Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Carrot Cake

The first cake I ever made (without help from Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines) was a carrot cake. I made it when I was about 17 years old, the recipe was from the back page of a Sassy magazine, and it was by Mike D of the Beastie Boys. It was the perfect carrot cake recipe and I made it often. Even after I got rid of my magazines (which I could kick myself for, by the way), I saved that recipe and carried it with me for quite some time. Somewhere along the way, I lost it. I've searched the internet high and low for it, doing all manner of Google searches. Occasionally I'll find a chat room where someone else is looking for the Mike D carrot cake recipe which at least proves to me that I didn't imagine the whole thing, but still, no recipe.

Over the years I've made other carrot cakes. I've used various recipes from books or ones I've found online while looking for my recipe. They've all been decent, but I've never loved any of them enough to be compelled to make the same carrot cake twice.

Until now.

When Daphne was here she gave me this book:There is so much about this book that I want to explore more, especially the soup section. I know those pages will be turned to many times this winter when we need to warm our bodies internally. But when I sat down to read it I immediately found the carrot cake recipe and decided that this would be the first to get made.

The result was carrot cake perfection. The absolute taste I've been searching for all these years.It was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and hearty.Here's the thing about carrot cake: It's pretty much the worst cake in the world for you. All those eggs, and oil, and sugar. Then you throw on that frosting which is straight up fat. (Cream cheese + butter + powdered sugar.) I mean, this isn't diet food. But, being chock full of carrots, nuts, and raisins, this is a cake that eats like a meal. Plus, it will definitely satisfy the sweet tooth.

I'll still be on the look out for the Mike D carrot cake recipe. Maybe I'll stumble upon a website or the blog of a gal who was smart enough to save all of her Sassy magazines and doesn't mind typing out the beloved recipe. Or maybe one day Mike D himself will happen upon this. I can't claim to be the Beastie's biggest fan (although Paul's Boutique rocked my world for quite sometime), but Mike, you make a hell of a carrot cake. Can you hook up a housewife in Oregon? Until then, I'm glad to finally have a satisfying substitution.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Random Thoughts

I hate doing two random-y posts in a row. It feels like I'm cheating. But, I'm still feeling quiet. Not sure what that's about. I'm not depressed by any means, just....mellow. Maybe a little private too. But I seem to be in good company as a lot of blog land is suffering the same affliction. Maybe we're all just too busy enjoying summer. I know I am. I think I'm in one of the few parts of the country that isn't suffering from oppressive heat. Plus, for the first time in my life, I don't have to worry about a hurricane coming my way.

*Probably the most exciting thing that's happened recently was Daphne's visit yesterday. We'd been planning it for weeks now and everything went perfectly. We walked the city, explored Powell's while discussing books, and then topped the evening off with heaping bowls of yummy pasta (from this gorgeous restaurant.) I'm already mentally formulating a way to get my crew down to the Bay area to hang out more with her and Terri.

Jay was kind enough to take this shot of me and Daphne:
Daphne looks lovely of course. I'm wearing the pained expression I usually don when there is a camera pointed at me. Judging by this picture alone, you'd have no idea how comfortable I was and that I was having such a good time.

I've also come to the realization that I'm one of those women who just always looks disheveled. Either my bra strap is hanging out (although in this picture it's pink so let's just all pretend it's part of my shirt, ok?), my zipper is sliding southward, my hair is doing something crazy, or I'm covered in food stains or pet hair. I don't think there is any way to change this about me, so I think the key will be to continue to surround myself with people who don't mind. Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me this long.

*There's a metal clip outside my apartment door that's mainly used by management for the purposes of leaving a community newsletter or whatever else can be communicated by paper. When I came home last night this had been clipped to the wall:It was quite nice to be greeted by my Baldwin. (Jay really does indulge me somewhat in this regard. Also, I think he just wanted to play around with the new printer/scanner that we had to buy when our geriatric printer finally slowly spat out it's last document.)

*I've been reading Le Divorce for what seems like a lifetime. It's a good enough book with romance and intrigue, but for some reason I just haven't been motivated to do a lot of reading lately. I'm laying down the law though and setting a goal to have it finished by the end of the week.

Other than that, not much going on around here, at least not of the noteworthy variety. Just games, kid friendly activities, and popsicles. And I've been loving it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Random Thoughts

Feeling strangely quiet today. But here are a few bits and pieces.

*Yesterday we went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or OMSI as it's more commonly known here. I think the highlight for me was probably the Michael Jackson Laser Light show at the Planetarium.

*While at OMSI, the girl wanted to play in the water play area. (Oregonians are quite big on the water play.) Anyway, as we were walking towards it, I noticed all the other children were wearing Crocs. I thought it was odd that so many kids wore Crocs that day but then I realized that they were provided by the museum so the kids wouldn't get their own shoes wet.

Upon further inspection, all the Crocs had "OMSI" written on them in permanent marker and there was a sign below them explaining the sizing and reminding you to return them to the shelf before leaving. And here's the wild part: People were returning them! This was definitely one of those culture shock moments for me. Back in Florida, those Crocs wouldn't have lasted one day. And there would be a bunch of little kids walking around town wearing OMSI Crocs. I don't know why, but for some reason that realization kind of bummed me out a bit, that I had learned to expect the worst out of people. I guess I'm just glad to be gone from there.

*My son got his final report card in the mail today: all A's and B's. I was super proud. Even though these grades are typical for him, Jay and I had already decided we weren't really expecting anything awesome this final quarter of the sixth grade and we were even concerned there might be some ugly grades on there. He'd been through a lot with the move and all, and we basically just wanted him to get through the year. It was a pleasant surprise.

*I got my hands on a used copy of How to Cook Everything. It seems as if everyone in the world loves this book. I'm anxious to rip into it and start cooking....well, everything! If you've used this book, do you have a favorite recipe?

*On Monday, I'm going to finally meet Daphne. Although in many ways it feels like we've known each other for a long time. Don't you love it when you find people you feel that way about?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In Search of the Perfect Healthy Pancake

Whenever I make pancakes, they're usually whole wheat and from a boxed mix. The whole wheat lessens the minor guilt that comes from once again serving the children something pre-packaged. I've made homemade pancakes before, but it's usually for a special occasion or when we're having a breakfast for dinner type situation. I'm not a morning person, so generally I can't be bothered to hover around in the kitchen for any amount of time longer than the time it takes to make a pot of coffee.

But lately mornings have been different. Some part of my brain is still on eastern time. That, combined with the fact that it gets light around 5 a.m. here, usually has me up and feeling motivated by about eight. Plus, it's summer, which means that most days, once the dogs are walked, the kids and I don't have to go anywhere. We can ease into our day slowly and a late breakfast isn't entirely out of the question.

Feeling bad about morning after morning of cold Pop Tarts (What? They could warm it up! They know where the microwave is.), I thought I'd put forth a bit of effort and make a healthy breakfast. There's been an oat cake recipe floating about the internet that a lot of other bloggers have had success with so I decided to give it a shot. I processed my oats to a flour like consistency. I soaked them overnight in soy milk. The next morning I added the remaining ingredients and fired up the griddle.

The result was not good. Here's the thing, I normally love healthy, weird tasting, slightly bland stuff. Even if the taste doesn't excite me, just knowing it's good for me, makes it easier for me to eat it. But even I couldn't eat these oat cakes. They were eggy and spongy and the taste was just weird. Think of a bready omelet. I'm not sure what went wrong. Maybe I flubbed on the recipe. Or maybe I just wasn't meant to love these. Anyway, if I couldn't stomach them, I knew there was no way I could get the kids to eat them. The whole batch got trashed.

The next day I was on a mission. I really wanted the kids to have homemade pancakes. I made a batch using this recipe.

I had some buttermilk laying around so I used that instead of regular milk. I also replaced about half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat. Oh, and I threw in a handful of ground up flax seed for no other reason than I like to see how much I can get away with before the kids notice and/or complain.

These pancakes were perfect. They were fluffy and delicious and tasted like something from a restaurant. It should say something about the usual quality of pancakes around here that, after tasting them, the boy said, "These are delicious. Where did they come from?" As if I couldn't make a delicious pancake on my own, they had to be brought in from some outside source.

But as good as these pancakes were, they can't really be considered healthy. So now I ask you, do you have a healthy pancake recipe? Do you have a yummy gluten free pancake recipe? Do you have an oat cake recipe that you love? Please share!

(Also, is it slightly ironic that even though I'm on a desperate search for a healthy pancake, I vehemently refuse to give up my junky, high-fructose-corn-syrup filled pancake syrup? I could say it's because real maple syrup is too expensive, but really I just love the crappy stuff. Especially if it's 'butter' flavored. Yum.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ira Keller Fountain

Jay hasn't had to work the past few Sundays. We've used this time to explore the city more. Sundays are perfect for this. There's less traffic and less people, so we can meander about at our own pace without worrying about holding up folks who actually have places to be. Plus, we don't have to endlessly drive in circles looking for parking.

This past Sunday we visited the Ira Keller fountain. There are hundreds of really gorgeous pictures of this fountain online, but it's breathtaking in person.

Jay, looking tiny, at the top:
The girl, looking crazy in a tutu (her wacky fashion choices fit right in around here):She definitely makes city exploring a lot more stressful than it needs to be. Not only does she have absolutely no sense of her surroundings, but she occasionally thinks the world revolves around her and that strangers will do as she wishes. (Walk out in traffic? Sure, the cars will stop.)Fortunately, she's young still. Hopefully after a few more trips to the city she'll start to get a bit more street smart and not give us all away as clueless southerners.

The boy strikes a much better balance.He's still in awe of everything around him, but he's not so outward with his emotions. He's definitely a city kid at heart. He'd be totally happy living on the tenth floor of a large apartment building and he's anxiously awaiting the day we leave our car at home and take the train into the city.

Jay and the kids behind the waterfall:
This fountain is a bit dangerous to play in, but from what I understand people do splash in the lower area during the hot summer months. But Portland has quite a few public fountains that are more play friendly. I can't wait to discover them all.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Random Thoughts

*Jay and I watched Into the Wild the other night. Man, did I hate this movie. It's about a guy who, after graduating college, finds himself disillusioned with society (and his dysfunctional parents) and decides to run off and be one with nature in Alaska. Only he didn't prepare very well and neglected to bring supplies, provisions, or even a compass. Obviously, you can guess how this ends. It's based on a true story and I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but I couldn't relate to this guy at all. I get the idea of wanting to simplify your life. And I can understand the pain caused by other people's poor decisions, but you can't dwell on it forever. You have to pick yourself up and move on. I feel like the movie kind of glorified him and his silly decisions (Oh look! He's donating his $24,ooo life savings to Oxfam. What a guy!! ) but I just thought he was a brat. Okay, maybe I didn't hate the movie as much as I thought I did, since I seem to have a lot of strong opinions about it. Have any of you seen it? Or did I just write all this out for nothing since no one knows what I'm talking about?

*Another movie I've watched lately (about a dozen times-shut up Jay!), has been My Sister's Keeper. I'll admit I originally watched it because Alec is in it for about 15 minutes, but then I watched it again and again because it makes me cry in that body shaking way that is oh so good when you're premenstrual. Now I want to read the book. I've never read any of Jodi Picoult's books before but I know Theresa loves her, and I trust her opinion.

*Did you know that it's against the law in Oregon to pump your own gas? Do you know how exciting this is to me? I've mentioned here a few times that I hate pumping gas. HATE IT. In fact, I've only done it once in my life, as a teenager. Ever since we've been married, Jay's done it for me. It used to be a bit of a hassle because if I went somewhere without him, I had to make sure there was enough gas for me to get where I needed to be. But now that I live in Oregon, I don't even have to worry about it. This is truly the state made for Tammie.

*Thursday was the last day of school here. I have a cabinet full of art supplies. I bought some new games (this one and this one). I found another park just minutes from my house. And I stocked up on sunscreen for daily trips to the pool. Hopefully, I can make it through the summer. It's a bittersweet summer for me, since it's the last one before the girl goes to kindergarten. I want it to be a good one. One where the kids and I aren't screaming at each other day in and day out.

*Along those lines, I've instituted daily reading time for the summer. Once a day the kids and I stop what we're doing and read for 30 minutes or so. The boy reads independently and I read to the girl, unless she'd rather look at books alone. Generally, I don't like to have their at-home time be so structured, but I need to be realistic. The boy will not pick up a book on his own. He needs to be forced. If I leave him to his own devices, he'll do nothing but play Call of Duty all summer. (For what it's worth, I could devote an entire blog post to the mixed feelings I have about finally giving in and letting him play these war-type games. Then I could devote another post to the conversations my son is forced to listen to while he's playing these games: Why did you have to shoot that dog? Don't kill the people in the airport! They're innocents!!) Anyway, once he's given a shove in the right direction, he will read more on his own, but it's as if he needs to be reminded that it's an option and that he kinda likes it.

*The weather here is still pretty cool. We had one day where the temperatures reached the low eighties, but ever since then its been low fifties at night and highs in the sixties during the day. Of course the natives here are getting a bit restless, anxious for some summer weather. I, though, am loving it and can't complain. Back in Gainesville it's been brutally hot. Some days the heat index has made it feel like it was 108 degrees. So yeah, no complaints here. For me, it could be way worse.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fact or Crap: American Mustache Institute

As most of you remember, our stuff arrived in Oregon about a week and a half after we did. To keep boredom at bay we purchased a few games. One was Fact or Crap and we still regularly play it, even though our stuff has long since made it safely to us.The premise of the game is simple. There are cards and tokens. Each person takes a turn reading the three statements on a card. The other players have to say if the statement is a fact or if it's crap. Answer correctly, they get a token or two. Incorrectly, they lose a token or two. The player with the most tokens at the end wins.

We were playing the other night and it was my turn to read the following three statements:

*King James II died when he accidentally rode his horse off a cliff.
That's an easy one. Total crap. It just sounds made up. Moving on....

*George Clooney's real name is Jorg Haider, and he was born in Serbia.
Also total crap. Any self respecting Clooney fan knows that his name is indeed George Clooney and that he was born in Kentucky in the early 1960's.

But this last one really got me:

*The American Mustache Institute is dedicated to "protecting the rights of, and fighting discrimination against, mustached Americans."
That, my friends, is a fact. They have a very detailed and elaborate website that includes a gallery of mustachioed celebrities, a blog, and a mustache video of the week. It should be noted that while perusing the site I saw no photos of mustached ladies (except one done in jest, advertising another site). Are their rights being protected as well? Hmmmm.....I hope the AMI isn't sexist.

They are even lobbying for a tax credit stating that, "Given the clear link between the growing and maintenance of mustaches and incremental income, it appears clear that mustache maintenance costs qualify for and should be considered as a deductible expense related to the production of income under Internal Revenue Code Section 212."

Interesting. I'm not sure what this "clear link" is but whatever. I'll play your game AMI. Again, I have to wonder if women with mustaches would get this tax credit as well. I don't know why I'm going on and on about this. It's not as if I know any ladies with copious amounts of facial hair.

Anyway, I found the whole thing fascinating and just had to share.

Also, I'm thinking of having a reoccurring segment called Fact or Crap. Whenever I'm at a loss for something to write about, I'll open the box and pull out a card. Voila! Instant idea.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review:: My Abandonment

Back in 2004 a girl and her father were found living in Forest Park, a wooded area near the city of Portland. They had been there over four years, the girl had been home schooled by the father and, other than lacking in social skills, was wise beyond her years. Once their situation was discovered, they were taken in by the proper authorities and questioned. After it was apparent that the girl was in good health and technically no crime (other than park living) was being committed, they were released. Donations of money, clothes, and necessities came in from the community. The father was given a job at a local farm, where the two were also allowed to live. Things seemed to be going well when one day they vanished, presumably to retreat back into the outskirts because the father didn't like all the attention their story had gotten. Searches were conducted but they were never seen or heard from again.

My Abandonment is based on that father and daughter. From what I can tell the first part of the book is a mildly factual account of their life in the woods, up until and including being discovered and questioned. Everything after that comes from the authors imagination, which sort of makes it feel like two books in one. The first half of the book, while interesting, is somewhat slow moving. Whereas the second half, moves quickly, is far more attention grabbing, and I couldn't put it down.Things take a turn and you realize that everything isn't as it seems.

This book was frustrating in a lot of ways because it left so many unanswered questions. Although in fairness this isn't the fault of the author. I'm aching to know more about the father and daughter, but the information just isn't out there. When I finished reading this, I was almost disgusted by how things turned out. Yet, I can't stop thinking about the story and parts of it have really stuck with me.

I thought about doing an Open Discussion on this book but it's by a local author and I just don't think it's readily accessible to enough people to make an internet discussion possible. But there are so many parts of the story that I want to discuss with someone but can't really talk about it here without giving away large chunks of it. So if you're ever able to get your hands on a copy, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Washington Park Meltdown

Saturday we made plans to, among other things, take the kids to Washington Park. I wasn't really up for anything as structured as the zoo or any of the other attractions at this park, I just wanted to explore the area with the family and let the children be free range for a bit.We were having a nice enough time wandering the park when, inexplicably, the girl had a meltdown. First, she didn't like the speed or height of the teeter totter. (???) Then she had to go to the bathroom, then she didn't have to go, then she wanted to roll down the hill, then she didn't want to. Then she was mad that she forgot her bubbles in the car. Then she just wanted to scream like a psychopath near the Holocaust Memorial.

I've mentioned before that my daughter is definitely the more difficult of my two children. She's loud, strong-willed, and opinionated. Jay and I have mostly learned how to deal with this and can usually manage to diffuse the situation quickly. But this time it was over the top. Normally when this happens, my first thought is to figure out why she's acting this way. Is she thirsty, hungry, getting sick, tired, over stimulated? This particular child is sensitive to a lot of those factors and when she starts feeling any of those things, it definitely shows in her behaviour. But none of that was really the case this time. It was as if she was possessed and nothing we said or did was working to calm her.
She eventually calmed herself. Partly because the tantrum, whatever the cause, had just run its course and also because I threatened to sell her toys on the internet if she didn't shape up. Probably not my best moment as a mom, but I was desperate.

We ended up leaving the park early anyway because it seemed best to cut the whole outing short. Before leaving though, I did get this picture of Mt. Hood off in the distance: Gorgeous isn't it? It was such a clear, beautiful day.

I don't really know why I'm writing this. I guess because I feel I need to issue a public apology to everyone trying to enjoy the park while we were there (especially the couple at the Holocaust Memorial-SORRY!) But also because I was just so appalled by my kid's behaviour. Have you ever been out in a public place and you see a kid screaming over something, possibly ripping things from the shelves of a store, or laying on the floor kicking and screaming? And you think to yourself, "Man! That kid is a shithead!" Well, this Saturday, my kid was the shithead.

I'm sorry, Washington Park.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ten on Ten:: June

Today I participated in Ten on Ten. The goal is to take a photo an hour for ten consecutive hours. It was much more challenging that I thought, especially towards the late afternoon/early evening when my enthusiasm had died down a bit and I was ready to relax.

I was fortunate enough though, to have a day that made for fairly interesting photos. It was Jay's first day off in quite some time so instead of hanging around the homestead all day, we headed into the city to find a local grocery co-op and do some exploring.

Here is our day in ten shots:

*a wet beginning
*an early morning snuggle
*dog play *to the city
*a missed opportunity ("I can't believe I missed Bone Thugs 'n' Harmony", she says sarcastically.)
*a lovely park*headed home *thrift store score
*dinner prep (dinner was Alec Baldwin's Red Beans and Garlic)
*an evening swim (This move was described to me as "mermaid-tastic.")
If you want to participate in Ten on Ten, then head on over to the site for more details. You have exactly one month to prepare.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ibach Park

Jay had a few hours off this morning so we grabbed some coffee and took the girl to Ibach park. I've noticed that the city of Tualatin spares no expense when it comes to funding parks, but this one is really impressive. The park is filled with various things based on the history of the city. These bones represent a mastodon skeleton that was discovered here in the early 1960's:
This crank powered ride represents the ferry crossing the Tualatin River.I got quite an arm workout powering the girl across the 'river.'A lot of the parks here have water play areas, where you push a button on a post and a small stream of water comes out.This water can be carried around in buckets or, if left on its own, it trickles throughout the play area making an awesome, fun mess.This park is definitely a bathe-afterwards park.

Before moving here, I had never seen these water play areas and I'm sad and amazed that more parks don't have them. It really takes the play experience to another, more sensory, level that I think all kids could benefit from.Plus, what kid in Florida wouldn't love to be splashing around in mud puddles right about now?

Of course, this isn't Florida, but Oregon. Which means the rains soon came.
We tried to wait it out, but it only got heavier and once we heard Oregon's idea of thunder (wimpy little rumbles), we decided to call it a day.
But, this park is less than five minutes from home. We'll be back.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nightgown

Over the weekend I made this nightgown for the girl. It's Simplicity 4767, gown A with a few modifications, which I'll get to in a moment.

Looking back, this nightgown definitely did its best to contribute to the pissy mood I was in all weekend. Cutting the pattern pieces was fun. Sewing the body was fun. Attaching the sleeves? NOT FUN AT ALL. In fact, attaching the sleeves ruined an otherwise fun project. My seam ripper got a workout this weekend as I attached and reattached them numerous times. At one point I was going to just leave it as is but then the boy walked by and began commenting on the many irregularities and I figured if an unobservant, pre teen male can notice the flubs, then I should probably fix it. If I had been in a different mood I probably would have just set the project aside until I was in a better frame of mind, but I wanted something to show for all my work. I wanted a completed project.

Getting back to the gown, it's the most basic kind of this pattern. No elastic in the waist or sleeves. Although, initially I had put elastic in the sleeves and loved the look, but the girl hated it so I redid the sleeves. AGAIN.

I'm not sure what the fabric is. I got it in a grab bag of stuff at Goodwill. At the time I thought it was cotton but when I got it home I realized it was kinda silky. It has a bit of a 1970's muumuu factor, but works for a nightgown I suppose. I do love the flowers on it.As for sewing from a pattern, I think I'm going to take a few weeks off until I get my gusto back. This project wiped me out and I don't think it should have. It's a very simple pattern but for some reason it totally threw me for a loop. I had hoped this process would demystify patterns for me but now I think I'm more intimidated than ever. The weird symbols, the crinkly paper they're drawn on that I can never re-fold properly......it all just wore me out. I'm not giving up, just taking a break and going back to straight line sewing for a while.

Which brings me to the latest Craft Hope project that I heard about last night through Annie. It involves making dishcloths and hand towels to be sent to the Gulf Coast region to help the folks cleaning oil off of marine animals. The rags don't have to be anything fancy since they'll probably only be used a few times before being tossed. They can be knitted, crocheted, or sewn. All the specifics are over on Craft Hope, but it's a very easy project. One even I can do.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Grumbles

It's been one of those weekends. Nothing has really gone wrong and honestly I have nothing to complain about. But I've just been kinda pissy. Plus, because I know I have no real reason to be pissy, I've been trying to mask my mood which is making me even more irritated. Fortunately, blog land is an excellent place to air your petty grumbles since someone is always willing to listen.

Random Things Putting Me in a Bad Mood
*Jay's been working so much lately, which I should be used to by now because this always happens when we move somewhere new, but it's been extra frustrating here because we live in this cool town that has so much fun stuff to do, and my husband's never around to enjoy it with me. I know this is only a temporary problem and he's already hired some new people so his schedule will loosen up soon, but I'm just kind of wallowing at the moment because he was supposed to be off today, I had made loose plans for us to do something as a family, but he ended up having to work.

*Last night I couldn't sleep so I watched some of Showgirls. Why did I do this? This movie was comically bad. Seriously, boobs everywhere. Constant, gratuitous boob shots. How do people have everyday conversations with their breasts hanging out?

*I'm on the hunt for new jeans. Most of you remember that I bought no new clothes last year. This year I've only bought a few things here and there. I need jeans. (Well, as much as someone can need jeans.)Specifically, I've been on the lookout for a new pair to wear for dressier times (i.e. not the grocery store.) Um, jeans are really scary looking right now. Skinny jeans with tapered legs? High waists? No thank you. Strange washes and colors? When did acid wash come back? Ugh. The whole process has left me overwhelmed and feeling older than I am.

*I haven't gotten used to my oven. It's electric, I'm used to gas. Most everything I've baked since moving here has come out just a bit off in one way or another. Very frustrating.

*My son has a new obsession with Beavis and Butthead. He's watched hours of it this weekend.

*I've been craving bagels. Good, chewy bagels. This morning we went to the bagel chain nearest our apartment. I was not impressed. I need to find a Jewish deli. Do you think I'm asking too much?

Again, I know all this sounds totally whiny and I really have so little to complain about and I'm otherwise quite happy with my life right now. It's just been one of those days. Honestly, it felt really good to get it all out. Maybe now I can focus on the positive.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It Makes Me Smile:: New Jammies

Jay surprised me with these yesterday and I have to admit that I may love them more than life itself. I've mentioned before that when left to my own devices I find it hard to spend money on undergarments and lounge wear. (Example: I once had to go into the bathroom at an auto parts store and take my bra off and trash it because it literally fell apart while I was wearing it.) So if I'm wearing something new and/or nice to bed, it's because someone bought it for me. Although the pajamas are obviously for me, I think this gift was somewhat self serving on Jay's part because now he doesn't have to see me slopping around the house in my ancient flannel Spongebob ones with the bleach stains. Plus, he may have seen me digging through the night clothes at Goodwill the other day and decided enough is enough.

The jammies are Munki Munki by Heather Ross, and if money ever gets tight I can always deconstruct them and sell them for cold hard cash on the crafting black market. Think I'm lying? Right now on Etsy just a sleeve is going for $7. Or a leg panel for $12. Needless to say, when I put these on I feel as if I'm wearing garments of the gods. Of course, Jay didn't know all of this when he bought them. He just thought they were cute. When I told him the back story, his jaw dropped and he declared, "What is wrong with your people?!" I don't know. I guess quilters are obsessive folk.

Anyway, I don't see myself cutting them up anytime soon. I love them too much. Plus, I already threw away my Spongebob ones.

What's making you smile today?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mr. Fox

I received a special package today. I had been anxiously awaiting its arrival.Meet Mr. Fox.
I won him over at Annie's.

I don't enter a lot of giveaways in blog land anymore. Since moving to Oregon I've really made the conscious decision to only bring things into my home that I truly love. And while sometimes I'm tempted by the allure of free stuff, most giveaways are of things I just don't need or love.

But I've loved Annie's work for a while. She may not be aware of it, but I've been harmlessly stalking her in blogland for quite some time. When I saw she was doing a giveaway I just knew I had to enter. I was over the moon when I found out I won.

Seriously, who could resist this face?If you want your own Mr. Fox, Annie has an Etsy shop, Bird and Little Bird, where you can buy a pattern, a kit, or a ready made critter of your liking.

Thanks again Annie!