Thursday, October 29, 2009

Box Cake

I baked a cake today. It was the first time I'd baked a cake from a box in about 4 months. But lately I've been thinking that I maybe like box cake better than from scratch cake. Maybe I just haven't found good recipes... Maybe I just prefer box cakes because that's what I grew up on... I don't know. But thanks to Betty Crocker's Devil's Food cake mix and chocolate icing for the help. I did make the orange frosting from scratch. I guess I can say that much...

Happy birthday to Mackenzie and my bestie Valeria! (That's what the M and V stand for. And the thing in the middle is supposed to be a leaf...) Props to the camera on my phone. It's blurry but it's getting me by until tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lost without my camera...

The battery on my camera is dead. Many might think, "Go find some AAs and move on with your life"... but I can't. My camera has a rechargeable batter which is wonderful because it saves me a lot of money and helps the environment because I don't throw away old batteries (No Impact Man would approve). Anyway, I left my battery charger at home in Kansas City and my camera has been dead for almost 5 days now.

You wouldn't think that this is a big deal. Nothing big has happened in the last 5 days... no birthdays or celebrations... just normal life. But it's killing me! I have realized that any time I see something beautiful that I have this intense desire to capture it so I can hold on to it forever. Like the fall colors: I want to take pictures so bad... but I can't. And today the sun was finally out and the sunset was beautiful... but I couldn't capture it. I've tried to take pictures with my phone and my Mac but they're no good.

Every time I see something beautiful I think, "Hurry, quick, take a picture before it disappears." But this week.... because I know that's not a possibility it has caused me to appreciate things now rather than a year later when I come upon the picture and think, "Oh yeah, that was pretty." I've taken the time that I would normally spend taking multiple pictures from various angles and started acknowledging the Creator. It's been good.

I must admit though... as soon as my mom brings my charger this weekend when my family comes to visit (hurray!), you better believe I'll be taking tons of pictures (while appreciating things now and acknowledging the Creator... of course.)
(Trying to capture the sun with my phone.)
(Trying to capture the sun with my Mac.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No Impact Man

Last night I saw the documentary No Impact Man. It's about a New York family who decided to take a year and be radically "sustainable" and have zero impact on the environment. The family cut things out of their life in phases. They did things like: using only bikes for transportation, not eating at restaurants, only eating local, getting rid of their tv, composting leftovers, having no garbage, not buying anything new (only used), and eventually even turning off their electricity. The family admitted what they were doing was radical and said that they never expected people to try to do everything that they did, but they took it on as an experiment and I think it really changed their lives.

I'm no environmentalist so I was a bit skeptical going into this movie... but I loved it. Yeah, I was challenged that the way that I'm living my life isn't as great for the environment as it could be. And I do want to do what I can to be a little better. I feel like being "green" is looked at as this liberal, tree hugging thing and that only one side of the political spectrum should worry about the environment. But as Christians we are called to be stewards of what God has given us and I think being a little more intentional about the way I live my life would be a good thing.

More importantly than the sustainability lesson that I got from this movie was a lesson on sacrifice. This family gave up so much. They inconvenienced themselves immensely. And I was incredibly challenged because I rarely do anything that is less than comfortable. I give up little and I don't think that's ok. It just really challenged me...

Anyway, this movie was great! I would recommend it (but it had a few f-words so beware!) It is playing at the Ragtag, our indie film theater in town, but if you see that it is playing near you, you should see it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lazy Sunday Afternoons...

Today has been a pretty quality day, absolutely unproductive, but quality nonetheless.

I tried out a new church today which was fun. I came home to a house smelling like eggs and bacon and cinnamon rolls (they weren't made specifically for me, but I was told that I could have some, so I did.) I took my plate of delicious carbs downstairs where I decided to paint. So I painted. A tree. Surprise, surprise. BUT, I branched out a little bit (branched, ha!) and painted a tree with leaves this time. Fall leaves. Because I have been inspired lately. While painting I listened to The Swell Season's new album which is SO good. I then took a nap. As you know I love naps. But today's nap was a little different. I have a king size bed and normally I sleep on one side. Today I decided to sleep diagonally across the whole thing. It was liberating. (Ha, I'm kind of joking... but kind of not.)

Anyway, my nap, as it always is, was too long. So now I have to get down to work. I have a horrible midterm on Wednesday. My guess is that you can expect some random, meaningless blog posts in the next few days that will work to help me avoid studying.

Anyway... happy fall and happy lazy Sunday afternoons...

P.S. Sorry for the crappy picture of my painting. My camera's battery is dead and I don't know where the charger is so Photo Booth had to suffice.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Deep Leaf Thoughts

Today I was thinking about the changing colors of the leaves and how their beauty never ceases to amaze me. Every single fall I'm blown away by the vivid colors of red, orange, yellow and every shade in between. It's never a surprise when the colors finally change, but I'm always blown away.

Kind of like my fascination with the sun setting, I don't get why the colors of the leaves are continually mesmerizing because it happens every year. We have been learning about the concept of habituation in one of my psychology classes: it occurs when your response to something decreases after seeing it repeatedly. My response to the fall leaves is not decreasing... it is as intense as ever. Habituation does not apply here.

So I'm driving through town, gazing at the trees, contemplating this baffling concept, when I decide that the reason why the color of the leaves never gets old is because in my head I know that it isn't going to last forever. I know that soon the weather will start to get cold (oh wait, it already has), the colors will fade, the leaves will fall, and winter will begin. My appreciation of the leaves is so great because I know that it is temporary. I know the beauty is fleeting so every day that I wake up and the leaves continue to display their incredible hues, I'm thankful. Part of me wants them to stick around forever, but the other part knows that if they did I wouldn't love them nearly as much as I do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Tree.

There is this big tree out in the middle of nowhere just a bit outside of Columbia. I've always heard it referred to as "big tree" so that's what I call it, too. Not "a big tree" or "the big tree", just "big tree." I went to visit big tree two years ago with some friends and yesterday I was randomly in the mood to go visit again.

So my friends Valeria, Jonathan, and I went! Valeria and Jon grabbed some Sonic happy hour, I made a fun playlist (including some Chris Brown, Ingrid Michaelson, Cranberries, Taylor Swift... it was great) and we were on our way. I had never seen big tree in the fall, so I was hoping it would have beautiful leaves.... It didn't, but the drive there and back provided some pretty beautiful colors. The weather was perfect and the tree itself was just a majestic as ever. The only downside of the outing was that a couple was taking what we assumed were
their engagement pictures there. I don't blame them, it's a great backdrop, but they were in our way! :)

Anyway... it was great! I love Valeria and Jonathan. I love Sonic. I love a good playlist. I love fall. And you know I love trees...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Missed a day...

I made it a goal to blog every day for a week... but yesterday I went pretty much non-stop so I didn't get around to blogging. There were blog-worthy things that occurred, for sure, so I will write about them today.

My mom has been redecorating our piano room (aka a mini living/family room that has a piano in it) because it still had the bad wall paper that it came with when we moved into the house 12 (or is it 13?) years ago. She's been working hard all week taking the wall paper off, painting, shopping for new accessories (desk, rug, chair, mirror...), cleaning, etc. But she recruited me to help her figure out what to put on the main wall of the room. So we did my current favorite decorating idea... put a whole bunch of frames on the wall. We went to thrift stores to find frames, then we painted them to go along with the room. The creativity of it was fun but the best part of it all was that I got to do it with my mom. How often do you sit down at the kitchen table and paint with your mom? Not often enough...

So yeah... yesterday was filled with a lot of great things (Cory got baptized, we went to lunch with the family at Don Chilito's, I got to spend the afternoon with my good friend Mary who has been away in the Navy) ... I just really enjoyed doing the wall project with my mom. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mute Math Revisited...

I went to the best concert OF my life last night. It was so great. Cory, Brad, Ashley and I bought these VIP passes this summer (they included the album, a shirt, a poster, a concert ticket, and a pass to get in before everyone else, for only $50!) so we got to go in the venue before everyone else and that pretty much transformed our whole experience.

We were around for the sound check of the opening band, As Tall As Lions. They were pretty good... but I'm not sure if I liked them because they were actually good or I was just enjoying being so close (front row, touching the stage, had to move out of the way when the musicians got too close because we were afraid we'd get hit... THAT close) Anyway, they were good, but Mute Math was GREAT!
(As Tall As Lions)
I don't really know what to say... Words can't describe. It was an amazing concert. Being close made it even more amazing. There is something incredible about being up front, and not having anyone around to be boring and afraid to get into it. It's like you want to get pumped up because the guys on stages are playing their butts off... AND, the people that I went with were amazing. Within 10 feet, I knew about 15 people. It was like our own personal concert. Anyway, it was great.
(P.S. The drummer DID put his bass drum out into the crowd but I didn't have to hold it up. He didn't crowd surf but he DID hang from the rafters. So great!)
(My friends... the VIPs)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mute Math Tonight!!

So I'm seeing my favorite band in concert tonight... I'm pretty stinking excited. After seeing the below video, I'm a bit nervous though. (You should for sure watch it, but I suggest you put your computer on mute before pushing play. It's loud, but you're not watching it for the music, you're watching it to see what the drummer does...)
Crowd surfing? That's terrifying!! If tonight's concert is anything like this one, I'm not sure if I am hardcore enough... No matter how intense or not, it's going to be a good time. I'm going with some awesome people (Joel, Cory, Brad, Ashley, and Bre... maybe more) and the band is awesome so it's bound to be a good time. I'm sure I will post again tomorrow updating you if I survived the insanity or not!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Little Things #3

The sun is STILL missing... It's been over a week. Generally I would be way grumpy by now, but I'm not... Well, maybe I've already hit the discouraged point (Sunday night was rough) but have already overcome it... I don't know. I've been surviving this gross weather with glorious things like mornings at coffeeshops, hot apple cider, long naps, and well, Jesus. :)

One thing that I've come to appreciate as the sky continues to provide clouds and rain is the beautiful image of fallen leaves on a wet, rainy ground. Weird, I know... But the other day as I was quickly making me way through the rain to my car, I was looking at the ground to avoid any massive puddles and I noticed the leaves... They were beautiful. I don't know why... they just were.

I haven't had time to take pictures of my own, but Google provided a few. They don't quite capture it, but you get the gist.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Little Things Post #2

I made cupcakes for the first time in a long time today... I had kind of decided I was tired of cupcakes (...gasp!) but today I was in the mood again. Hurray! So, in honor of fall I made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and they are goooood. (I can say that because I give all credit to Martha Stewart, not myself, I just follow directions well...)

Anyway, they were way fun to make. I spent too much of my afternoon in the kitchen and not enough time studying for my developmental psychology test that I have tomorrow morning, but I'm pretty ok with that. (We'll see if I still agree with that 9:30 am tomorrow...)

Also, I made too much cream cheese frosting (like 4 cups too much, I
only used about 1 or 1 1/2 cups...) so if anyone in the Columbia area hap pens to want to make so mething that involves cream cheese frosting within the next few days... let me know. It's too good to go to waste.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Life has been kind of hectic lately. School picked up for a while with midterms so I've been a slacker at blogging. Plus it's been cloudy for almost an entire week, so it's hard for me to get pumped about the little things.

I did come back to Columbia after being in Kansas City for the weekend to find a nice, big bag of Smarties laying on my bed... Sara remembered a conversation we had month or two ago about my favorite candy, and bought me some! What a fun surprise!

I love Smarties... No, it's nothing substantial in life, but I'm trying to appreciate the little things this week. In fact, my goal is to blog every day this week about all the little, insignificant things that I enjoy. It may be lame... but at least it will get me thinking about the things that I appreciate...

(Interesting (or not so interesting...) fact: I eat Smarties 3 at a time. That way the 15 piece package always ends up with an even finish. OCD? Maybe a little...)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So, I have kind of vowed to not make this blog about me. It's supposed to be about the things that I love, not about me. I suppose sometimes it is about me... Or some could argue that the fact that I write about things that I love and think that it is worthy of other people to read makes it about me. But it's really not meant to be. Sometimes I just think about things and appreciate them, and want to write them down to acknowledge their greatness and give them more than just a mere passing thought... That's why I blog.

Anyway, here's another post about something I baked. I guess it's kind of "Look at me! Look what I made..." but that's not what this is all about. I love baking. I love attempting to make whatever I bake pretty. I love baking for no reason at all and I love baking for special occasions. I love baking for other people.

So here it is, proof of something I love rather than something I've done. Meet Meg's birthday cake. She loves orange, so it's orange. I went a little overboard on the decorating... once I started I just couldn't stop. But I loved making it. I've been looking forward to it all week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hopefully Helpful...

I'm hoping this fall-inspired setting will encourage me to be incredibly productive and study for my Hispanic Oral Traditions midterm today. It's pretty doubtful... But a girl can try.

My soundtrack for the day, which also plays a big part in the productivity. A mixture of...
-All three Balmorhea albums: Balmorhea, River Arms, and All is Wild, All is Silent
-The Pride & Prejudice soundtrack
-Part of the Notebook soundtrack
-Wes Townsend's album (an old friend of my brother's who plays some great piano)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Light and Dark

There is something about light coming through a window and the shadows that it makes that makes me all happy inside. I don't really know why... I just find it beautiful. Possibly it's the contrast of light and dark that pleases my eyes (in my psych class we just learned that high contrasts like that are the first thing that babies learn to visually enjoy...) Possibly I'm just easily excited...

My room at the Haslags has a lot of these shadows. And their kitchen and a room off of the kitchen always seems to have a good light/shadow ratio. I took the picture above in room off the kitchen (I don't know what to call it...). Nothing too special... I just think often about how much I like how this looks so I thought I'd blog about it...