Thursday, June 26, 2014

June Thankful Thursday + Best of Instagram

June 1 - I wore my Lilly Pulitzer Memsey dress for the first time! I bought it about four years ago, it's always been a little too big until now.

The Cards I bought for E3 and then forgot.
June 2 - While I didn't get to go to the warehouse sale, I got to meet another Lilly Lover. Her brother is in the same club as  E3 and is graduating with her this year so we met at their club BBQ.
June 3 - I now have Lobstah Roll Callahans. My first LP purchase of the summer.
June 4 - Umm I fell asleep at work and didn't get in trouble?

Almost an OOTD
Vintage the Lilly Skirt

June 6 - I learned the difference between Times and Times New Roman and I figured out how to rearange my desk so I didn't keep hitting my knee on the keyboard holder I never use.
June 7 - Reunion!

Evening Out Tan Lines from Reunion

June 8 - I donated playlets and went to Pink Tangerine. It was so good to have time to myself. FYI The Butler is not a happy movie. Nobody told me the man's son was a freedom rider! It was scary learning about what they went thru by reading books about what happened to them and it was absolutely terifiying to watch.
June 9 - Started a cleanse! So excited to get back to eating healthy and exercising and maybe (hopefully loosing some weight).

My Voting OOTN
I can jog to my polling place.

June 10 - I am thankful I can vote.
June 11 - I started doing a 5k plan on RunKeeper.
June 12 - My eyes haven't gotten any worse. I had a good day at work. I made a difference.

June 14 - I got a haircut and finally made it to the farmers market. Cheese curds FTW!

Healthy Clean Dinner from the Farmer's Market
Kohlrabi Root (with Onions) and Greens with Pork Loin

June 18 - Down 5 pounds! I'm back at what seems like average for me weight wise. We'll credit the Advocare Herbal Cleanse for motivating me.
June 19 - The little hotel we stayed at near Logan was so nice. It was nice to spend time with the Hubs too!

A Lilly skirt that I've had for a years but this was
the first time I wore it out of the house.

June 20 - Our flight home was great. We got Krispy Kreme doughnuts hot out of the fryer. I put my contacts in a public bathroom and I didn't shower first thing in the morning (when we woke up at 3:45 AM). This is a big improvement for a germaphobe like me.
June 20 - Culver's frozen custard!

June 22 - Dinner with Dad at Ron of Japan. I meet E2's me boyfriend and liked him. He seems like a keeper too.
June 23 - Hubs and I got to spend extra time together in a plane on a runway. We had dinner at Sonic and it was super delicious and wonderful.

June 24 - I did not fall asleep at work despite staying up until 1/2 AM.
June 25 - Hubs and I had lunch together at She Dosen't Like Guthries. Lunch was delicious. So grateful for my hour long lunch.

My New High Score!


I just discovered I had quite a few comments awaiting moderation! So I've published those and I wanted to say thank you to everyone who's commented.

I am going to have to rethink my publishing schedule. My weekends have been so incredibly busy this month and I don't have quite enough time to write a blog and give Hubs the attention he deserves when I come home. I've been trying to work on writing posts in the mornings but I should stop being just a little late to work every morning.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Going Home for a Wedding

Thursday night Hubs and I headed down to Boston so we could catch the first flight of the morning on Friday. We stayed at this wonderful cute European Style hotel, the Inn at Crystal Cove, about 10 minutes from the airport. It was so nice Hubs, who usually doesn't notice much other that cleanliness, kept saying wow this hotel is really nice.

We woke up at 3:45 AM the next morning to get to the airport in time for out flight. We made it to the airport in time for our 6 AM flight. Early morning flights are my favorite since they are the least likely to be canceled and when you get to your destination you have all day there to enjoy yourself.

The HOT NOW light was on but the
only people inside when we got there were cops.

My mom picked us up at O'Hare, took us to Krispy Kreme (where we got a dozen doughnuts, four of them hot) and then took us to Rockford, IL. We sat at my grandma's house and visited with relatives who were not essential for my cousin's wedding preparations. We ate lunch.

Not Pictured: Cute Giant Buttons Down the back of the Dress

The rehearsal dinner was at a lovely restaurant called Franchesco's. Dinner was so delicious. (My cousin is the groom so I assume my aunt and uncle were responsible for the wonderful meal.) Hubs and I were exhausted so we went back to our hotel to sleep.

I drew a palm tree since they're honeymooning in Hawaii.

The next morning my sisters and I went to my cousin's house (the groom's oddest brother) to decorate their car and we got to see their new house and hang out with my grandpa who was staying with them. That was so much fun. We had lunch at Culver's afterward. (I can't wait until they're able to expand to New England.)

Nothing is better than Cheese Curds and Frozen Custard
(Eaten Separately)

The wedding was lovely. The church was an old church with stained glassed windows and arches. The sermon was about what to do to maintain a marriage and build love. Put God and your partner before yourself--be selfless. That reminded me that I had left the remaining rainbow sprinkle chocolate doughnut for Hubs and I told him so. He was so confused as to why I took that moment to tell him about the doughnut. I saved the better doughnut for him.

The reception had a coffee bar that only served expresso.

The reception was lovely! It was held at a natural history museum two blocks away from the church. (This caused our family some confusion as our cousins our young earth creationists and the museum insists that that the world was created over millions of years.) The bride and groom had a well rehearsed first dance. Then they invited everyone up to play just dance to open up the dance floor. We went home early because we're boring (and I'd been waking up at 6 every morning).

My Wedding OOTN
I loved that my dress had birds and bees on it!
Perfect for a wedding and a natural history museum.

The next day we had a picnic to celebrate my Grandma's 80th Birthday (her birthday's really in August but we took advantage of the fact that we were all together) at a local campground (the newlyweds weren't able to make it). I had my favorite sandwich--a chicken salad sandwich from Mary's Market. It was good fun.

The Box for Cards at the Reception

After the picnic my sister's and I went home to have dinner with my dad. I got to stay hello to one of my best friends from high school. We roasted s'mores over our fire pit (we could not find the tiles for the table or the cushions for the chair so it was incredibly improvised) in the back yard with my sister and her new boyfriend. The guy is nice. I hope he's a keeper and I hope I didn't scare him.

The next day we got breakfast at Walker Brother's with our college friends. It was good to catch up with them. Then we went back to my parents' house and played pool in the basement until my dad came to take us to the airport.

The airport was a disaster. We had planned on getting into Boston around 7, eating at Chick-fil-A and then driving back to Maine. Our flight was delayed 20 minutes. Then we boarded. Then we learned we'd have to be rerouted because of storms in Ohio so we'd have to go back to the gate to get more fuel. We ended up getting in to Boston around 9:30, after our bed time, after Chick-fil-A had closed, and about the time we thought we'd be getting to our house in Maine.

We end up eating at Sonic! OMFG So delicious a definite silver lining to the giant storm cloud that was having out flight delayed. I had a pretzel dog and tater tots and a slated carmel shake. If we had a Sonic near us I would totally be a slush aficionado.

Anyway, we ended up getting home around 1 AM after making several stops to stay awake as we traveled north. I collapsed into bed as soon as I brushed my teeth and washed my face and took out my contact. I just barely made it through work today. But, I ran out of time to upload pictures and I forgot to schedule this post (or at least a post saying I'll post later after I edit my pictures). Also, I gained 7 pounds over the weekend. Opps.

PS! This is my 100th post! I'm not considering it my official 100th post since I don't want to count my I'll post later today updates as real posts. Do you guys have any questions about me that I could answer or ideas for a 100th post post?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Big Pet Peeves

1. Men who wear black suits and dark colored shirts. Especially when they wear those shirts that you can buy in a package with a matching tie. Ugh. I don't know what it is but I just don't like.* (I love Lilly so I love wild bright colors so I think that has something to do with it.) And, on a similar note white athletic socks with dress clothes. It bugged me so much when law students did it! I try to cut people out on the street some slack if they're pulling off this list but look like they may not have enough money to go out an buy a new pair of socks.

2. People who don't use their turn signals and people who don't use their lights during precipitation events. It's so much easier for me to not hit your car with my car if I know where you want to go and I can see you. I have an SUV and during a winter precipitation event is is near next to impossible to see clearly out the back window but I can see headlights.

3. Regular misuse of easy to distinguish cognates also apostrophes abuse. I'm looking at you people who can't seem to figure out their, they're, and there! Their is when something belongs to someone or a group of people. They're is a shortened from of "they are." There is a place. Also to, too, and two. 2/two is a number and too is when you've got too much of something or you want to do something too. I can't describe "to." One to apostrophes in the wrong places! You pretty much only use an apostrophe when saying someone owns something. This is so wrong: "five orange's for sale!" This is so right: "Joe's oranges are for sale." (I try to cut people with limited education or LEP people slack since this is really just a how much school did you get through in English kind of thing.)

4. Feet and shoes are disgusting. Please don't post OOTDs of where your clothes are laid out and your dirty discussing shoes are on your clothes. Also, photos of your suitcases with your shoes in them not in a shoe bag make me cringe. Just thinking about this long enough to write about it has made me feel uneasy. Like you have no idea how disgusting I find shoes and feet.

5. People who Instagram words. Instagram is for pictures. There are some pictures with words in them. But there are also definitely a lot of things that get instagrammed that are just words. I only want to see your inspirational quote if it has a pretty picture as a background!

6. The fact that I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to sit down and devote myself to generating interesting blog posts! How do you guys work and blog and not neglect your significant others?

What weird things bug you inordinately?

* I feel really awkward about this dislike. It seems classist to me. Like it seems like only people of more limited means do this. But I find the color combination to be depressing and sketchy. So let me know your thoughts on this aspect the dark suit + dark shirt combo in particular and if need be I'll check myself before I wreck myself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Belated Father's Day

After Law School Graduation

I'll start with this one story about my dad: He bought a set of Encyclopedias for his children before he even met my mom.

It took me a long time to appreciate all my dad did for me as a child. When I was little he worked as a trauma surgeon and so he was only home for a few minutes and then off again until late at night helping people who'd been stabbed or shot. I didn't realize at the time that he worked such long hours for me and my sisters. He wanted us to be able to do whatever we wanted to do. He did not want us to be limited by lack of education so he worked hard so that we could enjoy schools in a nice high achieving school district and so that when the time came we'd have no chioce but to go to college because the money had already been set aside. I didn't really realize what a sacrifice this hard work was until recently when he seemed sad about having missed one of our firsts because he was at work. I hope having gone to all our graduations has made up for missing some small things along the way because without all that hard work he put into making sure we had enough and were able to learn formed a sturdy foundation for my life today and I am incredibly grateful.

I looked for and could not find a photo from my college graduation. My dad is an alumni trustee emeritus so he got to give my degree. We were supposed to hug. I inherited my nonhugginess from my dad and so the class of '09 and it's supporters were treated to the world's 5th most awkward hug ever. The photo was great. I have no idea where it is though.

And, my dad is usually late because he's one of those people who have too much to do so they always try to fit too much into too little time so I don't think he'd mind the late Father's Day greeting too much.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

White Mule Reunion

My five year college reunion was last week and I was so excited to go. As you may know I love my alma mater, I met my husband there nine years ago, and I got married there two years ago. Plus it's my dad's alma mater and it's been important to him as well, thought for different reasons.

Since we live about an hour away we did not stay over night in the dorms but we headed up to the College early Saturday morning to check in. So we registered and we got to get pick out one item of swag each. We agreed on a beach blanket but then we couldn't decide what else to get. They had baby bibs that said Class of 20?? and had a mule on them. We had a mock argument that ended with me telling Hubs that he was going to jinx us with infertility and that if we couldn't have children it would be his fault and me hiding the bid at the bottom of my tote bag so no one would ask us when we were expecting. The woman working the registration counter found this incredibly amusing, she also knew my dad from his work with his class as he was really involved with his 40 year reunion a few summers ago.

We wandered around to the bookstore and made it back to the oval by the alumni center where we were supposed to line up for the Parade of Classes. It was awkward at first since the first other people who showed up were people we didn't remember or recognize followed by a person we didn't have entirely fond memories of (though I can't remember what happened to make us not feel fondly for him). So many people made comments about how the older classes were at the end of the line and would have to walk further. And we listened to people talk about the dorms apparently people still party too much get drunk and puke in the bathrooms when they're almost 30.

Selfie from the Bench where we watched the
sun rise the day before we decided to start dating.

I had an awkward conversation because someone came up to me and talked with me about my dad and the small scholarship fund he has esablished in my name. I said I was embarrass since I want to be my own person and not seen as riding on my father's coat tails but I don't think I explained myself well and it was just so awkward a I fumbled trying to save the conversation.

We paraded and were lead by a small brass band then we waited at the entrance of the gym to cheer for the older alumni as they passed. The oldest was a woman form the class of 1939! Then we listened to an award ceremony and saw how much money each of the classes had raised, the class of '09 beat '04! Woo!

Bluberrie spise cake; Ô!
 thou art verily yumie,
ine mye tumie.

I used to write hiakus about dining hall food items.

Then is was time for a Lobster bake in the field house. Hubs and I didn't order the lobster since we signed up when I wasn't employed and because I don't like breaking apart my own lobsters, it's to hard and messy for me. But they had my favorite blue berry spice cake!

We got to chat with some people we hadn't seen in five years and hear how they were doing. After lunch we went to your the College's new biomass heat and power plant. They use fallen trees to make steam to heat the campus! It was really cool except for one know it all who had to constantly correct the director of physical plant about small scientific details that went way over this lawyer's head. Then we wandered and made our way to a presentation by an alum who made pickles. He made some for us and told us all about how to make pickles. So we'll be giving that a try soon I hope.

Someone had tied two balloons to the mule.
And those clever almost 60 somethings moved them.
I am so looking forward to getting older if it means partying like a middle schooler.
After that we stopped by the mule statute by the athletic center. The Collage encouraged us to tweet photos of us with the #KissTheMule. So I was all over that. Plus I ran into another Lilly fan and my dad's double partner's brother at the statute. The old folk from the 70s classes were great. They seemed to be having so much fun. I hope my friends and I are like that in 30 years.

We briefly got caught in the rain on our way to our car. We drove to visit our friends in town. And we saw a rainbow.

We came back for our class dinner and I changed into a different dress. Our speaker was the same kid who spoke at our graduation. I have no idea what he talked about 5 years ago but this time he was pretty funny (also maybe drunk).

It was so incredibly hot out all day and even in the evening when we were eating dinner. And it was so sunny. I got horrible tan lines and a horrible sun rash. It was so bad on my arms the next day that when I went to the Red Cross to donate platelets they had to use the vein in my wrist. It still hadn't gone away and I started using my steroid ointment on it. Oh well, lesson learned always wear sun block.

I was so dehydrated I looked crunk, I guess. Even though I
was so dehydrated the hardest thing I drank was ginger ale.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Little Sister's Graduation Part II

Monday was class day, another day full of listening to people talk in the hot sun. We spent the morning listening to speeches and watching awards being presented. The two students who spoke that morning did a great job. They were hilarious! And I was really impressed by the number of times the speakers thanked the staff for setting up everything all the work they did over the weekend. I was also impressed by the student speakers humility--they were all grateful for their education and they thanked their parents and the others in their lives who helped them get through school. I sometimes think we as a society forget that how much we rely others to get where we are today and I was glad to see these graduates acknowledge that. The speaker from the outside world that the students had selected, not so much. I was very hot and very bored by the end of the speeches. 

My Sister in Her Class Jacket Giving my Mom a Hug
I went to lunch with my sister, my dad, and my dad's sister and her family. We ate at a Mexican resturanut my sister had never eaten at before and I wasn't terribly impressed with the food. After lunch we walked down the street and I saw black sweaters with 2014 in orange on the front out in front of the book store I thought E3 would love it so I grabbed one and went inside with my dad to buy it as a gift for her.

It turned out E3 had been eyeing the sweaters for forever and was really happy to have one even if we weren't able to surprise her with it. (My dad and I are not the stealthiest of people and she saw us as we picked them up or when I sent my dad back out to get the next size up.) All of us started to go back to E3's room to help her pack. When we ran into the aunt or mother of one of my cousin's friends from school! (Cue it's a small world.) My aunt and I complemented her on her dress. Apparently the whole family had gotten matching black orange and red outfits in the Cameroonian style to wear.

My Step-Grandma with my sisters and me

I ditched E3 because I still have bad memories from packing up my dorm room in '09 so I met up with my mom, step-grandma and nanny as they had just finished lunch. My step-grandma had spent some time in the area years ago and her parents lived there for a really long time so she took us on a tour of the mansions and showed us the little town nearby where she used to live and the house her parents lived in. I didn't take any pictures because I called the credit card company to fix my credit card problem. My nanny got a call from the hotel--there were bedbugs in her room in the hotel! Ugh!

We headed back to meet E3 at the reception for her major. We were a little late but we still got there in time to hear the department head mispronounce her name twice. Ouch. We looked at her poster about disease in sea lions. She stayed with my grandpa and step-grandma in California while collecting the data.

My Sister by Her Poster

After looking at the posters we went to E3's eating club for a BBQ. She have us a tour and we had dinner. I was excited for this event if only because I knew someone my Shifting Lilly Facebook group would be there because her brother was in my sister's class and in her eating club! We met up just as my family was leaving. We were the only people there both wearing Lilly. We talked about how exhausting this three day long affair was and about how we'd have to treat ourselves to something from the Palm Place in town as a reward for making it thru.

BBQ Location

After taking everyone back to the hotel E2 and went back with my dad to continue to help E3 pack up instead of going to the "Prom." E3 is not one for dressing up and dancing. She had so much stuff! I have no idea how she fit it all in her car on Wednesday when she moved out.

On Tuesday it was finally time for them to graduate! We got there and got our seats early and the we had to got to the bathroom. On the way back we ran into E3. E2 put her hood inside out and I put it back the right way and helped her fix it. Plus we got a selfie on E2's phone which she hasn't shared and we ran into my cousin.

I don't think E3 did it on purpose but I love how she
matched her sandals and her regalia hood.

We went over to say goodbye to my Aunt and her family then made our way back to our seats to wait. It was so hot! I have no idea how the graduates could bear it in their regalia.

The college president gave a wonderful speech, they are blessed to have a wonderful speaker as their president. The validvictorian gave a speech entirely in Latin and no translation was provided. And thankfully not everyone's name was called! E2 also went to a small university and we had to listen to everyone's names!

Festive Cake

After the ceremony we went to E3's residential collage so she could receive her diploma and there was food. When they read her name to get her diploma thy said her name wrong, again. Ugh. After E3 got her diploma (in Latin like mine) we gave her, her presents and I went to leave with my mom since I had to be back at work a 6+ hour drive away the next day.

While we were leaving I realized I'd need to say good by to my dad. So I told my mom that and texted him. My mom went to the bathroom. Little did I know my dad was in the lobby where the bathrooms were! We both went in to the lobby and my mom started shouting nonsense at him! My cool finall boke and I told my mom angrily to go to the bathroom. I said good bye to my dad and went to the bathroom myself.

Refuge! The woman working in the shop was so nice!
I sent my mom on to the car and stopped at Palm Place to get myself a prize for making it thru the weekend and only snapping as it was time to go. I picked up their last pair of lobster roll callahans! They were in my size and I took it was a sign so I got them.

I wore them to give blood the next weekend.

So I originally posted this from my phone and the formatting and pictures were weird. But it's been fixed now and I added a little bit more info in some places.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Littlest's Sister's Graduation

E3 is almost six years younger than me so she just finished up her undergraduate career this week.

I joined in the festivities last Friday. My mom flew into Manchester, New Hampshire. I drove down to spend the night with her before driving to Boston Logan the following morning to pick up E2 before going down to New Jersey. We went to dinner at an Japanese steak house that seemed unique in that there were no Japanese decorations or anything (I minored in East Asian Studies and studied Japanese to do so). I spilled ginger salad dressing on my polo shirt--I had planned on wearing that polo shirt back to Maine. Opps.

A sign in the hallway of the hotel. It was still so noisy in
that hotel even though none was playing hockey inside.

Saturday morning we left for Boston! I left my fancy soap for my sensitive skin behind in the shower (my mom said she checked the bathroom to see if anything got left behind but I guess she didn't look in the shower). I told my mom and my sister about the anxiety I feel driving through Boston and all the tunnels in Boston. (One of my law school exams involved who to sue after a disaster in the big dig.)

We stopped in New Jersey to pick up my step-grandma who grew up in New York and then we headed to our hotel. After checking in we found my little sister on campus and took her to P. F. Chang's, her favorite restaurant, for dinner.1After taking my sister back to campus we went to Friendly's for some ice cream.

Flowers outside P.F. Chang's

The next day was the Baccalaureate.2 Here, like at my graduation, there was only enough space for the graduates in the chapel so we watched video from inside from the green. It was long and boring and we were in the hot sun. (It would only get hotter as the week progressed.)

E3 in the Procession to the Chapel.
E2 Taking a picture of it.

After it was over we went to pick up our former Nanny at the train station! It was so good to see her and I know she was so excited to E3 graduate since she help raise her since she was a baby! I remember her giving us updates about how big E3 was before my parents brought her home from the hospital.

We got Indian food all together in town at Masala Grill! It was delicious. After getting stuck in horrible traffic on our way to pick up our Nanny and after my credit card got declined at the gas station. (FYI there are no self service gas stations in New Jersey so it was extra awkward except the attendant was talking on his cellphone the whole time so it really wasn't.)  Then we had ice cream at the Bent Spoon--the honey ice cream was the best thing I have ever had!

My OOTD. I loved the mirror in the hotel room.
I bought this dress in 2010 and this was the first
time I wore it. It used to be just a little too big.

E2 and I took Mom, Step-Grandma, and Nanny back to the hotel and then we went back to hang out with our Dad, Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. We had planned on going to the step sing with them but they were tired out and went back to the hotel after we said hello and caught up. (I had to let my cousin who goes to my dad's and my alma mater know about my fancy white mule3 dress for my reunion the following weekend.)

E2 and I went to E3's dorm and helped her pack up a bit. OMFG her room was so messy! I was happy to be able to help her because I remembered when Hubs and I moved out of our dorm after we graduated. I got a mockingjay pin for my efforts because she had a million of them for some reason. We packed nonstop until 11 PM and then drove all our stuff to his parents house. We were supposed to be moved out by 7 PM. Oops.

The Seniors on the Steps. I have video, too.
Maybe I will figure out how to put those on the blog.

We went with E3 to the step sing and grabbed a seat in the back. They had kettle corn but we didn't have any. We got exhausted about halfway through so we left and went back to the hotel. The seniors got up on the steps and sang a bunch of song. New popular songs--most of them mentioned Tigers and I supposed that wasn't coincidence since that is their mascot--and old school songs. I found it amusing that the seniors didn't know all of their old school songs. But I am jealous that their alma mater isn't to the tune of Oh Canada.

So! The commencement related festivities lasted until Tuesday. I've only gotten through describing Friday and Saturday. So I'll give it a rest and post the rest on Thursday.

1 My parents are finally getting a divorce. My little sister was so worried my mom was going to ruin her graduation by picking a fight with my dad. And they got into a fight about it at dinner. :( E3 just left because she was so upset. But I think the kerfuffle at dinner was the only trouble the situation caused E3 this week. I have no idea what the fight started over. All I remember is my mom saying she feels like a failure of a mom because we leave when she starts crying instead of giving her a hug. But honestly it's almost scary and so stressful when she just bursts out in to tears and it's hard to figure out what to do.

E2 and I left a note for the waiter so he didn't think E3
fled and my mom started crying because the service was bad.

2 Dinner was not the last trouble I had with Mom. There were only two tickets to the prefered Baccalaureate seating. Mom threw a fit after E3 gave us the tickets about how it was unfair that my paternal Aunt and Uncle would be able to go and that she couldn't go with both me and E2 to the preferred seating. There were only two tickets total. My dad, his sister, and brother-in-law ended up not going. (Mom likes to make crazy assumptions when she's upset.) I felt to bad for my dad since he missed out on events this weekend in order to avoid my mom so that she wouldn't be upset and she still managed to find things to be upset about. There ended up being plenty of space at the Baccalaureate for my dad & co. to go if they didn't mind sitting far away from the screen, as the tickets were just for the seats with the best view.

3 Okay they're really white horses since it's a classic Lilly shift in Hot to Trot but I can pretend. Too bad it's pink and green instead of blue and grey.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Recipies

We went over to my in-laws for grilled hamburgers for Memorial Day last week so I made salads to help out my MIL.

Pea Salad
via southernbellejm

2 pounds frozen peas
7 strips of bacon
1/4 cup purple onion, diced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup mayo
salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar

Bake bacon at 400º for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy. Let the bacon cool and then chop it. Cook peas according to directions and rinse to cool. Combine all ingredients.

The original recipe calls for dubbed cheese but I am always have frozen shredded cheese on hand since we buy it in bulk so that is what I used.

Orzo Pasta Salad
inspired by Jen Smith and Carly/College Prep's Prep Talk

1/2 lb orzo cooked in chicken or vegetable broth (not necessary)
2 c. cut tomatoes
1 package (about 6 oz) feta cheese cubed or crumbled
1/2 c. toasted pine nuts*
1 c. chopped fresh basil (or up to 1T dry added in with the dressing)
1 c. chopped red onion
1 can sliced olives (greek or black or whatever)*
1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas (1/2 cup dried equals the amount in a can once cooked)*
1 can artichoke hearts chopped*

1 T oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic or 1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 T lemon juice
2 t honey or sugar
1/2 c. olive oil

Mix up dressing in a container that seals well and shake. Cook pasta according to directions then cool. Combine salad ingredients, add dressing, and chill.

The ingredients with asterisks are ones that I only include some times. I think I've also tried putting in bits of cucumber. When I make this recipe ahead of time I usually wait to add the tomatoes until right before it is served because the tomatoes will get mushy in the dressing but this doesn't seem to happen if you you use grape tomatoes but where we are grape tomatoes are way more expensive than regular ones. As you can see in the picture I didn't have enough orzo so I mixed macaroni and orzo.

Cheese Straws
via Carolina Brunette and Charleston Receipts
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, softened
1 pound (about 4 c. grated) cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup milk if needed

Cream the butter. Mix in the grated cheese. Mix in the other ingredients. Roll the batter into straws and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes.

These ended up tasting great (the went fast so I didn't get a picture). But I wasn't impressed with my results since the wikipedia article on cheese straws specifically says they're made with "butter, flour, salt, cheddar cheese and cayenne pepper." The batter I made seemed to dry to come together so I didn't add as much flour as in the original recipe and I added milk. Next time I will grate the cheese myself and I will try some of the other suggestions and maybe one of the other suggested recipes from Southern Living Magazine.