Friday, December 30, 2011

Vail, here we come!

Headed to Vail, CO for some skiing (and falling) this weekend. Wish me luck!

image source: flowersplane

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas presents!

This Christmas was one of the better ones in recent years because of one important addition to the equation: Jonas! But I don't feel like uploading photos/videos just yet, so I'll just brag about a few of my many awesome Christmas gifts.

First of all, I got a ukulele from a very smart guy and I can't wait to master it. I suppose that means I have to practice, so we'll see how that goes.

I also got this awesome pillow case and a calendar from Leah Duncan's etsy shop. She's an Austin-based designer and basically all her stuff is perfect.

And I now need to frame this Pop Chart Lab print for my kitchen...and maybe buy a few more kitchen utensils.

Other gifts: this ring holder, this necklace, a new phone, an electric hand mixer (no more sore stirring arms!), a ski jacket and time with family!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Austin weekend

Will and I went to Austin over the weekend to celebrate the end of his finals and use some hotel vouchers he had. We stayed on South Congress, an area with lots of vintage/antique shops, food trucks, outdoor markets, and dog lovers. I bought this little print, probably for my bedroom, at some used bookstore.

We stayed at Hotel San Jose, which was really hip, with a nice outdoor lounge area that made it feel like we were far from the middle of the city.

Room service, NYT included.

We went bowling (I wasn't nearly as good as I imagined I'd be after my office party Thursday at the bowling lanes downtown), ate at Trudy's (famous for Mexican martinis and amazing fried avocados), and saw a holiday-themed Master Pancake Theater at Alamo Drafthouse.

It was a perfect little break after a long semester for Will and the realization that I don't get a long Christmas vacation anymore now that I'm an adult.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just in case you needed to be reminded...

Robert Griffin III won the Heisman a few days ago! The excitement will last another year or so.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three quick years

It's been three long (but quick!) years today since Will and I started dating (even though I totally made the first move a week or so earlier). Happy anniversary!

A little more than three years ago, but I think this photo's funny.

One fateful night three winters ago. I'm a sucker for that beard.

It's been a sometimes-hard, sometimes-awesome 12 months, and Will's been great through it all. Things he had to put up with this year:
- A 7-hour time difference (then 6 because of different Daylight Savings schedules, then 7 again).
- A heated argument over the right way to eat nachos. We both learned a valuable lesson: there is a middle ground between being left with completely unsavory, cheeseless chips and the embarrassing situation of trying to finish the floppy, soggy ones when they're all you have left.
- Hearing the excuse/double standard for being annoying, "Yeah, but I'm the girl" about once a week.
- Two moves.
- An impressive snot bubble.
- The crazy person I became when job hunting.
- Me never squeezing his toothpaste from the bottom. It's just not necessary.
- Project Runway. Maybe The Bachelorette. Criminal Minds.
- Always having to drain the grease when I brown beef. I've got weak wrists.
Oh, and me. What a patient guy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Work follies

I don't know why I called these "follies." It sounds festive, though, doesn't it? I'm a bit busy with an article re-write, so I'll give you the facts, quick and sweet.

At the end of November, aka Movember or Mustache November, some of us girls joined in solidarity with the guys who'd been growing their 'staches all month, despite looking like pedos and bikers.

And last week, we went to see our co-worker, Ron, in a production of "Cinderella." It was great and Ron had some amazing solos! And the prince sounded EXACTLY like Obama. It's like I witnessed our president taking part in musical theater. He was pretty good, too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adult money habits

After years of no car payments (meaning not too many bills to pay), I have entered a new level of adulthood by buying a car all on my own. Fine, not ALL on my own, since my parents apparently trust me enough to cosign on the loan, but they expect me to be responsible or something and pay it off.

Before we get to the wonderful new car, let's have a moment of silence for the 1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass that I left behind at Carmax. I'm sure there were at least a few good memories in that car, not including all the times I thought I was going to be pulled over because my ride matched that of a "Missing Elderly." The most prominent one is when Will and I sat in that car and decided to start dating. Okay, really it was him deciding, making a pros and cons list out loud. Did he make the right decision? Jury's still out.

On to the new guy. It's a 2008 Nissan Altima and it's awesome. And shiny.

So now that I have to make car payments, do you think these money habits of mine will still work?
- Buying generic products unless they're important things like face wash, or cereal, or you know, things you find at the grocery store.
- Filing all my receipts safely and crumpledy in my purse.
- Making up words to describe my receipt filing system.
- Believing in shopping destiny when there's only one pair of the shoes I want and they're in my size.
- Spending what I spend and leaving the rest alone until I want to spend it.

Those are solid financial tips, right? I guess I'll let you know.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Disadvantages of having a nephew

I came home for Thanksgiving today while my mom was still at work. My sister and Jonas came over (because they missed me so much, not because I begged them or anything) to hang out, and even though my mom sees Jonas all the time, she walked right past me when she came home and went to cuddle him. I guess I can't blame her; he's A LOT cuter than me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jalapeno popper chicken

I also made this delicious chicken last week. I didn't take any photos because it was seriously ugly, but it really tasted just like a jalapeno popper.

This is the photo from the blog the recipe was on. Mine did not look anything like this, but it tasted as good as this one looks. I followed the recipe, but I think my chicken breasts may have been a little small, so they were very messy, and I ended up doing 6 rather than 4.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sic 'em, Bears

Did you guys see the Baylor/OU game last night? I didn't, because I get majorly stressed out, BUT I could hear Will cheering/gasping/about to cry in the other room. Of course, all the crazy plays are on YouTube now, like this awesomely lucky one.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stuffed peppers

I cooked things for dinner a couple times in the past week that didn't come straight out of a bag or box. Be proud of me. I made these stuffed peppers last Sunday, and even had some leftovers to take to work. People were impressed because it looked healthy and home-made. I don't know how healthy it was, but appearances are what matter! I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and made a few minor changes. Here's how I made it.

Not too pretty, but tasty.

1 cup rice
4 green bell peppers
1 large onion, diced
some olive oil
2 links Italian turkey sausage
a couple shakes of oregano
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 can black beans
shredded cheese of your choice

Cook rice according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 375. Trim bottom of bell peppers so they have a flat surface to stand on. Cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of peppers, then remove seeds. Place hollowed-out peppers in a baking dish that you've sprayed with non-stick spray. (I used a big baking dish, but the recipe said a dish that's close in size to the peppers will work best.)

Remove stem part from the pepper caps and trim off any white membrane, then dice pepper caps and the onion into fairly small dice. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet, then saute diced pepper and onion for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren't browned. Remove pepper-onion mixture to a bowl, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of the casing and cook until it's lightly browned, breaking apart with the back of the turner. (My end mixture came out a little greasy, so next time I might drain the sausage after this step)

Put the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan with the sausage, add the dried spices, and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then add cooked rice, season the mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook just long enough to warm, about 1-2 minutes.

Stuff the filling mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it's tightly packed into the pepper shell. If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small ramekin and bake along with the peppers. Bake peppers for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and put whatever amount of cheese you want (I recommend a lot because it's the best part) on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Who wants to teach me to embroider?

It can't be that hard, right? I'm moderately crafty. And seriously, I'm going crazy over how many things you can do with embroidery. Go ahead and tell me I take on too many crafty projects and leave them lying around my apartment for months before I finish them. I just can't help myself.

etsy shop tea towel.

Martha Stewart, who else? Embroider a road trip!

Pretty paper!

Pillow. I'm so into zig zags right now.

This could be my handwriting. So simple.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Blanket progress

I haven't been working on my blanket as much as I was at first, but slow progress is better than no progress. At this point, I can keep my legs warm with it. I'm predicting that it will be done by next summer when it's so disgustingly hot, I'll put it away and forget about it completely.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Two-tone fingernails

This is probably the hippest my fingernails have ever been. Of course, there's a reason this photo is only of my left hand; the right hand fell victim to my poor left-hand motor skills and my impatience. They looked ok from far away, though.

I painted the whole nail gray first. Once it dried, I covered the bottom 2/3 or so with masking tape and then painted the teal on top, then took off the tape. Add a top coat, and ta da! You'll look way cooler than you are.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I'm not very big on Halloween, so I didn't do anything. BUT I did buy these super-cute pumpkins the other day on sale at Target. (I also made another batch of pumpkin cookies last week, so that counts, too)

I think they (there's another one on an end table) are fine for general fall decor, so I'm keeping them out until Thanksgiving. They're kind of making me want to learn how to weave baskets...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

She & Him Christmas album

OK, I've held out as long as I could. It's time for Christmas music. I think I did pretty good. I almost made it to Halloween.

If She & Him (the Zooey Deschanel/M. Ward band that makes perfect shower-singing music) hadn't come out with a holiday album, I might've been able to go a little longer without. But whatever. I bought this album and it's officially Christmas season for me, despite what all you Halloweeners and Thanksgiving turkeys say.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

He's so big!

Will and I went up to DFW a couple weekends ago for the State Fair and, of course, to hang out with this little guy. He's basically a grown-up now, you know, minus the whole walking and talking and making a living components. Couldn't  you just eat his little face? Don't even get me started on his chubby thighs. 

Jonas loves funny faces, and we both agree that Will's is pretty hilarious.

My dad and J matched with their green shirts and bald heads. It was adorable.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Be confident.

“Be confident. Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when you accept everything you are — and aren’t — that you will truly succeed.” 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cheesy garlic sticks

My apologies to Will for leaving a garlic smell in his apartment that has lasted 3 days, but these were still pretty good, if you don't mind me saying so (Will minds because saying anything means expelling my stanky Italian breath).

I used something like this recipe, but I used crushed garlic(? diced garlic? something slightly different) and store-bought canned pizza dough, because I'm not fancy (and admittedly can't find anything in the nearest Kroger).


Next time I think I'll use even more cheese.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I did an article yesterday on the best parks for outdoor lovers. It made sitting in an office all day unbearable. These are the places I've now added to my must-go list.

Denali National Park, Alaska
Did you know flights to Alaska are only $300ish?

Banff National Park, Canada

Iguazu National Park, Brazil/Argentina
Eleanor Roosevelt said "Poor Niagara!" when she saw the enormous falls here.

Yosemite National Park, California

Monday, October 10, 2011

Netherlands nostalgia

Today I'm wearing my boots for the first time since getting back from the Netherlands and it's making me miss that place, even with the cold and all the rain and the annoying roommate. It's nuts to think it's been more than six months since I got back! I cannot believe it's been that long and at the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago.

Some of the things I loved:
-Going down the street with my coworkers to Blooming Cafe for coffee/cake instead of working.
-My mom laughing at a joke during the all-Dutch tour because she knew it was a joke even though she didn't know what the joke was.
-Watching Will eat a nieuwe (raw) herring (and hearing him speak Dutch).
-Never having to get gas.
-Comparing sayings in different languages.
-Albert Heijn.
-Train rides to other countries.
-Fries and mayonnaise.
-The Hague.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DIY shirt

I decided to fancy up a man's undershirt Sunday with some paint. In real life, I probably won't be brave enough to wear it with leggings (would that be brave or tacky? Sometimes I really can't tell), but hopefully it'll still be cute!

Update: My dad says tacky, so that probably means super cute.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Food, food, food

My crowning achievement at work came on Friday when I brought in some pumpkin cookies that everyone went crazy for. I happen to think they were a little overhyped, but I didn't mind being the office hero for the day. It makes me think simultaneously that I should open a bakery and that I should never bake anything again so that I can end on such a high note.

Cakey cookie goodness.

I've also cooked a few other things lately that turned out pretty good, so I'll share those recipes (I'm still debating whether I'll share the pumpkin cookie recipe because I like to feel needed). 

This weekend Will made this tasty barbecue chicken in the crockpot for sandwiches. A while ago, I made a crockpot taco soup that lasted for a week and a half. It'd be so perfect if the weather would ever just cool off.

Last weekend, I made some baked French fries to go with our black bean burgers and they were sooo good. Even good cold, unlike normal French fries.


After (should've used a little more Pam)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rachel's recital

My friend Rachel's senior horn recital is coming up in about a month. So if you like French horns or people who are friends with me, you should consider going. Waco has some fine dining establishments, too (besides the obvious Fat Ho Burgers).

Here's the info on the invitation I designed (yes, I mainly posted this so I could show off my invitation. What of it?).

Monday, September 19, 2011

New office

We moved offices at the beginning of the month from a temporary one to a really nice, professional one. Before, while we waited for the new one to be ready, we were sitting at tables with blank white walls all around and we had to go two floors up to use the kitchen. Now we have a sweet new space with a huge kitchen/eating area, ping-pong table, couches and legit desks. I don't even have to go to the coffee bar in the tunnels where the lady knew my order anymore because we have a nice single-cup coffee maker.

Here's how my professional desk is looking.

It makes me look like an adult, right? The frame just has a little print I whipped up that I thought would be motivating (and slightly cheesy)/look nice.