July 30, 2010

Rejuvination

The last three days I have been cleaning like a mad woman.  Washing windows.  Organizing my entire room. Throwing away trashcans full of old school papers.  I broke this trend of business this morning when I found the house all to my self.  I grabbed my Bible, a berry smoothie, and plopped myself in the warmth of the sun.  Thanks to God's grace, I feel forgiven and free!  Its nice to change your pace of life every once in a while.  I would  highly reccomend it!  Take some time to enjoy God's creation.  You'll be glad you did! 

July 29, 2010

Yummies: Penne Frittata with Basil and Ricotta

note: you can get these Anthropologie measuring spoons here 

Before making this penne frittata I had never tried a frittata.  Actually, I didn't really even know what a frittata was.  Can you believe that?! If you are uninlightened in the subject of frittatas like I was, then I will give you the scoop.  Basically, a frittata is a egg-based dish with various other ingrediants wich are baked, resulting in a  casserole type dish.

I was initially drawn to the recipe because it reminded me of the quiches that I make with my mom ever year around Christmas time.  I was pleasantly surprised by how simple it was to make and how beautiful it looks.  I think that it would would be a great dish to make for company.  Don't you think so?

I did however, make a few varitations to the recipe to make it a bit healthier.  For example, I used whole wheat penne rigate pasta instead of white noodles.  I also used low fat ricotta.

The result is a rich and fluffy mix of complimentary flavors.  The fresh basil balances the strong flavors of the parmesan chesse and the pepper adds a nice kick.

Can't wait to try another frittata!

July 25, 2010

My Reading Lists

During school it is so hard to find time to read for pleasure.  I don't consider Canterbury Tales or Oedipus to be real page turners. Since it is summer, I have been relishing my free time and filling it with books of my liking.  Here is what I have been enjoying.

Currently Reading:
Safely Home - Randy Alcorn
Emma - Jane Austen

Wanting to Read:
Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers
Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
 Crazy Love - Francis Chan

Feel free to leave book suggestions in the comments below.
Happy Reading! 

July 21, 2010

Rave: Eco Tools Makeup Brushes



I recently purchased a Sonia Kashuk blush brush from Target.  Despite being a great price, I was not at all satisfied.  The brush bristles were too coarse and didn't apply blush evenly.

A few days later, I once again returned to Target to exchange my Kashuk brush for this package of 5 Eco Tools makeup brushes.  Now, here is the exciting part: the five pack was the exact same price as the previous $10.99 brush!  I love this product.  In my opinion they are a much better quality and value than any other brushes that I have tried.  

Included in the packaging is a hemp brush case.  And, to top it all off, Eco Tools are an environmentally friendly and cruelty-free product.  

July 16, 2010

Summer Storms

July 2009 summer camp storm with friend Natalie...

July 15, 2010 as I'm writing now...

There is nothing more special than a good thunderstorm in the middle of summer. Some of my greatest summer memories involve the rain and lightning.  We had a huge storm roll through the mountain when I was at summer camp in middle school.  My girl friends and I refused to go indoors (dancing in the rain trumped sitting in our cabin) and as a result were forced to go to dinner absolutely drenched.  Of course, it was completely worth it.  Last year at camp, we were all at the lake for a competition when it started to pour. My friend Natalie and I were lucky enough to get a ride back to our cabin from some family campers, while everyone else had to walk back.  I also have a fond summer memory of a family vacation to Wyoming years ago.  The four of us were sitting in rocking chairs on a restaurant porch eating chocolate milk shakes and watching a torrential downpour.  I don't remember much else about the vacation but this stuck out in my mind for some reason.  This evening, as I am writing this post, I am greeted yet again by the magic of summer rain.  I even got to see this beautiful rainbow!      

July 15, 2010

Laptop Shopping: I'm a PC

While getting a new college laptop should be a really fun and exciting process, for a computer illiterate like myself, the thought of walking into Best Buy seemed quite intimidating.  My first strategy was to go to Best Buy and just casually scope out my options.  With absolutely no prior research, I was overwhelmed with brands.  Toshiba, HP, Sony, Samsung, Dell, Compaq, IBM. You get the picture.  I had no idea what I was doing. 

My next plan of action was to go with a 13 inch macbook (you know, the shiny white brick).  I visualized myself with my supper cool mac in all the trendiest coffee shops near my campus.  Then it dawned on me.  I don't even drink coffee! Or hang out at cool coffee shops.  And with half the power and memory of much cheaper PCs...

With the macbook out of the picture, it was back to Best Buy for this girl.  My next strategy was to simply look for the cutest, girliest laptop I could find.  After hours of asking computer questions to the Geek Squad guys, and comparing Ghz, RAM, and GB, I settled for the most boyish looking computer in the store.  Sure my new Asus UL80Vt my not be pink, or have a nice little apple logo on the back but it gets the job done. And its fast, really fast! And has a ton of memory.





Just because my boy computer looks like a stealth bomber doesn't mean I can't add some feminine touches.  I bought this cute mouse from Microsoft and added a girly background.  

I am quite satisfied with my purchase!


July 14, 2010

Rainy Day Fashion Forecast




It might seem strange to start thinking about buying winter wear in the middle of summer. However, this just happens to be the perfect time to look for some great sales.  I purchased this clear bubble umbrella the other day at Target for half off the original price.  Score! It goes great with my yellow rainboots  (also from target) from this past winter.  Now I'm all ready for those intense southern California storms.  hehe!

July 12, 2010

Crave or Save: Watches

Crave: 

Save:
Relic Watch, at Kohl's $36 (with 25% off sale and a 30% off coupon)


My thoughts...
Personally, I am going to go with the cheaper Relic Brand watch.  First of all, this white ceramic watch trend has been going on for a while now.  It might have been worth investing in an expensive one a year ago when this style first started popping up.  Now, I feel like its a little too late.  This is an extremely trendy piece.  I doubt that we will be seeing them in two years.  Also, I am one of those people who semi follows the "only wear white between Memorial Day and Labor Day" rule.  There are some exceptions but thats a different story.  I really only see myself wearing this style of watch in the summer.  Bottom line, I love the style of watch but feel the less expensive one is more practical for its wearablitilty.

July 11, 2010

Veggie Tacos




Don't get me wrong. I do occasionally enjoy a tasty piece of filet mignon but I am not really a huge meat lover.  I enjoy meat when I have it but I never crave it.  I am just as satisfied with some delicious baked vegetable tacos topped with cheese, lime, homemade salsa, and lettuce.

YUMMO!     

July 2, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!






I am really thankful to live in such an amazing country.  It is easy to get caught up in all the political madness and forget how blessed we are to live in place where we are free and have rights as citizens.  

This weekend I will be spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, and of course eating some good food.

We began the celebration tonight by bringing in some Lebanese food.  I had never tried it before but it was absolutely delicious.  After dinner we relaxed in the front yard, reading some good books (me, Emma by Jane Austen), and watching the labradors play.  After I wasn't so full from the dinner, I treated myself to a nice little root beer float.  Perfect start to the holiday weekend!    

July 1, 2010

Sunny Days

Food, family, and summer.  Can it really get any better than that? I spent a wonderful afternoon with my mom, brother, and grandparent's at their pool.  This was the perfect end to a stressful week at work.  We ate Maui Wowie pizza from Roundtable, floated on noodles for several hours and got all pruney, and listened to stories about "the good ol days" from my grandpa.  This is what summer is all about!  Don't forget to take some time this summer to experience SUMMER.  After all, it does only come once a year!

Much love,
Hillary