Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This song...

has me struggling not to dance at my desk!



It's on a commercial now, too, but I still love it!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Funfetti cookies!

Last night a friend came over and helped me make some Funfetti cookies! I'd gotten the cake mix and the icing on sale after Valentine's day and decided last night was the night to make them.

Sadly, I only have phone photos. I'll explain in a P.S.
Pat (aka boyfriend) was there too, but he mostly only stirred the eggs and taste-tested. :) Not that there's a lot more to this recipe! They were super easy and super delicious.

Here's what you need:

1 box Funfetti cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 a cup of vegetable oil
1 can Funfetti icing (or other icing) (ours didn't use the whole can)

That's it! Stir the first three ingredients together until the dough is "thoroughly moistened," then roll the dough into one-inch balls. The recipe says to squish them with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour until they're a 1/4 inch thick, but we kind of just flattened them a bit with our hands and they turned out great! Bake for 6-8 minutes at 375*. Mine took between 7 and 8 minutes. Lay out some frosting on those suckers, sprinkle some sprinkles and you're done!

Ours made 46 cookies. With only using 75 percent of the icing on 46 cookies, MyFitnessPal says these gems come to about 122 calories a cookie, but obviously that will vary depending on how big you make yours and how much icing you use. :)

Since I didn't take pictures throughout (whoops!) I had an awkward photoshoot with a cookie this morning. Here is the result:


It was deeeelicious!

P.S. Our internet at home is down and has had me tearing out my hair the past two nights in a row. It works for one of my roommates' computers, but not mine or our other roommate's. Why? So until further notice, there will only be old pictures and phone pictures on my blog because I can't upload pictures at home. And I will be very stressed until it will work again.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dear Monday [2.27.12]

I'm trying something new this week and linking up with Happy Day for 

Photobucket



Dear Monday, Ugh. You are not my favorite day. But at least today you will include KU basketball and baking with a friend. I think I can take this deal.

Dear sister, I am very excited for my 17-cheese lasagna. Also, here is your shout out, since you complained when I gave Simone one. Thanks for reading.



Dear lady I found on Craigslist whose sewing machine I hope to buy, I waited for you for half an hour Saturday. Please show up tonight. I want your sewing machine and you want my money. Should be simple, right?

Dear public bathrooms, I hate you.

Dear women in public bathrooms with me, please do not talk to me. It makes me uncomfortable.

Dear yucky throat, thanks for not being all-out sore, but still, please go away.

Dear boyfriend, thanks for this weekend. I loved running intermittently with you down Mass street Saturday night. You're pretty alright.


Dear Mizzou, sucks to suck.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My new blog design!


As you can see, gone is the made-by-me-fidgeting-around-with-settings look of my blog.

Thank goodness.


Now, I'm proud to present a lovely design made by the wonderful Alyx of Every Day is a New Adventure! Alyx has a great offering, but I went for the complete makeover. She was awesome. (And she has the best prices I've ever seen!)

Why I hired someone:
When I told my mom, she said, "But I like the way your blog looks!" (Thanks, mom.)

But my blog is something I plan to invest significant time in. I want it to be something I'm proud of and something I think looks good and something I want to show people. And now, it is.


If you're thinking about having someone design your blog:

I highly recommend Alyx. I was pretty clueless and vague as to what I wanted, and she had unlimited patience for me while I said things like, "Are there any umm... like textures or something?" and "I like happy fonts--rounded edges, that sort of thing--that don't make you feel like you're in school or at work."

In other words, I was very difficult to work with.

But Alyx was patient with all my whims and really used her creative powers, working with the feel I wanted for my blog, no concrete ideas. She was happy to provide input, but still supportive when I went another direction.

So... what do you think? :)

P.S. All these opinions are my own, honest opinions! I'm getting nothing out of this post but the satisfaction of directing your attention to someone who deserves it. :)


Friday, February 24, 2012

T G I F!!!

Today is Friday.

Today, I had to reset my password to log onto my work computer. I spelled it wrong.

I also looked down about half an hour ago and realized I wore black shoes with a brown shirt. (A choice I wouldn't consciously make.)

Can you tell I'm ready for the weekend?

Source
This weekend will either turn out to be crazy busy or only halfway busy.

Tonight I'm chilling with Pat at his place, nbd.

Tomorrow I'm picking up my new-to-me sewing machine (!) and *maybe* going to Kansas City to see my little sister play volleyball. She's been sick, though, so they aren't sure if she'll make it. If not, it will be a day of napping, crafting, baking and watching KU basketball. Sounds perfect, right?

Sunday is breakfast with the bf's dad and aunt, then a baby shower, then ice cream cake for the bf's grandpa. Busy busy, but lots of fun!

Anyone else doing anything fun this weekend? :) I hope it's fabulous!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews.

"Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Okay."
"Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?"
"Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.


When I first started reading Twenty Boy Summer, I thought it was maybe a little young for me. The first few chapters, where we learn about Matt and Anna's relationship--I had to push through those. I thought the couple was too simple, everything happened too quickly and easily, yadda yadda. But my mom and sister encouraged me to continue, and I'm glad I did.

The rest of the book turns out to be a really heartfelt story about grief and living after loss. You find yourself caring about the characters, pulling for everything to turn out better, happy, perfect because they deserve it to. I became really invested in the story, gasping, groaning or laughing out loud more than once.

Twenty Boy Summer has been banned or proposed to be banned more than once. I think this has to do with the sexual content. Sex is talked about quite a bit, and there are some descriptions that might not be suitable for young audiences, but that is always up to the readers' and the readers' parents discretion. Or at least I think it should be. :)

Despite the theme of grief and loss, this is a quick and fun read. The story focuses on Anna and Frankie, two teenage girls, and it never gets too super heavy since they're at the beach trying to make the best of their summer. My mom, teenage sister and I have all read Twenty Boy Summer, so the audience in my house spanned about forty years, and we all enjoyed it. I'll be reading more fom Sarah Ockler for sure.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'm loving Wednesday

I didn't realize yesterday was Mardi Gras until I saw some TIME tweets about the holiday. I didn't grow up in a religious family and until I went to college, I didn't know anyone who gave up anything for Lent.

But in college, I had friends who challenged themselves in lots of ways for Lent--giving up soda or sugar or red meat. A couple friends lived on a dollar a day for food. How cool is that?

This year I'm going to try out Lent. I love the idea of giving up something that's bad for you and thinking good things instead, whether it's prayer that gets you through or whatever. So here's my plan:

I'd like to give up all negative self-talk.

All those thoughts I think when I look in the mirror and I'm not quite happy or I feel like I haven't done quite well enough on something. Instead, I'm going to focus on building myself up and believing in myself more.

I want to be conscious of what I'm thinking. When I catch on to something negative, I want to immediately replace it with something positive. That's the plan, anyway.

So this week, I'm loving positivity and self confidence.

I'm also loving...



Pat, my bf. Always. He's been really supportive the last couple weeks. I feel like ever since I've been working on my fitness, all I ever talk to him about is my calories and weight. But he hasn't complained once and I'm very grateful.


Listening to this book on audio. It's so much more exciting than the first one!



My job, my life, my friends, my family... Everything seems pretty great at this moment. I can do anything good! Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Also, in my quest for less negative self-talk, Jessica is a pretty great example!)

Is anyone else giving up something for Lent? And how is everyone's week going? I'd love to hear! <3

As always, thanks to Jamie for hosting this wonderful link up!
Check out her blog to see what everyone else is loving this week!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend highlights

Friday:


+


+

Oregon State's gymnastics meet (photo)
+

                          + 





Saturday:

Laundry and room cleaning

+


+
Two steppin' with my favorites 

Minus one :(

+



Sunday

Waking up early and battling 120 other groups and nearly 2,000 people to get the #1 spot at lottery for the Mizzou game!
If you know nothing about KU camping, it's ok. Just know that this is a very, very big deal: Mizzou is our biggest rival and boyfriend's group got the #1 spot, which means they'll be the first of the student section into the game and will get front-row seats. Needless to say, Pat is very excited. :)
Only about 1/3 of the crowd!
+
A delicious breakfast that sent me over my calorie limit later in the day. (Worth it? Probably.)

+

Picking up the puppies!



+

Naptime

+


=

One happy girl :)

How was your weekend? Did you do anything special?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday!

Hey all!

Can I tell you how excited I am that it's Friday??

It has been a crazy week! Monday was back to work after my California trip, Tuesday was Valentines (and I also got some crazy/great news!) and then Wednesday, yesterday and today have been Big Presentations to Important People at work.

Whew!

Tonight me and Pat (aka boyfriend) are going on a date here, and I am so excited!

Doesn't it look soooo good?
After that, I intend to sleep in and relax the rest of the weekend.

Does anyone else have any exciting plans?

Also, shout out to my love Simone! She is my most loyal reader and I feel so special that she's stuck with my blog and read everything I post. :)



Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

California trip recap

Hello friends!

Last weekend I got to visit my bffffffff in California! Now, I'm blogging about it. :)

Layne moved to CA at the end of last summer to work as an outdoor educator at the Pali Institute, which is in the mountains near Los Angelas.

My flight left at 630 a.m. Friday morning, so me and boyfriend had to rise and shine at 4 a.m. Ouch! I treated him to $1 gas station coffee and he was nice enough to drive me to the airport. :)



I had a short layover in Denver then flew into LAX. I'd tell you what time I landed, but I went through three time zones within 5 or 6 hours and really have no idea.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What I'm loving Wednesday!

Hey! It's Wednesday! Which means lots of people are being happy together!



Check out Jamie's blog to see what everyone else is loving this week.

1. I'm loving that I dance like crazy in my car but drive reeeeeeeally slow. I love imagining all the people angry at who they assume is an old lady driving so slowly and then passing me and seeing a 22-year-old dancing like crazy. Like this dog. Which I'm also loving, and which I can't figure out how to post on here.

2. I'm loving my simple Valentine's day with Pat. We had shape macaroni with my roommate Katie (Madagascar and Spongebob Squarepants!) then we got the BEST ice cream around. The restaurant was full, so we ate in the car, but I could seriously be happy anywhere with this boy.



3. I got some really great news yesterday. News that's going to mean Big Life Decisions. I'll let you all know when I can. :)

4. Loving KU's triumph over Kstate this week. Rock chalk!

Photo by Chris Bronson of the UDK


And finally, finally, I have joined the world of Pinterest. Here are some Pins I've enjoyed. :)

(Links are in the captions because I'm not tech-savvy enough to link through the picture :)

This ring has been on my wishlist for SO long.

I'd love pillows like these in my home someday.

I'll be making something like this for my bedroom
with Pat next year. He's Oregon, obviously, but I
can't figure out what state to put for me! I was born
in New Jersey, grew up in Missouri and met him in
Kansas. So maybe Oregon and Missouri with Kansas
in the middle? We'll see...

What are the great things in your life this week? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Tuesday + the best of SkyMall

Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday was a little rough for me. I'm trying my hardest to get over a cold and had to go back to work on a snowy day, and I forgot to pack a lunch. (My little sister emailed me about her snow day plans: puzzles, hot chocolate and ice cream. Not fair!)

But! The most difficult morning and day of the week are over (and really, how lucky am I that those are my biggest issues?), so let's celebrate with a list!

I did some travelling this weekend, including flights on three different planes. On the way to California, I slept and ate and read. On the way back I didn't have the energy to do anything but listen to music and peruse the SkyMall catalog.

You've seen SkyMall before, right? They stick the catalog in the back of the chair in front of you.

I like SkyMall. And by "like," I mean I enjoy looking at the random products they sell and wondering who would ever buy them.

So now, I present to you, the best of SkyMall.

A Bigfoot Garden Statue
This one is pretty funny. If I end up with a husband who wants this in our yard, I might not fight him on it. But I'm also probably not going to spend the $90-125 they want for it.

This was the most popular result when I searched for "statue." Who is buying these???

A Zombie Garden Statue
I admit it: Zombies terrify me. I hate them. I would never want this near my house. Or near me. I can't even believe I'm posting it here. Yeesh.


Skel-e-gnomes
Ok, so they're all yard decorations so far, but who thinks of these things??


The Shuvee Shoe Deodorizer


"It's the ultraviolet shUVee Shoe Deodorizer. The UV light given off by the shUVee kills over 95% of germs, bacteria, even the fungus responsible for the highly contagious MRSA bacteria -- in less than one hour. It's chemical-free and unlike sprays, the UV light reaches all the way into shoes down to the toes where bacteria live. In fact, it's the same UV technology employed by most hospitals."

And it's really, really funny looking.


The Magic Wand Remote
Ok... I really kind of want this one. You learn the 13 different movements and then have a magic wand for a remote control. Yes please! (My birthday is coming up...)


Anyone seen any other awesome products lately?

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's love!

Hey lovelies! Happy day before Valentine's!




I was part of a Valentine blog swap this year and got paired with the lovely Michabella. Here is an awful picture of the wonderful goodies she sent me:


I don't know Michelle in real life, but man--did she know how to buy me a gift! Lots of chocolate, a sparkly card, a cute magnetic note pad and some blank note cards (which are perfect for me because I looove handwritten notes!) She also got me some really pretty nail polish. I've used it already and loved it, but a skilled manicurist I am not, so I neglected to take a picture of my sloppy work.



Do you have any special plans for tomorrow? Valentine's Day is totally nbd to me, but Pat and I will be having a small celebration consisting of shape macaroni (my faaavorite, although he prefers the twisty kind, so I usually buy that) and then after Zumba we're going to get ice cream. Yum!

I hope you all enjoy time with those you love tomorrow, whether it's with a significant other, your favorite puppy, or even the cast of Grey's Anatomy. Because love comes in many forms. :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review: Jurassic Park



Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews.

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures once extinct now roam Jurassic Park, soon-to-be opened as a theme park. Until something goes wrong...and science proves a dangerous toy.

As a 22-year-old girl who primarily reads chick lit, I am not the typical science fiction reader. Throughout the time I was reading this book, when people asked me how it was, I hesitantly answered, "Well, it's more science than I'm used to..."

But in the end I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jurassic Park. The science is ever-present, but always understandable. Sometimes I even caught on to things before they were fully explained, which made me feel smart. :) I've seen the movie, but only once, so even though I remembered that much of the action was the same in book and movie, a lot of it still surprised me, and there was plenty that wasn't in the movie. There was some gore, which I was expecting, but it was never too much for me to handle.

My only complaint was that there were a lot of characters. Like, a looooot. So when people got hurt/maimed/killed, half the time I didn't remember or care who they were. I wish I had kept a little chart to keep track of names or something. BUT I did remember the main characters and I cared what happened to them, so I was still invested in the book.

I think I like Jurassic Park more now than when I first finished it. It's one of those stories that you keep thinking about long after you read it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Weekend recap: Visit from sister and parentals!

Hey loves!

As I mentioned last week, my family was up this past weekend to visit and for my little sister Anna to play volleyball. It was a great weekend (though the sports part turned out to be not that great...).

My family got in Friday around 9:30 and stopped at Emily's first to drop off the puppies. We had decided they should stay there because my roommate's dogs are much, much bigger, but my parents and Anna stayed with me because my house has more space than Em's apartment.

Captain Chewy Jack Sparrow (Chewy) and Olive Lucy (Lucy)

After dropping off the dogs, everyone headed over to my house where my mom recounted a recent incident she experienced in the line of duty as a social worker and I got my them all settled in to where they would be sleeping.

Saturday morning started bright and early as Anna had her first volleyball game at 8 a.m. So much for sleeping in on the weekend!








While Anna's team did not do so hot (winning only two games out of four matches) Anna had some awesome passes and served six times in a row, including two aces! (Where the other team doesn't touch her serve or only touches it once before letting it drop.) She'd been struggling with her serves for a while, so it was great to see her do really well! Boyfriend came to one of the games and we all got Subway for lunch. Yummm.

After Anna's four games, we headed over to Emily's. We walked the dogs and then everyone settled in. Emily and I had decided to cook din for our family (plus Pat!) and concocted a meal of spaghetti, garlic bread, garlic broccoli, and homemade chicken nuggets for the meat eaters. Yum again!

(I'm a terrible blogger and didn't take any pictures... Still getting used to blogging I guess!)

KU played Mizzou, our oldest rival, Saturday night. Sadly, the game disappointed: we lost by three. But we were the underdog on the other team's home court. Hopefully we'll show them what's what when we play them at Allen Field House at the end of the month. :) (Last night was much happier as we stomped Baylor on their home court! Rock Chalk!)

After the game, all who were staying at my house headed out. I accidentally left my cellphone at Emily's though. Whoops! So in the morning, I went back with my parents to retrieve my phone. When I went to text Pat that I had gotten it back, I found these lovely messages that someone had been kind enough to write to him for me:

Ignoring the bad grammar, I think they were pretty creative!


We walked the dogs one last time...





and then packed them up and my family headed back on the three-hour trip home.

I promise, promise, prooooomise I'll try to take more pictures of my trip this weekend to California and other exciting things in the future!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What I'm loving Wednesday!

Hey lovelies!

As usual, I'm linking up with Jamie for What I'm loving Wednesday.


This week I've been loving...

1. It Happened One Night. I mentioned last week that I'd gotten it from the library. I watched it twice since then! Here's my favorite scene:


2. Zumba! I've been frustrated the last couple weeks because the class isn't as challenging as I'd hoped, but I still love it. I love the women who are in my class. There's something about seeing a bunch of women dance so joyfully that makes you smile. :)

3. My family! I'm so lucky to have them, and I so enjoyed their visit this weekend. More on that tomorrow!




4. Audio books! I may have mentioned before that I tried to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and seriously struggled. I couldn't even get through the first 30 pages they were so boring! But I knew so many people loooved it, so I decided to try it again and got it on audio. It makes my commute sooo much nicer. I actually look forward to driving to and from work! I started making a list of books that are available on audio at my library and plan to continue listening as I drive.


5. And, of course, I'm loving that this weekend is my Cali trip! I'll soon be in LA with my bestie. Perffff.



Let me know what you're loving this week! Happy Wednesday, friends!

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