Semi-Homemade Taboule

If you're looking for a light, super easy to make, lunch or dinner, then look no further. Last night I made this Taboule, a wheat based salad, and it was so easy that I just knew I had to share it with y'all.
Growing up my grandma always made this middle eastern dish, and when I saw a box at the grocery store I was intrigued and thought I'd try it out.
Ingredients:
1 box Near East Taboule Mix
1 tomato diced
1 c diced cucumber
1 T lemon juice
1 T Olive Oil
1 c feta cheese
1/8 c chopped fresh basil (optional)
1/8 c chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Romaine lettuce leaves (optional)

To Make:
Mix wheat and seasoning packets from box with 1 c boiling water. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 30 min. Mix in all other ingredients, cover and chill in refrigerator for one hour. Take out and serve over leaves of romaine lettuce. Easy peasy, and ready in no time!

I hope y'all enjoy! Let me know if you try this recipe and if you make any tweaks or have any suggestions for it!


The 2012 Drive for Diversity Drivers


I was in Charlotte this week for the annual NASCAR Media Tour. The last stop on the tour was at the NASCAR Hall of Fame where we presented the 2012 NASCAR Diversity Drivers.

This group of drivers was selected from the combine earlier this year, which I wrote about earlier here.

I'm so excited because they are a great group of kids and I am excited to see what they accomplish this season.


The drivers for 2012 are Jorge Arteaga, Bryan Ortiz, Ryan Gifford, Kyle Larson, Mackena Bell, and Trey Gibson

It was a quick trip and I'm excited to hang out and relax in Daytona this weekend!

What are y'alls weekend plans?

Time...

...I wish we had more than 24 hours of it in a day.

I'd have more time to read books, books that aren't related to schoolwork.

I'd be a better blogger, because right now I don't even have time to read and respond to half the blogs I follow.

I'd have time to go to yoga, and make a home-cooked meal, and finish my schoolwork, and play with Nina, and do laundry, and pick up around my house; ALL of this after a full day at the office.
This week I'm having trouble finding time to finish the things I need to do, while still doing the things I want to do.

What would you do with a few more hours in your day?

What Does A "Typical" Family Look Like?

I spend so much time on this blog talking about my family. Mainly because they are such an important part of my life.

I grew up with anything BUT a typical family. Really though, what does "normal" look like?

The truth is, there's no such thing as a "typical" family, and as I've gotten older, I've learned to embrace the uniqueness.

I want to introduce you to my NOT. SO. NORMAL. but OH. SO. INCREDIBLE. family. They each contribute something wonderful to my life, and I'm so thankful for them...

The Parents:


PLEASE DON'T TAKE THIS OFFENSIVELY, I sometimes refer to my step-dad and my biological dad as my American dad and my Mexican dad. I hate the word "step-dad" because I consider them both "dads" so sometimes it's easier to refer to them as the one that lives here, and the one that lives in Mexico.

The Siblings:

 The Grandparents:



Carolyn is my granddads wife. I just call her Carolyn because I don't think I could ever call her "grandma", she's really fun (not that grandma's aren't). 

Erica and Anthony are her two kids. Technically, they're my step aunt and uncle but growing up it was easier to tell people that we were all cousins.

We tend to give family "titles" but I think regardless of these names such a "step", "biological", "half", "real", they are family, no matter what. So I take them lightly, hence the "" before the name.

So there y'all have it, my NOT. SO. NORMAL. but OH. SO. INCREDIBLE. family. I look forward to sharing more stories about them on my blog.

What makes your family "not so normal"? What do you love most about them?


24 Hour Road Trip

There are a few people in this world that I would do just about anything for, and my granddad is one of those people! If you haven't read some of my blog posts about him yet, you'll quickly see that I adore him!

He called me on Friday to let me know that he would be in Miami for the day on Saturday, so Nina and I packed up and headed out for he first road trip!
It's about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Daytona and she spent most of the car ride like this...

My granddad had to go to Miami to attend a funeral, not the best circumstances to spend time together, but I'm glad I was there to support him.

After the funeral we headed to Coconut Grove, IT. IS. AMAZING. There were a ton of restaurants, cute shops, and people outside enjoying the weekend and beautiful weather.

We decided on lunch at Lulu where I had this delish asian chicken salad. I'm going to try to recreate it at home, I'll let y'all know how that goes!
It was a quick trip but any amount of time I get to spend with my granddad makes me a happy girl! 
I hope you all had a FANTASTIC weekend!


I Love My Hana Air

What is a Hana Air you ask? It's a hair dryer that the awesome folks at Misikko.com sent me to try out and I couldn't wait to tell you all about how much I've loved using it!

First of all, let me start out by showing you my old hair dryer...
It has been through a lot (most of my college years) and I didn't realize how badly I needed a new one until I used the Hana Air.

Before even using the dryer I was impressed with the packaging, look how pretty it was delivered...
and the Hana Air, well it was just as pretty...
I was so surprised with how quickly it dried my hair, but the heat didn't feel like it was damaging it. My old dryer would leave me hot, with a head full or frizz. The Hana Air dryer leaves my hair silky, smooth, and with volume but no frizz. It has two heat settings and a cool button as well as different drying settings. 

I also highly recommend using the Hana Shine Shield with the dryer, it leaves your hair looking so healthy and silky! I've been very impressed with both Hana products I tried.
I would encourage you to visit the Misikko site. They have a variety of hair dryers, as well as products that we already love and use like CHI Flat Irons. I promise that it'll be money well spent!

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC weekend! I'm headed to Miami to spend some time with my granddad and hopefully soak up some sun!

What are y'alls weekend plans?






2012 Resolutions

It's taken me some time, but I've finally come up with a list of resolutions for 2012. Instead of resolutions however, I've decided to come up with some words to live by, or my motto for this next year. Here it goes...
  • Spend more time doing things that bring me joy, and learn to say "no" more often to doing things that don't.
  • Live a life of love, patience and compassion. 
  • Learn to forgive and let go.
  • Travel (not for work, but for fun) see and explore new places.
  • Worry less about what others think of me. I tend to worry a lot about this, but I'm starting to learn that most of the time people are more concerned with their own lives, rather than yours.
  • Live in the present, and enjoy the moment.
  • Be a better sister, daughter, granddaughter, and friend.
  • Spend more time surrounded by the people who care about me, and less time trying to impress the people who don't.
  • Be adventurous, be active, and pursue my passions.
I hope your 2012 rocks! What are you choosing to do differently this year?





My Dad's a Celeb, sort of...

Today I have to brag a little, but really it's just because I'm so proud of one of my favorite people, my dad!

His company was hired to light up the needle in San Antonio as part of the New Years celebration.

This was something that has never been done before and because of the success, San Antonio Living asked him to be on the show this morning. Check out the video below...
I was so excited for him, and so proud to see him talk about his company! Here are some more pictures from the event...
(all taken from here)


I think he's some kind of awe!



Travel Tuesday: Charleston, South Carolina

Hey ya'll! I was inspired again by Amanda today to write another Travel Tuesday post. This week, I'm choosing to write about one of my favorite cities in the US, Charleston, SC
(Trip to Charleston with some girlfriends one summer during college)
If you've never been to Charleston, I highly suggest you make it your next travel destination. It's one of the oldest cities in the country, located right along the South Carolina coast. 

It has a beautiful historic downtown lined with brightly colored houses and cobblestone streets.
(My little brother enjoying an old fashioned Coca-Cola outside a candy store in downtown Charleston)
Downtown has countless great restaurants to enjoy, my favorite is Hyman's Seafood and you could spend the day shopping at both well known stores and quaint boutiques or outdoor markets.
and best of all? The beach is right there!
(aren't my parents so cute?!?)

I love Charleston, it's a big enough city, with classic southern charm, and that small town feel.

My parents lived there for about a year and I was fortunate enough to only live three hours away during college so I've made lots of trips to Charleston. I hope I can retire there one day, a girl can dream right?!

What's your favorite city to visit? What makes it so special?

My 2011 in Review


Hey there! My little blog has been out of commission lately because my parents had a little wifi glitch. Don't worry though, I'm back in Daytona and good to go!

I hope you all had a great New Year! I wanted to post this before the 1st but it's a few days delayed. It's my 2011 recap. I want to look back on this past year because it was an experience, to say the least, and I learned a LOT and grew just as much.
January

My parents helped me pack up my college townhouse and we moved down to Daytona Beach, FL where I started my first full-time job.


February



Started work at NASCAR on February 7th (this is my department above) I also traveled to Phoenix and Las Vegas on my first official work trips.
March



Went to Calle Ocho in Miami with work, broke up with my boyfriend of almost a year, and spent my 22nd birthday away from all my friends and family. It was a tough month, but I think it also made me stronger.
April

Celebrated my oldest brothers wedding in Austin. IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL.
May
Organized orientation in Charlotte, NC and successfully welcomed the 2011 NASCAR Diversity Interns to their summer at NASCAR.
June
Liz, one of our summer interns moved in with me and we spent some time exploring good ole Daytona Beach.
July
My mama came to visit me in Daytona and got to see my office. We spent some much needed girl time hanging out.
I also learned a very important lesson, DON'T DATE A CO-WORKER, and if you do, make sure it's gonna last.
August
Spent a weekend in Charleston hanging with my three best friends from College.
September
Went to Richmond, and Atlanta for NASCAR Diversity Mentorship programs, and started my first semester of grad school at Texas A&M!
October
Went to my first Chi Omega big and little revelation as an alumni, and attended my first ever NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine.
November
Successfully organized and AMAZING Latin American concert at the NASCAR season finale, and introduced Chino y Nacho to NASCAR, VERY COOL.
December
Spent two weeks at home during our NASCAR "off-season", got a new puppy, and caught up with friend from High School.

2011 was filled with lots of surprises, lessons, some heartache, and joy. I'm excited to see what 2012 brings. I'm working on my resolutions for the new year, or "goals" and will share those with y'all soon.

What made your 2011 so special? What do you want to accomplish in 2012?

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