Monday, December 8, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
It was sooo good...
Monday, December 1, 2008
One of the things I miss living down here is distinct seasons. I'm used to Northern weather, where by Halloween you have to wear a coat at night and it's already snowed by Thanksgiving. Here in the South it's not unusual to have 70 degree weather (sometimes even warmer) in December/January, and we rarely come close to having a white Christmas. So I'm pretty stoked about the few flakes we've had today.
Christmas came early for us this year - Seth and I each got our main Christmas gift yesterday. It's our last Christmas here in the States for a few years, which means our last chance to have a big (for us) Christmas. I was able to score this nifty cool gadget with a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby:
I had a blast last night figuring it out. It weighs less than 2 pounds, is 5" x 5", AND it's dual-voltage! I've always thought digital cutting machines like the Cricut were pretty cool, but they're just way too bulky for me to take overseas (not to mention pricey!). But this little guy is perfect.
I'm almost done with the Christmas shopping; still need to make a few things. I'm getting excited about seeing my family in a few weeks!
And just in case you didn't catch it, the title of this post is in reference to my favorite Christmas album of all time:
It's a classic!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
We found out that the apartment is going to be listed in the paper tomorrow (eek!), so we have to be ready to show it on short notice. Right now describing it as "messy" would be an understatement. It's at that disheveled stage where there are boxes and packing materials scattered everywhere, with those random odds and ends that you don't know quite how to categorize sitting out waiting for a box. We have the unique situation of having to sort things by "pack to take to China (in suitcases)," "pack to ship to China," "pack to put into storage," "pack to take to Mom and Dad's," and of course "Goodwill," and "trash." Not as simple as just "throw it all in boxes so we can move it to the new place."
Oh, yeah, and we have a friend coming to stay with us for the weekend. Life's never boring around here!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
It's times like these that I feel every bit of my age. But then I find that strength that comes from beyond myself, and I know that it'll be okay.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
All in all, it was a pretty good birthday. The only downer was the whole getting older thing, but I guess it wouldn't be my birthday without that part, now would it? I mean, I've got to have some excuse for getting a jumbo chocolate chip cookie with buttercream frosting, right?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
And this excerpt:
"There's nothing more beautiful in all of kitchendom than a sparkling new electric range. Available in a batch of bright-eyed colors, there's a model to 'pretty-up' any kitchen and please any budget."
Those sure were different times, weren't they? It actually has some recipes that look pretty good. Living in China necessitates a lot of cooking from scratch, so I like to look through old cookbooks for recipes that are easily adaptable to ingredients I can buy at the local markets. I think even if this one didn't have a ton of usable recipes, I'd still keep it for the cover art alone. Kitschy chic!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Next I want to get this book:
We'll see how it all goes!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I've been meaning to put together a home inspiration notebook with all my color swatches, inspiration pics, etc., but in the meantime I've discovered this new feature from Domino called My Deco File. You can upload pics from your computer, or use their "image tear tool" to grab pictures from other websites, and sort them all into different categories in your "books." I would still prefer to have a hands-on notebook, but this is a nice backup.
Poor Seth, if he had his way the whole place would be ultra-modern: stark white walls, sleek black and chrome furniture with shots of brilliant red. Me, I lean a little more toward mid-century modern with a splash of contemporary: organic materials like wood and pottery and lots of textured fabrics; warm colors like brown and orange. I try to include him in the design process, but he pretty much tells me just to do what I like, and he'll be happy if I'm happy. Now that's true love!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Here's a picture of Seth's birthday cake from a couple of days ago. If you're wondering about the quote on the cake, he turned 34 this year... I know some of you will get it. ; )
And here's the card I made for my FIL. This was prototype number 3 - yesterday was not a good crafting day for me. I definitely need to clean up my crafting space so that I quit getting stray ink everywhere - like on my nearly finished, painstakingly watercolored card front. Yeah, it was that kind of a day.
I'm still working on Seth's card; I wanted to try my hand at something a little more elaborate, something I've never tried making before, and wouldn't you know it I've been having printer issues galore. (sigh) Why do I always seem to bite off more than I can chew at the most inopportune times?
Monday, September 29, 2008
Hong Kong Inn is a kitschy little fast-food Chinese restaurant that has hands down THE BEST egg rolls around. I always get the Sesame Chicken Plate, and it always makes me happy. We've been eating there for over 12 years now. It's the one "American" Chinese restaurant I actually miss when we're overseas.
After Hong Kong Inn came Andy's frozen custard, Cider Days (where I met the lovely Silje and Rachel of Red Velvet Art - they are both so sweet!), bookstore browsing, coffee, thrifting, more coffee, more bookstore browsing, more thrifting, cd hunting, and a whole lot of reminiscing. (This was all spread out over a few days, of course. We're good, but we're not that good!)
We were also pleasantly surprised at how the atmosphere in Springfield is becoming more and more family-friendly and community oriented. A couple of months ago, we were lucky enough to be in town for First Friday Art Walk. The area all around the square was literally filled with people of all ages, backgrounds, etc., people with strollers, people with dogs, people playing music or selling artwork on the sidewalk. It was such a contrast from when we were in college - all you would see back then were teenage wanna-be "vampires" (yes, they were teenagers who actually ran around the square in black trench coats and makeup pretending to be vampires), a few homeless guys, and drunk college students stumbling in and out of bars. Even Commercial Street, which was known mainly for its homeless shelter, has gotten a total revamp in the last couple of years. It really is amazing how much the atmosphere there is changing.
We're back home now, happy to be sleeping in our own bed again. The puppy is doubly happy to be out of the kennel! No more big trips for a while, at least not that we know of. Of course, that could always change!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather, the crisp smells, the rich colors as the leaves begin to change... One of my favorite "fall" things to do is wake up in the morning, put on a snuggly sweater, and have a slice of warm pumpkin bread with a cup of coffee. De-lish! I can be anywhere in the world, but while I'm savoring that spicy goodness I'm HOME. I have several recipes for pumpkin bread that I've worked my way through, but today I made one that I thought was particularly moist and yummy. As a testament to its scrumptiousness, you will notice in the picture that we've already eaten our way through 2/3 of one of the four mini-loaves I baked. I can't wait till tomorrow morning!
In case anyone is interested, here is the recipe:
- 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 15 oz. pumpkin puree
- 1/4 c. water
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease one 9x5 loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans). Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture alternately with water. Pour batter into pan(s).
Bake in preheated oven 60-70 minutes (40 minutes for mini loaves), or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. For best flavor, store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for a full day before serving.