Friday, May 30, 2014

A Tale of Two Silver Rings

This morning when I was getting ready for work, I reached into the little container on my bathroom counter that holds all of my earrings and rings. I got my silver stud earrings out and then reached back in to get a silver ring to match. It was then that I realized that my two beloved silver rings were not there. One is from a trip I took to Thailand and the other is from The 2 Bandits. Neither would be easily replaceable, if at all. So naturally, I started to panic.

Before and after work I searched through every corner of my car, bathroom, and bedroom... about ten times. The longer I searched with no success, the more sick I started to feel (probably revealing an unhealthy attachment to material things, but whatever... that's for another post).

I finally laid down on the floor of my bedroom and tried thinking of when I wore the rings last. Today is Friday. I knew that yesterday I wore tiny gold rings. But the day before... That was Wednesday. Did I wear them that day? What did I even do on Wednesday?

That's when I got an idea. I remembered that I take photos on my phone everyday. Perhaps if I look at photos I took Wednesday, they would give me some clues. I rushed over to my phone and chose to view the pictures by date. I got to Wednesday and found this:

 
This is a picture I took of myself at my church. I had stopped by to do something and while there I remembered that a friend of mine wanted a photo of me for a project. So I set my phone up on a window ledge and snapped this. In my ears were my little silver earrings that I always wear with my silver rings (usually only one at a time, but I think that day I couldn't make up my mind so I wore both)... Notice they're not on my hand in the picture... Which makes sense because I would have just tried to tidy up my hair (which didn't work out so well;) and I always take my rings off when I fix my hair because they get caught in my curls.
 
 
But did I put them back on before I left the church? As I wondered, I flipped to the next photo:
 
 
 
Ha, a window selfie:) As I was the locking the church door, I looked over and snapped this because I realized I've had my FEED bag for about eight years now and don't have a picture of it. Well, according to this photo I left the church without my rings on.
 
 
After collecting these clues, I hopped into my car and zoomed over to the church. There, I looked through the bathroom, the lost and found, etc...
 
Then walked into the nursery and lo and behold...
 
 
 

Of course, on the diaper changing station. ?! What a random place for them to end up... All I can think is that I had perhaps tried taking a picture of myself by leaning the phone up on the top of the station... and had tried fixing my hair right before hand?!
 
Anyway, the mystery is (mostly) solved and I have them back.
 
 
 
And I had much better pictures taken of me in my backyard later that day...
 
 
 
 
I prefer the second one but due to the awkward splotch of sun on my face, I sent my friend the first one.
 
I can't believe I just posted so many pictures of myself.
 
:)




Friday, May 2, 2014

Seven Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging

1) Making a list of reasons why I should never blog again (e.g. it’s too trendy, I shouldn’t share personal information over the Internet, I have nothing interesting to talk about, etc.)

2) Traveling – I just went to Louisville for ten days to visit friends. It was incredible beyond words… I can’t believe there are so many awesome, caring, and encouraging people all in one little city.

3) Planning more travel – I work at a preschool and have the summer off. Two days after my last day of work I will be on a plane to Montreal, Quebec. I’m actually going to be visiting family in upstate New York but will get to see a bit of Canada on the way in and out. Two days after I return from the East Coast I will be on a plane to Papua New Guinea to volunteer for six weeks. Probably a week or two after I return from that I will be on a plane to Portland, Oregon to visit my sister.

4) Reading – I finished A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller. Life-changing. Right now I’m working on Peace Child by Don Richardson and When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. After finishing those two, I hope to finish Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield. I MUST read two books at once!

5) Wearing Chacos – It seems like everyone in Louisville wears Chacos and somehow pulls them off. When I lived there, I tried a couple pair that I thought looked a little less crazy, but they weren’t that comfy. After my recent trip I decided to just get standard ones and they are the most supportive shoes I’ve ever worn. I feel like I could walk in them for hours.

 
6) Watching Portlandia – I don’t watch TV but at the end of the day when I’m in my bedroom, trying to get sleepy, I like to watch a clip or two of Portlandia (or The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon). Below is my favorite sketch:
 
 
 
7) Trying to Figure Out What to Do With My Life – Oh the ongoing struggle!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Trying to Become a Reader Again

I used to love to read. When I was little, I would spend all of my time finding little places around my house to "hide" and read books. My regular getaways were my bedroom closet (I even put a lamp in there) and behind the dining room table. At night when I supposed to be falling asleep, I would beg my parents that I could read "just one more chapter"... And then I probably read two;)

But something happened over the years. I think when high school turned reading into something that I had to do a lot of, I lost the practice of setting aside time for personal reading. I mean, I was still a nerd and my favorite high school "class" was working in the library for one period a day. Yet still, the time I devoted each day to reading for the purpose of enjoyment began to go down the drain.

Then I went to college and grad school, majoring in a subject for which my main textbooks were The Bible and a gigantic systematic theology book. Even though I was finally able to study what I loved, reading about it now seemed like a labor that I wanted to constantly postpone. To this day I have a hard time being interested in reading The Bible because it still seems like a textbook.

The thing is, I'm still interested in a ton of other books. I like their titles, their descriptions on the back cover, and the idea that if I read a bunch of them I would know the answers to all of life's questions. I have no problem excitedly buying and starting a book. I just can't seem to finish them.

In the last few weeks I did something I haven't done in years: I actually finished reading not just one, but two books! I started both of them at least two years ago. Over the last few weeks of forcing myself to read, I've come to rediscover the awesome benefits that voluntary reading provides. It's a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone, enabling you to both relax and be productive at the same time. From reading a novel and an autobiography, The Secret Garden and The Heavenly Man respectively, I was able to mentally escape while becoming inspired to live differently. Perhaps I've shied away from book reading because I think that it will either be too much a waste of my little time or too much work for my little brain... Yet I guess I'm learning to see both the rest and the labor of reading in a positive light.

That being said, below is a list of some of the books I've started over the last couple of years and would like to finish in the next couple of months:


Give Them Grace by Elise Fitzpatrick

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield

Messy by A.J. Swoboda

Good News About Injustice by Gary A. Haugen (I officially started this about 6 years ago, ha)

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo


I'll try to report back when I finish them (but I make no promises, considering I'm not too consistent on here anymore:).
 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Life Lately

 
I went to a Farmer's Market on Saturday... I loved these beautiful heirloom carrots. I didn't buy any, but I did get a yummy crepe for lunch and some mandarin oranges to take home.
 

 
I've gotten to hang out with my 7-month old nephew a lot lately. He possesses an abnormally high level of cuteness. I think he looks like a porcelain doll in this photo with my dad.
 
 
 
With each passing day I get a little more obsessed with Asian cultures... I especially love a lot of aspects of Asian pop culture and therefore fully enjoyed watching this music video by a Chinese girl band while waiting for my "scallion pancake" the other day.
 
 
 
I have had a horrible time falling asleep lately, but last night I got out this book that I started... oh, a year or two ago. It did the trick and I fell asleep faster than I have in weeks (out of relaxation, not boredom). This is just another reason I need to start reading books more often (I have started and left unfinished more than I care to admit).
 
 
 
Tonight I made this awesome "No Knead Bread" that I found on my favorite blog, Bleubird. I didn't follow the directions precisely, but the bread still turned out amazing. The only way I strayed from the recipe is that I didn't pre-warm the pot that I cooked it in (I was in a hurry). I also didn't use a French oven like she did, but my stainless steel pot will have to suffice until I can afford one of those.
 


This may be a little too personal, but whatever. Over the last few weeks my skin has been breaking out horribly for some unknown reason. In desperation, I started taking care of my skin with manuka honey and a mix of jojoba, lavender, and tea tree oil. They seem to be agreeing with me so far and my skin feels a lot better than it did just a week ago.
 
 
Well, that's all for now!


All photos were taken on my iPhone and edited with the Vsco Cam app.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cheesy Recipes


One of my New Year's Resolutions was to do more cooking. Thankfully, I was able to try out two new recipes this week and they were both winners.

The first recipe, Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (pictured above), was found on Joanna Goddard's blog, A Cup of Jo. I made it pretty much as directed, except I only had about half of the balsamic vinegar the recipe called for. That didn't seem to affect anything and they turned out very "gourmet":)

I made the second one just tonight. It's a quiche recipe that I found in an old cookbook named Recipes from a French Country Kitchen. What was really unique about it was that you had to coat the pie shell with mustard (or maybe that's common and I've just been missing out all these years?). It really added something special to the flavor. I also loved that there weren't many ingredients, yet there were good portions of those few ingredients (partly due to me adding a bit more bacon and cheese than required:) This turned out to be the heartiest and richest quiche I've ever tasted.

I adapted the recipe just a tad, so this isn't exactly from the book:

CHEESE AND BACON QUICHE (I feel like they should have named it "Onion and Bacon Quiche"... I mean, what quiche doesn't automatically have cheese?)

Ingredients:

1 whole wheat pie shell
1 rounded tablespoon of honey mustard
1 package of Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon by Niman Ranch (the best bacon I've ever had)
1 white onion, chopped
3 eggs
1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream (they asked for light cream, but I have no idea what that is)
8 ounces of Swiss cheese, diced
Salt and pepper


Directions:

1) In a frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat, until crisp and browned, stirring occasionally.
2) Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
3) Cook the chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat for about 12 minutes until very soft and golden, stirring occasionally.
4) Beat together the eggs and cream and season with salt and pepper.
5) Brush the mustard evenly over the whole pie shell.
6) Sprinkle half the cheese over the pie shell, spread the onion over the cheese, add the bacon, then top with the remaining cheese.
6) Pour on the egg mixture and bake for approximately 40 minutes until lightly browned.


Unfortunately, I devoured a good chunk of this really quickly without thinking to take a picture first... but then I guess all quiches look the same, right?



Image via A Cup of Jo.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

I love New Year's resolutions. LOVE. They give the perfectionist in me a yearly opportunity to set unrealistic goals that will supposedly transform me into the human being I've always dreamt of becoming. Ha. That being said, here's this year's list:

1) Stop being a perfectionist.
2) Become legitimately trilingual.*
3) Try harder to stop worrying so much (I'm already worried that I won't be able to fulfill this one).
4) Cook more often (instead of regularly eating toast and fruit snacks for dinner:).
5) Learn how to study the Bible in a more interactive and creative way.
6) Spend less money on boba teas and lattes:)

* I could probably write a whole other post about this one, but I'll try to be brief.

I formally studied French between the ages of 11 and 18, including taking part in a foreign exchange program in France. It was my life. But then at age 19 I transferred to a tiny college that didn't offer French classes. From that point on, I've only maintained any French language skill through watching Amelie approximately 100 times and playing MC Solaar on repeat. However, I've recently realized that it's very important for me to continue developing my ability in French, so I'm going to do all I can to make a habit of individual study.

Though I transferred to a college that didn't offer French, I did transfer to a school that offered frequent trips to Thailand. After visiting Thailand four times, I decided that it couldn't hurt to learn the language. I also happened to be unemployed after my last trip and needed something to occupy my time with for sanity's sake. After several months of wrestling with the idea, which included realizing that teaching myself from a book just wouldn't work, I started taking lessons over Skype with a woman in Thailand. I absolutely love it and am hoping to spend part of this summer in Thailand to do more intensive study.

In the last 8 days since committing to this resolution, I've spent a lot of late nights on YouTube, soaking in any French and Thai movies, TV shows, and music videos I can get my hands on. It's been awesome. It's also why one of my resolutions this year cannot be to get more sleep.

:)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Very First Christmas Tree

Today I went to a little local Christmas tree lot to get my very first Christmas tree... Not that I didn't grow up with them, I've just never had one that's all my own.
 
 
I loved the sign on the tree below...
 

And voila! A humble little Charlie Brownesque tree in the corner of my bedroom:) Ha, I love it.

 


Merry Christmas:)