My Favorite Short Story Ever

And with a title like that, I don’t think it needs an intro. The piece below is from a collection of short stories titled Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan.

I was Trying to Describe  You to Someone

I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago. You don’t look like any girl I’ve ever seen before.

I couldn’t say “Well she looks just like Jane Fonda, except that she’s got red hair, and her mouth is different and of course, she’s not a movie star…”

I couldn’t say that because you don’t look like Jane Fonda at all.

I finally ended up describing you as a movie I saw when I was a child in Tacoma Washington. I guess I saw it in 1941 or 42, somewhere in there. I think I was seven, or eight, or six.

It was a movie about rural electrification, a perfect 1930’s New Deal morality kind of movie to show kids. The movie was about farmers living in the country without electricity. They had to use lanterns to see by at night, for sewing and reading, and they didn’t have any appliances like toasters or washing machines, and they couldn’t listen to the radio. They built a dam with big electric generators and they put poles across the countryside and strung wire over fields and pastures.

There was an incredible heroic dimension that came from the simple putting up of poles for the wires to travel along. They looked ancient and modern at the same time.

Then the movie showed electricity like a young Greek god, coming to the farmer to take away forever the dark ways of his life. Suddenly, religiously, with the throwing of a switch, the farmer had electric lights to see by when he milked his cows in the early black winter mornings. The farmer’s family got to listen to the radio and have a toaster and lots of bright lights to sew dresses and read the newspaper by.

It was really a fantastic movie and excited me like listening to the Star Spangled Banner, or seeing photographs of President Roosevelt, or hearing him on the radio “… the President of the United States… “

I wanted electricity to go everywhere in the world. I wanted all the farmers in the world to be able to listen to President Roosevelt on the radio….

And that’s how you look to me.

RB

Apple Crisp

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I think my heart has a special portion just dedicated to all things seasonal, maybe about 30% of it. I’d say more, but Harry Potter references do hold quite a stock in there too. A part of this is being that person that dedicates everything to welcoming the autumn season. This includes wearing boots, looking for pumpkins, and yes, baking. I will say that I won’t fall subject to being a pumpkin spice fanatic (the hype for that is TOO much!) but I’m all for apples, cinnamon, etc. I saw Karlie Kloss’s video that inspired me to give apple crisp a try, then post it here in a blog rather than its original video format. The resulting taste was definitely worth it and the hardest part of this recipe was just having to wait while it was in the oven. Have at it!

Ingredients

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Filling –

  • Sliced & peeled apples — 4 cups
    I used about three apples. Maybe four.
  • Lemon juice — 2 teaspoons
  • Maple Syrup — 1 tablespoon
  • Vanilla — 1 teaspoon
  • Ground nutmeg — 1/4 teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon — 1/4 teaspoon

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Topping –

  • Almond flour — 1/2 cup
  • Oats — 1/2 cup
    The original recipe calls for them to be gluten-free. I don’t really care so I just used regular rolled oats
  • Ground nutmeg — 1 teaspoon
  • Maple syrup — 1 1/2 tablespoon
  • Coconut oil — 1/3 cup
    Don’t have the oil be in liquid form, but also not totally hard. In the middle is perfect.

The original recipe doesn’t list any type of sugar in the topping ingredients, but when replaying the video, it sounds like 1/3 cup of date sugar is added even though it’s not listed. I didn’t add it to my recipe, but I did lightly sprinkle regular sugar on top of the apple crisp before placing it in the oven.

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place apples in small pan. I did barely spray olive oil in the pan beforehand in fear that the mixture would stick.
  3. Add the rest of the filling ingredients (lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon) and toss around till it’s evenly spread over all the apples.
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  4. In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients  except for the oil (flour, oats, nutmeg, cinnamon, and maple syrup) and mix. Add in oil afterward and mix evenly.
  5. Place topping over apples.
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  6. Bake for about 35 minutes.

Enjoy! I was pleasantly surprised by this and from now on will definitely reach for crisp recipes rather than pie. Don’t hate me, but I’ve always been more of a cake girl rather than pie, though this is a happy alternative for me.

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Healthy Banana Bread Muffins

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I’m convinced that certain things aren’t supposed to be “healthy,” like brownies. I’ve tried and failed twice to make those and it was a disaster. Recently, though, I found a recipe for banana bread muffins and I had to give them a try, if only for the sake of not going down without a fight. Chocolate treats may not be my strong suit at the moment, but these baked goods were worth my time. I will say that they’re not the sweetest (note no artificial sugar is involved) but the bread-type consistency is a-ma-zing.

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):

  • whole wheat flour — 1 cup
  • Oats –1/2 cup
  • Applesauce — 1/2 cup
    * Try to make sure the ingredients are nothing but apples, as many brands use unnecessary sweeteners
  • Plain, non-fat greek yogurt — 3/4 cup
  • Almond milk — 1/4 cup
  • Cinnamon — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Baking powder — 1 teaspoon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 bananas
    * I suggest overripe bananas!

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Gathering the ingredients is pretty much the most difficult part of this recipe, as the process is as simple as…

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combine dry ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder) in one bowl
  • Whisk egg then combine it with other wet ingredients (yogurt, applesauce, and almond milk) in another bowl

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  • Combine wet and dry ingredients
  • Mash up bananas, leaving them smooth with just a few small chunks
  • Fold bananas in mixture
    * I actually had to look up “folding.” It’s essentially mixing in the bananas by using a spatula/wood spoon and “folding” it instead of stirring or mixing.

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  • Line muffin tin and place batter in each of the 12 muffin liners. The batter shouldn’t overfill any of the muffin liners.

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  • Place in oven for 20 mintes.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

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September Favorites

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What’s scary about September passing by so fast, is that I know these next three months will go by much faster. With the holidays, family time, and endless Netflix binges, one can only do so much. There are a few items that make me enjoy the quick months a bit more, and this month I enjoyed some a bit more than others.

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I’ve always hated those people that can go to sleep as soon as their head hits the people. I know hate is a strong word, but it’s the only one I can think of that properly describes the amount of jealousy I feel towards them. What typically helps me is having some sort of ritual before going to bed that calms me down. “Ritual” makes it seem like I perform witchcraft, and as much as wish I was a Hogwarts alumnus, all it entails is tea and reading. Usually I go for Sleepytime tea, but this past month I reached for chamomile tea instead. To be honest, this book is interesting but not particularly gripping for me, so it’s perfect to read before bed.

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I always prioritize how hair care effects and treats me hair versus how it smells, but THIS SMELLS SO GREAT. Not that it doesn’t do well by my hair; its smell just overrules everything though. I actually look forward to lathering it in my hair while I shower and usually the only thing I look forward to showering is getting it over with. I’d describe it as not just having a coconut smell, but also something with a light tropical scent.

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My beauty routine doesn’t deviate much. I like trying new products, but too often I feel indifferent towards actually trying too hard. I wanted to have a new moisturizer for the nighttime but unfortunately I hadn’t liked the previous two products I tried. I’ve read so many raves about oils and I was lucky when Sephora offered me a free product with the beauty points I’d gathered. I quickly grabbed an Josie Maran’s argan oil. I already know I’m going to have to purchase it once this smaller size runs out. It feels light on my face but takes away the dryness. It is oil, but my face is definitely not oily the next day.

I’ve also been loving Stila’s liquid eye liner. I used to always grab the drugstore kind, but I received this one as a gift. After a long while, it eventually ran out and after trying two different ones I used to buy from the drugstore, I realized I was getting more of my money’s worth with Stila.

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I am so happy Mindy is back! So. Happy. Thank you Hulu and the TV gods for granting us with more Mindy amazingness. So far, I’m looking forward to this season and it seems that the writing is enjoying less censorship than it had with the network.

I’m surprised I didn’t already include things like the movie Hocus Pocus or Christmas carols since I’m more excited for these coming months. And so with tea, eye liner, and Hulu, let’s welcome October.

Around Here Lately

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I’ve been living in LA for a few months now, but I feel like I’m barely beginning to get used to it. After looking through some images I’ve taken during my time here, I realize I need to get out more and take more images; I need to take more advantage of the area and get out of my comfort zone. In the meantime, here are some of the photo I found.IMG_2274IMG_0163IMG_2270IMG_9946

Bookshelf Styling

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I moved into my place about three months ago, but it’s just now starting to actually feel like home. I’m still constantly moving things around and have knick knacks scattered around but it is starting to feel a bit more put together. In one corner of my bedroom, I have a long standing bookshelf and though it does add more depth to the room with its height, it doesn’t have much space to put things in. Originally, I’d wanted this type of bookshelf:

alaina-kaczmarski-home-tour-jenn-gaudreau-living-bar-2_0Image via TheEveryGirl // Similar bookshelf here

I saw the one I currently have in an estate sale for $8 (?!) and couldn’t pass it up. After cleaning it, it seems to do the job fine and I’m glad I could add more than just books, though I don’t think I’m quite done styling it yet. It’s been an evolving process so far.IMG_8438IMG_8428 IMG_8431IMG_8421

The Best “Easy” Sandwich You Could Make

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Sandwich-making is lost art form. Unfortunately, it’s been buried beneath a ton of sexist jokes and therefore doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Seriously though, I’m convinced I love sandwiches a minimum of four times more than your average person. I’m all for purchasing a better-than-average sandwich but when I make them on my own, I often do go for the ordinary sandwich. This was an exception, though. All it took was buying a 50¢ (go, go, go shawty) wheat bun and it somehow cause me to go above and beyond. Here’s that delicious and so-easy-that-you-don’t-have-an-excuse-not-to-do-it sammich.

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I used:

  • wheat bun/roll/whatever you want to call it
  • sliced turkey
  • 1 egg
  • spinach
  • feta
  • bell peppers
  • avocado (not pictured!)

Everything after is pretty self-explanatory. I made the egg sunny side up (with olive oil) and also placed the cut bell peppers in the pan for a bit after the egg. I typically like less meat on my sandwich and more crunch from the veggies (lettuce, spinach, what-have-you), but after setting up my sandwich I realized I did need two slices of turkey instead of one. After placing the turkey, the avocado followed, and all other ingredients, along with the cooked egg and bell peppers.

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And there you have it: a sandwich that could be given at a fancy shmancy brunch place but you could enjoy from the comfort of your own home. In PJs. Watching Netflix. And that I think is what they call a win-win.

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