I just wanted to write a quick note that I will probably disappear of the face of the earth (a.k.a. the blog) for the next week or so.

I'm moving (in the new apartment with no internet yet) and traveling to see family.  Not so conducive to blogging.  I had hoped to have a few posts lined up but life got in the way.

The nerve.


Steve's Cinnamon Rolls enter a bake swap.

I recently took part in a blog bake swap, mostly because it combined my love for blogging, with my love of sweets and baking.  Everyone wins!  (Especially me.)

I decided to make my dad's cinnamon rolls, which are pretty much legendary.  I actually heard one of the teacher's who my dad works with had a second child so that my dad would make him cinnamon rolls.  I don't know if that's the honest truth, but the cinnamon rolls are that good.

I would not tell a lie.

In return, Lindsey, my swap partner sent me peanut butter nutella brownies.  I'd show you pictures for evidence but I've been too busy eating them.  And I sent off the rolls before I thought of it.  Fail.

Just in case you are interested in making some really, really delicious cinnamon rolls, here's the recipe.  I'll add my notes, but you should probably know that some of the measurements aren't exact.  As Amy, one of the swap cohosts, would say, "that's just how I roll."

(The fabulous Jessica was the other half of the awesome hosting duo.)

Anyways, here's the recipe and happy baking!!!

(Ed.'s note: we always make dough for bread, cinnamon rolls, pizza, etc. in the bread machine.  Throw in all the ingredients, put it on the dough setting, and 90 minutes later you will have great dough.  If you don't have a bread machine (and want one), check out thrift stores.  My dad found a brand new one for me for less than $10.  Seriously.  I don't know the correct steps for making the dough by hand.  Sorry.)

Steve’s Cinnamon Rolls

Combine the following ingredients in the bed machine pan:
1 1/3 C. milk
2 ½ T. butter
2 eggs
2 2/3 T. sugar
2/3 t. salt
4+ C. flour (half whole wheat and half unbleached white)
2 ½ t. yeast

Put bread machine on dough setting (90 mins.)

When the timer goes off place dough on a floured surface and roll into a rectangular shape. Spread onto the dough’s surface one cube of butter. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon—spread onto buttered dough’s surface. Then, roll into a tight tube shape. Cut into 12 equal sized portions and place into a greased rectangular baking pan.

Heat oven to 200 degree F. and turn off. Place pan into the oven and set timer to 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, without taking out the pan, turn oven on to 350 degree F. and cook 15-16 minutes.

Take pan out to cool and mix together the following: half & half, powered sugar, 1-2 T. melted butter. Drizzle the topping onto the cinnamon rolls and serve with cold milk or a steaming mug of coffee or tea.

Side note: I often make more than 12 rolls with this recipe.  It just depends on how wide you cut them.  And the timing/temperature for raising/baking is for real.  Dad has it down to a science.

Post script: If you aren't eating the cinnamon rolls fresh, I highly recommend heating them up in the microwave for 20 or so seconds.  It makes for perfection.

Post post script: My dad's name is Steve.  In case you missed that.


Awkward and Awesome: and the list goes on

It's Thursday, in case you didn't remember.  That only means one thing.  It's time to review my recent awkward and awesome moments.  Enjoy!

- the amount of packing and sorting I have't done. Let's not talk or think about, okay?
- the lack of motivation I have to work.  I should be transcribing videos, but it really is no fun.  I really need to suck it up.
- my addiction to Yahtzee.  It all started in Finland and it's been downhill from there.  I even found a place to play online.  (For free.  Don't worry--no gambling debts or anything.)
- the amount of time it's taking me to write this post. My laziness (or self-care as one of my friends said) is apparently spilling over into all areas of my life.

- the gorgeous throw pillows my mom, sister, and I got at Pier 1 today.  They'll go with the furniture, my roommate's rug and favorite colors, and really pull the living room together.  I can't wait to have a big girl apartment, and show you pictures when it's all set up.
- making soap. I'll probably do a post about this, but my mom, sister, and I had a girls' afternoon making soap with a Groupon I got.
- getting paid to pack boxes at work.  So much better than typing videos and easy peasy.
- plans to visit some family over Labor Day weekend, and maybe getting some free veggies in return for manual labor.
- iced tea. In the summer there's really nothing better.
- Spotify.  Have you checked it out?  It's a online music service.  Think Pandora, but you get to choose exactly what you want to listen to.  If you haven't, you love music, and are interested to free access to pretty much every song you can imagine, let me know.


Moving is a Blast (SF)

Moving is funny.  Everyone knows that it's exhausting and overwhelming.  Doens't matter that I knew what was/is still coming.  I'm wiped.

Yesterday the sister, Maica-dog and I picked up a 6'x12' U-Haul trailer.  While sister and Dad were out mowing lawns, I ran around to banks making sure my money was situated to cover the checks for rent and the deposit.  Then we spent about 2 hours last night to load the trailer with our furniture.

Then this morning we were up and at 'em early again, heading south in time to unload the trailer, put together beds, get my sister to orientation for work, have lunch, and get the sister to her best friend's bachelorette party.

Yes, there is a wedding next weekend.  Thanks for asking.  One that my sister is maid of honor in, my mother is officiating (did I mention that I ordained her online), and I'm working with the wedding coordinator on.

The whole wedding thing fits in well with the moving schedule.

Know Mom and I are on the couch watching football, and the dogs and Dad are passed out.  Later we might make smoothies.  Crazy times I tell you.

I can't wait to finish the move off in a week or so.  It's my favorite activity ever.

(SF = sarcasm font)


This Week's Nails

***Sorry about the delayed posting on my Ten on Tuesday.  I scheduled it and don't really know what happened!***

As I mentioned last week (or whenever it was), Pinterest has gotten me all excited about nail art.

I've had a nail polish addiction for a while now, but had mainly been doing the all over color, mostly on my toenails.  I am not super skilled.

When I saw this picture:
I knew I wanted to try it.

So I dotted these polishes over a white base:
And got these nails:

It was actually pretty easy.  I just needed enough patience to let the white dry before I added the dots.  I used the end of a bobby pin to apply the color and didn't worry too much about perfection.

And these nails, I've gotten more compliments than I would have thought.  Seriously.  At the coffee stand the male barista said if he was going to paint his nails, that's how he'd do it.  At U-Haul, the man said he liked my wonderbread nails.  At happy hour Tuesday, the woman held my hand while I decided what I wanted to eat.

I just feel so accomplished.


Ten on Tuesday: Working It

Today's Ten on Tuesday is all about work.  You can join in over at Roots and Rings.  Thanks, as always, to Chelsea for hosting.  (Click here to see pictures of her adorable family!)

1. What do you do for a living?
I'm a transcriber at a local university, providing communication access for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

2. What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I have a few: the hours (only working when class is in session), the constant challenge, and the kick butt hourly wage.

3. What’s your least favorite thing about your job?
That it's only hourly and that the atmosphere (when I'm in the actual office) can be pretty negative.  Also, there's nowhere to advance.

4. If you weren’t a ____________, what would you be?
I'd love to work in media relations/communications at the collegiate or Olympic level of sports again.  I miss it.

5. What is something that you would love to get paid for that you think no one would every pay you for?
I'd love to get paid to sleep.  That would be pretty awesome.  Or to cook for myself.  What?  Is that unrealistic?

6. If you could have any job for exactly one day, what would it be?
I'd love to be a big name actress for the day.  I can't act, but it'd be fun to get dressed up for an awards show, get some awesome swag, and have everyone compliment my (presumably) tiny waist and impeccable style.

7. If you had to do manual labor, what would you do?
Well, since I've mowed lawns every summer since I was in high school, I'd probably go with that.  Although, I think learning construction would be awesome just for the skills.

8. What is something you were forced to learn in high school that was supposed to be super important, but you never actually use?
It was third grade, but cursive seems to be pretty pointless.  The only time it has come up was on the GRE forms.

9. Who was your favorite boss? Why?
This is a tough one.  Really, picking my favorite anything is hard for me.  I can't really think of a bad boss situation (I'm pretty lucky).  I'll get back to you on this one.  (But I probably won't.)

10. Where would you rather work: Dunder Mifflin Paper Company (The Office), Wernham Hogg Paper Company (The Office, UK), or Initech (Office Space)?
I hate the idea of phone sales, but Initech seemed like it would suck the life from you, so I'd probably choose Dunder Mifflin for the entertainment value of the people there.


Snapshots from the Weekend

Since I actually took my camera out a couple times this weekend and I had time to play with Photoshop today, I thought I'd share a few pictures with you.

Friday and Saturday were spent with a college roommate, her husband, and another good friend (plus a handful of other people).  We had a late thai food dinner, watched Jim Gaffigan via Netflix Instant, slept in the garage, walked to Starbucks for caffeine, and visited the zoo.

It was a blast and totally worth the time spent in the car (and therefore in traffic).


Awkward and Awesome: Blast from the Past

You may have forgotten I do this post on Thursdays, probably because it's been two months.  I know, I know.  Pathetic.

I've been attempting to put together one of these posts every week since my trip and have completely failed.  I don't know if I'm lacking the attention span or just plain old time, but I'm not lacking material.  This time, I'm not giving up.

Because it's been so long, I'm going to add to it from all that missed time.  Because I can.  Excuses over, let's move on to the real deal.

Feel free to join up over at Sydney's blog!

- My desire to use exclamation marks in my awesomes.  It's a struggle not to overdo it.
- Trying to get rid of clothes. I love them all, but I just. have. too. much.
- Me whenever there's a repair man of some sort in the house.  I don't know what to do.  Should I stay busy?  Be available?  What?
- Trying to walk the same way as someone else on the sidewalk. And then both moving the same direction, again and again and again.  So painfully awkward.
- My sister and I putting out our shoes yesterday to go through them.  I felt embarrassed by how much I had.  (I did get rid of quite a few though.)
- Job hunting.  I need to focus my energy, but I haven't found the motivation yet.  I have a job, but it's over an hour from where my apartment is.  Not ideal.

- Summer!  It's my favorite, hands down.
- We found and claimed an apartment for the next year.  And let me tell you, the apartment search in the Seattle area is a battle to the death.  You have to be ready to fight.  I can't wait to show you pictures when it's all organized and decorated.
- A brand new back deck.  I plan on coming back with a post about the whole process, but for now just picture me relaxing in the sun, maybe with an adult beverage in hand.
- Having my cousin Michelle visit for (almost) four weeks, and getting to spend about six weeks with her.  It was so much fun to get to know her better!
- The feeling of accomplishment with actually getting rid of a good amount of clothing and shoes.  Even better will (hopefully) be the balance at the secondhand store in a month or so.
- Knowing that my sister and I will have a combined shoe collection next year.  We will be able to dress our feet for any occasion.


Ten on Tuesday: Computer Time

1. Mac or Windows? (Or Linux for you super geeks!)
I'm a Mac girl and have been for about 7 or 8 years.

2. What drew you to that operating system?
Dependability, and the high price tag.  I don't want to replace my computer very often, or have major repair problems very soon.

3. Mice – Wireless or Wired? Mouse pad or none?
Just the touch pad on my computer, but I've recently been working on learning key strokes so I can use the mouse less and less.  If I really need a mouse, I do have a wireless one.

4. Other than the Internet – What do you use your computer most for?
Wait, there's something other than the internet.  A LOT of what I currently do on the computer in online.  Other than the very important business such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, blogs, and email, I use the computer for work and will be using it a ton for school starting in a little over a month.  (Eek!)

5. What’s one computer-related thing you wish you were best at? (CSS, Photoshop, Excel, etc.)
I'm going with two: all things Adobe and HTML code.

6. Describe the first time you ever used a computer.
I don't remember even a little bit.  We had a computer when I was pretty young, 7 or 8 maybe, and I don't really remember how I used it.  To play a game maybe, since I know I wasn't emailing much then.  I do remember typing games and the Oregon Trail from school though.

7. How often do you upgrade to a new operating system?
Well, I have been putting off upgrading to OSX Lion, mostly because my computer is about to hit the 3 year mark and I'm a little bit afraid of slowing it down.  It has been out for a week or so now, so I'm pretty much slacking.  Before that, I upgraded earlier this year when I purchased more memory as well.

8. Are you a short-cutter (CTRL+C) or a right-clicker?
Total short-cutter.

9. Is computer-use a constant thing in your life (such as using it both at work and home) or do you get a break (because you don’t use them at work)?
Definitely constant, unless I'm mowing lawns.  But my job is pretty much staring at a computer screen constantly.  And at home, well, it takes a lot of my free time.

10. Where do you think the world would be if personal computers did not exist?
I can't even imagine.  Computers are used for everything now and pretty much affect every aspect of life.  At my last visit to the dentist, the hygienist orally recorded all my fillings onto the computer.  I scanned and emailed my vaccination records in for grad school.  It's crazy.


DIY Ombre Nails

I don't know about you, but I'm addicted to Pinterest.  It's fun to use and a great way to keep track of everything on the internet I usually have open in tabs.  Seriously, sometimes my browser looks ridiculous.

Thanks to Pinterest I've become completely fascinated to nail treatments.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Since I'm a bit of a nail polish addict, (to go along with the Pinterest addiction, along with a variety of others) I decided to try out the ombre nail look with polishes I already owned.

I wasn't thrilled with the outcome, in part because I was impatient and showered before it was completely dry, but it was fun to try out something a little different.

I can't wait to try out a few others in the future.  Also, if you're not on Pinterest, you should be.  It's a blast.

(Another new internet addiction: Spotify.  I'm never going to have to buy music again.)


In honor of the past 6 weeks

My cousin Michelle headed home this weekend. She and I have basically been attached at the hip since my arrival in Helsinki on June 27, which was quite a while ago.

It was a blast to get to know her as an adult (and through her blog over the past year or so). We had a lot of fun, played a lot of Yahtzee, and ate a lot of food, the three cornerstones to any successful vacation.

In honor of all the time we spent together, I thought I'd share some of the sillier photographs from the past six weeks. Enjoy!

(Click on the collage to see the awesomeness up close and personal!)

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Breaking News: Fun Video for your Wednesday!

Guys, I seriously have soooo much blog material, but at the moment neither the time nor energy to share it.

So instead I leave you with this video because it makes my heart happy.  Sara Bareilles and Sugerland (two of my faves) teamed up for "Come on Eileen" and obviously had a ball doing it.

I plan to be back soon with pictures, stories, and more pictures.  But for now, enjoy this video and your Wednesday!