Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Al strikes again

I particularly like the bear grylls food web.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Magazine Coasters and Bowls

I recently found these two projects while I was looking for a kid-friendly art activity.  Since we moved to California, our place is still really empty and bare.  I've slowly been trying to decorate and furnish our place on the cheap, and in the process I've found some fun ways to reuse stuff we would normally throw out.  These magazine coasters and bowls are a cool way to do something with all our old magazines besides stack them on a bookshelf.  When I have more time, I plan on making some larger bowls to put on our coffee table.  The pictures here are practice pieces and I can't wait to make more!

I've also labeled these under wedding ideas, because I think a set of coasters as favors or bowls as centerpieces would be a fun (and super-cheap!) way to add a green element to a wedding.

Magazine Coasters  See howaboutorange for tutorial

Notes: for each coaster I used four magazine pages.  I cut each page to a width of 7.5", and then cut them into four narrow strips before folding.  I considered dabbing glue to secure the edges, but once I finished weaving a tucking in the ends, everything has been really secure and glue is unnecessary.

For weddings, I've seen people give out sets of photo coasters or coasters that say "love" or something romantic.  Tie sets of four magazine coasters together with a nice ribbon, add a tag, and you've got a unique wedding favor!

Magazine Bowls See indiepublic for tutorial


Notes:  For this sample, I used 60 magazine pages.  I also folded each page into 1/8 of the width of each page (also cut to to 7.5 inches).  I saw from some other tutorials pages that were folded to make narrower strips, which I think also looks really cool, but might be more frustrating to shape because the coil could pop out more easily.  I also gained an appreciation for magazines geared towards women because they definitely have a lot more color than those for men! (which was all we had at home so the colors were mostly blues, grays, tans, and whites).

Make large bowls and fill with ornaments or fruit to use as simple wedding centerpieces.  You can even change the shape of the bowls by wrapping them as squares or triangles.

Happy folding!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas in December

I know that it is already December.  I see the Salvation Army collection buckets outside of Safeway.  Wal-Mart has converted its garden center into a Christmas warehouse.  There is a Christmas tree in the lobby of our apartment building and Christmas music is in the air.  All the signs that Christmas is just around the corner are all around me, but it still doesn't feel like the holiday season.

Why?  It was SUNNY and 63 degrees Fahrenheit today!  Haha, not that I'm complaining too much or anything--it just feels weird to think about all this Christmas stuff when I'm comfortably taking walks outside in the beautiful sunshine without a scarf or a hat.

So, just be jealous that the weather has been so nice here the past couple of days.  I think there may be some rain later this week...but it's still nothing compared to freezing temperatures and snow!  I will have to try harder to get in the Christmas spirit by bombarding myself with Christmas movies and treats.  I'm looking forward to two holiday get-togethers later this week, which I think will help with that!

Also, I really need to get started on my Christmas shopping!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cross-Stitch Projects

Last spring and summer I did a lot of nothing while Al finished up his 1L year at NYU.  Well, a lot of nothing actually can be quite exhausting--I cooked, did laundry, watched youtube videos, and cross-stitched.  These are the two cross-stitch kits that I completed and I just love the summery feel of them!  I've also finished VERY few cross-stitch projects in the past, so I'm really happy to have completed these to the very end.  The kits are from Dimensions Crafts, and I will definitely do more in the future.  Cross-stitch kits have already come such a long way since the first one I received when I was 10!  They have presorted string, more elaborate designs, clearer instructions...haha I predict a very few people I know can actually appreciate this like me since you all lead more exciting lives than me =)

Seaside Cottages:

Cafe by the Sea:

I like the cafe picture especially because I think it would be so cool to have a cafe by the sea!

Pork and Hominy Stew

On Wednesday, I made a stew that reminded me of this Simpson's episode:

Lisa:     I’m going to become a vegetarian.
Homer: Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?
Lisa:     Yes
Homer: Bacon?
Lisa:     Yes Dad
Homer: Ham?
Lisa:     Dad all those meats come from the same animal
Homer: Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!

This wonderful, magical animal provided the pork, bacon, and ham that went into this Pork and Hominy Stew recipe from Bon Appetit!

 This picture doesn't really show much, but again this is just for record keeping purposes because I will want to remember to make this stew again!  According to wikipedia, hominy is "is dried maize kernels which have been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization."  To me, hominy is just big corn kernels that I buy in a can. =) 

Anyways, this stew was really delicious without having to add very many spices.  I used a combination of my regular chili powder (whatever is 50-cent kind is from Wal-Mart) and ancho chili powder, and doubled the vegetables as I usually do just to try to make our dinners slightly healthier.  Serve with a side of cornbread--yum!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surprise Wallpaper

Maybe I'm too obsessed with North and South?  When I came home from work today, Al left this wonderful image on my desktop.  LOL

Move over Colin Firth, you are old news!

P.S. Al, you're still No. 1!!!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Favorite Things: North and South

It has just dawned on me that this blog is the perfect place to gush over all of my current likes and....just likes.  Perhaps there will be another label for pets peeves and dislikes.  (Oh my, the list is already feeling really long for that one)  The down side to gushing over my favorite things, though, is that I'll probably end up hyping everything up and ruining it for you (lone reader)--but I don't care because I still think the thing is awesome enough that it doesn't matter!

Favorite Thing #1:
So last year, I went through a phase of watching many, many, BBC-produced period dramas.  I saw bad ones, old ones, boring ones, and, occasionally, good ones.  North and South, based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell, was a GREAT one!  Al might be afraid that I'm a little too infatuated with Richard Armitage due to my love of this mini-series (I've already lost track of how many times I've watched it).  Just for the record, he is only a small reason for why I like this mini-series so much =)

If you watch a lot of other period dramas based on books, you would might appreciate this mini-series a little better if you can compare it to something else.  That's as much of a disclaimer as I'll give for talking up this mini-series.  The screenwriter, Sandy Welch, did an FANTASTIC job--in my book, she is now in second place for adapting books into movies after Andrew Davies.  Furthermore, each of the characters was well acted, the soundtrack was really moving, and I loved the balance of romance, social commentary, and other conflicts that were resolved over the four episodes.

I like what I like because I like it.  So just watch it and thank me later. =)