Tuesday, December 21, 2010


This image makes me want to redesign my entire apartment.....or just the bedroom.  Isn't it lovely? 

I'm officially on vacation from 1:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon until Monday, January 3, how amazing is that?  Everyone have a merry Christmas filled with love, joy, friends and family!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

...Well, it wasn't cold outside when the below photo shoot took place.  My friend Magpie went to Lebanon with me for a long weekend in July, and we went antiquing with my parents one afternoon.  We found this fur coat priced at a whopping $20.00, and my dad tried tirelessly to get Magpie to buy the coat (because check her out, she is totally stylin' and profilin')!  While Magpie didn't buy the coat, it did provide us with a few minutes of free entertainment.  Here goes:

Check out Mom!

Me trying not smile, you know, like the models do.  I don't think this look works for me, haha.  Why is it that they never smile?

And my favorite shot of the day would have to be Magpie.  I suppose you can guess that we were trying this coat on in July...

Oh, I made the pieces of Heaven homemade marshmallows last night, they were soo yum yum!  They were a very fun project to make.  

DIY Time:  Farfalle as a Gift Bow!  I always run out of ribbons and bows when I get down to wrapping the last gift or two.  This is a neat idea; I may have to try it out!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

...More like the 12 parties of Christmas.  Since December 3, I have been to 8 Christmas parties, and I'm totally worn out.  I'm not tired of Christmas, but I'm ready for real food, you know?  I want every steamed veggie I can get my hands on right now-I'm craving healthy food (not the yummy and wonderful finger foods and dips I've been devouring for the past 3 weeks. 

This afternoon, I finished my last sewing project of the year, thank goodness (only one more knitting project to go!).  Now I'm lounging on the couch watching one of my favorite Christmas movies from childhood, Home Alone: Lost in New York City.  My brother and I even had the original Nintendo game that accompanied this movie.  It was wonderful. 

Tonight I'm trying out the pieces of Heaven homemade marshmallows, so I'm excited to see how they turn out.  I will report back on those. 

DIY Time:  Vintage Earrings!  Looking for a last minute Christmas gift idea?  Well this one looks like a great, time-efficient and gorgeous project.  Have a great Sunday everybody!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming To Town

I'm making my list and checking it twice this week, making sure everything I need to do before Christmas is on the itinerary.  Christmas is two weeks from tomorrow, and my goal of giving something handmade to everyone on my list is attempting to become a reality.  Seriously, I should have started on this endeavor in July.  But that's beside the point.  

I've got goals and deadlines, all to be met before the end of next week!  Here's what I need to complete this weekend: 2 sewing projects I've already started and 2 yarn projects (should be pretty quick).  I'm on the highway to productivity this weekend, whoohoo!  Then next week, I have two more yarn projects to start and finish, but I'm still waiting on supplies to arrive from here, so they'll have to wait.  The other day my right index finger started hurting, so I'm just praying that my hands will be able to work like little elves in the next week and then I will give them a much needed break.

I saw this blog post today, and I loved it, thought it was a riot, and think everyone who has a sense of humor should read it.  My favorite line would have to be:  "If you think your hot-ness is more important than your country, Lisa, keep up the pre-Christmas diet.  Help put thousands, nay millions of our fellow Americans out of work."  Just read it.

DIY Time: Fabric-Covered Thumbtacks!  These do not require sewing either, so it's a relatively quick project.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


My eyes are green, my favorite color is green, my favorite bowls in the kitchen are green, the mug on my desk at work is green, how much greener can my life get?  I understand the ecological pun this question poses, but let's not dwell on that; I eat healthy, people, and while that doesn't mean "organic," it does mean healthy.  I also reuse grocery bags in trash cans.  Enough said.

Green beans are one of my favorite things to eat, and I mean, they're right up there with mashed potatoes and chocolate cake.  It may come as a surprise to you that the first time I ever ate green bean casserole was about a year ago (made by Javalady).  If you think your mouth is on the floor, I wish you could see mine.  Green bean casserole is a revelation, and whoever thought it up over at Campbell's in the 1950's struck gold (in my opinion)!  Last night, I made the first of a long line of green bean casseroles.  I altered the recipe slightly, as I didn't have any milk, and I added a few more fried onions.  So here's my variation:

Green Bean Casserole

1 can Cream of Mushroom
1/2 c. Half 'n Half + 1/4 c. water
2 cans cut green beans, drained
1/2 t. black pepper (or to taste)
1 1/2 c. French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour cream of mushroom into a mixing bowl.  While stirring, slowly add the half 'n half and water to avoid lumps.  Then add green beans, pepper and 3/4 c. French fried onions.  Pour mixture into a 2-quart (or thereabouts) baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.  Then pour the remainder of the French fried onions on top of your casserole and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  

Maybe I'm crazy for loving green bean casserole, maybe I just jumped on the bandwagon super late in life, but all I know is that I ate green bean casserole for breakfast this morning and it rocked.  So yeah, I guess you could say that my life got a little greener yesterday evening at dinner time.  P.S. Please don't read into my comment about eating healthy because the jury's still out regarding the nutrition-value of the above casserole.  For what it's worth, I think one could count it as a vegetable serving or two, depending on how much you eat.

DIY Time:  Poppy Brooches!  The only "sewing" involved in this project is with a glue gun, so it's very doable.  I made them for Christmas gifts last year and they were a huge hit! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Every Day I Write the Book

I'm a huge fan of calendars and planners.  Especially the kind that can fit into a purse/bag, and especially those that show the entire month within two pages.  I am a big-picture person, and as a result, I love to see as much time displayed as possible (with enough space to write).  Last December, I found the calendar of my dreams and have been (happily) using it all year long; click here and here to see a preview of it.  Sometimes I abandon a planner if I don't love it.  But this one is very manageable in a way that doesn't make me a slave to it, and for the upcoming year, I am downsizing to the compact size, so we'll see how it goes.  

In some ways, I think calendars and planners are journals; I was discussing this with a friend yesterday.  She writes down everything she does in the day, whether it was going to lunch with a friend or going to The Jefferson to see a show.  I love journaling, but as I get older, I'm finding that I rarely set the time aside to do it.  In 2011, I would like to change that, and maybe calendar-journaling would be a good way to do this...Food for thought. 

DIY Time:  Vintage Postcard Calendar Journal!  I am a huge list-maker, and this project is a phenomenal way to keep a journal in the form of a list and keep it compacted into several years in a fashionable manner.  I want to make one (and it would be a great gift for someone, too)!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

O Tannenbaum

On Friday night, I co-hosted a party, and in the spirit of Christmas, I made a cake for it in  the shape of a ring of trees, with a train chugging along the bottom edge of it!  It even snowed on my cake, thanks to a dab of powdered sugar.  Unfortunately, this was the only cake photo from the party...Nordicware cake pans are awesome, huh?

DIY Time:  Today, I'm giving you all the recipe for the bundt cake pictured above:  Darn Good Chocolate Cake.  It is quite possibly one of the most wonderful chocolate cakes I've ever made, and anybody can do it!  Don't judge me because it has a cake mix in it, just try it, you won't regret it.

Darn Good Chocolate Cake
4 large eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. warm water
1 Devil's Food cake mix
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bundt pan with Baker's Choice, or grease and flour the pan.  In a mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, vegetable oil and warm water.  Then add the cake mix, pudding and sour cream.  Mix until all ingredients combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into greased and floured bundt pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.