Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oatmeal Cookies

Who doesn't love a good oatmeal cookie? It's a cookie and yet with that nice add in of oatmeal you can convince yourself that it's a healthy cookie! More like a granola bar or something, right? Let's say that. Yummy cookie shaped granola bars that may or may not be a breakfast food.

There's many ways to make oatmeal cookies taste better, but my favorite way is to add butterscotch chips. Tonight, to make it even more special, I added both chocolate and butterscotch chips. 

Oatmeal Cookies:

2 Sticks Butter
1 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla 
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Cups Dry Quick Oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and mix ingredients. Bake about 14 minutes. Keep an eye on them. Oatmeal cookies are dry cookies because of the mix of oatmeal and flour so cooking them can be tricky. After the first batch just keep that time going. 

Here's a few ideas for a variety of oatmeal cookies:

2 cups raisins and 1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups chocolate candies
1 1/2 cups coconut and 2 cups butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or cherries and 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Gilmore Girls vs Time

Time for a good old fashioned rant blog. Who doesn't love one of those? Aren't most blogs supposed to be rants anyway? I think so.

There's this show, Gilmore Girls, that I love more than I should. Seriously; it's a chick flick on steroids. Lorelai is one of my favorite characters ever and I love watching her and Luke fall in love with each other. Rory is great, she turns whiny there for a bit, but I'll argue for hours about which guy she should have ended up with!

So here's my big problem with Gilmore Girls, this problem is bigger than wondering where all the anvils went. I'm wondering how time played a factor here.

The other night I'm falling asleep to Gilmore Girls and it's an episode where Luke and Lorelai first start dating. They go to a town meeting and she's eating snacks. Luke makes the comment: "We're going to dinner after the movie" and she says "I know". Okay, now the town meeting starts at 7:30, so the movie probably starts around 8:00, at the very earliest and more than likely starts at 8:30. So dinner is around 10:30 or 11:00 depending on how close to the theater they're eating. Luke wakes up at 4:45am every single day. Sure, maybe not the day after his date, but the day of his date, yes. If you're waking up at 4:45am on a regular basis you are not eating dinner at 11:00pm!! It's just not going to happen! You'd have dinner before the movie and after the town meeting. Heck, he'd probably want dinner before the town meeting.

So, moving on to when Rory and Lorelai start their days. Rory is going to Chilton. High school starts around 8:00am, and we already know that Rory likes to get to school so early that in kindergarten she got to school before any faculty did. So she more than likely never gets to school later than 7:30, except for the day she was hit by a deer. She takes a bus to school, one that makes a lot of stops that we learn when she first meets Dean and he rides with her for 1 stop, on a trip that driving takes 30 minutes. This could easily be a 1-2 hour bus drive in the morning. To be nice let's so it only takes twice as long, so a 1 hour bus drive; so she needs to be on the bus by 6:30 to get to school by 7:30.

Rory and Lorelai eat at Luke's every single morning; unless Luke and Lorelai are fighting and even some of those mornings Rory tries to sneak out breakfast for 2. Eating breakfast at any diner that's cooking fresh food will take time to cook so let's so 30 minutes. Add in time to talk, walk, and there's always a crowd at Luke's. This adds up to about an hour. They should be leaving their house by 5:30 to be able to eat breakfast for Rory to catch her bus by 6:30.

To be able to wake up with enough time to shower, dress, fix hair and makeup, pack your 30 books into 1 bag, finish up homework, and anything else they need to do before leaving in the morning I'm saying they need to wake up 1-2 hours before leaving for breakfast.

Sorry to shatter your world, but all those times that Lorelai gives Luke a hard time for how early he's waking up, unless she's waking up nearly an hour before he is, there is absolutely no way that Rory is making it to school on time.

Back to the date, are 2 girls that are waking up at 4:30/5:30 in the morning really being able to handle that late of nights? No wonder they are addicted to coffee.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is a favorite main dish of mine to make. It is fast, simple, can be made in advance, and everything else you want from a main dish. Also, I make it a lot for guests because it feeds a lot and it's always been a hit. Okay, enough praising, just try it. I always use teriyaki, but use any marinade you want. Here goes:

Get a gallon ziplock bag, your pork tenderloin, marinade, cutting board, and a knife. 

This is the brand of tenderloin I get. It's from King Soopers. I think it's "sooper" good (sorry, couldn't help it) and really affordable. I get 1 of them and it will feed about 4 people, or Matt and I will have dinner plus leftovers. 

I cut my tenderloin into slices after cutting all the fat off. Most people don't. Most people cook it as is then cut it up at dinner. But most people get to sit down and have nice family dinners. I NEVER eat fresh food! I cook food that pretty much goes directly into stacked tupperware because Matt and I never see each other for meals outside of the weekend. Maybe when we "grow up" that will change. The habit stuck and even when I'm cooking it for guests I pre-cut them into slices like this. Put all the slices in the bag and dump your whole bottle of marinade in it. 

You're going to have this gross, runny, bag of blackish liquidy stuff in your frig. I like to leave mine at least a day to soak in the marinade (even if the bottle says "30 minute marinade"). Let yours soak as long as you like because cooking it will also soak in the flavor and you already made them small pieces. Just please cook it at the longest on the third day, cause this is a bag of raw meat and that's gross. 

I dump the whole bag in a glass baking dish and cook in the oven at 350 for starting at 30 minutes and increasing as I need. Every cooking time is a little different. Good news is it's hard to burn because it's marinating the whole time so it will just keep getting yummier for a while. I normally leave mine closer to an hour until the sauce on the edges of the pan starts to burn a bit but nothing else is burning. That's a good stopping point. 45 minutes to an hour. 

When it's done you have this really soft, tender, very flavorful, tenderloin. I love it so much. I love serving it with rice, sometimes with pineapple to match the teriyaki and make it a bit Hawaiian. Yesterday I had it with just a side of veggies. It's a large pan of meat; you can do whatever you want with it! It tastes fantastic! 

Hint: I have also frozen it in the marinade raw and frozen to make the serving size for just 2 people and stock up my freezer. This is a staple at our place! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vampire Hunting in Colorado

In Lafayette, Colorado there's  the Lafayette Municipal Cemetery and Todor Glava is buried there. Why should that matter? It matters because, according to local legend, Todor was a vampire. 

He came to Colorado to work in the coal mines and sent money back to his wife in Austria. Todor Glava was from Transylvania in Austria. In 1918 he caught the Spanish Flu pandemic and died. Because of, I'm sure, lack of money, his tombstone is shared with a man from Romania, close to his home, in this cemetery.


From here is where the legend takes a fork in the road. One part claims the Todor still rises to this day and can be seen sitting on his tomb. He is a "tall this man with a black coat, dark hair, and long fingernails."

This legend does not mix with any of the other's because a dead vampire does not rise or randomly appear; this isn't a ghost we're talking about. There is a tree that grows right out of the ground where the chest of Todor Glava is; this is rumored to be from the stake that was driven through his heart and killed him. Like I said: a dead vampire does not rise.

The legends also do not include any part of how he might have become a vampire. I'm pretty sure a vampire in a coal mine would be an obvious thing, that's a lot of people in a little space. But that does give him a dark space to live and an excuse to never go out. Mmmm... I guess it doesn't really matter how he became one.

The tree that grew from the stake in the heart of Todor Glava
It's a morbid thought that the stake grew into a tree, and it's also really interesting that a tree is there at all. Think about any cemetery that you've ever been to: have you ever seen a tree survive where a body was? Interesting.

Of course I stand on the grave and lean on the stake tree, who wouldn't? 

I went with a friend, Molly, and once we got our fill of vampires and Todor we wandered the cemetery. Talked about life, death, vampires, how we want our tombs to look, and what they should say, obviously. Here are some shots that I took.

The old ones are so interesting. Simple and sweet; they stand out in their own way.

Peaceful little cemetery in a small town.

This reads "HE LINGERS WHERE HIS CHILDREN USED TO PLAY" which might be the creepiest thing ever to post on a tombstone. 

It was a nice day to walk in a cemetery. 

A lot of stones had symbols on them, like this one, and it was interesting to find them and guess what they  meant. Or google them in our case. 

All in all vampire hunting was pretty fun! From what I saw of Lafayette, this might be the most entertaining thing there. If I'm wrong please let me know what we missed. If you want to find the site yourself here's some great directions to follow to get there. 

Enjoy vampire hunting!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Before" Summer Weight Loss Challenge

Just yesterday I posted a blog about my summer challenges and why I'm doing them. Today I'm posting about my weight loss challenge that I'm starting. My birthday is 4 months from tomorrow and I'm a little tired of the size I am, more than that I'm tired of how unhealthy I am. I'd really like to be at least 25 pounds lighter and I want to follow a workout plan. I made a schedule to work out every single Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Even if I don't lose all the weight, if I can still to the schedule and become healthier than I still accomplished something. Here's my schedule I made:

It all fits on one page so there's no skipping or forgetting or anything. I can see where I've been and where I'm going. I have three workouts listed a week and then a weigh-in each weekend. My start weight is 200 pounds. Technically it's 199.something but I figured a nice round number would work better for a nice round person. Get it? Cause I'm a fatty... 

200 pounds is the most I've ever weighed ever and I hate it! I hate it so much! Just today I tried on everything I owed and had to put most my clothes away until I lose weight. My closet consists of about 10 shirts, 5 things I can wear to church, and about 30 t-shirts. That's a good mix for a 27 year old. 

Of course, every weight loss starting program/challenge/anything starts with some "before" shots to compare. Here's my big round pictures. 

The front is deceivingly not as bad. I tried to fight the urge to not suck it all in for a picture like I normally do. 

From the side I look like a pregnant person. This totally looks like a second trimester picture... sad. 

Like I said: I've changed a lot in appearance and I want to look better, but more than that I want to be healthy. I'm going to be focusing on sticking to my schedule more than on the outcomes. My M/W/F workouts are going to be real all-out workouts, and daily I try to do some kind of cardio or push myself a little more than normal. For example today I walked around a cemetery with a friend and after lunch with her we shopped and walked around a shopping center. Than Matt and I went shopping and I walked around a mall for hours. I can't remember the last day I walked this much all day long! It was hours! So I'm counting that as my cardio and pushing myself beyond my normal routine. 

I won't post too much about this in the next 4 months, unless I hit the 25 pounds super early. But I'll let you know how it's going closer to my birthday. Thanks for any support you give! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer Challenges

Here's a few challenges from friends, family, and me that I want to try this summer and a little into the fall. Or at least try to try! Matt is starting his rotations and two in a row will be rural so for 12 weeks he will be living away from me. These challenges will keep me busy and branching out and hopefully happy while I'm a lonely person living alone for 3 months. Here's the challenges I've been given, a lot from myself:
  • Go vampire hunting DONE! You can view the blog here
  • Try GeoCaching
  • Bake a fruit pie This was a lame idea, I don't even like fruit pie! Not sure what I was thinking! HaHa
  • Make everyone's homemade Christmas gifts DONE! You can't see the gifts, yet, but I talk about the process here.
  • Go to Pagosa Springs and see Mesa Verde National Park and the Hot Springs Instead we adopted a dog, Miles, and we don't have the money for me to go visit, as much as I would want to. 
  • Go to the Denver Aquarium
  • Ride in a hot air balloon (this is a long shot) Not this summer...
  • Little Man Ice Cream
  • Go to the mountains
  • Trip to Texas Yep! I went and made a Smashbook about my experience 
  • Create my own mug dessert 
  • Post a Star Wars blog
  • Beat Lego Harry Potter 2
  • Sew a skirt from a pattern 
  • Read a fiction book I finished the first 3 mortal instruments books. 
  • Read a church book
  • Read a nonfiction book 
  • Try a restaurant I've never been to before HuHut, Mimi's Cafe
  • Paint a picture 
  • Go on a hike
  • Pet an alligator This would have happened on my way to Pagosa Springs which was canceled because I'm poor! 
  • Go to a sports event Done! I went to a baseball game in Texas and a lacrosse game here in Denver
  • Write characters at Disneyland and see if they'll really send an autograph back
  • Actually start writing my book
  • Make a bird feeder for my balcony
  • Volunteer 
  • Let the waiter pick my entire meal
  • Make a new friend A super fun girl moved in next to my building! 
  • Hand write letters to a bunch of relatives
  • Lose 25 pounds by my birthday / stick to a workout routine I set up a workout routine and started it, view it here.  I suck at this stuff... 
  • Learn to bake popovers 
  • Harry Potter movie marathon
  • Bake a lasagna
  • Do a science experiment 
  • Sew headbands
  • Test out Dr. Who and see if I'm a fan or not I watched all of the season with the 9th Doctor this week (May 20) and I'm already pretty much hooked. So GOOD!! (August) I'm totally addicted and love it! 
  • Go meatless for 5 days
  • Read a comic book
  • Take the math assessment test at CCA I'm enrolled in a math class now in school. 
  • Post the story of how Matt and I met for Jessica, I owe her :) I wrote this blog already here
  • Go fishing This is based on someone else taking me and teaching me. I had someone in mind but I'm not sure anymore. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

WOW! I'm gone a few weeks and hit 2,500 views!

First off, sorry for being MIA for a few weeks. Any of my friends on Facebook know what health issues I had and everyone else, well, let's just say I got sick, ok?

I was in the middle of a few blog projects when I got sick. One especially huge blog that was halfway finished and a closet full of craft supplies that have been recently purchased to be put together. Should be a fun summer!

I've also been organizing my Pinterest like crazy and getting a lot of good ideas for crafts and things to take care of this summer. Is anyone else addicted to Pinterest? Ever since making a "Humor" board on Pinterest my life has become so much better! I play on it at night which means I fall asleep in a good mood every day. Who can say that!? Thanks to Pinterest I can most nights.

While I was away whiny and sick I hit 2,500 views!!! How the heck did that happen, people!?! That's insane! I had a challenge at 1,000 views when anyone could comment and I would make whatever blog post they told me to. I wonder what I should do for 2,500. I guess I am 50 views away from 2,500, but close enough to talk about a challenge.

Let's say that I'm so happy that this blog has been as fun, or at least appears to be as fun, to other people as it has been to me. I really love pushing myself to learn new things so I can blog about it. It's made me explore new aspects of my personality. I try new foods, I try new crafts, I explore new ways to do things. It's been fun. Even if no one read my blog I would still love how much I'm learning by doing it.

So, here's my challenge: since my favorite part of the blog is what I'm learning from it everyone give me a challenge! Summer is starting and I'll have a lot of free time on my hands! Not as much free money so don't go nuts like skydiving or something, but help me push my boundaries. For example: I just purchased a pie pan and I've never actually made a pie, crust and all, before and I want to this summer. Things like that. What's something you want to see me try? Read and review? Branch out and experience? Bake? Watch? Anything. I may not do it, but I'll certainly at least post why I'm not! HaHa!

Thanks so much for my 2,500 views!! Seriously! I'm touched more than this post is showing.