Sunday, April 29, 2012

Last Few Days of Freshman Year

Hey! I have had a busy week with lots of events and studying, so haven't had much of a chance to update.

I finished all of my classes :) Now I've just got one final per day Monday, Tuesday, and Wedneday to get through before I'm donnnneeee!

It has been a pretty fun weekend. Josh, Brittany, and I went to see The Five Year Engagement Friday night.

(So funny.)

It was sooo good. Really funny and well-written.

Then, last night, we went to Mother Bear's for pizza (YUMM) and then went to see IU's Straight No Chaser's spring concert. I <3 a cappella :)

Today, I've just been doing a little studying and hanging out. I am so ready to go home!!

Can't wait for Wednesday :) Adios!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Recipe: Skinny Edamame & Chicken Fried Rice

This recipe is  from one of my favorite websites - Skinnytaste! 

I modified it veeeery slightly. I didn't use all of the vegetables because I didn't have them, and I used regular soy sauce, because that's all I had on hand. (But, it is actually so bad for you...40% of your daily sodium in ONE tablespoon. So go for the lower sodium one if you can.) I also added some chicken to make it a meal instead of a side dish. It :) 

And it was actually the first time in my life I've ever cooked with meat. So, if I can do it, so can you.

3 cups instant brown rice
1/2 chicken breast, sliced into little tiny pieces
2 egg whites, scrambled
1 whole egg, scrambled 
1 tbsp Smart Balance oil
2 cloves garlic, diced 
5 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
1/2 cup shredded carrots
cooking spray
1 cup ready-to-eat shelled edamame
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, tamari for gluten free (or more to taste) 
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Whisk eggs and egg whites, season with salt and pepper. In a hot wok, spray a little oil and cook the eggs. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

Let the wok get really hot. Add oil and cook chicken first, making sure it's white all the way through. Then, add scallion whites, carrots and garlic for about 30-60 seconds, careful not to burn. Prepare brown rice according to directions. Add brown rice and stir well a few minutes to heat through. Add cooked egg along with soy sauce, scallion greens and edamame, mixing well for about 3-4 minutes.  

Recipe: Cookies & Cream Marshmallow Bars

Picture a chewy, sticky, delicious rice krispie treat - plus OREOS!

I also found this recipe on Pinterest, right here: Click!


One 16 oz package of Oreo Cookies
5 cups large marshmallows
4 tablespoons butter

 Butter an 8X8 inch baking pan. Line the baking pan with parchment paper letting the paper extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Butter paper; set pan aside. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse Oreos  until ground. In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt butter and marshmallows in the microwave until puffed, about 1½ – 2 minutes. Stir in ground Oreo Cookies until combined. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Using a piece of wax paper, press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Let set up for at least 10 minutes. Cut into bars and serve.

Yields: 16 bars

Recipe: Peanut-Buttery Pudding Cookies!

How yummy does that dough look? :) Well, it was. I was tempted to turn off the oven and just eat the entire bowl...

First, I'll say that this recipe is based on the one found right here: Click here!

I found it on Pinterest and had to try my own version!

Here's the final product...excuse the horrible iPhone photo. Someone remind me to get a memory card for my camera...

They are really moist and delicious, and the Butterfinger and Reeses' Pieces mix together perfectly for a delicious peanut-buttery flavor. 

You can format this recipe to your wants and needs by switching the kind of pudding you use and the candies you put inside! Enjoy :)


Peanut-Buttery Pudding Cookies
2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. margarine or butter, softened
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. white sugar
1 3.4-oz. package instant french vanilla pudding
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1 C. crushed Butterfinger and 1 C. Reeses' Pieces

In mixing bowl, cream together sugars, butter, vanilla extract, and vanilla pudding mix. Beat until creamy. Add eggs. Add dry ingredients and stir until well-combined. Fold in Butterfinger and Reeses' Pieces. Form one-inch balls of dough and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

We can sing, we can dance, after all, this is France!

What an awesome weekend! :)

I wasn't expecting to come home on Friday afternoon, but my mom was near Btown, so she offered to pick us up. Leave it to me to miss the biggest IU party weekend to go see my high school musical...but, hey. Some things are more important than parties.

So, we got home Friday evening and Josh and I went to Abuelo's with my mom. Then, Saturday was spent baking and preparing for our high school's production of Beauty and the Beast! (See the "Recipes" tab for Cookies and Cream Marshmallow Bars and Peanut-buttery Pudding Cookies!) We put them in little goodie bags for some of our friends in the show.

(They look better in real life - I swear!)

Before the show, I made my first meal with meat. Chicken fried rice! (Also in the "Recipes" section.) Guess what? Raw chicken is DISGUSTING. I had no idea. It was difficult to keep my composure. But, once I got past the grossness, the dish was really fun and easy to make, and super yummy :)

Then we headed to our beloved alma mater for the musical. We were really pleasantly surprised by just how great the show was. Everyone involved should be really proud!!

After the show, we kinda crashed the cast party. (LAAAME I KNOW.) But it was at Josh's house, so we kinda couldn't resist. It was good catching up with some really cool Catheatre kids that I've really missed this year.

Today, we make the LAST journey back to IU before summer break! I'm so, so ready for the year to end.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and be sure to check out the new recipes :) [*Coming Soon*]

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Journeys, Fiascos, and Adventures

HI! Life is so good. The last few days have been nice. I haven't had much to do, so I actually have free time!!

On Monday, Josh and I went on a long journey to the registrar's office. (It's really not that long a journey normally, we just happened to take the LONGEST way possible.) Of course, when we got there, we found out I needed to wait one more day. And I could do it over the phone.


To quell our frustrations, we got frozen yogurt from Campus Candy. Yum. And that place is so cool! The walls are lined with different types of candy, and they even have cheesecake and cupcakes. Might be fun to bring my family there sometime. (Also, I just used the word 'quell'. Who does that? Me. All the time.) ANYWAY - 

Yesterday, we went to a Singing Hoosiers rehearsal and met one of the candidates for the new director position. It was followed by a Q&A reception, which was fun, but, uh...long. I'm really curious to see what happens in the future for the Singing Hoosiers...I hope traditions and family are still important, even after leadership shifts to the new guy. Whoever it may be.

Today was the scheduling fiasco.

Okay, first of all, I am cursed when it comes to scheduling. Even if I have everything planned out, something is bound to go wrong. Today, I had to make so many phone calls it was just plain silly. At one point, I called the instructor of a class, who told me to call an advisor, who told me to call the registrar, who told me to call the department of education....Yeah. So, finally, I got into the classes I wanted. I'm still waiting on one instructor's permission, but, aside from that, I'm all set.

My classes sound pretty good! Luckily, I'll be able to sleep in a little bit more every day. And on one day my first class is at 1pm (Chyesss.) 

I'm taking geology (learning about rocks), intro to scientific inquiry (digging up rocks in the Jordan creek), movement and expression for preschool and elementary children (Gymboree?), more child psychology, and more teaching elementary math. And Singing Hoosiers. And also, field experience on Friday afternoons.

I'm really excited for a fresh start and some great classes next year!

So, after the fiasco, Josh and I adventured to Chipotle for the first time :)

(I love guacamole!!)

Aaand I accidentally ate his burrito instead of mine. Oops. 

But, I really liked it! I think the meat was really high quality, and the chips had a really nice corny taste and weren't completely coated in salt. But, I have to say, I'll always be a Qdoba kinda girl.

Off to do some homework and watch American Idol.

Enjoy your evening! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

18 more days...

Hi! Just writing a quick post before I start getting ready for the banquet this afternoon. 

It's been kind of an uneventful weekend. I've been sleeping a lot after my exhausting week of sickness and stress, and I feel much better. 

Friday night we went with our friend Sarah to see IU's production of Cabaret. It was pretty good! I haven't seen that show before, and I was pleasantly surprised. I wish it would have had a happy ending though :( 

Yesterday, Josh and I went to see this movie called Cabin in the Woods.


It's apparently supposed to be really good? It's not really good. It's really dumb. I think the plot had potential for being really interesting, but it was poorly executed. Gratuitous drug references, a little overboard on the monster-ghouly stuff, and a few instances of pretty mediocre/bad acting. Meh. 

Anyway - After that, we just hung out and watched Rent in the dorm. We're getting really excited for auditions in a few weeks and wanted to refresh our memories about the show. Fingers crossed!
Today, I just finished some homework and I've been relaxing, waiting for the dinner tonight. 

Also - 18 MORE DAYS.

Have a good rest of the weekend :) 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Luckily, my math test and psych presentation are both over!!!

The presentation went well. The test...well, we'll see.

I'm just glad that most of my stressful events are over now. If I can make it through finals, I'm golden. And there are lots of fun times coming up in the next few weeks, too. 

In other news, my computer got some virus on Monday, and Josh had delete everything, reinstall all the programs, and basically transfer all of my files and everything back onto the computer. So, that was fun. Just glad nothing got deleted or harmed.

Can't wait for the Singing Hoosiers banquet on Sunday!!

Have a great evening, everyone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Looking forward...

I'm having an icky week. So, I decided I would make some countdowns for fun days I'm looking forward to.

Summer! My last final ends at 8pm :( So I have to wait till the next day to go home. But still, it's pretty early, so I am really excited! Can't wait for summer fun.
Jellen 4 year anniversary! We're (already) planning on going to our traditional celebration spot, The Melting Pot. Mmm :) And I just love anniversaries they're so fun.

    Josh's birthday! Wow, he is going to be 20? He's an old man.

    Days till Josh's Birthday:

    That's all for now :) Can't wait!


    I'm sick :(

    I have a terrible, stupid cold.

    I just wish it wouldn't have come this week. As I mentioned before, I just have so much to do.

    I had an advising appointment today that didn't help with the stress. Because basically my major has more credit hours than are physically possible for any human to complete?!?! Awesome.

    Sorry for the negativity. Just really need to make it through this week, then, hopefully I can have a nice, relaxing dinner.

    I meant to say weekend, but my mind wandered and I typed dinner. Obviously, I'm looking forward to eating dinner.



    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Day Maker!

    You know how I started this blog because I missed writing? And because I really love writing?

    Well, I finally got the opportunity (the first all school year) to write a real paper. It was for my child development class. And I sent my teacher my first draft so she could comment on it and possibly recommend some changes so I'd get a better final grade on it.

    I was so happy when she responded with the changes as well as a really nice comment at the end!

    "Ellen- Wowowowowowowowowowowow! I am so impressed by the quality of your writing. Your paper was very refreshing from what I am used to reading and was truly a joy to read. You are an amazing writer and the way in which you structure your sentences and get your ideas out is beautiful. I hope you know how talented you are. Make these minor edits and send this back to me."

    Not being show-offy! I just wanted to share with you guys how happy that made me, and to let you know about how it re-instilled my love of writing. I'm glad that my concentration is going to be in English, because I know the creative writing and literature classes will just be so satisfying for me. And I'm really excited!

    Anyway. Thought I'd share. Have a wonderful day :)

    Food Survey :)

    Not much to report today, so here's a random food survey. Haha.

    40 Food This-or-That Questions Survey

    Coke or pepsi? - blehhh.
    Lemonade or fruit punch? - lemonade.
    Carmel apple or cotton candy? - caramel apple.
    Butterfinger or Snickers? - snickers.
    Pudding or jello? - pudding. but i love jello, too.
    Turkey or chicken? - turkey!
    American or Provolone cheese? - provolone.
    Crackers or cookies? - um, duh, cookies.
    Pretzels or chips? - chips.
    Mexican or Japanese? - mexican, unless it's benihana.
    Chinese or Italian? - italian.
    Beef or chicken? - chicken, i guess. it's more versatile.
    Pie or cake? - cake.
    Ice cream or cookies? - ice cream.
    Pasta or pizza? - pasta.
    Soda or juice? - soda.
    Chocolate bars or chocolate truffles? - bar.
    Apples or bananas? - bananas.
    Grapes or peaches? - grapes.
    Rice or noodles? - noodles.
    Salad or soup? - salad.
    Buttered or salted popcorn? - buttered?
    Cauliflower or broccoli? - broccoli, cauliflour is gross.
    Onion rings or french fries? - french fries.
    Burger or hot dog? - burger.
    Popsicle or ice cream? - ice cream.
    Chocolate or strawberry ice cream? - chocolate!
    McDonalds or Burger King? - icky. but the fries are better at mcdonald's.
    Wendy's or Steak and Shake? - STEAK&SHAKE :)
    Dairy Queen or McDonalds? - dairy queennnn!
    Blizzard or McFLurry? - blizzard. strawberry cheesequake, please.
    Sausage or bacon? - bacon, but i'm not a huge fan of either.
    Fried or poached eggs? - ew, eggs.
    Waffles or pancakes? - pancakes.
    Crepes or pancakes? - pancakes.
    Hashbrowns or roasted potatoes? - hashbrowns.
    Diet or regular soda? - regular.
    Orange or pear? - orange.
    Oatmeal or cereal? - cereal. especially captain crunch, omg.
    Marinara or meat sauce? - marinara.

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Hippity Hoppity :)

    Happy Easter, everyone!!

    (Easter crafts!)

    I've had a lovely weekend at home so far. Friday night was spent at Josh's with an awesome Easter dinner including these Czech pastries, which I can never remember the name of.


    On Saturday, we took an afternoon stroll with my mom to Patachou to get some delicious omelets for brunch! Yum!

    Then, the crafting began. We made some cute bird's nest cupcakes and a basket full of colorful Easter eggs! 

    Josh and I also watched a 2-hour documentary about Lady Gaga ("Oprah's Next Chapter"). We would do something like that. Ha. Even I'll admit it was a little too long. But I enjoyed it.

    Then we settled down to a steak dinner and a few rounds of Tripoley with my parents :)

    Today, I plan on eating a few more Reese's eggs, helping my mom cook dinner, hopefully visiting Josh's family for a little while, feasting on turkey and stuffing, and then heading back to IU :(

    It's going to be a busy, busy week. I have a project due on Wednesday, a giant final presentation on Thursday, and, after that, a finite test. 

    (Me. Clearly.)

    Anyway, check out the posts I've linked and have a great Easter! :)

    Recipe: Bird's Nest Cupcakes!

    Bird's Nest Easter Cupcakes!!

    Cute as can be! And pretty easy!

    Okay, so this isn't really a recipe. It's more of a decorating technique. Because I just made one box of Funfetti cake mix into cupcakes, and decorated them using
    • Chow mein noodles
    • White frosting
    • Yellow food coloring
    • Whoppers mini eggs (Or any small, egg-shaped candy)
    Here's how to do it -
    1. Make your cupcakes using the instructions on the box, then let them cool.
    2. In a bowl, mix white frosting with a few drops of yellow food dye. Keep stirring and adding more until you reach the desired color. I went with a bright gold, but a light yellow would be cute, too.
    3. Frost your cupcakes.
    4. Build a "nest" using chow mein noodles. Josh is actually way better at this than I am. It's harder than you'd think. Just try to pick out all the curvy ones and make them criss-cross each other. You can also break some in half and stick them in random blank areas. 
    5. Put a few little eggs in the middle of the nest.
    6. Tah-dah! You have these little cuties:

    Enjoy, and happy Easter :)

    Craft: Kool-Aid Easter Eggs!

    Kool-Aid Easter Eggs!!

    Look at those beauties :)

    Okay, so all the instructions are right here: Click here!

    But, basically, I just mixed different kinds of Kool-Aid together (with water) to get vibrant, pretty colors.
    • The red ones are just plain cherry Kool-Aid.
    • The pink ones are pink lemonade with some added cherry. (They're really more of a salmon color, but it was my favorite!)
    • The orange ones are orange with some added cherry.
    • Some of the yellow ones are lemonade mixed with orange, but they were pretty light. So most of the yellow ones are just yellow food coloring :)
    • We couldn't find any green, blue, or purple Kool-Aid, so we just used vinegar and Paas tablets for those. 
    Here's a picture of them before they were meticulously positioned in the basket:

    Happy Easter! :)

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Vote for Jay!

    Also - Sorry for not mentioning this in my last post - please vote for my friend Jay to win a wheelchair accessible vehicle! You can vote once every day until May 13. 967 is the promo code you should use.

    Click here!

    Katniss, I loaf you.

    Hey. Just got back from Qdoba and I'm pretty much an awesome way?

    Today was pretty chill. I got to sleep in again, then I took a pretty easy test. 

    It was the last day of Singing Hoosiers, but, it wasn't emotional. It was just kinda boring. But I'm excited for our end of the year banquet coming up!

    Mom bought all the colors of Kool-Aid we're going to use to dye Easter eggs this weekend! Can't wait to be home and see this gorgeous face:

    (Hopefully she doesn't steal my bunny again this year.)

    Also, I finished Catching Fire today. Without any spoilers, all I'm going to say is: Whaaa?! That ending was...not predictable. The story was surprisingly good, and I enjoyed seeing the existing relationships develop and seeing new ones form. I liked the book a lot, but I think I preferred the first one. 

    I might start reading the final book this weekend, but I'll probably have to wait until Mom finishes it. I'm anxious to finish the series! I read both of the first books in 2-3 days each...they're hard to put down. And even though I'm 2/3 done with the books, I can't choose between Gale and Peeta yet. Hm. All I have to say is that Gale is way hotter in the movie.


    Also, is it weird that I picture Finnick as Colton from American Idol?


    I just have to survive my oral exam in Spanish and a long, horrible technology class and then I get a weekend of cupcakes, Easter baskets, family, and relaxation!! Have a nice evening and I'll post again once I'm hoooome.

    Til then,
    LOLlen :)

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Rainy Days & Mondays...

    Yes, it's a rainy, icky day. As per usual, the day after I spent a decent amount of time decorating the sidewalks with chalk, the clouds decided to wash it all away.

    (Damp, sad Teter)

    But I'm in a really good mood! I didn't have Spanish class this morning, which was heavenly, because I got to sleep in till 10:30! Glorious. 

    Because I was determined to make today wonderful, I even ordered out for lunch and I'm currently waiting on a delicious chicken tender platter...:)

    I just started reading Catching Fire yesterday and I'm really liking it so far. Although The Hunger Games is by no means my favorite book series, I think they are pretty interesting and well written. (Unlike Twilight...but honestly, I read those, too. Haha.) 

    Furthermore...I'm wearing happy eye shadow. I haven't done multiple colors/rainbows since probably two years ago, but I've started again. It makes me smile :)

    (Yellow and green!)

    And that's about all. Time to watch The Chew, read, and await my yummy lunch :)

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Dream, Create, Love, Chalk!

    The weather was really nice today, so I finally got a chance to chalk for a little while. I saw a photo on Pinterest a little while ago (This one!) that really inspired me, so I tried to semi-recreate it/put my own spin on it:

    I often get asked what kind of chalk I use. This is my favorite kind:

    It's very bright! And, though not as soft and malleable as the traditional pastel green/pink/blue/yellow kind that comes in a cheapo box, still easy to draw with. For thin black outlines and other small details, I use this stuff:

    (Note: the black does take a while to wash off, and sometimes leaves permanent stains, so be wary if you like your driveways/sidewalks clean and pristine!)

    For more of my chalk art, go to the Chalk Art page on the top bar :)

    Not much else went on today. The most exciting thing about my life right now is the special menu in the cafeteria this week...(Alfredo Thrilling. I know.

    I'm pretty excited to go home for Easter this weekend. I'm going to try dying my eggs with Kool-Aid this year. Apparently it works wonders? I'll letcha know. I'm not exactly an egg artist, but I do enjoy drawing my name on them with white crayon :)

    (From Easter 2008)

    I'd also like to make some adorable Easter cupcakes I saw on one of my fave websites Skinnytaste! Not that I'll need any more sweets after the Easter Bunny visits me. But I'm clearly not going to pass up an opportunity to improve on my cupcake-baking skills. If I attempt it I will be sure to post my results. Though I'm sure at this point my readership consists of just Josh and I. Heh :)

    Anyway, have a nice Tuesday evening. Time for Jeopardy and Idol :)

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    LOLlen: Pilot

    Hi! I'm Ellen and this is my first blog post! Woohoooo.

    I was helping my boyfriend Josh write a letter of recommendation today and I realized how much I really miss writing. The thought took me back to my middle school days when Xanga was all the rage and I could blog out all my feelings on a day-to-day basis. Now that social networks demand that we use pithy statements instead of detailed descriptions, I find it much harder to share my random thoughts and personal anecdotes online.

    So! Here's my remedy. Hopefully I will get used to this website and have a successful, and hopefully somewhat interesting blog.

    Enjoy :)

    Also -

    The little bar at the top includes a few pages you might wanna check out!
    * About Me - Stuff about me...
    * Chalk Art - A few photos of some of my chalk drawings.
    * My Links - Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. (I heart Pinterest!!)
    * My Photos - A few pictures that describe my personality!
    * Recipes - In the future, when I do attempt recipes, they will be posted here!

    Posts to come:
    * End of my freshman year + Associated emotions
    * My attempts at Pinterest recipes (some healthy, some just tasty)
    * Adventures in camp counselor-ing
    * And more!