Thursday, March 14, 2019

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day! I hope you got to celebrate with delicious pie and lots of laughs about this fun holiday. Today at work, we had a celebration on each shift so I made a pie to share with my coworkers. It was a new recipe but it came out so good that I had to share the recipe on the blog for other people to enjoy :)

I made a no bake lemony pudding pie that did not take too much time to put together.  First, I made the crust and then I made the filling as I had some time during the evening.  

For the crust - you will need: 
  • 9 graham crackers
  •  7 ounces of butter really softened but not melted
  •  1/4 cup sugar
  • a pinch of the following: salt, cinnamon, vanilla powder, and ginger. 
Pulse the crackers in the food processor and then pour into a bowl, add the butter and spices, and mix until it feels like sand. Pour all of the mix into a 10 inch pie tin and smoosh into the crust using a glass cup. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to use ASAP or leave in the fridge for a few hours. 

For the three layers of filling, you will need:
  • 2 packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 3.5 cups cold whole milk 
  • Zest of around 4-5 lemons
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice 
  • 2 8 oz. packages of Extra Creamy Cool Whip
Make the pudding according to the directions on the box (I used 3.5 cups milk and 0.5 cups lemon juice instead of all milk) and add the zest to the pudding mix. Then, I put it in the fridge for a while so that the flavors could meld nicely. Defrost the Cool Whip in the fridge at the same time. When ready to layer:
  • layer half the pudding on the bottom for layer 1
  • mix one package of cool whip with the rest of the pudding for layer 2
  • use the second package of Cool Whip for the top layer. 
Below is a picture of what my pie looked like before I put all the whipped topping on it :) I am sure you could play with different kinds of pudding for the three layers but using vanilla with a hint of lemon was really fresh without being too tart. Once finished,  I left it in the fridge overnight and it was delicious today at work around 10:30!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Personal Business Cards and Why You Should Get Some!

A personal business card is one of the items that I always carry with me. While a work business card is a great thing to have when visiting customers, suppliers, or potential business partners, a personal business card is something that I use during local networking events, random conversations at coffee shops, or volunteer fairs.  I keep them in either a cute pink business card case or inside my wallet.

I ordered my cards on Zazzle, which is a great website with a ton of cool modern designs and relatively frequent promotions. When I purchased my cards, they had a 50% business cards sale so check in frequently on the site of your choice to minimize cost for the maximum number of cards. I paid around $11 for 100 cards including shipping. 

I chose one of the preset designs and configured it to meet my needs. The front of the card states my name and my tagline. Words make for a cleaner tagline than phrases or sentences about your abilities. Keeping the number of words in your tagline low allows it to be more impactful.  I chose the following:
  • Engineer - I am an advocate for women + minorities in STEM and proud of my engineering degree. 
  • Volunteer - I volunteer for various social causes and would love to get involved in more.
  • Learner - I love to learn and connect with people who are willing to teach me something new.
Using these three words as my tagline has been a nice conversation starter/closer with new contacts at events as we discuss how you can boil your life down into as few words as possible. 

My personal card has three things on the back:
  • my website to demonstrate some of my work outside of my profession
  • my email which is a link to me in a more formal way
  • my cell phone number which is a link to me in an informal way
While some experts say that you should add a picture, I felt that linking my website allows someone to see my face again if they find that necessary.  Social media handles can be included if that is more applicable to your work but in general, my volunteer work contacts need a phone number to call for help and an email to send confirmation details after the conversation. Whatever choices you add to your design, make sure you spellcheck before saving the final design and paying for the cards!

Other creative ways to use personal business cards that I have heard or read about are:
  • Address cards after people have moved to share info quick with friends or family 
  • Cards with your children's ages and relevant allergy information for play dates 
  • Photography business cards with examples of your work on one side

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Imperfect Produce: A Healthy Eater's Dream

About 6 months ago, I started getting an Imperfect Produce box once a week. The premise is that you choose everything in your box from a set list of items and your choices are delivered to your house once a week for a fee. I spend a lot of money on produce due to living a very healthy lifestyle so I figured trying the service was worth a shot. It was a complete change to my food routine - moved Meal Prep to Monday, no more going to the grocery store for veggies 1-2x/week, and more organic food in my life. And I was hooked after the second week.
I usually get about $20-$25 worth of produce and I eat it all by the end of the week. I get very creative with my lunch meal prep and dinners. In the above photo, I took some of the contents of the box in the first photo (carrots, kale, mushrooms,  and tomatoes),  ground them up with spices, and stuffed it into the peppers - so good!  I chopped the cucumbers into a salad and will snack on the fruit at work this week.  Each week, I get to try something new or different (pomelo = weekly fun choice) while supporting food that could have gotten wasted from going to a dump. While there are some critical review of the service, especially that the feeling that all of the food could go to a food bank, I chose to support it as it lowers my vegetable bill for the month and exposes me to new foods and creative ways of cooking.