Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ninja Jewelry Holder Tutorial

Oh, look, it’s me!

Need a jewelry holder? Well, you’re in luck because I did too and, because it’s me, you know it had to involve ninjas or mushrooms.

Even better, it resulted in a tutorial for you!! You know, because I’m cool like that. :)

Ninja Jewelry Holder Tutorial

Step 1: Assemble your supplies.

For this jewelry holder, I used 2 thrifted crystal plates that I got for $2, an old shot glass, and a ninja toy. Make sure that all of the pieces are thoroughly cleaned and dry. You are also going to need some glue. We had some E6000 at my house, but you could probably use any glue meant for glass and be cool, too.

Step 2: Glue.

Put glue on the center of the plate that you are using for the bottom of the jewelry holder and on the bottom of the ninja.

Step 3: Apply ninja.

Put the ninja in the middle of the plate (on the glue you just put there) and press down for at least 10 seconds to secure the bond of the glue just a little. :)

Step 4: Glue the glass.

Put glue all around the edge of the shot glass. Be careful not to put so much on that it drips down the side of the glass. It’s not the end of the world if it does--it just creates more work for you because you’ll have to clean the excess glue off before it dries.

Step 5: Encase the ninja.

Lower the shot glass over the top of the ninja being careful not to get glue on the ninja. Press the shot glass down against the plate for at least 10 seconds to secure the bond of the glue.

Step 6: Glue, again.

Put glue on bottom of shot glass and bottom of the plate that you are using for the top of the jewelry holder. 

Press down on the middle of the top plate for at least 10 seconds to secure the bond of the glue.

Step 8: The Waiting Game.

Let the jewelry holder dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 9: Enjoy!

Put your jewelry on your new jewelry holder and enjoy!

Have you tried this tutorial? Post a picture of what you put inside your shot glass! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sewing for Kindergarten

My daughter is going to kindergarten.

My daughter is going to kindergarten.

Okay, I'm recovered from the shock of writing that sentence.

But seriously, how is she 5 already? Sheesh. People aren't kidding when they say time flies!

Moving on...

She's super excited and I know she'll do great. She's the most excited to meet new friends. She is really good with other kids and makes a new friend where ever she goes, so I'm sure school will be no different.

I'm the most excited to pack her lunches. My friends assure me that this will pass and soon I will dread lunch making, but I'm still looking forward to it. I was a hot lunch buyer for 95% of my elementary school years, so maybe this has something to do with the drive to make her lunches for her.

My dad worked up north on the pipeline for 8 weeks on the job and 2 weeks off, so my mom was pretty much a full time working single mom. She didn't have time to pack lunches. I do not fault her in any way, shape, or form! But it did make this something that is important to me to do for my daughter since I am in a different situation than my mom was.

The 5% of the time that I had a home packed lunch were the days that we stayed the night at my grandparents' house. My Grandma would always pack our lunch and put a little note wishing us well hidden somewhere amongst the fruit, veggies, and sandwich bags. I still have one of her notes in one of my momento boxes. :) I hope it means as much to my kids as it did to me.

Any how, enough with the blah blah and on to the projects!

All this lunch talk has a point. It gave me an excuse to make some napkins and snack sacks for my daughter's lunch box.

For the napkins, I cut 8 inch x 8 inch squares and used a tutorial from Skip to My Lou for making mitered corners for the napkins. You can't really see them in the pictures, but those corners turned out quite nicely...if I do say so myself!

For the snack sacks, I hand embroidered her first name on the front and made a simple zippered pouch. It's just big enough to fit a medium sized apple or just enough snacks for a kindergartner's hungry-for-a-snack stomach.

I'd say we're all set for the big day!

Are you doing anything to get ready for school? Any back to school projects? Share them! I'd love to see!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pokeball Birthday Cake

The kids had a joint birthday party for friends and they love Pokemon, so we had a Pokeball cake!

I used boxed cake mix and added oreo cookies to the mix before baking it in a baseball shaped cake mold. After the cake baked and cool, I frosted half of it with white icing. Then I tried to make red icing, but it turned out pink no matter how much food coloring I added.

Since there was less than an hour before the party was going to start: DISASTER!! But only temporarily.

Luckily, I spotted some cherries that we had in the fridge and they were exactly what the cake needed. And let me tell you, the fresh flavor that they added to the cake made me want to find a reason to use them on cake again!

The black banding part of the cake is made of crushed oreo cookies.

There were no leftovers.

So it was a success after all! Whew.

After we ate cake, the party was pretty much over. So. I cleaned up the yard. 

Moms always get stuck with the clean-up duties, but I made the best of it:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

ABC's of Me for You!

Elycia, who has a cute little blog and shop that I’ve been spying on for about 6 months now, did a series where she shared 28 things about her in 28 posts (sort of). At the end, she still had things left that she wanted to share so she made a post with the ABC’s of her

So, since this blog is newish and I’m just coming back, I thought it would be fun to play the ABC of me game, too. Here goes…

A. Age: 29
B. Bed size: California King…and yet I always end up with about 18 inches of edge to sleep on…thanks, honey.
C. Chore that you hate: Handwashing dishes. I washed thousands of dishes (no exaggeration there) by hand growing up. My mother fancied herself a gourmet cook and used TONS of dishes doing it. We didn’t get a dishwasher until was in high school. I remember that glorious day… Any how, we had to do so many dishes growing up that both my sister and I have sworn off of doing them unless under extreme duress (or lack of eating utensils) now that we are adults. I can load a mean dishwasher, though.
D. Dogs: Will always have a spot in my home and life. Current dogs are a 7 year old rottweiler named Berry and a 4 year old pit bull terrier named Kitty.
E. Essential start to your day:  Brush teeth, drink caffeinated beverage
F. Favourite color: Orange
G. Gold or Silver: Silver (which is weird because it used to be gold. I don’t remember when that changed…)
H. Height: 5'7" on a tall day
I. Instruments you play: Piano, drums, flute when I was in elementary school. I can kind of read music as an adult, but not really.
J. Job title: Human Resources Coordinator for Student and Temporary Employees. I help the temps and students for the second largest research institute at our local University get employed, paid, and terminated.
K. Kids: I have 2. People keep asking if we’re going to have more and the answer is a firm no. Once they outnumber us, it’s going to be all over. Right now we are at least 2-on-2. I can handle an even match-up.
L. Live: In Fairbanks, Alaska.
M. Mother's name: Is two names squished together. It drives her nuts when people call her by only one of the names, so of course my grandmother (dad’s mom) used to do it all the time. Good times. Good times. Her friends call her Aly.
N. Nicknames: I’m one of those people who seems to acquire a new nickname with each new group of people I become acquainted with. The most consistent one is Jewels, though.
O. Overnight hospital stays: 2 total. 1 for each baby I had. :)
P. Pet peeves: It's not as bad as it looks. I have two (underlined if you don't want to read about why) and I have a lot to say about them... Rude sales associates/customer service reps (it’s your freaking job to be friendly and courteous to customers no matter what kind of day you’re having--and you can’t fool me either, I worked in retail for 8 years. If I can provide friendly, courteous service after being elbows deep in a fish tank that needs cleaning to take the customer across the store to the cat toy section to spend 15 minutes chatting about FiFi’s toy preferences, you can suck it up and ring out my groceries with a half-way friendly demeanor) and people who get rid of their pets for the following reasons 1) A new baby has arrived and we just don’t have time anymore. (BS. Babies grow up. There will be time for the pet again. They’ll wait for you. That’s the cool thing about pets and the whole unconditional love thing.) 2) We’re moving and it’s too hard to find a place that allows a (dog, cat, etc). (Keep looking. You made a commitment to the animal to take care of it FOR IT’S ENTIRE LIFE not just when it’s convenient for you. After the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, I saw a picture of a woman holding her dog in the middle of a pile of rubble. No one has an excuse any longer. She can do it, so can you.) 3) They’re old or getting old. (When I was 17, my family adopted a dog who was 13 years old and was left at the pound by her family because she was getting old and was starting to need some extra medical care. She didn’t have cancer or any major illnesses, either. She just needed to be groomed more often and for the infections that she had in her eyes to be medicated. They thought she was deaf, but it turns out she just had matted hair in her ears and could hear just fine when the matted hair was clipped out. Within 2 months, she was a happy, healthy dog and lived for another 3 years with us until she died of old age. She lived with that family from puppyhood to 13 and they left her to rot at the shelter with 3 more good years in her. That’s pretty low, if you ask me. Think twice. Don't take the easy way out. I'm not saying it won't be hard, just that pets deserve our loyalty. They give us theirs, after all.)
Q. Quote from a movie: “Where do thoughts come from? They just appear.” –Empire Records
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: 1 sister
T. Time you wake up: 6:30 am on weekdays, 7-8 am on weekends
U. Underwear: Should be changed daily.
V. Vegetable you hate: Most of them. I think it would be easier to ask which vegetables I like. I was always told as a kid that I would learn to like them as an adult. I’m still waiting for that day, guys.
W. What makes you run late: Procrastinating and thinking I can squeeze more things into 10 minutes than is physically possible.
X. X-Rays you've had: Back/Neck (fell off the deck—no breaks!), Leg (fell off my bunkbed—no breaks!), Teeth (for check-ups), and lots more times for my back (I have slight scoliosis-n-old sports injuries-n-junk)
Y. Yummy food that you make: I make all kinds of yummy foods! My favorite dinner to make right now is Mongolian Beef. My husband’s favorite for me to make is biscuits and gravy. I also bake a mean cake and love to play around with different cupcake creations. I grew up cooking and baking with my mom and grandma, so I attribute my food’s yumminess directly to their influence on me at that young age.
Z. Zoo animal: Giraffes and bears. I know they’re big animals, but I’m always surprised at exactly how big they really are in real life. Also, sea otters, but I prefer to see them in the wild over the zoo. I still go visit them at every zoo I go to, though.

And that’s the ABC's of me. If anyone else wants to play, please put a link in the comments section so I can see yours, too! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Resurrection and Cake

Last night, I resurrected some posts that got jacked up in the Blogger whatever-that-was a couple of weeks ago. That was fun. I was already having issues without all the technical difficulties going on with the blog. Apparently my Backpost Series threw some added wrenches in the mix. Oh well, some good words were lost, but others have been found. It's all good.

In other news, both my kids had birthdays in the last couple of weeks. I bought a cake for one and made a cake for the other. Funny how having a birthday on the weekend changes things, huh?

I'm trying not to beat myself up about the whole bought a cake thing. I work full time and have a very full life. Of course I'm going to have a hard time baking a cake during the week. I baked cupcakes for daycare, but pulling together a cake on top of that just ended up being too much for me. I'm not afraid to say and write for the world to see (haha) that I'm not superwoman. I can't do it all. So the boy got ice cream cake and chocolate chip cupcakes for daycare.

He's 3. It's cake. He was happy so I am, too. My husband thinks I beat myself up about this stuff too much. I think he's right.

My daughter's cake was a bit different since her birthday fell on the weekend. I had time to make up a cake without having to pull an all nighter. She wanted strawberries and oreo cookies, so I produced this:

Along with the ones on the outside, I added strawberries and oreos to the inside of the cake, too.

I was delicious (if I do say so myself!). We all had a hard time stopping at one piece.

And the best part about the whole thing is that it was super easy to make. I used a box of vanilla cake mix and made it up as directed. Before adding it to the pan, I mixed in 1 cup of oreo cookies and about a half cup of strawberries (it could have used more, I think). After that, I poured the batter into the pans and sprinkled more oreos on top.

The pink frosting I used was Pillsbury Strawberry flavored frosting. It had too much artificial strawberry flavoring in it for me, but the kids loved it. Definitely going to make that one again.

And, since I mentioned the cupcakes, here they are:

The other kids at daycare think I make the best cupcakes on the planet. We should totally make more desserts for kids. They totally appreciate it and will show you by making a big fuss about when they can have more. It's a good feeling. :)

What have you been making lately?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Insomniatic Jam

It was a productive bout with insomnia about a week ago. Not so much tonight. Oh well, I'll just eat the jam instead of make it this time. :)

Strawberry Freezer Jam made at 1:00 am
It's tradition! May wouldn't be May without freezer jam.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brownie Pecan Pie

I wish I could take credit for this brilliant idea, but I saw it on TV one late, insomniatically charged night. Some chef was helping this woman with 1600 kids make a homemade dinner and this was their dessert. It looked so easy that I had to try it.

Here's how I made it:

  • Box of brownie mix
  • oil, water, eggs as directed on the box of brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup more water
  • Pecans
  • Pie crust
Combine brownie mix, oil, and water (all of it!) in a bowl and pour into the prepared pie crust. Put the pecans on top and bake in the oven as directed on the brownie mix box, but add about 10-15 extra minutes. It maybe more or less depending on your area so keep an eye on it. When it starts to look like brownies do when they're done and/or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean then you can take it out of the oven.

Play around with it. Let me know what you do. I think this would be good with some raspberries or maybe even some coconut  flavoring? Hmm....chocolate goes with so many things...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

We Love it Outside

My family loves it outside so much that we took a trip to the river to cook some hotdogs and roast marshmallows. We explored and ate our first s'mores of the season. It was fantastic.

I love summer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Backpost Series Post 3: April

Ah, April.

The beginning of melting snow and warm months. The sun feels really nice after the cold, dark winter. Also, the moose use our property less in the summer. Added bonus for me! :)

In the last installment of the Backpost Series, I'm sharing the month of April with you.

Check it out!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Case for the Nook

This lucky girl got a Nook (electronic reader in case you're like me and had to look it up the first time you heard about it) for this past Christmas. I've been needing a case for it and decided to sew my own instead of drop $30 buying one from the store.

I just adapted that good old reversible pouch tutorial (again) to fit my new favorite gadget. 

See that? I'm sewing a zipper. After that first zipper, it's all gravy. I was intimidated by zippers and then I sewed one on a bag. Sure, you have to pay attention when you're doing it, but I already do that to avoid sewing over my fingers--hey, it's a totally real possibility; I've come pretty close a few times over the years. Don't get me wrong. Mistakes are still made, stitches are still pulled, and swear words are still uttered.

But zippers aren't as scary as I originally thought they were.

From start to finish, it took me about 3 hours to complete with my somewhat proficient sewing skills and my should have been tuned up 5 years ago sewing machine.

Here's what I came out of the whole deal with:

The hard case for the Nook pictured above was gifted to me with the Nook (minus the mushroom sticker which I added to make it more my style), but I wanted something soft to protect my precious in addition to the hard case. This fits those wants quite nicely.

Don't be scuurd. Try it out for yourself! Then stop by here and share your creations with me. I'd love to see them!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Backpost Series Post 2: March

Though I have few pictures to prove it, March was also a busy month. You know, now that I think about it I wonder what month isn't busy for us anymore! :) 

I hear that the lower 48 states (we mean that geographically not derogatorily, by the way) usually start experiencing spring in March. Lucky for you guys!! We've got another 1-2 months of snow on the ground that time of year. Interior Alaska's cool like that...or something.

In the second installment of the Backpost Series, I share the highlights of the month of March with you.

Check it out here!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Want to know how I made the rainbow cupcakes from Wednesday's post? It's actually pretty easy. It takes extra time for mixing and splitting up the batter, but the results are totally worth it!

In case you'd like to give it a try, here's how I did it:

Supplies Needed
2 boxes white cake mix
Oil, eggs, water to make the cake mix
Large mixing bowl and spatula
Measuring cups and spoons
6 medium bowls
6 table spoons
Gel food coloring
Muffin/cupcake pan
Cupcake wrappers
Frosting, sprinkles, candy, etc for decorating
Cooling rack

I started out with the same method as I used for the rainbow birthday cake I posted about here.

Stop using the cake recipe after the batter is colored and get out your trusty muffin/cupcake pan and cupcake wrappers.

Using a table spoon--as in spoon from the table not a measuring spoon. You know, like this:

Okay, using the table spoons, scoop one color of batter gently on top of the next. Gently because you want the bottom layer to show on the bottom and not up the sides or on the top of the cupcake. You can't control how it bakes and it will do all kinds of cool tie-dye type things, but if you want it to resemble a rainbow then be careful when you layer the different colors of batter.

I like to do this part assembly line style filling one color at a time. It's monotonous but seems to make things go by a little bit faster. With that said, I can never resist the urge to make up just one with all the colors for fun. :) Try to resist. It's hard to do.

Don't be scared to fill the pan. 2/3 of the way full is what we're aiming for, but the more you add the bigger the cupcakes (generally speaking). I'm all for more cupcakes, so I say fill 'em up!

Once the pan is full, pop it in the oven for however long the box says to bake cupcakes. I generally like to check them at the earliest time listed on the box. That way I can pull them if they're done or give them another minute or few as needed. You can always cook them more, but you can't go back once they are over-cooked.

Slap some frosting and decoration on those babies and call them good!!

Other Things I Learned Along the Way
  • Use white cake mix. Yellow cake mix leaves the colors washed out looking. If you don't mind that then go for the yellow cake mix (or add the egg yolks to the white cake mix). If you want bright, vivid colors then use white cake mix. I learned this one the hard way, folks.
  • Use the cupcake wrappers. It will save you headache and heartache after you're done baking. For some reason, the batter is just a little more sticky than without the food coloring. It likes to stick to the pan. Another lesson learned the hard way over here.
  • If you want a rainbow, then pay attention to the order you are using for the colors. Even then, you may not get a rainbow. Baked goods are unpredictable like that. Just keep in mind that no matter what, you'll have a colorful result.
  • Don't add too much food coloring. You will be able to taste it. Just start with a few drops and keep adding until you have the color you want. The colors will get richer when baking, so if the red isn't red enough for you then bake a cupcake and see how it turns out. You may be surprised that the batter bakes up darker than it looks in the bowl.
  • Be prepared to share the recipe if you take this to parties or other events. Everybody loves a rainbow cupcake.
  • If you mess it up, who cares? Everybody loves a cupcake...even a weird colored one.
I found out recently that the Kaylah of the Dainty Squid also wrote a rainbow cupcake tutorial. I wish I'd seen it before my foray into rainbow cupcake baking. Actually, on second thought, I'm kind of happy I didn't see it first. We really enjoyed eating all the tester cupcakes before I found a method I liked best. Check out her tutorial for more tips!

If you bake them, please come back and share! I'd love to see your creations!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Backpost Series Post 1: February

February was a busy month for me. Since it was the shortest month of the year and there wasn't enough already going on, I figured it would be a fabulous idea to leave the state for a week. You know how I do. :)

In the first installment of the Backpost Series, I share the highlights of the month of February with you.

Check it out here!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Letter to the Blog (and it's Readers)


How’ve you been, my dear blog?

I’m so sorry I missed your birthday… It was an important day. That was really rotten of me. Here, I brought you some cupcakes. Can we have a talk?


Aw, come on…I know you’re upset and you should be.

But, you also love cupcakes…



*quiet munching noises*

I wanted to tell you that I’ve been making things and every time I do, I think of you.

We need to fix our little relationship here, don’t you agree? This tend to you every few months thing just isn’t working. It’s making you sad. It’s making me sad. This is supposed to be our happy place!

You should know that I’m different now from when I started you. No worries, I still love mushrooms and ninjas. It’s just that some things have shifted inside of me—patterns are constantly being made and remade and I think differently now.

I want to share more than just DIY projects and crafts now. I want to share more about me and the things that I love. I want to become part of the online community of crafters and handmade lovers across the world. I want you to be a part of that.

So, let’s do a little experiment, shall we?

For the next month, I’m going to follow a loose blogging schedule. I’ve made up a list of things—both crafty and not—that I want to write about. I’ve even started a few of the blog posts already. For the next month, I’m going to just write about what I want to write about. But don't worry! I'll fill you in on what I did while I was gone with some back posts for the months of February, March, and April (one per month). I’m also going to give you a little makeover. Maybe a new banner and layout? I know this is all very fast. We can talk about that part later. :)

So, there will still be posts about ninjas and mushrooms and about making ninja and mushroom related crafts. There will just be more stuff, too.

Want to try it out with me?

Much love,


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Backpost Series: April in Review

This is dated April, but I wrote it in May 2011 as part of my Backpost Series. I took a hiatus from the blog for 3 months in the beginning of 2011. Just sharing what happened while I was away!

These are my new Chucks and I love them.

I don't really think anymore needs to be said about that. Pretty self explanatory, right? Well, other than that they are awesome. Everyone should have some colorful shoes, I say.

Easter Egg Hunt!

My mom always invites us over for an egg hunt and food on Easter. You can count on Mom (and company) for fun and good food. We usually hunt the eggs first. Since the kids are still pretty young (2 and 4), we hide the eggs pretty much out in the open. My daughter told me that "the Easter bunny isn't very good at hiding things." I think we're going to have to step it up next year...

See that egg my daughter is picking up in the picture below? It was bigger than her head. And there was more than one of them. Craziness. No child needs that much candy.

Are you reading this, Mom!?! Let me repeat this just in case you missed it.

No child needs that much candy. Ever.


Oh! And, yes, that's snow on the ground. The weather was kind of warm, but...yeah, it's interior Alaska. Keep reading this blog and you will learn to expect snow in April like I do.

Other Events in April

We also celebrated my husband's birthday. It was pretty relaxed. We're kind of turning into boring adults now. Kids have a way of doing that to you. So does having a job that you have to get up early for and arrive to on time. Talk about party pooping. He did get to travel south for one last round of snowboarding at Alyeska. So I don't really feel toooooo bad for him and his old person party...

Aaaaannnnddd our family went to our first indoor professional football game. Go Fairbanks Grizzlies!!

How was April for you?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Backpost Series: March in Review

This is dated March, but I wrote it in May 2011 as part of my Backpost Series. I took a hiatus from the blog for 3 months in the beginning of 2011. Just sharing what happened while I was away!

The little orphan moose calf

I live on moose alley. They have a beaten path through my yard. My dog had to save me from being trampled by a particularly ornery one 3 years ago. They stalk me. These moose really need to get a life. Well, that is, all except this little orphaned moose calf. She can stop by and eat our dead leaves anytime she wants. She's shy, but freaking adorable!

See all that snow? 

Yeah, in Interior Alaska, spring doesn't come until the end of April/beginning of May.  That little moose calf is standing in about 2 1/2 feet of snow or so.

Cabin fever, people. It happens more than I'd like to admit.

Not many pictures from March other than these. How many pictures of sledding can a person take? The answer at my house is 127.

Other than sledding and moose calves, I tried my hand at painting, too...

I think it turned out okay. Or it did until I used too thick of a varnish layer and made the red run. Oh well, at least it was just a personal project and not a gift for someone. Follow the directions when they say "light coat" because it's not just a suggestion. It's truth.

So, what did you do in March? When does spring start for you?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Backpost Series: February in Review

This is dated February, but I wrote it in May 2011 as part of my Backpost Series. I took a hiatus from the blog for 3 months in the beginning of 2011. Just sharing what happened while I was away!

February was a busy month. 

But I still found time for a wee bit of recreational shopping...just odds and ends here and there. The octopus ring in the picture below was a pick-up from February and still something that I wear everyday.

Early February Favorites: Raspberry cheesecake cookies and my octopus ring.

In other news...has anyone else try the raspberry cheesecake cookies at their local Subway sandwich chain? I rarely eat at Subway (maybe 3 times a year), but stopped in for lunch one day in early February. What should my wandering eyes fall upon, but this delicious cookie goodness. There was only 1 left. I'm so glad I grabbed it. If you have the chance, try them. Are they still around? I may have to make a stop by a Subway for cookies...

You know what? Forget that. Anybody got a recipe for raspberry cheesecake cookies they want to share?

Sewing for a Purpose

The need was there and my sewing machine (and I) answered.

Don't you love the mushroom fabric?

Fly Me Away

The reason why February was so busy is that I spent the month preparing for, flying to, running around in, and returning from Portland, Oregon.

Good times were had. I made 20 new pals and changed a lot. Talk about a productive trip! Since I started out my trip a bit apprehensive about leaving my kids for the longest period of time since I had them, I'm really glad it turned out as well as it did. And you know what? My family survived just fine without me. :)

Enough about my apprehensions, though! On with the Portland show!

The Lion and the Rose Victorian Bed and Breakfast

I stayed at the Lion and the Rose Victorian Bed and Breakfast. It was a beautiful house with a very friendly staff and a quiet atmosphere. One of my favorite things about it was the walkway up to the front door. Lions flanked the stairway (click the picture above for a larger view). So cool!

My reason for going

I'm a Shivanaut, friends. Not only that, but I went to a training program and became a certified teacher. Part of my certificate is pictured above. This is where I gained my 20 new comrades and new view on things. I'm still figuring the whole thing out, but I'm also very glad that I went!

Portland Zoo!

My camera battery died after the Alaska/Northwestern animal section. So you just get pictures of Alaskan/Northwestern animals here. :) My favorite animal is the sea otter so I always make a point to stop by the sea otter exhibit of all the zoos I go to. Although, I am spoiled and get to see them in the wild, this is the next best thing. The day was drizzly, but I still enjoyed myself.

Hoyt "Trail Hell" Arboretum

I was supposed to meet someone, but got lost at the Hoyt Arboretum instead. Forever more, Hoyt Arboretum will be dubbed "Trail Hell" in my book. I later found out that my traveling companions of 2 stuffed river otters and my purse containing my wallet and bus passes were probably not the best supplies to take on a 200 acre hike in the woods. You would think an Alaskan would know this. And yet, I did not expect to find a forest so close to a major metropolitan area. Oh well, live and learn...

Portland is a beautiful city. I loved it there. I want to go back and explore some more. They have grilled cheese sandwich buses and delicious food, lovely shops of all shapes/varieties, and beautifully mural-ed buildings. No coconut coffee flavoring, but I'd let that go to stay there for a few weeks. Visit if you have a chance.

After getting home from my trip, I spent the end of February getting back into the swing of life after the trip. It's amazing how a change in your schedule can screw you up for weeks! But the trip was so needed and worth it that I am not sorry I went. It's so hard to take time away from the family and work for myself, but it's so necessary. I always forget how much better I function after stuff like this. It's like a reset button--as cliche as that sounds. Everything needs a reset now and again.

So how was your February? :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Big Plans and a Mushroom Scarf for 2011!!

Hi! How've you been? I've been....up to stuff. Stuff that I had a lot of fun making. And stuff that I will be sharing throughout the course of this weekend and next week!

For instance, stuff like finishing the mushroom scarf.

And playing outside
while wearing the mushroom scarf.

I have big plans for 2011 and the list is growing all the time. Which reminds me--I really do need to sit down and write the list down before I forget it...

Stay tuned for more posts and projects in 2011. More frequency, more fun, and more ninjas and mushrooms! This is one of the things on my list. What's on yours?