Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!




I drew this little Christmas wish on Paper. Fun for non-artists (like me), and even more useful for illustrators and designers, I imagine. Check it out! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Desert island, blog edition

Sometimes when I am bored, I play a little game called desert island. You probably know what I am talking about. They played it on The Office. It's where you choose the top five movies, books, people that would accompany you if you happened to be stranded on a desert island. Anyway, this is the kind of game I really enjoy because overthinking things happens to be one of my greatest strengths.

Since I started working full time almost two years ago, my blog reading has dropped significantly. I used to maintain a giant list of my favorite blogs to read, but I barely have time to write my own blog posts, let alone read those of strangers. So I decided to narrow down my list to my top five, absolute must-read blogs*. Check them out!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas playlist

Yesterday I made a playlist for a work holiday party and decided to share it with you. Hopefully I will spend part of my weekend listening to this, curled up on my couch and reading Emma. Let me tell you, a Christmas break is so necessary right now. What are your weekend plans?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Some new, weird behavior (and a recipe!)

Daniel and I are tackling two challenges at once this week: only eating out once a week (that counts avoidable work lunches. WORK LUNCHES.) and working out five times a week. I'm fully committed to upholding my end of the bargin, but let's be honest: I ate out every single day a couple of weeks ago, and unless I am taking a dance or yoga class, gyms (and their loud-breathing weightlifters) kind of terrify me. These two goals are causing some abnormal behavior for me.

But I love working on my discipline, especially since this is an area of my life that could always improve. So tonight, after I went to the scary part of the gym (my workout included lifting five-pound weights. look out, Arnold!) I came home and made myself dinner. I really liked it, so I thought I would include a recipe below.

Rotini with a Bacon-Tomato Sauce
Makes two servings

Ingredients:
2 strips bacon (I used Applegate Organic Sunday Bacon)
1Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 medium size purple onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 oz. of parmesan, finely grated
2/3 cup pasta of your choice (I used tri-colored rotini)

Instructions:
1. Fill a pot with water and salt it. Bring it to boil for your pasta. Meanwhile, place two strips of bacon in a medium sized skillet and cook until crispy.
2. After bacon is fully cooked, remove and place on a paper napkin to absorb grease. Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving a trace amount in the pan (it gives the dish some bacon flavor!). Add coconut oil and saute onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent.
3. Add pasta to boiling water and cover, cooking until al dente.
4. Cover bottom of pan with milk, stirring and scraping the bottom to incorporate the bacon flavor. Add diced tomatoes and allow mixture to combine in the pan, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese, stirring until melted. I added a little more milk to thin out the sauce at this point.
6. Drain pasta and add to sauce, stirring to coat completely. Smash up the bacon and add to dish, and serve.

Notes: I would definitely recommend using a nonstick pan for the sauce. The bacon got a little sticky in my pan, which was hard to clean up even though I soaked it immediately. Also, I want to add more green to this. I'm a big fan of broccoli, so I might add that to this recipe next time to give it a little more variety.

It wasn't a gourmet meal by any means, but it definitely hit the spot for my bacon craving without being too over the top. Plus I have leftovers for my new "not eating out" thing. Yay, me!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Long live the reading nook

I know, I know, the physical copy of the written word is on its last legs. People buy digital now, and plus it takes up way less room and (some say) it is more eco-friendly. I am a product of the digital age, and I have my share of iPhones, iPads and Kindles.

But.

Deep in my heart, I know I will never be able to give up my physical books. Never. And I am not ashamed to admit that the opportunity to buy digital books hasn't curbed by appetite for new books, as my bank account can attest. Nothing can replicate the smell of an antique book or the feel of the pages when you flip through them for me. It's almost a spiritual experience, a common thread running from my earliest days until now.

I'm the kind of girl that will swoon at the sight of built-in bookshelves and oak-paneled libraries. A girl who loves a comfy chair with a book draped over the arm. And as I begin my adult life, I realize that those childhood memories of reading about girl detectives and life on the prairie represent something that is bigger than a novel that fits in your backpack and has a snug place on a crammed shelf. To me, it represents safety. and happiness. and tradition. and peace. When the world is crazy, I find consistency in my reading nook, the place where I can curl up with a cup of coffee and a book and cast my anchor against life's ups-and-downs. And you can bet that whenever I find a house to call my own, one of my first projects will be to create the perfect reading nook, where the tradition can continue.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Autumn

It is the best time of year--fall/autumn. And I don't want to waste a second of it. I am always so glad to have the cooler temperatures, the crisp air, the changing leaves... Fall is such a welcome relief after the long and hot days of summer. Here are a few things I want to do this year to make Autumn 2012 special. I would have added "Go the the State Fair," but that has already been checked off this year.... with one more potential trip to come. What can I say, I just love the ridiculousness of the OKSF. (Speaking of ridiculousness... give this news story a look.)



Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Reads

Here's what I am reading on this lovely, autumnal Monday. 
And here's a glimpse at my reading list when I am away from the Internet:
Cheers, and happy reading. Hope your Monday has been beautiful! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My vacation abroad: the Olympics

One of the biggest bucket list goals that I have accomplished so far is attending the summer Olympics. The. Summer. Olympics. Even a month later, I get all teary-eyed when I see the pictures of all that took place during the two week period. And it's even better knowing that I was there to experience a small part of it.

The back story: about six years ago, I started plotting this trip, and I jokingly asked my cousin, Cheyanne, if she wanted to join me. Chey was 10 at the time. So imagine my surprise when her grandmother agreed to let her go with me! It started coming together in 2011, when tickets went on sale and I bought some. No turning back at that point!

Fluffy clouds on our flight into London.
Oh, you know, just running into random friends on London streets.

Waiting in line to get our tickets.

Our first event--beach volleyball!


The men's teams from Canada and GB.

Our first view of Olympic Park and the torch.

It rained, in typical London fashion. 



We happened to meet some of the Team GB Basketball players. KD would have been better, but I can't complain!

If you go:
  • Consider purchasing tickets to semi-finals or finals matches. Even the cheap seats had good views. If I could do it again, I would shoot for tickets that take place closer to the medal ceremonies. Your chances of seeing someone from the USA will be a lot greater!
  • Buy tickets to something the host country is good at. The spirit of Team GB was fantastic, even though they lost both matches that we saw. I can only imagine if we had seen dressage or cycling or crew! 
  • Give yourself a day to catch up from jet lag. We had to hit the ground running, and I may or may not have dozed off at the beach volleyball. (At least I didn't fall asleep in the National Museum, like last time.)
  • Stay within walking distance to the major attractions. The Tube station got a little crowded, but we lucked out and could walk to Hyde Park, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and so on. 
All in all, I had a wonderful time, and I am already planning my next Olympic adventure. I've always wanted to go to South America! I think know I watched too many Betty Grable movies as a kid. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Home, sweet home.

I made it back to the USA safely, and although I am a little jet lagged (still!), I am very happy to be home.

I had an incredible trip and I can't wait to share photos, stories and lessons learned! Until I get all my pictures curated, I will leave you with what greeted me upon my arrival home. There is nothing quite as sweet as getting flowers at an airport. I am one lucky girl!



Oh, and also: Go Team USA! I still have Olympic fever until the torch is extinguished on August 12. I can't get enough!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vacation reading list

One of the best things about travelling long distances for vacation--whether by plane, train or automobile--is having a dedicated time to read. I fall so deeply into books that reading for 30-minute segments just doesn't do it for me. So a trans-Atlantic flight is the perfect excuse to read a new book. Thanks to recommendations from my friends (and a few purchases from my Amazon wishlist), here are a few titles I have settled on for my upcoming trip.

1. Barnheart by Jenna Woginrich




Yes, I am the weird girl that reads about homesteading and farms for fun. Call it my rural upbringing, but I love books that detail a simpler life in a modern world, and Woginrich's earlier work, Made from Scratch, was a beautiful look into the reality of living off of the land. I'm excited to see what new stories and revelations her latest book with entail.

2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin




I'm reading this at the recommendation of one of my co-workers, but it has been on my radar for a while. I don't have any past experience with the author, but the subject matter interests me. I always forget that the things you do (not just what happens to you) impact your mood and feelings. Hopefully this book will be a reminder to me to make proactive choices that lead to a happy life.

3. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett




I love the movies, but have never read the book. I think it might be a little more hard-boiled in tone than the book (there was already a pretty descriptive flashback with cannibalism involved in the first or second chapter... Myrna Loy would have never approved!), but I think it's worth a shot.

4. The Works of P.G. Wodehouse




I ran across some of Wodehouse's books at Full Circle a while ago, and they seemed like the exact type of fiction that I like--set in the early 20th Century, full of social commentary and tension between the rich and the wanna-be rich. Even better, because of copyright laws, a lot of his earlier works are very inexpensive in Kindle format.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

[Belated] summer project list

The other day a coworker and I were commenting on the blog of our friend Sommer, who somehow finds time to work and do a thousand other awesome things. When we both wondered how she does it, I jokingly said, "she probably doesn't spend as much time on Facebook as we do."

Later on that evening, the truth of that statement really hit me. I have pinned dozens of cool ideas, I have tons of goals and aspirations, and my bucket list isn't getting any shorter. Yet I spend time on Facebook liking the latest batch engagement photos instead of doing the stuff that I want to do in the first place.

So I decided to help myself change that bad habit. I made a list of the things I wanted to do this summer, and put them in one of my pretty blue mason jars. Anytime I am bored I won't have an excuse!

So here is to getting things done!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Monday!

I don't know about you, but Mondays never really bother me. I like the idea of a fresh start, a new to do list and a more chances to have fun and laugh a lot. Plus, any time I get the Monday blues I just throw on a cute dress and new lip gloss (like the new color of Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment... yes, please). It works wonders to lift my spirits, believe me.

I had a fantastic weekend, involving multiple trips to my favorite bookstore (my weakness), a few new records and the discovery of the ultimate antique store. But more on those later.

Instead, I will leave you with my current song obsession. We sang it in church the past two weeks and I can't get enough. I have decided it's the theme song of my current season. Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

images of my OKC (and a few of Idabel, too)

I'm instagram crazy these days since I returned to the land of iPhone users. Here's a taste of what I've been up to.