Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flying Away

I will be away from my nest (and this space) for a couple of weeks. See you in July!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Oatmeal saves the day

Yesterday in Billings, we had a little bit of a Wizard of Oz weather moment. It was freaky and floody and a little bit tornado-y. Luckily no one was injured and things are already being taken care of and getting back to normal again. Evan and I took a walk after the craziness, and met up with a lot of folks out doing the same. We have since decided that nothing brings a neighborhood together like a good tornado. A video can be viewed here, and some crazy pictures here.

On a less serious, but more delicious note, I need to tell you that the only thing that got me through the storm were these cookies.

Because it has been decided that I am definitely an anxiety eater when it comes to things like lightning, thunder, and funnel clouds. And these cookies were there for me. All 2 dozen of them.

And can I just say that they are amazing?! I have tried my fair share of oatmeal cookie recipes and these take the cake! Or cookie. Or whatever. They are chewy and buttery and so good to eat when you are feeling anxious.

Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart

2 c. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. butter
1 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
Chocolate chips (Martha calls for dried cherries, but I disobeyed her)

Mix all the dry ingredients, except the oats, together. Cream the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Add oats and then chocolate chips (or cherries). Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Eat during all kinds of weather.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fuzzy Wuzzy

We are plant people. They are all over our house and I can't seem to stop adding them. When we first moved here, I rather publicly introduced us as having "...no kids, no pets, but plenty of house plants". And it must have stuck, because people at church are still asking me how my plants are doing.

And I'd like to introduce our newest plant. I've been calling him Fuzzy. Fuzzy is simply an attempt at some indoor grass (I do love the smell of fresh-cut grass), and he lives on our dining table.

The best part about Fuzzy? He can change moods with a snip of the scissors.

This is my favorite style: a little crazy and long.

This is his mohawk (or is it mow-hawk?!) look. Very edgy.

And this is his buzz cut. It's a good look for Sundays or company.

Last week he had a bowl cut and he looked like a little school boy. I'm thinking that next, I'll let his hair grow out really long and then attempt a mullet. Because I can.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Holly the hack

I should probably admit right now that I'm not a very good person. For example, whenever I see something super cool that somebody made, instead of supporting them and buying it, I just go home and copy it. I know. You can judge me.

Such is the case with these sandwich wraps I recently made. They were for sale at the market I work at, and so I got to look at them quite a bit. Well, a couple of weeks ago I came home and made some. Bad bad girl.

But we really like them.

This is a slow-motion demonstration of the sandwich wrap in action:

Look Evan! It matches your raincoat!!!

He is pleased.

I just made these up as I was going along, so I don't have a pattern to offer you, but after a quick internet search, I found a pattern here and for sale here. Please go make one. Today.

Friday, June 11, 2010


We went on a hike today expecting to be overwhelmed with hundreds of wildflower blooms.

We're new here. Obviously. Because we didn't know that where we were headed had just experienced a recent torch.

But it was actually quite lovely. It was dark and mysterious, and it reminded me of Halloween. Which made me want some Halloween candy. That happens a lot.

And would you look at the moss! It survived! If I could choose to be any plant, it would be moss. Because it's so fuzzy. And wonderfully vibrant. And it survives forest fires.

So we didn't get to see any wildflowers on our hike today. But that's okay, because I had flowers (Queen Anne's Lace) blooming on my lap the whole way home. What an unexpected day indeed.

:: fire photos by Evan ::

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How to make an awesome shirt

Hello. I work at a little market where I am constantly bending, reaching, and basically doing aerobics. Consequently, I am always tugging on my shirt, trying to remain modest and mysterious. I had a really bright idea the other day that I should just make some shirts! I figured I'd just buy a pack of men's undershirts and alter them to be more 'feminine' on my machine that sews. That way, they'd be long enough and not too frumpy. Not that there's anything wrong with frumpy.

Right after I had that brilliant brainstorm, I surpassed it with another. Why not dye the shirts funky-crazy? Yeah. I'll do that.

And so I did.

This is me casually modeling one of the shirts. I'm just so casual. I took a lot of pictures while I was making these, because I wanted to share my process.

So here we go.

How to make an awesome shirt:

After you wash and dry the shirt and make any alterations, you can draw a design using a water soluble pen. I went with a dove. Because I am so peaceful.

Go over your design with Elmer's Blue School Glue. I'm serious! It washes right out! Or if you live in a community more artsy than Billings, you could probably find some Batik wax. But I made do with glue. And make sure your glue is completely dry before dying. Because something weird might happen if you don't.

Swirl up a batch of dye. I used this kind.

Immerse the shirt in the dye. Let the shirt soak in a soothing bath for 30-45 minutes.

It's a bird! After a quick wash and dry, the glue had disappeared! And it was magical.

I took things a step further and went for a hot-chocolate-swirl look.

And for the finale, I went green with this planty shirt.

The End.

**update**   here is a link to awesome shirts part 2

Monday, June 7, 2010

my reward system

After following these boys up the mountain all day...

I'm pretty sure I earned some scrumptious strawberry pie.

With some homemade ice cream. Of course.

Thank you for understanding.

Fresh Strawberry Pie
from Better Homes & Gardens

8 c. fresh strawberries
2/3 c. water
2/3 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch

Remove stems from strawberries and slice into halves.
For glaze, in a blender or food processor combine 1 cup of the strawberries and the water. Cover and blend until smooth. Add enough additional water to the mixture to equal 1 1/2 cups. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in blended strawberry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes without stirring.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the glaze over bottom and sides of a preprepared baked pastry shell. Arrange half of the strawberries in the pastry shell.

Carefully spoon half of the glaze over strawberries, making sure all berries are covered. Arrange remaining berries over first layer. Spoon remaining glaze over berries, covering them. Chill 1-2 hours. If desired top with whipped cream. Or better yet, vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Confessions of a Chocoholic

I take my chocolate consumption very seriously. I like it to be dark and sinful. I ran out of my favorite cocoa powder last month and hadn't been able to find it anywhere. ANYWHERE.

And yes, I had been to every grocery store in town. And I had most of the grocery managers playing phone tag with their suppliers. And I even tried to place several special orders. But no. It wasn't happening.

And what is weird about this whole situation is that I usually don't even give Hershey's the time of day. I think their chocolate is bad. Bad bad. But this cocoa powder. It's something else. Something good.

So you can imagine how excited I was when a little package full of this goodness arrived on my porch the other day. Thank you Amazon. I waited exactly five seconds before busting out some brownies. And tomorrow I'm pretty sure I'm making some chocolate cake. Because it's Friday. And you should definitely have cake on Friday.

Go team!
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