Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chicken Taco Bowls

I don't know what it is about these taco shells but I love them. They are essentially soft taco shells but the bowl shape make it so much easier to eat and hold. Here's a simple Weight Watchers friendly recipe I made recently:

Taco Bowls
Serves 2 (2 shells per serving) 
7 points per taco bowl

What you need: 
4 taco Old El Paso stand and stuff taco shells
8 oz ground chicken breast
1 cup Steamers white rice (microwavable)
1/2 white beans
1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
Fresh cilantro
Tomato, chopped
Red onion, chopped
Lettuce, chopped
1/8 cup of Weight Watchers Mexican shredded cheese
1 tsp light sour cream

What you need to do: 
Cook chicken in pan with a little Pam spray
Add taco seasoning to chicken
Steam rice in microwaveable bag
Add rice to the chicken and taco seasoning mixture
Add beans
Mix it all together
Heat the stand and stuff shells in the oven as instructed on the packaging
Transfer mixture to the shells
Add fresh chopped tomato, lettuce, onion
Add Mexican blend cheese
Add sour cream (optional)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekly Roundup & Announcements

This week on Dina's Days we announced the launch of our in-store Goodwill blogger fashion challenge and thrifting workshops, I shared how you can wear camo pants several ways, introduced a new way to decorate your fridge, and ended the week with the second segment of Sibling Stories.

A few announcements:

Do you subscribe to Dina's Days via e-mail?
This is possibly the easiest way to keep up with posts. Subscribing by email allows you the opportunity to read posts when it's convenient for you. Anytime a post is published, you will receive an embedded post in your email once a day, complete with photos and links. You don't even have to visit the blog, it's all there in your email! You will never receive several emails a day, only one per day with everything that was published on that day. And lastly your information is safe and you can easily opt out by clicking the unsubscribe link if you chose to. To subscribe, simply enter your email in the box on the right side bar.

Upcoming Events
I have been promoting several projects that I am involved in with Goodwill lately. To avoid any confusion, here's a clear layout of what's coming up. Simply scroll over to May and June and click on the event that is of interest to you!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sibling Stories Part II

Growing up in Jordan, we really didn’t have much going on as teenagers. We didn’t have a movie theater, no malls, and our neighborhood wasn’t very welcoming for kids to play outside. Because of that, my sister Nari and I had to be very creative in the way we spent those hot summer days. We would play cards and listen to Celine Dion while eating peanut butter M&Ms for hours on end until it broke out into a fight that I usually started, or ended with a fed up mother cutting our cards in half with kitchen scissors. Playing badminton in our family room over my mom’s head (literally) seemed like a brilliant idea at first until we knocked over her glass of water.

As you can see, we were limited with our options so you can imagine the pure delight the evening my mom promised to take us to the pool the following day. Summers in Amman were dry and hot, not to mention we didn’t have air conditioning. The thought of going to a pool was like stumbling across an oasis in the desert. We slept next to each other on mattresses on the floor in my mother’s room because it was the coolest room in the house and fantasized about splashing in the hotel pool.

 We woke up early to the strange sound of an unfamiliar voice in the kitchen talking to my mom. It was the cleaning service my mother hired for the day to help her with the window cleaning. Interesting, both Nari and I thought, we knew nothing of the sort. When we asked our mom when she was planning on dropping us off, she nonchalantly broke her promise indicating she clearly couldn’t take us anymore, the cleaning service was here and this was the only day she could make it over, and they were cleaning the windows, and I’m sorry girls.

 Nari took it surprisingly well. Sure, she was disappointed, but I always have been, and still am the dramatic one. I will never forget the cocktail of emotions I felt at that very moment. I felt rage, sadness, confusion all at once and stomped back to the mattresses where we slept the night before to take it out on none other than Nari. As I did in the Big Red Episode, I kicked. We wrestled like boys on the mattress and Nari tried her hardest to take it easy on me because I was scrawny and obnoxious, until she kicked me so hard that she bent my hand back and broke my index finger.

 I frantically told my mom what happened and she summoned my cousin to pick me up to take me to the doctor - you know, because the housekeeper was there and they were cleaning the windows, and I’m sorry girls this is your fault. My cousin picked me up in her 1980 something Suzuki and kindly took me to the doctor where he wrapped my finger in cast that was just way too cool for words for a 12 year old. We even got Pepsi bottles for the ride home and I was starting to think this broken finger situation was an exciting affair after all.

As we drove home on a mountain in Amman, a driver t-boned my side of the car and nearly killed us. We somehow managed to make it back to my cousin’s house. I was all shaken up from the accident, without my immediate family, and sticky from Pepsi. I called my house only to get a busy signal for hours and hours because my sister was on the phone with a boy. With no call waiting and now no 1980 something Suzuki, I had no way of reaching my mom.This had truly become the worst day of my short life; no pool, a broken finger, a near death experience, and now my cousin is asking me in his thick Arabic accent if I want to play Monopoly with him.

Needless to say, I didn't play Monopoly. After my sister ended her day long conversation on the phone and the windows were cleaned, my family decided to pick me up. Nari wasn't really interested in my broken finger and I'm quite certain her exact words were "you deserved it" followed with a sharp teenaged eye roll.

 I was quite proud of my finger cast. I showed it off all summer to my sister's friends and made false complaints that it was sweaty just for added flair. I don't think I will ever forget that day. I'm certainly not blaming the housekeeper, but every now and then I wonder where she is now and if she ever knew of the chain of events that occurred because she just so happened to have that day open to help my mom with the windows.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Camo Pants

Vintage style t-shirt (that's what it's called on their website for search purposes), Old Navy, $6
Camo skinnies, Old Navy, $24 with discounts
Target booties, thrifted, $5
Trench, Old Navy, approximately 9 years old - missing buttons!
Neon bag, Marc's closeouts, $5
Necklace, thrifted, approximately $2
Sunglasses, Five Below, $4

I was inspired to buy these camo pants after I saw Lauren wearing them at one of our Goodwill meetings. She said that they were comfortable and encouraged me to get a pair. I was a little nervous that they wouldn’t pass my “three wears” rule - meaning if I couldn’t think of at least three different ways to wear them, they were going straight back to Old Navy. As soon as I got them in the mail, I started a little dress up session in my dressing room while simultaneously consulting with Pinterest.

 I replicated this ultra chic look but substituted the brown bag for a pink one and the leather jacket for my trench.  I wanted to be sure that I can just throw these on in the summer and be comfortable and this outfit proved that I can be comfy and casual. Pants halfway inside the booties? Heck, why not. Isn't that what being comfy is all about? Meaning: too lazy to bend over and roll up my pants. Truthfully, I wore this exact outfit at least 3 times since I got the pants.

Thankfully, these pants passed the three wears test with flying colors. After my dress up session, my favorite camo combinations included:

1. With this chambray top and pumps
2. With this peach top and flats
3. With a black t-shirt and flats
4. With a black baby doll style top (fitted at the waist then flowy at the bottom) and this fitted leather jacket and platform sandals
5. With a gray sweater and booties
6. With a white top and denim jacket
7. With this dinosaur graphic tee 

 Over the course of the next few months I will share how I remix these pants again using one of the combinations I’ve listed above.

What’s your favorite way to wear camo pants?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fridge Wall Decal

I am convinced that one day Pinterest went into labor and had a child named Wall Decal. These things exploded all of the internets and Targets what seemed like overnight. Although I admit I'm not a fan of all of them, there are some cute ones out there that can really help transform a blank space. Back when I didn't have a TV in my old apartment, I had this decal up on the wall where a television would have otherwise been. I also had white sheer panels everywhere and tons of natural light so "watching" this decal in that atmosphere was actually more relaxing than watching a real TV. 

After I moved, I placed these on the large wall in my bathroom until my sister suggested a couple of weeks ago that I try them out on my fridge. I immediately thought of Shoshanna's fridge in the first season of HBO's Girls. 

The best thing about these decals is that you can move them around and I as soon as I get tired of looking at them in my kitchen, I can move them around again.

Do you have any of these hanging around the house?