Wednesday, February 29, 2012

balance

Today, I'm hanging out at On the Willows to share some thoughts about striving for balance in the midst of a busy and over-committed world.
{via}

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

tickle me tuesday {lace}

I'm not usually much for lace.  But I've been noticing accents of lace trim and loving it. These four have been tickling my fancy lately!
1 - pop quiz oxford casual shoe by shi 2 - handmade lace lined envelopes from stitched + adorned 3 - large lacey oval drop earrings from AcuteDesigns 4 - lacey lou black legwarmers by grace and lace co. 
What's been tickling your fancy?


Monday, February 27, 2012

what I'm into {February}

It's already the end of the month and it's already time for the monthly what I'm into post.  I've done it for the past two months and love looking back at what I included previously.  February has flown by, can you believe it's nearly March?  I noticed the crocus are coming up in my neighbor's yard already.
what I want to read.
The Hunger Games.  I started it over the weekend.  I have to admit, I'm hoping I don't fall off the face of earth and get sucked in the way everyone keeps telling me I will. #letsdothis

TV show worth watching.
Downton Abbey...and that's almost all I've watched since we disconnected our cable two weeks ago.

movie I've seen.
Moneyball.  I'm so ready for baseball season.

in my kitchen.
+ sweet potato chocolate pudding using this recipe
+ German pancakes (at least once a week)
+ veggies!

in my ears.  
+ Caedomon's Call Chronicles. It may be nearly ten years old, but their familiar tunes bring back good memories from my college days.
+ KBCO radio (thanks to online radio, I never have to go without my favorite classic rock station and I get updates on Colorado weather)

items of note.
+ Our amazing bathroom re-do and painting the guest room.
+ I spoke at a leadership conference on Saturday for freshman and sophomores at Tufts University.  The students were great and I had a lot of fun talking about leadership and digital identity.
+ I bought this concealer, mostly because Zooey Deschanel was selling it and I really like how it blends.

what I'm looking forward to. 
+ Hosting colleagues in Boston next month for my professional association's conference.  We've been working on this conference since December 2010, and I can't wait to see it come to fruition in my city!
+  Sharing more details + photos of home improvement projects...the mister has been hard at work and I'm hopeful I'll get some finishing touches on things to share soon.
+ Co-hosting a Pampered Chef party with a colleague next month.

bloglovin

Friday, February 24, 2012

warm caramel (paint) saved my life

If we were having coffee this week, I would not be able to keep from telling you this story!  We'd probably sit on my couch and I'd give you a choice of tea or coffee.  You'd likely comment on the unfinished look of our kitchen, in a polite way, but still wonder why there's a gap in the corner of the counter and unpainted walls.  I'd say I'm glad you asked because I can tell you about a project that's more finished than any other 'round here!

You see, it all started last weekend.  We didn't have any real plans.  My husband said he wanted to get some things done around the house and I hoped to do some preparation for an event I have the next weekend.  But then I said it.  I asked the questions I've been considering for months: How much work & time would it take to paint the upstairs bathroom?  As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew it was going to be an adventure.  The mister's eyes lit up and a grin came across his face, "Home Depot is bringing in new inventory this week, so they're sure to have things marked down."  Have I ever told you how much he loves a project?  
He's been working on the first floor of the house since we moved in last spring.  It's not finished, but it's quite livable.  The upstairs bathroom may function fine, but it is embarrassing.  I cringe every time I walk in it, which is every day since it's the only place we have to shower and was the only working toilet/sink up until the week after Christmas.  So before I claim a Saturday trip to Home Depot improved my quality of life, I want to share the before and after photos:

Part of me wishes I would have taken more photos before the pedestal sink, complete with gold trim and floral accents, lilac walls, and gold fixtures were removed.  But then there is part of me that's so thankful what I just described is a thing of the past.  I will never again walk into that bathroom, with its chipped enamel sink having barely enough room to set my toothpaste down, nor stare at myself in an oval mirror decked in floral-ness (pretty sure that's not a word, but described the previous bathroom situation).
It all started with my question, thinking we would buy some paint, then come home to search Craig's List for a "cheap" vanity. After all, that's how we acquired the pedestal sink in the 1st floor bath; we paid a mere $20.  So, as we entered Home Depot last Saturday, I was feeling somewhat apprehensive about the prospect of finding what we needed to perform a lil' bathroom reno on a budget.  Boy, was I wrong!

First, we went to the area with the sinks and vanities.  We had decided if we found one we both agreed on for $50 or less, we'd be in good shape.  What we found was better than expected.  There was a sink/vanity combo marked $60.  It was cute and the kind of thing I would pick out.  Then a salesman approached and asked if we needed help. We explained we're in the market for a vanity/sink and he told us the vanity was the floor model, so he could give it to us for $30, along with mirror/medicine cabinet (still in its box).  I said, "yes, please."  And then Brandon started looking it over.  They got to chatting and I wondered off to look at faucets (those are sold separately).  Next thing I know, Brandon wheels the vanity/sink around the corner in our cart and tells me to look at the price tag.  The guy had written $20 on it.  By this point I'm thinking, we should get going before they change their minds... 
All said and done, we spent less than $300 between the new light fixtures, faucet, paint, towel rack, TP holder and sink.  I feel like we have a whole new bathroom.  Honestly, the shower needs to be re-done, but we couldn't afford that nor do we have the time want to go without a shower.  But I'm telling you, the quality of life that comes from some paint and pretty fixtures is amazing!  When I tweeted about it the other night, I asked Brandon if he thought adding #gliddenwarmcaramelsavedmylife was over-the-top.  He just shrugged, but I think it's true.  Paint makes me feel better about our home.

Wanna know the next best part?!  We have enough paint left to tackle the master bedroom...goodbye dark olive walls!
What projects are you working on?


I'm linking up with Alissa

Thursday, February 23, 2012

current obsession: Downton Abbey

About a month ago, I started noticing tweets and Facebook posts about Downton Abbey.  It seemed that everywhere I looked, people were talking about this television show.  Yet, when I asked friends I encounter in  my day-to-day, no one had seen it.  Then I took the plunge when I realized Season 1 was available to stream via Netflix.
{via}
As an American, all things British seem to catch my eye.  Remember the media frenzy over Royal Wedding last spring?  Perhaps it's because I grew up with a mother who had an interest in the Royal Family.  Though I was an infant, I'm pretty sure I was alongside my mom to see the Royal Wedding televised back in 1981 when Diana became a Princess.  I even had a Princess Di paper doll and I can still tell you details of where I was when I learned Diana had been killed in a car crash in 1997.

I'm not always one to join the latest trend, especially when it comes to books and television.  However I'm so glad I gave in; Downton Abbey is the prefect blend of romance and mystery set in early twentieth century England.  The series starts the day the Titanic sank, 100 years ago.  The cast is dynamic, with characters you love to hate and others you root for in every episode.  I'm no television critic, but now that I've seen it I can agree with The New York Times calling it "an instant classic."
{via}
The period dress alone is something to admire.  I find myself imagining what it would be like to first of all get dressed up decked out for dinner every night and secondly, to have someone assisting you.  I certainly wouldn't want a servant/maid, but it's also something I've never imagined.  I love hearing the conversations among the working class (maids, footmen, cooks etc.) and then the Grantham family.  Still not convinced? Here's a great synopsis of the storyline (without spoiling it) and some excellent photos of the castle the series is filmed in.

The show is one my husband also enjoys, which makes me feel less guilty for spending time in front of the television because at least I'm not alone.  Have I sparked your interest or have you already watched every episode (maybe more than once)?  Season 2 is currently available online at PBS, but only until March 7th.  If you Google "Downton Abbey" you'll see a number of rumors swirling about with the end of its second season this past Sunday.  My favorite rumor, and one I'm hoping is true, is that David Boreanaz of Bones would be cast ins season 3 (spoiler alert if you read the article).  Seems this series has created quite the following and imagine my excitement when I came across these Downton Abbey paper dolls!

Do you watch Downton Abbey?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

German pancake

Happy Wednesday...we're half way through the work/school week!

One of our favorite weekend breakfasts of late, is the German pancake.  It's so simple to make.  I took some photos of it when we made it last weekend so I could share the recipe with you.  The pancake is chewy and delicious!  I'm also a sucker for anything with powdered sugar, so that may be a big part of why I love this recipe!



What's your favorite weekend breakfast treat?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

opportunity + hearing 'no'

When I first read Hayley's post 100 Golden No's my stomach knotted and I couldn't fathom wanting to hear NO 100 times in a year.  I kept reading and I kept thinking about this concept.  The idea is that the more opportunity you seek, the more opportunity you will have and along the way you'll conquer fears of hearing the word NO.

Since my word of the year is ready, I feel I should take this challenge on with gusto.  What am I afraid of?  There's even a pretty download for the 100 No's to print and hang out so you can track them.  I thought about it for weeks and now here I am admitting that I printed it out and am using it as a reminder.
{via}
But you know what else I need to admit?  I have already checked off more than one NO.  There was one NO that felt particularly painful.  I didn't want to hear it and was fearful it would arrive.  But I am left wondering what the closed door will allow to come my way.  I don't simply tell myself "something better will come along," because that doesn't usually work.  I'm not one for pat answers or band-aids.  Instead, I have to go through the situation: to grapple with the ugly, raw hurt and emotion on being shut down.

I have experienced disappointments before, and know I will again and again. So rather than telling myself something better will come along, I believe something different will come: the opportunity that is meant to be.  Waiting is hard.  Discernment is necessary.  And so I'm seeking wisdom in the midst of opportunity.  And I will continue to find opportunities and check off the NOs.  Think I'll reach 100 this year?

What are you seeking this week?

Monday, February 20, 2012

hello Monday

I am grateful to have today off.  Thank you, Mr. Presidents!  I'll be spending the day at home; I hope to have some time to craft a bit.  It's been too long since I've shared a DIY around here.  It's also the start of February vacation in our part of the world ((a week-long break for K-12)).  It makes me slightly jealous, but then I remember they're in school until mid-June...glad those days are behind me!

This week, I am saying hello to...
...new ((to me)) boots
...a couple's dinner with some church friends
...finishing season 1 of Downton Abbey and starting season 2
...clearance priced book shelves now containing my husband's books library
...a handwritten letter to Grandma
...making these outfit inspirations ((here and here)) out of my closet
...our soon-to-be pretty 2nd floor bathroom ((we hit some serious deals over the weekend))
...3.5 day work week

Can you tell we've been a little more focused on the house than usual?  I think it's a combination of the unseasonably warm winter and realizing we've been in our home for almost a year.  We spent so much time on the house over the weekend, but it feels good.

What did you do this weekend?


I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard

Friday, February 17, 2012

finds I fancy {3}

This week, I'm joining Friday's Fancies with Long Distance Loving for the first time.  The theme is "let's fly away."  I put together a little something I'd wear if I were going somewhere warmer, say California?  What are your travel must-haves?  I always try to dress in layers because I get cool easily, yet hate being too warm.  Scarves are often my answer!  I also bring comfy shoes, but try to only back 2-3 pairs.
spring travel

Nicole block heels, $80
Miss Selfridge crossbody bag, $12
Oversized bag, $40
Woven scarve, $17
Dorothy Perkins tortoiseshell sunglasses, $11

And here are some of my favorite finds from around blogland this past week...
  • Another beautiful reminder from Laura at Along for the Ride when I needed it most: Under Pressure
  • I love this colorful DIY table cloth idea from Oh Happy Day!
  • Still mourning the impending loss of Picnik? Good news--- Kam from Campfire Chic shared some alternatives to Picnik.
  • I'm adoring these book page inspirations put together by Brooke of Pure and Noble.
  • What are you obsessing over lately? This post from Mom Comm shared some helpful tips for what NOT to obsess over in the blog world.
What do you always travel with? Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February sponsors

Meet this month's sponsors...be sure to show them some love...after all, it's February!
blog // facebook // twitter
About Kendra's blog: Hi! I'm Kendra, a twenty something blogger, artist, photographer, blog designer, writer, dreamer and first time mama-to-be of a little boy! I blog about life, art and inspirations at Like a Bird. I focus on being honest and truthful to myself, as well as others about my journey to find myself. I love being a friend and resource for other artists and those struggling with depression. I have unhealthy obsessions with zombies, Star Wars, coffee, blogging and cuddling.
How do you survive the winter blues?   I survive the winter blues with lots of cuddles with my fiance and cat and hot chocolate always at hand. Walks in parks with my camera are also a great help as it helps me remember the beauty of this season.
blog // twitter // facebook
About Kristin's blog: Cooking, crafting, sewing, + other domestic ventures.
How do you survive the winter blues?  I survive the winter blues by lots and lots of baking. In Florida we don’t have efficient heating, so I take this opportunity to use the oven as much as I can. Pretty soon it gets too hot to bake! I usually give most of the baked goods away to help boost other peoples’ moods. A warm kitchen and a warm heart helps me get through winter.
blog // shop // twitter
About Manda's blog: I'm the new fiance to my Prince Charming, planning our July wedding. I have 4 crazy and wild step-kiddos who live with us full time. I have 3 fur babies who have me wrapped around their little paw! My blog is all out the adventures into this completely new world of motherhood, lessons learned, wedding planning and just about anything else that is on my mind for that day!
How do you survive the winter blues?  Stay busy! With four kiddos in the house, we are always on the go. So, we don't spend a lot of time indoors. We are at the baseball park or softball field... and if we are inside, we like to do things like baking and crafting and cooking to keep us all busy!
blog // shop // twitter // facebook
About Beth's blog: My name is Elizabeth & I am a twenty-something who pretends to be a grown up! I love Jesus, people, glitter, adventures, dress up, creating, exploring, and dating my best friend! Come stop on by & say hello! I would be honored to have you as a guest!
How do you survive the winter blues?  Winter blues?! What are those? Winter is my second favorite season ever [nothing can beat autumn!]. When winter comes, scarves & pea coats are daily attire! Paired with cute boots with socks. Beautiful snow falls & covers all the ugliness of town - seriously snow makes garbage dumps look good! Snow cones, sledding, snowboarding, Christmas, fireplaces, hot coco, cuddling, & ice skating are all possibilities!!! I suppose if you have a case of the winter blues you need to 1. make a list of things you are grateful for and 2. take time to find out why we have seasons - there is something good & special in each one!

I'm also button swapping with several other lovely bloggers and handmade shop owners.  Be sure to check them out if you haven't already!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a sweet treat

Here's a simple + sweet recipe from me to you on this Valentine's Day.  
Make it for a friend, loved one or enjoy it on your own ((I won't tell))!
I hope you have a lovely day, no matter your plans :-)

Monday, February 13, 2012

coffee date: Boston

I love coffee.  And I love coffee dates even more!  My husband received a gift card for Christmas that we've been using for coffee dates, which has been a real treat.  Since moving outside of the city almost a year ago, we don't get to many coffee shops besides Starbucks.
source
If you and I had a coffee date, I think it would go something like this...
We'd meet at a local coffee shop in Boston and sit down at one of its small tables.  You'd notice the students bustling in/out, the business types in their suits all bundled up since it's February and the dog walkers, dressed for the day's elements.  If you weren't from the area, you'd probably ask me why I chose this location and I'd tell you I love the atmosphere as much as the coffee itself.  I'd then tell you I love people watching here, with its many students and professor types, proving that I can't escape the university atmosphere even when I'm "off the clock."

I'd ask you what you think of Boston and probably give you lots of pointers, even if you didn't ask for them.  You see, I love Boston and even more I love to tell others how I adore its historic streets and cobblestone sidewalks.  I probably should have advised you to get your coffee to go, so we could walk the streets together and I could point things out!

But if you'd rather stay inside, I can tell you how to go about getting to the top of the Old Customs House to see the most amazing view of the city.  I would then recommend strolling through Quincy Market on your way to the North End for some gelato or a pastry.  If it's cold you should take the Green Line to Park Street  and then explore my favorite street in the city: Charles.  The street is lined with expensive but quaint shops that are worth browsing because it is so Boston with its gas lamps and narrow sidewalks.
source
Boston is known for its celebration of sports and great athletes, but don't worry I'm not going to try to sell you on football ((which doesn't even get played in the city)).  I'd tell you I'm excited for one of my favorite Boston traditions that will conclude tonight: The Beanpot.  On the first two Mondays of February four NCAA men's ice hockey teams play in a tournament for the Beanpot trophy.  Tonight's finals match up is between Boston University and Boston College.  Harvard and Northeastern will play in the consolation game.  My other favorite sports moments occur every April with Opening day at Fenway ((this year marks the 100the anniversary of the ballpark)) and the Boston Marathon.

I'd tell you I am beyond excited to show Boston off as part of the 2012 Annual ACUI Conference planning team.  We will host 900 of my colleagues from institutions around the world in just five weeks.  I'd also confess to being somewhat worried everyone has a great experience, so much so that I'm praying it doesn't snow!

Finally, I just might admit the city has its downfalls with harsh winters and short summers, high cost of living, awkwardly intersecting streets and crowded public transportation system.  I'd tell you they are forgiven a lot of times because they teach me patience, how to enjoy the moment and uniqueness of the region.

What do you love about your city/town?
.  
((I'm linking up with Alyssa))

Friday, February 10, 2012

finds I fancy {2}

With our unseasonably mild winter, I've started to dream of spring.  Rather than risking the temptation of roaming the mall, I "shopped" Polyvore last night and put together a few outfits for spring ((I also searched for items under $50 in hopes of finding some more budget-friendly pieces)).  As you can see, I have stripes and florals on my mind.  I haven't mixed patterns much in the past, but hope to do it more so I'm on the lookout for a striped shirt.





spring day

H M sleeveless dress, £15
H M double breasted trench coat, £30
Hunter boots, €119
Leather clutch, $30
Red shawl, $32
signs of spring


Button dress, $50
H m jacket, £30
Dorothy Perkins tan oxford, $27
H M studded handbag, £15
Jersey scarve, $32
H&M metal shades, £4.99



What do you think of the brown oxfords?  I'm thinking I should try something new this season and these might be it.  They're slightly different from what I'd usually consider 'my style,' but I know a fashion risk is good for me ((every once and a while)).  Journey's has some options here and here.

What trends are you digging as spring approaches?

And here are some of my favorite posts from around blogland in the past week:
  • I'm feeling more and more ready to go for no 'poo myself after reading Ferial's post about her switch months ago.
  • An outfit that inspired me with the promise of spring
  • This Valentine's garland made me so happy, mostly because I've always love sending letters and getting real mail.
  • I'm considering having an Oscar Party, even if it just means printing these out and making my husband play along.
  • If you've been around here long, you know I love social media, and Annie's post about her un-strategy gave me plenty to think about.
What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

diy valentine gift ideas

Yesterday, I sent my husband an instant message with a link to a T-shirt, telling him I'd buy it for him for Valentine's Day if we had the budget for gifts. It started me thinking about what I could do for Valentine's Day.  Honestly, I have never been a big fan of the Hallmark holiday because of the emphasis on materialism and attention it drew to my 27 years of singledom.  I have a better attitude about embracing it with homemade items and acts of love these days.

I'm glad I have the weekend to decide what to make :)  Here are some do-it-yourself and homemade items  to inspire a budget conscious Valentine for your sweetie, neighbor or friend!
52 Reasons Why I Love You from PaperVine

homemade lip balm from JustLove.lyThings
game of love from Real Housewives of Bucks County
moisturizing bath candy from Crunchy Betty
Still searching for more ideas?
  • Stay in for dinner. Eat dinner picnic-style ((on the floor)) with a cozy blanket or build a fort, use candles or Christmas lights to make it something different than another meal on the couch or sitting at the table.
  • Create a coupon book. Think of 5-10 ideas ((back rub, kitchen clean up, etc.)) This was a similar DIY idea with scratch off lottery tickets. The tickets/coupons can be used year-round for a gift that outlasts the shortest month of the year.
  • Bake a treat. What does your spouse/friend like to indulge in? Take the time to make that special treat to show your love.
  • Pamper yourself.  You might as well take care of yourself and check out these homemade body scrubs from Crunchy Betty.
What are your Valentine's plans?  Will you make something to give away?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

adverbs

I'm borrowing this idea from Jen at The Arizona Russums. I thought it was such a clever way to explain the things we do ((or want to do)).

I never follow a recipe completely.
I rarely cook dinner ((and never would have guessed it would be this way)).
I sometimes go to the grocery store but hope by husband offers.
I usually make a list of what we need from the grocery store and pull coupons to go with it.
I always enjoy my husband's cooking ((and try not to take it for granted)).

never get my inbox to zero, but often try.
rarely get everything done on my daily to do list
sometimes work nights + weekends.
usually get to work on time and make a daily to do-do list at my desk.
always bring two large refillable bottles of water to work with me ((the cafeteria water tastes nasty)).

never forget birthdays and anniversaries ((but I don't always send a card)).
rarely get to spend more than a few days with family because we're spread across the country.
sometimes reply promptly ((within 12 hours)) to emails, texts and phone calls.
usually call my dad on the weekends.
always miss my mom.
Where do you fall on the spectrum of never, rarely, sometimes, usually, always?
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

put a bird on it

I've had a little obsession with this saying ever since I first watched Portlandia.  My husband and I joke around when ever we see a bird saying "put a bird on it" and I even told a colleague recently to do the same ((but he didn't get it)).  I have some ribbon with birds on it I used to make a cute clip for a baby.
I also own a sweater with bird on it and used to refer to it as my Twitter sweater because oddly enough the bird is Twitter blue ((I bought it at Old Navy years ago)).  Last week, I wore the sweater thinking it would put me in a happy & fun mood for a long day at work.  And it did just that, but not for the reasons I had imagined.  It reminded me of Matthew 6 and what Jesus said about birds.  I had a lot on my mind that day; it was racing in a million directions and I took the chance to be still and read the familiar words I needed so badly to hear.
Thank you, God, for the reminder:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  Matthew 6:25-27

I'm grateful that something so silly brought me back to such a beautiful promise: 
Do not be anxious about your life.  Our Heavenly Father provides for our every need. 
Where have you seen reminders of God's promises lately?

Monday, February 6, 2012

self portrait {challenge}

Thankfully, I haven't endured mean comments from readers on this blog.  I hear other bloggers talk about it and I am stunned.  I just don't understand why someone would write rude comments.  Don't they remember high school?  Or maybe they never grew up...

At any rate, I'm joining the self-portrait challenge from The Paper Mama.  All you have to do is take a photo of yourself and complete the following statements, then linkup.

Obsessing over…
What color to paint the living room.  ((Not really, but I needed to say something, right?))

Working on…
My speech and workshop for a leadership summit for college students in two weeks.  I'm talking about digital identity and leadership.

Thinking about…
How to spend our tax return wisely.  We haven't filed yet,  but with it being the first year to file as homeowners and needing to finish so many home improvements, I'm pretty anxious to get it done!

Anticipating…
March.  The first week of Mach is spring beak for the university where I work.  I'll be at work that week, but it will be quiet and I can wrap up last minute details for ACUI's Annual Conference, which I'm on the planning team for later in March.  The conference is going to be awesome and I'm excited to host my colleagues and show off Boston!

Listening to…
97.3 KBCO ((via websteam)), great classic rock selection and makes me miss Colorado like crazy with all their commentary!  I'm long overdue for a visit to the Centennial state.

Eating…
Nothing at the moment, but I consumed some delicious cake over the weekend.  On Saturday, I made a from scratch double chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting.  

Wishing…
I could go to one of the many wonderful blog conferences this spring.  Between our slim budget and my work schedule this season, it just doesn't allow the travel/time.  I'm hoping that will change in the future!
  
Have you participated in the self-portrait challenge?
Don't forget the GIVEAWAY ends on Tuesday ((that's tomorrow))!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

oatmeal raisin + chocolate chip cookies

I love to bake.  If I had endless time, I would bake cookies all day!  Well, maybe not all day ((I'd spend some time EATING them too))!  I had a stressful day earlier in the week and what was my response?  I came home and baked.  I find it soothing to focus on making something...something delicious I can share with others ((and enjoy myself)).  I took them to our community group that night and they were a huge hit.
I used the Quaker Oats tub as my guide, but made some changes along the way ((I can't seem to follow a recipe to the T)).  Here's my recipe:
ingredients
3/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
3 c. rolled oats
1 c. raisins
1 c. chocolate chips
directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine flours, baking soda and salt, set aside.
Mix butter with both sugars using an electric mixer, until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla to mixture.
Slowly add flour mixture by one half cup at a time until it's all mixed in.
Stir in oats, raisins and chocolate chips.
Use two spoons to place on cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 min. or until slightly brown on top ((don't let them get too brown or they will be crunchy rather than chewy)).
Remove from oven and cool on wire wrack.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

What was the last thing you baked?

And if you haven't taken my reader survey, please take a minute to give me your feedback.  Thank you!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

finds I fancy {1}

Today, I'm hanging out at On the Willows, sharing some beautiful handmade scarves...and I'm also over at Baxtron Life.  'Round here I want to share some cell phone pics from the past week...
(1+2) German pancake for two (3) wearing a favorite t-shirt ((there's a turkey wearing a football helmet on it)) (4) in the car on our way to meet friends in NH rocking my crocheted cowl (5) love it when Milton sleeps with his paws crossed ((notice he's totally peeking when I took this shot?!)) (6) handmade bag by Alison with handmade pouches by Melissa and Virginia (7) meatless Monday: beet burgers with mashed celeriac (8) meeting a new friend ((talk about precious!)) (9) my favorite Girl Scout cookie, they always make me think of Mom
Since it's become sort of a thing around here on Fridays...here's my list of favorite posts from the blog world this week:
  • I wish I would have read this before I posted my first vlog earlier in the week. Considering a vlog yourself? Don't miss her tips.
  • I'm loving this goodwill transformation thanks to some pretty silver spray paint!
  • Who couldn't use some Secrets of DIY Manicure in their life?!  I love painting my nails and she has some really great suggestions.
  • Inspiration for living a greener life style by Christa ((I realize this goes against the manicure mention))
  • Giving is a topic I tend to talk more about than actually do, so when I read this helpful post from Rachel I was encouraged by another blogger living on a budget ((her whole blog is awesome by the way))!
  • Thank you Laura for reminding us about the numbers that really matter!
What are you looking forward to this weekend?

P.S. Have you taken the reader survey or enter the giveaway?!
life rearranged

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Until Only Love Remains {giveaway}

Today, I am excited to introduce Beth of Until Only Love Remains.
blog // shop // twitter // facebook
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Elizabeth & I am a twenty-something who pretends to be a grown up! I love Jesus, people, glitter, adventures, dress up, creating, exploring, and dating my best friend! Come stop on by & say hello! I would be honored to have you as a guest!

Beth has an Etsy shop full of home, baby and wedding decor.  And this giveaway is just in time for Valentine's Day!  Win this beautiful bunting banner made from burlap (($20 value)).
Coupon Alert: Use code SWEETLOVE for 25% off your purchase!
How to enter: Leave a comment below using Disqus
Visit Until Only Love Remains and tell me your favorite item ((mandatory entry))

For extra entries ((leave a comment for each)):
-Follow Beth and me on Twitter ((one entry))
-Heart Beth's shop on Etsy ((one entry and leave your username))
-Follow Beth's blog via GFC ((one entry))
-Follow this blog via bloglovin ((one entry))
-Like Until Only Love Remains and dot...in the city on Facebook ((one entry))
-Tweet, blog or share on Facebook about this giveaway ((one entry each and leave a link to your post))

That's a total of 9 possible entries!

Giveaway will close on Tuesday, February 7 and the winner announced the next day. U.S. Residents only ((all photos by Beth and used by permission)). 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

reader survey

It's been 13 months since I did a reader survey, so I thought it time to do another.  I'd love it if you could take the time to answer the following questions about why you read this blog.  I know some of you, but would love to get to know you better and find out what keeps you coming back...THANK YOU in advance!




Thank you, kindly!
P.S. Check out my February Sponsors over there >>>