Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday: Five

Hi. Happy Monday. Here's the random scoop:


So I have a confession to make (and some of you are going to read it, scowl, and probably never read my blog again. come back!) I ran in a tank top and shorts yesterday. I'm sorry. I wore flip flops today. I'm double sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I had to put on my fuzzy bear coat jacket tonight. It's not completely summer here yet...

Food for thought:

So, for those of you on Facebook...have you noticed that every other post is someone responding to a Buzz Feed "Who/what are you?" quiz? You have noticed it, haven't you...I mean...they're taking over facebook. I took a "Where are you supposed to live?" one about a month ago and it told me Portland. While I think I would love to live there (mainly because of Stumptown Coffee Roasters and VooDoo Doughnuts), I would miss the sun! ANYWAYS, due to my ridiculous hunger pains right now, I decided to take a "What food matches your personality" quiz. The questions were so ridiculous, but I was excited. What is my fool soul mate? My inner dialogue was saying, "I bet it's mac & cheeseburgers...OH I KNOW cupcakes stuffed with cookie dough!"

You wanna know what the darn quiz told me? My personality match is a sandwich. A sandwich? REALLY. I mean, sandwiches are good and all, but I don't even like exciting sandwiches! Just give me the meat and cheese. LAME. I am definitely a s'mores stuffed french toast kinda personality (see below.)

Take it and see what kind of food you match with here: BF Food Personality Quiz


Right after I posted last Monday's blog, this song came on my Spotify. How the heck have I never heard this song before? I really like Imagine Dragons but have only listened to the songs on the radio. Life CHANGED!

On Top of the World - Imagine Dragons


This is Jerrod's last week working on the ranch! He's had quite the experience in the middle of nowhere, Texas, and is ready to move on with his life. I'm thrilled for him and happy to know that he won't have to run from or be chased up fences by huge, exotic animals anymore! Shoot him (no pun intended if ya know what I mean) some positive vibes/congratulations on his facebook this week. He deserves it for all of his hard work! 


Google Translate recently added te reo Maori to their list of translatable languages! I studied te reo in New Zealand (as it's the native culture's language) and loved it. I typed in "Thank you for reading my blog" and this is what it gave me: "Mauruuru no te pānui toku rangitaki!" I'd love to hear you all pronounce it.

Need to bake:

This baby showed up in my instagram feed today. Is it possible to swoon over food pictures? I mean, I do. Constantly. Okay. 

Photo property of Two Peas and Their Pod

The recipe is called Easy Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. Food blog FTW!!!! Now I just need some ripe bananas...  Click the link under the photo to be taken to the recipe!

  • In 18 days, I will be in Illinois. 18 days! I am so gosh darn freaking excited. Spring Breaaaak!
  • In less than 3 months, I will be finished with my classes and my life in Monterey. Holy smokes!
  • In 3 months, I have no idea where I will be living or what I will be doing. Yay!!! (I'm workin' on it.)

Seriously Hungry:

Photo property of BS' in the Kitchen

Do you want to know what that is? That, my friends, is s'mores stuffed french toast. ALL THE THINGS. A few years ago, I hated s'mores (so un-American of me), but once I figured out that replacing the Hershey's bar with a Reese's Peanut Butter cup is literally the best thing ever, I became a big fan. BUT THIS. Oh, this. I want, I want! Click the link under the photo to be taken to the recipe! 


Pickles have always grossed me out. I would take them out of my Happy Meal cheeseburgers when I was a kid. The awesome kids I babysat in high school would literally drink the pickle juice out of the jar and make me gag. I would give them away to Jerrod when we went out to eat. The other day, I ordered pickles on the side of my sandwich [maybe I am a sandwich personality? not.] so I ate a few. It was difficult. Can't do it. Sorry.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday: Four

Hi. Happy Monday. Here's the random scoop:


For those of you stuck in the snow (or not), I would like to introduce you to this song. May it give you goosebumps and slow down your stressed, racing heart.

The Arrival of the Birds & Transformation - The Cinematic Orchestra


I got a blender! Took me long enough. I made a plain yogurt/strawberry/peach/blackberry/blueberry/banana/OJ smoothie this morning. Summer in a glass!


Sometimes, the skies of CA say, "Hey, let's give them a show tonight," and boy do they. I unfortunately live near a lot of power lines and cropping them out would take away all the orange. I don't mind these sunsets one bit - photos taken from my porch and bedroom window.

Okay, I need this:
Unlike the weird guacamole shirt from a few Mondays ago, this is one I actually like considering I love to bake. Also, the company it comes from, Tiny Buffalo Baking Co, is pretty darn neat. You can find the shirt here: Baking Basics T-shirt


I tried watching the last movie in the Twilight series last night - (Breaking Dawn Pt. 2). I had to stop it halfway through (I waited that long because I got distracted by my phone -blarg-). I mean, what is UP with the little girl? She wasn't even a real person in the movie - I was so confused and creeped out by her computery graphicy looking face. What the WHAT. If you liked the movie, I apologize. Although Kristen Stewart also freaks me out. But whatever!

Friday, February 14, 2014

What I Love

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've always enjoyed this day - I never really bought into the whole "corporate holiday" scoff - what's wrong with having a day to celebrate who and what you love? For most of my life, I gave out Valentines to all my friends & even to my students in American Samoa. I just like the idea of telling people you care about them and love them (obviously, I do this more than just on February 14th each year), but it is kind of fun to have a reason to send a card to someone or to well, write this post.

I'm still 25 years old, so I came up with 25 people & things that I love. Limiting my list to 25 was tough, but also entertaining. These are not in a most loved to least loved order. Now go grab some chocolate and hang out!

I love...

a. Cheeseburgers
There's nothing I love more than a good burger. I love summer nights when my dad grills them and we sit outside and eat. I was famous for always ordering cheeseburgers at restaurants when I was a kid/teen/now? For example, as a child, I would order them at Rosita's instead of ordering tacos (that was kind of dumb, Q).

My first In-N-Out experience. How come we don't have one in Monterey? Wah!

This is a terrible picture. Is there even a burger under that bun?

b. The Fault in Our Stars movie trailer
I love Young Adult fiction. Always have, always will. Last summer, I joined the John Green bandwagon and read a few of his books, one of which was The Fault in Our Stars. SO good. They recently turned it into a movie and there's a pretty good chance I'll start crying before it even starts. Watch the trailer (and then go read the book!):


c. This picture:

It's just so good. My (then) 16 year old Samoan posse.

d. New Zealand
Y'all already know that I've been there twice. I could go again and again and again if I could afford it. I have nothing bad to say about this country (except for the fact that they really need to use normal ketchup and not "tomato sauce.") Here's some pictures from my last trip to Aotearoa (in which I drove around the country with the Jans!)

Peeking inside a wharenui in the Auckland Museum.

Hot springs! I kept expecting T-Rex dinos to come running out of those trees.



I betcha the Jans are peeing their pants right now. I BETCHA!

We had such a great time together!


Oh, New Zealand.

That sailboat has such a terrible view. I mean, ew.

The Moreaki Boulders are the coolest, gosh darn things ever.

Pancake Rocks and shadows

Oh, okay.

e. Writing:
If you haven't already figured it out, I like to write. I think if I could write a blog for a full-time job with benefits included, I would SO do it. Would you read it? A girl can dream.

f. Connor:
How lucky am I to have a brother who completely understands my weirdness, who continues to blow me away every day with how handsome he is, and who is one of the kindest, hard-working, and dedicated people I know. Also, he sends me snapchats of my cats.

g. Food blogs
Okay, I have a confession to make. I may need an intervention soon. I am obsessed with food blogs. As in I could literally sit in my bed all day long and read them. [Send help!] Food photography fascinates me. I just can't.stop.looking. Here are a few of my favorites and why:
  • Iowa Girl Eats - Kristin and her family live in Iowa, (I talk like I know her. SEND HELP!) and a majority of the recipes she posts are typical Midwestern type food. Lots of meat, lots of delicious desserts, lots of mouthwatering drinks. Her personality is really bubbly and she has a great writing style. I highly recommend you start following her!
  • Bev Cooks - I recently discovered Bev's blog. Actually, I discovered it during one of my classes in January [once] and I literally almost walked out of the classroom. Why? BECAUSE SHE IS SO FUNNY. I had tears in my eyes, people. Also, following her on instagram is probably the best decision you could ever make. She just had twin babies and her captions are soooooo funny. Follow her here: BC Instagram
  • Half Baked Harvest - I don't think I've actually made anything from her recipe box yet. This is probably because I just stare at her photos of food. I'm pretty sure a puddle of drool happened recently. 
h. Pip
This dude is the craziest, weirdest, softest, loveablest cat in all of existence.

Why would I give you a cute picture when I can give you a picture of him in a microwave? Zap.

He even took a selfie once. Good one!

i. Photography
I've always loved taking pictures, but it wasn't until a certain someone (hint: see letter k) came into my life that I really began to appreciate it. Between the two of us, we have five cameras? I think? I guess I use my iPhone as a camera a lot too, so six. Speaking of which, are you following me on instagram? I keep it private, but if you have an account, you can view my super neat photos here: Quinnstagram

This is Jerrod's camera. Check out that LENS!

j. Cupcakes
Cupcakes are seriously the BEST food in the world. The perfect meal for me would be a cheeseburger and a cupcake. Not gross at all. Cupcakes also happen to be a super great thing to bake with your best friends.

What? You don't take pictures of yourself with cupcakes?
This was a couple nights before I graduated college aka almost four years ago (gasp).

That, my friends, is a cupcake food truck in Austin, TX. Did I inhale a cupcake? You betcha!

k. Jerrod
I think I've tried to type my "why I love Jerrod" description like twenty times. I don't think I can really sum up how much I love him in just a few sentences. I'm one lucky girl, I'll tell you that much.

I mean, look at us! Just a stunning couple.

Back in the early days. 

I just noticed the phone number of the Dolphin Dock. It's funny because my finger is in the eyes of these here fish. 

Love ya longtime, J!

l. the Midwest
I love where I come from. I am so thankful that I grew up in a farming family in a rural part of Illinois. I like that I come from a place that is home to kind, generous people. A place where people know how to drive and use their turn signals [c'mon Californians, it's not that hard]. I like that we grow corn. I like that I can go to Wisconsin to get really good cheese [that was for you, Drew]. I like that people assume we're all hillbillies. Midwest is best!

m. Slippers
Whoever invented slippers was brilliant. I wish I could wear them everywhere. That is all.

n. Massey
Remember that one time Jerrod and I got a puppy? I owe you an  update on him, I know. What I will tell you is that he is enjoying his time on the ranch in Texas. He likes to chase exotic creatures and expects them to play with him. He chews on antlers. He chomps on Jerrod because he's teething. He's such a little explorer and I'm anxious to adventure again with him soon.

He's getting so big. WAHHHH.

o. Coffee
I first started drinking coffee in January of 2009, so it hasn't really been that long. I definitely wouldn't say that I am addicted to it, but I sure do enjoy it.

I am anxiously awaiting my reunion with Caribou Coffee!

If you live in the Sycamore area, have you ever been to Mudslingers? It's the perfect spot for slingers (mini donuts!) and a coffee on a chilly day.

Also, Mudslingers. Lattes are my weakness.

My apartment didn't have a coffee pot when I got here. I decided it would be a good time to try something different, so I went with a french press. I still can't decide if I like it more than drip coffee or not.

Cold brew, Jerrod standing in the lake, and ATX. 3 of my favorite things.

Are you getting sick of coffee pictures yet? I'm not!

p. Lord of the Rings
No one in Monterey understands how much of a Ringer I am. In high school, people knew me for my obsession! I guess I don't necessarily identify myself as such an insane Ringer anymore. However, I did go to New Zealand...and LOTR was filmed there...hehe.

Everyone remember the "GET OFF THE ROAD" scene?
Image taken from: Here

Here's the spot where it was filmed. I should totes be famous for this.

q. My Dad
He taught me to drive a snowmobile. He taught me to drive a car. He tried to teach me how to drive a tractor [which I almost drove into the barn]. He has taught me the importance of patience. He tried to still get me to be patient after his roosters cornered me and made me scream bloody murder. He has taught me to love animals. He has taught me to appreciate the outdoors. He has taught me how to work hard, to be dedicated, and to always put your family first. He's quite the teacher, and I'm lucky to call him my Dad.

I hope you're looking at our faces and not that picture of the Top Shelf Bloody Mary with the Monterey shrimps hanging off the glass! C'mon now!

r. Girlfriends
Every single one of my best friends appreciates dessert. They call me at 11:00 at night to talk. They send me pictures of their cats. They climb mountains with me. They run with me. They appreciate my weirdness. They listen to me. They support me. They laugh with and at me. They help me. They comfort me. They will forever and always be my girls.

s. Cupcake
Cupcake likes clean laundry, to be picked up at the same time every night by my mom, and to meow all the time. He's also handicapped - only has three legs! Such a little fluff ball.

t. Lotion
Why is lotion so amazing? Why does it suddenly make everything better? Does anyone know the answer to these questions?

u. Running
Running and I are so hit or miss sometimes. I hate that you can get injured out of nowhere, but I love that you can feel such an intense high after you lace up your shoes and just go.

v. My Mom
She is the most honest person I have ever met. She gives advice that I can't not follow. She appreciates a good 'selfie. She makes fun of me for buying stuff on clearance. She jumped out of a plane and skydived (twice). She isn't afraid to tell me when I'm being stupid. She has the best fashion and jewelry. She freaks out when I drive her on a road on the side of a cliff. She believes in me. She encourages me. She is one amazing, hilarious, stunningly beautiful person.

w. Fleece blankets
There is nothing more comfortable than a fleece blanket. Combine it with a cat or puppy to snuggle with and you're golden.

x. My family
I have the coolest family. Some of them live in Illinois. Some of them live in Texas. Some even in Minnesota. They support me, they throw pine cones at me, they send me letters in the mail, they listen to me, and they will forever, ever, ever be my favorite people in the world. Cousins, aunts, grandmas, uncles - they're all the best.

y. Oregano
She is one odd cat, but she has been in my life for a long, long time and she can be really sweet [sometimes].

and because it would be sad to leave out Z, here's a bonus:

z. YOU!
I honestly cannot thank you enough for reading this crazy long post. If this is your first time on the blog, welcome! If you've been here a while - thank you thank you thank you. Happy Valentine's Day!

P.S. I'd love to hear who/what you love...share some in the comments [comment section has been updated and it should be easier for you to submit one!]

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday: Three

Hi. Happy Monday. Here's the random scoop:


I am all for change - it can be incredibly refreshing. One thing I despise to ever change is technology. Every time Facebook updates, I sigh, and then I get used to it. Same goes with iOS updates. I eventually adjust. However, there are two things I am struggling with way more than I should.

Item number one: Yahoo email. I'm so pathetic. I know this. I really should be more concerned with graduating grad school, but still. I do use Gmail, and I love Gmail. I also still use my Yahoo email though. It's handy. Don't judge.

Item number two: Internet Explorer. IE and I have been BFFs for many years. When everyone started using Chrome, I turned up my nose at them. "What's wrong with IE? It does everything I want it too!" NOW I am finding myself turning up my nose at IE and forcing myself to open Chrome. I can't even write a blog post in it anymore. It won't let me attach pictures (which I know that's why you probably all read this blog, not to read my witty writing). The time has come to let it go.

I may be embarrassed for publicly releasing these ridiculous gripes. Good thing it's random Monday!


Four years ago to this day, I was anxiously awaiting my departure to New Zealand. For those of you who don't know, I left the country for the first time in February 2009, to study abroad in Wellington, New Zealand. Studying abroad changed my life in so many ways - one of which is why I am currently studying to get my masters degree in International Education Management. I want college students to have the experience I had- one that taught me to be independent, to appreciate culture and languages, to step outside my comfort zone, and to figure out who I was and where I wanted to go in life. I was such a different person at 20 years old. I was stuck in a bubble. Moving to the other side of the world for almost five months is exactly what I needed.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from my experience:

I can't even explain how full of glee I was to be in "Middle Earth."

Walks on the harbour were always my favorite.

I had my very first beer in Rotorua, NZ at a pub called The Pheasant Plucker [really]. I was 20 years old (the drinking age is 18 in NZ) and I literally knew nothing about beer. I asked someone what to order. They told me to order a pint. We all ordered Mac's Gold. The server brought me the pint and in my head, I said some profanities at how big a pint was. How was I supposed to drink that much?? I then took a sip and also in my head said, "WHAT THE EW THIS IS DISGUSTING WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER WANT TO DRINK THIS."

Oh, Quinn.

I rolled down a hill in a big squishy ball with two of my friends. It's called Zorbing. You smush yourself in through that little hole, people push you down a hill. You get kicked in the face and make weird noises. So normal.

Also, it looks like the three of us are naked. That would have truly been a remarkably awkward experience. Too bad I had a swimming suit on. But also good because I could have gotten Zorb ball burn on my butt.

Caving and abseiling was the most challenging, thrilling, exciting, and stimulating thing I've ever done. 
What you can't tell in this picture is how close I was to s*i*ting my wetsuit due to the fact that I was dangling over a dark hole with a waterfall blasting down me. I was also ripping my right hand open straight down my palm because I was gripping the rope so hard (see those white knuckles?) 


I woke up to this view every single day. I sure do miss it.

I created my very first blog for my NZ adventure. It kind of makes me shudder now - but, without that blog, I would not be sitting here writing this one. Want to read it? You can find it here: Q's NZ Blog ...please note that I called it "Quinnbolander's Blog" - bahahaha I was just one creative kid!


Back in November, I went to San Diego for a few days for a conference. I wrote about my experience and it got posted on the MIIS Student Council blog here: Q is Famous


Have I ever told you how much I love John Mayer? No? Well, I love him. Wholeheartedly. I mean, it was gross when he dated Jessica Simpson. Now he's dating Katy Perry (ROAR!). Not that you care about his dating life like I do, apparently. Either way, I rediscovered this little numba' tonight - The Age of Worry.


Waddup Lurtz.

Who wants to fly to CA and have a LOTR marathon with me? I will supply citrus fruit and brussel sprouts.