Nostalgia Gra(ha)ms

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This week I found out that my favorite coffee place in Milwaukee is changing its name from Aterra to Colectivo. My Facebook feed obviously blew up with the thoughts of other fans and I haven’t clearly defined how I feel about it. The company knows what’s right for itself, but how am I ever supposed to call it something else? The t-shirt in my drawer with the logo on the back is now considered discontinued, rare, vintage.

I revisited my memory with late nights studying for an exam and gab sessions at the quixotic Lake Michigan location seen in the “nostalgia gram” above. Incoming Marquette freshmen will not know the place that I knew. They’ll make different memories and leave me feeling behind the times.

Something else that made me feel nostalgic this week was when I made a what could be construed as weird nighttime snack (but, hey, I ate chicken and butter sandwiches for lunch just about every day of my early school career, so to me it isn’t that weird). Graham crackers + Nutella. How did I come up with this ingenious combination? Well, when my family would visit my great aunt in the tiny town of Jasper, IN, (usually for Oktoberfest, which is a surprisingly fun festival for the size of the town) she would set out a plate of graham crackers with icing for me and my siblings. I was warmly reminded of how caring she was right up until she left this earth, just one evening short of her 90th birthday.

Plenty of things will change names and addresses and colors and whatever over time. They stopped making Oreo O’s cereal – anything is possible! Will I frequent Colectivo Coffee when I visit? Sure. I will just consider myself lucky to have made the memories I did. Isn’t that the case for most memories? Some stick out like bright stars bringing up boisterous laughs of a reckless night when you got your very own full-back tattoo at the hand of your friend with a Sharpie marker.  But my favorites are usually the ones that elicit something as simple as a quiet smile for a cappuccino on a winter day (or a very special dog) gone by.

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Friday Find: Party Supplies

Image c/o Urban Outfitters

Image c/o Urban Outfitters

I plan ahead. That’s just what I do. Today I thought about purchasing a Christmas present for my sister. My mind is looking that far ahead. So when the Bachelorette party I’ve mentioned I’m planning a couple times here is just under a month away, to me it feels like it’s happening tomorrow.

Everywhere I turn I get a new idea. Yesterday afternoon at Bed Bath & Beyond almost sent my brain into a catatonic state. While you might not turn there for party supplies, I was so close to grabbing Bluetooth speakers so that I could play music throughout the apartment  when we’re sipping morning mimosas, or doily placemats for whatever you would need a placemat for. At Michael’s I practically pass out before I get in the door. The crafty aura is almost too much for me. I love it.

From paper straws to diamond ring ice trays, there is just so much I want to achieve to make this the best party ever. It will also be the first time I am really entertaining people in my apartment so I need to set the bar high. The day is almost here and I’m super jazzed, especially because I’ve been planning it since September 2012. I have the gchat to prove it.

I’m not even going to get started on the outfit planning. Your eyes will glaze over.

Happy Friday!

Friday Find: Scented Macaron Coin Purse

Macaron{Scented Macaron Coin Purse in Orange, Fred Flare}

1. Macarons are amazingly delicious.

2. You can never have enough tiny pouches.

3. These are scented, y’all.

4. I ate a mango macaron once and my lips swelled up. That’s how I found out I’m allergic to mangoes.

Have the most amazing Friday ever!

Girl Crush: Mindy Kaling

Image c/o Scribd

Image c/o Scribd

Recently I finished reading Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects (not, I repeat, NOT a book for those that are easily disturbed and/or can’t make it through an entire episode of Law & Order: SVU), and looking for something a little…lighter to occupy myself on my bus ride to work. Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns) fit the bill.

Now usually I have my hands full with my gym duffle and my coffee, so reading on the bus isn’t a daily activity and with this particular book, I tend to want to laugh out loud and we all know that that isn’t proper bus etiquette. The train to and from Milwaukee, however, is primetime…time.

Image c/o NPR

Image c/o NPR

What I have found through reading her book is that 1) she’s hilarious and 2) we would be amazing friends. I was already a fan of hers from her time as a writer, producer and co-star on The Office, but now it is just cemented. Her new show The Mindy Project is on FOX and, while I would laugh from time to time, I was having trouble getting into it. Since diving into the book, I’ve realized she talks exactly the way she writes and that is directly translated onto the small-screen. My appreciation has bloomed.

Even reading her blog posts right now makes me feel like I’m reading something that I would write. I/we/she am/are/is so funny! Don’t confuse this for me thinking that “I could be a writer and famous like Mindy!” Nah. I’m more concerned with how I will stop myself from not eating these three boxes of Girl Scout cookies I came into today. I feel like she would support me in just devouring them now and getting it over with. I’ll dedicate a box of Thin Mints to you, girl.

When I’m 31

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Image c/o Paper Source and Huffington Post

I just made it to 25 and it’s going swimmingly. However, there’s a certain special lady in my life that turned 31 today and I wanted to put it out into the universe that if I am even half as amazing as her by then, then I’ll consider myself quite fabulous.

Happy birthday, Kate. I’m #psyched for more baby bump pictures and if I were to throw you a birthday party, it would be as lovely as the ideas I have floating in my head for my girlfriend’s bachelorette party, or rather, hen party.

Image c/o ivillage

Image c/o ivillage

Maybe I would bake you that cake. It would be funfetti of course. Hugs and kisses.

The Best Ever: Peanut Butter Blossoms

My Own Image

I confess that I originally wanted to write about my awesome Thanksgiving Day outfit, but alas I’m too down in the dumps because I misunderstood the tracking information and it won’t actually arrive at my doorstep until after Thanksgiving. What exactly does the post office expect me to write as my post title now? “My Regular Day Outfit”? This is one thing that this turkey is not thankful for.

But when I stop pouting about my outfit, I come to remember that in a few hours I will be with my family for Thanksgiving. I very much enjoy holidays because they come with a lot of traditions. We always go to a movie on Thanksgiving Day, which never fails to get my mom to say, “We shouldn’t be going to a movie because these poor people have to work.” It’s been about 15 years and we still haven’t actually turned the car around to avoid the activity. We will actively watch the parade on TV for about 15 minutes before my grandpa decides that a marathon of Magnum PI is what everyone really was looking to watch. (FUN FACT: My dad was IN the Macy’s parade a couple of years ago. He carried the sign in front of a float dressed as Uncle Sam.) My dad and my sister will insist that we watch Elf the day after Turkey Day as it’s the first officially official day of Christmas celebration (although I’m listening to Christmas music right now “and I don’t care who knows it!” (anyone? Elf reference? My true friends just laughed with me)). Of course, there’s an outing to the mall on Black Friday, probably my favorite shopping day of the year. And even though the fridge is full of leftovers, we almost never fail to eat a meal out more than once over the span of the weekend. Ah, memories.

Even though it’s not a standard gobbling tradition (how many ways can I say, “Thanksgiving Day” without actually repeating it? I hate when writers do that (not that I consider myself a writer). Google another description!), my mom always bakes Peanut Butter Blossoms for my birthday. My dad unwrapped all the kisses this year so he helped too. She even mails them to me if I’m not at home. Yes, mails. The beauty of the recipe she uses is that they never, ever arrive dry or crunchy (I think the secret is the condensed milk). Sure some of the kisses fall off in transit, but that is the worst of it. I have witnesses that can attest to the fact that these cookies are gone within days. This batch of 25 was consumed in five days. I’m not ashamed. I will literally bake these exact cookies for the rest of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Ingredients

1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk

3/4 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter

2 cups packaged biscuit mix

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup sugar

65 solid milk chocolate candy pieces, unwrapped (this may be a little much, but you can always eat them plain!)

Instructions

  • HEAT oven to 375°F. Beat sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in large bowl until smooth. Add biscuit mix and vanilla; mix well.
  • SHAPE into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • BAKE 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned around edges (do not overbake). Immediately press a chocolate candy piece in center of each cookie. Cool.