Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Whether you have been planning your costume for months....

or seconds.....

Whether you tend toward the geeky....

Or humorous....

Have a "fintastic" Halloween!
source unknown

(yes, I do feel bad about the pun...but I'm not taking it back :) )

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Round-Up #32

This week:

Jon Acuff wrote about the difficulty in recognizing your own talent.

Becoming Minimalist articulates 10 reasons to live in a smaller home

Are you going to participate in the pinterest challenge?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Two weeks ago I shared ideas for Halloween costumes inspired by Singin' in the Rain, Winnie the Pooh, and the Sound of Music. Well, here are some more ideas! I designed these mood boards in hopes that they would provide you with some last-minute ideas - anything here can hopefully be found in your closet or easily picked up at a thrift store.


Nancy Drew, as depicted on the cover of 
The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

Outfit based on the song "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" by Cake

Mood boards created using Polyvore.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Wonderful Discovery

My friends, as if the glorious tasty goodness of chocolate covered strawberries, espresso beans, raisins, and pretzels weren't enough....allow me to present, the King of these delectable delights....The Chocolate Covered Potato Chip! I tasted a sample at Trader Joe's and I am hooked. How can you say no to $2.99 of pure bliss? Both sweet and salty all rolled into one delectable package?

Run, don't walk, to your nearest TJ's and procure a package (or three!). Your taste buds will thank me later :)

Sadly, Trader Joe's does not know who I am. I am not being reimbursed for this product endorsement

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

For Your Cutie Patootie Baby Niece and Nephew

We were lucky enough to have a niece and nephew born just weeks apart this September and October. So there will be two first Christmases this year :) Here are my ideas for both little ones.

1. Baby's First Christmas Ornament

This is always a classic gift. I like this wooden snowflake better than any other first ornament I've seen. I feel like this is one that would stand the test of time and show up on the tree 25 years later.

2. Organic Teether

Isn't this adorable? I think this would be a great gift that the baby could use as a toy or a teether depending on the circumstances :)

3. Art

I love this idea for my niece! With her name of course :) Wouldn't this be adorable in her nursery?

4. A Classic Book

We always give our nieces and nephews this book for their first Christmas. But there are so many classic Christmas tales that should be a part of any holiday collection, you could make this a gift for several years in a row :)

Gift Ideas: For Your Two Year Old Nephew Who is All Boy

Our 2 year old nephew loves cars. And since he's the first grandchild on either side of the family he basically has at least one of almost everything. This makes him somewhat challenging to buy for. Here are a few things I noticed he doesn't have :)

1. Remote control car

This remote control Ford Mustang is sure to be a hit, especially since the nephew's Dad is a Ford man :) The easy controls will be something he can maneuver even at his young age.

2. Bowling Game

This bowling set would combine the lad's love of throwing things with his love of knocking things down. All in a safe game he could play inside and out.

3. Knight's Shield

The Hubs wanted to buy him a shield for his birthday, but we weren't able to find one in stock in any stores in our area. I found this one online, and I think it would be perfect :)

4. Car Carrier

I love this classic wood toy! And what boy couldn't use a carrier for his cars?

I'll be back later this afternoon with some more ideas for our baby nephew :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Round-Up #31

Some fun halloween nail art

hilarious pictures (taken by a hidden camera) of people freaking out in a haunted house

Love the idea of upcycling cashmere sweaters into a cozy blanket!

Speaking of upcycling sweaters, some super cute and easy leg warmers/boot socks :)

Have a wonderfully relaxing weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In Brief: IKEA Trip

A few weekends ago my roommate and I went to IKEA after church (the same trip when we picked up this bookcase). I snapped a few random pictures while we were walking around that I thought I would share here.

This is similar to the type of chair I want in my room, but the wrong color and wrong price. But the lines are quite close to what I envision!

I loved this silver tray, only $15 but I resisted the urge to purchase it. I've been trying (and failing horribly) to buy only necessities.

I took this picture as more for anit-inspiriation. I don't think I've every seen anything uglier than that coffee or side table.

Who knew that IKEA sold farmhouse sinks? Okay, probably lots of people, but this was the first time I noticed one there. It is my dream to have a home with a double-basin farmhouse sink and this one was only $299!!! Score! (No, I didn't buy it, haha. But it would be a total score for anyone who's in the market.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Concert of the Decade

Dramatic much?

This may be your first thought when reading this heading. So let me give you a little background. Back when I was in college in 2005 I stumbled across a life changing clip on youtube. I will pause while you view the awesomeness that is Igudesman and Joo.

This led me to another clip, which is just as hilarious (and if you've taken piano lessons, you've probably experienced this type of teacher at least once). My favorite part begins at 40 seconds.

If you are anything like me, at this point you are wiping a tear of mirth from your eye and eagerly awaiting their next video. Here is one more gem:

So back to 2005. I had to introduce this duo to all of my friends - and everyone thought they were hilarious. The modern Victor Borge. My roomie and I were determined to buy tickets to see them. And that's when we discovered that they only toured in Europe. I was devastated. I had to see them!! I went so far as to write them an email begging them to come to America - specifically the West Coast.

Every six months or so I would revisit the clips and laugh. Sometimes I would show them to a new friend. I checked their website for updates on their tour schedule. No luck. I sadly resigned myself to only enjoying them through a camera lens via youtube.

Back in August the hubs and I spent an afternoon meandering around downtown Campbell. We wandered past a storefront and for some reason the hubs stopped - perhaps to look at a poster or a shop across the street. My eye wandered toward the ground, when what did I see in the bottom right corner of the shop window....but a poster for Igudesman and Joo! I recognized them immediately. I looked closer. Yes, they were touring in America!! And they were coming to the Bay Area!!! Specifically Cupertino - they were performing 15 minutes from where I live!!! I went a little berserk with happiness. After six long years of waiting, it had finally happened :)

How sad I would have been if I hadn't chanced to see the poster and had missed this chance to see them live. I shudder at the thought. We went home and immediately bought tickets - I was convinced they would sell out immediately (I'm not sure if that happened - but I hope it did)!

And that is where I will be this Friday evening - seeing Igudesman and Joo perform. live. on stage. In person.

And that, my friends, is why this is the concert of the decade.

Of course I will tell you all about it next week :)

Okay, okay....if you insist here is another video - the riverdancing violinist. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

For Your Articulate, Social and Pretty Grad Student Sister

My 23 year old sister (and co-author of this blog) Adri is always a lot of fun for me to buy for :) She has so many interests, it's easy to come up with things she will like. Plus she likes girly things like accessories and home accents which are things I like, so I usually know that if I like it she will too!

1. Feminine bangles

Adri is great at accessorizing her outfits, so I think some pretty bangles would be a gift she would really like. I think these are so gorgeous, especially for the price ($28)!

2. A lightweight scarf

It's a rare day that I see Adri scarf-less...regardless of the season :) So another one in a gorgeous print would be a fun gift!

3. A Funny or Typographical Print

Adri is a total font and typography geek. She thought this poster was hilarious, and it would be cool to either find this one or perhaps a typographic-themed poster and frame it for her to put in her apartment.

4. Knee-High Cashmere Socks

What could be more decadent than a pair of cashmere socks? Especially striped ones? Even though $19 for one pair of socks is kind of steep, this would be a nice splurge gift :)

5. A Wooden Ampersand

Adri also likes ampersands of all a wooden one for the shelf (or to hang on a wall) would be a nice addition to her current collection :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Round-Up #30

This week...

Adri enjoyed reading this discussion on the lifecycle of library books.

Michael Buble's new album of Christmas songs will be released on November 24th and Adri can't wait to get it. You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the recording here.

The Art of Manliness published a guide to planning the ultimate summer road trip - provided you're a fan of baseball.

If you are a fan of The Princess Bride, I'm sure you will enjoy these reunion clips as much as I (Ashton) did. Can you believe it's been 25 years!?!? I am officially old :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Post (Almost) Without Words: Costume Ideas for Halloween

(The costume mood boards in this post were created by Adri using Polyvore)

Singin' in the Rain

Christopher Robin

"My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gift Ideas: For Your Uber Cute, Smart and Funny 17 Year Old Sister

I can't believe my youngest sister is going to be 17 when this Christmas rolls around! She loves horses, is great with all kinds of animals (she even taught her dog how to push the button on a tennis ball thrower so he could play catch with himself! It's hilarious to watch), and on top of that she is super smart. I'm excited to see where she ends up going to college - I'm sure there will be quite a few scholarships waiting for her :)

Here is a round up of gifts I think she would like. I pulled her name this year, so it's possible some of this may be under the tree ;)

1. Jewelry

My sister likes unique jewelry - something she won't see anyone else wearing - and this seems to fit her personality. Not too girly, but edgy in a cute way. Plus she is a farm girl, so there's that :)

2. Art

I think it would be a nice addition to her room to have a large statement piece. And if it's horse themed, so much the better!

3. Nail polish

Because you can never have too many fun shades! Plus since nail polish is relatively inexpensive it's a nice stocking stuffer.

4. A fun game

My sister likes having her friends come over to spend the night, so a unique game (that doesn't take too long to play) would be something I could see her enjoying frequently.

5. Cute clothes

What teen doesn't like getting clothes for Christmas? A hoodie, jeans, name brand t-shirt or accessory will always be a hit!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Photo of the Week

Sunset at Sea

Photo taken off the coast of Mexico, January 2010

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekly Round-Up #29

Things of interest this week...

If you have some time this weekend, check out the site spoonforkbacon. Not only are the pictures gorgeous, but the recipes look divine. Plus, with bacon in the name you know it's guaranteed to be awesome ;)
I'm especially excited to try the cherry hand pies and all of the mixed drinks. And check out page 3...because there's a recipe that call for sea urchin, y'all! How awesome it that?

A sweet story about an ugly chicken

Spooky cobwebbed balloons

Steve Jobs was an amazing innovator, and truly one of the great minds of our times. I have a feeling he will go down in history as one of the greats, along with the likes of Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers. His inventions have truly changed the course of history.

A compilation of Steve Jobs magazine covers

His 2005 Stanford commencement address

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Harmony & (A)cord in the Dining Room

I may have mentioned before that my apartment's dining room is really, really small. So small, in fact, that my roommate and I decided to skip a table & chairs and just get stools to eat at the kitchen peninsula. So for the past several months, the only thing in our dining room has been some boxes waiting to be put away and the cords for our internet modem and router.

The cords were quite annoying and looked really messy because the one phone jack in our apartment is halfway up our dining room wall. Definitely a reminder of the day when phones were mounted to the wall and you could just follow the coil cord to find whoever it was that was talking on the phone! Anyways, thanks to a recent IKEA trip, I was able to make our messy cord situation not so messy, all while adding some additional shelf space to our apartment!

This was my first time building something from IKEA entirely by myself. It was exciting! I started by laying out all my pieces and from there the entire process was incredibly smooth.

The final screw! Almost done and I decided to take a break to mess around with depth of field.

Assembling this bookcase was super quick & easy! It took me less than an hour to assemble it and if I hadn't been sidetracked by texting friends, it would have taken even less time. Overall, I'm happy with how the bookcase turned out; it could be better in some places - those IKEA peeps are certainly no perfectionists - but it looks decent and is sturdy enough to hold what we need it to (the instructions said each shelf can hold up to 25lbs).

All done and already looking much better...but it's missing something.

There it is! Does my heart good to see those shelves actually being put to use.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My First Memories

On Saturday we celebrated my nephew's second birthday and I wondered if he would remember anything. It made me think about my first memories, so I thought I would share :) Feel free to share yours as well! I would love to see what the average earliest memory is!

My first memory was sometime in the winter of 1988. My Mom was very pregnant with Adri, and i distinctly remember my Mom putting my hand on her belly and telling me I was going to be a big sister. Then I remember going to the hospital (perhaps a few months, weeks or even days later) with my parents. I was in a child care room, and I could hear someone screaming. There were some other kids, and I remember Dad coming in to check on me. But he was very distracted and preoccupied. I watched a show about the germs that are in our mouths if we don't brush properly. They looked like monsters and it freaked me out that I might have monsters in my mouth (isn't that funny? I'm sure it seemed like an innocent dramatization to grown ups). I tried to convince my Dad to take me with him but he said I had to wait. I assume at some point Adri was born. But I don't remember anything until April 26 1988 - my 3rd birthday.

My Mom and I (in all honesty I probably just got in the way) blew up balloons and drew faces on them and added paper feet to make balloon people. My Grandma was visiting and held Adri a lot so Mom could prep for my party and entertain the guests. It seemed to me that there were dozens of kids. I don't remember much except that I ran around a lot and at some point threatened to take away one of the boy guest's goodie bag because he wasn't doing what I wanted (I was sassy even at that young age). I also remember my Mom being mortified because what she thought were playing cards turned out to be bubble gum - HUGE amounts of bubble gum. I'm sure all the moms of those toddlers were thrilled with that :)

Those are my earliest memories! What are yours? Was it a good memory or bad? What we remember can be so random - it made me hope that my nephew has a wonderful year this year. I don't want him to have any traumatic early memories. Just happy carefree ones :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gift Ideas: For the Aerospace Engineering Major Who Wants to Join the Air Force

I'm back with the second installment of the gift guide!

My brother Joe is a freshman at Embry Riddle. He likes skiing, watching movies, doing stuff with his air force buddies, and studying hard (well, at least hopefully that last one ;)

Here are a few of my ideas for him:

1. Air Force Watch

My brother would always wear my Grandfather's watch any chance he could get. He wasn't allowed to take it with him to college for fear that it would be lost. So a nice watch of his own (with a nod to his Air Force aspirations) is something I know he would love. Plus, my Grandfather was in the Air Force, so it's a nice tie in to that family history too.

2. Paracord bracelet

Although this looks like a bracelet, it's actually 10 feet of paracord which can be unwound and used in case of an emergency. A handy and cool way to carry around a fair amount of rope in an unobtrusive way.

3. A season or two of his favorite show

When I was in college my roomies and I would watch a 20 minute episode of our favorite show to decompress after a tough day. Our shows of choice were Seinfeld and My Name is Earl, but I think Joe is a Psych fan so that might be a better fit for him (although he does need to be introduced to Seinfeld at some point!)

4. Beanie

It gets cold in Arizona in the winter, so a cool beanie would be a nice addition to his wardrobe. Neutral colors, no patterns, stripes or brand names. Preferably gray or black. Yup, he must be a New Yorker at heart :)

5. Four months of care packages

I think this would be a fun twist on the flower/fruit/wine of the month club! Each month that he's in school for the spring semester you would send a care package - filled with random snacks and junk food along with a few surprise items like a $5 DVD or CD, school supplies, pictures from home...things along those lines. A gift that keeps on giving for the entire semester :)