I realized that I haven’t had an Portland area activity geared post in a while, so here goes.
This year, I spent New Years with the fam, skiing at Mt. Hood! It was a beautiful blue bird day, and the snow was pretty good.
The next day, after visiting my aunt in the Columbia Gorge, we hit up the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River. Though I had driven past this historic landmark multiple times in the past, I had never actually been inside. Despite the freezing temps, we got out of the car to walk the grounds of the hotel, which were absolutely beautiful! The views are likewise very pretty, as you can see across the river to Washington as well as a view down the gorge.
The hotel itself sits atop a small waterfall:
And the grounds feature multiple bridges crisscrossing the stream that feeds the waterfall:
Not only are the views beautiful, the food was good too!
For those of you in Portland suffering from the January blahs, the Columbia Gorge Hotel is just 60 miles from Portland on I-84, and tied in with a visit to the adorable town of Hood River can be a welcome mini road trip to get out of your normal routine!
How is it possible that it is already November?! Frankly, this terrifies me. As much as I love Thanksgiving, I have 8 paper due before then, classes to register for, and last, but definitely not least, the presidential election! Suffice it to say this might be possibly be the scariest aspect of this November.
My desire to write this post was inspired by a remark one of my professors made recently,” if you are a minority, or a woman, you better vote, because people fought to give you that right.” Can’t argue with that, but no matter who you are, if you are a citizen, you better vote.
I don’t profess to be super political, but as I do go to a small liberal arts college in the northwest, it is kind of hard not to be 😉 That said, this post is not going to be about me and my own political leanings I hate it when other people preach their own beliefs and opinions at me in an effort to change what I think, but that being said, I really encourage everyone to vote. This is my first year voting, and I am so excited to be able to participate, yet I know that there are plenty of young adults (not to mention older adults) out there who will not vote this year.
Please please vote. Maybe you feel apathetic about the candidates, but you must have some opinions about the future of your country. Sometimes it’s a matter of the lesser of two evils, and that is ok! I mean really, who would want the job of being president? Not me, I know that much. Shouldn’t you give the candidates some credit for trying their best with what they are faced with? I think that no matter who you vote for, no matter what measures you agree or disagree with, you should at least voice your opinion respectfully.
And really, you have no excuse not to vote. You feel uninformed? Get online! Many states have online voter’s guides that will explain to you all of the candidates for everything from the President to your local mayor, and all of the measures that are up for the vote in your state. My state even has a video voter’s guide on YouTube that includes individual interviews with various candidates. You can also find the speeches from the DNC and RNC (that’s the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention, by the way), as well as the presidential and vice presidential debates if you missed them on tv.
Get informed. Go forth and vote!
Hello world! I have returned from the world of the sick, where I have been living in my bed for the past few weeks.
Ever feel like everything just comes together to form the perfect storm? That is what the last few weeks have been like for me. I got stressed, got sick, got antibiotics, felt better. Got off antibiotics, got worse. Had to write a bunch of papers in my feverish state. Got a secondary infection, got more sick. Finally got to the doctor and got new antibiotics, but then got an infection from being on antibiotics. And finally, got treated for that infection, and am finally feeling better! Yay! Oh, also during this time, I had to deal with midterms- it was SO MUCH FUN.
So, that is why I have been MIA for the past few weeks. . .
But, because of my enduring illness, I have been watching a whole lot of movies lately, which is why today I will be bringing you a double-feature extravaganza!
First up: Hysteria
In theaters, or dvd: This one is already on dvd, and probably available at your local redbox
Setting: London, 1880
Why it is great: It’s about the invention of the vibrator, and has an awesome feminist in the form of Maggie Gyllenhaal!
Yes, you read that right, this movie is about the invention of the one, the only, the vibrator. And, you know what else? I watched this movie with my mom, and it was great! Now, I do not advise all viewers to watch this movie with your mom-there are many an awkward moment, but the movie itself is hysterical, and my mom and I laughed soooo much. However, if you and your mom do not share the kind of relationship in which you two could watch such material, better just to watch this with your girl friends 😉
In addition to being suuper funny, this movie was quite eye-opening in terms of historical medicine. “Hysteria” was a catch all diagnosis for “nervous conditions” afflicting women in the stuffy victorian age, and was similar to an insanity defense in court. Additionally, can you say germ theory? Germs don’t exist guys, that’s just silly talk!
This movie is clearly not for everybody, but it is really funny if you aren’t uncomfortable with the topic, and it was a pretty interesting historical story as well.
Next up: Pitch Perfect
In theaters, or dvd: In da Theatre
Setting: Random college campus, possibly in North Carolina?
Why it is great: Acapella, hysterical, Fat Amy, Breakfast Club, one of the most quotable movies I have ever seen!
This movie has pretty much everything I could ever want out of a college movie: Adorably geeky love interest, lots of musical numbers (which are soooooo gooood), a very diverse group of girls, and nearly every line in the movie is goldenly quotable.
If you have not seen this movie, GO SEE IT. NOW. This movie was just soooo good. Also, can I just say that any movie that brings up the Breakfast Club has my love (Easy A, anyone?). The main character is a bit too spiky in personality for me, but her sarcasm is priceless, so I forgive her. Fat Amy is debatably the best character in the movie, and has by far the best one-liners, about every 10 minutes in the movie, and if for no other reason, you should see this movie just to see what will come out of that girl’s mouth next. Also, the acapella competition commentators are wonderfully inappropriate.
I cannot stress enough how much everyone should see this movie!!! And if that couldn’t convince you,
So, as a follow-up to my last post about mixing up the college cafeteria food, I decided to try inventing my own recipe using ingredients that I could find at the campus eating options.
I know it is not quite fall weather yet, at least not here in Tacoma, but I have been seriously craving apple pie. Since I was too lazy to leave campus (I have no car) I decided I would attempt to make a little something on my own. What I ended up doing was making tiny apple pies in a muffin tin!
First, I gathered my ingredients:
I’m not real big on measuring when I make my own recipes, so the measurements I have provided are approximations.
I had intended to use graham crackers for the crusts, but I couldn’t find any on campus. I did, however, find a mini box of Nilla Wafers, and figured those would work just as well. Next, I picked up two apples from the caf, and orange, a couple packets of sugar, a few little packages of butter, and headed back to my room.
I already had cinnamon on hand, since I love it, and use it in a lot of baking, and I discovered brown sugar in the kitchen of my house!
The first thing I did was use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the apples. Next, I sliced the apples thinly, and cut them into chunks. I sprinkled about 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon over the apples, squeezed a bit of orange juice over the apples, added a spoonful of brown sugar, and mixed it all up, and let it sit overnight in the fridge.
The next day, I dumped the box of Nilla Wafers into a Ziploc bag and crunched them up into a fine powder, and added about a 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Next, I melted the butter in a glass bowl in the microwave. I mixed the butter and the crumb mix and then using a spoon, pressed the mix into cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
I baked the crusts for about 10 minutes at 350, then removed them.
I then spooned the apple mixture into the crusts, and baked them for about 15-20 minutes at 350.
I had hoped to sprinkle some more of the crust mix on top, but ran out. Instead, I ended up sprinkling brown sugar on top of each one before I baked them.
I was pleasantly surprised that these turned out so well! I set them out in front of a group of my friends while we were watching Pride and Prejudice, and they were gone in less than a minute! One of my taste- testers commented that they tasted almost caramel-y. They were pretty easy to make, didn’t require any off-campus grocery shopping on my part, and were a fun taste of fall 🙂
Recipe for Mini Apple Pies
Yield: 8 mini pies
- 24 Nilla Wafers
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups apples
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, plus some to sprinkle on top
- approx 1 teaspoon orange juice
slice the apples thinly, and cut them into chunks. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the apples, squeeze orange juice over the apples, add brown sugar, mix, and let it sit overnight in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 350.
Dump the box of Nilla Wafers into a Ziploc bag and crunch them up into a fine powder, add sugar, and cinnamon. Next, melt the butter in the microwave. Mix the butter and the crumb mix and then using a spoon, press the mix into cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
Bake crusts for 10 mins
Spoon apple mixture into crusts, sprinkle brown sugar over the tops and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Serve and enjoy!
As much as I love being back at school, living in my sorority, and being with my friends, coming back to the cafeteria food was a rude awakening, and pinterest recipes are killing me right now as I salivate in front of my computer screen.
Now, I know that my school’s food is not that bad (or so people tell me), but it gets old real quick. So, for all of you other college students out there who struggle with yucky college food, and have some culinary inclination, I’ve been brainstorming some ideas for making the experience a little bit more pleasurable.
So here’s what I have come up with:
- Lots of schools have various themed “stations” within the cafeteria. What I have found helpful is to mix things up. For example, I have gotten plain pasta, and then put fresh spinach, tomatoes, and olive oil from the salad bar on top. Mixing and matching options from the various stations can break up the monotony of eating the same things all the time.
- If you have a kitchen in your dorm, house, or suite, you can always use the cafeteria to collect various ingredients and come up with your own recipes. This takes some time and creativity, but it is a fun way to get a bit more variety, and not waste money if you already have a paid for meal plan.
- I almost always have some snacks in my room, like cereal, yogurt, cup o noodles type of soups, carrots and peanut butter, and Annie’s mac and cheese, for those times that I just don’t feel like walking to the cafeteria, and then I do a bit of grocery shopping every couple of weeks to replenish.
- And for those of you who think you can’t cook now is a good time to learn! It is a life skill you are going to need! My roommate just asked me yesterday how to cut an apple. . . and that doesn’t even require any cooking! While it can be faster to just grab something out, it will be a lot easier on your wallet if you lay off eating out all the time and cook a bit o your own 🙂
Now, for a little bit of inspiration I will leave you with some deliciousness from pinterest
And on that note, have a good week!
Since coming back to school, my goal has been to write a post at least once a week. And I almost forgot to write a post this week! But fear not! I am here now!
One of my other goals this year was to be more active, and on that note, I ran my first 5k today! A small accomplishment, admittedly, but I’m feeling pretty good about it, so I had to share 🙂
Now onto my newest tv addiction. As you may remember from a past post, I am a fan of the crappy teenage drama variety of entertainment (Pretty Little Liars ring a bell?), but my newest tv love is actually genuinely good! I swear!
If you haven’t heard of Awkward yet, go watch it. Now. I discovered it this summer and watched the first season in one night, that is how much I liked it (granted, each episode is only 30 mins, but still).
Here’s what shocked me most about the show:
1. It’s on MTV. I KNOW. But this little show is a gem. I still can’t get over the fact that it is on the same network that produced Jersey Shore.
2. The high schoolers in the show actually look like they could be in high school! Crazy, I know!
The show centers around a 15-16 year old girl named Jenna. Through a series of mishaps people mistakenly think she attempted suicide, making her more than a bit of an outcast. Pair this with a secret boyfriend, two ridiculously awesome friends (Ming and Tamara), a mean girl cheerleader, and a drama-tastic love triangle, and: We have a winner folks!
This show also brings together a lot of the best of pop culture in the best way. The school’s guidance counselor, Val, channels Glee’s Sue Sylvester, but makes it entirely her own since she actually truly likes kids, means well, and wants to be Jenna’s bff. And any show that has a scene where kids circle around an emerging fight yelling “Team Matty” or “Team Jake” a la Twilight has my vote 🙂
Awkward is also probably one of the few shows that actually seems relatable to real high school experiences. It is heartfelt and endearing (the last episode really hit the emotional mark), and no matter how much Jenna trips through life, you always want to root for her.
If I haven’t convinced you yet about this show, well. . . I guess I just won’t have anyone to gossip with about Team Matty or Team Jake 😉
P.S. I am sooo000 Team Matty *Sigh/Swoon*