Small fish

October 26, 2014

I spent last week in New York, starting my new job at BuzzFeed!

NYC Oct 2014

New Balances | The Rewm

NYC Oct 2014

NYC Oct 2014

NYC Oct 2014

I really can’t say enough good things about BuzzFeed; everyone is incredibly nice and friendly, and the company takes really good care of their employees. I am SO excited to be a part of it all, but I was still pretty nervous last week. At my last two jobs, I’ve been the only writer at a very small startup, but now I’m in an organization with so many people, most of whom do the exact same thing I do (and do it very well). That’s not a bad thing at all (and I had a ton of wonderful Oh, these are my people! moments), but it’s still pretty intimidating.

But you know what experience actually best prepared me for this first week at BF? Greek life. (Yeah, remember this story the next time you hear reports of a fraternity buttchugging whilst wearing blackface!) There were so many times last week when I had the same overwhelmed/excited/intimidated/new girl feeling I had during my first year in Sigma Kappa; it’s a feeling of being proud that you were chosen…but then actually getting there and seeing exactly how many people are in the organization, and realizing that they all have these pre-established relationships, and not many of them know who you are or what you’re all about. The recurring thoughts of “Do I belong here?” “Yes, I surely belong here!” “But maybe I don’t!” coupled with the oddness of being around a ton of people who totally speak your language and all kind of dress alike…plus the onslaught of activities, information, new friends, new gear, and food (SO MUCH FOOD!)…was all just very, very familiar. And that familiarity was reassuring! Knowing that I became such a part of it all by my senior year at MSU was so helpful when I felt like a small fish in a big pond this week.

Despite my small fish feels, it was a pretty great week overall! I had a lot of fun with my new coworkers and published my first official BuzzFeed post. (On vintage vibrators, no less!) I think this job is going to be amazing, plus I got to see some of my old friends, and Eric arrived in NYC on Wednesday. He’s only been to New York once, on a class trip, more than 10 years ago. (Does that even count? I don’t think it does.) The weather was pretty nasty on Wednesday and Thursday and his days were really filled with interviews, which meant we couldn’t go out and do quite as much as I’d hoped. That said, I think we did OK!

Whenever we go to a new city, Eric always ends up with a little time to go what we call “urban hiking”—basically just walking around the city and exploring on his own. This time, he did that en route/in between to his interviews and he kiiiiiiiind of overdid it; according to his Fitbit, he walked more than 20 miles over the course of two days. (Even in the rain! Which: Is he crazy?!) The downside is that he wasn’t walking through the most charming/lovely parts of NYC, and it got dark so early that our evening adventures weren’t as good at giving you that “Oh, this is why people love New York City!” feeling. (The other downside is that he ended up with shin splints and blisters and is now basically immobile.)

Here were some of the non-work highlights (which, unsurprisingly, mostly involved food) from the trip…

– Drinks/foodstuffs/catching up with a friend at Parker & Quinn.

– One too many margaritas with a friend at Teqa. I experienced my hangover not the next morning, but between approximately midnight and 4 AM…I’m not sure if this is a better or worse way to do it? Ugh.

[A brief detour: the friend I had margaritas with was actually the friend who was the recipient of this email. And who, in 2012, texted me that he was hanging out with his friend who I didn't know, but who had just been telling him about this funny blog she read—my blog!—and then they realized he knew me IRL. So then they were looking through my blog together and suddenly he texted me "Lesson #103...?" and I didn't even have to check; I knew exactly what lesson he was reading BECAUSE OF COURSE HE CLICKED ON THE ONE THAT WAS ABOUT HIM. I texted back, "UM, BULLSHIT THAT YOU JUST 'STUMBLED UPON THAT POST'" but he stood by his (OBVIOUSLY FAKE) story. Anyway, I saw him last fall for the first time in four years, and after a couple drinks, we addressed the elephant in the room and it was totally fine. Now I'm married, he's engaged, we're friends, and the moral here is that things have a way of working out, even after you confess your love to a friend, he responds by saying he thinks you're really "fun" (Twice! He called me "fun" TWICE!) but he's not feeling it, and then you tell the entire Internet about it.]

– Meeting up with one of Eric’s oldest (and funniest!) friends to watch the Royals game on Wednesday night.

– Taking a long walk through the city with Eric after we visited an apartment on Thursday night; it was way too far to walk back to the hotel, so eventually we hopped in a cab and then ate (delicious!) steak sandwiches from Tavern29 in bed when we got back.

– Lunch from Eataly (uh, twice).

– Having coffee with my former coworkers at the Ace Hotel.

– Having lunch with my new coworkers at CraftBar and drinks with them at 1200 Miles.

– Pizza with Eric and my friend/former NYC roommate at Motorino, which is actually just a few steps from our old apartment. This was probably the non-work highlight of the trip; dinner was so fun and Eric and I were able to walk there and back without getting drenched. It was the perfect way to end the trip.

Candy corn trail mix

October 18, 2014

It’s that time of year again: time to make the Halloween trail mix I love so much!

Candy corn trail mix | The Rewm | To make, combine equal parts candy corn, peanuts, dried chopped dates, and dark chocolate chips

To make, just combine equal parts candy corn, peanuts, dried chopped dates, and dark chocolate chips.

Candy corn trail mix | The Rewm | To make, combine equal parts candy corn, peanuts, dried chopped dates, and dark chocolate chips

It’s delicious, and it’s the only way to make candy corn even remotely edible.

Pioneer Farms

October 16, 2014

Last weekend, it was quite nice in Houston and I was craving some fall activity. Since the pumpkin patches are all geared toward people with children and there isn’t a cider mill within a half-day’s drive of here (when I did a Google search for cider mills near Houston, Google—who knows my exact location and everything about me—told me to go to Uncle John’s in Michigan, to which I responded, “DON’T YOU THINK I WANT TO, GOOGLE?”), Eric and I took a little road trip to Pioneer Farms in Austin.

Pioneer Farms

From what I saw on the Pioneer Farms website, I was expecting (or hoping for) something like Crossroads Village, which is like Colonial Williamsburg lite in Michigan. It’s loads of historic fun (or at least it was the last time I went there, in 1995). In reality, Pioneer Farms was…not nearly as good as Crossroads. It wasn’t terrible, and Eric and I had a lot of fun on our trip, but the place just sort of strange and disorganized. When we bought our tickets, the guy told us that he was also the blacksmith, but he was done for the day. (The website said the blacksmith demonstrations were from 10-3. It was 1:30.) And one got the impression that maybe the defunct farm machinery and the items and furniture in the restored houses weren’t exactly historically accurate…like maybe someone went to an antique store and was like, “Oh, that looks very pioneer-y!” and grabbed a bunch of kitchen stuff that was actually from the 1930s, not the 1870s. (If you think I’m being too harsh, consider that the master bedroom in the first house we went in had a mirror like this—still in the cardboard packaging!—leaning up against the wall in the master bedroom.) Their motto seemed to be “DGAF;” it left a lot to be desired, but that was all part of the adventure!

Pioneer Farms

Pioneer Farms

Pioneer Farms

Pioneer Farms

Pioneer Farms

It wasn’t all bad though. The highlight of the farm was, hands down, the collection of buggies and carriages from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Pioneer Farms

Well, that and the look on this naughty little donkey’s face as he decided to really make his presence known to us.

Pioneer Farms

I told you: DGAF.

Foodstuffs: Pumpkin Honey Butter

October 15, 2014

Photo by: The Kitchen McCabe

If you’re craving pumpkin foods right now, might I recommend this whipped cinnamon pumpkin honey butter from The Kitchen McCabe? I made some this week and it’s so good!

“The coffee that tastes like a candle”

October 13, 2014

I have been loving “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” lately, and his new segment on pumpkin spice lattes is no exception.

(I actually would love to drink a cable knit sweater spice latte.)

In other timely-segments-from-John-Oliver-news, How is Columbus Day still a thing?

Miss Michigan

October 10, 2014

I bought this “Midwest” T-shirt in August with a birthday gift card and it’s my favorite thing in my closet right now.


Always good to represent your roots!

MID-WEST t-shirt


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

October 9, 2014

Hourglass powder

After Jess wrote about her Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (and then I had a chance to see it on her pretty face in person) I went on a mission to find it myself. It’s only sold at traditional Sephora stores (which I found out after going to an Ulta and a JC Penney Sephora) and I went in with the intention of having them make me a sample so I could wear it for a few days and see if it was worth buying. I tested all the shades on my arm and liked the Dim Light the best, even though it felt like the least sexy one. (Would you rather be Ethereal, Luminous, or Dim?) But turns out, this is like the one Sephora product they do not make samples of. Learning that, I was like, “Eff it” and asked if someone could color match the new Bare Minerals liquid foundation for me, which I also wanted to try.

I ended up with the most knowledgeable and cool salesgal ever, and when I said that the Bare Minerals was a little too dewey for my taste, she suggested setting it with…the Hourglass powder! So I ended up right back where I started. And she actually suggested the Dim Light, despite its sad name. (She also said the Ambient Lighting Palette was the best bang-for-your-buck option, but I said I didn’t really plan to contour, to which she said, “THANK YOU!” and went on a little rant about how Kim Kardashian is making women believe they should be contouring daily.) The Dim Light did look lovely on my face, so I decided to splurge and buy it.

I’ve been using it for about a month, and I absolutely love it. My new routine is eyebrows, eyeliner, mascara, undereye concealer, and a little gel blush…then I put a little of the powder on an old Bare Minerals brush and apply it all over my face. The powder just softens everything a little and looks very glowy and healthy…basically, it’s an Instagram filter IRL. So: win!

VQR: The Price of Black Ambition

October 7, 2014

“I am thinking about success, ambition, and blackness and how breaking through while black is tempered by so much burden. Nothing exemplifies black success and ambition like Black History Month, a celebratory month I’ve come to dread as a time when people take an uncanny interest in sharing black-history facts with me to show how they are not racist. It’s the month where we segregate some of history’s most significant contributors into black history instead of fully integrating them into American history. Each February, we hold up civil-rights heroes and the black innovators and writers and artists who have made so much possible for this generation. We say, look at what the best of us have achieved. We conjure W. E. B. Du Bois, who once wrote, ‘The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men.’ We ask much of our exceptional men and women. We must be exceptional if we are to be anything at all.”

— Roxanne Gay in The Price of Black Ambition for VQR. This essay is on point and deeply moving; I was in tears. But then I pulled it together and did something I’ve been meaning to do since August: went to Amazon and bought Gay’s book Bad Feminist because I need more of her in my life.


October 7, 2014

This video is basically my favorite thing ever.

Skeet, skeet, skeet!

Foodstuffs: A fall dinner

October 7, 2014

Ancho turkey chili from Pinch of Yum

Photo by: Pinch of Yum

On Sunday night, Eric and I made a really good fall dinner: ancho turkey chili with cornbread and apple cider margaritas. The apple cider margarita recipe is an old favorite, but the chili recipe was new. It came together easily (I only had ONE coughing fit from inhaling jalapeño fumes, which is progress for me—next time, I’ll be smart and wear a surgical mask) and I subbed brown rice for the farro. We went to Whole Foods for the ancho chili powder and grabbed some cornbread from their bakery while we were at it.

The only thing about the chili that was, um…unusual, is how filling it was. Like…extremely, kind of strangely filling. Eric and I both took normal servings and topped the chili with cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. I was about nearly with my bowl when I suddenly realized that I was really full. Eric said he was too. We both stopped eating but over the next…rest of the night…we both just felt SO full. None of the ingredients were particularly unusual or new to us, so I cannot figure out we both felt like we had eaten twice as much. The chili was really delicious, but this was rather confusing.

Never one to give up on leftovers, I tried the meal again last night; I took a much smaller serving to start and paced myself, and it was fine. So maybe the first experience was just a weird fluke? Maybe the smaller bowl I used last night helped? I’m not sure. In any case, it’s a really good chili recipe, and probably a good option if you need a hearty lunch recipe to help you get through your afternoon.

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