Tuesday Music

My pal Heidi over at Row House 14 loves music and loves to share her finds, and so she's decided to host a link-up of musical posts with a different theme from week to week.  Of course I wanted to join in- I love music.  There's nothing like a good song to get you in the mood for cleaning the house, or to help you through that exercise, or to keep you company in the kitchen (hmm...I see a theme here).  So here we go! 

Row House 14 Music Linkup Party

This week's theme is music from the year you were born, which for me is 1980.  Ah, the 80's- so much great music!  Now, I admit I had to Google the year because I had no idea which songs came out in 1980, but I was happily surprised to see one of my all-time favorites on the list: Blondie.  I have one of their greatest hits albums and have always loved listening to it.  For me, I won't buy an album unless I can listen to at least 90% of it straight through.  I won't buy something just for a single- I want to be able to put something on and listen.  Now there are artists we buy regardless, but in general that's the rule. (My ipod- remember those?- is full of great singles, though.)

Anyway, one of my favorite Blondie songs from 1980 is Rapture, which features what is believed to be the first ever recorded mainstream rap, which is funny because it's not who you would think of in terms of rap, and it's the most random rap you've ever heard.  Look for it around the 1:53 mark.

They've got some other great hits- One Way or Another, Call Me, Heart of Glass- so check them out!

Others from the top ten of the year:

Once in a Lifetime- The Talking Heads

Another One Bites the Dust- Queen

And Whip It by Devo, but they wouldn't let me share that one with you. Not too bad overall!

What's a great song from the year you were born? Share it here, or link up with Heidi, and make sure you check in with her for next week's theme!

Friday Fun

A few things to end the week:

1. This was not the original number one, but I had to share because I am super excited and Twitter is not loading properly!  I woke up to 44 views in my shop according to Etsy shop stats, which is highly unusual for 7:30 am, so I look at the sources and it says "Etsy Holidays".  Whaaaaa?????  A little research and MY garland kit is in the DIY Valentine section!!!!!!!!!  I have no idea how to take a screen shot, so you'll just have to try and find it if you want to see it.  BUT, if you click on the "More DIY ideas" I am on the first page at the bottom!

Ok, on to the originally-intended stuff.

2. Make sure you come back Monday for a super-duper-awesome-you're-going-to-love-it giveaway.  And it's not an Etsy shop!!  Have I piqued your interest??

3. My posts now have a little "Pin It" button over there on the bottom right, just in case you see something you'd like to pin and come back to later or share with others.  Thanks to JulieAnnArt for the tutorial!  Go check it out- it's so easy.

4. Tricia at mama marchand's musings has a great linky going to help us highlight each other as a handmade community.  Her challenge is to make a treasury featuring Etsy items you own.  Mine is here and I was actually surprised that I filled the board, with more to spare!  Between trades, giveaways, gifts, and a few actual purchases, I've gotten a lot of great treasures.  Spread the love and make one of your own!

5. This is the coolest mug ever:

6. Hubs and I are fans of 90's alternative music- Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, and so on- and we've apparently passed it on to Gus, who will request these bands when we're in the car.  Here's his current favorite song (and video- it's so cool), Tonight, Tonight by the Smashing Pumpkins from Mellon Chollie and the Infinite Sadness (anyone remember that one?)

Happy Friday!

Pinterest: I Tried It (Cheesy Quinoa Bites)

Welcome pinners and friends!  If you've tried something from one of you pin boards this week and blogged about it, you can link up your post at the bottom of this one.  I love to see what everyone's been working on! (Note: I think next week we are going to do an any kind of project link-up; doesn't have to be Pinterest related necessarily.  I would like to get some more participation!)

This week I decided to try another recipe that I saw and pinned and then looked at the ingredients and decided to make them right away:

Becky over at So Very Blessed has this recipe posted, and I was excited to try it because I had just bought a box of quinoa and was looking for something to make with it, and really, anything "cheesy" sounds good in my book.  They were very easy to make and came together pretty quickly.

Other than the very dark picture, they look pretty much the same!  However, they are not exactly the best thing I've ever tasted.  "Cheesy" might not be the right word for them, although they do have Parmesan cheese in them.  They were a little dry, although we didn't use a dipping sauce like Becky did.  Hubs thought they were ok, and we're making our way through the batch, but I think maybe I'll try them with something like cheddar cheese the next time and try to make them a little cheesier.  I think they'd be pretty good for you health-wise this way, though, because quinoa is one of those super-grains they talk about now and there's vegetables in there, so if you're looking for a filling good-for-you snack, these are pretty decent.

So how about you?  How were your pinning experiments this week?  Link up below or leave a comment!  And remember- same time next week!  I had a lot of fun trying this one out and may stick to the sewing board for a little while.

Feel free to grab a botton to add to your post to share this link-up with your readers!
life by the book
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Chevron Apron

After my crayon wallet post, I got talking to my friend Paige over at the newly re-Christened little nostalgia (formerly Final Clothes-Out) about making vendor aprons.  Paige makes lovely jewelry, in case you haven't checked out her shops (here and here), and was looking for an apron to wear to shows.  Back and forth we went- Could I do it? What colors and style?- until we arrived at a common idea.  And so I was left with trying to figure out how to make an apron since I've never made one before.  I'm sure I have one pinned on my boards because it was something I wanted to try, but I had to sort of pattern it out for myself.  The best part, though?  I got to go fabric shopping!  Together we found this lovely neutral chevron stripe, so I ordered it, and away I went!

The results:

Success!  It really wasn't bad at all except for matching up those chevrons, which are somehow not straight.  I am not a sewer who uses a lot of pins and I had to pin the heck out of this thing to make sure the stripes stayed put.  But, I am completely and totally pleased with how it turned out and amazed at how straight my sewing lines have become.  I'm super excited about it, actually.  One of my 2012 goals was to become a more confident sewer, and I this project is certainly helping me on my way!  I listed one in my shop (here) and I also found (on my trip to find backing fabric) a lovely black and white chain-link pattern that I want to make one out of.  Hooray!

Now go stop by little nostalgia and congratulate Paige on her new look!

52 Mantels

It's Overflowing
Days of Chalk and Chocolate


shabby creek cottage Button

Humor and a Winner!

Thanks to all who left happy birthday wishes last week and for entering the giveaway!  After counting up all of the entries, Mr. Random chose number 11, which means that Heidi is the winner!  Congratulations!!

Ok, now it's time for some end of the week humor!  Some of my favorites this week, which happen to coincide with some of my posts:

Cocktail party awkwardness.  Coincidentally, we are invited to a football viewing party with these same people on Sunday.  Unless that's code for ball gowns, I think I'll be ok.  Wish me luck.  (source)

We are only on step 6.  (source)

Happy Friday!

Fab Finds

I have taken to perusing Etsy lately while I am sitting and feeding Greta or, my new favorite thing, looking for supplies (why wasn't I doing that earlier??), and in doing so have come across a lot of fun and interesting things, so I decided to share a few with you.

Green Bean Toys.  Gus would go crazy over this tractor.  And the helicopter.  And the train.

Hubs was on the hunt for beef jerky this week, so naturally we checked out Etsy.
PaPabears Jerky looks pretty good.

Lovely stamped items from Simply Sweet Studio like this vintage sugar spoon.

This incredible sampler of baker's twine from Hobbies from the Heart

And this amazing magnetic wooden map of the USA by PipeDreams2010.  Incredible!

Found anything good while searching the Internet this week?

Oh, Hair.

If you can remember back to almost a year (seriously), I posted about my hair and what a problem it can be.  To refresh your memory, it's generally long, thick, and out of control.  My last cut was in May.  Yes, May.  As in May 2011.  Let's just say that "rat's nest" could easily apply to me even on a somewhat good hair day.  Then I saw this on People.com and pinned it:

Now, there are so many things wrong with this idea, namely 1: I am afraid to death of short hair.  Not even just super-short, short in general.  2: I do not look like Michelle Williams and I would probably turn out looking like a boy.  You have to have the right face for the right cut, that's for sure.

But there is something about this idea of hair short enough that I don't have to worry about doing much to it.  If I want to flat-iron my hair right now (ha. ha.) it takes about 30 minutes.  If it were that much shorter, it might take 10.  20 minutes saved- bam!- and I could do it all the time, not just every third day or whatever.  My line to my hair stylist (who is never the same because why would I try and maintain a stylist??) has always been, "I have to be able to pull it up."  And then I started thinking, why?  Why do I need to pull it up?  If it's short enough to not need to be pulled up, then isn't that good?

So I started searching Pinterest and pinning, which I don't often do:

Now, granted, I don't have those faces either (or Keri's curls) but I like the length on them and it's not so extreme, right?  Anyone pondering a new 'do?

Mail It Forward

Before I start, let me just say that I think I should be locked in a room with no electronics and no liquid.  After the laptop incident, you'd think I'd have learned, but last night when going up to bed I had a lot of things in my hands and as I was putting stuff down, my cell phone slid out of my hands and right into the water glass on my nightstand.  It couldn't have gone in any smoother- bloop!  It was working ok last night but this morning- dead.  So I pulled a hubs and realized that the SIM card can go into other phones and that we had another phone (not one I like, it never tells me when it's got a low battery) so I popped the card into the phone and I'm good to go.  But still.  Really???

Anyway....what I was going to say today is that I have gotten the chance to read a lot of New Year's goals and resolutions blog posts and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all.  It's so interesting to me to see what each different person plans for themselves and wants to accomplish this year.  A common theme: bringing back hand-written correspondence.  I love the idea of this.  I have written so many thank you notes for wedding, babies, and so on, and it's nice to get those, but it's also nice to just get a note or card that lets you know that someone is thinking of you.  In the age of e-mail and texting, hand-written notes are getting lost.  Plus, I just love note cards and stationery.  I have a ton.

However, I've definitely let the ball drop on this.  Like I said, I am all over the thank you note, but as far as other occasions I am totally forgetful, and I hate to say that I sometimes cannot even remember to send an e-mail.  And so to that end I've decided to start sending cards for birthdays and holidays and for just because, because it's nice to hopefully brighten someone's day.  This one is on its way to my cousin's wife, whose birthday is tomorrow:

I'm also joining up with Patti at Easton Place Designs for her Valentine's Day card swap.  Anyone is invited to join in- all you have to do is send her your info and she'll match you up with a partner!  (And you should check out her blog, too, which feature her cute card designs!)  She's also going to start sending out one note a week to anyone who'd like to receive one.  Allison at Little Bunny Sue Sue is also sending out a note a month to friends and family.  I think this is a great goal to have for the coming year, and I kind of like the idea of mailing it forward: if someone sends you a note, maybe think to send a note to someone else and brighten their day.

Is anyone else doing a card swap or have intentions of hand-writing more notes?  I know where you can get some really cute cards!


I have previously mentioned how we do not watch television in our house, how when we moved we opted not to pay $75 a month for cable that we weren't watching, how we didn't miss it once it was gone because we were too busy doing other things.  Well.

A few months ago we started doing a Friday movie "date" night, where we watch one movie picked out from the library, which has a very good selection.  It was sort of a mandatory self-imposed relaxation time, a break from all the work on the house and the kids, etc.  Well, when we plugged the tv in to hook up the DVD player, we realized that we get about 15 channels through the cable line (we have cable Internet), mostly the major networks and local programming.  We have them, but we never watch them.  Until....

Gus is very active.  He's a busy bee all the time, and he absorbs everything.  We had shown him some videos on YouTube (trucks, machinery, old Sesame Street skits we knew and loved (pinball, anyone?)), but he'd never been particu;ary interested in television when we've been to other houses.  Until...

We were at my parents' house and the fun game has always been, "Grandpa, turn the tv on."  And, "Grandpa, turn the tv off," about 30 seconds later.  Over and done.  But a couple of weeks ago Curious George was on, and there sat Gus, completely mesmerized for the entire show.  The hubs and I had discussed starting him watching Sesame Street because that can be such a good show for kids, but we hadn't acted on it, not sure if we wanted to let him start watching tv.

So we caved.  For a blissful hour a day, we get a little break from Gus, who sits transfixed with Elmo and the gang on Sesame Street or with Buddy from Dinosaur Train and Curious George.  One hour (and no more, no matter how tempting) of quiet (well, other than when Greta is crying for food) and he's happy and learning something while he's watching.

And funny enough, look who showed up at our house at Christmas before we even turned the tv on:

Elmo and Buddy (and the beloved Funny Bunny, who, if he's ever lost, we are sunk)


A few weeks ago, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop and a nice cup of coffee, as I've done so many times before (actually, usually it's tea but this just happened to be a coffee kind of day).  I don't know exactly what happened, because I am a klutz in general, but I spilled half the coffee on the keyboard of the computer.  Major freakout.  All of my Etsy designs, all of my photos of Gus and Greta, gone, GONE!

Well, not actually.  Turned out that the hard drive was fine.  No liquid made its way down there.  Just the keyboard and mouse were fried.  How do I know?  Hubs disassembled the computer to see if he could dry it out fix it.  Yup, he's that kind of guy.  We swabbed the keyboard and wiped it dry, used a hairdryer, took all the keys off.  Put it back together.  Nothing.  Ahhhhhh!!!  All is lost, I can't access my files!

Hubs, of course, remains calm and thinks it through.  "You could get a remote mouse and keyboard," he says.  Hope is restored!  Even better, we have them in the house!  I plug them in and we're good to go!  Except now it's not really a laptop because I'm tied to a desk because of the big keyboard.  It's totally inconvenient because my computer is stuck upstairs while I'm generally on the main floor of the house, and I like to quick-check-in throughout the day as I run past.  I make my complaint known to hubs after a few days and he says, "Why don't you try and buy a new keyboard?"  (Silence.  Mouth drops open.  Why didn't I think of that???  Oh yes, because I'm me.)

10 minutes plus $12 including shipping at Amazon later and my new keyboard is on its way.  $90 at Wal-mart and I've got an external hard drive.  (See, I'm learning!)

Blogging this very post!

I'm mobile again and my much-replaced computer (battery, charger) is good again.  For now.  Until my inner klutz rears its dropsy hands again.