Things You Can Do Instead of Homework

Sunday, I planned on doing homework.  I really….with every fiber of my little being intend on committing myself to the two hours of mild boredom and slight torture that is taking lecture notes as a distance student.  This all came crashing down when I got home, during a rain storm…..this becomes important…..to discover that my professor had neglected to upload the Mac compatible version of the week’s lecture.  So here I sat, with a newly repaired MacBook, and nothing to do with it.

Granted, I could have been responsible, gone back to the office, picked up my laptop, came home, and done my lecture.  However…..it was raining, and much like my resistance to snack food, I only have so much.  If the lecture had been right there, I would have done it.  Much like, I’ll only eat snacks if they manage to cross into my house.  If it’s easy I’m all about doing it, doesn’t really matter how much I’d rather not.  I wasn’t however, committed enough to lecture notes to brave the cold, bleak, rainy night for a Windows Media Player compatible computer.  I could go into a whole rant about how this professor should probably spend less time complaining about technology struggles and just figure out how to make things work for the distance students…..but I won’t.  Maybe later…..who knows how I’ll feel about these things later.

I will instead tell you what I did instead of lecture notes……I cooked!!  I basically cooked all the things…..spicy sweet potato hash, blueberry and apple crisp, and bourbon caramel.  I don’t really have recipes for these things, they are just somethings I throw together now and then.

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash

  • 3-4 medium to large sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs cumin, chili powder, and paprika
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Heat the oil in a large skillet and then combine all the ingredients at once (except the black beans).  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the potatoes soften.  The size of your cubes will dictate how long this takes.  Mine took about twenty minutes the other night.  Once everything has softened, add the rinsed and drained black beans and heat through.  Serve with anything you want…..plain, with eggs, avocado…..anything that sounds yummy.  This recipe lead to a new adventure in adulating…..I’ll explain later.

Blueberry and Apple Crisp

  • 3 apples, diced
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup white and brown sugar
  • 2 tbs butter
  • cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Add the apples and blueberries to a baking dish and mix slightly.  In a microwave safe bowl or container combine the remaining ingredients and microwave about 30 seconds.  You’ll just need to melt the butter, and then stir to combine the mixture into a grainy, crumb consistency.  Sprinkle the topping onto the fruit, and back at 350 for about half an hour, until you can see the filling bubbling and the topping becomes browned.  I like mine hot, with vanilla ice cream….and possibly caramel sauce!

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Usually, I make this on the stove…..in a pan…..like an adult.  This time, I was lazy and just made it in the microwave.  It worked fine, it just takes a bit more babysitting.  You can’t just set it and forget it!

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs butter
  • a couple splashes of heavy cream or half and half
  • splash of bourbon

Combine the sugar and butter in a microwave safe dish.  I set the microwave for 2 minutes, but stopped and stirred every 20-30 seconds.  Once all the sugar crystals have dissolved, drizzle in a bit of cream while stirring.  If your cream is cold and you don’t stir it will solidify the sugar again.  If it does get a bit chunky again, just pop it back in the microwave.  Once it’s reached a good consistency, splash in your bourbon, stir to mix and enjoy!

I ended up getting a whole weeks worth of food for a couple hours in the kitchen and some microwave skills!  It was all pretty easy, and a relaxing night.  I had never made the hash before, although I’ve made other hash varieties.  I discovered that my favorite way to enjoy it was with some avocado, some cherry tomatoes, and eggs.  Makes for a super filling and satisfying breakfast or lunch option.  The eggs are what caused me a new adventure in adulting.

I’ve never in my life been one for runny eggs…..or really any kind of egg that isn’t scrambled, hard boiled, or maybe on occasion….fried.  Although, scrolling through recipes online has lead to really like the idea of a poached egg…….so I decided to try something new, and I poached my first egg!  It went surprisingly well all things considered!  Granted, I over cooked it, but I thought that I would start with a more solid yolk, and then back down the doneness scale until I reach a point where I don’t like them.  I will say that I’m a big fan of the texture of the egg whites…..they are fluffier than eggs cooked other ways.

So, this week I’ve made several very cute and successful little poached eggs.  I also discovered that with enough focus I can crack an egg with one hand.  This became necessary because I thought that manicures and egg poaching were two activities that could be done together.  I mean…..they can…..but I don’t recommend it.  I’m sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the adventure, I was a little bit panicky about it.  Horror stories of poached eggs gone wrong were flashing in my brain.  However, I had no disasters, and everything was easier than expected honestly!!

It’s never too late to learn a new skill, and it’s always good to broaden your horizons!

 

 

 

 

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I Need to Remember I Own a Crockpot

The other day I was scrolling around Buzzfeed and found a collection of crock pot recipes. I rarely make any of those recipes, but one stuck out to me.  It’s from fellow blogger Tieghan Gerard, and her blog Half Baked Harvest.  Her recipe for Crockpot Italian Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Chili sounded like the perfect thing to have cooking away while attempting to brave the last few frozen months of winter on the Northern Plains.

I didn’t change much about her original recipe, but I did make a couple minor adjustments:

  • I have a smaller crockpot, so I used probably a pound and a half of chicken
  • Only three cups of stock, although I will add more when I make it again
  • Just a couple good sized splashes of balsamic vinegar
  • All the other spices and ingredients I used were the same
  • I did substitute chopped kale for the broccoli rabe, but only because I eat kale salads often during the week so it just fit better with my regular food routine.

Her recipe was perfect!  I baked up some dinner rolls, and tucked in on the couch with Scout for some Netflix and way too much food.  It’s healthy, but it’s flavorful and spicy enough that you don’t mind that its healthy.  Plus, that’s just an excuse to eat more, and on cold winter nights that’s what you need!!

I will defiantly being going back and digging through the archives on Half Baked Harvest to find other yummy treasures!

 

 

In totally unrelated news, my poor little MacBook did indeed die last Friday night.  According to the repair dude, it had a major hard drive malfunction.  So, needless to say, I’ve been heming and hawing all week about whether to keep the brand new MacBook I bought on sale at Best Buy, or repair my old one for about half as much.  Side note…..apparently being a mid-2009 model number makes my MacBook vintage…or so I was told!!!  :/

I did eventually settle for fixing the old one.  So the Mac is getting a new battery and a fancy new hard drive, and they promise me that I’ll end up with basically a brand new computer in my old case.  The downfall of this, is that because the old hard drive crashed so hard, they aren’t able to get any of my old photos and documents back.  Let this be a lesson to you kiddos……always use your Cloud Drive!

 

Someone’s Getting Married!

….It’s not me, no one freak out!

One of my favorite girls is getting married today!  It’s been a pretty busy week of cake baking with Bitch Faced Bestie, wine drinking, and general work stresses.  Also my computer crashed last night.  It spent the night trying to reset itself, but still hasn’t become a computer again so I don’t think the odds are going in my favor….

To celebrate the upcoming  nuptials, the bride’s sister requested that we all write her notes to be given to her at the bachelorette party.  The notes could be advice, a story…..really whatever we wanted.  Since I obviously have no marital advice to offer, I wrote the best letter I could.  It’s a bit naughty….ok kinda sorta a lot naughty, but remember that is was written to be funny and read at a fellow twenty something’s bachelorette party!  Posting it here seems like a great way to kick off her perfect day!

CONGRATS GIRL!!!!

To my dearest “All I ever do is win, win, win”,

By this point, we are all pretty aware that I’m not the queen bee of relationships.  I’ve tended to adopt the Dane Cook model of “relationshits” as my general life feeling on the issue of love.  However….the one thing I am good at is “losing my leaves”!!!

So, on this glorious occasion where you have filtered through all the “relationshits” to find your Prince Charming, I will offer up my best “leaf losing” advice!

  1. Always fight naked…..but do not make him bacon in this state, no matter how much he begs.  Maybe just don’t cook him anything naked…..
  2. Should you find yourself in front of a lingerie display wondering, “Do I need this!?”, the answer is always yes!
  3. Don’t be afraid of the fights.  Always fight fair, but remember that angry sex can sometimes be the best sex.

Since I don’t want the Fiancee to feel like all the advice is too girly, I consulted some dudes about the issue.  Please fine their…..questionable….advice below.

  1. Make sure he licks you, and twice on Sundays….because he apparently won’t be doing anything else anyway.
  2. Starts with an S….ends with a wallow……

……Actually, ignore the dude advice, they are idiots!

In all seriousness, I wish only the best for you and your new family as you embark on this lifelong adventure together.

Love,

The  always , mostly leafless despite

my best intentions tree

I’m doing the bride’s makeup, and bestie baked all the cake and cupcakes.  The Terrain-y is loaded down will all the makeup I own and enough cake to feed an army.  Time to stop for coffee and hit the road…..someone’s getting hitched today!

Things Oily Girls Know to be True

Sometimes it’s hard to be an oily girl in the wonderful world of makeup.  While the majority of your friends are struggling to find a decent moisturizer, your off buying stock in blotting papers and praying your eyeliner stays were it belongs!  As an oily girl, I feel your struggle!!  I thought it would be fun to have some of my favorite makeup artists and YouTube stars help explain the struggle.  They have better facial expressions than I ever could hope for, plus they are pros who just know how to get the job done!  You can admire their flawless makeup while you contemplate the struggles!  Hopefully, these make you giggle…….whether you’re oily or not!  In order of appearance:

Jaclyn Hill

Alex Faction

Manny MUA

Patrick Starr

Jeffree Star

  • When you’re friends are raving about a new highlighter, but you know if you tried it, you’d end up looking like you rubbed all the body glitter off a stripper…..with your face!tumblr_nfgbppEtyB1tzetfco4_500

 

  • This list of products you trust on your (probably) acne prone skinFullSizeRender

 

  • When you realize that other people’s makeup stays on their face…..where they want it……all day….until they take it off

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  • When you want to follow this philosophical advice, but it’s hard given the amount of eyeshadow primer you have to used2f143c22a3fa0b052dbf859d8e9e8b3

 

  • When you know you’ve gotta treat your face like a doughnut, and powder that baby into submissionhM0Px8

 

  • When your cleansing routine will make or break your lifeFullSizeRender (1)

 

  • When you know that strategic lighting will minimize that oil slick shine

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  • When you buy….and then bathe in setting sprays hoping for small miraclesWyDYAZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • When your friends start shopping for wrinkle creams, and you can finally feel the balance of power shifting in your directionFullSizeRender (2)

 

  • When you look matte for the first 10-20 magical minutes and it’s got you feeling yourselfmaxresdefault

 

  • The way you’re afraid your makeup might look by the end of a particularly oily dayFullSizeRender

 

  • When you get excited about a new product and then you hear, “If you have oily skin…..you’re probably not going to like this.”1280x720-7MB

 

  • When you find a magical product that stays on flawlessly all dayFullSizeRender_2

 

  • When you know you can always justify buying more lip products, because they will never betray youjs2

Chapter 11: Math has Never Been My Friend

I realize it’s been quite some time since I have written about any of my dating escapades.  There hasn’t really been a particular reason for this, other than the fact that I guess I haven’t been going on as many dates!?!?  I’ve long since given up on all of my online dating apparati.  (Apparently the “correct” plural of apparatus is either ‘apparatuses’ or ‘two pieces of apparatus’……I personally think apparati sounds better so that’s what I’m gonna go with!)  I believe this is the first blog about a guy I actually had a long relationship with.  Of course, long is a relative term, but since all the relationships you’ve read about how been flings or short lived, I’ll consider this to be long.


 

Ahhh college, it’s a great time.  However, it’s also a time where you might make some questionable life choices.  I will be the first to admit that college me made some truly questionable choices.  Probably one of the most questionable……was ADD 3.  I refuse to look back on experiences with regret, because they have brought me to the life I live now.  Despite all my “middle class white girl struggles”, I really am loving my life right meow!!  Honestly though, if I knew that I would end up in exactly the same place I am now if I could just delete those two years from my life….I would.  I’m struggling with how to write this, because it could be quite long, but also because the majority of it was not good or healthy in any way.  I’m going to try and provide just enough background that you can grasp the situation I put myself in, and then I’ll try and just focus on the positive things I learned.

move-on-quote-relationship-text-true-Favim.com-274768Graduating college on the heels of an economic recession isn’t great.  You’ve put in tons of time, money, and energy, and done all the things you’d always been told you were supposed to do to be successful.  The ending result of all this time and money was that I was unable to find a job, despite all my best effort and hours of filling out seemingly identical applications.  I was firmly committed to the belief that moving home would be an admittance of defeat, so I did the next best thing I could think of….I moved in with ADD 3.  I knew the sort of jobs that were awaiting me back home…..essentially nothing.  I wasn’t willing to admit that sort of defeat, so against the wishes of my family….and probably my friends….I soldiered on with my plan.

After about a week, I didn’t want to be there!!  I had already known that ADD 3 had a rather substantial collection of tubs in his basement.  One of the perks of dating a guy with a house in college was that I got to do laundry for free….in the basement…..with the tubs.  Being the nice, unemployed, “housewife” that I was, I thought I would organize the basement!!  Most where garbage……random things….some of his old Army stuff…..and then I found them, TUBS FULL OF VERY NSFW THINGS!!!!!!!!

…………………………………AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH……………….!!!!!!  

Somehow, I let him convince me that it would be ok to stay, that we would work it out, and everything would be fine.  I think part of me gave in to him because I felt like I had worked so hard and upset so many people by moving in with him in the first place that once again….I was unwilling to accept the defeat that would have been moving out.  Something about college me was apparently really into winning at this point….

I eventually got a job where I traveled frequently, so I was around less to put up with his crazy.  Yes….he was crazy.  Granted, I only know ADD 3 as a PTSD suffering Army veteran. I have no idea who he was or what he was like before he served our country and saw the things he saw.  In that sense, I have only the greatest amount of respect for him, his family, and the sacrifices they made.  He discovered that he could win any argument by playing the “Army Card”.  Honestly, there was never anything I could say or do other than sit there and take whatever random insult he had to throw my way because I could never bring myself to say anything back when he’d play the Army card.  You have to remember…..I was younger and stupider then……I’ve grown up a lot….he’s partly to thank.

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This basically continued for a year, until he decided to move to Florida….and I was so relieved.  I packed up all my stuff, and we drove it to my Dad’s house in Sturgis and honestly….I was happy!  I was happy he was moving away, and I was happy that I felt like I had finally found an out.  I really thought everything was going to change for me.  It did…..but at the same time, it didn’t.  I saw him twice more after that moving day in August…..once when he flew to Minneapolis for my birthday that December, and once in the Spring.  I….the girl who was so ready to let go of the relationship, just let him continue to have one with me.  I didn’t really encourage it, but I didn’t stop it either.  I suppose that’s partly to do with being young, and partly because those who are in bad relationships always seem to have a really hard time getting out of them.

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Ok….enough of this seeming like a pity party for me….that’s not at all what I want.  Again, I don’t regret it.  I survived, I’m stronger, and I’m the person I am today because he taught me I didn’t want to be the person he thought I was….AKA a spoiled rotten, Tinker Bell obsessed princess who would never survive on her own because I knew nothing about life.  He had a few positive impacts on my life, and that’s were we will end this….the good things.

  • My relationship with ADD 3 taught me that if you set aside your pride, your family and friends will always be there to support you…..no matter why you think you don’t deserve it
  • He bought me my glorious pupperoni Scout, who has been with me through everything for the past 5 years
  • He introduced me to my fabulous hair stylist who I still drive 6 hours to see
  • He taught me how to play poker…..kinda
  • When I’m told I can’t do something or I’m not worthy of something, it just pushes me to prove them wrong.  So……I guess I should thank him for my new car, paying my own bills, and everything else he ever told me I couldn’t do
  • He introduced me to Korean food…..which is delicious
  • Spicy hot ramen is now a favorite lunch food for one of my UBS girls because of him
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The night we brought my little Scout-a-rooni home from the shelter.  #Adoptdontshop