thursday thrills

(photo)

Rain boots, vintage dresses, and homemade pies: Wedding perfection.  (And sparklers!)

Check out Ruche's dreamy collection of Spring clothes.  And they even have a blog!

I secretly want all of these t-shirts.  But that would be hipster overload, I fear.

I NEED this sweatshirt.  Yes, I am Gleekier than you ever imagined.

Cry your eyes out during this fan-made tribute to Harry Potter.


So, I heard there's some wedding going on... Anyone watching it?  I think I'm might record it, just for kicks.  Happy Thursday, my loves.  xoxo

thursday thrills

(photo)
When did potholes get so glamourous?  Leave it to the French!

The obvious thing to do next time you see a puddle on a rainy day.

A sweet and cozy home.

Summer is approaching. You know what that means--time to try out pie recipies!

 
Happy Easter & Passover, my dear friends.  Have a lovely three day weekend.  xoxo

annoying

Ireland 2009
You know the feeling you get when the person who gets on your nerves the most...well, gets on your nerves?  Not a good feeling.  But there is something worse, I think. 

Today is one of those days when the person I am most annoyed with is myself.  What do you do when this happens, you ask?  Well, I didn't know either, so I just wallowed in my annoyance, reading old Word documents like I do every six months or so.  As I was reading some old poems I wrote forever and a half ago, I found something to focus my angst on, something to truly be annoyed about, perhaps something even to be angry about.  Okay, maybe angry isn't the right word.  It made me sad:  I haven't written a poem in years.  So I wrote one just now about not writing one for so long.  Here it is...

drinking up the excess
i feel parched by the past

did i lose touch of myself
or was it just a phase
of phrases i thought i knew
the meaning reversed?
dried up words
shriveled up with disuse
imagination took a wrong turn
and hasn’t found its way home


Are you ever annoyed with yourself?  What do you do to feel better?  Am I asking too many questions?

ten things

back when I was cool (like 7th grade?)

The always wonderful Amy challenged me to answer ten questions about myself.  Here it goes!

1.  What did you do ten years ago?
I spent my time being eight, doing eight year old things I suppose.  I loved Sabrina the Teenage Witch (the show, the cartoon, the CD-Rom) and tried to play sports with little success.  I was a girl scout!

2.  What did you do one year ago?
Oh dear, a year ago?  I was a junior, probably stressing out about AP tests and how to get a boy to notice how awesome I am.  But wait!  A year ago, I went to Portland for the first time.  How prophetic!

3.  Five snacks you like:
Fruit (especially raspberries, blackberries, and avocados), bread, roasted seaweed (from Trader Joe's), granola bars, MACARONS

4.  Five songs which you know the whole lyrics to:
I can list way more than five (more like 5,000), but the songs that have been stuck in my head recently aka that I sing to in the shower, are mostly songs by the Warblers like Misery and Raise Your Glass...  Also, I am in love with Dress & Tie by Charlene Kaye and Darren Criss.  Is This Sound Okay? by Coconut Records and Sentimental Heart by She & Him are also fun to sing.

5.  Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
I would pay for my college, pay for all my relatives and future children's college, travel, buy my parents a house, and start some kind of foundation for charity.

6.  Five bad habits:
Short term memory loss, getting distracted, going to sleep late, comparing myself to others, letting my room get messy.

7.  Five things you like to do:
Write, read, watch movies, blog, bake.

8.  Five things you would never dress in or buy?
This is tough, because I'd probably wear anything if I had the time to make it my own.  But, I do tend to shy away from tightly-fitted clothing, supershort dresses, fur (definitely real, but also faux), turtlenecks, and maxi dresses (they are taller than me).

9.  Five favorite toys:
My new iPhone, my record player, my Glee and Gossip Girl season DVDs, my Harry Potter everything, and of course my sewing machine.

10.  Five people I'd like to see take this quiz (but it's cool if you don't):
Melanie, Dahlya, Emma, Tabitha...  and Erin, because she needs something to blog about, already!  Geesh!

quick trip

When we arrived in Portland Friday night, my mom, grandma, and I headed straight to dinner at the wonderfully delicious and lovely Screen Door.  The burger I had was one of the best I've ever had...and I take burgers pretty seriously; I won't eat one just for the sake of eating one.  It has to be GOOD.  I've been holding out for a while and this one didn't disappoint.  Also, I got to have me some grits!  I LOVE Southern food more than I love a lot of things.  True fact.  Also, I tried the catfish and mac and cheese.  YUM!  Loved this place. (Thanks for the suggestion, Erin.)
The next morning we headed (thankfully without fog like the night before) to Lewis & Clark for their "Admitted Students Day."  It was love at first sight.  Or perhaps you could say lust, because I was so enamored by its beauty.
After checking in, we walked into the chapel for the introduction talk.  An a Capella group was singing!  I immediately thought of the Warblers and couldn't help but smile.  When they announced that there were four groups on campus, I felt a relief--maybe I will be able to find someone to watch Glee with me...
When they started talking about the accomplishments of former and current LC students and the opportunities available, I started to become super stoked for next year. Yes, it was love.  Nerdy love.  (The best kind.)
The Frank Manor, which is the admissions office and president's office, was built in the 20's for 8 MILLION DOLLARS.  Can you even imagine how much that must have been back then?  The funny part is that Mr. Frank sold the estate to LC for $46,000 in the 40's just to spite Mrs. Frank after they got divorced.
When we went on the tour, my love grew even more.  Everything our tour guide said made me want to burst into a fit of giggles because it all fit me so perfectly.  I don't think I could have imagined a college more Kaylie than LC.
As a desert girl through and through, I was legitimately awed by the foliage.  Except, maybe dumbfounded would be a more appropriate word.  I literally picked up this flower to touch it to verify it was real.  I hadn't seen such plant life since my trip to Ireland a couple of summers ago!
Around every corner there was more green...It is as inescapable as 90 degree weather at any given time in AZ.  Speaking of weather... It did rain quite a lot when we arrived Friday.  The fog was incredible!  Props to my mom, who has as much experience with rain as any Arizonian, for driving us safely through it. Saturday was clear enough.  It didn't start sprinkling until around three, which was when we were getting ready to leave anyway.  All in all, I didn't feel freezing or anything.  That was promising.
LC is full of quirkiness.  We kept spotting random sculpted heads in bushes and behind trees.  Kind of creepy, but in a good way.  My favorite:  Some lady who gave money to LC insisted that every residence hall has a piano and that ice cream is always served in the dining hall.  Sure enough, I heard the piano being played in a couple of the halls we visited and ice cream was available at brunch (which had vegan scrambled "eggs" which were surprisingly delicious).
Umm...Giant clovers?!  Cue another OMG WHAT IS THIS GREEN STUFF moment.
All the classrooms had windows.  Some very large windows.  Maybe it's good it rains a lot, because I have a feeling that a clear day will be very distracting.
Some random guy was taking his giant dog out for a walk...and swim in the reflecting pool.  It was funny to watch!  I love dogs.
Just.  Look.  At. It.
All the moss...
All the huge trees...
I found my new home.

thursday thrills

(photo)
Welcome to the Thursday Thrills that almost never was.  I was scrolling down Tumblr on my new iPhone (which I am in love with, by the way) and something I read or saw must have made me think of my blog and what day it was, because I exclaimed in a dramatic whisper, "It's Thursday!"  Indeed, it is.


Watch this stellar fan-made title sequence for the new X-Men: First Class movie.  Awesome work.

Laugh out loud at this hilarious blog dedicated to the art of manhating.

And the opposite of manhating...Wedding-obssessing (my speciality)!  This simple, modern, yet cozy and intimate wedding is perfection.

Try not to dance to this song by Peter, Bjorn & John.

One of my favorite bloggers got a column for Refinery 29!


Have a splendid weekend, my friends.  I know I will.  xoxo

macaron appreciation post

The first of many macarons

This Sunday night I made what had to have been at least my tenth batch of macarons. (It was my third attempt this year alone.)  And I have to say:  Not too shabby.  They were probably my most edible batch yet.  I think it's time to take things the next level in the relationship:  Different flavored shells in all colors of the rainbow.  This far, I have stuck with vanilla shells and only got creative with the filling (I did buttercream and strawberry jam this time), but now that I have consistantly churned out two to three decent batches without much of a hassle, I think it's time.  To celebrate my minor victory--okay, let's get serious here, it's pretty MAJOR, I am going to share with you one of my college expository essays about...macarons.  (Notice how I manage to make the film Marie Antoinette and Gossip Girl scholarly; I am quite proud of this.) 


Je voudrais acheter trois macarons, si vous plait,” I told the woman behind the display in the patisserie. They were the first French words to form on my lips after I arrived in Paris.

“I would like to buy three macarons, please.”

The woman looked at me curiously. “Trois?”

At the time, I believed she was surprised I wanted to buy so many.

Now I know better. She must have wondered why I would buy just three of the infamous French pastries.

Often pastel and always chewy, they look innocent enough. Yet there lies something more beneath each French macaron’s desperately sought pied.

When Catherine de Medici moved to France from Italy to marry King Henri II in 1533, she is said to have brought her pastry chefs who—lucky for us—brought along the first variation of what would eventually become the French macaron. Later in 1792, two Benedictine nuns fled to the French town of Nancy during the French Revolution. The “Macaron Sisters” baked and sold their macarons to pay for housing. Although at this time, the macaron was simply one meringue cookie. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that Pierre Desfontaines gave the macaron a makeover.

Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin to Louis Ernest Ladurée—the founder of the first Laudrée tea salon in 1862—put two macaron shells together with a ganache filling to form a sandwiched cookie. Viola! The modern French macaron.

Recently, macarons have gained popularity in the United States. Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette, a sugar-induced depiction of the Queen of France’s overindulgence, brought macarons to an American audience. In fact, Coppola commissioned Ladurée to make all the pastries and even used a box of Ladurée macarons as her color palate for the film. Not too long after, macarons were brought to the teenage masses with an appearance on the popular TV series Gossip Girl. All of a sudden, sophisticates and fourteen-year olds alike desired the sweet foreign treat.

With its newfound commercial appeal, the macaron has overthrown the cupcake for favorite bite-sized indulgence. Today, the French delicacy is more accessible than ever, with macarons appearing at bakeries across the United States. Even McDonald’s in Paris began to sell macarons in its McCafé in 2007 and Laudrée opened a boutique at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The rest of us are on our own. That’s why I made it my goal to conquer the French macaron.

The word “macaron” derives from the Italian word maccherone, which means “fine dough,” but I quickly learned that if your macaron batter can be described as just “fine,” it produces less than desired results. Made primarily of almond flour and powdered sugar, macaron batter is fickle to say the least. Mix the meringue one too many times and you can forget “fine.” It’s fin. Finished.

Before starting your first batch, you need to acknowledge three things:

1. There is a very small chance you will master the art of French macarons your first try. (Or second. Or third.)

2. Complete focus is required. Watching a Jean-Luc Godard film while baking sounds like a good idea until you’ve over-beaten the egg whites because you were too engrossed reading subtitles.

3. French recipes are trés difficile. If it says to twirl around after each stir, you better twirl around after each stir like a prima ballerina.

Now, begin!

Grind the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor for a minute. Set aside.

To make the meringue, beat two egg whites until it foams. Then, gradually add granulated sugar. Keep mixing until the mixture is white, glossy, and stiff. If the meringue forms peaks when you lift the beaters from the mixture, it is done. If the meringue is too liquid-like, the macarons will not form pieds when they bake. French for “feet,” English for “Why aren’t these things rising like the recipe says they should?” pieds are essential to macarons and are what give them their cake-like texture.

If you wish your macarons to be colorful, add food coloring along with a teaspoon of vanilla (or other flavoring) and gently stir with a spatula. Next, add half of the flour and sugar mixture to the meringue and stir slowly. After adding the second half, fully incorporate the mixture into the meringue. It’s time for the macaronnage.

Macaronnage, which is the term for combining the flour and meringue, is the most important step. Take a spatula and press the batter into the sides of the bowl, then scrape the batter from the bottom and turn it upside down at least ten times, but no more than twenty. After this, the batter should drip slowly from the spatula. If it doesn’t, hope for the best.

Now that the batter is done, transport it into a pastry bag and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, squeeze out the batter into one-inch circles, each at least one-half inch apart. Rap the bottom of the baking sheet before letting the macarons dry for 15 minutes to form a slight crust. This is designed to help the macaron to later form feet. Let them dry too long though, and the macarons will get clumsy on their feet and topple over them when they bake.

Place the macarons in the oven, but don’t stray too far away—have a staring contest with the macarons if needed. They should bake for about fifteen minutes, but if they start to brown, immediately remove from the oven to let them cool.

Once they are cooled, pair off the macaron shells and fill them with your choice of buttercream, jam, Nutella, or honey. Eat liberally.

The first time I tried this, it was a disaster. The feet spread out from beneath each macaron shell mockingly as if to say, “Nice try, wannabe French girl. We’re not standing up for you.” Macarons look sweet, but in reality they are very high maintenance.

It wasn’t over yet though. I had enough batter left for one more batch.

Ten minutes later, I pushed the oven light button and gasped. They were rising! They were coming alive! They were…working?

It didn’t seem possible.

Tentatively, I removed the baking sheet with my oven mitt. I went to pick one up from the parchment paper and—

The macaron was stuck. They were all stuck.

I groaned, adding to the collective exasperation bakers around the world have felt trying to bake macarons.

One year later, I am still trying. Sometimes they crack, sometimes they stick, sometimes they are too flat, too crunchy, or don’t form feet. All I can do is say, “C’est la vie.”

Yet sometimes I bite into one and my teeth break the crispy outer shell and sink into its moist pieds and buttercream filling. Sometimes, c’est magnifique.

thursday thrills

(photo)

Laugh out loud at this hilarious slam poetry.  (Thanks, Mrs. Wrather.)

If only all swimsuits were this delightfully retro.

Polked-dotted walls and confetti.  What else can a girl ask for in an office?

Why oh why can't I be you?  (I do have the heart sunglasses...)

Wedding.  Colorful.  Kate Spade.  Awesome.


Happy weekend.  xoxo

for your information

(google images)
So the sad truth is that I haven't been very blog-spired lately.  Until right now.  I just ate a tomato & mozzerella sandwich. 

What is that supposed to mean?, you ask.  Well, I don't know either, but tomato & mozzerella cheese sandwiches are delicious and make me happy and remind me of two summers ago when I was in Europe and ate 482347 of them (also with brie).  So it got me thinking about things I think are wonderful and/or delicious.  Here they are...
  • Waddle Waddle Wednesdays (Join the movement--go to your nearest park and feed the ducks.)
  • Driving while listening to Darren Criss sing to me
  • Sleepovers at Melanie's
  • Knowing where I'm going to college (Lewis & Clark!)
  • Vita Coco (I blame Dahlya)
  • The rainy weather
  • Watching AVPM and AVPS (If you know these acronymns, I love you forever.)
  • Having blogfriends (especially the ones who you are almost-cousins with)
  • Anticipating the next Glee episode (although it's killing me at the same time...)
  • Officially having sorbet in the house--that means summer is approaching fast!
  • Reading 1984 in English
  • Pineapple frozen yogurt, pineapple juice, pineapple candles, PINEAPPLE, SUMMER, YEAH!

Yep, life is pretty wonderful.  What's wonderful in your life right now?

yearbook clue party

 The yearbook has been done for about two weeks.  What else is there to do but throw themed parties?
 Everyone dressed their snazziest.
 Instead of playing the board game, we were the game.  We rolled the dice...
 ...and went in that room to make a guess.
The "rooms" were the yearbook room, Mrs. Wrather's (our advisor) office, the Bull's Eye (snack shop on campus), back closet, annex, and front office, the "weapons" were a yearbook, pica ruler, camera, magazine, killer caption, and clever headline.  The "suspects"?  The editors. 
 Did I mention the "victim" was a flaky interviewee that never came in for their interview?
Yeah, that's how annoying that is. 
 The dice was fashioned out of our "Dice of Doom" for when people are late.  (If you are late to yearbook, expect to dance to the music of our choice or bring in delicious homemade treats.)
Everything turned out great!  I love the twenties, I love yearbook, and I love my yearbookers.  I am  getting seriously emotional about this year coming to an end because of how much love I have for this year's staff and book.  I was literally a wreck the day after we sent everything in.  It was like yearbook broke up with me.  Yet it was way worse than any breakup I've gone through, because in a way, I felt like my life was ending because yearbook is my life.  And when I realized that no, this is just one part of my life that is coming to close, I was even more devastated.  Because the only thing scarier than something ending is knowing that something you have no clue about is coming next.  High school is officially ending and yearbook has been my high school experience (and oh man, I'm starting to tear up again).  Believe me, I am as ready as the next person to graduate, but I am not so eager as to completely neglect the effect the last three years have been on me.  It's been (gaaaah tearssssss) so wonderful to be a part of something like yearbook.  So wonderfully fantastically fun and awesome.  Excuse me while I while I go bawl my eyes out.

On a lighter note, I have officially decided that if I had to have one genre of music incessantly playing in the background of my life, it would be jazz.