4.16.2013

i love you, boston

I am ok. My loved ones are ok.

There are victims of yesterday's tragedy who cannot say the same thing. They are not blessed with the opportunity to go home and blog about their shock and anger. They are in the midst of too much pain...or already departed from it.

So I begin from there. And I am humbled by it. I am sad and shaken.

I was at the 25 mile mark at 2:50 yesterday.

I jumped up and down as my friend trudged by and managed a weak smile. As he was passing, we were receiving news of the explosions at the finish line, and I wondered what exactly he was running into. And I wondered about his girlfriend, waiting for him at the end. (They are both ok.)

I was not close enough to feel a tremor or hear the boom. I was not close enough to feel panic. In truth, I was a world away from it all. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

I saw this image floating around yesterday...

misterr

I was struck by the same thing many others were struck by: the first respondents...police officers, but also volunteers, organizers, spectators...ran into danger without hesitation. It makes you lose your breath. Thank you.

How can we face the madness with love?

All we can do is go forth every day and do the right thing. In small moments, we can choose to do the kind thing, the responsible thing, the giving thing. Love begins with those smallest of decisions, I think. Not just in these days following our tragedy...every day.

Because every day we step out into this world, we take a risk. Sometimes tragedy strikes. And we can only hope that those around us will keep doing the good.

I love you, Boston.



wise words here and here and here

4.15.2013

spring pinspiration

Oh gosh, is the semester over yet?

I hatehatehate being one of those people who talks about "just getting through this month" (you know, since every day is precious and life is beautiful and blah blah blah...), but really, I just want to get through this month. There is so much anticipation for me right now...multiple presentations, a couple of trips, and continued juggling of classes, jobs, wedding planning, and all the little bits and pieces of everyday life.

Summer might not be much better. I'll be taking my comprehensive exams at the end of August, so I'm sure stress will be high. But from this side of May, it just doesn't seem so bad. All I'll be thinking about then is a part-time job and studying...and enjoying those warm, balmy nights with friends and family. I can't wait.

Sometimes in the midst of busy-ness, I find that the best escape is to lose myself in a project that I simply don't have time for. I pin, and then I do.

So maybe it's a good time to throw a little more pinspiration your way...

pinterest_april

I like the water, vodka, and essential oil combination over at The Spotted Sparrow. I've never found Febreze to be all the effective anyway, so I like this light version that freshens the air and kills germs, but doesn't linger for too long.

These brownies are super easy to make, use only a few ingredients, and taste and smell heavenly. The combination of cinnamon, chocolate, and hazelnuts reminds me of something wonderful I can't quite place (it's not Nutella, but yes, it's like that too). The only change I will make in the future is to leave off the topping...doesn't really add much and makes them messier!

One of the things I really love about pinterest is the chance to give and get gifts that you know will be very loved. For a birthday not too long ago, I was lucky enough to get one of these sweet magical notebooks from my sister. I carry it everywhere and use it for notes of all kinds (but mostly for inventing new spells).

This "cheese" recipe results in a block that's reminiscent of Velveeta. So delicious for grilled cheese, but I had plenty of leftovers and also enjoyed it re-warmed as a dip for pretzels. The ingredients might be a bit hard to find, but it's worth it!

What's keeping you (p)inspired lately?

4.12.2013

bread machine pizza

My parents have given me many wonderful things. They gave me a happy childhood. They gave me financial help when I graduated broke from college. They gave me guidance. They gave me the gift of life.

And in the face of all those great things, my birthday bread machine is probably still top 5.

I haven't bought bread since October. We make a loaf about once a week.

At some point I realized that it was silly to keep kneading our pizza dough when we have this fantastic, magical machine. So I revisited my old whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

wwpizza

Making the dough by hand is already super easy. Making it in the bread machine is super easier.

I like to measure the flour in any bread machine recipe in grams. Accuracy is really important with bread machines, and scooping out the flour can result in varying degrees of packing...meaning my cup might not be equal to your cup.

And of course, tweak as needed for best results in your own machine!

wwpizza

100% Whole Wheat Bread Machine Pizza Dough

Ingredients:
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
350 grams white whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1. Add all the ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed. Run on the dough setting.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Split the dough into two pieces, roll each one out on a floured surface, and transfer to floured baking sheets.
3. Add toppings of choice. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved.

wwpizza

4.09.2013

1. watch the sun rise

On the Saturday before Easter, I pulled a sweatshirt over my jammies, and a coat over that, and tiptoed out the front door at 6:30 to watch the sun rise over the mountains facing my parents' home.

It was still frosty, and in contrast to my abundantly layered body, I had on just a pair of cotton socks to keep my feet warm. It was a country-noisy morning...there were no people around and no sounds of traffic, but the birds reminded me that nature is never as quiet as we imagine it is.

sunrise

I had forgotten about the extra time the sun would take to climb over the mountains. So its rising time of precisely 6:46 a.m. came and went, and my feet grew numb. I breathed in the cool spring air and remembered the hundreds of other mornings that I walked out on to this chilly porch before the sun was up, to catch a yellow school bus, or later, to meet my friend for a ride to high school.

I was tired, but I appreciated that brief moment of quality time between me and the morning and memories.

sunrise

Eventually my mom's little blue Honda came around the corner, bearing hot, fresh Jersey bagels for all the bodies still warm in the sleeping house.

We met the cats at the door and went in together to make coffee and cut open slightly sticky French toast bagels.

sunrise

And at 7:15, I saw the sun peep over the mountains as I sipped my coffee and munched on my breakfast. In my mind, I crossed another one off the list.

4.05.2013

happy april

March flew by, didn't it? I can't remember another year that it went so fast. Usually March days drag...no holidays...just a bunch of lingering winter wind and cold rain. But suddenly this year, it's April. And life is not about to slow down for me. So I decided to take a cue from my dear friend at dear friend and collect a few of those memories that flew by in such a hurry.

April

I really, really need to get better about taking more snaps (she said for the umpteenth time). But for now, these'll do just fine.

And the highlights of the month were these moments from Easter weekend at home...

1. Watching our poor broken-footed Holly dog rest her little head.
2. My mom and aunt straining the hrutka the day before Easter.
3. An assortment of beautiful Lindt truffles courtesy of my cousin.
4. Selfies with the photogenic Holly dog.
5. Setting our beautiful Easter tables, complete with hand-dyed paper towels as napkins.
6. Freshly juiced apples, carrots, oranges, celery, and mandarins.
7. Easter flowers. My favorite.

Here's to you, March. And happy April...

4.03.2013

hello, world

easter
via

Just a quick little post to say hello and wish you all a happy belated Easter.

We spent ours at my parents' house, yukking it up with the mid-west family I hardly ever see and eating more chocolate and Hamentaschen than is good for anyone.

I had no idea I would be coming back to such a busy week. (If I had been paying attention to my calendar, I would have been prepared.) Suddenly I realized it was Wednesday, and my little blog has been neglected.

I hope to get back to you all soon. But in the meantime, there are tests to be taken, weddings to plan, books to be read, and a life to be lived...

Stay well, and enjoy the beginnings of spring and all the wealth of your Easter basket.

xoxo