Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Adventures in Cooking // Homemade Whipped Cream

Really this post should be called "Rachel-made Whipped Cream" because it was made by Blondest Rachel, I merely supplied the strawberries and took sweet pix. 

(I am now realizing I am going to have to come up with a more efficient name system in order to differentiate between all of my Rachels, don't worry I'll think of something)
This took her approximately ten minutes, at the most. It's heavy cream, with sugar and vanilla extract to taste. You could probably whip it by hand, but I happened to have a hand mixer (my mom optimistically thought I might bake or cook) which made it very easy.
My god, it was so good I'm not sure I'll ever want to go back to that dumb spray-canned stuff.
xx

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Over the Weekend

I am fully aware that it is Tuesday and I'm just now posting about the weekend, but there you have it, it's happening.
(These two are actually from the weekend before...oops)

On Friday night, we went to the Arizona State Fair! It was so fun, but also I don't know, I don't think I'll need to go back next year...
On Sunday night, the blonde Rachels and I made dinner and cookies and all was right with the world. Ladies nights are the best nights. Also I must have a thing for friends named Rachel. I love my Rachels. (and one of them even plays flute, meaning I have two flute-playing-Rachels, IT'S FINE)
My cookies were a hit, just sayin'.

Last night (Monday night) Zach and I went to see "Into It. Over It.", which is a band, but the name is confusing so I put it in quotes for ya.
Thanks for letting me steal your cool pic, Zach (he's way taller than I am, and could therefore get pictures over people's heads).
Also I got a hair cut and felt like a movie star for a few days, which was pretty cool, so please indulge my selfie (have we discussed how much I love selfies? should I be ashamed? cause I'm currently not ashamed).

This week is already a doozy, I'm so busy I don't even know. I love it.

I have more fair photos to share, but bye for now!

P.S. I added a new page for people who are new to THIS page. It's all the nonsense and gossip, just so you know.
xx

Thursday, October 23, 2014

vroom vroom (surprise!)


I got a car! If you've known me for a long time, then you know this is a big deal. I am basking in the ability to go basically anywhere, basically anytime. That, and being able to be the chauffeur for once ;)
It is a 2013 Toyota Corolla LE. In it's previous life, it was a rental car. It's in great condition (I got it checked out, per Mom's request). Obvious and huge thanks to my parents, because they are the best (even when we argue about things) and I couldn't have done it without them.

And now I am kind of a real adult and it is pretty cool.

P.S. like my license plate? I'm clever, I know.
xx

An Update on the State of My Health

It's no big secret that I'm not a particularly healthy young-person. It's not something I hide or even avoid telling people (well, not usually). But I realized the other day, while compiling some posts for a thing that will be up soon, that the last time I wrote about my health on this blog was a looong time ago. And, well, a lot has changed. (although apparently not the fact that I like to accompany serious posts with v serious photos of myself--don't mind me)
I will try to keep this brief, but I get asked about it with relative frequency. So if you've been wondering, keep reading. And if not, then do wuteva you wanna do.

So, yes, I have still have Crohn's Disease. It's one of those pesky chronic conditions that you can treat but not cure (not yet, anyway). But since switching medications in the summer of 2012, my Crohn's Disease has actually been under control. That being said, I do still have flare-ups semi-regularly. A few times a week. But they are no longer as crippling as they once were and I can totally deal. I haven't had to miss any classes or events due to sickness in months, it's great!

When I decided to come out here to study at ASU, my Mom and I were pleased to find that there is a Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale (twenty minutes or so from my house, very nice). We made an appointment with a Crohn's Disease specialist, and I will never ever go back to a regular gastroenterologist, it's a world of difference. The Mayo Clinic is the most efficient doctors office I've ever been to (and I've been to many). Anyway, after an initial appointment over our week of house hunting, we scheduled several tests for later in the summer when I would be moving out here. It was an unpleasant week where I was at the Clinic every day and there was fasting and sickness and it was bad. But at the end of it all, it was discovered that I have Gastroparesis in addition to Crohn's. And that could have been the cause of all the throwing up that took place in the past three years. And it's easy enough to treat--I've just had to adjust my diet.

Essentially I've stopped eating all of the things that a normal person should eat in order to be healthy. Any vegetables that aren't really well-cooked, whole grain/whole wheat anything, nuts and seeds, fruits with hard skins or seeds...I can't eat these things anymore. But it hasn't been so difficult to find alternatives that will make do, and I've been feeling infinitely better. I still have to watch what I eat in general. No greasy/fried foods or rich dressings/sauces--I usually know when something will make me sick but sometimes random things slip through the cracks and then oops I'm bedridden for a few hours. But it has not been a huge problem lately and I'm loving it.

And that's where I am. Feeling much, much better (with a few exceptions, but "a few" is totally manageable). Hoping this continues to improve. Hoping to sometime be in complete remission from flare-ups...hey, a girl can dream ;)
xx

Monday, October 20, 2014

Snaps

I took these photos as the sun was setting last night. Celeste and I were out taking photos at Tempe Town Lake for her upcoming recital. The sky out here in the desert is so much more colorful than I ever remember it being on the East coast. I'm still pleasantly surprised by it after three and a half months of living here (jeez, has it really been only three and a half months?) We got out in the knick of time though; the clouds look beautiful but they turned into quite a storm.

I'm glad to finally be using my camera more often, and SO EXCITED because Dr. G (one of my clarinet professors) lent me a Nikon film camera to use and learn about shooting with film...I've never shot film with a legit camera before, and I already have these great lenses so I'm just, like, overly excited. I don't think I'll have proper time to shoot much until the weekend (hopefully), but I can't wait to learn about it. My wallet is going to shrink realllll fast.

In other news, I'm itching to get out of Tempe, and since my Dad will be here for Thanksgiving and I booked my flights for NYC and Boston over winter break last week, I'm constantly day dreaming about it...ahhhh, to have a few weeks of family, friends, and real winter.

Anyway, big things are happening. I'm excited. Stay tuned (or don't, I guess that's really up to you).
xx

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Friday!

Should I apologize for the amount of photos I post of my cat? Or should I say you're welcome? I go back and forth.

A short week made for a really strange three days at school, and the lack of sleep from fall break caught up to me. There may have been more than a few mid-day naps with The Bug. She's really sweet in the afternoons, but at night she is a demon (she clawed up my foot just a few hours ago!)

In other news, I got the sweetest note from my best friend Allison who is now living in Ann Arbor, Michigan and let me tell you I smiled so big that my face was hurting. I'm getting over a wicked bout of homesickness, so this was the best surprise.

Happy weekend, yo.
xx

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halloween Season

With less than three weeks until Halloween, I think it's safe to say that Halloween Season is, or SHOULD be, in full swing. I love Halloween Season like most people love Christmas-time, something about it just fills me up.

My mom snuck a box of random holiday decorations in the back of the car on our road trip out here, and I'm so glad she did so I could put out a few things for Halloween! Those mummy candlesticks and ghost candlestick holders have been in my house every year at this time for as long as I can remember. It's like having a little bit of home here in my little apartment *warm fuzzies*

Also, I bought these pumpkin seeds at Target. I'm curious to see if they will actually grow. I'll keep ya updated, though I probably should have planted them earlier if I wanted them to be sprouting around Halloween time...we'll see!
In the spirit of Halloween Season, I will most likely exclusively be watching Halloween movies for the foreseeable future. I typically steer away from scary movies in general though, so they're mostly cheesy and lighthearted. Here are my favorites, that have my Halloween-loving heart stamp of approval:

- Hocus Pocus: DUH. This might be the best Halloween movie out there, just sayin'
- Halloweentown/Halloweentown II/Halloweentown High: I actually love all three of these and I watch them every year. Classic Disney Channel movies (before Disney Channel movies turned to mush).
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: to this day I can't tell you how this movie ends because even though I've seen it many times, the ending just doesn't stick in my mind. Ah well. It's a classic, too. (also on Netflix)
- Edward Scissorhands: speaking of Tim Burton. Not strictly Halloween-y, but then again anything Tim Burton touches is Halloween-y. Also Corpse Bride, and even Sweeney Todd.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: even though this isn't technically a Halloween movie, it feels like it is. It's probably that amazing Halloween feast/troll in the dungeon scene that does it, but I always watch this one during Halloween Season.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: I mean, it opens with that creepy and awesome "double, double, toil and trouble" song and that just sets the mood, doesn't it? Plus there's a Chamber of Secrets and what's more Halloween-y than that?
- Double, Double, Toil and Trouble: this movie is really terrible, I'm not going to sugar coat it, but it's still super cute so I dunno, I watch it most years.
- Tower of Terror: another one that's so bad it's good. (so, obviously I love it)
- Donnie Darko: I actually just saw this for the first time like a few days ago. After a bit of contemplation, I decided I really like it. And it's very clearly a Halloween movie, at least to me. But MUCH less lighthearted than the other movies I've mentioned. (also on Netflix)
- Young Frankenstein: classic Mel Brooks, guys. The humor is old-fashioned so I realize it's probably not for everyone, but I've loved this movie since I was a child.
- American Horror Story: this isn't a movie, but if you haven't watched this show now's probably a good time to start. Although in my humble opinion, just skip season two ("Asylum"). (season one and two also on Netflix)

If I missed any Halloween movies that you love, leave me a comment. I'm always open to more suggestions. And hey, if you have any good costume ideas...send them my way. I NEVER know what to be. Dressing up as a adult is too difficult!

P.S. DIY pumpkin chalkboards from the olden days of this blog and living with my best friend.

Happy Halloween Season!!!
xx

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Oktoberfest

I just recently started liking beer so when I found out Oktoberfest in Tempe coincided with fall break, I knew I'd be going. I met up with a big group of friends there for a really really fun night. Like a fair, but the focus was beer! (so, way better than a regular fair). There was even a band playing German music in leiderhosen and the female equivalent to leiderhosen that someone told me the word for but I can't remember, which was pretty cool.
Can we all agree that the front-facing camera may have been the best invention ever?...although now I do regret not getting a picture with the whole group.
I'd apologize for the blurriness, but I was drinking beer/not paying close attention to my photos and it's kind of a cool effect even if it was a mistake, so I will not say sorry after all, humph!

Anyway fall break weekend has been really great so far and we still have Monday and Tuesday off and I'm excited about it. Hope you all had or are having great weekends as well.
xx

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Friday! (+ A Video)

This is embarrassing...but I figured out how to play my ukulele and I am very proud of it! I apologize for my singing (or lack thereof) and yes, I made a few mistakes and just left them in the video. It was the best take I got, so deal wit it!! I am extremely imperfect and that's extremely okay.


Thus begins fall break! A lot of practicing, friends, and (hopefully) sleep in my near future.
xx

Thursday, October 9, 2014

RAWR

Photographic evidence that sometimes having a kitten is painful and terrifying.

Carry on.
xx

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Monday

Have I ever shown you my office? Well, this is essentially it. The view from the desk, anyway (which is home to a shiny new iMac, I am very lucky, and maybe shouldn't have posted that on the internet but oh well). I share this office with two other guys but somedays I feel like I live there...like today. Today was very long.

First thing this morning I spilled coffee in my fridge, yes IN my fridge, and then later in the day my right-hand pinky actually cramped up in the midst of my practicing?! If that is any indication of what kind of Monday today was.

I was at school for 13 hours or so, and it was a long day. But I was rewarded for staying late by watching my friends play Dvorák Symphony No. 8 tonight, and it was beautiful (I played on the first piece of the orchestra concert, a whole ten minutes isn't it great?)

Cheers to a speedy week, cause at the end of it is Fall break!!
xx

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Over the Weekend

^ This face is how I've felt all week. ^

Gaaahhhh every day this week felt forever long, you know the feeling? I don't really mind long days, I have a lot of things to keep me busy, but I've been seriously lacking in the sleep department. Fortunately, after this week we have "fall break". A four day weekend, essentially, but hopefully enough time to catch up on some zZzz's. Maybe the weather will actually start feeling like Fall, too...*wishful thinking*, I know.

In other news, Rachel and I decorated her apartment for Halloween season and the display is just too good, don't you think? I love it.

Have a great week!
xx

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Snaps

Snaps from around my place on the first day of October...my favorite month of the year, eeeeee!
Oh, October...Halloween season, guys I can't get enough of Halloween season!!! The weather has already started making an upwards turn and cool morning bike rides to school are just the best, and will only get better. AND this October is especially near and dear to my heart because Gilmore Girls is now on Netflix and, well, that's a big deal because come on. I want to be the Gilmore Girls.

With the beginning of October though, I am now busier than ever and only getting busier as rehearsals and coursework begin to pile up...but it's all exciting because I love being in graduate school, it's the best.
xx
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