Sunday, October 31, 2010

Project 365: 90/365

Decided to break in the new oven today with some baked manicotti...

Yes, the very dish that is responsible for Mary's and my entire friendship. True story. She wasn't sure about me until I started cooking her dinner in London, including "stuffed shells." :) Later this phenomenon would lead to her work colleagues referring to me as her "wife."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Project 365: 89/365

Guess what's in the correct position in the kitchen... AND all hooked up?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Project 365: 88/365

So 10 points for Megan for being the only person to try and help me find a costume! 

We ended up leaving our Stats exam for this amazing costume store in Cambridge called the Garment District. My goal was to utilize as many existing pieces of clothing as possible to make a costume. Between the rock star and pirate aisles, I was able to fashion a biker girl ensemble. 

Here are some of the pictures fit for public consumption...

Jess, the farm girl, swats Jenn the pesky fly.

 Jenn, Molly, Me, Jess

Bikers don't hate flies!

Rock Star Carl

Humberto had an awesome Lucha Libre costume on... and some borrowed glasses

 Why so sad, hipster?
 Roger Sterling and Don Draper dropped in from Mad Men...

This is Tchad from my cohort. His Mad Hatter costume was so scary, I had to kill him with a borrowed knife. 

So the moral of the story? Halloween is great - because it only comes once a year!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Project 365: 87/365

Ugh, Halloween. I. Hate. Dressing. Up.

I don't know when I got so averse to Halloween. I was so into it when I was little... probably because my mother made me the most a-mazing costumes. My mom is a seriously amazing seamstress (even though she'd deny it). In preschool I was a lavender unicorn. Yes, you read that right. The costume basically consisted of a satin zip-up onesie with a tulle "mane" going from the hood down to my bum (I'm pretty sure that there was some kind of sparkly trim involved as well) and then of course, a silver horn. I even had matching lavender ballet slippers that I wore with dark purple socks. And makeup.

The real standout was in 4th grade (I think) when I was Belle from Beauty and the Beast. You've seen the movie, right? That was pretty much my dress. Gold satin (with little straps, because as an 8-year old I didn't have the chest to hold that thing up), with hand-rolled red satin roses at each of the pickups (courtesy of grandma, sitting at the kitchen table). It rained that year, and the bottom inch of the dress was black with mud. But you can bet that all the other kids were crazy jealous.

And now, I HAAAAAAAAAATE it. I think it is absolutely absurd to be dressing up as a grown adult. I did it reluctantly last year (cough*alexandra*cough) and swore I'd never do it again.

But then my grad school has to go and make a big deal out of Halloween. Curses!

I went to Walgreen's and this was the best I could do:

Clearly not an option. So now I'm in the market for a low-involvement Halloween costume... for tomorrow night. Anyone have any bright ideas? I'm all ears. I'm looking for minimal financial outlay at this point. 10 points to whoever has the best idea.

Favorite Things: October

On my old blog, I used to occasionally do "Favorite Things" posts... and obviously I'm starting it again.

This month... the harried grad student edition.

TIGI's Rockaholic Dry Shampoo. This is what literally saved my life on Monday when my alarm didn't go off. It's the first dry shampoo I've come across that doesn't smell weird, make your hair sticky, or give it a weird matte patina. It smells wonderful as well!

Boil-in-a-bag 10 Minute Success Brown Rice. Need I say more?

Orchids. I needed an organic element in my room, so I picked this up with the last of my Trader Joe's gift card. I'm trying my hardest not to kill this one, though I do not have the best track record with these plants! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Project 365: 86/365

Looks like Fall is slowly creeping in... even if it's as hot as it was in August right now!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Project 365: 85/365

The new oven came today!

Too bad Home Depot didn't install it!

It's actually kind of nice this way. We can watch it while we eat burned food from the other oven.

They're coming back Saturday... fingers crossed. Some dumb union issue - they can't install it without a plumber present. Lame!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Project 365: 84/365

So, the presentation was today. No comment on how it went.

I've basically spent the last two weeks all about these crackers - Red Oval Farms Stoned Wheat Thins. It's safe to say I'm pretty distracted.

Distracted enough to do things like... set my alarm form 5:00 p.m. instead of 5:00 a.m.

When I woke up this morning, I thought "crazy, my alarm hasn't gone off yet. I can sleep more!" Before rolling over, however, I decided to take a look see at my phone.

6:15. 6:15!!!

I didn't technically have to be in class until 7:30, but I had wanted to leave my house at 6:30 to be there in plenty of time, get a coffee, chill out, etc. and not be rushed. I dashed through my morning routine (thank goodness for dry shampoo!) and was out the door by 6:55, and to school at 7:15. I have never been so frightened in my life! It was all those missing the test/naked in front of the class dreams come true!

My heart rate is back to normal now (I think), which is good. I hope I never make that mistake again! The world would be a better place if we could all just be on military time!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Project 365: 83/365

Gawd, I hate ironing.

I bought myself a very professional, very polished, white button down from Banana Republic to wear during our Integrated Project presentation. I thought it was really classy that the shirt had french cuffs...

Until I had to iron it today.

It's times like this I actually miss living at home. Yeah, I said it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Project 365: 82/365

I came home to this little guy on the porch... our downstairs neighbors have been busy decorating, it seems.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Project 365: 81/365

I call this post "Starving Students."

Today, after we all turned in our pitchbooks, we headed down to Jamaica Plain to the Sam Adams brewery for a tour and free beer tasting.

Our tour guide was really shrill - and full of herself - so we ended up goofing off in the back for part of the tour. They were passing out the ingredients of beer for people to smell and in some cases, try. When they passed out the hops, we were cautioned to "not eat them under any circumstances."

So, naturally, we offered Jackie a dollar to eat a handful of hops.



At first, she said, "this isn't so bad, guys." And then it was, and you could see it all over her face. Her breath kind of smelled like Pine-Sol afterwards, as well.

Good girl, Jackie. You earned that $1!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Project 365: 80/365

The written portion of our Interim Project is due tomorrow, so naturally my team was in SMG so late that we actually got kicked out by building maintenance.

Here's a shot from earlier in the evening, where Todd is working on two computers simultaneously. Oh, the life of an MBA student...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Project 365: 79/365

Great news - next Tuesday we get rid of the old, cruddy Caloric, and say hello to a "basic but new" stove from the Home Depot!

Thanks, Caloric, it's been swell. Have fun at the dump!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Project 365: 78/365

What's out of place in this photo?

If you said "your alarm clock is all the way across the room" you were correct!

I have had a real problem with multiple snoozes lately. That and I actually am so good that I can reset the alarm without fully waking up. I took a page out of the "Wisdom from Mom" book and decided to move the damn thing across the room. Today, it worked, and I FINALLY had time to send my old iPod to Baby Glenn (my brother) in Colorado, and was on time to my team meeting. Nevermind that I came home, faceplanted, and took a 2 hour nap... but that's not my alarm's fault.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Project 365: 77/365

I don't know if I learned this from my mother, or from Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde..." but mani/pedis have definite restorative powers.

It's cold, I'm stressed, and this is going to be a helluva week. But at least my nails look good.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Project 365: 76/365

Yeah, ANOTHER photo of my bed. You probably can't tell, but everything is SUUUUUUUPER clean.

Our new cleaning lady came yesterday. It is bliss! Floating on a sea of clean... and vowing to keep it up!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Project 365: 75/365

Every girl needs a Kitchen Aid stand mixer! Even if it's an antique... 

My mixer once belonged to my Grandma. She somehow wound up with an extra, and it ended up being bestowed on my mom. Last Christmas, Dad gifted Mom with a darling candy apple red one (to match the new kitchen, natch) and I ended up with this one. I was still living at home at the time, so I honestly forgot about it until Dad was pulling my boxes out of storage. 

And yes, I shipped this puppy all the way across the U.S., and today I decided to break it out. It may be old, but these things are made to last! I whipped up a batch of good old Nestle Tollhouse... unfortunately our antique oven has not weathered the years as well as the Kitchen Aid... and a few batches were burned after about 5 minutes. But in all, not a bad first effort!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Project 365: 74/365

Out again... yeah yeah whatever. It's Friday night for goodness sake!

We wound up - due to a series of misunderstandings and misinformation - at a hipster bar in Allston (aka Undergrad Land). It was pretty awkward... especially when we decided to dance on the empty dance floor to the bizarre indie music the DJ was spinning.

And all the little baby hipsters? Hated us. That's OK though, we have enough friends.

Jess and Meg

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Project 365: 73/365

I know I'm behind on my blogging.

It's because I live here: homeworkland.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Project 365: 72/365

I never was a girl who got sick. Since college, I'd maybe get sick once a year. It was usually pretty epic, with lots of "itis" involved (like last year when I had laryngitis, tonsilitis and bronchitis at the same time), but at least it was only once a year. We were in and out in five days with only the seasonal allergies left to deal with.

Not anymore, apparently.

I feel like I have been sick for the last month. I'll feel better for a few days, then it comes back and it is worse.  I've got that rattling, gross cough that kids would get in the 2nd grade and no one wanted to sit by them. Yup, that's me in graduate school.

I wonder, is grad school making me sick, or is Boston? What's going on here? 

When even full-strength-from-behind-the-counter Sudafed doesn't work, you know you have a problem. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Project 365: 71/365

As I was walking home in the dark from my accounting exam, I turned the corner to see my street all lit up like Christmas!

It was just a fire truck. Not Santa. Damn.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Project 365: 70/365

When I was a very little girl and my dad was away at sea, my mother devised an ingenious scheme that made it possible for her to only cook two nights a week.

On Monday, she'd make Sweet & Sour Chicken.
On Tuesday, she'd make Shepherd's Pie.
On Wednesday, we'd eat with my Nana and Grandad.
On Thursday, we'd have left over S&S Chicken.
On Friday, we'd have left over Shepherd's Pie.
On Saturday, one of us would have chicken, the other pie.
On Sunday, we ate with Nana and Grandad again.
(Mom, feel free to correct me if any of this is wrong... I'm sure it is and I'm sure you will...)

I credit this genius scheme to two habits I have had throughout my life since then. First, I can eat the same thing every day and not get bored. And, second, I LOVE that damn Sweet and Sour Chicken! It was always my first choice when I got to pick the meal for dinner... much to my father's dismay. He hates this recipe with a burning, fiery passion. He complains that there is nothing "sour" about this dish, that it is all sweet "as muck." In an ongoing effort to please my father, my mother served this dish less and less throughout the years, until it was just a distant sensory memory for me.

Fast forward to 2005, when I'm in London on my semester abroad and in my first apartment (up until now I'd been living in a sorority house with access to only a toaster and a microwave), and mom starts e-mailing me recipes that I like. In and amongst all the deliciousness was this gem... and I'm not going to lie I used to make it when I'd start to get homesick.

Now, in 2010, I'm a harried graduate student with huge dark circles under my eyes and a stack of work up to my shoulders. I've been stressed out, freaking out, breaking out, and getting sick and run down. So when I planned my grocery list for the week, you can bet that the ingredients for this old favorite were on it.

Ahh, sweet bliss. Or should I say... sweet and sour bliss! And, since I'm not sharing my meals with an 18-month-old, I have enough for the whole week.

Maybe next weekend I'll make a Shepherd's pie. Hmm...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Project 365: 68/365

I've officially lost control.

This is the "before." Stay tuned for the "after."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Project 365: 67/365

I made this recipe up the other night when I was running out of groceries. It was pretty good, so I'm now making it even when I do have groceries.

Bronwen's Gourmet Mac & Cheese
serves 1

3/4 cup dry penne pasta
1 tsp. olive oil
1 T. goat cheese
1 T. chopped red onion
8-10 kalamata olives

Cook pasta according to package directions to just al dente. Strain and drizzle with olive oil. While pasta is still hot, add goat cheese. Stir well so that cheese is evenly distributed as it melts. Stir in red onion and top with kalamata olives. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Project 365: 66/365

USC had Traddies... BU has the Castle.

Well, actually it has the BU Pub in the basement of the Castle. But tonight we had a cohort cocktail reception in the BU Castle. It's kind of a classy place. It also kind of reminds me of the Haunted Mansion.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Project 365: 65/365

After our 90-minute lecture on networking, some of the girls decided that we needed a little networking session of our own.

Me, Meg, Jenn, Molly and Jess

See that light above our heads? I think it's some kind of divine approval. Hah!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jenna's Wedding

I took a little trip this weekend to Sacramento to stand up for Jenna and Mike as tied the knot. I was there the day that they met at the Society of Aerospace Professionals (SOAP) Bar Crawl, and three years later I was there for the "I dos!"

Look how young we all look!

Irene, Bron, Jenna and Jess at Beaches in Manhattan Beach, circa April 2007.

They were both pretty smitten from hour 1. I'm not surprised at all that they wound up where they did!

Anyway, it was a whirlwind trip. I raced out of class Friday to grab lunch and a mani/pedi and make it on the T in time for my plane. The only bummer of the weekend? Originally I was supposed to have a 45 minute layover in LA, so I told my parents not to come up. Of course my flight ends up being EARLY and my flight from LA to Sacramento ends up being DELAYED so I was now in LAX for closer to 90 minutes, so I would have had time to see them after all! Flying into LA made me ever so slightly homesick... especially since I was on the side of the plane that faced my old commute down the 105, and my former employer.

But no matter! On to Sac I went to meet up with Sandra at the airport. After hopping in our sweet rental Sebring, we headed out to Roseville. After a short detour to In-n-Out (Joni Mitchell was right, you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone!), we made it to our hotel and crashed out.

The next day was full of bridal beautification for the wedding party...

And then it was showtime!

I was really bad about remembering to take photos during the reception... but here are some highlights:

I kind of had a Snooki bump in my hair... but I liked it.

Congratulations, Jenna and Mike! I hope you have a great time in New Zealand and Australia -- and I'll see you again at Christmas!