Project Quinoa, A Roaring Success….

Hello, Everyone!

I hope that you all survived Monday. Ours was pretty great here because we had some friends over for dinner and it was a really good time. Lydia and I made “One Pot Mexican Quinoa” and it was delicious. I could easily say that it was my favorite quinoa recipe so far. I haven’t tried many recipes yet though, so I plan to keep exploring this new and interesting ingredient. I want to incorporate more of it into our diet because it is so good for you and actually tastes great if you make it right.

Here are the two Quinoa recipes I have tried and loved so far:

http://damndelicious.net/2014/04/09/one-pan-mexican-quinoa/?m

We left out cilantro because I personally think that stuff is one of the worst things I have ever tasted. We added extra broth while it was simmering as well. I have found that quinoa recipes never call for enough liquid for it to actually cook right, so I am always adding more than called for. We also prefer more spice and added extra chili powder.

I would recommend serving this with some sour cream, pickled jalapenos and a little cheese to top it off. We ate it with corn chips.

I also made “Quinoa Fried Rice” which was full of veggies and super yummy.

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/quinoa-fried-rice-recipe/

I once again added extra liquid to my quinoa. I added mixed veggies rather than just peas and I also added broccoli. I would recommend putting in one TBS of soy sauce at a time and tasting it as you go. The recipe called for too much for our liking, but it really depends on what you prefer.  I also cooked up some chicken on the side for William. I just pan-fried it with a little soy sauce and sesame oil. It was apparently very good.

I would highly recommend both of these recipes. If you’re only cooking for yourself or for two, you could definitely keep it and use it for lunches throughout the week. I think they taste even better after sitting in their own flavors for a bit.

Sorry for not taking pictures! I was too busy stuffing my face. Both times.

Talk to you soon!

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School time blues..

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Hello, Everyone!

I am writing this post from my lovely kitchen table on my new Surface. I am not very good at typing on this flat little keyboard yet, so this will be good practice for when I have to write my papers with it.

Speaking of papers, I wanted to talk about school. I would say I’m a decent student. I get perfectly respectable grades with the occasional killer grade because I work pretty hard to keep my GPA up. I wouldn’t consider myself a GREAT student because I really don’t enjoy school…. That’s right, I said it. There is nothing enjoyable about spending hours on end writing page after page about a subject you couldn’t care less about. It isn’t a joy to dissect children’s books three times a week, trying with all of your might to come up with a deep meaningful message behind One Fish, Two Fish. I truly don’t enjoy school like many of my friends do.

Despite this distaste, I still love learning. I have taken a few classes on subject that mean a lot to me and really enjoyed them. I love reading with a passion. I have really experimented this year by reading all kinds of genres, from dorky teen romance to a history of Cob & Co. I love to write. I have written for NaNoWriMo for several years and completed a novel of 50,000 words or more every time, bettering my skills as I went.

Learning doesn’t have to be conventional. It doesn’t have to be sitting and highlighting eight million sections of a textbook in hopes that you don’t miss any information that could be useful for a test or thesis. Learning about the things you love and have a true interest in is extremely important in my humble opinion. I have kept all of my textbooks related to literature and photography because I really get a lot out of them. They are useful to me because they teach me about subjects that resonate with me. I can safely say that I won’t be keeping my math book around after this semester.

All this being said, I am finishing up my associates this semester, which is great. I am also battling with myself on whether or not I should keep going with my education. I wouldn’t mind getting a bachelors degree if I actually knew where I wanted to go with my life. Figuring myself out has been a real challenge for me.

I suppose that’s all for now.

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Oops… (The random update)

Hello, Everyone!

So I suppose I lost my habit of writing regularly, which really stinks because I was kind of enjoying it. I got kind of busy and then I got kind of uninterested in anything at all for a bit because I go through phases. Also my laptop barely works anymore, so there’s that. I will be getting a new one soonish so I will get back into it soon hopefully!

Here are the important updates:

  • I have started one of my part-time jobs and the other starts this month, so I will be working two jobs and hopefully not losing my mind.
  • William and I spent three days watching every Harry Potter with our lovely friends and it was so awesome that I had to pause my random books from the library sale and start reading Harry Potter right away. So far I am obviously loving it.
  • School starts September 14th and I am not one bit ready or excited.
  • My older sister left for China and it is both depressing and exciting because she is my bestest friend and I’ll miss her, but it’s also her dream job and she kicks butt and I am pumped for her.
  • I am trying to cook healthier food so I bought spaghetti squash and quinoa… We’ll see.

That’s all I can really think of at the moment.

Cheers,

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Putting the apartment together

Hello, Everyone!

Today has been a productive one so far. I folded unbelievable amounts of laundry, cleaned the house pretty thoroughly, removed some clutter that had made the living room it’s home for FAR TOO LONG, and then proceeded to try and finish making this place homey.

I have been avoiding just that because we only live here until William is finished with this upcoming semester. I was afraid that if I set up too much I would get really attached and then have the worst time of my life having to leave. Unfortunately, I am attached anyway because it is our first home and so I decided I might as well do SOMETHING, because frankly, white walls are a bit of a bore when you don’t have a lot of cool furniture or anything to make it very spiffy.

I used three command strips to get our wedding gift from William’s grandma to stay on the wall. I think it will work this time(fingers crossed)! This is one of my favorite gifts because it’s homemade and because it’s just extremely cute! Not to mention we will never forget our wedding anniversary if it’s hanging on the wall at all times, am I right?

I also finished putting together our fourth and final dining room chair. I got the whole set pictured above from Ikea and absolutely love it! Not only did building it make me feel incredibly tough and awesome, but the style is  very ‘me’ and makes the kitchen so much more adorable.

I will keep you updated on my future decor plans.

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Making Smores in the apartment…

Hello, Everyone!

The other day William was headed out to go for a run. He was gone a while but I didn’t think anything of it because I figured he was going for a longer distance than usual since he’s been wanting to work up to doing more before soccer season. It turns out that he went to Wegman’s after his run and picked up ingredients to make Smores because I had mentioned how good they sounded earlier that day. He’s really good at doing cute things to surprise me and make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Here is our version of Smores and our process of making them via apartment kitchen:

Marshmallows and Fudge Stripes – Less ingredients but still chocolatey gooey goodness, and chopsticks.

Making them over the burner. Be careful. Ask your mom first.

Toasty marshmallow goodness.

The finished product!

My husband is awesome. I am a sugar addict.

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Growing up doesn’t always suck

“Would you send me to school?” he inquired craftily.

“Yes”

“And then to an office?”

“I suppose so.”

“Soon I should be a man?”

“Very soon.”

“I don’t want to go to school and learn solemn things,” he told her passionately. “I don’t want to be a man. O Wendy’s mother, if I was to wake up and feel there was a beard!”

“Peter,” said Wendy the comforter, “I should love you in a beard,” and Mrs. Darling stretched out her arms to him, but he repulsed her.

“Keep back, lady. No one is going to catch me and make me  man.”

-J.M. Berrie(P. 139-140).

Hello, Everyone!

I hope your weekend is off to a great start!

I have been working on signing papers and reading various material for my upcoming job at Macy’s. I’m quite nervous about the job but also excited to have something to do and to make a little more money. I’m also hoping desperately that Macy’s allows me to work a second job with a photography studio into my schedule. I have a pretty good feeling things will work out this time. Which leads me to explain the name of this blog entry as well as the lovely excerpt I borrowed from a brilliant author…

Getting older kind of sucks sometimes, am I right? It is frustrating and expensive and stressful. Figuring out how to pay for your apartment and your car and also keep relatively healthy food on the table is no picnic for young, married college students. The economy sucks, jobs are hard to come by in big college towns, and it is hard to feel confident in your security sometimes.

I was relating to Peter’s feelings an awful lot recently, besides the fear of growing a beard, obviously. Growing up just felt really lame after being disappointed about my job search and desire for a purpose in life. But this last week has been reminding me that growing up doesn’t only come with frustrations or disappointments. It comes with new experiences and opportunities when you are patient and open to receiving them.

For example:

1.Our photographer has been posting our wedding photography this week. It has reminded me of the incredibly awesome opportunity God gave me to marry the coolest and most adorable (in my humble opinion) guy in the world. Our wedding was awesome and so is being married. Figuring out how to take care of each other is a challenge but it is so worth it because we love being together. I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I picked a guy who makes me happy as a clam. P.S. I’m aware we’re newly weds and according to some people it is just a phase because we’re in the honeymoon stage. I can assure you we’ve had lots of crappy moments in our 4+ years together and it wont always be perfect. That doesn’t mean I will ever stop being pumped that I am married to my William.

2. I went to an interview for a school photographer job not far from here and was told ten minutes into the interview that they already wanted to hire me and were going to offer me a position and wanted to work with my schedule at  Macy’s. I am still working on how I can pull off both, as I mentioned before, but I think it should work out. Even if it doesn’t, my character itself made them want to hire me and that just makes me feel pretty great.

…I really hope I do get to work here as well as Macy’s though, because photography is what I want to do with my life in the long run. So it would just be really freaking sweet.

So, that is how I am feeling this week. Life is good even though it doesn’t always feel good. Peter Pan has a pretty rockin’ life in Neverland, but he is going to miss out on a lot of good parts of getting older. I feel a little bit bad for him. But not too bad, because, well, he really does have a pretty stinking awesome life…..

That’s all for now!

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Barrie, J. M. ""When Wendy Grew Up!"" Peter Pan. Sterling, 2012. Print.

Birthday Celebration

Hello, everyone!

Today is my friend Micaelina’s birthday. Yesterday I was able to make it back home for a birthday dinner at her house. We ate a ton of delicious vegan food, played a dorky game that I got her for her birthday. It was really nice to hang out with some friends from back home and have a good time. I never pass up a chance to eat Teri’s vegan cupcakes, so how could I not go? Just kidding! I really did go for Mic.

Here are a couple pictures from the night:

In honor of our eight(or something like that) years of best friendship, I thought I ought to share some embarrassing old photos of us together!

I hope all of your birthday wishes come true. You’re a beautiful soul and you make me laugh like no other. Thank you for sticking with me through all of the dumb obstacles growing up can bring. I will love you always. As 2012’s obnoxiously huge birthday card said, you’re the greatest!
Talk to you soon,
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Good times

Hello, everyone!

Yesterday was a pretty great day. I’ve had quite a few good days since moving here, but yesterday was extra good. I think God knew I needed it, because I’ve been having a rough time getting settled. Not having a job and not really getting to know anyone here has left me pretty bored and lonely while William is at work for most of the day. Adjusting hasn’t been easy for me. I think I’m finally going to get used to it now.

First on the agenda for yesterday was a visit from my friend Kristin and my little sister Bethany. I love when friends and family from home visit me, so it was really nice. We tried to get out to go the park and ride the merry-go-round, but Bethany wasn’t feeling great so we got some food and chilled out in the apartment. We did play a very competitive game of Candy Land, at least. Bethany and I were neck and neck for winning but I drew that double red and made it to King Candy’s castle first. What can I say? I’ve got some sweet Candy Land skills.

William got home from work early, which is always a nice surprise for me. Our apartment building was having a cook out, so we decided to make chicken wing dip and cut up a watermelon. While we were working on our contribution to the feast I received a phone call from Macy’s offering me a part-time position. I obviously accepted it because a little more income and a little less time alone at home is greatly welcomed right now. It wont be as many hours as I might like but I can always pick up shifts and I’m sure it will be perfectly fine. I am super thankful for that call because I was getting restless and worried about being unemployed. I’m looking forward to starting in a few weeks!

The picnic was awesome. Everyone brought something delicious and southern themed to share. It was really nice talking to everyone and hanging out for a while. I haven’t had a chance to talk to many people here so I am very excited to make some friends! It was a really good time.

The best part was the slip and slide that we played on afterwards, I’d say. I have never been on one so I was a little freaked out to go shooting down a hill on a soap covered tarp… I’m glad I did though! I only went a few times. William and some of the other guys were crazy and were at it for a really long time. Once they started linking arms and going down three or four at a time, Ala cracked us up by saying,

See? Guys like touching each other, they just need an excuse

By the end of the night we were covered in grass, which is still all over my bathroom floor because I’m waiting for the grass-covered clothing and towels to dry so that I can shake them off before putting them in the washing machine. I don’t enjoy huge messes, but this one was well worth it!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Frisbee and broken laptops

Hello everyone!

So, if you’re wondering why I didn’t get a post out on Monday it is because my computer decided it doesn’t want to connect to any internet at all and I can’t figure out how to fix the problem. Isn’t it convenient that it is messing up on me right before this next semester begins? I love electronics! (Hopefully you sensed my sarcasm there…) So, I am using William’s computer right now since he is at work and I suppose I’ll do the same for Friday unless we can figure out a solution with mine. I really hope we can. I’m a little bit, well, a lot bit frustrated about it. But that’s enough about that, here is what William and I were up to yesterday, plus some poor quality photos from my phone!

William didn’t get finished working until almost four yesterday, so I put up my cute canvas in the kitchen. My sink area had this boring open spot so I figured it would be a nice place to hang something up!

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We decided that we needed to get out and do something fun for the rest of the day, so we purchased a Frisbee at Walmart and headed over to our favorite park. It’s probably ten minutes away from our apartment. I really like it there because it’s out of the city and feels a lot more home-ish. William wasn’t actually annoyed at me, he was just being a goober. By the way, I used to be terribly bad at Frisbee, but William made me practice and now I can actually enjoy playing!

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