Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011

While 2011 was not one of my favorite years, there were definitely some memories that I want to hang onto for the future. What started out as a year I was ready to forget in January turned into a year that I was able to learn a lot about myself, who I wanted to spend my time with and how I saw my future. So here are some of my more memorable and favorite memories of 2011. (prepare for picture overload)

My grandmother retired and we had a party for her, I went to Atlanta with some friends and my baby sister went to prom!

My love for baking and cooking grew, I tried making jam, feel in love with cajun food and completed my first semester of culinary school

I went to a lot of concerts with friends. I ended up seeing Sugarland, Matt Nathanson, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Jane Deere girls, Tim Mcgraw, Luke Bryan and for the first time I saw Jimmy Buffet!

Lastly I was able to babysit the cutest kids in the world.

Here's to hoping 2012 is a great year for everyone.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cover2Cover Book Club

Today I'm linking up with Ashley and Crystal for their first bookclub post.

This month we read How to Be A Hepburn in A Hilton World by Jordan Christy.

1. What do you think is the most important piece of advice that Jordan Christy gave in this book?
I think the best advice given in the book was in Chapter 2. The quickest way I lose respect for people is when they have no respect for themselves. They were the tiniest pieces of clothing, constantly post on their facebook's saying how wasted they got, how much they regret what they did the night before and yet they constantly do it anyways. People these days have no respect for themselves, and if you have no respect for yourself or your image, how can I? Jordan Christy says in the chapter that the quickest way for us to gain and lose respect for someone is through their image. I completely agree with this statement. No matter how you act as an individual, if you go completely crazy or have one too many pictures of yourself getting wasted I can only lose respect for you.

2. What do you think is the most obnoxious “Stupid Girl” characteristic?
I think the most obnoxious characteristic of the "Stupid Girl" is that everyone gives them so much attention. Since they receive all this attention for the dumb and ridiculous things they do, they continue to do these things to continue having your attention. It doesn't matter its good or bad reasons for gaining your attention, they still have it and they will do whatever it takes to focus your attention on them.

3. There were SO many great quotes in this book. Do you have a favorite?

"You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius...the great charm of all power is modesty." -- Louisa May Alcott

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” --Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

4. What do you hate most about how our modern day media portrays women? Which celebrity do you dislike the most?
It really annoys me when our media shows women who aren't the perfect proportionate woman, the day of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show every girl from high school to college age is posting "oh man I need to go to the gym after watching that" and when tabloids post pictures of tiny little imperfections on celebrities or how they really look in real life and not in the photoshopped pictures of them. Whoever decided that the perfect women needed to be a size 2 and have the perfect body? The best part about each and every women is that they are different then the next one and not completely perfect.
My least favorite celebrity would have to be either Lindsay Lohan or Brittney Spears. They have the power to reach such a huge amount of women in a positive way and change their thinking and instead they decide to show them all the stupid things they have done. They are in my opinion the worst role models young girls could have.

5. Jordan Christy said that one of the best ways to cultivate a healthy self-image is by celebrating your positive and unique qualities. If you have the time, take the “9 Types” Personality Test here: Did you discover anything new about yourself? Which type are you? Which traits do you feel are most representative of you?

Type Five
The Investigator
The perceptive, cerebral type. Fives are alert, insightful, and curious. They are able to concentrate and focus on developing complex ideas and skills. Independent, innovative, and inventive, they can also become preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached, yet high-strung and intense. They typically have problems with eccentricity, nihilism, and isolation. At their Best: visionary pioneers, often ahead of their time, and able to see the world in an entirely new way.


Type Nine
The Peacemaker
The easy-going, self-effacing type. Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually grounded, supportive, and often creative, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent and emotionally distant, simplifying problems and ignoring anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and all- embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.

6. What are the top 5 things on your Smart Girl list? (goals to become a more articulate, knowledgeable, and well-rounded person.. see Jordan’s list on page 62)

1. One day open my own Bakery/Cafe and run it successfully
2. Be extrememly knowledgeable about my field (pastry arts)
3. Learn and be able to speak French
4. Be debt free
5. Get an internship at Flour Bakery

7. 7. One of Jordan’s suggestions for staying out of a rut with your group of friends is to travel together to your “signature cities.” If you have time, take the signature cities quiz here: You will have to make an account to get your results, but it’s definitely worth it. What’s your signature city? Have you ever been there? Do you ever see yourself visiting your signature city in the future? Would you ever consider traveling to your signature city with your group of friends?

My signature city is Savannah. Although I have not been there, I have thought about visiting it. I would love to visit it one day with friends.

8. Overall, what did you think about the book? What was your favorite part of the book? Least favorite?
Overall I thought it was a good book. I think it is something that teenage girls should really read. I think they can learn a lot about the role models they have and how to become a civilized, young lady and not the crazy wild child they idolize. It gave me great insight as to where the future generations of young women are headed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

top 5 tuesday:2011

I haven't linked up with Rachel from Just Peachy in awhile so I thought I'd share with you some of my top 5 favorite things of 2011

Just Peachy

1. Movie

The Help was hands down my favorite movie of 2011. It also maybe the only movie I remember seeing in theaters in 2011.

2. TV Show

This is a tie between New Girl and Parks and Recreation. Although Parks&Rec is in its 4th season, it is a new to me show as I just started watching it this year and I was instantly hooked.

3. Favorite Song

I can't exactly one song that was my favorite this year, but the band I probably listened to the most was either the Avett Brothers or the Civil Wars

4. Favorite Thing that Happened to me this year
This one is a toughy, this year was probably not one of my favorites nor my most memorable. However starting culinary school would have to be one of the high points of this otherwise unsavory year.

5. My favorite Christmas present

My favorite Christmas present is a tie. I bought myself a wishbone necklace, similar to the one posted around Christmas time and saved it to wear Christmas eve as a present to myself. And also every year my dad buys my mom, sister and I jewelry as a present. This year he bought me pearl earrings, which came in good timing because I recently lost my favorite pair of them.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

happy holidays

I hope all of you have a lovely holiday filled with happiness, love and joy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

christmas past

Please enjoy and laugh at these throw back photos of my siblings and I from Christmas past.

Every year on Christmas eve after mass we have to stand in front of our tree for what seems like hours to get photos taken

my first picture with santa, you can tell I'm not impressed

With my great grandmother, before my youngest sister was born

My mom used to make us all matching sweatshirts for the holidays. Ironically I still fit into my St. Patrick's Day one


the whole crew

Monday, December 19, 2011

down in the dumps

I don't know what it is this year but I just can't get into the holiday spirit, I usually would have baked about 4 dozen cookies by now, have watched multiple Christmas movies including White Christmas and Holiday Inn. However none of that has happened, as much as I want it to. It might have to do with the fact that every morning it feels like I wake up to a facebook notification that some girl I graduated high school with is engaged and I am still single or the fact that baby (the 3 yr old I babysit, is referred to as baby. immature I know.) is in school and doesn't have time to play with me. But whatever it is I can't shake it. Recently a friend was deployed to Afghanistan and whenever I talk to him its me complaining about how much I hate this or that annoys me. Looking through our conversations, I really get mad at myself for whining to him and to all of you. So I've decided just to get over myself and embrace all the great things I actually have in my life.

These quotes also help. But seriously, I promise no more whining/venting on here. My pity party is over.

and for those wondering this is Finn (baby)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

quote of the week

a throwback picture from Christmas's past

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
~Laura Ingalls Wilder

I may have posted this last year, but its one of my favorite christmas quotes!

Friday, December 16, 2011

things i'm loving

This is a scheduled post, as I am probably in the middle of a panic attack during my intro to culinary arts final.

It's that time of the week again to share somethings I love/lurve/am obsessed with.

This blog, the other day Liz posted about creating your own personal style and it totally inspired me. I'm taking note of what she said and putting it into action at the beginning of the year. Also while you're stopping by her blog, make sure to check out her European adventures, I died. Such lovely pictures!

This song, and this one, and this one,
I haven't listened to country music in awhile, I was going through a civil wars phase. So if you have any good country songs that I must listen to, please share!

Essie nail polish is one of my favorite things to buy these days. It's probably because after Friday I can have my nails painted 24/7 until January 20. I'll probably have a different color every week until then.

I think this will be my next color purchase. It's called lapis of luxury.

Im not sure if I've ever done an edition of "what I'm loving" without sharing a parks&rec confession

Lately I'm in love with all leather purses, which is a huge departure from my usual vera bradley. I'm really liking this anthro one, but don't have the $500 to spare.

Lastly this picture, it speaks the truth

A few questions, do you love these "what I'm loving" posts as much I love putting them together? Would anyone be interested in sharing what they love on the blog? If anyone's interested shoot me an email!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

a rant

Ever wonder what those silly culinary students had to do for finals? Seriously I don't know how many times since I've made the switch over to culinary school have I heard that my classes,exams, and finals would be so easy because you're just cooking or baking and you enjoy it so it's easy get over it. Well it's not. I think last spring when I started telling people from my hometown/high school I'd be leaving Rutgers to attend culinary school I got laughed at a total of 25 times. Like it was a joke what I was doing, what I was going to learning would be so simple, stress-free blah blah blah.

For my foundations of baking final tomorrow I have to prepare a fresh fruit tart. think something like this:

And while yes it is pretty easy, just pastry cream which at this point I could make in my sleep and a shortbread tart shell, it is pretty hard. For the final we had a shortage of KitchenAid mixers and someone "borrowed" my bowl and didnt return it to me clean. (keep in mind this is a timed final) So I had to clean a bowl and waste unnecesary time. Also during then midterm my chef didn't eat any of our finished products so basically it didn't matter how it tasted as long as it looked like what it was supposed to and we did the method correctly we would get a good grade.

For my intro to culinary arts final, we have to produce a salad with 3 garnishes and a vinaigrette dressing, a bread of our choice and a full entree complete with protein, starch and vegetable. All of this has to be completed within a 2 1/2 hour time period. A few months ago when we took the midterm, I had a serious panic attack, complete with my recipe notes falling into my soup pot (I kid you not). The guy who was sharing the work bench with had to continually tell me to relax and breathe and gave me pep talks through out the exam.

As much as I plan I know things could wrong and it really really annoys me when people think I can just wing it and I don't have it that bad. Now I know others have much worse things to complete for finals, like 20 page papers and open ended finals but that doesn't mean "I have it so much easier then people who go to real colleges" like for real thats a direct quote.

Lets all take a collective deep breath before our finals, say a little prayer, cross our fingers and think of others. We can all do this, we are capable of kicking our finals butts and kicking a** and taking names this semester. Good luck to everyone this lovely finals season and just remember in a little bit we can all fully focus and appreciate the holiday season.

** sorry for the rant/vent session I needed to get it off my chest

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Baking

Lets talk cookies for a second, tonight I'm hosting a cookie exchange with some of my aunts. Currently I'm wondering why I planned it for the monday of finals week while I have a wicked cold but whatever. I wish I could have invited all of my lovely blog friends but instead I'd like to share some of my favorite holiday recipes/recipes I'd like to try and in return I'd like to hear about your favorite holiday cookie/treat. Deal? Okay

these are what I'm making tonight for the party, I'm currently obsessed with all things mint chocolately

homemade peppermint oreos dipped in chocolate? yes please
buckeyes, warning these are super addicting! my grandmother will be getting a bunch of these
my dad and I are big gingersnap fans, so I want to try and make them

peppermint bark shaped like snowflakes

these just sound yummy

I love the idea of just decorating heads instead of the whole gingerbread man

So what is everyone else making this holiday season? I'd love to hear all about it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hey it's okay

Its Ok Thursdays

Once again I am participating in Neely's thursday link up. As finals approach I apologize for the somewhat lacking posts.
Hey it's okay

To wear the same shirt multiple times during the week because its your favorite, its soft and you think v-necks are appealing

To put your hair up in a ponytail and pin your bangs back because brushing and actually doing something with that mop on your head is too much work

To listen to the same 5 songs on the Michael Buble Christmas cd over and over again, in your car, on your ipod and on your laptop

To believe hotty toddys are the only real medicine

To buy jingle bell bracelets and ornament earrings for your cookie swap party

To be anticipating a cookie swap with your mother, grandmother and aunts more then I would anticipate a college party

To block off an hour and a half of your night to watch 30 rock and the big bang theory every night

To have a list 10 lines long of cookies you want to bake for Christmas

Whats okay with you this week?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

my limitless christmas wish list

If there were no limit to what I wanted for christmas I'd ask for these things. In fact the kate spade bangle was on my real list but it won't be awaiting me underneath my tree christmas eve.

kate spade earrings
kate spade weekender bag

kate spade flats

bernese mountain dog, I blame Ashley! She has the cutest dogs.
michael kors bag
k slade clutches. I'll take one of each!

a cute little piglet, to befriend my dog

lastly, neiman marcus leopard print toms

What is one thing you would ask for if there were no limit on your christmas list?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Things I'm loving (crafty edition)

It's been way to long since I've blogged and since I've done one of these posts so I thought I'd share some of my favorite things currently. And since it's the holiday season I thought I'd share some cute crafts I've been wanting to make for awhile that would make cute gifts.

for the organized gal, customized decorated clipboards
how to make pom poms to decorate your packages

a cute snowman garland, my mom would love this as she collects all things snowmen

cute little bow bookmarks for marking your place in cookbooks

for your friend that loves to bake, cupcake oven mitts

and lastly the friend who loves everything that sparkles, gold polka dot ornament