11Mar

Sunday Frittata

fritatta2
Since our church service ends around 9:45 each Sunday morning the family is regularly placed in a dilemma about what we should eat. Should we go home? Should we try and find an open restaurant? It’s always a battle to decide where we are going to eat. Well, finally we’ve put an end to the back-and-forth and decided from now on we’ll go home to make a late breakfast. I can’t believe that the plan has actually worked so far! Both Sunday’s since we started, I’ve made a Breakfast Frittata. I had heard the name tossed around but I never really knew what the dish was (or looked like) before I started watching Master Chef! After seeing all the delicious frittata’s being made on the show I decided I’d try my hand at making this delectable breakfast food. The  recipe basically consists of Sauteing your vegetables (spinach, onions, ham, bacon, potatoes, etc.), adding your egg mixture, cooking it on the stove for a while, then putting it in the oven for about 15 minutes. It’s super easy, and quite delicious if I do say so myself! I’ll definitely be keeping you guys updated on my other breakfast experiments each week! Any good breakfast recipes?
fritatta

16Feb

Monster Movie Marathon

Rachel,

I’m dedicating this post to you because you inspired me to make this movie marathon weekend. I still remember coming home from a tiring day of school to the most adorable card with a sombrero and a sparkly piñata saying “Mexican Themed Weekend!”. Last week, while I was missing you, I was inspired to host a Monster’s Inc. Marathon for Maddie and Megan with “monster pretzels” and “monster tea”. To be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for pulling it off just like I imagined! Friday, when we got home from school, Mom and Dad had already left for their Valentines stay at the Astor hotel. So I whipped up the giant soft pretzels while we watched ‘The Road to Eldorado’ in the kitchen. While the pretzel dough was rising we ate a quick dinner of ramen and fried rice. After the whirlwind of baking the pretzels we carried our warm crispy pretzels and giant Arizona tea upstairs to watch ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ and ‘Monster’s University’.

To be honest, I have just watched too many serious romance and action films lately, so it was really refreshing to see some light-hearted Disney movies! I know you have been having a difficult week, but I would encourage you to take a break, and just like you suggested to me – give yourself the chance to relax. I would totally recommend one of the following movies: ‘Frozen’ (adorable like ‘Tangled’), ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ (the oldy), or ‘Monster’s University’ (if you want to laugh).

Our Monster Movie Marathon was not complete without you – we all miss you so much!
Thanks for teaching me how to be a better older sister!
xoxo, Jessie

Monster Tickets
Pretzles1
Pretzles2
Arizona

15Feb

Called Me Higher

Lately I have wrestled with a perception of how ambition and motivation play a role in my life. It may be the fact that New Year’s goals are still resonating in my mind, or it could stem from my life here at CMU among passionate, high-achieving students. Whatever it may be, this song by “All Sons and Daughters” is such a clear representation of  how I feel. It is both unsettling and humbling to assess the ways that I have fallen short in this area. How many times have I “settled” for completion instead of striving for excellence? Too many to count.

All of this reminds me of swim team in Kansas City. I remember Grant urging us to shoot for our “best” effort in everything that we put our hands to (whether that be surging through water, academic learning, etc.).  I truly hope this song encourages you, also, to strive for *excellence in the pursuits that are present in your own lives.

10Feb

Weekend Snapshots

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Studio class is extremely intriguing this semester. The above poster is a set of 40 symbols that were created by my classmates. These symbols- made of simple geometric shapes- were developed to replace our generation’s commonly used lingo. For example, this set of symbols can be used as an alternative form of texting language. The language includes words such as JK, you, me, where, LOL, lets talk, etc.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I created the symbol for “home,” which, I admit, is quite appropriate for my personality and tendencies in particular, as I am a major “home body.” And anyways, home is definitely where my heart is, so I had lots of fun with this one. To break it down, my symbol is made up of three basic shapes: a square, a circle, and a triangle. The square signifies structure, foundation, and shelter. The circle represents wholeness, center of being, or “home base.” Finally, the triangle and its orientation illustrates home as a place that we “return to.” Wayne, one of our Studio teachers pushed me to differentiate from  the typical “house” image commonly seen as a symbol for home. I am thankful for his firmness because it influenced me to push past my limit and get creative with this assignment.

 

Phase two of this project focused on using  dynamic crops within our symbol to create patterns. Our teachers have been trying to train our eyes so that we can see and understand images that have depth, movement, and personality. The process has been tough to say the least because I do not naturally think so critically about simple graphics.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Drawing studio has focused on the idea of dynamic curves and shapes (as you can tell from the below examples). For the last two weeks, we’ve been traveling through an exploration process of seeing, feeling, and understanding how lines move. I was up last night working on four boards that illustrate these explorations. Our teacher, Mark, gave us three hypothetical stories to represent the form that movement encompasses. We then explored these stories by drawing topographical terrain where lines travel up and down the landscape to represents the paths of characters in our story.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am currently looking a lot less “bright and cheery,” (sitting at my desk after a four hour sleep night) than this photo taken last week. However, I’ve received so many texts from all of you over the last day/night encouraging me that you are praying for peace and productive work. Those messages are priceless. Thank you for all of your support. I love you guys! 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

09Feb

Snowy Photos

mj
Yesterday it finally snowed… hooray! So Jessie and I took the opportunity to have a little photo shoot! We had a relaxing breakfast of coffee and toast and then bundled up for our little activity. Although, it was crazy cold, I am so glad we were able to get these shots!

jessie9
maddie3jessie3
maddie1
jessie7
Michael & Rachel,
I can’t tell you how much I’ve been missing our Christmas break together (Sanya post coming soon). This 春节 (Chinese New Year) break has been a lot quieter than in the past! I know we’ll be seeing each other soon though and in the meantime let’s dwell on my ultimate favorite verse, Lamentations 3:31-33 :: ”For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” No matter what struggle, stress, or frustration you’re going through, God is and will be with you! I love you guys so so so much (this goes for you too, Jessie :]).
maddie4
jessie4
jessie25
maddie2

23Jan

Strip District, Pittsburgh

IMG_6128
Remembering our bucket-listing events early last summer, I thought you would appreciate this wintery outing I took in December. Jillian, John and I bussed downtown to the “Strip District,” to join the Saturday-morning bustle.
IMG_6131
Our first stop was La Prima Espresso Company for lattes. We were particularly excited to visit this coffee shop because it has a spot on Carnegie Mellon Campus, and we were anxious to visit the “base camp” per say.
IMG_6143

IMG_6137

IMG_6160
After enjoying our morning coffee run, we walked strolled the district’s characteristic farmers markets, fish markets, and Asian super markets. Often stopping into small shops along the way, we experienced fresh bread at an Italian bakery, a cigar-smoking-ritual in a dark parlour, Christmas wreath-lined street corners, and, of course, the beautiful Pittsburgh snow.

IMG_6239

IMG_6250

IMG_6243

IMG_6230
IMG_6282
We took a pitstop at one particularly adorable Italian bakery. The business had a street-front building filled with mountains…

IMG_6265

and mountains…

IMG_6278

of biscotti! …behind the biscotti palace, a small alleyway brought us to a cozy cafe serving breakfast and coffee.

IMG_6173

IMG_6129

IMG_6211