Saturday, January 31, 2009

peanut butter cookies

I made peanut butter cookies last night, and I forgot how easy and yummy they are. So now I will force my recipe upon the general public, and demand that you make some!

Ingredients!!

* 1 cup butter
* 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 2 1/2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Before baking!

If you want to know the secret, it's no eggs. I was just making regular peanut butter cookies one time and left out the eggs accidentally (how? It Happens). I made those cookies anyway and they were super crumbly and delicious. You can mess up like me; failure tastes great! Removing the eggs can also be a dietary thing (sure!) and I bet it'd be easy to make this into a vegan recipe if you replaced the butter with something else.

They generally taste the same before and after baking, if you play your cards right.

Directions!!

1. Mix together butter, peanut butter and sugars really well, preferably with a mixer.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix them with the rest of the batter. Put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour!

3. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and put them on a cookie sheet. Squish them with a fork, making the criss-cross pattern.


4. Bake them [oh yeah, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit] in the oven for about 10 minutes. I don't even like mine to get brown.

Ballerina? I really wanted to decorate *something* with it.

And then - why not? - you can put silly decorations on your cookies. I just scored a big bag of old plastic cake decorations from my childhood. This ballerina is missing a hand. I bet it was a dancing accident.

Friday, January 30, 2009

too tired


I'm so tired - no pretty pictures today! I barely slept last night and I've been busy all day cleaning and things. Just got home and after we have dinner we're grocery shopping and then I'm going to bake peanut butter cookies. We're having people over tonight! 3 people, to be exact.

I think this is actually a going-away party for us. It just kind of happened! But we're going to eat things and play Rock Band and it should be good. And then I'm going to get up at 6 a.m. tomorrow and have a garage sale with my mom. Oh boy!!

I'm so tired. But I hope you enjoy the above picture and caption. I have to give Robert credit for noticing that. :) I feel like that baby right now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

baby sloth

The other day my husband brought me a "surprise." It was this check-out receipt that he found at the library. Some little girl was apparently getting the BEST books ever.

You owe the library $1.20, Sophie!

As you may have noticed, I changed my blog's title. It's going to be *baby sloth* from now on. Because I can't think of anything better. If you don't understand, just go to Youtube and look for videos of baby sloths. Or just do an image search.


I'm going to be moving around (and maybe painting) some furniture today, so I probably won't have time to do much else! Just wanted to make you aware of baby sloths. Did you know you can get them for pets? Some kinds. I was informed by my sister that they sell three-toed sloths for $1200 at the pet store where she got her hedgehog. But I think I'm more into two-toed sloths.

On a side note, if anybody could draw a picture of a baby sloth for me, that would be really good. It would make me really happy and I would give you a prize! I'm not lying. Start drawing!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

old stuff

I got some exciting free stuff today! I like it when that happens. I also bought a really neat 60s style dresser that I'm going to repaint, and I got a dress in the mail! But let's focus on the free stuff.

I was at my mom's and I noticed this little box hanging out in her bedroom.


Aha! It's full of costume jewelry!!!


Shiny things to be looked at!!

Apparently this all used to belong to a lady I've known my whole life who died a few years ago. I'm sure I've been through it before, but I guess I wasn't interested back then. However, seeing how I'm kind of trying to replace my wardrobe piece by piece with vintage stuff...

She said I could take any of it, but this was all I wanted.

I never wear a watch because they always seem big and clunky or silly looking. But this one is tiny and dainty. And I have to wind it up every day! That's really appealing to me.


I also got some old flour sacks from my grandma- she seems to have a neverending supply of them. They all have the best patterns ever! I think it'd be neat to make a quilt from them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

squid storage

I'm finally back! We just got connected to the internet again a few minutes ago. Today was very frustrating. Someone was supposed to come out between 10 a.m. and noon. After lunchtime, when no one showed up, I finally started doing whatever I felt like (instead of peeking out of the window every 5 minutes). I did an art project!

Wooden storage thingy from IKEA.

I've had this wooden storage container for a few years now, and I keep craft supplies in it. The other day when I was organizing, I ran across some finger paints. Before I knew it, I had squirted a big glob of paint on the top of this and was swooshing it around. I can't think of anything more satisfying.

Can't forget those little suction cup things!

And then today I decided a big pink octopus would look nice on there. Fingernail polish to the rescue! It was a lot of fun. And you know what? Nobody from the phone company ever showed up. It took over 3 hours of phone calls this evening (all of this from my cell phone, mind you) and they finally figured out the magic to make it come back without coming to our apartment.

His eyes are discreet because he is hiding from you.

It feels so nice to be back online. Even though I got to do some stuff yesterday afternoon, I had 46 new emails today. Don't worry, most of them were from my husband - even though he knew I wouldn't be able to read them, he "just got bored" at work. How adorkable. Now I must sift through them! But I also made a sale on Etsy and that's nice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

temporary issues...

I've really been enjoying taking pretty pictures and doing blog posts every day, but that came to a screeching halt this weekend. While we were talking to the phone company about transferring our service to the new apartment *in 3 weeks*, they accidentally disconnected our phone and internet lines *immediately*. So, we've been without the internet at home for a couple of days now. I'm posting this from the library, where I can only get an hour of internet time. :(

After hours of phone calls, I was told today that they'll send someone out tomorrow afternoon to fix it. That's right- while they can disconnect your service with the click of a button, someone physically has to come over to reconnect it. AGH!

Until then I'll be trying to keep myself sane by packing and organizing at home. It's going to be hard! I miss you, internet.

Friday, January 23, 2009

retropolis

BOOTS!

Today was kind of exciting. My mom helped me get rid of some unnecessary furniture, and then we headed into town. We had lunch at IKEA and walked around a while. Then we went to Retropolis, which is the best vintage store in Houston. It's a two story building packed full of exciting clothes - it's nearly impossible to look at everything. I stopped looking around when I found these shoes.





I've been wanting to get more vintage shoes that don't hurt my feet! I think these are pretty neat.


We got very tired after walking around so much. So it was obvious that we had to stop next door at Cricket's Creamery and get gelato. Yum yum!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

heart headband

I'm feeling a bit more rested today. This morning I drew out some plans for how I want to arrange my craft area in the new apartment. I'm going to make little plans for each room, and if I can't figure out where something goes, we have to get rid of it before the move!

But this afternoon I was feeling creatively dissatisfied, like I hadn't really done anything. So I decided it was sewing time. I was hoping to use my sewing machine, but it's impossible to get to right now. Time to sew by hand! I usually prefer sewing by hand because I feel more in control, though sewing machines make things happen really fast (which is why they scare me a little).

It's about time to start doing Valentine's stuff, right?


Drinking green tea is my new favorite afternoon activity.

At this point I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with this little heart. So I looked in a mirror to determine if it would look better in someone's hair or as some sort of brooch. Turns out it was adorable in my hair!

Can you tell I ran out of those uniform white buttons? Left side is less pretty.

So I sewed it onto a headband. Actually, that's a ribbon that's supposed to go on a dress. But I like to wear it in my hair. I will wear almost anything in my hair.


Now I have to wait until Valentine's Day to wear it! Coincidentally, Valentine's day falls on the day after we move to Nashville. We won't have any furniture for the weekend (it's getting delivered a couple of days after we get there). We're planning to explore the city. I'm really excited.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

inspired by insomnia

Last night turned out to be an interesting experience. It was one of those nights where you lay in bed awake and when you finally look at the clock you realize it's only 1 a.m. and there are so many hours to go before you should be waking up! I think it must be the medication I'm on, because usually when I can't sleep it only lasts an hour or two. This was a special 3 hour (at least) episode!

When I realized I wasn't sleepy at all, I snuck out of bed and got the Nintendo DS. I played Animal Crossing for an hour under the covers (that's right, I didn't want my husband to catch me- he never noticed!). Then I tried to sleep again. My brain was just so busy, busy, busy. I had all the greatest ideas in the world! That's how insomnia goes for me- I just can't stop thinking about things I could be doing. I even made up this *outfit in my head.


coat: Rampage // The Left Handed Monkey (local clothing exchange store that went out of business)
dress and belt: Forever 21
slip: vintage // flea market in New Mexico
shoes: vintage from Second Hand Addiction on Etsy
Super White Legs: they hardly ever see the sun!

I also remembered that I had been wanting to submit poetry or writing to some literary magazines, just to see if I could get anything published. Then I wrote a poem in my head! I actually got up to write it down, just in case. It's based on a fragment of a thing I wrote a while back. I can't write complete stories, but I do manage some decent prose every once in a while. It may not seem so amazing now that I'm fully awake, but we'll see!

I had a brief conversation with my husband at 3 a.m. when he got up to go to the bathroom. He suggested I play video games, and I delightedly told him I already HAD! One of the last things I remember thinking about is what would happen if you accidentally buried a possum alive (if it happened to be playing dead). I guess I eventually went to sleep. But I've had a rough morning. I wasted most of it and then finally took a shower and found a big spurt of energy!

*Note: I'm probably not going to wear this outfit today, I'm just playing dress up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ears and earrings

A couple of weeks ago my sister gave me some final Christmas presents that had come late in the mail. She got them on Etsy of course (the best place ever to buy special presents for special people!).

Tiny records!

Speaking of that there left ear, I went to the doctor today. I've been having some problems and now is the time to get all medical stuff taken care of since we'll be without insurance once we move. There's really nothing wrong with it, just that it constantly feels like I'm in an airplane and the air pressure has changed and there's no way to pop my ear and relieve it. It's been a little hard of hearing as well.

So here's the prognosis: I've got a Eustachian Tube Dysfunction! I should have known all along. They don't know why it's like that, but I've been prescribed a slew of pills and nasal sprays that should help it. The doctor said if my ear is still bothering me in a month to come back and he will make a "small incision." We will have no incisions inside my ears! Medicine, you better work!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

food supply

One of issues I have come to care about most is sustainable agriculture: farms producing food indefinitely without damaging the ecosystem. It may not sound like a big deal, but once you learn about what industrial agriculture is doing to our economy, our farmers and our environment... you might also find it worthwhile to look into!

Mushrooms from the Bayou City Farmers Market.

My husband and I became interested in sustainability last summer after we both read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I would highly recommend both of those books to anyone interested in food! They really highlight the problems with industrial agriculture. Of course it wouldn't be possible to feed everyone if we didn't mechanize the process a little bit, but if people were more aware of what was going on and could make informed decisions, everyone would benefit.

So of course I've been researching farms near Nashville - I want to secure our food supply! It's going to be a very personal thing-- we've already purchased a CSA (community supported agriculture) share from Bugtussle Biodynamic Organic Farm (what a mouthful!) They're in Kentucky, but they deliver to Nashville every week. You can find a CSA program near you by searching Local Harvest.org (they have all kinds of great resources there).

What's a CSA program? Essentially you're helping a farm with expenses for the growing season. In exchange, they bring you a bunch of vegetables each week! We purchased a small share for $340, which sounds like a lot as a lump sum, but it will provide 20 weeks of produce to us (essentially $17 a week for fresh, local food).

Farm fresh eggs - feathers included

I'm so excited that we were finally able to participate in a CSA program. I'm really looking forward to it! We are also looking into purchasing from West Wind Farms on occasion. They're a certified organic farm that also delivers to Nashville. Their prices for meat (everything from chicken to lamb to goat and back) and raw milk products are amazing.

Here's a tip on raw milk: it's delicious and nutrituous. But it's illegal for farmers to sell for human consumption. So anywhere you can buy raw milk, everyone pretends it's for pet consumption - we even had to sign a form saying so at one farm to get raw cow's milk (and that was the best milk I've ever tasted, though I might be part cat)! If you're interested in finding a farm near you that sells REAL milk, you can search Real Milk.org - it's worth it!

Just a small rant about raw milk: It is perfectly safe if you get it from a farmer that you trust. Milk must be pasteurized to be sold in grocery stores because it's coming from cows who are usually absolutely filthy and neglected. That's where your supermarket meat comes from too - cows who are forced to live in tiny pens together, shuffling around in their own poop. They have to be fed antibiotics and they're all sick because they're being fed corn (which their bodies are not made to digest) so they'll get fat faster. Pastured cows (who are allowed to live normal, happy lives, eating grass) are healthy and so is their milk!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

clothing exchange

My sister and I had a clothing exchange party last night. The idea is to get a bunch of girls together and trade clothes that you don't want anymore. It's a super way to recycle clothes and get new vintage stuff! The funny thing about this particular party is that everyone ended up backing out at the last minute. So it was just US. Which was completely fine with me because we had fun and ate cake and talked about boys and tried on each others' clothes. It was almost identical to that one time we had an apartment together for 6 months.

The cake was eaten! And it was delicious! Like a big oatmeal cookie... with coconut on top.

We traded some clothes! Some of it was stuff we had previously owned and swapped years ago - if you wait long enough you usually want your old clothes back. I got some scarves and 2 skirts and a couple of shirts. Here is the best thing of all! This skirt is so amazing!


I just want to apologize for making that face.

I actually wore that outside today. It's warm enough! Texas weather is completely unpredictable. Back in December it was 70 degrees one day and then the next day it snowed. I'm really trying to collect winter clothing for when we move to Nashville because I know they have real seasons there.


It's just the best fabric ever. It reminds me of gingerbread houses!

Friday, January 16, 2009

oatmeal cake

I spent my afternoon baking a cake! It's been quite a while since I've done any baking on my own, though it used to be my primary hobby along with cake decorating. Since my husband's been around we do all our baking together because he's far superior to me in the kitchen. Luckily, I seem to have soaked up some of his knowledge over time - this was the most organized I've ever been while baking!

I based this cake on ingredients we had in the pantry; we're moving soon and don't need to buy any extra food.

Sneak peek! Yum yum!

I was trying to figure out what to do with oatmeal and coconut, and I came upon this recipe for Coconut-Topped Oatmeal Cake. It sounds a little crazy, but when you look at the ingredients (lots of brown sugar and butter) it begins to sound appealing. As far as I know, the batter was delicious and the topping tastes pretty good; the real test will be to see if anyone likes it tomorrow night (I'm taking it to a clothes swap party!).

It looked so pretty in my bundt pan!

For future reference, it was supposed to be made in a rectangular pan. I realized afterward that the purpose of serving it in the rectangular pan was so that the cake would soak up all the buttery coconut topping. I baked it in a bundt pan because I thought it would be prettier that way. I always like round cakes better. I am a round cake elitist. Oh well.

It's kind of terrifying. But it should taste good!

Pro-tip: After you bake a cake, leave the oven open for a while and it will be all warm and cozy and delicious smelling in kitchen! But do not be tempted to climb in the oven.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

tiny tea party

A couple of days ago I was hanging out with my mom and she said, "Oh.. here. Grandma wanted me to give you this tea set."

That's right, a tiny tea set. Why did she want to give it to me? I'm really not sure, but I decided I would take it anyway. So today I went looking for friends who are small enough to actually use it.

I will give you a cookie if you can figure out the perspective on this!


This is Little Guy. You might know him from my other blog. He's a pretty good size for this teacup!


Little Guy's nemesis also joined in on the party. But I think his fingernails might stop him from holding the cup correctly.


Turtle! Get away from that pitcher!

Note: No robots were actually given tea during this photo shoot.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

eliza

The only magazine I subscribe to is Eliza. I've been a fan since the first issue came out in the summer of 2007. What makes Eliza unusual is that it focuses on modesty. Modesty is just about the classiest fashion statement I can think of. When I first started getting the magazine, I read every single word (and found a lot of typos and mistakes). They've really improved in a lot of ways, but I'm not so interested in the articles now. Now I just skim and look at all the pretty fashion photos!

I wanted to share some things from the Winter 2009 issue. These really stood out! Click on them to enlarge!

I LOVE that headband, but I went to the designer's website and it's scary so I'm not sharing a link. Ha ha.


I just really like the color and feel of this whole photo shoot.


I also like those birds. And capes and umbrellas in general.


Cape by Chulo Pony - (btw, love the Manifesto of Chaotic Kindness when you go to their website)

I need more colored tights.

In case you didn't catch it, check out a close up of this amazing hair. This is what needs to happen to my head:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

well hello

Being that this is a first-time blog post, it will probably be awkward. But I'd rather be vague than overshare, so I'll try to keep the incoherent babbling to a minimum.

Here are the basics: I am 22. I like dressing up and eating cake and making crafty things. I am married to a delightful man who loves writing and cooking. We have a lot of fun together and we do a lot of neat stuff. He is currently trying to become a published writer, and I am currently a housewife.

Don't judge me by my Roomba and my Obama magnet and magician calendar and teapot on the fridge.

I probably won't be a housewife for long. We're moving to Nashville in approximately a month, and I may get a job there. I only recently quit my office job and resolved to never work in an office again (tip: moving is the most polite way to quit a job). I've been enjoying my time at home.

It's probably okay to judge me by my boots.

And for some reason I wanted to start a blog today. It seems like a good idea. Hopefully I'll be posting pretty things here, fashion and art and such. I guess we'll find out!

Just as a way to jump into this, here is something I made yesterday. I didn't have a birthday gift for my aunt, and I didn't want to spend money, and I was itching to cut up this Dick & Jane calendar I kept in my old office. Using some pictures that didn't have drawn-on mustaches, I made this birthday card.

The front. I really only added the lace to cover up some extra glue, but I ended up liking that most of all.

The inside. I glued in paper from a scrapbooking kit (which I normally use as stationary).

The back. It was a bit messy, but I still like how the text seems intended when it was only fortunate folding that placed it there.

That's all I've got for today. Hopefully my writing-for-an-audience (even if it's invisible) and photography skills will improve over time.