Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Mornings- Universally suck.

I have never in what I can remember had a good Monday morning. Today is no different. I start school today, and a whole other laundry list of crap that I would whine about.


I'm not going to do it. I'm trying to remain positive. I'm trying to not let the negative rule my life but just for a moment I'm going to sit here and go


What.



The.




Fuck.



I mean there are just some days that I seriously wonder about the kind of person I was in another life.  I must have been a pretty evil bitch.  I'm talking like sadistically ruled and killed people evil.


That is the only way I can think that Karma would have it out for me that bad.


Life is ups and downs my friend- one day you will bask in the sunlight and the next you will be smashed upon the rocks it is how you handle yourself then that determines who you are.

(not so direct quote from the Count of Monte Cristo)


So I'm going to work through this as best I can and suck it up buttercup like I tell everyone else and myself is no different.


Life.




Moves.




On.



Who knows- maybe this year I'm bringing in some good karma for the next go round!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Weekly Mortgage Market Update

Compliments of
Molly Trice
Senior Loan Officer
Cornerstone Home Lending Inc.
NMLS MLO 208559 • Branch NMLS 280993
Suite 100
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
 
Job Gains Fall Short
 
Investors were focused on the strength of the labor market this week. A strong reading for job gains in Wednesday's ADP report caused mortgage rates to move a little higher. The ADP data turned out to be a poor indicator for Friday's weaker than expected Employment report, however, and mortgage rates ended the week lower.
 
Against a consensus forecast of 200K, the economy added just 74K jobs in November. This was the smallest monthly increase in jobs since January 2011. Given that several other labor market indicators showed greater strength in December, many investors were skeptical about how accurately the data reflects the strength of the labor market. For one thing, bad weather likely was a factor in the shortfall, as the construction sector was particularly weak. Upward revisions to the November data also partly offset the December results, leaving average gains of about 160K over the last two months. Bottom line, though, the report fell short of expectations, causing mortgage rates to move lower after the news.
 

In another twist, the Unemployment Rate unexpectedly declined from 7.0% to 6.7%, the lowest level since October 2008. Looking below the surface, reported job gains accounted for just 0.1% of the decline, while a large group of people leaving the labor force was responsible for the remaining 0.2% decline.  
 
While the headline Employment report is based on data collected from large employers, the Unemployment Rate is derived from a separate survey of individual households. According to this survey, there were job gains of about 150K in December, while roughly 350K people were no longer seeking work and thus were removed from the labor force. Since the Unemployment Rate is simply the number people in the labor force seeking work divided by the total labor force, it counts equally whether a person stops seeking work by finding a job, giving up on the job search, or retiring.
 
 
The most significant economic data next week will be the Retail Sales data and the monthly inflation reports. Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity and will be released on Tuesday. The Producer Price Index (PPI) focuses on the increase in prices of "intermediate" goods used by companies to produce finished products and will come out on Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, will come out on Thursday. CPI looks at the price change for finished goods which are sold to consumers. Housing Starts and Industrial Production will come out on Friday. Import Prices, Philly Fed, Empire State, Consumer Sentiment, and the Fed's Beige Book will round out a busy schedule.
 

Weekly Mortgage Market Update

Compliments of
Molly Trice
Senior Loan Officer
Cornerstone Home Lending Inc.
NMLS MLO 208559 • Branch NMLS 280993
Suite 100
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
 
Job Gains Fall Short
 
Investors were focused on the strength of the labor market this week. A strong reading for job gains in Wednesday's ADP report caused mortgage rates to move a little higher. The ADP data turned out to be a poor indicator for Friday's weaker than expected Employment report, however, and mortgage rates ended the week lower.
 
Against a consensus forecast of 200K, the economy added just 74K jobs in November. This was the smallest monthly increase in jobs since January 2011. Given that several other labor market indicators showed greater strength in December, many investors were skeptical about how accurately the data reflects the strength of the labor market. For one thing, bad weather likely was a factor in the shortfall, as the construction sector was particularly weak. Upward revisions to the November data also partly offset the December results, leaving average gains of about 160K over the last two months. Bottom line, though, the report fell short of expectations, causing mortgage rates to move lower after the news.
 

In another twist, the Unemployment Rate unexpectedly declined from 7.0% to 6.7%, the lowest level since October 2008. Looking below the surface, reported job gains accounted for just 0.1% of the decline, while a large group of people leaving the labor force was responsible for the remaining 0.2% decline.  
 
While the headline Employment report is based on data collected from large employers, the Unemployment Rate is derived from a separate survey of individual households. According to this survey, there were job gains of about 150K in December, while roughly 350K people were no longer seeking work and thus were removed from the labor force. Since the Unemployment Rate is simply the number people in the labor force seeking work divided by the total labor force, it counts equally whether a person stops seeking work by finding a job, giving up on the job search, or retiring.
 
 
The most significant economic data next week will be the Retail Sales data and the monthly inflation reports. Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity and will be released on Tuesday. The Producer Price Index (PPI) focuses on the increase in prices of "intermediate" goods used by companies to produce finished products and will come out on Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, will come out on Thursday. CPI looks at the price change for finished goods which are sold to consumers. Housing Starts and Industrial Production will come out on Friday. Import Prices, Philly Fed, Empire State, Consumer Sentiment, and the Fed's Beige Book will round out a busy schedule.
 

The Joys of Moving.

I've lived in this not so sleepy little town for going on three years now. In those three years I have moved- a LOT- and in doing so I've lost just about everything I ever owned furniture wise.  Part of it is my fault- I should not have moved but hey live and learn.


Now that I have moved YET AGAIN I'm stuck staring at the boxes that populate most of my living room and I can't help but think- when am I ever going to get stuff to put this crap on and more importantly-



Do I really need it?


Unfortunately most of this is something that I can't get rid of-

Family photos, momentos, books,


Important things.

But it is driving me crazy that it is all just boxed sitting there!


I can't materialize book shelves and furniture out of thin air but I am starting to wish I could!


In a way moving is like cleaning your room for adults- you discover a ton of stuff you forgot you had and you spend more time playing with it than unpacking.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tom Kha Soup

Tom Kha Soup
Tom Kha soup is a spicy and pungent dish
from Thailand. It might possibly be my
most favorite savory dish ever. We eat this
repeatedly during the winter months.
The richness of the coconut milk mingles with the
tartness of the lemongrass and the spiciness of the
green curry and ginger. All of this blends into a base
of savory bone broth soup. It just tastes so darn good!
We make a big batch of this soup once a week and
eat it numerous times throughout the week. When
we have dinner guests or bring food to folks (because
of injury or recent birth) we generally serve this soup.
It’s always a big hit!
We love to eat this soup as part of our medicine cabinet to keep our immune systems strong
throughout the winter and to avoid getting upper respiratory infections like colds and the flu.
It is packed full of powerful immune and spicy warming herbs that are perfect for the cold winter
months.
There are lots of Tom Kha recipes out there, I hope you enjoy this version, which has a few more
local veggies than what you’d typically see in these recipes. Soups beg to be altered so experiment
away!
Before we get to the recipe here’s a bit more information about the health benefits of the yummy
herbs in this soup.
lemongrass
Lemongrass is a prominent spice in Thai cooking. It has an aromatic, lemony scent and taste, but
also has something so much more. I find it hard to describe myself but I recently heard someone
describe it as a lemony pepper taste with a hint of rose.
Besides its seductive taste, lemongrass is a powerful medicinal herb. It is used for fevers, for digestive
complaints and for headaches.
It makes a delicious tea. I often add small amounts to other tea blends simply because I love the
taste of it so much.
This recipe calls for fresh lemongrass. If you can’t find it fresh, you can also make a strong tea out of
dried lemongrass for a similar taste. I would try two heaping tablespoons of lemongrass in 8 ounces
of just-boiled water. Let sit for 10 minutes, then strain and add the tea to the soup.
Written by Rosalee de la ForĂȘt. Taste of Herbs © LearningHerbs.com, LLC 13
cilantro
Cilantro is often thought of as simply garnish for guacamole, but this is yet another unassuming
plant that is disguised as potent medicine.
Before I go on I know someone out there is thinking, “yuck! I hate cilantro.” It’s true people seem
to either adore cilantro or detest it. If you think cilantro tastes like soap, then it’s probably not your
fault! Some people genetically lack the ability to taste the flavor that most people love in cilantro.
Concurrently, they also have a stronger reaction to another flavor within cilantro. If you don’t like
cilantro, feel free to omit it from the soup.
Cilantro is loaded with antioxidants and is an aromatic carminative herb that is great for promoting
digestion. My teacher Michael Tierra recommends strong cilantro tea or cilantro pesto for stubborn
urinary tract infections.
garlic
Garlic is a strong antimicrobial herb that stimulates circulation and boosts the immune system. It’s
the perfect example of a pungent herb! Just eating one fresh clove a day (not bulb, clove) can deliver
powerful health benefits, such as supporting good cholesterol ratios and promoting digestion.
ginger
Ginger is a spicy and pungent herb that can promote digestion, quell nausea, lessen headaches,
reduce pain, fight intestinal infections, and shorten the duration of a cold or flu. Ginger is one of
my most reached-for herbs simply because it does so much and it does it so well!
shitake mushrooms
I adore shitake mushrooms, so I love piling them in the soup until it looks like I am eating shitake
mushroom soup! Shitakes are a wonderful food for the immune system. They have been studied
extensively for preventing and treating cancer.
Written by Rosalee de la ForĂȘt. Taste of Herbs © LearningHerbs.com, LLC 14
Here’s the recipe!
• 32 fluid oz bone broth soup (or substitute any meat or veggie broth)
• 3 cans regular coconut milk (look for BPA free coconut milk)
• 2 big stalks lemongrass, sliced in large pieces
• 4 tablespoons fish sauce
• 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 4 tablespoons lime juice
• 4 tablespoons minced ginger
• 8 cloves minced garlic
• 1-2 lbs skinless chicken thighs, cubed in very small pieces (sometimes we use salmon instead)
• 8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced
• 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
• 1 bunch of kale, chopped
• 1 bunch green onions
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 1 tablespoon green thai curry paste
• 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (leave the stems in!)
Directions:
Heat the bone broth and coconut milk in a large, heavy bottomed pan.
Once the liquids are heated you can add the fish sauce, tamari, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, ginger
and garlic.
Bring the broth to a slow simmer, make sure it
doesn’t boil, and do not cover it during cooking.
When the broth is simmering, add the chicken,
mushrooms, bok choy, kale, green onions, carrots
and green curry paste.
When the chicken is fully cooked and the carrots
are tender, add the cilantro. After a minute, taste the
soup and add some lime juice if desired.
It’s ready to serve! A cilantro and red pepper garnish
is a nice touch.
This recipe makes a lot of soup. Perhaps 8 – 12
servings. It makes great left overs!

Rainbow Squirty Swirls – The Most Popular Soap Ever?

Rainbow Squirty Swirls – The Most Popular Soap Ever?

  • Difficulty:Advanced
  • Time:60 minutes
  • Yields:12 bars
We hope that everyone had a fantastic holiday yesterday — we sure did, and today we’ve got a very special cold process recipe for you. If Instagram ‘likes’ equal popularity, this Rainbow Squirty Swirls soap may be our most popular soap yet (see for yourself — more than 120 ‘likes,’ wow)! This tutorial uses the same technique as the Squirty Swirls recipe in the Soap Crafting book, and it’s an easy process that results in beautiful soap every time.
One thing to note about this recipe is that it can take 10 – 15 minutes to squirt all the soap into the mold, so it’s important to use a slow-moving recipe and a fragrance you know won’t accelerate trace. In this case, we used our new Amazon Lily & Rain Fragrance Oil, which performed beautifully and gave our rainbow soap a little tropical flair.
What You’ll Need:
7 oz. Canola Oil
10.5 oz. Coconut Oil
1.7 oz. Hazelnut Oil
1.7 oz. Mango Butter
8.75 oz. Palm Oil
11.5 oz. distilled water
Optional8 Squirt Bottles
Click here to add everything you need for this project to your Bramble Berry shopping cart!
If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out our FREE four part SoapQueen.tv series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including my newest book, Soap Crafting. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor. This is an advanced technique and should not be attempted without a few recipes under your belt.
COLOR PREP: Disperse 1 teaspoon of each color except Titanium Dioxide, Electric Bubblegum and Merlot Sparkle Mica into 1 tablespoon of liquid oil (we like Sweet Almond or Sunflower oils). Prep double the amount of Titanium Dioxide, so disperse two teaspoons of colorant in two tablespoons of liquid oil. To create Bramble Red, disperse 1 teaspoon Electric Bubblegum colorant and two teaspoons Merlot Sparkle Mica into three tablespoons of liquid oil.
Prepping your colors in the beginning will allow you to work quickly and give you more time to work with your soap. Use the mini mixer to get all those clumps worked out smoothly.
ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water, and stir until clear. Set aside to cool. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that lasts longer in the shower, you can add Sodium Lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of Sodium Lactate per pound of oils in the recipe.
TWO: Melt and combine the Canola, Coconut, Hazelnut, Mango, Palm and Sweet Almond oils in a large glass container. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130 degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace.
THREE: Split off about half the batter (3 cups) into a separate container. Into the newly separated batch, add 4 teaspoons of dispersed Titanium Dioxide.
FOUR: Now add the colorants to the squirt bottles. We added one colorant per bottle in the following measurements:
  • 2 teaspoons dispersed Fizzy Lemonade
  • 2 teaspoons dispersed Tangerine Wow! and 1/8 teaspoon dispersed Bramble Red
  • 1 teaspoon dispersed Bramble Red
  • 1 teaspoon dispersed Chrome Green
  • 1 teaspoon dispersed Ultramarine Blue
  • 1 teaspoon dispersed Ultramarine Violet
FIVE: Split the fragrance roughly in half between the white and uncolored batches of soap. Mix in the fragrance with a wire whisk or spoon.
SIX: Pour the container of white soap batter into two condiment bottles. Pour until both bottles are full (our bottles hold about 12 oz.)
SEVEN: Pour the uncolored soap into the color bottles, filling each about a third of the way full. Then, cover the tip with your finger and shake vigorously, releasing your finger with the tip pointing away from your face.
EIGHT: Now comes the fun part! Take your first color (we chose red) and drizzle it into the mold. Once the bottom has been covered with a thin layer of squirty swirls, drizzle a layer of white. Repeat this process with all the other colors, repeating the same order (we followed roughly the order of a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, purple, blue). Alternate between layering a color, white and then another color until the bottles have been emptied. Because this is a time intensive recipe, your batter may begin to thicken as you get closer to the top. If you need to, pop the bottles in the microwave for 10 seconds to keep the batter liquid enough to work with.
NINE: We finished the top of this soap by simply drizzling purple and white together. Tamp the mold on the table several times to disperse bubbles, and then cover and insulate for 24 hours. Unmold after 3-4 days and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks.
Soap Queen Lab!Want to hold this soap in your hands? If you’re a tactile and visual learner, we have another way for you to learn. Click here to grab one of these soaps for your very own, complete with a full color instruction sheet, from the Soap Queen Lab Etsy shop.