Sunday, September 25, 2016

Angelina Jolie + Brad Pitt … the things you probably forgot


The crazy thing about this article is that until the news broke, I didn’t even realize I remembered all of these things.  I never write or care to think too much on the lives of public figures.  I don't typically have too much of an opinion and I am usually too focused on my own life to think twice about these sorts of things.  But as it turned out, this is well rooted in my past so it did actually get to me.  It struck a hidden nerve.  I didn’t even realize there was a bit of irritation that was tucked away somewhere.  Brad and Angelina and Jennifer had 100% been off my radar for years.  They are never in the middle of celebrity gossip so if I pay attention to anything it’s usually something a Kardashian is doing.  And that’s only because they won’t get off my MSN landing page.

It was a normal day.  I was logging into the bank to check accounts when my landing page (MSN) had the news of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie splitting up.  I never click but I could not help myself this time around.  This time it was real.  Not splashed on some cheap magazine that stirs up fabrications all the time.

I read the short article and was immediately thinking two things… “I expected this a long time ago but over the years they matured (mostly Angelina needed to mature) and they seemed happy,” so I was actually surprised.  You typically hear little things before a total blow out like this and it was all quiet on the news front until this week.  They didn’t even have the typical over shows of affection you’ll see when people who are so obviously going to split in Hollywood are trying to prove to the public that they are madly in love (gag).  And… “What must Jennifer Aniston be thinking!?”


Why was this so significant to me?  I was a Friend’s addict.  I grew up watching the romance between Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston blossom.  I watched when he made his guest appearance back in 1994.  This was before people were insanely chasing and watching famous people.  Before we had reality shows.  Before we knew every detail of actors/actresses, models, socialites, etc… lives.  Before TMZ launched in 2005 and started changing the way people regularly received the hot gossip.

Now here are the funny details.  I was always team Aniston because this was the first really horrible divorce I was of age to really care to pay attention to.  I remember thinking “how could Brad leave Jennifer for this other trashy woman.”  And this is not a hater thing at all.  There are many, many very sexy “put it all out there” females in the public eye that I absolutely adore, but this one I knew too much about.  She had grossed me out beyond repair before the affair with Brad.


So what things did she do that bothered me the most?  I’ll jump into the thick of it.  I won’t even start with the past cutting issues (which I feel bad she use to feel that way) and won’t even get into the 1996 husband shirt blood wedding incident.  I’ll skip forward to the massive build of irritation in 2000.  There was quite a splash of insane things all in a short time such as acting like a complete moron with Billy Bob Thornton.  They were married and wore vials of blood which was one of the many desperate acts I’ve seen in Hollywood.  When people are so desperately trying to cling to each other like this you know it’s doomed.  They are trying in every way to connect themselves to each other so they can’t get bored and walk out.  But bored and walking they did.

I was really annoyed when they came out of the limo on the red carpet and were all like “we just had sex in the limo.”  Well ladi fricken da.  I’m sure most people have some drinks and do that.  You’re having a fun exciting day and you get all frisky.  It happens, like all the time.  Up to that point I had never heard 2 people feel the need to announce it like a couple of trashy idiots.  It was so unoriginal and with the blood crap was getting so annoying.


Then there was the incident with her making out with her brother.  I always hated how she would do something stupid and then explain it away with the most ridiculous explanation and people would be like “oh, okay.”  Seriously!?  She wanted to be gross, has whatever urges, wants attention or whatever and never had the gull to say “I just did it.  Get over it.”  I could at least laugh and think “you go girl!”  But she was moronic.  It was always some long drawn childish explanation to make it seem like the behavior was normal.  “We were just excited and the moment got away with us.”  I’ll tell you.  I have a brother, in fact, a half-brother.  I have had many exciting moments in my life and I have never, ever, not even once, slightly had the urge to make out with him.  Maybe I’m too normal to understand so I was rolling my eyes and always thinking “why are people eating this crap up?”

I think this is the part that really threw me.  So it’s only 1 short year into the 2000 crazies and she decides to change her image.  She starts charity work.  That’s great.  That’s always good.  A year after that she adopts a child.  I remember thinking of how she must be focusing her crazy obsessive bursts of messes into another area and that was at least healthier but you can still see the pattern.  She never does anything slow or level headed.  One day it’s “I’m obsessed with Johnny Lee Miller” the next it’s “Billy Bob Thornton”… then it’s “making out with relatives and acting insane.”  Then it’s “I want to be a different person… overnight charity and kids!”

My dad was all excited that she was changing and growing up but all I could think of were the things that practically happened the day before.  How could anyone give her a kid!?  How does no one notice that this person has a dangerous pattern?  How can no one worry what her next burst will bring, hurt, blow up, cause?  I was worried because now she had a child and I always felt that mentally she might not be good in that area.  Maybe not in any area.  Especially when it comes to someone depending on her.  How was a kid going to keep her attention and affection?  It really did worry me that everyone was giving thumbs up while this was going on and no one ever bothered to question anything.


Some time went by and I let it go.  As long as no one mentioned her name in connection to "being a respectable" or "normal" person I didn’t care.  She was doing charity work, acting and by this time had Maddox.  Then the crazy came back… again.  She has the affair with Brad.  You know, whatever.  You get interested on set.  Again, happens all the time.  But again, it’s how this was handled.  I mean get it together already!

Jennifer was nice enough to be quiet about the fact that her and Brad separated because of the affair in 2003.  Angelina was still going around trying to keep her fake image and actually had the nerve to claim on air that she would never have an affair with a married man.  That's when Jen finally let it spill and rightfully so.  Here is this woman trying to act like she’s sexy and dark and now perfect all while going around having affairs and trying to take what’s not hers and trying to look like the good girl while she’s doing it?  As if I wasn’t already annoyed enough.  That’s when it was 100% confirmed with me.  Crazy.  Crazy liar, lies for her own personal gain.

In 2006 you get the stupid explanations again trying to explain why she’s not a bad person for the affair because she dropped on the “good person” scale and needed to claw her way back up again.  And I still didn't understand why she kept trying.  Let it go.  Give in and realize.  You’re bad.  Just be bad and enjoy it, stop trying to put on this facade.  They became “kind of a pair.”  They accidentally discovered a love they weren’t looking for and didn’t expect.  Okay.  Well, you pursued it and crushed people.  It’s an affair no matter how you want to write it up on paper and explain it away.  This is pretty much what everyone claims so they can go gallivanting and do bad things.  “love” “best friend” … so unoriginal.


So now here sits Brad Pitt wondering what happened.  Wondering how she could act like this.  How she could do this to him and his family.  Try to take his family away.  Well, dude… she’s crazy!  Hello!!  She’s always been crazy.  What on earth would possess a person to think that all that crazy isn’t going to be lurking underneath waiting to pop out and cause some type of monstrous destruction like it always has.  I never would have gotten involved with that.  You would have to be so blind not to have an awareness of what will happen one day and what kind of crazy will be unleashed on you if you are on the wrong end of what goes down with a person like this.

Well, best of luck to you Brad.  You did wrong back in the day but I honestly think this might be a bit more than you deserved.  I do wish much luck to the kids.  They are the only ones who deserve none of this.  Now we will wait.  Child abuse allegations, affairs and all sorts of things are being flung around and so quickly.  I guess after this blows over it will at least be interesting to see what other crazy starts to happen because Angelina has been unleashed.  Pandora's box has been opened.  It's kind of a scary thought.

Friday, September 23, 2016

New York and Canada in Fall

 
We’re about to kick off and go on a last minute fall vacation – it’s creeping up just around the corner.  I could not be more excited!!  Typically when I choose vacations I go with warm, especially this time of year.  But I decided to do something different.
 
I hate to say it but when you’ve been to a few beaches they sort of start to blend together.  Last year we did California, Mexico and Catalina Island and we took the huge trip this past spring across the United States and hit a lot of country land like Memphis… then a bunch of beaches and islands.  We traveled through all of the keys and even stopped off in Tybee Island.  And of course we’ve been to Costa Rica and the Bahamas a few other random places.  So it was time for something completely new.
 
 
This time it’s New York for a bit and then St. John Canada and Halifax Canada.  I’ve never seen any of it.  I hear the foliage change is supposed to be stunning this time of year.
 
http://baramericain.com/nyc/
 
Things I’m freaking out about.  I don’t really know anything about New York.  This will be my first time hailing cabs and what not and we’re going with kids.  I’m very nervous.  We’re staying in Time Square and kind of sticking around our general hotel area for outings.  I have my eye on Bobby Flay’s restaurant Bar Americain.  The menu sounds really good.  Especially the Shellfish Cocktail trio.
 
 
Then it’s off to Canada and that’s where it’s really going to get interesting.  When I travel anywhere I follow the food, wine and the beer.  Absolutely anywhere I go I always order a few things that the area is known for, even if it scares me.  I’ve heard that Nanaimo Bars are a must, Bannock, I will most likely come back home with Ketchup Lay’s as a joke and hand them out for the holidays… maybe hit up some of the crazy ice cream and apparently I have to try the lobster rolls (so I will!).
 
I’ve made plans to hit both the Halifax and St. John famous market places so I can find maple syrup, wine and beer to bring back home with us.  I’m going to spoil the kids rotten and let them buy tons of toys that you can’t get anywhere else…
 
 
But I still need to figure out the money situation.  I didn’t even think about it until my husband mentioned that I’m going to need some Canadian cash.  What worries me is that I can’t cheat if my phone isn’t working to tell me what’s what.  Maybe I’ll jot something down on paper to remind myself.  I believe it’s pretty self-explanatory but I want to make sure things aren’t overpriced.  Like if I see that something is $52.37 CAD it’s only about $40 USD.  We shall see how it goes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Minsky’s Pizza Coupon!!

If you happen to be visiting, picking up or ordering delivery today from Minsky’s Pizza, print out this coupon and give it to the driver or the restaurant.  They will donate up to 15% of your order total to our St. Jude team.  So take the time to eat some pizza today!
 
 
If you aren’t in the area and you would still like to donate to our team, you can do so on our official St. Jude website here:
 
 
You can link up and donate to any of our team members.  The link above is for the team captain.  Or you can donate towards…
 
 
 
 
 
Good from Open to Close today, Wednesday September 21 at 3 locations:
 
7007 NW Barry Road
Kansas City, MO 64153
816-741-2737
 
205 N 291 Highway
Liberty, MO 64065
816-407-9000
 
7198 Renner Road
Shawnee, KS 66217
913-631-0059

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2 Awesome Labor Day Cocktail Recipes

 
In the Midwest when Labor Day rolls around it’s still pretty hot and humid.  And I remember it being the same when I lived on the east coast in VA.  When these two recipes were passed along to me I thought “how perfect!”  My favorite part is that I learned about The Traveler Beer Co.  My husband and I have a beer club membership and we have found a lot of cool new favorites.  One of our tops is the Evil Genius Beer Company and now I’m adding Traveler to our list.  And both of these drink concoctions are offered at El Original TX-MX in New York City so if you’re in the area mention one of these off menu drinks and give them a try for sure…


1 >>> The Lemon Shush (4 Servings)

Ingredients:

      - Curious Traveler Lemon Shandy (1 bottle)
      - 3 oz. of fresh lemon juice
      - 3 oz house made honey syrup
      - A dash of bitters

Honey syrup ingredients:

      - 3-5 cubes of fresh pineapple
      - Lemon zest to taste
      - 3 oz. of honey
      - 54 oz. of crushed ice

Homemade Honey Syrup Directions:

Muddle fresh pineapple then add lemon zest and honey. Bring to a boil on a stove and let it cool to room temperature.

Slush Directions:

Break down crushed ice as much as possible so the carbonation of the shandy won’t dilute the slushy.  Blend till smooth. Combine all ingredients, except shandy. Add the homemade honey syrup, water and lemon juice. While those are blending, add shandy base.

Garnish with a dash of bitters and lemon wedge.
 

2 >>> Grapefruit Shush (4 Servings)

Ingredients:

      - Traveler Grapefruit Shandy (1 bottle)
      - 3 oz. of grapefruit juice
      - 1 oz. of lime juice
      - 2 oz. mint simple syrup
      - 54 oz of crushed ice

Mint simple syrup ingredients:

      - 3-5 pulled mint leaves
      -  2 parts water
      - 1 part sugar

Mint simple syrup directions (makes 32 oz.):

Combine mint leaves with 2 parts water and 1 part sugar. Bring to a boil and then let it cool to room temperature.

Slushy directions:

Use crushed ice to be broken down as much as possible so the carbonation of the shandy won’t cause it to separate or dilute. Blend till smooth. Combine all ingredients (except shandy). Add the mint simple syrup, water and lemon juice. While those are blending, add Shandy. Garnish with a ruby red grapefruit wedge.
 
Garnish with grapefruit wedge and mint sprig.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Healthy Banana Berry “Ice Cream” Pie


I recently learned about this awesome and super easy 100% real fruit ice cream pie from Yonanas.  This is something you can make for birthdays or hanging out on a warm day.  It won’t take a lot of time and every slice you are eating tons of fruit instead of tons of junk.  It really doesn’t get any better than that.  To make the pie…

Ingredients:

  • 32 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 4 frozen over-ripe bananas
  • 1 and 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries)


Directions:

1 >>> To make the pie crust: In a food processor, pulse the sandwich cookies until they resemble grains of sand.

2 >>> Press the crust into your pie pan and freeze until it sets.

3 >>> Take your frozen bananas and berries and put into a food processor or blender and blend until it turns into “ice cream” – and yes!  This really does work.  I use this exact same process to make my banana honey ice cream and it rocks!

4 >>> Use a spatula to scoop the mixed berry mixture into the cookie pie shell.

5 >>> Cover and freeze for a minimum of four hours.

6 >>> Let pie thaw approximately 30 minutes before slicing.

ENJOY!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Blue Apron vs Plated + BistroMD


This is a strange combo of meal services, but it’s what I naturally ended up trying the past year.  I am a really big fan of home meal delivery services.  I use to order from Organic Grocer and a bunch of other sites.  I’ve tried Door to Door Organics, the Healthy Snack Store.  The list goes on.

Over the last year I’ve been using Blue Apron but the entire time I’ve secretly been crushing on and dying to try Plated.  I’ll tell you how I got a chance to give them both a try below.  And in between I didn’t feel like cooking clean to drop a few pounds so I used BistroMD and that’s how they ended up on this list.

All 3 companies boast good healthy clean food.  The only difference between Blue Apron/Plated and BistroMD, is that BistroMD is ready prepared by chefs and are much more calorie restricted in order to lose weight.  As a mother, a shopper, a cook, a busy woman who has a lot of career success (which means A LOT of hours put in away from home), this is what I thought of all 3 systems.


Blue Apron

I’m going to end up the suspense here and just say that between Blue Apron and Plated, this is my favorite.  We use the family meals that serve 4 people and we get the full delivery 4 days a week.  As mentioned above we’ve been using them over a year.  A couple times we’ve had meals that weren’t mind blowing, but have always been good.  We’ve never received anything un-editable.


And with the massive amounts of deliveries we’ve had – we have had one slightly cracked egg.  And who cares because I raise organic free range chickens so I just grabbed another.  We had one recipe card missing and again, who cares.  They have them available online so that was an easy fix.  And one time we had a substitute ingredient and again, no biggie.  I was slightly sad about that one though because it was a really cool vegetable, Kolhrabi.  We ended up with a turnip instead, but the meal was one of the best I ever had.  The Vegetable Bibimbap.  My first bite in I didn’t care about the swap out.


We’ve cooked an insane amount of recipes.  Just recently we’ve made Crispy Cod, Cheesy Stuffed Peppers, Moroccan Pitas, Provencal Seared Chicken, Southwestern Cheeseburgers… the list goes on.  The ethnicity mix has been awesome.  I cook.  I cook a lot and I’ve cooked quite the variety of things.  But I hadn’t cooked Indian food or Moroccan food.  And I hadn’t really dove into Asian foods and didn’t realize it until we started Blue Apron.  This has really helped me branch out with recipes I look for online and with my cooking skills.


Plated

So, Blue Apron and Plated are from the same company.  They are trying to hit two different levels of home chefs and they are trying to hit two different demographic groups.  Which as a business is pretty smart.  Blue Apron is aimed towards more of low middle income and up plus the average home cook and Plated is no doubt trying to attract the upper middle income and higher who thinks they have some skills in the kitchen.

But the food is pretty much identical except Plated tries to go a little more exotic with ingredients which doesn’t necessarily equal better.  I would say that after my experience with Plated the thing I don’t like is the lack of interest a kid would have with the family meals.  No kid wants to eat shrimp lettuce wraps.  Not your typical toddler anyway.  If your kids are into it, super congrats on kids with a high end palette but also good luck with those future food bills.


I actually ended up using our food for a dinner party.  What happened with my first order is I was SO EXCITED about the choice of meals, the ability to upgrade to things like lamb and duck and you can add desserts!!  I decided to swap and give Plated a try from our usual Blue Apron.  Since I looked last year they had a family meal plan.  Already I was pretty peeved that it’s actually 3 servings.  So they don’t give you an abundance of food like Blue Apron where you are happily eating leftovers for lunch at work and saving even more $$ because you don’t have to go out of pocket for lunches.  And I have a family of 4.  What happens when my boys are bigger and eating us out of house and home?  We need 4 servings.  Families need 4 servings.  Teenage boys eat like zombies.

What I hated is that the second you changed to the family plan, you only had 4 choices.  Some of the BEST stuff was off the list.  There were no options for upgrades and you couldn’t add desserts!!??  I was immediately agitated.  Everything that made me put in my card and order was swiped away the second I changed my meal plan type.  I cancelled and of course they still sent my first week of food which was average.  My avocado was so overly ripe that it was like yogurt inside and had been smashed by something in the box.  It was disappointing but now I can stop thinking “the grass is greener.”  The dinner party went great where we unloaded all of the food so that’s cool.  I didn’t have to go out and shop.  But without massive improvements on choices and servings for families I won’t be back at all.


BistroMD

This was severely disappointing because again, I had this on a pedestal for years.  I found out about BistroMD 7 years ago and always wished I could afford to try them.  For a full plan with snacks you will drop $240 a week.

The riskiest part for them is that before you even receive your first week of food you are locked into your second and it’s charged and practically shipped at the same time.  So if you hate it or have a reaction, you’re out $480.  I can’t imagine that doesn’t backfire.  If you get something that is terrible and you ordered it in your second box, you’re stuck eating it.  And that absolutely happened to me.


My food came and I tried to appreciate it.  I found out very quickly that they make everything similar to fit into all of the plans.  So I thought I was going to get well seasoned amazing gourmet diet food because I was on the traditional women’s program and paying $9.00+ per meal.  No.  I had bland unsalted food that fit right into the low sodium diets and silver plans.  I had vegetables that were terrible.  They didn’t have their own flavor anymore.  I don’t know what happened.  And the texture was WAY off.  I was eating the chicken crepes for breakfast and it was all moosh (no crunch for balance) so I was really nauseated but trying to eat it because it was that or starve.  I had no other food option because I was on my way to work.  I was sick to my stomach for hours after.  I’ve had incredible clean food.  I don’t need salt and butter.  Something was certainly off.

Then there was the reaction that I was having.  I was having MASSIVE stomach pain and bloating after eating the meals and snacks.  Turns out everything is packed with whey protein concentrate and isolate.  I mean what the crap!!??  That made me furious, I’m not going to lie.  It was in soups and every meal.  HELLO!  That makes everything bland, oddly textured and tons of people have reactions to it.

It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve eaten the food and I’ve been taking a prescription for my stomach and I still have issues.  I’m waiting for that to clear up.  I’m uncomfortable and bloated 24/7.  And I’m sitting on $200 worth of food that I don’t have the heart to throw out and also don’t want to pass along to someone because I don’t want to torture people I care about.  I wouldn’t want to make people I hate eat that stuff.  It’s just all wrong.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Please Help Us Reach Our Goal

 
This year my husband and I have started a team again to walk and raise money for St. Jude.  Please, please, please… even if you don’t finish reading the rest of this post at least visit our donation page and make a donation at http://walkrun.stjude.org/courtneyjenkins.  What may seem like a simple $1.00 means the world to us and goes a long way when combined with the efforts of others.  It would be so greatly appreciated and I will tell you why and what we raise money for…
 
St. Jude takes the toughest childhood cancer cases.  They take the children in and do all they can to help save their lives.  The parents never get a single bill for housing, care, food... nothing, ever.  They can do this because of people like us and people like you helping to raise money and give what you can.
 
The fight is always near and dear to my heart especially after my father passing away from cancer in April last year.  No one should ever have to live through that.  It's sad when a grown man who has enjoyed and traveled the world goes like that, but nothing is more upsetting and unfair than when a child who hasn't experienced much more than his families love has to battle with this horrible disease.
 
Every time a child is saved, the research is passed on to other doctors and clinics and can save thousands more children.  It's an amazing cause and they are an amazing place.
 
I'm asking that if anyone is out there who wants to help, please click on the link below and donate to our teams walk.  100% of the proceeds we raise go straight to St. Jude.  We get nothing but the happiness of helping.  If you have nothing to give join our team and walk.  We would LOVE to have you.  Every bit of help counts.
 
Please feel free to visit our team’s donation page below and visit back to see how much we raise for the children.  And thank you so much in advance to anyone who pitches in, in any way.