Saturday, May 31, 2014

The yummy addiction of Fried Rice

Okay, so it might not be the healthiest meal, but I feel it comes close.  I have been on a fried rice kick for a few months now, its so fast, easy and exciting-- the mixing of flavors, the creativity of picking and choosing my ingredients.  I love it!

Have you ever made fried rice?  Its easy!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Just Switched my cell to Ting. Have you heard of it?

After a month of researching, I made the plunge yesterday and signed up with Ting.
Ting is a cell phone service provider that uses the Sprint network.  Yet, for some reason, their prices are super low.  Maybe its because they don't provide you with a phone.  You can use a Sprint phone or buy a Sprint phone.  When Sprint offers "free" phones, the phones aren't really free because you are paying $80 or more a month for your service.  They calculate the cost of the phone in the pricing, but we never see it that way.

Ting doesn't have different plans to choose from.  They do, however, charge you for what you use...what a concept.  For someone like me that doesn't text a lot, I don't pay for texts I won't send.  I will probably fall into the 1-100 texts, which is a flat $3/month.  If you make/receive 101-1000 texts, its only $5 that month. You can talk 501-1000 minutes/month for only $18.  The best part?? You don't sign up for one tier of usage over just use your phone.  They figure out what you used and bill you accordingly.  I actually just finished setting up alerts on my account (which was super easy) to let me know when I get close to getting to another tier.   That way, if I'm close to the end of my month, I can just decide if I want to keep using or maybe scale back a bit so I don't go over that tier.  In the end, I plan to save big $$$ compared to where I was with Sprint!

The beauty of Ting is that I was able to use my Sprint phone.  That's right, since its on the Sprint network...I can just use my current phone!  No buying a new phone, learning how to use it.  When this phone goes kaput, I will need to buy another Sprint phone.  Ting does sell new and refurbished Sprint phones.  Seems ok to me.  I hate shopping for new phones...wait, I hate making a decision on what new phone to get.  Too many choices!!

If you are interested in Ting, please check their website:

Also, if you decide to try Ting, please click on my referral link below.  You will get $25 when you sign up to put towards buying a phone or off your first bill (if you already have a sprint phone).

If you sign up, Ting will also give me $25 off my next bill, too.  That's a great way to grow a business, don't ya think?!

Can't beat that!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Leukemia Research Foundation Jim Gibbons Memorial 5K run/3K fun walk

Dear Friends and Family,

As many of you know, I have spent the last 16 months fighting a rare form of leukemia, Acute Promyleocytic Leukemia.  When my leukemia was discovered, I had flu like symptoms and large bruises that appeared out of nowhere.  Little did I know, I had days to live without immediate treatment.  I am blessed to say I am in remission, although I am still undergoing maintenance chemotherapy drugs until next October.  It has been a long battle, but I couldn't have done it without the support of my colleagues, friends and family.  Thank you for all your prayers along the way!

I am reaching out to you today asking for your support.  I will be walking as a survivor in the Leukemia Research Foundation's Jim Gibbons 5k run/3k walk in Chicago on June 12. I am walking the 3K in memory and honor of a fellow leukemia patient and friend I made while being treated at Rush, Keith Johns.

Keith was diagnosed the same time as me, Feb 2013.  We were both on the same floor at Rush, and we became friends during our initial month long stay.  Keith was diagnosed with AML (another form of leukemia) and needed a bone marrow transplant.  Keith and I went through our battles together.  We both had turned our rooms into mini studio-style apartments.  His room was plastered with family pictures and goodies from home, as was mine.  We lost our hair at the same time.  We experienced the same sore throats and upset stomachs from our chemo, lovingly termed by the nurses as "the red death".  Yet, he always smiled and waved to everyone in the other rooms.  He was always positive.   Keith did receive his transplant, after lots of chemo, during the summer.  I was lucky enough to also be receiving a round of chemo at the same time as his transplant, so I got to spend a couple more days visiting my friend.  Unfortunately, he had some
complications a few months later and passed away November 28. The news of his passing was incredibly heartbreaking for me.

More than anything, I want to honor my friend by participating in this walk.  The Leukemia Research Foundation is a non-profit that actually provides financial assistance to patients who cannot afford their treatments and/or medications.  It also funds research grants to help find better treatments for all blood cancers.  Last year, LRF provided over $500,000 in grants for research to help cure this devastating disease.  My specific leukemia was a death sentence 20 years ago, but because of groundbreaking research, it now has a 90% survival rate.

Below is a link to my fundraising page.  Please check it out and read my cancer story.  I am reaching out to you today asking for your donation.  I originally set a goal to raise a mere $200, but then I realized I could do better.  Please help me blow the roof on that silly $200!  Your donation will help fund leukemia research and help pay another patient's medical bills.
  No donation is too small. 

If you can't donate, I would love it if you could share my fundraising page with others, or better yet, join me in the walk!

Everyone is touched by cancer.  Everyone.  Whether its an aunt, mother, father, grandparent, friend or coworker...we all know someone that has experienced what I call "Warrior Training".  Not all of us are lucky enough to hear the word CURED.  Leukemia is a cancer that has a general survival rate of about 50%.  50% is TOO LOW!  We can't up that number without research!  I am one of the lucky ones, I heard REMISSION.  I WILL hear CURED in 4 years. 

I am walking in memory of Keith.  Please make your donation in memory and honor of your loved ones who have fought cancer.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Ruhlman

Dear Mr. Ruhlman,
I didn't think it was possible.  Onions, a tab of butter, salt, pepper, and water.  Oh, and stale bread and cheese.  A bunch of kitchen staples that melded together to create the absolute best rainy day dinner I have ever had.  Yesterday, I made your French Onion Soup.  I cooked the onions for about 5 hours, until they were brown and deliciously caramelized with wonderful cooked bits on the bottom of the stockpot.

I wish I had a picture of my masterpiece, but BD and I ate it too quickly last night for dinner.  It was the best french onion soup I ever had.  BD actually blended his with a immersion blender, because he doesn't like the texture of the onions, but I loved it.  We both ate it up and wished I made more.

This morning, my tummy is tellling me different, but that's because I indulged.  And, for the calorie counters-- its seriously low in calories (with the exception of the bread and cheese) but amazingly filling and full of flavor.  I can't believe we didn't add anything but water to the onions (and salt and pepper).

Thank you, Michael Ruhlman.  Thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of simplistic cooking.  There is a special art to this wonderful comfort food, anyone can do it...I just wish I had a picture to show everyone.  I ate too quickly!

For those who don't know Ruhlman, please visit his website:  He is frequently seen alongside Anthony Bourdain on his many different incantations of his show.  He also authors many amazing cookbooks, including my boyfriend's (BD) favorite:
Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn