12 Things Update, or How I'm Horrible at Keeping Up

It's been over two months since I decided to accomplish 12 Things before turning 25.

Can you guess how much progress I've made?

Yeah...like none.

1. Perfect the tiramisu cupcake
I mentioned in a post that my mom asked me to make 72 of these for my brother's 13 birthday. So I crossed this off last Saturday. Blog story to come.

2. Read 6 books
I just picked up Stephen King's The Shining courtesy of my father-in-law. But I haven't actually finished a book I've started in the last two months. I did, however, make a list! Because I'm really good at those.

3. Explore a part of SF I've spent little time in
Brandon and I headed out to SF earlier this month for a Los Lonely Boys concert. I grabbed one of the most delicious lattes I've ever tasted from this super hipster, pretentious (read: lovely) shop called The Mill, which is down the street from The Independent (where the Boys were playing). Seriously, the latte is divine. No sugar or syrups necessary. Still, I'd been there once before and we didn't explore anything. I really want to go to Chinatown because I've literally never been, which is so dumb. It's right there. I've also heard rumors about a French cultural hotspot in the city but I need to locate it and find out where to go aka where to drink coffee and eat all the bread while there.

4. Finish organizing and uploading my Project 365
Siiiggghhh. Rest in peace my dear 365. I think I killed you after getting back from Hawaii. If not then, then when I broke my phone. Or when I erased all of the photos off my iPhone because I didn't know what I was doing. I will still upload what's left of you, because you deserve that.

5. Practice French everyday for one month
I started this in February because I don't trust myself to maintain motivation for 30 or 31 days. I thought the shortest month of the year would be a breeze! I was wrong. April seems to look pretty open as of now. I'll do this then.

6. Make coffee art
I'm making baby progress with this! I frothed some milk a few weeks ago and poured it into my weekend morning coffee. Then proceeded to sip it/watch Arrested Development for at least an hour before getting off the couch. I've also looked up some neat tutorial vids on YouTube (which I've fallen back in love with recently). I do need to get some real espresso, though. Maybe I can use my Keurig to brew it for me? I also need to find a good milk steaming/frothing/pouring vessel. Mugs are not cutting it.

7. Bake a cake/cupcakes from scratch.
Nothing yet. Maybe next time when I don't have to make 72 cupcakes (can you tell that number is a tad overwhelming for me? Gah!)

8. Watch 10 classic movies I've never seen before
I made a pretty solid list  of the movies I want to watch for this. I incorporated some old school classics, like Casablanca, some cult favorites, like Fight Club and some genre classics, like Alien.

9. Complete 5 of my pins from Learn/Make/Do
Remember when I declared that I would go to Michael's and buy crafting supplies? Well I picked up the mod podge and some other random stuff. But all of the crafts I picked were my most interesting (and difficult) ones. I did clean my makeup brushes! so one down. Four to go.

10. Hand letter something. Turn that something into art.
I've actually been the most consistent with this one. I've picked out my quotation and have been practicing. And I think I've finally nailed what I want it to look like. Just gotta finish it, scan it, and blow that sucka up. I'm sure that will make an interesting post.

11. Volunteer at Coastal Cleanup Day
This happens in September. Can't do much about that.

12. Decorate our apartment
This is another that will have to wait. The lease on our apartment is up in April or May and B and I have decided not to extend it. The complex is undergoing a management shift (we think so at least...they're trying to keep it under wraps) and so far we're not amused/impressed/happy with it. So apartment hunting we will go this weekend! I'll probably also blog about that.

♥ A


Crustaceans, Coffee, a Concert in the City

That up there is my lazy attempt at alliteration and haiku.

I'm pretty sure I slipped in a mention of a Los Lonely Boys concert Brandon and I were going to in a previous post. Well, we went. And it was awesome.

Brandon and I watched a live DVD concert of the Boys (that's my nickname for them, totally not official) sometime before Christmas and Brandon made a remark about how cool it would have been to see them live. We both assumed they weren't currently touring. Then one day at work, I was clicking around my Spotify and bam! There was a notice telling me the Boys were going to be playing in SF in February. Um, it was fate. My plan to get us tickets to a Sharks game was going to fall through because we just didn't have that kind of cash at the time and I needed something. So I got him the tickets.

Sunset loooooovvve.
Flash forward like a Taylor Swift song and we find ourselves in February, four days before Brandon's birthday. I skipped my lunch hour so we could beat some of the traffic into the City. Now, most if not all of you know Brandon. And you know he's incredibly laid back. Like, so laid back that all he wanted to do for his birthday was have his friends come over and play video games all night. I was not going to participate in the "junior high boys' night" as he called it, so I insisted that we grab an extravagant dinner at the Fish Market on the Pier. It's pretty touristy. One, it 's on Pier 39. That's really all it needs to be considered touristy haha. Anyway, we ordered a shrimp appetizer (we never order apps) and delicious lemonade and tea and just ate so much seafood. We even got a bread bowl of clam chowder on the house because our server accidentally prepped an extra one. Who knows if he was just buttering us up or if that was the truth. Either way, we gorged ourselves. We ate so much we were too full to go to our mini donut go-to spot, Trish's.

Off we set to the other side of the city to get to the Independent. We got there without much of a problem but could not find parking to save our lives. Go figure that all the side streets would be packed full of early-comers. Anyway, we eventually found the easiest most perfect parking spot...about a 10 minute walk away. Brandon's tea was ready to burst through him by the time we got to my current favorite latte experience ever: The Mill. An old friend friend posted a foursquare thing on Pinterest a while ago and the place intrigued me. I convinced Brandon to find the place with me on our trip to SF after Christmas. Brandon practically ran to the bathroom once we crossed the entrance's threshold. I quickly went to order a drink to avoid the dirty looks from the hipster baristas. Too bad they didn't see me for a good 30 seconds. I just watched them wash dishes and murmur about the strange man who just shot to the back without even ordering anything. They were definitely judgy. I would have made an actual judgmental face at them and walked out had the coffee not been calling out my name. So I smiled a fake smile and ordered my yummy latte. And I forgave their judgment on my husband because the coffee was so good. And homegirl could pour her milk. That sounds way dirtier than it should.
It was finally time for the show!! The Boys were so down to earth and so chill and so talented. They can really jam. I sound like such a poser saying that, but it's true. These dudes love each other, their music and their fans and it showed. The other cool thing was the fact that literally all ages and demographics were represented in the audience. I'd be the person to notice that kind of thing, but it was cool to see girls I would scowl at in my brain rocking out to the same music I was. Plus, the Independent is s relatively small venue and everything was standing room only so we got pretty close to the stage. It was pretty legit.

Yeah...super proud of iPhone for this shot.
Blurry selfies.
Can we all just appreciate the fact that they're playing the bass and guitar parts on the SAME GUITAR?!
Until next time, Boys.

♥ A


The Long Weekend's Accompanying Long Post

Unlike the lucky desk-job-holding people who've had one or two three day weekends already, President's day my first long weekend of the year. Now, I'm the kind of person who gets really excited about  my free time. So excited, in fact, that I like to jam pack my free time and then plan out my jam packed schedule. I have so much fun being busy. It makes me feel like I'm 100% in control of my time and makes me feel accomplished, but in a way that says  I just did whatever I wanted to all day long just like I planned. It's a little sick, I know. Anyway, true to form, I didn't get all that much rest this weekend.

Friday was Valentine's day...I completely forgot about that. That's how long this weekend felt. OK, so I had this fabulous plan for V day this year. It all started with me perusing the almighty Pinterest. The food, home decor and DIY categories--which are basically the only ones I check--were swimming with V day ideas that no real guy would ever think of doing on his own/spend the time doing. But everything was so cute! And love-y. And for a split second I caught myself starting to feel bummed that my husband wasn't as creative as a stay at home mom.
But I quickly snapped out of it. I thought to myself, THIS is why so many couples fight on special days. It hadn't occurred to me that the vast majority of guys aren't scouring Pinterest to come up with cute ideas for anything. I know Brandon doesn't think about how he wraps my gifts. I know for a fact he hadn't thought about getting me a valentine's day gift. The guy is too busy to play his favorite video games! And let's face it, that's a top priority. My point is, most dudes give no thought to cute aesthetics. If there is a grand gesture, it's the thought that's cute.
Like Marsahll is.
I'm assuming you're all still with me. Given that B was busy (and scheduled to work Friday evening), I took it upon myself to plan our Valentine's day. I built a fort with our couch, chairs, extra bed sheets and pillows in front of the TV in our living room and I named it The One Night Stand to be funny. In hind sight, I think The Stand (one night only) would have been a much more clever name for the fort. But I was building off of The Shaggin Wagon, so it was the best I had on short notice. We all left the office early (thank God) so I also got to make chicken parmesan meatballs, potato wedges, fruit kebabs and heart shaped rice krispie treats. When B (finally) got home, we ate our dinner, snacked on our treats (including the not listed candy) and watched Say Anything (a John Cusack standard and romcom perfect for me and B) followed by That 70's Show aka our new obsession into the wee hours of the morning. I was pretty proud of my accomplishment.
No lie I actually made a similar gesture when Brandon got home.
Saturday I tried my hand at making cinnamon roll hearts out of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (thanks, Pinterest). Except I bought the Cinnabon ones and slightly overbaked them, then left them in the pan for too long and they got stuck. It didn't matter because Brandon and I made so much breakfast bacon and eggs. I didn't eat anything until later when I made dumplings (insert impressive Chinese word here) and stir fry with Hailey. She lived in China for a year and bought everything at an Asian market so I'd venture to say they were pretty legit. Also, delicious. She even let me take leftovers home!
After dinner came The Blair Witch Project. I'm not one for horror films, much less found footage ones because apparently film students nowadays don't know how to hold a camera steady, which gives me motion sickness. Anyway, I was super impressed with Blair Witch. I honestly think it was a brilliant concept, especially for the late 90's. I could go into why I think it was so cool but I'll spare you all my snobbery. Just know that I highly recommend it and urge you to pay attention at the beginning if you do watch it.

Sunday was Brandon's audition for Sac State. We were both pretty nervous/excited about it. We skipped church and didn't sleep in (in fact we woke up WAY earlier than normal). Brandon's really introverted and focused (read: quiet) under pressure, so I took to sneaking pictures of him practicing/mentally preparing for his audition in order to keep my mouth shut.
Secret picture.
Attempting to not be annoying.

Playing air bass.
Hipster hovergram in the hallway.
 I didn't ask about sitting in on his audition so I chilled in the hall forcing my ears to try to hear him play. But some bro on percussion was practicing and there's no mute button on drums so I heard next to nothing.

After his audition we headed back home where we stopped for Subway brunch and watched an insane amount of...you guessed it, That 70's Show, followed by an epic Rock Band party later that night.

Monday was Brandon's last day working for Amici's (YEAAAAHHH). We squeezed in a quick coffee date and settled on a day to go apartment hunting. Which honestly couldn't have come at a better time since we're getting pretty fed up with the new management at our complex.
The rest of the day was filled with yoga and other normal stuff.
Thanks for sticking with me during my novel-writing practice.I realize I'm long-winded. Cool news, though. My mom asked me to make the most cupcakes I've ever made ever for my brother's 13th birthday. And guess what? They're the tiramisu cupcakes I'm trying to perfect. 72 cupcakes sounds like the ideal place to practice. Oy vey. 72 cupcakes...

♥ A


A Random Account of Weeks Past

I have a confession to make.

Brandon and I tore down the Christmas tree five days ago.

Yeah. As in January 30th, five days ago.

I know, I know. It's embarrassing. But it's not like we planned this! We had every intention of taking it down and disposing of it properly.  But we got so busy and tired and kind of just left it there...because we're children who would rather watch TV and eat cereal than clean up the disaster of pine needles that our tree had become.

I almost wanted to pretend like the tree was just too sentimental to throw out. I also kind of felt like Sam from Garden State having my tree up so late after Christmas.

Anyway, my and Brandon's schedules have been so packed that we decided to make time to tear the tree down on Thursday. Brandon ended up going into a cleaning spree, which I honestly had no clue how to handle, so I let him do his thing. He vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the stove, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and even did a load of laundry. He was on a roll! I sat on the couch with a bewildered look on my face.
After the spree, B and I settled into a night of our new favorite show, That 70's Show. I've always enjoyed the random episodes on ABC Family (or whatever channel I used to watch it on) after class in high school. As usual, watching form the beginning is pretty sweet. I don't know who my favorite character is or what my favorite story line is yet, but it's only season 2. And what I do know is I love it.
Are the gifs too much? I think they add a bit of fun to my otherwise pretty boring posts.

OH! What I will mention to you five is that Brandon's getting a new job! Yup. No more delivering pizzas for my music-playing guy. Allow me to a get a little churchy right now and tell you that I was freaking out over how we were going to survive once Sac State became a reality for B. The plan was for him to not work and focus on school and possible gigs, but I was skeptical as to how we'd manage with only my paycheck. FinAid is only a maybe and I'm not great with "maybe's" and "we'll see's." Anyway, I was suppressing my anxiety. But Sunday I was reminded that God provides for us. I keep getting that reminder slapped in my face time after time, mostly because I keep looking back to how my life could have been different (i.e. happier for me) had I made different decisions right after graduation. But you know what? A perfect grad program will pop up for me, I'll be focused and ready to tackle a dissertation. And B and I will find a place to settle. That's just not for now. And that's OK

Brandon and I are headed to a Los Lonely Boys concert tonight. I'll  write about our City adventure and what I'm sure will be a fantastic show.

I leave you with one final gif of girls who know what it's like to have an extremely shallow air of sexy mystery in honor of me (finally) finishing 30 Rock on Netflix.
May it rest in peace.

♥ A