quick easy garlic dill chickenPhoto credit

Are you ready for a crazy easy chicken dish? This chicken dish is ready in just a few minutes thanks to rotisserie chicken. I’m normally a huge fan of homemade food but you can’t beat store-bought rotisserie chicken for flavor, tenderness, and price.

To make this garlic dill chicken even easier, I used the marinade left over from Fresh Market’s Dilly Cucumber Salad. But homemade flavoring is almost as easy.

Just saut

how to start your morning

The mornings that I take time to ease into my day are always better than the days that I roll out of bed (or stay in bed…), open my computer (or turn on my iPad), and start work (or sift through my Feedly RSS feeds) immediately. It’s something I know but often forget because I wake up feeling like I need to be productive right away. But guess what? There are plenty of productive ways to kickstart the morning without technology! If you’re in the 1/3 of smartphone users who jump on their phone first thing in the morning, take note of the following antidotes to morning technology overload.

Cook: Whether it’s whipping up a hearty breakfast, prepping a packed lunch, or assembling ingredients for a Crockpot recipe, cooking can be a relaxing and productive way to jumpstart the day- and it can set you on the right track for the rest of the day if you focus on incorporating healthy ingredients into your meals!

Do yoga or meditate: I always feel an insane level of tranquility after a yoga class, so doing it first thing in the morning makes sense to start my day feeling calm and collected. But no need to spend an hour plus getting to and from the gym and in class- YouTube “yoga” to find short instructional videos.

Volunteer: The other day, I woke up, grabbed coffee, and headed to Raleigh City Farm for 2 hours of volunteering with coworkers from my coworking space. Harvesting vegetables, being outside, and bonding with coworkers? Can’t beat it. Check out your local Urban Ministries or Rescue Mission to see if they have breakfast shifts that they need volunteers for.

Exercise: I’m pretty sure that I have never regretted starting my day with exercise (except 5:30am classes- my body does not like those!). Bring on the endorphins with a quick Elliptical work out or a tennis date- it’s obviously one of the best way to give you energy throughout the day!

Journal: I adore my blog but let’s be honest- I can’t be 100% honest about my every thought on here (there are some thing y’all probably don’t want to read about). Journaling for just a few minutes in the morning is a way to start the day with specific goals and a positive energy!

Sip coffee: Quietly drinking coffee with nothing else to distract me would be a serious challenge for me, but I just may try it in the hopes that it would help me start the day on a positive note.

Read: Why not stay in bed for a few extra minutes and get your brain up and at ‘em with a novel or non-fiction book? The only problem will be tearing yourself away if it’s an engrossing book!

How do you start your day without technology?

 

on the menu chickenPotato Chip

a recipe for a peaceful day

Today’s guest post comes from Kristen Walker of Project 20 Something. I asked Kristen to do a guest post because I love the life wisdom she shares on the Project 20 Something blog and on social media!

ask cristina how to build a client base

A friend from college recently reached out to me on behalf of her boyfriend to ask about how to build a client base big enough that he could pursue his own consulting business.

09. April 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: On the Menu · Tags:

on the menu for the week

Lentil and butternut squash soup: I’m pulling this soup out of the freezer this week, because it will be winter-y by next week! In my Crockpot, I combined carrots and celery, added cubed butternut squash pieces and multi-colored autumn lentils, seasoned it with salt, pepper, red chili pepper, and a bay leaf, and covered it all with homemade chicken stock.

Orange chicken: Now that

Have you heard of 30 Days of Compliments? Here’s what it says on the Facebook page:

Not to be too general but the world can sometimes be a bit negative, and lately, at times, I have caught myself buying into that negativity. I don’t want to do that. It’s not cool. It’s not me. So, even though I am not a frequent poster, I am going to use the power that I have in my words and in my ability to post on Facebook to do something positive: post one compliment a day for 30 days about a person in my life. And I figured why not invite you all to do the same, my former students, family, friends, acquaintances, etc. (it took me forever to click all 1200 tiny boxes on the invite friends list!) Will you do this with me? If so, will you share the invite? If not, no worries. You’re still the coolest! There are only two rules: the post has to be your own words and you can only compliment a person once in the 30 days. That way the good cheer is spread around a wee bit more! Who’s in?

I’d seen the 30 Days of Compliments campaign floating around Facebook and the blogosphere but hadn’t experienced it firsthand…until this morning! Karrie, one of my best friends from college, tagged me in a post that said:

30 days of compliments, Day 3: to Cristina Roman, thanks for being such a great friend! You are one of the most driven people I know and you always push me to be a better me! I love when we are together because all we do is laugh and have a great time! I am ecstatic that you said yes to my spontaneous visit in a few weeks! Can’t wait to see you!!

Just a short paragraph, but it made my day!! Though I didn’t jump on board early enough to participate in the whole 30 days, the campaign makes me want to reach out to people who have inspired me.

And speaking of reaching out to people you inspired you…I got an email from a girl I went to college with telling me that she’s been reading this little blog and that it inspired her to start her own consulting business. I am SO proud of her for making such an exciting (albeit scary) move. I’m also so appreciative that she took the time to email me to let me know that she’s been inspired- it makes me want to keep blogging regularly when I get awesome feedback like that!

Who inspires you? Are you participating in 30 Days of Compliments?

The past few months have been pretty eventful- I got laid off, started a business, endured winter, etc. Tons of great stuff happened, but it’s been challenging, especially getting in the groove with work. I feel like the beginnings of spring changed my mood dramatically! I’ve also been working hard to get systems and strategies in place so that I’m not feeling so overwhelmed.

I had a dream the other night that someone was complaining that my blog used to be fun but wasn’t anymore. So here is my attempt to bring back the fun!

  • Last Wednesday, I volunteered at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC with Change the Triangle. I love CTT’s big Saturday events, but it was great to have a chance to volunteer during the week with a smaller, more intimate group.
  • Last Thursday, I attended Women for Success‘ inaugural event. The organization is a “giving network comprised of passionate young professionals who support Dress for Success Triangle NC and its mission to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women.”

Look At All Those Gnocci
Butternut squash photo credit

Butternut squash gnocchi with garlic butter sage sauce: I’m of course making mine gluten-free and I’ll be using a big butternut squash that I picked up at the farmers’ market this weekend. This gnocchi is seriously amazing; I highly recommend it!

Baked spaghetti squash and cheese: My awesome roommate introduced me to the wonder of spaghetti squash- perfect as a gluten-free substitute for spaghetti! I’m looking forward to trying this basic but hopefully delicious recipe.

Kale rice bowl: I made this last week and have to make it again because it was amazing. As my boyfriend’s brother joked, “Rice bowls are just a carriage for kimchi.”

Pizza bites: I have muffin sized pizza crusts in my freezer waiting to be piled with toppings, like buffalo chicken,

on the menu for the weekPhoto credit

Cheesy shepherd’s pie: Just in time time for St. Patrick’s Day! I removed the flour and added grated cheese on top

Kale rice bowl

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+Cristina Roman