Saturday, June 30, 2012

paint and fold

 When it came time to do up the june bed, I knew I wanted to paint some newspaper and create some sort of geometric fun. 
Soooo...out came the newspaper (which I horde from the mama a-go-go's newspaper bin) and the paints and I painted away, both the fronts and the backs of a couple of sheets of newspaper.
After I all that paint dried, I cut the pieces up into square{ish} bits and then cut some of those into smaller square{ish} bits. I folded each piece in half then in half again; then I opened them up and folded in the corners as if I were making a cootie catcher.
 Then I took the whole shebang to the bedroom along with a roll of double stick tape and got to taping.
The double stick tape is a bit wonky and likes to eject various squares off the wall (usually while one is visiting dreamland). As long as the square{ish} bit doesn't land tape-side down in yer hair, it's all good....kinda like an evolving art installation (or a mess, if you ask the mister). 

Every day is a different bit of pretty!

Friday, June 29, 2012


 Today is a quiet-busy kind of day. The last of our most recent house guests have left and I am now up to my elbows in neon paint. I'm juggling all sorts of balls and my to-do list is ever growing longer. I owe multiple phone calls and really need to get back to planning meals for the mister and I. Phew!

I've got a big deadline today and since I am waiting for paint to dry (yes, physically waiting for it to dry so I can finish and get it to the post office) I thought I would take a break to drink a tall glass o' cold water, indulge in a handful of cherry sours (man, do I LOVE cherry sours), and give the dillydilly a shout. Things have been slow around these parts but I have all sorts of magic up my sleeve. May you have a most excellent weekend! I will be working on magic and returning phone calls, and maybe getting in a little bit o' baking or frozen drink making. We'll see. I's back to the crafty grindstone for me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

summer sipping

 One of the teachers at the preschool I work at brought her ice cream maker into the classroom. Instead of a custard, she poured a pint of lemonade into the bowl, turned it on and then magic happened. Totally floored by this idea it was all I could do NOT to go out and buy an ice cream maker that very day. i know this is all probably old news to many of you but I love when I learn something new. Especially when it involves tasty treats! 

Our young house guest has kept us on our toes and while she mostly favors the mister, she puts up with me I think because I make her bake cookies or mix Ovaltine and now, thanks to the sister a-go-go's ice cream maker, make frozen lemonade.
This is so easy, it is silly. Assemble your ice cream maker, pop the frozen container into place, poor oodles of beverage of choice (we used pomegranate lemonade) into the bowl, cover and turn on.
Ten to fifteen minutes later, yer in for a treat! We found a fuller bowl made a better treat. The texture is much like an icee or slurpee. Much smoother than what you can get put of the blender. I think cherries on top would be extra spiffy but I couldn't find where I put them so strawberries were our garnish. 

Happy sipping!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

summer busy

We had a weekend of house guests. When house guests arrive we usually hit the beach and so that is just what we did. Armed with printouts for our reservation, we packed up to cars and hit the Buchon Trail where we opted to go the shorter route to keep the pipsqueaks less cranky. The shorter route was still a bit on the long side but our youngsters eked it out and were rewarded with an isolated beach, caves and red footed guillemots in abundance.
After we had our fill of the caves, we hiked on back to the car and drove a short minute to Spooner's Cove where we spent the day filling up pails, looking for jade, and throwing stones in the water. In the hopes we could coax the kiddos into naps, we wandered back home as quiet as could be. It was not meant to be so instead, we dressed cool and filled ourselves up on Yo Gabba Gabba before trekking to the homestead for a dinner of all sorts of good bits.
The next morning we breakfasted at the Madonna Inn, but of course and parted ways. I still had one kiddo in tow and so we hit up the cove again for more jade hunting, stone skipping and seagull shooing. Good, good times. I'm still looking forward to a nap in the next few days.

Monday, June 25, 2012

once, upon a time...

before I got lazy but then got sick, the mister and I went on a wander...
 We walked up, up, up and stip-stepped across sandy sand making sure not to step on the great pilgrimage of wandering pill bugs. At least, I did. I fear the mister just stip-step-stomped his way up the hill but really he is far more graceful than I am which is a very good reason to have him wander behind me, you know, to catch my fall when I stumble because I always do. Stumbling happens when one's eye is affixed to the camera.
 As we stip-stepped up, up, up; we heard a thrashy-crashing which turned out to be a posse of cows trip-trupping down, down, down the hill (and through the poison oak). One bovine, in particular did a most graceful careen down the oak covered hill. She spun with wild eyes and a long lowing song. I think that one in the middle there is her, you can tell, she is giving me the stink eye and thinking I must be jealous of her choreography, She would be right.
 As always when I wander, I stop...quite take pictures and sigh over all the pretty around me. Each view of the path ahead is something I love. The flowers, no matter I have seen them (and photographed them) before, I must stop and sigh and snap, snap, snap a picture or two, or three, or four.
 Pretty pink papery flowers that tickle my fancy. I crouch low and photograph up. I stand over them and photograph down, all the while asking the mister if it smells good where we are. If it is a sagey smell or perhaps juniper-like. Is it grassy? Green? Sweet? Most of the time he is kind and tells me it doesn't smell much like anything at all yet I am certain he is lying and there must be some sweet scent wafting by.
And so we wander and I stop and the mister patiently stops with me as I crouch down, down, down to spy the large ants busy at their work...
 Or as I stand still, still, still to catch the deer sneaking past.
 Or even stiller as the mama turkey gobbles and clucks her way through the grass, chicks in tow.
Once upon a time before I got lazy but then got sick, the mister and I went on a wander...I'm certain we will do so again...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

red {velvet}, white, and blue

 It's been a short while since I baked something swoony so after putting on my thinking cap, I came up with this little bite of goodness just in time for your Fourth of July picnic. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cake Mix and Coconut Milk Brownies {with marshmallows and more}
*one box red velvet cake mix
*1 egg
*1/2 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
*1/4 cup oil
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup mini marshmallows
**whipping cream (optional)
**blue m&ms (optional)
Mix cake mix, egg, oil, milk, vanilla and marshmallows until blended. I used a Duncan Hines mix which proved to be a bit clumpy. Many of those clumps refused to come out but I made the most of it anyway.
Pour into lightly greased baking dish and bake at 350F for about 25 minutes. Remove from hot oven and allow to cool to set. Bars will be brownie-liscious and moist.
To serve, whip up a cup of whipping cream with NO sugar. The bars are sweet enough, I found that adding even a smidge of sugar made my bars taste salty. It could be the mix I used or not but the cream ads a super nice texture and cooling flavor to the sticky-sweet red velvet. To quickly whip up some cream, toss it onto a mason jar and attache the jar to your blender blade. This will whip it up lickety split for instant enjoyment. If you are serving this dessert out doors where it is HOT HOT HOT, use a handmixer to whip your cream until it is super solid, almost like butter. Blender-mixed cream melts pretty quick as it is.
Sprinkle with holiday color via sprinkles or candies or fruit.
Enjoy! These are super sweet and marshmallowy. They are great the second day at room temperature or chilled. I used a biscuit cutter to cut perfect squares. The loose pieces were tossed and layered into little jars for happy red velvet parfaits. 

*a word of delicate caution. Red Velvet mixes use a lot of red dye which does show up after the fact in a most surprising way. ahem.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

it's like sitting in a garden...minus the pollen

The borrowed sofa now has a new wardrobe. I pulled out an assortment of tablecloths and fabric and the mister stapled and wrapped away for an entire day. The back cushion was made after I saw a pin on pinterest which I'm sure you have seen, I didn't pin it myself but got right to it thinking I could make a nifty camp-bed for my gifted hips. It took me awhile to pick out the pillowcases I would use but once I did, it was a cinch to zig-zag stitch them together and stuff with store-bought pillows. Alas, to shell out the moolah for four good pillows would cost as much as an air mattress or almost-as-much as a therma rest so it became a cushion for the sofa. I can use the pillows for guests or maybe even turn it into a kiddo bed. It's a bit clashy-clashy but we used what we had and what we had was this. And yup, those are quilts underneath. Space is at a premium in this tiny casa (a smidge less than 500 sq ft).Enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

the june bed


turns out i'm not lazy

I was coming down with a cold. A miserable cold. After much spraying of zinc, my throat is better but golly, the sniffer is all sorts of unhappy. Achoo!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


 Yesterday was a day where I found my state of childlessness to be at an advantage. I did not a lick of anything important.

Having spent the previous evening out at the picture show, I went to bed  after midnight, woefully much later than my usual hour. If I were to tell you when I actually go to bed you might think me an old fuddy-duddy so I will spare you the hour.

To add to my charm, I woke up late. Much later than I usually wake up and I find that while it is nice to sleep in, waking up late throws me off kilter for the rest of the day. And so I did nothing. I did nothing while the mister strapped on his backpack vacuum and whizzed around the tiny casa taking care of the tiny fabric scraps on the floor, crumbs in the sofa and dust on all the odds and ends I have oh-so-artfully displayed about the place. After he vacuumed more than he should have, he cleaned the bathroom, scrubbed the tub and took care of the kitchen including mopping the black and white checkered floor that spills across the kitchen, dining nook and hallway. He cleaned his a-go-go arse off and I did nothing.
Well, that is not entirely true, I read a book. A very good book. I read a book while the mister cleaned. Ugh, that reads awful. Truth be told, I am not the best housekeeper. I am a pile-er and project doer. I layer things atop things and then wonder where my needlebook hied off to. I pile books into precarious towers and socks never get matched as they struggle out of the sock drawer at the bottom of my closet whose doors are often blocked by a puddle of vintage linens that often trip in the middle of the night as I tip-toe through the dark for a glass of water or trip to the loo. I sit and give all the mess, my mess a stern stink-eye and then I plan on the approach I should take but never actually approach any of it.

So, now you know. The mister cleans and I don't. But there is a reason behind our odd methods. Generally, he vacuums when I am not home as the dust that kicks up get busy with my allergies and well, you've heard that song before. He cleans while I take care of laundry and food stuffs. It all balances out in some way.
So while the hum of the vacuum sent vibrations rippling out through the casa, I lounged on the June bed (pictures soon) in a soft t-shirt and grey floral pajama bottoms, tissue clutched in one hand, this book in the other as the early afternoon sunlight flittered in between the blinds. There was a breeze, warm and possibly scent filled (not that I would know for certain) coupled with random pips and chirps of the hummingbirds that visit the large purple agapanthus outside the window. Occasionally I would hear the whisper of the parasols that hang from the ceiling as they brushed up against one another when an especially lusty breeze burst through (and/or the stomp-stomp-stompiness of our upstairs neighbor got stompier than usual).
By the time I finished the book, I realized it was quiet. No hum, no clatter. I poked my head out the bedroom door and craned to look down the hallway. While I was reading and daydreaming away in the bedroom, the mister was asleep on the now floral covered sofa. I smiled as the mister never gets a chance to nap and naps are favorite things to us a-go-gos.

It was a Saturday well spent even if I did not get anything done, the mister did.