Friday, November 24, 2017

Podcast Transcript - Episode 1 - Small Business Saturday - Decadence Row Edition

Small Business Saturday – Long Beach Decadence Row Edition - November 24, 2017

Hello everyone! This is Jax from The Jaxtastic Life. We kick off this initial podcast with Small Business Saturday – Long Beach Decadence Row edition.

Before I jump in, time for full disclosure. I have not been paid by any of these businesses. I’m a customer and fan.

Decadence Row? Just what is decadence row. It’s the unofficial name of the shops on Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach creating and selling sweet treats and incredible indulgences.

We kick things off with the OG of Decadence Row, Mabel’s Pralines. This was the first place I visited when I moved to Long Beach 9 years ago. Mabel’s pralines are the creamiest most delicious pralines I have ever had. They are the star of our annual tree trimming party and husband and they were in our wedding favor box for our guests.

Next, we move to The Pie Bar. My husband and I discovered this gem during our walks past the storefront seeing it being built and quickly found their Instagram account. My next delight came when I saw the application for their beer & wine license posted on their window. I had fun imagining all the possible beer and wine and pie combinations: stout and chocolate pie, bubbly and peach. Since the opening, just a little over the year ago, I have had the delight to meet Laurie, the owner and several members of her team like Stephanie the lead baker (Go Kings Go!). They are turning out amazing whole pies, pies by the slice, hand pies and cutie pies. This last Christmas, we featured the peppermint pie and s’mores cutie pies at our tree trimming party for the first time.

Onto the next place for sweets, Romeo Chocolates. I had the pleasure of meeting Romeo and his team at a pop-up at The Pie Bar. An amazing collection of chocolates were presented and my husband and I took home a selection and enjoyed every single bite. I immediately started following Romeo Chocolates on Instagram. My joy increased when I learned a storefront was opening just two doors down from The Pie Bar. We’ve been enjoying artisanal Belgian chocolate ever since the opening just a few months ago.

Finally, the newest addition of the decadence row collection…Saints and Sinners Bake Shop. Again, it was fun following the progress of the construction on walks on Pine Avenue and following their Instagram account. We were drawn in to our first Saturday morning visit by a seductive Friday night picture of cinnamon rolls prepped to proof for the morning baking. On Saturday morning we were rewarded with warm cinnamon rolls with oooey gooey cream cheese frosting. If that wasn’t enough awesomeness, the coffee barista made a baby Groot foam decoration on my latte. Seriously, a baby Groot!!! 

On this Small Business Saturday, visit Decadence Row on Pine Avenue in Long Beach to purchase gifts and sweets for your self.

A transcription of this podcast and links to all of the businesses can be found on The Jaxtastic Life blog where we explore living and creating your you-tastic life.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Trash 10 Tuesday - Launches Today!!!

Today launches Trash 10 Tuesday, a FREE weekly challenge to delete 10 photos off of your smart phone.

Grab your smartphone and delete 10 photos TODAY.

Just imagine...if delete 10 photos every week until the end of 2017, you will have deleted 260 photos off of your smartphone.

What are you waiting for?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

One Pot Wonder - Super Chorizo Scramble

These days I'm on the quest for easy meal prep recipes to ensure successful eating during the week.

This happy experiment was not only easy but it was tasty, reaheated well and was liked by all in our home. 

For all you Trader Joe's fans, all the ingredients are easily found all the time.

Super Chorizo Scramble
-5 servings
-4 Smart Points
-approx 20 minutes active cooking time

INGREDIENTS (all from Trader Joe's)
1 bag Frozen cauliflower rice
1 bag Crimini mushrooms
1 package Soy Chorizo (removed from the plastic casing)
1 1/4 c Egg Substitute























STEP 1 - Cauliflower Rice
Pour the entire bag of cauliflower in a large non-stick pan. No oil needed. Stir on occasion. Cook until defrosted and tender to the bite.




Step 2 - Mushrooms
As the cauliflower cooks, chop up the mushrooms.


Step 3 - Cook Mushrooms
Add the mushrooms to the cauliflower. Stir until the mushrooms are soft. 
Note: The cauliflower will start looking grey. Don't worry. The color will improve with the chorizo.)




Step 4 - Chorizo
Add the chorizo and stir frequently. Until chorizo is warmed up.












Step 5 - Egg Substitute
Add the egg substitute. Stir until cooked.



Step 6 - Portion
Divide into 5 containers and enjoy.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Weekend Wednesday #8 - File Papers "Filer's Choice"

Besides being a professional organizer, I am also an indoor cycling instructor. Occasionally, in my classes, I'll set aside a song for "rider's choice." Usually at this point in a class, riders are in one of two places, "feeling strong and can take on the world" or "given all I can give and just need to survive to the end of class." Rider's choice allows one to take control and go where and how they want to go for this song.

So, on this last "official" week of filing papers, I'm calling "filer's choice." This means you get to chose:

  • topic (do you still have tax papers?) 
  • number of papers (don't exceed 20 pieces of paper but do no less than 10)

Preparation Steps

Pre Step 1 - Check your stock of file folders & hanging file folders.
Prep Step 2 - Have Post-It notes on hand.

Action Steps

Step 1 - Gather 10-20 Pieces of Paper to Be Filed
Just pick 10 and only 10.

Step 2 - Start Filing
Stop after you have filed 10 pieces of paper.

Step 3 - Make Any Folders That Are Needed
I recommend a hanging & manila folder system. The substeps are below. Here is where the Post-It notes come in.

     Step 3.1 Make a Manilla Folder - Use a Post-It for the label. This makes it easy for recycling folders.
     Step 3.2 Make a hanging folder - use a Post-It for the label

Step 4 - Assess Your Project
How did it go? Was it easy? Was it hard? Learn from what worked and carry it forward into next week's project. Also learn from what didn't work and avoid it moving forward.

The full list of Weekend Wednesday projects can be found here: 2017 Weekend Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Weekend Wednesday #7 - 10 Pieces of Paper - Taxes Edition

This is week #2 of filing papers. This week, the focus is on finding and filing your papers/receipts connected to your taxes.

We all have the pile of papers that need filing. Well, this is your chance to take them on.

This week, we will focus on filing taxes papers as tax season is here!

This weekend, you will file 10 papers...and 10 papers only!!!

Preparation Steps

Pre Step 1 - Check your stock of file folders & hanging file folders.
Prep Step 2 - Have Post-It notes on hand.

Action Steps

Step 1 - Gather 10 Pieces of Tax-Related Paper to Be Filed
Just pick 10 and only 10.

Step 2 - Start Filing
Stop after you have filed 10 pieces of paper.

Step 3 - Make Any Tax Folders That Are Needed
I recommend a hanging & manila folder system. The substeps are below. Here is where the Post-It notes come in.

     Step 3.1 Make a Manilla Folder - Use a Post-It for the label. This makes it easy for recycling folders.
     Step 3.2 Make a hanging folder - use a Post-It for the label

Step 4 - Assess Your Project
How did it go? Was it easy? Was it hard? Learn from what worked and carry it forward into next week's project. Also learn from what didn't work and avoid it moving forward.

The full list of Weekend Wednesday projects can be found here: 2017 Weekend Wednesday.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Weekend Wednesday #6 - File 10 Pieces of Paper

This week, and for the rest of February, we will take on filing papers.

We all have the pile of papers that need filing. Well, this is your chance to take them on.

This weekend, you will file 10 papers.

Preparation Steps

Pre Step 1 - Check your stock of file folders & hanging file folders.
Prep Step 2 - Have Post-It notes on hand.

Action Steps

Step 1 - Gather 10 Pieces of Paper to Be Filed
Just pick 10 and only 10.

Step 2 - Start Filing
Stop after you have filed 10 pieces of paper.

Step 3 - Make Any Folders That Are Needed
I recommend a hanging & manila folder system. The substeps are below. Here is where the Post-It notes come in.

     Step 3.1 Make a Manilla Folder - Use a Post-It for the label. This makes it easy for recycling folders.
     Step 3.2 Make a hanging folder - use a Post-It for the label

Step 4 - Assess Your Project
How did it go? Was it easy? Was it hard? Learn from what worked and carry it forward into next week's project. Also learn from what didn't work and avoid it moving forward.

The full list of Weekend Wednesday projects can be found here: 2017 Weekend Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Weekend Wednesday #5 - Office Supply/Shelf Area

As I mentioned in my last post ("When Life Shows Up - Give Up or Learn?") Weekend Wednesday #4 has been cancelled so we kick off February with Weekend Wednesday #5 - Decluttering & Organizing an Office Supply area or Self.

Below are the preparation and weekend steps you will take to tackle an office supply area of office shelf.

Step 1 - Preparation - Select the Area
Either in your home or work office area, find a shelf or office supply area that needs some help.

Here are my "before" pictures. Yes, I have supplies in 2 separate places. This will be fun.




Step 2 - Preparation - Recycle, Trash and Move
Ensure that you have recycle and trash bins to capture what you will no longer need to keep. Also designate an area for items that will move. This movement can be donation or give away.

Step 3 - Weekend Work - Clear the Area
Take everything off/out of the area you have already designated.

Step 4 - Review & Analyze
Pick up each item and decide if you want to keep it, trash it or move it. For the "keeps" group them like-with-like. Immediately, put the "trash" items in a trash bin* and the "recycle" items in a recycle bin. There is no need to create a new pile of "stuff."

Step 5 - Schedule "Move"
Grab your calendar and schedule a time when you will handle the "move" items. It might entail taking the items to your friend/family member (if they indeed want the items). Schedule that time in your calendar. It might entail taking the items to a donation center. Schedule that time as well.

Step 7 - Return Keep Items To Shelf
As you return the items, ensure you put like-with-like and that you are able to see everything you have.

Step 8 - Assess Your Project
How did it go? Was it easy? Was it hard? Learn from what worked and carry it forward into next week's project. Also learn from what didn't work and avoid it moving forward.

The full list of Weekend Wednesday projects can be found here: 2017 Weekend Wednesday.

*NOTE: If any of the "trash" items are "hazardous/electronic" waste (like batteries or toner etc) be sure to properly dispose of them at an authorized household hazardous waste center. Each city has a website for household/electronic waste information. The Long Beach, CA link is here: Long Beach Recycles.