Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mishmash moments: Long weekend activities.

With such a long weekend many things happened! I am trying to figure out how to post about everything. The posts are coming out of order. So just relax about it. For now I will post a mishmash. (As I wait for my sister to send the Thanksgiving photos…hint hint) I need to post a brunch review from this weekend too. Jeez! Too much stuff! I guess it is a good problem to have.

The Mish:
On Saturday I went wine tasting with my friend Caitlin’s family. We headed out to Dayton and went to some fantastic wineries. I love that the NW has wine country. Who doesn’t want to be known for something as classy as wine!? Fine by me! It was a lot of fun. I have been friends with Caitlin since middle school. That being said, I am very comfortable with her family… and they expect my crazy. I really appreciate relationships like that. Super lucky! It was a lot of fun and tasting the just bottled new releases made us feel extra important.

Domaine Serene

Red Ridge (They had snacks!)

The Mash:
Libby and I also made Christmas happen in our apartment! We got home from brunch on Sunday and it just needed to be festive! We had gone to see the tree downtown the night before and it really felt like Christmas time was here. Libby and Chris quickly organized a romantic tree cutting date to Sleighbells. Later Libby and I trimmed the tree with our hodgepodge of ornaments and proceeded to watch TV in our reindeer antlers. Yes, we sat there for at least two hours in our reindeer antlers whilst watching Kardash. I have a feeling I will be glued to this season of Kourtney and Kim Take NY… mostly to watch the marriage fall apart. So gross and depressing of me.

I love Christmas in PDX!

Please ignore our demon eyes.
Our tree is almost as big and fancy as the tree downtown! 

Sorry about the crappy iPhone pictures.

Happy kickoff to the holiday season! I need to watch Home Alone soon…

Monday, November 28, 2011

Founders and feathers! This is delicious!

Every Thanksgiving I make the pumpkin pie. My grandma has been trying to teach me how to make pie crust for a number of years but I still have not been able to master it. She can just feel when it is right! How does she do that?! On a few occasions she has tried to teach me, more often than not a some dough ended up down the disposal. So our solution is that she brings the pie crusts with her and I make the filling. It has been working out and our dessert is always a delicious team effort!

Over the years I have used multiple recipes and I started to combine them. Next year I will probably go back to a different method. But no matter what recipe you follow or whether you use heavy cream, half and half, whole milk or (cringe)…evaporated milk… (please don’t use evaporated milk), follow these additional directions and your pie will go from “great pie” to “holy founders and feathers! This is delicious!”

These are my two tips for a fabulous pumpkin pie.

1.) Spice it up!
I use a recipe from a cookbook, but I have written in the spices to use. I took them from my friend Tracy’s recipe.

From The Best Recipe cookbook (plus my notes)
Just replace your recipes spice directions with these!
For one 9” pie:
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp lemon zest
½ tsp salt

2.) Process it!
Want really smooth pumpkin pie?! Toss your complete filling into the food processor. It will make it extra smooth and take out any left over "can taste" or lumps from the pumpkin filling. Then proceed to pour the processed filling into your blind-baked shell. Bake and Bon app├ętit! 

I know Thanksgiving already happened and that most of you aren't going to be making pumpkin pie. Just remember it for next year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I will only be thankful if I can also have a feast.

Just kidding! We really need to practice giving thanks daily. I try… I really do!... even though I may not always succeed. It is easy to get a battitude (bad attitude) during the season of darkness here in the NW. You know… the darkness and rain that we will get for the next 9 months.

We have a ton to be thankful for and it is nice to get an annual reminder. We get to celebrate the pilgrims bringing smallpox and bland food to the Indians (who were totally fine with their maize btw). You know, to break bread before ultimately forcing them off of their land.

I love the true origin of thanksgiving (the Bible. dur). Fun fact: The pilgrims and other settlers regularly practiced gatherings and feasts of thanksgiving, thanking the Lord for their blessings.

Anne shared these wise words on her blog today and I love it! I think I will be putting this on my bulletin board at work:

I usually do the Thanksgiving feast twice. For the past few years my friends have been doing what we have lovingly coined “Kid Thanksgiving.” Most people call it Friendsgiving or something else of that sort. We called it Kid Thanksgiving in college and it just stuck. Deep down I think we still don’t want to admit that we are adults.

We all end up going home for the real Thanksgiving to celebrate with our families, but we love each other like family and want to celebrate together too! Our crowd is dwindling though… stupid friends keep moving to Seattle. Stupid Seattle taking all my friends like that! Rude.

We still had 7 people though. I consider that a nice full table. I have now officially made four turkeys in my life. I think I am getting the hang of it! I still remember that first turkey though, the excitement that it actually turned out and didn’t catch fire ala Tim Allen’s in The Santa Claus. There is always pure turkey joy and relief when it comes out of the oven intact.

My favorite Thanksgiving dish is green bean casserole. Probably because it is the worst one for you... 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mishmash moments

So here is a mishmash of moments that I neglected to blog about. Maybe this will be a series?... Only time will tell. 

The Mish:
I forgot to follow up about the cell phone case. Well, it arrived and it is ADORABLE! Not the most protective or sturdy of cases. But it is really cute. It does make me wonder though… My last cell phone case was broken in three different places and an entire chunk was missing from the side. Say I didn’t have the case... Does this mean that my phone would have been cracked in three places? With a chunk missing!? Hmmm. That is a thought to ponder. Well, I hope things go okay with this new adorbs case. I will just be extra careful.

The Mash:
I am sort of a brunette! Not really. But I did color my hair a much darker shade than my usual dirty blonde with lightish highlights. It is now a lovely brown color. I quite like it. If we are being honest... I really love it! I just feel kind of lame declaring love for my new hair color. Plus my bangs are a nice length of grown out. Things are really working for me in the land of the hair do.

Note: New phone case and brown hair. Also, this was Treat Yo Self day. Vino was necessary! 

The Moments:
Marina was birthed 25 years ago. To celebrate our favvy c-section baby we dressed up! Here are some of my favorite shots of the evening:

Marina is the elderly woman in the tan dress.

This one is my favorite! 
I hope you all have good short work weeks! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Demi divorces Ashton because of bad Twitter manners.

Just kidding! They are divorcing due to being a weird marriage in the first place. I mean, didn't we all know it wouldn't work out when he wore a hat during their wedding ceremony? It would have made sense if it was a 20s themed wedding. Although, by the look of her dress, Demi thought the wedding had a late 90s theme. 

I don't feel moved by any of the clothing choices in this photo...

In reality, I am a little sad. He is funny and it looked like they had a fun marriage. He has struggled a bit in the media lately though… the bad Penn State tweets and all. Looks like he was uninformed on current events because he was dealing with his failing marriage. That is fine with me! Work on your marriage before you watch the news.

Maybe they are staying together and we are all just being Punk’d?...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Uhhhh Eeeer… Okaay…

Apparently I am one of those people with crazy requests when it comes to ordering food. I mean… I’m nothing like Sally...

But I do always seem to have a “with extra” or a “can I get a side of?” with my orders. I just happen to know what I like! Well, that is not the point of this post. I just wanted to give you some background.

My recent absurd request is happening at Starbucks and it involves breakfast sandwiches. So, I really like the veggie breakfast sandwich. It. Is. Delicious. BUT when they put the heated up sandwich in the white to-go bag it gets ruined! Well, that may be an exaggeration… not ruined, but at least compromised. The awesome cheese always sticks to the bag!

As a cheese lover (my fav food is cheese) I am not willing to sacrifice the cheese to that evil paper to-go receptacle.  Therefore, I use my hands to eat said cheese. And in honor of full disclosure…  I then need to lick my fingers, which is gross! I probably have hair product on my hands, I opened the door to Starbucks, probably tried to contribute to the community crossword puzzle etc. Just germy and nasty.

If you haven’t had to leave due to feeling ill, here is the “uhhh… errr” moment. Because of the cheese+bag situation, I now ask that they gently place the sandwich in the bag. Sometimes, if they think I’m funny, I even ask them to carry it on its side. (Ha! I am just now realizing how insane this sounds!) I try to be funny about it and joke about how I love cheese. Maybe tell an “I’m a lick the bowl kind of person” anecdote. But every time, without fail, I get a blank stare.  “uhhh… errr... Okay?.. I guess we can do that for you!” Followed by a smile, as they try to save face with some good customer service. 

Evil to-go bag.

I think this breakfast sandwich issue goes beyond my love of cheese. I think it also has to do with really not wanting greasy hands in the car.  I don’t like to eat in the car. I can thank my dad for that one. It isn’t about the safety issue with driving and eating… it is 100% about the crumbs and grease. Thank you Spencer. Because of my father, not eating in the car is completely logical to me. Grease causes stains! Duh. Shouldn’t we try to keep our cars in the best shape possible in order to preserve the value? This would mean avoiding the food+car combination. As I type this I am beginning to loathe myself…

Anywho, I am constantly confronted by blank stares per my ridiculous requests. Am I the only one who experiences this!? I swear everyone else is crazy and I am the only sane one. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Truth #5: God will take me places I could never imagine.

Today I took the day off and it is just amazing. I decided it was a less extravagant "treat yo self" day.

Tom Haverford has taught me so many important things! Haha! No but seriously. Other than the fact that Parks and Rec is hilar and that today won’t include the purchase of any fine leather goods… I am taking a mental health day and it feels great! Some of the highlights so far have been 1) a salted caramel mocha from Starbucks and 2) some much needed morning reading time.

My friend Cameron and I are reading a book by Susanna Foth Aughtmon. It is called My Bangs Look Good & Other Lies I Tell Myself: The Tired Supergirl’s Search for Truth. You are probably thinking that this book sounds cray-zay. BUT it is wonderful. The author is downright HIGHlarious. I am constantly giggling while reading about ways to grow in my relationship with God. This is a rare find and I highly recommend it.

Her book is separated by short chapters. Each chapter is about a different lie and throughout the chapter she dispels the lie with truth! For example, I was on Lie 5: God will ask me to do things I don’t want to do. While I was reading I had to stop abruptly and share. I am sure we are all aware of what it means to trust God. Easier said than done… am I right!? Well, the way Susanna puts it inspired me to write this post.

One of my fears in following Christ is the idea that I will turn into my worst nightmare. The un-relatable “religious woman.” You know what I’m talking about right? The type who is not in touch with reality anymore (think Michelle Duggar). Well, Susanna pin points that perfectly as she continues on with some Bible truth to back it up. Not only that, but she is an awesome knowledgeable Christian woman, who also happens to be keepin’ it real.

The lie that I keep believing goes something like this: “Did you know that if you follow God, you will become the most boring, overly spiritual person in the universe? None of your friends will come to your birthday party. You will be that boring.” (Pg. 52) How ridiculous is that!? BUT it is seriously an issue I have. (Not so much the birthday part, but isn’t she a hilarious writer?) The question is this, why is my silly fear holding me back from trusting God? Probably because we only ever want to trust God’s will on our own terms. Yes friends, we all have personal agendas… and as a “planner”/ type A person; I am one of the worst offenders.

Susanna puts it like this:
“We will absolutely do his will, as long as it doesn’t involve public speaking or socially awkward situations. We are perfectly willing to follow God to the ends of the earth, as long as they have a salon specializing in therapeutic massage and a year’s supply of People magazine there. You know, as long as we can stay comfortable.” (Pg. 52) This is what gets us. This is where evil comes in and takes advantage of our fears and the lies.

In Mark 1:16-18 Simon and Andrew just up and leave their job! Jesus says “follow me” and they do! It is their job to fish. It is their living and they just leave. You hear that verse and it seems so simple, but somehow it becomes complicated. Can you imagine just walking away from something as huge as your livelihood? Well, people do it. People hear God calling them to something else and they obey. It shouldn’t be that big of a concept, but somehow it is.

Here is the truth: God promises that he will never leave us. He also promises that we will be changed forever. I know that the minute I step out and trust God is the same minute that I will be overcome with comfort and joy. So what is holding me back? Truth #5: God will take me places I could never imagine. That is what happens when we trust and follow. God gives us more and takes us to amazing places that we can’t even comprehend.

Well, that is my long drawn out thought of the day. I really recommend this book. It is enjoyable and sparks some great thought processes. On a completely opposite note, I also recommend that you watch Parks and Rec.

Have a fabulous Tuesday!

Ps. I know I cited everything incorrectly… MLA APA? Crap. How many years has it been since I graduated?

Friday, November 11, 2011

You’ve got mail… Not!

I am currently having snail mail issues. Or maybe it is apartment building issues… who knows.

My iPhone case has been broken for a while. Broken to the point of scratching my ear when I talk on the phone. Especially in the car when I am trying to hide the phone behind my hair. (Super sketch… I know. Don’t judge, my blue tooth is perpetually dead). I super-glued the case in three places, which extended its life for a couple months… but it has fallen apart again. There is a large chunk missing from the top right hand corner.

Clearly in need of a new case, I was stoked when Olga posted about these adorbs ones from soceity6!I ordered this one:

Cute new iPhone outfit! 

Cute right?! I think so too. Unfortunately, I have not received it. It was apparently shipped on 11/3 and has already arrived…

These are my current options:

Option one: Wait and see if it shows up at my door because someone else in my building got it in their mailbox. Unfortunately this is a common problem in our building. Apparently, USPS struggles with all of the mailboxes in one place like that. Our neighbor (literally one unit number different) has the same first name as my roommate. We frequently get her mail. Probably annoying for her, because we don’t check our mail that often and sometimes we have her Netflix envelopes… oops. For the past couple of weeks I have been checking the mail like a mad woman! The mail man probably thinks something is wrong.

Option two: Contact USPS and Soceity 6. I already emailed Soceity 6 when I was annoyed that it wasn’t here. Then I later checked my tracking number (probably did that in the wrong order) and it was apparently here! Lies! Now I need to contact USPS. But what would they really do? “Uh, we delivered it”… the end? What if I was a liar? What can they possibly do for me? I guess I will call anyway. But obvs not today… Veterans Day.

I could just take off the broken case in the mean time. I just really don’t want to take that risk and damage my phone while it is exposed to the elements like that. I guess I will just wait for the new one (even if it means re-ordering).

Thanks for talking me through this one guys. Haha! 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Brunch in Bridgetown: Salty’s on the Columbia

For Lauren’s birthday we went to Salty’s. Ahh Salty’s. How I love thee.

The thing about Salty’s is that you need a reason to go there. It is not only expensive, but if you ate that much for no reason it would feel wrong. Just wrong. I left there feeling so incredibly full. It wasn’t like holiday full. I don’t even go all out on Thanksgiving or Christmas like I do at Salty’s. I think it is because you are 1) consuming obscene amounts of champagne and 2) because you are acutely aware of the cost/ you are desperately trying to get your moneys worth.

Salty’s is SO GOOD. We went back at least 4 or 5 times. Our courses were as follows:
1. Mounding plates of crab legs
2. Mounding plates of crab legs, made to order crepes
3. Salmon, clams, Benedicts, prime rib
4. More crab legs, clams, mac and cheese, salads
5. Desserts

Don’t forget that there are bottomless mimosas/ champy during the entire meal. There was no better way to celebrate the kick-off of Lauren’s 24th year!

Birthday Girl! 

In line for crepes

Check out that pile of crab meat! I am a long term investor when it comes to cracking crab. Everyone else was all about instant gratification. 

Pretty lady and a clean plate! 

Too hard to eat... but it looked good on Cam's plate! Plus the eyes freak me out. 

Our server kept clearing our spots and removing the shell bowl…. Until we came back and he would awkwardly say, “Oh, I guess I’ll get you another shell bowl.” This happened a few times. He was especially surprised when we continued to eat crab after he had already brought us our hot towels. Haha! When there are endless crab legs what are you supposed to do about it!? I am practically a pro when it comes to getting out claw meat. nbd.

Not only was the breakfast delish, but it was amazing to be with my people. There was a lot of laughter. The kind where you laugh until it hurts. I really love that. 


Very full! Nap time. 

Salty’s only serves brunch on Sunday and they fill up fast, so make sure to call for a reservation. (Make sure you call the right one… they are a chain) Also, buffet food isn’t that good no matter where you are. Really take advantage of the crab legs. It is the whole point. If you decide to go, just make sure you are really ready to eat! 

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Spooktacular Saturday.

So Saturday was the day we celebrated All Hallows Eve. We went to a par-tay that my friend Justin was a part of throwing. My only request was that I could do some dancing. My wish was granted. The party wasn’t the best part of the day though. I had a wonderful Saturday. I hung out with my mom during some gym time (we can’t get enough Zumba!) Then Marina and I wandered downtown for most of the afternoon. It was lovely. Somehow we ended up at Nordstrom… weird.

Below are some photos of the evening’s shenanigans. Guess who was in Portland on Saturday?
Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Leslie Knope, a human bumblebee, a lumberjack, Lt. Dangle (Reno 911) and pandas/ occupandas. (Did you know that 1% of pandas eat 99% of the bamboo on earth!?)

Ke$ha and Nicki

Nicki, Ke$ha and Panda

Leslie Knope was there! Straight from Pawnee! 

Logging is cool.

Vote Knope 2012. She befriends bees.

The law will win. Just ask Lindsay Lohan.

On the real Halloween I went to my parent’s house for our chili tradition. Every Halloween (as far as I can remember) we have had chili and cornbread. I know there were a few Halloweens when I was away at school. But still, without fail, I’m sure my parents had chili. Growing up, all of the parents and kids would come over for dinner. Then the Dads would take us out trick-or-treating. Wasn't it the worst when your Mom would make you wear tights with your costume? You know, due to her concern for your health in the cold… what was that!? OR even more horrific… she would make you wear a coat. Yuck! I mean, I understand why but it ruined the costume!

Anywho, Anne (our newest sibling), came over too. She is abandoning us in two weeks to move to Austin… so apparently she is just temporarily in our family. This makes me very sad. I am currently trying to confirm that our craziness didn't drive her to apply for a job in Austin.

Brandon, my brother in law, was in charge of passing out candy to the kiddos. He gave giant handfuls to every kid that came to the door. He claims that is was so there wouldn’t be candy left for us to eat. BUT I think he was subconsciously retrieving memories of his own chubby childhood by channeling the joy he would have felt with a giant handful from one house. I’m on to you Brandon.

Here are the photos from Monday!

My cute parents!!

Pumpkins and Sunflowers... and Brandon photo bombing.

Sister and Brandon

I hope you all had awesomely spooky Halloweens!