The other night I came home from work and saw a magazine in the mailbox. I basically ran to see what it was, since I didn’t remember being subscribed to any magazines I hoped I was lucky enough to score someone else’s by mistake. (Is that bad?) Then I saw that it was Better Home and Garden remembered that my mom bought me a cook book for Christmas and with it came a free subscription to the magazine. Double score.
So I flipped through the magazine absent-mindedly while James was talking. As soon as I looked down, a recipe appeared as if fate stepped in. I’ve been talking about how I miss wrapping food in wraps and between pieces of bread, but I haven’t really attempted to fill that void. Then bam… a lettuce wrap recipe just for me. All we needed were two mangoes and two limes from the grocery store. It’s nice to finally be at a point where I have the right ingredients in the house, like cans of coconut milk, or seasonings, or simply a lot of chicken in the freezer for these exact occasions. I guess this is growing up.
The Coconut Mango Chicken Lettuce Wraps were so good, we ate them all. It kind of sucked because I wanted them for leftovers at work. The next day James called me at work for the recipe. But I had stole the last mango, so he improvised. This time he added green and orange peppers, grapefruit and raspberries? Result? Amazing. I’m eating the leftovers at work as we speak. I suggest you personalize these wraps and I bet they will be just as good, if not better. You could add avocado, tomato, salad dressing, any type of pepper, even a different fruit? Let me know what you come up with.
I also want to say Happy St. Patrick’s day to all the irish folks out there and those who are just Irish for the day! My buddy at work is straight from Ireland, so we are listening to his homeland’s radio station music in our cube and he’s decked out in a dublin jersey. He’s a little sad that he’s not back home in Ireland with his family who are “already piss drunk” right now. But he made a joke that he had “whiskey in me milk and me cornflakes dis mornin”. Haha I wish you could hear it. At least we made up for it by having 2 guinness at lunch?
I realized this morning there are two things I have always struggled with, saving money and being eco friendly. For St. Patrick’s day I wanted to share ways that I’m going to try to “Go Green” and “Save Green”…
Here are my top 5 green strategies for this month:
1. Taking the bus to and from work. This is a good way to GO and SAVE green at the same time. I did it for the first time this morning and I loved it. I mean it was beautiful out so that probably had a lot to do with it, but just walking in the fresh air for at least 20 minutes, saving money on gas and parking, and making my carbon footprint a little less dense, gave a great start to my work day. The bus costs 2 dollars each way, if you don’t have a card. That’s 4 bucks a day. In April alone that would cost me 100 dollars. However, if I buy a monthly pass, that’s only 60 bucks.
2. Brew coffee at home. This is mostly a SAVE. I love coffee, but do I really want to worry about spending 2-3 bucks every time I want a cup? I started to fill my double-insulated coffee mug with hot coffee in the morning and it stays hot all day long. I have a Keurig so making coffee is really easy and it goes for about 7 bucks for 12 coffees. I know having keurig coffee is not as delicious or the best quality as most coffee you can find at a shop, but it works for me.
3. Bring a lunch. SAVE. The first few days I worked, I was really feeling the repercussions of not having a houseful of food during the day. I think I spent like 8 dollars on parking and 7 on lunch day one. So, I started just packing a banana, a nalgene of water, a container filled with nuts and raisins, and whatever we have leftover from dinner the night before. That fills me up fine. If I eat breakfast before I leave, then I have a morning snack a lunch and a 3pm snack.
4. Closet reevaluation. SAVE. I’ve probably spent 3 billion dollars total on clothing in the past 10 years. I’m obsessed with shopping, new shoes, new shirts, new jewelry. I blame my mother for buying me everything I ever wanted growing up. But honestly, I can’t afford that lifestyle at all anymore. Especially on my own budget with bills and food and other things that come with growing up, clothing just has to take a backseat. This week, I’ve hunted in my closet of 4,000 shirts and pants and jewelry that I’ve probably worn 3 times and forgot about. I’ve put together outfits I’ve never worn before using old items and it feels like I have a new wardrobe. It’s like shopping, but way cheaper. Plus, there was a reason I bought the clothes in the first place, I liked them. So I’m going to make myself realize I still like them and get over my last season phobia. Today I wore my oldest pair of skinny jeans, a twice-worn grey shirt with a black zipper on the breast pocket, and a black Michael Stars vest that I bought about 2 years ago and forgot about. So fetch. (joke).
5. Reuse everything. GO. When I visited my sister in colorado probably less than a year ago, I noticed she had all these jars and old containers and plastic baggies and rubber bands in all her cabinets. Call me a snob but I was almost uncomfortable with all the reusing of old things. I am the BIGGEST waster. I do recycle, but I tend to just toss it in the recycling bin and feel like I did my part. Since moving into this apartment, with all the cooking and storing of food we do, I’ve been saving every elastic band, plastic container that is reusable and plastic bag. It has saved us so much on wasteful items like plastic baggies, twist ties and tupperware. I suggest if you have something from a grocery store that is not tampered with or completely unusable, save it. You never know when you’ll need to rubber band something.