Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in Review

I can't believe New Year's Eve is tomorrow!

Goodbye, 2010! In the past year, I...

Turned 21!

Went to Santa Barbara with L. as my 21st birthday present.


Celebrated L.'s 21st.

Went to Hawaii for the first time ever! (And have been dying to go back ever since!)


Celebrated my one-year blogging anniversary.

Had an amazing summer in which L. and I officially tested the waters living together and I worked full-time at my wonderful job in publishing (which I'm going to miss so much!) Oh, and hung out with Justin Long too.

Started my senior year at Williams. (In the same year Williams was named the #1 college in America by Forbes! Yay Williams!)


Attended my brother's wedding.


Celebrated L.'s and my two year anniversary.

Went to my first ever NFL game (and first ever Packers game!)

. . .

Looking ahead to 2011, it is going to be a BIG one for me. In it, I will...

Turn 22 (the age to me that seems truly "adult-y")

Finish my thesis! Oh joyful day! (Here's hoping I can keep it under 100 pages...)

Have a fantastic Senior Week, which will include traveling with all my friends to Hilton Head, dinners, parties, champagne brunches, all culminating in the day I...

Graduate from college!!!

Pack everything I own in L.'s Subaru and move across the country/move in together.

Begin working full-time hopefully at the job of my dreams for which I'm interviewing in March (fingers crossed it all works out!)

Adopt a puppy (?!?!)

I can't wait. And I can't wait to share it all with you guys! Things can only get more interesting from here on out...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reindogs

Life is good. I'm nestled comfortably at home, sipping on hot chocolate from the Keurig and nibbling a Lindt chocolate sampler, and since I'm feeling just so holly-jolly I thought it was the perfect time to share with you my afternoon a couple weeks ago with the Reindogs, especially since my own little Reindog, Abby, is snoring peacefully at my feet.

What's a Reindog, you ask? Well, obviously it's a dog dressed up like a reindeer. And Williamstown, being the tiny, weird, quirky, Stars Hollow (anyone get the reference? anyone?) town that it is, holds an annual Reindog parade every year, where anyone in town who has a dog can dress him or her up like a reindeer and march in the parade that goes down Spring Street, our only commercial street. There's also little kids, but I don't like them as much, and they definitely weren't as cute as the dogs.

This year, I got to be an elf, which essentially means I got to pass out candy canes to all the little kids along the parade route (well, that and being Santa's right hand man, obvi.), but the best part of the job was getting to judge the Reindogs and pick the winners!


YOU GUYS. There was a red wagon full of tiny Golden Retriever puppies! I think my heart literally exploded. There is NOTHING in this world cuter than a red wagon full of tiny Golden Retriever puppies.


This is who we picked to win for Best Temperament. She was so quiet and sweet! Love her.


All the Reindogs assembled on the steps of Chapin Hall on campus. Can you spot me? Hint: I'm dressed like Santa and wearing fantastic riding boots.


This is Caleb, the defending champion. I thought he should have won again and wanted to give him the prize, but Santa felt like "another dog deserved to win." Needless to say, I was outraged at the politics involved in the Reindog judging. Caleb was CLEARLY the most convincing Reindog. I felt like he was going to take off any minute.


FUTURE DOG ALERT. When we graduate in June, L. and I are getting a yellow Labradoodle. Well, I'M getting a yellow Labradoodle. L. is getting a black Labradoodle or a black Standard Poodle. They're going to be best friends.


I told you I live in Stars Hollow.


I can't even post any more. I am literally dying, they are so cute. There's my other potential future dog, over on the left.

Oh, and all images via iBerkshires.com, in case you couldn't tell by the giant watermarks that clearly indicate "don't steal these pictures and put them on your blog." Oh well.

Monday, December 20, 2010

That time I reinforced gender stereotypes at an NFL game

I'm sure everyone has heard about how the Green Bay/New England game went last night. I won't even type the four-letter word that begins with "l" and rhymes with "cost." Before I detail the way the night almost ended in disaster, let's talk about how out-of-my-mind I was excited in the hours leading up to the game:

9:00am: Michelle wakes up for some last-minute studying for her 1:30pm Bio exam; cries a little; curses finals; curses college and higher education; wonders if it's too late to go to culinary school.

2:30pm: Michelle finishes Bio exam and, with it, her LAST FALL SEMESTER EVER at Williams College. Cries a little (out of joy); comes home, packs to go home for Christmas.

3:41pm: Michelle takes a silly picture of she and L. wearing their Rodgers/Brady jerseys, posts it on the blog.

4:00pm: Michelle and L. get on the road, stock up on Bugles and embark on the three hour drive to Gillette Stadium.

7:00pm: L. and Michelle decide it will be cheapest to park a mile and a half away from the stadium. They pay $40, which turns out to be a bargain. The following (possibly dramatized) exchange takes place when they get out of the car:

M: Wow, it's not that cold at all!
L: No, it's not, this should be great!
M: It doesn't even feel like winter! It feels like a chilly fall night! I'll definitely be warm with these two sweaters under my Aaron Rodgers jersey! I DON'T EVEN NEED A COAT! (Note: The actual temperature was in the 20s, with wind chill, probably lower.)
Random Guy at the Porter-Potty: Wow, a Green Bay fan and a Patriots fan! Together! In a relationship!
M:
YEAH lolz one of us is going to be very upset on the car ride home lolz haha! (I couldn't have known how much I would regret that statement).

7:45pm
: We finally get into the stadium and I rush down to the first level to watch the Packers warm up. I couldn't have even anticipated that I would have been that excited. One of the widest, most genuine smiles in my recent memory spreads across my face. I spot Matt Flynn and Clay Matthews and Donald Driver and Greg Jennings (and Tom Brady...I can't lie and say I don't love him) and wonder if this is real life. Can I do this every weekend?


8:20pm: Kickoff. I am dying. With glee and joy and happiness.

Then, PACKERS ONSIDES KICK! RECOVERED! And then Packers are up on the Patriots! And then Matt Flynn is playing better than Tom Brady! And then HOLY CRAP WE MIGHT WIN!

Then I got cocky and got into some arguments with drunk belig New England men. One of them said "You're in New England Sweet-haaat!" Note: Drunk Patriots fans are really good at Geography.

When I wasn't arguing with drunk New Englanders, I was creepily stalking Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines through my binoculars.

Also, we were sitting with a lot of Packers fans and so we were in good company and I made friends.


LOOK AT MATT FLYNN! I LOVE HIM!


This is the last time I would be happy for a long time. I had also finally given in and put on my coat, because I was literally shaking uncontrollably and probably hypothermic.

Then. Then things took a turn for the worse. Suddenly, I wasn't jeering and taunting and screaming and high-fiving with the other cheeseheads and generally being an awesome cool girl whose team rocks at sports. Suddenly, every time the Patriots scored I found myself sitting silently in my seat as a stadium full of 60,000 people jumped up to their feet around me. It kept getting worse; suddenly it was the fourth quarter and the Patriots were up by 4. Suddenly there were only 19 seconds left and we were on the fourth down. I felt myself starting to break down; I couldn't help it. It was my first NFL game, my first Packers game, we had played better football for basically the whole game, I was so proud of/impressed by Matt Flynn and really wanted this for him, and, most of all, even though I can be a rough-and-tumble, trash-talking, hot-dog guzzling sports fan like the best of them...I am an emotional girl at heart, and something really, really bad was about to happen.

I repeated "please please please" about fifty times in the eleven or so seconds that remained. But suddenly, the clock was down to zero, and we were still down by four. The entire stadium jumped to its feet in an uproar; I felt the tears rush forth and I jumped from my seat, struggling to hold back my sobs, and left as quickly as I could. L. ran after me and we walked down the six (!) ramps from our seats in the upper balcony, and I gave myself one of the worst headaches I've ever had from struggling to hold in my tears. I know you guys are probably laughing about this and maybe in a few days I'll get to a place where I can see how it's funny, too, but I just got really emotional about the whole thing. I was absolutely devastated. L. felt awful and couldn't even gloat properly, so while I stood dejectedly in the sea of cheering and congratulating fans, he got an idea.

He went up to one of the vendors and asked him a question, and then came back and led me away from the exit, where the herd was gathering. He took me down a side hallway and out a side door, and we walked around the outside of the stadium, where we found ourselves in front of the Packers' buses. L. asked the security if they would be coming out soon, and they said if we hung around for a half hour or so, we should get to see some of the players. My tears slowed. Then, the security guards whispered that if we headed over to the little grassy patch to our left, where the friends and family usually waited, we might get to see some of THE players. My tears stopped. And thus began our wait: Me, L., a family with a little boy with awesome green and yellow face paint, and actual legitimate players' friends and family. After only about fifteen minutes of waiting, I saw Clay Matthews exit the stadium and get on the bus. Then, I started getting excited again. I was shaking uncontrollably but if Rodgers came out, I wanted him to know I was a true fan, so I took off my coat. L. said I was crazy; I said I was loyal; he said I was stubborn; I said I wasn't.

Then, to our left, all the friends and family ran over to greet Josh Sitton. And then, not longer after that, out came...


MATT FLYNN.

I debated going over to talk to him for about 5 minutes, as L. told me that if I didn't I would regret it forever. Finally, I went over (awkwardly meekly) but, as I was walking, I realized I had no idea what to call him. Matt? Flynn? Mr. Flynn? Matt Flynn? When I finally got up to him and his whole group turned to look at me, I sort of whispered "Matt?" He smiled, and I felt encouraged. "I'm so sorry to interrupt," I said, "but I just wanted you to know that this was my first NFL game at I'm so glad I got to see you start." He smiled and said thank you, and I added, "I mean, I just spent the last 20 minutes sobbing, so my night is really looking up now," at which his mom laughed. He smiled again and laughed and said thank you, and I walked away beaming. The little boy and I hung around a little longer, hoping to see Rodgers (who we didn't see), but we did see Mike McCarthy and Charles Woodson. The night was saved, and we walked around the amazing Patriots Place before (barely) making it back to the car and got home and I fell asleep warm and happy.


(PS: Do you guys like the new header??)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Can love overcome all adversity?


We'll know by the end of the night. On our way to Gillette Stadium for the Packers/Patriots game! GO PACK GO!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Michelle's Guide to Holiday Movies

Tonight we're having a Yankee Swap/Holiday Party in my suite, and I've been thinking about what movie we should watch after we swap gifts. To help myself decide, I thought I would compile a list of my ten favorite Holiday movies, trying to cover lots of ground--animated, feel-good, drama, classic, etc. I would love if you guys would give your recommendations for your favorite holiday movies, as well!

Also note that some of these aren't explicitly "holiday movies," they just "happen" to take place around Christmastime...but they still make me happy!

ALSO, all of the Harry Potter movies deserve to be on this list. It's not an oversight.

Finally...this post comes to you in lieu of studying for finals/writing my thesis. Holly jolly.

10. The Polar Express


I haven't seen this movie since I saw it in the theater with my parents, but I walked out permasmiling afterwards. It was beautifully animated and just totally feel-good...even though Tom Hanks' character sort of creeped me out a little (he looked JUST like him). I also had that song about hot chocolate stuck in my head for weeks.

9. The Family Man


This movie strikes a chord really deep within me. I know I'm the type of person to pull a Nicholas Cage and choose work over love...and miss out on a wonderful life. (In fact, the way things are shaping up, I'll have a Nicholas Cage-esque decision looming before me very soon, but that has no place in a holiday movies post and I don't want to think about it, so let's shelf that, shall we?) When he sits in the char on his last night and tries to stay awake? SO SAD. Although, it really sort of bothered me when Jack gets the apartment in New York and Kate freaks out at him and says she refuses to pull the children out of their schools. Like, I get that she's into the suburbs and all, but that's a great example of someone trying to compromise between family life and career ambition, and I think Kate should have been more open-minded about it. That's my PSA for the day.

8. Edward Scissorhands


First of all, this is totally one of those moments when you could say "Okay, Michelle, that is absolutely NOT a Christmas movie." That would be legit, but I DON'T EVEN CARE because this is literally one of my top three favorite movies of all time. It was Tim Burton, before Tim Burton got bad. It was Winona Ryder, before Winona Ryder got bad. And Johnny Depp is absolutely amazing, period. I love that this movie is heartwarming, heartbreaking, fairy-tale, violent/dark, and just absolutely beautiful to watch, all at once. Not to mention, unexpectedly hilarious. The waterbed moment? Priceless.

7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


Rudolph is the most adorably awkward thing I've ever seen, and the stop-action animation only highlights this fact. I LOVE his nasally, awkward voice, and his awkward wobbly-legs, and oh obviously his super-awkward bright red nose. I also really like the abominable snowman. He's probably the most likable enemy in any movie I've ever seen...he's sort of a hot mess and just wanders around bellowing. Yukon Cornelius is just a straight up baller, and I LOVE that his sled-dogs are a random assortment of cuddly pups. Straight-up Christmas classic. (Oh. and Hermie has got to be the greatest name ever).

6. The Family Stone


First off, the sheer amount of star power in this movie is mind-boggling. My girls Rachel McAdams, SJP, and Claire Danes, all in one place? Yes plz! Luke Wilson, the best Wilson brother, Diane "I'm the same person in every movie" Keaton, and Dermot Mulroney? BEST CHRISTMAS EVER. Except it's not, if you're SJP, because you're put in so many unforch, awkward situations that even I, who pride myself on not even getting awkwarded out by The Office, cringe. I was sort of thrown by how this movie glided between comedy, drama and pure grief-stricken sob-fest, all relatively seamlessly. AND SJP's throat tickle/cough noise is the best tick. Finally, the name Ben Stone is taken already, by Seth Rogen's character in Knocked Up (favorite movie of all time). No points for creativity.

5. The Holiday


I might have been the only person on the planet who actually liked this movie. And THAT'S OKAY. Nancy Meyers' houses are reason enough to watch the movie, but if that's not your thing, who could turn down a movie with Kate Winslet and Jude Law? Cameron Diaz is the same as usual, and Jack Black is actually bearable/actually gets relatively serious. And I think the Arthur plot just adds so much to the movie; it elevates it from typical rom-com to an actually really good movie. OH and Mr. NAPKIN-HEAD! Do people actually...do this, though? Swap houses with total strangers, and coordinate the details over what appears to be AIM, I mean?

4. Home Alone


Oh, Macaulay. Look at yourself. LOOK AT YOURSELF. You used to be literally the cutest thing that ever graced the silver screen. Even John Hughes thought, at what--seven? years old--that you could carry an entire movie by yourself. They JUST let Rachel McAdams do that with Morning Glory, and it did not go ne'er so well. But YOU. You had it all. We just sat there for 103 minutes and watched you attempt to shave, eat ice cream, shoot things with BB guns, and you know what. We ATE IT UP. I think one of the best parts of Home Alone is that while Kevin does all the aforementioned activities, he also goes grocery shopping. Adorable. I always love a good cat-and-mouse movie (Catch Me if You Can, anyone? Inside Man?) Too bad after watching this movie I couldn't go into the basement for years. YEARS.

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Boris Karlof/Animated version, NOT Jim Carrey version)


Apparently the exclamation point is necessary. So, now it's time for me to admit that when I was little, when I found a movie I liked, I watched it over and over and OVER, until I knew the whole thing by heart. (To this day, I can still recite Beauty and the Beast by heart). I also used to have to fall asleep with my tv on when I was little, and still do sometimes. Thus, every Christmas Eve I would get into bed and pop this on, and if I fell asleep in the middle it didn't matter because I knew the whole thing, anyway. This movie is an absolute classic; there's really just nothing else to be said.

2. It's a Wonderful Life


Probably one of the top five best movies of all time, Christmas or not. We watch it every Christmas Eve just before we go to bed, and my mum, who has seen it about 50 times, still gets anxious/upset/cries every.single.time, which is sort of hilarious but also touching. Donna Reed and Jimmy Stuart are just perfect; every single time I watch this movie I forget that I'm, indeed, watching a movie.

1. Love, Actually



I can't figure out which of the storylines in this movie I love the best. It's probably the Colin Firth/LĂșcia Moniz one, just because it is so ridiculously cute, and I love that they talk even though they don't understand the language. Laura Linney's plotline is so, so sad--I get that maybe it's supposed to be that she and her brother are the love story in that one, but still. Give the girl SOMETHING! And of course, Sam. His happy face/angry face are completely precious. Even though Hugh Grant is a bumbling fool in every movie he's in, he fits in this one. And I've been told I look just like the girl who plays Natalie, which I guess I'll take since if the President of the United States (oh, Billy Bob...why?) gets after it, that's alright with me. Oh, and I can't forget the wedding scene and the "caroling" scene with Keira Knightley. All in all, it's a good enough movie to win out over IAWL and Home alone--it's clever, hilarious, and just more feel-good than I can handle.

PS. I have a confession to make...I hate A Christmas Story! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I just really can't stand it. I also really hate Elf. It creeps me out! Maybe I should do a follow-up post of Christmas movies I hate...

Finally, I've always felt that the Nightmare Before Christmas is more of a Halloween movie than a Christmas movie. What do you think?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Peppermint Bark!

I've been craving some Christmas sweets nonstop lately, so yesterday I finally gave into my whims and made a batch of peppermint bark. It was my friend Bianca's 21st, so I made up a little box for her, and the rest I'm planning (trying) to save for the holiday party I'm having with my suitemates on Wednesday, complete with a Yankee Swap, hot chocolate, carols, and Love Actually.

Peppermint bark is SO easy to make! All you'll need is white chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli because they melt so nicely) and some candy canes, and then a double boiler (I just use a glass bowl on top of a saucepan), wax paper, and come cookie sheets!

Melt down your chocolate chips in the double boiler, stirring constantly until smooth. Crush up the candy canes in a bag and add them--more or less depending on how chunky you want your bark--to the chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, distribute the chocolate evenly and not too thickly over a wax paper-covered cookie sheet, pop in the fridge (or freezer, but watch it closely!) for 15 minutes, break it up into small pieces, and you're done!


I've seen some recipes that call for doing this exactly, but then spreading some melted dark chocolate on top of your bark, and then another layer of the white chocolate with candy canes. That could be delicious, but I love this for its simplicity--it only takes about 20 minutes, hardening time included! And I have a LOT of fans now, including my boyfriend, who absolutely loves it (I've already had to promise to make him some every year from now on).

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I ended class on Friday and am officially done with my fall semester (the last one I'll ever have at Williams), so after one exam this week and some thesis work I'll be heading home. I'm taking this weekend to relax a little; L. and I are going out for beef and broccoli tonight and then going to snuggle up and watch Inception. I've always actually sort of liked finals week because there's so much more free time--even if you have to spend it studying--to hang out in sweatpants and watch way too much tv. Masochistic? Maybe.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What do you do...

when your thesis advisor has you re-write your introduction three times? THREE. That means that the first twenty pages I wrote are useless, and the second twenty pages I wrote are useless, so that I've written forty pages of thesis, and yet somehow have zero.

I, for one, don't know what you do in that situation, which is why, among many other reasons, I am just saying adieu to this semester. As in, peace out, it's been real, I WILL NOT MISS YOU.

Forty pages of thesis, ten pages on Henry James and a Bio exam are all that stand between me and Christmas break. More specifically, they are all that stand between me and officially being DONE with exams on December 19, at which point L. and I will jump in my car and drive to Foxborough, Mass., where we will watch the PATRIOTS v. the PACKERS!

L.'s favorite team is the Patriots.

My favorite team is the Packers.

Someone is going to be very unhappy on that car ride home at approximately midnight....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back from Break, and C.'s Birthday!

Well, as you can tell, I certainly enjoyed my break to the utmost--not only did I take an unintentional break from blogging, but I didn't get any work on my thesis done. That was not okay! I had tons of fun though.

Before we went away, however, we celebrated C.'s birthday a couple weeks ago! I got her The Poisonwood Bible and a pretty pair of mixed metal earrings, which I knew she would just love. To celebrate, we drove an hour away to our archrival, Amherst, to attend the last football game of the season at their homecoming. It was basically Homecoming, part two!


C.'s mom made the most delicious spiced bourbon cider...unfortunately (or fortunately, actually), it was about 75 degrees outside--in the middle of November!--and we were actually all sweating so much in the sun that we could barely watch the game from the bleachers!


For awhile, the game was a nail-biter...but we finally pulled ahead and won, meaning that we finished our season undefeated! It was so exciting to be there for such a great first endcap to our Williams experience--we even got to rush the field, which is something I have always wanted to do, although it was absolutely terrifying. I was sure we were going to get trampled.

After the game, we went to Northampton to a super nice Asian-fusion restaurant.



I know many people would kill to be 22 again, but for me it's the first age that really squares us away in adulthood. 21 has all the wild, partying connotations with it, so it seems that 22 is the first serious, life-starting age, what with graduating college, being comfortably settled into your twenties, etc. I'm feeling a little apprehensive about mine next month!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sleep, Rupert, and Vacation

Ever since I went to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 on Thursday, my sleep schedule has been all kinds of thrown off. It probably doesn't help that, as I go to bed at midnight on the dot pretty much every night and wake up around 8 or 8:30am every morning, I a. didn't even get HOME until 4am Friday morning, and b. guzzled with L. a giant VESSEL of diet coke at midnight. Couple that with the ill-fated nap I attempted to take Thursday night before the movie, and, well, I've been positively loopy ever since.

I do have to admit something. Hi, I'm Michelle, and I think Rupert Grint it totally hot. I don't even know WHY; I understand that actually, he's pretty much got nothing going for him, with the goofiness and the freckles and the red hair and the gawkiness. But I don't know--something about the "goofy" thing really does it for me. My other celebrity crushes include Seth Rogen and Michael Phelps, who have got a whole lot of the goofy to offer.

I've been trying to get everything in order so I can go HOME on Tuesday for Thanksgiving, but I'm excited to have some (read: too much) downtime to put up some posts I've begun to write over the last week. I mostly just can't wait to RELAX. I'm feeling a lot of pressure this semester; I have no idea what for, and no idea from where, but I'm feeling it. Big time. I need to go home, shop and get manicures with my mum, and plop face down in my bed with my golden retriever, Abby, and sleep for a day. Sounds wonderful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe


A few of you said you'd be interested in getting the deetz on how I made my "Applebee's quality" spinach and artichoke dip I mentioned in my Homecoming post (and also puppy chow, but that's another story/post!), so I thought I'd fill you in.

Disclaimer: I am not an exact cook. At all. I just wing it, taste it, add things if it needs it, sometimes awkwardly try to subtract things (trying to pour hot excess butter out of a frying pan mid-dish? Really hard!), and I never really measure how much of anything I'm putting in. So, I can tell you WHAT I used to make this delicious dip, but I can't really tell you how much!

You will need:


  • Chopped spinach (I used frozen, it was much easier!)
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Garlic
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese (but I think I ended up using 12 oz.)
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • And ignore the onions- those were actually for the spicy buffalo chicken dip!
And here's what I did:

1. Coat a pan with vegetable oil and set to medium-low on the stove. Peel as many cloves of garlic as you think you'll like (I used two cloves), press down on them with the flat edge of your knife to release the flavor, and toss them in the pan.

2. Once the garlic is browned and smells delicious, drain your artichoke hearts, separate them, and toss them in the pan.

3. Thaw your frozen spinach (I just zapped mine in the microwave for a few seconds), and break it up, then add to the artichoke hearts.

By now, your pan should look something like this:


4. Soften your cream cheese so that it's easily spreadable, and grab a foil baking pan. Pour the jar of alfredo sauce in and spread it out to fill the bottom of the pan, then add in your cream cheese, and mix it all up. Now, add in about a quarter of the bag of mozzarella.

5. When your spinach and artichoke mixture is warmed through and evenly mixed, add in a handful of mozzarella cheese, and then dump your entire pan mixture into the foil pan with the cheeses.

6. Pop the dip in the oven (I set mine to 350 degrees), and let it bake for about ten minutes, or until it starts to bubble, the cheese melts, and everything is evenly distributed.


7. If you're going to serve the dip immediately, do the following step after about ten minutes. Otherwise, you can do what I did and take the dip out of the oven now, refrigerate it, and do the following step in the morning. Distribute the rest of the bag of mozzarella cheese across the top of the dip, and do not stir! Bake for as long as it takes for the mozzarella cheese to turn a slight golden brown and form a very light "crust" on top of the dip. Note that I did this step the morning after (and was prevented from taking a final picture due to throngs of hungry boys), so my picture doesn't have the mozzarella cheese crust.

Enjoy! The boys are begging me to make this and puppy chow this weekend. Anyone else planning on enjoying some dip, perhaps along with a football game? I love warm comfort food in the fall!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homecoming!

My favorite weekend of the (school) year (obviously Christmas is first!) has come and gone. Homecoming is always the best weekend at Williams for many reasons:

-You can eat as many hot dogs as you want
-You're allowed to partake in...traditional beverages...before 9am.
-You literally see every single person you know (including alums!) and it's wonderful.
-FOOTBALL.

The list goes on and on.

Friday night before Homecoming I hunkered down in the kitchen to cook enough food to feed an army...or L.'s a cappella group. They're basically the same thing. On the menu were:

Spinach and Artichoke Dip



Buffalo Chicken Dip (Appropriately named "Crack Dip")


Spicy Queso Dip (the picture came out looking really gross...trust me on this. It also involves a shot of Velveeta in a pan full of butter. Not sure you guys need that.)

Puppy Chow


If you haven't had puppy chow...we can't be friends. But really. It's only the best and easiest to make treat you will ever find. EVER. All it takes? Chex mix, chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. That's IT.

If you guys are interested in how I made these scrumptious treats, I'll post some recipes and instructions next week. They all came out DELICIOUS, if I do say so myself, based on the glowing reviews I got from throngs of hungry boys the next day.

Homecoming morning is like Christmas morning. The feeling of absolute excitement is in the air, you're actually excited to spring out of bed at 8am, and it's totally appropriate to eat and drink everything you want, as early as you want. I got up super early and played Homecoming Santa, aka drove to Dunkin' Donuts and bought food, coffee and hot chocolate for my suitemates (who were also a group of hungry boys...I guess I like to mother.)

We had some delicious homecoming morning beverages, including Bailey's and Hot Chocolate, Amaretto Coffee, and Vodka Cider.


After we were full, warm, and happy, we headed down to the tailgate. The tailgate is quite possibly the best part of Homecoming (as if you could only pick just one).


We ended up pummeling Wesleyan, with a final score of 45-7.


As fun as the day was, instead of being as in the moment as I thought I would be, it only served to further drive home the fact that in seven mere months, I'll be leaving Williamstown and moving across the country. There will be many, many more Homecomings in my future, but I don't know that they'll be as special as the ones I've had actually going here. And, though you'd think my senior year Homecoming would take the cake for best one ever, nothing could beat freshman year, when ESPN College Gameday came to cover the Williams-Amherst game, "one of the biggest least-known rivalries in college football."



We got to shoot a commercial for Gillette and everything! Oh, the glory days.

Do you still go to your college's Homecomings? Are they not as big a deal as they are here at Williams? (Unless you went to, you know, Ohio or Michigan. In which case, you're laughing at my definition of "a big deal.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween...Mario Party Style!

You never know who your true friends are until you all agree to dress up as a themed group for Halloween. Really, it's true! L. and our friend Zeb had decided they wanted to be Mario and Luigi (which actually makes a lot of sense, if you know them), and so Momo decided he wanted to be in on the fun, and be Yoshi. Except Momo didn't want to spend a lot of money to order a costume online. Enter me.

I constructed only what could be described as the best Yoshi costume ever made. It had three-dimensional orange spikes coming out of the back of a green sweatsuit, with yoshi-googly-eyed visor. I was incredibly proud of my handiwork. In fact, I was so proud that when I saw the three boys all dressed up Saturday night, I wanted to be in on the fun too, so I quickly impromptu-ed a Princess Peach costume. And thus, Mario Party was complete!


Is Momo not the cutest Yoshi you've ever seen? I'm sad we didn't get any pictures of the orange spikes! And if Zeb looks indignant, it's probably because we didn't find a Princess Daisy for him. Poor Luigi is always playing third wheel!

Prior to getting dressed up and going out (and by "going out" I mean we stood outside the party waiting to get in for about two hours and never actually got in), we all decided to order pizza and cuddle up and watch a scary movie. Momo and I are HORRIBLE with scary movies...like, if we watch them, we can't sleep for days. But it was Halloween and the occasion totally called for it, so we all agreed to watch Paranormal Activity. Funnily enough, even though that's considered one of the scariest movies in recent years, I wasn't all too affected! Momo, on the other hand, did not fare so well...

Staying in and watching movies was so much more fun than waiting around in the cold to go to a party. I'm beginning to really enjoy staying in weekend nights and just hanging out with my suitemates, or maybe going to the bar and getting a drink. The party scene just feels really young to me. I guess ::sniff sniff:: I really am ready to be leaving in seven months!

This upcoming weekend is Homecoming, aka only my FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR. Besides Christmas. Morning "traditional beverages," hot dogs, football...some of my favorite things!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Two-Year Anniversary, L.!

I can't wait to post my Halloween re-cap tomorrow, but today is devoted to wishing my wonderful boyfriend of two years a very happy anniversary!


L.--

You've been my very best friend in all the time we've known each other, and it's only relatively recently in that time I've been lucky enough to know you that you've also grown to be the greatest boyfriend I ever could have hoped for. Before then, you sat with me while I cried about my first big breakup, you watched me rebound with people you knew were terrible for me--but you never judged--and you cuddled with me when none of those other guys would have cared. It seemed for awhile that we would never quite get our timing right, and sometimes it's scary to think how close we came to missing out on what has become two of the most exciting, challenging, growth-filled years of my life. You make me feel loved each and every day with the tiny things you do for me, such as getting me surprise small presents like my Aaron Rodgers jersey (even though you're a Patriots fan!), pretty rings from Etsy, flowers, and dvds of my favorite shows. Sometimes you go all out, like planning surprise birthday parties or flying me to Santa Barbara with you for my 21st. I think our relationship is best summed up by the impromptu, spontaneous, and very crazy trip I took from New Hampshire to Santa Barbara to be with you for New Year's only two months after we had started dating. No one could understand why after only two months I needed to fly 3,000 miles to spend a few days together, but you and I both knew from the beginning--even though we agreed to "take it slow" and "keep it quiet" that now that we had finally gotten our timing right, we were in it for the long haul. And now we're planning our cross-country move together in only seven months! I can't wait to pack up my childhood room, throw some things in your Subaru, and embark on our next new great adventure together. I'm sure life in a new city and a new (our first!) apartment will include some downsides (and possibly some cockroaches?), but I can't wait to experience it with you.

I love you Lucas!

xoxo,
Michelle

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dancing the Night Away

First Chance ended up turning into a weekend-long event. Friday night L. and our friend Steve and I drove an hour to Albany to go dress-and-suit shopping (Albany is our nearest big mall...we really are in the middle of nowhere!) When we stopped at dinner, I accidentally locked my keys in the car (I do this ALL THE TIME...three times in the last three months), so once we arrived at the mall around 7:30 (it closed at 9:30), the rush was on.

I had a pretty exact idea of a dress I wanted in mind already (royal blue, beaded neckline, knee-length, not too fitted) so it was definitely a challenge to meet all my criteria. I had originally wanted to live-blog the dress shopping experience and ask for your opinions on the ones I was finding, but I had SO LITTLE time as it was that I just rushed through. I whizzed through Burlington Coat Factory, JC Penney, Forever 21, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Express, Ann Taylor, and STILL hadn't found a dress that I liked! By this point it was 9:15, and I was convinced that I would be leaving the trip dressless. I dashed into Macy's for one last try, and finally found a dress that I liked...in both purple and black! I rushed up to the counter at 9:29 to buy it, but I found out that though the mall itself closed at 9:30, Macy's was open until ten. So I got to have L. come by and check out my selection. When I walked out of the fitting room and he said "wow," I knew it was a good dress.

It had the EXACT neckline I was looking for, and though I wasn't expecting to wear purple, I was really happy with it in the end.

Saturday afternoon I had to run out AGAIN to buy silver heels, which I've been needing for quite awhile. And then I finally got to relax with my free trim and blowout from my stylist! Some of you guys wanted the scoop on how I scored that...at my salon, every hair color treatment (did you notice it was darker? I hope it stays this way--this is closest to my natural color. I hate brassy brown!) comes with a free trim. During my coloring a couple weeks ago, my stylist ended up running late--partially because she gave me a free polish change while we waited for my hair to set (isn't she the best?) Since she had some clients waiting, I told her not to worry about the free trim. She was so grateful she said I could schedule it for any other day and she'd do it, for free! I had wanted a blowout before First Chance anyway, so it worked perfectly. Plus, while she cut my hair, she gave me the tester bottle of polish to touch up my nails. So basically, I got a cut, blowout/style, manicure, and eyebrow wax for a grand total of...$12! Not too shabby.


Moyukh (Momo) went with Rachel, even though she doesn't go to Williams. It was so fun to have a mini "summer crew" reunion. Also--she made her dress! How amazing is that?

Also, please ignore the decidedly unclassy beirut activity in the background of the otherwise-classy pictures.


Sara predicted this one would make it onto the blog. (Hi Sara!)


L. and I didn't coordinate our outfits at all. Do the purple and blue look awful? I loved my dress so much I just didn't care!


Ariel and I lived together freshman year. I can't believe that we're already seniors!

The party itself was super fun...until I sprained my ankle and limped home to put ice on it. But all in all, it was a worthy casualty for a perfect inauguration to senior year!

And of course, the perfect end to a perfect weekend was last night's win against the Vikings. Momo and I are diehard fans, and it was so fun to watch the game together and yell/throw things. But the sweet taste of victory was almost ruined for me by just feeling overwhelmingly sad for Favre.


...Just almost.