A Taste of Autumn

I am a huge fan of Autumn with all the colors, the weather, the beautiful leaves, and the yummy flavors it demands of its foodies.

This past weekend was the first time it finally felt like Fall. My parents and I headed (along with our beloved kitten Samuel) to Gordon College for my mother’s 25th college reunion. While we were up there I had my first college interview post-Taylor as well as a few other logistical meetings, and everything went very smoothly! After the plethora of meetings, I could finally enjoy the weekend with my beautiful sister and company. Unfortunately Wenham was hit pretty hard with West Nile Virus, so we couldn’t go on a late night walk. Whenever I visit my sister, my favorite thing to do is walk around campus throughout the woods and around the ponds. I love smelling the dirt on the pathway ahead and behind me as well as the leaves wether they are on or off the trees. Even on the coldest days I would love to stick my toes into the gentle tide at Gull Pond. Alas, the mosquitoes prohibited any sort of activity along those lines at night.

The weekend included many fun things like a 5K (that I watched while the rest of the family ran), a luncheon for alumni and their families, soccer games on the quad, and meeting up with old friends as well as connecting with some pretty fantastic professors.

Today was my last day off before a 40-hour work week, so I was determined to cook. I haven’t cooked in a while, and the kitchen was calling my name. I found 3 recipes–one for short rib tacos, one for pumpkin cheesecake, and one for marshmallows coated in caramel and chocolate.

I started with the short ribs because they were meant to be in the crock pot for 7 hours. They were put in this pepper-onion concoction after being braised on the skillet for about 5-10 minutes per batch of 3. After the many hours of waiting for the delicious-smelling meat to pull apart easily. After pulling it apart, I poured some of the sauce back into the meat in order for it to stay moist. We paired it with cilantro, sour cream, and guacamole (of course.) And it was all very delicious!

After I put the meat in the slow cooker, I got right to work on the pumpkin cheesecake. The crust is made of graham crackers, cinnamon, and butter. Simple, yet delectable. The filling has cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sour cream, eggs, and various spices. It was in the oven for about and hour then sit in the fridge (and the garage for a bit) for a few hours. Afterwards, I got to eat some pretty yummy cheesecake!

The final dish of the day was chocolate and caramel-covered marshmallows. We melted the caramel in a mini crock-pot meant for dipping. After the caramel cooled, we dipped the treats in white chocolate we died indigo to contrast with the burnt-orange color of the caramel. They were yummy.

It was a night of fantastic food, Autumn accents like sunflowers, pumpkins, and a pomegranate-cider candle.

We ended the night we a viewing of The Nightmare Before Christmas to get even more in the “Fall” mood. Overall, I had a lovely day off, and I’m glad I’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor for many days to come. 



Painting My Day Away

This weekend has been rather lovely. I had off Saturday which rarely happens, so I was able to go to an old friend’s birthday celebration where I got to munch of countless gluten free goodies! Sunday I meant to get up and just spend time with just me and God, but I kind of slept till 12:45. Oops. That afternoon I painted (rather terribly) on the front porch with watercolors. That night I got together with another friend who I had not seen in a year. Today I had coffee with my former youth pastor who now leads a church I am considering committing to. This afternoon I caught up on SNL, waiting rather impatiently for Babel to be released, and decided to paint (with acrylics this time.) The first painting looks rather gross. I’m not a big fan of the color palette. The second painting I recorded the whole process of painting. The video can be seen below! I summary via slideshow can be found below that.


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Bachelorette Party

When my sister and I started planning a bachelorette party for a close friend, we weren’t sure what direction to go. We’re not into strippers or bar crawls, so the normal bachelorette party ideas were out of the question. What were we to do?

We decided to have a sweet, little party with fun decorations, clothes and accessories for the bride to wear, and lots of delicious food. Debbie strung Christmas lights along the rafters and hung origami boxes with phrases like, “The Future Mrs. Nay,” We also hung origami flowers  along the rest of the strands.

For the shirt, I cut a stencil out of a cereal box on which I used dark silver spray paint. Debbie glued feathers and ribbon to a headband as a “bridal headdress” sort of thing.

We made a LOT of food. We had the typical veggie tray, strawberries and cool whip, meringue cookies, homemade gluten free meatballs, carmelitas, sugar cookies with nutella swirl, chips of various flavors, and homemade alcohol-free sangria.

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We played a few rounds of paper whisper down the lane where everyone has a piece of paper and writes any sentence–anything from, “The big bad wolf ate the scared little pigs,” or, “The three boys square danced while eating rainbow popsicles.” Between a few rounds we gave the bride some gifts to make married life a little more fun.

Overall, we had a very fun night on a small budget with some pretty fantastic people!