentation as well as the personal presentation.
  • Subscribe to Before and After Magazine (bandamagazine.com) or start looking at graphic design blogs online, and learn how to do things that are simple and beautiful. write competent-sounding, interesting and interested-sounding cover letters. the way you write is a huge part of the way the employer views you. always use the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. dont ever, ever, ever use drafting dots on your portfolio or resume. it is not cute or clever. dont include teeny tiny text or images. text should be legible but not oversized, images should be big enough to really do justice to the work. i would never recommend putting more than 4 images on an 8.5×11 sheet of paper. one is best. up to three is fine if they are related to each other. dont come up with some fancy format for your portfolio and then dump millions of pictures and graphics into it. people want to see your work, beautifully displayed. they dont want to see a complex format that makes the work difficult to see. Finally, dont think the resume or portfolio will stand for themselves. they are just your passport to get in the door. what you are selling is YOU, so its the person-to-person contact, whether over the phone or in person, that’s going to get you hired. call once to twice a week until you get either an interview or a ‘not interested’. always be supremely respectful of them and their time in your communication with them.
  • I PREFER CANDIATES WHO HAVE WORKED CONSTRUCTION OR IN ARCHITECTURE OFFICE. OUR INTERNS START OUT ON WORKING DRAWINGS, NOT DESIGN WORK
  • Have someone outside the profession review (and proof read) your materials. Anyone should be able to understand the intent of the document. Keep things concise. If you do not have direct experience then look into highlighting continuing education or conferences attended.
  • Get real work/life experience Get Revit/BIM trained Show passion Show leadership Show intelligence/GPA
  • Don’t spend so much time and effort trying to come up with some tricky graphic design and odd format printed on unique paper. You will not be hired based on your skills as a graphic designer so just give us a direct, clear and concise summary of your qualifications and best architectural work to date.
  • Work on the pictures, computer skills,and enthusiasm. Try to look competent….not flashy. Good luck!
  • Make your resume read as easily as a business student’s resume, kick it up with well though out fonts, page structure, etc
  • Be creative, but don’t get too cute. Use the spell check function before finalizing. If there are specific areas of interest, include that in your cover letter.
  • A resume is useless unless you get it to the person that matters. when possible, present your resume in person and ask for 5 minutes to say hello. you will likely be remember more easily. strong, relevant references are important.

Template(1)

Template(2)

Template(3)

Template(4)

Interestingly enough, when asked which resume firms preferred (between Template 1-4); firms almost always chose the simple plain, basic one to any other that was more creative or had slight variations in color or design. They want boring. I just really don’t want to give it to them. I’m such a rebel.

Birmingham, AL: The Mountain

 

Y’all. You have to check out this new radio station that’s local to Birmingham, AL. They play some of the best music EVER. Some of it’s underground, some is 90s, some is local stuff, some Indie Rock, and some alternative music. Do you remember Reg’s Coffee House? He’s on there too! Oh, it’s the best EVER!

The Mountain

Birmingham's Best 2010

The Mountain was actually nominated as the BEST radio station in Birmingham. AND they aren’t even on the Radio! They are only online. GENIUS. Check out all of Birmingham’s Best here. I agree with some of the list, not so much with others. Nonetheless… It’s still a pretty good list.

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Today I am thankful for: Awesome new music found by my boyfriend.

 

We were in search of a Lake…

Not too long ago we were Echola, AL… in search of a lake. Always a lake… So we took a few detours. We did a little off-roading, managing not to get stuck because we kept on moving. The advice given to me was to never stop, keep moving, and don’t get stuck. Words of wisdom.

So after that quick little jaunt, we kept pressing forward to find Lake Lurleen ( a lake that could only be seen by my friends iPhone). And yet we were in a place, out in the sticks of Alabama hoping to find good finds. And we did.

Who knew we would come across a board meeting? I like this… all pretense fading–nothing stuffy and abnoxious about this. Maybe more board meetings should be like this.

I love that there is a suggestion box. It makes me so happy for some reason. I should keep one by my desk.

And then, after much anticipation… WE FOUND THE LAKE. It was quite pretty. No one was around — and I mean, NO ONE. I think that it would be much more enjoyable if we had been there in the summer time. They have a “beach” and everything. And it was a state park… in the middle of nowhere. Who knew? I love roadtrips. Maybe I can go on one this weekend in honor of MLK.

p.s. I have to go back to school tomorrow. I think the snow came 3 days too early. I was hoping we would at least get to start back next tuesday. Wishful thinking… as always.

Long Beach, MS: Darwell’s Café

So there is this awesome cafe that my dad took me to when went and visited Gulfport, MS. I think it’s actually located in Long Beach — but that’s neither here nor there… He told me that this is the local hot spot and they serve the best food… EVER. And guess what ?? They have even been on Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dive’s.

The Place: Darwell’s Cafe

The Mission: To serve Bad Ass food to all who seek it.

The Menu: see below

Darwell's Cafe Menu

I never saw this menu when I walked in the door. I just saw a bunch of things on old-school neon colored Poster Board.

So we ordered our food, (which you’ll see a bit later) and then we go to get our drinks. And who serves them up? None other than Young Darwell, himself. My dad gets his typical Styrofoam cup; however, for all of the women who come in get their very own personalized cup that has been drawn on by Papa Darwell — who hangs out at this hotspot as well.  How cool is that? Oh, and this is the best part… they don’t have Rootbeer on “tap” so they serve it ice cold out of the can. Darwell told me that I could have as many as I wanted AND that I could even take 1 or 2 for the road when we left. Ahhhhhh, I love this place.

AAC Darwell CupsYep, you have to be jealous.

AAC Blackened Dish

My dad ordered the shrimp, crabmeat, and blackened beeftips. It was a special and maybe one of the best dishes I have ever had. I, typically, don’t order anything blackened because all too often chef’s seemingly think that blackened means burning whatever it is that you are cooking. Well well well. Not at Darwell’s. The beef was absolutely de-vine and it was seasoned to perfection (Oh, Mr. Darwell — tell me your secrets). The crab meat was perfectly tender and the shrimp was literally to die for. YUM.

AAC Cheeseburger Club Sandwich

This my friends is a Cheeseburger Club Sandwich. I, unknowingly, didn’t go with delicious seafood but went with something a bit unusual. A Cheeseburger Club Sandwich. It had grilled sliced ham and lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, maybe some bacon (I don’t remember) and a cheeseburger, of course. I was so delighfully surprised. Now, I know, that the best burger is an Awesome Burger. See this post. But this has to be a very very close second. Oh, it was so good. My dad and I split our meals so that we could share … somewhat equally — he’s a good sharer. I. Am. Not.

The atmosphere is great. They come and find you when your food is ready. It’s both indoors and outdoors. We ate indoors. But in both places you’ll find your share of really great Kitche Artwork. And outside you’ll see some sign that were left over from when Hurricane Katrina passed through Long Beach, MS.

AAC Darwell's Indoors

AAC Darwell's Outdoors

Ok now a video that you will just want to see so that you can go down to Darwell’s with more than just my word. Let’s go with someone famous… like Guy Fieri. You have to believe him, because I say so.

I guess Anthony Bourdain said it right —  and these guys listened. A big thank you to Darwell’s from me and my Pop’s. It was lovely. Check them out here!!

Mr. Anthony Bourdain

via

“When you let pleasure control your life and not your life control pleasure, you’ll find great passion.”

– Anthony Bourdain

My father and I are true Anthony Bourdain junkies. As well as all my friends, family, boyfriend, dog, food lover’s-of-the-like… the list goes on. We own his books, own his shows, watch him endlessly on the Travel Channel, and even follow him on facebook (shame… I know). WE would love to travel next to him and dine with him on one of his crazy adventures. But I think I can write up a few of my own. In any case, when it boils down to it… I love that man.

Have a lovely Monday. PLTW.