Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas to you!

(What's that I see in that photo??  A lovely vintage dress and a tiny peek at the belt Santa brought me this Christmas?)
 I got exactly what I had been hoping for this year!  Do you know what this is?
It's my little Zumi 2.0 that my dear husband got for me.  So you can all expect to see some delightful vintage-looking videos soon!  I really wanted this little baby so that I can have a few videos of Dillon and I before we have any kids, before we are too settled, while we go out and about and do fun spontaneous things.  Wouldn't it be amazing to see video of your parents when they had just gotten married?  It's my goal, at least.    Now it's just learning to edit videos into amazing little movies like this lady.  Did you get just what you were hoping for?

Enjoy your last bits of holiday spirit!  And then wish me luck as I send in my graduate school application today! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  We had a great time up north with my family, and then down south with Dillon's family. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's beginning to look...

 Well Christmas is almost here.  I've got a few pictures to share of some very adventurous cookie production.  I would have had some pictures of the fudge-making, but we were all too busy laughing, stirring, reducing the recipe by 1/2, and messing it up. 

My sister took most of these lovely shots of the process.



 So there it was.  Epic cookie making.

On a side note, my husband is immune to gift-opening temptations.  Yesterday, I wanted him to open one of the gifts I got for him, and he refused.  I was shaking it in front of him, wiggling his gift in front of his face, and he didn't budge.  That man must have had some serious RULES while growing up.  Here's a picture of it.
The man is pure self-control. 

Have you been tempted by any gifts sitting under your tree yet?

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's beginning to look...

Oh hello, Bing.  

 Meet Sufjan.
 What a great way to spend some time wrapping gifts:  listening to Bing or Sufjan's Christmas album.  I found the vinyl this summer at the salvation army, and hadn't even opened it until today. Honestly, I forgot about it a little bit.  Well I plugged him in today and think that this is the best shape I've ever found a vinyl album at a secondhand store.  It sounds great-- no scratches, no skipping.  Terrific. 
Doesn't it look festive with these gifts?  You all may think this is boring with the white paper, but I only use paper that I already have or have saved from Christmases past.  Also, I love how similar they all look.  And I hate using boxes; I much prefer to make squashy packages tied with string to make them look even squashier.  Only a few more gifts to finish and wrap!  Are you finished?

Friday, December 10, 2010

More It's beginning to look a lot like...

I wanted to make some snowflakes to hang on our wall, so I bought a huge piece of blue paper (since white wouldn't show up very well on our boring apartment walls) and cut some perfect squares.  A tip: if you do this, find very thin blue paper or very sharp scissors or else your fingers will be mad at you. 

Then, I taped them together in a bannerish manner, and my lovely tall husband helped me hang it up above our patio door.  Thanks hubby!  I like them---and got some of the best snowflakes I've ever made out of the deal!  You can find websites to help you with your creativity if you get stumped.  Fifteen snowflakes that I would have "designed" myself would probably all have come out the same.  Oh I love how Christmassy our apartment looks right now!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's beginning to look...

I don't think I'm going to eat dinner tonight.  Instead, the whole pan of these little guys will work.  Pretzel and rolo in the oven for 2 minutes, then press a pecan on there.  Yum.  Like I said, I'm having them for dinner.  Thanks for the idea, Rachel!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's beginning to look...

The Story of Our First Christmas Tree (in pictures...and some words, too)

It was a snowy Friday night and Saturday morning.  Despite the inches of white stuff, we were (I was) set on picking up our Christmas tree on Saturday.  Off to the tree farm we went...
 Where we found this little beauty.  We took the easy road and got a pre-cut tree.  Neener neener to all of you who were laying down in the snow with your saws.
 The tree farm guys took care of our free shaking, and we loaded her into our Buick.  We both wish we had a truck sometimes...
 And then brought her into our house.  Naturally this is Dillon trimming off some branches in our kitchen. 
 Next up, Dillon ate some pistachios among the mess.
 And we decorated.  This is my favorite antique ornament because of the mushroom.  What could be less Christmas-themed for an ornament?
You will see the final product someday.  Not yet though.  First I need to make a tree skirt to cover up the shower curtain we have underneath our tree.  It certainly makes it feel more Christmas-y in here.  That, and the constant Sufjan Steven's Christmas album that has been playing nonstop. 

Have you gotten your tree yet?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's beginning to look... day 2

I crafted this little banner the other day, mostly because I had a 50% off coupon for a Martha product from Michaels and decided to get a pack of holiday(ish) paper.  I used a lid to make perfect circles.  Then, print off letters in a pretty font and cut them out to make stencils.  Use the stencil on the Martha paper, glue them together, add a little string, and VOILA!  the perfect Merry Christmas banner. 

Ok. It looks a little small in the picture against our boring white walls.  I think I need to find a way to hang up and display our Christmas cards somewhere on this wall.  Don't you think?

p.s DANG IT I just saw that I forgot the apostrophe in "it's" as well in my pretty picture.  Fail.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Its beginning to look a lot like...

Happy December!

I've decided to try my hand at posting as many Christmas themed posts as possible this month.  It should (in theory) be very possible as this is the first Christmas spent as a married couple, in our new home.  Lots to do and decorate and bake and make special.  

For this first edition of  "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas", Santa stopped by our house.  It was a special moment.  I had just put our homemade stockings up, using our fabulous new monogrammed mugs as weights, when the big guy popped over to leave something for Dillon.  He fumbled around for a few minutes, but finally managed to get the package to stay in that stocking.  With the help of some paperclips.  
What was it?  Naturally, it was a giant lottery ticket with scratch off things for each day in December.  Like an Advent calendar.  Except not nearly as Christianity-themed. 

P.S. YES, I KNOW "BEGINNING" IS SPELLED WRONG IN MY PICTURE.  Yes, I am a college graduate.  But I am not going to fix it because it way too darn long to figure out how to get that picture on here and I'm also going to go ahead and claim that the fumes from the heavy cleaning I did this morning were getting to me.  So just ignore it.  That's what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting ready for the holidays

What have I been up to you ask?  Well aside from my intense search for a doable, light and fluffy bread recipe for my first official "you are an adult now and need to bring something" Thanksgiving, I've been thinking about Christmas.  Although it may seem early, I've been working on ornaments to hang on our tree.  I gratefully received a batch of antique ornaments from a friend as a wedding gift, but I think we need more.  I purchased a pack, but want to be as thrifty as possible with our tree, so decided to make some ornaments with supplies I had on hand.

German stars I made from some brown paper that was packaging from Ikea items.  Free=oh yah!
 Felt snowflake, bird, stocking.  The felt was leftover from the felt food I made.  Free = oh yah!
A few stuffed birds I made with fabric my lovely sister gave me for my birthday.  I love these and plan on making some more.  Free = oh yah!

I'd say I did pretty well with the thrifty ornaments this year.  I think it will be cute to have some of these forever and remember our first Christmas together... (sappy sentimental moment)  Have you made any of your Christmas decorations?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What to do with all the whipped cream?

Using that new pie plate was a highlight of the week for me.  Keeping with the "everything fallholidaythanksgiving/christmas" spirit that's visible the second you set foot into a mall, I made a pumpkin pie.  Let me tell you it was delicious.

So delicious, in fact, that we took it over to my in-law's house so that I didn't eat any more.  I even made my own whipped cream!  Horay!  oh wait... now we have a giant batch of leftover whipped cream since most people prefer a dollop instead of a bowl full.  Thus, I discovered another tasty treat:  whipped cream mixed with instant chocolate pudding!!!  I feel like everyone and their grandma already have discovered this little treat, but until now, I had been ignorant of the delightful dessert.  I think I'll have to go out and get some teddy grahams to dip in there.  Yup.  I'm an adult.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh how I love antique malls...

 I went, I went!  In search of a pie plate (after discovering that we don't own one anymore!  mystery pie plate thief??), I made my way through floor after floor, booth after booth of delightful antique goods.  Here are two of my favorites:  a set of flour/sugar/tea cannisters and this amazing folk art folding chair.

I also took a picture of a lovely antique quilt, with the back of a little boy that made it look like he was peeing.  My camera appears to have eaten that picture, though, or else you can bet you would have seen it already. 

Here's my new pie plate!  Horay!  I love the wood grain pattern on the edges, plus it's nice and deep so that lots of goodies can fit inside.
Next time I go, I'm going to remember to get some cash first so that I don't have to pay in quarters like I did for this adventure.  Maybe I can get something that costs more than $7, too.  *gasp!*

Monday, November 8, 2010


Well it's finally happened:  I've opened my etsy shop!!!  It's called todaystore, and I am very excited to get some of these lovely crafts I've been working on into the hands of others.  I've only got a few items listed so far, but that will soon change!  Check out my shop by clicking on this link.  I also made a Christmas stocking for a friend, and she requested that I post a few pictures to show a friend.  Therefore:
The beige color is 100% wool, slightly felted and then the little pawprint embroidered on it lovingly by me.  I think it turned out wonderfully.  Why not let the newest member of your family have a stocking of his or her own?

Farmers Market

We went to the Farmers Market in Madison, FINALLY!!!  This was the last week so there were some great deals and the produce was pretty cheap.  Horay!  Even though it was so cold we both really enjoyed it, and came home with (a ton of) broccoli, a couple of garlic cloves, and some yummy potatoes.  And a belly full of Chipotle. Great day!

Friday, October 29, 2010

More things that I've accomplished

Oh boy it's been awhile since I blogged:  whoops!  I don't realize it until I see how many new pictures I have on my camera.  I've been busy, though.  Here we go!

I made these lovely sugar cookies.  The dough was super easy to work with, and felt very "perfect dough"y.   I would recommend it, especially with the frosting I talked about last time with almond extract instead of vanilla.  So yummy that they were gone in about a day.   Even though the recipe made about 55 cookies.  ugh.

Also, I made applesauce!  We visited an orchard quickly and although the you pick apples were finished, but we got a couple of bags.  I spent a few hours, made the biggest mess ever in my kitchen, had a blender catastrophe that made me really regret not peeling the apples, but in the end we got a few jars of applesauce that hopefully will help get my husband off high-fructose-corn-syrup-added pre-packaged-and-wasteful individual cups of applesauce that he takes to lunch.  Now all we need is some lightweight containers for him to dish applesauce into to bring to work for lunch.

 We also carved a couple of terrifying pumpkins for Halloween weekend.  Mine is a spider, Dillon's is a ghost.  His is a little hard to see in the light, since it was one of those cut out the white space pumpkins.  His was also a very stubborn pumpkin that broke two of those little pumpkin saws and was a beast to carve.  But it looks very spooky!

 Next up, I made bread.  Here's the dough before rising:
 20 minutes later, the dramatic removal of the towel revealed this:
 Nothing.  So, I thought maybe another 20 minutes would make it even better:
 Nothing again.  So I thought maybe I'd roll it into the loaf shape and make some cheesy garlicy biscuit shapes and then let it rise again:
 And guess what:  NOTHING.  I think I killed the yeast by using too hot water.  Failure.  Dang it.  Oh well!  Lesson learned for next time.

Then I organized our closet, which has been driving me nuts for a few weeks.  Nothing makes me feel better than a stack of clothing in a perfect pile.  Oh I love it.  Hopefully it will stay that way for a while.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween weekend!  We might go to a party on Saturday, I'm thinking of dressing up as Jimmy McMillan (of The Rent is Too Damn High Party in NY) if I can get motivated to make myself a beard. 

Also in the news, I finished my mom's birthday present!!  You will just have to wait until after November 18th to see it.  I used my new glue gun to finish it off, and got (no joke) the most severe burn of my life on my finger.  Dear Lord the pain was incredible.  Oh mom, the sacrifices I make for you.  (just kidding, thanks for, you know, the whole BIRTH thing ;)