Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shadow Love.

Today is kind of a wordless Wednesday™ on Tuesday since tomorrow {Wednesday} I'd like to post my 101 in 1'001 monthly update so there you go...with some words in here obviously.
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, January 30, 2012

Marvelous Monday.

It's almost February...eeek! Time moves so fast as I get older. I recognize that "old" is a very relative statement...at the risk of sounding sentimental, I mean to say that time speeds up every new year of my life; Monday turns into Friday so quickly some weeks that I can't even remember Tuesday through Thursday. I digress. Some good things for us all, folks.
Glory Be; Monday can be a good thing!
1} This weather shot is from last Saturday but it includes most of this week. I actually think that this is kind of wrong {an opinion seen before here on SJS} and usually it's a bit chillier there this time of year but, heck, I'll take 70 degrees any day & any month.
2} Guinness, our hairy dachshund, loves looking out of windows. When we were living with my grandmother he and her dog gallivanted all day long from the living room to the dining room; both have beautiful picture windows that go down to the floor. The hounds could bark their snouts off at anyone {the neighbor kid they know very well} and everything {a leaf in the wind} passing by. They're not vicious dogs by any means, that's for sure, they're more nosy and vocal. Living in a third floor apartment with no lovely large windows our poor pooch hasn't gotten in much snooping time but he recently discovered that he can climb to the top off the couch to look out onto the world {I got in some good alliteration in that sentence, huh?}. 
He loves it and it makes me happy. Plus, it brings to mind images of a busy-body neighbor {ala "That Darn Cat" which is one of my all-time-favorite movies in case I haven't told you yet} but he's just a dog. With a curmudgeonly old lady stuck inside.
3} We're going to a crab feed this weekend; stretchy pants will be worn since beyond bountiful cracked dungeness crab there is delectable cheesy garlic bread on the menu.
4} The days are getting longer! This may appear on my list every week from now until June 21st so bear with me reader.
5} With February coming up I have some new goals to tackle...look forward to a 101/1,001 post later this week!

What's going well for you today? Are you looking forward to anything fun or exciting in the next week? 
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life is just a bowl of lemons.

Last week some friends and I got together for happy hour after work {Hi Friends!}. It was great to catch up a bit and eat yummy guacamole. I found out that out of the five of us I am the only one without direct access to a lemon tree {we're blessed to live in California's Bay Area where orchards used to be EVERYWHERE...many homes have relics of bygone days in the form of fruit trees}. Since we live in an apartment we technically don't have access to any form of fruit tree but even amongst my family only a couple of people have the coveted lemon tree. My grandmother and parents have a persimmon tree {yuck!}, a yellow grapefruit {double yuck!!}, an apricot {ok but it's a summer fruit} and a sour orange/tangerine thing. Lemons are fabulous because, well, I just ding dang love them. I like to put lemon on most things that I cook and the stuff that is available for purchase in a bottle is downright chemical tasting. 
Anyhow, one of my friends brought in a bag full of lemons from her yard {Thanks friend!}. They apparently have an excess in their household...the lucky ducks. These are Meyer lemons which have a different flavor {almost...almost a sweetness} compared to the regular lemons found in most grocery stores. The skins are thinner and there's a hint of orange in there somewhere...just a hint. They're glorious actually. I'm thrilled to be able to use these in cooking this week but maybe I'll foray into some lemon inspired baking??
Do you have a love of lemons like I do? Are there any interesting & delicious lemon recipes out in the internet-reader-land?
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Love is in the Air.

I've been on a bit of a crafting/decorating kick recently...in case it's not obvious; ha! In an effort to spruce us up for the approaching Day of Lurve {which is technically EVERY day!} I've done a few things.
There was the wreath I made almost entirely of Target Christmas clearance stuff.
I've since added on some pink & red ribbon for extra fun.
I took a hint from this lady HERE and copied her hanging heart tutorial.
Then I sewed together the many small hearts that I cut out into a festive garland.
Sewing paper together is so dang easy! I was worried about the thread freaking out in the space between the hearts but it did no such thing and I love the result! This was a super easy project that took me about an hour total.
I also cute out some different shaped hearts from the scraps and other paper I had laying around. I used double stick tape to put them onto a few wooden dowels left over from the wedding decorations. The poor hyacinth in the picture that has brought some spring to our little abode needed some perking up and the forest of hearts did just the thing!
I think that when the flower finally bites the bullet within several days I'll get some jelly beans or m&ms, put them in a clear vase and stick in the heart-dowels for another fun piece of flair. As for the bulb I think I can just save it and that it will do it's thing again??
I try to keep things not too cluttered when it comes down to decór {mostly because it makes clean-up easier!} and little {subtle to me} things like this make my little heart sing. 

Anyway, that's it for the cutting and pasting for now; have you done any fun projects recently? Do you decorate much for holidays?
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, January 27, 2012

Our BIrthday Place.

Five years ago my sweet hubby inadvertently started a tradition. He was living in Arizona at the time and I was here in San Jose. We were able to see each other about once a month or so and were planning a February rendezvous in San Diego {the 1/2 way point between us} which I was looking forward to. My then roommate &future lovely maid of honor in our wedding {a fact unbeknownst to all three of us at the time and for several more years} took me out to dinner for my birthday. 
We went to a local road house style BBQ place that's been around forever {not literally, yo}. In this establishment the patrons hang out in the front area {the bar} while they order and are then brought back to their tables when the food meat is just about ready. So my friendy-friend and I were sitting and enjoying a drink amongst the crowd. The door opened, a guy with a small suitcase came in and I thought "he looks like Mike!". He looked like Mike because he WAS Mike! It was my favorite surprise ever {other than being proposed marriage by the same dude...not to get too mushy on you here} and I was so tickled pink! He had conspired with my pal and arranged the whole situation...be still my beating heart...
Since then we've lived in different countries all the way to the same apartment {which is our current status } and we try to make it back to Henry's HI-Life for one of our birthdays once a year; now it's our Birthday Place!
We went on Monday night and it was blissfully quiet and unpacked. My slab of steak with a buttery baked potato were glorious and I managed to snag a few extra napkins.
My plan is to frame them so that in case we ever leave San Jose and even if we don't we'll have a cute memento that is special to us.
The lighting was bad but I wanted a picture made of us too.
Mikey, thank you so much for the wonderful birthday tradition we've got going on and for that surprise in 2007!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yesterday it came to light that I have tendonitis in my knee. This is not a bad prognosis at all and in the middle of an intense training plan {or way back in college & high school when I ran but didn't love it} I might joyfully welcome a two week break. Well, not now. Ready, ready, ready, ready...ready to run! I'm ready to run {thanks Dixie Chicks}! Baby we were born to run {you too, Boss}! Enough of the song lyrics; I apologize. On my way home I noticed every single person running and felt as though they weren't appreciating their ability to jog down the street. Then I got home and found this mess:
thanks to Mr. Guinness. 
The dumb dog even ate chicken bones from dinner the night before which is a huge no-no for doggy owners; apparently not for hairy dachshunds because he seemed to be feeling just fine when I got home. Then I gave him the cold shoulder and he got sad. "Mercurial" doesn't even begin to describe his demeanor.
I'm actually feeling "ok" about it all, though, despite my apparent grumping up above. I was told to take two weeks of rest {even though I'm coming off of three} and to do some icing, stretching and physical therapy. I'm not broken or torn which is great and I can use this time to ease into my semester {unlike the very beginning of the fall semester which is when we got married and I was scrambling around like crazy and not focusing on work as much as I'd like to} and get into some crafting and possible sewing projects {it doesn't hurt that I got some great Michaels and Joann Fabrics gift cards for mah birthday {thank you so much you-know-who-you-are!} {and that's not to forget the wonderful phone calls and cards [& surprise cake (the Mikester)] that made my day wonderful - thanks so much guys!!!}!
After two weeks I'm supposed to give it a try running and then go in for an x-ray if it's still hurting & then I'll be referred to Sports Medicine {Kaiser, though I'm SUPER grateful for healthcare, can be such a labyrinth of phone calls, different departments and hurdles to get to the one thing that you really need...oh well}.
Here's to time spent relaxing and getting better!!
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I skied!

I spent the weekend being one of three grown ups on a high school ski trip. I loved this trip when I was one of the teenagers and I have a lot of fun "being in charge" too. We drove up on Friday to a ski resort in the Sierras; we skied Saturday & Sunday, drove home late afternoon and got home by 8:30 Sunday night and thank.you.Baby.Jesus for bringing us home so quickly and safely! I'd like to thank our bus driver as well; it was treacherous on those windy Sierra highways!
I hadn't skied in two years but it came back to me quite nicely, though I'll always be a blue kind of girl; I like to start on the bunny slope to warm up and will never ever ever go down anything black. And I'm "ok" with that.
Our winter has been pretty un-winter-like so there was concern about possibly not having any snow. It was pouring rain when we drove in on Friday {not ideal for being on the slopes!} but that rain became snow over night and we had a great amount of powder all weekend...it was lovely and made me want to go skiing again.
Look at how pretty it is!
Just to prove I was there:
This guy hung out with us a bit too...his name is Zack.
At school our second semester started today which is nice and I tried to get back into running after work since I'd been "resting" since early December with some knee pain. Well, that pain came back strong after about half a mile {which is not far for me} so I called the doc and I'm going in tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that whatever this is goes away quickly.
To end this totally random post, we just finished watching the State of the Union and no matter what anyone says, I just LOVE listening to president Obama speak.
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, January 23, 2012

Marvelous Monday.

1} I made it back from chaperoning. Glory Be.
2} Today is a day off. Again: Glory Be.
3} Tomorrow is the start of our second semester which I always enjoy since it's a brand, spanking, new, and clean slate. Metaphorically speaking.
4} The days are getting a wee bit longer each day...Spring is on the horizon {kind of}!
5} Yesterday was my birthday. The last year was a great one for little ole {& getting "ole"er!} me {I got myself hitched!} and I look forward to another wonderful 360+ days and continuing to be grateful for all the lovely and wonderful people & opportunities in my life.
xoxo, natty ♥

Ski Bunny.

As you read this, or at least as this appears online, I will have hopefully ushered a group of youth to a weekend of skiing and brought them back to the hinterlands where we live. And gotten in some time on the slopes myself. And kept myself un-injured.
I have tomorrow off.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yum in my Tum!

I implore you to forgive the horrific post title; it's late & I'm tired. 
Two days ago I realized a long time dream.
This past week was actually one of my favorite of the school year - Finals Week.
Though I have a lot to grade this is one of the few times {along with Finals Week, Spring Time Version} where I can come into work and basically get work {grading} done. I get out of the house, go to work, proctor a test or two and then am able to actually do grading and planning for the rest of the day. Except for when my students take their final exams there is no new work coming in and I'm able to catch up. 
It's also a week where my lunch time isn't dictated by bells. Where I have more than a strict 35 minutes to eat lunch. 35 minutes is great and I'm grateful for lunch but it leaves no wiggle room whatsoever. I hear other people {non-teachers} talk about "where to go to lunch during their break..."; HA! 
This week, though, I am normal. I can go out to eat with coworkers. And we did. We had Indian one day and then something even more exciting. On Thursday Sam's Chowdermobile was in the area. We planned and executed a lunch time chowder run. Lordy it was divine.
I skipped the namesake dish bowl, though, and had a lobster roll and bay seasoned fries.
I'm still dreaming of buttery goodness {& counting down until our next Finals Week [May]}!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pardon the Poor Lighting.

This week I finished our birthday wreaths. Mine weighs a bit more than Mikey's does since I used more balloons to "flesh it out" a bit. They're pretty super easy peasey to make! I'd like to put them up for the weeks leading up to our Happy Days!

If in case you have any interest at all in how you might make such a creation, read on good people! If not, the pictures are at the very end.

1} Buy a foam wreath. The bigger the wreath the more balloons you'll need. You can apparently buy plumber's foam in a tube at hardware stores for much cheaper but I haven't done it yet. I used 12 inch ones.

2} Buy florist pins from a crafting store. They're kind of "u" shaped and pretty cheap.

3} Buy your balloons. I used standard sized and you'll need lots and lots. It's a good idea to buy them from a party store where you can buy large bags of a certain color. I chose a standard scheme for the mister's and pinks with orange and white for mine.

4} Bunch and pin away! I didn't go all around on mine but did mostly the front of the wreath and the sides. The foam is not visible from the front when the wreath is hung up. 
5} Embellish as you will. I purchased gift bows from the wrapping aisle at Tar-jay but you could also make your own bows or add on other fun things. I pinned them in at the top of the wreath just using the florist pins.
6} I decoupaged scrapbooking paper in coordinating prints onto a little wooden shape {from the craft store} and then decoupaged on the words "Happy Birthday". I used an image from Google but you could write it out yourself or print it out in a fun font {check out Dafont for good ones}. It might be a good idea to not write out your own words since the mod-podge might make the ink run. I hot glued a loop of grosgrain ribbon to the back of the wooden sign and pinned it into the back of the wreath so that it hangs down.

7} Hang it up!

xoxo, natty ♥

A Rat or a Boar {not a Bore}.

Today I had a revelation. It's the lunar New Year time of year and some coworkers and I were talking about the upcoming new sign {Dragon} and sharing which ones we are. I am a Rat {Mouse or Rodent in some countries}. Or so I thought. After years and years of thinking I'm a Rat because all of those things {books, websites, etc.} that tell you your Lunar zodiac signs do so according to your birth year. But. The Lunar New Year begins on a different date each year and it's in January or February so one's birth year can most likely indicate one's zodiac sign. Unless you're born in January or early February.
So I realized that I may not actually be a Rat. I googled a bit and made the discovery that I am not who I had always thought I am; I am actually a Boar. I'm not feeling too distraught but much more so than I would have predicted.

According to Wikipedia, here are a Rat's qualities:
forthright, tenacious, intense, meticulous, charismatic, sensitive, intellectual, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, artistic & shrewd. 

A Rat can be:
manipulative, vindictive, self-destructive, envious, mendacious {?}, venal {??}, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant &/or scheming.

However, I am no longer.

A Boar is:
honest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent.

A Boar can be:
naïve, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic &/or materialistic.

I'll gladly take the good qualities of both ;).
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


"Mercy" is what I seek right now for the lack of productivity I continue to encourage. I've become completely enamored of Pinterest which is, like, eight months later than everyone else. I can hardly tear myself away from pinning this and pinning that. The constant pinning and the ensuing craft ideas have my mind swimming instead of focusing on grading and starting to run again {*SIDE NOTE*: I got a bit injured after my marathon last month [which still lacks an explanation post...I know]...there was knee pain which I've never had [insert super sad face] so I've been taking it easy which for me has meant doing nothing and I feel like a lazy louse}.
I'm going to try to cut myself off until the end of the week when ideally I will have finished all of the grading I need to for this semester as well as the two crafts I'm allowed to work on this week 1} my birthday wreath & 2} our Christmas/Holiday card booklet. Then I'll be a ski trip chaperon. Then I'll come home for one day of freedom before the second semester starts. That's a day I plan to pin like CRAZY!
Keep me accountable y'all. Please.
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, January 16, 2012

Marvelous Monday.

Today's Marvelous Monday post is being cancelled in lieu of something more contemplative. though credit goes to Dr. King. There are words in the speech that I wouldn't use but this speech was given in a different time {August 28th 1963}.
Full text taken from HERE though credit goes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. There are words in the speech that I wouldn't use but this speech was given in a different time {August 28th 1963} and I like to think about modern day applications; there are so many.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Our warm days have finally left us. I'm not exactly thrilled about this because, as we all know, I am a proud lover of warm weather but I do recognize that there's a time for everything for a reason. Right now is our time for some rain and there hasn't been any! This afternoon, though, has quickly become windy and grey...which is good & right.
This weather is also perfect for sitting by the fire and crafting. My grandmother has been doing her decoupage and I've been working on my balloon birthday wreath, the primary colored version.
It's sparse in a few areas but I ran out of orange so I'll wait to get those to be really finished.
Mike and I also watched a lot of football since yesterday and had dinner with my mom. It's been a great weekend and I hope that yours has been too.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


On Monday I did something to my neck/shoulder/upper back on the right side. I actually didn't do anything; the horrendous feeling came upon me in the middle of teaching my first class that day. It had happened before but never this painfully. It's a sharp pain and it hurts to move my head around too much; like up, down, to the left, to the right, etc. Things felt much better on Tuesday but have since gone back to sharp and uncomfortableness; UGH!
So I'm using it as an excuse to be lazy, as my post title explains. I've done a whole lot of nothing today and I'm totally ok with it though I have a pile of grading to attend to and some cleaning and whatnot.
What are you doing with your Saturday morning? Do you have plans for the three day weekend? 
Much love from me and my partner in couch-surfing, Guinness.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wreath crazy!

Perhaps I've gotten a bit ahead of myself and/or turned into one of those women who craft all the time. Not really, I don't have enough free time for that. But I have started in on two other wreaths beyond the Valentine's one seen below.
They're birthday wreaths!
A primary colored one for the man of the house and a beautiful pinky-orangey-white one for me! But they're only a quarter done each because I ran out of balloons. That's right, they're balloons! I can do a bit of a tutorial when I'm all finished but these things are easy to Google and I pinned a few on Pinterest too.
They'll go up for the few weeks before a birthday. I thought of this because I sometimes feel as though our birthdays get neglected and I'd like to try to bring as much festivity to the occasions as I can.
Are there any birthday decorations that grace your household? Hows about traditions? I'll expound upon the things we do for our special days soon.
Good weekend to you and yours!
xoxo, natty ♥
Also, do you have any Friday the 13th things? "Things" being customs or fun beliefs...I'm just randomly curious! Don't step on any cracks today!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Dish!

I'm laying around and waiting for dinner to be ready {which is around 20 minutes or so} and I'm totally ready for it. I branched out {yea!} and made tortilla soup!
Look at my pretty tortilla strips! 
I was taken by the beautiful mix of spices I threw together. The Pioneer Woman helped me out as she often does with recipes. I'll get back with how it is; delightful, hopefully. The one thing that's bothering me, though, is actually a characteristic of our apartment; it's not super well ventilated. Or air doesn't pass through nicely. Or old smells just like to sit around. There's a fan above the stove that's loud but supposedly helps with that stuff, I light candles and I open some of our copious windows {a perk for sure!} but I can guarantee you that we will awaken tomorrow morning to eau de tonight's dinner. It's a small price to pay, I suppose. Especially since I just wrote it down and realized what a ridiculous thing it is to complain about a roof over our heads. Now I'm getting self-preachy which means I should retire for the night before I do any more damage.
But. One more quick picture for you. Since in San Jose we now have to pay for bags in stores {ten cents per paper bags, no plastic allowed anymore; woot! [on a random side note, I have been loving seeing people's random assortment of bags!]} some stores seem to randomly give out their own re-usable bags {it's free advertising, after all, since you're bound to use it elsewhere...} and today Target gifted me with this gem:
...the wittle doggie face wooks wike a heart!
Have you cooked anything new and/or interesting recently? Do you get stuck in dinner ruts like we do? Happy almost Friday!

***Update: this soup is DANG good!***

xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some things I'm loving.

1} The towel I made this past weekend. It is made out of cotton calico  which is not traditional towel material but I made it and it's pretty and I love it.
2} The cookies I made tonight. 
It's a busy month so for my chosen baked good I went with pre-made! These were new at Trader Joe's and include some sugar to dip the top of the cookies into. 
They come out soft but harden up and get chewy real quick; yum!
Just my first ;).
3} Our wedding china; it's Fiestaware.
The bright colors make me happy every time I open the cabinet.
4} And this mini-brie. 
I may have blogged about this good stuff before but I'll do it again at the risk of repetition, that's how strongly I feel about these things!
Our local TJ's carried these for quite a while but then stopped. I came across them in Arizona during break and this past week I discovered that they're back in the Bay Area; yes! They're the perfect luxurious addition to my lunch as long as there are some good crackers around.
What are you loving these days? Any delicious treats or fun crafting adventures?
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marvelous Monday.

A bit to celebrate the beginning of the work week; isn't that an oxymoron? Anyway, here you go! 
1. I made Chicken Cacciatore last week and was able to figure out how our stove works; it runs hot, that's for sure!
2. Slowly but surely our clothes are being put away and our bathroom will hopefully come together soon; moving right before the holidays is not for the weak of heart nor for the type A organizers...unless they have about 5 puppies worth of energy.
3. We start our boot camp tonight a.k.a #41 on my 101/1,001; wish me and my weak arms luck!
4. It's still unseasonably warm...maybe it's not the best for our crops and the-way-things-work and whatnot but I'll take 65 and sunny in January if I can get 65 and sunny in January.
5. I took a nap on Friday AND yesterday...how's THAT for hedonism?
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Oh Happy Day.

Today was a glorious day of sleeping in, eating breakfast, watching football, going to Costco, organizing a bit around the old apartment and doing a bit of crafting as well...yippee!  
I loaded up on some fabric for my as-yet-decided sewing projects.
And I concocted a Valentine's wreath from Target Christmas stuff that was on clearance and some foam hearts I got...my first wreath attempt!
Did you have a good weekend with at least a little bit of time to yourself? I certainly hope so!
xoxo, natty ♥