Earlier this week I had a great post planned out. I’m pretty sure it was about the wedding shower I’m planning for my best friend. However, on Tuesday afternoon, I had an anaphylactic reaction and spent 7 hours in the emergency room. There is something in chemistry labs that gives me a severe allergic reaction. Anyways, I’m still alive. I’ll be back sometime next week when I’m feeling better. Also MlleChampagne is an amazing friend. She came to get me at the hospital, bringing my computer and blanket, even after I told her she didn’t need to. She also kept my mom and the boy updated since my phone had no service and the meds I was on made me pass out. I love having such amazing friends.
As it is the first day that really feels like spring, I figured I’d post about it. As a southern girl transplanted into New England, I wait in suspense for the first day I can go outside without a jacket. Which was TODAY!
Spring on campus is ridiculously beautiful. The school has an amazing garden and a bulb area that is blooming with crocuses and daffodils. I am always amazed by just how many people make the rush outside to work and eat and live. That just doesn’t happen when you don’t live in an area covered by a foot of snow for 5 months. People seriously freak out here when it gets warm. The boy and I might even go canoing this weekend. I’ll post pictures if we do.
Another part of spring on campus is something that goes up every year around one of our main lawns. It’s called The Clothesline Project. Every spring, the lawn gets surrounded by these t-shirts. Each one is from a student here and each one is about sexual abuse, physical abuse or rape. Students are invited to make their own and add it to the collection, which is about 10 years old. Though the shirts are sometimes difficult to read, they are incredibly powerful. The shirts range from simply saying survivor to detailing years of sexual abuse to showing support for friends who have been raped. I’ve posted a few on Flickr. Here are the shirts flapping in the wind. They go all around the lawn.
I used to think that this project marred spring. I would be walking home from class and all of a sudden they were there, reminding me everything isn’t sunshine and warmth. Then I was walking back from class and ran into a friend who happens to be a first year. She had just stopped in front of the shirts. We talked for a bit on the way back home. And that’s what the shirts are really about. Not horrifying people, or upsetting them, but for opening up a dialog, because as long as we don’t talk about rape and abuse, it continues to be something shameful that people try to hide. So maybe it’s best that the shirts come out in the spring. Because the shirts aren’t something that should be hidden away, they are something beautiful and brave that should be waving in the spring breeze.
So I’ve been back from spring break since way late Sunday night, but am just now getting some time to post about the rest of break.
Friday my mom and I spent the afternoon at the outlet malls shopping and was reminded how much I love shopping with my mom. We both always have so much fun. It’s really our only time to hang out relaxed together. I got two really cute Banana Republic tops, both cotton tanks with a gorgeous rose pattern, one in peach and one in brown, a whole bunch of basic tees and tanks from J. Crew, a gorgeous chocolate brown skirt with cream embroidery from BCBG, and the crown jewel, a blue embroidered cotton BCBG strapless dress that ties in the back. The funny thing is that I fell in love with this dress last summer, but wasn’t willing to spend $250 on a day dress. I was about to leave the BCBG outlet and I spotted it. It needs a few alterations, so I won’t be wearing it until summer, but I am super excited.
Saturday morning my brother and I baked lemon curd filled cupcakes with lemon and raspberry-lemon glaze, which turned out amazing. I used this recipe from Chockylit for the cupcake and the curd and this recipe from Bon Appétit for the glaze. If you decide to make them, I would recommend having extra lemon juice on hand for the glaze. The Bon Appétit recipe made glaze that just kind of clumped into a ball and was unworkable. It was fine with a bit more moisture, but I think they may have their ratios off or I messed something up. Here are some pictures:
Hanging out at our house during the endeavor was my mom’s friend’s new Bichon Frise, Julio. The only dog I have ever had was a Bichon Frise named Buttons, who very sadly died in February 2007 of cancer at the age of 8. I may be a little biased, but Bichons are probably the best dogs in existence. They are so intelligent and expressive, even if they can be a bit mischievous at times. If you want a smart pet with a lot of energy who will definitely make himself part of your family, Bichons are the way to go.* I still have my two cats, KC and Rose, but I am honestly much more of a dog person. Probably the first thing the boy and I do when we move in together is get a dog. Here are some pictures of Julio the cutie, who looks like a 13 lb. lighter version of my baby.
Sunday morning we had Easter brunch with my godparents, my dad and my mom’s friend. As you can see from the pictures below, my mom goes crazy about holiday decorations. The cupcakes were a huge hit.
And to leave you, my Easter outfit:
*Small disclaimer/public announcement: Bichons have gotten really popular in the last few years. Be really careful about finding a good breeder. Also Small Paws Rescue and your local animal shelter are amazing places to get a rescue Bichon if you can’t afford the often high price tag of a Bichon from a reputable breeder.
So, the reason I’ve been a bit incommunicado is that I’m on (duh, duh, duh) SPRING BREAK! Now, I am not the type to go join wet t-shirt contests at MTV spring break, or even to do jello shots in dubious out of the country bars. My spring break has run a significantly more nerdy course.
The boy and I spent last weekend in Cambridge, due to a mix up regarding when his dorms opened (his spring break was last week) versus when mine closed. Long story short, we got to spend two nights in a pretty sweet hotel thanks to his wonderful parents. I’ve been to Cambridge many a time since my entire mom’s side of the family lives there, but this was my first time there for more than a day without the goal of seeing relatives.
Friday night we discovered the most amazing tapas restaurant called Small Plates. They had a pie of the day that was some sort of banana cream with chocolate and a graham cracker crust. Think a grown up version of banana pudding with nilla wafers, one of my childhood favorites. Saturday’s highlight was the Harvard Natural Science Museum, which has amazing fossils and animal specimens. The boy, who is a conservation biology major, and I, who grew up in science museums, had a lot of fun looking at the animals. Unfortunately, my camera died while we were having lunch at Bartley’s (which you absolutely must go to if you are ever in Cambridge), so I don’t have any pictures.
Sunday we went for dim sum on our way back to the boy’s and ran into the insanity that is the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade. Now, you need to know that I am 3/4 Irish and have what is probably more than my fair share of Irish pride, thanks to my mom’s giant Irish Catholic family. However, this was insane. The entire Park Street T station was packed with people in approximately 50,000 shades of green and glitter and drunk. We’re talking open bottles of Guinness on the T. We eventually made it to dim sum and then back to the boy’s place, where I hung out and played way more Smash Bros. Brawl than any girlfriend can ever really be expected to play.
Yesterday, I made the arduous (15 hour) journey home, thanks to my mom’s immense desire to see me for what she is sure will be my last Easter at home. Now, you may say that there is no reason why getting from New England to Texas should take 15 hours, but then you would clearly not now my travel history. I have possibly the worst travel luck on the planet. I have yet to pull off getting to or from college without a hitch. Flying up to school for the first time, my plane literally caught ON FIRE in midair and had to be turned around. That is the level of my bad luck traveling.
Yesterday wasn’t so bad, I just got stuck in DFW for 3 more hours than I should have, because, get this, they couldn’t find a pilot! I eventually got home at 9, after leaving the boy’s at 6:30 am eastern time, which means 5:30 am home time.
Today, therefore, was made up mostly of dealing with stuff that my mom and I wanted to do yesterday, like running errands and figuring out the rest of the week. I don’t mind this though, because much of my mom and I’s relationship is based upon shopping trips. Every Sunday I’m home in the summer I join her in going grocery shopping and we talk. It’s fun and gets me free food!
We also went to a benefit today for the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, which had tons of delicious local food for a 10$ donation, plus great live music and a cool booksigning. Afterwards, I went to my dad’s and had dinner with my dad, my little brother and my dad’s best friend. It’s sad to say, but I much prefer my dad’s home cooking to my mom’s, if only because my dad doesn’t really understand the concept of low fat or low sodium.
And to end this post on the topic of cooking, my brother and I are going to try to make these delicious lemon curd filled cupcakes with this raspberry and lemon frosting for Easter brunch. I’ll let you know how it goes!