I think I can I think I can...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's finals week, can you tell?

4 finals down and the last one is scheduled tomorrow @8AM. I am pretty burned out, and having an awful hard time mustering up motivation for this one. It is no where to be found, I’m 97% convinced.

And I am so sick of people blabbing on about being finished already.

So far I have managed to:
take a final,
work out,
watch Chronicles of Narnia (first time!)
make dinner,
watch the republican debate,
run errands (aka Cocoa Bean)
and…not study.

We will see how this one goes.

It’s too bad I’m feeling this way, because all semester I have looooved my classes. Have I mentioned that yet? I don’t think I have and usually I don’t, but now that I am done with GE’s...it rocks. I am a total nerd, and it is actually quite blissful.

Environmental Health
Methods to Health Promotion
Substance Abuse and Addictive Behavior
International Church
Mind &Body Health

Who’s jealous? Any other health geeks out there?

My Environmental Health I lovingly call my “Save-the-Dolphins-Class” but it has actually turned to much more. Likee actually think about my ecological footprint and to change it. I’m determined to save the world, refusing one plastic bag at a time. It’s happening and you better believe it.

Methods of Health Promotion. Putting plans into action and influence change.

Substance Abuse and Addictive Behavior. How drugs affect your brain, short term and long term. Basically everything you can know about drugs, just ask and hopefully I’ll remember.

International Church. We had to do a beastly research paper in this (didn’t see that coming) but another confession: it was probably one of my favorite assignments. I know, I know I’m a total embarrassment to the student race.

Mind &Body Health. How the mind can affect our bodies. Psychoneuroimmunology is awesome stuff. Yes, big word and I'm hoping I spelled it right. (It’s a real one this time)

Okay enough with nerd talk.

Alex and I are going to VEGAS!! Our 1 year anniversary is this weekend, and we decided to celebrate with class (ha.) I’m not really a Vegas lover, but it’s nearby, pretty cheap, and warmer than here. SO excited. Pictures ((hopefully)) to follow.

But in the meantime, some recent culinary achievements if you please:

Homemade Gnocchi. (And don't you love our sassy china?)

Can't take the credit for this gorgeous french bread- all Alex's doing.

Breakfast burritos- a must in this apartamento

Belated Gratitude

Monday, November 28, 2011

"The" Thanksgiving Sweater

Who do I appreciate?


My cousin Lauren who wines and dines me with her meal plan every Tuesday. Which leads me to..

Cannon center, I’ll admit it now. I never knew what I had with you.

My sister Hilary who always cracks me up and is visiting next week. YES!!!

An amazing family that I married into. All cheesy-ness aside, I hit a gold mine people.

My 7 sistas

What insights have I recently gained that I’m grateful for?

Stop worrying and stressing out about things you can’t control. It’s unhealthy and doesn’t do a thing but hurt yourself.

You get out of life what you put into it. Especially relationships

You can’t just expect life to get better by avoiding things. You need to actively seek out the good, because most of the time it isn’t going to just fall in your lap.

What are little things am I grateful for
Notes from husband. He really rocks at those
The gym. Oh how I love and need you. Especially after a week of Thanksgivingness
Christmas music
My camera
Glasses when too lazy for contacts
Done with that beastly research paper

Thanksgiving was a total ball- all week long! This year we were with Alex's family since mine decided to stay in Connecticut this year. It was just as Thanksgiving should be- full of cooking, laughing, food, talking, games, some more cooking, and then some more food. It was Thanksgiving perfection. Loved it all!

We are happy to be in the kitchen all day long...really!

Oh and did I mention...

I accidentally called my mother-in-law a hooker, and her dog pathetic.? Ohhh golly...but somehow she still likes me.
I think.

And their cats enjoy bullying me?

I pet a dog this weekend. A few times. (Applause, applause!)
The end.
This is probably the farthest I will go

I found my new favorite Christmas song. Step aside Mariah, hellooo Bruce Springsteen! How did I not know about this??!

Ombre Hair

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I've had a pretty tragic hair history. Once upon a time 14 yr old sister highlighted my hair when I was in 4th grade. Dad called me 'skunk' for a good 6 months. Friend asked, "did your sister do your hair? ....yeah, it looks like it." Ouch, but so true.

But I really didn't care, because I was getting highlights and that sounded awesome. Lighter and lighter, leaving roots to grow longer and longer, until I decided this whole highlight thing was totally overrated and not worth all my precious babysitting money.

So by age 16 I wanted to go back. Except this time didn't work so well either. Blackest of the black.

Haha, this is the only picture I could find. Being goth for Halloween was convenient I suppose. But obviously, I was horrified.
....everyone was (it's okay to be honest now.)

But eventually it grew out and I was in love with the fact that I was roots-free, therefore life was goooood. Once you go black, you never go back!

And it's been that way ever since. But I must say, it's a little boring after a while. So when I was introduced to the idea of a "hair melt" it sounded like it was made for me. Instead of lighting the roots, you blend the dark of your roots to light at the ends. Results = very little upkeep... I'M IN!

Verdict: I love it- finally some dimension without being so obvious. Anddd doesn't burn a whole in your pocket. People, this is revolutionary. Yep, I said it. Oh, and did I mention I got it for insanely cheap? I officially found my go-to hair girl. it's nice.

Okay, this is an awful portrayal- not easy via photobooth. Either way, it is pretty subtle I guess, but I'm still kiiinda devastated that hardly anyone has noticed. This is a big step for me, you know! ...Bitter? What?

Speaking of photobooth... it never gets old:)

Trying to distract *someone* from never-ending Saturday football games. Didn't make the cut unfortunately

Hike and Pancakes

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yesterday after hitting the gym, I convinced Alex to conquer the Y with me. I decided we should do that before leaving Provo. So after pretending not to hear his whining about sore legs and missing football (blah,blah,blah), we set out and he totally ate it all up. It was the perfect fall day- crisp sweater weather with leaves turning all sorts of reds and oranges. 

Best time of year. 

It was great. I loved it. Alex found a walking stick within 30 seconds and we worked on expanding his one word answers to my thought provoking questions:) I'm pleased to say it's coming along people!

Those appear to be rolling hills, but don't let them fool you- I'm telling you it hurts.

...Which is why we decided to celebrate and most likely ruin all those calories we vigorously burned. But trust me, these were definitely worth it.

Pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon syrup. 

Oh yes. And actually, they're not that bad for you. Relatively of course.

I found this wonderful thing on pinterest, from Here

(yields 6 large pancakes)  
1 cup flour
1 1/2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs vinegar

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Cinnamon Syrup:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or a few...)
1 cup water

Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir occasionally until boiling. Let it boil for a few minutes while stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.


 We also made caprese egg cups to complete breakfast for dinner. Those were good too, but the pancakes definitely stole the show. Enjoy and happy halloween!

Hot Mess

Friday, October 28, 2011

Want to hear something cool? I'm officially Victoria Neeleman Hill. After 10 months of being married, I finally did it! I've been practicing my new signature for some time now, so I'm pretty excited about it. Now I just need to remember to actually do it...

Want to hear something else cool? After Christmas my family is going to Dominican Republic! They are renting a beautiful house on a beach and all nine of us will be there there (plus spouses + kiddos) --it's going to be unreal. Which leads me to the hot mess:/

I need to get my passport renewed with my new name. To get that I need a drivers license with my new name on it. So I'm getting my first Utah drivers license. And I need to take a written test and everything. But not so fast, because to get that, I need my new social security card.

Social security card --> drivers license --> passport = done before Dec 26th? Please, oh pleaseeee!

Soo today I went to the DMV, with a folder full of all the laame necessary requirements for a new drivers license. I even took their online practice test to brush up. I was determined not to forget anything this time! Waited in line for 20 minutes and went to the desk of someone who didn't seem as excited to see me as I was them.

Marriage certificate?
Social security card?
2 proofs of address?
Birth certificate?

I was feeling so smug. Being prepared is just the best, isn't it?

Oh wait, the wallet-sized, laminated version of my birth certificate is considered invalid as of 2006.

Oh okay. No worries, here's my passport.
Lady, this is expired. Next!

FYI, don't even try to fudge your way with those guys. Because DMVers take crap from nobody. And they don't care about your sob story of going to Dominican Republic with your huge family and could especially care less if you think their rules are stupid.

I wanted to scream. Then cry. Instead, I resorted to blasting angry Taylor Swift/country songs all the way home and singing my guts out to it. Yes- so juvenille, but somehow it always does the trick. Try it sometime. Thanks Taylor, you always know just what to say:) ...why you gotta be so meannnn


Monday, October 24, 2011

Dearest husband,

I’m sorry you’re sick and feel like you are hacking up a lung every couple minutes. (*By the way, this picture isn't actually candid. That'd be gross. Just one of the many faces he likes to pull out when I say cheese... model behavior everybody!)

But I must confess, it sure has been fun babying you. Making tea with lots of honey. Bullying you to take your pills. Making sure you’re always bundled up in our fareeeeezing apartment. Soup and more soup. And who can forget your irresistible, deep voice that sounds just like John Wayne. Oooo baby, sing to me one more time!

Too bad in a couple weeks I will probably be very angry with you and you will be the one babying/bullying me. Because I’m not very good at keeping our water bottles separate. And I’m really bad at not kissing you. Even when you start hacking in the middle of it. Mmmmmmmm, yum. I’m just praying this immune system of mine will stay as strong as I brag it is. Besides, I don’t think I’ll sound as good with a John Wayne voice- you get me vern?

Reminiscing Summa-Summa

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I was really bad at blogging the past few months. We had an awesome summer. Who can say they lived in the {tiny} heart of Edgartown for free? Vineyard, I knew I'd miss you- but I didn't expect it this soon. FYI, this post is going to be picture overload. Making up for lost time you see.

Things I miss:
These guys. Yaaaa front of the house! We liked each other so much we coordinated T-shirts to match. Becky, Parker, Lizzie.

Preppy style. The essence of class I tell you! They know what they're doing over there.

Practically snorting chai lattes… not the loveliest picture for you, but oh. my. goodness. Christmas in a cup right there. If you know of a decaf version, please let me know.

("Did you just sniff that guy's drink?"....awkward)

Coming home after a long tiring day, and NO HOMEWORK! Chillax to the max.

Homemade ice cream. Mad Martha’s, I owe it all to you

Not having to pay for gas. Or rent. Or utilities. Or really anything. Oh, the life!

Our wonderful branch! All 11 members of it.

Cookies at my beck and call. Never again is probably a good thing.

Oh Petra, you temptress.. "And I never thought I'd mean that in a bad way!"
(Modern Family last week anyone?)

Paying homage to the Back Dog. For those of you not familiar, this is pretty much mecca of the east coast

5 minutes to get ready. MacPhails T-Shirt? Check. Hat? Check and done. Now that's a way to live.

Dinner on the beach

Getting Felipe all riled up. For the record, Czech and Russia are NOT the same thing:)

Czech flag. Food art

Tips. Its amazing/pathetic how $20 can change your day.

Witnessing Alex cook all day. So satisfying/amusing/...knowing it will never happen again

Moon walk contests (because I always won)

The beach

Becky, I miss hearing your lovely British accent all day. Oh and witnessing you and Parker’s love and hate relationship. Those really made my day.

Lobster rolls. I crave you on a daily basis

I kiiinda miss getting creative with workouts. Lifting any random boxes we could find, playground circuit training, you name it- we probably did it. It was exciting. Felt like a "Biggest Loser moment" every day. HOOORAHHH

....Those were heavier than they look

Work it short shorts!

Jannae, thanks for hooking us up for the best summer ever!!! We loooove you.

New love

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dear blog and my wonderful 3 followers,

I’m sorry I’ve been a slacker lately. I have a new love, and as every young love needs- it requires a lot of time, attention, and sacrifice. But of course it has been rewarding, exhilerating, and I just can’t get enough.

No, I am not cheating on my husband. Well, not technically.

It’s name is PINTEREST. And despite the fact that it has overridden (most) other aspects of my life, I swear it has made me a better person. Likeeee finding new recipes, darling decorating ideas that I have every intention on doing, makes me crave sugar like there's no tomorrow (Lauren Gardner... I'm on to you), and a new wardrobe to salivate over.

I highly recommend it.

So now that I have gotten that off my chest, I want to show off. May I introduce you to dinner last night.

Marinated salmon and garlic-herb potatoes, courtesy of Our Best Bites cookbook. They rock. Oh and my new favorite: maple glazed carrots. I could eat a whole plate of these suckers, and I often do just that.

Good wife? Check plus.

Losing weight? ...No check.

But these are worth it, plus they're still vegetables... that justifies mass consumption right???


Thursday, June 23, 2011

So it’s almost 3AM when I’m writing this, so I apologize if any of it doesn’t make sense. It’s one of those nights where you fall asleep at 9pm, and then at 2 AM you wake up with contacts in and bugging the heeeeck out of you, teeth unbrushed, and feeling very disoriented. So after properly getting ready for bed, I’m fully awake and ready to make up for time lost. Unfortunately this husband of mine isn’t much for words right now.

So I thought I’d try to crack a mystery. You see, there has been a malicious, sick-minded thief somewhere nearby and I’ve been racking my brain like mad to figure out who and why.

First off, let me explain our situation. We live above the cafĂ©. Our little hallway consists of 3 other bedrooms, filled with 4 other girls. We all share the same bathroom. There’s another wing with a similar setup.

This is where all the complications begin.

A couple weeks ago I couldn’t find my toothbrush. I always put it back on the shelf (you know those ones where the mirror opens up?) next to Alex’s. But one day it was no where to be found! I looked all over- the shower, in our bedroom, even tentatively looked at the trash, but could not find my beloved green toothbrush. Only after I had Alex help me look did we find it…
…behind the toilet with all the cleaning supplies. After smelling for any strange scent and finding only mint, I soaked it in scalding hot water and tried to ignore it ever happened.

And there's my toothbrush, leaning up against the Comet as if its the most natural thing in the world.

Imagine my horror when this happened for the third time two days ago.


I am very particular about my teeth. I brush at least 3 times a day, and I come from a family that after any meal (home or restaurant) will pass out floss for everyone. (Does anyone else do that?) It’s also common for me to wake up in the night, and craving that minty freshness- will run to the bathroom for a usual quickie. (Of brushing my teeth that is.)

Do you now understand what I meant by malicious, sick-minded thief? Lets take a look at the suspects.

First off, this person must be doing it deliberately to me, unless they somehow think it is theirs and that putting it behind the toilet is a perfectly natural place to keep it. But why else would they open the mirror cabinet, reach over Alex’s toothbrush to mine and clean the bathroom with it? Ughhh, it gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it!!

It could be Jannae or Becky. But they are the ultimate germaphobes and I doubt they would even touch anyone else’s toothbrush. They’re perfect for each other:)

It could be the girl in the room closest to the bathroom. But she’s a little party animal and even though she’s technically lived here for almost two weeks, still hasn’t spent a night in her apartment.

It could be the other girl in our hall. But she’s from Bulgaria with a sweet accent and awesome clothes. Call me an ignorant and naive American, but something about an accent melts me.

It could be Alex. But I’d like to think he’s not a creep who would do such a thing and still kiss me.

Or it could be me. Which, as horrifying as it is to think about, is becoming a more possible explanation every time I think about it. You see, I’m a crazy sleeper. Alex wakes up practically every night to me jumping out of bed for the door, chatting about getting an order through or running from the “mormon holocaust.”

Poor guy. But this poor guy is a light sleeper, and immediately wakes up to carefully lead me back to bed- which supposedly has me back to snoring in 2 seconds. (Well that’s what he says- but of course I don’t actually snore.)

We thought of a few solutions. Alex thinks we should monitor whenever people go to the bathroom, and check right after to see if the toothbrush is still in its proper place. Might appear a little strange, but we’ll try it.


Or maybe if I set booby traps for myself, something that hopefully only a sleep-walking person would fall for. Hmm.

Am I cleaning the bathroom in my sleep with my toothbrush??
Has this happened to anyone else before?


Some random pics from this week:

Still making lots of lattes, in case you're wondering.

Alex and I in our T-shirts that we wear every. single. day. The new shipment is supposed to come next week- halelujahhhhhh! I'm hoping for the mint green or blue. Or black. Or anything but orange.

The flowers outside the cafe. Gorgeous!

Alex's great photography skills. xoxo Gossip girl.

Went to the lighthouse beach on our day off. Finallyy a break from the rain booooyaah

Going out to dinner for our mini anniversary! Delicious, but lessons learned:

-Don't let them fool you into believing that they only do bottled or sparkling water. Because you just might be paying $8 dollars a bottle.

-Lobster ravioli... I wish I had a picture. That is all I'm going to say about it.
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