Monday, January 09, 2012

January: The month of the fake dieter.

Last week every annoying girl in America vowed that “the diet starts tomorrow.” Well, I am one of those annoying girls. No, it wasn't a resolution. This plan has been in the works for a while.

Basically, I am on the dieter bandwagon for the kick-off of the New Year. It has been one week and I am already totally over it, but my reasoning my surprise you. The crazy part is that I am not that bothered by the healthy eating. I enjoy trying new recipes and stuff! I don't care as much about what I am eating, just as long as I'm not hungry. It is simply the idea of dieting that has sent me into a slight downward spiral of self loathing… just for being someone “on a diet.”

I think the reason I feel this way is because I refuse to be the girl who goes out with her friends and says no to everything because she is on a diet. I am going to live my normal life and just try and make better choices. A vodka soda instead of a pint of beer etc. Yes, my example of a better choice was about alcohol… get off my back. Maybe this will also encourage me to try some new dishes at my standard restaurants. I usually go for the greasy fatty option. Hopefully now I will go for the fresh (yet still delicious) choice. I’ll try a seasonal veggie scramble and nix the Benedicts!

Stay tuned to see me cheat every time I go to brunch! Everyone deserves one cheat day right?

PS. So far I have lost zero lbs. Also, I will never be writing about this again. And I definitely won't be giving you updates. Gross.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Boys to Men

Boyz II Men, A B C, B B D

Here is a little bit of my perspective on the shortage of men, as well as some insight from Ms. Mindy Kaling.

Excerpt from Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Men know what they want. Men make concrete plans. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men tip generously. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men go to the dentist. Men make reservations. Men go in for the kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men know what they want.

Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys get haircuts from their roommate/friend, who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys can pack their whole life in a duffel bag and move to Brooklyn if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival.”- MK

Yes Mindy. I agree. It is the boys who simply do not know what they want, and if they do, they still aren’t able to articulate it. AND we always fall for them! What is that?!

So where are all of the men? They are on the way! They just haven’t grown up yet.

What spurred this thought? Well, Marina and I were driving home from Seattle and had both noticed that one of our good friends ordered an Americano at breakfast. I know this seems minuscule and not a big deal, but it seemed grown up! Yes, many of us commonly order an Americano at Starbucks, but he didn’t even like the taste of coffee when we were in college. It is kind of refreshing to see people you love and have known forever start changing from being boys to being men. Even if it is a gradual process and we see it in little stupid ways like a coffee order, I swear these guys are starting to take ownership over their lives in real ways too. I love it!

So don’t stress ladies. There will be a plethora of men before long. We just need to wait a little bit longer and give them time to get there!

I was just going to post the audio link to this… but then I watched the video. It is too hilarious not to post! Those outfits! Bahaha

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Hello 2012!

Happy 2012! Isn't this year just too crazy already? It is for me. Cheer season is in full swing. My girls are awesome and I am excited to spend my Saturdays for the next month and a half watching them perform the crap out of their routine.

For the holiday weekend I went to Seattle to spend some awesome quality time with the friends of mine who have relocated north since graduating. I am like the Michelle Duggar of friends who move to Seattle. 4 and counting…

Seattle was fantastic per usual. We got glittery for NYE and watched the fireworks from Cameron’s balcony. She seriously has the BEST view of the space needle. It was AMAZING! The rest of the weekend was filled with drinking, eating, going on walks, hanging out, cuddling and then some more eating.

Lindsay and Caitlin were ready to ring in the new year!

Grandma's coat finally got some wear. 

Marina is sassy.

Check out the view from Cameron's Balcony! Amazing.

Crazy eyes? Maybe they were smizing like Tyra.

Cameron and Justin kill it on the dance floor. 

Back to the apt for fireworks!! 

Happy 2012!

No New Years kiss this year. Crossing my fingers for 2013! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Alleged best post of 2011.

I know my blog is not even a year old… But one of my favorite things about the end of the year is the ridiculous number of lists and magazines that contain “The best of 2011.”

The best _______ of (insert year) is always attacking us during the week between Christmas and New Years. I think the reason for this is because people are too lazy during this week to be creative. OR they have decided to continue their Christmas slothiness by putting in minimal effort. I bet the lists were all completed before the holidays even hit!

You think of the list and it probably exists.
-          Best  celeb couples  of 2011
-          Best  movies  of 2011
-          Best  starlet crotch shots  of 2011.

Okay, sorry… that last one was vulgar. I bet it exists though!

Well, my “best” post of 2011 was about flirting. I don’t know if it was really the best, but it was the most popular. I don’t know if people Google “flirting tips” a lot or something… but this post got the most page views by a landslide.

Read it and decide for yourself. Is it “Best of 2011” worthy?

I know the text is small in the screen shot. So here is the original post: God made mud, God made dirt, God made boys so girls can flirt!

Happy New Year! Can’t wait to get glittery and kiss a stranger! (kidding!… kind of)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Denture warning: Salted Caramels

Every year since we were in high school my friend Caitlin and I have been doing what we lovingly call,  "Christmas cookie bake." We have some old standards for each year, but we also always have a wild card slot. Over the years we have done fudge, chocolate dipped pretzels, cut outs etc. This year our wild card cookie wasn’t a cookie at all. We made salted caramels. Candy is tricky to make, but I am happy to say that they turned out quite nicely.

Caitlin had done a trial run of the recipe the week before. They didn't turn out quite how she wanted. Which was good because we knew what to do and what not to do. We checked on a number of different recipes and blogs in order to get good advice and tricks to make sure our caramels would turn out just right!

With help and recipes from Brown Eyed Baker and advice from David Lebovitz for opinions and temperatures etc. we came up with our own manageable/ less fancy version. Plus we exchanged some ingredients for what we had in the pantry. Both recipes said to use light, but we only had dark corn syrup. BUT, Betty Crocker says to use dark corn syrup...Who are we to argue with Betty!? It worked for us!

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ tsp vanilla
1¼ teaspoon fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
1½ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup dark corn syrup
¼ cup water

Important tip: Be ready for the whole recipe before you start cooking. Once you begin you need to move quickly!

1. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, lightly butter parchment.

2. Bring cream, butter, vanilla and sea salt to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

3. Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved try not to stir too much. Just lightly stir occasionally to check the bottom of the pan for any hot spots. Remove from heat when the mixture reaches 310 degrees.

4. Immediately stir cream mixture into the caramel. The mixture will bubble up and make a noise. Don’t be alarmed! Return to the heat and let it simmer, stirring until caramel registers at 254 degrees. Getting to the high temp will take a while. Don’t get freaked out, the mixture cools off a lot when you add the cream. If you remove the candy too soon from the heat you will end up with caramel sauce for your ice cream. If you let it get too hot you will end up with hard sucking candies ala Werther’s. Both fine options… just not the desired result.

5. Pour immediately into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle more salt over the top of the caramel and let sit until cooled (at least 2 hours). Cut into pieces by heating the knife and wrap each piece in wax or parchment paper, twisting ends to close.

We used holiday parchment to wrap them! 
We originally thought they got too hot and were going to be hard to eat. We were wrong! They were great and gone by the end of the weekend. Thankfully no one in my family has dentures! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mishmash moments: Christmas wrap.

Here is the Christmas wrap up from our household!

The Mish: 
The long weekend started with my lovely friends. We went to Peacock Lane and it was awesomely old school.

Driving down Peacock Lane. 

I have always wanted a tacky light up nativity scene. I am so jealous of these people!
The Mash: 
This Christmas was so surprising! I feel unbelievably spoiled. Yes, I received a Clarisonic! Woohoo! Get ready for good skin. Once the Clarisonic was opened I was ready for breakfast and figured Christmas was about done. Boy was I wrong. My parents threw a major curve ball and surprised us with iPads! I was seriously speechless. It was such an incredibly unexpected gift. I feel like I don’t deserve such a nice gift. Seeing how excited my dad was to set it up with me and the fun we had trying to figure it out was awesome. I understand why they do these things; it is just hard for me to accept sometimes. It has only been a few days and I am already wondering how I lived without it. Haha! Thanks Mom and Dad! 

Clearly I have quickly become obsessed with my iPad. Did you know that if you subscribe to a magazine, you automatically have access to the tablet version? I did not. I am rapidly filling all my iPad storage space with downloaded magazines. Since I started this blog, I was carting my giant laptop everywhere. The iPad will make things so much easier. I will obviously still mostly write on my Laptop, but posting and reading etc. will be so much easier now! Not to mention books. I currently have 2 books and a journal in my purse. Talk about shoulder relief! I am so excited to join the tablet reader community.

Major technology overload:

Macbook pro, iPad, iPhone, iPod. Ridiculous. Apparently I'm a Mac...

The Moments:
This Christmas was a little different. It was the first Christmas without a very beloved grandparent and my sister and brother-in-law out of town spending Christmas with his family (we did our Christmas morning a day early). My mom worked really hard to get all of our traditions in. I kept thanking my parents for such a special Christmas, because it really was. As my parents read this, I hope you know how fantastic it was!

Yet, there was a void. My Grandma Sue had a huge personality and she was greatly missed. Plus, we were down two more on the day of (without Lindsey and Brandon). I know that the holidays will keep changing; it was just extra weird to have two big changes in one year.

Regardless of the changes this year, we had an amazing Christmas weekend. I got to spend some great quality time with family and friends, the food was awesome and most importantly, we remembered the reason for the season... Happy Birthday to Jesus! 

It was a very love filled holiday at our house!

Crab dinner

Sorry for the crap iPhone photos. I resolve to use my real camera in 2012. I hope you had fab celebrations too!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Leavenworth or bust!

This past weekend I traveled north to Seattle to meet up with a few of my fav ladies and we went over to Leavenworth, WA. It was a Bavarian wonderland!

You may be wondering the same things I was: Why is it called Bavarian? It looks pretty dang German to me! What the H is Bavaria?

Well, let me tell you! It is a region of southeastern Germany. But from what I observed in Leavenworth’s version, there is also a little bit of Scandinavian tradition hanging around. I don’t know if my family is confused or if the Bavarian village is confused. Really, I just think the shops carry inventory to appeal to all travelers.

We had a delightful time. Gluwein, brats, fudge and lots of laughter, how can you go wrong!? Plus we were all bundled in our coziest winter attire.

Here are some photos of us being Bavarian this past weekend:

Such a cute little town! 

Father Christmas is not the same as Santa... and quite possibly cooler! He wears a wreath and has a satchel.  Pretty cool! 

Our poor friends. We are probably embarrassing to be with!

Have a great weekend everyone. Merry Christmas!!