Saturday, January 29, 2011

video chat junkie

since i've moved away, video chats have become essential. it's easier than talking on the phone (especially with our crappy service in the apartment) and you get to see each other. no, it's not as good as physically being there, but it's the next best thing when you're far from home.
it's always fun talking to my family. my sister usually is making weird faces so i'll laugh, or maybe just because she can see herself and she can't resist. but one of my favorites so far has been talking to my little cousins, luke and jake. they're so much fun as it is, but seeing them fascinated by the computer and me being inside it was hilarious. makes me want to talk to all my little cousins on video chat -- but since i have somewhere around 18 of them under the age of 9 -- i don't know about that. my triplet cousins, addison, brooke and cooper, would be fun i think. (kara! set it up! lol)

anyway, i know pretty much everyone has video chat or skype now, but this is me highly recommending it.



my dad and sister are here visiting this weekend. so far we've had lots of fun, and to welcome them (and sort of just because i wanted to) i made some super yummy cupcakes!

i used this recipe for the yellow cupcakes, and this one for the chocolate cupcakes.

for the chocolate cupcakes, i made this frosting, which was really easy. then for the yellow ones, i added 2 drops of red food coloring to make it pink, and also just some more powdered sugar and milk to make it more of a glaze.

see the difference in the frostings?? both are equally delicious. then, of course i added a few red sprinkles to each one.

i ended up with 30 cupcakes in all -- hello, sugar coma. ;) the yellow ones were really good with the pink glaze, and the chocolate ones turned out almost like brownies -- so thick and chocolaty. perfect for breakfast with coffee. (sorry, diet)

even though i don't get to very often, i love baking. it's actually quite relaxing -- except then you have to clean up. bummer...

so far, the weekend's been a lot of fun. i'm not sure what we're going to do tomorrow, but the weather is wonderfullll down here right now, so anything would be good. beach? the park? who knows?!


kyle and i worked on some more decorating yesterday before my family arrived, so i'll try to post some more pictures of that -- plus i bought some more fun hooks at urban outfitters today, so when i find somewhere for those, i'll show them off. :)


Monday, January 24, 2011


i spent most of sunday making craft-things for the apartment. on my saturday evening internet surfing, i found some really good blogs and things with crafts and sewing. it put me in a mood, so i decided the next day would be full of fabric and projects. kyle left to go to school to work on projects, and i sat perched on the couch watching food network and making paper flowers. sort of sounds silly, but it was a good day. :) also, did i mention i tried p90x for the first time and almost died? and that was just the yoga. i can't walk very well today. anyway....

then this evening, kyle had to go to school again to work on his project, so i finished up some decorating around the apartment. we still had some things laying around, so i worked on getting stuff up on the walls and out of the floor. here's some new additions to our plain walls.


these are my cork boards i had brought from home with cards and things from people i love. most of them are from kyle, but a few are from my sister and other random people. i have about 3957298471 other letters from kyle that i used to also include on this board when it was in my room at home, but kyle said that was weird so i just put up cards. he isn't home yet, so we'll see if he's against the handmade valentines from him....

here is one of the things i made to hang up -- a felt heart garland. i used heather grey felt and bright yellow string. i hung them along the doorway to our "weird room" in the apartment. it's called the "weird room" because it's not really any sort of room -- not a dining room or office or anything. it just has random crap in it, like my clothes and bookshelves and the refrigerator. soooo it's weird.

i've had these postcards of marilyn monroe for a long time, and never done anything with them -- until today. i made a sort of display/shrine above our $16 bookshelf in the living room. i love her and i'll love looking at her every day. think i'm weird? that's ok. :)

these are some more postcards i have had forever -- julia roberts, richard gere and audrey hepburn. i used to have one of leonardo dicaprio, but i gave it to one of my best friends, candice, for her as her birthday card. :)

here are the paper flowers i was talking about. they're probably my new favorite thing to make. i made this garland for our fake fireplace using tissue paper i had saved from presents kyle has given me.

i also made these for one of the windows in the living room. it definitely added some much-needed happiness to our sad windows. i also used saved tissue paper for these. and kyle doesn't seem to mind these "feminine touches" too much, so until he says stop, i'm going to keep going. and i do try to keep things balanced. nothing's pink or sparkly, for heaven's sake.

and last but not least for the two day craft extravaganza -- this little embroidered felt christmas tree for kjd himself. his heart is always wishing christmas back to us, no matter what month it is. he's still listening to christmas tunes in his car and we just watched "white christmas" last night. i made this while we watched, and it was finished just before the last scene of the movie. i told him he could keep it on his end-table or in his backpack to always be reminded of his favorite time of year. it's always christmas in your heart, kjd.


that's it for my handmade madness for now. i do love projects -- they keep me creative and relax me when so much chaos is going on around me. or perhaps they actually distract me -- either way, they ease the stress life brings sometimes.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

week/end happenings

i've had a lot on my mind/heart this week, but kyle and i did manage to have some fun and relax this weekend.


kyle bought some really good stuff at william sonoma from their holiday clearance -- this being one of them. mulled wine syrup. you just put some in a saucepan with some red wine and heat up. pour into a mug and enjoy. :) we had this while we watched "love, actually" and thought about our family and friends.

"love actually is all around."


on friday, we had a dinner party to go to, and i planned to make a dessert. this gave us an excuse to go to fresh market for ingredients. it's very expensive there, so we can't go there all the time -- but they have wonderful stuff, so it's worth the extra dough sometimes.

these are the beautiful orchids they have for sale there. i love orchids, but i'm notorious for killing them. bummer.

i decided to make an apple, pear and cranberry crisp for the dessert, courtesy ina garten from food network.
yummy! it turned out really good, actually. warm, crispy, crumbly, fruity, sweet -- the perfect "we stayed up too late last night" saturday morning breakfast. you know what i'm talking about.


one of my new favorite things -- whisky stones. my mom bought these for me when she was in town, and they are won.der.ful. they are little square rocks, basically, that you put in the freezer. they keep your whisky (or whatever drink you're drinkin') cold, without diluting it. so. clever. so we tried them out this weekend at the dinner party we went to. they really work! although, they are probably meant for a smaller glass than a red solo cup. oops.

and while we're talking about whisky (which i love), i made some hot toddies for kyle and me this evening after we got back from the movies and dinner. it's so cold down here (even if it is georgia), so we wanted something hot to warm us up after walking around downtown. i read on one of my bf's sister's blog how to make one to cure a cold -- but i just made one for curling up on the couch and surfing the internet while wearing a hoodie, sweatpants and slippers. ;) i used honey, hot tea, orange and jack daniels -- not exactly the same as jessica's, but definitely delicious. :)


and here he is -- the man who has kept me going through some of the hardest times of my life and when everything was happening so fast and all at once that i feel like giving up. there are so many difficult and confusing things going on right now, and even though we don't understand them or know exactly what to do, somehow it's easier with him by my side.


i hope everyone is doing well. a lot is going on -- a lot that i'm having a hard time understanding. keep us in your prayers/positive thoughts. we need it, my family needs it, and some very special people we know need it.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


last weekend, my mother, brother and kyle's mother came to visit us in savannah. they all crashed here in our teeny apartment, and it was a lot of fun. :) kyle's mom, ruby, has been here before, but none of my family has, so we showed them around everywhere, did some shopping, went to tybee island and ate good food. it was really good to see family, and it made me look even more forward to more visitors. here are some pictures from their visit. :)


while my family was here, kyle and i received our first package labeled for the both of us at our new place. it was a wonderful surprise from none other than christopher osborne. socks and "australia" for kyle and a TAMBOURINE for me! i was so beyond excited when we opened that box. i've been talking about getting a tambourine forever -- i mean, didn't i mention it in my last post?? i was overwhelmed by how sweet chris was to send those things to us (along with a wonderful note) and it just showed me even more that our friendship is very real. thanks again, chris. :)


everything's pretty good down south. i drove with the windows down today, if you can believe it. and i'm getting excited for more visitors. :)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


remember when i said i wanted a harmonica?? well i got one -- actually two -- for christmas. here's the story.

kyle's mom and dad put one in my stocking. just a toy one, for funsies. i promptly tore open the box and read the included notes. i learned to play "row, row, row your boat" during a 10 minute drive home. then my dad said he had a real one. then my sister said she had several in her guitar case. so all of a sudden here are all these harmonicas that were right under my nose for months. my dad's came from the grand ole opry, but all the notes didn't work, sadly. so i started using one of my sister's. because there were multiple harmonicas now, my siblings and i learned to play "jingle bells" for christmas. we made videos of ourselves, which turned out to be really hilarious and slightly embarrassing, but a fun memory for us nonetheless. and now that i'm living away from home, they serve as a nice laugh when i long for their hugs.

anyway, the point of this -- i have a harmonica now. i real one. and it now serves as a true stress reliever. if you've read "extremely loud and incredibly close" (which i would like to dedicate a whole blog post to), it's sort of the same thing as with oskar in that book, except he plays a tamborine (which i also want) while he's walking down the street when he's feeling heavy boots. and he's nine. i am definitely not nine, and as fictional as he may be, his pain was very real and i would not venture to say my pain is the same. because it is not. but somehow, this small instrument serves the same purpose as his.

leading up to my leaving home, i would play for a few minutes before bed. packing up your life can be emotionally exhausting, so somehow, this helped. granted i can only play a couple of songs while looking at the notes on my computer, and i don't play very well at all. but who's really listening if i'm playing in my room before bed? the dogs? probably. i also played while driving on the way to georgia. unsafe? probably. but if i would get really sleepy, i'd just play "oh susanna" real quick, and poof! i was awake. it probably has something to do with the quick ins and outs of breath required to play the harmonica, but i like to think it's the magical healing power produced by music. or hearing music. or anything musical.

so here i am. newly in love with the sounds i can make with my harmonica, despite how unpleasant they might be, and i plan to continue my practice while living down south. hopefully the neighbors like harmonicas.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


there's something about spending the morning hours with the one you love. the sun is streaming through the windows, you hug in the kitchen while the coffee brews. you eat breakfast, drink coffee and juice, read the paper or a book or something online, you watch the news and food network -- ever so often glancing up at each other for a quick exchange of smiles across the room. you understand you don't have to talk yet because you've only just awaken, and whenever you're both ready to start actually doing something for the day, you will.

i am so incredibly thankful for kyle and for these moments.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

belated christmas festivities

everyone loves a clearance aisle, right? what's better than that? i'll tell you -- a CHRISTMAS clearance aisle.

on our 2959247 trip to target, kyle and i bought some seriously marked down christmas items, even though we were there for more important things, like that ugly bookshelf.

kyle picked out a gingerbread house kit ($2.50), multi-colored christmas lights (??), and a showerhead that lights up according to the water temperature ($2) -- blue for cold, red for hot. not really sure why that was on the christmas clearance, but whatever.

here's what we created. :)

we had fun, for sure. hope you enjoy our silliness. :)