January 27, 2009

Summertime in Chicago

Everyone around here is knee-deep in ornery. It's that time of year. We're sick of the cold, the snow, the gray........maybe not consciously, but it shows. Things we normally don't pay any mind to annoy us greatly, people we normally like to be around annoy us greatly.......well, you get the idea. It's a strange phenomenon, really.

So it got me thinking about a little trip we took to Chicago last summer. It was HOT. And you know what you primarily do in Chicago....walk. But I didn't mind because we had so much fun -- it's just a great place to be. I'm trying to channel that heat as I sit here in my layers.

January 23, 2009


This weekend, I am being featured by Tanya on her blog, Sunday Baker, and you can enter to win one of my pendants!

She said my jewelry stood out from the other submissions because it is unique and different.  Thank you, Tanya!

Please check out her blog at comeandpeek.blogspot.com.  You can sign up to win Lily, a hand-sawn copper pendant, and check out the rest of her blog too - she is a fabulous writer!

January 14, 2009

First Impressions

What was your first impression when you saw these photos?

When I first joined Etsy and lurked in the forums, I'd constantly see threads about treasuries. I wasn't sure what the big deal was, and wondered why people called them addicting. My first impression was, wow, that seems like a waste of time.

Well, I also used to think that blogging was a waste of time, but I've found value in it. Regardless of who actually ends up reading it, if anyone.  I've also found value in creating treasuries. Searching through the shops of other artisans and compiling treasuries like the one above actually reminds me to be grateful and appreciate every day that I have. I named the one above "It's all around us."

January 11, 2009

Winter Grilling Tips

So you're lucky enough to live in a place where you can enjoy the change of seasons and not be bogged down by pleasant, sunny weather every day? Me too.

Next week our highs are going to be in the single digits, and I think we're on our way to breaking the snowfall record that we broke last season. Because no one wants to have to wait until April for charred chicken wings, I will pass along my most useful winter grilling tip: Have someone else do it.

Other than that, I've got nothin'.  Well, except for this awesome recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing to go with your spicy chicken wings. And do yourself a favor and get Maytag cheese. You'll thank me later.

Winter Grillin' Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup crumbled MAYTAG blue cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup mayonnaise (NOT miracle whip)
2/3 cup evaporated milk (5 ounces)
1 TBS red wine vinegar
1 TBS lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp celery seeds

Mix it all together and see how those hot wings are coming.  This will keep for up to a week in the frig, but I don't think you'll have any left.

Oh, and did I mention that my husband is awesome?

January 6, 2009

It's not a coffee maker...

...it's a "brewing system."

So my husband was the recipient of a Keurig Mini Brewing System this Christmas, and we are now eagerly awaiting our shipment of K-Cups (since the 10 that were included were gone in 3 days).

Initially I was rolling my eyes about this whole thing -- we don't drink a whole lot of coffee, I don't like clutter, I'm not really a gadget person, blah, blah, blah. Well then he shows me how to use it. Ya know, just in case I get tired of rolling my eyes and want a cup of coffee.

And now I have to admit that, yes, it is a neat little toy. I will spare you the actual details of the brewing, but if you're interested, you can find them here. It's all very exciting.

When we went to their Web site to order more K-Cups, they were sold out of their variety packs, but it did give me the opportunity to see that it's not just a coffee maker, it's an empire. Good lord. You can get a Keurig Milk Frother, a K-Cup carousel, a travel bag so you can take your "brewing system" anywhere, etc., etc.! Oh, and don't forget to join the Coffee Club.

January 3, 2009


Lars needs his greens. If it's green, he'll try it. Mmmmm.....christmas tree needles....ouch...mmmm....ouch.

My husband had brought me home a single rose one time (that makes it sounds like it was the only time he ever has, but he brings me flowers too often - I tell him to quit it), and I had it in a vase on the kitchen counter. I wasn't home at the time, and for some reason, he thought he would put the vase on the dining room table. He then left for an auction, and was about a block away when he realized that the flower on the table was probably not the brightest idea.  He turned around and drove back to the house. Walks into the dining room (elapsed time since vase had been put on the table = 90 seconds), and sees the vase tipped over with water streaming out, and rose leaves nibbled on. Lars was hiding in his room, a little freaked out that his sampling had resulted in a loud noise and water exposure.

What is it with this cat?! Did he see my husband put it on the table? Can he smell green? Am I depriving him of some vital nutrient?

So today he was able to peacefully graze on some oat grass, grown especially for him. He seemed very happy - "I have oat grass, and all is right with the world. " 

January 1, 2009


I bought these from an awesome Etsy shop the other day and she is mailing them directly to my little niece for me with a card and everything!  

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I ask a lot of questions. There's nothing wrong with that, right? But sometimes people seem to get a little irritated that I want to know more about their product. Not Amy! She was so sweet answering all of my questions and then some. I loved their shop and quality craftsmanship, but ultimately I decided to purchase from littlealouette because of their great customer service.  

More than once, I've checked out at the grocery store or some other place and the cashier didn't give me so much as a glance, let alone a "hi" or "thanks." The last time was at Staples. She was busy talking to another cashier and didn't even notice I was waiting. She checked me out, the whole time her back was toward me as she continued her conversation. I paid with the little credit card swipe thingee, and grabbed my bag while I waited for the receipt. She tore it off and without turning around, just set it on the counter, without missing a beat in her conversation. I took the receipt and said "thank you." At this, she turned around and gave me a look like I had two heads!

Anyway, good customer service goes a long way, as does just being nice in general. As for my ornery self, I'm going to try to put a whole lot more good karma out into the Universe this year.