October 27, 2009

( :

It's like they turned life into a musical.



See this cat?

This cute, precious, rub-my-belly-and-I-will-be-yours-forever cat?


He seems cute and cuddly and wanting to curl up next to you in the middle of the night, but when morning comes, watch out. Because it's all, "MEOW MEOW MEOW" as loudly as possible.

Around 7:30 am. On your day off.

Then the running and jumping on the bed thing is just too much.

This cat is a pain in the butt.

And then he'll stare ya down.

Good luck.

And in a side note: to retaliate for the early morning wake up sometimes I like to pet Hank just until he purrs and then leave him. Mah-ha-ha-ha...I'm such a tease.

October 24, 2009

Keeping it Quick and Snappy

Quick and Snappy? Is that right? I guess it's right if I say it's right. There you have it.

So, in the last 48-ish hours I have both started a new job and moved.


I started working Friday, and it's a lot-A LOT-more physically draining than I expected. I guess I knew, but seriously, I'm going to be in bitchin' shape. OK, it's anaerobic, but it's still good for me. My biceps, my hamstrings, my deltoids, my upper traps, my levators and my feet are pooped. As I lengthen, spread, lift, move, warm other people's musculature I feel jealous.

We started moving today. We had a band of BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING, TALENTED, SELF-LESS, GENEROUS, and INCREDIBLE people who helped us get our big stuff over. Seriously, we couldn't have done it without them. I'm so grateful for all of their help! Especially since I had to go to work at 10:00. Ugh.

(This isn't my picture, but I'll get some up soon!)

The small stuff is still left at our other place and MG has some more stuff to move in, but we're here!

We'll have a par-tay soon! Hopefully involving some kind of soup and corn muffin/cornbread.


October 22, 2009

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies

You should know that I don't say "Mex-ee-can," I say "Meh-ee-can." It's just something I picked up in clase de espanol back in high school. Gracias, Senora Heidebrecht. (Obviously, I never learned how to make an n with the squiggly line, an "en-yay." How do you describe the inability to write a letter in the alphabet when you can't make the letter in said alphabet?)

Anyways, my dear, sweet (naked in the picture over on the left) friend Michelle called me and raved about these cookies.

No really, she raved, and then gave me the recipe...from her memory. Who memorizes a recipe? Weirdo.

I love spicy and sweet. LOVE. Love. Love. If you haven't tried it, you should. Because it's amazing. Unless you're allergic or some other such nonsense. Cayenne, you are a delight.

And cinnamon? Warmth. That's what cinnamon is. Winter and warmth and home. Did your mom use cinnamon mostly in the winter too?

My mom has a prejudice against cinnamon and chocolate. She hates them together, thus I never really tried them until I left the nest. Flew the coop. Spread my wings.

These cookies have a lot of cinnamon. The dough completely changes color from the cinnamon.

I guess I should get on with it. The recipe. The cookies. The deliciousness.

Yes, black pepper. I recommend the kind from a can. I used freshly ground and the pepper is good, but when you get a partial peppercorn stuck in your tooth after eating a cookie it is not so tasty. And I added an additional 1/4-1/2 cup of flour. Then the consistency was more normal. I used about 3/4 of a teaspoon of cayenne which was a good quantity, not too much but not too little. A little extra warmth in the back of your throat.

Honestly, they were good. I'd make them again. I just prefer a chewier cookie....or a crispier cookie. These were cake-like: light, fluffy, spicy, warm, sweet, chocolate-ly. Perhaps I should have left out the extra flour? Maybe next time.

Thank you divinity students for eating them.

October 21, 2009

En Fuego

Ahh...this morning I got up early (8:15!) to meet MG for dropping off lease applications and some quick shopping.

I decided to make coffee. Last night I made Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies (more to follow on that), so I cleared off the area around the burner moving the hot pads and the parchment paper away. I turned on the burner and went to check my email and the weather for the day and all that jazz.

Then I started to smell something.

Something funny.

Like burning plastic.

Wait a minute! That's not right!

I walked into the kitchen and saw flames almost up to the hood above the stove. This is not good. The pot holders and parchment paper were....disappearing in smoke fast. AHHH!!!

I had turned on the front burner rather than the back one. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

So I grabbed a pan (from the box on the floor, we're packing) and tried to smother the fire and move it into the sink so I could put it out. This worked reasonably well. Then I started opening the windows and trying to get the doors open when the fire alarm went off. It's a loud one.

Then I freaked out because I wasn't sure if the fire department was automatically contacted when the alarm went off.

And I was naked.

EEK! So I ran up and put on a robe while Megan continued fanning around the alarm then I opened the doors and windows. Eventually we got things under control. And no hot firemen came over. (Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm not sure.)

In other news:
1. We signed a lease today! YAY!!!! We're not going to be homeless and we're moving this weekend.
2. I did my final paperwork to start at Massage Envy and I'm starting on Friday! YAY!!! I'm no longer unemployed!

October 20, 2009

I have no life

When you're in-between jobs and everyone you know is working or kickin' it as a student, you spend a lot of time alone.

Or with your crazy cat Hank.

Yes, I'm talking about me. Amy Elizabeth Hoffman, alone with my cat. Pretending like I'm a crazy cat lady except I'm not there yet.

Don't worry.

So, when I'm home alone I spend a lot of time watching TV. It's my comfort and my joy. Just kidding about the joy part. Except, having all this free time makes me want to stay updated on my favorite shows. So when I'm offered a job, I must use all my willpower to not choose my hours around my favorite shows.

The Next Iron Chef

Besides being less cut-throat than Top Chef on Bravo, did you see these men?


Yes, you may cook for me anytime. I will go back to eating meat. Maybe it's the tattoos, we all know I have a thing for those, but seriously these men are 1)confident and 2)amazing chefs meaning that I want to meet them. Tomorrow please.

Project Runway
I still don't have a favorite! How can it be this far into the season and I don't have a favorite? No one is exceptionally nasty or talented compared to everyone else. I love watching every week though. I like that these first two shows are being less cut-throat than they've been in the past and yet, I still want to watch. See, you can leave the drama at the door!

Grey's Anatomy

Speaking of leaving the drama at the door. Crap, Grey's is full of DRAMA this season. OK, so it's always been full of drama. If I'm being honest, I wouldn't even watch this season except that I'm BORED OUT OF MY MIND. Besides, they're doing that "we're ignoring the fact that Ellen Pompeo is preggers thing" and they had her in a bed during the whole last episode where she is very, very with child. Like 8 months...and we're not supposed to notice? At least they didn't do that whole "she's just gaining weight" thing that they do in some shows. The story lines are just getting out of control. As is Izzy's wig.

I love Joel McHale. Enough said.

Seriously, people. Seriously GO WATCH THIS SHOW. I am in love. Or at least in serious like.

I can't stop listening to this song:

If you have time head over to Fancast and watch "Preggers" or "Throwdown." I firmly believe that all music is best when done in a choral arrangement. I may only believe that because I love choir, but who are YOU to judge ME?

So that is my life right now. Someone is meeting with the new management at the location of future employment tomorrow! YAY! So happy thoughts are appreciated!

October 16, 2009


I'm listening to the usual stuff I listen to...In the Heights, Avenue Q, The Full Monty and Urinetown and some other musicals and I can barely keep control of myself.

All I want to do is burst into song and dance.

If you were sitting eating your lunch, drinking your coffee, or working what would you think of someone randomly bursting into song?

Jazz hands?

Too much?

Coffee (Chai)

Let me tell you about my history of coffee.

As a child my dad and my grandparents (probably my Aunts and Uncles too, but I don't remember that) drank this nasty black stuff. It tasted disgusting. Seriously.

When I walked into the Cook's Nook in McPherson (if you're in the McPherson, KS area you must stop by this fabulous store) and was taken by one of the most fantastic smells ever. Coffee beans. Oh my, I love that smell.

In college there was a small coffee shop, The Blue Lion, just on the edge of campus in this bizzare house-shop-thing. It was basically in the middle of nowhere, making it an un-ideal location for any North Manchester residents. My girlfriends, aka Apple Pi's, and I would pop over here during a football game. I would always order a Chai.

Chai. Yum. My Aunt Suze introduced me to chai (I think) since I didn't like coffee. It's all very foggy. However, I remember the chai at The Blue Lion. I believe it was Big Train chai. It's a powdered mix, which I normally would not advocate, but it's SO GOOD. Seriously. I'm a bit of a chai snob. It's all I drank for 4 years when I was pre-coffee. I've only really seen it at small local coffee shops, so if you see it grab a cup. A recommendation for powdered mixes though: get it hot or blended, iced just doesn't work out as well. (It tends to get lumpy.)

Anyways, I have transitioned to coffee. First it was mochas and frappucinos then lattes then (when I ran out of money) regular coffee. Thank you Megan for helping me through this transition.

Last night I was thinking about something to bake when I went to Tasty Kitchen, which is a Pioneer Woman website. If you don't know the Pioneer Woman, you should take a couple of hours (days) to read through some of her stuff. She's my blogging inspiration. Basically, a goddess of the blogging world.

So I went to the Tasty Kitchen website wanting to find some cookies when I came across this recipe for Chai Gingerbread Bars. OH. MY. LANTA.

Please go make them.

I know I don't have any pictures, but if you'd like to donate to my "Get-Amy-a-Camera-Fund" I'm accepting donations and then you will see pictures coming out of my ears. I'm currently at $1.34, I think. Only $798.66 to go. I'm saving for a Nikon Digital SLR, used or new...

Oh and now I love coffee and I'm not sure why I titled this "Coffee" when it should obviously be titled "Chai." There, I added Chai to the title.

October 14, 2009

Five things I want right now...

1. To be able to purchase whatever I want on iTunes.

2. To have a functional phone.

3. To see my people. Family, why did I choose to live so far away?

4. To be one month ahead with my budget.

5. To cuddle with a male other than Hank.

(Yes, this is Gilbert Blythe)

There are definitely some other things I want...world peace, to know my vocation, the ability to think of a place and magically show up there, life to be like Glee (in the singing songs part), to go to the movies whenever I want to, to have enough people to eat my baked goods so I don't eat them myself (ahem, half a pan of blondies...), etc.

October 12, 2009

Monday Monday

Except it's not just another manic Monday.

I'm done working at the Registrar's office at UNC. I didn't get out of bed until about 9:30-10:00 this morning.

I know, it's rough.

Then I went to the library to check out some books.

Now, I'm at Mad Hatter's Cafe drinking coffee and eating a cheese danish.

The danish is a bit dry, but it's not overly sweet and quite tasty.

Being done at UNC is weird. I was there for almost 11 months...as a temp. Weird. They had a goodbye party for me. It was so sweet. I received cards and notes and it was so nice to have an honest appreciation of my time there. This was the first time in my grown-up job life that I've felt that at a job where I worked for longer than 6 months. (You should see my complete resume, it's littered with 3-4 month jobs and one 2 year position.)


Can we ever over-appreciate a person? I think not. And it's ALWAYS nice to hear how great people think you are.

When was the last time someone told you how awesome you are?

When was the last time you told someone else?

I'm challenging myself to be better about this. We all know I have "stuff" around validation, but I can't get any better at it unless I practice. I believe that we all deserve to feel good about ourselves. Confidence is beautiful and the confidence to tell someone what you think is great about them is just as important as self-confidence.

Good luck.


October 8, 2009

Dear Haters,

I haven't had Starbucks at all this week.

That is, I haven't had one drop of a Pumpkin Spice Latte, Light Coffee Frappuccino, Caramel Latte, or coffee.


How's that for someone you may have called an "addict"?



p.s. Is denial the first step? (But I really haven't had any Starbucks.)

October 6, 2009

In this moment

I'm alone at home.

Well, not completely alone. I have Hank. He is my protector.

Yeah, right.

I'm kind of bored. I have 3 days left at UNC in the registrar's office. Then what? Then I'm bringing in the big bucks as a massage therapist.

Except I need something to occupy my evenings. Seriously. Food network is not going to cut it.

I'm taking a dance class on Mondays. It's over at 6:30.

I sing with the church choir on Wednesdays, that's from 7:30-9:00.

And there you have it.

My exciting life.

I need help. Or a boyfriend; a really nice one who likes to drink coffee and laugh and talk and go on walks at dusk and hold hands and cuddle when it's chilly.

Suggestions? (Not necessarily for the bf, we all know I have problems with that.)

October 5, 2009

Birthday fears and fun

It's October, so I think it's time I finally head to the beach since I'm living in a coastal state.

You know?

Plus, I love the beach.

My friend Theresa is recently 40. She's a very young 40. Because 40 is the new 30. You knew that, right? Which means that my 26 is the new...16. NO. NO. NO. It doesn't work until you're actually 30.

I'm the only math genius around here. Don't question my skillz.

For Theresa's 40th birthday she wanted to swim in the ocean. Because she loves the ocean too? NO! Because she's afraid of the ocean.

So brave.

We gathered on the beach and stood in a circle with Theresa in the middle, then we made our way into the water. Do you think that people think we're kooky? I kind of think we're kooky.

Feet. Ankles. Knees. Hips. Waist. Then the waves were rolling into our chests.

Hey, Theresa, how you doing?


Want to float?


Want to swim?


Want to jump in the waves?

AHHH! Oh, my gosh, something just touched me!!!!

What? What touched you?

A crab or fish or something....

It's more afraid of you than you are of it.

I don't think so.

Ok, just take a breath.

We form another circle around her.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

I think I'm doing better now.
And...I'm ready to go in.

We planned this trip back in August (when Theresa's birthday was) and were all kind of expecting the weather to be crap.


I have a sunburn, but it's nothing compared to that burn back in July.

(Oh, and I hijacked Megan's camera to take these pictures. Thank you, Megan!)

October 2, 2009


So, I've spent some time telling your my prejudices against men...you know: tenors, wearing rings, potentially not into women, the "bro" complex, smoking, and shirtless wonders.

The list isn't complete.

However, I thought I'd shed some positive light on men rather than my constant negativity. You know, "maybe I'll find one if I'm in a positive state of mind" that thing.

Things I love in men:
1. Red Hair: Oh, man...the gingers. They slay me! I love it! Plus a)I would use the term "firecrotch" as frequently as possible because I find it to be HILARIOUS and b)I could have ginger babies. Nothing is cuter than a ginger baby in a cardigan.

2. Facial Hair: Now, I'm more picky about this, but I like a little 5 o'clock shadow, a nicely groomed beard or goatee. The only thing is that sometimes it just doesn't work. Sometimes a man gets a case of the "vagina face". Yes, that's what I call it. You know when the "goatee" looks more like un-groomed lady bits. (Sorry.)

3. Humor: I don't mean the raunchy, profanity filled humor, although that can have it's time and place, but the day to day clever funny, seeing the humor in random situations, that kind of thing. (Oh, man that sentence structure was BAD. Can I buy another comma? I'm sorry.)

4. Hard work: I don't care if it's farming, construction, teaching, computer stuff, writing, firefighers, cooking...whatever; if he loves it and works hard at it and is excited about it. I'm smitten. Unless "it" is illegal, then not so much.

5. Beliefs: I'm not necessarily attracted to all beliefs, I mean I want to raise my children in a Christian environment, so I'm really looking for someone who can identify with that. However, I think developing, nurturing and embodying your beliefs is difficult and admirable and VERY attractive.

6. Bald: Bald and beautiful. It takes confidence which is SEX-AY.

7. Talent: Artistic, athletic, social a man who knows what he's good at. Yummy.

8. Legs: Show me athletic, muscular legs/butt/thighs and I'm not looking up. At least for awhile. Give me a moment to admire.

And that's all I can think of for now, but I know I have others. You may think I'm picky, but not in the aesthetic department. More in the personality/ability department.

These Cookies

I checked out Martha Stewart Cookies Cookbook from the library. I love the library (have I mentioned this before? It's a budget conscious girl's bff.) I love Martha's people...Martha herself? A little pretentious for me. I could take her or leave her.

While reading this book, I came across several delicious sounding recipes and luckily they're posted on her website so I didn't have to make copies or type the entire recipe.

Thank goodness.

Especially for these gems: Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I have a love-hate relationship with bananas. I love them if they're perfectly ripe, easy to peel and come with accessories like peanut butter, honey or chocolate. I hate their texture, the smell if they're under-ripe, and the gooey-ness of a bruise.

I didn't eat bananas until probably after college.

Unless it was baked into bread. Or muffins. Basically, I have no prejudice against anything baked.


Banana's weren't even on sale last week (when something's only $0.59 a pound and is shipped all over the world, should it go on sale??) and I still decided to buy 8 bananas so I could ripen them up for these cookies.

Hello beautiful perfectly, ripe bananas. These could actually have gotten a little browner, but I WANT SOME COOKIES!

I also have something against nuts in my cookies. Oh, I like nuts just fine on their own or in a salad, but keep your dang nuts out of my cookies! (Most of the time. Please.)

So, I made: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies.

And when I took them out of the oven I thought, Eh, average at best.

Then they sat over-night and became the moist, delicious Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies I was dreaming about. Ok, I didn't really have any dreams about cookies. I was too busy dreaming about making out in the Wal-Mart parking lot. BUT, if I had dreamed about Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies these would be the ones.

Martha's Banana (Optional Walnut) Chocolate Chip Cookies
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (Yup, didn't use this either...just went with 1 1/2 cups of AP flour)
* 1 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)
* 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I used instant)
* 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks (I used a bag of milk chocolate morsels, but I think mini chocolate chips would be divine. DIVINE.)
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces), toasted (OPTIONAL)

Directions (from Dame Martha):
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts.
2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days.

Eat the next day, trust me.

AMAZING. (To be sung in your best opera voice.)