On the Grind

Foodie and café adventures! I am a First Year Gold Badge Yelp Elite of East Los Angeles. :D More »

All Things Disneyland

Living in sunny Southern California definitely has its perks. By that I mean Mickey ears. More »

Empowering One Another

There was an article circulating Facebook a few months ago that women should be stronger and empower each other instead of tearing one another down in ridicule and criticism. It’s strange to think that someone had to say something like that, but in our somewhat terrible sad reality, it’s true. When along the line of growing up did we become green-eyed monsters for each other? Ripping each other to shreds just to gain a higher ranking among men? That’s all it is, really. Or women if you swing that way. It’s just some strange distorted competition even when the people don’t actually matter. It’s just their judging results that “matter”.

The other Sunday drive to church I thought about one possible reason. Our mothers. My friend Tiffany posted a recent rant about her mother criticizing her weight. She had gone through a tremendous life experience landing her hospital ridden for many days, only to erupt triumphant and feeling a need to conquer her physical body. She goes to the gym as part of #TeamNoDaysOff and frequently posts her progress. She looks amazing. Her muscles beat out most guys I know. Kudos. But her mom is like poison sometimes. The muscles mean nothing to her, and instead of strength, it’s interpreted as being too big for a girl. She’s fit, lean, and beautiful, but that’s “too big” to someone. Too intimidating. …Why this criticism? Of all the things Tiffany works hard for, someone told her it wasn’t right. That’s not right.

Similarly my own mother and many others criticize our weight. We’re too heavy, or too thin, or whatever it is that season. Our decrepit eating disorders are still rampant even in 2015. Sure, I pinch my own fat in the mirror before I shower, but that’s me criticizing me. Only I should be able to do that. But it comes full circle when I think about why I do it. I numbly tell myself I’m supposed to look like some poster girl, and that photoshopped body is achievable in real life through hard work and not eating. More poison. (Maybe that’s where the cellulite really comes from.)

Outside our home experience of fat shaming we encounter the rest of the world, each brought in by the same negativity and projecting it on others. We start to see the rest of the world as being too fat, that’s where #FatShaming came from, right? But it isn’t that we need to do anything about weight, it’s that we should have just loved each other and encouraged one another to begin with… Isn’t love the reason that many people struggle with it? But we don’t know how to help anymore. We just know how to criticize.

In a less nebulous way, it’s made us jealous of one another, hasn’t it? Someone else’s hair is too perfect, skin too flawless… Well their hips must be too large. Their stomach is pouchy. …Can we just take a moment to stop the hate? Because I’m having a hard time ignoring people. They are handing me their bitterness like a brown paper bagged present, and frankly, I don’t want your shit. So I’ll light it on fire and you take it back, damn it.

Positivity or bust.

Instagram – Homemade Sushi!


Instagram - Homemade sushi! By @jo3n0bod3

Beau made these. Amazing. :D

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Instagram – Homemade Lox Bagel


Instagram - Homemade lox bagel

김 아빠 got a huge tray of smoked salmon so I made a lox bagel for lunch! :D Missing lemon pepper and used white onions instead of red ones.

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Get Hooked


Instagram - Strawberry lemonade!

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On The Hook50 reviews powered by Yelp

This new fisherman looking place opened up near the Olive Pit in Brea, CA. Its idea is very similar to the cajun style by-the-pound in-a-bag seafood boil that Boiling Crab and Kicking Crab offers. I venture to say that this place is actually better than Boiling Crab. Just to compare safely with my usual order at BC, this bad boy was 1# of shrimp, all three sauces mixed in, two corns, one red potato order (3), and one sausage order (6 pieces). By recommendation via Yelp I tried their famous lemonade, but was less than impressed. Look, I’m not saying I saw them make it or anything, but it just tasted like the Strawberry Lemonade mix from Costco with strawberries in it. It was much sweeter and didn’t really taste like lemonade to me. I hope they fix their mix! Or formula.. I probably wouldn’t order it again though.

I can’t really describe the sauce but I overheard from another table the server said it was habanero peppers. Not sure if that’s the same or different from BC. Whatever it is, until they are inconsistent, I’m swearing off Boiling Crab. It wasn’t as salty either. And for the first time ever at any restaurant, I left actually seriously considering taking another order to go. That’s a major compliment!

They have a menu that includes cajun and regular fries, gumbo, rice, and pretty much the same things the competitor offers. It would be cool to see some more complicated items like jambalaya in the future, but I’m not sure what the popularity of those items are. They also make you wait outside because there’s no real waiting area inside, so make sure you bring a jacket if you need one. They offer water and a menu to review as you wait. Nice touch.

Anyway, GREAT JOB and I’m glad they posted up in Brea away from any BC competition. I hope this place really takes off and they expand next door because I still ended up waiting 40 minutes to eat. :(

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Flying Fettuccine Monster!


Instagram - Flying Fettuccine Monster!

Homemade meatballs of organic beef, breadcrumbs, onion powder, and egg.

Can sauce has additionally sautéed onions.

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Stuffed Peppers!


Instagram - Stuffed Peppers going in for a few hours ! (I messed up on the first one -__-)

As you can see I totally messed up cutting the top off the first one. Gotta think jack-o-lantern.. Not just poke a hole in it. LOL.

I found my inspiration recipe at AllRecipes… As usual. It’s obviously my favorite trusted site for recipes.

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Stuffed Peppers (Ver. 1)

By Pamela Published: January 21, 2015

  • Yield: 5 peppers (05 Servings)
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 4 hrs 0 min
  • Ready In: 4 hrs 20 mins

Easily one of my new favorite recipes. So easy to prepare and so easy to get it ready!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Clean peppers and cut off tops of peppers. Remove seeds.
  2. Place a small amount of oil in the Dutch oven and prepare the ground beef.
  3. Add the other ingredients and let simmer on medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat.
  4. Spoon each pepper about halfway full with stuffing, then cover with top.
  5. Place peppers in Crock-Pot and turn on low for 4 hours.
  6. Serve when done!

Mortgages

I saw an interesting post on mortgages last night on Pinterest. It was a rant of some kind about how much mortgage banking actually costs you to finance a house. Yes, as I commonly say, the American Dream is to be in massive amounts of debt. Also, no one is going to lend you an insane amount of money for free. If you find someone who does, you send them over to me. Thank you in advance.

I’m using Discover Home Mortgage calculators for reference. The Annual Interest Rates fluctuate, and right now are the lowest they have ever been. If you read this article in a few years, it may be back up to 7-9%.

Ok, here is the first example: $300,000USD purchase price with 20% ($60,000) down at a rate (as of 2015.01.15) 3.75%. Obviously you will have more annual costs with HOA, taxes, utilities, etc, but for all intensive purposes, we will just look at the principal + interest.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 14.26.50

Clicking on calculate gives us this final number:

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 14.27.09

Ok, so because they don’t tell us exactly how much we are spending on interest, let’s punch it out. $1,111 x 12 months x 30 years gives us $399,960. Because we brought $60,000 of our own cash for the purchase, we only really “borrowed” $240,000 but we paid $159,960 to borrow it. We paid 25% more for the house than the agreed price at the end of 30 years.

One of the solutions to this predicament, to save money, was to opt for a lower loan product.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 14.35.46

This gives us:

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 14.35.58

$1,657 x 12 months x 15 years = $298,260. We still only borrowed $240,000 so we paid $58,260 to borrow it. Doesn’t seem so bad!

As you can see, even though the payments are higher on a monthly basis, the end result is actually paying a lower price for the interest. The kicker isn’t actually what you’re paying for interest though, the kicker is how much is actually going to your principal. Check out this page.

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You’re not actually paying that much in the beginning to your principal, that’s why the loan companies want you to pick 5/1 or 7/1 year ARM (adjustable rate mortgages). Every time you refinance, you start paying the mortgage companies more money again.

By the way, if you put down less than 20% (which many people do), you’ll be stuck paying what’s called PMI or private mortgage insurance. This can be anywhere from $50-$100/month depending just how low your downpayment is. Luckily for new homebuyers, new laws have been put in place requiring mortgage lenders to take off PMI after reaching that 20% “down”. You can find more out about that here.

Uncle Sam sure is the worst uncle I have ever had.

Katsu Curry


Instagram - Katsu Curry!

:) Beau made dinner again — simple vegetarian curry with chicken katsu, Italian breading style.

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Salisbury Steak!


Instagram - Salisbury steak !

I found the recipe online at AllRecipes.com but I tweaked it a little bit.

I used less meat, organic ground meat, coupled with just half a packet of the onion mix. I didn’t bother to dredge the meat in flour, and instead of cream of chicken I used cream of mushroom. I paired the steak with garlic mash potatoes and asparagus. Yum~

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Instagram – Popeye Spinach


Instagram - Popeye Spinach

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