Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Well, another year comes to a close. I am thankful that Andrew started his blog and inspired me to do the same. I look forward to another great year of daily photos shared with you, my lovely readers (and surprisingly, there are more of you than I thought, according to sitemeter).

I shall close out the year with a photo of my favorite purchase of 2007, my iMac (which I love even more than my Macbook!). This is my home office, where I while away the hours communicating with you lovelies via the great and mighty power that is the internet.

Be safe and have a very happy 2008.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

A relaxing day at home

I spent the day relaxing at home, watching Capote on TV, reading, and catching up on the various blogs I read. It was good to relax, especially after the grueling 60 minute workout we did last night. My legs are still sore. And to think that I worried that the resistance band wouldn't provide enough resistance for an adequate workout. Haha, silly me.

Steph LOVES tea, so one of the things my Mom got her for Christmas was some blooming tea. I've seen it before in stores, but have never tried it. We used it for the first time and it was pretty cool. It didn't look as nice as the picture on the box, but it was still pretty and fun to watch.

Winston was having a grand old time taunting Beignet while she was in her crate. He's such a naughty (but cute) kitty!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

More Loot!

We received a box of Christmas gifts today from Chad, Andrew, and Andrew's parents. You are all so sweet and we are thrilled with our gifts! Thank you so very much! Of course, I had to document the entire process of opening the gifts. Hehehe.

Opening our box of goodies! They sent everything in a Viva Terra box and now I am dying of curiosity to know what they ordered from Viva Terra.

The spread of our loot from Chad, Andrew, Kathy, and Rich.

Soon to be famous AJ jams! Mmm, so delicious. Don't worry, Andrew, I will save the jars for you. I am particularly excited to try the strawberry banana. I also love the little tags on them. I wish I knew how to do these things with my Mac. Andrew and Chad will have to teach me when I come visit them in January.

Washi Eggs! Steph seriously flipped out when she saw these. They are so cool. Andrew, is this what you and your Mom were using the liquid starch for?

This is a close up of one of the Washi Eggs Andrew and his mom, Kathy, made for us. Aren't they gorgeous?!?! I want you guys to teach me how to make them!

Friday, December 28, 2007


Here is some of the Christmas loot my Mom sent me. It's sort of been coming pieces at a time from Amazon. Here we have a Flip camcorder (I am so excited about this one!), a Diana lomography camera (sweet...I want to run out now and buy 120 film!), some sketching pens, and this incredible book called "ReadyMade" that teaches you to make things out of your refuse and other found or easily acquired objects (things like water bottles, old glasses, paper bags, and stuff like that).

Turkey Veggie Casserole

This looks kind of strange, but trust me, it is good! It is turkey and veggie casserole that I made. I found a recipe on SparkRecipes and then converted it to incorporate more vegetables. It is packed with fiber and protein! There is spinach, bell pepper, onion, potato, and carrot in there. It was might tasty and these are some leftovers.

I have a feeling that most of my photos this week are going to be from around the house because the weather is really gross and rainy here and we're kind of taking it easy for the rest of 2007.

(Thursday December 27, 2008)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Junk Pail

This is the Christmas present Steph received from her unit. We added it up, and we think the total value of this "gift" is about $4.00. It is a pail with apple cider mix, one crappy pen, one mechanical pencil, one highliter, generic brand chocolates, tic tacs, and some gum. Other units get nice things like mugs, fleece blankets, or t-shirts, but they get this crap. Why? One word-- management. Ungrateful fools. They obviously don't appreciate all the hard work my Stephie and all the other nurses on her floor do. Are they getting Christmas bonuses? NO! At Hopkins, she used to get a $1000 retention bonus every 6 months. Those were the days. Vanderbilt blows. But it is generally much cheaper to live here, so I guess financially it evens out. Still though, it isn't good for morale to be undervalued at work. Also, Hopkins had much better insurance.

In other news, I got a flu shot today. Very exciting! This is the first year I've been able to get one because every other year they run out or don't get enough in stock. Of course, I spent the majority of the afternoon really flushed, feverish, and generally icky, but I'd rather have flu-like symptoms for a day than come down with the actual flu.

But enough least for now. ;-)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Blooms

I received a wonderful Christmas present this morning-- my paperwhites bloomed!

I love paperwhites-- they are so shimmery and delicate, and they smell heavenly. My Mom was given paperwhites by a friend before I was born and they bloomed on the day I came into this world. So paperwhites have a very special place in my heart and I give them to my mother every year, in addition to forcing them myself.

Merry Christmas to all the people out there in blog land!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve

It was so nice out today! It was brisk, but not to cold, and it was sunny and clear all day. Check out those clouds! Beignet, Katie, and I went for a lovely walk. It would have been even more lovely had Beignet not yanked me all over the place every time she saw an animal or a child (her two favorite things). We need to get her another gentle leader. I would have stayed outside longer, but my tolerance for her shenanigans quickly wore off.

(Monday December 24, 2007)

East side lovin'

On Sunday we went to Margot Cafe for brunch and then hung out in East Nashville for a while. I wanted to go to this Art Co-op, but sadly it was closed because the member who was supposed to show up and run it for the day wasn't able to make it (this is all according to the sign posted on the door, by the way). Those damn art hippies are so irresponsible. That's what you get when you have a co-op and you actually have to trust other people. Just kidding, just kidding.

While we were driving around, we passed a lot of interesting stores and restaurants. This dilapidated VW bus you see is a hot dog cart called "I Dream of Weenie". Pretty clever. I want to try it out one day.

(Sunday December 23, 2007)


Most of our neighbors have cats, and all of those cats LOVE to come and hang out on our deck. I think it's because they like to chase after the birds, since we have a bunch of bird feeders hanging from the deck. Luckily, I have yet to find any casualties. I caught Andy, Dana and Gary's cat, hiding under our grill over the weekend.

(Saturday December 22, 2007)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A non dead plant

I had so many plants in the house right now that are our their last leg (my ginger plant, my key lime tree), having not made the transition from outside to inside quite so well. However, my succulents continue to thrive! All the terrariums I made have outgrown their original homes and I will soon need to move them to new digs. Here is a newer succulent grove, which, as you can see, enjoys the indoors just fine!

(Friday December 21, 2007)

Christmas Cards

I've set aside space on one of the shelves in the living room for Christmas cards we've received. The first one we got is this one, from Becky and Scott. I love getting cards from people, but especially Christmas cards. There are so many different kinds out there and it's always fun for me to see which one people choose for themselves.

(Thursday December 20, 2007)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blue Jay

Today, while at Vanderbilt, I saw a Blue Jay over by the Student Health Center. It was in the bushes right by the sidewalk, and seemed to not mind the passersby at all. I thought it was strange that it wasn't the least bit afraid of humans. It actually let me get pretty close to it.

Here is an interesting fact about Blue Jays, taken from Wikipedia:
"As with other blue-hued birds, the Blue Jay's coloration is not derived by pigments, but is the result of light refraction due to the internal structure of the feathers; if a blue feather is crushed, the blue disappears as the structure is destroyed. This is referred to as structural coloration."


There is so much construction going on in Nashville, especially downtown. People here are really just starting to get into the idea of urban living. I like to check out the new buildings when I'm driving around downtown for whatever reason. Today I saw this interesting building out in the West End, by Centennial Park. I like the big round windows; they look like portholes on a ship.

(Tuesday December 18, 2007)

Add this to the list of things I don't understand...

I'm all for holiday cheer and decor, but I will never understand why people decorate their cars for Christmas. I see big wreaths on the front of cars and garlands wrapped around roof racks, and I just don't see the appeal. Isn't it a fire hazard to put greenery on the front of your car? I would think the engine could overheat and you'd have trouble on your hands. Today though, I saw something new to add to the list-- a person had put antlers on their car.

(Monday December 17, 2007)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Blackbottom Goodness

Whenever my school would have bake sales, I would always get excited over the blackbottoms and rice krispie treats. I've been thinking about blackbottoms lately, and wanted to have them again. So I looked up a recipe online and Steph made them for us. They are delicious-- they taste just like I remember.

(December 16, 2007)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

AJ Peach Jam

When Andrew and Chad came to visit us in Nashville, Andrew gave me some peach jam he had made. It is SO GOOD! I've been eating it nonstop for the past week or so and I am going to run out soon. I'm pretty bummed about that, but in the meantime I've been enjoying my jam on toast and PB&J sandwiches.

This morning I had toast with butter and jam for breakfast, along with scrambled eggs. The red stuff is on the eggs is Chohula hot sauce-- I am addicted to that stuff.

Pear Ornament

I got these adorable pear ornaments from Etsy (of course). Etsy is my new shopping mecca. I am going to cut the ribbon off of them and put them in a bowl. Much more tasteful than fake plastic fruit, don't you think?

(Friday December 14, 2007)

Looking out at Vanderbilt

Can you imagine if your office had a view like this? I took this photo by sneaking into an empty office at Vanderbilt when I was in one of the Vandy buildings on Thursday. The glare off the glass kind of takes away from it, but you get the idea.

(Thursday December 13, 2007)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Inkling of Christmas Spirit

I heard on the radio today that it's going to get down to 37 degrees on Sunday. Yes! It's about time. While my holiday spirit is weak this year, it has managed to peek out a little bit. Here you see the dresser in our bedroom. It is decked out with my latest Etsy purchase (hand-knit cashmere pussy willows- so cool), a small wire tree, and some Christmas ornaments in a vase.

(Wednesday December 12, 2007)

Why is it so hot in December?

Yesterday it was almost 80 degrees outside. It was sick. I think the unseasonably warm weather is one of the reasons why I've had a difficult time getting into the Christmas spirit this year-- it's hard to think about eggnog and Christmas trees when you're in shorts. Here I am, lazing on the couch in my shorts.

(Tuesday December 12, 2007)

Grass babies

The new grass Cecil planted out back about a month ago is doing very well. It's already much lusher than anything we've ever had back there before. I think we got the right seed mix this time. It's also been very mild out and we've had a lot of rain (for which I'm very thankful, because I hate watering). We also overseeded about two weeks ago. I think that's all we'll do until the Spring. Then we'll fertilize and overseed again. Also, the new trees we planted back there are looking nice as well.

(Monday December 10, 2007)

Problem Plant

This is a picture of my ginger plant. I've posted about this particular plant before-- I'm very protective of the plant because I got the cutting from our neighbor in Baltimore. It really thrived outside this summer, but ever since I brought it inside this Fall, it's been in a slow, but steady decline. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong-- sure, it's colder now, but I keep the temperature in the house between 64-70, so that should be enough for it to at least live. I water it once a week and have it directly in front of the window. I also fertilize it about once a month. What am I doing wrong? Too much fertilizer? Should I try a different location? I love this plant and am very attached to it-- I would be devastated if I killed it.

(Sunday December 9, 2007)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ah, youth!

OK, so I am always annoying Steph by singing the theme song to the "Gummi Bear Adventures" show. Does anyone else remember that cartoon? It was about gummi bears (obviously) and when they drank their special gummi juice (aka sugar) they would bounce all around and save the day. The song is always in my head, so I sing it frequently. Last night, we decided to see if we could find the song online. So we stumbled onto this great site, called Retro Junk. It has all the movies, TV shows, and commercials from your childhood (if you're around my age)! I can't believe I'm old enough now that stuff from my youth is considered "retro".

For your pleasure, I introduce to you, the Gummi Bears song!

I also stumbled upon this show I used to LOVE, but had totally forgotten about-- Beauty and the Beast. Apparently you can buy the entire show on DVD. I may just have to do that.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

I can't find my "Barefoot Contessa: Family Style" cookbook anywhere. I'm going to have to buy another one, because I really can't live without it. I have every single book of Ina Garten's and I want to keep it that way. I wanted to make her rice pudding yesterday, but I couldn't find the book. It must have gotten lost in the move. Thankfully, the recipe was online at the Food Network site, so potential crisis was averted.

Mmm, rice pudding. I love it.

(Saturday December 8, 2007)

Hanging stuff

Since the cats have deemed that we may not have a Christmas tree, I have just been hanging things wherever I can. I hung a few felt bird ornaments, as well as the snowman ornament that Jenn sent me, on some clips in my study. It makes the room feel warm and festive.

To tell you the truth, I'm not too upset about not having a large tree. I always break out in a rash from handling the tree (since I'm not made for this world and am allergic to pretty much everything), and I hate vacuuming up pine needles every day. Plus setting it up and taking it down is a real pain. So even though I feel like a bit of a scrooge, it's sort of a relief on many levels.

(Friday December 7, 2007)

Sleepy time

Look at all these lazy animals! Isn't it cute how they all like to nap together? It's like a big pile of love. You can't really see Louis, but he is curled up behind Winston.

(Thursday December 6, 2007)

Paperwhite Bulbs

I am currently forcing paperwhite and daffodil bulbs. I have them strewn throughout the house. I've never done daffodils, so I don't know how they'll turn out, but I expect the paperwhites to bloom in about two weeks. As you can see, they are just wee babes right now.

(Wednesday Deceber 5, 2007)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Warm Happiness

I felt really sick today. I slept terribly last night and I've been coughing and having bouts of nausea and dizziness. I should have gotten the humidifier out of the attic and put it in the bedroom last night, but I was too lazy to clean it and bring it downstairs. So basically, it was a lousy day, until I opened my mail!

I ordered a business card wallet from JennMaruskaDesign on Etsy. It came in today's mail and I was so shocked and delighted by her package. Apparently I was her 200th sale on Etsy, so she sent along a bunch of extras as gifts. Candy, an ornament she made, a little mitten, and a Starbucks gift card! Jenn is so sweet, and her work is darling and so well crafted. You should all go and buy things from her shop IMMEDIATELY!

She also has a delightful blog. It makes me like her even more, knowing that she has a shrine to Ina Garten in her kitchen.

She really put a smile on my face and made my day. Thanks again, Jenn!

Christmas Decorating

Last night we did a little Xmas decorating. We bought a little potted tree at Home Depot and put our miniature ornaments on it. It was sort of a test to see whether the cats would leave it alone, because I didn't want to go through the trouble of putting up a large tree only to have it destroyed. As I suspected, when I came into the dining room this morning, the cats had chowed down on some of the ornaments and dirt from the pot was scattered all over the floor. So much for that little experiment. I put the tree out on the deck, so at least we can have some outdoor holiday spirit.

Are they being so destructive out of normal kitten (they are both under a year old) curiosity or should I expect this behavior from them forever? I hope they calm down because I will be very sad if we can never have a tree inside again.

(Monday December 3, 2007)

Best Friends

On Sunday I went to the Rock your Stocking event hosted by the Nashville Craft Mafia. I was really impressed by some of the artists there. I talked to some people and bought a few things (of course!).

I mostly bought presents for other people, but I couldn't resist getting myself another stuffed owl. Now he is sitting on the chair in my study, snuggled up to my other owl.

(Sunday December 2, 2007)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I admit that I have a problem

I need to buy this shirt. OK, so now I have ANOTHER blog. I know, it's pathetic. I need some kind of 12 step program. This one started because I needed to sign up for a blog in order to comment on someone else's blog. So it's not really my fault. Right? Right.

I do like Vox better though because they have more templates to choose from. I am trying to get used to it. Eek.

New Blog

Maybe I'll switch over to Vox entirely at the end of this year. Dunno.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I wants one!

I want an Owl Finch. I think I've reached my emotional pet capacity though. Plus the cats would always try to kill it. But, if I had an owl finch, I'd name him Lenny. Here's a page from my sketchbook. I drew it this afternoon while waiting for my photos to upload on iPhoto.