oh, the flu...

Last week, Deric had the flu. I took good care of him-- cleaned the house & his Kleenex piles, fed him, force-fed him Nyquil & worse-than-Nyquil-cough-medicine, and prayed to the Good Lord I wouldn't catch it from him. He finally started feeling better late Saturday and I thought I was in the clear...hooray!

But then I woke up Sunday morning. Sore throat, congestion, and a little dizziness. Dum dum dum. And its only gotten worse. So now I'm being force-fed Nyquil and whining about how much my throat hurts. Good thing Deric feels better 'cause I can be a tough patient :)



Like the new look? Today while I was at work, I stumbled across Aviary, an online mini-photoshop. I was pretty excited, seeing as I'm never going to pay gazillions for the real Photoshop. So, thank you Aviary for my new blog header!

(Yes, I realize it's not a very complex design. I can only do so much on my first try!)

Pizza Sundays

Deric and I started a tradition without even realizing it: Pizza Sundays! Pretty simple, pretty self-explanatory. But I'll explain anyways;)

After church, all we can think about is food and a glorious, three-hour long nap (not kidding). Now, I hate boring sandwiches and Deric has sandwiches every day at work, but we definitely don't want to make anything that requires a lot of time (or dishes), so we always end up making pizza. Its perfect: takes about twenty minutes start to finish, it's deeelicious, and there's hardly any dishes. And even better, its super cheap thanks to Walmart's $0.40 pizza crust. So without fail, every Sunday has become Pizza Sunday.

So good.

I've realized that while I've had more experience making "real" meals, Deric's pizzas are always better than mine. No idea why, but his pizzas always have that perfect ratio of sauce + cheese and his crust is always better too. He tries to deny it, however, saying that he can't taste the difference...but I think that's because he just wants a head start on his three-hour nap :)


Motivation (I Hope)

This is what our second bedroom looks like right now. Its the dumping ground for all that miscellaneous stuff we don't have a place for, plus storage for summer clothes, extra bed linens, and all my craft supplies. My hope is that by sharing this fiasco, I'll be motivated to clean it all up and get it organized. *I hope.*

I want to eventually use that big desk for crafts instead of our coffee table, which is a pain for projects that take longer than an afternoon. (Speaking of, post coming soon on my latest painting project!) So once I get that painting project done, my goal is to get this room cleared out so I can actually use it for something. We'll see how it goes :)


Easy as Pie?

That expression could not be more wrong.

Last weekend, I felt courageous and made my first attempt at baking a pie from scratch...even the crust. I used the instructions from Joy of Cooking, which made me nervous because what I didn't notice when I started this venture is that there are paragraphs of instructions to read before you even get to the recipe. You need to know how to mix the dough for the crust, how to "cut" in the ingredients for said dough, how to chill the dough, how to roll it, and then how to get it into the pie plate. Here I was thinking that it would be as easy as making cookie dough, but apparently not. Pie dough is way different.

Anyways, after thoroughly reading the instructions over and again (I hate screwing a recipe up and wasting the food), I started the dough. Everything went pretty well until I pulled the chilled dough out of the fridge and couldn't wait patiently until it was warmed up enough. (Joy of Cooking told me that if its too cold, the edges split when you roll it out.) And sure enough, every time I rolled out the dough, the edges split like crazy and it stuck to the countertop (which drives me nuts). Instead of leaving the dough to warm up like I should have, I kept trying and trying because I figured that my hands would warm it up as I peeled it off the countertop and balled it up again and again. No such luck. So finally, I just rolled it out as much as I could and used the broken-off pieces to patch in the cracks. The end result? A crust that looks like a kindergartener made it :) (But we're going for taste, not looks!)

After the crust fiasco was over, I guess the rest of the pie was fairly easy. Maybe the "easy as pie" expression means everything else besides the crust...

Apple slices doused with cinnamon and sugar. I may have taste-tested a few, just to be sure...

Anddd...drum roll please, the final result! 

 Not too shabby. Didn't taste too bad either!

Notes for next time I attempt a pie: leave the dough alone until its ready to be rolled out, thus saving a good 45 minutes of frustration. Leave the pie in the oven for a few more minutes to make the apples softer. And maybe drizzle melted butter over the top to make the top crust softer?

Oh, and make sure you have friends who like apple pie, or else you and your husband will be eating through a gigantic apple pie for days.


thanks, paige!

A few days ago, I entered a freebie on younghouselove knowing I probably wouldn't win (there were about 2,000 entries). The freebie was for custom silhouettes through nelladesigns and they were very cute. My friend from college, Paige, happened to see the same freebie. She didn't enter though, because she and her husband have a photography business so she just whipped out a silhouette on her own. I saw hers on facebook and thought it looked good, so I told her if she got bored and wanted to make me one, she could :) I'm so nice. About an hour later, she sent me an email with my silhouette! And its perfect.

I'm planning to frame it and add it into the photo collage I put in our living room. I've been meaning to share pictures of the collage, so once I add this I'll get right on it. 

I told Paige she should open up an etsy shop or sell the silhouettes alongside their usual photography work. If she does, I'll let you know. For a glance at her and her husband's business, go here. And if you happen to live around Fayetteville, NC, you should call them for a session!


Etsy Inspiration

 For the past few years, I've tried my hand at painting. Nothing great or grand, mind you, but simple designs and words. I'm much better at painting words than any objects, so I tend to find Scripture or other sayings and paint those alongside a simple design. Its been a while since I've painted, what with moving, starting a new job, Christmas, etc. Today I had the desire to start painting again and the verse about God taking care of the sparrows came to mind. I had no idea where the verse is in the Bible, so I Googled a bunch of various phrases. Come to find out I was thinking about verses in a hymn and the actual Bible verses were a bit long for me to paint, but as I Googled all different combinations, this etsy shop came up!

Everything in it is adorable. Turns out the woman behind this shop, Melissa Burger, also has a great blog too (burgerarts.blogspot.com), so I quickly hit "follow" on her page :) She's got printables, crafts, decor, organization...I'm in heaven. In her etsy shop, she's got all kinds of fabrics and prints available, from the alphabet...

...to beautifully illustrated Scripture. I am so jealous of her talent! 

How cute are the aliens?!

I want to buy every print in her shop. 

(above images from Melissa's etsy shop)

So now I've got some serious inspiration for painting, although I'm not sure I can top her designs :) Ah well, if all else fails, I'll just purchase hers! 

P.S. I've been wanting to recover an old bulletin board to put in our office/guest room, but haven't found cute fabric...I think my problem is solved!


Flashback to my Younger Years

I say that like I'm ancient :) Although today, I do feel kinda old as I realize that I got my driver's license almost seven years ago. Where has the time gone?! I feel like I graduated high school yesterday...

Why am I thinking about my driver's license? Well, after almost six months of living in Indiana, I'm off to the BMV to make it official. Last week my dad and I switched my car's plates from VA to IN, and now its (past) time to get my Indiana license.

And I'm a little bit nervous. You see, I have to take a written test to get my new license. Shouldn't be a problem seeing as I've been driving for a few years now, but I have to admit that when I tried to get my learner's permit, I failed the first time. Shame. So now I'm nervous I'll fail this test and look like an idiot. Thankfully, if I do fail today, I don't have to give my license back or anything; I just have to wait two weeks and take it again. I'd just rather not. So here I sit, trying to remember how many feet it takes a fully-loaded semi to stop in icy conditions; how many feet away to park from a fire hydrant; and what a red light at an intersection means (ha! calm down, I do know that one).

I should probably get back to studying. Wish me luck!


A Whirlwind of a Christmas

It feels like its been a year since I last posted, especially since so much has happened! Christmas was crazy this year, but it was so much fun. We were all over the map Indiana: my sister's for Christmas Eve, back to our house so I could work one day, up to Wabash for an extended family get-together, and back to our house with the family in tow. It all happened so fast that sometimes I feel like it didn't even happen.

This was technically my nephew Isaac's second Christmas (he was born Dec. 17 last year), but it seemed like his first. It was so fun to watch him discover his new toys (and lots of them!).  Our neighbor and close friend from back home in Virginia made him this toy chest-- painted it and put his name on the front and everything! Isaac didn't quite understand the purpose of it, but I'm sure in the coming years he'll learn to hide all sorts of things inside :) He did enjoy closing the lid though, since it makes a nice loud noise.

 Isaac's festive house-arrest bracelet;) Just kidding! He tore it off as soon as he realized the bracelet was causing all that noise when he walked.
(He didn't like the bow much either....)
 Isaac must have thought he needed more presents and proceeded to steal gifts from other members of the family. Uncle Deric took it back though:)

 For the second part of Christmas, our aunts and uncles flew in from California, met up with our grandparents in Michigan, and drove down to Wabash. We stayed at the Charley Creek Inn, this charming and incredibly nice historic inn. Christmas for the extended family consisted of a lot of eating out, tons of Christmas cookies (my contribution to Christmas), and hours spent watching Isaac.
 Grandma & Grandad were given the role of Santa and their favorite, favorite place to shop is Whole Foods, so Santa got a little organic this Christmas...

 Isaac got monster slippers but seeing as he's still perfecting the art of walking, the slippers may have to wait a few weeks. Poor kid couldn't walk more than a few steps in his monster feet.

 Of course, no Smith/Blum family gathering is complete without a little antique browsing...(nope, not related to those Blums, but it is cool!)

 Deric couldn't figure out why the door wouldn't open...

 or why the man wouldn't answer his questions.

 My younger sister found a buddy for her Christmas card, although he doesn't look as thrilled as she is about it:)

 And she found a bike to put on next year's Christmas list!

Sadly, for the last part of our week-long Christmas, there are no pictures. After Wabash, my parents and younger sister came to stay with us. We kept them busy helping with house projects, trips to the DMV to sort out titles & registration for my car, mattress shopping (thank you Mom & Dad!), and as a reward, dinner in downtown Indianapolis at the Weber Grill. Delicious.

We rang in New Year's with pizza and games over at my in-laws' house. Should I be embarrassed that my parents stayed up longer than I did? I barely saw the New Year before I went to bed, but they stayed up bowling on the Wii. And then bright and early the next morning, they began their 12-hour drive back to Virginia.

So now the decorations are down, the house seems empty and too quiet, and Deric and I are back to work after enjoying a week off. Even the snow is gone! So I figure now that Christmas is over, let's skip the rest of winter and go somewhere like this...

Who's with me?