Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Sparking my Awesome in 2013 #ReReRe

Before I can really get going in planning for 2013, I want to take a look back at 2012.  Here is a review of my greatest successes in 2012 in five key areas:

Finances

Financially speaking, it was a solid year.  I managed to do some fun things with my cash flow.  I am still living paycheck to paycheck, but I am not in any more debt than I was at this time last year.  Based on everything that I have happening in my family dynamic right now, in this economy, staying afloat is a good place to be.

I made a few “investments” this year.  I was able to pay for and complete a course on Life Coaching which will enable me to help others and help me increase my income in the future.  My hubby bought a mountain bike and if he rides it, it will pay for itself in place of a gym membership, that is an investment – especially for his health!  I leased a new car for my son, this was an important financial decision based on safety and peace of mind and replaced the old car that couldn’t pass the smog test.  My hubby and I managed to go away for a weekend here and there.  I believe that having a respite is a great investment for our relationship!  We joined a bowling league with two of our sons.  With having to pay fees for four people every week, it gets costly.  I look at it as another great investment because it was a nice way to spend quality family time and get out for some physical activity.  We indulged a bit here and there, but I consider that as investing in our quality of life.

Perhaps my priorities are a bit skewed since I really should have used the money that I spent on a new flat screen TV for the bedroom to pay down debt, but heck I am an American living the dream, so I am glad I did it.

As I am working on this, I feel like such a financial failure! Since I practice positivity, I am trying to glean some upbeat financial successes, but they will not compare at all to a anyone who actually had a financial gain. But in looking back at this key area of my life I have made a discovery. I recognize a pattern.  I do the same things each and every year.  It is not a surprise that my financial situation never improves. I am not doing a thing to improve it.  I need to consider this strongly in making my goals for 2013.

Relationships

In reflecting on my relationships this past year, I feel good about them.  My marriage is in it’s happy place.  We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this April.  I have everything right now that I hoped for when I got married.  My husband has given me a family, a home, and a bright future to look forward to.  What more could a girl want?  That is what I wanted when I was a girl.  Now, as I emerge as a woman and my children are growing and my home needs a lot of work I wonder what will happen in the next twenty years.  I have some ideas!  Luckily, he is game!  The number one success in my relationship has always been great communication.  We talk things through and when we don’t agree with each other, we accept and move forward.  My relationship with my hubby is my number one priority.

I have made a lot of new friends this year.  I have also reignited and strengthened relationships with old friends and family.  I have let a few relationships fall to the back burner.  I may let it stew a bit longer before I open up that pot!  But I won’t ever let the relationship boil away or burn what is left.  I can always spice it up and give it some attention and put some life back into it, right?  Relationships worth having can always be mended.

Health

Physically speaking, suffice it to say that I am still alive.  I am not better or worse off than last year.  I have written a lot about my health and my ailments lately.  I am working on it. I did next to nothing to improve my fitness level this year.  I started a few things.  I failed miserably at this.

I don’t feel healthy and I have very low energy.  I hope to get that back in 2013.  My son asked me recently if I ever wanted to go skiing again.  I told him I would love to, but my back starts hurting after an hour of shopping at the mall!  How would I be able to ski for a day without feeling miserable?  I can start “training” now to get in shape and be able to ski with my kids next year.  That goal restores the motivation I need to get moving and make healthy choices.

Intellect

Intellectually speaking, I am on top of my game!  This year, I completed a course online for life coaching, attended a conference for blogging, wrote on the blog an average of three times a week, and participated in daily discussions on topics ranging from birth experiences to the afterlife!

One test that I give myself from time to time is checking the dictionary for definitions of words that I use in my writing.  I score myself an A+ every time I use an uncommon word and apply it correctly.  I have never missed a meaning completely.  Once this year, I was glad I checked because I was using the wrong spelling of a word which would not have made sense in that context.  As a writer, to be understood is valued highly.  I have been doing what I can to make sure that I convey what I am thinking clearly.  That is the ultimate success for me.

Spirituality

Spiritually, I have looked deep into my heart and and I realize that I am whole and centered in my beliefs.  I have faith in God and I love praying to the Virgin Mary to intercede for me.  I appreciate my Catholic upbringing and I am proud to share that with my husband and glad that we are passing it on to our kids.  I did not attend Mass regularly in 2012.  There are many reasons for that and I am not ready to share them yet.  I will look at that more closely in 2013.

I plan to attend Mass more often especially because one of my sons will be making his Confirmation this year.  I love going to Mass, singing, praying, receiving communion and spending time with my community.  What I love most about belonging to a loving community is the care that I can give and receive from other people who share my beliefs.  I have learned that I have a similar experience with people of all faiths on Facebook and through my blog.

All people can feel that sense of belonging, love, and care.    I thoroughly enjoy that and it brings me peace.  However, physically being in the arms of my loved ones is something that I miss and hope to participate in regularly going forward.

a borrowed picture, source unknown at this time
a borrowed picture, source unknown at this time

In the spirit of “Sparking My Awesome in 2013” I plan to write more posts on my blog that are from my heart.  I created a new category, “Tell Me Something Good.”  This is where I will post my thoughts on the subjects that I have been contemplating during the month of December.  Here are some of them:

Peace
Creativity
Relationships
Growth
Healing
Forgiveness
Confidence
Love
Acceptance
Empowerment
Happiness
Excellence
Challenges
Life
Honor
Kindness
Compassion
Optimism
Gratitude
Simplicity
Perspective
Grace
Insight
Trust
Awareness

These are the topics I hope to explore and share with you.  With every post, I plan to ask you to reflect on the subject and give me your insights in a positive way.  I will ask you to please,

Tell Me Something Good. . .

I look forward to sharing my positivity this year with everyone that I encounter!

Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz, Foodie Reviews

The Yard House

The Location

We are lucky to have some good restaurants in Northridge and most of them are near or at the Northridge Fashion Center.  This week marks the opening of a wonderful chain restaurant at the mall.  It is located where the Cost Plus World Market has been for the past several years.  I was saddened by the closing of that store and many others in the “new” section of the mall which is adjacent to the movie theaters.  I am now hopeful that having the Yard House there will bring more new stores and restaurants to that part of town.

The Yard House is on the Plummer Street side of the mall and the closest parking is near the movie theaters.  Parking is free, but they do provide valet parking.

YARD HOUSE NORTHRIDGE

9301 Tampa Avenue
Northridge, CA 91324
818-721-0085

HOURS OF OPERATION
Open 11:00 am daily

Food Last Call
Sun-Thu 12:30am
Fri-Sat 1am

Alcohol Last Call
Sun-Thu 1am
Fri-Sat 1:20am

The Yard House

The Restaurant

The Yard House has a Facebook Page that has pictures and events posted.  It seems like a great place to work and the staff appear to enjoy being part of a community.  Their online presence makes you feel like a part of something and I liked that.

The service is very good.  I have eaten at the one in Lancaster, CA and I enjoyed it.  I went there for a late dinner with my nephew after a photo shoot.  We drove out of our way to eat there and I was so hungry.  I thought it might be out of my price range that evening and they had a huge menu.  I just wanted a quick bite!  I was pleasantly surprised that they had a late night happy hour!  We ordered and appetizer and sliders.  We also did a sampler of their brews.  Everything was terrific and very affordable!

The Food

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a VIP party at the Yard House in Northridge which preceded a “Soft Opening.”  What does all that mean?  It means free food and drinks!  I had the unique opportunity to try samples of many of the menu items as well as awesome full size cocktails from the bar.  I want to thank the Yard House and their marketing team for having this event.  I was so pleased to be able to share with my online community by Tweeting and posting pictures to Instagram about the event.  This is why bloggers are invited and a friend from my So Cal Lady Bloggers group on Facebook was nice enough to include me.

As soon as I walked in the door, servers were offering me samples of food which were served in bite sized portions on small plates.  Here is what I got to try:

  • FIRECRACKER WINGS boneless chicken, tossed in a spicy sesame garlic plum glaze garnished with green onions, the
  • BLUE CRAB CAKES with mango papaya chutney, passion fruit beurre blanc and tomato oil
  • SHIITAKE GARLIC NOODLES tossed with butter, garlic & shiitake mushrooms, topped with parmesan & chives
  • GINGER CRUSTED NORWEGIAN SALMON wasabi mashed potatoes, snow peas, carrots and spicy peanut vinaigrette topped with fried carrot strings
  • MINI CREME BRULEE with vanilla bean custard and chocolate topped with caramelized bananas

My son (who was graciously my “plus one”) and I made our way through the very large restaurant and found an open table outside on the spacious patio.  It was drizzling but there were large umbrellas over all the tables and powerful heaters so we were very comfortable outside.  Our server, Sean, came by and asked if he could bring us anything and took our drink orders.  He answered our questions and made us feel right at home.  He brought me my first of the two free drinks that were included for the VIP event.

Here are the drinks that I tried from the Specialty Drink Menu:

  • ESCALADE MARGARITA 1800 silver tequila, cointreau, hpnotiq, sweet & sour, fresh lime & orange, sugar rim
  • SOUTHERN BELLE jeremiah weed sweet tea vodka, lemonade, fresh strawberries and pineapple
  • MOJITO cruzan citrus rum or traditional |  mango • pomegranate • strawberry

I give the Yard House in Northridge an A+!  Everything was wonderful!  I really liked the Margarita.  I didn’t finish the Southern Belle because it was too fruity and sweet for me.  Sean offered me something else to try and I asked for the Mojito.  Also a bit sweet, I added some water and ice and it was perfect.

The music they played was fantastic, I loved it because it was mostly 80’s music and I thought I must fit the demographic for this place perfectly!  My teenage son enjoyed the TV screens all around (yes, even on the patio.)  When the event was over and we had finished our second serving of the Banana Creme Brulee, Sean told us that we could stay and were welcome to order off the menu if we wanted to pay for a meal or any more drinks.  We decided to take a look at the menu.

The Confession(s)

Confession #1, I ate too much!  I tried all of those samples and because they were mini versions I felt like I had eaten a small amount.  I realized that I was full just about the time our entrees arrived!

Confession #2, I drank too much!  I didn’t drink all three drinks, but they were full size drinks with a lot of alcohol and fruit.  Too sweet for me being a Diabetic.  My bad!  Slap my hand, please!  I should have had a glass of wine.  The Yard House has a great big menu with lots of choices, an extensive wine list and a beer menu.  They also have a FRESH & SKINNY drink menu!  The next time I go there, I will be sure to try a cocktail from that menu.  The Yard House caters to an eclectic crowd and has specialty menues to serve any taste.  In addition to the “skinny” drink choices, there are full menues for the vegan, the gluten sensitive, the health conscious, the gourmet and even kids!

My son and I enjoyed the foods we tried.  Here is what we ordered from the menu:

  • (MAC + CHEESE)2 chicken breast, applewood bacon, wild mushrooms, cheddar, parmesan, campanelle pasta and truffle oil
  • CHICKEN ENCHILADA STACK pasilla peppers, garlic cream, jack cheese, corn tortillas, pinto beans, tomatillo, red chili sauce and sour cream

Luckily, Dan (our second awesome server, yes we were there for a long time!) brought us a “doggie bag” to take home our left overs!

My nicely packaged left overs
My nicely packaged left overs
Melissa Reyes Miz Meliz http://mizmeliz.com
Miz Meliz Likes It!
With two yummy sauces "you could drink"
With two yummy sauces “you could drink”
A Juicy Mojito goes well with the Enchilada!
A Juicy Mojito goes well with the Enchilada!
photo by Melissa Reyes copyright 2012 Yard House #MizMeliz http://mizmeliz.com
The food samples were awesome!