Hi everyone. If you have been following along on my Blogmas journey, you most likely know of my peppermint obsession. If you haven’t been following, I love peppermint. That being said, it’s only natural that my favorite winter drink contains peppermint: peppermint and chocolate to be exact (one of my absolute favorite combinations). To me, peppermint somehow tastes best during the winter season. I don’t know if it’s the cold weather or what, but something brings out the beautiful taste of peppermint and in the winter, I can’t get enough of it.
Being the white girl that I am, I love starbucks. Like honestly it’s not even close to the best coffee around, however, I do have a Starbucks reward card and the incentives are good enough to stay. I blogged a lot about visiting coffee shops in San Diego, however, around my house there aren’t that many, so Starbucks it is.
My favorite winter drink happens to be the Peppermint Mocha (with soy milk of course). Sometimes I will get it in frappuccino form, weather permitting. I actually have a system for which version of the drink I order. If it is above 10° (Fahrenheit) I order the frappuccino version, if it is below the 10° mark, I order the original hot version. And unfortunately, I end up getting the hot version more often that not. Curse you Chicago weather.
If you saw my post about the Cubs winning the World Series, then you can probably imagine that I am still ecstatic about the win. Friday morning was the parade celebrating the end of the 108-year drought here in Wrigleyville. I wasn’t in attendance because it was honestly an anxiety attack waiting to happen. There were anywhere from 5-6 million people in attendance and despite how much I wanted to go, I would rather not start hyperventilating in the middle of millions of people and I also had a concert that night and knew I would be up super late anyway (people starting leaving their homes at 5am for a parade that didn’t start until 11)
Anyway, I have seen so many people complaining that all of these people celebrating aren’t true Cubs fans. I have seen tweets and facebook posts, and received texts and so on and so on saying “Are you really a cubs fan if you don’t remember Starlin Castro, Ryan Dempster, and Sammy Sosa” “I remember the first time I ever saw the ivy, do you?” “so many people are bandwagoning the cubs and it’s not fair” etc, etc.
LET THEM CELEBRATE. Yes, I remember all of those players, I remember other players that weren’t as ‘good’ or ‘popular’ as Sosa and Castro. I don’t remember the first time I saw the Ivy because I wasn’t even a year old. People are bandwagoning because they are Chicago fans. If the Cubs hadn’t made it that far and the Sox had, you know damn well we’d all be rooting for the Sox. LET THEM CELEBRATE.
I have been a Cubs fan my entire life and the fact that basically the entire state of Illinois has banded together with the Cubs is so amazing. For so long the Cubs had been one of the worst teams in the MLB and it has taken us 108 years to get on top. Let people celebrate. Let die-hard Sox fans buy Cubs gear and cheer them on after they won. Let people who don’t know how many positions there are in baseball celebrate. The Cubs winning has created such a sense of community for this entire state and hating people who bandwagoned isn’t impacting anyone but yourself. The entire city of Chicago is colored Red, White, and Blue for this team and if the entire state of Illinois wants to celebrate, let them.
To me, happiness is such an arbitrary term. It differs for everyone. To me, happiness is sitting alone in a coffee shop, typing away at my computer, letting the intoxicating aroma of the grounds fill my nostrils. Happiness is feeling a crisp autumn breeze blow against my face as the smells of cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin dance around me. Happiness is seeing goats. Happiness is receiving a package in the mail, just waiting to be unwrapped. Happiness is getting my nails painted a new color, and tapping my freshly painted fingers on every surface I find.Happiness is seeing a dog, its tail wagging as it rushes their owner to my side so it can sniff me as I pet its head, even just for a moment. Happiness is when I can perfectly apply my liquid lipstick… the first time. Happiness is a tattoo parlor. The wheels in my brain get to turning thinking of all of the ink I want on my skin. Happiness is seeing a band in concert, my cheeks flushing and my heart beating along with the amp as I realize that the people before my eyes are indeed real. This is happiness for me, what is it for you?
Hi everyone, being the ‘basic’ white girl that I am, I believe fall is an amazing season. I just wish that fall didn’t involve getting sick (I type after downing any cold relief medicine I can find and surrounded by tissues). Nonetheless, there are some quintessential fall activities that I love doing and feel are truly necessary to do in order for my autumn to be complete.
Last year, living in San Diego, there was no fall. I went to a pumpkin patch with my sorority (tbt lol) and that pumpkin patch was in the parking lot of a mall. They had scattered bales of straw and loose straw all over to make it seem more realistic, but I KNEW. Everyone in my sorority had no idea that there were legit pumpkin patches and not just lame excuses for pumpkin patches like the one we were currently in.
This year, I was able to go to a pumpkin patch ( a real one mind you) with my sister and some of our friends. It was really nice being able to go out in the crisp fall air and search for the best pumpkin.
As fun as searching for the biggest and best-shaped pumpkin is, I always seem to forget that pumpkins are heavy… and expensive. So, after looking through every pumpkin we could, all of us opted for a ‘pie’ pumpkin rather than a traditional carving pumpkin because I’m balling on a budget and we didn’t want to carry around these huge pumpkins all day.
After picking our pumpkins, we managed to see a children’s zoo. Curious as to what it was, we each paid the $13.50 (I can only pay $3.29 for a pumpkin but I’ll cut off my own leg to see some animals) entrance fee and headed in.
Preface: Not sure how many of you know, but I have an absolute love of goats. I don’t know why but I do.
As we took in our surroundings, we saw many animals. There were ducks, rabbits, chickens, roosters, pigs, cows, and GOATS. We checked out the duck pond (my sister used to think she was a duck when she was little and her Instagram handle has the word duck in it) and then crossed a cute covered bridge to make it to one of the many goat pens.
I immediately broke into tears as I saw my first goat. I then proceeded to tear my purse apart to find any quarter in my bag to buy feed to feed the goats with. My friend Casey finally found 2 and I was able to feed the goats and cry more.
Random note: I guess I freaked out so much when I saw the goats I touched my mouth with my hand and then my face to get some hairs out of the way so for about 100 photos and 30 minutes I have lipstick all over my face. Good job Alicia… you idiot.
After we saw all of our animals, we did a cute corn maze. As we first walked in I said something along the lines of “wow I wish there were more dead ends instead of going straight through.” Right after I said that there were so many dead ends we got lost an insane amount of times. You get what you wish for I guess.
When we finally were able to escape the corn maze, we headed back to the main part of the patch. We bought apple cider donuts, chocolate covered pretzels, apple cider, hot chocolate… you know the works, and finally took a ton of cute photos.
Once we purchased our pumpkins and had fulfilled our visit, we drove around and got lost (not really lost because I knew what city we were in and recognized most of the streets) while listening to good music. Good music, good friends, good weather, what more could you ask for? I love my pumpkin pals. My heart is happy and it was such a good day.
Until next time
PS. This was my 99th post so my next is 100 (yay for counting) and my blog turns 1 on the 29th so the next post from me will be on the 29th. I feel like 100 posts and my blogiversary are both big things so why not combine them? Anyway, adios.
P.P.S. Enjoy some more cute photos from Saturday
Petting another goat who tried to eat Casey’s pumpkin
Over the past month or two I have blogged a bit about getting a new babysitting job, hating that babysitting job, wanting to quit, and finally telling the family that enough was enough.
Something that always lacked for this family was communication. Yesterday the dad was the only one home when I left and he said that I had Saturday off however would continue coming part time until they found a replacement nanny. I was totally fine with that and despite still being present on laundry days, I wouldn’t have to deal with the parents nearly as much.
After picking the girls up and sitting down for a snack, Aadya asked me “Miss Alicia, is today your last day?” Confused I told her no and that I would still be coming for the next few weeks, and tomorrow as well.
As I was getting the girls showered and ready for bed, the dad got home. A few minutes later, I heard the garage door open again, signaling the mom’s return home as well.
Upon finishing upstairs, the girls and I emerged from their room and made our way downstairs. I don’t really remember the whole of the conversation because I was so confused and my face probably resembled the Mr. Krabs meme, but nonetheless, I was told that today was my final day.
Apparently the mother had contacted their old babysitter and asked if she would commute an extra 15 minutes until they had found a permanent sitter. Which completely makes sense so that there doesn’t have to be a key and car seat exchange every other day.
It just really sucks that for the whole day I didn’t know it was my last day. The mom said that over breaks and things if their other sitter can’t watch or if there were other days that I was free that I could give her a call and she would set up a day that I could watch them.
I know this whole time I had complained about being annoyed with their every move but I did love the children a lot, and despite their annoying habits (what kids doesn’t have them) and their over-protective and demanding parents, they were very sweet girls and I love being a part of their lives.
Both parents told me that they have never seen the girls connect to someone as well as they did as quickly as they did. Their point was made because as I was about to leave with my final check and Steak and Shake gift card (I don’t eat either steak or shakes but my dad will enjoy it) I was grabbed by both girls trying to drag me up the stairs to their room so that we could have a sleepover and so that I could stay forever. This is one of those “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” sort of moments. Like yes, I will enjoy getting a job that is higher paying and I am not being treated like a slave, however, I never really realized how great the kids were until I walked out the door.
So, tonight was very bittersweet. What I had wanted for the past month had finally happened, however, I could definitely go for another game of “Auntie Moma,” “Cops and Robbers,” or “Mister Tortellini.”
Hi everyone, sorry this is so late but I wanted to write something and between working and trying to watch the Cubs game I forgot all about it.
As many of you know, October is breast cancer awareness month. This post is about cancer, not breast cancer, though.
6 years ago today (October 19th, 2010) my grandma passed away from Stage 4 lung cancer. I was only in 8th grade at the time and I am so devastated that I missed out on living so much of my life without the amazing woman she was. I have changed so much since eighth grade and I know she would be proud all that I’ve accomplished since then.
I first remember my dad coming into my bedroom earlier that year (March), telling me that she was sick. We sat and cried on my bed until there were no more tears to cry.
Next, I remember going to visit her every weekend that we could until she died, watching her slowly deteriorate before all of our eyes, everyone knowing but keeping quiet about it and only talking about how amazing she was doing.
The worst part about it was, I remember not cherishing the short amount of time I had left with her. I always thought she would get better and everything would go back being like old times. I remember ( and still hate myself for this to this day) her forgetting I had said goodbye to her already so my dad made me get out of the car to say goodbye again. I sulked into the house, quickly hugged her, mumbled goodbye and blew past everyone visiting back into my car. Looking back on it I would give anything to say goodbye to her again.
Upon getting home from a school trip to Washington D.C, my dad wasn’t home (with my grandma) and my mom broke the news to me that she wouldn’t make it much longer and we were going the next morning to see her and say goodbye. She didn’t wake up the next morning. When my dad got home and told us, we cried together for the second time.
Despite all of these sad moments, they aren’t the things I remember most about her. I remember her introducing me to the movie ‘Miss Congeniality” and watching it every time I would spend the night at her house. How that movie also became my favorite overtime. I remember that I stayed at her house for 2 weeks one summer and I got to watch old movies, garden, make woven potholders (a lot cooler than it sounds), make jewelry, and eat cake for breakfast with her.
What I’m trying to say is that cancer is a horrible disease and takes so many people away each day. Please remember, today and every day, tell your loved ones you love them because you never know when it could be the last time you tell them. I love and miss you Grampatty
Happy Birthday Noah Webster, aka Father of the American Dictionary. Dictionaries are crazy things, there are so many words in that huge book that I can’t pronounce, can’t define, or can’t even tell if it’s English or not. However, as a writer, something I should always be doing is expanding my vocabulary. It’s only fitting that I do this on National Dictionary Day.
Here are 10 words I didn’t know the meaning to but now do. I also chose words I can most likely remember to use here and add to my everyday vernacular. Let’s do this.
Lavation– (lay-VAY-shun) | noun *October 16th Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day*
Definition: the act or an instance of washing or cleansing
Examples: “In Maycomb County, it was easy to tell when someone bathed regularly, as opposed to yearly lavations….”
Odious (o-dee-us) | adjective
Definition: arousing or deserving hatred or repugnance : hateful
Example: Volunteers gathered on Saturday morning to scrub away the odious graffiti spray-painted on the school.
Guerdon (gur-dun) | noun
Definition: reward, recompense
Example: “The big hurdle … was early promotion to captain. … This early promotion, this small dry irrevocable statistic in the record, was his guerdon for a quarter of a century of getting things done.
Macadam (muh-KAD-um) | noun *only chose this word because my backyard has a macadam*
Definition: a roadway or pavement of small closely packed broken stone
Example:The sloping, curved street saw light traffic and had a smooth macadam surface that made it popular with skateboarders.
Impavid (im-pavdid) | adjective
Example: Giant by thine own nature, Thou art beautiful, thou art strong, an impavid colossus,And thy future mirrors that greatness.
Belgard (bell-guard) | noun
Definition: A loving look
Example: She left me a belgard from across the room.
Druthers (druhth-erz) | noun
Definition: one’s own way
Example: If I had my druthers, I’d sleep all day.
Invective (in-VEK-tiv) | noun
Definition: abusive language
Example: … the explosive role that social media has assumed in this campaign have made for a nasty brew of invective, slurs and accusations….
Haimish (hey-mish) | adjective
Definition: (slang) cozy and unpretentious
Example: … you would like the candle-lit dining room (below), formerly a watchmaker’s shop, where there are perhaps a dozen tables, a fish tank, and murky paintings–all of which contribute to an ambiance best described as Transylvanian haimish.
Bon Mot (bon moh) | noun
Definition: a witty remark or comment; clever saying
Example: He was an extrovert and a character, again like his mother, with a knack for tossing off the perfect bon mot. Once at a dinner party, he told his seat mate, “We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm.”
I hope you all learned something from these, because I definitely did. Keep an eye out and see if you see me use these in a post in the future 😉
It is Sweetest Day and the closest thing I have to a ‘sweetest’ is my dog. My dog who growled at me this morning because I was far too close to her food (at least 10 feet away).
Despite this, I have decided to talk about some other sweet (sweet as in awesome not dessert-like) things
Time Off Work- I don’t have to babysit until Tuesday (I also had Thursday, Friday, and this morning off) because the little girl is sick… and got me sick lol but at least I get to mope around and do nothing
Saint Motel– I AM SEEING THEM TONIGHT/RIGHT NOW depending on when I post this. May or may not make a post discussing this amazing night.
Oreos– I am curled up in bed eating them right out of the package as I type
Thrift stores- My sister and I went to two of our local thrift stores the other day. I got 2 books, a super cute mug that says “tough *picture of a cookie*” on one side and on the other side it says“smart *picture of cookie*” It was adorable and only $.25 so I had to. I also got a Polaroid camera from 1963 for only $18 dollars!!!!!!!!!! It is so cool and makes a great display next to my two other film cameras on my dresser
Ramen (without the flavor packet because.. you know meat flavor)- As a kid, ramen was always a staple if you were sick. Since I am sick again, I went to look to see if the noodles themselves were vegan (I wAS IN LUCK) and ended up adding some chives, garlic, salt, onion powder, and celery salt for the same smell and even better taste than the original.
Dogs- We are dog sitting for the weekend and instead of my daily dose of one dog… I GET TWO DOGS
Sweaters– that’s all but I have been living in sweaters because it’s cold and it looks like I tried even though I didn’t.
Grid paper journals– I gave into the trend of the graph paper journal, I ended up getting a pack of 3 for half the original price of one so obviously I had to jump on that. Not sure what they will contain, but I have 360 pages of neatness to write in.
Pumpkins- I was at Trader Joe’s the other day and bought myself a $.69 pumpkin. It is adorable. Not only that, but I am trying to coordinate a pumpkin patch visit with some of my close friends. If that does happen, expect a very cute, very orange post about it.
New Appliances- My washing machine like broke but still works but broke. It leaks water from the bottom whenever you use it so when you forget about that and step in it, shrieked can be heard from outside (or so I am told). Our new washer and dryer will be arriving sometime today and I am SO excited to use them!
Just a few super sweet things about my life right now
Happy Sweetest Day to those with a sweetie and those with merely (merely? animals are 100000x better than any significant other you could every imagine) an animal.
One of the items on my summer bucket list was to make a vegan cake, and I surprisingly did it. I’ve had this recipe on a word doc for a while so I don’t have the website where it originated. I also may have adjusted a family recipe to make it vegan, I really can’t remember. Anyway, the cake was delicious, and even my sister, who isn’t vegan, really enjoyed it. Note I didn’t make the frosting (we used store bought) but I have made the frosting for cupcakes I once made and the frosting is delicious as well.
As a kid, I always loved chocolate cake, and I’ve always been a sucker at parties for cake. However, since going vegan, cake has been something I haven’t been able to enjoy. For my birthday I didn’t get a cake (because my family doesn’t really know anything about vegan baking) and just ended up eating grapes after my grandma put candles in a few of them.
With this recipe, I was quite surprised it turned out as good as it did. With a few of my other vegan baking experiences, I’ve ended up with underdone banana bread, dry chocolate chip cookies, and the most disgusting oily frosting I’ve ever eaten (not this recipe’s). So naturally, I was a little bit nervous about making this recipe. Not only did I have to please myself, but my sister was also going to enjoy this cake as well, and I don’t think I would live it down if this recipe turned out less than perfect. However, it did, and after she added some flower sprinkles, the cake was to her liking.
How I made this delicious vegan cake:
After preheating my oven to 350F, I gathered all of my ingredients (listed at the end of this post)
Next, in a large bowl (as large as you have) put all of the dry ingredients in that bowl ,and whisk together.
Now, in a medium sized bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and whisk those together as well.
Using a mixer, gradually mix the wet ingredients with the dry, making sure not to over mix.
Next, grease two 8″ round pans and divide the batter into the two pans.
Note: When baking my cakes, there was some cake hat stuck to the pan, not too much and the cakes were not difficult to remove, however, to make the residue as minimal as possible and removing the cakes simple, you can place parchment in the pans before pouring the batter.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (40 minutes) Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
Once the cakes are cooled, run a knife around the edge of both cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove each cake.
Once the first cake is set on the plate, cover the entire top of that cake with frosting. Then place the second cake on top of that. Frost the entire top of that cake and around the sides of the entire cake. Decorate if needed desired. Serve.
2½ Cups Flour
2½ Cups Sugar
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2⅔ Cups Non-Dairy Milk of Choice (I used almond)
⅔ Cups Vegetable Oil (Canola can be used as well)
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
Prepare two 8″ round baking pans by lightly greasing them.
In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then put aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
Divide the batter into the prepared pans, then bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
To Assemble the Cake: Run a knife around the edges of the cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove the cakes.
Set the first cake on your cake plate, and frost the top. Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top of that cake.
I hope all of my vegans (and non-vegans) try this recipe and let me know how it goes. Also, if anyone has any other fool proof vegan recipes I should try, let me know.
Hey everyone, so at the beginning of the summer I made a post depicting my Summer Bucket List, I decided to give you all an update on the things on the list. Let’s get started…
1.Use no Social Media for the entire summer.
I did this for about 2 and a half months. June 3rd- August 22nd (I think but don’t quote me on this). It honestly wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Not using social media has taught me that there is more to life than constantly checking my phone for updates and seeing how many likes each of my posts gets. Funny thing… I still haven’t redownloaded the Facebook and Twitter app. I did redownload Snapchat and Instagram, but really only check Instagram once a day or less. I do however use snapchat a lot, but I used it wayyy more frequently before I gave it up for the summer.
2. Meet my Fitbit step goal 6 days per week. (goal is 12,000 steps)
Funny story… not actually that funny. I lost my Fitbit (end of July/early August) and just found it the other day, so during the past 3-4 weeks I haven’t been keeping track, however when I did know where it was (my wrist) I was meeting the 12000 step goal at least 5 days a week and almost always 6 days.
3. Take a photo a day (I may start another page on here documenting it)
Okay, I actually did this one last night. I was sitting at home with my sister and we were like “let’s bake something.” While she pushed me to make cookies, I told her that I HAD to make a cake because it was on my summer bucket list. So I found a recipe and we made it. I’m going to make a full post for it because I have a lot to say about it and actually took a few step by step pictures, so once again, keep an eye out for that.
5. Explore Chicago.
Well, I wouldn’t say I explored Chicago, but I definitely did go downtown more times than I normally would have. I went to a lot of new places… restaurants, museums, parks,etc, which is exploring enough for me
6.Spend a weekend in Wisconsin by myself
7.Go to my local farmer’s market.
8.Start doing yoga
9.Complete the one-month makeover
10. Get my passport.
7-10 did not happen… oops
11. Reorganize my room, throw out old things, get rid of clothes I don’t wear, etc.
I did a lot of going through old things and throwing out things I don’t use/need. I organized but since I’m moving into my basement within the month, I wouldn’t say everything is exactly to my liking but it will be once I’m out of this room and in the basement.
12. Make nicecream
13. Go thrifting
I actually did this quite a bit and got some super cool articles of clothing
14. Read 3 books
Working on my third as we speak
15. Run, I want to be able to run a 10k but we’ll see. My knees hate running
16.Write down every good thing that happens to me and put it in jar or here
17. Get another piercing
18. Get another tattoo
15-18 didn’t happen, unless you count my piercing that closed up and I had to re pierce myself