Monday, January 31, 2011


things i'm thankful for today:
  • my dad
  • hannah speight
  • dos amigos
  • money to pay my bills
  • the fact that winter isn't year-round
  • my problems are insignificant compared to most
  • no major school assignments due this week :)
  • old music that is still awesome

Sunday, January 30, 2011

something for sunday

"but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. against such things there is no law. those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. let us not be conceited, provoking and envying each other." galatians 6:12, 22-26

random thoughts on a saturday night

i had a discussion with my roommate the other night about what cuisine i'd live off of forever if i could only pick one. how do you even decide something like that? we were eating mexican at the time, so of course i said mexican. but then i thought about italian. and chinese. and japanese. oh my. are you hungry yet? :)

i would like to share with you a big plan that i had for 2011 and a major reason that i switched from my somewhat private livejournal to public blogging through tumblr through blogger. sometime last semester while i was enrolled in an introduction to film class, i made a goal to watch the american film institute's 100 greatest movies of all time. sadly, i soon realized that i was completely overwhelmed and had no time to undertake such a monumental task. however, recently i've begun to visit the idea again and i think i'm going to start very soon! i did a quick count, and i've only seen 17 movies on the list. how many have you seen? i'm looking forward to watching each of them and sharing my thoughts on this blog!

some fun facts from me to you:
  • i broke my toe today
  • i broke my toe once before, kicking a table at panera
  • i have been at work for nearly 12 hours
  • i am spending the rest of my night at work youtubing good music
  • so far, i've listened to about 20 covers of "bella donna" by the avett brothers
  • but none are as good as the original

Thursday, January 27, 2011

keep calm and carry on

in a ranking of good & bad days in my life, today would fall somewhere towards the bottom. it's probably a combination of the demands of school, work, and the rest of my life catching up to me. do you ever have one of those days when everything gets to you? when i lived at home, my mom would allow me to take a couple of "mental health" days each school year. she wouldn't ask me why i needed to take one... she'd just say "ok"and let me stay home and watch tv all day. then i'd pick myself up the next day and go on about my life. oh, if only mental health days were possible in college.

today's fate was sealed when i found out that a very important part of my grad school application for nc state hadn't been received... because somehow during all of my obsessing and careful review of the materials needed i completely missed this document (a form to go with each of my recommendation letters). if it was something i could take care of myself, it wouldn't be a problem. however, i have trouble trusting other people to get things done... especially before tuesday at 5 pm (which is the final deadline).

i was exchanging emails with the head of graduate student support for the communication department @ nc state and i told her how upset i was and she responded with this:

"hannah, don't worry and don't be anxious... keep calm and carry on." 

i love that phrase. "keep calm and carry on." i found a framed poster of it at tj maxx once that became one of my photos of the day last year. i should have bought it then, but i plan to purchase it sometime this year and hang it in my apartment once i leave boone. what a positive message for when you're feeling down!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

RECIPE: Hot Chicken Salad

What is your favorite dish from your childhood? For me, it is hands down the chicken casserole that we had at family gatherings and that my brother and I always requested for our birthday dinners. The recipe was given to my grandmother by a woman she worked with probably 60 years ago. I wonder if the other woman's grandchildren love it as much as Stephen and I do! It is written in my mom's recipe book as "Hot Chicken Salad," so that is how I'll post it here.

2 c cooked chicken, shredded
1 c cooked rice
1 c diced celery
1 c sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 c cashew halves & pieces
1/2 c mayo
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 t soy sauce
croutons, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except croutons together in a glass casserole dish. Top with crushed croutons. Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

something for sunday

"Lord, prepare me, to be a sanctuary
pure and holy, tried and true.
with thanksgiving, i'll be a living
sanctuary for You.

it is you, Lord, who came to save
the heart and soul of everyone.
it is you, Lord, who knows my weakness
who gives me strength,
with thine own hand.

lead me on, Lord, from temptation
purify me from within.
fill my heart with your Holy Spirit
take away all my sin."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

something for sunday

"i waited patiently for the lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord." psalm 40: 1-3

Saturday, January 15, 2011

la vita e bella

i've had to do some reading this week on the subject of memory, and it seems that all of the literature uses the holocaust as an example. i think this is absolutely fitting for the subject of private as well as collective memory. however, it's kind of a downer to read for hours about one of the worst genocides in all of history.

i remember when i was in the 6th grade and we were talking about the holocaust in class, our teacher had us all stand up. she then asked everyone who didn't have blonde hair to sit. then everyone who didn't have blue eyes. there were 2 of us left standing out of about 24. we were the "lucky ones," she told us, because we would have been safe as part of the "supreme" aryan race. at age 11, i didn't really understand the severity and importance of the holocaust. now i do.

because i've been reading and thinking about the holocaust so much, i felt compelled to watch life is beautiful tonight. you haven't seen it? shame on you. no, seriously. shame on you. i own this movie and haven't watched it in a couple of years because it is mentally and emotionally draining to see. with that said, it is one of the most magnificent movies ever made (in my humble opinion).

the premise? an italian jewish man, his wife, and his young son are sent to a concentration camp right before the end of the war. in order to keep his son in high spirits, his father tells him that they are playing a game and must do what the soldiers order so that they can win "first prize." written, directed, and starring italian actor roberto benigni, this film won 3 academy awards (foreign film, actor, score) in 1997. it is italian with english subtitles. it is going to be necessary that you see it. get on netflix, go to blockbuster (if you can find one that hasn't closed!), or borrow it from me. see it. and appreciate it.

tonight, i'm praying for those who remember, for those who share their memories so that we might better understand, and for those who lost their lives.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Parmesan Paprika Chicken

My friends Meghan & Sam were supposed to come to my apartment for dinner last night, but since Meghan was a bit under the weather (feel better Meg!) I was on my own for dinner. Since I had already thawed a few chicken breasts, I decided to go with a simple recipe I found online a few years ago. It's one of my family's favorites.

4 boneless chicken breasts
4 T flour
3/4 c grated parmesan
2 t paprika
1.5 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 T milk
4 T butter/margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk egg & milk in a separate bowl. Dip chicken in egg, then coat with flour mixture. Place in greased baking dish and pour melted butter on top. Bake 35ish minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. (Last night I cooked mine for 45 minutes and they were a bit on the dry side.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

snow day

we finally got a snow day at appalachian today. i say "finally" because lots of other school across the state were out on monday and tuesday and our local public schools have been out a total of 15 days since right before christmas break. three weeks! i am sure their spring break is long gone by now and they will probably be going to school on saturdays later in the semester. at least in college you don't have to worry about any of that.

i found out it was an "official" snow day via email around 7 am. i then spent the next half hour trying to fall back asleep while loud sidewalk scrapers passed by my window repeatedly. i finally fell asleep and woke up again around 10. ah, the joys of sleeping in when you don't have school! i began my snow day by cooking breakfast. since i never have time on normal days to eat anything more than a nutri-grain bar or a pop-tart, this was very exciting... except my bacon was bad, my eggs went cold, and by the time i made my oatmeal i didn't want it anymore. i know, i know, i shouldn't whine.

i would like to say that i spent my time today wisely: getting ahead on homework and reading for class, but i didn't. instead, i organized some stuff in my room (semi-productive!), wrapped a birthday gift for someone whose birthday is over a month away (meghan, that's you), made a grocery list, and watched about a billion episodes of friends. then i went off to work where i was actually productive for 5 hours before coming home to chat on facebook and write on this blog. *sigh*

what a boring snow day. and i didn't even make any snow cream! you HAVE to make snow cream on a snow day! please tell me that your snow days have been more eventful than mine!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

spring semester

this is my last semester of undergrad and i thought you might find it interesting to see what i'm going to be doing for the next 16 weeks. perhaps i assume incorrectly that anyone finds my class schedule interesting. still, i'm going to post it anyway.

  • nonverbal communication
  • oceanography + lab
  • mass media & society
  • crisis communication
  • managerial communication
  • independent study: rhetoric, materiality, & public memory

for my last semester, i'm taking all major courses (my major is communication studies) with the exception of oceanography. of course, i put off my required science classes until my last year. i haven't been to all of my classes yet, so i can't really comment on their difficulty level or how much i think i'm going to enjoy the subject matter. my hope is that the difficulty level stays low and that my enjoyment stays high! if only...

this semester i am also continuing my two part time jobs. i have worked as a student worker at university highlands apartments for three and a half years and as a marketing intern at appalachain's office of arts & cultural programs for one year. combined, i spend between 15-26 hours a week at work.

overall, it is going to be a busy few months for me. however, graduation is in sight (may 8th!) and a wonderful summer with no summer school will follow. for now, i won't think about the fact that my "easygoing" summer of working 50+ hours a week will be followed by 2 years of graduate school. ;) it's a good thing i am a workaholic!

if you're still in school, i hope that your semester has started off well. if you are not, then i am very envious of you right now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

things to make me happy when i'm not happy

i was very unhappy when i woke up today, but luckily i was smart enough to drag myself out of bed to try to make the best of an unpleasant situation. i present to you, all based on things i did today, my list of things to make me happy when i'm not happy:

  • spend time with my granddaddy
  • spend time with my best friend
  • shop (in this case: for shoes, and a dress from francesca's)
  • blogging
  • wear leggings as pants (this is only ok if you're having a bad day and don't have any clean jeans)
  • eat at my new favorite restaurant, genghis grill
  • lounge around while playing with a cute kitty
  • watch several episodes of the big bang theory
  • eat a LOT of ice cream (in this case: haggen-dazs caramel cone)
  • listen to owl city

what makes you happy when you're not happy?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

chef #1: hannah's tomato smoked gouda soup

last night i made dinner for my family. i get really excited when i cook for them for 2 reasons:

  • dad foots the grocery bill
  • it's a lot more fun than cooking for myself, alone in my apartment

the menu for the evening was: tomato smoked gouda soup, spring salad, applesauce, and cheese melts. i had a meal very similar to this at hob nob far cafe last month and could not get it out of my mind, so i decided to invent my own recipe for the soup! i am sharing it with you so that you can impress your families with this delicious and easy soup:

30 oz. diced tomatoes
30 oz. crushed tomatoes
12ish oz. smoked gouda
1 c chicken stock
1-1.5 c heavy cream
fresh basil (i used 1/2 a pack)
salt & pepper to taste

shred cheese, combine with tomatoes and de-stemmed basil in food processor or blender and blend until well combined. stir into pot with all other ingredients and bring to a boil on medium heat. reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 30 minutes. enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

an awkward introduction

introductions are awkward, aren't they? or maybe it's just me. i have spent several weeks trying to decide what the first post on my blog should be. how am i going to persuade you in this first post to return to read all of my future posts? do you like the welcome banner? do you feel officially welcomed? i won't tell you how long ago i carefully weeded through google images of "welcome banner" and selected this one. i am an overthinker extraordinaire. perhaps that's the first thing you should know about me.

other things you might want to know about me are under the meet hannah tab at the top of the page. socialize will tell you where else to find me on the internet. anything i've forgotten? let me know.

i have been blogging for over 7 years already, but this is a new venture for me. expect to see lots of "important" posts here about my personal life as a college student, cooking & baking, design & decorating, movies, art, travel, and music. basically if it's something that i'm interested in, you'll be hearing about it. ok?

i am looking forward to writing and hope you're looking forward to reading!

lots of love,