3 Salsas to Spice Up Your Sunday

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Sometimes being a 20-something fresh out of college leaves you with a predicament of not knowing how to function in the real world. If I go out on Thirsty Thursday, can I still blend in with the college crowd? Is it okay for me to wear a t-shirt and sweatpants every day? How do I eat without declining balance on my student card? These are questions that secretly run through our young minds. Luckily for me, I made the leap of leaving the dorm life and transitioning into the "real world" the summer before my Junior  year of college. I moved into an apartment with three other roommates, got a job that actually didn't involve greasy food and paid a few quarters more than minimum wage, and started learning how to actually make edible food. One of the things that I learned to make was a few different variations of salsas. On Sundays, I typically don't feel like making anything crazy so I munch on salsa most of the day. Here are a couple of salsa recipes for the other salsa lovers in this world! Enjoy!

Meag's Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients: 
1 can of sweet yellow corn (drained and rinsed)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cans of Rotel (I like Mild with the green chilies but it's up to you! Don't drain the Rotel)
Handful of Cilantro (diced)
1 tablespoon of Cumin
Squeezed lime juice for 1 lime
(Just a tablespoon of lime juice is fine if you don't have any limes around)
Mix all ingredients into one big bowl and you're good to go!
Meag's Corn and Black Bean Salsa! Made some fresh today for my lazy Sunday on a rain day. It's so good that I'll actually eat the leftovers as a "side" with grilled chicken for lunch the next day or top a little on a salad.

Smooth Mild Salsa

You'll need a blender for this one.
Ingredients: 
2 large can of diced tomatoes 
2 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoon of cumin
Handful of Cilantro to top off the blender

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend! 
Pretty simple, right? It's smooth and hits the spot. Sometimes we'll add diced onion to it, but it's up to you. I prefer it without, but Kyle loves it. 


Cool Buzz (for the sour cream lovers!)

You'll need blender for this one too. 
Ingredients: 
1 16 oz. tub of sour cream
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of dark chili powder
1 whole chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon of the chipotle pepper sauce from it's can 

Blend away until it looks smooth! Okay, I'll admit, when you hear "salsa," you're thinking tomatoes need to be in there somewhere, right? Maybe this is cheating, but you'll definitely try to replace your traditional salsa with this one when you're feeling that creamy vibe. Don't be deceived by the hotness you're adding in because the sour cream will really tone it down and make it irresistible. 


Cooler In Progress!

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First, I want to show that progress and ideas that I have for this cooler that I am fixing up. As I mentioned in my previous post, I ruined this cooler a year ago by just not doing it justice. Here is the progress I have made on it!



Front Side! The plan to add "Or Bust" below NC and I'm still brainstorming what to do with some of the empty space. There definitely needs to be some touch-ups on this but I'm trying to wait until the end to make touch-ups on this, just in case! 

Pearled border that I'm working on - One idea is to do something Alpha Gam related and the other is to make it Western Carolina related. We'll see where this actually goes. 
Back Side! If you look at the ratchet pictures, you realize that I kept the back the same. This tank was actually not painted by me but by one of my favorite sisters, Jen, who is obviously talented and awesome. I still want to keep the tank and the American Flag idea but redo the blue/stars border and add "Back to Back World War Champs" around the tank. 

This border idea is road trip inspired and I plan to put in a few of the highways that we'll be traveling on our way to DC. The black and white are for the US/State highways and the red and blue are for the interstates. The green side is planned to be a road trip bucket list. 


So as we can see, I still have a lot of work cut out for me, but I am doing it the right way and adding layers of mod podge as I go and letting everything dry completely between layers and touch-ups. I'm really liking the color combinations. I'm still thinking of ideas for the lid. I definitely want to put mine and Kyle's names on the top. Right now, I'm thinking about combining the Blue Ridge Parkway skyline with the DC skyline in some variation with our names. I am really excited to see how this comes out.

Eek! Cooler Repair & Busy Schedule

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I have been filled with tons of ideas for my blog and no time to put them out there... I am so sorry to those of you who have been checking in. I actually really appreciate all of the views that I have seen pop up and new followers despite my lack of posting. Ya'll are amazing.  I've been thinking about putting some photos of my recent crafting to catch up!

So about a year ago, I decided that I wanted to paint a cooler. For some people that probably seems like a crazy, weird idea. Why would anyone want to paint a cooler?? Let's be honest. I am a Greek woman and it is my Greek right to be able to paint whatever I please and make it look fabulous. For others, this is the best idea anyone came up with and you're probably a crafter like me. So anyways, I started to paint a cooler last summer and it was a disaster... I painted it, then realized I couldn't put beer in it because I had my sorority letters on it and according to my chapter's by-laws, we cannot associated alcohol with our letters (don't wear letters and drink kind-of-deal) and that would include having a cooler with my letters and then filling it with beer at tailgate. So that was one flaw I didn't think about. The next was I did not use a good sealant. If you are a crafter or enjoy painting coolers or paddles or whatever, it is important to have a good product to seal your work of art. I used mod podge. Specifically like 6 layers of it. It did not work and when the handle of the cooler was shifted down and hit the sides I had painted, the paint chipped completely. It started to look tacky and awful. All of my designs were ruined. I tried to fix some spots that I had painted black with some black spray paint... it got worse. So now that I have told you how awful it worked out, let me show you some pictures of what I am.... (so for the low quality, I took these with my Galaxy S5)





You see all of that black? Yeah, that's me using spray paint thinking I could just "cover it" problems and flaws and redo and use it like a primer... what was I thinking!?

 This week I made the goal to redo, repair, and get this cooler ready to go to my Washington DC trip next week! It's a big goal but luckily I am off work the rest of the week and next week and my trip is not until Wednesday. This cooler needs to be finished and with coats of whatever I am sealing it down with by Monday so that it can be completely dried and re-coated if needed in time for the trip. I would really like to take a cooler on my trip. So the past couple of days and the next few days, I have/will be working on doing this cooler justice and doing it without cheesy shortcuts... and making it look pretty darn good. I have already sanded it out, put a new primer down, and started repainted it. So far, so good. I'll post some in progress pictures tomorrow with a better camera. 

Geocaching!

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My favorite pass-time and how I feed my wanderlust.... Geocaching. When I first mention it, people are usually confused and just kind of nod their heads and pretend to know what I am talking about. Every so often, someone will ask me what it is though and my reaction always sounds like I am trying to sell a new cult to them. Geocaching is one of the many loves of my life.

The simplest way to describe geocaching is to call it a real-life, outdoor treasure hunt. Using GPS coordinates, the concept is to find a hidden container, called a geocache or cache somewhere out in the world. Caches are typically well-hidden containers re-purposed for geocaching by their owners. I've found geocaches that were tupperware bins, ammo boxes, film containers, even magnets. They are all a little bit unique. To find these items, the coordinates of its location, the size of the object, difficulty level for finding it, difficulty of the terrain, and a clever hint are usually provided by the cache-owner to help out with finding it. Once you find your first one, it's addicting. 

To get by, I usually a cell phone app on my Samsung Galaxy S5 called Geocaching Intro. I also used this app on my previous phone, Droid 4. It will work on any smart phone, I believe. I hope to get a handheld GPS navigator someday, but my phone has been great as long as I get signal. I've been in very few places that I don't get signal, but I also study the map of its location and review the hints before going out to find it. Just in case my signal goes out, I can still usually find the cache based on info other people leave in the app and the hints. 

So the adventure begins! Yesterday Kyle and I went geocaching for a little bit before our friend came into town from Hendersonville. We live in Cullowhee, NC and decided to go toward Cherokee. I've around found all of the caches in Dillsboro and many in Sylva and Cullowhee area. The only few I haven't gotten to are ones that either were missing (owner had to go back and replace them or decide to take them off the app), involved climbing (found out there is a path around though so I'll be back!), and involved hiking (been working on the trail each weekend so I'll make it to that point eventually but that part is actually closed for maintenance right now). 

On the way to Cherokee was a cache on this cable swinging bridge. At first we were totally sketched out by the sign of "Max 4 people" but we dared to go on it. The fun part about geocaching is that many times people hide caches in really cool places that you would have never known were there until you look for the geocache. This is only about 20 minutes from where I live, driven by it multiple times, and this was the first time I noticed the bridge. 


Cable Bridge
Near Cherokee, NC 

Cable Bridge
Near Cherokee, NC
Me and Kyle!
I tend to look ratchet on days I know I'm going geocaching. 

So what does the cache look like? Guess you'll have to find out for yourselves if you ever come out this way! I'm pretty good at not taking pictures of exactly where the cache is located so that others can find it on their own. This one was a little tough, especially being distracted by the fact the bridge moves with every step. Once our friend came into town, we convinced him to go out toward Cherokee with us and we had some fun in Cherokee. I had poor signal for geocaching but we did go to Mingo Falls, where another geocache is located!

Mingo Falls
Cherokee, NC

Phew, a great fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club yesterday!

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Yesterday was our first big fundraiser at the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau. I have been a part of the staff since it's founding and opening day, and it has been a big learning experience to be a part of a new Boys and Girls Club. It has definitely not been easy, but I'm glad that I've stuck it through. The fundraiser was a spaghetti dinner and it was a success. I was going to be happy settling for breaking even as long as we got some community exposure, but we definitely went beyond breaking even and received a lot of support. The biggest hit of the fundraiser, other than the food, was the kids having a chance to pie their program leaders in the face. Some of us had well over 10 pies in the face. Many of our kids finally got their chance to get back at us for every time we asked them to stop running, pick up their trash, and to stop bickering with each other. I definitely felt their wrath after there was enough cool whip in my face to suffocate. Needless to say, it was a great time and I'm glad the kids had a blast pieing us.
My "before" Shot!

Staff and our board president after being pied by the kids! My boyfriend, Kyle, works with me too! 

Planning to go to DC!

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The past week has been a rough week at work, but the weekend is finally here! And I can now relax and think about what will be happening in exactly 20 days... Washington DC! That's right. My mom gifted my boyfriend and I with four nights in the Nation's capitol as a graduation gift and I'll be experiencing one of my favorite cities with my best friend and boyfriend, Kyle. I am excited to be going on this trip with him. Whenever I get a chance, I try to work on our plan of what we will see and how we are going to try to see everything in just a few short days. Luckily the metro and hotel part is covered. My mom already got us two SmartTrip metro/bus cards that are re-loadable and she has already put some money on them. I have a book from Fodor's with a lot of great information about all of the difference attractions in DC. This is going to be a great experience. Though I have been to DC before, it is going to be so much different now that I'm an adult, planning my own way around, and with Kyle. Kyle has just graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He will be going to graduate school with me in the Fall and be pursuing a Master's in American History, so this DC trip is going to be something he'll love! Now that I know we will be going on this trip, I've been scanning for blogs for travel tips and itineraries people had made for themselves during their own visit to DC. It's going to be a challenge to try to see everything, but I think we got this covered.

A Night Downtown

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A few days ago, I bought a Sony Alpha a6000 and so far, I am loving it. I'll admit, it is definitely confusing at first since I was so used to the Canon Rebel that my old job used to have for me. (I was a Sports Reporter for a newspaper). However, it is definitely a good change. This little mirrorless camera seems to be great for me since I just wanted a good quality camera for every day photos. I also bought this because I will be going to Washington DC in.... 23 days!  I wanted to be sure to get great photos this time around since I have very few good photos from previous times I've been to DC.

Here's a photo of downtown Sylva, NC that I took tonight. I decided to go for a walk downtown and I was pleased to see how the AI settings worked at night. I plan on seeing many of the monuments in DC during the day AND at night, and night photos have always came out crappy in my experience.

Also, now that I'm going to start doing this blogging thing, I decide to join Bloglovin so I can find others to follow and so others can find me!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Downtown Sylva, NC
May 12, 2015

Another chapter begins!

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Last Saturday was my graduation at Western Carolina University! I am excited to say that I now have a degree in Psychology and I will be pursuing School Psychology in my graduate studies at WCU. The past four years was a blast and I am excited to be starting a new chapter of my life: being an adult.

And with that, I have decided to start a new blog. I've always had this account on blogger, but never actually used it. I've always have ideas of what to do on here, but never followed through. I've decided to change that now that I have a little more time on my hands (and a new camera!) and start a "lifestyle" blog. Some of the ideas that I've wanted to blog about are my travels, adventures geocaching, recipes that I've tried/created, fun times with my boyfriend, and maybe even some crafting tutorials/ideas by me. 

Western Carolina University - Alumni Tower
May 11, 2015