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But seriously… I’m German.

18 Mar

As you all know, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Let me start by saying the I hope everyone had an amazing day, stayed safe & got sufficiently (if not belligerently) drunk! (Sorry, mom.) My morning started out in true Irish fashion with corned beef hash for breakfast.

Unless I’m being lame and working through the entire day, I usually try to make a t-shirt or something to wear for the celebration. I made one for this year too but I was smart this time & didn’t put a date on it (which I usually do. i.e. St.Patty’s 2009) so I can probably wear it again next year : )

the front of my shirt...

... and the back. Sorry again, mom.

I’m not really sure what’s more Irish than potatoes, so I thought I’d share my mom’s cheesy potatoes recipe!

Cheesy Potatoes

Ingredients:

32 oz. hash browns (frozen)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1 stick butter or margarine

1 onion, diced

1 cup sour cream

potato chips

Directions: Break apart frozen hash browns in a large bowl (can be shredded or cubed). Add soups, butter, onion and sour cream. Place in a greased baking dish. Crush a few potato chips for a crispy top. Bake at 400°F for 1 hour. Enjoy!!

3rd Street Breakfast

11 Feb

YUMMMM. If you’ve never visited 3rd Street Bagel on -where else?- 3rd street in Marquette, you’re missing out BIG TIME. I woke up this morning craving a Veggie Delight– cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, onions, provolone cheese & aoli (also comes with tomato but I usually opt out on that one) on a toasted asiago bagel– nirvana. My friends Cara & Aurora came along. No lessons or wise words from Ashley today, just good food, friends & convo & you’ve got yourself an awesome morning : )

Veggie Delight, soup of the day & some frosty/caramel/coffee drink. Sooo GOOD.

Feeling a little summer nostalgia today–

2009

30 Dec

I know. I’ve been horrible and negligent to my blog. My excuses: finals & winter break. Between studying & family, I haven’t had much available time to update. But here I am now! Since tomorrow is New Years Eve, I’ve found myself reflecting on the past year, as I’m sure many others are as well. It’s been tough- more challenging, heartbreaking and difficult than probably any other year of my life & I’ll be glad to see it pass. However, keeping that in mind, I think I’ve learned more about myself & what I do/don’t want in my life in this year than any other previous one. For that, I’m thankful.

I’ve composed a list of things, observations & ideas that I’ve learned and want to remember from this year. I can’t wait to see how 2010 adds to it and transforms the things already present on my list.

  • Just because the chips might be whole grain and the cheese is a source of calcium, nachos are still not a healthy snack.
  • Secondhand books are just as good as brand-new ones. Maybe better.
  • Your intuition is with you for a reason. Trust it & it will serve you well.
  • If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then take 1,000 pictures & more. Leave yourself & others with as many thoughts and memories as you can.
  • Yes, for you and most other people, your waist size is bigger than it was in high school. It’s supposed to be like that so stop obsessing. (but please, stay healthy.)
  • When you watch your younger siblings have an attitude & act like little punks, you may say “GOSH, I would never have talked/acted like that.”…. Oooohhhh, yes you did.
  • People make enough of their own excuses. There’s no need for you to make more for them.
  • Getting a tattoo, lip piercing & drastic new haircut all within a couple months of each other causes people to think you’re trying to make some kind of statement or undergoing some kind of transformation. Cool it. (& no, I wasn’t trying to do either of those things!)
  • People will only change for themselves & if they want to. Nothing you say or do is going to change someone’s ways. LET ME REPEAT & CLARIFY: YOU CAN’T MAKE YOUR BF/GF CHANGE. PEOPLE ONLY CHANGE FOR THEMSELVES!!
  • Does it come with age? Because I’ll never understand how an older person can pour a glass of scotch or sip on straight vodka and not gag.
  • New Moon is just as good the 2nd time around… & the 3rd…
  • Forgiveness may be divine, but sometimes forgetting is just too damn hard.
  • The closer I am to graduating college, the more I am considering joining the Peace Corps & it excites me.
  • There is no elegant-looking purse for going to a social gathering that’s big enough to carry around my big ol’ Nikon.
  • Facebook chat is and always will be the worst instant messaging program ever.
  • Go to New York City. Once you’re there, walk everywhere & find places you love that DON’T have the publicity & big names. Once you’ve done that, then of course go to Rockafellar Center, Ellis Island, etc. (& by the way, hailing my first cab was even more thrilling for me than I thought it would be!)
  • Online window shopping is almost as good as actually buying the stuff you’re looking at. Just remember to X out of that window before you give them your credit card number.
  • Your ex is your ex for a reason. (This goes back to people only changing for themselves) That doesn’t mean, though, that after time, patience & a lot of self-pampering & loving, that you can’t become friends.
  • You can only say ‘yes‘ to favors for so many people before you have to stop and say ‘yes’ to yourself. I’m still trying to learn this one.
  • Bolthouse Farms drinks have some sort of addictive drug in them.
  • Don’t think that cars are watching out for you & your bicycle. Even in Marquette.
  • According to Stuff White People Like, I’m probably one of the whitest people ever.
  • My heritage is German. That doesn’t make me a Nazi, people.
  • No matter how much it sucks, any music sounds a little bit better after a couple gin & tonics.
  • I still want a lemur.
  • No matter what, 2010 HAS to be a great year because of all that I can apply to my life that I’ve learned in this long year.
  • For gosh sakes, guys, BE NICE TO PEOPLE & TREAT OTHERS THE SAME WAY YOU WISH TO BE TREATED!

Free smiles

6 Dec

I know I’m not alone when I sometimes feel like nothing seems to be going my way. There isn’t a soul on this earth that hasn’t felt that way before. Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling that way lately (& maybe it’s because I’m running a fever & can only hope I have enough coffee grounds in this apartment to keep me awake all night to complete the work & studying I need done for tomorrow) but I thought I’d throw together a hodge-podge collection of things I’ve found online that make me laugh, smile & sometimes provide a very necessary distraction from the troubling things in life. I hope they help you too when you’re having just “one of those days”. : )

This one has been my absolute favorite lately. Michelle & I can’t stop watching/quoting it:

If you love McD’s, check this out. Some things look good, others are just scary…

http://foodnetworkhumor.com/2009/07/mcdonalds-menu-items-from-around-the-world-40-pics/

I’ll never get enough of Apple’s movie trailer website.

BWW recipes? Ummm… COOL?! http://www.epicportions.com/2009/02/25/buffalo-wild-wings-recipes/

How many words per minute can you get with Type Racer?

Cubescape is like legos on your computer but cooler. 

James Jean‘s artwork is absolutely stunning.

Have you ever heard of the Blood Type Diet? This is crazy.

Create your own Jackson Pollock masterpiece.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy all of these as much as I do. I have no new photography to share with you but in light of the holiday spirit (notice the snow on my page), I’ll leave you with this:

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou

Remember that quote whenever someone’s made you upset, feel taken advantage of, or hurt. Be respectful and kind to others. It will get you farther in life that you could ever imagine.

Happy weekend!

19 Nov

It’s officially… MY WEEKEND!! That means I get to relax, right? WRONG. I work Friday, Saturday & Sunday. I’m volunteering at my job on Saturday for a pizza-eating contest they’re hosting (it’s okay, I get free beer!)… That’s the work stuff. Here’s all the FUN I get to have!!- NEW MOON comes out at midnight tonight but I have to wait until tomorrow to see it. I’m doing holiday family portraits for the Carlson sisters, portraits for the Caldwell sisters and portraits for my friends Kara & Lacy. LOTS of pictures to be taken!

Actually, aside from the friends that I’ve asked to model for me for projects of mine, I’ve had quite a few requests for portraits. Ohhh if you could see my smile & feel my excitement right now : ) Here is the portrait work I have lined up for myself with all this photography business (either by request, promises to friends, etc):

  • Carlson sisters (holiday)
  • Caldwell sisters (gift for mom & dad)
  • Sarah Boogren (pregnancy progression portraits for the next 7 months)
  • Kara Nordlof
  • Lacy Lafave
  • Jennifer Engstrom (portraits of her children)
  • Colton Newton & Brianna Ebenstein (couple portraits… maybe some engagement photos soon?!)
  • Valerie Sue Peterson
  • Sarah O’Neill
  • Christine Smessaert
  • Mandy Cowell
  • Scott Wanhala (bike stuff)
  • Chris Thomas
  • Jessica Katie Ohlsen (my final series for a class)
  • Cara Gould (my final series for a class)
  • Gene Ross (my final series for a class)
  • Jesse Carlson (my final series for a class)
  • Matt Mckindles (my final series for a class)
  • Cecily Browne (my final series for a class)

I have a lot of editing on my hands coming up : ) If you want to be a part of the portrait craze too and are in my area, please contact me about it!

Besides that, if you’re in the Marquette area this weekend, I’d highly advise you to come to Aubree’s on Washington St. on Saturday at 1 pm for the pizza-eating contest we’re hosting! Bring 3 cans of non-perishable food to enter the competition. Even if you’re not a part of the competition, we have a SWEET DEAL for those of you 21 & up- $4 pitchers of Labatt Blue & $5 pitchers of KBC Red Jacket ALL DAY!! It’s an insane deal and I hope a lot of people take advantage of it.

Okay FINE I guess I’ll let you see the final products for my mock 303 project. Also, since this blog is a smorgasbord of a million thoughts & ideas anyway, I’ll provide you with another one of my mom’s awesome recipes to try for Thanksgiving and a little something to get you even more in the mood for New Moon. Have fun!

Michelle: Caffeine (paint is still drying!)

Jessica: Laughter

Okay, this recipe is a family favorite for us. Mom makes it for every holiday, family get-together, whatever. She gets yelled at if she doesn’t so you’d better try it and see what I’m talking about…

Mom’s Cream Puff Dessert

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding (3 oz. each)
  • 1 large tub of Cool Whip
  • Chocolate Syrup

Melt butter in water. Add flour & cook, stirring constantly until it forms a ball (this will happen quickly). Turn into a bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time. Spread in a grease 9×13 pan. Bake at 400°F for 35-40 minutes. Cool. Mix together cream cheese and milk, beat until smooth. Add pudding, one at a time and beat. Spread over the shell once it’s cooled. Top with Cool Whip & drizzle with chocolate syrup. Chill for at least one hour.

Mom’s Tip: Add the chocolate syrup just before serving. The lines will stay more delicate-looking rather than running into the whipped cream. Use the chocolate drizzle sparingly. Dig in!!

And since midnight just can’t come soon enough for many of you:

I have a craving…

13 Nov

… Or maybe it’s because I’ve been a little homesick lately (haven’t been back to Grand Rapids since June) but I’m going to share with you the recipe of one of my favorite sweet treats my mom makes for me when I come home to visit. 🙂

Mom’s Blueberry Muffins w/ Streusel Topping

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup blueberries (freshly picked are the BEST!)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt first. Stir in egg, milk & oil until just moistened. Lightly stir in blueberries. Place in paper muffin cups, about 2/3 full each. Top with streusel topping (below) & bake at 400°F for approximately 20 minutes. Voila!!

Streusel Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 chopped nuts (optional)

Combine these & sprinkle over the muffins before baking. 🙂