Friday, April 27, 2012

Hello, My Name is Gretchen and I'm a Hunger Games Addict

So I mentioned in my last post that I finally caved and started The Hunger Games on my trip to California. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I have severe addictions to books and tv shows meant for teenagers (enter Pretty Little Liars), so I'm not sure what convinced me that I could casually get through this series. Within days of being home I was having withdrawal, so needless to say I bought Catching Fire and finished it on my way to Minneapolis on Sunday. I then of course quickly on Monday morning ran to the Gustavus bookstore to get Mocking Jay. Both were finished before my 2.5 day trip ended!

So in case you hadn't thought I was a book nerd after 2 books in 2 days...Do you ever get so into a book that when it is over you actually get sad? As much as I loved them, I was really sad that I had nothing left to read and that I wouldn't get to follow the characters anymore! I'm so sad its over that I'm actually considering re-reading them already. There are worse habits than books I suppose, so I won't give myself too hard to a time!

My trip to Minnesota was a great one! I was lucky enough to be handing out bids and getting rolling on our brand new colony at Gustavus! The women were great and I can't wait to go back in the Fall. My camera died, but I love this little campus. Here is my favorite view as you drive up the hill towards campus.

Now time for me to get moving, literally! Movers come at Noon tomorrow, but I need to spend my day packing and taking some car loads over to the new place! I'm both dreading it and super excited at the same time!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Califoooorniaaa, Here We Coooome

Surely I wasn't the only one who was obsessed with The O.C. and then of course consequently that theme song? I've been singing it since the day I landed in sunny Cali!

So California is another state I was lucky enough to cross off my list this semester! I spent the first few days at AFLV West, which while I had a lovely time, is not what I'll report on since I didn't hardly get to leave the hotel. I was however lucky enough to spend two extra days in California with the other half of the Monmouth Duo (was the nickname for the college bestie and I, she was the Panhellenic President and a Kappa, I, the VP Recruitment and  Pi Phi. It just fit!) She has been in the Air Force since we left school and she and her husband have been stationed outside of Lompoc, CA for the past few years. They are getting ready to move, so I am happy I got to sneak up and see them.

I started my trip by making a 4 hour drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. It was by far the most beautiful drive I have ever made! I was trying to be a safe driver so I didn't take pics, but below is an example of my view. Mountains on one side, coast on another. It was breathtaking.
 (Picture Courtesy of

After arriving in Lompoc, we decided to spend the day wine tasting. While we went a few places, my favorite was the Wine Ghetto. Located next to a Home Depot, it is old storage units, turned small storefronts for various local winemakers! Seriously, this is a concept that has got to take off nationwide. It was awesome! My favorite was Ampelos and I made sure to bring home a bottle of the Viognier. We also went to Firestone, which as a Bachelor fan of course made me happy. The views were amazing, but it was actually my least favorite wine. You win some, you lose some :) If you ever get a chance to experience the Wine Ghetto however, I suggest you do!

My second day, Erin and I wandered around some of the neighboring towns. We did a little outlet shopping, checked out San Luis Obispo, and then went and had lunch at a place called The Custom House at Avila Beach. It was beautiful enough to sit outside, so this was our view for lunch.
Because of how early I had to get up, we called in an early evening on night two. Erin got me hooked on The Hunger Games while I was there, so we might have also been nerdy BFF's and spent an hour on the couch reading. I'm sad that my trip wasn't longer, I spent yesterday driving back to Costa Mesa and then flying across country. It was so beautiful and such an amazing experience. I am already plotting how to get myself back there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today I'm Grateful

I know I mentioned this in some of the my last posts, about really trying to enjoy what I have in my life. After having a few days of feeling grateful, I thought it would be beneficial to write it down.

1. I have an amazing boyfriend. We went and watched American Reunion last night and after spending the 15 minutes before the movie laughing with him, and the entire movie laughing with him, I just realized how truly blessed I am.

2. Said boyfriend and I have found a new place that is perfect for us! Price within our range, specifications that we wanted, location we wanted, and all completely remodeled. Move in date is t - 17 days!

3. I get to visit California for the first time this week and also get to see my BFFL this weekend. Even better, since the first part of my trip is for work, the only thing I'm paying for is a car. She is one of my dearest friends, and life and her Air Force career  have kept us apart, but I'm so excited to see her.

4. I'm also going to Hawaii next month for a Service Immersion trip with 20 students. I won't even post too much, but I learned today what our service is going to be, and let's just say I can't stop smiling. I can't wait to share it with everyone. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

5. Had an Advisors meeting tonight at Butler, and just was reminded again how much better my life is thank to my membership in Pi Beta Phi. I love that I can give back to a chapter that isn't even my own and still feel the joy in what membership brings women.

So that is what I'm grateful for this week! I type this while watching my favorite show, Modern Family, with my sweet sweet kitty, Tibby. Am I too happy and cheesy or what? God is good to me, there is no doubt. Patience is not a virtue that I am good at, but I'm starting to be reminded what is worth waiting for.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Update on the first 4 days of fun!

I'm 4 days in to Run to the Finish 30 day challenge and thought I'd update on how its going!

Day 1: I finally decided to start 30 Rock from Season 1. It is a show that always makes me happy, but I started watching. So I spent an extra hour laying in bed in the morning and started 2 episodes! I never allow myself to stay in bed, I normally feel like I'm wasting my day, so it was a great change!

Day 2: Was lucky enough to go check out the new place with Will for us to do some measuring and make some furniture decisions, and then got to watch basketball! You know from my last posts that I love my basketball!

Day 3: I worked from home yesterday because of some work I was trying to finish, but took my lunch break to watch What Not to Wear and to daydream with the JCrew catalog, one of my all time favorite past times!

Day 4: Today has been a fun one and its one of the things I love most about my office. We can deal with some ridiculous people, and yet spend an hour laughing about it rather than stressing out. Aubs and I spent the day rocking to some Glee Pandora music, there were a lot of laughs, and I might have even left Allison's office by doing my best pony riding to Pitbull. I mean its not Ginuine, but he'll do :) Today was the epitome of finding fun in the small things. I also ended with a dinner with 8 of my closest friends in town. Score!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fruit and Oats Mean I'm Cooking Healthy, Right?

So being home means I actually get to do a little cooking so I am reporting on two recipes that I tested out this weekend!

Last night, I went over to a friends house for a KU/OSU viewing party. Since the game was late at night, we all just brought over snacks, so it gave me an excuse to try out the fruit salsa recipe that I've had my eye on. I had made the cinnamon sugar tortilla chips before, so I knew at least those would be delicious. I'm just linking up to the recipe, because I pretty much stole the whole thing. I also forgot to take pictures. Bad blogger, I know. So here is the fruit salsa. I found the recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything. Really the only thing I did different was add a little bit of nectarine. It turned out amazing, and everyone gobbled it up. This will be a party staple from here on out for me. Not to mention it lends itself to substituting fruit in season or on sale. Looking forward to making it again during farmer's market season!

So I had another recipe I've been itching to try, as I'm still trying to not eat out and to keep snacks on hand at home. Recipe 2 was homemade chewy granola bars! Lauren's Latest provided me a great basic recipe so I won't repeat it either, but the only change I would make is to use a little less honey, mine are delicious, but definitely honey flavored. Can't wait to make these again with different varieties as well!

 The brown sugar, butter, and honey. Just heat this up until bubbly, and then lower and stir for 2 minutes. You then add the oats and rice krispies and stir. You then pat it down tight in together like below!

These made 10 bars for me. I wrapped in saran wrap and have them individually to go!

Both recipes a big hit this weekend, though I can't wait to perfect them on the second try!