Author Archives: harderthanitseems

About harderthanitseems

I'm a twenty something psychology grad student with all sorts of hobbies. I started blogging as a way to keep family and friends updated on my new life in Houston. I love cooking, eating, decorating, DIY, shopping, movies, concerts, and most of all, trying new things.

A visit from Megan!

One of my friends/roommates from college is in TX to visit, and I couldn’t be happier to see her! So clearly, that’s #day4 of my #100happydays.  We worked together to make these yummy lemon shortbread cupcakes – they turned out really yummy (even though I only had 1 1/2 c. of flour and had to add a 1/2 c. of cornmeal on the fly).  We also made the Summer Sesame Noodles from this article, and I added bell peppers.  It was a really nice dinner for the hot day we had here.  Big plans for Galveston tomorrow. . . stay tuned! 🙂

Lemon Shortbread Cupcakes

Lemon Shortbread Cupcakes

Me and Megan!

Day 4: Me and Megan! #100happydays  #day4


Tags: ,



<—The sign that greets you over the front door of Witchcraft – Yes Please!

There were actually lots of things that made me happy today, so it was hard to choose (definitely a good problem to have!)  After a long day at school, it was really nice to head to a local restaurant and enjoy dinner on the patio.  Witchcraft Tavern and Provision Co. in the Heights neighborhood of Houston has a really cool vibe.  Having a beer and savoring the gorgeous weather was definitely worthy of mention in my #100happydays!  The burger with bacon, caramelized onion, and blueberry stilton wasn’t bad either. . . Cheers!


mmmm – LIve Oak Hefe

Seriously good burger! (The  side salad instead of fries means it was a healthy choice, right?)

Seriously good burger! (The side salad instead of fries means it was a healthy choice, right?)

Me and my lab mates/buddies Kat and Avante at Witchcraft  #100happydays  #day3

Me and my lab mates/buddies Kat and Avante at Witchcraft #100happydays #day3


Tags: , ,

Slow Cooker Magic

I did myself a HUGE favor today with just a little bit of planning ahead.  Last night, I spent about 10 minutes and put together the ingredients for Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes from Six Sisters Stuff.  I added an onion and used cream of celery instead of cream of chicken since that’s what I had on hand. I stuck the ingredients in a gallon bag and left it in the fridge overnight.  I had a really long day today, so I had to come home to let the dogs out in the middle of the day, and when I did, I dumped the ingredients in the slow cooker and headed back to school.  When I came home 8:40 and had no interest in figuring out what to eat, this is what was waiting for me:

Coming home to ready-made dinner . . . awesome! #100happydays #day2

Coming home to ready-made dinner . . . awesome! #100happydays #day2

It might not look gorgeous, but boy was I happy to dig in, and it tastes pretty awesome.  An added bonus: leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I don’t always get my stuff together enough to plan ahead like this, but when I do, it’s a nice enough break that it makes me want to do it all the time.


Tags: , ,


100 Happy Days!

100 Happy Days!

As a psychology student, the idea of being intentional about your own happiness is an idea that makes a lot of sense.  In fact, we just spent class today talking about the definition of consciousness, and how attention is a huge part of that – as in purposefully shifting your attention toward or away from particular things in your environment. In practice, however, I’ll admit I’m quicker to gripe than give thanks on some days, especially when I’m overwhelmed (which of course just adds to the negative energy).

On another note, I haven’t posted here in a looong time.  To kill two birds with one stone, I thought I would jump on the #100happydays bandwagon – and post a least a little something here everyday! If you’re not familiar, the 100 Happy Days challenge is about submitting a picture every day for 100 days of something that made you happy.  It helps to shift your attention to those positive things in your world and allow those things to take on more meaning – which can only be a good thing!

So, here goes!  The first one is easy – the two pups in my life (mine and my BF’s, who I’m puppy sitting for the week/end) always make me happy.  They make excellent snuggle buddies.  🙂

Day 1: Tilly and Sam  #day1 #100happydays

Day 1: Tilly and Sam
#day1 #100happydays



Tags: , ,

self-fulfilling prophecy. . .

Well, It’s been approximately forever since I’ve posted.  I sort of knew that would happen when I started, just because I have a long history of empty journals and diaries in my past.  I’m a terrible photographer for the same reason. . . I’m too busy actually doing the thing that I’m doing to stop and take pictures/write about it/whatever.  Case in point, I had a Halloween party last weekend, and it was really fun, but I didn’t think to take ONE picture the whole time. You’ll all just have to imagine what me in an owl costume must have looked like.  🙂

My DIY owl headband for my Halloween costume. It was a “hoot”! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)

However,  I’m determined not to let the embarrassment of failing to be a “good blogger” get me down, so here we go again.

Lest you think I’ve been a total flake, I can offer some proof to the contrary:

I finally found and purchased dining room furniture

I halfway refinished and built a dresser (details and the finished product to come!)

. . . and I made a fall wreath for my front door for about 12 bucks!

Before I go, I thought I’d share one of my absolute favorite recipes.  I discovered 5 (five!) bananas in the back of my freezer.  Pretty often, I can’t get through all the bananas I purchase before that last one goes over the edge into the “too ripe” category.  Not wanting to be wasteful, I usually throw it in the freezer to save for making banana bread (too ripe, mushy bananas make the BEST bread!)  I’ve tried a lot of recipes since I moved out of my parents’ house, since I made the mistake of not writing down the one my mother uses. However, nothing comes close, in my humble opinion, so I finally had her email me the real deal just a few months ago.  It’s actually a recipe for zucchini bread from an old church recipe book she’s had for ages, but substituting bananas for the zucchini works just fine.  I usually just take the bananas out of the freezer and put them in a bowl to thaw.  Once they’re mostly defrosted, you can just sort of just squish them right out of the peel, and finish mashing them with a fork.  Also, I love it with walnuts, but it’s good without, too. Seriously, try it!

1 1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 c nuts (optional)
1/2  c oil
1 medium zucchini (or two mashed bananas)
2 eggs
Mix dry ingredients. Add eggs, nuts and oil.  Add bananas and pour into greased and lightly floured pan; bake for one hour @ 350.


Leave a comment

Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

A reminder of why my friends are so great!

I had such an amazing  (and slightly stressful) weekend over Labor Day break.  I traveled back to PIttsburgh, got to see lots of my very best friends in the world, and witness the love-filled (and fun!) wedding of Jamie Rose and Dave.  I also lost my keys and got no sleep going into Tuesday morning, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’d make a terrible event photographer, mostly because I get so caught up in having fun and enjoying the moment that I forget to take pictures altogether.  I did an ok job this time, but once we got to the cake cutting, that all went out the window. It doesn’t matter in the slightest, though, because Jamie and Dave had a phenomenal wedding photographer, and one of the coolest things she did was set up a laptop on the cake table during the reception to show off a slideshow of the pictures she had taken during the ceremony.   Instant gratification!  I loved it.

So, here are the few pictures I did take.

Flowers in mason jars lined the aisle

The beautiful bride and her father!

It was such a nice ceremony.

Husband and Wife!

I didn’t manage to get a shot of the Matron of Honor walking down the aisle. 😦

It was a really nice ceremony, and it fit Jamie Rose and Dave really well! The reception was also really beautiful.  We took time after the cocktail hour and pictures were finished to set up our tents for later in the night, since we’d be camping where the ceremony took place.  Setting up a tent in the rain with a dress on was certainly a first for me, but it was pretty quick and painless.

The barn where the reception was held

The cake!

Aaaand. . . that’s where the pictures stop. I was having too much fun to keep my phone with me, haha.  There was cake-cutting and toast-making.  Dinner was sooo good; it was a barbeque feast (we all know how much I love food!)  Then there were first dances, and everybody got down!  We did the limbo under a necktie (sure sign of a good time!) and the cupid shuffle.  It was such a fun party, and I remember just having a moment where I looked around at all of the lovely laughing people around me and was so thankful to have such good friends!  I am excited to be in Houston, and I feel like I’m settling in just fine, but it felt so good to be back where everyone is familiar and knows me so well.

After the official reception was over, we moved the party down to a big bonfire set up near the pond where the ceremony had been.  It was really nice to have an after-party, especially because I wasn’t ready to go to bed, I was having too much fun catching up with everyone!  🙂  Also, it was sort of fun to not have to worry about getting home, and just crash in a tent!  My family always went camping over Labor Day weekend when I was growing up, so it felt nostalgic.

The wedding was definitely the highlight of my weekend, but it was nice that I didn’t have to head back to Houston until Monday evening, so i had some more time to spend with friends.

Before we left for the airport on Monday so I could go home, I realized I couldn’t find my keys.  We tore Meaghan and Megan’s house apart looking for them, and I called every place I’d been since Friday, to no avail.  I had a quick moment of panic (my keys have my house key, my lab keys, my car keys, basically my whole life) but I got over it quickly.  This was definitely a situation where three heads were better than one.  We came up with a plan b assuming I would never see my keys again.  We scheduled a shuttle home from the airport for when I landed, and I begged one of my classmates for a ride to stats the next morning. I called my other classmate and her husband who were dogsitting for me and had my extra house key to let them know that I’d be locked out, and I felt way better.  I was so thankful to have such smart ladies help me figure it out, and it didn’t feel nearly so catastrophic!

We went out and had a late lunch, and then they dropped me off at the airport.  When I went to check in for my flight, the woman at the counter told me that there was a note attached to my itinerary to pick up lost keys at baggage claim in Houston!  It was some sort of miracle that they bothered to figure out who those keys belonged to, but I was so happy to hear that they were waiting for me.

End of the story, right?  well, not quite.  I canceled my shuttle ride so I could get a refund since you have to cancel 4 hrs before.  However, when I landed in Houston a little after 12 am, the lady at baggage claim had no idea what I was talking about.  She showed me a basket of keys and told me it was all she had.  It was one of those situations where I had been so relieved, and it was doubly disappointing to be stranded at the airport.  By the time she finished looking in the computer system and making a note, it was after 1, and I still had no keys.  I lost it at that point and started crying in the back office of the baggage claim.  It was embarrassing.  I chewed a piece of gum, took a few deep breaths, and pulled it together.  I went out and re-scheduled the shuttle I had canceled, and got home by 2:30.

It was stressful and not the best way to end my weekend, but I went back to the airport yesterday to get my car with my spare key, and checked again with the office and they were there!!!   I am so happy to have my keys back, and that someone cared enough to do some detective work and figure out who the keys belonged to and put a note on my itinerary.  (I think they must have plugged the flash drive that was on my keys into a computer to figure it out).

I don’t know when I’ll next make it back to the ‘Burgh, but I’m so happy I was able to make it for this trip, and I miss all of you already!!!

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Fun Stuff, Travel


Tags: , , ,

Orientation Week

I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything, but that’s because this week has been really busy!  (Also, I’m pretty sure that’s the direction my life is headed since classes start next week, but I’ll do my best to keep writing when I find a little pocket of time.)  I spent all day in orientation Tuesday, and also on Wednesday morning.  I completed a bunch of administrative tasks, like registering with the payroll office and enrolling in classes. I did enough running around campus to start to have the layout figured out, and I don’t need my GPS to get between home and campus anymore (woo-hoo!)

Last night, I had most of the other first year clinical students over for a potluck to get to know one another better before our schedules get really crazy.  It was fun, and it turns out everyone’s a pretty good cook!  🙂

I made this zucchini casserole recipe.  I also made the red pepper aioli the recipe mentions, but I totally spaced and left it in the fridge instead of putting it out with the casserole.  Duh!  I guess I’ll just put it on the leftovers.

Speaking of which, I made a few freezer meals last week to have for the middle of the semester when I’m sure I won’t feel like cooking, and I finally finished setting up my office space and got a chair delivered.  I’ll take some pictures and post about that soon.

I already have a good bit of reading to do, so I’m going to try and get caught up on that tonight so I can enjoy the rest of my weekend.  (what and exciting Friday night!)

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Cooking, Fun Stuff


Tags: ,