Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I think one of the many reasons I love autumn (thought I'd switch it up from "fall" for all of you "autumn" lovers out of there...) is that it is soup weather again. I love soup.

When I was in college and in charge of cooking for myself I would make a big batch of soup and eat it for almost every meal for the whole week. I don't know if that means I'm cheap, lazy, or really love soup... Probably all of the above.

Yesterday I went to Le Monde, a bakery in North Kansas City that has my favorite soup of all time: chicken curry soup. It's sweet, it's spicy, it's hearty, it's everything you could ever want in a soup. It's heaven, really... The only problem is that the bakery is a 40 minute roundtrip from home... but it's worth it.

Tonight I'm making white chicken chili (which I'm not sure why chili gets it's own category... it's really just soup.) I was babysitting for a family the other day and I was in their kitchen making dinner for their kids. In the corner of my eye I saw a recipe laying out for white chicken chili. So what did I do? I stole the recipe. Ok, no, I didn't steal it, but I copied it down and am making it tonight. I hope it turns out well!

I'll make batches and eat it all week, I'll drive distances to get it, I'll steal recipes to make it... I just love soup.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Candy Corn.

Today truly felt like fall, and it was wonderful. The weather was cool... I wore a scarf and a cardigan, the entire day, and I wasn't too warm once. I went over to my aunts' house and they fall decorations out... pumpkins and cute, orange things were everywhere. But the reality of fall really hit me when I went in the kitchen, and in a cute candy dish I found... candy corn! It's candy corn season! I love candy corn! (I especially the bags that have the little candy corn pumpkins in them... those are my favorite.)

I enjoyed way more candy corn then I should have, THEN I saw that my aunt also had these Hershey's Kisses that were wrapped in candy corn wrappers. I thought it would just be the normal kiss inside, but no, it looks like a candy corn kernel. And apparently it's white chocolate that is flavored like candy corn. While looking for a picture of them, I saw a review on the candy and that particular "critic" (but I mean really, who critiques candy and takes the time to write about it just for kicks?) thought they were gross... but I loved them!
So, yay for candy corn, and candy corn flavored Kisses. I love fall.

Friday, September 24, 2010

You say autumn, I say fall...

I'm two days late on this but oh well... Happy Fall! Hurray for the arrival of my very favorite season. I've written posts the last couple of years about all the different things that I love about fall. I hate to be redundant, but it's been a whole year... so you won't mind if I talk about a few fall things that I'm really excited about, right?

1. Pumpkin flavored things... My favorite food blog, Annie's Eats, just posted about how she is excited about fall, too. I could have copy and pasted the intro to her post because I feel the exact same way. Anyway, I'm pumped for fall food. I can't wait to try to bake this cake pictured below:
2. Fall scents... Last year when I was living with the Haslags, Sara had seasonal scented Wallflowers in every room. This fall just wouldn't feel right if I wasn't similarly greeted with the lovely aroma of pumpkin, or apple, or leaves, or something autumn-like so I went to Bath & Body Works yesterday and bought some falls scents. I'm currently breathing in "Autumn" and it's lovely.
3. Hat and scarf weather... I love when things start to cool down and it becomes normal to layer and accessorize with warm things again. Here is a hat I knitted a few years ago. I think I've worn it like twice... What's my deal?
4. Tree photography... I love taking pictures of the changing leaves. Maybe I'll take some better pictures this year with my nice Canon that I have yet to take the time to truly figure out how it works. Someday... My little Canon Powershot took this one and did quite well... so if I can't figure out the fancy Canon, maybe I'll revert to this one.
5. Drinking hot coffee... I love me some iced coffee, but I welcome the chance to actually drink coffee hot and have it feel right. I'm especially excited this year because a friend of mine started working at my favorite coffee shop in Kansas City. I will be visiting her frequently, I feel.
That's all for now. You better believe I will be posting the autumn-ish things that I notice over the next couple of months. Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Office: Before and After

I finally got around to taking some pictures of my office at work. I had my crappy camera though, and the lighting wasn't great, but oh well. I was pretty diligent about decorating it this summer, but then halfway through I realized that the days of that job were probably numbered so I kind of stopped trying. That's ok though... It felt more like home than it did to begin with. Here are the before and afters. Only three more weeks and this will be my office no longer. :(

The before... an unfortunate couch, boring $25 Craigs List desk, a cluttered bookshelf, and nothing on the walls...
The after...
(My daytime picture wasn't very good, so I took
this one the other night when I was there...)
(My random collage. My grandma had that picture of the man
praying hanging in her house before she died. I randomly found
the print matted in mustard (for $2.50) and just HAD to have it.
And as you may or may not know... I love benches.)
(My elephant planter, teapot pencil holder, and $2 lamp
I painted gold. Gotta love thrift store finds...)
(One of my favorite parts of my room is the random house frame
I found at a thrift store for 50 cents that I put my brothers pictures
in. I like the teapot "watering can" (gotta keep that elephant
hydrated), random green bird, and strangely shaped basket.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Funny Conversations.

I love it when conversations take a turn from normal, every day "How's your day been?", "What did you have for dinner?", "What TV shows do you watch?" (ok, those are random questions...) type convresations to obscure, "Where did THAT come from?" conversations. I love it when people can let go and be silly. I love to laugh. I love to be silly. I love to talk about ridiculous things. Here's an example of the ridiculousness that can occur when you let yourself go. Tonight I was Google talking with Jessie and here's the conversation that transpired...

Jessie: Do you think when we're old ladies and our husbands are dead you'd want to be roommates?

Me: Yes, for sure. Except I'd have to learn how to live with the bare minimum in the house or you'd have to learn to live with more than one set of measuring spoons. (***Important information to have that make sense: Jessie is the OPPOSITE of a pack rat; she can't really stand anything extra or unnecessary...)

Jessie: I'm ok with more than one set of measuring spoons. Just not more than 10. Because hopefully we'll be baking and then we won't have to wash dishes too often.

Me: I'm fine with that... Ok, then it's official, we'll live together.

Jessie: Or maybe our rich husbands will have left us enough money to hire a hot dishwasher. Plus, I'm older than you so you could probably keep telling me you'll downsize and I'll forget. ...

So great... I love silly conversations.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Extraverts need downtime, too.

I'm a pretty hardcore extravert. I will choose to be with people over being by myself 10 out of 10 times. Sometimes I get anxious, even nauseous, if I'm alone for too long. It's a sickness, really. I love being around people. BUT, I've realized lately that maybe I'm not as much of an extravert as I thought because at the end of the day, I love escaping and doing whatever I want to do... all by myself.

Tonight I found myself craving to be upstairs in my room, alone. Reading, watching a movie, painting my nails, making some kind of craft... whatever I'm in the mood for. I turn on my cheesy white lights (don't judge me, I love them), shut my door, and escape into my room that inspires me and allows me to be whoever I want to be, all by myself. Tonight that consists of watching some cheesy chick flick I've never heard of on Netflix and catching up on some magazine reading (In Style, Real Simple, and maybe some Everyday with Rachael Ray). I'm ecstatic to be doing just that.

I was just thinking about how much I enjoy this time, and thought I'd blog about it. Who would have thought? An extravert who loves, even craves, some alone time....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Green room.

Things at my current job are slow at times... It's really no surprise that they couldn't continue my position because they honestly don't have enough work to keep me busy for my 20 hours a week. Therefore, I've gotten really good at finding projects for myself. I LOVE projects. Especially finished projects... And today I finished a project that I've been working on for the past month.

Our church has a room off the stage where our musicians, actors, and whoever else is involved in the service hang out when they're not onstage. We call it the "green room," just like a lot of people in theater do. (Curious to know the origin of why a green room is called a green room? I was: here's what I found out.) Our green room was lacking a bit... For a room that was meant for the relaxation of artists, it was about as non-artistic as possible. So, I was given a $50 budget (I think I ended up spending about $75... woops), the freedom to decorate as I wished, and help from a couple friends (Rob and Jessie)... and voila! Want to see the before and after? (I love before and afters.)

The Before...
(This green is unfortunate...)
(I know... it's pretty bad.)

The After!
(One side of the room.)
(The other side of the room.)
(My friend Rob had the idea to paint a staff on the wall...
I like how it turned out. Any guesses what song that is?)
(I used my green, twin sheets from college to cover to couches.
It wasn't perfect, but it was better than before...)
(I stole the idea from Design*Sponge to use paint
chips to cover the walls. And yes, I stole them all.)

Coming Soon! The before and after of my office at work that I mentioned forever ago but never showed you the finished product. I've just got to take some solid pictures of it and will post it soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I don't know if you've picked up on this yet... but I get really into things. Hobbies. Games. Music. Movies. TV shows. I guess I kind of live my life (or at least try to) with this philosophy of, "Why not love something? Why not have "love" be my default and get really into the things I enjoy?" Granted, that kind of discredits a lot of my opinions because people probably think, "Oh, that Abby, she'll love anything... Of what significance is her approval?" Which is a valid thought... but I think I'm going to keep on living the way I've been living.

ANYWAY... I love things... and get really into them... If I can possibly get emotionally involved, I do, probably more than I should. One thing I love is TV. (Well, TV shows on the internet at least... I don't love having my life revolve around a television screen so thanks to DVR and Hulu I indulge in this passion of mine after everyone else is asleep.) But guess what... TV is coming back! I mean, it's been around, but we all know that one of the many splendid things about fall is that the TV starts cranking out new shows. And next week is that week... when TV starts again! I'm pumped!

The shows I'm most excited about are:
1. Chuck (Premieres September 20)
2. Modern Family (Premieres September 22)
3. Glee (Premieres September 21)
4. Top Chef: Just Desserts (Premiered September 15)

Here's to getting too emotionally involved in silly TV shows. Happy fall premieres to you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


(I just typed up a whole long story about my life over the last 9 months, then I deleted it, because you don't care. So here's the abbreviated version.) In December, I graduated from MU. In February, I was offered a part time, temporary job at my church that has gradually extended and will continue through January (I took it hoping it turn into my permanent, full time dream job.) That didn't happened and a month ago my boss told me the church was hurting financially and they probably wouldn't be able to extend my job any longer and would maybe even have to let me go early.

(I just typed up another long story, but then realized you still don't need all the details.) I was offered a job by a friend to be an administrative assistant for hospice. I had the random connection to another job by a random friend of my mom's and started pursuing that, too. I felt like the hospice job wasn't right, so I decided to turn it down... this morning (who turns down a job in this economic time, I know.) But... this afternoon I was offered the other job! A job that is using me degree! A job that pays decently and has good benefits! A job for a good company! Can you believe it?

October 18th I will officially be an employee of JP Morgan as a "bilingual retirement education specialist" (basically, I'm answering people's questions about their 401 ks...) I love employment!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Angry Birds.

If you have an iPod Touch, an iPhone, or an iPad and haven't already invested in the game Angry Birds... I think you should. It's probably the best 99 cents I've ever spent...

I don't know why I love this game so much. It's completely mindless, and probably for children, but for some reason I can't get enough. I'm not going to lie... I am all the way through the game except for the Golden Eggs levels which I'm still not sure what is so special and different about those...

Anyway, I know this is completely dumb, but Angry Birds is fun. If you like mindless games that are addicting, this is for you. Speaking of mindless games that are addicting... Have you ever played Copter? One of my friends showed me this game freshman year of college and I'm pretty sure my vision is a little bit worse now because of the number of hours I spent staring at the computer screen without blinking while playing this game. Go here if you're ready for that kind of quality entertainment.
Angry Birds. Copter. Do it. They're fun.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


So, I'm kind of a loser and love to read baking blogs... Lately, a couple different bloggers have mentioned soft pretzels: Joy the Baker made a whole video about how to make them and Annie's Eats had a picture tutorial on how to make them. I love salty things (I actually prefer salty over sweet which is weird because I love to bake which almost always involves the sweet side of life..) so they have been on my mind since reading about them. The only problem is that both of the recipes from these bloggers that I really respect involved all these crazy steps... Ok, when I say "all these crazy steps" I actually just mean one, it made you boil the dough, and I just didn't like that...

That brings us to today. Once a month I'm in charge of bringing snacks for the arts team at my church and this week is my week. I normally try to bring something sweet and something salty for a little variety, you know. I already knew what my sweet thing was going to be: Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies... a Betty Crocker brownie mix disguised as something spectacular (and it is, indeed, spectacular.) I thought it'd be fun to make some pretzels as my salty thing but wasn't in the mood to do the craziness that Joy and Annie suggested. THEN, I remembered when I was in middle school, we made some pretzels in Home Ec. I thought, "Hm, if 6th grade me could do it, then 23-year-old me should be able to do it EASILY." So, my mom, being the amazing woman that she is, still had the recipe (it was actually from when my little brother Cory took Home Ec, but apparently they taught the same recipes year after year.) I made the pretzels, no boiling required, and they are DELICIOUS!

So, if you're in the mood for pretzels, then below is the recipe. Don't judge the simple jargon, it was written for a 6th grader to understand. :) (Except I'm pretty sure "baste" was a vocabulary word because that was probably way over my little, 6th grade head.)

6th Grade Home Ec Soft Pretzels
3 c. flour
1 tbsp. yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. hot tap water
1 tbsp. oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients.
3. Add oil and water.
4. Sprinkle flour on surface and hands.
5. Turn-fold-press (aka knead) dough for 4 minutes.
6. Cut dough into desired number of pieces. (I made 16)
7. Roll dough into cylindrical pieces 10-15 inches long.
8. Twist them into pretzels.
9. Bake from 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. (15 minutes was a little long, I'd start with 10 if you're going to make smaller pretzels like I did.)
10. Baste with melted butter and add kosher salt or cinnamon sugar.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Heck yes, I CAN!

I love making things homemade that are often store bought, like... well, I can't actually think of any examples besides the one I'm about to blog about but just know that I love making things homemade that I would often just buy from the store. Exhibit A: Salsa! I made homemade salsa this week! Not Tostitos, or Margaritas, or Pace... but Abby-made. It was so exciting! My aunt Cindy mentioned that she wanted some homemade salsa but didn't really want to make it. I volunteered and two seconds later there was a 20 in my hand to go buy ingredients to make it... so I did! I even canned them... like legitimately canned them. I made homemade salsa, from wonderfully fresh produce, then I CANNED it with recycled Kerr jars... I feel so green or hippie or local or something. I don't know what it is I feel, but I do know that all of my liberal-ish friends would approve.

Anyway, why homemade salsa is great...
1. It was cheaper than buying store-bought salsa: only 9 dollars for all of the ingredients, granted we didn't pay for the tomatoes because they were all home grown by my cousin Dana. 2. Speaking of home grown tomatoes, how local is that?? (Well, they actually came from Sublette, KS but Joel had to make the drive anyway so extra gas wasn't wasted in their transportation so we'll still call 'em local)
3. It doesn't have any crazy ingredients... All natural, babay!
4. You, too, can have the satisfaction of saying you canned something.
5. Oh, and it tastes delicious!

Long story short... Homemade salsa = successfully delicious! The end.

All of the beautiful, fresh (minus the tomato
paste and sauce) ingredients!
Look at all those beautiful, fresh ingredients after
the food processor had its way with them...
Fresh cilantro may be my new favorite scent.
Boiling the jars to seal them. This part creeped me out
the most... I kept on have daydream-nightmare things
of the glass exploding and my face burning off from
the hot salsa and glass. Luckily... it didn't happen.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sheets of Egyptian Cotton.

My sleeping situation got an upgrade this week and I'm pretty excited about it. I went from the full size bed that I've been sleeping on since probably middle school, to a queen. Woohoo! That was enough to make me happy... And then my mom came home with new, beautiful, brown, Egyptian cotton sheets tonight and I was blown away.

The first thing I thought of when she told me what she got was the movie Uptown Girls. Remember that stupid song her lame boyfriend wrote called, "Sheets of Egyptian Cotton". Let me jog your memory...

The second thing I thought of was how good I'm going to sleep tonight.... So, I guess I'm going to go try them out... Hopefully I'll be able to sleep because right now I have that stupid "Sheets of Egyptian Cotton" song stuck in my head. A big thanks to my mom and dad for the lovely bed and satiny sheets. Night, ya'll!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pushing Daisies.

Netflix is one of the best and worst things that has ever happened to me. I have thousands of movies that I can watch instantly with a few clicks of a button AND if I have the patience to wait a couple of days, I can watch any movie my heart could ever desire... all for like 9 bucks a month. That's the good side. The bad side is that I have a tendency to choose watching something on Netflix over things like... reading books, sleeping, interacting with people... It's just really not healthy. I'm trying to cut back. :)

One good thing that did come out of Netflix is that the TV show Pushing Daisies is on "watch instantly" so I've been watching that pretty much non-stop for the last week. Unfortunately the fun is going to end soon, because the show only lasted about 2 half-seasons before it was cancelled (I've decided that it's the writers strike's fault, because the show is too great for such a premature cancellation.) It's a great show... very whimsical, which I love. It's got great characters. The main man is a pie maker (I mean, what's not to love about that). Kristin Chenowith is in it and she busts out in song periodically which is great. The list could go on and on about how much this TV show makes me smile. If you have Netflix, you should check it out. Now.

I was so inspired by the show that today I cut my hair like the main character... Ok, no, I didn't actually cut my hair so I could purposely be just like Chuck/Charlotte. But I did like her hair and now mine kind of looks like hers... Maybe there will be a pie maker around the corner ready to bring me back to life and fall in love with me just like her. Doubtful... but a girl can dream.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Living at home.

Sometimes I feel ashamed for being a college graduate and moving back in with my parents and having no clear "move out" date in sight. The world says the order of life is this: elementary school, middle school, junior high school, college, get a job/move out of your parents house... There is no "move back into your parents house after you've lived on your own for 4 years because you can't find a good job or support yourself" in the world's picture of a successful life. And I am embarrassed sometimes, that I can't live up to the world's standards... I'm not going to lie.

But, when I forget what the world says (what does the world know anyway...) and think about my life as it truly is... I love living at home. (I know what you're thinking... What's not to love? Mooching off your parents while you try to figure out what to do with your life. But it's more than that...) I love sitting down and eating meals with my parents and brothers. I love relaxing on our comfy, suede-like couches. I love playing cards with my mom in the evenings. I love being around to hear about my brother Cory's tales of being a senior (man, it feels like just yesterday I was in college comp reading stories about yellow wallpaper that talks and a moth flying into a burning flame.) I love being around to hear and sometimes laugh :) at my dad's silly jokes. I love going up to my cozy, and perfectly "Abby" bedroom and having "me" time after everyone else has gone to be. I just love it.

So yes, the world tells me I shouldn't be doing this and that I should be doing whatever it takes to move out (and I'm working on it, don't worry; I know I can't do this forever.) But I love that I have a home and a family that is so special that I can come home to every day... I do love it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Nerdy Guys.

My aunt Cindy told me tonight that my blog makes her smile and that she gets bummed when I don't write. I don't really have anything deep or meaningful to say tonight but I thought I'd go with a shallow post... just to make Cindy happy.

I love nerdy guys. Some people go for the Brad Pitts and the Matthew McConaugheys and the Hugh Jackmans of the world, and don't get me wrong, they're handsome. I like nerds... and I don't know why. Well, ok, truthfully, they probably aren't nerds in real life, but I like to think that they kind of are. I'd choose a guy in a tie or a cardigan with some nerdy glasses over shirtless and muscly any day. (For real.) My nerd list:

1. Zachary Levi as Chuck from Chuck: my all time favorite nerd.
2. Lee Pace as Ned from Pushing Daisies.
3. Zachary Quinto as Sylar from Heroes. (Don't judge me, I know he was a psycho killer in that show... but for some reason I still find him attractive.)
4. Justin Long as... well, he just always kind of plays a nerd.
5. Christopher Gorham as Henry from Ugly Betty.
I just think they're great. So yes, this post is lame and shallow, but I just think that all of the nerdy guys in the world deserve their time to shine. So here's a shout out to all the nerds out there. My number is ... Just kidding. :)

P.S. So... I felt like I was forgetting someone in my nerd list so I googled "famous guys who play nerds" and came upon this ridiculous website entitled: Nerds Are Sexy. If you're bored, you should check it out... it's pretty hilarious once you get past the beginning about anime and manga...

Friday, September 3, 2010


So... this has kind of been everywhere, but I love it, so I thought I'd give it a shout out on the off-chance that some of you haven't seen it yet.

Go to this link, enter your address (I know, it seems creepy to do that online, but relax, it's legit), and enjoy a beautiful, interactive video. It makes me smile every time I watch it... especially because of the ending (hint: it involves trees... and you know that I love trees.)

If you're in Kansas City, I hope you're enjoying the beautiful weather we've been blessed with. If you're not in Kansas City, I hope you're enjoying something wherever you are. :) Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I love being creative. Whether that's baking, making cards, painting a picture, taking photography... I just love creating beautiful things. I've said before if I could just be creative for a living, then I'd be happy. The other day I mentioned that to Jessie: "I want a job where I can just be creative," and her response was, "Well, there aren't any." (I love her...) Because there aren't any jobs where I can just "be creative" for a living, I will stick to it as a hobby.
Anyway, I asked for a set of alphabet stamps for my birthday. Actually, I think I asked for money because I was pretty picky about font and size (I'm ridiculous, I know...) So, for my birthday my aunt Georgie and "Unca Dave" gave me a scarf (it's beautiful, I could dedicate an entire post to this singular scarf) and some cash to buy some stamps. I bought some from Michael's last week, and now I'm a stamping fool!

I've been making a lot of cards and while I was on my retreat I made a calendar! I did all the letters and numbers with stamps and then drew really simple images that represent the month. I'm excited for how it turned out! So, if you need anything stamped... with letters or numbers (I also have now purchased a big letter "A" (that's not egotistical at all), a bird stamp, a dandelion stamp, and a leaf stamp), I'm your girl!
P.S. Thanks to Georgie and Dave for helping me get this new hobby started!