Archive for July, 2011

Over The Weekend: A Michigan Adventure


Not to beat a dead horse or anything but it is INSANELY hot.  It’s like 90 degrees outside and it’s 9:30 at night.  The very idea that this is going to last all week has me wanting to do absolutely nothing.  NOTHING.  But I have plans, so we’ll see how that goes.

But I digress.  It’s the beginning of a new week which means that it’s time to reminisce about this past weekend.  Despite the large amounts of driving I did, it was a really great weekend home in White Lake, MI.

Ahhh, back yard niceness.

Seriously, is there anything as serene as a huge back yard with a calming pond?  Surely, there is.  But right now I can’t think of anything.  PLUS. My dad’s house has air conditioning.  Which is a luxury I am not accustomed to.

The reason for my drive was 2 fold. 1 of the folds is short and hairy and the other is a cousin that I rarely get to see what with her location being predominately on the West coast.

Speaking of the first fold though, Ash had so much fun at his 2 week summer camp.  He might be slightly bitter about being back here in Chicago where I have no air conditioning and he’s stuck in a kennel.  But he loves me.  I’m convinced of it.  But he’s 100% looking forward to his next trip to Gramma and Grampa’s house.  OH! And we found an awesome new talent of his.  He’s a basketball star.  It’s seriously the most adorable and awesome thing ever.  EVER.  But I didn’t take a video.  Oops!

Wonderland Lanes.

On Saturday, I also made a quick drive over to Walled Lake to visit my cousin Kristin while she was in the area from San Diego.  It was really good to see some of the extended family and get tons of hugs.  Not to mention the fact that we went bowling, which I haven’t gotten the chance to do in a long time.  We were the absolute only customers in the place when we got there, which made me sad for the bowling alley, but happy for my nerves.  Of course, I didn’t exactly do amazing at the actual bowling part but it was still really fun to hang out with the cousins.  Not to mention, I got to see Aki’s “Church Lady” impression.  Which made my day.

All in all, it was a pretty perfect weekend to be home.  And I came back with some awesome memories and you know, my dog.  So it was definitely worth the over 10 hours of driving time that I put it.  Plus I sort of got an awesome present. And….got to hang out with someone awesome named Harold who might be getting his own post soon.

Harold - King of Beasts


July 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

Friday Faves: Frozen Treats



Guys. GUYS. I bought popsicle molds. (on a side note – I need to learn not to spend money)

I’m crazy excited about this for one reason: pudding pops.  I seriously love pudding pops.  They are 100 times better than Fudgesicles. The texture? The commercials? The spokesperson?  But I digress.  I haven’t had a chance to make those yet (read: I haven’t gone to the store for milk), so I’ve spent a lot of time perusing other ideas.  Did you know you can use these to make non-pudding pops? Shiz got real.

So here’s a few I’m looking to try.

1.) Pudding Pops

Do I even need to link to the recipe (I did)?  Make instant pudding. Freeze. Be awesome.  I’ll make these next week, expect an update.

2.) Banana Split Pops

I want to use cartoon sound effects as my reactions.  But I realize they don’t type out right.  So here was my reaction: Bwahhhh? You can use these things to make ice cream into tasty treats?  This looks A-MAZING.  This is from Pops! The book I desperately need – hint.

3.) Smoothie Pops

So, this particular recipe (from Country Living) is for plum (ew).  But I love berry smoothies, so I assume I could figure out a concoction that incorporates smoothies into a neat treat.  Nom nom nom. And…healthy! Yeah!

4.)Rootbeer Float Pops

Ohhhh root beer.  So tasty.  And root beer floats? Even better.  These used the exact molds I have.  So I’m positive a recreation of their awesomeness is entirely possible.

5.) Rocky Road Fudge Pops

Shut the front door.  How insanely tasty does that look?  Those nuts! (that’s what she said) That fudgeyness.  Want has food coma.  Though, to be fair, I’m not sure I could accomplish these.  We’ll build up to it.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I’m driving to Michigan to pick up Ashdog and visit with AWESOME people.

July 15, 2011 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Double Rainbow

Not all movies pictured. Black and white cases are elsewhere on the shelf.

So, you alphabetize your movies.  How’s that working out for you?

Personally, I like things to be visually stimulating, so I color code my films.  That’s right.  I get all ROYGBIV up in this bitch.

Just look at it.  You can oooh and aaah all over the place.  I won’t judge you.  Hell, I’ll probably thank you for the compliment.  But enough admiration (no really, go on).

Most people I talk to have a problem with the fact that I color code my movies.  I’m not sure why, but it’s a really heated argument most of the time.  “How do you find anything?” “What’s wrong with you?”  And my answer is simple, I find things just fine because my collection isn’t too big and there’s another reason I’ll get to in a minute.  And there’s nothing wrong with me.  I’m awesome.

If anything, color coding makes it so that I fully appreciate the full scope of movies that I have.  Because I have to look at every single one to find something to watch.  I have to fully read every one too, just in case I’m confused. Or distracted.  Which happens more frequently than not.

But the real reason people get all huffy about my color coding?  It’s the fact that I argue with them that there’s a method to the madness that is movie sleeves.  See, I think I’ve somewhat proven that genres of films are categorized based on the sides of their dvd boxes (with exceptions of course).

Say I want to watch a comedy.  Why, look to the blues!  Or maybe a romantic comedy.  Pink it is!  Horror/suspense? Red or black! More serious dramas/indie movies? orangey reds.  I’m not crazy, the proof is in the pudding.

So don’t be surprised if you come over to watch something and I say “Okay, what color are you in the mood for?”  Because, damnit.  I’m right on this.

July 13, 2011 at 6:21 pm Leave a comment

Over the Weekend: When the lights go down in the city

I’m in love with weekends.  But you know what I’m not in love with? Losing power on super hot days.  But more on that later.

First of all, let me tell you that the cupcakes from the last post were AMAZING.  Seriously.  Go make them now.  Or pay me to do it…you know.  Just for kicks.

But moving on.  Friday was spent just hanging out around the apartment watching X-men cartoons like a normal person does.  John drove out to visit and instead of watching sad movies, we went out and bought Anchorman. At 9:30 at night.  To make it mre justifiable, I bought Cry Baby, cookies, soda, and some picture frames.  Just so that no one would be any the wiser.  But let me tell ya.  Anchorman really holds up.  And I didn’t realize how many lines we say on a daily basis are from that movie.  It’s a little crazy.

Saturday brought a neighbors overflowing toilet that somehow filled my light fixture with water.  So that was pretty much a great way to wake up… We went out and tried a new breakfast place down Damen, Marmalade.  it was pretty good but everyone there was dressed to work out so I felt really out of place what with my not working out ever.  I felt like they could just sense it on me.  “Oh, her with the french toast? She doesn’t get why we’re all dressed for running on a Saturday.”

So, after their leers and judgement (that I might be making up in my head), we went home and took a nap.  Just to spite them.  And then felt bad about it so we went to the park and played frisbee for a while and eventually watched an episode of Archer.  Because we needed to be rewarded for being so gosh darn active.  But it was genuinely one of those moments where I thought, wow.  Why don’t I spend more time sitting in the shade in the park?  We’ll see if it leads to anything.

After this whole park outing, we kept the momentum going by catching an early dinner at Fireside Lounge before heading to Skokie to see Horible Bosses.  The food was aces and the movie had me laughing out loud.  I love me a good comedy.  Especially in the summer.  Seriously though? I’m not sure anyone fully understands my love affair with Pulled Pork.  I don’t think I had ever had it until this year.  And I just can’t get enough.  I absolutely love it.  And I make a mean pulled pork when I’m feeling like putting forth a little effort.  But maybe I’ll tell you about that a little later.

Danielle like Fireside too!

I've smartly named this nail polish birthday cake.

This sandwich lasted less than 5 minutes. I'm so glad there are no "during" photos.

I give pulled pork 2 thumbs up!

After the movie let out we went to the grocery store and felt like 21 year olds buying alcohol for the first time.  Only to return to an apartment with absolutely no power because once a year my entire block likes to completely stop having lights.  In case there’s going to be a zombie apocolypse.  It makes me feel like it’s a practice run.  But in this practice run, we bagged up our vodkas and juices and hightailed it to Danielle’s apartment with Jessica to play Mario Party.  It was just perfect.

Sunday was spent trying out a new to us restaurant in Andersonville with delicious half priced sushi on a Sunday of all days.  And catching up on the latest happenings in Bon Temps.  I’m not really looking forward to having a full work week this week but I think the fact that Ashdog will be home next weekend will greatly help.

Have a good week everyone!  Don’t forget to get a free slushie at 7/11 today!

July 11, 2011 at 11:00 am 2 comments

Friday Faves: Orange you glad it’s Friday?

This week’s Friday Faves is brought to you by the color orange.  I wanted to make a cute mood board for it…but then I got lazy.  So, maybe next time you’ll be visually satisfied by one of my color posts.

Lately, I’ve been noticing that orange isn’t really all that bad as an accent color.  Sure, it’s no mustard yellow, but it’s a great pop of color!  Looking around my apartment, I realize that I have more orange things than I would have originally guessed.  So, now I’m going to show you some of my favorites from this week in this fabulous hue.

1.) Swiftly Moving Days Dress – from Modcloth

I sort of have a love hate relationship with Modcloth.  I love their retro styles, I hate their prices and spotty quality issues.  I have several items from there that are fantastic, but I’ve also bought a few that had me seriously questioning why such a piece would cost so much.  Well, this dress above is super cute.  I love the shape and the pop of color on the top.  Maybe I’ll buy it eventually if it’s ever on sale.

2.) Pyrex Friendship Pattern


I’m not sure how orange these really are.  But just look at those little roosters!  So stinking cute!  I can’t wait to find one of these bowls in the wild.  I think I’ll squeal with delight, hopefully not drop it, and bring it home to live on my shelf.  It’s just so perfectly charming as a Pyrex pattern.  I’m just smitten.

3.) Orange striped paper straws

I love the etsy shop for HeyYoYo.  I can’t help it.  Everything there is so kitschy and adorable.  I’ve ordered a few baking supplies there in the past and I’ve never been disappointed.  And these straws? How adorable would they be with some glass bottle sodas?  Too cute.  I’m going to buy them once I can justify needing them for a gathering.  So, people should probably gather with me soon…

4.)Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster – from Claudia Varosio

So, this is another etsy shop that I’m crazy about.  Every single print here is adorable and subtle.  Nothing screaming “Movie Poster” about these.  No siree bob.  And Breakfast at Tiffany’s?  I need to rewatch it stat after seeing the adorableness of this poster.  It’s such a fun movie!!  Despite the racist bits, that is.

5.) Orange Masking Tape


Cute masking tape (or Washi Tape) is yet another mindless item that I’m completely convinced that I need in my life.  I’ve seen so many bloggers (I’m looking at you, How About Orange) use it in fun crafts lately and I can’t get enough.  The only issue arises when I put it in my cart and say “Now what will I use it for?”  And I realize the answer is a complete blank and exit of the browser window.  One day though…I’ll make something with tape.  Maybe invites to my party where I’ll wear that dress and use paper straws and watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Just keep lying to yourself.

Anyway, hope y’all have a great weekend!

July 8, 2011 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Bitchin’ Kitchen: Cookie Dough Cupcakes


In today’s “Bitchin’ Kitchen”, we’re making cookie dough cupcakes.  That’s right, we’re being awesome.

This recipe has been on my want to try list for…oh let’s say a few months.  The thing about me and baking is that I absolutely love doing it.  I love the reactions I get.  I love making people happy.  But, for the most part, I don’t really enjoy cupcakes all that much.  But cookies?  Dear God, I love me some cookies.

Which may be why this recipe was on the docket tonight.  That and because I drunkenly promised some coworkers I’d make them.  Shlameel shlamazel. Here we are.

There were a few things about this recipe that had me uneasy.

1.) They’re filled cupcakes.  I’ve never hollowed out a cupcake before and I’ve never made a filling either.  So that was the most intimidating thing about them.  But guess what! It was super easy to do!  I hope the filling is tasty, I didn’t really try them yet since it’s so darn late.

2.) The cookie dough buttercream frosting would only look good if I used an icing tip and a piping bag.  Something I’m not really any good at.  UNTIL NOW.  Oh man, these babies are adorable! I’m positive the problem in the past has been that I was using store bought icing.  Store bought icing pales in comparison to my homemade awesomeness.  It was stiff (that’s what she said).  And it was easy to pipe!  I loved it.

3.) It’s seriously hot.  I didn’t want to turn on the oven.  That was today’s big argument with myself.  But in the end my eagerness to please people and try new recipes won over my slight heat exhaustion.  Besides, I got to wear my adorable Cupcakerator apron that Holly made me.  So there’s always a positive.

In all, I’m pretty pumped about these in case you can’t tell.  And I’ll make them again one day, so long as I find out they’re awesome tomorrow.  We’ll see.

The recipe is from Annie’s Eats.  Her website is FILLED with awesome recipes and general inspiration.  Trust me when I say you’ll spend hours browsing it.

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

July 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm 4 comments

Over the Weekend: Independence Day

I know what you’re thinking.  This post is late.  It’s Tuesday and the weekend ended on Sunday.

But oh-ho! WAIT JUST A SECOND!  That’s not true because this, the weekend of our independence, was a long weekend. Boom. Mind blown.

It took a little extra time getting going, I’ll give you that.  Despite getting out of work an hour later after winning a game of Euchre, I had a vet appointment for sir Ash.  Just a routine checkup.  The type that will put me in the poor house.  But I digress.  We eventually got on the road for what would be a 4 hour drive to Grand Rapids. Woah!  The only positive is that at the end of said drive I got to see John, snug, and get a Totoro stuffed animal.  (more on that at a later time)

But really, I just passed out.  It was such a long day.  So we woke up early the next day to drive 2 hours across the state to my Dad’s house for what I’m referring to as “Ash’s Summer Camp”.  See, Ash enjoyed his Michigan summer so much last year that he begged to do it again this year.  I’m convinced that he’s sitting around making lanyards and tie dying the shit out of things right this second.

We were only there for the day/night, but being home is just really comforting.  We ate Crazy Gator pizza.  Picked up 4 dozen breadsticks at the Highland House.  Watched TruTV and bad movies.  It was grand.  Very relaxing.  All I’ll say is that I have the urge to make Super Mix Tapes now from watching No Strings Attached.  They will be crazy on theme.  I love a good theme after all.

So, we woke up super early on Sunday and drove another 2 hours out to the Marshall area for Sam’s annual 4th of July bonanza.  We hugged. And got caught up on each other’s lives.  Played some rousing games of “Seaweed or Poot” and “Blood or Twizzlers”.  We came up with insane catch phrases such as “I’d rather be galanging.”  I mean, come on.  It was amazing.

I won’t get caught up on details since it’s really more of a “You had to be there” type of thing.  And I’m sad I didn’t even bring my camera but sometimes memories are good just as memories.  And after a 2 hour drive to Grand Rapid, followed by a 4 hour drive home to Chicago, my long weekend came to a close.  With sore muscles, sun burns, and a complete loss of my voice.  I love a nice long weekend.  (less drving next time though, please!)

July 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm 2 comments


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