Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Hunting Weekend

Happy Monday Readers! I hope everyone had a great weekend?
I went pumpkin hunting with my sister Becky and the Lil' Bro. Here are some pictures we took.
At the pumpkin farm:

Typical Midwestern fall weather:

Pumpkin in progress:


The finished product:
In case you can't tell, I'm really excited for halloween. How about you?
*Crappy Blackberry pictures courtesy of my sister. One day, I will own a real camera. Please do not use without permission.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cooking For One

Let's talk food today.

Recently I stumbled on the book Solo Suppers, and I love the idea of it. Author Joyce Goldstein, after going through a divorce, realized that most traditional recipes which serve 4-6 don't easily translate into single servings, or even two servings. Which means that people who frequently cook for just themselves are left with a conundrum: cook for 4-6 and end up with way more leftovers than they will ever eat, or try to downsize the recipe at the risk of it coming out all wrong. So she came up with this book, which is full of classic recipes in smaller sizes, designed for the single person who doesn't necessarily want to be eating the same leftovers for a week.

I've been trying to cook different things lately and it's definitely hard to find recipes for one. While I do have the Lil' Bro to cook for every now and then, most of the time I'm just cooking for me. I think this book could be a lifesaver. Now only if I could get my grocery store to start stocking perishable food in smaller sizes...

Image via Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Etsy Finds: Fall Fashion

Today I'm feeling materialistic, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite current Etsy finds. Right now I'm thinking anything cozy and autumn-like.
Like this great leather carry-everything-even-textbooks bag...
And a cute floppy hat.
A girly top in my favorite autumn color...
And gorgeous twig stacking rings.
Maybe even some leg warmers (Confession: I think legwarmers are cute, but I feel ridiculous wearing them. Thoughts?)

What's your favorite fall fashion?

All images property of their respective etsy sellers (see links).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blogs Without Topics

I just read and wanted to respond to this post by Amber over at Girl with the Red Hair.

In it, Amber discusses another blog post which claims that blogs without topics are inherently useless.

Of course, I'm a little biased here. I say that OHP is about "whatever makes me happy," but that's essentially a nice way of saying that I can't pick just one topic to stick to. Just one topic doesn't make me happy. It takes a lot of things- from books to being healthy to green living- to make me happy. I choose to blog about all of those things.

I agree with Amber that we could pick a single topic and get really, really into it. There are some absolutely amazing blogs out there that are devoted entirely to fitness, or relationships, or even nail polish (check out my side bar "Blogs I Heart" if you want to see some of my faves). But there are also some amazing blogs that are devoted to whatever catches the blogger's fancy, like Ambers, or Cup of Jo. Both have a good number of devoted followers, so that sort of debunks the idea that people aren't interested in them. Plus, I love reading blogs without topics because, personally, I like not knowing what I'm going to get when I log on each day.

Arguing that blogs have to have specific topics is kind of like arguing that newspapers should focus only on politics, or current events, or crime. Blogs aren't just about "topics". They're about human communication. And as anyone who has taken intro psych (or sociology, or anthropology) will tell you, humans thrive on communication. We love to share things- ideas, opinions, rants and raves. So if only for the communication aspect of blogging, I think topicless blogs are totally worth it.

What's your opinion on this? Agree, disagree, kind-of-sorta agree? Leave it in the comments- just be respectful :)

Big thanks to Amber for bringing the topic up! It's one I've been thinking of lately but didn't know how to tackle. If you haven't checked out Amber's blog Girl With The Red Hair, you can (and should) do so here.

This Week Bullets and TGIF

This week almost killed me I think. Well maybe that's a little dramatic, but it was pretty rough. Here's the rundown:
  • On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I worked pretty much 15 hour days. That's between my paying job, school work, and my thesis. Oy.
  • On Tuesday I got a flu shot because my work essentially required the staff there to do so (herd immunity and all). The shot itself wasn't bad- a relief since I hate needles- but nobody told me that the flu shot can make you feel terrible for several days after you got it. I essentially spent two days with sniffles, a sore throat, a headache, and other fun symptoms, and it's just now clearing up today.
  • I haven't gotten more than 6 hours a sleep a night any day this week except Thursday. Thursday I got nine hours, because I slept straight through my morning class.
  • Today my thesis advisor asked me for a progress report on some computer coding I need to get done to get my project rolling. My report: "not much progress". *wince* Looks like I've got some work cut out for me this weekend.
On the positive side:
  • I did decent on my exam that I was worried about.
  • I got all my homework projects done, and most of my reading.
  • I skipped a meeting for my flu shot Tuesday night, which left some time to get pizza and chill with big sister and the Lil' Bro.
And this weekend shouldn't be as bad. I don't have a lot of plans besides getting a little work done and vegging.

Have a good weekend everyone! What are your plans?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This week is uber busy for me which means instead of sitting down to three square meals a day, I will probably be doing a lot of on-the-go snacking.

To keep myself from devouring muffins at the coffee shop between class and work (and the lab, and more class, and more work...) I compiled a little list of my favorite snacks to eat when I don't have time to sit down for a meal, much less cook one.

My current faves:
  • Spicy paprika and garlic almonds.
  • Raw almonds and dried cranberries.
  • Yogurt. Blackberry, apple cinnamon, blueberry, peach, anything but strawberry (for some reason, I hate strawberry yogurt).
  • Chocolate milk and a banana.
  • String cheese and an apple.
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich, especially if the bread is toasted and the PB is melting (mmm).
  • Leftover tomato soup with chili spices, black beans, and corn (especially good when it's cold).
  • Scrambled egg with spinach, chopped onion, and bell peppers- this is about as close to cooking as I'll get this week.
For lots of other snacking ideas, I go here.

Your turn: what are you fave on-the-go snacks? I can always use more ideas!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Heart October

Autumn is by far my favorite season (in case you couldn't tell) and every October I fall in love with it all over again. So today I thought I'd just gush a little bit.

I love Autumn for...
  • Pumpkin pie (and pumpkin bread, and pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin rolls, and...)
  • Snuggly sweaters (like this one)
  • Haunted houses and hay rides
  • Tights under a summer dress
  • Flat boots over the tights under a summer dress
  • The end of what I call "the sweaty season"
  • Hot apple cider and hot cocoa
  • Jack-o-Lanterns!
  • An excuse to hold hands and snuggle (it's cold!)
  • Apple pie candles (mmm)
  • Gigantic scarves
  • Crisp fall air
  • Running outside in the crisp fall air
  • Driving over a hill and seeing all the trees lit up in red and gold, and having my breath taken away.
Happy October everyone! What's your favorite season, and why?

(PS: Apologies to everyone for the lack of updates last week. I was unexpectedly slammed with schoolwork and other responsibilities, so I couldn't get on and write. Hopefully this week will be better.)

Image: "October Love" from briefmoments' etsy shop.