Sunday, July 31, 2011

An Awful Review of a Very Funny Book

Tina Fey. I like her. A lot. 

This weekend I finished reading her book, Bossypants. I could practically hear Tina Fey's sarcastic, humorous voice reading me her story (Yes, Tina, I did borrow your book). If I didn't know who she was, I don't think I would have realized how famous she is, or maybe I would, I don't know. Her honesty and view of life crack me up! At points, it felt like she was talking to me, which I truly appreciate.  She takes the awkwardness that absolutely every girl has faced at some point or later, and adds her snarky little twists. I literally laughed out loud throughout the whole book. She really is just like Liz Lemon. 

I can't even begin to pinpoint my favorite part of the book. I think I most enjoyed the way she told the story, including her readers (even the poor guys who pick it up). Her narrative explains her way of rising to be one of the most powerful women in comedy. 

This is an awful review. I'm sorry. It doesn't really give you a ton of info. But, after I read it, I wanted to watch SNL. I don't think that's what she was going for. But, Hey! 

On a completely different note, I can now begin to check off number 4 on my list. 

4. Read 20 new-to-me books. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Teardrops

Tropical Tribe EarringsMoroccan Inspired Earrings - Gold TeardropsOrnate Teardrops

Teardrop earrings. I love them. They add your face.  They are just the perfect amount of shimmer and sparkle to make any outfit stand out.Here are some of my favs at the moment. Have you noticed I've been doing some online shopping?  

I would love to hear your favorite!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Camp Blessing

Meet my best friend. Her name is Betty.

The Tourist & The Scuba Diver

We've pretty much been besties since I lived on her couch my sophomore year of college. I cannot say enough great things about this girl. She is almost always willing to join in whatever impulsive thing I am ready to jump into. Random Scavenger Hunt around town with only 30 minutes to put together the clues? You betcha! Immediately volunteering to dress up like fairies at any given chance? That's us! Driving to 45 minutes to meet each other after work on a random Tuesday? Of course. She has also been there for me in some pretty nasty situations. Computer & Car crash in the same day? She was right by my side in said fairy costume. I don't know what I would do without her. 

(Slightly scary!)

Okay, but enough of this mumbo jumbo. Isn't it Wednesday? Aren't I supposed to be talking about my EpiCURIOUS Adventure? Yes, but first I need to explain my meal for the week. About two weeks ago I went to go meet Betty at this Amazing special needs camp called Camp Blessing. I should mention she is a Special Education Teacher. She does a lot for this camp. A ton. She plans all year for this camp on top of her lesson plans and everything else. She is constantly busy. 

(That's her on the right)

But, she recently told me that she was missing a good home cooked meal. Something other than camp food. So when she asked me to come visit and watch the camper's talent show, I jumped! It was the perfect opportunity for me to provide her that good home cooked meal (and try a new recipe)! What! What!

Here is what I made: Crunchy Honey Chicken

I was in a bit of a hurry, so I didn't get to take any pictures. This is definitely Jessica's picture & creation from How Sweet It Is. Have I mentioned how much I love her? Because I do. She is always coming up with something new!

This recipe was way more difficult than the Salmon. The salmon was a walk in the park. It was my first time to cut up chicken. And, I don't really know if I breaded it correctly. There are just a lot of steps that run together, and I am just not that talented. I'm pretty sure I didn't follow the directions very well. But, from what I understand it rocked. Betty said it resembled a stir fry. I didn't know what that meant. Sure! A Stir Fry. I did make it on a skillet. And it called for Soy Sauce. But that was about all I could offer. 

Best Part was I got to add this scrumptious little treat to go with it. And then I was forced to take it to work with me so I wouldn't eat the whole pan! Trust me, I very easily could have.

Mine had a bit of hot fudge on top (so I couldn't see the white chocolate chips, white foods gross me out. Strange, I know).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

His Grace is Sufficient

Earlier I shared number 29 on my list: To memorize 10 scriptures. Well, here goes the first one. 

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

The Pinterest Challenge

I read (look at) a lot of blogs. Everyday. At least 100. Today, I just so happened to notice that 3 of my very favorite blogs decided to forgo a challenge. A Pinterest Challenge. To say I am interested is an understatement. I think it is a sign I need to participate. The idea is that I find something I love/obsess over/can’t live without/planning on doing anyway/great inspiration on Pinterest and make it within the next week.

Reasons why I love this challenge:
  1. I love Emily, Sherry, and Katie. They are hilarious, super creative, and inspiring.
  2. I spend way too many hours on Pinterest marveling at all the creative ideas.
  3. If you read yesterday’s post, I love Pinterest.
  4. If you actually went to see my boards, you might have noticed the growing “Make” Board I have going.
  5. Having a deadline is always a good thing. Adds a little pressure to life.
  6. Number 99 on my list: Make at least 20 things I see on Pinterest/random blogs.

What’s my project going to be? You will just have to wait for August 2nd for the big reveal! Also, be sure to check out Katie’s, Sherry’s, Emily’s, and Lana’s blogs to see their projects!

Anyone feel like joining me in the challenge? Its going to be fun!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Tooth

Mondays are not my friend. They just aren't. I just want to curl up and hide...almost every Monday. Mondays mornings mean I have to wait a full 5 days before I can spend my days doing absolutely whatever I choose. The sad part is, I can wake up early just fine on Saturdays and Sundays. But Monday. Oh, Monday. Waking up early just does not happen. The very sad part about this is, I wake up at 7:30 in the morning. 7:30 is not early. Most people I know have to be at work by 7:30. So, I really can't complain. And, then I found this little gem. It makes my Monday a little better.

Because it is "my day," I am going to share with you number 37 on my list. Just this year I realized that it isn't that difficult to bake from scratch. If you don't want to go out and buy some break & bake cookies or a box of brownie mix, you can just as easily find some ingredients laying around your kitchen that will make a scrumptious comfort. Because let's face it. Desserts are definitely a comfort food. They really hit the spot.

37. Make 50 Desserts from scratch.

Don't you just want to devour these right here, right now?!

I've already made 4 new desserts. And, I am going to share this one with you first. The Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie. Is there anything better? I submit that there is not. I found the recipe on Pinterest. If you haven't joined the Pinterest bandwagon yet, I highly encourage it. This website will change your life. Seriously. 

The recipe is super simple, and they are really good. Growing up there were always two things in our pantry. Oreos and Capri Suns. I have a special place in my heart for these black and white cookies.  And, anyone can make these. Just make some chocolate chip cookies using the recipe of your choosing. I find that refrigerating the cookie dough for an hour really helps when forming the "dough balls." Just take two of those balls and place them on each side of the Oreo. Make sure that the dough is completely covering the Oreo. A friend and I did some minor experimenting, and it is a much better idea to really mold the dough around the Oreo. Then just bake the cookies for about 13 minutes, and there you have it. A melt in your mouth, bursting with flavor (if those two things can go together) cookie!

P.S. I am totally open to new dessert recipes to try out. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Let the project begin!

O. M. G.  I am so excited! If you read my blog, you might have noticed I have mentioned armchairs a fair number of times. You might have noticed that I am a bit obsessive. I even dedicated Thursday's post to how much I love me a good armchair.

I have toyed with the idea of buying a chair like this one, but they are Super expensive, especially for my entry-level salary. So, instead, I have turned to Plan B. Which I am in love with. I think I like Plan B even better than Plan A! It will be my creation! Whatever I want it to be. My sweat and tears (and let me tell you, there will probably be tears). So, what is the plan?

To find a chair to reupholster! Craigslist has been my best friend the past couple of weeks. I have been to countless garage sales, picking up pieces like this one:
Isn't it so wonderfully ugly?! I couldn't help myself! It was only $2.00! And, it still has the auction tag on the back of it. I know that some people will do love this picture (cough, roommate, cough), and I think it has some good qualities, but I just wanted it for the frame. I can't bring myself to take off the price tag, because I don't want people to think that I am serious about keeping the picture.

But, back to my chair (sorry for the tangent, I just couldn't help but share!)! So, this Saturday I mapped my route. The plan was to hit 8 different garage sales in the Houston area. I only ended up going to three. Whoops.  I couldn't tempt myself with all of them though, because I managed to find the PERFECT chair at the very first garage I stopped at!!! You heard me! I found MY chair!!! After only my third weekend of casually perusing craigslist & a few garage sales. Ah! I am in love, in love, in love!
Isn't it AMAZING?!? 
The plan for now is to paint it gray  like one of these colors:
1.SW7744 Zeus2.SW7037 Balanced Beige3.SW6205 Comfort Gray
1. Sherman Williams: Zeus 2. Sherman Williams: Balanced Beige 3. Sherman Williams: Comfort Gray

and ideally find a gray/yellow/blue/green ikat fabric. I don't know how picky I will be yet. Here are a couple fun fabrics I found online.
3. GRÖNSKA BLOM Fabric, white/blue Width: 59 " Pattern repeat: 24 "  Width: 150 cm Pattern repeat: 61 cm  4.GUNVOR Fabric, white/black Width: 59 "  Width: 150 cm
1. & 2. West Elm 3.&4. Ikea

Really, I'm all over the place. I wouldn't be surprised if the fabric turns out to be completely different than any of these. This will be very fun! Number 5 on my list is a go! 

Next Weekend: The sanding and painting commences. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Style Crush: The Sweet Seat

There is a lot of furniture I love. I think I could literally spend hours in stores like West Elm, Pottery Barn, Anthro, Ikea, etc. The list could go on. There are just so many pretty things in those stores. Is it bad that if I am showing someone around Houston, I make it a point to take them to West Elm? I am a decorating junkie, and I am perfectly okay with this.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted a pretty chair for my room. I have to make a point to say pretty chair. Functional chairs are great, but they just don't do it for me. They practically call you to pile your dirty clothes on them. I know from personal experience. They really ask for it. 

POÄNG Chair, birch veneer, Alme natural Width: 26 3/4 " Depth: 32 1/4 " Height: 39 3/8 " Seat width: 22 " Seat depth: 19 5/8 " Seat height: 16 1/2 "  Width: 68 cm Depth: 82 cm Height: 100 cm Seat width: 56 cm Seat depth: 50 cm Seat height: 42 cm
So after college I said "Adios, Chair!" and started coveting these beauties:

I love the colors of this chair. It would match almost any room, and it adds a sense of fun! 
Don't you just want to sit down and relax?

This chair is from the ever-loved West Elm. I love the lines. Smooth and clean. 

This is the chair that gave me the inspiration to want to reupholster a chair. It is GORgeous!

I had to save the best for last! I am completely obsessed with this chair! I have even had Dreams about this chair! If any chair was ever made for me, it is this one right here. 

I will leave you to dream about this last chair.

How about you? Am I the only one out there that becomes obsessive about a good armchair?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

EpiCURIOUS Adventures: Asiago Baked Salmon

Okay, so we have already determined I cannot cook. At all. But yet, I am determined to make some delicious food! Luckily for me (and not so luckily for my wallet), a brand spankin' new Whole Foods just opened up by my house.  I already know this will be dangerous in the future. However, with its grand opening, I got what any girl could ever want! Coupons. I am a sucker for coupons. They save you tons (um, hello, extreme couponing). I don't care if they are possibly gimmicks. If I have a coupon, I will use it. It is like a law of nature or something. So, my Whole Foods coupon was pretty sweet. All I had to do was spend $30.00 and (drum roll, please) A FREE pound of Fresh Atlantic Salmon. See, I told you it was sweet! It is really, Really easy to spend $30 at Whole Foods. Mm..Salmon. So flavorful and fresh, almost decadent. And, it makes you feel a bit fancy when you eat it.

So, of course I HAVE to make some salmon. I carefully think this meal out. What can I make with Salmon? What will be easy enough for me to pull off as my first real meal to make from scratch? Salmon is normally expensive ($14.99 without the coupon), therefore that means it must be difficult to prepare, right? Wrong. Again, I went to How Sweet It Is and did a quick search for Salmon. And I found a recipe for this Asiago Salmon! It didn't seem too hard...I had absolutely no Idea what a Shallot was, but other than that I was in pretty good shape. 

So after my cooking-inspiring trip to Whole Foods I came home and stared at the Salmon for a little while. You see, Jessica's recipe doesn't say anything about preparing the fish. This fish still had it scales! What was I going to do? I couldn't serve my friends who were coming over very shortly scales! Sick Out! (All of you who frequently prepare Salmon can go ahead and have a good laugh right about now) So in a complete panic I google preparing Salmon. I am yelling down to my roommates for help with no avail. What in the world am I going to do?? After about 3 or 4 websites, I finally realize, you cook the salmon with the scales.  Once its cooked the scales/skin easily comes off. Boy, did I feel relieved, and slightly silly for panicking. 

I had about 3 minutes until my friends came over for dinner. I quickly combined the ingredients together. 

(Those purple things are the Shallots. Apparently they are a type of baby/miniature onion)

Then after they were all mixed together, I went ahead and added it on top of the fish.

Baked it for a little while, and next thing I knew, I was a Master Salmon Baker! I definitely deserved a Gold Star for the success that is this dish. It was so incredibly easy. Even I could do it without a single hitch (I am choosing to ignore my minor panic attack in preparing the Salmon). 

Wow. It was so mouth-watering good, too! I couldn't believe I actually made it! Mixed with some garlic asparagus and berries, perfect summer meal.  My friends loved it! I wasn't really done by the time they got to my house, but I'm so glad I had them there to share my first feat. One down, 99 to go. Top Chef, here I come!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cup of Joy: Peter's Faith

I have been reading this book for my small group. And, at first I will admit. This book looks a bit dull...and a bit like a wannabe Jesus Christ Superstar.  The phrase, "Don't judge a book by its cover," comes to mind. This book is not at all dull, and provides practical ways to be a modern disciple. 

All this being said, the text really stands out to me. Specifically, the story of Peter that Bill Hull reiterates. In   Luke 5:1-11 Jesus calls his first disciples. Peter's character is really exemplified in this text. I don't really know what it would be like to be a fisherman during that time, but I do understand that it wasn't a highly coveted career. However, Peter was good at his job. He Knew the intricacies of catching fish. So, when Jesus, a carpenter, tells him how to do his job I can only imagine how hard it was to trust him. He even questions Jesus. Bill Hull points out that it seems as if Peter is really saying: "I don't mind you preaching on my boat, but you don't need to interfere with my business. You are not a fisherman. I know what I'm doing." Yet, Peter still decided to trust Jesus' judgement. He had to have looked ridiculous. He risked his credentials, reputation, and time in order to follow Jesus' instructions. And, it paid off big time. 

I think about this, and I can't help but thinking of all the time I compartmentalize Jesus into this nice little box. I tend to think of Jesus only as a preacher/teacher at a pulpit. Only, in reality, He knows a lot more about Everything. He would be 10 million times better at any profession or hobby. He is all knowing. Yet, I only allow him into my life on my time schedule. It doesn't make sense. Peter took a huge risk trusting Jesus and it paid off. He was willing to be made a fool. I can barely find 10 minutes to devote to Him. 

The Lord tested Peter's faith and he passed. He was humbled by the experience. He was ready to drop out of the whole disciple gig, and Jesus hit him right at home. In a place where it would truly affect Peter. It happens to me all the time. I get so caught up in my own toils and troubles that I completely forget to pull out the Jesus box in my life. Then, when my faith is truly tested, I quickly remember my good friend Jesus.  And it is only with His help I can truly succeed. 

So with all this, I just want to encourage you to make Jesus a key component in your life. Take him out of the box. The world makes it so easy to think we can do everything on our own. But, I'm telling you from personal experience, we can't. We need Jesus to come and save us. Every. Time. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

I ♥ Spray Paint!

This past Saturday, despite still being exhausted from Harry Potter the night (morning) before, I dragged myself out of bed at an ungodly Saturday hour of 7:30a.m. and went garage sale shopping. I even managed to come home with some treasures. Did I need anything in particular? No. I just was in the mood to create. Normally my Saturdays include lounging around and most likely laying out by the pool. Not this Saturday. Do you ever get the overwhelming desire just to make something? To get rid of the mess and start with something new? My spring cleaning bug might have come a little late this year, because it hit me like a 10 ton brick this past weekend...It didn't manage to make it to my closet though, sad :(

This Saturday I was feeling especially adventurous (I am going to blame it on the fact that bug I mentioned earlier). I ventured into the the world of Spray Paint. I have never met a paint I didn't love more! It is an instant transformation! From Drab to Fab in mere seconds! My roommates better watch out, because anything I can spray paint, is most likely to be spray painted in the near future. So, what did I make exactly?

Well, after carefully reading (and disregarding, oops!) the spray paint instructions, I quickly set forth to spray paint a nice little wooden basket I bought at a garage sale for $.75.  When I first bought it, it was this nasty brown color (Sorry! I didn't get any before pictures!). And, our entry way is mostly I needed a quick solution. Never fear! Spray Paint is Here!!!

It looks great, right?! And it took me all of 5 minutes! I needed to find more projects, pronto!

Now, I also found this frame that was the perfect size for something cool. The lady asked $10.00, which I realize now was way too much, but I'm happy with it. My first hope was to possibly create something similar to this. But, I couldn't do that with this oval frame. So, ere go Plan B. Which I am ecstatic about!


Meet After (the coloring in my bathroom is awful, I apologize):

Again, so easy and simple. I just spray painted it a fun turquoise and then screwed in some picture hanging wire. Voila! Sweet and Simple Earring Holder! I have been dying for one of these for about 2 years now. If I would have known it was this easy, it could have been done ages ago. Well, maybe not. I tend to procrastinate. 

And the very best part is, it fulfills numero 51 on my list!!! Whoop!

Now, what will I spray paint next???

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This Weekend...

I don't think I can mention my weekend without mentioning Harry Potter. Yes, I was there at 9:45 on Thursday night patiently waiting to go to my 12:30 showing. Yes, I did fully enjoy the cheesiness of the Harry Potter Performers that came to our theater before the showing. And, yes, I did cry like a baby throughout different parts of the movie. I won't give anything away, but it was fantastic. I definitely intend to see it again...possibly tonight, when I am more awake. Ah, it is just so great.

In preparation, I most certainly scoured the internet for pictures of the cast and their interviews regarding, "the end." Here are a few of my favorite pictures. Who knew Neville cleaned up so nicely?

Who knew Ginny and the young Grendelwald were engaged?

And, finally, Emma, Rupert and Daniel all look absolutely fantastic! I can't believe it has been 10 years. What is going to happen now that I don't have Harry too look forward to? I grew up with them.

So, I leave you with JK Rowling's thoughts at the premier. This weekend was very busy, more to come this week!