12.27.2012

A Very Merry Hello

The past few days have been a peaceful escape from reality.

I arrived at my parents' house last Friday night and haven't spent more than an hour on my computer. It's been wonderful.

There hasn't been anything too exciting going on. Hanging out with puppies. Eating delicious food. Watching basketball. Basically, I'm living the good life.

Christmas was a quiet day with just my immediate family. We purposefully had a smaller Christmas and it was nice to take the focus off things.

My parents did get us one big gift. I'm typing on my new Kindle Fire right now. I won't be trading in my laptop keyboard anytime soon but I am excited to have something smaller to travel with and a functional kindle (my old one froze a while ago and I haven't dealt with it yet).

I've also had the chance to catch up with some really good friends, who I haven't seen for months even though I come back home regularly. All in all I've made the most of my Christmas break.

I plan to be back to more regular posting shortly but first I'm going to soak up as much of my vacation as possible.

How has your Christmas been? Have you had much of a break from life?

12.21.2012

Soup and Biscuits and Cookies, Oh My!

If you're reading this, then the world hasn't ended. I wasn't really worried about it. It was funny to see more than a few people get worked up. It reminded me of another time. Who remembers this craziness?

Anyways, remember when I said I had been craving some good baking? Well, problem solved last week.

After plans for a cookie making party fell through over the weekend, I took matters into my own hands. I had a bag of flour and I wasn't afraid to use it.

Plus, I had finished up my course work, so I was ready to get crazy, with my oven. What can I say? I'm a wild child.

I thought I'd feature my cooking line-up visually, with links to recipes to try out for yourselves.

Pioneer Woman's Cauliflower Soup and Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits from Baked (with my addition of bacon):

Bobby Flay's Bourbon-infused Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Whipped Cream:
This is maybe the best dessert ever. Though I may have added a little too much bourbon on the last batch. It had some kick. (Also, pretty time intensive to make. I often skip a few of the add ons.)

Peanut Butter Cookies:

Everything was a success. And I justified my over-consumption of the peanut butter cookies and batter with the fact that they contained peanut butter. Protein=good. Right?

Have you made anything good lately? Want to share a recipe?

12.20.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Reporting from my sweats

I've been looking at the blinking cursor for a while. I did this earlier in the week too.

I think I subconsciously turned off my brain last week when my last assignment was submitted.

It explains the lack of motivation, the trouble writing, the late nights. All of it. It couldn't be laziness. Right?

In reality, I've actually been blogging a lot. Just not here. My co-editor over at Flip the Media is visiting home (Australia), so I'm holding down the fort for most of the month, with some support from a few other students.

Anyways, I thought I'd muster up a post of awkwards and awesomes for you, so you can see how quickly I've reverted to not doing much of anything.

Awkward:
- I really need to go to the Apple store. Apps on my iPhone crash pretty much every time I try to use the camera. And it's not a software problem because I'm up to date. I really hope they can fix it. Also, my computer has a few issues as well. Luckily it's still under warranty so I'm not as stressed.
- I have an addiction to buying nail polish. I don't spend a ton on it. But I just see the pretty colors and can't help myself. My current fave: Julep. It looks pricey on the site, I know, but I'm a Maven and never pay full price. I'm taking a break from the subscription until I am employed again, but I love it.
- Christmas is four days away. How did that happen? Seriously.
- I'm supposed to be moving some things back to my parents tomorrow. I've done pretty much nothing to prepare (Mom and Dad--I actually mean to say I'm pretty much done. No worries!)
- I think I'm about Internet-ed out. It might be time for a break. Nothing specific, but I'm ready to unplug. Although, I think I'll wait until after the first of the year, when I'm done with editing responsibilities.
- The tree at my parents', unless something changed in the past day or two, is completely bare. Also, the puppy (the 90lb, 9 month old) loves to drink the water out of the base and chew on the branches. Basically, they bought him a really big toy. Haha.
- My lack of blog commenting. I promise I'm reading guys, I just do it from an app on my phone that doesn't allow for commenting. I'm going to try and make the rounds this weekend to show you all some love. Cuz I really do love you!

Awesome:
- Leaving my parents' house with leftovers, including homemade cinnamon rolls. Dad makes the best ones!
- A friend asked for a restaurant recommendation and then loved the place I suggested. The best! I always worry a bit when recommending a place, so I love when it's a win.
- My dad, bro, and I are headed to a basketball game. It's been too long since I've gone to one in person, and we snagged a good deal on them on 12/12/12. I'm stoked!
- The Hobbit! Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. Parts were slow and they definitely took liberties, but I enjoyed it. I'm the type of movie goer who just wants to be entertained. Also, I make sure to not read books close to watching the movie, or I wait to read the book after I watch. Because it's always more enjoyable that way.
- Happy hour with a friend. Cheap appetizers, delicious drinks, and some of the best desserts ever. Plus she treated me as a graduation celebration. Pretty wonderful!

So what's been awkward or awesome about your past week?

12.18.2012

Guest Post: Traditions & Holiday Love

Hey everyone! I'm still trying to get my life in order since the stress of finals week. In the meantime, I have a post for you from a blogger I've gotten to know the past year or so. Danielle is wonderful. She's honest, upbeat, and mostly makes me want to visit her little corner of the world. Keep reading to find out some of her holiday traditions (and make sure to visit her blog!).

Hello, E is Random readers! My name is Danielle, and I blog over at Porcelain Heart, Ivory Tooth. I am a twenty-something wife who resides on the east coast with my darling husband, Wade. Be sure to stop by and say, hello. I’d love to meet you.

With the Christmas season upon us, my life this December has been bursting with tons of holiday traditions that my husband & I love. Recently I have been listening to Christmas music so much that I swear that I have been hearing Christmas music in my dreams. I have been sipping on hot cocoa and eggnog, while enjoying a vast amount of candy canes and peppermint bark. Soon I will be baking delicious cookies, pies, and other sweet treats that pique my interest as I skim through all of the inspiring Pinterst holiday boards. My husband & I have been driving down streets to see the beautifully decorated houses with their glorious arrays of christmas lights lining the roofs and netting the bushes. We have even been downtown to delight in our town’s lighted downtown central park. And our house is graced with the glorious smell of a live tree that is decorated with sentimental ornaments and colourful lights with neatly wrapped presents nesting underneath. This holiday season is one that has always been filled with happiness, joy, togetherness and love – even if the roads are jam-packed with cars, the stores packed with hoards of people, and my mile long to-do list that is filled with "things that must get down before the 25th."

What are some of your favourite holiday traditions?

12.14.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Third Time is Not the Charm

(Also known as the one where I seem to lose my marbles. Don't believe me? Keep reading.)

(Also, also known as the one with all the parentheses.)

This is attempt number three at trying to write this post. I'm up at my parents' for the weekend (hello, free food and family trip to see the Hobbit). I was trying to type up my awkward and awesomes from my phone earlier.

One time I forgot the save a new draft when I went back in, losing countless tens of minutes of work (okay, maybe ten). The second, when I went to save it just disappeared, leaving you all to sit through this long explanation that you've now wasted a few precious seconds reading.

Now it's actually Friday, not the usual Thursday.

Basically, we all lose. You're welcome.

One to brighter news. I'm a B.A. M.C.!!!

And, no, that doesn't mean I'll be holding a mic onstage, keeping others entertained anytime soon.

I'm done with school. (Captain obvious alert!!)

(I just spent untold minutes trying to remember the phrase "captain obvious alert." I actually ended up resorting to Google.)

Let's move on to the main event. The best and not-so-best moments of the week. Not all of them involving me.

(Is that cheating? I don't care.)

*ahem* Anyways...

Awkward:
- I was scolded by the mail woman for not picking up the mail. She rang the doorbell and there I stood in basketball shorts and a sweatshirts. (Now that I'm graduated, I dress how I want. Also, I have fewer reasons to leave the house.)
- My sleep schedule recently. I blame no longer having a job start at 6 a.m. and finishing school. Example: one night this week I slept from 2:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- My parent's dog, Jamaica, has a cracked shoulder. I treated her with snuggles all day. And made her scrambled eggs with leftover chicken and rice because she hasn't been eating her regular food.
- My dad and sister went to get the tree last weekend and it's still naked. Other things have taken precedent, like a pipe bursting and flooding the basement.
- I asked for addresses for cards early this week and I still haven't even ordered the cards. Holiday season 1, Elizabeth 0.

Awesome:
- Finishing school. Duh.
- I was a baking fool this week, thereby (hopefully) curing myself of the need and having the chance to increase my cookie dough consumption. I'll post soon with pictures and recipe links, just in case you have the same craving.
- I'll be house sitting for one of my professors for January and part of February. This gives me a job hunt buffer period, gives me a shot a waiting to see what posts in the New Year, and allows me to perfect my resume instead of rushing to get it out.
- An amazing dinner Tuesday night wrapping up my last class. We did it potluck style and everyone contributed something delicious. The best.
- Have I mentioned I have a Master's degree?

So, what's been awkward or awesome about your week?

12.10.2012

Want a card? I think you do.

I'm planning on sending out Christmas letters out again. Want one? Fill out this nifty form:

(In case the form isn't working – the preview seemed wonky – go here to put your info in.)

12.06.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Finishing

I've been feeling only marginally productive over the past couple days. Things are getting done, but not with as quickly as I'd like, the blame for which lies with me. Obviously.

Tomorrow I plan to go for a nice long walk and do some work at a coffee shop, away from the distraction of hooking my computer up to my TV and catching up on shows.

I also wanted to say thank you for all the well wishes finishing about school. It's been just the boost I needed to get through the last week or so of work (fingers crossed I'll be done with everything by next Tuesday evening).

I wanted to pop in to share some of my awkward and awesome moments from the past week. Because I'm always up for an excuse to "take a break."

Awkward:
- Getting sucked into Battlestar Galactica. I swear, Amazon Prime Instant Videos are the best/worst thing to happen to me. I've only seen a couple of these shows previously. Now I'm through the first two seasons. My watching has slowed down in the past couple weeks.
- School loans and not having a job lined up has me a little stressed.
- My roommate's cats have fleas. Not many and they've been treated, but I've banned them from my room (they love to hang out with me during the day) for a few days.
- Criminal Minds. I love that show but this week's episode was too much. For serious.
- This may sound silly, but the recycling at our apartment always fills up way before it's picked up. So today I took down all the recycling that had built up in our kitchen right after the truck came by.
- I've really, really been wanting to bake something, but haven't because I'm trying to eat fewer sweets and a batch of cookies would not support that plan. Because I would eat them all. The end.

Awesome:
- Feeling super supported by my program's community as I transition from student into (hopefully) the professional world.
- A delicious lunch at an Indian buffet today, to say goodbye to a classmate. The food was delicious and the company was great.
- Plans filling up my weekend: Friday night, most of the day Saturday, with Sunday open for laziness and football. Perfection.
- Having pretty much all my present purchased for Christmas. One more person to go and I'm set.
- My sister came down and hung out all last weekend. It was so good to have sister time again. I love that we can just sit side-by-side and read and totally enjoy ourselves. :)
- Fatmumslim's Photoaday for December. I love having prompts and being reminded to take photos every day. Plus I love meeting new folks on Instagram.

So, what's been awkward or awesome about your week?

12.03.2012

More Important Things.

A glimpse of school this quarter.
Less books, more technology.
I just wanted to pop in and say hello. You've probably noticed things have gotten even quieter than usual around here.

I'm less than two weeks away from finishing up my Master's degree (eep!), so you'll have to excuse me for a little bit.

The posting, hopefully, won't stop completely. But this space has moved a little lower down in my priorities.

Just a few assignments, class meetings, and miscelaneous items, and I'll be a B.A. M.C.

I can't wait.

If you want to see small glimpses of my life over the next few weeks, check out my Instagram feed or Twitter account.

(Also, I made Instagram public, so you can see all my pictures online now even if you don't have an account...psst, Mom.)

P.S. If anyone is interested in guest posting over the the next two weeks, I'd be forever grateful, and happy to return the favor over the holidays. Let me know!

11.25.2012

Summer road trip slideshow

I finally made a slide show from my really long road trip this summer.

I had been putting it off because I knew the process would be a bit time intensive. I took a lot of photos over the four days I was on the road with my uncle, all with my iPhone. I didn't want this slideshow to be forever long, so I had to narrow it down.

If you want to read a little bit about the trip, read about Day 1 or see my short recap (by the numbers).

And sorry if you're not a country fan, but I couldn't imagine any other music for the slideshow.


P.S. Sorry about the three posts in one day. The other two were supposed to go up earlier this week, but obviously didn't. 

11.22.2012

Thankful

My Thanksgiving was really lovely. It was just my immediate family and my grandfather, which after a few years of craziness was a welcome change. I love big get togethers, but it was nice to have some quality time with my parents and siblings.

My grandfather, Grampie, has Alzheimer's so it was bittersweet to have him with us. I'm so thankful he's nearby, but it's also a really hard disease to watch someone deteriorate from.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with whomever you celebrated!

I decided to take a moment and jump on the bandwagon of thankful posts. Because I have a lot to be thankful for.

(Really, you can just think of this as my awkward and awesome post without the awkward. And who doesn't love all awesome?!)

I'm thankful for:

  • A roof over my head
  • Family I like to spend time with
  • A community of supportive friends
  • More food than I need (and that I like!)
  • Amazing opportunities this past year in grad school
  • Puppy and kitty snuggles
  • Sunny days outside and cozy rainy days in
  • College basketball
  • Egg nog lattes
  • The holiday season...

What are you especially thankful for?

11.20.2012

Fall Beauty VoxBox

I was lucky enough to be picked by Influenced to receive a Beauty VoxBox this fall. I've been meaning to share about the goodies for a while, and like so many blog posts, hadn't gotten around to it.

First of all, here's a picture of the goods:


Let me give you the run down on the products and what I thought. I was super excited to see that nothing was really expensive, since that's definitely never going to happen in my drug store world.

NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact ($4.99)
First of all, I love these colors. I have a lot of browns and warm tones in my collection, so to have some black/grey options is great. And the compact comes with a primer and highlighter as well. For the price it's a great deal.

Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin ($7.29)
These are probably my favorite item in the box. My hair is getting long and I love wearing buns, but hate how a rubber band shows. The spin pins are the perfect alternative, plus they don't make my scalp feel tight but hold the bun in place. Seriously love!

Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit ($5.99)
I'm a fake lash newbie, so I'm still getting the hang of these, but I love the fullness and look of these lashes. Maybe once I really figure them out, I'll share a pic. Even though I haven't perfect my technique, these lashes are pretty straightforward to apply. And they are reusable, which makes the price really reasonable (to me at least).

Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream ($6.00)
I've wanted to try this brand, so I was excited to see it in the box. I liked the hold and definition this product gave my curls, but I did not like the smell. The grapeseed was a little too reminiscent of Dime-a-tap.

Bath & Body Works Mini Candles in Mahogany Teakwood ($3.50)
This scent was a little overpowering when I first smelled it, but once burning it wasn't too bad. I liked the combination of earth and floral notes. For the size, it seems a little pricey (the mini is pretty small), but it's actually on sale on their site for $2 right now, which is a lot better.

Vitabath Fragrance Mist in Pomegranate and Blood Orange
This is not a scent I would normally pick (I don't usually go for fruity), but I was surprised to find I liked it. I definitely plan on busting this out again in the summer.

EBOOST drink powder ($28 for 20)
I'm not a big powder person, so I haven't actually tried these yet. I'll let you know what I think...eventually. :)

Have you tried any of these out? Any similar products you'd recommend?

11.14.2012

Sweet Potato Muffins

I wanted to drop in and share a quick recipe. A few weeks ago I realized that I was eating the same things over and over. I decided to actually attempt to meal plan a bit and just generally change things up.

A few years ago I went on a cookbook buying spree. This weekend I was paging through one of my purchases, Good to the Grain (gorgeous! by the way), and I stumbled across these Sweet Potato Muffins. Since I love sweet potatoes and I am always looking for something I can grab as I head out the door, they seemed perfect! And I after cooking and eating them, I can confirm they are.

As is usual when I'm cooking, I didn't follow the recipe exactly. My buttermilk was made from regular milk and vinegar (a quick cheat because the grocery store didn't have buttermilk).

I also wasn't going to hunt down medjool dates. The dates are often used in natural baking as a source of sweetness. Instead, I just sprinkled a little carbinado sugar on top the muffins for a little crunch.

I'm already thinking up ways to make these savory (bacon anyone?), but as they aren't overwhelming sweet (only 1/2 cup of sugar total) and have a nice bit of spice, I'd make these muffins again. I highly recommend heating them up or eating them fresh out of the oven. Let me know if you try them out!

One last tip, my batter was pretty thick and I ended up with air bubbles that caused my muffins to deflate after cooling. Just tap your pan against your counter a couple times before you put it in the oven to avoid this yourself.



Sweet Potato Muffins
adapted from Good to the Grain

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon all spice
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted cold butter
2 small or 1 medium sweet potatoes, about 3/4 lb.
1/4 cup sugar (or raw sugar)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain yogurt or kefir
6 large medjool dates, pitted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast sweet potatoes on a baking sheet covered with parchment or foil. Roast for 1-1.5 hours, depending on their size. The bottoms should be dark, almost burnt looking, and the juices should caramelize. After they have cooled, peel them and leave them whole.

Lower the oven to 350 and grease your muffin pan. Use muffin liners if you wish, though they stick sometimes to the paper cups.

Sift the dry ingredients together. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk and yogurt.

Add the butters and the sugars to a medium sized bowl and mix either with a standing mixer or by hand. Mix until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and just half of the sweet potatoes (yes! just half!) and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, add the dry ingredients until they are just partly combined. Follow this up by adding in the buttermilk mixture and mix until combined.

Add the dates and separate them over the surface so they don't all clump together. You want them spread throughout the batter. Next, add the remaining sweet potatoes and mix until only barely combined- you want pockets of sweet potato in the batter. Scoop the batter into 10 muffin tins, skipping every other muffin cup if you want to keep the tops from touching as they bake.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the bottoms are dark and tops are springy to the touch. The author of the cookbook suggests placing the muffins on their sides to cool, as pictured above. They can be stored for 3 days or frozen for future enjoyment.

11.12.2012

Currently:

Quick note: if you're not following me on Instagram, I'm @eewiley. That's the best place to stay current on my life anyway!

I was kind of all over the place this weekend. Socializing, going to class, attempting to get some work done, I did a little of all of it. I actually only have about eight hours of class time left for my degree. That is ridiculously awesome and scary all at the same time.

Since my attention span is only good for about five minutes at a time, I thought it was the perfect time to put a currently post together. Just a little glimpse of my life at the moment. Here's what I'm....

Watching: I have actually gone to the movies twice in the past few weeks. I saw Argo and Skyfall, both of which I would highly recommend. Seriously. Though I will be the first to admit, that I'm not so much a movie critic as I am an enthusiast. That's not to say I'll watch anything. I draw the line at Twilight (sorry all you fans out there, but only partially).

Listening to: The Heist by Macklemore. He's a local hip hop artist who I've loved for a while. And he's exploded this fall. I love how real and honest his music is. Plus he has remained independent throughout his career, which I think deserves mad props. Oh, if you are a thrifter, here's your new anthem (NSFW, there are some swears!):


Planning: All the things I want to bake. (This should read, job hunting, but that would be a lie at this point.) I have plans for sweet potato muffins (I've been looking for easy breakfast options to grab as I run out the door) and chipotle cheddar biscuits with bacon. I spent a small fortune at the store in preparation. Something about fall makes me want to have things in the oven making the apartment smell good.

Thinking about: Job hunting. I really need to dig in and get started, but the prospect is exhausting. I can't really put it off any longer. So tomorrow?

Also, travel. I can't actually travel right now (financially), but oh the places I'd go. It's fun to dream about for someday. What's at the top of your list?

Looking forward to: The holidays. I really enjoy catching up with people, finding just the right gift, making cards, and cooking (as you may have noticed).

Reading: I've actually done quite a bit of reading recently. I think it's the whole avoiding job hunting (can you sense a theme here?). I read Matched and Crossed by Allie Condie, the Promises to Keep series by Shayne Parkinson (set in New Zealand...fun!), and The Perfect Hope, the third in the most recent Nora Roberts series. Now that I've finished all of those, I'm open to suggestions. What good books have you read lately?

Making me happy: Life. Besides the whole job thing, I feel really blessed right now with friends, family, my internship, school, and so much more. Also, I'm blessed by the fact that sweatpants exist. Truth.

On that deep and thoughtful note, I'm calling it a night. It's bedtime.

(At 8 p.m. I'm an old lady. Maybe I'll just go straight for retirement.)

11.07.2012

Life in Pictures

I'm in recovery last night. Let me tell you, working in a newsroom on election night is no joke. But at least there was free pizza and soda. I took full advantage of that.

I wanted to stop in with some recent Instagram pictures from my life (and by recent, I mean since the end of September).

A beautiful view of Mt. Rainier.

Getting ready to shoot some zombies.

Sweet, old school limo. A sign on the back said, "not for hire." 

Leaving the island after a fun weekend with my uncle and sis.

A rainy ferry ride.

Loving the fall colors on campus.

Getting work done.

Gorgeous skies.

Love this city.

The perfect, no-so-perfect pumpkin.

Out with a reporter and cameraman. This was early!

My finished pumpkin.
  
Guess who I was for Halloween?

A sunny day was perfect for a walk downtown.

You're paying attention to the wrong thing here.

Egg nog lattes are the best ever.

My favorite spot on campus, in the library, that students call the Harry Potter room.

Love this face (and the one next to it). Kincade, my parents' 80 pound almost 8 month old puppy.

What have you been up to lately?

11.01.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Rambling Along

Can I just share one blogging pet peeve with you all? I have to, I've been holding it in too long. When people have posts dedicated to photos and then put all the captions at the bottom. It's impossible to see the picture and the corresponding info.

</endrant>

Sorry I just had to get that off my chest.

Also, feel free to let me know if there's something I do (besides really infrequent posting...) that drives you nuts. Really, friends tell friends that stuff.

This week has been cray-zee. So I'm a little (a lot) loopy and already counting down the minutes until I go to bed.

(I'm thinking 40 min...just kidding....kind of.)

Tomorrow I work, then I'm chaperoning a bunch of high schoolers with my dad then I'm headed to my parents' for the weekend. Expect gratuitous puppy pictures when I return. For now, enjoy my awkward and awesome moments.

Awkward:
- Trying to leave a blog comment but not getting the comment verification (a.k.a. sanskrit) right three times in a row. I gave up. My mental health was at stake.
- My busy-ness this week has led to very little sleep. It doesn't help that I somehow decided it was time to start reading for pleasure again. I really don't have time for that stuff. All this to say, I haven't gotten near enough sleep (and haven't even taken one nap).
- Speaking at an event today, being asked a question, answering a question and completely blanking on the second half.
- I've consumed an entire gallon of egg nog already this year. I don't even know what to add to that.
- Me in a grocery store alone. Or maybe it's because I just cook for myself. I can't go for just a couple items. I come home with random stuff. I wander around forever and mutter to myself. I'm not even being dramatic right now.
- There not being any cheap Halloween candy at the grocery store today. I think I was in a healthy neighborhood or something. Needless to say, I was bummed not to find any good 50% bags.

Awesome:
- Being asked to speak at an event about my experiences covering the election for school.
- I've only gone to Starbucks once in the past two weeks. I've actually been using the egg nog as motivation to make my coffee at home. I substitute the nog for creamer. Yum!
- New shoes! There not here yet, but I can't wait!!
- I got to attend a cool event about technology trends and creativity. I learned a lot. And got to meet some new people.
- Waze. It's a crowd-sourced map app. I've been hating the new iOS upgrade (for many reasons) and was looking for good directions. This one gives you the shortest route based on traffic as reported by other drivers using it. And it seriously works.
- A night at Teatro Zinzanni for Halloween. Even though it contributed to my lack of sleep, the evening was amazing. There was singing, acrobatics, acting, a really delicious 5-course meal, and the Food Network was filming. Fun!
- Meeting up with a Twitter friend last Friday for dinner. Thanks for hanging out Ashley! She was in town from CO for a few days. And she didn't even mind when I was ready to head home to bed at 9 p.m.

Who knew there was that much going on this past week. Thanks for making it to the bottom of the list.

What's awkward and awesome in your world??

10.26.2012

Savory Dutch Babies

Even though I have about twenty other pictures posts I want to share, I had to share this yummy dish I made yesterday.


I had a tab open for the recipe Smoked Gouda and Pear Dutch Baby for a few days and then I went grocery shopping. The dish basically combines a ton of things I love, so I knew it was meant for me to eat. :)


I should note, however, if you're vegan, this is not the recipe for you. (Also, you're welcome for all the commas in that last sentence.)


I've always loved dutch babies. My dad makes a mean breakfast version that was often a dinner treat at our house.


(Breakfast for dinner is the best.)


While this is a more savory version, it still shares a few common elements with the basic breakfast version: butter, blending ingredients, and more butter.


I ate the first piece a little too quickly, so I had to have a second.


P.S. I apologize for blurry pictures. I was lacking in light in my kitchen, but I think you get the idea.

10.25.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Early morning edition

If only you could see me right now. My roommates cat's have me pinned. Since I work early mornings and then have school and other commitments most evenings, Napoleon, Mittens, and I spend a lot of quality time together during the day.

Whether I want to or not.

And if you follow me on instagram, you've probably noticed the sudden influx of cat pictures. When in Rome...

Anyways, my grand plans of prepping for the week and catching up on commenting kind of failed. Luckily I still have this evening to accomplish some of that. The commenting at least. I hope.

For now, though, I leave you with some of my awkward and awesome moments from the past week. At least you can count on me for these posts.

Awkward:
- Having to be at work at 4 a.m. I don't know how reporters do it on a regular basis. Seriously.
- I took my computer in once for a small problem and it was supposedly fixed, but I don't think it actually is. And now my headphone jack doesn't work. Awesome. I need to take care of a few things, though, before I can go back in to Apple, just in case they have to keep it a couple days.
- Never being able to grocery shop for just a couple items and always thinking just a basket will be enough. I always look ridiculous by the time I get to the register.
- Also, half of my $50+ grocery bill today was dairy. I don't know what that says about me, except that I'm definitely not vegan.

Awesome:
- Getting to go out with a reporter for a morning. It was fun to see how things work outside the station, even if we were outside all morning and it was cooold.
- We also got to ride back to the TV station in a cop car. My first! And no cuffs involved.
- Taking naps two days in a row this week, for a total of 7.5 hours. Bliss. I haven't napped today in hopes I can fall asleep early.
- Getting excited for the election. In part because ads will finally disappear, but also because I feel like I've been following things pretty closely and am interested to see how everything plays out. I'll be working that night too, so I won't have to get up at the crack of dawn.

Any awkward or awesome moments from your week? Please share!

10.22.2012

Monday Pick-Me-Ups

I had a great weekend out of town. The sister and I headed out to the island again to visit out uncle. I will have pictures to share in the next decade or so, but right now I need to focus on school work.

I'm rather exhausted today. There hasn't been a full night's sleep in almost a week, so I'm focusing on the little things today that make me happy.

Here are a few:
- finding a like-new winter coat for $15 at Goodwill. It's Burton and has super fun colors. My old snow coat has been around since before 2000. Seriously.
- egg nog at Safeway. I've been trying to do a better job of not stopping at Starbucks every morning before work and having something delicious to put in my coffee may just do the trick.
- fitting all my groceries into my reuseable bag. Seattle doesn't have plastic bags any more and I'm constantly forgetting to carry around enough bags with me. But today I was victorious.
- my roommate's cat sleeping on my lap, even if it makes typing on my computer a little more challenging.
- weather that calls for wearing scarves, tights, and boots.
- picking and carving pumpkins--plus, lots of delicious food out at the Farm.
- football and brunch, all at once. Perfection.

Are Mondays tough for you? What picks you up?

10.18.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Two Weeks Worth

Tomorrow is my catch up day for blog stuff (and napping). My schedule has been all over the place, and I've been doing a lot of writing--just not here.

In fact, if you want to get to know a completely different side of me, here are a few things I've published over the past couples weeks in other places: (Fair warning: half of these posts are for a political blog. Also, no judgement if you read none of them.)
- Monday morning round-up from last week of important stuff
- A local Startup event
- Video about #firstworldproblems...this is a must watch, seriously.
- Digital side of the presidential campaign
- The one where I rant about the cost of education

So there you go. Proof I haven't completely dropped off the face of the earth.

My goal tomorrow and over the weekend is to put a few different posts together so next week the blog can look a little less sparse. Also, I plan to leave a few dozen comments around the blogosphere. I'm coming for you!

In the meantime, here are a few awkward and awesome moments from the past two weeks. I've had some good ones.

Awkward:
- not waking up to my alarm one day and getting to work at 7:30 instead of 6:00. Impressive, huh?
- walking to the bus with my dress tucked under my backpack. My only saving grace was that I was wearing tights.
- breaking the blinds on my window with my Herculean strength. And then taping a tablecloth over the window, which turned my room into a cave
- sending an old version of my resume in *sigh*
- my level of tiredness. It's 7:45 and I'm seriously considering going to sleep.
- fantasy football has been a rollercoaster and not in a good way. I won't get into the details because you probably don't care, but let's just say injuries suck.
- my use of grammar/punctuation in this post. It's better if we ignore it.

Awesome:
- getting to hang out with my sister and enjoying some delicious pho.
- having a relaxing weekend with my sister and uncle out on the island. (I feel so high class saying that..."on my island home..." hehe)
- being halfway through my final quarter of school, probably forever. I've basically been on a college campus for nine years. weird.
- getting to see my friend's baby, Eli, finally. I hung out with them yesterday, exactly four months after he was born.
- having rockstar people in my life. seriously blessed.

On that note, I'm heading to bed. Let me know what's been awkward or awesome recently for you!

10.04.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Sister Time

My sister is down for a quick visit. We had plans to go out to the island again this weekend, but schedules got mixed up and I'll be headed out next Saturday morning instead.

So I talked her into to coming down here for a bit instead. It wasn't a very tough sell. We don't have any major plans, but it's fun to hang out again after she left me down here in Seattle. ;)

Anyways, I wanted to stop in and share some of my awkward and awesome moments from the past week. I'll be buckling down this weekend to get a lot of work done, for school, for blogs, etc. The list of to-dos is getting done.

Awkward:
- Still trying to get my sleep schedule on track. I've been making some changes and trying some things out, but I'm still not thrilled. My body just really doesn't want to go to bed as soon as it needs to.
- Finding out that breakfast sandwiches and wraps count towards stars earned at Starbucks this week. And I do love those bacon gouda sandwiches. My bank account. Well, it sees things a little differently.
- How much working again makes me want to buy new clothes. I've worked really hard this past year not to shop much, but now that I have to look presentable, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking I don't have much to wear.
- My blu-ray player not reading the Redbox movies we got tonight. Luckily I can hook my computer up to the TV, but it's still a little annoying.

Awesome:
- I managed to take two whole naps this week. It was monumental.
- Sister time. Delicious happy. Fun movies. And maybe a little shopping tomorrow.
- I was able to attend an interesting seminar about storytelling today at work. Since I'm working at a TV station, it was great to get a better idea of how TV works. It's not something I had knowledge of.
- I got to live blog the debates last night with a couple of political experts, and it was a cool experience. I didn't contribute a lot to the discussion, but I definitely learned a lot.

So I've run out of the brain power to think of more. What awkward and awesome moments have you had recently?

10.02.2012

TV, Family, Fundraising, and Sleep

This past weekend was pretty wonderful. I had a meeting Friday evening, so after I got off of work at 10 a.m., I had a lot of time to kill before I headed up to my parent's house for a visit.

This led to one of the more depressing periods of television watching in my life. 

You're probably thinking a) why does E watch so much television and b) she really does exaggerate a lot.

My response a) not enough sleep and getting off work too early and b) yes, but not about this.

First I finished West Wing, which was like saying goodbye to family. I mean, I had basically lived with the cast for the past four weeks. Then I caught up on all three episodes of Parenthood, which is an amazing show, but deals with some tough stuff. Finally, I watched the Grey's Anatomy season premiere.

So all really uplifting, is what I'm saying.

Just so you're not completely concerned about my excessive TV watching, I also cleaned, packed, and put away clothes. I was multitasking.

I had a really nice visit with my family, going through stuff in storage, watching football and cooking my all-time favorite shepherd's pie recipe.

Sunday morning I volunteered at a 5k run/3k walk that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. This was the fourth year of the event and we passed $1 million for total raised in its history, which was very exciting.

Sunday afternoon, I joined my roommate and some of her friends for a movie, Liberal Arts. It's an indie romantic comedy starring Josh Radnor, the youngest Olsen, Zac Ephron and more. It was really well done and enjoyable. A little deeper than average but with plenty of parts that made me laugh.

After a horrible night of sleep Sunday night, I actually took a nap yesterday before class. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have survived. I went to sleep at 11 p.m. and woke up at 4:30 a.m., plus I woke up twice in between. I was a zombie.

(P.S. If that is what having a baby is like, I'm not ready for it. Not that I'm having a baby--I'm speaking in generalities.)

What did you do this weekend?

9.27.2012

Awkward and Awesome: All the Awkwards

To be honest, this post is going to be heavy on the awkards. I'm feeling a little sleep deprived, punchy, loopy, etc.

In fact, it took me three tries to spell 'deprived', if that's any sort of indication.

I also just edited a 3300 word blog post for one of my other gigs, so that didn't help much either. There's a reason every blog post here takes me forever to write. And it's not because they are really long.

Anyways. I am going to move on from my rambling to bullet points. I think it will work better. Or less worse.

Awkward:
- Waking up an hour before my 5 a.m. alarm. Yucky. I'm still not over it. Obviously.
- I had to walk past a man sleeping outside my work's front door yesterday. I tried not to wake him.
- I wore a white top while cooking mole sauce. Very, very bad idea.
- My inability to nap is really a bummer with my current work schedule. I am not falling asleep as early as I need to and then I can't fall asleep during the day when I have the time to. So annoying. Also, I get off at 10 a.m., so I should have time to accomplish so much. But I don't want to. Because I'm tired. All that to say, I get why kids get so cranky when they lack sleep. I could go for a tantrum right now. </end rant>
- Feeling like an old woman. Random aches and pains.
- My roommate's cat Napoleon loves my window, but there's no screen, so I spend a lot of time worried he's about to fall two floors to the ground.

Awesome:
- Having a random guy on the street tell me I was beautiful. What girl doesn't love that?! Especially when it's not a sleazy/creepy.
- Being told I did a great job at work.
- My family already planning the menu for when I'm up visiting this weekend. Just one of the many reasons I love them.
- Peanut M&Ms

So, what was awkward and awesome about your week?

9.26.2012

Versatility.

A blogger friend, Lil Desiqua, gave me a blogging award, The Versatile Blogger award. It's such an honor, and I really love the community I've gotten to know blogging.

As part of the award, I'm sharing seven facts about myself. I'm also supposed to nominate bloggers to share as well, but I'd rather just have you share a random fact (or seven) about yourself here in the comments. Because I want to know about all of you.

I've actually been trying to put these facts together for a while, but I've shared quite a few random facts about myself over the years (here and here). 32 facts, actually.

And I'm riding a bit of a sweet potato mole high, so if things get a little scattered, blame the deliciousness.

Seven Random Facts:

#1: I have a bit of a lead foot. Not in an endangering-lives way, but in a love-cruising-the-open-road way.

#2: I refused to wear dresses for a number of years. But now I love them. I like to think of my style as tomboy chic.

#3: Pre-braces I had an overbite big enough to fit my fingers in. Thanks Mom and Dad for chipping in the fix that problem!!

#4: I only discovered sweet potatoes last year, and am a complete addict. I eat them multiple times a week. Seriously.

#5: Onions and garlic make me emotional like nothing else. Tears pouring down my face. And the snot. I am never going to cook either while trying to impress someone. Because I will fail completely.

#6: I feel naked without a watch on. I got one I loved a couple years ago and then went to Europe sans cell phone, and now I hate to be parted from it. It makes me feel a little old school, but at least it's one more reason not to look at my phone.

#7: Okay, for real, I'm blanking on a seventh random fact. So ask me a question in the comments and I'll answer. Or, better yet, share a random fact about yourself. Or just pretend I wrote something incredibly interesting here.

But seriously, I want to know random things about you. It will make this whole thing much less of a vanity exercise.

9.24.2012

Weekly Intentions: Back to the Basics

A little look at what I have planned for the week.

It's the start of the quarter, so I'm not trying to get too ambitious with my plans for the week.

Also, I woke up at 4am this morning, which is especially annoying since my alarm was set for 5. Great start to my Monday.

Next up: a nap. Then class tonight. I hope your Monday is going a little smoother than mine.

9.20.2012

Awkward and Awesome: the short and short of it

This week has ended up being a bit crazy. I have only eaten one or two meals at home so far, if that says anything.

Due to that, this is only post #2 for the week. But I do have three more days to get another post up to meet my goal.

But before I have to head off to work (my coverage today changed from 6am to 3pm--a little different) I'd like to at least share my awkward and awesome moments from the week.

Awkward:
- 6:30 feeling like sleeping in.
- The amount of money Starbucks getting from me now that I have to be at work at 6am.
- Waiting until today, the day before the registration deadline, to sign up for classes (which start Monday)
- Injuries have decimated my fantasy football team.
- Having a whole bullet about fantasy football.
- Approximately 10 half finished blog posts. It's not that I don't have ideas or enjoy blogging. It's that other stuff seems to get in the way. Like playing solitaire. (Mostly kidding about the solitaire.)
- It's been cold in the mornings but hot by the afternoons. Basically, I have to make an outfit change most days. I'm such a diva.

Awesome:
- Catching up with a number of different friends. Plus the friend dates included brunch, lunch, and happy hour. So wonderful!
- Getting a comp ticket to a beer/food pairing event. 11 stations filled with local restaurants and breweries. So delicious.
- Having my work shift change for two days. I'm enjoying "sleeping in."
- Being able to use my old laptop so I can get work AND watch all the episodes of West Wing. Plus, once I finish I get into all the shows starting back up this fall.
- Freshly painted nails, that haven't chipped (yet).

So, what's been awkward and awesome about your week?

9.17.2012

Monday (not-so-morning) Intentions

I'm not exactly back on the treadmill of posting regularly, but I'm trying to get there. A couple weeks ago I restarted my weekly intentions post, and I want to keep it going (albeit intermittently).

But first, before I get to it, I wanted to share this little song with you. It's been my pick-me-up tune recently. Tyrone Wells is one of my favorite artists. I've been following him since I first saw him perform in college. He's funny, talented, and you should check out more of his stuff. (If you're into singer-songerwriters, that is.)


I was going to recap my last set of intentions, but I really can't remember what happened that week so it would be kind pointless to go back over them. I can tell you this, though, I accomplished some but not all of what I set out to do.

What I hope to do this week:
1) Go for one run, or two.
2) Cook at least one meal (I have a lot of things going on this week, so I won't actually be home for many).
3) Write three posts. I need some sort of accountability.
4) Take advantage of the beautiful weather we're still enjoying. It's supposed to be in the 70s and 80s for the next week or so, which is not normal this time of year.
5) Actually register for class since it starts next week.
6) Get all my clothes hung up. The closet is packed, so I have to sort of wedge everything in.

That's all I'm doing for now. Life is running itself pretty well right now, so I'm just trying to stick along for the ride.

What do you hope to accomplish this week? Is there anything you've been putting off?

9.13.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Catching Up

It's been a busy couple weeks with a lot of free time (I'll leave you to decipher that one). I thought I'd use my awkward and awesome post to catch up on what's been going on.  Just in case I don't actually get everything posted that I've been meaning to.

Awkward:
- The amount of time I've spent watching West Wing recently. This wouldn't be bad except that I watch with my computer hooked to my TV, so I get absolutely nothing done while it's happening.
- Getting up at 5am. I am not and never have been a morning person. Case closed. Also, I fell asleep at 9:15pm Tuesday. And it still wasn't a full night's sleep.
- I planned to go grocery shopping on Sunday and still haven't made it. Although I'm a little bit proud of myself for successfully creating meals from what I had on hand all week (even if most of them weren't much to write home about).
- The size of my closet. It's tiny. My stuff is just wedged in there. Over the past year or so, I've gone from big to regular to small. I have purged and haven't really shopped much. I think I'll just have to keep jamming stuff in.

Awesome:
- The new job. I'm learning a lot and now about any current event that matters, all before 10am. And I know I complained about the wake up time (because it's not fun), but having my day to get stuff done, whether or not that happens, is pretty awesome.
- The weather here. We're set to be in the 70s for the next week. I'm not quite ready to let summer go, so I appreciate this.
- The West Wing. I love this show. And it's free to stream via Amazon Prime. I'm getting my money's worth on that one, just in the last week. (Seriously, I'm almost through season three.)
- The G-Whizz! app. I love it because I'm able to keep up with my blog reading on the bus, waiting somewhere, or while West Wing is playing. :)
- The number of new computer programs/systems I'm figuring out. I'm definitely going to learn a ton over the course of the internship.

So, what's been awkward or awesome about your week?

9.05.2012

Whistler Recap

Finally, I'm here with pictures from Whistler. At this rate, I'll have shared all the pictures from my summer by the new year. So that's something to look forward to.

When my friend, Kacee, started planning her visit and mentioned Whistler as an option, I said, "heck yes." Just like I had never been up to Mt. Baker before this summer, neither had I been to Whistler.

(What? I'm not a mountain sport person.)

We gave ourselves about a day and a half up there, which wasn't nearly enough time, but we still managed to fit a lot in.


The first stop on our drive up was at Shannon Falls, which is just an hour south of Whistler. The falls drop almost 1,100 feet. To contrast that, Niagara is 165 feet (though it has a little more water pouring over it).

From there, we had an aborted attempt at lunch nearby. After waiting half an hour without anyone even offering a glass of water, we chose the drive thru at McDonald's and headed north.


We stayed at Aava Hotel in Whistler Village, just 5 minutes walking from all the shops and restaurants. As a bonus, parking was free because I drive a hybrid. That saved us about $20 a day. Score!

After checking out the options, we decided to purchase a two-day lift pass to be able to go up the mountains.

(As a handy tip, if you ever head up, you can purchase a two-day pass online for the price of one day. I'm assuming this is only true in the summer, but still.)

We headed up the Wizard Express to Blackcomb Mountain. We didn't really plan well before setting out for the day, and Kacee didn't have long sleeves with her. Spoiler: mountain tops are very warm, even in the summer.

After picking up a sweatshirt, we took the gondola over to Whistler Mountain, and took the ski lift to the top. The views the whole way were amazing and while in the gondola, we were 1,000 from the valley floor (a little scary).


We decided to take a shorter hike around the peak and then headed back down to the village for dinner.



The second day we went up the Whistler side, it was closer to our hotel, and took the big gondola over to Blackcomb for an even shorter hike. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the hike was a little more protected than the previous day.

I would definitely love to head back next year for some longer hiking trips. There are some four hours options that would be great, especially with a picnic along the way.

And if you haven't been up to Whistler, I definitely recommend it. It's breath taking, with a variety of activities, and small--the perfect getaway combination.

P.S. It also has a lot of activities for kids.

9.03.2012

Weekly Intentions: Back in Business

I'm laying in bed getting ready for the week. Or relaxing before it starts. Or just being lazy. The jury is still out.

(Confession: I'm actually watching The West Wing. One of the best shows ever.)

It's been a busy but wonderful weekend. Thursday I drove up to my parents' so I could do laundry and run errands. Friday evening, my mom and I headed out to San Juan Island to spend two days with my uncle (more on that later). And today I got my room in order and cleaned (almost entirely).i also got groceries. Woman cannot live on Trader Jo Jos alone.

I wanted to start the week with a few things I want to accomplish. Give myself some goals, especially as I start work tomorrow.

Weekly Intentions:
1. Get up at 7am and shower each weekday.
2. Get a shelf cut for the closet.
3. Research custom frames for a print (suggestions welcome!).
4. Only eat out once...okay, maybe twice.
5. Go for a run, walk, something at least twice.
6. Put together my Shutterfly photo book.
7. Decide what class I'm taking.
8. Process photos from this past weekend.
9. Eat some vegetables.
10. Discover new, fun music (suggestions also welcome).

What do you intend to do this week?

8.30.2012

Awkward and Awesome: End of Summer

This year, Labor Day weekend is actually marking the end of my summer. School doesn't start for a couple weeks but I am starting an internship (more on that later) on Tuesday. So I am soaking up the last few days of freedom with a visit out to the islands.

Also, I just had the realization that this could be my last real summer. I mean, I have stretched it out for 27 years, but that doesn't make it any easier to stomach.

Anyways, onto the awesome and awkward moments of late.

Awkward:
- The amount of stuff you realize you have when moving (something anyone who has ever moved has probably said). I am so ready to downsize. But I am also trying not to go overboard since the closet at my new place is tiny and also has to fit my coats.
- Scaring my downstairs neighbor--the one I haven't met yet. I was opening my door right as he was coming out. He literally jumped. And then basically ran away.
- Having no clue what class to take to finish out my degree. I'm really unsure.
- Not actually getting this posted on Thursday. But it is getting posted.

Awesome:
- One last summer getaway this weekend. I'm headed out to the islands with the fam. My uncle is hosting us and we're bringing him some essentials.
- I got an internship!! I'll be working on the digital team at a local TV station starting Tuesday. So excited!!
- I'm at my parents' house for the night and the puppy is cuddled up next to me. He's in a bit of a hellion stage right now (we'll call it puberty), but he's so dang cute.
- I finally saw Dark Knight Rises and really enjoyed it. Also, I basically drove into town, changed into yoga pants in the parking lot (classy!), and walked in to see the first preview. Perfect!
- Officially only having one apartment. Bliss!

So, what has been awkward or awesome about your week?

8.29.2012

Blogging Besties

I'm busy sorting through photos and stuff around here. While I get organized, I wanted to pop in with a quick post on a recent blog swap I took part in.

Krysten, over at Why Girls are Weird, hosted the Blogging Besties Swap. Each participant filled out a little survey and Krysten matched us up based on our answers. Then we sent little packages in the mail to our partner.

I was matched up with Hena, a Pakistani photographer who lives in New Jersey. She shares her gorgeous photography and little pieces of her life over on her blog. I highly recommend checking it out!

My package is on its way to Hena right now, but I received hers just a couple days ago. I wanted to share the goodies she sent my way.

Hena definitely got my tastes with this little package. I love peacocks because of all the colors in their feathers--pretty much every color I love is there. Peanut butter and chocolate is definitely one of the best combinations ever. And that wall hanging will be the perfect addition to my new home.

I had a blast taking part in this swap and getting to know Hena. So much fun!

8.28.2012

Back Home, Finally

I'm back in Seattle and close to returning to regular life. Just one more weekend and I'll be settled (and hopefully organized).

After dropping my friend at the airport this morning at 5:30am, I spent the rest of the day cleaning and packing, but mostly cleaning. While the old apartment had been mostly emptied, we had to make one final push to get it ready for the end of our lease.

Minus one small carload of some odds and ends, it's ready to go to its next occupant. At least I think so.

I also did a little cleaning at my new place. So I could rest easy. My roommate is actually out of town through Monday, so I have some time and space to get organized without worrying about getting in her way.

(A.K.A. I can spread my stuff out all over.)

I'll be back over the next few days (or weeks) catching you up on life. I have stuff to post about from July through this weekend. Seriously.

Try to hold back your excitement.

For now I'm going to bed really, really early. I think I've earned it.

8.25.2012

A Lot of Wonderful Things

I have high hopes to create a time lapse of our cross-country drive in the next week. But I had a good friend fly in for a long weekend visit and blogging has fallen to the wayside again.

So far, we've seen some of Seattle, bummed around my hometown, and tomorrow we're headed up into Canada.

She's worried about all the driving we'll be doing, while to me, it's really nothing.

The visit has been a blast so far, catching up, eating delicious food, sunshine, exercise, and beer and wine tours. Pretty much perfection.

I can't wait to get back into a rhythm with life, blogging, and everything else, but for now I'm soaking up the last few days of summer.

8.21.2012

Soooo Tired

Hey all! I'm back in WA at my parents' for the night. I hope to be back with a real wrap up tomorrow of the trip. But I can barely keep my eyes open so it's not happening tonight.

For now, here's a look at exactly how far how we drove.

By the numbers:
- 3,200 miles,
- 53.5 hours,
- 9 tanks of gas,
- 3 hotel rooms,
- over 400 pictures taken,
- and at least 8 times hearing Call Me Maybe.

Have you ever been on a long road trip? Where to?

8.19.2012

Day 1 Under Our Belts

We're half an hour in to day two of driving. Yesterday we covered just under 800 miles and we're hoping to go a little further tonight, ending the day somewhere in South Dakota.

Let me tell you, driving a U-Haul during construction season is a ton of fun. The narrow lanes take me back to driving in Ireland, except I'm in a larger vehicle going at much higher speeds. It should be fine.

Sadly, we don't have much time for sight seeing. Our one off-freeway excursion was to Walmart (ugh) in Auburn, New York. Exciting stuff happening here.

Now we're just waiting for the next service area to grab gas and breakfast. Heads up, the Red Roof Inn in Maumee, Ohio doesn't serve breakfast.

P.S. I included the picture to show you my mad parking skills. Also, I backed that thing up to a gas pump.

8.17.2012

Jetting Off

Surprise! I'm in Boston. My plane ticket was purchased two days ago. This is by far the most last-minute trip I've made.

Let me rewind though. My uncle, who's from the area, has been visiting WA all summer. And then, on Monday he was offered a job in WA that stars next week.

Since I finished my summer class last night (yay!), I offered to join him for a cross-country road trip.

Jealous yet?

My plan is to stop in with little posts along the way. So you have that to look forward to.

Until then, here's my day in an overly-processes photo collage.

Oh, and happy Friday!!

8.07.2012

Tag, You're It!

I just had to post after Molly at A Foreign Land gave me a Liebster award. It's award given to cool blogs that don't have huge followings. So I have to say thanks to Molly, one of my first blog friends and an awesome lady having great adventures in Chicago.

There are some rules for this award. (Tell 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions, write 11 questions, tag 11 people, and tell them.) But I'm pretty sure I've done this before and I'd probably just end up tagging the same 11 people, so I'm going to do things a little differently because I'm lame lazy busy.

I am going to answer Molly's questions. Then I'm going to write a few of my own and encourage anyone who wants to to answer them to do so, either in a blog post or in the comments here. (If you write a post, share the link in the comments so I can check it out!) And if no one wants to, my feelings won't be hurt a bit.

Here are my answers to Molly's questions:

1) What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
I'm pretty sure it was Hunger Games. Wait, there was something after that. But I can't remember what it was...

Oh wait, it was the Avengers. I think. Pretty sure. Either way, those are the only two movies I've seen in theaters in 2012. I don't get out much.

2) What do you want to be when you grow up?
This is a question that plagues me daily. I am closing in on the last four months of (expensive) grad school and have to start applying. But what for, exactly? I'd like to be working in something related to sports and the digital space, but I don't really have a "dream" position in mind. I'm more about the journey.

3) What would you do-oo-oo for a Klondike Bar?
Well, I'm pretty full right now, so probably not much. Generally though, I don't mind being a little silly. :)

4) Superman, Batman, or Iron Man?
Of recent versions, Iron Man is my favorite, mostly because of his snarky wit. Batman is a close second. His voice is a little much, but I love the series (and still haven't seen Dark Knight Rises). I could take or leave Spiderman. Plus I have an aversion (*cough* fear) of spiders.

5) How many brothers and sisters do you have and where are you in the birth order?
I have a younger brother and sister. First borns unite!

6) What is your favorite season?
Where I live, summertime, for sure. We don't get ridiculous heat in the PNW, like the rest of the country does. Instead it's sunny, gorgeous, green, and the days are long. Pretty wonderful.

7) Are you more of an early riser or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl, though this summer has found me waking up early than I would normally choose to. A combination of a puppy and tons of relatives around. It's been nice to sleep until I want to since things have quieted down a little.

8) How did you come up with the name of your blog?
My blog has had two titles, "Random Stupidness" and the current "E is Random." As you can tell by the catchy creative names I've used, I really put a lot of time in it. Since I just write about whatever I feel like at the moment, I like a title that gives me a lot of room to play.

9) What's one thing that you've accomplished that you want to brag about? Go ahead! Brag!
Oh gosh. Can I come back to this when I land a job (hopefully sometime in the next four months). Not that I been a failure all my life, but that's weighing pretty heavy on my mind at the moment.

10) What book are you reading right now?
I recently started (finally!) Bossypants and I got Let's Pretend This Never Happened for my birthday. I have a few other options sitting on my night stand, plus some books that are unread on my Kindle as well. I haven't had as much time to read this summer, but I have about five weeks off once class is done and I'm looking forward to take advantage of it.

11) What would you consider your signature color?
Oh man. This is another tough question. I really like jewel tones, but I don't know if I have a "signature" color. Magenta? Emerald? Something else?

Now it's your turn to join in. Here are my questions for you:

1) If you could live anywhere in the world, know that the most important people in your life would be there as well, where would you choose?
2) What did you do after you graduated high school? (Go to college, travel the globe, start working, etc.) Be specific, I want to learn something about you!
3) Sunrise or sunset?
4) What is your favorite animal and why?
5) What does your dream retirement look like? Too far away...what does your dream vacation look like?
6) Tell me about the cause or charity that means the most to you.
7) It's Saturday morning and you have nothing that you "have" to do. What would you do with your day?
8) What is one talent you wished you had?
9) What book world would you like to live in?
10) If you could back in time to a certain point in history, what would you choose?
11) Describe your go-to outfit when you can't decide what to wear.

I'd love to hear your answers. Choose one question or answer them all. Make sure to link back if you do a blog post!

8.02.2012

A Quick Hello

I'm not here to declare my return to regular blogging. Life is a little to hectic and unsettled right now. I just have a little too much going on mentally and for real, so this little space (that I love!) has been put on the back burner.

I can't tell you how many times I've opened up a new post only to stare at it blankly. It's not that I don't have anything to share, it's that I don't have the brainpower to make it all happen.

I promise that I'm doing my best to keep up with your blogs even if I'm not posting. I have two more weeks of class, then I'll finish moving into an apartment that has internet. (The joy!) Also, the Olympics will be over then, which is a huge time suck right now--not going to lie.

For now, I leave you with another picture of parent's adorable puppy, because his face makes everything a little brighter:
By the way, at four months, this puppy is already a whopping 50 lbs. He's going to fit the nickname I gave him - Monster - by the time he's done growing.

7.20.2012

Awkward and Awesome: Way Late

I had this post almost ready to go on Thursday, but then I felt guilty about hitting publish while in class, was on the phone while near wi-fi later, and feel asleep without thinking of it.

This no internet at home has made life a little more complicated, so sorry for the spotty posting here. It's not likely to improve in the next week or two. I hope you don't hold it against me too much. A little is totally understandable, but it's not like I'm doing anything groundbreaking here.

Anyways, I thought I'd still take a moment to share some of the awkward and awesome things I've dealt with in the past week.

Awkward:
- Finding my car locked into a parking garage. Luckily I got it out without too much trouble or worry.
- The weather has not been so summery recently. Come back sunshine and heat. Pretty please!
- Not having Internet at my apartment. Not even a little fun. I have too much work to do.
- Thinking in terms of theory when I'm used to thinking practically. The difference between the two is kind of huge.
- My eating habits. It's not that I'm eating all crap, but my diet is not well balanced.
- Finding out I didn't submit something needed to end my lease this month so we have to pay another month. At least we overpaid one month so it's not the full rent amount.
- I haven't gotten one of my loans because I hadn't filled out the master promissory note. But I wasn't told why it hadn't come yet. I had to call. And wait on hold for 20 minutes. It was a blast.

Awesome:
- Tourist time in Seattle. Love this city and exploring new and old things.
- SYTYCD or So You Think You Can Dance. I love this show. The one show I look forward to in the summer. Fo realz.
- The number of times I've had fro-yo this past week. I'm calling this a win, especially because the shop has free Internet.
- Having a new place to live! In August! Close to most of my classmates and friends! I'm pretty excited.
- So excited for the new Batman! I'm not sure when I'll see it, but I am excited. (As a side note: my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families in Aurora, CO. Such sad news to wake up to.)
- Less than a week to the Olympics. I cannot wait.
- Remembering to grab my headphones before heading out to mow lawns today. My cousin and I helped out my dad, and I was on a riding lawn mower. Driving in circles is only so much fun. Until you add dance moves! :)

I feel like this is getting plenty long, so I'll stop there. But before I go...what is the best thing that happened to you this week?

7.17.2012

Things I also found:

I wanted to share some links and things from the Internet. I used "also" because I am certainly not the first person to find and share these things, but I'm sharing them anyways. A pretty good way to waste a little time if you're bored this Tuesday.

A quick note, too: since I'm without regular Internet access I haven't been commenting much, but I promise I'm still reading. Hopefully in the next week or two, life will be back to normal.

The goods:

- You probably heard about the Daniel Tosh rape joke debacle on the internets this week. This post by Lindy West was my favorite response. Definitely worth a read.

- Find out where you fall on the global fat scale. (Spoiler alert: as a person from the U.S., you're going to be heavier. 1st world = more than enough food = heavier than poor people)

- Want to know what's illegal and ridiculous here in Washington State:

Browse more Humor infographics.

- The best wedding site ever. Literally. I dare you to show me one that is better.

- An incredibly cool map of tweets happening around the world. Almost 30% of tweet takes place in the US. Check out the site, play with the settings, and read all the stats. Pretty interesting.

- These Russian gymnasts. How is all of that humanly possible?


- These descriptions of news interview subjects. My favorites are either "names vacuums with eyes closed" or "not wearing any pants," but they are all absolutely hilarious.

- I love running to DJ mashups. The rhythm stays pretty consistent and the variety keeps me from being bored. I've enjoyed Girl Talk for a long time, but recently started enjoying Milkman. (Bonus, you can download Milkman's albums for free!)

Have you stumbled across anything good recently? Feel free to share links in the comments!

7.14.2012

Life Currently

These posts have been all over (I know Danielle has done a few). It's a fun way to sum of life, right at this moment. Enjoy!

My cousin, Michelle, and I at Bard on the Beach.
(This picture was taken illegally.)

Obsessing over: My final project for class is going to be more work than I had thought. It's basically a mini-thesis. Did I mention that already? That's how you know I'm obsessing over it.

Working on: School and blog stuff. Being the editor of a blog is a little time consuming and school takes work. (Duh.)

Thinking about: What I am going to do with my time when class gets done in August. Almost six whole weeks of freedom!

Anticipating: A fun week in Seattle. I haven't been down here much this month and I miss it (though I love it up at my parents' too). It started with a bang yesterday with some wine tasting and Mexican food with Stevie.

Listening to: The Rock of Ages soundtrack. I went on a little mini music buying spree last week when Amazon had a bunch of stuff on sale and this one of the albums I snagged. Super excited for the movie!

Eating: I need to do that... I am in desperate need of groceries, which is why my meals the last few days have been particularly unimpressive. If two of your last four meals were purchased at Starbucks, you are not doing well.

Wishing: My financial aid loan would clear already. I've been approved, but it hasn't come through. Grr. I'm also wishing my school work would go more quickly and smoothly than it has been. Fingers crossed.