Baking is Magic

Whenever I get super stressed out/overwhelmed, I get this paradoxical urge to drop everything I am doing and bake. Not neccesarily so I can eat the results–I’d weigh a thousand pounds.  Something about the simple gestures of baking, of adding the appropriate mixture of ingredients at levels A, B and C to get to result X, calms me down. It’s like everything makes sense in the universe, as long as you add the appropriate amount of baking soda.  

Some baking might occur this weekend, considering I am going mad with deadlines and to do lists. I’m looking forward to trying a pumpkin recipe or two, mostly for my friends, as pumpkin is not one of my absolute favorite flavors. If it brings a smile to someone’s face, it’s worth it!

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Boots Made for Walking

Over the past few years of boot-wearing, I think I’ve tried most of the trends out there. Black weathered suede that collapsed around my ankles? Loved ’em. Uggs? As a Wisconsin girl, I think I’ve owned them in every style and color they’ve got (and let it be known: I stand by the comfort of those boots. Who cares if they’re ugly? I’ll take warm feet over guy’s approval any day.) My new personal favorites are low-heeled, slouchy leather; I have a pair from DSW that steered me through last winter and will, I hope, stay alive through the fall.

But as we’ve moved into the fall season, I have felt an unfamiliar situation developing in my heart: the need for not one, but TWO pairs of new boots. What is this feeling? Having been previously satisfied with one purchase, I’m finding it difficult to justify this new sartorial obsession.  But I can’t help it: my heart is being pulled in two directions, and I must follow both. Eventually.  In the meantime, my eye is continuously peeled for low price options in both my new style favorites!

Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Kessi Crochet Boot - Taupe

These are from Target, and I’ve wanted them for months! Just haven’t managed to take the plunge yet…I wish they were for sale in stores. Added shipping really puts a damper on my online shopping fun.

How pretty are these riding boots from Dillard’s?  I love the shiny leather and the worn look. Can picture myself rushing across the quad, my infinity scarf gently wafting in the breeze, a cup of Starbucks in my hand. These go with just about every sweater/skinny jean combo I have in my head.

 

Falling for Skinnies

Falling for Skinnies

J Crew sweater
jcrew.com

J Crew top
net-a-porter.com

J Crew j crew shirt
factory.jcrew.com

J Crew flat
jcrew.com

J Crew handbag
jcrew.com

J Crew necklace
jcrew.com

I am absolutely in love with all of the new skinny collections I’ve seen. I cannot wait to stock my closet with chinos and chords in deep, rich colors, and I’m especially interested in the new “coated jegging” trend.  Will I look classy? Or like a Hell’s Angel?  I guess I won’t know until I try! Also a huge fan of the lovely sweaters and long sleeved tops from J. Crew…but will be looking for similar styles at a college girl price tag. Hey, it’s good to dream!

A Weekly Reminder

This can become easy to forget in the daily craziness that is college life. Sometimes I feel like I’m being stretched in a million ways, and failing at most of them. But then I take a moment to look at the little successes: running a quicker mile time; getting an A on a paper; finishing my homework in time to read a little.  And I realize: I am doing enough. And what I am doing is pretty darn good.

Ode to the Honeycrisp Apple

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I am not sure that I can express my delight upon seeing that honeycrisp apples are now in season. I almost keeled over in Walmart when I saw them nestled, gleaming in their sunset-pink glory, amongst the granny smiths and red delicious.

And then I almost keeled over again when I saw the price tag. At $2.00 a pound, these guys are a little outside of my price range, considering I go through about 9 apples a week. (I feel a bit like an addict: “I can do that, I can make that work! I just won’t buy bread this week; yea, that’s a solid trade off, just give me the apples!!!”)

I forewent them for a few days, rationalizing that it’s early in the season and I can always buy more. But upon visiting our local natural grocery the other day (in search of fresh basil. Which no one has. Sigh.), I saw my favorite natural wonder again, sitting in prominent end cap display. And I caved.

The amount that I savor these guys cannot be compared. It’s almost like dessert: I try and enjoy every single bite, relishing the sweetness and crispness that reminds me, yes, autumn is actually here. And I am in love with it.

Here are a I’m excited to try. The common wisdom is to go with cheaper apples when you’re cooking, but I’m interested in trying some desserts with my favorite variety and seeing if I can taste the difference. Now please excuse me while I go delight in my lunch, in which a Honeycrisp features prominently. Happy fall, everyone!

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Salted Caramel Apple Handpies from Just a Taste

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Crockpot Baked Apples by Skinny Chef

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Upside Down Apple Cinnamon Cake by Behind the Curtain (this looks hard, but is made with Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Life hacks are beautiful.)

Little Moments

I am discovering that I do not neccesarily do well when my due dates are not solid. Or, rather, the due dates themselves are solid, but the work I have to do to accomplish them? Not so much.

I don’t know exactly why I let that get to me.  I am a planner, a list maker, and a checker-offer of the to-do list extrordinaire.  But when it comes to big projects, I tend to get a little overwhelmed.  This is definitely something I need to work on, and I’ve been doing that by allowing myself time to NOT worry about it.

How’s that for a concept?

Instead of going crazy and scheduling out every instant of every day to get things done, I’ve been changing up my plans.  Last night, I took the time to make spaghetti squash and meatballs for my best friends and have them over for dinner.  While I need to spend tonight working on a poster, I just spontaneously agreed to go on a frozen yogurt adventure to try out the new fall flavors (snickerdoodle and oatmeal cookie, you guys. How could anyone possibly say no?)  

While these little diversions should technically make me more nervous, they have the opposite effect. I think it’s because they remind me that there is life outside of the world of school and theatre.  That’s hard to remember when you’re at such an incredibly intensive program.  Sometimes you have to take the time to be a college kid.  Weird that we have to remind ourselves of that, isn’t it? True BFA problems. 

Other things I’ve been making little moments for this week…

  • Bubble baths with shea butter
  • Moments sitting and sipping an extra cup of coffee (I try to only have two a day, but…) while burning an amazing scented candle
  • Reading a few articles in my Vogue september issue
  • Planning out some dessert recipes I want to tackle in the near future
  • Writing on this blog!
  • Checking in with my favorite bloggers on Bloglovin
  • Pinterest. I’m obsessed. But I’m going to let that be okay.
  • Taking a moment to really invest in my devotional/Bible reading in the morning
  • Going for walks
  • Sitting out on my patio for a few minutes to just enjoy the weather
  • Curling up and watching a little bit of a Food Network show or TLC (I thank my stars whenever The Pioneer Woman or Say Yes to the Dress is on)
  • Running a little bit farther than I meant to (sometimes, devoting a little extra time to a work out can be the difference between an obligation and true enjoyment of the thing!)
  • Chatting instead of doing homework in the campus cafe with my best friends

Hopefully you’re finding ways to get a little calm into your day during this busy start to the fall!

Friday Fancies

Here’s a short and sweet list of things I’m crushing on this Friday. I hope you are having a lovely day!

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1. Beyond the Pencil (Skirt) Interviews from the Levo League. I’m obsessed with seeing into the inspiring lives of working women who are absolutely passionate about what they do, in all kinds of creative fields.  Today’s interview with Samira DeAmdrade was particularly inspiring.

2. These apple cider muffins are happening. I’ve been craving fall flavors, even though the heat won’t seem to cooperate.

3. I’m so excited about attending the state fair! I don’t know why, but I have been determined to go since freshman year and haven’t made it yet. But this year will be different. This year, I will drag my friends if I have to.

4. Date night! The Boyfriend and I will be watching Hot Fuzz while sipping on some brews…not going to lie, it will probably be warm apple cider for me. Or I might go for the Arctic Zero ice cream I’ve been craving for awhile. And speaking of Arctic Zero and healthy options…

5. I’m heading to Whole Foods for my first real shopping adventure tonight! I can’t really afford to get all my food there on a college kid budget, but I have some specialty items to pick up that you just can’t get at the regular store (for the record: spaghetti squash, PB2, and Arctic Zero are on the list. I’m going to try very, very hard not to impulse buy but. We shall see how that goes.) I feel like Whole Foods is a shopping experience in and of itself. I love wandering around and looking at all the delicious healthy options that I could be eating! Someday, someway.

6. I’m living for this article on College Prepster about the Kate Spade Beau bag. Beau, indeed; I want one in every colour! It’s hard for me to imagine spending a lot of money on a purse, but this one might be worth the sacrfice. It’s gorgeous, luxuriant, comes in colors to suit every look, and it has a HUGE BOW. What more do you need? Be still, my little preppy heart.

7. I’m heading to Waffle Champion this weekend, after weeks of lusting after them.  This cute little eatery started out of a food truck, and grew to such heights of popularity that they’ve opened up a sit-down restaurant. Basically, you start with a delicious buttermilk waffle, and add whatever you like to make it the waffle sandwich of your dreams. They have savory options, but I think I’ll be heading more towards the sweet side. Lemon curd, fresh berries and whipped cream, anyone?

Late Summer Afternoons

Final Days

Equipment white eyelet shirt
intermixonline.com

J Crew j crew mini skirt
net-a-porter.com

Pull&Bear heeles shoes
$63 – pullandbear.com

I spend most of my school days wearing the acting uniform of black active wear, so the only time I really get to show my style is the afternoons.  This week, I’ve really been glorifying in these last, super hot dog-days of summer by wearing cute short and tank combos, always with some wedges.  Hey, you only get summer for so long…I’m dreaming of an afternoon spent on the quad with a magazine, wearing one of these cute ensembles while sipping a passion tea lemonade.
Fall will be here before you know it; I’m going to soak up a little more sun while I may.

Books to Fall For: September 2013

It’s been hard to find time to read as I ease into the business of school, but I’ve been loving the little moments of relaxation I pick up here and there.  Here are my book recommendations for September!

1) The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Euginedes

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Read It If You’re Craving: sweater-cuddled New England falls accompanied by a stack of Great Literature and a cinnamon dolce latte.

Why I Love It: Oh, this book.  I picked it up by happenstance at the bookstore, and have been able to put it down only reluctantly since.  It speaks to so many aspects of my little creative soul: the characters are all liberal arts students at Brown who discuss the greatest authors of British literature wittily; there are scenes of New England weather followed by beautiful descriptions of European travel; and, my favorite, the author goes deeply into the emotional development of his characters, delving into the weird little ways our mind works out relationships. I don’t want to go into the plot too much, but it’s a love story for the wacked out world we live in today.

2) The September Issue(s)

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Read It If You’re Craving: a high-fashion infusion without the $5,000 dollar price tag, or a front row seat at Fashion Week.
Why I Love It: As a fashion lover/college student, I’m constantly embattled in the struggle for high style at a low price. Not to mention the fact that I spend most of my days clothed in some assemblage of Lycra/Spandex composites.  I love the little luxury that fashion magazines provides: gorgeous spreads, plus well-written editorials about creative subjects? I’m always ready. With the September issue, there’s always more to love.  Like, 800 pages.  I was so excited to get my Vogue that I had my mom send it cross country. You know you’re in love when…(Note: my favorites are Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, but with the wealth of fashion tomes on the market, there’s something for every taste!)
3) Joy the Baker
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Read It If You’re Craving: tons of delicious recipes for comforting sweets, all with little twists to keep life interesting.
Why I Love It: This one’s on my wish list, but I had a chance to page through it at the bookstore and developed a deep love affair with the recipes in here. Joy has such a natural and friendly approach to baking, and injects humor into it–I love that in a cookbook!  Very reminiscent of The Pioneer Woman. Her pictures are also beautiful to look at.  I love getting a little photography style with my desserts. I get my daily treat from Joy’s blog, but I can’t wait to have this book on my shelf…and I’m sure my friends can’t wait for all the delicious treats in their future, either.