My First Love – Mac & Cheese

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Oh, goodness. I feel 50% sheepish and 50% totally psyched to be writing this post. Yeah, it’s been an unreasonably long time and I’ve been dreading writing one of those I’m back/excuses, excuses posts that I don’t particularly enjoy reading myself, but here we are. I’ve thought about you a whole lot over the last few months. I thought of you when I went on a trip to LA, while I moved from the east back to the west, while I made (and am still making) a ridiculous amount of felt Christmas crafts. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said ‘yeah, hopefully I’ll blog that at some point’ or the number of ‘to post’ folders I have neatly organized on my laptop (at least I have the organized thing going for me!). If you are interested in the list of excuses, all I can say is: finals, moving, job hunting, working, more job hunting, travel, family and so much family (it’s been awesome being back home again!). Something has definitely been missing from my life though, and I’m feeling really giddy writing this! Like, I actually got butterflies uploading these photos…eye-rolling at myself.

Speaking of butterflies, I finally made myself sit down and blog because I’ve been having a bit of a dilemma/doubt fest regarding my first love – mac & cheese. It’s just been so long since I’ve had really, really good mac & cheese and it’s been extremely disappointing. Of course, this is really all my own fault because I haven’t made it from scratch since these pictures were taken…well back when it was still sunny at dinnertime. I have to admit that boxed macaroni is a definite guilty pleasure of mine. Every time I buy a box I shove it to the bottom of my basket and hope that there’s a self-checkout. I know I’ve mentioned that my brother is my partner in novelty food tasting crime and we’ve been pretty into tasting all the weird macaroni flavors lately. None of them have been very good and I started to wonder if I had lost my taste for this stuff. After all, I used to absolutely hate it as a child. Yep, my tastes have become more childlike over the years. Paul quickly pointed out to me that I probably just need to have some homemade again. Ding, ding. That must be it. And so, this post is here to serve as inspiration for myself and any of you stuck in an unfortunate mac & cheese rut. I am remembering how wonderful and beautiful this recipe was and I think mac & cheese and I might be able to forego couples counseling. Phew. Thank you gruyere, thank you bacon, and thank YOU, for reading this and for not judging me too harshly ūüėČ

DSC_3712DSC_3714Sharing naked photos of your significant other online is wrong, isn’t it? Oops.DSC_3730¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Fully clothed.¬†DSC_3722 DSC_3730 DSC_3733

Mad Men Stole My Life

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Paul and I have been talking about hopping on the Mad Men train for a very long time. We held off for so long because we knew it would be worthy of our full attention (like Breaking Bad!). Man, does AMC have the best shows, or what? I’m so excited and nervous for the new season of Breaking Bad. Unfortunately, we don’t have AMC, so Twitter will be a nightmare on Sunday nights before we get to watch it.

Eek, I’m starting to babble because it’s been an eternity since my last post and I’ve missed writing! I was very aware that I was neglecting my blog and it made me feel terrible because I always look forward to writing my posts and responding to your comments. I didn’t want to write an excuse post, but it has gotten a little out of hand. Sometimes when I have an overwhelming number of posts and photos waiting to be turned into a blog, I just freeze. I guess I initially got distracted by birthdays, traveling, and completing my final project for summer semester (just finished! Phew!). But then, Mad Men came along. And yes, it’s true. It has taken over my life. I finally realized that I was having so much trouble getting back on track because the time I usually devoted to blogging has now been taken over by Mad Men. I usually write before bed, but now we stay up and watch too many episodes in a row before bed. Obviously, I love it and hate how short the seasons are. Betty is so beautiful and I had to find out if there were any blogger tips on the lipsticks she uses. Of course, they use MAC and I now have to resist walking into a store and buying a whole new makeup kit.

Anyway, as a new fan, I never knew about the Est√©e Lauder Mad Men collections. I wasn’t as enamored with the one that they sell currently, but¬†I saw this classy, gold blush compact from last year and immediately had to have it. I’ve never cared much about makeup brands or their limited edition collections, but this was too pretty to resist. I seriously lucked out and found this one in an Ebay auction for much less than all the “buy it now” prices. I woke up at 7am to make sure I got it too. I was apparently the only person in the world wacko enough to do so because I didn’t have any competition. I’m pretty sure that proves once and for all that Mad Men has truly taken over my life.

The first step is acknowledging the problem, right? I’m confident that I will now be able to regroup and find a new blogging schedule. Because, let’s get real, I’m not cutting back on the Mad Men addiction any time soon. ; )

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Thankful

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Was last week just the worst, or what? I still can’t believe that so many awful things happened all in one week. And I really can’t believe that some of the awful things happened in the place that I currently live. We walked down to check out the marathon last Monday and only got to experience the cheering and celebration for maybe 5 minutes before we heard that there was an explosion at the finish line. We were miles away, but the news definitely changed the mood almost instantly. We hurried back home, turned on the news, and immediately felt sick.

That sick feeling didn’t go away for next 4 days. We were on lockdown while the search was going on and man did I stress myself out. We weren’t that close to Watertown, but the uncertainty, chaos, and inability to step outside to make sure everything seemed okay out there was just so scary. I could hardly eat because I tend to get really,¬†really nauseas when I’m nervous! I had to take news breaks in order to keep my nerves at bay. Some really sweet girls in the building brought smoothies to everyone, which was a nice little distraction. We were pretty freaked when we heard a knock at our door though. We had been hearing warnings to not open your door for the last 24 hours and didn’t know what to do! As soon as I heard friendly voices talking about mangos in the hall, I figured it was safe. Of course, I would open the door to a food conversation whether my door had been knocked on or not.

So yes, this whole experience was incredibly scary, but also really eye opening. Whenever any kind of tragedy happens, you hear so many stories about people coming together in strength. This time, I saw the strength up close – not just through the news, but on the streets. It’s amazing and so inspiring. It’s too easy to let all the horrible events we see on TV cast negativity ¬†over your mind and attitude. It feels absolutely hopeless at times. Like there’s nothing that can be done to keep these things from happening. This whole experience has shown me that the best thing I can do is to continuously put positive things out into the world. I’ve now seen how much the positive truly outshines the negative and I hope that my little blog here can a space for positivity and fun.¬†I have some ideas a brewin’ that I am so excited to put together.¬†Everything that’s been going on has thrown me off on posting here, but blogging has definitely been on my mind!

I’ve been trying to write this post (in my head) for days. I’m not sure if I’ve articulated everything that I’ve been feeling or wanted to say, but it feels good to write this out. I am very ready to get back to posting less stressful content! And last but not least, I just have to say that I’ve never been so thankful for all the officers out there! I heard one cop say on the news “I feel like a firefighter I’m gettin’ so much love!” Haha! They deserve every bit of it!

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So many people loved the comfort dogs that were hanging out near the site of the finish line. So sweet!

IMG_4343So many thanks.

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While walking town a crowded Newbury St., silence hit at each blocked off corner.
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One Waffle + Blogger Brain

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This is a little story about something I call Blogger Brain. I’m sure many of you have experienced it. Last weekend I went to the kitchen to make myself a waffle. I had just bought some fancy lookin’ belgian waffles from Trader Joe’s and was looking forward to trying them. I pulled the box out and thought hmm, I’m really not that hungry and wow these are some big waffles. I knew that one waffle would probably be plenty, but here’s where Blogger Brain comes into play. My immediate second thought was, but two waffles will look so much better in a photo! Oh brother. I thought about it for a good two minutes or so. I fought against my Blogger Brain and went with one waffle. Oh, but Blogger Brain doesn’t end there.

I put the waffle in the toaster, but before I pushed the lever, I framed a picture in my mind of the cute little waffle waiting to get toasty. With camera in hand I noticed that the toaster was looking kind of grimy. I reached to rub off a spot of something and then though, oh I could probably just edit this smudge out. OH BROTHER. Really? I’m standing here centimeters away from doing some minor cleaning and my first thought is to edit the mess? That’s a problem. I shook the Blogger Brain nonsense away and gave the toaster a good clean. From there I went through several variations of Blogger Brain influenced photos before I finally got to enjoy my waffle.

I actually really love these photos of my single waffle breakfast. Maybe partially because of the rediculous story that goes along with them. Here’s pretty much every photo I took that morning and an inside look into my photo shoot thought process. And in case you were wondering, the waffle was pretty good!

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Check out that clean (unedited) toaster and cheesy peace sign.

DSC_2205To prop…?

DSC_2206Or not to prop?

DSC_2210To berry…?

DSC_2207Or not to berry…?

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The important questions that bloggers must ponder on their Sunday morning.