Tuesday, August 31, 2010

three years ago.

Three years ago today I married my soul mate. How could I know that? Some may ask, since I was a child bride of only 18 at the time. Well, all I can say is that when you know, you just know, and I knew before we started dating that it was meant to be.

And boy, am I glad we sealed the deal. Year three has brought more travel (a third year in a row of Disneyland), more gardening, more school for us both, new jobs and a new business venture, more laughs, and more good times.

I often feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have snagged the fellow I did, and my parents remind me often of his awesomeness and my spoiled-ness. He can fix anything, can cook some mean blueberry pancakes, is master of the grill and the mop, and a magician with the checkbook.

Most of all, he puts up with my sometimes-irrational self, and my insatiable need for shoes. He's the one person I can talk with about anything, and always gives me good, level-headed advice. He's pretty much the best.

I love you, A. Here's to year four.

Monday, August 30, 2010

so frustrated i could cry, but instead i'll stress eat.

It is the one class that I have to get into to graduate. The one I need to write my thesis next semester. And the one standing in the way of my scholarship kicking in (I need it to be "full time"). The one that I've been trying to get into for MONTHS and especially for the past week.

One spot finally opened up in it. One spot. And guess what? I can't get in. It is asking for an add code that I don't have. And I don't have the professor's email, because he wouldn't let me keep a syllabus, and it isn't listed online.

I am so frustrated I could cry, but instead I'll just eat most of the Kashi Toasted Asiago Snack Crackers I just brought home from Winco that are supposed to be for lunches. A will probably not love that.

Frustrating that the most difficult part of college is not the actual coursework, but the registering and scheduling of classes. Gah!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

We've been getting eggplants in our CSA box. Last night we used some in our usual grilled vegetable mix, and they had a weird texture. I suspect they needed to be cooked a little more.

Tonight, I made eggplant parmesan. I wanted to try the Cook's Illustrated version (specifically for just two people) but since I don't have a subscription to their magazine or website, I had to do some creative searching. I ended up finding the recipe over at The Bitten Word, and oh my goodness, it was so good!

The key points are: cut the eggplant into steaks (lengthwise) instead of into rounds, flash fry the breaded eggplant till browned, then stick it in the oven to finish cooking.

The recipe has you dice some of the eggplant for sauce, but the steaks were so good that next time I think I'd do the whole eggplant that way.

A thought the sauce was too watery. This is because I used home-canned tomatoes from our garden last year. Green heirlooms. This also made the sauce a gross-looking color of green. I thought it was delicious.

I would post my own pictures, but they look sort of horrible (the green sauce and poor lighting in our house don't help). Check out the pictures on The Bitten Word. They look so much better.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

wish list: fall shoes.

As I cleaned out my closet room* today, I began compiling a wish list for fall shoes. Let me share.
  1. Wellies. I've been wanting these forever. Today I can't help but think, "If only I had some rain boots to wear out in this downpour, I wouldn't be stuck in the house, and my pants wouldn't be damp from a tromp in the garden." They have a big price tag, and almost never go for under $100, but these are the kind of boots you can hand down to your children and grandchildren. I try to convince A that they are an investment. He remains unconvinced. For now I think basic black is what I would choose.
  2. {via}
  3. Sorel Snow Boots. These are another forever-wanted item. As I approach my last year in college, I realize I only have one more winter of riding transit and tromping about campus in the snow, but I still feel like I need these babies. What if I need to shovel the driveway? What if I want to go snow-shoeing? What if I want to leave the house when there is snow on the ground? All of these situations call for snow boots, and like the Wellies, they are an investment.
  4. Black Boots like these or these. I bought some cheap black boots on Black Friday last year. They were not leather, and cost about $40. Needless to say they only lasted one season before totally disintegrating. I like these ones from Target, and can't decide if it would be better to invest more on some that will last longer, or just continue buying a cheaper pair every season.
  5. Black booties. I can't decide between a flat or a heel, so since this is a wish list, I'll say both. I especially like these, from Born (I specifically looked for a comfort brand pair). I think I'd wear these with skinny jeans and with dresses and tights.

  6. Brown booties. In my search for black booties I found these, and loved the brown even more. Now I just need to find a knock-off, since these are more than $350.
  7. Ballet Flats. I need basic brown and black. For brown I like these, and for black I like these, which are on sale for under $10.
Now, with all these shoes, I'd be set for the season. I mean, a girl can dream, right? What's on your wishlist?

speaking of deals.

Have you seen today's Groupon? $25 for $50 of merchandise at the Gap. That's 50% off, and an awesome deal.

I'm a recent convert to Groupon, and though I haven't purchased anything yet, I think it is great. If you haven't heard of it, basically all you have to do is sign up and everyday they send you an email with a deal. This week there's been a deal for bowling, one for sushi in Park City, and then today this one at the Gap. Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

wardrobe funk.

I'm in one of those phases, where despite having a closet full of clothes and shoes, I can't seem to find anything to wear. I think there are a few reasons for this.

  1. My style has changed. A lot. I no longer wear jeans+tee+sneakers everyday. I'm more into dresses+skirts, skinny jeans+leggings, cardigans, ballet flats+heels. I like more vintage than preppy these days.
  2. I'm a total pack rat. I have such a hard time getting rid of perfectly good clothing and shoes. What if I want to wear those watermelon pink+green sneakers someday? If I get rid of them, I won't even have the option, and I'll probably regret it. Right? Well, probably not right. Or what about that brown skirt with pink sequins that I wore to the 9th grade winter dance, won't I want to have that when I'm old for sentimental purposes? Really. I need an intervention here. Any volunteers? This problem is leading to another problem. I think it is hard for my significant other to consent to me buying more clothes+shoes because my closet is so full. What he may not realize is that most everything is old or doesn't fit. I probably only wear 25% of the clothes, and maybe 20% of the shoes.
  3. Summer dressing is harder than winter dressing for me. I have wardrobe limitations (I keep things modest, things must have sleeves and best grace the knee) that make this so. Winter is so much easier, layering up sweaters, cardigans, tights, leggings, boots, coats, and scarves.
There are some options here. It may be easier to build an outfit from an organized and weeded out closet, so perhaps I should get rid of some clothes. I could do another clothing exchange. I could try to take some to Plato's Closet. Or, I could donate the clothes to a thrift store. The last option is what I'll probably do. The thing that gets me is that I feel that I might as well keep these unworn items if they're just going to end up donated. I can't let go! Blahblahblah. Insert intervention here, please.

I went "back-to-school" shopping with my dear friend Chelsea today. She scored some super cute finds from JC Penney, Forever21 and Forever Young Shoes. I was on the verge of buying some things myself (and by that I mean that I tried some on and really wanted them) but decided against it when I thought about my sweet husband and his awesome frugality (which really is such a blessing). Here's what I almost bought at JC Penney:

This shirt was only $9. I picked up the medium, which fit loosely like my favorite oversized shirt.

I had found a big gold necklace with royal blue stones for $9 as well, but can't find it online, I liked the blue and gold with the black and white. In my search for this necklace online, I found this amazing statement necklace on clearance for $20! It is now on my wish list. I might try to make one with costume jewelry.


There was one more shirt for $7 that I liked, but I can't find it online either. It was black with cool zipper embellishment around the neckline.

At Forever21 I was lusting after some ankle-length leggings, like these, at a low price of $4.50:


I also looked at this store in the mall called Forever Young. When I worked at the now-defunct Haight Boutique, this store was our nemeses. Now I go there occasionally. They offered me 30% off any open-toed shoes. I found some sandals for $21 (minus the %30) that were super cute, and also some much-needed ballet flats, also $21.

If I had purchased all of my finds today, I would have spent around $65 and come home with two shirts, on necklace, a pair of leggings, and two pairs of shoes. Instead that $65 will be going to pay for student fees, tuition, and textbooks. Well, probably more like one textbook. Ah, the life of a poor college student.

So now I have questions for you. Do you ever get in a wardrobe funk? How do you get out of it (without spending a fortune)? What are you buying on clearance from summer, and what are your planned fall purchases? Where do you draw the line for keeping old clothes?

Monday, August 16, 2010

look what I made.

Well, not I, but we (I planted, A watered). These are carrots. Purple carrots. I roasted them up on Sunday evening, and they are heavenly! Today I had them leftover with some roasted beets and feta on top. If only a few more of the seeds had worked! The orange carrots grew like crazy, but only a few of the purple ones took. They have a much more delicate flavor, and how cool do they look?

Now we just need tomatoes. So far we've only had three. Boo.

sandwich building.

I made vegetable sandwiches for dinner tonight, using ingredients almost entirely from our garden, minus the cheese, bread, and mayo. Here's the step-by-step.

(Sorry for the poor picture quality, I was working fast, in poor lighting, and suffered some hunger-induced camera shake!)

Step 1: Toast good wheat bread, and spread with a small amount of olive oil mayo.

Step 2: Add some washed basil (can you believe we grew those big pretty leaves?).

Step 3: Layer on some zucchini. Mine had been sautéed in olive oil till browned.

Step 4: Add two slices of delicious garden tomato.

Step 5: Add on some roasted beets, thinly sliced.

Step 6: Sprinkle with feta cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Step 7: Add the other half of bread, and smash it down a bit before cutting in two.

Step 8: Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Have an Incredible week.

It has been a great week. Let me tell you about it.

Monday: We went go-karting with some of A's family and coworkers at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele. They have a crazy deal on Mondays, 6 people for $30, and 10 minutes on the track. It was so fun! I was the only girl to drive, and was definitely the slowest, but it was a blast. Now that I have a feel for the whole deal, I think I'd be faster next time. A had the fastest lap time, probably from watching all that Formula 1 racing.

Tuesday: I got to go to the Listening Session about America's Great Outdoors with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. I'm writing up a blog post about it for my work blog, and will be sure to link it over when it is finished! I also took my last final of the semester (yes!) a.k.a., the last summer semester of my college career! I also got to see my parents after their trip to NYC, and also got to chill with my sister and her two cute kids. My mom and I went on a shopping adventure to try to find shoes for A. No luck there, but I did manage to find an adorable chambray shirt dress. My thrifted oversized striped shirt now has competition.

Wednesday: A and I went to Incredible Pizza to celebrate our nephew's 4th birthday. That place is like Chuckie Cheeses on steroids, and a lot newer (read: cleaner). We were both starving, so were excited to hit the buffet. I suggest you avoid the mac and cheese and all desserts except the cinnamon rolls. The pizza was actually decent. Interestingly, the plates and portions were rather small, a brilliant tactic by the owners. Smaller means you'll take less, eat less, and throw less away. Awesome. We mini-bowled there, some go-karted, some laser-tagged, some mini-golfed, and some bumper-car rode. The kids loved it, which made it fun for us.

Thursday: Today I have to go to two doctors (one for a cholesterol follow up, and the other for my allergy shot). I also am going visiting teaching. Luckily I love my companion and the cute ladies we visit, so it is always fun.

Friday: Tomorrow I'm going to my real job and then in the afternoon up to my shop. We got a lot of consignment from a local nonprofit, so buying any of those items will directly benefit a good cause. I'll have to post more about it later. Anyway, the clothes need sorting and tagging, so that will keep me very busy Friday.

Saturday: We leave for California! We're staying in Vegas for one night on the way in. I am indescribably excited. One of our friends that is going said something like "we could make peanut butter fun." It is so true.
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