Unexpected Adulthood

I recently read an article about the beauties of being an adult. I know I still have a lot of growing up to do. But maybe there are several stages of “adulthood”. It kind of just sneaks up on you and BAM! you realize you have adult obligations. Some people begin adulthood too early in life because of an unexpected change, some people begin adulthood when they go off to college, and some people (me!) don’t begin adulthood until they suddenly realize you are financially independent as well as trying to finish school and a job. I, of course, made the decision to move out & all, but I really didn’t realize I would be growing up that day! Which seems silly! But it’s true. There is always a rainbow after a storm, however, and there are little bits and pieces that make growing up really, really awesome!

1. Keeping your own company! There is something amazing about being able to be in your own company.There is time for tea or coffee, releasing the days stress, reflection, and petting your cat. Okay, that’s just my deal. But everyone has their routine! I think I am preparing myself for a stay at home mom position 😉

2. Friends in random places. I think parents have reasons best known to themselves to send their kids to camp. I was never a child who needed to be with my family 24/7. I loved going to sleepovers and school and everything. My brother was not. My brother had the opportunity to go to Culver Military Academies for camp, this was a 6 week camp where you take classes in 2 week increments. So from 7 am to 9 pm we basically had a school-like schedule. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, with I think 5-7 classes and finish the night with a movie, or tennis match, or sailing, or whatever! You get the idea. The point of this backstory is that I still have a TON of friends from going to Culver who live all over the world. Once my brother refused, my parents offered it to me and I accepted, I was 9 years old. This year, I accepted an internship at Walt Disney World, I happened to get a job in EPCOT World Showcase and met people from all over the world again! As well as all over the United States. My best friends are from Georgia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Wyoming, that is every corner of the US. You never know who you will meet and where their background comes from!

3. Making Adult Decisions. There are a ton of temptations in life. Should I go to the bar, should I date this guy, should I go back to school, should I travel, should I buy organic, should I spend that much money on whatever. There are a lot of decisions, and if the resources are there, why should you ever say no? Being in my position of an adult, I feel like life is presenting opportunities and I want to take them all!

4. Finding Yourself. All of these things in adulthood add up to define who you are. What you do and what you choose is who you are. But of course you are so much more too! There is a personality that nobody really knows until you let them in! There is intelligence and compassion and love and humor. And those things are inspiringly beautiful.

Advertisements

Simple, Gluten Free, ‘Whole Foods’ Pizza!

For dinner tonight, Jared and I tried our skills at homemade pizza! Ours was gluten-free, we opted for non-vegan by using salami, and organic pizza. We made everything from ingredients we bought from Whole Foods, so you can do this too!!

Check it out:

Crust: Namaste Foods Pizza Crust Mix (gluten free) ($5.29)

Sauce: Enricos Pizza Sauce ($2.99)

Cheese: 365 shredded mozzerella cheese 16 oz ($4.99)

Optional toppings! We used:

Naturalissima Uncured Genoa Salami ($4.99)

But feel free to add any toppings you like!


Start by heating your oven to 400 degrees. We put the cast-iron skillet in while the oven was still heating and left it in the heated oven for about 15 minutes. Just to warm it up. While this was warming, Jared made the crust by following the directions on the crust package.

** Note: It was incredibly sticky and we had a hard time transferring the crust from the mixing bowl to the flour/oil-coated surface to the lightly-oiled, hot cast-iron skillet. It stuck to our fingers and utensils and every surface it touched. So you might lose a bit of crust batter this way!

After we got our crust in the skillet, we cooked it in the oven at 400 for around 20 minutes (maybe less) then we took the skillet out and added our sauce, salami, and topped it off with cheese! We then cooked if for about ten minutes. We always cook by sight and touch (is the cheese melted? is the crust crispy all the way?), so it is hard to give exact times! Go with your instincts and senses.

After the crust and cheese is to your liking, remove the pizza from the skillet onto a ceramic plate to cool and cut!

Enjoy your amazingly simple homemade pizza!

Ours was gone before I could take any pictures, but let me tell you, it tasted better than it looked. And it looked fabulous!!!

#21DAYPHOTOPROJECT

I really wish I could reblog whitspeaks.com, because her photo challenge is lovely! I would like to begin this ASAP! There are quite a few of the days I am changing, however, I had to give her credit to where I got my inspiration! If you would like to follow my #21DAYPHOTOPROJECT follow me on instagram or you can check out the thumbnails on the blog (to the right!)

Here is my official lineup! Join me, if you will!

#21DAYPHOTOPROJECT WEEK

Are We Drawn to Drama?

Ever since I can remember in my teenage years, I have been guilty of watching reality TV: the biggest offenders being Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Dance Moms, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Teen Mom, 19 Kids and Counting, Paris Hilton’s My New BFF (don’t judge me.), and so many more! I have to admit, “we” is a pretty broad generalization, this could be teens, women, or even humans, but there is no denying that these shows get the ratings because a ton of them are still making seasons in 2015!!!

So what is it? I think I finally figured it out for myself. My life is almost incredibly drama-free that it is kind of nice to sit back and watch other people have “drama” and realize that you would never have to deal with something like that happening to you! Yes, it is kind of nice to fantasize about being rich and famous, but it looks to be hard work if you are a Kardashian. I just don’t think I could have that much drama (real OR fake) in my life for tv ratings. Am I right?

I have had my fair share of mean girls throughout high school, one girl thought I was stealing her boyfriend because we were chemistry partners….yeah. And another girl blocked me from her boyfriends Facebook because we were best friends who went to the same high school and hung out at school. Are girls so insecure about hanging on to boyfriends in high school that they have to be so dramatic about it? The latter actually tried to add me on instagram this week and when I accepted ( I figured she had grown up!) she unfollowed me. Is this really what people do in life? I am so sorry, but I have genetic diseases to cure. I don’t have time for your silly, petty drama-filled life. Poor pitiful you. That is about as far into your drama that I will allow myself to care.

I just get to sit back after watching a particularly awesome season of reality TV and go: I have a great life! I have an awesome boyfriend, with a roof over our head, food in the pantry, coffee in my tummy, an education, and kitty cat to forcefully cuddle with. I think I am good for life.

DIY 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Lately, our pantry has been looking pretty dry, in more ways than one. Yes, there is a lot more “dry” items like beans, flour, sugar, spices, etc. But it’s been looking a little bare. Instead of having lots of processed foods, Jared has been on a huge health kick. Which is totally his prerogative: it just isn’t how I am used to cooking. So I have been trying to reform my cooking skills using lots of dry, raw items. But we don’t processed cookie or cake or baking mixes, so I have been searching high and low for simple, low ingredient recipes I can whip up with my dry pantry. I found a few promising ones and pinned them to my cooking board on Pinterest.

I had to modify the recipe I found because this is what the original ingredients had:

1 egg

1 cup white sugar

1 cup peanut butter

We did not have eggs. I had just used the last few to make dinner. So we had to think outside the box. Jared swore up and down that he read that you can substitute eggs with ground flax seeds (which we have!) so after a little research of how much flax to use in place of the egg and we were back in session! So my new recipe looked like:

1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water

1 cup raw sugar

1 cup peanut butter (I did a little more than a cup just in case the flax seeds made it taste weird.)

Mix it all together and cook for 11 minutes at 350 in the oven. These cookies were very delicious. I just wish we would have used white sugar instead of raw sugar. Or I could have used maybe half a cup of raw sugar, because you could definitely taste the very big sugar granules. But hey! they weren’t awful, and we ate them all! Next time I will definitely try less sugar, or maybe even the right sugar.

As for the flax seeds, I could not even tell there were no eggs but rather seeds in its place! SERIOUSLY! If I, the pickiest of all picky eaters, could eat these cookies, then you know they are edible!

Try them out and shout out in the comments how they are!

Two Weeks Without Makeup

IMG_20150324_133619

 

Let’s just get this over with. I cannot stand not wearing makeup, at least on my eyes. Especially on my eyes. I have been getting a ton of reassurance from Jared that I don’t need makeup to look beautiful, and I completely agree! Women are beautiful makeup or no makeup, but you have to admit: the makeup industry isn’t exactly poor from ladies wearing makeup. Here’s the story:

I moved to Indianapolis into a house with Jared a little more than two weeks ago. And of all the things to leave at my parents house two and a half hours away, I left my makeup. Not something I direly needed, but I felt pretty lost without it, I seriously considered two alternatives: driving home to get it or buying more. I really didn’t have the funds to do either, but it is my make up, something I use in my daily routine! How could I go without it?

Well after a few days, I started being able to stay in bed for an extra 30 minutes in the morning and when going out to Broad Ripple, I could be ready to leave in 5 minutes! Hey, this isn’t so bad! My day had a few extra minutes added because I wasn’t spending all this time in the bathroom worrying about fixing my makeup. And can you honestly imagine going out and buying a whole new makeup wardrobe!? Yeesh. No thanks. You can see below which makeup products I use and how much they run for and see why I cannot afford a whole new wardrobe.

 

 

define-a-line-eyeliner_pack-shot-crop

Maybelline Define-A-Line Eyeliner in Black – $5.82

 

 

cg_lashblast_volume_mascara_3

Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara in Black – $7.99

stick

Maybelline FIT me! Shine Free stick foundation – $8.99

 

 

matte poreless face

Maybelline FIT me! Matte + Poreless liquid foundation – $7.99

 

Fit-Me-Powder-220-Natural-Beige

Maybelline FIT me! pressed powder – $7.99

 

mineral-power-finishing-veil_small-shot_145145

Maybelline Mineral Power powder foundation – $9.75

 

bronzer

Physicians Formula Summer Eclipse Brozer – $11.99

 

 

For a grand total of $60.52. Yepp. $60 for makeup. That is entirely too much to that makeup industry, if you ask me. I think I need to start looking into DIY makeup! Eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cast Members Guide to: Top 10 things to do when MK is too crowded

Magic Kingdom: the epitome of Walt Disney World. It is the main attraction to Walt’s Florida project. When you go to WDW for the day, it is the park to hit up. But what happens when you are there for a week and you have already done it once or twice and you just don’t want to even deal with the crowds? Sure, you could head to another park, but here is your guide to alternative fun at WDW besides the parks.

1. Head to a water park: You are in Florida, so unless it is 40 degrees (or cooler), it will always be a good day for the water park. It is a very rare day when both Disney Water Parks are down, that being said during the winter season, at least one is always closed for refurbishment. Take that into account if you are there on an unseasonably warm winter day, and everyone else has the same idea as you.

typhoon lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon

Blizzard Beach

2. Resort Hop! One of my favorite things to do while a Cast Member, I loved to see all the different resorts. If you haven’t noticed, Disney takes a ton of time to put details into every little thing, including where you stay! If you are already at a resort, take a day off to hang out by the pool and relax and walk around. There is tons to see and do at your resort alone. Once you have seen all there is to see, hop on the first bus to a different resort and start exploring there too! Some of my favorites were: Fort Wilderness! All Star Movies, Art of Animation, Port Orleans French Quarter, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian, and of course the Grand Floridian! (these are actually in order from cheapest to most expensive also.)

art of animation

Art of Animation Finding Nemo Pool

wilderness_lodge

Wilderness Lodge

3. Drink Around the World: So this one is kind of cheating, since it is in EPCOT, but EPCOT happens to be one of the largest parks and can hold a ton of people (more than literally!) With a capacity almost larger than MK, there is a lot more room to walk around the spacious countries. So why not take the day (if you are 21 and older) to drink around the world! Most people get a group of friends together and order a small drink from the 11 countries. If you are not a drinker or if you just like food a whole lot more than alcohol (like me!) try food from every country! Almost every country has at least one small restaurant or quick service to try out! Just be wary, both drinking and eating (since you should eat if you are drinking 11 drinks), or just eating around the world is going to add up QUICKLY! If you are eating around the world with friends, try splitting all of the dishes for just a bite or two, trust me you have a lot of eating to do!

If you are super festive and into this idea, google “epcot drink around the world” or some variation, and you will get super cool tshirt/printouts to guide you!drink

drinking around the world

**Tip: if you do drink around the world, start at Canada and end in Mexico. There is nothing worse than getting super drunk on Tequila, just to have 10 more countries you want to try.

4. Universal Studios: I love Disney, but ever since Harry Potter took over Universal, I LOVE UNIVERSAL. If you are looking for a little more oomph to the rides and you love Harry Potter, give Universal a try. A lot of their rides are outdated and no longer popular (Shrek, Fear Factor, Simpsons, Beetlejuice, etc. etc. etc.), but in my opinion I could spend the entire day (week!) at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. There is enough to do and see to keep any HP fan occupied for a very long day.

If you are a HP fan here are my suggestions to check out:

A. do Escape from Gringotts later in the day, everyone rushes to see Diagon Alley in the morning, which is okay, but standing in a 5 hour line to see a 5 minute ride is not okay (guilty).

hp gg

hp gringotts

B. Buy a wand. This is the keepsake I kept bringing back and still have on my desk as I type. But if everyone in your group goes, only buy 1 interactive wand. There is no limit on what spells you can do or how long it takes you to figure it out, so if one person has the interactive wand, your whole group is set!

hp wand

hp ollivanders

C. Take the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade (and don’t forget to go back, trust me! It’s a different experience!)

hp he ride

hp he

D. Eat at Florean Fortescues Ice Cream! You probably will have to try something new, may I suggest the Peanut Butter and Strawberry Hard Packed cone?

hp ff

hp ff ice cream

E. Find Knockturn Alley (and take out your interactive wand map along the way, it has a hidden surprise in Knockturn Alley).

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

F. Go through the Forbidden Journey Queue, even if you don’t want to ride the ride. You can always ask the Team Member to exit before getting on the ride. GO THROUGH THE ENTIRE THING TOO!!! Just when you think you are close, you get to see more!

hp forbidden journey

G. Eat at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade or the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley. Both are fantastic.

hp british lunch

H. Try Butterbeer at least once. If it isn’t your thing, I seriously love the pear cider (pictured above).

hp bb

I. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes is a must! It’s so authentic.hp www

hpwww

If HP is not your thing, don’t worry! There is still tons to see and do! Try out some rollercoasters like: Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket (this one gets even the bravest scared outta their pants!), the Incredible Hulk, REVENGE OF THE MUMMY! (my personal favorite), Dragon Challenge! Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls (water ride), and Jurassic Park River Adventure (you will get soaked.) And if you have some little ones, check out Seuss Landing, the comic book area, Men and Black (Chelsea and I love this ride, we got caught riding it 5 times in a row, and got called out! 😉 and Despicable Me.despicable me

There is seriously something for everyone!

hp universal   hp everyone

5. Cirque du Soleil in Downtown Disney. It’s no secret Downtown Disney (DTD) is free and has a hopping night life. One of the more formal (still expensive, but 100% worth it!) things to do in DTD is Cirque du Soleil. This fascinating and entertaining show holds up to the Cirque name and is designed specifically for DTD. Check it out if you have a chance!

**Note: we bought our tickets like a week before (we got a huge discount.) and had one of the “farthest” seats away from the stage, but there is really no bad seat in the house! If you are worried you are in the last row, don’t be, you are still SO close to it all!

6. Splitsville in DTD: two level bowling with food, drinks, music, it’s bowling like you have never seen before.

splitsville

7. DisneyQuest: I had the privilege to get free tickets as a cast member to DisneyQuest. Most people (including me!) do not shell out buku bucks to Disney just to spend more on “arcade games”, but some do!! If this is your thing and you don’t mind shelling out up to $50 per person, this place is seriously awesome. It has Disney-themed attractions including: Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Aladdin, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Buzz Lightyear, and even Space Mountain. DisneyQuest is 5 floors of an Indoor Interactive Themepark (a fancy way to say arcade, in my opinion!) It has every kind of game you could ever dream of, and then more! They offer animation classes, racing games, old arcade (think pacman), trivia, skee-ball, guitar hero, and then they have attractions you have never seen before! Plus on the top floors, it has its own food court!

**Note: I had a very hard time trying to find out if you had to pay for the games inside, YOU DON’T! Once you pay the entrance fee, everything inside is free to play, just don’t forget lunch/dinner which is separate!

dq 1  dq 3

dq 4

dq 5

dq 6

dq map

Here is the map!

8. Explore DTD: so by now you have seen a lot of what there is to do in DTD, but there is so much more! There is shopping, food, sweet treats, live entertainment, and so much more just waiting out there to see! DTD can be explored for an entire day if you give yourself the time to check it out!

9. Backstage Magic: when googled, this appears to be a specific tour, but in my blog, this is a broad topic of any kind of tour you can take at WDW. Let us begin. Backstage is a World some are brave enough to discover. Here lies the secrets to WDW and when you are a Cast Member, you are bound to see a LOT of backstage. Some tours are a few hours long while the Backstage Magic tour is 7 hours long. They range in prices and parks and you can book specific tours too! My family has done the Backstage Magic Tour and also the Yuletide Tour (Christmas!) Depending on how large the group is, there may be 2 or more guides. Here is a list of tours given at WDW! This is a great way to see more of the parks on a much more intimate level.

**Note: be advised some tours are strictly 16 and older. They will not make any exceptions on this either, so please don’t ask to. But a lot of tours and events happen for every age, just not the backstage one. If it involves going backstage, you will most likely have that age limit! Just to preserve the magic. If you take a look at the list you will also see that a lot are seasonal so plan accordingly (aka ahead!)

10. Boardwalk: this hidden gem is just waiting to be discovered! I didn’t even know about it until I did my college program! Boardwalk is a lovely area with lots of restaurants and bars along the way including: ESPN Club and Jelly Rolls the Dueling Pianos bar (check these places out, for real!) There is tons to do and see here and it is almost always so quiet because not many people know it even exists! You can get there by bus and the Friendship Boats take you there from EPCOT and Hollywood Studios!

boardwalk-00-full

10.