1. It looks like spring has finally sprung here in Chapel Hill, although here it feels a bit more like we went to summer right away. Either way, the sun is shining and I no longer seem to freeze when I go outside. Happy day to those of us living in the south. I’m not entirely sure about my friends and family back in Illinois after what seemed to be a pretty epic snowpocalypse (they got somewhere around 5 1/2 feet of snow), but I do know it’s a lot colder there than it is here. I’ll try to bring some of the heat with me when I visit, I promise.
2. Speaking of when I visit, Erik and I will be making a trip back to the scene of our “I Do’s” in two weeks to spend Easter weekend with my family. I know I’m much more excited about this than he is because I get to go do what I’ve always done on Easter weekends: spend an incredibly absurd amount of time singing at church 🙂 I was sent all of the music for the Sunday morning Easter services (yes, more than one) to practice in advance…which I probably should do at some point.. and I still get to sing my Broadway show tune at the Easter Vigil service on Saturday night. That’s a long one, as it’s a two part service, but it’s quite enjoyable. I’ve managed to get our awesome music ministers through the years to let me sing “Stranger to the Rain” from Children of Eden after the reading about Noah and the flood. It’s my annual Broadway meets church moment. I’m a nerd…I know. Anyway, I’m quite excited to be going home, seeing my family and my puppies (I miss having a dog so much), and being able to celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection the way I have every other year. I’m glad Erik will have the opportunity to experience my Easter weekend traditions as well.
3. I’m in that awkward stage where I can’t decide if I’m getting sick or if the pollen count is starting to rise (now that we don’t freeze over nightly) and I’m in for my major pollen allergy problem. I have been warned that in this area there will literally be layers of pollen on the ground, on cars….everywhere! As someone who is quite allergic to most things in nature (grass, trees, pollen, mold, etc), I am trying to figure out how to survive this yellow covered doom that will inevitably occur. I’ve had some congestion issues the last two days and at this point I don’t know what the cause is. We shall see. Perhaps my time of being on Benadryl during the day (I tend to take it to help me sleep at night) is drawing near…or maybe a few doses of Emergen-c and I’ll be good as new.
4. A major positive about the weather getting nicer: I get to spend time outside. I am physically incapable of running for more than a few steps, but I love going for walks. This was taken on my walk yesterday. If I drive over to the closest grocery store shopping area there are amazing walking paths, so when I went to pick up a few things yesterday (research for an upcoming post. Get excited!), I decided to go on a half an hour walk first. Having the weather be nice definitely encourages me to get out and move more which is something I definitely need.
5. Is anyone else amused by listening to the birds outside? I have caught myself actually enjoying listening to the calls and responses of the birds outside (currently happening as I type). There’s one really chatty birdie who hangs out in a tree near my windows, and he always seems to be striking up conversation. The other day I was listening to him chat up another bird with the same birdcall, and when the other bird stopped answering, the bird near me kept calling and waiting..and I actually felt bad for him because his friend left. Again…I’m a major dork..
6. This is a picture of my latest failed attempt at macaroons. *sigh* I’ve been using a recipe that I found from a YouTube chef, Byron Talbott, and I have not been able to get the batter to the right consistency once..this was attempt #4…Last time it was so thick I couldn’t pipe it through the bag, and this time it was too runny. I noticed that Byron’s recipes have both measurements (cups/tbsp) and weight (g) for each ingredient, and I also noticed that the two don’t always perfectly match up. I’m not entirely sure where in this process I’m failing, but once I run out of my $12 bag of almond flour (I know, insane…) I think I’m going to give it a rest for awhile.. Do you have any suggestions on how to make French Macaroons? I might just stick to the Trader Joe’s box I can get for $5 (for 12 cookies). Still pricy, but they’re not $2 a cookie, which is normal price and at least I know they taste good.
7. Ok guys, new iPhone game for you. For those of you who want an addicting challenge, grab your phone and download “2048.” Erik had me try it and I can’t stop playing. Basically you get these tiles, and you slide them in one direction at a time. When two tiles of the same number merge, they will double (2 blocks with the number 2 meeting turns into a single 4 block, two 4’s make 8, 8 is 16, etc) and the goal is to get to the block that equals 2048. First, this was a competition between Erik and I to see who could score higher, but the other day he sent me a picture with the “You Did It!” screenshot showing he actually won and got to the last tile.. of course he did *sigh* I’ve made it as far as having one tile of 1024 on the screen, but not much further. You will be addicted. Download at your own risk. It’s awesome.
8. One of my favorite Easter candy finds this year. This bad boy will be showing up in at least 2 more posts that I have planned. I am not usually a huge fan of the chocolate covered marshmallow treats that come out this time of year. My mom always buys the Fannie May marshmallow eggs and LOVES them, and while they’re okay, personally I want to spend my Points on their cream eggs. Mmm..my mouth is watering just thinking about that vanilla creme goodness. These Peeps ones, however, I can’t get enough of. They’re at Target and oh so good. Peeps has come out with some pretty epic stuff this year. More on that later. What is your favorite Easter treat??
9. I made the mistake of discovering that mixing pumpkin with cake mix (my method for making cake and cupcakes when I bake) and putting it in the microwave actually works. Why is this a mistake, you ask? Because in order to get a big old piece (you know, because you need a big piece..) of cake I end up using 2 servings of cake mix (because I have zero self control apparently..) and that ends up being around 8-9 Points before you add in the delicious melty chocolate chips… shame on me! It’s SO FREAKING GOOD!! and while I give myself props for not making it with eggs and oil and such, the reality is the carbs in the mix still add up quick. I should have never tried it because now I can’t stop. Most delicious (quick-ish) dessert I’ve come up with yet. Hubby loves it too. This is why I need to walk more.. Try at your own risk.
10. And lastly, here are some goals I’m setting for April! Gotta have goals!
- Active Link (by Weight Watchers) not only tracks the percentage of your goal that you meet daily, but it also keeps track of your success weekly. While some days I don’t quite make it to my goal, I want every week to say 100%, even if I slack one day. It just means I work that much harder the next. This means I will have burned 35 Points Plus values in a week.
- I’m trying to read more. The plan is “The Fault in Our Stars” and probably a blogging book. At least two books will be read…hopefully more.
- The plan (Weight Watchers) works when I track. I’m having a killer week because I’m actually putting forth the effort. It’s amazing how something works better when you do what you’re supposed to with it…duh, I know..
- I signed up for Blog School and the first mod goes live next week. I really want to work hard at getting my little place on the internet a place that others want to come to. I really enjoy writing when I get inspired to share information with others, and I want to put the work in to make my little place a special one. Thanks to all of you who already read my posts. I’m hoping I will make your experience here even better.
- 90 Miles according to my Fit Bit. Self explanatory.
That’s all I’ve got for thinking out loud today. Happy April, friends. I hope spring shows up where you are soon 🙂