Thoughts About Cooking…More Like an Obsession

I am a little bit obsessed with cooking.  It began a couple years ago with baking, cupcakes in particular.  This developed into cooking in general, and last summer not a week went by without me baking some delicious confection or cooking a meal for my family (greek yogurt fettucine alfredo with broccoli…still drooling just thinking about it).  And then…I returned to college.

My dorm room is absolutely wonderful, and there is no way I could complain.  Compared to most dorms, it is a palace: I have my own bedroom and bathroom with a tub, and I share a living room with my wonderful sorority sister. But the one thing it does not have is an oven or stove, and that has recently begun to truly get me down.

I think it’s because we are now into the fall season, which is usually when my mom’s cooking started pulling out all the stops.  I find myself dreaming of meatloaf fresh from the oven, of bubbling apple pies making the house smell like Thanksgiving, of chicken noodle soup simmering all day in the crock pot, and, most sweetly of all, my favorite fall/winter food: chicken pot pie, the filling bubbling up through the delicious homemade crust.  I can barely even write about it without wanting to run to the store and pick up ingredients…which would be useless, due to the aforementioned stovelessness.

So Thanksgiving Break and Christmas Break will be filled to the brim with delicious cooking.  And I will hopefully contrive a way to get a stove next year.  But until then, here is what is currently topping my foodie obsession list:

1) The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier

Find the book at here:

I picked up this book about a year ago at Barnes and Noble, and was immediately taken by the author’s storytelling style, and the family history she puts into the book.  Ree Drummond is a big city transplant living with her family in Oklahoma, and all of her recipes are those traditional, heart-warming foods that you can imagine eating at your mom’s table. Also, they seem simple–a good place to start on my cooking quest!

2) Cupcakes and Cashmere

Visit Emily’s blog here:

While I am obviously obsessed with style as well, I love the recipes featured on Emily’s blog.  Above I have a picture of her book, which you can find at Barnes and Noble; I haven’t been able to pick it up yet.  I’m sure it’s amazing, if her blog is any indication.  I think the Molasses Cookies she posted today are going to be the next recipe I attempt.

3) Recipe Cards and Books

These beauties are from Erin Condren, one of my absolute favorite organization suppliers ever! Find her stuff at:

I have 341 pins on my Pinterest recipe board.  I think I have a problem.  I’m already starting to find some recipes that I think will be standards for my family (whenever that may happen), and I really want a stylish, cute, and (most importantly) durable recipe box or book!  The little cards up above are absolutely adorable.  I’m still on the hunt for a cute recipe book somewhere.  I have this cute vision of passing down a family recipe book to my kids…aw. Precious.

Excuse me while I go mourn my lack of stove now.



A quick post today because I really should be memorizing…but can I just say, choosing monologues is freaking hard?? I think I’m doing pretty well on my keeping-up-with-plays; I know a lot of playwrights, I know where to look, I read them often (but, let’s be honest, it’s never often enough).  And yet, when it gets down to crunch time, I’m still always trying to find something that is just right for the shows I’m auditioning for.  Which can be difficult when there are 15 shows in the season! Eeeeeek.  I’ve decided already on one monologue that’s a little edgier, and shows off a different side of my acting that I don’t think has been seen before.  And the other…I’m still a little lost.  I have decided and then redecided about three times already, but now that we’ve hit the two week mark, it’s time to get my butt in gear!

Five Things…Five Really Late Things…

This whole absence of computer things is a huge drag.  Because I do not have one at home, all that formerly idle time on other computers is now taken up by panicky, caffeine driven homework binges.  And I am actually certain that all of my professors chose to give me an insane amount of homework because they knew that my laptop was out of commission.

Le sigh.

Anyway, on to the fun stuff! Here are the five things I’m excited for this week (I’m changing it up a little, seeing as it’s Sunday).

1) Fall Starbucks and a book

One of my main joys is sitting on the quad with a delicious latte, reading a good book, and all bundled up against the cold weather.  Given that this weekend has been insanely stressful, I vote that this WILL happen this week.

2) Rehearsals!

The Christmas joy continues.  We’ve actually blocked everything and have started running and cleaning already…which is pretty insane with a show of 30ish students and a good 20 children.

3) Recipes Galore

I think I am going to start making a recipe book.  I realize that I do not have an oven at the moment (and probably won’t till summer break. Damn) but I have so many amazing ideas that I don’t want to forget!  Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) has already been drafted to help me cook during the time he has off during Winter break. I guess it’s not much of a hassle, as he gets to reap the rewards by eating all the food.

4) Halloween!

I’m super excited! I don’t really have any plans as yet, but I am hoping that they include eating a ton of candy, watching scary movies (like Hocus Pocus and the Great Pumpkin, obviously), and hanging with my friends.  Halloweekend was succesful last night, and I’m ready to have a bit of a chiller time on my ONE NIGHT OFF for the next two weeks (at least).  Beauty.

5) My book, and the time to read it

The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) bought me A Clash of Kings, the second book in the Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. Martin.  I haven’t been able to get to them because…let’s be honest, they’re a little long.  But this one is really drawing me in, and once I get the homework done (that I am currently avoiding by blogging) I will be able to enjoy it! Possibly with bubble baths or long cozy autumn afternoons.





Back in Action


Just in case you needed a little extra cute in your day, I added a birthday puppy. Love it.  Anyway, now that my wonderful birthday weekend is over I am back in action.  Which is to say, insanely busy and a little bit stressed about getting it all done!  The weekend was perfection.  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful boyfriend and awesome friends! Unfortunately, that little bit of relaxation and laziness means that I am swamped with stuff to do this week.  Here is my short list:

What Lauren Must Do to Survive This Week

1. Figure out which classes I will be taking next semester (just finished this.  It’s gonna be 18 hours of awesomeness.)

2. Find a book of arias for voice.

3. Practice totally different aria for masterclass on Friday.

4. Do a TON of stage management homework.  I mean…it defies description.  And hope to God that I can get my backup disk from my broken computer to upload onto my borrowed laptop. Sigh.

5. Find monologues.  I thought I had, but then realized mine don’t contrast enough. Grrrrrr.

6. Figure out how to do my presentation for History of Theatre. Literally haven’t thought about it.

7. Do my History of Theatre exam.  Also have not thought about it.

8. More stage management.

9. See Angels in America.

10. Do rehearsals.

11. Do sorority events. Figure out which office I want to run for.

12. Figure out Halloween costumes!

Um. That’s it for now.  For some reason mapping it all out makes me less stressed so that’s nice.

Five Things: Birthday Edition

So I’ve been slacking…but it’s been an insane week.  Since I sincerely doubt I’ll have time to blog tomorrow, I leave you with the five things I’m so excited for this weekend!

1) NAVY BOY (aka The Boyfriend) ARRIVES TOMORROW!!! Can you tell I’m a little excited?  I hate being that girl who’s obsessed…but I actually cannot wait.  The Boyfriend and I don’t see each other a lot, since he lives in sunny California, doing Navy things, while I live here and do collegiate activities.  But that just makes the time we do get to spend together even more special!  Perhaps I shall do some long distance relationship posts in the future…I think it’s actually a really great thing for couples to go to, as it teaches you how much you can love just talking with a person and being their best friend.

2) It’s My Birthday!! Hence the title.  I will be turning…older…on Sunday, and I actually am pretty excited! Birthdays have changed so much over the years…I kind of forgot this one was happening in all the excitement of the past couple of weeks.  Instead of a toy list, I’ve basically just asked my parents to throw some money my way so I can possibly actually buy a new sweater instead of window shopping. Or, you know, to just throw some new fall boots my way.  Starbucks gift card. Books.  The usual.  Mostly, I’m just excited to be spending the day with friends and the guy that I love 🙂 so sappy, I know.

3) Bellini’s  ImageAh, Bellini’s.  Most beautiful of restaurants.  I seriously love going out to eat.  I try not to, because I literally go Hulk style on my food–especially Italian.  I am convinced that pasta and bread where created to sabotage my dieting.  But that being said, I’m going all out at my favorite birthday dining spot.  It’s nestled in a gorgeous neighborhood, there are beautiful twinkly lights, and I’m sorry, but have you ever tried a bellini?  If not, get thee to an Italian restaurant and get on that, because it is delicious.

4) Birthday Dinner! I’m having a huge group of friends out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse! I kind of miss the days when we all went rollerblading or trampoline jumping for birthdays, so I figure this is the next best thing.  Though I’ve heard that they make you sit on a saddle if it’s your birthday…better not wear skinny jeans and heels…

5) Fancy Night The Boyfriend and I started a tradition a while back of having a “Fancy Night” for at least one of the nights we visit each other.  This oh-so-sophisticated ritual consists of getting cheap champagne (usually with orange juice…can’t pass up the excuse for mimosas), a huge hunk of cheddar cheese, and something sweet, camping out on the couch, and watching literally hours of a TV show or some good movies.  The first time, we watched Clue (instant classic.  Can’t believe he hadn’t seen it before!).  My other favorite was watching the complete first season of Game of Thrones.

and…because it’s a special weekend…

6) Walks! I think I’ve already expressed how much I love taking walks.  But walks with The Boyfriend are the most amazing thing in the world! We have our deepest life talks on them…like “how many puppies will you let me buy before freaking out?” I’ve already planned out a beautiful one this weekend at a gorgeous botanical garden in the city. Can’t wait to get my starbucks and go!




Haven’t written for a while because of an unfortunate incident that took place on Saturday.  My laptop has been popping up with an error message, warning me that I must turn it off immediately, as there is a problem with the heating and cooling system.  I, in my naive, bumbling way, chose to ignore the signs–to my doom.  For last week, the laptop began shutting down completely at the most inopportune moments, with a gentle whizzing noise and a sort of ominous trill.  Alarmed, I took it to Best Buy, where I wistfully hoped for a simple prognosis, perhaps a couple hours in the computer hospital, and then a safe trip back home to aid me in my procrastination filled weekend.  Ah, ’twas not to be.

The Best Buy Geek Squad dude listened to my issue, looked down at the laptop darkly, and began filling out his paperwork.  He informed me that it would have to be sent in to Headquarters.  I blanched at this very serious sounding prognostication, and asked how long that would take.  He calmly thought for a moment, and then tossed back over his shoulder, as he took my laptop away, “Eh, about two weeks.”

Damn. It.

So now I am laptopless till October 31 (possibly.  He said they have a way of coming in sooner.  At this point, I’m not going to put too much hope into that).  Only those who have been without a computer in college know the true depression of my situation.  This means I will be making long trips to the library, with all the other loud, obnoxious laptop-free students.  I will have to use a library printer.  I won’t be lulled into my procrastination filled homework hours by the cheerful drone of The Food Network on my TV.  Gah. So not down.

Hey.  It could be worse.  I could have to buy a whole new laptop!

Gonne go knock on wood now.

Five Things

This weekend is going to be just a touch depressing.  I’m trying my usual tactics of smiling through it, planning a few fun things…but the fact that remains that I was supposed to be on a flight to California at 6:10 this morning, on the way to spending an amazing four days in California with my boyfriend. Annnnd now I’m stuck here for the weekend (due to circumstances outside of either of our control). So. There’s that, as my acting teacher would say. Also, all of my other friends will be going home, since it’s a four day weekend.  But Wisconsin is a little bit far to be traveling for that amount of time, especially with thanksgiving right around the corner. 

Anyway, I refuse to let those icky feelings win! Besides the fact that The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) will be here in a WEEK from today, to spend my birthday weekend with me, I have planned a quite nice weekend.  Nice-ish, anyway.

1) Hanging with Dad I will be seeing a lot of my dad and his family this weekend, which is always a nice change from the craziness of the college world.  Dad and I are two peas in a pod–I take after him in most things.  When we hang out, we usually spend most of our time chilling at Barnes and Noble, chilling out over coffee and reading books.  Nerdy. But wonderful.  Probably try to see if I can get a free home cooked meal out of there somewhere, too.

Image2) Baking! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before…but I’m slightly obsessed with baking.  I mean like…it’s bad. If I had an oven here I would probably be gaining a ton of cookie and cupcake weight because it is the most soothing, beautiful thing in the world.  My most favorite part is giving what I bake to other people, however, which is why I’m excited to be baking for my brother! He is in the military academy right now, and can’t really get any big gifts. So for our birthday (we happen to be twins), I’ll be sending him an awesome box of baked goodness.  I know.  Beautiful moments.  I’ll try not to steal them all.

3) Movie Nights… I took my friend to the airport this morning at six, and as a favor I asked if I could borrow a few movies before she left.  So I now have The Holiday, Just Like Heaven, and Toy Story 3 to look forward to this weekend! I mean…thank God, right?  

4) PUPPY!!! I will be pet sitting an adorable, precious Rottweiler this weekend for a friend…and I cannot wait to cuddle with her! This dog is so freaking cute…a 150 pound cuddle bug.  Even though she’s got a solid 25 pounds on me (which made me slightly nervous), I will probably cuddle with her all weekend long.  I met her today, and the first thing she did was come up and put her face in my hands so I would love on her.  I mean…I died.  So precious.

5) Reading a book…and it’s not for school! I got the wonderful book Freedom by Johnathon Franzen from the library.  I read pretty much constantly, and it gets depressing to read the same 25 odd books I have in my dorm room over and over.  So I was proactive. I’ve been waiting to read this ever since it was featured in Vogue, and I have loved every second so far.  Can’t wait to curl up with a cup of coffee on the couch and dig into this one!

And I’m leaving you with this little reminder that’s getting me through the weekend, by the wonderful Walt Whitman:


Fall Day Playlist!

Love in the Fall Playlist

These are my fall songs that just make me think about true love and beauty in the world.  Curl up with a coffee, in a huge comfy sweater with a good book, and enjoy the chilly wind…maybe think about your special person.


  1. Babel, Mumford and Sons
  2. Turning Page, Sleeping at Last
  3. Kingdom Come, The Civil Wars
  4. Timshel, Mumfor and Sons
  5. I and Love and You, The Avett Brothers
  6. Poison and Wine, The Civil Wars
  7.  The Chain, Ingrid Michaels
  8. I Will Follow You Into the Dark, Death Cab for Cutie
  9. Tomorrow Will Be Kinder, The Secret Sisters
  10. A Thousand Years, Christina Perri


A fall-ish inspired outfit that I would absolutely KILL to own! I really, really like American Eagle.  Their clothes are affordable, well made, and very my style.  Which, if I had to define, would be lady like bohemian maybe?  I love little feminine details like bows and buttons, but I’m also into anything comfortable.  This fall I plan to live in the popular huge sweater/skinny jeans/boots/scarf combo because it is so wonderfully comfy!

Look Out! It’s MIDTERMS!!!

…and actually I’m not really stressed at all.  Weird right?  I guess it’s because I have one big non-theatrical midterm presentation (Critical Reading and Writing…presenting a project about Mary Shelley’s psychoanalytical influence in Frankenstein.  Delightful, right?) that I’ve already prepared, another presentation in my Vocal Production class, and a test in Stage Management that we haven’t really heard much about so I haven’t had time to worry about it.  What is this feeling?  Could it be that I’ve actually…prepared? Gasp!

This weekend is a four day fall break.  Originally I was supposed to be traveling to California, but The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) was ordered to work. Ah, the lovely world of military significant others.  So I will be spending the weekend doing…something?  Right now it appears that I will be house sitting for a portion of it, which equals more money so I’m totally down.  I am also going to bake a bunch of different things for my twin brother, who is currently studying at West Point Army Academy (what is it with all these military guys?? No idea where that came from).He can’t really get birthday presents, so I figure like four kinds of cookies will be a welcome surprise! I would love it if someone sent that to me…just saying.

And other than that…I should probably find some monologues. Sigh. Work of an actress is never done and all that.