Wednesday, December 4, 2013

quick takes

laughs are good. puns bring laughter. click! laugh! enjoy some puns!

was anyone else hugely overwhelmed by the mass quantities of "deal" emails that started last wednesday and are kind of still going? there were so many, and each was so flashy, that i simply couldn't take it all in, so i just deleted them all. marketing fail. although! i did use shutterfly's extra 20% off sale prices to bring down the cost of ordering christmas card photos through them, because let's be honest - their matte photos are genuinely nicer than the box store photo centers can produce.

if you're like me and have a newly discovered love of spreadsheets, but hadn't quite figured out how to get a line break within a cell, i have news! {news you could learn by simply googling "how to insert a line break in excel"...headshake at self} where you want the line break, and would normally just hit ENTER, instead hit ALT+ENTER. you will find yourself with some beautiful, beautiful line breaks.

holidays mean holiday music and holiday movies! my favorite of late is the holiday, but i can't deny love actually is a good one. so, to get you in the spirit, take this quiz to see which love actually character you are!

maybe you've seen this, maybe you haven't: one artist's imaginings of what happens after happily ever after.

did you watch gilmore girls? did you love it with all your heart like i did, right up until those new writers wreaked havoc with the seventh and final season and, with rory's final choice, shattered the hopes of every gilmore fan who hoped rory might escape the tangled web of unsuccessful romances that seemed to plague her mother? {not to mention everyone who had come to adore logan...} apparently these folks did too, because here are 22 really solid reasons rory was a fool for passing on a life with logan for a life on the press bus. honestly, i can hardly bring myself to rewatch that season, the endings were just so frustrating.

pigsney, n. 'A specially cherished or beloved girl or woman, a sweetheart. Freq. as a term of endearment. In later use also as a term of contempt. Now arch.'
Etymology: the genitive of pig n.1 + nye, variant of eye n.1 (see forms at that entry); probably originating in children's talk or as a nursery endearment 
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈpɪɡzni/,  U.S. /ˈpɪɡzni/

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

DIY: napkin folding

thanksgiving tablescapes are always helped along by fancy napkin folds, but who wants to spend hours folding napkins? these two folds look fantastic but are also super fast to pull together ...

bow-tie napkins:

step 1: lay napkin out as a diamond
step 2: fold bottom point and top point in to the middle
step 3: fold bottom up again, to middle
step 4: fold top down again, to middle

step 5: fold left side in, bringing the point just past the middle line
step 6: fold right side in, making sure the point overlaps the left side
step 7: flip the napkin over and pinch together at the center
step 8: tie the center with a ribbon and tuck the ends under the back

fleur-de-lis napkins:

step 1: fold in half, with the fold to the bottom
step 2: bring top left corner down to the bottom center, and top right corner down to the bottom center
step 3: bring bottom right corner up to the top center point; repeat with the left side
step 4: bring the top points down and out (as seen in photo 4)
step 5: slip into a napkin ring or tie a ribbon around the base

Thursday, November 28, 2013


for my fella, for my family, for my friends near and far...
for a roof, for a job, for a fridge full of food...
for videochat, books, cameras...
for all i have, and love, and so much more.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

quick takes

a bbc piece on why you think your phone is ringing when it isn't. which i find fascinating because i have this issue all. the. time.

alright, i'm going to weigh in - in a brief kind of way - on the debate over marital philosophy that has been sparked by this post, "marriage isn't for you." the philosophy that is encompassed in his statements that " don't marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy... marriage isn't for you. it's not about you. marriage is about the person you married." now, there is so much worth to one element of that philosophy - that being selfish can damage a relationship, and consideration of the other person is fundamental. however, the issue i have with it is it still presumes a focus on one person or the other. but marriage isn't about one person and one person. it is about two people choosing to be one unit. and that's not to say you give up your individuality, but ... well. since i have yet to experience marriage, i'll borrow the words of someone who has. the last two paragraphs of this response to the original post say it really well:
          Marriage isn't for the person you marry. Marriage is for... the marriage. Marrying is deciding that the two of you, together, are more important than either of you alone. Marriage is a partnership, not a sacrifice to the altar of someone else's joy. Marriage is a long-term commitment to going at it as a team, not a long-term commitment to ensuring someone else feels good all the time. There will be days when marriage will be so out of balance that you'll believe you're sucking the life out of your spouse, or that they're draining you of all substance. That's ok. That's what marriage does. And that's what marriage is.          I would tell my children -- if they asked -- to marry because you love someone who loves you back. Marry because you can't imagine being without this person. But most of all, marry because this person makes you happy. If someone is making you happy, chances are you're doing the same for them. But never, ever give up your own happiness on a regular basis to ensure someone else's.
keeping with the relationship theme, 9 really helpful relationship tips. and not just because that's a paraphrase of the article title, but because they really are good tips.

this discussion of the evolution of the period (and other punctuation) in the digital age came courtesy of my fella. i just had to share it, because it is so spot on.

have you ever seen golden girls? i discovered it during college {when late-night tv was not quite as detrimental to the next day as it is now} and loved it.  you may think it's not for you, since it's from the 80s and tells the stories of four older ladies, but it's actually solid gold comedy and pretty racy - i'm pretty sure the only reason they got away with a lot of what was said/insinuated was exactly because it stars four older ladies. anyway, if you haven't ever seen it this may not amuse you, but if you have... here are 23 signs you  might be blanche devereaux.

smellfungus, n.‘ A discontented person; a grumbler, faultfinder. Also attrib.’]
Etymology: the name by which L. Sterne designated T. Smollett on account of the captious tone of the latter's book, Travels through France and Italy (1766).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

diy: knitted washcloths

depending on the size, these can function as either a washcloth or a dishcloth...or if you made them fairly small, a coaster! if you know the basics of knitting, this is a super easy pattern and can be made pretty quickly. binge-watching of the office optional.

cast on four stitches
row 1: knit one row
row 2: knit two, yarn over, then knit to the end of the row
repeat row 2 until there are 44 stitches on the needle
next row: knit one, knit two together, yarn over, knit two together, then knit to the end of the row
repeat to continue decreasing until there are 4 stitches left on the needle
cast off

a great how-to video is available at the bottom of this post, which is the original source of this pattern.  the video explains how to do a yarn over if  that's a new term for you - it was for me! and while you definitely want to make sure your stitches aren't too loose, take care not to make them so tight that the "knit two together" step becomes impossible. enjoy!

Monday, November 25, 2013

recipe: cold artichoke heart, chicken & red pepper pasta salad

16 oz. can artichoke hearts
olive oil, salt & pepper
12 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers
2 tbsp. capers, drained
1 lb chicken, marinated
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette
2-4 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
1 box pasta

preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. prepare a pot of pasta. cook chicken in your desired method - grilled, baked, etc. drain roasted red bell peppers and artichoke hearts. chop artichoke hearts into small pieces, then place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. spread artichoke hearts in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. chop bell peppers into bite-sized pieces, and add to the original bowl, along with the capers and cooked pasta. add the chicken and artichoke hearts once cooked. mix balsamic vinaigrette and dijon mustard, to taste. pour dressing over ingredients, and mix well. chill, then serve!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

quick takes

just... this is gonna be a bit of a cop-out post, but i'll cop out with some helpful and/or interesting links, so it balances out. right? totally.

doctor who fiftieth anniversary episode this weekend. i hope you get to watch it... i'm taping it to watch with my fella over thanksgiving weekend! it's airing at the same time world-wide, so no spoiler concerns {unless you're waiting to watch like i am..}.

because christmas is coming gifts you can make in under an hour. and if you're not feeling crafty but still leaning toward the diy, 38 food-based diy gifts. and if you're really not into diy at all, consider shopping it up on small business saturday, november 30.

who knows if these are really scientific, but they're definitely solid suggestions for improving your happy level

bbc culture's collection of the world's most beautiful libraries

you guys! the oxford dictionaries settled on the 2013 word of the year: selfie. check out the infographic they created to explain what it is {in case you've been living under a rock} and why they chose it.

monkey parade, n. 'An evening promenade of young people, esp. for the purpose of meeting members of the opposite sex.'
Etymology: (monkey n. + parade n.); colloquial (chiefly dismissive), now rare (hist.)
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈmʌŋkɪ pəˌreɪd/,  U.S. /ˈməŋki pəˌreɪd/

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

quick takes

wednesday! here we go...

just discovered the glory of dinovember. imagination and creation win.

this is a list of 18 things everyone should make more time for these days. it's a good list. it's a list i follow, mostly, although i never set it down in words this way. #8 could use some work, but let's be honest - i'm in a long distance relationship, so my technological devices aren't going anywhere for now. some days i'm better at #18 than others, and #9 is a very infrequent thing {i think that means a cruise is in order, family!}, but the rest, i'm so there with making them priorities

have you read feed, by m.t. anderson? i feel like it's entirely possible i've mentioned it here before, but if i haven't - it was assigned reading for a college course, but i've kept it around since, re-reading it a few times and recommending it to others. because while wikipedia describes it as a "futuristic novel of the dystopian and cyberpunk genres", things like google's patent application for a new throat tattoo make it clear that some people out there aim to make it less futuristic than some of us might hope. innovation is an interesting beast, mm?

pottery painting win: my new mug effectively holds all the things i want a mug to hold in the morning! and just in case you were curious what i want a mug to hold, that would be approximately 16 oz of awfully burnt-tasting coffee from the fancy office coffee machine, the probably-loaded-with-chemicals-but-i'm-not-looking creamer i put in to mask the burnt, and my heaping spoonful of coconut oil. annnnyway. it's kind of pretty! in an 80s-sponge-paint sort of way...

five+ minute video on how deodorant works. if you're interested.

this phrase is my fella's most recent favorite. it can be used as an interjection, adjective or noun, but i think it goes best as an interjection, so here you have it!
jolly hockey sticks, int. 'Used in representations or imitations of upper or upper-middle-class speech associated with a type of English public schoolgirl, esp. to express (mock) boisterous enthusiasm, excitement, exuberance, etc.'
Etymology: (jolly adj. + the plural of hockey-stick); humorous (orig. and chiefly Brit.).
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌdʒɒli ˈhɒki stɪks/,  U.S. /ˌdʒɑli ˈhɑki stɪks/

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

quick takes

ohh folks, it's wednesday! this always sneaks up on me, even when i'm actively counting down to friday. how does this happen every week?

i am finding myself perusing articles about electronic discovery in my "free time"...because apparently i find it fascinating enough to use up my time on it? anyway. the south carolina supreme court sanctioned an attorney for not having an e-mail address {and also... e-mail or email?!? such a dilemma!}, e-discovery is continuing to evolve and i'm actually liking federal civil procedure which, if you had told me fall semester of 1L was even a remote possibility, i would have called you absolutely bonkers. maybe it's because it's in bits and pieces and pertains to something actually happening?

midwest-bound this weekend! excited to see my fella and maybe observe some bird-hunting.

one of my favorite bloggers made a joke {she is joking! i have verification via e-mail!} about tall boots being outdated and i nearly connipt-ed {not a real word but go with it} over the thought because, seriously, i just. cannot. do. ankle boots. these short legs of mine don't need that kind of ridiculousness. i mean, it took me until this year to do skinny jeans with flats instead of only with boots and even that makes me cringe a little bit because i am no [skinnystarletofyourchoice]. which, i should clarify, i am so totally okay with - this is in no way a commentary on good/bad body shapes/sizes - your body is your body and you should love it!! - but really, not all styles are for all bodies. aaanyway. moral of the story is do not take my tall boots away.

ender's game! have you read it? if not, and you like scifi-based action flicks, go see it! and also, READ IT! if you have read it, go see it - but know that there's a lot that's different/omitted for the sake of hollywood. it reminded me a bit of hunger games, in that if you read the book you had a fundamental understanding of things that maybe weren't fabulously developed in the film and so it was fine, but if you hadn't you were left a bit lost, especially on character development.

always a good reminder... seven rules to stop your phone taking over your life from bbc.

if you like poetry check out this guy. his typewriter series is almost always thought-provoking and his haikus on love are, well, lovely.

new add to quick takes! a favorite word from the oxford english dictionary word-of-the-day email. because i love language and therefore will subject you to that love. even though i don't properly capitalize, overuse hyphens and ellipses, add unnecessary letters to words and generally ignore the rules on this here bloggity. clearly beside the point ;). today we have a word so archaic my computer doesn't recognize it.  i introduce you to comrogue, which should absolutely be brought back into the everyday lexicon because who wouldn't respond to a loud proclamation of, "COMROGUE! join with me in comroguery!" {note, comroguery is not actually a word, but it really should be because comrogue is, and roguery is, so comroguery is the logical next step.}
official word info:
comrogue, n. 'A fellow-rogue.'
Etymology: (com- prefix + rogue n. & adj.) In 17th cent. often jocularly confused with comrade.
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmrəʊɡ/

Monday, November 4, 2013

recipe: spinach-garlic-sundried tomato meatballs

1 1/4 lb ground turkey or beef
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 handful sun-dried tomatoes
2 heads roasted garlic
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. sea salt
dash black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil

preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with foil. squeeze out cloves from roasted garlic into a large bowl, and crush to spread. add all other ingredients to bowl, and mix together with hands until completely combined. scoop out equal sized portions to make meatballs, and place them on the baking sheet. place in oven, bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

if you haven't experienced the wonder that is roasted garlic, do yourself a favor and try it. bake up a double batch, use half in the meatballs and then spread the other half on toast...sourdough is always a good option. enjoy along with your favorite beverage {i'm presently hooked on fevertree brand ginger beer...spicy and delicious!} as a tasty reward for your hard work making dinner!

Friday, November 1, 2013

building habits: update 3

belated update on micro quotas and macro goals. might even keep it belated in the future, because that would be more in keeping with the calendar... anyway. october was...well, iffy, goals-wise. november will need a bit of adjusting. but! sleep and exercise got prioritized and that was great. because they're priorities. so now it's keeping those as priorities, and also accomplishing the rest. lunches probably need work too, and less eating out should probably be a goal. maybe someday! sigh. i'm not even watching tv on weeknights to get everything in and i still can't manage it all...which is totally not a woe is me moment, but a how do you do it all?! moment. promise. {but really - how do you do it all?!}

quota: thirty minutes of rosetta stone per day // goal: learn spanish
progress: at the beginning of the month, i was doing pretty well, fitting in at least 20 minutes at least 5 days a week. but then work got crazy and my fella came to visit and there was a wedding to attend and basically spanish practice got sidelined. excuses, excuses.
verdict: needs work.

quota: two hours per weekend documenting // goal: digitize memorabilia
progress: two of my weekends were full of time with my fella, which takes priority, but i have no good reason for why the other weekends didn't happen. i even have the gear now! i guess this means it's time to get cracking...
verdict: try again.

quota: one hour article work per week // goal: write an article by october december 2013
progress: still a struggle. but i think i might have finally found a topic i'm interested in writing about, and have already done a bit of research on for work, so now i just have to make sure it's viable.
verdict: try again.

quota: turn off electronics by 11pm // goal: reasonable hours
progress: okay, until about 3 days ago i was doing fantastically on this one. seriously. which is part of why the other goals are suffering, actually, because i prioritized getting on a sleep schedule. so if something hadn't happened by 11, it wasn't happening. and i was liking it. i got off track because fella left and that always throws me off, but this is working and i like it. it also makes morning work outs so much more realistic!
verdict: almost a success!

new quota: 3 green smoothies a week // new goal: healthier eating
progress: not even. well....actually sort of, now that i think about it. i moved past larabars for breakfast (!!) and am doing a mix of smoothies or yogurt&granola...depending on how close to 7 i actually start my workout. so lately it's been pretty heavy on the yogurt&granola.
verdict: rubbish. try again.

new quota: 3 workouts a week // new goal: healthy living
progress: oooooh so much winning with this! i failed on the squat/sit-up challenged i mentioned last month, but that's totally okay because i committed to doing jillian's 30 day shred about 3 weeks ago and it's happening. i think i explained this in a quicktakes but basically the plan is to jillian at 7 am M-F, with 2 days break (so each level takes 2 weeks). it doesn't always work that way - this week i was gone tuesday morning for work, so i'll be making it up saturday - but the point is 5 days of exercise a week, and since the whole fam is doing it we're pretty okay at sticking to it. plus there are some solid laughs to be had when you have four people (and 2 pups) jillian-ing in the early hours.
verdict: met!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

quick takes

...on thursday! hooray for late posts.

i'm going to have to agree with namby pamby on the fact that lawyers need a CLE on costume propriety...not just for court but also for the office. and that CLE should break it down for folks in big law, even though i think that's probably a pretty clear "no, don't wear a costume", and for folks in small offices where the line is a bit more blurred.

you guys, i forgot how much shoulder-burnage goes on in level 2 of the thirty day shred. i guess this is to help get rid of that awkward area right at/below your shoulder blades? regardless, with all the plank work i guess it's a good thing we moved into the attic from the roof deck this week, even if it was only because i'm a wimp and mornings are cold.

even though i was absolutely slammed with work last week, i was so thrilled to spend my evenings {working} next to my fella. and to snatch a few days of vacation in the san francisco bay area when we headed up there for a wedding. time with him is always my favorite, and we got a great mix in of tourist time in sf:

lazy saturday mornings, and celebrating with friends at the rehearsal & wedding:

there's a lot of halloween spirit going on. wearing a costume at work makes me nervous, and my version of partying involves my couch, a ginger beer {nonalcoholic}, my fella and some good tv, but i can definitely get behind the innocent little ones dressing up to their heart's content, and the neighborly welcome of trick-or-treating. howeverrrr. the closest i came to a costume this month was the photobooth at my friends' fun wedding, so...happy halloween!

31 days of cards

i decided to jump on the 31 day train. i even linked up with the personal endeavors category. i liked the intentionality behind the idea. for me, it wasn't every day of october, because i didn't think this was about creating a burden for yourself. it was about creating a benefit, for yourself or for others. so this month i snail-mailed as many home-made cards as i could manage to make! i know the joy i feel when i get mail, so it only seemed right to spread that joy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

recipe: packet grilled radishes

16-20 oz. radishes
2 tbsp. butter
2-4 cloves garlic
salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste

slice radishes, then dice garlic cloves and butter into small pieces. place all ingredients onto a double layer of foil. sprinkle with salt, pepper & garlic powder, and mix. fold foil into a secure packet. grill for 20 minutes or until radishes are tender.

recipe: gazpacho

2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 48 oz. can tomato juice
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 seedless cucumber, seeded & chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 jar roasted red bell peppers, drained & chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)

add half the solid ingredients and all liquid ingredients to a blender. blend until nearly smooth. add remaining solid ingredients to blender and pulse until desired texture. salt & pepper to taste. cover & chill 4+ hours before serving. best when served with a heaping helping of avocado!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

quick takes

i forgot to post a recipe this week because i was busy hanging out with my fella. in between research/memo projects. because i am drowning in federaljudicialopinions and statutoryinterpretations and howdotheseallgotogethertosaywhatweneeditto moments and can i just say i am really glad i got reading glasses? anyway. how about two next week? thaaanks.

day 8 of jillian's 30 day shred at 7 am with whoever shows up for the party. i am really glad i'm doing it, because exercise is good for me. i'm glad i'm doing it in the morning {really!}, because it gets me up and guarantees i move at least 20 minutes during the day. and i am really glad i am doing it on a monday-friday, break saturday and sunday pattern because after 5 solid days, that break is a glorious thing.

short week this week - two of my good friends are getting hitched this weekend, so my fella and i are headed to the bay area for a weekend of san francisco sights and wedding events. looking forward to putting a pause on work for a few days to enjoy some quality time!

so like i said, i am swamped with work. swamped. like, this is my last quick take for today swamped because i just got an email during lunch that they need a memo in brief format by "end of day".  but i'm quickly gaining familiarity with rule 45 and 34 of the federal rules of civil procedure {my civ pro prof would be so proud}, so that's cool... third-party and electronic discovery are my friends? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

quick takes

i almost forgot it's wednesday. it's gonna be short, and it probably won't be interesting to anyone but me. but if that didn't turn you away, read on...

my mornings are now starting at 6:55 am. i go vertical, grab the phone, hit snooze, and read e-mails and blogs in an attempt to actually wake up until the alarm goes off again at 7:03. at which point i throw on work out clothes, grab my laptop and meet various family members on the roof deck for a morning round of jillian michaels's 30 day shred. being outdoors makes it almost bearable to be lifting weights and jumping-jacks in that hour i always slept through just days ago. we're rocking this schedule 5 days a week, a six-week 30DS.

this is the second football season in a row i have felt the need for a game-day dress, yet done nothing to make one. someone get me some initiative. and some inspiration?

less than 72 hours till my guy is here for a solid week! these are happy times ahead, folks :)

the federal government is behind on legislating about technology and related privacy issues. but who's surprised? the stored communications act (title ii of the electronic communications privacy act) was enacted back in 1986. before the internet was a real thing, and long before email and social networking. there have been no amendments - zero - to the federal legislation dealing with our stored electronic data since then. the courts have filled in the gaps as best they can in the interim.

i went to visit the eye doc this weekend for my 6-ish month LASIK-round-2 follow up. 20/20 distance, 20/15 close, and the reading glasses are keeping stare-at-screens-headaches at bay. oh, and night-time eye drops are a really good thing because apparently your corneas swell at night and can stick to your eyelids and opening dry eyes can potentially cause corneal abrasions. which sounds super swell and not painful or problematic. at. all.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

a morning person

project become-a-morning-person commenced at 7am yesterday...

Monday, October 14, 2013

recipe: cinnamon walnut bread

it's been a while since i made this cinnamon walnut bread, but i've got the walnut butter {homemade!} ready to go for tonight. walnut butter isn't ideal for producing a tall, sandwich-size bread, so don't expect a lot of rise in the loaf. but! combined with the flavor, the petite size of this loaf makes a slice perfect for a sweet snack.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

quick takes

friends re-runs are great. i appreciate the episodes so much more now than i did when they originally aired. which, when you think about it, makes a whole lot of sense, since i was finishing high school when the final season aired. i might just have to do a marathon-watch next time regular-season shows take a hiatus...

my guy is amazing and a fantastic listener, and got me this adorable set of coasters adorned with oscar wilde quotes for my birthday. before you go wondering how i could get all giddy over coasters, it wasn't about the coasters. well, that's not entirely true. the coasters are amazing and full of oscar wilde wit. but the point is, he got them for me not because i asked for the, but because i raved about them, and he remembered that. he's a keeper, that one.

have you heard about the imaginary well-dressed toddler daughter? i just discovered this glory. and before you click the link and get all snarky about how i sent you to look at photographs of children for no good reason, read the captions. they make it wholly worth your while to stare at hipster-styled small fries. i love so many of them, but this one is particularly spot-on...

i got a kitchen aid! the neighbors set it outside their garage in the "we're moving" give away pile, and my parents snagged it in case i was interested. free kitchen aid?! interested?! yes please!! and while it came with just one attachment, kitchen aid is fabulous and makes all their attachments compatible with all their machines. win!

i have been wanting to expand my stamp collection - especially with this 31 day card challenge - but am less than inclined to shell out the money for stamps from craft stores, especially when all i'm looking for are simple shapes/patterns. i remembered a blog post about carving your own stamps, so a diy effort seemed to be in order. i bought a 3-pack of erasers for $2, busted out the exacto knife and {carefully} carved a few basic-design stamps! {don't tell on me but i may have started e-browsing stamp carving kits...}

people. it took twenty-something years {well...more like ten-something. because i didn't have a computer when i was a small-fry. but go with it.}, but i figured out how to get more than one line of text into each excel-spreadsheet box. go ahead and call me a nerd, but considering my recently discovered love of spreadsheets, this is genuinely thrilling. and so basic i really shouldn't be admitting that i didn't know. sigh. FYI: on older versions of excel, highlight the appropriate boxes, go to "format", "cells", "alignment" and hit "word wrap"; on newer versions, do the former or just hit the "word wrap" button under the home tab.

i seem to have a thing for dystopian novels lately. presently re-reading the handmaid's tale by margaret atwood. just finished angelfall by susan ee. i also enjoyed the passage and the twelve by justin cronin,  a long long sleep by anna sheehan, and daughters of the north by sarah hall this year, among others. many are technically young adult, but as long as they're also well written, that's just an indicator of how long it'll take me to get through it. any new recommendations? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

quote: elisabeth kubler-ross.

i am still traveling the thought lines that inspired last week's post on kintsugi and brokenness. i can't say i'm surprised - it's a complex concept, being a human, living life.

the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  these persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. beautiful people do not just happen.
          - elisabeth kubler-ross


Monday, October 7, 2013

recipe: overnight pumpkin chia granola pudding

i know this is my second pumpkin recipe in a row, but there's pumpkin in the fridge, so a girl has to get creative. i am not the biggest pumpkin person - you won't find me sipping a pumpkin spice latte - but when my creative efforts turned out this delicious concoction i had to share. don't mind the goldenrod color going on, that's just what happens when you mix pumpkin and yogurt.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


yesterday, i read a piece by glennon over at momastery, which is full of thoughtful insight on the human condition. {do read it.} within all the marvelous words, glennon offered up this gem:
"I used to say: I'm broken. Fix me. Then I grew up a little and said: WAIT A MINUTE. I'M NOT BROKEN. And now I'm a real grown up so I say: Of course I'm broken. And I love, love, love myself that way. If you're comfortable with that - come sit with me and we can laugh and cry and be broken and beautiful together. But don't try to fix me - I didn't ask for that. I just asked for some good company in which to be human."
this. of course i am broken. life well lived can be a rough and tumble ride, and no one ever promised you wouldn't fall to pieces over it. in fact, as oprah said, "we can't become what we need to be by remaining what we are." changing events may be gradual and almost unnoticed, or they may come hard and fast. they may lift you, but they may also break you. and that is okay. because what i have learned on this journey of life is that when you're standing there, holding the pieces of yourself - that is the moment of opportunity.  that is when you learn just who you are, how strong you can be - and how beautiful this life is. there is beauty in the broken.

but i think there is more to it than that, even. there is the marvel of broken, but not in pieces. the marvel that comes of when you slowly mend yourself, learning and changing and becoming something more the process, and the beauty grows. the ancient japanese art of kintsugi is the best example of this i have seen in a long time.

kintsugi, meaning "golden joinery" or "to patch with gold", is an ancient japanese technique for repairing broken porcelain, pottery and glass. it is about taking ugly breaks and bringing pieces back together in beauty. but instead of hiding the cracks, or trying to pretend a piece is as good as new, kintsugi artists carefully repair a broken vessel with sticky resin that hardens as it dries. they sand it until it's nearly imperceptible to the touch, and then they take a lacquer combined with real gold and adorn the crack.
photograph and information from here. video on kintsugi here.

they highlight the cracks. they honor the breaks, even as they remold the pieces. i have believed this for years. that we must be broken - and acknowledge our broken, even as we rebuild ourselves - to become our truest selves. being human is a messy, beautiful thing, and so worth it. and this messy, beautiful life - it's even better when shared. so please - like glennon said - "come sit with me and we can laugh and cry and be broken and beautiful together."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

quick takes

today is my birthday {inching toward thirty one late-twenties birthday at a time}. 

my life is nothing i thought it would be as a teenager, and that is so okay. more than okay! i have love, i have joy, and an amazing group of loved ones and friends. i have a roof over my head, a steady and intellectually stimulating job, and home-cooked meals. i have experiences under my belt - experiences i never expected - that have been so amazing and brought so much to my life. so. today's quick takes are seven reasons {in no particular order, and absolutely not an exhaustive list} that i am glad my life took a different path than i once imagined taking to this age:

this guy, and the love and friendship we share

family who are also my friends and travel buddies

friends made during those years that may be spread all over the place, but are always there for me 

travels {so, so many more than pictured} that have showed me so much of this magnificent world, and taught me so much about appreciating the beauty all around in moments large and small

time spent living abroad, especially my year in london

football fandom

patience and grace gained through joyfully taxing experiences - working with children - and less joyful but still remarkably taxing experiences - the bar exam - that have already served me well in life. 

to another year!

Monday, September 30, 2013

recipe: pumpkin spice cream cheese muffins

the below recipe for pumpkin spice muffins is great - and pretty darn healthy - on its own. but in celebration of fall, i decided to throw something decidedly unhealthy-but-delicious in the mix. and oh, baby. pumpkin spice cream cheese muffins? yum. don't blame me if you eat them all in one go.

full disclosure: the photograph is of a mug-cake version of this. this is because for my first attempt at these, i followed someone else's directions and kept the batters separate. while that might work with a more traditional pumpkin spice batter, it wasn't quite the thing for my coconut-flour based batter. so, i experimented the next night with a mug-cake portion, mixing the two batters. much better. the recipe for the pumpkin cream cheese muffins reflects that tweak!