Tuesday, December 23, 2014


The night before last, I dreamt of Taco Bell. Nothing crazy, which is actually pretty unusual for me. It was literally just me eating some Taco Bell. So of course, when Husband and I went Christmas shopping yesterday, we stopped to fulfill my heart's wish revealed in a dream. 

And got all of the sauce ever!
We got a crazy amount of food and used nearly all of that sauce. I know it's not healthy, I know it's not real Mexican, but look at me in my face: I DON'T MOTHERFUCKNG CARE. It is so damn delicious, I will eat at T-Bell for the rest of my life. But, you know, sparingly. No more than once a week. Hopefully.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Sangria

In honor of the holidays, the ridiculous amount of liquor my in-laws and I purchased yesterday, and because I want to, I made myself some Christmas Sangria! I used some shockingly good bag wine we got as a gift for watching dogs for a friend - that's right, FIVE DOGS at my house! - as well as a tart apple, Soda Stream diet lemon lime, and St. Elder. St. Elder is an elderflower liquor that I'm taste-testing as a St. Germain replacement. I love Germain so much, but it is a-pricey. Elder is cheaper, and not quite as smooth, but it's pretty tasty considering. 

It was just a happen confluence of circumstances that we had all this.
The final result is really good and it's easy to make a single dose instead of a whole pitcher. I don't have exact measurements, if you want to try it, just adjust the ingredients to your taste!

I'm unofficially giving myself the next week off to celebrate the holidays with my family. I've got Christmas and my anniversary coming up, plus I start my new job this week. I may or may not post Dailys, but they will be intermittent if they come and I promise nothing. Happy Holidays all!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tree Cakes

Christmas tradition! My dad gets a box of these for each of his children every year because they are the most amazing Christmas food in the world! 

Seriously, TRY THEM.
This year, my husband got one too! My dad also buys and hoards about 15 extra boxes so we can enjoy some through the end of the winter.

Friday, December 19, 2014


I turned off the flip setting on my phone so this photo is backwards...
Honestly, I was least impressed with this installment. It wasn't bad exactly, it just wasn't gripping or exciting to me. I think the mistake was in dumping the audience straight into the climax of the story with no preamble. There was no anticipation building up to a grand battle. There was just grand battle with no emotional attachment. It would probably works fine if you watched the other 2 movies immediately prior, but that's an awful lot of work to evoke an emotional response. It seems like they could have tossed a little into the 3 HOUR finale

Let me start over, You may recall that Desolation ended with a gold-covered Smaug flying to destroy Lake Town. Armies picks up immediately afterward with Smaug laying waste to the town. That's a perfect cliff-hanger for a commercial break, but it's been a YEAR since I last interacted with these characters. I need a little more context and build-up if I'm expected to care when they start dying. There sequence cuts to the dwarves back at the Lonely Mountain, where all is relatively calm, just looking on. I honestly think my entire viewing experience would have been vastly different - and more enjoyable - if those 2 scenes had just been switched. Show the dwarves running out after Smaug flies off, build a little anticipation so I feel their pain when they watch the destruction for which they are responsible.

SPOILERS, but as anyone whose read the books will know, some dwarves die. And because it had been so long since we've (I've) seen them and the movie spent no time focusing on the characters, but just showed up 3 hours of bloody fighting, I didn't really care. 

As for the effects... I do not recommend the HFR. The beginning of the movie is all up close and personal with the citizens of overcrowded Lake Town, and the HFR made it look like they were in fast forward. You catch every minutia of their movement, so they seemed always about to fall over or slightly drunk. It worked much better on the grandiose battle shots, but clearly the technique needs some work before it's really effective. Galadriel looked a little like she was in the wrong ring related movie for a bit, and Thorin's cousin seemed to be 100% CG. I'm not sure how they accomplished making an actual person look like he wasn't, but they did. 

After all that though, it was a really fun movie. I laughed more than I cried, for the reasons above, but I don' really like leaving movies sad, so that's fine with me. I'd definitely recommend you spend the time and money to go see it. 

P.S. The ending song was terrible!


YOU GUYS! I filled my car for under $20

Look at that price!
Today is a great day.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


I got a new top! It's super cute! You can't really tell from the photo, but I promise it is!

Look at the flowers! The peblum! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Now that I've got a job I actually need my ASHA info and went into a momentary panic when I couldn't find the membership stuff they sent me in August, specifically my member card. I'm sure I could pay to get a replacement, but what a waste. But I finally found the envelope and looked through it for the first time - again, only just now became relevant. But look what I found!

I get discounts and stuff!
I knew membership came with perks but I had no idea what many of them were. Hooray! Plus, you know, I found the card. So, good day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


It's another post about Husband's birthday! Last one, I promise. Probably. This is the breakfast I made him that day. Those mugs hold fancy hot chocolate flavors, not boring coffee. Plus pancakes, 3 cheese eggs, and bacon! I kind of nailed it.

Yes, they are my low carb pancakes!
There is also coke zero in that bottle if you're wondering - a part of any true birthday breakfast.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Harassment 1.1

Given some of the recent outcry about street harassment (aka catcalling), I thought I might share my stories. PART 1!

I used to live in San Diego. I've covered that before, right? Well I did. I actually loved the city, but my year there was a bit* marred by the relationship I was in at the time and my lack of personal transportation. Meaning I had to use public transportation and/or walk most places. This left me open to street harassment, with which I had very little previous experience. While there, I had tons of relatively minor encounters and several not-so-minor. Since I hadn't experienced it much before, it took me a while to catch on and enact measures to protect myself when in public space.

I used to live here! Not this part, I could never have afforded this part.
I've always been a rather private person. I'm just not much of a sharer. Yes, I realize the irony of including that sentence in a blog post, but in my offline life, it's true. I just don't generally interact with random strangers and passers-by when I'm out and about, and it usually even takes me several months to warm up to new friends. That's just my personality. After moving to SD, where I knew no one, my ex insisted this tendency was why I didn't have friends. (That was actually more his doing in an endeavour to keep me isolated while making it look like it was my fault, but we've talked that story to death.) He kept telling me about all these interesting people he'd meet when on the bus or trolley or waiting at a stop. They would strike up a conversation, laugh, and exchange names, maybe even numbers so they could find each other on social media. He insisted that if I was just more friendly, similar things would happen to me. Of course, that's not at all how it worked.

Looking back now - with more experience and knowledge at my disposal - that conversation in which he encouraged me to interact with strangers because it worked for him is very revealing. Most (straight, cisgender) guys don't get why catcalling is a problem because in their experience, it never has been. They legitimately can and do make friends by chatting up strangers. For many - dare I even say all - women, it is a much more dangerous endeavour.

Four years ago, however, I didn't consider myself a feminist and I didn't have that knowledge and experience, so I thought perhaps my ex had a point. I resolved to try and be friendlier when approached by strangers, despite my gut instincts even then telling me that it wasn't a safe practice. I had typically ridden trolleys and busses with earphones in - even when not listening to music - and/or reading a book as clear visual deterrents to interaction. It's interesting to me that even without prior street harassment experiences, I'd still had enough exposure to women's treatment in public space through representations in media to pick up these kind of habits. However, at my ex's prompting, I set them aside and tried to look, if not obviously friendly, at least not outright angry. I made great effort to shut down RBF.

So there I am one evening on my way home from work, sitting in a window seat - rookie mistake! - when a guy says hello to me from another row. It's relatively late at night on a weeknight, so there aren't many people riding and we're only a couple of rows apart. It didn't seem that unusual that he would greet me, and operation "somehow-make-friends-on-public-transpo" was in effect so I greeted him back. We exchanged a few pleasantries and he got up to move to my row.

Cue alarm bells! At this point, he seemed genuinely nice and harmless so I wasn't exactly scared, but I definitely didn't like the idea that a stranger who could easily overpower me if he so desired was blocking my only exit - barring climbing over my seat, which I did mentally prepare myself for in case of emergency. 

We chatted a little more and it was nice enough, and inwardly I was pleased that my strategy seemed to be working, Maybe I'd have a friend! Which could maybe lead to more friends! Maybe I wouldn't be struck in a strange city with no support system except my abusive dick of a fiance! 

I should also point out that I was wearing an engagement ring at the time, so to anyone paying attention, it would be clear I wasn't single. 

I don't really remember any of my conversation with this dude. I couldn't tell you what we talked about or how long we talked. I don't even remember what he looked like anymore, though for a while after our interaction I made the effort to memorize his features in order to avoid him. What sticks out in my mind even to this day was the one of the last things he said.

"Hey, can I ask you a weird question? Can you take off your shoes so I can see your feet?"

My vision instantly whited-out for a second and my heart-rate rocketed. Now I knew this man was clearly not interesting in me or my friendship, but had approached me because he wanted access to my body. Now I was scared. We were virtually alone, it was late at night, I had several trolley stops, plus a bus ride and a walk before I got home, and he was blocking me in. The factors that made it seem normal for him to approach me minutes before now made me feel trapped. If I made him angry, he could easily hurt me.



He didn't seem angry, but he didn't leave either. We just sat in silence for a few seconds, not looking at each other.

"Could you go back to your seat?"

I tried to evoke confidence and strength that I didn't really feel, but it worked nonetheless. He stood and moved a few rows away, As I mentioned above, I studied his features and tried to memorize them so I could steer clear of him in the future. As far as I know, we never crossed paths again, but that was the end of my friendship quest in public space. I restricted myself to chatting with coworkers, other grad school students, and other residents in my apartment complex. Still, this was my first real experience with street harassment - though we weren't actually on a street, but you know what I mean - and I convinced myself that he was an anomaly. I would quickly learn otherwise.


Did you know this was a thing? I've used Skinny Syrups brand in my coffee for years because they're delicious, but I'm especially fond of them lately because of they're sugar free and - don't know if I've mentioned this before - I've been making some dietary changes this year. Then! THEN! They had to go and put out seasonal flavors. They've probably done so for a while, but I never noticed/cared until now, so those previous occurrences don't count. We all know I'm in charge of everything. Get over it.

The high-heeled woman on the label seems unnecessary...
They have a peppermint, a peppermint mocha, a pumpkin spice, and - my newest favorite - salted caramel! IT'S AMAZING! Go get some. Randomly, TJ Maxx seems to carry them, as well as Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


These were my wedding flowers. Bought them at Publix before driving to the Courthouse. I think they look pretty good, considering.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pancakes and Cream

For Husband's birthday last week, I made my cream cheese and egg "pancakes." This is how I ate them. Nom nom!

Friday, December 12, 2014

About Time

Guess what? I got a job!

Sorry for short posts, but again, I'm out of town and have to do this all via cell phone. Be back soon!


I got my gold card today! I feel so fancy and important!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


I'm out of town, so I'll be brief: this is me in Hawaii several years ago. Look at that hair!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


A shot of the beautifully blue sky I was able to capture with one gloved hand while wrangling my sweet, energetic puppy on a walk.

It's just a touch blurry, but still pretty!
It was a rough day yesterday and a lot of things went wrong, but this brief moment took my breath away, and I smiled and I got through it. Turned out to be a pretty good day after all.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Too Much

For all my insistence that I'm low carb now, I've been eating some really bread-heavy lunches lately. This one is probably the worst of the bunch.

That is a PBJ sandwich AND and pimento cheese with lettuce sandwich AND a slice of buttered bread with honey. All toasted, of course. Can't eat all that without a glass of milk! MOAR SUGAR. And yes, that is a browncoat glass. 

An accurate description of me if ever there was one!
I swear, this is just a holiday lapse! I'll get it back together, but bread just tastes so good. Enjoy some holiday treats yourselves and smile!

Monday, December 8, 2014


I wrote this the day I got married this past August in anticipation that I would have a "real" wedding this coming May. I wanted to commemorate our legal ceremony and how I felt when it happened. We have now decided to move the wedding date back almost a year, and I didn't want to keep the secret any longer. Fiance is actually Husband! 

Engagement photos with Mom

Engagement photo with Dad
I'm getting married today.

Fiance and I are keeping it a secret right now because we can't yet afford a real ceremony or reception, so we're just meeting with our family at the courthouse, and we don't want people to view our wedding later as optional.

But really, we just can't wait.

I'm kind of reminded of Leslie's wedding from Parks and Rec. How she threw it together and the last minute and it just all felt right because she and Ben couldn't wait to start their lives together.

That's how this is. We could wait. The same way that we could live without each other. But we choose not to. We choose each other.

Fiance is my best friend and the best human being I've had the privilege to know. He is incredibly generous and kind with everyone he knows, he is so intelligent it's scary, and he is so loving toward me it takes my breath away.

And frankly, he ain't bad to look at, either!

Saying our vows

"You may kiss the bride!"
Many of you will know of my one other experience with relationships from my Abuse series. If you haven't read it, it's all collected under one tab at the top of the page. Also, the fact that it's called the "Abuse series" probably gives something away about the quality of the relationship. I felt pretty bad about myself before all that and worse about myself after. It took me years to understand that what happened in that relationship wasn't right, and exactly how wrong it was.

Fiance fixed all that. He made me feel whole and human and loved again. I've heard this sentiment before and it very much applies here: He renews my faith in God as he is a perfect representation of God's love for me.

We dream all the time about our future home and the children we might have, where we'll live, what we'll do, even which appliances we'd prefer! I just can't wait to get started!

So I'm not going to wait anymore. I've found my best friend and I'm ready for him to be my husband.

We used my engagement ring as the wedding band.

Everyone wanted a picture of us eating the cake. It took so long and
we were just sitting there with bites in our mouths! I started to laugh.

Southern Kitchen

My MiL (Mother-in-law) and I went out the other day to try a new place in our area: Hadley's Southern Kitchen. You guys, I've said in the past - though not on here - that despite being born and living over 90% of my life in the south, I don't like southern food. Mostly, I'm not crazy about the greens. People down here go nuts for that stuff, but I can't stand it. I also don't care for "real" cornbread - I like the sweet, cakey kind that Jiffy makes. But holy crap, was this place good!

My lunch!
I got the chicken tender dinner which comes with two sides. The breading on the chicken has an herb blend in it that is delicious, and the chicken itself - despite being all white meat which I don't typically care for - was super moist and tasty. The honey mustard was a perfect pairing, and I look forward to trying the barbeque. I got TN white beans and mac-n-cheese for my sides. Oh my goodness, it's been so many years since I've had white beans I kind of forgot about them, but they were so good! And the mac-and-cheese may be the best I've ever had. My MiL had their southern cobb and loved it, and we also try the spinach dip and sweet potato chip appetizer and loved that. If you live in the area, you should definitely try this place. I didn't have room for more, but they're desserts look amazing, too. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Fiance's birthday was this past week. We're getting so old! Anyway, we went out with a few work friends of his to this place called Jonathan's. They had Woodchuck Pear! I may have mentioned before how I don't really like beer - like when I mentioned it in yesterday's post - but I LOVE hard cider. Even though I hate regular cider. I am just a bundle of weird and contradictions, right? BUT I DIGRESS.

One of the better photos I've taken with my phone. Sad.
I especially love it when they use pear, easily my favorite drink flavor addition - an oddly specific category, I know, but it comes up surprisingly often. Unbeknownst to me, Jonathan's was doing a 2 for 1 special when I ordered, so I got doubles! I really want to go to the store and buy up several cases of this to drink the rest of the year, since it's seasonal, but I don't think it would hold up well.

UPDATE: I had to use a different photo (from the Woodchuck site) for my Facebook cover photo as this one is the wrong orientation. I have now been inspired to add blackberries to my beverage!

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Remember this? Yeah, I was so proud that I finally got to black coffee that I posted a bit prematurely, before I'd actually drunk any. After posting, I tried to drink some and just couldn't stomach it. So I immediately gave up because, honestly, I've got a lot of shit to deal with lately so can't I just have this one creature comfort? Cream, sweet breakfast drinks? Anyway, I'm giving it another shot this week.

It's even the same panda mug!
Pleased to announce that I actually drank about 1/3 of the coffee before taking this pic and posting. And I hate it. But I'm doing it. And even over the course of this one cup, each sip is slightly less terrible. I may just be able to pull this off. I'm trying it with medium, light, or blonde roasts because, contrary to what you might think, the weaker flavor of lighter roasts is accompanied by a higher level of caffeine. I need me some caffeine, that's the only part that tastes good! Plus, you know, weaker flavor. Once coffee is conquered, next on my list is beer. I'll have to drink a lot* to get that one done, RATS.

*a lot = 1 to 2 a day...

I am again hijacking fiances tech to allow myself to post. I've worked out a system that means I should be able to do this everyday, so hopefully we're back to normal. That system is: get off my lazy butt to do it and kick his lazy butt of the computer! I may be getting a replacement laptop this gift-giving season, in which case we'll definitely be good. Since I'm using Fiance's computer to post, and I don't remember my twitter password and I can't be bothered to find out, new posts won't be tweeted for a while. Just follow me on Facebook, though, and you'll get regular post updates plus other fun stuff!