Needing some new books to load on to your Kindle?

I had posted this over on Mentorsf.com/Engage this morning and figured I would share here as well.

Unlike when I talk about cable these days – “I have nothing to read” are words you will rarely hear come out of my mouth.

Whats makes that even better has been my Amazon Prime membership. It’s been a constant companion since I was back in school. From Summer and winter “disconnect trips” to my commutes between San Francisco and DC/Atlanta. Having the ability to download groups of books has meant I always have something to read.

Summer Reads

With COVID19 keeping so many of us indoors,  in addition to many bookstores closing up, many of us have not been able to get to our fav bookstores. So while I still advocate using independent bookstores when you can. It may be time for you to try #Amazon Prime. I’ve been a fan of it for several years. 

They currently have a discount promo being offered with 50% off the regular monthly subscription; https://amzn.to/3llLOAp

 

 

Try Prime Discounted Monthly Offering

Struggling with lighting needs for online calls?

Learn from the students who know.

Adjustable and dimmable ring lights offer a flexible easy way to give you better lighting. Also great for new tiktok users and stuck-at-home workers needing portable lighting.


Get 50% off till 9/4 from my link for the one I use.

Neewer 18-inch SMD LED Ring Light Dimmable Lighting Kit w/stand 50% off with code till 9/4.

 


Neewer 18-inch SMD LED Ring Light Dimmable Lighting Kit w/stand 50% off with code till 9/4.

 

My journey in resin art continues

Keeping Creative

As a way to stay mentally challenged from the other side of my brain – I started to learn how to use epoxy-resin as resin-art.

A lot of this was inspired as a new way for me to use more of the old jewelry pieces I used for the 2019 Holiday Trees and 2018’s Planner Keepers and Bookmarks. 

I first started with pouring and casting coasters to get a feel for the process (and yes they will most likely show up somewhere come December for gifts). It was an interesting process needing to pay attention to the temperature in the room and bubbles etc. from Coasters I branched out to more art-themed pieces with some multidimensional art with some practice pieces using an owl mold filled with pebbles for feathers.

This week I wanted to begin to use up some leftover resin before we close up and head back east in a few weeks at the end of the month.

That means going back into the “gaudy baubles & beads” box for some finishing touches to a series of bookmarks for those that still read actual physical books.

For the background in how I reuse old previously loved, broken and vintage jewelry and the gaudy baubles box visit: https://bitetheroad.com/dec2019recap/

This is to me testing my creative side during COViD19.

I decided to see how free form resin pours would come out with an eye towards making a vase/candy dish/trinket bowl type thingy. Definite lessons learned but for my first try, it’s not awful. The with the surplus resin I did a series of bookmarks

More tales from my COVID19 Shelter In Place

The days are as full as ever; so it helps keep the mind from wandering

  • Changes are the norm. Trips were cancelled.
  • TEDxProvinvetown 202o is shelved as well.
  • I will be starting a new detail on COVID19 response next week.
  • Been keeping my hands busy with Tiktok (@frank_memtorsf) and some crafting xmas gifts early more on that later.
  • Cooking as usual

On the home front

Plenty of time with the 4-legged boss while managing to teach to night classes.

Just found out that that the “What the “Bears” can teach Goldilocks talk I did for TEDxProvincetown 2018 now has the transcript translated in three languages including Japanese https://www.ted.com/talks/frank_strona_what_the_bears_can_teach_goldilocks

Continuing to cook up a storm to keep the boys fed;

This is what happens when Paul And I watch Saturday morning cooking shows.

P: Honey. Make this…
Me: What? The Mexican inspired pizza?
P: No, the green sauce. Let’s do “make your own Tacos”. So we can use it.
Me: “eye roll”. Fine. I bet you mean use hard taco shells too. Not the soft ones .

So the end result; I swapped out a kicked up ground turkey for traditional carnitas (pork) that I wasn’t about to make or regular ground beef. Used whatever greens I had around and dinner is ready. Paul got his Taco and as usual mine got turned into a layered salad.

The roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe is great. Will make again. Note to self; 1 roasted jalapeño wasn’t enough. A second or add the seeds/ribs next time

Getting lots of specifc food cravings too. So this Instant Pot Rice Pudding with cinnamon, shredded coconut, and my new non-dairy decadent treat – “condensed coconut milk”; all the sticky sweetness without the dairy hit the spot. Using lactaid free milk also added to the whole, making the whole dessert good for is “intolerant” folks. Chilling now to set but looks super easy to replace items and with only 20 min cook plus set up – including cooking the rice.

Another win at the house was a simple Instant Pot, 5-spice chicken & vegatable stew to go along with our Jodie Foster weekend. From Hotel Artemis to Silence of the Lambs

Been dragging recipes up “from the past” treat was inspired by strawberries that needed to get used. Old school Strawberry Shortcake with a twist of sweetened greek yogurt cream and homemade biscuits.

One day I even had time to have a cookie day with my version of “monster cookies”. Pretty much an “anything goes” coolie, so perfect way to use up bits of this and that.. chocolate bunnies from easter, nuts, m&ms, etc. it’s no delicate tea cookie. Its a solid oatmeal and peanut butter base great dunking.

The boys got all excited about a 70’s fav dish with “shake & bake” porkchops, baked sweet potatoes & green beans from our childhood too which was part of retro week. When I did a past’ & beans for dinner. A favorite since I was a kid and money was tight. Its kinda like the italian-american version of fast comfort food. Not to mention all the Friday grill ups we have been doing

I’ll be getting some recipes up this week too

 

Instant Pot Monday; chicken & potatoes

What to make for dinner?

Always a challenge, but more so when I didn’t get off work till late. So after I did a search in the depth of my freezer to see what I had to work with.

Enter the Instant Pot.

With some frozen chicken, red potatoes, assorted herbs, broccoli and some jarred black bean and corn salsa. My dinner was set. After I added veggies to steam in the residual heat for a final few minutes. Dinner was ready in 30 minutes.

The recipe is super simple

In the Instant Pot; add 5-10 red potatoes, rinsed and halved. Add 4-6 frozen chicken breasts, pour 1 cup of water and one 24 ounce jar of the corn and bean salsa, add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Add a few stems of rosemary, (or any other herbs). Got some dried fruit? Sun-dried tomatoes? Toss them in too. Save Cilantro for topping at the end.

Turn the IP on pressure cook for 20 minutes, use then use the quick release, toss in the broccoli and cover again for 5 minutes to “steam”. Add chopped Cilantro, a few squeezes of lime  and serve

 

Thats it!

Some ways I’m spending my off hours #shelteringinplace

From creative cooking challenges

While not everything I want is available at the stores- I am finding some fun in coming up with ideas using what I have. Vanilla Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip “Pop Tart” wedges, was one that rose to the top. Then just because Paul is lamenting the Walking Dead “COVID-interuptus” episode last week, his got topped with ice cream and a dollop of whip cream.

And a rainy Sunday seemed like a good day for banana choc chop & peanut butter bread

Shelter games

While we settled in after already being on lockdown for several weeks. The May 1 extension for #ShelterInPlace got my crazies in play too.

I adjusted the “kitchen” with labels and containers as the new “employee lounge”. With three adults all teleworking from home, often from 7am -7pm, this is where we meet during office hours‬. The boys appreciated my humor…

Order up!

I even joined in the scavenger hunt and put one of the only bears I have in the window. With a little light swing to brighten him up at night.

Of course Paul managed to make Dino part of the madness. Poor Dino but he is taking it in stride and loves us home so much.

Then I discovered Tiktok!

As a fun distraction, way to connect and meet new people and mostly for general silly fun.

@frank_mentorsf

As if anyone has ever had to ask me this more than once #painintheass @wolfbearman @danielgomez9518

♬ original sound – janadetrick56

 

@frank_mentorsf

#duet with @jamusic4 Taking a #StellaDora break from #Covid19 today.

♬ original sound – jamusic4

@frank_mentorsf

#duet with @hunterharden All about the research .. gaydads, #gay #penissize #beefyboys #late_afternoon

♬ original sound – hunterharden

Food Lover’s Guide to Eating in Manhattan

Any true foodie will rejoice on a trip to Manhattan. This melting pot of cultures features the country’s most diverse dining landscape, making it easy to find something to satisfy any craving. Here are four types of cuisine to indulge in while in the Big Apple.

Asian Food

A rich history of immigration to the US by people from Asia has resulted in a significant Asian population in New York City. With this large population of Asian immigrants comes a host of opportunities to indulge in authentic cuisine over a wide range of cultural subsets. The best place to start your Asian cuisine exploration in New York City is in Chinatown. Simply take a stroll along Canal Street and you will be met with a host of restaurants to welcome you in for a fabulous meal. If you’re looking for a finer meal, Shanghai 21 is highly rated by customers as a quality restaurant with vegan options. If you’re looking for some cheaper Asian fare, Xi’an Famous Foods and Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles can both get you some quick yummy dumplings or soup for under $5.

Classic Steakhouses

There is no more quintessential New York City dining experience than enjoying a steak dinner in one of the area’s many classic steakhouses. These traditional steakhouses harken back to the old days with their leather furnishings, wood trim, and soft lighting. Popular places to consider for your meal include Gallagher’s Steakhouse, Delmonico’s, Peter Luger’s, and Smith & Wollensky. Any of these upscale joints will provide the best cuts of meat paired with all of the traditional steakhouse sides.

Bar Food

New York’s lively nightlife and bar scene translate to a cornucopia of bar food goodness. With so many options, you are never more than a short distance away from an amazing gastropub. Some of the best choices to consider include The Spotted Pig in the West Village, Ousia in trendy Hell’s Kitchen, Pier A Harbor House in Battery Park City, and Bolton & Watt in the East Village. If taking an Uber home, be advised that ride-share fare may increase during inclement weather, so plan your transportation carefully.

Italian Cuisine

For the most amazing Italian food in the states, be sure to head to New York City’s Little Italy neighborhood. Savvy travelers will check out the welcoming atmosphere and fabulous food at places such as Da Nico, Angelo’s of Mulberry Street, and Il Cortile. After you have noshed on fresh pasta and pizza, you are going to want to leave time to explore this lovely district with a cone of genuine gelato. If you’re looking for some good, cheap pizza on the go, however, you might want to stop by Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village or one of the surrounding locations.

Manhattan is not just a place to sightsee. You should prepare your taste buds to be met with an explosion of flavors with a trip to Manhattan. This bustling city will leave your stomach full and your heart happy.

How to Find Healthy Eating Options in Texas

Finding healthy food can be a challenge when in Texas. A fondness for deep-fried dishes with lots of butter means you have to know where to look for healthy food when visiting the Lone Star State. Luckily, there are options.

Avoid Southern Fried Foods

Fried food is a staple in the South, and it’s easy to see this when you look at a menu. Fried chicken, chicken fried steak, and even fried vegetables are the norm. Consuming too much-fried food is not good for your body. High in calories and fat and loaded with salt, fried food can contribute to high cholesterol and health problems. You are also more likely to gain weight on a diet full of fried food, and that leaves you open to a variety of other health issues. If possible, avoid any food that says it has been fried. Opt for options that have been prepared in a different way.

Look for Local

Not every local restaurant will offer healthy food, but local places usually know more about what is in the food they serve. They may also be willing to work with you to create a meal that fulfills your hopes since they have more freedom than a chain. Search for local restaurants that focus on healthy eating. Even in the South, places like this exist. The food will also likely taste better due to the freshness of the ingredients.

Restaurant Research

Doing your homework beforehand can help you locate healthy eating options. You can use the internet to research local restaurants near the airport in your destination city. This will keep you from choosing a restaurant without any healthy options on the menu. Online reviews are a great way to find out what a restaurant has to offer. Customers often mention diets that restaurants cater to, whether you are looking for Paleo, gluten-free, or vegan options. You can also check a restaurant’s website and peruse the menu. Call before you arrive if you still have questions.

Stick to What You Know

Retailers like Whole Foods offer healthy food that is already prepared. You can enjoy choices from the salad area or purchase an already cooked chicken to consume. The ingredients are listed, and healthy grocers are known for having options that other stores or restaurants may not. If you want to put together a delicious meal on your own, simply head to a healthy grocer and buy what fits in with your diet.

When traveling, it may seem like an impossible task to eat healthy, but there are options out there that can help you to stick to your diet. Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a vacation just because you are visiting another state. Even a place like Texas has eating choices for anyone concerned about wellness.

If you’re traveling to Texas, check out these destinations!

December 2019 recap

Well its that time of January, when I am finally back on track and catching up on all the delays, vacation emails from folks. The majority of the holiday decor is down and we are settling into more rain here in the Bay Area. Below is a visual recap of some of the highlights.

Homemade gifts

This year I went back into my craft pile and decided I was going to use more of the surplus old jewelry pieces I use of when I made the Planner Keepers and Book Jewels in 2018. While I had initially thought I would do ornaments, I somehow got my vision shifted and ended up making decorative pinecones “globes”. While a bitch to ship, I am happy to say all but two arrive in tack and I even have a few extra still around to give as gifts or sell. The only “new” as in pre-owned that I needed to purchase to make these were the vases that got used as the globe parts. With each one taking about 2 days plus dry time. Needless to say, a few folks got them late. A couple of folks were all “you should sell them”. And I’m like and what, call them “Gaudy Baubles”? Hey.. that could work too.

While a lot of work – it was pretty cool to see the progress. Even if the house was covered in glitter snow.

The rest of December was pretty casual. No big party this year did a super casual last-minute potluck with a few pals. I managed to back a few treats while Paul recovered from some dental work. Scored a great find at Salvation Army with a 5 foot “Santa” which didn’t get added into the decorations but it was a pretty damp holiday.  Did try out two new cake recipes which were hits as well as some fun vintage ornaments I scored.  then a great dinner at our favorite steakhouse for New Year’s Eve. So overall a good way to wrap up 2020

 

Can I Drive a Car After Nibbling on CBD Edibles?

CBD oil has become wildly popular of late, with nearly 1 in 7 Americans trying the compound. However, since it is so new, there is a wide degree of misinformation about its impacts. For example, many are confused about if CBD has any intoxicating effects, and whether or not you can even drive while using CBD oil, a question which could have a major impact on your travel plans.

Nature of CBD

As long as it is made legally, CBD will contain, at the most, .3 percent THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical in marijuana responsible for intoxication). As such, it is impossible to get high while using CBD, and you should not feel anything close to intoxication. Indeed, CBD is not a drug like marijuana. Instead, it alters the functioning of your body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system. This can have an impact on a variety of bodily functions, including pain, appetite, fatigue, and more.

Sensitivity of Drug Testing

If you are pulled over and suspected of being under the influence of marijuana, you’ll be given a drug test. It is extremely unlike that CBD will result in you testing positive, but it is possible. This depends on a variety of factors, including how recently you consumed the CBD, your previous history with cannabis, your metabolism, height, weight and the sensitivity of the drug test.

Local Laws

Keep in mind that some states have specific laws regarding CBD and whether or not it is legal to consume or possess. While it is legal in most states in America, and at the federal level, you should always check local laws before consuming or purchasing CBD. Just imagine during your commute getting arrested for DUI, it is something you don’t want on your record—getting a DUI ruins lives. This is very important and particularly if you travel abroad, as many countries have not yet legalized CBD.

Other Medications

One of the key aspects about CBD to keep in mind is that it can cause your liver to absorb more of a medication that may be designed by the medication’s creators, or even than is healthy for your body. This tends to cause the effects of medication on your body to be exaggerated. As such, if you take medications that have sedative effects, taking CBD may enhance those effects and make you an unsafe driver.

You should always use caution when consuming any new substance, including CBD. Check with your doctor or other medical professionals to make sure that your CBD consumption is safe while you travel on the road.

Planning a road trip soon? Check out these tips for eating healthily while you travel.