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Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Eventful Birthday

Today is Alec's 23rd Birthday. I already gave him his gifts earlier this month, but I still wanted to make today special for him. I don't know if you have noticed, you probably haven't, but I have been MIA for a few weeks now. This is the final push at school and I've been working my butt off in the gym, doing school work and at work. We took a few hours off today to just relax and have a little fun, though.
This picture was taken at 8am when I told him to be ready and meet me outside. He had no idea where we were going.

I drove around until he was thoroughly confused. Then, we ended up at the local diner for our favorite breakfast of Egg's Benedict. 

After breakfast, he went to class and I scrambled around setting up this scavenger hunt. When he got back from class, he opened his bedroom door only to have a pile of balloons fall onto his head. There he found his first clue. He followed the clues around while I was at class until the final clue took him to pick me up from class.

We ended up at our new apartment. Here we enjoyed this portioned size cake I got for him, complete with 23 candles.

Here he is with his little cake. 

I keep saying I'll post more on my new apartment and I will. As of now, we just got the keys and it is unfurnished. Here is a sneak peak of the layout, though.

Alec is very excited about the TV the last tenant left us.

Overall, he had a fun birthday and now we both have to get back to schoolwork. I figured I'd share the day's events as another little break before the college grind sets back in.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday's Sweets: New York Style Cheesecake

Hello, everyone. 
I hope you are having a beautiful weekend and really take these two days to rest, relax and center yourselves. You deserve it.
This week's recipe is very special because it comes from a fabulous fellow blogger. 
Maria from Shade of Whim has written a rather delightful guest post on her first (and very successful) attempt at making a cheesecake! This is one of those recipes that most of us are afraid to try. It is a baking milestone, if I may. One that I have not yet reached, but that Maria has given me inspiration to try.

I was so excited when the lovely Amanda Rose asked me be her guest blogger today!  I've been admiring her baking-star-powers for so long that I was crossing fingers and toes to get my recipe right. I really wanted to try something new for this post, something I hadn't been brave enough to tackle in the baking department yet – baked cheesecake!  Admittedly, it’s probably not the safest choice but the end result was a gorgeous (and delicious) success! Everyone thought I’d been slaving over mixers and spring form pans but in reality, this cake is simpler to whip up than I thought.  In 2 hours (plus chilling time) you can have your own classic New York cheesecake too. My interpretation of Martha Stewart’s recipe went like this…

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

13. Play Piano Again

When I was a little girl, one of my first memories is going to ballet class. I think I only went a few times before I quit. Then, I remember starting to take piano lessons. I played piano and took lessons for eight whole years. Spending eight years practicing anything would make you decent at it, especially as a child. You would think so, anyway. I remember playing simple Christmas songs at family gatherings and playing piano is jazz band. I was never good though. I didn't practice enough. It was one of those things where people smiled at me and told me I was great when really I was just a little girl trying to succeed at something. I particularly remember not being able to coordinate both hands at the same time. I could play my left hand and I could play the whole song with my right hand, but when I brought the two together all I got was a choppy, strained mess. 
Now that you have the history on this goal, you may understand why I want another chance. The past few years I have been wishing that I could play piano beautifully. So I made it one of my goals in my list of 40 things to do before I turn 20 to play piano again. I did it. I went to a music room on campus, I spread out my sheets of music and I brushed my fingers along the keys. The notes were so familiar and I felt like I belonged on that stool in front of the piano.
 Unfortunately, I didn't sit down and suddenly understand how to play piano beautifully. 
My hands didn't coordinate and I still couldn't just read the music and know what notes to hit. I had to sit and think about how to read the music and then figure out where the keys were. I want to practice but I need more time. This goal is something that I'm going to need to work on, and work on hard. I took the first step and tried again. I think my goal of being able to consider myself a pianist is one that I'm going to carry for a while. It requires dedication. The sitting down every night for an hour and getting to know music again kind of dedication.

Do you play piano or have a goal like this? 
How do you struggle to be better?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

28.Grow All of My Nails Out


Here is another goal on my list of 40 things to do before I turn 20. I have always wanted to finally have long nails. What "long" adds up to? I'm not sure. I try and try to grow my nails out and don't bite them (anymore). I have finally come to terms with this goal of mine, though. I have stopped blaming myself for my short-ish nails that never seem to all be long at once. I realized that my nails are basically unhealthy. I don't know why this is. I'm no nutritionist and don't know what I'm supposed to eat that will make my nails grow strong. I do know that no matter how long my nails get they just peel off. The top layers of my nails peel off like flakes and the long tips will just randomly tear and peel right off. They are by no definition strong. I am taking gelatin pills that claim to "support" nail growth. I don't really believe this will work, but I am trying it anyway. 
So, this goal is crossed off. Not because I have successfully grown "long" nails, but because I have come to terms with my own nails and embraced the fact that they are pretty long and as long as I can get them. I don't bite them. I don't clip them all off. I'm trying my best and that seems like a success in my book.

These photos are my nail pictures for my instagram over the past year. 
You can follow along in real time if you want : Amandaros3

How do you keep your nails healthy and strong?

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