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My life is a crazy, unpredictable, jumbled mess of fun. Each day creating adventures and stories that will last a lifetime 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fraud - Double booking???

Tis the season to hop on a plane on visit family. All across America families are queuing up to visit or to take a well deserved holiday, but what waits in store for them? Long lines, their personal belongings riffled through even their shoes checked and all liquids over 3 oz's thrown out. Not to mention extra hidden costs, no meals or drinks, no pillows, no blankets heck not even peanuts are being offered by some. Some even charge to check even one bag, but something even worse waits in store for 10-15% of those people who wake up, pack there bags and stand in those really longs lines and I can sum it all up in just one word - Double booking. I am not talking about those traveling stand by I am talking about those that bought a seat on a plane who believed that they spent good money for a good ticket only to be turned away.
In my mind I see this as nothing short of fraud.
So how do they decide who gets bounced? First come first serve? single passengers, those that are not making a connecting flight? If I pay for something I want what I paid for if I pay for 3 day shipping I want 3 day shipping, if I pay for a seat on an airplane leaving at a certain time I expect my bum to be in that seat at that time.

fraud           Listen to the pronunciation of fraud
Pronunciation:\ˈfrȯd\Function: noun Etymology:
Middle English fraude, from Anglo-French, from Latin fraud-, fraus
Date: 14th century
1 a: deceit , trickery ; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right b: an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick2 a: a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor ; also : one who defrauds : cheat b: one that is not what it seems or is represented to be
synonyms see deception, imposture

or another definition

Definition of Fraud

All multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise, and which are resorted to by one individual to get an advantage over another by false suggestions or suppression of the truth. It includes all surprises, tricks, cunning or dissembling, and any unfair way which another is cheated.

Source: Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed., by Henry Campbell Black, West Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1979.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas & Sesame Chicken

Christmas this year we have decided to branch out and do Chinese, so we are doing lettuce wraps as the appetizer, Sesame Chicken, Chinese lettuce salad & brown rice.
My step mom is doing another main dish, as well as a noodle dish.
Last night my father and step mother dropped by for an impromptu visit for which I am deeply thankful I spent all of yesterday cleaning my home :).
They brought us our Christmas present early which was wonderful!! Finally I bought Wil's present and his present for me as well and they are both hopefully going to be here before Christmas I can only pray they make it!
The kids, family and friends are all taken care of and ready to hand out which is great as I never know when I am going to see some of them.
As you can imagine from the picture we have snow, the other day we got 4 inches and as its snowing right now I think its fair to say we will have a white Christmas this year - for which my adorable children are very happy. I am just happy I had finish raking the lawn and cleaning up my drive way.
My Christmas presents are Jane Austin's Collected works, Tell me the Secrets by Max Lucado & some minor books and pjs. For my hubby he wants a special razor I am nervous about this razor since he can cut himself rather badly with it however its what he wants so he gets it along with other minor personal items. For my daughter she gets Tinkerbell items and an Ikea childrens tea set, my son gets trains - thomas the train and an Ikea small magnet train set.
Trying to get my children to understand the REAL meaning of Christmas is not easy however I have a wonderful nativity set and every Christmas I take it down and read the story of Jesus's birth using the nativity set to tell the story. I am looking right now for a box set of Gold, Frankincense and myrrh however I need one I can afford and finding a nice affordable one is proving to be a huge challenge so I might end up getting it for Christmas one year.
The visual aid products help my children pay attention and understand the words better.
With the ads, movies, retailers and all the hustle and bustle its hard to explain to my children that Santa is not real but Jesus is - I feel like a trout swimming up stream.
I am praying that next year is a wonderful year for our family this year has been good but hard, the hubby is just starting his physical therapy from after his back surgery and I am finally begining to lose the weight in earnest.
We can only pray that his job remains stable and good during this next projected hard year - with lots of companies closing many of their doors.

Sesame Chicken

By Rhonda Parkinson, About.com

Sesame chicken is a very popular restaurant dish. The sauce recipe was posted on our forum by Reykjaviky. (Guide notes: You may want to increase the vinegar or lower the amount of sugar. It all depends on how sweet you want the sauce).

Sesame Chicken serves 3 - 4, or 5 - 6 as part of a multi-course meal.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 3 whole boneless chicken breasts
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine or dry sherry
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Sauce for Sesame Chicken:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TB dark soy sauce
  • 2 TB sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili paste, or more if desired
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • Other:
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (see recipe directions for link to how to toast)
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups peanut oil for deep-frying


Directions for Sesame Chicken: Toast the sesame seeds and set aside.

Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.

To prepare the sauce: mix together all of the sauce ingredients. Pour them into a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Turn the heat down to low and keep warm while you are deep-frying the chicken.

To deep-fry the chicken: add the marinated chicken pieces a few at a time, and deep-fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remainder of the chicken.

Just before you are finished deep-frying, bring the sauce back up to a boil.
Place the chicken on a large platter and pour the sauce over. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve the Sesame Chicken with rice.

Alternate Healthier prep:
The only changes I make is that I marinade the chicken for about a day or two and I do not use the cornstarch, flour, baking soda/powder in the marinade. Mostly because I do not fry the chicken as we are trying to eat healthier. In stead, I cook the chicken in the marinade and then discard the marinade after the chicken is cooked. I recommend this recipe a 1,000 times. Your taste buds will crave it. I know ours do.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Finally my tiny living room is all decorated for the holidays! I just love Christmas time, from the people smiling more, to all the lights. Every year we sit down with our very young children and read the story of Jesus's birth, right now I am looking for a set of frankincense, myrrh, & gold. I like visual aides to help bring it to life especially as that is one story I want my babies to pay attention to.

Autumn next to our very shiny and not so heavily decorated tree we went for a simple look this year I am hoping to buy some better decor items on sale this year after Christmas :)
My husband's very beautiful sock, personally I think he has the best sock in the house. However I bought this from a store going out of business 4 years ago so my son is out of luck :(.
My sock is still from when I was 5 years old and my grandma hand made it for me. I love it but I want a more elegant looking one so every year I hit the stores and I just have not found quite the right look but I want to retire the one from my grandma and put it away with lavender and rosemary to keep it for future generations.
In the meantime I am working hard I am trying very hard still to lose the weight and so far I am seeing some pretty fast results, but I still have the rest of the holidays to get through and trying to lose weight at this time is not easy so I will be happy if I don't gain anything.
My hubby is starting physical therapy and needs to lose the weight or we will be looking at a second back surgery that really won't work because of all the weight, so I have around 60-70 pds to lose still and my hubby needs to lose 100 pds. I gained most my weight with my daughters pregnancy due to complications I had to have 2 bags of packed blood and platelets my body thought I was dying to it added another 20 pds on after her birth.
I am still trying very hard to get it all off (5 years later) however better late then never.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What our excuses say about us?

what do our food excuses say about us? Its fast, Its easy, Its cheap? I don't feel like cooking? So why do we feel the need to give an excuse? As for the line its cheap lets looks at it realistically it costs around 20-25 dollars to feed 4 at McDonald's and that normally does not include drinks. If you went into a grocery store bought a head of lettuce some dressing & toppings possibly even a precooked chicken it would cost less then 20$ and be healthier. However if you want to eat premade, precooked food that are better options available: mad greek, subway, blimpie, or barbacoa. It might take a little of your time looking around for a fresh or healthier fast food for when you need something but finding a place where you can get fast, fresh and not deep fried is much better then just fast and greasy. Just thinking fast does not mean you need to settle for greasy and unhealthy. The picture is food served at my local Barbacoa restaurant which is healthy and yummy I am sure other states and cities have simialar healthy fast options finding those hidden and tasty gems will be fun and a great treat.

Top 11 Reasons for Fast Food's Popularity

Frequent Fast-Food Eaters Dish on Why They Dig In
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 2, 2008 -- Fast food lives up to its name in a new study of people who frequently eat at fast-food restaurants.

Nearly 600 adults and teens in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area were interviewed for the study in 2005-2006. Most reported eating fast food at least three times per week.

After tucking into a meal at a fast-food restaurant, participants rated how strongly they agreed or disagreed with 11 statements about why they like fast food.

Here are their top reasons for eating fast-food meals, according to the percentages of people who agreed with each statement:

  1. They're quick: 92.3%
  2. They're easy to get to: 80.1%
  3. I like the taste of fast food: 69.2%
  4. They're inexpensive: 63.6%
  5. I'm too busy to cook: 53.2%
  6. It's a "treat" for myself: 50.1%
  7. I don't like to prepare foods myself: 44.3%
  8. My friends/family like them: 41.8%
  9. It is a way of socializing with friends and family: 33.1%
  10. They have many nutritious foods to offer: 20.6%
  11. They're fun and entertaining: 11.7%

The "I'm too busy to cook" line was more popular among people with college degrees than people with less education. And young adults were less likely than older adults to say they ate fast food because it offered many nutritious choices.

Still, the results boil down to speed and convenience at one end of the spectrum, and nutrition and fun at the other end. Bridging that gap means coming up with speedy, nutritious alternatives, suggest the researchers, who included Sarah Rydell, MPH, of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Their findings appear in December's edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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