Wednesday, January 18

cucumber feta rolls

I made these as a side for dinner with baked fish and truffled couscous --- they are delicious and easy to make! Enjoy!

Cucumber Feta Rolls

Yield: approximately 20 rolls
Prep Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cucumbers
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 tablespoons finely diced sundried tomatoes or red bell pepper
8 - 12 pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill or oregano
2 teaspoons lemon juice
pinch of pepper, or to taste

Directions:

1. Thinly slice the cucumbers longways on a mandoline at a 2mm thick setting. Alternatively, you can use a vegetable peeler if you do not have a mandoline. Lay the cucumbers on top of a paper towel lined cutting board while you prepare the filling.

2. Add the feta and yogurt to a medium bowl. Mash to combine using a fork. Add the bell pepper or sun dried tomatoes, olives, dill, lemon, and pepper to the bowl. Stir well to combine. In a bowl, mash the feta using a fork.

3. Place 1 - 2 teaspoons of mixture at one end of a cucumber strip and roll up. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining strips. If not serving immediately, chill until ready to serve.

Voila!
Cheers!

Tuesday, January 17

tag

Ashley at Everything is Uncharted has tagged me in a blogger get to know you game :)

Part 1: Rules
1) You must post the rules.
2) Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3) Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4) Tag eleven people and link them on your post.
5) Let them know you've tagged them!
Part 2: 11 Random Facts
1) Most of you probably know this one, but I played rugby for 6 years in highschool and college. I miss the game and the camaraderie, but my joints sure don't miss it!!!
2) My husband is my high school sweetheart :)
3) Lived in Burbank, CA for 3 months when I was in the 3rd grade to try my hand at acting! Made it into a Muppet movie, a math movie, and a local small budget film :) Got paid, came home, and bought a TON of Barbies at Wal Mart. 
4) 2 things I refuse to buy premade when I could make them at home: Bloody Marys and guacamole. I have serious skills in making these 2 treats. 
5) I think I have a tv addiction.
6) I wish I had a gym addiction.
7) I want to raise a family in Fort Collins, Colorado.
8) I was involved in so many clubs in high school that I only went out to lunch with friends 3 TIMES senior year! The rest of my lunches were spent at club meetings!
9) I consider shopping to be therapy. It costs the same as real therapy probably.
10) Something I refuse to spend money on are massages --- that's my husband's job! 
11) My car is named Princess :)

Part 3a: Ashley's Questions for Me
In the event of some sort of disaster what three items would you grab first?
My husband, my dogs (can they count as one?), and my laptop (has all my pictures on it!)
If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
To be able to pause time! Then I could extend my days and hit the gym or study until I actually feel prepared for an exam instead of freak out cramming all the time!
Who is your favorite music artist/band?
I don't have one favorite...but some of my top jams include: Britney (fan for 12 years!), Gaga (much respect), Rihanna, Tom Petty (since I was 5 years old), Adele, 80s Madonna, No Doubt, Blink 182.  
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Getting things off my chest, writing is therapeutic!
What’s the best movie you’ve seen in theaters in that past month (or so)?
I have watched SO many movies in the last month since I have been on vacation. The only movie I saw in the theaters was New Years Eve, and it was a lot of fun! The best movie I rented was Soul Surfer! I also loved Our Idiot Brother, Crazy, Stupid Love, Midnight in Paris, the Justin Bieber movie, and How Does She Do It
Do/Did you go to college? If so, where?!
Graduated with my undergraduate at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2008. Now I'm in graduate school studying to be a Physician Assistant in Aurora, Colorado. Graduate in 2014!
What TV show is your guilty pleasure?
Desperate Housewives --- that show has gone to complete shit! And yet I still watch it. Seeing it through it's final season :)
Facebook, Twitter, or Other?
Facebook, I have a serious problem!
Given the option, where in the world would you like to live?
Temporarily? Spain!!! Permanently? Fort Collins, CO. 
What are you currently reading?
The Education of Little Tree and The Devil in the White City
You just won 1 million dollars! What is the first thing you are going to do with it?
Pay off my townhome, my car, and school loans!!!
Part 3b: My Questions for You
1. What is the best book you have ever read?
2. If you could live in any decade for a year, which would you choose and why?
3. Who is the first celebrity crush you can remember having? (JTT!!! haha)
4. What is the best TV show you have ever watched?
5. If you could create your own nonprofit organization, what would your efforts go towards?
6. If you could dye your hair any color and be able to change it back with a snap, what color would you dye it?
7. Describe your dream home :)
8. If you could have any nonconventional animal (not a dog, cat, bird, etc) as a pet, what would it be?
9. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
10. What is your favorite karaoke song?
11. What household chore do you loathe the most?

Part 4: Tagging
Well, I'm not really going to follow the rules. I tag YOU! All of you!!! I love you all and can't choose only 11 blogs to tag! Anyone who thinks this is fun, post this tag game on your blog :)

Have fun!
CHEERS!!!

the end, the beginning

My last day of winter vacation.

I can hardly complain, considering I had an entire 4 weeks of glorious vacation from PA School. I enjoyed ev-er-y single minute of it. It was complete bliss.

I finally was able to clean my house. See my family (lots - I may have overstayed my welcome at my parents' house more than once). Spend time with my husband. WATCH MOVIES. I'm talking lots of movies. Even an XMen marathon with my little sister: I, II, III, and 1st Class. See some friends. Drink wine. Drink beer (I may still be hungover from New Years Eve). Read. Cuddle my dogs - for hours and hours every day. Laugh.

And I found out that my insomnia was indeed stress-induced (probably ISBM-induced to be more specific), like I thought --- I only took ambien ONCE over break!

I finally saw Soul Surfer and One Day (amidst a slew of other films I have already blogged about) --- movies I have been dying to see! And I must say that Soul Surfer is now one of my favorite movies of all time --- hands down! It is a movie with a Christian base, and it tells the story of Bethany Hamilton, a teenager who got her arm bitten off in a shark attack while surfing. Throughout the tragedy of the accident, Bethany never loses faith in God nor in her ability to make it as a professional surfer. With the help of her incredibly supportive family, she relearns how to surf, and indeed her dreams come true. This film is uplifting, encouraging, sad, and beautiful. LOVED IT. 

One Day, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, is a tale of love and friendship, and blurring the lines between the two. Anne Hathaway does her best to play a British woman...but the accent is just odd. Sometimes Scottish, sometimes American, sometimes British...mostly awkward. The movie wasn't all I had expected it to be. It was frustrating, not very romantic, kind of funny, and tragic. Not exactly my favorite ingredients for a win-me-over-rom-com. Did anyone else see it? What did you think?
I am so grateful for this time I had to reconnect with my loved ones, and reconnect with myself. Oh and reconnect with the blogworld, too :)

So, tis the end of my break. But the beginning of a new semester for me. A semester in which I hope to fare better than I did last semester (emotionally, grade-wise). One in which I will strive for that balance, and try to remember to smile and laugh more often :)

Cheers, and goodbye for now! 

committed

Friends, it is with a HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF that I am able to announce to you that I have at last finished reading the book Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, my second book of 2012.
I am willing to bet that many of you thoroughly enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. I read it a few years ago and fell in love with Gilbert's story of finding peace within herself after a dramatic divorce. It wasn't a page-turner, but rather every page made me think. I adored it. It took me months to finish, but merely because I wasn't in any hurry to finish it. 
I bought Gilbert's "follow-up" to Eat, Pray, Love because I thought it might contain some of the wit, travel, and personal growth segments that I enjoyed so much in Eat, Pray, Love. I was wrong. While this book took me months to finish (5 to be exact), it was not because I was enjoying it immensely and wanted to avoid the end. I have been pleading with the book to go by faster. Begging it to end. Willing myself to read more than 15 pages at a time (nearly impossible with this book). 
 Unfortunately, Committed is no where NEAR the "gem" status that Eat, Pray, Love is. Committed is more like Gilbert's frantic attempt to make peace with the institution of marriage. It is like a diary filled with her frustrations and inner arguments...and most diaries probably shouldn't be published.  
You guys know me, I tend to find the positive in any movie, book, tv show...I rarely review things poorly. While this book had some interesting historical facts on the evolution of Western marriage (yes, hundreds of pages are devoted to the history of Western marriage), these tidbits are not enough to make a good book. I found it overall dull, dragging from page to page. And Gilbert's constant insistence that living life as an unmarried childless woman is completely fulfilling almost made me feel like she was defending her choices too much. Like maybe she doesn't really believe that herself, you know?
I am certainly glad to bid adieu to this book, and do not recommend it to you! At least not if you are looking for a book similar in any way to Eat, Pray, Love. Maybe read it if you are interested in the history of marriage practices. Or if you need a bedside book that will put you to sleep within 20 minutes. I must say I am dedicated when it comes to finishing books; I don't like to give up on books, just in case they are going to be amazing in the end. Not the case with this book, though!
I started The Education of Little Tree last night, a book my grandma gave me for Christmas, and I'm hoping that it has a lot more zest and good writing than Committed did!
What's on your bedside table right now?
Cheers!

Thursday, January 12

currently

I was perusing some new blogs this morning, and found a love post called "currently" over at Jenn's blog. I thought I'd participate, and you should too!

current book(s):
 


current playlist:

current color:
I recently did a Pinterest "craft" - painted my keys with nailpolish! It was so easy and now my keyring shimmers beautifully! Anyway, I'm loving the blue sparkly nailpolish - it's Gone Gonzo by Opi, and my mom gave it to me for Christmas.
 

current food:
Blueberries! In everything! In my oatmeal, on my waffles, in my cereal, in my yogurt...


current favorite show(s):