Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions 2009 - Done

I like the official fresh start that New Year's provides. It's a free clean slate for whomever wants to take it. In 2009, I made two resolutions:
  1. Make my bed every day.
  2. Live my life -- without fear. Enjoy the present.
1. Done!

2. And done!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Satin Ribbon

Despite the economic bust that was 2009, I used satin ribbon on my Christmas presents. And it feels so good!

I piggy-backed on my brother and sister-in-law's purchase from PaperMart (they were buying ribbon for their wedding) to snag 100 yards (yards!) of white satin ribbon for less than eight cents a yard. Had I not tag-teamed with them, shipping costs would have severely lessened the goodness of my deal -- PaperMart likes bulk orders and the West Coast.

Judging by the amount of ribbon I've used so far, this roll should see me nicely through the economy's recovery.

P.S. All my presents are wrapped and ready except for one lonely item still in the clutches of the USPS. Please, Mr. Postman, unhand my package.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Talk to Santa

Santa and I just had a nice little chat. Santabot hooked me up. If you'd like to chat with the big guy, plenty of online options are available, including ones where Santa talks and sounds like a Monk-e-mail monkey.

He didn't quite know what to say when I typed, "Moo, says the cow." I believe his response was somewhere along the lines of, "That does not compute." Figures.
Suh-weet, Santa. What else is new?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day!

The entire state is a buzz about the massive amounts of snow we received. And for the first time in nine years, I get a snow day! I had every intention of going in to work until I learned that even the public transportation had shut down their services.

So far today, I have watched a couple hours of the news, made pancakes, and watched a movie. I just changed out of my pajamas at noon and have some potato soup simmering on the stove. Long live the snow day!

Welcome to the best snow day ever.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cognac boots

This post is dedicated to Lola, Amanda and Dave. Each of you have been a significant part of my journey to finding the perfect pair (right color, right style, right price) of low-heeled, cognac boots. Thank you all for your support.

Please, feast your eyes! These are my new boots. They are Steve Maddens, purchased from TJ Maxx tonight for $40. Boo-yah.

I will wear these with love.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


'Tis the holiday season. 'Tis time for shopping and decorating and baking! Twas exactly how I spent my weekend -- hurrah!

'Tis Penny -- All tuckered out from trimming the tree!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gift ideas for the practical 20-something

I don't want to spoil what gifts I'm giving this year, so instead, I'll share some gift ideas for the practical 20-something girl who leans health conscious, enjoys looking stylish and brings her lunch to work.
Photo collage created using Polyvore
  • Subscription to Consumer Reports. The premier periodical for the savvy shopper. (

  • Workout tank tops. For sweatin' it out in style. (Shown, Nike)

  • Pastry brush. To baste everything with olive oil. (Shown, Crate and Barrel)

  • Glass food storage containers. No BPA here. (Shown, Crate and Barrel)

  • Accessories. Statement necklaces and skinny belts to punch up any outfit. (Shown, from Forever 21)

  • Cardigans. To extend the life of summer tops in cold weather. (Shown, from Gap)
Oh! Almost forgot to mention, a lot of these practical 20-something girls wear a size medium. Happy holidays!

Homegirl got contacts

My daily routine just got a new step. I've added contacts to the mix! Most people go through this (learning to wear contacts) as a teen. Here I am a decade later -- an old dog learning a new trick (I cannot count how many times I have said that phrase since I got my contacts last Thursday. I am nothing if not wildly clever.).
Look, Ma! No glasses.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Move Over Vamps, Make Room for MBS

I know vampires are so en vogue right now, but allow me to distract your attention for just a moment with this: The Mysterious Benedict Society. This book has some real cult potential. It already meets the first criteria -- written for the 9-13 year old set! And it's a series (criteria #2).

Bonus: The Web site has puzzles that will either help you feel smart or stupid.

No sex-ay vampires, but it does have riddles! And Morse Code! (Image from B&N)

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, they are made with olive oil. No, they do not taste like olive oil.

These cookies are fantastic for two reasons: 1) They are tasty. Really tasty. Really really. 2) Olive oil is good for your heart!

I made 16 cookies last night. There is now exactly one left.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Living on

My brother moved out of my place nearly two months ago, yet a part of him lives on in a small way.

What was once a spare bedroom is now a shrine to Brian. It remains untouched.


Monday, November 9, 2009

San Francisco

Extended weekend getaway destination = San Francisco! It went a little something like this:

Eating. Yummy food in Chinatown.
Sightseeing. These Painted Ladies are famous in their own right, but they will always mean Full House to me.
Sliding. It was bloggers that led me to these Secret/Seward St./Douglass Park slides.
Posing. That sea gull at Fisherman's Wharf was just dying to take its picture with me.
Chilling. I'm guessing it's common knowledge that sea lions hang out at Pier 39. We had no idea.
Riding. Cable-car style.

Hiking. Amongst the graceful redwoods in Muir Woods.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcomed back by a lean lady frog

As I pulled up to my house today, a bit bleary eyed from my extended weekend getaway, I was greeted by this silly site: a lean lady frog blowing in the wind. I LOLed. And then LOLed again.

While this frog is all kinds of redonkulous (and was suspended from my tree by no doing of my own), the laughter she caused was certainly a good welcome home gift.

The frog is courtesy of my brother, natch.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Woot for packing light

Packing light is liberating. Yes, liberating! I'm going on a trip soon and I am pumped about the prospect of fitting everything in just my carry-on.

I plan to stick with one clothing color scheme, wear my heaviest clothes (e.g., boots) on the plane and get by without some of my girly liquids. Woot!

$20 checked baggage fee? I'll pass. Woot!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another monkey act?

I like my bananas a little on the green side, which means their period of edibility for me is a bit short (No banana ever goes to waste, though. The refuse becomes banana bread!).

I read on Iowa Girl Eats that if you don't store bananas as a bunch, they ripen more slowly. So, I've been scattering my bananas all around my kitchen in hopes of keeping them greener longer. I don't know for certain if this actually works, but I do know for certain that it makes my house look like some monkeys broke in to mess with me...just like last year.

How many bananas can you find in this picture? Yes, I admit I staged one of the bananas for the purposes of this picture, but I did it for you, reader. I did it for you.

Also, please note that I did not make a Gwen Stefani reference in this post. Thank you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin revealed

Thank you all for playing. The results are in and it's time for the big reveal.

My pumpkin is...Pumpkin B! For all those who selected B, please take a moment to bask in the correctness of your guess. You've earned it! Here's a fun prize for you.
It's pumpkin B! Girly pumpkins of the world, unite!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkins: 2010 edition

I carved one of these pumpkins. Care to guess which one? Vote in the side bar (Won't this be so fun? No, you say? Well, how about doing it to humor me, then?).

Just think how much joy and satisfaction you will feel if you guess the right one. I'll post the answer later this week. Good're going to need it.
Is my pumpkin (from L to R), pumpkin A, pumpkin B, pumpkin C or pumpkin D?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Genius baggie over toothbrush

I have a couple trips in my future (woop!), so as I think about what I'm going to pack, I'd like to make a contribution to the collective travel and packing tips of our time.

Cheap and easy toothbrush cover
Take one of those little extra-button baggies that come with new clothes, dump out the buttons (obviously), and place it over the head of your toothbrush. Push the seals together on either side of the toothbrush handle. Relish in the ingenuity.

Genius. Brilliant. Remarkable. Life-changing. Do it.

Window pain

The frame on one of my basement windows is rotting. Oh, joy. My dad is coming over to help with the repair this weekend. It's been kind of a pain (probably more so for my dad than me...although, he's been very good-natured about the whole thing, so maybe it's just me.) figuring out just what exactly we should do to fix this bad boy since my window is not a standard size.

Isn't this scary looking? I totally have a Blair Witch Project corner of my basement, too. It's Halloween year round in these parts.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Audio book love

I resisted for a long time (not sure why), but, now, I'm a believer! Books on tape/CD/mp3 are the way to go to make long car rides more bearable, especially when one is traveling alone.

I like audio books for two reasons: They make time go so quickly and I can selfishly add another book to my Shelfari list without doing much (I really like to track the books I've read. Before Shelfari, I just kept track on a spreadsheet.)

Couple more thoughts: I get my audio books from the library which means zero dollars out of my pocket. So far, I've just stuck to easy-reading books -- the ones that require minimal brainpower.
That voice! David Sedaris reads his own work. F-u-n-n-y. Pic from Amazon

This ridiculous chick lit is not all that good (terrible, really), but it keeps my attention. Pic from Amazon

Monday, September 28, 2009

Painting furniture, part 2

These are the furniture pieces I want to paint like these bloggers did. The dresser and nightstand have been hanging out like that, stacked in my living room, for a good two months now. What can I say, I'm on a really tight deadline.

These should look just lovely in white with some new hardware, no? Based on my current rate of progress, they should be completed just in time for the next presidential election. whoopee!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Green Pepper Gone Bad

Remember my super-ball-sized green pepper? In the hopes of cultivating a slightly larger pepper, I resisted picking it for several weeks to allow it to grow. The result: I now have a wrinkly, soft, past-its-prime pepper. Drats!

Container garden of 2009 was a bust.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Handyman gets married

My brother got married last Saturday, and thus my live-in handyman is no more. Now, he's my be-there-in-15-minutes handyman. Muah ha ha! Going to go work on my to do list now so he has stuff to do when he gets back from his honeymoon. Muah ha ha!

Yes yes, enjoy that cake while you can. There's work to be done.

P.S. Congratulations!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dirty Sunset

Please enjoy this dirty sunset courtesy of my sister's sap + dust + insect + grass + washer fluid covered windshield and the sun, of course.

Ah, nature.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Brown Paper Packages


Nope, I wouldn't mind one bit. I'd gladly come home to a pile of packages on my front stoop every night.

That's shoes on the left, shoes in the middle and shoes on the right. Just kidding, the two boxes on the right are sandals. Kidding, again. The ones one the right are mints. Believe me?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bam Bam

Jennifer of the late '90s could often be found rocking a certain Flintstones T-shirt. It goes a little something like this: Bam Bam kisses Pebbles. She likeys what she sees. Pebbles attacks Bam Bam.

I pulled it off the shelf at my parents' house a couple weeks ago to wear for pajamas. And then took pictures of it because it's that cool.

Front. Pebbles is coy.

Back. And then, not so much. :-D That's my girl!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No Shutterfly photo book for me

I was all over the Shutterfly "SUMMERBOOK" deal for a free 8"x8" hardcover photo book if ordered by Aug. 26. I spent days crafting a book of my London trip only to find out at the bitter end that my account was not, in fact, eligible for such a lucrative deal. As a lover of all things bargain, that was a major blow. Now, I'm stewing over whether or not I want to order it by Sept. 1 for a paltry 20 percent off deal.

Since I can't show you my book in all it's paper glory (you know I would have showed it to you), this little slideshow will have to suffice.

Click here to view this photo book larger

And just in case you're stuck with IE6 and can't view this slideshow and get a message that says something to the extent of "the photo book has been deleted," please know that this is a lie!

Dave's Day at Famous Dave's

Be sure to take your favorite Dave, David or Davy to Famous Dave's this Sunday, Aug. 30 (it's Dave's Day), for a free entree! I'm taking mine.

I'm gonna eat me some ribs. Thanks for the tip, Lola!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brian eats road work sign

Some people can leave well enough alone. I cannot.

You can't just put something like this in my yard and not expect a reaction.

Local man eats metal sign. Schools go into lock down as precaution.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Roasted Potato Obsession

Red potatoes. Thinly sliced. Tossed on a foil-covered baking sheet. Drizzled with olive oil. Salt and peppered. 400 degree oven. 15 minutes. Eaten every other day because they are that GOOD! Eaten every day is OK, too.

Added a little fresh parsley this time and had light sour cream on the side. Promptly devoured them.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

La la la aviators

La la la. I got new prescription sunglasses! Since the recent demise of my vision, I've become dependent on my glasses when driving (good news for fellow drivers on American roadways). After a couple tough calls on whether it would be better to squint through the blindng sunshine, take off the glasses and go blurry with sunglasses, or try to perch one pair atop the other, I decided Rx shades were in order.

I hit up Zenni Optical again for glasses on the cheap...$17.90 total with shipping! I found many pairs that I thought would make good sunglasses, but my eyes are so freakishly close together, that my pupillary distance was too small to order those frames. I ended up with a petite pair of aviators. Suh-weet!

La la la. Taking pictures in bathroom mirror. La la la.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Puny peppers

I was so excited about the lone green pepper growing in my container garden that I'd somehow led myself to believe it was giant. I'd planned my entire week's meals around it -- fajitas on Monday! Pork chops and rice on Wednesday! Salad on Friday!

You can imagine my shock on Monday when I went to pick it and realized it was the size of a super ball. It's bite-sized. Hmpf.

Wee bit of peppers


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Prediction: blogs are going to be blowing up about this one. First there was this squirrel, now there's Squirrelizer (found thanks to Cute Overload)!

I'm doing my part to make it go big.

BAM! Squirrel! I knew it was going to happen -- I've been saying "squirrel" so much it sounds weird now. Word.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Postcard art

Just today, I was surfing the net (oh yeah, that phrase is coming back!) for some new art. I've been limiting my purchases since the economy started dipping and layoffs were rampant. Now, I'm cautiously putting my toe back in the world of Interweb print shopping.

So, it was with art on the brain, that I found an awesome postcard in the mail this evening. The postcard is awesome 1) because the art on the front is fantastic, and 2) because my friend Kristie sent it to me out of the blue from far away.

My new artwork is on display in my kitchen right now.

Thanks, Kristie!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My hostas. Not my cat.

My hostas. Not my cat.

My hostas. Not my cat. Any questions?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Painting furniture

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no? I am going to copy these bloggers and give some furniture a second lease on life with fresh paint and new hardware:
This is one from Life in the Fun Lane. Most excellent handiwork, no?

After. Must imitate soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good looking

Let's get some good looking stuff on this blog, shall we? It's been repair and despair* around here lately (even my mother says so!), so some pretty things therapy is in order.

Scene on top of my dresser. I like it.

*I found some nasty little termites in one of my trees a couple weekends ago. They had me feeling equal parts paranoid and annoyed. Oh, but you best believe they got their very own chemical treatment soon after their presence was known.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mulchy fresh

Who needs to spring for the little pine tree car air fresheners when you can have three hundred pounds of mulch freshening you car instead? My dad hooked me up with a bunch of free mulch, stuffing my car to the gills. I was low riding on my way back home.

All lined up in the back seat. There's two more bodies (ahem, bags) in the trunk.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baling Hay. Holla.

I headed back to my parent's farm this weekend with every intention of helping my dad bale hay. I owe him some free labor for all the times he's helped out around my house. However, the weather wasn't quite cooperating, so I only actually helped with 1.25 wagon loads of hay. That's nothing. So instead, I'm going to tell everybody that I worked all day long, moving 1,000 hay bales in blistering heat, with no shoes, and digging post holes between loads.

Oh, holla.

Even my mom's getting into the action. I've never seen a finer leg prop on a bale. And with a baby in her arms, no less! ;-)