Friday, April 27, 2012

{etsy finds: mother's day}

Well, kids, I'm going on vacation. A whole two weeks, in fact! I definitely need it. Work has been rather stressful lately and I need a bit of R&R with the boy and the fam.

Plus, Mother's Day is fast approaching. Did you remember? If not, here are some last minute Etsy finds to send you on your way.

Speaking of Etsy, my shop will be closed starting May 1, so get your orders in before I go!  I've had lots of fun shipping cards all over the world this week; thanks to everyone who bought one!

Take care, and I'll be back soon to share some new adventures :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

{funny quotes, part two}

It's time for another installment of hilarity. If you're new to the game, check out {part one} of my funny quotes to get started.

This particular batch is from 2005, a part of my life when I was deeply entrenched in the theatre world. (Ahh... I miss it). So I apologize if you don't find theatre humor particularly funny. I think it's hilarious, so here we go!

Tracking a package online:
Andrew: Track that number and tell me why it’s not out for delivery yet.
Arun: Because the driver didn't come in today because he got trashed last night because his girlfriend dumped him and he's really depressed and so they don't have anyone to deliver your package. Why do you have to be so harsh on the guy?
Andrew: Well I didn't realize he just got dumped, my tracking page didn't say that.

Me: Mom, your bracelet is tacky.
Mom: What?! No, these are back in style now, aren’t they?? They better be... I saved this thing from 1976!

Reading a vanity plate on the car in front of us:
Me: “75&Sunny.”
Remi: I’m partial to 75 and slightly overcast.
Me: I don’t think that would fit on a license plate...

Me: How many roommates do you have?
Khoa: Nine.
Me: Nine?!
Khoa: Minus six.

Written in our guest book:
“I must thank you guys greatly for providing me respite on my journey. If the following should happen to me, I will leave it to you to carry out my wishes:

If I: 1) Get attacked by a bear – see A)
2) Catch fire – see B)
3) Get married – see C)

A) Avenge my death
B) Put me out
C) See A)”

Byron: My birthday is next Thursday!
Me: Yay!
Byron: I’m turning 657.
Me: Wow, you look good for your age! What have you learned from 600 years on earth?
Byron: That if people had only listened to me, the Dodo Bird wouldn’t be extinct right now.

Backstage at the start of a show:
Me: Ken, do you have everyone in places backstage?
Ken: Let me check. I’m going off headset to count actors.
David: Is that how you fall asleep at night?

Playing trivial pursuit:
Me: “What is inside corn that makes it pop?”
Khoa: Sperm.

Flipping through channels on tv and stopping on a football game:
Jen: Who's playing?
Rachel: Ummmm... Missing in Action, and Tuberculosis.
Jen: Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's Miami and Tampa Bay.

Talking about my 15 hour weekdays:
Khoa: I’m going to take your schedule to the Senate and use it to filibuster.

Driving to school
Byron: And green light...go.
Me: Wow, how did you do that?!
Byron: I have the Force.
Me: Cool, can you open doors with the Force, too?
Byron: Why, yes. Usually at supermarkets.

On headset during a show:
Andrew: That painting on stage is crooked.
Linh: Oh, yeah? Did you ever think maybe it’s the wall that’s crooked, and the painting that’s straight?
Mary: This is theatre... nothing is straight.

Andrew: I associate people by the car they drive.
Mary: But I don’t have a car...
Andrew: Sucks for you!

Talking about majors:
Lauren: You pronounce it ZOH-ology! If it were ZOO-ology it would have three o’s!
Mary: Um, Lauren, zoology does have three o’s...

Jim: See that store there? It’s a new chain that’s catching on... apparently it’s going to be all the rage in a few years.
Jacob: ...Are you pointing to the Starbucks...?!

Me: Are you sick or something?
Stuart: Yeah, this sore throat makes me sound like a man.

Looking at the Fitness Center at the hotel:
Khoa: I like how “Fitness Center” means “tread mill.”

Looking through our theatre program:
Khoa: Look, it says the Alzheimer’s Clinic contributed to the theatre. I wonder if they remember how much they donated.

Terri: I need some strong boys with flat shoes to help move tables!
Khoa: As opposed to strong boys in high heels?

Looking at a document I wrote on his laptop:
Andrew: Has this been saved?
Byron: I don’t know. Was it baptized? AHAHAHAHA!

Seeing geese in the road:
Stuart: Look, Canada geese! And they’re called Canada geese, not Canadian geese, contrary to popular belief.
Me: Right. You’ll know the Canadian geese because they’re the ones going, “honk, eh?”

While sailing:
Andrew: Ahoy, mateys! Tighten up the mainsheet! Load the long-shot cannon!
Me: But captain, I have forgotten the long-shot cannon!
Andrew: Begin Captain’s log: Day one. First mate Brittany has forgotten the long-shot cannon. We have thrown her overboard.

Me: Well aren’t you special.
Andrew: Yes, I am. Thanks for noticing.
Me: I wasn’t noticing. I was being sarcastic.
Andrew: Well, I took your sarcasm and turned it into awesomeness.

Khoa: Sweating is against my religion. We had rehearsal outside today for three hours and I felt like I had to go to confession afterwards.

Shopping at Staples:
Me: Look! They sell those “That Was Easy” buttons, like on the commercial!
That-Was-Easy Button: That was easy! That was easy! That was easy!
Andrew: Stop pushing that! I hate that slogan, it’s so annoying!
(two minutes later)
Me: I found the index cards you wanted. Is that all you need?
Andrew: Yeah, cool. That was easy.
Andrew: Shut up.

Lying out by the pool in all his clothes:
Tony: I’m working on my farmer’s tan.

Katherine: It's 11:00pm... too late to go home and vacuum now; my apartment complex has quiet hours. But the people who live below me are old and can't hear anything, so maybe I can defy the rules and clean anyway!!
Brandy: I love that for you, being rebellious is vacuuming after ten.

Susan: Did you manage to get some sleep?
Me: Some. I had like three phone calls at 9 am.
Susan: Aren't we popular.
Me: Not really, my mom is just persistent.

On headset, during a run of a theatre show:
Me: Have you seen Jessie’s costume yet? It’s really sparkly!
Meghan: The costumers gave her more boobs today, too.
Scott: What, like now she has four?

Realtor: You know the hardest thing about being a real estate agent? Fighting the desire to steal cool things that people have in their house.
Diane: What?!
Realtor: Bet you didn’t think I’d say THAT, did you!

While driving:
Khoa: Wow, that car was in my blind spot...
Stuart: Blind spot, meet Khoa. Khoa, blind spot.
Khoa: Hello, blind spot. Didn’t see you there.

Stuart: Last time I saw a Cirque du Soleil show one of the performers waved at me from the stage! Me: How do you know he was waving at you?
Stuart: Because I waved first!

Reading a sign outside the hotel elevator: “In case of fire use stair.”
Me: Use stair?! There’s only one stair?
Jacob: Personally, I think it should say, “in case of fire, use slide.” That would be way more fun.

Watching the World Cup games:
Jacob: I always cheer for who’s losing. I’m a poor weather friend.

While mock-arguing:
Khoa: You can’t use guilt against me!!
Me: I can too; that’s my superhero power!
Khoa: Using guilt doesn’t make you a superhero. It makes you a woman.

Watching Law and Order:
Khoa: I don’t want to ever be on trial by jury. Then you’re being judged by 12 people who aren’t even smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Monday, April 23, 2012

{entryway up-do}

It has been a while since I've shown off our entryway.
And it's gotten a bit of a facelift since you saw it last.

If you recall, last year Tanner and I picked up a shoe caddy from IKEA to corral all the horrible shoes that piled up in our doorway. The new cabinet was a vast improvement, but it still lacked... a little something.

We decided what we didn't like about the shoe cabinet was that it was too plain. With simple wooden sides and no decorative embellishments, it looked less like a cabinet and more like something that goes in a garage. So, after several trips to hardware stores in search of the perfect add, we discovered these...

Handles! It adds just the right amount of chic to our plain cabinet to give it more color and style! Tanner did a wonderful job installing them, and I can't help grinning every time I see them.

To match our new entryway up-do, we decorated the wall with a photo frame of our backpacking trip and picked up some his-and-hers coat hook pegs from Anthropologie (which I love! They would also make adorable towel hooks for the bathroom!) to complete the space.

It's not perfect (I'm not a fan of the white walls... I can't wait for a house of our own...) but it looks much better than we when we moved in. The before and after:

Sitting on top of the shoe cabinet you can spot our DIY notecard calendar!

Friday, April 20, 2012

{april is for tulips}

Last week Tanner and I found a beautiful day to visit the annual Tulip Festival in southern Portland.

This was also my first attempt at using my new polarizing filter for my camera, and it was something of a learning experience. I wanted it for darkening the blue in the sky and for bringing out stronger colors in the flowers, and it did this... but it also gave everything a very "yellow" cast. I accidentally left my white balance on "auto" instead of putting it to daylight, and I think my camera was trying to over-compensate for the polarizer's effect.
When I opened the files in my computer, it was strange to see the pretty colors of the tulips, green grass and blue sky turn into sickly shades of yellow and brown. I had to do some color correcting to bring back the blue hues, but even then, there's something a little "off" about my photos.

Here's an example: everything looks deep and colorful in this photo (the polarizer gave everything a crazy amount of saturation!), but the weird white balance gives everything an almost ominous look, as if a storm is brewing.

At any rate, I learned my lesson, and hopefully the next sunny day will bring out some more experimentation! One nice bonus about bringing the polarizer was that I got some good shots of Mt Hood, which otherwise would have been a washed-out white mountain on an overly bright washed out sky. The polarizer perfectly distinguished between white mountain and blue sky.

Anyone have any polarizer tips to share?

(P.S.- check out my photos from last year's Tulip Festival to see more flower beautifulness!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

{refrigerator oatmeal}

My mom sent me this recipe for refrigerator oatmeal a while ago, though I have since seen it go viral on Pinterest, I'm a big fan of cold oatmeal (see my weird facts page) so I had to try this one immediately. It turned out pretty yummy, and the best part is, there are an infinite number of iterations you can create with it!

(P.S. - did you see my guest post at Julie Ann Art yesterday? If you want a delicious jam recipe just in time for strawberry picking season... click here!}

{refrigerator oatmeal}

1/2 cup old fashioned oats (not quick or instant)
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (flavored or plain)
3 tsp Chia seeds (optional)

Basically your generic recipe is to add the oats, milk and Greek yogurt to a 16 oz mason jar and let the oats and chia seeds soak up the liquid in the refrigerator overnight. I haven't found Chia seeds at the grocery store yet, but they're a healthy add if you can find them at your local Whole Foods! Then add in whatever other fruits and flavors you like. The original website, via {the yummy life} has a bunch of different recipes and recommends these varieties of oatmeal:
  • Mango almond
  • Blueberry maple
  • Apple cinnamon
  • Banana cocoa
  • Banana peanut butter
  • Raspberry vanilla

    I tried out the blueberry and the banana cocoa, with a few of my own "edits." Here's my recipe for the banana cocoa:

    1/2 cup old fashioned oats
    2/3 cup milk
    1/2 cup chocolate Greek yogurt
    1 whole banana, cut into slices

    Put everything into a jar, mix, and refrigerate overnight. I didn't have cocoa at my house, but I had a newly bought package of chocolate Greek yogurt that I figured would be perfect for the job. It was slightly blander than adding a sugary mix would have been, but still delicious!

    I also tried a strawberry banana mix, with vanilla milk to add sweetness:

    1/2 cup old fashioned oats
    2/3 cup vanilla almond milk (slightly less than 2/3 cup so it's less runny)
    1/2 cup chocolate Greek yogurt
    1-3 whole strawberries, cut up
    1/2 banana, cut up

    This was my favorite; the strawberries definitely brought a delicious sweetness to the oatmeal!

    And finally, here's my recipe for the blueberry maple:

    1/2 cup old fashioned oats
    2/3 cup milk
    1/2 cup blueberry Greek yogurt
    1/2 cup blueberries (or enough to fill jar)
    A dallop of maple syrup
    1 whole banana, cut into slices (just for kicks. And because I like bananas.)

    Verdict? The blueberry Greek yogurt + blueberries was intense. And I'm not so keen on the maple syrup, for some reason. Next time I may just make it with blueberries, banana, and vanilla Greek yogurt, instead.

    I also have a few containers of Pomegranate and Lemon Greek yogurt in my fridge... sounds like it's time to concoct a new recipe!

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    {home decorating style quiz}

    I love a good online style quiz. This one from Sproost is super fun. I liked watching all my styles get eliminated one by one in the bottom right hand corner, but it also annoyed me because I wanted to know which ones I was eliminating. (I'm one of those annoying customers in stores who has to know ALL my options before I can make an informed buying decision.)

    Actually, the first time I took the quiz I answered "hated it" to almost every single picture (they all looked like upholstered furniture pieces from 1901... gag me), but it somehow still managed to peg my style pretty perfectly.

    I was 50% Rustic revival, 25% Nantucket style and 25% Cottage Chic. Yep! Sign me up for some cozy furniture in neutral colors, light, airy big windows and some homey "rustic" add-ins (flee-market coffee tables... wooden shutters... wrought iron... woven rope decor...) to make the place feel like something straight from small-town country. Nantucket style and Cottage chic managed to touch on those sea-inspired themes I couldn't help but "love." :)

    I made Tanner take it after me, and he yelled "LOVE IT!" to every picture that involved one of the following themes: Stone fireplace. Wooden furniture. Some showing of antlers/ bear skin/ patterned upholstery. His style turned out to be 100% "Mountain Lodge." Shocker.

    Take the quiz for yourself here!

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    {diy: homemade polaroid coasters}

    Ever since seeing the Polaroid coasters made by {just noey}, I haven't been able to get them out of my head. The current coasters in our household are dreadfully un-creative, and something about this potential crafty project struck a chord with me.
    We need new coasters + I like making stuff + I have 673875 photographs on my hard drive = homemade Polaroid coasters. Ding!

    And believe it or not folks, this was my first foray into the world of Mod Podge (or as Tanner calls it, "Hodge Podge"). I'm not sure how I've gone so many crafty years without Mod Podging anything, but somehow it escaped me. No more! This fun craft I've been trying to do for a few months, and once I got started, it took a few trial-and-errors, several weeks, and many, many hours of painting-and-drying to get everything finally finished. I'm going to share my process and some tips and tricks with you that I learned along the way.

    Be prepared, folks. This is an intensely long blog post. But it's also awesome. Promise. :)

    {homemade polaroid coasters}

    Supplies needed:

    4x4 white ceramic tiles ($0.79 at Lowe's)
    3.5 x 5 photos (RitzPix does prints for 6 cents on Tues/Weds)
    Mod Podge (glossy or matte... or the one made for paper if you want archival)
    Sponge brush (for mod podge)
    Clear acrylic spray
    Small felt circles (like the ones that go under furniture legs)

    First you need to prepare your photos. Pick out a bunch you like for printing (you should overestimate how many you need... I printed out 20 and went through a bunch of "trial-and-error" photos before settling on my final 8).

    Before printing, you're going to want to "tweak" them a little in Photoshop. For my photos, I played with the color, vignetting and contrast to make them look more "antiqued." If you know how to do this already, have fun messing around with it. If not, I'm bad at explaining the process since I just make stuff up until it looks right, but the Pioneer Woman has some great actions you can download to make the process really simple.

    (Keep in mind when you're formatting your photos that they will be printed at 3.5 x 5", but you'll be trimming them smaller than that, so make sure your main subject doesn't fill up the entire photo.)

    As an example, here are some before/ after shots I changed to make them look more "polaroid":

    A lot of my chosen photos came from my photo shoot from the farm in Salem, but I do have some great ones of the coast and waterfalls of Oregon, too.

    Now for the diy process:

    1. Once you have your photos printed and ready, you'll need to trim them down to 3.25 x 3.75", which means you're shaving off 0.25" height-wise and 1.25" width-wise.

    2. Clean and dry your ceramic tile. I've also heard that "roughing up" your tile with some sandpaper helps the Mod Podge adhere better. I didn't do this, but I did have some issues with slidey photos and my Mod Podge scraping off with little effort, so it's probably a good idea.

    3. Using your sponge brush, paint a thin coat of Mod Podge on the back of your photo. Carefully place the photo on your ceramic tile, leaving about 1/4" border around the top and two sides, and about 1" border at the bottom.

    4. Smooth down the photo with a credit card or something similar, taking care not to let the photo slide around on the tile too much. Let dry.

    5. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge with your sponge brush over the entire tile, photo included. Make sure you're using even, straight brush strokes, since these will still be somewhat visible on the final product. The Mod Podge will look white when you paint it on, but it dries clear. Let dry for several hours.

    *Tip: I know there's a lot of "let dry" after each little step going on here, but I highly recommend doing this project with a lot of patience. My first couple attempts I got impatient and tried to keep layering Mod Podge or just slapping it over a not-dry photo before it was completely dry, and it always turned out badly for me. Moral of the story: don't do this project with a deadline, and be prepared for some watch-grass-grow and watch-paint-dry style patience.

    6. Repeat step 5 two or three more times until you have a good strong coat on top of your photo. Let dry between each coat.

    7. When the Mod Podge is completely dry, spray the tile with a coat of your Clear Acrylic spray. This should remove the "tackiness" of the Mod Podge and make the coaster even more water resistant.

    *Another tip: I got a little frustrated by how much the Mod Podge streaks showed up even after it was dry. I used glossy Mod Podge, so it may be that Matte is a little more forgiving. I also don't think Mod Podge is completely necessary. For one of my coasters I experimented with just gluing the photo down with the stuff and then spraying the whole thing with the Clear Acrylic. So far it appears to be fairly water resistant and the overall "look" is vastly improved. I don't know how well it will hold up to melting ice water over time, but that's another option.

    UPDATE: I've had some great suggestions from readers about how to improve this process! If the mod podge or the acrylic spray doesn't work well for you, other ideas include: an automotive clear sealer, a two-part epoxy resin, or a diluted mod podge (or homemade mod podge tends to be thinner, too). I haven't tried these personally, but they sound like viable options to me! :)

    *Another another tip: I tried to get "extra crafty" with my non-Mod Podged tile by adding a little Sharpie caption to the bottom of one of them. It looked awesome until I sprayed it, and then the Sharpie ran a little and now it looks really smudgy. You have been warned.

    ANOTHER UPDATE: A few people have suggested that if you want to add a sharpie caption, try baking the tiles in the oven before adding the photo to "solidify" the sharpie and keep it from smudging.

    8. Adhere felt pads to bottom corners of tile to protect your tabletops.

    9. Wait 48-72 hours before placing cold liquids on your tile, to make sure the Mod Podge and the Acrylic spray has set.

    Enjoy your coaster set!

    (Psst... check out my guest spot on Julie Ann Art today!)
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