23 – update!

Hi there. Hello. I think we’ve met before?

I’m the world’s worst blog owner. I have just discarded you and kept on keeping on in everyday life. Please forgive me even though I know you’re tired of my meaningless apologies by now. Since I last left you, I have traveled home twice, flew to Atlanta, baked the most perfect caramel cake known to man, and tackled four books on my reading list. Nothing extremely exciting is going on in my life right now (I have a midterm tonight – that’s as exciting as it gets, folks), so I’ll update you on the Year of 23 things:

-I’m currently on book 8 of 100 for the year 23 (and book 10 for the 75 I am attempting for 2013).

-I have baked approximately one cake for my grandmother’s birthday. I have a birthday party I’m going to Thursday which I’m supposed to bring something sweet, too. That counts as number two. Any suggestions?

-I’m on week 5 of the 52 week money challenge. (Hello $15 added to my savings account!)

-I have recycled almost every can/bottle that has come through my hands.

-I’m on book 4 of the Harry Potter series.
So I’m making a small dent into it slowly but surely. I’m sure my momentum will increase once Spring finally shows up. Happy Monday!

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Weird.

BAM! That’s how my realization hit me this morning – like a ton of bricks. Thankfully, it was a positive realization and not a negative one because I was already semi-grouchy due to it being 64 degrees in my house. (What? We hit a heat wave this weekend and I refuse to turn my heat back on!) Back to more important things – the past year or so I’ve been really trying to be my authentic self. I know, I know. How can you be authentic if you’re trying? Blah, blah, blah. I have spent a lot of time alone and scoping out things I actually enjoy versus things I think I should enjoy, activities that fill me versus activities I feel pressured into, and really being me versus trying to get everyone to like me. Now a lot of times I fail at this. I mean A LOT. I give into the social outing that I don’t really enjoy but I feel like someone my age should enjoy. I watch a movie/download music that I don’t know if I would actually pick out myself, but I feel like everyone else likes it. Sometimes this leads to great things – new music that I love, a new favorite restaurant, etc. But most times I feel discontent or like I’m trying too hard to be someone I’m not. Let’s face it, no one actually enjoys pretending to be someone in order to be accepted. Except maybe actors…but they’re getting paid to not be themselves. There’s a difference.

Anyway, last night I was texting a friend I’m not extremely close with. I know him through another friend and we mostly communicate by texting each other pictures of adorable puppies that reflect our moods. It’s a very  unique friendship. The conversation started by me asking about skating (because I’m convinced I want to play roller derby) and eventually led to funny stories and me telling him about what I sent to my future brother-in-law for his birthday (a specific I Heart Guts plush toy). His response was, “You’re kinda a little bit weird.” At first I was offended, but then I thought “you know what – I am kinda a little bit weird and that makes me awesome!” And to go along with my Harry Potter kick that I’m on (seriously – I’m doing work on that reading list), Luna Lovegood says “Don’t worry – you’re just as sane as I am” in the fifth book!

Here’s to being wonderfully weird and awesomely authentic. That’s who we’re made to be after all!

The Fault in Our Stars = Making Leah Sob Like a Baby

Disclaimer: I ruin any and all endings to books, movies, and tv shows because I cannot for the life of me keep things to myself. This has happened most recently with Downton Abbey which I will not discuss because I ruined season 3 for two co-workers and one of their daughters. This is my life, and this is the risk you take by being my friend. Proceed with caution.

On my list of 23 things and resolutions, I mentioned how I was going to embark on reading a million books. Okay, not really, just a hundred but I’m a sucker for hyperbole. I said I was going to read 75 as my 2012 resolution and 100 while I’m 23. Yeah – those are lofty goals and my goodreads account quietly reminds me every day that I’m 7 books behind schedule. Whatever, goodreads, I’ve got a life to live, YOLO. 

“You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.” -John Green, TFiOS

As we all know, the only way out is through, so I’ve been picking up the slack on my reading list. Most recently (and by “most recently” I mean last night), I finished John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” and I must say I couldn’t put it down. That pains me to say because I so badly want to be a book snob and make everyone believe I don’t indulge in young adult fiction, but the truth of the matter is I loved that book. I thought it would be one of those easy to put down and pick back up books that I could knock out in a week or so at bedtime. How wrong was I! I started it Monday night (after a four hour lecture) and finished it last night. The writing was brilliant and the characters were so likable. I mean I laughed out loud at this book, I cried with this book, I almost threw it off my balcony. Seriously, you could have filmed my life for the past three days and made a top grossing rom-com out of it. It will definitely be one of those books I re-read (just not within the next year because it won’t count!).

So that puts be at having 7 books down for my 75 count and 3 down for my 100 count. Slow and steady wins the race, guys. I mean the tortoise beats the hare every time.

If you have any book suggestions, throw them out there. I think it’s taking me more time to find books I want to read than it takes me to read them.

Breakfast Pizza!

Yesterday morning I woke up intent on making a breakfast consisting of more than cereal and milk. Therefore, I laid in bed for a good 20 minutes browsing Pinterest for inspiration. The final product was breakfast pizza! I wanted to use up this Aunt Annie’s soft pretzel kit I received in a $5 gift exchange at Christmas, but pretzel making was a little too ambitious for my sleepy self.

pizza pizza!

Breakfast Pizza

1 tube of Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough
4-6 eggs
1 green pepper
3 small, multi-colored sweet peppers
1 small onion
cheddar cheese
parmasean cheese
pepperoni slices

I pre-cooked the dough for 8 minutes on 450°F, rubbing it down with a splash of olive oil before popping it in the oven. While the dough was pre-baking, I chopped up the peppers, onions and pepperoni slices. Next, I cracked and scrambled the eggs and added two tablespoons of water to the eggs. I also added a hint of pepper. Once the eggs were mixed, I cooked them in a medium skillet until they were runny but no longer raw.

From there, I pulled out the dough and spread the scrambled eggs on top. Then I sprinkled the remainder of the toppings (peppers, onions, pepperoni, and cheese) and put it back in the oven for about 7 minutes (or until the cheese melts completely). I served it with a small dish of marinara sauce.

Happy pizza making! Now if only I could find a reason to use that pretzel making kit!

Can I get an upgrade?

Dearest iPhone 4,

We’ve had a good run. You catapulted me into the world of trendy, cool Apple users and provided me the ability to check my Twitter and Facebook when faced with the opportunity to interact with strangers. You put up with me while I tortured you with numerous costume changes (I mean, you remember the glorious taxicab yellow Kate Spade cover, don’t you?!). You allowed me to send “I miss you” text messages to the wrong people without judgment, and you feverishly held on to your last percentage of battery while I talked to my mom from California, Georgia, Nevada and New York.

You took hundreds of pictures of my hipster meal choices and awesome shoes for me to annoy my Instagram followers with. You gave me voicemail messages from best friends and FaceTime calls where I spent more time worrying about the angle of the camera on my face than looking at the other person. You served as a nightlight and alarm clock without complaint and you didn’t take it personally when I whined when your screen was too bright. And even though your home button hasn’t worked for the past eight months, you have never asked for a day off or disability.

You’re a trooper, little iPhone 4, and I’m so glad we’ve spent the past 19 months together. I’m going to miss you, but you’re older brother is too suave to resist.

Love,

Leah