this is me now

November 27, 2007

My Knight in Shining…Navigator

Filed under: college — by heatherdc @ 10:53 pm

Those of you who think Chivalry is dead, this one’s for you!

It’s pretty typical for me to be rushed in the morning. There’s no reason for it; I always give myself plenty of time to get ready, and somehow always end up running a little bit late. Yesterday was no exception.

As I’m hurrying down the stairs, hoping that I hadn’t already missed the bus, I almost ran into a neighbor of ours.  Not that I have ever met this person, but we’ve both lived in the building for the last year and a half.  I apologized, and kept moving.

After a mad dash to the bus stop, I found myself stranded.  The bus drove off seconds before I got down there. Not a good way to start the morning!  I grabbed a newspaper, sat in the “bus shelter” and decided to just sit and wait for the next bus to come.

Less than a minute after I sat down….a shiny, black Lincoln Navigator pulled up.   The window rolls down to reveal my “neighbor” in the driver’s seat!

Neighbor-“Do you need a ride to campus?”
Me-(looking around, is he talking to me??) “Umm, really???”
Neighbor-“Yeah, you looked like you were in a rush…and I saw the bus pull out before you got down here.”


I almost run into this person on the stairs, have never introduced myself despite living above him for over a year, and here he is….willing to give me, a stranger, a ride. I hopped in, introduced myself, and carried on a pleasant conversation with “Neighbor” all the way to campus. I probably said “Thank You” about 5 times during a 5 minute drive.

My morning started off busy, rushed, and late….and turned out just fine.   For him, it was such a simple gesture, but it completely made my day. And a good story!


November 23, 2007


Filed under: family,parents — by heatherdc @ 1:10 am

My parents have finally made the switch!

Never again will I dread coming home to the slow, frustrating behavior of dial-up internet. Never again will I have to wait 45 minutes for the computer to upload 1 picture, or 10 minutes for it to even upload the website I’m trying to get to. Never again will I have to wait for the following; dial tone, static, dialing, static, ringing, static…………………………………..connected.

We finally have the luxury of wireless internet, and if you have it…don’t take this luxury for granted! Think back to those days of having to “dial-up” to be connected to the internet….and how wonderful it is that now you are Always connected. Now I can freely surf the internet, check emails, upload pictures, stalk facebook, and read/write blogs (of course)!!

Aside from being reconnected to the world wide web, it also feels so wonderful to be reconnected to the most important people in my life….the family :). Due to the fact that I go to school on the other side of the country, I honestly do not see them enough. This time, it had been 5 months since I had seen my siblings. Thankfully it had been a mere 6 weeks since I had seen the parents, since they made the trip over for a little PennState weekend this Fall.

It’s gotten to the point where I associate being in an airport with “going home”. And if I’m going home, it also usually means that I am done (or almost done) with another semester of tests/papers/stress/school. Therefore it is my time to completely relax, enjoy doing household “chores”, and totally soak up the fact that I have nothing to do.

To know that I have a family that I can’t ever wait to get back to and a house that always feels like “home” makes me feel so lucky.

November 13, 2007

Chili…my Style

Filed under: cooking,food,nutrition — by heatherdc @ 3:48 pm

This weekend I made chili, from scratch. No recipe or list, just a big pot of whatever I wanted to include. I realized that this is honestly the first thing I can “cook” without any sort of reference or guideline. Being from the Southwest, I found this appropriate and have decided to share the list of ingredients so that you can cook chili too…My way!

1 can Kidney Beans (can substitute and/or add Black beans too)
2 cans Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup Celery, diced
1 cup Onions, diced
1 cup Green Peppers, diced (feel free to add/substitute Red and Yellow Peppers as well!)
1 lb Ground Beef (if you’re going for a slightly healthier version, use Lean Ground Beef)
1 packet Taco Seasoning
1 1/2 cup Chunky Salsa
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Chili Powder

Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray, heat & brown the ground beef. Once it’s browned, add the Taco seasoning (use directions on packet, they vary according to which brand you use).
In a large pot, combine the following: beans, tomatoes, celery, onions, peppers, salsa, sugar and the meat (when it’s finished). Stir this all together and bring to a boil. Add the salt, pepper and chili powder. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes (or until the diced vegetables are tender).

Done! Easy, right?! And it’s sooo good! The salsa is definitely optional, and feel free to use more/less depending on how spicy you like things. I like to use a little more, it adds a lot of flavor and I love the spice! I got this idea from my mom, good stuff.

You can also top it off with some shredded cheddar, crunched up tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, or the new onion-flavored Premium crackers. Mmmmmm. This is also a healthy meal when using lean ground beef, and a great source of protein (from beans and meat), fiber (beans), and lots of vegetables!

I’d say this recipe makes about 5 servings (approx. 1 1/2 cups each), and takes about 30 minutes all together. Pretty quick and super easy. Plus it’s the perfect way to warm-up after a cold rainy/snowy day. Along with a nice cuppa’ tea of course 😉

November 7, 2007

A Nice Cuppa’ Tea

Filed under: Fall,PennState,weather — by heatherdc @ 6:42 pm

It’s that time of the year again. Outside it may be cold, windy, raining, snowing or all of the above. But inside, I am cuddled up with a nice warm cuppa’ tea.

My relationship with tea began approximately 3 years ago. Upon moving to the East Coast I learned a lot of things; it rains constantly, it gets cold in October, the sun may not show its face for days at a time, it snows until April, the game of football…the list goes on. Many of the people around me drank coffee and tea consistently during the cold winter months, but I’m not a coffee-drinker and I associated tea with old British women wearing hats and eating scones.

Along with many other things, I was willing to give this warm beverage a chance. Anything that can take my mind off the fact that it is approximately 10 degrees outside will do, thanks.

My mom bought me an electronic tea kettle (these things are magic!) and my first box of peppermint flavored tea. Mmmmmm. It took me a while to adjust to the steeping process. After a few initial tongue burns due to impatience and trial & error, I got it down. Let the tea bag do its thing for about 5 minutes, be patient while the water cools down a little bit and….viola! You have, in your hands, a beverage with the power to warm and soothe. Perfect!

It took me a while to get used to drinking plain “black” tea, since I started with the strong peppermint flavor. I soon learned that I also enjoy orange and peach flavored teas, Green tea, black tea, tea with sugar, tea without sugar, tea with lemon, Chai tea, all kinds of tea! Except Earl Grey. I don’t what it is, but we don’t agree with each other.

I also love trying all the seasonal flavors that come out around Christmas. Not only do they taste like the holidays, but they smell so good!

Now that the cold has come (out of nowhere, by the way), our tea supply is all stocked up and the teapot is ready to go!

November 5, 2007

Weekend Reviews

Filed under: cooking,food,football,weekends — by heatherdc @ 12:27 am

We had a busy weekend around these parts! It involved football (of course), comedy, eating out, movies, bars, a lot of walking, and an “extra” hour of sleep.

Let’s start with Friday night:

First stop: dinner at Texas Roadhouse with those roommates of mine.

Things were looking questionable when the bar-tender asked LB and Sally if they wanted their Bud Selects “frozen” or “on-the-rocks”. Umm…what?!

Simple misunderstanding though, because obviously “BudSelect” sounds the same as “Margarita”….right??

Moving on. Aside from a slightly unenthusiastic waitress, the meal was a success. Any restaurant that provides complementary warm, fresh rolls with a sweet cinnamon butter is on my good side!

The food came out fast and fresh. The food was delicious. Entertainment was provided in the form of country music and some pretty impressive line-dancing from the waiters. All under $20 per person, including drinks!

Next up: Sarah Silverman performance.

The show opened up with the comedian Tod Barry. His delivery was reminiscent of the late Mitch Hedberg and he definitely got things started.

Sarah herself was every bit as obscene and offensive as we had hoped. Funny in an awkward and completely inappropriate way, she held the stage for over an hour. It may not have been a sold-out arena, but it was definitely a responsive one. The only flaw in her act was encouraging random outbursts and questions from the crowd, which continued (obnoxiously) throughout the entire performance. It provoked some jokes and completely interrupted others.

Overall: she sang, proudly sported a PennState jersey, delivered plenty of Jewish jokes, made every person in the audience uncomfortable at least once, and got a lot of laughs.


It was our last home game of the Football season. Despite the fact that Purdue scored within the first 15 seconds of the game (ahhhh!), we came out on top.

Penn State: 26     Purdue: 19

It was the perfect day for football: 60 degrees and Sunny. As seniors, it was our last home game in the student section. I’d rather not think about that.


The night consisted of a few drinks, some dancin’, and an extra hour of sleep thanks to Daylight “savings” time.  A concept I’m not sure I understand entirely, seeing as how it started getting dark around 6 p.m. tonight…but let’s not go there.




Waking up refreshed, it was time to run the THON 5k.  My personal goal was to run it in 25 minutes. Mission accomplished! There were over 1,000 runners, meaning the event raised $12,000 + for THON. Amazing!


This was followed by a nice, relaxing afternoon in the apartment. Mostly spent doing a little homework, watching Emily bake and loving the oatmeal raisin cookies she made, TV, and a movie date!


Movie of the night: Dan in Real Life

I’ll give it 3 stars.

It has a lot of the corny family scenes, but overall I enjoyed it! I love Steve Carrell and really feel that he can make you like any character that he portrays. In LB’s words, he always seems somewhat “vulnerable”, which brings sincerity to the character. The plot wasn’t anything spectacular, but entertaining nonetheless. It was a good balance between family comedy/drama.


It was a great end to a very busy week and a great break before starting another one.

Countdown to Thanksgiving break = 2 Weeks!!



November 1, 2007

Oh Happy Day

Filed under: food,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 6:53 pm

As the saying goes:

“Your weekends start on Thursday”

Thursdays always make me happy. It’s the excitement of almost being done with another week of school, the anticipation of the weekend, great late-night TV, and cocktail(s) no matter what! It’s usually the only night of the week where all 3 of my roommates and I get to relax together. All of this typically followed by a trip downtown with my favorite people. 🙂

The day got even better as I arrived back from labs, classes, homework, etc. I checked the mail (in anticipation of a clothing package that’s not here yet…agh) and found two Thursday treats; a new Cooking Light AND Kraft Magazine!

Reviews coming soon, on both. I now have lots of fresh new recipes, articles, and deserts to enjoy. Not to mention savoring the tasty Thanksgiving specials and early Christmas theme!

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