Thursday, June 30, 2011

Almost there. Goodbye to....

Today is the last day of (one) of my accelerated (not advanced- just quickly moving) classes.

Though easy, it's the most time consuming thing because it's condensed into one month.

And I'm not super brilliant in that I cannot read a chapter once and memorize it. So I read them twice.

So I haven't blogged. And I will forever be the girl that says ''I'll be back, it's been crazy!'' over and over again. (Just sayin'.)

Roo has had to get creative while I'm glued to the books:

I don't did that.
And we have some exciting news.

But I can't tell you yet.

So you'll have to wait until I come back to blogging before I take off again.

Until then....I'm thinkin' about making some blog changes. One of them being inspired by this miss.
...I think I'm going to be all done (buh bye!) with GFC widget. I lost ONE follower and I was actually distraught (really) for at least 10 minutes of my life. I actually tried to figure out who it was. But really, I don't blog for money or for a high following (but let's be real, how awesome and giddy do you feel when you see a new follower? Eh? C'mon. You love it.) I blog for me, really. So. If you read and follow, I love you. If you unfollow, I understand. I'm a blog slacker. There's many bloggers out there much more committed than myself. Anyway.

Have a delightful day. I'll see you in a bit. Wish me luck on my final!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

She Got Married, Too: April

I love reading about other couples. I love getting a
sneak peak into their lives and seeing how they make their situation work. Some would say that I'm nosy. Which I'm fine with. Because enough people were open enough to take me up on this guest poster series and answer with honesty, heart, and humor.
Enjoy :)

{Please be prepared to fall in love with this girl. Her blog is easily in my top-five, check- every-day category...enjoy her post!}

Names: April & Jason Matthews

Ages: 24 & 25

We live in: Eugene, Oregon.

Do you blog? About what? Why yes indeed! My ADD-riddled writings are stashed at Two Matthews(ers).
I started writing when we went to live in Sweden for the fall-- and as it turns out, blogging is somewhat habit-forming.

What do YOU do? I graduated with a degree in sustainable architecture last summer, and now I’m working my tail off trying to get an internship with a local firm.

In my spare time, I am a volunteer social networker. I provide free services to clutter your facebook page, thumbs-up all your cat pictures, and solicit you to follow my blog.  

What does HE do? Jason gets paid by the University of Oregon to be a genius. (Oooh, he’s going to hate that I said that.)

(That’s right, smart and modest.)
(...I’m just digging myself in a hole here.)

But seriously, he has a 4.2 GPA in Physics (apparently that’s possible) and is getting his PhD in the fall. 

How long have you been married? We’ve been together for eight years total, and we'll celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary this July!

How did you meet? We admired each other from afar in high school, and finally started hanging out at the State Finals meet for track & field. It was the last week of his senior year-- he saw this as his last chance he had to "win my affections"-- and he went for it. I'm glad he did.
16 & 17 years old... yup. Definitely mature enough to choose our future life partners.
What do you argue about the most? The crazy words Jason tries to play on Scrabble. “Unprobe?!” Nnnno. That doesn’t even show up on Google.

Seriously, we’re pretty boring in the drama department. Most of our arguments are resolved pretty quickly, and I usually forget what they were about within a week. We disagree often, but I guess we just learned to expend more effort trying to understand the other person rather than trying to convince them of our own point.

Do you have kids? If not, are you planning on them anytime soon? No beebehs yet, but we're definitely looking forward to it. I want to get a good start on my career first, and start saving for a house. In the meantime, we’re really enjoying these years while we’re still just a family of two (and can stay up way past our bedtimes watching Battlestar Galactica marathons).
Sally the Soap!

No kids? Dogs? Cats? They count. Names? Our landlord doesn’t allow pets and it kills me inside every day. I NEED to mother things. It’s so bad that I stuck eyeball stickers on a bunch of our inanimate household objects, and named all our plants.

What is one thing about married life that took some adjusting or getting used to? I asked this question to Jason before I wrote anything, and he widened his eyes and said, "The SMELLLLL." What?!! Anyway, here's my (less random?) answer:

We initially thought that having an equal hand in housework meant sharing each duty. I bitterly washed the dishes a few days a week, and felt guilty for not doing it more. He bitterly cooked half our meals a few days a week, and felt guilty for not doing it more.

It took us forever to figure out that we make a perfect kitchen team:
I like cooking, and I’m pretty good at it. Jason, on the other hand rocks at doing the dishes. Ta da!

(I think he’s a sucker for choosing the dishwashing job. He thinks I’m a sucker for agreeing to cook dinner every night.) (Heh. Yeah right.)

What is your favorite date to go on together? Besides being The Obnoxiously Flirty Couple at the gym, we like to go to the card section at the grocery store and hand-deliver lots of sappy cards to each other. I highly recommend this.

Where do you see yourselves in five years? We will have three dogs, six rats, two cats, maybeh a baybeh, a pretty little house with 12 layers of different paint colors on the walls, and love our awesome planet-saving jobs. Stay tuned.

If you could give an engaged couple any advice (assuming they asked for it), what would it be? I give engaged people advice all the time, even when they don’t ask for it. It’s kind of bad.

When we were planning our wedding, I went D.I.Y. cuhhhRAZY. Once it boiled down to the final week,  the to-do list was completely out of control. I started feeling frantic about all our family and friends showing up, and witnessing my failure to complete all the planned projects.

Then I realized I was being completely delusional, because guests have no knowledge of your wedding to-do list. The things you finish? They'll see. The things you don't finish? They'll have no idea about. Whew.

#1 I love April. She is one of those blog people that you want to meet in real life. Badly. April, please come visit New England. I think we can set you up with some architecture business.

#2 She wrote this post in HTML. Usually when I'm prepping the SGM2 posts, it takes me at least 20 minutes to get it all set up because I'm trying to place pictures and make it look decent. I just copied and pasted, and the pictures appeared in beautifully positioned if Harry Potter himself came and did it for me! Because she did this, I have time to write this before I go take a psych exam. 

#3 I thought about ending SGM2 a month or so back. But honestly, I've gotten so much interest and I personally love reading about all of the different couples out there, so if you are interested and you would like to be featured, please get in touch. If you had previously e-mailed me and I told you that I was no longer taking posts, please forgive me and e-mail me again! (Unless you're grumpy with me) I do indeed have plenty, but I would love to get an even bigger stash ready to go.

They ALSO Got Married!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Eating Well on Sixty: 6/12-6/18

I could easily spend an entire paycheck at the store each week. Sometimes I make excuses to go to Whole Foods when I really don't need to. Luckily, Brett is quite good at knowing when we really do need to, and when I'm just having WF hallucinations. (That alone probably saves us close to $1000 each year).But now that new school bills are looming in the very near future, it's time to get serious. And since I couldn't find many $60 meal plans that were healthy, delicious and vegetarian, I decided that I would create my own. Armed with three $20 bills, we will eat. And we will eat well.

I think one thing that can really kill a food budget is food waste (am I stating the obvious?). I know that it's easy to go over budget on snack items, but over here- I can go over budget with some interesting produce selections. Which is why I have a rule- I need to be able to see the shelving of my fridge. There cannot be so much food that I begin to forget that there are clear shelves somewhere in there. This is what our $60/week fridge looks like:

Keep it clean, kids!
(Oh, the soda behind the brita? Not mine. There's someone living with me that enjoys watching hockey with his friends, and friends brought over ginger ale. No. I have not had one glass. Have I?)

This week, for $74 (EMMA, YOU SAID 60 OR LESS?!- Yeah, well.I got carried away this week. I promise to be better next time. You can still do these dishes for 60 if you DON'T buy organic, freal!) this is what we are eating:

*Also, can I just say- summer meals are more expensive, and I really need to figure out how to cut the bill down. It's just so hard to resist fresh, farmer's market produce...*sigh*. Winter/fall is so much easier with soups and whatnot*

-oatmeal with raisins and walnuts and butternut squash
-toast with peanut butter and fruit
-greek yogurt/granola/berry parfait


Most days, leftovers from dinner will be eaten the next day as lunch. Other days, these are what I rotate in:
-veggie burger veggie wrap with veggies and slice of cheese
-baby green salad with green peppers, tofu
-brown rice, broccoli, spinach, and tofu


-Tofu Saag Paneer (From Skinny Bitch cookbook)

(Hear me out: I am NOT a food photographer or a food stylist. There is no way to make this dish look like a basket of joy. BUT- it tastes incredible and it's loaded with healthy nutrients, so give it a whirl, wouldja?!)


(Use leftover coconut milk from saag paneer!)

-Butternut squash ravioli made with homemade wonton wrappers and salad (Again, this recipe is from SB book- I LOVE it. However, I am too frugal to buy it and so I got it from the library and I've made copies of the recipes that I'm using. Is that legal?)
The wonton wrappers recipe is so simple, and we made them on Sunday before storing them in a ziplock baggie in the freezer. I cannot wait to try this recipe!
-Tempeh lime cilantro salad (from this book)with walnuts and garlic knots (The garlic knots came from THIS book- a wonderful Christmas present from my mawmma!)

-pasta with roasted veggies, salad

-Pizza on homemade dough!

-popcorn with Parmesan cheese and spices
-greek yogurt with grapes
-mini smoothies with frozen fruit

Last Week

(I'm obsessed. Sorry)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Medicine Woman

It was a muggy, stormy, grouchy day over here.
I had a lot of reading to get through, so I did that.
But I am a compulsive ridder-of-things/organizer, and so each time I walked past our closet where our first aid/medicine basket lives, I got a bit anxious.

So I pulled it off of the shelf, and I took everything out:

Then I got a bit frustrated with myself.

You see, I was sick for an entire month this past winter. And I spent a good $50 on OTC chemically icky medicine. 

But...the only things that brought any real comfort were teas, neti pots, and the eventual trip to the doctors that landed me with an antibiotic prescription (Yes. Antibiotics are over prescribed. I only take them if I'm absolutely positively miserably sure that I need them.)

I was also frustrated with myself because I am not a medicine woman and I don't have apothecary jars filled with herbs and things that I would need to grind up with a mortar and pestle.

Just added THAT to my career to-be list.


My goal is to not get that sick next year. I think that being around young kiddos made it easier for me to pick up exciting new colds/coughs/sniffles, etc. So now I'm obsessive (even more so than when I worked in a nursing home) about hand washing.

I re-organized my basket. It's not quite at the stage of Medicine Woman status, but here it is:
I debated for five minutes whether or not to get rid of my ibuprofen.

No. I like it.

But anyway, if you're looking for good suggestions for natural sinus relief- try Celestial Seasoning's Sinus Soother. I like it.

Headaches?  Tension Tamer tea is my middle name (when I have a headache).

My other must-haves include a neti pot with saline packets, band-aids, emergen-c, throat coat tea, Vaseline, tea tree oil, witch hazel, antibiotic ointment for those nasty situations, and a thermometer (to prove to Brett that I really have a fever and that I cannot do anything useful for at least a day).

I'm thinking about adding some rubs for headaches and muscle aches from Badger.

Do you have any suggestions for a 70% natural first aid/medicine basket for a Medicine Woman like myself? Does that make me less of a MW for asking? Probably.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

She's Not Yet Married, But: Meet Emily!

I love reading about other couples. I love getting a
sneak peak into their lives and seeing how they make their situation work. Some would say that I'm nosy. Which I'm fine with. Because enough people were open enough to take me up on this guest poster series and answer with honesty, heart, and humor.
Enjoy :)

Names:  Emily and Joshua

Ages: I’m 25, he’s 27.

I live in: San Luis Obispo, California… which Oprah recently proclaimed the happiest place on earth.
I’m not sure about that, but we’ve got it pretty good!

(Oprah, you just might have been right on)

…but by next month, I’ll be leaving sunny California and moving across the country to Boston! I am a small-town country girl through and through, and can’t imagine life in a big city. Where it snows. It will be an adventure!

Do you blog? Absolutely! Check me out on:
 I love making new friends and meeting people! And of course, I do my best to follow all of my beloved followers.

About what? Life. I wish I had some cool theme, like cooking or crochet or rescuing pupfish, but really I’m just an ordinary sort of girl. But I do really enjoy my ordinary sort of life, and I like to share the joy with you!

What do YOU do?  I’m full-time student, and was recently accepted into nursing school in Boston…which means that I’ll be spending most of my time studying! When I’m not hitting the books, you can usually catch me practicing  yoga, running, wandering about taking pictures, wishing I was better at photography, and reading exceptionally long, boring novels.

What does HE/SHE do? Josh does something every technical with computers and servers that I don’t understand. Whatever it is, he’s quite good at it. He’s also studying to pursue a PhD in psychology, an excellent photographer, and drummer extrodinaire on Rock Band. You can see his name on the leaderboards. No joke.

How long have you been married together? Five years now, which is long enough to finish each other’s’ sentences and wonder what life was like before we met, and for others to ask when we are getting married. We have both agreed that it’s important for us to establish my career first and that realistically it will take three to five years for me to pick out a dress anyway, so it might be some time yet…but there is no doubt in my mind that he is the one for me.

How did you meet?

Skydiving. He was my instructor, and when my parachute didn’t open I panicked and…
Scuba diving. His tank ran out of oxygen and I saved his life

…we try to come up with a new story to tell every time we are asked. So far, my favorite has been:
we were assigned to be pen-pals for a class project in third grade and kept in touch all the way through to college, when we finally met.

It sounds so much more romantic than the somewhat sordid truth:
I was dating his best friend, who turned out to be not such a nice guy. Josh and I became good friends, and he was there for me when I finally broke it off with my first serious relationship. I was there when his girlfriend at the time ended their even more serious relationship. We’ve known each other for seven years, and he’s always been there for me.

 …but we realized that we were truly meant to be when a bull moose charged at me while hiking in Yellowstone

What do you argue about the most? Honestly…we don’t really argue. We’ll debate politics, movies, and favorite characters in the Harry Potter series, but that’s just about it. The only real cause of friction is the fact that Josh is very clean and organized and I’m a total slob. Oh, and we can’t agree on music during long road trips, so we have agreed to audiobooks from now on.

Do you have kids? If not, are you planning on them anytime soon?   No kiddos yet! I can barely remember where I put my keys every day after class; a baby is just not going to be in the picture for another five years or so. But some day, absolutely- I would love two. And yes, I have picked out favorite names for my future darlings: Ethen, Owen, Noah, Hunter, Abigail, and Noelle.
(This is totally normal, right?)

No kids? Dogs? Cats? They count. Names? Bella is my cat, and she is my pride and joy. I’m not much of a cat person, but this little snuggle-bug won me over. She meets me at the door every day, loves to cuddle, and will follow alongside if I do on a walk around the block. I adore her.

And then there is Sneaks. I know everyone’s dog is the best dog ever, but really: Sneaks is the best doggie ever. She’s a stray we rescued off the streets, and such a lover. She’s nineteen years old now and was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, but she somehow won over the vet and is now receiving chemo pro-bono…and still running around wagging her tail. Unbelievable.

Who cooks the most? Me. This is not for the best- Josh is the better by far, but I have decided lately to take up the spatula and learn. Tonight, we’re having Eggo waffles. Progress is slow, friends.
I do, however, have an obsession with pictures of food. I can’t even count how many cookbooks I have on my shelves. It’s out of control!

Who cleans the most? Josh.  As I said, I’m a total slob.  Even when I do clean, he’s usually mopping up after me.

Can we peek inside your home? Share some pictures! La Petit Maizet is French for little country cottage. It’s a storage-shed turned photography darkroom turned housing for nearly broke students...and it’s just what I need. I’d show you the inside but…yeah. I’m a slob, and Josh hasn’t been over in a few days.

Where do you see yourselves in five years? Oh, goodness! I’m almost afraid to predict! So much can happen five years, and yet I know it will fly by!
Let’s five years, I will be done with school and working as a Nurse Practitioner for a women’s health center.  Josh will be working on his Phd at…let’s make the University of New Hampshire. I will be decorating our rustic country home and trying not to make it too obvious that I’m copying everything out of a Pottery Barn magazine, scrapbooking photos from our honeymoon to…(Rome? Or New Zealand?) because even though we went two years ago we took so many pictures I still haven’t caught up, and trying my best to potty-train our puppy.  Family might be asking about bundles of joy, but we aren’t saying anything yet.

Oh, and there will be something far more grand than Eggo waffles for dinner.

If you could give an engaged couple any advice (assuming they asked for it), what would it be? Well now! Since you asked…!

My Grammy once told me that the most important quality is integrity. She explained it like this: if you go to the bathroom, no one will know if you don’t wash your hands- but you will spread your nasty germs everywhere.

This is probably the most unromantic metaphor ever written, but I do believe in treating a relationship with integrity. This means honesty, devotion, and respect for the one you love, but also for yourself.
Treat others with integrity, and don’t expect anything less in return.  It’s as simple as that.

Of course, communication, spontaneity, and a whole lot of faith help too!

Emily is wonderful. She lives in the same state as me now, so maybe someday we'll bump into each other and think that the other one looks kinda familiar. She sent me some wonderful pictures, but I cannot for the life of me get them into the post. I tried, I really did. So if you'd like to be able to put a face to the name, go check out her blog!

They ALSO got married!:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grubby Hands, Gardens, and Food Blogging

Can I just give a quick pat on the back to food bloggers?
To post a recipe with pictures that go along with the directions takes....forever.
I don't do the Eating Well series every single week because I'd rather be posting more original pictures and fresh new  recipes. This week I have some really cool new recipes that I can't wait to share. But I cannot promise that there will be original photography because...
...I usually eat the food before I have a chance to set everything up for pretty pictures.
(Those really are my dishes from yesterday's lunch. I had BBQ  seitan, black bean and sweet corn salad, and yogurt with berries. It was lip smackin' delish)
 I'll be sharing those recipes this weekend.

I also would like to toot my garden horn. We haven't bought boxed lettuce since the start of May (Olivia, you are one pricey organic sonnuvagun. $4.49 for a big box that costs me less than 10 cents  to grow! Shame, shame!) Here are my baby greens:

And our zucchini and summer squash mounds that Brett is forgetting to weed:

I love being out there. Pulling out weeds and getting dirt underneath my nails is pretty satisfying. I feel like Laura. (However- I do struggle get hysterical when the occasional spider pops out at me from behind a leaf of lettuce.That's usually when I call it a day for gardening.) But then I get to go inside and wash my hands in the cool air conditioned apartment, and Laura is still running around looking for a stream in her sweaty layers of skirts and petticoats.

If you're looking to start a garden but lack space, check out this post from Carmen. It's quite helpful and will help you to save money on your food bill.

Enjoy the sun!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

sun tea and crocs

Starbucks is expensive.

But. I like it.

But it's expensive.

Also, I look fantastic carrying around the to-go cup. Don't you?

(That's me!)

My favorite drink is the iced passion tea. Target had a sale on Tazo tea, so I scooped up three boxes at 2.09 each.

Four tea bags... a bit of sun

= cheap iced passion tea. (don't forget the ice and the sweetener.)

Also, in the privacy of my own home, I don crocs:

Stay cool! I'm back to the books! (Roo as well)

also, that was not me with the starbucks cup.
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