January 31, 2011

Arizona sunset

yeah. fantastic.

Mamiya C220, 800Z

January 30, 2011

The Good Report

1. We went swimming in January. Now, that's awesome. Followed by my favorite bacon
cheeseburger and onion rings.
2. Got an email this weak that rocked my world. Like unbelievably good. Oh yeah, my train just pulled into validation station. Wow.
3. Still feeling great about changes made around here.
4. I won this giveaway. Yes!!! I'm thrilled. Can't wait to meet her because I love her thoughtful blog.
5. Tax return!

Homemade pizza using stephmodo's crust and Alisha's sauce. This is super easy, but you need time. One hour dough rising. And one and half for sauce to simmer. So plan accordingly.
I had a bunch of sauce leftover so I froze it.  Which will make the next pizza meal even faster to pull together.  
The hubs loved this crust which is huge because he is a pizza snob.  I would put it in the real good category.  One dough recipe made one crust (fits a baking sheet).  Not sure if the recipe is supposed to be stretched into two pizzas.  I guess you could and just have a thinner crust.  
Baked creamy chicken taquitos. Just fab. Made with creamy cilantro ranch dressing. Also fab. (And better than the version I already had). We also had it with restaurant style salsa. So good. I love salsas. All of them. And have a few different recipes I like. This one is good because it's very, very mild which I'm sometimes in the mood for. There's not a whole lot personality and yet I still loved it. When I took a bite I thought yeah, that does taste like restaurant salsa.

Macaroni and cheese. Definitely good, but did not blow me away. I'll be trying out some others.

Cuban panini The meat on it's own was a huge disappointment. Not tender enough, but smothered with cheese and toppings this panini was awesome. Bread and butter pickles were a happy surprise. Not something I've had before. And ciabatta rocks (can you believe I found it at Walmart!)

10 questions on your home
I'd kind of like a
new blog banner.
Someone beat me to it (pixel quilt). I think I need to make a pink version.
Our road trip did not look this cute.
Mindfulness (spending). I'm all for it. Change, change, can I get some change up in here!
I've got date night planned for the rest of the year....
where to eat at least.

January 28, 2011

New Year's Day Part II

We are definitely snow/cold people. No question.

Mamiya C220, 800Z

January 27, 2011

Making your home

French women are not consumers, they are editors.

Love this.
Here's to editing our homes through restraint & mindfulness.

New Year's Day

The view from L and M's window.

The view from our kitchen window.
Not a bad way to wake up in the morning.

and then their was breakfast....

Mamiya C220, 800Z

January 26, 2011

"Girly Garden" Stripe Quilt

The Color Inspiration

Country Living, June 2010

layout inspired by this GAP tee

Quilt Front

finished quilt measures 52" by 71"
(colored stripes are 1/2")

Quilt Back

Yeah, I dig it.

The girls have left their mark on this one a million times over. Still can't get rid of the pen L took to it. Aw, well that's because we use it every day.

Country classic solid in "sun"
Country classic solid in "carnation"
Country classic solid in "flamingo"
Country classic solid in "golden yellow"
Kona solid in "khaki"
Kona solid in "sweet pea"
Kona solid in "white"
Back print is dark pink scroll damask from JoAnns

P.S. Not shooting much 35mm anymore. You can see why. Down with the Rebel.

Thanksgiving Day 2010

Yep. That's how I roll. Jan 26th and I'm posting Thanksgiving.

I might have liked the bonnets the most. Aren't they so cute?
Next year....a "photo booth". With adults too.

I'm partial to french silk....

...but others dig pumpkin.

The best pic

Pics of AZ coming soon (I hope). Scanner dude sent me a message on facebook saying "BEAUTIFUL". Don't tease, man, just send me the files.

....Until then, I had to post this photo my sister snapped. The morning of my grandma's funeral I got a migraine and missed the entire funeral. (insert swear words. lots of them). I was really, really upset on top of being in total agony. I forced myself to leave the hotel and puked my way to the cemetery where we met up with my sibs. I was telling how upset I was when my oldest brother just held out his arms and gave me a big hug.


You can say "aw" too because it was the best.

January 25, 2011


I could totally get down with this chair. And in every color.

January 24, 2011

Avedon Teaches {Type A be gone}

Twiggy, by Richard Avedon

That Richard Avedon exhibit at the MFA was BEE-YOU-T-FULL. The biggest impression I had was that so many of his photographs were out of focus. But it didn't matter. They were gorgeous! I shouldn't be surprised. This photo-hero-that-doesn't-have-technically-perfect-images-what-does-this-all-mean-is-it-really-possible moment has happened before. Like the time I saw Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother in real life. B to the blurry! Miss migrant's eyes are totally not sharp. This second time around though it really hit me how much MORE important feeling is. Maybe because I've felt my photographs are lacking. I'm not really getting what I want. And the Avedon exhibit has me thinking I need to let some (Type A/technical) things go to achieve it. (and switch to gear more suitable to spontaneity. but that's another story).

It also left me asking myself: what do I want my photographs to say about our life?
That it is real, and beautiful, and sometimes hard, and sweet.
That our life is ordinary with glimpses of lovely all around.

**For photo geeks: some interesting reads about Migrant Mother

side note: looks like this opened the day after we were at the museum. Bummer.

January 20, 2011

January 18, 2011

Some afterthoughts

I photographed quite a bit on our trip. And I'm having all those feelings I talked about here. I cannot believe I didn't get a photograph with all my siblings. Unbelievable.

On Day 1 I photographed our middle-of-nowhere dinner stop. An isolated lodge straight out of Twin Peaks. No doubt someone could kill us and no one would ever find our bodies. I hand held the entire roll at 1/15, but it was night and a poorly lit room so there weren't a lot of options. It could end up being a huge mistake (12 frames of blur would totally suck), but if I was able to hold still enough... well, then you'll get to see the setting of our Twin Peaks dinner.

And all the other stuff too.

January 17, 2011

The Good Report

1. The hubs bought a $5 knife sharpener from the hardware store and sharpened the rest of my knives that didn't get professionally done (all those little pairing knives laying around that were more like butter knives). Wowee. This is fantastic.
2. Last week's nursery was much better than the first. Not a single cryer. Maybe, I can handle this. Definitely didn't mind chatting with the other 6 adults for an hour+. Cool peeps.
3. Seriously grateful the hubs is not a picky eater. He's always been up for whatever I've got cooking.
4. I'm really proud of myself for the few changes I've made so far. And not mad at all about the ones getting left behind.
5. L found a library book that we lost months ago.
6. Reduced computer time even more. I'm not missing much.
7. Glad I no longer feel paralyzed. More like hyper focused.

Fantastically over the top. Entirely rich. Sweeter than sweet. Definitely will NOT be in the permanent rotation though. This one has to be a once in a while. The caramel-y bottom is to die for. And I preferred mine without the syrup. Because of that caramel, baby.

Panko has changed my life peeps. These are awesome. Easy. Go make them. I passed on the apricot-mustard sauce because that sounded totally disgusting. Not a fan of most sweet sauces. So we had a variety of choices (mustard, ketchup, ranch). Also, I use chicken tenders pretty much exclusively when a recipe calls for chicken breast. Because they cook in a few minutes and are just so darn tender. I predict this will be a family staple.

This has some serious potential for us. Just needs some ingredient tweaking. Mine ended up being way too salty since I made the ham cup version (v. foil liners). Next time I'll choose ham OR bacon and use liners. Egg leaked through the ham and was a nightmare to clean the tin. It's liners from now on. I've been trying to send the hubs off with a hearty breakfast each morning because cold cereal just doesn't cut it so I'm thrilled about these as an option. I plan on loading it with mushrooms & diced tomato next (two of his faves).

My favorite recipe this week. Hands down. The dressing is killer. I can tell smoked paprika and I are going to be new best friends. I sent the salad to the next level by using panko crusted chicken bites (see above) instead of regular ol' cubed chicken. That little crunch from the crust is just what this salad needs.

P.S. I need to start another quilt. Does it seem like I'm having a spazz attack? Yes, yes I am. In all areas of my life.

How did I miss this Mid-century calendar?

{And we're back from AZ. If I have it my way I'll be hibernating all week}.

January 13, 2011

I'm so there

In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Author unknown

January 12, 2011

In the moment

Tomorrow we leave for AZ for my grandma's memorial service. She lived a long life. 95 years. I have nothing but good memories of her. She was always nice to us and consistently sent a birthday card every year of my life. I mostly remember how much food she would have prepared for our arrival when we would visit (we always lived really far away). It was always way too much food and completely awesome. All my siblings will be there too which makes me really happy. Haven't seen them since our reunion.

Maybe I'll photograph our trip and maybe I won't. I don't really know. I've only snapped a few frames since Boston. No real reason. Mostly, I just don't feel like it's the area of my life that deserves the most attention.

Wish us safe travels!

P.S. Wouldn't it be nice to return home and find out I'd won a mini session from Ashley Thalman? C'mon. I never win anything.

January 11, 2011

January 09, 2011

The Good Report

1. M eats salsa like it's candy. Imagine double-fisted shoveling.
2. And L goes for sugar snap peas and broccoli. I'm so proud.
3. Finished another quilt for the lounge level.
4. And finally finished a baby quilt I started early last year. Made from zig zag scraps. I think I'm going to sell.
5. Still going strong with some of the eating habits we changed a couple of months ago. We LOVE to snack between meals, but it's all good/healthy things now.
6. The hubs initiated an important conversation and I'm so glad because I don't have the energy.
7. Ever since I bought Cascade Advanced power I no longer have to follow up a load with a vinegar rinse to remove all chalky crud stuck to my dishes. This is major peeps because I hated running the dishwasher twice.
8. I totally love our new Costco membership.
(side note: word on the street is Costco has peonies in the summer. cross your fingers.)
9. Reduced my computer time even more.
11. Had one soda this week. A drastic reduction. I have no desire to give it up completely....just keeping to that social sugar intake.
12. I rocked it big time this week when I responded tenderly to L's hysterical outbursts (tantrums, anyone?). It worked and peace was restored in the land.
13. Grocery shopping. Alone.
14. Hubs got started on redoing the weather stripping around the house. Our doors leak cold air like you wouldn't believe.
15. My knives got sharpened!!!!! (Yes, it deserves five exclamation points). It's changed my life.

Creamy Cheesy Potatoes. She had me at "1 pint heavy cream". Yes, please. I'll take that any day over canned cream of chicken soup. And lately I've been completely smitten with recipes that are truly homemade. You know, like cutting your own french fries from an actual potato v. frozen hashbrowns. But aside from hand cut fries and heavy cream there's also the taste.
Y-U-M. Not enough leftovers.

More good food. Chili. Good flavor. Mine was slightly hot (spicy) due to the red pepper flakes in homemade chili seasoning mix. But I like it with feeling. Even better the day after.

Coolest wedding. Coolest location I've ever seen.

I've got to make THIS for the girls' room for Valentine's Day. Ak! It's all the right colors and would look so pretty hanging in their window.

January 08, 2011

First quilt of 2011 {with lots of random thoughts)

"Make what you want to make, and make it the way you want to make it."
Gwen Marston

Measures 61" x 81"

Polaroid is hardly ideal for photographing the details of a quilt, but this will have to do because I'm excited and impatient and want to share. Anyhoo, the diagonal stripes take up the bottom third of the front. The back is all print. It's awesome. Every time I finish a quilt it becomes my favorite. And this lovely is my biggest. I'll get around to photographing thoroughly. Sometime.

P.S. Don't you just love that quote!

My lab broke the news to me that it's not looking good for film processing anymore. Of course, there are other lab options. A new one just cropped up that did all the Boston trip. Very happy, but lots more expensive. So I'm pausing until I decide what I want to do with myself since I never want to spend money again. Ever.

Most likely I will just be really selective with when I bust out the camera, but that's no fun.

And here's our computer nook as it is now. You can also see how it relates the rest of the house (awkward). Kitchen to the right. Stairs leading to the basement on the left. The latest addition is this calendar. Love! I usually go for the snow and graham, but this one is so much better for the space. So simple and clean. I've since removed the garland because I didn't like it after I lived with it.

This weekend: step one in creating a different life.

January 07, 2011

Food goals

Still refining my dreams for the year. So many of them include how and what we eat.
I've always wanted to:

Make pizza (dough) from scratch.
Attempt some Asian recipes. They intimidate me.
Grow my own basil and chives.
Get my knives sharpened so I can cut a tomato with ease. The tomato is the ultimate test.
Try a recipe using puff pastry.
Make my own chicken broth.
Find a homemade chicken noodle soup recipe that rocks. (noodles and all)
Learn how to make creme brulee. The hubs favorite.

So I will do it.
Very soon.

January 05, 2011


Birthday wishes......
{hint, hint}

basic white bowl from Pier 1 (eight, please)
basic white SOUP bowl from Pier 1 (eight, please)

chunky knit pillow cover in GREY
and velvet pillow cover in SLATE GREY
(for the lounge level)

Ticking stripe napkin in GREEN

Stretch dish

Delilah plate YELLOW (four, please)
and one GREEN for plate wall

Swoop bowl in SMALL

Radio Plates in TEAL (six, please)

Potluck bakers CRATE AND BARREL
Or I would be just as happy with the RED version for half the price

Herringbone napkin WEST ELM

Botanical Plates WEST ELM

Marimekko apron

Tolix knock-off

My Birthday is next month (and Valentine's soon after). Plenty of time for the hubs to round up some lovelies, don't ya think?

January 04, 2011

Adorn your habitations

Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations.

Brigham Young

January 03, 2011

2011: Be different

not alike in character in quality

This has everything to do with my funk. Normally I don't get into resolutions, but this year I'm embracing the concept whole heartedly. I want a different life.

How I will create a different life:

spend one on one time with L & M each day.
become a social sugar eater. holidays, parties, special occasions.
find a workout video you will do at home
read the books on my night stand
hire Bria when I need some time for myself
only purchase items I truly love and are meaningful
Turn your need for creativity toward food/meals. A girls gotta eat...might as well be lovely.
Set those pretty tables you talked about last year. Because eating that way makes you really happy.
make pizza from scratch here or here
Keep it up with all those new recipes. That also makes you really happy.
Make the everyday things you do special (meals)
Continue to make meal time more peaceful by having everything on the table before you start.
keep working on those friendships & make more time for your very favorites (Holly).
throw a neighborhood block party
Be a better listener to the hubs
This Spring initiate "ladies who lunch" because there are a lot of people you'd like to get to know.
Be a more cheerful mother
Respond right to stressful mothering situations when you are tired. (that's leftover from 2010. made some definite progress though)
Amp up all the holidays and special occassions
Sew those skirts you have in your head and wear them this summer
Budget, budget, budget. Plan for all those things you guys want(ed) to do.
Say no to all the crap you waste money on (ex: $1 bins)
Unplug entirely for one week to see how it feels.

I'm considering the Ground Rules to make a few of my own attainable.
Flashback: want to see 2010 again?

January 02, 2011

The Good Report

Poor M is getting her molars and just isn't herself this week. She's having a hard time sleeping and not interested in eating. Not. Herself.

1. M started saying "this" and "yes". SO CUTE. Yep, I can tell the difference between the two.
2. I like this time of year for all the cleaning and purging I want to do. I'd like to get rid of my entire storage closet. Who wants some really cute things I have no need for? Really.
3. I had a much better response to a new church responsibility than expected. It's the one I've never wanted, never will want....nursery.
(Today though, I'm feeling a little bit like are you kidding me? My life is a joke. Can I please just be in Relief Society with other adults while I'm raising babies? I could really go off right now).
Anyhoo, back to the lovely......
4. I'm thrilled that we get to continue to have a Sunday calling which really works for our little family. Thank you for that.
5. Nothing makes me happier than to walk into the girls' room and see them all snuggled up in the blankets I made.
6. I started another quilt for the basement. This one is going to go fast.
7. The girls slept in really late a few times. We're talking 9am!
8. Passed by Ovation's Eating Art while channel surfing. Oh my! Now that's the coolest show. Can I please see more and more.
8. This hard core winter coat the hubs got me for Christmas is coming in handy this week because of frigid temps.
9. Spent some time outside in the snow again with L and the hubs. I'm definitely a winter girl. (see #8)
10. Watched A-Team. Loved it.
11. Finished piecing the quilt I started earlier in the week. Awesome. It's a minimal pattern, but might be my fave so far. And bigger than all the rest.

More comfort food this week with Martha's classic meatloaf and classic mashed potatoes. I used all ground beef (2 lbs) because I don't store veal or pork in my freezer stash. It was a lot of meat loaf. Way too much. That amount easily makes two loaves so I froze half of the mixture. The leftovers would make a great burger and/or sandwich piled high with tomato, lettuce, onion. The glaze is where it is at and it's all super moist. (My mother never made meatloaf but if she did...it would have been dry. Sorry mom).

As for the potatoes. Totally classic. No surprises at all. Which I think is the perfect pair for the meatloaf and it's glaze. You don't want lots of flavor in the potatoes unless your meatloaf is bland. Just an opinion. I mixed the mashees in my KitchenAid instead of using a ricer. The girls loved it too.

Been cruising the Pioneer Woman again and can't wait to try out some new recipes. Appetizers, baby!

Don't forget to take a look at West Elm's Spring gorgeousness. Here, here, here, and here. Oh my! I'll be hoarding cash for a few items. Like those stripe hand towels.

Oh, and I'd really like this apron for my birthday.