Who killed Laura Palmer?

Right now I’m preoccupied with Twin Peaks.

I like the show because it’s sort of creepy, sort of cheesy, and relies on a strong ensemble cast of quirky characters.  I also like it because of the comfortingly familiar early 1990s setting.

Lara Flynn Boyle’s character wears the best clothing on the show, but she cries pretty much all the time.  I suppose that’s appropriate, because her best friend was brutally murdered and all.

I am sort of ashamed to be spending so much of the this beautiful day indoors watching this show, but I have the tiniest headache and am using it to justify this extreme lethargy/television consumption.

Did I mention the show features a huge amount of doughnut, pie, and coffee consumption?  My appreciation of such can be seen on my Twin Peaks inspired style board over here on my Polyvore account.

Ok, it’s onto episode 8 for me.  Until next time!

Moving in is hard to do.


I am not so great at packing, unpacking, or moving of any kind.  Each and every time I move, I end up feeling like Andy from Wet Hot American Summer.  Right before our latest move, I vowed I wouldn’t procrastinate, that I would have everything unpacked and organized in a mere matter of weeks!

…but here I am – it’s one month after our move and I still have unpacked boxes and unhung pictures hanging around.  To be fair, things have been pretty productive in my day-to-day life (I planted a garden!  But more on that later.)  The thing that slows down my unpacking so much is that I can only seem to handle a certain amount of it in a day before I go nuts.

I wonder if other folks have the same trouble with settling in that I do?  I’ve often found myself living like Holly Golightly – never fully entrenched in any space which I occupy.  Good thing our current space feels so cozy even when everything is in a disarray.  After a few personal touches, I’ve begun to feel at home in this new place.

You can see some of my unpacked boxes and scattered clutter in my photos.  But, as I mentioned, I’ve been otherwise productive.  There’s a container vegetable garden currently growing on my back porch, and I’ve finally opened my Etsy shop!  I’ve had time to list just three items, but I’ll post more information about that when I have a few more products to offer.

Until next time!

summer return.

It would appear that I am back.

Since posting last, I finished my spring semester, moved into a new apartment with Teddy and Josh, and have been undertaking lots of cooking and gardening projects.

Our new accommodations feature crooked floors and old plumbing, but the place always smells of salt water and I can see the ocean from our living room.  The most important amenity is certainly the fenced-in back yard.  We’ve already had a few successful barbecues, enjoyed some hours hula-hooping, and can allow Teddy to romp around leash-free.

My childhood home had a great yard with woods behind it, and on summer mornings my dad and I – early birds forever and always – would drink our coffee outside in lawn chairs.  I haven’t lived anywhere with a lawn in six or so years, and had forgotten how cheerful having even just a patch of green space can make me feel.  Now, after Ted and I take our morning trek through Portland’s West End, we sit on the stairs together – I drink coffee while Ted watches squirrels and birds.

It’s my hope that my return to notables near the shore with allow me to share some of my new projects, snapshots, and stories.  Here are some recent photos from a day spent reading and playing outside:

 until next time!

good morning, Monday: hello, 1990s.

Once upon a time, Mariah Carey was great.  Long before Glitter and her subsequent mental breakdown, Mariah was idol to young ladies everywhere – myself very much included.  Her crop tops and curly hair looked so cool.  Daydream was one of my favorite albums somewhere around 3rd/4th grade.  I could (and still can) still listen to it all day long (except for track #3 – One Sweet Day – too sad!)

So, I hope no one question’s today’s “good morning, Monday” material, because this is the stuff my little girl dreams were made of.

Now I’m off to continue studying for this morning’s Russian quiz!  Thankfully, I’ve got my girl Mariah to belt out sweet tunes for me as I get ready.

Signs of Spring

I just have to tell y’all – today is a pretty special day.  Earlier this afternoon I was lamenting at my inability to consume my favorite take-out treat of all treats: soft-serve ice cream from Red’s Dairy Freeze.  See, here in coastal Maine, we watch each fall as some of the best local stores close up shop for the winter.  For obvious reasons, ice cream takes a big hit around here during the colder months (apparently, I’m in the minority of folks who love ice cream in the winter).  Each October, I’m most heartbroken when Red’s Dairy Freeze gives into the dropping temperatures and ends their season.  Red’s is an institution in Greater Portland, and is perhaps the most beloved ice cream shop in all of Southern Maine.  It was the only place in town that my family ever went to for ice cream, as Red’s offers non-dairy options (in childhood my brother had allergies).  A lifelong patron, I’ve never tired of their Boston milkshakes nor the candy eyes they affix to each cone of sugary soft-serve.  Additionally, now that I’m a dog owner I have a new-found appreciation for the dog-size dishes that Red’s offers for furry friends.

Opened in 1952, Red’s has been serving up soft-serve ice cream non-stop for decades.  There is one very sad exception to this.  Two years ago, at the very beginning of ice cream season, the unthinkable happened: Red’s had a fire – and it was bad.  The damage was extensive enough that they remained closed the entire year.  It was the first year in my whole life I didn’t have Red’s ice cream.  Luckily, the owners and staff rebounded and reopened the next year.  They even printed t-shirts that proclaimed, “I survived a year without Red’s!”.

I’m sure y’all have figured out by now that today is a special day because Red’s has announced that they’re reopen for the season!  Just as I was beginning to feel that winter was dragging on a bit too long, I’m gifted this perfect sign of spring.

Here are some photos from previous trip’s to Red’s:

Red’s?  Did someone say Red’s!?

This red light tried to kill us with anticipation!

Hooray!

I never manage to snap pictures of the candy eyes – I always eat them too fast.

The legendary Boston shake.

This means spring is near, so ignore all the snow and get your sunscreen ready!

Wishful Thinking

It’s past midnight and I just can’t seem to sleep.  Perhaps that’s because I’m so anxious to hear whether or not my university will cancel tomorrow’s classes due to the snow storm that’s currently raging outside.  The weather has been unseasonably warm all winter, and we’ve seen much less snow than usual.  While I’m not typically one to bemoan the lack of snow, I’ve never lived outside of the Northeast and am thus accustomed to at least a little of the stuff each year.  But what really irks me about this years missing flakes?  Not nearly enough snow days.

I LOVE SNOW DAYS.

(Is there anyone who doesn’t?  …Well, maybe Rory Gilmore.  I don’t care, I’ll say it again…!)

I LOVE SNOW DAYS.

Really.  I’m particularly obsessed with them for a woman of my (or any) age.  On planned days off (weekends, vacations), I find myself struggling to balance my divergent inclinations to vegetate while watching junk television and also be productive.  Whenever I relax,  I feel a bit like I’m slacking off.  Being in school means I always have assignments, and because academics are my first priority, even fun DIY or home-improvement projects feel like indulgences.  But snow days are so different!

Snow days are an unexpected gift of free time.  Glorious, unplanned for time!  All of my assignments are completed as if I would have been in class, so snow days are all about taking it easy.  Plus, there’s the added bonus of the roads being so terrible that it’s frowned on to be out and about.  Snow days give me the awesome ability to keep my pajamas on, watch my favorite old shows, and create unhealthy snacks all day long.

I guess that’s why I’m so excitable about snow days.

Because I am in a state of such sleepless anticipation, I’ve put together a list of the things I’ll do tomorrow if school is, in fact, cancelled.  I think it’s a pretty solid plan.  When it comes to any activity that can be infused with a childlike sense of silliness and/or gluttony, I am your girl.  Ice cream for breakfast followed by an indoor water balloon fight?  Sounds great!  Granted, nothing I’ve dreamt-up for tomorrow is too crazy, but I think I’ve mapped out an absolutely indulgent day.

So here’s what I’m going to do:

1)  I have three past-prime bananas just dying to help me start my day with this banana bread french toast!  I’m absolutely making this first thing tomorrow – perfect beginning to a snow day.  Plus, whipped cream is a very important food.

2)  I am going to hunker down in my fuzzy, polar bear-laden pajamas and watch a serious amount of garbage television.  Specifically, Supernatural.  I know what you’re thinking, “Really, Andrea?  Supernatural?”  Yes.  Yes, it’s hilarious and I love bad TV with predictable story-lines.  I love that sort of program even more when it mocks itself within the show, which Supernatural does in spades.  Clearly, Sam and Dean Winchester know what relaxation is all about.

3)  Once I’ve had my fill of TV, I think I’ll try out this project I spotted on ye old Pinterest.  Homemade candy buttons made of things I already have in my kitchen?  Yes please.  Here’s a link to an actual recipe, the following photo is just my wishful-thinking version of what my candies will look like.

4)  Later in the day, I think I’ll partake in a self-pampering ritual that I try only two or three times each year: painting my nails.  I’ve never had a steady hand and am not great at nail-painting, but every so often I’m struck by a nail color so lovely that I feel compelled to later it about my fingertips.  I have a pretty pink shade that recently caught my eye and I think this snow day is the best time to try it out.  I am really digging on this lady’s bright pink nails:

5) I think I’ll round out my snow day by putting together something savory and warm in the evening.  This recipe for “Volcanoes” – tiny bread bowls full of potatoes and cheese.

6) And perhaps, for good measure, I’ll settle in with my current semester’s reading, a book that I love dearly:

(click photos for sources!)

And there you have it, my plans, should this snow day happen.  My windows are covered with white flakes, so that’s a good sign.  For now, I should try and get some rest in case some freak weather accident happens and I actually have school tomorrow!

Is anyone else up late tonight hoping for a day off tomorrow?

Pinterest DIY Inspiration: Homemade Laundry Soap

I’m sure y’all have realized: Pinterest is all over the place!  I’m clearly a big fan, as many of my recent posts have included photos I’ve found on the site.  I think the concept is fun, and I’m thoroughly enjoying sharing inspiration with my friends.  One thing I truly adore is how many DIY projects I’ve been able to find.  Over February break, I tried a few out, and today want to share my experience creating a batch of laundry soap.

The inspiration is here, which lead me to this post on the blog, Yellow Brick Home.  There are a mere three ingredients: Borax, Super Washing Soda, and Fels-Naptha.  Finding these isn’t difficult, although I needed to check two stores for the Super Washing Soda.  Otherwise, just grate the bar of Fels-Naptha, then mix with one cup washing soda and one cup Borax.  Stupidly simple, but leaves one feeling accomplished because 1) no more shelling out so much money for detergent, and 2) grating that Fels-Naptha bar really works the biceps!

The entire project cost less than $10 and I have plenty of Borax and Super Washing Soda for several more batches (or other projects!).

Cheap, easy, DIY!  Has anyone else seen or tried a laundry soap recipe?

good morning, Monday: Soundtracks for Everyday Adventures by Lullatone

I was looking about on Bandcamp when I stumbled onto Lullatone.  A single listen, and I was hooked.  I think they may have made their album, Songs for Everyday Adventures, just for me.  It’s sweet and pretty instrumental music, each track representing a specific moment in life.  I love all of the songs, with standout favorites being “Checking Things Off of a To-Do List Early in the Morning” and “Clapping Contest”.  I ordered their album and they sent it to me with a hand-penned thank you note, a bonus CD, and bookmark.

I have all sorts of happy flutters in my chest when I listen to this.  It’s perfect for a Monday morning, and I’m giving it a listen today as I prepare for my first day back at school after February break.

Same time next month, vacation?

February break has ended much too quickly.  I managed to accomplish a lot of my goals, but perhaps spent an unpractical amount of time playing Super Nintendo and watching Supernatural.  Well, it’s back to school tomorrow, so today I’d like to share some photos from my week of leisure:

1) Detailing on my new ASOS bag.  2) Little Bear Watermelons at Rosemont Yarmouth.  3) These giant piece of pizza became our lunch.  4) Superheroes at Coast City Comics.  5) There are at least two copies of Top Gun for Nintendo in this case and I need to procure one ASAP.  6)  Skee Ball action shot at Bayside Bowl.  7) Maine’s February skies.  8) A friend in my Russian Literature course has lent me this handy book that I was able to utilize a bunch over break.

I hope that I can kick my recently renewed NES/SNES habit and not let Super Mario get in the way of studying as I return to classes.  Not to mention, when I was in the comic shop buying games, I ran into a friend who works there and he informed me that they host a pinball tournament every Sunday!  I must investigate!

But on Pretzel Day? Well, I like Pretzel Day.

Dough recipes have always intimidated me. My pie crust skills leave much to be desired and my bread and pizza dough attempts have been so-so. I never seem to have the patience for all that waiting and rising business, so I typically avoid making dough.

Pretzels changed all of that.

Soft pretzels are one of the most delicious snacks that can be obtained at any major commercial center, sporting event, or street corner in the US.  (They’re also featured in one of my favorite episodes of The Office).

If only I had known that making pretzels from scratch was so easy! How have I been living in pretzel darkness for all of these years?! Not only are soft pretzels easy to make at home – they’re just as good as any of the store-bought varieties (and trust me, I’ve tried them all).

This morning, Josh and I were loafing around a bit and I decided to look into some baking endeavors. A pretzel recipe popped up on Pinterest, and Josh was so excited about the potential of these buttery dough-knots that I had to give them a try.  The recipe is from The Curvy Carrot, and the only adjustment I made was switching the instant yeast to active dry using a conversion I found through Google.

I feel great to have conquered the creation of one of my favorite snacks.  The difficult part will be refraining from baking and eating pretzels all day, every day.  Watch out, friends and loved ones: a basket of fresh-baked pretzels is coming to a doorstep near you!