Saturday, February 26, 2011

I guess I don't hate that color after all . . .

When I moved in to my current place about 3 1/2 years ago, I looked at the color in the front entry and went "ugh."  Since then, I've gotten a lot of compliments on the paint color, but I usually just say "the past owners painted it that color" - I had actually been thinking of repainting it but it's just so. much. work.
But then a few days ago I made a disturbing discovery, when opening the door and getting home.  The color on my walls is actually pretty much the same as my new nail color.  So it looks like I've come around to it after all.
See for yourself.
Also, now you can see the bear paw hands that Piano Teacher Wicky has to deal with.  They're not the most graceful in the land, but they get the job done.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lasagne Night

Today is a bit of a strange anniversary, of sorts, for me.  I realized as I was cooking my dinner that it's been 8 months since I broke up with my long-time boyfriend.  I've heard people say before that it's important to be single for a while and I wholeheartedly agree.  In the time that I've been single, I've learned a lot about myself, mainly: what I want to do, eat, watch on tv, etc., when I don't have to think about whether someone else will agree with me.  While this has resulted in some pretty bad tv and netflix choices (I will admit, but not mention actual titles!) it's also given me a chance to be extremely productive, like with all the cross-stitch Christmas gifts I did last fall, and a lot of schoolwork that I otherwise might not have made time for.
            But time alone also makes you realize a few things you miss about being in a couple.  Tonight, that thing was eating lasagne.  Lasagne was one of my ex's favorite dinners, and there are a lot of reasons why I like to make it too.  It's a whole meal, really, in one dish (I put lots of veggies in).  I love baking my dinner - and being able to get all the dishes clean before you actually eat your food.  It's a real comfort food.  And finally, it makes excellent leftovers.
            A few years ago I bought a Le Creuset dutch oven and was almost convinced to buy one of the cutest dishes ever: their Pate Terrine, 1 1/2 quart, which the saleslady told me is perfect for "lasagne for 2."  Well, these days I'm more in the market for lasagne for 1, I guess, although I still want those amazing leftovers.
            So tonight, I made 1/2 recipe of my favorite lasagne, with ground turkey and I minced some zucchini to add in with my usual spinach.  I used my favorite pyrex brownie pan and Barilla no-bake lasagne noodles (a shortcut worth taking).  Here is my single-lady lasagne, in all its glory, both before, and after, baking.
              And, while it was in the oven, I got to play piano.  These days, Mendelssohn has been my preference.  Here's one of my favorite Song Without Words, played (a little better than I do) by Daniel Barenboim.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Practice makes perfect, losers!

I found this online a few days ago.

The things they're teaching kids these days (other than piano, that is)
alternate effect: his piano teacher loves him and rewards him with many stickers . . .

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Decidedly Domestic Sunday

            Thanks to it being a not-very-sunny Sunday, I woke up this morning and didn't feel like getting out of bed at all.  Instead, I stayed in bed reading for a while and finished the first few chapters of my next book club book, Jeffrey Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything.  The first chapter was all about figuring out the perfect bread recipe, and as the morning wore on I found myself craving some fresh-baked carbohydrates.
              Luckily I have all the necessary bread-baking ingredients on hand at all times, so I was able to whip up a few loaves without much effort (thanks to my kitchen-aid mixer) and in no time (minus the few hours it had to rise - see above) I was snacking on my hot, whole wheat bread (see right).  For dinner, I will supplement it with some chicken soup that I made on Tuesday (sans recipe - for the first time).
I also had plenty of time to work on my quilt this afternoon.  I spent a few hours piecing together another 1/3 of it (see my cabin-fever post from the blizzard a few weeks ago).  I have 2 baby showers coming up in March and for about 5 minutes I thought I might put some baby quilts together, so I was trying to clear off the quilt wall so that I could lay them out, but I have decided that would probably be crazy of me (although that hasn't always stopped me in the past).  Instead, I just slowed down and enjoyed my sewing for the afternoon, even though I broke a sewing needle half-way through.  Anyway, it's really coming together.

Friday, February 18, 2011

That's me!

Thanks to a lot of free time yesterday and google, here is my full name, in pictures:

I know, this is the dorkiest post ever, but now you truly know who I am!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pitchers and Catchers reporting . . .

In honor of pitchers and catchers reporting for training this week (and Kerry Wood being in Cubs jersey again!), my ex-boyfriend (yes, I'll give him the credit) posted this video on facebook.  (Sorry, embedding is disabled, so you have to go to, but it's worth it!)  I have fond  memories of when it was first put on by Conan, but, better than that, it combines many of my favorite things: baseball, historical happenings, and red-headed mustachioed men.  Enjoy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

iPhone case

here is a pic of my new iPhone case that I just got in the mail today to go on my new Verizon iPhone.
I ordered it from over the weekend and I think it will be the perfect little sassy touch for my phone.  I haven't gotten a chance to check out all the stuff you can do/get on zazzle, and I may never get to - there might be too much, but it's a great website for making your own stuff.

Meet Brittany

I have mentioned my friend Brittany a few times in previous posts.  I'm very proud to have her as my friend because I count her to be the first real friend I've made in Chicago all on my own.  Since I don't have co-workers really, I've relied on my college friends to pal around with, and made new friends with them.  Brittany and I met in the screenprinting class I took last spring at the Lill Street Art Center.  If you need a refresher on what we did in that class, click here.
I knew we would be great friends from the very first day I met her because she mentioned she does lots of crafts and, as you know, so do I!
A few days ago, I got this very cute card in the mail, handmade by dear Brittany.  I like it extra much because you can enjoy it two ways.
In regular lighting, it's very textured:

And then if you hold it up to sunlight, it's almost sparkly:

So here's Brittany, saying "hello" to you (and me), and you can say hello to her on her new blog:
The Plaid Owl.
You may like it because she actually instructs her readers on how to be crafty, whereas I just blab on and on about my life . . .

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cupcake Bowl, 2011

This past Sunday was the Superbowl across the country, and the third annual Cupcake Bowl at my house.  Friends brought cupcakes from their kitchens (and one professional bakery) all over the city (well, mostly north side) to share and enjoy while watching the big game.
            This year, I made lemon coconut cupcakes, which were modeled after the scrumptious cupcake I had from my visit to Sprinkles last month.  I have to admit I've had a stomach-ache ever since, so I haven't gotten a chance to try every cupcake yet, so I'm not going to mention names or flavors until I can be a better, more thorough judge :-)
            My old friend Jenny, who you, dear readers, have not heard much from lately, came back from her home in Utah with a belated birthday gift for our friend Katy, a set of Lincoln Log party favors. Katy kindly shared a set with me and they quickly became the hit of the party (at least amongst the girls spending the whole evening in the kitchen).
            Mind you, there were boys at this party as well, but they were more interested in the game, and betting on everything imaginable, than cupcakes and party favors, so I will leave you with this evidence of all the females present.  It's a pretty good looking group, I think.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day, part deux

Good news!  My 2 classes tomorrow were cancelled, so I'm saved over 5 hours of class-time and instead I can focus on another to-do list.  I will start out with the things I didn't get around to on my first snow day and take it from there (again, mostly fun stuff . . .)

* pedicure
* physics homework (I'll take it down to a single "ick" since I got the first icky task out of the way yesterday)
* work on valentines
* read for fun
* clean for the superbowl party
* finalize superbowl menu/recipes
* work more on quilt

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day to-do list

Not that I expect to accomplish everything, but most of these things should be fun, so we'll see . . .

* bake scones

- I made blueberry scones and they are wonderful!

* put together tax stuff (ick)
* read in my architecture history book
* practice accordion
* pedicure
* work on valentines
* read for fun
* clean for my superbowl party
* physics homework (double ick)
* work on patchwork quilt
- 1/3 done in no time.  This quilt should be finished before I know it . . . right?

I may add to this as necessary.