Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sheryl Sandberg, Life, Survival, And Achievement

'You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.'

It's a good thing I didn't read Lean In because I'm not upset by what Sandberg did or did not say in that book and how she's changed her tune since.

We have to remember we are all human. No individual knows everything and no individual is without flaws, including leaders of large corporations. So she's learned a lesson and changed her mind, albeit the hard way, through loss of a loved one. Forgive her. Like the rest of us, she's still learning and growing.

That said, I love the above quote, which she said in her speech at UC Berkeley's recent commencement. Sharing her vulnerability humanizes the thoughtful leader and inspires others with her influence.

Surviving difficult situations or circumstances alone is an unrecognized achievement in and of itself that all too many of us, myself included, overlook.

As a survivor, I am reminded once again to not overlook the things I have overcome and ultimately achieved, though unrecognized through classic conventions of what successful means.

To be human is to struggle. To overcome struggle is to achieve. xo

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Return-To-Work Mama [MOMLIFE]

I'll be a return-to-work mama this week and this is my look in anticipation of my newly minted status: a combination of excitement and nervousness. 

I was sharing these sentiments when all of sudden, from the other room, my toddler yells back: Why are you nervous? 

The things they hear and pick up on. smh. :>

There's always some level of uneasiness when you start something new, like a new job, isn't there? And it's particularly tough when you've been away for a while to have and/or care for your family.

I have an incredible amount of love and support for moms trying to get back into the workforce, and would like to see more opportunity and resources for this population. Because it's not that we don't care about career growth and making great contributions, but there are times when we're needed more critically at home. 

I'm excited to put my ideas and skills to work for the greater good-- heck, guys, working hard for this moment to say it in a post!-- but (initially) just a tad nervous about all the change that's about to come. Without change, though, there would be no butterflies. xo

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Beauty Of Showers [MOMLIFE]

2%: Washing
8%: Singing
30%: Reflecting
60%: Planning

Love showers. They help you rinse off the dirt from the day, disconnect and give you a moment to both reflect and think about your plan of action going forward.

A clean and fresh bundle of baby ain't too bad for instant gratification either :> xo

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak [RECIPE]

Dinner is always a challenge. Not the actual cooking of it but concepting what to cook.

Baked chicken, steak, pasta, tacos, and baby back ribs are some of our go-to's. 

We had chicken and pasta the night before so didn't want either tonight. Beef was the likely option and, as much as I love a good steak, I wanted to try something different, so I took a little more time to browse what Trader Joes had on their shelves. 

Near the salads, they have fully cooked, heat-and-eat meals, like chicken piccata, turkey and mashed potatoes, and beef stroganoff. Been there, done that, and don't want to again.

Further down, next to the raw meat, they have fully cooked meat, like the above-mentioned baby back ribs we like and some uncooked seasoned and unseasoned meats in vacuum-packed packaging.

An unseasoned, uncooked, thinly sliced, vacuum-packed sirloin beef caught my eye. On the front of the packaging it said it was good for tacos, cheesesteaks, and Korean barbecue.

I wanted a philly steak the night before when we did takeout but my 4yo wanted our usual, her favorite, chicken piccata so we had that instead. 

So, tonight, it was my turn and I decided to try this thinly sliced beef and make a philly cheesesteak of my own. 

To keep it simple, I just got a green bell pepper and a baguette. If I wanted to put a little more effort into it, I would have included sliced crimini mushrooms for depth and some onions for flavor.

For cheese, I used sliced havarti, since that's what we have at home. Mozzarella or provolone would be just as good.

The recipe is super simple, fast, and great for novice and seasoned cooks alike. Tag me (@mdesenna) if you try this! xo

- Beef, very thinly sliced, patted dry
- Bell pepper (any color), julienned
- Cheese, sliced, havarti 
- Bread, slightly toasted
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking oil

1. Heat oil in pan and add peppers. Toss and coat with oil. Cook until slightly softened.

2. Push peppers to edges and add a little more oil to pan. Let the pan heat up again-- you want it to be hot.

3. Add beef. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Break up the beef so it's getting as much surface-area contact with the hot pan but do not stirfry it-- you want to get it to brown/caramelize a little, which it will if it stays in continuous contact with the hot pan.
4. Once brown on one side, flip it over and turn off the heat. The pan will still be hot and this prevent the beef from being overcooked. Now is the time to mix the beef with the peppers. 

5. Add sliced cheese on top and cover pan partially with lid to help the cheese melt. Once melted, add mixture to bread and enjoy!

Happy healthy juicy homemade cheesesteak! xo

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