Girls Who Read Books

“Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so goddamned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life of which I spoke at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being told. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. Or, perhaps, stay and save my life.”

Charles Warnke

Banana Bread French Toast

Saturday morning.

The best morning of the week.

You get to sleep in. You get to spend an hour in bed, slowly waking up. There is no rush, no big plans that are pulling you from your perfectly warm sheets. You’ve got two full days of no work, no school, no traffic. Your only motivation to get up is the thought of a freshly brewed cup of coffee that can be enjoyed while you read your favorite newspaper or that new book you’ve been antsy to start.

Breakfast doesn’t even cross your mind until noon. By then, it’s more socially acceptable to prepare brunch, which is even better because that means you get to incorporate non-breakfast foods like biscuits and chicken and rice. And since you didn’t have ‘breakfast’, you get to eat twice as much. It only makes sense.

But that’s your Saturday morning. That is a normal person’s Saturday morning. Not mine. At least not today…

My Saturday morning was about as hectic as a hurricane evacuation.

It was the morning of a huge media segment that I have been preparing for my internship. The first big project that I have been given to take on myself and a solid month of hard work. I had to be at work at 5:45 a.m., so I wanted to make sure I was a ray of sunshine for the big morning. I stayed in last night, did a facial, painted my nails. I wanted to look and feel perfect.

Instead, I went to work without make-up, without a shower, without brushed teeth, without underwear. You see, I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m.. Seems like plenty of time to get ready, right? Right. Except I used my alarm that is only programmed for weekdays, and you got it, Saturday is not a weekday. So I woke up and checked the clock, thinking it felt great to wake up before my alarm had even gone off. Well, it was 5:48 a.m.

I was already 3 minutes late.

So I got up, threw on a dress and bolted out the door. It is a solid 20 minute drive to my internship. I made it there by 6:06 a.m.

Besides that littlish hiccup, the morning was a success. The segment went well. And I got to come home and devour this insanely delicious french toast. Yep, this sweet sin-of-a-breakfast made evvverrrryything worth it. And now, back to the Saturday morning routine :)

Banana Bread French Toast

Banana Bread Recipe

-5 ripened bananas

-1/2 cup butter, softened

-1 3/4 cup flour

-2/3 cup sugar

-1/3 cup mil

-2 eggs

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

-Heat oven to 350 degrees F

-Combine bananas and lemon juice, mash together

-Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt

-Mix butter, milk, sugar, and eggs

-Combine dry ingredients with liquid ingredients

-Add bananas to mix

-Bake 55-60 minutes

French Toast

-1/2 loaf banana bread

-3 eggs

-1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

-1/2 cup heavy cream

-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

-Slice bread to desired thickness

-Combine eggs, vanilla, cream, and cinnamon

-Dip bread in egg mixture, letting it sit for 30 seconds-1 minute.

-Cook in buttered pan for about two minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Top with fresh bananas, whip cream, syrup, and whatever else your heart fancys. After all, it is Saturday. ;)

Five Friday Finds

{left to right}

1. I love a clean, crisp, big bun. It is a statement in itself. The Beauty Department offers a tutorial video so that even the most hair-impaired of ladies, like me, can learn how to rock the ballerina bun.

2. Everything these days seems to have an app. Apps that teach you how to kiss, apps that help you quite smoking, apps that let you tip over cows….everything. So it should be no surprise that there is a buffet of apps for brides and wedding planners alike. There may be many-an-apps, but one app deserves a little extra attention. Appy Couple has put the entire wedding experience into a single app. Guests can receive wedding invites, learn about how the couple met, share wedding pictures, and follow the wedding day itinerary, all from an iPhone, iPad, and/or Android.

3. Fash Boulevard is fash fabulous.

4. I’ve never been a fan of lipstick. I admire ladies that wear it, I really do. But I’m a little bitter about the cosmetic, mostly because when I do choose to wear it, I look like a second grader who’s just downed a bottle of KoolAid. You know what I’m talking about, those smudgy red lips? Not too sexy. However, I finally found a dose of inspiration and motivation in this Lusty Lip Tutorial.

5. I’m a sucker for a good deal, which is why I am loving BleuDame. This online retailer closely resembles Forever 21 — cute, trendy pieces that fit a college girl’s budget. What’s not to love?

Smile loves, the weekend has arrived. Got any big plans? Let’s hear ‘em:)

Infinite x’s and o’s

Little Bits of Lately…

A little bit of lately, according to my iPhone…

1. Minnesota has been blessed with an absence of winter, which has allowed me some extra-sweet bonding time with my lawn chair and bikini.

2. Two doves on our porch early this morning. I can’t help but smile when I see this.

3. Breaking in the newest addition to my shoe collection.

4. Figaro is a diva.

5. Love that I get to see Minneapolis every day on campus.

6. Vanilla Lattes. Nuff said.

7. The cake I made for my little sisters golden birthday. Classic vanilla cake with classic buttercream frosting. She is wonderfully simple that way.

8. Our backyard is flourishing with greens. So happy to see a little color in the world again.

9. My baby sister at her birthday dinner. Full of smiles. What is not to love about 15?

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week. Smile, the weekend is near!

Infinite x’s and o’s

High Hopes

I strive to be an optimist. More often than not, I’m an idealist. But lately, I’ve been nothing more than a debby downer.

On Monday, I was invited to the second round of interviews for a highly competitive internship program in Chicago. Highly competitive equates to 2500 applications in just the month of March. Odds are not in my favor, or any persons, for that matter. So I’ve been sweating and obsessing and worrying myself into the most ridiculous ball of stress. Did I make a great impression? Were my answers clever? Was I bland compared to the hundreds of other interviewees? Was my thank-you sincere enough? Was my outfit too dressy? Was my briefcase too flashy? Was my hair too brown? Yep, one big ball of stress.

I expressed my concerns to a close friend, otherwise known as Mister Happy, and he was full of encouraging words. A great friend, indeed; but Emelia was in no mood for ass-kissing.  I told Mister Happy, “Stop getting my hopes up.” His response was beyond wise:

“Em, that’s where your hopes should be.”

Up high, the highest of hopes. With big expectations and even bigger dreams.

He was right.

Within the same few days, I also ran across this thought-provoking statement:

“For most of us the problem isn’t that we aim too high and fail – it’s just the opposite – we aim too low and succeed.”

Having big thoughts, bold ideas, and daring to act on them — it’s not a crime. In fact, this is exactly what I should be doing. And to all my twenty-something friends, so should you.

We shouldn’t settle now, today, ever. But especially now. Right now, we should be hungry for opportunities, thirsty for adventure. We should take risks, fall on our faces, go dirt poor chasing our biggest dreams. So what if we don’t succeed every time. We shouldn’t punish ourselves for taking a chance, we shouldn’t keep bitter thoughts and bitter feelings. In the end, it won’t be failure that we hold in our hands. It will be experiences, life lessons, relationships, and gratification. We never stopped. No matter how high of a mountain, no matter how small the odds, no matter how great the risks, we gave it our all.

I know I’m not the only person who is sweating an interview. Or maybe it’s a final exam, a job prospect, a new relationship, your future, post-graduation? Whatever it may be, do me one favor: keep your head up, your heart open, and your hopes high.

Infinite x’s and o’s

Five Friday Finds

{left to right}

1. Wood fire, artisan pizza that can only be found at a neighborhood restaurant. Translation: perfection. Pizzeria Lola is a newish restaurant in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Specialties range from the Lady ZaZa (topped with Korean sasuage, kimchi, and soy chili glaze) to the  Sunnyside (La Quercia Guanciale, pecorino, leeks, and two soft eggs), all served on the most divine crust ever made by human hands. I’m no Italian expert…yet, so I unfortunately cannot tell you what the origin, taste, and translation of La Quercia Guanciale is. BUT, I highly suggest you find out for yourself. Last night was my first time and I’m actually considering ordering it for lunch. I have no shame.

2. I want to be his mom. Okay, creepy and also slightly impossible. Maybe I’ll just stick to being his friend. Seriously, I want to be Caine’s best friend.

3. Mmmmm, caramel apples….or so you think. Number 14 = next year’s April Fool’s plan. I can hardly contain myself.

4. I want to marry Brian Atwood. I swear, it’s not even because he’s gorgeous or because he’s a Midwestern boy. It’s because he makes the most insanely ridiculous shoes in the world. I wouldn’t even ask for a ring on our wedding day. Sweetheart, all you need to do is put these shoes on my feet and I swear I will never look at another man again for as long as I live…that even includes Johnny Depp in Public Enemies. No need to hide my total obsession for a man that doesn’t even fancy women. Why is it that the best ones are always gay? PS, who’s Claudia and why was a shoes named after her before a shoe was named after me? That bishhh doesn’t know what’s coming.

5. Hello, remember that dessert holiday list I shared with you last week? Well, today is national Peach Cobbler day! Wohoooo. Here’s a lovely peach cobbler recipe for this festive occasion. Get after it kids.

Happy weekend to all my party people

Infinite x’s and o’s

Strawberries n’ Cream Cake

I’ve got a few things on my wish list.

Like a little shmushy lab puppy that will lick me and follow me everywhere and sleep with me even when I have neglected to shower for a few days.

And I especially wish my parents were of African/Middle Eastern/Mediterranean dissent so that I wouldn’t always feel compelled to skip school, douse myself in baby oil, and lay outside on days that barely top 60 degrees F.

Oh yes, and there are those terrible spammy porn star Twitter accounts. I wish there was some sort of application process that would keep ladies like Fabrina Sassy from joining the Twittersphere and then eventually following me. Such a disappointment to get a notification that you have a new follower, only to realize she has a site called http://www.lickmyinsertbodypart.com

Then again, maybe I shouldn’t judge too harshly. Angela Star could be the next Vivienne of Pretty Woman. These ladies must be on to something. Wear patent leather boots and a blonde wig and you get Richard Gere in a Lotus Esprit happily ever after.  

Juuuusttt kiddding. OBVIOUSLY I would never sell my body.

Although I mighhhht consider it if I could receive payments in puppies, dark tans, and this cake. Go ahead, try to tell me YOU wouldn’t do unforgivable things for this strawberry delight. Mhmmm. Yep, I thought so.

Strawberries N’ Cream Cake Recipe

Strawberry Cake

-2 cups white sugar

-1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin

-1 cup butter, softened

-4 eggs, room temperature

-2 cups flour

-2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

-1 cup whole milk, room temperature

-1 tablespoon vanilla extract

-1/2 cup strawberry purée (1/2 pint fresh strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar)

Directions

1. Cream together butter, sugar, & dry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time.

2. Sift together baking powder and flour. Stir into batter alternately with the milk.

3. Blend in vanilla and strawberry purée.

4. Beat egg whites until peaks form. Fold into batter.

5. Grease and flour 2 9-inch pans or 3 8-inch pans. Divide batter evenly between them. Bake cakes at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

-3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened

-3/4 cup butter, softened

-5 cups confectioners sugar

-1 tablespoon vanilla extract

-1/2 tablespoon strawberry flavored gelatin

Directions

1. Cream together cream cheese, butter, and dry gelatin until creamy.

2. Mix in vanilla, then gradually add confectioners’ sugar.

Cake and Frosting adapted from AllRecipes

Five Friday Finds

{left to right}

1. I was sitting on the couch this week and my mom threw the April Nordstrom catalogue in my lap, which is pretty much the same as someone putting a huge plate of steaming garlic mashed potatoes in front of me and then telling me I can’t eat them. Rude. Give me a few weeks my pretty little Stuart Weitzman Whiskerlos flats, momma will get you soon.

2. An entire list of National Dessert Days. Yes yes yes, holidays for desserts. Pure genius.

3. I’m probably the ten thousandth person to tell you to go to this site. I don’t care. #WhatShouldWeCallMe will make you laugh so hard that you cry. Scouts honor.

4. It’s Easter weekend, in case you were wondering. In case the hundreds upon hundreds of blog posts about cute Cadbury cupcakes and elaborate Easter egg centerpieces haven’t already alluded to this fact. But I’m not here to bore you, or to share with you another post about decorating Easter eggs that look like a flippin’ painting by Vincent van Gogh. No no, I’m here to show you this adorable bunny butt cake. My maturity is just shooting through the roof right now, no need to remind me.

5. These earrings would make any girl feel important. They reek of fabulousness. Seriously, I don’t even wear earrings, but I want to make these.

Happy Easter egg hunting my loves:)

Infinite x’s and o’s