Monthly Archives: July 2013

Monday Morning Thoughts

1. My stomach hurts. This could have something to do with me eating about a half pound of browned butter chocolate chip cookie dough while baking yesterday.

2. Probably also the five cookies I ate after they baked.

3. And that piece of strawberry rhubarb pie after dinner.

4. It took me 20 minutes to pick out an outfit this morning, and then I squirted curl serum down the front of my dress when I was doing my hair.

5. We are supposed to be finalizing the home loan today or tomorrow, and the lender keeps calling me every 10 minutes with all kinds of questions.

Can you re-send all of your pay stubs and deposit slips from the last three months? Sure.

Why is the amount you deposited on Friday different than the amount on your paycheck? Um, I needed cash for the farmers’ market … shouldn’t you guys understand how cash withdrawals work?

Can you write a letter stating that you have never gone by the name Efrain Diaz? Yes, although it might take me a while since I am at work trying to make money so I can keep playing this fun game where I send you my detailed financial documents and then you ignore them and call me instead.

6. Is it Friday yet?

Five Things

I didn’t take many pictures this week, mostly because it’s so damn hot out that pretty much all I did this week was go straight from my air-conditioned office to the air-conditioned gym to the air-conditioned bedroom. Where I watched crap TV and wasted time on Pinterest. Which is why you’re getting “Five Things I Pinned” today instead of “High Five for Friday.”

Because the bedroom is the only room in my house with air conditioning, I’ve been trying to find at-home workouts that don’t take a ton of space to complete. I usually stick to Jillian Michaels DVDs for my at-home workouts, but they tend to require a lot of space to move around. When I did Ripped in 30 in my living room Tuesday night I literally had sweat POURING off of my face onto the floor during the last set of plank moves. It was the first time in my life that I could actually feel my scalp sweating. Not an experience I’d like to repeat. This glute workout looks like it would be effective, and could definitely be done in the space between my bed and the dresser. Score.

Above ground pool

This may be the only above-ground pool I’ve seen that doesn’t look like it belongs in a Schlitz commercial. Also, that cat cruising along the edge is cracking me up. Whiskers would claw our eyes right out if we got him within 10 feet of a pool of water.

I love this idea for jewelry storage. (Not that my current method of “leave it on whatever surface is near me when I take it off” isn’t just as chic.) Anthropologie has a ton of little bowls that would work perfectly for something like this.

We made this cilantro lime skirt steak with chimichurri sauce for dinner Monday night, and it is so great. Tip: Make extra chimichurri sauce and put it on everything you eat for the rest of your life.

Night Stand

I’ve been trying to find well-designed yet inexpensive furniture for the new house, and this night stand from Target is lovely.

If you’d like to, you can follow me on Pinterest here.

I Swear I Didn’t Intend for This Post to be About Homicide

Yesterday was a rest day for me, so instead of doing my usual run around the local reservoir, I decided to walk the loop instead.

I should probably apologize to all my Instagram followers for getting all Ranger Rick up in your feeds last night, but I’m usually too busy focusing on not passing out and dying to notice all the cool stuff there is on this trail. It took me 45 minutes to walk two miles because I stopped every 10 seconds to take a picture.

Like, look at this bee eating his dinner!

And a duck!

And this deer, who scared the shit out of me by jumping out of the trees right as I walked by!

And this is where I tell you to stop reading if you were expecting this to be a sweet little blog post about a nature walk, because shit’s about to get weird.

Right after I took that deer picture, I walked by a man sitting on a rock a ways off the trail. He looked nice enough, but when I walked by he stared right in my eyes for a good five seconds, wiped his lips, and then said, “Hi-i” in this super creepy singsongy voice. And then he giggled.

There are two things in life I’m really afraid of: Getting stuck listening to Nickelback while riding in somebody’s car, and grown men giggling. Just thinking about it now gives me goosebumps, and not the kind I get when I see a Chris Hemsworth movie.

Speaking of movies, if my years of watching Lifetime have taught me ANYTHING it is that all creepy men want to take you to a cabin in the woods and kill you, so I picked it up to a run at that point and got the hell out of there.

About a quarter mile down the trail I passed a couple who told me I should be careful because they saw a man hiding in the bushes.

AWESOME.

I was sitting on the couch later that night telling Dave about my brush with abduction (there was lots of eye rolling on his part), when I read on Facebook that a third body was found behind Walmart.

Oh, did I not mention that the police are investigating two homicides right now? And that they believe they are related? And that the bodies were found in wooded areas? And that they do not have any suspects in custody?

Looks like I’ll be sticking to the treadmill for a while.

Mr. Diaz

I don’t know a whole lot about finance, but I assume it’s a bad sign you are trying to buy a house and your lender calls to see if you, a girl, have ever opened credit cards under a male alias.

I guess I should start at the beginning. Which, as I learned from The Sound of Music, is a very good place to start.

Also, Nazis = assholes.

Also, Nazis = assholes.

My phone vibrated at work yesterday morning, and when I looked down I saw that the call was from my bank. Of course I did what any responsible adult would do and silenced that shit because I was busy watching the “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” season 2 trailer.

Then I got busy doing ACTUAL work, and when I finally got around to playing the message at lunchtime, I was greeted with this:

“Hi, um … this is weird, but have you ever gone by the name Efrain Diaz? Because we just ran your social security number and it looks like somebody in Minnesota with that name used your social security number in 2007.”

Angry-Leslie-Knope-Parks-and-Recreation

I would like to note that the woman helping me with my loan deserves a solid gold trophy (and a prescription for Xanax, probably) for putting up with me for the last month. When I called her back, she actually answered the phone with, “I know you’re freaking out, so just take a deep breath.”

Clearly this lady has gotten to know me pretty well.

Before I could tell her that no, I have never attempted to fool anyone into thinking I’m a Hispanic man, she let me know that there were no fraudulent charges made to any of my accounts and no new cards were opened, so it’s probably not a huge deal. And then I realized maybe she doesn’t know me all that well because if there is one thing I am good at, it is turning a non-issue into a VERY HUGE DEAL. Ask Dave about the time I thought I had lupus because I got a rash on my arm.

After about 10 minutes of entertaining my theory that Mr. Diaz probably has my address and is plotting to kill me and have gender reassignment surgery to steal my identity, she asked if it would make me feel better if she talked to a company called Fraud Guard to see if they thought I had reason to be worried.

I would not judge her at all if she made up “Fraud Guard” on the spot and spent the next hour Googling “How to talk to crazy people” before calling me back to tell me they said not to worry.

Apparently, Fraud Guard said Mr. Diaz used my social security number on an application to rent an apartment. Does it make me a bad person to hope that he got a roach infestation? Or that his toilet backed up and flooded the entire place when he was out putting fake social security numbers on forms? Because I kind of do.

Blackberry Peach Crisp with Mocha Almond Ice Cream

I’m not a huge fruit pie fan. In fact, fruit pie might be the only dessert food I’m able to turn down without feeling sad.

NOTE: These feelings do not apply to Dave’s sister Lissa’s strawberry rhubarb pie, which I could and WOULD eat every day for the rest of my life if she were willing to bake me one every week until I die. Most likely from diabetes.

When my flat of peaches from the grub club all ripened at once this week, I panicked. I knew the only way to use them all up was either to make some sort of fruity dessert or to turn them into jam, and hell if I am going to embark on a culinary journey that involves submerging glass jars in boiling water and plucking them out with tongs. No offense jam, but if I’m going to risk burning all the skin from my arms it’s not going to be for a condiment that will be enjoyed once or twice and then disappear behind a sea of beer bottles and empty takeout containers never to be seen again. Kind of like Lindsay Lohan, only fruit.

I’m sorry, Lindsay. Please don’t rob me.

I decided to go with a fruit crisp, on account of crumb topping being so delicious that I could eat it by the truckload.

Blackberry Peach Crisp

I used this recipe from Joy the Baker, and swapped out raspberries for blackberries since that’s what I had on hand. If, like me, you are not a huge fruity dessert fan, here are some reasons you should make this recipe anyway:

– There is a whole stick of butter in the crumbly topping.
– You do not need any more reasons.

My topping wasn’t getting very crisp even after cooking it 10 minutes longer than the recipe indicated, so I switched the oven to broil for about 2 minutes and that crisped it right up. I  topped each warm serving with a big scoop of mocha almond ice cream because a) dessert is not legitimate unless there’s chocolate involved, and b) Dave introduced me to the fruit/mocha ice cream combination years ago, and it is so good. Trust.

This was so good that I ate a serving for breakfast the next day. Which is totally acceptable because the topping has oats in it, so BASICALLY it was just like having fruit and oatmeal for breakfast.

With a side of ice cream.

This is why I run.

So tell me – what’s your favorite dessert? Are you a chocolate person like me, or do you veer toward the fruity stuff?

Weekend in Photos

My weekends lately have been kicking ass.

07.15.13 Taiko

Here is a really crappy phone picture of the Taiko concert I went to Friday night. The .0000025 megapixel camera is just one of the reasons I’ll be ditching this phone as soon as my contract runs out at the end of the month. I’ll also be ditching TMobile after five years, but that’s a whole other story and there isn’t enough space on the Internet for me to list the ways I hate them.

The concert was awesome, and the drums seemed to bring the crazy people out of the woodwork. One drunk guy, wearing what appeared to be falconing gloves, kept challenging a group of guys sitting near us to a duel. When he charged their group and slipped, falling flat on his face, the cops stepped over to get involved. They had him pull some stuff out of his pockets – at first I assumed it was a set of Magic the Gathering cards, but it must have been something else because they cuffed him and took him across the street to the station.

07.15.13 Fruit

After the concert, I came home and made a blackberry peach crisp, since all of my fruit ripened at once and needed to be eaten. I’ll post the recipe I used tomorrow (along with an unlikely yet perfect ice cream pairing).

After spending most of Saturday picking up various flooring and paint samples, we headed to dinner at India Palace. This would be my number one restaurant suggestion to anybody visiting Southern Oregon — it is hands-down the best Indian food I’ve ever had, and that includes “fancy” places in L.A. and Chicago. Our favorites are the  korma, lamb dopiaza, and butter chicken. With a double order of garlic naan and a frosty mug of Kingfisher.

07.15.13 Squash chips

I rounded out Sunday evening watching “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix with some squash chips and one of my new favorite beers – Widmer Brothers Citra Blonde.

And now it’s Monday. Ugh.

High Five for Friday

I’m so glad it’s Friday! I’m counting down the hours until I get to leave work and start my mega relaxing weekend – tonight I’m going to a Taiko concert in a local park, and on Saturday we’re heading to our favorite Indian restaurant where I’ll gorge myself on korma, butter chicken, and biryani. And … that’s the extent of our plans. Drumming and food. Lazy weekends are the best.

I hope you have a relaxing couple of days on the horizon as well! Here’s my High Five for Friday this week:

Dave was playing soccer at the park Wednesday night, so I headed out for an evening run around the nearby reservoir and then sat on the grass and watched him play while the sun set. Pretty much a perfect summer evening. (Until I turned into a monster when 9 p.m. rolled around and we still hadn’t eaten dinner.)

exercise

I would never wear neon in “real life,” but for some reason I prefer that my workout clothes are bright enough to be seen from space. I picked up this hot pink bra over the weekend and I love it. (I thought I was being all sly taking this phone selfie when I finished my run, and right after I hit the shutter button I realized that a group of friends were shouting my name and waving at me from the nearby trail. Fail.)

This week’s grub club haul: mixed summer squash, Walla Walla onions, peaches, blackberries, rocambole garlic, and tomatoes. I LOVE my town’s grub club – membership is only $1 per season, and every week local farmers/ranchers email every member to let them know what they’ll have available at the weekly meetup. You just email them back with your order and they reserve it –  no elbowing people out of the way in the booth to get the last basket of blackberries. In addition to the usual fruits/veggies, local bakers have gotten involved by bringing fresh-baked bread, and you can even buy locally-raised chicken and beef. I love living in a place where fresh, local food is readily available. (I say as I take a bite out of my preservative-laden Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich.)

Anthro card

My sister gave me an Anthropologie gift card for my birthday, and it’s burning a hole in my wallet while I decide what I want to spend it on. I can’t decide between this dress or this skirt. Or maybe just buying a bunch of kitchen stuff like a set of these mugs (I already have one in yellow) and these ceramic berry baskets. Or maybe these measuring cups. STOP HAVING STUFF I WANT, ANTHROPOLOGIE.

And finally, this “30 Signs You’re Almost 30” post made me laugh so hard. I literally said OH MY GOD, YES after every single one. I was tempted to French kiss the cashier at BevMo when I got carded buying booze for my 29th birthday party last weekend, and I definitely had a glass of wine to celebrate locking a low interest late on my mortgage last week. But only one. At home. Because the damn bars are all too loud. I AM SO OLD.

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