My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

Merry Christmas!

I know that I am a few days early, but I wanted to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas.  It has been a busy past few weeks, and Adam and I are going to be visiting family soon, so I’m going to take the rest of the year off, because I probably won’t have much time to blog in the next few weeks.  I will see you at the beginning of the year.  And just so I don’t lose your interest, here are some topics you can expect in the new year:

My Top 10 Favorite Books and Movies from 2013
An Update on how I’ve been doing on my 23 for my 23rd year goals
Some New Years Resolutions
A Look at What’s Ahead in 2014

Merry Christmas!
Love,
Lauren

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TGBTL #3–My Go To Meal

I’m linking up again this week with Lauren and Hayley and The Girl Between the Lines.  This week’s prompt is “My Go to Meal.”

One of my projects that I did this year was make an index card for every meal that I make and want to try.  I then made up two separate binders to hold these cards in, our favorites, and other recipes.  This has saved me so much time when menu planning and made it so much easier, which is a great thing for me because I hate menu planning.

Some of the recipes in the favorites binder that we have most frequently are: Cheeseburger Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Chicken Cheese Croissants.  These are some of the meals that we really enjoy and are pretty easy to make.  But I can honestly say, and Adam would tell you this as well, that my go-to meal is Pancakes.  (I’m a big breakfast for dinner kind of person).

If I mess up on the meal planning and need another meal=Pancakes.  If I can’t find another meal to make=Pancakes.  If we just aren’t feeling the meal planned for that night=Pancakes (or pizza).

Reasons why Pancakes is my Go-To Meal:
pancakes-It’s cheap
-It’s easy
-I already have all the ingredients in my house
-They are customizeable
-You can never eat too many pancakes (at least I can’t)
-They’re just plain delicious!

In general, we probably have pancakes once a week, because they are a quick, easy solution to menu planning.

So here is my super easy pancake recipe:

1 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup of milk, plus more to get desire consistency
2 Tablespoons oil

**Secret ingredients–a little bit of vanilla and cinnamon

Mix together dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and then combine.
Heat a skillet to medium heat, pour batter on the skillet, flip when there are lots of bubbles on your pancake.
Eat as they are ready, or heat the oven to 250 degrees and keep pancakes warm to eat together.

Mmmm this makes me want to have pancakes for dinner!

 

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This problem I have…

timerI love to cook and I love trying new recipes, but you see I have this problem…

I tend to not read the recipe the entire way through and miss important information, especially with timing.  This seems to be a relatively new problem.  I do not remember having this problem before.  But in the past two months it has appeared 4 times.

Recipe: Homemade Soft Pretzels
Problem:  I did not realize that the dough would need to rise at two different points in the recipe, a total of 2.5 hours that I did not take into account when determining my starting time.
Result:  Trying to finish making pretzels at 11:30 at night.  I ended up falling asleep on the couch and Adam finished making them all.  And then we were really too tired to even enjoy them.

Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie
Problem: This recipe made two pot pies.  We ate the first one, no problems.  The second one we froze to eat on another night.  That night I only read the first set of instructions when determining when to put it in the oven, “preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook for 30-40 minutes.”  I was thinking that would be the perfect amount of time.  Later, when actually making dinner, Adam read the instructions again and there was a second step that I had not read down far enough to see: “then decrease the heat to 350 degrees and cook for 80 more minutes.”  We did not have that kind of time.
Result: Ordered a pizza and made it another day.

Recipe: Cornbread Dressing
Problem: I had picked this recipe to make at my parent’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  So, 7pm the day before (Thanksgiving dinner to be ready at 2pm) I read through the whole recipe for the first time and it says, “set bread out to dry for 24 hours.”  Well, that’s not going to happen.
Result: Put the bread in the oven to dry it out.

Recipe:  Homemade Doughnuts
Problem:  Now, knowing I had this problem, I was determined not to let it happen again.  So I read through the recipe until I saw refrigerate for 8-10 hours.  And I thought, “A-ha!  I’m going to get this recipe right!”  So I made the dough the day before and let it refrigerate overnight.  I even caught the next part that said to give it 2 hours to come to room temperature.  I thought for sure I had finally achieved my goal.  I still hadn’t read the entire recipe, and this time I had caught everything.  Can you see where this is going?  Then, right when I thought we were ready to fry the doughnuts, I read the next step, “Put the doughnuts on a baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and let rise for 2 hours.”  Gah!  It had happened again!  Fooled by double rising!
Result: Adam and I had another exciting night of cooking into 11:30pm and then enjoying our doughnuts, which were delicious.  I’m sure they would have been more delicious if it hadn’t been midnight.

When will I ever learn?

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The Storyteller

the storyteller  The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I do not usually write book reviews on this blog, but this book was too spectacular to not mention on here.  I happened to see this book publicized on my goodreads and then I found it on the new bookshelf the last time that I went to the library.  The storyline on the inside cover sounded intriguing enough, so I decided to give it a try.

This book follows a young woman, Sage Singer, who is a baker at a local bakery.  She has lost both her father and her mother and attends grief counseling weekly.  One week she meets an elderly man Josef Weber who becomes her friend.  Their friendship is stretched to its breaking point when Josef makes a request of Sage that will haunt her.  Sage must decide whether or not she will let her past dictate her future.

This is a gripping, honest story told exceptionally well.  This story blew me away.  It was captivating and emotional.  There are parts of this story told about the Holocaust, which means that there is some difficult content.  But it is necessary for the character to hear the story and to help make her decision.

This was a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.  Even to you Dad.  I know you don’t like fiction, but this one is worth it.  If you find yourself with some extra time over your holiday, try to find this book.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Homemade Doughnuts!

Last night Adam and I made Homemade Glazed Doughnuts and they were delicious!
IMG_2202 IMG_2206 IMG_2207Yum!

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Trying Something New–TGBTL Link Up

Well, I have never participated in a link up.  I have always been interested in it and wanted to do it, but never have.  So today I am linking up with my wonderful friend Lauren.  She writes The Albrechts Blog.  She is fantastic.  If you have not read her blog, get over there and check it out.  This is week 2 of The Girl Between the Lines Linkup.  I missed week one, but now I am jumping on board.  This week’s topic, “Your Favorite Things about the Holiday Season.”

What I love most about the Holiday Season is the memories that are made.  Like when this happened:
camel

or this:
party

or the time that Adam and I bought a Christmas tree too big for our apartment and the top was tilted against the ceiling.

or all the terrible pictures of me opening presents in the morning in my pajamas with some glamorous bed head.

Making memories is easiest during the holidays because you are with your family and crazy things happen.  Things go wrong, plans get changed, but it doesn’t matter because you are with your family celebrating Jesus’ birth.  I love the warmth and love that surrounds the holidays.  There is just nothing quite like it.

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Where Have I Been?

I have been sick since Thursday with strep and a sinus infection.  It has really wiped me out.  I missed 3 days of work and I am still not feeling back to normal.  Hopefully I will soon.

All of our gifts are wrapped, our Christmas cards are done, and I have been feeling pretty accomplished.  And I have watched several movies in the last week, some better than others.  Here are the reviews for the ones that I watched and crossed of my list.

Ghost  Ghost (PG13 1990)
This is one of those movies that left me wondering, why have I never seen this movie before?!  Parents-why?  I loved this movie.  I was blown away with how much I enjoyed it.  This movie stars Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg.  Whoopi Goldberg was fabulous.  She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in this role and I would say she definitely deserved it.  Don’t be like me.  If you haven’t seen this movie, go out there and get it from somewhere and watch it!  *****Selling God

Selling God-Documentary (NR  2009)
This movie was not at all what I was expecting it to be and it downright infuriated me.  I am going to write a more detailed review about this movie later, as long as I can find my notes.  I thought the movie would be about how Christianity has become commercialized.  But no, this movie was about how some of the key points of Christianity are marketing ploys to get people to join the religion.  I want to give this movie no stars because of how much I hated how they treated the topic, but it was a well made movie so I should probably give it two stars.  But I’m not happy about it, so I’m only giving it one.  *

The Reader  The Reader (R 2008)
I almost stopped this movie 15 minutes into it, but I pressed on and I am glad that I did.  It turned out to be a very beautiful and moving story.  The story starts off with a 15 year old boy and his affair with a 30 year old woman, which is why I would have stopped the movie, but then things change and the story takes a different direction.  I recommend this movie with reservations.  I really did end up loving this story and it was told beautifully.  However, some of the content is hard to get past.  But it was a beautiful movie and I am glad that I made it to the end.  ****Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane (G 1953)
This movie was just plain fun.  It is about a rough around the edges woman named Calamity Jane, who is very closely compared to Annie Oakley.  This is a musical following Calamity, her journey to get an actress from Chicago to come to her little town, and how later she wishes she hadn’t.  It is an entertaining love story and has fun music.  I could listen to Doris Day sing all day long.  ****

Get Shorty  Get Shorty  (R 1995) This movie was not what I had expected going into it, but it ended up being rather entertaining.  However, it is a movie that I will probably never watch again.  It was alright, but it wasn’t spectacular.  ***

Blue Steel  (R 1989)Blue Steel
This movie stars Jamie Lee Curtis as a rookie cop in New York.  Wait, did you read that right?  Jamie Lee Curtis as a cop?  Yes you did, and I think she does a great job.  I am a big Jamie Lee Curtis fan, and this movie did not disappoint me.  This is an intense thriller that follows Megan Turner on her first few days as a New York City cop.  She ends up getting into some very uncomfortable situations.  This is a very intense movie, but all in all I enjoyed it.  ****

I hope that you are not getting tired of all of these movie reviews.  I really do enjoy watching all kinds of different movies and my hope is that I pique your interest and you find a movie that you enjoy watching.

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Holiday Guessing Game Answers

miracle on 34th st#10  “We invite you to ask yourself this one simple question: Do you believe in Santa Claus?”
Miracle on 34th Street
This is one of my childhood favorites.  I watched it a lot when I was little.  And who doesn’t love Mara Wilson?
a charlie brown christmasShe’s just so cute!

#9  “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
A Charlie Brown Christmas
This is one of my mom’s favorites, which means that we watched it almost every year as children.  It is a good thing that it is so good, or else that could have been torture.

wonderful life#8  “Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!”
It’s a Wonderful Life
This movie was always a favorite in our family.  We watched it almost every year.  I think this movie is a holiday classic in most families.rise of the guardians

#7  “You’re all hard work and deadlines, and I’m all snowballs and fun times.”
Rise of the Guardians
This movie just came out last Christmas.  We didn’t get to see it in theaters so we rented it when it came out in the Redbox and I loved it!  I really enjoyed the story in this movie and I will admit to crying during the movie.  I thought it was that good.  I am hoping to add this to my Christmas movie collection very soon.

holiday inn#6  “Come out and relax on a farm, music, dancing, home cooking. Open holidays only.”
Holiday Inn
I happened upon this movie sometime earlier in the year.  And when I watched it I really enjoyed it.  I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen it before.  It really should be considered a holiday classic.christmas story

#5  “Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!”
A Christmas Story
This is another movie that I grew up watching.  It quickly became one of my favorite Christmas movies and it still is.  I always try to catch it on TV at least once.

elf#4  “Don’t tell him what you want, he’s a liar.”
Elf
When I first saw this movie I thought it was so stupid, but the more I watched it the more I began to love it.  I love the story of this movie and who cannot say that Will Ferrell is pretty amazing in this movie?  It has already become a tradition for us to watch this movie every Christmas.white christmas

#3  “I wanna wash my hands, my face, my hair with snow.”
White Christmas
I grew up watching this movie with my family and I am so glad that I did because it is so good.  My sister and I love this movie and we would always beg to watch it every time we were at my grandmother’s house because she was the only one who owned it.  This movie should be a Christmas classic in every home.
home alone

#2  “Is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?”
Home Alone
Ah, Home Alone.  This will always be one of my most favorite Christmas movies.  It’s wonderful.  There’s not too much else to be said about it.

#1  “Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean is doesn’t exist.”the santa clause
The Santa Clause
Oh the Santa Clause, what a wonderful movie.  Who doesn’t love this movie?  It has a great story and it really gets me into the Christmas spirit when I watch it.

 

Did I leave out any of your favorites?  What do you think deserves to be a Christmas movie classic?

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Holiday Movie Guessing Game!

Let’s talk about Christmas movies.  I just love them.  The sad thing about Christmas movies is that you only have one month to watch all of your favorites.  I have lots of favorite Christmas movies.  I was reading some lists online of the best Christmas movies.  I was surprised to see that Die Hard was on #2 on three of those lists Also on the list: Batman Forever, Lethal Weapon, and The Ref (2004).  I have never seen or even heard of The Ref, would anyone recommend this movie?  When I’m talking about Christmas movies, I am not talking about movies like Die Hard, that just happen to take place at Christmas.  I’m talking the fill you with joy and the Christmas spirit Christmas movies.

Can you guess my Top Ten Favorite Christmas Movies?  I will post the answers tomorrow night.

Honorable Mention
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated)
Home Alone 2
Jingle All the Way
By the Light of the Silvery Moon
The Holiday

#10  “We invite you to ask yourself this one simple question: Do you believe in Santa Claus?”

#9  “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

#8  “Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!”

#7  “You’re all hard work and deadlines, and I’m all snowballs and fun times.”

#6  “Come out and relax on a farm, music, dancing, home cooking. Open holidays only.”

#5  “Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!”

#4  “Don’t tell him what you want, he’s a liar.”

#3  “I wanna wash my hands, my face, my hair with snow.”

#2  “Is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?”

#1  “Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean is doesn’t exist.”

 

Comment with your guesses!

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Notorious

notoriousAnother movie marked off the list.  This time it was, Notorious (1946), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  This movie, starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman is a combination of suspense and romance.  I watched this over Thanksgiving break with Adam and my parents.  Adam fell asleep, but that should not reflect badly on this movie.  I really enjoyed this movie.  It was suspenseful and had a very intriguing story.  If you like Alfred Hitchcock, even if you do not, I would highly recommend this movie.  ****

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