Showing posts with label google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label google. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ditalini Soup

We've been on a soup kick at our house lately. It's winter and despite the warm weather here lately (65?!) I enjoy soups' comfort. While I never really ate soup as a child growing up (except for canned vegetarian vegetable occasionally) but I've been loving it lately! As usual we're into vegetarian soups, and if possible organic.

We made this soup from the recipe on the box. It was great. The key I'm finding in brothy soups is to - get this - use good broth. I sort of made my own in this case with vegan bullion cubes.

Ditalini Soup

1 onion, diced
2 cloves sliced garlic
olive oil for your pan
3 quarts of broth (you could even use more than this if you want)
3/4 cup of barley
1 cup ditalini pasta - or any small pasta shape
2-3 carrots, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium potato, peeled, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice (alternative apple cider vinegar or any acid)

optional toppings - Parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast

I petite diced all my veggies. It's important to try and make them all about the same size. It cooks more evenly and I think is easier to eat this way.

Cook garlic & onion for about 3 minutes in olive oil. Use a heavy pot or your favorite soup pot. Add the broth and barley and simmer with no lid for 30 minutes. Then add the veggies and salt/pepper to taste. Cook on medium/high for about 6 more minutes (2/3 of the traditional cooking time for whatever pasta shape you're using). Then turn off the heat and let sit on the stove (no lid) for 20 more minutes. The pasta will absorb some more liquid. Taste and add lemon juice and any more salt if needed.

It was fabulous. Starchy but fabulous. Eat with hearty bread.

Some alternatives I'll change for next time: add a handful or two of spinach in the last 6 minutes, some diced tomatoes, some diced zucchini perhaps. I'd like to even up all the veggies and downsize the barley for a little healthier dinner. I googled this and of course came up with tons of different variations. Ones with beans, tomato sauce, chicken, or sausage. Basically you're making minestrone. The possibilities are endless.

We gobbled it up and didn't take any photos. Imagine yummy soup here >

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

For the love of google maps

Since I love all things Google I thought I'd share something I found recently with the blog world.  I seriously do love Google- why do I not work for them yet?!  I'd be just my luck that everyone already knows about this feature since I'm not always the first to be informed on these issues.  Why isn't Larry Page texting me saying 'just launched new 45 degree angle view on google maps, check it out!".  Dunno why.  But I sure did find this awesome gem.  What is it?  A 45 degree view on google maps!

Probably anyone (who's reading this blog) is aware of google maps.  You can look at regular map view, aerial view and even street view for most locations in the USA & World.  Sorry if you live in a place with no street view - that must suck a little.  You are missing the chance to google your house and see your car in the driveway - license plate and all faces blurred obvi.

Anyway now you can check out another view of the world.  45 degrees aerial view!  I'm not sure it's available yet everywhere.  To check it out just go to and zoom in somewhere.  You have to be pretty close in then once you get to a certain point in aerial view the 45 degrees view will appear.  Then you can zoom in more and get a much clearer picture of an area.  I feel that this new 45 degree angle is the best for checking out somewhere new.  It gives you a clear idea of the whole area as well as the sides of buildings.  Rather than just looking at the outlines of the roofs or the close up of the streets from 6 feet off the ground - this is the perfect combo!

Obviously I'm loving this feature in our search for a new rental place for when we move (next month?).  Eak!  That's soon.  I better get back to checking out houses and neighborhoods.  Just thought I should share this.  Gotta love Google!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Richmond Moving Status

What's going on with our big move lately?  A lot of something and a lot of nothing...

Basically everything is on schedule right now.  It's already May but I have yet to secure a job and we've yet to decide on a place to live.  Reminder: Tony's school begins mid August.  We'd like to be moved by August 1st at the latest, so we have a couple weeks to settle in - make a few trips to IKEA ya know etc.  Ideally I'd like my first day of work (in my imaginary dream job) would be around August too - or a little sooner to start making some extra bucks. 

As of now I've had 1 phone interview - not such a promising start.  I've applied to a bunch of jobs - maybe a dozen.  I find more every week.  I applied for one February 1st and they just called me this week - slow state government jobs!  jeez.  It's okay; I'll take slow if it means pushing my potential start date late into the summer and the prospect of high wages.  If I get that job they want me to start in May (not likely). 

We're planning on 4 mini scouting missions to look for houses and neighborhoods in the next month.  We're making 2 trips up to DC for my brother's college graduation and a friend's wedding in May.  We'll have to drive right through Richmond along the way on I-95.  We figure no better time to check Richmond out than when we're already there!  One mini scouting trip each direction - there and back.  We'll be looking specifically at The Fan, Church Hill, Jackson Ward, The Museum District and Old Town Manchester. 

I've been using craigslist and to keep and eye on the rental market in Richmond over the last few months.  My beloved google map real estate died remember?  I've had to improvise.  I've found a few property management companies that often don't list on craigslist can are potentially very good resources.  I keep seeing certain types of places in each of the areas mentioned and we just have to check them out.  Living 5 blocks from T's school sounds great - but I don't remember that neighborhood being the best.  Also street view is a life saver!!!! 

Story: I see something on a private leasing comanies' site.  It has great photos, amazing credentials (washer/dryer, dishwasher, off street parking, included utilities, hardwood floors, amazing windows yadda yaada) and under (our made up) budget.  I go to google maps and look at street view. 

umm... WHAT?

This is why you'll never be able to 100% get what you need out of apartment hunting from the Internet alone.  End of story.

Next up:
  • really get a job
  • make new budget with updated income/expenses
  • find a place to live that's safe
  • enjoy our last summer together with practically no responsibilities
  • pack all our stuff up/hiring a moving company

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How To: find a place to live

How To: find a place to live

step 1: find Trader Joe's on the map
step 2: use google to find home near TJ's. (more on this in future post)
step 3: live happily ever after.


Simple Right??  These are my 3 simple steps to finding a nice place to live.  Okay okay, well it could be more complicated than that.  But for us that's a starting place.  When you are moving 3 hours away to a new bigger city that you've barely ever travelled to you need a starting place.

Come August 2011 (or sooner) we'll be making the big move up to Richmond, VA (see page).  Since we've never lived there and only visited twice we need a lot of help in choosing a place to live.  We're taking advice, photos, road trips, interview trips (eventually), craigslist ads & general Internet-ting into consideration when making our decision on where to live.  Back to step 1: find the local Trader Joes.  Okay so there is ONE in the greater Richmond area (just ONE?? Gah).  Simple enough - this we can work with.  But it is located in the fancy shopping area/neighborhood of Short Pump.  Since I don't have a job there yet, we can only base our new (rented... did I mention rented?) home around T's grad school.  Short pump is a 20 minute commute to his school.  Not bad, but it seems forever on the map.

We may disregard our own advice - and seek shelter elsewhere.  Step 2 may be challenging to do without taking a look at alternate areas.  In Richmond there seems to be 10,000 neighborhoods and 'areas'.  We like The Fan, south Richmond, Bon Air (Where YHL lives), East Highland Park & Tuckahoe all seem nice.

I made this lovely map on Google Map.  Not a super fan of all things Google?  You should be.  You can make maps like this!  Anyway I've highlighted areas that we loved (green = go), thought were okay (yellow = slow down) and Hell to the NO (red = stop).  See how far TJ's (yellow grocery icon) is from the rest of the city?  That little red heart monitor logo represents T's new grad school. 

It's still too early to seriously look at places.  We won't be buying a place; just renting.  We'd like perhaps a small 2 bedroom house or a cool townhouse or even an apartment in the Fan or across the street from his school in the financial district downtown.  Someplace with less downstairs neighbors would be great (2 noise violations in 6 months here does seem a little ridiculous right?).  Must haves: washer/dryer, dishwasher, parking spaces and 2 bedrooms.  Other loves: nice new big kitchen, lots of storage (we have TONS of wedding presents), 2 bathrooms (totally unnecessary I know) and a porch (for stoop cat). 

stoop cat.  aka Cornelius

More on our progresses and stoop cat to come.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Digital Story of the Nativity

The Digital Story of the Nativity
{youtube, facebook, twitter, google, foursquare, amazon, gmail, wikipedia, sms, rent-a-donkey style.}

Monday, November 29, 2010

Help clean this nice couple's first (meth) house

Although way far off I can imagine the joy in buying you're first home.  Got that feeling?  Then imagine you've just purchased something that is worthless and that is poisoning you and your family.

As seen on CNN today, this is an awful story about a couple who bought their first home together.  Then found out that it was a meth house for many years.  They are now stuck with this poisonous house and no legal aid.  Check out their blog.


As a warning to all.  If it wasn't already obvious.  Google any property you're going to buy!  Google is you're friend.  Check the National Clandestine Laboratory Register to see if any property you are going to purchase could be hazardous.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Make up Secret Alert! Review: Truth About Monistat Chafing Powder Gel as MakeUp Primer

Review: Truth About Monistat Chafing Powder Gel as MakeUp Primer

as seen on:

Best of the ‘Bee - Ace your Face (Pt. 1) | Weddingbee

and they're the EXACT same ingredients? hmmm. 

So I already have pretty perfect skin.  Yeah it's envy worthy.  Sorry but it's true.  I have even skin tone with almost zero history of acne.  Regardless... after one week of using this "primer" (remember this does NOT treat yeast infections) I have to say it actually works.  Post 10+ hour work day my make up still looks good and since more comes off when removing it at night I have to say it must be working.  I never thought I'd add another ridiculous step to my make up routine but since its only 7 bucks I might be able to handle it.


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