hastily made asian salad with broiled salmon eaten over the cutting mat.
I get so jealous just thinking about how my sister, who lives in Portland, can go to out to eat anytime and get some of the best food. I do not live in a foodie mecca. We live in a small college town where the main consumers are college co-eds that are on a constant bar-crawl. So, lots of bars, and mediocare restaurants. There are a couple places that aren't too bad, but most of the time we are disppointed.
There is some good that comes out of this problem though, I end up having to make the things I crave myself. I love the challenge of making a dinner that's better than what I could get eating out. Things like today's lunch, which is something that doesn't take much skill, and yet I can't think of a single place where I could get it here. (Sometimes it's nice to have a low standard to meet).
Recently I've been really wanting to have banh mi, I've never tried it, and it's not something the Amish sell it at the farmers market next to their whoopie pies, so I had to make it myself. I'll have to compare it to the real thing, but it was delicious. I can't say the same thing about when I tasted/made my first risotto, which was pretty terrible (totally overcooked).
Tyler's been a gracious guinea pig, who pretty much loves (or pretends to love) most everything I make, and if it's bad just suggests "maybe we shouldn't make this again," but always is grateful for the effort.
I've been tempted, but I don't ever think I'll attempt macarons though. I have my limits.
Now that the summer is (almost) over, and there are cool breezes in the air, I have made my way back to my neglected studio. In the summer the humid and hot upper floor deters me from spending much time here, and it was used more as a guest room. But now I'm falling back into my familiar pattern of coming straight here and spending hours focused on a project, netflix in the background, and gigi sleeping nearby. Today I watched Mansfield Park, because a period drama is perfect for these kind of days. I christened the new season with a new project today, and started my sewing machine humming again.
In late spring my dear friend and I went to an ikea, and I spotted this simple woven black and white fabric. It was on sale for $1.99 a yard, so maybe us stripe-loving gals went a bit overboard in having a poor guy count out 20 yards for us. We felt worse when he lost his count 3 times halfway through.
It's been sitting here all summer, and although I tend to hoard my fabric stash, I decided it needed to be used. I've got a simple quilt project in mind, with the excitement in the quilting. Which is my favorite part of a quilt to be honest. Don't tempt me with triangles, I could piece together squares all day if it means I can get to the quilting faster.
my go-to lunch for one: potato and pepper and tomatoes from my garden, topped with an egg and hot sauce.
I've been going to the gym at 5:45 am for almost a month now. I'm training for a big event. A marathon? nope. In less than a month I'm going to Portland, to visit my dear sister and eat food. Lots of food. I've got a list of restaurants I want to go to, and I don't even think we have enough days for how much I want to eat. It's serious. I am going to attack that city and all the carts I can.
I am beyond excited. No biscuit will be safe.
Today is the first day of school here. Before I ushered Tyler up to campus, we had a pancake breakfast and contemplated this new semester. I love being involved in a university but not actually attending. I get all the thrills of the new year without the doldrums of studying.
I made some progress on my sweater knitting, completing the back over the weekend, and started on the fronts.
This weekend I went with some friends to the nearby town to go to Ulta and my favorite Salvation Army. (Yes. My town is that small that I will drive almost an hour to get my makeup/polish fix.) I picked up a new polish by butter, the glittery rosie lee just caught my eye and I had to have it.
At Salvation Army I found what I have always been searching for, that perfect vintage chambray shirt. A bit loose, but trim in the arms and that perfect light denim color. I spotted it on a rack, and I heard a choir sing. A vintage Ralph Lauren linen shirt, still with professional cleaning tags on and it was monogrammed, the mark of a real preppie.
Thanks Lilly Raven Labaron.
So remember how I was in a ceramics class this summer? It was only 6 weeks long, taught by a stern Russian grandma who didn't like questions too much. We attempted to throw but the wheel is quite difficult to master in just a few classes. I was a bit frustrated at times that I struggled so much, even though I had a bit of experience with ceramics from school. I couldn't quite get the right technique down, even though I tried to ask a lot of questions.
My last class (I was going to miss the last week) Maya the Russian dictator didn't show up. Luckily there was another young guy that was a teacher hanging around that offered to help us. He went through actual instructions on techniques, like how to place our hand when centering, and the proper way to raise the walls. He taught us so many things that were directly the opposite of what Maya had said to do. We were just used to the barking of Maya to just "do it" without any specifics. And if we asked too many questions she would just give us the stank eye and then commandeer our piece and do it herself. Then we would eventually mess it up, and she would say "it vas so good (big sigh), and then you ruin zit."
That last class I had learned so much, and was sad that it was just starting to click when it was my last class. But I still had fun, and didn't want to feel much pressure about it. I got a couple pieces that were okay, one tyler took immediately to use as a ceramic's right of passage, the mighty pencil cup.
I felt bad for my friend because at the last class, Maya heard that we had another teacher that taught us things we had never learned (word got around) and she did not hold back her anger about that. She literally shouted at my friend, and I was glad I missed the wrath of Maya.
oh yeah there's a dog leash, and a stitch holder that I had to cut because I accidentally knit it into my knitting. smooth.
I do this one thing (just one thing) that can bug Tyler a bit. He calls it "nesting." He will straighten up our living room, and shortly after I swoop in. If I'm working on a project I gather everything I need within arms reach. Especially with knitting, because that means I'm usually sitting on the couch for prolonged amounts of time, and I don't like to move much. So everything around me just gets put (or left) in one spot, on one half of the coffee table.
He's constantly picking up, and I'm constantly messing it up until he gives up or my project is complete, whichever comes first. I think he gave up already on this one.
My nesting is on high right now because I'm working on knitting my first sweater, which has multiple cables. That means I have to have my pattern, cable needle, pen, ruler on the ready at all times. I'm using this pattern, using this sweater as inspiration for the yarn choice and I'm knitting it on 11's to make it a bit bigger. It's been great so far, but ask me again when I have to seam it all together.
ps, I made a new smoothie this weekend that is now a favorite, like getting your morning oatmeal and milkshake in one.
banana oat smoothie
adapted from whole living
2 frozen bananas (or fresh and ice)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk (I use original)
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
couple pinches to 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
I've been away for a bit, we had a family reunion in West Virginia, which was really fun. We stayed at an "adventure resort" a place where we camped and could go on different guided tours. We went whitewater rafting (where I acquired a wicked sunburn), and also went on a zipline tour, which was amazing. I thought I would be scared flying hundreds of feet above the air at 40 miles per hour, but it was exhilarating.
We went early in the morning after a night rainstorm, and everything was covered in a thick fog. It felt like you were just jumping off into nothing, you couldn't see where you were going. We had breathtaking views at the tops of the trees.
It was great to spend time with my nieces and nephews, all 10 of them. We all had lots of laughs and made some fun memories. It was the quintessential summer trip.
It's been a bit since I posted my thrift scores, which doesn't mean that I haven't been going. My most recent trip was pretty good, we got an old bottle opener, some fun patterned fabric, a rectangular silk scarf, 3 tiny bowls to add to my buffalo china collection, and a leather chair.
The chair doesn't seem too vintage, but it's really comfy. We just don't have a place to put it. Right now it's bouncing between our bedroom and my studio. We just have too many chairs! I couldn't resist the neon 90's print stripe fabric, don't know what I would do with it, but neon's having a moment, so we'll see.
So we have two groundhogs/woodchucks that live in our backyard. I can see their den from our back door. A fat one and a little one. I hate them. I caught one in my fenced flower patch and watched it jump over the fence. They have eaten so many of my plants, I see them everyday. But sometimes I can't resist seeing them, so we threw our watermelon rinds out and had a little stake-out.