Thursday, March 31, 2011

What to do?

     I'm blog happy.  No, not just happy....obsessed.  There are soooo many blogs I've visited and come to love so much that I visit them every day.  EV-RY DA-AY.  I visit them more than my family ( love me...or I can call you.....whatever works.)  I visit sites dedicated to house decoration, others purely about what outfit they wear that day.  There are some with amazing recipes and others that highlight their craftiness, be it through sewing or card-making.  Where does one begin and at the same time stop?  One doesn't.            
     Through all of my cyber-stalking, I've come to realize one thing.  Okay. Two.  I've come to realize two things.  First: I would love to be a full time blogger, expounding on my expertise in some particular area, which leads me to my second realization, which is: each truly successful blog really highlights one area of interest: fashion, food, home, sewing, etc.  As of yet, I have not accomplished either.  I'm very new to blogging and am not an expert at anything.  Perhaps I never will be.  But should I try? 
     Instead of writing about what I did (or didn't do) and posting food AND showing my latest home deco project AND my craft-y project, should I focus on one or just keep plugging along on this little blog that maybe could with whatever pops into my mind?  I guess we'll see.....
     On another note, I 've been really, REALLY into the idea of "re-fashioning."  It's only an idea because I have yet to do any re-fashions.  Any-hoo, I digress.  If you're not familiar with re-fashioning it is the simple idea of using clothes in your closet that are too large, too long, too....well "too" and adding embellishments such as ribbon or buttons, taking in the seams or raising them up.  Another method is to buy clothes that strike you with potential at resale shops or goodwill and adding (or taking away) something to them to make them more your style.
     The whole point of me telling you this is to let you know that I may be sharing some of these re-fashions with you (to add to the-ever-growing-list-of-things-to-blog-about on the not-so-specific-list-of-things-to-blog-about.)  Just giving you a heads up.
     Whitney out.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We've only just begun.....

The title of this post was inspired by this song which I have included for your listening "pleasure" as you read the rest of the blog.  Enjoy (wicked laugh):

SO....Where oh where do I begin?  Oh, here's the part where I introduce myself as a silly, silly girl....How foolish was I to believe that by simply painting one.point.5 (1.5) of my walls that the living room would be finished?  True...the painting process is finished. 

Again, here's the before:

 And the after...Tah-dah!

We are both pretty pleased with the color.  However, the re-decorating has only just begun.  Once we started to put the living room back together, I found that the old furniture (okay, only the "side tables"), pictures, pillows....virtually everything just didn't look
 as good. 

First of all, the table and chest we used as our side tables clashed.  So, we took some matching cabinets from our bedroom and parked them in the corner of our living room.  At first the seemed too small and too dark.  After moving them and trying out a lamp on one table, we realized we liked them there.  They were keepers. 

Another thing we came across was the lighting situation.  I'm over the floor lamp that is in both pictures, or at least not loving it in the living room anymore.  We decided table lamps would probably be our best bet (as we have no overhead lighting in the living room.)  BUT, we don't have any lying around, so will most likely be shopping for some shortly - the one in the picture is borrowed from another room.

Lastly, the turquoise pillows in the first picture didn't make the cut into the second picture.  They just didn't.  So I tried red pillows.  Also, a solid no.  However, two other shades popped into view.  I had some fabric (yellow) and a shirt (orange) that I threw over the existing pillows to see what I thought.  Here's what I saw:

I really like both of the colors against the couch/wall.  So I will either purchase OR try to make some pillows in comparable colors on my own.  We'll see.

Also, we are on the lookout for some black/white photography for the walls in addition to some pictures that know, to keep it interesting.....

All of this decorating/painting has made us want to tackle other projects.  Maybe we will. 
Baby steps.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Let the painting begin

This is what we woke up to today:
It seems like painting was meant to be today.  Or that's what I told myself. 
I kind of followed Sherwyn- William's "painting instructor."  Kind of.  As you already know, I placed the swatches on the wall and looked at them in different lights....for the most part.  We narrowed it down and chose one.  We did not wait a couple days to make peace with the color.  Who has the time (and the days off) to do that?  Not me.  So the shade we chose is "Amalfi." 

Weird name I know. 
We made a trip back to Sherwyn-Williams and bought paint.  The downside is that is literally cost us double what the "expert" told me yesterday.  He told us that after he mixed the paint up and was checking us out.  Nice.  Real nice.  We probably won't be going back there anytime soon. 
 The upside?  I love the color.

My inspiration for the colors came from a peacock feather ( I didn't take this pic but I wish I had):

We already have a lot of the neutral tones on the other walls, so I was pretty sure the blue would compliment them well. 

So without any further ado: The "before" picture:

No turning back now...

The first coat, finished:

I have to wait at least 6 hours before I get the second coat on.  Yay. 
It looks pretty turquoise in these pics, but since I took the pics it has darkened a lot- as it is supposed to.  I'm pretty excited and can't wait to show you the finished product.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paint chips and (you guessed it) cupcakes

Woo to the hoo!  Guess who has a couple of days off from work due to spring break?  This girl.
So, what do I have planned?  Oh-ho-ho...Let. Me. Tell. You.
FIRST- Shopping
A friend and I drove to Bend, OR early yesterday for some shopping.  11 hours later we came back home.  At World Mkt. I was inspired to re-decorate my house, but otherwise I wasn't too impressed with the rest of the stores we headed to.  Please don't misinterpret that to mean I came home empty handed.  Oh no my friends.  I did not.  I bought a few things here and there and was glad I did!  By the way, did I mention that we stopped by a super-awesome cupcake shop and snagged some?  We did.  If you are ever in Bend, please stop by Ida's cupcakes.  What is unique about this cupcakes shop is that you not only select the cupcake flavor but you can also customize the frosting.  After you have made the selection that is just right for you, they head off to the kitchen to frost your cupcakes ASAP.  There are no pre-frosted cupcakes...only what you want.  Lovely, I would say!  Here were my choices:
Clockwise from the upper left: Caramel cupcake with butter cream frosting and caramel drizzle, carrot cake cupcakes with orange frosting, vanilla cupcake with raspberry frosting and last..but not least, mocha chip cupcake with mocha frosting.  DELICIOUS!

 SECOND- Catch up on errands.  I had a lot of things to return to various stores and am still looking for new dresses for events coming up.  Didn't find any dresses, but did complete all of my tasks on my sticky note of knowledge. 

THIRD- Paint the living room.  I mentioned in a previous post that I've wanted to do this since early March ( I think?).  Anyway, I really, REALLY, want to do this.  So I've picked up every imaginable paint chip shade that I think would be pleasing to the eye and have slapped it on the wall.  Case in point:
     With these shade selections I feel a lot like Goldilocks.  Some are much to light and others are much too dark. It's been difficult to find the shade that is "just right."  But, I think we may have found it.  Today I visited Sherwyn-Williams.  Not only did I get some good advice (put some paint chips on the wall, look at it in different light, don't rush it and give it a few days) but I was also sent home with a complimentary "color book" with every imaginable shade out there.  AHH!  Not only did that little book help me to select the shade that will most likely replaced the "so-last-five-years" red wall, but it has made me want to paint so many other rooms.  Think that's the point of sending me home with this book?  Yeah.  Me too. 
     By the way,  I have plans to show you the before and after of our living room when we 100% decide on the shade and get to painting!!  As usual,  I'll play show and tell when the right time comes.  Stay tuned....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not my typical evening

     Things have been quiet on the blogging front lately. It seems I haven't written anything new.  Sorry.  Alas!  It's Friday and it has been a pretty good one at that!  After a busy day of service....all day mind you, we met some friends at the Portland St. Mkt.  I've mentioned this little place before in reference to their large selection of beers.  Tonight however, there was something special there-at least for our little town.  Tonight was wine tasting night.  They not only featured 6 different wines from various vineyards, but they also offered a very good dinner...all for only $10/person.  Let's see, there was a few Chardonnays, some other white ones and some red ones (you'll have to excuse me I'm still wine-stupid).  Surprisingly, I found one that I liked.  It was white (gasp) and wasn't sweet (double gasp.)  The name? Chardonnay from Tangley Oaks.  I'm sorry to report that the other wines did not impress me and I'm even sorrier to tell you that I don't remember the names of the other.  I'll try to keep better track next time.
     But I was able to chat with the owner and explain to her that I am still trying to find wines I enjoy and try some out. In turn she asked me what wines I did like and I rambled on about my typical wine choices.  She then directed me to several wines and "highly" recommended them.  They're supposedly not too dry and low on tannins.  Also, we learned the higher the alcohol volume, the sweeter the wine?  I think that's right.  Anyway, me being the loyal customer, hung on her every word and decided to buy a couple of wines....very reasonably priced mind you.  Here they are:

 I haven't tried them but will let you know what I think of them later. Okay?  Okay.

Up next month is beer tasting.  We are soooo going to be there.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not your average cupcakes..

     Is it just me or are there babies everywhere?  It seems that everyone around my age already has a couple children, are pregnant with another or are planning on having some in the near future.  No, this isn't a post to announce OR denounce children.  I love children but still can't commit to them.  I'm just sayin'.
   Then why oh why am I talking about kids?  Well, I went to a friends baby shower (she's expecting twins) today and talked about nothing but babies for a couple hours.
   Now I'm ready to talk about something else: cupcakes.  That's right.  Cupcakes.  But not the edible kind.  These are onesie cupcakes.  I "whipped" some up this afternoon and was pretty pleased.  With a little more practice, I think I could make them look more "real."  I found several different instructions on the web about how to make them and combined many of them to create these below. 

 Here's what I did to make these:

Things You'll Need:

  • 6 onesies or pants (smaller sizes are easier to work with, but not necessary)
  • 6 rubber bands
  • 6 coffee filters
  • Small bakery box to holds 6 cupcakes or a disposable muffin tray
  • Ribbon and decorations for the top (baby barrettes, etc.) 
  1. Lay a onesie on a flat surface and fold the arms and bottom half into the center to create a rectangular shape.
  2. Fold this larger rectangle into thirds, almost like a burrito
  3. Start at one of the narrow ends and roll the onesie up into a tight roll.
  4. Secure the roll with a rubber band by wrapping it around the width of the onesie roll, pretty much right in the middle of the roll.
  5. Place the rolled onesie on its side into the coffee filter with the center of the roll visible from the top.
  6. Tie a decorative ribbon tightly around the outside of the coffee filter.
  7. Gently pull and arrange the edges at the top of each "cupcake" to create swirls and to resemble icing
  8. Arrange the"cupcakes" in the muffin tin or bakery box and decorate to your liking.

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet" by Jamie Ford

     I've always been very curious about internment camps, as one was set up not too far from where I grew up. However, I've never made time to research the history and stories of these camps, specifically the Japanese internment camps during WWII. This book has both helped me and made me want to do so. Without giving too much away (I hate when I read reviews that tell you literally the WHOLE story) it's a story of learning (both for the character and the reader), love, loss and having your eyes opened. It's a simple story but not a mindless read. It makes you think and moves you to want to know more, not only about the historical portion of the story but also about the characters in the book. I was sad to have it come to and end and even more sad to put it down. I hope you might pick it up!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Smile, won't you?

I first heard the original version of this song in the background at work and didn't know how to feel about it.  I still don't know what to think of it.  Then one day I heard this cover of it and  wanted to share this with you because it's cute and it made me smile.  Who doesn't like to smile, even if no one else sees it?  Aha!  There it is....I knew you would smile.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chocolate chip cookies

I'll be the first to tell you that I'm pretty picky about my chocolate chip cookies.  You see, there can't be too many chocolate chips, but it's kinda lame if there's only one in the cookie too.  My ideal cookie should never be crisp or crunchy, but soft....just like it came out of the oven.  A couple years ago a co-worker brought in these little gems that turned out to be, in my opinion, the best chocolate chip recipe I've laid my eyes on to date.  Give them a try.  People will be eating out of your hands.  Literally.  So be careful with this recipe.

Soft-Ooey-Gooey chocolate chip cookies
Makes around 3 dozen cookies

  • 2 sticks of margarine at room temp and cubed
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1 small box of vanilla or white chocolate instant pudding (sugar free could be used too)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Combine is medium bowl the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  3. Combine margarine and sugar until well blended.  Add both eggs, vanilla, pudding mix and beat well. 
  4. Add the flour mixture slowly and mix again until well blended.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips
  6. Bake for 9-12 minutes

Friday, March 4, 2011


     Eh?  What does aebelskivers mean?  You may wonder if it's a rare disease, or another word for underwear. Wait a minute, is it a bad word?   Fear no more my friends, it's none of the above.  It's actually quite a good thing.  An aebelskiver is a traditional Danish pancake that is in a shape of a sphere, unlike the flat "flap jacks" we all know as pancakes. 
     I first stumbled upon aebelskivers while flipping through the pages of a 'Williams-Sonoma' magazine.  The appearance of the pan intrigued me, the little sphere of goodness  that came out of the pan mystified me and the whole concept was completely foreign.  I had to try it! 

THE pan
     Later, I was talking to my mom about aebeslkivers and how I wanted to buy this little pan to try them out.  I thought I was being very modern in introducing this new-to-me-traditional-food-sphere to her.  Guess what?  My mom was waaaaaaay ahead of me.  She had not only heard of them, she made them.  In fact, she had an actual aebelskiver pan in her kitchen at that moment.  What-what?!  Turns out my great grandmother, Lily Tockey (on my Dad's side) was Dutch/German and she used to make them as well.  Want to know what else?  The pan my mom had was hers.  Amazing!  It seems I didn't just want to try to make these spheres of happiness,  I HAD to!  If both my great-grandmother and my Mom had made them, then so must I!  So, this morning felt like a good day to try a new recipe!  I'm glad that I did.  This recipe comes from Sunset Magazine (sorry, no traditional family recipes yet). 

Aebleskivers or danish pancake balls
Yield: Makes 12 or 13 pancake balls


  • 1 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 3  tablespoons  sugar
  • 2 3/4  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cardamom or ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  large egg
  • 1  cup  milk
  • About 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine


1. In a bowl, mix flour with sugar, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. In a small bowl, beat egg to blend with milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.
2. Place an aebleskiver pan over medium-low heat. When pan is hot enough to make a drop of water dance, brush pancake cups lightly with melted butter and fill each to slightly below the rim with batter.
3. In about 1 1/2 minutes, thin crusts will form on bottoms of balls (centers will still be wet); pierce the crust with a slender wood skewer and gently pull shell to rotate the pancake ball until about half the cooked portion is above the cup rim and uncooked batter flows down into cup. Cook until crust on bottom of ball is again firm enough to pierce, about another minute, then rotate ball with skewer until the ridge formed as the pancake first cooked is on top. Cook, turning occasionally with skewer, until balls are evenly browned and no longer moist in the center, another 10 to 12 minutes. Check by piercing center of last pancake ball added to pan with skewer--it should come out clean--or by breaking the ball open slightly; if balls start to get too brown, turn heat to low until they are cooked in the center. Lift cooked balls from pan and serve hot (see notes). Repeat to cook remaining batter

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bonus Day!

     Yesterday afternoon I was told I didn't need to come to work today.  NO I wasn't fired.  My Dr is sick and didn't want to expose everyone to her illness.  Don't get me wrong, I was sad she didn't feel well but I was also very appreciative that she didn't want to share her germs.  Furthermore, I was psyched to have an "off-day" in the middle of the week!  Want in on a little secret?  I've been wishing for a sick day(s). A lot.  It's not that I don't enjoy my place of employment, it's just that I wouldn't mind another day(s) off in addition to the ones I already have, to do what I want to do.  And that's what I've done so far.
  The first thing on my list of things to do on "bonus-day-off-day" was to sleep in.  It was so important to me that before I went to sleep last night I told Aaron that I wanted to sleep in.  Here's how that went down:
Whitney: Okay, I want to sleep in tomorrow morning, got it?
Aaron: Yes
Whitney: Tell me what I want to do
Aaron: Go for a bike ride
Whitney: No, sleep in.  I want to sleep in.  Repeat to me what I want to do...
Aaron: Go for a walk
     You get the gist.  Well, guess who didn't sleep in? Me.  However it wasn't my beloved's fault.  It was mine.  Apparently my body had something else planned.  So not only did I get to bed super late but I had to get up early, so naturally, I did.  Oh well. 
   I'll spare you the mundane details of us getting ready to go, but that's what we did.  Ready to go where you ask?  Well, we had a list of places to go and things to do.  In the past and usually on Saturdays, Aaron and I have been known to spend the day driving around to wherever our hearts desire, be it a coffee shop, bike shop, Goodwill, antique store, etc.  One of us will call out an idea and we drive there.  So that's what we did today.  I LOVE it! 
     First we ran to Starbucks to grab some coffee for the girls who did get to work today (kind of a condolence prize if you will.)  I was able to score two free drinks just 'cause the lady liked my honest face (not really- but the free drinks are true...).  We dropped them off then zoomed to Diamond Home Improvement to pick out some paint swatches.  I've been reading A LOT of home improvement blogs and have stumbled on a shade that I am obsessed with.  This one is from

We then ran to Fred Meyer's to look at magazines and lamps to further fuel my decoration fire!!  I wholeheartedly feel that this teal color will be a refreshing change from the existing red wall.  One day I woke up and realized I was super tired of the red.  This color was the answer to my......uh....tired-ness?
THEN, we drove across town to the Portland St. Mkt.  At this local establishment, they have a respectable amount of both micro-brews and wines, of which we made several purchases, thank you very much.
By that time we both realized we were hungry so we went drove to our old neighborhood to a greek deli and picked up some sandwiches.  They were just what the people's ordered.  Oh and on our way there I spotted a new bakery called 'Cakery', so we went there next.  I'm always up for cupcakes so we snagged a couple.  Sad to say, the Creamscicle cupcake did not last long enough to have its' picture taken.  R.I.P in my tummy little cupcake!  But here's the P.B. cup-cupcake:
After that, we drove to a bike shop for Aaron to pick up his final installation for a bike he's been working on.  In case you didn't know he likes to get bikes no one loves anymore, cleans them up and restores them into new treasures.  Interested?  Here is a pic of his new bike:

And here are a couple of the bike he restored for me last summer. 
 Take note of the argyle and "super W" on the front.  You can't buy a bike this awesome!! (don't mind the bug guts...Aaron says it's because I ride so fast that they are there.  I have to agree.)
So, that's all we've done so far.  I had such a good day I had to share it with someone!  Thanks for stopping by!  And stay classy....but mostly thanks for stopping by.