September 9, 2013
by hannahsurges

Pictures From the Weekend 9/6-9/8

We actually didn’t do a whole lot this weekend. It was still really hot, so we spent most of Saturday at the library at UCSD. I have an exam coming up on Thursday, so it was nice to hide from the heat somewhere where I could actually get some stuff done.

On Sunday it started to cool down a bit, which was good, because we had to stay home and watch the Packers game no matter how hot it was in our house.

We kicked off football season with cheese and crackers (I am so not supposed to be eating cheese.), fruit, and olives.



So delish.

I also drank lots of tea from a jar. Because iced tea tastes so much better in a jar. Not kidding.


And here’s a picture of Sid from this morning. He’s so polite that he doesn’t ask for food, he just sits there and waits for it to appear.


How was your weekend?

Hope your Monday was decent!

September 4, 2013
by hannahsurges
1 Comment

Weekly Eats #1

I like sharing my meals (that IS why I initially started this blog, believe it or not!), but I think I’m done with posts that include every single thing I eat in a single day. Not only is it tedious and kind of boring to read, it’s also not really an accurate depiction of what I eat on average. Instead, I’ve decided to do a weekly post with some food highlights and some meals that are representative of my overall week in food.

Hot weather = cold, refreshing food and drink.

This weather would be absolutely perfect for smoothies, but I ran out of protein powder. So, I’m all about the chia seed pudding for breakfast until my VegaPro arrives in the mail.


I’ve also been really into salt, cayenne, and lime juice combination for fruits and veggies. So delish and refreshing.


Mango with cayenne, salt, and lime is my favorite Sunday morning farmers market treat, and cucumbers and tomatoes prepared in this style make an excellent side dish when it’s too hot to cook a vegetable for dinner. So much better than plain raw vegetables.

My mom sent me a ton of my favorite Rishi iced teas, and I’ve been pretty much guzzling the stuff. I love all of the new flavors, but I think summer lemon is still the best.


For lunch, I’m addicted to salad topped with tuna salad.


We recently purchased a stovetop grill, and we’ve been using it frequently. It’s never too hot to grill indoors! Just kidding, it’s totally too hot. Good thing there’s some chilly white wine to cool things down.


What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week?

September 3, 2013
by hannahsurges

September Reading List

Reading for me over the last several months has been very slow going. I’ve started and stopped several books, and I’m pretty sure I’ve only actually finished one book since the end of June. Given all that I’ve been up to, it’s to be expected, but I definitely have the time to start reading again, and I want to take advantage of that as much as possible before potentially starting school (fingers crossed).

For a while I was really into mystery novels, but a few too many Mo Hayder tales left me scared to go out to my car pre-sunrise for work, so I decided it would be best to take a step back from that type of fiction.

Here’s what I’m attempting for this month:


1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

This is a young adult novel that keeps showing up in my Goodreads recommendations, so I decided to give it a go. I like a lot of young adult novels because they tend to be pretty fast, fun, and easy reads.

2. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

I had a Barnes and Noble gift card that I was itching to use, so I did some browsing on Friday and came across this book. I actually recognized and had heard good things about 1Q84. The only copy on the shelves was really beat up, so I decided to go with a different     title by the same author. I chose this one based on a few sentences that I read from the middle of the book, which is how I usually choose books.

3. Great House by Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss wrote The History of Love, which is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year, if not ever. I stumbled upon this book in our tiny neighborhood library and checked it out. I’m about halfway through this one, and I’m enjoying it. It’s similar to The       History of Love in some ways, but it’s much more subtle and slow moving. I enjoy reading it, and I feel motivated to continue reading     it, but it doesn’t hold my attention for long periods.

4. Herbs and Spices by Jill Norman

I’ve had this book for ages, but I haven’t actually read it except for to page through it or look something up now and then. I’m feeling really motivated to improve my culinary skills and knowledge, so I figured this would be a good place to start.

5. Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

This is an absolutely gorgeous book that my cousin Amelia gave to me and Greg as a housewarming present. It’s full of great recipes and tons of information about all different kinds of vegetables. Once again, hoping to gain some food knowledge and inspiration.

And that’s it! I’ll be lucky to get through these with the 200+ pages of assigned reading that I have to complete this month, but I’ll do my best. As always. :)

What are you reading these days?

How do you choose a book?

September 1, 2013
by hannahsurges

Weekend Pictures + Super Summer Challenge

At the beginning of the summer, I posted about a challenge that I was taking part in called the Super Summer Challenge. My life got really busy this summer, and I ended up not officially completing the challenge. However, I totally rocked this summer and completely surpassed the goals and expectations that I set for myself at the beginning. The super summer challenge was a really good way for me to set myself up for a really awesome, fun, productive summer, so I think it was a huge success. Plus, a big improvement that I’ve started to make this summer is letting go of numbers in my life (miles, weight, size, time). So I guess I kind of succeeded by failing this challenge. :)

Most notably this summer, I…

  • Decided to go to nursing school
  • Took the TEAS exam
  • Completed the 3 prerequisites I needed to complete my nursing school application (in less than 6 weeks, I might add)
  • Traveled to Europe (I so hoped to make it there before turning 25, but sincerely doubted it would happen!)
  • Submitted my application to my top choice for nursing school
  • Had quite a lot of fun

With that, let’s move on to some pictures from this lovely weekend.


Chia pudding in practice.


Sid chatting with his new friend next door.




Hot as hell Saturday night = perfect time for a cold glass of chardonnay.


And grilled jerk mahi mahi with broccoli slaw.


A present that I made for Grandma B. many years ago.


Sunday morning breakfast after a long walk around the neighborhood with a glass of iced tea.


Farmers market bounty.

The rest of the long weekend will involve trying to stay cool, homework (I’m taking human development this semester), and a movie date to see Black Fish. Other than that, lots of reading and relaxing!

Happy September! How is your weekend going? Any big plans for the extra day off?

August 30, 2013
by hannahsurges
1 Comment

Chia Pudding

My oatless existence can be somewhat of a downer. It’s incredibly hot in San Diego right now, and I’ve been craving an old favorite: overnight oats.

I generally love eating few or no grains, so I was delighted to find something that really does the trick replacing overnight oats in my life. Plus, it only takes about an hour (not overnight).


Chia Pudding (makes about 2 cups)

  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1.75 cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Whisk together chia seeds and cinnamon.


Add almond milk and vanilla, and whisk again. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, and whisk again.


Transfer to a storage vessel.


This recipe fits perfectly in an empty almond butter container.


Store in the fridge for at least an hour, serve with almond butter, berries, or anything else you generally like on overnight oats. This recipe makes about two meals or four snacks.

August 24, 2013
by hannahsurges

Stockholm Day 7 (8/2/13)

Our last day in Stockholm came much too soon. Normally, I’m completely ready to go home at the end of a vacation. But every day that we spent in Stockholm made it harder to leave.

On our final full day, we took an archipelago boat ride.









Our final destination was Grinda.




















Beer and chokladboll on the ride back to Stockholm.

For our last meal in Sweden, we decided on one more trip to Kajsas Fisk.



One more bowl of fish soup and one more plate of fish and chips for the road.



When the sun started to set, we took a few more pictures of the city at the most beautiful time of day. I promise it was evening, it just doesn’t get dark in Sweden until very late in the summer.

































I already can’t wait to go back. Such a wonderful place.

August 20, 2013
by hannahsurges

Stockholm Day 6 (8/1/13)

I spent day 6 mostly on my own, so there are not so many pictures. Greg had his presentation and conference stuff, so after another shockingly good hotel breakfast (now kicking myself for not photographing it!), we parted ways.

I started the day with a latte and a few chapters of LoveStar (highly recommend) at the coffee shop down the street from our hotel. I had some shopping to finish, but none of the shops opened until 10, and most of the museums didn’t open until 11. It was so nice to take a few moments to relax during such a fun but exhausting vacation. I took a chokladboll for later, because over the course of our trip, it became impossible for me to not purchase one every time I had the chance.

Have I mentioned my obsession with the chokladboll? Best. Food. Ever.


Sugar, butter, oats, cocoa powder, rolled in coconut, chilled. (photo from wikipedia.)

At 10, I headed off to make a few last minute purchases and then tried to find the Medieval Museum. No such luck. The geography of Stockholm is still a bit of a mystery to me, even when I’m looking at a map…

Instead, I hit the Nobel museum, which I was equally excited about.


I loved this museum! Luckily, I arrived just 20 minutes before the next English tour.


Alfred Nobel’s will


On the ceiling, there’s a laundromat type contraption that displays all of the Nobel laureates. I learned in the tour that it takes more than 5 hours to rotate through all of them.


After a couple of hours at the museum, my stomach was growling, so I grabbed a kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) from a beautiful little bakery and strolled around Gamla Stan (The Old Town). There is a reason that one of the only things I knew about Sweden before I visited was “cinnamon rolls”. This was the best one I’ve ever had.

Greg joined me later on when he was done with his conference stuff.


This picture cracks me up.

We went out in search of some dinner. We ended up going to a really amazing Ethiopian place.


Count on us to find Ethiopian food in Sweden. It was absolutely amazing and probably the best Ethiopian food I’ve ever had.

By this point in our trip, we were both pretty beat. This day ended with some more strolling around town, drinks at a very pretty bar, and an early bedtime.

In other news, my grandma passed last week. We are all so sad to have lost her, but glad she’s at peace and no longer in pain. My grandma was a politician in Milwaukee during the 70′s and 80′s, and there was a great article about her on JSOnline. I especially loved the photo gallery! :)

August 12, 2013
by hannahsurges
1 Comment

Stockholm Day 4 (7/30/13)

We decided to do all of the palace stuff on July 30th, which included mostly stuff that we weren’t allowed to photograph. The unphotographable stuff included a tour of the royal apartments, the royal treasury, and the trekronor museum. My favorite was definitely the treasury, where they had crowns, scepters, and orbs on display. It was so shiny.

We also saw (and were able to photograph) the cathedral, and we attended the changing of the guard ceremony.

The cathedral was pretty dark, so all of my pictures are at least a little out of focus.













August 11, 2013
by hannahsurges
1 Comment

Stockholm Day 3 (7/29/13)


On the 29th, we had an extra busy day. We started by taking a walk to Skansen, an outdoor museum somewhat similar to Old World Wisconsin.

Sights along the way:









(dodging goose poo, not dancing)



The best part of this place was definitely the animals!





This guy made the most hilarious sounds.





Maybe my favorite picture of the day. :)


There were also some great gardens, old buildings, and old houses.






We split a watermelon candy on the way out. Probably the sweetest thing I’ve had in months.

After Skansen, we hit the Vasa museum, which centers around the Vasa, a war ship from the 1700′s. It was amazing, but quite dark for picture taking.


We stopped at Saluhall mostly because we saw it on the Rick Steves Stockholm show.


It certainly was swanky.



Finally, we went for a Sky View ride in the evening.




On a separate note, the last week has been a very difficult one for me and my family. My grandmother has very advanced cancer and will be passing soon. She is one of this blog’s biggest fans, and I will miss her terribly. Please keep my family in your thoughts and send good energy their way.