Feb 28, 2011

{Good Morning, Monday}

this weekend i took all of our pictures on film. so who really knows when we'll see them :)

but guys…
{okay, just took a moment to add that up in my head. maybe five months. but its been ages. & it was glorious.}

oh. & a few people asked about my tea, this weekend, too. & i haven't answered anyones questions honestly because i don't know how to answer them! i'm totally new to brewing this stuff & any of my opinions would be totally based off what i've read. so i'm testing my batch again this morning. it still hadn't fermented quite enough to my liking when i tried it saturday, but it was on its way to being yummy good. once i have something to share, though, i totally will :)

ANYWAYS, i hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weather this last weekend as much as we did.
i think about 80% of our time was spent outdoors. & eating.

the campbell show we went too was, as always, lots of fun. the only thing we realised afterwards is that its harder for us to stay out past 1 anymore. at least being up on our feet. i think if we'd been in a little cafe the whole time it would have been a different story. well, i'd like to think, anyways.

One more thing about today is that its my dad's birthday!
{should i say how old…? anyways. its a big one. i can't wait to celebrate tonite. i am providing the dark chocolate cake. so heres to hoping its good!}
love you dad!
i hope daniel & i will be as good of parents as you & mom were, someday :)

Feb 25, 2011

{going to see}

campbell the band {again} tonite with husband & friends.
a good way to start a weekend :)

Feb 24, 2011

{this week, i finally did it…}

after over a year & almost a half of dreaming…
i am finally brewing my very first batch of kombucha tea.
this is the batch that made the culture. 
typically you would just buy it, but i wanted to try it at home first.
& right now it is sitting in a massive sun tea jar in a gallon of sweet tea.

maybe it will turn out. maybe it wont :)
we'll know sometime next week.

& maybe it looks weird. but i am massively excited. {!!!}

Feb 23, 2011

{there's no wrong way…to eat a reese's}

does anyone else remember those commercials?
they make me think of saturday morning cartoons. the BEST day of the week!
now you can make your own reeses. & they are easy. 
& if your chocolate tooth at some point converted from milk to dark chocolate - you can make super dark chocolate reese's cups & they are divine :)

this recipe is from design*sponge, but i would tweak it JUST a bit {as always. i can't just leave a recipe alone…}

you will need:
2 or so cups of chocolate
1 cup of peanut butter
1/3 cup of powdered sugar
*1/4 cup of crushed graham crackers are OPTIONAL. {because i ended up not liking the crunchiness of them}
pinch of salt

so here is whats up:
You can make these either with mini muffin liners, or the regular sized ones. I did a few of each. & you also don't need to grease the liners at all. That may be a no brainer, but i didn't know…
no. 1 
Line a muffin pan with paper liners & set aside.
no. 2 
Melt a little more than half {1 1/4 cups maybe?} of your {super dark, right?} chocolate until melted in a double boiler. & remove from heat.
no. 3 
Now just dip a glob of melted goodness into each paper liner. Using the back of a spoon you can paint a layer of melted chocolate on the sides of the paper liners. Reeses like. Also: don’t skimp on your chocolate here. Once done, set your bowl out of the way with any leftover melted chocolate left in it.
no. 4 
Put the muffin tin in the refrigerator or freezer if you're impatient, like me, while you make the peanut-butter filling.
no. 5 
Combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt {& maybe your graham crackers} Stir until well combined.
no. 6 
Return your chocolate bowl to the top of the double boiler. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining chocolate and melt.
no. 7 
Meanwhile, remove your muffin tin from the refrigerator freezer Put a little mound into each cup & tap down each mound with your fingertips to “nest” it into the chocolate bottom.
no. 8
By now, your chocolate should be melted. So using a spoon again, drizzle chocolate on top of each cup until covered & put in the fridge until set.
these are a good 'hey friend, happy birthday to you & you're awesome, so have a peanut butter cup' gift.

& if you pop a few beforehand, that is awesome of you, too :)

Feb 22, 2011

{just for fun: a sort of style board}

earlier this weekend while daniel was out & about i got bored & decided to look through a few of my favorite websites. you know. the catalouges you always flip through & rarely never buy anything from?

& it was actually really fun. & i surprisingly didn't feel awful & pout about all of the beautiful things i wish i could buy. but i did decide that it would be fun to save pictures of the things i loved the very most - & see if there was any kind of consistency in what i like. or if it was just totally random.

i did notice that i saved 3 peach cardigans {YES PEACH! where did that come from?! but i'm totally loving it!}, 3 pairs of ankle jeans, & several pencil skirts {that aren't shown here}

so, kind of a fun, but maybe pointless thing to do with my weekend :)

{by the way, i never claimed to be awesome at putting this kind of stuff together. its just for fun :)}

no.1, no. 2, no.3,
no.4, no.5, no.6, {i'll admit, no. 6 doesn't look awesome in the pic, but rolled up, they would be comfy & amazing}
 no.7, no.8, no.9, no.10, no.11

Feb 21, 2011

{weekends are for brunching}

the weekends are just go by much too fast...
we had daniel's grandma over for brunch saturday morning.
i LOOOVE breakfast foods. why don't people get together for brunch more often, too, by the way?
every time we do we absolutely love it.
& we can't be the only ones, right? aren't there any other breakfast lovers out there?

i think we'll definitely do it again, soon :)
& we had a nice time with her. i love hearing old family stories.

that followed by an afternoon digging around in our yard with my parents. sawing down & cutting back a few trees & bushes & getting our driveway {more} put together & ready to level it out. so hopefully we'll be able to park on it soon.

i also saw the first of our plants sprout!!!
we have little spinach, lettuce, kale & arugula buds sprouting :)
i may have started my kale too late, but who seriously thought it would start getting THIS WARM completely out of the blue?!
so - so far so good. hopefully i'll be able to keep them alive :) 
i am so excited to eat yummy salads again.

Feb 18, 2011

{danny roberts}

fridays, i think are good days to share some of the things i love. & that are inspiring.
& danny roberts artwork has always been beautiful to me.

i first found him thought myspace, i believe. probably 5 or so years ago? & have been following his work ever since. i just love the way he captures people. with exaggerated lines. he just nails peoples features in such a unique way. because its obviously not a typical portrait.

over the last few years, his work has been noticed by forever21, bloglovin' & different fashion magazines. its fun to see artists you love become noticed by others, too.

so here are a few of his pieces that i love that kind of show a bit of the scope of his work, too.
 i could barely pick just a few. it was close to agonizing.

i hope you love his work, too. it's totally my dream to have him do a picture of daniel & i someday. haha.
not likely, i know. but a girl can dream :)

Feb 17, 2011

{my twin.}

my friend kendra sent me a link to a photography blog the other day.

& bascially, the girl is like MY TWIN!

today i found myself going back & looking at it. its weird...

so weird.

so just indulge me as i rant on about this. i typically don't see people that look like me.
i will just say a few more things:
1.) her hair is SPOT ON my color.
2.) her smile is remarkably like mine too. the gummy smile, you know.
3.) & i have her glasses. fyi. 

& okay. from the side, her husband looks like daniel.

double weird!!!

they are just super adorable.
& they are obviously more hipster than us.
& tattooed.
but you can still see the resemblance i think?
here is the photog's blog.

{today is dedicated to my friend...}

i didn't know what to post this morning. & i was thinking of my friend kristy, who i met just around the time i moved to charlotte, & what an awesome friend she is.
& i just wanted everyone else to know, too :)

we met at uncc in the fall of '07 when i first moved to charlotte.
we went out for coffee. & talked. & liked each other.
& then got to know each other even BETTER singing brittney spears super early in the morning on a camping trip later that fall. {whoops}

& through rekindle - our college groups spring break trip.

& through all of the crazy adventures we've had.
no. seriously. crazy.
i don't think i've ever been closer to dying of freakish things than when i've been with kristy.
but praise the lord, we've always made it through okay :)
p.s. she wasn't far away when this happened ^^^

so in addition to zero dull moments - shes also been one of the biggest encouragements to me over the past few years. shes fearless. & passionate. & AWESOME.

she is living farther away from me, now. but i still cherish the times we do get to hang out when she comes in town. like this weekend.

she's giving her testimony tonight at M28. & i am super excited about it. especially because i was around to see a lot of it. & thats a really special thing.
so…kind of maybe a different post from normal. but today is a bit overcast & dreary. 
& these kinds of days make me a little sentimental & thoughtful. 
i love to think of all of the special people that god has placed in my life over the years that have had such a positive & memorable impact on me. & a little blog post will never even begin to scratch the surface of any of them.


Feb 16, 2011

{this is what dinner alone looks like.}

yes. its true.
i ate on our sofa tonight & accidentally {for real} ended up listening to sarah brightman.
it was not so awful. but i'm glad i don't have a lot of dinners to myself.

also today i listed my closet on ebay.
my high school closet. the one that contained every graphic t-shirt on the planet.
i think clothes on ebay {from experience. i'm not just making this stuff up, guys} sell better based on two things:
1.) the title {or keywords used in the title}
2.) PICTURES!!! {if you have a bad picture of something awesome. well for shame. how is anyone supposed to know how awesome it is!}

& just to embarrass myself here is an awkward picture of me & my t-shirt. {& my weird arms?! what the heck!}
& the glasses i thought would be funny to wear :)


here is yet another online gadget that i love.
it keeps all of the things i find on blogs & in searching organized.
all recipes. pretty clothes. crafts. homes. etc…

& i LOVE it. 

no more randomly saved pictures in folders all over my desktop.
no more recipes saved in my email drafts folder.

just pretty pictures. all with their original links. & it takes 2 seconds to save them thru a little button you save in your bookmarks.

here is what your homepage would look like:
all of the boxes are 'boards' for categorizing your links. 

& your 'board' page will look something like this.
you can also follow other peoples boards, too. for whatever its worth, here is mine. & you can get a better feel for pinterest that way. & tell me if you end up using it & how much you love it!

Feb 15, 2011

{butternut squash lasagna}

we haven't been eating a lot of pasta-type dishes lately.
but this is one that i've been wanting to try for EVER!
like really, ever since i saw the recipe on design sponge, i've been dying to try it. 

& it exceeded my expectations & made a TON of food!
we froze some of it {just as good, by the way} & i just finished the last of it yesterday.
& its already making my mouth water again.

its a bit intricate. theres probably 45-60 minutes of active prep time, but so worth it...

you can find the recipe above.
but i actually found it kind of difficult to read.
so i'm retyping it. for my own sake.

you will need:
1 large butternut squash {was plenty. unless you are a butter-nut. sorry! i can't help it sometimes guys!}
1 box of lasagna noodles
a handful of spinach
6 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cups of chopped parsley
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup of flour
3 1/4 cups of whole milk
3 cups of shredded {or sliced, if you have a mozzarella ball} mozzarella
1/2 cup of parmesan
5 sage leaves. chopped.
juice of 1 lemon + some zest
salt, pepper & olive oil

no. 1
preheat oven to 375. cut your butternut squash in half. lengthwise. deseed & bake on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil {cut half should be facing down} for about 45 minutes or until soft. let cool & then cut into thin slices.

another way of  doing this would be to peel your squash & cut the slices BEFORE you put them in the oven. but i can't do that much cutting. those suckers are hard. if you're up for it, though, cover with foil & cook 8-10 minutes.

no. 2
wash spinach & parsley & throw it in your blender. dont turn it on yet. wait for step three.

no. 3
SO, while everything else is going on, you can start on the white sauce layer of your lasagna.
in a pot, melt your stick of butter until its JUST beginning to brown & whisk in flour. cook for about 30 seconds & slowly add in your 3-1/4 cups of milk & bring to a boil. add garlic & keep cooking until your mixture thickens up just a little bit. add to green mix in blender & blend. season with salt & pepper.

no. 4
now, in one 9x13 or two 8x8 baking dishes begin your layers:
cream sauce

& repeat.
cover top layer with cheese. cover with foil & bake for 40 minutes.
remove foil & bake another 15.
THEN, let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

serve with sage & lemon brown butter by saute-ing remaining butter in a pan until its light brown. add sage, a squeeze of lemon + zest, salt & pepper. spoon a little over each piece.

the lasagna has a bit of a sweeter taste on its own, so this adds more of a zing to it.

Feb 14, 2011

{celebrating valentines}

a lot of our valentine's pictures are on my film camera this year.
so we'll have to wait a little while longer to see them.

but i am grateful for my valentine. & for another fun weekend together.

we went to our same starbucks again.
& worked on our yard & built a fire pit.
& did some more thrifting.

hope you all have a wonderful valentine's. with your men, or lady friends or whoever else :)

Feb 12, 2011

{i love...}

have you ever done one of those "what is the first thing you notice about people" quizzes.

i think the common answer is eyes. or lips.

i have always said eyebrows.

yes. i love them.

especially big thick {but relatively tamed} ones.

& that is why i married a man with thick eyebrows. 

i am so jealous of him...

& for this reason, i think kiera knightly is one of the most beautiful people ever.
i will have a lot of people disagree with me, i'm sure. but i wont back down.

at least 60% of it is because she has stellar eyebrows.

its kind of a weird fettish, i know. but let me have just this one.

i typically don't post on weekends, if you all haven't noticed yet.
but i'm defrosting right now from some yard work :)
hope you all enjoy your weekends! 
its just like a little foretaste of spring here, so i definitely will.

Feb 11, 2011

{make your own: valentine hearts}

i found a picture of pretty heart garlands on one of my favorite blogs.

& wanted to make them. 

sooo i did! we need some signs of valentines day in our house, i think :)

just grab you up some old books, rip out a stack of papers & begin to snip until you have a little collection of hearts like below.
then stitch them all together.
you don't have to be a seamstress to do this.
or even sew straight. because i didn't.

just make sure you have about 6 inches of thread at the beginning of your strand & feed each heart through. & this made me a little nervous at first - but let the machine run for a couple seconds afterwards. it wont hurt anything & you need space in between then!
& repeat about a hundred times. it goes so quickly, though. 
you still have time - so get stitchin!

Feb 10, 2011

{make your own: all purpose cleaner}

i thought i would start to share a few different versions of household cleaners that you can make SUPER quickly & with things you already have at home.

for mom's with little babies - this is a perfect project. it takes less than two minutes. so if you've been thinking that a lot of this stuff is just way too time consuming, this is a good place to start :)

for an all purpose cleaner - you really can do a number of things. i've tried them all & have liked them all, so its really up to you.

these are basically all of the supplies you should ever need to make {most} cleaners.

1.) vinegar & water in a bottle
using a 1:2 ratio - you can use this for just general countertop cleaning, mirrors, tables, bathrooms, floors etc…
this is the one i use the most.

but…if you hate the smell of vinegar {it goes away in minutes, too, fyi}, or just want to be extra sure you're getting things squeaky clean, you can also:

2.) add a squirt of castile soap, or

3.) add 10-20 drops of tea tree oil for extra disinfecting power {i don't know about using this for mirrors, though…}
i have 2 squirt bottles & i use this when i'm cleaning up my counters after i've been cutting raw meat & things.

4.) a squeeze of lemon will do a comparable job to tea tree oil, too.

by the way, vinegar alone kills bacteria, mold & germs. 99%, 82% & 80%. respectively. 

compared to a lysol disinfecting spray, which kills about 99% of germs. but i couldn't find stats on the other two. it just says that it inhibits bacteria & mold growth which is the same as vinegar. so, it just seems like a safer option to me. especially if combined with tea tree oil :)

you can find:
both tea tree oil & castile soap at trader joes. & castile soap is the cheapest there that i've seen anywhere. & i've looked high & low. Its about $9 for a 32 oz. bottle, but it will last you AGES. i promise.
if you don't have a tj's get castile soap at target, its in with all of the organic makeup. for whatever reason. & tea tree oil can be found at most drug stores or amazon.

Feb 9, 2011

{this is what sick days are for...}

sorry i've been kind of m.i.a. the past several days.
i just haven't been super inspired.
& our house is full of sniffles, which, umm...is actually super fun, in a horrible kind of way.

we've gotten to snuggle up & watch lotsa movies & take lotsa naps :)

movies like these {& i promise we normally don't watch this many movies. ever.}

& i have learned something new about daniel the past few days...
he is super embarrassed to blow his nose in front of me. its absolutely adorable.
& ridiculous.

i'll post something for real very soon :)
cross my heart & kiss my elbow.

Feb 7, 2011

{our wedding weekend}

this past weekend was filled with wedding celebrations.
{not ours. duh!}
my friend song got married to the love of her life. so friday & saturday was just one massive party.
eating lots of yummy food. wedding prep. receptions.
& at the end of it all, this is how we look.

i put my uggs on as soon as we got in our car  coming home. i love heels, but i cant wear them for long. my feet were thanking me.
& found my sweatshirt, too.
i'm good at doing things like that :)

& reception/bridesmaid luncheon pictures :)

i didn't get many pictures in the midst of all the festivities! the four above are from my friends cameras. 
but this one below is one of my favorites from the morning.
our friend michael took the wedding photos, & did an awesome job. so i wont post any more, because his will be better :)

& now, both of us colemans are sick. but i'm glad we made it through the weekend all well :)

so…what did you all think of the superbowl?
i know who won.
that is all.

Feb 4, 2011

{hello beautiful, busy friday}

this morning i woke up at 6:00, realizing i forgot to put my nose ring back in last night & hopped out of bed. woke up daniel. on accident. & two seconds later our alarm went off.
then i got back in bed & woke up again at 8:30 {whoops & double whoops for being a bad wife & not seeing my husband off to work} when my friend crystal called about our bridesmaids luncheon earlier this morning.
that i had to leave for in half an hour.

so…somehow it all happened & i made it in time & was relatively presentable.
& now i'm home - getting ready to change into another pretty dress & go to the rehearsal & dinner.

so today will be wonderfully fun, even if i started it off in an incredibly lazy way.

also this week:
i actually made a loaf of bread that was yummy. finally. success.

had coffee with my friend katherine.

went walking & for coffee with my friend charlotte.

did lots of yoga.

had dinner with daniel & our friend michael.

watched old movies with daniel. {splendor in the grass, by the way, is the most heart wrenching movie. & not at all what it sounds like it will be from the back cover}

& scheduled my first doctors appointment in - years. & for what? to check on my swollen finger. 
but it is seriously massive & amazingly painful to type, eat, put on my makeup etc etc…so i thought i should probably figure out what this is all about before it falls off.

ANYWAYS, hope you all have a wonderful weekend, my friend Song, as you have probably guessed already is getting married tomorrow!!!! i'll be back with lots of pictures. i couldn't be more excited for her :)

Feb 3, 2011

{what i read: january}

i am really excited about these posts. are you all?

you all probably know of my novel-junkiness - so lately, i've been trying to broaden my scope of reading to more non-fiction. 
reading books on things i want to learn about. like gardening. herbal remedies. healthy eating. & martha stewarts craft books!

this is what i read this past month:

{a connecticut yankee at king arthur's court}

i loathed this book in the beginning. i'm not even going to pretend i didn't. i've never read anything by mark twain before & his writing style was just kind of vulgar & hard to read at first.
not in content. but i mean, you can't just go from reading whimsy jane austen to the old english of mark twain without going though a bit of a transition period. 
THAT, & i must have missed the whole part about how he got to be in the thirteenth century in the first place. {if you want to know, just read the back cover. how did i not figure THAT out...} 
so that threw me off for about the first hundred pages.
most people probably stop reading a book if they really don't like it, but i didn't want to give up that easily, & this is one of the times that i'm glad i stuck it out. i actually really enjoyed it when it was all said & done.
it was really interesting to read about how the main character, Hank Morgan goes through the slow process of 'modernizing' mid-century england - & there is a super plot twist at the very end. fyi.

p.s. this is nothing like 'a kid in king arthurs court ' in case you were wondering ;)

{small-plot, high-yield gardening}

i looooved this gardening book. its really easy to read, even though there are NO PICTURES.
typically that is a huge turn off for me in these kinds of books. i'm a very visual learner, but the book is so thorough without being overwhelming that i breezed through it pretty easily.
if you're serious about learning to garden, this is an AWESOME resource. you don't even have to read through the whole book. its sectioned off into nice little chapters & you can just read about the sections & caring for the particular plants you know you will want to grow.
just keep a pad & pen handy for notes :)

Feb 2, 2011

{make your own: veggie stock}

so did you know you can make your own vegetable stock?

i guess it makes sense that you would, but i just never thought about it until i saw this recipe.
such perfect timing. we've been using SO much stock the past few months. its in every soup recipe we've made. & i hate buying bouillon cubes or chicken stock from the store. 
you can buy the free range/no msg brands for a little more peace of mind - if you want to pay $3-4 bucks a box. so i was SO excited when i found this. it was easy to make. & you can also use up a lot of the leftover veggies in your fridge this way before they go bad.

you will need:

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 carrots
4 ribs of celery {with leaves}
2 bell peppers
2 roma tomatoes
full bulb of garlic {unpeeled - but remove the root end!}
a handful of parsley
5 springs of thyme
2 bay leaves
palmful of whole black peppercorns
1 lemon, halved
salt to taste

no. 1
put your onion in the bottom of a large stockpot. one of the larger ones you have. we're talkin BIG, here.
saute onions until they're cooked & add a bit of water to your pot - so they don't start to burn.

now take all the rest of your veggies {minus the  lemon} & really roughly cut them. your going to put them in your food processor or blender here, so it does have to be anything fancy. they just need to be small enough to fit in your blender. fill with water, blend & add to stockpot.

no. 3
add your herbs & squeeze lemon juice into pot. okay, just drop the whole thing in there. rind & all. its okay.

no. 4
at this point you want to make sure your stock pot is nearly full of water. about 2-3 inches from the top, & bring it to a boil. then reduce to medium/low & let it simmer for at LEAST 20 minutes. 

no. 5
strain veggies out of stock. using a mesh strainer, cheesecloth etc…& return stock to pot, again.
this time to simmer for a few more minutes. season with salt & let cool. then you can can them or whatever else.

mine make 5 quarts of stock.


Feb 1, 2011

{make your own: ball jar soap dispenser}

okay. a few of you asked how to do this!
so when daniel came home a few nights ago he volunteered to help me so i could get pictures of this up.
{thank you loverly}

so, this is what you will be making:

you will also need an electric drill & one of these drill bit guys. & a guy. you know. to do the dirty work for you :)
the bit should be just big enough so you'll be able to get the bottom part of your pump set into your jar.
then place your jar lid onto a {scratchable} surface. on the floor of our basement ended up working well for us, fyi, & drill a hole in the middle of your lid.

the picture to the right is what our lid looked like once it was drilled through.
it obviously doesn't have to be perfect looking because you wont see it once the soap pump is on.
now screw your lid onto the jar you are going to use & set your pump inside & make sure it fits. you may need to cut off a bit of the pump stem depending on the size of your jar, so go ahead & do that now & be sure to cut it on a slant.
now lift up your soap pump just enough to glue a epoxy or silicone ring around the edge. press down & let dry. you can re-enforce the bottom if you need to with more epoxy later.

aaand your done!

note: this tutorial is particularly for the foaming kind of pump. to use a regular soap pump, you will also need a razor blade or scissors to cut off the top of your plastic soap bottle - just below the part that the pump screws into. epoxy that piece to your lid from underneath & you can then screw your pump onto the top. 

hope that was {somewhat} clear. feel free to leave any comments if you have a question!