Tuesday, July 26, 2011

planning to plan.

one of my favorite movies of all time is What Happens in Vegas...

i watched it freshman year during spring break one night when it was raining and we had no where to go. i think the combo of one-liners and the fact that cameron diaz and ashton kutcher are excellent together sealed the deal.

there is a spot in the movie when cameron diaz's character is discussing the future with her serious boyfriend. and she begins talking about their plans. he says, "wait, are you planning a time to make a plan?"

i was reminded of this scene while reading in Jesus Calling this morning.

vast quantities of time and energy are wasted in obsessive planning.
when you let ME direct your steps, you are set free to enjoy ME
and to find what I have prepared for you THIS day.

beginning senior year means [at least we all think it means] making plans for the next years of our lives.
grad school?

all these things become louder and louder in our minds as we begin to open the closing of our college careers.

but we don't have to plan to make plans. we just need to be attentive to what God has for us each day. and worry our minds with what the Lord has for us each morning. He has unfailing promises and truths in His word.

attentiveness to Me is not only for your quiet time,
it is for all the time.
as you LOOK TO ME, i will show you what to do,
now and next.

JER. 29:11 - a promise that God has plans for us.
plans to give us a hope and a future.
not to harm us.

i LOVE that promise. and that is where i am resting today.

besides... stress makes you have wrinkles :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

cheesecake bites. chocolate gobs.

we arrived home (well auburn... sorry mom) on friday afternoon after a long week at the lake. lake burton was phenomenal this year. when you add together 35+ people, two massively expensive houses, a speed boat, pontoon, three tubes, and enough food to feed a small army, you are bound to have a good time.

this year, our houses where both accommodating to our LARGE needs (as in kitchen big enough and refrig space) and closer to each other. making it a lot easier for us.

i made the decision to put lake burton on the "possible things to do after college" list. as the months go by and senior year grows closer, that list is growing longer and longer. but it's okay... leaves more room for opportunities right....?

anywho, the week was relaxing. lots of kayaking and tubing, which left me bruised and bleeding on occasion. no running though. which was MISERABLE. you know how i love my running. i only got about half a mile on those hills around the lake before i called it quits. but now i am back on the plains and the flat road are so good to me.


my lovely roommate sara has been working with research in the kinesiology department at auburn since the beginning of spring semester. she has grown to love it, as well as the people she is working with.

Ceren, her precious Turkish graduate student/professor she has been working with just finished her dissertation and is now a DR.! we are so proud of her! there have been a series of celebrations and yesterday her 3 "muffins" (what she calls her undergrad assistants) threw her a dinner party.

sara let me make desserts.

i wanted to try something new that i had never done before. we have this Ultimate Christmas Cookbook by Southern Living that i am obsessed with. everything is beautiful and artfully created which is intimidating. none of it looks easy or inexpensive. so i welcomed the challenge.

cheesecake bars and chocolate chunky gobs were the contenders.


post- oven.

Chunky Chocolate Gobs

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cut butter-flavored shortening ( I used regular shortening)
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies- coarsely chopped(16 cookies) [I used publix brand... cheaper]
3 Mounds bars, chilled and chopped (I omitted these)
1 to 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels ( I used white chocolate instead)

1. beat butter and shortening until creamy; add sugars gradually; beat until light and fluffy
2. add eggs and vanilla; beat until well blended
3. combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to wet mixture; beat until blended
4. stir in cookies and morsels. chill dough for 30 mins
5. bake at 350 for 10 to 12 mins or just barley set. ( I did 10 mins and it worked great)
YIELD about 2 1/2 dozen

i had never thought about making a cheesecake, i always assumed they were too difficult...

but we all know what assuming does....

Cheesecake Swirl Bites
I used two recipes and kinda made them my own, so Southern Living doesn't get all the credit, The Kitchen Sink gets half!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 9 cookie sheets)
Cooking spray
3 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 semi sweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 325°.

Coat a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Place the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of pan. Bake at 325° for 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack. [I would use a little more butter... keeps it together a little more]

Place cheeses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add sugar and flour; beat well. Add vanilla, egg whites, and egg; beat until well blended. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan.

Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 1 1/2 minutes or until soft, stirring after 45 seconds (chocolate should not completely melt). Stir until smooth. Drop melted chocolate onto cheese mixture to form 9 mounds. Swirl chocolate into batter using the tip of a knife or a skewer. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until almost set. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

i got some messages about these cheesecake bites. i never actually tried one but i hear they are AMAZING.


in other news, i finished The Kite Runner. i recommend it to everyone. it is captivating and the plot is so cleverly developed. i finished it on wednesday while at the lake, and had nothing else to read... so i started Treasure Island again. it wasn't my book so i had to leave it behind. but i am planning on picking it up at the library sometime and finishing it up.

we can also add two more movies to the "List"....

1. The Other Guys
2. Pay it Forward
3. Gangs of New York *
4. Elizabethtown [surprisingly excellent*]
5. An Education
6. Thor
7. The Machinist *
8. One Week
9. 180 Degrees South *
10. Pirates of the Caribbean 4
11. The Human Experience *
12. The Black Swan
13. Tangled
14. Dinner for Shmucks
15. Hall Pass
16. Rango

neither was my choice, and both were TERRIBLE. especially Hall Pass. it was obscene and i am embarrassed to even admit i watched it. emily and i turned it off. Rango, we fell asleep during it, but it wasn't good enough to rewind and watch. disappointing Redbox night for sure.


the laundry is now done, which means i need to fold it. until later.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


the beach was amazing this year. even though i only spent three days there, i was wonderful. i love my family more than anything, and getting to experience such beauty with such beautiful people is entirely more than anyone could ask for. i am thankful.

i am out of school for the summer. which means free time in auburn. living on the plains without school is new for me. surprisingly, my days have been full. from books and babysitting to cleaning and exercising, my time here is well spent.

the parents were not so happy with my decision to stay, but i needed some time here, without class, to enjoy college with my friends before i graduate.

and that is when it hits me like a mac truck. i am a senior.

i bought my tickets for football on the 28th of june. got the full season and all the away games. i am really looking forward to this year. whether or not our team plays as well as we did last year, it is going to be a blast.

also, on the 28th of june, we celebrated sara's 21st. we had three parties, ate WAY TOO MUCH CAKE and danced to tim tyler, picked about 3 gallons of blueberries, baked a pie, and packed kimmy's car in celebration. it was a good three days of sarapolooza. she's the bomb.

ADpi mode has set in. seeing as it's my last recruitment, i am doing everything i can to be involved. being chaplain, involved means praying for our chapter and all the work we're doing. as well as praying for the new girls coming through.

i get to spend a week at the lake again this year. we are leaving tomorrow morning and i plan on soaking in the sun and swimming across the lake (right Nat??). i will also be doing my training during the week, which should be interesting since the lake is SO HILLY.

but i am mid way through week two and feeling good. sore, but good. this is going to be a little different because i have started adding in other workouts instead of just running. some days i do a p90x video too, or insanity. so i am working harder and longer, but the end result should be better than expected.


1. finished JANE EYRE-
summary: enjoyed the book overall. very interesting twists and turns. Charlotte bronte is remarkable, yet verbose enough to frustrate me in dialogue. i recommend this novel, and i am contemplating renting the movie adaptation.

2. celebration of the 4th consisted of my updating my movie list...
12. The Black Swan
13. Tangled
14. Dinner for Shmucks

summary- each was magnificent in its own way. there were three parts in black swan that could and SHOULD be taken out. but, once past those, it was remarkable. beautiful acting, beautiful cinematography. tangled = classic disney movie. cannot go wrong. DforS was hilarious. laughed the whole way through. there was a little repetitiveness, but overall a great choice by Luke!

3. Started the Kite Runner. it's a best seller so i am expecting great things.

i am working on channeling my creative energy back into this blog. since i am trying to run and not eat so many sweets, baking is becoming harder...

so more photos and more blogging.

oh. and i found out how much pastry school is. $$$$$ anyone want to sponsor me? i can promise yummy treats for the rest of your life....