the times are changin'
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

project #5: mason jar lamp

i was inspired by cupcakery in baxter, and then today i saw a blog with a how-to from kara paslay. i didn't really look at the how-to because i'm not good with directions sometimes, and because i was recycling an old lighting cord off a chandelier lamp i don't use anymore. she is making it from scratch, so to speak, here.

1) drill 4-5 holes into the lid. you need multiples so the lamp doesn't overheat. i did this outside. after i did it i looked at her pictures...and i felt dumb. 

2) if using a recycled lighting set, take it apart as much as possible. if you can't get it down to this point, you may not be able to use the cord. 

3)string the cord through the middle hole.

4) put it all back together with the mason jar disk on the other side of the lightbulb-holding contraption.

i just liked this random picture i took.

the next one i want to make is this one:
for the tutorial go here.

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project #4: pumpkin spice snickerdoodles

i wanted to make snickerdoodles (which is basically the same recipe as this but with cinnamon rather than pumpkin pie spice) and found pumpkin pie spice while rummaging for cinnamon. i decided i wanted to be creative and see what would happen. obviously, you can make the sugar cookies from scratch, but i conveniently had sugar cookie dough in the fridge.

1 pillsbury sugar cookie roll
1/2-1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (found on spice aisle)
1-2 tbsp white sugar

1) let the sugar cookie dough soften a little while mixing the sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Basically the sugar:spice ratio is about 2:1. i wound up with a lot left over, so i'd say just start with 1/2tbsp:1tbsp.
2) roll the dough into balls. i used my handy dandy cookie dough scooper--which looks like a melon baller with the handle of an ice cream scoop--but you could use a tablespoon or your hands. 
3) roll the dough ball into the mixture, completely covering. you want more than a light dusting, but don't  much the dough into the spice. 
4) bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes depending on the pan/cookie sheet used.
5) nom nom nom
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Friday, January 28, 2011


you, reader, may or may not know this, but i have a deep desire to do a lot of different things in my life. the one that may be most surprising considering my education and experiences is the one that has been on my mind most as of late--owning a cupcakery.* i haven't decided what i am going to call it or how on earth i am ever going to accomplish this, but it is a dream, even perhaps a calling, that i nevertheless possess.

i have decided it is time to prepare for this venture by baking cupcakes on a weekly or bimonthly basis. never fear, i will be keeping you updated on all my discoveries.

*note: i'm not sure if this dream exactly coincides with my dream to own a coffee shop in a university town, employed by student artists and aspiring coffee connoisseurs, decorated with student/local artwork, which will be a thriving breakfast/lunch bistro-type by day and a solace for studying students by night. time will only tell. but what better way to ensure i spend the rest of my life investing in people's lives over a cup of coffee than owning a coffee shop myself? yes. the cupcakery and coffee shop must go together.
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top five reasons to love cupcrazed cakery

#5: Located in Baxter, not Charleston or Asheville

#4: Eclectic mismatch furniture

#3: Mason jars lighting fixtures

#3: This poster of Jaws eating cupcakes

#1: Great coffee and cupcakes served in antique-y dishes

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

rethink pink

i listened to this broadcast on the Diane Rehm show this morning. it is very enlightening, convicting and entertaining. i've already purchased the book.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

note to self:

don't take Unisom when you're only getting about 6 hours of sleep, even if you didn't sleep well the night before.
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

amazing new website

and by new i mean that i just discovered it
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Friday, January 21, 2011

bruce got a new toy...

...and so did juno.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

project #3: leftover rotisserie chicken spicy asian-inspired stirfry

what to do with the random amount of chicken left on a rotisserie chicken? stirfry of course.
i was going to make the sesame ginger chicken and then realized by dressing was WAY out of date. like over a year out of i decided to make something new with some stuff i had on hand.
now let me go ahead and point out that the stuff i used is not generally "on hand" unless you are consistently cooking asian-style food. i had the ingredients because of a lo mein-esque dish i made from a Rachel Ray mag. so you may not know about a couple of the ingredients, but they weren't that expensive and they're so nice to have in times like this when you want something different.
i made this just for me, and there's a small portion serving left.

all of these measurements are complete guesses and should vary according to personal taste.
1 cup cooked chicken, i used can, of course, use raw meat as well and just cook it longer
1-2 cups frozen stirfry veggies, i get the cheapest there are and they are yum when cooked this way
1 tbsp sambal oelek, you should be able to find this in the international foods section
1-2 tbsp sesame seed oil, using this versus vegetable or olive makes ALL the difference
2-3 splashes of soy sauce, yes, so precise; i put some in while cooking and then added while eating
brown rice, i.e. that's what i like with it, just be reminded that brown takes a lot longer to cook than white unless you're using the 5 minute kind (which is pretty good, but not as good)

a note about sambal oelek:
this is chili paste. no other spices or anything are added. using it adds heat to the dish without altering flavors. i really like it, but if you're not one for adding heat to your mouth beyond fresh hot food, then just leave it out.

it's so complicated...ha.
1. i started cooking the brown rice about 10-15 minutes before i started the stirfry.
2. put all other ingredients into a sauté pan on medium-high heat. stir around to get the oil, etc evenly distributed.
3. cover and cook until the veggies are completely done--this took about 10 minutes i suppose. stir often so it doesn't stick to the pan.
4. serve over brown rice. and NOM NOM NOM

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Friday, January 14, 2011

caught wet-handed

i quietly took the picture by holding my phone around the corner...juno's caught wet handed playing in the toilet bowl. (did you like that play on words? heh heh) 

yeah, juno. that's what i thought. don't you love her "what?" face?

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

snow day(s) cont'd

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banana nut chocolate chip bread

See? It went from full loaf to this in less than 24 hours after baking.

Directions: Refer to banana nut bread recipe here, but stir in 1 cup of milk chocolate chips after you finish stirring in the pecans. NOM NOM NOM!
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

snow day(s)

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

wisdom from psych 101

"Sometimes people subject themselves to stress by internalizing a set of irrational, self-defeating beliefs that add unnecessarily to the normal stresses of living."

i so never do that.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

have you ever...

...been reading your bible in a coffee shop and then find yourself thinking, "if I were really set free by the Gospel then i would have no fear in standing on my chair and preaching the Word to everyone here." rationally you tell yourself, "well that's dumb. how effective would that actually be? they'll think you're crazy and totally not want to be your friend. not that it matters if they're you're friend for friendship's sake, but you come here a lot and want to build meaningful relationships and this may just shoot that relationship that could eventually lead to talking about jesus over a period of time in the foot" but then this deep, disgusting, make-you-want-to-throw-up kind of guilt sets in where you can't even think anymore. you keep hearing in your mind that you're denying christ by this refusal, that you're denying the holy spirit, that you're denying his promises. and then you become convinced that you don't actually understand the gospel and don't actually love jesus because if you did, you would stand up in the middle of the coffee shop and begin testifying the goodness of the Lord. the Lord is good. but that doesn't mean i need to literally shout it in the middle of a coffee shop. right?
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i just used the phrase "this early... the morning" and then i realized how much of a dummy i am considering it's 930am. in my defense i slept maybe two hours of the like nine i was actually in the bed so it feels much earlier than it actually is. but how depressing, considering by 930 i should be moving into the second class of the day at the high school i'm teaching at this semester. wow. fun times.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

i was senseless and ignorant...

"7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; 
   even at night my heart instructs me. " psalm 16:7

as i lay in bed i senselessly and ignorantly denied you were speaking to my heart, Lord, but I must believe it was the Lord who reminded me and led me to these psalms not because He works in superstitious and sensational ways but because He lives and loves and is for me.

32 The poor will see and be glad—
you who seek God, may your hearts live! 

33 The LORD hears the needy 
and does not despise his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth praise him, 

the seas and all that move in them, 

35 for God will save Zion 
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it; 
 36 the children of his servants will inherit it, 
and those who love his name will dwell there.
--psalm 69:32-36

 1 Surely God is good to Israel, 
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; 
I had nearly lost my foothold. 
21 When my heart was grieved 
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you; 
you hold me by my right hand. 
24 You guide me with your counsel, 
and afterward you will take me into glory. 
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? 
And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, 
but God is the strength of my heart 
and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish; 
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. 
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; 
I will tell of all your deeds.
--psalm 73:1-2, 21-28

He will take you
if you run He will chase you
cause He is the Lord
--sufjan stevens

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dali was a little bit of a weirdo

a genius. yes. but weird.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

facebook, cut it out.

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i was awake for over an hour...

...before this happened.
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