Friday, June 29, 2012

Livin' for the Weekend; or, Friday I'm in Love

Hello, friends! What a week this has been... Too much going on. Let me fill you in on why I've been MIA.

For those not in the know, I'm a PhD student. In order to become a degree candidate, we have to pass a series of written and oral exams, which can make or break our academic career. I'm lucky enough to have the written ones down-- it's the oral qualifying exam that I'm battling right now (which, ironically, involves a ton of writing to prepare for it). I'm hoping to have more for you in the coming weeks, but I can promise you that after July 19th (judgement day!) I will be back here with you on a more regular basis.

This week, it's all about keeping it light and fun-- since life is, well, not (at least, not right now). With that said, this week...

I'm in love: with boozy Bieber.

I'm in love with: these easy, adorable popsicle cupcakes.

I'm in love with: Skinny Girl Mojitos! (My drink of summer!)

I'm in love with: these simple-to-make wine cork magnets!

I'm in love with: the ultimate nerdy hideway-- a couch wrapped in bookshelves!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday I'm In Love: Campfire Edition

It's official: summer's here. Which means...


That's right kids... and in the spirit of all things campfire-related, here's my Friday picks!

I'm in love with: S'mores cake. I need this in my face. Now.

I'm in love with: Campfire cupcakes!

I'm in love with: This sentiment.

I'm in love with: elephants around a campfire.

I'm in love with: Sharing a good time with friends.

Happy Friday, all! Go out and live life right.*

*By which I mean, eat an exorbitant amount of chocolate/marshmallows/graham crackers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I just wanna put a nickel in something; or, Roadtrippin' Part III

On our last day, we just wanted to try our hand at gamblin', being two good midwestern girls who had never been to a casino before. Turns out we stink at it-- between us, we only won about $0.75. Win.

Bears on motorcycles. Definitely got yelled at for taking pictures in the casino, but this was totally worth it.

We decided that skiball was our favorite form of gambling, so we headed back to the arcade for one last game before hitting the road.

I'm pretty sure the highlight of the morning was winning chinese finger traps. Never too old!

I threatened to drive with one on my fingers-- and got a death stare.

Mission accomplished.

P.S. Duluth-- we love you. Hope y'all are surviving the floods okay, and hope everyone is safe!

  1. Going to a drive-in movie theatre
  2. Tubing with friends
  3. Taking a road trip with a killer playlist
  4. Picking TONS of berries-- and eating only berries for an entire day with no guilt
  5. Saying "yes" to everything for a day (frightening)
  6. Saying "no" to everything I don't want to do for a day (empowering)
  7. Throwing an old-fashioned pajama party with the girls and staying up all night
  8. Hosting a "Tour de Franz" (running back and forth between friends' apartments and mine while sampling boxed wines and wearing mustache tattoos)
  9. Buying a new novel, going to a coffee shop, and sitting outside sipping iced americanos while reading an entire book in one fell swoop
  10. Go to a music festival and be the first one dancing
  11. Putting the strangest things I can think of into cookies and sharing them with you

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cowbells are hazardous to your health; or, Roadtrippin' Part II

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful morning to start our second day of our roadtrip! After an early rise, we headed to Mile 6 / Mile 19 on the course, which was right on lake superior.

Clearly, the coffee kicked in quickly for Beth...


Just as we parked, the elite runners came through. This gentleman was one of the frontrunners, and boy, was he hoofin' it!

Between the elites and the wheelers, we had some time to sit and reflect. Look at that view!


We were right on the historic Skyline Parkway. Stunning is the only word for it!


Then, the real fun started... wheelers! I can't believe they can crank through a marathon so quickly-- you go, guys (and gals!)

 The half-marathoners rolled through next. It was incredible to see them come around the bend... like something out of a movie.

When the gazelles stampede and spill over the hill in the Lion King? Yup. It was like that.

We were ringing cowbells like crazy! I had seven blisters on my right hand, which are still making it tough to type. True story.

I didn't get any good shots of the marathoners, unfortunately, who came through after this... We had jobs to do as on-course coaches, and with the weather turning cold and windy suddenly, we had to be on our game. Just an incredible experience-- gorgeous views, determined, smiling faces. Welcome to Grandma's.

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

To Grandma's House We Go; or, Roadtrippin' Part I

This weekend, my friend Beth and I decided to take a road trip up to Duluth, MN to volunteer for the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation running team at Grandma's Marathon. 

That's right-- crossing road-trip off my summer bucket list!

All good road trips start off with SNACKS!

My new summer essential-- a Caribou growler of cold press! (This barely lasted the weekend between the two of us!). This, plus great music (One Republic, Matt Nathanson, and, of course, N*SYNC!) made the four hour drive fly by.

Once we arrived in Duluth, we were immediately put to work setting up the DetermiNation team dinner at the Holiday Inn. Look at how elegant the tables turned out!

Of course, we added tons of ACS touches to the tables, including cowbells.

The night was filled with great talks, including this one about ACS CAN...

Stories from cancer survivors...

Reflections from a 74-year-old marathoner running his 74th marathon...

And fundraising awards! Running on Caffiene got top team.

It was lovely to see everyone's efforts recognized.

The team, as a whole, raised over $61,000 for the American Cancer Society!

And survivor awards were given-- it was an incredible moment.

After a long day of travel and the fancy-pants dinner, we collapsed at the Black Bear hotel/casino. A recliner in the room-- sweet!

And the night ended with a gorgeous sunset... at 9pm! Seriously!

Stay tuned for part two!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday I'm In Love: Quotes Edition

What a day! My good friend Beth and I hopped in a car this morning (checking that road trip off the summer bucket list!) and drove up to Duluth to serve as race support for the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation team at Grandma's Marathon.

The team dinner tonight was so inspiring-- filled with moving speeches and incredibly selfless individuals who worked to raise over $61,000!  I will definitely post pictures and stories from the trip when I get back (have to get to bed soon so we can get up bright and early to greet the runners!).

In the spirit of inspiration, motivation, and DetermiNation, this week's Friday I'm In Love features quotes that keep me going when things get tough!

and, finally...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"I like your moves"; or, getting featured on the JTB podcast!

My usual Thursday routine goes something like this:

Wake up at 5:30. Throw together my gym gear. Turn on the latest episode of the Joy the Baker podcast. Listen while eating breakfast, checking email, and getting ready for work. End episode by 6:45, feed the dog, out the door.

Well, this morning, I got quite the surprise! Not only did I get a response from Joy the Baker herself about my "homework" (making a summer bucket list)...

BUT I also am featured on this week's podcast notes! The episode is (appropriately) called "Camp Awkward"-- perfect! Check out these funny ladies and give them a shoutout!

Happy Thursday, all!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Saving the day; or, Citrus Rhubarb Jam

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone when I say that I tend to revert to my childhood self when I come home to visit my family. Some young adults go back to bickering with their siblings. Some expect their laundry to be done for them.

Me? I just get bizarre at the dinner table.

Scene: Two days ago. Sitting around the dinner table, having a perfectly nice meal of homemade vegetarian (thanks mom!) lasagna.

Brother: [knocks over glass of water]

Me:  I'LL SAVE YOU! [without any hesitation or shame, flings napkin all the way across the dinner table onto the spreading puddle of water]

Family: [crickets, then insane laughter]

Yep. This is my life.

On a completely unrelated note... I made you jam. It may not save the day, but it sure as heck tastes good!

Citrus Rhubarb Jam 

Adapted from Canning for a New Generation

1 orange
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (hulls reserved)
1 lb fresh rhubarb, cut into cubes
2/3 cup sugar

Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the orange zest and finely julienne the pieces. Segment the rest of the orange.

Place orange zest and slices, rhubarb, sugar, lemon hulls and lemon juice into a deep saucepan. Cook 15 minutes, until juices just cover the fruit. Remove the lemon hulls and cook an additional 10 minutes. Can using your favorite method, or cool and stir into greek yogurt.