Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Do's and Don'ts of Fall Romance

A friend of mine told me that she read an article recently which said that fall is the best season to fall in love. To me this makes perfect sense. I think fall is definitely the most romantic time of year. 

The leaves are changing here now and wow - every year it blows my mind. It's breathtaking! I can never believe it's real when the vines and leaves turn those bright yellows, reds, and oranges. I feel like I'm living in a magical fairy land every autumn. That combined with the crisp cool air and the tastes of fall, and it's a sure recipe for romance.

However, it's important to note that not everything about fall is romantic. You have to be careful with this. So if you're trying to fall in love this fall, here are the do's and don'ts. 


*Go to cider mills and drink apple cider.
*Pick out pumpkins and carve them together.
*Go for a fall walk and admire the colors.
*Watch scary movies and cuddle.
*Eat fall "flavored" treats together (caramel apples, candy corn, pumpkin doughnuts, etc).
*Dress in a couples costume for Halloween.
*Hand out candy to trick-or-treaters together.
*Go to corn mazes and get lost together.


*Jump in piles of raked leaves (there's bugs and sharp sticks in those - we didn't care about that when we were kids but we [I] do now).
*If you're a guy, don't scare the girl you're seeing, in the spirit of Halloween. Don't jump out at her and shout, or wear a scary mask It will make me (I mean her) mad.
*Bob for apples. The hair and makeup situation will not be good afterward.
*Dress in a couples costume for Halloween (it's annoying to the rest of us)
*Think about how winter is coming next. It will ruin the romance (and your life).
*Get too lost in the corn maze. You don't want to have to live off the land for too long in there. Too much corn will kill the romance.

I hope this helped. I don't know about you, but I think I'm ready to fall in love now. Hopefully I'll finally be able to check that off my "to do" list. 

Did I miss anything from either list? 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Never

Have you guys ever played the party game "I Never"? It's pretty easy. Everyone sits in chairs in a circle except the person in the middle. That person says "I never...." then (obviously) states something they've never done. Anyone who has done that thing gets up to switch seats, and the person who was "it" steals one of their seats. It's a huge scramble with pushing and screaming (the way I play it, anyway). Whoever is left standing is "it" and has to say something they've never done before, and the game continues. 

So here's the deal, I thought maybe we could play a little blog version of the game! I'm going to tell you guys some things I've never done. If you've done any of these things, tell me which one you've done, then tell me something you've never done! 

Kinda like the party game, but with significantly less pushing and shoving. 

Here we go! I've never.....

* Seen The Goonies

* Been skiing (water or down hill)

* Cooked a turkey

* Seen Braveheart

*Had an older sibling

* Been on a road trip longer than 18 hours

* Been to Boston

*Seen Newsies

* Been married

* Been to a professional hockey game

* Broken a bone (larger than my little toe)

* Touched a snake

* Read A Tale of Two Cities

K, now it's your turn. Have you done any of the things I've listed? What have you never done?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

Only fifteen minutes left in this Wednesday and I'm barely getting Wednesday Thoughts written. I have been sick the last couple days, so I haven't been overly creative. Here's a short list of my thoughts as I've been mostly stuck at home sick:

* Why must they do road construction on one of the few days I am home sick, trying to take an afternoon nap?

* Should I watch Sister, Sister, or The Price is Right? Afternoon tv is pretty lame.

* Why do people like Breaking Bad? I just watched the first couple episodes and won't be sticking around for more.. So gory and dark! Does it get less that way?

* Ben and Kate was a hilarious show. Loved the premiere last night. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out. Funny and charming.

* Should I admit to others who much I enjoy tv and how excited I am for premiere season? I promise I do read a lot, and get outside. but sometimes I like a good tv show. I'm not really that ashamed of it.

* I'm super excited for fall. All I'm thinking about lately is Halloween, corn mazes, hot chocolate, sweaters, and bonfires. Squeeeee!!!

* Back to work tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The cozy season: a recipe review

We are officially in a new season : the cozy season. I woke up so cozy in my bed this morning. Warm and snug and glued to the bed. The air outside of my bed felt cold and unwelcome. But I eventually got out from under the covers to face the world. (Pretty sure I deserve a gold medal for that considering how much strength it took.)

As I brushed my teeth, Christmas songs played in my head. I immediately chastised myself. I couldn't help it though - as soon as the air gets that chill, I think of Christmas. Then I have to slow myself down and remember that it's, in actuality, fall, the best season of them all. The time of year when I tend to start cooking and baking more.

Recently I have been doing quite a bit of that and I thought I'd do something new on the blog - a recipe review. These are some of the new recipes I've made in the last month or so. I'm sharing with you the good and the bad, to save you from trying some yucky things, and to share with you with some really good ones! Click on the name of the recipe for the links.

Homemade oatmeal cream pies

Yumminess rating: 8/10
Would make again? Maybe. These cookies were yummy. The only problem I had with them was that the frosting called for shortening. It's easier to eat shortening when it's baked into something. But when you know you're eating it "raw" - it's kinda icky. If I can come up with a substitute for the shortening, I'll definitely make these again.

Pumpkin Pie french toast

Yumminess rating: 1/10
Would I make it again? No. I did not like it. A contributing factor may have been the fact that I was watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo while I was eating it, and that show is pretty gross. It was the episode where they make and eat "sketti" - a disgusting variation of spaghetti. 

Homemade Oreos

Yumminess rating: 10/10
Would I make them again? Heck yes!! These are different than the popular homemade Oreo cakesters. These are closer to the originals. They're so good. Definitely recommend!

Crockpot Turkey Whitebean Pumpkin Chili

Yumminess rating: 6/10
Would I make it again? Maybe. It wasn't bad, but it didn't wow me either. Oh, and you can't taste the pumpkin at all, in case you were were wondering.

Tomato Basil Soup

Yumminess rating: 4/10
Would I make it again? Probably not. The thing I didn't like about it was the chunky tomato factor. I would have liked a smoother creamier soup.

Crockpot Pot Roast

Yumminess rating: 9/10
Would I make it again? Yes, no doubt.Very tasty! The meat was very tender, and the veggies had a delicious flavor. Oh great, now I'm craving it.

White Bread

Yumminess rating: 10/10
Would I make it again? For sure. This recipe turned out perfect (see picture). The bread was so tasty too. Especially toasted with butter and jelly, or used for grilled cheese sandwiches. It wasn't too hard to make either! Bread can be such a pain to make, but this was "bread for beginners."

Cashew Chicken

Yumminess rating: 11/10
Would I make it again? I have made it again. Over and over. It's so good! Tastes like Chinese take out, but healthier. Probably. Kinda. Not a lot healthier, but a little? That's what I tell myself, anyway.

Pizza Crust

Yumminess rating: 10/10
Would I make it again? Heck yes! You guys, this was so quick and easy and sooo good! Would definitely recommend!

Mulligatawny Soup

Yumminess rating: 6.5/10
Would I make it again? Yes. It was good. Not "Wow!" good, but healthy and tasty good. I didn't like it with rice though, so I didn't put any in after the first bowl. Just my personal opinion though. It tasted better the next day, so save your left-overs!

There you have it - some recipes I've tried recently. I hope you try some of them and enjoy them! It's that time of year when we have to prepare for hibernation. And/or winter. And/or fat pants.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

I'm going to make this an old fashioned Wednesday Thoughts and just tell you some random, unconnected thoughts I have today. I hope you're ok with that. (If not, let me know and I'll rewrite this post for you.)

My first thought today is about ice cream.  I have recently become minorly addicted to Edy's S'mores 1/2 fat ice cream. The other night, I had a few people over for ice cream and since I was in the comfort of my own home, I ate ice cream the way I like it best: with a little bit of milk on it. I got a little teased for this way of eating it. Not that I blame my friends for teasing me. I mean, I'm a grown adult (kind of) - I should eat ice cream like an adult! Boring style. But that ain't me. I like things a certain way. In case you too want to live life to the fullest, here's the best way to eat ice cream: just add a little milk, stir it up, and love life about 70% more.

My second thought today is that it's fall! Kind of! No one knows when the official start of fall (autumn) is. It's sometime this week, but the exact day is a government secret. The signs are here though:

I love fall. Another thing making me happy this week is that Nick at Nite is now airing Full House! I still can't decide if I'm laughing at Full House or with Full House. I think it's about 75/25. Maybe 80/20. There's no way of knowing. Either way, I enjoy the show in small doses. I took an amazing screen shot of Danny Tanner sleeping, and I keep sending it to my sister, Katherine, with messages like,

"Never forget"
"A reminder"
or "Danny says goodnight."

She loves it.*

I even instagrammed it:

I crack up every time I see it. So dumb slash hilarious.

Ok, here's my last thought of the day. At work we have a "free table" where people leave stuff they couldn't sell at their garage sales. This week there's been a mystery object on the table. We can't figure out what it is!! So I thought I'd bring it to you. Any guesses? (there is a tiny metal ball in the little baggy attached to the thing by a magnet) It's manufactured by Levenger, if that helps at all.

First person to figure it out gets a prize! (UPDATE: mystery solved, see comments for details!)

Happy Wednesday!

*She's begging me to stop.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tour De Troit

On Saturday, I rode in the Tour De Troit - a 30 mile bike ride through the city of Detroit. Along with 5,000 other people, we enjoyed a gorgeous late summer day, winding through the city on our bikes. I went with my friends Sarah and Sara, along with Sara's husband and dad. We somehow managed to all stay together the whole time despite the crowds.

I love Detroit. So many people came out and stood on their lawns and cheered us on. One woman yelled out to us, "come out back afterward and I'll make you lunch!!" The police officers blocking the roads for the race clapped and encouraged us - and everyone was in great spirits.

A bicycle group who call themselves the "East Side Riders" rode along with everyone, blaring rap music and helping out when someone got a flat tire. They all have super fun, crazy bikes, as seen below:

That night I saw a movie called "Detropia," a documentary focusing on the decline of the middle class in Detroit, especially as concerns the automobile industry. The movie was filmed a couple of years ago when things were particularly bad. Though the movie was well done, and I'd recommend it, it was sad too and made things look pretty bleak in Detroit. I was glad I'd spent the day loving and enjoying the city. Here are some pictures from the ride!

Riding to the race from Sara's house

The start of the race - the abandoned train station

Biking through the Indian village


Sarah, on the bridge to Belle Isle (a park [island] in Detroit, larger than Central Park)

View of the city from Belle Isle

Nearing the end of the race!

Enjoying a post-race lunch of tamales, chili, and pizza! (Weird, I know.)

It was a wonderful day in (and about) the D.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Obvious Answer

You guys. HOW did I not think of this earlier? After I published my Wednesday Thoughts earlier, in which I talked about my ideas for the best name for the sequel to "Taken," inspiration struck and the answer seemed so obvious!

Producers of Taken 2, it's not too late to change the title to:

Am I right? I would totally see this movie! (And  by see, I mean rent from a Redbox. No way would I pay ten dollars for it.)

Wednesday Thoughts

The other night I went to the movie theater with a friend to see a new horror movie, "The Possession." As always, it seemed like the previews would never end. One of them completely took me off guard though - a preview for sequel to the Liam Neeson movie "Taken."

A sequel!? Wasn't it pretty much wrapped up at the end of the first movie!? I leaned over to my friend and whispered to him, "wait - a second Taken!? Is Liam Neeson trying to infiltrate the sex trafficking ring in this one or something??" My friend's only response was, "you said sex trafficking."

I started giggling quietly every time the word "taken" was used in the preview, and it got me to thinking of possible titles for the sequel. This is what I've come up with so far:

Taken 2: Never BEEN more taken!
Took Two
Are You Kidding Me!? Taken Two.
I can't believe we went back to Eastern Europe.
Guys, for real this time. 
Never not taken.
I know it's hard to believe, but this time I got taken.

...starring Liam Neeson and the girl from Lost

I had another interesting experience before the movie started. Because it was a Monday night, there were only about six people in the theater. One couple was sitting two rows behind us. During the pre-preview commercials, the man of the couple got up to get some treats for them. When he left, the girl got my attention by saying, "psssst" until I turned around. Then she asked me, "is my hair sticking up in the back?" It kind of was, so I told her where to fix it and she thanked me.

Does this seem strange to anyone? Would you ask a stranger in the theater if your hair looked ok? I didn't mind it, but it would definitely be outside of my comfort zone to do what she did.

Lastly in Wednesday Thoughts, I thought I'd share with a you a few pictures I've taken in the last few days:

1. I saw these golf clubs resting against the wall at Washtenaw Dairy and liked the colors.
2. My cherry tomato plants are doing awesome right now!
3. The weather this week has been perfect and yesterday on a drive through the country, I had to snap a quick shot of the sun coming through the leaves.
4. A little self esteem project I'm working on. Don't we all need a reminder that we're good enough as we are right now?

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, September 7, 2012


About a month ago, I got a new phone. I am not one to read an instruction manual if there is ANY way to avoid it, so I just learned the new phone by playing with it and exploring all the new features, including the new aps that came with the phone. Once I figured out the basics of what I would use the most, I forgot about the rest.

Until the other day, when I noticed the already forgotten "Reminders" ap on the main page of my phone. I clicked on it and saw a note I had left myself a month ago that I had forgotten about (thanks a lot for the reminder, ap! Jeez, do your job!!).

At the time I wrote the note I was planning a camping trip and was in full on "oh my gosh, I'm going to forget everything and we're going to die in the wilderness* if I forget one single thing" mode. So the second note was in reference to that (I did remember to bring the can opener, if you were wondering).

The first thing on the list had nothing to do with the camping trip and was just a general reminder. I somehow keep forgetting to do it though.

I wonder if there's an ap that can help me check that first one off my list.

*the KOA campground (fully equipped with a camp store, laundry facility, bathroom/showers, and indoor pool)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

This week all Michigan kids went back to school. My Facebook news feed has been absolutely full of cute kids on their first day back with their new backpacks, new clothes, and exhausted, stunned, and weary expressions. I've been loving it.

It's made me think a lot about all of my first days of school growing up. The thing that comes to mind first is the smell. I remember school smelling like dust, cardboard containers of milk, books, brown paper sack lunches with their apples, chips, and mushy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (when I was a kid no one was allergic to peanut butter), and the general smell of a building that had been uninhabited for three months.

It was a very distinct smell and has stuck with me all these years.

The other thing I remember is the roll call in which no one's name was pronounced correctly. Especially not one of my best friends in school, Tia, who's full name is Stematia. Forget it. Teachers slaughtered her name year after year.

And for some reason I specifically remember the first day of 6th grade more than other years. I think it was because it was the first time I was in a brand new school (middle school), and there were tons of people in my classes who I had never met before. Also, there was one kid who stood out from the rest. His name was (is) Juan, and his family were migrant workers. One thing you should know about the school I went to: it was really diverse, in the sense that we were all different shades of white. So Juan really stood out. He was deemed "cool" right away. It didn't hurt that he had a folder that had a picture of woman in a thong bikini on it. That solidified it for the guys in my class: Juan was awesome. I was mortified by the folder, but fascinated with Juan those first few weeks of school. (Till I realized he was exactly like all the other guys in my class.)

What do you remember about your first days of school?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Elizabeth, On Vacation

A lot of my friends have been giving me grief for going on so many vacations lately. I guess I sort of see where they're coming from. The last week of July, I spent in Ludington. Then two weekends later I went camping in the Upper Peninsula, then the next weekend, I was in Rogers City, Michigan, then this weekend I was in Ludington again.

In my defense, all of these vacations have been in Michigan, so it's not like I've been spending tons of money flying all over the place. But I will admit to being very lucky to be able to visit so many beautiful places.

I thought I'd share with you ten (ish) pictures from the past month or so of trips. The message these pictures send is: Michigan is beautiful. You should come visit. :)

1. Sunset over Lake Michigan, Ludington

This picture is not doctored at all. This cloud formation was the northern most part of Hurricane Isaac on Saturday. The sunset was so beautiful it almost made me mad. (Does that make sense?) People were pulling their cars over as fast as they could to get out and gawk at the sunset. It was truly breathtaking.

In fact, I took so many pictures of it, the camera roll on my phone looked like this:

2. A beautiful road in northern Michigan 

3. A waterfall in Rogers City (one of many)

4. Tahquamenon Falls, Upper Peninsula

5. White Fish Point (Lake Superior), U.P.

6. Mackinac Island

7. Lake Huron, Rogers City (Katherine posing)

8. Ludington

9. Dune buggy ride, Mears, Michigan. This was SO fun!

10. This is a view of the Upper Peninsula from the look-out point at Castle Rock. I'd love to see this view in the fall! The leaves have already started to change in northern Michigan, and it's so pretty.

So there you have it - a little sampling of some places I've been in the past month. It's so nice to have such a beautiful state to travel around. Can you blame me for being gone most weekends in the summer?