Friday, March 30, 2012

Mint Chocolate Muddy Buddies

Muddy Buddies are one of those classic childhood treats that everyone remembers enjoying as a kid.  Chocolate.  Peanut Butter.  Sugar.  Crunch.  The ingredients for a perfect snack.  Unfortunately though, more and more kids (and adults) are allergic to peanut butter these days, and Tall One's roommate happens to be one of those people.  Her allergies make it difficult to enjoy many desserts, so from time to time The Spatularettes like to put a new twist on an old recipe and make it nut free so Jess can enjoy it too.  Although chocolate and peanut butter might be the world's greatest sweet combination, we think mint and chocolate is a close second, and it proved to be true when we whipped up these Mint Chocolate Muddy Buddies!

-5 cups Rice Chex cereal
-2 cups (1 10 oz bag) chocolate chips
-2 tsp peppermint extract
-1 cup powdered sugar

Measure 5 cups of cereal into a large bowl and set aside.  Measure 1 cup of powdered sugar into a 1 gallon zip lock bag and set aside.

Over low heat on the stove top, melt together chocolate chips and peppermint extract.  Stir frequently to avoid burning.  When chocolate is smooth and melted, pour over the cereal and toss with a wooden spoon until Chex are evenly coated.  Immediately transfer the chocolatey cereal into the bag of powdered sugar and zipper the bag to seal.  Shake the bag until all of the cereal is coated in sugar.

To avoid making a big mess when serving your muddy buddies, we suggest shaking off the excess sugar in a sieve before transferring your final product to another bowl.

Snack time isn't just for kids anymore!

Tall and Small

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Hi guys!  Tall One here!  My birthday was yesterday and I turned the big 2-5!  It was a great day, full of lots of little surprises that reminded me just how many awesome people I have in my life!  It was the perfect way to kick off my 25th year and left me feeling very loved.

There is something about 25 that really feels like a milestone.  My early twenties proved to be a bit of a limbo between the carefree college years and the need to feel settled, which I'm sure will eventually hit me.  There have been some ups and downs but I've made it through the first half of my twenties and am now feeling (somewhat) prepared to start moving out of that limbo and to face adulthood head on. 
So much has happened over the last few years.  I graduated college, moved out of my parents' house, then moved across the state to a city where I knew no one.  I started my first real job, ran my first (and second) marathon, and learned to cook.  I’ve kept in touch with old friends, made new friends, and dated some interesting characters.  I’ve found a church I love, the perfect apartment, and started a blog.
As my birthday approached this year, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned as a result of these changes.  Sticking with the theme of our blog, I came up with a list of 25 things I know to be true about life, love, and the kitchen, and thought it would be fun to share them along with a few pictures from my birthday.
So how does a Spatularette celebrate her birthday?  Apparently with lots and lots of desserts!

1. Act the way you want to be treated.
2. Quality ingredients lead to quality meals. 
3. Be careful who and what you text.  It lasts forever.
 4. “God is good—always—even when I don’t get it.”
 5. Don’t be afraid to start over.
The first thing I see upon walking into work.
My co-workers decorated my desk.
6. Make time to pursue your passions.
 7. Good enough should never be good enough.
 8. It turns out my parents actually know what they are talking about.
 9. Cooking with friends (and wine) is more fun!
 10. The man should pay on the first date… no exceptions.
They also surprised me with a cake before lunch.
11. Happiness is a choice.
12. If you smell smoke, chances are you have a problem!
13. A cup of coffee can change your world.  So can a stiff drink.
14. Be your own best friend.
15. Prayer is powerful.
And with the cake came balloons.
16. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
17. Trust your instincts.
18. If you don’t like it, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
19. Recipes are overrated.  Be creative!
20. You should never have to convince someone that you are worth their time.
My friends brought cookie dough cupcakes to lunch to celebrate!
21. Change is a good thing.
22. Trust the Yelp reviews.
23. We are the product of our environment, so choose your friends wisely.
24. Never respond to a 2 AM text message.
25. Learn from your mistakes.  In life, in love, and in the kitchen.
To top off a great day, Small One took me out to dinner.
We went to Heirloom in Chestnut Hill and it was amazing!
...and yes that was my third dessert of the day :)
Tall One

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mojito Cupcakes

One night last week, while out for a couple drinks, one of The Spatularettes' friends ordered a mojito.  A classic summer drink, which given the beautiful weather in Philadelphia lately, proved to be quite appropriate.  Mint and lime, the main ingredients (well, besides the rum) in a mojito seem like a bit of an odd pair, but come together beautifully to create a refreshing drink. 

Our friend's cocktail order got us thinking about our next creation for the blog and the idea for mojito cupcakes was born.  We used a simple vanilla cupcake and topped it with swirled mint and lime frosting.  The colors were so festive that we served them for St Patrick's Day, but this cupcake recipe will be a winner all spring and summer long!

The cake recipe we used came from Ming Makes Cupcakes, which happens to be one of the first blogs The Spatularettes followed when we started cooking together.  The frosting recipe was loosely adapted from Tall One's new "Joy Of Cooking" cookbook.


-1 1/2 c flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 stick butter, softened
-1 c sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1/2 c milk

-1 stick butter, softened
-4 c powdered sugar
-2 tsp vanilla
-4 Tbs milk
-3 tsp lime juice
-1 tsp peppermint extract
-Green food coloring

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour baking powder and sugar.  Add butter, about 2 Tbs at a time, and mix until well combined.  Add sugar while continuing to mix.  Once sugar has been incorporated, add the eggs one at a time and beat until a thick batter forms.  Finally add vanilla and milk and beat for another minute or two, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Divide between 12 tins and bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While cupcakes cool, work on the frosting.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix until well combined.  Slowly add vanilla and milk and beat for another minute.  Divide frosting between 2 bowls.  Add peppermint extract to one bowl and the lime juice and green food coloring to the other bowl.  Mix both batches of frosting well.

To frost the cupcakes in the swirl pattern, you will need 3 disposable frosting bags and a large frosting tip.  Lay one of the bags on top of the other and snip equal sized medium segments off the tip of the bags.  Cut a large tip off of the third bag that is large enough to fit the frosting tip. 

Fill the first two bags, each with a different frosting.  Lay the bags side by side, and fit the frosting tip over both bags.  Try to insert them evenly.  Finally, gently slide the 2 bags and the tip into the third bag.  Twist the top of the bag to seal well and begin to apply pressure to frost the cupcakes.  The two colors of frosting should come out in equal stripes, creating the swirl effect.

The technique sounds complicated, but it is really quite easy once you get the hang of it.  This was our first time making swirled cupcakes and we were really happy with the results!

Not a fan of the mint/lime combo?  Try swirling your favorite 2 flavors!

Tall and Small

Friday, March 16, 2012

Breakfast Pizza

Looking for a hearty breakfast before heading out on the Erin Express (like Small One!) or the St. Patrick's Day adventure of your choice this weekend?  Hoping for something a little more American than the baked beans, warm tomato, and black pudding (which Tall One found out the hard way while traveling in Ireland, is actually dried, fried, pig's blood--yuck!) that are served with the traditional Irish breakfast?  Well, The Spatularettes have just the thing you are after!

This breakfast pizza is the perfect combination of the traditional American breakfast served up in a fun handheld manner.  And although it is the perfect staple to kick off a day of fun and festive debauchery, it's also pretty enough to serve to friends or family at brunch.  Or even better, prepare the toppings ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator to throw together a quick weeknight dinner!  No matter the time of day, you can't go wrong with breakfast pizza.


-Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
-Pizza sauce (we suggest a sweet sauce like this <link> one)
-Shredded mozzarella
-1/4 lb bacon
-1/2 onion, sliced into thin rings
-1/2 small potato, sliced very thinly
-2 eggs
-4 basil leaves, torn
-Garlic Salt
-butter, oil, or a butter substitute

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly dust a baking sheet with cornmeal, or grease it well to avoid sticking.

On the stove top, preferably in a cast iron skillet, fry bacon until done.  Don't allow it to get too crispy since it will finish cooking in the oven.  Once cooled, crumble bacon and set aside. 

Season potato slices with garlic salt and pepper.  Fry over medium heat for a couple minutes on each side.  Remove potatoes from heat once they are soft, but before they get crispy and turn into potato chips.  Once again, they will finish cooking in the oven.  Fry them in the leftover bacon grease, or in the butter or oil of your choice.  They should take about 2 minutes per side.  Use paper towels to removed excess grease and set aside.

While the bacon and potatoes are cooking, heat butter or oil in a separate pan.  Add onions and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until sweet and caramelized.  Set onions aside when finished.

On the counter top, roll dough out thinly.  We like to make these as personal pizzas so if you are using the Smitten Kitchen dough recipe that we like, it is the perfect amount for 2 individual pies.  Once dough is rolled to your liking, place it on the prepared baking sheet.

Top each crush with a few spoonfuls of sauce.  There are a lot of toppings coming, so we think it is better to just use a thin layer of sauce on this pizza.  Top each pie with 1/3 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Divide bacon, potatoes, and onions evenly and top each pizza, creating a thin, even layer of ingredients.  Gently crack an egg in the center of each pie, and finally sprinkle with fresh basil.

Bake pizzas for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the egg is done, but still slightly running.  Keep and eye on the pie while its in the oven, to keep your egg from overcooking.

Breakfast pizza is perfect for a weekend brunch with friends or for a weeknight dinner at home.

Tall and Small

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mini Pineapple Upsidedown Cakes

The Spatularettes.  Ever wonder what inspired our name?  We've dropped a few clues along the way and you may have picked up on those references.  But here's the truth... we have a mild major obsession with ABC's The Bachelor and spin off shows The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad.  Don't judge us, everyone is entitled to a guilty pleasure!  It turns out the biggest difference between Tall and Small and the contestants on the show, is that our love affair happens to be with food!

To properly celebrate our name (and our favorite guilty pleasure), we hosted a little Bachelor Finale/After The Final Rose watching party at Tall One's apartment last night with a few girlfriends.  We'll admit that this season of The Bachelor has been a little slow and anti-climatic, but Bachelor Ben's profession as a winemaker seemed to provide the perfect theme for a party.  C'mon, who wouldn't like a little wine tasting on a Monday night!?

Spatularettes--Will you accept this rose?

In classic Bachelor fashion, we started the evening off with a champagne toast, followed by a horseradish cheddar fondue for the first course.  The second course was make-your-own-salads with a zinfandel-chardonnay wine pairing.  Finally we served a dessert duo of South Of The Border Brownies (recipe coming soon) topped with vanilla ice cream and Mini Pineapple Upsidedown Cakes.  The dessert course was paired with a California Red Wine from Sonoma, which happens to be the region where Ben's winery can be found... how appropriate!

-16 oz can pineapple rings, drained and 2 Tbs juice reserved
-12 maraschino cherries, halved
-2 sticks butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-1 cup pineapple buttermilk**

**Ever seen those tricks to make your own buttermilk with lemon juice and milk?  That's actually an essential part of this recipe.  Measure 2 Tbs of the reserved pineapple juice into a liquid measuring cup.  Fill to the 1 cup line with milk and set aside.

(recipe is a hybrid of a couple of different cake recipes from Smitten Kitchen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 24 muffin tins and set aside.

Cut each pineapple slice into quarters.  Cut each quarter in half to form thin slices and set aside.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined.  On low speed, mix in pineapple buttermilk.  In 3 batches, add flour mixture to batter, mixing well each time.  Beat on medium speed for another minute or so.

On the stove top over medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter.  Once melted add 1 cup of brown sugar and stir well.  Continue cooking over medium heat stirring frequently until a nice caramel forms.  It should take about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Distribute the caramel sauce evenly into the bottom of each muffin tin.  Top carmel with 2 pineapple slices with a cherry half in the middle.  Evenly distribute cake batter into the 24 muffin tins, leaving them about half full.  Gently drop the tins onto the counter top a couple of times to remove any air bubbles.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cakes stand for about 5 minutes in tins before flipping them out onto a wire cooling rack.  If you grease the tins well, they should slide right out.

Cute and sweet--just like every Spatularette should be!

Tall and Small

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Berry Bellinis

Brunch cocktails are without a doubt the only classy way to serve alcohol before noon.  But let's face it, the motive behind needing a brunch cocktail is sometimes a little less classy than the pretty glass it comes in.  It has been said after all, that the best cure for a headache the morning after having, shall we say, one drink too many is having some of the hair of the dog that bit you (aka another drink).  On the flip side though, a sweet cocktail is also the perfect way to welcome guests to your home for a lazy Sunday brunch. 

Last weekend the Spatularettes tried out a new neighborhood brunch spot with friends.  We couldn't resist the blackberry Bellini on the menu and after just one sip we knew we would have to try and recreate it at home!  We made the berry syrup the day before so all the ingredients were ready to go on Saturday morning.

-1 cup frozen berries (we used black and raspberries)
-1 cup water
-1/4 cup sugar

At least a few hours beforehand, so it has time to chill, make the berry syrup.  Combine berries, water, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.  Allow mixture to simmer for about a half hour.  The mixture should reduce by half.  Strain the berry syrup through a sieve to separate the berries and seeds from the liquid.  You'll be left with about 6 oz of berry syrup.  Chill in the refrigerator in a covered container until you are ready to serve.

When brunch is ready, spoon an 1 to 1 1/2 oz of berry syrup into each glass.  Top with champagne.

Your guests (or your hangover) will thank you after the very first sip  :)

Tall and Small

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sweet Tomato Sauce and Margarita Pizza

Pizza.  Everyone loves it.  And in this day and age there are so many varieties out there to choose from, you could eat it every day for a month and never feel like you've had the same meal twice.  There is thick crust, thin crust, and flat bread.  There is tomato sauce, white sauce, and pesto.  There are standard toppings, gourmet toppings, and even international inspired toppings.  Our favorite Spatular Billy would be upset if we didn't mention his favorite Trenton Pizza.  And don't forget about the always popular 2am pizza from your favorite late night joint!
But with all those varieties out there, sometimes all we want is true simplicity.  A flavorful sauce, good mozzarella cheese, and fresh herbs.  Which is exactly what today's recipe is.  There is no better way to start off your weekend than with a homemade Margarita Pizza!  If you have time, we highly recommend making your own sauce too.  You just won't find one this sweet or flavorful on your grocery store shelf.


-1 small onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-28 oz can of whole San Marzano Tomatoes
-1/4 fresh herbs, chopped
-1 Tbs light brown sugar
-1-1 1/2 tsp salt

-Pizza dough (we like this recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
-Pizza sauce
-4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
-7-8 basil leaves, torn

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over a medium flame.  Once hot, add onions, garlic, and a 1/2 tsp of salt.  Allow to cook for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.  You want the onions to be soft and caramelized to bring out their natural sweetness.  Add the entire contents of San Marzano tomatoes.  They are a little pricey, but their distinct flavor and natural sweetness really makes a difference in this simple sauce.  Use the back of a wooden spoon to gently break up the tomatoes.  Allow sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add herbs and brown sugar and stir to combine.  Continue to allow sauce to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  Once the flavors have come together, process the sauce until smooth in a blender or food processor.  Since the San Marzano tomatoes still have their seeds, this is an important step.  Once the sauce has been processed, you'll never know they were there.  Return sauce to frying pan and continue to simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes or so.  Add salt to taste (probably another half to whole tsp).  Spread on pizza immediately or freeze for use in the future.

For the pizza, start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly sprinkle a baking sheet (or pizza pan if you have it) with cornmeal.  If you don't have any cornmeal on hand, grease it well to avoid sticking.

On the counter, roll pizza dough out very thinly.  We were going for a rustic pizza today, so we just went free form with the shape.  Once you are happy with the dough, transfer it to your baking sheet.  The homemade dough recipe above from Smitten Kitchen super easy, btw.  We like to substitute in half whole wheat flour when we make it.  If you don't have time for that though, store bought dough will do the trick.

Spread dough with a generous amount of sauce, since it really is the star of the show here.  Leave about an inch wide border between the sauce and the edge of your crust.  Top sauce with slices of cheese and basil leaves.  Finally bake pizza on the bottom rack of your oven for about 12 minutes or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is well melted.

Simple pizza for a simple Saturday.  Nothing says "weekend" more than that.

Tall and Small

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reading Terminal Market

Most large cities are home to a popular market, and Philadelphia is no different.  Housed in Center City, Reading Terminal Market, is a sprawling attraction of fresh meats, seafood, produce, and ethnic food stalls.  For both of us, this was one of our first stops after arriving in the city, so it is always shocking to meet Philadelphians who have never been.  If you live in Philly and have never made a trip to Reading Terminal Market... then all we can say is, shame one you.  If you are planning a visit to our city, then definitely spend a couple of hours here around lunch time one day... you won't regret it!

The culinary inspiration is endless, and we never seem to get bored of wandering up and down the aisles, discovering what is new and delicious on that particular day.  Scroll down and enjoy the sites of the one and only Reading Terminal Market.  And try your best not to drool on your keyboard...





Tall and Small

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

S'mores Bars


Nothing says childhood quite like homemade rice krispie treats.  And nothing says college quite like the memory of wasting hours sitting in the campus cafeteria chatting with friends.  Sure, we had homework to finish.  Sure, we had to study for exams.  Sure, we had to get up for a morning cross country workout at 6:30 the next day.  But that never stopped Tall and Small from making one last trip to the dessert table after dinner and sitting down for another fifteen minutes, half an hour, ok forty five minutes to gossip with our teammates before getting on with our busy evenings.

Overall, the food in our college cafeteria was far from good.  It was downright bad on some days, to be honest.  But the dessert table was a different story!  Fresh baked cookies, brownies, and cakes.  A well stocked ice cream freezer.  And throwbacks to the childhood favorite rice krispy treats, made not only with krispies, but with a number of other cereals as well.  Which leads us to today's recipe: S'mores Bars.

Small One was off in Seattle last weekend interviewing at the University of Washington as a PhD candidate.  Back in Philadelphia, Tall One was in the kitchen recreating the college cafeteria S'mores Bars.  She had a few friends over Saturday night, and the bars were gone by morning!  So Tally whipped up another batch to bring to work on Monday and they had disappeared by lunch!  Now that Smally is back in town, it looks like we're going to have to make a third batch, so she can give them a try.

Seriously, make these for your kids, your friends, or your co-workers.  They are the perfect 15 minute treat for children and adults alike!


-6 cups Golden Grahams cereal
-4 Tbs butter
-10 oz bag marshmallows
-2 chocolate bars (the 1.55 oz ones that you sometimes impulse buy in the grocery store checkout line)

Use butter to grease a rectangular 9x13 pan well.

Measure 6 cups of Golden Grahams into a large bowl.  Use your hands to break the pieces up a bit, just be careful not to grind them down too finely.  Roughly chop the chocolate bars and set them aside.

In a non-stick saucepan, over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs of butter.  Add marshmallows to butter and continue to cook over medium heat until marshmallows and butter have melted together.  Stir frequently to avoid sticking.  Remove marshmallow mixture from heat and immediately pour over golden grahams.  Gently toss with a wooden spoon to coat cereal.  Add chocolate pieces and continue to mix until chocolate and marshmallow is evenly distributed.

Dump entire mixture into the greased pan.  Use a piece of wax paper to press the cereal mixture into all corners of the pan.  Allow to cool for an hour or two before cutting into bars.

S'mores Bars: Because it turns out everyone likes a little taste of childhood!

Tall and Small

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (and Banana Split Smoothies)

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia might be the most popular TV show in the city, but it is also the best way to describe the day we had yesterday.  It was a bit dreary and rainy this morning but once the clouds burned off, it turned into the perfect early spring day.  Overall, Mother Nature has been nothing but kind to us this winter.  Even so we are anticipating the warm and sun as much as ever this year.  It may only be the beginning of March, but it feels a lot more like April!

So how does a Spatularette spend the quintessential spring Saturday?  Yesterday it was watching the Phillies spring training game on TV, a long run on Kelly Drive, and making these Banana Split Smoothies!

-6 oz cup vanilla Greek yogurt, frozen
-1 banana
-1 cup whole frozen strawberries
-8 oz can crushed pineapple (with juices)
-1 1/2 Tbs chocolate syrup
-splash of milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Pulse a few times to break up the frozen ingredients and then blend until smooth.  Add milk a splash at a time to thin out the smoothie.  We like using the frozen yogurt and frozen berries in place of ice.  It gives you the same chilled effect without the annoying ice crystals that sometimes accompany smoothies.

A Banana Split Smoothie will be sure to brighten up your day (even when its NOT Sunny in Philadelphia)!

Tall and Small

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pam's 12 in 2012 List

The next 12 in 2012 list belongs to Pam, one of The Spatularettes' nearest and dearest friends.  Pam ran college cross country with Tall One and Small One, then moved to San Francisco after graduation to pursue her Master's degree at one of the top art schools in the country.  She is funny, smart, creative, and one of the most inspirational people we know.  We are so excited to share her 12 goals for 2012 and to support her throughout the year as she works towards acheiving them.  She sent us this list awhile ago, but we couldn't think of a better time to post it than now since is moving back east this week (!!!) to acheive goal number 1!
1.  Find a job in an art related field that I am passionate about.
I was satisfied with making a living through a hobby for about six months, but now I want to know I can put all my hard education and writing to the test! I know I'm qualied for a lot of museum/curatorial jobs but I want to feel inspired, not satisfied. I don't want to wake up at 30 and just THEN be breaking into the curatorial field. I want to be 25 and surrounded by art :)

2.  Complete a 7-10 day juice fast.
I recently saw the documentary "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead." Now, I realize I'm none of those things, but after loosing 30-35lbs last year, I want to maintain in a new way. Health to be before used to mean loosing the excess weight and cutting out unhealthy habits, now its about re-training my mind and body to appreciate the healthy choices I've made and tighten up my goals by appreciating those greens more and more. 

3.  Feel more self confident.
I've come a long way in this journey, but there is always room for improvement. I still get down on myself alike many others I'm sure. But, the key for me this year is realizing the triggers and stress that bring on my self doubt.

4.  Break 1:42 in a Half Marathon.
I KNOW I CAN! I need to focus on completing my training all the way through a cycle and not burning myself out a few weeks before the race. I suffer the most during miles 7-9 and I need to train and focus on running through those moments. I know that's where my time adds up. 

5.  Go Back to Marfa, TX.
I did this trip about three years ago and it was life changing. Looking back that was probably the most inspired and excited about life and art I've ever felt. I did the trip alone, and this time it would mean a lot to me to share this experience with someone else. 

6.  Get my mom and dad working out.
This doesn't mean they have to become parents with abs of steel, but the more and more I learn about my own body and how amazing I feel now through diet and exercise, I want them to feel that way too. My mom after her battle with breast cancer lost a ton of weight and she needs to build up some strength again. My dad loves his Coors Lites, and I never want him to loose that party attitude, but I do want him to gain 25-30 min of walking a day!

7.  Visit friends.
Should be easy enough, but it's hard when I live on the other end of the country. When I do see my favorite people, it only reminds me how much I miss them and need their support in my life. Setting aside one or two trips this year back east would be great.

8.  Attend my first Pig Roast as a Juniata Alum.
Um, self explanatory, this is mandatory. 

9.  Watch two documentaries a month.
I've been really interested lately with the wonderful world of documentaries. I love to read, but sometimes it's nice to kick back and learn something about a topic I never even gave much thought to. I've realized seeing people live through tragedy, experience triumph, puts my life problems or worries into perspective. Maybe what I worry over isn't so bad, or maybe to me they are. But you find knowledge and strength through watching others. 

10.  Call home (especially to Aunt Ida).
I slack off when things get busy. I usually rest easy with a simple email, but I need to stop relying on technology via emails and texts and start making voice on voice communication! This applies too for friends now that I think about it, ha. 

11.  Get over my self-consciousness when it comes to dancing.
I vow to go out dancing SOBER and not be embarrassed. I need to learn no one knows what they are doing and everyone just wants to move. No one is watching you Pam... loosen up and just dance! 

12.  Make two new friends.
Living far away and starting a new life in a radically new state forced me to make new friends. I was lucky enough to make friends through graduate school, roommates, and a wonderful boyfriend. However, I don't want to become complacent. I'd like to meet two new people that challenge me and bring me out of my comfort zone. Two new people to share a friendship with!