Birthday: #35

The Shenandoahs
I took this photo years back while camping in Virgina with a group of about 20.  I miss my friends so much here in the Midwest, BUT...I'm going camping this weekend!  In celebration of my Birthday, which is officially today!, I decided camping was in order.  I haven't been since I moved to the Midwest over three years ago and that's just too long.  I can't wait to get up into the woods of Wisconsin and just let the city melt  away.  

I've decided to embrace turning thirty-five because...well, that's all I can do.  I'd be lying if I said I haven't had a little cry fest for a few minutes or maybe a few separate cry fests.  After all, I'm a student, who is taking a semester off and an admin, not exactly the career Virgo, but I do have so much to be thankful for.  So I vow to remember that over this next year.  I definitely let the negative bog me down too much and that make things way too complicated.  So in celebration of me and all that I'm thankful for, here's a list of thirty-five things that make me happy & feel loved:
  • crab rangoon
  • running - i'm running a 5K later today even
  • a thoughtful boyfriend who will always have my back - and rub said back
  • co-workers that care 
  • an assortment of insanely smart, hilarious and generous friends
  • in-unit laundry
  • qualities my parents instilled in me: empathy, self-respect & working hard
  • unlimited, unsweetened tea at the office
  • my fun siblings - sarcasm was born at our house
  • Thursday night comedy
  • my BF's loving family
  • a love for good beer
  • new running sneakers
  • Cecil Thurlow & Lois Lenore Steele- the sweetest & cutest grandparents ever
  • icecream
  • scented soaps
  • my sense of humor
  • a comfortable home
  • quiet, alone time
  • Mad Men - recently started watching, about to start Season 4 - in love
  • health insurance
  • art I've created through school
  • my mom's rendition of Happy Birthday that she sang to me this morning
  • my super sweet six nieces & nephews - my siblings are doing such a great job
  • a healthy body
  • the ability to pay rent
  • knowing right from wrong
  • not being motivated by money
  • brunch
  • my love for design
  • having an open mind
  • champagne
  • a love for burgers & fries
  • my tomboy spirit
  • aging gracefully
Me & the BF

Inspiration: Marc by Marc Jacobs S/S13

I just saw these images on The Sartorialist and I immediately got Excitement Belly.  You know what I mean?  It's a feeling similar to that on Christmas Eve, when all things are possible.  What a great use of color, textures and layering.  I like a little rugged thrown in with some fancy and I so want to rock turbans like these ladies.  Kudos Marc Jacobs!

                                        images from: The Sartorialist

Banana Bread: The Success

Well, it just happened to be the perfect night to go home (and skip my fun run) and make Banana Bread:
I had pretty much everything I needed, so I quickly ran over to the little store a block away & grabbed the most ripe bananas I could find and got to work:
The recipe was beyond simple!  I left out the chocolate chips, just to try it in original form. No need to get fancy right off the bat, ya know?
I was afraid those banana chunks would somehow hinder the end result, but nope:
This Banana Bread turned out amazing!  What also amazing is how little it takes for me to feel awesome. but it did taste delicious and moist...Exactly how Banana Bread should taste!  And now I'm off to head home and eat some more... 

Personal Photos: iPhone & Instagram

Banana Bread: The Urge

I. must. make. Banana Bread.  I walked into Hannah's Bretzel today and POW... they were baking Banana Bread.  The BF bought me a piece, I covered it in butter and seconds later...gone.  And now, I'm going home to make some.  Who am I?  Getting the urge to cook, let alone bake?  Not something I do, but that Banana Bread just sucked me in.  I even added some baking accessories to my Amazon wish list furthering my excitement.  So I've made the decision to skip my Monday Fun Run to go home & bake Banana Bread!

I've decided to go with this recipe from epicurious.  I'll take some pictures & share my results.

I have a birthday this week (9/20, hollah!) and maybe this is my subconscious coming out saying..."hey're about to be 35 and so maybe you should start to develop some habits in the kitchen." Apparently my subconscious is a man.  God help me with that!

life or something like it:

my bf & i moved in together.  we had been living in our own studios and now share a 1200 sq ft apartment that is a huge upgrade not only in space, but amenities.  nice everything, great outdoor space, in-unit laundry, 2 bedrooms -- it's great.  oh, but it's so hard.  we pretty much disagree on everything and i'm trying to not let it get the best of me.  i love him tons and i'm committed to this decision so i can only hope things get easier as i try to not let my pride and need to be right get in the way.

here's a picture from the first night of our lease:

clearly, i felt victorious.  we weren't yet staying there, but so very excited and even more so when he surprised me with a bottle of champagne to celebrate.  in fact the bf is always surprising me with little things -- his way of showing me he cares.
i came home the other night to find this beauty waiting for me:
Personal Photos: iPhone & Instagram

oh!  and i'm getting a massage this weekend!  i actually won a raffle this summer for an hour massage and i've decided to cash that baby in on Sunday.  very much looking forward to that, except for the fact that it will be Sunday and another work week will be upon me...