You’ll never believe it!!

Hello, lovelies! You will never guess what I had the sheer LUCK of getting today!! I’m so excited to tell.

But first I would like to introduce you to some of my daily interactions.

Meet TJ!

She’s my not as fat as she used to be kitty that I switched to weight controlled food. She’s my 6 a.m. snuggler and one of my favorite cats, ever! Though nobody else but me sees her personality, it’s quite colorful 😉

Meet Mo.

His butt gets filthy. It's quite a pain!

Named after this cutie from Wall-E by my BFF Sara.

Mo is currently breaking. Oh boy, is he breaking. The front wheel bearing is sooo loud and needs to be replaced and his poor little exhaust pipe broke off a few weeks ago. Broke off and made my car sound like a motorcycle/semi truck! Poor Mo.  I hope my grandpa can fix him!

Not to mention he has some problem where he constantly smells like burritos! (I don’t eat burritos!) Hmmm.

Meet my Skates!

It's okay to have a waffle iron in your car with your skates, right?

These are my skates that are in my car to use at any given time I feel like roller blading. I planned for them (or my bike) to be my main source of exercise until I can run again. However, I’ve been quite a slacker. Not only have I started eating terribly but I’m pretty sure I can win an award for the amount of excuses used to not exercise.

I’m hoping this bloggy can help keep me motivated to use them! 🙂 They’re dying to be used!

Meet my tard foot.

This is tard foot. You can see one of the two scars from my surgery. What you can’t see is how much of a pain in the butt this foot is! The weather changed and my tendons decided that they didn’t want to stretch so I was in agony for about 2 weeks! Eeesh.

It’s okay though, exercise will help it! 🙂

Meet my Mother’s chickens.

Little beasts, I call them!

Hear me out.

One of those two roosters (the other hens are sitting away) is out to get me! He attacks me all the time.

And let me tell you, it is not very easy to kick a rooster. They are much heavier than they look!

Meet my Hanson.net Fan Club Member Card!

This card got me to my exciting news today!!

I asked BFF Sara if she wanted to go to a Hanson concert in Ft. Lauderdale and she said of course she would go with me (she just started digging on Hanson!) Anyway, I bought the tickets a few weeks ago and clicked the special fan club “request a meet and greet” button and didn’t think anything of it.

Low and behold, I got an email today saying I won a meet and greet with Hanson!!!! AHHH!!! You have no idea how pumped I am!! I’ve been in L-O-V-E with them for 13 years and have never met them! I can’t believe it, I’m so pumped up. It’s surreal 🙂 I cant’ wait to share the pictures with y’all!
Hopefully I can find some time to cook some food in the next few days. I miss cooking but I’ve been so swamped with school that I may just need to make quick and healthy meals instead of time consuming tasty treats 😉

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Picture update!

So over the last few months of my non updating I have been up to a few things.

Including an AMAZING trip to Las Vegas to see Lady Gaga. We also saw “Love” the Cirque Du Soleil show and it was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life. Not only did it reignite my love for the beatles, but it was so wonderful that I insisted we see it again. The food we ate was so delicious! It was such a great spur of the moment trip, I still cannot believe it happened. I also fell in love completely with one of the performers in the cirque show. Sad that he will never know it! (If you ever see it, the guy with the flowers /swoooooooooooon!!!!)

Covered in streamers from the end of the Love show!

We hit up the Bellagio buffet and check out our dessert haul, hah!

Lady Gaga was one of the most amazing concerts I have seen or will ever see, hands down. It was like a crazy amped up theatrical performance, I loved it!  She also said how much she loved her fans about 50 times and it made me love her even more.

our VIP tickets were so great! 🙂

We also ate at the most A-MAZING burger place I have ever tasted called BLT Burger. Omg. If you are in vegas, go to the mirage and eat there. The burgers are to die for, as are the milkshakes and the sweet potato fries. Nothing was bad! Oh my. We ate there twice!

Such an amazing trip! Though we didn’t win big at all, which was upsetting. 😦

 

We did see a guy walk right into a fountain and start stealing change….we named him Water Coins. Hah!

 

Since then there has been a lot of fantasy football (my team BLOWS), lots of sleeping over at Kevin and Alex’s house, and lots and lots and lots and lots of homework. Planning to go to a great grad school I’m super focused on my grades so I’ve got lots of work to do always. Sadly this makes for not a lot of cooking time 😦

 

I’ve also taken to absolutely hating my face-greased iphone 3G because it is the SLOWEST most awful phone ever. It keeps freezing and not loading anything about 50% of the time.

 

I may just smash it.

 

I’ve taken to using my amazing Love blanket I got in Vegas. 🙂 I couldn’t decide what to get at the store but decided on a throw at the last minute because I’m perpetually freezing.

 

The same BFF of mine that got me the awesome lady gaga seats also got me a ticket to a great Rays/Angels game. 🙂 He’s pretty freakin fantastic 🙂 And he’s supposed to be here at the end of the month! I’m so excited!! I hope he has fun here in the O, we have plans for Universal and lots of movie watching!

 

The family next to me left when the Rays were down in the 6th.

Ahaha, my mouth looks crazy! I love it!

My moms chickens are also starting to lay eggs! Our fridge is filling up! She’s super excited. She actually just got 10 more chicks that lay fancy eggs. By fancy I mean they are dark chocolate brown eggs and sell for some serious $$.

 

Since a few months ago when I started using our cast iron pan to start seasoning it my Dad took an interest in it. Then when I made my restaurant steak he got REALLY interested in it and wanted to get some more pans. He took a trip with my mom up to North Carolina a weekend or two ago and they had a mission to find used cast iron pans at a flea market. They ended up finding quite a few and brought 3 back home in different sizes. Super exciting! They learned a lot about which ones are the best to get and which are the oldest American made ones and also how to tell if they weren’t made in America.

He’s really excited that one of the pans, which was really rusty, needed to be scrubbed and seasoned so he did that tonight.

 

The boys were really interested because of the...

Lard! Yum.

 

Phew! I think I covered mostly everything. If not, c’est la vie. 🙂 It’s great to be back, my darlings.

Chocolate Pants Cake

Intrigued by the title? I sure hope so!

So remember a few posts ago (I tried to find it to link it but alas…I cannot! I type too many words per entry.) I told y’all I would be documenting my cooking triumphs and failures?

Well, I have another failure for you! 😉 It seems like I post those more than I post triumphs! However, I think it’s more fun this way. I’m still learning! I know a lot of others out there in blogger/internet world are, too. I also know that I get frustrated and scream to the heavens (in my head) that these people who wrote the recipes never had to deal with these failures!!! Why me!?!?

Which of course we all know is false. Still. I wonder it.

Onward we shall go with my tale of chocolate pants cake.

The other night I was in my amazing google reader and I saw that Smitten Kitchen had updated. Now, I love that blog. It drives me to go bake things all of the time because her pictures are beyond amazing and she is so fun. So, she posted a wonderful chocolate cake recipe and I was amazed that I had the book she had gotten the recipe from! Hooray, so exciting!! So I vowed to make it the next day.

Her directions are very simple and require a very small amount of dishes so I was even more pumped up. That’s my least favorite thing about baking.

So here I am, mixing my ingredients, looking smug about how great the batter tastes and how it’ll be done before it’s too late in the evening.

Also smug about the batter I got on my counter.

I popped it into the oven and was ready to kick back for an hour when I realized….I forgot to add baking soda.

Well, poop.

Quickly, I whined to my Papa who told me to toss it and start over otherwise I’d just be more upset.

Onto cake numero 2!

Added everything!

Kicked back.

Chilled.

Wondered to myself “I wonder why the middle isn’t rising? Oh well. It will, it’s only been in for 30 minutes.”

Wondered again “There’s only 15 minutes left and it’s still not rising.”

Papa says “Your cake fell.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I cried. (In my head)

And this was the result.

😦

Sinkhole Cake

How upsetting!

I thought maybe I could get away with frosting it and covering the hole.

My cat judged me.

To the icing!!

See?! You can’t even tell. Kind of. Just that it bends a bit with the plate. Hrrm.

The foundation is crumbling!

Now, just because a cake doesn’t rise doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good! This cake honestly tastes like rich brownies and I’d recommend baking it. However, mine cooked a little too long because my oven runs very hot. So keep a check on it after about 40 minutes.

And if your cake falls and you cover it in icing then eat a piece? Be prepared for a plateful of chocolate cake pants. 😉

I really am the worst blogger ever.

I started this blog with full intentions of updating it ALL the time. But I’m awful at it!

So this entry will  be bulleted and nice and hopefully return us to our regularly scheduled blogging. 😉 (Don’t mind my cell phone picture updates!)

I would like to start by announcing that I am 100% debt free! Wow! 🙂 Very proud moment for me and I’m so psyched about it. I should be able to complete my undergrad schooling with no debt accrued. Hopefully the same will be true with grad school but we’ll see. That can be quite expensive…eeep!

I had an amazing 4th of July with some of my very best friends!! A few were missing like our friend Jimmy but it was still lots of fun. 🙂

I bought a Macbook Pro and took a trip to Miami with a good friend who was in from Las Vegas. He’s best friends with me and my best friend Sara, who lives there! So him and I ventured down there after I picked him up from the airport. It was super fun! I wish she didn’t have to work so much but it was still worth it.

We ate Primanti Bros! It’s a restaurant that is always and forever on food countdowns that are on TV so we made a point to go. The pizza was to die for and the sandwiches were pretty fantastic. I could definitely go there for pizza alone!

The day we were leaving I cooked them croque-madam with a different recipe. I made a cheese sauce to go on the top layer of bread and used a strong swiss cheese. Sooo worth it! It came out fantastic!

Came home and worked on a project for my Oceanography class. Good thing I live on a lake. 🙂

Returned the Macbook Pro and am now having a vendetta with Apple.

Upgraded to a really amazing lens (24-105mm) on my camera and got a separate flash. I’m in love.

Loved my pets, wore uggs in the dead of summer since I’m always freezing, covered my bike in towels because I’m an exercise slacker, was judged at a distance by my cat, been grossed out by my medical coding book, and came to terms with the fact that my cat has quite a large belly that probably will never get smaller.

Got my electrode machine in the mail and am addicted beyond belief. So much foot pain relief.

For BFF Sara’s birthday I took another trip down to the M-I-A and baked her a chocolate pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese icing. Ate a huge burger with 2 eggs, hashbrowns, and bacon on top. Made a pulled pork and cornbread dinner for the two of us and had a wonderful night with Miss Sara setting off sparklers.

Found out I’m getting an A in Oceanography, very excited!! 🙂 My GPA goes up to 3.64 once the grade goes in. Studying for the GRE in preparation for UNC applications a year from now.

Saw Inception 4 times. I’m in love.

and I am completely obsessed with the new Hanson album.

Check it out. It’s fabulous!

And that concludes the last month of my life. Relatively…:)

Oh, life.

So, I’m finally carving a big, fat, completely paved, all signs go in this direction path in my life. It’s lovely, amazing, refreshing, revitalizing, and wonderful.

For months upon months I have been trying to figure out the best way to go about doing what I want to do and it has never been quite solid for me because I did not like the options that I had available, nor did I think they were doors that would be open to me. In January of this year I met a wonderful girl named Sara, who smacked me right in the face with the perfect career that she had chosen as her own, as her current major. I was instantly intrigued and could not believe that for so long it didn’t even pop into my brain as an idea! She is such a great and interesting person, with interests so similar to mine it makes me wonder how we don’t spend more time together, that I looked up what she had told me on our coffee date as soon as I got home. Library science. Perfection is what it should have been called.

How fitting it is, for the girl with piles of books everywhere around her room and stashes of them in the attic. The one who used to sneak reading in during bed time when she was little by a night light next to the mattress (only to be found the next morning by her mother asleep in a nook against the wall, face smashed into a book), reader of encyclopedias when running out of things to read, to be a librarian.

So! I have been thinking over this since January. About the one and only time I visited the National Archives in D.C. and many of the libraries there and how I had an INSANE spaz attack at being inches away from the Declaration of Independence. (Pictured below 😉 ) How I would love to work with those things every day of my life.

My hair is short. I had a fashiony mohawk at one time.

And I thought. And thought. And thought. Until this past week when I was thinking of grad school and how I want to be there by the time I’m 25, which gives me 2 years to finish up my business here and get my bachelors done. I was excited! I’m so thrilled to be reaching a halfway point that I began to search. I searched for the best graduate schools and their rankings, looking for ones surrounded by museums. I purposely skewed my own search results to make myself end up in Washington, D.C. so that I could be close to plenty of them. I knew I was skewing them.

I declared a school in D.C. my goal and was proud! But I knew I had skewed it. I looked at their graduate rankings for Information and Library Science and they were nowhere near what my other front runner had to offer. They had museums. This other location has a big fat library with an amazing archives section. It stole my heart away when I looked with fresh eyes.

I didn’t want to leave the south, I’m too in love with it. This school is there. My parents own property across the state. This school is there. It’s been #1 for 8 years in that major. This school is IT! Say hello to my big, fat, new obsession:

IN LOVE, with this place. I am head over freaking heels in love with Chapel Hill, NC. The school, the town, the scenery, the fact that wisteria grows along the streets in the spring, every bit of it.

So my plan now? Work my ass off and make sure I study my ass off for the GRE exam and get my ass into that grad school. I am consumed with the desire to get into this school, it is the only thing I am thinking about and every action I take will get me there.

No coincidences! I firmly believe I was meant to meet Sara and she was meant to steer me towards this goal and I will be grateful for it til the day I die. Hooray!

It feels so great to type that. It feels so great to have a goal!! It’s completely changed my views of what I’m doing. In light of that, I have started working out with the lovely Sean! Sean is someone who practices crossfit, an awesome workout that utilizes and maximizes what the human body was meant to do. It works out your full body every time you do it and you do actions that you use in every day life. That makes it sooo much more appealing!

What makes it unappealing: the fact that I am in utter AGONY today and can barely stand because my muscles lock up. It’s the price I pay for a sexy butt, HAH! It was fun though, I’m very excited. Sean is a great trainer. When my legs physically would not let me continue doing squats (I seriously could not lift myself up, the front of my thighs had turned into jelly) he altered it to have me do sit ups, which I gave everything I could. I was really worried he’d think I was faking to get out of doing squats so I’m glad he gave me an alternate to prove to him I was serious.

I definitely recommend crossfit workouts  😀

Oh yeah, I totally got sick while we were doing it. Soooo not fun. That means it’s working though! YEAH!

Another plus (almost) is that I might be getting my very own dog! I’m so excited! As part of my no coincidences philosophy of life, when my mom called about a week ago and told me my dad might be bringing another dog home, I was baffled since we have so many pets. Then she told me it was a german shepherd. I have been telling her I want one of those for years and years and that when I move out I want to have one. Since I’ll most likely be living alone I want to feel safe and to me a dog would add to that feeling. I couldn’t believe it! Someone my dad knows has a customer who is too old to take care of a big dog and doesn’t feel she gives the dog what it needs and she loves that we live on 16 acres and love animals.

The plan as of right now is to have me go visit and spend time with her and build up a relationship with her so that I can bring her home and be “in control” of her and be her master when we introduce her to our other pups. I’m getting all this from Cesar Milan, people. She is A-DORABLE. I’m in love. Two loves in one week, I may just die.

Isn’t she so cute!!? Her name is Bella. Awww. I think she’ll fit right in when I move to NC 😉 And I am promptly watching 2 seasons and 1 special of the dog whisperer to make sure she comes into the house without much trouble!

I plan to post my pot pie attempt tomorrow and my tips on how to make it so yours doesn’t suck like mine did. Also my tips on how to make chocolate croissants even better. 🙂

Other recipes to come soon:

  • Home made carrot cake a la Peas and Thank You (mine wont be vegan though)
  • Zucchini fritters a la Runners World (even though I made cakes before)
  • Healthy open face turkey sandwich
  • Bruschetta a la Julie and Julia 😉
  • Granola bars from a yet to be determined location!

If you have anything you’d like me to make, let me know! I’m willing to try anything. So if you have a recipe you’re too scared to make, tell me! I’ll post it here and tell you my results, good or bad 😀

Obligatory cat shot. Lou is on the hunt!

Awful Blogger 101 and Croque Monsieur

I’m terrible at this. Maybe because I just started it? It’s been 10 days since I last updated and I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing almost the entire time.

Bones!!!

BONES!

Yes. Bones. I am utterly and shamelessly addicted to David Boreanaz and his delicious banter about crime scenes. Addicted. I cannot stop watching it. Thankfully I’m almost finished with the 5th season otherwise I would literally get nothing done.

In between, of course, I have been cooking things! I’ve made about a handful of tasty treats that I want to post all in this one entry but I figure that would be an overload so I’ll just pick one….maybe two…but I should save some for entries later on so I keep updating regularly, right? 😉

My birthday dinner was also absolutely wonderful! P.F. Changs is my favorite place to eat on my birthday! We loaded up on everything and even got two desserts 😉

PF Changs!

PF Great Wall of Chocolate

The other dessert was cheesecake. Yum!

As for non food things, remember that digital photography class I was oh-so-excited to take? Well, in living my life by the “there are no coincidences” theory, I dropped the class.

Reason being?

  1. I ordered the wrong book.
  2. The book would not arrive til after the first class and the teacher was adamant we have it the first day.
  3. The tab I needed to access online to see where/when my class was, was down the night before.
  4. The tab continued to be down til right after the class would have ended.

Now, I had a rough estimate of the time I should have been there but I didn’t know the location of the classroom and I did not necessarily want to go down to school and spend hours in line at 8 in the morning. So, I dropped it. I’m glad to have done so. While the people around me tell me I take nice photographs, I don’t think I could handle being graded on them. I’m only artistically minded to a certain extent, then I lose the grasp of art.

Aside from those things, I had a fun time exercising with my friend Rick as the first of one of our muscle toning work outs. We did that P90X thing, and WOW! It is difficult. Talk about wanting to kill yourself. The only one we have done so far was arms/shoulders and it was sooo many push ups. My arms were killin me all weekend! Very fun though. Sadly, I have been slacking on my bike riding endeavors. Woops! Although my excuse for that is that my best friend Sara was in town all weekend and we were literally out from morning til night.  Has my healthy eating got out the window?

so country.

Just a smidge. I ate alright, I guess. There are not any healthy fast food options on sundays, I’m convinced of it. It’s frustrating! I’d love to have non-mexican food options to eat that are healthy. We did discover how much of a light weight I am while watching the Magic game on sunday and I had 3 beers. I was extremely tipsy! I used to be a champ, but I suppose not drinking for a long time will do that to ya. 😉

One of the things we did do though, was watch It’s Complicated. Which is where I got the recipe for Croque Monsieur. Well, the idea for it then I looked up the recipe and tweaked it a bit.

What you do is make a sandwich with ham (I used smoked turkey) and cheese. The order is the strange part. 😉

You’ll need:

  • 2-4 slices of bread depending on your number of sandwiches.
  • 2-3 slices of meat per sandwich
  • shredded cheese or sliced cheese to generously cover one slice of bread.
  • butter!
  • eggs (optional)

Preheat your oven on broil to 300 degrees. Take your bread and use 2-3 slices of deli meat and place it in between the slices you’ve cut. I used french bread, too, since it gets crispier than whole wheat slices and, lets face it, is more photogenic.

Bread Slices

Pre Cooked!

After you’ve done that, butter the outsides of the bread generously and place in a medium-low frying pan.

Frying Sammies!

Brown, then flip over to brown the other side. I had to use my fingers to make sure it didn’t fall apart as I flipped with a spatula, but it worked nicely. Much easier than flipping eggs if you ask me. 🙂

Browned Sammies!

Once the oven is preheated and your sandwiches are browned on each side, remove from heat and place your cheese on top. Then place either on a baking sheet or on the rack of the oven.

Make sure to keep your oven door cracked so that your cheese doesn’t sweat.

Once the cheese begins to brown, remove and place on plate.

Make sure Lou enjoys herself while rolling on the floor.

If you’re like me and wanted to make sure it was a filling meal, I added eggs to the top to create Croque Madam. I’d definitely love to make them poached eggs but I have not yet attacked that beast!

My opinion? I enjoyed it. However, I’d definitely use a stronger meat next time. The turkey was way too bland for the sandwich but I don’t eat ham so it was my only substitute. Bacon and turkey would probably be my next combo.
Either that or next time I’m just going to make the bread with cheese and cover it in tomatoes 😉 Yum!

Heart of Gold

Are there any recipes you would like me to try? I’d love anyone to give me some ideas, I’m running out of things to make! I’m in a rut.

Mechanically minded? Pffft!

So yesterday I got that bike trainer I’ve been rambling about for a few entries. I could not put that thing together for the life of me! At one point I gave up and plopped on my bed and piled blankets on myself (complete with cat on top). She was frustrated, too! What with me disturbing her slumbery ways of blobbing about my room and flinging cardboard everywhere. I am not mechanically minded. As much as I would love to be, I fail to comprehend that aspect of anything. Stick me with every other thing in the world and I’m golden.

Trainer!!

Woohoo! Also don't mind the mess...or the fact that a 23 year old has that poster on the wall.

Needless to say my lovely parents helped me and I now have a wonderful bike trainer 😀 at the foot of my bed. kind of obscuring the rest of my room so I may move it…but I have one!! Very exciting! 🙂

I haven’t used it yet. It scares TJ.

Yesterday was spent hanging out with Sean!

Sean!

His mouth was full and I caught him mid chew. Woops!

And pining over the always delicious and delectable Robert Downey Jr. *queue swoon*

Oh, what that man does to me. I could just die. That and I’m a total comic nerd, particularly for The Ultimates in which Tony Stark plays a major role and RDJ fits the bill completely.

Last night I also prepped the makings for my famous pulled pork that my papa has been begging me to make. Which consists of pork shoulder (half a picnic) or boston butt shoved into a slow cooker and an entire 2 liter of mug root beer poured over it. Set to low. Cook for a day. In about 2 hours the next portion will come where I have to shred it with forks and plop it back into the drained cooker until dinner time along with a bottle of BBQ sauce. But shhhh! I can’t tell him how easy it is 😉

Next on my list of treats to remake is Nigella Lawson’s Traditional Chocolate Cake. Mmm! She’s the cutest person alive, I must say. I could watch her cook for days. Or move in with her and have her make me huge and fat, I don’t care! Once I get everything I need together for that one, expect a luscious chocolate cake to appear on this here blog. 🙂

Oh yeah, my mom got her chickens this morning. We’re so country.

I didn't hold them. I was scared they would poop on me.

It’s true. The box they came out of, blech! Poop everywhere. Not very nice. I think it was worse holding that box than it is when I have to clean the litter boxes for my cats. No thank you! Speaking of cats, I am having quite the flea issue with my little ones. My cats are indoor and the other cats in the house are outdoor, but somehow my cats are the ones that are winding up with fleas? It’s driving me mad! I’ve cleaned everything and combed them mercilessly while waiting for the treatment to get here and I am not making a dent. Any tips?? I am literally willing to to try anything!

I have also been pondering lately about what I should be doing with my future. I love history in every form it takes. I’d love nothing more than to have a job where I dealt with history all day but I must be realistic. In fact, typing that makes me want to stop what I’m writing because it’s unfair of me to make myself do something I don’t want. I want my profession to involve history. I want to be a teacher of it, I want to work in a museum and become an authority of it. I’ve altered the path many times and I always come back to History. So… never mind what I was going to say here instead, darlings. 😉

I promised all of you more recipes and I will be sure to actually start documenting the things I cook!

A Bugs Life

Veggies!

I have a wonderful garden full of vegetables (and an astronomical amount of blueberries!) that will be ripe for the picking soon enough and I shall attempt delicious treats with them all. And probably fail a few times. But hey, that’s what makes cooking fun, right? 😉

Blueberry Plants

Blueberries for miles!

I still have to perfect a blueberry pancake recipe. Pancakes and I do not get along.