Saturday, February 27, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 58

Moose is so bored with us.


I have the cutest uncle ever. He's delivering Zoe and Maddy's girl scout cookies on his bicycle.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 57

Work, little bee work!

THe 365 Project: Day 56

Remember 2010: The List? Well, I'm making progress! And it's February, not November...yay!

At the Valentine's Card Club we had a new friend come play. Sherga works in our San Francisco office, so I don't see her often, but we've recently discovered a mutual love of craft. Knowing that I wanted to learn how to knit, Sherga brought her knitting supplies to card club and offered to be my teacher. Since I needed to be in the City for a meeting today, I figured today would be as good as any to begin my lessons. Even more fun? I convinced Abby to play along too--yay!

So, I'm far from pro, but I think I'm off to a pretty good start. Sherga helped me with 4 rows before I left today. The couple I worked through found me making enough mistakes that I felt fairly well prepared to work through those issues on my own tonight.

I finished 10 more rows over the Olympics tonight. Feeling pretty good about that! It included lots of issues (cross stitches, splitting the yarn, tension troubles, using my thumb too much, and woes woes woes with the first and last couple knits of each row), but I ended on a solid, not too tight, row, so WOO HOOOOO! I'm knitting!

Now just cross your fingers I remember the basics tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Scones for the Birthday Boy

Today is Raf's birthday. Not really all that exciting, considering he's currently working 14 hour days for quarter-end. But they were nice tonight and let him come home a couple hours early so we could take him to dinner.

Instead of cake, I decided to make him some scones for his birthday. He always gets cake at work, and he loves scones. (I think they're boring and grossly lacking in sugar!) So when I came across a recipe for scones a couple days ago, I knew this was the one to try.

Things were not looking so hot in the preparation stages. For starters, I'm not sure what "knead 6 times" means. Especially considering the dough was SO sticky that it took longer to scrape it off my hands than it did to mix it! Look at these sad looking pre-bake specimens!
But look! They came out of the oven 10 minutes later looking fabulous! Like real scones! And they tasted even better! I'm now sold on homemade, fresh from the oven scones. No more of those day-old, rock hard, tasteless ones from the coffee shop. So, wanna try them for yourself? Here's the recipe from random cooking mag.
Chocolate-Orange Scones
  • 1 1/2 cups complete buttermilk pancake mix
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2-3 tsp grated orange peel (this didn't sound super exciting to me, so I threw in a handful of orange flavored Craisins instead)
  • 2 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 oz each), chopped (This is 2 FULL Hershey's candy bars. Seemed a little excessive to me, so I just used one.)
  • I also added a dash of vanilla extract, though the recipe didn't call for it. I think it helped. A lot.
In a small bowl, combine the pancake mix, cream and orange peel. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead 6 times (whatever). Knead in chocolate (and Craisins if you go that route). (Personally, I think I'll avoid touching it as much as possible next time, and just work it well with a spoon.)

Pat into a 9-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges. (Have faith that no matter how impossible this seems, it will work out in the end.) Separate wedges and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm. Yield: 8 scones.

Good luck!

The 365 Project: Day 55

Look at the sweet, blooming wonderfulness that is there to greet me when I get home before dark. I like getting home before dark. Thank goodness the days are getting longer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 54

The Three Amigos. The 365 Project is a whole lot more interesting when I'm home sick during the day! That's probably only half true. If it weren't for Moose growling and throwing a fit, I'd have never noticed they were out there. Crazy to see them though!

For starters, what are raccoons doing on my fence in the middle of the day? (Don't worry, they're not completely confused--I saw a shadow of one on the fence line tonight, too.) It was also entertaining that they all looked exactly the same. Same size, and they moved in perfect unison. Each step in sync, each turn of the head timed perfectly. It was pretty hilarious to watch.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Guest Photo

Danny P sent me this photo from his fishing vacation in Oregon. Said it reminded him of something he'd see on my blog. I thought that was pretty cute. I love our friends! And the photo makes me wish I was on a fishing vacation in Oregon. Or just about any vacation, really!

I might have to employ this "guest photo" idea for the 365 Project in the future. I can just imagine it now, "Hey friend, I'm busy and tired today...can you go take a picture of something for me?" Haha! Love it!

The 365 Project: Day 53

Super exciting sign of hope in the front walk! When we bought this house last spring, I was completely enamored with these awesome orange flowering plants out front. Then I was devastated when I realized that when they gassed the house for termites, they included the plants up the walk under the tent. Seriously, traumatized.

I walk by the sad little leftovers everyday, not knowing how to nurture them back to health, and simply hoping that they'll figure it out on their own. And Look! I noticed this brand new pod of growth on one of the smaller plants on my way in today. YAY! So, so, SO excited! Yes, people, it's the little things.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Good Things from Design*Sponge

While on break during class (last week--yes, I'm that slow), I found lots of good eye candy on Design*Sponge. Like the kitchen it! Or the door moulding below. Big plans for moulding install this week! (Cross your fingers.)
Digging this super fun bead board and the sweet coat hanger.
And I'm SUPER stoked about this bathroom vanity find. Granted, they essentially refurbished it themselves, but this is the first non-pedestal sink I've EVER seen that I got excited about. Now the work begins to (a) convince Raf it's awesome, and (b) find a piece to work from!
Love, love, love this bouquet. Why don't boys ever bring home bouquets that look like this? Sigh. (And no, I'm not complaining about the flowers Raf does bring home. He really doesn't do that very often. Which I'm more than fine with, cuz store bought bouquets are just "eh" for me. But, oh, if they looked like this...he'd be in trouble cuz I'd want them all the time!)
Jordan--check out the fireplace grate! You need a fireplace!
And these bedding sets! Peacocky goodness! (From Dwell, I believe.)
Also in love with this little guy. I know it's not Christmastime anymore, but how cute would this look filled with little vintage ornaments?!? Finally getting around to putting away all our Christmas decor made me even more nostalgic today, I think.
Maybe I can convince Dad that it'd be a super fun project. Right after the moulding and my kitchen table, of course...

The 365 Project: Day 52

The Master Bath. In need of serious remodel. Ick. It's so gross we don't even open the door to it. Ever.

So my master plan for the master bath is to have my little brother, Cory, come visit from Portland for a week or so and help Raf remodel while he's here. And, in exchange, he can have my car. Cuz he's constantly cruising a POS and I'm in the market for some new wheels anyway.

The idea is to completely gut the room, move the wall out--extending the bathroom, making room for the sink inside, and leaving us with 2 equally sized closets outside. I'm envisioning a built-in, white tiled, stand-up shower, bordering some skinny linen shelves. Then black penny tiles on the floor, a new (functioning) toilet, and the debate rages on regarding whether to pedestal sink or not to pedestal sink. I know they're impractical from a storage angle, but they're just oh-so-sexy, so we'll see.

A collection of current photos for Cory's perusal and study can be found here. Cross your fingers that I can convince him to come visit!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 51

Enchilada Bake. As introduced by Gina a few months ago when I was desperate for an easy dinner recipe. Been working like a charm ever since. For anyone out there who's interested, ours looks something like this:
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • 1 boiled chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 large can green or red enchilada sauce
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sliced olives
  • Sour cream, for post-baking goodness
Pour some sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. Add a bottom layer of tortillas. Mix all the filling in a bowl, reserving some cheese, olives and sauce for the top. Spread filling evenly over tortillas. Add another layer of tortillas. Cover with the remaining sauce, cheese and olives. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or so.

Mmm Mmm good. We always make this when Dad is visiting because it leaves plenty of leftovers for lunches (without being so much leftover that we're sick of it). It's probably freezable too...hmmm.

So, now it's your turn to share! I need many more EASY, tasty, go to recipes. You know, the kind where you're too busy and exhausted to cook, but this go-to is so simple that you likely already have the ingredients on hand and it only takes 20 minutes of effort to throw together. That kind, por favor. Whatcha got??

Oscar Bingo

This post over on How About Orange totally makes me want to have an Oscar Party! Not that I could care less about the awards (I've only seen one of the movies up for Best Picture), but who doesn't love a good game of bingo!

Or, better yet, why don't one of YOU throw an Oscar Party, and I'll bring the gaming fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 50

Why is it that frozen lasagna takes so long to "cook"? Seriously...45 minutes? For what??

And while we're asking questions--can you believe we're 50 days into the year already?? FIFTY!!! I don't even know how that's possible.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 49

Lots of late night dozing while watching the Olympics this week.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 48

More project pieces on the kitchen table. Big decision making week on house stuff this week. Dad's in town to help install I guess it's time we finally decide what we're using!


I just noticed this new organic Swanky Swell fabric on True Up. It's FAB! And I want it. Unfortunately it's decorator weight (thus thick and expensive). Such a bummer. I'd love to make a belly blankie with these babies!!

The 365 Project: Day 47

How is it possible that I haven't finished this project yet? My life is chaos. Seriously.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 46

Raf hates sitting next to me on the couch. Why? Because I always claim the comfy position--leaned up against an arm with my legs spanning the length--and he always gets stuck sharing the last cushion with my feet. Soooo, we need a (sizable) new couch.

We've wanted new couches for, oh, about 5 years now. Raf decided to push the subject yesterday, so we spent the afternoon out furniture shopping. That was a train wreck, as usual. We don't agree on style, he just wants to get it over with, and I'm a fabulous combination of picky as hell, mixed with cheap as all get out. Lovely.

So, since I was off work today I decided to suck it up and venture out furniture shopping on my own. I went to Bassett, the only local store I could think of that we didn't hit up yesterday. And, really long story slightly shorter, by the end of the night we had put a down payment on a new couch! It's more moolah than I'd like to spend, but $2k less than my favorite yesterday--so I guess I can't complain too awful much.

If we end up with what we were leaning toward tonight--the shape will look something like this. It's an L-shaped sectional, equal length on either side of the corner.
We've been wary of a sectional because of the limited ability for rearrangement, but are leaning this direction in the end because I hate being on separate couches! Seriously...hate it! (Yes, I am clingier and cuddlier than you might suspect.) We opted against a U-shaped sectional because it's too big for our space (because the long side will never be against a wall), and while we love a chaise sectional, you can't switch the side it's oriented on when you decide to rearrange your room. The L-shape isn't quite as sexy, but you can completely switch your room orientation without having to purchase new furniture.

So, this is looking like the winner. Now we just need to make a final decision on fabric, which, as you can imagine, is terribly painful for me. There are 2 fabrics on display pieces in the store that I love...both would cost me an additional $500. Ugh! I think we'll stick with the one stock option we's just terrifying when I haven't had a chance to see it on a full size piece. Anywho, the fabric is on the dark side of a neutral. It's called Stone, so it has some grey undertones--though I don't think you'd call it grey if you saw it. At least you wouldn't in the swatch size...who knows in the full size??! Oh the drama!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 45

My funny Valentine. Waiting on our celebratory Chinese food feast.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Today begins the Year of the Tiger, Jordan's year. It'll be exciting to see what this new year brings. Gung Hay Fat Choy everyone!

Image found via Share Some Candy.

The 365 Project: Day 44

I've fallen off the wagon with The 365 Project the last couple days. Too much work and exhaustion, not enough rest and inspiration. So, we lost Day 43. The good news--Raf still found some inspiration at the Blackhawk Auto Museum yesterday, while I was busy trying to avoid a nervous breakdown.

Funny story. I'm pretty sure that last year for Valentine's Day I told Raf I was going to take him on a date to the Auto Museum. Sadly, I snuck it in just before the one-year mark had passed...except rather than on a date, it was volunteering as heavy lifter for a fun 15-hour day! Poor guy. At least he got to spend a bit of time with the cars and enjoy a couple glasses of wine!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 42

Who knew Jade was a flowering plant? News to me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


For Joe. And Danny. And Jordan. And Daryl...OY! I know too many whiskey drinkers.

From Jon Contino via Share Some Candy.

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches!?

So simple and yet so tempting. Possibly even more genius than the cookie ice cream sandwich. These definitely look better than the soy ice cream sandwiches I bought today. Somebody invite me over so I can make dessert!

The 365 Project: Day 41

Raf hates it when I eat hummus for dinner. I think he's silly.

Good Laughs

Thank goodness for Modern Family. It's about the only show that can reliably keep me cracking up these days. Valentine's episode=awesomeness.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 40

Why we never actually seriously consider leaving California. Collier Canyon Road, Livermore.

The 365 Project: Day 39

Reason #8 of 472 why I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 38

Sometimes a girl just wants a hot dog. (Good thing I have an amazing husband who will go to the store and BBQ for me in the freezing cold weather.)

The 365 Project: Day 37

I found this sign in Dublin highly entertaining. It's supposed to say SUSHI!, but this is way more fun.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Final Valentine

In case you were curious about the 4th card from Card Club. I {heart} this one.

The 365 Project: Day 36

More backyard overgrowth goodness. This section of succulents was looking pathetic by the end of summer. Glad to see it's making the comeback of the century.

Please disregard the crazy ever-growing weeds...

The 365 Project: Day 35

Abby & blurry photos--a match made in heaven! Good times at Card Club last night!

Stamping Challenge for Jordan

This Moxie Fab challenge was built for Jordan. Loving the fun card pictured here, crafted by The Stamping Bean.

Jordan--if you find a place with fun images, share it and maybe we'll make it a family challenge!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The 365 Project: Day 34

The final pre-Card Club sneak preview! Above is Card #3. Thanks to Mom for the idea! We'll save #4 so there's at least one surprise tomorrow night.

I'm also bringing soup. I'm a little concerned that it's not going to feed the 14 ladies I'm now expecting (!!!), but I'll just pick up plenty of garlic bread! This is the first time we've tried this soup and it turned out SOUPER yummy! And best of all, it's much quicker to make than most soups. Recipe found via All Recipes here.