6.07.2018

Trader Joes Shopping List



Trader Joe's is my go-to place for groceries. You just can’t beat the selection and the prices. I know Trader Joes can be daunting in the beginning to a lot of people, so I figured this list would be helpful. I too am that person who goes overboard trying everything to see what they like. Lets just say, I’ve tried pretty much everything they have to offer. So, this list is a compilation of items that are true favorites and always stocked in my house. 

5.30.2018

Signs of a Toxic Friendship

After posting a few polls on Instagram out of curiosity, I was completely taken aback by the responses, but the one thing I have learned is, people are in our lives to shape us in one way or another. Here's my personal story, and take, on toxic friendships. 

   

How many times do you leave your friend feeling a little less worthy? If the answer is 50%, well that's enough to just walk away. 

Toxic relationships overtime can put a huge damper on your confidence and impact the way you feel towards future friendships. Finally accepting this, I decided to cut ties from a close friend who constantly hurt me at the beginning of this year. It wasn’t easy, but I just knew that I didn't want my son to ever see me get disrespected and do nothing about it. I'm a very transparent person when something bothers me, but instead of walking away from the friendship, I would just address the rude behavior and forgive the person. BUT seriously, how many times is enough? 

The behaviors that affected our friendship and led to my decision were when....

1. She turned our friendship into a competition. I would share something I had tried or done, and immediately was responded with something she did that was better. I'm all for suggestions, but friendship shouldn’t be competition.

2. I wasn’t treated as an equal. We started a side business together, but I quickly realized that I was the one putting the majority of the work in. When we would go to events that I would book, she would spend her time wandering the event and when she would return I’d immediately be presented with the question "Did you sell anything?" Last time I had checked I was her partner, not an employee.

3. I constantly had to apologize for my work ethic. By nature, I’m a workaholic and always checked my work e-mails after hours to which her response would be "Don't check your e-mails, then I'm expected to." Yes, we were also coworkers. In her defense, she was fired from her previous job and then replaced by a close friend of hers who really wanted her job so I  could see how her insecurities would get the best of her. 

4. She told me I wasn’t cultured. We had a conversation one day talking about where we’d live if we could pick anywhere in the world. I answered Tuscany. At that point, she told me I was uncultured. Who decides your dream place isn’t good enough just because she didn’t happen to like it or felt it was cliche? According to her, she could say those things since she's traveled to so many different places. 

5. She was a racist. What upset me the most was when I told her she and my fiancĂ© were from the same city in Peru – Lima. Her immediate response was to label him as a liar because, according to her, “People from Lima don't look like him.” I had never had someone blatantly be so disrespectful and disrespectful, without even knowing it.

6.  She didn’t miss me. I finally realized I was doing the right thing when she wasn't even sad that I no longer wanted to continue our friendship. Instead, she went into retaliation mode and insulted me with name calling (Hobbit is one I recall lol) and brought up personal matters going on in my life as digs to hurt me that were completely uncalled for. 

**Can you relate to any of these? Do they align with your toxic friendship? Was it enough for you to leave, or did you forgive them? 

You can probably tell I'm still upset and holding a bit of a grudge. It’s just after all the bullshit she did to me, I still considered her a friend. Why do we do this to ourselves? I thought I could change her behavior by being upfront about it, but she was her worse enemy. I had even seen her self-destruct at work and get fired for it. And despite the negativity she always fed me, I still went out on a limb and got her job back; although she didn't deserve any sympathy from me. She thanked me but didn't return the favor when the ultimate last straw happened. 

As things began to spiral, our side business together also began to see its end; just as our friendship was. ending too. I birthed the business and concept, while she supplied the global goods to support part of the concept. Each time she came with a product, I would pay my portion of the merchandise and we would split the profits 50/50.  With things as rocky as they were, my plan was to continue the business, but without the global merchandise. I only had 3 of the pieces in my possession to market on social media, while she had the majority of it (over 30 pieces to be precise.) (backstory to what’s to come)

It had already been day 2 of being harassed by her at work when she decided to ask me to return the three remaining pieces. My immediate response was a firm "NO" since I paid for what I had. I told her to leave me alone and she continued to press the issue until she finally called me a "thief" in front of all our coworkers. I was taken aback by the scene she created, but not too surprised at the same time since she was extremely hot-headed. The situation escalated to an all-out screaming match that ended with her saying, "Just keep the stuff, you need it more." That comment was a direct dig towards my fiancĂ© who had recently lost his job. That last insult sent me through the roof and had me boiling, which then led me to lower myself to her level with the comeback of, "No wonder your husband wanted to leave you." I was just so upset because I was calm in my responses until she called me a thief and that’s when I snapped. How could she be so hard headed to think I would give her the stuff I paid for? It was yet another reminder that she felt entitled. 

I called out of work the next day because I was still so shaken up and honestly, feeling sick to my stomach thinking of having to deal with her. The following day I headed to work and, to my surprise, was presented with a demotion and a pay cut. The company was going through major changes that would drastically affect our compensation. The final straw was when I was informed that I would be required to maintain the same quality of work and responsibilities, despite my salary being half of what it was before and I’d no longer be receiving healthcare coverage. I knew my answer real quick!  

What was crazy though was that my boss and I had previously come to an agreement a month before. We agreed that I would move into a part-time position with a rate that we both found fair. At the time, Grayson was only six months and I didn't want to put him in full-time daycare, so when I was presented the new job proposal I immediately thought was that this so-called “friend” had lost me my job.

I was never given a conversation on my performance, or anything, that would have led me to see this coming. And when I really had a moment to think, I realized this new proposal was planned. My “friend” had begun to take over some of my job responsibilities, which I thought was just to spread the responsibilities evenly; helping me out a bit. But I was wrong. It was actually to show that I was no longer needed. I worked from home 3 times a week, while she was in the office full time. If changes were to happen, I would be the last to know. Instead of it being her with the new changes, she made sure it was me. 

After all was said it done, I walked away from the most toxic environment I had ever been in and would never look back. Some might say I came out of this as the winner since I removed myself from the situation, and I did feel that way for a while. But what I just can't get over is that I could have forgiven her, had she only admitted to her wrongs. I wouldn't be her friend, but an acquaintance. Even when I said I didn't want to be friends, I made it clear we should be cordial at work and respect one another. Because if we had to work together why make it miserable? But, that was too much to ask. It was also too much to ask that she fight for my job the way I did for her.  That's the difference between her and I. I always cared about her even after she didn't deserve it. Shame on me! 

This might come off as a tell-all, but the beauty of writing is being able to let go of the past. I almost deleted everything I wrote since reading this out loud made it very clear that I made the right decision. But, I also found it important to share my personal story because you should never allow someone to treat you in a way that makes you feel inferior.  

To end on a lighter note, watch this.



4.10.2018

TASTY TUESDAY: CHICKEN ECHILADAS!



I’m pretty sure I was going to share this recipe 3 weeks ago, but then I made it again and remembered I never shared, Oops. So, here it is, my easy delicious Chicken Enchiladas! I’ve perfected this recipe to be QUICK and EASY! Nobody has all day to cook.

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 Chicken Breasts (to be shredded) 
1 (32 oz) Carton of Vegetable Broth 
1 Chunky Tomatillo Salsa 
1 Tomatillo Sauce 
1 Can of beans (you can omit if you get salsa w/ beans) 
2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
5 oz of Cream Cheese 
Packet of Tortillas 
1 Avocado as topping 



1. COOK THE CHICKEN 

There are several ways of cooking the chicken to shred and I do these 2 ways. You can either boil in vegetable broth to have more juice or cook on a skillet till it's no longer pink inside which is 6 min per side. I find the skillet to be faster. You set the chicken aside to cool and shred away. 

2. MIX THE CHICKEN W/ CHUNKY SALSA & CREAM CHEESE

While the chicken cools separate the cream cheese you plan to use and let it soften, so it's easier to mix. Put the shredded chicken into a medium size bowl and pour the SALSA first to mix and then add the cream cheese. I love using Trader Joes Roasted Tomatillo and Mango Salsa since it has black beans, roasted corn, and mango. I will tell you now, that you can't taste the mango. So, if you have a significant other or friends who would find mango in enchiladas gross, they will never know. I should know because Alex didn't notice ; ) Also, if you're salsa doesn't have beans, drain and rinse the beans AND then add to the mixture. 

3. GET YOUR BAKING DISH READY 

Grab a 9x13 baking dish and pour half of your Enchilada SAUCE to the bottom. You can oil up your dish, but really as long as you don't overcook your enchiladas they come out very easily. 



4.  START PREPARING THE ENCHILADAS

Get a plate big enough to fit an open tortilla and start filling them up with the mix. I spread mostly in the middle, roll, and fill the ends with more mix. You don't want to have any mix left over. The perk of making your own enchiladas is not having to be stingy with the meat. Place in dish with the SAUCE. You can make up to 8 enchiladas. 

5. BAKE THE ENCHILADAS AT 375 FOR 25 MIN

Once you're done filling up your tortillas and placing them in the dish. Pour the remaining enchilada SAUCE on top and spread the cheese. Bake your Enchiladas for 25 min UNCOVERED until you see the cheese melted and tortillas slightly browned.


6. EAT THE HECK OUT OF THEM!! 

I paired the Enchiladas with toasted coconut Quinoa (toasted because I cooked for too long lol) Just use coconut milk to make the quinoa. You can also pair it with cilantro garlic rice. That recipe is 6 cloves of minced garlic sauteed in olive oil, add the rice & water. Once cooked, top with cilantro. 

I hope you enjoy and let me know if you end up making them : ) They're a favorite at our house! 

Xo,

Adrianna 

3.12.2018

Mama Monday #1


If there's one thing I can say all moms have in common, is that their children are constantly changing what they love. With Grayson, it's safe to say he officially hates his bouncer after 4 months. The dread because it used to be his and my favorite toy! That little bouncer was my saving grace when I wanted to start dinner or fold the laundry. With that, I compiled a few items that won't break the bank and will keep your baby busy and happy.



Playmat- Minimal and the perfect price. (they sold out in this style, but 2 other great choices)
Toy Remote- This is a MUST buy if you're baby loves your remote.
Teething Biscuits- These are the perfect snack for in between feedings. He loves all the flavors. 
Whale Bath Toy- Grayson loves that the whales mouth opens and fits his hand. 
Squeeze & Teethe- This is Grayson's favorite teether, we take it everywhere!
Suction Toy- Perfect toy to take to restaurants or put on their high chairs. 
Wooden Shape & Color Sorter- I gravitate towards wood toys because they're a natural material and Grayson loves to put everything in his mouth. 
Banana Teether- Great to start breaking the skin for new teeth and Grayson just loves to chew on it. 

Let me know your babies favorites in the comments.

Xo

Adrianna 

2.27.2018

Tuesday Tip #1


How many times have you said that you can't wait to have your own place so you can host gatherings? Me, a million times over but the number of times I actually have is less than 10. But now that Grayson’s a little older and in a routine, I plan to host more guests. With that said, I found the perfect website to help me out creating invites, Paperless Post


 
I can tell you right now I've been slacking in the details department of events since becoming a mom; thanks, Gray. Example, our Christmas Eve invite was sent over a group chat with the details on what time, and what to bring; but hello Paperless Post, where was it when I needed it?! The pros are endless because the number one thing that I love is those days of having to mail out invites are long gone! I love memorabilia just as much as the next person, but sometimes it starts to become junk and the guilt of having to keep is just too heavy. Do you know what I mean? I bet you still have your friends holiday cards up on your fridge. I know I do!  

I always go off tangent, sorry! So, back to Paperless Post. I am seriously just obsessed, and possibly spending a little too much time creating future invites. They have so many witty, cute, and unique options, and it lets you take any invite and customize it to your liking. The invite I'm creating for Grayson's 1st birthday is coming from a save the date template! How cool is that? Also, pricing is pretty affordable and the App is free. They use a “coins” system for paying and you can easily gain them by linking to your Facebook and just liking their page. The App also lets you manage which of your guest are attending or not, which helps with a headcount. It really can't get any easier than this. 

Let me know if you end up using Paperless Post or have used it yourself. 

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Hope you enjoyed this Tuesday Tip! 

Xo Adrianna