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I saw these on Pinterest last week and they really made my day, so I thought I’d share.

PicMonkey Collage

For more such nerdy awesomeness, check out the creator’s tumblr.


things I ate that you might want to eat too

Smitten Kitchen’s warm lentil and potato salad: the dressing is really good. I had it with a boiled egg on top for lunch one day, and I bet the suggested sausage or roast or chops would be really nice too. I skipped the capers, as I’m not really a capers fan, and I just got basic lentils from Smith’s, though you’re certainly free to go the more discerning route. I also forgot the scallions; make of that what you will.

Perry’s Plate’s sweet potato foil packet tacos: I skip the beef, add more spinach, and usually do black beans. I also don’t call them tacos, but sweet potato packages. And since I’m not doing the paleo thing, I sometimes add a tortilla. I get my taco seasoning recipe from here.

Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s skillet butternut squash, sausage and penne pasta: I am a big fan of squash, and this comes together very easily. Note to self: next time, try saving your appetite for the dish itself, instead of snacking on the sausage while you wait.

Closet Cooking’s brussels sprout and mushroom hash: this is a basic hash, and meant for breakfast, but I had it for dinner twice this week. Anything that features runny egg yolk and toast is a good idea in my book.

As an aside, when I went home for my grandfather’s cremation, I brought back a couple books I needed, but also my set of kitchen knives. I have liked cooking so much more now that I have proper knives again. It’s funny: from all my stuff at home, I miss my books and my kitchen supplies the most. (Immersion blender and bake ware, how I miss thee..) Next time I move somewhere overseas, I might have to drastically rethink my approach of what to bring.

Pinterest Challenge

Janssen, Merrick and Landen do something they call “Sisters Share it All” every other week, in which they all post about the same subject. This time, they’re doing a Pinterest challenge and inviting us to participate. So here it is: six things I want to accomplish in six weeks.

I tried really hard not to make it all about food (let’s face it: I use Pinterest to collect recipes I want to try, ogle at weddings I’d never want to host but that are pretty anyway, and geek out about my favorite shows).


1. Peanut butter nutella thumbprint cookies. I love cookies like these but haven’t made them in so long I’d quite forgotten I liked them.

2. Pea and Goat Cheese Tart. My mom makes a lot of quiches and tarts, but I seldom do. This seems like a good start.

3. Thai Turkey Meatballs. Thai food and meatballs? What’s not to like?

4. Some kind of five-year journal. I journal when the spirit strikes me, but jot notes to myself on my day all the time. I look forward to collecting them in one place.

5. Barre workouts make me feel graceful and strong at the same time (and unlike dance workouts, you don’t need a sense of rhythm). Ideally, I’d do this one at least once a week for six weeks, but we’ll see what happens.

6. How to fold a fitted sheet. I am neurotic and chaotic at the same time–not always a good combination. Learning how to properly fold fitted sheets can be a first step in my quest for an organized life. (Perhaps the only step, but whatever.)


pinterest challenge button

American Girl(s)

I was browsing Slate the other day when I found this: photographer Illona Szwarc, taking a fascinating look at American girls and their American Girl dolls. (Go look at the girls on horseback–I found that picture especially striking.) But I have to disagree with her analysis, or at least parts of it:

 “I’ve noticed that girls do not really care as much about the books and stories that come with the dolls,” wrote Szwarc. “They are much more interested in clothes and accessories, so the educational message functions as a marketing tool for parents rather than as an inspiration for girls to learn.”

I’m guessing this is because she chose to interview and photograph girls owning the contemporary dolls. My parents went the alternative route: I had Molly, growing up, and my sisters had Samantha and Kirstin, respectively.


at the American Girl Place (Chicago) in 2008, with Molly.

Much of what I know of Edwardian times comes from reading the books that came with Samantha over and over again, and I can’t think of Victory gardens without thinking of my own Molly. Kirstin gets the credit for St Lucia and the life of Swedish immigrants. We read the Abby books, and the Felicia ones, and any others we could get. I don’t know about my sisters, but I read them cover to cover, including the chapter at the end that dealt specifically with the historical context of the stories and the dolls.

In fact, the only accessories I was really excited about were those that had to do with school–I remember seating Molly at her school desk, her miniature books in her book bag (that book bag!) and her glasses firmly on her nose. Of course, all that proves is that I was a nerd, even back then. (That shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this.)

links and stuff (a lot of Pinterest)

–Pinterest boards like this one, titled “beard porn”, make me slightly uncomfortable. Yes, beards are hot. But then I remember that my dad has a beard, I think about that for a minute, and my head wants to explode.

–This Mistletoe Prank video made me laugh. Nicely done, BYU students. (I know Christmas is so last year. But still.)

–remember how I was so enthusiastic about making my own bread? Well, I tried to adapt the peasant bread recipe to include whole wheat flour, and I’m pretty sure I got the ratio wrong, because what emerged from my oven was…not bread. Luckily I still had some bread mix in my baking drawer (the kind where you just add water) so I didn’t have to go hungry. Back to the drawing board on that one.

–I love being a nerd.

–It’s kind of insane that you have people that print out something like this instead of just grabbing a piece of paper. It works just as well, people. Pinterest should come with a dose of common sense.

–And less THINSPIRATION boards. (Gah, they annoy me.) Especially when they contain pins like these:
PunishmentBecause it apparently doesn’t count as exercise unless you’re feeling superior. Original here.

call me ishmael

This is my third day being sick, so as I lie on the couch, recuperating with the Harry Potter books (in reverse order, because they’re more fun that way), I thought I’d leave you with this video.

I got the link from a friend in the American Studies department here (she does a lot of work on Moby Dick). I might have to declare it the most epic video of 2012. If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.