Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
In the way of a little backstory, you should know that our favorite date spot as teenagers was the IKEA showroom floor, where we'd stroll around pointing out which pieces we liked and didn't. We sat down for long talks in the set-up rooms like it was our own place and we endured sideways glances from employees and fellow shoppers when we flopped over the couches with our legs over the arms at either end and our heads togther in the middle. When I left for college, he'd call me up and over the phone we'd pour over our catalogs, he in Virginia and me in my dorm room in Philly. "Turn to page 87," he'd say "do you think the EKTORP chair goes with the couch that we liked?" We celebrated Valentine's day with $1.99 breakfast in Philly's IKEA my senior year of college. We know the rules of the AS IS area by heart and we've tasted all of the Market Place's swedish food offerings. In search of a much desired piece we once traveled to five IKEA stores in one day - and that's no easy feat considering there are just 37 stores in the Continental United States!
Here's the big idea for our card: flat-packed real wood tannenbaums for all our friends and family, complete with assembly instructions and a catalog-shot of us in our kitchen. We included a bit of string for hanging the assembled tree.
After moving into our Apartment and reflooring it with none other then IKEA laminate flooring we began choosing pieces for around the house. Generally refering to our furniture pieces by their original IKEA names after assembling them, the names sort of stuck, so now when Tim asks "Where did you leave the car keys?" I reply "They're right on the DIKTAD, where they belong!" and the piece where we store the dishes (you can see it in the catalog photo of us.) In the middle of prepping a tasty dinner Tim will blurt "Sweetie can you grab me two bowls off the FORHOJA*, please?" Needless to say, we're very familiar with the IKEA naming system, so ofcourse choosing the name for the card was a much anticipated task. Karte is actually swedish for card so that was an easy swap and then a tricky spelling phonetic-sounding swap-out for Christmas with obligatory umlauts, completed the name.
We usually include a picture in our card for those who haven't seen us in awhile (and for those who forgot who we are and are scratching their heads looking at the return address) so when it came to an idea for the photograph we knew it had to be inspired by the light flooded rooms gracing the pages of the catalog we so admire. After much discussion and planning we set up the shot. It took three hours and every light in the house. The couple of takes took an underwhelming 15 minutes - and most of that was spent getting paddy to jump up, so he'd be the right amount of blurry. Here's a closer look at the final photo:
so, that's a wrap.
*This is the piece that inspired the five-store trek up the East coast. I should mention that even after visiting five stores we were not able to obtain the FORHOJA that day, but had to wait until it was back in stock (no one would give up their floor model!)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
-white or yellow cake mix
-2 bananas (thawed if frozen)
mash up the bananas and add to the cake mix at the end. use an ice cream scoop* to place even amounts of batter into regular or mini-sized cupcake wrappers.
* i used to roll my eyes when i saw people doing this but it helps so much that i'm completely converted!
it makes all of your cupcakes even-sized
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
and i made these peanut butter frosted banana cupcakes last night. but i have lots of helpful coworkers to help me eat them so i consider that a perk. and yet another reason to bake.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
i'm not quite ready for fall to be over, but the weather feels like winter's coming quick.
reminds me that i haven't started on my christmas card yet, i really should figure out what its going to be so i can start producing - it always takes me a bit longer then i think it will and i have a longer list this year too.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
if i ever have a home office I really want to have these on the floor - particularly the mint/teal one.
I'm definitely ordering these as soon as i have a laundry room.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
also i really love this color right now.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups coarsely shredded Pears (about 1.5 lbs.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low; mix in pears. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.
Fill lined cups halfway with batter; bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from tins; let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, frost cupcakes; and decorate as you please.
(the pic might have been after a few glasses of wine. oops.)Caramel Frosting
3 cups (light) brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half and half
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix sugar and half and half in a heavy saucepan and cook, stirring over low heat until syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. If lacking a thermometer, check doneness by dropping a tiny bit of syrup into a cup of cold water. When the syrup can be gathered up in fingers and will almost hold its shape, it has reached the soft-ball stage.
Remove pan from heat. Stir in butter, then let syrup cool. Add vanilla and beat until frosting reaches spreading consistency. A little cream (or half-and-half) may be added is mixture is too thick.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
images property of Randolph Barry, taken from www.polanoir.com
I really want to take a few of my polaroids and have them made postersize so I can use them in my
kitchen . . .hmmm or maybe the living room like the ones below.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Check out this article from The New York Times about the decline of penmanship and handwriting.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
a few bits of the article really spoke to me:
-"When children are very young, they all express creativity, but by the end of the first grade, very few do so. This is because of socialization. They learn in school to stay on task and to stop daydreaming and asking silly questions. As a result, the expression of new ideas is largely shut down. We end up leaving creative expression to the misfits—the people who can’t be socialized." - Robert Epstein
lots of people have said to me "you're so creative," i've heard that so many times that it has taken on a persona of its own in my head - i've been told i'm creative, i think i'm a creative person, therefor i create and i maybe the most creative person i know (at least in my own head). i've begun to think about the culture or mindset among people who have established creativity as a part of their personality that makes them competitive with other people who are creative. i think we can get caught up with wanting to be the most creative person, even though we feed off of eachother and are inspired by eachother.
i think the established and affirmed creative people tend to shut out the idea that the other people could be creative to if they were allowed.
-"Creative people are productive. They may have lots of ideas that don’t work, but the point is that they have lots of ideas." - John Houtz
i often find i have so many ideas, i'm overwhelmed by choosing one direction, and i allow those overwhelmed feelings to follow me through the creative process.
one last one:
- ". . .let me give you an example of an exercise I do with people that boosts group creativity. It’s called “the shifting game.” In this exercise, half of my teams stay together for 15 minutes to generate names for a new cola. The other teams work together for five minutes, then shift out of the group to work on the problem individually, then come together for the last five minutes. Even with all the moving around, the shifting teams produce twice as many ideas as the nonshifting ones. This happens, I think, because groups inhibit a lot of creative expression. Dominant people tend to do most of the talking, for one thing. But when people shift, everyone ends up working on the problem." - Robert Epstein
i've always found this to be true but i like how Robert Epstein articulated that the dominant people do most of the talking. i'm one of those non-dominant people who lets the talkers do the talking. lately i've been struggling with trying to change this about myself so that i have a voice in group settings. i've heard that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, so i've meekly tried to force myself to become a sqeaky wheel, or at least - squeakier. the truth is i'm not sure if i can hack it!