28 January 2011

Weekend Plans & A New Recipe

So this is officially my last free weekend before classes start and I want to take full advantage!  It has actually been nice being able to have a full month to ease into the new year and just get back into the routine of work before introducing classes (and everything that comes with them) back into my life as well. 

That being said, I am beginning my first year of post-grad next week and am so excited to start this next chapter of my life.  My classes seem like they are going to be very interesting and I am also looking forward to the smaller class sizes and to meeting new people.  For those of you who don't already know, I have a degree in International Studies, but have now switched to Industrial (Organizational) Psychology here in South Africa.  Since I switched my field of study, I had to do sort of a bridging course last year where I made up all the Industrial Psych major courses on the undergrad level and so my classes were like 500+ people and the students were mostly first, second and third years which made it somewhat difficult to meet people.  This year, my classes should be about 30 to 40 people and my most of my classmates will also be working full time which I think will make it easier to make friends and relate to eachother.  Anyways, long story short, I'm excited for this year to start!

Since is this is my last weekend assignment free, I am going to try and get as much done as possible.  Tonight, Jurgen, me and some other friends are going to Centrurion (a suburb in-between Johannesburg and Pretoria) to meet up with our friend Ciske (pronounced "Siska") who has been working and living in England for the past two years.  It should be a fun little reunion.  On Saturday and Sunday tentative plans include, making a whole tub of enchilada sauce from scratch - I will let you know how this goes (enchildas are Jurgen's favorite thing that I make and the one store that used to sell the sauce here has stopped as of last month), planting a mini-herb garden for my balcony (I'm thinking dill, basil, green onions and rocket), going to brunch with a girlfriend at one of my very favourite restaurants, going to church, buying fresh coffee beans at the local organic market, and stocking up on binders, notebooks, etc for the upcoming semester.  Ambitious - Yes... we will see how I do!

Well, I should probably wrap this up, but will end by giving you a wonderful recipe I got from Lindsay Letters.  It is for Coconut Chicken Curry which I made on Wednesday and it was delicious, easy and relatively quick to make.  It is also made for great leftovers and work lunches.  Here it is:

Leah's Coconut Chicken Curry

You will need:
  • 1 – 1.5 lbs cooked, shredded chicken. {You can do this however you want. You can poach it, go easy and buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from your grocery store, or bake it.
  • 1 can coconut milk (I used reduced fat)
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 TBS curry powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt to taste

In a large, deep pot, saute onions with 1 tsp salt, in olive oil until near translucent. Add garlic over top of onions so it doesn’t burn. Add curry powder and shredded chicken, stir until incorporated, and cook for another minute-ish. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Add sugar (about a tablespoon) and salt to taste. Let simmer for about 10 minutes and then serve.  I served mine with cous cous, but it can also be served with white or brown rice.  Enjoy!

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend!

50 Things for 2011

Ok, so here is the official list of (almost)* 50 things I would like to do or achieve in 2011.  Although, I have already started working on some of my goals this month, I will only officially begin on the 1st of Feb since it is already so late in the month (Yes, I even procrastinate on my New Years Resolutions!).  From now on I will log my progress in the "50 Things for 2011" tab on the top of my page just in case you would like to follow along with me.  I have never done something like this before and am really excited to see where this takes me... 2011 is going to be a good year... I can just feel it! :)

*The reason I say almost is because a few of the goals are a secret and are thus not posted, but I promise, there really are a total of 50!

So here is the list (with progress noted to date)... if it's crossed off its been completed!
  1. Plant an herb garden
  2. Run a 10k
  3. Implement Meat Free Mondays (3/52)
  4. Volunteer at least once a month (0/12)
  5. Try out a new recipe every week (4/52)
  6. Go to the gym at least four times a week (4/52)
  7. Get down to XX kgs
  8. Buy one piece of clothing for myself each month (0/12)
  9. Buy one accessory for myself each month (1/12)
  10. Surprise Jurgen with something nice each week (3/52)
  11. Visit a country that is not the US, South Africa or Namibia
  12. Read at least five books for pleasure (0/5)
  13. Finish my first year of post grad with all distinctions
  14. Paint my flat
  15. Join some sort of group in Jo'burg (e.g. jogging)
  16. Participate in a few Cooking Classes (0/4)
  17. Send all close family and friends a post card (0/12)
  18. Make spaghetti sauce from scratch
  19. Save at least R XXX.XX per month (0/12)
  20. Have over R XXX.XX in my account at the end of each month (1/12)
  21. Make 3 new friends in Jo'burg (0/3)
  22. Surpise someone with homemade cookies
  23. Take a vacation by myself (even if it's just one night)
  24. Send someone flowers just because
  25. Decorate my work desk to make it more happy and inviting :)
  26. Make a candlelit dinner
  27. Write in this blog at least twice a week
  28. Keep in touch with family & friends more often
  29. Buy a new cocktail dress
  30. Find the perfect bikini
  31. Make my SAS blog into a hard cover book
  32. Go somewhere I haven't been in Jo'burg each month (0/12)
  33. Visit Vilakazi St in Soweto
  34. Wear some piece of jewelery every day
  35. Learn to play chess
  36. Go see a show or play
  37. Watch a foreign film
  38. Find the perfect restaurant/cafe to study in
  39. Visit three museums (0/3)
  40. Teach myself SPSS (stats program)
  41. Attend an Industrial Psychology Conference or Gathering
  42. Buy a pet fish :)
  43. Read a Charles Dickens Novel
  44. Participate in a Yoga or Pilates class once a month (0/12)
  45. Attend a Blue Bulls Rugby game
  46. Drink at least a bottle of water everyday
Wish me luck!!! :)

Lots of love,

26 January 2011

And So It Begins...

Considering that this is my first post, I should probably explain a little about myself and why I am keeping this blog.
  • Firstly, it is to keep in touch with family and friends in the USA and elsewhere around the world.  As most of you who will be reading this probably already know, I moved to Johannesburg in the beginning of January 2010 and I hope that this blog will better enable me to keep in contact with everyone back in the good ol' US of A. 
  • Secondly, I am using this blog as a way to keep track of my 50 things for 2011 list.  It is a list that I hope will motivate me to actually get out there and accomplish certain activities or goals that I thought about all of 2010, but never actually got around to doing.  Now that I have been living in Johannesburg for over a year I figure that it is about time that I start pushing myself harder to meet new people, participate in more activities, commit to volunteering on a more regular basis and set aside more "me-time" to recharge my batteries and collect my thoughts. 
  • Lastly, this blog is a way for me to document my day to day thoughts, experiences, successes, frustrations.... you get the idea.  I somehow recently came across my previous blog which I kept during 2006 when I studied abroad on Semester at Sea and it brought back so many good memories and reminded me about a lot of experiences that I had forgotten all about.  In fact that's what really motivated me to "re-join" the blogging community.
That being said, I think I will keep this post short and sweet.  I am excited to start this whole thing and hope that whoever is reading this will also enjoy reading about my not always so ordinary life here in the Rainbow Nation.