Monday, December 31, 2007

My Own Best of 2007

I'd hate to be left out when the New Year rings
in six hours from now and I haven't taken a moment
to draw up my own list of "
Best of 2007". So without further ado
and probably with a fair share of consumerism, I begin:

1. Stephenie Meyer's brilliant Twilight Trilogy
The second link will take you to my personal
review of the first novel in the trilogy.

I could not put the books down and
like a vampire myself,

hardly slept until I was through.

2. It feeds my habit and it is glorious.

Starbucks Barista Aroma Solo

Warm and snuggly; I often wish I had them in black.
And for the record, I've had mine since February
and thus, they should be Jeni's Favorite Thing.
Oprah did not make them cool. ...Obviously, I did.

Classic Crochet Ugg in Chocolate

4.My friend and hairdresser, Jenna,

without whom I might have wallowed in long length flatness
until someone took pity on me and secretly signed me up for
some "stuck in hairstyle rut" make-over show.
I owe her big-time for my big-time hair.

5. Possibly one of the best movies of all time,
barring Anne of Green Gables.
It doesn't hurt that it stars the first male celebrity
to knock Matthew McConaughey off my celebrity pedestal.
(It is important to me that you know that I already
liked Gerard Butler from his clearly very talented
performances in Dear Frankie and The Phantom of the Opera

which I saw long before he took on the role of King Leonides in 300

6. A Christmas gift that I've been wanting for
over a year even though I have absolutely no need,
whatsoever, for more bowls.

Try not to be jealous that you don't have them.

Koo de Kir Nesting Bowls

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
How could you not love the final installment
in the seven year long saga of Harry Potter's life?

Even better, I purchased an advanced copy which was delivered
to my door the day it was released for less than $10.

8. Private Practice
Grey's Anatomy has slipped these past two seasons,
but this off-take into Addison Montgomery's life is great.
A friend of ours says I remind him of Kate Walsh.
This friend is now my best friend.

9. Cold feet? I suggest these.
They work better than anything I've ever foun
I often wear them to bed and I get a new pair every year.

Sierra Designs Classic Down Booties

10. This smells wonderful and can be used as an all-in-one:
shower gel, shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, and shave gel;
I should know, I've used it for everything. I did discover,
however, that the perfume and oil and lotion in this scent
don't smell as good. I only recommend this. I see that it

was one of Oprah's favorite things in 2005. No matter, I
discovered it on my own this year. I will not let the fact that she
beat me to this one bother me.

Philosophy's Amazing Grace

11. The Office
Dry sense of humor required.

I have a Dwight bobble-head at work and I put
up a new Dwight quote by his head after each week's episode.
It has been a big hit.

12. Barefoot Contessa
Ina Garten's recipes are always delicious and simple.
I haven't yet gone wrong with anything of hers that I've tried.
A few favorites: Lemon Cake, Warm Goat Cheese Salad,
Guacamole Salad, Chicken Stock, Roasted Asparagus
Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)

13. Vista Print Caricatures
Who wouldn't love these?
I sent out Christmas cards of "my family" this year.
Vista Print in general I recommend. The prices are reasonable,
shipping is very fast and the quality of everything I've ordered has been good.

Vista Print Caricature Design

14. Goodreads
A glorious website for personal book reviews.
Check it out.

my 'read' shelf:
 my read shelf

I will add more, perhaps, as time allows
and I think of more things.
But for now, enjoy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Miscellaneous Home Decor

As requested by my extremely large reader base, here are a few other items that I acquired on my recent shopping trip to the charming towns of Amador City and Sutter Creek. I typically only go once a year so I have to make the most of my visit.

I bought this vintage shelf not knowing if I would use it in the kitchen or the laundry room. As evidenced by the replica detergent boxes that are on it, ultimately I hung it in the laundry room. I really need some other things to put on it, but that will have to wait for now as I don't have anything lying readily around the house.

Close-ups of both of the replica laundry boxes.

I got this during my visit to "the towns" (I sound like a villager in the movie "The Village") last year and haven't hung it yet because it is an antique and thus, slightly rickety. Also, the washboard is glass and I plan to hang it right over our cat's litter box and I have horrible visions of it crashing tragically down on him if not hung properly. My husband went to Home Depot yesterday for some clips with which to hang it safely.

This is really just a strip of material which could be used a myraid of ways, like as a small curtain. I plan to use it as a table runner once the holidays are over. Below you will find close-ups of each hankerchief square.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'Tis the Season

I love to decorate my house for Christmas. This is largely because our main living area is normally decorated in dark browns and tans and a deep red and this lends itself especially well to Christmas decorations. Most of the rest of the year, I have a hard time finding the exact right shade of red for our living area, but at Christmas I delight and drown in masses of things in the exact right shade of crimson. Each year, I try to add some items to my collection of Christmas decor. Thus far, the bounty has been:

I have the smallest reindeer shown
here. I love how it's sort of pitiful.
(Pottery Barn)

We've never had a proper tree topper before and I loved the vintage glitter on this one. It is supposed to darken in color as it ages. (Pottery Barn)

We decorate our tree in red and silver with white lights, so this is a nice addition to our ornament collection. Plus, it's glittery, so I am hard-pressed to pass it up. ($3, Country Living vintage shop, Amador City)

Again...with the red and silver tree and adding to our ornament collection. (24 for $6.50, Country Living vintage shop, Amador City)

...And one more ornament. I like how awkward the lone snowman head is. ($4.50, Country Living vintage shop,
Amador City)

To finish with the tree, I added four more strands of this red glass beading to my current collection.
I should not have the trouble I did last year in draping them around the tree (I did not have enough). The beads sparkle prettily when the lights hit them. ($6.50 per strand, County Living vintage shop, Amador City)

I mentioned before how it is difficult to find the correct red most of the year. A prime example is this silk table runner that matches everything perfectly, but is only brought out in stores now because it is Christmas time. (Pottery Barn)

A closer photo of the table runner.

I have been wanting a wreath for our door, but didn't want to buy an expensive one that I adored only to have it stolen off the front door by hooligans, so this fake, plastic one will do the job fine. And I won't die if something untowards befalls it. ($9.98, Ikea)

Last are these glitter snowflakes. These (like the tree topper) will darken as the vintage glitter ages. I really cannot resist sparkly glitter on Christmas decor, as you may have noticed. (Pottery Barn)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I think I might be.

Am I a bad person if I ordered one of these "Complaint Free World" bracelets after watching Oprah interview the Pastor of the church who started it and have waited at least 6 months for it to come in the mail and now I think to myself, "maybe I'll start wearing it tomorrow?"

Friday, October 26, 2007

I could if I wanted.

Not many things make me feel as smug about my cooking skills as making my own chicken stock from a chicken I roasted myself that we ate for dinner two nights previously. Although, if I had actually raised the chicken and then slaughtered and plucked it before roasting it, that might increase my smug factor. Yes, I realize it's unwarranted. Anyone can throw a chicken carcass into a pot with unpeeled vegetables and let it simmer on the stove for four hours. But tell that to the homemaker in me and it will go unheard. So, sometimes I open the freezer and survey the individual containers each containing one cup of frozen homemade chicken stock and I sigh in satisfaction. We might get take-out pizza once a week, but those frozen containers mean I could whip something homemade and fabulous out of nothing at a moment's notice. I just choose not to.

Enough Said

And we did. 14-0

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Weekend Project

Luckily, this was not my weekend project for it ended up being very involved and disgusting. It all began when I put some spaghetti down the disposal. (Note to self: not a good idea.) It clogged the pipes (or so we thought) until we (and by that I mean, my husband and his father) got under the house and saw that a pipe had rusted out. So, for who knows how long, everything that went down the drain was ending up in a sludge pool under our house. My husbands tells me, "I almost vomited under there." Anyway, after much dirty toiling, it was fixed. I am grateful that the cesspool that we were unknowingly fostering can now dry up and that we weren't forced to call an extortionist, er...plumber.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I try.

These candy filled "witches broom" bags are featured in the Martha Stewart Halloween special magazine this year. I think they are darling. I am making them for some of my friend's children who I know will be stopping by to trick or treat on Halloween. I'd make them for every child who comes by (as we don't get an exhorbitant amount), but I've failed to devote enough time or energy to finding much smaller brown bags. This broom is my test attempt. We are lucky to have a cottonwood tree in our front yard that liberally drops small branches.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


My plant seems to be confused. It's Fall. It's cold and rainy, yet one of my gardenia plants has this blooming. I'm not complaining, I love gardenias, but last I knew they bloomed in warm weather. Perhaps this is simply a testament to my success as a gardner. However, I suspect it's simply a fluke, a lovely smelling one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I costume the only child I have, okay?

It's likely that my cat plots my death while I am away at work because of things like this. He is large enough to wear clothing that is targeted at small dogs and I mistakenly think he will wear it with the ease of a dog. How I got a photo where he actually looks sleepy with this thing on his head, I'll never know, for he leapt up straightaway after the shot and started flailing his head until it came off. Two years ago, we got him a dracula cape which was pretty hysterical, but he deigned to wear that as well. I suppose I should admit defeat now and for every future Halloween, or else get a small dog so these costumes don't go to waste.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Checklist for a Perfect Evening

Eggplant Parmesan in the oven cooking
Dishwasher emptied (this is a big one)
Lunches made for work tomorrow
Outfit picked out for work tomorrow
(First home game tomorrow night!)
Rascal Flatts playing in the background as you blog
(The CD is great, by the way)
and best of all,
The Premiere of The Office in 2 hours and 37 minutes
(not that I'm counting)

Note: If you don't like The Office, then we can't be friends.
Not even blog friends. I admit it; I am an Office elitist.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Best (Jerry), The Best

I'm fairly certain that the country group, Rascal Flatts, is the best in the world. In my opinion, their songs evoke feelings and recall times that everyone has had or can relate to. I feel slightly smug because when they came out with their first self-titled CD, I bought it before anyone even knew who they were. So I feel justified in saying that I am a true fan who didn't just jump on the bandwagon 'o love for these guys or see the scandalous music video where Joe BA'd everyone and suddenly love the group. Having said that, I plan to hightail it to Target immediately after work today to buy their latest CD. Apparently (in store) Target has one with a bonus disc. (This is the standard edition.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

If I Won - Another Installment

For the background, read and understand.
I would stay up all night surfing the internet and buying things like this with all the accessories (and paying for rush shipping) because I definitely WOULDN'T be going into work tomorrow.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Just Out of the Oven

My supply of scones in the freezer was depleted, so it was time to bake some fresh to go with our morning coffee the next few weeks. My husband is a fan of chocolate chip...a tried and true favorite (and he doesn't stray). I prefer a fruit of some sort. Apricot is the current front runner, but cranberry-orange is a close second. However, tonight I tried white chocolate cherry to make use of the dried cherries that I picked up at the store today. The finished product is delicious, although I am not a huge fan of white chocolate, so I'll probably just make them with only cherries next time.

(Please to excuse the plywood counter-top,
we are currently remodeling.)

Recently Acquired

My mom and I went shopping today. It was not a great haul. Due to recent styles being voluminous, I tend to take a small (when normally I wear a medium or the occasional large) and smalls were nowhere to be seen. I checked out the new collection of Simply Vera Wang at Kohl's, pathetic and HUGE. Perhaps if I was 8 1/2 months pregnant some of those blouses would have given me pause. As it was, not even Daisy Fuentes caused my eye to stray today. My take is as follows:
Candie's CoatElle BlouseApt. 9 BlouseOh, and yesterday, I got these Roxy Shoes