Strengths Finder 2.0

Good relationships are a very important part of a working environment. A part of why I accepted my new position was the awesome chemistry that I had with my new office.

{i'm realizing right now that i didn't share with this portal what exactly my new job is- i now work for Dr. Meldrum- a plastic surgeon and hand specialist in Eugene and love every minute of it}

A part of getting to know each other was learning what our individual strengths were and how we can relate. In comes Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. After receiving my copy of the book, I registered on the site and answered a series of questions that fell in line with examples such as: whether you strongly agree with "I like to encourage people" or strongly agree with "I like to challenge people," I strongly agree with "I like to listen" or "I like to be heard." There are a couple of scenario questions. You have 20 seconds per question and roughly 150 questions. When you're finished, the program generates 5 strengths. The book describes what the details of those strengths are. 


I had chills at how freakishly accurate these descriptions were. I'm going to have Jeremy do it, too.


Far before I accepted the position at my new job and made an extremely difficult decision to leave the restaurants, I was able to help fund raise for some amazing non-profits in Eugene. As the events coordinator for two very popular restaurants, I was able to use my position as a platform to encourage philanthropy and unity in our community in small but important ways. I'm very lucky to be a part of a community that loves on each other. Below are my memories of my last events with Agate.

Above was an event for The Boys and Girls Club. 12 ex-Duck current NFL players donated their appearances/signed jerseys/commitment to raising money to help tutor/feed and keep kids in Lane Co. healthy and safe.

Above is the annual "Chef's Night Out" which contributes funds to Food for Lane County. FFLC feeds thousands of families in our area. Did you know that a postal worker who also volunteered for FFLC is the man who started the postal canned food drives? Kind of cool.

I've been incredibly blessed in my young, professional career. I've gained an abundance of love and support, friendship, experience and extended family. I'm thrilled about this new chapter but fondly look back on the previous.

My Fitness Pal

Now that I'm not doing any renovations, I've had some time to enjoy my health. Spiritual, mental and physical. Isn't it interesting to consider the fact that the busier we are the more ourselves/taking some "myself" time falls by the wayside? I'm enjoying getting back in to a lifestyle/lifetime routine of health. For myself, yes. But, for my husband, present family and future family. I play a role in this world and I need to take care of myself.

I found this awesome app that keeps great track of your calorie intake, how many calories you've burned with workouts, etc. I've NEVER cared about my weight but I do care about how I feel. Additionally, I have absolutely no self control. If it's in my house, I will eat it. My Fitness Pal keeps track of everything for me. I never have to worry about how much more I should or shouldn't eat at the end of the if I had a doughnut for breakfast and no time for a workout.

Hello Again...

I'm alive, promise.

It's been an interesting last couple of months.

Lots of changes.

One notable change:

The Steinberger's have relocated!

Our decision to rid ourselves of the project our living situation came just before the bathroom remodel. It was much more lucrative for us to leave, rent for a year or so and buy something with enough room, less projects, etc, etc.We are truly enjoying a break from the endless chats about projects, endless lists, material shopping, late nights spent grouting, dry walling, etc, etc. Don't get me wrong, I feel so blessed to have such a handy hubby and to have a strong enough marriage to easily handle and actually totally enjoy doing renovations together. BUT, we're over it. Time to move on. Above is a picture of our new digs. We're totally at home here, for now. Honestly: home is where ever my husband is. I'm fine with how cheesy that was. I just really, really love the dude.

Tricky Treats

Every self proclaimed (and professional) cook has a couple of random and unexpected frustrations in the kitchen. The chefs that I work with surprise me with their soft boiled egg or perfectly shaped cookie setbacks. Super simple dishes, right? And for professional chefs? What kind of restaurant does this girl run, anyway? If you're in the kitchen at all, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Don't fret, even the pro's experience these simple dish vexations. Oddly, candied nuts and home made hash browns have been my personal tricky treats. However, I am very proud to say that I may have mastered the trick to these treats!

For perfect hash browns:
1. Peel and grate desired amount of potatoes, I normally do about 4 for Jeremy and I  (brown, red, sweet all work)
2. Put grated potatoes into a bowl of cold water, wait until the water is very cloudy (approx 7 mins)
3. Strain grated potatoes, really well
4. Repeat 3 times, maybe more depending on how starchy your potatoes are, until the water is fairly clear with the grated potatoes in it
5. Strain potatoes extremely well (I normally let it sit in the strainer for 20 or so mins to drain as much water as possible)
6. Pour all of the grated potatoes on to a kitchen towel and pat dry, the dryer the better
7. Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp of butter (for 4 potatoes), 1 tbsp of minced garlic and enough olive oil to lightly fill the bottom of the pan.
8. Once the butter is melted and you can smell the garlic, transfer the grated potatoes to the pan, sprinkle whatever seasoning you would like and leave until the pan side is browned, flip, done!

And for delish candied nuts:

1. Boil raw nuts until soft- 15/20 mins ish (pictured below: about 1 lb of whole/raw walnuts)
 2. Strain the nuts and immediately transfer to a boil of white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and I add a pinch of chili powder. Coat every nut completely by tossing them in the sugar mixture. (Tip: save the nut water to make a yummy gravy with to pour over chicken or any protein later on)
 3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Transfer coated nuts to a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 or so minutes, you'll know when they're done when the sugar stops boiling and starts caramelizing; sticking to the nuts.
 4. Let the nuts sit for just a few minutes and transfer into a bowl. You don't want them to completely harden on the wax paper, unless you eat wax paper intentionally as a supplement for some sort of fiber deficiency...
And there you have it! Enjoy and good luck conquering  your personal tricky treats!

Special Delivery

Jeremy and I went up to Seattle last weekend to visit with my family. A couple of my trendy Aunts introduced me to the Miche bag; the purse with changeable covers. HOW have I missed this trend?? Literally, I got on the phone to order mine within 12 hours of being introduced to it. So, you can imagine my excitement when this arrived on my front door step at 8 this morning.
Check out this website and browse the options. I'm seriously so obsessed with this thing. I don't have to buy another purse, ever.

My starter kit came with the shell and two covers: black and teal. I love them both and can't wait to order more!

Summer bucket list...

... errrr, Winter bucket list? It's always a little hilarious to me when I set a date or time frame for home renovations. Projects always take longer than expected. We always have busier schedules than anticipated. And on and on. My personal struggle with being very type A has eased considerably and I'm pleasantly content with any sort of progress being made. A couple of weekends ago, Jeremy and I FINALLY got a couple of coats of paint on the house! We've been preparing for paint since June, how crazy is that?? All of our windows are installed and trimmed out. We ordered/assembled and installed the new front door. We finished our roofing and installed all of the flashing. All of the fascia has been scraped and primed. Holes have been filled, all of the scraping, priming, pressure washing, random hardware removing, caulking, etc is totally done. Now, we are waiting for the weather to improve to finish the following:

-Prime/paint office exterior door and trim
- 3rd coat- front/sides fascia
- 1st/2nd/3rd coat back fascia
- Paint exterior doors: office, shop, kitchen, second office door
- Stain front door

We were so lucky to have had a couple of extra hands on the second day of painting and were left with very little to complete.

We also completed a third set of shutters. Now every window have shutters in the front of the house.

 On the left is the door when we first installed it. Since, I ordered Baldwin door hardware and a dentil shelf. Eventually the door will be stained a deep red and the front porch will match.
 The top is the after view. I love how the gray hue accentuates the ranch style house and the beautiful white trim around our brand new windows. The shutters are such a great touch. *pats self on the back
 Pretty great, right?

In lieu of gifts...

This year, Jeremy and I have decided to gift each other a new bathroom instead of a conventional gift. I'm thrilled about the bathroom however, I still wanted to do something special for Jeremy. So, (in envelopes, one to open for every day in December) I decided to gift him promises of date nights, gifts, thoughtful gestures, etc and hung them above his closet.


I am equally excited about every single one with the exception of the contents of December 17th's envelope; the only one that I needed a little help with. I am stoked about the one he opened on December 17th. The envelope contained a promise of a dinner date night -in- catered by a special chef. He didn't know which of the several potential candidates, until we went out to dinner on the 18th. I took him out to my good friends' restaurant, Koho. We enjoyed a dinner complete with quail, rabbit, rutabaga soup, trio salad, white/milk chocolate creme brulee and because he is the Executive Head Chef, owns the place and does what he wants a rad version of a corn dog. My career allows me access to some of the most talented chefs in the culinary world.Chef Jeff is no exception.

After our beautiful dinner, Chef Jeff revealed his intent to cater our special dinner. We've already picked out our menu and I'm beyond stoked!

Christmas Pictures

Cassy Berry Photography. She's amazing and lovely and wonderful. Please do check out her site.
Cassy took our Christmas photos again this year and I love them. 
Below are my favorites:

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

My Pinterest Diet

I am and have always been a seasonal weight gainer. But not during the Winter season, like most. I, typically gain 10 or so pounds around the end of summer. It's weird but it happens every year. This year, I decided to nip it in the bud as soon as I felt my jeans fitting too tightly with this cleanse found on Pinterest:

(By the way, this completely worked. I took one picture for every day that I dieted and it's amazing how much my body changed in 7 days. And, the 10lb weight loss promise by the end of the week? Totally legit. I lost 12.)

This plan can be used as often as you like without any fear of complications. It is designed to flush your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well being. After seven days you will begin to feel lighter because you will be lighter by at least 10 lbs. You will have an abundance of energy and an improved disposition.

During the first seven days you must abstain from all alcohol
You must drink 10 glasses of water each day

Day One All fruits except bananas. Your first day will consist of all the fruits you want. It is strongly suggested that you consume lots of melons the first day. Especially watermelon and a loupe. If you limit your fruit consumption to melons, your chances of losing three lbs. on first day are very good.

Day Two All vegetables. You are encouraged to eat until you are stuffed with all the raw or cooked vegetables of your choice. There is no limit on the amount or type. For your complex carbohydrate, you will start day two with a large baked potato for breakfast. You may top the potato with one pat of butter.

Day Three A mixture of fruits and vegetables of your choice. Any amount, any quantity. No bananas yet. No potatoes today.

Day Four Bananas and milk. Today you will eat as many as eight bananas and drink three glasses of milk. This will be combined with the special soup which may be eaten in limited quantities.

Day Five Today is feast day. You will eat beef and tomatoes. Eat two 10 oz. portions of lean beef. Hamburger is OK. Combine this with six whole tomatoes. On day five you must increase your water intake by one quart. This is to cleanse your system of the uric acid you will be producing.

Day Six Beef and vegetables. Today you may eat an unlimited amount of beef and vegetables. Eat to your hearts content.

Day Seven Today your food intake will consist of brown rice, fruit juices and all the vegetables you care to consume.

Tomorrow morning you will be 10-17 lbs. lighter than one week ago. If you desire further weight loss, repeat the program again. You may repeat this program as often as you like, however, it is suggested that you are allowed two glasses of white wine in addition to the instructions on the program. You may substitute champagne for white wine. Under no circumstances are you to drink any other alcoholic beverages with the exception of beer which is allowed. Any liquor (bourbon,vodka, rum) is forbidden. Cream drinks are especially forbidden. You may have an occasional cordial such as creme de menthe or schnapps, but you must always limit yourself to two drinks. If you wine, drink only wine that day. If you have beer, drink only beer that day, etc. Alcohol adds empty calories to your diet. However, after the first week it will help your digestion and settle your stomach.

G.M.’S Wonder Soup

The following soup is intended as a supplement to your diet. It can be eaten any time of the day in virtually unlimited quantities. You are encouraged to consume large quantities of this soup.

28 oz, Water, 6 Large Onions, 2 Green Peppers, Whole Tomatoes (fresh or canned), 1 Head Cabbage, 1 Bunch Celery, 4 Envelopes Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Herbs and Flavouring as desired.

Additional Comments

Vegetables as may be taken in the form of a salad if desired. No dressing except malt, white or wine vinegar, squeezed lemon, garlic, herbs. No more than one tea spoon of oil.

You have been given a recipe for the WONDER SOUP which can be eaten in unlimited quantities. This soup is a supplement while you are on the program and it should be a pleasure to eat. Not everyone likes cabbage, green peppers, calory etc. This recipe is not inflexible. You may substitute vegetables according to your taste. You may add any vegetables you like: asparagus, peas, corn, turnips, green beans, cauliflower, etc. Try to stay away from beans (lima, pinto, kidney, etc.), however, because they tend to be high in calories even though they are very good for you.

Beverages you may consume while on the program :

   1. Water (flavoured with lemon/lime if desired).
   2. Club Soda is OK.
   3. Black Coffee. No cream or cream substitute. No sugar or sweetness.
   4. Black Tea = Herb or Leaf.
   5. Absolutely nothing else except the fruit juices which are part of day seven. No fruit juices before day seven.

How and Why It Works

Day One you are preparing your system for the upcoming programme. Your only source of nutrition is fresh or canned fruits. Fruits are nature’s perfect food. They provide everything you could possibly want to sustain life except total balance and variety.

Day Two starts with a fix of complex carbo-hydrates coupled with an oil dose. This is taken in the morning for energy and balance. The rest of day two consists of vegetables which are virtually calorie free and provide essential nutrients and fibre.

Day Three eliminates the potato because you get your carbohydrates from the fruits. You system is now prepared to start burning excess pounds. You will still have cravings which should start to diminish by day four.

Day Four, bananas, milk and soup sound the strangest and least desirable. You’re in for a surprise. You probably will not eat all the bananas allowed. But they are there for the potassium you have lost and the sodium you may have missed the past three days. You will notice a definite loss of desire for sweets. You will be surprised how easy this day will go.

Day Five, Beef and tomatoes. The beef is for iron and proteins, the tomatoes are for digestion and fibre. Lots and lots of water purifies your system. You should notice colourless urine today. Your allowance calls for the equivalent of five “quarter ponders”. Do not feel you have to eat all this beef. You must eat the six tomatoes.

Day Six is similar to day five, Iron and proteins from beef, Vitamins and fibre from vegetables. By now your system is in a total weight loss inclination. There should be a noticeable difference in the way you look today, compared to day one.

Day Seven finished off the program like a good cigar used to finish off Victorian meals, except much healthier. You have your system under control and it should thank you for the flushing and cleaning you just gave it.

Sunday Fun-Day

Yesterday, Jeremy and I enjoyed a day consisting of church, caulking the exterior window trim and a dinner/movie date night on the Oregon Coast.

I love days like this. Incohesive-ness with togetherness as  a common denominator. Productive and fun. 

I was excited to have the entire front of the house totally ready for pressure washing and paint by the end of the day, yesterday. Also, Jeremy was gifted a trip to a coastal restaurant as a thank you for building the stage that our good friends got married on, in July. So, we went to the coast to do our dinner and a movie date night. By the way, The Waterfront is delicious. I would strongly suggest trying it out, if you're in Florence, Or.

Commencing the day was our ever so inconsistent Sunday routine of attending a church service. Jeremy and I haven't made it to a service in over a month. Luckily, all of the teachings are available on Podcast for us to watch whenever we are able.  However, we need that fellowship with our church family. And, isn't it interesting, how God always knows what you need to hear/when you need to hear it? The teaching yesterday was out of James 5:7-11 titled "Patient Perseverance"  (click here for the archive of teachings). Pastor Wes was talking about how blessed we will be if we remain steadfast in the face of opposition and how bitterness toward your circumstance leads to bitterness toward one another. He stressed the point that God produces character in suffering and that we should stay the course in the midst of opposition. 
I loved the reference verses: Philippians 2:14-16 and 1 Peter 5:7.

I am so encouraged by the gentle challenges that our Pastor starts our weeks off with. How easy is it for us to find something to complain about in the midst of a trial, and be completely blind and forgetful of the things that God has blessed us with.

I think that November is a great month to re-route my train of thought to a more thankful and less complaining one. I tend to get very caught up in the what we don't have's and the what hasn't gotten done and the what I don't have time for. When in reality, I have a lot to be thankful for and many blessings.. the focus definitely needs to be redirected.

What are you thankful for?

Road Trip

In October Jeremy and I left our home with our two dogs and a very full SUV to finish celebrating Jeremy's 30th birthday with a week-long roadtrip. We, thorougly, enjoyed ourselves. Here's the short of it.

Scenic pictures: OR to WA to ID to MT
First stop: Big Sky, MT

Second stop: Yellowstone National Park

The drive from WY to SD

Third stop: Keystone, South Dakota

Fourth stop: Salt Lake City, UT

Fifth stop: Home :)
The drive from UT to NV to CA to OR

I tried taking pictures of all of the places that we visited. I thought that I would have had way more time to be doing nothing but take pictures, honestly though, we had so much fun during our long drives that I just lost track of where we were. There's not one other person on this planet that I could have spent that much time in the car with. Truth.

On this trip we: visited with friends along the way, visited monuments, national parks, zoos, famous architecture, war hero resting grounds, battle grounds and one of the biggest snow resorts in the world. We experienced temperatures from 5 degrees to 70 degrees. We saw black bears in the wild and watched Old Faithful explode right on time. We made almost every meal on our camping stove and bonded over working as a team and enjoying the countryside. We've seen the sun rise and set behind the Black Hills. We've seen the beauty of Mt. Rushmore in the evening and in the morning, both are truly separate experiences. Jeremy and I learned more about this country than we anticipated and developed a deep love for it. We met some amazing people with some incredible stories. I can officially say that I've sung for a crowd in South Dakota. And so can Jeremy. We drove 3,500 miles in 8 days and saw 9 states. I am so encouraged by our character and love for each other. Seriously, the worst thing that happened was running out of gas and a chip in my windshield on the last day. And for the record... these two:
are the BEST road trip dogs of all time. I couldn't believe what angels they were. 
I fell in love with them all over again.

This is the last big trip that we will be taking for at least a full year so it's definitely a good thing that it was such an amazing success :)

Pinterest Beauty Projects

You've probably noticed that this isn't the first Pinterest related post of mine. I've become increasingly obsessed with testing out recipes, DIY projects, beauty recipes, etc that I've created boards for.It's embarrassing to admit that my OCD is so extreme that I consider my boards a to-do list of sorts and it drives me insane to think that there is a list of mine existing out there without a check mark... So, in light of that fact, this won't be the last Pinterest project post :)

Last week, Jeremy and I spent an evening going through my beauty board and checking off some DIY beauty recipes. I totally had to beg him to join me but evidently enjoyed himself! 

Below are the links to the beauty recipes that we tested out that night. I was blown away (seriously) at how well they all worked.

Blackhead Remover

Silky Legs

Super Soft and Relaxed Feet

Lip Scrub

Dr. Oz's Flawless Skin Recipe

Happy Pinning!