Monday, May 31, 2010

Doing the Dew

:: photos by Evan ::

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Feeling Bookish

We have a pretty good thrift store within biking distance of our new home. I have been going there a lot because there's nothing I like more than discovering a little treasure. Thrifting for books is tricky. There's usually a lot of dime store paper backs. A lot of Jon Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark. I look every time I go, but almost never are there books of my liking. But lately, at this thrift store, I feel like I have a little friend who is a well-read-generous-donor. I love people who give great books away. I am not one of those kind of people. Maybe someday I will be.

I thought I'd share my little stack with you. Because it's a small step to becoming a well-read-generous-donor. A small step I can take right now.

Mister Pip. Oh my! I will admit that I bought this book mostly because I loved the cover. That bright red sticker on top of those green palms?! Yes! I'll take it. This book was so interesting. As any well read person would know, Pip is a character in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I should admit right now that I'd never read that book before. So I'm not one of the "well read" I guess. But it is about the influence of this famous book upon a small island of war-torn kids. I would recommend this book. And not just because of the colors of the cover.

And this little gem. I have loved every book I've read by Joanne Harris. And her winning streak continues with this novel. This book was hard to put down! It was a sort of mystery. Which I didn't know going in, and have since decided that I like mystery novels. And don't be thrown off by the title Gentlemen and Players, it's not about pimps, but about a very prestigious private school for boys.

And the best for last. Caramelo. I love you. I just finished this book today and have been savoring it all week. It's one of those books that you can't stop reading but want to pace yourself because you don't want it to be over too fast.

So add these to your summer reading list. Any other reading list suggestions? I will make a sticker chart. Perhaps.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Indoor gardening

I have been doing some more indoor gardening. Which has been a really good thing to do because it has been far too rainy to do any outdoor gardening. I love love love doing these botanical pictures. I have a plan to do as many as nine and then hang them in a grouping on the way to our atrium. Or indoor greenhouse. That's attached to the music room. Down the hall from the library. But that's a ways away I'm told. So for now, I will work on the drawing.

The inspiration for this one comes from a picture Evan took a couple of years ago. We were out on a bicycle ride in the mountains and we came across a field of these periwinkle-ish beauties. We hadn't seen them before and haven't seen them since. We've been doing some research, and I am positive it's a Camas. Evan is not so sure about my conclusion (and he is far more knowledgeable about wildflowers than I), but he thinks that it is in the lily family, so I must be close.

And if it keeps on raining every day, I am sure I will have pictures to post of the completed flower (Camas?) soon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kashi Krispy Treats

Raise your hand if you like rice krispy treats.


Raise your hand if you wanted to make said treats, but were out of rice krispies cereal. And it was raining outside and you really didn't want to have to find your shoes or zip up your rain coat.


Okay. Enough with the questions. Let's just say there was a little bit of a crisis when I needed (needed) some rice krispy treats and was out of cereal. But I had some Kashi cereal. And so I used it. And ya know what? They were even better.

So I just thought I'd share. In case you ever find yourself in a similar crisis. It can be quite scary.

Kashi Krispy Treats

3 c. mini marshmallows
2 T. butter
4 c. Kashi honey puff cereal
1/4 c. ground flax seed

Place butter and marshmallows in a pan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, remove pan from stove and stir in the flax seed and cereal. Press into 8" x 8" pan coated with cooking spray. Eat entire pan immediately. If not sooner.

And look! I'm pretty sure this is a sign that the plate fits so perfectly on the box. Can anyone say Kashi Sponsorship???

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's time...

...for lilacs on the nightstand,

for the summer quilt to be brought out,

for this handsome guy to cut the grass,

for the peas to be peaking,

and for more seeds to be planted.

I love you May.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ben, Jerry, & Holly

We got an ice-cream maker for our wedding. Hooray for impractical wedding gifts! It came with a little recipe booklet, which we used a couple of times. But the ice-cream it produced was iffy.

Luckily, my dad is an ice-cream maker. When we were still living close by, we would drop in every Sunday for dinner and super homemade ice-cream. And then we moved. Feeling a little sentimental, I got him some ice-cream recipe books for Christmas. I accidentally read through the Ben & Jerry's one, and it was so FUNNY! It's part recipes, part biography. And I really felt that this book would be the answer to our ice-cream maker woes. So I 'earned' it by shoveling up some cat deposits on the side of our house. Evan couldn't handle it. Too 'icky'. I have a feeling I will be earning a lot of books in the coming years.

So, meet our new best friends. Ben and Jerry. They are super cool guys. And coincidentally, they are ice-cream wizards. It's a coincidence because as of last night, I am also an ice-cream wizard.

I decided to go with the Heath Bar Crunch. Because it's the first recipe in the book, and it's also their best seller.

I started by chopping up some heath bars. And I didn't even steal a little piece. Er, yeah. Didn't.

Lots of heavy cream and thirty minutes later, it's ice cream. This is the whippy wonderful goodness in all its glory. We simply couldn't believe it. Or stop eating it.

It has been decided that we are going to get some baggy t-shirts made. To go with our stretch pants. Because I'm pretty sure this is going to be a Sunday tradition at our house too.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A snacky tutorial

I love requests! And since Sarah asked so nicely, I decided to put together a little tutorial for the snack bag. This is my first ever sewing tutorial, so please don't judge. Also, I'm not up on my sewing lingo, 6th grade home ec. was a while ago...

You can really do whatever size you want, but I found a 7" zipper for 10 cents at my local thrift store, so I tried to work around that size. I cut the fabric out to be approximately 8" x 16", and used 1/4" seam allowances, so it worked out about perfect. Also, the first bag I made I didn't do a lining, and then regretted it later when little strings were hanging off my snacks. So you can do whatever you want, plain fabric, lining, no lining, a quilty pattern...your snack, your call.

So you start by placing right sides together and sewing around the perimeter of the fabric. Be sure to leave yourself an emergency exit.

Once this is completed, turn the fabric right side out through your emergency exit and press.

Now comes the scary part. Zipper time! Sew the zipper on one end of the fabric.

Then you turn it around and sew it to the other end. This is where it gets pretty awkward. But just adjust the zipper head and move the presser foot up as you sew over it, and you'll probably be okay. I'm a zipper dummy, so maybe it's not so awkward if you know what you're doing.

Alright. Good job everyone. Now turn the bag with right sides together once again. Be sure to leave the zipper half-way open so you can use it as your emergency exit.

Now sew up the edges.

And turn the bag right side out!


And here are the twins. I think this little pink number is going to be for my sister Brooke. Because she asked politely. And I like her.

The end

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Yesterday was our 3 year anniversary. Pretty crazy! I was looking through some wedding photos yesterday (because it's probably time we actually print some out...maybe), and was like, "we look like such babies!" and then I remembered that we look exactly the same except that I did finally grow out my bangs. And I also changed my dress.

But I feel a lot older. And wiser.

Anyway, enough about me! How about these waffles, eh? Evan got me a super duper Belgian waffle maker. Because he fully supports my domestic habits, and because he knows I love a good crispy waffle. We did get a waffle maker for our wedding, but three years old combined with being pretty cheap to start out with wasn't boding well for the old guy. Let's just say it was a little bit of a fire hazard every time we made waffles.

So last night there was a little waffle party.

Holly went with some berry delight.

And Evan stuck with the timeless classic, syrup dusted with powdered sugar look.

And that's the secret to a happy marriage. I'm pretty sure.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Snacky snack snack

I am a snacker. A big ol' snacky snacker. And because I am now a working woman, I need to pack my snacks for on-the-job emergencies. So....I made some snack bags. As in, Ziploc bags can eat my shorts. Those type of snack bags.

First a big guy. He holds the fruit leather, granola bars...ya know, bigger snacks.

Next I made this little guy. I couldn't help myself. He velcros shut and is meant for holding loose items.

Like crackers. I like crackers.

And because I take things too far, I made just one more. I've been into hard boiled eggs as of late. And I didn't want a tragic accident to befall a fragile egg in my rather dangerous tote bag.

So I made an egg cozy.

And next week I will no doubt be chronicling the events of how my new co-workers shunned me because of my rather matchy-matchy snack bags and how I made the break room smell like boiled eggs. Which isn't necessarily a good way to make new friends. But at least I'll have my snacks close by.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

And the winner is...

I NEVER win contests. Never never. So it was very interesting to be on the other side of a contest, picking the winner. Except that I felt a lot more pressure to randomly select. Which is a weird feeling.

So I wrote down all of the contestants names, cut them out, folded them, and put them into a hat. And I made Evan play along as I closed my eyes and shuffled the paper slips around. It was very nerve racking. Because I know every one of you that entered. And I like you. And I secretly wanted everyone to win. But because I am not Oprah, I can't give everyone that comes to my show a prize. So I had to pick just one.

And that one is....


Thanks for playing! And just remember, you're all winners :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baking for a Windy Day

*If you haven't entered already, the super-awesome contest for the botanical prints is still open until Thursday afternoon*

It's been sooooo windy here! And cold. But sometimes sunny. But mostly windy and cold. We woke up this morning to a giant branch from our neighbors huge tree sprawled out across our driveway/front yard/street. Also, our screen door is flapping open because a huge gust of wind bent the hinge. And it won't close. Windy my friends. So very windy.

And since baking is the perfect fix for gloomy weather, I decided to make muffins. Some sweet, lemony, wonderful muffins.

They made the house smell so warm and cozy. Not windy or cold at all.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2/3 c. granulated sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk or sour cream
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
2 T. poppy seeds

For the Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar whisked together with 2 or 3 T. of lemon juice

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 12 regular sized muffins cups with paper liners. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet and set aside.

In a large bowl, rub the granulated sugar with the lemon zest until the sugar is lightly colored and scented with lemon. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Do the same with the eggs, buttermilk (or sour cream), vanilla extract, melted butter, and lemon juice.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together. When almost thoroughly mixed, add teh poppy seeds. Divide batter between muffin cups.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Mix up glaze and spoon over muffins.

Windy day...? No. Muffin day.

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