Friday, January 30, 2009

of God and ikea

every year around this time, i just sort of lose it. i am a sunshine girl, and these grey days become almost too much to take. i am starting to figure out that i need to plan more activities to help ease the grey.

so i'm holding out for february, with a few fun things coming up. not the least of which is a 4 day trip to lovely minneapolis.


my partner for the trip is my dear friend sher, who is my "spiritual mom." sher is everything you'd want a mom to be, loving, beautiful, fun to be around, and someone you can tell your deepest stuff to. we have traveled together before, but not for a couple of years, so this will be especially good. we are going to a conference called "dream big" which is about expecting the biggest of things from God for 2009! i cannot really explain in depth, but i have reason to believe God is planning to rock my year. because He said so. however, the verdict is still out on how obedient i will be! i hope this conference helps me to stay on the path! funnnnnnn.


on the way up to the cities, i plan to take sher to digs, a favorite stop in northfield. digs has everything a girl could want. cute books and trinkets and kitchen stuff and yarn and FABRIC. i need to get a digs fix.


i'm also hoping for an ikea moment, if we have any spare time. i know, ikea is more like a "day" trip, but if i focus, perhaps i could just come home with one or two new inspirational finds. i usually kind of hyperventilate when i go there, and stand in the middle of the store paralyzed. i must overcome!

ah. forward is a good place to look, isn't it? happy friday all!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

snack time


hey, what is everybody doing for the super bowl? any good recipes to share? i need some inspiration. i will probably make my sausage wontons, they are pretty much always a hit. some people put actual ranch dressing in them, but i use a pkg. of the dry mix without liquid ... you can warm them up the next day too, if they make it that long.

let me know what you're eating, and who you are rooting for!

Sausage Wontons

* 1 (16 ounce) package wonton wrappers
* 1 pound sausage
* 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
* 1/2 cup chopped black olives, drained
* 1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix (or 1 cup dressing)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a miniature muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Insert wonton wrappers into the muffin pan so as to form small cups. Bake 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow the baked wrappers to cool. Remove from the pan.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the sausage, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, black olives and Ranch-style dressing. Fill the baked wonton wrapper cups with the mixture.
4. Bake the filled wonton wrappers 10 to 15 minutes, until the sausage mixture is bubbly and slightly brown. Watch closely so the wonton wrappers do not burn.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

heartwrenching

i know there are lots of good blogs out there. lots. but something about this one makes me just in awe.

stephanie was burned terribly in a plane crash last summer. she nearly died. she is still only partially recovered, and has a long painful path in front of her.

she just started blogging again. and many of us are glad she is back.

http://www.nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 26, 2009

me and louise

okay. louise and i. shwew, it's hard to use bad grammar even when you want to!


anyway. today i am thinking about louise pruitt. she's the lady that owned the gorgeous yellow suitcase i found this weekend at goodwill ($2).

i'm still in my yellow phase. truth be told, i've always been in my yellow phase, it's just kind of more fashionable right at the moment. in Heaven, my room is yellow, that i know :)


okay, back to the suitcase. it's a samsonite in MINT condition. well, one corner is kind of bent. it doesn't bother me at all.


what i love most is the inside. kind of a buttery yellow, with a faint polka dot finish. louise went and added a cute silver nametag, and signed it with her pretty handwriting. which is staying. because i love it.


now the fun part, the dreaming of how to take her to the next level. i'm thinking patchwork, because she has a dEEP curve which would be hard to make happen with one piece of fabric. whatever i do choose, i just hope it still stays yellow. louise would want it that way.

Friday, January 23, 2009

conundrum

CONUNDRUM UPDATE:
the boy responded to request for hootie concert quite nicely. he likes his voice, his new song on the radio, and even partially his hootie past. i'll let you know how the choice to attend the concert affects our romantic holiday - we got tickets!!



i just saw that darius rucker (former "hootie") is going to be here in SF on ... valentine's day.

dang.

not only do i think my honey would not like him much, i'm not sure that seeing one of my favorite favorite favorite cute singer men on valentine's day would exactly make me concentrate on phillip. i could be wrong.

:)

thrifting away



boy. tough week. it's so funny to wake up and not remember who you are or where you are!! that happened to me this morning.

then i remembered it's FRIDAY. friday is good. i think i might run over to a thrift shop or two over the noon hour. yesterday, after a meeting, i stopped at one of my fave shops, and picked up a few little treasures. oh, the love.

may your friday finds be lovely also :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

look at me!


i have a new necklet on today :)

i made it.

now, if i could just get a new neck...!

DIY for somebody else

i have decided that make-it-yourself gifts are the only way to go. no more malls, no more gift certificates and shopping cards, no more.

so i'm collecting ideas. somebody posted somewhere after the new year (i like how i reference my sources) that if you collect christmas gifts every month, starting in january, you'll have a wonderful, joyful, peaceful, less hectic december. i liked that idea.

so. you cannot make these too early. but you can make these. i think maybe for my brother. your brother might like them, too :)

oh ps. recipe here is from apartment therapy. don't go there. you'll never leave.


Homemade Caramels

Ingredients
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling on top. Sea salt is found in specialty food stores under the name "fleur de sel." You can also experiment with artisanal salts if you like.
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/4 cup light corn syrup
* 1/4 cup water

Equipment
* 8" square baking pan
* Parchment paper
* Candy thermometer (or a deep-fat thermometer)
* Wax paper for wrapping or paper candy cups

Yield: About 40 caramels.

Directions
* Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.
* Bring the cream, butter and sea salt to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat and set aside.
* Boil the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan; then cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 248°F, the firm-ball stage.
* Carefully stir in the cream mixture—the mixture will bubble up. Simmer, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. The temperature should not go higher than 250°F.
* CANDYMAKER TIP: To get the caramel consistency you want, test by dropping a spoonful of caramel into a bowl of cold water. It will form a ball, which you can test with your fingers. Stop cooking when the ball is the consistency that you want.
* Pour the mixture into the baking pan and cool 2 hours.
* OPTIONAL: You can enrobe your caramels in tempered melted chocolate; sprinkle the top with some grains of sea salt (pretty salts make a difference); or press in some culinary lavender buds.
* Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, folding ends or twisting to close like taffy.
* ALTERNATIVE: Pour the caramel into individual candy cups.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

sigh


girl movie nights are the BEST.

if i were obama

i would have had tracy chapman instead of itzak perlman (?) at my inauguration...



Dont you know
Theyre talkin bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Dont you know
Theyre talkin about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While theyre standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Poor people gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people gonna rise up
And take whats theirs

Dont you know
You better run, run, run...
Oh I said you better
Run, run, run...

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin bout a revolution

question of the day


who will be my 100th friend on facebook, that is the "question of the day" today.

i am currently holding strong at 99 friends. in the running for the big 100th one is carey's brother mike, and another mike from high school who has "poked" me, but not asked to be my friend. what is THAT about?

kriminey. my world is not 100 people wide. i'm lucky to have 16 people on any given week that i communicate with. it's almost hard to believe i have known 100 people in my LIFEtime. i seriously must be old, because 100 seems like alot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

new day


i slept in past my usual 6am this morning, and as i sat down to the computer, i started contemplating the day. i kept thinking to myself "it's a new day today" - which was a kind of weird thought to have, because i am not a huge obama fan, or as i stated previously, "into" politics. however, i do recognize the new "wave" of expectance coming over our country. there is just change in the air. i started to think about how i form my expectations in life. i guess i think they are a huge part of who we are, and who we become.


This is neat, huh? i do like the unity that obama seems to bring among races.

many times, i base my expectations on what i have done or experienced before. last night for example, i went to a prayer meeting about the Holy Spirit at our church. we have a similar conference every year in january. as i was getting ready to go, i realized i was NOT excited, because i have seen the speaker before. it was as if i was expecting what would happen based on the SPEAKER, not on the Lord.

as it turned out, it was a good evening for me. there was an alter call, and i was able to pray and release some burdens. i experienced the warmth of the Lord. my evening really had nothing to do with the speaker, and everything to do with Jesus. i realize that i had set my expectations incorrectly. if i had come to the meeting EXPECTING an encounter with the living God, perhaps i would have had an even stronger visitation?!

so, today is a new day. ready or not, President Obama has a new vision for our country, and will begin to craft his vision for us as best he can. we will either support or rebel against those ideals i guess, and a "new" america will take shape accordingly.

i am ready for new also, but not surprisingly, my devotional for today suggested i should aim my expectations in a different direction. may you experience a day unlike any other day today also, in expectation of the things of Heaven.

Jesus answered and said to him,
’Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God’ — John 3:3


Being born again by the Spirit is an unmistakable work of God, as mysterious as the wind, and as surprising as God Himself. We don’t know where it begins— it is hidden away in the depths of our soul. Being born again from above is an enduring, perpetual, and eternal beginning. It provides a freshness all the time in thinking, talking, and living— a continual surprise of the life of God. Staleness is an indication that something in our lives is out of step with God. We say to ourselves, "I have to do this thing or it will never get done." That is the first sign of staleness. Do we feel fresh this very moment or are we stale, frantically searching our minds for something to do? Freshness is not the result of obedience; it comes from the Holy Spirit. Obedience keeps us "in the light as He is in the light . . ." (1 John 1:7).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

new years rez

any chance you rember this post from januray 1, 2008?!! yep, that was ONE scary closet. sadly enough, it now looks...worse. how could more stuff possibly fit in that little cubby, you ask. trust me. it does. but i'm here today to tell you, there is hope.


meet my "saturday cleaning project." this is the closet in my bedroom. ooooooohhhhh. aaaaaahhhhhhh. wow. that feels so much better. only 2 huge boxes to the basement, and i extra hefty trashbag to the ... trash. and i actually have a BARE shelf! better go shopping for some new clothes!

ps. siesta likes it too. she actually now has a teeny little cat bed hidden way in the back, for those days when you just want to stay in the dark :)

total turn on



you know, i was really sad to hear so many friends say that they have had troubles with their front loading washers. i guess it was my next big fantasy purchase, along with that bathroom renovation in the basement.

it's kind of not surprising to hear, tho, because the whole "law of gravity" thing tells me that water might have a tendency to leak sideways out of something easier than out of a container closed from the top?!

anyway, doin' some research. no. actually, i saw this at menards yesterday, came home, and found out it gets pretty good grades: the whirlpool cabrio. still sexy, right?

still expensive, too, unfortunately. around $1000 or so. but at least the dream can still live on :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

next door neighbor


i know i said i shouldn't be doing any more movie reviews, but apparently i lied. i simply MUST talk about gran torino.

oh clint eastwood, who KNEW i would end up loving you so? and after million dollar baby, i just didn't think it would get any better for the old guy. i was SO so wrong, i knew it from the minute i saw the trailer for this film (which, btw, was months and months ago)!

this film has everything i need to love a film. good guys and bad guys. humor. emotional connection. bigger picture statement about the "state of things." a wonderful ending.

this was perhaps one of the best films i have ever seen. if clint were here, i would give him a big ole hug for making it. even for SINGING the soundtrack. he is daring, too! you simply have to go to this movie, i cannot believe anybody would not enjoy it... and no, don't take your children, this is for YOU.

disregard angelina jolie, not sure why she is there. this is the car from the movie tho!

ps. you will also come away from this filming wanting one. a gran torino, i mean.

Friday, January 16, 2009

cupcake anyone?


i am so glad to know cupcakes are still in style, at least according to martha stewart, circa feb 2009.

her latest magazine is SO cool! among other amazingly beautious stories, is about an 8 page spread on cupcakes. lots and lots to choose from.

i chose brown sugar poundcake cupcakes with browned butter frosting. now it's your turn :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

shout out from Isaiah

wanna know what is kinda cool?

it's kinda cool when your day job involves laying out pages of a devotional prayer book, made from the members of a local church.

especially when you proofread. which led me to the THIRD time this scripture has crossed my path in ONE WEEK. it is one of my faves, too.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I, send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 NRSV)

ta da!

good news on the virtual world front:

kristie lou has moved to wordpress and prettied things up

and the back forty has made an online portfolio!

i'm just getting started, i need to learn to photograph my work. but at least it's something. there was this free html software called pictobrowser which is kind of fun and easy to use (i can't seem to get it to work perfectly, but close enough) that is nice for this kind of thing. i've been wanting to put some promo materials together for. like. ever. but never seem to get around to it. i have some print ideas too, so MAYBE if winter stays winter long enough, progress will occur.

kind of makes me wish i knew how to make websites. good thing you are never to old to learn new tricks :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

22 below...something.


hey, look at my new blog banner, isn't it pretty?! it's my sedum plant that is RIGHT NEXT to the front step. which is as far as i've ventured out lately. it is CHILLY out there. to put it nicely.

i also took this pretty snow pic as i swiveled around, before i ran back in the house. i am a snow bunny, i tell ya!

:)

faves


this is my favorite contestant on American Idol so far. why is it we always have to have a favorite?!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

that's how i roll.


okey dokey. midday procrastination is a funny thing. i got to thinking about what kind of "hip" phrases i'll be overusing in 2009! what fun!

here's what i'm thinking my top 5 will be:

1) that's how i roll. very flexible. i have tried it out a few times, and i like it so far.

2) getting my "blank" on. again, flexible and fun ... "i was getting my craft on again this weekend" will probably be the most common usage.

3) very.short.sentences. invented by karen. wildly popular in latter 2008.

4) i'm down with that. will replace "cool beans" which is so 2005.

5) next level. invented by kristie lou, and fully market tested by paulsen marketing. useful whenever you think you are onto something completely brilliant.

and while i'm at it, i suppose i need to relinquish some of my old faves to the trash, lest anyone think i'm old. here's what has to go:

1) bummer. it will cause me pain not to say this anymore. it'll just be a bum....oh nevermind.

2) my bad. i am going to try to just say "i'm sorry" more. that is ALWAYS in.

3) dude. i will miss you.

of course, i had to do some "research" on this topic, and i came across what will surely be a flaming popular phrase for everyone this year:

"i'm fine like kevin kline in 2009"

what are YOU going to be down with saying?


:)

a thank you

i had quite a few things i wanted to blog about today - the new season of 24; the rainbow cupcakes on the cover of martha's feb issue; my new metallic baby blue ipod case...you know, all the important stuff.

instead, i think i'll go WAY out on a limb and blog about ... george bush.

yesterday, i found myself listening to/watching his last press conference. you have to know that i sort of hate politics. to be honest, i CANNOT remember if i voted for george bush either time, but i don't think so! seriously, politics are not my thing.

but, our country seems to be going thru some tough times. i'm not sure if they are tougher than other times it has gone thru, but most acknowledge there is a seriousness in the air. so i decided to see what george had to say.

and here is the thing that may scare some of you away.

i like george bush. i don't know that i can explain it for sure, i guess i like that he really seems to care. i thought his press conference showed him to be respectful, and kind, even though the audience might not have been there for a feel-good session. they seemed to want him to talk about how he screwed up, and he seemed to want to say "you people have no appreciation for how hard this job is." i honestly think he wanted to say he did his best, and he seems at peace with himself.



and i want to say this: i do have appreciation for how hard that job must be. (i think his photos from before/after prove that he must have spent a late night or two up thinking about things).

i hope you enjoy retirement, mr. bush, thank you for your service to me and my country.

Monday, January 12, 2009

acting lessons

so, last night i actually tried to watch the golden globe awards. could. not. do. it. well, i sort of flipped over on commercial breaks, but even that was hard. mostly of course, i wanted to see the clothing.

what the ????

anyway. actors are ridiculous! i think it's so funny that some of them actually attempt to give their opinions on important things, like how our country is doing. or colin ferrell deciding to talk about love? i think he was trying to make up for all the bad press of the last DECADE or something! really, all one needs to do is have a look at mickey rourke to see that we might NOT want to listen to actors. he did thank his dog though, i thought that was sweet.

am i the only one who has not seen many of these winning movies? i did buy "revolutionary road" - the book - this weekend, so i will not be so out of it. otherwise, i felt a bit like i live in a hole.


lucky for me, jack bauer gave me the thrilling evening i needed :)) oh. love that show. love it so much it's on again tonite, and i cannot wait!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

karen's shortbread


okay, so i didn't even come close to making these for christmas. but finally, i got around to trying karen's brown sugar shortbread recipe!

of course, they were super yummy. and easy, which is one major reason i like shortbread. i did customize some, by adding 1 tsp. of instant espresso powder (that is a MUST for my kitchen, it's great in coffee-flavored recipes) and about 3/4 c. chopped "leftover from the holidays" walnuts. then, i dipped them in some melted dark choc chips.

i guess you could say my sugar-deprivation stage is waning, too. thanks, karen!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

baby steps

one of the best things about the new year is the desire to get organized. it appears every jan. 1 for me, but by today - the 10th - it is starting to wane a little already. i still have not touched the dreaded closet(s), which is what really needs to happen.

but, one step at a time.

for as long as i've had my cute vintage dresser (about 10 years i guess), i've stashed crap in the 2" high top drawer. various jewelry, tags from clothes, every extra button to every item i've ever purchased, etc. yes, it was a junk drawer. here is the proof:


so this morning i decided to change all that. i took out the drawer contents, and put a false bottom in the drawer covered in fabric...then, i added a series of foam core "dividers" out of some scrap foam core. i kind of just made it willy nilly, but it seems fairly sturdy.


and look at my junk drawer now:


isn't that better? for the record, i threw away 97% of the stuff that used to be in there. like antibiotics for beener who died 2 years ago! sheesh. but what i KEPT can easily be seen now!


especially these lovely handmade crochet wristlets, which came in the mail yesterday. thanks kirsten, I LOVE THEM :)

heart attack




take a look at the new fabric line "good folks" from my heroine anna maria horner. aaaachhhh! cannot stand how beautiful these are! this woman and i MUST share some dna strings, because i love her stuff sssooooooooooooo much.

anyway, she likes yellow, too.

Friday, January 09, 2009

1 penny?!!


so, because of all the "bee" love this week, i decided to order a 2nd book by sue monk kidd. turns out she has written mostly christian genre books, but "bees" was her first venture into fiction. this is her 2nd...

the thing i MUST rave about again is amazon's used bookstore. i consider my subscription as a "prime" member of amazon (about $80/year, but free shipping) a nice little gift to myself that saves me alot of hours at the bookstore. i do have a serious problem, though, with dropping $10-$15 for paperback fiction books that you may or may not even like. this is where the "used" section of amazon is AMAZING! this book is offered for ONE PENNY from several different vendors (they make their money from the $3.99 shipping). so, for $4, you could have this book sent to your house. i decided to go wild, and found a $4.49 brand new version that came with FREE prime shipping. so, i got a new book for $4.50....cannot do much better than that without garage sales!

ps. i know about libraries, but our local one kind of sucks. i think i have read every decent fiction book there. however, they are in the midst of a vast remodel, and i have hopes of good things to come. until then, amazon rules.

need your opinion


so, here's the change i'm thinking of for the bedroom, these posters are everywhere, but a girl in san fran does them hand silkscreened on etsy for $25 in all these great colors....i think the sentiment "works" for my worry wart personality.


?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

true, so true


just when i have decided that yellow, only yellow, will do it for me....

here i find out that pantone of all people says it's the "color of the year" or something.

dang.

thought it was just me.

:)

bee movie for grownups :)

i really should quit writing movie reviews. i am finding that tastes vary drastically even among friends :)

however, last night, a bunch of the girls went to see "secret life of bees" at the cheap theatre here in town, and unless somebody was fibbing, we all loved it.

i had high expectations because the book is SO good. i think i'll even get another book or two by sue monk kidd, it was that good. the movie was pretty true to the storyline, except i think T. Ray was scarier in the book.

otherwise, these characters matched the people in my head pretty well. if you haven't seen it, and you - like me - think the south in 1964 is about the best place on earth you could possibly want to be, then i think you would like it.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

genius


one of my fave features on itunes (i think it's new, but possibly it has been there for years and i just never noticed..) is called 'genius.'

it's kind of like pandora, in that it makes a custom set of songs for you from your own personal library. this morning, it decided that i should hear "this good day" by fernando ortega ...i have blogged about that song before, it's the BEST song ever ...

i wonder if God has something to do with how genius works?!

:)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

i'll have what she's having



last night i had a chance to attend my worship group, which normally meets once a week, but for some reason got caught up in the season and had not met since right before thanksgiving. these are all the women i have "grown up" in Christ with, and i love them dearly.

of course, we started talking about the new year, in the perspective of what the Lord is doing here on earth. one friend read a prophecy from Pat Robertson, and another read her own words that the Lord had spoken to her. what we mostly gathered from these words were that the world may be in peril, but God is in charge, and His plans for people will be amazing, things we have never seen.

my favorite part of the night was when we sort of started talking about our personal dreams for 2009, and my friend dianne said "i just want to be of absolutely no earthly good!" we all laughed, but it has stuck with me into this morning. i found a johnny cash song which explains the sentiment pretty well.

oh Lord, please make today of absolutely no earthly worth, but all for You and Your kingdom. not just today, but every day...!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

basement shopping

yesterday, i needed a creative project. something new. something that would NOT cost alot. so, i decided to go basement shopping. i got the brilliant idea to rotate my bed the other day (yeah. took me FIVE years to think about doing that) so i had the room in mind that i wanted to redo. i also want to paint the walls in there (a soft muted turquoise, ya think?) but i was a bit lazy to take on painting...i got everything right here in the house, except for one bookcase:



siesta oversaw the whole thing, from the security of her rainbow acrylic afghan. she also likes vintage things :)

the one and only purchase i made was this cheap particle board bookcase. i'm actully covering a door to the upstairs with this, so i will want to add casters at some point. i couldn't find the drill though, so for now it's kind of stationery. i got it on sale for $25 bucks, and only knocked one hole in it when i put it together :)

the thing about these bookcases is that they are SOOOOOOO cheap. so i decided to cover the cardboard backing with a cute vintage fabric i've had forever...i did not want to ruin the fabric, so i actually taped it on! i left the bottom panel "blank" and put a cute yellow wicker basket in there, so i can store some purses and scarves.

isn't it cute?! the fabric is blue/yellow/green/white/chocolate brown. yum.


i also made a pillow to put inside my new/old crochet pillow cover i got a couple of weeks ago. i used to have a yellow bedroom when i was growing up. i see that it's creeping back to me in my later years!


don't even look at this. yes. it's a laptop. in. my. bedroom. actually, the vintage wastebasket down below there is kind of nice too :)

i got a chance to pull out alot of the vintage linens i've been hoarding from rummage sales for quite some time. here's a pretty one on the dresser.


i couldn't get a very good pic of these, but i cut up some old pillowcases/etc with embroidery on them and made this little grouping. been wanting to do this for like ever... :)


lastly, i dug out my old VERY FAVORITE sweater from express (remember express) in the 90s. i cannot fit into this anymore, but i think it makes really nice wall art !!



oh. satisfied :)

ps: i updated with a couple more photos, after i found some pics to hang up (not the right thing, but i hate blank walls, and the proportions seem good)...and i added some pom-pom border to my white curtain! perfect finishing touch :)