movin’ on out

hi! due to many life events (concerto competition finals, moving, summer school, computer repairs) i did not move as soon as i thought i would.

BUT

here is my new blog!

http://www.unbuttonedcardigan.com/

please read and follow me here, as this blog will no longer be in use.

lots and lots of love,

erica

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moving

hi.

i’m currently cozied up in my bed, in my big huge soft comfy shirt and shorts, glasses, with a mug of chamomile and a big top knot. i’ve been awake for about twenty-nine hours now. thanks, twelve-hour flight plus four hour layover plus another one hour flight plus jetlag. (oh, and ana for having such amazing service, food, and movies that kept me awake for the entire twelve-hour nrt>idu flight. but really, thank you.) i devoured an unacceptable amount of stouffer’s lasagna at dinner tonight (after not eating anything substantial for six hours, which does not bode well for my inner hungry hippo.) english feels surreal to speak after physically not saying a word of it for the past two weeks. i’ve been moving in airplanes and by feet and by escalator and by moving airport ramp things (what are those called?) and i finally just get to sit. and be.

(ps, dad, thanks for preparing dinner for zombie-me and zombie-mom!)

i’m completely disoriented.

but before i head to bed (or at least try to) i wanted to announce that i am making the move from wordpress to a blog where I will have my own domain! i will post the link here on wordpress within the next week once i get it finalized. i’m really excited to be moving there, and everything is coming together. i hope you continue to follow me on my blogging journey!

time for some face-to-pillow.

xx

e

two-week trip: packing tips

two-week international trip number two!

except this one isn’t to a foreign country for me.

instead of finalizing packing, i have slathered my hair in coconut oil and applied an alpha-hydroxy peel to my face.

and decided to write this little list. (always lists.)

(by the way, i’m like 97% done packing, so no worries.)
(and also, this peel smells ahmazing. like all the best fruit in the world combined and on your face. ugh.)

so! how to pack for a two-week trip:

1. pack light.
2. roll up your clothing instead of folding it; this creates more space.
3. if you’re a skincare freak like me, buy TSA approved travel bottles at the drugstore and fill them with what you need. put all of this into a clear ziploc bag and keep it in your carry-on.
4. put your vitamins and supplements into ziploc bags or a pill box (depending on how many you have.) that way, you don’t have bottles bulking up your bag, and it’s easier for airport security to see what you have.
5. check a suitcase and carry-on a smaller suitcase plus a bag or purse. this sounds like a lot, but you don’t have to fill each one to the brim, and you may want the extra space later.
6. if you’re going to buy clothing over there, pack less clothing and wear what you buy.
7. bring a reusable water bottle in your carry-on. airplanes = dehydration and airport stores and kiosks = water bottles that cost money out the butt, so just get some water from a water refill station at the airport.
(this tip brought to you by a proud pro-sustainability eco-friendly app state student aka me)
8. bring little snacks. almonds, dried fruit, granola bars, homemade kale chips, pb&j, whatever it is. mom has always made us snack bags for our trips and i intend on bringing a little something tomorrow because for one, perpetual hunger club and two, you never know what you’ll encounter on an airplane. (i.e. burnt cinnamon sugar “muffin tops” made of who knows what)
9. take clear plastic bags and old plastic shopping bags with you. you never know what you may need them for.
10. be conservative with your shoes. also every girl should go out and buy the packable hunter tour boot
(but really, they’re pretty neat.)

won’t have a laptop with me while i’m gone, but i’ll have access to an ipad so i may update here and there.

– e

currently:

i’ve started swimming again and i. love. it.

reading a lot, fluting, dog-snuggling, yoga-ing, etc.

today, i spent two hours at the gym…with my grandpa! it was most excellent and i experienced my first ever water aerobics class complete with lots of cute old ladies who gossiped and bobbed up and down in the water, more so than following the actual instructions. fantastic.

debating lots of things. such as:
film camera for japan (y/n)
using squarespace to upgrade — my own domain for the blog + combining my blog and website (y/n)
couch or chairs to fill the new space in our apartment (our landlord’s daughter is moving her couch out)

three days until i embark on my RDU>ORD>NRT journey. also, on this day next week, i will be riding my first ever bullet train to kyoto (!!!) and on thursday, i get to see family and homeland. big love.

(this also means i have to pack again. thinking about writing a post on said packing.)

going to go make a new face mask, drink tea, and do a little bedtime yoga.

xx

E

 

ready, set, goal: june goals / summer goals

woweee i haven’t blogged in almost exactly a month!

oops.

and i know my last post was a goal post (ha) but i promise this blog is about other things too. especially since i’ve been on this huge writing kick lately. not complaining at all.

so a few quick updates, before i lay ’em down:

– i just got back from ireland last week and it was so. great. i made new friends, spent a lot of time with acquaintances whom i got to know so much better (more new friends! so grateful), formed a new trad band with said friends (!!!), didn’t stress one bit (super mega !!!!), took a ton of pictures, learned a ton about irish culture and music, and ate (of course.) also, ireland has made me a beer and cider drinker.

(personal thank-you to my parents for making the trip financially possible.)

– i’ve made quite a few personal discoveries and epiphanies as of late. i won’t mind sharing a few online (after all, this is basically my journal)

– i made the finals for a concerto competition that wasn’t hosted by the school…! and i honestly wasn’t expecting to. i seriously made the tape right after my junior recital in such a haze and submitted it for gits and shiggles. just for experience’s sake…and i did it! wow. competition is on july 13th and i honestly just can’t wait to make more music.

and now:

june goals

– yoga every day (i got off track while abroad. time to get back on)
– early morning runs alternating with cross-training until i leave for japan. i’m the queen of sporadic workouts…so having a weekly workout plan (and a new workout journal) is good. once i’m in japan, i’ll probably be faithful to my ballet beautiful series (the perfect travel workout videos!)
– daily meditation
– reading and writing daily

summer goals
– run more consistently, run longer distances
– learn all of my music for the fall
– cultivate a deeper asana practice
– cleaner, quicker flute technique
– further exploring the most glorious world of tone
– being consistent
– being patient
– embracing my recent spark in faith (more on that later)

 

– e

cookie conundrum: macaroons vs. macarons

*this mini post brought to you by my mother’s encouragement*

hi. i love food. and i was raised by a woman who also loves food.

my mother is also a very incredibly super-duper talented amateur baker (i don’t use that very long description lightly.)

in recent years, she has taken the challenge of mastering the art of baking the macaron…i’d say she’s succeeded.

IMG_2287

(i.e. for my junior recital she made about sixty macarons, and six different types. with flavors such as chocolate marron cream and matcha azuki. nbd. i totally caught people smuggling them out of the receiption)

 

naturally, we take this little confection quite seriously.

so:

macaron ≠ macaroon

macaron: a french meringue-based french pastry, filled with ganache, buttercream, jam (or some other sort of cream-like filling.) resembles a little sandwich (see picture above.)
mah-kah-rohn

macaroon: a small cookie made from ground almonds or coconut (usually coconut in the usa), egg whites, and sugar.
mah-kuh-roon

 

ps, found this funny infographic on google. not to hate on the macaroon! i’ve actually never had one before.
(i am a equal opportunist for all desserts…and i love coconut, so i’m sure i will try one soon)
macaron≠ macaroon and there is no ‘x’ in ‘espresso.’

love,

e

ready, set, goal: may

it’s may! and the end of the school year. can’t believe it. jeez.
also, why does the prettiest, breezy, blue-skies-and-puffy-cotton candy-summer-clouds day have to be on reading day?

(that’s how it works, though.)

i’m really excited about this month, because i spend half of it in the us-of-a, and then i spend half of it…in…

IRELAND!

i’ve never been before and i can’t wait. and i’m really excited about the music. and the food. duh. what else do you need?
just kidding, i’m also really excited about the history, architecture, people, culture, maybe the beer…okay, everything.

 

and i am also really excited about:
– my new yoga teacher position (!!!!)
– the farmers market opening today (so many ramps. and i bought one bunch of those ramps. !!!)
– new flute repertoire (hello, ibert concerto)
– going back to japan in a month and some change (!!!!)
– only one “real” exam
– grayson highlands next weekend with steve. because WILD PONIES. (oh yeah, and my baker-biker-gardener-running partner-guy is graduating next weekend, too. yay!)

 

so, may goals:

– pack smart, pack efficiently for ireland. no overpacking.
– get ready to leave the country.
– get all of my work done early this week.
– pack up my personal belongings so i don’t have to when i get back from ireland (jetlagged packing to go home? no thx)
– enjoy ireland. 
– have goals for the summer, but also remember to enjoy the time off.

 

– e

procrastiposting

procrastiposting, or, the art of writing a blog post during a slow shift at work (I work in an undergraduate tutoring lab.)
so far, i have completed a few concert reviews for a class, noshed on a few gummy bears, looked at lots of potential repertoire for the summer and the fall, and set some goals for the coming month (more on that later), but I haven’t tutored. a. single. student.

i’ve also eaten my dinner that i brought, which made me hungrier. i don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work, but that’s how it goes for me.

where is everyone?? there are exams next week you guuuuys.

 

what does a procrastipost consist of?

tonight: the things that I have found, such as…

this really adorable proposal.

cheese puns.

at work, we joked about how macaroni and cheese and french fries are vegetables, because we live in the south. which led me to find this.

this kouign amann recipe.

cat curling.

 

easy baked pesto turkey meatballs and sauteed kale

spring is up and coming!
which means everyone wants sundresses, fresh herbs, strawberries, the farmers market, and salads.
or maybe that’s just me.

 

i came up with these two recipes while walking from the music building back to my apartment…in a five minute walk where the scenery consists of parking lots, brick buildings, a sandwich and bagel shop, and traffic.

i guess i was more in a bind about how to make dinner without spending money and using what was in my fridge.

initial thought process = ?????

then again, sometimes the best ideas come out of being thrifty.

 IMG_2893

i had a pound of ground turkey on hand since i bought two pounds bogo at the supermarket a few weekends ago. used one of them, froze the other. (thank you, sale gods!)

i also had a humongo bag of kale, a carton of grape tomatoes, onion (always) lots of garlic (always), and homemade pesto leftover from last week! score.

these two recipes are suuuper easy peasy to throw together. like, really easy. you can even freeze the meatballs after baking them and have them for later. as for the kale…you’ll probably eat it up real fast. it’s good.

(not dissing the meatballs, you may eat those up fast too. i don’t know. i can only handle about three in one sitting.)

 IMG_2894

this meal is warm and comforting, but i feel like there’s nothing wrong with comfort food in the off-season.
how could you go wrong with kale (ever) and delicious, perfectly baked meatballs?

ps, apologizing now for the iphone photos and the dirty windowsill background and bad lighting blah blah – i was in a rush to make dinner, snap a few pictures, eat, and run to a steely pan steel band concert.

easy baked pesto turkey meatballs
yields about twenty-four meatballs

– 1 lb. ground turkey

– 1/2 cup oats

– 2 tbsp italian seasoning

– 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 1 tsp onion powder

– 3 tbsp almond milk (or dairy milk)

– pesto (i made my own parsley pesto, but you can use what you’d like.)

1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees farenheit. combine italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, oats, garlic and onion powders in the food processor until a flour-like consistency is reached.
2. combine turkey, milk, and cheese/herb/oat flour together in a bowl. mix with your hands.
3. shape the turkey mixture into small meatballs, about an inch in diameter, with your hands. place the meatballs on a lined baking sheet.
4. bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes until well done and browned on the outside.
5. drain the meatballs on a paper towel and then toss with pesto to coat. eat!

sauteed kale
yields about four servings

– 1 onion

– 3 cloves of garlic

– 1 bunch of kale

– 1 carton grape tomatoes

– 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1. heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
2. slice onions and garlic; add to the oil. sautee until the onions and garlic start to sweat.
3. add your grape tomatoes, whole. keep on sauteeing until the skin of the tomatoes begins to soften.
4. add the kale. sautee until the kale is cooked down a little bit, but not too much. it should still have a vibrant, green color.
5. add your nutritional yeast; stir well to combine. enjoy!

lessons learned in mud and sweat

last weekend, i ran the rugged maniac obstacle race.

race_94_photo_1901936

3.1 miles, 25 obstacles, forty-degree weather, thirty-two degree (or less? much less??) water, one free beer (that I didn’t end up taking), and one awesome trio of a team:

race_94_photo_1907562

 

I have to say though, the following picture sums up the race the best for me:
10172862_10152163202287655_2223008605691087960_n

 

the race was full of obstacles — everything from balancing over muddy pits of water, to crawling through trenches, to muddy water pits with barbed wire…and a few obstacles involving heights.

gulp.

as someone who has had a long-lasting fear of either falling or heights (or a combination of both,) this race really helped me overcome and face my fears.

because I totally could have skipped the walls, a-frames, and the tall rope net.

I could have hurdled the top, stopped, and freaked out.

but instead, i had my little mantra for the race: there’s no time to think about fear, but there is time to crush the hell out of fear.

and so I did.

 

so thank you, muddy-cold-wet obstacle race. not only did i leave with a few bruises, i left with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and a big internal “hell yeah!”

– e