Saturday, November 30, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

DIY: napkin folding

thanksgiving tablescapes are always helped along by fancy napkin folds, but who wants to spend hours folding napkins? these two folds look fantastic but are also super fast to pull together ...

bow-tie napkins:

step 1: lay napkin out as a diamond
step 2: fold bottom point and top point in to the middle
step 3: fold bottom up again, to middle
step 4: fold top down again, to middle

step 5: fold left side in, bringing the point just past the middle line
step 6: fold right side in, making sure the point overlaps the left side
step 7: flip the napkin over and pinch together at the center
step 8: tie the center with a ribbon and tuck the ends under the back

fleur-de-lis napkins:

step 1: fold in half, with the fold to the bottom
step 2: bring top left corner down to the bottom center, and top right corner down to the bottom center
step 3: bring bottom right corner up to the top center point; repeat with the left side
step 4: bring the top points down and out (as seen in photo 4)
step 5: slip into a napkin ring or tie a ribbon around the base

Thursday, November 28, 2013


for my fella, for my family, for my friends near and far...
for a roof, for a job, for a fridge full of food...
for videochat, books, cameras...
for all i have, and love, and so much more.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

quick takes

a bbc piece on why you think your phone is ringing when it isn't. which i find fascinating because i have this issue all. the. time.

alright, i'm going to weigh in - in a brief kind of way - on the debate over marital philosophy that has been sparked by this post, "marriage isn't for you." the philosophy that is encompassed in his statements that " don't marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy... marriage isn't for you. it's not about you. marriage is about the person you married." now, there is so much worth to one element of that philosophy - that being selfish can damage a relationship, and consideration of the other person is fundamental. however, the issue i have with it is it still presumes a focus on one person or the other. but marriage isn't about one person and one person. it is about two people choosing to be one unit. and that's not to say you give up your individuality, but ... well. since i have yet to experience marriage, i'll borrow the words of someone who has. the last two paragraphs of this response to the original post say it really well:
          Marriage isn't for the person you marry. Marriage is for... the marriage. Marrying is deciding that the two of you, together, are more important than either of you alone. Marriage is a partnership, not a sacrifice to the altar of someone else's joy. Marriage is a long-term commitment to going at it as a team, not a long-term commitment to ensuring someone else feels good all the time. There will be days when marriage will be so out of balance that you'll believe you're sucking the life out of your spouse, or that they're draining you of all substance. That's ok. That's what marriage does. And that's what marriage is.          I would tell my children -- if they asked -- to marry because you love someone who loves you back. Marry because you can't imagine being without this person. But most of all, marry because this person makes you happy. If someone is making you happy, chances are you're doing the same for them. But never, ever give up your own happiness on a regular basis to ensure someone else's.
keeping with the relationship theme, 9 really helpful relationship tips. and not just because that's a paraphrase of the article title, but because they really are good tips.

this discussion of the evolution of the period (and other punctuation) in the digital age came courtesy of my fella. i just had to share it, because it is so spot on.

have you ever seen golden girls? i discovered it during college {when late-night tv was not quite as detrimental to the next day as it is now} and loved it.  you may think it's not for you, since it's from the 80s and tells the stories of four older ladies, but it's actually solid gold comedy and pretty racy - i'm pretty sure the only reason they got away with a lot of what was said/insinuated was exactly because it stars four older ladies. anyway, if you haven't ever seen it this may not amuse you, but if you have... here are 23 signs you  might be blanche devereaux.

smellfungus, n.‘ A discontented person; a grumbler, faultfinder. Also attrib.’]
Etymology: the name by which L. Sterne designated T. Smollett on account of the captious tone of the latter's book, Travels through France and Italy (1766).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

diy: knitted washcloths

depending on the size, these can function as either a washcloth or a dishcloth...or if you made them fairly small, a coaster! if you know the basics of knitting, this is a super easy pattern and can be made pretty quickly. binge-watching of the office optional.

cast on four stitches
row 1: knit one row
row 2: knit two, yarn over, then knit to the end of the row
repeat row 2 until there are 44 stitches on the needle
next row: knit one, knit two together, yarn over, knit two together, then knit to the end of the row
repeat to continue decreasing until there are 4 stitches left on the needle
cast off

a great how-to video is available at the bottom of this post, which is the original source of this pattern.  the video explains how to do a yarn over if  that's a new term for you - it was for me! and while you definitely want to make sure your stitches aren't too loose, take care not to make them so tight that the "knit two together" step becomes impossible. enjoy!

Monday, November 25, 2013

recipe: cold artichoke heart, chicken & red pepper pasta salad

16 oz. can artichoke hearts
olive oil, salt & pepper
12 oz. jar roasted red bell peppers
2 tbsp. capers, drained
1 lb chicken, marinated
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette
2-4 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
1 box pasta

preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. prepare a pot of pasta. cook chicken in your desired method - grilled, baked, etc. drain roasted red bell peppers and artichoke hearts. chop artichoke hearts into small pieces, then place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. spread artichoke hearts in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. chop bell peppers into bite-sized pieces, and add to the original bowl, along with the capers and cooked pasta. add the chicken and artichoke hearts once cooked. mix balsamic vinaigrette and dijon mustard, to taste. pour dressing over ingredients, and mix well. chill, then serve!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

quick takes

just... this is gonna be a bit of a cop-out post, but i'll cop out with some helpful and/or interesting links, so it balances out. right? totally.

doctor who fiftieth anniversary episode this weekend. i hope you get to watch it... i'm taping it to watch with my fella over thanksgiving weekend! it's airing at the same time world-wide, so no spoiler concerns {unless you're waiting to watch like i am..}.

because christmas is coming gifts you can make in under an hour. and if you're not feeling crafty but still leaning toward the diy, 38 food-based diy gifts. and if you're really not into diy at all, consider shopping it up on small business saturday, november 30.

who knows if these are really scientific, but they're definitely solid suggestions for improving your happy level

bbc culture's collection of the world's most beautiful libraries

you guys! the oxford dictionaries settled on the 2013 word of the year: selfie. check out the infographic they created to explain what it is {in case you've been living under a rock} and why they chose it.

monkey parade, n. 'An evening promenade of young people, esp. for the purpose of meeting members of the opposite sex.'
Etymology: (monkey n. + parade n.); colloquial (chiefly dismissive), now rare (hist.)
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈmʌŋkɪ pəˌreɪd/,  U.S. /ˈməŋki pəˌreɪd/

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

quick takes

wednesday! here we go...

just discovered the glory of dinovember. imagination and creation win.

this is a list of 18 things everyone should make more time for these days. it's a good list. it's a list i follow, mostly, although i never set it down in words this way. #8 could use some work, but let's be honest - i'm in a long distance relationship, so my technological devices aren't going anywhere for now. some days i'm better at #18 than others, and #9 is a very infrequent thing {i think that means a cruise is in order, family!}, but the rest, i'm so there with making them priorities

have you read feed, by m.t. anderson? i feel like it's entirely possible i've mentioned it here before, but if i haven't - it was assigned reading for a college course, but i've kept it around since, re-reading it a few times and recommending it to others. because while wikipedia describes it as a "futuristic novel of the dystopian and cyberpunk genres", things like google's patent application for a new throat tattoo make it clear that some people out there aim to make it less futuristic than some of us might hope. innovation is an interesting beast, mm?

pottery painting win: my new mug effectively holds all the things i want a mug to hold in the morning! and just in case you were curious what i want a mug to hold, that would be approximately 16 oz of awfully burnt-tasting coffee from the fancy office coffee machine, the probably-loaded-with-chemicals-but-i'm-not-looking creamer i put in to mask the burnt, and my heaping spoonful of coconut oil. annnnyway. it's kind of pretty! in an 80s-sponge-paint sort of way...

five+ minute video on how deodorant works. if you're interested.

this phrase is my fella's most recent favorite. it can be used as an interjection, adjective or noun, but i think it goes best as an interjection, so here you have it!
jolly hockey sticks, int. 'Used in representations or imitations of upper or upper-middle-class speech associated with a type of English public schoolgirl, esp. to express (mock) boisterous enthusiasm, excitement, exuberance, etc.'
Etymology: (jolly adj. + the plural of hockey-stick); humorous (orig. and chiefly Brit.).
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌdʒɒli ˈhɒki stɪks/,  U.S. /ˌdʒɑli ˈhɑki stɪks/

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

quick takes

ohh folks, it's wednesday! this always sneaks up on me, even when i'm actively counting down to friday. how does this happen every week?

i am finding myself perusing articles about electronic discovery in my "free time"...because apparently i find it fascinating enough to use up my time on it? anyway. the south carolina supreme court sanctioned an attorney for not having an e-mail address {and also... e-mail or email?!? such a dilemma!}, e-discovery is continuing to evolve and i'm actually liking federal civil procedure which, if you had told me fall semester of 1L was even a remote possibility, i would have called you absolutely bonkers. maybe it's because it's in bits and pieces and pertains to something actually happening?

midwest-bound this weekend! excited to see my fella and maybe observe some bird-hunting.

one of my favorite bloggers made a joke {she is joking! i have verification via e-mail!} about tall boots being outdated and i nearly connipt-ed {not a real word but go with it} over the thought because, seriously, i just. cannot. do. ankle boots. these short legs of mine don't need that kind of ridiculousness. i mean, it took me until this year to do skinny jeans with flats instead of only with boots and even that makes me cringe a little bit because i am no [skinnystarletofyourchoice]. which, i should clarify, i am so totally okay with - this is in no way a commentary on good/bad body shapes/sizes - your body is your body and you should love it!! - but really, not all styles are for all bodies. aaanyway. moral of the story is do not take my tall boots away.

ender's game! have you read it? if not, and you like scifi-based action flicks, go see it! and also, READ IT! if you have read it, go see it - but know that there's a lot that's different/omitted for the sake of hollywood. it reminded me a bit of hunger games, in that if you read the book you had a fundamental understanding of things that maybe weren't fabulously developed in the film and so it was fine, but if you hadn't you were left a bit lost, especially on character development.

always a good reminder... seven rules to stop your phone taking over your life from bbc.

if you like poetry check out this guy. his typewriter series is almost always thought-provoking and his haikus on love are, well, lovely.

new add to quick takes! a favorite word from the oxford english dictionary word-of-the-day email. because i love language and therefore will subject you to that love. even though i don't properly capitalize, overuse hyphens and ellipses, add unnecessary letters to words and generally ignore the rules on this here bloggity. clearly beside the point ;). today we have a word so archaic my computer doesn't recognize it.  i introduce you to comrogue, which should absolutely be brought back into the everyday lexicon because who wouldn't respond to a loud proclamation of, "COMROGUE! join with me in comroguery!" {note, comroguery is not actually a word, but it really should be because comrogue is, and roguery is, so comroguery is the logical next step.}
official word info:
comrogue, n. 'A fellow-rogue.'
Etymology: (com- prefix + rogue n. & adj.) In 17th cent. often jocularly confused with comrade.
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmrəʊɡ/

Monday, November 4, 2013

recipe: spinach-garlic-sundried tomato meatballs

1 1/4 lb ground turkey or beef
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 handful sun-dried tomatoes
2 heads roasted garlic
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. sea salt
dash black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil

preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with foil. squeeze out cloves from roasted garlic into a large bowl, and crush to spread. add all other ingredients to bowl, and mix together with hands until completely combined. scoop out equal sized portions to make meatballs, and place them on the baking sheet. place in oven, bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

if you haven't experienced the wonder that is roasted garlic, do yourself a favor and try it. bake up a double batch, use half in the meatballs and then spread the other half on toast...sourdough is always a good option. enjoy along with your favorite beverage {i'm presently hooked on fevertree brand ginger beer...spicy and delicious!} as a tasty reward for your hard work making dinner!

Friday, November 1, 2013

building habits: update 3

belated update on micro quotas and macro goals. might even keep it belated in the future, because that would be more in keeping with the calendar... anyway. october was...well, iffy, goals-wise. november will need a bit of adjusting. but! sleep and exercise got prioritized and that was great. because they're priorities. so now it's keeping those as priorities, and also accomplishing the rest. lunches probably need work too, and less eating out should probably be a goal. maybe someday! sigh. i'm not even watching tv on weeknights to get everything in and i still can't manage it all...which is totally not a woe is me moment, but a how do you do it all?! moment. promise. {but really - how do you do it all?!}

quota: thirty minutes of rosetta stone per day // goal: learn spanish
progress: at the beginning of the month, i was doing pretty well, fitting in at least 20 minutes at least 5 days a week. but then work got crazy and my fella came to visit and there was a wedding to attend and basically spanish practice got sidelined. excuses, excuses.
verdict: needs work.

quota: two hours per weekend documenting // goal: digitize memorabilia
progress: two of my weekends were full of time with my fella, which takes priority, but i have no good reason for why the other weekends didn't happen. i even have the gear now! i guess this means it's time to get cracking...
verdict: try again.

quota: one hour article work per week // goal: write an article by october december 2013
progress: still a struggle. but i think i might have finally found a topic i'm interested in writing about, and have already done a bit of research on for work, so now i just have to make sure it's viable.
verdict: try again.

quota: turn off electronics by 11pm // goal: reasonable hours
progress: okay, until about 3 days ago i was doing fantastically on this one. seriously. which is part of why the other goals are suffering, actually, because i prioritized getting on a sleep schedule. so if something hadn't happened by 11, it wasn't happening. and i was liking it. i got off track because fella left and that always throws me off, but this is working and i like it. it also makes morning work outs so much more realistic!
verdict: almost a success!

new quota: 3 green smoothies a week // new goal: healthier eating
progress: not even. well....actually sort of, now that i think about it. i moved past larabars for breakfast (!!) and am doing a mix of smoothies or yogurt&granola...depending on how close to 7 i actually start my workout. so lately it's been pretty heavy on the yogurt&granola.
verdict: rubbish. try again.

new quota: 3 workouts a week // new goal: healthy living
progress: oooooh so much winning with this! i failed on the squat/sit-up challenged i mentioned last month, but that's totally okay because i committed to doing jillian's 30 day shred about 3 weeks ago and it's happening. i think i explained this in a quicktakes but basically the plan is to jillian at 7 am M-F, with 2 days break (so each level takes 2 weeks). it doesn't always work that way - this week i was gone tuesday morning for work, so i'll be making it up saturday - but the point is 5 days of exercise a week, and since the whole fam is doing it we're pretty okay at sticking to it. plus there are some solid laughs to be had when you have four people (and 2 pups) jillian-ing in the early hours.
verdict: met!!