Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Folksy

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Oy! Unexpected blog break, life has been crazy busy! I can't believe that Christmas is next week, and work has been crazy busy as usual. These photos were taken back in November, whoops. I did really like this outfit though! It has been unseasonably warm here, so I can get away with wearing light jackets. And this hat, that I somehow seem to wear every-other-post. I am so predictable.

My evenings have been pretty crazy too, between sending out Xmas cards, getting gifts together, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of two crazy pups, I have been jammed! I also have a love/hate relationship with the gym lately. I haven't lost any weight, but, I am really enjoying the release. I swear, going to the gym is what keeps me from murdering my coworkers. That and all of the folk music Kyle and I have been listening to. I am trying to convince him that we totally have money to splurge on tickets to see The Decemberists in March, who needs food? That is what ramen is for!

For now though, I am enjoying a few minutes of freedom. Currently, I am sitting on the floor (because the dogs are on the couch, obviously), reading blogs and re-watching Doctor Who. Because life is short, and Peter Capaldi is hot.

What.  

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Details
Jeans-American Eagle Outfitters
Sweater-Forever 21
Scarf, & Necklace- Gifts
Shoes & Jacket-Thrifted
Bag-Urban Outfitters
Hat-Target 
Belt-Modcloth
Glasses-Warby Parker 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Time And Relative Dimensions In Space

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This shirt did not want to stay tucked in correctly, but I just had to wear this shirt with this hat! My amazing friend Dan gifted me this incredible hat a few weeks back, and I could not wait to wear it on the blog. I then remembered that I have never worn this T-Shirt on the blog either, another gift from my cousin. Double-Doctor Who themed posts this week!

This is really my typical 'going out' outfit in the colder months. Either a fandom shirt, or a band shirt, a cardigan, skirt/skinnies and boots. Although this particular skirt is a little too tight just yet, it kept riding up all day. It is a good thing I was just in the house cooking on this particular day, or else everyone would have been blessed with the image of my round arse. 

I don't wear a lot of my T-shirts on the blog, but I do live in them at home. As soon as I get home from work, it is pajama pants/leggings and a T-shirt. I love cute, pajama sets, but the tops almost never get worn, because there is usually a clean T-shirt on top of the clean laundry pile. I think over the next few months I will try to sneak some more on the blog. I feel like with some red lipstick, a T-shirt is just classic. Even if there are Time Lords all over the front of it. ;)

Happy Friday!

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Details
Shirt, Necklace, & Hat -Gifts
Skirt-American Eagle Outfitters
Tights-Leggs
Boots & Cardigan-Target
Purse-Thrifted
Glasses-Warby Parker 

Eats: Fancy Beer Cheese Soup

Never has a soup given me so many problems. It wasn't hard to make by any means, it was quite easy, in fact. However, being someone who cannot consume milk, pizza, ice cream, or yogurt without getting sick, I should have reconsidered making a double-batch of beer cheese soup. Whoops. 

Kyle and I often split a cup, or a bowl of soup as an appetizer while we are out. There is a place in Ferndale called One Eyed Betty's that has really great food, and their beer cheese soup is no exception. However, splitting a small portion with someone is vastly different than eating an entire bowl to myself. I was hurting. It is a good thing I have another whole second batch of this in the freezer! Go me. 

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I got this recipe from Pinterest (that one looks loads better. But I will just blame the shitty lighting in my kitchen, okay?) It's official name is: Brie + Cheddar Apple Beer Soup w/Cinnamon Pecan Crumbles. See? Fancy! 

I changed a few things: I used low-fat brie, I also left the rind on. I didn't realize that this recipe called to remove it, and I panicked. After researching online, a lot of people claimed that you are supposed to eat the rind, as it is part of the flavor. Whatever. We didn't die, it tasted fine, so I guess that is up to you. I also totally forgot that I was making a double-batch, and only put in 8 oz of cheddar in, and almost started crying when I tasted it. I kept freaking out, telling Kyle that it tasted like vomit, only to then notice the other bags of cheese sitting on the counter (think my subconscious was trying to tell me something at this point?). After adding it it, it was pretty good! 

Get for the soup
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 sweet onion, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
2/3 cup apple cider 
2 apples, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
1 beer, 12 oz (I used Blue Moon)
2 cups broth 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk (I used plain almond milk)
16 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
8 oz brie, rind removed, cubed

Get for the crumble 
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups whole raw pecans (I used walnuts)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

To make the crumble: preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Working in a Pyrex dish, or a greased pan, Add everything together, mixing well. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

To make the soup: heat a large soup pot over medium heat. add the olive oil, and once hot, add the onions, and a pinch of brown sugar. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, siring until softened. Slowly add the apple cider, until the onions have caramelized. Add the apples and thyme to the pot, stirring until softened. Add in any remaining apple cider, the beer, broth, and a little more cayenne. Cook 5-10 minutes, until the apples are soft. 

Meanwhile, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth, set aside. Once the apples are soft, puree the mix until smooth. Return the soup to the stove, and bring to a low boil. Whisk in the milk mixture, and boil until the soup thickens (about 5 minutes). Stir in the brie and cheddar cheese, until melted and smooth. Ladle into bowls, and top with crumble. 

Soup

We didn't use all of the crumble in the soup (it makes quite a lot), so I refrigerated the rest, and we put it in our oatmeal the next morning. It was much yum! I think when I make this again, I will try with a pumpkin beer, and maybe some granny smith apples (I think I used gala here). I will probably make a smaller batch too, so that I can just have a small serving instead of a giant bowl. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Autumn Reads

Winter doesn't officially start until December 21st, but I am not sure if I will get a chance to finish the book I am reading before then. I just looked at my Goodreads goal for the year, and  was disappointed to see that I only read 16 books so far this year. In my teenage/early 20s years, I could read 2-3 books per week, even while working full time, and in college. Now? I don't know what my excuse is.

 I think one of my goals for 2015 will be to bring a book with me wherever I go, like I used to, and read that instead of scroll through my phone whenever I get bored. I used to go to the bar with Kyle and the guys, and while they played pool, or darts, I would sit and read. It was really nice, because I felt like I was "out" being social, but still felt like I was getting some alone-time in. Another plus-side to this: annoying drunk people will still come up to you if you're on your phone, not so much if your face is buried in a book. So there is that. 

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Anyway, onto the books! I only read four, sadness, but they were all really great! 

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets- By J.K. Rowling. I started re-reading this series towards the end of the summer, and I am so glad that I did! The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts, during which a series of messages on the walls of the school's corridors warn the "Chamber of Secrets" has been opened, and that the "heir of Slytherin" would kill all pupils who did not come from all-magic families. These threats are followed by attacks which leave residents of the school "petrified" (frozen like stone). Throughout the year, Harry Ron, and Hermione investigate the attacks. 

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azakaban- By J.K. Rowling. The book follows Harry, and his friends at Hogwarts, in their third year at Hogwarts. They spend the year investigating Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner of Azkaban whom they believe is one of  Lord Voldemort's old allies. 

There isn't much to say about these books, aside from the fact that I still love them as much as I did when I was a teenager. What is notable, however, is how much the movies not only changed certain events in the books, but also character traits. They really made Ron Weasley seem like a chump at times in the movies, when he was a witty little shit in the books. 

Books

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test- By Tom Wolfe. A non-fiction book published in 1968, the book is remembered today as an early example of the growing literary style called new journalism. Wolfe presents an as-if first hand account of  his experiences with Ken Kasey and his band of Merry Pranksters, who traveled across the country in a colorfully painted bus name "Further". Kasey and the pranksters became famous for their use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs in the hopes of achieving inter-subjectivity.   The book chronicles the Acid-Tests (parties in which kool-aid laced with LSD was given out to obtain a communal trip), the group's encounters with famous authors, the Hells Angels, and The Grateful Dead, as well as Kasey's exile to Mexico. 

Being a HUGE fan of of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", I really wanted to read this book for awhile. I took an intro to journalism course at Oakland University, but had no idea what 'new journalism' was. This book was amazingly written, that needs to be stated first. There are times when it is quite obvious Wolfe sat back and just wrote down everything he observed, and there are little interviews with pranksters peppered throughout the book, reminding the reader that this is a journalistic piece. However, Wolfe goes into such vivid detail, that is just so easy to slip into the mentality that an actual prankster wrote the book. Another thing to keep in mind: this was during the mid-late sixties, before acid became a main-stream drug, so the rest of the world was completely baffled by this group. Cops would constantly pull them over, just to let them go again, because they didn't know what to think of them. 

The mentality of the Merry Pranksters is something to be in awe of. They maintained a constant balance of non-conformance, and communal well-being. They shared housing, they shared food. TheY decked themselves out in Day-Glo paint to the point where they were unrecognizable. They accepted the mentality that everyone was their own, individual person, in their own "movie", but you were also either "on the bus", or "off the bus". 

William Shakespeare's Star Wars (Verily, a New Hope)- By Ian Doescher. A non-cannon book, retelling the story of Star Wars, as if penned by William Shakespeare. 

I borrowed this book from my friend Aaron over the summer, and just got around to reading it. This was just for fun, and it was really cute! It is completely written as if The Bard himself wrote it, and it is perfect for someone with a BA in English, who also grew up watching Star Wars.  ;)

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There you have it, the books that I read at a snail's pace on my 15 minute lunch breaks, while walking in the treadmill, and sometimes before bed. What have you guys been reading lately? 

*Photos by Kyle. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Doctor

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My siblings and I have a few things in common: weird OCD tendencies, calling our Dad "Sasquatch", being loud when we get excited about something, and being overly blunt, especially with each other. It's always "don't eat that, you will get gas", or "have some gum, you need it", "you look like an idiot". or "god, you smell bad!". 

WELL, a few weeks ago, Kyle and I went for beers with my brother Mark, and I could tell throughout the whole night that he wanted to say something, but he was holding it in. Finally, after the 3rd, or 4th beer in, he blurts out: "I can't take anyone seriously when they look like Doctor Who!" and then following a long pause: "You look like Doctor Who!" I responded with: "But I win at looking like Doctor Who." 

We then high-five'd, and continued drinking. 

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But really though, shouldn't a lady have a go at being the next Doctor? If only I were British. and had taken acting lessons. Le sigh.  I could still help out with wardrobe though, eh, Eh?

Hand

Details
Coat & Necklace-Forever 21
Hat & Boots-Target
Purse-Urban Outfitters
Sweater-Thrifted
Skirt & Scarf-Lauren 
Glasses-Warby Parker 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Little Bits: Catching up

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 Solar powered, pooping panda! I swear, my car does not look like it is owned by a 29 year old, it looks like a spoiled teenager owns it. Thanks to my bestie, I now have this little guy keeping me company while I drive. 

I didn't get around to taking a lot of instagrams this weekend, I have just been so busy. Friday night I went to the gym after work, made us dinner, then washed up and headed out to see our friends Stone Clover play at the Magic Bag in Ferndale. They put on an awesome show, then we stayed for a little of the next band before heading to meet our friend Mariah at karaoke down the street. We had a blast that night, and we met some really nice people while we were there. 

Saturday I slept in because I got so little sleep during the week. It was awesome, because the pups were all snuggly (which they NEVER are for Kyle, muwhahahaha!). I eventually washed up, then headed out to visit with my bestie Jamie for a bit and to get lunch. I started to get overwhelmed by all of the things I needed to get done, so instead of doing them, Kyle and I went to the movies. We saw the Penguins of Madagascar, and it was really cute!  We then came home and watched Despicable Me, because we realized we never saw it, also, hilarious. 

Sunday we woke up, made breakfast, cleaned the house, did laundry, took the pups out for a walk, washed up, and went to the grocery store. I then proceeded to spend the rest of the evening batch cooking for the week, and listening to She & Him's new album, Classics (which is pretty good!).  Needless to say, I am exhausted, but the month only gets busier from here on out. There are at least five people visiting from out of town in the next few weeks, all of the holiday shopping to do, cookies to bake, cards to write out, packages that need to be mailed, and all the while we desperately need to make a trip out to the laundry mat. 


I am actually really looking forward to January, the coldest, longest month of the year. I want to hermit it up for a bit, even though it looks like I will be seeing even less of Kyle next semester due to his school, and his work schedule. It is okay though, I have a puppy to train, and a little brother to terrorize. so life will still be crazy. 

For now? I am tackling one thing at a time and just trying to catch up. Happy Monday!

1) Solar powered pooping panda. 
2) Taylor, and Stone Clover!