Thursday, January 28, 2010

California Here We Come!!!

Watching the morning news and learning that the morning temperatures will be 19 degrees as Dan-the-Man and I hop on a plan for sunny California makes me a little giddy inside. Ah yes, as my co-workers will be trudging into work I'll be OFF. Sauntering up to the airline check out counter, with a little pep in my step, generously tipping the bag handlers, and skipping down the isle of the plane, nestling into my seat, with an ear to ear grin. "Why yes, I WOULD love a bag of peanuts and a ginger ale". I made sure that when we change planes to get to our final destination, it wasn't in Denver or Chicago in January, but balmy Phoenix, Arizona. Did I ever tell you the story of my Chicago O'Hare flight? The one that was supposed to arrive at 1:00pm in the afternoon and my toes didn't touch the carpet of the airport terminal until 2:30am, the very carpet I got to "sleep" on overnight??? Yeah, that's a story for another time and place....
I have better things to look forward to....like my sister Janet picking us up from the airport and giving one of the best hugs ever! The happiness of seeing my family that I haven't seen in MONTHS....

Including this LOVE BUG. My MOMMY! Talk about the best hugs in the world, hers are the best. I know, because I've been getting them from her my whole life!


The reason for the visit, not that there HAS to be one....because this handsome devil, my nephew Aaron is GETTING MARRIED!!!! What is better than a visit, than a visit with a CELEBRATION!!!!! (pictured here with his favorite Aunt, Me....sorry Barbara, just stating the facts!)



Ah yes...Aaron(aka "Peaches" a despised nickname given by his older brother) is getting married. He's like a second son to me and we always have the best of times together. You never see him without a smile on his face, and now he has more reason than ever to be happy and he is going to be walking down the isle this weekend. We couldn't be happier for him! (pictures to follow upon our return)....now for that check list of mine......
Clothes packed.....um
Camera charged...check
Wedding gift purchased....oops, not yet....
New shoes to wear.....whoops
Clothes washed.....ut oh...
Suitcase recovered from basement....check
Melinda nagging me if I've packed yet....check :)
Wedding card....dang!
Okay, so I'm kind of a last minute kinda gal. I can say I'm always ready to walk out the door right on time, every time, it's my process!
Here's Dan checklist when we get to California (not necessarily in order of importance)
In and Out Burger
Fresh seafood Dinner
In and Out Burger
Walk Around Balboa Island, including a Balboa Bar
In and Out Burger
and finally.... In and Out Burger

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anxious for Spring

It happens every year. Despite my resolves to get through January and February, they are not my favorite months of the year. (Except Valentine's Day :) It's dark, gray and cold, and although I mentally try to prepare, and try to convince myself it's a good time to drink lattes and be artzy fartsy, I find myself day dreaming about spring. Lovely images like this that make me want to build a pergola in our back yard and have a lovely chandelier like this one.....I imagine a table, filled with things like caprese salad, bruchetta, and vino, laughing under the stars with family and friends.
I LOVE twinkle lights. I lay in bed at night wondering if I should ask Dan the Man to perilously climb the extension ladder so out massive oak tree could look like this?

Perhaps a fountain, to listen to the trickling of water...so relaxing. I could sit by a fountain for hours and be content!

Especially if I have a nice glass of Limoncello.... a good book, sunshine streaming down through the opening in the tree leaves finding just the right spot to sit and cover my eyes. Watching the birds fly here and there, thinking how wonderful life is...and how I want the day to go on forever.



Ah yes, my dream table setting. A pergola with wisteria growing up and over the top. Looking at all the delicate blossoms, and the bees and butterflies.



Images are from apartmenttherapy, James Beard Foundation, & ehow

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Artzy Craftsy

I have been in my gnome p.j.'s for the better part of the day in the art room being artzy craftsy. This is a look at the creative genius in progress. I start out with a clear space and before I know it there is stuff everywhere!

This is the creative team mascot. Trixie Petunia...aka Trix...aka....Trigger Doone...aka...Tricky...
Daddy just bought her a new pink sparkle collar! Santa brought her a new deluxe doggie bed.
Yes, don't fall over, those are actual RAYS OF SUNSHINE outside. Hours, days, weeks of grey skies, and for a brief period, we actually saw sunlight today. It was very exciting. The squirrels were out in full force and I fed them some turbo squirrel food to help them get through another possible dusting of snow scheduled this evening.

And to my dear friend Melinda.....do you SEE what is on the craft table? That's right....a recipe book. (okay so it's Nadia's and not yours) Yes, I realized I "kidnapped" yours weeks ago....and yes, I realize that I promised to give your back to you after some minor adjustments on New Years Eve....I know it's January 24th.....the good news is we are somehow still in your good graces and have been invited over to your home for Superbowl Sunday....and there is an incredibly high chance I will have your recipe book returned to you by then! Scouts honor, pinky swear....Hugs-n-kisses and Trix sends you a lick! :) I know how you love that on the back of your arm when you least expect it! :)

Apple Cake


I wish I was technically savvy enough to have a link to open this up and print the recipe, but I'm a dumby-dumb dumb when it comes to this computer stuff. Anyways, enough about that...this recipe was given to me by a dear friend as is just one of those delicious things to make when it is cold outside. It is hardy, but very moist. One of the few cakes that doesn't need frosting, and is great with a hot cup of tea!
Just click on the image above to enlarge it, then you could print it from there!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The "BOB" Haircut

Ever since I was very young, I always thought the "BOB" haircut was tres chic! I loved watching movies set in the 20's and 30's and thought the movie stars were incredibly sophisticated. The slim line of the dresses, usually chiffon with sequins and the stars all had characters that were strong, sophisticated and feminine all wrapped into one.
Move into modern times, and it's still a haircut that is just timeless. No matter what your face shape, I think it looks fabulous on everyone.

Marion Davies, such a classic beauty. She was the starlet who was the girlfriend of William Randolph Hearst and if you ever get a chance to go to central California, you MUST see Hearst Castle...but that's a post/pictures for another day :)


In inverted "BOB"....shorter in the back, longer in the front, which I have been told by a stylist or two is always flattering on the face.



Here is my mentor picture. Clean lines, classic, chic. Now many of you have goals like to loose X number of pounds for New Year's Resolutions (don't worry it's on my list too every year) but one of my MAIN goals is to develop PATIENCE and grow my bangs out. I really need hair therapy, because I've already been in the bathroom twice, with them combed down, scissors in hand, ready to relieve myself of the agony of having them hang right at the wrong spot. I think of the shame I would face, tail in between the legs, going back to my stylist, having to admit defeat and then I somehow muster up enough strength to set the scissors down and make it through another day and let them grow.
I know I have fellow friends out there who understand this. The last time I didn't have bangs was 2nd grade. (we won't do the math how many years ago that was right now) If there was a 1-800-DONT-CUT-BANGS hot line number, I'd be their numero uno client. Wish me luck!!!
P.S. I have the picture of Jenny printed at home and at my desk at work as a visual reminder to put the scissors down. I may need some support from time to time, and felt the need to reach out to my peeps. Kind of like therapy. "Hi, my name is Nancy, and I've gone for 6 weeks without cutting my bangs". Next........

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tartine

By Elisabeth Prueitt & Chad Robertson


This is a book, that despite New Year's Resolutions, needs to be ordered. The cover alone was enough to reel me in hook, line and sinker....BUT WAIT! They show you how to make croissants inside!

I've lived in Kansas for 5 1/2 years and I give it a 99.8% and I'll tell you what the missing percentages are for.

1) No FRENCH BAKERIES! What's up with that? There was one, it went out of business for some shenanigans I won't go into.....Then I "heard" about another one, made a field trip....it had closed. Do you know the trauma of NEEDING a good chocolate croissant with a cafe creme and not being able to get a fix? Anyone seen the movie "It's Complicated" and died when they were at the bakery at night? I know you know what I'm talking about.

2) The other percent is because there are no TRADER JOES out here....yet. There are a group of us who write to them, okay, beg them to PLEASE open up a store. Heck, I'd drive an hour if it meant being able to saunter down the isle, stock piling on all their treats.

I'm order the book, it's happening today, and I am going to try my hand at baking croissants and will have to give you all a report once I do. It can't be any more complicated than rice crispy treats....RIGHT????? Raise your hand if you have braved the waters and made homemade croisssants? Cathy...did I see you raise your hand in Oregon? If so, we need to talk girl!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fairy Doors

I'm not sure when I came across seeing the first one...but I can tell you, it was love at first sight!

weefolkoutfitters





vflora



It makes me happy knowing that there is someone out there crafting these little treasures. Can you imagine being at a cocktail party "So...what line of work are you in?" "I make fairy doors"...I love it! Hats off to the artisans and the believers to add a little magic to their garden or home. Whenever I have grandchildren ( don't worry nobody is married...or even engaged yet, so family members reading this post don't let your imagination run wild) I am definitely going to have a fairy door in my house, and fill their heads with enchanted stories!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heavenly Treats


Recipe & Photo BBC Good Food
I lucked upon this recipe when I was browsing around the Internet and it's been trouble ever since. Maybe it's the teen temperatures and icicles dripping on my head when I'm unlocking the door. Maybe it's the fact that I HEART strawberries. Maybe it's because I've been non-compliant getting back on track (all though I did do the treadmill today...yeah!) since the holidays but this little naughty had to be made. It's like a sponge cake make on a jelly roll pan, sliced impossibly thin, then CHAMBORD (raspberry heavenly liquor) brushed in between the layers...while that is soaking in, you make the BUTTER CREAM frosting with more fresh strawberries blended in, and viola....your family thinks you are a pastry goddess.

Now, as your friend, I must warn you...the recipe (BTW the link is here) is in METRIC. I'm sure you college educated folks out there will have no problem switching the metric values around, and then there are the Nancy's of the world. The girl who only passed High School Algebra because her gymnastic coach was the teacher and if he failed me, I couldn't be on the team...I know Too Much Information. ANYHOW friends, I'm going to save you. The caster sugar is roughly 3/4c. and the flour is roughly 1c. The butter in the icing is a 1/2c. and the icing sugar (aka powdered sugar) is 2 1/2 c. You can thank me later, because if you've ever gone on to a metric conversion website, words may come out of your mouth that you haven't heard since the girls bathroom in High School (or as Melinda says "Potty Mouth")

My local liquor store had a $4.00 mini-airplane size bottle(not that I'm a lush when I fly or anything) of the Chamboud...which was a little shy of what I could have used. You also can use a strawberry liquor too. Either way I'm sure they are both delicious! Enjoy my friends! You will not be disappointed! 58 days until Spring and victory will be ours!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dreamy Linens

These lovelies are from COTTAGECHICSTORE which carries all of my favorite vendors. I daydream about having a bed like this........
or this.....It just kind of puts you in another place and time. I believe these are by Bella Notte. It would make for a perfect place for reading fairy tales and sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea don't you think?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Toadstools

These cutie patooties are from littlehousebythesea.wordpress.com Just adorable! Such dainty little handwork!


How cute is this little felt project? You can get the directions at whipup.net I love how they use buttons on top.


These are actually baby rattle from the website http://www.purlbee.com/



The creme de la creme....A Pixie toadstool birthday cake from dailymail.uk.com , click on the food link and type in pixie cake and you can down load the directions. If i was more technically savvy, I could do it for you, but that's the price you pay being blog friends with the Nancemeister. There are strengths and weaknesses and technology is not my strength.
Daydreaming and being artsy fartsy is though!