Sunday, January 17, 2016

Recipe: Orange Chicken Stir Fry

Orange Chicken Stir Fry
Homemade Orange Chicken Stir Fry
Orange Chicken Stir Fry
This recipe is absolutely amazing. I accidentally bought too many oranges to eat before they expire. I came across this recipe doubting how wonderful orange juice, chicken broth, and honey taste, but to my surprise, I was extremely delighted!

I went to Walmart. Mistake number one. They only had one bundle of asparagus, so I grabbed a bag of green beans to substitute. They also didn't have any small yellow onions, so I used half and saved the other for homemade vegetable soup on a later date. I also only used 75% of the broth. I think anymore of it would have been too flavorful. Overall, this is extremely healthy and makes a huge batch for multiple days.

Check out my personal results below!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Challenge: Inbox Zero and Reduced Data!

*This post needs some cleaning up, but it's an active post of open thoughts and experiences to obtain inbox zero.

Between emails, my phone, computer, and terabyte hard drive, I have so much data scattered everywhere. It's a process when a potential employer asks for a diploma. I have to dig through hundreds of emails because I didn't even name that file.

Well, I'm done. Done searching forever for digital files. Just like I minimized my personal items, today I'll be reducing my digital files. I'll still have my screenshots, selfies, etc, but I won't need that picture of where I parked at the airport, coupon information for a flight I'll never take, statcounter emails for a website I no longer have.

Today I'll be advancing forward by organizing the files I do have and maybe get rid of 10 selfies I took to get the perfect shot. Here's to my next challenge!

I'll be posting my updates below as time goes on.

01/16/16 (a couple hours later...): not exactly done, but I'm happy with my progress so far. The first step is to get rid of the obvious crap, then sift through personal emails. If they have attachments, I'll be downloading them in to a folder and categorizing.

01/17/16: I've sorted through a handful of emails. I found myself stopping and staring at my inbox as it has over 1,000 (important) emails. Finally took a deep breath and realized as long as I get rid of a couple per day, it's more than I've done the past couple years. I'm deleting new junk that comes through which also helps. I'm down to a grand total of 897 emails in my inbox.

01/21/16: Down to 795 emails so far. Of course life takes over, but as long as something is done, a little at a time, the elephant is slowly being eaten.

Without diverging too much of my personal information, this is how I've been sorting through my emails. No distractions. Just label a folder named Emails and start purging. Anything with attachments, download and dump. Plain and simple.

Another idea I've been trying out is to open a word document to dump contact information and websites that were noted. This, besides the downloads seems to be working quite well.

After I've plucked all important documents, I'll be organizing them on a later date, but the emails get reduced. This is the most important step for myself. I feel like I can breathe a little more each day with 10 or more emails gone everyday.

01/24/16: Once my inbox reaches zero, I'll be updating this post and creating steps to follow so your inbox reaches zero too! As of right now, I'm at 691 emails. Small chunks every day!

I'm back over 700 emails. This is a very difficult task to accomplish if not kept up to date with. I'm contemplating tackling them a little differently. Going through them, I've noticed I started adding my personal email address to places I enjoy shopping and using for coupon deals. Going to write out a list of what I want separated and post it later, but for now, on to creating a simple email address for "SPECIAL OFFERS!"

03/08/2016: It is now March. I'm now at 599 emails! I let the inbox go for a solid month and the emails once again, started stacking up. I purchased things, I saved links. The hill was slowly growing more out of control. Well today, I adopted Evernote. I'm sorting through them and filing them away. I'm not much of a fan of GMAIL's archives so I made notebooks that I labeled. The goal is to have my inbox say zero. The next goal is to have the files organized which will take much much longer. However, this is a baby step in the right direction. As soon as I have everything sorted and inbox = zero, I will post pictures of how I accomplished everything. It's okay if you fall off the bandwagon every now and then. As long as you push farther than you where you left off. I started with a conglomerate of over 2000 emails in my inbox. Half of that were promotions and social junk which made it easier to toss. The other half includes personal emails, work related, and things I like. I'm currently forwarding receipts to Evernote in its respective folder. Everything else is either thoughts, work, projects, recipes. I'm hoping by the end of the night, I will be able to accomplish inbox zero. This post also needs cleaning up, but hey, it's my own experiences right? ;P

03/09/2016: 507 emails. So much for inbox zero. I'm finding I send myself a TON of attachments. I can't really get rid of them as they have usernames, PDFs that I need to keep, etc. I'm projecting that this may take every bit of 5 days to finish. So by 3/15/2016, I should have my inbox reach zero. Gives me an extra day to goof around. Still separating receipts. There's a ton, but I'm only saving 2015 since 2014 tax season has already passed. Some other notes: one email at a time. Separate email accounts. Junk email, personal, work (if they give you one). Evernote - use it to save pictures, attachments, backup files. Terabyte - you might have a lot of attachments (use as another back up after other files have been transferred.)

Round 2: This time on night shift! Currently at 375 emails. This takes so much patience. I'm also learning, one email at a time. If you don't know what to do with an email. Archive it. Get it out of the picture and move on to something that's sortable. This might be the long way of reaching inbox zero, but it's working for me. Moving on! Hopefully reaching 300 by the end of shift. The plans to reach inbox zero by the 15th seems to be a go! Get a folder and dump everything in to it. PDF files, receipts, thoughts. Separate later, but back up using evernote. The premium is needed because you can only forward 5 emails on basic.

0214 03/10/2016: The end is getting closer. I'm starting to see the light of the end of my inbox. I still have much to go, but it is definitely possible to obtain this goal. Following inbox zero, will be organizing all of my personal files. Renaming my files and separating them takes time, but Evernote is definitely a huge help. I can work from my laptop and phone.

Dedicating 10-15 minutes per day at least, makes a big impact when reaching a goal like this. Starting with 1, then moving to being timed, you eventually push yourself past this and find the motivation to continue. 366 emails left.

03/11/2016: I left myself a couple more days than needed. I can say I'm under 300 emails! 296 to be exact. They are becoming more aggravating. I'm becoming more complacent with them. But after going through 1,000. My sorting has been a little easier. With multiple file downloads, I've found the download all button. A painful lesson I learned after saving files individually by hand. I created one folder called "organize" and including the date. This is the dump folder. EVERYTHING goes in it. If it's a receipt, I forward the email to my evernote in a receipt folder. If it's a link, thought, etc, it goes under thoughts and named random until I can sort through them at a later time. The goal is to be 100% completely efficient paperless.

Stick to one place to sort your files. The more your mind changes about where to place your files, the more frustrated and unmotivated you will become. I find myself finding different places to leave myself notes and it drives me crazy. I WILL figure out a simple guide and share it with everyone. Step by step to eliminate most of the frustrations I've encountered.

03/13/2016: 152 emails to go. Everything else has been archived and diverted to Evernote for organization. This is the longer way of sorting everything out, but I actually need to see everything. NOW 98! The end is coming closer. I think I'm going to dedicate 1 day a week or at least a month to go through my inbox and make sure everything is up to date and stays at zero. 50. It's almost like standing in the middle of the streets waiting for new years. This has been a long and drawn out countdown, but I can finally taste it. I will be completing my inbox zero challenge this morning! Of course, like I said, theres still a lot of sorting and naming, but it's finally becoming organized! Less than 10! 10 emails! I'm almost there! I thought I would have to wait until I got home, but this is unreal for me. A true feat!

Last notes on this, dump everything in one folder. Evernote, name a folder Alpha, make that default so all of your unsorted posts go directly in there. I've put in almost 36 hours straight, trying to obtain this goal, including previous days when I first started working on this. I started in the middle of January! This is proof that it can totally be accomplished! I'm so excited! AND DONE! HAPPY NEW YEAR! I went through over 2,000 emails from the past two years! I'm starting to take control of my life and this screenshot is the proof that I'm headed in the right direction.

It's enlightening, but confusing mentally. I've always seen a busy inbox, but I know in the future, I will be spending wayyy less time fumbling through emails. I really can't believe it. I almost don't know what to do now because this is the only project I've been 100% truly focused on. I guess I will start naming files!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Recovering from London

Guess what? I got sick. I should have known I was going to contract something, especially being in another continent. Of course, I thought I was immune to everyone. *insert sarcasm* I’m currently typing with one hand, tissue in the other. Hot tea is in front of me and surrounded by cubicles. Such an awful word. Cubicle.

Anyways, the lesson I learned from this is, be mindful of your surroundings. Help your immune system out by eating healthy and taking supplements recommended by your doctor. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer around in case there’s no available restrooms. Also, avoid drinking water from the tap unless you know it’s safe enough to consume. Last, try and obtain the building’s history. See if they have a dust or mold problem.

This may be the reason why my head feels like it wants to explode…

Safe travels!

01/13/16: I just found an article that explains why I might be sick, according to iflscience.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Finding Passive Income Using the Internet: Paving My Own Path

In my years of internet exploration, I've come across writing platforms, ways to make side income, and other wonderful tips for winning at this funny thing called Life.

I started with a website called Squidoo that no longer exists today. I was becoming motivated each time I created an article, with my own words. I’ve always been shy about my writing since my English skills lack. Just when I started seeing my account go from $0.00 to $12.00 after a year, Squidoo announced that it would be shutting down its site and merging with I instantly became unmotivated since all my hard work was going to disappear. I struggled coming up with my own masterpieces as it was.

I messed around with other platforms including Hubpages, but wasn’t feeling the drive. I dabbled in other ways to make a side income, but the time needed to see a positive change, was forever away. I felt like I was 20 something going on 70!

I hit another low blow when I was experimenting with this site called Anyone could come up with an invention, submit it, and allow the community to help mold your product while everyone makes money. GENIUS! I spent quite a lot of time reviewing products, helping pick out product names, and even choosing designs! I submitted a couple inventions myself, but none of them were high quality products. I just thought it’d be a great chance to see if they were accepted. Once again, I opened my account to read Quirky was filing for bankruptcy. POOF! Goodbye hours of reviews for future earnings.

It looks like they’ve changed some things with their site since then, but my priorities shifted since I didn’t know which way the direction of the company was going to go.

Beginning of 2015, I decided I needed to make a change if I was going to get where I wanted…

..On an island, opening my laptop, and checking my bank account.

However, I had nothing of value I thought I could share. If I couldn’t create value, I wouldn’t make much of an income either. So I looked for other options, practiced my writing, and faced my biggest fear: showing my friends and family what I was trying to accomplish. Of course there were naysayers along the way and people who couldn’t understand how I was going to obtain my vision, but no one treated me different. I feel this was a very important component in why I’m still trying to reach my goal.

Moving forward, I opened an account with this lovely site called At first, I was trying to create something out of nothing. ALL of my articles were forced. Not only did I struggle with topics, my sentences were incredibly choppy. Thankfully now, I struggle with staying on one topic before another great idea comes along. If you were wondering, my income is only up to $5.85 over the last 6 months. It’s not much, but right now, I’m focusing on value. The income will be there when I’m ready.

I also created accounts for other sites just to tinker around with and see where it leads. They include,, and (I’ll be creating dedicated posts to explain each one, but for now, click on the link and check them out.) The most successful has been Prosper. They say it takes money to make money, and so far, my total is $16.86 after three months of investing in small personal loans. Not bad for an experiment!

I haven’t seen any returns on Zazzle or Swagbucks yet, as I haven’t put any effort in to them, but this year, I will be creating calendars and postcards with my photography. There’s just not enough time in a day including a 40 hour work week! As time goes on, this post, as well as many others, will be updated with my accomplishments.

After experimenting with different sources of passive income, my grand total income for 2015 is: $23.11

Minimalistic Marie

Minimalistic Marie

Minimalistic Marie

Minimalistic Marie

Minimalistic Marie