Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Hello again. Has it really been a year since I last posted on the blog? I guess a broken computer and slow internet will do that to a person.
Now armed with a new computer and faster internet, I'm excited to get back to blogging. And reading blogs too. Oh, how I've missed reading so many blogs.
The summer went by far too quickly. Most of my days, outside of work, were spent gardening, baking, sipping iced chai, or shopping flea markets with an occasional outdoor concert and weekly trips to the farmer's market.
The garden is winding down for the summer, but I have a feeling the baking is about to take off. Flea markets and outdoor concerts will soon turn into fall festivals. Iced chai will turn into pumpkin spiced chai lattes and the farmers market isn't going away anytime soon.
Here's to cooler temperatures and a brand new month.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
A few weeks ago, I made the 2+hour drive over to Columbus, Ohio with my family for a little shopping. Tim Horton's was a mandatory, morning stop because their iced cappuccinos are amazing. And also because I can only find them in Ohio. Please open more Indiana locations, Tim Horton's!
This blueberry farm was conveniently located next to the highway, so we couldn't pass it up. The looming storms kept us from picking our own. Instead, I came home with a five pound box of pre-picked berries. A few handfuls immediately went into the most delicious blueberry muffins I've ever made & the rest went into the freezer for future pancakes, muffins, & pies.
The Book Loft is my favorite shop in Columbus. I've blogged about it before, but I can't help it. This lovely path provides a peaceful walk to the entrance. Probably to make up for the chaos of navigating 32 rooms. I've finally mastered the path to the bathroom though. Priorities, people.
On this particular visit, we found ourselves stuck by the entrance in the middle of an improv performance from a choir. I think it's probably the most interesting situation I've encountered while waiting for the rain to stop.
If you're a LUSH fan & find yourself within driving distance of Columbus, you need to make the trip to Easton Town Center to check out this location. I love LUSH and all, but the retail space is often so small that I almost feel claustrophobic. The windows in this one helped out big time. If only they'd expand all of their locations to be as spacious as the one up in Lincoln Park.
The boys on the trip decided we needed to visit the new Cabela's and stock up on gear for the upcoming hunting seasons. When I walk into this store it makes me want to buy & do "all the things". Hunting, fishing, camping, kayaking, and what not. All of it. Then I see the price tag and decide maybe I should just borrow dad's equipment and stick with my paper crafting.
Columbus is one of my favorite places to visit. If you have any suggestions for my next trip there, leave them in the comments!
Saturday, August 24, 2013
My summer manifesto reading assignment was completed with a little incentive from my local library's summer reading program. I don't have the budget to buy many books, so I take full advantage of the borrowing privileges at the library. Mine even allows us to check out eBooks. It's my preferred method of checkout when I decide to start a new book... at midnight.
The summer isn't technically over, but here's a quick recap of what I read:
1. The Namesake - I loved this book from the very beginning. Jhumpa's writing allows entire years to pass on single pages with so much ease. As much as I was a fan of the book, I wasn't a fan of the movie. Skip the cinema & pick up the read on this one instead.
2. Someday, Someday, Maybe - As a devoted Lauren Graham fan since the Gilmore days, I had to pick up her debut book. If you're a fan of Meg Cabot or Ann Brashares- I think you'll enjoy this one too.
3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - I've tried to read this one a couple of times before, but the third time was the charm. It read like a science fiction novel minus the fiction part and added a new dimension to my view of the medical community and its practices.
4. My Name is Memory - I was a fan of the traveling pants series from Ann Brashares, so this was an unexpected read from her. I'd classify it as science fiction chick lit. It was a great read but had a horrible ending. Here's hoping Ann's publisher allows a sequel.
5. Interpreter of Maladies - In this one, Jhumpa combined several short, rather simple stories. It was like a peek into some very private but everyday moments. Each story was a quick read so I kept this one in my purse and pulled it out when I had time to spare.
6. The Last Summer (of You & Me) - I was looking for a great beach read, despite the lack of a beach, and this was it. The story itself was set on the beach, so even though I couldn't be there, I could imagine it.
Yesterday, I hit up my library's annual book sale. A full box of books for only $3. Can't beat that. My nephew filled up over half the box, but I managed to come out with at least five good reads.
Friday, August 9, 2013
Day 1: Birthday tag, Day 2: herb garden markers, Day 3: painted sign, Day 4: mini bunting, Day 5: Cat scratcher, Day 6: Kitchen labels, Day 7: Cupcake batter for my cousin's graduation, Day 8: Frosted & decorated cupcakes for said graduation, Day 9: Sunday school craft, Day 10: Strawberry rhubarb pie, Day 11: Capri Sun wallet, Day 12: Party favors, Day 13: Homemade card, Day 14: Experimenting with my bread recipe, Day 15: Sewed a basket, Day 16: Strawberry shortcake for Father's Day, Day 17: Strawberries & cream pie, Day 18: Ice cream cookie sandwiches, Day 19: Painting at work, Day 20: Yay! card, Day 21: Bomb pop card, Day 22: Festive bunting, Day 23: Bookmark, Day 24: Mason jar tag, Day 25: festive card, Day 26: Flags for cupcakes, Day 27: Finishing my Cosco stool, Day 28: Work tags, Day 29: Pretty packaging, Day 30: Bumbleberry pie
30 projects in 30 days. There were days that I had to trick myself into "creating" something, but I finished! Checking another one off my Summer Manifesto.
For more 30 Days of Creativity goodness, check out the 30DOC site.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Despite my lack of blogging, I've actually made progress on my summer manifesto. A couple weeks ago, I was able to check off making a meal from the garden. Literally enjoying the fruits of your labor is the best thing ever.
The pico de gallo wasn't part of the actual dinner, but it was just as delicious. I whipped up a batch for lunch from the garden using our tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, and cilantro. If only I had a lime tree, I'd be set. I may have been working a little too quickly, hence the seeds that accidentally made it into the pico. Whoops!
No, these carrots weren't supermarket pretty but they were a tasty part of the meal I prepared.
For dinner, I made rosemary lemon roast chicken with roasted root vegetables á la Pioneer Woman. I smothered chickens, from a friend's farm, with a butter, lemon zest, and rosemary (from the herb garden) mixture. I chopped carrots, red onion, and celery all from the garden and tossed them with a little olive oil, salt, and rosemary. The potatoes would have been another garden addition, but there was already a bag of russets waiting to be used. Waste not, want not. So I left the garden potatoes in the ground.
And voila! Not the prettiest photo, but my family was too hungry to wait for decent photos. It was moist and delicious and will definitely be making another appearance in the kitchen.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
The weather was perfect this weekend. Perfect for a visit to the farmers market & a grad party. Muffins are my breakfast of choice for a market visit. This vendor makes the best carrot muffins I've ever had. I purchase one every single time I visit.
The garden is all planted so there was no need for these plants, but they were so lush & green that I couldn't resist taking a photo.
After passing this vendor up for a couple of weeks, I decided to purchase a bag of the egg noodles. Do you see that list of flavors? They all smell amazing. I decided to go with a fan favorite, garlic. If all goes well, next time I'll bring lime cilantro & spinach noodles home with me.
I baked 4+ dozen cupcakes for my cousin's high school graduation party. She was the baby of the family for so long, I can't believe she's graduated. She had such a great time celebrating with family and friends. I'm excited to see where this journey takes her.
In unrelated news, I'm kind of a little more than a lot excited for Monster's University. I'm quite the fan of Monsters Inc. Also- new music from The Civil Wars. Seriously- go check that out.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Friday started with this lovely gem of a sugar filled, calorie laden treat. But it's national donut day, right? Who can argue with a holiday dedicated solely to donuts? (Although, I strongly suspect the donut makers themselves have something to do with this.)
See that pretty tablecloth underneath? That was a whole other kind of treat. I found it in a little shop while running errands with my mom & nephews. Shortly after, we bought a few donuts & pulled into a park to put that pretty tablecloth to use. We looked a little crazy, but that's pretty much the norm.
This weekend is looking like the good kind of busy. Cupcakes to bake for my cousin's graduation party. Farmer's markets to attend. Kid crafts to plan for Sunday school. Followed by a Monday with absolutely zero commitments. I can't wait.
It's only been a few days since I posted my summer manifesto, but I'm already making great progress. The garden is doing really well so far. The strawberry patch is currently my pride & joy. Seemingly overnight, it exploded with beautiful fruit. The berries above were picked this morning. I had to pool all of my restraint to resist eating the entire bowl. I washed them & stuck them right in the freezer. Every morning, there is another basket waiting to be picked though. I have big plans to turn one batch into a strawberry rhubarb pie over the weekend.
These plant markers, inspired by Kimberley, are part of my 30 days of creating project. This is how most of my craft projects go. I pull out all of my craft supplies. The cat saunters over trying to figure out what's going on. I like to think she enjoys spending time with me, but it's usually just that she's waiting to take a nap on any leftover paper.
I stopped by the library on my day off to pick up a few books & was distracted by the colorful selection of children's books.
I also signed up for the adult summer reading program. The e-reader giveaway at the end of the summer sounded like a good incentive. It seems to be working too. I sat down & read one of my books in its entirety that day.
I'd love to know what you're reading or crafting this summer! Or maybe you wouldn't mind sharing a good beet green recipe? There are so many growing in the garden & it seems a shame to let them go to waste.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
I loved Kimberly's Summer Manifesto so much, I made one of my own. This summer will be a busy one but I want to soak up every minute of it.
+ prepare a meal from the garden
+ make bubble tea at home
+ mini road trip - somewhere, anywhere
+ participate in 30 Days of Creativity, start to finish
+ finish the first month of my Project Life album
+ visit the nearby farmer's market as often as possible
+ try a homemade ice cream recipe
+ lose ten pounds (in spite of the ice cream)
+ relax by the lake
+ dive into a pile of summer reading material
+ dust off the sewing machine & sew something
+ make my own bath bombs
+ refinish an old Cosco stool
Between this checklist & another short list of to-do's, there won't be any time to utter the words "I'm bored" this summer. Leave some of your summer to-do's or suggestions in the comments below!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The sun shines a little longer, but April showers rule the day. Flood watches & tornado warnings on the television screen. Yes, spring is definitely here.
With it comes a few bursts of color. These hyacinths and daffodils popped up in the yard along with a few other flowers.
I'm taking it all in. The sunshine & renewal of nature is a happy distraction from the chaos and sadness occurring around the world.
Today my heart rests with Boston & West, Texas and those suffering from such tragedy.
"Out of difficulties grow miracles."