Tuesday, January 22, 2008

party food bible

I've got my week all planned out to get everything done in time for the big birthday party this weekend. Menu is set and the to-do list is in order. Of course, you'll see here in this picture my Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres Handbook. No party is complete without something from this perfect party food bible. This time I'm going with recipes for homemade potato chips, pretzels and a white wine punch. I really should start checking the recipes off as I make them. I'll bet I can finish them all by the time my party-hosting days are over.

As with everything, it's all in the details. I love making my own little stickers and labels for decorating everything from the paper cups and napkins to party favor packages. I have a lot of images from The Teddy Bears' Picnic as well as a cute head shot of the birthday boy himself. I'm having too much fun, aren't I? I just love planning parties!

Of course the weather forecast calls for a chance of rain on party day. Of course it also said, "Rain Likely," today and I only saw about five minutes of very light drizzle first thing this morning. I just hope whatever storm system there is brewing up there in the sky moves quickly on by and gives us clear skies this weekend. All this work we've put into the yard! What a shame if we were all squeezed into our tiny house for the birthday celebration! [note to self: post pics of newly completed "Project Backyard"]

Saturday, January 19, 2008

foodie if I had the chance

I LOVE eating out. The husband and I had a belated anniversary celebration last night (Eight years, man, EIGHT years!) at Harry's Bar and American Grill. I've been going through a weird thing with food lately. Me, Ms. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast... I've been eating steak. Not large quantities of it, mind you. No, we're not about to sit down and plow through prime rib. But, good quality steak - bring it on. I haven't eaten steak since I was a kid - and even then, I can only remember once. But suddenly, I find myself thinking about a steak. I find myself thinking about attempting sushi. Oysters? Game on! Avocados - let's talk about avocados for a second. I live in a city which probably produces a significant source of the country's avocados, but - never interested. These suckers are available year round for us. A few weeks ago I made guacamole for some German friends of ours who were visiting and tried some myself. Hello? Delicious! I could easily become a foodie if I had the chance to eat out more. Since we don't, maybe I should try to become a little more adventurous with my cooking. The other night I through together Jamie Oliver's Chinese Chicken Parcels. Yum! Note to self: add "adventurous eating' to the list of resolutions.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

love the idea of it

Trying to make more time for making dolls. I have so much fun making them - get lost in it. Created this little guy for a birthday gift - a special 1-year old. Maybe I'll make one for him every year to add to his collection. Sure, I say that now...

I would like to make this a year of handmade gifts - nothing store bought. Again, that's ambitious. I love the idea of it, but I'm not all that good at planning that far in advance. I'm the sort that realizes a couple days before the party that I need to get a gift together. Right after Christmas this year, I told myself I was going to start making Christmas gifts right away for next year. Not a one yet done. Good idea, anyway.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

put to good use

Oh yay! I gave these drawer pulls to our dear, good friends who are expecting their first baby this Spring. And, though they didn't have a chest of drawers, they put them to good use with this coat hanger! The guilt over all the lost information from my laptop has largely been centered on 1) my second born child, whose first year memories will now be dependent on images acquired from grandparents and 2) our dear, good friends who've wanted fabric so they could have items sewn for their nursery. Dear, good friends, I'm printing fabric as we speak.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

constant movement

10:37AM - The husband just took off for the day with the kids. "We won't be back until it's dark." Ah... have I thanked you enough, God, for this man? I haven't thanked the man himself enough for this man. Thank you, man. "...And I'll bring home dinner. So relax! Enjoy your day!" So, catch up, says me. Nothing more relaxing than getting shit done. Laundry, fix that screen, clean out the fridge, garden, call mom, drawings. (I was faced with the harsh truth that all files on my laptop are gone. Devastating. What's hardest, I guess, is that I know I don't have the time I'd like to reproduce all the artwork I've created over the past 12 months since my last backup. And it's totally my fault, I know. Should have backed up. So, don't hesitate - go backup your hard drive NOW!) My goal for the day is to be in constant movement getting stuff done. On the ipod: All Songs, Jill Sobule.

11:42AM - Still moving right along. A thought just occurred to me. A month or so ago I was listening to Eva Scrivo on Martha Stewart Sirius Radio and she was chatting on about the toxicity of deodorant. She said she doesn't wear deodorant because she waxes her underarm hair and perspiration is actually excreted from the hair follicle - so by waxing, you remove the follicle and won't perspire. Like a blind monkey, I waxed my underarms. (Um, OUCH!) But after moving about a bit this morning, I feel like I could use a little deodorant. I know, this has nothing to do with anything, but I'm alone today. So, thoughts come to my mind and I feel like sharing them with someone! Okay, back to washing dishes.

12:26PM - Okay. House finally in a state where I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone stopped over by surprise.

2:05PM - Slowly working on drawing now. Hungry though. May have to slip some lunch into all this work. (Stewing... Still can't believe I lost all that work.)

4:29PM - Losing steam. Perhaps the only thing I hate more than doing laundry is folding laundry.

8:27PM - Alrighty then. Laundry: done. Drawings: successful. Kids are bathed and asleep and it's time for another crazy night of popcorn and TV before the hubby and I fall asleep on the couch. Boy oh boy things are different after kids. Yessir.

Friday, January 11, 2008

passing strange

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again. If you're in New York (or are in a position to be in New York) - go see Passing Strange! It made it to Broadway! I'm trying to finagle a way to be there myself. How can I justify this trip? AHHHH!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

when I grow up

I just might actually find myself sticking to the "Read More" resolution. Maybe I even set my standards too low - but lower is better because when you find yourself going above and beyond it sure makes you feel good about yourself. Already into book two of the new year, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. Really enjoying it.

[I find myself thinking about something Bill Maher said the other night on Letterman - something about how George Bush was boasting about how many books he reads. Bill Maher said, we don't walk around saying, "look at that shoe - I tied it myself, nice job, huh?" The fact that Bush has to annonce how many books he reads in an attempt to prove how smart he is... and, that's exactly what I'm doing here. Yes, a little pathetic.]

So, with the new year and all, I find myself thinking a lot about what I want to do with myself this year. Who/what do I want to be? Doing a lot of soul searching I suppose. Does anyone else do this? I'm always thinking that there must be something I'm not doing that is responsible for keeping me from doing all the things I want to do - if that makes sense. Maybe I should drink more tea and that will give me the antioxidants my body needs to give me more energy for getting things done, for example. Or, maybe I should create a playlist for my day - songs to match the highs and lows of my daily moods. Why can't I get things done???

While soaking my head in the tub this evening (my son has taken to screaming at me, "go soak your head," when I tell him to do something he doesn't want to do), it occurred to me that when I ask myself that question, what do I want to be?, I often flip through pictures of other people in my head. I want to be more like HER. I want to dress like SHE does. I want to live like HE does. And, maybe that's my problem. Maybe, just maybe, while trying to get my act together and get something done, I need to start picturing myself in those previews of the new and improved me. Then, it hit me. This picture:

Don't know how old I am in this picture - but this is who I want to be. Bingo, that's it! This is the way I want to be when I grow up. Barefoot, daisies, leis and sundresses. Happy. Carefree. So that's just what I'm gonna try to do. Live more like this little girl would have.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


These were meant to be done yesterday. But, it's a nice activity (cutting, punching holes, threading string) for a rainy day like today. Found some cute red gingham napkins at the store last night for the party. Those mixed in with some aqua blue. Like I said - not too cutesy. I've always loved the combination of red and the right shade of blue. The blue has got to be closer to aqua than marine. Don't want that whole red-white-and-blue thing going on. (not that there's anything wrong with that) So... it's a rainy day here in the town of perfect weather. Carefully watching our slope that isn't yet planted to be sure that there isn't a mudslide on our newly poured patio. I've been anxious to start planting - but who has the time? I can barely get the invites in the mail.

Friday, January 04, 2008

if you go down to the woods today...

Pictured above: invitations in the works for the BIG 0ne-year old birthday party coming up at the end of the month. "If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big surprise... For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain because today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic" I want it to be a Teddy Bears' Picnic theme without getting too cutesy. I love the illustrations in the book by Bruce Whatley:

So, we'll see what I can come up with. As always, I want it to be as homemade as possible. Like I said, we'll see.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


New Year's Eve dinner: Croque Monsieur

A friend of mine recently gave me a thank-you note written on a note card with a photograph of these delicious sandwiches on the front and the recipe on the back. That was trouble. I was immediately trying to think of an occasion for making these double-cheesy and sinful delights.

New Year's Eve seemed like the perfect last meal. They were delicious, but extremely rich. Watch yourself with these bad boys. Last night's ringing in of the new year was just like every other New Year's Eve for about the past four years. We eat something decadent for dinner usually followed up by a dessert that's equally gourmet (last night was Creme Brulee). Then we cozy up on the couch to watch movies - whereupon I usually fall asleep about 30 minutes in. Then, about 2 minutes before the clock strikes midnight, the husband will make a bunch of noise so I wake up and we can see Dick Clark announce the countdown together. That's exactly how it went down last night. Not quite a Holly Golightly evening.