thirty-five

Lovely Things

Today, I turn thirty-five years young. After an April that I would rather forget, I am so pleased to see the end of the month arrive. Today, I will celebrate and reflect on thirty-five years that has been filled with blessings. Today, I will focus on the future, the hope and the possibilities. But in a way, I know that deep down this will be a birthday that will have a tinge of sadness. I just need to remember that the good things, the great things and that the best is yet to come.

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is it a donut or a doughnut?

It's not a donut without icing, chocolate preferred.

I said I would, so I did.

My donuts didn’t look as delicious as the ones in the recipe I settled on, but they turned out delicious. As you can probably tell, they’re not a donut in its purest form – it’s definitely cake-like – but the illusion of it looking kinda like a donut was enough for me. I was satisfied.

This was also the first time I have ever worked with coconut floor and coconut oil (the cake definitely had a distinct coconut flavor to it), and it worked out just fine. Using a food processor definitely made it easier and I would definitely say that it’s a must for this recipe. To be honest, the most unruly ingredient ended up being the chocolate chips that I worked with. But overall, it was easy to make and not to mention, one you can have your husband help you with πŸ™‚ (because you know he’ll be eating half of the loot anyway!).

I’ve pinned a whole heap of other donut recipes and will be experimenting a little bit more. I’m mainly looking at somewhat healthier options and definitely ones that doesn’t require too much sugar (and yes, I realize the chocolate chips from the above recipe doesn’t go towards that concept). So if you know of any tried and tested recipes, let me know! I would love to try them out for myself.

P.S. I’m partial towards chocolate flavored anything.

an apple a day

Early (iPad mini 2) πŸŽ‚ present from @skizzdc. πŸ‘¨  He even got it engraved with a quote i need to follow more often in life.   And i do believe that πŸ– are flying because all my gadgets are now Mac products. Doubt i will ever change to an iP

My husband is such an enabler. A gadget pusher. Proof? He got me a new iPad Mini 2 for my upcoming 35th birthday.

A few weeks ago, he had kept teasing me saying that he knew what to get me for my birthday. He should have known better because I don’t like surprises. I’m the kind of person that would be watching a movie on a cosy Saturday night and will Google said movie to find out what happens in the end. I know, I’m boring. So like I said, he should have known better to dangle that little nugget in front of me and thinking that I wouldn’t pester him to find out what he was planning. So after about half an hour of “Tell me. Tell me. Tell me what it is and I’ll decide if I really need what you’re getting me”, he finally told me.

Fast forward a week and a bit later and I now have my new gadget (complete with a quote he had me pick out).Β I was really impressed that Apple managed to do the engraving, personalized card (which was laughable at how big it was but how tiny the message was written) and wrapped it up nice and pretty – and all that took a week to do. Amazing. It might even been less than a week…Regardless, I was impressed!

So here’s to reading plenty of eBooks on my new mini, watching/listening to baseball games (not to mention Hulu/Netflix in bed!) and keeping track of all my social media channels. Oh, the electronic life – how convenient!

when in belgium

A Good Friday calls for homemade Belgian Waffles. Secret ingredient: fluffy eggs whites folded into the mix. πŸ‘

This is the only Belgian Waffle recipe you will ever need. Trust me. Serve it with some warm maple syrup and blueberries and your day is made. They keep really well too (if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers) and pops right into the toaster and viola! Waffles for days on end. Bliss.

On another food note, Zach has further experimented with other homemade ice cream concoction. After a brief hiatus after making our first batch, he hit the ground running and made two batches earlier this week. Bailey’s with Thin Mints and then an Espresso with Thin Mints. He so desperately wanted to make a chocolate mint with Thin Mints (even bought green food coloring) only to find that instead of grabbing peppermint essence, he got rosewater. Oops. So I think mint flavored ice cream will need to be put off for a few more days.

I’ve been very disciplined and told him that I will only one serving of each flavor. Any and all leftovers will need to be either consumed by him and him alone (which is a bad idea) or it should be brought to his work to be enjoyed by others. We really do enjoy making ice cream at home, but it goes without saying that eating all by ourselves will benefit nobody. So we are more than happy to share the dairy love. I think an ice cream social at our place is in order!

Next, I want to make our own donuts. So I’ll be in search of a donut tin around Brisbane this weekend. If anybody knows where I can get some normal sized and mini donut tins, let me know!

three strikes you’re out

As I patiently wait to go through one of the curve balls life has thrown my way, it seemed appropriate to finally start reading this book. ⚾

It’s a well known fact that I love baseball. Cardinals baseball, in particular. So when I was off sick from work this past Monday, my husband knew exactly what to take the blues away: signing up for an MLB.TV year-long subscription so I can watch the games (when at home) or listen to them (when at work or out). Nothing says love than a season of baseball in one’s life. At least in my life.

I did plenty of crazy and fun things for baseball in the handful of years we lived in Missouri. Nabbed $7 tickets to a Cardinals game for Stan Musial Day. Bought an all-inclusive weekend enjoying abundant food and alcohol. Saw a San Francisco Giants game at AT&T Stadium (which was pretty spectacular). Caught a KC Royals vs Cardinals game in 98 degree weather. Enjoyed a cheap date night at a Dollar Day night at the Kauffman Stadium. Spent my birthday weekend at back-to-back Cardinals games with a lovely overnight stay in St. Louis. Went to weeknight games and not getting home until 2am in the morning. Went to Championship Games where Zach and I didn’t sit next to each other because tickets were that sparse. Went to World Series game in 2013 at Busch Stadium (too bad we lost that game and the Series). The wins were definite highs and the losses were equally low (especially that World Series game). But each game was a wonderful and cherished memory.

One other baseball memory that I am reminded me everytime I see Tony La Russa’s “One Last Strike” hardback on our bookcase is the close to three hours we spent in line at the Mizzou Bookstore waiting to have our 10-second moment with him as he signed our book. Yeah, three hours. This was back in 2012, the Cardinals had won the whole thing the season earlier and we were still on a high from that. Tony was in Columbia during his book tour and I just couldn’t resist. I remember having to leave work about an hour earlier so that we could line up early, only to find that an hour before signing wasn’t enough. We ended up starting at the basement of the bookstore and although it was a long three hour wait (trust me, there were times we thought about leaving), it was enjoyable thanks mainly to the people around us. I’ve never been one to hunt for autographs from celebrities, but for some reason, I just had to stick it out and get Tony’s John Hancock. When we eventually did, I can’t say that my life changed for the better, but more than anything I came away with such a fun and memorable evening shared with my husband (along with the signed copy of the book, that is). We still laugh about that evening like it was yesterday and that in itself, made it well worth the wait.

Here’s to a successful 2015 season for my beloved St. Louis Cardinals. It saddens me that I will not have the privilege of seeing a live game at Busch this year. It pains me that I won’t get to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on the top of my lungs this year. It just downright makes me cry that I won’t be able to make real-life baseball memories with Zach this year. But I know that when you make it to the World Series Championship again this year, we will get to make different kind of memories from all the way here in Brisbane. Oh, how awesome would that be?!

lucky number seven

Seven years ago, he dipped me in front of Memorial Union.

Last weekend, my husband Zach and I celebrated seven years of marriage. SEVEN.

Let me tell you something, it doesn’t feel like it has been seven years. I don’t know what that means and I’m not about to analyze my own feelings.Β I’d like to think that the fact that our time together doesn’t seem long or short is a wonderful thing. There I go, I think I just did exactly what I just said I wouldn’t do. Typical me.

To say that I wouldn’t change a thing about the last seven years would be a downright cliche and if you know me and know me well, I’m all about cliches. So lump me in to that category and I can boldly say that I wouldn’t change a thing. I would still move continents to start our marriage. I would still go through the six years we spent paying our dues as he went to school to gain his PhD. I would still cherish all those road trips we took, the baseball games, the concerts, the exploring we did around the US. I would still happily put on the poundage that I did as I enjoyed a hearty “American diet”. I didn’t all come up roses for us, but looking back, the past seven years has been rather easy. No major losses, no financial strife, no hardship that has tested us to the core. I count those asΒ blessings (and there are many) from our seven years of marriage. Overall, I know that deep down, we have far more to be thankful for than regret. I can’t ask for anything more.

So here’s to the past seven years and to our future together!