The Task Tamer

Snow Day Thoughts

Teri 02/02/2015 Comments

Snow Day! That is the best description for today. We have about two feet on the ground and it is still falling! Seemed like a good day to curl up and catch up on some reading. That would have been so easy, but, in case you missed it, yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. I told myself I could have a second serving of Walking Tacos only if I worked out today. That meant a harrowing drive to the gym or buckle down and do something at home. No workout is worth a car accident so I popped in a Power Yoga DVD and got to work. It can be hard to work out at home because I am always thinking about what I “should” be doing instead of concentrating on my exercising. The best way I can get in a satisfying workout at home is to try new things so that I have to focus on what I am doing. I have a couple different resources for ideas. There are many free videos on You Tube if you like to follow an instructor. Also, I have subscriptions to a couple of fitness magazines that provide videos online as well as workout descriptions in the actual magazine. How about you? Do you work out at home? What works for you to avoid the trap of worrying about laundry rather than sweating? 


Now that I feel better after moving my body, I want to talk about an interesting editorial I read last week. A columnist wrote about how looks can be deceiving. She wrote about an experience she had while shopping at a cosmetics counter. The sales clerk refused to end an irrelevant conversation with her at the expense of another customer. When the writer pointed this out, the clerk responded by saying the other woman wasn't going to buy anything, she could tell because of the way the customer was dressed, therefore she didn't feel in any hurry to go help her. The journalist then told the story of the farmer who sells his farm for millions, but still wears his overalls, even when car shopping. A car salesman would miss out on a huge commission if he decided to ignore the farmer. Now, I totally understand that we all make first impressions and judgments within seconds of seeing someone, usually based on their clothes and appearance. However, as someone who has worked in customer service most of my adult life, I cringe to think I may have snubbed a potential customer because I wrote him or her off as a waste of my time to help. I encourage everyone to put their best foot forward at all times, but there are occasions when sweats and no make up is necessary. I do not want to be ignored just because I couldn't get my nice clothes out. Finding the balance is so important in life in almost every aspect. Eating, exercising, working, playing, etc. I think the sales clerk the columnist was talking about forgot to find the balance between passing a quick judgment and looking beyond the surface. Have you ever had a similar experience? How did you handle it?


Cold, snowy days call for soup! Black bean soup is easy, delicious and quick! I served it with sweet potato and corn quesadillas. A green salad or small sandwich would go great with it as well. Or just serve a big bowl and call it dinner!


Chipotle Black Bean Soup



3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed wellback bean soup

1-2 chipotle peppers, chopped (depends on how hot you like it!)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small onion, diced

1 sweet pepper diced (green, red, orange or yellow or a combination)

3 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1/2 teaspoon cumin

3 cups vegetable broth

Toppings of choice (avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, etc)



  1. Put 1/3 (1 can) of beans in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Mash in the chipotle pepper(s) and blend well.
  2. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add peppers and continue cooking until softened. Add garlic and cumin and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. 
  3. Add broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and add mashed black bean-chipotle mixture. Allow to cook for about 15-20 minutes, until soup thickens slightly. 
  4. Enjoy!


Note: If you prefer a thinner soup, use 4 cups broth. Feel free to add any favorite vegetables, such as corn, beans, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.


soup and quest  Served with sweet potato and corn quesadilla

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