Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas time is here...

Christmastime Is Here by Vince Guaraldi Trio on Grooveshark

I just love that old peanuts song...

It's been busy-busy around here, to which I'm sure most of you can relate. I've been sewing up a storm for work, as well as gift making and shopping...decorating... baking. The list goes on! Tis the season, I suppose! Perhaps I will post pictures of my sewing projects in another post, if I can find the time. ;)

This is my third Christmas at Lil Hipsters and for the past couple of years, I allowed myself to get caught up in work so much, that I had very little time left for fun, Christmasy, family things. This year, I made a point of taking time out for that. My son and I have run several errands together (we like to look at Christmas decorations in the local shops and crafts stores), I have included him in all the decorating, we've gone to the library and checked out a couple Christmas books (The Night Before Christmas and the Gift of the Magi), we plan to make some cookies and deliver them to the neighbors, and we have done a few crafts together. Tonight we painted ornaments for the family. These may not be how my sophisticated adult, buttoned-down, laced-up mind would've ever thought to paint an ornament, but I love to see his creativity, so I give him free reign. Aren't they beautiful?

While on the subject of crafts.... have any of you seen the new Holiday version of the paper bags at Trader Joe's?? So clever! I forgot to bring my cloth bag one morning, and when I got home with the paper one, I noticed all kinds of decorations on the sides. Turns out that they have designed almost the whole bag to be re-used for Christmas crafts! There's one whole side that has tags printed on it - you can cut them out and use on your gifts. And two sides have festive strips, which can be cut out and used for paper chains! I liked it so much, I "accidentally" forgot my cloth bag again the next week so I could get more gift tags. ;) I think it is such a neat idea - to be able to re-purpose something and then recycle still afterward!

Trader Joe's gift tag, shown with wrapping paper from JoAnn's and baker's twine from The Twinery

So of course we made a paper chain together. That was fun. My son also wrote his first letter to Santa this morning, and I let him mail it when we were at the Post Office today. Do you know what he asked of Santa? Absolutely nothing. I asked my little boy what he wanted to write and he said "You're welcome. And have a merry merry Christmas." That's it? "Yup." I thought it was so sweet. ♥ For all the thousands of kids who are writing out their wish lists, all my baby wanted to do was wish Santa a merry Christmas. :) Oh the innocence of youth...

Speaking of Santa... I know there are several ways to approach the subject of Santa Claus. I hope this isn't a touchy subject for anyone. It was sort of a self-discovery actually for us, since this is the first year that our son was old enough to recognize Santa and ask about him. So we discussed him a little bit. I grew up in a family where he wasn't talked about at all because my mom felt that he distracted from the true meaning of Christmas. I somewhat agree, but we have decided to take a more balanced approach - allowing some of the fun and imagination that Santa can bring, without having to lie about his existence. I explained to my little boy that Santa is sort of pretend. And that people like to pretend that he comes to their house on Christmas Eve etc etc. and isn't it fun to pretend sometimes? He seemed to think it was a great idea and got a little excited about the Great Masquerade. When he gets older, I plan to get more into St Nicholas and who he was in real life. But for now, I feel that the key was establishing Santa's status in reality, which will help us avoid any crushing disappointments later. And of course, through all of this, we also talked about Jesus - that He is the Reason we celebrate Christmas, to take the time to remember his birth and how thankful we are that God sent Him to us. ♥

Our family wishes you and yours a warm, happy Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Vagabond Song


THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

~ Bliss Carman

Lower Bidwell in the morning

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Through Gates of Splendor

I find myself wondering lately how to inch back into blogging, just as I wonder how to inch back into life. There are so many things I think about sharing with you, just as there are so many things to be done around the house… but the words seem kind of hollow and the motivation is somewhat lacking.

I think I’ll start with daily trivials. This is me sticking my toes in the water.

What have I been doing lately? Well, I have been walking a fine line between working hard and trying not to work too hard at all. I’ve been getting new things into the shop - gearing up for the holidays. And then besides the every day chores and the business things, I have the added task of sorting through some of mom’s belongings that I brought home with me after the funeral. I brought a heavy car-load home with me from the Bay Area - stuff to go through. There are a few treasures I found concerning family history that I plan to share with you soon. But that will have to wait for another day.

Before mom died, one of the posts I was composing in my mind had to do with Garden Gates. I had seen several really neat photos recently of beautiful gardens and mossy stone walls and thought about making a kind of “collection” here. Life has shifted quite dramatically for me recently. And yet from my new perspective, the Gate has not lost its beauty, but in fact gained a new symbolism. In honor of my mother, who has recently walked through the most significant and most beautiful threshold in all of our spiritual experiences, let us enjoy the beauty of these more temporal ones, while keeping in mind the unseen.

First here are a few photos from the trip we took to Ireland earlier this year. While these are more like "ruins" than gates, they convey the same emotions in me.

This one is sits quietly on the side of N70 (in the Ring of Kerry) just outside Kenmare:

There was a stone stairway leading to this derelict church and graveyard. Foreboding, but beautiful:

Stone walls framing the coastal farms, very near the Cliffs of Mohor:

This was just outside Bunratty Castle near Shannon:

Here is a beautiful walkway that leads us to a surreal forest cottage.

From our visit to the Japanese Gardens in Portland, OR

I also encourage you to visit my friend's blog, where she shares many photos from her home garden, a very beautiful and peaceful place.

Well... I think this has turned into something less about gates and more about stone walls and moss. Haha. Oh well. Hopefully you enjoyed it anyway. :)

More soon...

Friday, September 30, 2011

In loving memory of my mother

Sandra Petersen

who entered into the arms of her Savior

September 22, 2011

I love you mom. I miss your smile.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ryan's Playroom

My little brother shared this video with me awhile back. We both like it, for several reasons.
First, Calvin and Hobbes is rad.
Second, time lapse video is rad.
Third, what a COOL idea for a playroom! Does this child know how lucky he is? Wow!
And lastly, there are several things (none of which I will get into right now) about this song and video that remind us of our big brother, who passed away a few years ago.
For that reason especially, it kinda tugs on my heartstrings. ♥
Anyway, just thought I'd share. :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A few photos from the feeder

...alliteratively speaking

Joel had the bright idea of setting up the tripod outside and setting the camera to remote. I got a few OK shots. Then decided to turn on the flash. I usually hate flash photography, but it helped show the coloring a lot better. They are still really difficult to capture though.

This little guy (I'm assuming he is the same bird in each photo, which may not be true) visited me at about five different times yesterday. Mostly in the afternoon.

It's pretty amazing that even with a relatively fast camera and a flash, he still ends up a blur most of the time! Gives you an idea of how darty they are.

As for identification: I have read that there are mainly three kinds of hummingbirds in my area. Allen's, Rufous, and Anna's. They are pretty similar looking. But - based on the grey underparts on this guy, I'm gonna guess Anna's.

Constantly checking the porch,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Birthday Part Deux - Hummingbirds!

So the train table was mostly daddy's idea and mostly daddy's work. "Mommy's gift" is a little more... unconventional. And a lot smaller. :)

We were at the store a few weeks ago, walking through the garden department, when my son suddenly became fascinated by the bird feeders and asked to take one home. I told him I'd think about it. And I did. And then I thought I'd just get one for him for his birthday. (This was way before the whole table thing came up, otherwise I would've skipped it).

Here's the thing though. He wanted the kind you use with birdseed. When I imagined this contraption on our porch, all I saw were big obnoxious scrub jays with their loud screeches, defecating all over my patio and terrorizing my child. This was not a pleasant picture.

Right next to the birdseed feeders were the hummingbird feeders. This idea seemed much more agreeable, so I went with that. We hid it in the closet for a couple of weeks and then he opened it on his birthday. He helped me make syrup for it (super easy to do) and then we hung it outside the next day.

I'll be honest. For awhile, I was worried that my bird feeding experience would somehow rival my patio gardening experience and that we would be left waiting for days on end with no signs of life. I knew hummingbirds lived in our area, but I thought maybe they wouldn't find it or - worse yet - they would think our feeder was somehow inferior to the others in the neighborhood. Haha. I was gladly proven wrong. Within 24 hours, a sweet little family of hummingbirds had found the feeder. And they now visit us at least four times a day to refuel. :) There is a male and a female. They have come together a couple of times, but it's usually one or the other.

This is my first experience with hummingbirds on a regular basis. And I have to say I like them much better than scrub jays. They are very quite. They have a tiny little chirp they make sometimes. The loudest part about them is actually the sound of their wings flapping. (Hence the hum of the hummingbird) They are so small, you'd almost think it was just a big bug through the corner of your eye. And they are SO fast and skittish, that they never hang out for very long. In fact, it's been a challenge to try to catch a glimpse of them before they're done feeding or without scaring them away.

Here are a few photos I snapped yesterday with my ninja photography skills.
You can click on them to enlarge, if you like:

The color in these photos isn't great because of the back lighting, so it's kind of hard to tell what this one is. But the male in the family was kind enough to recently hover in the sunlight for a few seconds. And I was able to see what I think was a copper-colored throat. So I think he is probably a Rufous. Oh! Maybe an Allen's!

It's been fun having them visit and I look forward to enjoying them for a couple more months before winter sets in. I like that our son is excited about it too. The other day he was playing on the patio and probably scared them off when he yelled "MOMMY! I SAW A HUMMINGBIRD!"

Hahaha. We had a little discussion about talking quietly if you want to enjoy the wildlife. ;)


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homemade Birthday Present: Train Table

For the last week and a half this has been referred to as "Daddy's Project," rather secretively. As in - "Don't go out there, daddy is working on his project." Or "What is this for? Well... it's for Daddy's Project."

What our son didn't know was that the reason we were being so secretive is because Daddy's Project was actually his Birthday Present. And we were trying so hard to keep him from figuring it out, even though we were building it right under his nose.

Here is a photo of the Birthday Boy "helping" daddy, which he was very excited about. It's funny, isn't it, how much our children can utterly trust us sometimes? He was so diligent in helping and yet, when he would ask us what it was going to be or when it would be finished, all we could give him were very diplomatic answers.... like "we'll have to wait and see!"

Please note the teeny tiny 10'x6' space in which my husband did all this work!

It all began about two weeks ago. We were out as a family doing lazy Saturday afternoon things. One of the Birthday Boy's favorite places to go is the bookstore. Purely because they have a Thomas the Train table there with all kinds of track and trains and cool looking buildings... he could easily play there for hours. On this afternoon, while watching our son play, it occurred to Joel that he could probably make a train table for a lot less than the cost of buying one and since the boy's birthday was coming up, why not do it for him as a birthday gift?

I left all the drawing and planning and measuring and woodcutting and routing and sanding to Joel (of course). Haha.

When it came to painting the thing though, I agreed that Joel could paint the body "Thomas blue," but I wanted to paint the table top. I decided to take inspiration from the store-bought versions by painting grasslands and trees and lakes and all that.

So, tonight we finally did the "big reveal," so to speak. We had him hide in his room while we put the pieces together, and then brought him out and showed him what Daddy's Project had really been about all this time. It finally came together in his brain, and he was so excited. After a little giggling and a little hopping and a little playing with it here and there, he proclaimed that this was "...the best birthday ever." So that made it all worth it, of course.

Oh look, he's wearing his train shirt. How apropos.

We got one small set of track to go with it. But our son already had several trains that felt right at home on the table.

Joel did great work. Good job, honey!
Now we just gotta figure out how to fit it into the boy's room! :-)

Monday, September 5, 2011

She's so granola

The other day I made my first berry salad, inspired by my son.

We were at the store a couple weeks ago in the sandwich bag aisle. He was looking around and suddenly pointed to one of the boxes of zip bags. "Can we bring this one home?" I stood there for a few seconds trying to figure out what my 3 year old thought was so appealing about a box of zip bags.

...Then I realized that there was a photo on the box of the zip bags being used to hold a bunch of berries. Ha! Apparently my child was under the impression that the berries came with the zip lock bags and were in the box, waiting for us to bring them home and eat them. I gave him a diluted lesson in marketing, and explained that, unfortunately, sometimes the photo of what you get doesn't always match what you really get....

But I agreed that the berries looked good and made him a promise that on the next grocery trip we would pick up what we needed to make a berry salad. Together, we studied to zip lock box to determine the ingredients: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. We decided strawberries might be a nice addition.

Here is what we came up with later that week:


I've made lots of fruit salads before, of course. But never just berries. It's actually perfect for my little one, because every time I make a fruit salad, he ends up eating around the melons anyway. :) I sliced up some melon and I just mix it in with the berries for me and daddy.

Another fun recipe I just got around to last night was homemade granola. It was my second attempt at the recipe from my friend Christina found here. It is a very versatile recipe and customizable. The first time I made it, I used agave sweetener and added craisins. I liked it, but knew I could do better. I forgot until after I made it that I don't really care for dried fruit in my cereal. heehee. So anyway, I decided this time to use honey and to add sliced almonds. It was You can go to Christina's site to find the original recipe (hers is Gluten Free!) and more detailed instructions. Here is how I made my version this time:

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/4 cup honey (added a little extra, actually)
1 Tbsp oil
sprinkle cinnamon

Basically, I just mix it up, throw it on a cookie sheet (you can use a baking dish, but I like mine pretty toasty, so I like to spread it out more), put it in the oven - 325 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown. Every 10 minutes, check and toss to toast evenly.

She suggests it over yogurt, which I agree is really good! I just had some with vanilla yogurt for breakfast this morning. Might go nicely with some of that berry salad. :)


9/6/11: I think it might need a little more honey, actually. I tried it with milk this morning and it wasn't as good as yesterday with the yogurt. A bit too bland.

I also forogot that the first time I made it, I added a splash of pure vanilla extract, and that was good. I'll try it with the vanilla and a little more honey next time. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011


We enjoyed POV Shorts on PBS last week. Lots of interesting, artistic short films were featured. Several of the pieces were really good. This is just one of them. I love how they show the artist's illustrations. And the story has an important message. I am still pondering it, in a way.

What do you think?

Watch the full episode. See more POV.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


They look like they're winking at me.
Are they winking?

Oregano and chives - first attempt growing in the sunny bedroom window

Do you think it's a friendly wink, like they like me?
Or more of a taunting wink,
like they're about to play a trick on me?


I don't know. Can you tell?
They look suspicious to me. Something feels suspicious. I don't think I trust them.

"I've got my eye on you, herbs!" I yelled, though I was the only one in the room.

Watering the plants slowly, with a warning glare in my eyes.

"You better not die on me..." I whispered to one in particular.

He just looked at me sideways. Who me?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sock Monkey Winner!

Out of the 103 eligible comments on my blog this weekend, the winner was lucky comment number 60!

Samantha said... "This will be great for my little monkey. Thanks for the chance!"

Thanks for entering the giveaway, Samantha! And congratulations! I'll be emailing you for your address, so I can get baby sock monkey to your little monkey as soon as possible. :)

And thanks to everyone who participated! Have a great week!

P.S. Remember to use promo code thankyou2 to get 10% off your entire order this week! Expires 8/31

Thursday, August 18, 2011

GIVEAWAY - Baby sock monkey

One of the most popular items in my shop is the sock monkey. I made over 100 sock monkeys last year alone! While the work can sometimes be tedious, I really enjoy the finished project and the feeling of nostalgia that it represents for a lot of people.  

That's because the sock monkey has been around for almost 80 years. Several people have told me that seeing a sock monkey reminds them of the ones their grandma used to have or their great grandma used to make. According to Wikipedia,"The iconic sock monkeys made from red-heeled socks emerged at the earliest in 1932... During the Great Depression, American mothers first made sock monkeys out of worn-out Rockford Red Heel Socks." Back then no one had money for new toys, or even new fabric with which to make them. So moms would make dolls or toys for their children out of salvaged materials they had around the house. The red-heeled work socks that Nelson Knitting Company made were popular with the men. And sometimes, after the socks had lost their usefulness as clothing, the mothers would make monkeys out of them! :)

The Nelson Knitting Company was acquired in 1992 by Fox River Mills, which still produces red-heeled socks to this day. And these are the very socks I use to make my traditional sock monkeys.
My baby sock monkey is an adorable spin on this beloved classic. He is made out of Fox River socks, too - in the Toddler Size! :)

This month I am giving away a baby sock monkey to one lucky reader! Please read directions below on how to enter. :)

Also - Lil Hipsters is celebrating 2 years in business! Thank you to all my customers that made this possible! Enter the coupon code thankyou2 for a special 10% discount on your entire order!
Valid 8/18/11-8/31/11

The giveaway will run from 8/18/11-8/21/11. Winner will be drawn and announced on 8/22/11.

Your comments on this blog are your entries.
**You must leave an email address in your comments so I can contact you if you're the winner**

1. Leave a comment on any post for the next week. Old or new posts, doesn't matter. The more comments you leave, the more times you are entered to win.

UPDATE: If you comment on any post other than this one, you do not need to come back to this post just to tell me you commented over at the other post. I will count those comments over there as entries to the giveaway.

2. "Like" Lil Hipsters on Facebook
Come back here and comment, letting me know you "like" it!

3.Follow this blog - via Blogger, google reader, RSS feed, etc.
Come back here and comment, letting me know you're following!

4. Visit Lil Hipsters and tell me your favorite item in the shop.
Come back here and comment, letting me know your fave!

5. Link this giveaway on a social networking site of your choice.
Come back here and comment, letting me know you've linked it!

6. Grab my button (in right column) and leave a link of where I can find it.
Worth 2 entries (be sure to leave TWO comments!)

Entries must be received by August 21, 2011 11:59PM PST. The winner will be announced on the 22nd. Open to US residents only. I will select a winner using a random number generator and I will email the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before I select a alternate winner.

Good luck! :)

Thanks to everyone who participated.
Winner announced here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

White Daisies

I'm not familiar with Rocky Votolato.

So I'm not sure I can vouch for his music as a whole.

...But I could listen to this song all day.

Oh wait. I just did.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Patching together the random pieces

Awhile ago I talked about reducing waste, and how I thought it might be better to eliminate scraps altogether than to save all my scraps for later use. So, I have successfully redesigned several Lil Hipsters projects to have almost no waste.

Well, that was great. But... I still had a large pile of scrap fabric that I had accumulated over the past two years. It was getting large enough to become its own entity. And it was kind of an annoying one at that. So I was pretty anxious to get rid of it. Even though I had much more exciting ideas on my to-do list, I decided to tackle this one to reclaim some space. I toyed with several ideas on how to use them, but in the end the simplest and most effective idea seemed to be to make patchwork quilts. So, for the past three months, I have been chipping away at this pile of scrap fabric.

Have you ever had a large project that, halfway through you start to wonder "Why did I ever start this?" or "Will I EVER finish?" That was me with these quilts. But I'm kinda like that about life in general. I always have more than enough on my plate and always seem to be behind or at least not as far along as I'd like to be. Always something, several things, on my To-Do. I'm an avid list-maker. Sometimes Joel teases me about my lists. I've even been known to have a list of lists! But when I have so much to keep track of, it's more of a survival thing for me. I wouldn't know how else to be productive. Actually, this quilt project has an interesting parallel. I have all these random pieces to sew together into a comprehensive whole. I take one bold fabric, that might be my mommy to-dos. I pull it in with my homemaker stuff and family stuff and business owner stuff... Sew it all together. Viola. The quilt of My Life.

...I wonder if I'll ever catch up with myself. Wouldn't that be great! Or maybe I'll still have lists when I'm old and grey. Sometimes I jokingly think, 'I'll probably have a to-do list when Jesus comes back' :) Or when I'm gone- what will be left undone? Not that I'll really care at that point. Just a matter of pure curiosity... it seems a silly thing to ponder, but it might also help me keep some perspective...

Back to the quilts:

This is the pile of scraps I had. I laid them out on the kitchen table to get an idea of how to arrange them, coordinate them, who should marry whom and so forth.

Most of the scraps were about 3 to 5 inches wide.The biggest problem was that there was quite a wide variety of patterns and colors that didn't necessarily go together. So I had to get kind of creative with color schemes and quilt sizes.

It was like a huge, cruel puzzle. Ahh, c'est la vie. I guess it's a good thing I like puzzles. :)

Maybe in a future post, I'll share one of my quilt patterns in detail. For now, I will just show you a few of the finished products. All these are backed with uber-soft minky, which was acquired specifically for this project. But the patchwork tops are made with 100% salvaged fabric which most people throw away.

 My auntie owns a business and sews patient gowns. These quilts have some of her scraps, too:

You can find more info about these in the new Eco Quilt section of my etsy shop!

That's all for now. Today is Sunday, so I plan to relax and take a break from all this quilting. Actual and metaphorical. ;) Thanks for letting me share with you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Holy Guacamole!

I love avocados. I love guacamole. I love easy recipes. This one is super easy. And delish. So easy, actually, that I have it memorized. :)

Take an avocado. Peel it (of course) and slice it into a bowl.
Smoosh with a fork.
1.5 Tblsp. of sour cream
1 Tblsp. your favorite salsa
At least 1/8 tsp. of garlic powder - more if you like
dash of salt
dash of pepper
splash of lemon or lime juice

Stir/smoosh some more.

See - easy! And if you need more, it's easy to multiply in your head: just consider the "add" list as "per avocado."
The neat thing about this one is that the salsa does most of the work. And it will automatically parallel whatever your tastes are. For example, as you may know, I don't like a lot of heat. So my favorite salsa is a mild one. Thus my guacamole will be mild, too! :)

We espcially enjoy this with homemade quesadillas. Or chips. My tortilla chip right now is actually Trader Joe's Multigrain Tortilla Chips. Really yummy and a little better for you, because it's made with flaxseed and organic grains. Mmmm.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My secret weapon

I am a coffee lover. To most people acquainted with me, this is not news. And by "coffee lover" I do not mean that I need my coffee every morning to instill a cheery disposition. Or that I need 6 cups a day to keep my sanity. I usually partake of it sans stimulants, especially in the afternoon. What I do mean is that I enjoy the flavor of coffee, the smell of it, the look of it. I think it's pretty and it tastes good.  I like the idea of it, the piazza-like environment it tends to create around itself - the cafes and espresso bars in the local neighborhoods. These are some of the reasons I also enjoyed being a barista.

About 2 1/2 years ago, I made known that I wouldn't mind owning an espresso machine. But I didn't really think anything of that point, until my generous family gave us this one for Christmas that year.

Pump Espresso/Cappuccino/Latte Maker - ECMP50

It's not the most fancy one on the market, but it's no nonsense and it gets the job done!
I knew Mr. Coffee and I were going to get along swimmingly the minute I laid my eyes on him.

After receiving this wonderful gift, I found myself in the market for ground espresso. I knew one could buy it at almost any local coffee shop, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn there is also a brand available in most grocery stores. That brand is Bustelo... and it's actually one of the best espressos I've tried! Looks like this

Besides the great flavor, the best part to me is my recent discovery that if you order directly from their website, not only is it cheaper per unit, but they also don't charge shipping! Hmmm... pay more to go pick it up at the store, or pay less to have it delivered to my home? I'll take option B, thank you.

Just in case you were wondering what was on my coffee shelf. Now you know.

Mmmmm.... espresso.

I usually throw this in with about 6 oz. of milk and a little sweetener
for an easy and refreshing (and strong!) iced latte.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nat, volume 2

Good news on the Nathaniel front.

After thinking about it a while, I poked around my vinyl collection yesterday and found this little gem. I completely forgot I had it!

The greatest hits! Volume one AND two.

Not only does it have all the songs I mentioned last time, but some more of my favorites... The Very Thought of You, For Sentimental Reasons, When I Fall in Love, and Stardust. The latter is one of his best, in my opinion. In it, I am transported to a garden at twilight and told the bittersweet story of love lost and it's endless haunting. I can barely listen to that one without being effected. Forget about when it plays in the "Sleepless in Seattle" soundtrack! Pass the kleenex!

Anyway, not only can I stop googling him like a psycho, but I also get to enjoy the vinyl version with all its patina and character. 

Snap crackle pop.

8/23/11 Update: Oh hello. Last week I discovered Wait a minute. You mean I can search by artist, and listen to full tracks as many times as I want... for FREE? Sign me up!
Oh... you say there is no sign up? Even better! :0)

I still listen to pandora when I want a bit of variety, but I if I have something specific I want to listen to, grooveshark is the place. Check it out here.

Over and out.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wee folk in the garden

I know. It's been awhile.

I've been in one of those weird funky transitional thought-provoking places in my life lately. When you find yourself in a place like this, things tend to get discussed into the ground, so I would rather not talk about it, if you don't mind. Let's take a break from that and talk about some slightly more superficial but much funner things.

Like this. I just found this website, They Draw and Cook via The Pioneer Woman.
It's a fun little place where people share their favorite recipes, which they have also illustrated! I love browsing through the little works of art.

This particular example is by Lindsay Schmitt

I haven't wasted nearly as many hours there as I would like to yet. But it holds promise. The recipes don't look too bad either. I suppose no one is interested in spending an hour or two in devoted doodling or watercolor to anything like... chicken nuggets. You would probably have to like the meal quite a bit.

After our Saturday coffee this morning, I decided to do a little window shopping. So the family and I headed to a home decor type place for which I had received a gift card for my birthday... about three months ago. Usually, I am bent toward being frugal, and usually, I would save my gift card until I actually needed or wanted something in particular. But I decided to do it a little differently this time, and have a little shopping spree, with nothing particular in mind. I ended up coming home with a tea strainer, a colander in the color of robin-egg-blue, a bar of dark chocolate, some decaf earl grey from Twinings, and a wind chime. I looked in my grab bag as we left the store and laughed at the... variety of items. Just some treats for me, I guess you'd call it.

Update on Fred. Mainly for your amusement.

He produced one gloriously delicious, deep red, organic tom-mah-to, which accounted for about 1/6 of a greek salad one night for dinner. I was kind of excited to finally eat of his fruits, and kind of apprehensive, since I hadn't seen any other fruits eager to burst forth. Surely I wouldn't have to wait three months between tomatoes - that wasn't gonna work for me.

Within a week or so, this little guy showed up.  Notice anything out of the ordinary?

Well, besides the fact that he is about 1 cm wide, how about the fact that he's already turning red? :) So much for this one. Apparently he doesn't have ambitions much higher than being a small something stuck between my teeth. God forbid I should drop him on the floor, I would loose him completely.

Also disheartening is the fact there are no other little fruits to speak of. Nothing. The branches are otherwise barren and slowly falling off to die.

...So much for patio gardening! I give up. Again!

Although I confess to eyeballing the herb seeds at the store this morning. If you remember, my theory with Fred was that he was already an adolescent, and I hoped he would last longer because of that. Maybe my new approach should be to find a plant with a life cycle already so small, there is no way I could shorten it.

In a completely unrelated note, I found myself humming Nat King Cole's "Too Young" last night. I was enjoying it so much in my mind, I decided to find it online. All I found was this cheesy video, which I just listened to. A couple times.

Well, how can you only have one song's worth of Nat King Cole? I ended up searching Autumn Leaves and of course, Nature Boy. That song. That song makes me want to cry. It gives me goosepimples. I really love that one.

I've also been kind of enjoying the Indie Singer-Songwriter Channel of lately. It's cool to listen to new music mixed in with some familiar tunes. And the Indie stuff is, in general, alot prettier than the tripe that makes it on the radio lately. Although I must note that Joel says is a better player. I'll have to look into it.

I guess it might be time to invest in some new music. And some seeds.

...maybe Nature Boy can give me gardening advice.
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