Monday, April 30, 2012

Green apple and brie sandwiches

Yummy snack tonight! Brown sugar, green apple, and brie open-faced sandwiches. 

I sliced a loaf of French bread, sprinkled some brown sugar on it, placed a few green apple slices on each piece, and topped it off with a bit of brie cheese. I broiled them for about five minutes until the bread and the cheese turned golden brown. 

These sandwiches were one of my favorite meals when my mama still cooked for me on a regular basis (those were the days), but if I had really had my act together I would have added caramelized onions too :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend recap

Had a nice, relaxing weekend (such a change from last weekend!). Volunteering gave me the chance to flip through some magazines in my spare time, then it was home for a dinner party at our house with some fun friends. Slept in the next day, and lounged around the house all day getting chores done. That evening, I had a fun date night with dinner and a movie, The Five Year Engagement.

I thought it sounded funny from the trailer, and it was no disappointment. There were some really comical parts (the Elmo and Cookie Monster scene is absolutely hilarious), and it had a great ending.
Today (Sunday) also had a nice, sleeping-in morning and a relaxing afternoon of shopping and potting my plants.

A tomato plant and two basil plants, my first venture into vegetable and herb territory! So excited, I have high hopes for them (though I do have a terrible track record with my previous plants...). 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another shot at no-heat curls

Here we go again. I tried the sock bun method which was good but didn't last through the day. When this popped up on Pinterest, I decided it was worth a shot. I like having options when I don't want to use heat to style my hair.

I started with slightly damp hair...

...and took two strands from right above my ears, twisted them, and tied them back with a tiny hair tie.

Then, I took a one-inch section and wrapped it around the strand I had already pulled back. I secured it with a bobby pin, and did the same with the next section.

When I had completed the whole head, I was done for the evening.

The next morning I woke up, unraveled my work from the night before...

...and this is what I had!

Cute curls, I was impressed!

And they lasted all day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blueberry cream cheese rolls

Tried out a new recipe tonight, from here. All I needed was Pillsbury Crescent rolls, cream cheese, and blueberries. 

I unrolled the Crescent rolls and spread them out on a baking sheet, adding a small spoonful of cream cheese to the center.

I placed a few blueberries on each mound of cream cheese (in an unnecessary, obsessive-compulsive pattern).

I rolled up the Crescent rolls and pinched shut the seams.

I baked them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 9 minutes (until they were golden brown).

They weren't as sweet as I was expecting (the rolls were somewhat salty and the blueberries didn't do much to counteract that), but they would be perfect for a breakfast when I wouldn't be able to handle anything very sweet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What a Tuesday!

Today was indescribably surreal! After my usual day of classes, I met up with my parents who had come up to Boulder for the evening. My Mama and I researched grad schools for me (I'm looking at pediatric NP/DNP options right now). I could barely concentrate though, because I knew I had such an exciting night ahead of me!

I hopped in a super long line to attend President Obama's speech here on campus, such a huge event! Thousands and thousands of students, faculty, staff, and community members were present and the police and the Secret Service were everywhere so campus was absolute madness. We waited in line for a few hours to enter the building (we had to go through airport-like security, but they didn't even check our tickets!), and then waited for a few hours inside. 

We were in the first part of the line to get into the building, and they had the nerve to seat us right behind the stage and the podium, where we only would have had a view of the back of the President's head or no view at all. We couldn't call ourselves college students however unless we stood up for what we believe in, so we revolted and ran through the stadium to better seats :)

I guess no one can tell the President exactly what to do, since he was an hour and a half late for his 30-minute speech. That was really frustrating (the event center was boiling hot with thousands of people inside and the doors shut tight for security), but it was well worth it to see him speak. He is such a talented orator! The entire crowd was engaged and cheering the whole time. What a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Immediately after I had an opposing but equally inspiring experience at the Michael Franti concert on campus. I cannot stress enough how incredible of a performer he was (so much better in person than on his recordings!), and I urge you to take any chance you get to see him live. He came alone (without his usual Spearhead band), and the event was an intimate evening of discussion and acoustic guitar performances. It was such a relaxing, uplifting experience that I won't ever forget. Unfortunately, the staff was very strict about preventing photography (I wasn't even allowed to bring my camera inside) so all I could get was this terrible phone picture, sorry!

Phew! Time to sleep!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Polka dot mani

I love all of the polka dot manis that I have been seeing lately! Thought I'd try one of my own. Inspiration came from cute creations like these:

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As much as I love these looks, I needed a more toned-down version so I just polka dot-ed my ring finger. 

 With a pure white base, a few pinks, and my homemade dotting tool (see instructions here!) I dotted away!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend recap

Had such a long, sleep-deprived weekend but it was oh so worth it!

Friday afternoon started with a few calm hours of babysitting (biked down to the park with the kids) and volunteering at the hospital (slow day, so much chai drinking and reading!).

That night though, things got busy. I spent a few hours at the YMCA preparing for the next day's 9News Health Fair (many nonprofit health fairs are held across Colorado annually to provide healthcare to anyone, especially the impoverished). Boulder Valley's Health Fair is run by CU students and this year I was a coordinator-in-training (next year I'll be a coordinator!). 

I slept for about 4 hours that night, and then was back at the YMCA by 5 am to get ready for the fair. It was a fantastic event (with a few minor hiccups) that served over 400 people! By the time the fair was over at noon though, I was exhausted and ready to sleep. Didn't get the chance yet, because a few other committee members and I had to return 300 chairs and 50 tables to the church and rec center we borrowed them from. 

Made it home in time for a quick shower and 30-minute nap before date night. We went to Larkburger (YUM!) where I had a portobello burger and truffle-parmesan fries (an excessive amount of them) and he had a burger.

We saw a performance of Heaven on campus (he is in a theater class and had to attend and write a paper about it) which I enjoyed, but was too tired to really appreciate.

No rest for the weary however, went to bed early and woke up early to wait in line for tickets to see President Obama speak on campus on Tuesday!!! My roommate and I sat in line for three hours and were some of the first few to get tickets. Unfortunately, students hours later were just walking up and getting tickets so I guess I didn't have to wait in line, but oh well it was an experience.

Happy ticket-holders!

The golden ticket!

Had a yummy lunch and shopping extravaganza afterward, then spent the afternoon laying in the sun alternating between napping and chatting with friends. Finally an outdoor yoga class to re-align me for the week, and the weekend was over! As fun as it all was, I'm hoping the week is a little calmer :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In the back of the tea shop

Found a new favorite place to study, or just pass the afternoon.

There is an open-air mall just a quick bus ride, bike, or walk away from campus with great shopping and restaurants. One of the latest editions is a little tea shop, the first two-thirds of which is full of every flavor tea and tea-related accessory imaginable, and the back third of it is a quiet little sanctuary.

Here is the row of low tables, the far right in the corner is the one I chose to study at.

This is the lovely fountain that, along with quiet classic Oriental music, perfectly accompanied my reading.

I sipped a yummy milk tea with bobas, and read The Frogs by Aristophanes (a comedy for a change in my Greek and Roman Tragedy class). I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially anyone with  prior knowledge of ancient Greek literature. It is very funny, it is especially interesting to see just how much of the humor we still appreciate today.

What a fantastic afternoon :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

White bean artichoke salad

I was inspired by this

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delicious looking sandwich from Martha Stewart (recipe here) to try the combo of white beans and marinated artichokes. However, I wasn't quite feeling the sandwich thing, I decided to turn it into a salad. 

So here's my salad! 


Great Northern beans
Marinated artichokes

I rinsed the beans, chopped the artichokes a little smaller, washed and tore up the spinach, and topped it all with garlic, salt, and pepper.

Between the white beans and marinated artichokes, the flavor combination is perfect. It's a great light salad for this warmer weather, and it didn't even need a dressing (the marinade from the artichokes seems to be enough). So good, and it's for lunch tomorrow again! That's why it's in Tupperware :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bright tips

A bright mani for spring! I've seen brights and neutrals paired in everything from shoes to decor, especially nails!

The look was time-consuming to achieve, but I was in need of a bit of me time :)

I used a basecoat, then added two coats of my beige/tan color (which ended up much darker than I had expected/hoped), using my thumb nails to wipe off the tips (I tried taping off my tips, but it just got too complicated). When that was done, I simply added two coats of the colors to the tips and finished with a topcoat.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baked grapefruit

Have you ever heard of baking a grapefruit? I hadn't until just recently and it seemed a weird thing to do with a fruit with such a fresh, light flavor like a grapefruit. However, I figured it was worth a try since people were raving about it on Pinterest.

Step by step:

Slice a grapefruit in half
Slice off the bottom of each half so it can sit on a baking tray without wobbling
Sprinkle toppings (in my case: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes
Remove, let cool, and dig in!

While browsing recipes, I noted a variety of toppings for the grapefruit. Coconut, cinnamon, honey, maple syrup, granola, brown sugar, so many options! I decided that I would just mix and match, and add a few of my own, so I ended up using brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I used a pinch of each, but the cloves were definitely the most overwhelming flavor (and scent, oh I wish I could purvey the smell of my baked grapefruit to you! So amazing! Like a fresh autumn!). I just love the scent of citrus and cloves.

With the toppings I used this snack seemed like part of a perfect fall breakfast, and I will definitely be making this on a fall morning, but I think I'll experiment with other options too for a less seasonal flavor. Maybe something that doesn't mask the grapefruit flavor as much.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend recap

Had such a busy, fun-filled weekend! Started with a concert on Friday night: Cults, who I had never heard of before that day. I wasn't so sure about going because the roommate who invited me has very hipster taste and we generally vary in music. The concert as free though (she works for a radio station and had a free +1) and I didn't have anything else going on so I went!

I'm really glad I did go, it was really fun! They were an entertaining band whose music I did end up enjoying (in a fun, hipster way) and the light show that accompanied them was fun too. Plus, they played at a cool theater in Boulder that I hadn't been to, so I'm glad I had this chance!

The next day, another roommate was performing at a dance recital with and for the Boulder Expand Program that benefits adults with physical and mental disabilities. We went to support her and Expand, and the performance was super adorable, and free too!

After a yummy Panera lunch, Lollicup dessert, and shopping trip, we stopped by CU's International Festival. We were dubious about staying when we saw how ridiculously long the line was, but that was an accurate indicator of how fantastic the event would be. There were 29 countries represented (including Colombia!) and each one had a booth with a sample of a food from the country (prepared by catering staff). I cannot explain how literally incredible all of the food was. Although there was a significant amount of food with meat and/or nuts, there was plenty that I could enjoy, and enjoy I did! We left stuffed and overjoyed, trying to place all of the different flavors in our mouths. In case you are looking for some fun, foreign recipes they can be found here.

Finished off the night with the boyfriend watching Tintin (finally!), which I loved. I was super impressed by the animation too, it was so realistic! We munched on gummy candies and chocolate chip cookies, and enjoyed a relaxing night in.

Although today has been uneventful (homework, meeting on campus, more homework), I've got plenty of fun memories from this weekend to look back on :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Conference on World Affairs

This past week, CU has hosted the Conference on World Affairs (CWA). This event happens every year and it is always such a great week. There are roughly 100 participants each year who give hour-and-a-half talks structured as panels that are mainly lectures on a variety of topics followed by question-and-answer periods. The topics range from politics to healthcare to humor to sex and drugs. People come from across the country to attend the talks (which all take place on the CU-Boulder campus) and it's a bonus that CU students can attend them whenever they have free time. I love being able to attend a talk on something completely random and different from my classes and just learn about something new for an hour and a half. 

This year I haven't been able to attend very many talks until today. I had a calc test yesterday that ate up all of my free time before last night, but I made up for it by sitting in on two talks today: "Science Storytelling: An Apple Fell Into a Bar..." and "We the Angry People: The Tea Party and Occupy." The first was very informational about the filter scientific journals have on the information that the scientific community (and the public) is exposed to. The second was also quite informative, with a panel of two liberals and two conservatives. My parents came up for the the day as well and went to lectures with me. Although my day is pretty full tomorrow, I'm hoping to attend, "Closing the Global Income Gap" or "Are Corporations People: Would Texas Execute One?" or maybe "Vampires! They Suck!" :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gourmet pizza

So this gourmet pizza recipe is from over Spring Break and I forgot to post it, but it's absolutely delicious and definitely worth sharing!

My Mama and I sauteed zucchini, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, and asparagus with red wine.

We had found some purple asparagus that neither of us was familiar with so we decided to give it a try. As you can see in the photo above, it eventually just turned the color of regular green asparagus (though the flavor was slightly sweeter and lighter).

We used a pre-made pizza dough (we cheated!) but it was really good and we were too hungry to wait.

We rolled it out and added our sauteed toppings.

Close-up of all of the yummy toppings!

The best part of the flavor came from the cheese we put on top, fontina and fresh parmesan!

Then we cooked it at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.

Ohmygosh so yummy! Ah can't wait to make it again!

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