Saturday Small Talk

Yesterday felt like spring. It smelled like spring. The birds were chirping and snowdrifts were melting. This morning’s weather is reminding us all not to get too excited. It’s still winter. For 5 more days. Duly noted.

20140308_094312And so, I sit inside, enjoying the view and a cup of coffee in my new mug.

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I’ve been thinking a bit about prioritizing my time and setting some long(er) term goals for my career. Food for thought: What to do when your career is failing. On a similar note, Advice for Dreamers.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake. Oh my delicious.

I love our kitchen/dining area, and don’t really care for the state of our living room. For solutions, I’ve been poking around Apartment Therapy. What have I found? Goodbye, Big Blank Walls; Simple Ways to Refresh your Home; 6 rental updates that won’t break the bank. Any of your fellow renters (or former renters) have ideas for filling up our white walls (without nailing a bunch of holes into the wall)?

Iowa Girl Eats posted a recipe for Baked Pesto Chicken Parmesan. It’s a 30 minute meal and is officially added to my go-to weeknight cooking options.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

 

Sunday Small Talk

I consider myself to be more of a summer person. I like water in its liquid state, I like beaches, I like camping and cookouts. Winter makes all of those activities more complicated.

To make things more exciting, this winter has been more brutal than normal. And that’s saying something, considering Northern Michigan is not known for tame winters. That aside, I’ve surprised myself by not hating this winter. I think it has to do with how much of our free time we’ve spent outside.

20140222_141435This weekend was no exception. We headed up to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to see what one of our favorite summer spots has to offer in the winter. It turns out, a lot of wind! On an already windy and cold day, it only got windier and colder as we approached the coast. It felt a bit like we were on an arctic expedition. So much wind. So much ice.

20140222_150815There were several spots where the waves crashed through holes in the ice, creating geyser-like water spouts when the waves hit them.

20140222_152103When we were sheltered by the wind (thanks massive sand dune!), the icebergs in the lake were interesting to watch as they bobbed up and down with the waves.

20140222_153317 On our way out, we took a quick pit stop in Glen Haven. Even though it was bitter cold, you can’t beat the beauty of that blue sky!

What have you been up to this weekend? Anyone brave the cold and go on an adventure?

Sunday Small Talk

After a full weekend of wintery fun, it’s nice to arrive at Sunday afternoon. Today will be nice and relaxed. Leftovers for lunch. Movie tonight. Phew.

This weekend, we started a snow sculpture with some friends. Yesterday’s task: Build a wall, 2 ft x 8ft, and 10 ft tall. It’s harder than it sounds! We used to 2×4 and OSB to help us form the blocks.

20140125_142222After our day out in the cold, we headed to Short’s Brewery in Bellaire, MI, to hear The Accidentals. I highly recommend both.

During the month of January, a lot of people start new diets or cleanses to purge their systems of the over-eating many of us do during the holidays. Coach Calorie offers a refreshing take on responding to dietary slip-ups.

Speaking of, we’ve arrived at the end of January. Many of our ambitiously set goals, resolutions, and intentions are no longer new and shiny, and may have been put on the back burner. Here are some tips for staying on track–or getting back on track–with your self-improvement goals.

Four ingredient peanut butter cookies. I can’t wait to try these.

I adore space saving and organizing tools. All the better if they’re functional AND beautiful. Check out this list of 33 insanely clever things to help you organize in a small space.

I can’t wait to try this recipe for Szechuan Beef and Broccoli from Elizabeth’s Home. It’ll be on next week’s menu, for sure.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends!

Winter is settling in

And it seems to be making itself quite at home. The snow fell in its lazy, graceful patterns, as only snow can do, and it hasn’t left us yet. We’re settled in until March or so. Secretly, I’m thrilled.

The only sadness is that I live in Indiana. Where we don’t often get snow in great quantities, and we don’t believe in hills. Never, ever, in all of my days, did I think either of those things would fall under the “con” category of a locale. But, they do. And I catch myself thinking such irrational thoughts as, “I could move further north again,” or, “I would love to live in the mountains, where my driveway is a mile long and my snowshoes are a necessity.”

But then I remind myself that I like the beach. And that beach time isn’t really conducive to either snow or mountain living. And then  my thoughts wander to moving back to MI, where there are hills and where the snow abounds. But also where the summers are beautiful and the great lakes are within a lazy, Sunday afternoon drive. But move back? What am I thinking? That is something I said that I would never. ever. do. Ever.

It’s the holidays that make me sentimental about the homeland. It happens every year. Without fail. There’s just something wonderful about being home. And seeing friends from the olden days. Snuggling on the couch to watch a movie. Mom cooking dinner. Almond paste in the cookies. Snowshoes. Skis. And country roads (take me home).

…then the snow came

It’s that time of year, people folk. It snowed. SNOWED. As in, snow in my hair and stuck to my jacket….snow. When I got hom, I immediately went to the basement and pulled my hats and gloves and mittens out of their storage carton.

I’ve been putting that off for the last few weeks. On some level, I think if I don’t acknowledge winter by getting out my warm clothes, it won’t come. Silly? Yes. The way my brain works? Also, yes.

Hi, Jan!

Poor guy. He must be cold.

See that at the base of the tree? A bit of the white stuff stuck around for a second. This doesn’t bode well.

In other news, I’m off to Honduran food for dinner tonight. Tomorrow morning, I’m running a 5K (brrr!) and heading north for dinner with my mom, oma, and other random relations. It should be a great weekend!

I’ll be back Sunday with a race recap 🙂 I’m planning on having to bundle up hardcore. The temps at 9 am tomorrow are predicted to be sub-freezing. Wish me luck!