Friday, April 27

We're Almost On The Move...

Saturday is the big day! Moving day, to be specific. Some friends are swinging by to help us move the bigger items like the couch, bed, and our desks... things that won't fit in my tiny hatchback. Aside from that, most other things are already at the house. Our now-minimalistic apartment is actually kind of sad... the walls are bare, the fridge is almost empty, and there's nothing left in any of the many closets. We've spent two years here and all we really have to show for it are a couple of pictures and some memories. This move is bittersweet - I'm sad to leave the job and people that I've gotten to know for the last two years, but I'm really excited to see what happens next, and to be back amongst old friends.

We made two trips this past weekend; our usual Friday night-Saturday trip, and another ride out Monday-Tuesday to celebrate my brother's birthday. I made him a key lime cheesecake on Monday night, along with some candied lime zest (...which would have turned out slightly more attractive had I not forgotten to pick up some superfine sugar and ended up having to use granulated cane sugar instead) I don't make cheesecake very often because it's usually too rich for my tastes, but I was happy to oblige at my brother's request.

The pre-cheesecake scene... siblings and cats; I love looking at the living room from this arial view:

Speaking of the cats, I've shown you plenty of photos of them already but never introduced them on the blog...

They are Mushu and Bamboo; they both enjoy lounging in the sun and being pet often, and Mushu also likes to get in your way when you're trying to get any sort of work done. They're my parents' cats but I think they may be staying with us once the rest of the family moves to Switzerland... they were confined to the top floor of the house when the dogs were around, and they've really been enjoying having full reign again since the dogs were moved. Either way, we're happy to have them around.

Bamboo gets grumpy when Shawn picks him up though... why so grumpy, kitty?

Here's a strange sight from Tuesday afternoon:

I heard the sound of something hitting one of the windows by the deck, and found these two birds lying there. Upon closer inspection, it looks like they may have been mating and didn't realize that they came upon a window. Poor things...

But, to end this post on a bit of a happier note - I made brown sugar from scratch the other day! I've been out of brown sugar for a while now but haven't bought more since we're trying to work our way through everything in the apartment. It's surprisingly easy to make your own - for every one cup of white sugar add 1 tablespoon of molasses and whisk it until all of the molasses is incorporated (that took about 5-6 minutes with my kitchen aid). What a difference it makes! The sugar itself was so incredibly fluffy, and the cookies I made with it were by far the chewiest cookies I've ever made. I might just start making my own brown sugar from now on - why spend the money on it when I always have the ingredients on hand to make it?

Next time I post, it will be from my desk in New Jersey!

Friday, April 20

Fun Finds Friday #7

I haven't done one of these in a while! It's certainly not for lack of finding fun things... I actually have a long list to share but we've been traveling to the house on Friday afternoons and I never have the time to write up a post. So this week I put it together on Wednesday, because I'm just awesome like that. Here are some Fun Finds for your Friday:

As a fan of to-do lists, this ^ is one amazing list. I particularly like that last one.
Source: I'm terrible at remembering to source certain things... I believe this is from tumblr.

I think I'd like to plant a small moon garden; they're full of flowers that bloom at night.

Table manners, illustrated. (This is one of ten.)
I also feel this way about people who add milk & sugar to their coffee before tasting it.

I want this book. It's one long checklist of things you might possibly be good at.

All I have to say about this is... Bill and Hilary Clinton, in the 70's. Ha!
Source: Google images; no direct link

I follow a ton of blogs already, but am constantly coming across new inspiring ones; so I'd like to start sharing one new blog with you in each FFF post. This week it's a food blog full of beautiful writing, photographs, and recipes by a lovely couple. This post encompasses how I've been feeling about moving lately.

Perhaps I should start sharing a video in each of these posts too? I would certainly feel awful if I ended this post without sharing a link to this video of a drunk Canadian guy singing Bohemian Rhapsody in the back of a police car. Seriously; watch it.

Have an amazing Friday!

Wednesday, April 18

Another Weekend

Things have been quiet on the blog lately because life in general hasn't been very exciting. Our weekends consist of gradually moving things from the apartment to the house, and my weekdays are consumed with the last of my work days at the coffee shop. So between coffee, baking, and spending time in a nearly empty apartment (we're moving all our electronics and smaller furniture this weekend, leaving us with a bed, couch, and some empty desks) and weekends spent organizing and cleaning things at the house... every day is just a waiting game until the end of the month.

We can't wait to be back in New Jersey for good! These last few weeks have felt just like this time two years ago... a period of being in limbo and not quite feeling like we're living anywhere anymore. We're both ready to just be done with all this moving. Can we please just skip forward to one and half weeks from now?

Wednesday, April 11

Cats and Burgers

...that's mainly what this last weekend consisted of. Along with a good ol' Jersey diner breakfast with friends, moving various furniture around, organizing things in the kitchen, and some deep cleaning of the pantry. I didn't get pictures of the latter though; you really don't want to know what the pantry looked like before we attacked it with cleaning products....

25 Burgers are the best of the fast-food burgers; don't even try to argue otherwise.

These cats needed some spring-time grooming!

They woke us up at 7am demanding to be fed.
Waking up that early is so much more pleasant when cats are involved though.

We've already moved most of our odds and ends from the apartment to the house; all we have left to move is all of our furniture, clothes, electronics, and various kitchen things. In less than twenty days we should be all moved in! There's still so much cleaning to do though, on both ends!

Thursday, April 5

Weekend Instagram

Yes, I know it's Thursday. And yes, most of these photos are actually from last Saturday. But I don't care! Better late then never, right? We spent Saturday in New Jersey where we started a fire, made some pancake biscuits/scrambled pancakes, and stopped at Cluck U on the way back. Here's hoping the weather is a little warmer for this coming Saturday's trip... we'd like to get a little yard work done.

homemade chicken fried rice // it's not a trip to NJ without some Cluck U
Shawn started a fire on a chilly Saturday // then he made sure it didn't die
pancakes gone awry yet delicious // steak and some simple sides

And now for something completely different...

Fuzzy muffins! Yes, that's right, they're feeling fuzzy.
Don't mock my muffins. Shawn's the artist in this family.

Wednesday, April 4

mid-week honesty and some little facts

The paragraph that follows is going to make me sound incredibly materialistic, but for the sake of keeping this blog honest, I feel the need to share it.

Back in late February I told Shawn I wouldn't spend any more money on new clothes until after we move at the end of April. At first it was tough, unbelievably tough; I really didn't realize how much I used shopping as a cure for boredom. Wait... that makes it sound much worse than what I mean. I wasn't spending a ton of money on clothes each month prior to said promise, but out of pure boredom I was spending at least an hour or two on my days off perusing places like Target, Old Navy, the Gap, and our local Salvation Army thrift store. Most times I would go with the intention of just browsing but I'd always inevitably come home with one or two items that were on super sale, or just a great deal. So I was probably spending about $15-$20 a week on something clothing related, all because I went into stores just to browse and then found something I "needed" or "have been looking for". And each time I would sheepishly hold up my purchases while Shawn just shook his head. Well, I'm proud to say that I haven't set foot into any of these places since late February, and I've kept my promise of not purchasing anything along the lines of clothes, shoes, or the like. And! I haven't gotten bored with my wardrobe either, so it's an all-around win. There's some honesty for ya.

And here are this week's Little Facts:

Little Facts

The Body: I turn into a furnace at night. It's really a shame because I love the weight of feather comforters but I can't stand the heat. I usually end up kicking off half the blankets partway through the night because my body just creates so much warmth!

Peeve: It really annoys me when people have loud and inappropriate conversations on their cell phones in public places. Yes, I understand that it's a cell phone, but that doesn't mean I want to hear every single detail about the party you were at last night or how your adoption papers finally went through (seriously!) while I'm shopping for my groceries.

Allergy: I started getting seasonal allergies two years ago when we first moved out here. This year was the worst; I've spent the last two weeks blowing through tissue boxes and not being able to taste anything. I'm happy to say that I am finally starting to feel better this week. The highlight of last week was being able to taste food again!

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