Archive for February 2015

Playing Catch Up

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Getting my groove back after my sister passed away last month has not been easy. I don't want to sound like a broken record but I continue to feel like I've lost my step and I can't quite get my footing right, or something. 

Anyway, blogging makes me happy so here are some snippets of what's been going on around here.

Jonathan finally got his permit. Yay! When Maddie and Katie were learning to drive I was freaked all I can think about is how great it will be not to have to drive J to seminary at 6:20 in the morning.
I painted this little mirror blue with Chalk paint and finished it with varathayne. I did it on a day when it had been raining a ton for a few days and the air was so humid that the paint behaved very weirdly. It took forever to dry and was kind of streaky. Note to self: paint on dry days.

Over Presidents Day weekend I took Ellie and her cute friend paddle boating in Golden Gate Park. They would not let me take a photo. Here's one I snuck. Snooked?
The lake was more amicable.
As were the turtles.

However, teen girls, they are fickle, and on the same day they wouldn't let me photograph them paddling they made a video and uploaded it to youtube. Then asked me to post it here. Because surely my blog is the road to fame and fortune, heh heh. Oh, just go click on it so they get some extra views; you will make their day! I'm not saying you should watch it, just click it.

And finally, I got my first commission to paint furniture for someone who is not me. Or my mom. Exciting stuff. 

Two Updos You Can Do

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I love The Small Things Blog. Kate posts, among other beauty related information, detailed instructional videos that even a hair dork like moi can follow. I've never liked the feel of product in my hair but after watching her fluff and puff her locks that she insists are straight and flat without sprays and whatnot I've been converted. In one video she even says something like, "if you don't like using product, get over it."

Well this week has been particularly rainy and it is almost comical how quickly any volume or curls I put in my hair dissipate. And because I don't love looking like a wet dog (and I'm not even as cute as this):
 I decided that the answer to pretty hair in spite of the deluge was to try my hand at a couple of updos that went beyond my usual ponytail or sock bun standbys. 

Last Sunday I followed Kate's tutorial for the Pretty & Simple Updo. I was impressed with the word "simple" because I am generally really lame at doing anything new to my hair. Here is how it's supposed to look:
And here is how mine looked after three hours of church where I chased toddlers for two of the hours:

So obviously not as good as hers, but still, pretty amazing for a first try, right?! I mean, I got home from church and was so impressed with myself that I went in the bathroom and took a photo to prove I had actually done it before taking it out for Sunday afternoon napping.

High on last weeks success, today I tried The Double Bun . Here is Kate's (I bandish around her name like we're best friends, but actually, she doesn't know me from Adam):
And here is mine:
We can learn several things from this photo, not the least of which is that I really need to clean my kitchen; and that's just one day of mess so maybe the real takeaway is that my family (present company included) are slobs. Also, yes my skin is that red. No, I don't have a sunburn. But back to hair! So I had a little more trouble making the soft swoopy sides that she talks about-my attempts made me look more like a dog with big ears-again I'm not this cute-I just can't pull it off.
So I kind of braided and twisted my bangs back until it looked good to me. I've been so happy with my new skillz that I wanted to share. I hope you like The Small Things Blog as much as I do.

What We're Eating

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It has been hard to blog since my sister passed away last month. It's been hard to do very much at all. Actually, I am really good at crying. I'd like to send big smoochy hugs to everyone who took the time to read about her here and send me such kind messages. It meant more than you can know.

So yesterday I decided that we were going to go bankrupt if I didn't make the herculean effort to plan a weeks worth of meals, write a grocery list and, yes, drive to the store and purchase food. We've been living on a steady diet of pizza and Chinese take-out supplemented with a lot of toast. After I put everything away and wrote the menu up on my chalkboard kitchen door so I won't forget what the heck I'm supposed to do with all those groceries, I noticed that I'd planned a menu of almost all comfort foods. Go figure. 

Some of the recipes I've made before and know are yummy, and some are new but just sounded good, you know? Anyway, here are some of the meals we're having with links to the recipes in case you need a little comfort too.

Monday is fish day. We had this oven roasted sea bass with ginger and lime sauce. Except sea bass was $24 a pound so I selected the $6 cod instead. The sauce is super good. I plan to use it again to marinate chicken and I even think it would be tasty as a salad dressing.

Tonight were are trying this slow cooker honey garlic chicken. I know, it's not a very far step from Chinese take-out but whatever. Doesn't it just look like it will make me feel better? I think so.

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken |
Also I am making broccolini to go with it because I saw it in the produce section and I thought, "hey! the little chefs on 'Master Chef Junior' use this all the time to look fancy, I want to look fancy too." Broccoli is so last year.
I snapped this right before Marc dug in.
Wednesday night we are having boiled dinner. There is no recipe for this; my little German mom has been making it for as long as I can remember. In your largest pot boil carrots, potatoes, a quartered onion, a quartered cabbage head, and sweet Italian sausage (my mom uses polish sausage). Let it all boil together until the potatoes and carrots are tender and the sausage isn't pink in the middle. In our family, this is comfort food.

I'm a sucker for a good slow cooker recipe, as you can tell, and on Thursday I'm making Coconut Ginger Chicken and Vegetables. I've made this before and it is really yummy, mild enough for the whole family, but with a lot of nice flavors.
Having said that, I recommend a few changes. One, canned baby corn grosses me out so I just don't use that weird stuff. I about double all the spices plus add a couple tablespoons of curry. My final tip, when you choose your frozen veggies, get ones without carrots. Believe me, frozen carrots just don't taste that good. I use a stir fry mix and then add some asparagus.

The last meal I planned for Friday or Saturday depending on the leftover situation is another slow cooker favorite, Vegetable Beef Soup.
I've made this before too and I like to make a few changes. Instead of frozen mixed veggies I use chopped whatever I have in the fridge, usually broccoli (because I also am so last year), green beans, bell peppers, onions, carrots or whatever. I never use canned corn, always fresh or at least petite white frozen. And this time instead of buying ground beef I purchased a roast that was on sale and asked the butcher to chop it up for me; I plan to season it with salt, pepper and garlic powder then brown it in a little bit of oil before putting it in the crock pot.

And that is how I am eating my feelings this week.


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