Monday, October 29, 2012

I Love Harry Potter Link Up

This link up is on, like, week five, but I just found it and I'm STOKED to join in because if there's one thing I'm a huge fan of that isn't Star Wars it's Harry Potter.

1. If you could ask J.K. Rowling to explain something about the Harry Potter world further, what would it be?
The whole Horcrux thing. Especially Harry as a Horcrux. He didn't die when the Killing Curse rebounded off him when Voldemort tried to kill him, but it killed the part of the Horcrux, which shouldn't have happened because the curse rebounded because of the Elder Wand? If it killed Voldemort's soul fragment, that means it should have worked and they both would've died.

2. What's your best guess of what animal your patronus would be?
A beluga whale! They're my favorite animal and they're just super adorable.

(source: Google Images)

3. Have you noticed any inconsistencies within the books that you'd like J.K. Rowling to explain? (In other words, any errors)
When Harry, Hermione, and Ron get caught by the Snatchers, Hermione says she's Penelope Clearwater in order to try and escape them. Penelope is a muggle-born, so she wouldn't have been able to escape anyway - and she should have known Penelope was a muggle-born, since Penelope was petrified by the basilisk back in 2nd year.

4. Are you on Pottermore/what's your username? I think it would be fun to all add each other as friends if we're on there :)
Yes! I'm Runestone110. Yay Ravenclaw!!

5. Have you ever been to a midnight release of the movies or books?
I've been to the midnight release of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and both DH films. I never went to the midnight releases of the books because I preordered them online and they arrived to my house the day they released!

6. Have you read The Tales of Beedle the Bard?
Yes! I own it, along with "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Throughout the Ages".

7.What would you see looking at yourself in the mirror of erised?
Me, with the BF and my closest friends - all happy and together. I think keeping in contact with my friends is something I would truly want to see myself doing. Careers and locations are all relative so long as you have good company!

Annd let me say that I'm currently looking to SWAP ad space with other blogs. My swapping page is here and you can email me at for the FREE promo code!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"It's Ok" Thursday!

I'm so glad the weekend is finally here (I don't have Friday classes). That means the Halloween party is almost upon us! I'm so excited. Anyway! I'm linking up with "That's OK" again, so here we go!


... that I put off an entire week's worth of cleaning to do tonight.

... that having registered for my final semester of classes feels a little bittersweet.

... that I didn't put enough forethought into my Halloween costume and I'm going to be freezing my tail off at the bonfire Saturday night.

... that I'm going to miss this little guy while I'm gone:

... to feel a little lost as to what direction I want to take this blog in.

... to have JUST NOW discovered the epicness that is DOCTOR WHO. I just finished Series 1 and I'm hooked!

And that's it! I hope you all have a great day and weekend! :]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recipes | Steak!

So I mentioned before that the BF and I just recently celebrated our third anniversary and that I made us a steak dinner to celebrate. I know cooking steak isn't rocket science, but I wanted to share how I prepare my steaks!

First, we bought the steak at Wal-mart. I decided to try their new "premium quality" USDA Choice steak in the black packages they've been touting in commercials lately. We bought NY strip - two steaks that totaled around 1.2lbs, for about $16 bucks. Let me preface this all with saying that I'm actually pretty picky when it comes to steak.

And now let me tell you - these babies were delicious.

First, I let them come to room temp and then seasoned them up. No fancy steak seasoning or anything like that. I'm a big fan of my steak tasting like steak and pretty much nothing else. So just salt, pepper, and a little dash of sugar.

Then, I melted some butter in my pan, let it melt, and then tossed the steaks in. I cooked them on both sides and they turned out looking like this:

I apologize for the poor picture quality. I had to use my phone because I couldn't find my camera. But those steaks still look pretty tasty, don't they?

To finish them off, I went the totally unhealthy route and dropped a little dab of butter on each steak and let it melt while they rested. (You want to let the meat rest for a little bit so the juices all redistribute and don't leak away when you cut into it.) I realized I should have taken a picture of the inside (a glorious pink), but I realized that as we were finishing them off and so by then it was too late. ;]

These steaks were SO good. They were tender and cooked to how I like them - which is a change from when I go out. Most restaurants hand me medium-well steaks and that's just terrible. The price beat the heck out of us going to some fancy restaurant, too.

My Easy Steak "Seasoning"
black pepper
white pepper

You'll notice I don't have any measurements - that's because I don't measure. :/ I just eyeball most of my seasonings. I would say maybe a tablespoon of salt and the peppers, and maybe 1/4 tablespoon of sugar, mix it all together and then distribute over the steaks.

How I Cook My Steak
4 tbs butter

Haha, not much to it. Place your pan over medium heat and melt two tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter has melted completely, place the steak into the pan. Don't touch the steak once you've placed it in the pan, just let it sit and cook so it can get nice and brown (because as Food Network Chef Anne Burrell says "Brown food tastes good!"). Let the steak go for 3-4 minutes before flipping it over and then let it cook for about another 3 minutes.

This is how long I cooked mine and it came out on the rarer side of medium. If you want yours cooked medium-well or well, just leave it in the pan longer. A good way to test your steak is to press your finger into the meat and if it springs back, it's done.

Once you've taken the steak out of the pan, set it aside and place the remaining butter on them (1 tbs each). Let the butter melt and the steak rest for about five minutes. And voila!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday 10


Happy Tuesday, everyone. Today I have for you another link up!


01. I'm obsessed with information. Seriously. I go to Wikipedia and read random articles for fun. Even the long ones. I watch NatGeo and Discovery Channel more than any other. I read non-fiction books - not even because someone made me! I love to learn and I have committed more brain space to random facts than is strictly normal, I'm sure.

02. I love conspiracy theories. Especially those surrounding the Kennedys (Jack and Bobby, specifically). In fact, I'm writing a paper on it now. I also love the alien conspiracies! Conspiracy culture is super interesting. No really.

03. I'm a huge scifi fan. Specifically Star Wars. Want to know what a nerf is? What TIE stands for in TIE fighters? Or why Chewie never spoke Basic? I can totally tell you. But I also love stuff like The X-Files, Firefly, etc.

04. I love steak. Well, meat in general! And make it medium-rare, plz. I don't understanding vegetarians and vegans. The human species is omnivorous and it is my goal in life to totally take advantage of that evolutionary gift by eating as much steak, ribs, bacon, etc as possible.

05. I love animals. I really love sharks, rays, whales, dolphins, and other marine animals. I originally wanted to be a marine biologist before falling into history. I also love puppies - really, I'm obsessed with them.

06. I'm a Disney fanatic. I grew up in Orlando, FL where my family had annual passes to the parks, and we watched the animated films and the old cartoons all the time. While I don't care for modern Disney Channel crap (because yes, that's what it is), I ADORE the theme parks. I'm hoping to get back soon.

07. I want to spend the night in a haunted location. I love the idea of ghosts and hauntings (I loved Paranormal Activity) and it just sounds like an awesome experience to have.

08. I'm obsessed with AMC's "The Walking Dead", Showtime's "Game of Thrones", and I've got a crush on Syfy's Josh Gates, who hosts "Destination Truth". Yeah, that's 3 shows, but it's all TV related so it goes into one fact! But seriously, I would run away with Josh Gates and we could search for the Yeti and the Lochness monster and ghosts together. Because that sounds like THE best job ever.

09. I love to organize. I drive the BF crazy with my organizing (and reorganizing) and all of my lists. But I just love it. I love putting things in order, it's super fun for me!

10. I desperately want to travel abroad. I went to France when I was 16 and I want to go back to Europe. I REALLY want to travel to Australia and New Zealand, and I'd love to see Egypt and South Africa.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Doggie Dino and Talking Belugas

I had intended to post a recipe today, but today quickly vanished in classes, a nap that lasted longer than it was supposed to (but was still awesome), and watching the final Presidential Debate.

Oh, and listening to a beluga whale mimic human speech. It's adorable. Seriously. Yet another reason why they're my favorite whale!

SO - though I have no recipe for you all, I do want to share my fur-baby, Ahab, looking ridiculously cute in this year's Halloween costume.

He was so excited to wear it!

He won't be trick-or-treating this year, but he will get a visit from his "grandparents" this weekend when they come up to dogsit for us. The BF and I are having our 3rd Annual Halloween Party down at their place because a) it's closer to all our friends and b) they own a lot of land and we're having a bonfire - which is totally against the rules in our tiny apartment complex.

Do you guys have any plans for Halloween?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Social: Deep Thoughts

Happy Sunday, everyone! I'm linking up again with this week's Sunday Social, which is "Deep Thoughts"!

Deep Thoughts with Ashley and Neely

1. What do you value most in life?
The love of those who are closest to me and knowledge. I feel like with those two things, I can do anything.

2. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?
The internet, of course. If we didn't have the internet, what good would smartphones be? And how would be I be able to blog (and also feed my addiction to Pinterest and Wikipedia)?

3. What do you think is the secret to a good life?
Knowing when to laugh and when to take things seriously - finding the balance between the two. And also sleep. Lots of it. And puppies.

4. What would you most like to be remembered for when you’re gone?
I would want to be remembered for my personality, my sense of humor, and as someone with intellect, someone who could keep an open mind in all things.

5. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
Well, it hasn't happened yet - but I'll be graduating college in May and completely my higher education is incredibly important to me!

6. If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Hmm, Maybe Kaley Cuoco

She's the only actress I can think of right with eyes that are close to being as big as mine. :/ And also, she's super adorable and I'm a huge fan of "The Big Bang Theory".... so yeah. The internet always suggests Emma Watson as a celeb who looks like me, but she's got brown eyes AND she's a baby.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Our 3rd Anniversary

So, yesterday was the third anniversary for the BF and I! We're broke, so I knew we wouldn't be doing anything special, but I was surprised when the BF turned up with these:

Flowers! It's been a while since flowers have graced our tiny apartment.

Typically for our anniversary and for birthdays, we like to go out to a nice dinner instead of giving gifts. Again, due to budget, that was off the table. INSTEAD, I decided to make us dinner. We splurged and bought some steaks and let me tell you - they. were. delicious. And so much bigger than what any steakhouse would offer for the same price. I'll be posting recipes from the dinner later!

I wanted to take this post to talk about the BF a little because, well, I love him a lot. :]

The BF and I! (Before we started dating.)

So I've known the BF for a grand total of about 5+ years. We were friends before we started dating and, in my opinion, that's the best way to fall in love - with your best friend.

The BF and I met through my BFF, who happens to be his older sister. Backstory Time! I've known my BFF since we were little. We were both in the Gifted Program in elementary school and then we were college room mates at UGA for a few years. But I didn't actually meet the BF until he came up to visit his sister - and even then, we didn't really talk until I transferred schools to where he was going after the BFF graduated and we ended up taking classes together. We ended up really good friends from there, but didn't start dating until a few years later.

We started dating in 2009, which also happens to be when we rescued our baby, Ahab:

These past three years have been some of the most hectic, but they've been some of my favorites, too. I've met fabulous new friends thanks to the BF, and I cannot stress how absolutely wonderful the family is that both the BF and my BFF come from. I couldn't ask for better people in my life.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Politics - Do Your Research!

I was going to keep away from politics because I understand that it makes some people uncomfortable, but then I thought... this is my blog and, really, as a historian-in-training, I feel I would be amiss not to talk about something that is so important. Politics drive history and as someone who is going to spend their life's work teaching history, I want to talk about history-type things from time to time.

And presidential election? That's history in the making. I just can't ignore it. If there's anything worth talking about, shouldn't it be the future of your country? Someday, you might have a grandchild who wanted to know how you felt and what you thought about the Obama/Romney Election of 2012 and -

I digress.

The point of this post is not to tell you to vote for a specific candidate or anything like that. The point is to tell you that a) go vote, but b) INFORM YOURSELF IN THE ISSUES FIRST.

We have the internet. Use it and abuse it. Politico, MSNBC, CNN, Huffington Post, BBC (not American, but really helpful), and any variety of fact-checking websites. The majority of these are bipartisan or unaffiliated/unbiased and report FACTS not rhetoric. You should be choosing a candidate based on their policies and nothing more - don't trust debates, because candidates LIE.

I strongly suggest

This is a little test that provides you with a list issues and the stances of ALL the candidates (even the third party ones). You pick which stance you agree with most (it doesn't tell you which candidate/party supports which stance, so you won't be swayed that way). At the end, it gives you percentages of who you side most with (from Obama to Romney to third party candidates like Johnson). (THESE are my results - I'll admit that I didn't even know who some of the third party candidates were until I took this test, it was super informative and cool.)

Because at the end of the day, it shouldn't matter if someone is Republican or Democratic or Libertarian, or if they're Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, or Muslim. What matters is where they stand on the issues that affect this country and whether or not they stand where YOU stand on said issues.

I will confess that I identify most with Left-leaning parties, but I would never commit to being Democrat or whatever, because I might not always stand with a Democrat candidate. After all, the Democratic Party was originally founded by Andrew Jackson and we all know where he stood on certain issues.

So I hope I don't scare anyone away with my political ramblings. In my history classes, I've been in the 1960s-1970s for months and so I blame the need to post this on all the mojo coming off those decades. :]

AND to end on something totally random:

TODAY is my third anniversary with the BF. Yay! I made steak and it was delicious.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recipes | Basic Beans

Okay so I'm finally getting around to posting about something I'm really super passionate about - food and cooking! When I first decided I wanted to do a blog, I wanted to heavily feature recipes and food experiences. Midterms has made it difficult to actually have the time to cook, but now that they're over, I actually made dinner tonight!

Okay, so that's not all we ate. We had chicken and corn, too, but these are what I wanted to talk about.

I don't come from a family of cooks. At all. So I'm a completely self-taught cook. I learned by watching the Food Network and by Googling the fool out of recipes and any question I could think of. Something I didn't really know anything about?

Black-eyed peas and lima beans.

In my family, the cooking technique for these guys was simply dump the can into the pot and boil for hours. Which meant a pile of mush at the end, which meant I was never a fan of eating them.

But now that I'm on my own, I buy these babies frozen (they taste fresher this way). They look like this:

Anyway, the point of this (longwinded) post was to offer up how I prepare these everyday staples. It's absolutely nothing fancy and definitely nothing outside of the box, but I never knew how to do this and so I figure that maybe some beginning cook out there might be wondering the same thing I did when I first bought these, which was:

How the heck do I make these not taste like mush?

Basic Black-Eyed Peas
2 cups frozen black-eyed peas
4 cups water
1 slice of raw bacon
2 tbs chopped white onion
2 tbs chopped green bell pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste

In the pot you'll be boiling your beans in, go ahead and dice up your uncooked bacon and toss it in. When it's mostly cooked, dump in your onion and pepper and cook for about 1-2 minutes more - until the onions are turning translucent. Next, add in your beans, mix to combine them with the onion/pepper/bacon mixture and then add in the four cups of water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.

I live by the "fork-tender" rule here. Cook them until the water is mostly evaporated and then check the beans. If they're fork-tender (you can easily slide a fork through them), they're done. If they aren't, just add more water and cook them down until they are. Salt and pepper to taste (and, if you're like the BF, add in a healthy dose of hot sauce) and voila! Black-eyed peas that aren't mushy and bland!

Basic Lima Beans
2 cups frozen lima beans
4 cups water
Salt & Pepper to taste

This recipe is even easier than the previous! Just dump the beans into the pot, add the water, and bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Use the fork-tender test again here - just let the water cook down, check the beans and if they're fork-tender, they're done and if they aren't, just add water and let them cook down some more. Once they're finished, add salt and pepper to taste (I add a little white pepper along with the black).

And there you have it! Hopefully these recipes will help someone out there.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Social: Books!

1. What is your favorite childhood book?
I read SO many books as a kid that this would be impossible to choose! One book I remember clearly is Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. I had to read it when I was in kindergarten and I remember it being the first "not-a-picture-book" that I actually liked.

Though I was always a huge fan of Dr. Seuss books, too!

2. What is your favorite book lately?
Hmm, the latest book I read was actually part of a series, so I'd say that most recently, The "Tomorrow Series" by John Marsden! It's a series of seven books and it chronicles a group of teenagers who survive the invasion of their country (Australia).

3. What is the book you wish you could live in?
I would love to live in the world of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling! Who wouldn't love to have a wand and be able to use magic!

4. If you could be any character from a book, who would it be and why?
I'd like to be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. Being super smart like her would be awesome! And just saying... having a time turner would make my school work SO much easier. Though, I think I would've chosen Harry over Ron...

5. What is your favorite book turned movie?
"The Lord of the Rings" trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien is, hands down, my favorite author ever. While the movies strayed quite far from the books in some places, Peter Jackson still made them absolutely EPIC and I love them. They're some of my favorite movies ever as well.

6. What is your favorite magazine?
I don't read a lot of magazines, but I love flipping through "Better Homes and Gardens" for all the pretty decor and garden ideas. And I also loooove looking through "The Food Network Magazine" for lots of food ideas!

And a Happy Birthday to Amanda @ Tales From a FAR!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"It's OK" Thursday!

So I've never done a link up, but I thought I would give it a try!

IT'S OK...

... to be nervous that this is my first link up here in the blog world!

... that I probably totally bombed my Cold War midterm because

... that I'm kind of addicted to gifs. They're awesome, okay?

... to crave Panera's Pumpkin Spice Lattes like there's no tomorrow. Yeah, I'm addicted.

... that just when I was finally getting over being sick... the BF got sick and then got ME sick again.

... to miss your friends when you live so far away from them.

*This gif isn't mine. I didn't make it. I took it from the internet at this place called Google Search.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sick as a Dog

Okay, so I don't really know what that expression means but I really HAVE been super sick. We had a long weekend with Monday and Tuesday off and I had the privilege of spending the whole time plagued with a terrible sinus infection. A metric ton of tissue, and 3/4 a bottle of Equate-equivalent Nyquil later and I'd say I'm about 80% better. So this weekend was spent lying in bed and mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest, watching Food Network, and going through the whole series of the BBC show "Misfits". Not productive at all.

At least I wasn't the only one who had a bad weekend. Ahab had it rough, too. He got a bath.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Jandy's is my Jam!"

... so sayeth the BF and I have to say - I totally agree with him. Jandy's Frozen Yogurt just opened up not far from our apartment and we had to try it out.

Can you believe it's already getting dark at 7:45pm?!

The place is SO bright and cute. Totally minimal, which I really like.

The BF's is on the left, mine is on the right.
The BF's choices: Triple Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and White Chocolate Mousse with M&Ms, Reese Pieces, Cheesecake bites, and Sprinkles!
My choices: Cheesecake, White Chocolate Mousse, Cookies and Cream, and Cinnamon Bun with Sprinkles and Cheesecake bites!

Talk about DELICIOUS! I've always been an ice cream-over-frozen yogurt girl, but this stuff is fabulous. Do you have a preference?

And now, onto the Presidential Debates! Is anyone else watching them?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


So I'm going to finally get around to posting stuff from the little vacay I took with the BF, the BFF, and their family. (Backstory: the BFF is the BF's older sister. We went to school together and were college roomies for a while.)

First stop: Andersonville National Historic Site

Seeing we're both History majors and we're both enrolled in the same classes (small college ftw), the BF and I have been tasked with giving a lecture on POWs in the Vietnam in one of our courses. Seeing as a trip to D.C. to see the Vietnam War Memorial is out of the budget, we decided to pay a visit to the National POW Museum instead, as it so happened to be on the way to Florida, where our real vacation awaited (more on that later).

Some background in case you didn't know: "The Camp Sumter military prison at Andersonville was one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. During the 14 months the prison existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here. Of these, almost 13,000 died here. Today, Andersonville National Historic Site is a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation's history." (thanks, Andersonville website!)

After you walk through the museum, you can head out to look at the area where the POWs were kept. This is what greets you when you walk out the doors.

The BF taking a stroll.

Some cannons.

A recreation of the wall of the POW camp.

This is recreation of the living conditions the POWs found themselves in.

This is the statue that marks the entrance to the national cemetery for the POWs. The inscription on the bottom reads "'Turn you to the stronghold ye prisoners of hope.' Zechariah 9:12"

There were literally graves everywhere.

The museum itself is really interesting. They have a lot of artifacts from all the wars - Civil War, World Wars I & II, Vietnam, etc. - even some stuff from Iraq, I think. It's very informative, really well done, and just definitely something worth seeing if you're in the area. It's absolutely free, too, which is a bonus. So if you're ever down in South Georgia, I definitely recommend taking the trip out to Andersonville. Especially if you're a war buff or just a history nerd like me!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Graduation Application

So... today I turned in my application for graduation! Huzzah! That means that, short of some sort of catastrophe, I will be an official college graduate in May 2013. Huzzah again!

Dalton State College is where I'll be getting my degree from. And what degree is that? A BA in History! Which is a far cry from my original major of Marine Science back when I enrolled at the University of Georgia in 2003 (yes, it was THAT long ago). I've shuffled through a handful of major changes before I finally settled on History and I'm pleased with the decision to stick with this one. And NOT just because it means I'll finally be done with college. I believe history is incredibly important, not just in helping us know where we came from, but also in shaping where we're going.

With my application turned in, I'm finally getting all my ducks on a row for graduation. Okay... so that's actually just the first duck and there are a lot more to go, but whatever. Yay for graduating!