Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Five (w/ bonus pizza pictures!)

•Indian food
•Ice cream
•"Good morning sunshine"
•Video editing (more of a love-hate)
•House hunting

For the past few Fridays, we've been having homemade pizza. That little tradition ends tonight, though, because tomorrow is Aaron's birthday, and tomorrow, we will journey to Smith Rock again. But, tonight, we will go out for a nice birthday dinner. In memoriam, here are some glamor shots of last week's pizza before it was devoured.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Food I've cooked and eaten recently

guacamole | veggie fajitas & yellow mexican rice | baba ganoush salad with marinated tomatoes | shells & cheese | banana pancakes

It's been an uneventful, yet delicious couple of weeks, my friends.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Things I've been thinking about lately

This blog entry comes to you in three parts.

And this is a picture of a duck (a duck that I walk past every day, a duck that knows secrets & can see through your soul).


So, lately, I've been focusing a lot on my faults. And I mean that in a good way. If there is one. Anyway, these are the ones I've identified:

•I'm judgmental: too hard on myself & others
•I'm quick to anger: often taking out the frustration I feel for myself and my own faults on others I love ...often taking offense, small comments too seriously
•I'm impatient: I want things done when I want them done. Usually before they actually get done...

All of this boils down to the fact that I'm a perfectionist. I always have been I'm also me, which is awesome.

"You know what? You're an individual, and that makes people nervous. And it's gonna keep making people nervous for the rest of your life." -Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy


I've been thinking about religion. We were going to go to church this weekend, but we slept in...

I like thisThis American Life story about a "bad Christian". I relate to it a lot.

I'm wearing the cross necklace I got at Trinity College in Dublin. It's Presbyterian. I consider myself pretty Presbyterian. I'm a Calvinist at least. Those five points have always made sense to me. They're something I hold on to.

But, I also believe in Bravery. Compassion. Love. Those things - as always - win out.

It's a process.

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” -Alice Walker, The Color Purple


Education. Continuing it rather. My new job comes with the benefit of a tuition break, and I like the idea of school. I like the idea of challenging myself.

I spent last week and the beginning of this week talking to a lot of the best and brightest of the class of 2013.

Obviously, it's made me feel like an underperforming loser. It's made me feel a distinct lack of focus.

But I could do something. I'd like to apply for a creative writing program. I think. The one here is competitive. But I might try for it. Applications due in January.

Or I could just apply as a post-baccalaureate student and take some classes for fun. I've searched through the course catalog and so far, I'm interested in classes like Hebrew, Fashion Trend Analysis, Gender and Communication, The American Novel, Intro to Animal Sciences. See what I mean by a lack of focus?

And on that note, I don't really know what to say next. If you have any suggestions or advice, please leave them in the comments.

“Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.” -Mark Twain

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekend Adventures Part 2: Putt Putt

We played at PuttSkees in Monmouth. All of the holes are homemade & everything is adorable. Go there.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Weekend Aventures Part 1: Independence

Aaron took me to see part of his coverage area.

Our area produces a ton of grass seed...

The Independence River Walk.

Downtown Independence.

An amazing, independent bookstore in Independence.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Five

•New recipes
•Arrested Development reruns (aren't we all?)
•gym climbing
•secrets & surprises

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls

I've been excited to make cinnamon rolls since Laura Vitale made a video about how to do it.

I'm automatically nervous about cooking anything bready. Though, I think this fear stems from the first couple of times I made pizza dough, and followed a really poorly-written recipe.

This was also before I had my amazing, trusty stand mixer (thanks, mom).

Props to anyone who makes bread without one. I'm totally over kneading dough by hand.

Now, I've just about conquered pizza dough, so I figured it was time to move on to something a bit sweeter....

And last night was the night! I started making the dough as soon as I got home at 5:30, because I knew the whole process would take awhile (there are about 2.5-3 hours of inactive, rising time).

I made a very healthy dinner and got a few things done in between steps. It was bed time by the time these babies popped out of the oven, but you're kidding yourself if you think we didn't still try one. Okay, we may have tried more than one....that's how amazing they are!

I'm not sure when I'd suggest making them. I guess if you happened to wake up super early on Saturday morning, and didn't have much else to do. I'm not sure when I'll make them again. I can't even imagine how many calories there are in these guys. There's a ton of butter & sugar ....and smiles and rainbows...omfg.

They're great for an occasional treat for sure. I'd get on this one immediately if I were you. :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Arkansas de Mayo

Cheesedip was the most Mexican thing I could come up with on Cinco de Mayo, but it's really more Arkansan. We actually invited it.

I had a hankering, but I didn't have my usual Velveeta & Rotel on hand. (Yes, this is how I usually make cheese dip at home, and yes, this is the only time I ever consume "cheese product". Sorry, not sorry)

So, I improvised with some "real" cheese. This is what I used:

2 Tablespoons of butter
4ish Tablespoons of flour
1/4ish cup milk
1 teaspoon cayenne
Lots (2 cups?) of cheese. I used Tillamook's medium cheddar
A Splash of your favorite salsa (I used Safeway brand's 'garlic lovers')

The process is simple: Over medium heat, melt the butter. Add flour & combine. Don't be scared when it clumps. Next, add milk & cayenne. Then cheese (let melt), then salsa, adjusting for taste. I used more than a splash, lets just say.

Bam. Cheese dip. I was pretty proud of it. It squelched my craving at least.

Let me know if you make it & like it. :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Smith Weekend

This weekend, we hung out at our new home crag, Smith Rock. It was our second outing there. Last time, we hit up the more popular areas, and since those areas get really busy on the weekends, on Saturday we set out with a game plan: visit one of the least popular areas of the park, the Marsupial area. According to our guide, it had some great climbs!

The reason it's not popular? The approach. It's long, and much of it is on talus.

I hate walking on talus. This weekend has prompted a recent purchase of some new approach shoes (which I thankfully found on sale...)

Boone was a trooper at least.

Aaron can often be found like this...

And here's a shot of our new favorite area.

Despite the tough hike, I really want to go back to this area! I think my first 5.11a might be there, along with some fun 5.10s.

The thing I can't get used to about Smith, which is still causing me some anxiety (which is something I've battled for the past year, spot climbing) is how glassy all the holds feel. I don't like the jugs that much because it feels like you might just slip off of them.

Because my hands are small, I feel much better suited for the tiny crimps on the harder climbs, but since I'm not confident in my strength/ability on the tougher grades, I was a complete top-roping wimp this weekend, and that needs to end.

Next time, I want to head over to the Rope de Dope block to get my confidence up. After that, I think I'll work on Wedding Day, a 10B. I don't think it'll take me too long. The crux is to the first bolt, which I did this past weekend.

Right now, like I said, it's just about building confidence and endurance, so I can get through the crux sections with composure and keep going.

Saturday night, we slept in the truck because we were too tired from all the hiking to put up the tent. We left before noon on Sunday after being shut down by heat and exhaustion. A not-so harrowing end to a seriously harrowing weekend.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Going Up


Hello, readers. I’ve been in a strange mood this week to be honest. Lacking energy, I suppose. I think it still has to do with the residual cold and/or allergies I’ve been suffering from.

On the positive side, I have felt well enough to get moving and work out every day this week so far! Monday I ran 4 miles and went the climbing gym, Tuesday I did weights and cardio in the regular gym. Wednesday: climbing gym again. Yesterday, yoga with lots of ab work. Today I think I’ll do another, short, at-home practice (for reasons I’ll get to in a moment), and I’m also about to head to the climbing gym as well.

Lots of climbing, right? I’ve conquered my first gym 5.11 route on top rope. Which, in climbing geek language means I’m progressing and getting stronger. We’re heading out to Smith Rock for the second time tomorrow morning. I’m excited to see how my progress in the gym will relate to the real rocks! I’m also hoping it’ll be a good reset for this strange mood.

Some of it has to do with how much we’ve been in the gym as well, because it’s left less time at home to do other things. I’m a pretty classic introvert. I feel a bit frazzled if I don’t have time to myself to unwind, and I think that feeling caught up to me on Wednesday when I had an after-work obligation. It turned me frustrated and winey.

I also realized something very troubling to me yesterday. I’m online a lot (maybe not that much?) more than I was in college. And I’m spending all that time reading things, and generally being entertained by things. But…it’s not as intelligent.

My international travel in college had me obsessed with international news. I read Der Spiegel, The Guardian and the New York Times international section religiously….

I don’t do that anymore. That sucks. I also fly through books that sometimes I pick out haphazardly.

I’m setting a goal to read more thoughtfully: to read more of these news outlets that I’ve missed and/or forgot about. To think about the books I read more critically.

As always, I’d like to take more time to unplug from the internet. I’d like to write more, which I told myself I’d do after the wedding. I haven’t yet, but that’s something I will do as well.

I know I don’t talk about writing much, but it’s one of the most important things in my life. I’m getting paid to do it again from 9-5, which is nice, but I want to be a published author more than anything. I have one literary agency mildly interested in the first book I’ve edited and queried….and very, very soon, I will finally dive in to a new project.

I know I’m making progress in a lot of areas. I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I knew this season of my life would be filled with a ton of oddities and weird transitions. If I can continue to find the beauty in all of that, I think I’ll really start to feel better.

I used the term "spring cleaning" on Twitter today without much thought, but really, that's what I'm doing. I have a new name and lots of new goals. If you're my friend, I urge you to hold me the name of self-improvement.