around here: december 2013

peanut butter m&ms and fritos get me through long drives // new running shoes {thanks mom!} // pretty snow // pain in the butt snow // his&hers on the couch // soft morning sunlight // what a combo, groupon.... // all of the important parts were covered // hehehe


ho ho ho!

merry christmas 
happy present day
whatever you do, enjoy the day
eat, drink, and be merry
and drink some more!


does it make you uncomfortable when i use the word 'dongle?'

i hope by now you have all of your holiday shopping done, if not be nice to the retail people, working retail sucks. conserve some compassion for greg though, because this is what its like to go shopping with me anytime of the year...


deck the halls....2013

the rest of our house/apartment may be pretty spacious, but the living room is quite ittybitty cozy. there are two huge doorways, a big window/radiator combo smack dab in the middle of the third wall, and a giant tv involved. call me a grinch, but i have strong feelings against squeezing in a christmas tree too.  so we just work with what we have {including the landlords choice in walpaper...}.

i think the 3-d paper snowflakes, fake mistletoe, garland and bulb wreath, greg's baseball stirrup stockings, and draped lights make it festive. oh, and the balsam&cedar candle helps too ;)

ps, what are your favorite holiday decorations? leave a comment!


the did list

i like to be productive, sometimes too super duper productive {and always over estimating what can actually be reasonably accomplished}. so i make to do lists. lots and lots of to do lists.  blog to do, cleaning to do, work to do, soo many lists. add all of the extras this time of the year, and things can get kinda crazy.  holiday cookies to make, gifts to buy, gifts to wrap, shorter days, colder days, lots and lots of running around. all of that can kick your butt and give you a mean case of the blahs.

in order to reduce being overwhelmed, i like to switch from my to do list to what i call my did list. i stop tracking what needs to be done and focus more on what actually got done. i'll even break it down into baby steps. so the regular to do of cleaning the kitchen turns into: wipe the kitchen counter {check}; wipe down the stove {check}; sweep kitchen floor {check}; mop kitchen floor {check}.

one thing i've learned, the best way to stay motivated is to feel productive. more check marks on my list makes me feel better. so even if that means fibbing to myself, i don't care. as long as it keeps me moving.

ps, what keeps you going this time of the year? leave a comment!


make your own rice milk, like the other cool kids do

besides being allergic to dairy, i'm weird-ed out by even the thought of it. that's not to say i don't daydream about gooey melty cheese sometimes, but it's another mammals breast milk. groooosssss

anyways, now that you're weird-ed out should totally make your own rice milk, it's sooooo super easy. and making it yourself is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the cost of buying it at the store. i've never tried to drink a glass of it, but i like it in cooking/baking/bowls of cereal/coffee/etc.

step 1: cooked rice and water in the blender
all you need is 1 cup of cooked plain rice. white, brown, jasmine, whatever you have handy. we usually use whats left from dinner the night before. then add 4 cups of water.

step 2: put the lid on
make sure your lid is on snug and everything's sealed up. seriously though, make sure everything's tight, you don't want a rice milk geyser....... :/

step 3: blend
and blend and blend. and blend and blend and blend. if you have a commercial grade super blender you won't have to blend as long, but with my plain ol' regular blender, i let it run for 6 minutes on high.
step 4: pour into your vessel of choice
if sealing the label of the rum bottle wasn't strange enough, adding some benign rice milk to it should up the ante. make sure you pour it right away, before things settle too much.  and don't worry if it does settle, pour that in too.

step 5: dish soap in the blender
fill the bender halfway with hot water and add some soap. let that blend.  you'll thank me later.

step 6: shake well
don't freak out when you open the fridge and it's separated. just shake it up and pour. {ten bucks says this is the reason it only comes in opaque packaging at the store....}


oh yes, hang on to your hats

that is an empty handle of rum. oh so delicious rum. but it's all gone.

and what do you do when the rum is all gone? mod podge the label, and fill it with something super unexpected....upcycling at its finest.

stay tuned


i guess you could call it a personal problem....

so ive got this problem. you may have it too. it's with gloves {and sunglasses}. it involves expensive pairs.
or i should say, the lack there of.

anytime i have a nice pair, i loose them. at times i've considered stringing them together with yarn. and threading it through my jacket. like you would a 5 year old.

the other problem i have, is i work mostly outside, with a smartphone. and i'm in and out of up to 8 different cars a day. that's a lot of places to misplace your gloves.

so i had been hemming and hawing over getting a pair of touch screen friendly gloves.  afraid that my fingers would only be warm for a few days.  because it wouldn't be long before i lost one.

then i found these at target:

mind blown.

yes my friends, those are effin $3 touch screen lovin gloves.  i should prolly go get a few more. that will guarantee i'll have the original pair all winter long.


hello december

after having my ass handed to me goal-wise last month, all of the holiday craziness, and the likelihood that ill still be a cranky, sunshine-needing blob this month, i'm gonna slow down a bit.

> i'm still not very good at this one, but i'm trying.  i need to write more. recipes and tutorials are easy for me, just writing is much harder. time to work the keyboard. update: well 9 posts worked out to be just over 2/week. that didn't make my goal, but i did write about gloves and feeling productive.

> i want to have my own handmade biz, so i feel the need to support other awesome small timers.  why bother buying from giant corporations who are only worried about their bottom line. {and that is a whole 'nother conversation....} update: over 50% of my gifts were either handmade, from a small biz, or recycled, yay!

> i already feel smothered by how messy the house has gotten while we were prepping/away for thanksgiving.  there's going to be just as much going on this month, but i might as well be productive while i'm holed up indoors.  there's nothing like feeling light and refreshed when you set big goals. update: decluttered some of the *junk* piles around the house and sorted a few boxes of stuff from when we moved in 15 months ago...

> just because it's too cold and dark to run during the week, doesn't mean i need to be so lazy. i've got plenty of cheesy workout dvds to get my blood pumpin'.  this also applies to laying around and being lazy in general.  i can write blog posts from the couch, no reason to not be productive in some way, shape, or form. update: this didn't happen, boo.

PS, what are your goals this month? share 'em in the comments!


Portlandia: we can pickle that

it wouldn't be a family gathering without some strange food. for me, anything that isn't a pickle or a pepper that has been pickled i think is extra weird. but this is just too much:

ps, what foods do you find strange?


an easy, fast and inexpensive way to clean your microwave {without any chemicals!}

it can mean only one thing {besides the being thankful part}with thanksgiving coming up: so. many. left. overs. yayyyy! my fav part. a fridge full of yummy home cooked meals, without having to actually cook anything.

but the problem is, i'm not all that good about putting lids on things in the microwave. and greg isn't much better. so our microwave can get borderline toxic pretty gross sometimes....and i don't notice how bad it is until it gets really bad, then i rationalize that it can't get much worse......then it gets gross, and sometimes smells funny, yikes! {oh please don't look too closely}

so once it's gotten to that point, i pull out my handy-dandy white vinegar! in a microwave-safe mug{or small bowl} combine 1/4c white vinegar and 1/4c water and a splash of lemon juice.

put that in the microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes.

when it's done, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR! i repeat, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!! just set the timer for 2 minutes. you want all of the steamy vinegar-lemon-water to work its magic.

after your 2 minutes are up, open the door and step AWAY from the microwave. a face full of the steamy vinegar-lemon-water is not fun times. then use a potholder to {carefully} remove the hot bowl/mug.

grab your cleaning cloth, remove the spinning plate thing, and get to wiping!
look how shiny and clean! and no more weird smell, yay!

and then proceed to put a broccoli and spinach puree in there without a lid..... :/

ps, what is your favorite cleaning tip?


currently: november 2013

rolling my hair in the a.m.

laughing at greg

struggling with the shorter days

in love with grasshopper

drinking cake vodka and grenadine

watching too much Ally McBeal

falling behind with this months goals

making progress on my dress

wearing the barcode off my library card

figuring out twitter {finally}

layering leggings under my dress pants

pumpkin spiced out

pinning wedding stuff

thankful to have someone that understands me and is still willing to put up with my crazy ass.... <3


diy mitered cloth napking tutorial

so i love greg to death, he's my fav. but, anytime there's food involved, you can tell where he's been. in the kitchen making a sandwich,  at the coffee table eating the sandwich, or just packing his lunch. there are crumbs/shredded cheese/sriracha sauce EVERYWHERE. and bless his heart, he knows he makes a mess, so he takes a handful of paper towels/napkins with him. just to wipe his face.  so when i stumbled upon this tutorial from Sewbon, i knew what to do with some leftover NY Giants fabric.

step 1: ignore my super old and dirty ironing board cover.

step 2: cut your fabric to size+2.25" and fold/press 1/2" from the edge.
traditional napkins are somewhere between 16"x16" to 22"x22"; what ever size you choose, just add 2.25" to that measurement. to maximize my left over fabric, i cut it to 11.75" x  16.25", which gives me a 9.5" x 14" finished napkin. then flip it wrong side up and fold it over 1/2" and use lots and lots and lots of steam. you want a nice, crisp edge.

step 3: make the adjacent edges touch, with right sides in:
flip the fabric right side up, and fold the top edge down and over so it meets the side edge.
make sure its evenly folded by pulling the unfinished corner tight and lining up the cut edges. pin through all layers to keep everything together.

step 4: stitch your miter.
you want your stitches to be at a 45* angle, from where the raw edge of your 1/2" fold meets the rest-of-the-napkin fold {at the arrow}, to the outer edge.
the easiest way to do this is by lining up the fold horizontally/perpendicular/at a 90* angle to the needle. then you just stitch to the edge. make sure you back stitch at the beginning and end.

then snip off the end and extra thread, and stitch the other 3 corners.

step 4: turn 'em right side out and press
turn your corners right side out, use a chopstick {or very carefully the tip of your scissors} to make the corner pointy. if your 45* angle was spot on, then you should automatically have another 5/8" of fabric turned under. tada! if not, no big deal, your corners might be a little wonky, but it will still get the stickies off your face. press the magic 5/8" so there's a nice crisp edge.

step 5: top stitch around the edge

and your done!


around here: november 2013

tomatoes straight from the garden // mixed with homemade gf pasta // last warm fall day // had to celebrate with beverages // yes those are frog legs // pan-fried with a sriracha, lime, cilantro sauce // drafting the top for my party dress // in my disaster of a studio space // what my mornings look like
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