Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tonight You Belong To Me

Due to my excessive lack of time management skills, my Valentine's post is not ready to be posted tonight. To make up for it, here is a video of the cutest duet you'll see all week.

Your heart just melted a little and I'm not even sorry.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy Weekend


Happy Friday my dear friends! What are you up to this weekend? I'm going to be in Venice, hanging out with these birds.  Just kidding.  Actually, I'll be in Ohio, hanging out with one of my favorites, so that's better than Italian birds. It's been too too long, I'm looking forward to it immensely!

It's been awhile since I've posted one of these but here are some links I've enjoyed lately.

+ The best book trailer I've ever seen. Bonus: It features Mindy Kaling! (via The New Yorker)

+ Speaking of books, ever wonder how home stylists and set decorators acquire them in bulk for decorating? They use sites like Books By The Foot, where you can purchase books, well, by the foot.  You can buy them by color or by subject.  Isn't that fascinating?   I appreciate an aesthetically pleasing bookshelf as much as the next gal, but I can't imagine a world in which I bought books simply for display purposes only. Their value lies between the covers!

+ A clever way to commemorate a road trip.

+ And more fun with maps, here's an interesting look on how long travel took centuries ago. Guess I'll stop complaining about 4 hour airport layovers. (via Fast Company)

+ Call it self-preservation but I'm not over winter yet.  Especially not when there are  super awesome coats out there that I haven't worn yet.  Hello beautiful.

+ This article perfectly articulates what being a writer feels like. Love love love. (via Thought Catalog)

+ A free font roundup? Yes please!

+ This chicken pesto sandwich looks SO. GOOD.

+ "Full Circle" by Half Moon Run
Full Circle by Half Moon Run on Grooveshark

Alright, be kind to yourselves this weekend!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Red Velvet Crinkles and a Baking Video

Boy do I have a treat for you today. As you should know by now, we are quickly approaching my favorite holiday. (Re: this post, that post, and also this one)

Three cheers for Valentine's Day. *wiggles eyebrows*

Since we have four weeks until the actual day, I'm going to post something Valentine-themed every Thursday until Friday the 14th.

This week is a cookie recipe that I found on Cooking Classy. Have you ever had chocolate crinkles? I discovered these yummies in college. If you don't know, they are a chewy chocolate cookie with a beautifully-crackled powdered sugar top.  I saw this red velvet version at Panera Bread the other day and decided to make some myself in honor of the holiday. It creates a more cake-like cookie than traditional crinkle recipes but it tastes just as divine as a slice of the cake it is named for. 

It's got a light moist texture, that lovely crinkled coating, and white chocolate chips inside to compliment the mild cocoa flavor.  

They also photograph beautifully. In case that's important to you.  

Anyway, I did something a little different and made a video while I was baking. (Again, recipe found here.) I filmed the first half using a tripod and then my mom volunteered her hands so I could operate the camera for the second half (In case you notice the sudden appearance of a wedding ring. It's not mine.) 

I've never done this before so please forgive any unfocused parts and how awkward my voice sounds.  Nothing makes you hate the sound of your own voice more than recording voiceovers, I learned.  I am usually way less serious and bored-sounding in conversation.  Oh well, at least we know I'm not cut out for radio!

Well, what did you think? Should I do more baking tutorial videos or is my time on YouTube something that needs to be quietly put away in a drawer? And most relevant, will you be making these cookies??  All important questions.

That's all for this week! See you next Thursday, lovebirds! 

P.S. Past Valentine's Day cookie recipes: heart-shaped Lofthouse cookies and chocolate mint sandwiches

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Day in the Life: January 2014

A Day in the Life: A Linkup by Break the Sky

Hello friends!! Today's post was prompted by Manda over at the Break the Sky.  She's hosting a monthly link-up, where bloggers can share a peek into their everyday lives. I had fun documenting my day!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

 // 8:00 am - alarm

In which I opened my eyes, saw no conceivable reason for arising at that moment, rolled over and went back to sleep.

// 9:00 am - alarm #2

In which I opened my eyes again. Decided there was no conceivable reason why I should still be in bed, and got up.  Pondered life's questions in the shower.  Admired the monochrome color palette in my favorite corner of my bedroom.

(I had a sparkly gold starburst mirror hanging over my bed but it fell down one night and stabbed me in the head while I was sleeping so that mirror is in timeout until I'm done being angry with it, so possibly forever.)

// 9:30 am - breakfast

In which I consumed Raisin Bran, a clementine, a pot of earl grey tea (in my ADORABLE Anne of Green Gables teapot), and the daily crossword.

// 10:00 am - hair

In which I spent an amount of time (that normal people would ready themselves entirely in) attempting to copy a hairstyle I saw on Pinterest. 

Not bad, self.

// 10:30 am - dress

In which I admonished myself for having wasted most of the morning. 
If we're talking about fashion plates, I'm the blue plate special. I've got J. Crew tastes on a Target budget. #thestruggle

Button-down: Old Navy
Tshirt: Hanes
Jeans: Old Navy
Flats: Gap Outlet
Bag: ShoeDazzle

// 10:45 am - work-ish

In which I procrastinated by searching work exchange programs in Europe and then tweeting about it.  And then when that was done, I fiddled about with my resume, followed up on job applications, wrote some emails, and applied for more jobs. Finally gave in and updated my SitterCity nanny profile because desperate times, people. 

// 1:00 pm - lunch

In which I ate turkey, avocado, lettuce, and mustard on multigrain. I forgot to take a picture but it was just a sandwich so I trust you know what that looks like.

// 2:00 pm - crafts

In which I finished a couple of birthday cards and took some photos of a project for an upcoming DIY post. 
(Not sharing those because you'll see them on the blog on Friday.)

// 3:00 pm - errands

In which I stood in line at the post office for approximately 6 days, was treated to a rendition of "Endless Love" by a gentleman in sweatpants at the Dollar Tree, made it to the bank before realizing I left my check at home, and a stop at the grocery store where I discovered that I'm secretly 80 years old.

(Gluten free crackers, goat cheese, two boxes of tea, two cans of soup, a package of chicken, and FiberOne granola bars. All that's missing is the prune juice.)

// 6:00 pm - supper

In which I ate baked chicken in a salad with a roasted sweet potato half.

// 7:30 pm - Starbucks

In which I stopped by for a bit of hot chocolate, reading, planning, and hipster-y Instagram pictures. Also to distract my friend Kimberly while she was working. We may or may not have planned an entire party while she was on break. Yes we did.

// 10:00 pm - bedtime stories

In which I answered the day's question from Q & A a Day, reread parts of Relish: My Life In the Kitchen (super cool graphic memoir/cookbook), and studied Ezekiel 3.

// 11:30 pm - sleep

In which I turned out the light and thought about pleasant things so I would have good dreams.


Tell me, what did January 14th look like for you? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

'Tis But A Flesh Wound: A Love Story

 My father and I are alike in many ways, to the point of irritating each other and everyone around us.  It makes sense, as I have half of his DNA.  We both have strong personalities.  We expect a lot out of the people in our lives, and this can make both professional and personal relationships difficult at times, but we give as much as we get.  We struggle with change and not having a plan for the future but are the type of person that is reliable, trust-worthy, and prepared.  We both have a great sense of humor, but one that can get us into trouble occasionally.  We are good leaders, principled and hardworking.  We have little patience for things that irritate us and our feelings are usually written all over our faces.  (We would make terrible poker players.) Also, we both become lactose intolerant during periods of great stress. (TMI? Not sorry.)

Yet in certain ways we are vastly different. If Dad is the very photograph of a type A personality, I'm more of a painting.  There's a thin layer of type A, but it is obscured in places by great swirls of types B-Z.
I may have made those types up, but I stand by my analogy.

My dad is the most organized person you will ever meet, the inventor of the Do It Now Rule.  In the land of Time Management and Life Preparedness, he is king.  Last night I asked him if there was ever a situation in his life, large or small, for which he was unprepared.  He had to think very hard.  Only one answer came to mind and I'm not sharing because it's an embarrassing story that involves hiking a mountain with me and my extreme night blindness.


Here are a few ways in which we differ: I am organized more in theory than in actuality.  For example, my clothes are always arranged by color, type, and season in my closet
...when I've actually bothered to hang them up.
My car is always clean and clutter-free
...except for a small army of Cheerios that are forever wedged between the edge of the driver's seat and the middle console.  
I see things that need to be done and I do them
...when I've exhausted every method of procrastination.
I always make decisions based on logic and not emotion
....except for none of the time ever.

The point of all this is to say I felt our differences most keenly last Tuesday night when I received stitches for the first time ever.  I immediately compared it to when my dad got stitches this past summer. He was cutting pieces of siding and got a little too close to the saw.  I was out at the time, but according to my brother, he came in to the house, cleaned his wound, made himself lunch, took a shower, combed his hair, filed his taxes and who knows what else before driving himself to the clinic, finger flapping in the breeze. Meanwhile, my brother was home the entire time, willing and able to take him immediately but Dad refused.  He came home, carried on with life, and six days later removed the stitches himself like some sort of fearless renaissance man.

In my case, I cut my finger while slicing an avocado.  As usual, I employed the Ellie method of "Act Now, React Later".  By this I mean I stuck my hand under some running water and then wrapped it in a paper towel. I sat calmly in a chair and asked my mother to please finish the guacamole for me.  But over the course of the next hour, the pain set in as the bleeding refused to stop and I started to panic. "WHAT DO I DO?" I wailed to Dad when he walked in the door, "DO I NEED STITCHES? I'VE LOST TOO MUCH BLOOD, I FEEL FAINT." He told me to get ahold of myself.  Overcome by his lack of compassion, I retrieved a blanket, laid back in a recliner and weakly requested some orange juice to regain some strength. My mom said she would take me to a clinic to get stitches but decided to eat first.

As I watched my family leisurely enjoy dinner, I muttered crossly to myself, "Well, I suppose it's a good thing I'm not in mortal peril. I wondered if I casually started to bleed on the carpet, would they hurry up? Heaven forbid THE BEANS GET COLD before I receive MEDICAL ATTENTION."
Just before my twenty-eighth birthday, they finished eating and Mom took me to the clinic.

That in and of itself was an ordeal.  They admitted me almost immediately but I languished in a patient room for quite awhile until a PA came in to stitch me up. "No need to make a fuss at this point. Time has already healed my wound," I grumbled to myself.  Nevertheless, she gave me a tetanus shot and proceeded to practice what could only be described as award-winning embroidery.  If you look closely, a tiny Mona Lisa appears in my stitches.  Ok not really.  But seriously, it was an unnecessary amount of needlework for such a small cut.

I'd share a picture but this is a family establishment and I don't condone the sharing of photos of one's injuries.  Ain't nobody need to see that.

I then proceeded to go home and vigorously Google the side affects of the Tdap vaccine.  With great bravery, I made peace with my life-altering disability and fell into a troubled sleep.  A day later, a stitch fell out of its own volition.  Within forty-eight hours, I removed the others without much struggle.  All that ruckus over what ended up looking like a mildly irritated paper cut. 'Twas but a flesh wound.

So what did I learn from this? A number of things, in fact.

1. I would never make it through childbirth.

2. This moment of my life would not make it into the Lifetime biopic on my life.

3. Never cut an avocado while holding it in your hand. 

4. Despite evidence to the contrary, I'm quite pleased to share some of the qualities of my father and there is still a need to learn more.  While I will never ever ever ever ever see the need to rake leaves more than once a season (why does no one understand that waiting until they all fall is the only way to do it?), I could use a larger dose of rationality and mental fortitude. Also I should probably vacuum up those Cheerios in my car.

I love you, Dad.

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