Wednesday, September 18, 2013

the legend of the frozen fingers

...that the farmer's market is on top of halloween prep, even during summertime.  these creepy carrots i saw could totally pass for frostbitten body parts.

don't go outside without gloves, kids.  it's dark and cold, and you might end up with the dreaded frozen fingers.

it's the stuff urban legends and overprotective moms are made of.   

Monday, September 16, 2013


...for genius ideas.  while browsing big lots the other day and marveling at their newly installed enormous grocery freezer section {at big lots.  who'd of thought?}, i happened upon these yummies.  square marshmallows perfectly shaped for s'more eating, finger sticking deliciousness.  i thought to myself, "who wouldn't want a s'more {or four} with this extra surface area that flattens more easily to create a mallow-to-chocolate-to-graham cracker ratio worthy of greatness?"

s'more mallows might just be the answer to everything.

and then i realized that it's impolite to drool over merchandise that one will not be purchasing.  so i walked away.

but not before wondering if i could reasonably sneak these guys into dinner sometime.  chicken with roasted cauliflower, tomatoes and s'more mallows, anyone?  

Friday, September 13, 2013

abby's monogram

...for sew many buttons {see what i did there?}  last month, we went to my adorable first cousin's once removed birthday party.  first cousin once removed sounds totally ridiculous... my cousin karen has a cutie pie daughter, abby.  her baby rolls and pigtails make my ovaries hurt.  she just turned one, and i wanted to make her something fun for her nursery.  using my own button monogram tutorial, i busted this little baby out in just about an hour. i had all supplies except the buttons already, so my grand total with coupon came to $1.48. 

don't worry though.  i made sure to include a baby friendly teddy bear with our gift, since canvas doesn't exactly scream toddler.  for now it's cute wall art for her space. 

and if she decides when she's older that she's not feeling all the pink, karen can just regift it back to me and i'll hang it on my own wall.  done and done.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

newport back bay

...for old hangouts.  newport back bay is an amazing nature area/ preserve within walking distance of our old house that we never quite took enough advantage of while we could.  now that we're on the other side of town, it's a little bit more of a production getting over there.  picture a precarious looking bike rack tied to the car and two bikes hanging on for dear life.

once we get out there, though, man.  it is beautiful.  walkers, runners, bikers, horse riders and dog walkers all around.  trails for everyone, and a pleasant downhill stretch where you feel like you're flying.

it's the uphill stretch getting back to the car that i could do without.  it gets steeper every. single. time.  and my old lady lungs just can't take it.     

Monday, August 12, 2013

fruit and vegetable fun

...for funny signs at the farmers market.  i did not try said very sweet peach, but if that comparison helps this vendor move product, good for him. 

dear lisa,
you're as cool as a cucumber, and if friends were flowers, i'd pick you.

i probably shouldn't quit my day job to start writing garden copy anytime soon.  my own mother in law is pretty cool, though. 

and at least this guy wasn't selling garlic. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

aggressive baby watchers

...for wilbur and babe and all their friends.  i may not be an animal person, but these newborn piglets made me swoon.  apparently, others find them swoonworthy as well.  the husband took this photo at the oc fair this past weekend, and we literally had to throw elbows to get up close enough to take a picture.  people are sort of aggressive about viewing cute babies {i totally get that}.  these little guys had been born only the day before, and mama looked spent.

my favorite part of this picture is not the several piglets nursing, but actually the rogue piggy in the upper left corner probably doing something he's not supposed to be doing.  what a rebel.   

although upon second look, maybe he's just shy.  i'd hide from aggressive baby watchers, too, if i was him.   

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

cauliflower biscuit fails

...for kitchen fails.  these cauliflower biscuit - muffin hybrids looked so festive in their little muffin liners.  i followed the pin to the letter, and they smelled good in the oven.  they came out sort of potato pancake-esq, with a hashbrown like consistency.  the husband was not a fan, so i ate his plus my own and thought i'd created a viable afternoon snack option. 

and then it took me a week to make my way through the batch.  that would be one dozen in six days.  that's a lot of cauliflower. 

i chalk this kitchen miss up to several things; my lowered standards for baked things when using low carb ingredients, my hollow sounding insistence that nutritional yeast is really similar to cheese {it's so not}, and the pervasive online paleo attitude that cauliflower is a wonder vegetable.  rice, pizza crust, muffins, alfredo sauce... i've seen caulirecipes for all of these.

so i hope to impart the following important points in this post:
* the ricer attachment on my food processor is great.  i would like to begin ricing other veggies on a semi regular basis.
* cauliflower is a versatile vegetable, but let's call a spade a spade.
* these might have been tastier had i added real cheese.  and bacon.  
* if anyone has any ways to use up nutritional yeast, please comment.  my dairy allergic self thanks you in advance.


Friday, August 2, 2013

built to amaze

...for lions, tigers and bears, even if we only actually saw one out of three.  every summer we see the circus, and each time i try and shake off the fact that we are 30- something childless adults enjoying the saturday matinee.  there is just so much good stuff.  acrobats, elephants, dogs, basketball playing unicyclists {they were}, and that was only the first act.  we dutifully buy peanuts and cotton candy and wear the souvenir circus hat around the house once we get home, and we always have a great time.

previous circus blog post here.  we really like our hats, apparently.   

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

zucchini chips

...for snacktime.  i picked up a couple of zucchini last week at the grocer, and over the next few days, watched them sit in our fridge until they were within an inch of their lives.  finally, not wanting to lose them, i followed  this pin  and made squash chips in our dehydrator.  dehydrating is something i've watched the husband do forever {homemade beef jerky}, but never actually tried myself.  to any fellow dehydrator-phobes {just me?  bueller?}, it is super easy.  thinly slice whatever you're drying, season well, spread out, leave overnight, and eat.  tasty and crunchy, i've been enjoying these during my daily 3pm munch time. 

that said, potato chips they are not.  pringles shouldn't be nervous quite yet.

also, be aware that cleaning said dehydrator is a project in itself.  it makes you feel like instead of veggies, you should be drying something a little more decadent.  dehydrated  cupcakes, ftw.

Friday, July 26, 2013

say om


...for zen {or at least the aspiration of such}.  i tend to let anxiety and what-ifs get the best of me too often, and it's gotten to the point where falling asleep is seriously hampered by the monkey chatter in my mind.  so for the past few weeks, the husband and i have been meditating each night before bed.  we set the timer for ten minutes, situate ourselves on pillows and go.  and by go, i mean stop and pay mindful attention.  
i'll admit, most nights the monkey chatter wins.  i haven't quite found that place of peacefulness where the only thing i'm focused on is inhaling and exhaling.  in fact, i feel like julia roberts throughout the pray section of eat, pray, love when she's trying to do her hour long 4 am meditating in india.  trying being the operative word.
i'd like to build a regular meditation habit, even if it takes awhile to enter the zen zone.  it is super relaxing, though.  especially when i lie on the floor like i'm taking a nap.  i think buddha was more of a criss cross applesauce meditator.  but to each his om, er  own. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

coconut pistachio snoball cookie bites

...for yummy snacks.  i'm always looking for ways to use up some of our random fridge and pantry ingredients.  you know the buy something for one recipe and then it just sits there taking up space indefinitely.  chinese five spice powder, i'm looking at you.  {two full containers, and i can't use more than a teaspoon at a time}.

moving on. 

i've had leftover unsweetened coconut flakes for months now, but i couldn't figure out a good use up for them.  i was tinkering around last weekend when i decided to play with a "cookie" recipe i'd pinned many moons ago.  i made two variations, and was able to use the coconut flakes in batch #2.  these are not so much cookies, as little dough bites.  fragile, but worth it for ease of making.  the only bad part about them is the stomach ache which follows eating too many at once.  trust me.

peanut butter cookie bites {slightly adapted from}
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sweetener {i used splenda, but you could use sugar, honey, agave, etc.}

mix all ingredients together then roll into fifteen or so 1 inch thick dough balls
bake in 350* oven for ten to twelve minutes
check for doneness with a toothpick and then let cool for ten minutes 

and if you're feeling fancy {do it.  totally worth the extra step}
pistachio coconut cookie bites
same recipe as above, except substitute pistachio butter {grind two cups pistachios in the food processor for several minutes to make one cup butter} for peanut butter
after rolling into dough balls and before baking, roll the balls around in a few tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
coconut flakes will become toasted and delicious in the oven, as well as make the bites look pretty

both of these treats are yummy, as well as low carb, gluten free, paleo friendly {pb is not paleo, but you could use almond butter}, and can be refrigerated or frozen for several days.

get snacking!

Friday, July 19, 2013

v for victory

...for this little guy i found chillaxing at the garden store the other day.  at first i was confused about why a frog needed to be making a political statement.  it seemed ill fitting.

but then my husband shared that he gives the same peace sign when merging into traffic during his commute.  and i thought what a weirdo how refreshing that must be for other drivers on the freeway.

to each his own {ribbit}.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

sunday afternoon on the island...

...for nature's own abstract art.  to me, this one looks very much like an overhead of  monet's water lillies series.  or squinting slightly, it might be a drippy pollock.  or even a pointellist seurat {with ladies holding umbrellas and picnic baskets waiting just outside the frame}.

but actually, it's just a pretty scene from an outdoor garden.  tall grasses and purple white flowers all mixed up.

and its slight confusion is lovely to me. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

diy happy thoughts decorative wall prints

hello gorgeous and everything is sunshine

...for good thoughts.  i made these cuties a couple of weeks ago and actually hung them in a timely manner {read... craftermath is still very much happening} in our master bathroom.  i liked the idea of seeing them first thing in the morning and last in the evening.  some very unexpected family stress happened soon after i made these, and while it seems trivial to rely on silly mantras, i like their happy energy. 

the best part is, these are totally easy and cost me a grand total of $1.98.  woot to the hoot.

diy happy thoughts decorative wall prints
materials:  two inexpensive frames of any size {i used 8" x 10"s from dollar tree}
light colored book pages, construction paper and/or scrapbook paper for background*
sharpie and colored pencils
glue or double sided tape
ruler and pencil

1.  choose a happy thought as your main text for each print.  a two or three word phrase is ideal here, the shorter the better.  pinterest is a good spot for inspiration.  everything is sunshine is an inside joke my husband and i share, taken from an epic wheel of fortune puzzle solving failure.  yes, we're 80 years old.
2.  decide what paper you're using for the background and plan your layout.  i like the raw edges of the book pages, but that's just me.  line up your paper in your frames to check before beginning your lettering.
3.  choose a letter style for your text and go to town.  i looked up some fun fonts on pinterest, but ultimately stayed simple.  those with nicer handwriting than i {most everyone} can go as fancy as desired.  maybe not too fancy though, or you might not be able to read them easily.  i used the ruler to make sure my letters were straight, but i free handed the actual text.  you could use stencils to make these look pro.
4.  before framing, test run everything and then adjust for color, placement, etc.  i found i  needed to go back and darken my bottom lines on both pieces to make them brighter.
5.  you're done!  frame it up, hang it up, and admire your handiwork! 

* no books were harmed in the making of this diy.  i have several discard books from my school library, but you could certainly sub newspaper or even old maps.

not too shabby for an hour's work.  these could obviously be whatever size you want, and they could be on a canvas as well.  a ton of possibilities. 

happy crafting!

Friday, July 12, 2013

cycle of musings

...for weekend biking.  now that the husband's bike is all ship shape thanks to his dad, we can finally cycle around the wilds of orange county.  or our own neighborhood.  some of those teenagers look pretty unruly to me.

here are some observations from our most recent ride:

this is great!  we are totally doing this every weekend.
i wish my helmet had a visor.  at least it's pink. 
padded bike shorts would be awesome right now.
our neighbor girl has cute shoes.
that park has a tunnel?  cool.
my booty hurts and my forehead is pretty sweaty.
ian, slow down.
i should have brought snacks.  
back home?  woot!

tour de france, it's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

catch me if you can

...for theatre {again}.  last week i was so busy rambling waxing poetic about the segerstrom center that i forgot to talk about the actual reason for our visit, catch me if you can.  i had seen the tom and leo movie version ages ago and wondered how in the world it could be turned into a musical.  i have to say that i was pleasantly surprised, enough to put away my skeptical face by the second musical number.  the lead character had an amazing voice {and was nice to look at}, and the dance numbers were all fabulous.  those girls had some serious cardio endurance.  the coolest part was the on stage orchestra, seated at the top of a large ramp that served as a dancing platform.

i could have done without the oldies next to me noisily unwrapping their hard candies, but that's par for the course on saturday afternoons.

Monday, July 8, 2013

bird brains

...for birds in cahoots.  we caught these two gazing out from atop our kitchen window last weekend.  i can only imagine that their eyes were on the hummingbird feeder. 

sweet sugar syrup in a bright attractive package?  game on.

Friday, July 5, 2013

smooth moves

...for three beverage mornings.  green tea has been in my life {and on my blog} for many years now, but this summer i am embracing the smoothie breakfast.  now that i've learned how to clean our blender* without accidentally cutting myself**, smoothies and i are besties.

my current favorite mix:
several ice cubes, 1 cup halved strawberries, big handful spinach, 1 scoop vegan protein powder, 1 tablespoon flax seed, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup non dairy milk, 1/4 cup water, optional stevia to taste

smush everything into blender: ice on the bottom, then dry ingredients, then liquids poured over top.  mix until smooth.  pour into large cups and enjoy, preferably through a fun straw.

sometimes, i get too excited and overdo my liquids.  a two smoothie morning is a happy morning.

*  after pouring out your smoothie, fill the blender a little under halfway with water and dishsoap.  let it run for a bit, then rinse.  easy peasy.
** true story.  those blades on the bottom are not a joke, kids.     

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

the saturday matinee

...for great theatre practically in my back yard.  oh, segerstrom center, how i love thee.  even though i don't really understand why you changed your name from the perfectly acceptable orange county performing arts center, and i also resent your overpriced parking garage that takes a half hour to exit from after each show.  we have a history, we do.  over the years, i've seen many* shows here.  most were amazing; all were technically impressive; a few were not my taste.  but there's just something about getting fancied up, packing an extra sweater for the inevitably freezing air conditioning, and discussing how great the show is with random strangers in line for the restroom at intermission.

last year, i bought season tickets for my mom and i, and it was money well spent.  i feel very grown up as a patron of the arts.... a patron who packs flip flops because we park a quarter mile away at south coast plaza to avoid said parking garage.

* in no particular order, and i could be missing a few:
lion king, rent, cats, radio city music hall rockettes, jersey boys, wicked, fly me to the moon, catch me if you can, the prince and the pauper {with my third graders}   

Monday, July 1, 2013

#80s movies rock

...for dual purpose landscape design.  this outdoor garden not only fills up space, but it also allows for what could be a really awesome game of labrynth.  to me, the man to the left is staring at the rest of his family and strategizing how to best get over there.

"hmmmm.... i can see them, yes.  but should i go left?  right?  cut through center?  what if they make a break for it while i'm still standing here?"

it's like david bowie should pop out any minute.  you have thirteen hours in which to solve the labyrinth, before your baby brother becomes one of us... forever.  



Saturday, June 22, 2013

ay, ay, ay, ay!

...for summertime.  our annual summer fair tour kicked off around memorial day, and one of the highlights is the huntington beach street chili cookoff and salsa tasting.  we go, we eat, we eat some more, you get the idea.  unlimited chili and salsa tasting is only for professionals, kids.  don't try at home, or on anything but an empty stomach.

this year there was a mariache band playing in the street.  ay, ay, ay, ay!*  these guys were awesome, and almost made me wish for a sombrero of my very own.**

* i googled the appropriate lyric here to double check, and it is ay, ay, ay, ay! canta y no llores.  unfortunately, yo llore.  some of the chili was super spicy.  tears of tastiness, but still.

**i'm sure my husband will make a mental note for christmas.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


...for new vocabulary words.  i think it was glamour magazine which defined "craftermath" as the result of a frenzied creativity binge gone awry.  i don't really do glitter or paint {i totally failed as preschool teacher}, but i definitely do fabric and staple guns. 

this piece was the result of a shower curtain which could no longer fulfill its destiny, as our new house has glass doors.  i repurposed the material as a window covering and small bulletin board display for our honeymoon postcards, and i ended up with this large-ish leftover piece.  i figured i'd know exactly what to use this for after i was finished stapling him to the styrofoam. 

apparently, his purpose is to act as a shield if someone wanders in through our sliding glass door.  a cute, but highly ineffective, shield.  because alas, i've got nothing.  too small for a headboard, not really working for me as a large bulletin board, and vetoed by the husband as a strange wall panel hanging in our living room.

what a craftermath.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

a whale of a... tortilla

...for foodie fails.  in my quest to become a little more housewifey skilled in all things domestic, i've been trying to accomplish some of my pinterest items.  i'm happy to say, my "pins i've actually tried" board is slowly becoming a real folder.  some pins have turned out better than expected {cake batter cashew butter, you have my heart}.  others... not so much.

these homemade tortillas had all the potential to be delicious.  egg whites, coconut flour, seasoning blend, almond milk:  all things i enjoy.  i even shocked myself when three out of four tortillas came out looking like actual tortillas.  you can see the hidden whale tale there on the right which was the result of a batter oops.  i lovingly spread almond butter on the top beauty there and sat down to enjoy.

it tasted like an off pancake.

undeterred, i tried again with a sort of breakfast burrito a few days later.  another fail.

i guess i'm sticking to my costco la tortilla factory low carb high fiber wraps {much tastier than they sound, i promise} for the time being.  i may not fully understand the whole of the ingredient list, but i'll be darned if they don't make an excellent salsa/ hummus vessel.

not, of course, using my pinned "dessert chickpea hummus" recipe that i made last week.  totally as disgusting as it sounds.    

Sunday, June 16, 2013

for dad

...for my dad, who i love and miss every. single. day.

i aspire to be that magic mix of kind, thoughtful and completely uncool one day.  {i'm a third there already, for sure.}

Friday, June 14, 2013

the peculiar purple playground

...for a nice commute.  during my last longterm sub assignment, i began parking a quarter mile away from my school to avoid the chaos that was the parking lot.  crossing guards and school buses and street sweeping warnings were really starting to get to me.  so every morning and afternoon, i walked through this beautiful park on my way to and from work.  whatever this purple tree is, it covered the ground with enough color to really make the scene picturesque. 

one day after school, i saw a lovely moment where a dad and his young toddler son were playing on this playground.  the boy was happily holding dad's hand as he stood uncertainly at the top of the slide.  i felt happy and content inside as i watched.

and then i realized something. 

"wait a minute.  that baby is not wearing any pants!"

moment ruined.  nudity is not for public parks, even in santa ana.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

on keeping a neat space

...that never, not even one time, in the six years i have been teaching, has my desk or classroom ever looked like this.  i've been subbing {and not blogging, apparently} these last couple months of school, and this classroom was a disaster area.  seriously, it was like an episode of hoarders.  all available surfaces, covered in.....stuff. 

"hello, can you help us?  we're trapped in mrs. xxxx's room."
"okay, where exactly are you?"
"we're wedged in behind the filing cabinets and the bean bag chairs, under the piles of papers, next to the full sized piano (!) that's also covered with files."

i feared for these children.  and this teacher's family, upon her retirement when they're forced to bring in a uhaul to clean out her classroom.   

Friday, May 10, 2013

nooks and crannies

...for the creativity of birds.  to me, this is a really unlikely spot for a nest, but some bird must have seen things very differently.  our landlord offered to spray it down before we moved in, but backtracked when she saw the look of horror on my face.  i've never actually seen a bird in this little nook and cranny, but i've seen some feathers.  i'm happy that our rafters are pulling double duty as cozy nests.

side note for you readers:  i was standing on a chair to get this photo when i noticed a hummingbird taking a drink at the feeder just outside the photo frame.  the hummingbird noticed me at the same time, and scared the bananas out of me by flying waaaaaaay too close to my head.  i'm lucky not to have face planted off the chair. 

the things i do for my blog. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

i'm blushing

...for well loved cosmetics.  blush and i have a love hate relationship, thanks to some clown cheek incidents when i was younger.  and by when i was younger, i mean last year.  i was skeptical of this blush that came in my birchbox last summer, and it lived in the depths of my makeup bag for many moons.  it's called staniac, and it's a blush/ lip tint combo that i fell in love with once i actually tried it.  imho, it's better than the nars orgasm blush that everyone and her mother raves about.  even though i only received the sample size, i made it last for as long as i could. sadly, i'm to a point where i can't quite eek out that last little bit from the bottom. 

and i can't in good conscience order the full size until i use up my two other blushes that i stopped using when i found this one.  #firstworldproblems

Monday, May 6, 2013

lilly of the garden

...for our landlords.  after our last prettysurehewasstonedallthetime landlord cheated us out of our security deposit refund, i was very nervous about signing the lease on our house.  i'm pleased to say i've had nothing but positive experiences with our current lady, including her great taste in gardening.  little by little, i've discovered fun plant and flower surprises in our backyard.  husband found this callalily hiding the other day and pointed it out.  these are some of my favorite flowers, and i even tried to use them in my wedding bouquets {tried being the operative word here... these guys are expensive}.  i associate these flowers with calm and peace, and they are my little moment of calm in the backyard.

little moment of calm sprinkled throughout many more little moments of ridiculousness, that is.  such is life.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


...for happy hour.  we received this hummingbird feeder from my uncle as a christmas gift last year and finally put it up last weekend.  to be fair, four months is pretty quick on the using a gift time ladder for me.  i've got giftcards older than my fifth graders.  not being a nature enjoying girl, i wasn't sure if any birds would even see it in our backyard, much less want to drink.

i'm happy to say i was so, so wrong.

the first few days, i'd watch in awe as one bird at a time would fly up and enjoy.  sometimes, two or three hummingbirds hang out drinking together.  it makes my heart happy.

although, if we're being honest, the mixture is sugar syrup.  you could cover my arm in it, and i'd be all about it.  #birdjealousy

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

man meets meat

...for new weekend traditions.  as a kid, i suffered from sunday night anxiety.  unfortunately, this has only gotten worse as an adult.  taking advantage of the recent spate of gorgeous weather {which i'm sure will turn to rain now that i've blogged it}, we've been enjoying beers and bratwursts as an end of weekend happy moment the past few weeks.  husband loves his grill, and i enjoy standing inside far away from any flareups which might leave one eyebrowless.  win win.

Friday, April 26, 2013

optical illusion squirrels

...for the power of imagination.  this past weekend at target, i saw a random squirrel in the parking lot making a beeline for this tree.  {squirrels and bees and target, oh my}.  he really seemed to be enjoying himself up there.  it looked like he was snuggling against the branch...although he might have been scratching an itch.  dunno.  i took out my camera and tried to get close without scaring him off, but he disappeared before i could get my zoom on. 

so since we're all friends here, just look at the pretty picture above and imagine a squirrel enjoying a sunny saturday afternoon.  and perhaps an acorn or two.  pretend he's one of those rare camoflauging squirrels.

ok, this post is officially ridiculous.  have a good day. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

paint sample art

...that home depot's paint guys don't bat an eye at sample hoarders like me {the same could be said for costco samples, but that's another post}.  still on the quest to decorate our empty rental walls, i found these two fun pins that inspired me.  originally, i tried to use stamp pads for this project.

don't do that.

to be fair, had i been using an actual dedicated rubber stamp for each color of ink instead of my fingers, i'm sure you could totally do that and it would turn out well.


diy abstract wall art

canvas size of your choice {i used 8" x 10" because i had some left over from a michael's impulse bulk canvas pack purchase, but i think this would have been even cuter a little larger}
construction or scrapbook paper, color of your choice
spray adhesive, glue or double stick tape
assorted paint samples {free at any hardware store}
2" circular punch {mine's from joanns}

cover your canvas with your construction paper, using whatever adhesive you like.  i used double stick tape because i didn't want the glue to wrinkle.  i'm sure modge podge would work here, too.
punch out your paint samples until you have enough to play around with on your canvas.
create your design.  i moved these little guys around quite a bit until i was happy.  you could go abstract like i did, but i also created a triangle ombre pattern that i really liked.
turn your dots over and apply adhesive, then attach to your canvas.

were i to do this one again, i think i'd use an actual picture frame instead of a canvas.  after hanging it on my wall, i wish it had a defined border.  however, not leaving the house to buy a frame meant that this project could be completed with jammies and dirty hair.  and that's a win in my book.

if you try it, comment/link!

Monday, April 22, 2013

spring fling

...that spring has sprung.  i saw this tree at work a couple of weeks ago and loved the unique color and shape of the blooms.  i took a picture not knowing what they were, only that i enjoyed them.  {i was definitely busted by a student while taking the picture, who thought it was amusing i was standing all up in the tree's business trying to get a closeup.  i told the kid to go back to the playground}. 

flash forward a few days, when i saw an almost identical picture on one of my favorite blogs.  apparently, they are bottle brush.  looking at them now, that makes perfect sense.  i love it when things are named for what they actually look like.  {cough cough red onions, i'm looking at you}.   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

california girl

...that my home state is relatively easy to freehand.  i've been wishing after this super cute tshirt for a few weeks now, since they seemed to have popped up all over blogland.  when i realized i could diy it for next to nothing, color me satisfied.

wall art home state diy

materials:  16" x 20" frame
construction or scrapbook paper in the color of your choice
black sharpie
paint samples {free at home depot}
2" round punch {i used a coupon and my teacher discount at joanns}

1.  cut your construction paper to fit your frame
2.  freehand or stencil your state's outline in pencil first, and then trace with sharpie
3.  i'm a socal girl, so i wanted to place the home script near the bottom.  totally optional.
4.  also optional, but fun, is to use the punch and paint samples to highlight places that you've traveled to throughout your state.  i've been to norcal several times to visit, but i wanted to show places that my husband and i have been to together as a couple. 

considering that i am craft challenged {i didn't post the "places we've visited across the united states" companion piece i made.  trust me.  fail.}, i was really pleased with how this turned out.  leave a comment/link if you try it!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

big wall o' stuff

...that we have an extra bedroom for me to practice arranging and rearranging and second guessing myself our future living room gallery wall without making a permanent commitment.  the top two rows {with the exception of our jamaica honeymoon print} are all my own craftiness, but the stars of the show are these photos taken by my brother in law.  i see them {esp. the middle one} and i'm right back at ucsb.

i ordered a map print online {code for free us travel map}, which may or may not make it into this display somewhere before it's finally hung.  but for now, it's  really brightening up the floor of our third bedroom.        

Monday, April 15, 2013

they say the first anniversary gift is paper

amy and ian had coffee, fell in love, and got married.  and they lived happily ever after.

...that my dad always knew the value of a good map.  because my directional sense is...challenged... and occasionally i get lost in my own neighborhood , back in the day i relied on these really cool laminated fold out maps of orange county to get me where i needed to be.  they stayed in the back of my car, unloved, until last month when i used them for an anniversary project.  thanks to these tutorials, i got my craft on and am pretty pleased with how it turned out.  i should have used darker ink, but each map shows the exact location of significant relationship events. 

my inner mushmellow smiles each time i see it.  i'll love it even more after it's hung up on the wall.  my current MO is making cute stuff and then delaying deciding exactly where to put it.  i'd like to blame our strict rental rules, but i can't.  it's just me.

Friday, April 12, 2013


...for my poor shopping skills.  i was so excited to find this cheapie frame the other day at ikea; i knew it would be perfect for my currently frameless anniversary map project.  only after getting it home and taking it apart did i realize that the plastic "glass" was not actually meant to protect anything which might be framed.  in fact, it had printing all over it which i somehow managed not to see back at the store.

womp womp.

serendipitous this turned out to be, however, because i've been looking for a use for the extra half of a shower curtain which had been appropriated for window blinds.  with the curtain, some kitchen twine and some fabric glue, i was able to make this cute bulletin board.  right as i finished the board, i remembered that we had some honeymoon postcards hanging out in a bag in the office.

my inner pinterester is so proud.     

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

if you build it

...for my love of swedish furniture {and meatballs, but that's neither nor there}.  we've lived in our new place for six months or so, and i finally decided that our lack of dining room table was a deal breaker.  {insert husband's, "you just bought the table bc you had a friend coming over."  maybe.  not true at all}.  don't get me wrong.  i'm really proud of myself for putting the table and chairs together without anyone's help.  as soon as it's all stained, i'll post an after shot. 

but let's be honest.  the real accomplishment here was getting all five pieces from the high ikea shelf to the low shopping cart, then into my little corolla, and finally from the garage to the house.  seriously, i won before i even opened the boxes.    

Monday, April 8, 2013

herbs of a feather

...that i can proudly say, "oh, those herbs? yeah, i grew them myself. no biggie." i am so relieved happy that my little chia guys are doing well.  we had a close call with mold there for a bit, but i'm finally able to begin adding my basil, chives and parsley to salads.  no official green thumb for me quite yet, but baby steps. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

of champions

...for vacation breakfast each morning this week, with a delicious side of blogs.  spring break, i'm just not ready to say goodbye. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

married errands

...that my husband enjoys my company so much, he waits to run even the most mundane errands until we can do them together.  on friday nights.  on our way out to dinner.  my whining about being so hungry i could eat my arm falls on deaf ears.

it's cool, honey.  i'll get some gummy bears from the shop inside while you fill er up.  win win.

Friday, March 29, 2013

random acts and sprinklers

...for attempted gratitude.  we have a secret trashcan agent in our new neighborhood who rolls our big greens in for us each week.  although i have my suspicions {super cute old man joe from next door}, i can't confirm anything.  so last week, i wrote a note and taped it to the trashcan as a we know what you're doing and we appreciate you and if you ever want to come inside and empty our smelly kitchen trash directly that would be great sentiment.  i taped the note to the can thursday afternoon and rolled it to the curb.

as i left for work friday morning and saw the trashcan waiting there with my note, i felt encouraged.  encouraged that people still practice random acts of kindness for relative strangers.  it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

and then i watched in horror as our front lawn sprinklers came on and drenched both trashcan and note with water. 

can't win 'em all.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

happy farmers

...that bribery is alive and well in our public education system.  i'm currently longterm subbing for a fifth grade class while their teacher is on medical leave.  my first day last week, i saw this large jar of candy on top of her desk.  aside from general lesson plans was a single note on classroom management:  no matter what they say, you do not have to give the students jolly ranchers for doing their homework each day.  apparently, another sub had gone through the entire jar in a two week time span a few months prior.  i imagine little sticky hands and the sound of crinkly wrappers all day every day.  shudder.

although i did pat myself on the back for not promoting sugar highs my first day, i did fall for the "we go to lunch 10 minutes early to avoid the long lines" speech.  however, this one benefits me as well as them, so i've been slower to nip that one in the bud.     

Monday, March 25, 2013

one year later

...for our one year wedding anniversary.  once my photographer's booty {thanks, mom} was cropped out of this picture, it became one of my favorites from our first look session.  totally owning my cliche-ness, it's hard to believe that we've been married for an entire year.  a whole year.  it seems like both a long time and no time at all.  i wish i hadn't let myself get so stressed out over our wedding, because in the end it's one day of your marriage story.  being married isn't all puppies and rainbows, but it's work in the best meaning of the word.  i'm lucky and grateful today.

{funny side note: i was reeeeeeeaaaaaalllyy looking forward to establishing an anniversary tradition of sunday brunch at our venue, since gross wedding food is a huge pet peeve of mine.  when i called to make a reservation, i learned that the foxfire grill is now a nightclub.  sad trombone.  husband decided that our marriage broke their mold and they had to shut down.}   

Friday, March 15, 2013

we all scream

...for the love notes that married people leave for each other.  i fell even more in love with my husband when he started making me sugar and dairy free ice cream a few years ago.  {between the two of us, we have about eight billion allergies}.  my job every few weeks is to prep his ingredients like the sous chef that i aspire to be, and his job is to keep desserts on hand at all times.  why we didn't include this agreement in our wedding vows was a serious oversight.    

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

family love

...for family time {especially even if you're not related}.  i found this one in my archive the other day from the husband's bday dinner at benihana's a few months ago.  due to yuck weather, our party of eleven became just the four of us.  we talked; we laughed; we watched the chef cook our food right in front of us.  the onion volcano makes me happy every. single. time.  i couldn't get ian to wear the giant birthday hat, but i've got fifty more years or so to get on that.       

Monday, March 11, 2013

the weather up there

...for optical illusions.  on my walk the other day, i found myself marveling at these forever long legs.  nevermind the fact that i look like i'm on stilts, i'd be nine feet tall in real life if this picture was real, or even the horrors that would be pants shopping.  for a moment here, i was tall.  alas, my little legs can only dream.   

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

crock of spit

...for google, which taught me that the key to outsmarting a cranky crockpot {spitting out boiling water onto the kitchen counter is never okay} is not to jiggle the lid around and frown at the thing as i first tried.  instead, it appears that weighting down the top is the more sensible way to go.  who knew?  other googlers, that's who.

side note:  i can totally see my picture taking reflection in the bowl.  that photo course i took back in november has clearly paid off.  notsomuch.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

ch ch ch chia

...for getting my green thumb on.  plants and i haven't always been friends {i once killed bamboo}.  but i'm turning over a new leaf {ha ha} with my new little chia pots.  in a little bit, we'll have basil, chives and parsely that i can proudly declare i grew myself.  i even made these fun little greenhouses out of sandwich bags like the directions told me to.  it's been two weeks or so since this picture, and i'm actually seeing basil looking sprouts appearing.  i've probably jinxed myself by posting that, but i'm proud my little ones have made it thus far alive.