Jekyll and Hyde

Before I went to Book Club last night, I wanted to kill the JA. Not in a literal sense, but since it’s the end of the quarter/year, we’re both stressed out. He was nice enough to make me some dinner, but he made a MASSIVE amount which he knew neither he nor I could possibly consume due to our evening schedule. Then he stormed out, leaving me with the unattended food that needed to be packaged up so it wouldn’t spoil.

I know, I know, first world problems. Hear me out. You know those days when nothing substantial has gone wrong but you just feel ‘off’ somehow? When the littlest thing can change your mood in either a good or bad way? It was one of those.

All turned around by a nice drive and Book Club. And maybe some wine. And brownies. And mindless Wednesday night comedy – Modern Family, Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23.

Let’s start this Thursday off on the right foot and hope for the best!!

Summer Rain

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a summer thunderstorm. Temps were in the 90s with a high level of humidity here in Baltimore yesterday and I was relieved to feel raindrops on my head as I scurried in from my car.

Rain affects my mood in a weird way. Either it motivates me to get things done (cleaning, baking, organizing, etc.) or I lay on the couch and watch movies all day. Since I was lazy this past weekend, I decided to get my butt in the kitchen.

This is one of my family’s favorite recipes and is great for a go-to breakfast.The smell wafting through my place yesterday was just glorious and made even the most dreary of evenings a tad bit brighter.

Daddy Janks’s Banana Bread (Disclaimer: He got this recipe from his mother so it could very well be Betty Crocker. Either way, it’s been passed down from her to him to me, so please don’t burst my bubble.)

2 c. fork-stirred all-purpose flour or 1 3/4 c. flour & 1/4 c. oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. (4 oz. stick) margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 c. mashed ripe bananas (2 6″ to 7″ bananas)
1 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended after each addition.
3. Add bananas, water and vanilla extract; beat until smooth.
4. Add flour mixture; beat gently only until smooth.
5. Fold in walnuts.

Bake in a buttered 9″X5″X3″ loaf pan in a preheated 350 degree oven until a cake tester(aka toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean- appx. 1 hour.
Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
May be sliced fairly thin if stored in a tightly closed plastic bag overnight. If kept for more than a few days, store in the refrigerator. Can also be frozen.

Unplug

Yeah, so…I took some time off from the blog. The JA and I are in the midst of graduation activities and with a long weekend choc full of activities, I decided to put the laptop down and just have some fun.

Sorry, I’m not sorry. I ate and drank way more than I should have, laid on the couch instead of going to the gym, celebrated a wonderful couple’s marriage and enjoyed every minute of it 🙂

Back to the grind!

Try It Tuesday: Chimpsy

This past weekend, I took a photography class with my dad from the company Chimpsy. Initially, I was drawn to it because there was a Groupon, Dad had gotten himself a DSLR but had yet to take it out of the box, and I use a camera for my job.

With Groupon, things can be hit or miss. Sometimes, you have a miserable experience, sometimes, a half decent one, and once in a while, a really great one. Chimpsy was one of the latter. Granted, I’m a beginner. Additionally, I think each person’s experience depends on their teacher.

Chimpsy offers classes across the nation as well as online. I was thoroughly impressed with the instructor (shout out to Devin!), who not only used the slides provided to him by the company, but illustrated techniques with photos of his own. It made the lesson more personal.

I took the two-hour introductory class – the first hour is used to familiarize yourself with your camera and some basic techniques. The second hour was spent ‘in the field.’ We walked around the block and performed exercises that put the techniques we just learned to the test. I’m a hands-on, visual learner so this style really appealed to me.

After class, a pdf is sent to your email address. While the pdf I received was for the intermediate class, it still held the information covered in the beginner class. Score!

For more information, visit their website or follow them on Twitter!

Hey, did you like this review? Check out my thoughts on other products/services that I recommend in my Try It Tuesday series.

Family Time

The majority of this past weekend was spent with the JA’s family. His brother came into town and since he only comes in every once in a blue moon, we felt it only appropriate to spend as much time with him as possible.

Friday night we ate crabs. Coming in from St. Louis, one of the main requirements when DA comes to town is to eat real seafood. We were happy to oblige!

Saturday morning, I took an introductory DSLR photography class with Daddy Janks. For Christmas, he got himself a new camera. I use a DSLR for my job and so when a Groupon came up for a 2-hour introductory class, I snagged two. It really helped me understand the basic functions of the camera. I only wish I had a DSLR of my own so I could practice more often! Below are some of my favorite shots – playing around with the aperture.

The rest of the weekend was spent eating, drinking and hanging out with my future extended family. Not exactly exciting, but perfectly fine by me 🙂

Burrrn

While making dinner the other night, I pulled out a cookie sheet out of the oven too soon and this happened. On my bicep.

Yeah, I’m special.

All I have to say is thank heavens this week is over. We’ve officially gotten to the point where, in the words of our dearly departed school president, “The boys need to be gone!” The weather is getting warmer, the seniors are finished with classes, and everyone else wishes they are anywhere but inside (faculty and staff included).

On the docket this weekend: a visit from the JA’s brother (complete with a crabfeast), Junior Prom, and (sigh) most likely more wedding stuff.

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything you’re specifically psyched about?

The Envelope, Please

Before I get full-on into this post, I want to say the I love Mommy Janks dearly. I’m so lucky to have her as one of the people who loves me unconditionally. However, right now, she’s driving me crazy.

You see, she’s addressing our wedding invitations. I understand that she wants them to be perfect and that she feels a poorly addressed invite could reflect poorly on our family. At the same point, I’m not Emily Post. Ask me whether Dr. comes first even if it’s the woman or if someone I don’t know should receive an Esq. after their name and I just shrug. In the past two days, I’ve sent more texts back and forth with my mother than I have since the JA and I got engaged.

Call me crazy, but most people I know do not save envelopes that house wedding invitations. Or any envelope for that matter. I don’t think my friends will be offended if, upon opening their mailbox, they find an invitation with their name and the person who they live with listed on the same line instead of two separate lines. Oh, the horror!!

I’m not being mean – I totally get where Mommy Janks is coming from. Especially with those guests who are more advanced in age, the salutation matters. However, if someone gets upset over the way your invitation is addressed, to me that’s saying that they are more concerned with their image and title/status than the fact that the JA and I are asking them to be witness to one of the most momentous days in our lives.

Am I justified in thinking this way or is the way the envelopes are addressed really that important?