Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ah glorious nature!

My mother sent me the link to this video and I just had to share can I keep something like this to myself?  I was in awe as I watched it and only wish I could see things with this detail with my puny eyes.
Take a look!
As I watched this it brought to my mind this beautiful verse from Romans 18:20 where it says " For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world's creation onward because they are perceived by things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Time flies when....'re crazy anyway and have little to no concept of time.
That fits me to a T.
Crazy and timeless....
kind of like the white rabbit from Alice and Wonderland (which by the way I have yet to read!)

Case in point: a year has already passed since my first entry and I completely didn't even realize it until 4 days later.
Who dat? What?
Since then I have accrued a small but very faithful (or awesome depending on how you want to see it) group of readers and followers made up of family and friends, new and old alike.
I wasn't so sure where this blog would go or what this blog would become and to tell you the truth I'm still not sure what to make of it myself.  Maybe a scientific study of documented time loss?
But so far it has been fun and I can't wait to have you all continue to join me in my crazy and let's be honest,  mostly boring pursuits!
Thanks again to everyone who has joined me and I hope to see more of you around this little cranny of the blog-o-sphere.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The end of the Secret Garden

I finished the Secret Garden early last week and never told you, did I?
Well, I did and feel the need to tell you that I loved it!  What a great book.....  If you haven't read it, by all means pick it up and start reading, please.  If you are not much of a reader, that is A-Okay too.  The book is nothing like the movie, but a movie I saw was just as good in its' own way. 

From this book I learned several things ( new beginnings, positive attitudes, English slang...) but I've mostly learned to be obsessed with walled gardens.
The book brought to mind several gardens we saw in Ireland and even some right in our own town.
I want one.  I need one.
I also decided that if I ever had a child and that child decided to be a girl, the Secret Garden is a book that I would A) read to her or B) buy for her personal library because she would of course read....she would really have no choice.
(Can you tell no children are in our story?)

As soon as I finished that book I moved right on to Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie.


So far I'm liking it even more than the Secret Garden.
It's funnier and a little more endearing than I expected it to be.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mad Beer Scientist

You may (or may not) know that my hubby enjoys the art of home-brewing.  Home-wha?
Home-brewing: Making one's own brew at home...usually beer, but not always.

Simple enough, right?  Well not only is it "simple enough" but it is also highly enjoyable to taste after all is said and done.  By next weekend, we should all be doing it.  ( I used to hate beer, but I've been encouraged to sample a taste of every beer Aaron has made and as a result I've really started to enjoy it...some more than others.)

Aaron's latest creation was a stout beer.  Just a basic, delicious and creamy stout.  But he wanted to experiment with the addition of flavors to enhance the stout experience, e.g. coconut stout, vanilla, etc.

So that was the plan- to set up lab in my kitchen to experiment with 6 different additive/extract flavors.  Oh! Here's Mr. Aaron now in the laboratory.

    The Flavors were as follows:
    1. Almond
    2. Coconut
    3. Vanilla
    4. Anise
    5. Rum, and
    6. Jalapeno

Using a (brand-new AND sterilized) syringe, the method was to add drop after drop until an obvious but not overpowering taste was noted.  Each flavor was noted and numbered as was a "test sheet" to record the results of the testing.
Afterwards, we dove into the tiny samplers and found what pleased our humble palates.  We found an obvious NO! (helloooo Anise- you is nasty...) some so-so and "meh's" and one definite YES!
Surprisingly, the YES! was the addition of some jalapenos and their juice, with several shakes of salt.
Sound weird, gross and unlike anything you would be willing to taste? 
Mmhhmm.....I hear ya....I see where you are coming from because I came from there too.  But trust me on is unexpectedly tasty!
And a surprisingly fun thing to do on a lazy day- in the comfort of your own home...

Go ahead.  Try it!  You may be surprised!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have a few days off from work this week and decided to travel nowhere.  Instead I chose a stay-cation (I kinda hate that word but love what it means: taking pleasure from my everyday life in a super everyday home, my town.)

This time though, I wrote out a list of things to do while at home so that I did something other than blog-hop and shop.  Not that I do that with every time off....nope.  Not me.
Anyhoo, I chose to write, then complete such things as:
  • cut out pajama pants
  • manicure/pedicure
  • clean out closet/donate
  • work out on Monday, Tuesday, Wed (you get the idea and so far it has worked to keep me motivated)
  • thrift
There is a much bigger list, but I thought I'd give you a little idea how lazy I am and how much I need a check off list to do anything.  As you can see I've completed some of them and am sure I will not complete others as they've been on previous lists over and over again.

But guess what happened as a result of completing my closet clean-out-and-donate project?   I came to the shocking realization that I DO NOT need any more clothes.  In fact, I like every single piece of clothing left in my closet and have enough to re-create several thousand different outfits.  I would like to wear more of my clothing more often instead of buying something new on a whim.

Just to check that I really got it though, I went to several stores with that knowledge in the back of my mind and came home......wait for it..... empty handed.  I know! I was just as shocked as you are.

So I'm going to clean out what I affectionately refer to as my "crap-room" (scrap and craft room hybrid for those not sure what I'm talking about.) I'm going to get rid of the things I've either never used or realistically won't use again.  Then I will use up and enjoy what I already own before I purchase anything else.

My new motto- via pinterest
 Shocking, isn't it?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Don't tread on me....please

Sometimes I feel like that may be what the treadmill I've been pounding would say (if it was ALIVE and it is not!)

This picture is completely the way I feel when on the treadmill.........
 Funny, sad and oh-so-true.

It is true.  I have been using a treadmill.  Sometimes an elliptical machine and today even a bike.

Do you know what that means?  I finally joined a gym.

I was able to try out a 14 day membership and found that I actually liked it.  This gym is a very small one and more my speed.  And hey, nothing else has worked for me so I figured this may help me out.

But so far things have not gone well.  You see, I don't have cute workout clothes.  I ran my headphones through the washing machine. I suffer from tomato face (bright red face as a result of any physical activity).  Oh and I've gained two pounds. What?!


I guess I need to start doing more than just working out (goodbye candy and schnapps laced hot cocoa...I'll be thinking of you......)

The saga continues.

Friday, November 18, 2011

When all else fails (and it will)

I kinda' feel like this should be a quote for a literacy poster.

Kind of.

But I really do feel this way.  Sometimes nothing else sounds better than sitting inside on a cold and blustery day with a good book and something hot to drink (tea, hot cocoa, hot buttered get the little idea, right?)

So today, in honor of my goal to push my literacy awareness poster that will never be, we visited the one and only book store left in our sad and depressed town.  Oh and we actually bought some books too.

There is a reason I'm telling you this.  I had an AHA! moment at said bookstore.  Since I'm currently in the process of reading 'The Secret Garden' and enjoying the simplicity of a well written and wholesome book, I decided right then and there that once I'm finished with it, I would move on to some other classic "children's literature."  

No this does not mean I will be brushing up on the Berenstain Bears (although classic AND not a bad idea) but instead titles that I remember from having seen the movie based on the book or simply ones that catch my eye as an adult.

So I decided to stock up on a few.  Case in point and on my "to read" shelf: Peter Pan, Anne of Green Gables, Alice In Wonderland, and Caddie Woodlawn to name a few.

 I've also decided if any of these books really strike a chord with me and I'll want to read them again, then I just may have to find some with beautiful illustrations so I may have them as keepsakes that I will always enjoy holding. (Anne of Green Gables is one of those books, however it is not mine and I will have to return it to my sister when I'm done.  Or will I?)

 P.S. I already read 'The Little Prince' and have to say that I did not love it.  Didn't really even like it.  However it was a quick read and I can now say I read it.  Done.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A little secret

I woke up early this morning to the sound of rain and cars driving loudly through the puddles. It was still dark, the house was still chilly and just like that, I wanted to stay home, in my jammies and read as I sipped my coffee and snuggled in a big, warm blanket.

 What can I say? The inner book loving agoraphobic was dying to do just that!

You see, I'm currently  reading 'The Secret Garden' by Mrs Frances Hodgson Burnett.  That lady really knew how to write a story because I'm loving it.

 Apparently, I thought I already read it but I was wrong.  It was the movie I've seen and one I remember liking. 

Anyway, it's the reason I contemplated calling in sick ( I honestly didn't feel well this morning) and really. REALLY wanted to stay home.  But I didn't.  I did the adult thing.  I went to work like a good girl.

I'll let you know what I think of it after I finish it -after I do the adult thing and go to work, come home and pick up the book as soon as I can.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Maple-roasted sweet potatoes

I love sweet potatoes, or yams.....I always get the two confused.
Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for ways to make, then eat them.
I found one!
Here is the recipe
(again...a photo of the recipe card because I am so lazy.)
 and here is what the lil guys look like as they are getting ready to go into the oven for their transformation:

Hope you love this dish as much as I do if you decide to try it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday flops

A couple friends and I were talking about our favorite fashion blogs and what we liked and/or didn't like so much about them.
One thing we all noticed about several of them was the quality of the photos.
Some look like they are done by a professional and others definitely don't.
Then it dawned on us...some of the photographers of these blogs are actually the significant other of the blogger. And they are professionals. 
That explains soooooo much!

So right after that, I decided to host an experiment involving myself and have my husband take a photo.
You see, he's not professional but I figured he could take a picture of me better than I had been.
Here's the result:

Dress: Talbots- thrifted; Jacket: Maurice's; Tee: Fred Meyer;
Shoes: Dansko

When I saw the photo I actually recoiled, then laughed at myself.  As I look at it now, I feel that I kinda' look like a creeper that wants to eat some small children (ala The Big Bad Wolf or Hansel and Gretel). 

Me: Want some candy little kids? (cue the you-can-trust-me smile)
Little kids: "My what big teeth you have!"

Anyway, Hubby thought it was "cute."
(What the WHAT?!!)
Truth be told, the awkward photo isn't all of Hubby's fault.
I will take a majority of the blame for this one.  It's just that it feels unnatural having my hubby stop everything he's doing to take a photo.  Also, I've never been good at having others take my photo.
Where am I supposed to look?  When can I blink?  When should I start and stop smiling?
Wait! Is there something hanging out of my nose or something in my teeth?
These are the thoughts and questions that plague me in the blink of a flash.

But today I thought I would try out a "pose" of sorts.  On my own.  With the help of Mr. Self-timer.
Here's how that came out:
Sweater- Old Navy- old; Tank- Old Navy- old;
Cords - JCP- last year; Shoes- Payless

Now I just look like I'm trying to do crunches standing up.
Again, I'm not so sure I'm cut out for this type of thing.

So, I just thought it would be fun and funny to share my awful photos to show the struggles of a "fashion-like-blog" where photos are completely done without a clue.
Have a good weekend all!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A song that makes you go "Ahh...."

I'd never heard this song until we were watching "Up All Night" last night and I loved it the instant I heard it.
Warning: The video is sweet and sappy and sad, so be prepared to tear up a bit. 
I wasn't.  Prepared, that is.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Excuses, excuses

I have many reasons why posts have been sparse around here.
You see....
Creativity is hibernating.  For a while it seems.
It turns out baking is fattening?
Shopping costs money that is in high demand from bunches of places right now.
Trips are unplanned and therefore, not taken.
Photos are out in the big world that I am avoiding.
And I'm just so tired.

So I figured it was time I shared some simple things that have brought me trace amounts of joy in my sleepy November:

'New Girl'

It's a new show about a quirky girl who makes awkward situations even more awkward and hilarious.
I actually laugh out loud.

Krabby Patties
Who knew this little sponge would reach out to the masses via gummy candy?  All I can say is that this is my favorite candy of the moment and I'm glad a co-worker introduced them to me and the candy drawer at work.

Kat Von D eyeliner pencil

Another co-worker ( I work with some pretty good girls) introduced me to this pencil after I was complaining about the eye pencil I was using at that time.  I love it! It goes on smooth, can be smudged with the built in smudgy and has a built in sharpener in the cap. I only own it in the dark brown but intend to buy it in several other colors.

Miss Piggy

I didn't even realize how much I loved Miss Piggy until tonight.  As I write this post I'm watching the Country Music awards and she was just on.  She cracks me up, especially when she karate chops people.  She was an awesome role model growing up.  I'm pretty sure moi learned how to interact with people from Miss Piggy. Thanks Piggy.  Thanks.


They snort.  They snot.  But they are so dang cute! Just look at that face!

...and last, but certainly not least

Starbucks pumpkin spice latte

Hope you are all finding some of your own favorites to keep these next few months cozy and fun!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seeing spots

Remember how I said I was in to leopard print now?
Maybe I should have said obsessed. Yes.  Obsessed is more like it.
I'm beginning to believe I don't have the capability to just like something.
No.  I love the oxygen out of it until it can't stand the sight of me and gets a restraining order against me.
That is how I love.
(This hasn't actually happened with any real people. Yet.)

Anyhoo....since my last post of all things leopard, I have hunted down and acquired both a leopard print scarf AND some shoes.
It is the shoes I'm so proud of for the moment.
I'm not proud because they are the most adorable and trendy shoes I could find.
As they say where I live: "that ain't gonna happen."
Despite the fact that these shoes are pretty plain, what's so great about them is how much they cost
how much they look like a similar pair I spotted (get it?!) in the J.Crew catalog.
Apparently, if purchased they will prove to be life-altering.  After all, J. Crew boasts that they are "crafted in luxurious Italian calf hair, this just might be the most spectacular pair of the season."
Did I mention they are also only $250?
Does the fact that they are crafted out of calf hair creep anyone else out as well?  No?
Well I'm a little disturbed and I sure don't have $250 to purchase shoes I'll probably grow tired of quickly.
Guess I'll have to buy "life-altering" elsewhere.
How about McDonalds?

However, despite the matter of hair and cost of J.Crew's lovelies, I still think they are pretty cute.  So imagine my delight when I found similar shoes for only $8 (on sale from $25) at Payless shoes.
I know, I know....Whoa, big spender!!
Now they didn't promise to improve my life, but they did improve my mood, at least temporarily.

As you see, originally they had a gaudy, red, fake velvet bow stitched to them, but I could see beneath the bow and knew that the flashy facade could be changed with a snip here and a rip there.
So I took the leap and took a seam ripper to the bows.
Here is how they turned out (pretty similar to J. Crew's hairy flats)


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thrifty thursday- take 3!

Last weekend we went to visit some friends- for the boys to go (as my friends little boy says)"biken ridin," and the girls to go a thriftin'.
I was psyched to explore a bigger town's thrift stores, especially after seeing some of my friends awesome finds.
But you know what?
It just wasn't my day for thrifting.
The only thing I bought that weekend was a new watch from Target.
That's kind of thrifty.....cuz I didn't spend a lot of money....right?
However, I wasn't too sad because I was given this A-MAZ-ING clock pendant by my thoughtful friend Jessie.

I was shocked she was okay with giving it to me, but more than okay with accepting it because
I've been on the lookout out for something like this!
Thank you, Jessie!
But that's not all.
 We came home and the next day I felt this need to visit our local Goodwill.
Believe it or not, I found more than one thing I wanted to purchase.
However, I managed to talk myself out of 3 of the 4 possible purchases.
This is what I came home with this retro- inspired top from Banana Republic:

On the hanger it looks a little granny-esque but I really liked the style of it.
Not so sure 'bout those buttons.
What shall be done?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Music on my mind

Maybe it's because I'm a bit older than I used to be
(it's a real phenomenon and it happens every day)
but I'm suddenly aware of all the different types of music out there:
Classical, soft rock, hard rock, fraggle rock (get it?), (c)rap, R&B, jazz....
I could go on and on and probably would if I wasn't so thirsty
(I won't allow myself to get up and get the blasted drink until I finish this post.  FYI- Self- denial gets things done!)

Anyway, the point of the previous rambling was to introduce you to genres of music I'm more than sure you are well aware of AND to share with you some other ones that I have no idea what they are classified under.
Weird? Amazing?
Okay, okay...don't get too excited. Since I do live under a rock 362 days out of the year I'm suddenly wondering if you have already heard theses songs and you should be introducing them to me.
But I digress.
Here's the first one I stumbled upon the other night and have obsessively been visiting YouTube to listen to it ever since:

And here is the other one I listen to on my way to and from work . A LOT :

And there ya' have it. 
These are the current sounds in my head when I should probably be listening to other things -like traffic, my boss or maybe even Aaron.

Whew, now that I've shared all of this with you I'm going to get my drink now.