My First Love – Mac & Cheese

DSC_3736

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

Thankful

IMG_4404

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!

IMG_4418

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

IMG_4343So many thanks.

IMG_4339

While walking town a crowded Newbury St., silence hit at each blocked off corner.
IMG_4424

A Video For Ozzie

It’s a very special day, y’all! Sorry, sometimes my southern roots come out when I’m excited. Today is Ozzie’s FIRST birthday. I can’t believe it! I remember the day he got to come home with us like it was yesterday. Of course, I haven’t gotten to be around him as often as I’d like, which could be why the time has flown by so quickly for me. We did spend a lot of quality time together when I was home in January though. I decided to test out the video on my camera and had a lot of fun following him around and bugging him with a lens in his face.

I’ve loved making videos ever since I was in elementary school. A neighborhood friend broke her arm one summer, so I spent practically every day making ‘movies’ (that were basically inspired by our favorite movies) with her since she couldn’t go to the pool. It wasn’t until I moved away for college that I started playing around with video editing again. I set video clips of my move to music and sent them to family so that they could see what I was up to. I have been really excited to start creating some video content for this ole blog. I have two others in progress and am glad that I finally got around to editing this snowy footage. I hope Ozzie likes watching himself and I hope he has the best day ever. I hear he might be making his first trip to the dog park! Wish I were going to be there to film what I’m sure will be an adorable and hilarious trip. Happy birthday, Ozzie! And now for a whole ton of pictures.

DSC_1268I kept catching a guilty Ozzie with these Christmas decorations!

IMG_3580 IMG_2694Look at the little guy!

DSC_1356 DSC_1332

IMG_3693 Have to throw in my two favorite pictures of the real Ozzie. Digging for candy wrappers.

IMG_3695And here is how we calmed him down/punished him for punishing us with his craziness.