Search

This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

Tag

texas

Blogvember #29: The Baby Steps Gourmet.

Cooking is an art form. And in a world of cuisine Van Goghs, I’m best described as the lady with tracing paper who would love to just copy the art without doing all the work. When I was 15, my mother devised a plan: she, my sister and I would take turns cooking. She showed us how to do the basics, some recipes along the way, that sort of thing. I grumbled about it, of course, because what teenager doesn’t grumble? It’s in the teen DNA. But it was actually pretty awesome. I gained skills and became quite confident using them. Eventually, I could whip up a stew or Jollof rice in no time. When I moved out at 24, feeding myself was doable. I could cook my own food.

And then I moved back home.

There’s something about your mother’s cooking that makes your attempts laughable and inedible. And undesirable to yourself. Back home, I would whine to my mother that, rather than me cooking dinner for the family at the stove, she could do it much better. Her eye rolling in my direction was massive. But not doing it regularly like I had in the past wore away at my cooking confidence. When it was time to get to the stove (because all that mid-30s whining wasn’t cutting it with Mother), I found that I forgot simple steps or didn’t move with the confidence I had in the past. So I ultimately decided that I would move to TX and live once again on my own, what shocked me the most was that I actually looked forward to getting back to cooking for myself.

Don’t tell anyone.

Anyway, these days, I cook here and there. Working full-time and engaging in life and worship and new friends and new areas leaves little time to actually devote to homemade cuisine. But I’m working at it. Cooking at home is a money saver, can help me experiment, and at the end of the day, it just feels good to create my own meals.

Don’t tell anyone.

Last night, I decided to recreate my favorite (it deserves italics: favorite) Ghanaian meal: fried plantains and bean stew. Or red-red. Previously, when I tried to fry plantains years

redred
This isn’t my red-red. I ate it too fast to take a picture.

and years ago, I almost burned my mother’s house down. This time, I plowed ahead with my plans to make this pretty easy meal, fears of burning down my apartment building pushed aside and ignored. I pulled out the deep fryer and got to work. I also cooked a stew comprised of black-eyed peas and other yummy things. Back to the italics: it was delicious. I mean: I wanted to lick my fork. Maybe I did. But the very best part, the most awesome, was the phone call to my mom later that evening to announce that I successfully pulled off a meal that, to date, only she has been able to prepare to my liking. (And a Ghanaian restaurant that I was obsessed with frequented back in our area.) I could hear the happiness in her voice. “I guess you’re really growing up,” she also said. We laughed. Because I’ll always be 9 years old where she’s concerned, and I don’t mind one bit. Nevertheless, it was nice to see that all my silly fears (well, only one fear: it’ll taste like dirt) about cooking are just that: silly fears.

Just call me the Baby Steps Gourmet. But I’m still bringing utensils and paper goods to every event I’m invited to, so don’t get too crazy.

Blogvember #20 and #21: Late Edition.

I didn’t forget about you. But Sunday got away from me on account of…

…the delivery of my new couch! Isn’t it lovely? Head on to Blogvember #21 below to discuss the new love of my life.

******************************

Ok, so “Late Edition” has a double meaning. First, my apologies for not Blogvembering yesterday and providing a late posting for #20. 

Second, I learned just how comfortable my new couch was when I woke up this morning around 1AM and realized that I was, not in my bed, but all wrapped in a blanket on my new sofa. So in a way, I woke up late. You get it. We made it work. Anyway, yes: in love. Let’s break down why.

  1. I love the color. I wanted a charcoal/gray look and that’s what I found.
  2. The price didn’t cause cardiac arrest. And I got a discount! 
  3. As stated above, it’s certainly a comfortable one. Aside from the post-sleep disorientation of realizing that I wasn’t in my bedroom at 1AM (aliens?), it was nice to know that my new pal had already made itself welcome in my home.

Yay…

Onwards and couchwards, dear reader. 

Blogvember #18: About your Author. (Friday Taunts)

Been a while since you resurrected this feature, huh?
Well, I wanted to give you a break since you’re always so pleased when we do it.

By now, though: don’t your readers enough about you?
Nah, we haven’t even touched the tip of that iceberg.

Fine, fine. What’s going on with you? Are you eating tons of beef and wearing cowboy hats yet?
Perish the thought. I’ve yet to even see a cowboy hat.

Really?
A lot of people are transplants like me. And the natives I’ve met seem quite content to go hatless.

Interesting. What else is new? You still eating like it’s going out of style?
That was way harsh, Tai.

Sorry. But remember that you’ve accessed the meaner part of your personality when we have these silly conversations. You basically asked for it.
True.

Anyway, how is your eating and exercising and all that?
Much better. I’ve resumed my regular fitness schedule, left all the donut shops behind—we’re doing well.

Good. What else is new, pussycat?
You’re effective at pretending like you actually care.

I learned from the best.
Nothing else is new. My fro is handling the new environment better than I expected.

Oh, yeah?
Indeed. You know how temperamental she is. But I’ve been really moisturizing and babying her, so we’ll see. Next year will be a full-fledged summer here so she may implode.

Perhaps a protective style, then?
Look at you, giving advice!

I read enough about this stuff on here; might as well join in. Speaking of cowboys—
We were not discussing cowboys.

We talked about their hats, so yes, we were discussing them. Have you met anyone yet? You know…wink, wink…
Oh, Lord.

What? We’re all thinking it.
No, I haven’t.

No one?
No one. Unless Idris has decided to start dressing like John Wayne.

Oh, Lord.
Now you know what it feels like.

Switching reels: are you writing?
I am! Finishing up stories and starting new ones. All at the same time, of course, because this is how I do.

When is the third book coming?
I’m really shooting for early 2017.

Yeah?
Yeah.

Care to wager on that?
That’s my cue.

Come back! I want to taunt you!

Blogvember #12 and #13: Le Weekend.

#12: That quote to the left about sums it up. Our sense of humor. Our laughter. Our love. (Because, yeah, I’d traipse through a fire and/or super humid room for her, fro or no.) Those times when la bestie utters words that change my life. My goals to always be there for her. 

She arrived on Friday night and will be leaving in a few hours. She brought a burst of light and much-needed familiarity into this new place and environment that I’m adjusting to, both emotionally and otherwise. I don’t think I’ll be able to communicate just how I needed that. 

I snapped a few photos, but she’ll hurt me if I post them. So just call your bestie and tell him/her that you love them. 

******************************

#13: I bought a couch!

While furniture shopping yesterday, one of the employees showing us around the monster of the store we were in took me the very couch that I saw and saved from their website. If that isn’t kismet I don’t know what is. Delivery is next Sunday and you shall see it then. 

Happy Sunday, dear reader…

Blogvember #11: Friyay.

My bestie is coming to town this evening, you guys. The bestie! Needless to say, I basically want to tap dance out of here so we can start our fun. And yet morning just began, so…Anyway, she’s my first visitor since I moved to Texas. Wonder how she’ll react to the absence of furniture. 

Bon weekend, my dears.

things i currently need #9: décor dreams. (Blogvember #8)

Thought I’d share some of my needs when it comes to decorating my new apartment, which has become quite comfortable but still lacks some of the niceties and touches that I think would make it feel more like home. To that end, below are some of ideas I’ve pinned on my “mon espace” (my space) board on Pinterest. 


This lovely loo gives me life. 


My kingdom for a canopy bed!


Don’t you love it? Nothing like a bedside table. Those three books on the bottom are a sweet idea, but I foresee about 100 books stacked in that space for me. Kidding. 110.


There’s something about vintagey, French rustic-y dressers that drive me wonderfully mad. 


Another bedroom idea. I love everything about this room, including that large print on the wall. Are those scones on the tray? They look like scones. I digress. 


The living room is the centerpiece of the a home, in my opinion. I want a place that’s both cozy and cool, both modern and magnificent. Out of the three, the last pin is my favorite. And can we say #chandeliergoals?

Lastly, I’m a huge lover of natural hair and African-inspired artwork and want several pieces in my home. Here are a few of my favorite “Fro Art” pins. 


Anywho, a few ideas for me to work on down the road. And unlike most of the things on my recipes board, I’d like to make these décor dreams a reality. 

What’s your decorating style?

Blogvember #3: On Chocolate Pigs and Resets.

Real talk: since arriving in the Lone Star State in September, I’ve been ingesting sweets and junk food like a chocolate pig. I wish I were exaggerating.

If you’ve followed TSP for a while, you know that in 2015, I embarked on a gaining health lifestyle change. I changed everything: how I felt about food, how I felt about fitness, how I felt about taking care of this body of mine. A year later, things were continuing to go well. By no means was I was challenge or struggle free, but when is life challenge or struggle free? Things turned upside down, however, when I landed in this one horse town (I’ve always wanted to say that). I moved to a city with drive-through bagel places and donut shops on every corner. I became an animal. The combination of emotional eating and availability was a death knell for all the hard work I had done for a year and a half. (There’s a place here called Nothing Bundt Cakes, for heaven’s sake. Can I live? Can I live?)

But we all have our a ha moments, don’t we? Where we shutter excuses and just decide to do work? I did last week. I became resolved. As cute as chocolate pigs are, it’s high time for a life/health/fitness reset. So far, I’ve been making better choices. Last night, I also officially restarted my weekly gym routine.


That facial expression communicates everything you need to know. I took a class called BodyCombat. The name was appropriate. My body was beaten up, in combat, and so out of shape. It was like a scene in an action film when the unfortunate villain shows up in a dark alley brandishing weapons that the hero ends up using against him. Yes, I came with nunchucks that ended up around my neck. But guess what? We have setbacks and we move on. I have a class tonight and I’ll be back at it next week. Because: goals.

Have you had to make any life resets lately? Do you love donuts as much as I do?

Fabu Fashion Round-Up: Elevator Runways

Hi there. You know about my new job. Prior to starting last week, I did a bit of shopping for some new wears, being that a number of my things were mostly ill-fitting and above all, I wanted to start nice and fresh for this new environment. I hit up Sears (seriously, their business-y stuff is awesome) and my boyfriend Ross for some pants, blouses, a new blazer, etc. Good finds. So when I arrived at the office last week: lo and behold, dear reader, the elevator taking me to my floor was filled with mirrors. (Yes, there were a few stars in my eyes following that discovery.) No more bathroom selfies for us, honey. And so courtesy of said mirrors, shown below are my office fashion choices from last week. I missed Thursday for reasons these gray streaks in my fro won’t allow me to remember. 


Day 1, aka Blurry Monroe: I snapped a quick pic, which explains the blurriness. Anyway, I went with your basic pantsuit. But that blouse gave me life. Have I told you that I love (no, love) tie-neck blouses??? Here’s a close-up.


Was drawn to the long tie, the sea of colors, the simplicity. One of my Sears finds. More tie-necks will be had, that’s for sure. (That’s my new bathroom by the way. That pose, however, isn’t new.) 

Day 2, aka Thigh Goals: “thigh goals” was the comment a friend captioned this when I posted the outfit on IG. I blushed and laughed and silently thanked my mum and all those squats. Anywho, still basic, still simple: blouse, blazer, pants. However, you’ll notice the scarf and the plastic bag. Inside the bag was my newly purchased space heater. Combined with said scarf, I came to battle, determined to beat the North wind blowing through my workspace. 

Day 3, aka Autumn Surprise: the weather forecasted for that day was significantly cool for the Dallas area, very fall-like and autumn-y. So I gleefully pulled out my beloved turtleneck and sweater and wore them to the office. A few co-workers raised their eyebrows. No comment. 

Day 5, aka Casual Friyay: I was told almost 100 times to remember that jeans were fine for casual Friyays, and so I obeyed. My tried and true skinny jeans with an animal print blouse that you can’t see and that long sweater. The yellow scarf topped it off, along with ankle booties that you also can’t see.

That’s all she wore. Oh, my hair: as you can see, straight for two days–following a much-needed trim–and then blissfully back to twist-outs and updos by the end of the week. 

What fashions are you sporting lately? Is your office occupied by the same North wind as mine?

i ate a burrito and my stomach turned into an extraterrestrial.

This is a story about peer pressure. Plain and simple.

Last night, I pulled up to a stoplight and commenced with my usual voyeuristic observing of the cars and drivers around me. To my right was a guy in an SUV. The first thing I noticed was what appeared to be tears cascading down his face. Second thing: he was doing major, major damage to a burrito. We’ll get to probable tears later. What grabbed my attention was that burrito. It was soft, it looked delicious, and for the first time in my entire life, I wanted one. I’ve never, ever craved a burrito, or any other Mexican food. That’s just me. But the way he held it in his hands…like a beloved friend saying goodbye to his beloved friend before utterly consuming it…

I stared at him and that burrito until the stoplight turned green. Some minutes later, I reached for my trusty smartphone GPS, searched for a Taco Bell img_4527 (there was no time to locate authentic Mexican fare, reader, not when my belly was officially running things), found it, drove there, and ordered my version of what I saw Burrito Man eating. It was delicious. Or was it? I don’t know. I ate it so quickly that I tasted nothing but air, really.

My hunger and burrito longing had been satiated. All was right in the world. Until late in the evening, when my belly felt guilty for what happened and decided to punish me with echoes of weird alien noises, groans, sighs, and other related things. This lasted into this morning, when I became convinced that maybe something was now living inside of me?

It’s better now. Much better. Maybe we’re OK. Maybe we’re out of the woods. Maybe nothing is indeed inhabiting my body. Maybe.

But let’s go back to that moment, shall we? This wouldn’t be your Square Peg if we didn’t analyze every single iota of what happened yesterday.

  1. Yes, I wondered why Burrito Man was crying. Or was he crying? Tears of food-related joy? Was it sweat? But his car windows were closed, so the air conditioning was likely on. And he seemed thoroughly unconcerned. The world, for him, was that burrito.
  2. Honestly, yesterday was a testament to the oodles of junk I’ve been eating since I arrived in this state. I don’t doubt that it has everything to do with the hills and valleys of my fluctuating emotions. Hopefully things will get back to normal and the thought of resuming my four-day workouts won’t drive me right to comfort of my armchair. Le sigh.
  3. Did he see me staring? Did he even care?
  4. The drive-through Taco Bell guy has a story to tell for ages now: when I ordered my burrito, I asked if it was soft. “Of course it is,” he replied, chuckling. “It’s a burrito.” I informed him that it had been a long day.
  5. Living in TX now affords me the change to venture and try Mexican food, no? I’ll try it. As long as there are sweet fried plantains and beans involved. If you’re Ghanaian or West African, you feel me on this.

The end. The moral of the story: the eyes may want something, but the belly will only be temporarily appeased until it turns against you. Make wise decisions. img_4528

Have you ever eaten something that turned your digestive system into a vengeful alien? In other words, tell me all about your suffering in the comments. Please and thank you. Misery loves company.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Cocoa Inspired

Welcome to "Cocoa Inspired", my cozy corner of all things beautiful and inspiring.

Tendrils

The Young Adult's guilty pleasure...

TheKSChronicles

Live.Love.Laugh

teenstravels

sharing my experiences with the sole aim to entertain, inspire and bring joy

Murder, She Blogged

Life Lessons from the Desk of JB Fletcher

ToBNatural

the life of a domesticated naturalista

all.things.la.lovelee

travel, beauty, fitness, poetry, life & other random dopeness

Lauren's Lip Glossary

Los Angeles. Esthetician. Beauty Enthusiast.

Chocolaty Prints

A lifestyle and travel blog

stylemewild

LOVE FASHION. LIVE WILD

bom dia, la!

travel, poetry, and all things lovely...

ChunkyGirlCoalition (CGC)

Just because you're CHUNKY, doesn't mean you have to be FRUMPY!

Beauty-2-Face

Enhancing beauty with one brush at a time

Nedoux

“Fabrics don't make exquisite dresses, stitches do.” ― TS

TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOLO

The ultimate guide for independent travellers seeking inspiration, advice and adventures beyond their wildest dreams.