September 2013

I know you’ve got my list memorized, so you probably remember #12 – Unplug from Facebook and Twitter for a whole day.  Welp, I’m almost unplugged, my iOS 7 update has not gone well. I can’t receive any texts, get any Twitter notifications, or open my Snapchats.  Seriously, the only people who have had it worse than this is the Donner party.

#6: TRY A NEW-TO-ME RECIPE ONCE A MONTH, OR MORE IF I END UP LIKING IT. 

These are cop-out recipes fo sho, but they are new to me.  Chocolate chip muffins (mix + water + chocolate chips).  Of course me baking something always requires a couple of questions to my mother. “Mom, what consistency am I aiming for on these cupcakes?” “Muffin consistency”. REALLY?!

Also–try out my new favorite trail mix: peanuts, M&Ms, and candy corn. Salty, sweet, and chocolate, a girl’s best fraaan.

Muffin tops.

Muffin tops.

#7: MAKE A BATCH OF CUPCAKES ONCE A MONTH AND BE A LEGIT CUPCAKE QUEEN. 

This month I made Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge – found it on my Pinterest.  The recipe went off without a hitch, except the part where it was covered in tin foil.  I made the fudge for the confirmation kiddos (btw, I’m a confirmation mentor this year!) and I had to make sure each piece didn’t have extra tin foil pieces in the funfetti. The kiddos liked the fudge and they even told me they liked my fudge more than the next week’s treats.

Someone didn't take any because he was worried about his insulin. I'll take that as a compliment.

Someone didn’t take any because he was worried about his insulin. I’ll take that as a compliment.

#19: DO A PINTEREST CRAFT PROJECT ONCE A MONTH. 

CRAFT FAIL, that’s all I’ve got to say.  To make a long story short, I just spent the better part of 90 minutes carving four fake pumpkins with my work’s logo into them.  Aaaaaand, it was a big disaster, as in they kept caving in and not holding together.  The proof is in the picture.

Fail fail fail.

Fail fail fail.

#22: READ A NEW BOOK, 2 A MONTH. 

Working on a book called “The Story” as part of our church wide Bible Study.  Sometimes I forget to read my assigned chapters, but my wonderful friend Becky Joyful always sends incredibly detailed emails with a summary and questions.

#24: DO SOMETHING CRAZY – I DID A 60 MILE BIKE RIDE!

I decided for my 24th thing, to take part in the Gran Gable Bike ride in Iowa on Sept 1.  I had gotten a new bike earlier this summer and was excited to do something different. (Plus training for long bike routes meant not training for a half marathon).   The routes were 25, 60, or 100 miles.  My part time boyfran Nick and I decided to do the 60 mile ride.  He did the entire week of RAGBRAI this summer, so he would have no problem with 1 day, he’d just have to put up with me.  I couldn’t stress to Nick enough how slow I might go up certain hills, by gosh darn it, I got up every single one.  I had a blast!  About the 2nd rest stop, I remembered that I hadn’t remembered to put on any sunscreen.  Whoops.  I figured, a little color is better than none. Welllll, you can scroll and see for yourself what happened.

I loved the bike ride.  About mile 50 I was over it (and my back was so hot, I’m sure you could fry eggs off it).  But I finished and I was so proud of myself!  Plus the beer at the end of the route made it all worth it!

Before the ride, we are pumped!

Before the ride, we are pumped!

Post ride beer!

Post ride beer!

Ask my mom about waiting at the finish line.

Ask my mom about waiting at the finish line.

 

Not sure what is more depressing - my back being this burnt or the fact that I am this pale in real life.

Sunday night after the ride: Not sure what was more depressing – my back being that burnt or the fact that I am this pale in real life.

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CURRENT OBSESSIONS:  

2 this month!   If you know me, you know my *NSYNC obsession, and of course, Justin Timberlake was my favorite of the group. You also know I love Twitter.  The #Hashtag video with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon is hilarious.  My roomies and I hashtagged everything this weekend (sidenote, 3 obsessions–love my roomies).

2nd obsession – it’s TV premiere season.  I’m a TV junkie. If there was a program like AA for TV Junkies… I wouldn’t be in it, because I’d be watching TV.  I’ve started a couple new shows – Hostages on CBS and Agents of SHIELD on ABC. Along with the usual suspects – How I Met Your Mother, Arrow, Criminal Minds, Big Bang Theory, Glee, Say Yes to the Dress.

Had to share this picture: me and my new boo Warner. (Really he's my old roomie Stacy's son, not just a random baby).

Had to share this picture: me and my new boo Warner. He’s slowly making me change my mind about kiddos being scary. 

August 2013

Welp people, this has been my worst month yet! Holy crap!  If you’re into excuses, mine are: I traveled 3 weekends in a row, went to 3 concerts and 2 weddings, and made plans (re: I have friends!) on weeknights. Waaaah.

#7 – MAKE A BATCH OF CUPCAKES ONCE A MONTH & BECOME A LEGIT CUPCAKE QUEEN

I did get one thing done. Not cupcakes – but chewy M&M bars! And they turned out great.  The recipe was easy to follow and lucky me, I had pretty much all the ingredients, so my weekly trip to Walmart (I know, shame shame), was kept to a reasonable 15 minute trip rather than roaming the baking aisle and calling my mother every 2 minutes with a random question. But seriously, where does one find active yeast for bread?

Anywho, the M&M bars were great.  I made them for my coworker’s last day in the office (we called them “We Will Miss You Bars).  When I was making the recipe, the dough was not holding together at all, so I figured “hey, add an egg.” That did the trick.  Then it was almost too sticky to spread out in the 9×13 pan, so I went with an 8×8.  My bars were a little thicker than the recipe, but Imma give myself an A on this assignment.

Finished product

Finished product

Yummo!

Yummo!

Here’s the rest of August in pictures.

Aug 3: Went to see a benefit concert featuring my main man Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.

Aug 3: Went to see a benefit concert featuring my main man Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.

So pumped for Gary.

So pumped for Gary.

August 4: My beautiful coworker's wedding.  Here is Nora, bride Christina, and myself

August 4: My beautiful coworker’s wedding. Here is Nora, bride Christina, and myself

 

The next weekend I went back to Olathe, KS to visit Nicki. We went to a Bruno Mars concert on Friday night and went to a Fork N Dine movie theater on Saturday.  A full meal with your movie!

The next weekend I went back to Olathe, KS to visit Nicki. We went to a Bruno Mars concert on Friday night and went to a Fork N Dine movie theater on Saturday. A full meal with your movie!

Great Midwest Hot Air Balloon Fest.

Great Midwest Hot Air Balloon Fest.

Stopped in Des Moines for cheesecake and bestie time.

Stopped in Des Moines for cheesecake and bestie time.

August 17: Iowa State Fair! Bestie and I went for the afternoon and saw Train in concert that night.

August 16: Iowa State Fair! Bestie and I went for the afternoon and saw Train in concert that night.

August 17: coworker Cindy got married! In a showstopper of a dress, holy moly.

August 17: coworker Cindy got married! In a showstopper of a dress, holy moly.

Got to visit Captain Kirk's future birthplace. This nerd is happy.

Got to visit Captain Kirk’s future birthplace. This nerd is happy.

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September will be better! I’m sitting here watching Big Ten Network and getting PUMPED for Hawkeye Football.  If you don’t know this about me: I LOVE fall and I LOVE football (any college or professional team really, just not ISU, EVER).  I’m so ready for it – jeans, scarves, boots, football, leaves, hayrack rides, etc.  Do people still do hayrack rides? Becky Joyful, let’s get this done.

I’m doing my official 24th thing TOMORROW – a 60 mile bike ride! And then after this ride, it’s hard core training for this half marathon in October. Holy crap.  Appreciate your support throughout my endeavors and thanks for reading!

July 2013

People, where is my life going?  How in the world is it the end of July already?  Little kid Kelly would be psyched up for August and Back to School Season and already have her school supplies bought, smelled, fondled, etc, but Working Girl Kelly would like time to slow down!  July was a jam-packed month, with something fun and exciting every single weekend!  Traveling to Kansas City, Des Moines, exotic Monticello, and Cedar Falls – my wonderful car Iris packed on the miles this month.  In fact, on my drive tonight, she hit 100,000 miles! There’s no stopping.

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#4: RUN THE COLOR RUN

I was so excited for the Color Run – they really mean it when they call it the Happiest 5K on the planet.  I had run it previously in October when it was about -235810 degrees, so I was happy for a nice summer day.  I went to Des Moines with 2 coworkers, Nora and Christina, and met up with my Plumsauce Michelle.  We had a blast running the whole thing!  Nora even skipped for a bit! After the run, we hung around for what can only be described as a sober rave.  SO MUCH FUN.  Color throws, rockin’ music, happy people. I impressed my coworkers with my rap skillz, so all in all, a very successful day.

The group!

The group!

Bahahaha my favorite picture of the day.

Bahahaha my favorite picture of the day.

Color Throw!

Color Throw!

#6: TRY A NEW-TO-ME DINNER RECIPE ONCE A MONTH

Unintentionally, I made a new to me recipe at the beginning of the month. Sushi?! SAY WHAT.  I went to a friend’s Japanese themed birthday and we made sushi and takioko balls. WITH FREAKING OCTOPUS. SAY WHAT? Glad I tried it, don’t need to do it again.

Happy Birthday Rachel! Check out the baby octopi and sushi.

Happy Birthday Rachel! Check out the baby octopi and sushi.

#7 – MAKE A BATCH OF CUPCAKES ONCE A MONTH AND BE A LEGIT CUPCAKE QUEEN.

Thin Mint cupcakes ya’ll! I pinned this recipe on Pinterest awhile ago and had even saved back a box of Thin Mints, for just the right occasion.  I made up 2 dozen for the youth group meeting.  As of right now, I have no youth and a whole bunch of cupcakes. Update, I now have 4 youth in my basement.

The cupcakes turned out great! The frosting did NOT.  The recipe called for a Mocha Butter Cream frosting.  Due to me being an idiot, I didn’t buy/have half of the frosting ingredients so I thought I could Becky-Home-Ecky it up with other ingredients.  It started getting to the right consistency, so I was feel pretty proud of myself.  After one small taste, the frosting was a BIG FAT FAIL! Thankfully I had some regular ole white frosting, and I put some green food coloring in it.  Boom, Thin Mint cupcakes.

On a side note, you know you’ve made a name for yourself, when people refer to you as Cupcake Kelly.  It happened this weekend and it was awesome.

The instagram filter really brings out the green.

The instagram filter really brings out the green.

#11: TRAVEL TO OLATHE AND VISIT NICKI’S PLACE

I was smart when I made this list and put something fun like visiting one of your best friends! I went to Olathe/Kansas City over 4th of July weekend.  Nicki and I (or Kenan and Kel as some people call us) HAD A BLAST! We took in a Royals game, 2 rounds of fireworks, pool time, a concert featuring Carly Rae Jepsen, 2 movies, and some shopping.  Can’t wait to visit her again in just a couple of weeks – we’re seeing Bruno Mars in concert!

What is more patriotic than watching a baseball game on the 4th of July with one of your best friends while wearing a Captain America bro tank?

What is more patriotic than watching a baseball game on the 4th of July with one of your best friends while wearing a Captain America bro tank?

 

Of course we found a cupcake place. Smallcakes was a winner on Cupcake Wars!

Of course we found a cupcake place. Smallcakes was a winner on Cupcake Wars!

 

Carly Rae Jepsen = Tinkerbell

Carly Rae Jepsen = Tinkerbell

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Also, I may have found my 24th thing – biking! I’m a newbie and I’m nowhere near the crazy that RAGBRAI riders are, but it’s awesome.  I joined a work bike club and signed up for a 60 mile route with my part-time boyfran Nick at the beginning of September.

CURRENT OBSESSIONS: Henry Cavill, Man of Steel, and the Man of Steel soundtrack (notice a theme?).  Also the song “Accapella” by Karmin, and the accapella Slovenian group Perpetuum Jazzile, specifically their covers of Africa and Telephone.

And because I'm feeling sentimental, here's some of my former roomies. The 4 of us lived together for 3 years at school and got to see each other this past weekend at B's wedding. Been through so much with these girls!

And because I’m feeling sentimental, here’s some of my former roomies. The 4 of us lived together for 3 years at school and got to see each other this past weekend at B’s wedding. Been through so much with these girls!

June 2013

Holy crap, it’s July 1?! Seriously, where is my life going? I’m slowly starting to realize I’ve got things to do on this list (ahemmmm, that half marathon coming up in October). I didn’t do a great deal extra in June, but I will say, I have seen some great movies this month. (Still recovering from Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness)…

#2 – JOIN A GROUP/VOLUNTEER AND MEET SOME PEOPLE
Times two! I have met two new groups of people in the past couple of weeks, SAY WHAAAT? First, I joined a women’s doubles tennis league in NL. So much fun! I haven’t played tennis in awhile but the skillz are coming back. The women have been super fun to play with and we are all around the same skill level, so the games are challenging, but still fun.

My second group – my friends from church! I’ve started hanging out with the “Young Adult” group more from church and I am so blessed to have them! We meet on Sundays for Bible study, but also are a social group, and have really come together to support each other. Becky, if you’re reading this – totes ma’ goats.

#7 – MAKE A BATCH OF CUPCAKES ONCE A MONTH AND BE A LEGIT CUPCAKE QUEEN.
Oh say can you EAT THESE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE CUPCAKES?! I made these little babies at 10:30PM on June 30. And yes, venturing to Wal-mart for ingredients late at night is just as interesting as it sounds. Truck with American flag grill? Check. Pack of rednecks? Check. Witnessing a breathalyzer test? Check.

What's up Walmart on Sunday night.

What’s up Walmart on Sunday night.

The cupcakes themselves are a super simple recipe, simple vanilla cupcakes with cake mix. (A bit of a cheat, but they are in a cupcake tin/holder AND I wore my Cupcake Queen crown).

patriotic cupcakes

Separated the batter into thirds and colored it and then layered into the tin. White frosting on top and red/blue sprinkles.

#19 – DO A PINTEREST CRAFT PROJECT ONCE A MONTH.
I’m stretching this one a little. I scrapbooked this past weekend and it was wonderful! I’m still far behind (in 2011), but I made some progress. It was fun to look at old pictures. I’m now motivated to get this album done!

#20 – DONATE MY HURRR TO LOCKS OF LOVE
This was so simple and easy. Got a lot of hurrr? Chop it, donate it, rock the bob. I was so ready for a good haircut. Locks of Love wants at least 10 inches of hair. I probably had closer to 9, but let’s be honest, my hair is thick like a wolf (Princess Diaries, anyone?) so someone should be able to do something with it. Seriously though, what an easy thing for someone to do to help those in need.

Before and after!

Before and after!

#23 – 100 AB EXERCISES EVERY DAY.
This is more of a subtle reminder to myself that I need to do this! I’m in a wedding at the end of July, so this is a perfect opportunity! Anyone have any favorite ab exercises?
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OTHER JUNE ACTIVITIES

work award

Received the “Internal Customer Service” award at my work annual meeting!

Sissy and I pre-gaming for a dry wedding.  Also a great story if you've got time.

Sissy and I pre-gaming for a dry wedding. Also a great story if you’ve got time.

CURRENT OBSESSIONS:
• Imagine Dragons (Anyone willing to road trip with me to see ‘em live sometime?)
• Cruise by Florida Georgia Line, featuring Nelly…working on my Nelly rap for you
• Henry Cavill
• Star Trek Into Darkness

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Until next time!  Keep in touch – find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

 

May 2013

How the heck is it May 31? Where did this month go? WHERE DID THIS YEAR GO? Can’t believe it’s almost summer time! I’m excited to have lots of plans and weekend trips ahead of me – some weddings, road trips, and concerts are booked in the calendar!

I promised myself I would do better on my list this month, and I did much better than April (but believe me, there’s always room for improvement, much like my baking!) Speaking of…

#7 – MAKE CUPCAKES (OR DESSERT) ONCE A MONTH

I’ve been on a marshmallow kick like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s to the point where if some dessert  doesn’t have marshmallow in it, I’m adding it. Embarrassing.

I give you: Indoor S’mores.  These turned out pretty well, but I think I went too quickly at the beginning of the recipe, because things did not stick as they should have.  My only comparison is my dear mother’s recipe, and lezzbehonest, nothing is better than Mary’s baking.

I have the recipe if you're interested! (It's easy, even by my standards)

I have the recipe if you’re interested! (It’s easy, even by my standards)

# 8 – REALLY CLEAN OUT MY CLOSET AND DONATE THE CLOTHES I HAVEN’T WORN

This felt so good!  We had a rummage sale at church, so this was the perfect time to go through my clothes.  I felt really good about getting rid of some shirts that I haven’t worn. And a slight brag here,  I was fitting into some clothes that I wasn’t expecting to. We’ll blame that on training for a half marathon.

And just by chance, I cleaned out my closet at my parents’ house as well and got rid of some stuff there too.

Color coding, like a freak.

Color coding, like a freak.

#22 – READ A NEW BOOK, 2 A MONTH

I am officially an informed citizen of North Lib, I got myself a library card!

I blasted through my first book called “Don’t You Forget About Me” – mostly because it was DUMB and I wanted to finish it! It just wasn’t good at all – divorcee goes to her high school reunion and learns about herself.  I can only imagine it was written after watching The Breakfast Club and Eat Pray Love on a rainy weekend.

I am currently in the middle of my second book – I went back to one of my favorite authors, Kriistn Hannah.  This book is called “Home Front” and deals with a family and its’ struggles when the mom is called for active duty overseas.  The dad is a bit of a prick right now, so I’m excited to see how this one turns out – hopefully some good character development.

Read meeeeeeee.

Read meeeeeeee.

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I realize I didn’t do eveyething on my monthly list (make a meal, do a pinterest project), but hey, it’s better than April!  By the way, anyone need some sort of crafting help? There’s only so many things I can make before my apartment becomes overrun with spoon sculptures or canvas print ideas…

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Half Marathon Update: It’s coming! It’s in October! I’ve worked myself up to 4 miles (from 1.01, this is a big deal).  I’m doing a 5K this weekend and then this summer comes the distance training.  I also bought a yoga and a pilates DVD this past week and have really been enjoying that.  Namaste!

Current obsessions: This video,  also the song in it – “Yes to Love” by Stefano, Imagine Dragons (band), watching the Big Bang Theory in syndication, and marshmallows.

April 2013

First off all, if you’ve never had the opportunity to have Mediacom Internet,  YOU ARE THE LUCKIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD.  I’m sitting here trying to write this post, heck even open a web page, and it’s taking more than 10 seconds.  Let’s be honest, this is a first world problem.  Can’t wait for this Mediacom contract to be up, I’m gonna be outtie like a belly button.

The last month has been pretty great and in the last 2 weeks, I’ve slowly but surely been realizing how BLESSED I am.  I went on a mini mission trip with a group from church to Des Moines a couple of weeks ago.  The program gave us a pretty eye opening view of poverty and homelessness. So I can complain about my slow internet connection (which I will), but I know I am so blessed to have a loving family, great friends, and a wonderful job.

Unfortunately, this past month I slacked on this blog! I completed 2 things in 1 weekend and apparently I thought that was enough.  No new food, cupcakes, books, or a Pinterest project this month. Seriously, that’s just laziness on my part!  May will be better.

 #3 – TAKE A CLASS THROUGH KIRKWOOD OR SOMEWHERE AND LEARN SOMETHING NEW.

If this goal could BE any more broad (Chandler Bing, anyone?), I actually did learn something! I found a CUPCAKE DECORATING CLASS through the Shores Center in Cedar Rapids.  The official title was “Corks and Cupcakes” – hello, I’m there.  I invited my friend Becky from church and together we conquered cupcake decorating.

I had some problems. Really it was that pastry bag. Clearly everyone else in the class had had previous experience using a frosting bag thinger before.  I had frosting flying from the top, the bottom, everywhere!  Kind of embarrassing.  Good ole Becky was a saint throughout the whole night, even when I spilled frosting on her purse. But look at the end products!

So proud of the top left pink flower!

So proud of the top left pink flower!

#15 – LEARN HOW TO CURL MY HURRR

Seriously it was a weekend of learning. After learning the ins and outs of cupcake decorating, the next day I learned how to curl my hurrr! My coworker and friend Christina came over and taught me the basics. It only took 24 years, but I finally can do something with my hurrr besides a ponytail!

First we started with braiding. Because who doesn’t want to rock the Katniss BAMF side braid? Wellll, that didn’t go over so well, because my hair is a little chunky and layered. But, if needed, I could probably braid a couple of small strings together if needed.

And then we moved onto curling.  Did you know there is a difference between a curling iron and a curling wand? I didn’t know, but now I’m totes in for the curling wand.  I was pretty nervous at first, have you seen the Burning My Hair Off Video?! But things went great! All my hair is intact.

Christina and I had a great afternoon (seriously the lesson took like 5 hours).  First we did hair, and then we drank some champagne, played some cribbage, and did more hair.  I went out that weekend and bought a curling wand, seriously in love with it!

Kelly Learns How to Curl Her Hurr Day.

Kelly Learns How to Curl Her Hurr Day.

And just this past weekend, I had curled my hurrr and someone even stopped me and asked if my curls were natural. BAHAHA, no but this afro is.

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Nothing else to report, but I promise I’ll do better in May.  PS, it’s gonna be May, tomorrow.

May 4, 1999: the day that changed my life forever. I went to an NSYNC concert.

May 4, 1999: the day that changed my life forever. I went to an NSYNC concert.

 

My current obsessions that you should look into: Pentatonix, The Following, The Americans, Bon Jovi’s new CD, curling my hair, Jennifer Lawrence,  and getting PSYCHED for summer movie season.

March

Does anyone else think March was the slowest month on record? Good Lawwd, it felt slow!  I’m sitting in my apartment, waiting for the Mediacom man (running late, as usual) and just reflecting on the past month. I had plans pretty much every weekend which was nice to do something fun – go to a concert, do a run with coworkers, or visit my roomies, but it still felt like the month dragged on. I’m hoping this good Iowa spring weather (40 degrees, what’s up) is here to stay and make things a little more exciting.  Here’s what went down in March and my quarter life crisis.

#6 – TRY A NEW-TO-ME RECIPE ONCE A MONTH

This month I was excited to put my new kickasserole dish to good use! I found a recipe for Chicken and Noodle Casserole on Pinterest. I like chicken, I like noodles, this should be good. And it was! I had a little trouble getting started, and the phone calls to my mother began. “Mom, how do I bake a chicken?” “Mom, is cream of chicken soup like a thing?”

Once I got started cooking, I had like 3 pots of water boiling and stuff flying everywhere, I looked like Julia Child. I only had one minor noodle spill, but the end result was great! I ended up making the full recipe, so I ate leftover  Chicken and Noodle casserole for basically a week, but heyo, I’m cheap.

Kickasserole dish FTW

Kickasserole dish FTW

#7 – MAKE A BATCH OF CUPCAKES ONCE A MONTH & BECOME A LEGIT CUPCAKE QUEEN

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes. Sounds super healthy, right?  Pretty much both parts of the cupcakes – the batter and the frosting included Oreos. Oh, and the bottom had an Oreo baked into it as well. Right up my alley! My amazing friend Nicki had bought me a cupcake holder, recipe book, paper cups, and sprinkles to help me become a true Cupcake Queen. AND A TIARA AND A WAND. And yes, I wore the tiara whilst baking.

Baking the cupcakes went well, without any spills or incidents worth noting.  The frosting I substituted KoolWhip instead of heavy whipping cream by my mom’s suggestion. (Cindy, for the win, as usual).  I brought 2 dozen cupcakes into work the next day and left with 4.  I was worried that I had food poisoned the whole office, but as of now, I have yet to be traced back to any weekend illnesses.

Seriously LOVE the cupcake holder.

Seriously LOVE the cupcake holder.

#19 – DO A PINTEREST CRAFT PROJECT ONCE A MONTH

This past weekend I was able to have a roomie reunion with some of my former roomies in college. We spent the weekend in exotic Clear Lake, Iowa right on the lake. The lake was frozen, it was cold, there was snow on the ground – it was not prime Clear Lake time.  But we still had a blast together and decided to have a Pinterest Party. Everyone brought the materials needed to do something that they’ve seen on Pinterest and it turns out I have some pretty creative friends!  By the end of the Pinterest Party, we had our hurrr did, new lip balm, hair bling, and smores dip. Oh, and I made some light decorations for my living room.  (I realize now, slightly selfish to not bring a more share-able project, my baaaaad). Basically just Dixie cups, some LED lights, and scrapbook paper … I put that glue gun to use.

These are lights.

These are lights.

#22 READ A NEW BOOK, 2 A MONTH.

If you know me and my reading habits, you know I LOVE Jodi Picoult books.  At this point, she could probably write a book with no words in it, get it published, and I’d think it was a New York Times #1 Best Seller. I’ve always claimed her book The Pact is my all time favorite book. After I read The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, I’ve found a new favorite book.  Since 4th grade, I’ve had one of those weird obsessions with the Holocaust, which I know sounds weird and probably awful.  I’ve just always enjoyed reading survivor stories and historical fiction.  So the fact that Jodi Picoult my favorite author is writing about the Holocaust, a subject I’m interested in = I couldn’t wait to get started.

The Storyteller focuses on a former Nazi now living in America who requests forgiveness for his actions from a young Jewish woman.  I could not put this book down.  It was so intense and I could feel real emotion from the fictional characters.  I’ve seen a quote, that says something to the effect of “People are walking around and I’m over here recovering from this book” – which is exactly how I felt when I finished The Storyteller. I even used the word emotional in describing it, which for me to have feelings, kind of a big deal. A must read, in my opinion.

I then started Living with Honor by Staff Sergeant Sal Guinta.  Yep – the Medal of Honor recipient from Iowa. In fact, he went to my high school and my sister was in his graduating class.  It was neat to read the first couple of chapters that set the scene, including my good ole hometown CR. I can’t say the book was super well written, but it really felt like Sal was sitting there talking to you and telling you about his life.  Iowa Pride!

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I’m gearing up toward April – I’m signed up for a class (cupcake decorating, did you expect anything else?) and I’ve told myself I need to start training for my half marathon. I’m thinking the Des Moines half in October, so I’ve got some time to get ready.   I’ve also got a “Kelly Learns How to Style Her Hurrr” Day scheduled with a friend – braiding, curling, and maybe combing it.  Stay in touch – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram – get at me!

January

This blog and list has been so good for me in the first month.  I’ve been on my computer less and have been learning a bunch – like that I hate working with cream cheese, lasagna is exhausting to make, and I think I want a wolf as a pet…

#6 – TRY A NEW-TO-ME RECIPE ONCE A MONTH

I decided I wanted to try cooking and baking more, in an attempt to be more domestic and so I can show off my skillz at future church potlucks. For my first attempt at a new-to-me recipe, I made lasagna. And it was actually edible and no one got sick from it (that I know of).  I used my mom’s recipe and I was quite proud of myself for how it turned out. Future husband, eat your heart out!

Lasagna is exhausting

Lasagna is exhausting

#7 – MAKE A BATCH OF CUPCAKES ONCE A MONTH & BECOME A LEGIT CUPCAKE QUEEN

First off, I’m amending this rule to be “make a batch of cupcakes or a new dessert once a month”.  As much as I LOVE cupcakes and how cute and sugary they are, there are some awesome desserts out there too that I want to try.  Don’t worry, I’ll share.

So I made my first batch of cupcakes yesterday! It wasn’t the Betty Crocker out of the box kind, so these were legit. I made Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cupcakes, that I found on Pinterest. (PS, here’s my  Cupcakes and Desserts board.) The cream cheese part was ridiculous, that stuff just doesn’t break down all that easy.

I texted my friend halfway through “cupcake update: batter is delicious”.  The end product wasn’t too shabby.  They didn’t look any like how the professional picture did, but we’ll blame that on me not knowing what I’m doing. My parents both ate one and no one’s died yet, so we’ll call this a win!

Red Velvet Cake and Cupcakes 073

The original recipe…

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Nailed it…

#19 – DO A PINTEREST CRAFT PROJECT ONCE A MONTH

I pin all these arts and crafts on my Pinterest account but never follow through on any of them… until now. For my first craft project, I went the easy route and decided on “buttoning” a picture frame for myself.  I had made a similar frame for my goddaughter’s 6th birthday and one for my bestie for her graduation from ISU. (It pained me to put red and yellow together, black and gold looks so much better).  I had a ton of leftover buttons from these projects, so all I needed was a new wood frame – cost me $3 at Hobby Lobby. I also found a fun “friends” sticker from Hobby Lobby, also $4.  So then I just spent the night hot gluing buttons onto the frame and watching How I Met Your Mother.  It was legen… wait for it… DARY!

Here’s the finished product.  I decided this frame was for me and would go in my bedroom, so of course I went the purple route. Looks decent, but it was definitely an easy project. I’m looking forward to a new arts and crafts project in February!

photo

I don’t know who those babies are, definitely not my kids.

#22 READ A NEW BOOK, 2 A MONTH.

We’ll call January “Wolf Month”.  I ended up reading 2 books revolving around wolves (which is why I’m pretty sure I want a wolf now).

I started with Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult, my favorite author.  I’ve read all of her books, she’s great at creating really believable characters and situations.  I had actually started this book awhile ago, but got distracted (let’s be honest, it was the 50 Shades trilogy). Once I picked Lone Wolf up again, I couldn’t stop.  Jodi Picoult does some intense research on some of the most random topics and somehow brings them all together in one book.  This book revolved around wolves, vegetative states and right to live, and family drama.  I kept waiting for the twist at the end, that makes you question why you like one character over another, and once again, there it was BOOM!

I just finished Theft by BK Loren.  This book also revolved around wolves, as one of the main characters, Willa, a wolf tracker, is asked to consult with the police on tracking her older brother, Zeb, who has confessed to murder, but now disappeared into the woods.  (Long run on sentence there, sorry).  SLOW beginning to Theft, but once all the characters were introduced, things got better – until the end of the book. “It” just kind of happened, and FAST.

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There’s my monthly update, of everything I want to do during the month.  I’m making great progress on seeing all the Oscar Best Film nominees. I’m 5 of 9 right now – if anyone has any interest in seeing Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, or the dumb French film Amoure, let me know, they are on my to-see list.

If you can believe it, I’ve been doing 100 ab exercises every night and have been rocking my sit ups now at FXB in the mornings.  I also solo rang handbells for the first time in my life and LOVED it.  I’m playing the song at my church on my birthday and will get it recorded. And then blogged, and then it’ll be official.

Thanks everyone for all the support so far, I’ve received some really great feedback and some fun suggestions for my 24th thing to do.  Keep ’em coming, I’ll make a decision on my birthday – we’re officially one month away until the big two four.  Stay in touch too – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram… I’m around.

 

 

#24In24 – The List

Here’s my quarter life crisis – my personal list of things to do while I’m 24, and the basis for this blog.  Some are easier (and more fun!) to do than others.  Resolutions, goals, things to do – whatever you call them, I’m excited to get started! I want to challenge myself, get out my comfort zone, and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way.  Because I really need to learn how to snap my fingers…

 

24 Things To Do In No Particular Order

  1. Start a blog (and maintain it)!
  2. Join a group/volunteer and meet some people.
  3. Take a class through Kirkwood or somewhere and learn something new. (Photography, cake decorating, bird calls? No, definitely not bird calls).
  4. RUN the Color Run.
  5. RUN a half marathon or more.
  6. Try a new-to-me dinner recipe once a month, or more if I end up liking it.
  7. Make a batch of cupcakes once a month and be a legit cupcake queen.
  8. Really clean out my closet and donate the clothes I haven’t worn.
  9. Learn how to solo ring hand bells.
  10. Learn easy guitar and/or ukulele.
  11. Travel to Olathe, KS and visit Nicki’s place.
  12. Unplug from Facebook and Twitter for 1 whole day. No updates, no nothing.
  13. Make Christmas cards for 2013 telling everyone how wonderful 24 is.
  14. Learn how to snap my fingers, blow bubbles with gum, and/or whistle.
  15. Learn how to curl my hurrrr.
  16. Rap the entire “Jump Around” song by House of Pain.
  17. See all the Oscar nominees for “Best Picture”.
  18. Complete the Sunday Sudoku without any help.
  19. Do a Pinterest craft project once a month.
  20. Donate my hurrrr to Locks of Love.
  21. Type out as many of my Gma’s diaries as I can get through.
  22. Read a new book, 2 a month. (Also, get a library card).
  23. Do 100 crunches/sit ups/ab exercises a day. That’s 700 a week. Or just 700 sit ups in 1 day, every week.
  24. **Taking suggestions for #24**

As I complete these, I plan on posting updates and my success in the #24In24 category, so stay tuned and keep me motivated!  I’m taking suggestions for my 24th thing to do. Leave a comment, Facebook or Tweet me your suggestions. Here’s to #24In24!