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1/25/12

25 Jan

What I’m up to:

– I am finally getting over a cold that’s left me barely functioning for the entire month of January. I know some of you were a little disappointed about the lack of a Follow Friday post last week, but I had been running on empty for days and halfway through editing I knew it was a lost cause. It will be back with a vengeance next week, though, so don’t worry. It’s not going anywhere! In the meantime, check out my new 50 Thrifty Fun Things To Do series. I’m drawing on all my experience of taking care of Isobel while working with a budget that dips into the negative numbers on a regular basis.

– Speaking of vengeance, last week I asked you to send in your questions about me so I could complete the versatile blogger award. I received  a bunch of emails, DMs and tweets after I threatened people to post Beck lyrics if no one responded. Well call me a dead hobo on the patio! After that threat I was inundated with responses so I will answer a couple per week until I make it through all of them. If you still have a question for me it’s not too late–email, tweet, comment, or DM me and I’ll answer it in a following Snapshot post.

– Isobel occasionally refers to Anthony as “Swiper.”

– Next month I’m going away with some friends to visit my dear friend Stephanie in Reno. I’m excited to cross this item off my life list, even though I’ll be going without Anthony and Isobel. Since we started a family Anthony’s gone away for work and fun a couple times, so now it’s my turn. I’m going to be going four hours away over Donner Pass with my besties. What could go wrong? P.S. Can you be kicked out of a state for being inappropriate? Asking for my friends. Specifically.

-Also, this is the first time I can remember going overnight somewhere without Anthony since 1998. Holy shit.

– Since I’ve been sick I’ve watched a lot of Star Trek, and, consequently, Isobel has watched a lot of Star Trek. Fortunately, she loves it and dances and shrieks with joy when she hears the theme song. I shit you not. It’s hilarious to hear her take on what she sees, too. To her, Klingons are lions, the Borg are robots, and Worf’s son Alexander is a girl.

– I have been getting more photography work, which is good because I feel really guilty about quitting my job to stay home with Isobel in such rough economic times. I’m not going to lie, we’re personally dealing with some rough finances and so are most of my friends. A friend recently sent me a link about the Ten Worst Cities for Finding a Job. If you look on that list, the first five cities are within about an hour from where I live. The other day a girl came to our door and asked if I had any scrap metal for her family to sell. It’s so bad  nearly grabbed my bindle, flung Isobel into a sack of potatoes, and rode the rails to Canada.

– Yesterday we were in line for checkout at the grocery store when I noticed Isobel was chewing on a head of broccoli. I let her. Because it was broccoli.

– One of my recent shoots has been for my bestie’s Etsy shop. She is selling some awesome Valentine’s cards, including robots, Alice in Wonderland, and my favorite, the Anti-Valentine. I really love the Eat Me/Drink Me tags. How perfect would those be attached to a plate of homemade cookies for a housewarming gift? Too perfect.

– If you’re into vintage clothes, check out my friend Valerie’s shop. She has been uploading like mad and I’m personally drooling over several dresses, particularly this 1960s rainbow dress. I probably shouldn’t show you this adorable children’s owl sweater or orange townhouse dress.

Little Big Links:

– Thank the Sweet Baby Picard Jesus those Princess Bride movie remake rumors are false.  Via Amanda Stretch

Goats in a tree. This is called “making my day.” Via Ian Boudreau

Reading Rainbow meets Star Trek. This derailed my whole afternoon. Via Veronique Rickets

– Good as backup NFMBFTKS, but not as primairy NFMBFTKS . Read the first review. For Samurai Ninja Rockstars, only. Via Chris.

Downton Abbey Drinking Game. To my utter delight, Anthony enjoys watching this with me–without drinking, even!

Feminism does not predict poor romantic relationships, in fact quite the opposite. A fascinating study. Via Justin

Weekly Photos:

Reader Question:

This post is running waaaay long, so I’ll answer just a few.

1. Why the Viking liking?

My family is Swedish-American on both sides, and we still have a pretty strong Swedish culture three generations out. I grew up with lots of stories about Sweden, about my pioneer relatives (it was all very Kirsten), and Scandinavian culture in general. I live in an area settled by many Scandinavian families and my parents used to be very involved in the local Scandinavian heritage festival. So it’s just something I grew up around.  That and vikings are badass.

2. Do you still go in your child’s room at night to see if she’s breathing?

Oh hell yes. Though my main paranoia is in regards to her choking. I still want to slice grapes into miniscule pieces for her. I got too far. It’s totally irrational. She has learned she can fake cough to get my attention because she knows I’ll come running.

3. Are you a loser, baby?

In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey. Butane in my brain and I became the junky with the plastic eyeball. Spray paint the vegetables dog food skull with the beefcake pantyhose. Kill the headlights and put it in neutral. Stock car flaming with a loser in the cruise control. Baby’s in Reno with the vitamin D, got a couple of couches, sleep on the love seat. Someone keeps saying I’m insane to complain about a shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt. Don’t believe everything that you breath you got a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve. So shave your face with some mace in the dark. Saving all your food stamps we’re burning down the trailer park.

Yo.

Cut it.

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Snapshot: Making Personal Threats & Isobel’s Pencil Room

16 Jan

– Since it’s been awhile since my last snapshot, and since so much has happened, I’m posting it early this week.

– The biggest news (besides me having the most annoying and stubborn cold on the planet) is that we moved Isobel’s big girl bed from our bedroom into the Pencil Room. The Pencil Room is officially Isobel’s big girl bedroom, and now we refer to it as “your pencil room.” The first day was rough. At first she was so excited when I told he we were going to move her bed that she tried to move it herself and then excitedly asked me to help her. Once we got the bed in the room and all set up for her nap, she pretty much cried from nap time to bedtime. She was m-a-d. After she got that out of her system it wasn’t a problem and she’s been sleeping in there fuss-free since the 7th. Anthony and I are so glad to have our room back (bow chicka wow wow) but it did make me a little sad at first. I was so ready for her to be out I didn’t expect to be sad. Having her in a different room after two and a half years of cosleeping was an adjustment for Mama as well as baby.

– I’m almost done decorating Isobel’s big girl room. I posted a sneak peek earlier on twitter. I still need to finish some organizational things and Anthony needs to hang the finishing touches, but once that’s done I’m going to share it here. Hopefully sometime next week!

Bethylicious nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! According to the meme I’m supposed to nominate fifteen people and list 7 random facts about myself. I always have trouble coming up with these, so how about we do something else: I will answer seven random questions put to me by readers, either here in the comments, or via email, or on twitter. If I get seven questions I’ll answer them in a post and then nominate my picks for the award. I’m betting there won’t be seven questions.Go ahead and take that personally. It’s a threat. Or something. Yeah.

– The lovely and talented Erica made this gorgeous shawl for me and I am over the moon about it. The deep green-blue color, the delightful scrunchiness of the wool, the fact that it was nothing but a mere string a few short days ago has me swooning for it. Thank you so much, Erica. I hope the basket of vintage goodies I’m about to send you is satisfactory.

Recent Photos:

Little Big Links

Snapshot

4 Jan

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– I have so much to share, I don’t know where to begin.

– Christmas was great despite the head colds Isobel, Anthony and I succumbed to on Christmas Eve. As I mentioned in my scrapbook post, we ended up cancelling on three of our holiday activities and spent the day playing hours and hours of Mass Effect. Quality family bonding, obviously.

– I hope everyone saw this year’s Christmas card(s). It was difficult, but I think I managed to top last year’s.

– Isobel got a ton of new toys, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, Yay, presents! on the other hand I now have a crap load of stuff to organize and fit in to our already toy-filled abode. She received lots of fancy, expensive toys, but the gift she liked the best (after the vintage 1983 Care-a-lot plus bears, obviously) were the inexpensive set of blocks from her grandparents. We enjoyed them, too. Perhaps being sick had something to do with it, but she spent Christmas day in a new-toy stupor.

– New Years’ was even better. As a family we had all recovered from our malaise and we spent two whole days eating, hanging out with friends who drove in from all over, and playing Scribblish, with hilarious results. We now have a new saying: “I’m trippin’ balls off that Care Bear stare!”

– I’m having a lot of fun thinking up new goals and items for my life list. I’ll share the revised version later this month.

– Remember when I set up a twitter account for Isobel so I could record her milestones, but instead it became yet another outlet for my ridiculousness? Me, neither. But the other day the idea suddenly popped into my head that I could use that account to tweet actual things she says to me, rather than things I made up based on my best assumptions and my faultless mother’s intuition. If you want to encourage me in my delusions or hear about how much she loves the Care Bears constantly, you can follow her on twitter here.

– Everyone deserves a little something pretty to start the new year off right, so don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a free Vegan-approved handmade bow from Inez Gill! These little babies are adorable and the contest is open until Friday. Don’t forget to follow Inez Gill on twitter. Not only will it give you an extra entry in the contest, but she tweets as a real person, not as a business, so she’s great to talk to as well.

– My friend Camilla sent me a whole box of cookbooks and they arrived just in time for Christmas. My favorites so far are the ones that involve cooking with kids, which she sent my way especially for Isobel. Right now our favorite is the Peter Rabbit and Friends Cook Book, which strangely had no recipes for hasenpfeffer.

Packing up Christmas is kind of a pain in the ass.

– I’m working on a special project for next week: the Best of Follow Friday 2011. I’m using my favorite 100 photos from last year and choosing the best of the best tweets from 2011 to create seven days of Follow Friday posts. The posts will not only highlight the funniest moments but it will also serve as a scrapbook of the year’s best photos and memories from 2011. I hope you all enjoy it.

– Really and truly, this was one of my favorite New Years of all time.

– I owe everybody (especially @turtleparade) a fabulous recipe for Roast Chickpeas. I haven’t forgotten. It’s coming and it will be worth the wait.

– My friend Korinne and I came up with the latest fad to lose your shit over: Mustache Bird. It’s going to be huge on Etsy.

Photos from the week:

Favorite Links:

– Vintage Alice in Wonderland invitations. I feel a themed party coming on. Via The Red Star Designs.

– My twitter wife shared this video with me: All the Single Ensigns.

– Dave Polak’s adorable kittens have started a Tumblr. As the Jennui once said, “The Internet is made of cats.

– Are you a new parent? Perhaps you’d enjoy the book Give Baldy Your Tit. Via Stray.

– The Dr and Mrs The Doctor Monarch sing Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

Snapshot

21 Dec

Here’s what I’m up to:

– Woohoo! I am late again this week. Go team.

– My friend Kristi made gingerbread chickens instead of gingerbread men and now I’m obsessed with the idea of making non-traditional gingerbread creatures.

– Have you seen Erin’s creative way her family counts down to Christmas? I couldn’t find a photo to link to, but she writes the count down on a chalk board in her family’s kitchen. It’s so adorable, it might be my favorite advent calendar idea yet. I found several chalkboards while thrifting. I’m going to give this a try next year.

Marie showed off a photo of her Hipster Analog PDA. Is it weird that I love seeing the handwritten way people keep track of things? When I still worked at the library I made my own datebook using a notebook and a due date stamp. Now I use a shared google calendar with my husband but I can’t leave the pen and paper world behind: I have a binder that contains all my ideas, my to do lists, important papers I need to have handy, and my menu plan for the week. I’ll show you sometime if you’re interested.

– Another friend named Erin is making a homemade Huckle for her lucky kiddo this Christmas. It is amazing. She is so talented.

– I’m going through the photos on my hard drive (er, hard drives. Let’s be honest, here) and I’m trying to delete the ones I don’t need to make room for future memories. I uploaded more photos from our trip to Cayucos last March for Chris and Jenn’s wedding.

– I recently got a spam comment that was left by “A Puppy.”

– I was having a terrible night until petersagal posted this tweet: Yo Yo Ma on the floor of a bathroom, with a wombat. Then he said, “There. I just justified the existence of Twitter.” Yes you did, good sir! Yes you did.

– While shopping for supplies for Handmade Christmas at Michael’s, we bought some (pink!) pipe cleaners and had some fun. All other games were quickly brought to a halt, however, when she discovered that I could shape them into hearts. Soon she had covered our tree in heart-shaped ornaments. It was so fun.

– My cat Poppy totally clotheslined herself on the Christmas tree garland this morning.

– I’ve realized that ironically it’s Rich People that are best able to pull off Handmade Christmas.  You have to really work to keep your crafts affordable, and they take so much time. Ideally, participants in Handmade Christmas are independently wealthy, so in addition to having all the funds they need at their disposal they can make their butlers help when their fingers get tired.

– I’m still getting more Christmas cards! Thank you so much, friends! But I’m still not returning the favor till after Christmas. Happy New Years cards are for the fashionably late.

– Speaking of cards, I’ve been doing more portrait work in time for the holidays. Earlier this week I shot the best portrait session of my life–a friend wanted to take the most awkward family Christmas photo with her brothers as their gift to their parents. Think matching sweaters, ridiculous headbands, and too-huge identical sets of plaid pajamas. It was epic and I learned it’s difficult to shoot while crying tears of laughter.

Photos:

I like big buns and I cannot lie.

Bring your pink purse with you on your walks.

Wearing your Flair to the grocery store.

Monorail Cat.

Handmade Christmas.

Multitasking.

Little Braid.

I do what I want.

Snapshot

14 Dec

Here’s what I’m up to:

– I’m very late with this post! I’d like to blame it on the cold I’ve had for the last three days but as time wears on and I’m still feeling The Ick I’m wondering if it’s not a cold after all and if instead it’s related to my weird blood problem that almost certainly isn’t cancer. Let’s hope it’s just a cold or maybe my Crohn’s acting up. Either way I’m so happy I am home because calling out sick to work always made me feel horribly guilty and in the end I was taking care of the baby anyway. Since yesterday I really wasn’t feeling my day was much Care Bearier than usual.

– I decided that since I was on bed rest (couch rest, technically) I should make myself useful so I uploaded a ton of old photos to IG and flickr to clean them off my phone. When I say I a ton I mean a ton.

– Last weekend was my friends’ annual holiday party and we spent a large portion of the night drinking eggnog, eating homemade flautas and chocolate chip cookies and singing weird Christmas carols. Have you ever looked at some of the lyrics to your favorite carols? They are strange, and not just the ones that were written several hundred years ago. Jingle Bells seems to be about getting some and that made us realize there is a theme: hymns are about Jesus (makes sense) while secular Christmas songs, by and large, seemed to be about Doing It. So, not really different from regular music.

My phone is gaining sentience and it wants to cuddle.

– I found this dress while thrifting last week and I used it to transform Isobel into a Christmas Elf for the party. Anthony was sure the dress would never fit her just because it was labeled 12 months, but every woman knows that sizes are big fat liars. I held it up to her and it looked just about right and the material had plenty of stretch and give to it. It was a little short in the sleeves and she may never wear it again, I’ll take it.

This is still the preciousssssss.

– A month ago Isobel scratched her face and since then the wound hasn’t healed because she keeps picking at the scab when we’re not looking. At two years of age she’s already learned to savor the fruit of rebellion. Anthony and I have been dealing with this problem by putting ointment and one of those small circular spot bandages on it but she keeps ripping them off, too. We’ve become so desperate I’ve tossed around the idea of getting her one of those cones like you get for dogs to keep them from worrying their wound after surgery. Apparently they don’t make them for toddlers so I’m stuck trying to decide if she’s pug or Jack Russel Terrier-sized.

– My friend Justin probably thinks I’m a horrible mother for suggesting a neck cone. He’s in favor of hand cones.

– The Christmas season is upon us and I wanted to direct your attention toward some very awesome Etsy shops (besides mine, ahem ahem). My bestie makes awesome holiday cards, birthday invites, and baby announcements. She’s flexible and will work with you on custom designs. Her shop is The Red Star Designs. My twitter friend Kelly has just opened the most amazing shop featuring pins, bags and other crafts based on her illustrations. Her shop is Let’s Die Friends. For the post-apocalyptic, urban decay fan that has everything, send them a Postcard from the Wasteland via Sharp Shiny Claws. And even though I’m quite proud to have created the slogan “Novel Accessories” for my friend Lisa’s shop, Excessively Diverting, she’s thinking of changing it to “YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE MY BALLS.” You most certainly will! Like my bear ears? A friend of mine knits similar ones and sells them at her shop, Knit in Public. And last but not least, my friend Val has some adorable vintage items and kid clothes in her Etsy shop, Little Weird Hen.

– Last year I created a couple of gift guides for the holidays:

– Holiday cards are pouring in and I have yet to even print mine out. Cards from us may not happen until after the new year so if you haven’t received one from us it’s not because you aren’t awesome. It’s because I’m not awesome. And speaking of Christmas cards, my friend April sent me an email about sending holiday cards to our men and woman overseas, particularly one service member she’s friends with. Her note said,

I have a friend in the military and he’s currently serving in the Middle East and he’s away from his little daughter for the holidays for the first time… I keep hearing from everyone what a morale booster mail call is for our service members overseas and I thought it would just bring him a huge smile if he got a few extra holiday cards this season…from people he doesn’t even know…  So, as you’re finishing up your holiday cards, would you address one to Scott?  To send a card to an APO, you only need a regular first class stamp.  And I imagine a few extra cards this holiday season would make being away from his little one a little more tolerable.

Scott Lefton
Australian DET
Camp Alamo
APO AE 09320

For the price of a first class stamp and one of your extra holiday cards, you can make his holiday a little brighter. And to make yours a little brighter, here are our Christmas Card Outtakes from 2008.

Recipe: Butternut Ravioli And Then Some

8 Dec

– I’ve already started getting Christmas cards in the mail. (Thanks, Melyndersons!) This is no fair. I haven’t even made ours yet, nor even picked out the photo.  I’m still trying to mull over a way to beat last year’s card, and the only possible contender I’ve come up with it to find a giant Julbocken for Isobel to ride while I take her photo on it. I am, so far, unsuccessful in this endeavor. But I hear our local Volvo dealer has a large Dala

Justin found this Star Trek Christmas card and it warmed my nerdly heart.

– This made me laugh until I cried: Fake Kristen Stewart Explains Christmas. Via  SvelteAssassin.

– This weekend I’m getting together with friends for a holiday party that includes an old fashioned sing along. I am so excited to sing hymns and drink nog while Isobel runs around with Kingston shouting, “IS THERE AN L, MOM?! IS THERE AN L?!” The song Noel kind of freaks her out.

– It was only a matter of time before the internet came up with this. Via the Scott.

– Earlier in the week I posted about thrifty ways to wrap presents and thrifty practices I’m using to save money. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to respond to the comments yet but if you enjoyed these posts please click over and read the comments. The comments totally inspired me. LB readers shared some awesome creative and thrifty tips that you might want to bookmark.

– Recent Thrift Store Gore: Terror Santa. He sees you when you’re sleeping.

– Recent Thrift Store Score: Vintage Angels. My small pile of Christmas decorations is growing.

RECIPE: BUTTERNUT RAVIOLI WITH SAGE BROWN BUTTER

I made butternut ravioli with sage butter for dinner on Monday and it was so good Anthony and I nearly fainted. Isobel didn’t want any and we were like OH GEE THAT’S TOO BAD NOM NOM NOM.

I didn’t use a recipe but it was super easy. The steps were kind of fiddly but they weren’t hard. The longest part was the roasting of the butternut squash, and you can do that a day or two in advance. This is a great way of using up butternut puree.

1. Halve your butter nut, clean out the seeds, and lightly coat it with oil. Roast at 400 degrees F for about an hour.

2. When cool, scoop out roasted flesh and mash.

3. Saute the white parts of a scallion until soft then add the butternut, heavy cream, salt, pepper, a scrape of nutmeg, and warm through. Take off the heat and add a grating of Parmesan cheese.

4.  Lay out wonton wrappers and make ravioli by putting a bit of the butternut mixture in the center of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with a bit of water and fold in a wonton shape.

5. Start the sauce: I made brown butter with sage, which is dead easy. Add the butter to a warm pan along with some whole fresh sage leaves. Heat butter till it foams and starts to brown. You’re done.

6. Boil ravioli briefly then portion out on plates. Pour brown butter over and sprinkle with parsley and more Parmesan if desired.

7. Ta da! Here’s the end result. So good.

Snapshot

7 Dec

-My brother-in-law finally returned from deployment yesterday after a year in Baghdad. I am relieved and grateful he is home.

Holy shit. Let’s hope they are Vulcan.

– I watched PBS’s Bleak House on the days when my Mom had the baby so I could work on my gigantic Esty project. I totally loved it because I love those types of movies even though everyone around me thinks long, historical British dramas are about the boringest thing in existence. I think they are a wonderfully cozy way to spend a cold fall day inside with a project. Also it’s entirely possible that I am really boring as well.

– I checked out NurtureShock from the library and am about halfway through it. Holy wow, that book is excellent. I can’t recommend it enough. Next up is Welcome To Your Child’s Brain.

– I bought some frozen cookie dough through a fundraiser for my bestie’s son Kingston’s daycare. It’s the kind that’s already conveniently pre-shaped into little cookies so all you have to do it pop them in the oven and fifteen minutes later you have melty chocolate chip goodness. I am so addicted to this instant sort of gratification that I’m considering making up a batch of cookie dough and portioning it out so I’ll have homemade chocolatey chip goodness when this batch is finished. Which reminds me, I really should start back up on the elliptical again.

I’m still having a sale! And there are still a few items of Thrift Store Gore left for all your White Elephant needs. Keep checking the shop, as I’m adding more thrifted goodness all the time.

– I meant to post this earlier but kept forgetting: the Life Cycle of a Jack-o-lantern. (I have a severe case of chicken envy.)

– The other day when we had people over my friend Jake looked out the window in time to see Jupey run by with a sword in his mouth. Our neighbors had been playing with Nerf swords and left them on their lawn unattended. Jupey swooped in and grabbed it, ran across the front lawn, and somehow climbed the fence with it still in his jaws. It was at least two and a half times his length. Isobel was particularly excited to get a toy from Jupey that wasn’t a naked, brunette Barbie, and she played with it happily until we could distract her and return the sword.

– I went to a local craft bazaar and had the same experience there that I have every year. I always have a good time, find something awesome, and then get pissed because it’s a clusterfuck of too many people in too small a space. Also I leave before I really start shopping because the crowds make the experience impossible and unpleasant. I can think of half a dozen easy ways to fix this just off the top of my head. It doesn’t need to be this way. Get on it, Handborn.

– My Crohn’s disease has been particularly unpleasant these last couple days, but seeing as how I don’t have Cancer or some other scary new health issue, I’m okay with that.

– I broke down an got a new phone! This explains the massive influx of instagram pics I’ve inflicted upon you all. I’m kind of essited.

– I bought a large bag of party mix for the upcoming winter festivities, and after I put it and the other groceries away I went down the hall and into our bedroom to fold laundry. As I was putting socks away I heard a very strange noise. I looked up to see Isobel lugging the giant sack of party mix, nearly as large as she is, down the hall. It takes her awhile because our hallway is long, but when she finally drags it into our room she hoists it up onto her bed. Then, in a panting, out-of-breath voice she says, “Mama,” (wheeze, wheeze) “It’s a party.”

Snapshot

30 Nov

Here’s what I’m up to:

– I have so much to talk about I might end up doing multiple snapshot posts this week. Forgive me.

The Jennui gave us these adorable bunny Converse in what feels like years ago but was really just in May. Isobel loved them so much she went absolutely apeshit for them and insisted on putting them on despite the fact that they were at least two sizes too big. She inevitably fell down a lot and looked like Sideshow Bob, so I put them away. Or at least, I thought I did. Every time she saw them in the upper reaches of her closet she went ballistic, demanding to wear them. I had to shove them inside her old sling for protection (hers? mine? the shoes’? Nay, I was protecting THE WORLD AT LARGE from her wrath). They mostly fit her now and she couldn’t me more pleased than if she was pooping pink rainbows out her baby buns.

– I think I scared people when I put out another call for guest posters. What I meant was that I’m planning a rough outline of my time, my projects, and consequently, my blog posts, through the new year. I’d like to feature a few guest posters here and there over the next few months. Not that I want to take the next few months off and have other people post exclusively. My wording must have fueled some worry because several people DMd and emailed me to ask if I was okay. I’m just peachy! Even with a few anxious rough patches I’m really doing well. I just have a couple special projects coming up that are going to take extra time so I was looking for a handful of people to step in for a day if things got crazy. Sorry to scare you!

– I’m having an Etsy sale! Save up to ten bucks on selected items! For more info, see this post.

– My phone is stupid and dumb. This is the epitome of a First World Problem, but I own an ancient 3G iphone that has been dropped on its head one too many times despite the case I lovingly contained it in after an unfortunate meeting with the tile floor of the girl’s upstairs C wing bathroom. I’ve been having problems texting and making my phone aware of my SIM card and the other day it freaked out so badly I had to restore it. BOO. I lost some very treasured photos and about a million sweet text messages and my phone still quite possibly is in the throes of Alzheimer’s.  There really isn’t a point to me sharing this with you, other than the venting of my frustration and the fact that it takes awhile to receive texts sometimes.

– You should add pomegranate seeds to your Greek yogurt. The way nature intended. I also made dirt candy with sweet potato and butternut squash, and oh sweet baby Jesus Picard with a hat on, it was by far the best dirt candy ever. Both of ’em. No need to roast. They were perfection. When friends would come over I’d make them sample it and by turns they were always confused, intrigued, and finally, addicted.

– I also made balsamic glazed mushrooms, sauteed garlic spinach, and baked sweet potatoes in the style of baked russets. It was a special occasion because Anthony was gone for the night playing D&D. I don’t cook sweet potatoes when he’s around because he despises them. I love him anyway because he gave sweet potatoes a shot and tried them three times in three different ways. Such a good sport. He still hated them after all that so I gave up trying to convert him to the fiber-rich beta carotene-goodness of the yam. I had never tried treating a  baked sweet potato like a baked potato before. Normally when I bake them I soak them in lime butter and zest and flake over plenty of sea salt and maybe a pinch of nutmeg. Eating it with sour cream and bacon and garlic chives was a wonderful experience.

– Speaking of yams, my friend Jose came over the day before Thanksgiving and brought me the largest sweet potato I have ever seen in my life ever. He also dropped by a stack of comics to disperse among the locals. Anybody interested? Valerie? Caleb? Jwa?

– Despite the fact that it’s becoming a bit chilly, Isobel still insist on playing with water outside. When we went to the library, she demanded to check out this book and then requested I take her picture with the library’s lion. We still haven’t showed her the movie Totoro because it would be too scary for her still, but we have been listening to the soundtrack that my friend Zack burned and decorated for me many years ago. It’s great to listen to while folding massive amounts of laaaaaaaaundry.

– I only just put my fall decorations away, and other than the Scandinavian table runner that was my Grandma’s, I haven’t gotten any decorations out yet. Everyone’s posts on IG and twitter are really inspiring me, though. I’ll have to put stuff out soon.

– This conversation happened a couple days after Thanksgiving:

J: Do you want to get a bite to eat somewhere, or do you just want to go home and have turkey?

C: I’ve had turkey for breakfast. I’ve had turkey for lunch. I had turkey twice the day before that and the day before that.

J: I get it. You probably also let a new European country into the Union.

C: Yes. It was Turkey.

Snapshot

22 Nov

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– Last week our dear friends from Reno came to visit. Isobel and Kingston showed off for them by using the dress up chest to transform into Inspector Fabulous and Sargent Spectacular and by knocking over the cat scratching post and riding it again. Speaking of the dress up chest, a couple people asked me about what I use for storage. Everything except the hats fit in this green tub that we keep in our library. I don’t expect to keep everything in there forever, though, especially since we’re nearing capacity and I am not at all done gathering items for the chest. I suspect we’ll eventually move everything over to the thrifted green chest in the living room. Right now it holds puzzles and an assortment of random toys.

– A lot of people I know are already gearing up for the holidays. Last year my friend Angela made some printable gift tags for Little Big readers. They are adorable and available for free, and I’m all about anything that will help me get that much more prepared for Christmas.

– I got a lot of progress accomplished on my gigantic Etsy project. I’m pretty much done with the first part, the sorting and organizing, and the storing and packing part. Now I just have to go through the sixteen boxes I packed away and get things photographed and listed. And then I can go thrifting again. Yay!

– I am addicted the avocado-veggie spring rolls they make and sell at my supermarket.  I want to take long walks with them and compose poetry inspired by them and tenderly lick up all the sweet chili ginger sauce they come with. I look forward to grocery shopping specifically so I can take some home with me.

– I’m grateful that  my MIL likes to dress Isobel up as a cream puff and have her picture taken as Santa’s Little Christmas Prisoner. I love them not only because not only am I her mother, but because I possess a keen enjoyment of the ridiculous. She even got a few shots with the pink purse, Isobel’s constant companion.

– Last weekend I got to spend some time with friends I met on the internet. They are so great! And totally not murderers! And they like me! But probably only because I didn’t scream “I AM NOT A MURDER, EITHER!” when we met for dinner.

Things that also happened:

Inadvertent mother-and-son-wardrobe coordination.

Blanket forts.

My current favorite photo of Kingston.

Isobel has a hard-knock life.

Fabulousness.

Snapshot

16 Nov


Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– I’ve been looking for a countertop compost bin so I don’t have to keep a bowl with fruit and vegetable remnants in it on the counter. Which I suppose the compost bin would be doing anyway, except most of them are smaller and have lids. Have any recommendations?

– Have you seen crap at my parents’ house? Hilarious! Via Gisela.

– My friend Gen posts about mental illness in the blogosphere and how you can help end the stigma. You vote on Facebook, and if you know me you know I avoid Facebook at all costs, but even I voted. Also, Gen is funny, honest, and she writes about motherhood in a way I admire. Check out the love letter her son wrote her for further proof of her awesomeness.

– I’m trying to come up with Christmas card ideas that will beat last year’s awesome card. You’ve seen last year’s card, right? I honestly don’t know if I can top that.

– Tomorrow I’m starting the ambitious project of reorganizing the storage method for my entire etsy shop. This project is enormous. I have only listed a small percentage of what I actually have on hand for the shop.

– In food news, my mother gave me the rudest butternut squash. I plan to make a cheeky soup. Or chips. Or more dirt candy. (Or should I say, dirty candy?)

– I’ve been stirring shards of bacon and pomegranate seeds into my oatmeal in the morning. I love salty-sweet, and pomegranates and bacon are two of my most favorite things. I’m pretty sure bacon has worn-out its fashionable chicness after years in the limelight, but I’ll never tire of its fatty, salty charms.

– Now that the bounty of my garden is starting to fade, I’m cooking and using everything I can, including drying some of my herbs in the oven, in this case, catnip. I’ll got some questions about this on twitter, so I’ll be posting a tutorial later. In the meantime, I’m going to look up some tutorials for homemade cat toys.

– It’s official–I’m hooking again. Years ago a coworker taught me to crochet (a challenge, as I’m left-handed and she was right-handed). I crocheted lots of scarves and several blankets. I even have a rarely-used Ravelry account. I crocheted constantly until my coworker and friend’s baby passed away. I had just finished her baby blanket and the whole situation was so devastatingly heartbreaking that I just didn’t feel like crocheting after that for a long time. I’d pick up the yarn and start think about what happened and I’d just put it down again.  Now I feel like I can give it another go.

– The other day Isobel was really whining. It was the sort that didn’t even involve words, just a steady stream of uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh for hours on end. Finally, I could take no more, so I said, “Isobel, you need to stop whining. If you need something, please use your words. But no more whining!” Finally, the noises ceased.

A pause, and then, “Mama?”

“Yes, Isobel?”

“Do you want to play whining for a little while?”