Yummy Banana Muffins

I've had a couple bananas sitting on my counter, getting older and looking less and less appealing. It was the perfect excuse for making banana bread (except I don't have a bread pan, so banana muffins it was).

Chocolate-Swirled Banana Muffins
adapted from this recipe

- 1 c white flour
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c sugar
- 1/4 c butter (softened)
- 3 mashed ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c lowfat greek yogurt
- 1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, cream sugar and butter.
3. Mix in bananas, eggs, and yogurt until just blended
4. Add flour to wet mixture. Mix until just moistened.
5. Microwave chocolate chips in medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
6. Add 1 c batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined.
7. Spoon batter, alternating between the plain and chocolate, into greased or lined muffin tin. Fill the muffin cups 1/2 - 3/4 of the way full.
8. Swirl batter with a knife.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until knife/toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling (or do what I did and enjoy a warm muffin or two).


A couple notes: your muffins will turn out the best if you mix them as little as possible when combining the wet/dry mixtures. Just make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Avoid overcooking the chocolate chips in the microwave. Melt a minute at a time, and make sure to mix pretty well after each minute as they will melt more as you do that.


Awkward and Awesome: Rainy Day

Every time I write this post I want to start out by saying, "it's Thursday," as if you didn't know. How original, right? So I swear, this week is the last time.

I'm keeping it short and sweet, like most weeks. I'll be back tomorrow with the muffin recipe. Hold your breath!

- Having my professor ask me a question and completely blanking. I knew, but in that moment, not so much.
- Trying to write this post and completely blanking out.
- Taking a "shortcut" driving and losing 15 minutes of my life. I'll never get that back.
- Featuring new TV series that we are watching all the time (see below). It's like all we do is sit around and watch the boob tube.
- The length of time I sometimes go without washing my hair. But I hear that's actually good for the hairs. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

- Two pairs of shoes for less than $20. I'm doing a bit of a closet overhaul and I found some great shoes to replace ones that I don't wear often.
- Having a meal at our favorite Indian place before taking my mom and dad to the airport. Chai! Butter sauce! Naan! Love!
- My classes this quarter. I've only had them once, but I think they'll be interesting/challenging/awesome.
- Plans for the summer are starting to come together. Fun! Now I just have to figure out class/financial aid, NBD.
- Starting Friday Night Lights all over again. Love that show.
- The weather last week. Cherry blossoms. In a picture, this:
Happy Friday!!!


Half Baked

I'm off soon to my second class of the quarter in just a little bit. Exciting. I entered the week dreading going back, but class Monday night energized me and made me excited for what's to come over the next two months.

It's been a few days since I unplugged for 24 hours. I'd call it mostly a success. It was sort of a cheater unplug as I still was watching TV (just basketball!). The only thing that was really hard, answering a text or phone call then seeing how many unread emails I had.

That made my type-A fingers itch a little. But I made it!

Sunday I got to hang out with a friend I haven't seen in a while. We made pizza (TJ's pizza dough is delicious and easy) and watched basketball. The perfect lazy Sunday. I also met up with a few of my classmates to catch up and relax before classes kick off again.

Yesterday, my sister and I headed out to Redhook Brewery to play trivia with Stevie and her friend. It was a lot of fun and we did pretty well, especially considering we totally bombed the music round. 8th place! Out of more than 20 teams.

And today I made some delicious banana muffins. Don't worry. I'll be back soon to share the recipe.

For now, happy Wednesday! What fun have you been up to recently?


Guest Post from Israel, #2

My cousin Michelle is back to share a little more about her time in Israel. She's just sharing two posts for now, but I plan on bugging her to share more soon. This one is a little longer, but I didn't want to break it up into two posts. 

Michelle will be over in the States this summer, so you'll see her around my blog then, too. For now, enjoy this post, check out the first if you missed it, visit her blog, and let me (and her) know if you have any questions. All the pictures in the post are ones Michelle has taken in Israel. It looks like a gorgeous country!

Where is Be'ersheva? What is the city like? 
Beersheva is located in the south of Israel, quite close to the Palestinian border. This city is the biggest in the southern area, and it's mostly known for it's students and the Ben Gurion University. Climactically this place is a hot spot. Because Beersheva is located in the desert, the temperature varies a lot just between day and night. Winters here are cold, but it's a different cold than in Finland. The cold here is dry and it get's to your bones, and due to nonexisting heating in the houses, you can pick between freezing outside or freezing inside.

But summers here are completely the opposite. It's pretty much sizzling hot the entire summer and temperatures can rise up to 45C. I've also experienced a sand storm or two by now. During one of them I learned that one should never walk in a sand storm with an open mouth. Live and learn.

What kind of volunteer work are you doing? 
I work in a hostel for autistic people, or "friends" as they are referred to here. In my hostel there are 9 friends, between the ages of 17 to 32. My job is to help around and make their dailylife as normal as possible. The friends need help in clothing themselves, eating, going for walks, doing sporting activities and art etc. Autistics need a lot of routine, so my days at work are somewhat the same every day, although they never are. If that makes any sense.

I work 5 days a week, and my working days can include a morning shift from 6:30-8 and an evening shift from 3:30-10. The friends go to school or a work shop for the day, so there are no in between shifts during the week days. Fridays and Saturdays are different because of Shabbat, when everything is closed and the friends stay at the hostel for the whole day. The week here in Israel starts on Sunday, so my perception of time has changed to Israeli time.

What is life like there? Daily routine? Living arrangements? 
For now I live with two roommates in an apartment building quite close to the hostel. One of my roommates is from Germany and the other is from CA, USA. It's been a great time with these two women, and I've become very close with them both. We're supposed to get some more volunteers in a couple of weeks, and when our new accomodation facilities open there will be 14 volunteers in total staying and working with the friends.

(Since Michelle wrote this, two men from Korea have moved into the apartment, making it five people in two bedrooms. But that, maybe, is a whole post by itself.)

What's been the best part of the experience? 
Learning new things about myself through autistic people. I know I'm here to give them a whole lot of things, but the work has given me back more than I imagined or expected it would. I'm so happy that I took this time out of my "normal life" to come here and experience something unique.

What's been the hardest thing so far? 
The Israeli mentality is sometimes frustrating. They do things backwards around here. I was also warned before I came here that although Israelis are friendly people, it can be hard to become close to them and feel accepted as "one of the gang". It doesn't really help that volunteers don't speak Hebrew and some workers find communicating in English hard. Life as a volunteer here requires just A LOT of patience. And luckily one can always learn Hebrew!

Recently, you've had first had experience with being in a war zone (more or less--what exactly would you call it??). What is it like? How does it affect daily life? 
The conflict between Israel and Gaza flames up once and a while, and the Israelis have to deal with aggressive consequences when it happens. Most of the cities in the south get rocket fire when Hamas (the terrorist organization operating from Gaza) and the IDF (the Israeli Defense Force) start another fight. I obviously put everything in very simple terms here, and the issue is way bigger and more complicated than I ever could describe it. But to everyone else it basically means that once in a while the air raid siren will go off and you'll have to find the closest shelter when that happens.

A few weekends ago we had more than a dozen times when the siren went off and missiles threatened the safety of the citizens of Beersheva. Over 100 missiles were fired at southern Israel from Gaza just last weekend. Schools were closed for two days because of the rocket fire (luckily because one missile hit a school here in Beersheva). In our apartment building we do not have a bomb shelter, so we have to go down to the stair well and stay there until the siren goes off and there are one or two blasts. 

The Israelis have a very effective protection systmen called the Iron Dome. Basically it catches and destroys most missiles before they hit anything, but unfortunately it doesn't work with 100% accuracy. This experience has definitely been the scariest in my life so far, and it's humbling to think that this is the normal life of people in Israel.

Just as a conclusion I'd like to say that volunteering is one of the best ways to gain new experiences: to meet new people, to learn new skills and to see what life is like in another culture. You can also volunteer in your own community in one way or another if you're not up to traveling far, so I definitely recommend to everone to have a try at it!



You may have heard, but tomorrow is National Day of Unplugging. Well, actually, it starts today at sundown.

And I think I've decided to take part.

Since I got my iPhone I don't actually spend as much time on my computer. No surprise there. But I do spend a lot of time "online" or "connected."

It is probably a good thing to step away.

So I have a couple emails to send and then I'm stepping away. For the next 24 hours, my phone will just be a phone.

(Except for checking on a flight for an airport pickup tomorrow. That I will still connect for.)

The weather has been fabulous today and is supposed to be just as nice tomorrow, so I think it's worth enjoying.

Oh, I'm not giving up TV. There are basketball games to watch. But that's all I'm allowing myself. Promise.

No excuse me while I enjoy my couple hours of connectivity.

Are you unplugging? What would you give up?


Awkward and Awesome: Spring Break Edition

It's Thursday, which means it is time to share little snippets from my week. And there are some good ones.

- Walking two poodles. They circle with their leashes around your legs, poop at the same time, and are otherwise ridiculous. (That doesn't mean I don't like them, but one person walk two dogs is not so fun.)
- Having maybe the laziest spring break ever. I did go for a run today, but that's about all I can claim. You've probably noticed an increase in blog comments at least. :)
- My recent motivation for working out. I need to do something about it. I'm actually considering a gym membership. This is silly because I have a gym membership on campus, but it's not at all convenient to access. No parking and a 40 minute bus ride. Plus there's a number of gyms within walking/running distance of my apartment.
- Wearing my prescription sunglasses in the car, forgetting to switch back to my regular glasses before going into a store, and having to walk around with sunglasses on. It's dark and I feel like a dork.

- Finally dying my hair again. There's just something about updating my hair color that makes me happy. I'm definitely reminded how much I need a haircut though.
- Getting to have lunch and catch up with my cousin (well, cousin's wife...so cousin-in-law?). We live half an hour apart and never see each other. We're changing that now.
- Getting a fun St. Paddy's Day card from my cousin! Love mail surprises!
- Biscoff cookies. I love them. Loved them in the UK this summer and found them here to enjoy.
- Still addicted to Queer Eye. The show absolutely cracks me up. It does make me wish someone would come make over my life, not that my house is as pathetic or dirty as most of these places.
- Spring break means having time to cook. I have fallen off the cooking wagon recently and am enjoying getting back to it. So far this week: chili, pesto chicken, and (hopefully) pulled pork.

The thing I'm most excited about though: HUNGER GAMES IN IMAX TOMORROW AT NOON!!!!!!

And yes, that does deserve all caps. (Notice that I'm not going to the midnight showing. I'm too old for that.)

What's been awesome or awkward about your week?


St. Paddy's Day

I've never been a huge St. Patrick's Day person, not that I have anything against the day, but it's not really important to me.

That said, I'm not one to turn down a good time with friends. Saturday morning, my roommate, CC, and I got up early for manis/pedis. I actually got shellac for the first time and am loving it so far. I love having color on my hands, but hate the chipping, and so far it's still in perfect condition.

Next, I took my roommate and her parents to the airport (along with a pitstop for lunch and to watch the Gonzaga game). They were off to Arizona for spring break.

I made it home a little after 3 and collapsed on the couch. The nails happened incredibly early, especially for me on a Saturday (I have not and will not ever claim to be a morning person).

I had been talking with a few people about meeting up and Stevie finally convinced me to get off the couch and make my way downtown. I'm so glad I did, too.

I met her and her posse at the Whiskey Bar. After a couple beers, they were ready to head to the Seattle Sounders game. It was opening night and their friend John and I decided to tag along. We were able to get tickets in the upper deck, sneak into Stevie's section, and pick up awesome swag along the way.

A Sounders game has definitely been on my list of things to do in Seattle. The atmosphere at games is crazy. The average attendance in Seattle is about 20,000 people higher than the rest of the league. We are serious and passionate about our soccer here in the northwest. It goes well with rain.

And even though there had been rain (and actually snow) earlier on Saturday, the weather was clear and dry by game time.

And we won!  Over Toronto FC, who think was a favorite in the game (I don't know that for sure).

We finished up the evening with a greasy meal at Beth's Cafe, a little hole in the wall diner down the street from my apartment. The place serves 6 and 12-egg omelet, so big they are served on pizza trays. I went for a more reasonably portioned veggie scramble, but it was still greasy enough to satisfy the craving.

After a late dinner, I made it home and was in bed well before midnight. One of the benefits of St. Paddy's being on a Saturday, I guess.

Overall, it was a fabulous day in Seattle.


Ten on Tuesday: Late Night

I've had a fun day today. Hanging with the puppies, started some spring cleaning (only a Type-A would enjoy that), and lunch with the sister and a cousin. Good times.

(And maybe two different happy hours.)

Now on to this week's questions.  Thanks to Chelsea at Roots and Rings for this week's questions!!

1. Should we keep doing Ten on Tuesday?
I like having the questions to go to for a fun post. But it's also usually a lot of work for Chelsea, so it's definitely her choice.

2. How do you pick out your sunglasses?
To make a short story long, I wear my glasses about 99% of the time, so in the past couple years I finally invested in prescription sunglasses, so I didn't spend the summer months squinting. I chose my pair based on cost, meaning the cheap ones. Prescriptions aren't cheap, you.

3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
I don't have any traditions around the holiday, but I do enjoy getting together with friends and having fun. Plus, if it falls on a weekend, you can celebrate earlier and don't have to stay up late for a party. It makes the old lady in me happy.

4. Name 5 movies that you will never get sick of.
When Harry Met Sally, Italian Job, Life as a House, Elf, and

5. Name 1 book that you will never get sick of.
I find a lot of Jane Austen's books to be endlessly entertaining. Emma and Pride and Prejudice are two of my favorites.

6. Do you know any sign language?
I know the alphabet and a couple other basic signs, but that's it.

7. What is your favorite kind of Girl Scout cookie?
Tagalongs. I'm a sucker for anything that involves chocolate and peanut butter.

8. Are you handy? (Can you fix or build anything?)
I like to think I'm decently handy. I don't have a lot of skills, but I can usually figure something out if I need to. Also, I'm a whiz with a lot of outdoor maintenance equipment.

9. In what form do you prefer your potatoes? (Baked, mashed, au gratin, hashbrowns, twice baked, etc.)
Roasted, mashed, twiced baked, scalloped, hashed and browned. Almost any which way you can think of.

10. Do you believe the saying “actions speak louder than words”?
Yes, but I think there should be an addendum. Something like "Actions that align with your words speak the loudest." There's something to be said for follow through and authenticity.

P.S. Thanks for all your comments on my cousin's guest post. She'll be back in a few days with more info for us!


Guest Post from Israel, #1

Happy Monday everyone! I'm super excited to start a little mini-guest series by my cousin Michelle. I've mentioned her a few times, even more since visiting all my Finnish relatives overseas this summer.

Right now Michelle is volunteering in Israel for 10 months or so. She's going to be here on my blog the next couple weeks to share about her experiences with us all. And, she's happy to answer any questions you have about her time, so make sure to leave those in the comments.

Name: Michelle Wiley, but I answer the name Elle in the blogging world
Age: 21
Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
Blog: LeChayim

Tell us your background in a couple sentences. What should my readers know about you? 
I'm one of E's Finnish cousins and I was born and raised in Finland by my Finnish mother and American father. Our family is definitely not standard Finnish and I actually have dual citizenship with Finland and the US, although I haven't taken any advantage of the latter by living there. Yet.

How would you describe Helsinki? Or Finns? 
During wintertime Finland is dark, bitter cold with lots of snow and grumpy Finns. Also, our winters are long, lasting usually from late October to the end of March. But after the snow melts and spring melts into summer, the place turns into a very sweet green country with lots of happy Finnish people seeking the quietness of nature and lakes. Helsinki is a nice little seaside city during summertime, and I think its people are very friendly, although getting used to Finns being a quiet folk can take time. 

Currently you are taking a year off from school, but what were you studying? And why? 
After high school I decided that my only asset to work on was my English. I sort of have an advantage over most Finns, since my family has always been bilingual, and I also attended an English speaking school for a while. So after high school I applied to the University of Helsinki to study English Philology as my major. English Philology includes studies of literature, linguistics and culture, i.e. everything that has to do with the English language. I still have no idea what I'm going to do if and when I graduate, as I would have to add some other studies (e.g teacher studies or translation studies) to my major to actually have some kind of profession. I'll get back to you on this one.

What brought you to Israel? Why there? 
After high school and before I got into the university I had a gap year. Back then I wanted to use a part of that year to do volunteering in Israel. Life was a bit crazy back then though, so I never really got my chance to live that dream. Now that I look back on it, I'm glad I didn't come at that time, because staying in this country requires a lot of patience and maturity. Before this trip I've been to Israel once four years ago for a week of tourism. I spent that week mostly in Jerusalem with my mom and my sister, but I liked the feeling of the country a lot, and it somehow stayed in my thoughts until now. Plus, my mom comes here at least twice a year to do missionary work, so I've been influenced by Israel a lot, whether I've wanted to or not.

Last October, as I was stressing a lot about my future and studies, I decided it was time to take a break and get out of my safe motherland Finland. My mom had the contact information of a Finnish co-ordinator for volunteers in Israel and I decided to ask her about volunteering possibilities starting in the beginning of this year. So, after starting to think about this trip in October, I had a ticket to Israel by mid-November, and I arrived here in the beginning of January. I plan to stay 10 months, until next October.


Savor Seattle: Pike Place Market

Pike Place is one of my favorite "landmarks" in Seattle. Everyone knows it. The sign is iconic. The flowers are always gorgeous and inexpensive.

But mostly, I really, really love the food.

So when my good blog friend, Sarah, suggested meeting up there for the Savor Seattle Food Tour, I jumped. Sarah and her fiance, J, left for Japan this morning, so this was our last hurrah for a while. And the tour was an awesome activity to end with.

The tour stops at a number of famous Pike Place restaurants and shops. While the portions seemed small at the beginning, by the end I was very thankful.

I have a few pictures to share, but mostly I was busy eating. I'll do my best to fill in the gaps between pictures.

The group met up at a Starbucks just across the street from the market. I got there early thanks to my bus being speedy, so I helped myself to a little caffeine. We got the run down on the tour, inserted our ear pieces, and headed off into the cold, rainy, windy Seattle day.

Once we entered the market, we got to sample donuts. Delicious, deep fried, sugar covered donuts. Also, we took a gander at all of these donor tiles.

Then we moved on to tea and spices. How I love tea and spices. If only I had all the money in the world to buy the nice stuff.

Tea and spices were followed by seafood, a sampling of smoked salmon (one of my favorite things in the world), and one lucky tour member getting to catch a fish. He did it like a pro.

We all stopped by the pig. She has a name. I can't recall it though.

The we crossed the street to sample some apples and oranges from the produce stands. Then I wanted to buy all the fruits and vegetables. Also, did you know the eggplant is the largest berry in the world.

We followed produce with clam chowder, another one of my favorite things. Seriously. And this stuff was award winning. I can't wait to go back for a full-sized version.

We followed chowder with Chukar's Cherries. My favorite was the dark chocolate merlot covered option.

Cherries were followed by cheese. Cheese and world famous mac 'n' cheese. I'm a cheese addict, so this was pretty heavenly.

This is the point that I stopped taking pictures. After cheese we sampled piroshkies, savory and sweet, and crab cakes.

It was all delicious and just made me want to go eat all the food. And buy all the things.

Even if you're from Seattle and/or have been to the Market, I strongly recommend this tour. The guides are friendly and helpful, food can be modified to meet your dietary needs, and everything was delicious.


Awkward and Awesome: Madness

I'm really busy right now. The first two days of March Madness are pretty much my two favorite days of the year. And luckily I continue to have a spring break that coincides.

(Although actually it's final's week and I'm attempting to write a law paper and watch four basketball games at the same time.)

So I drove up to my parent's house last night after class, set an alarm, and have been parked in front of the TV since. That's all I have planned for the next 36 hours or so, too.

(Well, that and the paper. Obviously.)

Now, onto the main event (or maybe it's the halftime show), my awkward and awesome moments from the past two weeks (since I didn't get to it last week).

- The number of parentheses I have used so far in this post. I've lost control of my punctuation!
- Taking my car in for an oil change and having to get a new battery for $100.
- Being in the throes of winter (which here means tons of rain falling where we live and tons of snow in the mountains) while the rest of the country seems to enjoy summer-like weather. The mountains are supposed to get 15 inches of snow today (Cue avalanches). Great for snowboarders/skiers if you can actually make it to the slopes.
- A classmate losing her wedding ring while traveling home from SXSW. Go here for more information and help her out by spreading the message via Twitter. She thinks it's in the Denver airport.
- My expected productivity level > my actual productivity level

- My final group presentation going really well last night. We had a ton of survey respondents, found significance in our key metrics, and are ready to expand from the pilot study. Plus, it's about a subject that could actually get some attention. But I can't talk about the details, so you'll just have to enjoy that teaser. I'll let you know when I become famous.
- Paying $3.99 to be able to watch every single March Madness game from my iPhone or my computer. This is especially helpful in the earlier rounds since I only get CBS.
- Being at my parent's house and being to use my iPhone, computer, their TV, and my mom's iPad to watch every game possible. (SN: if electronics are bad for one's health, I'm screwed.)
- Showing up to a meeting for the student-run blog and ending up Facebook page manager. Care to find out what I'm talking about? Visit Flip the Media on Facebook.
- Queer on for the Straight Gay on Netflix Instant. It's even funnier than I remember. Also, the sis and I haven't started in yet, but Saved by the Bell is also on Instant.
- The power going out on campus as I was pulling up to pay for parking. Free parking for all!
- Not being last at trivia night. This is for a real an awesome after our team only scored 1 point in the first round.

I'm sure I forgot some important points. But I try to block out the awkward from my memory as much as possible.

What's been awesome or awkward for you this week?


Almost Wordless Wednesday: For My Dad

Here at school, we take our lawn just as serious as our buildings. And it better look gorgeous for spring.


Baseball, Not So Much

I was going to take part in Ten on Tuesday, for fun. But the questions were all about baseball and while I love sports, I don't have much baseball experiences to share - watching, playing, or anything.

I've been to a handful of baseball games in my life and live games (when the sun is shining and the beer is cold) are a lot of fun.

Growing up, the sum total of my baseball experience in terms of playing was one year of t-ball. That's it. No softball. No little league. Nada.

So while I don't feel like answering ten questions about baseball, I'm perfectly comfortable writing a few sentences.

I'm attempting to get some school work done tonight, but my sister has Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Netflix Instant right now, so productivity has gone down the tube.

I have my last class of the quarter tomorrow, which means presentation time. Then there's just a 15-page paper standing between me, spring break, and all the college basketball I could ask for.

And look! Second blog post this week. Things are looking up.


Years Later

Hi! Remember me. I blog here very occasionally.

This past week wasn't a planned break, but I had school stuff to get done (still in progress), was fighting a cold, and had a few other items come up along the way.

Plus, I wasn't feeling very wordy and it's hard to write blogposts if you don't know what to say.

But I'm not leaving forever. This weekend I plan to ease back into my semi-regularly scheduled programming. (Meaning I'm setting the bar low for myself.)

I have tried to comment on blogs while I've been on break. But if I missed your blog, let me know.

One of those "things" that came up: Draw Something. Are you playing? Hit me up (username: ewiley), because what I really need right now is more distractions. That 15-page law paper will be fine as long as I perfect my stick figures.

I hope you are having a wonderful, lazy, relaxed Sunday. Or just a wonderful one.


Networking, Eating, and Sweats

Yesterday, after a full day of hanging out babysitting (legos are my friend--seriously, so much better than make believe), I stopped by the house for a quick outfit change and headed to the park and ride to catch the bus downtown.

Side note: my university ID also functions as a bus pass (which we pay for each quarter), so I've been working hard to take the bus when possible. Especially when headed downtown since parking is such a pain and not cheap.

There was a networking happy hour for my program at a local university. The company that hosted us (with amazing food! and drinks!) also gave a presentation on their global apprenticeship program. I've really enjoyed that my program has worked to build connections in the professional community as give us, as students, a chance to learn more about the industry outside of the classroom.

After the happy hour, a number of students continued to a local restaurant and bar to relax and catch up. We quickly took over the place, both with our size and our noise. :)

Then my driving buddy gave me a ride home (she only lives a few blocks away and I was even in bed before midnight. 

This morning I woke up to Skype with my cousin who is Finnish, but volunteering in Israel. It's fun to hear about her adventures and just to catch up. After spending 6 weeks together this summer and luckily getting along really well. We keep in pretty constant contact.

Then I met with a friend for breakfast/brunch at a local all night diner that specializes in grease and an atmosphere that has remained fairly constant since the building was constructed in the '50s (meaning it hasn't ever been upgraded). Their 6- and 12-egg omelets were even featured on an episode of Man v. Food.

Since then I've been home, being somewhat productive on school work, watching college basketball, and wearing my sweatpants like a champ. I have plans for G+ hangout later tonight, sushi with my sister, and a couple options for meeting up with friends. 

For someone who spends a good chunk of her time at home in sweatpants (it's what I do. Can someone pay for me it, pretty please?), it's almost as if I have a real life.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend as much as I am, even if my school's team lost out on a chance to clinch the conference title today.

Happy Saturday!!! I hope it's as sunny there as it is here.


Awkward and Awesome: Awkward Wins

I have big plans over the next day or so. Babysitting. I'm pretty excited about it. I'll probably walk away with some good awkward and awesome moments for next week, too.

- Accidentally driving in the carpool lane while by myself. No idea how that happened. And no, I wasn't talking on the phone, texting, or even messing with the music.
- My grandpa made me kiss him twice yesterday on the lips as my dad and I were leaving. We are not a kissing family. Also, my dad got a handshake. (SN: my grandpa has Alzheimer's. This is not normal behavior.)
- First I miss out on celebrating National Margarita Day, then National Pancake Day. That's just not right.
- Realizing that I had missed a call from UPS at the front door and running into the street in my sweats and bare feet. But I got the package!
- I'm totally sitting in the dark as I write this. Sweet.

- My friend (who I had brunch with last week) had her baby on Feb. 29th. A little leap day baby! So exciting! I hope I get to meet her soon.
- Not having to babysit until 9:30 (instead of 8) tomorrow morning. That extra sleep is much appreciated.
- Brunch plans for Saturday. I'm always excited about brunch. Best meal ever.

Honestly, I know I had more awesome in my week than that, but it's late and nothing is coming to mind. So awkward rules the week.

Help me out by sharing what was awesome in your week!