odds and ends

minnesota was at its finest today; such perfect midwestern day, weatherwise. a great day full of food, friends and a hike through lovely afton state park – resulting in a tired little puppy, meaning a relaxing night for me! thought i would end the day with a quick here and there post 🙂

my current favorite lunch: whole wheat couscous with grape tomatoes, fresh basil and crumbled feta. i’m going on week 2 of eating it every day for lunch and it’s still sooooo good.

look at these beauties! the grocery store was doing buy one, get one and i couldn’t pass them up. they smell (and taste) so sweet. some of these were already sliced up and put into a spring mix with almonds and raspberry poppyseed vinaigrette for dinner AND added to shortcake with whipped cream for dessert 🙂

me and 1 of 3 new dresses i bought on saturday. this weekend i did some major summer clothes shopping. my summer attire that can be worn to work is pretty dismal. i had been wearing the same 3 things to work for the past 3 weeks. but after this weekend i am the proud owner of 3 more dresses, 2 cardigans and a polka-dotted headband.

pudding pie with strawberries

minnesota has been having a pretty extreme heat wave the last several days/weeks, which i love love love. i think it’s in my genes. but there are days where the humidity is absolutely punishing – making the thought of turning on the oven or stove totally appalling. therefore, expect to see heat/humidity friendly recipes showing up for the next few months. starting with this super easy, cool and refreshing summer dessert:

1.5ish cups strawberries, sliced
2 packages of instant vanilla pudding
2 3/4 cups milk (i used skim)
9 inch pie crust

*make your preferred pie crust recipe. (it was 97 degrees the day i made this so i was feeling particularly lazy and picked a frozen one up at the store.) bake and let crust cool completely.

*in a bowl whisk together pudding packets and milk until smooth.

*line bottom of cooled crust with strawberries, pour pudding into crust over the berries. give it a little shake to even it all out.

*pop in fridge, let chill 2ish hours before cutting into

YUM! and it coordinates with my new patio furniture 🙂


i recently bought a goofy polaroid mio camera on ebay and have totally fallen in love with the credit card sized photos it takes. someday when i’m a millionaire i’ll be able to afford 600 polaroid film again, but until then, this will do.

the first shot with the camera. the unpredictability of polaroid film is the best.

at minnehaha falls on a beautiful, beautiful day

a twirly skirt and a waterfall. nothing beats the midwest in the spring.

learning to love the water.

fresh green vines. and delicate shadows.

are you the ghost or am i?

someone wants to lick the camera VERY badly.

me and the mister.

cake balls

okay, these are so fun and cute looking and SUPER easy. they are a little time consuming, but worth it to have bite sized treats handy in the end 🙂

for the cake: get your favorite chocolate cake mix (i used betty crocker chocolate fudge) and favorite can of chocolate frosting (again, i used betty crocker).

prepare cake according to directions and let cool completely. crumble cake into a big bowl. i used my hands and a fork to crumble.

add frosting to the crumbles and mix. start with half the can and add more as needed. i ended up using about half a can + 3ish tablespoons. some directions tell you to use the whole can and i think that would be crazy and REALLY messy.

once everything is evenly mixed together, separate the mixture and form into 1″ balls and put them into the freezer to firm them up. i left them in there for about an hour.

for the outside shell: i did white chocolate but you can do any chocolate you’d like. for 1 box’s worth of cake balls i used two regular sized bags of white chocolate chips.

put half of the bag and 1 tbs of shortening into a microwave safe bowl. microwave for 1 minute and stir until smooth. i used a spoon to dip the cake balls. repeat with chocolate chips until all the cake balls are coated. decorate however you desire and enjoy!

treasure hunt successes

item: sewing tools/items box found: savers

i love that the tray has all the compartments labeled!

item: tiered serving dishes found: unique thrift store

it’s hard to tell but the dishes are a lovely pale mint in color with gold/tan speckles

item: super adorable pencil box found: savers

ruler and pencil sharpener included!

item: abandoned vacation photo album found: salvation army

detail of the two photos in the upper right
these adorable ladies took a group tour through italy

item: stool fan found: bryn mawr garage sale
i am particularly excited about this item as i’ve been coveting my friend’s mom’s vintage stool fan for 4 years or so and now i finally have my own!

april books

the master and margarita – mikhail bulgakov: this was an absurd story about the devil showing up with his posse tied together with the story of pontius pilate. if you’ve ever read any russian literature, the best description i can give this book is that it is VERY russian. EXTREMELY russian. i didn’t much care for it, but then again, i don’t like many russian novels. i like a few though, however, i can’t think of anyone i would recommend this too.

big machine – victor lavalle: i was also unsure about this book when i first started reading it. the protagonist is entirely hateable and i did not think there was a very good flow to the story. however, once the background began filling in and more details were given on the characters backgrounds and the ties between the story lines were revealed, i began enjoying the book much more. the book is about a curious group of former cons/criminals who are recruited to be ghost hunters (of sorts). and there are swamp angels. and a former heroin addict becoming “the chosen.” there were some corny parts that i rolled my eyes at, but over all i thought this book was all right.

in other news, this puppy has totally consumed my life. i’ve still been cooking a bunch but haven’t taken the time to photograph anything to post – i’ve just been so tired! i probably wont’ be baking anything for awhile because i am earnestly trying to lose weight. and i have been meaning to post my great garage sale and thrift store finds, but lately whenever i’ve sat down to do so, a nap has won. i am REALLY going to try to photograph things tomorrow.