Friday, August 28, 2009

School Lunches

All the advertisements and articles lately about back-to-school, particularly stocking up for school lunches, has gotten me feeling nostalgic for the foods of my childhood. I still pack a lunch everyday, but I've graduated to leftovers or sandwiches and fruit or yogurt. No expensive single-serving snacks for me. Sigh. Here were some of my favorites:
  • Dunk-a-roos. Little graham cracker sticks with a tub of chocolate frosting to dip them in. What's not to like?
  • Goldfish. A girl at work brought Goldfish for lunch the other day, and it just took me back. Goldfish = childhood.
  • Chewy Chips Ahoy. Mmmm. The softest packaged cookies ever. If you heat them in the microwave a few seconds they're even better.
  • Juice boxes. Why, oh why, did I have to grow up and find out that most fruit juices are pure sugar and actually not very good for you?
  • Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies. These were actually more of a high-school obsession, but I'm counting them because I still often packed a lunch in high school. They are more like fudge than a brownie. And at Christmas time, they come in the shape of Christmas trees.
Then there are those foods that I look back on and think, "How could I eat that?" For example:
  • Lunchables. All of them. These are vile, but the worst offenders are the pizza ones. Sickeningly sweet sauce and rubbery cheese product shreds on top of a communion wafer? No thanks. Also, they are a huge waste of money. You could buy a box of Ritz crackers, a package of cold cuts, and a package of sliced cheese and make about 10 Lunchables for under $10. Not to mention, it would taste about a thousand times better. But as a kid I loved these! Lunchables has some kind of amazing marketing strategy. I don't think Mom let me have these all the time (smart woman), but I do remember being so happy when I got them.
  • Handi-Snacks Cheese and Crackers. These are similar in theory to Dunk-a-Roos, but much grosser. Remember the cardboard breadsticks that you dip in the alarmingly yellow "cheese" spread? Just thinking about that taste makes me gag.
Thanks, Mom, for packing hundreds of lunches for me throughout the years. (And, for the record, my mom made me sandwiches and packed fruit for me; I didn't only eat junk!) It is so much less fun now that I pack my own lunch.

What about you? What were your favorite childhood foods?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What I've Been Up To

  • Watching Mad Men—A girl at work loaned me Seasons 1 & 2. It's great! Kind of depressing (just because the characters' lives are so meaningless), but very well done. It's like a less embarrassing Desperate Housewives. Darby and I went through both seasons in about 2 weeks. Do you think we need a life?
  • Playing Dr. Mario—For a wedding gift, Darby gave me Dr. Mario for Nintendo because he knew how much I loved it. When we got the Wii, though, we got rid of our Nintendo. We've thought about buying the game for the Wii, but just kept putting it off. The other night I said something about wanting to play, and Darby went and downloaded it right then! It was only $10; I don't know why we waited so long. Part of the reason I love the game so much is that I (almost) always beat Darby. I don't know how! It doesn't seem like a game I'd be good at.
  • Reading Twilight—Meh. I don't see what all the fuss is about. I can excuse the fact that it's not well-written (hello, Baby-Sitters Club?). But, what I can't excuse is the fact that the plot is completely unbelievable, and the characters are totally unrelatable. The first 2/3 of the book is simply Bella pining away after Edward, even though he is rude to her and tells her to stay away from him for her own good. (Her excuse for not staying away: "He's so dreamy.") Bella is one of the lamest heroines I've ever seen; she is helpless, whiny, and has no self-preservation instinct. There are so many other YA books that are better written and have a better message. Ok. Rant over. I just don't understand how this book got so popular.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I love these girls. We are alike in so many ways. We all love to talk, especially about controversial issues (women's roles, politics, religion, to name a few). We love reading, talking about reading, cooking, talking about cooking, eating (as evidenced by the cheesecake picture below), and you guessed it, talking about eating.

But we're also different enough to keep things interesting. Both Kalyn and Brittany are nicer than I am; I'm the one who gets on to everyone in our group for not responding to e-mails or letters quickly enough. :) Kalyn's the absent-minded, artsy type, while Brittany and I are Type-A personalities (oldest children v. youngest child, I guess).

We have so much fun hanging out together. Pretty much because we're all boring. Even in college, we spent most of our time together sitting around talking. When you all enjoy being boring, you're never bored. It's great! Last weekend, we had the best time hanging out in the pool, watching Julie & Julia, eating Kalyn's yummy cooking, and talking, talking, talking. Wish we still lived in the same town (or state!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm tweeting

This weekend, I went to Kentucky to visit my friend Kalyn. Our friend Brittany flew up from Texas. We all lived together sophomore year of college, so it was a "roomie reunion." We had a great time! I'll share more later when I get a few pictures from Brittany. As always, I am mooching off others for pictures.

One result of the weekend (besides the 5 lbs. I gained from eating 1/4 of a cheesecake in three days) is that I was convinced to join this Twitter thing. I've always maintained that I don't "get" Twitter. What do you write? Why do I care where my friends are every second of the day? But, then I found out that Brittany, Kalyn, and Erin all "tweet," and that I was missing out on a lot. Turns out I do care where my friends are every second of the day. :) If this blog isn't enough for you, now you can follow me on Twitter. My tweets are "protected," so you will have to sign up for an account and ask to follow me (kjahewitt) in order to see them. It will be all Kayla, all the time. Woo-hoo!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

This week, I made two very good recipes, both healthy because they contain fruits and veggies. (And some butter and sugar and cheese and tortilla chips, respectively.) But the produce definitely makes up for that, I'm sure of it.

This squash casserole is definitely the way to eat squash. It's based on King Ranch Chicken casserole. I omitted the cilantro and used fewer tortilla chips than called for, and it still tasted great.

And these blueberry crumb bars are so delicious and come together so easily. The taste reminds me of the blueberry coffee cake at Starbucks. I love that stuff!

So enjoy and be proud of yourself for getting one step closer to your recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Goal Update

This is so hard to say, but summer's almost over. (I guess it doesn't really matter to me since I work year-round, but summer just seems more fun.) So, here's an update on my goal progress:
  • Go on a picnic. Well, we haven't done this, but we did have a cookout where we ate outside, and we went to the church picnic, so I'm going to call this one accomplished.
  • Play badminton. We've done this a few times, but usually it's too windy (or I'm too lazy). This might be a fail.
  • Finish my wedding scrapbook. Ummm...I've gotten a little closer. I'm not giving up yet. I still have a few weeks left. My friend Megan came over on Saturday, so we could scrapbook together. I made cards that night because most of my wedding scrapbook stuff required the printer, and it wasn't in the same room. We had so much fun! I think we're going to make it a monthly tradition, so I should get a lot more scrapbooking/cardmaking accomplished.
  • Make homemade ice cream. I have made three batches of homemade ice cream, all pretty successful. My favorite was chocolate chip cookie dough. Yum, yum! And eating the leftover cookie dough afterwards wasn't too bad, either.
  • Take a trip with Darby to either Nashville or St. Louis. We went to Nashville with our friends Dylan and Andrea. Darby and I both agreed that it was the highlight of our summer. We're going to try to take a trip together annually.
All in all, it's been a great summer. We've gotten to see a lot of friends and family, but we've also had a lot of down time. I'll miss seeing Darby all the time when he starts back to school in two weeks. But...the beginning of school does mean we are getting closer to Christmas. And I love Christmas!

Friday, August 07, 2009

An elegy*

This week, I had to say goodbye to some good friends. We had only known each other a year, but during that time, we had seen each other almost daily. We had a lot of fun together, but the cost of our friendship was high—both financially and in wasted time. After many discussions and hours spent looking at our options, Darby and I decided we should let them go.

The Comcast man came on Monday and took them away unceremoniously. I waved goodbye as he loaded that beautiful box and the remote with a million buttons in his van and drove away. Farewell Bravo, TLC, HGTV, ExerciseTV, Style, and Food Network. I hardly knew ye.

*Obviously, I'm being a little over-dramatic. I'm actually fairly excited about going back to a cable-less life. When we don't have cable, I hardly miss it, but when we do, I just can't stop watching. It will be good for me to get back to my other hobbies, like reading and scrapbooking. And we do still have basic cable, which includes TBS, so I can still get my Friends, Seinfeld, and Everybody Loves Raymond fixes. I mean, a girl can't read all the time. :)