Friday, July 20, 2012

pink, sweet happiness

the very definition of a summer dessert:

IMG_8563 copy
IMG_8566 copy
IMG_8519 copy
IMG_8549 copy

inspired by this blog post and recipe. this was my numero first time using a springform pan. i love it! although i want to know where she got her mini pans, as mine was definitely bigger than her cute pies.

also, suggest this be made when you have a crowd of larger than 4 to feed as it doesn't do well languishing (freezing into a rock) in the freezer which means you have to eat it all yourself. no, of course i didn't. ;)

favorite thing about job-searching/house bound #1

hearing the birds outside warbling at 11 am because it's overcast and i guess they can't decide if the sun has come up yet. oh wait, maybe birds do this all the time and i just haven't been around to hear it?

now i just need suzy's binoculars and a good bird/birdcall book (online the robins don't sound anything like what i thought were robins outside). (oh, and i'd like to live in a little farmhouse with a red door on an island, too).


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

where we almost died

loverboy recently looked up the airline we took from isla mujeres in which there seemed a very good chance we were going to fall out of the sky while crashing and burning and dying very horrible deaths (ok of course probably not, but while the captain was incommunicado on the subject of the very scary turbulance, the flight attendants were cheerfully droning on about a credit card offer. why yes, thank you, i would like to sign up for a credit card as my last act on earth. go ahead and slap some fees on it for posterity while you're at it.).

and guess what?

apparently there's a whole corner of the internet reserved for people who are not exactly enamored with the airline (except for this one defense/survival guide for future customers). but really? i mean, who knew you should yelp your airline? obviously all of you do. and after paying $43 for CARRYONS (which i guess we would have known about had we been a little more review-savvy and a little less gleefully impetuous over the appearance of such low fares. fools!), we will now check with the siri before we do anything ever again.

you guys, we are in a real-life digital mother may i.

other than that, our trip to the island of women was wonderful. we remembered to read reviews. even after that one couple oddly told us in person, with their own voices, while looking us in the eye that we should definitely eat at a restaurant we were considering yelping.

much to our surprise (until we read the reviews afterward), it was one of the best meals we had there. or so loverboy thought. i personally was a big fan of the nachos.

so now i've been educated that the only way to travel is by following the advice of those who've been there and done that. but doesn't it seem like reading reviews kills the adventurous spirit (pun not intended)?

i don't know. so here are some more pictures of our vacation.

IMG_1761IMG_1776 copy
i was literally the first person in Mexico to see the sun that day! ;)
IMG_1830 copyIMG_1800 copy
this is the last remaining bit of a mayan temple on the island.
while observing a local basketball game, i noted that the disconnecting thing is happening in mexico too.
oh ho! not as disconnected as you think! also, love the sign in the background.

and alas, as my diana film was all mysteriously overexposed, these are all the pictures we have. i have to learn not to be afraid to whip out my big camera while abroad...

Monday, July 16, 2012

the unending blueberry muffin*

a state of being in which one finds oneself eating blueberry muffins all weekend long.

*literally called: best blueberry muffin. somewhere. possibly by betty crocker. but really, i've had better. i think from joy of baking. still, these are super easy to make and exceeding easy to eat. so that's what we do. :)

IMG_8516 copy
IMG_8515 copy

Recipe: Makes 12 (double for the unending blueberry muffin)


1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. bluberries


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tin. Mix together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat egg. Stir in milk and oil. Fold in dry mix just until batter is wet. Should be lumpy. Fold in blueberries. Bake 20-25 min.

Proceed to enjoy the unending blueberry muffin.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

white sand + blistering sun bliss, 11 across.

im pretty sure that anything my mom said she loved, i immediately realized was the most amazing thing ever and cataloged in my top all time things i will forever and ever love list. like the beach. although there is no such thing as a nice beach in texas, such is the mighty power of mothers that i have always loved the beach because my mom loved it so.

every once in a while, usually in the summertime, which my mom had off because she had chosen to be a high school math teacher for the express reason of having summers off, my mom decided we were going to "disconnect for awhile." this is sort of like the same thing you're thinking of, except really different because there was hardly anything to disconnect from. chiefly, it meant that she disconnected the phone (this is something people did in the pre-internet, pre-cellphone era, wherein they manually pulled a long white cord out of its jack in the wall which connected it to a land line. primitive, i know), and we holed up in the house with a lot of books (we didn't have tv either) and possibly two or three dozen chocolate chip cookies. i know what you're thinking. let's all go back to my childhood, pronto.

but some summers, if money wasn't too tight, as it often was, we would take a trip down to corpus christie for a few days. i remember one time in particular, on a whim, she loaded up our no cruise control black bronco II with a cooler full of lunch meat, sandwich bread and milk and we took off like fugitives (in the day), chasing our freedom to the beach, disappearing into the sun flares.

we only stayed a few days. what i remember: admiring the genius of a kitchenette in the room, mum waking early to walk on the beach alone, the horrible, swirling, squelching, quick-sand holes of tiny crabs appearing one by one as the surf receded from the shore, knowing that the beach was the best place ever.

still to this day, the perfect vacation to me is on a beach.

so in june as a post-graduation celebration we took a trip down to an island off the coast of cancun in mexico called isla mujeres. it is tiny and somewhat secluded but with the most amazing beaches ever. truly. i have not seen the sand so white, the water so crystal clear and refreshing and calm, the fish so friendly, the palm trees so fluffy, the locals so nice, the dogs so free in nary ever a beach before.

IMG_1907 copy

this is the beach at our hotel. the water here is about at my shins, like 50 feet out! that is like perfection times 50!

IMG_1960 copyIMG_1762

our hotel was located on the top left corner of north beach, which was the best location on the island. we basically had this little strip of sand all to ourselves (and some german girls who had tanned themselves into another race). the perfect day: spending all day long on one of these pallets + nachos, pina colada and book.

IMG_1779 copyIMG_1806 copy

we saw an older woman posing glamour-shot-style for all her photos. i decided to do it too.

IMG_2046 copy

IMG_2042 copyIMG_1975 copy

loverboy is not as keen to lie around all day like a bum so sometimes i had to follow him around the island. at least there's only so much you can do in five miles of land.

IMG_1901 copy

we were forced to disconnect a little: there was no tv or internet in our room. and obviously, no long-distance phone calls.

IMG_1764 copyIMG_1772 copy

fresh orange juice everywhere! and golf carts! to drive! just for us! for 24 whole hours!
(finally finding something mechanical/technological to bond with was loverboy's favorite part)

IMG_2028 copyIMG_1930 copy

loverboy at his favorite meal, olivia's mediterranean restaurant.

MX_11IMG_1801 copy

isla mujeres: 5 miles long, 1 mile wide, 8 miles from cancun is sort of where i'd like to be right now again.

even if we were powerless to find out something really important we were arguing about that i now can't remember but it was really really important and then had to face the prospect of just never knowing (it was exactly like this).

traumatizing for the first few nights, but eventually you get used to it, promise. i'm even thinking about starting a disconnection week every year in our house. shhh. it's a surprise. ;)

Monday, July 9, 2012

documenting summer//a reading list

some of my summertime memories—so indelible that i can still taste the salt and sunscreen in my mouth, still feel the waft of air from the ceiling fan over my overheated skin, still remember the omelette K made by dumping things from the fridge into a skillet (the girl who saw her mother baking plenty, but cooking, rather less often, watched agog with wonder at this)—are inseparable from the books i remember reading at the time.

they were pivotal, monumental summers. summers which led me to believe that perfection lay somewhere between a tragic romance and the juice of an orange running down one's arm, the perfect tan and the musical genius of carl davis, midday summer rain, God and black coffee. and i am convinced it had not a little to do with the books i was reading at the time. i can almost map out the last decade of my life by what i was feeling while reading these books.

 anna karenina :: "where love ends, hate begins." 
becomes true, while sleeping under the stars and the open sails of a schooner sailing the u.s. virgin islands, learning about addiction, discovering freedom, eating carribbean food, beginning the morning coffee habit, coming to decisions, enduring the abomination of dominos or kfc every night during that week of vacation, moving on, and moving out.

the knowledge of life :: "our experience of Christ can transform us until we are like Him"
is a life-changing revelation, while back at the ranch there is a french class by correspondence, a spare room, krav maga, tennis lessons, solitary bike rides, midday thunderstorms, new red sheets, the memphis belle, lipstick drawings on mirrors, seeking God, working out, road trips, house-building, running from demons, and hamburger eating.

love in the time of cholera :: "we have killed the tiger"
but not before house-sitting, reruns (watched for the first time) of sex and the city late at night, mini powdery donuts, bubble bath jacuzzi parties, love letters, pantry-pilfering, recipes for the perfect martini, tan lines from pool-cabana-server shorts, giant ice cream cookies and camping trips.

jane austen's complete collection :: "if things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next," and "there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort" (Emma)
for awhile, while one is also showing visiting friends around austin, taking in dr. seuss art, frequenting coffee houses, juicing oranges by the bushels, looking for real work/working the 6am shift at B&N, drinking coffee-black, learning to write again, having family tea parties, discovering starbucks chantico and double-shot, short americanos with lots of room, watercoloring, and convalescing at home.

bonjour tristesse :: "it seemed to me that my heart stopped beating"
and yet, there was nyc in may, forgetting, a love note, long movie nights, freshly picked flowers, the back of a car, a Georgetown play, brick walls, angry geese, a three-day orange kitten named thor, fourth of july fireworks from the summer architecture studio, short hair, a strange bird, sweetish bakery in the morning/quacks at night, love and photography.

the fountainhead :: "naked at the edge of a cliff"
while learning to draw, going vegetarian, the late night merchandising shift at the san marcos j.crew outlet, sunbathing on the balcony (earrings and sheets make good screens in a pinch), stargate atlantis and battlestar galactica, celebrating what you don't have, a stars and stripes cake, the best sushi on our first anniversary, and choosing to believe that life is a metamorphosis.

possession ::"our days weave together the simple pleasures of daily life...never take for granted"
crunchy mexican tacos, a breeze on the wrightsville beach, the best vacation ever (although this summer's vies for that spot now), nighttime photography, our third anniversary, a summer movie class, beginning my novel, late nights, unbearable heat, a fourth of july picnic inside, a movie about bedtime, lots of good books, running my first 5k, and moving into an almost house.

i'm convinced that there is a perfect summer in each of these books (and i highly recommend them all). and also that there must be another perfect summer waiting for me in a book somewhere, if i can only find it.

what is one of your favorite summertime memories? did it have anything to do with what you were reading? any favorite summer books?

this is not a comprehensive list of my favorite books...but those are for another season.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

it was the fourth of july in two thousand and twelve

one girl and one boy went out on the town. they ate lunch at the in-laws (and baked up a pie),
then off to the pool (and a watermelon contest). the hours went by and it was time for a nap.
the husband got grumpy when the wife said wake up! but good thing she's in charge
for they skipped all the crowds and watched the show from (a) downtown (rooftop).

IMG_2119 copy
IMG_8349 copy
IMG_8329 copyIMG_8351
IMG_8331IMG_8346 copy
IMG_8339 copy
IMG_8342 copy
IMG_2136 copyIMG_8376

eaten: 1 apple pie, 3 bratwurst, 1 avocado sandwich, 3 corn on the cobs, 1 pint of strawberries
pools swum in: 1 + kiddie pool
middle-aged men making fools of themselves on the diving board: too many to count
naps: 1 
rooftops climbed (i.e. rode the elevator to): 1
popsicles from king of pops: 3
fireworks seen: many
fun had: lots