Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shannon Shares

I've been inspired by Blue Eyed Bride's 31 Days of Back to Basics Blogging and I've been reminded that this blog is for me and I can write about whatever I want. I want to remember this time in my life and so I'm just going to share about my day (even if it's dull) and my heart and see what happens.

Last  night I had Young Life club. For any other Young Life leaders out there, here's what we sang:

1. Some Nights- Fun
2. Everybody Talks- Neon Trees
3. Sweet Caroline-Neil Diamond
4. Chicken Fried- Zac Brown Band (we change the lyrics "cold beer on a Friday night" to "Young Life on a Monday night")
5. Who Do You Say That I Am

I found out that we are going to Frontier Ranch for camp this summer. It's in Colorado and I never get to go since it's usually impossible to take off a week+ from work. But I've decided THIS is the summer I'm going and I'm taking all my high school friends with me! It's pretty pointless to already be getting excited about summer when the last one is just ending... but y'all... Young Life camp is a whole other story! Fortunately I have weekend camp coming up next month to tide me over.

I get home from Young Life around 10:30 most Monday nights and while the debate was still going on I decided not to get into it. It's too late to get all worked up. So instead I chatted with some of my girlfriends and went through 1000+ photos from the wedding I was in over the summer. I've literally been stalking the photographers blog, waiting for her to post them online and was getting a little impatient.

I have about a dozen I'd like to print and frame for myself. I need more pictures of my friends and I post-college.

I so missed out on seeing these girls at homecoming this weekend. I cannot get enough of them and I really need to plan a trip down South to visit them, or move in with them, or something...

I am so bad at concluding my posts and coming up with little witty endings or signs offs. So I'm not going to bother with that this time! Really that's all I want to share for now.  Have a great day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Feelings

It's fall which means there is beauty and inspiration every where even if it's lacking from my blog. Friday was a wash-out. After work I ran to the metro in a down pour, but this is what greeted me as I got off my stop:
 
A picture perfect symbol for me of God's promises of good things to come after a storm. There is beauty and glory in the bright, blazing fall colors that signal the death of summer and the coming winter.
  
Fall for me also signals that it's time for me to catch a cold. Seriously, without fail I get sick every October. And this weekend was no different.  On Saturday morning I ventured out into the crisp air and the sunshine and headed to a ballet class at the new studio I've been trying out and loving. I left feeling happy and refreshed and alive- the power of ballet- but by the time I got home and showered my body said no more! You're done!

This weekend was homecoming at my university but I had decided that the flights this year were too high to make it worth the short trip.  I guess my cold came at the right time, because if I'd been healthy I would have definitely missed being there even more. Instead my weekend was spent either in bed or on the couch with a cup of tea and blankets and movies and Tylenol and self-pity.

And before I knew it, Monday was back again- it's annoyingly reliable like that. Tonight I have Young Life club to look forward to and more ballet classes this week, so I will not be letting my cold ruin this week or my favorite season!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hodgepodge


(Click over to link up your answers)

1. In what ways do you indulge yourself?

I love to take long hot baths. Unfortunately I do not have a tub, only a shower. And as the weather is getting colder and nothing feels better than sitting in the tub, reading on listening to music or just being quiet, this is becoming a real problem. I'll just have to wait till I'm home at Thanksgiving to indulge. In the mean time I love laying on the couch and reading or popping in a favorite movie with a big bowl of popcorn and a coke. 

2. Have you ever taken a cooking class? Any interest? What class would you most like to try?
See my post from yesterday on the Soup Workshop I just took. It was so much fun and I would definitely want to take more. If you are in the D.C. area, CulinAerie has some awesome classes on the calendar this month if your interested: sweet and savory fall tarts and pies,  a curry workshop, a couples class on Thai food, and another called "Autumn in Normandy" that sound delicious.

3. What does it mean to be a good citizen?
Caring about your country, exercising your right to vote (there is no excuse people!), being kind and considerate to others.

4. 'Tis the season of the political advert...do these ads influence your vote?
Not at all. For starters, my vote hasn't really been a question mark and I feel pretty informed and convinced of my political beliefs. Also, those ads are just nasty and both sides tend to contradict each other and cancel each other out. I don't think anyone should put much stock in them and I wish the candidates wouldn't waste so much time and money on them. I can't wait for them to be off the TV.

5. What's something you see today that makes you wish you were a kid again?
I saw this link posted on facebook and was instantly thrown back into 5th grade, not that I want to go back but it reminded me of some fond memories. I also just finished re-reading the entire Harry Potter series again, don't judge, and I miss all the make believe and imaginative games I used to play for hours and hours with my sister and friends as a kid. So care free.

6. What's your least favorite cliche?
"No offense, but [insert offensive comment here.]" I'm not sure that really counts as a cliche but people do that all the time, say something offensive or off-color and then add "no offense, though." Um, yeah right!

7. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is complete? How does that make you feel?
0%. I'm not too worried though because I have started working on my shopping list. Don't let the early display of Christmas decorations in the shops alarm you. Christmas is still over 2 months away...wait is that it??!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Columbus Day (and #36)

Happy Columbus Day, yesterday! What? You mean you didn't celebrate?

I was one of the lucky folks whose office closed and basically all weekends should be 3-days long. I spent all Monday out where I lead Young Life and got to hang out with one of my favorite senior girls.  We went to Chipotle for lunch and then ended up at her house playing with her puppy for an hour. Since I didn't feel like driving back and forth before Club that evening I killed about 6 hours at Panera.  It was such a nice relaxing day and I got a little taste of what being a full-time leader would be like.

Anywho, it was a nice 3 day weekend in which I really didn't do a whole lot.

I did, however, get to cross off number #36, take a cooking class, from my list.  My friend and I went to a Soup Workshop at CulinAerie downtown. It was my first time taking a cooking class and I was unsure how it would be set up or what to expect but I was not disappointed.

There were only about 20 people in the class and everyone had their own work top. The instructor's station had a camera pointed on it that would project onto tv's hanging from the ceiling so you could get a up-close look at what she was doing.

I of course was a little distracted by all the different characters in the room, like the eager woman in front of me who was like 10 steps ahead of everyone, including the instructor. Or the adorable father and son pair behind me, how sweet is that? I definitely want to take another class one day with my mom and sister!

(My cooking station, yes there was wine and not just in the recipe.)
After learning about the different kinds of soups out there and the basics of making our own stock, we made 4 different soups:  French Onion, Sweet Potato with Maple and Bacon, Corn and Crab Chowder and Shrimp Bisque. 
(Let the onions sweat and soften before increasing the heat to brown them.)
French Onion soup is one of my favorite foods of all time and I'm so glad I know how to make it myself now. The only one I wasn't a fan of was the Shrimp Bisque, too shrimpy. In addition to all those recipes we got 3 more for quick breads to serve with soup: corn bread, cheddar pecan scones and rosemary focaccia.
(Yummy Corn & Crab Chowder which we insisted on calling "chowdah" | My cooking buddy and I with our finished Sweet Potato soup.)

The family said I could serve french onion soup at Thanksgiving in the adorable pumpkin tureens my mom bought from Pottery Barn, just like the pioneers did!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy Harvest

Thought I would post a couple shots from the "Wine and Cheese" event we hosted at the firm yesterday- the same event that I dragged hay bales into the office for.  We do these about once a month or so and last night's was a fall/harvest theme naturally. I am sure plenty of you are breaking out the autumnal decorations in your house and maybe thinking of hosting a soiree celebrating this wonderful time of year. 
For the center of the buffet I used my brown table runner that is embroidered with leaves. I borrowed my roommate's glass cake stand and arranged varying autumnal shades of red and orange candles and mini pumpkins on it. At the base I displayed bundles of Indian Corn. 
My favorite part was the menu cards. I took the idea from pinterest (where else?) and displayed the cards in pine cones.

Now for the menu:
Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts

Roasted Turkey Slider on a Cranberry Muffin 
with Sour Apple Aioli 

Au Poivre Beef Medallions 
with Cranberry Port Sauce

Warm Onion Souffle 

Miniature Flatbread Pizze 
with Caramelized Apples, Onions & Goat Cheese

After all that work I didn't even remember to take a picture of the hay bales which I stacked haphazardly with larger pumpkins (don't ask me how I got those to the office) around the columns at the entrance to the room. I decided to leave them at the office because 3 metro rides was enough. But my commute home was still quite interesting as I carted home two large pumpkins, all the candles, the table runner and cake stand.

I've become something of a bag lady this week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

5 D.C Food Trucks: Part 2

I wrote about the first 2 food trucks I tried here and I want to write my reviews of the other 3 out of 5 before the weather gets too cold and you can't enjoy them any more!

3. Stella's Popkern: Popcorn is hands down one of my favorite foods. I often just eat a big bowl of it for dinner. I never go to the movies and not get popcorn.  This all adds up to a very excited me when I discovered the popcorn food truck! They have a ton of different flavors, plus a mystery flavor every day: {Caramel, Salty Caramel (my favorite), Chocolate Drizzle dusted with Sea Salt, Clarified Butter with Brazilian Sea Salt, Zesty White Cheddar Cheese, Zesty White Cheddar sprinkled with Old Bay, Basil Infused Olive Oil with Ginger Sea Salt }

4. Surfside: This truck is the mobile version of the Glover Park restaurant and it's equally delicious. I had the grilled fish tacos with guacamole, black bean and corn  salsa and lime sour cream. Plus it comes with rice. I was a little nervous about fish tacos from a truck but they were so yummy, I would definitely get them again.  They also have chicken or beef barbacoa and you can do tacos or burritos or burrito bowls.

5. Chick Fil- A: It wasn't a huge stretch for them since it's fast food to begin with but there are some differences. The biggest thing you'll notice is they don't have waffle fries (or any fries for that matter)!! That was a bit of a shock. Their menu is limited to either a cfa chicken sandwich or an 8 count nugget. You can add 2 sides of either cole slaw, side salad, fruit cup, chips or brownie.  Not quite the same without their fries or lemonade but it still satisfies my craving for chick fil a deliciousness.

Now I can cross of #63 on my list! If you have  favorite DC food truck that I just have to try please let me know!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What I Read in September

Last month's reads:

The Forgotten Garden- Kate Morton: this is by the same author as The House At Riverton which I read last month.  It's another mystery and it jumps around a couple of different time periods, which was a little confusing at time but it was fun figuring out the twists and turns.

Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn: Are my mom and I the only ones who were totally disappointed by this book?  I really enjoyed the first half of the book and I wont give anything away but half way through there is a huge shift and everything you ever thought you knew about this book is wrong and I hated the ending!

Divergent- Veronica Roth: Part 1 of a trilogy. It's like a combination of The Hunger Games and The Giver.

Insurgent- Veronica Roth:
Part 2 of the trilogy. The 3rd book sadly doesn't come out until sometime next fall but I think movies are already in the works. Fun fact, the author is only 23!

Lightning- Dean Koontz: I've read this book a bunch of times before. It's one of my favorites. I very clearly remember my 8th grade English teacher telling me it was her favorite book. I've heard it's different from Dean Koontz's other novels, but I haven't read anything else by him so I can't vouch for that. All I know is it's this great suspenseful thriller about a woman who's life is altered by a series of strange events and I love it!

(Oh and I also re-read the first 4 Harry Potter's, working on # 5 now. I never get sick of them. hehe)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Monday

I just cannot believe it is October. I kinda let September get away from me and I wasted many days moping around inside in front of the tv doing nothing that important, unless you count catching up on the past season of Grey's Anatomy, which is partly to blame for the infrequent blogging.

But I happen to love the month of October, it's one of my favorites if not the favorite. So now that I'm all caught up on Grey's, and there are beautiful golden days ahead that I want to remember, I am returning from my unofficial blogging hiatus.  I don't have a real plan or anything particular that I want to write about but I just know I want to write.

I could write about work I suppose.  I have some fun events planned for this week like an Associate Stress Buster Carnival and a harvest-themed happy hour that requires me to lug 3 hay bales to the office for decorations.  (Don't worry, they're not needed until Wednesday so I only have to wrestle with one each morning on the metro.)

Life is... kinda complicated right now and God thinks my plans are pretty funny so I'm just trying to let go and see where He takes me and enjoy this weird phase of life.

So happy Monday! Thanks for bearing with me.