dear john


Dear Raspberry:
I have always loved you best. I switched from strawberry jam to you and never looked back. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but I think we need a break. I've found someone else. Ever since a jar of Portland fresh-picked homemade marionberry jam walked into my door, my heart couldn't say no. I didn't mean for this to happen, I wasn't looking, I was happy where I was. Sometimes we can't pick what the heart wants. I know that we can still stay friends, I'm sure I'll see you around.

You'll always have a place in my heart,

**ps marionberry, I can't believe we have to live a long distance relationship until August, I will just have to remember the good times until I can see you again. sigh.


thursday's thrift

thrifty goods

Today I stopped by my nearby thrift store to find some fabric for a quilt I'm making. I found what I needed, plus some other fabrics. I found these little gems: a liberty handkerchief, a box of old corsage pins, and a little bit of nice trim. I also found a shirt dress that I will alter/dye to cover a little stain. A pretty good day.


breakfast makeover

I am not a big breakfast person. Not that I hate it, it's just that if I'm at home I usually don't eat until I'm dying, so usually about 2pm. Tyler and I are once again trying to be better about eating, and I figured I should start by eating breakfast (even though it may be at noon). I tried out this smoothie since I had blueberries in the freezer. With my amazing immersion blender, I love making smoothies/milkshakes.
It was really good, and I was in love with the color. I love the first picture because it reminds me of bubble tea. (Which is pretty awesome... looking. Tasting? I think I need to have it more to decide, but it was so fun to drink with that giant straw.) I might just make this a morning ritual. You have any "I'm eating healthly now" fixes?

Blueberry smoothie
1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon honey (I used brown rice syrup, just because)
1 ripe banana (I threw this in at the end, is optional)

give it a blend, good to go!

some asides:
*using new blogger composer whatever. Was I living under a rock? Why didn't I know this existed. So much easier.
*Have you noticed I've been really good about not letting this turn into a gingie blog? Well it's been a little while, and for those who have been missing her, here are a couple new pics to my set.



I finished the binding this weekend on my quilt. The yellow ended up working well, and I really wanted the contrast on the back. I am glad to have it done, and may not make another quilt with tiny squares for a while. It was really nice to have a quilt of all scraps. I am really happy with the color of the back, I can hardly believe that I first dyed it gray, then black, then navy to get that nice purple. Sometimes great things come out of mistakes! I loved how the quilting went really quickly, I've been doing really tedious quilting the last couple times. On to the next project!


my own garden party

the before pictures

On Saturday we planned on working in the yard. I want to get my garden ready to plant, but I was dreading it a little. My mom is an amazing gardener, I grew up with fresh veggies, and beautiful things, but I never really appreciated them as I should have because all those things came with one thing. Weeding. I hated weeding! My mom would call together "garden parties" and my sister and I would slowly make our way outside. We helped some, but there were times we just buried weeds (which took way more work then pulling them), squealing from yucky bugs and I was deathly afraid of spiders hiding under every leaf (still am). It's been years, and so the thought of going out to weed kinda terrified me. But I ventured out, bought some great garden gloves, a trowel, and my old friend (and enemy) the weeding stick.

I started to rake the old leaves and twigs, and stuck my weeding stick in the ground, and all my skills came back (I did learn some things). I was shocked about how satisfying it is to pull weeds. I had no reservations about grabbing anything, and I didn't even check for spiders. I did kill one though. I remember seeing my mom like that and wondering how she could just walk through plants, and with her bare hands pull weeds and not be scared of bugs. Now that was me (bees may be another story)! At the end of the day, my garden plot was cleared, ready for its future seeds to be sown.

Next week: we are going to tackle those flower beds so I can plant flowers. Thanks mom. Deep down I had a little seed of a gardener waiting to grow.


thrift find of the week

I found this mirror at a thrift store for way cheap. I had Tyler go back and get it after his approval, and he discovered that it used to be a door for a medicine cabinet. It is really heavy. I love elaborate frames like this, we are going to paint it white and find a place for it.

Happy Friday! I am working on my binding, and food shopping for the week. Going to try some new recipes I think. Yardwork was on the plan for tomorrow but we keep having rainy Saturdays, so we'll see if that gets pushed back another week. I won't be too sad about missing weeding...


a belated birthday is best

Yesterday I opened the door to two birthday surprises waiting for me. I got Shanna's decal I ordered, which is amazing. It came in an envelope that almost dwarfed the actual decal I haven't seen an envelope that big before.

Also Mal's present came too, it came in a big box, and another box was inside. I pulled out what I thought was a plate, and then I realized that it was a cake stand! I was so happy, I really wanted one, but forgot, and someone remembered! I really wanted a milk glass one too. Such a perfect present, it made my day!

my birthday cake is gone, but now I want to make this. I can't have an empty cake plate for long...



two pictures taken in different lighting, the second with incandescent is actually closer to the true color of the back.

I got my quilting all done yesterday. It turned out just how I imagined, which is awesome. I was planning on starting my binding today, in my head I thought I had just the right fabric, then I put them together and I felt blah about it. The yellow works, but it's already in the quilt, so I don't know if that's bad, and it just isn't making me feel that special something, you know? I am frustrated because I really want to use my vintage stash, and not buy anything. But all my solids are just not right either. It is making me angry! I don't know why I didn't expect this, because this is always what seems to happen with binding. I think I am going to mull it over, and go to the thrift store tomorrow and see if I can find anything that would work.

I need to take gingie on a long walk and cool my jets. I think I'm over-reacting. deep breath. Opinions?


birthday cake

Yesterday I made this cake for my birthday. Might be a little sad to bake your own birthday cake, but I'm happy to make what I really wanted. Something lemony. This recipe was fun to make, a little different, but I think it turned out alright. I wasn't satisfied with the very faint lemon taste, so I made a glaze with the juice of two lemons and powdered sugar. I think the texture turned out alright, it's not very sweet. Lots of crunch. I don't know if mine is light and fluffy like she describes, but hers looked just like mine.

Thanks for the birthday wishes, I had 5 delightful renditions of happy birthday, played on a toy piano, a chorus of nephews and a niece, a great solo by my mother-in-law, an AMAZING voice by my 3 year old niece, and a nice harmony. I had a great day, by myself most of the day, sewing and baking, but I didn't feel alone!


happy birthday sister!

Sometimes I'm still not used to buying a birthday present for my birthday. But it's actually pretty awesome, to be celebrating with your best friend every year. It's weird not to have her here, to blow out candles at the same time, to open identical presents at the same time. I miss that. Birthdays without her just feel like something's missing. I sent off her package last week, and I can't wait to open hers. It will be my only surprise and I am excited! Last night I had a dream where her birthday package came and I opened it and it was a coat from Eddie Bauer (!!!???) that looks like those north face coats everyone wears. And it was forest green. I remember being really confused and sad. Sorry mal for not liking your present in my dream, but I'm sure yours is a million times better.

ps. funny twin birthday fact, our husbands have the same birthday. so weird!


thrifty thursday

Once again, a kind word from Jennifer reminded me of a thrift store right by my house in a woman's center. It is one I've wanted to go to for a long time, but it is only open on thursdays and it just hasn't happened yet. I drove by yesterday morning after a run to the post office, and had to drop in. I went really quickly, because I had gingie in the car, and it was a sunny day (I am not doing that anymore too hot now!).

I went to the back and there was tons of fabric, but the first thing that caught my eye was a stand with embroidery hoops hanging. There were 8 metal ones. I beelined it over there and had to gently move some chattering ladies out of the way. It had a great selection, and a woman saw me with the fabrics and said that she had tons too still put out, but because they are only open one day a week she didn't have time to price it all. I will have to go back soon I think they will let me go though more fabric. We also got an amazing mirror that Tyler went back for later. I can't wait to go next week and look through the clothes.

I need to work on some projects to use up all this fabric I've been getting. I can't even contain my stash anymore.


too much tape! I have a problem.

Hi everyone! Want check out what I got this weekend at kinokuniya? Pop over to abby's blog to see my post.

golden bean

One thing we did get while in NYC was some mangos. Golden mangoes. Tyler lived in the Philippines for two years and is almost an expert on the fruit. One thing is for sure: those red and green orbs in the supermarket are hardly mangoes. Golden mangoes are sweet and absolutely perfect. We found some in a market, and we have enjoyed them the last few days. Our method is to cut lengthwise around the pit, dice in the peel, invert, and eat it section by section. Tyler always gets the section with the pit, and he eats around it getting all the mango goodness he can. I had never eaten a mango before Tyler, and he taught me the ways. I wasn't sure I liked them, but now I love them. I am going to put in a personal request that wegmans carry these.


back to the city

This weekend we had a quick trip to NYC to visit my brother and his wife while they were there visiting. We only had about one day, but it was really fun to hang out with them and laugh and talk. Of course we shopped, and ate some great food. I only took like 1 picture, at times I feel the need to just experience, and enjoy the moment, rather than document it. Do you ever feel that way? I was able to go some of my favorite places, muji, kinokuniya, and of course we got pinkberry with mochi. We were also able to meet up with some good friends and they took us to an amazing dumpling place. So nice to catch up with family and friends. It was a great weekend! I'll be showing off my kinokuniya finds soon.

Did you see how the internet was buzzing yesterday about Shanna's launch of her decals? They are really great. I got the extra-large dotted garland, which will be perfect for a big wall space we are trying to fill in our living room. I love how it is something that I can add to, and make my own creative space with it. Although I do love how it's on a chalkboard–I'm tempted to put it on mine! p.s. did you notice that she put some magnets in her shot? Put a smile on my face.


there's a snow storm in my mouth!

Happy April! If you remember, I gave my brother a gift of something handmade by me every month for a year. This month, I knew that I was going be able to see him when he came to NYC for a law competition. I decided to make something that wouldn't send easy and thought of melty chocolates. I saw a recipe for homemade junior mints, and knew I had to try it. They were pretty simple to make, and other than being a little messy when I dipped them in chocolate, it was fun! It also goes with a food rule that I am trying to follow, you can eat junk food if you make it yourself.

Also, FYI Shanna, who I am honored to call my friend, is debuting her new line of wall decals from her drawings. These so transcend the cliche form that vinyl decals have become lately. Like anything else she does I'm sure they will just fly off the virtual shelves. Don't wait!

Senior Mints

from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

makes about 24 (I doubled it and it made around 70 for me)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon peppermint oil or extract
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups good-quality dark chocolate chips or chunks

Combine sugar, salt, corn syrup, vegetable oil, and peppermint oil in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed, adding the water a little at a time as necessary, until the mixture becomes a malleable dough. Pinch off 1-inch pieces of dough and roll into balls ( I did a little smaller) or you can make them into patties. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes.

A few minutes before removing the mints from the freezer melt the chocolate in the microwave at one minute intervals until the chocolate is completely melted and shiny. (I am sans microwave, so I used a double boiler)

Remove a few mints at a time from the freezer, working as quickly as possible, coat with the chocolate using forks, tapping excess chocolate off and put on a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Reheat the chocolate as necessary. Leave the the chocolates at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until firm. Keeps up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. (Freeze a few too, they are great frozen. Who doesn't love a frozen junior mint?)



Anyone who knows me know that I am not summer's biggest fan. I can handle it, but when it gets really hot I get really whiny. So the weather the last few days being 80+ has not made me too happy, but I still love the sunshine. I got to break out my beloved huaraches, my sister found two like-new identical pairs in a thrift store and gave one to me. The leaves just started to come out this week, and we have a HUGE tree in our backyard that gives fabulous shade over our amazing roof deck. I can't wait to have friends over and hang out and eat popcicles and homemade ice cream.

Our backyard has some great potential for plants, I hopefully will tackle that next week. I want to plant a garden, and have flowers in the back. Any suggestions for flowers that will spread and cover an area? I have some cosmo seeds, but that's it. I hope to get in several peony plants (my fav), but I don't know if I have to wait until fall to plant them.

We are off to a quick trip to NYC tomorrow, any places that are a must see for you? I've got kinokuniya + muji on my list for sure, pinkberry, garment district trim stores and hoping to shop at madewell. Planning to get some b-day shopping for me and my twin done, it's coming up real soon!

My post at this is not my work should be up today, I would love it if you could check it out and let me know what you think of my tutorial!


connect the dots

Please hop on over to this is not my work (where I am a guest blogger), I have a new post with a tutorial for these coasters. They were really fun to make. Oh, and you see that glass? That's my newest one to add to our collection of printed glasses. We got 3 of them over the weekend in a vintage shop on a road trip. They are my favorite so far! It's hard to see but some of the fish are silver.

And to anyone new who's coming from Abby's blog, hello! thanks for coming by.

Update: post maybe is not going up today? I'm not exactly sure. hopefully by tomorrow.



My sister and I dyed some onesies last week. Maybe we found out that gingie's perfect size is 0-3 months...


pom pom party

My sister's visit here was a dream. We found out that we are clones (which wasn't really too surprising, really), giggled together, talked rapidly, watched movies, baked yummy treats, ate great food, it was perfect. I also gave her a casual little baby shower, which was more like a little party picnic with our husbands. I was sad that I couldn't throw her a shower that she truly deserves with family and friends, so I decided to have a mini one.

The theme was pom poms, and I made her a little necklace/garland which she wore around her head which was way cool. I gave her little guy a hat I knit, gray with a navy pom pom (gingie is a model), some vintage baby shoes with vintage shoelaces from my collection. (I knew they would come in handy some day), and an awesome vintage maternity shirt I found. I made a strawberry icebox cake with tons of whipped cream, because I tend to go overboard with things like that. Sometimes things are best kept simple.

happy easter!

Morning all! Hope you are having a great Easter Sunday. We are, I made some cranberry and blueberry scones, and we are relaxing, it is a beautiful day outside. My sister left yesterday back to the west, which was sad, we had a great time. Before she left we had to do our favorite Easter tradition. Since we were little, we would always take our Easter chocolate bunnies, and bite off the top, and fill it with milk. Then we would sip out of them like cups. We are silly girls! Anyone else do this, or were we alone?
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