Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A glimpse of college in real life...

Today was a great day... I think it was great because it reminded me of some of the things I love and miss most about Columbia and college life.

1. I went to a coffee shop! I hadn't realized how much I miss coffee shops:
the atmosphere, the artsy people, the coffee... I went with my friend Corrie to try out a new place called The Filling Station recommended by my brother Joel. The only thing close to a coffee shop in Liberty is Starbucks. I've been craving a quality place and we ventured downtown and found one.

2. I went to a fun, non-chain place to eat lunch! Corrie suggested that we go to a place called Mildred's that is downtown. It was also a coffee shop but had some delicious food. I had an incredible roasted red pepper hummus sandwich on rye. (I sound so artsy/vegan-ish, don't I? I'm not. I just love hummus.)

3. I went with a friend! Like I mentioned already, I went with my friend Corrie and it was just really fun to talk and laugh with her. I'm definitely thankful for the friends I have in Kansas City (all two of you... ha.) But I'm definitely missing my friends from Columbia.

Anyway.... all of this to say: today was a quality day. I want to have more days like this. Exploring Kansas City. Eating good food (although not TOO much good food... I have a diet to maintain.) Getting with friends. I loved it all...

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Once. I love this movie. It's not really my kind of movie actually... but for some reason I love it. It's about a guy and girl who meet in Dublin. They are both musicians and their music kind of brings them together as friends. If I gave away any more it would ruin the plot.

The movie is shot really informally. I heard it only took them a few weeks to film. The actors don't have these crazy deep lines or anything (but they do love to use the f-word). The plot is even kind of slow. But the music... is incredible. And the friendship that unfolds within makes the movie. (The guy and girl that play the main characters make up the band The Swell Season. I saw them in concert a few months ago. Amazing....)

I don't really have anything profound to say except for that this movie inspires the musician and the artist in me. I really liked it a lot.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I can't stop!

I'm kind of hooked on making fabric flowers. Not going to lie... it was probably been my favorite thing that I did today. I went to JoAnn's and bought some cheap fabric (4 different kinds for $8.50 total... not bad considering I can make probably 20 flowers out of all the fabric I bought). So this afternoon I made a few more and then baked some cookies. (Talk about a great afternoon, huh?)

I haven't totally decided if I can pull off the look. My mom says I can but she'd probably say that about anything. :) Tonight I donned the green flower at worship practice... Considering I play with all men, no one said anything, except the one female that was there: she noticed it and said she liked it!

So if anyone has the courage to pull of a flower... let me make one for you! I'm kind of hooked...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

DIY: from expensive to cheap!

Today my friend Valeria tweeted (yep, I just referenced a tweet in my blog) about this company Emersonmade that makes "gorgeous and lovely" (as Valeria put it) fabric flowers. They are incredibly beautiful... but unfortunately also incredibly expensive. So I decided to take a crack at creating the beauty pictured above on my own.

I had an old yellow scarf that I made last year from a scrap of fabric that I rarely wear so I decided that it could be sacrificed to make some flowers. I googled "how to make fabric flowers" and got some instructions from some great blogs and websites online. I tried my hand at 5 different kinds. Some turned out pretty cool... others did not. See for yourself.

1. Here is a rose from Martha Stewart's website. Here's the link.

2. This one was probably my favorite: it's a peony from Martha Stewart's website. The same link as above.

3. This rose turned out ok: it's borderline cheesy which I don't love, but oh well. Here is the link.

4. This little guy was kind of random but it looked easy so I thought I'd try it out. Here is the link.

5. This poppy was my last, and probably least successful attempt. Emersonmade has some really cool poppies so I really wanted to make one. These directions called for a glue gun, which I used, but the little glue strings and hot glue (I burnt myself HARDCORE) weren't much fun. I'm hoping to give it another shot some other time. Here is the link.

Now that I know how to make these flowers... I'm not really sure what I am going to do with this knowledge. Part of me wants to buy some nicer fabric and try to make more... but the other part of me wonders what I'll do with them once I've made them. They aren't really my style... but maybe I'll make them my style. We'll see... All I know is that I enjoyed the challenge of making them!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm sure some of you saw the title of this post and thought, "Is she really blogging about blogging?" I suppose I am... but not in the sense that you'd expect. (I've actually already blogged about blogging before. Here it is.) What I want to blog about is how much I love reading other people's blogs.

One of the many things I love (and hate, at times) about technology is that you don't have to be a professional writer to get your thoughts out there. Blogs and such make it easy for people to write about what interests them and they don't have to be famous or special, they can just be a normal person (like me!) I love reading what people think and feel about things... And I love seeing how they creatively present their thoughts and feelings with each post.

This is nothing major or monumental, as usual, but today I was reading someone's blog and thought, "Man, I love this!" So I thought... why not blog about it. That's the beauty of a blog. (Oh my gosh if I say blog one more time, I'm going to go crazy... How many times have I used the b-word so far? Yep, that'd be 11.) Anyway, to the right you can see many of the blogs (sorry, I had to say it again) that I read. I thought I'd highlight a few.

-Baking blogs: Bakerella and Annie's Eats... both are great and have really awesome photography of their creations.
-Brother blogs: My brothers Joel and Cory both have some great stuff to say. Joel has awesome insight on music, books, movies, etc., and Cory showcases some of his graphic design work.
-Friend blogs: My friends Valeria and Emily have all sorts of fun things to say about art, life, and everything in between. Neither blog very often, but when they do, I get really excited!
-Pretty blogs: Both Design*Sponge (a blog about interior design, artsy/crafty stuff, etc.) and Style Me Pretty (a blog about beautiful weddings) inspire my creativity.

I just love reading blogs.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The best sport, in my opinion...

Sports, no matter what kind, are on our new, beautiful plasma screen television about 90% of the time. Sometimes I hijack the remote and switch it to the Food Network or Bravo.... but 9 out of 10 times that I walk in the living room, there are multiple men hurling themselves down a field or court with some kind of ball on our TV screen. I really enjoy sports, but I don't love watching them on TV all the time.

Today I found myself laying on the couch actually watching a basketball game. I love to watch KU basketball... but I even have a hard time sitting down to watch them. Anyway, today, for some reason, it was fun watching basketball. I played basketball for years and I love the sport. I get basketball. I know all of the rules and I know what makes a player good. It actually made me miss playing. I tried to brainstorm some kind of realistic scenario where I would be able to play again on a regular basis, and unless there are a bunch of out of shape, 20-something year-old girls who are just waiting for me to join their pickup game... it's probably not going to happen.

Anyway, today I reappreciated basketball. My reappreciation (yep, I just used two forms of a word that's not even a word) was furthered when I went to the blog of a photographer that I really like named Kevin J. Miyazaki and saw the picture above. I love basketball. I want to play it again. And I want to play it on an old, colorful court that looks like that.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A New Side of Baking

This whole dieting thing has really put a cramp in my baking. I feel guilty baking anything because it's not healthy and it's crazy tempting for everyone in my house that's on a diet. So, I thought to myself, "What can I bake that's decently healthy?" I went through all of these wonderful things in my head: cheesecakes, coffeecakes, cupcakes, any kind of cake really, cookies, bars, pies, tarts, puffs, you name it... They all kind of suck when it comes to healthiness. There is one thing that came to mind that is healthy that I've never really tried to bake before: bread!

So today I baked some bread for the first time. I ventured into the scary world of yeast and kneading. The whole time I kept thinking, "This is a lot of work, if it doesn't turn out, I'm going to be really bummed." I was worried it wouldn't rise (a common bread-baking woe)... but it did. And I was worried it would be too dense... but it wasn't. I got lucky and it turned out perfectly! So, above, is my first attempt at bread: whole wheat braids. I don't know if I can say that I love the process but I definitely love the product. And it's healthy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Not so Hallmark...

While I know Hallmark's intentions are good, I just don't love their cards. They are impersonal (no matter how hard they try) and just ok on the creativity side. Sure, you can stand around the card aisle in Wal-Mart for 30 minutes trying to find the perfect card that is actually funny or happens to say sort of what you want to say to a person. But why waste the time on a card that only kind of fits the occasion? Why not make your own?

So that's what I've started to do, card making... and I love it. The love started when I was on a retreat this fall. During some downtime my friend Lauren said, "I know this may be lame, but I'm going to make some cards. Do you want to make one?" I didn't think it was lame at all. I made one and was hooked! I don't think I've bought a card since!

I love that you can say exactly what you want to say. I love that you get to be creative and make it look pretty. I love it that the receiver of the card feels a little bit more special because you actually made the card. I love that making cards is cheaper than buying them (I bought a pack of colored paper for $4 and have made at least 10 cards from it already and could make 10 more.) I love it all!

Anyway... I challenge you to try it. I bet you'll really enjoy yourself and I guarantee you the receiver will! (Happy birthday to my aunt Cindy! Thanks for giving me an occasion to make a card. I love you!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I've been meaning to blog about this for quite some time now but am just now getting around to it. I got a Kitchenaid mixer! Some of my relatives pitched in and got it for me for graduation! I can't think of a more perfect present! I love it! (If you couldn't already tell by the abundance of exclamation points I've been using...)

It came at just the right time, too: right before the holidays. I love holidays because they give you a reason to bake. It was ok that I wanted to make massive amounts of multiple kinds of cookies. There was always a party or gathering to take them to. Anyway, the holidays gave me a reason to try it out... and I love it.

Now the holidays are over. And I officially started a diet today. My excuses to bake are dwindling. So, if anyone has any requests... I would love to bake you something so I get to enjoy my new, beautiful Kitchenaid mixer and you get to enjoy some sweet, yummy, (calorie-filled) baked goods.
(Thanks to all my awesome aunts, uncles, and cousins who pitched in for this wonderful gift!)

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 In Review

I have had a great year. When I look back over the past year I am overwhelmed at how blessed I have been. I have seen and done so many things. Here are the highlights:

1. I took a road trip to Georgia with my best friend Mary. We've been saying for as long as I've known her that one day we would take a road trip. We finally did and it was awesome...
(Mary and I in St. Simons Island, GA)

2. I fell in love with baking. I know, this isn't that big of a deal, definitely not highlight worthy... but I would say this is one of my main hobbies and maybe someday it will even become my career, so it's pretty exciting.
(Oh, cupcakes...)

3. I was a summer intern at my church at home and I loved the job. I was challenged to do things that I never thought I could do.
(My main intern task: co-managing a fireworks stand!)

4. I went on a vacation with my family and saw tons of amazing things: Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Sedona... It was incredible!
(Bellagio Fountains: my favorite sight of our vacation!)

5. I went on another vacation with my friend Sarah to visit another friend Valeria in New York. I have never been to New York... I loved it! I can't wait to go back!
(Central Park... I love New York.)

6. I lived with the Haslags. I know I've mentioned this recently... but I loved living with them. It shaped my senior year and my life as a whole.
(The Haslags. My parents away from home.)

7. I graduated from college! Holy cow...
(I feel like of all my smiles during
graduation, this one was the most genuine.)

I know I'm missing tons of other great things that happened in 2009 but those are the things that I thought of off the top of my head. It's crazy to think of all the unknown on 2010. Only God knows what is in store for me this next year. Maybe I'll find a job, move out on my own, meet a guy (not getting my hopes up...) I'm terrified and excited all at the same time...

Happy New Year!