Recipes: Chicken Soup for the Soul

chicken noodle soup

Making home made chicken noodle soup is a lot easier than you think!  My recipe is quick, easy, and only consists of a few simple ingredients.

Why make chicken noodle soup from scratch when it’s so easy to dump it out of a can?  When you ditch fresh food items for condensed sodium filled canned foods you increase your risk for heart disease, kidney stones, osteoporosis and more.  Not to mention the cost of buying canned soups is higher than purchasing whole ingredients instead.

So without further ado, let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

Two boxes of low sodium chicken stock

1 bunch of celery or 1 package of cut celery

1 package boneless skinless chicken breast strips

salt

pepper

1 package angel hair pasta

By purchasing low sodium chicken stock you control how much salt you add to your soup.  You can certainly use regular boneless skinless chicken breast.  I opt for the breast strips, because it cuts down on the cooking time, and there’s less breaking up of the chicken involved.

Directions:

1) Poor the chicken broth into a deep pot with a lid.

2) Set the heat to low to medium, and let boil.

3) When chicken broth is boiling, add 1 package of angel hair pasta.

4) Remove the chicken breast strips from the package, and season with salt and pepper.  Season to taste.

5)  Add olive oil to a shallow pan.  Cook the chicken on low heat until cooked through.  Cook the chicken on low heat to avoid burning or browning the chicken.  When the outside of the chicken is white, and the inside is cooked through, your chicken is done.

6) While the chicken is cooking cut and clean your celery into desired pieces.

7) Remove the chicken from the pan.  If the pan is dry, add two teaspoons of olive oil to the pan.

8) Add your chopped celery to the pan, and cook until the celery is slightly soft.

9) Cook your pasta until it is soft, not too aldente.  This usually takes around 8 minutes.

10) Add your chicken and celery.

11) Let simmer on low heat for about five minutes.

12) Your soup is ready!

13) Enjoy!

Check back with Meeshme.com for more recipes!

 

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Advise Me: Love Thy Neighbor

neighborhood

I know that we’re supposed to be kind to our neighbors, but some neighbors make it difficult.  I never had a problem with neighbors until moving into my most recent apartment.  The walls and floors of the apartment are very thin.  Luckily, we live on the top floor so it’s not a major issue for us.  Unfortunately, the people below us are very sensitive to the noise.  If we walk on our floor with shoes, watch TV, or listen to music at a normal volume they angrily knock on the ceiling with a broom.  We’re very sensitive to what the noise must be like for them, so we comply by keeping the volume very low, speaking at lower volumes, not wearing shoes at all inside, etc.

We have a beautiful and big patio, but can’t have people over because of them.  We try to comply and be thoughtful to our neighbors, but everyone has a limit.

Last week I decided it was finally time to get cable for the apartment.  I did what any law abiding citizen would do, and called up my cable provider, ordered the service, and had it installed.  A week later I received a call from the landlord claiming that the neighbors complained that ever since “our” cable guy came they have been without cable.  The landlord midway through speaking with us must have realized that this wasn’t an issue of our causing, because he told us he needed to call the neighbors back.  Sure enough I received a call back from my landlord saying that the neighbors had been stealing their cable.

Dear Neighbors,

If you are stealing cable, and do not inform your neighbors that you are stealing cable, and they call a cable guy it is not their fault.  Do not proceed by calling a landlord to complain, as you were doing something illegal.

Difficult neighbors can make living at even the best apartment unbearable.  When neighbors are making life hard, what do you do?

Friendship: My Best Friend’s Wedding

 

me and Vlad

One of my best friends Vladimir Paniouchkine got married this past weekend in a beautiful ceremony to his girl friend of six years Victoria Sutherlen.  Whenever a close friend or family member gets married it stirs up emotions, and makes you think about your relationship with that person.  I was no exception to that.

Vlad and I met way back in 2002 at Glendale High School.  I was the chubby girl back then, and he was the big football star.  Vlad never cared about being popular or about high school politics.  He was a good student, and great athlete, but didn’t care which click he was a part of or who he hung out with at lunch.  I on the other hand spent a lot of time caring what others thought, planning big parties, and being everyone’s biggest cheerleader.

We met for the first time in my Biology classroom.  He stayed late to talk with my teacher, and I came in to ask her a few questions.  He followed my friend and I out to the quad afterwards.  I thought to myself, “What a random guy.” We were close friends for two years, until he graduated and went off to college.  We lost touch, when his new girl friend sent me an IM calling me a few choice words and asking me never to message him again, but in the summer of 2006 we reconnected.

It’s difficult to keep guy friends.  When I was in high school I had two best female friends, the rest were guys.  Growing up spending a lot of time with my dad, I played sports, watched sports, camped, and enjoyed the outdoors.  Basically, I knew how to speak guy.  When I graduated, and lost a lot of weight, a lot of my friendships with men changed.  Boys grow up, and get girl friends, and those girl friends don’t always want another girl hanging around their man.  I’m not the type to stir up drama, so I gave them space and made new friends.

But when it came to Vlad nothing changed.  We always remained friends, and always made time for one another.  We were supportive of each other, and never jealous.  When we hung out it was always fun.  When he found Victoria I was happy for him.  When he announced they were getting engaged over dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, I was excited.  When I heard the proposal story, I was proud, and when I saw him kiss the bride I was emotional.

When a friend gets married you think, “I wonder if things will change,” but if your good enough friends they won’t.  If you respect their relationship, things won’t change.  If their successes are yours, you’ll always be a part of them.  If their happiness is yours, you’ll always be happy for them.  Vlad and I will always be friends, and I’m thankful for that.

Dress Me: Fit and Flare

fitndflare

When you go shopping for something new what factors do you consider?  While some look for specific colors or tones, others look for items on trend or for embellishments.  However, one thing we all look for is an item that makes us look thin.  Whether it’s the right pair of jeans, the right dress, or the right underwear we want to look good in what we wear.

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The best way to look good in clothing is to shop for your size and body shape.  There are styles that fit your body type best, highlighting your best features while concealing problem areas.  Through years of trial and error I have realized that I can’t go wrong with a good fit and flare dress or skirt.  An item with a “fit and flare” cut fits tightly at the waist and flares at the thighs.

Many women have trouble losing weight in their thighs.  Targeting your inner thighs is difficult, and training can take time.  While you work to get yourself in shape, a good fit and flare skirt or dress can accent your small waste while concealing your problem area.  Express.com has several fit and flare skirts and dresses to choose from.  Find them here.  Lulus.com also provides fit and flare styles in many colors.  Shop for them here.

My fit and flare fav right now comes from Victoria’s Secret.  Find this dress, and similar styles here.

Featured Look: Cutouts

Cut OutsI have to admit, I love a good cut out.  It’s important to feel sexy, and confident in your sexuality.  You don’t have to show a lot of skin to be sexy, and that’s what I love about cut outs.  Showing just a peek of skin in an otherwise classy outfit, let’s people know you’re not all business.

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I found this cut out dress at Foreign Exchange.  The high neckline and knee length hemline allow the wearer to get away with the cutout that runs along the back of the dress.  I like the flowy skirt of this dress, which also makes it a dress for any body type.  The top half of the back of this dress features buttons for an extra detail.  The emerald green color of the dress also makes it fun and flirty.

My headband was purchased at Juicy Couture.  Sometimes my hair just doesn’t want to cooperate.  A good headband can save a bad hair day.

Don’t be intimidated or afraid of a cutout dress, especially with summer approaching.  They are hot, trendy, and worn the right way, sexy.

Dress Me: Basic Black

black and basic

As much as I love color and prints in fashion, not everyone can pull off wearing them.  On the other hand, anyone can pull of black and look amazing in it.  Countless fashion sites and stylists insist that every girl needs a “little black dress,” but I don’t believe you should stop there.

On days where you’re not feeling as confident, black pieces can cover up and conceal any insecurities; meanwhile, highlighting your best features.  Here are some great staple black pieces that you can wear to work, for cocktails, or on date night:

Crop tops have been in for a while now.  I love wearing high waisted skirts, so a crop top is perfect.  This criss crossed crop top from Nastygal.com works perfectly with a maxi skirt or any high waisted skirt in your wardrobe.  Believe it or not, lace is actually very flattering.  This long sleeved lace shirt from Express hides imperfections, and creates a romantic look without much work at all.  Next, I have found that fit and flare is the most flattering for my body type.  If you have thicker thighs, fit and flare can highlight your waist while concealing your thighs.  I love the faux leather and lace fit and flare skirts from Express.  A good pair of leggings are a necessity, but a good pair can be hard to find.  I was shocked to find that the Kardashian line of leggings worked best for me.  They do know how to dress a curvy girl.

These images should work to inspire your next shopping trip.  Try some new black pieces, but mix them with color or accent pieces that pop.  If you carry most your weight on the lower half of your body, try one of these black skirts or leggings.  If you are heavier on top, a cute black top can conceal arms or tummy bulge.

My top can be found at Foreign Exchange, and the skirt is the fit and flare faux leather legging found at Express.com.

Weekend Getaway: Palm Desert

pool view

Every now and then it’s good to get away, and take a mini vacation.  This weekend my boyfriend and I decided to pack our bags and take a last minute vacation to Palm Dessert.  The drive is two hours or less, and we knew that a pool and a tan were awaiting us.

Twenty years ago my mother booked a vacation in Palm Desert.  We always took little trips growing up, but when I walked through the lobby doors I realized where I was.  I was staying at the Saved by the Bell hotel!! Let me explain, I was a huge Saved by the Bell fan growing up.  I watched every episode more than once, so I recognized the beautiful hotel at first sight.  In the episode where Jessie’s father gets married, the cast traveled to Palm Desert for the wedding.  They stayed at the JW Marriott and highlighted it’s romantic appeal.

As a child I had a lot of fun at the hotel, but I knew some day when I grew up I would have a boyfriend and we would ride the boats and have a romantic dinner.  Fast forward twenty years later and my boyfriend and I escape to the hotel whenever we need a quick escape.

The JW Marriott is appealing to singles and younger couples, with attractions like a lively pool and nightclub located in the resort.  The hotel has changed over the years, and now features a more modern look.  The lobby bar is also a great place to mix and mingle.  For couples or families the Marriott Desert Springs Villas offer a more relaxing setting.  The villa rooms are larger, and include either a full or half kitchen.  Rooms also offer balconies with views overlooking the beautifully landscaped golf course.  Each cluster of villas has it’s own pool and hot tub, but there are two main pools as well.  To view pictures or get more information on the villas visit here.  The Water’s Edge pool plays music, and offers activities for children.  The pool bar serves drinks and lunch.

My boyfriend and I enjoyed our little getaway, and I hope you take some time to getaway and relax soon.

Pucker Up: New Kardashian Lipstick Line

meeshme.com

I rarely watch any of the Kardashian shows, not for a lack of interest, but because of a lack of time.  Then the other day I finally got a chance to sit down and watch an episode of Kourtney and Kim take Miami.  The drama ensued, but the one thing I took away from that episode was I had to have the lipstick Kourtney was wearing.

I loved the hot pink color, but I was more obsessed with the fact that it looked more like a pencil than your typical lipstick.  I traveled to New Orleans for work, and forgot all about what Khroma Beauty calls the “joystick”.  It wasn’t until I was shopping for cleaning supplies at CVS that I came across the new Kardashian European Line Khroma Beauty.  The line includes joysticks, fake eyelashes, mascara, and more.  But it did not take me long to find what I was looking for, the “Shocking Pink” joystick.  I have been in love ever since.

The joystick is so awesome, because it goes on smooth and doesn’t dry your lips.  The colors are bold, and last all day.  The shape of the joystick also allows you to line your lips without lip liner.  You have to try these joysticks available online and at your local CVS or Walgreens for $8.99.

Khroma-lipstick

 

Happy Lei Day!

meeshme.com

May 1st is May Day, a holiday celebrating spring that goes back hundreds of years.  To celebrate this day early colonists would create baskets full of flowers and treats, then place them on their neighbors doorstep. That sounds nice, but I would rather celebrate Lei Day.

Did you know that on the Hawaiian islands today is Lei Day?  It is a day set aside to celebrate Hawaiian culture in general, and more specifically the culture of Native Hawaiians.  The holiday was first celebrated in the 1920s, and was started by a local newspaper columnist Eric Kosciuszko.  The first official Lei Day was celebrated in Honolulu in 1927.

I love all things Hawaii, and so today I am going to get Lei’d.  I suggest you do as well ;).

xoxo

Meeshme

The Big Easy: My Days in New Orleans

MasksWhile I have been away from my blog, I have been traveling to a side of the country I have never been.  Last week I spent a few days in New Orleans.  It was my first time in the “Big Easy” and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Like many of you, my idea of the city was a mixture of images I had seen in movies and the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

My trip to the city was for a conference, so naturally we stayed at a hotel across from the convention center.  Luckily the convention center is located just blocks from the French Quarter, where my coworker and I spent most of our trip.  We were also located next to the Harrah’s casino.  The city was a ghost town when we arrived around 5 p.m. Tuesday.  We walked up and down the streets taking the sights in.  However, what I saw was very different from what I had imagined.

I did see the historical buildings and monuments I had seen on TV and in movies over the years, but what I didn’t expect was a dirty damaged city still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina.  The streets were broken and cracked filled with puddles of murky water.  The city streets smelled of sewer and garbage, unless you happen to be passing by one of those wonderful hole in the wall restaurants.  Drugged out homeless people hung out along Bourbon Street, and shirtless youth performed with home made tap shoes for change.  Strip club after strip club displayed pictures of naked young girls, clearly visible as you walked by.  As we made our way to Andrew Jackson Square we saw horse drawn carriages, but unlike the carriages that line Central Park these carriages were pulled by horses who looked in desperate need of food and care.  By the end of day one we were left feeling disappointed and sad for a city that must have been so much more years ago.

On the second day of the conference the city was hit by two tornadoes with winds up to 90 mph.  As I watched from the window, I was in awe of how the weather could get so bad so quickly.  By the evening the storm had passed, and we were able to tour the city once more.  We had dinner at Mr. B’s Bistro, a formal dining experience in the French Quarter.  The restaurant came highly recommended by Urban Spoon and Yelp, but I was not impressed.  The scallops arrived slightly under cooked for my taste, and the soup had a strange after taste.  My cocktail however, had just the right amount of vodka.  More on this restaurant and others in my next blog.

By Thursday I was over the French Quarter, and the dirty streets.  However, the conference ended hours before we had to head to the airport, so we decided to take one last trip through the city.  I am glad we did, because the experience was much more enjoyable than earlier in the week.  The humidity had evaporated, and the sun was shining.  The streets were alive, with tourists newly arriving to the city.  We finally heard the jazz music we had heard so much about, and enjoyed some true New Orleans dishes like blackened catfish and fried gator.

I was sad to have to leave just when things started getting good, but alas it was time to return home.  I hear mixed reviews of NOLA.  Some gush that it’s an amazing city with lively streets and even livelier nightlife, while others talk about how dirty the city is.  I have to admit that unfortunately my experience was of the latter.  I will note that the majority of my time spent in the city was during the week, and I am sure that things get much better during the weekend.  Whether or not you visit will depend on what type of experience you are looking for.

Visiting New Orleans was an interesting experience.  I’m not sure I’ll ever return to the “Big Easy”, but I am glad I was able to tour the city and form my own opinion.  I truly hope that the city recovers some day.