Here’s to a Year

I graduated college (undergrad) a year ago this weekend.  And it has been a HUGE year.  My life is not so incredibly unpredictable, but here are the things I may have not believed and/or been skeptical about a year ago:

  • I have lived in three places in the last year, and living by myself is by far the best solution.
  • I can survive a month without internet and still be a (somewhat unreliable) blogger.
  • I have a blog!  …I used to be firmly opposed to this concept.
  • I own: a bed, a bedroom set, a futon, a table, a full set of pots and pans, a kitchen aid mixer, and a CAR.  As well as insurance plans protecting all of the above.
  • It’s okay to work a job you hate to make longer term plans work out.  Similarly, you don’t have to give up all of yourself to do so.  Just your soul.
  • Running is something that feels good.
  • I can legit get legally married in this state, as well as over ten others.
  • Internet dating is not always super sketchy.  But it is terribly time-consuming.  But it’s also a great place to find book clubs.
  • Fruit is better than chocolate.  Almost.
  • I am in grad school, and I’m not sure if it’s a life plan or a hobby or something in between, and that’s okay.
  • I only see my friends once or twice a month, rather than at every meal, and we’re okay.  Similarly, there are other friends I haven’t seen in months, and we’re still tight.  The internet makes a hell of a difference.
  • Action figures have a purpose that is not frowned upon: desk toys.
  • Not wearing jeans every day, will, in fact, kill me.  Luckily, there’s always some point in the day to pull them out.
  • All baked goods can be made in a pie pan.
  • Smart phones are useful.  Still annoying, but useful.
  • I need a larger filing box.  But also, doing my own taxes was not hard.  Budgeting, however, can be difficult.
  • There is never enough time.  This one is funny because when you graduate, everybody’s like, “Think of all the time you’re going to have!  Yeah, you’ll work, but then you’ll have these evenings and weekends just to do whatever you want!”  They were crazy.  If they don’t have enough time, why would my life be any different?
  • You can legit ask a waiter for the wine “closest to juice” — it may not be the fanciest way to go about ordering wine, but it is sincerely effective.
  • People think you are just a generic “twenty-something.”  Your face does not brand you as “super young” the way freshmen are branded in school.
  • Sleeping past seven is sleeping in.  Even on the weekends.
  • Coffee is not always disgusting.  And tea, in fact, is pleasant.
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How to Organize Your Closet

It’s come to my attention that part of being an adult is owning the basically the same wardrobe several times over in slightly different sizes.  As such, I was bra shopping this weekend.

When it was time to check out, there was only one register open, manned by some poor high school boy.  There was a point at which taking my two bras to this register would have embarrassed me more than him, but that point is over.  Now, I just wished I also had a few pairs of lacy underwear in tow.

Anyway, he did pretty well.  He did not turn any funny colors.  Of course, he also did not make eye contact.  He did, however, ask me if I wanted the hangers.

Which was his downfall.  Because on the one hand, the hangers are basically part of the product.  Manufacturers stick these cardboard things over them that spout witty advertising lines like, “Headlights are for cars!”  Thus, this question is a bit akin to buy a DVD and the cashier asking you if you want the plastic shrink-wrap — maybe not so much, but you’re kind of opening my thing.  On the other hand, no, nobody wants the hanger!  First of all, I’ve never encountered somebody that hangs their bras, but it certainly wouldn’t be with the little clear plastic thing that snaps way too easily if they did.  Secondly, and more importantly, the kind of hanger a bra is sold on is basically a Build-a-Bear hanger — it does not fit on anything and serves no purpose.

I told Matt, one year of service, that it really didn’t matter.  He took the hangers off.

How to Be Really Great at Interior Decorating

One of my coworkers is buying a house.

 

To the best of my knowledge, he lives alone, and he is most interested in a house with four bedrooms.

 

This begs the question: What are you going to do with all those extra rooms?

 

Because the possibilities are endless.

 

Personally, I am voting very strongly for a Jelly Bean room.

 

Because why not?  And wouldn’t that be awesome?

 

 

How to Make the Best Food in the World

At my college of choice, a magical little place in rural Minnesota with a striking resemblance to Hogwarts, I learned what my favorite food in the world is.  Our caf service (consistently ranked in the top five college cafs yearly, by the way) dubbed it “Gado gado” but if you google “gado gado” it looks like that generally refers to a cold sliced up vegetables style salad with a peanut sauce.  Gado Gado in our Grains line meant curried vegetables with a peanut sauce and then some other cold things on top.

After much research and experimentation, I have figured out how to recreate this experience.  Here we go…

How to Make the Food of Your Dreams

Curried vegetables:
Roughly follow this recipe.
Except very roughly, because the correct vegetables for Gado Gado are carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes.  And the recipe will still totally work if you buy everything frozen.  And don’t have lime juice.  And there’s no cilantro in Gado Gado.  Really, the key to this is getting a good curry powder.  And not forgetting the tomato paste.

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Also, that particular kitchen utensil is superior to all others. Perhaps I will write about that sometime.

Peanut sauce:

Go with this recipe, which, you will note, tells you to experiment anyway, so do that.

Toppings:
Gado Gado is served with the curried vegetables warm, topped with the peanut sauce warm, topped with the following things cold:
– Chopped cucumbers
– Chopped tomatoes
– Fried onions like it’s a green bean casserole
– Crumbled hard boiled egg

 

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Delicious!

Unfortunately, when made at home, one still has to do the dishes.

How to Make Pretty Dang Good Cookies

  1. Start with a good chocolate chip cookie recipe.
  2. Ignore all the fancy stuff it has you do, like move oven racks and use parchment paper.  I mean, come on.  I just want some cookies that were just as fast as pre-made dough, but didn’t require me to go to the grocery store.
  3. When you find out you don’t have enough chocolate chips (…you might have known this going in), add other stuff as sounds good.  Like:  that frozen banana you’ve been saving, enough peanut butter for approximately 2.5 sandwiches, and the leftover coconut from the sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving.
  4. Make the cookies.  Eat the cookies.  Be happy.

How Finally Going to IKEA Has Changed My Life

So my friend Kelsey, who is living a pretty charmed life right now in which she gets to hang out with her new kitten and experiment with new recipes and produce fodder for her craft blog, has a craft blog.  I guess I just said that twice.

Kelsey’s pretty awesome.  She’s very nice, a smart cookie, has that whole Scandinavian beauty thing going on (I don’t actually know her nationality, so like, grain of salt there, okay?).  She has the best name ever and the grace to be born after me, thus allowing me to call dibs on being the first Kelsey whenever I want.  On top of all that, Kelsey’s a perfectionist.  If you want to know how to do something right, ask her.

If, on the other hand, you want to be told, in a somewhat confusing manner, how to quickly recreate something you saw on the wall at IKEA, I’m your girl.

How to make a hanging photo thingy:

Supplies:

  • Half a dozen cheap ass photo frames.  I recommend the actual IKEA ones, as I dare you to find appropriately sized, matching frames that you are will to drill holes in for cheaper.
$10 worth of frames

$10 worth of frames

  • Some hook and eye things.  Go to the hardware store.  Complain loudly that you don’t know why some are blue and you just want matching ones goshdangit in a whiny voice until some kind gentleman who doesn’t even work there tells you the blue ones are for masonry applications.  Make a mental note to google “masonry applications.”
The ones with the little screws are eyes.  The S's are hooks.  Mine are not blue.

The ones with the little screws are eyes. The S’s are hooks. Mine are not blue.

  • A hammer and a nail (yes, just one of each)
  • Half a dozen photos or postcards or something.  If you are really lazy, you can just buy a pack at IKEA like I did.
  • A roommate

Time:  However long it takes you to get out of IKEA plus however long it takes to you telepathically get somebody to help you at the hardware store plus 30-45 minutes.

You ready?

Take your frames.  Mark little x’s on them where you want to put the little screw things  — the eyes.  Remember that for the bottom frame, you only want hook thingies on the top.

Ask to borrow your roommate’s drill.  Give up on your roommate’s drill.  Instead, start all the holes (through the x’s, of course — come on, a little effort!) with the nail.  Manually twist in the eye thingies.  Get your roommate to help you when your thumbs start bruising but you don’t want to go find your pliers.

Deliberate for a long time about exactly how to arrange your pictures in the frames.  Then, actually put the pictures in the frames.

Here’s the fun part:  Hammer that nail into your ceiling twice to start two more holes for two final eyes.  Ignore your roommate when she warns you about plaster and studs and stuff; this will make for another fun project in the future.

Hang everything together.  Stand back and admire your work.

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