Tuesday, April 30, 2013

why do I do this to myself...

Recently, I have had too much time on my hands. (I'm not sure if I'm just more aware of it now that I'm unemployed, or if this used to happen all the time and I just didn't notice it... if so, I want my ignorance back!) I constantly feel as though I really should be doing something, but... most of the time I just end up browsing food blogs.

Do I actually ever make anything?... no. Usually I just drool.

So, today I thought I would make this hobby (can it be called a hobby? sure. Let's go with that. It sounds more legit that way) semi-productive and share some of my favourite discoveries with you!

Maple Pecan Granola with Dates.

I love granola. And dates. And pecans. And eating breakfast at all times of day or night. (Who doesn't?) So... I'm going to make this tomorrow night. (Maybe if I write it, I actually will?)

Blueberry French Toast.

My greatest worry when eating French Toast is that I'm not eating fruit at the same time. (...lies. Usually I only think of that after I'm done enjoying it.) This recipe is a great way to get both! (And yes, best of all, I actually have tried this one and it is delicious as well as being surprisingly pretty.) Next project: raspberry?

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.

I've seen several 'Green Smoothie' challenges floating about... and while this is obviously not green, it's still healthy! And it has 'pie' in the name... my heart is won.

Raspberry Vanilla (Coconut) Breakfast Cake.

This looks simple... but within it lies an ocean of raspberry-vanilla goodness. (Yes, I made this too! I also put in half a cup of coconut... because I was cleaning out the cupboard... and oh my it was good.) Funnily enough, it tastes just like Fantasy Island black tea from David's Tea... so you could just buy that instead? (Or wait for your amazing friend to send it to you.)

Earl Grey Vanilla Pancakes.

Speaking of tea... why not infuse it into pancakes? We recently bought the kind this recipe uses, so I'll have to make these soon! (...before I drink all the tea, that is. I never claimed self-restraint as one of my qualities.)

(shh I know it's Tuesday but this is still appropriate) 

..okay, I just realised that all of these are breakfasty recipes. I suspect that when I live alone, that is all I will eat. (Plus popcorn. Popcorn should be in a food group all its own.) 

Is there anything you've been longing to cook recently? 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

you know you're overthinking it when

I was never the type of girl who had imaginary friends. To be honest, even at five, I thought the idea was... kinda silly. (Why make up a friend when you could play with your Beanie Babies?... okay, so maybe my logic was a little faulty, seeing as it amounts to the same thing... but I was five okay?) However, the older I get, the more I find myself taking refuge in imaginary worlds and, if not pretending that their characters attend my every move, imagining that they do exist. (Somewhere. Parallel universes totally exist. Just watch Doctor Who.)

My thought process goes something like this...
-omg I love this character!
-why do they not exist in real life to marry me or to be my best friend
-...let's face it, I'd probably be too antisocial to hang out with them anyway (...while I'm confessing)
-BUT THAT'S OKAY, I can pretend
-next time I make cookies, I will totally make extra for them and eat them (calories don't count after midnight or when they are consumed for imaginary friends)

...I think we can agree I might be a little obsessive. My current read: Dracula. (I know. I'm a teenage girl reading about vampires. How very cliché.) Why do I love it so much, you might ask? Because of the characters. (Again, no, I am not in love with Dracula.) I find them very vivid; I can totally picture Jonathan Harker as that quiet shy kid in hipster glasses and cardigans who you later discover has a black belt in karate. Or John Seward as the know-it-all who everyone's in love with.

Something else I love is when I find an actor who's played in several shows or movies that I enjoy. Right now, Jonny Lee Miller tops that list (having played an antique dealer who kills vampires, Sherlock Holmes, and Mr. Knightley, a love interest in a Jane Austen adaptation... swoon) with Billie Piper coming a close second (Rose, my favourite Doctor Who companion, as well as Fanny, the main character in a different Jane Austen)... really, if the two of them were together in a show my heart might explode from fangirl excitement.

Does anyone else ever do any of these things? If you've read Dracula, what were your impressions?

Happy Sunday, blog ninjas!

Friday, April 26, 2013

dear spring

There are robins on my lawn.

You know what this means... all the worms are being eaten. I do pity them. When I was younger, I used to run around the playground, trying desperately to save them before all the mean kids stepped on them. (I like to see this as a sign that I have a tender heart. My friends, for whatever reason, prefer "weird".)

These days, I don't do that anymore. (I do, however, wince whenever I go driving in the rain... am I running them over? Please ooze out of my way, little worms!) These days, I prefer to take robins as a sign that spring is, finally, here.

Is this a good thing? I'm not entirely sure. There is sun now, which means that the world will expect me to...

1. Be tanned. You've seen photos of me... but they don't accurately capture my glow. My skin tone, at the darkest of times, is a cross between "half-ripe strawberry" (freckles as seeds, and just generally red) and "friendly neighbourhood ghost" (except I'm not always friendly, and we don't live anywhere near each other, so let's just go with 'ghost')... and yet people still ask me why I don't go tanning.

2. Have a job. This isn't entirely a bad expectation- I could use some money to go on wild shopping sprees (...for tea. Shh. Pretend I said something crazy... like chocolate!) but, seeing as I'm going away for five weeks this summer (details later) I highly doubt anyone would want to hire me.

3. Leave the playgrounds to the little kids. They, like the robins, seem to be sprouting everywhere... and now, whenever I try to go on the swings, I am greeted with major suspicion. Is it really that unbelievable that I want to go on a playground? Do I look like some kind of criminal?

4. Drink Frappuchinos or Ice Capps instead of coffee. ...okay so this is my own expectation. This is so awful I can't even describe how little I want to drink a deliciously sweet and creamy iced drink... How horrifying.

5. Prepare for university. I'm not sure where this one is coming from. I have a popcorn maker! What other preparations do I need to make? I would far rather look at Cat Bounce! (click it. Now. It is so worth it.)

What kinds of expectations are you feeling this spring?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

what a wonderful world

Sometimes, it's important just to remember the little things that make you happy. (Wow. I am the last person who I ever thought would say that. Let's face it, most of the time I walk around thinking "I HATE YOU ALL STAY AWAYYY FROM ME MORTALS") It's just... nice. Relaxing. And while I certainly wouldn't advise doing this all the time (might be difficult to keep serious in a business meeting if you're thinking about rainbow cupcakes) it's definitely the perfect thing to do when you have nothing else to do! (Aka French class. Or, as I like to call it, that space of time wherein we have no work ever.) Here are some little things that make me smile.

...This song. 


(not my photo, if anyone knows the link thank you!) 

Is this not adorable? I'm pretty sure whenever I drink coffee I look like a cross between the extra-shot illustration and the Energizer bunny! (except with better hair...)

Right now that's Dracula... so it's neither new to me nor to the world, but I still enjoy it! 

(credit Kaja Słojewska)

Oh my. Florence + The Machine... in The Great Gatsby... all this and heaven too. (And it's actually coming out in two weeks! I've never been this excited for a movie before...)

Let's face it... all of us here are probably guilty of this. But it's just so fun!

Chocolate Mug Cake. I actually haven't eaten any in a while, but the mere thought of it sends me onto a chocolate high! (Go make it now. My recipe is the best.)

Especially when there's tea and a cuddly blanket involved. (Or a cuddly person!) 

What are some things that make you happy? 

Oh, and always remember...

Happy Thursday, blog ninjas!

Jenny Matlock

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

watch out.

Have you seen them?

You don't know.

The only way you can tell is through the tally marks on your arms.

Have you ever noticed any pen marks that seemingly appeared overnight? Any mysterious bruises?

...maybe now, you know why.

And always remember... they're not invading. They're starting a revolution.

Monday, April 22, 2013

yes. I am actually leaving.

Reason #149 that I fail at life: I am unable to wave at people without looking like I am a) having a seizure or b) actually not human, but some giant whale creature that just discovered arms. (Either one works. Whichever is more evocative in your mind.) Aka, today I frightened one of my former coworkers so much that she nearly fell off a bridge...

But. This post is (amazingly) not about my enduring social awkwardness. A little while ago, I posted about how I really needed to get myself in gear (because I'm a bike? Or a car? That expression doesn't even make sense) and actually choose a university. (Sign you are a procrastinator: you get accepted to the university of your choice at the beginning of December and don't accept until the end of April... true story.)

However, I am pleased to announce that today, I finally accepted University of Waterloo: Arts & Business. (Yes. Future entrepreneur here. HAHAHA) Keep your eyes peeled (now this expression crosses straight through "nonsensical" and goes to "disgusting and grape-like") for the girl with the kitty ears and the dazed expression.

(I don't even know what this building is. We just saw a sign and went for the photo op)

(obviously the fact that I saw this gum stain in the shaoe of a head played a part in my deciding to go there)

I toured it over the summer (and didn't even post about it! You poor souls missed out!) and, needless to say, I loved it. Despite the lack of David's Tea and Sephora in the environs (yes, this is what I first consider, the proximity of shopping) I think we'll deal quite nicely. I'm most looking forward to the long discussions about literature... if no one's willing to have them with me, I will forcibly kidnap them. (Just kidding! Mostly!)

Watch out Waterloo... here I come.

(ok so this is my friend and not me but you get the point, we're both creepers)

(aka, I will probably trip and fall into many people...  And frighten them with my waving... And antagonise others by constantly talking about Doctor Who... are you still sure you want me?)

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Friday, April 19, 2013

in which I talk about how I did nothing

Welcome to this week's edition of... Friday Letters! Are you surprised that I'm actually doing a similar post two weeks in a row? To liven things up, let's guess why. Is it...
a) because I like doing this linkup? or...
b) because I have really done nothing this week that is noteworthy and so I resort to imaginary conversations for blog fodder?

Yeah so... it was mostly b). But this is fun!

Dear World: I'm sorry for doing absolutely nothing this week. I'll try harder next week. (...LIES.) But, as they say...

Dear Chemistry Test: why did you have to be right before lunch? I think I failed some of your questions just because I was thinking too much about food...

Dear The Office: ...why are you ruining my life. Seriously. Pam and Jim are the TV couple I have looked up to my entire childhood as an example of sanity and utter adorableness... they can't break up. I'm begging you.

Dear Jesse: thank you for making me laugh so hard with your latest tea video! And for making me feel that I was semi-having a conversation with you and so was only semi-pathetic and antisocial. (Semi is about as good as it gets.) Loveee youuu, tea/DW/loner/too-many-things-to-count-buddy!

Dear Healthy Brownies:

Thank you for being so delicious! When I eat you, I feel both satisfied and healthy... so yay! (The recipe can be found here- I would definitely recommend you try them!)

Dear Weather: make up your mind. Are you in a good mood? (aka sun and warmth) or a bad mood? (aka rain and wind) So far you seem to be tending towards the latter, but since YOU. CHANGE YOUR MIND. LIKE A GIRL. CHANGES CLOTHES (#retrosongmoment) I really can't tell what's going on.

Happy Friday, blog ninjas!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

varied readings

Some days I feel like my sole purpose in life is to turn off the lights.

I don't even mean this in a deep, metaphorical way. I literally mean that I walk around my house (and at school too!) turning off the lights that everyone else has forgotten to turn off. (My second purpose is tripping over invisible objects so that everyone can laugh at me. I also minor in closing windows that everyone else has forgotten about.)

With all this stress, it's no wonder that sometimes I just like to curl up with a nice book. (Okay, make that always. If I could spend my entire life eating- I actually have a batch of these brownies in the oven right now!- reading and drinking tea, I would be perfectly happy.) Here's some of my latest picks!

1- Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens.

I mentioned this book in another recent post but, since I'm still loving and reading it, I thought it deserved another mention. Charles Dickens is one of my favourite authors for several reasons, but top of the list his lovely prose (one of the many reasons I was born in the wrong century is because I actually enjoy reading long descriptions!) and his carefully drawn characters- what other author has a character constantly described as a steam engine? (That sounded better in my head... and on the page.)

2- We The Living by Ayn Rand.

This book... just thinking about it again makes me feel sad. It's one of those stories that you start and that you know it's going to end badly, but you keep reading on the off chance that the characters will be drawn out of their deep pit of despair. (Does anyone else do this?)
...Needless to say, this was not a book I'd recommend if you're already feeling down. (Or happy, because then you will feel down for sure.)
But I figure, if I'm still thinking about it a week later... it's a good book.

3- This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This book makes me even more excited to go to university! It's filled with descriptions of their long discussions of literature and their sumptuous all-night parties... so it might be wish fulfillment, but a girl can dream, right?

And... that's that! (Yay for classic literature!) What have you been reading lately? )And if you liked my selections, feel free to friend me on Goodreads or Twitter to see what I'm reading next!) Any tasty recipes to go along with it?

Jenny Matlock 

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

on biology

Sometimes I stare into the mirror and try to count my freckles. I'm nearly certain that (at a rate of one per year or so) they are increasing... however I could be mistaken and it could just be pen stains. (Yes, I wash my face frequently... but I also have acquired the bad habit of chewing on my writing utensils. I noticed this only after I offered to lend someone a pencil and they refused with a horrified stare... causing me to realise that said pencil was currently in my mouth. Whoops.)

Having more freckles is actually comforting, not only because it means I am getting vitamin D (or so I tell myself- I'm no longer taking biology and so try not to trouble my pretty little head with such conundrums) but because it means that, in some intangible way, I am evolving. It's nice to know that my body manages to do things without my conscious self sometimes (although I must say, dreaming three times about The Office last night was not a conscious decision either. That seems to border on obsession... what other things am I thinking about without even noticing? SCARY) because it seems that, in general, I am inclined to think too much.

...speaking of: did you know that the tobacco plant has different reactions depending on what predator lands on it? Sometimes it's poisonous. Sometimes it's spiky. Basically, its leaves... have brains. Am I the only one scared by this? Everyone's worried about the zombie apocalypse- I think I'll fear take-over by plants.

But to return to talking about myself (because we all know that's my favourite subject... actually that's a lie. My favourite subject is literature. However, are my favourite books only a reflection of myself?... #TooComplicated #TimeForANap)... I still haven't decided on a university.

-hides behind the sofa-

Yes. Despite having recieved my offer in DECEMBER, I have yet to decide which program to choose. (At this point, I'm actually hoping for that tobacco plant apocalypse so that I don't have to make a decision. Or I might just draw it out of a hat- that would be far more productive!)

Yeah, so... that's that. Another example of indecisiveness: I've been thinking about making popcorn all week and I have yet to do so because plugging in my air-popcorn maker just seems like too much work...

DECISION TIME: I'm going to go make popcorn- all that's prevented me from doing so before now is the fact that it is downstairs and I am not, and no one has yet invented a teleportation machine. (I am 100% certain that, if such a thing did exist, it would be used primarily to get food.)

also: I am finally on Bloglovin! Go me! (And go follow me!)

Happy Sunday, blog ninjas! (If you've gotten all the way to here, let me award you some honorary popcorn.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

letters to the universe

Dear Death Cab for Cutie: omg I love you except you just make me want to cry and omg never again will I listen to you at the library because the tears are a tad embarassing...

Dear Spring: where are you? We have had one sunny day in the past month. ONE. And today it's hailing. Get over here soon before I decide to move to another warmer country! #notimpressed (Okay I'm not altogether sure why you would be perturbed by such a threat... but still. Be very scared.)

Dear Pakistani Tea: at least I have you to comfort me. You're cooking on the stove and I can smell you all the way upstairs... mmmm. If only I had a warm fire to cuddle by... or someone to cuddle with...

Dear Kitties: I guess I have you... except the two of you take up my entire bed. And have also covered it in fur. Thanks so much.

Also, why do you eat mango? Off my plate? Are you really a cat?

Good thing you're cute. Or I would toss you outside. (Okay no I don't want to go outside... maybe just lock you into the bathtub. No wait you like licking the bathtub... I give up)

Dear Charles Dickens: okay so you might be dead (but you live on in Doctor Who! so it's all good... I think my new life ambition is to be featured in Doctor Who. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF) but your books are amazing... plans for the day= made.

Dear The Fountainhead: you on the other hand I could do without. Although I admire your concepts... I could have done with some shorter speeches... (aka, ones less than five pages long) However I hear your brother-book Atlas Shrugged has one that is a full 30 000 words, so I should simply be grateful I escaped reading that... 
Seriously though. A character is a character. A philosophical concept is a philosophical concept. The two should not mix.

Happy Friday, blog ninjas!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

how to incorporate exercise into your day

As I've mentioned many times, exercising and being (sort of) fit is important to me. Sometimes, though, I know it can be hard to incorporate enough movement into your day... so here's how I do it!

In the morning...
-Toss and turn. All that wiggling has got to burn some calories! (Also, wear extremely thick flannel pjs, preferably ones with floral patterns from the 60s... and wrap yourself in quilts... it's like your own personal sauna!)

-Put on knee socks. First step: turn them right side out, because they will inevitably be rolled in a ball. (Actually, that's the third step. First step is putting them on and realising that you have to take them off. Second step is falling off your bed while trying to take them off because they're so tight that yanking them off is a full-body exercise.)

-Alternatively, wear tights. They will be so itchy and irritating that you'll dance all day long! (Or eventually become so frustrated that you are willing to peel them off in front of all your fellow coworkers/students... of course I'd never do that -shifty eyes-)

During the day...

-Perform advanced fidgeting. Tap your feet. Or your fingers. Or bob your head from side to side. You may look like a deranged bobcat, but at least you're staying fit! (Another advantage: no one will want to sit beside you, so you'll have more room to spread out!)

-Drink lots of tea or coffee. What does this have to do with working out, you ask? Well, you'll have to a) stand up to prepare it and b) get up about 50 times during the day to go pee. (Plus, green tea and coffee both boost your metabolism... although I doubt a sugary macchiato really helps in that respect.)

-Play with your hair. Put it in a ponytail. Then decide that you don't like how it looks and put it into a messy bun. When the messy bun falls out, brush it with your fingers. With all this up and down, your shoulders will be toned in no time!)

...Or you could just go to the gym. That works too.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

the statistics of prom dresses

Last week, I realised a terrifying fact.

I was the only girl in my class who didn't yet have a prom dress.

When you're one of six girls, that isn't a huge deal... but still. I was abnormal! That never happens! (Cue skeptical laughter...)

I could go on about how silly it is that girls are expected to buy their dresses several months before prom actually happens (it won't be for another two and a half months...) but that's a post all on its own. Therefore, I now present to you... the results of my dress shopping expedition. (Who doesn't love statistics?)

Number of...

...days spent thinking about shopping for it: 124

...days spent actually shopping:  slightly less than one (approx. 6 hours)

...days spent thinking about wearing it: 761 (at least) (this is since before I started highschool)

...days spent wearing it: less than one (sob. cry. I am consoled by the fact that at least it's not too prom-y and I can possibly wear it again someday)

...dresses looked at: 367 (really. at least.)

...of dresses tried on: eighteen

...dresses that didn't fit because of my massive ribcage: four (yes. some people obsess over their thighs or their stomach or their arms. I obsess over my ribcage)

...dresses rejected because of length: twenty-six (because I am too short to wear something floor-length, or even longer than my knees.)

...stores entered: nine

...stores where I tried something on: four

...scary salesgirls faced: eight (like really, don't talk to me. I am perfectly fine on my own.)

...hours in the car: five (so just slightly less than the actual shopping...)

...unknown women who tried to remove my bra: three (thankfully all store employees)

...unknown women who petted me:  one (NOT a store employee) (most awkward moment of the trip)

...so, from this, the conclusion I'm getting to... is that I obsess over things wayyy too much.

However... I have indeed found a dress, so maybe this all paid off?

Sound logical?

What was your prom dress shopping like? What was your dress like? (Or what do you want it to be like, if you haven't yet had a prom?)

Friday, April 5, 2013

essentials & spring cleaning

...it's snowing again.

And since this is the fourth of April, and not the first, you can deduct that this is not an April Fool's.

I'm pretty sure that the universe is paying me back for all the times I pleaded for snow by giving me some now... exactly when I'm ready for spring.

I JUST WANT TO WEAR SPRING DRESSES. Is that really so much to ask? -sob-

But anyway. You did not come here to read my rants about snow. (Or maybe you did. Maybe you, too, think I need payback... but really, I already missed a concert. (No, I'm still not over it.) Isn't that enough?

...now I'm really done.

This post is really about the 52 Lists project. Every week this year, a new prompt will be posted. Although I haven't done all of them (and probably won't- I tend to get distracted from any form of bloggerly organisation) I thought it might be fun to do a few!

First off: Ways to Cleanse for Spring (Week 10). 

What kinds of spring cleaning do you do? The one I'm really trying to work on right now is no. 3... I've been eating so much chocolate & other miscellaneous junk recently... /turns into a gingerbread ninja for realz

And secondly: My Essentials (Week 11)

Hopefully this one is big enough for you to read! As you can see, there are many essentials in my life, some contradictory and some entirely abstract. What are some of yours?

Happy Friday, blog ninjas!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

the trials and tribulations of library stalking

...or, more accurately, What Not to Do when trying to creep someone at the library. (Come on now. I'm sure you've all done this. Or wanted to do this. Close enough...) No worries, I'm here to help!

1- Giggling is not subtle. No but really.

2- Hope that your target is sitting in a well-populated area... and not in the most awkward spot beside the dictionaries. I mean really, why sit there anyway? Don't you know that people might want to come... -coughcough- investigate you? Cut me some slack here.

3- If you want a subtle phone, do not get a Blackberry. I love my phone, but I must admit that the keys are a little loud, and therefore not conducive to silent stalking. (Or silent usage while in class. These are important things to keep in mind!) In this respect (and this respect only!) touch-screens are preferable.

4- Hope that your target is sitting near interesting books. The aforementioned dictionaries do not make for good 'Oh, yes, I'm fascinated by this book and I'm totally staring at it and not your head' material. Nor do books such as "Our Aging Problem: how to take care of your elderly parents" or "Fortune 500: the revised list!" Try to apply no. 1 while looking at those titles, I dare you. (To say nothing of the sex manuals that were also lying nearby... Yes, I am that immature.)

5- Have a friend nearby. This way, if all else fails, you can run up to them and pretend that you were looking for them The Entire Time. "Omg, you've lost so much weight that I thought you were hiding in the shelf!" Convincing, right?

...or you could just wait to run into the target while walking down the stairs. That also works.

Jenny Matlock