Monday, December 12, 2011

finals week means food. LOTS of food.

Finals weekend is here.
This means several things: Fleet Foxes and This Will Destroy You are on continuous replay in my room. If chocolate supplies are low, bad things will happen. Chances of eating lots and lots of Mexican food are much higher (three times already this week and counting). It also means I crave comfort food and procrastinate like crazy (funny how the majority of this list involves food...)

So this week, procrastination has been manifesting itself through cooking. I've made apple spice cupcakes, cranberry-orange pancakes, 101 ways to cook mac and cheese, pumpkin pies, and enough curry to last me a month. But the most delicious thing by far is this curried sweet potato soup. It really only came into being because I had a whole bag of sweet potatoes sitting on my counter that were soon to be fit only for the compost heap, so I needed a use for those babies asap. I've never really been one to sing the praises of sweet potatoes (more of a pumpkin girl); I didn't even start liking them until last year. But this soup... ohhh man, this soup. I made it for five of the pickiest eaters on earth (aka my younger siblings), and by the end of the meal, they were all volunteering to be my slaves for life. Okay, not really. But they all loved it.
ENOUGH TALK, here's the actual recipe.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Makes about 4-5 servings, depending on how hungry you are. 

3 large sweet potatoes 
1 can chicken or veggie stock (15 oz)
1 can coconut milk (12 oz)
2 large garlic cloves
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of chili powder
black pepper to taste
fresh rosemary (dried is fine as well, though not as flavorful)

Mince garlic and briefly saute (about 3 min) in olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add chicken stock. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces, add to pot. Try to keep them submerged in the broth (this will shorten cooking time). Cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft. 

At this point you can either use a fancy-schmancy immersion blender or transfer it to a food processor. I however, being a poor college student, do not own fancy kitchen techware. I use a good ol' masher. This is also because I don't like my soup 100% pureed, I like to keep some texture. 
After blending by your method of choice, add coconut milk, rosemary, and spices. I usually add a good sized sprig of fresh rosemary (the equivalent of about 1/4 tsp dried). The spice measurements here are quite subjective, I switch up how much of each I add every time I make this. 

Pour into a bowl and eat with a blissful expression. 

So my procrastination here result in something somewhat productive... right? Back to studying Thorndike's law of effect and schedules of reinforcement in punishment and alternative folk medicinal remedies! And by studying what I really mean is that I'm going to cook brownies and watch Doctor Who.
good luck to all of you with final exams coming up! Eat this soup. It seriously helps with studying. :]

Friday, October 28, 2011

perfect day.

(reading John Keats under an oak tree on a perfect fall day-- 
"Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! 
  No hungry generations tread thee down..." from Ode to a Nightingale

plus this

(Joshua playing Debussy <3)

and this
(whole grain waffles with nutella, strawberries, and bananas plus an unseen cup of chai tea) 

make my day just perfect.
anyone else enjoying the fall as much as I am? 
I'd love to hear your ideas of ways to spend these beautiful fall days. :] 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


today, by chance, I came across this poem by James Still. I had to read it aloud three or four times to hear it. poetry does that to me. losing myself in the sounds of the words strung together and their place on the page is an experience entirely different from just "understanding" a poem.

I shall not leave these prisoning hills
Though they topple their barren heads to level earth
And the forests slide uprooted out of the sky.

Though the waters of Troublesome, of Trace Fork,
Of Sand Lick rise in a single body to glean the valleys,
To drown lush pennyroyal, to unravel rail fences;
Though the sun-ball breaks the ridges into dust
And burns its strength into the blistered rock

I cannot leave. I cannot go away.

Being of these hills, being one with the fox
Stealing into the shadows, one with the new-born foal,
The lumbering ox drawing green beech logs to mill,
One with the destined feet of man climbing and descending,

And one with death rising to bloom again, I cannot go.

Being of these hills I cannot pass beyond.

ahhh I love this valley. I'm so selfish, but I think I live in one of the loveliest places in the states. Despite my incurable desire for travel and adventure, I'm not sure if I'll ever find a place as beautiful and dear to me as these rolling hills.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

spring babies

I love spring. clich├ęd as it is, I love the signs of new life everywhere. 


Speaking of spring babies, my sister just had her second child yesterday morning :) 

I may be biased, but I think he's rather adorable. :]

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again."
-Philippians 1:21-26

I've been given a wonderful life.
I have incredible friends, memories both good and bad that have made me who I am, a brain that functions decently [sometimes], and beauty all around me.
In short, I love life, but... sometimes I'm so weary of this place.
I hate seeing people I love walking blindly in the blackest of night and not even realizing they can't see. I hate seeing the struggles and pain that my closest friends have to go through every day. I hate that some people have resigned themselves to the belief that there is nothing to live for beyond "being good".
Even at the risk of sounding like a self-righteous masochist with a death wish, I have to say that there are days when I really wouldn't be afraid to completely surrender myself to what I know will inevitably come.
But of course, that would be the easy way out... I can't escape the pain and suffering of this world, and while I may yearn for perfect love and a radically new existence, I know God has given me this life to do something. Not to resign myself to the fact that this a temporary state that I just have to get through as fast as I can, but as a temporary state that I want to make COUNT. I know in the end my efforts alone would count as loss, but I'm so excited to see what I can do with God's love and strength behind me.
What will you do to make your life count? What will you live for? Who will you live for?

"It was not always plain to me that pursuing God’s glory would be virtually the same as pursuing my joy. Now I see that millions of people waste their lives because they think these paths are two and not one."
-John Piper

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as the unwise but as the wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."
-Ephesians 5:15-17

Sunday, April 24, 2011

more than a day for eggs

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You're beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It's all proclaiming who You are
You're beautiful, You're beautiful

I see You there hanging on a tree
You bled and then You died and then You rose again for me
Now You are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You're beautiful, You're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm in love.

the cello


the smell of freshly baked bread

beauty in unexpected places

j.m. barrie

so much color

going on an adventure all alone

secret kisses

the mud that squishes between your toes on spring days, the steam that rises from a cup of tea, falling asleep to the sound of someone else's breathing, hushed lonely walks through the woods, loveliness that can't be tamed, someone's fingers combing through your hair, silence so soft it deafens, night breezes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

the greatest of these

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to go back to a youth retreat that I first started going to in 2004. Long story short: I never thought I'd be able to return due to complicated small print, but God (through the help of some great friends) brought me back, and let me say it was AWESOME. I went as a leader, but learned so much from the kids I went to help "mentor". The speaker spoke a lot about love, which, for obvious reasons, is one of my favorite topics. :) I've always been sort of prideful about the fact that I love people easily. It may not always be for the right reasons, but I usually find it pretty easy to love on people. Okay, love. This is MY thing. I've got this. I was thinking it'd be a pretty chill weekend (insert loud wrong-answer buzz here). I was feeling pretty good about myself until the speaker asked how often we've shared our story with others. 
"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" 
-Romans 10:14
I'm reminded of an illustration my pastor once gave. You're walking down the street when you hear screams coming from inside a burning building. What's your first thought? Is it "oh gosh, I really don't think I should go help those people... I mean, they might not really need help, they might be okay on their own.. besides, if I go in an help them, that's really pushy and in-your-face, and I might offend them... and I'm not even a trained firefighter. Maybe if I just walk on, someone more equipped to do this will help out..." The people in the burning house are the people we pass everyday, people who are silently screaming out for love, answers, someone to show them the way. How can I really say I love people when I'm leaving them to their own private hell?
If my love for people and my love for Jesus are as great as they are, I should be screaming it from the top of my lungs to EVERYONE. Okay, screaming it might not be the best idea.... but desperation is what I'm getting at here. Desperation to share this wonderful love with anyone who might cross my path.
Too often we're consumed with debilitating fear that people will think we're crazy freaks or, even worse, get offended. Of course, we don't worry about people getting offended at us when you blast our horn at that jerk that just cut you off, or when you make fun of someone behind their back, because those things have become acceptable in our perverted culture, yet sharing God's love with someone is taboo.
I might be ranting and raving a little here, but I was really convicted. I'm a hypocrite if my "love" for people doesn't extend deeper than a superficial smile, hello, or a hug.
When it really comes down to it, I've been put on this earth for two reasons: to glorify my God, and to love fiercely. And I can't think of a better way to live my days.

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." 
-John 13:35

Friday, March 18, 2011

photoshoot with Natasha

I PROMISE a real entry sometime in the next week or so. I have one in the works, but school is eating me alive right now, and I want to put effort into it.
In the meantime... my lovely friend Natasha is taking some photography classes, and is desperate for subjects. Being the camerawhore that I am, I gladly volunteered. I feel a little narcissistic posting pictures of myself on my blog, but at least they're not myspace-esque self portraits, right? She just did such a great job (*cough* I can't think of anything else to post on short notice *cough*).

My lovely photographer :]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

The dichotomy here is nauseating.

what matters?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I hate how the simple yet most meaningful phrases of our language have become just "things we say." Things like asking someone how they're doing. Or even something as simple as a thanks. A please, a hello, an apology. Sometimes I wonder if when someone asks me how I'm doing, do they really want to know how I'm doing? And how many times when I ask someone how they are, honestly wanting to know, do they tell me they're fine, things are good, but really there's so much more they aren't saying?
One of the few things I remember from my intro sociology class last year is how we use cues and "scripts" to communicate. The gist of the lesson was that our conversations nearly always fall into a predictable pattern that we have become so used to that it is like a film script. When the conversation leaves the path that we are familiar with, we awkwardly try to bring it back to the designated form that we're used to. Supposedly we automatically use these scripts for all kinds of communication, whether it's a conversation with a stranger, an argument, a job interview where we have to be reserved and respectful, even conversations with the people we love the most, where you would think we would be more open and unpredictable.
I wonder, is this something our culture has invented? The only other possibility would be that it is an instinctual urge, and since when is man reserved, predictable and desirious to restrict everything into his comfort zone by nature? I hate the idea that culture imposes rules and restrictions on us, yet it does every day. As children we have to be quiet. As teenagers with boyfriends/girlfriends we have guidelines as to what is and isn't inappropriate to do in public. As adults we are fenced in by overwhelming rules that have become second nature to us.
Who decides these things? I don't mean to be anarchical, but the more I see of society, the more discontent I am with it.

I don't want to live a scripted life.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I now walk into the wild.

"I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life." 
-Leo Tolstoy

I just finished Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. It's about the fascinating life of Chris McCandless, who at 24 left behind the typical life of privilege and trekked into the Alaskan wilderness. His body was found four months later, where he appears to have starved to death.
There is overwhelming negative feedback directed towards Chris, the most common being that he was no more than an arrogant and overconfident idiot obsessed with "finding himself" through the solitude of nature. And while it's true that he might have been ill-prepared due to his confidence, I cannot help but see his life as an incredible inspiration.

"here's to the crazy ones. the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers. the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. they're not fond of the rules and have no respect for the status quo. you can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. about the only thing you can't do is ignore them. because they change things, they push the human race forward. and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." 
 Jack Kerouac

Books have always had great potential to move me. I seem to drink in the words that I read, adopting them and feeling as proud of them as if I had written them myself.

"The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. Do not fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it." 
-Chris McCandless

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life; to put to rout all that was not life, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." -Henry David Thoreau

I want to live in these words. I want to paint them on the walls which are the first thing I see as I wake and the last thing I see before I fall into sleep.
I can only hope to live my life with the same kind of passion.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

you are not.

You are not your bra-size, nor are you the width of your waist, nor are you the slenderness of your calves. You are not your hair color, your skin color, nor are you a shade of lipstick. Your shoe-size is of no consequence. You are not defined by the amount of attention you get from males, females, or any combination thereof. You are not the number of sit-ups you can do, nor are you the number of calories in a day. You are not your mustache. You are not the hair on your legs. You are not a little red dress.
You are no amalgam of these things.
You are the content of your characterYou are the ambitions that drive you. You are the goals that you set. You are the things that you laugh at and the words that you say. You are the thoughts you think and the things you wonder. You are beautiful and desirable not for the clique you attend, but for the spark of life within you that compels you to make your life a full and meaningful one. You are beautiful not for the shape of the vessel, but for the volume of the soul it carries. 

reblogged from boyghost