Friday, January 28, 2011

my favorite snack plus links

favorite vegetable
Brussel sprouts are definitely my favorite vegetable. i love them so much there are often days i'd choose them over ice cream. I eat them as mid-day snack or as a side with lunch or dinner. And this is my favorite way to prepare them.

Chop the ends off one pound of brussel sprouts and cut in half
Add to pot, along with 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt. put a lid on and cook on high for five minutes, stirring after a couple minutes.
Divide among bowls and top with a smidge of earth balance (or butter), pepper and a handful of bread crumbs.

sooo delicious.

Links from around the web:

Did you know you can roast your own coffee with a popcorn popper?

I love this DIY chevron rug.

This vegetable lasagna with butternut bechamel looks divine.

I scored one of these juicers off craigslist for $40. A serious deal!!

This pantry makeover is amazing.

and last but not least, I signed up for my first race!! I'm doing a 15k in the shamrock run. If you live in the area, you should do it too! You can choose a 5k, 8k or 15k. I couldn't be more excited..

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

blessed.

Wow, this week has flown by but its been a good one. I've got to catch up with old friends, i got my old car back (so thankful for that!!), i had an interview at an amazing salon this morning, i've been thrifting my little butt off and tomorrow i'm meeting with the realtor to look at the house we've had an offer on since november (short sale.... long, annoying process). I've been super anxious to see it in person and i'm praying my little heart out that our offer goes through. I'm trying not to get overly excited about it just in case somehow it all falls through, but its really hard to not envision how it will be set up with our stuff and go over every detail in my head.

Anyway, here is some of the loot i got from estate sales, garage sales and thrift stores this week. Some for me, some to sell...
thrift finds
thrift finds
thrift finds
thrift finds
thrift finds
thrift finds
thrift finds
I got the september issue of glamour magazine from 1965.. i'll probably be framing a few of the ads.

And while i'm at it, i might as well sneak in this picture of my nephew from a couple days ago.
BC

I'll be back this weekend with a "links" post. Happy friday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

adjusting

And just like that, we're moved! well.. josh isn't here yet and won't be for awhile because of touring.. but mosey (kitty) and i are moved.
airplane kitty
and despite being in a carrier for about 15 hours, he did well and stayed calm.


I've had a busy first few days here, and next week i'll get my car back so i can actively job hunt and start checking things off my abnormally long to-do list. For now, i'm mostly making up for lost time with this little one..
calvin
calvin
calvin

and eating delicious food like this, from chucks produce
p.s. that lavender soda was too die for
yum

Friday, January 14, 2011

music video + weekend links


i've been meaning to post this music video from josh's band..

And just for fun!! some links from around the web that i love:

I've been wanting a juicer. This is making it worse

I'd love to try this custom color chalkboard paint in our new place.

A fun wreath for the tea-obsessed like myself

i cant get enough of this band lately. their new EP's are amazing.

i love this video tutorial for a ruffle cake

i've been enjoying sheena's fun posts about her road to healthy eating.

finally, have i mentioned i have a tumblr? its like my online hard drive of pictures i find inspiring (and some silly nonsense from time to time)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

packing and packing and sorbet

moving
I've been spending the better part of every day surrounded by boxes. Packing is overwhelming! It makes the home look very unorganized and i have a hard time functioning in a place that isn't organized.. so i find myself walking in circles a lot. I'm almost finished though! It's looking pretty empty, especially since we sold our couch, coffee table and dining table. Yay for craigslist.

We've been eating some pretty weird combinations of food as a result of trying to use up what food we have. But one thing I wish I had more of is this meyer lemon sorbet. I've been on a (refined) sugar fast since the beginning of the year and surprisingly i haven't had any terrible cravings for it. As i was trying to figure out what i wanted to do with a bag of meyer lemons, i came across this sorbet recipe. I gave it a shot and used agave in place of sugar. It was most delicious!! And I promise you there is no difference in taste and texture as far as the agave vs. white sugar. If you're trying to steer clear of refined sugar, give this a go.

meyer lemons
Meyer lemon sorbet


Meyer lemon sorbet


3/4 cup agave (i highly highly highly recommend xagave, i've used other agave brands in sorbet and they were no good)
1 cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed juice from meyer lemons (it was about 5 lemons for me)
2 teaspoons fine lemon zest

Mix together all ingredients and chill in the refrigerator until cold.
Once cold, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can pour the mixture into a shallow pan and freeze in your freezer until semi-solid. Then take a fork and fluff it up, returning it the the freezer to freeze firm. Then put in a food-processor or blender to process until smooth.

Place sorbet in an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

new chapter

Warning: this is somewhat lengthy rambling post.

So.. josh and i are moving to washington! After discussing our future plans and life and hopes and dreams about five months ago, we decided moving would be best for us at this point in our lives. I'll briefly tell you why!

Josh is in a band, its his career but even more so its his calling in life. His passion. And part of this, a huge part in fact, is being on the road.. most often times, for months at a time. Previously, I had always gone on tour with him. And while touring is extremely fun (imagine a 2 month long road trip with your best friends, going city to city and being mostly care-free), it is also not for everyone (now imagine what i said above, and add no sleep, eating exclusively packaged food, being in a vehicle ALL day, and no hobbies, ect ).. even with all those cons, touring is still a pretty good time. however, its not MY calling or career or passion so it can suck the life out of you… Which is why most, if not every wife with a touring husband stays home. Looking back I am SO grateful for the opportunities to go with him, so many countless memories and experiences, not to mention, i met some pretty amazing people out there. But i'm ready to move on, and work toward my own career and passions and dreams, and luckily i have a husband who not only understands but pushes me to do so. Which is where washington comes in… I have my cosmetology license in washington state and i have yet to work in a salon because a few days after graduating we moved to georgia.. and then tours, and then later realized that i couldn't just transfer my license, i would have to go back to school here. So that is one of the main reasons we're moving.. living there we'll both be able to do what we love to do… (since he's able to live anywhere and still do what he does)

The other big deciding factor in moving is the church we LOVE is there. It's really important to us to be involved in and part of a church, which we haven't had since we lived here. and we've been avid podcasters of solid rock for years and it was a dream of ours to be able to actually go there and be involved. i am so excited about this.

Another thing, it is extremely (incredibly, awfully) hard to be away from your spouse for months at a time.. like something i will NEVER get used to. But it is so so so helpful to have a support system in the form of friends and family, and i honestly don't have that in georgia (the only friends i have here are the guys in the band and band wife, vanessa). i think i would've turned into a compressed mess of tears had i ever tried to stay home. in fact, last summer i had plans to stay home from the 2 month tour but days before they were supposed to leave i had a full on panic attack and breakdown and we quickly realized that staying home while we lived here wasn't really an option.. and i ended up going!
but i grew up in washington and my entire family and tons of friends are there, so my support system is already in place.. (and boy do they have their work cut out for them)

This is going to be an incredibly exciting and sad and happy and crazy year. But i'm definitely ready for it!! I am a workaholic at heart and as much as i've enjoyed the past three years not working, i am SOOOO ready to be a busy working woman again.

Of course, I will miss things about georgia.. the guys in the band are like my brothers (and they better call me at least once a week!), and i'll miss josh's family whom i love dearly (the in-law stereotype must've skipped us, i seriously adore his parents). There will be things i don't miss though, like the humidity… good riddance to you.

So here's to this new chapter in our lives!


p.s. I would like it to be known that i didn't force josh into this decision, or give him an ultimatum or ask him to quit the band, or any of those horrible things wives do… in fact, it was his idea and decided on after much prayer on the topic.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

DIY camera purse/bag

Hi friends! After a few days of being really sick i finally feel good enough to stare at the computer again and share this DIY.

Somewhat recently my camera bag was stolen (luckily JUST the bag, not my camera) and I was bummed since I would have to re-buy but I also saw it as an opportunity to get a better (read: cuter) one. I often would not bring my camera places because I didn't want to carry around a camera bag with my purse and whatever else.. Either that or wrap egg crate or scarfs around my camera and stuff it in my purse. Neither were cutting it for me. I looked online and i found some good non-traditional camera bags that look like purses, but all of them were well over $100 and up to $300.. (if you put all the purses i've ever bought in my life together it still wouldn't come close to that total). Procrastination eventually lead to an idea in the back of my head of just making one myself. And after christmas I found the ideal shape/size purse at target on clearance. I got the rest of the supplies at joann fabric and made it in a night, while watching the beauty and the beast blu-ray. This purse probably wouldnt have been my first choice if I were just picking it out as a purse, but it looks a million times better than any plain camera bag so i'm very pleased! And it all cost less than $20.

(Edited to add updated pictures and note: December 2011
p.s. This has held up surprisingly well.. i've been using it for exactly a year now. I use it daily and have also taken it on MANY trips and its still in great condition.. no wear on the padding, no tears or anything. easily one of the most useful and fun projects i've done!)
camera bag update
camera bag update
camera bag update
camera bag update

camera bag update
a better picture of the inserts out of the purse ^
camera bag update
---------------------------------
camera bag diy
camera bag diy
camera bag diy
camera bag diy
and a photobooth picture to show my camera inside



Here we go, I'll try to explain this the best i can..

You'll need:

a purse/bag - i wanted something very specific..ie: just tall enough for a DSLR, just wide enough for the camera to sit flat, a tapered top so its easy to carry, zipper closure, room to fit other lenses and camera equipment and also room for a small wallet and other everyday things.

3/4 inch foam - 1/4 yard
1/2 inch foam - 1/4 - 1/3 yard, depending on how many inserts you want.
1 yard of fabric to cover foam - you might not need a whole yard, but i wanted to make a whole bunch of extra inserts just in case some get lost.
Velcro - one package should do

Opt: velcro glue

I measured the inside of my bag, and decided i wanted foam on all sides (bottom, both long sides and both short sides).
These are the measurements i used for my foam, yours will probably be different but overall it should be around the same size.
Bottom pad: 13 1/2" x 4 3/8" using 3/4" foam
Short sides: 4 1/2" x 4 3/8"
(make 2)
Lens dividers: 7 1/2" x 3"
(make atleast 3)
Straight divider: 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" (make 2)
Long side pads: 10" x 4 1/2" (make 2)

Now, use all these foam pieces as a pattern for the fabric, adding about an inch to all sides for seam allowance. Cut two pieces of fabric for each foam insert (obviously!)..
Note: For the lens divider, add 2 inches to the short ends so you have little flaps to sew velcro onto.

Decide where you want your velcro and cut to size and sew onto right side of fabric.
Now, sew three sides of the fabric, and stick the foam in, making a pillowcase type thing for the foam, then fold in and pin the opening closed and sew shut.

(Alternately, you could use velcro glue to glue the velcro anywhere you wanted to save you some trouble.. but i opted to sew my velcro on)

When you are done sewing all your pieces together use velcro glue to put velcro on the inside and bottom of the purse to keep your main foam pieces in place. Add your dividers and you're set.

If you have ANY experience sewing you can definitely do this, and even you don't, i bet you could. I just made it up as i went along and made it work and it turned out extremely well!

There are so many little parts to it, it can seem overwhelming but it was actually super easy and quick. I have a hard time explaining things like this all at once, so if you have any questions, feel free to email them to me. vanillaandlace@gmail.com

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 goals..

I'm back this year with a new set of goals and a crazy drive to accomplish them. I am constantly making goals throughout the entire year, even on daily basis, so new years is basically just an excuse to share some. Also, on my birthday this year i wrote down down 21 goals i want to accomplish before my next birthday.. so this is a mix of everything... in no particular order.

1. Stop complaining -
i wouldn't consider myself a big complainer but i've noticed small things i complain about.. like josh is driving 10 miles under the speed limit, or the neighbors music is blasting through the walls, ect. If you make a conscious effort to not complain, even about the tiniest things, chances are you'll forget about it within a few minutes and you'll have a whole lot less negativity in your life. (When you do this you'll start to notice how much people around you complain, but don't be tempted to point it out.. lead by example.)

2.Absolutely, positively no high fructose corn syrup
3.work on more advanced sewing projects
4. do the 365 bible reading project
5. study physical fitness and nutrition for fun
6. go to yoga classes weekly again
7. get a new (small) tattoo
8. make money doing something i love - i will be getting a job as a stylist soon, but i'm also opening an etsy shop, and starting to take clients for photography.. all of which i LOVE. hooray for working again!

That's all for now. 2010 was a good year, and i have a feeling 2011 will be even better.