Monday, January 31, 2011


I made a chocolate cake tonight. See?

I made chocolate cake because....'s Monday..
..I am almost 30 years old..
..I just can...
..I am grateful my brother is alive..
..I am ignoring the giant hole in my tooth..
..I am happy that my tax return is done..
..of the impending winter storm that is estimated to bring 10-17 inches of snow tomorrow night..
..I just finished the last season of Gilmore Girls, again..
..I have to start wearing long underwear under my pants..
..I got a sweet Valentine's package in the mail..
..I really felt like chocolate cake. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fashionable. Well, Maybe.

I have been obsessed with clothes and shoes (specifically boots) since I got here.

Actually, who's kidding? I am pretty much always obsessed with this stuff. I find such pure enjoyment and happiness when I find a good deal or something crazy unique at a thrift store. My personal style is pretty standard, maybe even borderline plain, but it suits me. I hope that once it does warm up a bit, I can try out some of the new clothes I have found over the past month.

For inspiration, I always cut out outfits, items, or stylist celebrities to take lessons from. I keep this in my closet:

With my love of Gilmore Girls, I had to put Alexis Bledel up there and of course, the amazing Tim Gunn. He would intimidate the hell out of me if he were really in my closet but just having his picture up there gives me a bit more courage. I also think about these outfits when I go shopping. As you can see, I like when basic are paired together then dazzled up with accessories. Nothing terribly flashy or risque but professional, chic, and put together is what I strive for. In my current position and stage in life, I go for practical. Professional looking but still young and comfortable enough to last an 8-hour workday plus a 3-hour night class. Here are a few of my typical, day looks for work.

Denim Trousers, Target, $16; Orange Cardigan, Old Navy , $3; Linen Shell, TJ Maxx, $3; white tank top, Target, $5

This was an attempt at trendy fashion. I ended up wearing a different top that I was more comfortable in. Boots, K-Mart, $25; Grey sweater knee-high socks, Wal-Mart, $2; Black leggings, Hot Topic, $2; Army green skirt, vintage, $3; white tank top, Target, $5; black top with ruffle, Urban Outfitters, $10

The tank top has a delicate lace/bead detail at the top that can't be seen from the photo.

I read some amazing blogs that help me get inspired to dress a bit more what I imagine myself to look like in my head.

Ohhh! And this is also a fantastic little chart about making decisions when buying clothes. Perhaps I should print this out and stick it in my oh so cute and vintage purse? Hmm.

And remember:


(This was technically written in early January but now as it is almost February, I thought I should get it going...)
I can't help it! I think the snow is so beautiful and enchanting and amazing. Other people would disagree. A lot. These are the people that usually drive to work and so it isn't ever going to be as fun for them.

I love it! It is sparkling and clean and bright. It is dreamily falling outside as I sit here in my office with no windows. I took pictures as I walked to work this morning because I just couldn't help myself. I am supposed to head to Ann Arbor tomorrow but am not sure if I want to risk the driving aspect. Last time I did, there was slip-slide action that nearly made me pee myself.

It's so pretty!

And with six adjectives used, I will leave you with some pictures.

Early morning.

Outside the Student Center.
 Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quotes of the Day: Sargent Shriver Edition

Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., known as Sargent Shriver, R. Sargent Shriver, or, from childhood, Sarge; November 9, 1915 – January 18, 2011, was an American statesman and activist. As the husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, he was part of the Kennedy family, serving in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Shriver was the driving force behind the creation of the Peace Corps, founded the Job Corps, Head Start and other programs as the "architect" of Johnson's "War on Poverty" and served as the United States Ambassador to France. (from Wiki)

An amazing man. Here are some links to articles after his death:
Sargent Shriver Remembered
Video archives
Shriver's Legacy 

"Respect for another man's opinion is worthy. It is the realization that any opinion is valuable, for it is the sign of a rational being."

"A line has to be drawn somewhere between what is essential and what is peripheral."

"I want to warn anyone who sees the Peace Corps as an alternative to the draft that life may well be easier at Fort Dix or at a post in Germany than it will be with us. "

"It is well to be prepared for life as it is, but it is better to be prepared to make life better than it is."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Adjective: "New" not "Hard"

"nothing is "hard". Everything is just "new" if you haven't done it before. Give it a try!"
 --taken from Bitch Cakes 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Loves and Thankfulness

Even though I fighting the sickness and it is freeeeeezing outside, I decided to get some shopping done. I have this growing list of things that would be great to help my little apartment feel like home. Some things were organizational while others were comforts and a bit of fashion thrown in. I kept being very happy about very tiny, unimportant things today but it is always good to be thankful for what you have, even if it is two zippers on your winter jacket (makes trips to the potty room so so much easier).

I was happy that I had the ability to spend money today, buy some quality things and actually not feel guilty about it. I was happy to buy a third (3rd!) tub of spinach this month to further feed my green smoothie habit. I love giving smiles to people even when they looked frustrated or slightly bitchy. When they smile back, it feels even better. I love three packs of knee-high socks in cute colors and prints. I may be developing an addiction to socks now that they are a necessity here. I love finding and buying (on sale) the perfect black sweater in the softest material. I love buying gifts. I wish I had more money and more people to buy for!

I love Sam's Club (same at Costco) hot dogs. I know they aren't healthy but damn, they are tasty. I love finding cheap little treasures both in big stores and in little ones. I love that I am finally starting to feel like I am over the age of 25. I splurged on perfume (okay, an April splurge of $15) the other day and it makes me feel so much prettier to smell nice. I have strongly disliked makeup lately but finally finding good products that help my skin glow makes it all worth it.

I hope you are able to realize all the little things to be grateful for. It can be so difficult to see them sometimes when we are constantly go-go-go in this world.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Quickie Update

Sorry for the extreme lack of posts but I have been thinking about you all, dear readers. I beautiful pictures of snow, recipes to post, AND fun little life updates. For now, I shall commence with the life updates while I have a batch of cookies baking in the oven. Sickness doesn't matter when the heart wants a small batch of chocolate cookies that have been revamped to be ever so slightly healthy.

  • It has been snowing like crazy here. I love it but many people (mostly Midwesterners) are not so in love with it. I maintain that it is gorgeous and I will try to post some pictures soon of it.
  • The second semester of grad school has started and it will be challenging to say the least. I am taking 9 credits; 6 credits is full time and most people maintain the two classes each term. I feel like I just need to get a bit more organized and I can handle it. Nothing terribly difficult but there are so many teeny, tiny components to each class (online, semester-spanning projects, interviews, etc.) and keeping up with all of the readings. I still love it though.
  • Adding to some of the stress are work events going on this term that the GAs (graduate assistants) plan and execute. Also adding so the fun is the fact that I am the only GA that will be here next year and that means I need to now learn everything so that I can pass along the schedules and resources for next year. Again, I love this all but it is just a lot to handle for the second week of term. 
  • Thirdly adding to the stress is my getting a sinus/flu-like funkness this week. It snuck up on me with the most massive migraine headache I have had in a while then slowly took me down as the week progressed. I am now looking at a six-day weekend which I was planning on but that I will utilize to read, sleep, and take in as many fluids as possible. I don't have time to be sick!
  • I had Indian food this week with a very lovely friend and it was fantastic. I don't know of many things that are better than having a good chat with a friend while dining on much missed Indian food. Chicken Makhani, I love you. 
  • Green smoothie madness is still alive and well in my world. I love my blender and throwing everything in there for my breakfasts. 
  • I have begun watching Gilmore Girls again (again!) after a lull in Netflix and the computer was giving me a headache just to be on it (hence the lack of postings as well). I always forget how much I love this show and start to notice the funny little things. Seth McFarlane (Family Guy) was on there as a random character! 
  • Applied for internships that I really hope I get. There are some super exciting opportunities available that would mean the world to me. Cross your fingers!
Okay, hopefully that wasn't dreadfully boring. Lots of stuff going on right now but everything is just a work in progress so nothing great to report. No boys on the horizons and I kind of like it that way. Trying to stay as healthy as possible and getting excited for the looming "30" birthday in April.  I hope you all are getting a good start to 2011 and enjoying yourselves!

(P.S. I am totally obsessed with the Cee Lo song "Fuck You." Finally watched the video and love it!)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

four things.

I saw this over at Just a One Girl Revolution's blog and decided to answer. I have more interesting posts coming up with snow pictures and recipes but until the computer doesn't give me a headache, this will have to do!

Four TV shows that I watch:
  • Glee
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Grey's Anatomy (so good this season!)
  • Dexter
Four things I’m passionate about:
  • Animals
  • Being a good person
  • Finding happiness
  • Creativity
Four words/phrases I use a lot:
  • Sure
  • I have no idea
  • Sorry to bug you but
  • Yay!
Four things I’ve learned from the past:
  • It's all about the little things
  • Material things don't bring you happiness
  • It is important to surround yourself with good, caring, wonderful people
  • We create more drama than we need to
Four places I would like to go:
  • London, England (again, much, much longer this time)
  • Rome
  • India
  • South America
Four things I did yesterday:
  • Watched the third disc of Dexter Season 4 then paid $1.99 on Amazon to watch the last episode instead of wait another five days for the last disc. Then, I watched the first episode of Season 5 on for free
  • Worked and got complimented by a student and his father
  • Had a smoothie (spinach, kiwi, vanilla soymilk, flax seed, honey, half of a banana) and two veggie sausages for breakfast
  • Weeded through a long list of internships to try and find the ones I wanted the most
Four things I am looking forward to:
  • Internship plans
  • Dog sitting next weekend (I missed the pups)
  • Buying birthday presents
  • Returning to a normal schedule next week (kinda)
Four things I love about winter:
  • Snow!
  • Sweaters, scarves and hats
  • Hot chocolate with tons of marshmallows
  • The holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day)
Tag four people to play along:
  • Um....anyone who actually reads my little 'ol blog :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Okay, just a quickie here:

Last night I was at Trader Joe's and there was a guy that was not only talking on the phone rendering him partially annoying and ignorant of those around him but he was also using his iPad! I have no idea what he was doing on the but he was definitely the epitome of multi-tasking. Really, isn't grocery shopping, talking on the phone AND working on the iPad a bit much?

And this is when I miss the days of humans interacting with each other and being considerate of each other. And when I also feel so....old!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year Intuition

I write this as I am currently waiting for pizzas (plural, yes) to be delivered to me. I was craving some real food and since my kitchen is full of ham leftovers, eggs, and bread, I wanted to "splurge" and get something delicious. I figure that I am listening to my intuition to get some veggies and cheese goodness but not so intuitive on spending the money.

I think the biggest thing beyond just having new year's resolutions is listening to what your inner voice tells you. Our intuition is often so overshadowed by what we think we should be doing and what we think other people want us to do. Most of the time when we listen to ourselves, we know what is right and what will make us happy.

It hasn't been the most productive few days into 2011 for me but I know that this is just the lull. This lull comes after a week of just hanging out at home (save for a few errand days), not having the attention span to work on bigger projects, and also just seeing my syllabus for one class last night. Oh, it is starting yet again! As I looked over the pages and pages (and pages) of reading to do for next Monday and what my life will be like for the next four months, I had some doubt of how successful I would be. Isn't that terrible? One email and some slacking behavior and I am already questioning my future! It's ridiculous.

So I must constantly remind myself this year that even as I complete (or don't) my goals, I am doing what is best for myself and listening to my inner voice. There are some days which I know I can do better and there will be some days that I am a straight-up rock star. Today may be more the former than the latter but it's all good.

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” --Albert Einstein 

“I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.” --Kim Basinger 

     “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself." --Alan Alda

“Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer.” --Robert Graves

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sugar Heaven

Again, looking at my Food Bucket List, I wanted to attack something that always intimidated me but something warm and comforting as well. Cinnamon Rolls.
I grew up strictly enjoying the taste of cinnamon rolls via the Pillsbury tube. They were always delicious and indulgent but seeing those huge cinnamon rolls also left something to be desired.

I am totally intimidated by baking or cooking with yeast. It freaks me out! There is temperature and freshness and all sorts of things to think about. I feel like maybe, just maybe, I have actually conquered it though! I have proof....just see my fridge and freezer! Okay, on to the pictures.

I used the much talked about and applauded Pioneer Woman's recipe via RhodeyGirlTests. She divided the recipe in half which turned out to be so much more than enough. I substituted one cup of whole wheat pastry flour for one of the cups of all purpose flour and added in some walnuts to the filling. I also WAY overdid it on the cinnamon but I happen to love me some crazy cinnamon action so nothing too bad.

They turned out great AND I have some in the freezer in case I want some sugary goodness on a random Wednesday morning.
**Note: the wine bottle is there as a substitute rolling pin. I wasn't drinking and baking, no sir. Well, at least not this time!

Cookies Galore

Yes, my first post of 2011 (yikes!) is going to be about Christmas baking. I have a huge queue of blogging ideas but haven't gotten around to any of them yet. Be prepared-I will be catching up this weekend!

So from my Food Bucket List, I have started to make progress. One of the things on there was to make sugar cookies and frosting from scratch. I totally wasn't feeling the baking vibe but decided that I should just try and see how far I get. I made chocolate peppermint cookies and Mama Pea's Cookie Dough Balls. For the sugar cookies, I used the recipe from Bake at 350. I will say that although the frosting came out decently well, I definitely undercooked the cookies which resulted in them being way too soft. Good to know for next time!

I don't have step-by-step instructions since Bake at 350 does that very well but here are some of my designs:
A little shout-out to my new state

Recently discovered the MACRO setting on my camera!