Read All About It

Posted on: Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My favorite author is Bill Bryson. I first discovered him during my Obsessed with Australia phase in high school, when I found his book "In A Sunburned Country" on one of the Barnes & Noble travel shelves. Now I've got a whole shelf dedicated to his books (plus LOTR and a little Hemingway; keeping good company), and even two copies of one. In 11th grade English class I led a lesson about him and his writing. Bryson writes about travel, science, language, and his own childhood. He is hilarious, especially his traveling stories. He has a new book called "At Home" that I'm going to order, perhaps on husband's kindle.

My three favorites:
I have read this one several times. He went a lot places I did on Euro Tour (Parts I and II), and I brought it along and read about the places I'd soon be visiting. He even went to a place in Finland called Muonio, way way up in Lapland, where I also visited!

I suggest you make a cup of tea and settle in to read one of these.

- From the desk of Mrs. M

Coming Home

Posted on: Monday, January 30, 2012

Cats do not like to travel. Cats do not like to do anything that they do not want to do, exactly when they want to do it. Considering this, Darwin and Huxley did quite well when we shoved them in their kennel and forced them to ride in a car for two days.  Huxley made an escape attempt from the hotel room and sprinted through the parking lot.  They both meowed a lot and looked really sad. But we arrived home and they immediately resumed their usual habits and routine, jumping on every surface and crowding to sleep on me.
The route we took this time, with a stop for the night in Memphis. 

As a side note, it is nice to come home to a full mailbox and a house just the way you left it. My Finnish family sent me this pretty gift, and the license plate for Kyle's motorcycle arrived. 

 Mostly, though, it's just bills. :)

- From the desk of Mrs. M

A Few Days in Pittsburgh

Posted on: Friday, January 27, 2012

Pittsburgh is a special place, I've said it before. Kyle and I have a history here, and gosh if my close friends here don't steal my heart every time I see them. We first visited Kyle's grandma and great-grandma, going out to the Silk Road for Chinese New Year and helping navigate some new technology. The next day we headed in to Oakland in the afternoon, wandered around campus, met up with friends, and went to Hofbrauhaus for dinner and drinking fun. It happened to be contest night, and four of our group participated in the strudel eating contest (hands behind your back, first to finish wins), which Tracy won, beating all the boys. The weather was nice and grey and rainy, classic Pittsburgh. We went to Pamela's for breakfast before heading back to State College. Yum!

 the strudel eating contestants-  Toby, Kyle, Jake, Tracy
 Cathy in the distance.
 Pam-Pam's. French toast.

 gifties from my friends. I love them.

We are heading out early tomorrow morning to drive back to Texas. It's been a nice trip back up to where there are mountains and snow, but I am definitely ready to be back home in our little house, go back to wearing flats and flip flops, finish up my last grad school application, resume wedding planning, and really get into figuring out life in Texas. 

- Mrs. M

Looking for Leather

I do not know much about motorcycles, but I do know that I will not be riding on the back of Kyle's motorcycle like this: no helmet, no protective attire, and side saddle. 

Husband has been on a quest ever since he got back. He has been scouring the internet to find me the perfect leather jacket, that will serve to both protect me when riding behind him on Bonnie (the motorcycle), and be something stylish I will actually wear even when not on the bike (and don't have to sport a giant helmet that makes us look like we're expecting to ride to the moon). Kyle even has a whole Pinterest board called Jacket for Her, which I find really super sweet of him. Kyle found his jacket before he deployed to Iraq, actually, but hadn't completely settled on getting it until he found it in a store in Austin and tried it on. Finding one for me has proven more difficult, because the style he thought I'd like, and I do like, is European and hard to find in this country. Also, we like brown instead of black, which also makes our options more limited. Oops. But here's the sort of style and look we are going for. Kyle has looked into some custom leather makers, but it has been difficult getting in touch with anyone. We'll keep looking and hopefully find one by the time Kyle is a proficient motorcyclist!

What do you think?

- From the desk of Mrs. M

About Me

Posted on: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I know this blog is All About Me mostly, but sometimes the easiest way to share some facts about me is to just tell you. In list form. With some accompanying pictures. Like so.

- The Office is my comfort show. I tend to not fall asleep easily, and especially fall semester when Kyle was at basic training, I formed a habit of putting on The Office and letting it lull me to sleep on the couch over a few episodes. Needless to say, I am quite familiar with the show (though I can't say it is my favorite NBC comedy anymore- yeah Parks & Rec!).
- I could eat an endless amount of yogurt with granola. Not true, because I'm pretty sure I'm at least a little bit lactose intolerant, but I love the stuff. This probably started somewhere back in childhood when I would eat a scoop of yogurt with sprinkles for breakfast, and grew in Finland where (up until lately) that was really the only time/place I ate yogurt+granola. I would like to try to make my own granola soon.
pumpkin pie granola
- I think it would be cool to write a book someday. I do not know what about!

- I don't easily make new (and lasting) friends. But I sure have some great ones here in Pittsburgh!

- I think water chestnuts are the worst. Why would you include them in an otherwise delicious vegetable medley?

- I think I like girly, pretty, romantic things. Sorry, Kyle.

- I prefer things a little messy and outside the lines. Mostly, "lived in."

- I eat my popcorn with olive oil and salt. I make it on the stove in a pot.

- I am working with Kyle to figure out my future tattoo! We finally have a solid idea. :)

- When I was little, I used to play "Vet" and I would actually cut into my stuffed animals and perform surgeries, then sew them back up. My poor big stuffed tiger had many surgeries, and the cut patches of hair and sutures to prove it.

- Also when I was little, I was (briefly, I think) afraid of leprechauns and the Easter bunny.

- Freshman year of college my nickname (mostly in joking, but mostly true) was The Ruiner (lovingly), because I would point out flaws in peoples logic or correct people when they would otherwise not wish to be corrected. I think Kyle has this same quality. And together, we shall ruin the world. Er...

- From the desk of Mrs. M

Wednesday Wedding: The Dessert Bar

One of my friends/bridesmaids had a really great idea. Family and wedding party people get together before the wedding to bake and create all sorts of tasty treats for a dessert bar at the reception. That way there will be lots of personalized treats for guests to eat, and it provides a little bonding time before the big day. Also, it saves on the cost of a wedding cake, because you can get your usual sized cake (for me- 3 tier) to feed however many guests and for appearances, and not have to worry about buying extra sheet cakes to be cut up backstage. It also provides variety for guests that may not like your choice in cake flavor, or those that just aren't too fond of cake in the first place. Of course you'd have to work out some sort of schedule for the ovens and organize counter space a bit, and likely have a spare fridge for storage.  I'm not sure what all we will be making, but as always, Pinterest has given me some fun and delicious-looking dessert ideas.

rice krispie cupcake. I would be totally ok if these exact ones, dinosaurs and all, were at the wedding
blueberry tart
fruit pizza
beer cupcakes
cake pops
raspberries with chocolate chips
peanut butter banana nilla wafers
mini pies
fruit salad/salsa with cinnamon chips
and of course, carrot cake for husband

I also think decorating the dessert table will be really fun. There will be little signs, saying what each dessert is, pretty cake stands and dessert trays, maybe some flowers...

What are some of your favorite tasty treats?

- From the desk of Mrs. M

I'm linking up to the lovely Joelle at Something Charming again this week :)
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