Monday, November 5, 2012

Design + Christmas = Happy




A small gift from me to you. 





Too soon?





Maybe.






But this is all I want right now and forever. 

Plus, I've had Bing Crosby on for the past two weeks.



I guess you could say I'm a little excited...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grateful







Earlier last week I was feeling like bleh.

Just....bleh


I was frustrated by the smallest things and it completely felt like the world was against me. Middle child-attention-deprived syndrome much?


The only thing that sounded appealing to me was soft blankets, meaningful movies, and a bucket of dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds.

 
{For those of you who are thinking it, no it was not the monthly visitor. But thanks for trying to give me a good reason for being ornery}


I'm not going to go into details, but to sum it all up, homegirl was an extreme grumble-bunny.

Gr·um·ble Bun·ny
(noun)
1. No-good mooder
2. Unappreciative, whiney, grumpy face



Feel free to begin incorporating this word into every-day usage.

Anyway, it got to the point where even I was getting annoyed with myself.

It took some heavy mental motivation, but I decided to ignore everything that was telling me things were rotten.

It was beginning to be too easy to believe the negative, and if I desired to be happy again I would just have to do it. 

And that's it.

I pulled a Nike on my week, and I just did it.




And I tell you what....




Life has been great.

Stressful, busy, and demanding- but SO great.



So, to keep this positive momentum going {before I can't find a parking spot and all my hard work goes to the pits} here are some things that I'm grateful for...


1. Girls night w/ the roommates



2. Treasures in the sleep wear section of Target during girls night


3. Boyfriends who help you study for a test you put off studying for till the day 
of while he makes you crepes.


4. Visits from my geographically wide-spread family


5. Dinners w/ great friends

6. Sundays

7. My education

8. Mishaps that turn into jokes

9. To-Do Lists

10. Food. {This ones for the siblings who occasionally read my blog ;)}



I'm sure that there is a meltdown in my future, but I have come leaps and bounds from Freshman year, and I expect to get better at all of this "handling life" stuff with time.


Wishing you all a great, wonderful, and happy week :)




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Burn out? Burn-out? Burnout?












This is me today. 


Work, presentations, discussion boards, reflections, media comparison papers, searching for internships (or the lack thereof), group meetings and business stats are allllll kinda getting to me.

Kinda.


People who are graduated will constantly tell me to enjoy the stage I'm in. You know that point in life where you're out of the house but not necessarily responsible for your own house? And you know what? I'm completely loving it. 
Really, I am. It's the bestest. And I wouldn't trade my life for someone else's.

But sometimes it seeeeeeriously bites the big one when teachers assume that their class is the center of your whole being. 
(Yup, I'm talkin to you Professor M. You and your darn 'learning journals'!)




So here I am, wishing everyone survival and happiness through this day.


Because that's what I'll be wishing for myself.



p.s. Thanks to everyone who's been so kind to me lately! You lovelies get me through. 



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Funny.





Sometimes, when I'm on pinterest, just, you know, browsing and feeling productive but really actually avoiding a lot more efficient things I could be doing... Josh occasionally makes his way over and gets sucked in with me.

In defense of his masculinity, it's usually only when I'm looking through my food board.

Still. It's precious.


Recently I was looking through all my boards just to make sure there weren't any "I seriously pinned that??" embarrassments, when Josh comes over and starts looking with me on this board, and his commenting was absolutely hilarious.


While looking at this one...





Josh- "What's that?"


McKenna- "It's a one-serving cookie"


J- "One serving?"


M- "Yeah, you know, for when you just want one cookie for yourself."


J- "I don't get it. Why would anyone want just one cookie?"


M- "Sometimes you get small cravings for things, and you don't want to make a bunch. Just one."


J- "I just don't get that thought process."



Classic.




My caption for this one below used to say "Need to make this for Carly", my roommate who is OBSESSED with peanut butter and chocolate...






The new caption? "Need to make for Carly AND JOSH"






While looking at this one....






J- "Whoa! How'd they get it to look like that?" 



M- "You know that little cookie dough scooper you got really excited about at Bed Bath & Beyond?"



J- "Ohh..."






And this one...







J- "Were making this, right?"





And then, once we'd gone through most of my food board, proving the effect that pinterest has on people:



J- "So... what other boards do you have?"



:)







Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Sensitive Subject



My friends. We're going to discuss something that is very important, and dear to my heart. 


A passion that I've had since childhood.


A work in progress over the past 4 years.


And a happiness so great that there are times when I wonder if I can feel any more complete than I do at this moment.





We're talking about really, really..... great spaghetti sauce. 





Courtesy of Pioneer Woman




I know. It's kind of a big deal.


But really, though. I don't know a whole lot of people that don't love coming home on a Sunday afternoon {or any afternoon for that matter} to the smell of onions, garlic, herbs, and tomato simmering in a pot next to some boiling pasta noodles. 

It's a comfort that I've only recently identified as a staple in my life.


It's one of the easiest and most versatile dishes that I know of. One where you will find that almost every person in the world does theirs just a little bit differently than the next. 


Yesterday, while I was at the grocery store, sorting through my basket and checking olive oil off of my list {also another love of mine} I simply decided that it was meant to be a spaghetti night.



Cue the Bella Notte song from Lady and the Tramp!






And there it is.

All the romance that I feel is associated and always will be with this dish.


Thank you, Disney, for this special moment.


Cue the Disney movie intro music!


Kidding.


I, myself, like all different types of spaghetti. Light sauce, thick sauce, emphasis on hearty meat, emphasis on simple basil and tomatoes- I'll take it practically any which way.

Sidenote: One of my sole reasons for wanting to go to Italy- is to eat the pasta there. I feel like it would be an unforgettable experience for my taste buds, and I think they deserve it.


This is the recipe I've been using recently, and I'm really liking it! 
It's on the thicker, meatier side, but hey- that happens.

Also, it seems like whenever I make it... people just come flocking! Seriously, I rarely make this dish and end up with Josh and I being the only ones eating it. 

It's magical that way. Brings people together.

Warning, there's quite a bit more to this recipe than simple tomatoes and herbs.
But don't let it intimidate you!

  • Start by sautéing half an onion, chopped, and a couple of diced garlic cloves in a deep set pan on medium-high heat
  • Once they've cooked for a few minutes, throw in small package of ground beef
  • Let that get decently browned and flavored with the onions and garlic (amazing things are happening)
  • Now here's where I get weird. Most people would drain the fat at this point. I know that this is a crucial step that all good, decent people do in their lives... But I honestly sometimes forget. I know- how could I??
  • SO. Don't be me, drain the fat. K? K.
  • Throw in a chopped up green bell pepper
  • Season meat with salt, pepper, garlic salt, basil and oregano
  • Pour in one can diced tomatoes
  • This may be sounding like a homemade sauce, but I actually have always added store-bought sauce to this recipe. It adds so much substance and flavor without as many cans or work. Win, win, win.
  • So, as long as we're still ok, pour in a can of store-bought sauce along with half a can of those mini tomato pastes. I know, it's thick.
  • Taste test, add additional seasoning.
  • Simmer
  • Pour over a plate of thin or regular spaghetti noodles and feel your endorphins level rise


The greatest thing about this sauce is that there are several things that you can not include from it and it will STILL be just grand.
I get tired as a college student trying to find every daggum ingredient these online recipes would call for, stressing out that the dish would never live up to its potential without that tarragon...

So I let go. And leaned more towards dishes that were flexible, and almost always yummy.

It's been livin' easy ever since.


Well... there's still tuition... rent... early mornings... 

Anyway.


Hope you enjoy!

And feel free to share any recipes you like.

I'm always looking for my next staple :)







Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just wanted to drop in and say...




... that my niece is the cutest thing in the world.















And also quite destructive at times...









Those dimples? I mean, come on.


Having been to about 15.2 countries already in her short time here on earth, she also happens to be much much cooler than me. 


But I'm ok with that.


Because she's pretty much the greatest. 


Can't wait to see this little-girl-turned-big-girl-overnight at Christmas!


Many, many thanks to my sister-in-law for keeping us all so up to date on her daily life and the speedy growth of those legs.


I can't promise that a majority of my posts won't have some sort of picture or tid-bit about her. And I wouldn't even want to.


Love you, Sage!





Saturday, September 15, 2012

Not-So-Shining Moment



Alright, everyone. We need to have a little pow-wow.


By the way, anyone ever wonder how the word pow-wow made its way into mainstream conversation? It sounds like one of those word phrases that you see in a book for infants who are learning sounds {i.e. The dog says pow-wow!}


Just something I've been thinking about...


So, anyway. Our pow-wow.



I consider myself to be a significantly observant person. I pride myself on the fact that little things don't usually go unnoticed with me. 



Girl at work gets a haircut? Compliment.

Roommate's shoulders hanging a little low? Chocolate. 

Professor walks in a little too happy that morning? Pop quiz en route. 

Boy sitting behind me in stats class' breath getting a little rank? Altoid.

Just kidding. 

Kind of.



You get the point.


Today, though. I realized I'm not as sharp as I thought I was...





Here's the story.




So, the man and I had a pretty fun-filled summer, and about 90% of it was spent with each of our families. That means that time to just be together and have normal conversations seriously decreased. 

No complaints, we had a GREAT time! 

But we thought we'd take this Saturday afternoon to ourselves to get some lunch, maybe catch a movie and just be alone. 

Josh told me that he'd plan the whole thing and sent me off to my 3-hr work meeting, assured that we'd have a fun afternoon planned out by the time I got back. 

When he picks me up he tells me that he'd forgotten the movie tickets at his apt and asked me where we wanted to go for lunch.

I get excited at the prospect of taking him to this place called the Taco Bus, which is pretty much what it sounds like- a school bus converted into a mexican food dive. Pretty legit.




Courtesy of The Daybook


We get to Josh's apartment to pick up the tickets and, eager as I always am to not waste time I say,


"Want me to turn the car around while you run up and grab the tickets?"

"Well, I actually need to use the restroom, so maybe we'll just park and we can both run up for a sec"

Slightly reluctant- "Oh, ok."

On our way in I ask if Josh has any parm cheese for a dish that we're bringing to our friend's dinner later that night. He's not sure.

We get up the stairs and walk into his small apartment where my attention turns straight to his roommate who's watching Lord of the Rings (a nerdy passion of mine) so I sit on the couch and start watching with him.

On the way to the bathroom, Josh yells,

"Hey why don't you go check the kitchen for that cheese you were looking for?"

Sucked in to the movie "Uh, that's ok."

"You sure?"

"Yup."

"...Do you want a water or anything?"

"Nope. I'm good"


Obviously you can tell by this point that I'm practically Sherlock Holmes with my observational skills.


A few minutes later Josh walks out of the hallway, past me and into the kitchen

"McKenna."

"Yeah?"

"Can you just come into the kitchen please?"

.......

"Why?"

"*Sigh*... I just... have to show you something!"


Finally Now slightly curious, I walk into the kitchen, which is perfectly visible from the first time you walk in the doorway to see...



THIS.



That, my friends, is a homemade greek-quinoa salad {the man put FETA in it for crying out loud!!} set out with a sweet rose. 


*Mentally smacks self over the head for being the most air-headed gf EVER*



Do we need a re-cap?

OK.

Conclusions we came to today are as follows:



1. I will get sucked into any and all showings of LOTR

2. Boyfriend is super sweet, and a master of patience

3. I digress that I am not, as previously conceived, very astute with observation.

4. a.k.a. Homegirl is a bit of a space case.



But all was not lost. I still got a yummy meal and a rose out of it.








Boy do I get lucky sometimes.