snow day

Thursday, January 30, 2014

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we get pretty excited about snow here in the south. giddy like screaming kids excited. we see a forecast stating a mere 20% chance of light flurries, and we make a beeline for the grocery store. bread and milk rations for dayyys. transplanted northerners living in the south, you may roll your eyes now.

yesterday was a snow day for me, and i was that giddy screaming kid. i didn't buy bread and milk, but i did make sure i had enough wine and coffee and dark chocolate peanut butter cups on hand.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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reading : just finished house by michael ruhlman. excellent memoir about a house built in the very early 20th century that he and his family moved into and completely renovated. sounds rather dull, but he writes with such interesting detail and includes historical facts about the house itself and the city of cleveland which is where they live. can't wait to read some of his other books.

listening to : boy & bear

snacking on : new age wine (a christmas gift from chelsea's mom). so, more drinking than snacking, but i think it falls under both categories.

thinking about : my roommate moves to england for two months on friday. SO excited for her, but i will miss her terribly. thank goodness for facetime.

wearing : sock monkey slippers. comfort is key.

playing with : new app notegraphy. make favorite quotes, lyrics and sayings into typographical works of art. (see above.)

remembering : all of the songs from once. my friend alex invited me to go with him to see the musical on sunday evening at the DPAC. the movie was good, but seeing it live was amazing. go listen to the song "falling slowly". people got talent, ya'll.

cards lately

Monday, January 27, 2014

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happy monday! how was everyone's weekend? i don't know about you, but it was haaard to get up this morning. i always set at least four alarms for myself. seems a little excessive, but experience has taught me that i can't get away with less. ("experience" in this case means WAKING UP at the time that i should be walking into work.) this morning i reset the fourth alarm three times. no wakey, more sleepy. it is mornings like these that i rejoice in the fact that coffee exists. oh, how thankful i am for that stuff.

i've mentioned in some previous posts that i sell my goods at various brick and mortar shops. it's the best thing in the world to sit down at my craft table and put together a new necklace style or series of greeting cards. and when i get to bring fresh inventory to places like swank coffee, saxapahaw mercantile and blue horse market? pure bliss.

i thought i'd share with you guys some of the valentine's day cards that i've been working on lately. i am a huge supporter of february 14th. all that pink and red and oversized stuffed animal crap just does it for me. i'm a great big softie, and i don't care who knows it.

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and now i have a serious question. would these styles and types of card be something you would like to see in my etsy shop? i have only ever sold jewelry on hum right along, but i'm interested in expanding my offerings. just curious! any feedback would be appreciated. (right now it is bare bones empty, but i've been working all weekend on listing lots of new items. be on the lookout!)

hope you guys have a great monday. if you're having a difficult time getting into the swing of things like i was this morning, pour yourself a big cup of coffee/tea/chai and listen to a favorite song. seems to help me. (right now, i'm digging great american canyon band.)

under the weather

Friday, January 24, 2014

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i've been feeling a little puny this week. nothing major, just a head cold. i haven't been sick in a long, long time so i guess it was just my time to get hit with something. honestly, it's been nice. i've taken the week off from the gym and instead i've been crafting my little heart away. my work table is filled with brass chain and bits of baking twine and paper scraps.

the only thing i have done after work besides craft was attend triangle restaurant week with my roommate and my friend alex. we tried out g2b gastro pub in durham and ordered from their prix fixe menu. the food was decent enough but the best part of the evening, hands down, was the giant wii projection screen in the bar area. after dinner, we played each other in mario kart. if awards had been given out based on ranking status, yours truly would have won a participation ribbon.

but back to my head cold because i really just want to talk about that again. anyone have top-notch cold remedies? something to sucker punch this congestion in the head? pun intended.

nutella ravioli

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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if there is a recipe out there involving nutella, i WILL find it. that creamy, chocolatey, hazelnutty goodness is good straight out of the jar, no doubt. but imagine pairing it with peanut butter, cream cheese and chocolate chips and wrapping it up in a little wonton blanket. IMAGINE IT. that's exactly what we're doing today. it's one of the easiest recipes out there. so easy that i'm not even sure it counts as a recipe.

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fill wonton wrappers with your ingredient combo of preference. i made some with just nutella, some with nutella and cream cheese, and some with the works-nutella, cream cheese, peanut butter, chocolate chips.

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wet the edges of the wrapper with water and seal shut with the help of a fork. spray the tops of the raviolis with pam spray.

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into the oven they go! bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

let the ravs cool for a minute and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

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eat! i didn't think of this, but adding a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream would be really delicious.

the inside was perfection. the flavors baked together nicely and created the most delicious combo. my only complaint was that the wonton edges baked up too hard. try filling your raviolis with more nutella and baking them for less time (6 minutes or so). find the full recipe here.

do you have a recipe that's so easy to make that you kind of feel like you're cheating, but cheating in a good way?

golden birthday

Monday, January 20, 2014

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today is my younger brother riley's golden birthday. 20 years on the 20th. (cute kid in the middle.) yesterday, my family drove to his college town to celebrate with him. we treated him to mexican food, chocolate cupcakes and a huge cartoon balloon bouquet.

he's a trip, this one is. he is one of the funniest people i know. i don't even know how he comes up with the things that he says. i try really hard to be funny and i'm not in the slightest, but riley will make a comment off the cuff and have me rolling. i need to take lessons. maybe they offer a class in this somewhere. "how to be hilarious 101". see what i mean? that wasn't even funny. good lord.

happy birthday, riles! love you much.

internet gems. part four.

Monday, January 13, 2014

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monday. your face? i don't like it. i much prefer friday's, saturday's and sunday's faces. so, let's talk about them. how was your weekend, lovelies? did you get into anything fun? i had a great one. planned activities and lots of relaxing time. that combo works well for me. if i have too much going on during my weekend, i feel tired going into the new week. too much down time and i go crazy. gotta balance it out. this weekend i grabbed sushi dinner with friends, crafted and painted (see above), made progress in my current book, tried a new church, coffee date with peters, spent money i should have saved and had friends over to our apartment for sunday evening dinner. time well spent.

i've been finding some fun gems around the web and collecting them to share with you guys. now seems as good a time as any. internet links! you know how this works!

how to take pictures at parties.

emma kate's 10 things i love

life has big plans. get ready because they include YOU.

ok. this is my first official announcement, but I GOT AN IPHONE, AND NOW I CAN BE ON THE LINE ALL DAY. naturally, i'm interested in what cool apps i need. this is a good starter list. do you guys have any suggestions?

flippant wood burned plaques.

make way for ducklings tour. a precious video based on the robert mccloskey children's book. (found this gem via anna's awesome blog.)

just found courtney's blog, and i'm totally jazzed. especially about this DIY.

why i read.

this new online mag produced by natalie from thoughts by natalie. her blog is just wonderful, and i can only assume her magazine will be the same. 

a longish read, but her words are important and thoughtful.

my friend liz got me an espro press for christmas. i feel fancy.

skillet dinner that i will be making for dinner one night this week.

brrrrr it's cold in california.

what are you digging around the internet? do share! 

january mix

Friday, January 10, 2014

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music is my jam. literally. do i play an instrument? newp. but i can clap my hands to the beat of any song, and i sing a lot at my desk at work. just honing the skills that i do have, people. honing the skills. another thing that i can do really well? listen to good music. here. you can haz a listen.

january mix

manhattan : cat power

xo : beyonce

young blood : birdy

give me love (new machine remix) : ed sheeran

everywhere : crystal fighters

something's gotta give : onerepublic

holding onto you : twenty one pilots

isjaki : sigur ros

a tout a l'heure : bibio

alive : empire of the sun

give up : half moon run

let's fall asleep together : teen daze

song for zula : phosphorescent

step : vampire weekend

pumpin blood : nonono

have any music suggestions? i'd love to hear!

great christmas exchange 2013

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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this year i participated in a fun blogger gift exchange hosted by oak & oats and elah tree called the great christmas exchange. the basic gist was that you submitted your name for participation and got someone's name in return for whom you would put together a christmas package of goodies. presents and new friends? oh boy!

i had a great time shopping for jamie who blogs over here. each participant was asked to list a few things they liked so whoever got their name would have an idea of what to get them. based on the bio i received about miss jamie, i found out she liked michaels art store, the color green, books of any kind, stationery, and craft supplies. armed and dangerous with this information, i went about putting a fun package together for her.

when wrapping gifts, i usually throw things into a bag with a piece of tissue paper and call it a day. that's hard enough, people! but this year i was totally gung-ho about using festive paper and actually wrapping my presents. maybe because i knew pictures of my gifts would be broadcast on the internet and i needed to up my game? unfortunately, because of my unprecedented enthusiasm, i ended up wrapping most of jamie's gifts before i took pictures of her items. doh. i did manage to snap a shot of the green caroline g. necklace and the pair of hand-studded mittens i made for her but the rest will remain a mystery. (until jamie links up!)

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the package i received from shannon was just as fun! (you can follow her on instagram here: @sk_griffith). i tried to show some restraint when her box showed up on our doorstep. i brought it inside and set it on my kitchen counter. i would wait until christmas to open it. i gave it a nice, solid pat. christmas eve at least. i picked it up and gave it a little rattle. down again on the counter. silence for five seconds while i wrestled the angel and devil on my shoulder. then off to the junk drawer for the sharpest pair of scissors i could find to cut the packing tape and pry it open.

inside i found these goodies!

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  • a hand-crotched infinity cowl scarf. are you seeing this? it's beautiful! the colors are wonderfully complimentary, and it's warrrrmmm. warm will come in handy today as the high is supposed to be 27. 
  • a leather bound journal and sharpie pens. fine point pens are the only way. (how did she know?)
  • one of my favorite go-to brands for chapstick, eos. they rival burt's bees. 
  • a delicious smelling candle and candle holder. my roommate and i have a small collection of candles on our stovetop. i keep them burning until the wicks are little black ashes floating in pools of hot wax. now that i've typed that out, this sounds like an incredibly dangerous thing to have on your stove.
  • gigantic diamond ornaments. they also double as pretend engagement rings. i definitely do not have a picture of me doing that. 

such great treasures! thank you shannon for your thoughtfulness. and thank you to samantha of elah tree and beth of oak & oats for hosting such a fun gift exchange. i am linking up with them here and here! if you want to see even more pictures, search for #greatchristmas2013 on instagram. there are a lot of festive photos to peruse, but they will probably make you wish christmas was still here so be careful. there is no instagram lifeguard on duty. browse at your own risk.

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evolving in monkey town

Sunday, January 5, 2014

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welcome to the last installment of the christmas books posts. you can read about my first book here and my second book here.

evolving in monkey town by rachel held evans

one of the beautiful things about my faith (christianity) is that it gives me room to doubt. when this realization came to me, instead of making me feel discouraged, it did quite the opposite. it gave me wings. i have a faith that is big and wide and deep. it allows me to ask questions. it gives me opportunities for growth. i ask "why?" and scratch my head. sometimes, i find an answer that satisfies my curious mind. sometimes, i have to let my question sit and remain unanswered for a time.

this used to bother me. i thought i had to have all the answers or it proved that i wasn't strong enough in my convictions. but over the last couple of years (and specifically last year), i have started to embrace these questions as a way of bolstering my faith.

i wrote about how my personal faith and doubt mix and marry here. it's one of my favorite posts perhaps because it's one of the most honest posts i've written. (just so you know, being vulnerable and honest is really hard for me. it's much easier to write about my favorite flavor of ice cream or a cute puppy i saw but also less rewarding. every now and then i actually open up and share my heart. it's scary but really necessary).

i have been reading rachel held evans' blog for a while now. she is a self-proclaimed "skeptic, a creative, and a follower of Jesus, figuring out this journey of faith one shaky step at a time." i can relate. why don't you deal me in.

her writing is thoughtful, intelligent, and insightful. she is honest and funny. she features a wide variety of posts, articles and interviews from people of different faiths, political affiliations, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, and religious denominations. she asks questions that many believers may be afraid to ask, but she doesn't stop there. she explores the answers, deeply.

evolving in monkey town documents the story of how she went from a someone with all the answers to someone with all the questions. it is specifically about how her faith changed and evolved, and i am very interested and excited to read her story. i have a feeling i'll relate to a good portion of her experiences. if you want to watch a short trailer of her book, head here.

i could go on and on about this topic in general, but instead i'll leave you with some jack johnson lyrics because i love him and love is the answer at least for most of the questions in my heart. (see what i did there?)

"and there were so many fewer questions when stars were still just the holes to heaven." -holes to heaven

bread and wine

Thursday, January 2, 2014

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first comes first. happy new year! it would seem wrong not to acknowledge the new year since it's kind of a big deal and all. 2013 was filled to the brim with all kinds of experiences for me. it was last may when i started my "year of being brave" and even though it hasn't been a complete year since i put myself up to this challenge, i can say without a doubt that i've done just that. lots of bravery, courage, trying new things, saying "yes". i will eventually be doing a recap of sorts, so be on the lookout! hope you all had a fun NYE. here's to 2014!

and now on to the main event. book two of my christmas books.

bread and wine by shauna niequist

this book was going around the blogosphere like a crazy storm for a while. everyone was reading it. everyone was reviewing it. everyone was, like, so loving it. i'll be honest. the title alone proved to me that it was going to be a good read. bread and wine is one of the great gastronomical combinations the world has ever known. i didn't need to read a blogger book review to tell me that. i was on board.

however, for whatever reason, i started instead with one of shauna's other books, cold tangerines. i got about a page in and had to get a pen before i continued reading because this lady had some things to say. and these things were good. things about valuing family, yourself, and your talents. things about falling down but getting back up. about dusting the bruised pride off your hands and knees and trying again. her writing style was easy to read and flowed from one page to the next. she was self-depricating and honest about both her struggles and her triumphs. i liked this lady very much.

when i went to the storyline conference in nashville in october, shauna was one of the speakers. she was as i expected-funny, honest, pulled together. i tried to be cool about being in her presence, but the flash from my camera kept giving me away. i was audience member "totallyfreakingoutrightnow".

one of her speaking points really resounded with me. our past stories, if we let them, will hold us back from our future stories. huh. let me think about that. so, our past is important. our past is what has made us into who we are today. i am the product of my experiences, and that is crucial. however, when we dwell on what was, what used to be, what people said about us, our regrets, our mistakes, etc., we become trapped in our old stories and can't move forward. we can't make progress. it was such an "ah-ha!" moment for me.

this is a small example but a frequent one. i can think for hours and days and weeks about a stupid comment i made to someone in conversation. long after they've forgotten, i'm analyzing why i said what i said and how i would change my words if i could go back in time. it's so tiring. she explained what holding on to our past does to us but that we are capable of moving forward. hearing this brought a sense of calm liberation upon me: oh, ok. it can be different.

so, i said all that to say this: i am excited to start bread and wine. this book is a "collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together." {source} it highlights the bond that exists between food and our personal relationships. (i have a personal relationship with my food, but i doubt she's talking about that). the book also features an assortment of recipes between its pages. one is called "bacon wrapped dates". ohhhh, now i understand what all the fuss was about. 

you can find out more about shauna here

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