January 29, 2016

coronado heights

It's been sunny and warm and lovely out in Kansas, so Becky, Polly, and I went up a Kansas mountain!
And by "Kansas mountain" I totally mean a large hill. Because it's Kansas and while it's not entirely flat, it's definitely not mountainous. Polly and I were still in wonder though.
All the land is in winter right now. It's not white with snow, but it's brown and tan.
Except the spots where someone painted fake moss on the rocks.

Coronado Heights is just outside of Lindsborg, KS and supposedly Francisco Vasquez de Coronado [an explorer in the 16th century] went up this hill to survey the land looking for gold. It was all about gold back then, wasn't it? In the 1930s the Works Progress Administration built a castle and picnic areas around the hill. It was New Deal time and people needed jobs, yo. Since it was built it's been a place people went for school field trips, high school drinking parties [not me, of course] and summer time family fun finding horny toads [that's what I did].
I love adventures. 

January 26, 2016


I wore these glasses for most of Christmas when I was with family in Fort Wayne. 

At one point my grandpa looked at me and said "I really like your glasses." 




**edit: I don't in any way think this was a slam from my grandpa. I mostly thought it was hilarious. He's the kind of old-school gentleman who always compliments a lady, but totally doesn't get the trendiness of giant glasses. I get plenty of compliments other places on my glasses that I'm not worried about my ego. (-;

January 23, 2016

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with chocolate almond butter buttercream

I am so excited to share this recipe with y'all. 

It's ridiculous. 

It's delicious.

I was told it could get me married.
A medical doctor said that so it must be true.

hahahahahahahahahaha [Picture me cackling because the idea of cookies finding a husband is RIDICULOUS. Does that happen for people? That's not a real thing, right?]
A while back, I had posted on Instagram that I was attempting to create/find/mash-up The Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe ever. I had two comments from my favorite McF siblings:
Ask Renée.
I'd had Renée's cookies. They are The Best. I got my grubby paws on that recipe and then I took the Holy Grail of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes and messed around with it a little [because it's me]. Then I threw a little chocolate almond butter buttercream in the middle and hauled those little babies to work.
They came out pretty baller if I do say so myself.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
-1 cup butter
-1/4 cup almond butter
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-2 cups oats [I like 1 cup instant + 1 cup old fashioned]
-2 cups chocolate chips [Do you have bags of all the chips sitting around? Half milk and half semi-sweet please. If you're going to do just one, I'd go with semi-sweet.]

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter, almond butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet ingredients until just mixed. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, I prefer the 1.5 Tbsp size for small cookies since you're putting two together, place on a pan lined with parchment or silpats. Bake for 8-10 minutes [I find that 9 minutes is perfection] or until the bottom of the cookies are just browned.

My current favorite almond butter, it's from Costco and totally affordable at $10 for 27 oz.

Chocolate Almond Butter Buttercream
-1/2 cup butter
-1/2 cup almond butter
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp almond extract
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 cups powdered sugar
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-3-5 Tbsp milk/cream/almond milk

Beat together the butter, almond butter, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and slowly mix in to the butter mixture. Add 3-5 Tbsp milk/cream/almond milk until the consistency is thick, but spreadable.
I find that almond butter is more oily than commercial peanut butter, so you'll want to adjust the liquid you add to the frosting accordingly. Once the frosting is at your desired thickness, I like to put it in a gallon-size ziplock to quickly pipe it on to the cookies. Just place the bag in a tall glass and fold over the top. When it's filled, you can unroll the top and move the frosting to the corner. Cut the corner of the bag [start small, you can cut more if you need to!] and pipe a large dallop between two cookies. 
I think these cookies keep best in the refrigerator, but are at their tastiest at room temperature.



January 19, 2016

bathroom tour

The first room I've finished in the new tiny apartment is the bathroom. This makes sense because it's basically the same as my last apartment bathroom. I like what I like, ya know?

IKEA shower curtain from several years ago. In my building they have the original toilets, sinks, and showers. They're either yellow [like mine], green, or purple. I loooooooooooove the bathtub in this apartment, it's crazy long and deep. HEAVEN. They don't make them like that anymore. In other news, can we talk about who the genius was that thought that putting hot and cold in two separate spigots was a good idea? 

I do not like that person. 
Remember this project from back in 2011? I've seen several in person [I love that other people made this!] and I still love it.
No need to look inside my cabinet, I'll just show you. (-: The top to bottom run down: nose rings, bobby pins, face lotion, deodorant, a diva cup in hiding, bandaids, toothbrush, organic toothpaste, a lint roller, and a little perfume. 
Ribbon nailed across the back of the door works for glasses storage. I mean, I don't think it's a "problem" but  I definitely have a lot of pairs of glasses. Soon I'll show you all of them. 
My mom picked up this cute necklace hanger for me at a local shop in McPherson.
Nail polish! You know my self control doesn't exist when it comes to nail polish. It's not a problem when you can use it and store it, amiright? 

That's the bathroom. Nothing too exciting. I spend quite a bit of time in there. It's not too shabby. 

January 17, 2016

TV time

Everyone, I MEAN ERRRRYONE, is talking about Making a Murderer on Netflix. I have yet to click on it...because I can't stop watching Switched at Birth.
You know, the ABC Family show where two 16-year-old girls discover they were switched at birth and the super-white Midwest family raising the dark-haired Latina girl and the Latina family living on the rough side of Kansas City raising a pale ginger baby meet each other. OH--AND the ginger girl is deaf. Just to add to the mix.
Pawblo is obsessed. It's almost too much drama for me, but I've forced myself through 3 seasons [I'm almost to season 4!] just for him. He's so high maintenance.
The thing with watching this much ASL is that I'm pretty sure in the dark recesses of my mind, I can DO some signing...except I can sign like 4 words. OK? YES? NO? MAD. [this one is on the show all the time, did I mention drama?] And I'm pretty sure anyone who talks excessively with their hands is actually doing ASL.
Does this make me weird?

I almost wish it were Spanish and I was picking up some words on that front because that would actually be helpful in my life. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

January 15, 2016

a little place

I have a new little apartment! [apparently I have a trend for tiny living arrangements.] I think I’m going to love it, but it’s going to be a process getting it all organized and ready for living in.

The new place is just north of downtown Indy. I sent an inquiry email when I found this little space and received an email back “Thanks for your interest! We have units available, but you’ll have to go through the artist interview process to get in.”


I mean, the name of the building did contain the words “ARTIST COLONY” but it’s just the name of the building. Right? When you say “artist” what exactly do you mean? What does this “interview” entail?

Oh, it’s actual people who consider themselves fine artists or musicians or actors or writers. Um…I’m creative? Does that count? I like to bake fancy things? create recipes? paint my nails elaborately? sometimes I take pictures?

Apparently I was ok enough to get in.

Except I'm supposed to participate in things.

With people I don’t know.

And share some of my creativity.

Is anyone terrified for me?

Hold me, I’m scared.

My aunt and uncle brought all my things from storage in Fort Wayne [so grateful!] and I packed up my stuff from the little house here and for the first time in three years all my possessions are in the same place. And for the first time in three years I’m opening boxes and thinking “WHY DID I PACK THAT?”

I’m touching everything. It’s taking forever. FOOOOORRRR-EH-VAH.

I have so much trash.

I’ve taken things to Salvation Army. I’m getting rid of this and that and those things over there.

It feels good, except right now it looks like this:

I’m so excited to cook and bake and hang pictures and make my space my own. This wading through the crap phase is taking too long, but it must be done!

Here’s the layout, except it’s more like the backwards picture.
Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.29.52 PM apartment backwards

Room tours coming soonish [please refer to above picture of the mess].