Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm a Big Lush

Nope. Not talking about drinking. I've cut that back a lot until last night at dinner with my dad. Then the wine always flows freely.

I'm talking about my favorite bath and body store, Lush. After working all day at a health fair, the girls and I had lunch in the new San Francisco Center. Then one of my friends mentioned she wanted to go to Lush. Of course, I jumped at the chance! But I was NOT planning on buying. I'm supposed to be frugal at the moment. But I admit, I'm lousy at being frugal.


The spoils... 3 soaps- Ice Blue (already in the shower), Lily Savon, and Alkmaar, An All That Jas bath bomb, An Emperor of Ice Cream Buttercream, and a Squeaky Green solid shampoo.

Lush has always been a green company. But, of course, they are adding a reuseable bag to their line.

Lush Tote

Cute, huh? It has the Lush logo on the other side. Plus, if you bought the bag, you got 10% off. And if you spent $45, you got the Squeaky Green shampoo bar free. I'm such a sucker. Oh well. I love this stuff.

I recently had the good fortune to win a contest over at IrishgirlieKnits's blog. Go and comment on her new Koolhaas!

STR Mediumweight- Pebble Beach

STR Mediumweight in Pebble Beach. It's so pretty. And the colors are right up my ally. Thank you!!

Finally, I finally decided how to finish the baby blanket for my friend who is due in July. I did the fake "ties" that the pattern recommends.

Avalyn's Blanket Done

Here's the front and the back

Avalyn's Blanket- Front and Back

It took no time at all to finish. I can't believe it took me so long to decide how to do it. Silly!

Labels: ,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Last Day Off

Boo! I have to go back to school tomorrow. But only 9 weeks to go! Can you believe it!?!?!?! It's going so quickly. Just 4 more weeks of this rotation and then 5 weeks of preceptorship. Then... graduation... YAY!!

So I had a lot to accomplish today. Mostly homework, laundry, and other really uninteresting things.

But I did break out the bread machine to see if it works. It does!

First Bread

It's basic white bread. Just a test loaf to get the machine going. Sorry about the missing top but I had to test it! I have a wheat with pumpkin seeds in now. It looks like the wheat cycles don't work. But the basic cycle does. And that's all I need for now.

I also received the March installment of the Rockin' Sock Club. It's here if you want to peek. I LOVE this color. It's probably my favorite color of all the STR that I have.

I mentioned Destash on the last post. I think I'm going to hold off for a bit on that. My dad is in town this weekend. And that always makes things busy. Plus, going back to school will keep me on my toes. It's coming. Just don't be hitting F5 thinking you missed it.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lazy Saturday

We slept a little late today then went out to our favorite breakfast spot. (Katie's Corner in San Ramon, if you're local) I had a veggie omelet with egg whites. Trying to prove I can make healthy choices even in the presence of pancakes, french toast, and their amazing fried potatoes. Yum!

Now, I'm just hanging out and slowly getting everything organized for the next week. That means bills paid, school binders organized, and general cleaning up of the house. Not too fun but not too bad either. I'm watching We Own the Night. It's good so far. Lots of good actors.

Click here to see the new Yarn Pirate Booty Club shipment. I can't believe she kept on schedule even though she has a new baby at home. That's impressive. Pretty colors.

I'm starting to think about destashing a bit. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the shear yardage. If you have a skein or two that you could live without, Ruth is raising money for her sons' school. Check out her contest here.

Sorry about the picture free post. I promise more color next time.

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Bunch of Random Stuff

*Ziploc Zip and Stream bags are magical. Perfect vegetables EVERY time.

*I went on a 2 1/2 hour hike today. We saw a coyote and a deer not too far apart from each other. For a second I was afraid it would go all "wild kingdom" on us. But nothing too scary happened.

*I got my hair cut and colored. It's cute and makes me look a little more alternative. I'll try to get a picture tomorrow.

*String cheese is such a great snack. It takes time to eat. So you think you're a little fuller than you are. Plus, they come in lowfat versions that are around 80 calories and 6 grams of fat. PERFECT!

*Today, I picked up a bread machine that I bought for $10 on Craig's List. And she threw in a bread recipe book. How nice is that!?!?! Fresh bread, here we come!

*I was supposed to go to the beach tomorrow. But it looks like that's falling apart. So I'm hoping we'll meet for breakfast instead. Maybe another hike. Although, I need to get our taxes sorted out tomorrow too.

*I watched Atonement last night. It was such a beautiful movie. Great casting. It kept to the book well. I just loved it. It might be a purchase. I have Enchanted for this weekend.

*With all this hiking, I lost some weight this week. YAY!

*My kitties love warm laundry more than anything. Maybe even catnip.

*Speaking of catnip, the cats haven't actually eaten my spearmint plant yet. And nothing in the herb garden has died. So far, so good!

*Yes, I have school work. Yes, I'm ignoring it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring has Almost Sprung

It's a beautiful day today in Northern California. Just cool enough to wear long sleeves but warm enough to get out and enjoy the day. Spring officially begins tonight. And there are definitely signs of better weather on the way. Yesterday, I went hiking at Lime Ridge Open Space in Concord. My friend Tiffany, her sister, and her sister's friends met me at the trail mouth and we climbed up for a fabulous view of the valley below. I even got a little sunburned! Here's some pictures from the hike. (Sorry about the poor quality. They are from my phone.)

New Flower

Bright yellow flowers blooming everywhere.

Pretty Purples

There are purple ones too. And LOTS of bees!

Lime Ridge Hike

See! Fields of purple ones!

View from the Top

The view from the top. Just over those distant hills is Oakland and Berkeley. I paid for that pretty view with lots of sweat!

I hope there are signs of Spring where you are. And be sure to thank a soldier today for what they do everyday to keep us safe.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Too Cute to Pass Up

When I saw this post on Alicia's blog, I knew I'd make the dish clothes. They are just too cute! And completely functional. I started thinking about Mother's Day gifts. So I'm making 4 for my mother-in-law and 4 for my grandma-in-law. That leaves 2 for me. (I bought a 10 pack of flour sack towels.)

There's only one trick to this.... I've never embroidered anything in my life.

First Embroidery

This is my first attempt. Not too shabby. Sure, some of the lines are wiggly wobbly. But they are definitely nice enough to dry my dishes. (Might as well practice on my 2 first.)

Here's the color combo I picked for mine.


Embroidery thread and cotton fabric from Joann's for binding. I'm also going to use Alicia's Binding Tutorial as pictures speak 1000 words for me in crafting.

This combo is for Grandma.


This one for mother-in-law.


By omitting the day of the week from the embroidery designs, I can get away with only doing 4 for each person. I'm hoping to get the binding done this week and embroidery can follow as I can watch TV while stitching but not while sewing with my machine.

Last thing- Happy Birthday to my little sis!!!!!! She gets everything green on her birthday- cake, beers, and (since she lives in Chicago) a river. I hope you had a wonderful day!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

We live in a little apartment with a little balcony. Every year I try to grow something with pretty poor results so far. The rosemary bush is the only thing I've put in a pot that has stayed green more than about a week or two. In fact, it grew so well that I had to re-pot it this Spring. So today I headed out to the local hardware store to get a larger pot.

I figured, now I had a smaller pot that needed a new plant. And then, I saw a cute window box trough planter that looked perfect for herbs.

So I present, the "garden" for 2008...

Our little garden

Milo is a little too interested in the spearmint. This may be trouble. The kitties don't seem to like the rosemary (on the right) but they really liked the thyme I killed last year.


The herb trough. Left to Right: Peppermint, Oregano, and Sage.


Spearmint planted into the old rosemary pot. I read that spearmint grows like crazy so I wanted it to get it's own pot to try and control it. I know. You're thinking... why'd you put the peppermint in the trough then??? Won't it take over all the other herbs??? Well, the nursery didn't have basil that I really wanted. And if I find that later, I can always add a pot. (You see how this could get out of control, right?)

Eva goes green

That is.... if the plants survive more than a week of my black thumb and Eva's curiousity.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Heart Spring Break

Don't breaks from life always come when you need them the most? Thank goodness for this one! I spent yesterday doing some school work and hanging out with a couple of nursing school friends.

For our mental health class, we had to go to a self help group and do a little write up on it. So we spent an hour at AA. I have to hand it to anyone who is going through recovery. That's got to be a tough road to walk everyday.

As far as productivity, I received my first custom order for 100 bars of soap a while ago and the time has come to get it made! By the way, I couldn't be more excited about this!

Rosemary Mint Soap

This is the soap in the mold. Rosemary mint with a green clay swirl. I think it's going to turn out really well. And the house smells great!

My sister was so sweet and sent me a lovely bouquet to cheer me up after the other day. So I'll leave you with a picture of that. I hope it makes you smile too!

Bad Day Flowers


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Today was a tough one. I had 2-three hour lectures, 1 midterm, and a career fair. The test did not go well. (OK- I got a B) The career fair turned into me getting free pens while I was referred to the website of each hospital to apply for jobs. And while we were waiting to leave after the midterm, I lost it. I just burst into tears. Too much stress built up plus hating the classes I'm currently in. It all lead to me sobbing in the bathroom for a few minutes. I don't want sympathy. I just want you to know that I finally broke. I admit it. I just wish I hadn't been dressed up in interview clothes (career fair) when the breakdown came.

It's all OK. I'm good. Seriously. I just needed to let it out. And now, Spring Break has come. No crazy trip to Cabo for me. Lots of school work and sleeping late.

I'm hoping to get lots done. And lots of posts. I know I've been absent in the last few weeks. I promise to be better. There's only 2 months left in school. Can you believe it???? Me neither. Now I just need to land a great job. Hopefully before I graduate. Cross your fingers! The end is near!


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Call It Like You See It

I gotta say, if you're going to own a strip club, the Alaskan Bush Company is a pretty good name.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Give a Little Bit

The House that Yarn Built Donation Page

If you feel generous, rebuilding New Orleans is a great way to spend your donation dollars. I heard about this through the Stash and Burn Podcast and felt like I should pass on this info.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Knitting Update

I received the last installment of the Scout's Indie Swag Club. (Sign ups for the new year will be Scout's website on March 10) I'm on the fence about re-upping only because I don't really have a lot of money at the moment. And I have an abundance of yarn. So do I really need to buy more without having a job? Probably not. It's a sad situation though because the yarn and swag has been wonderful! I mean, look at this...

Scout's Swag Feb. 08 Package

The yarn is Raspberry Sorbet and a scarf stick from Romi. I'm not the biggest fan of pink. But this is such a pretty and sophisticated pink. I love it!

Here's a close up of the yarn.

Scout's Swag Superwash Merino- Raspberry Sorbet

I finished the back of the Central Park Hoodie. And today I cast on for the left front. I really do think it's going to be too small. But like any good knitter, I'm going to see what happens. HAHA! You can remind me later how silly this is.

I also found a grain CSA and I'm contemplating joining. But I'm not sure we'll use all the flour, pancake mix, and hot cereal. Although, it would be great to have organic local options around for that. Hmmm.... that's the big decision for the day.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

My Father's Daughter

If you're here for the knitting content, that'll resume tomorrow. But for now, I'm going to address one of my goals for the year- eating locally/organically.

By way of back story, I grew up on a farm in Michigan. Although my father is a physician, we spent the summers working the farm. I pulled weeds, ran water to my dad and grandpa on the tractors, and checked irrigation. I've even helped shear an angora goat, bottle feed a rejected baby, and help deliver a kid. (I had small hands when I was young.) What all this means is that I remember the best strawberries were the ones we picked mid-afternoon from our neighbors farm for shortcake that night. And the best pickles were from fruit dropped by the harvesting tractor brined by my grandma.

Unfortunately, I do NOT have a green thumb. Even worse, I live in a decidedly suburban apartment with a teeny concrete balcony for growing plants. It's just not possible for me to go all Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. But I would like to support local farmers and extend my eating habits to what is freshest and in season locally. Admittedly, I'm in a lucky position living in the Bay Area. There are lots of farms within 100 miles and the mild climate allows oranges in March.

So what to do since I can't grown my own and I want to support the farmers? The answer is a CSA box. A community supported agriculture box is a farm fresh, organic box or produce delivered (or picked up) weekly. I've been doing this for about a month now and I absolutely LOVE IT! I'm trying out a couple of farms at the moment. Eatwell Farm offers weekly or every other week service. And they will deliver eggs as well! Terra Firma Farm does weekly boxes in small, medium, or large. Both have definitely surpassed my expectations which makes choosing one for long term subscription really difficult.

As an example- today I got a box from Terra Firma with carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, leeks, cauliflower, kiwi's, navel oranges, frisee, beets, broccoli, red kale, green garlic, yellow finn potatoes, red cabbage, and chard. I don't even know what to do with some of these! But what a great opportunity to try new flavors. The only downside so far is trying to eat it all before the next lovely box arrives!

So what can you do? Check out Local Harvest and sign up for a CSA in your area. Or take your money to the local farmer's market. I'm actually so excited about this that I would love to get into a grain CSA or even buy a share in a cow. (If only I had the freezer space!)

I can't tell you that I'm off the supermarket completely. And I may never be. But if I can learn to concentrate on what comes instead of what I want, I may end up with a more balanced diet that better reflects seasonality and nutritionally wonderful foods.

I'm off to look up chard recipes!