Author Archives: Nicole

About Nicole

Content curator, digital observer, conversation starter.

Tuesday Inspiration: Unexpected Art

Weekly Inspiration: Muir

Often times when I find myself having nightmares about press releases and media lists, I have to remind myself that there is much more to this world than a glowing computer screen and the drone of the workday.

Today, I came across this quote on one of my favorite blogs, Tomboy Style. Muir reminds us that nature is timeless and money is trivial. So, this week, take a few moments each day to take a break from phone calls and emails, and appreciate nature’s small wonders.

Bridging the Gap from Portland to San Francisco

For the third time in a year, I stuffed all of my belongings into the good ol’ Honda CR-V and relocated my life. This time, the destination was San Francisco–and I could not be more excited about the opportunities that this city holds. So far, there are a few key lessons that I have learned about this city:

1. Just because it’s sunny out right now, doesn’t mean that you won’t be freezing your knickers off in an hour.

2. You can actually see–with your own eyes–the fog rolling into the city in the evening. It’s rather deatheater-like. (Harry Potter? Anyone?)

3. Don’t take public transportation on Outside Lands weekend. Especially when you’re going in the same direction as everyone who is going to Outside Lands. Rookie mistake.

4. Layers, layers, layers.

5. The fashion in this city far surpasses that of Portland. Sorry, Portlanders. Stop wearing Tevas.

6. On the other hand, I’ve yet to find local coffee quite like Coava or Water Avenue.

7. Prepare to spend 10% of your paycheck on eating lunch out–hardly anyone brown bags it to work.

8. I am not the tallest female in this city, and I am constantly reminded of it. Tall women of San Francisco, I applaud you. Keep on rockin’ those high heels.

9. San Franciscans avoid touristy Union Square–chic boutiques and up-and-coming designers are much more local-friendly.

10. At any point in the day, there is always a new adventure to be had and a friend to embark on it with you.

Until next time, Oregon!

Portland, I bid you adieu. Hello, San Francisco!

Hold the Butter and Flour, Please: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This morning I was wide awake at 7 AM. This never happens. Usually I hit the snooze button a good five times before emerging from my sleepy slumber. On the rare occasion that my body actually reacts to my first alarm, however, I do one of three things: clean, run, or create some mess in the kitchen. After a sweeping glance around the already clean apartment and one look outside only to see that it was pouring rain, I poked my head into the kitchen to see what I could come up with. I’ve been really interested in all of the flourless baking that has been recorded in the blogosphere lately, and so after consulting a few food blogs, I found a recipe that seemed quick and easy. The best part? It included peanut butter, which, as one of my coworkers pointed out to me, is “one of the top five butters.” (I don’t know that I’ve had five types of butter, but I’ll go with it.)

I should also note that my coworkers have adopted the nickname “Hi-Top” for me, so this particular brand of peanut butter seemed like it might be good luck.

Recipe courtesy of Divine Baking.

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and locate two ungreased cookie sheets.

Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a medium bowl. I used my handy dandy KitchenAid, but a hand mixer works just as well.

Yes, I Instagrammed this. It’s becomming a problem.

Mix until incorporated, but don’t overdo it! Next, dump your chocolate chips in and give the dough a few good stirs with a wooden spoon.

Drop the dough by rounded balls onto your cookie sheets. For this, I used my tablespoon measure and created balls about 1 1/2 T big. It helps if you moisten your hands a bit as well so that the dough sticks to itself and not to you!

Bake for 10 minutes and allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheets for about two minutes before removing them to the cooling rack. Don’t attempt to move them right when you take them out of the oven as they will still be soft and will fall apart into a disappointing mess. Trust me.

Last step: pile them onto a plate and enjoy! I brought these into the office this morning and they received positive reviews all around.

bon appetit!

Want the Job? Channel Barney Stinson. (Seriously.)

Barney Stinson–the man, the myth, the legend–can teach us how to stand out in the competitive job market. Sure, he can also teach guys how to rack up the one-night stands, but let’s just let that rest for now. Beneath that Star Wars-loving, tailored suit-wearing exterior there is a professional who succeeds at pretty much everything he does. Interested in doing the same, but with your job search and professional life? Then by all means, read on.

Dress to impress. The man wears suits like it’s his job. He even sleeps in one, for Pete’s sake. While that might be a bit extreme, the point is made. In most cases, it is better to be overdressed than the only person in the room wearing jeans and a frat boy tank top.

Tell a story–with your resume, that is. Barney’s detailed tales of busty babes and bro code history always have his friends’ attention, and tend to have that “stick” factor. When tailoring a resume or cover letter, it is always good to keep Mr. Stinson in mind–paint a picture and tell a story that sticks. (Lies, exaggerations and racey escapades excluded.)

Live by the code. Not Barney’s infamous Bro Code, but close. Know the company’s code of ethics, and how it aligns with your own.

Sell yourself. Every episode, we see Barney sell himself to a myriad of women. Often times it is using some alias out of his personal playbook, but you have to commend the guy  for recognizing his opportunity and going for it. The take away here is that you are your biggest advocate, and if you can’t sell yourself, no one can. Be your own salesman, and recognize your target audience.

Lastly, get creative. The King of Bro Code certainly does this well with his playbook, (the Lorenzo von Matterhorn is my personal favorite), and the same should be done when searching for a job. Create an online portfolio that showcases your unique creative style, spice up responses to interview questions by using non-generic examples and find a way to set yourself apart from the rest.

Go ahead. Make Barney proud.

Simple Snickerdoodles

Last week, I broke out the fire engine red Kitchen Aid and whipped up a batch of snickerdoodles just because the sun was shining. I can’t remember where I found this recipe, but it is my absolute favorite version of the sugary cinnamon morsel because I always have the ingredients on hand. This is one of the easiest recipes around and the finished product is guaranteed to produce smiles!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and gather the following ingredients:

2 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 T sugar

2 tsp cinnamon (I use about 1 T for that extra kick)

Begin by combining the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. The recipe calls for sifting, but I usually just whisk the ingredients together a few times and call it good.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until the dough is pale and fluffy. I do this 1/2 cup at a time–it takes a few minutes but the result is worth it.

Now, add the eggs and mix until incorporated, but don’t overdo it!

Mix your remaining 2 T of sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and set aside. Shape the dough into balls about 1 3/4 inches wide, and roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Space your cookies out on the sheets as they spread a bit. (Note: I have used parchment paper as well as un-greased cookie sheets, and both work fine!) Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through.

Now remove your cookies to cooling racks and spread the snickerdoodle love!

Throwback Thursday: Y2K

Ah, the year 2000. What a blessing. Women everywhere threw away their scrunchies and overalls while men breathed a sigh of relief. What was to come? While Y2K scares took up the majority of that first month, the rest was a breeze of Napster downloads,  Razor scooters (how awesome were those?!) and the unfortunate popularity of “Who Let the Dogs Out?”.

Let’s throw it back, shall we?

Who can forget the infamous “Feeny Call”?! Boy Meets World ran its final season that year. Tear.

Nelly sprung onto the scene with his banger “Country Grammar”. Yes, this song still frequents my playlists.

The Lakers began their quest for the three-peat championship under the leadership of new head coach, Phil Jackson.

Young Kobe, you have much to learn.

And tech-savvy household couldn’t wait to get their hands on these colorful guys.

Ah, the year 2000–an interesting crossover from the painful ’90’s into a new identity.

Oh, right. And as for my own personal throwback, I was rocking the Lady Hoops sweatshirt as a 5’10” 6th grader back in the day. No joke.

Happy Thursday!