Monday, February 18, 2013

Carnitas Tacos

I recently made my authentic Latino carnitas tacos, (pork meat tacos) and, while it may have taken me all day to cook the pork and cut up all my taco toppings and make a fresh spicy salsa, the meal at the end of the day and for a few days to follow is just worth every minute it took it cook and prepare. It has always been a tradition to add a few more things to cooking then the average store bought items. Add love, and the feel of the salsa music bumping from the speakers. It sounds funny, I know. But trust me, add some good music and love to your meal and it will be tasting extra delicious.

                                              
 I use organic vegetables and meat, and find my spices needed for the pork at my local Latino food store. Cooking my pork anywhere from 5-8 hours is what makes it so tender and juicy.

While my pork is cooking, I chop up my toppings such as radish, cabbage, lettuce, cheese, avocado, and what ever else is needed, and place it all in plastic containers in the fridge for later use. I DO make sure to put all the avocado seeds inside the plastic container with the avocado to help it not go brown and stay looking green and delicious.


 Once the pork is cooked, I place the pork in the oven with the broiler on to get it nice and crispy. I always make sure to season and add spices as I go. Cooking the meat so long can cook out all the flavor and drain it into the juices.


It took me a total of 6 hours to cook this batch of meat, and 15 minutes in the oven under the broiler to get this crispy look. It took me about 40 minutes to cut up all the salsa ingredients and make it, and about 15 minutes to cut up the other taco toppings.  It was well worth the time and energy it took to make and then enjoy with my family. Here is the finished product on my lap as I get ready to enjoy. :)


Adding spices and seasonings as I go seem to leave my pork with so much more flavor. If you are interested in the recipes I used to make my tacos, stay tuned to my blog and what I am up to. I am working on my GTG easy to cook recipe book filled with some of my easiest and most delicious meals, snacks, and desserts.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Day with Kids

Happy Valentines Day Today was a wonderday day for my family and I. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was with the ones I love most and that made it super special. Instead of going all crazy on buying items, we all agreed that pizza and a movie sounded just right. We will make cookies this weekend, decorate them all pretty, and call this 2013 Valentines Day a success. As a single mother, I cherish the moments I have wihildren just that much more. It is just them and I, so to spend Valentines Day with them is the best gift of all. There is nothing in the world like th unconditional love my children give to me. However you chose to spend your day today, just make sure it was with someone who unconditionally loves you too. The upside to all the stores selling Valentines Day gifts, there will be so many sales going on tomorrow and this weekend I'm sure to find a little something extra to give the kids besides candy.

Made in USA clothing

I recently went shopping to a local shopping center, and a pretty large one at that. I thought that of the 50+ stores in this shopping center that a few of the stores would have local made clothing. By local I mean made in U.S.A. I was wrong. Not one store, even the store selling "100% Alpaca Sweaters," were made in locally. In fact, the store selling the sweaters had there clothing made in China. It is seeming to be not very easy, or cheap, to find made in USA clothing. I am on a mission to bring back quality made clothing from the United States of America. It is important to me for more than one reason, but one of the biggest reasons has to be the amount of jobs that are created to the over-sea country when we use them to make our clothing. We are in a recession and adding more jobs to our economy could only help build us back up as a nation. My other important issue is the quality of clothing being made. I want to know that my jeans were built strong, tough, and wont give out or rip after the first few months of use. I have been gathering and collecting my own fashion inspirations and ideas so that one day in the near future, I can be able to sell "Quality and Long-lasting products made in USA." But, also be able to provide jobs to those in need and help re-build our economy.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

30 Inches of Donated Hair

They say that sometimes the biggest change has to come from within. At other times, it has to come from the out. Either way, sometimes change is needed and we must do what is necessary to make that change. I decided that recently it was time for me to do one of those life changing things and I donated 30 inches of my hair. Which is pretty much all of it in the back and left me with a few inches on the top to style.

I have recently been going through a really hard time health wise these past few years and after finally starting to progress in a forward and up hill motion, I felt the time was right to do something for those less fortunate then I am. The only one time I have had short hair like I do now, was when I was a new born baby and it was growing out. That means more than 25 years of having long hair.



Last pictures on the morning of my cut. 1/24/2013


The talented  Belmont Beauty Bar was the sponsor of my hair cut and donation. Ashley Berlin, also co-owner of Belmont Beauty Bar, cut, styled, and colored my hair. The anticipation of getting it all cut and styled seemed like it would take forever in my mind. In reality, it only took a few hours and I had a whole new hair style.  Hello Beautifulness sponsored my makeup. Hello Beautifulness is owned and operated by Rebecca Anderson, and did my amazing makeup for me to look great and film and take some pictures. Then last but not least, the hair pieces that are going to be made from all my long curly hair. The hair piece maker and sponsor is Kymra Hamblin, and she is a cosmetologist entrepreneur and has worked with many different company's and fashion events in the Portland area. Once she is done making the hair pieces, I will be able to find the little girls that will receive them.
This is the last picture taken before my hair got sectioned and ready to be cut. 1/24/2013





I had considered donating my hair to some of the well known organizations out there, but to be honest, I needed something more personal and involved. I want to meet the little girls in person, and be able to see them once they have the hair pieces on. Nothing will complete my journey like having a relationship with the special little girls who feel complete with my hair.

This was quite a powerful change I did for myself. I was not easy to think about doing, but the action of cutting it for a greater cause is so worth every bit of hair I was able to donate.
30 inches of hair all cut and ready to make wigs for little girls who need my hair more.

I included some photos of my evening for you to be able to see the steps I went through and how it all turned out. I also filmed it and am putting together a nice video that I hope to have ready to share with you in the next month or so.

It is quite a different look for me. But I am so blessed to have such great hair to be able to give away to a couple children.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

#FordNAIAS 2013

I had the honor of being able to attend the Ford Motor Company event for online influencers, #FordNAIAS Digital Summit Event. I was fortunate to attend with Seth Leitman, aka The Green Living Guy. This was my second time attending an event with Ford Motors on behalf of the social media world and gaining the latest and greatest of information from Ford about the new things they are doing to be even more "green" and maintain the number one spot on offering the most eco-friendly, sustainable, quality, and over-all best choice in electric vehicle, hybrid, and technology in vehicles to chose from.


This years event began with all the attendees meeting up at the Henry Ford Museum for dinner and a presentation with Scott Monty, Head of Social Media for Ford Motor Company, along with J Mays, Group Vice President, Design, and Chief Creative Officer at Ford Motor Company, and the founding members of LEGS Media/ MILK. I was lucky enough to be able to share this event with a few fellow bloggers and writers that I had the pleasure of meeting at the last Ford Motor event, #GoFurtherFord in June 2012, and we spent a majority of the time mingling and gathering our new Ford information as a group whenever possible at this event #FordNAIAS. While in the Henry Ford Museum I was able to wander around and see some of the collection that Henry Ford has amassed over the years was the Rosa Parks Bus, The Declaration of Independence, the Lincoln chair her was so sadly murdered in, and a few of the presidential cars that were owned by previous presidents. It is such a feeling to be walking around looking at hundreds of years of history with my very own eyes and being able to touch some of the stuff. My evening ended by sitting on the Rosa Parks Bus where she had sat so long ago and changed the way riding the bus was going to be.

My second day with #FordNAIAS, split our groups up and had my group take the Rouge Factory Tour and watch a few videos about how the Ford F-150 was built and created. We then got to see the observatory where we learned some of the information about how the water around the factory is recycled and used in the factory. I then got to take a walk around the live and in action assembly plant with workers putting the trucks together as we watched from above on an observation deck. I learned a lot at the Rouge Factory about the water, and the in general building of the Ford F-150 vehicles.

We then transferred to lunch at the Eagle Tavern in Greenfield Village, and enjoyed lunch like it would have been served in the 1850's date and time. We sat by candle light, fire, and was served some of the best food I have tasted my entire life. Along with the wonderful food, the host of the lunch at the Eagle Tavern was a funny and unique character. We had delicious food, good laughs, and memories to last a lifetime.


Next on the agenda, a panelist discussion about living the My Energi Lifestyle with Sheryl Connelly, Mike Tinskey, Jeremy Novotney, and Warwick Stirling about the ways in which to help our lives be easier by choosing the smart energy saving ways of the now and future. Then the second panel discussion was John Viera, Andrew Winston, and Matthew Banks. These are all experts in Climate change and they came together to give us the newest information about how to be informed and aware of the climate and its ever changing effects on the way we use products and services and go about our daily life.

 Dinner took us to a creative destination of information, design, fun, and gadgets of a few different kinds for us to check out and play with. The Detroit TechShop of innovation. While a few of the fun things we got to do was create our own frosted glass mugs, make little lights glow with batteries, and even create little trinkets our of metal. There was little hand foods of so many different kinds passed around the whole evening, and even had a fabulous bar to get beverages from. Along with all the interactive activities to do, we had a presentation and learned about an amazing new program that Ford Motor Company has going on called developer.ford.com. It allows that creative minded individual to try and create and app that Ford will test and possibly use as an actual app that could be offered and used in Ford vehicles. That had my creative brain start immediately and I am currently in the process of gathering a team to develop an app and try and get on the market.


My final day with #FordNAIAS took the bloggers to the Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit for the Ford Press Conference. Speakers included the great great grandson of Henry Ford, Henry Ford as he spoke about the new vehicles offered in the line up. Allan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, spoke about how Ford Motor Company is continuing to strive to achieve nothing but the best with the cars, trucks, vans, and commercial vehicles on the road today. And last but not least, Raj Nair, Vice President of Engineering, Global Product Development. Once the presentation was over the new van and commercial vehicles were unveiled, followed by the unveiling of the much anticipated Ford Atlas Concept truck.. The Ford Atlas Concept had the newest in innovation, sustainability, and durability. This was one cool truck and I was so excited to be able to see the Ford Atlas Concept first hand.


Once the Ford Press Conference was over, we were allowed to enter into the COBO Center and go to the North American International Auto Show with our Media badges and check out and photograph all the newest vehicles from Ford, Tesla, Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Maserati, Corvette, Honda, Volvo, and so many others. I was able to gain some really great information about not only how Ford is doing in going green, but also see some of the other automobile manufacturers following in the foot steps of Ford Motor Company to become a quality, sustainable, eco-friendly vehicles.


I met some amazing fellow bloggers, learned more great and valuable information about Ford Motor Company and what they are doing to strive do become even better then they already are, and my trip with the #FordNAIAS Digital Summit group 2013 was one to not forget about. Check out what Ford Motor Company is doing!

Thank you Ford Motor Company and #FordNAIAS for the amazing experience and chance to learn more about the great things you are up to! Green Travel Girl Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the three day NAIAS Digital Summit. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time. My opinions posted are my own.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hearts.com


                                                                                                                                          Have you ever walked by a store and went in to buy and item and when you check to see where it was made it is made outside of the U.S.A.? Then proceed to think how it made, who is making the item, are they being paid fairly, are they being treated right, given health insurance, and have a strong education to help then grow as people should? If you answered yes, then you are like myself, a conscience consumer and the growing trend of conscience consumerism and ever growing need to make sure we know the facts about where we get our every day used items.

I have found one of the most amazing places to shop for "green" clothing, jewelry, and accessories, but they believe in making change for the whole world. Its called Hearts. Hearts is not only fabulous fashion that uses upcycled, sustainable, biodegradable, raw, renewable and SO much more. However, Hearts does't just better the way that products are being made, but Hearts thinks about where, how, and who, about the products they make. but they are doing something about it through their program iHeart Change. "iHeart Change is our way of creating awareness and supporting the 6 causes that drive the heart of Hearts. The 6 world causes we support are: Environmental Sustainability, Quality of Life in a Community, Freedom & Social Justice, Human Rights, Education, and Cultural Awareness."  There is something to be said about fashion that is created for change in our world. Please go and check out everything Hearts.com has to offer and help continue the awareness for great causes.





One of the specific programs iHeart Change supports is Pencils of Promise. Pencils of Promise is a global movement of very passionate individuals who believe that every single child should have the access to a quality education. They create schools, programs, and global communities around world with the common goal of education for all. Please visit education which funds Pencils of Promise where you can find more about iHeart Change for Education.You can find more detailed information about Pencils of Promise here. (Just click the underlined words)
No one should be left behind when it comes to learning and gaining knowledge. Thanks to this amazing foundation, they have completed and built 80 new schools. Go check it out for yourself and see how you can get involved.





Have fun shopping and please think about where you buy the items you use.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Costa Rica Rainforest Adventures Wins Accolades for Treading Lightly

OTTAWA, Dec. 11, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While numerous theme park operators worldwide move toward more sustainable practices – from pilot solar power projects to a few electric vehicles and LED lighting – could the most sustainable theme parks in the world currently be the Rainforest Adventures parks in Costa Rica? According to the Rainforest Alliance, Earth University and Costa Rican Tourism Institute, these two parks are the model for best practices in the world when it comes to sustainable development and operations.

While the two nature parks offer fun things to do in Costa Rica on both coasts like aerial trams, ziplining, butterfly gardens and Costa Rica jungle hikes and treks, the focus of management has always been on sustainability to ensure the conservation of the environment they operate in.

Costa Rica Rainforest Adventures Wins Accolades for Treading Lightly http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2012/12/11/510889/10014949/en/Costa-Rica-Rainforest-Adventures-Wins-Accolades-for-Treading-Lightly.html