Monday, May 10, 2010

Oh Furla...

what gorgeous handbags you make!
The wonderful Lisa of Fantabulously Frugal is hosting 31 days of giveaways this month, and today's is a Furla handbag from RowNine. Too good to be true? Never! Head on over to FF for great deals every day, and a whole month of giveaways-but don't you dare win my Furla ;)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Getting close!

Just one more final to go-which I should be studying for right now, but my concentration is shot! I am so close and just need to be done.
Happy Mother's Day! Working at a stationary store has meant that it's basically impossible for holidays to sneak up on me, so I sent out my cards early last week and spent the weekend helping people who'd put it off till the last minute-especially yesterday. By the time I was done at 6ish, I was exhausted. But it really is fun helping people pick out cards and gifts :)
I also had my choir concert on Friday-so glad that's done with. I love performing, but the extra rehearsals all afternoon-not so much. I did at least get to get cute new shoes for it that I'll also wear for my cousin's wedding-for $6! Once I combined all my rewards coupons with the clearance price, I scored these-too cute!
Oh, and it was my 21st birthday last Saturday! I had a lovely day-went to brunch with a close friend, did a little shopping at my favorite Young Designers Market, then went out with a bunch of friends from school and church that night. It really was a good day :) I got lovely cards from a bunch of family and friends (including 5 from my dad, ha) and some really nice gifts. My peeps are so good to me :)
Ok, now I really must study my music history-if I don't fall asleep first!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What a mix

I think this weekend is going to be a mix of super-fun and super-stressful. I may or may not have 3 papers and a presentation due next week...none of which I've even begun to work on. Oops. Finals season is so sneaky-one minute I'm like "ok, just have to read another eleventy million pages for tomorrow" and then all of a sudden BAM! I'm like "shit, I have to read these eleventy million pages for Monday and write a paper and do the research I've neglected all semester. Fantastic!" My personal opinion is that teachers shouldn't be allowed to assign any work other than final projects for the last 2 weeks-at least. I just can't keep up with my normal workload plus final projects and final exams. Oh yeah I just remembered-I have an exam next week too! No, not a final...those start the week after. Please explain to me the logic of having an exam (1 of 3)exactly a week before the final...So anyway, what I was saying before my rant was that I need to get shit done. No more procrastination-which means that my poor Google Reader, and hence my favorite blogs, will (hopefully) be sorely neglected for the foreseeable future.
But hey, I get to have fun too! A friend from church and I are throwing a dinner party tomorrow evening. It should be a very fun evening-I'm cooking a risotto, he's cooking some sort of dead animal, and at least 15ish people will be there. We weren't really counting on that many actually being able to attend, but hey, the more the merrier! I really do like to cook, but usually I find it's just not worth it to cook something that takes more than 2 (if we're being generous) dishes for just myself. It's not the effort of cooking, but the cleanup-having no dishwasher and a sink perpetually filled with dirty dishes makes it seem just oh-so-unappealing. 
And Saturday is Relay for Life! If you don't know what it is, it's American Cancer Society's biggest fundraiser. It's a 24 (or 16, or 12, depending on who's running it) hour walkathon relay-someone from each team is supposed to be on the track at all times. I've been doing it for the last 7ish years and I can't imagine missing it. I think I'll do a full post about RFL and my personal reasons for getting involved later, as it really deserves a discussion all its own. To sum up, I love it and look forward to it every spring. I know that I'll stay up all night, so no church on Sunday-I'll need to sleep till about noon, maybe even 2, since I won't get home till after 7am. If anybody would like more info now, or to donate to ACS via my fundraising page, here's the link: Thanks! :)
Thankfully, I'm not working all weekend-I worked extra during the week, around classes, and am doing so again next week-don't want to be stuck in the store my birthday weekend! :) 
Oh, and happy Earth Day! Here's a nature pic for ya (weeping willows are my favorite tree, as I tell my campers every summer...ha)


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oh how I love accessories!

So a couple weeks ago, I won a secondary prize in a giveaway sponsored by Amber's Notebook and dotinabox, and got a $5 credit towards dotinabox's Etsy shop. Since I'm mildly obsessed with carousels, of course I had to get the carousel necklace! It just arrived yesterday and I am so looking forward to wearing it. Plus Dorothy enclosed the sweetest note and a vintage hairpin! She, her jewelry, and even her packaging are just too cute :) Of course, now I want the majority of items in her Etsy shop...
she has more of them-we could match!
and how adorable are these?! Mine is a different flower, but just as cute :)
In other news, I have a nasty cold, so I'm just hoping I don't lose my voice. All I want to do is curl up in bed with a cup of tea and maybe watch a movie but I've got a paper to write...gotta get down to business!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tis the season

for recitals and fundraiser parties! I've gone to 2 fundraiser parties for shows my friends' shows in the last 2 weeks and I didn't even make it to all of them. I also went to two recitals on Saturday and have 3 more in the next week. End of the year, everyone's getting crazy. My last final is 4 weeks from tomorrow. Boy I'm excited for this semester to be over. I'm taking a lot of interesting classes, but it's been super stressful. Blargh.
In other news, since I've been a bad blogger, I still haven't shared my Easter muffins with y'all! They're super cute :)
Technically, they're chocolate muffins with the simplest frosting ever, but they seemed more like cupcakes to me. I was so happy I had my tulip papers to use for them too! My friend Holly came over the day before Easter to make them with me. It was gorgeous, so we went for a walk along the Hudson, as well, before hitting up a fundraiser party for our friend's production of Spring Awakening.
Last week was gorgeous, so I basically did no work and just spent all my time sitting by the Hudson River and eating taro frozen yogurt with fresh fruit, coconut, and almonds. (In case you couldn't tell, it's one of my favorite foods. Yum!) However, now all that work is catching up with me...and I register for next fall's classes tomorrow. Eek! I really, really hope I get the ones I want, because I have no idea what else I'd take. *Crossing my fingers!*
Ok, back to work...anybody want to write a Personality Psychology paper for me? :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bake Sales

At NYU, they're really popular with the clubs. I really have no idea why, since I rarely see people buy anything from them...I certainly never do. Odds are, I have made/could easily make what they're selling, plus I just don't really eat sweets. However, NYC banning homemade goods is ridiculous. So what if you can't know the exact calorie count? Schools now can only sell things like Doritos. Really, NYC? Really? That sounds totally healthy, much better than banana bread or oatmeal raisin cookies.
Thankfully,  NYU hasn't gotten that weird-yet. So last night I was roped into baking cookies for Tisch New Theatre's bake sale today. I used to be on the board, but for a myriad of reasons I am no longer involved. But several of my friends are, hence my baking for them. Except wait! The bake sale was moved from campus to one of the acting studios. And they wanted me to bring my cookies there. Ummm no. I don't have an extra 45 minutes to do that. I though my favor was done with the baking. Apparently not. I did actually put my foot down about it (yay not being a doormat!) so I now have about 3 dozen coconut chocolate chip cookies. Come and get 'em!
On a completely unrelated note, it's finally stopped raining! I am so excited, even if it's not actually sunny... :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Giveaway...gone away

Roxy, of the fantastic Effortless Anthropologie, is was hosting a scavenger hunt giveaway. It was super fun until people were so passionate about winning the $250 gift card that they were calling every Anthro number in existence. Good lord. So it's closing tonight...but it was fun while it lasted! Anyway, you should check out her blog anyway, cause she's full of info and super cute outfits. So much fun to be had!
Whereas in my world right now...there are papers to be written and laundry to be done. So go have fun looking at pretty pictures and learning more about a pretty awesome store :)
Ok, I gotta give you one pretty picture, right?
There's just something about wildflowers as opposed to orderly gardens that is so appealing...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yes, I am a liberal.

Very much so, especially socially. No, that does not mean I am a Socialist. Or a Communist. It does mean that I am quite pleased with Obama signing the health care bill today. It wasn't exactly as I'd hoped or imagined-especially that damn anti-choice amendment-but it's a step forward. If you're disappointed that it's not as radical, as I am, just think-with how difficult it was to get this passed, a bill that really made all the changes I'd like to see wouldn't stand a chance.
On that note, I read "An Absence of Class" by Bob Herbert today. It was a great piece, saying a lot of what I wish people would have courage to say more loudly and in more mixed settings, politically speaking. It seemed a lot of commenters agreed, and many of those who didn't...well, I would encourage you to read their posts for entertainment value, as long as you promise not to find them and shake them until they agree to inform themselves. (Yes, this was a struggle for me too.) I'd be interested to hear y'all's take on it...
P.S. See, I don't just shop and eat and read silly novels :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm back!

I had spring break last week, which I'm totally using as an excuse for being the least productive person ever. I went back home very early Monday morning and just hung out with the fam and a couple friends. I worked a bit too-but that work was taking care of super adorable dogs and cats, so it barely counts. I got to see my friend Megan for St. Patrick's Day (we ate Guinness brownies and talked for hours) and my friend and summer coworker Caroline for a great lunch in downtown Ann Arbor. I had forgotten how insane University of Michigan students can be on this holiest of days...I was somewhat afraid one would stumble in front of my car. No joke, I heard a girl say "I don't even know where I am". At 11:45am. Very amusing, but it makes me feel like an old lady-I could never do that, not even at night...I like to be asleep around midnight because I'm a granny. It's ok, I've come to terms with it.
Then I got back to NYC Thursday night (very very late) and worked Friday-Saturday-Sunday, so I missed all the sunshine here by being cooped up inside. Now, of course, it's raining again. At least I got rainboots while I was in A2! :)
I love these. Mommy dearest bought them for me at DSW as a belated Christmas present and they made me so happy today. No more wet feet for me!
I also bought myself a little treat to use my $10 coupon for being a member of their rewards program (before it expired).
the Steve Madden Diablo boot...but mine are black.
My brother immediately deemed these my "swashbuckler" boots, despite them being labeled as Western. I have to say, for once I think I agree with him. Hey, does this mean Johnny Depp and I can be BFFs now? Please? :)
I also bought a pretty awesome pair of sunnies, since I left mine in NYC. My brother told me it was supposed to be pretty grey when I was in town, and silly me, I believed him. I bought them at Marshall's for $13...I had no idea they were $55 at Nordstrom! I feel like such an intelligent shopper now, ha.

Hopefully the sun will return soon so I can wear them again!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rain, rain go away

I'm pretty sure it's a monsoon outside. I almost blew away while out and about today-so when I got back around 5 I decided I was not leaving the apartment again.
I decided to treat myself to a good brunch for surviving midterms, so of course I went to Alice's Tea Cup. It's one of my fave places in NYC. Usually I get scones, a sandwich, or soup, but today I decided to go for something on their brunch menu-Alice's Curious French Toast. So much deliciousness. Peach brandy tea-soaked bread with all the usual yumminess as well. Fantastic. Well, apart from the old lady sitting at the next table who leaned over and said, "Well that looks like a good diet food..." Not in the "oh that looks good" way...the "should you really be eating that" way. Sure didn't stop me from enjoying it, though, along with my Indian Chai tea :)
While I was up that way, I stopped at the J.Crew at Columbus Circle. It's been ages since I've been there. I found a pair of shorts I loved but I'm waiting to see if they'll go on sale or maybe a good deal will come up soon-$50 is still kind of a lot to me.
I think these will be super cute on their own or with tights underneath...transition piece? Maybe I can justify it to myself...
I did score a couple bangles and a headband though! It's funny how I won't hesitate to drop $10 or under on an item, even if I definitely don't need it. But I do have a deep and abiding love for headbands. I have some sparkly ones from H&M in Berlin that I love, as well as my favorite one ever-it's blue satin with a peacock feather from the Young Designers' Market. Even if my buddy constantly makes fun of I decided it needed a fun new friend, hence the flowery one that I will definitely be rockin' tomorrow.
Please forgive the inexpert fashion pics...I'm still learning how to do all this online stuff, although I think ShopStyle is working-you should be able to click on the pics to link to J.Crew (via ShopStyle).
I also stopped by my new fave chocolaterie, Varsano's, for some treats to take back to MI with me. I had the owner fill a small box with all his faves, plus of course I had to buy a piece to eat this evening. Dark chocolate almond delish. Good thing they wrapped the box and even tied it up with ribbon, otherwise it could be in serious trouble! :)
Mmmmm...I think it might be time for one of those shortbread cookies I made the other day...

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's offically spring break!

And yes, I'm spending the first night of it watching Casablanca and tooling around on the internet. For some reason I was pooped at the end of work tonight!
Yesterday I made some chai shortbread cookies with chocolate decoration. They're based on this recipe...all I did was add some chai spices ( seemed right? I'm so precise, I know) and then melted chocolate in a makeshift pastry bag (ie ziploc baggie with a corner cut off). I'm basically obsessed with chai in every form-straight tea, lattes, anything chai-flavored. So last year when I found chai spice, I decided it would be in everything I make...a goal I've been quite successful in. Now, decorating...not so much. I think I need more practice...
Mmm chai. I might actually eat some of these instead of giving them all away, ha.
That's all for me, folks. I'm going to continue avoiding this nasty, rainy night by curling up in my bed watching movies. Oh how I love spring break :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I made it!

Midterms are over, thank goodness. My Music History went maybe a little better than expected, but since I had very low expectations to start with...hey, at least it's done. And now I just have to get through 1 more class and 2 days of work before I go to Ann Arbor to see the fam! This also means I get to continue working my way through LOST, since I had to take a break over the last couple weeks. I've just started Season 3.
I also get to browse Etsy again, yay! I've discovered I have to have a definite theme to look for, otherwise I just don't know where to start. Today it's elephants...Mommy dearest loves them, so this one's for her...
this one's a cutie, definitely more my mom's style-simplicity at its finest

I want this guy for myself! So whimisical, yet sophisticated.

Y'all know I love lockets. And the swallow in the chain is perfect.
Jewelry isn't the only option...Mom and I share a love of stationary.
These might be for kids but I would totally use them.

Adorable and not as girly. Sometimes you just gotta give up pink. Crazy, I know.

Here's a big kid card! Sometimes I like to pretend I'm an adult, and this would be perfect for that grown-up correspondence.
Oh Etsy, how you tempt me.
Oh! And now that midterms are over, maybe I'll have time to read a book or two and even review it. Maybe? I hope so!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One more to go...

I had my Personality midterm today...let's just pretend that didn't happen. Tomorrow is Music History...yeah that one might be repressed as well. Papers I'm good with and don't mind writing...exams, on the other hand, not so much. I literally can't memorize as much as I need to, especially with all the dates necessary for history along with being able to aurally recognize pieces. I really need to train my ear.
On the plus side of life, my order from Eddie Bauer finally came. I don't normally shop there, but Mom called me a week or so ago and told me to check out their clearance section since they had an anniversary sale going on as well...and things have changed for the better over there, for sure. Still a bit too much velour, but there will always be too much velour in the world. Anyway, I got some adorable red patent buckle-toe flats and a black cotton/cashmere blend boyfriend cardi...for less than $60, including shipping! That is a good deal in my book! I think both items cost around that originally, so I was super excited :) I wore the flats today, and they definitely need some breaking in, and I've got the blisters to prove it. Oh well, so cute they're totally worth it, and I really should have expected it what with all the walking I do. I'm looking forward to wearing the cardi...I tried it on last night (of course) and it fits well and the material is very soft. Well worth the price, even if I do now own 3 black cardis...
 image                       image
Sorry about the tiny pics (and incorrectly colored cardi). Someday I will use my camera to take pictures of things other than food, I swear. 
Speaking of food, I'm going to bake cookies tomorrow. I'll need it after the disaster that is midterms...any suggestions as to what kind? 
And now I have got to get back to studying. Now. See you on the flip side!
e.t.a: This is how I feel about what I need to have memorized:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pretty pretty jewelry!

Amber of Amber's Notebook and Claire of Feronia Jewelry (and other Etsy shops, as well!) are hosting a fab giveaway. Must win! Amber has fantastic style and Claire makes super adorable jewelry...of course something co-hosted by these ladies would be great :)
Pretty neck (one of my faves!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'm blaming it on midterms

My lack of posting, that is. What with work, writing papers, studying, and trying to maintain a social life...very little time online remains. I don't know how y'all do it!
That last sentence about sums up my recent days...although I did stop by a pet store and play with a Cavalier puppy today. I miss my dog, it was so nice to get to play with a tiny version of him! Since I have nothing interesting to write about, here are some adorable puppies for your viewing pleasure! :)

Grrr, angry puppy (this is how I feel about midterms)

This is my adorable dog, and my wonderful mommy!
Oh how I love puppy therapy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

On a cold and snowy day...

the wonderful Kim of Anthroholic is giving away a pair of sunglasses!
Some of you may not know my love of sunnies (a term I picked up from my Aussie/Kiwi friends) but they are a necessity. I work at a camp over the summer, and while it's obvious I need them for sunny days, sometimes those cloudy mornings require them too...
Anyway, I'm down to one pair (which is shocking for me) mainly due to small children taking them and either breaking or not returning them. Oh the children. And this giveaway sponsored by Kensie would be fantabulous for me to win. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hoot hoot!

Lately I have been loving this retro owl trend. I think I first started noticing it last year, but it's really taken off recently...
At Papyrus, we have a ton of cute stationary...

And so many Etsy sellers have absolutely adorable items, especially the jewelry...I've been wanting a large owl pendant for quite some time, and I may have to treat myself just a little bit since I've finally been paid... :)

adorable pendant by jaemade

love the University of Michigan colors by RachelleD

a little simpler, but still super cute necklace by wattlebird

I also have a deep and abiding love for lockets (by CosmicGirl)

Would it be weird to own more than one owl necklace? Because all of these are just too-hoo cute!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love, love, love

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!
Although I've never dated anyone over Valentine's Day, I made the decision while I was in high school not to let that stop me from celebrating. I really, really love holidays, so I just make this one about my friends and family. I sent out beautiful cards to my family, went to a little V-Day event my RA had, and am getting together with a study abroad friend tonight for wine, chocolate, and a movie. We're having a wonderfully stereotypical single girl Valentine's Day.

I spent early high school basically being miserable that I didn't have a boyfriend. I had a huge crush on a friend of mine that was never returned and let that (and various other silly dramas) embitter me towards Valentine's Day. My senior year, however, a friend of mine and I decided we would be each other's Valentines, so we got gifts and went to a movie...and had a wonderful time. Ever since then, I have just had fun with it. This year, my mom was my Valentine!

I sent her the Porn for Women book (I promise, it's not dirty at all, and I linked so you wouldn't have to search), some yummy truffles, and cheapo heart jewelry. She sent me dark chocolate hearts, the Vosges Black Pearl chocolate bar, cupcake/heart window decals, stickers, and Valentine socks. My mom is the best Valentine ever! :)
Hope y'all have as love-filled a day as I have...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Olympics!

Woohoo! I don't know about y'all, but I'm definitely most excited for the figure skating. It's so beautiful and precise...and the pairs skating requires such ridiculous strength. In preparation for it, tonight my dorm is showing Cool Runnings then the Opening Ceremonies. Plus free food :)

I've also been watching Blades of Glory. Oh man I'd forgotten how funny it is. I'm usually not a fan of these kind of movies at all-and I mean at all-but the actors all interact so perfectly. And the team of Stranz and Fairchild...too hilarious.

Are all y'all watching the Opening Ceremonies tonight? What's your favorite winter sport? I personally am happy to watch them all while wrapped in a blanket, drinking tea or hot cocoa :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day

We had a snow day yesterday woohoo! I mean, I was already on campus when they decided to cancel classes after 12:30, but hey...I'll take it. I used the time to mail my Valentine cards, put together the box for my Valentine (ie my fabulous mommy), do laundry, cook a real dinner, and bake cookies! What a productive day :)

I made pan fried tofu and rice with green curry sauce. Yum. It really needed some bamboo shoots but good job, Trader Joe's, on your green curry sauce.
The cookies are kind of an amalgamation of whatever I had in my pantry. Hence they are chai-toffee-chocolate chunk...thankfully a good combination of flavors. A friend of mine who lives in the dorm and my RA both stopped by and enjoyed some, as well as my roomies and another friend who came over today.
Oh and while my good camp friend Danni was visiting we made some delicious sun dried tomato risotto and arugala-goat cheese-pecan sald. Mmmmm.

Today I got to make some paper flowers for Valentine's Day :) Mark (a friend from church) and I went to Kate's Paperie in Soho, where they were having a demo on how to make them. I am quite possibly the least crafty person out there, but even mine didn't turn out too badly.
I have such an intense love-hate relationship with Valentine's Day. Love everything about it except being alone. But hey, my friends and family are so great I don't even mind that so much.

Oh, p.s. I got my beautiful new coat. :)

Except mine is not slouchy like is very fitted. I love it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I live in a freezer

It was in the low teens today. And yesterday. Every time I went outside, I thought to myself, "Oh, I can't wait to get back in my room where it's warm!" Well. Yes, it is warmer than outside, but not nearly warm enough. I'm not one of those people who needs to have my room feel like a tropical rainforest but I don't appreciate having to wear a long sleeve tee + 2 sweatshirts and leggings + sweats. I think if I put on any more clothes I wouldn't be able to move. The odd thing is that my heat is on...maybe it's just down really low? I have a sneaking suspicion that it is mainly the windows, though-I can feel a constant draft through them. Anyway, I sent NYU a work request and hopefully they'll fix it tomorrow...cause I'm turning into a popsicle!
In other news...I'm still working and going to class...exciting, huh. I'm learning a lot at work and will be closing on my own soon-eek! Not really excited for that. I think nervous/dreading it would be the words I'm looking for. Oh well.
I keep reminding myself that this job is going to enable me to have a social life, for which I am too tired/busy for at the moment. Hopefully soon I'll readjust to the intense scheduling that is my life here. Then I can afford yummy dinners and fun shows and movies and shopping! I am going to go ahead and buy a new winter coat since the one I've been lusting after since last year has gone on sale...I'll show you once I get it :)
Oh and P.S. My friend Danni is coming to visit Monday! I'm trying to get all my work done ahead of time so I don't have to do it while she's here...can't wait. We have soooo much fun together!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I do enjoy cooking...

and so I would love to with the Magic Bullet To Go! The wonderful Marcy is giving five away on her oh-so-great blog, Stretching a Buck. You should head over there ASAP and check it'll get great deals all the time :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Loooong day

Today was my first day at Papyrus! Woo! All went well-tons of forms, training, trial and error. So I'm absolutely exhausted. Classes then 5 1/2 hours of work? I don't know how people (like my manager) do full time school and a full time job. Good for them-I don't think I could. I think this job will be good, although at the moment I'm concerned with remembering everything. Having never worked in retail, the entire concept of marketing, the customers, even cash registers! is new to me. However, working at a camp my job was to make people I'm just gonna draw on that and hope that I can pick everything up and remember it!
My RA had a cocoa, cookies, and paper snowflake "party" this evening...cute. I love hot cocoa but never buy it, so I totally hit that up :)
Oh, and the quest for the shoes? Not the cheapest, but I love them. They're soooo cute and after standing all afternoon and walking to and from class, my feet feel fine-these Aldo Manni flats are great! The only prblem is now I want them in pink, too! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I promise not to do this too often

but for a $100 gift card-I can't resist. Mr. Rebates is offering one up for a Fantabulously Frugal reader...head on over to Lisa's site! Not only do you get to enter a wonderful giveaway, but will quickly become addicted to her fab blog :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

the Strand must love me

I did a lot of reading the first few days I was here. And I mean a lot. I forgot my computer cord (which I have never done before and believe me, will never do again) so that was out. Thank goodness for my blackberry, otherwise...I would have had to break my internet addiction?
Anyway, every day or so I went to the Strand Bookstore and bought a couple of books of their $1 racks outside the store. These were, of course, mainly extremely trashy chick lit. Not the good kind where you learn something, but pure novel-candy. Hence fun, but I wouldn't particularly recommend any of them...

As Sure as the Sun by Anna McPartlin
  • this one I actually bought before I left to have something to read on the flight (which thankfully I was able to sleep through instead. Woo!) so it isn't quite relegated to the $1 group...although it was on clearance at Borders for not much more.
  • It was certainly interesting, and worth a read...but I'm glad I didn't pay full price for it.
Social Lives by Wendy Walker
  • the epitome of the crappy books I bought. Not that it was badly written or anything...just a somewhat typical shallow story line, although at least it was a bit more realistic in the marriages.
Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen
  • this was a fun one. It's about a poor royal (although only very distantly eligible for the crown) who has a tendency for running into danger/mysteries and then solving them. Cute, but predictable.
The Manny by Holly Peterson
  • OK, maybe this is the about stereotypes. Bored/underloved wealthy mom meets can take it from there. Fun read even if I did see it all coming.
The Triumph of Katie Byrne by Barbara Taylor Bradford
  • stood out a bit from the rest. It's the story of a girl whose two best friends are brutally attacked...great intro, right? They all wanted to be actresses, and this is about her attempt to solve the attack and recover from her trauma regarding it...while becoming an actress. Weird...and I don't really feel the need to own it...but pretty good storyline.
I also read a couple of my roommate's books...she was nice enough to not mind me borrowing them.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • I really liked this one. It's a mystery, which isn't usually my choice, but this one is great. The character development, the intelligence of the content and the writing...great. Definitely recommended reading.
  • I can't wait to read the other two.
True Blood: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
  • I am not a fan of this vampire trend. I hate the Twilight series. I don't judge people for reading them, but I think the writing is awful and certainly is not redeemed by the plot with its ridiculously pro-abstinence, pro-damsel-in-distress, anti-feminist tones.
  • However, this book was better. I still didn't love it-I think the damsel-in-distress syndrome is unavoidable in any novel where the male character is inherently stronger/immortal and the female love interest is "fragile human". For it to be realistic (in the world created there) that's they way it's gonna work. Still, the characters in this were interesting and the culture created was pretty interesting. I'd read more in the series, as long as it continues to develop and doesn't repeat the same storylines.
I also read one more book before I left Ann Arbor...

Push by Sapphire
  • Wow. So much very, very disturbing content. But such a good book. Read it.
  • I need to see Precious. Now that I've read the book it's based on, I think I can do so.
Currently, I'm reading textbooks. And article/book excerpts. Can you tell classes have begun?

Friday, January 22, 2010

I have a job!

And I'm gonna be makin' the monies :)
I spent the last week interviewing (and freaking out pre- and post-interview) for a job at Papyrus. In case you don't know the store, it sells a beautiful range of greeting cards as well as trinkets, style books, and wrapping supplies, and also does custom printing orders. I love this store far too much-I'd better not take advantage of the employee discount too often. Anyway, the job is for a "keyholder" position, which means I'll be closing, opening, etc. Kind of scary, actually, for someone who has never worked retail. Responsibility-eek!

This is also a huge relief as the start of school has been draining my bank account like whoa. Textbooks of course are crazy expensive, plus moving back NYC means I have to restock on the basics-and boy are they expensive. I'd forgotten things like laundry detergent are at least twice as expensive as in MI.
Plus, now I get to go shopping! The uniform is black and white and my only black shoes are sneakers and high-heeled boots. Not really ok for a job/standing all day. So I really need some comfy black flats...woot shopping trip tomorrow! I haven't gone since I got back to the city...crazy I know. And now I have a very legitimate reason. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I really need to learn about food photography

So far this year I've made:
pumpkin pies
  • no pictures, but I took one to a party and it was well-received, as was the one Mom and the bro ate
  • recipe from the can of pumpkin and pre-made crusts. It was New Year's way was I making crusts from scratch.
sun-dried tomato, asiago, and parmesan risotto
  • also no pics, also well-received by myself, Mom and the bro
  • recipe loosely based on this mushroom risotto

crème brûlée french toast with "mimosas"

  • OMG so delicious, but sooo sweet. I haven't been able to eat a dessert since.
  • based on this recipe, although Mom refused to buy Grand Marnier for one brunch, so I substituted more vanilla and a few drops of orange extract
  • for the "mimosas" we used orange juice (duh) and sparkling water...we all needed to be driving yeah, no champagne.
chocolate chip-heath cookies
  • Some of my friends from Ann Arbor Civic Theatre and I often get together for movie nights when I'm back in A2, and I have become the official baker. I don't think they'd let me in if I came without baked I threw these together in about 10 minutes. Literally. 
  • Again, based on a recipe, but we didn't have nearly enough chocolate chips (which is strange, cause I feel like I'm always buying them...) so I added in some heath chips as well. I also like to change a little vanilla for almond extract because I just love the flavor.