Tuesday, March 29, 2011

waxing (un)poetic.

Ready for a rant?

I've had this ill-conceived notion, up until today, that I'd get a job in my field after college. Wasn't I told that if I didn't go to college, I wouldn't get a job? And so doesn't it follow that if you do go to college, you (I) will get a job?

I mean, I do have a job. I am so blessed to have a job at all, let alone one where I love the people I work with, that has flexible hours, and that genuinely makes the world a better place. But. Let's be honest here, there aren't big bucks to be made in the nonprofit world, and often there are no benefits (not good for a hypochondriac like me).

I've applied for the few planning jobs that have opened recently. I even made it pretty far along in the process on one of them. It would have been perfect, too perfect. When it came down to it, the girl with the Master's degree got the job. I just didn't have enough experience. It seems there are no intro level planning jobs in Utah. I could go to Philidelphia, DC, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Connecticut... a whole myriad of places with jobs I'm qualified for. Why aren't there any in Utah?

Gosh darn you baby boomers, just retire already! And, no thanks to you, students who graduated when the market crashed and decided to go to grad school. You are sucking up all the jobs.

What am I supposed to do? I've decided I'm not ready for grad school, give me a year or two to work and figure my life out, maybe have a kid or two.

What good is it to be in the top of your class, to graduate with honors, to be totally qualified to work, if there are no jobs? How do you find a job, if there are no jobs to be had?

Well, maybe I'm not meant to work, maybe there's a greater plan at work here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

lust.

My sister bought a super cute house. My mom and I went to see it today. Then we went to look at the house across the street, which my sister considered buying.

It is amazing. Fantastic old wallpaper in almost every room. Electric blue soft cushiony carpet. Two bedrooms and bathroom on main floor. Master suite upstairs with big bedroom (awesome peaked ceiling included), bathroom, and sittingroom/library/possible nursery. Second kitchen downstairs, plus tons of storage and another bedroom, and a separate entrance. Amazing two car garage, giant backyard, pretty bushes, and cool rock foundation.

And it is under $200,000.

I am in love.

We still aren't sure what will happen with building a house. That would be the ultimate. It is so hard for me not to know. I like to have a plan, to have a known future. We can't buy a house without a definite no on building. Plus this one is in Ogden.

But otherwise it is so perfect, and I love it! Here's a link to the online listing. It is both a hundred times more amazing and in a hundred times worse shape in real life. I want it. Bad.

PS it would need a ton of work. New kitchen floor, counters, and sink, new toilets, pull up most carpeting and possibly refinish floor, redo downstairs kitchen and fix random hole in wall, install central air and potentially new furnace/water heater/electrical/plumbing. We have no idea on those last things. It also may have lead paint, and would need new windows because it is fareezing! But oh, I want it. Whoever buys it will probably tear down all the beautiful, beautiful wallpaper. It will be tragic.

Friday, March 25, 2011

grass is greener.

This pic is from my webcam, I'm working on my honors thesis at the kitchen table, and thought I'd share the little centerpiece I put together for my book club on Tuesday.

I didn't have any fresh flowers, so I pulled two of the wheat grass baskets I planted a couple weeks ago with my sunbeam class, a pretty pink cake stand of my mother's, one of her few Easter decorations (the bunny), and a few candlesticks. And vwalah! On Tuesday there were also some pretty bowls of candy (cadbury mini eggs, and swedish fis to go along with our book).

I love the way it turned out! The baskets came from the DI, and say Edible Arrangements on the bottom. The nice thing is that they came with plastic liners, perfect for growing grass! I just soaked the wheat in water overnight, spread it in a thick layer over some seed starting soil, sprayed with water, sealed it up in a ziploc bag, and left it in a sunny window. After just a few days, we had grass! If you want some for Easter, better get started now. It took 2-3 weeks to get this tall. Also, if using a wicker basket, line it with seran wrap.

PS- I got my instructions for sprouting wheat grass from an awesome site my cousins run, Food Storage Made Easy. Check them out!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

kisss kiss

I got a new chapstick. I'm kind of a chapstick freak, in fact I don't know that my lips produce much natural oil because I'm totally dependent on the stuff. Usually I go for something medicated, like carmex, blistex, or burt's bees. This time I went for something new: EOS lip balm. It comes in a super cool package, and is organic. Here's what it looks like:

This is the flavor I got, and it is delish. I do want to try all the others, like medicated tangerine, lemon drop with spf, sweet mint, and honeysuckle honeydew. Anyway, it is super smooth, and not to thick, and has already improved my lips, which have been dry from a few weeks of using lip smackers dr. pepper (I like the red tint).

Also? I picked this up at my local Smith's, of all places!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Apple Baby


I hosted a book club last night. The book was "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister," a retelling of the Cinderella story. It takes place in Holland, so I thought I'd whip up an apple dutch baby (even though it is really a German food, originally called a deutsch baby) a la the Original Pancake House.

I found this recipe, which is not well written and a bit confusing, but I made a few changes and it worked marvelously.


For two dutch babies:

8 eggs
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 dash salt
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter
6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
Cinnamon Sugar (maybe 4 T sugar and 2 t cinnamon, I just eyeballed it)
Cooking Spray

(Divide in half for one dutch baby, which should serve 6 generously, or two with leftovers!)

Critical Equipment Needed:
2 regular-sized skillets (easiest with two, but you could get by with just one)
Large Bowl
Hand Mixer

Preheat oven to 425.

In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk. Add salt, flour, and powdered sugar. Mix well, eliminating all lumps. A hand mixer works well for this. Set aside batter.

In one skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat. Add three cut up apples and stir around. Once apples have begun to soften, add a generous amount of cinnamon sugar, and stir to coat all the apples. You want the apples to be gooey, so don't be shy about the cinnamon sugar.

Spread the apples evenly in the skillet, leaving as little empty space as possible. Spray around the edges of the skillet with cooking spray. Pour in 1/2 the batter, and place in oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until top begins to brown.

Meanwhile, coat the second skillet with cooking spray. When dutch baby is browned on top, remove it from the oven. Loosen around the edges with a knife or spatula. Turn the dutch baby out of the first skillet into the second skillet, so now the apples that were on the bottom are on the top. If any apples are stuck to the first skillet, just scrape them out onto the dutch baby. Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar, and return the dutch baby to the oven for another 5 minutes of baking. In that time, the bottom will finish browning, and the top will get even more delicious and beautiful.

(Now that the first skillet is free, repeat the process with the rest of the butter, apples, and batter, if you are making two.)

Finally, using two big spatulas, ease the dutch baby out of the skillet onto a serving dish, like a pretty cake stand. Cut into generous pieces, and encourage people to eat seconds. It is good just plain, or with maple syrup. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sweet Tooth Fairy


We finally got around to using the giftcard A's sister gave us for Christmas (thank you!) and picked up 6 yummy cupcakes from Sweet Tooth Fairy tonight. Don't they look delish? Along the top: German chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, and red velvet. Bottom: orange w/cream cheese frosting, grasshopper, and raspberry lemonade.

I've already sampled the German chocolate and raspberry lemonade. Both were pretty good, considering they weren't made by my sister Mary. The German chocolate had nice chocolatey frosting, and the coconut part was even a little salty, in a delicious sort of way. The raspberry lemonade was a little different. The cake part had real raspberries in it, and the frosting was tart lemon. I think I would have liked it better with a lemony cake and a raspberry frosting with a fresh berry on top. But no complaints! It was good.

A is mad at me because he thinks I told him he couldn't get a brownie, but I don't remember saying that... I was pretty mesmerized with the cupcakes though.

Do you think they would hire me? I would promise not to eat too many of the cupcakes...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

three, two, one...

You may have noticed the countdown on the right. Today it says that there is only 1 month, 2 weeks, and 5 days until Disneyworld! Yup, that's right. The hubs and I took the plunge and booked a week-long trip to Florida to visit THE happiest place on earth.

In 2007 I went to Disneyland with some besties for our senior year spring break. 2008 A and I went for our first anniversary. 2009 we went for a spur-of-the-moment Halloween trip. 2010 we went with what I like to call the Winchester crew (two other married couples from our old neighborhood). This year, we're taking it up a level and trekking across the country to Florida to test the waters at Disneyworld. I am so excited!

We've been watching awesome "documentaries" on Netflix all about Disneyworld and reading up online about the parks and rides. We're staying IN the park (eek!) at the Pop Century Resort. This was a huge must for me. Last year we discovered that the parks are WAY more fun at night, and that it can get tiring and hot around 2 pm. It has been my dream to be able to pop back to the hotel for an afternoon nap, or even a swim, so I am SO excited to stay in the park.

And, like I said, we'll be there a full week, so we'll be able to spend a day at each park, including the water parks, without stressing about fitting everything in.

We'll be leaving the night of my college graduation (wahoo!) as a thank-goodness-I'm-done trip. It will be May, and it should be pretty good weather, seventies to eighties, and not rainy yet. Fingers crossed! That being said, I'm already trying to plan some (literally) cool outfits, and here's what I have in mind.




Linen Pants: there's just something so tropical summer about linen pants. These ones are from Old Navy, and while they are super cute, their $30+ price tag was a little steep for me. I'm sure you can guess what I did. I headed to the DI with my mom, and found some pretties for $4. Affordable linen pants? Check and check. I also picked up two pairs of burmuda shorts at the DI. Score!


Comfortable Sandals: I have my chacos, which I will definitely be taking, but I would love some not-so-sporty sandals to wear around that won't kill my feet. Aren't these adorable? They are Borns. AKA expensive, from Amazon for $40+. Born has so many cute sandals. I wouldn't mind having some crazy black platforms as well, but not for walking around DW.{image via}

Sun Hat: the big floppy kind. One that will keep my ivory skin protected, but also one that can smash up into my bag for safekeeping. I don't know if I'm actually brave enough to wear one of these, but I'm interested. This one is from Sierra Trading Post, and is only $14.
Hip Bag: Just realized the big floppy hat won't fit in one of these, but I want to be hands free at DW, so I want a good ol' fanny pack to hold sunscreen, a little electric fan, sunglasses, water, money/tickets, and snacks. Maybe I'm being a little ambitious to think all those things will fit. This one is Dakine, from Amazon for $17, and super cute. Maybe a little bit small.
Classy Swimsuit: I have some swimmingsuits. They are kind of old, not so exciting. I'm thinking I'm ready for a grownup upgrade, a classic black suit like this one from Sierra Trading Post. For $55, it also comes in red, which would also be fantastic. I can't decide which I like better. Black screams Jackie O. and Audrey Hepburn, red is Marilyn Monroe or maybe Baywatch.


Okay, that's all for now. I'm also thinking of some prescription sunglasses, performance shirts (for extra coolness), and new running shoes. Yay Disney World!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

limbo.

My life is in limbo, between going to grad school and not, building a house and not, buying a car and not, deciding to start having kids soon and not, working a (relatively) high-paying job and not, traveling the world and not. All these decisions are so interconnected that I feel like I can't do anything. I am a total planner, and like to know exactly where I am going in life. This forced indecisiveness is unnerving for me. I just wish I could CHOOSE. I just kind of feel like my life will end when I graduate, and I won't know what to do with myself.

In other news, I had a lovely birthday week (the big two-two) that involved dinner at Market Street and a movie (The Tourist), A lovely new CD and yummy treats from the hubs, fuzzy boots from my mom, cards from many, lunch at Stoneground with Trish/baby Parker and then shopping, ribs/coleslaw/pulled pork sandwiches/pistachio-marzipan-apricot-ganache cake and tiramisu cake with my family, empanadas/posole/yummy salad/dunford donuts with my in-laws, and overall goodness. Nieces and nephews are so fun, though crazy at times.

I almost bought some boots this week. 75% off at Macy's ($25 for all suede boots)but talked myself out of it. I swear, A has turned me into some sort of monster.
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