Friday, August 31, 2012



 Lately, I've been feeling more like an adult. I'm 25. I live on my own (well, I have for 6 days now.) I have a job. I've also been doing adult-like things that I never really thought I would do. A few examples...

1. I make myself a cup of coffee every morning. Only adults do that. I never thought I'd be a "coffee drinker"... But it just kind of happened.

2. I have to use a badge to swipe myself into work. You know you're legit when your work requires you to swipe in with a badge. That or the world is becoming a sad place where we all have to hide behind closed/locked doors... but that's besides the point. Adults wear badges. Something that I did that's not so adult-like... I lost my badge yesterday, but that's also besides the point.

3. I make my bed in the morning. This is a new thing with my new house. As previously posted, I have an abundance of pillows, and I don't want them just hanging out on my dusty/hair collecting wood floor all day. So I'm making my bed. It's great.

4. I was concerned when I got home yesterday to an empty house with a candle burning. My roommate left it burning on accident. When I was younger, I would have been like, "Whatever, nothing happened, it's ok." But adults worry about candles burning down their house.

5. I have a cat. Well, the cat isn't actually mine. Yesterday I came home to a cat that my roommates bought. I'm not a huge cat person, but maybe I'll become one. His name is Bigsby. And he's cute.

See? Five examples of how adult-like I'm becoming. I suppose this post proving that I'm an adult maybe takes away some of my adult-like qualities... but once again... that's besides the point.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How I Decorate a Room: Part 1.

I originally entitled this post "How to Decorate a Room". But then I had nightmares of people reading thinking, "Who does she think she is telling me how to decorate?" So I changed it... to how I, Abby Jean Thomason, decorate a room. You can do it like this if you want. Or don't. See if I care. (Kidding, kidding...)

I'm in the beginning stages of decorating my room so I thought I'd give you updates along the way. If it happens to turn out well, then we can go back and reference these posts for the future. If not, we can forget they ever happened. That's the great thing about the internet. You don't even have to waste paper on a bad idea.

Anyway, here's where I'm at right now...

1. I started with a wall color. I didn't really get to choose this wall color. It was already in the room. I suppose I could have chosen a wall color. But I didn't want to spend the money or take the time to paint it myself. So this wall color will do. We'll call it... brown-ish... brown. Brownish brown it is. (Price - free.) (This is the only "before" picture that I own of the room. I forgot to take one, so this'll do...)

2. I picked some bedding that would go with the wall color. I scoured the internet for months and months trying to find the right bedding (and when I say months and months, I mean weeks, but whatev.) Until I was walking through Target one day, and came across this rich purple quilt. It was beautiful. (Price - $99 for a queen size quilt. A big of a splurge, but I bought a quilt from them my freshman year of college, 7 years ago, and it still looks great. So I feel like this is an investment piece.)

3. I picked a color scheme. Sometimes we can get into ruts when it comes to colors. And there is this really cool website called Design Seeds that's all over Pinterest that gives you some different ideas. You can search by color, by theme, or just peruse all of the options. I love this site. It helped me arive at this color scheme. Harvested Tones is its name. I don't know if I'll use much light pink, but I figure this is a starting point. (Price - free.)

4. I bought a few items that went along with the color scheme. Mainly pillows. Pillows can be expensive. I told myself I was allowed 1 splurge pillow. I got a mustardy/gold ruffly pillow from Target for $25 because I loved it. Then I bought two green pillows from TJ Maxx for $20 ($10 each, that is), which is a good deal for pillows. (Price - $45 for three pillows.)

5. Now I'm in the process of evaluating all that I already have, and seeing how I can cost effectively (aka frugally/cheaply/poorly) fill in the gaps to make a complete room. Now comes the fun part. The creative part. The part where people say, "Wow. I really like your *insert item here*!" And you respond, "Thanks, it only cost me $2.83 to make." Get excited folks, more posts to come on that later. (Price - TBD.)

6. I made a Pinterest board to keep track of it all. Oh Pinterest... how you make my creative heart sing.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 12.

Day 87.

It's been a crazy week. Monday I got bangs (not quite as major) and yesterday I moved out of my parent's house into a new place! I'm slowly getting settled in and I'm really excited for my new roommates, Kathryn and Paige (figured I'd let you know their names, so if I mention them in the future, you know what I'm talking about.)

Anyway, I managed to continue my month of teal despite the craziness. Day 81: hair product at my favorite beauty store. Day 82: a MuteMath t-shirt. Day 83: a sign at Mr. Goodcents explaining my favorite kind of Coke machine (Coca-Cola Freestyle... google it.) Day 84: a bit redundant, but my MuteMath cd in my car. Day 85: lips in a fashion magazine. Day 86: a chair in my new home. Day 87: a lamp in my new home.

One more week of teal!

Day 81.

Day 82.

Day 83.

Day 84.

Day 85.

Day 86.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Try-It Tuesday: Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes.

(Doesn't this look appetizing?)

Well, folks... tonight was my last Try-It Tuesday at home. I officially move out of my parents house on Saturday. I'm sure I'll still be trying new recipes, but the official cook for my family, Try-It Tuesday kind of nights... are no more. Have I mentioned this whole moving thing is bittersweet? Because it really is. One minute I'm on the verge of tears as I'm doing the dishes. The next, I'm daydreaming about all of the great ways I'm going to decorate the new place.

I went with a Skinnytaste recipe. I love that site. I think my friend Jessie pinned this recipe on Pinterest which was what directed me to the site in the first place. I'm a fan. Anyway, this recipe was a hit! It was hearty... a meat and potatoes meal. My dad would have liked it (unfortunately he had to miss it for a meeting.) PLUS, it had all sorts of yummy vegetables. Healthy. Hearty. ... Happiness. (I couldn't think of another H word, but I was definitely happy while eating this.) A hit, for sure!

Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes

(This doesn't look as appetizing... but it was. I promise!)

Monday, August 20, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 11.

Day 78.

I was in San Diego over the weekend and didn't get home until 11:45 last night so I'm a little late in posting my teal pics of the week. I'm actually really liking the month of teal... I was worried that I would have a hard time finding pictures, but they are coming along! It didn't hurt that I was in Southern California over the weekend where there was an abundance of teal.

My week in teal... Day 74: boredom at work. Day 75: my mom's birthday present. Day 76: a birthday card from my beautiful friend Valeria. Day 77: the sky on my way to San Diego. Day 78: La Jolla Beach. Day 79: the view from my friend Mary's back porch in San Diego. Day 80: tables at this sandwich place where I had one of the best sandwiches of my life, The Bobbie: shredded turkey, mayo, stuffing, and cranberry sauce (AKA Thanksgiving in a sandwich.)

It was a great week...

Day 74.

Day 75.

Day 76.

Day 77.

Day 79.

Day 80.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Twenty five.

Today I turn 25 years old... It's hard not to get nostalgic about things... So I started thinking about what all has happened in my life over the last year...

Things I've done:
-I learned how to cook.
-I traveled... I traveled a lot.
  1. Oklahoma City (twice)
  2. Sublette, KS
  3. Austin, TX
  4. Columbia, MO
  5. Sevilla, Spain (no big deal)
  6. Estes Park, CO
  7. Houston, TX
  8. San Diego, CA (I'm actually going there this weekend)
-I got an iPhone. (Should this be something worthy of documentation? Probably not. But it is.)
-I baked a lot.
-I got a promotion at work.
-I started going to a new church.
-I learned how to make new friends (since all my friends left me... I still miss them dearly.)
-I made plans to move out on my own. (A week and a half folks... talk about bittersweet.)
-I suppose I grew up a bit.

Things still to be done:
-Lose more weight.
-Learn to play the guitar.
-Learn how to use my camera. (You knew this was coming...)
-Make a business plan for my bakery.
(These all were part of my New Year's resolultions list... still slacking.)

It's been a good year...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

(Re)Try-It Tuesday: Birthday Style.

(Fact: I love making birthday cakes for people I love.)

Today is a very special day... It is my mom's birthday! She requested a Try-It Tuesday favorite... and I wasn't about to say no. She really likes Pioneer Woman's Cajun Chicken Pasta. I've made this recipe a few times, and I like it, but every time I think, "I could make this better." Not because Pioneer Woman isn't amazing... she is, in fact, amazing. It's just for some reason I can't thicken my sauce, or choose my pasta, or cook my vegetables the way that I should. I added some flour to my sauce which thickened it a bit. And I used different pasta (bowtie instead of fettuccine) which made it easier to eat. And I cut my vegetables smaller which made them easier to fit in your mouth. But it still could be better. I'll get there someday... I'm sure of it.

Even though I'm not quite satisfied with this recipe yet, my family was, and I bet you would be, too. So you should check it out.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I also made my mom a chocolate birthday cake. I cheat and use a Duncan Hines devil's food cake mix. But I did homemake the frosting. My mom was a big fan of the frosting, because I used almond flavoring.... My brothers... not as much. Oh well, you can't win 'em all, right?

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

(I was afraid the recipe of the pasta wasn't going to make enough 
so I made a recipe and a half of it. Holy cow. There was TONS.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 10.

Day 71.

Hooray for another week of teal. I am starting to get over my distaste for teal. It's not teal's fault that it isn't as prevalent in the world as grey or navy. The world just can't handle teal. And it's my job to seek it out this month. It's the least I can do for poor old teal. ... (Has she lost her mind? She's talking to a color right now...) Anyway... this week in teal:

Day 67: My short, stumpy, hangnail-y fingernails. Day 68: Ah, Peach Fresca... some might call it a nectar of the gods. Day 69: Boring flip flop picture. Day 70: A cute hair clip that my brother Joel gave to me a while ago that I'm just now getting the cajones to wear. Day 71: Some special plates that were once my parents, then became mine in college, then sat in storage for a few years while I camped out at my folks' house, and are now packed up to head to my new place. Day 72: A birthday cake that I decorated for our August birthday celebration... only a baker asks to bake her own birthday cake.

Day 67.

Day 68.

Day 69.

Day 70.

Day 72.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

If I could, I would...

...quit my job and spend every day making beautiful things. This requires money, because 1. I would need that if I wasn't working. 2. Making beautiful requires it. Not as much money as buying said beautiful things, but you still have to have it. If I could quit my job and make beautiful things all day, here is what I would make...

My own curtains out of drop cloth.

Something old and ugly into something new and beautiful by upholstering it myself.

Fancy sugar cookies like these.

Another pretty cake like this one with a heart garland.

An ombre dresser like this one.

Cute art like this.

My own quilt.

Pretty rooms like this for cheap. (When you saw this picture did you think I was saying I wanted to make babies? Get your mind out of the gutter.)

A pretty wedding cake for someone.

Maybe someday...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No trying, but definite smiling.

So... I didn't try anything new last night for Try-It Tuesday. For some reason, although I pinned like 27 things this past week on Pinterest, I couldn't find a recipe that I wanted to make. Luckily, as I was scouring the internet frantically on Monday night for the perfect recipe, my mom said, "Just make Chicken Curry in a Hurry. I love that." Done and done. So I cooked a previous Try-It Tuesday. Chicken Curry in a Hurry. And I made it healthier. And it was still good!

Since I have no new recipe to offer, I thought I'd talk about some other things that are making me smile. A fair trade, I'd say.

(Not a real life picture of me... In case you were wondering.)
1. Update on Operation Bridesmaid. I weighed myself on Monday and I've officially lost 10 pounds. (Ok, 9.8, but can I round up? Ok, thanks.) I'm not saying this to be like, "Hey, guys! I'm awesome." Because I'm not. I've still got a long way to go... But I told you I'd update you, so here I am.

(The guy on the right's face is aMAzing...)
2. The Olympics. I'm loving the Olympics. I'm pretty sure this is the only time of year that I'm ok with sports being on my TV all night, every night. I'm kind of sad that they are winding down... (If you want to see more funny pictures like the one above, go here!)

(I didn't bake this cake. I don't love Pinterest THAT much.)
3. Pinterest. I still love Pinterest. I was kind of over it for a while, but I'm back into it. Maybe it's all the inspiration I've been getting because of all of the upcoming decorating I'll be doing at my new place. (Only 2 weeks until I move out... craziness.)

(Angry much?)
4. Spite and Malice app on my iPhone. Ever played the card game Skip Bo? Apparently it was called Spite and Malice before they changed it to something a little less... angry. The app still goes by the old name though. It's great! I played with Jessie last night and had a grand ol' time.

(Who's the hottie on the left?)
5. Packing. No, I don't like packing. I really dislike packing. But I've really enjoyed going through my things and reminiscing about the old days... Gotta be honest, I threw most of the stuff away because I'm on a purging kick. But it's made the packing process a little more bearable.

Hope you're smiling, too!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 9.

Day 65. 

The month of navy is finished! Now I am on to teal... I've only been taking teal pictures for 5 days and I'm already finding it to be a challenge. There just isn't much teal out in the world. But it keeps me looking at the things that surround me... which is the whole point of the project.

Here is my week in navy and teal... Day 60: my guilty pleasure... fashion magazines. Day 61: I was totally out navy ideas so I sunk to a low level... I googled it. Day 62: a picture that I have hanging in my cubicle at work. Day 63: my coffee thermos. Day 64: Friday night, even though I'm in my mid-twenties, I had a sleepover with some friends... two of the girls had matching flip flops. Day 65: my friend Tara's quilt. Day 66: my journal... I may or may not have taking this picture during church.

Day 60.

 Day 61.

Day 62.

Day 63. 

Day 64. 

Day 66.