Category: things i love

Sunday Scribbling: Yes

Sunday Scribbling this week asks an interesting question: What have you said yes to that changed your life?

Aside from the magical, “yes, I will marry you” I said 2 years ago, I think the 2nd best thing I agreed to recently was buying an iPhone and convincing my husband that Apple was, in fact, amazing and not evil.

Since we have gotten iPhones, we have both been taken over by the wonderful world of Apps.  I love useful apps.  I’m not a fan of just installing anything because it’s free or interesting if I won’t use it more than the one time.  I will gladly pay money if it’s something I’ll use for a good amount of time.  I love talking about apps, seeing what apps my friends have & like, I have compiled some of my favorites.

Luciana’s Favorite iPhone Apps, Edition 1

  1. Facebook (free)– because I’m addicted and love checking it from anywhere, anytime. fb
  2. Slacker Radio (free) – this is the best radio out there.  It’s highly customizable.  Not like Pandora, where you can choose exact artists to start with, but you “like” certain artists and songs as they appear and you can alter the frequency you hear these artists.  You can also choose the popularity of the songs Slacker chooses for you.  They have a lot of genres to pick from and give you plenty of regenerative “skips”. Comedy and movie scores are my current favorites.  Very awesome for when I’m at work!
  3. Flight Control ($.99) – Best. Game. Ever. I highly recommend trying this game out.  It’s simply guiding airplanes into the landing strip…  it gets progressively harder, has a few maps to choose from and it’s very addicting.
  4. Catan ($4.99) – if you love the board game, you will love this app.  It’s basically the game in it’s entirety, but on the phone.  You can play with 2-3 AI’s or 2-3 other people.  The only thing this game lacks is the ability to connect to other phones for multi-player – right now, you have to just pass the phone.  I’m sure that change will be patched in time.
  5. BigOven (free) – this is a large recipe database.  It is the best one I’ve found so far (that’s free).  You can even put in some leftover foods and it will try to find a way to make them into a meal.  If anyone knows of a better one, I’d like the info!
  6. Amazon (free) – I love buying things on Amazon.com and this app is just a smaller, faster version of the website.
  7. Sim City ($2.99) – I put this on the list because I know my husband loves it.  He stays up until 4am playing this sometimes… It’s almost exactly like the PC game: build a city and make your little people happy.

I’ve been looking for a good g-free app, but that hasn’t been found yet.  I’m always looking for another addicting game or handy app so let me know your favorites!  Now, the question will be “yes or no?” to whether the app is worth our money or not!

’09 Reflection

Thanks to a lovely blog I read, for reminding me of of my livejournal meme roots.  Everyone loves a good old-school survey.  If not to read, then to fill out.  I’d love to know other people’s answers even if you don’t care about mine :-)

Five things that 2009 taught me:: (1) Spending $$ out of your means is a bad idea  (2) Being married is a lot of work  (3) College degrees don’t get you a job very quickly like I thought  (4) Worthless people will never change  (5) It’s important to stay close to friends.  Life sucks without them.
Five personally significant events of 2009:: (1) My wedding!  (2) Adding on a new last name  (3) College graduation  (4) Being more social  (5) Learning to drive a manual car
Five things I want to do in 2010:: (1) Lose 40 lbs  (2) Find a solid job  (3) Eliminate most [if not all] debt (4) Write more  (5) Get a puppy
Five things I don’t want to do in 2010:: (1) Get pregnant  (2) Give birth  (3) Be unemployed  (4) Acquire more debt  (5) Have more family drama [not really in my control though]
Five things I love beyond all reason currently:: (1) My husband  (2) My sister  (3) iPhone  (4) Celebrity gossip  (5) New abundance of quality time with friends
Five things I don’t like with good reason currently:: (1) Family drama  (2) Local news  (3) High rent  (4) Cleaning the stove  (5) Being bored at work

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?  I went on a vacation with a boy & I learned to drive stick!
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  I usually don’t make resolutions because I’m bad at sticking with things
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?  Nope
4. Did anyone close to you die?  Nope
5. Travel?  Husband & I went to St. Croix, VI
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?  Feeling good about myself
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?  January 10, 2009 – our wedding!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?  Graduating college
9. What was your biggest failure?  Gaining so much weight
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  Nope
11. What was the best thing you bought?  An iPhone
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?  Mine.  I think I did an excellent job of learning to be a wifey this year.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?  Most people’s
14. Where did most of your money go?  Our wedding & rent
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?  The wedding (duh)
16. What songs will always remind you of 2009?  “At Last” – Jamie’s version
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?  Happier – I was really stressed about wedding things last year
ii. thinner or fatter?  Fatter :-/
iii. richer or poorer?  Richer probably
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?  Work out & read
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?  Eat & solely play WoW
20. How will you be spending New Years?  Spent it with friends :-D
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?  No, I was already in love.
22. What was the best book you read?  old Michael Crichton novels and The Wideacre Trilogy by Phillipa Gregory
23. What was your greatest musical discovery?  Lady GaGa – ha!
24. What did you want and get?  an iPhone
25. What did you want and not get?  a puppy
26. What was your favorite film of this year?  not sure I saw anything worth remembering
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?  I turned 23.  It was my golden birthday and was supposed to be wonderful but family drama got in the way.
28. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?  Having someone to share in the best & worst part with me.
29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?  Sweat pants.
30. What kept you sane?  Good friends to hang out with and my supportive husband.
31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?  Steve Carrell – I discovered & fell in love with The Office!
32. What political issue stirred you the most?  Obama’s socialism
33. Who did you miss?  I missed an old high school friend that I don’t get to see much anymore
34. Who was the best new person you met?  Didn’t meet anyone new, but I got closer to Ms. Brittney & I’d have to say that was pretty wonderful
35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year

Through the good or lean years
And for all the in between years – come what way

Who knows where the road will lead us
Only a fool would say
But if you’ll let me love you
It’s for sure I’m gonna love you – all the way, all the way

New Year, New Skill

Here is the journey I made making a gluten-free apple pie.  It wasn’t easy because gluten-free dough is ridiculous to work with. The pie looks a smidge burnt, but tastes amazing!

I started with this crust:

mix

Let’s be real, I wasn’t about to make the crust from scratch the first time I’m making a pie *ever*.  It’s from The Gluten Free Pantry brand and I bought mine at Health Hut, a local hippie store.  I’m sure other places have it, too.  I just followed the directions on the package… it was pretty easy. Not a big deal.  After I made the dough, I placed it in the fridge.  Cold dough is much easier to work with than warm dough (at least for gluten-free).  So I balled up 2 halves and wrapped them separately in plastic wrap.

This is when you’d want to start peeling and slicing 6-7 apples.  I recommend Granny Smith.  I put my slices in a bowl of cold lemon water to prevent browning.

pie-apples

After an hour or so, I took out one ball out and attempted to roll it out.  Not only was the dough tough to work with because it was hard and cold, but it was falling apart because it’s g-free.  Even after it warmed up a bit, the falling apart only got worse.  This is when my crabbies started.  I had to use a lot of rice flour to keep the counter and my rolling pin from even sticking in the slightest.  One small pull would cause the dough to fall apart.

pie-rolling

pie-flour

I used Ener-G brand rice flour because that’s what the hippie store had on sale, but I think any g-free flour will do.  After greasing a pie dish, I gently placed a half circle of rolled-out dough into the bottom.  The whole circle of dough will not lift off the counter without falling into pieces.  I pinched together the seams.  It’s a little messy but not terrible…

pie-bottom

Next, is the apple layering inside.  It’s hard to measure it out since I guesstimated with my mom’s recipe.  I started by cutting up a few Tbsp of Butter and putting it in the bottom followed by a few Tbsp of Sugar and a sprinkling of Cinnamon.

pie-layersapple

pie-layers

On top of that goes a layer of apples, then a sprinkling of 1 Tbsp of Rice Flour.  This gets repeated until the pile of apples is heaping over the pie dish level.  Arrange slices if needed so that mostly rounded edges are facing up, as to not poke through the top layer of dough.

This is the point of more crabbies.  By now, my 2nd ball of dough was too warm to work nice.  When I rolled out the pieces, it fell apart a lot more than before.

pie-ready

The top of my pie looks like a patchwork quilt…

The picture  is a little dark, but you can clearly see this is not pretty.  After sealing the edges and trying to press together the top, I brushed an egg white over the top.  Then sprinkled sugar all over it.  This seals the dough, makes the top shiny and also allows the sugar to stick.

The pie gets baked at 400* for about 20 min, then 350* for 10-20 more.  I baked mine a bit too long…

nastypie

That’s my beautiful sister gnawing on the edges.  She & my New Year’s Eve guests didn’t seem to mind the minor burns.  Overall reviews said it was tart, but in a good way.  I personally prefer sweet apple pie with lots of goo in the middle.  I had a medium amount of goo, so I will probably add more flour to the center layers next time.  I highly recommend this brand of pie crust – couldn’t even tell it was g-free!

Sunday Scribbling: Brave

I think 2 things are very brave*. (1) Marriage and (2) Not settling.

Yes, another post about being married.  As our 1st Anniversary approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it really means to be married and how much I love it and the things I don’t like.

Choosing to permanently tolerate the worst of someone because you love their best is a brave decision.  Key word: permanently.  I heard someone say once that for “better or for worse” doesn’t mean “for better or until someone screws up” (maybe I even made that one up!).  I knew what I was getting into when I got married and even in Year 1, there were some times I wouldn’t have minded a do-over with someone new.  But backing out when it’s not pretty isn’t brave… it’s completely the opposite.  Forging ahead together when life is ugly is just as brave to me, as something cliche like being a solider or firefighter.   They don’t get to pick and choose the “good” parts of their job, why should a couple (or one of them) get to choose only the “good” parts to stick around for?

The other side of that is choosing not to settle for just anyone.  Dating doesn’t have to be a super serious venture all the time.  Even in adulthood, I don’t think it’s necessary to foresee possible marriage with every single person you go out with.  But it’s definitely cowardice to be with someone just because they make your life less lonely.  No one NEEDS someone else to be a whole person.  We are all whole people, alone.  The brave choice is to be single until someone worth your time comes along.  They are the one that should take up your time&energy.  Time&energy shouldn’t be wasted on someone you will obviously never have a future with (either because you know you won’t want to, or because it doesn’t look promising).  Being brave and not settling could apply to anything, really.  But in today’s economy I’m not going to say that you should hold out for a dream job when McDonald’s wants to hire you.  Use your head people!

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.

Ruth 1:16-17

*This idea has been sparked by:

10 People I Like, part 1 of 1.

Barbara Walters had her “10 most interesting people” interviews. I don’t know the art of interviewing people, but I don’t think Barbara should really be on the air anymore. She’s grotesque to look at, no? And her voice is annoying.  Also, I went away from the special, only interested in half the people.  The others were just “popular” and not interesting.  I don’t know about interesting, but I do know there are 10 people I’d love to meet and talk to.

10 people (dead&alive) I would want to meet and maybe amateurishly interview:

(in no order)

Anneliese Marie Frank – Better known as Anne Frank. She has been my favorite person since 5th grade when I read and fell in love with her story. One project in high school involved dressing up as a historical person, learning everything about them and becoming them. We were interviewed as our person and had to answer as them. I think I knew Anne Frank inside and out. It was awesome. Anyway, she made me love writing and reading and helped me deal with my own troubles growing up.

Noam Chomsky – best known for being the “father” of linguistics. I’m really fascinated with language acquisition and Chomsky started the debates for all sides with his strongly universal stance regarding grammar rules. Basically, that all humans have the innate ability for language learning. Others who disagree say we don’t and that it’s relative to the person, hence the name “relativism.”

Lauren Conrad – mostly because I’d like to know what it was REALLY like on The Hills. On camera and off. I’d love to know how much of that show was real and how much & what wasn’t. Also, she wrote a book about nothing special and if she can, I can!

Heidi Montag Pratt – also would like her take on The Hills. And I want to see what she looks like up close. Plus, she&her sort-of interesting husband just wrote a book and I will need to have connections.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck – I think she’s just lovely. I hate that she never is allowed to finish her sentences on The View, even though she’s the only one with a college education… HMM. I’d love to talk to her about celiac disease, g-free things and her political views since they are changing and I’d like to know why.

Sarah Palin – a smart conservative lady who doesn’t get the respect she deserves. What’s funny is she’s also smarter than the people who make fun of her. I look forward to reading her book and I think she has some good stuff to say. I want to know where she got her kid’s names, too. As I am an avid fan of weird names!

Steve Carell – do I really need to explain that I wanna meet him because he’s hilarious?

Britney Spears – she seems interesting and I bet she has some fun stories.

Michael Crichton – America’s greatest author. I don’t care about those “classic” authors who wrote the “Great American Novels” because (1) most of those books are boring and (2)Michael Crichton’s books are ridiculously well researched, informative and entertaining. He is terribly fascinating with his various background experiences and writing skill. I would have loved to meet him before he died.

JRR Tolkien – he made up his own language. He should get an award for just that! But he also created worlds&characters that turned into some of the greatest stories of all time. The Lord of the Rings books (& the Silmarillion) really changed how I saw fantasy lit. He and Crichton are really tied for best author, but Tolkien can be Britain’s greatest author, since America has one.

*Notice most have written books, either intentional or not. I like writers :)