Thursday, March 31, 2011

ready. set. and i'm still here...

so the camera is still m.i.a.
this is a problem.
so i have been reduced to taking pictures with my ipod... conveniently though, it automatically uploads them to flickr... so you want to know what i did today? i made those blasted cupcakes. not quite as pretty as the other ones... but considering i was lazy and did not want to pipe them all with frosting, i think they look alright. (alright alright... so the picture quality sucks... but until i buy a new camera my options are limited!!!) 

i just have to say, reese's are the bomb.
i mean chocolate and peanut butter??? there is no better combination on the face of this earth. no, not even audrey hepburn and cary grant.
or rock hudson and doris day. 
nope. i would take peanut butter and chocolate any day of the week. 

i discovered something yesterday. 
i have been working on developing my sense of "style," something that i lacked desperately basically until, pretty much last year. but i have been slowly, ever so slowly, working at it! part of my regime involves massive amounts of blog-stalking... well, i would feel bad, but i figure that's the whole reason why you put a blog up right? (if they didn't want it read they wouldn't put it up. right?) i feel like i get to know these people. like i'm their best friend or something. but what would happen if i actually met them one day? awkward... so i read your blog like every. day. no seriously. you are like my favorite person on the entire planet! i know everything about you! yeah. not so cool. 
but back to the style. 
i discovered lookbooks. (don't judge.) i had no idea what these troves of knowledge contained!
one of my best friends used to buy magazines and look at them, and i would just sit there and think what a waste of money! it is just pictures of sickly skinny women being super duper immodest. well... i still think that. but since i don't really want to look like i just stepped out of the 90s... and i don't like finding out things are "fashionable" and just getting the tail end of the hype, i figured i would educate myself. there are other ones... but i found way too much pleasure looking at this one yesterday. i just had to share it! 

one of my favorite blogs is smartprettyandawkward. if anyone needs this, it most definitely has to be me!
but i love how every post, she gives me some jewel of knowledge (and sometimes fashion tips... huzzah!) that pretty much changes my life. a few days ago she put the quote, 
"there comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear." {david mahoney}
i feel like i have been revving my engine for the past few months. maybe it is just the feeling that has been building over the course of my entire life, but i am only beginning to become aware of it now.
i can feel the pressure of life building, and i know that it is going to happen soon.
and it's kinda scary! 

so in my random searching of the internet (after i finished my homework... have a little faith! please!) 
i found this. 

5 tips to stay positive: (remember to check out the movie...)
“one day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” ~sigmund freud
we all have those days when we’d really rather sleep in all day and hide from the world – whether it’s a bad breakup or a challenge at work, or simply feeling burnt out. the bright side to those days often arrives with a phone call from a friend, or a card in the mail, with some words of encouragement.

according to a recent article by cancy gottesman in the april 2011 issue of ‘o, the oprah magazine’, science has shown there is a powerful link between emotional outlook and physical health. “when it comes to our health,” says martin seligman, PhD, one of the preeminent experts in the field of positive psychology, “there are essentially four things under our control: the decision not to smoke, a commitment to exercise, the quality of our diet, and our level of optimism. and optimism is at least as beneficial as the others.”

“the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” ~ eckhart tolle
so how do you help yourself or a friend stay positive even when everything feels like it’s falling apart?
we recently came across an article by misty belardo, with the following five simple and very ‘do-able’ tips to stay positive:
1. never dwell on a mistake – forgive yourself and learn from the mistake. dwelling on your mistake will only add to the stress and make you more unproductive.
2. always look on the bright side of every situation – is the cup half full or is it half empty? it boils down to a person’s attitude and outlook on life.
3. today is not the end of the world – tomorrow is a new day. there will be new hopes and new challenges that you need to conquer.
4. surround yourself with people who will encourage you – those people can be your source of guidance, your source of inspiration and your source of hope.
5. convert challenges into possibilities – ….like in the number 2 tip above, there is always an opportunity to learn from that problem. it is an experience that one day may help others who have been in the same situation as you have been.

you can commit to these now, or keep them in your pocket for a rainy day. you can also keep them on hand to share with your friends when they need a little friendly boost.
and here are four things we ‘encourage’ you to do:
1) play your favorite music, and focus your mind on goals you’re excited about accomplishing.
2) send a card to a friend.
3) read the full article by misty belardo and nancy gottesman’s article “Are Happy People Healthier? New Reasons to Stay Positive“.
4) watch this video. it’s guaranteed to make you smile!



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

motivation where art thou?

motivation is nil today.

so instead of doing homework and being a studious person (which is probably better because i have three papers due by saturday... but i have all day tomorrow to write them, so no worries! at least not until saturday afternoon...) i have been sitting on my couch doing nothing. and i mean pretty much literally nothing.
well, i made some tomato soup.
been there. done that.

i did discover this website though... so far it has been fairly entertaining.
and i have also become obsessed with not that i have my own account, but i could really spend days looking through profiles.
and if you are really looking for a way to waste time... um... i mean get good ideas... check out or better yet i can't get on without ending up baking something.

so you want to know why there have been no new pictures lately?
my camera appears to have gotten itself lost. again.
i think it is a sign for jess to go and get herself a new camera.
waddya think?

and finally - for the grand finale of my day of doing absolutely nothing productive (ok, you gotta understand that i did actually go to class, take a test, and finished all of my homework for my understanding DNA class...) i visited my best friend youtube.
after last night, i wanted to watch more of garrett sherwood. (the guy that helped come up with deep love? yeah, i'm kinda in love.)

and this was another one of the contestants from last poet standing a couple of weeks ago. skyler didn't win, but i really liked his style. and i really liked this poem. :) it kind of reminded me of that george strait song, "check yes or no."
so to my future someone: love me like we're in second grade.

and just for the heck of it. (speaking of future "someones")

i think i've decided what i want to make tonight.
curse you foodgawker!

Post image for Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

for the cupcakes
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
24 reese’s miniatures; frozen (this prevents them from disappearing into the batter)
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso water mixture. beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined.
3. using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well. press one frozen reese’s miniature into the center of each cupcake.
4. bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. there will be a small sink hole in the top of the cupcakes from the reese’s miniatures, that’s okay – you’ll cover that with frosting. allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
5. remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

for the peanut butter buttercream frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6-8 tablespoons heavy cream (if using milk, amount will be less)
1. in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy. turn your mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
2. add vanilla and 4 tablespoons of heavy cream. blend on low speed until moistened. add an additional 1 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency. beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy
3. pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and finish with chopped reese’s peanut butter cups.

i am grateful for a phone call from a friend.
that lets me know that she still loves me.

i'm going to pass this one on.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a whole week? already?

wow, life goes by way to fast sometimes.
i have less than a month until i leave for jerusalem.
i've been doing this stupid diet for 2 weeks (but i weigh less than i did in middle school!)
i already had 2 tests this week, have one more tomorrow, and one online due by friday.
i just want to lock myself in my room and cry...

but i don't, and i go see the most amazing folk opera in the world!
k... it wasn't the best thing in the whole wide world since sliced bread, but it was definitely something new. and very good. it was really neat (besides the fact that jon peter lewis' voice melted my soul into a gooey mass that is still lying on a puddle on the floor back at the theater...) because they would switch between all different types of music. some of it was very folk-y, and then they would dive into some blues, and then throw in a dash of rock... just to spice it up a bit. and they were selling cd's for $2! can you believe that??? and did i get one? no. because some chick ran off with the last 2. this is me. very put out about the whole situation.
just check it out. you'll be glad you did.

so other than that little high point in my very busy, yet uneventful existence... not a whole lot is going on! oh, but i did manage to make some french onion soup today. don't judge... it's not the greatest, since cheese and bread are currently a no-no for me... this is the recipe i really want to try. some day i will. (i actually have a book of martha stewart's comfort foods that basically kills me and sends me to jessica's fantasy kitchen in the clouds... it has one that looks divine!)
but for now, this is what i've got.

french onion soup
saute 1 onion thiny sliced with 3 garlic cloves minced for 10 minutes
stir in powder stevia (1 tsp)
cook 10 minutes
add 2 cups of beef broth and bring to a boil
add salt and pepper to taste

so looking back at this recipe... i forgot the garlic, just threw the onions in some water and boiled them until they were soft, nixed the stevia, and added way too much pepper.
i did manage to get the beef broth in there...
obviously i am not one for following a recipe that only has 5 steps.
because that would be way too easy!
i think something is wrong with me... so i am going to post this bad boy and go to bed.
because it is late.
and i get crazy when it gets late. (if you haven't already noticed...)

i don't know if i've said this already, but

i always head straight to the yard area of D.I. when i go...
just to see if there are any good ones.
i found a red one this weekend.
*smug smile*
as soon as i come up with a portrait worthy of it's blush
you will know.
believe me, you will.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

first day of spring. yeah right.

i really should get out of this sh-lump...
i kinda feel like a big, fat lump.


which is good since i got most of my homework done! hoo-rah! (this only means that i spent most of my day in the library today, but if that means i can leave on thursday... bring on the
pain!) but my roommaties and i are gonna watch across the universe. never seen it before. but i love the soundtrack! so i'm pretty excited.
and... get this: we are going to see a wicked awesome folk opera! tell me that doesn't sound amazing right? we went to see the last poet standing (and i am pretty sure that i am diggin' a sentimental man right now... one that writes me poems and sings to me every night. yes... yet for some reason, i seem to get to the fruit loops. i hope that doesn't say anything about me!) the guy that one wrote the opera. i think i'm in love.
i've always enjoyed poetry, but i never could seem to make mine rhyme! tonight gave me hope.
they don't always need to rhyme! huzzah!
in one of the poems the guy talked about trying to cover all of the stars with his fingers... i love poetry so much. i always wish that i could write like that.
but practice practice practice!

we went and helped out a friend take pictures earlier, because he needed models (i know right?) to take pictures for a class. so we graciously obliged him.
despite the bitter cold, spontaneous snow (did or didn't spring start yesterday???) we got to climb on trains!!!

these pictures definitely make us look more awesome than we are.
good job buddy!

on another note, i got the pictures from the epic bike ride we took on sunday!
be very jealous.

she's my favorite...

i really thought i was gonna fall and die.

hott stuff on wheels!

oh spring!
how i've missed you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

too. much. food.

this weekend was a lazy one.
with only 3 weeks of school left, boy drama (isn't it amazing how draining it can be? i'm soooo done...) and an almost insatiable urge to cook, i feel quite pooped.
i think a vacation is in order!
anyone care to join me?
i'm thinkin cabo...
or somewhere warm. isreal anyone? (haha too bad suckas!)
which reminds me! only one month left!!!

this is going to be a very foodie blog. i'm just warnin ya.
cuz i'm hungry!

to start the weekend off, we made these little pieces of heaven.

pumpkin cream cheese muffins
yield: 24 muffins

for the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

for the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil

for the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

to prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

to make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. line muffin pans with paper liners. in a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. in the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. mix on medium-low speed until blended. with the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

to make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

to assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

bake for 20-25 minutes. transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. (tt may be hard to resist immediate consumption, but the cream cheese filling gets very hot!)

being the lazy cook i am, i made a few alterations... i more closely followed this recipe here.
they are all gone now. (but it is a good thing because i don't have to look at them and be tempted anymore!)

next, we made these.
oatmeal cream cheese butterscotch bars
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pea-sized pieces, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (11-ounce) bag butterscotch chips
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. drape a 9 by 13-inch pan with overlapping pieces of aluminum foil, creating handles for easy removal. butter the paper, and reserve.

in a food processor add the flour, oats and brown sugar and pulse to combine. add the 2 sticks of butter, the cinnamon and the butterscotch chips. pulse, pulse, pulse until the mixture forms clumps when pressed between your fingers. transfer the mixture to a large bowl. press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer, reserve the other half. bake in the preheated oven just until slightly golden and set, about 12 to 15 minutes. remove from the oven and cool completely.

beat together the cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon zest and juice and vanilla in an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle, or with an electric hand mxier until no lumps of cream cheese remain. spread evenly over the baked and cooled oatmeal mixture. sprinkle the remaining half of the oatmeal mixture over the cream cheese. bake until the top is golden, about 40 minutes.

cool and chill before cutting. run a knife around the edge of the pan, and using the foil handles, transfer the bars to a cutting board. cut into 2-inch squares with a sharp knife and serve.

call yourself a superstar!!!

cook's Note: for a delicious and healthy variation of this recipe, try replacing the butterscotch chips with tasty dried cranberries.

or, if you are like us poor college students... you add whatever you have to the concoction! this includes white chocolate chips, health toffee chunks, slivered almonds, and coconut. i sat in the kitchen while i watched my roommates slyly try and pretend that this was not the 10th piece that they were taking...

finally... we made an asparagus soup.

oh my gosh i love vegetables!

probably even more than i love baking... it's kinda sad.

i'm too lazy to write the post, because the recipe is just so easy. (i actually just boiled the asparagus and stuck it in a blender with cottage cheese and bouillon...) but i still want to try this one!


i just can't say HOW MUCH i love food.


please don't think i cook like this.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

i miss summer.

anyone else get sick of canned soup?
i know that i have a cupboard full... and i have still not used a single one this whole semester.
i mean, they are good in a jam, but really? when you can cook something so much tastier??? why stoop to that level?!
i splurged and bought some real tomatoes from the store the other day, because i was craving tomato soup.
not from a can.
my mom got this recipe from an old lady that came to work last summer, and it very quickly became one of our favorites!
imagine (if you can) a tomato plant that threatens to take over the rest of the garden... and the bushels of tomatoes that we have sitting in the garage for weeks after we harvest them all. [this also means weeks of canning salsa, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce... and when that's done, guess what?! we get to move on to more canning! goody...]
but seriously.
i am sooooo grateful for that food right now.
because if it wasn't for that, i would be eating ramen.

so my mom got this recipe, and then after we had made it only once - lost it!
can you believe her???
the nerve!
but my mom is amazing and remembered most of the recipe. so we duplicated it fairly well until she managed to find the recipe. i did finally manage to forgive her. ;)
like i said, this recipe is amazing.
my dad (the i-don't-like-tomatoes-or-any-kind-of-veggie-save-cucumbers guy even liked it. it's the truth!) that's gotta mean somethin big.

tomato basil soup
28-oz can (3 cups) whole tomatoes, drained, reserving liquid
or 3 cups of fresh tomatoes
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup (1 medium) finely chopped carrot
3 tablespoons flour or 4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth or 14 1/2-oz can less salt chicken broth

finely chop tomatoes; set aside.
in large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. remove; set aside.
drain bacon drippings, reserving 1 tbsp.
cook onion and carrot in reserved bacon drippings until tender.
stir in flour, paprika and white pepper.
cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
gradually stir in vegetable broth and reserved tomato liquid.
bring to a boil.
reduce heat; add bacon and tomatoes.
simmer 10 minutes.
(we usually add the bacon last... after we blend the rest of the soup together, with the tomatoes. i like it chunky... but for picky siblings blending usually is the best option...)

basil cream
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp basil leaves
1/3 cup dairy sour cream
in a small bowl, combine basil and sour cream.

"ladle soup into warmed serving bowls. gently spoon 1 heaping tablespoon basil cream into middle of each bowl."
wow... that is a lot more effort than i like to put into any meal! a warmed serving dish? i am lazy! you can go ahead with your cold bowl right here...
5 (1-cup) servings.

try me! (this is the soup speaking...)
you won't be disappointed.

this makes me want summer real bad.
i want to move to a place where i can have a garden alllll the time. no joke.
maybe i'll just make a greenhouse inside my house.
watch it. it's gonna happen!

yay for a full (and healthy-feeling) tummy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

accepting what is does not mean giving up

i gave up on the no-baking regime...
you knew it couldn't last right?
i was obviously just fooling myself.
but i didn't succumb to the siren calls of the chocolate chip cookies i made.
(i actually went and gave them all away. be very impressed.)

the problem with finishing all of my homework on a thursday morning is that i have nothing to do now until wednesday. which is very nice and all... but i need to find out something else to do with myself other than cook! i think an adventure around town is in order soon.

i have to get rid of my strawberry yogurt in the fridge, because i am pretty sure that it is on the downhill slide here in the next little bit. i'm gonna try this recipe (i usually don't even bother posting until after i have tried a recipe and it works. this could be a little risky!)

strawberry yogurt banana bread
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (softened)
2 large eggs
3 mashed bananas
1/3 cup strawberry yogurt
1 tsp vanilla yogurt
oil to grease the bread pan

1- preheat the oven to 350. grease your bread pan.
2- beat the sugar and butter until you cream it.
3- add eggs one at a time.
4- in a separate bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the yogurt and vanilla, mis into the egg/butter/sugar.
5- in another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt.
6- mix all together until smooth.
7- pour into bread pan.
8- bake for one hour at 350.
9- enjoy! (well, i'm crossing my fingers at this point!)

i think i'm going to try these babies too if i have some leftover yogurt. (i love scones!)

in honor of saint patty's day yesterday: (and because green is such a fantastic color!)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

i love being taken by surprise.

don't like the dreads, but love the song!
and the movie is stinkin cute.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

green is the color...

happy saint patty's day!

today feels like a friday.
maybe it is because i don't have classes today, but i'm fairly positive that my mind has shut down.
good luck trying to get me to do any work for the rest of the weekend...

last night my sister and i went to go see alfie boe.
never heard of him?
i hadn't either.
if you like opera, you might just die. (i think i did... especially after he started talking in his oh-so-sexy british accent... i think he should play mr. darcy in the next pride and prejudice. come on, they do a new one like every 5 years!)
if you don't like opera... i don't have anything to say to you.
just that you fail.

this was the last song he sang last night.
being the les mis fanatic that i am, i had goosebumps for the rest of the night after i heard this.
and i want to go see him in les mis in june!
maybe i'll win the lottery and then i can go...

ummmm... i'm drooling.

i'm so weird. but that's ok since i thoroughly enjoy it.
one of my friends told me i was awkward the other day... that actually bugged me until i realized that i like being awkward.
and laughing at the awkward-ness...
it just makes life grand!

question: how do you celebrate saint patrick's day without cooking something green?
this not-cooking junk is starting to irritate me...

but not so much the wind...

dear wind: go away.
love jess.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

change is inevitable

if you haven't noticed already, i can't focus on any specific thing for too long...
i like to give a little bit of spice to my life.
(unfortunately i constantly keep forgetting the things that i have done in the past... and then a year later will look back and think - oh yeah! i wanted to do that!)

anyone else out there like that?

i think part of it should be attributed to the fact that i love change.
a week after i get a haircut i am already thinking about the next thing i want to try...
i move the furniture in my room,
(i would move my bed, but it is bolted to the floor. sad day.)
i collect recipes and rarely try the same one twice,
i love meeting new people,
and new clothes...
in short, i don't want to be the same person tomorrow that i am today.
winston churchill said, "to improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often."
'nuf said!
but i already knew i was perfect... ;)

soooo i've decided that i am extremely bored.
and i need something to do.
here's the catch:
it's rainy
and dreary outside...
what is there to do? all of my snow is gone!
(and *gasp* i've given up cooking for the next few weeks!)

anyway, here is a movie that i think is hilarious.
enjoy and i'll talk to you soon!
(maybe this will ease your boredom too!)

wednesdays rock!
(i actually spelled wednesday wrong earlier... i swear i haven't spelled it wrong since, like, the 1st grade when i would say WED-NES-DAY every time i would write it down... talk about a blow to the ego!)

i want to go fishing.
real bad.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


happy sunday!
i am being bombarded with the scent of baking bread. and cake.
as if i really need to be tempted any more than i already am? geez... i have such awful
roommates... i so don't mean that!!! (just in case any of my wonderful roommates happen to read this...)
actually that's usually myyyy job!

i have to say, i am getting so excited!
i leave for a semester in jerusalem in a little over a month!
knowing that it is going to be the experience of a lifetime?
heck yes!
sometimes the future can seem so daunting. but i like what alan kay said: "the best way to predict the future is to invent it." so true.
growing up i was scared of everything. don't laugh, but it pretty much lasted until my freshman
and sophomore years of college. [i'm almost a senior now, so you can see how recent this has all transpired!] but i finally decided that it wasn't doing me any good to be afraid of people!
so i decided that it didn't matter what people thought.
i am the weirdo that will sit by you in class if you are sitting by yourself.
i will make you talk to me.
and i don't care.
will you be my friend please? :)

recent developments:
1- it doesn't happen very often, but i had a break down on thursday.
the cause? too much boy drama in my life. (and not enough "letting go" happening...)
2- i've decided on a major!
the cause? nursing wasn't working out... call it laziness, call it a sign from heaven, but i've decided to stick with my original plan and graduate in exercise physiology. then on to more
school! yippee.....
3- hair experiment this morning failed.
i tried to use a scrunch-spray and let it air-dry... (note to self: do not try this again.)
4- i have the coolest friends and best roommates of all time.
we have wickedly awesome photo shoots. check this out!
have you ever heard of robert doisneau? (i hadn't either...)
one of my friends had to do a photo shoot and imitate some of his style (we took a ton more pictures of everyone else, but what can i say? i'm vain...)

just so you understand this picture a little better...
i am 6 feet tall.
is this boy tall?
just a little bit.
he's 6' 6".
too bad he's younger than me... ;)

we made a friend.
his name is snowflake.

we were trying to come up with poses, and jameson said,
"jess, come sit on my lap... you look like a very classy lady!"
i don't know if that meant picturesque...
or naughty librarian?

this is one of my favorites.
robert doisneau's original is here.

am i really riding a bike in a pencil skirt?
yes. yes i am.
don't worry... i planned for this...
(psssst! i'm wearing spandex underneath!)

i love my crock pot.
actually, correction: i love my roommate's crockpot.
i do actually have my own, thank you, but come on? who really needs two crockpots? (don't get me thinking about that one... it could get ugly...)
i was feelin in the mood for somethin easy and quick...
i'd been wanting to try this for a while, so i actually had hamburger buns on hand.
6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
1/2 cup italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

place chicken in a slow cooker. in a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce. pour over the chicken.
cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.

this was good! (i wanted more... even after i went back for seconds!)
kind ended up being like a chicken sloppy joe... definitely gonna make this again!

i saw this video today.
i think it is really weird, and yet i find it amazing. i think i've watched it 4 times already. i think she's my favorite right now.

i hate my phone.
and love it at the same time.
i am sorely tempted to turn it off for a while...
then people would have to talk to me.
interesting notion.

i love church!
and sunday afternoon naps...
(it was only an hour but it was diviiiiiiiine!)

i've decided that this next week is gonna be awesome!
i'm just gonna make it that way.

Friday, March 11, 2011

i like simple things

i admit it... i found this and stole it...
but try and tell me that they don't make you happy!

they say the best things in life are free. beyond a shadow of a doubt, the list below proves that statement to be true. life is filled with simple pleasures, the little satisfying effects you never really anticipate, but always take great pleasure in. they are the gifts of life that we each subconsciously celebrate in our own unique way.

here are 30 of the most satisfying simple pleasures life has to offer:

  1. sleeping in on a rainy day – as the rain beats lightly against the window, you nestle your head deeper into your pillow. the sound is soothing and your bed feels like a sanctuary. there is no place you would rather be.
  2. finding money you didn’t know you had – you reach into your pocket and find a $20 bill from the last time you wore these jeans. you aren’t rich, but you are richer than you were a second earlier.
  3. making brief eye contact with someone of the opposite sex – you pass him on the street or in the subway. he glances up at you momentarily, making direct eye contact in a way that seems to communicate a subtle curiosity. for a split second it makes you think… and then it’s gone.
  4. skinny dipping – there is something mysteriously liberating about being naked in a body of water. you are naked, but it feels natural, a sense of unrefined freedom.
  5. receiving a real letter or package via snail mail – e-mail has become the primary source of written communication. most snail mail these days is junk mail. when you check the mail and find a real letter or package from someone you know, excitement overtakes you as you tear into this rare gift.
  6. making the yellow light - it’s one of the most common simple pleasures, the act of beating the pack. as you blaze through the yellow light you glance in your rearview to see all the cars behind you stopping at the red light. YES! you made it!
  7. telling a funny or interesting, true story - one of the most enticing roles you lead in life is that of the storyteller. you love to share stories, especially those that will captivate your audience with deep curiosity and humor. there are few things more satisfying than telling a true story that others enjoy listening to.
  8. seeing a friend stumble over himself/herself – as you walk across the street with your friend, they fail to accurately address the curb on the other side. they trips and stumbles around momentarily before regaining their footing, then swiftly attempts to play it off like nothing happened. this can be a hilarious sight if the moment is right.
  9. hearing the right song at the right moment - it doesn’t matter what the setting is, hearing the right song for that moment is one of those simple pleasures in life that instantly lifts your spirits. you could be driving home from work, hanging out at a bar with friends, or jogging. when the right song rattles your ear drums the entire meaning of life seems crystal clear.
  10. the first sip of a beverage when you’re thirsty – you just finished mowing the lawn or taking a long jog. the only thing on your mind is an ice-cold glass of water. when you are really, really thirsty, that first sip of any liquid beverage is sheer bliss.
  11. seeing a very attractive member of the opposite sex – shirtless guys on the beach? can i say more?!
  12. saying the same thing simultaneously – there is a moment of silence. then all of the sudden you and your friend blurt out the same exact set of words simultaneously. this rare occurrence is something to smile about.
  13. the pull-through parking spot – you pull into a parking spot and are delighted to see the availability of the parking spot immediately in front of you. you pull through to the spot in front so that when you return to the car you can drive forward out of the parking spot. why? because driving backwards is a pain in the butt.
  14. realizing you have more time to sleep – something abruptly awakens you and you think it’s time to get up. then you squint over at your alarm clock and realize you still have 2 more hours to sleep. a warm euphoric feeling shoots though your body as you glide gracefully back to your dreams.
  15. people watching – sitting there on your bench you can see people in every direction. tall people, small people, thin and plump. blond, brunette, and redhead alike. each of them has a different stride and a unique expression. as you drift from body to body you are mesmerized by what you see.
  16. putting on clothes straight from the dryer – as soon as the dryer buzzes, you pull out your clothes and put them on. they feel soothingly warm on your skin and emit a fresh-scented aroma into the air. a sentiment of ease comes over you as you head out to conquer the day.
  17. a familiar smell – you just pulled into your parent’s driveway and opened the car door. you haven’t been home in a long while. you smell familiarity in the air, the scent of a large pine tree in the neighbor’s yard. as you head through the front door, more familiar smells consume your senses. gosh, it feels good to be home…
  18. the feeling you get when your idea works – you have been struggling to resolve a complex problem all day and you just can’t seem to get it right. filled with frustration, you decide to exercise one last idea before calling it a night. you’ve had many ideas before that failed miserably… but this time it works.
  19. fresh, clean bed sheets – you yank at the corner of the bedspread to create just enough space to slide your body under the freshly cleaned sheets. the sheets feel cool to the touch. everything seems so clean, like nobody has ever slept in this bed before.
  20. a beautiful view – as the car veers around the side of the mountain you gaze out the passenger window. it’s a clear, sunny day and you can see the entire valley below filled with wild flowers and bright green vegetation. the scenery reminds you of something you once saw in national geographic. but here it is live, right before your eyes.
  21. reminiscing about old times with your closest friends – pink floyd once said “the memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime”. there is no simple pleasure more satisfying than recounting the greatest moments of your life with your closest friends who lived these moments alongside you.
  22. receiving an unexpected compliment – it’s been an average day. nothing really great has happened, but nothing terrible occurred either. this monotonous day has put you in a dreary mood. unexpectedly, an older, attractive lady taps you on the shoulder, calls you “handsome” and says she loves your shirt. the day just got a whole lot better.
  23. having a good laugh – laughter is the greatest cure of all. life is extraordinary in the moments when you are laughing so hard you can barely breathe. these moments of deep laughter are divine in the sense that they cleanse your mood and set your mind on a positive track.
  24. the feeling after a healthy workout - it’s a giddy feeling of self accomplishment; the one true activity that actually makes you feel better and look better simultaneously. when you walk out the front door of the gym you are on top of the world.
  25. the celebration in the instant something makes sense – even now that it has explained to you for the third time, you just don’t understand how it works. everyone else seems to understand but you. then out of the blue the dots connect in your mind. you finally get it, and it feels great!
  26. relaxing outdoors on a sunny day – as you relax sprawled out in a lawn chair, the sun warms your skin and a light breeze keeps the temperature comfortable. birds are chirping merrily in the trees behind you. you are at complete peace with the environment.
  27. holding hands with someone you love – every time he grabs your hand you are overcome with an awareness of how much he means to you. holding hands is sensual and physically intimate, yet subtle. there are few people you allow to hold your hand, so when it happens you can be sure that the moment is special.
  28. playing in the water – water marvels people of all ages. from jumping in puddles as a child, to doing cannon balls in the pool as an adolescent, to enjoying a cocktail in the jacuzzi as an adult… water is enjoyable.
  29. making someone smile – i don't feel more successful than when i know that i've helped make someone's day. a genuine smile is the best reward.
  30. finishing what you started – you just finished up a big project you’ve been working on for the last few months, or maybe you just finished your first marathon… either way, you finalized what you set out to accomplish. the feeling of self accomplishment you get when you finish what you started is by far one of the most rewarding simple pleasures life has to offer.

who doesn't like the simple things in life?

i think that they are what really define our lives... i mean, the big stuff is important too, but i think how you spend the little moments when you can't be hiking mount everest is what really make you you. listening to music.

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go out and do something that you love. every day.


bright red anything.

yellow anything.

basically happy colors are the bomb.