cookies for everyone!

So yea, that NaBloPoMo thing was a spectacular failure, as I expected it to be. I had briefly considered live-blogging part of the honeymoon but ultimately decided not to give myself tendonitis again by typing away on my phone, so I’ll have some honeymoon posts shortly!

In the meantime, I attended a Cookie Swap on Saturday. Organized by my friend Alex and hosted by Elizabeth. When Alex asked a while back if I was interested, I couldn’t respond fast enough. I had never participated in a cookie swap before but I was alllll over it. The most difficult part was deciding what kind of cookies to make! I usually end up making cupcakes for parties because they are adorable and a crowd pleaser but in a battle of cookie vs cake, I’d probably be on the cookie side. One thing though, I am a cookie snob. I am really a baked good snob, if we’re being completely honest here. Some grocery store cookies are passable and grocery store sheet cakes are a necessary evil, but to me there is nothing worse than those hard chocolate chip cookies people try to pass off as dessert at events. I’d rather eat the napkins they are served with.

Whoops, that got a little real. But! Cookie Swap! With people making real cookies! I was so excited! At first I decided to make double chocolate cookies and before I left for Hawaii, I made a test batch and took them to work. They were received well enough…but I could tell they didn’t wow anyone. And that wouldn’t stand with me, so last minute, I decided to just go with the tried and true m&m cookies from The Crepes of Wrath. I am not a huge fan of m&ms…expect the peanut butter ones, but regular m&ms are meh. Something about putting them in a cookie, though. That’s where they really shine. I have made these countless times and they might be my all-time favorite cookie recipe. The resulting cookies are colorful and chewy and the sea salt on the top knocks them out of the park. I highly recommend buying a bar of chocolate and chopping it up so that you get all different chocolate sizes plus the chocolate shavings which just really take them over the top, in my opinion. Also, they use melted butter! No chance to forget to take butter out and let it soften. I actually pulled butter from the freezer for these and it took no more time than usual.

So. Anyways. The Swap was in Mt. Washington…and while I am not as bad as I used to be…driving new places still gives me a little anxiety. I left super early and of course got a little lost on the way. The place where 28S splits to go to 579/279/376 and then again where 279? splits to the Ft. Pitt Bridge is the bane of my existence. I have never gotten it right. And I didn’t this time either. I took a nice little downtown detour on the way there and back. But I arrived, unscathed and had a wonderful time! The only person I had actually met before was Alex, so it was great to meet a bunch of people that I have only interacted with online. It was a diverse group of people with a diverse group of snacks and most importantly, cookies! I had so much fun, I am already eagerly awaiting the next one.

And all of the cookies were sooooo good. We smartly decided to cut the quantities in half, usually you bring 1 dozen cookies for each participant, but with 10 participants, we cut it to 1/2 dozen per person, which was still cookie overload! In the best way! I ate one of each, froze 1-2 of each and sent the rest to work with Keith. I thought I had take a picture of my portion of cookies laid out on a tray, but apparently not, so I only have this picture of the packaged cookies from the party.


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In other news, I mentioned over and over again how horrible my Remote Sensing class this semester was. I’m not sure that I publicly announced that I failed my midterm? Yep. A big ol’ F. But then he bumped everyone up 10 points, so I officially got a D. There were 3 assignments, the midterm and the final. I got a B on the 1st assignment, a D on the midterm, then went on my honeymoon so never got back the 2nd and 3rd assignments, came back from the honeymoon and had 3 days to prepare for the final. My hopes were not high. I have never been so completely lost in a class. I went to every lecture (minus one while we were away) and I just couldn’t grasp anything. I felt like the final went better than the midterm, but since I had no idea how I did on the rest of the assignments…my grade was very much up in the air. One of the essay questions on the final said something about “After getting an A in your Remote Sensing class, you were put in charge of a team of paleontologists to survey this land in Africa…blah blah blah.” I was able to answer about 60% of the question, but couldn’t grasp some of the concepts, so I finished my essay with “Based on my remote sensing knowledge, I would likely be demoted to field cook.” Oh, Katrina. Always with the jokes.

So imagine my surprise when I logged in today.

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Ha! I would not have been surprised (though very disappointed) had I gotten a D and here I pulled off a C+! Curious as to how far away from a B I was, but not curious enough to ask. Just glad to be done with that class forever and glad to move on to my final! two! classes! in January. The end is near my friends.

friday favorites: 3 sense edition

Things I am loving:

A few weeks ago, Keith decided he was going to start watching SNL again. Since we are old people, he records it and watches later. He was watching one episode the other day and the musical guest came on. I wasn’t paying any attention but partway through the song I looked up and said “I have no idea who this is…but I really kind of like them.” And then I went back to ignoring the tv. A few days later, I couldn’t get the snippet of song out of my head, so I looked it up, saw it was Hozier and downloaded the album. And I have listened to pretty much nothing else since. I can’t remember the last time I have had an album on repeat like this…it’s so good. Another perk of my job is I can listen to music since I’m not out in the open/have to answer the phone. So I’ve been playing this album on repeat but also rediscovering some other albums. When I drive, I have to have my music shuffling, but that is too distracting for me at work, so I’m actually listening to straight albums for the first time in a really long time. So tell me, any favorites? Old or new? I like indie-ish stuff mostly, not into country, not really into rap. I will not listen to Kanye West on principle…but I’d give most anything else a chance.

Two Dots and 2048:

I’m not really into games because I suck at them. But these two games have had my attention for the past two weeks. When I get stuck on Two Dots, I’ll go and play 2048 for a while. They are both more strategy than skill and that’s something I can get behind.


I was at Target a few weeks ago and wandered into the candle aisle. We have some sort of caramel candle in the basement that we light while we are down there, but I wanted something for the living room while I’m doing homework. I picked up a few wintery sort of scents to sniff but everything was overpowering. Then I grabbed Cozy Nights because I liked the name and knew it was the one. It’s kind of autumny/wintery, I can’t even place what it smells like but it is delightful.


two weeks!

dying. just added two winery stops to our itinerary. maui winery makes wine from pineapples. whatttttttttttt.


(probably giving up on nablopomo soon. I’ve been pulling all kinds of overtime at work to make up for the fact that I only have 3 vacation days and our honeymoon is 12 work days long. yikes. the saddest thing is, I’ll only have about 2 days racked up by the time we leave. luckily 2 days are holidays so I’ll only have to take 5 unpaid days. still ugh. but leaving my house at 6:45am and getting home at 6:30pm doesn’t leave much time for blogging. or for bloggable events to occur. we’ll see.)


This is my 201st post here on jellyjars! How momentous! (Side bar…I definitely thought the word was monumentous. Like a monument…but then spellcheck proved me wrong and now I’m sitting here wondering if I’ve ever said that word aloud to anyone. Yikes, how embarrassing. Probably more embarrassing than the fact that my brain likes to replace the word chronic with chronological in the split second before it leaves my mouth. Have you ever referred to someone as a chronological liar? I have. Multiple times.)

Where was I? Oh, 200+ entries! Woohoo! I meant to post this at 200 and had it all set up and then I forgot and posted something else. Whoops. Still, pretty impressive!

Although thinking back to my live journal days, I once hit 1,000 entries on one of those little things. And that was journal number ~3 out of 4 or 5. There are probably 2,000 live journal entries from me floating around out there. How terrible. Luckily those have been private for a long, long time and will remain that way until the end of eternity. I actually can’t even think about love journal without cringing. What a wonderful/terrible time. Mostly terrible.


#toooldforundergrad update

I was going to blog but then I spent a combined 12 hours working on a lab report and I just finished and it is time for me to shower and go to bed.

I didn’t pick out clothes for the entire week and it’s incredible how much extra stress that has added for the week.

The good thing is I registered for classes and am applying for graduation on Friday. I’ll be taking Archaeological Theory (writing intensive) with a 400 year old professor…so that should be interesting. And then I have. 4 credit Independent Study for my GIS certificate (assuming I can swing a freaking C in this stupid class I’m in now). That should be fun. I’ll get to work on an actual GIS project which I feel woefully unprepared for, but I’m sure it will be fine. And I have the software and we have a dual monitor setup here so I can do all of my work at home.

And this time next year I won’t even remember what school is like. Except once a month when I am paying through the nose for my student loans. Sigh.

throwback monday, or something.

I started at Pitt in 2004. A few short months later, Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook and the rest is history. At the beginning Facebook was college-only and you could only join once your school was greenlit. I think it was October-ish when Pitt joined the ranks. I remember someone coming to my for room telling me to sign up so Pitt could get off the waiting list.

Everyone joined and I don’t remember any real privacy settings at first, you could pretty much see anyone you went to school with, maybe even everyone period. And add anyone, which we all did. I had a few hundred friends while I only hung out with 3 or 4 people in real life. Oh, the beauty of the internet.

Sophomore year, I’m sitting in my first Magic, Medicine and Science lecture (yes, that is a class, no I don’t remember any thing about it.) A guy in front of me asks for a pen, I hand him one and go about spacing out/taking notes.

At some point after class, I get a message on Facebook from one of my *friends*, “Hey, I think I borrowed a pen off of you in lecture today?” You scoundrel. Haha. Not sure if he asked for a pen because he recognized me, or he sought me out or what. (In those days, there was a section for your class schedule, it was brilliant.)

We got to talking and hung out a few times. I even went to a poetry reading with him. He was a nice guy, but maybe put off by the fact that I didn’t, so our *friendship* slowly fizzled out. I actually can’t even remember his name. I vaguely remember what he looked like, but if I were to see him today I’d probably have no idea who he was. Tom? Maybe? I really have no idea. Mike? It could have been Mike, I knew no fewer than 6 Mikes that year. A few years later I thought it was possible he liked me and I was just completely oblivious to that.

Sometimes when I pass the union on campus it reminds me of that poetry reading and the story but definitely doesn’t remind me of his name. Brian? Who knows.

naplobomo 2014 edition

So in a moment of what will turn out to be sheer stupidity, I decided to NaBloPoMo (a spin on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) National Blog Posting Month…you write a blog post every day in November, I did it in 2009 and I think I’ve failed twice since then..) last night. I had written a post yesterday and set for it to post on Monday and then went back a bit later and published it. Insanity! I haven’t written consistently in a long time and now I’m going to try for 30 posts in a row.

I also forgot the honeymoon will be smack in the middle of that, so I’ll have to see how I want to play that. I could post from Hawaii but I think at least one of our rentals doesn’t have wifi (the horror!) so maybe I’ll plan out some posts in advance (hah!) or post a few picture updates. Those count! Yesterday, Keith went to a football game and left at some ungodly hour and I slept in until 11:40. I was pretty shocked when I woke up, I’m not sure the last time I slept that late. I had been feeling pretty under the weather though, so I must have needed it. And I must have really needed the 2 hour nap I took after I woke up and ate something. Yikes!

I ended up back in bed by 10:00ish? last night, so it should be no surprise that I was wide awake at 7:00 a.m. Ughhhhh. But it did allow me to hit the grocery store at 9:00 a.m. and that was pretty nice.

Now my plans for today are to not nap (man, I am sooo ready for a nap), write my stupid lab report for class, pick out next week’s outfits and cook. Fun, fun, fun. And if I’ve gotta come up with another 29 entries this month, this is all you’re getting.

keep it posi

My mom said my last post sounded like a cry for help, and I told her it kind of was. Not really a cry for help, but it often does help me to get things off my chest. I think there’s just going to be an adjustment period with this job and that’s okay. Someone asked me yesterday if I missed my old job and I was surprised at how quickly and definitively I said “No.” I told her I miss the people, of course, but I don’t miss the job at all. It was boring and annoying and I did more than my fair share and I am glad to not be doing that every day. This job is stressful and confusing, but it’s also a little exciting. I get to know secrets and I get to go visit other departments and interact with all sorts of different people. Everyone has been kind and I think I’m finally starting to prove myself to people, which helps a lot.

So I thought I would flip the script and write about the things in my life that are great right now:

1. Honeymoon!!!!! – In less than 3 weeks Keith and I will be celebrating 6 months of marriage and heading off on our honeymoon. I can’t remember if I wrote about it at all here but we are going to Maui and the Big Island. We’re flying into Maui on November 20th (evening) and staying for 3 days at an Air BnB in Haiku, which is pretty much the center of the north shore. We’re going to see Pitt v University of Hawaii on November 21st and will explore for the next few days. On November 23rd we head to the Sheraton Maui for the Maui Invitational. Three more basketball games spread across three days and then a Thanksgiving Luau! Black Friday we fly from Maui to the Big Island for another week. Our time is split between 2 AirBnBs. One in Pahoa near Volcanoes National Park and one near Kailua/Kona. Although the current lava flow may change our Pahoa plans as it is flowing directly into the village we are staying. It looks like the lava flow will miss the house, but it’s LAVA. It can change its mind. Sooooo…keeping an eye on that.

2. Family time – A good portion of why I took my new job was that I would be closer to my family. My brother Ross and his family tend to go to my mom’s house for dinner on Friday nights and so far I’ve been able to make it to two of these. I went again this Friday and got to do a little Trick or Treating with Bradley. That child kills me, in the best way. It was also so great to spend some time with my siblings. My sister Kirrah stopped down for a minute and my brother Sam and his girlfriend were there getting ready for a Halloween party and it was just so much fun to sit around and laugh for a while. I am definitely making it a regular thing, family is good for the soul.

3. Gilmore Girls – Gilmore Girls hit Netflix and after seeing all the press, I was trying to resist watching it again. I’ve run through the whole series three times already. Once, when it was on tv. The second time was my sophomore year of college. The third time was when I first moved in with Keith and was waiting to start my job. And the fourth time is now. I caved. There are a lot of newer shows I would like to watch, but Keith and I watch a lot of stuff together so that limits what I can watch on my own. He, sadly, has no interest in Gilmore Girls, so I can watch it whenever I want. It also just makes me feel good. I know all the characters and the storylines but it still makes my heart happy and that’s ~45 minutes I can use to not stress out about life, so I will take it.

4. Graduation! – I am able to apply for graduation! What a crazy thought! I signed up for my last Anthropology class and an Independent Study for the GIS certificate (assuming I can get a C in Remote Sensing, blah). But that’s all I need! Then I can graduate! I can hardly believe this day has come. What will life be like after graduation? It’s not like I’ll get a new job, or move out of my dorm or really do anything new but be crushed by my student loan debt…but I will have free time! My weekends will be mine! I won’t be gone for 15 hours every Wednesday! I don’t know how I will deal, it’s going to be glorious. And I can finally, after 10 years put a check in the college graduate column. (And after all that, I will miss it. I like going to classes (when they don’t suck), I like learning. I like feeling like I’m accomplishing things.)

5. Golden Girls! – A few weeks ago, my friend Erin posted about some paintings on her blog. She did a Twin Peaks series and then I think she asked for suggestions for other series of paintings people would like to see. I threw out Golden Girls, because I love them, and Erin has a great style that I thought would do them justice. And she did! She posted the finish product shockingly fast and I swooped in and bought them all. We met up for coffee and for me to get them and they were even better in person. And then they sat on my dining room table for weeks. But last weekend I put them up and couldn’t be happier! I put them in the powder room so anyone who comes over my house can see them. So exciting. Erin makes a lot of great stuff and does commissions, so check out her shop! 



So, my life isn’t all stress and eyelid twitches (OMG PLEASE STOP) and I won’t even write about how I lost my driver’s license and credit card somewhere in my house last week and looked EVERYWHERE three times and had just gotten a new license in June and had to pay to have a new license sent to me so of course I will find them as soon as I get up off of this couch. I’m trying to keep it posi!

Life is full of ups and downs and some of us are better than others at keeping those downs to ourselves. But sometimes writing helps, just simply the act of letting the thoughts flow out of your brain helps. It can give you a little distance and sometimes lets you know when you are being a whiny little baby. ;)

captain anxiety

So. life. I don’t know. I keep trying to write a blog post and giving up before I even get one sentence down. I’m pretty much anxiety personified these days. Anxious about school and work and money. I had a midterm two weeks ago and cried when I got into my car after because it was so difficult. And then I got the test back last week and cried again because I did so terrible. I’ve had some difficult classes but I have never had a class where I am as lost as I am in this one. Like I literally have had no idea what was going on for the past ~8 weeks. None. And I can’t even go to any sort of Office Hours because of my work schedule. Everyone did so poorly on the midterm that he gave an extra 10 points, but I did so poorly that those extra 10 points pretty much didn’t help at all. I will be lucky if I end up with a C in this stupid class. (Remote sensing. Never take it.)

So…anxious about that.

Anxious about the fact that since I am less than part time this semester my student loans have come due.

I got a pretty decent raise when I took this new job. An extra $X per month. And my student loans are going got cost me $X + $75 per month. Which is just wonderful. It’s better than not getting a raise and needing to come up with that money but it’s also a complete bummer that I will have no chance to enjoy a little cushion. After the wedding and buying a car and paying for this honeymoon, I am wiped out financially and it sucks.

I am the most anxious about the job. Pretty much every moment I’m not at work, I’m worrying about work. I am pretty sure I have dreamt about work every night for the past 4 weeks. Once I get there, I am fine and busy and do my work and come home. But as soon as I get in the car my mind starts going. What did I do wrong today. What am I going to do wrong tomorrow.  How will I handle xyz scenario.

It’s stressful. I have to make it a point to tell myself multiple times a day to stop thinking about work. Which also means I have no desire to talk about work. People keep asking me how it’s going and I pretty much can only say “It’s okay” or “It’s really busy.” I don’t love it or hate it, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

I’m sure Keith loves this new development of me not wanting to talk about work. He never wants to talk about work, so much so that 5.5 years later I still pretty much have no idea what he does every day. I used to always tell him work stories whether he cared or not. After all, I’m spending 40 hours a week there, there’s not much else I do in a week for that much time. Except sleep. But he also won’t humor my dream retellings so I’m striking out all over the place.

But I don’t know. It’s weird to say “I hope it gets better” because it’s not bad, I just hope I get more comfortable. 90% of my job is working independently, which is fine because I am self-motivated and work well on my own but it’s also a bit lonely. I still don’t really know anyone. The people I interact most with are my boss and we can’t be friends and the people under me and we can’t be friends. I also don’t really even want/need friends, I’d just like to know who I can tell a joke to – #1 thing I miss about my last job: we laughed A LOT.

So in order to end this on a positive note the 3 best things about my new job:

1. I have an office. I can shut the door, I can play music, I can turn the heat up or the air on  and the door locks and it’s just a sweet slice of privacy that I have never had at any other job.

2. I can get up and go to the bathroom whenever I want. Now this might sound ridiculous but every other job I’ve had in ~14 years required either asking permission or getting someone to cover me to run to the bathroom. At my last job if one of the other people were at their desks, I could get up and go but often I was stuck waiting for someone to come back from fsm knows where. The sweet freedom of getting up to pee whenever I feel like it is pathetic and yet wonderful.

3. Even though my commute sucks I’ve been catching some pretty sweet sunrises. Although the time change is about to happen and that will end…soooo whatever.

I was feeling better about all of this (I wrote most of this post over the weekend, but then I got a crappy email at like 4:21 and I feel all terrible again.)

Asi es la vida.

brain dump: new job

So. Last week I started a new job! I have wanted to sit down and write something about it all week but have been so insanely busy. When I got there last Monday morning, I was informed that I would be following my boss, the director, around for the week to get a feel for things.

So throughout the week that included attending ~16 meetings among other things. At my previous job, I maybe went to 2 meetings a year. I also had the disaster area of my office to deal with. Oh yea, I get an office! With windows! (My last department had one window…for the entire department…and it was in the director’s office. So it could have been apocolypsing outside and I never would have known.) So to have 3 windows of my very own is incredible! And it’s not a bad view either!

not a bad view. my office actually has 3x the windows that my entire previous department did.

Those blinds are inside the panes of glass, which is annoying, but hey! windows!

My office got moved around, at my request, it was previously set-up so that anyone walking it would be at my back. Uh, no. So now I am facing the door and can see people. There were piles and piles of stuff everywhere. So I slowly went through that when I had some downtime, and still have not finished. And between that and other tasks, I literally had no time for anything. My job title is Clerical Supervisor and I have 9 clerical under me…but haven’t done anything with them yet aside from approving their time cards on Friday. I kind of worry how I will have time to “supervise” them if I don’t even have time for the other things I have to do, but I’m sure it will work out eventually. I don’t really know what is in store for next week, but I am sure I will be busy.

I had a few moments of “What have I done?” because even though I did everything at the previous job, I was never as busy as I was this past week. I actually went to Target this weekend to buy a watch because I have to wear fancy clothes and fancy clothes don’t have pockets for phones. And I’m up and out and around so much that I never knew what time it was.

 my other two outfits this week were boring, but I liked these 3. best part is that first dress was $15 and that pencil skirt was $5. #thriftylady #ootd #ootw #biggirljob #imissjeans #andsneakers #blistersfordays3/5 fancy lady outfits which include a $15 dress, $5 pencil skirt, $8 button down and $15 oxfords which were shockingly not uncomfortable.

Lots of changes with the new job, including clothing. I’ve gone from being able to wear jeans to work…to not so I’ve been wearing skirts/dresses every day. I wore a pair of pants one day last week and felt like a total frump, so I probably will limit pants to 1x a week. One thing that helped immensely for me was buying these over the door hangers and then the weekend before I started, I went through my closet and made 10 outfits. That way there was no scramble in the morning (since I have to wake up and leave much earlier) over what to wear…I would have anywhere from 10 (on Monday) to 6 (on Friday) outfits to choose from. This weekend I went through and added another 5. I’m not sure I’ll keep up with having 10 outfits at a time, but definitely a week’s worth. I also try everything on before I hang it up so I know it fits right and looks right so there is no second-guessing, just put it on and go.

I also have a terrible commute of 50 miles each way. The mornings have not been bad…but last Tuesday it took me 1 hr 20 mins to get home and Friday it took me 1 hr 30 mins. And Wednesday I had to go to class and it took me 1 hr 45 mins to get from Washington to Oakland. So that’s fun. I usually listen to podcasts while driving but I also added an audiobook to my phone and I don’t hate it nearly as much as I thought I did.

Also working later hours in addition to the longer commute so I am trying to do as much meal prep as possible during the weekends. Last weekend I made white chicken chili + beef stew (I skip the turnips add sweet potatoes and serve over egg noodles) + lamb & butternut squash stew (do not recommend, very bland) and that managed to feed us Sunday-Saturday. This weekend I made 2.5lbs of taco meat + lemon chicken orzo soup + have the stuff to make slow cooker butter chicken later in the week. Both new recipes, so we’ll see how they go. Oh also made pumpkin muffins from this bar recipe because my friend Chelsey posted about them and they looked so good.

One plus to the new job is I don’t have time to sit all day, so I also don’t have time to snack all day. This can only be a good thing. But there also is not a kitchen at work, so I’ve been bringing a sandwich and keeping it in a lunch bag with an icepack. Everyone has mini-fridges in their offices and I was trying to think how I could justify buying one for myself when we went to Keith’s parents’ house and I spotted a mini-fridge in the basement. It was Keith’s from college and is now mine! Now just to see how the hell I can get it into my office on the 5th floor.

So that’s what’s new with me. I’m a rambler, but I’ve had a lot of people as me how it is so I wanted to get something out, but I am tired and frazzled and figure I’ll be that way for a while so whatever.


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