roasted eggplant

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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i love roasted veggies. they are the single most delicious side dish next to waffle fries from chick-fil-a. 

one of our patients came in the other day with a bag of fresh vegetables straight from his garden. this is not uncommon. patients bring us all kinds of stuff-fresh honey, baked goods, trays of starbucks. working the front office at a dental practice gets you crazy, mad swag. sometimes unsolicited attention from the older, male patients but mostly swag. 

the bag was full of green peppers, squash, onions, tomatoes. i picked three eggplants. they were cute and shiny and the prettiest shade of purple.

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i brought them home and roasted them up, nice and good. all i did was slice them into strips and season them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. 

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i popped those bad boys into the oven at 375 for about 20-25 minutes, and they were perfection. i could haven eaten the whole pan, but i practiced self-control and ate only half (!) and then had two ice cream pops.  

if you have never tasted a roasted vegetable, you are missing out. go to your nearest garden and harvest something immediately. 

*linking up here!*

big huge ginormous announcement

Monday, July 23, 2012

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drumroll please. bang some pots and pans around, too. if you could get a choir of small children to start singing hallelujah that would be just about perfect. 


because i finally opened my etsy shop! HUZZAH! (confetti machine, gogogo). i have been putting it off for years, ya'll. probably five or something. how embarrassing. i have had about a million different excuses for why i didn't have one. reasons ranged from i don't have time to ugh. i feel fat today.

i've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what i want to do in life and what am i good at and blah blah blah. it dawned on me that what i really like to do is be crafty. i like to make things. i like cutting paper and playing with glitter and snipping chain and fastening jump rings to lobster clasps. i like simple, pretty arts and crafts.

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i believe God has given me this gift of creativity, and i realized that i was not properly using it. by making excuses for not opening an etsy shop, i was putting my talents to waste in a sense. i don't expect to make a gazillion dollars by doing this (a million would be fine), but i do expect to make friends, get my name out there, make mistakes, learn how to be a "business owner", be brave, come up with new ideas, be inspired, make myself proud.

during the beginning stages of when i seriously started re-thinking my etsy shop i read this post by kelly ann of the flowerchild dwelling

"the moral of the story: you can do it. don't you dare listen to anyone who tells you that you can't. whatever it is that you want do, whoever you want to become... go for it. it will be hard, and frustrating, and stressful, and emotional, and scary... but it will be one of the greatest things you will ever do. you will meet people who will make you stronger, who will make you cry, who will lift you up, who will change your life, and who will push you to be better, because they know you can be. you will create things you hate, and things you love, and things you never knew you could create. you will find your your strengths, and your weaknesses. you will grow, change, and be stretched. you will be better, stronger, and more brave every day."

kelly ann is an amazing designer and photographer, and while her business is bigger than mine will ever be, her message encouraged me to just jump in and start. no more excuses. no more fear. no more laziness.

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so, now that i have made you cry tears of sweet emotion with my heart wrenching post, please head over to my shop and browse a bit! (or buy something. i highly suggest that). i am starting with my hand stamped coin necklaces and see where that leads me. i plan to add more stock as i go. 

two final things:
a great BIG shout-out to my dad for being my VERY FIRST ETSY SALE! daddio, you rock. 
thank you to everyone who always asked if i had an etsy shop. i finally do. 

man on fire

Friday, July 20, 2012

at first i didn't really like this song. i was like "ew." 
and then i watched the music video, and then i was like "ew. cool."

man on fire : edward sharpe & the magnetic zeros 

the table that dale built

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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ya'll. this table is changing my life. well, my living room. it's definitely changing my living room. it is the greatest thing to happen to our apartment since we stopped sitting on camping chairs and got a real couch. 

let me introduce you to the most awesome spool table ever designed by my step-dad dale. dale is a combination handy man/structure creator/urban scavenger. a lot of people are one of those things. even less are two. it takes someone very special to be all three. 

i'm not lying when i say that every time i go home to visit my parents, a new something has appeared in our yard. a birdhouse made out of a cowboy hat and bread box. a wheel of some sort propped against a tree. the man just likes to create. can't stop it.

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he is always very generous with his creations. he likes to make and then he likes to give away. he is very sweet. most of the time i kindly decline not because they aren't cool and unique but because we simply have little to no room in our teeny tiny apartment for much else.

however, my roommate and i were in the market for a new living room table. after he made a similar version for our family's living room and one as a present for a friend, i decided that, yes, i would like one too, please.

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one month and a whitewashed construction spool turned side table later, and i am officially falling in love with our living room. and i was not the least bit in love with it before. i kind of hated it.

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our living room is making changes for the better. i'm so proud of you, sweet baby living room. keep trekking. you're gonna make it after all.

thank you, dale! it is perfect!

to anyone interested, dale will build you your very own spool table for the low, low price of $350.

serveRDU 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

every summer my church puts on serveRDU which is basically a week of work projects and community outreach in raleigh, durham, chapel hill, and other surrounding cities. our mission is simple. we serve because Christ served us. we love because Christ loved us.

projects during serveRDU range from painting and landscaping to helping build houses with habitat for humanity, from hosting neighborhood cookouts to putting together hygiene bags for women and children in india who are victims of sex trafficking. there is such a wide range of opportunities that anyone could find a project to get excited about. i got involved last year and had a really great time. you can read about it here

this year i was able to help with a work project at the pregnancy support services of durham and volunteer at a red cross blood drive that our church hosted. 

the offices at pss needed deep carpet cleaning, dusting, bathroom cleaning, painting, shelf construction, mopping, etc. my team met around 9 on friday morning, and after a brief introduction and tour of their facility, we went to work. i vacuumed couches and floors, carried boxes of supplies from one room to another, dusted, hung mirrors, scrubbed walls, rearranged furniture. lots of work, but it was a lot of fun. the ladies who run the place were so grateful for our work and the volunteers were so friendly and willing to help. the thing i love best about manual labor is the way you feel after you have worked a few hours, exhausted.
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the red cross blood drive was my favorite project out of the two. i had never been involved in a blood drive before and didn't know exactly how it worked or what to expect.

i slipped right into the role of snack hander-outer, and i got to talk to each donor as i poured orange juice and handed out cookies. ya'll, people are nice. everyone was willing to talk and answer questions i had about the process and how painful it was (not very). most of them had donated before at various times and all had good experiences to share.

i hadn't planned to donate blood. actually, i had planned to definitely not donate blood, but there i was with almost everyone around me donating, and i caved. i donated. it wasn't nearly as scary as i thought it was going to be. as always, my fears were mostly in my head. the ladies took very good care of me, and i even got an oversized t-shirt for being the last donor of the day. oh yeah, solid score.

i had such a great time helping with serveRDU. it was a blessing for me personally, but to know that our church body became the legs and arms and hands and feet of Christ is what really strikes me. through simple acts of manual labor we showed our city what it means to love.

the lovely list. part ten.

Friday, July 13, 2012

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it's been quite a while since i've done a lovely list. let's remedy that. remedy! 
these cookies are number one on my list. cookies should always be in your top three. 

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neon chiclet bracelet i made with new beads from ornamentea. i'm debating whether to keep it or sell it.  keep or sell. keeporsell.

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mason jar roses.

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new outfit from forever 21. zebras and stripes are either a match made in fashion heaven or what circus carnies wear on their time off.

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baby succulents from trader joe's. the directions say you only have to water them every 7-10 days. plants that you never have to water would be ideal, but i think i can do this. (plants that you never have to water are called plastic, and i have some. they're real neat).

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cherries in white wine to celebrate the end of my work week.

ok, your turn! what's lovely, y'all?

*hey, yo. linking up HERE! and HERE!*

grown up iced coffee

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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there are a lot of things about growing up that are dumb. 

(working, paying bills, having to make your own pb and j sandwiches. whatever.) 

liquor in your iced coffee is not one of them.

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i usually drink my coffee straight black, but i've been enjoying this little variation lately. all you need is some chilled black coffee, milk of your choice (almond milk is yummy. try the vanilla flavor if you want a little extra sweetness), ice, and kahlua.

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i don't measure anything. i just add until the color looks right and the taste is good. if you want to be really awesome, freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays and use those as your ice. that way your coffee doesn't get watered down. can't take credit for the idea. my mom has been doing it for years. (hi, mom).

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the perfect pick-me-up for when you realize that you are an adult nearing thirty and you can't do anything to stop it. 

lake weekend

Sunday, July 8, 2012

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spent the majority of my weekend at lake gaston with my friend tierney. her parents have a house right on the water, and it was pretty dang nice. we baked in the sun and floated in the water, went for a gorgeous boat ride with stellas in hand, took a nap on the dock, ate yummy, home cooked food, went on a very short jet ski ride because it kept dying on us, played rummikub with her parents, watched old school james bond, fell asleep to the sound of fireworks.

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hope your weekend was great!

side note: falling asleep to the sound of fireworks sounds magical, but it is not.

tin can cakes

Friday, July 6, 2012

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oh, me. oh, my. teeny tiny cakes. i could just die. 

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one of the girls in my office got married a few weeks ago and before her wedding we had a little surprise shower/lunch for her. i thought these cakes would be the perfect addition to our menu.  

i know you have tin cans in your pantry just sitting there gathering dust. you bought that can of coconut milk at trader joe's to make something exotic, didn't you? that was 7 months ago. it's time to let go and put that can to better use. 

tin can cakes

gather several tin cans from your pantry. use a can opener to take the entire lid off the can and wash the insides clean, clean, clean. (try to find cans with a clean lip edge). 

mix up one box of your favorite flavor of cake mix according to directions. (i made three flavors which is why all of my cakes are different colors). 

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spray inside of can with nonstick spray. add cake batter and fill 3/4 full.

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place cans in middle rack of oven preheated to 350 degrees. bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

let these babies cool before you take them out of their tin can homes. once cooled completely, use butter knife to run along the inside of the can to release cake. 

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admire your naked cakes. 

cut cake into thirds. slather frosting all up in there. re-stack. more frosting on top. add berries, chocolate chips, toothpick banners, whatever. proceed to eat your face off. 

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if my instructions didn't make sense, go here. but if you're faithful to me, you won't go there. not even if your cakes turned into hard rocks of coal.

fourth of july

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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happy fourth of july! i hope you have a wonderful holiday. remember those who have fought and are fighting for our freedom. 

july mix

Monday, July 2, 2012

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summer is here in all of its blazing glory. blazing glory = 104 degree weather. our spring was marvelous with temps in the 70's and 80's. i was actually on the verge of befriending this season, but then, without warning, it turned on me.

what's a girl to do? drink an iced cold starbucks while submerged in the pool? yes, i agree. 

here's to dreaming about a summer vacation on the west coast. (the high for today in santa barbara is 70. sweet bliss!) 

*july mix*

the oogum boogum song : brenton wood

california : delta spirit

big blue wave : hey ocean!

let's go surfing : the drums

go outside : cults

fever : maps and atlases

till the sun came up : michael holborn

st. croix : family of the year

california sunrise : dirty gold

blood : the middle east

trip : vacationer 

the only place : best coast

hustle beach : baby teeth

summer home : typhoon

don't move : phantogram

happy july!

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