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Monday, May 23, 2011

summer thoughts

I've got vacation on the brain since I leave for Miami on Wednesday. I keep having lovely warm summer thoughts, like that photo above brings.. but then I have to go outside in the gray, wet, grossness that is May this year.

I'll be gone for five days so this blog will be a little quiet until Monday. Just to let ya know. ;)

I'm going to try to get a post up tomorrow (most likely at night) but my day is kind of crammed with another observation and then a class that insults my undergrad degree. I don't wanna talk about it. Ok maybe I do because it's kind of funny (in that "if I don't laugh I'll cry" sort of way) but that'll have to wait for a later date.

Until then.. I'd like to think happy thoughts of summertime. Last summer was kind of weird for me because I went through something strange, but once again, a story for another day. Man, we're getting all sorts of personal here aren't we? ;)

So in an attempt to make this summer great and totally squash last summer's weirdness from my memories, here is a list (because I love lists) of things I'd like to do this summer. Lots of parentheses in this post.. hmm.

Summer Fun Things List
make food for + go on lots of picnics
host a backyard bbq
go to the beach as much as possible
roast marshmallows + hot dogs over the fire pit in the yard
dust off my beach cruiser and go for a ride
take a nap on a blanket in the grass
eat lots of ice cream
go for walks
sit outside all for the sake of being outside
wear lots of dresses
take lots of photos
go to an outdoor movie if I can find one in the area
go camping if possible

That's all for now. Simple things for the most part, but things that I think make up a good summer. What are you looking forward to once the sun comes back? Let me know so I can add more fun stuff to my list!

Friday, May 20, 2011

end of the world

I guess since I've been out of college for just about a year now I'm starting to lose my college brain. By that I mean I forgot that people will find any reason to party. I'm used to grad school now where people go home to their spouses and children. It never dawned on me that everyone would want to have an end of the world party tomorrow. Duh, what else.

So first I will be going to a "classy end of the world tailgate" before the Union game tomorrow night where all the guys are wearing ties over their jerseys and supposedly all the girls are wearing sundresses under theirs. There will be wine and baked ziti (only the finest) and probably even some games. I'm determined to find those wine juice boxes I've been hearing about lately because nothing screams "classy" like punching a plastic straw through a foil covered hole.

After that, friends of ours are hosting an end of the world themed party at their house so we'll be headed there after the game. I guess if we're all going down on a given date, people would rather be sloshed when it happens. I'm starting to think the end of the world is going to look a lot like a big fat hangover. Silly bible over-analyzers. This is what happens when you combine math and religion. You just give everyone an excuse to party! ;)

Will you be doing anything for the "end of the world"?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

made in the 80s

Rumor has it that my cousin and her husband (turning 30 this year) and my uncle and a family friend (turning 60 this year) are having a combined party in June to celebrate all the milestones. The catch of this party is that you have to dress from the decade in which you were born. As an 87'er I nearly died because the 80's is my least favorite decade ever. All those decades full of beautiful fashion and I get slapped with the 80's. I guess that's what I get for being a 20-something right? It's just soo overdone as a theme, and let's be honest.. the fashion was slightly horrendous.

But if I have to do this, I want to do it well. Which means none of that stereotypical workout gear, sweat band, leg warmers, leotard crap that everyone and their mom has done. Twice. None of this..

Sorry Olivia. And what is up with that pose that everyone rocked in the 80's? Was it like a requirement that you must be able to shape your body into a checkmark in order to earn your leg warmers? Seriously, look up 80's workout fashion and you'll see like 9 different women shaped like checks.

But since I do love me a good costume party, I looked up some things that I wouldn't mind dressing in to show off my era (which I lived in for 2 years of my life and wore what my mom put me in). I'm currently channeling the Molly Ringwald or Madonna-esque look. Even the Madonna thing is a little expected but I think I could put together a sweet Molly Ringwald if I haunt a few thrift stores. That way there's no mistaking that I rep the 80's, but I don't look like I walked out of a high school dance. Are you pickin up what I'm puttin down?

Anywho.. this is what I'm looking towards..

What would you wear if you had to dress 80's? This decade is not my area of expertise. Give me the 20's-70's and I'd be stoked, but the 80's? Get at me. ;)

Hope everyone's week is going well!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

orzo with tomatoes + pesto

I think my favorite thing is when you have just enough leftover ingredients to make a new meal. Usually when I have a class I eat a late, sort of bigger lunch to keep me from starving because I don't get home until after 8pm. Yesterday I spied a container of leftover orzo from a dinner I made a few nights back, some cherry tomatoes because I bought way too many for another dinner, and some pesto I bought to go with a big crusty loaf of Italian bread. And then I threw em' all together. It was by no means anything crazy or innovative, but I was totally excited about having something delish to eat in under 10 minutes.

I started by heating up some olive oil in a pan and added the halved cherry tomatoes and some garlic. I sort of eyeballed this whole thing. I think I'm getting good at just adding a little here and a little there until things "look right" now that I've been cooking more regularly.

Then I spooned in two big scoops of pesto and mixed it around. Steamy!

I dumped in the precooked orzo from the fridge which required a little smooshing to declump it.

Mix until it's all coated and heated through.

Plate it and top with some grated parmesan!

So good. Perfect to hold me over through a three hour class. Sorry for the gross lighting. Apparently rainy days and kitchen lights make for terrible photos, go figure. ;)

I had my first class of summer last night. I have two classes two nights a weeks. That means Monday-Thursday nights are gone and I have tons of work in a condensed amount of time. But it only lasts for six weeks so if I just push through, it should be over in no time. I hope. And I leave for a short vacation next week. I can't believe that's here already!

Do you have any plans for summer so far? I'm pretty much counting down to July so this semester will be over!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

wind us up and set us loose

I found this set of rules for builders, crafters, and makers and thought I would share them here since that's what most of us are. It's just for fun but I really related to a lot of them. They made me feel not so crazy for the things I do all for the sake of crafting and making. Such as not throwing anything away because I'll absolutely need it eventually. That's kind of a huge problem of mine. But now I feel a little bit better about my hoarding tendencies. ;)

I also like the notion that projects are stackable. It's rare when I can work on one project from start to finish without picking up others along the way. Unless I have a deadline of course, but then it feels like work. Maybe that's what it is..

I also really like how steampunk this whole thing feels. Especially the titles. I may or may not have mentioned this before but I did my senior design thesis on steampunk because it sort of fascinates me. The jewelry, photoshoots, and mods I've seen come from it are incredible. If you haven't heard of it look it up. It's pretty amazing. Look it up on Etsy too because you'll find some stunning jewelry with exposed gears and clock parts among other things. I'll post photos of my project at some point. It's like a combination of printmaking, bookbinding, and graphic design. All my favorites wrapped into one! :)

Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I officially passed the Praxis I. Woohoo! If I had giant balloons and a big open road to run down then I would look like this.

Monday, May 9, 2011

mother's day

I spent yesterday with family celebrating Mother's Day. It was a lot of fun hanging out with all my cousins. We don't live too far away from each other, yet with our busy lives I still rarely see them. It was good to catch up a little and talk about summer plans.

I made this banana cake to take with us. Yup, I did it. Two layer banana cake with Nutella buttercream. Amazing. I killed six bananas with this bad boy and it was a hit. People were saying they liked but when I went to grab a slice to bring home for Charlie I was shocked that there were only about two decent sized pieces left. It's always good to know that something you tried for the first time wasn't a total fail. ;)

This thing was soo heavy. The six bananas made it super dense so it had some decent weight. It was delicious though. I will definitely use this recipe again. I used this recipe from Toasty Biscuit. I just doubled everything so I could make it two layers. So good.

I got my Mom these purple flowers since purple is her favorite color. I used "A Mother's Prayer For Her Child" by Tina Fey for the card because I thought it was hilarious. I just randomly stumbled on it on the blog Write in Color a few days before Mother's Day and knew I had to use it. Check it out if you haven't seen it yet! My Mom said this is what parents really think when they have kids.

Now I'm going to try and enjoy this week off before I start my new classes. I have so much everything to catch up on. How was your weekend? Do anything special with your Mom/kids?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

that's about fifty bananas too many

The other day after my brother participated in an obstacle course/race, I got a text from him saying "Prepare to bake a sh*t ton of banana bread" with the above photo attached to it. Apparently there were boxes of leftover bananas after the race and he felt "obligated" to take one. Of course by now they're already starting to get brown spots so I'm trying to think of things to do with them as they get to that overripe stage. And I don't really want to bake a thousand loaves of banana bread.

My first instinct was to pore over the recipes on Foodgawker, one of my favorite sites. I could spend hours staring at all the beautiful food shots and bookmarking recipes to try. I typed "banana" into the search box and just four pages into it I've found a bunch of recipes I'm dying to try. The contenders right now are..

Banana Whoopie Pies with Nutella Frosting

Banana Honey Muffins
Banana Cream Scones
Banana and Chocolate Chip Oat Bars
Low Fat PB Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Banana Pudding
Baked Banana Chips
Banana Caramel Mini Tarts

There are a ton of banana related recipes out there! Have any of you been in this predicament before? What is your favorite recipe for when you have to disappear a million bananas?

Any suggestions are very welcome. Clearly I have a lot to choose from but sadly a few of these recipes call for like half a banana. Pathetic. I figure I can make things like the scones that use 2 bananas and double or triple the recipe and then freeze them.

What a bizarre problem I have here. I think Mom's getting a banana cake for Mother's Day. Maybe with Nutella involved. Yes, I like this.

Last final tonight! Woohoo! Hope everyone's week is going well. Are you having crappy cold weather where you are too?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

spicing it up

Last night I ordered this dress. I was instantly head over heels when I saw it in Anthropologie's summer catalog that I got this week. After telling myself that I hadn't bought clothes in soo long and that I don't have many summer dresses, I was able to convince myself that it was okay to splurge. ;)

Besides the fact that this dress is so swishy and pretty and one of my favorite colors, I also love it because it fits my criteria for clothing splurges these days. I now like to collect clothes that can be worn for work as well as play. Especially if I'm going to spend a pretty penny on it! This dress isn't low cut and hits the model below the knee so I know it will be long enough for me to wear in a work situation. A lot of what people consider dresses can tend to be long shirts on me at best so I have to be careful. :( It's also clearly plenty of fun to take a stroll in the summertime or go out to dinner in!

I decided to make up two mood boards to give an idea of how I would wear the dress for each occasion. I styled one for work and one for vacation since I'm going to Miami at the end of May. I tried to use some things I already own but there's also some super cute things I wouldn't mind adding to my collection thrown in there just for fun.

The first look.. for work.

I love the coral necklace with the olive and mustard colors. I already have an olive cardigan from H&M. Mine is shorter and would probably hit the dress right at the waist but this was the closest cardigan I could fine to the one I have. I also have this slouchy brown bag from Urban. I found a link to it but I don't think they sell it anymore because I bought it two Christmases ago. For the shoes, I picked out two pairs of oxfords, both of which I already have. There's heels for when I'm feeling a little extra spice and flats for when I'm not in the mood to be any taller. So basically I have the whole outfit minus the necklace. I bet it's something I could make though.. ;)

The second look.. for play.

I think my octopus necklace from Mod Cloth would be awesome with this dress. Especially at the beach! I got this for Christmas from Charlie. :) Sadly this is the only part of the outfit I currently own but I may get the the sunglasses since mine are busted from being crushed in my bag :( and also the crocheted flats because I don't have many summery shoes. Apparently I've been buying more clothes for the fall and winter months instead of the sunny and warm months. I don't really care for sandals so I think these nice airy flats would be a good trade off. I also love the linen flats with the bow for a slightly more dressed up look. And this tooled bag is gorgeous. Again it has that coral and olive in it and the detail is stunning. Apparently I like this color palette because once I saw this bag I knew it would be perfect with this outfit.

It's fun to try to make a piece you love work for totally opposite situations. It saves money and expands your options for when you're staring at your closet wondering what to wear. I think I need to revisit some pieces I already have and see what I can do with them!

Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

papaya and other things

I first discovered the wonder of papaya last summer and was hooked. I ate what I consider the ultimate fruit salad (papaya, mango, and pineapple) daily. I couldn't wait to get my hands on another one now that the weather is getting warmer. There's just something about a warm day that makes me crave fruit. I think I may have jumped the gun though. I don't think they are quite in season yet. Or maybe mine was just overripe. Whatever the case, it was mushy. :( And if there's one thing I don't like it's mushy fruit. I know papaya is soft already but not this soft.

I didn't want it to go to waste though so I tried to get creative with it. I figured since it was already mushy, why not go with it? I spread a little mascarpone on some rye toast and mashed a few pieces of the fruit on top. Not bad! The sourness of the rye bread was pretty much the perfect base for it since the papaya was pretty sweet. The mush still got to me a little though, maybe just because I was thinking about it, but I would totally try it again with a ripe one.

I think the rest of it needs to go into a smoothie so I can just blend all my mushy troubles away. I just need to grab some frozen yogurt or something.

Things are almost back to normal around here. My total posts for April was a damn shame. But it disappoints me because I like blogging daily, not because I feel guilty about not doing it. I used to feel guilty every time I missed one weekday and thought everyone would stop reading immediately. I overreact sometimes. My stats don't lie though, people kept coming in my absence and for that I am grateful. Hopefully there was some past content from back when I had zero readers to keep people entertained and to keep newcomers from thinking this is one of those blogs where people go missing for a month. I thank ya kindly for being patient and sticking around. :)

I might be harder on myself for those 11 measly posts last month if I was just painting my toes, eating hershey kisses and watching Big Bang Theory (it happens) but in reality I was elbow deep in papers, observations, and finals. Now I sit here with two finals down, (asses thoroughly kicked, might I add) and one to go and I feel a whole lot lighter just knowing that. After that final this thursday I have one week off and then I start the summer semester! Oh boy. I wanted to do this though right? Right.

I don't think I even did this last month since each month is seriously creeping up on me but this breathing room feels like a good time to layout a few goals for this month.

1. As always, work towards opening my shop.. I came to a standstill for a while from a lack of funds but I have a little cash flow now so I'm starting back up.
2. Get back into yoga.. I have seriously fallen off the track with that. I really want to get back on it.
3. Get the job I just applied for. Fingers crossed!!
4. Love my summer classes as much as I loved my spring ones. (And do as well in them.) :)

I think that's it. Just want to keep moving forward.

Happy May everyone! Can you believe it? I feel like just yesterday it was snowing..
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