Wednesday, December 29, 2010

bang bang

My dog recently learned the "bang bang" trick, where he rolls over like he's dead when you say it.  I'm a pretty proud mama.  Mostly because it's just really damn cute.


*please ignore the green fleece pants and bedroom slippers--i wasn't planning on anyone seeing that monstrosity*

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lately...

I have been having extreme wanderlust tendencies (I know, this is really nothing new), and convince myself almost daily that I'm just going to pack up and move somewhere---BECAUSE I CAN.  I'm young, unattached, and open to uncertainty for the most part.  With the exception of going to college 10 hours away from my parents, I don't feel like I've ever really taken a risk (at least in my eyes) and done something huge to to broaden my horizons or really take me out of my comfort zone.  I want that.  I want to be able to look back and say I did something like that.  Because sometimes I feel like time is just slipping through my fingers and it kills me.

However, the other side of this is the fact that I love my city.  Like love it.  I love the life I've created here-- the friends that keep me sane, my parents being close, and all that sweet Nashville has to offer--and sometimes even the thought of leaving that makes me emotional.  


So tell me, do you ever feel this way?  Have you packed up and gone somewhere or taken a risk that was life-changing?  Please share!  I sure would love to hear your stories.


Photo courtesy of World Gallery

Monday, December 20, 2010

signs that you should go back to bed

When I poured hot coffee over my tea bag instead of hot water this morning, and then immediately proceeded to fall into the toilet after the lid was left up, I really should have known (or at least suspected!) that today might have ended up being a rather stressful day.  The way I see it though?  It was a total Monday and I got it over with early in the week.  Cheers to tomorrow and a short week ahead!

PS- happiest birthday to my sweet mother (below) today!  She's the best one around.



Sunday, December 19, 2010

cozy

It's always hilarious to me just how much of a homebody I turn into once the holiday season hits, lasting until about mid-March.  But how can you really blame me when my house feels this cozy?


Friday, December 17, 2010

nap time

Sometimes, a Saturday afternoon nap with a sweet, furry monster is absolutely necessary.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

when life gets crazy


Sometimes the best remedy for a stressful, out-of-control day is a simple gratitude list.  Just taking 10 minutes to focus on the things I’m thankful for always seems to bring me to much calmer place.

Today I’m grateful for an incredible best friend, a fabulous roommate, my health, loving parents, a sweet dog, Bon Iver, and all the people that make me laugh throughout the day. 

Ah yes, feeling much better already. My life rules.

Happy day to you all.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

summer shenanigans pt. 2

Very quickly becoming one of my favorite weekend activities...pool shenanigans.

video

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

when life hands you a lime....

...you sometimes just need to put it in a delicious Mexican beer and enjoy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

a whole month already?


Alright.  It’s pretty evident that following through on writing more on my blog isn’t exactly my forte.  But I have a good excuse.  The last time I posted was just a little after a month ago and I was one day into my new job.  Well, said job is crazy busy and I have hardly had time to think about or do anything else.  It’s been a huge adjustment for me, as I have always had a pretty normal work schedule, and a fairly light workload since I’ve been in the real world.  I’ve always left work by 5:00 and taken lunches everyday, but this is no longer the case.  That being said, I am in no way complaining.  I am really enjoying it so far, and loving the fact that I have a new challenge everyday and no day is ever alike.  It doesn’t hurt that my coworkers are fun and wonderful as well.  This isn’t to say that I’m not overwhelmed a good portion of the time, but I know I made a good career move that will open up a lot of opportunities and give me great experience in event planning. 

The hardest part of the adjustment is making the time to fit in everything that I love outside of work.  Working out is a huge priority and finding a new schedule of classes I like is difficult.  My sweet dog isn’t getting as many walks as he should be, but I’m hoping to start taking him really early in the morning while I drink my essential cup of coffee.  And my friends…well, my friends are my heart and they understand completely that right now a lot of plans are played by ear until I can get a more consistent schedule down. 

So all in all, while crazy and hectic, the job is great and I’m glad to be there.  And life in general is better than it has ever been.  Cheers to that! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

new job

Today was the first day of my new job--Hooray!  I am now working for the Nashville Technology Council handling their events and membership (check us out here).  Ya’ll knew I was a geek, but probably not a tech geek huh?  Truth is, I’m not really, but I think I have potential to be because it’s something that really interests me.  Plus, technology is always changing at such a rapid pace that I’m surely never to get bored with it. 

It was a pretty overwhelming day, as most first days anywhere are, but I have a good feeling that I’m going to love it once I get the hang of things.  I’ve got some pretty rad coworkers on my hands as well, and that never hurts.  Lots to learn, but I’m ready for the challenge.  Here we go!

Monday, July 19, 2010

summer shenanigans

Have I ever told you how much I love summer?  I’m at the peak of my happiness on any given day in the summer, and one of the biggest contributors to said summer happiness is canoeing.  Reasons why it is one of the best forms of summer entertainment: it’s cheap, it’s an all day adventure, BYOB, you get exercise, you can bring your dog, and most importantly, it provides an arena to wear cut off jean shorts and fake tattoos.  Can we say dream come true?

This past Saturday was canoe trip #2 of the summer and there were 17 of us in the group.  It was pretty epic—I felt like we were on an adult version of “Wild and Crazy Kids”.  The day started with everyone applying no less than two fake skull tattoos that I purchased for a whopping $2.99 for a 50 pack.  It ended with a group dinner at Las Palmas where everyone was so tired that it was hard to chew our chips.  These pictures should suffice as documentation of everything in between. 



Friday, July 16, 2010

no more excuses


I’m going to try a new approach to this blogging thing.  Here’s the thing: I have always felt like I have to write something profound or upload photos of something really cool that I’ve done in order for it to count as a worthy post.  But you see, I’m not all that profound, and I don’t do wildly incredible activities that merit blinding someone with the flash of my camera on a daily basis.  But I’m happy. Happier than I can remember being in quite some time in fact.  And I’ve decided to write about just that—what makes me happy.  As well as some things that make me unhappy of course, but inevitably contribute to my crazy good, happy life.  So here it is: I promise to just write what’s on my mind, or tell a funny story, or to take pictures of ordinary, but great things that occur on a typical or not so typical day.  Because really, I’m only doing myself a disservice by not documenting this adventure called life, and I prefer not to disservice anyone, especially myself.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

stress relief

When I’m stressed out or just feeling anxious about things, baking is one of my favorite forms of relief. And as much as I love food and eating, that’s not my favorite part of baking (I usually try to pawn my concoction off on others as to avoid gaining 20 pounds overnight). It’s the creativity that comes out of playing around with different recipes until you get it just right, and the concentration it takes to do it that makes me enjoy baking so much. Just reason #438 why I would love to open a bakery one day…

Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed and extremely restless, so after a hilarious attempt to mow my lawn, I hit the kitchen and got my bake on. Here’s a step by step view of the vegan Double Layer Strawberry Shortcake Cake with a Chocolate Cream Cheese-type frosting that I made. Needless to say, I went to bed a little less frazzled, and a lot more full of cake.






Monday, April 5, 2010

oh hey spring, never leave me.

This weekend was pure bliss with the amazing weather and spring-time activities. I felt like I really had the chance to just look around and appreciate all the beauty in this world—both nature and people—and it was so nice to feel that much contentment!  It's really kinda crazy how blessed I am...

Here are a few photos that I've taken around town recently.  Isn't Nashville pretty?



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

quarter-life crises

I’m starting to believe that quarter-life crises actually do exist and I may be caught in the midst of mine. My QLC (quarter-life crisis) sure knows how to be prompt at only two months into my 25th year, so bravo I suppose! Technically, I’ve been feeling this coming on for quite some time, but that was all just the calm before the storm of every day freak outs, threatening to drop everything and move abroad, and constant edginess. I’m sure this is normal for young women (or men!) my age to go through the inevitable worries of any and everything under the moon, but I don’t see the obvious indications from most of my friend base.

Symptoms of a QLC:
-Laugh, Cry, Panic…then repeated 12 times per day
-Make threats to non-existent persons that you’re just going to pull a geographical and move somewhere new
-Consider getting a tattoo on your face that asks, “What am I doing with my life?” since this seems to be the most common theme in your life at the moment.
-Convince yourself that Eat. Pray. Love. was actually written just for/about you and that you should be playing the lead role in the movie instead of Julia Roberts.
-Change your mind no less than 65 times a day on something as simple as what to eat for lunch.


Do you ever feel this way, or did you at some point in your life? How do you handle it?

Friday, March 19, 2010

move to the music

Living in Nashville, I am constantly introduced to and surrounded by music--sometimes way too much because it becomes excessive and starts to all sound the same. In fact, if you’re not a songwriter or musician in Nashville, you’re now the unique one. (I’m unique!) I used to be so easily persuaded by a new artist or record and my bank account suffered greatly from regular Grimey’s and iTunes purchases, but for many months now, very few bands have had that much impact on me. However, thanks to a friend, I’ve recently been introduced to Mumford & Sons and I am forever grateful. At last!—a band whose song (#5-White Blank Page) gave me chills on the first listen! I really encourage you to check them out if you have not yet listened to them.

Other artist/record honorable mentions:
Joe Purdy-(the song “Outlaws” brought me to tears)
American Bang-(they’ll make you want to rock and roll all night and party everyday—guaranteed)
Phoenix-Wolfgang Amadeus (this whole album is ridiculously good, but their earlier stuff is awesome too)


Do you have any suggestions for new/good music? Because my bank account called and said it’s ready to throw down…

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a post devoted entirely to hummus.

Some people daydream about their prince-charming. Others dream about an Avatar-like utopia. Me? Almost always about food and/or what I get to cook or bake that evening. Not only do I just love food and eating, but the act of cooking/baking is one of the most therapeutic things I can do for myself. However, this love affair with cooking hasn’t always been around—I used to think a can of alfredo sauce and noodles with a pre-packaged Caesar salad was a really fine meal. Only in the last 2-3 years has it become something I truly love. I certainly don’t claim to be the next Julie Powell, but I am really glad that food and cooking excites me in a similar way.

And with that thought came another thought: what food could I not possibly live without? I’m talking if you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My natural reaction to any question is to really think it through, and probably sit on the fence for two solid days before making a final decision, but to my surprise the answer just rolled right off my tongue.

HUMMUS.



Such a beautiful word isn’t it?  Say it with me now. "Humm-us!" I love hummus more than some of my friends (not YOU, just some friends). And I truly believe with all my heart that I could never get sick of it. Why how could you when there are so many flavors to choose from? And the best part about hummus? Its undeniable ability to complement anything from crackers and pita bread to breakfast toast and spinach salad.  There isn't really much that I wouldn't do for hummus.  It's a love story, really.
(Note: I have not yet tried it with chocolate, but I am almost willing to bet it would be delicious in a weird way.) 

So, tell me what food could you not live without and/or had to eat every single meal for the rest of your life?

Monday, March 15, 2010

this week's mini goals. subject to change.

I have a list of mini-goals that I want to get done this week and I need you all to hold me accountable. Kapeesh? Good.

-Make that eye appointment that I’ve been meaning to do for about a year now.
-And that dentist appointment…Sorry, teeth.
-Set up my new sewing machine and read the manual.
-Finish one of the four books I’ve started.
-Deep clean my house
-Sent hand written letter to a friend.
Think I can handle it? Let’s hope so.  The sweet reward at the end of the week for completing said goals is that my best friend from home is coming to visit!  She rules.

What are your mini goals this week? 

Friday, March 12, 2010

in my arms

Four years after first hearing this song/video, it is still one of my favorites. Just something about it…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

vegan banana cupcakes with cinnamon vanilla frosting

Due to the insane amount of very ripe bananas I have at my house, I decided that last night was the perfect time to make banana cupcakes. I just used the recipe for a regular banana cake that I’ve made before. They turned out delicious—fluffy and dense all at once! As for the frosting--I made it up and I wish I hadn’t. I made a cinnamon vanilla frosting which tasted delicious, but the consistency was too runny and clumpy (although I did add about a third of a banana which could explain the clumps). All in all though, they were tasty and just what I was craving!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

defining yourself


During the first “patio lunch” of the spring season yesterday, my friend brought up an interesting topic, albeit random, as we were talking about her food allergies: Defining yourself.
What is it that makes us try to define ourselves and fit into one box/type of person? We subconsciously put restrictions on ourselves by attempting this unrealistic feat, and end up confused and weary in the process. I know I am guilty of this maybe more than anyone, but I just don’t know why this is.  I always find myself trying to pinpoint my personality and trying to explain that I’m “this type of person”, when many of my character traits are contradictory to that of which I’m trying to fit into.

And, guess what? It’s ok. Really, it is.

So, I think I’m done with trying to fit into just ONE box that limits my ideas, personality, and curiosity. It’s time to just BE. And that’s good enough for right now.  And by doing so, I think I will end up truly defining myself.

Do you ever feel this way?  Did you find a way to get out of the box you once tried to fit into?  Do tell!

Monday, March 8, 2010

glory days

My friend sent this article to me today and it made so much sense.  I felt like so much was written directly to my ever-wanderlusting soul.  Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Eyecandy Photo Shoot

I was lucky enough to have the incredibly fun opportunity to be one of the models in Eyecandy Salon’s photo shoot on Monday. While I was slightly nervous because a) I’m not a model and have no idea what I’m doing, and b) I didn’t have much say in what Tony (my hair stylist) was going to do with my hair, I had a great time. Luckily, I completely trust him when it comes to my hair and I ended up loving the color he chose. The style of my hair for the photo shoot was ingenious—I absolutely loved it. While I couldn’t wear my hair like that on an everyday basis, I felt totally out of character and wicked cool. He is full of creativity and inspiration! If you live in Nashville, you should check Tony out and let him play with your hair—you won’t be sorry.



As far as the actual shoot, I wore a fairly simple black dress and gold heels. My makeup was very muted because Tony was going for a Marie Antoinette theme. So I was very pale and my poses are awkward and puppet-like. I can’t wait to see how the prints turn out. It was such an amazing day being surrounded by all the stylists and photographers who have so much imagination and vision beyond my understanding! And I get to do it all over again in April for a bridal show—but it will be a much bigger event and probably even way more fun than even Monday was! **


Here is a sneak peak of my hair after the photo shoot. This doesn’t give Tony's nor the photographers' work justice, as I was out of my fun clothes and this was taken by a friend with my boring little camera.




**I may or may not vomit at the sight of me in a wedding dress. Just sayin.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

pizzaaaa

Last night I was craving pizza so I pulled together quite the mix of stuff in my fridge and pantry and ended up with one of the best pizzas I’ve ever made. I kept sneaking back to the kitchen to get little bites when bf and roommate weren’t looking. I used ¾ regular pizza sauce and the other ¼ smoky barbecue sauce to add a little tang. Then I just loaded it up with veggies—mushrooms, spinach, artichokes, onions, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes—and a few bits of soysage (vegan sausage). And what’s that cheesy looking stuff on the top you ask? Oh yes, that would be the ever-pleasing nutritional yeast that I can’t seem to get enough of.


Monday, February 22, 2010

spring tease

Ah what a lovely weekend! Beautiful warmer weather, dog park trips, bridal lingerie shower for a friend, and a relaxing morning of pancakes and coffee with my roommate made for a great one. I just can’t wait until it’s even warmer so that I can drink my morning coffee on our sweet little porch. It’s pretty unbelievable just how much happier of a person I am when warmer weather is around. Oh spring, won’t you please hurry up and get here!



Friday, February 19, 2010

have i told you lately?

…how much I love him? Well, I do. My sweet Anakin always makes me smile even on the worst of days, and he makes the best of days even better. And even though my house is constantly muddy from his all day romp fests in the backyard (see exhibit A below), I wouldn’t have it any other way.


My apologies if you, at first, thought I was talking about my boyfriend (for he too has been known to have backyard romp fests in the mud), but this, my friends, is my canine love affair!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

nutritional yeast

Since becoming vegan, I quickly figured out that getting the same creamy texture that you would by using heavy cream or cheese in a recipe was going to be quite the task. But my love for all things creamy just wouldn’t subside, so I went on a mission to find something that would indulge my taste buds in a similar fashion. Typically, a lot of vegan recipes call for blended tofu to produce a cream style texture, but while I love tofu, it doesn’t always work as well as you want it for certain recipes.


And then I found out about nutritional yeast, and it has changed my life. First of all, a little bit goes a long way and it costs less than $7 a pound at Whole Foods. A pound may not seem like a lot, but it is a TON for nutritional yeast!  Second, it's really healthy and provides a very tasty form of protein. Since finding this miracle substance, I’ve made gravy that even the biggest meat lover alive has been known to love, mac & “cheese”, and last night, I made up a recipe for Cream of Broccoli and Spinach soup. And if I may say so myself, it was divine!
I sort of just eyeballed the ingredients, but here’s what I remember using for the recipe…

-1 C. Chopped onions
-Garlic
-2 Tsp. Olive oil
-2 C. Vegetable broth
-2 C. Water (I might substitute one of these cups with an additional cup of vegetable broth instead)
-2 C. Unsweetened soy milk
-1/2 C. Nutritional yeast
-2-3 Tbsp. Flour
-2-3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
-4-6 C. Steamed broccoli (depending on how “chunky” you like your soups)
-2-3 C. Spinach
-Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder, Onion Powder
-1/4 Tsp. Turmeric

Sauté onions and garlic with olive oil in a large pot. Once the onions are translucent, begin to add the vegetable broth, water, and soy milk, then stir together. Steam the broccoli in the microwave or steamer while you’re doing this. In a separate pan, combine the nutritional yeast and flour and lightly toast until you can smell the yeast (about 1-2 minutes). Add this plus the cornstarch to the soup mixture and stir. Wilt the spinach for only about 30 seconds and add to the soup. Add the steamed broccoli. Add the spices (more or less depending on taste) and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

I heated this up for lunch the next day and it tasted even better! Something to keep in mind if you’re having people over for dinner—you can make the night before and serve the next day!

I also made a vegan King Cake using this recipe, because well, there are just few things more delicious than King Cake.  I had to give the rest of it to my dog today just so I wouldn't eat anymore.  It's a mere slightly alternative form of self-control, right?  Right.




Wednesday, February 17, 2010

new layout

Thanks to the beautiful and creative Olivia, I now have a new layout, and hopefully rekindle my blogging spirit.  It's been missing for quite some time now.

So, thank you Olivia!  You're the best.