Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You are Cordially Invited to Happy Hour by my know, when it's summer...

Love how I stumble upon these little jewel-mines while I'm perusing Pinterest.  Will definitely be returning to this page one billion times for lots of fun summery girly drink ideas...and a gajillion ways to make jello shots.
Vanilla and Champagne Soaked Fruit
pink bikini cocktail
mimosa jello shots
Want more?  NEED MORE?  Check the whole kit and caboodle here...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good for the Soul & a Series of Unflattering Shots

It's Tuesday evening, although it feels a little like a Thursday already.  Let's just say it is and skip right to Friday tomorrow.  Who's with me?

Today I'm rocking the side's sort of a noncommittal-I-can't-be-bothered-today do and I'd like to think it detracts from my billion fluffy fly-aways.  Speaking of which, is it frustrating to anyone else to get a haircut and have it look so nice and neat on the ends but you still have those silly fly-aways hanging out on top that make you look like a middleschooler?  How DO you get rid of those?  HOW?
This evening I made chicken soup for dinner...a la Serenity Now's easy-to-follow recipe that you can find here.  As I waited for this good stuff to simmer, I leaned on my counter with the ole' laptop and  caught up on last night's Bachelor.  Here and only here you can view my reactions to Ben's utter silliness...
Umm...apparently it's time to redo my nails...I just can't decide if I like this green color from Ulta.  I love it, and then I see it in a picture and it looks like mold?  Yes, definitely time to change it out.  I leave you with a tasty bowl of this...
and I'm headed to the couch with a little glass of orange juice (the hypoglycemic's best friend) and a little bit of American Idol while hubby is out playing basketball with the church league.  Early bedtime tonight?  I think yes.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lady Time

photo credit: Jeroen van Oostrom

This weekend my good friend, The Bumbling Gardenista, and I traveled to my hometown for a ladies' retreat at the church where I grew up.  There is oh so much I could say in reflection, but let me just highlight a few things:

*  "Do you want to know if you have a servant's heart?  Ask yourself how you feel when you're treated like a servant."     (ouch...convicted much?)

*Carrot cake and endless cups of joe...I mean, of course.

*Playing "games" with a group of middle-aged ladies after 11 can only imagine how these dear ones "let their hair down".

*Catching up with a sweet friend and hearing her heart for missions and her plans to take action!  

*Hearing the precious voices of godly women I have always admired in earnest prayer for their sisters and children.  There is something so quietly powerful about women who are prayer warriors...and the privilege to join your own voice with theirs.

*Road trip with a good girlfriend and loving true girltalk...sharing stories of how we've been blessed and surprised by marriage and sharing our dreams of owning sprawling gardens and livestock someday!  (Also planning our next trip...the ultimate Goodwill circuit!)

*Stopping in Amish-country for the best kettlecorn that exists.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ain't No Dance Mom

I'm sure you've all seen this show before...or if not, the previews are quite enough to get the gist of it, I promise.  Now of course, so-called "reality" tv is all about the editing, and this show certainly takes the cake for editing.  Rarely have women looked less ladylike on television.  Do I watch this show regularly?  I've seen enough, thanks.  So why do I bring this up? 
Because of this lady right here.

This is my lovely momma.  Now in retrospect, I probably could have benefited from some dance lessons (yours truly, the klutz), but I am SO GRATEFUL that my momma was the farthest thing from a "dance mom".  My mother taught me by her example to be competitive and (I hope) fun, but not at the expense of others.  At all times I have known her, she has owned who she is and played to her strengths, all the while working on her weaknesses with honesty.  My mother is at all times genuine, approachable, and ladylike.  I'll never be much of a dancer, but I'd be happier to share half her grace in my lifetime rather than dance with the best of them on stage.  Television sure knows how to show us the worst of women, but take a good look...this is a lady.

Do the "Dance Moms" make you love your momma more, too?  I love Mom stories--do tell!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Night Fever....ishly trying to make cookies with a non-functioning oven

Tonight, there is this.  And it's making up for the fact that I have cookie batter all ready to go and somehow I thought my oven would bake cookies with only the top element functioning.  I thought wrong.  Is it rude to bring cookie dough to someone's house for Sunday lunch and say rather sheepishly, "Hey, I brought cookies.  Can I just use your oven for a teensy little bit first?" 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keeping the Spark in our Electric Valentine's Recap

May I take just a moment of your time to swoon over my sweet hubs?  He's such a keeper.

I had pretty much the most craptastic day on Tuesday and slumped my way home from work with a shred of hope in my heart that I could spend a little time with my honey.  We hadn't made any plans for the big day or anything, but I was hoping to maybe catch a tv show or 2 on the couch under a blanket?  That would have been sufficient-enough love therapy for me.  Little did I know...

I opened my front door, greeted by ferocious-kitty in her usual prance by the stairs and simultaneously the MOST INCREDIBLE smell wafting from the know what I'm talking about...THAT smell....the smell of garlic...and together. 

Then I turn and see the table set with our fancy glasses that only come out for company and our special wedding candlesticks and a pretty pretty vase of roses and baby's breath.  And as I enter the kitchen with the widest grin ever, I'm met by the man himself, who gives me the hug I've been dreaming about all day, kisses me square on the forehead, and instructs me to "go lay down and watch the Bachelor or something".  sa-woooooooooooonnnnn.  And that's exactly what I did (boo Courtney) to the soft background music of clanking pots and pans, the screen door swinging back and forth, and the hiss and sizzle of food on the grill.

And just as Ben and Emily go diving for lobsters, he enters the bedroom with an appetizer plate of scallops wrapped in bacon (my fave!)  Could it get any better?  Oh yes.

A few minutes after that, I hear that manly voice, "Hey Rach, you've got to come here a second."
Who could resist?  I pad to the kitchen, he takes my hand, and says, "Look, I did a pre-dinner fireworks show for you.  Just stay back here with me and watch."  The oven door is open, revealing spastic sparks flying from the heating element.  It was brilliant, really.  And slightly dangerous.  We watched for a moment or two, strangely not bothered by the fact that our kitchen might catch on fire and that we now need to purchase a new oven.  Eventually the conscientious hubs went down to turn off the fuse and miraculouly he was able to keep on cooking what he needed to on the grill.

So after a GLORIOUS candlelit dinner of steak, lobster tail, potatoes, and asparagus, I'm banished to the living room with a glass of ice wine while he cleans up, and then it's time for cuddling (under a blanket!) and a romantic movie and the richest, gooeyest, amazing-est chocolate cake with raspberries. 

And once again I'm blown away that he exceeded my expectations more than I could have imagined and I'm thoroughly humbled by how much he loves me...silly little me.  And I'm thrilled beyond belief that I get to spend the rest of my life with this man. 


And because I totally slacked on taking pictures, here's a bonus pic of ferocious-kitty herself.  You're welcome.
See?  Actually, this was mid-yawn.  She's not actually screaming.  But SOMETIMES...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Paint Chip Love Note DIY

Valentine's Day 2012...come and gone.  Here's a little peek at my diy cheapo-gift for hubby this year.

So for my sweet hubby, I thought I'd get a little creative this year and make a card/piece of artwork rather than look for the perfect Hallmark creation at the grocery store.  I found my inspiration from the Dating Divas (a really fun site for lover stuff, by the way), but as usual, went slightly overboard.

So here's my first shot at a very low-budget, low-talent project on the blog...

Paint Chip Love Note

First you will need a piece of cardboard the desired size of your finished product (or slightly bigger since you'll probably need to trim up the edges), mod podge and a foam brush, a pile of paint chips from your hardware store in shades of red and pink (I looked for all the ones that had fun names like Be My Valentine, Temptation, Luscious Lips, etc), and printed words (the cheesier the better, if you're husband is anything like mine).

Start laying out your paint chips in different directions and play around with overlapping the edges and blending the main goal was to keep the funnest and risque-est (is that a word?) names showing as I moved all the strips around.  I finally found an arrangement I liked and started mod podging.

Remember to mod podge a thin layer on the cardboard itself as well as the back of the paint chips and start glueing them all down.  Smooth out any air bubbles with the heel of your hand.  Give it 15 minutes or so to dry and get a good grip while you grab a cup of tea.  I'm pretty sure that's key to the process.  Then mod podge the back of your words and the paint chip area where you want to place them and glue these down as well.  Give this a few minutes as well and then mod podge the whole darn thing.  Be sure to keep your brush strokes all in the same direction and be generous.  It will dry clear...I PROMISE.  No seriously.

Mine took about 15-20 minutes to really dry at this point.  I trimmed up the weird edges and wrote a little love note on the back.  No, you can't see that part :)  SOME things are sacred, even in the blogging world.

Hubby LOVED the finished product.  He just laughs and laughs when I do things like this for him.  I try not to read too much into that and choose rather to think that he just REALLY enjoys little creative cheesy gestures, however strange they may be.  I think his favorite part was actually reading all the funny names, like "hot spice", "patty cake", "pretty in pink", and "secret rendezvous".  If I was super-creative and professional-like, I might even put this in a simple frame and slap 'er up on the mantle as some V-Day decor.

Have you seen the bajillion and 2 project ideas for paint chips on Pinterest?  Here's a few to get you started...  Anyone else love the rush of "stealing" free paint chips for a totally different purpose?

Friday, February 10, 2012


I sat in a meeting with a coworker this afternoon who was wearing some shoes that looked a little like this...

I know, right?  How beautiful are they?  Such a fun color for winter that works with pretty much everything, and they even look kinda comfy!  Covet much?  Wow.

I'm resisting the urge to "drop by" Goodwill to "happen upon" a great new-to-me pair of shoes.  Instead, I'm determining to dig through my own shoe collection for a pair that doesn't get out much and give them a night on the town this weekend.  I like to call this the love-the-one-you're-with strategy for cutting back on excessive thrifting (it's a real thing, people).

What are your plans for this pre-V Day weekend?  Personally, I'm hoping for some snuggle time and several cups of tea this evening and to get snowed in for a lazy Saturday tomorrow, but to get the car out in time for a real haircut (first time in over a year!) and a Sweetheart Banquet tomorrow night.  Fingers crossed.

And now I leave you with a little jump start into your love-weekend...doesn't it make you just wanna hug someone???  


Thursday, February 9, 2012

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...and other freakish Thursday Things

If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to stick around and make your cat crazy.
If your cat goes crazy romping through the night, you'll wake up when she jumps on your head in excitement.  Then you'll sleep fitfully and be extra-grumpy in the morning as you try to scrape the ice and ick off your windshield.  Then you'll be late pulling out of the driveway and consequently get stuck in miles upon miles of the most despicable traffic.  And you'll arrive at your work conference with very little patience and a severe lack of positive attitude, only to be completely overwhelmed with rheams of paper and incessant requests for "your point of view, please".  And you'll keep it professional (at least out loud) until it's time to make a mad dash for night class 5 towns over, only to find that your car won't start.  And then the very nice maintenance man will come to your rescue with a quick 5-second fix and a 15-minute bonus lecture on caring for your vehicle because you haven't listened to enough lecturing yet today.  And then you'll poke your way through the traffic again to a 3 hour lecture (hurray!) on technology and the dangers of social networking, and you'll nod your head and smile, all the while blogging about your day.  SIGH. 

But let's be honest....Project Runway Allstars is on tonight, and it doesn't get any better than that.  Go Mondo, go!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A V-Day Gift Guide

A Love-Day Gift Guide for the Woman in your Life
(i.e. all the things I want from Anthropologie, because I am obsessed and because I am poor)...
by Rach

1. Lollia Eau De Parfum in Breathe...$44.  The perfect clean, floral, girly scent that's not overpowering or strong enough that you couldn't wear it every day.  Also the closest thing I've found to Magnolia Blossom from B&BB (sadly discontinued...sniff sniff)

2. The Helianthus Goblet...only $8 a pop and so vintage and fun!  I know, I know..again with the Anthro glassware, but seriously, have you checked that stuff out!!??!

3. The Chaley Necklace...$58.  How classy and functional is this?  Would look so cute with that lbd and divine with that comfy oversized chambray shirt you wear like every day...oh wait, that's me.
4. The Dalian Tray...$24. For jewelry and bath goodies...such a great mint color and so functional.

Is this a good time to tell my husband I have a blog??  sigh...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Platinum-etched Glassware

So on a recent jaunt into the Anthro store during Christmas vacation (even more exhilarating than my almost-daily jaunt to their website), I found myself in awe of these AWESOME platinum etched glasses...each one is so breathtaking and unique.  And only $14 a pop?  I would have expected a lot more!  A mix and match mini set of these would be such a cute gift for your fave couple, yes?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sucking it Up

"Have a great day." 
Sheesh, Dunkin guy.  You really have no idea, do you? 
Tuck my little mocha latte in the cupholder and pull out of the drive through, muttering angrily under my breath all the million little reasons I DESERVE this right now (because of course that's the only way to silence the guilt of knowing that I really shouldn't have spent so much money on caffeine and sugar and I really don't need it in my body, either).  The muttering ramps up into a growl as I meander through traffic, but comes to a quick halt as I see the reason for a billion-car backup.  Some poor guy just rammed his ride smack into the median and is standing on the curb speechless staring at the missing front half of his car. 
No matter how bad it feels, there's always someone whose day was worse than yours.
So bring it, technology night class and a few more hours of paperwork following that.  Yes, Gloria Gaynor, I WILL SURVIVE.
And heck, Project Runway Allstars (totally rooting for Mondo) comes on at 9, and my dear friend the Bumbling Gardenista will be joining me with dandelion root tea, and then I shall cuddle with sweet hubby and the ferocious kitty, and then....well, tomorrow is another day.