Thursday, September 30, 2010

it's never too early

Yesterday, I was asked by my sister about my Christmas list. Correction. My Christmas PowerPoint Presentation.
Maybe I should explain...every year my family asks each other what they want for Christmas. Every year my family would spout off random things to one another and hope that someone was listening and taking notes. Inevitably every year, no one would get what they really wanted or could use. My solution to this was to create an easy-to-read Christmas list PowerPoint. Now, I send it as a PPT file via email, but it can be printed out like a normal list. What does it contain? 2 slides. 1) Pictures of the actual gift(s) that are desired, labeled with a number 2) Text that corresponds to each number indicating where it can be purchased, what size, color, etc.
Now, you might say, "That takes all the fun out of gift giving!" or "What about being surprised?". Well, let me also state that I put a wide variety of items on the list knowing good and well that I won't get everything on there. Also, my family tends to slip a few things in that they thought I'd enjoy. Usually, they're right.

So, you see, it really is a win-win-win all the way around. Now, my sister wants me to make one for her.
Here are a few things on my list this year: (this is not a petition for gifts, just an effort to provide a few pictures for today's post)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I love websites and stores that sell cute home/office stuff. Anytime you can replace something ordinary with something fun and random, it's a plus in my book!
For example:
Salt and Pepper Shakers
Kitchen Tongs

Frying Pans

Drink Coasters

Unexpected whimsy trumps mundane matching ANYDAY!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a gift to the grieving

All funerals are sad to some degree. Some funerals aren't quite as sad as others and some are more sad than others. Over the last few years that I've been working at a church, I've had the privilege of doing many funerals. Some of them were frankly, forgettable. I didn't know the people very well or hadn't ever met them. Those funerals are easier to do. Then some of them, I'll never forget. Whether I knew the person or their family personally or if it was just a traumatic and unexpected situation, parts of these funerals will always stick with me.
What I have discovered is that people crave certain things during their times of grief. One is familiarity. Another is comfort. That's where I like to think I can help. By singing a familiar song or hymn, I'm able to provide the surviving family a sense of hope, peace or contentment. I'm sharing with them in their grief and helping them to acknowledge a greater purpose in their temporary sadness.
Today, I'll be singing an old funeral standard, "I'll Fly Away". I think the words of the song pretty much sums of the theme of any funeral.

Some glad morning when this life is o'er,
I'll fly away;
To a home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away

I'll fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I'll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I'll fly away

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I'll fly away

Friday, September 24, 2010

art project

I took on an art project for my boss' office. He's into music. I wanted some still life photography that would be reminiscent of music but not blatantly so. What do you think? Probably a series of these framed in the same frames hung on a wall...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

tonight's the night!

Tonight, Season 7 of my absolute favorite show premieres. Is it bad that I've oriented my evening schedule around said premiere? Sadly, it's the last season that one of the main actors will do the show. So, in essence, it's the last season...

Welcome Back Office.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

my new love

I've fallen in love with Bokeh Photography. It's this super-cool filter that blurs and focuses different parts of a shot. One of my fave Bokeh photographers has a shop with beautiful prints for sale on Etsy. I have a new infatuation with trying to replicate this technique in photoshop. Alas, I have not perfected it. Here are a few of my fave pics from my fave Bokeh photog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the inevitability of it all

1. unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped; certain; necessary: an inevitable conclusion.
2. sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable: The inevitable end of human life is death.
3. that which is unavoidable.
If I could use one word to describe my life, it would be inevitable. It's inevitable that I will always run into someone I haven't seen in 10 years when I am wearing sweats and no makeup in the aisles at Target. It's inevitable that when I'm out to dinner with someone I'm dating that I'll happen to sit next to someone in my family who just happens to be eating at the very same restaurant at the very same time. It's inevitable that if I pick what seems like the shortest checkout line at the grocery store it always ends up being someone who is using 3 different forms of payment, needs 100 price checks and wants to buy cigarettes. It's inevitable that if I proactively try to get ahead at work, I end up doing something that was vetoed.
I'm sure I'll be able to conjure up more scenarios like this's inevitable.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

bootlegs and legboots

This post is for my dear friend Jill...and others, who may or may not share my opinion about boots and skirts. Either it goes!
Tall Boots (defined as boots that reach to the knee or above the knee) can be worn with long or short skirts. Do be careful when wearing any skirt that is over an inch above the knee. Coupled with tall boots, this can be very streetwalker-ish. Anything to the knee or below is appropriate and stylish. Ideally, you're wanting to cover your leg (because it's cold!) but if a little of the knee is showing, it's fine.
Medium Boots (defined reaching anywhere above the ankle and below the top of the calf) can be worn with both long and short skirts. Same caution with super-short skirts as before and a note to avoid the horrid Ugg boots with mini-skirt trend.
 Ankle Boots or Booties should only be worn with shorter skirts. The bottom of the skirt should be at least 4 inches from the top of the ankle boot.
Note on Tights and Fabric:
Tights are almost always appropriate and even encouraged as the weather gets cooler. These can be worn with all boots and skirts but are encouraged if you'll be showing a lot of leg. Go with an opaque or semi-opaque pair and maybe try different patterns.
Fabric: I'd stay away from overly summer fabrics with boots. Since boots are usually of a heavier material, you want to sort of "match" that with your skirt. Tweed, corduroy, denim, heavy cotton/linen blend and knits are appropriate. I'd pass on lighter cottons, rayon, jersey or cotton-poly blends.

there's a chill in the air!

I love Fall. It's truly my favorite season. Not only is it, in my opinion, the most beautiful season, but it is, again, in my opinion, the most anticipated season. After a long summer of hot and humid weather, the cool air is a welcomed friend. Here are my top 10 reasons for loving the Fall, in random order...
1. Cool, mild weather
3. Thanksgiving
4. Leaves that change colors
5. Scarves
6. Cool mornings, warm afternoons
7. Blustery winds
8. Wearing boots with skirts
9. Bonfires and roasting marshmallows
10. Excuses to make chili, soup and stews

Saturday, September 11, 2010

female intuition?

So, all this hype about female intuition apparently doesn't apply to mechanical things. You wouldn't think it'd be hard to put air into one tire of my car, however, $6 and 20 minutes later, my tire actually LOST pressure.

It took a nice man showing me how to push the lever to get the nozzle to actually dispense air for it to work. Oh, and it filled up the tire in about 8 seconds.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

knowledge isn't necessarily power

Over the years I've begun to sharpen my cooking/baking skills. My dad was always the main cook growing up and he learned from his mother, so he taught me most of what I know. However, my mother did have a few "signature" dishes/recipes that were always family favorites and frequently called upon to make. Two of these legendary recipes were Strawberry Jam and Banana Pudding.

The Banana Pudding was always one of my favorites and I knew that my mom's recipe was so different than other people's banana pudding recipes. I always assumed she'd gotten it from someone in her family. Imagine my sadness when, a year or two ago when I wanted to try and make it on my own, I discovered that it was simply a recipe listed on the back of the Nilla Wafer box years and years ago! I was devastated. Thankfully, it is no longer still on there, but my romantic visions of a secret family recipe quickly vanished. I have since gone on to tweak that recipe into something of my own creation...which brings me to the Strawberry Jam.

This one, I was absolutely positive, was a family recipe. I remember making this with my mom, grandmother and great-grandmother EVERY strawberry season. It took at least a day to make properly and when we all got together we made huge quantities and froze the extra. Again, a few years ago my mother and I went to pick strawberries and decided to try the recipe. Imagine my shock when my mom pulls out a box of Sure-Jell clear gelatin and proceeds to read the recipe from the BACK OF THE BOX!! Such heartache ensued.

So, what does this mean to me? Well, I still make both recipes...using the boxes as guides. However, I've come to realize that knowledge doesn't always mean power. Sometimes, it's quite the opposite.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the message of a self-death

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. - 1 Corinthians 1:18

I came across this verse yesterday during my class. We were supposed to be looking at another passage and I accidentally referenced this one. I was immediately struck by the first few words of this verse..."the message of the cross is foolishness". In is. The message of the cross, to die to crucify my own wants, desires and ambitions in order to take up my cross and follow him is indeed foolish.

In a world where everyone looks out for numero uno, this strange idea of self-death is quite radical. And's also frightening. What does it mean to die to myself? It would be quite simple to say that I could give money to the poor, give my time to others and put others' needs in front of my own. But I don't think I've ever been able to truly deny myself (read: my selfishness, ambitions, dreams, wants) for the sake of another person, let alone for Jesus. I've always been able to get something out of something. Serve a meal to homeless people? Get a proverbial pat-on-the-back from coworkers or friends. Volunteer to drive a single mother to her job for a week? Get compensated for mileage.

Everything seems so give-and-take and we always want to get something for our efforts.

But then this amazing nugget comes in at the end of the verse: for us who are being saved, it is the POWER of GOD. There is power in the very act of self-sacrifice. There is power in the seemingly foolish idea of taking up our crosses and following Christ.

what can you expect?

Well, expect to be unexpected. Each blog post will be random and different. Sort of like me. Maybe a post on photography or food? Maybe a post on dealing with coworkers. Or maybe a haiku. You'll just have to check back often to see!