January 31, 2011

Etsy LoVe

I think this is going to become a regular thing. Not on a regular basis, but when I feel like it regular-ish thing. Ya know?

These are recent and not so recent discoveries on Etsy.

Which I love.

In case you didn't know.
By the title of this post.

OMGoodness, I am smitten with this necklace:
I think it is beautiful. One of the best parts is that it's a collaboration of two sisters, one does a print design and the other makes jewelry. Sometimes they overlap. Sometimes not. And look at the back!
For reals, yo...eeeeeeEEEEEEEeeeeee! How cool is that?

You are braver than you believe necklace, by lulubugjewelry

If you're a leetle crazy-stalkerish (like someone who is typing this) you may stumble (click) upon Sue's blog, where she'll tell you how she does it. It's waaaaaay too complicated for moi. All her stuff is awesome though, LOVE IT!
Can we talk about something that is stinkin' cute? 
Yup. I think those are stinkin' cute. I really want a Boston Terrier. 
Buttons by: boygirlparty

Sarah (college roommate whom I visited in Hawaii and now lives in Indianapolis) and I are going to get these babies:
Except they're going to say: BREAKFAST FOR LIFE
Sarah and I love breakfast and we are heterosexual life partners. I don't know if you knew. 
Rings by: KathrynRiechert

I want this for when I get my iPhone. Verizon is getting the iPhone, in case you hadn't heard.
Pretty case by: ShiaNgDesigns

I think that's all for now, everything else seems to have a Valentine's theme, so I'm saving it up! Have you found any new treasures on Etsy? 


Disclaimer: I don't know anyone affiliated with any of these items or etsy itself, I just like to peruse the site from time to time.

January 27, 2011


Over the holidays I went to THREE high school basketball games. It took me back to the day when I played a little ball myself.
See, I grew up in McPherson, Kansas. I know you're thinking, "What's that got to do with anything?" Well...McPherson is a bit of a basketball mecca. For example, the boys have won 10 state basketball championships and the girls have 7 championships of their own. If they weren't champions much of the time they were second, third or forth. I'm too lazy to look up exact statistics, but you have to trust me on this. I don't think anyone from high school reads this blog, if you do...confirmation please? ( :
So, I played ball. I know, I'm currently a crafty, chubby, massage therapist, bakin' fool but at one point in my life I was an athlete. Weird, right?
Basketball started around 2nd grade in recreational leagues at the YMCA. By 6th grade we were competing against our peers to be on independent teams. It was a bit of a selective process. Then from 6th grade through high school you played during the winter season and the summer. Fall was volleyball season and spring was track time. I have no idea how many games I played. Lots.
I have no idea how many games my parents sat through...remember they had three kids doing this. I think their butts are permanently imprinted with wood grain from the bleachers. I also think about how expensive it was, sure we had uniforms that were handed down from the high school, but we were always buying t-shirts, tournament fees, space rental fees and shoes at $100 a pop.
Back to my time playing ball, so part of the reason that the programs are so successful is that the high school program has it's fingers in all the years leading up to our sophomore year. As sweet, awkward, energetic 6th graders we began running the primary high school offense. In 7th grade we became a team of 12 girls who started winning games. By 8th grade we had been playing together for two years and there wasn't much room for other people on our team. There's this instinctive quality you're looking for in good basketball players, where you can predict each other's cuts and rolls and picks. We were those girls.
Our schools were big enough that 9th grade was separate from the JV and Varsity. By the time we moved up the ranks enough and stuck through all the years of playing, we were pretty aggressive players. As sophomores we merged in with the two classes above us and were separated from our team labeled by the grade we were in, to the high school basketball team.

High school basketball was scary. I'm not going to lie. I am not a thick-skinned person. The head coach was a foot stomper, yeller who expected perfection from his girls. He made me cry more than once. And scared the bejeebers out of me.
My junior year of high school I tore my ACL. It was a long process of healing, especially when you factor in the second surgery 6 months after the ACL to have my meniscus trimmed. Basketball and I were through.

And that is the story of when I was a baller.

[I loved that at Matt's basketball games they have an "honorary captain" who is one of the kids from the elementary school. That person would be the little boy sitting next to Matt. The other kid just walked up and plopped himself down on the bench. It's not in this picture, but the majority of the time he was chowing down on a big box of popcorn and chatting the honorary kid's ear off.]

January 25, 2011

Something's Baking

And it's not at my house.
It's in Mound City, KS. A town with no stop lights.
I know, it's shocking to me too-the lack of stop lights, not the fetus. This is why I promised that when my brother and sister-in-law have children they are required to put those kids on a plane to visit me in a place with stop lights...and theater (not the movie kind)...and lots of people...mostly I make these demands because I know I'm going to live far away and I'm going to need some QT (quality time) with my little nieces and nephews.
I'm going to be an Aunt in August! Do you say "ant" or "awe-uhnt"? I'm thinking that I should be Auntie Amy. But with the "ant-y." What do you think? Do I get a say? Basically whatever the little munchkin calls me will be acceptable.

I started to talk to the baby over Christmas, but it made Abby feel uncomfortable. I'm just making sure that my voice is imprinted from an early age. And I got to make all the baby jokes and talk to Abby's uterus then because I might not see them for awhile. I've got to get my time in when I can. It's important.

My favorite joke: While we were driving if anyone farted in the car I would yell, "Don't poison the baby!!!!" I think I'm funny.

January 24, 2011

She's Magalicious

The last time Maggie and I had quality time was in May 2009. That's a year and a half apart. An eeeeeeeternity.
Tragically sad.

I know I've told you before, but Maggie likes to give dutch ovens. I don't mean the kind Le Creuset makes either.

Maggie drove down from Lawrence to spend the day with me and I am so thankful to have friends who are willing to drive to me when I am vehicle-less. They are good people.

We went to Amics for lunch. It was scrumptious as always and Becky joined us.

If you happen to be in McPherson and you go to Amics, please get the chickpea salad in honor of yours truly. Thank you.


Then we walked down the street to The Well where we sat all afternoon and drank coffee and laughed.

While we were there this random man came and sat with us. I'd seen him around The Well a couple of times before. Medium height, balding with a slight combover, carrying a small, black laptop case, he looked to be in his mid-thirties. He came over and began talking to Maggie and me.
"I'm just going to sit here and wait for my ride."
"Are you knitting?"
"Actually I'm crocheting." I was making Maggie a hat. After she saw my dad's she decided she needed her own pink version of the hotness.
"Oh, my ex-wife used to do that. She was 58. I married a woman who was 30 years older than me."
Maggie and I exchange awkward glances. "Oh, how did you meet?"
"Well, that's interesting."
"It didn't work out though."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"I've gotta go now."
"OK, have a good day."

A woman and her daughter also stopped by. She asked me if I was a photographer and I said, "Nope, I do like to take pictures though."
She said she always wanted to get a big camera.
I advised her that there's no time like the present.
I don't really believe in giving people advice, but it seemed like the right thing to say.

I am intrigued when people share random bits of personal information with strangers. People are fascinating. I know that's not a revelation, but I speak the truth! You never know when those random strangers are going to turn into great friends.

Maggie's a great friend. She, like most of my friends, found me.
Maggie gives the best hugs.


(p.s. I realize that this post makes little to no sense. The points: I <3 Maggie. I <3 Friends. I <3 food. Random strangers are interesting. That is all.)

January 22, 2011

Sweet Potato, Corn, and Quinoa Soup

A less yellow picture because I still love, LOVE, LOVE this soup and make it frequently!  
sweet potato, corn, quinoa soup

Back in October while I was in Fort Wayne, I went to a small natural food store. They had a delicious soup with sweet potatoes, corn and quinoa. I gobbled it up and declared it the soup I would make this winter.

It's winter.
I have now made this soup three times. It might be my new favorite.

Soup is one of those things that just doesn't require a lot of measuring. I know, I never measure, but really this soup is all about the proportions YOU like of sweet potatoes to corn to carrots to broth. I'll try to make up some general measurements for you though, in case you need them.
Those are the ingredients.

WHAT?!?!!?!? You have never had quinoa?? You have yet to live!

From Wikipedia: quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

The basics: quinoa is good for you and more nutritious than say, white rice or pasta.

Quinoa is becoming more readily accessible in your corner market. If you're at a Kroger, it's usually with the organic food a top shelf item near the pasta and couscous. Whole Foods has it in the bulk foods section so you can get just enough to try it out.

I start with a soffritto: onions, garlic, carrots and celery (which I didn't have for this batch) diced and softened in olive oil. I then peeled and cubed the sweet potatoes. I add the sweet potatoes to the soffritto and cover the entire mixture with broth. I use enough broth to cover all the veggies with an inch on top, it's usually about a box and a half. Once the sweet potatoes are soft I add in the frozen corn. I'm special so my corn came from my parent's garden last summer. You could probably purchase a bag at the grocery store, but it might not be as good. (;

Next you add the quinoa. I used a little over a cup and dump it in.

After letting the soup simmer for 10 minutes I check on the progress.
See how the centers are opaque? It's not ready.

After about 20 minutes:
See how the germ and seed have started to separate? The little circle springs away from the center and then it's ready to eat. The longer your soup sits the more liquid the quinoa will absorb, so you could add some water or more broth if you want to keep it "soupy." Taste and season that baby with some salt-n-pepper.

I like to throw in some fresh parsley for a little green in this predominately yellow soup. I forgot to buy that at the grocery store, so I threw some frozen chives on top.

And served it with a day-old cheddar biscuit from Parker and Otis. DELICIOUS!
Sweet Potato Soup
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • carrots diced, I use baby carrots since I like buy a big bag, probably around 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 2-3 ribs of celery, diced
  • 3-4 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 boxes veggie or chicken broth
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • salt-n-peppa
  • fresh parsley

January 20, 2011

Before & After

This is my dad.
This is my dad when given a razor.
He is weird.
(And yes, I made that hat so I am contributing.)

Banana Coffee Cake

Note: this cake contains zero coffee. It is merely a breakfast cake, which for some reason, tradition insists uses the phrase "coffee cake" I would break tradition, but I don't want to be a non-conformist.

Yeah, right.

It's more about being lazy and uncreative with naming food. I'm terrible at that. I want to list every ingredient that is included so that when you bite into my Oatmeal-Peanut Butter-Coconut-Chocolate Chip-Rice Crispy cookies, you'll know what you're getting yourself into. Of course saying "Oatmeal-Peanut Butter-Coconut-Chocolate Chip-Rice Crispy cookies"is completely ridiculous.

Now I bring you Banana Coffee Cake.

You may notice that I seem to make a lot of things with bananas, is this because of my love for bananas? No, it is not. I like them, but I feel no special affinity to them beyond normal acceptance. Is it because in our house we always have at least (AT LEAST) ten frozen bananas in our freezer? Yes, yes it is. Instead of throwing away the $0.52 we spent on two bananas, I'm going to make something of them! Waste not, want not!

I don't really know what that phrase means either and my brain hurts from answering questions about myself for applications so I'm not going there right now. I'm going to bananas and flour and sweetness.

My camera battery died so I have exactly one picture for you.

I took this to work and they gobbled it up. Massage therapists are good eaters.

Banana Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Bananas, approximately 1 cup mashed
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
Beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Add buttermilk, bananas and vanilla. Then blend in dry ingredients.

Spread half of the batter in a 9x13 greased pan. Sprinkle half the crunch (maybe a little less) over the batter and spread the other half of the batter onto the mixture and top with the remaining crunch.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until tester comes out clean at 350. 


Now, you all know that I can't just leave well enough alone. The thing is that I adapted this recipe combining banana bread and coffee cake and it's pretty good. Except the crunch loses it's crunch because of the moisture of the bananas. This is a M-O-I-S-T cake. 

Next time I think I'd just put all the batter in my 9x13 and top it with this streusel from a New York Style Coffee Cake:

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Yes, it seems excessive. Perhaps it is, but look at that beautiful coffee cake from Buns in my Oven. I love a good crumbly-sweet-buttery-crunchy streusel. I think this could be the one to hold up to the bananas. I'm just sayin'. If you try it let me know! 


January 16, 2011


I thought that people might be hesitant because they couldn't see the full intensity. I mean, those pictures look a lot like two shades of orange to me. Are you getting any pink? I think not. Well...for full effect:

I love this styrofoam head. I think it's beautiful. Perhaps a little creepy, but it sits in my bookcase so I can't see her face while I sleep since that's the only time that creepy things are creepy.
As promised...the hat hawtness is here.
Yup, I look bald. Thank you to those of you who voted for the short hair.

Megan looks cute, except she says that this hat was made for a middle school girl. I have no idea what she means. I'd totally wear it except I don't need it (and I look bald).

I'm not sure that you're getting the full intensity of the neon orange and pink that make up this hat, but if you're the winner you will come to understand it.

It's time for a story:

Back in the day (approximately 17-23 years ago) I enjoyed pretending that I was a sixteen year old. My cousins and I would play in my grandparent's basement and we would be poor, orphaned sisters abandoned by society.

Woe is me. It was all very dramatic.

As the oldest, sixteen-year-old adult, I usually took on a maternal role for my much younger "sisters" (in real life we were all about the same age) who needed my guidance. I was so wise.

Of course, we had pretend names. Wanna guess what mine was?

Do ya?

"Jasmine, but you can call me Jazzy."

Usually I took the time in the preparation of playing pretend to clarify that "Jazzy is spelled J-A-Z-Z-Y, not with the "s" from Jasmine." Yup, that was me. The old, wise, sweet-sixteen Jazzy. Classy.

I totally stole "Jasmine" from Aladdin (obviously) because Aladdin was my cartoon crush. Hottest cartoon character? Aladdin. [I feel that you should know that "Jasmine" was only my name after Aladdin came out in 1992, prior to that I can't remember my name, the important part was that I was sixteen years old, which mean that I was an adult.]

You're left with two choice here. You can either leave a comment telling me your pretend name from you make-believe games as a child or your cartoon crush. 

I guess there are three choices: you can tell me both. 

Comments will be taken until 
Thursday, January 20 at 10pm. 
I'll send you the hat if random.org thinks you're a winner. 
Sheila B you're a winner!! Shoot me an email or FB message so I know where to send this lovely, lovely winter-wear. 

If you haven't read these comments...take some time to do so, they are awesome! 
I love you people!

January 15, 2011


Yes, I'm having a stuck in the what-the-heck-am-I-doing!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! moment in my life. So, I am telling you about it.

Please see Tweet #1 on the left sidebar for details.
That's all.

These are the things I will be sharing (I just accidentally wrote "sharting" which makes me giggle) with you in the sometime near future:
1) It's been awhile since a "woe is me, I'm so desperately single" waa-waa-waa update. I know you're waiting for it,  so you will see this soon.
2) I have a totally awesome hat to give away to one of you. This will probably go up ASAP...get ready for your opportunity to be sent the hawtness.
3) Pictures from my family-friends time
   a) my father's mustache
   b) Maggie time
   c) baking
4) Let's talk about basketball. No, not the NBA or semi-professional (what's that league called?) or the NCAA or even NAIA. I'm talking the stellar world of HIGH SCHOOL basketball. Prepare to reminisce with yours truly.
5) Banana Coffee Cake deliciousness

Now, I will show you a picture of the sunset from the airplane in Wichita, KS. Yes, the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport home of 12 gates of greatness.
Yes, the window is dingy, but it's still beautiful.

Peace out, peeps.

I like you.
I think you're nice.


January 12, 2011

Etsy LoVe

I have love for Etsy, yes I do.
I have love for Etsy, how 'bout you?

So much inspiration, so many people who are waaaaaaay better crafters than I am [and worse crafters as well, have you checked out Regretsy?? Don't do it unless you are prepared to snort and chuckle and laugh until you might wet yourself.] and then I want to buy their jewelry, pottery, clothes, vintage homegoods and everything else.

Here's what I'm longing for in no particular order:

necklace by: pureroxinprint
This is my life.

buttons made by: RobertoSand
I want. I think they'd be so great on the back of a hat made by moi. Of course I have no idea what they'd say.

pottery by: tashamck
Cute. Cute. Cute. Cute. CUTE!

screen-printed tote by: meganleedesigns
She made one of my favorite t-shirts (the Midwest is Best design) and I really do <3 this bag.

wrap made by: econica
It's just lovely and I want it.

sombrero by: PamperedWhiskers
Hank needs this in his life.

What are you coveting from Etsy? What'd you buy?

Disclaimer: I don't know anyone affiliated with any of these items or etsy itself, I just like to peruse the site from time to time.

January 10, 2011

Today is Day 1

I didn't make resolutions this year. I did make some goals.

It's not that I don't believe that you can create a resolution or a goal for yourself at any time, but for me coming off a long vacation, lots of uncontrollable variables (umm, sure, I'll meet you for coffee/go out to dinner/shop until my feet fall off/see a movie/bake 12 kinds of cookies/eat half of the cookies/etc) and then coming back to real life.

*deep breath*

Real life is where I maintain as much control as possible. I'm a control freak.

And I'm anal rententive, if we're sticking to the facts and only the facts.

So, my goals for this year revolve around discipline. It's something I've been thinking about, grappling with, turning my focus toward for a couple of months now. These three areas to be specific:
1. Financial
2. Spiritual
3. Physical

At some point I may feel free to let you know about all three areas, but today, today marks the beginning of financial discipline. You know what that means?? A BUDGET!


[buhj-it] noun, adjective, verb, -et·ed, -et·ing.
an estimate, often itemized, of expected income andexpense for a given period in the future.
a plan of operations based on such an estimate.
an itemized allotment of funds, time, etc., for a givenperiod.
the total sum of money set aside or needed for a purpose:the construction budget.
a limited stock or supply of something: his budget ofgoodwill.


I'm no financial whiz. Trust me, I have spent many a Wednesday and Thursday waiting for my Friday direct deposit. Only to spend the entirety of my check on rent and bills. Whooo...not really.

The first time I built a budget? In massage school. I know, it seems ridiculous, but until I was the ripe age of 26 I had no idea about building an accurate, reasonable, semi-plausible personal financial plan. Here's what I always thought:

you need something+you have money=you purchase it
you need something+you don't have money=you wait until you do


Except that plan doesn't lend it self to building a savings account. Which means that approximately every time I have moved I have spent my life savings in the four weeks it took me to find a job. Leaving me with a savings account balance of $0.00. That's zero dollars and zero cents. Or sense.

Here's how it works, I created a spreadsheet in Microsoft Word. It looks like this:
Here it is as a GoogleDoc.  This is a more intense version, if you want to get more in depth [I didn't make this]. Another really helpful *free* site several of my friends use is Mint.com. It keeps track of your purchases and helps you create your budget--for FREE. Did I mention that it's free? I don't use it, but I've heard mostly positive reviews of it.

Then I started plugging my stuff in. When I try to estimate how much I make a week, I have to truly estimate. I also have a second job [which many of my friends do as well], so I created a second line to insert my estimated income for my second job. There you have it, I have an estimated weekly, monthly and yearly income. *I just patted myself on the back*
Now for the more difficult part...estimating expenses. I take my time here. I fill out all the stuff I know for sure...rent, cell phone bill, Aunt Sallie Mae, credit card bill, health insurance, etc. Basically, the stuff that's automatically taken from my checking account on a monthly basis.

Then I go to the other stuff. I try to be honest with myself, how many times do I want to go out for coffee each week? How much will that cost? Am I OK with that? How much do I spend on groceries? How much do I spend on ____? You get the idea. Go forth, conquer.
You'll notice that in my estimated faux income minus my faux expenses resulted in a negative budget. Mom, stop worrying, my real budget wasn't negative. 

Are you bored yet? You can say yes, it's OK.
You can even stop reading, I'll survive it. We can still be friends.

This is where my goal of being financially disciplined comes in. The portions that say (cash) mean that I use cash for those. Perhaps you've heard of the envelope system? Really it's quite brilliant.

Except that envelopes don't fit in my wallet and they get gross and fall apart. I discovered the Moleskine notebooks back during my time at Borders bookstore.
The memo pocket version of their amazing notebooks is difficult to find. You can order it here on Amazon...and they have it in red too!
I just use three of the pockets for my weekly cash.
You'll notice that there's an unlabeled pocket in the back, that's where I shove all the crap I don't want to put in any other pocket. It's not like I'm a neat freak or anything.

I am rather visual, so I have printed off my actual budget and mounted it upon a lovely sheet of paper and posted it next to my bedroom door, so I am reminded daily to stay disciplined and stick to the budget!

I'm just a slightly neurotic, anal retentive, trying-to-be-budget-conscious girl making an attempt to pad her savings account for something like....oh...moving....grad school....getting a dog.....