Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Love Community College

I love the community college.  Sam and I just finished our massage class.  We were so nervous about it.   What if we were the only ones?  What if it was all old people?  (Why would that matter?)  Would the teacher be a really weird hippy?  (Why do I care, I'm pretty much a weird hippy)  Anyways, it was lovely.  Very down to earth.  There were 4 other young couples.  The instructor was great and gave us specific tips on how to help with our specific issues (migraines)  And now Sam knows how to give a massage!  And I learned that I can rub his ticklish feet, I just need a lot of pressure.  I am so thankful Sam was a good sport, I didn't know if he would do this.  He did it, and we both came out of it with a lot of good knowledge.  It's fun to spice things up and do things out of the ordinary.  Next class, maybe a Thai cooking class?  There are too many good ones piquing my interest.

I could go on and on about how great community college is.  I went to a really fancy culinary school, (it's a very long story) but a lot of bad things were going on, so I switched to the community college.  The teachers were so loving and great and actually cared about us students.  They found a job for me.  They taught me so many valuable, practical skills, and I didn't break the bank doing it.  I met so many diverse people.    I took the most amazing wine class that I'll never forget.   I went to Guatemala.  I took a spanish class and learned salsa dancing.  All thanks to the community college.  

Next up soapmaking.  I did get milk from my farmer friend.  I spent some time pasteurizing, measuring and freezing it.  The community college class gave me confidence to tackle this and go ahead and not be afraid of lye.   Now I just need a few more supplies and I'll be ready to go with that.  

I have some projects in the works that I can't share quite yet.

I'm going to do a little post soon on how our local eating is going.  I'll share the connections we've made.

The sun is shining and I'm happy.  I'm going to enjoy it.  Hopefully you're all enjoying your weekend.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One Week

In just one week I'll be hanging with my two best girl pals.  I can't wait!  It will be my first time to Cali.  There will be much talking, laughing, and crafting.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I made some breakthroughs this weekend so I must share.

1.  I finally found out what beer I like.  I love porters.  I always felt like Julia Roberts from Runaway Bride with the eggs.  I always ordered what Sam was having.  I knew I liked darker beers, but I never would remember the ones I like best.  So now I know.

2.  I've been so stagnant with my skiing it was driving me nuts.  I knew what I needed to do, I just couldn't figure it out.  Sam's lovely tip of reaching out with my poles helped me to finally be able to ski bumps well.  I am now faster than a snail's pace on the bumps.  This was huge, I have been skiing at the same level since I lived in Colorado 3 years ago, I just couldn't get any better.  We had a delightful sunny Saturday of skiing.  
3.  I found the greatest knitting tool at a local sewing store.  They are the Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles.  I've been enjoying knitting, but I'm annoyed when I have to buy a new set of circular needles for each project.  It can get spendy, and quite frustrating if I have the right needle, but because of my gauge I need the next needle size up.  So this little kit is a full set of every possible combination of knitting needles you can imagine.  It has interchangeable parts.  It comes in a nice portable case.   And you know me, being the cheap skate that I am, I was able to use a 40% off coupon because my local store accepts competitors coupons.  So I am a happy knitting camper.  I no longer have to stash needles.  I have them all at my fingertips with this handy kit.  So cool!  

4.  I am no longer going to pretend that I care about what I eat.  I'm not going to say, oh I better not have that.  No, I am going to enjoy the fact that I'm 25.  One day (not too far away) my metabolism won't be working with me so well, and I am going to think that I was crazy for ever saying I was getting fat or thinking that.  I am going to try to be healthy, but if I get a crazy yummy fattening coffee drink I will always say yes to the whipped cream and not feel guilty.  I am thankful God made me 6'1".  I can eat a lot of food, if I were 5'1" I would be a fatty!  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Valentine Love

Thank you to everyone for all the Valentine love.  I must admit that I just pulled the Christmas cards off of the bulletin board.  Now it's happily showing the little lovelies from this holiday.  I finally got around to putting my hearts on a twig- I like it much better.  My mom sent me a great package filled with lots of goodies.  I also got some wonderful chocolate from Linda from Bruttle's (that didn't last for more than a day)  I also have to point out my cute little alpaca friend who is on my board.  Click on the picture to blow it up and tell me he is not the cutest little animal.  Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a big animal lover, but those little alpacas just melt my heart!  Some day, some day I will have a cute little alpaca of my own.  


I've always wanted to do more mixed media art.  I have all the supplies, I've just been putting it off.  This may look a little 3rd grader-ish, I still had fun anyway using some fun junk that I've been hoarding!  I used an old golf tee, and played with wire and beads, old buttons, I dismantled old jewelry, and had fun with my sewing machine.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here's To Hoping

I made this today in the hope that by looking at it, it will help.  Go ahead, make fun of me- but in Stephen Covey's book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" the first thing he talks about is being reactive to the weather.  Guilty as charged.  "Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment.  If the weather is good, they feel good.  If it isn't, it affects their attitude and their performance.  Proactive people can carry their own weather with them.  Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them."  So I'm reactive, so what?  Will I finish this book- probably not!  

This is my view pretty much every day around here.  Of course, the irony is when I finished making my little card the sun poked it's little head out, yay!
This is my where I used to live.  It was cloudy most of the time, but when it wasn't it was a nice little view.
This was the view from my van.  Ah, Colorado.  It was rarely cloudy there.  
This was my view in another part of Colorado.  It was freezing, but the sun did shine.  
I don't have a picture of my Denver view.  You would see the back of a ghetto strip mall, not a pretty view.  And then there was Wisconsin, I don't know if I have an outside view there either.  This reminds me, I want to make a book of all the places we have lived.  All of our weird little homes.  

Be Daring

I'm not sure if this is done yet.  I don't know what it will become.  I just had to make it.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Best Chicken Pot Pie

I have been really bad about taking pictures when we go and do things lately.  I didn't take any pictures of the place we stayed, but it was really nice.  We had a good day skiing, even some fresh pow. 

 Have you guys made Ina Garten's chicken pot pie?  It is wonderful.  Such a good comfort food.  I change it slightly, I add potatoes, and corn.  I bake the potatoes first, then dice them and the potatoes help thicken the sauce.  I always make this with the leftovers from roasting a whole chicken.  I use the pan drippings from the roasted chicken for the pot pie sauce, it makes the sauce full of flavor.  I just had to make heart shaped biscuits.  Try this, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weekend Getaway

I am very excited, Sam and I are sneaking away for the night this weekend.   We'll go skiing, and just chill and relax.  This was the cabin we were supposed to go to.  It's so cute and rustic and totally reminds me of the place Sam and I honeymooned at in northern Minnesota.   But apparently they didn't update their web reservations, so someone beat us by booking over the phone.  So we went with another place.  The one we're staying at now has that lovely unique b&b decor (equestrian themed)  Yes, so I'll take pictures and you can see our cheesy little room!
We usually go somewhere every year around Valentine's day.  I'm excited because I will get my hot tub fix in, and I have a few embroidery projects that I'll take with me.

Andrea and I took a soap making class last night at the community college, so I'm hoping I can pick up some raw organic milk from one of my farming friends on our way home from our little getaway.  I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No Heat?

In some places in Japan they do not heat their houses.  It is cold there too!  I found this article so interesting, I urge you to read it.  I'm very intrigued by other cultures and what they do differently.  One of my favorite things about traveling was learning what different cultures lived with and without.  I love that thriving countries can function perfectly well shutting down everything every afternoon for a few hours (siesta).  This no heat thing got me thinking too.  As far as I understand, these people aren't super poor, it's just what they do.  I love heat!  I would never do this.  I just want to show an idea of a different perspective.  I also think there is value in enduring hardship.  We lead such cushy lives that we forget this sometimes.  This makes us appreciate what we have so that we don't take what we have for granted.  

Monday, February 9, 2009

Plate Collage Before and After


I realize that in magazines and proper photo shoots, they purposely make the before photo itself look worse than the after.  Well, it's very cloudy today- and the lighting was better when I took my before picture.  And yes, I know I need to stop using excuses, the lighting, my camera, and learn how to take a good picture!  

So plates on the wall.  Yes.  I just thought that the scale of the 4 prints were too small for the area above the couch, so I thought I would play with it.  I'm not sure if I love it.  It's fun and a little different.  I'll give you a closer look when it's bright in the room.  I'll live with it awhile and see what I think.  I was inspired by Lisa Congdon's wall of plates.  Hers is so cool, mine is not.  But I'm ok with settling with less!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yes Christmas is Over

So Christmas is over.  I found this video a little late.  It's good to start thinking about changing ideas for next year.  It might take some time talking and convincing family and friends to do something different for Christmas.  This is a short video (only 2 minutes) but I love it and think it was done really well.  I'm sure I'm way behind here, and maybe you all have seen this.  

The gist is to spend less money giving gifts, so we can use that money to create safe drinking water for third world countries.  What do you think?

Here is the website if you would like to give, or learn more:  Advent Conspiracy

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hippie Headband

What is that blue thing on the wall you may ask.
Why, it's my wall o' necklaces in my bathroom.  I figure they look pretty, so why not hang them and let them be part of my decor.  I find that I wear them more now that I have them out in the open.  That big blue one up in the first pic, yeah, still haven't had the courage to wear that one out yet.  It's heavy, and big, even for me.

So here is my hippie headband!  I wanted to make this for a very long time.  I went overboard at a knitting store that was going out of business, even before I knew how to knit.  That yarn is finally starting to be put to a good use.  You can get the pattern on knitty for free right here.  It is a super quick project that even I can finish in a day.  (Well I must admit I needed to have a little phone call to my mom to clear some things up, and I did have to unravel the first one after gettting a quarter of the way through)  I now have a ravelry account.  Raverlry is a really cool knitters resource for keeping projects organized.  You can put pictures of your finished projects up.  You can keep track of what yarn you have in your stash, and you can even get help to find out if the yarn you have will work for the pattern you want to use.  They have a little chart you can fill with all the needles you currently have.  And if you're out thrifting or hitting up some g-sales, you can have ravelry text you your handy dandy chart to see if you already have the needles.  Pretty cool, eh?

Tiny Little Dream House

Here is Dee Williams with her little tiny house.  It is very cute.  What do you think?  She talks about how she now has time and money, instead of a big house.  If you want to read more about her story, here it is: