Tuesday, October 12, 2010


i have a friend who has the blessed gift of knowing exactly the kind of music i will love.

she sends me morning concerts every once in a while (which make the day, of course, divine).  this was the last morning concert.  enjoy.

Monday, October 11, 2010


my favorite art time periods are rococo and impressionsim.  this wonderful necklace reminds me of the top right photo (one of my absolute favorites of the rococo period) and made me love it through the end of time.  it also doesn't hurt that my favorite part of parks are the swings.  my parents built a swing inside the doorway to our kitchen so i could swing whenever i wanted.  similar to back to the future (the first one), when the parents left the baby in the crib all the time because he screamed whenever they took him out and he later spent a lot of time in jail (aka, behind bars, just like his crib)...what would my profession be then?  a tester for these? (photo on right)  and, my kid's favorite part of the park is the slide so will the picture below be his passion?  wouldn't it be kinda neat if everyone ended up being what they loved when they were 2?  i guess there'd be no ditch diggers or garbage men, though--there might be quite a few farmers, racecar drivers, & superheroes (i'd have little girl examples, but i don't have a little girl, and i've wanted to be a pilot from the beginning of time, so...)

what would you be if you had to chose at 2?

Monday, September 20, 2010

country living: october, how i heart you: not halloween

country living: october isn't just good for halloween stuff--they had a great popover recipe that just looked so divine i couldn't pass up making them that very afternoon! (let's not overlook the super sweet cupcake tins in the picture...what a good idea!)  the recipe i coupled the popovers with was this wonderful autumn soup...one i think is wonderful, but my husband will only eat a half-bowl of it and then he's on to the leftover pizza in the fridge.  more for me!

it also has great decor--this is not something that is realistic in my life right now, but i certainly do think it's gorgeous.  I think the key for the clothes looking pretty are the wooden hangers--my mismatched, plastic, seafoam green, blue, and don't forget the silver ones, walmart special, would just not cut it if i was looking for elegance.  the pink satin curtains are absolutely divine, and the duvet cover is of COURSE from anthro--i think it would be pretty easy to make, but probably cost the same in fabric as it would to just buy it, so you might as well just save time and go buy it.  i love the top-to-bottom curtains behind the bed.  i might have to try that in our next apartment, since we won't be able to paint.  it has a really pretty, old style to it, but the colors and minimum use of patterns make it a little more modern.  

this is in a house that's super old-school, but has some of the coolest rooms.  they have a room with lamps that look like WWI army helmets, and a bust of abraham lincoln--it's their dining room...why not?  this is their mudroom.  i don't think it's super logical to have a rug in their mudroom, but i do think it's genius to cut the legs down on a gymnastics horse for a bench, and to also wallpaper the doors covering their washer & dryer in order to hide that the washer & dryer is in there.  i would not have even guessed...

that is the end of our country living: october collection!  hope you enjoyed it--i know i loved every second!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

country living: october, how i heart you: halloween edition, part deux

this floral arrangement and the wreath are made out of black streamers--i know, right?  it shows in the back how to make them, and i feel like the flowers aren't explained very well, but i'm sure it could be figured out, but the wreath--the wreath is e-a-s-y to make!  i'm thinking about it, very strongly.  i really REALLY like my autumn, barbed wire wreath i put out in the falltime, but for the month of october, or even the last couple weeks of october i'd be happy replacing it with this bit of awesomeness.  don't you just love the black fruits, also in this picture?  for our wedding i wanted a so-dark-purple-it's-almost-black bouquet, but it didn't happen.  i'm happy to have them on my table during the month of october, though.  i think one of those fruits on the plate are figs--have any of you just eaten a fig (nope--not a fig newton, but a legit fig)?  they are GREAT.  i had one in june, so i don't even know if they're ripe in the fall, but if you can find some eat them, because they are very tasty.
has every home in america had the snow cities on the mantle, or bookshelf, or on top of the piano during Christmastime?  well, ours certainly did and i love this idea of making it halloween!  if you have a lot of pumpkins, this is perfect!  they have moss & things to look like a fence--how cool!

these people have a fireplace, but for those of us living in apartments without a fireplace, here is the answer!  i would never have thought of this, and it is such a great idea!  i think those flames might be a little tough to make look so smooth, though.  maybe i'll need to start practicing now.  what is the trick to making pumpkin carvings smooth?

i wish i had thought of this last year--we had lots of pumpkins and we definitely had a bookshelf that could have had a tree in it!  you don't even have to carve this--it's just paint! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

country living: october, how i heart you: halloween edition, part une

i've only been reading country living a couple years--i don't subscribe to it (how i wish i did...maybe one day), but my grandmother does, so i get her left-overs. what joy entered my heart when i went to pick up her mail and there it was, anxiously awaiting my excited fingers to finger through its every page and gaze wide-eyed, trying to absorb every divinely creative and beautiful image. the next couple of posts will be dedicated to the divinity that is...country living: october.

i don't know why i love halloween, but i love it. i don't like the scary stuff people try to do with it, but i certainly do adore the silhouetted (let's be honest--i'm a sucker for silhouettes) witch cupcake toppers that are on the front cover. i don't think i've even ever worn black and orange together--even on halloween. it's always orange and brown--i even just bought a shirt from forever21 that was orange and brown. i love making making the most fantastic halloween treats (which starts october 1st), thinking up genius, creative costumes (even though sometimes those are just ideas that turn into "oh crap--i was too busy making spiderweb caramel apples! on to kmart!" [i don't know why, but their halloween stuff is AWESOME--i don't even go there any other time of the year...])

this great idea to festive-ize your mirror i think is just the genius idea! the film you're supposed to buy to make this work is a little expensive, so i was wondering if you could get a similar look by painting glue onto the mirror and making the image by taping off the areas you don't want glue on. has anyone tried anything like that? i need to give it a go before the wonderful 31st day comes along...

also, i wish i had more white sheets (and by more i mean, even one set), because what a stupendous way to make your house look like a haunted house! we might be hitting up the DI a couple times in the next few weeks to check out their white sheets...

check in soon for the next country living update!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

falltime music...maybe just falltime.

does anyone have falltime music? last year it was alexi murdoch for me, almost the whole time. i've been listening to Angus and Julia Stone some, but not a whole lot else. the backpacking trip got me a little into the falltime music. we didn't listen to any music, mostly just me singing "high on a mountain top" in my head the whole time, but it reminded me about rhythm in our lives (corny, i know).

falltime is different everywhere. northeast = full of color, southern utah = finally not so blasted hot, southeast idaho = the terror of winter getting closer and closer...etc., but things like back to school, sweaters, the closing of the great season of summer, and the intro to the holidays are the same all over. there's a wonderful, slow-almost, sadness kind of, but then you have halloween and then there's no more slowness--it's just a blur of scarves, hot cocoa, and holiday planning.

i love running in the fall. that would account for the lunch runs i'd do in the fall in the woods--15 minutes in, and bolting 15 minutes back so i have time to change and get to my physics class. it just smells good to run in the fall.

fall fashion is fantastic, also. this was funny.

i love the fall.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I have been invited to an all girl's backpacking trip this weekend at Kings Peak in Utah! I'm going with a girl in our church and five of her friends, and it's going to be great! Here is the list of things to bring:

Individual Gear:
Base layer (thermals)
*Lightweight jacket
Change of socks
Hiking shoes (something close toed and sturdy for the ascent)
Camp shoes (some type of sandal to let your feet air out)
Sleeping pad (thermarest)
Sleeping bag
*Toilet paper (biodegradable can be buried rather than packed out)
Hand towel
Wash cloth
*Walkie talkies (If you have a set, bring both of them so we have backups when the battery dies, if you don’t have any, don’t worry about it)
*Poncho (disposable works great)
*Bear spray
*1 qt. Water bottle (i.e. Nalgene)
*2 qt. Camelbak bladder (on our ascent day, we will have to carry water most of the way, we won’t be able to refill anywhere.)
*Band Aids (5 or 6)
Daypack (we won’t carry our packs for the ascent, we will only carry daypacks)
*Emergency blanket
*carried in daypack
Group Gear
Tents (2 or 3 depending on how many come)
Stoves (3)
Fuel for stoves (we will split the cost of fuel)
Duct tape
Rope (to hang food from trees)
Bug spray
Collapsible water containers
Water filter (2)
Water purification drops
Pots (3 medium to big)
Med kit

For meals, we'll boil water for breakfast to put in oatmeal both mornings, do our own lunches, do our own snacks, and then have dinner together: Day 1: Refried beans, tortillas, string cheese Day 2: pasta roni, tuna packet

Info for hike:
Day 1: Park car by noon at base so we can get a good 5 hours of hiking in to get to the place we'll sleep and leave our big bags so we can just take our day packs up the peak.
Day 2: Hike 5 hours to peak (including a half mile of almost vertical the last bit), spend time there, hike back down to where our stuff is
Day 3: Hike 4 hours down (it'll take less to get down than it did to get up) and drive home!

Fun facts about Kings Peak:
Highest summit in Utah
26 miles of hiking (I've read 26 & 32, but 26 more often)
We'll park at 9,800 ft and climb to the summit at 13,528 ft.
There are lakes intermittently on the hike (cool!)

I've never been backpacking before and I'm REALLY excited about doing a legit backpacking trip! I've been wearing my hiking boots around a little to make sure I'm comfortable in them, and I've also been walking around with my pack a little heavier than it needs to be so when we really do go out I'll be somewhat used to it. Jordan's going to watch Porter for those 3 days, but he'll also be playing with the husband & kids who are also being left behind so I think they're going to have a blast (I think a four-wheeling trip has been discussed...)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Je suis de retour

After a long hiatus, the desire to write on here has returned.

Being a little farther North, it feels like Autumn here in Idaho, which has brought on the longing for warm food (includes pumpkin anything & hot chocolate).  I made Butternut Squash Soup a Wednesday, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Thursday, and when we went camping last night, and I volunteered to make a dutch oven pumpkin dessert.  It was divine.  Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Heaven in a Dutch Oven
1 large 29 oz can pumpkin
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups melted butter
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Mix together everything but the cake mix & 1 cup melted butter.
Pour into greased dutch oven.
Sprinkle cake mix on top of pumpkin concoction until fully covered.
Pour remaining 1 cup melted butter on top so all the cake mix has butter on it.
Place on top of hot coals, place ~14 coals on top of lid.

Depending on how hot your coals are will determine how long it will take to cook.  It took us about an hour--keep checking it.
All the spices are just a rough approximation.  I always put more cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves because I loooove them.
I'm nervous that it won't be sweet enough, so that's why I put the white sugar, but you can put a whole cup of brown sugar if you want, or even a whole cup of white sugar if you don't like the denseness of molasses.

Happy Autumn August!

P.S. I have discontinued my Etsy shop, realizing I'm not a very good seamstress, and have begun to design patterns for the quilt shop Fresh Picked Fabrics (aka Cranberry Quiltworks), and I also do their weekly emails and write for their blog.  This therefore means that I've deleted the link list of shops where we were advertising together.  If you were on that list, sorry--you can take me off yours.  I might put up some pattern previews if anyone would be interested.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


i know i have 17 followers,
but i really don't know who reads this...

i've been on vacation--
i was planning on writing a few posts ahead of time
and then filling in the blanks with really past posts
and neither of those things happened.

in the last two weeks we
moved grandparents
went on vacation

real life will resume monday night...

i feel like tuesday's post will be about
how mindblowing travel is--because it is.

here are some summer colors to tie you over.

happy weekend!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


i love the letter L.

i always have. i used to write a cursive, capital L over and over and over all over my paper in big cursive letters that sometimes connected to make a long strew of curly shapes. i love upper case L's and lower case L's, cursive or not. i think the attraction for the non cursive L's come from my math-love. what could be better than a pure, straight line? what about a 90 degree angle? then the cursive--you don't have to stop like you do for C's (i HATE C's), or O's, or U's--it's just one flowing stroke of the pen, just like cursive should be.

the way the letter L fits in my mouth is also especially desirable. i don't know what it is, but i just like the way it feels and sounds gliding across my lips. when words have L's in them, it makes them that much more beautiful.
lovely (i LOVE this word)
lily (used to be my favorite name...now it's margaret which questionably has no L's...olivia does though, and that's my next favorite)
little (i call my little one, little love--what a wonderful combination of L's)
lab (either from science or a dog...love it)

and let's be honest--there are soooo many more beautiful L words.

my middle name is elaine, and i had a friend who called me elle (pronounced el) for a little while--it was nice.

you can find a sesame street video about the letter L, crafts with the letter L, and more L activities. how fun!

i am glad the letter L is in our alphabet.

Monday, May 31, 2010

looklet.com = sooooo cool (and lots of "where did the time go?")

looklet.com is a website created by ollie hemmendorff (from yesterday's post) in which you can create "looks" with different models, clothes, and backgrounds. it's super super super cool. so far i've only made two "looks," and i haven't tried to be creative. it's mostly stuff i would wear myself on a daily basis, but there are an infinite amount of things you can do with it!

here are my two looks so far

these are looks from other users

from nirvana

from fitrisaras

so cool, huh?!?!?

register and share with us your looks!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

memorial day wonderfulness!

memorial day weekend is upon us which means the summer foods are here and we're happy about it!

i get better homes and gardens updates (because while i won't fork out the $10 or something a year for the magazine, i WILL sign up for their free newsletters!), and the latest one was 84 all-american recipes! now, i don't think of myself as a dessert person. i almost never get dessert in a restaurant (sometimes i'm just so disappointed...) but the desserts on this email were to-die-for! something i really enjoy is richness. i'm not a huge fan of crust on things, and
bread (kind of at all...) because i feel like it's a filler. i don't want bread with my soup--i want to taste SOUP. so, i was fanTASTically excited about the first picture--a black raspberry cream pie! it just looks like pure rich, divine, taste! click here for more recipes, decorating ideas, etc.

don't forget the cook-out! i'm not a veg-anything, but i try to get as many veggies in my little one, so i LOVED the idea of these black bean burgers! combined with unfried tomatoes, what more could we ask for!? (both recipes via svelte gourmet)

Black Bean Burgers
Serves 4-6

2 cans black beans (14.5 ounces each), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (using whole wheat earns you bonus points!) 1/2 cup wheat bran
2 eggs

That's it! Roughly mash the beans with the back of a fork or potato masher, incorporate the rest of the ingredients and the flavorings of your choice! Grill over medium heat for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through and misting with olive oil or butter spray so they don't dry out or burn.

Unfried Green Tomatoes
Serves 4

2 large green tomatoes
1 egg
1 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded, NOT grated)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
Olive oil or cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mist a baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. Slice tomatoes between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Beat egg. Combine Parmesan cheese, panko and spices. Dip each tomato slice in the egg, then into the breading mixture, pressing to coat both sides. Place breaded slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Mist tops with olive oil or cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. No need to flip them.

don't forget your patriotic attire!

via anthro (of course...)

happy memorial day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

food in fashion

i know--i just want a pair so people will ask what's going on with my shoes!

 swedish designer/illustrator ollie hemmendorff
who was commissioned by nike to interpret their sneakers

should food and fashion be combined?

SIlhouette Tutorial

I wrote this for a girl in the blogging community but it didn't make it, so I'm sharing it with you! (click on picture to view in its entirety and full size)

Silhouettes are such a great way to put a personal touch on absolutely anything (pillows, mugs, baby announcements, t-shirts, necklaces, etc...), so here's a tutorial on how to make a silhouette digitally with Photoshop so you can make all those things yourself! (You can do it in other photo editing software such as Picnik or Picasa--just follow the same instructions.)

First take a picture of whoever it is you want the silhouette of (here's my boy in the bathtub...). Make sure the background contrasts the skin color.

You need to have the picture black and white, so put the image in Grayscale. Image>Mode>Grayscale


You then increase the contrast (put it to maximum contrast) in order to get a crisp outline of the person. You'll need to repeat this step a few times in order to get the person to be absolutely black. Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast



You then need to click the Quick Selection Tool (looks like a magic wand on the left) so you can delete the background. You just hold down the mouse over the areas you want to delete and it'll select the areas that are similar (with a dotted line). Then click Delete. If you think you're going to delete the whole part, never fear, Ctrl-Z or Alt-Ctrl-Z will save you!



You could stop there and show the whole body, or you could edit it into the standard silhouette bottom.


Voila! Here is your silhouette to print onto transfer paper to put on a t-shirt or cut out and use as a template for anything!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

i made these...(kind of...)

it would be my dream to run a b&b that had an entire book theme. i love, love, love, love books. i saw these images and idea at down and out chic who found them on forever is today, and decided to make them for a few friends for their birthday. i'm really bad at birthdays--i love birthdays...it doesn't make any sense that i'm bad at them. have the best intentions but that doesn't get anyone anywhere, and it's no excuse.

i went to a used bookstore and was looking for pretty books (like in the picture) that i could make into a clock (with a clock kit i got at michael's) but they were so expensive! instead i got less-pretty looking books and will hopefully make them look great.

i'll post pictures when i finish them!

Friday, May 21, 2010

recipe for the weekend!

fun food is great for the weekend--here's some mediterranean food!


1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt

puree all together, and enjoy!

roasted red peppers
preheat oven to 400 degrees F
slice peppers
put aluminum foil on cookie sheet
put peppers and some oil (olive or canola or veggie--it doesn' t matter) on the cookies sheet
cook for 15 minutes, flip or stir around
cook for another 15 minutes until really soft

pita bread
cut into 6 pieces (i use kitchen scissors)
throw on cookie sheet while cooking roasted red peppers until crisp (10-20 minutes?)


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3 things from tonight's google reader

i died.

team coco

if you're worried about square footage, this is the answer.

all found on swissmiss

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

um, are you obsessed with winco?

i had never been.

my man said i'd love it, and that i didn't have any idea what was in store for me.

he was absolutely right.

winco is divine...wait.

word: divine
definition: sanctified
synonyms: adored, among the angels, beautified, blessed, consecrated, enthroned, exalted, glorified, hallowed, holy, inviolable, redeemed, revered, rewarded, sacred, sacrosanct, saved, unprofane.

yep. all of those things.

winco has bulk candy. this is not the best section of the bulk. they have bulk quinoa, whole flax, stone cut oats, soy protein powder, brownie mix, and the list goes ON AND ON AND ON. everything is 10,000x cheaper than in all other stores, which means i got to buy 4 mangos, 2 butternut squashes (squash? squashes?), 3 lbs of yams, 1 jicama (did NOT think i'd find that one...), and SO MANY OTHER THINGS!

they also have a bakery section. this means that their wheat bread had 6 ingredients, and none of them included enriched whole wheat flour (i HATE trixy advertising...this means white flour). they also had black bread which we almost bought, but didn't. next time.

we spent $91 and we might not need to go to the store for 3 weeks (this is not an exaggeration). which cuts our grocery bill almost in half.

i heart winco.

Monday, May 17, 2010

milton glaser - 10 things i have learned

i found this website through the blue hour that has beautiful photographs. it's on milton glaser's 10 things i have learned - the secret of art. you can find all 10 here, but i really liked #7.

The brain is the most responsive organ of the body. Actually it is the organ that is most susceptible to change and regeneration of all the organs in the body. I have a friend named Gerald Edelman who was a great scholar of brain studies and he says that the analogy of the brain to a computer is pathetic. The brain is actually more like an overgrown garden that is constantly growing and throwing off seeds, regenerating and so on. And he believes that the brain is susceptible, in a way that we are not fully conscious of, to almost every experience of our life and every encounter we have. I was fascinated by a story in a newspaper a few years ago about the search for perfect pitch. A group of scientists decided that they were going to find out why certain people have perfect pitch. You know certain people hear a note precisely and are able to replicate it at exactly the right pitch. Some people have relevant pitch; perfect pitch is rare even among musicians. The scientists discovered – I don’t know how - that among people with perfect pitch the brain was different. Certain lobes of the brain had undergone some change or deformation that was always present with those who had perfect pitch. This was interesting enough in itself. But then they discovered something even more fascinating. If you took a bunch of kids and taught them to play the violin at the age of 4 or 5 after a couple of years some of them developed perfect pitch, and in all of those cases their brain structure had changed. Well what could that mean for the rest of us? We tend to believe that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind, although we do not generally believe that everything we do affects the brain. I am convinced that if someone was to yell at me from across the street my brain could be affected and my life might changed. That is why your mother always said, ‘Don’t hang out with those bad kids.’ Mama was right. Thought changes our life and our behaviour. I also believe that drawing works in the same way. I am a great advocate of drawing, not in order to become an illustrator, but because I believe drawing changes the brain in the same way as the search to create the right note changes the brain of a violinist. Drawing also makes you attentive. It makes you pay attention to what you are looking at, which is not so easy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

running out the door

i'm about the run out the door, so here are couple quick things to enjoy!

there's a lot of swearing, but here's a really funny writing assignment...

happy friday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

inspired for pesto...

sometimes i feel like 70% of my day is spent figuring out what my little one's going to eat and how to get 5 fruits, 5 veggies, only whole grains, and enough protein in his system without giving him an ounce of milk. sometimes sister-in-laws are just the answer. she made spinach pesto for her family, and even though i couldn't use her recipe (which incidentally came from one of my friends!) it inspired me to make some of my own! i used pasta that has veggies in them (i don't know if it's even enough to count--i might have been suckered...), and started with this recipe but tweaked it. i used peanuts because we have an all-but-peanuts nut allergy living in the house. something i appreciated is that there is no cheese in it. i also deleted the chilis and amchoor powder...i didn't want to experiment today.

spinach pesto pasta
serves 3-4 (...or 1)

3 cups frozen spinach
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
~1/3 cup olive oil
4 tbsp peanuts (smash them up beforehand)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried basil
freshly ground black pepper

pasta for 3-4

  1. throw it all in your blender or food processor until it's to the consistency you want it.
  2. boil pasta
  3. put pesto in microwave for 2 minutes (i had to microwave it because i used frozen spinach)
  4. combine
  5. experience divinity in a bowl.

my little one was licking the pesto off the spatula--i couldn't have been more happy at that moment...i think i got all his veggies in for the day.

maybe we'll get lucky with fruit tomorrow (i tried a smoothie this morning...no go. i've gotta get more yummy fruit and see if he goes for that).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

eat pray love...yourself

i really enjoyed eat pray love (which i'm really excited to see as a movie with julia roberts), and the woman who wrote that book wrote an article (i found it on the elements of style blog) on how we as women need to lighten up and appreciate the wonderfulness of all that we do, even if we don't feel that we do that much. the only thing i don't really like about it is that all the women she refers to DO have big careers and big accomplishments, so i don't really feel like it helps those of us who DON'T feel any better, but other than that, i really like the article. enjoy!