Thursday, January 31, 2013

zia vs. the world

...just accept that I'll probably be right and accept this as truth, kayy?

1) Our Perfect Mistake by The Wombats is a great song to go running to

2) Treadmills are hateful nuisances

3) There are too many good TV shows out there, they're taking over my life (New Girl, Vampire Diaries... Doctor Who, Bomb Girls... Sherlock, The Office... sighh)

4) As is Goodreads (it's like an online bookstore except I can't spend any money, what's not to love)

5) Life would be better if I could carry my tea/coffee/hot chocolate around everywhere

6) Before transitioning from a cute child into a semi-rational human being, everyone goes through this amoeba state in grades 6-8 (and some people never leave it)

7) Instead of better bombs, someone should invent calorie-free chocolate

8) Lana Del Rey has lovely songs and also bizarre ones

9) Peplum shirts and dresses are not flattering on anyone

10) Leggings are stylish and comfortable, what's not to love

11) These teas are possibly the best thing in my life right now

Merry Cranberry. It's like drinking winter; spicy and sweet and oh-so-nice.

Birthday Cake. It has sprinkles and ice cream. I don't think any other explanation is needed.

Forever Nuts. It's pink. Again, what else to say? (I reviewed it here!)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

single awareness day

Recently, reading through various blogs, I've noticed an alarming trend. Scarier than long, false fingernails (to anyone who wears these: aren't you worried you're going to impale yourself in the eye?) and horror movies.
(I realised recently that, were I living in such a world, I would be that dumb blonde who accidentally trips over something and reveals her exact location to the villain.) (...does it show that I never watch horror movies?)

I speak, of course, of the upcoming Valentine's Day.

Seriously. Why are there already so many posts about this holiday? We're not even in February yet, people.

And okay, maybe I'm a little bitter. I was at the doctor's office today, booking another appointment...

Receptionist: how does February the 14th work for you?
Me: oh, that'll be fine...Wait a second, that's Valentine's Day!
Receptionist: is that a problem?

However, I must say that my prospects are better than they were at this time last year. I- in my youthful folly- belonged to student council. They- in their youthful folly- okay no, they were just weird- decided that we should go spread cheer and love to the general population by becoming singing telegrams. (Yes, because everyone single needs another reminder that no one wants to sing to them?

I'll just go sit in a café alone in the corner with my big deal... I'll wear my pink glasses for some concession to holiday cheer, and eat chocolate (what a hardship!) and people-watch until I can't bear the sweetness anymore...

At least Grumpy Cat understands me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

ravishing rice pudding

While making rice pudding yesterday, my thoughts were as follows:

1) Why do we have so many bags of lentils in our cupboard? Does anyone even like lentils?
2) Oh, here's another bag of rice that has less than a quarter cup left.
3) No, but seriously, this is a lot of lentils.

(So maybe the lesson here is that I should learn to make lentil pudding? Hmmm, somehow it doesn't have quite the same ring...)

Anyway, I haven't posted a recipe in forever- mostly because I haven't baked anything in forever. However, today I decided to make rice pudding... because you know, my diet of the past few days has included bread, fajitas, cereal and more bread... so might as well stick another carb into the mix, right?

Zia's Rice Pudding (adapted from this recipe)

  • 4 cups (soy/almond/regular... whatever you have in the fridge) milk
  • 1/4 cup milk powder (for extra creaminess)
  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice (or any kind, again: this is just what works best and makes it super creamy!)
  • 1/2 cup honey (sugar also works) 
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a oven-safe bowl (yes, it looks like there's not enough rice- that's normal), and put in oven.

    Before cooking:

    (It looks like a lunar landing...) Remove and stir every 20 minutes or so.

    Partially cooked:

    It'll take 2-3 hours to bake (so don't make it when you're hungry already!) and when it's done it should look something like this...

    And done:

    (Note that this one has a little bit of a skin on top, because someone -coughmymothercough- didn't stir it after I left to slave my legs off at work. It was, however, still delicious, as evidenced by the fact that a photo was taken only after half was eaten.) Top with milk or cream, and enjoy!

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    sometimes I amaze myself- or, Ethel

    I've decided to name the intensely awkward part of my personality Ethel, so that it/she gets the hint that it/she is not welcome. (Apologies if your name is Ethel, but it's not a name of which I've ever been fond.) Perhaps that way, I'll be able to prevent days like yesterday, in which my amazing inability at dealing with people astounded even me.

    First, a sample conversation:

    Me: how come some people can just deal with others? Like, what's wrong with us?
    Jesse: it's called confidence, omg, where can I download that?
    Me: maybe there's a book somewhere?

    This was immediately before heading off to lunch at Cécile's ENORMOUS school. (Okay, so there's like a thousand people. It just seems like a lot because an unfair proportion of that number is composed of attractive boys and they don't have an ugly uniform.) I was so overwhelmed by all these people that I was unable to open the door.

    I tried like six times, but it was just not happening. People were starting to get impatient behind me. Thankfully, there was another door, so I managed to sneak out behind someone else and pretend that it wasn't my fault that there was now a blockage in the hallway.

    Secondly, I sang on my way to work. This is a daily occurence. However, I also decided to incorporate dancing at the intersection. (Blame the One Direction.) I was getting really into it when I turned around and realised that everyone driving in the opposite direction was pausing and laughing. One man in particular gave me a kindly look- so at least I made his day?

    Finally, I had the most awkward work conversation of my life with a classmate's (possible? identity as yet unconfirmed) mother. I was going to post a transcript, but I came off as such an airhead (yes. Even more than usual. Hard to believe, I know) that I decided not to expose you to such cringe-worthyness.

    ...okay, so it was funny. (Maybe not for my classmate's mother, who's probably still wondering how such a confused person got a job. Let's just hope she had no idea who I was.) But still.  I can only hope that I will one day be able to eradicate Ethel.

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    forever nutty

    As promised, here's my latest tea review! (Plus the beauteous sweater. LOVE.)

    Hope you enjoyed it! Are you tempted to go drink tea now? (You'd better be.)

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    shoes and dresses and yoga, oh my!

    Good morning dearest ninjas! (Now that I've typed it, that greeting seems a little presumptuous. It's morning now and here, but who am I to say that when you're reading this it'll be morning in your time zone? However, I can't think of anything better to say, so hopefully that's acceptable.) I can't believe I haven't posted in almost a week! I would like to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of exams and work: really, I haven't done anything noteworthy enough to blog about. Nor have I even thought anything interesting. (Sad. So sad.)

    However, yesterday... I DROVE to go SHOPPING. (Yes. Caps lock definitely necessary.) The fact that I can drive myself places has yet to lose its thrill... although staring at the road for an hour was less than exciting.

    However.. Urban Outfitters. LOVE. It's so self-consciously hipster (and there is no way I'll ever fit into that perception of cool... I have no interest in listening to Pink Floyd, nor am I able to wear beige clothes because I'm too pale. I'm not sure why that's a hipster thing, but all the hipster stores are filled with beige clothes and it's NOT FAIR) that it's almost clichéd... but it's lovely anyway. Just look at this dress! (So Great Gatsby. Sigh.)

    Also, kitty ears! (Yes. Crazy cat lady alert... or should I say ear-lert? Hahaha!)

    But really, what takes the prize (both for cute and crazy factor) are my new shoes. There is no way you can believe these to be anything less than the most darling creations on Earth. (Look at that wonderful sentence construction. My English teacher would be so impressed.)

    Or... this sweater.

    -insert photo here- 

    It's bulky yet also colourful and fancy. It's the sort of thing I'll reach for when I feel lazy but also want to look good (so, most of my life). (And it's Desigual. LOVE.) Why is there not a real photo, you ask? Because tomorrow... I'm going to make another tea vlog. And I will wear it. And you will all be in awe of its beauty.

    (Aka: I want you to watch my vlog, so I'm building suspense. Is it working?)

    Following this delightful exercursion, I headed off to hot yoga with Erika. Have any of you ever done hot yoga? What did you think of it? Personally, I thought I might drown in a pool of sweat and humidity. Even just walking into the room made me wonder if I had been transported to the Sahara desert.

    I hadn't realised just how tense I was. Every time the instructor mentioned 'loosening your shoulders' I realised I didn't really even have shoulders- more like a steel bar connecting one side to the other. (And don't even get me started on the back bends. Everyone's neck was pressed to the floor and I was just sitting there like... yeah, I can barely turn my head...) However, I definitely felt better after- just the thing to remedy an excess of exams.

    ...and when I say 'excess', that means I've done one.

    I'm off to study for math- joy. Hope you're all having a lovely weekend too! I probably won't be posting much next week either, as exams continue and I work everyday afterwards... my glamourous life. Try not to miss me too much! (Actually, no. Miss me muchly, so that you'll continue needing to read my blog.)

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    how to write

    It's exam time. And you know what that means... lots and lots of writing. Essays. Study guides. You name it, I've probably written it. (Except for spellbooks. I'm sure I'll get around to that eventually, though!) By this point, I could be considered an expert... and so, I decided to share my wisdom! 

    Zia's Essay*-Writing Guide
    *these steps can be used for any** written text that someone else will see
    **except not for blog posts because in that case, the randomer*** the better
    ***example of word not to use 

    1. Read/decide on subject.
    2. Stare blankly at the ceiling. (Repeat for as many minutes as necessary, or more.)
    3. Write ideas.
    4. Realise that more than half of ideas have nothing to do with the subject.
    5. Get distracted by own writing. Practice signature or write song lyrics all over idea paper.
    6. Erase everything, so vigourously that paper tears.
    7. Scrounge new paper.
    8. Write down a few more ideas. Manage heroically not to be distracted for more than five minutes.
    9. Get distracted, this time by people singing Backstreet Boys songs and dancing along. (In all fairness, this is very distracting and you may be forgiven.)
    10. Start actually writing.
    11. Look up words because the ones you're using are more appropriate for a sixth-grader.
    12. Look up other things because it's more fun than writing.
    13. Give self a vigourous mental slap.
    14. Keep writing.
    15. Realise that writing, like ideas, has diverged so far from the subject as to be practically irrelevant.
    16. Erase five-eighths of work.
    17. Repeat steps 8-16 (with a judicious amount of step 2) until you no longer have to repeat step 16.

    And there you have it, dearest ninjas: how to write. One day, when I am a famous author, you will all read this and be amazed that I ever became a famous author, what with all the blank staring that went on. (Really, this occupies at least forty percent of the total writing time.) Is this how your writing process goes?

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    sense and sensibility and saltines

    So, in continuing the theme of yesterday's post, I thought I'd talk about the little joys of... grocery shopping?

    Yes. Does anyone actually enjoy grocery shopping? I would... if I had unlimited money and needed to eat nothing but chocolate. (With some arugula thrown in for good measure. Also some grilled cheese sandwiches. Seriously, that would be the perfect diet. I should market this. Let it be known as... The Ninja Diet!)

    However, today was joyful because... we bought salted saltines! You wouldn't think there is another version... but yes, you can buy unsalted saltines. What is wrong with the world? It's in the name. By making an unsalted version, you're contradicting your own packaging. I'm just super happy about this because, twice in a row, we have accidentally purchased the unsalted ones -major sad face- You know there's something wrong when you have to put salt on your own crackers...

    Also... Doctor Who. Jesse's and my typical conversation about it:
    -OMG why is it so sad
    -my feels (this is Jesse, the term feels should be repugnant to anyone with sense)
    -why can we not stop watching this
    -it's some kind of brain control but in real life
    -wtf so much confusion
    -random quotes from random episodes because they're amazing

    Yes. Saltines and Doctor Who. This is my typical Saturday, world. (With several hours of math homework thrown in. Apparently spending several hours every weekday just isn't enough.) How's yours going?

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    a hairbreadth of happiness (or, work)

    I complain about work all the time, but sometimes there are just little things that make me smile and brighten my day, so I thought, for once, I'd share those instead! (And wow, long and ungrammatical sentence alert. Obviously today's writing club didn't do me any favours.)
    • the little girl who said to her grandma, looking at me, "Oh, that girl is so pretty!"
    • when an actual good song plays on the radio (mostly it sucks)
    • the joy I feel when I go shopping and realise I'm not the one trapped behind the counter (muahaha)
    • the cute boy who watched me (in a non-Edward-Cullen way) and smiled at me the entire time 
    • the little girl (couldn't have been older than three) who complimented me on my makeup and noted that my nails matched (which I hadn't even noticed- future stylist to the stars?) 
    • an excited explanation of hockey (someone had walked in wearing a jersey and my current customer explained who the player was)
    • joking with my coworkers
    • when I put away the hangers correctly and don't spill them on the floor (shh. It's the little things.)
    • the older ladies who tell me about their cats 
    • the feeling I get when I look at my bank account (MONEY)
    And best of all... the thought that I have less than two months left. (Insert happy dance here.) 

    On another, slightly related note, in my last post I mentioned that teenage years didn't seem to be too thrilling so far.
    I didn't intend for this to sound as though I was unhappy- far from it. I'm lucky in so many ways; my family situation (when the worst memory of your parents you have is of being forced to drink a glass of milk, you're pretty sheltered), my friends, my cats... (who, apparently, didn't steal my USB- it was in my pyjama pocket. Why do pj pockets exist, anyway? It seems like you're guaranteed simply to lose things in them...)

    I'm just bored; sick of slow nights at work, sick of classes that I'm taking only to get a credit, sick of being in those classes with the same people I've known for years. Simply put, I'm craving change. (Unfortunately, new clothes don't quite seem to cut it, especially since I have a uniform- nor does different dessert, mainly because I'm too lazy to bake anything.)

    Finally, on a completely unrelated note: TV shows are starting again! Unfortunately, this aligns perfectly with 'exam time is starting again'... at least I've already been accepted to university, so no need to worry!

    (...I'm joking.)
    Jenny Matlock

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    what I stick in (and sometimes on) my eyes

    Reasons I like blue mascara:
    1) It's blue. (Really, the list could just end here and it'd be complete.)
    2) Small children compliment me on it. (At least I know, if I ever do decide to have a child, that we'll have something in common.) 
    3) Ot has been worn during the majority of my (sort of) successful flirting experiences. (Obviously, it has magical powers.) (Although it doesn't always work...)
    My current weapon of choice is the Diorshow Waterproof mascara!

    As you can see, the brush is slightly huge... but I love it. It's just so blue and lengthening! 

    (Admire the hat, and the pyjamas. Even when getting ready for bed, I'm stylish.) 

    You ninjas who have been with me for a while might be wondering, what happened to the one mentioned in this post? I regret to tell you (try not to cry too much, now) that it is deceased. It developed a rare disease known as "The Clumps" and degenerated quickly. However, I gave it a lovely funeral! (...or maybe just threw it out.) 

    My inspiration for today's look:

    Audrey Hepburn and I- twins. 

    (Haha. In my dreams.) In other news, school started back today- you can see the ever-glamourous polo in this shot. (Yet another reason I am not anything like Audrey Hepburn. I'm certain that, if she was ever forced to wear a uniform, it had decent blouses at the very least.) Has anyone ever heard the saying: "the best days of your life" as regards their teenage years? My only thought on the subject is, if these are the best days, I'm not sure I want to experience the rest! 

    (That came out sounding far darker than I'd intended. Please, have no fear for my mental health- unless you think a belief in unicorns is unhealthy- just consider this the desperation of a girl whose morning began with "my cat stole my USB" and went downhill from there.)

    Hopefully your Monday wasn't too awful! (I'd wish that it was wonderful, but it was a Monday; I don't think there is such a thing as a wonderful Monday, and if there is, it has the same rarity as a great sale at Sephora or a non-cheesy One Direction song.)

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    in which we are models

    Never underestimate the joys of a good photo shoot. Note that I said 'good'. In the same way, you must never underestimate the pain caused by a bad one. What could be worse than reviewing the hundreds of photos you so carefully posed for, and realising that you look like a stuffed alligator in every single one?

    First: the cast of characters. Cécile, who let us invade her home and demonstrated the joys of record players. Kori, who brought hilarious movies and impressed us with her scrambled-egg stirring. And I, the short one. (Seriously. They're both like 4 inches taller than me.) 

    Theories about this pose:
    1) Kori has a dark soul
    2) Kori is secretly a bird of prey
    3) Kori wants to show off her hair
    Any other ideas?

    I was nearly strangled trying to get out of this dress. Moral of the story: when it takes you fifteen minutes to put on a dress, it is too tight and you might die. (This is why I'm glad not to live in the age of corsets.)

    A future as can-can dancers? I think so!

    After our photo shoot, we retreated to the kitchen to bake! (We had to do it after so we'd still manage to fit in the dresses!) One of the many reasons Cécile is amazing: she has snail cookie cutters. (As well as foxes and porcupines and hedgehogs, oh my!)

    And cool aprons. (How could I not be friends with this girl?)

    However, neither of them were brave enough to make snow angels with me. (However, this may be understandable, given that we had just left the hot tub and were wearing only bathing suits... there is a line between adventurous and foolhardy which I may have crossed, especially since my entire body was burning as though I'd been dunked in acid afterwards.) 

    I did not include the photos in which I/Kori/Cécile appeared cross-eyed, out of (sheer vanity) respect for our future children; I doubt they want to see their mother plastered over the Internet and decried as a lunatic... oh wait, too late, I have a blog don't I? Ah well. At least I tried. (These are namely the ones of us wearing a pastel blue, shiny jumpsuit straight from the seventies. Much as I love Doctor Who, there are some times that don't need to be revisited.)

    On a completely unrelated note, I just finished reading Let's Pretend This Never Happened by The Bloggess... GO READ IT RIGHT NOW. If you've read her blog, then it's the perfect continuation. If you haven't, shame on you and go read that too. (This loser didn't... but she was kind enough to lend me the book, so I decided that I would indeed help her in the off chance that her dog needed to be disinterred. If you don't understand the reference... just read it.)

    Happy Saturday dearest ninjas!
    Chantillysongs Blog hop

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    it's smaller on the outside

    It's a new year. The perfect time to make resolutions, to set goals. To say, "today, everything will be better."
    ...or simply to pretend that your life is about to change.

    That, in fact, you are about to see a large blue police box appear beside you with an odd creaking (banging? squawking?) noise. You will step inside, and you'll be startled. Maybe even a little afraid. But the Doctor will be there, and you'll know that nothing too terrible can befall you when he is near.

    Sometimes, all a girl wants is a sonic screwdriver.

    But sometimes, all she gets is a set of cat whiskers and a party hat. (Side note: I was not drunk.)

     Which are undeniably cool, but not quite up to scratch... (hahahaha get it? Cats scratch? OMG I'm hilarious. And brilliant. No wonder the Doctor is coming to get me.) 

    Sorry to leave you... but I have planets to save.

    Happy 2013, humans!