Monday, August 31, 2009

prayers for marty

Please pray for my mom's friend Marty! Here is an e-mail we received this week...

"We made another trip to Dr Pieser oncology surgeon to discuss the removal of the tumor in Marty's digestive system. Upon examination he found numerous lymph nodes in her neck inflamed. He was very concerned & won't proceed with anything until a PET Scan is done & a lymph node biopsy. Marty is scheduled Tues Sept 1 to see Dr Wilson about the lymph node biopsy. No date has been set for the PET Scan. Marty is weaker & gets short winded easily. Even though she is getting blow after blow of scary reports, she is determined to fight back! She has some very tough choices ahead & needs all your prayers. She said today, "Don't stop praying!" Pray for the insurance company to cover these tests, injections & all that she needs. These days this can be a real problem. God's promises & the love of her many friends is her source of strength! She wants to thank everyone for the love & care they have shown already! She repeatedly says "what a journey, what a journey!"

Please lift Marty up in your prayers and ask God to give her peace going into this battle with cancer again. Say a prayer for her over the next few weeks & shoot an e-mail to me at We are going to print all of the prayers for Marty and hand deliver them to her for encouragement. Thanks!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

college cookies

Brie Brie leaves today for college :( I used her going-away as an excuse to bake. I am quickly morphing into an 80 year old.

Anyways, Brie & her roomie Ashley love Almond Joys & Reese's Pieces so I used variations of my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe to create some delicious treats for them. I test tasted both and found myself pleasantly satisfied.

Almond Joy

Reese's Pieces

And my parting gift? Cookie jars & the promise of free refills of course!

Here is my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe (I usually just half the recipe) & the variations. The recipe seriously results in some of the most moist and fluffy chocolate chip cookies you will ever encounter..

AJ variation:
coconut cream pudding instead of vanilla
1/4 cup mini semisweet (or milk) chocolate chips
8 mini almond joys, cut into chunks
handful of coconut flakes
top w/ coconut flakes

RP variation:
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 bag reese's pieces
8 mini reese's pb cups, cut into chunks
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
small handful chopped peanuts

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

5 things i wish never went out of style

Forewarning: I copied these pictures off of google images so they are not my own. They don't need explanations. Tell me what you think/what your 5 picks would be!

1. Yikes! Pencils
2. Ruffle Socks
3. Butterfly Clips (I personally preferred the silver ones with wings that moved, but these were a good back-up)
4. Kool-aid mustache
5. Roll-on Glitter

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

my so called life

Now you are probably asking yourself, "what has Miranda been up to?" and the answer is...a whole lot of nothing. I seriously debated for a long time whether or not I should even keep this blog now that I am home from NYC, but I think the irony of my life is too funny not to document.

I have mixed feelings about being home. Don't get me wrong, I love it here. I really do. But its definitely different. I had a hard time falling asleep the first few nights - I blame it on not having sirens and flashing lights outside my window to help lull me to sleep. I feel like I've kinda taken a huge time out from life this week...I didn't wear make-up, or do my hair, and my wardrobe consisted of old American Apparel t-shirts & soccer shorts. It was like my own personal rebellion against the standards of this world. It was liberating.

This weekend I made a trip up to Lynchburg to visit some of my best friends. It was really nice to see them & catch up. Friday night I met everyone at Whitney's house and we sat around a bonfire and stuffed ourselves with s'mores. And by "ourselves" I mean "myself." I think that was the first time I saw stars all summer. Isn't that bizarre? You can't see very many stars in NYC. We even got to watch a summer storm come in. Saturday the girls woke up to Whitney's dad's famous blueberry waffles and we lounged around the house all day in our pj's.

All of my closest girl friends from school started this traveling recipe book - its something fun to do while we are all split apart and it helps us stay in touch. What you do is...cook the current recipe in the book, document and include a picture (where you were, who you shared the recipe with, what you've been up to, etc), put in a new recipe, & pass along the book. Does that make sense? We are going to cover the front of the book with all of the postage stamps used to send the book around & once it gets REALLY full we want to have copies made and bound for all of the girls. Its a really fun idea. There are 7 of us (Jen, Sarah, Jessica, Whitney, Kerri, Brooke, and I) so we should get the book about twice a year.

Anyways, Saturday night we went up to the Snowflex! It is the only snowless ski slope in the Western Hemisphere and its on my alma mater's campus. Of course. It looked awesome/dangerous. The slope kinda felt like velcro but it sounded JUST like snow when you walked on it or ski/snowboarded. One of my friends said they averaged two major injuries a night. Yipes. Check it out...

My weekend excursion was probably the most eventful thing that has happened to me since I've been home. I have used a lot of my "down time" this week to brainstorm new short term goals to at least trick myself into thinking my life has some sort of purpose. Here are some of the ideas you can expect to see my blog filled with in the future...

1. Try every flavor of something. I've always wanted to do it. Maybe Baskin Robbins 31 flavors? Or something a little crazier? Stay tuned.
2. Get my bakery back up & running. My bakery is getting a makeover & will be back better than ever! We even have a new name - Lil Tubbies Bake Shop. I made the first batch of test run cupcakes this weekend, "Campfire Cuties" (aka s'mores), and I think they were a hit...
3. Document an entire month in pictures. "The September Project" coming to you September 1st.
4. Cook Amish Friendship Bread every 10 days for a year. Don't hold your breath on this one, but I think it would be kind of fun. I am currently obsessed with the stuff & there are so many different combinations you could make! I could easily come up with 36, right? Here are my first two stabs...
The top one is my sister's variation - 1 package instant banana cream pudding, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, & a handful of white chocolate chips. My variation is on the bottom - 2 packages instant lemon cream pudding, lemon zest, & 1/2 cup wild blueberries. Both were delish (I liked Brie's better though) Let me know if you want the recipe and some starter dough, I'm sure I will have plenty to go around!
5. Train for a half marathon. This idea was inspired by ideas 1, 2, & 4 - otherwise I will turn into Violet from Willy Wonka.

That's all. Other than the ultimate goal of finding a job. And not even just any job. The more I think about it, the more afraid I am of getting stuck with a job I hate. God has given me such a clear vision of what He wants me to do with my life that I would hate to fill my life with something temporary just because of my impatience. At the same time, I can't expect everything to fall into my lap. Tomorrow I promised myself to go on a long prayer walk to sort things out. In the words of Miley Cyrus, "Life's a climb."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

how fine to dine

Here is the link to my restaurant blog from the summer...

Monday, August 17, 2009

parting lessons from nyc

Parting lessons from the big city...

1. You don't have to look both ways before you cross the street - a habit I hopefully don't carry over at home or I am putting myself at a 50% higher risk of getting hit by a car.

2. Street meat smells better than it tastes. Trust me.

3. NYC's definition of "sale" and mine are very different.

4. If you live in NYC you have to get lost in Brooklyn at least once. Its like some unwritten initiation. I was on the Subway when I realized. You'll know too.

5. There is a street vendor for every kind of food you could ever imagine - cupcakes, hot dogs, pretzels, schnitzel, ice cream, crepes, sausage, waffles, kebabs, coffee, name it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

this is it!

Friday was my last day at work and Lizzie and I had to deliver a package to 30 Rock. We got to go together though which made the 40+ block walk a little more enjoyable. By the time we got back to the office my dad was outside waiting to pick me up so I quickly said my goodbyes and headed over to my apartment to move out. Once we were all packed up we headed over to Hoboken - which I am pretty much obsessed with. We went to Carlo's Bakery (aka CAKE BOSS!!) and had cannoli & lobster tails which were delicious and then we went to the Grimaldi's in Hoboken (no line...holla) for dinner.

After dinner we took the ferry over from Hoboken to Pier 11 and walked over to South Street Seaport. It was the last night of their summer concert series so there was live music, street performers, shopping and lots of people! South Street Seaport kinda reminds me of a mix of Boston, Chicago, and NYC combined. It has the cobblestone streets like Boston, a pier like Navy Pier in Chicago, and the huge Wall Street buildings that Manhattan is known for.

(a little friendly competition between the ice cream trucks?)

Saturday morning we got up early and headed back into Manhattan for our last little rendezvous in the city. We practically ATE our way through the city...literally. We started at Three Tarts downtown where we had the most AMAZING pear cider, homemade marshmallows, ice cream sandwiches, and lots of cookies. Then we headed to Chelsea market and loaded up on treats from Amy's Bread. We also ran across bulk packages of Nutella...

While we were downtown we went to the FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) museum. I have wanted to go practically all summer but somehow never managed to find time. I personally thought it was a complete waste. In my mind I guess I was just imagining a huge museum full of classic designer pieces somewhat similar to the Model as Muse exhibit at the MET. False. It was small and must have somehow been affiliated with some underlying liberal agenda. An Obama dress? Give me a break.

After the museum we took the train up to Central Park and walked west to east from Strawberry Fields to the Alice in Wonderland statue. Then we went and got huge black & white cookies from William Greenberg on the Upper East Side. We headed back down to Midtown for some shopping and quick trip to Crumbs (how could I pass up one last trip to Crumbs?) Then we headed down to the Jacque Torres Chocolate Factory in Manhattan. It was really cool in there. We tried the "Wicked Hot Chocolate" that had cayenne pepper in it! It was weird, but I didn't hate it. It was a really good last day in the city.

Now what? Who knows!? The search for a job continues...I'm really glad 4 years at a private college paid off. All I know is that the last time I was this short on money was in 3rd grade when I spent my birthday money on Littlest Pet Shops. I've always been one for instant gratification. I am just going to try and be patient and trust that the Lord has bigger and better things in store for me. We'll see what happens!

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:3-4

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the end.

These past few days have been a complete whirlwind. I cannot believe tomorrow is my last day at Shape! The summer went by SO fast. I have spent this week trying to learn and soak in as much information as I can. I've been volunteering all of my free time to help the Social Media Marketing Director, and when I'm not doing that I'm EATING! (thus the lack of updates) So let me see if I can catch you up...

Tuesday night was Katie's last night in the big city so after work we met up and went downtown to eat at this mac & cheese place called S'mac. All they serve is mac & cheese! Katie had the "Alpine" which had swiss cheese and bacon and I had the "Napoletana" with mozzarella, basil, garlic and tomatoes. It was pretty good if you could get past the 1/2 inch of grease on top and the terrible service (I'm talking to you KiAnna!) After dinner we walked over to Greenwich for dessert. On our way we looked into all of the apartments and we saw one with a huge painting of a man's portrait and, as we were staring, the man in the portrait came into the room! HAHAHA! Katie went on a food tour in Greenwich so she showed me all the good places to get dessert when we got there - cannoli's at Rocco's (SO GOOD!) followed by banana and chocolate hazelnut gelato at L'arte Del Gelato. All of the gelato flavors were in Italian so I had to ask which was what!

Wednesday after work Lizzie and I walked around the city and had dinner in Grand Central before she had to catch her train home. It was sad to think that was probably our last time hanging out outside of work :(

Today was a pretty good last full day of work. We were SO productive, even if it was a bit tedious, and I felt very accomplished afterwards. I think it also helped that we were treated to a delish lunch in the Flatiron district and one too many cupcakes...

I don't think it has quite hit me that I am leaving the city. I don't want to leave at all. I really do like it here. I selfishly wish Shape would just hire me. I kinda feel like a puppy in a pound, no one wants me! When I think of all the reasons why I might not have been hired (other than the simple fact that we are in a recession and the media industry is hurting) I am constantly reminded that I haven't exactly kept up with the Shape image. Maybe they caught me eating cupcakes for breakfast? (Wouldn't YOU if you passed a cupcake truck on your way to work?) Or maybe it is because I haven't worked out since my 2 week free trial membership ran out in June? Or maybe they know that I secretly have full intentions of buying the September issue of Self...Kelly Clarkson is on the cover!

Time to face reality - I'm headed back home...which reminds me, I still need to pack!

Monday, August 10, 2009

it is what it is

I flew home this past weekend to go to my friend Adam's wedding. My extended weekend (5 days) was a nice break, even though most of my weekend was spent on the road. While it was nice to not have to get around flinstone-style, 17 hours in a car is not exactly what I had in mind. I have also noticed that things at home are definitely not quite as fast-paced or exciting as NYC.

Exhibit A...
(Brie self-roasting a s'mores flavored marshmallow)

This is going to be a problem when I go home next weekend and my blog rapidly becomes boring. I personally found trips to Target & Wal-Mart exhilarating (they dont exist in Manhattan) but there is only so much to be said about both.

Anyways, the wedding on Saturday was beautiful. The ceremony and reception were outside at this mansion in North Carolina. It was well worth the 5+ hour drive. I arrived late (thanks a lot TomTom) but hey - better late than never! Right? I still can't believe Adam is married.

This weekend I also took full advantage of finally having an oven. Lets just say my breakfast this morning looked a lot like cupcakes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

you've got mail

Ok, just wanted to clear up the air about how to get a hold of me. I am slowly but surely phasing out my LU account (I am an alum now, remember?) Awhile back I posted that my new e-mail was I'm retracting that. I have 2 e-mails now - for play and for work. You can say its dorky all you want, but I know you have yours set up the same way. I also have a spam account if you are interested in that. So from now on just shoot me an e-mail at Unless you want to hire me, then use My preferred type of mail is fan mail. Joke. But seriously I love real mail, however, for my safety I do not think it would be wise to post my address on the world wide web. I'll be just as happy gchatting. Holla at me.

its always rainy in new york city

I can hardly believe I am just now finishing up my last weekend in NYC! This summer has flown by. My last weekend here was another great one. Saturday I met up with Katie, her brother Greg, and his girlfriend Becky. We went to a vintage market over in Hell's Kitchen and then shared tapas at this new little restaurant called Greenhouse 36. It was really cute with outdoor seating and good food. We ended up walking back to Midtown because it was so nice out.

Saturday night me, Amanda, Alexa, Michelle, & Miriam (Amanda's old roommates) went out to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen for Amanda's last supper!! It is so sad that my roomie is already back at home in S.C. She was seriously such a great roommate - completely chill, really encouraging, and lots of fun. My room seems so empty without her. I keep walking into my room expecting to see her googling random information and licking a huge pink lollipop from Dylan's Candy Bar. (I MISS YOU AMANDA!!!) Before she left we managed to get a Charlie's Angels roommate picture - how could you NOT when you have a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead? Contrary to popular belief, we are not in 6th grade...
This morning we all got up SUPER early (6:45ish) to see Amanda off :( NYC must have been sad to see her go too b/c it POURED practically all day. For some reason when it is rainy and gloomy outside Alexa and I get huge cravings for dessert, so we braved the weather and went downtown to Milk & Cookies. I had a s'mores cookie and she had a snickerdoodle - definitely worth going out in the rain. Milk & Cookies even has a menu where you can make your own cookie dough - check it out! Genius! If I made my own I think I would have picked sugar cookie with lemon crunchies & rainbow sprinkles or marshmallow. There are too many choices! The rain cleared up when we left so we walked around the Village for a while. We walked by Amy's Bread and I went in with the intention of just taking a peek and came out with a cinnamon challah knot. It was practically calling my name and for a buck eighty how could you resist??! It turns out that delish little treat has made the top of my list for favorite foods in the city. And I will probably be returning tomorrow to buy more baked goods from there.