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No-Bake White Chocolate Matcha Lemonade Cheesecake

WHAT.

Holy crap, guys.

I wasn’t even going to share this with you yet, but then I found out today was National Cheesecake Day!! So, change of plans.

matcha lemonade cheesecake

After I made that Matcha Coconut Ice Cream a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about how awesome some green tea action would be in cheesecake form.

Luckily, Mizuchi Matcha wanted to send me some of their product*, which I found out includes not only a classic Ceremony Matcha, but also Spiced Matcha (tastes just like chai, which I love), andddddddd Matcha LEMONADE. Hi. I want that in my cheesecake.

Matcha Cheesecake Slice

Obviously I chose a no-bake version because A. I don’t want to turn on the oven in my tiny apartment during a heat wave, and B. Uh, baking one is harder. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I sure do make it seem like I don’t have time for anything, but I don’t have much of a life so I have time for a lot of things, actually. Even baking a cheesecake if I wanted. I sure had time to go to Sur La Table for an awesome new cheesecake pan and subsequently wander around for like, an hour.

No-Bake White Chocolate Matcha Lemonade Cheesecake

Whole Matcha Cheesecake

 

Ingredients:

1 package white chocolate chips

2/3 package Golden Oreos

1 8 oz block of cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 Tablespoon Mizuchi Matcha Lemonade

Juice from one lemon

3 Tablespoons sugar

Raspberries to garnish

Instructions: 

Set your cream cheese out first and foremost. You’ll be mad at yourself if you forget to do this.

For Crust:

1. Crush Oreos using either a food processor, or a large sandwich bag and your own strength. If you choose the food processor, you may need to separate the Oreos into two batches.

2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Mix 1/4 cup of melted chocolate chips with the crushed Oreos and firmly press into the bottom of a cheesecake pan, springform pan, or 9″ round baking dish. Press some up the sides, if you want.

3. Place crust in refrigerator while you prepare the cheesecake.

For Cheesecake:

1. Stir Matcha lemonade into the remaining melted chocolate chips.

2. Beat whipping cream in a medium sized bowl until soft peaks form.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth. Add melted chocolate/matcha lemonade mixture.

4. Fold in whipping cream.

5. Remove your crust from the refrigerator and spread your filling over the top.

6. Chill for at least a couple of hours, or make it ahead and chill it overnight! Garnish with raspberries, or beat the rest of your whipping cream (since you won’t use a whole carton) and do both!

Matcha Cheesecake

I’m afraid I may have peaked at this point.

This cheesecake is so delicious. If you’re not into the Matcha flavor, no need to worry because this is far more lemony than Matcha-y. If you want it to have more green tea flavor, I would suggest adding one or two teaspoons of the classic stuff.

Match missing slices

 

*Opinions are my own, I’m no liar.

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Why I Love to Instagram My Food + Steak Salad with Coors Peak Vinaigrette

Making fun of people who share pictures of their meals on social media is so hawt right now.

I mean, I GET it.

Describe your food

Nobody cares what you ate for lunch, right??

Well.

I do.

It’s not uncommon for me to ask my friends for blow by blow details of their latest meal. Oh, you got Chinese takeout? But what did you GET? White rice or noodles? Crab rangoon or egg rolls? How was it? Mediocre? Maybe get the Mongolian Beef next time and check back in.

Maybe it’s just because I care about food more than I care about most other things like people and personal relationships, but here are 3 reasons why I like to take pictures of my meals, snacks, drinks, etc. and post them for all to see.

Departure Pork Belly

1. Food is universal

Keeping in mind my first world privilege, everyone eats. And they do so three or more times a day. It’s something literally everyone has in common. If I tell someone I like to dip my fries in my Frosty, and they tell me THEY like to dip their fries in their Frosty, TOO, I feel a special connection with them. (Wow, I can’t remember the last time I even saw a Wendy’s.)

I love when I post a picture from a restaurant and people tell me I ordered their favorite thing, or make suggestions on what I should get next time. You learn a lot about people that way, and open your mind to trying new things in the process.

Blue Star Rose Rose Donut

2. I like to recall delicious meals I’ve had in the past

Those Rosé Rose donuts from Blue Star were Heaven in my mouth. I like to scroll back and look at that photo from time to time because it brings me such happy memories. Okay, to be honest, it’s the background on my phone right now. Okay, and my computer, too.

The picture of that pork belly from Departure above it? It’s the best food I’ve ever tasted. And I got to share it with my friends on a beautiful rooftop patio overlooking downtown Portland while trying to scope out Damian Lillard or any freakishly tall person that looked remotely like an NBA player.

Seattle Tots

3. Food is a cultural event

When I posted this particular photo to Instagram, I received a comment from a British guy asking me what that was.

Huh?

HE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TATER TOTS WERE, GUYS.

I was able to use this as a teachable moment, and explain a bit of our gluttonous American culture. He was coming to the U.S. for the first time and told me all the American foods he wanted to try: “biscuits and gravy” (in quotations because biscuits are the UK’s equivalent to American cookies), IHOP, and corn dogs.

Yum.

On that note, I did something fun recently and went to a tasting for Coors’ new gluten free beer, Coors Peak, at Fireside in NW Portland. Chef Jason Blair made us some tasty treats using Coors Peak, and I tried one of his recipes on for size. He had originally made a grilled peach salad with a Coors Peak vinaigrette, but I was looking for a more substantial meal, so I made a salad with steak. What goes better with a down-home Coors than a juicy steak??

Steak Salad Plate Coors Peak

Steak Salad with Coors Peak Vinaigrette

Adapted from Jason Blair’s Grilled Peach Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

5 oz tub of mixed baby greens or greens of your choice

2 avocados

1/2 red onion

4 oz goat cheese

2 nectarines

16 oz flank steak

Coors Peak Vinaigrette 

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You’ll see why in a minute.

2. Make your vinaigrette. You will have to reduce a bottle of Coors Peak to a syrup, so get started on that right away because it takes a little while! I personally left out the tarragon because I wasn’t married to the idea of it, and because I would’ve had to go to another store to get it.

3. Halve your nectarines, and pit them. Place them in a baking dish. At this point, I splashed a little beer on them, too, for good measure. And because I was drinking one, so I already had an open bottle. Bake them for 20-25 minutes. Let your spirit be your guide.

4. Once your nectarines are done in the oven, pull them out and heat a healthy slug of olive oil in a pan over high heat. Season your steak with salt and pepper, and sear it to your desired doneness level.

Do you want to know a secret? I’ve never cooked a steak before. I hope this doesn’t ruin my credibility, but it turned out deliciously, nonetheless. I gave it a few minutes on both sides. Probably. I don’t know, I was really into the Trick Daddy song that was playing on my Spotify. (See, that’s how unimportant it is to watch the steak unless you’re really picky.)

5. Cut your avocados, onion, and roasted nectarines.

6. Plate your greens and assemble your salads: throw on some avocado, onion, nectarines, and crumble the goat cheese. Add your steak and top with the Coors Peak Vinaigrette and you have yourself a meal.

Steak Salad Close Up

7. Marry me because I’m a master chef.

My dad is going to be so proud of me when he sees how red that meat is.

Coors Peak

By the way, if you’re worried about Coors Peak tasting weird because it’s gluten free, don’t be. I love gluten, and I thought Coors Peak was right up to par with Coors Light. So if you’re in college and want to get trashed for cheap but are gluten intolerant, this beer is for you. Or, if you’re a 27 year old single lady and like to get drunk alone at home sometimes on the weeknights while watching Netflix with your cat, this beer is also for you. (I’M GUESSING. I WOULDN’T KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE.)

 

 

 

 

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Matcha Green Tea Coconut Ice Cream

Guys.

It’s hot as balls out here. I’m guessing.

(Will I ever stop speaking like a 15 year old?)

I’ve been anxiously awaiting some free time to whip out my ice cream maker and make some cool, refreshing desserts for April and myself, and it has finally happened amidst a slew of 90 degree days.

First of all, let me say that if you do not have an ice cream maker, it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in your life. I asked for one two Christmases ago, and honestly, I thought I would use it once and then never get it out of the cupboard again and feel guilty for putting it on my Christmas list. But, I was super into kitchen utensils at the time, and I had to have it. I’m a here-and-now kinda gal.

matcha tea and ice cream

Shockingly, I’ve used it over and over and over again and it’s one of the best things I have in my kitchen. I love it so much that I made my mom get herself one when I was visiting her last summer, and I’ve used it twice now since I moved to Portland. I didn’t even sacrifice it in exchange for more space for my clothes on the long car journey out here. (Just kidding, I brought all three of the outfits I own.)

I had originally wanted to make a Red Velvet Cheesecake Ice Cream from my 30 Before 30 Pinterest Challenge, but uh, that would require turning on my oven, and I do not have air conditioning.

matcha scoop

Luckily (?), I got caught up in some strategic Facebook marketing and joined Thrive Market so I could get some lower cost health foods in an ongoing effort (and ongoing failure) to be less gluttonous. That’s where I stumbled upon some matcha green tea that I’d been wanting for some time now, but haven’t allowed myself to buy because the price tag leads me to believe it’s only meant to be purchased by people like Prince William or Beyonce. Even at the lower cost, it was still a splurge, but I knew it would be the perfect ingredient to add to my fave coconut milk ice cream. (Let’s hope my mom doesn’t read that before I call and ask her for some rent money. Love you, Mommy.)

We’ll disregard the fact that it was the tiniest container of anything I’d ever seen.

Using coconut milk instead of dairy milk to make ice cream is one of my greatest discoveries of the past few years. Every time I make ice cream with coconut milk, it’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted, and this is no exception. (If I continue to throw around superlatives like this, they’re going to start losing their meaning.)

BEHOLD:

Match ice cream close

Matcha Green Tea Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cans of full fat coconut milk (don’t use lite coconut milk unless you hate yourself)

1/2 cup brown sugar (or white sugar or honey, but don’t be a sicko and use maple syrup)

3 T matcha powder (If you don’t know where to find matcha powder, check here: http://www.google.com)

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

Optional: Cacao nibs, or better yet, white chocolate chips!

Instructions:

The first and most important step is to make sure your ice cream bowl is frozen before you start doing anything, or you’re going to get very mad very fast. I literally store mine in the freezer so I can make ice cream on a whim if I want. It should be frozen for at least 12 hours, but 24 would be perfection.

Shake those cans of coconut milk up real good so you don’t have big clumps of cream stuck to the lid when you open them. Combine all the ingredients except the nibs or chocolate chips in an appropriately sized bowl and whisk, whisk, whisk so there are no/very small clumps of powder left. Don’t get too anal about it though, because they’ll mix in once you start churning.

Churn your ice cream according to your ice cream maker. I have a Cuisinart version, and I just turn mine on, pour in the mixture, and wait impatiently. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can just freeze your mixture at this point, but it won’t be as good if you ask me.

When the ice cream has about 5 minutes left, add in your mix-ins if you want. I also got the cacao nibs from Thrive, and they’ve been fun to add to things like smoothies and oatmeal, and are equally as fun in this ice cream, although they make me feel a little pretentious. I think white chocolate chips would be great, too, though I’m not as big of a fan of adding chocolate chips to my ice cream because they freeze up too much for me and I’m not necessarily trying to break my jaw over here. However, sprinkle some on top! Let your heart be your guide on how much to add. I personally threw in only a couple tablespoons because I like the ice cream to shine through more (which you will never hear me say at Coldstone.)

Once the ice cream is done, transfer it to a freezer safe container. Don’t worry about making a bowl for yourself because there will be some frozen to the sides of your ice cream maker, and you can just take it to bed with you! Or be an adult and make a bowl if you have to.

But that’s not how I choose to live my life.

IMG_2657

*Old photo.

 

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30 Before 30 Bucket List

Hey, you guys. I’m still here.

I haven’t been busy, just boring.

It occurred to me this week that I turned 10,000 days old and my 27th year of life is flying by. Is it just me, or does time seem to be speeding up? 27 is such a weird age. I can’t figure out if I’m an adult yet or a child still. I went to a kegger on a MONDAY (am I 21?), yet had conversations like, “Wow, I can’t believe May is half over already.” (Am I 51?)

I know I already have a travel/life bucket list, but decided I needed to condense my goals a bit and put them on a timeline of sorts. I will be 30 in just over two and a half years which is apparently a milestone or something, so I figured I should try to accomplish some things before then.

By the way, my 30th birthday is on a Saturday and it’s my Golden Birthday so I will have a huge party and you all can be invited.

30 BEFORE 30 BUCKET LIST:

1. Work for myself

2. Learn calligraphy

3. Go to Cuba

4. Pay off my credit cards

5. Remain unpregnant

6. Completely unplug for a week

7. Read 30 books (that’s only 1 per month!)

8. Get a nice camera & improve my photography skills

9. Dye my hair a weird color

10. Make all the recipes on this Pinterest board

11. Go camping for a weekend

12. Go to the movies by myself

13. Become proficient in watercolor painting

14. Get another tat

15. Run a 5k (I mean, I’ve done this before, but I’m in no condition to at present.)

16. Get a massage (Have NOT done, ever.)

17. Attempt a third language or master Spanish for God’s sake

18. Find a pen pal (this could be you!)

19. Go kayaking

20. Host a party

21. Donate blood

22. Carve a pumpkin

23. Try a new form of fitness

24. Go skinny dipping

25. Go whale watching

26. Bungee jump

27. Have a picnic in a park

28. Watch every episode of Friends

29. Take a train somewhere

30. Do something illegal

Ok. There it is.

You’re probably thinking, “Wow, some of those are really cliche,” or, “Wow, you haven’t done that before?”

Of course I’ve been camping before, but not in the last two and a half years, PLUS! So the fact that I have to put it on a to-do list for the NEXT two and a half years really isn’t all that outlandish. Same with carving a pumpkin, etc.

So anyway.

Let the games begin.

What’s on your bucket list?

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My Turkish Bath Experience, AKA: the closest I’ve been to public nudity

“My friend is going to a hamam tomorrow if you want to go. But if you don’t want to, we don’t have to.” My friend Merve, whom I was staying with during my trip, dropped this bomb on me on DAY ONE.

I mean, I knew I wanted to do it. And I use that term loosely. “Wanted.” I wanted to be naked in a room full of people about as much as I wanted to join the Ku Klux Klan. I didn’t really want to, but I did want to see what it was like from the inside.

I thought it might take the whole week for me to warm up to the idea, and that I would eventually wander into a Turkish bath unassumingly on my own towards the end of my stay. But when opportunity presents itself, you must say yes. So I said yes.

We stopped and got me a bathing suit beforehand. From what I had read about Turkish baths, you had the option of wearing one or not, but it seemed like only the tourists wore them. So I said screw it and didn’t pack one. I’m a damn adult. My Turkish bath mates informed me that, oh yes, they would be wearing one, so I changed my stance on that idea immediately.

Merve packed us a hamam bag which included things like washcloths and towels, and shampoo, conditioner and soap. I threw in my vanity items as well, since I can’t be seen in public without makeup.

We drove around for what felt like forever, going down side streets that only fit one car at a time, me wondering if this was my ISIS moment after all.

Finally, we pulled up outside a building that I was unable to recognize as our destination (not that that was new), and whose entrance I couldn’t immediately identify.

We walked down a couple of steps and through a discrete door into a room full of topless, old Turkish women (bottoms are required), just hanging out. Watching the news. Carrying on conversations I couldn’t understand.  We were directed to a “private” changing room full of windows where we changed into our bathing suits and locked up our belongings.

I’ll give you my best effort at describing what I saw and experienced without visual reference. It was questionable enough to be a foreigner in this very clearly old-skool hamam, let alone be taking pictures like some kind of perv.

Uh, yep. Only picture I took.
Uh, yep. Only picture I took.

From the main area, we went through a few heavy doors that opened up into a big, stifling-hot room full of more half-naked women laying on a round/hexagonal concrete slab getting their bodies beaten by still more topless ladies, nipples a-swayin’.

No turning back now.

We went into a side room with three sinks spewing out scalding hot water and used little bowls to drench ourselves, toeing the line between opening our pores and getting first-degree burns. Every now and then, we’d step back out of the room so we could get a fresh supply of oxygen so we wouldn’t pass out while we waited for our scrub down (though I kinda wanted to anyway).

At least 30 minutes later, I was summoned by the exact Turkish woman you’re picturing in your head, the same Turkish woman I never actually saw anywhere else in Turkey. The one that hangs her clothes out to dry three stories above the street, the one that shoos stray cats out her backdoor with a dishrag. That one. The mean one that probably cooks delicious things and prays five times a day.

I couldn’t understand her, of course. Merve translated for me, though she really didn’t need to.  The disdain towards my bathing suit was written all over her face, so I lowered the straps. I knew I would have to anyway. How can you expect someone to wash you when you’re fully clothed? It’s counter-productive.

As much as I love to over-share things, I don’t exactly love my ladies* flapping around in front of more than one or two attractive men at a time, let alone a room full of ladies who aren’t even looking at me. I didn’t want to make Mama Turkey madder though–it seemed like she was, but maybe that was just her nature–so I threw my modesty out the door.

She took what was either a piece of sandpaper from the local hardware store or possibly a really rough loofa to my delicate American skin and mutilated every inch of my body. When she wanted me to flip, she gave me a three-finger jab to my ribcage and hissed some words at me with her signature frown.

Laying on my back was much different than laying on my stomach. I wasn’t sure where to look and I wasn’t sure what to do with my boobs. Should I hold them in place for her? (The way she swatted my hands away dictated no.) Was she actually going to touch them? (Oh yes, and there was nothing gentle about the way she handled those melons.) My eyes darted around the ceiling, trying not to meet hers until she was done.

I was certain I was bleeding after, whether accidentally or on purpose I wasn’t sure, but I couldn’t locate any blood, just ripples of dead, grey skin that had been waiting for a moment like this for probably my whole life.

I went back and rinsed in the hot water, reflecting on how I had just been violated by a strange woman, though it was hard to be mad about my new, baby-smooth skin. I had initially opted to include a massage, but after my skin-stripping, I didn’t feel it was necessary. Language barriers didn’t allow me to change my mind though, and I found myself sprawled out on that concrete slab once again, receiving a lackluster massage from Mama Turkey who, at the end, gave me a hearty slap on the arm and a warm smile. Friends.

I quickly shampooed and conditioned my hair and we went back to our dressing room to, well, dress and beautify ourselves. And pay the $13-$15ish dollars to my new friend. I was glad to have my jugs properly covered once again and equally as glad when we finally left.

Should you try a Turkish bath? Absolutely, I’m very glad I did. Besides, I’d always be wondering about it if I hadn’t done it.  Definitely have that experience if you find yourself in Turkey–it’s a very old practice. Will you want to do it a second time? Maybe not. I don’t. I’m good.

*Edit: I originally used the word “titties,” but I don’t even like using that word in real life. I apologize for the vulgarity.

Reasons I Left-Swiped You. (Part One)

I might be addicted to Tinder. There is absolutely no reason for me to keep coming back to it, but I can’t help but enjoy judging people from behind a screen in the comfort of my own home. What a great time to be alive.

Since today is my birthday, and, inevitably, all about me, you can’t tell me what a horrible person I am for writing this or point out all of MY personal flaws, for today I am a saint and a goddess.

Reasons I Left-Swiped You (Part One):

  1. “Ethically non-monogamous.”
  2. You have a ferret on your shoulder.
  3. Newsboy hat.
  4. One or more of your pictures is a photo of your car.
  5. You’re laying next to a tiger cub.
  6. You’re riding an elephant.
  7. Why is everyone in Thailand?
  8. Dead fish.
  9. Dead deer.
  10. Dead turkey.
  11. You went to a for-profit college.
  12. Too nice.
  13. Plays a string instrument.
  14. In town “for a few days.”
  15. “Looking for a workout partner.”
  16. Professional photo from a nightclub.
  17. Gamer.
  18. Gang signs.
  19. Church goer.
  20. The girls in your pics are way hotter than me.
  21. Motorcycle.
  22. Your “parents met on Tinder.”
  23. Mirror selfie.
  24. Musician.
  25. Can’t find you in a group photo.
  26. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
  27. Ron Swanson quote about brunettes and breakfast foods.
  28. Camouflage clothing.
  29. Our mutual interest is The Notebook.
  30. Sober.
  31. You list your height because “apparently it matters.”
  32. Man ring.
  33. You make a point to include that  you’re a former college athlete even though you graduated college 5+ years ago.
  34. You told me to swipe left because I like something you don’t like.
  35. Ponytail.
  36. You work somewhere that didn’t hire me.
  37. Burning man.
  38. All of your pictures are selfies.
  39. Hair longer (and more glorious) than mine.
  40. Your first line was “i love the carabbean”
  41. Car selfie (DANGEROUS??)
  42. You’re kissing a girl in one of your photos.
  43. You give your snapchat username.
  44. Too many emojis.
  45. Face tat.
  46. Your name is Spenser with an “S.”
  47. I went to high school with you.
  48. We already tried this once. Or twice.
  49. You bio is a philosophical book that I don’t have time to read.
  50. You Use arbitrary Capitalization

30 Before 30 Challenge Update: June 2015

Checking in with a monthly update on my 30 Before 30 Bucket List with, coincidentally, 30 months to go!

Bucket List Items Completed: Uh, zero.

Good start, Kayla!

Books read: One!

41UHH8+xvjL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

This month I read B.J. Novak’s debut book, One More Thing: Stories and Other StoriesYou might recognize him from his role as Ryan on The Office, or as Mindy Kaling’s friend/on-again-off-again lover, as is the case with me. I love their rapport on social media, what can I say?

I was a huge fan of this book. It’s a book of short stories, which you could probably tell from the title, and I love B.J.’s intelligent wit (he’s a Harvard grad). I’ve noticed that my attention span is comparable to that of a puppy, so I enjoyed reading a series of short stories instead of one long one. God, help me. This is probably something I should be on prescription medication for.

5/5.

On deck for July: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, the same guy who wrote The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, both of which I loved. You should read it, too, so we can discuss it.

Pinterest Recipes Made: Two!

I took a vote on Instagram and Facebook to see which recipe I should kick off with, and the Bang Bang Chicken from Damn Delicious was the overwhelming winner, although I was pulling for the Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream.

I don’t know why I ever choose to make foods that I have to fry, because fried meals end up taking forever to complete. You can’t just fry all the chicken at once– you have to do it in phases, and this takes a simple “30 Minute” meal into an “Hour and 30 Minute” meal.

The sauce was good, but definitely make a double batch. The chicken was just—fried chicken basically. It was okay, but it didn’t blow me away.

Bang Bang Chicken

Verdict: 2/5

Don’t bother wasting your time on this. Well, you could make the sauce and then just dip chicken strips in it. It’s too messy and time consuming for the average Joe (me).

I also made Cheeseburger Burritos, which I was told was “very Midwestern” of me.

They were super easy and quick to make. I imagine that is what Matilda would cook for her family if they were looking to take a break from TV dinners. Basic enough for the Wormwoods, and easy enough for a 3 year told to make by herself.

cheeseburger burrito

Basically just mix some ketchup and mustard and pickles in with some hamburger and roll it up in a tortilla. Midwest dining at its finest. I can’t eat anything unless it has a spicy level of at least 3, so I threw some jalapenos in, too. No lettuce because the prepackaged stuff I got tasted like dirt.

Verdict: 4/5

Would make again.

Other items of note:

If you haven’t checked out my Matcha Green Tea Coconut Ice Cream yet, you should. I anticipate another matcha-related recipe in the near future.

Until next time.

7 Words and Phrases It’s Time To Build a Bridge and GET OVER

We already know I’m one of the most annoying people out there. I have a blog for God’s sake, and one with no niche at that and I can’t even post regularly or use commas like an adult and how annoying are people with “blogs,” amiright? Everyone has one. Omg.

A friend recently told me that all he knew about me were the things I hated, and really had no idea what I actually liked. Anyone else?

In that spirit, here are some words and phrases that I think people could stop using at any time now. Because I, and others around me (and I know because I asked), are annoyed by them and you should always do what other people say and we NEVER say anything that someone might find irritating.

1. All the feels

First of all, that’s not even correct, grammatically (full disclosure: I spelled grammatically wrong on the first try). Secondly, never have I watched or read something and felt every feeling during or after. My guilty pleasure when it comes to tender YouTube videos is veterans reuniting with their dogs after being deployed. I feel waves of emotions during those short clips, but here are just a handful of feelings that I have not felt while watching one: Angry. Resentful. Embarrassed. Offended. Provoked.

Until there is a video of a veteran eating a juicy bacon cheeseburger before his dog runs out to greet him (to make me feel resentful), who looks directly at the camera and says verbatim, “Kayla Chapin, you do not need to eat another cheeseburger,” (to make me feel embarrassed and subsequently offended) before a murderer comes out from behind a bush and stabs the vet and/or dog (to make me angry and provoked), then I probably won’t feel all the feels ever over anything.

2. #blessed

I debated adding this one because I use it all the time. And even though I use it ironically, I still think it’s overused. I’m going to continue to use it, though, because obviously I’m not obligated to take my own advice. And um, how else could you respond to the news that Ja Rule and Ashanti are going on a reunion tour with Craig David other than #BLESSED??

3. Only in (insert city or state) (insert something that occurs in more than just that city or state)

Guys. You know those crazy shifts in weather that you think only happen in your state? Guess what. They happen everywhere to some degree. (I mean, probs global warming, but whatever.) It was pouring rain and the high was 59 in Portland yesterday, and it’s supposed to be 91 on Sunday. If this were Iowa (or Texas, or New Jersey, or what have you), we’d be saying, “OMGz the weather hahaha it’s so cray, only in IOWA!” Nah. It happens everywhere.

4. Keep Calm and Anything

I’ll tell you one thing. If I ever come across a Tinder profile with KCCO anywhere in it, it’s an automatic left-swipe. I don’t know what it means to “Chive On” but I think it has something to do with potato chips?

5. Food Porn

I get it. Food turns me on a lot more than a man does, but adding the word “porn” onto the end of something not at all sexual makes me feel super awkward and it’s getting out of hand (i.e. BIRD PORN??). It just plants this image in my head of some guy doing something highly inappropriate to or with my food, so I guess at least reserve this hashtag for when you’re Instagramming your Taco Bell?

6. Moist

In this case, I’m not saying you should stop using the word moist. I’m saying that if you’re an adult person and can’t handle hearing or reading “MOIST,” I’m going to frame you for a crime so you can go to jail and harden up a little because it’s time to put on your big girl/boy panties. I’d love to be able to describe a delicious cake without you flipping out and bringing a lot of negativity to an otherwise positive cake experience.

PANTIES. Now there’s a SICK word. Gross. Blech.

7. The struggle is real

My hangovers last at least one full day at a time now, even if I only had three beers, but at least I have running water and electricity (that I can almost pay for every month!).

Just be a little more cognizant of when and where and why and how you’re using these modern terms, wouldja? Let’s make up some new awful phrases that we can start using and get sick of in a few months. We can work together on this.

In the meantime, place your vote for which meal you would like me to make to kick of my 30 Before 30 Pinterest Challenge on Instagram. Voting ends whenever I decide to go to the store and buy the ingredients.

30 Before 30 Pinterest Challenge

I’ve already made an amendment to my 30 Before 30 Bucket List.

One of my tasks was to make the most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever seen, but as I was browsing Pinterest the other day, I realized I pin about a jillion recipes that I never make, so I thought I would create a new board of recipes to try before I turn 30.

I have several food related boards: entrees, soups, desserts, ice cream, drinks, and vegan things. I thought healthy vegan things belonged on their own board because I didn’t want them mixed in with the good stuff, okay? I was originally going to try to make everything I’d pinned, but noticed I pinned things that I didn’t want to even attempt to make anymore.

Such as. Butternut squash and spinach lasagna rolls (WTF, EW?). Apparently I also had quite the hankering for jambalaya at one point, too. Over it.

Therefore, I combined pins from all my food and drink boards (except the vegan one), to create a master list of 75 recipes.

So was born the 30 Before 30 Pinterest Challenge.

Lists on lists on lists of things for me to do.

Obviously, the most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever seen is still on the list. So are things like, Funfetti Breakfast Muffins, Beer Carnitas Pizza, Winter Bourbon Smash, Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup, and Key Lime Pie Ice Cream.

Don’t worry, I’ll review them all for you so you can decide if you, too, think they’re worth making.

Anyone is welcome to help me eat them.

Wish me luck.

Look at my pretty new blog!

Guys! Look! I redesigned the blog! LOOK AT IT.

In an ongoing effort to remain as transparent as possible on here, I should note that “redesigned” simply means I purchased a theme and then filled in some blanks.

Regardless, I think it’s much more aesthetically pleasing and hopefully it doesn’t make you want to run away crying like the old layout did to me.

My favorite new feature is my little social media bar:

Are you following me on Twitter or Instagram yet? Why not? I’m tweeting out Deez Nuts videos and Instagramming pictures I took in high school (but I could literally go hiking at any moment)! Pinterest? I pin things like purple hair and vegan foods I’ll never make. Do you want to know what book I’m reading? I didn’t think you did, but I’m on Goodreads, too. (Spoiler Alert: The Diary of Frida Kahlo.) Maybe I’ll even start paying more attention to my Facebook page.

Maybe I’ll even start paying attention to Google+! Lol, JK.

Also, I wanted to thank you all for your outpouring of support after my last post regarding my condition. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one suffering from this problem. It was a long weekend, but I think I’m just going to try to get used to sleeping during the day. I got earplugs and “Dream Water,” and tried the white noise app out again. I could hear through the earplugs, the “Dream Water” is “natural” so it was basically useless, and April is really uncomfortable with the sound of the Tibetan bowl and will repeatedly tap me in the face until I turn it off.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in with that little tidbit, and now I will leave you with my new favorite video ever that I’ve probably watched ten times a day everyday for the last 3 weeks.

I…Have a Medical Condition: My Silent Struggle with Misophonia

I’m not going to die from it…but you might.

I wanted to share with you that I have been self-diagnosed with misophonia.

In case you haven’t heard of it, misophonia means “hatred of sound.” And boy, do I have a case of that. A serious one.

The other night, I got a little tipsy off pinot grigio as I am wont do to, and started researching volunteer opportunities because what I really need right now is to be working for free. That story is irrelevant, however I had to go to the library to print off a paper because of it so I stayed there to do a little work.

Shortly thereafter, a gentleman sat down nearby and he wasn’t alone. He was accompanied by a huge wad of gum and was open-mouthed chewing like some kind of sloppy barbarian monster. He was four empty chairs down from me, but he may as well have been an inch from my face. My fight or flight response kicked in, and since I didn’t want to make a giant scene right after getting my new library card by launching across the table at him like a rabid jungle cat, Cady Heron style, I immediately packed up and ran the hell outta there.

My journey with misophonia doesn’t start there, nor does it end there. I have been suffering in silence for years.

The first memory I have of this being a problem was around middle school when my family went on a trip to an amusement park. We got a hotel room so we could ride roller coasters nonstop for two whole days and eat deli sandwiches in the parking lot. That night, everyone was snoring so loudly I wanted to smother them all with pillows, but took my blanket and pillow and went and slept in the cold bathtub instead. I would also creep into my brother’s room at night to turn his TV off after he fell asleep, and I would throw silverware at him when he chewed or breathed too loudly. I’ve also been known to remove clocks from rooms, as well as remove batteries from clocks.

I’m writing this today on very little sleep, having been awake between 12am and 5am because my neighbor got a new television and lets it play all night long. I haven’t slept in days. I actually hate the muffled TV noise more than what I can only assume is the pornography studio happening elsewhere in my building. I just have to tough these paper thin walls out for 9 more months!

It’s a serious thing, and there are many triggers.

Sounds that make me want to murder you:

When you chew gum
When I chew gum
TV noise
Soup slurping
Lip smacking
Clock ticking
Snoring
My cat licking herself
Whistling
Humming
Singing
Loud breathing
Nail biting
Foot tapping
Other things that are just waiting to be uncovered

I rage silently within myself and bottle my anger, and I’m afraid some day I may burst. Either from that or from all the Chipotle I’ve been eating. We’ll see what gets to me first.

As far as I know, there is no cure for this debilitating disease, and there are very few treatment options. One such option, adding more ambient noise to the environment, may also be another trigger for me. I downloaded a white noise app to try to drown out my neighbor’s TV noise, but the fake rain just drove me equally as psychotic (I usually find a soft thunderstorm to be very lulling) and I tried to listen through the thunder to see if the TV noise was still there. It was.

The biggest issue for misophonia suffers like myself is that there has been very little research done on the condition. I believe it could be genetic, as I know others in my family suffer from it as well. Now, I don’t believe in the power of prayer, but I sure would appreciate yours while we wait for a cure. In the meantime, I’m considering putting together a 5K or a local support chapter. At the very least, that will quench my thirst for more unpaid work.

Peace be with you. Because it is not with me.