Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Friday

Happy Friday! Today is my LAST DAY OF TEACHING for the semester!!!!! Weeee! I can't wait to get some sleep. Next week I give finals and then I have a nice break.

I'm taking advantage of a weekend with some free time for once. And oddly enough I requested to go to a metal show (me???), so tonight we're going to see the band Trash Talk. Tomorrow is the university's holiday party. The rest of the weekend I am sleeeeeeeeping. Can't wait.

P.S. My cousin texted this to me today: (her new pet)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Friday

Happy Friday! I had some dental work done yesterday and have a pretty sore jaw today. This weekend we're celebrating our friend Greg's birthday and I'm going to try and catch up in everything. I feel behind in life. and work.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy FFFriday!

Happy Friday! We have friends in town visiting from NYC and we're going to some of Fun Fun Fun Fest. =) Much needed fun weekend after so much work!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Biscotti

Happy Friday! I'm looking forward to a weekend of Paramount Theatre dates (2 in one weekend!), a massage (my second one ever - I'm using a groupon), and piles of grading. Okay, I'm not looking forward to the amount of grading, but grading in cold weather isn't all that bad.

I baked pumpkin biscotti the other night using this recipe. The recipe holds its own without drizzled chocolate, but everything is better with drizzled chocolate.

I know I haven't been a good blogger, but I assure you in my absence from blogging that I'm not doing lots of exciting things. I've been kept busy with my new job. Next semester should be smoother and I will be returning to posting lots more. I will try and start posting something every week though.

Enjoy the cooler weather this weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! This really is a happy friday. This weekend is Austin City Limits music festival, which is possibly my favorite weekend of the whole year. I wasn't sure what was going to happen this weekend because my grandmother in Florida is in ICU, but our latest report today is that she's doing a lot better than she was.

 I get to see M83 for the third time this year -- all in Austin -- all outdoor shows! I'm going to live it up this weekend because I've been working non-stop since school started in August.

 (P.S. Yes, I know, I didn't make a new happy friday...I used one of my old ones. oops!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


...just kidding. But I've missed you, blog. I've been the busiest I've been in a few years. Not a whole lot is new (besides my new job) except for these things: I want McDonald's ice cream cones frequently now (ew? no, come on! and they're only around 50 cents), I cut off a lot of my hair, and um that's all I got.

YAY tomorrow is Friday. I need to get a lot done this weekend, but this is all I really feel like doing:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

crazy cake request

Hi, blog. I haven't forgotten you. I'm super busy with the start of the semester.

 This past weekend we celebrated our friend Jared's birthday. Meg and I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he responded, "well...something I've wanted for years is a chocolate chipotle blueberry cake...with cream cheese frosting." I responded with "cool, we'll do that" trying to mask the wtf thoughts going off in my head. Meg and I agreed to fulfill his wishes, compromising our baking reputation among our friends if necessary.

We used this recipe for chocolate chipotle cake that actually has a nutella cream cheese frosting. We cut back on half of the nutella in the frosting and replaced it with blueberry jam. In the middle layer, we added more blueberry jam (& some powdered sugar) to the frosting and used that as our filling.

Surprisingly, it turned out to be really good, although it's extremely rich. It's as close to a flourless cake without actually being one. I think one of our halves could have baked a couple minutes longer, only adding to the fudginess. Birthday boy was really happy with it.

The chipotle isn't noticable until you stop eating the cake and then you git a small kick. If you want to make a rich fudgy cake, this would be a hit (and you can skip the blueberry stuff).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy!

I'm posting this a little late in the day, but happy birthday dad! (Don't worry, I talked to him this morning too.) LOVE YOU!

and to everyone else...happy almost Friday!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Congratulatory Sausalito Cookies

Congrats Eric! This month has been really busy, including two different sets of parent visits, and Eric's graduation. Eric started college in Florida years ago and took a break for a few years to pursue music. He finished his degree here in Austin. I can't believe he's finally finished; every time his degree seemed to be in sight, an adviser would inform him about classes not transferring or there would be some really low level silly class he'd have to take.

He's had a fairly interesting experience being older than most students in his classes, usually coming through as an annoyance of their immaturity or lack of interest. He did get a lot of insight from me from the other side of the college classroom; he learned about all the pet peeves I have and how most professors get nervous still on the first day of class.

Bachelor of Economics! Woot! Instead of a cake, he requested I make Sausalito cookies (macadamia nuts & chocolate). I used this recipe and used dark, milk and white chocolate chunks. YUM.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I'm not sure what I love more about having a little yard: being able to go outside easily (and privately) or having a bird feeder. In May I took a quick trip to visit family and would sit for long periods of time watching the birds in my mom's backyard. She has several bird feeders, and bird baths, and can have a dozen birds hanging out on any given morning at one time. I've only put up one in our backyard, but there's a constant buzz around it. This little guy was even out there when the temp was over 100 today.

He kept hopping around on the roof for a while, with his mouth hanging open like that. Made me laugh.

My parents and cousin are coming in town for the weekend. Tana's never been to Austin before, so we've got to do some of the classics: the springs, watching the bats, showing off the headquarters Whole Foods, Gordough's donuts, etc etc.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Friday! This HF is dedicated to my cousin Tana and to my mom. Tana reminded me recently about how I used to walk my guinea pigs on leashes when I was little. My mom I'm sure bought the leashes for me to walk them, and she tolerated letting me having several guinea pigs when I was little. I don't remember how it started, but we ended up raising guinea pigs and had so many for a while that my dad and grandpa built a large outdoor fenced in area for them. Baby guinea pigs are the freakin cutest thing on the planet. They are born with all the fur, cowlicks and all.

 We had large cages inside of the fences so we could lock them up at night to be safe. One summer it was terribly hot and we decided it would be best to not cage them up at night, since there were so many that had to stay in the cages together. My grandpa had also built little wooden houses, with roofing tiles on top and all, that were out in the fenced in area for them. We figured those would be enough to keep them safe at night while they were still out. One morning my mom found all of the wooden houses turned over and my guinea pigs dead. Some wild animal or dog had killed them all that night. I remember coming home from school and my mom sitting me on the couch. I could tell she had something terrible to tell me, because I'm pretty sure she started crying before she told me what had happened. I never forgot that moment and now that I'm older I can't imagine being in her position having to tell your little girl that all her favorite things were gone.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday!

Friday! Packing is mostly all I've been doing since we're moving on Sunday. We're moving to a duplex in South Austin. I'm so excited to have a little yard again!

Monday, July 2, 2012

watermelon jello shots

Um, are these the cutest things you've ever seen? Meg made watermelon jello shots to bring on the boat this past weekend. She had to scrape out the pulp from limes to make these!

Meg and I bought a groupon for a boat two years ago that we just finally cashed in on. If only I could go out on a boat every other weekend. BLISS.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Friday

Eric and I are going on a sushi date tonight, and tomorrow we've rented a boat on Lake Travis. No other big plans for the weekend, but I think the hours out in the sun tomorrow will have us pretty worn out afterwards. Have a good weekend!

Monday, June 25, 2012

pb&j cookies

I never had a pb&j until after college. I grew up on peanut butter sandwiches, but never had them with jelly. In college I'd get pretty mad when a roommate would use the same knife from the jelly and dip it in my pb. I had my first pb&j during a cross-country bike trip. We ate pb sandwiches every single day for lunch. Well, everyone made pb&j I think, except for me. One day I tried one (I used raspberry jam) and I was blown away. (For the record, I couldn't eat peanut butter for almost a year after that trip...eight weeks of eating pb every day, ugh.)

Above: Trader Joes donated two huge buckets of pb for our trip. I wish I could remember how long these lasted, but it definitely was only a fraction of our trip (we had 30 people). I just skimmed some photos from that bike trip, because I know we documented a lot of the weird sandwiches we made and I found this one:

Cara's peanut butter fluff oreo pancake taco. (Cara made the most interesting lunch sandwiches most of the time. One day I was riding with her and she had made a triple decker sandwich that was layered with peanut butter, banana, and leftover wedding cake that someone gave our group.)

That bike trip was six years ago, so it's safe to say that I like peanut butter again. I used Martha Stewart's recipe for the pb&j cookies .

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bagel Dogs Dinner

I stumbled upon homemade pretzel dogs on a blog this week, and had those stuck in my head all week. Yesterday I got back from yoga (pretty disgusting to think I wanted these after that..) and decided I wanted to make bagel dogs. Three hours later, we were munching on them.

 These are pretty easy to make, and obviously yummy. The first rise for the dough takes an hour and the second rise takes 30-45 minutes. I followed this recipe.

Happy Friday! (And, wait, has it really been a week since I've last posted? boo.)

Friday, June 15, 2012


Happy Friday! This week hasn't really been that great, so I'm looking forward to hopefully a better weekend. I'm going to Bikram today though, so that should start the weekend off well.

I finished the dress I've been sewing recently, but need to make it a bit smaller. I'll be posting that soon. I also have a load of veggies that I'll need to think of plans for. Yesterday my friend Kara and I volunteered at Johnson's Backyard Garden and they sent us both home with a big CSA box full of stuff. I have no idea what I want to do with the pumpkin they gave me..

Thursday, June 7, 2012


My friend Alisa is down to her last two kittens to give away and I went over to her place the other night to take pictures of them. I wish I had taken photos a couple months ago when all of the kittens were there and still super small, but these two are still really cute.

I've just been cleaning, organizing, and doing Bikram yoga this week. My trigonometry class didn't make for the summer, but I still have felt like I've had a lot to do. I guess I did have jury duty one day this week and an office to clean out.

Monday, June 4, 2012

baby shower cupcakes

I used my usual cupcake recipe, and used a pretty standard buttercream icing recipe. This time I left the milk completely out of the recipe and I love how the frosting looked. They were a hit at the shower; the cupcake recipe is very good. I had such a fun weekend and last night was the perfect ending. Our usual small group had a barbecue, but this time we had three additional people, actually that none of us had met before this weekend. I really couldn't believe we met, for the most part randomly, three really great people. One is a house guest at Meg's that was renting a room for her visit to Austin. She's from Australia and we captured her for most of the weekend. It was really cute watching her see lightning bugs for the the first time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm back

I've been back in town now for a few days, but have been running around trying to prepare for my summer class I might be teaching. The class actually started yesterday, but is under-enrolled. Tomorrow I'll find out when registration ends if my class will make or not. I may have a lot more free time starting next week if it doesn't make!

Eric and I had a great (short) trip to visit family in Florida. We had less than a week, but I could have stayed for a full two weeks more. I didn't have nearly enough time with my parents, my other family and Eric's family. There were some good highlights though:

  • ate my first raw oyster! 
  • went fishing with Eric and his dad and fed our catches to the pelicans hanging out on the bridge 
  • found a venue for our wedding 
  • more importantly, we made some decisions about our wedding (we've been on the fence about having something super small or a normal sized wedding)
  • had a perfect beach day with Tana, Eric and Tana's friend Brennan
  • got all of our family together, including my grandma 
  • spent two evenings with Eric's parents
  • visited Eric's aunt and uncle in the Houston area on our drive back

Mom gave me some fabric (well thanks to Aunt Robin for that too), so I'm going to sew something soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm out of town for another few days. Posts will return next week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Friday!

Eric and I get to see M83 for the second time this year here in Austin! And it's an outside show again (which I LOVE). If the rumors are true, M83 will be playing at ACL in October too..which would make all my dreams come true. Ok, kidding. sort of.

 Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Icing

Happy Birthday to my best friend Meg! Meg and I met back in college and instantly became close friends. My mom refers to us as "Laverne & Shirley" sometimes. :)
Meg and I May 2006.
December 2011.
Her birthday cupcakes are Devil's Food Cupcakes, recipe adapted from Martha Stewart and Salted Buttercream Frosting, recipe by My Baking Addiction.

Devil's Food Cupcakes
Ingredients (makes 32 cupcakes - I split the entire recipe in half and made it work for a dozen large cupcakes)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot coffee (Martha Stewart's recipe had 3/4 cup hot water...c'mon!)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 TBS plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot coffee until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled (a few minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla, cocoa, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each addition.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Salted Buttercream Frosting

4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup caramel syrup
1 1/2 lb powdered sugar

(I cut the above recipe in half as well since I split the cupcake recipe.)
Cream the butter with a mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup. Begin adding the sugar and mix thoroughly after each addition.

To be able to haul around the cupcakes in the afternoon, I made a disposable cupcake carrier. I cut plastic cups and hot glued them to the bottom of a box. The cupcakes fit tightly in their spots and you can shake the box pretty hard and the cupcakes don't move!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

lemon olive oil cookies

I felt like baking last night but discovered we have less than a stick of butter right now. I had a stock in the freezer for a while from packs I bought on sale, but we drained them I guess. These cookies are chewy, lemon-y, and delicious.

Tomorrow is my official last work day for the spring semester. I'm signed up to teach a section of trigonometry this summer, but I'm worried it's not going to make because of low enrollment. I'm not sure how often trig makes it in the summer, but I'm crossing my fingers the class runs.


  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup lemon olive oil (I was out and used regular, and they are still awesome)
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 ½ lemons
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Sugar, for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together. In another bowl, stir together the olive oil, zest, lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Roll dough into small balls.
  4. Roll in a  little sugar and place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Monday, May 7, 2012


My friends David and Carmen were just celebrating their anniversary and took a big road trip out west. I'm not sure where they are here, but Carmen's wearing the necklace I made her! (Photo by David.)
This is my favorite of the eye pin necklaces I've made so far.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Happy Friday! I've been a terrible blogger, and honestly I haven't made much of anything this week. Except for some cardboard-like flax seed crackers, ew! Some of my girlfriends convinced me to do a vegan cleanse with them this week- we've cut out all meat, dairy, cheese, sugar, and wheat. It's not so bad except I'm getting so bored of eating quinoa, veggies, oatmeal, veggies, veggies, .... I think I'll cheat a little this weekend, juice a couple days of the beginning of next week, and call it quits. I can't believe some people eat this exact diet all the time (you are superhuman?).

I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the girls' email exchanges this week:

"Well, I am privy to watching Stephanie's juice fast/detox here at the office. She is currently pale, watering at the eyes, clutching several packages of Aleve in one hand and some kale juice in the other. I think its going well."


Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Friday! And Happy (early) Birthday Steph!! We're having a birthday brunch tomorrow for Steph's birthday and I don't have much else planned except checking on (aka playing with) my friend's adorable kittens while she's out of town.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

..........(I LOVE finding heart shaped cactus leaves.)
..........(Nana Judy, I still need to find a big hill full of bluebonnets for you!)

Last week of teaching before finals! And the weather couldn't be more perfect right now. I took these photos when I was out at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I haven't posted anything since last Happy Friday..bummer. I didn't really make much this week. I did make some chocolate banana bread, but I didn't love it. I went through a sewing book and picked out a dress to sew and got too frustrated looking for my fabric that I didn't even start the project. Our tiny apartment is busting at the seams; my fabric is spread out in various containers tucked away and usually having to find it is enough to deter me from wanting to sew anything.

On a brighter note, we should have a really fun weekend. We'll be celebrating two birthdays this weekend (both Kathy and Amy!). I've been craving fried chicken and waffles for a while now, and conveniently Kathy's birthday brunch is at a place that has the best chicken and waffles in town.*

Happy weekend!

 *Brad, Gordough's donut version is a close rival.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Friday

So happy that Mad Men is back! (This should have been the Happy Friday a couple weeks back, huh?) I'm really impatient waiting a week between the new episodes though.

Monday, April 9, 2012

flowers in the hood

I know everyone's sinuses are paying the price, but I can't get enough of the flowers in bloom right now. There's a house pretty close to us that has their whole front yard full of wildflowers; I've been going on a walk in front of their house almost every day to see them.