oh, hey.

I've been annoyed recently at my lack of ideas for posting. And not because I have 1,000 followers anxiously awaiting my posts or because I have a contract or anything...I'm seriously bugged at how I seem to have run out of things to post besides an occasional recipe, a link and a project or two.

I have run out of stories and we don't do anything really adventurous lately.

I will have to ponder on what else I can blog about, because I do like blogging. Even as the third-year-since-we-met approaches, I realize I already shared all those juicy details. Ok, they are not that juicy.

Maybe I'll dig out some journals that I went through and find something to post about. I don't know. Bleh. Any ideas?

And today for a snack I am eating a banana with some peanut butter (I wanted something more substantial than just a banana) and realize that at various points in my life I have eaten plain spoonfuls of peanut butter, frosting, brown sugar (for hiccups) and probably some cream cheese with a little bit of salsa. Well, and ice cream, but every body does that.

hmm. anyone want to admit to something similar?

happy monday.

ho-hum.

Not much as been going on this week, hence the lack of posting. I didn't really have anything to post about. I did most my sewing over the weekend and the one new recipe I tried wasn't that great. We watched the worst move ever (dinner for schmucks. it was a disaster! a bummer, since we love steve carrel (though he was the best part).)

Here are two bags I took to the Post Office to mail. Fun.


Our living room floor is covered in boxes of books and flyers, mailers, labels and folders. A busy week at work, which is great. Dave taught me all about holograms yesterday (and I told him, hey, if you can get me to understand them, your class will be a breeze).

I also ordered a new computer battery and I hope it works ok. Though, at this point, my computer lasts approximately 3 minutes without being plugged in...so...I'm pretty sure it's a step up. Any way, remember those awesome pillows? Here is my first stab at it. A little crooked (of course, but I take it over unpicking almost any day), but I like it.



It's not like I love Valentine's Day or anything and I don't want to acquire a bunch of seasonal
decorations, but I made this little LOVE statue-esque pillow inspired by this. It's not even pink. Plus, our bookshelf is a little lacking these days.


These are some fun S&P shakers I found at DI for .75. They are our only pair that isn't magnetic or snowmen. They aren't even full, actually, so more like decoration. And they are pink, so...seasonally appropriate, no?


We're glad it's the weekend and hope you enjoy yours!

chocolate cupcakes


I made these this weekend for a few get-togethers with friends. I've never made them before and was pleasantly surprised. They were thick, dense and delicious! I paired the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. (picture and recipe from martha)

Makes 12

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then frost as desired.

this week's list

This week I had two things on my list, but only did one due to indecision. And laziness. Oh well, I have a whole weekend ahead of me. But what I did finish was a zippered pouch that I put my make up in. (a step-up from the cup I used.) I used this tutorial.



I think I'll make some more this weekend.


maybe this will help



We're still working on exercising every day, though we've done pretty well so far. We want to play racquetball a few times a week and do other cardio/weight workouts other days. Yesterday we did Jillian Michael's yoga and we made it through (with extremely sore shoulders). It went better than last time, though.


I also like these pillows. They are found here.


I might have to try something like this. They are kind of fun.

on being grown up, classy and other things

I think I'm adjusting to post-college life quite nicely. Better than expected, even. I thought I may miss learning (not that you can only learn in college, of course) or great teachers...but I don't. So far, not one bit.

I love not going to school.

There, I said it.

No homework, no annoying classmates, no tests, no nothing. I loooove it.

Some nights I'm bored, but that is my own fault. The whole world is open to me now that I don't have homework, etc. but sometimes I just don't do anything. But guess what? That's ok too.

This is probably one of the last times I'll have so much free time. I'm trying to be productive, but I also just am going to roll around in it. I sometimes feel stuck (similar to when I felt stuck in school) in this middle-of-the-road situation and wish that future plans could happen sooner rather than later, but we have talked the future to death, so right now, it is what it is, and some things just have to wait.

My job is going great. It's super flexible and I am so glad to have it. I have clients. I mean, if that isn't grown up and classy, I don't know what is.

Dry cleaning. That is classy. Today, I picked up our dry cleaning. ha! dry cleaning. I've always thought of dry cleaning as something sophisticated people do.

The reality is I've never dry cleaned anything but formal dresses before. So really, you can't call us classy but more like disgusting, as we finally got Dave's church clothes cleaned (I have no idea the last time they were cleaned) and one of my coats (not even my DC clothes. Is that gross or what? I still have parts of the DC metro in my closet.) dry cleaned. But clean is clean, and I used the hook in our car.

So yeah, I felt classy. And grown-up.


pantone cookies


I love these cookies. If I made them, I would most likely have to make up colors/numbers because I have little-to-no expertise in this matter.

found here via here

world maps

I've had to memorize the world at least twice in my life and I think it would be fun to have world maps in our house some where.


I like this decal (and the blue wall!).


I think that this one is my favorite*. I love the canvas look and the color.


I like this pillow from Ikea. (heh, katie -- thanks)
(picture)



I also like this pillow, probably without the 'metro'. I think this would be pretty easy to recreate (and by easy I mean not-so-easy to cut out the world).



*today I have gone mega-crazy. I remember reading a blog post about someone making this/painting this on their wall. I've spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find the post. I can't remember who posted it, but I can see the post in my mind! This happened yesterday with a different post. It's driving me crazy. So, if you have seen a post like this, please let me know. I obviously read too many blogs and like too many things.

Well, it was bound to happen sometime soon.

Yesterday, I tried making zucchini bread. Why not, I thought, try to add more vegetables to our lives? It was a simple enough recipe and I'm 99.9% sure I followed it to a T. When the timer went off, the top looked a little underdone, so I left it in a bit longer. Then I decided to go with it, and inverted it onto the cooling rack.

Or at least, I tried to. Instead, its guts came out.



No matter, I thought, I'll just put what's left back in and see if that will finish baking! When I tried to dump that out, more guts came out. I was left with a soupy, gooey mess that smelled like fish food.



Where is the end of the loaf? Who knows.



Who knows.

Ok. It was stuck in the pan. Also, the cooked part (i.e. the crust) was pretty good, but not worth saving.

Maybe cancel those dinner plans, eh?

the good, the bad and the ugly

our recent food adventures:

A few weeks ago we were at Costco and I saw a pack of veggieburgers. I asked Dave if he'd ever try them and he said "sure, if they were good". So we bought some. The verdict? DELICIOUS. We were so pleasantly surprised. I made some homemade fries and it was a great meal without the heavy i-just-had-a-juicy-burger feeling. (not that we don't love a juicy burger)

I realize this might surprise some of you, given our history with trying "other" types of meat.



I also made some white bean chicken chili and it was delicious, as usual. Since we just warmed it up on the stove, the beans were still kind of hard. We thought we'd let what was left simmer while we watched t.v. Not a good idea. Our house smelled like burnt salsa and it was gross.

note to self: always have awesome pans. (it came right out!)



When we were in Portland for Christmas we had some delicious flat bread at Olive Garden. I tried recreating it. It wasn't quite as good (but I didn't have everything for it) but it was still yummy.



We also tried this recipe for tilapia and this recipe for pulled pork bbq sandwiches (though we don't own liquid smoke...?)

What's on my list to try next? This chicken tortilla soup, pw's twiced baked potatoes and spike's mac and cheese (a la our favorite cookbook- good stuff)


(photo from pioneer woman)


What do you think? You coming over for dinner?

project checklist

Earlier this week, in an attempt to help me not be so lazy during the evenings, I made a small list of the projects I wanted to finish during the week. It really helped me do something than sit on our bed at watch t.v. (not that I do that a lot...). I think I'll do this every week.

This week I wanted to

1. Finish a cowl I was making
2. Make magnets from an old bracelet
3. Make garland
4. Finish the baby stuff that I've had half-finished for a year (not for any particular person, it's just extra)

The white cowl is the one I finished this week; the blue one is from earlier this month


I was going through my jewelry and found this bracelet. I don't wear it anymore... but cute magnets, eh?


Dave says that they look like spider webs, but they turned out pretty good. I'm not sure if they'll stay there, but they are colorful, at least.


And here are the cute baby things I finished.

The best cookie of 1935


Ok. So they are just chocolate chip cookies but...they are still pretty good.

1/3 c. shortening
1/3 c. butter (I used butter because it rocks)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Mix shortening, sugars and egg. Add vanilla. Stir dry ingredients and blend into shortening mixture until well-blended. Add chocolate chips. Drop tbsp-fulls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly.

UPDATE: try refrigerating the dough (or some of it) for a day or two. It makes a fantastic cookie.  

You should also try freezing a log of dough for later. Works great!

flower garland



We all know that I love garlands. I really like this flower one. I'm thinking I'll have to make one to add some color to our white cinder-block walls.

box number two

This is after the first box and in the middle of the second box.



Thanks for all the comments on the journals. I'm not going to throw them away and maybe I'll go through them and find some juicy entries to post here.

Box number two had some more interesting things: old teeth molds (dave: seriously?!), a few old stuffed animals, mexican soda bottles, yearbooks, graduation cards, shopping bags that I brought back from mexico (what the....), my keychain collection, notes from girlfriends in high school, old love notes (hmm...weird), class schedules, my postcard collection (which I still keep up with), foreign money and some safety pins.

All in all, two packed boxes are now condensed into one box with some room left over. I also made 11 dollars plus a trax token and some various foreign amounts. And we now have more space to store things. Woo!

Here is my pile of things to scan. Cards, letters, certificates, art (seriously, I'm proud of my 12th grade art), random tokens from my teenage years...



Sometimes it's hard to let go. It's fun to reflect on the past and what a great time I've had growing up. And it's good to know that I can still have memories and pictures even if I don't keep everything.

But there are many years ahead with more memories to make and things to keep.

box number one

I have two huge blue bins that hold everything I've kept before college. I have wanted to go through the boxes for a while..and now I have some time to do it.

Man, I kept a lot of stuff. I'm not a pack rat, exactly, but I do like to keep things. As I've gone through one of the boxes, of course, some things don't mean anything to me anymore like they did when I was 13.

Wondering what I found in just one of my boxes?

Old school papers, artwork (mostly from 12th grade), awards and certificates, so many letters and cards, a million pictures, my pencil collection (oh, yeah...I had a pencil collection), programs, old negatives from my 8th grade film class, poi balls from 6th grade dance, science fair trophies, every ribbon I ever won, sand from mexico, my state quarter collection (and now I'm thinking I'm rich!)....

so many things that have all meant something to me but now...I am not sure what to do. I mean, most of this stuff is useless and sits in a blue box in the back closet and we've had to move it 39509 times already...but looking through everything has brought back good memories.

I have a huge pile of things to scan (that's the most practical thing...because I don't even want most of the hard copies, but I want some record of them which is why I've kept them) and a garbage pile...but there are somethings in between.

Journals. I have a million. And what to do with them? I would never want anyone, not even my great great great grandchildren, reading my stupid and love-struck thoughts. Especially as I entered into dating years. I don't even want to read those ones, and you can bet Dave doesn't want to...nor do I want my children reading them (heh)...so what to do? I mean, the journals are parts of me and a record of my adolescence, but if I don't want anyone to ever (ever) read them, what's the point?

I know we like to read journals from pioneers and past journals are useful for writing historical fiction, but trust me. Not happening.

Have you have the same problem? What have you done/want to do/think I should do? I don't really want to throw them away (and so I probably won't)...but thoughts?

Thoughts on any of the old things we drag around because at one point they meant something and were a part of us?

merry christmas to me



I just wanted to warn you. You may recognize this shirt, though remember a lighter blue. That is because I wore it almost every weekend in DC. When I was doing some post-Christmas shopping, I found that Forever 21 still had them. I love the navy/gray combo. I may have to collect all the colors and that's all you'll see me wear.

I also grabbed these earrings for 1.50 (!) and found some other great buys .

So thanks, mom and dad 2, for these great additions to my wardrobe!

birthday bash











Last Thursday was Calvin's birthday. It's crazy to think he's a year! We had dinner and cupcakes and had fun watching Calvin and two of his cousins playing around. He wasn't really into the cupcake (I think it had to do with everyone watching him...so much pressure for a little guy) but liked his toys. He's getting so big and fun to play with. We had a lot of fun playing with him in church. He's so smart and pretty fun to play with. I'm sure when we have kids we'll never pay attention.

hummus



ok, I know these pictures are ridiculous, but it's what I've got. besides, ya'll know what hummus looks like. I've wanted to try making hummus for awhile (since the summer when TJ's had some to die for) but all the recipes I've looked at called for tahini, whatever that is. I've never found any and I've yet to hit up an asian market. anyway, I found this one in the big red cookbook and went for it. Dave made it, actually, and it turned out delicious.

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and liquid reserved
1/2 c sesame seed (funny story. tahini is sesame seed paste) (we didn't use any/couldn't find any/dave thinks they are gross)
1 clove garlic, cut in half
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
chopped fresh parsley (meh, we didn't have any)

place reserved bean liquid, sesame seeds and garlic in blender. blend on high speed until mixed. add beans, lemon juice and salt. blend on high speed, stopping and scraping sides occasionally, until uniform consistency.

ours was a little liquid-y but still tasted great. I bet you can add garlic, peppers, etc to create a delicious hummus.

easy fruit dip



I was looking for a fruit dip that didn't involve cream cheese because we didn't have any. I had forgotten to find a recipe before we went to the store, and alas, having just returned from vacation, we had hardly anything in the fridge. What we did have was whipping cream. I could have whipped it up, but I thought I'd try and find a recipe instead. What I did find was a recipe using sour cream (and I remember having a crazy roommate who dipped her strawberries in sour cream....kristen...) so, I thought I'd try it out. I thought it turned out pretty well, and was sweet enough but not overpowering.

1 c sour cream
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

mix together and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour (a la pioneer woman...we're letting the flavors marry). anyway, we served it with bananas, pineapples and apples. recipe via

Hot Artichoke/Spinach Dip

Ok. All the food I made for our party is on this table. I just used an effect on picasa to single out the foods one at a time...so you don't get distracted. Anyway--



hot artichoke (and spinach) dip

1/2 c mayonnaise or salad dressing (one cup if making AS dip)
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese (one cup if making AS dip)
4 medium green onion, chopped
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
*if making with spinach, 1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

preheat oven to 350. mix mayo and cheese. stir in onions and artichoke hearts. (add spinach) spoon into one quart casserole (eh, I used two). cover and bake 20-25 minutes (oops...I didn't cover it). serve with crackers or french bread.

if you don't want to go to the trouble, just go to costco and buy their dip. it's also delicious.

recipe from betty crocker's cookbook bridal edition aka big red cookbook

I'm a big kid now.

So...guess what? I got a job.

I'm a wellsteps guide for wellsteps, a worksite wellness company. I haven't blogged about it because at first, it was a hope and a prayer and when I started interviewing, it was a long shot and then when it seemed real I didn't want to jinx it.

I know that sometimes we talk about how God doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we want and when we would like and that there is always a bigger plan....

but sometimes, our prayers are answered how we want and right when we need. And maybe that just means you're doing okay because all the plans line up...but for whatever reason, we are very grateful.

I'm excited about this job. I mean, I'm scared out of my mind (just a little) but I feel very lucky to be working in my actual field at a position that is a specific of my field I've always been interested in.

My first day was today and it went pretty well. It's weird that I'm not going back to school and I have an actual full-time job. We may not have everything figured out but for now, things are going well and we are looking forward to a great semester.

I wonder how long until I stop measuring my life in semesters.

just call me suga momma.

it's party time





On new year's day eve we invited some friends over and had a little party. I tried my hand at some appetizers and (at least to me) they turned out great! We ate, played games and had a great time.

For Christmas we got an office trivia game (commence eye roll) and it's pretty fun. It's very intensive. People had a lot of fun making that game, and it's spot on. We loved it.

We love having great friends and had a lot of fun. Hopefully we can do it again soon.

Since we can only seat eight people at our house, we couldn't invite everyone. Don't worry. This week, I'll be posting recipes for spinach/artichoke/parmesan dip, mexican dip, hummus and fruit dip. oh, and a great and easy punch.
(so don't go out and google them because that would ruin all the fun)


also, with some Christmas money I bought the mini latte bowls from anthropologie. I love them so much. Perfect for dip, skittles, single servings and prep. I may have to buy some more.

new years





one of my family's best tradition is our new year's eve fondue. we fondue meats, have delicious appetizers and this year, we tried a chocolate fondue. delicious.

as Evan said "it's like all the food you wish you could eat every day".

after eating, we spent an hour trying to decide on a movie and ended up eating more food and watching horrible performers in times square. we counted down, popped crackers and toasted in the new year.
hope you had a delicious new years!