Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for December 2014

Mike Made Dinner!

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Mike made this for dinner the other night and it was FANTASTIC!  What makes it even better is that you can eat it, Mom.  Enjoy!


Saucy, Italian “Drunken” Noodles with Spicy Italian Sausage, Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions and Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, with Fresh Basil

(Serves 4)


Olive oil
4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
½ cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked


  • Place a large, heavy-bottom pan or braising pot over medium-high heat; add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks (you want to keep the sausage fairly chunky), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side; once the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment; next, add the sliced onion into the pan with the sausage drippings, and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning (add a touch more olive oil, if necessary); once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine, then add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden; next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced; next, add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off; to finish the sauce, drizzle in about 2-3 good tablespoons of the olive oil to create a silky, rich flavor, and add in the chopped parsley and about half of the julienned basil; stir, and keep warm while you prepare the noodles.
  • Prepare the pappardelle noodles according to instructions on package; then, drain the noodles very well, and add them directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine the pappardelle noodles with the sauce and all of the ingredients in it; check the seasoning to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper.
  • To serve, add equal portions of the “Drunken” noodles to bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining julienned basil; you can even top with shaved Parmesan, if desired, and an extra drizzle of olive oil.


Written by bevanddara

December 24, 2014 at 7:33 am

Posted in Dara, Food

Some Inspiration For Your Friday . . .

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Do you know Carlos Slim?  I was reminded of him today and two quotes of his that I love popped into my head that I wanted to share.

Live in the present intensely and fully, do not let the past be a burden and let the future be an incentive.  Each person forges his or her own destiny.

It’s important to give a better country to your children, but it is more important to give better children to your country.

Speaking of trying to give better children for your country . . . I have high hopes for this little one . . . he has already made my life better . . . can’t wait to see what he does for others.


Have a great weekend!  xo

Written by bevanddara

December 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Totally Todos

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Waking up to the sun shining, reflecting off of the beautiful blue waters . . . watching my little boy spend all day, every day happily covered head to toe in sand and having a blast with his cousin. Seeing my big boy come back from his surfing adventures pumped that he didn’t kill himself or loose a limb. Eating guacamole at EVERY MEAL and drinking a margarita at sundown EVERY DAY . . . not a bad week at all!

We didn’t really have a bad meal in Mexico but our favorite restaurants were La Casita and Hierbabuena. We spent almost every day at the Los Cerritos Beach. There was this INSANE hotel called Hacienda Cerritos on a cliff overlooking the beach. I would love to go back and stay there.


Here are a few more pictures from our trip!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Written by bevanddara

December 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Dara, Family, Travel

Deciding To Make It Work

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Love this article.  Happy Friday!

Why the YouTube CEO always tries to eat dinner with her kids, and 6 more things to know

When Google got its start in a garage, it was Susan Wojcicki's garage. She was Google's 16th employee, and the first to get pregnant. Now YouTube CEO and pregnant with her fifth child, Wojcicki is a role model for many women.

Susan Wojcicki is a YouTube star without ever appearing in any crazy, viral online clips. She’s the CEO of the popular video-sharing site and she’s also an expectant mom, preparing to give birth to her fifth child while running the multi-billion dollar tech company.

When Google got its start in a garage, it was Susan Wojcicki’s garage. She was Google’s 16th employee, and the first to get pregnant. Now YouTube CEO and pregnant with her fifth child, Wojcicki talks to Maria Shriver on TODAY.

Wojcicki, 46, who is eight months pregnant, believes being a working mom benefits both her and her family.

“Your kids get something from your career and your career will get something from your kids,” she said in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Maria Shriver at YouTube’s headquarters outside San Francisco.

It’s been quite a journey to the top that began 16 years ago when Wojcicki and her husband rented their garage to two young computer scientists: Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who went on to found Google. Wojcicki became their 16th employee and the first one to get pregnant. She became the CEO of YouTube in February.

Here are seven things to know about this pioneering woman in tech:

  1.  She’s home every night for dinner. Crazy hours are the norm for many CEOs, especially in Silicon Valley, but Wojcicki tries to go home at 6 p.m. every night to be a part of the family meal. “I try, because I found that if I’m home for dinner, I can get the scoop from my kids on the day. After my kids go to bed, I check email. It’s about having that balance,” she told Shriver on TODAY.
  2. She believes being a mom makes her better at her job. Needing to be home actually helps Wojcicki to be a more effective CEO because it forces her to prioritize and focus on things that have the biggest impact on her company, she noted. “I want people to realize that it really is OK, that you can have a family. I don’t feel like I’m a perfect mom, and then there are times at work where I feel like maybe I wasn’t perfect here because of constraints on my time,” she said. “But having the sum of both of those things going on in my life makes me a better mom at the end of the day, and I think gives me really important perspectives in the workplace as well.” When you’ve got four — soon to be five — children, you know how to multitask and prioritize. Wojcicki says being a mom has helped her succeed at work, even though some people at times expected her to quit.
  3. Her company offers 18 weeks paid maternity leave, but she’s not sure how long she will take with baby No. 5. “Lots of people are asking me how long I’m going take off, and I don’t want to give a specific date because I think well, what happens if I get to that date and then I feel like I need an extra week or I need an extra two weeks?” Wojcicki said.
  4. Her advice to young women: Don’t overplan your life. Not every life move, like a great job opportunity, will happen exactly when you want it to, Wojcicki noted. “Joining Google when I was four months pregnant was a bit of a leap, but sometimes you have to do the right thing for you right now,” she told Glamour magazine. “After my kids go to bed, I check email. It’s about having that balance,” Wojcicki tells Shriver.
  5. Her advice to working moms: It gets easier. Women who worry about balancing family and career should remember that “the really hectic period” of having a child is fairly brief, she advised. “Having a child is a big life change but… you can get through it,” Wojcicki told Glamour.
  6. Her mom supports her work, so do her kids. “My mom is a high school teacher, so she would tell me, ‘Oh, the students liked the video you posted today. Oh, the students didn’t like the video that you posted today.’ As though I, personally, posted a video!” she told Fast Company. Her children also alert her to fun clips. “My kids will say, ‘Oh mom there’s this video I saw, I really think you should know about it,'” Wojcicki told TODAY. Wojcicki says she’s glad she stuck it out as a tech executive and says that as time goes on it does get easier.
  7. People asked if she would quit when she got pregnant at first.  Wojcicki is glad she didn’t give up her very successful and demanding career when she had her second child – though many colleagues around her assumed she would. “I won’t say it was easy, but I decided I’d make it work because I really believed in Google’s potential. When you’re a junior-level woman and get pregnant, people always ask if you’ll quit. But no one asks me that now,” she told USA Today.

Written by bevanddara

December 5, 2014 at 9:57 am