Friday, August 31, 2012


This week has been a doozy. I get migraines a few times a year, and yesterday one hit me hard. I am so lucky I live a mere 3 miles from my office. I came home, wrapped a scarf around my head and slept for hours.

When I woke up enough to wobble around my apartment, I didn't know what to do with myself. I'm really not a TV person. I'll turn on a show, but I have to be doing something else at the same time. Lately it's been this masochistically huge jigsaw puzzle, but even looking at those little pieces made my head spin and my tummy gurgle, so I parked it and was blessed enough to find a Project Runway Marathon in process. Then I remembered the 1 million pack of embroidery floss I bought at Joannes. For the next few hours I hooked some thread around my toe and went to work. Slowly and steadily I got back into the groove of making these addictive little bracelets.

Sorry for the gross foot pic, but it makes me laugh. This is how one weaves a BFF bracelet on your own. Also, this is the longest lasting pedicure I've ever had!

And really, the timing couldn't be better.  August marks Jared and I's Five-Year Friendaversary! Yes, five years ago we became the best of pals in our biology class after I charmed old the old Bird with my quips about our gremlin-esque bio teacher.

Still feeling a bit wobbly today, but at least I've got my bracelet on for strength.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spirit Animal

The other day, Jared came at me with a list of questions:

What's your favorite color? Favorite dessert? Favorite band?
and then the kicker
If you were an animal what would you be?
Looks-wise or personality-wise? I countered

This is a game I've loved for years. My senior year of High School, my friends and I were consumed by lists. We categorized everyone in my AP English class by animal and taste. Strange you may say, but incredibly distracting and hilarious. To this day we refer to certain people as "the Jellied Eel" or "Sun Bear". I was going through a box of old junk just the other day and I found the full list. I was listed as "Baby Seal, Orange Creamsicle".

After much hemming and hawing I decided on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Jared started laughing and said "That's the exact thing I was thinking of!!"

Do you ever make weird obsessive little lists like this? Shout out to my Raccoon and Kitty Cat!
 (edit: Why is my husband drilling me with all these questions when we've known each other for 5 years? The answer is I don't have a favorite anything to be honest with you, I am fickle and my loves change with the winds and seasons of the moon, or something like that.

He said he was just checking in, but lets hope he was planning some grand surprise where he buys me a King Charles puppy with a blue ribbon around his neck and a cheesecake on the side, while Sufjan Stevens plays in the background)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Work Out Diary

Quick check in with my progress. I've been going to the gym really consistently. I have a pretty hard time staying there for more than 30 min. I started listening to a few different audio books and podcasts, but for some reason The American Life just wasn't getting me like, pumped. So after a week I started plugging into TLC on the elliptical. Let me tell you, a good run of Toddlers and Tiaras does wonders for my motivation. So far I've lost about 5 pounds. Even though I still hate working out, exercise does wonderful things for my mood and energy level. Who knew right?

Other then, just today i started drinking Body by Vi shakes. I'm not super great with restrictive diets, but I think I can deal with this. Shakes are great for me in the morn, as I already make a lot of protein shakes, and when lunch rolls around, its easy to make a shake and have a little snack. Basically, I know I can eat at least one "real" meal a day, so I think I'll do ok.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


A few life updates, that fall heavily into both the awkward and the awesome categories:
  • The ongoing financial aid saga for the Bird is finally through. If you ever get FAFSA audited, don't come and ask me anything because I'm pretty sure this process wasn't supposed to take four months. 
  • I am now the young women's president of my ward. This means that I am  in charge of Sunday and Wednesday night activities for the eight girls of my church, ages 12-18. I really hope I can do a good job!
  • Officially been to the gym everyday for the past week, feeling better about what I've been eating and I still hate the whole process ;) But, I know I'll love the results. 
  • I found the above picture on a chalkboard at church. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Adventures In Hideous Pie Making

I like to bake. I have an incurable sweet tooth, this is true, but I almost prefer the creation to the eating...almost. With Jared being gone until around 10 every night, I gotta spend my time somehow. I will preface this post to say that while I am not trained, I do have Grammie Bonnie Manning's blood running through my veins and a life long sojourn in the south at my back, so I'm not completely clueless when it comes to cooking. When it comes to dinner, I can roast a chicken or whip up a cream sauce with no sweat. Things turn out (mostly) good in that arena, except rice making for some reason. My rice is always terrible, but this is for another time.

Standing in the tiniest kitchen in the world. Also, that is an apron, not a hideous skirt. I just need you to know this.
Anyway, as much as I love pies, it seems I am absolutely terrible at making them. This week I've made two, a dutch apple pie with strudel topping and a peach and strawberry pie. I do have to say that I mostly made up both recipes as I went along, and I didn't necessarily have everything I needed (i.e. enough frozen crust, because shoot if I am going to make my own crust)... And my oven is less a kitchen appliance and more the angry stove cook from Beauty and the Beast.

 These combined factors have left me with two Franken-pies. Hideously off-putting messes.  
"The Apple Ugly"
The Freddy Krueger
 Suprisingly, or perhaps not based on the amound of sugar that went into them, both of these pies were above average in taste. While the Freddy Kruger looks like some sort of road kill, and is really a ghettoized version of a gallette since I ran out of crust for the top, it is suprisingly sweet and tart and refreshing. The Apple Ugly is incredibly rich and buttery and sort of divine. Basically what I'm saying is, I have the best recipe for you to make a delicious and disgusting looking pie of your own!
  • Fill a medium sized bowl of your choice with sliced fruit
  • Add 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract and half a cup of sugar, throw in about 1/2 a cup of brown sugar as well if you're making an apple pie or want to die of diabetes. 
  • Mix in a few tablespoons of corn starch or flour
  • Mix it up and dump in into a pie crust, dice two table spoons frozen butter and hide the cubes amongst your fruit.
  • Cover the pie with more crust, or don't, or make a strudel topping made of brown sugar, butter and flour that you squish together with your fingers and place in dollops all over the pie. 
  • If your oven is a portal into the underworld, make sure to wrap the entire pie in tin foil and put it on your oldest ugliest cookie sheet, because your creation will secrete juices all over everything it touches. 
  • Bake on 400 for about an hour, taking the foil off the top near the end to brown, or burn in the case of the Apple Ugly. 
Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dear Hootie

This weekend Jared and I were charged with a young ward. Our friends went out of town and entrusted us with the feeding of Hootie.

Oh Hootie. So fat, so so so fat. Along with being cute and corpulent, Hootie is a bit of a prima donna. Food must be presented on the counter, never on the floor. There must be just the right amount of warm water to create a kitty stew with her dry food, and she has to have a small spoonful of Miralax for, ahem, digestion. All of this was good and well. Feedings were a breeze, then we'd hang out for a bit and I would scrub my arms up to the elbows and skeedaddle out of there.

Saturday I brought Jared along so he could give Hoots the good petting she deserved after dealing with my skittish pats and constant hand washing. Big mistake. Hair comes off of this creature in gobs. In fact, I hypothesis that this cat is not actually obese, but filled with fur like a living stuffed animal.

Within minutes of leaving, Jared was trying to scratch his eye out of his head. We made a stop at a gas station and he retreated to the bathroom. When he emerged his eye was swollen up like Quasimodo. Luckily, I am the allergy queen and have been dealing with swelled eyes and hives since the day I was born.
I seriously can't look at this without cracking up. So sad.At least his curls were extra spry that day.

Suffice to say, I drove us the rest of the way back to the in-laws (only stalled out once thank you very much) and Jared was in an  anti-histamine stupor for much of the afternoon. Hilarious and tragic. On the bright side, I did find his favorite cherry Air-Heads at the gas station, so he could enjoy a treat while looking like Sloth from The Goonies.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Guilty pleasures

Last night in my empty apartment I enjoyed a few guilty pleasures to try and take advantage of my alone time.

I lit five different candles.

I voxed Kyle and waxed poetic about love and life.

I listened to the new Fiona Apple album real good and loud.

I watched BunHeads.

I did the school bus section of my puzzle until my eyes crossed.

I attempted to make baked mozzarella bites I found on Pinterest, and failed quite miserably.

 I slept like a starfish.

When we both finally make it home tonight, Jared and I will see each other for the first time in two days. Neither of us have been out of town, we're not in a fight, our schedules are just both nuts right now and that's the way it's probably going to be for the next 4 months or so. Here's to making the best of a crappy situation, and finding my library card, tuit suite. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Awkward and Awesome

  • Trash can fills entirely with rain water and weighs close to 5,000 pounds. The smell of trash juice still haunts my dreams. 
  • A bedroom slowly but surely being taken over by baskets of clean laundry. 
  • A replaced hard drive and 3 restoration disks later, and I am at the end of my fake computer knowledge. Halp.
  • Officially booked our tickets to Utah for conference this October!
  • Our kitty cats all got great new homes, which is an awesome right? I should be happy that our dear ball of fluff will be able to be loved by someone whos eyes don't swell shut after one little purr, right?
  • Finally got signed up for the YMCA, lets all pray that I can find the willpower to actually go. 
  • Saw Beasts of the Southern Wild a few weekedns ago. I found it incredibly creative and very touching. Go!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nerd Alert

Nerdiness is in my blood. My father grew up a band geek and a Wheel of Time enthusiast. By the time I was in fourth grade I had read The Hobbit and was making my way through Lord of the Rings, or trying to at least. Give me a goody fantasy series and you will have won my heart forever. I was lucky enough to marry a man who shares my affinity for the magic in life. He lives and breathes for Harry Potter and can have an hours long conversations about the beauty of a Star Wars theme park. So no one should be suprised that this happened this weekend.

As you could probably gather from the theme park talk, once Jared has an idea is in that noodle of his, he will not cease until it is realized. Anyway, he has been talking for more then a year about this board game he was in love with when he was a kid, Weapons and Warriors. Have you played it?

 If you haven't, then you should. Jared picked it up on eBay for a trifle and it is oh so fun.Basically you use your crossbows, catapaults, trebuchets and canons to fire marbles at one anothers camps. We have been on the hunt for games we can play, just the two of us, especially after that failure of a Lego excursion, and this definetly hit the spot.

 Disclaimer, if you have hard wood floors, and if your entire apartment is crooked and slants slightly downhill, you best be making some barricades out of spare yoga mats, old cardboard boxes and a coffee table or two. Those little marbles really fly.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Night Circus

So there was a silver lining to all the Miami nonsense. While getting lost at every turn, I also got lost in a fantastic book....hyuck hyuck hyuck. Forgive me a royal chuckle. Anyway, while still in Jacksonville I bought  copy of the New Yorker and plucked The Night Circus from the shelf of the gift shop. I never even cracked the cover of that New Yorker.

This is the kind of story that I crave. Magical, fantastic, but never cheesy. Erin Morgenstern paints such a lush picture of the circus, and okay, maybe she does go a bit crazy with the adjectives occasionally, but we all have our faults.

I'm a voracious reader. If I love a story, I'm completely consumed by it and have a really hard time putting it down. Luckily, this trip gave me plenty of uninterrupted reading time, and I enjoyed every second of it.

P.S. This book literally has like, one swear word in it if you're trying to keep it PG.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Miami, or How I know I will never be an Amazing Race champion

I spent the beginning of my week in Miami for business. This may go down as the worst trip in history, and will be a testament to the nations of my ability to get lost at all times and in all things and in all places.

Anyone who knows me knows that I can't tell a right turn from a left turn and I should never be trusted as navigator. I got lost absolutely everywhere in Miami, and my phone died so I was without the saving grace of a GPS. I had to rely on plain old written directions. By the last day I was so ready to go home, and that's when all hay broke loose. Lets just say one missed flight and 6 metro trains, a shuttle and an small crying hissy fit later, I am very well acquainted with Miami's public transportation system.

On a less negative note, there are some very very kind strangers out there who helped me along the way and for that, I am truly grateful.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Sunday morning we woke up for church and couldn't believe it was already 7:45. Outside the sky was dark, a light rain falling; weather basically begging you to hit the snooze button one or eight times.
We slugged along, hitting nasty weather on the drive out to Whitehouse and getting to church at 9 by the hair of our chinny chin chins. Pulling up I prepared myself for a mad dash to the door, but as I got out of the car I heard a little peep, and then 4 or 5 more. Looking over to the outdoor AC unit, I saw a little black kitten screaming her head off. As I walked up she jumped right to me, and then I noticed her two brothers. They were soaking wet and shivering and could not grab onto me fast enough. Jared and I took them into the kitchen and got them warm. After some hasty kitten baths and belly rubs, they promptly passed out in their kitty fort and slept through the next three hours of church.
 One got a home right away, and we brought the others home for a bath and some kitten food. Jared has a serious crush on the little boy. He named him Samson, and I'm afraid we just may have to keep him. I have such terrible cat allergies, but I was already looking into allergy shots, so we'll see. For now, it's nice to have them around.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Awkward and Awesome Thursday

  • Cooking dinner and praying that you don't sweat into it, and if you do that no one will notice. 
  • Starting a pinterest board dedicated to labradoodles. I have a problem, y'all. 
  • Me playing volleyball. Anyone at Pioneer Day can attest to this. -___-
  • Camping this weekend at Youth Conference. I am putting this here to try and convince myself. 
  • Kermit Mug!
  •  Hard drive and recovery disks are in the mail. Don't worry laptop baby, mama's gonna take care of you!
  • Finally ordering contacts after the longest month of my life. I felt like my eyes needed a break after you know, 2 years straight of basically sucking them dry of all moisture, scratching them into oblivion and forcing small slips of plastic onto them. 
  • I hear that a certain Newt is back in town!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Millennium Falcon Quest

Last Friday I had a great idea. I'm talking a super brilliant amazing idea.
"We need something to do," says Jared "We need to hang out!"
"Lets go buy a Lego set," says I "Lets go, lets go!"

So off we went to Toy's R Us, thinking we would lay down $40 and get the most amazing, grand, intricate Lego set ever made. We went, we hunted, and then we found this. 

That's a beautiful thing, my friends. A vision! I could just see the hours of fun we would have. And then I saw the price tag. Lets just say $40 will buy you jack in the land of Lego. And when I say Jack I mean Jack Sparrow in Lego Man form, and that's if he is on sale.

After our dreams were dashed, we found a cool puzzle, kissed the Millennium goodbye, and vowed we would hunt eBay until she was found for half the price, but hopefully not half the pieces.