Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Beef with Boys

Alright, so I'm sure this does not hold for all boys, but I can at least attest for my boy. He has this true obsession/love of working out, and not just the "look at how much weight I can lift and watch my muscles bulge" working out, but the running/swimming/biking hard-core cardio working out that achieves just the opposite of what most guys are after: weight loss.

Now don't get me wrong, I fully support the Benjamin in all of his crazy triathalon-like endeavors, and I'm lucky to have a boy who cares about being in shape and staying healthy, but there comes a point when a gal like me--who has dessert after just about every meal and gets to the gym only when she feels like it--starts to worry.

And that point occurs when you keep seeing the boy's scale read less and less (no matter how many sleeves of Oreos he eats in one night), while your own scale keeps miraculously rising, no matter how much will power you think you're employing. And then, boom boom pow, right before you know it your boyfriend weighs less than you and suddenly nothing is okay in the world.

And so this is why, my dear Benjamin, as well as all you other fellows out there, when you keep urging us ladies to go ahead and have that fourth piece of pizza, to please come over for a nice french toast breakfast, or to not worry about the massive ice cream cone we're engulfing, we just have to look at you with beady little temper-enraged eyes and clear our throats in disgust.

Because it's like that Slim Quick commercial says: just because a quick jog around the neighborhood somehow dissolves every ounce of those three Wendy's junior bacon cheeseburgers off your tummy pooch, we females have a more rough go at it, and goodness knows it takes more motivation for me to even consider taking that run than it does for the Benjamin to sign up for a triathalon a month and then get right to training. every. single. day.

I still love him, though, and I'm not dismissing his six-pack. :) But come on gentlemen, you do realize how frustrating you make it for us, yes? Argh.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Julie and Julia

I've been hearing about this movie for awhile, but I finally saw a trailer on a commercial tonight. Take a look! Adams...what more could a girl ask for?! It shall be fabulous I'm sure.

So yes, summer movies, definite plus of the season. However, as much as I love this time of year, it still has its drawbacks. Case in point: shaving. It's pretty much my least favorite activity. Well, besides drying my hair that is, but still, I dread the yearly call for shorts that sends the shaving frequency up a few notches.

I went for a terrible run this afternoon that culminated in way too much sweat and a very achy tummy that left me rather weak for a good time after I finished. I blame myself...who runs at 3 o'clock in the afternoon at the end of June anyway? It's exercise suicide.

Regardless though, I was forced to take a shower not long after I got home so as to make it to class in time, meaning I was still rather worn out and not up for standing any longer than I had to. Okay, I'm rambling about nonsense.

My point folks, finally I know, is that even though my poor legs are in dire need of a good shave, I was just too lazy this afternoon and am now forced to think up some way to get around showing them off tomorrow, despite the 90-degree forecast. I have a dentist appointment at 7 a.m. (yikes), immediately followed by munchkin time, so there is no time to tidy up in the morning. Good thing they're only two, huh?

I'm off to start the last Harry Potter! I just finished the sixth book this afternoon in preparation for the movie that comes out July 15th. I originally hadn't intended on following up with a reread of the final book, but I just can't help it. They're so good!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Family & Farm Times

I made the maiden voyage to eastern North Carolina this weekend to attend a wedding with the Benjamin. I felt it was time to finally go meet his extended family, seeing as how he's spent so much time with mine, I think they actually like him more than me at this point. I was a little apprehensive going into the trip, just because I tend to be awfully shy around folks when I first meet them, not to mention the fact that I was out to impress these people. So yeah, I was nervous.

Thankfully, I must say I had a great time and everything turned out wonderfully! Everyone was so very nice and welcoming, and the wedding was beautiful. His grandparents live on a huge spread of land that despite being in the middle of nowhere, was really enjoyable. They have been in the farming business for life, and it was really interesting getting to ride around in the golf cart seeing all the different tractors and buildings and what not, as I've never really been introduced to that style of living before.

There were tons of bugs, though. Ew. Like maybe even worse than in Greece. While riding in the golf cart the first night, I could actually feel them pelting me in the head as we drove along. Again, ew.

The Benjamin also comes from a huge family, which I'm not really used to. My family is not only fairly small, but we have also all lived in the same city for just about my entire life, so he's been able to meet them all somewhat gradually and in more casual circumstances. I, on the other hand, got to meet his five aunts and uncles and their spouses and their children and their cousins and their this and their that...all in about an hour's time. Whew! It was a little exhausting, but I had wedding cake to help me through it, and I loved every person I met.

Sorry for the absence of the Sunday Sweet Spot yesterday. I was on the road from morning til night returning from North Carolina. I'm hoping to make up for it at some point this week, but we shall have to see! I think I will go indulge in some angel food cake with ice cream and should too. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I am...

...a constant worrier, a frequent perfectionist, a devout planner, a slight control-freak, and an occasional skeptic.

But God is...

...the great I am.

Why, then, do I continue to consistently fret over my life and where it's headed? If I remain a true believer of His ever-reaching presence (which I do), why must I always be anxious for the answers? Why can't I be satisfied with patiently following His intended path and focus on the day-to-day?

Sometimes I am able to conquer this fear of the future. Sometimes it appears perfectly clear to me that right now, my purpose is simply to live in the right now, to follow God's will for the right now, and to not look anywhere beyond the right now. Sometimes I can do this.

I want to do this all the time. I want to be under continued reassurance that the next step is in no one's hands but God's, and the same is true of the next step, and the next, and the next, and the next. He knows what is right. He knows what is best. And in due time, He will make that clear to me as well. And I am to understand this, to know this, and to love Him for this. And that is all.

No constant worry. No perfect plan of my own. No need to take control of my life.

Trust in my Lord. Faith in His plan. Comfort in His reigning glory over all. May these be my only concerns.

After all, He knows the plans He has for me. And they will not harm me, but they will give me hope and they will give me a future.

How's that for reassurance?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


See I had this was an unofficial one, although I should probably seriously consider making it a permanent one. But regardless, I had this not purchase any clothing until August, maybe even later, depending on how severe the withdrawal. I will say that I have become somewhat more responsible in the clothing-buying department, but I still manage to always have a closet full of clothes that just don't do it for me...thus explaining the piling of random J. Crew sale purchases. Awesome.

Anyway, so it was a good goal. But unfortunately, it is no more. I took my first trip to the mall today since my return from Greece, and well, I just couldn't help myself! I found an adorable dress at Gap that was half off the original price, and with the justification of a potential formal option in the future, I added it to my closet. I would show a picture but I can't seem to find it on their website! Just know it's cute and was a steal. Plenty reason enough to break my rule. Hah.

While perusing the mall, I also meandered into Pottery Barn, just because it makes me happy. However, I managed to find a perfect pillow that will look great in my new bedroom next year.

Love it! It's actually an outdoor pillow, but it will still work great on my bed, and I'm excited to build the room around it! I'm using the curtains that Nat and I had in our living room at Laurel, which are a really cute green and white pattern, also from Pottery Barn. I'm trying my best to not go crazy and buy everything new for the room, but we shall see how that goes...

My trip also included a walk through J. Crew, and let me just express the pain it caused. Every time I step into that store I'm bombarded by the adorable front display and I can't help but to sigh. If only the bank account was endless...

I made a really great decision in agreeing to spend my Wednesday babysitting a little girl with a virus all day. She's precious and I'm excited to see her, but I'm not looking forward to the very early start time, nor the hazardous bacteria...yikes.

And another thing: I really hope someone else is witnessing the incredible catfight that just broke out on the Real Housewives, because words can't explain...hah.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gooey Goodness

Hello Sunday Sweet Spotters!

I found a real treat this week. It's definitely a must-try for chocolate lovers! Here's the recipe: Paula Deen's Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cakes...and boy are they chocolately...and gooey...and buttery. Yum!!

These cake-meets-brownie treats are quite an interesting concoction: the bottom is very dense, made of just cake mix, melted butter, and an egg. It's almost like a chewy crust in the finished result. Here's the first layer after I molded it into the pan:

Lovely fingerprints, eh? :) Atop this bottom layer lies the real tastiness: the "gooeyness," if you will. Let me point out that this upper portion alone contained a whole stick of butter, huge slab of cream cheese, and entire box of powdered sugar. So yes, it was delicious. The mixing process:

Hurray for powdered sugar mess! So worth it though. It bakes for about 40 minutes, and be warned: the toothpick test is not a good indicator of doneness in this case. The key is to keep the gooey consistency the toothpick usually helps us to avoid. Trust me, it's better that way.

Good grief this recipe was so good. I actually had two servings because I just couldn't help myself! Slap my finger I know. I strongly recommend this little gem from Paula, though. It's a new fave of my own.

Prior to the deliciousness that was dessert, I also tried my hand at a bit more cooking in the kitchen. After dragging my poor mother on a serious marathon trip through Walmart this afternoon, I felt I owed it to her and the pops to create a lovely dinner in addition to the weekly Sunday yummy. I whipped out a recipe I've been wanting to try for years now, Giada's Penne with Spinach Sauce. It turned out pretty well, though the goat cheese in the sauce gave an unexpected twang I'm not sure I absolutely loved. Look how pretty the color was though!

I served the pasta with zucchini and squash that I coated in Jiffy cornbread mix and sauteed in olive oil. The veggies were a definite hit, and I will be making them again. So, all in all, I'd say Sunday night dinner and dessert=success. Thank you Food Network.

In other news, I realize it has been a couple of days since my last post, and I will go ahead and warn that there may be a small absence in the future as well. The culprit? Redeeming Love. Amazing. Inspiring. Thought-provoking. And an incredible reminder of just how much God loves us and how far He will go to let us know that. I absolutely can not put it down, and I'm sure it will not be too much longer until it's complete.

I'm off to immerse myself in its pages once again! No munchkins for me tomorrow! My alarm is turned off...

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I am the ultimate movie crier. Ask anyone. It can get pretty ridiculous. However, I do NOT tend to be a book crier. It must be the added background music that gets me...

Up until tonight, the only exception to this rule was A Walk to Remember. Oh Nicholas Sparks. I now have to add another though, and it was a biggie.

On the plane ride home from Greece, I started My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. I was looking in the Greek bookstore for a good read that could outlast the dreaded eleven hour flight when Nat suggested this one, mentioning that at one point you couldn't put it down. Uh yeah. While hysterically crying, I might add.

It was a wonderful read, though, and I would definitely recommend it. Just keep some tissues handy. And prepare for some critical thinking, too. It poses some interesting questions that were fun to ponder. Well not really actually, considering the situation. Just read the book.

Now I'm watching Cheaper by the Dozen. Yep, there goes a tear. Good grief Emily...

I'm not sure I'll make it through the movie that comes out in a couple weeks...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Guilty Pleasure

As much as I'd love to say I'm a straight-up intellectual and watch nothing but Jeopardy and the History Channel, I have to admit: I'm pretty much addicted to reality tv. I try to only commit myself to the more respectable series out there: ya know, Top Chef, The Bachelor, American Idol and the like, but there is one show on my list that I'm not quite so proud of...

The Real Housewives...of anywhere. Orange County, New York (my personal favorite, I'd say), and even the most recent locale: New Jersey.

Don't judge, people. I promise you'd be addicted too with just one episode. Promise.

Anyway, to express just how classy a move Bravo is making this season, I thought I'd share a trinket. Y'all. Look at this cat...

Yep. That would be the absolutely lovely sphinx cat that belongs to Dina, one of the crazy New Jersey housewives. And get this...its name is Grandma Wrinkles. Ew. I love you Bravo, I love you Dina, but I refuse to make myself love anything about this cat. It's just not right.

Tomorrow night Bravo premieres yet another brilliant gem of a tv show: Top Chef Masters. As I mentioned earlier, I am a Top Chef devotee, always and forever, and I am so impressed by and excited for what they've cooked up this season. Instead of the usual slew of amateur chefs and cooks vying for their shot at the spotlight, this time the show will feature a wealth of five-star chef-celebs, most of which were former judges on the show. Talk about a battle. I am stoked.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bah hah :)

I finally made it to a movie today. There are about a hundred I've been wanting to see, but it just hasn't been in the cards lately!

So this afternoon, I joined my whole family, the Benjamin, and a few others actually, and we went to see The Hangover. Hah. It was seriously hilarious. Here's a clip.

I will say this, however. Make sure you are very comfortable with whomever you choose to take along, as it gets a bit inappropriate at times. Example: your mother. mistake. And even if you think you're close enough to take it all, I still might recommend making a mad dash before the closing credits. Yikes...even I'm not old enough to see that stuff.

This, on the other hand, is a fantastic reason to go:

Oh yes, he's gorgeous. Mm hmm. And hysterical, I might add...

On another note...we had some major Bachelorette drama this evening. Almost took it too far, ABC, almost. I laughed.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


When I have extra time on my hands, one of my favorite things to do is search for recipes for future use. I then have to find even more extra time to actually try them out, which usually doesn't happen. This time, though, I'm determined. And so...

(cue drum roll and ta dah music...)

Here comes the Sunday Sweet Spot! It's my effort to experiment with a whole new slew of sweets and treats and then share my successes, my failures, and my extra calories. I'm excited, and my taste-testers are excited (a.k.a. the fam and the Benjamin), so here goes!

Today the family came over for lunch to celebrate my sister's upcoming birthday, and she agreed to let me test out a new recipe to be served for dessert: Rachael Ray's fried ice cream. In Rach's own words...yum-o!

I was a bit intimidated by the recipe, as I don't have the best track record when it comes to frying things. We don't really have the appropriate kitchen equipment to fry, but I still wanted to try it out, even though the trial run would be presented to company. Yikes.

No worries, though! Everything went wonderfully! It does take a while to go from beginning to end due to the extra freezing involved at various steps, but I would definitely recommend the recipe to anyone interested in a new spin on the classic sundae!

Here's all the ingredients ready to go! You cover the ice cream balls with pound cake slices, then dip them in an egg mixture, at which point they look like this:

After freezing these for a few hours, it was time to fry!

They only fry for about a minute, so that was nice. As you can see, my very small make-shift frying pot only allowed one to be done at a time, but the oil wasn't deep enough in anything bigger, so I made due! Here's a finished product...they were a definite hit!

So there you have it, Sunday Sweet Spot take one! I would definitely recommend experimenting with some fried ice cream. We just topped ours with hot fudge and whipped cream, but I'm sure you can get more creative than that. Let me know if you try anything else! Now I should probably move my experimenting to the gym to make up for this...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Enough Already.

I just saw a commercial for strawberry peanut butter M&Ms...


I mean is that even okay?

Don't get me wrong. I have probably the worst sweet tooth of anyone I know, and I'm all for creativity when it comes to dessert, but I also believe there's a time and place for making changes, especially when it comes to classics.

On that note, Benjamin just walked in with the biggest waffle bowl full of Bruster's Oreo ice cream I've ever seen...classic enough for me! Time to indulge...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Summer Routine

I love summer. I mean who doesn't though, right? And since my summer didn't officially start until this past week, I've been doing my best to soak it all in. My mornings have been dominated by babysitting, but I must admit, getting done with my work day at 12:00 is pretty amazing, so I'm trying not to complain about the 7 a.m. alarm on my phone set to the unfortunate "everyday" option.

The munchkins are darling and usually pretty happy. They're 20-month old twins: a boy and a girl, so things can get a bit rough at times, but I'm learning to deal! We just kind of lollygag through the house, playing with anything that can serve as a five or ten minute source of entertainment. Their favorite thing on earth is this little bubble machine they have outside. Girl munchkin is particularly obsessed with it. While her brother proceeds to remove each of the 10 or so riding toys housed in their garage, she just sits there and turns the thing on and off, fascinated by the circular-moving wand, even when there are no bubbles inside. I had mom pick up a few extra bubble toys at the store last night to bring for them today. They of course loved them, but let's just say the back porch of their house should be an interesting spectacle next time it rains, as most of the bottle ended up in a pile on the deck. Lovely munchkins.

Post-work I've had lots of yummy lunches this week. Yesterday Mims and I went to Jason's Deli. I've stumbled upon a recent pesto kick, and my turkey and provolone on multi-grain ciabatta with basil pinenut pesto really hit the spot. And it was so wonderful to see Mims over the summer for once! I'm hoping it will happen a whole lot more!

Today, then, I went with my mom and grandmother to Brixx, a new pizza joint in Turkey Creek. Oh my goodness was it fabulous. I got a half cheese, half barbeque chicken pizza and ate way too much of it. I managed to bring home some leftovers though, and I'm pumped to make another meal out of it, not to mention planning a return trip soon.

Outside of the kiddies and lunch dates, I've just been mixing in a little pool time, nap time, reading time, and oh yes, class time...unfortunately. It's really not as gruesome as one might expect a three hour history of Western civilization class to be though, thanks to my eccentric goober of a teacher. He's just a really great storyteller, and since that's really all history is, it makes for a completely tolerable evening.

Hopefully now that my life is once again falling into a routine of sorts, I will be better about updating posts. Since it's summer and I have more time on my hands, not to mention my new budding career prospect in writing (more on that another day), I'm hoping to shake things up and perhaps get a little creative. My day to day can get pretty boring, so I'm thinking it might be necessary. Until then...