Monday, January 31, 2011

Crocodile Mile

Please visit this link to an article on, and then join with me as I bend over and kiss my butt goodbye.

If you need me, I'll be using my slip'n'slide to get to work tomorrow. Maybe it will be as fun as Crocodile Mile?!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

31 Days

Ever feel like you're just itching to do something? Like something needs to change? Like there's an ever-growing list of things you want to do to be a better person?

If you're anything like me, your daily life is full of the itch. My problem is discipline. 100%. I can't blame it on not being a routine person, because so help me if you throw off my schedule in the morning, I might squirt you in the face with the Pam spray usually intended for my fried egg pan. I have the routine down, I'm just bad at adding things in.

Here's a brief list of things I wish I could be more disciplined at.

  • Flossing
  • Wearing make-up
  • Eating correct, healthy portion sizes
  • Cleaning my bathroom
  • Not wasting food
  • Not impulse buying in the grocery store
  • Exercising
  • Not letting laundry gather in piles on the floor
  • Facebook. (need I say more?)
Obviously there's a lot more, but these are the highlights. I've been aware of them for a long time, but these are also things that I don't consider to be life-altering (although yes, extremely helpful), so they just get put on the side, day after day.

My desire to do something about these things usually peaks around September, and the end of January. Autumn inspires me for many reasons, and January seems pretty obvious. I usually don't get around to New Year's resolutions until the end of January, after the weather has been cold and gray and snowy for two weeks (sound familiar, my Baltimore friends??), and I'm finally off the high of the holiday season.

Well my friends, we've reached the end of January, and I have a few new projects I'm going to be trying. Some I'll be trying to share with you regularly, others I will probably just let you know about and then let you know afterwards how it goes. (Because honestly, flossing doesn't make for interesting blogging. It's really just pretty gross.)

Today starts one of my more intense projects. Have you ever noticed how when life gets harder and more stressful, one of the first things to feel the struggle is your faith? I usually keep mine pretty quiet, because I don't consider myself to be a strong person. In fact, I'm pretty weak, which means I'm self-conscious and vulnerable, and I don't like to talk about it. I generally just like to ignore it.

To make a long story short, it's time to dig myself out of a hole I'm feeling buried in. Difficult times and weakness have caused my Christian faith to become a dim little candle, instead of the roaring fire it should be. And it's time to fix it!

My best friend Kate has agreed (with a little too much enthusiasm) to be my tough, singe-your-face-mean drill sergeant of discipline. The idea of the project is simple - to read through two books of the Bible, discussing it with each other as we go along, and doing some 31 days. Which according to urban legend, should be plenty of time to establish and break a few habits.

I invite you to join me. It doesn't have to be the same project in any respect. It could even be flossing, for 31 days. If there's anything our world could use more of, it's discipline. Be creative! We all want to diet and exercise...I'm curious about other things you'd like to be more disciplined at. I won't be blogging about this daily, but I'll try to give you a few updates as you go along. And I'd love to hear updates about your own projects. Encouragement is a beautiful thing!

I'll be launching another project later on this week, something much more fun and light-hearted, but this is something I wanted to let you know about today.

I'm off to go bake something fattening now to eat my feelings of vulnerability about this post. (See above, needing to be more disciplined at eating healthy, correct portion sizes. Hmm...) I hope you all enjoy your Sunday, and I look forward to hearing about what projects you may have going on. And March 2nd, hopefully I'll have good news to report!

And because I don't believe in a blog post without photos, here are some of my favorites from my repertoire of flower photos (because I'm obsessed) to help us look forward to spring. Because heaven help us, it needs to arrive soon!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tiny Anchors

My friend Brooke, who was also the amazing photographer from our wedding, has recently started a blog called Tiny Anchors.

She sees everything through a design lens, and has really fun ideas. Especially her inspiration board on house numbers.

I highly recommend checking her out! :) 

And in case you weren't sold on her being a creative genius, here are some of the photos she took at our wedding, which still take my breath away. (Thank you Brooke!!!!) You can see more of her portfolio on her website.


Friday, January 28, 2011


Otherwise known as "Texts from Last Night's Concert".

"Did I mention this was a rock concert? Some guy in front of us just turned around and was like...'Are you ready to rock the @#$* out??' ..Yikes."

"I've never seen so many skinny jeans in my life."


"The guy from the opening band just smoked 7 cigarettes at once and then ATE THEM. LIT. Where am I??"

"This is the cover of the next band's album. WHAT???"

"Near-death by mosh pit. Is it over yet? Where is Anberlin??"

"The guys keep saying to me, 'I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.' "

(1 hour later)


And I got to hear one of my favorite songs live. See below.

In all seriousness, we had no clue what we were getting ourselves into with this concert. We all love Anberlin and were excited to see them. However we were all feeling a bit lazy and didn't really look into who the other bands were.

Lesson learned. Main lesson? Avoid the floor right in front of the band if one of the headliners is a band described by iTunes as "Neo-progressive emo-punk". Otherwise known as lots of angsty, angry teenagers.

And we still love Anberlin and their awesomeness. Just not their opening bands. :)

Photographs by my awesome husband, since I brought my phone and my license, and nothing else.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Portobellos Wrapped in Goodness

What's that? Wrapped in goodness?? Oh yes, yes that's right.

So, I was browsing through my cookbook in a section that I don't normally browse in. "Beans, Rice, & Grains". Which I usually tend to avoid because it just seems boorrrinng. However, this picture caught my eye.

Courtesy of the amazing Better Homes & Gardens
Which can also be found here, with a nice printable recipe too. Because good things do happen sometimes.

And hooo-boy does that look amazing. So, I decided to try it! Aren't you excited?

Portobello Wrap with White Bean-Chili Spread

4 portobello mushroom caps, stems and gills removed
1/4 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
1 19-oz can white kidney beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, quartered
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 tbsp bottled Italian salad dressing
4 8-inch garlic-herb, spinach, or plain flour tortillas
4 ounces goat cheese (chevre), crumbled, or 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

1. Brush portobello mushrooms on both sides with the 1/4 cup dressing. Let stand for 15 minutes.

So, naturally this was the one time my grocery store didn't have full-size portobello caps, so I went ahead and bought them pre-sliced.

To remove the gills, just take a spoon and gently scrape them away. It's fun...and a little bit messy.

Nice and clean-scraped.

Mmm...marinating mushrooms. YUM.

Meanwhile, in a food processor combine beans, garlic, olive oil, chili powder, and salt. cover and process until nearly smooth; set aside.

White Bean-Chili Spread goodness. 

2. Toss spinach with the 1 tablespoon salad dressing; set aside.

3. Preheat broiler. Place mushrooms on the unheated rack of the broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat for 6 to 8 minutes, turning mushrooms over halfway through broiling. Slice mushrooms into strips.

Cooking them pre-sliced didn't seem to do too much harm, and I did still slice them up thinner to fit better in the wraps. Tasty!

4. Spread about one-third of the bean puree evenly over each flour tortilla. Top the bean puree layer with warm mushroom slices, spinach mixture, and cheese. Roll up each tortilla around fillings. Place wraps, seam side down, on plates.

* A little secret...we're carnivores, and this is a vegetarian recipe. I would have been fine with just the mushrooms and beans, but to keep Scott happy, I added some chopped up chicken I had leftover from roasting a chicken. I imagine you could add most any meat - sliced up steak would probably be good too.

All rolled up and ready to eat. 

I was initially worried about the quantity of chili powder involved in this. I'm usually a pretty big wimp when it comes to spicy food, but I decided to be brave and use the full amount. In the end, I'm glad I did!  It's not spicy at all, and just has a really rich, creamy flavor that blends well with the Italian dressing and mushrooms. And the best part, it's healthy too! The bean-chili spread seems like something that you could make other sandwiches with, or might even be good on tacos.

Oh, and Scott loved it too, so it's man-approved. I highly recommend this recipe for something light and healthy when you need a break from typically heavy winter foods.

Aren't you glad you found out about Portobellos wrapped in goodness??

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thud versus Woosh.

Today was one of those tension filled days at work where everyone came in covered in snow and cranky because despite schools and courts all over the state being closed, Baltimore city was still open and running.

It rained most of the day, and then around 4pm, the frozen precipitation announced its arrival with a huge flash of lightning and loud thunder.

I got to walk several blocks home in something lovely they like to call a "Wintery Mix." Otherwise known as snow, sleet, rain, hellfire, and brimstone, all pouring down from the sky with blustery winds that turn your umbrella inside out.

But I'm not bitter.

In fact, around 9pm, Scott and I decided to be spontaneous and geared up, heading to the roof of our seven-story parking garage. 

We threw snowballs, attempted a snowman, and made snow angels. We listened to the surprisingly satisfying "thud" that a huge snowball makes when you shove it off a ledge seven stories in the air. (Don't worry, we made sure there were no pedestrians nearby.) We also discovered that the same huge snowballs make no sound whatsoever when aimed at subway vents, they just disappear through the grate with a little "woosh". And for a long time, we just watched the snow swirling furiously through the sky scrapers, illuminated in huge rolling waves like the stars in Van Gogh's Starry Night.

I tried to get some photos, but was too afraid of my camera getting wet so I snapped a few and quickly shoved it back in my safely-zippered pocket. So I apologize for the poor quality.

Back to the real world tomorrow, but we had fun indulging our inner children tonight. Hope those of you that had a snow day today got to enjoy it too!

The view out our apartment window. You can always tell when the
weather is bad because the clock tower begins to disappear.
Umbrellas in the street.
View from the parking garage.
Blurry, but look at that grin. :)
I always love how bright the sky is in the city when it snows. It glows
a bright orange-y pink.
A beautifully lit vacant building. The story of Baltimore.
Not too many people braving it down our street tonight. 
My snow angel. You can tell by the large rear-end imprint.