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Archive for June, 2011

A month or two ago, I discovered a cool little site called Pinterest. It’s still in beta, but it’s essentially a way to find and book mark your favorite things, visually. When you see something you like, you “pin it” to one of your “boards”. You can have as many boards as you want, and pin as many things as you want. You can even add a “pin it” button to your browser and whenever you’re on a site you want to bookmark, you just click the “pin it” button and it will add it to your desired board.

Confused yet? You just have to experience it to get it, I suppose.

Anyway, some of my favorite things to pin are recipes. In particular recipes for things that are incredibly bad for me. Take these for example:

That’s a picture of the Oreo cupcakes I made on Saturday to take to a friend’s BBQ. You can’t tell from the photo, but in the bottom of each cupcake is 2/3 of an Oreo cookie. (The bottom of the cookie with the creme filling. The top half of the cookie was used for garnishing.)  Here’s the link to the recipe if you’re interested (cc Angie!).

So how did they turn out? Not bad, although I think next time I might opt for the boxed cake-mix and just add Oreos to it versus going through that long list of ingredients in the recipe. I did cheat a little by using store-bought frosting. The cupcakes themselves stuck a little to the paper and if you weren’t careful, the Oreo in the bottom would come loose while fidgeting with the paper. When I discovered this, I just decided to remove all the paper linings from all of the cupcakes before serving them. Also, I am no Oreo twist-master, so the chore of separating the Oreos with perfect creme filling on just one side was nearly impossible. I had to use a little knife to separate most of them. That took some time. And an entire package of Oreos. So the process is a little complicated but the compliments I received made them all worth it.

If you’re on Pinterest and want to follow me, or just want to see what kind of stuff I’m pinning, click here. Happy Pinning!

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I Heart Summer

There’s just something about summer that gets me motivated to make the most out of life. Maybe it’s the fact that all of my favorite shows are on hiatus and there’s nothing good on TV to watch, but my usual lazy self feels that as long as it’s daylight, I should be moving, not sitting on my bum on the couch. But what to do? When the weather was cold and crappy, nothing sounded entertaining. I didn’t want to cook or bake because it made a mess and usually required trips to the grocery store. I didn’t want to work out because I hate getting sweaty, mostly because it requires a nighttime shower, which means that unless I want to get up super early and do something about my hair, I’ll have to wear it in a pony tail. And there was NO WAY I was getting up before work at O’Dark-Thirty. If the sun isn’t up, I don’t get up. Or at least, I don’t get up easily. I thought about volunteering, but I didn’t want to commit. I could’ve worked on my house, but last fall/early winter, we were trying to sell our house so why would I dump money into a place that I’m already probably going to lose money on anyway? For every hobby idea, I had an excuse. And yet, I was SO BORED!

Now? Everything sounds like fun!

Cooking? Yes! Ever since we got back from Hawaii I’ve been dying to figure out how to make the perfect fish tacos. First attempt? Not too shabby. But I need more practice. And because I’m a nerd, here’s a picture of them.

Baking? Absolutely! I’ve pinned about two dozen recipes on Pinterest and am just waiting for the right occasion to try one of them.

Gardening? Why not! The apocalypse is coming so we should probably figure out how to become self-sufficient. The hubs and I bought a little seed starter tray and a bunch of different veggie and melon seed packets. Then the other day we bought a raised garden bed with plans to move the seedlings (which have already sprouted) over to it this weekend.

Volunteering? Of course! My aunt volunteers at a local food pantry and one of the board members needed some help with a fundraising idea he’s trying to get off the ground. The hubs and I stepped in to help him and so far it’s been fun “working” together on this new side project.

Reading? You bet! I try to squeeze in about 30 minutes a night before bed, just to relax and let my eyes get droopy. And my “to-read” list is out of control.

House projects? Where to start?! Even though we still don’t plan on staying in our current house longer than another two years, there are some simple things I could do to make it a bit more stylish and cozy. I bought curtains for the living room months ago and still have yet to hang them. I’ve also been wanting to paint a couple of rooms and get some new artwork for the walls. There’s also lots to be done to the yard. My yearly flowers are blooming but so are the weeds and before the summer escapes me, I’d like to clean it up so I can enjoy our backyard for a couple of months and perhaps host a summer party.

In addition to all of these things, we have a long list of summer fun activities – summer concerts, lazy days at the pool, a couple of road trips, and now that we have a season’s pass to Six Flags, we’ll probably venture there a few times. It’s going to be a busy good summer.

 

 

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Little Lion Man was the first Mumford & Sons song I had ever heard. Instantly, I was hooked and ended up downloading the entire Sigh No More album on iTunes without even previewing it. Then a couple of months ago, word quickly spread that they were coming to STL at one of our smaller venues. When tickets went on sale, I was online and ready, but apparently so was everyone else. Including all of those ticket scammer jerks that purchase tix at face value, times it by 5, and then sell it to people like me. Still, I was determined to go. So I took a deep breath and paid 5 times the face value for two tickets for last night’s show.

And the verdict? Totally worth it. (Even if my crappy iPhone photo below would lead you to believe otherwise.)

Even though we took our time enjoying a lovely pizza dinner al fresco, we were able to snag a spot in the balcony in the center of the venue, and just steps away from the bar. A group of four dudes were sitting on stools in front of us, so they were the only thing really blocking our view. Until about half way through the show when one of the guys graciously gave up his seat to me. He was about 6’5 so I’m pretty sure he didn’t have any difficulty seeing over a seated 5’4 me.

I love going to concerts. I mean, I REALLY love going to concerts. I especially love it when the band sounds just as good (or better) live than on their album. Mumford & Sons is one of those bands. And most of their songs are pretty high-energy so it’s fun to sing and dance around, yelling the lyrics at the top of your lungs, pumping your fist in the air, along with all of those other crazy fans. It’s one of the few, happy instances in which people can come together as strangers, and yet still feel some sort of camaraderie, if only for a little while. Or at least until a bitch tries to steal your spot and you end up taking an elbow to her ribcage.

*Title is a lyric from “Roll Away Your Stone”

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It was AH-MAZING. I’ll post details of our trip later, when I’ve finally recovered from the jet lag. It’s been three days and I’m STILL tired from the plane ride. Champagne problems, eh?

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I’m baaaack!

Hey! Hi!

::waving frantically:

So, um. It’s been a little while, huh? Yeah, I know. And I wish I had some awesomely awesome excuse, like I was traipsing the country helping poor, starving children carry water in giant jugs across the Sahara to help some baby pandas locate their mother before they’re eaten by Komodo dragons…or something like that.  Unfortunately, it was nothing like that. I just didn’t feel like writing. In fact, I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. It took awhile, but a few weeks ago I finally realized I had a problem. And that problem was me. These last several months I found myself constantly distracted, jaded, selfish, stressed out and just a general pain in the ass. I found joy in almost nothing – at least nothing good for me – and it wasn’t long before I looked in the mirror and thought “You are not a good person. Who are you?” For the longest time, I attributed my sour attitude to the weather thinking I just had a case of SAD, but when the weather got better and I didn’t, well, something had to change. So I changed it. But not without the help of my incredible husband who by some miracle didn’t divorce me after all I put him through. Marrying him was the best decision I ever made.

And now? Things are SO MUCH BETTER. The weather is nicer, we just celebrated our five year wedding anniversary (IN MAUI!) and I’m starting to enjoy the things I used to like doing – like cooking and yardwork and playing with the dog and being the best possible wife I can be. I’m excited about all the fun things we’re planning for this summer (Mumford & Sons concert, U2 concert, Six Flags, camping, swimming, baseball games, 80’s movie marathons, bonfires, etc.) and I’m learning to savor each day. All these extra daylight hours should not go to waste! I wait all winter for summer and now that it’s here, I want to make the most of it.

And of course, I want to get back into blogging. Lately I’ve been living my life on Facebook and Twitter and while that’s fun and all, I miss the ability to ramble on and on about anything and everything and not worry about if this or that person sees it.

So, all that to say – I’m back. And feeling better than ever.

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