new nicknames, and birthday reflections

April 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm (family, friends, random, teaching)

Upon finding out it was my birthday today, the students tried to guess how old I was. Most guesses ranged from 18-23. When I said I was turning 24, one girl remarked, “You’re young, but pretty.”

Young but pretty?! Okay… 🙂 Suffice it to say, they were very surprised at how old I actually am. Also that I’m married. It still cracks me up when students are surprised that I have a life outside of school!

Some other students (not in my class, in another class) also calling me “Barbie” now. I’m not really sure what to make of that. Do they think I’m too pretty? Too fake? Childish? I have no idea, and I don’t plan on finding out. 🙂

So today, I am 24 years old. This feels incredibly old to me… the other day someone asked me how old I was and I almost responded “22,” before I realized not only was I 23 at that point, I was almost 24! I’m excited to be older, I’m excited for this year. I feel like we’ve been transitioning from college and grad school life thus far, and the next year has a lot of big grown up changes coming. 23 wasn’t that exciting of an age, but I hope 24 will be.

How about you? Are you more excited about certain birthdays than others? I hope you’re still excited about birthdays in adulthood… a birthday is such a fun day to celebrate!


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New Recipe: Monkey Bread

April 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm (friends, recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

We had dinner at the house of some great friends on Friday night, although Bethany was super sick and couldn’t join in. 😦 I brought this dessert, and left the rest of the batch at their house so she could try it when she felt better… hopefully her husband left some for her because I hear he kept sneaking bites. 🙂

I’ve had this before but never made it, and I’ve heard of most recipes using a butterscotch pudding mix as the sauce… I think that might work better? This sauce was a little less caramel-y than I’m used to. Also, I did something wrong because I filled up my bundt pan and used up all the brown sugar mixture, yet I still have about 1/3 of the dough left in the fridge??

I found this recipe on

Monkey Bread
Serves 6 to 8. (or, three really hungry people.)
1 envelope active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup warm whole milk
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened, divided
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
½ cup light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Icing (I didn’t ice it. It’s plenty sweet enough!)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup whole milk

1. Prepare Dough: In mixer bowl, stir together yeast, water and pinch of sugar. Let stand 5 mins. Add sugar, salt, egg, milk and 3 tbsp of the butter. Attach the flat beater, set to Stir and mix. Then mix in 2 cups of the flour in 4 additions, until a dough forms.

2. Remove flat beater and attach dough hook. Set to Speed 2 and mix in remaining flour, in 4 additions. Continue kneading about 1 min. Using hands, form dough into a ball. Place back in mixer bowl, rub with remaining 1 tbsp butter and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise about 1 hour.

3. Prepare Coating: Place butter in small bowl. In another bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

4. Cut dough into ½ inch pieces and roll into balls. Coat balls in butter then roll in sugar mixture. Place in prepared pan, with balls touching in layers if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake for 30-35 mins. Let cool for 15 mins on rack, then 20 mins on serving plate.

5. Prepare Icing: In small bowl, stir together confectioner’s sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over loaf.

My changes: I didn’t have enough time after work to make the dough, let it rise, and assemble it, so I did everything the night before and then stuck the filled bundt pan in the fridge overnight. I was worried it’d get too soggy, and that may be why the sauce wasn’t as caramel-like as I had hoped, but for the most part it held up really well. And definitely a time saver! It had just enough time to bake and cool after work. Overall, a great recipe and not too difficult. I’ll be making this again, I’m sure!

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Dec 13

December 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm (crafting, december photo project, friends, pictures)

December Photo Project

Finished Present

Ta-Da! One finished present to go on my felt tree-shaped advent calendar! (Tree is yet to be finished…) We hand embroidered the black lines, and then sewed on the ribbons, bows, sequins and beads all at once. It’s the first time I’ve done serious hand sewing, I usually don’t have that much patience, but I am loving how the presents are turning out. I have 14 completely finished, and am aiming to have it done by Christmas…. we’ll see how that goes!

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