Prompted 365: Days 184-193

I was hoping to have another blog post before this batch of Prompted 365 because I’m starting to find these photos incredibly uninteresting. I’m very sorry if you do too! I’m limiting which photos I post so that you’ll get to see only the best rather than all 365.

July marks my entering into the second half of the project! It’s really draining, and my last week of photos have been pretty awful (truth be told, I haven’t even taken the last four days’ worth). But I’m determined not to quit at this point, so I’m searching for inspiration and energy to complete it.  It’s just one silly photo every day, but it really is tough to keep on track.

Good news: I got a job! I’m working retail at a large chain bookstore and am having a blast so far. Eight hours hunting down books is hard on my body, though, and the truly horrible heat wipes out all my energy.  It feels amazing to actually get paid for something I enjoy, but I’m afraid much of my paycheck will go straight back to the store thanks to my great employee discount.

Last Friday, Joseph and I celebrated one year since leaving Italy. Well, we did not really celebrate. Joseph didn’t really seem to care, but I was a little sad to think of the home and life we left overseas. I’ve been working on something to celebrate our year here, but it isn’t ready yet. Hopefully I will be able to post that for you soon!


3 July: Cute
Confession: I have a かわいい (kawaii) addiction. It makes me feel kind of disgusting and weeaboo-ish, especially since studying Japanese in college. It started with good intentions when I bought packets of stationary at the 100円 store in Okinawa in high school. But it spiraled, and I have quite a collection now (the above photo does not include everything). I do use my stationary and little notepads often, but still I try to keep myself away from cute things so I won’t buy too much. I’m running out of room in my drawers. You can see a few detailed photos at at my Flickr here.


5 July: Happy
New earrings from Francesca’s.


6 July: Shiny


7 July: “A people without faith in themselves cannot survive.”


8 July: Sacrifice
You thought you had to give up Caramel deLights/Samoas when the Girl Scouts stop selling them? Nope. I was not going to post this photo (because it’s not very good!) but feel it my duty to spread the word about these cookies. They taste almost exactly like the Girl Scouts’.


9 July: Melody
Joseph’s grandmother, who used to own an antique store, gave him this beautiful book many years ago. It was published in 1901.


10 July: Expectations
Joseph and I had plans to spend the day with Catherine and her boyfriend Mark on Sunday, but I had to cancel when I got food poisoning.  Instead of eating lunch and browsing museums, I was in bed with my netbook and Leonardo, who always senses when I’m sick and stays by my side for the entirety of it.


11 July: Innocent


12 July: Need
I was still sick at this point. Focused photos of me are not happenin’ in that state.

Playing with Cory

We decided to try out letting Cory be a full-time outside dog, and, surprisingly, things are working much better this way! Staying outside, even in the awful heat, is less confusing to him. He no longer barks or whines and overall seems much happier! Kitty Leonardo, of course, is over the moon. Cory entered his life 9 months ago, and they’ve finally started playing with each other through the window! But they won’t get near one another inside.


We let the grass grow in a section of our backyard, and Cory loves it! I can throw treats in the tall grass, and he gets to hunt for them. That’s definitely his favorite game.


He also loves playing with the neighbor dog–a huge Boxer. I don’t think Cory will win any games with him, so I’m thankful for the fence (though I’m sometimes concerned the other dog will actually break it down since he jumps at it with such force).


He didn’t really take to the pool. We only got him in the water by throwing treats in, and he still tried desperately to reach them without having to get wet.

Prompted 365: Days 173-183


22 June: Trio
Left to right: Agfa Billy Jgetar 8.8, Brownie Flash Six-20, & Brownie Hawkeye Flash


23 June: Walk


27 June: Clutter
My kitchen bar drives me crazy, as it tends to accumulate clutter. When I took this picture, I had just gotten the mail and sorted it into piles.


28 June: Vivid
My friend Courtney and a giant box of Nerds!


29 June: Discover


30 June: Plate


1 July: Plastic
A Hello Kitty charm I have hanging from my camera


2 July: Kitchen
Making me dinner!

July 4 Fireworks

I hope all my American and Canadian readers had a great weekend! I’ve always found it interesting that Canada Day and Independence Day fall so close to one another. July 4 is one of the few holidays Joseph and I always make a point to celebrate, mainly because Joseph is obsessed with fireworks. I love to lay on my back on a blanket and feel like I’m flying through a turbulent universe.

I prefer my firework photos out of focus, so that’s what you’re getting.








Okay, I took one photo in focus just for you.

French Toast with Berry Butter

Today marks one year since we packed up all of our belongings, stacked them in our front yard, and put them in a gigantic crate.  Actually, we only watched as military-paid movers did the hard work (and thank god for that–I hate moving).

Still, today is a bit of an emotional day for me. Joseph for some reason is absolutely unaffected, but I’m having a hard time grappling the fact that we left our first home together a year ago.

It’s best to hide my feelings by surrounding myself with butter.


The Pioneer Woman posted this a few days ago, and I knew I had no chance–I had to make it over the weekend. Sunday Morning was French Toast with Berry Butter Morning. It was a good morning.

Not only is the butter delicious, but I love the french toast! It’s made with egg yolks, which delivers a beautiful yellow color and leaves behind the intense egg flavor you sometimes find in french toast. I plan to make french toast this way–with berry butter or not–from now on!


Beautiful butter! I have a lot left over, so I think I’ll let it sit in the freezer and repeat French Toast with Berry Butter Morning a few times.

French Toast with Berry Butter from The Pioneer Woman (with step-by-step photos)

1 pound Unsalted Butter, Softened
½ cup Raspberries
½cup Blackberries
1 loaf Crusty Bread: Baguette, French Loaf, Etc.
4 whole Egg Yolks
2 cups Half-and-half
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
Zest Of One Lemon
Maple Syrup For Serving
Sifted Powder Sugar, For Serving (optional)

Make the berry butters: in separate batches, whip 2 sticks of butter at a time on high using the whisk attachment. Switch to paddle attachment. Add either raspberries or blackberries. Turn mixer on low for only about five seconds, just long enough for the berries to begin to mix in/break up, but not so long that it turns into a mess. Clean mixer bowl and attachments and repeat with other kind of berry. (A stand mixer is not absolutely necessary here–you can even do it by hand. Just whip soft butter and add berries until they break up a bit)

With each batch, turn mixture out onto a long sheet of plastic wrap set over a long sheet of foil. Use the wrap/foil to roll the butter into a cylinder: first seal the plastic wrap around the cylinder, then secure the foil around it. Twist the ends, gradually applying more pressure as you twist in order to make the cylinder taut.

Once it’s a nice, neat cylinder of foil, place into the freezer for 30 minutes in order to quickly solidify it, then transfer it to the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Butter should be nice and firm.

NOTE: You can add a little sifted powdered sugar to the butter to make more of a sweet spread for bread and muffins! For French toast, though, the maple syrup makes things sweet enough.

To make the french toast, cut bread into slices 1/2 inch thick. In a dish, mix together egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Dip bread slices in mixture, coating both sides, then remove from dish and set aside. Repeat until all bread is coated.

Heat iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Sizzle butter in the pan when hot. Cook French toast on both sides until golden brown, being careful not to burn.

Remove berry butters from fridge. Unwrap one end and cut slices. Lay one slice each onto each serving of French toast. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, then drizzle with maple syrup.

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