Friday, January 24, 2014

Saint Francis & Ansel

Just visiting some of the Ansel Adams Photo Sites

Thursday, January 23, 2014

These Are Some of My Favorite Things

Two of the best things in the world, together! Reminds me that I need to find a girl scout so I have my source for cookies.
►While I am "too young" to have experienced this yet, but these words about marriage are good to read. 
►I need an excuse to bake some Wild West themed cupcakes so I can buy these amazing cupcake toppers.
► Having just finished a book, I have been on the lookout for a new one. This one getting astounding recommendations and reviews. 
► With the Olympics right around the corner (eeee!), this site has been stealing some of my time
► Have your handwriting made into a font! I need to submit mine.
►My "office" needs a serious face-lift, and these boxes might be the place to start. Pretty & functional. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Age Limbo

I've always envisioned being young and successful. Perhaps being a be naive about how much credibility one can build early in their career. But I've always been ambitious about this. 

It always catches me off guard when my age becomes a topic of interest. I forget that perception is everything, and sometimes the perception is that I am young, and therefore don't have any experience. 

It is a frustrating issue to deal with professionally, but balancing that with my personal resistance to growing older, well, that is a life version of tug-o-war. 

I've heard people thank about a strange limbo state in life...too young to be taken seriously, and too old to not be serious.

On the one hand I hate that there is the possibility that I am perceived as not being competent or as skilled based on my age. I want to "grow-up" so badly so I don't have to combat that image of being "young & inexperienced".

On the other hand, I am having that late-twenties-almost-thirty-freak-out. I am wish time would stop; giving me the opportunity to have things happen like getting married, having kids, and those other big adult things I imagined doing as part of a "we". 

Talk about purgatory.

Too old, but yet too young. Too young, but yet too old. 

It is like a daily game of dress-up (ignore the fact I wear pjs everyday to work), but metaphorically, I have to put on these big kid pants at work. I feel this great pressure to have my personal life together; bills paid, apartment clean, home-cooked meals, laundry folded and holiday decorations I change out year round. However, when I start thinking too much about where I wanted to be at this point in my life, I still feel like I am wearing pigtails and stirrup stretch pants!

Anyone else out there feeling like they are sitting in this limbo state?  I can't be the only one feeling like an adult impostor some days, and a kid playing "office" on others!? 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Parsnip Soup

I haven't been eating very well lately. I also have totally fallen off my working schedule. Partly because I did something to my knee skiing a few weeks ago, so I've been trying to take it easy. There has been a lot of pasta, and cheesy things being consumed. 

Tonight I wanted something will lots of veggies. Something light, and also quick and easy (since I was dining solo). A salad was my first inclination, but being January and all- I wanted something cozier. 

Months and months ago the BF and I shared a bowl of creamy parsnip soup at a local restaurant, and it was so good, I have been thinking about it since then.

Browsing a few recipes I found a recipe for Potato, Carrot and Parsnip soup.

It hit the spot! I halved the recipe, didn't use as much 1/2 & 1/2, and increase the amount of parsnip, and ended up with a really tasty soup that was quick, easy and delish!

Check it out if you need a quick weeknight dinner! 

While we are on the subject of soups...anyone have their own recommendations? I personally love a pureed soup, or lentils! 
I am not sure I could have taken a more unappetizing photo! This does NOT do it justice! But let's all have a laugh at my lame photography, since I was in such a rush to eat my bowl of soup!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The First Time I Quit

Before I found myself living in DC, I had a short stint of living (by short, I mean about three months) in Houston. The same boy that asked me to move to DC lived there after we met in college to do Teach For America. To lessen the amount of time that we would be in a long distance relationship, I move to Texas for the summer.

Needing a job, and thinking of something I could transition to Seattle once I returned for my last year of school, I sought out a job as a barista.

I lasted 12 days.

Not even 12 consecutive days.I had to go to Atlanta (I think?) for a sorority thing after my first 5 days.

Being a barista didn't come easy. No one really was training me. I read some note sheets and then was making frozen beverages and using the cash register like my life depended on it during lunch. I was frazzled, tired ( nothing like working the 5am shift!) and not sure I was cut out for coffee making mastery.

It was a humid, soupy hot morning. I drove to the cafe, walked up to the entrances. The glass doors where dripping with condensation from the humidity, it was disgusting. Already 90 degrees at five in the morning. I knocked, since I didn't have keys and the store didn't actually open until 5:30. No one came to open the door. I could hear music, but no one was visible. I knocked again. Just more music.

I got in my car and drove home.

I didn't go back. I didn't collect my paycheck for those 12 days of work until 5 years later.

It is one of the only things I think I truly just up and quit.

Now quitting has a broad spectrum of interpretation. Yes, I've "quit" jobs. But resigned would be the more accurate term in my head. I've "quit" relationships. But I would say ended is more telling. I've "quit" violin, and soccer. But not in the way I walked away from that coffee shop that summer morning.

Many years into young adulthood my mom shared with me that a very close family friend had said that I was a unique little kid. He had never seen someone so determine as I was when it came to things I wanted or loved. I was diligent, dedicated and outright stubborn. (Which I will humbly agree with).
I don't like to walk away from something I started. I hate the idea of quitting anything. Especially in the manner of how I quit that job as a barista.That experience probably made me even more stubborn. Even more dedicated to trying to make something work a million different ways before I say " done". It is not my nature to do anything less.

But when is this a fault? When do you let go? When do you have a 5-AM-I'm-Not-Sure-This-Barista-Thing-Is-Doing-It-For-Me moment? How do you recognize that it is ok to let go of things that don't work for you? Because it is ok to do that...right?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Your Starbucks Identity

There was a time where meeting a guy in Starbucks was my forte, my jam, my place where I apparently exuded confidence and radiance to lure boys to come talk to me.

One boy was quite successful and he woo'ed me as I studied for a Chemistry mid-term. We dated for about 9 months early on college, and while he certainly didn't end up being my "one", the story of meeting him in a Starbucks in Seattle, will remain a fun one to tell.

Not as cute as the boyfriend I met at Starbucks, was the creepster I had interrupt a girl date to share some wildly inappropriate words and his phone number. That was Howie. I still cry I laugh so hard when I tell that story.

I digress. I still spend a lot of time in coffee shops. I love them. I love finding a good one. I love working and reading in them. I love the people watching and the idea that you can be alone, but you are surrounding people other people, all wanting to be pseudo alone.

A friend had her Starbucks cup with an entirely different name written on it. When I asked her if she had grabbed stolen someone's drink she laughed and told me the reason behind the unmatched name. She said that it is a chance to be anyone. You can have another name. Another identity. As long as you play the part.

She has a Starbucks Identidy.

And she orders her coffee with a different name she has always liked.

I tried it out a few weeks ago. I wasn't too bold, considering I was afraid I would forget the name I gave the barista, so I went for Annie.

I kind of liked it. Maybe, Annie is the girl who attracts all those guys.
What do you think? Do you have a Starbucks Identity?

Friday, January 10, 2014

There's No Place Like Home...for a Wedding.

A bit belated, but nonetheless less finally recapping the final part of the weddingpalozza that was my September. After being home for a few days I flew it to meet the BF in Kansas City to attend the wedding of our friends who we knew through a larger group of friends, but the groom had also been an apartment mate of the BFs.

I had an early flight and ended up needing a nap once we got settled into our hotel. The hotels that everyone was staying at we located on a central plaza like area that had a bunch of restaurants, bars and shops. After getting a good nap in, we refreshed and headed to there rehearsal dinner at a nearby Italian place. It was really fun to be included in the rehearsal dinner and having some time with friends. After dinner people headed to a bar close by. It was a neat bar (with a sleezyster guy there who would make your skin crawl) and an easy walk back to the hotel once we were too tired for anything more.
The next morning we want to see a bit of Kansas City, so we drove around a bit and found one of the nearby art museums that had some amazing sculptures outside.
Then we got down to business... Barbecue. Oklahoma Joes, completely a two hour wait, and approximately 20 minutes to scarf down the food before racing to not miss the wedding.
It was worth it. I think I probably smelled like barbecue at the wedding, and some friends of ours may or may not have snuck down the side isle moments before the bride made her entrance, but it was worth it. It was so good!

The reception was at a really neat modern art gallery and before the bride and groom got there we wandered the exhibit. Walking into the main exhibit I looked around and said "these photos are in Idaho!". Sure enough, and Idaho based photography exhibit, which was beautiful.

The wedding was a blast, complete with one of the best wedding cakes I have ever had.
The next morning we set out for St. Louis, as the BF had the thought to knock out seeing a few ballparks while we were in that part of the country. We made in just in time to watch the game.

After the game we went on a little walk just to see some of the area around our hotel and the ball park.
We decided to go up in the arch the next day as it was getting kind of late. So we went back to our hotel, changed and then headed to "the hill" to track down some Italian. We ate more than I could handle. Fresh pasta, chicken parm, soft fresh bread, and carbonara for days.
The next morning we did the Arch. It felt strange to be back, as I remember when I saw it on my move to DC, I thought how it could be ten of more years before I would be back. Butt here we were, five years later, looking at that arch thinking about the drive to the East. Funny how things can come full circle at times.
I forgot how teeny tiny those little capsules are that you ride up in. You can't think too much about it or you get a little queasy.

The views make it worth that kind of scary ride. When you are up there, and thinking about the fact that you are standing inside the top of the arch, you feel pretty amazing about it.
After that we piled into the car, found some lunch, saw a glimpse of WashU (and Brookings Boulevard, HA!) and then headed back to catch a Kansas City Royals game.
This ballpark was amazing. So different from most, complete with Vegas style water features and "crown vision" and their jumbotron.
It was a really fun game and a great end to our time in Kansas and Missouri.
We flew home the next morning, and then I catapult into the next phase of my life, and put in my two weeks notice. What a memorable ending to an awesome extended trip!

Read about part one of our trip in California and part two here. 

Read about my trip to Idaho in between the two weddings.