Friday, November 9, 2012

friday's letters/catch up on life

I am the #1 worst blogger ever.

Dear Halloween, 
You treated me so well! Our pumpkins turned out great, and the decorating extravaganza that happened at boyfriend's work was amazing.  Themes I can remember included: angry birds, jaws, mario brothers, tron, toy story, the lorax, and a couple others... My two favorites were toy story (for the child in me) and jaws (because it was AMAZING) Sorry the jaws photos are so dark, you will just have to trust me, it was pretty awesome. Oh, and they totally made a boat.  

Dear Lion King, 
You were amazing.  I cried twice, got to hold a snake---twice, eat and drink for free, and watch some pretty amazing african dancers.  You were above and beyond what I could have ever hoped for.  Did I mention I got a lion hat AND an elephant mask? I may or may not have been the only adult to pick up a mask, and I proceeded to lose it just like a child.  
Dear Garry, 
Thanks for spoiling boyfriend and me last Sunday.  Food, drinks, a tour, and to see the best view of SF, it was such a wonderful day! 
Dear Greg and Jelena, 
Thanks for introducing us to Korean BBQ, it was AMAZING. I especially loved all the little sides. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

thursday thoughts

OMG it's almost Halloween.  I can't believe how fast time is flying.  When people ask me how long I have been here my instant thought is one month, but no, we are going on four months at the end of October. Crazy.

This is the first week where I have feel like I kind of know what I am doing/where my life is going.  I am no longer sitting at home everyday just job hunting.  Like I said in a previous post a life is not a job, a job is a part of your life.  It just so happens I am figuring the life part out first.  At least I am figuring something out right? 

New Girl and Glee aren't on this week.  What's up with that? 

I am completely and utterly in love with this new app I just got yesterday.  It's called stylebook, and even though it will take sometime to set up, it's super useful.  You take pictures of your entire wardrobe and categorize it all, shoes, sweaters, blazers, trousers, jeans, shorts, even accessories.  Then you can put outfits together just like on polyvore, but now they are all YOUR clothes! You can categorize your outfits too, day looks, work, evening, vacation, and favorites. I am still taking pictures of my wardrobe, but in the long run it will be totally worth it. 

My neighbors upstairs have an elephant.  I mean considering all the noise it's really the only explanation.  It seriously sounds like stomping and tons of things being knocked about. Initially I thought perhaps they are just moving in and making moving noises, but that was TWO WEEKS AGO.   

Tonight at volleyball we are picking teams.  I am super nervous, and I keep getting terrible flash backs to junior high.  Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

i've been nominated?

Stacy over at just breathe has nominated me for a Liebster award.
Here are the answers to her questions plus  eleven more randoms about me...

Eleven things about me:

1. Babies make me SUPER nervous, and slightly uncomfortable.  I should probably get over this pretty quick because my bff, Sarah, is about to have one!! 
2. I am pretty sure I was a cat in a past life.  A nice, fat, lazy, and very loved indoor cat.  
3. I am going to miss the 4 seasons I had in Tx. 
4. I absolutely love to cook. 
5. I absolutely love to eat. 
6. I truly believe I have the two best parents and greatest family anyone could ever ask for.  
7. I am really, really good at multitasking. It's a very strange gift. 
8. I just started volunteering at Resource Generation, and I am SUPER excited about everything I am going to learn! 
9. I think my cat Tiny wants to be a chef.  She is always watching me cook, and she wants to smell everything.  It's pretty tough to keep her out of my kitchen.
10. I love to iron.
11. I really enjoy tequila with a splash of lime.

1. We all multi-task so what else are you doing while you're typing this blog? 
Bah a lot of things, planning meals for the weekend, defrosting chicken in the microwave, applying for admin. assistant jobs, starting beer chicken in the slow cooker, warming the last of the lamb stew for lunch, and shamefully watching gossip girl.

2. When you're sad do you listen to sad music or happy music? 
90s music, so I can sing along and dance around the apt.    

3. What would be your perfect night of TGIF (remember Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step, etc.)?  
Boy Meets World, love me some Shawn and Cory!

4. If money were no object what would your dream job be? 
I believe in dream jobs like I believe in soul mates, there isn't just one for everyone. I'll be happy finding a job I like.   

5. Why do you blog? And do your friends think you're weird? 
I focus better when I can get things off my mind, so it's a bit like a diary for me. My friends have always thought I was weird, blog or no blog. 

6. What is one of your strangest quirks?  (I will like you MORE for this the stranger it is)
Apparently, one of my eyes blinks without the other on occasion.  

7. What is your favorite HOLIDAY CANDLE scent?
I grew up with candles, so I don't have a favorite, in fact, I would rather live without them. 

8. List one of your guiltiest pleasures. 
TV---ugh totally obsessed. 

9. What is your favorite Pandora station?
90s pop, indie rock, OR glee.  A mixture of all three is quite nice actually. 

10. If a celebrity played you in a movie about your life, who would you pick?
Rachel McAdams.

11. More importantly, who would play the love of your life?
EASY Jake Gyllenhaal. Gorgeous. 

I do realize my font changed a couple times thru the blog, and for some reason I really don't care to fix it today.  Sorry if it bugs you! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Growing up in the south you learn that following a boy anywhere is like giving up on yourself and your independence, and if you do it without a ring you are just a dumb girl.  And as my friend/cousin reminded me on our 5 hour lunch the other day, coming to CA was not about following a boy.  It's about moving forward and taking a risk, making the hard decision to try something new, along with giving my boyfriend the chance to start his dream.  I could have very easily said no, I want to stay in TX, and boyfriend would have stayed with me. But people don't grow when they are just content with their lives, they grow when they push themselves out of their comfort zones and into new situations.  So to all of you who think I am crazy for following a boy out to CA, don't think of it that way anymore.  Think of it as me stepping out on my own for the first time and trying to find out who I can be.  I just so happen to have an extremely supportive boyfriend along for the ride. 

I also made a lovely little list of the reasons I should be proud of myself. Things I have been doing here in Cali that I never did nor would I have done in Tx. And it goes a little something like this:

1. Playing volleyball once a week (sometimes more) with new people each week 
2. Putting my life out on a blog for people to read
3. Jumping on BART and exploring the city
4. Making new friends
5. Job hunting
6. Cooking something new every week
7. Looking into going back to school in a couple years
8. Being the supportive but not totally dependent girlfriend
9. Being able to stay positive (most days) 
10. Signing up for volunteer opportunities

Happy Tuesday everyone! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

i'm still here

Yes, I am still here, and still blogging.  Quick week wrap up...California allergies suck and my parents were visiting last week.  I have the most wonderful parents in the world.  Not only did they stock us up on wine, help cook, buy us a floor lamp and all our other groceries, they reminded me why I should be proud of myself.
We ate together every night, went into the city a couple times to meet friends, went to the farmers market, and drank a wee bit of the wine they brought us. We had an amazing dinner with some friends, Greg and Jelena on Saturday night.  As soon as we walked in the door we were welcomed with vodka and appetizers (smoked salmon and caviar).  It was such a wonderful evening, and I hope it can be a reoccurring event.  I almost feel like Greg and Jelena have taken boyfriend and I under their wing.  They are always telling us about great things to do, see, and eat in the area. We are so lucky to have them as friends out here. Not to mention, they have the sweetest, most beautiful, and most well behaved baby in the world.  Granted, I have never really been around babies, so I probably don't know much, but Miss Olivia is like pure joy.  The dinner Jelena made was absolutely amazing, and I am hoping she will translate the recipe for me!

It was  such a wonderful week, and I think I would like it if my parents lived closer... Thanks again Mom and Dad!

Friday, September 28, 2012

friday's letters

Dear wine in the afternoon, 
You should probably happen more often, I mean seriously, it's not like I am working these days...

Dear readers, 
No, I am not a drunk. 

Dear Parents, 

Dear Readers, 
Seriously, I don't drink that much, but you should probably all try Peachy Canyon's Zinfandel.  It will rock your world.  

Dear David Northam, 
I have figured absolutely nothing out since high school or college for that matter. And yes, I am a completely different person than I was in high school, but aren't we all? 

Dear banana chocolate cream pie, 
You are kind of like satan, super tempting, and then you wreak havoc on my body, inside and out. But to be completely honest, I will probably make you every 1-2 months. You are too good to give up. 

Dear Boyfriend, 
You must be a saint or something, because I am not so sure how you are still living with me(crazy girl). 

Dear depressed version of Gillian, 
Here are the things you should be taking advantage of while you are unemployed/job hunting:
1. Working out
2. Exploring SF
4. Working out
5. Drawing
6. Volleyball
7. Working out
8. Wine in the afternoon
9. Venting on your blog

Dear New Girl, 
I am so glad you're back,  I haven't/won't delete any of your episodes this season, because you are fantastic on a day when I am super down.  I'M OFF THE GRID! 

Happy Friday Everyone!!! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

wonderful wednesday

Ugh, lately I have been loving/wanting way too much.  Number one on my list of loves are these black boots from Steve Madden.  The thing is, I own one pair of suede black boots, and now living in SF, suede just will not do! Plus, how cool are these?
I own one polka dot top (it doesn't seem to be enough) that my mother made me get back in high school, and boy am I thankful she did! But now I just want more, sweaters, scarves, and skirts all in polka dots! Sweaters and skirt from J.Crew and the scarf is from Old Navy. 

I started watching Dawson's Creek for the first time.  My parents did not let me watch it when I was younger, and definitely for good reason.  This show is a bit ridiculous (yes, I am still watching it).  I never knew anyone at 15 who talked/acted/solved problems like these kiddos.  Also, having sex at 15 is not what I want my future kids to be watching on tv.  Thanks mom and dad for keeping me a prude/young for as long as possible, I really appreciate it. Seriously, thank you.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

friday's letters

Dear Glee,
I am so glad you are back! that you are on Thursdays you conflict with my Project Runway. Don't worry, you win.  I'll watch PR on Friday.

Dear Mascara,
You truly are wonderful.  I know I pick and choose my days to use you, but when those make up days come around you treat me like a princess.
Dear Dublin Public Library, 
I know I owe you a lot of money in fines, but the cost of my spanish lessons are priceless...when I remember to do them.

Dear Stacy @ Just Breathe
Your shout out made me tear up a bit.  I have looked into culinary school and it's not financially impossible, but it would definitely be financially stupid right now.  I am thinking in two or three years it will be back on the table. (Punn not intended) I will keep you updated. I do love to cook, and as my friend said the other day, "Gillian, it's not normal for someone to want/feel the need to cook something everyday." In the mean time, I should probably start cooking lower calorie stuff, I am going to start gaining some weight soon... One or two of these food photos are not 100% mine.  I got my skills from somewhere, thanks mom! 

Dear boyfriend and readers, 
Please forgive me for shopping yesterday! I just got three things, all of which I felt were necessary for my winter wardrobe.  A white cable knit sweater, a basic white button down shirt, and a bright orange skirt, that I already made like 8 outfits with.  Here is one of them! And yes, it does have pockets, so it's not only cute, it's totally functional.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

hello wednesday

had a long facetime chat with my parents this morning, and the highlight of the conversation was the following story. 

my parents had just come back from their morning bike ride. i am guessing 4-5 miles this morning, and in texas, so it's a bit toasty.  Naturally they would come home to shower prior to going to work.  as my mom was getting ready to jump into the shower she notices something on the outside of her underpants on her bum.  what could it be? hmmm 
a lizard.  
a tiny 1 inch long, dead lizard that had been stuck to her bum all morning, and possibly all night.  
what a terrible way to go huh? squished between a bum and a bike seat? 
byebye tiny lizard. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I have completely run out of my contact lenses, so I am living in my glasses at all times. I did the 1800contact thing, only to find out they have to get the okay from your eye dr. that your rx is up to date.  Well, I have not been to my doctor in over a year, but I can tell you right now my rx is the same.  I know what it's like to see perfect, so obviously I know what it's like to not see so perfect. So why are these doctors acting like contacts are some super addicting drug?? I have to go every year for them to tell me my rx is correct and that I am in fact putting my contacts in correctly. Oh, and most importantly, I have to pay for them to tell me all of this.  At my last appointment a random $30 charge popped up with the explanation "contact fitting." I thought about it for a minute and it hit me! The following encounter got her an extra $30 in her pocket.

Me: (putting in my contacts) Oops, one is backwards, can I use that contact solution?
Dr.: Wait, why don't you let me check it.  Maybe, it's not backwards
Me: (I have been wearing contacts since 7th grade, I think I know when one is backwards) No, that's ok I know it's backwards, and I can fix it.
Dr.: No, no really let me check it.
She proceeded to check my eye, and simply say, "Yea, you are right.  It's backwards."  Then she handed me the solution.
BAM $30 in her pocket.  

Alright, enough with the anger.  Now onto food.  This is what I have been cooking lately... vegetable marinara sauce, bread, pie, and chicken.
I took eggplant, celery, carrots, red peppers, garlic, and a bunch of herbs cooked them in a bit of water for a hour, added two cans of no salt added diced tomatoes, stuck my immersion blender in there and voila! Delicious red sauce.  
I then took some chicken browned it in butter, thats right, BUTTER.  Removed it sautéed an onion and a yellow bell pepper, poured a bit of the marinara sauce in,  put the chicken back in, stuck a lid on it, and let the chicken cook all the way thru.   

 Chocolate banana cream pie.  Pudding- chocolate and vanilla, chocolate crust, bananas, and whipping cream.  I could live on this pie.  
 Breakfast bread.  Easy bread made with flour, buttermilk, baking powder, currents, and orange zest.  Perfect toasted with a bit of jam.  Now, because this bread is gone, I have a whole wheat banana/honey bread in the oven now.  Smells wonderful! 

Seriously, the sooner some of you bay area people become my friend, the sooner you will all benefit from my joblessness.  OR whoever hires me will have all this homemade goodness to look forward to in the office every week. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

weekend update

As you all read from my friday's letters post, I played in a reverse coed 4s volleyball tournament on Friday.  It. Was. A. Blast.  I had never played reverse coed, and it basically means men cannot do anything at the net besides setting.  They have to attack the ball from behind the ten foot line.  Going into the tournament I thought, "Great! I won't be killed by guys hitting the ball at my face!" Yeah, I was wrong.  Some of these guys can absolutely kill the ball from behind that ten foot line.  Anyways, I had a ton of fun, didn't hold anyone back, got my fair share of kills, digs, and aces, and came home with swollen and bruised forearms from passing some of these boys' hits.  Guess I have to build up some muscle in my forearms...on to climbing!

Somehow boyfriend got me to watch Breaking Bad, and apparently I am the last person on the planet to be watching this show.  We are about halfway thru the second season, and it's pretty addicting.

PARENTHOOD STARTS TOMORROW! I spent 10 minutes today watching all the clips they have here, about the upcoming season, and it looks pretty amazing. Glee is right behind premiering on Thursday, and in a couple weeks New Girl is back!

Now all I need is Mad Men and Downton Abbey and my TV life might be complete for a while.  What did you do this weekend?

Friday, September 7, 2012

friday's letters

Dear comfort bubble,
I am pushing you away.  How does it feel?

Dear volleyball guy,
I felt a little new girlish trusting this thing I found on craigslist/volleyball league search, but now I am playing tonight in SF.  Yippeee.

Dear Gillian,
Don't suck tonight, you want to be asked back.

Dear boyfriend.
Sorry, you have to make your own dinner tonight. I know it's a hardship.

Dear immersion blender,
You are my new bff, sorry boyfriend.

Dear readers,
I forgot your cookie recipe yesterday from Curtis Stone.  Please accept my deepest apologies.  And if wonka-vision did exist I would be sending you all a cookie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1      C ap flour
1/2   teaspoon baking soda
1/2   teaspoon salt
1      C natural chunky peanut butter  (trader joes!)
1/2   C packed light brown sugar
1/2   C granulated sugar
8      tablespoons unsalted butter
2      tablespoons honey
1      lage egg
1      teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5      ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350.  Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer beat peanut butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, honey, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Stir dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture in two additions.  Stir in the chopped chocolate.

Use 3 tablespoons of dough for each cookie, and place them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes or until they poof a bit.  Cool cookies, or just eat them right out of the oven.  Best when warm!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


So I kept something from you all on my weekend update post.  Saturday morning I woke up crying.  Not I woke up, felt sad, then cried, I legitimately woke up with a wet pillow and tears streaming down my face. I was beyond home sick.  Boyfriend and I had made plans to go out that day, so I had to forget it and move on quick.  Then he realized he lost his debit card, so I had some extra time.  :)
You know how Jersey Shore does Sunday dinner? Well, we did that with my parents every Sunday.  I was comfortable with our work out schedule, and our climbing gym.  Everything was easy.  I had friends to hang out with, even though my bff lived three hours away (TX), we would facetime and chat pretty often.  Plus, it was really easy to hop in a car and go visit her, now that I am here (CA), states away, I realize I didn't take advantage of her and her husband's hospitality enough.  I should have visited more. And now, to top it all off she is pregnant, and I just feel like I am missing a really important/wonderful beginning of a new part in her life.    We still facetime, and I get to see her baby belly grow, but I think I would have invited myself over once a month if I was still in Tx.  Not to mention I would have been there the moment (within 3 hours) she let me know that baby boy was on his way.  Now, it's kind of up in the air.
I don't have a job yet, and the whole changing industry thing is kind of a slap in the face.  Not all companies necessarily want experience, but they all prefer it, or at least a college degree having something to do with the job.  And to be honest I think my resume kind of screams sales job, which was actually the last thing on my to do list everyday.  I have thru the month of September to be slightly picky before I just go for anything and everything I could possibly qualify for.
My parents are coming to visit the end of September, which is something to look forward to, but boyfriend and I started discussing Christmas plans today, and we don't have any.  His family is in El Paso, mine is in Dallas.  We have never spent Christmas together, and this year we might have to.  Not in a bad way, but in a pick a family way, or we stay here on our own.  I really hate these options.  If we were in TX we would be seeing both families together for the holidays.    
I should probably be done complaining today.  Thanks for your ears!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

curtis stone

I have decided to make at least three recipes a week from my Curtis Stone cook book.  The few I have made already are down right amazing.  The first recipe I made was so good that I would appreciate someone creating wonka-vision, so I can share with my friends.  Chocolate pots de creme, at first glance it looks a bit mousse like, but it's the opposite.  With whole milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, and chocolate, you get this velvety and creamy chocolate magnificence.  It says it serves only 6, but we got 7 out of the deal.  Naturally, boyfriend and I taste tested one right a way when it was warm out of the oven, take it from me, this does not have to be chilled to be mind blowingly good.  We took four to a dinner with some family, and then saved the other two for lunch on monday.  If recipes to come are even half that amount of goodness, then this cookbook is beyond worth what I paid for it.

Today, I plan on making peanut butter cookies with chocolate chunks, and I will share the recipe with you all tomorrow if they are good.  It's probably a good thing I went for a run this morning.  We also plan on climbing this afternoon, now does that mean I get two three cookies today?  In the mean time, you get the chocolatey/custardy/velvety/rich goodness.

Chocolate pots de creme
From the lovely and talented Curtis Stone

1 2/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract**
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao, coarsely chopped)
6 large egg yolks

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 250. Whisk cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Add chocolate and whisk until it has melted.  Remove from heat.

Using a whisk, stir the egg yolks in a large bowl to blend, then in a slow and steady stream add the chocolate cream, whisking until smooth.

Divide the mixture among 6 ramekins and place them in a large high sided baking dish or roasting pan. Transfer the pan into the oven, then fill the pan with cold water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until the middle jiggles ever so slightly (like my tummy did after having two of these in one weekend).  Let them cool until room temperature, then refrigerate until cold.

This is delicious with a bit of homemade whip cream and a couple strawberries as a garnish.

**I used two teaspoons of vanilla, because, well, I just love my vanilla.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

weekend update

So, week two of blog sucking has now come and gone.  I think I need some kind of goal to keep this up consistently, otherwise it will be just another thing to add to my quit list... I will have to think about that one, but if any of you have any ideas, please let me know! 

Well, I had quite the fun filled three day weekend! Saturday boyfriend and I went to Santa Cruz with Olivia and Derek.  We did so much, and had so much fun! They even got me on a roller coaster, and I played the duck and cover game the whole time.   

Clearly, we had a lot of fun on Saturday.  Then Sunday rolled around and it was just as fun, but in a more relaxed way.  Greg and Jelena invited us over for a cook out with some of their family and friends.  Sadly, the only pictures I took were of some of the food, and by some of the food, I mean about a 1/10 of it, there was so much! And every bit of it was delicious.  Grilling makes all food better.  

While all this fun in the sun was happening, my McMurry family lost someone very near and dear to their hearts.  Jeremie Border died in Afghanistan this past Saturday. He was not someone I knew well, but he was someone that left an impression on me. We would meet in the campus center every so often for a mid day chat and a quick a nap on those awful couches. To everyone who knew and loved him, I am so sorry for your loss.  He was a special one, who will be missed and remembered everyday.