Monday, December 31, 2012


Last year I took a minute to think about how much my life had changed in 2011. It was a big year; I graduated from high school, moved to Conway, and started college.

 Optimistically I wrote about how I couldn't wait till exactly one year from then. What would 2012 bring? What would I write about, as I reviewed my year? I had high dreams of a cool summer job ((needless to say, that whole bartending thing didn't work out. next time I need to read the small print. Interestingly enough in the state of Arkansas a minor can serve alcohol, but can't mix it)), a boyfriend, new exciting things that I was sure would happen in 2012.

However, when I stop to think about 2012, it lacks the luster of 2011. That is to say, I didn't have near as much change, or big events. Which, after all, is to be expected. Even though I don't treat high school graduation as the end all be all-- as I will hopefully experience more graduations in my life-- it still was a rather big event. I guess. I don't know, I feel like I've work so much harder in college than I ever did in high school. College graduation will feel a lot more hard earned, I think. But that's feels forever away. 2015. Not as far away as I might think.

Anyway, reading that post in 2011 encouraged me to look back over 2012 and think about what this post might look like a year from now.

2012. I said goodbye to my freshman year, and got more A's than I had hoped for. I went to Colorado on my first mission trip. I tried relentlessly to find some sort of summer employment, and failed. No one wanted to hire a college student who would have to leave. Though I did end up in an amazing summer horse class.

In my summer boredom I delved into the deep end of crafting, discovering a new love for making things. I made shoes, decorated canvases, melted crayons, and decked out some t-shirts. Then fall came and sophomore year started. While I loved being back with my friends, the difficultly of sophomore year took me aback. However, I got through it, ending with a respectable GPA. Odyssey dreams were born and died. I learned a lot.

I can't wait to see what will happen in 2013. It should be a huge year with a lot of exciting things. For starters, as soon as I get back to Hendrix I'm going to a women in physics conference-- which I can't wait for. Then, a week or so after I get done with finals I'm headed to Honduras with my youth group for a mission trip. Even though I don't speak a lick of Spanish I'm excited for that.

Then, if all goes as planned, I should end up with a researching job at Hendrix this summer-- gaining valuable experience for further applications.

And once summer is over I should be on a plane to France! If everything works out I will be studying abroad first semester of junior year. Where in France?  I won't know till like late April where I'm placed. Regardless of location I can't wait to be in France. It'll help my French tremendously; and over all it will be exciting to be in a new country!

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions so I don't have any to write down. I just wanted to take a second and write about 2012 and my hopes for 2013.

I hope your year has been great!                                                                            

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hungry Birds

Not to be confused with Angry Birds, the odd phone game that I refuse to play because the last thing I need is another way to procrastinate.

No, hungry birds! Like the poor ones outside now, pecking around the snow laden earth.

When I came home for break, I walked into the kitchen and into a delicious aroma. I asked my mom what she was cooking that smelled so good.

Bird suet, she replied, leaving me disappointed. However, the birds were happy and I thought I would post a quick tutorial on how to make amazing-smelling bird suet that will have the birds flocking to your yard like the proverbial (haha)milkshake. (old song references for the win!)

The cast of characters! Lard, crunchy peanut butter, whole grain oats, corn meal, flour, sugar, and quick oats.

Start by scooping one cup of lard and one cup of peanut butter into a bowl and microwaving it until melted.

It may sound, and look, a little disgusting but it smells amazing.

Next, mix together your dry ingredients.

You need a total of two cups of oats-- spilt this how you will between whole grain and quick oats. You can do half and half. One fourth and three fourths. Be creative. Live your life.
Add to your lovely mix of oats two cups of cornmeal, one cup of flour, and a third cup of sugar.

Next, mix your now melted peanut butter mixture with the dry mixture. This will create a nice consistency, perfect for molding into shapes.

My mother chose to form patties to go into our bird feeder. Whatever shape you make, the birds will love it. Just put some outside and feel better about being all nice and cozy inside a house.

Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The One with the Blizzard

Yup you read it right! No, I'm not delusional.

We were under a blizzard warning.

Us. Little ol' hotter-than-Hades Arkansas.

Now as to whether or not we actually got the so called blizzard I can't really say. I went to bed Christmas night still firmly believing that all weathermen were lying to us and we wouldn't get any snow.

I woke up to six inches of powder beautiful goodness.

As a side note I would just like to say that it took me roughly half an hour to figure out how to get that picture right there. Half an hour. Just to figure out how to copy and paste.

This new Windows 8 just might be the death of me.

Anyway! Aside from small issues I do adore my new fannccyyyy computer that I got for Christmas. I mean, working Photoshop with a touchscreen? Dream. Come. True.
And Windows 8 is really cool, just a little hard to get used to.

Back to snow! (another 30 min interlude that you, dear reader, doesn't have to sit through. be thankful)

yay for cropping!

It was crazy to wake up to this much snow; a lovely type of crazy seeing how I didn't have anywhere I needed to be.

Snow, while beautiful, can also be quite damaging. It sticks to bushes and weighs them down till they break.

Which is why I ran outside early in the morning to try and snap photos as my dad beat all the snow off our bushes. I actually haven't been out since. It's just too lovely to be lazy, sitting inside, sipping tea/hot coca, and looking out at the snow. Rather than going out and getting cold and wet. Conveniently about the only thing I didn't bring home for break were my rain boots-- which would be really useful right about now.

The snow has persisted for a day now-- also a rare event in Arkansas. It's supposed to rain tomorrow; mixed with freezing temperatures at night might make the roads...interesting to say the least.
But since I'm still on break (yay! though I'm not gonna lie, I'm still dreaming of ways to redecorate my dorm room, Anna watch out;) I'll just stay inside, enjoying the rare winter weather :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Gifting

"Oh unto us a child is born. Unto us, a son is given...we shall call him, wonderful, consular, Almighty God the everlasting Father the Prince of Peace...."

With Christmas now being only one day away I have finally gotten my act together and made a few gifts.

As you might know by now, the fact that I don't have a job and also the fact that I'm just a thrifty person means that I didn't have the money nor the will to go out and buy a lot of gifts for Christmas.

So I just made some instead. ;)

First project? Homemade Christmas cards, complete with handmade envelopes! Last year, stuck at college after Christmas, thank-you letters still unwritten, I couldn't find time to leave campus and go buy cards.

So I just made some. This year I did the same. I have tons (as you well know) of pictures of my adorable cat, nature, and even some family pics. Perfect for a Christmas card!

With a few minor adjustments in Photoshop, my pics were ready to be on cards.

With that out of the way, next came to the question of envelopes. I didn't want to just stick my newly crafted card into an ordinary run of the mill envelope. It helped that I was going to hand deliver them, not mail them, so I didn't have to worry about having a space on the front to write an address.

As you may know I've recently become somewhat obsessed with Pinterest and treat it as a solution to all my crafting problems. So I spent like an hour on Pinterest, trying to get inspiration on a)how to fold an envelope and b)what material to use.

Eventually, frustrated I gave up on Pinterest. It suddenly occurred to me-- really, how hard would it be to fold an envelope? It certainly seemed quite straight forward. So I grabbed a pretty piece of scrapbook paper and just started folding.

This one actually turned out to be the best one. That's because I folded the bottom giving like two inches to cover the back. On the other ones I didn't fold far enough, leaving a gap at the back.

Anyway I just kept folding. First on the bottom, and then on the sides.

All the tutorials I had seen where quite complicated, with rulers, exact measurements, and small cuts.

Pshhhhh. Who needs exactness? Just approximate. ((rules I live by))

It was pretty straightforward. I did the same for the other card, using another piece of scrap paper.

I just folded the top down, like a present. The result looked exactly like an envelope. If you wanted to mail them, you would just want to tape them shut ((I slipped the end of the flap under the bottom fold, keeping it closed but not enough for mailing)) and find a way to put a legible address on front.

Easy as pie! 3.141592658979323......... other news I just finished another book I want to briefly write about.

It's historical fiction set during the last days of the Romanov family-- the last tsar of Russia. It's seen through the eyes of a daughter of a mad/saint/guy who is sent to live with the royal family right before they are imprisoned.

It's a beautifully written if not tragically sad novel. Go read it.

Tune in later to see my other homemade Christmas gifts, including but not limited to, homemade Reces peanut butter cups! :)

And Merry Christmas :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012


This is a story about how laziness can actually be misunderstood creativeness.

You see, I like knitting. It's yet another hobby that I just don't have time for at school. That and reading, watching tv, playing the piano for fun, and writing.

Anyway! When I got home I absently started to knit.

I only know how to knit one thing: a scarf. Aka, by far the easiest thing in the world to knit. You just cast on, knit, and cast off. It creates a long scarf.

But that takes a while. Scarves need to be long, which translates into a many rows of knitting.

And that gets boring. So here I am, knitting away, trying to think of how I could have a finished product with minimal knitting.

Looking at how long my scarf had gotten, I had an idea.

I'll just make an infinity scarf. I don't own one, but I have seen plenty of pictures of them on Pinterest. How hard could it be to make one myself? Most important part? I could stop knitting; an infinity scarf didn't have to be long, as its length was masked as you wrap it around your neck.

Here's the finished knitting! It was almost half the length of what a scarf should be.

I loved the colors of the yarn; nice dark reds and oranges.

To make my little piece of knitting an infinity scarf, I lined up the ends and sewed them together.

I used a large needle and threaded it-- no easy task-- with the yarn I had been knitting with.

Then I simply sewed the two ends together, creating a circular scarf-- an infinity scarf. I haven't sewed by hand since I was a girl scout-- aka, forever ago. However, it wasn't difficult at all, because you don't have to be terribly precise with this. One, no one can see your stitches, and two, it doesn't take many stitches to hold the scarf in place; I left almost an inch in between my stitches.

Et, volia! An infinity scarf! Easy as pie.

That is, if pie were actually easy to make. Which its not, but who am I to argue with the wisdom of old sayings?

Warm, beautiful-- my first infinity scarf! Incredibly easy to make; if you know how to knit and like me, want results fast, then try your hand at an infinity scarf.

Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Games

I would just like to take some time to admire just how cute my cat is.

Because really, you guys haven't seen enough pictures of him.

I mean look at that face. How the dark colors are complimented by the black blanket.

I may only be 19 ((for only a little while longer! stay tuned for the existential crisis that I'll have when I, once and for all, leave my teenager years behind and embrace the cold reality of adulthood. except not because I still live at home)) but I'm well on my way to becoming an old cat lady.

I mean, not only do I enjoy knitting, I also love cats.

Look at that face!
Though I do have more to talk about than just how cute my two-eyed kitty is.


I always wanted to briefly talk about this book I just finished, called The Games.

It took me two days to read; I was surprised how easy it was to read, after a semester of reading nothing more than textbooks and subtitles.

It's set in the near future, where the Olympic games have taken a more...sinister turn. Alongside the normal track and field, there is a gladiator event. Each country creates their own creature, through advanced genetic stuff, that fights to the death.

Whatever could go wrong??

If you happen to be a biologist then this book is for you! If you, like me, aren't up to date on all the crazy big word terminology just wait for the requisite I'm-not-a-scientist character who translates the science into laymen terms.

Good book; go read it. I found it through one of many best book lists I perused, after finding a huge list of lists on Pinterest.

Pinterest to the rescue!

In other news I'm back to bicycling, something I missed while at school.

5.54 miles may not sound bad but rest assured, it was all uphill. Both ways.

Or at least it sure felt like it. Being the girl-scout-drop-out I am, I didn't think to bring water, spurring dreams of just finding a random water bottle stand in the streets.

Which, by the way, didn't happen.

Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Little Bite of Heaven

When I'm at Hendrix I probably eat around three desserts a day.

It's kind of a bad habit, even if I have yet to hit that Freshmen 15. I can't help it; the desserts at Hendrix, like most food they cook, are amazing. It's hard not to grab a piece a cake at lunch, and cookies at dinner.

Desserts at home, however, are slightly more scare-- which is probably a good thing. A couple nights ago I was really craving something sweet, but didn't want to make a lot of cookies. I just wanted one.

Enter, the amazing internet and a recipe I happened to stumbled upon. A cup, a couple of ingredients, a microwave, and a couple of minutes later I had a hot, fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookie.

I've heard of making mini-cakes in a cup but I've never had good experiences with those recipes; the cakes always ended up being tough and well...not good. However, the simplicity of it kept nagging at me-- it only takes a minute of cooking time; might as well give it a go, right?

This time I looked for recipes for making a chocolate chip cookie in a cup.

Step One:

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a microwaveable safe cup/mug. Add to the now melted butter one tablespoon of white sugar and one tablespoon of brown sugar.

I didn't take many pictures of me making this because:
1) There wasn't any good natural lighting since it was night
2) I didn't think it was going to turn out

Step Two:

Add a couple drops of vanilla (extract if you must) and a pinch of Kosher salt. (How is salt Kosher? Kosher as in Jewish customs Kosher?)

Add one egg yolk and stir to combine.

Step Three:

Add 1/4 cup of flour. Or, be like me and just grab the nearest clean measuring cup and decide that you can eyeball 1/4 cup.

Ehh close enough

Mix thoroughly; it'll start to resemble cookie dough by this point. If not, well you probably did something wrong. I don't know what, though. This recipe is almost fool-proof. ((wanna know what's not fool proof? Jello! Who knew that Jello could be difficult to make?? Not me; until my stupid Jello refused to relinquish its liquid state no matter how long I waited))

 Add chocolate chips to your desire. Haha I always find it so funny when recipes tell you exactly how much chocolate chips to add. As if it mattered-- you could even forgo the chocolate chips completely; it's up to you.

But don't do that. The chocolate chips add a much needed nice sweetness to the dough. For kicks I threw a Hershey's kiss on top.

Step Four (Five? Who even knows anymore?):

Stick the cup/mug/whatever-you-heart-desires into the microwave and microwave for 60 secs. You can set it for 40 (or whatever) seconds and then check to see if it's done. Since this involves egg yolk, you do want to make sure that your dough is cooked.

Step Five:
Enjoy life. Eat your fresh, personalized chocolate chip cookie!

Next time I'm going to experiment; what if I added coco powder to the batter and topped it off with a layer of marshmallows and crushed Graham crackers? S'mores in a cup??

Life is exciting.

Thanks for reading/suffering through my pretty butchered attempt to write out a recipe! :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hidden Message

What, a new post?! So soon after the last one??

It's surprising how much time one has during break.

Like time to make wreathes!

My mother and I took some stale popcorn, old cranberries, and a wreath form. Tediously, we strung the popcorn and berries onto floral wire type things.

Considering that wreaths can go for $50-more at Hobby Lobby this was a cheap alternative. Not only did it look cool, it would be a pretty bird feeder.

Foster was pretty curious ;)

The wreath was delicately illuminated by the winter sun; I tried forever to get a good picture of the final wreath but didn't come up with much.

Anyway! Throughout the semester I have taught some of my friends my crafty ways, evident by this amazingly funny t-shirt my friend made for her boyfriend.

It's modeled after his high school t-shirt; a high school that he adores very much.

I was flipping through my photos, found this, and resolved to be crafty now that I had time to. So first order of business was to try this crayon tutorial I had seen on Pinterest.

Yes, it took a while, but I am finally into Pinterest.

Anyway, the tutorial called for white crayons and watercolors. What do you do when you don't have watercolors?

Grab some old calligraphy ink and see what happens! Of course. Who needs rules anyway?

I mean look at that color. I'm not into calligraphy like I used to be, and I wanted to put the beautiful ink to some use.

I did have a white crayon! Which is certainly helpful.

Step One:

 Write your message with white crayon on the white page. It's a little tricky to do seeing how you can't really see what you're writing....but just, you know, guess. ((if you think I'm bad with being specific you should see me cook. 'oh that kind of sort of looks like a cup, right? and like what happens if I put in 2 tablespoons instead of one?))

Step Two:

 Paint over said black message with watercolor/watered down calligraphy ink/watered down paint/really whatever you feel like trying.

Step Three:

Wish you had watercolor.

Step Four:

Figure since you broke the rules it won't work, through some watered down paint on your picture....nothing happens.....walk away wishing that younger you had been into watercolor rather than calligraphy.....walk back to put everything away ONLY to discover that all it took was time, and the white was showing through the paint.

If you do use paint make sure to dilute it well. Save yourself my indecision. 

So, yeah. This tutorial required me to be slightly more artistic than I really am so I wasn't blown away by the results, but it's a fun, easy tutorial.

Stay tuned to see how quickly and creatively my boredom turns into craftiness!

Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

C'est fini!

It's...over. Half of my sophomore year...finished.

After finishing my last final I headed to the Murphy House and enjoyed my new found freedom by relaxing in front of a fire, sipping tea, and reading a French magazine.

Yup. Life is good after finals. No more stress no more obsessing over verb tenses, Maxwell's equations, Laplace transforms, or enthalpy changes.

It's over. In a way ((well in most ways)) I'm immensely glad that finals are over. After this challenging semester I need a month break. However, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness as I walked out of MC after my chem test, realizing that I wouldn't go to Vibes and Waves again, wouldn't have Diffy-Q.

Festive Physics Class!

Pretty bittersweet in an unexpected way.

What's not unexpected is that I'm so excited for break! Time to sleep, time to bake, time to blog, time to craft, time to hang out with friends-- I can't wait. :D

Yes that's a crane. Made out of a Recces peanut butter cup wrapper.

Let's just say that procrastination took on a more creative form as time went on this year ;)

I'm oddly excited for next year. I'll have the same awesome physics teacher as this year, an intriguing history class, a high level French class (yeah, we'll see how that turns out), and another chem class (oh well).

More Crane fun!

I keep obsessively checkout my grades, but it will be a while before any of them are posted.

It's official. Finals turned me into a tea drinker. I never thought I would say it. After all, I'm an ardently, mostly straight black coffee drinker. But the warm, free, fruity-goodness tea in the Murphy House (place on campus) won me over. Well that, and the warm, comfy, quiet study atmosphere really helped me get through finals. I count it a victory that I didn't step foot into one those forsaken library study carrels. While they can be useful, the claustrophobic-ly small cubicles cut you completely off from the outside world.

And that's no fun.

My roommates and I celebrated the end of finals by heading to Goodwill to make fun of the ugly clothing and buy the ridiculously cheap cute clothing. I just love second hand stores. Perhaps it's because I'm a broke college student. Good thing I don't like Prada or something.

Once again, thank you loose FB regulations!
Last night was my youth group's Christmas party. If you can't tell by the picture, it was a blast :)

Anyway! I think I'm going to go sleep...for like a week.

Thanks for reading :)