memorial day?

what i wish i'd done yesterday:
have a bbq bash with friends. anyone we know would've been welcome. i love big parties with tons of great food. blame my upbringing. grin.
of course, i'd have to make dogs, burgers, and the best [baked!] sweet potato fries ever. i don't know a single person i've made them for who doesn't love 'em. and they're SO easy to make!
and if i had an ice cream maker (not that my flabs of steel need one), i'd definitely make this. or this.
or maybe we'd go crazy and move everything about 15 miles west, to the beach. grin. be jealous.
or if it could've been david and i together, i might've gone really nuts and made some coffee-crusted steaks like i've long wanted to try. mmmm.
except i didn't do any of that. i DID, however, put together a patio furniture set (thanks mom!!). all day long i worked on this project. 2 target stores, 20 minutes of pulling and yelling at a box that got stuck in my car (i ended up just opening the box and removing everything, and STILL had a tough time getting the box out), and hours and hours of bolts and screws later... i ended up with these pretties:

they don't have their cushies in this pic, but that's because the sun was going down and the couch in front of the tv was calling out to my tired self. come sit on meeeeeeee! mmhmm. indeed.
all in all, a productive day, but definitely not the best memorial day i've ever had. and now it's time to call it-quits on this day, and maybe even fall asleep on the couch. after i turn the a/c back on. it's still hot in this house!


on my mind.

since i'm spending this holiday weekend (make that an entire week) alone, at the end of a paycheck (read: without money to spend on fun things), i've been doing a lot of thinking. no, really. a lot. i'm going to give a nod to a fellow nebraskan's lovely, munchy trail mix posts, and dole out a smattering of bullet point scrumptiousness:

  • grown-up furniture... i especially have been lusting over the idea of a functional patio dining set, so i can host more often. i love hosting parties. and couches. i'd love a big beautiful sectional so we can have people over INSIDE, too.
  • homecoming. not the dance. the real-deal sailor kind. because it's coming, and i'm seriously antsy. but still not counting down. please don't make me count the days.
  • no idea what to do with my life... even short-term. a dear friend mentioned sweet-catering for birthdays and parties. that idea appeals to me greatly. but dunno if i have the guts to start something as big as that on my own.
  • isolation eats at me. i miss being surrounded by friends/family.
  • memorial day (and its great sales) should NOT happen at the end of paychecks. it isn't fair.
  • i miss baking, but i can't do it. not if i want to fit into my love-of-a-homecoming-dress! it's gorgeous. and a wee bit tighter than i prefer.
  • sea world opened the new shamu show (one ocean) this weekend, and i'm seriously driving out there to make use of my fun pass this week. thursday. i might even go on the atlantis ride a few times. 'cause i can.
  • i miss green summers and fresh garden veggies. and bonfires. and all things that feel like home.
  • my doggie SNORES. like. it's. her. job.
  • lastly, because of the bullet points... i'm hoping hugs and i will get to go to a shooting range this summer so i can learn to use a gun or a few. and maybe i can even get a license and my own someday? love.

'til next time!



i often stay up late not only to try to catch my husband while he's up and around a computer on the ship, but to avoid sleep. not that i don't love sleep... it's a favorite of mine. but apparently, a side-effect of having a very vivid imagination is doubly vivid dreams. as fun as that might sound, it kinda messes with my head after a certain point.
do you remember any recent dreams? let's hear 'em!


boozin' blondies.

okay, okay. so they aren't so boozin'. but they do have a bit of whiskey in them (which is added before they bake, so the alcohol mostly bakes out)... mostly, it's fun to say "boozin'" every time i think of these.
i bake when i'm lonely. so a while ago, after a day alone with jade and nobody else, i got antsy and went straight to my go-to dessert site: smitten kitchen. and found a recipe for simple blondies with a genius add-in options list.

as such, these blondies need no further introduction.

boozin' blondies
adapted slightly from smitten kitchen

1 stick (8T / 4 oz) butter, melted (i used salted, because it's all i had on hand)
2/3 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. whiskey
1/4 to 1/2 c. chocolate chips (more or less to your own taste!)
pinch salt
1 c. all-purpose flour, plus 1 T. flour (set aside)

butter an 8x8 baking pan (if you're feeling fancy, use the aluminum-foil trick - turn the pan upside down, cover with foil and mold to pan's shape, being sure to leave excess on at least two opposite sides. then, invert and put the foil on the inside of the pan. when you take the blondies out of the oven, they won't stick to the pan, and you can lift them right out with minimal clean-up of the pan itself!)
preheat oven to 350°f.
in ONE BOWL, mix the sugars together and add the melted butter. stir until well blended and smooth. add egg, then vanilla and whiskey, and beat until combined.
add in flour, 1/2 c. at a time (just to make mixing easier) and incorporate.
in a small dish, combine chocolate chips with the extra 1 T. flour set aside earlier (this is so they stay in place during cooking! try it - it works even better with nuts and raisins!) and toss those into the mix.

bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle is set. cool, then cut and enjoy immensely, maybe with a glass of milk or a bowl of ice cream. or, if you're feeling a bit wild, both. i'm not judging. and, as deb mentions in her post, you can easily double the recipe and use a 9x13 pan if you plan to share any of these. mmmm.


vacation and vacation from vacation.

i'm back! from my soul vacation, tracing my way through the constellation? nope. not at all. (i'm ridiculous.) i did, however, go back to nebraska for a 10-day visit with the fam! it was so wonderful to see everyone, and to spend a bit of time with my brothers and parents again. i hadn't seen jimmy or bean since the wedding! that's almost a year ago, now! eek. is this what growing up is like!? i guess so... especially since i moved across the country.
there were a lot of bittersweets. it was tough to be without david and my sleeplessness (and/or nightmares) returned. i loved the chance to spend lots of time with my brothers, and their significant others. i didn't get to play with my soon-to-be niece and nephew nearly enough, but i did get the sweetest goodbye hugs. i got a massage with my soon-to-be seestor-in-law, during a week that was very tough for her. i got to do lots of shopping with my mom (lahv the target runs!!!), but the trips to omaha were overwhelming, after living in a place where i can get most anything i need with just a 5-minute drive. familiar scenery was fun, but the weather was shocking. see? bittersweets.
so, when i got back less than a week ago, i kinda crashed. i attempted a vacation-vacation, trying to catch up on sleep, while still keeping more active than i was all winter (gym, small group, friends) and now i'm in a whirlwind to get ready for a visit from a cousin and a day at disneyland with a friend! speaking of getting ready, i have to jet... back to target! grin.
i've got a slew of posts coming this week! recipes, my new hats, project pictures (revamping a previously-ugly swag lamp)! come back often, and we'll have some fun! mkay? mkay!