The Cat's Out of the Bag

Actually, there is no cat.  But I did sew my bag over the weekend when my parents came to surprise Suzy for her birthday.  Jaunt over to her blog to read about those deets.

Anyways, on to the important stuff:  my bag is finished.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  My favorite feature would have to be the zippered pocked which I sewed by myself without supervison.  That's right.  First. Zipper. Ever.  And I included a picture, so pretend to be really impressed, okay?

Aforementioned zipper.  I'm rather proud, if you couldn't tell.


Summer Reading Update

Here's an update for my summer reading.  It's been pretty slow going.....  I am currently working on "Mere Christianity" and have "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" and "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" checked out.  Am I the only one who feels like the Provo Library should invest in more copies of each book?  I don't think I've ever been able to go to the library and check something out that I want.  There's always a waiting list.  Bummer.  But it's teaching me patience.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Survivor's Club by Lisa Gardner
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis
Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt
Middlemarch by George Elliot
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordin
The Danger by Dick Francis
Laddie, a True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter
Merchant of Death by D. J. MacHale
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall

(I've also read some stuff that's not really on the list....which is maybe why this looks so pathetic.)


Life. And Stuff.

I was informed the other day that random jumps in conversation topics are called
'unsafe lane changes.'  

This blog post is going to have so many 'unsafe lane changes' that it's going to make me the Utah-driver of bloggers.  Signalling optional.  Hang on tight.

This morning my mom called me to inform me that I returned "East of Eden" to the wrong library.  Remember how I was like 18th in line to read it in Provo?  I checked it out from the Snake River Library when I was home for a week in June....but I gave it back to the Provo Library when I finished.  They kindly mailed it back to where it belongs, and the Snake River librarians found my (dumb) mistake so humorous they didn't even charge my mom a fine for the book being overdue.

I always have a hard time remembering how to spell 'humorous' (that was funny) because my brain defaults to 'humerus' (the long bone in your arm). It usually comes out looking something like this on the first try:


Which most definitely means either a) nothing or b) your funny bone.  Depending on how you want to look at it.

Over the weekend I decided that, although I love living with Suzy more than I love pretty much anything, I'm going to be moving in the fall.  It's a bittersweet decision.  I've really enjoyed living with my current roommates, but my advanced years are starting to stare me in the face and I can't continue to deny the fact that I belong in a retirement community an older ward. That's the bitter part.  The sweet part is this: my own bedroom, in-apartment washer and dryer, and actual tile floors.  Yes folks, I'm moving up in the world.  

Also, today I got to submit my requests for the classes I want to TA in the fall.  I'll be sure to keep you posted, although I won't find out for sure what my assignment is until about a week before school starts.  I asked for one of the following: Pathophysiology, Human Biology, Human Anatomy, or Advanced Physiology Lab.  (I don't really want that last was mostly to be nice.)

I baked chocolate cheesecake on Monday from this recipe.  Delish.  It's so rich.  Even Natalie thought so.

Last week I bought fabric to make the bag that I blogged about in April.  Now if only I had a sewing machine in Provo....

I am officially in love with Amazon after yesterday.  Between a 'happy graduation' gift card, free 2-day shipping (thank you Amazon Student), $10 off my purchase (Amazon Credit Card sign-up promotion), and the sale of my *@!%$* biochemistry book to some poor soul in Washington, Amazon totally made my day.  

I got in the pool at my apartment complex for the first time....ever....on Saturday. It was monumental.  And actually pretty fun.  And if the designated photographer ever gives me the pictures, I will post them.  Until then, take my word for it.

UPDATED:  This is a picture from the pool.  We spent like 2 hours balancing on that half-deflated mattress-thing.  It was hard, but worth it.  And yes, my legs are the same shade of white as my swim shorts....or rather, were...  They turned a lovely shade of pink that afternoon.

Also, if you're bored out of your mind after reading my life updates (likely), you should check out Young House Love which is my current favorite blog.  They are pretty great over there.


If You're Reading This, It's Your Lucky Day

As you are all probably aware {unless you live under a rock, or this is your first time reading my blog} I lived in London for a semester a couple of years ago.  Best. Semester. Ever.  Everything about London was {is} amazing, and I'm slightly infatuated.

One of my favorite discoveries in London was actually not remotely British, but I treasure it nonetheless.  It's called 'Amish Oatmeal' {see--Amish.  That makes it American....}

Upon arriving back in America, I soon discovered what people mean when they say 'jet-lag.'  I woke up at 3:00 in the morning for my first four or five days home.  I passed the time until my family woke up by watching Glee episodes {before it got so horribly dirty.  that was not an endorsement, and if you watch an episode and it's terrible and smutty and scandalous, don't judge me.} and making elaborate breakfasts.  The first morning I made Amish oatmeal.  I found a few recipes online that seemed promising and gave the Taste of Home recipe a try.

It was a bit of a disappointment...too crumbly, too crispy, and the eggs did something weird and separated from the rest of the mixture.  My family was not nearly as awe-inspired as they should have been.

In the last two years I have made the recipe several more times, each time making adjustments and taking notes.  As of tonight when I made it for dinner, I think it's just right.  Because I love my faithful blog readers {all 3 of you} I am going to share with you said recipe.  If Prince Charming does ever decide to make an appearance, I will most definitely be feeding this to his children on Christmas mornings.  That's how much I love it.

Served with fresh peaches.  Also, please note my fine china :)

Melissa's Amish Oatmeal

3 c. rolled oats, divided
1/4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract

Blend 2 cups of oats in the blender to make oat flour.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Spread mixture evenly in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350*.  Serve warm topped with fresh fruit, brown sugar and cream, milk or half & half.  Hear the angels singing the 'Hallelujah Chorus.'

But really, this is one of my favorite things to eat in the whole world.  Please try it.  Feed it to your children.  Change the world one satisfied mouth at a time.  And if you do try it, let me know how it goes for you.


Happy Birthday America!

I woke up {groggily} this morning to the ringing of my phone.  Disoriented, I hopped out of bed and answered it.  My mom was on the other end with her typical morning question: "Are you out of bed yet?"

Well.  I am now...

She lives with early risers, and I don't so much, but she was good enough to wait until nearly 9:00 before calling. I appreciate that thoughtfulness.  She reminded me about the Fourth of July parade, so I body-slammed Suzy to get her out of bed.  We pulled on jeans and smeared off yesterday's makeup before eating our toast on the way to the parade.  We ran into some of our wardies on the way and watched with them.  For a while.  It turns out that the parade is kinda lame.

Getting our parade on...

So we came home, ate more breakfast, showered and went to Hobby Lobby.  Suzy needed some stuff for a class project, and I just went to look.  While we were there, we got inspired.  Crafting ensued.

Second breakfast: banana nut waffles

Making tough decisions

Yes. Those are hand-painted mustaches.