Monthly Archives: April 2012

Foodie Penpals Reveal Day!

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Happy Monday! Today was definitely one of those days where I had an extremely difficult time waking up this morning. I actually had resolved myself to skipping class and staying in warm sleep to get some more sleep. However, my guilt over missing class was so huge that I ended up not being able to sleep because of it. So I dragged my sorry butt out of bed and did the right thing. Then, I came home and took a very long nap. 🙂 It’s all about compromise!

Despite being a painfully slow Monday, it is also something else, something AWESOME. For those of you who don’t know, it is April 30th. Otherwise known as Foodie Penpal Reveal Day!

The Lean Green Bean

What does that mean? Well head on over to Lindsay  at The Lean Green Bean to check it out. Basically, you get and send an awesome package of food in the mail every month. This month was my first time participating, and I am SO glad that I did. I was matched with Melissa at Our Geeky Life. You should head on over and check out her blog, it’s pretty cool!

Anyway, on to the eats! Melissa sent me an AWESOME box. One of the things that makes Foodie Penpals so great is that it’s super affordable for us poor college kids. The spending limit is $15 and shipping will probably average around 5 bucks. $20 bucks to get a box like this and send one too? Uh, yeah!

I was pathetically lying in bed two weeks ago when the doorbell rang at 2 in the afternoon. Realizing it must be my package from Melissa, I bolted out of bed and down the two flights of stairs in my apartment. By the time I flung open my front door, I saw the postman speeding away. My heart sunk and I looked down at the ground and what do I see? SURPRISE! My lovely postman had left the box at my door. Ignoring my safety concerns and grateful I’d been home, I ran upstairs with my package. Which was HUGE. It was a giant box, and I let out a squeal of delight when I saw it waiting there for me. I ripped the box open (amazed nothing broke) and saw so many delicious items!

First up: Canned chicken, Raspberry Chipotle Salsa, homemade lemon vanilla jam and chow-chow. I’m amazed Melissa managed to find the time to send me homemade treats! How awesome. I haven’t opened the chicken yet (you’ll see why later), but I can tell you that I have an almost empty jar of raspberry chipotle salsa in my fridge. My boyfriend and I gobbled it up in less than 24 hours. As for the lemon vanilla jam, that was so intriguing!! I’d never heard of anything like it, but it sure is packed with flavor. I haven’t tried the chow-chow yet either, but Melissa’s note said her whole family loves it. I bet I will too!

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The next thing in the box was a giant bag of Lemon Pepper Pappardelle. Melissa really hit the spot with this one, as I am a HUGE pasta fan. Seriously, I can’t get enough of the stuff. She also included a recipe for lemon pepper pasta with chicken, which is why she included the chicken in the above photo. How awesome is that?! I plan on making this delightful dinner after finals are over and I have time to make/eat a nice dinner.

Speaking of finals….Melissa also sent me a giant chocolate bar and some peach chews. I had the peach chews last night as a study snack. They were awesome!! Such a great texture. I’ve saving the chocolate for next week when I really need it. .Image

WordPress is being extremely difficult today, so sorry for the wonky pictures and alignment.

The other super awesome adorable thing Melissa sent me:Image

Yeah, that’s a mouse. Filled with….you guessed it! CHEESE! Deliciously creamy and so dang tasty, cheddar cheese! I had a really hard time slicing this guy open to get to the cheese. But it was so worth it!!

What else I got:

-Veggie chips. I’d never tried these before, but they were really interesting

-Chocolate Oatmeal. What? This exists? You bet!!

-Fudge! Fudge! Fudge! With caramel and peanuts and chocolate, oh my! Two great big hunkin’ chunks of fudge. Sadly, they did not last long enough to be photographed. 😦

Thanks Melissa for such a wonderful package!! It made my first experience in Foodie Penpals a great one!

And now for the excellent pasta recipe…..Image

I strongly recommend you all immediately join Foodie Penpals.

In case you’re wondering what I sent out, visit Sonia at the Mexigarian. Plus, she’s got a pretty neat blog.

 

Pinterest Challenge: CRAYONS

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I realized today that I have so much to share on this blog, I just haven’t found the time yet. Awhile back I posted a teaser photo of a project I worked on, but never got around to posting the actual project. I’ll blame technology, but it’s really just me not having enough time to sit down and fix the technological problems. My camera got broken in the move, so I’ve been relying on my phone. It’s got a decent enough camera, but I miss a real one. Maybe this summer. Today, I finally sat down and imported all the photos from my phone onto my computer. At the same time, I also realized my goodness do I have a lot of pictures to sort through! But for today, I’ll just focus on the crayons.

I’m sure you’ve seen these all over Pinterest….

Man, that’s a tiny picture! See what I mean, about missing a real camera?

Anyway, in my effort to make this apartment into something resembling a home, I decided to make one. I’ve always loved crayons. I have more crayons than any college student should ever have, and I’m ridiculously proud of that. The first Christmas my boyfriend and I spent together, he bought me one of these…..

Yeah, I’ve got the best boyfriend ever. It’s got 150 crayons with all the cool gels and metallics and glitters and oh my goodness, it’s amazing. The problem is, it’s so gorgeous that I can’t bring myself to color with them. So it sits in my closet and I smile every time it catches my eye.

Anyway, I hope you’re not thinking I used this big beautiful tower for my project, because I didn’t. I did the sensible thing, went to Wal-Mart and purchased a box of 96 crayons and 2 11×16 canvas’. The crayons were about four dollars and I got two canvas’ for $10. Pretty good deal, if I do say so myself. I’m told 64 crayons fit perfectly on this size of canvas but I didn’t want to include the icky colors. Like black. and olive. and asparagus. No thank you. Like any reasonable person, the minute I got home I dumped all the crayons on the floor and began picking out the gross colors. No way would they get on my glorious canvas.

I was surprised that this box included some of the cool gels and glitters, but I chose not to include them. They had wonky wrappers (why do I keep saying wonky?) and I wanted mine to all be uniform. But I assure you, they were certainly used later that night. Did I mention I have no less than four coloring books on my bookshelf? My roommate thinks I’m crazy.

After taking out the colors I didn’t want, I lined up the crayons in the order that I wanted them (hello, rainbow). It really doesn’t matter what order you do, just as long as you like it. I’m a huge fan of rainbows, so rainbow it was for me.

I’m not sure what the weird black part of the photo is…..oh well.

I also had to take out some more colors, they wouldn’t all fit on the canvas. I lined them up to make sure I didn’t get to green and suddenly run out of space. This was a good idea.

Notice the carpet? I was so excited to begin that I just dumped the crayons out in the dining room (yes, my dining room has carpet. Weird, I know) and figured I would move everything later. Obviously this shows a serious logical fallacy, one that I didn’t realize until after I had already organized and lined up my crayons. At that point, I didn’t want to move everything four feet alllll the way into the kitchen, over the linoleum. I resolved to be careful and just not get hot glue on the carpet. I’m sure you’re now thinking this ends in disaster. I assure you, it did not. Yeah, I’m just as surprised as you are!

After setting up my hot glue station….

I began gluing the crayons on the canvas. I would decide before you start gluing whether or not you want the colors to show. I knew I wanted to see the names, so I made sure to glue on the opposite side of the crayon. I found the easiest way to glue was to hold the crayon in between your thumb and forefinger, so that the length of the crayon is free of any fingers, and then run a line of glue along the length of the crayon. I don’t have a picture, so hopefully that makes sense. Make sure you’re quick about placing the crayon (straight!) on the crayon. The greens got kind of crooked, so I just started placing them a bit straighter each time until the line straightened back out again. I don’t notice it anymore.

As you can see, it’s not perfect. But it’s crayons, so it’s okay! Also, I would recommend gluing the crayons with the points facing down. Obviously I did not do this. I didn’t even realize it until I was halfway done. It still melted okay, but I wonder how it would go the other way.

After everything is glued, I set it up outside on some collapsed cardboard boxes and began blow drying.

That tiny little drip took 10 minutes. Ten. Entire. Minutes. Be patient. 🙂

See, it gets better!

It was kind of cool when the crayons would be melting kind of slowly and then all of sudden go WHOOSH and it was like floodgates opening with a giant waterfall of pretty wax.

As you can see, the points being up made it kind of weird. I think it took longer to melt this way. The blue is a really good example of the bursting floodgates.

I found that holding the blow dryer parallel to the canvas helped a lot with melting quickly and preventing splatters. It works if you keep the blow dryer perpendicular, but you have to be careful when moving it around. Mine is relatively splatter free.

After about 60-70 minutes (no, I’m not kidding. Yes, I did hold a blow dryer up to crayons for 70 minutes), it was done!

You can always focus on areas you want melted more. I wish I had done more on the pink, but I was getting tired of blowing.

As you can tell in the photograph, the red area is quite blobby. That was before I figured out the best way to melt the crayons, and I ended up with a giant blob of red wax in one area. I think it adds character. Or something 🙂

And it’s now decorating my living room wall above my chair!! Please, forgive the terrible photograph!!

It was a really fun project and I’m so glad I finally did something off Pinterest. It cost about $10 to do one. I’m still deciding what to do with my second canvas. And the best part? When I get home from work, my living room often smells like crayons. Which is awesome!

Happy Friday!

Have you done anything off Pinterest?

Time With Mom.

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As I was walking home today, I happened to be thinking about my brother coming back to Kansas and seeing my mother for Mother’s Day. Right that second, my phone rang and it was my mother! Things are weird like that. She invited me to go get a haircut and I figured sure, why not? I haven’t had a haircut since December so it certainly needed it.

What started as an impromptu phone call somehow turned into a lovely afternoon with my mom. Our relationship has improved considerably since I moved out. Instead of her ragging on me to do the dishes, I’m assuring her that it’s alright if she leaves me dirty dishes. After all, that’s what dishwashers are for!

We tried out a new salon that we both LOVED. My hair is so light and pretty! And then we made a stop at the pet store and I am now the proud new owner of some fishies! I’ve been meaning to get some for awhile now, but haven’t had a chance. They really liven up my dull apartment. Hope my roommate doesn’t mind!! 🙂

We did a little bit of clothes shopping before calling it a night. I bought a dress, some much-needed sandals and shorts for summer. All very cute, and so very un-me. Hopefully I’ll get some pics up soon.

Spending time with Mom really makes me appreciate our relationship. Even though we bicker and don’t get along sometimes, she’s still my mom and I love her dearly. She’s very wise (although certainly not about anything domestic!) And can be relied on to be available for a good long rant. I’m grateful to have her in my life, and I don’t say that enough. Too bad she’ll never read this.

So as Mother’s Day approaches, pick up the phone and let your mom know you love her, just because. It’ll make her day.

How will you celebrate Mother’s Day?

A Little Bit of Everything

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Well, hello there. Fair warning, these next couple of weeks will be a little slow as I wrap up school and finals. Good luck to anyone finishing up school, or other stressful projects. Summer is almost here!

I got my box from my foodie penpal today, Melissa at www.ourgeekylife.wordpress.com  I absolutely cannot wait until April 30th to reveal everything she sent me. She is amazing!!

If you want to know who I was matched with, visit Sonia at www.mexigarian.wordpress.com I love her blog.

Sorry for the wonky links, my computer is being difficult. But! Visit back here, and Sonia’s blog to see what I sent/received. It’s a really awesome thing.

Lindsey, at the Lean Green Bean, is in charge of setting up Foodie Penpals. It’s kind of her brain child.Visit  http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/ for more information and come back April 30th!!

I stayed up too late last night studying for my psychology test, so this morning I just could not get out of bed. It is one of those days. The weather is also dreary and that makes everything a little bit more difficult. I’m getting coffee with my friend Trina at 4, hopefully that will provide some much-needed wake up and stress relief.

I’m trying to get back into working out. I did a decent job of exercising over spring break, but it’s just so dang difficult to do it regularly/on my own. I ride my bike to work quite often (or to pay utilities), which I enjoy immensely. That’s not enough regular exercise though.The good news is, a friend of mine is quite athletic and offered to work out with me. It’s so much easier to be regular when you’ve got someone holding you accountable. Once our schedules work out, we’ll be working out. Stayed tuned!

I’m still waiting on my camera to cooperate so I can share a new tutorial with you all.

Thank you for being patient with my technological difficulties! Have a wonderful Thursday.

Not All About Numbers

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I am silly. My boyfriend tells me that almost every day, but in an endearing way. I’ll giggle at something ridiculous or say something that makes zero sense, but he calls me silly because it’s cute.

But today I am silly for a not so cute reason. For the last several months, I’ve been obsessing about my body. Calling myself fat. Refusing to wear certain clothes because of how they make my belly look. Not wearing shorts in 85 degree weather because I think my legs look too chubby. Telling myself ‘No more treats!!’ In an effort to lose weight. None of these things are effectiv.

Insulting myself reiterates the societal stereotypes that a girl must be itty bitty to be pretty or nice or whatever. If I can’t be happy with my body, what does that say about me? Does it make ugly? No! Does it mean I’m not a nice person? No! Does the number on the scale tell me how many friends I have or what I’m good at? No! It’s an arbitrary number that really means nothing. Women (and men) can weigh in at 130 pounds and be horribly unhealthy (or healthy). They can also weigh in at 215 and can be extremely fit. I’m sick of using the number on the scale to justify whether or not I’m pretty. Or nice, or whatever.

I think I realized this when I stepped on my roommates scale and weighed in at 215 pounds. What?! No way!! My pants had been fitting better and I had been feeling better about my body, yet this damned scale was telling me that I had gained 25 pounds in 3 weeks. I immediately texted my boyfriend about the scale. (an angel, he is!). He immediately told me ”it must be off”. I found out at a later doctors appointment that it was. I actually weighed in at 187.7, ten pounds lighter than I was 4 weeks ago. Yes, I am posting my weight on the internet.

Living on my own, away from my parents for the first time, has made me reconsider the way I view a lot of things. One of the highest items on the list is the way I view myself. I’ve learned that a big part of my self-image was coming from my wardrobe. I don’t like spending money on myself, so I’ve been wearing clothes I’ve had for years. These clothes don’t fit very well because my body has changed a lot. I thought that because my shirt was too small or too tight, it meant that I was the problem, not the clothes. I am NOT the problem. I don’t think it’s possible to feel good about myself if I’m trying to squeeze into a shirt that I bought when I was 15. So, I am in the process of donating my clothes that don’t fit anymore, in order to make room for clothes that do. This really means shopping in the women’s section instead of the juniors. And hey, who doesn’t like an excuse to go shopping? J

When I started college, I had not been running for about 18 months and I could see it. I had certainly packed on some pounds. I knew that my goal would be to lose the Freshman 15 instead of gaining it. I wanted to be happy with my body. After wandering around campus eating at the Pizza Hut express for a couple of weeks, I knew something had to change. Not only was I spending waaaaay too much money, I wasn’t even close to tackling my goal. I started making weekly shopping trips with my boyfriend to get ingredients to pack lunches with. I had always eaten school lunches in elementary/middle/high school, so I was totally stoked at the idea of brown baggin’ it. We had a lot of fun picking out new deli meats or a different box of fruit snacks. We saved a lot of money, and we were eating healthier. Baby steps.

I’m not here to tell anyone what to eat, or how to eat. This is just what I’m doing. I would recommend eating things you enjoy, it makes it a lot easier to commit. When we were packing lunches, I would always get carrots and some kind of treat. Carrots for him, because they’re healthy and he loves them. I ate them too, just not as ferociously J And a treat for me, because I have a huge sweet tooth. I knew that if I told myself I was only allowed to eat “healthy” foods, I’d fail and end up in front of the TV with a giant bowl of ice cream, which sometimes happens anyway. It’s life. I like sweets and I like snacks. I eat too much of both, but I try not to feel guilty about it. Andres and I frequently make midnight junk food runs. Sometimes we eat the whole bag of gummies or Reese’s or whatever in an hour. Sometimes we don’t. In fact, I’m snacking on Cheetos Puffs right this minute. Not healthy, not good for me, but they’re yummy. It’s okay if I indulge myself.

I’m ranting a bit too much about indulgence. I suppose it’s because I happen to work at a cupcake shop (which is murderous to trying to eat better!) and when I occasionally enjoy a cupcake, one of my coworkers always smirks and shakes her head at me. She’s training for a half marathon and  surely has a lower BMI than I do. And it seriously pisses me off when she gives me that little smirk. I KNOW that sometimes she eats spoonfuls of batter or frosting. She doesn’t have any right to smirk at me for eating a cupcake. Should I be eating a cupcake? No. Am I going to eat the cupcake? Yes. Will I enjoy it? Yes. That’s all that matters. Don’t let anyone else make you feel bad for your choices.

Anyway, I still catch myself sucking in my stomach or thinking I’m chubby, but I do not think I am fat. I still moan to Andres about how I wish I had a flat tummy, and he never fails to tell me how gorgeous I am. I have started running again, and recently joined the running club at my university. I’ve lost 10 pounds since I started college and I am hoping to make it to 15 before the semester is over. But I’m learning that’s not all about the numbers. It’s about feeling good in my own skin, whatever that happens to be.