Sunday, December 23, 2012

I love meatloaf!

Several years ago I was challenged to a meatloaf-off by my step-father, Duane. He was a Navy cook back in the day and he said his would beat mine hands down. The stage was set, the meatloaf's were mushed and gushed, then baked. The table was set, we sat down to taste each other's meatloaf. My mom was the third judge to act as the tie breaker. The ground meats were tasted and evaluated.

The votes came in 3 - 0 for Denise's meatloaf. If you knew Duane, you knew he did not lose easily. My mom was shocked, this was huge!

Tonight, I have to say I put that meatloaf baked at least 25 years ago to shame. Mom and Duane you would be proud. I'm a meatloaf lover...and this one tonight takes the cake! Italian sausage and cheddar cheese are the secrets.

I can't wait for meatloaf sandwiches!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Impromptu snow day!

Kaitlyn killing it on her snow blades!
Some days you have a ton of things you need to get done: laundry, house cleaning, around the holidays gift shopping and making. OR you get a message from a best girlfriend saying, "let's go to the mountain."

I'm happy, no ecstatic to say I chose the mountain over chores. We had an epic time. It dumped all day, the snow was awesome.


Thanks Martha, Kaitlyn, Blu and Hannah!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homemade Carnitas - Yum

Growing up on Southern California I was spoiled with amazing Mexican food. I had struggled to find an "authentic" Mexican restaurant. Luckily, I have finally found one, and its in my Neighborhood. Its called La Bamba and its on Powell at SE 49th. Great food, great service.

In my Mexican food draught I conjured up a super simple recipe for homemade Carnitas.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

3 to 4 lbs country-style pork ribs
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
2 cans Herdez Casera salsa
1 clove garlic (minced)

Place pork ribs into slow cooker. Pour can of beef broth over ribs. Pour both cans of Herdez over ribs. Add garlic. Cook on low heat all day (about 8 hours). Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with two forks, separating the bones and fat from the meat. Spread on sheet pan, Place in broiler for about 3-5 minutes. Serve as tacos or burritos.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One of those a fabulous way.

Today has been one of those days when I feel extreme pride in what I do. I was so lucky to be a part of a rebranding project for the organization now known as All Hands Raised.

Today, about a year after launching that brand, they had a summit to bring the community together to talk about what's happened with the body of work over the last 12 months. This summit assembled 100s of local leaders to talk about student success in Portland and Multnomah County. As I listened to the presentations, workshops and conversations, every time I heard someone outside of the organization say All Hands Raised I got little butterflies. I know I had a hand in the success of this organization, helping them create a powerful identity and brand that positions them as the convener for this important work.

Every now and then we are able to use our marketing super powers for good. This was one of those times for me.

Please check out their website or video and learn about the amazing work they are doing and if you are so inclined join in on the fun!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sometimes you just need a little afternoon smile.

When I find myself needed a little afternoon pick up I head straight to

Holy moly, let the smiles and giggles begin!

This is Benny the Mixed Breed on today's Daily Puppy feed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Some call is balance, I call it harmony.

I did two things yesterday that reminded me of the importance of keeping your career/job in perspective. I went to Salem to visit someone very, very dear to me, Bea and her mother Grandma Slyh who is in the hospital after hip surgery. It meant so much to me to be able to see them. I left the hospital and went to celebrate Robin my soul sister's birthday. In order to do both of these things, I left work early and I felt a little bit guilty. After these visits, I came home from Salem with a full heart.

We try to balance work and our personal lives and in my opinion its impossible to have balance, at times work is busy and other times life is busy. You can't let your busy work take over your life. We have to put priority on our family and friends. Usually for work you give, give, give and at some point you feel depleted. With family and friends you sometimes give, give, give and some how you aren't left feeling empty, but you end up with a full heart.

This little trip was a reminder to make sure to keep my family and friends tank full. To not let the stress of work keep me from giving the time and energy to my personal life. To find the right harmony for both.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Words to live by...

kind·ness [kahynd-nis] noun
1. the state or quality of being kind: kindness to animals.
2. a kind act; favor: his many kindnesses to me.
3. kind behavior: I will never forget your kindness.
4. friendly feeling; liking.

em·pa·thy [em-puh-thee] noun
1. the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

or·gan·ized [awr-guh-nahyzd] adjective
1. having a formal organization or structure, especially to coordinate or carry out for widespread activities: organized medicine; organized crime.

fun [fuhn] noun
1. something that provides mirth or amusement: A picnic would be fun.
2. enjoyment or playfulness: She's full of fun.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Beautiful Constraint

I had an opportunity to hear Mark Barden from speak last night on the topic of Beautiful Constraints. He touched on the subject that we are all wired to be optimistic. I love that thought. I know I choose optimism each and every day. Its what keeps me going. By stating that intention is remarkable how it really does frame the day.

Ok, so the main point of Mark's talk was about constraints and how constraints are what propels innovation.  He talked about turning I "can't because" to I "can if". The coolest example he gave was from Audi. They set out to answer this question, "How can we win races with the slowest cars?" Their can't because, turned into a can if they made their cars more fuel efficient which resulted in going into the pits less. They have won race after race when they turned that "can't because" to their "can if". Their purpose turned into their motivator!

This talk was put on by my friends at Coraggio Group. I'm always inspired when I spend time with Trever Cartwright and Craig Trames.

How much better will your day be if you try to turn at least one "can't because" into a "can if" everyday?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You gotta write it down!

Several years back, way back when I was the International Manager for Morrow Snowboards I took a Franklin Covey organization seminar. It was actually given by Stephen Covey himself.

Anyway, the thing I took away from that training that has stuck with me is to write everything down in one place. I started out using a Franklin planner then have moved to my own notebook system. I create a daily checklist with check boxes (its a great endorphin rush when you check something off).

I have also gotten into the habit of, while in a meeting, if an action item is mentioned I create a box within my notes to signify action needed. One important thing for me, I ONLY WRITE IN PENCIL IN MY BOOK. This system has become such a part of my work life that if I forget my book and/or pencil I have to stop what I'm doing until I am again equipped with book and pencil.

Being a professional cat herder, you have to be organized. This is how I do it and it works for me!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

If you want to be heard, understand your audience

I was just reminded how important it is to know your audience. Meaning the person that is listening to what you are saying. If you want to make sure you are heard you have to make sure the person you are talking to can listen. If you have a really over the top style and are speaking to someone that is really laid back, they will stop listening to you immediately. You will never really communicate with that person. To be most effective you have to gauge how the person you are talking to will best accept what you are saying. I call it being a chameleon.

In my work as a project manager, I have to constantly test the waters to find the best way to approach a conversation. I want the recipient of my message to walk away motivated so I look to them to guide how I am going to best proceed.

So many times people consider that since they've said something then they have communicated. But that's not true communication, if what you've said isn't heard then you've said nothing at all. Always make sure the circle of communication is complete.

Steven Covey said it best in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. ok Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dreams can come true

In order for dreams to come true you have to constantly be taking steps in that direction. We make intentions every day, most of which are for the people we work for and not for ourselves. That's not necessarily a bad thing, its what pays the bills.

I'm setting an intention that I will take one step, even if its a small step. Even the little ones make progress.

My step today is to reiterate my dream. I want to use my love for cooking and my innate project management skills to help people be better communicators, better workers, better people.