Friday, October 31, 2008

Aufwiedersehen Blogtoberfest


Today being the last day of October means the last day of Blogtoberfest. I'm so sad. I realize that I can keep up with my favorite Blogtoberfesters, they don't just cease to exist because the month is over. But there was something compelling and motivating about being part of the festivities.

Let me highlight a few of the blogs that I've learned some things about.



  • edward and lilly leaves the kindest comments just when you need a kind word and she's currently working on the cutest birdie ornaments.

  • Erin at fossil compass also leaves very kind comments and she's a very talented artist and has a very cute dog.

  • CurlyPops is not only a very talented crafter she was kind enough to be the give-away mediator (and who doesn't love a good give-away), visiting every blogtoberfester trolling for the give-aways and she did this all in the process of selling her house (and I can attest that to do this while packing up stuff is an amazing feat).

  • Big Cat - the hostess with the mostest. She has a kind word at the ready and has a very generous spirit. Many kudos to her for this undertaking!

That's just the tippy top of the iceberg. There are so many talented, intelligent and witty bloggers that participated if you missed out, you should definitely check some of them out.

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween everybody!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A new favorite

I've become completely obsessed, enamored, entranced, etc. of this album. I can't get enough of it. My favorite song is Please Read The Letter. It's a great song to relax to. Check it out...




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My dog is an internet star!


Better Homes and Gardens has a feature about cutest pet costumes. Guess who got two of his pictures picked - that's right, my Jasper. He's numbers 3 & 6 go check it out here. Although in the blurb for number 3 they call him a she and say that his sweater is handmade. It is definitely not hand made, at least not by me. I bought that sweater at the M&M's World in Times Square. But that's alright, you know what they say in show business...even bad (or in this case false) publicity is good publicity.

Three Billy Goats Gruff

I found this while packing today...



I had completely forgotten that I had this book. I'm not overly fond of this story but having lived in Seattle where they have a troll under a bridge, there's a small place in my heart for it.
Besides, look how deliciously scary this troll looks...

Monday, October 27, 2008

for no reason in particlar...

I love flowers

hedge mazes


and people in period dress

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This is...something I'm surprised I like...

I don't generally eat anything that's green unless it's in the lettuce or pepper family. But within the last few years I've discovered I can add asparagus to my very short list of edible veggies. My favorite recipe with asparagus in it is Asparagus Risotto. Yum! Here's a variation on it that is pretty decent, I don't generally make risotto because I can never get it to just the right firmness but this recipe breaks it down decently (btw, I don't do the blanching, to me it seems like an unnecessary step, hmm, maybe that's why it never turns out right)...

Asparagus Risotto Recipe

1 pound asparagus
3 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 cup water)
About 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option), can substitute some of the asparagus cooking water for stock
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1 Prepare the asparagus by breaking off discarding the tough ends (about the last inch of the spear). Cut into bite-sized pieces. Bring a saucepan with a quart of water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus pieces for 2 minutes. At the end of two minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus pieces to an ice water bath to shock the asparagus into a vibrant green color and to stop the cooking. Drain from the ice water bath and set aside.

2 In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, heat 3 Tbsp butter on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.


3 While the shallots are cooking, bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

4 Add the wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of stock to the rice. Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, adding more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
(Note the stock amount given is approximate. You may need a little more or less. If you end up needing more stock and you find yourself without, just use water or the cooking water from the asparagus.)


5 Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1 teaspoon butter, and the asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Sounds good, don't it? Who knows maybe I like broccoli and brussels spouts and jogging...maybe not.

Thanks to earl and cookie for the theme this week and to angela for hosting.

Friday, October 24, 2008

We interrupt our normally scheduled programming...

There will be no Flickr Favs Friday today (insert fake groan here). Instead, I'd like to share with you the treasure I came across today. After work today I told myself "Self, you've been feeling sorry for yourself and that's enough of that. Girl, go get some retail therapy!" So considering the wisdom behind the words, I went...I went to my most local thrift (op) shop thinking I would find a lamp with the right shape that I can tweak to fit into my soon to be new bedroom.


Well...I did find a lamp but not for my bedroom. I bought a little table lamp for our living room.

I also bought these little beauties for our table at our church's annual Christmas Tea...

They're going to be part of a re-creation of this table...


that I found in last year's November / December Blueprint issue (that is sadly no longer in print). (Sorry about the bad pic)



"So where is the treasure," you might be asking. Well, feast your eyes upon this little beauty...


Who gives away something like this? I'm thinking it's someone fabulously wealthy who decided to redo their kitchen in a different color. Yippee for me!

That's right my KitchenAid Stand Mixer in red (the color we wanted to do the new kitchen in). See how it gleams in the sunlight?!?! So shiny and smooth!
Sorry, anyway, I saw that puppy behind the cashier's counter ready to be put out on the floor and snatched it right up! And a bargain too - $75 (+tax) and I got to plug it in and make sure it works and everything. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself!!!

So I guess this post falls more under the Love Fridays that Big Cat's got going on over at her blog. I LOVE Fridays!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Much better now, thanks!

I was suddenly hit with a monster cold and yesterday was at home mostly spent sleeping. I stayed home today too but overall I felt much better than yesterday so thanks to any of you out there who wished me well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ugh

Sick...real post tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stress is high around here

Things in our household are on the verge of exploding. My sister and I are so stressed out right now it's a powder keg. Every week there's something new with the Escrow company or the underwriter or the insurance company. Since my sister is the one who is actually buying the house she is super stressed and that brings out the worst in people doesn't it? Tonight we had an argument that ended with her telling me she didn't want me moving with her to the new house. I've been hearing that more and more or something along those lines anyway. If I say something about the house she gets this look on her face that says "What do you care, it's not your house"

It's funny how in the beginning it was "Let's buy a house" now it's just "her" house. Which, technically, her name is the only one on all the paperwork (it worked out that way due to the city program we went with and their annual income requirements, not to mention her credit rating is a bit better than mine) but I just feel like she left me swingin' in the breeze. Then threatening me with not having a place to live at every other turn seems a bit passive aggressive. It doesn't help that she uses "we" and "our" a lot...I'm getting confused. I sense a long talk is in our not too distant future.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blog scavenger hunts

Sometimes when I really want to blog but have writer's block I go on a hunt through blogland. A scavenger hunt, if you will. I tell myself I'm looking for something specific...something that will make me think, something that will make me go ooooh, something that will make me smile, etc. Today was such a day. I was on a hunt for things that would make me laugh. So I started with a sure fire, guaranteed to make me laugh blog...Creative Type Dad. Unfortunately, I've already read his latest post so I clicked on Redneck Mommy in his sidebar who is quite witty and her latest post says she's having a give away! But the deadline to post a comment was yesterday...harumph! So on her sidebar I click on Dad Gone Mad...jackpot!

He's a writer and in this post he talks about a writer he admires, Jen Lancaster. He had this video posted on his blog and it had me laughing and commiserating. I now have her books on my reading list, already quite long. Enjoy the video...




Check out any or all of those blogs if you're looking for something to make you smile/ laugh.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This is...my favorite movie.

Those of you who know me in person already know this but my favorite movie is The Matrix. When I first saw it I told my friend I was gonna lead the cult following cuz I knew there would be one it was just that damn awesome. Well, I'm too lazy to lead anything but to this day whenever it's on cable I have to stop and watch it. The concept behind it, the detail in it, the philosophy of it always just gets my wheels a-turnin. And then there's the fx and the action and fight scenes. Since I'm an action flick junkie this movie would have had me hooked on those alone but it's also such an intelligent movie that I just fell hook, line and sinker.
Anyway, I could go on and on but I'll just remind you how cool this movie is with this clip...




Thanks to Hollie for this week's theme and for Angela for being #1 hostess!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Junk Monster

Have you heard of the Junk Monster? I'm sure you haven't seen him. No one has, at least there are no documented cases of any eye witnesses. Here is one artist's rendering...



This nefarious villain is responsible for the chronic cluttering of thousands, maybe even millions of homes all over the globe. He comes in when no one is looking and dumps things in your house even as you're cleaning. You'll turn around and the next thing you know, in an area you tidied not 5 minutes ago, BAM! there will be more stuff. For instance, while in the process of moving, you could pack up 5 or ten boxes of your stuff then you walk back into the room and you're suddenly overcome. There seems to be a neverending array of stuff. You're wondering to yourself how could I have that much crap? It's just not possible! Kvetch not, my friend, it's just the junk monster going about his nasty business.





Photo credit: The Recycling Consortium

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flickr Favs Friday

I came across the photostream of Mary Jane 2040 (aka Rachel) and fell in love with her photos. If you get a chance, check out the rest her stuff.



1. red dress, 2. up in the air, 3. Findus or maybe Lara, 4. buzz, 5. On the Road Again, 6. chivalry and sisters, 7. The Owl and the Pussycat, 8. California 13, 9. long exposure, 10. fortune teller B&W, 11. 1:16am, 12. ares in tree, 13. Omar Sharif, 14. boom box, 15. Thursday

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Comedy of Errors

Have you ever had one of those mornings where just getting out the door to go to work is an ordeal?

I've been trying to get my kitty accustomed to the new litter box spot, which is in the downstairs bathroom. This morning I put her out of my bedroom so she can go do her bizniz but apparently when I closed my door it didn't "click". So I come out of my shower and the cat is in the bathroom and on my bathmat is a teeny tiny pee spot. Grrr.

From there it was all down hill.

I start getting dressed and I can't find two items of clothing that I had planned to wear. Where did they go? The house, I believe, is eating my things. I put on any shirt at this point and gather my laptop and bam - nosebleed. Having only two hands and a limited amount of time, I remedy this by simply stuffing a tissue up the offending nostril.

I take my meds, grab my laptop bag and head downstairs through the labyrinth of moving boxes. I make it down the stairs without killing either myself or the cat who decides she wants to get all cute and attack my feet on the frickin stairs. I set down my bag, and head into the bathroom to brush my hair and exchange tissues (I spy near the kitchen a newly purchased bag of dog food, now why does that stick in my head?).

Normally, at this point I have about 10 minutes before my ride shows up to relax watch the news, see what the weather is going to be like this week, but as soon as I come out of the bathroom I hear her pull up.

Shoes, I need shoes! Didn't I leave the pair I want to wear down here? Nope can't find them so I end up having my sister toss down a pair of flip flops (work is pretty casual).

Ok, grab lunch (canned soup), get rid of tissue sticking out of the middle of your face, say a little prayer to thank God the bleeding has stopped, grab purse and bag and go...doh! On one of the packed boxes there was a coffee drink that had been left out (not by me) and over it went right on my foot. Gross! But hey, I'm wearing flip flops so I go put my stuff in the car and tell Gloria (my carpool buddy) to hold on a sec and go wash off my foot, shoe and all at the spigot near the door.

Cool, we're on our way. I, of course, am regaling Gloria with the happenings of the morning. Then, "Oh crap!" I exclaim, I tell Glo that I had forgotten to bring a couple of things that needed to come to work with me this morning, ok, no big deal I'll just bring them tomorrow.

5 seconds go by then another "Oh crap!" At this point Gloria is just laughing...at me, not with me. I knew that bag of dog food stuck in my head for a reason. My poor bubby has absolutely no food in his bowl. Poor guy is gonna be hungry all day. Well, ok more than likely he'll just be asleep all day but still, I feel bad.

So that was my morning. I'm just hoping I got rid of all of today's bad karma in one fell swoop. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Spreading the word

I've come across some blogs recently that deserve some mention. So, in the spirit of Blogtoberfest here are a few of them. Check them out, you won't be sorry.



1. Made by Girl. Jennifer is a card and paper designer. Her blog is always a treat to read. Visit her etsy shop too and put a little Love in your decor.

2. Paint In My Hair. Laura Gunn, also a designer, has a beautiful blog with lots of great photos and some tutorials too. For some more great art on your walls, visit this New Era Portfolio where her prints are listed.

3. Glitter Goods. Daria is a mom and wife who has her own business called Glamscience where she sells her handmade wares. She also has an etsy shop, my favorite is her bobby pin sets.

If these blogs are new to you I heartily urge you to check em out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's a Give Away!

Just a quick note, I was doing a little Blogtoberfest surfing and came across an awesome give away. Elizabeth at Pigtails and Snails is having a quilt give away and let me tell you, that quilt is pretty darn gorgeous! So if you're interested, hop on over to her blog and enter. In the meantime, check out the quilt - gorgeous I tell you, gorgeous!

The weird, the cute and the snuggly

Have you ever looked at something and found it so pleasing to your eye you just had to take a picture of it then later asked yourself why you were taking a picture of your toiletries and shower paraphernalia? Well, that's exactly what I did yesterday. I got into the shower and thought to myself, "I'm loving this color palette!" So as soon as I was done with my shower I went and got the camera. Now, normally, I adamantly defend my weirdness but in this case I have no argument nor defense. But take a look, don't the colors just look really lovely together?

Please forgive the dirty grout.

Yeah, yeah, I know, "weird".

Now onto the cute...when I'm on my laptop in bed, I naturally have it on my lap, my kitty likes to sneak up under it and fwap at my wrists as I'm typing. How cute is that?!

The snuggly:

I don't have anything to say about this picture but I just had to throw it in.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This is...my current reading material

Technically, I am in the middle of this book...


But really, this is all I've been reading lately
Etc, etc, etc.

To see what else everybody who's anybody is reading, check out The List at Three Buttons. Thanks to my champagne dreams for this week's theme.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Ramblings

MySaturdays seem to be getting shorter and shorter every week. Today I...

Had breakfast with the Parents
Bought a blouse to wear to a wedding
Took a 15 minute nap
Wrapped wedding gift
Ended up not going to wedding because I discovered I really hate weddings
Went shopping for stuff for a Halloween swap on Swap-Bot
Made Treat bags for the swap loot
Moved some full boxes out of my bedroom to make room so I can pack some more
Ordered pizza for dinner, didn't feel like cooking
Watched Gray's Anatomy

Now I'm in bed blogging. Not the most productive day but it flew by.


My sister signed the escrow papers today so now we're just waiting for the keys which we should have Monday or Tuesday. Yay!!


The wedding that I skipped out on today was the wedding of a girl who I was daycare counselor for when she was in elementary school. *Sigh*

Friday, October 10, 2008

Flickr Favs Friday

I love technology! I'm sitting in Starbucks on my laptop listening to my ipod and blogging. Nice.




Anyhoo, this weeks flickr mosaic is all about my soon to be bedroom. I have had this concept in my head about an all white room with accents that can be changed out depending on the season or my mood. So here are some rooms that I find inspiring.





1. BHG BnW, 2. Lush Designs monkey love bedroom, 3. Untitled, 4. design+inc+black+and+white+bedroom, 5. KELLY HOPPEN, 6. b&w stripe via domino, 7. cozy room, 8. Dressing room stuff on dresser, 9. Bedroom, 10. New Bedroom! 03.18.07, 11. bedroom shelves three-four, 12. bedroom shelf two, 13. black blue and white bedroom, 14. pink black white bedroom, 15. white white black bedroom

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Financial Planning and the Single Girl

Sounds like a great title for a book doesn't it? Sadly, it was what I did all night. I had my first meeting with a financial planner. Let me tell you, when you put your spending habits on paper the shame and embarassment is quick to come, at least if you're me that's how it is. My sister, being the more fiscally responsible of the two of us, recommended that I see this guy and after thinking it over for a couple weeks (during which I had my birthday and figured 35 was a real adult age to be) I decided to get my crap together and start being smart about my money.

So, I met with Brian, Financial Planner. He was very nice and didn't even snicker when I told him how much money I spend on eating out and going to the movies. Our meeting lasted about 90 minutes and we figured that I have no savings because all my net income doesn't have any time to make itself comfortable with me. It's immediately turned around and either spent or paid to bills. We also figured out that I have no self control when it comes to spending money, well, he figured that out, I already knew that.

Brian Blue Eyes (that's what I call him in my head) is coming up with a plan for me as you read this that will hopefully "put me on the road to financial freedom". How's that for acting like an adult!?

p.s. I do realize that having spent a few hundred on an ipod just a couple days ago seems to be in stark contrast with what I'm trying to do here but I say that's in the past, lets leave it there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My new toy

A couple of weeks ago, in this post, I mentioned that I was going to buy myself a birthday gift. I felt that having reached the ripe "old" age of 35 I could indulge myself a bit and so I did. I bought myself an ipod touch. It was a huge splurge for me since I generally try not to spend more than I absolutely need to, at least now that's how I am. I used to be a huge spender but that's what growing up does to you, I guess, makes you a penny pinching cheap skate. But I digress. Here's my new toy...


ok, I didn't take that picture. I did take a picture of my ipod but I downloaded it onto my work computer and I'm entering this post at home so this is the pic you get

I'm very pleased with it so far. Although I haven't really done much with it yet, I'm just impressed by the ease of use and the pretty pretty design. It is a little on the heavy side which surprised me considering how thin it is, but the weight is a plus for me cuz I generally put whatever device I'm listening to in a pocket and the heft just serves as a reminder that it's still there and I haven't been pick-pocketed.

So, if you haven't gotten on the mp3 player bus yet and you're wondering which one to get I recommend this one, but only if you're willing to drop a grip-o-bills. If not, go for the more economical Nano.


edit: Here's my pic...doesn't it look just like the one up there just with a few more buttons?

Doh!

Ok, clearly I don't quite understand the whole post-a-day concept because yesterday is missing one. In my defense, I was pretty much asleep at 6:30 last night having been kept up by the kitty the night before who finds my face a very comfy sleeping spot. So that's why there's a missing post. I promise a very proper post later today.

Monday, October 6, 2008

School

Greg Vriethoff - Cast Glass Scuplture

Here's one for all you seriously crafty people out there. Cal State Fullerton has a BFA in "Crafts". Technically it's really geared toward teaching students how to work with paper, metal, fiber, and wood but that covers a lot of area. I've been looking into getting back into school lately and have always admired CSF's art program. For me the "General Studio" or "Art Education" is more on par. But how cool would it be to say I majored in Crafts?!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

This is...my favorite kitchen utensil



Ok, technically, I don't have one of these and also, it's not really a "utensil" so much as an appliance but whenever I think of what I'd like in my kitchen it's this. The Kitchenaid Stand Mixer Professional 5™ Plus Series. I've wanted one ever since I can remember. One day it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

Thanks to Handmaiden for this weeks topic. For more kitchen gadgetry check out Three Buttons.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday ramblings

I'm not a scientist so I don't really know how much stock to put into the whole global warming thing but I do know that there's gotta be some explanation for all the wierd weather that we've experienced here in the last few years. Take this week for instance...on Wednesday it was 104, today it was in the 60's and raining. Wierd and just so you know I prefer today's weather all the way.

Anyway, just out of curiosity, do any of you cat owners know if kittens grow out of biting? Does it magically go away when they become adults? I really hope so cuz this little kitty has some sharp little teeth.

I know what you're thinking - how could a face that cute hide such lethal teeth? Oh, but trust me, my friend, it does. She has a knack for finding the really sensitive spots on feet and hands. So please tell me they grow out of this! Oh, by the way, we decided on a name. Everybody, meet Sasha.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blogtoberfest



Cathy at Big Cat's Emporium is hosting Blogtoberfest 2008. Basically, to join in you post everyday in October. I'm joining in but as you can see today is the 2nd so I'm already behind. That seems to be the prevailing theme lately.

I couldn't have blogged yesterday anyway, I was dealing with the remnants of Migraine Tuesday. Isn't it funny how when you have a migraine everything is amplified to its most miserable. It was so hot Tuesday and yesterday that just sitting on the couch with two fans on me had me on the verge of tears. I did end up in tears Tuesday night. I went upstairs to take a cool shower thinking this would help my head and while I was in the shower my dog made his way up onto my bed and decided to pee all over my pillow and my last clean sheet. (yes, my laundry has backed up a bit, what of it?!) So, I'm trying to strip the bed and scold the dog wearing only a towel and trying to prevent my head from exploding. My dog seems to have this sixth sense about me and migraines. If you'll recall, the last time earned him a nick name. My poor mattress has seen more scrubbing than most other mattresses out there.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. How about you? Join in with Blogtoberfest and let us know.