Sunday, May 22, 2011

what i want to eat everyday

I made this cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread (with this recipe) several weeks ago and completely forgot to blog about it. And it's definitely blog-worthy...just LOOK at it! (yes, this is a crappy cell phone photo...I really wish I had used the DSLR, because this pic does not do it justice):

Each layer of dough is slathered with a combination of browned butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Then they're all stacked together and placed in the pan like a deck of cards on its side. Here it is before its second rise:

When it comes time to eat, you can pull each individual layer off to snack on. It takes awhile to make with all the rising and rolling out the dough and everything...but I can easily say it's 100% worth it. And so awesomely rustic-looking!

Monday, May 16, 2011

you may have noticed...

...a sudden steep increase in quality of the photos posted on this blog. That is due to our latest acquisition: a Canon T2i. We mostly got it for its HD video capabilities so N can finally have a "real" tool he can use for filming. Yes, we do have a few super 8 cameras sitting in the closet, and although they are pretty neat and N is a purist when it comes to film (even though he denies it), c'mon--this isn't the stone age! It's time to go digital.

We got it for a spectacular short-lived deal through Amazon, of course. I think we get a box from Amazon delivered to us on an almost weekly basis. Dog treats, fabric glue, crystal light drink mix, male to male 3.55mm stereo cables...anyway, since then, we've procured additional lenses, various camera bags, and, yes, there is now a large tripod on wheels taking up a precious 6 feet of floor space in our apartment. And we live in a studio, so yes, the floor space is very precious.

I'm slowly getting to know the camera, also. I don't want this nice piece of equipment lying around without me taking advantage of it! The first thing I wanted to do with it was take macro photos of letterpressed pieces I've designed to show the grain of the paper and the imprint of the inks. Then I came to learn that I'd need to buy a crazy expensive lens to do exactly what I had in mind. There's a bunch of other techniques to get the effect I was looking for, but I am not invested in the camera enough to spend any amount of money on trying them, I realize. I have other projects I'm working on.

Don't think this will be the end of crappy cell-phone photos on this blog, though. As "they" say (whoever "they" are)...the best camera is the one that's with you. And I'm certainly not lugging that t2i with its various lenses around with me all the time. Not to say that N won't, though.

Friday, May 13, 2011

one of those quick update/summary things

$$$. Investments and retirement, to be exact. I've really put off thinking about these things for several years (my excuse being that I was basically going from paycheck to paycheck while trying to increase my standard of living to something that I thought was...livable). But the time has finally come to sit down and really plan. I've been immersed in reading about Roth IRAs, 403(b)s, mutual funds, and EFTs. I also starting following a bunch of PF (personal finance) blogs written by people in their 20s (this one's my favorite so far, especially this section. I want to grow food!). These blogs make me feel extremely behind and convince me that I'll be out on the streets and starving when I'm 65 years old. Just kidding--kind of. But I'm almost in my thirties. THIRTIES! All those charts you see out there show how compound growth/investing benefits you--and if I had started just a few years ago, I'd have way more money when I retire! Luckily, I don't hate organizing my finances; I'm actually finding that I somewhat enjoy it. But it might just be the high from learning about a new thing.

My hair. I am getting really sick of it. I mean, I'm usually sick of it (a little bit) all the time, and I've tried a lot of different lengths and colors over the years, but I've hit a new level of boredom. I switched my part to the opposite side of my head a couple weeks ago in a lame attempt to change things up. Interesting fact: when changing the part you've had for 10+ years, your scalp gets really SORE afterward. I'll probably go back to a shorter cut with bangs and some other color soon. Just thinking about it bores me. *yawn*

That d-i-e-t? I think N and I finally reached our (what I personally consider) "normal" weight range, though we both still want to lose some more...but, in my mind, it's more a vanity-thing at this point. The grand total? I lost 25 pounds. 25!! Can you believe that?? And N? An amazing 30 pounds. 30!!! Can you believe THAT??? Okay, that was an overzealous use of question and exclamation marks. I don't know about N, but it wasn't willpower that did it for me...I've just had an increased amount of stress that basically killed my appetite, so my food portions drastically shrunk even though I was still eating Panda Express and any other crap that struck my fancy. Oh well.

Teeth. It hit me a few weeks ago--even though I have terrible teeth and tons of cavities (and have my whole life), I've never actually tried new techniques with my hygiene habits except for increasing my brushing and flossing. I decided to look into electric toothbrushes and bought this Sonicare brush from Amazon. N was completely against it (he thought electric toothbrushes were pointless), but I got it anyway. The first time I used it, I could barely stand it. The feeling of a mechanical object vibrating against the surface of my teeth (and making that terrible buzzing noise!) gave me horrible flashbacks to all of the cavities I've had drilled out over the years. I stuck through it, though, and now I think this toothbrush is FANTASTIC. It even made a believer out of N, who I didn't think would even try it since he was so against it. We both use it regularly, and I can really feel how much cleaner my mouth is now.