Carly - Grinnell

I just quit my job to become a freelance writer and go to baking school. Pretty awesome, right? Yeah, that's right, you have to wake up early to go to work/class and I don't.
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May 18, 2012

Short Guys are HOT [Friday Faves]

You may have guessed from the title that I have a short boyfriend. He doesn’t like to be called “short,” but it can’t be denied—at 5’8”, he’s exactly the same height I am, and if I wear heels with even a little bit of height, he suddenly becomes a dwarf.

Aug 23, 2010

The Clairvoyant Class: Predict the Future from Your First Day

We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, half of us do it anyway. Plus, judging by appearance and prior knowledge does sometimes work. (Example: M. Night Shyamalan movies...)

Apr 4, 2010

Intro To Cooking: Make Your Own Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Like Reese’s? Yeah, me too. Honestly, I'm not sure I can ever trust someone who doesn't. The problem is that a girl can’t subsist on peanut butter cups alone . . . but it’s fun to try. No, seriously, the problem is more that those things are crazy unhealthy.

Mar 28, 2010

Intro to Cooking: Marshmallows (and Peeps!)

Besides indulging in Lent-withdrawn pleasures, one of other great things about Easter is Peeps. Honestly, they don’t even taste that good, but those little, tennis-ball-colored marshmallow chickies are endlessly fascinating to me. Put one in the microwave, and it balloons to the size of a basketball. Stick one to the wall, and it will still taste fine three years later. Now that’s something not every food can boast.

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Feb 14, 2010

Intro to Cooking: Banana-Nut Whole-Grain Pancakes

I am a self-confessed hippie eater. No, I do not eat hippies. However, I do eat in the way that most hippies do—that is, staples of my diet include wheat germ, quinoa, and organics of all kinds, and, occasionally, I will even go out on a limb and try something like Kefir. Basically, I want my body to be as healthy as possible, so I'm going to put healthy things in it.

Intro to Cooking: Romance Your Sweetie with Some Fondue

As a foodie and aspiring chef, I pay a lot of attention to food. And in my life I've found that there are three kinds of cooks in the world: 1. Those who turn anything edible into sheer brilliance just from their touch. 2. Those who can follow directions pretty well and make things that taste OK....

Feb 7, 2010

Valentine’s Day Gifts Under $30

V-Day season is upon us again, and even though I’m in a relationship this year, I still feel like I want to punch people whenever I see little red hearts dotting store windows. I’m not a big proponent of the “show your love for someone by throwing money at him” school of thought. I am, however, all for gifts that are thoughtful, useful, and CHEAP. Hearing me out? Read on.

Feb 1, 2010

Cracked Hands? Lather Up!

As someone with very dry skin in the winter and hands that are prone to breaking, cracking, bleeding, etc., I think I have probably tried every brand of hand cream in the nation. Bad for me (my wallet and my cracking skin), but great for you; I’ve made all the unfortunate purchasing decisions so you don’t have to.

Jan 18, 2010

Dec 22, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Holiday Wrapping Paper

It's gift giving time and that means one thing: you've got a lot of wrapping to do. And if you're anything like me, you're way too cheap to spend money on holiday wrapping paper. Plus, is it really fair to our lovely planet to waste a tree on something that just gets thrown away? I don't think so.

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Dec 20, 2009

Intro to Cooking: Big, Fat Ginger Cookies

I like few things better than a big, fat cookie. Really, who doesn’t? So as you might imagine, I am a huge fan of the book Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans. This book is mandatory, people. Find yourself a copy and get ready to dog-ear every single page in it, because it’s that good.

Dec 7, 2009

Body Blog: Run, Girlfriend, Run!

I know what you're thinking: between class, work, boyfriends/girlfriends, and going out, there's not really any time in your schedule for training to run a 5k or some other race. And hey, you may be right—you know yourself way better than I know you. But if you think you can find a spare 30 minutes on most days and you have a hankering to rid yourself of that muffin top or boost your health in general, read on.

Dec 6, 2009

Intro To (Hanukkah) Cooking: Sweet Potato Pancakes

Hanukkah is coming! Unfortunately, I'm not Jewish and don't celebrate the holiday, but just because I can't indulge in 8 days of presents doesn't mean I can't enjoy everyone's favorite Hanukkah treat: the potato latke.

Nov 29, 2009

Wanna Transfer? Here Are Your Options

Sometimes, the school you picked isn't all it's cracked up to be. Maybe the culture just doesn't mesh with you, or maybe you realize after a few months that you want to be studying something completely different.

Nov 25, 2009

I’m Not Thankful For Thanksgiving

Unlike the rest of the world, Thanksgiving is my least-favorite holiday. I know, I know—the food, the laziness, the time off from work, the family (well . . . maybe that’s not such a plus)—what’s not to love?

Nov 24, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Wine Glass Rings

Let's be honest: we college girls do most of our drinking out of red plastic cups. It might get the job done (and it's usually free), but it's far from classy. And sometimes we all need to be a little classy. If you're looking to add some class to your weekly routine, consider having the girls over for some wine and cheese.

Nov 22, 2009

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving? Yes, Please

I’m not a vegetarian, but I have a vegetarian boyfriend (and an aversion to all things Thanksgiving). I’m going to his parents’ house for the holidays this year and, luckily, they’re tolerant of nontraditional main dishes, so we're going to experiment a little.

Nov 1, 2009

Intro To Cooking: Taco Salad On The Fly

There’s really nothing better for a busy college girl than a dinner that tastes fantastic but took less than 15 minutes to make. Unfortunately, the two are almost mutually exclusive in my mind. I say “almost” because I can think of at least one notable exception: taco salad.

Oct 27, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Look Hot with Nail Art!

You don't have to be a Monet to do nail art, because it's basically as simple as paint-by-number. If you can copy that complicated stats diagram into your notes, then trust me, you can put a gorgeous sprig of florals on your nail. Plus, your friends will be totes jealous when they all drop twenties on French manicures and your nails look a zillion times better.

Oct 17, 2009

Organize Your Closet for a Cheap New Wardrobe

So, I live in the Midwest and that means the onset of October is practically winter. I have only about two hoodies and sweaters that are anywhere near stylish, and I really want to do a complete fall wardrobe overhaul, but there’s just one tiny problem—I have about enough spare cash to buy a box of mints from the Old Navy checkout aisle, and that’s it.

Oct 1, 2009

It’s World Vegetarian Day! Pass the Broccoli

I have never really liked meat. The idea of a bloody steak with neatly criss-crossed grill marks on my plate has never been appealing to me, and I have basically limited my carnivorous intake to the occasional chicken breast. My boyfriend is a vegetarian, and I can go for long stretches of time without eating any meat at all. So why am I not a vegetarian, too, already?

Sep 29, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Romantic Dinner for Two

It’s like your mom always said: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Even if you aren’t exactly Julia Child, you can still follow instructions, and that’s all you need to do to bust out a romantic dinner that’ll have him drooling for your food and bolting with you to the bedroom.

Sep 20, 2009

Intro to Cooking: Yummy and Customized Oatmeal

Remember those nasty instant-oatmeal packages you would toss in the microwave on those mornings when you were all hungover but starving? Yeah, forget them. This isn’t that. This is waaaaay, way better.

Sep 13, 2009

Intro to Cooking: Tortilla Chips and Apple Dip

When it comes to snacking, it doesn’t get much easier than chips and salsa. But it definitely gets more interesting. Chips and apple that’s what I’m talking about. This treat is kinda like eating a bunch of mini apple pies, except these babies will save you major calories and take you about two seconds flat to make.

Sep 1, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Vinyl Wall Art

A few weeks ago, I packed up everything I own into a compact yellow truck and drove halfway across the country to unload it all and dump it in a new place. I started fantasizing about decorating ideas for my new pad long before I got here (like on the million-hour drive), and one of the things I was most into was vinyl wall art.

Aug 11, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: It’s Smoothie Time

Even though summer is dwindling to an end (seriously—where did it go?!), there are still a few scorcher days left, and there’s no better time to take advantage of the refreshing coolness of smoothies than now. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just picking up a spatula for the first time, smoothies are basically the perfect meal or snack...

Aug 7, 2009

Dating In The Dark Makes Us All Look Shallow

So ABC’s new show, “Dating in the Dark,” is weird. Like, really weird. Three girls and three guys meet in the pitch dark, often make out, and then get to see one another. They then have to decide if they want to go on actual dates with the people they have just seen

Jul 23, 2009

The Pros and Cons of the Long Distance Relationship

Ah, the LDR. Should you do it? Shouldn’t you? For some people, it’s not so bad, and for others, it’s absolutely never going to work. But if you find the right person and it just happens to be the wrong time in your life to physically be in the same place, is an LDR worthwhile?

Jul 21, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Make Your Own Veggie Burgers

You know how when you go to a restaurant and order a veggie burger, you always end up paying $8 for a tasteless circular patty of cardboard? Yeah, what a rip-off. Is it that hard to make a decent veggie burger? No, and I’m here to prove it.

Jun 30, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Make Your Own Buttercream

Confession time: I quit my (stable-ish well-paying, super fun) job a couple of weeks ago to go to culinary school for baking next year. Was this an awesome decision or a terrible one? The jury’s still out, but the way I think about it, the more time I have to devote to desserts, the better.

Jun 29, 2009

I Heart America!

Sometimes, I have to admit, I feel defective. People I hardly know forward me e-mails about supporting U.S. troops and flying American flags proudly, and I quietly delete them. It’s not that I hate my country. It’s just that I’ve never really felt any affection for it . . . until now.

Jun 27, 2009

Sock Dreams: A Sexy Sock Shop for You

Want something hot to spice up your boring old outfits? I have just the thing for you: socks. Wait a second, now; just hear me out. Shoes have traditionally taken first prize in the category of coveted women’s footwear, but take a gander at Sock Dreams and tell me that socks aren’t far behind.

Jun 9, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Make Your Own Piecrust!

Ah, pie crust. I could practically eat it raw . . . Well, okay, that’s pretty disgusting, so I take it back (sorta). But baked pie crust is an entirely different story. It’s so versatile—you can use it for tarts, dessert pizza, and (obviously) pies. And you can fill those pies with anything—lemon curd, banana cream, fresh strawberries . . .

May 16, 2009

Great Ideas for Parting With Your Crap

Here’s a question: How many things do you have lying around that you don’t use anymore? How many things do you have that you’ve never used? I’m betting it’s more than you think.

May 12, 2009

Do It Yourself Tuesdays: Make Your Own Yogurt!

We all love yogurt—it packs the power of protein, it tastes great, and it goes with pretty much anything. Slop it on top of some cereal, and there’s breakfast. Yogurt with fresh berries and honey makes a good snack or a small lunch. And fresh yogurt can be used to make curries, raita, or other delicious dinner sauces.

May 2, 2009

Get Your Degree and Get Outta Here!

There are a few normal things to do after you graduate: 1. Get a job. 2. Go to grad school. 3. Live at home and freak out about the future.

Apr 26, 2009

I Heart These Etsy Rockstars

If you haven’t yet discovered Etsy, the Internet’s largest and coolest craft marketplace, beware. It will eat your soul. You can easily fritter away three or four hours just browsing through dresses or scarves or jewelry, not to mention shoes, crafts and other delicious goodies.