Wednesday, January 29, 2014

quick takes

happy wednesday! this week is a good one, because friday ends with me in chicago for a slightly early celebration of two years with this amazing man.

25 cooking mistakes even good cooks make. many are common sense.  but take the time to watch gordon ramsey teach you how to chop an onion. i am testing this out next time, because blinking tears out of my eyes each time i need chopped onion is not my favorite. also, garlic. add more, always.

in the food vein, 24 foods you hated as a kid but love as an adult.  except to be honest, i still can't do grapefruit, runny eggs, olives, mushrooms, anchovies, and i'm not sure i've ever had okra. but considering i used to abhor brussels sprouts, cooked spinach, coffee, dark chocolate, eggplant, avocado, tomato, spicy food and onions too, i'd say i've made quite a bit of progress in the expand-your-food-horizons game. (yes, i was that kid who liked her sandwiches as bland as possible. sliced turkey with light miracle whip on toasted sourdough was my go-to.)

good friends are gifts. mine are scattered around the country/globe, so chats and (unfortunately rare) visits with friends from high school, college, and law school are even more treasured. sometimes when i get busy with work and family life and all that, i forget that friendships deserve attention as well, so: 5 simple ways to be a better friend.

some of these are good... you can almost feel the burn, even decades later. 19 scathing political put-downs. the comment contributions aren't bad either.

wordhoard, n. 'A store of words; (in later use esp.) the vocabulary of a person, group or language.'
Etymology: word n. + hoard n.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈwəːdhɔːd/,  U.S. /ˈwərdˌhɔ(ə)rd/

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

quick takes

i like words, grammar, and other similarly nerdy things (despite my failure to properly capitalize anything on this blog). this includes the oxford comma. i like the oxford comma, and so should you. if you're still not sure (after that compelling argument), read this explanation of why the oxford comma is important.

this... awesome. 33 things to make a small apartment better.

as someone who has been on many cruises, i just want to say that the scare-tactic articles i see on a semi-regular basis about the horrors that await you on cruise ships is... well, a poor excuse for journalism.  in my experience, cruises are a great way to holiday.  yes, if a virus is going around, you and a lot of others on board might catch it.  but that has far less to do with cruise lines than with the basic fact that such a scenario is always possible when you have many people regularly interacting in a restricted amount of space.  and yes, if you get ridiculously drunk and decide to perch yourself in a precarious position off a railing, you may fall in the water, but the best way to deal with that is a) don't get ridiculously drunk or b) if you do get ridiculously drunk stay indoors! ships have plenty of indoor party spaces that rule out the risk of falling overboard.  also, know this: 1) what cruise line you choose matters, in terms of your experience. so don't automatically assume that because someone wrote an article detailing their traumatic experience on one trip, all ships and all lines are like that; and 2) what itinerary you choose matters, because some (like mexico and the caribbean) are full of folks who want to party, while others (think european ports full of history, or cooler climates) are a more even mix of travelers. last... don't knock it till you try it!
edit: see this article for a reasonable perspective on cruise ship illness outbreaks

today's peek into the closet of an unfashionable blogger.

i don't know any of these things for sure, because i haven't ever been married, but these seven ideas do a pretty good job of encapsulating what i think makes a marriage a happy one

linguipotence, n. 'Mastery of language or languages; ability to use language.'
Etymology: classical Latin lingua tongue (see lingua n.) + potence n.1, perhaps after armipotence n.
Pronunciation: Brit. /lɪŋˈɡwɪpət(ə)ns/,  U.S. /lɪŋˈɡwɪpədəns/, /lɪŋˈɡwɪpətns/

Thursday, January 16, 2014

quick takes

a day late (a dollar short), BUT i've got ashley jones's bachelor review to share so it's alllll okay!

like i said, the best bachelor review on the webs. seriously, the reason i carve time out of my life to watch forced romanticism.  read it and try not to laugh out loud or your boss/secretary/cubical pals will want to know what's going on. also i felt a moment of "THAT'S WHAT I SAID!" when i got to this reality check:
I just think its funny that they think Juan Pablo planned these dates specifically for them, when you know that once this is all over, they're going to be riding around in his car picking up Camila from day care, who will probably have sticky fingers and smell like peanut butter like all small children do.
except i wasn't as clever and just hollered at the tv something like, "yeah good luck getting dates like that when the show is done!" obviously, that's why i leave the reviewing to the experts.

have you ever thought about whether "how was your day" conveys what you're really trying to say to someone? or if, just maybe, there are better questions to ask? glennon has, and i think she makes a pretty good point.

i'm pretty sure this quiz is skewed (i mean, there are no country options in the music and apparently all anyone ever drinks is booze), but do you know what city you should actually live in?

i love home-made cards, and photobooks (i used to love scrapbooks but those are hefty beasts that take up lots of space during AND after creation, so i went digital), and really anything paper-crafty. stamps add the best little dose of pizzazz for anything in that category.  elise over at enjoy it makes amazing stamps (i have two!), but she's closing up shop this weekend. so if stamps are your thing, get over there! (elise doesn't who i am and didn't ask me to do this, but a year of reading her blog has convinced me she (and her products) are awesome and totally deserve the recommend.)

see number 18. that's my life. also the rest apply to some degree as well. and not just college, law school too. even though that was far less spectacular, it was still school. and there was football.

nugacity, n. 'A trifling thing or idea; a frivolity.'
Etymology: post-classical Latin nugacitas worthlessness (Vulgate), frivolity (5th C.); classical Latin nūgāci-nūgāx (see nugacious adj.) + -tās (see -ty suffix1; compare -ity suffix)
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌnjuːˈɡasᵻti/,  U.S. /nuˈɡæsədi/

Monday, January 13, 2014

recipe: one-pot chicken lo-mein

1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
12 oz. linguini
4 medium carrots, peeled
2 medium red bell peppers
2 bunches bunch green onions
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. corn starch
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. evoo

cut all veggies into thin, 3-inch strips. chop chicken into small chunks. break the linguini in half. add all ingredients to a large stock pot, liquids last. cover the pot and bring to a boil. once boiling, stir and reduce to just above a simmer. cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and liquids have cooked off.

original recipe here. this goes really well with sweet chili sauce, and could probably handle quite a few varieties of vegetables...i'm definitely adding broccoli next time!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

quick takes

it's wednesday!

i managed to make it through maaaybe half of the introductory episode of juan pablo's bachelor season this week before i had to go do real things in my real life (err...finish drafting a motion), but if this girl writes more reviews like this one i might make a point of watching just so i can truly appreciate her recaps.

courtesy of my cousin, 16 books to read before they hit theaters this year.  i've read a few, some i don't care about reading or watching, and the rest... let's be honest, the likelihood i'll see them in theaters this year is low. but i'll add 'em to the never-ending list of to-reads anyway.

have you seen this video on the absurd amount of photoshopping that goes on with stars? we all know it happens in some corner of our brains but to see the contrast is startling. also, jennifer lawrence looks ridiculously GOOD in the pre-photoshop image, and kind of freakish skinny-ified, so that's always refreshing to see.

can we take just a minute here to talk about fashion bloggers? no offense to the fashion bloggers of the world, because they are clearly quite creative folk, but... who actually wears the things fashion bloggers propose as every-day attire? every so often i click on fashion on bloglovin' and within 3 minutes i simply have to click away, because ... well, it's hard to feel overwhelmed by your fashion failures for much longer than that. and i don't know about you, but i can't seem to manage warm-weather layering without looking like i gained 10 pounds, which is a bit disheartening. do you think the fashion bloggers of the world would be offended if i did a "what normal un-trendy people wear" post once a week? it would even be for the greater good - everyone who isn't a fashion blogger would feel better about their sense of style, because it is surely better than mine (just ask my mom and sister!). this here is my attempt at trendy (which is possibly 2 years behind in style, are tunics and leggings still in? i'm hoping so, since they're still in stores...)

this one, re 3 students joining in the university of notre dame suit on obamacare, but on the side opposite the university, is directed in particular to the legally-minded. thoughts on this?

smellfungus, n. 'A discontented person; a grumbler, faultfinder. Also attrib.'
Etymology: The name by which Sterne designated Smollett on account of the captious tone of the latter's Travels through France and Italy (1766).
Pronunciation: /smɛlˈfʌŋɡəs/

Monday, January 6, 2014

quote: gentlemen's wisdom

quote sourced here:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

hello, 2014.

my bloglovin' feed has been overwhelmed with new year posts over the past few days.  collections of favorite posts from 2013, reflections on the past year, and fresh resolutions for 2014 abound.

this is one of those posts, but also, it isn't. because i don't have any fresh resolutions for 2014. i love the states of mind i chose last january. they have served me so very well in 2013, and more importantly, in this season of my life. and my life is still in the same season as when i chose those words and their personalized meanings. so i will keep those words, keep that emphasis on those certain states of mind, as i find my way through 2014. i am hoping to make a piece of art to hang in my apartment to be a gentle reminder to choose joy, health, love, focus and peace as often as possible.

as for actual goals, they're not too far off from the ones i set for myself last year. some are ongoing goals {aka efforts to build better habits}, and some are goals that simply weren't accomplished.  still planning on using the quota/goal system i started testing out in july, because when i hit my quotas i make progress on the goals. i might find myself tweaking the 'quota' portion of the goal though, as the year progresses and life necessitates adaptation. anyway, to get to the point, goals: learn spanish, digitize memorabilia, keep reasonable hours, eat healthier, & keep active.

goal: january quotas
learn spanish: one rosetta stone activity or 15 minutes of duolingo per day
digitize memorabilia: finish digitizing 2003-2004.
keep reasonable hours: electronics off by 11 four nights a week
eat healthier: at least one serving of greens per day
keep active: exercise three times a week

looking forward to another year!