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31 March 2012

S'more Fest 2012

Friday night was S'more Fest with My Favorite Married Couple, and it was fabulous!! The weather was gorgeous, the company was amazing, and the s'mores were to die for. Yum. 
The Skor Crunch - Dark chocolate, apple, marshmallow, and toffee on a cinnamon graham cracker. 
This one is killer.
The Impersonator - chocolate, peanut butter, bananas, and marshmallow on a regular graham cracker. 
Sheila teaching me to roast marshmallows PERFECTLY. 
The spread Sheila put out. This is why I love this woman. Seriously. I would marry her. 
Yes, I stabbed a peep to toast it. And it tasted amazing.
Sorry, Little Peep. 

30 March 2012

My little Farmers' Market

My Carolina Grown order was delivered, and it is amazing!! Just see for yourself. I had to fight the urge to cook it all at once. This service is seriously amazing, and, if you are in NC and haven't considered it, your should reconsider not considering it.

29 March 2012

Lake Crabtree and Bailey

B and I have been walking at Lake Crabtree as often as possible, and that generally means that The Beast gets to go for a nice long walk and sniff all sorts of things. Yesterday the weather was gorgeous, and we headed out for a nice walk in the setting sun. 

Lake Crabtree in the setting sun

The Beast, basking in the sun and catching some a bit of breeze.

While walking, The Beast discovered some sticks. The Beast LOVES to chew sticks. Unfortunately, these were still attached to the tree as they were living roots. No one ever accused her of being a genius. 

She certainly was determined. Silly dog. 

28 March 2012

Farmers' Market delivered to your door!!

Recently a very good friend clued me in to an amazing local food opportunity that I have become smitten with. It is essentially a delivery service for the local farmers' market. Carolina Grown sells only local NC products, the majority of which are organic. The meats they sell are also certified humane which makes my life so much easier!

The program runs on points ($25=50 points), and the points can be used on any products on their "menu." You place your order between Sunday and Tuesday and, like magic, the food arrives on your doorstep in a cooler on Friday afternoon (or other days, depending on your delivery area). I placed my first order this week, and I can't wait for Friday when I get home to a box full of tasty goodies to eat! This week I ordered chicken breasts, green onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, strawberries and a few other things. So excited!!!

If you are local and interested, I strongly encourage you to check it out. And, if you like it, use my name as a referral. You'll get 5 bonus points!!

Mad Men is back!!

After waiting for what seemed like forever (but was actually just a year or so), Mad Men is back!! It started on Sunday with a 2hr.8 min. season premiere, and I'm pretty excited about the upcoming episodes. I forgot how much I forgot (does that even make sense?) about the previous seasons, and it came flooding back pretty quickly. Sterling is still gorgeous and Don is still Don. It was also pretty interesting to see Joanie struggle with insecurity when she is normally such a force to be reckoned with. It makes her vulnerable and real. Megan's little French tease was ... unexpected and, apparently, was blowing up on Twitter. Hmmm ... The costuming is still outstanding and the writing seems to be off to a good start. I would hate to see things falter after four seasons of awesomeness. 

My classy Mad Men dinner.
Fancy beer, fancy cheese, fancy water crackers, and fancy blueberries ...

26 March 2012

NCMA and The Arboretum

I spent Sunday hanging out with B at the North Carolina Museum of Art and the NC State Arboretum. We were going to go kayaking, but, given the 50% chance of rain for the day, I suggested we do something indoor. I'm not big on getting soaked outside in the rain. Especially given the nature of North Carolina rain storms. Those bad boys can be terrifyingly awesome. And I prefer to watch them from the safety of cover. But I digress ... Since I've never been to either place, it sounded like a great idea. Of course, not a drop of rain fell until well after dark, but it was fun nonetheless. I sadly didn't think to bring my camera to either location, so I had to make good use of the iPhone and Instagram. I'll definitely be heading back to grab some great shots in the next couple of weeks ... especially at the Arboretum when the flowers are fully in bloom. 

Three Eves
NCMA refection pool
A really cool sculpture made of cedar and graphite.
Mona Lisa ... upside down and made of spools of thread. 
Funny thing about the Mona Lisa piece ... people were actively talking about how they hung it upside down and how it would have been better if they had hung it properly. Things like that make me laugh. While I don't necessarily love (or sometimes even like) modern art, I still can appreciate it for what it is. It's always interesting to hear other people's take on things, though. Listening to people talk about art is always quite insightful. 

Irises at the Arboretum
I love irises. They may just be one of my favorite flower. Maybe ...
Looking up into the cloudy sky.
Who knew that maple trees could flower?
More sky.
Winter white wisteria. 
Gazebo in the white garden.
I love these trees. I'm not sure what they are.  I think it's the vibrant pink that attracts me so  much.
In case you weren't already aware, I like pink. ;) 

23 March 2012

Celebrating citizenship

A colleague of mine recently became a U.S. citizen, and, in true Team 6 style, we had a little America party complete with patriotic music, patriotic paper products, and a patriotic cake. I pulled this little guy together, and it was pretty tasty. French vanilla cake, Cool whip as frosting, and strawberries and blueberries as the flag. 


16 March 2012

St. Paddy's Day Preparations

In case you live under a rock and are completely unaware, tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day! In other parts of the world, namely Ireland, it's an actual real holiday which involves a day off of work, mass, and other festivities. But, as is typical for America, we bastardize pretty much everything. Here in the U.S., it is a day dedicated to shameless binge drinking and claiming Irish ancestry despite having none. 

So, tomorrow we celebrate. We wear green and drink green beer (I don't, but many do!) and act like drunken fools. All in the name of a Catholic saint who brought the word of Christ to the pagan island of Ireland. What's not to love about it? I'll be spending the beautiful day (the weather is supposed to be gorgeous!) with good friends and good drink. To prepare, I made a special treat to share with my friends and my favorite bartenders: Irish Car Bomb brownies with whiskey ganache frosting.

I found the recipe on Pinterest, and, let me tell you, they taste AMAZING!! They are certainly potent, but they are outstandingly good. A little definitely goes a looooooong way with these bad boys, which is generally a good thing with dessert. 

Spring Break

It's been a good week. It's my trimester break, and I've had the whole week off to just do me. I got shopping in with a girlfriend, my foot tattoo touched up, some dissertation reading and writing done, and the car serviced (not once but twice). And ... I met an awesome guy. :)

I had a date on Sunday night, and he took me to The Melting Pot. I'd never been before, and it was quite tasty. Girlfriends had warned me that it was a marathon meal that takes forever, so I was prepared for a long date. Which, if things didn't go well, would have been torture!! Thankfully, it wasn't torture! The meal actually only took about 2 hours, but we ended up sitting in the restaurant talking for three more hours after that. It was pretty great. We had a lot in common, and talking to him was very natural and easy. And, the most amazing part? He's 6'5"! It's the first time in my life I've ever gone out with someone who was my height or taller!

He texted my first thing on Monday morning, and we've seen each other every day since Sunday. It's been really fun and easy and comfortable. It's definitely early and we are still just getting to know each other, but he's a pretty great guy. We've spent A LOT of time together this week just hanging out and getting to know each other. He's met The Beast, and she approves. He's out of town this weekend, which is  cool because I already have plans with db for this weekend anyway. We'll see how our communication goes this weekend as well as how things go next week after he returns.

It'll also be interesting to see what happens next week when I return back to work and my regular exercise and workout routine (which I haven't done much this week given my swollen and sore tattooed foot). But, for now, it's really fun hanging out with him and getting to know him.

Dating is weird. It's so hit-or-miss. So far, this looks like a "hit" but it is certainly far too early to tell.

12 March 2012

Confessions of a ... Hippie?

I have a confession to make.

I think I'm a hippie.

I say this because, in the course of a week, four different people have asked me if I was one or have called me one. Upon further introspection, I think I may be. But I'm not ashamed. :)

In an attempt to actually define the term "hippie," I turned, of course, to the internet and all its wisdom. There are a variety of definitions out there, starting with the always-reliable Urban Dictionary. There are too many definitions to count on that site, but there are a few that I think are appropriate.

Definition 2 defines a hippie as "One who embraces life to the fullest. Promotes peace, love and happiness, but sure as hell sticks up for what they believe in. Anyone can be a hippie."

Definition 7 states: "A hippie is a person who is comfortable enough with themselves that they do not hold judgements against anyone else. They are usually happy people and tend to/try to spread their happiness everywhere they go. A true hippie does not categorise themselves by the way they dress but by the way they act. To be a hippie is to be part of the larger view of peaceful activism."

I especially love the 8th definition: "See Jesus, Jesus Christ. Jesus was the ultimate hippie."

So, I guess looking at these definitions, I guess I am a hippie. I am a vegetarian (well, sort of, but my dietary preferences are hard to define in just one word). I am fairly non-violent and struggle to reconcile my feelings about war. I'm open-minded, and I try quite hard to be nonjudgmental. I strive to protect the environment as much as possible and to leave as small of a carbon impact as possible. I recycle. I reuse. I conserve. I also like to think that I embrace life to the fullest. I definitely stand up for my beliefs.

If all these things make me a hippie, then I guess I am. And I'm okay with that. There are certainly worse things to be.

But, one thing is for certain, I definitely do not dress like a stereotypical hippie. And I can't see that ever happening!!

11 March 2012


I know I'm tall, but it's not often I look like a complete giantess. But, from low angles, it appears that I do!

Yeah, I conquered Little Round Top. 


Instagram fun

While on the history trip, I made good use of the iPhone and Instagram.
Stonewall or He-Man. Not sure which.
This fortune couldn't be anymore appropriate for the company I was with ...
Harper's Ferry from Jefferson's Rock
Union casualties of the Civil War
The Catholic church in Harper's Ferry
The Starbucks that never was. I want to live in this house!!
I forget the name of this monument, but I know it was at Gettysburg!
The View from Little Round Top.
Matty "spelunking."
White tree against a beautiful blue sky. 

Civil War Photographs

I had the opportunity to chaperone the 8th grade history trip last week, and we visited Manassas, Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry, and Appomattox. And, as usual, I took a ton of photographs. I had a mini-crisis when the trip started and I realized that I had left me memory card at home. Thankfully, one of our awesome students let me commandeer her memory card. The weather was gorgeous the entire time -- except for some wind and chilly temps -- but the sun was out, and that's what matters.

I truly love chaperoning these trips. I get to hang out with students and forge some great bonds with them as well as learn about a lot of history that I only know on a surface level. I'd visited Gettysburg before, but all of the other stops were new to me. Add all that to the opportunity to take photographs, and I'm sold!


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