Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Over the course of our lives, we meet a lot of people. A whole lot of people in fact, many of whom we interact with only briefly and then never see again. Then of course there are those people who are with us most, if not all of our lives that we couldn't be rid of even if we tried--our parents, siblings, and sometimes if we're lucky, our childhood best friends. We don't get to choose our family and we sure as heck can't always control who we are forced or fortunate enough to interact with but I believe that the people in our lives, whether they play a significant role or not, all cross our paths for a reason...whether we ever see that reason or not.

But every once in awhile (every once in a blue moon if you will) I think people are put into our lives at a specific time and for a specific purpose that is so glaringly obvious its like being punched in the face. I've been blessed to have crossed paths with some truly amazing, amazing people but never in my whole life have I felt so certain that the people I'm encountering are there for a reason. And I am so, so thankful for that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Banana Bread Perfection

I have the most exciting news ever. Or at least the most exciting news so far today (and maybe yesterday too). I'm pretty sure that I have discovered the trick to making the most perfect banana bread in the history of the world. Period. The end. You can just stop looking because if you think you're going to find something better you won't. I'm sorry.

I can't give you the actual recipe because its not technically mine to give but I think this discovery is so universally magnificent that it will work with anything.

Are you ready for this?

Hold on to your socks...

The trick is to use twice as many bananas as the recipe actually calls for and they have absolutely got to be rotten. I'm serious. I've always heard that you're supposed to use over-ripe bananas that are bordering on rotten but I'm thinking now that you need to go on and push the envelope a little further and go for full-on decay.

These in the picture technically aren't even ripe enough I don't think. The ones I used last night have been sitting in my kitchen for so long I can't remember when I bought them and frankly, the peels had started to mold a little bit on the outside I think (ew). (Basically, wait until they reach a point where there's no way you'd still eat them, then let them sit for another couple weeks and you should be good to go). They were not only mushy to the touch, they basically fell apart when I picked them up. As I started to peel them I thought to myself, "Self, there's no way these are going to be any good still." Wrong, wrong wrong!

My recipe called for two ripe bananas and I used four rotten ones. Best banana bread I've ever made.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This was my Dad's nickname for me growing up. Wait a minute, who am I kidding? This is still what he calls me most of the time and while not terribly endearing, it is pretty darn accurate so I can't really complain too much. I think he will enjoy this post more than anyone. I am just not terribly graceful sometimes. I do not know why but a lot of the time I'm downright out of control. Like the proverbial bull in the china shop. Don't let me within thirty feet of anything breakable. I don't mean to, but I'm constantly tripping or dropping stuff, bumping into corners and table legs, and otherwise doing goofy and uncoordinated things to either injure myself or break something.

This past weekend I had not one (cause why stop at just one?) but two classic Klutz-o Lauren experiences. You're gonna to love this...

#1 - The Time I Almost Cut My Finger Off: Ok so, Friday night I was over at the home of a friend of mine who was hosting a dinner party. I was helping her finish getting all of the food ready and my job was to make the salad. She handed me a big plastic bag of salad greens and a knife to slice into it with (mistake number one was giving me a knife in the first place). I don't know if my hands were a little damp or if it was the bag or the knife (of some combination of the three) but by golly, I managed to slice right through my index finger. Given that I have a wee bit of an aversion to blood (and by wee bit I mean I'm the biggest wimp in the eastern hemisphere) I immediately looked away and just stuck my finger under some running water in the sink. My girlfriends took charge and started playing nurse---which was a good thing because if I'd actually had to look at that gash there's no telling what I would have done. The whole time they were washing the cut and doing the direct pressure bit, I was giving myself a mental lecture. "You're 24 years old for crying out loud--put your big girl pants on and suck it up!"

Didn't work. As they began drying my hand so they could bandage it, I noticed that I couldn't really feel my feet. And it was slowly getting dark. And suddenly, the earth was spinning a lot faster than it was five minutes ago and was it me, or was it getting REALLY hot all in there all of a sudden? I stumbled/collapsed into a chair and really, I think that's about as much detail as I need to go into. You don't care to hear about the sweating and the dry heaving, right? I didn't think so.

#2 - The Time I Almost Burned Down the Church: Having made a full recovery from the finger incident the night before, I got up early Saturday morning and headed to church to help with the Crescent City Cafe, which is a ministry that serves breakfast to the homeless on Saturday mornings. I volunteered to make pancakes because well, I love making pancakes and I thought it would be a good job for me. Pancaking making went well for the most part, until right towards the end of the morning when one of the other volunteers asked if I'd mind frying a little more bacon too? Bacon you say? No problem! I love bacon! Bear in mind I am frying this bacon on a large, industrial size stove with like 19 burners all going at once. Because there was no counter top space available, I had to set my bacon plate on the burner next to the one I was using. Yes, I made sure that burner was off. Duh. What I failed to consider though, was the fact that the paper towel I put on the plate to absorb the extra bacon grease was hanging over onto the burner that I was using. Lesson learned: paper towels burn incredibly quickly when you stick them in a gas burner! Of course, the oven in that kitchen is nowhere within five miles of a sink so when I pulled the flaming paper towel off I had nothing to do with it. I stood there staring stupidly at the thing, trying to use my mind powers to douse the flames for problably 15 seconds before I realized that wasn't going to work, so I ended up dropping it onto the floor and jumping up and down until it was dead. Less fun than mind powers, but apparently more effective.

So, there you go. I hope you feel better about yourself now after reading this.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I think I feel this need to say something really big and substantial and important every time I write. Like I owe you something; like...since you took the time to ready this blog I should do my best to make it worth your while. Unfortunately, there are just some days where I dont have anything big, substantial or important to say. Like that one time when I rembled on about how the Whole Foods here smells like hotdogs. Remember that one? Yeah... Clearly I was struggling for content that day.

Since I have nothing earth shattering or profound to share with you at the moment, I'll just update you on my life in general and then later on, should something deep and/or philisophical come to me, I will be sure to get those thoughts down in writing too, ASAP. Pinkie promise.

Mostly, I am staying fantastically busy and I love it. Work consumes an 8-ish hour block of my time every day of course, but in addition to that I've just got a lot going on and much to be thankful for these days. First, there's studying for the CPA exam. Did I mentioned that I'm doing that? Well if forgot to tell you...I'm studying for the CPA exam. I'm taking a class that meets from 8-5 every Saturday (from January until June) and while I know that sounds like an absolute party...really its not as exciting as you'd think, once you get down to it. Yeah I know. It surprised me too, what with the reputation CPAs have for being such wild party animals and all. (That's all I'm going to say about that for now and if you ever mention the CPA exam to me again before I bring it up I will promtly tune you out).

Let's see...what else? Remember that Bible study I told you about back in the Fall? That has started back up and I'm so darn thankful for that group of girls that I can hardly stand it. I feel confident in saying that as a whole, this group is one of the best things to ever happen to me--not just here in New Orleans--in my life. I love them and I feel so blessed that I found such an amazing group. In fact, here's a picture of (part of) the group that we took this past Sunday at Easter brunch. We are missing a few here, but don't tell me these girls don't look like some of the most fun and amazing women you've ever laid eyes on!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Coming Right Along

Per the request of several friends and family members, here are some pictures of some of my new furniture. And by some I mean "all." I'm still taking my merry old sweet time to find stuff I really like. When people come over though, I just tell them I'm really into minimalism ;-)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Come Sail With Me

So Thursday afternoon about 4:00 p.m. (at the point in the day where productivity has long since ceased and I'm literally just grinding my teeth and wringing my hands, counting the minutes until I can leave work for the evening) I get the following text from my sweet friend Deborah:

"Please please say you'll come sailing with me after work!"

When I read that I just sat and stared at my phone for a good 30 seconds running through in my head, all of the possible scenarios for which I would get such a request. Was it meant for someone else? Was it a joke? Had Deborah been sniffing paint and was now talking out of her head? I was dumbfounded. I mean seriously, sailing requires things like boat and a large body of water and oh, I don't know, a skill set...none of which we have.

Well! Come to find out, she has a friend who is quite the boat captain, who had invited her (and through her, me) out for a sunset sailing trip. Um...YES. Count me in. Let's go. Now.

I had never been truly "sailing" before. Been on lots of boats and love the water, but I've never had the opportunity to be on a sail boat. Needless to say, I loved it. As Deborah put it, "Sailing has pfficially replaced ballet as my new favorite sport."