Saturday, April 30, 2011

Etsy Saturdays: XX


In support of the handmade revolution, I bring you Etsy Saturdays!  I will highlight a fun new shop every week, and I hope you will stop over to see their merchandise or find something else you love while you're there.  To see all Etsy Saturdays, click here.
*I have not been compensated in any way for this post*


I found Kiva Ford's shop through this crazy piece.  The amount of detail and patience involved in something like this?  Insane.

Heart in a Jar, Hand Blown Glass Miniature, Anatomically Correct Heart

When I headed over to check out the rest of the shop, I learned that the thing I should have been collecting my entire life is MINIATURE BOTTLES AND VASES.  I loved every single tiny item in this shop.

WANT
WANT
WANT

I am not sure how to proceed in life now, knowing that I do not own a SINGLE miniature bottle or vase.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Mean Girl Talks About Royal Wedding Products

OMG OMG OMG OMG.  The royal wedding.  THE ROYAL WEDDING!!  People I don't know in a country I have never been to are GETTING MARRIED!  I have been trembling with joy and excitement ever since Willy slid that big old rock on Kate's commoner finger.  


The only problem?  Finding the best possible souvenirs to commemorate such a momentous event with so many products flooding the market.  I've looked and looked and looked, and the decision is mind-boggling!  Please, help me choose!


(If you find something you MUST have, simply click any of the pictures to be taken to their source on the web. Happy souvenir shopping!)

Why settle for something boring like a t-shirt?


William & Kate Wedding T-Shirt
It's classy -- no doubt about that -- but EVERYONE on my block will already have one of these!  Same thing goes for the replica of Kate's engagement ring.  


While it is certainly a steal at $19.90 (and it's in a class of its own!), all my besties already have these.  I want to STAND OUT in the way I commemorate this blessed event.


Maybe I could KNIT my very own royal wedding to cuddle and cherish and adore for years and years and years!!  


Knit Your Own Royal Wedding Book

Oh, the excitement!  Who will the Queen stand next to?  What color collars shall the Corgies wear?  Will the Prince sleep in MY bed?  Tee hee hee!  I'm getting nervous knots in my stomach just thinking about it.

But I think I might be looking for something a bit more realistic (no offense to Fiona Goble up there, but yarn just doesn't do it for everyone, now does it?).  Maybe the Kate Bridal Doll!


Danbury Mint, ya'll!  Well worth the $159 price tag, if you ask me.  Now, this is just an artist's rendering of her dress, because WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE WILL WEAR!  Oh me, oh my!  When I FINALLY get to see that dress, all my dreams will have come true.  Well, that and when the doll is made to replicate her and I get it in the mail.  THEN all my dreams will have come true.

But, dolls are not enough for some people.  Some people think .... BIGGER.  Like the people at GE.  Oh, they are they are one step ahead.  TA DA!

Now with every trip to the fridge, I can remember the joy that was the royal wedding.  Sigh.  Just try and STOP me from kissing them every time I prance into my kitchen wearing my replica blue engagement dress!

Speaking of appliances, what is something you use ALL the time and could also be classed-up by plastering W & K's faces upon it?  Yep, the throne.


Heh heh heh.  Get it?  The throne?  

Okay, there is really no classy way to transition from the the above product to romance-time, but that's where I'm headed, so I'll just dive right in.  I'm guessing the royal wedding might make some viewers want to indulge in a little romance themselves.  Ammirite?  Oh, I think I'm right.  Here's the perfect commemorative product in that case:

Royal Romance Massage Oil.  Were you REALLY planning on using regular old massage oil after watching the royal wedding?  As if!

If you happen to be frisky following the festivities, just make me one promise:  Be safe, okay?  But, if you could make me TWO promises, I would ask you be safe AND indulge your need for royal wedding memorabilia.  BAM!

Yeah.  That just happened.  With taglines like "Lie back and think of England," "Like a Royal Wedding, Intercourse with a loved one is an unforgettable occasion," "Contains a triumvirate of regal prophylactics," and "Crown Jewels condoms promise a royal union of pleasure," this is one product that CANNOT be ignored.  

I've got my custom-made "Royal Wedding Viewing Par-tay" PJs all laid out, my teapot polished, and my royal wedding barf bags ready to go (when I get excited, you never know what might happen).  Bring it, bitches.  Bring.  It.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sometimes It's Enough Just to Be Humored


Veronica:  So, I noticed you got a lot of compliments on facebook today.
Jeremy:  I know!  What can I say?  Your husband is a handsome fellow.
Veronica:  Ummm, yeah.  But they were complimenting your sweater.  You know, the one *I* bought you?
Jeremy:  Yeah.  
Veronica:  The sweater *I* picked out ... people are complimenting it.  
Jeremy:  *blank stare*
Veronica:  They like your sweater. And *I* picked it out.
Jeremy:  Yeah.
Veronica:  So, really, it was MY good taste that led to you getting those compliments.  Something to think about. 

The next day:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Brain Pains

I am seriously having a hard time figuring out what day it is.  Jeremy's work schedule changed, and I had no idea what type of havoc it would wreak on my life.  He now works Tuesday through Saturday, so Sunday is our Saturday and Monday is our Sunday.  I find myself asking myself what day it is all the time.  When did I figure it out today?  About and hour ago, when I realized I had taken Easter pictures of my daughter but it didn't click in my head that it was Sunday.



God, she's cute.  But I'm totally losing it.  This is all to say that there might not be a Making an Effort Monday tomorrow, because I have no idea if I am coming or going.  I definitely don't have a new recipe or an organization project or a craft.  But I DID clean the cubes my little sister handed down to me (does that make sense?) and spread out Josephine's super-big book collection so we now have room to grow.  Check it:



BAM!


We also added some new books to the shelves, including:  If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Pig a Party, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, If You Take a Mouse to School and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake (Thanks, mom!), and Elmo's Easter Parade and What Do Bunnies Do All Day? in her Easter baskets from us and Grandma.


Although, two of the books have to be returned because I made a slight error ...



Haha.  Oops.  I think she likes them, though.  


This is a great time to remind you that Josephine's Books is always looking for recommendations.  :)

Have a great week, all (if tomorrow is, in fact, Monday.  Is it?).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Bet My Dad Will Sigh When He Reads This

Sooo .... today's my birthday.  It feels very different this year.  In years past, I was excited for WEEKS and counting down, and reminding Jeremy that April is my BIRTHDAY MONTH and my birthday is too fantastic to only be celebrated on one day, yada yada yada.


This year, I have been kinda meh about it.  Even a little ... dare I say ... unhappy that my birthday was approaching.  I know everyone who is older than I will be cranky about me saying this, but this is the first year I truly feel "old."  I have had milestone birthdays in the past where I suddenly realized I was no longer a kid, but this year, I feel the "my birthday can go hide somewhere" feelings.  Especially when I saw how many candles Jeremy had to buy.  BLECH.


And while I really thought I was getting more and more practical in the passing years when it came to my birthday wishes, it turns out I was pretty wrong.  This year I was thinking, All I really need is a nice new pair of black dress pants for work.  Very practical, indeed.  But then I caught a bug a few days ago, and I amended that to Yes, all I really want is black pants and Emergen-C.  Still practical.  Well done, me.  But then, I was like, Wait, all I really want is black pants, Emergen-C, and wine.  Lots of wine.  Lots and lots and lots of wine.  That's all.  Still rather practical if you think about it.  Antioxidants and whatnot.  Then the wine got me thinking, and work clothes dropped off the front of the list, and I thought, Yes, Emergen-C, lots and lots and lots of wine, and a back rub.  Ahhh, a back rub.  But why stop there??  What I REALLY REALLY REALLY want for my birthday, in my heart of hearts?  A live-in, full-time masseuse.  Sweet baby Jeebus, if you can give me one thing in the world, it would be that.  Pretty please????


Yeah, I know I am not getting a live-in, full-time guy (or girl, I'm not picky) who massages me at any hour of the day, but that is still what I want.  Like, if we won the lottery and I could only have ONE thing, it would be that.  I would live in this crapshack of a house for the rest of my life.  I would drive our two vehicles into the ground.  I would keep our same grocery budget.  But I would have a MASSEUSE.  Bliss.


It's like when I was a little sprite (full of energy, no back problems, sigh ... those were the days) and all I wanted in the whole wide world was a horse.  Just ONE horse who I could ride, and love, and brush, and braid her mane and tail, and tell stories to, and feed apples.  I mean, I don't think I was asking too much, so when my dad said there were supposed "laws" that prohibited the ownership of horses inside city limits, I was positive he was lying.  Just like the time he said he accidentally left the back door AND the lid to the aquarium open, and the caterpillar I watched turn into a butterfly must have flown away -- I knew he was just making an excuse.


Veronica:  But DAD, we have a BIG YARD and and BARN!  Why, oh WHY can't I have just ONE little horse?  


Dad:  That's not a barn.  It's my shed.  


Veronica:  It LOOKS like a barn.  I don't think the horse would be able to tell the difference.


Dad:  Well, where would I put the lawnmower and ladders and buckets and tools if the horse lived there?


Veronica:  I don't know.  On the grass?  The important thing is, you just said we could put a horse in there!!


Dad:  No, no, no, I didn't.  And I'm not lying about those laws, Veronica.  Have you ever seen a horse living in the city?


Veronica:  No, but we could be the first!  How exciting!!  *Jumping up and down, clasping hands, trying not to scream with excitement*


Dad:  Well, then I would be taken to jail.  Would you like that?


Veronica:  Dad, I can hide the horse!  That's what the BARN is for!


Dad:  Shed.


Veronica:  Tell me this, Dad.  Why did you build it to look like a barn if you didn't want me to have a horse live in it?


Dad:  *walking away*


Veronica:  Does that mean I can get the horse??!!?  Dad?  DAD??  Answer me!  Hmm, I'll go start measuring for renovations to the barn.  *Skips away*


Yes, my dream of a masseuse is just as unrealistic as having a horse in the city, and my husband might point out that on our budget it is actually even MORE unrealistic than keeping a horse in the back yard, but something inside me can't help but want it so desperately I am actually tearing up a bit here.  I think I'll go cry on my ten thousand candles.


In other news, happy birthday to me.  To all of you:  Keep your unrealistic dreams alive.  Who knows, right?  And, you tell me that this shed doesn't look a lot like a barn. 


Monday, April 18, 2011

Making An Effort Monday


In an effort to make more of the things I love -- good food, pretty things, and organized spaces -- I bring you Making An Effort Monday!



I decided to wait to post this until late because, quite frankly, my efforts this week were not at all fantastic, and I was planning on making a new recipe tonight, so I thought it would be super-lame without that new recipe.


Honestly, the only other efforts I can think of this week are making baby food (which I do all the time) and making more bows (which, I apparently also do all the time).  But cute, right?


I made this one to go with a frilly pink dress:
I made this one to go with her "Future President" shirt:
And I made this one because the ribbon is cute :)

Anyway, here is the new recipe I tried tonight, which I got from an unlikely and delightful source: a cookbook my mom bought me in the early nineties -- Cooking with FRIENDS.  Believe it or not, it is still available on Amazon.



Amazing.  It's also full of quotes from the series.  Love it.  I especially love the "No Food With a Face" section, which this recipe comes from.

Feisty Black Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used Smart Balance oil)
2 medium onions, chopped (I used one)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 small jalapeƱo peppers, stemmed and minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt (to taste)
1 1/2 cups beer
1 cup cold water (you can also omit the beer and increase water to 2 1/2 cups)
3 19-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed (my beans are all in 15-ounce cans ... apparently times, they are a-changin'.  I used 4 15-ounce cans.)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Chopped scallions to garnish (I omitted these because I hate them with a fiery passion)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Heat the oil in a large soup kettle or stock pot.  Add the onions and saute over medium heat until translucent (about 5 minutes).  Stir in garlic and jalapeƱos and cook until garlic is golden (about 2 minutes).

2.  Add the cumin, chili powder, and a generous amount of salt.  Stir-cook until the spices are fragrant (about 1 minute).  Pour the beer and water into the pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the beans and return to boil.  Simmer until the soup thickens and the flavors blend (about 10 minutes).

3.  Remove 2 cups of the soup from the pot and puree in a food processor or blender.  Return the pureed soup to the pot.  Add the lime juice and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.

4.  Garnish and serve immediately.


Jeremy liked it, and I thought it was just lovely.  I don't think it's quite a bi-monthly meal, but I really liked it, and I had a very runny nose -- a very good sign!  Jeremy said, "It certainly IS feisty!"


I decided at the last minute to make cornbread, because OF COURSE, and discovered we were out of milk.  Since I don't drink milk and rarely use it in recipes, I never know how much milk is in the house, and Jeremy only uses it on cereal.  ANYway, I furiously googled "Can you make cornbread with water instead of milk?" and every answer said something like, "Do you have evaporated milk?  Powdered milk?  Soy milk?  Almond milk?  Use one of those instead!"  NOT HELPFUL.  All of those are MILK.  It says so in the name.  Stupid Internet.


I had to leave the house in my comfy clothes to get milk, because my heart was set on cornbread.  And it was delicious.


Guess who else made an effort this week?  Good old Jeremy made some tough choices and cleaned out his closet.  I could not be more proud of him. :)


Happy Monday!  Brag about your own efforts in the comments! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Unexpected Slumber

Something amazing (and frankly, very confusing) has happened in babyland.  My child is ... wait for it ... SLEEPING.  


It's such a change of pace that I'm actually a bit worried about it.  Like, to the point that I just googled "Is my baby sleeping too much" and "sleeping sickness in infants."  Dr. Google was like, Ummm, babies are supposed to sleep.  Moron.


But not this baby.  Not until very recently.  For the first few months of my poor little bean's life, she was so sick and no one could figure out why.  She pretty much screamed 22.5 hours a day and slept in ten-minute intervals.  I am not kidding.  One of my friends once asked me why almost every single picture I took of Josephine was of her sleeping.  Well, probably because when she WAS sleeping it was the most exciting and magical moment.  And when she was awake, it was usually NOT something you wanted to take a picture of.


This is seriously only one-third of the sleeping pictures I took in the first three months of her life:



And this is the only way she would sleep at night ... every night ... for many moons.


When she wasn't sleeping, she looked like this:


Or this:


Although, to be fair, Gone With the Wind  made me cry too.

Eventually we learned that her agony was related to oversupply, and the healing process took some time, but soon she was spending time awake NOT SCREAMING.  So amazing.  However, she seemed pretty set in her sleep ways.  For a while Jeremy called her Einstein, because she took ten-minute naps every few hours.  While it would be fantastic to have produced a tiny genius, my precarious sanity was unraveling.  How do you convince a child it is awesome to sleep longer than ten minutes at a time?


At one of her check-ups, I let a medical student examine Josephine and ask me some questions before our pediatrician came in.  He asked if she was sleeping through the night, and when I said no, he asked about her sleeping patterns.  When I told him, he said, "Have you tried giving her a bath at 7 PM, reading her a story, and then just laying her down in her crib?  She should fall right asleep if you do that!"  Oh, how I wanted to pat that 25-year-old man's hand and say, "Aww, that's sweet.  Until you have rocked a screaming child for eight straight hours or listened to four straight hours of screaming before giving up on "cry it out," please don't give me that naive advice.  Thanks, though."  Instead, I smiled through clenched teeth and thanked him.


She fought and fought and fought sleep.  Then we would finally, mercifully, get her to sleep, and she would hear a dog fart four houses away, and bolt awake, looking around, like Something happened!  Something happened while I was sleeping, and I MISSED IT!  I must stay awake so I never miss anything EVER AGAIN!  She was just so into the new sights and sounds of the world around her that, combined with her terrible sleep training from the past, she just thought being awake was much much better than that silly sleep stuff.


Eventually she got to the point where she would fall asleep sometime around midnight, get up once or twice to eat, and then wake up at 6 AM.  Most people probably think this sounds like hell, but I was over the moon.  She has slowly been getting better and better, and her day-time naps are highly erratic, but this week?  Well, this week is insanely unprecedented.  Yesterday, she went to bed around 10 PM, got up once to eat in the night, woke up at 6 AM for a snack, 8 AM for breakfast, and then immediately went back to sleep until NOON.  Yeah.  Fourteen hours of sleep, with only a few minor interruptions.  Today she did the same thing, except she "only" slept until 11 AM.  


I seriously checked to see if she was breathing every ten minutes both mornings.  I have no idea how long this sleeping thing will last, and I know my mom will scold me for talking about it, because it will likely stop dead in its tracks tonight after my daring to write about it, but I just can't shut up about it because it is unbelievable.


And if you DO have information about some rare infant sleeping sickness that comes on at 8 months, DON'T TELL ME ABOUT.  Let me bask in this glory for a few days first.  Mmmkay?  Thanks.


XOXO,
Mom of a baby who SLEEPS!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Is It That I'm Still Poor?

Remember the other day when I was making fun of my facebook sidebar ads and I was like, why is someone with a bashed-in nail holding her swiss cheese manicure over some pumpkins?   Well, two of my whip-smart readers either have better vision or better imaginations (likely both) and were like, Dude, Veronica, that is a MOUSE eating her cheese-tipped fingernails!  And Courtney and Salome Ellen, you are so right. 
The answer to the above question = mouse on a fingernail.  How could I not have seen that coming?  I even found a better picture online of some similar nail work.


My favorite part, other than the holes drilled in the nail tips, are those googly eyes on the mouse. I mean, mice are ADORABLE.  Why would you NOT want one on your fingernail?  Look!  Mouse eating cheese!  Cuuuuute.


I mean, I assume with the holes and the eyes that they were going for a life-like feel.  But why stop at an adorable mouse?  I want an adorable CAT on my manicure!


Awwww, look at him!  Just eating his little mouse friend.  Maybe they met in the salon.  Hee hee. I would probably ask the manicurist for some entrails, however.  You know I am a slave to realism!

While we're on the subject of cats, why not go for the best of the best?  I want the king of the jungle on MY nails!


It's like these images get cuter and cuter as I go along!  I swear, all those people who told me over and over that I was a creative genius?  They were SO right.  I mean, watch this:  I have MORE ideas.

Don't stop with your feline friends -- get a DOG manicure!


That little scamp.  Eating his own poop.  CLASSIC.


You know what animal I really like?  BEARS! 




What a little sweetie!

How about we just end this and skip right to the ultimate eater?  Mr. Vulture, you are SUPER CUTE.


Animals eating.  I think I'm onto something here.  Stay tuned for my Etsy shop where I sell press-on nails, custom painted with animals eating things.  They will scream "I love animals and I love eating!  I am fun fun fun!"

It's a billion dollar idea.


image sources: manicure, mouse, cat, lion, dog, bearvulture

Monday, April 11, 2011

Making An Effort Monday

In an effort to make more of the things I love -- good food, pretty things, and organized spaces -- I bring you Making An Effort Monday!


Okay, it's not new and exciting, but here are the results of my crafty-time this week.  You guessed it: MORE BOWS!


This one is made with ribbon Josephine picked out all by herself and she loved so much that she held it one inch from her mouth and did her "excited scream" the rest of the time we were in the store.

I made this one to go with a big pink frilly dress Grandma bought her, but I am not loving how the clip doesn't match.  Note to self:  working with organza ribbon is not ideal.

I made this one for opening day (Go Tigers!) but I know she will have plenty of Tigers outfits over the years we will have to coordinate with!

I made this to replace the slightly wonky one from last week.

I made this one specifically to go with her new tutu from Grandma.

Josie got some new purple stretch pants from Grandma, so we needed something purple.

I looked all over the dang place for a navy ribbon that would match this outfit:
But no luck, so we needed something preppy and classic to match.

And finally, I love zebra and hot pink together.  So sue me.

Next, I decided to make something to hold her growing collection of bows.  TA DA!


It was nice and super cheap, too.

I used ...
about one-third of a roll of ribbon I got for $1 -- $0.34 rounded up :)
ring from an old key chain at the top so it can hang -- FREE
four pennies glued in the bottom as a weight to keep the ribbon straight -- $0.04

total -- $0.38!  Yay me!

Brag about your own efforts in the comments! 
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