Sunday, February 28, 2010

The weekend is over

I'm back from a wonderful weekend in the Berkshires. There's nothing more fun than friends, food, antiquing, movies, projects, and resting in the beautiful Berkshires.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I knew I'd find one

For years I've felt that there was a colored typewriter for me somewhere inNew England (well, N.Y. is close to New England). I've been watching for orange, blue, pink or green typewriters. I found this gem yesterday upstairs at the vintage kitchen antique shop. It was very reasonably priced ($18) and I'm excited to finally own a colored typewriter. Watch out; I'm going to use it to type some letters.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Upstate N.Y.

I love Upstate N.Y. I'm spending the weekend in the Berkshires (western Mass.) and today my friend and I drove over to upstate N.Y. We found an amazing antique shop (FILLED with vintage kitchen items). I saw lots of cool barns and we even made a stop at The Walmarts (it's not really plural, is it?!). We each made an appetizer for dinner tonight (I made Pioneer Woman's jalapeno peppers) and now we're watching a movie and working on projects. It's been a great day.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tasty throwback

I just heard about throwback Pepsi this week and though it's only in stores until 2/22 I found some in the store tonight. Lucky me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Current read

My sister-in-law told me about this book. It took a bit of searching to find it but it was worth the trouble. I'm really liking it and already wishing it was longer than 166 pages.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Temple night

Tonight was our R.S. trip to the Temple. It's always nice to worship with my sisters.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Drawstring bags

I saw this tutorial last week and now I'm all drawstring bag crazy. I made one before but it was lined and it didn't turn out quite right. I made this one tonight and it was super quick and easy (and cute, right?!). I'm stuffing it with photocards and mailing it off tomorrow. And I'm going to find out where to get cording in bulk.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My row

For years (I mean YEARS) I have been sitting on the same row at church. Left side, four rows from the front. It was my row until about a month ago when I decided I was going to start sitting somewhere different every Sunday. I talk to different people. I get a different view. I'm shaking things up.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

White Trash Bunco

I hosted Bunco tonight and the theme (we don't usually have a theme but I chose one this month) was "White Trash". We had some delicious refreshments. My contribution was graham crackers with chocolate frosting inbetween them (aka "poor man's cookie"). We had a lovely variety of treats (2 cans of cheese!). The prizes were pyrex dishes. No big screen TVs.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Party at my place!

A friend asked me recently if she and her daughters could stay over at my place as part of their "weekend in Boston". They had a series of interesting events today (their gps took them to the front door of Children's Hospital instead of the Museum of Science and the keys got locked in the car) but tonight was fun. I helped each of the girls make a coin purse, we ate cheesecake, played 5 Crowns and watched the Olympics. They will leave early in the morning for a fun-filled day together.

The best part of the night was when the youngest girl said, "When is the party starting?"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Christmas crafting (sort of)

I've tried to get together once a month with some crafting friends to work on Christmas crafts. The first year we talked about it and never did anything. Then last year we met probably 10 out of 12 months and made some Christmas crafts, aprons, and learned to make some new crafts (like the pictured pixie). This year I am determined to make Christmas presents during the year. I wasn't ready to start Christmas presents tonight (though I have a few ideas tucked away in a folder--stay tuned) but we got together and I finished piecing together 20 squares for a quilt I had started for a friend (ooops -- last May!). My friend started cutting out a quilt that will be a Christmas wall hanging. We totally got our craft on tonight.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The bookcase

Some people have expressed interest in seeing more of my condo so I'll have a little show and tell every now and then.

I saw a bookcase in a Pottery Barn catalog that I liked and I asked my architect friend if she'd help me make one. I wanted it to hold my big photo albums and my small books and lots of other things. She designed it and we made it (while she was pregnant with her fourth child and serving as the R.S. president). That really meant I paid for the supplies and then watched her make it. She's amazing and talented and generous with her time.

[Funny story -- someone heard that my friend helped me make a bookcase and asked her if she'd help them make a dining room set out of teak. The answer was no.]

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

They said it would snow today...

...and it did!

Best job to have in Boston: meteorologist. You can be totally wrong and you still get paid.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fabric art update

A year or so ago I started putting fabric art on the wall above my living room. I've been adding to it and tonight I put the flowered rectangle piece up. It's a fun way to display some of my favorite fabrics.

Note: that is my bedroom above the wall the fabric art is on (it's a loft).

Must do two things

There were two things I absolutely needed to do this weekend: (1) prepare the information for my taxes to be sent to the accountant, and (2) deal with the big IKEA bag filled with stuff (that goes in and out of the bag which goes in and out of the crawlspace but never gets put away). It's nearing the end of the (nice long) weekend and I'm feeling pretty good about accomplishing those two things. There are a few straggling items left in the IKEA bag but they are about to be tackled and my taxes are ready to be emailed tomorrow.

Happy (productive) Presidents Day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heart dinner party

My friend Alicia invited a few friends over for dinner tonight. The food was delicious (Olive Garden themed...think breadsticks and alfredo sauce) and the dessert (a fancy cake) was amazing! It was a fun way to celebrate Valentine's Day! Thanks for everything, Alicia.

Happy Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Antique road trip

Today I went on a little antiquing road trip with a friend. We went to one of my favorite places in Templeton, Mass. She found a cake platter and I found a $4 red recipe book from the 40's. And we saw this green round house. It's amazing what you see on the other side of #495!

This is what we're dealing with

Friday, February 12, 2010

Singing nerds

The Logarhythms dropped by to serenade my coworker and I for Valentine's Day! Do you believe in love???!!

Who's the bomb?

Crafty Diana made this for me!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The proof is in the picture

I'm finally posting a picture (taken with Erin's camera--thank you, Erin!) from our blogger buddy get-together two weeks ago. That's Erin (the rock star) behind me, then Diana, Keri and Samantha. It was a treat to meet them!

A is for Apron

I've had apron fever lately.

A+ muffins

I looked through the Cooking Club Cookbook the other day and found this recipe. I made them last night. They. Are. Good.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Because the blueberries and bananas add so much flavor and sweetness, the recipe requires less sugar than most muffins. We used half whole wheat flour so that we could justify eating more than three each. (It's practically health food, people!) Yield: 1 dozen medium-sized muffins (it actually made 16)

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 T baking powder
2 eggs
2 very ripe bananas (1 mashed, 1 diced)
1/2 cup milk
1 t. vanilla
5 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup blueberries (picked over to remove stems)
granola to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or grease well. Combine the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, use a mixer to blend the eggs, mashed banana, milk, vanilla and butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, and stir by hand until just moistened. Do not overmix. Fold in the blueberries and diced banana. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle granola on top if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Plan B

I was all poised and prepared to photograph The Storm of the Century but it barely snowed in Boston. So here is a picture of flowers from a friend that brightened up my day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tragic update

My cousin called me last night with this report.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


February 9, 1971
6.6 on the Richter scale

What I remember:
The noise. The shaking. Things falling. Furniture banging against the wall. Screaming. It was very scary. Did my dad really run down the hall yelling "Get the children!"?

Our friend owned a pharmacy and we went to help him clean up. I remember when we opened the pharmacy door everything on the shelves had been dumped on the floor and the odor was unbelievable. Broken glass. Pills. Band-aids.

We had to evacuate our home because if the Van Norman Dam had collapsed it would have flooded "the valley". We went to stay with our friends--the Jensens--who lived in La Crescenta. We stayed for a week. Our dad wore jeans to work (he taught school in LA). We loved being evacuated because it meant NO SCHOOL and FUN WITH FRIENDS!

This earthquake was the inspiration (who knew?!) for the 1974 movie Earthquake.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Valentine brownies

The R.S. Recipe Swap is at my place tomorrow night so I'm baking some brownies.

I took a chocolate class through the Boston Center for Adult Education about 18 years ago and this was the best recipe I got from the class. Credit goes to June Jacobs who was the teacher.

Valentine Brownies
Makes 24 squares or hearts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate and 3/4 cup unsalted butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Set aside. Meanwhile, mix 3 cups sugar and 6 extra large eggs in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of salt. Add the chocolate mixture. Now stir in 1½ cups unbleached flour and 1½ cups chopped walnuts (I never add walnuts; I hate walnuts!). Pour into well greased jelly roll pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool and cut out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Before I took that nap tonight

I made these oatmeal pancakes. They are really good. Comfort food.

I found them on this blog and she found them on this blog. Try them. You'll like them.

Everything's [not] fine

I remember being in Salt Lake City as a kid visiting my grandparents with my brother John. Grandma Pitchforth let us call home to talk to our family. As I was telling my mom about our adventures (and maybe our shenanigans) my Grandma grabbed the phone from me and yelled to my mom "Everything's fine!"

[To protect my family member's privacy I have deleted part of this post.]

I think only old people should die.

Everything's not fine.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A sweet treat crafty morning

A few times a year I get together with my friends Natalie and Nicole and we make a craft and a treat. Our rice krispy treats didn't turn out quite as nice as these, but I'm sure they will taste as good. And, each of the girls now has a heart garland to use as a Valentine's Day decoration.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Searching for hearts

One January day my old boyfriend and I went for a drive (or "asphalt adventure" as we called it). Before we left I told him that I wanted to find a heart to photograph for one of my cards. I was going to look for a heart on a barn or something like that. Imagine my surprise when we happened upon The Sweetheart restaurant in western Mass. I jumped out of the car and took a bunch of photos. And I present:

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Let's go back to that Road Show

Last night I dug through a stack of stuff in my office and did some filing and I found this photo. It was taken the same day as this photo. That's John and me (Rageddy Ann and Andy---duh!) or Big Red and Little Red as my mom often called us. And, whatdoyouknow, that's Lori Brady (dressed as a granny) on John's left and her nephew is in my ward here in Boston.

Note: no red wigs were needed for this Road Show.

The Valentine photocards are in the mail

Congrats to the "Sanpeters". And thanks for all your comments. I love having blog fans!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Valentine GIVE-AWAY!

I'm giving away this set of my Valentine photocards to one random winner. Tell me WHO YOU LOVE before Thursday at 3:00pm and you might be the random winner.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Refashioning or not?

It's cutting off bulky sleeves so I can wear a shirt (that I haven't worn in a few years) under a sweater without it looking goofy.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Heart garland

It's as easy as it looks. You cut out hearts and sew a garland. That's it. [I keep a needle separate for sewing on paper.]

Excuse the plastic on the windows. It's what we New Englanders do to try to keep the cold from creeping through our drafty old windows.