Archive for January, 2009

Shannon photoshoot

January 30, 2009

As I was hanging my new kitchen photography the other day I was very distressed. I just KNEW Shannon was going to be upset at seeing numerous pictures of Kayla… Julie… Lee…  I scrounged around and found an old one that was down in my scrapbooking room from when I went on a cruise with her and stuck it up. It was a feeble effort. And the one I picked? She thought her arm looked fat.

I thought I better offer to do a photo session of her in order to rectify this injustice.

Oh– and can somebody explain to me how to make this wordpress blog wider so I can have nice BIG pictures for you all to see?? Or better yet– can you just do it for me?? ;)

Now on to the star of the show. Isn’t she cute?

She did what I told her :) Even when it was weird stuff like this.

Couldn’t decide: black and white or color?

oooh wintery drama

I’d like to take a poll. Which one or two are your favorites? It’s so interesting to me how different things are aesthetically pleasing to different people.



January 30, 2009

Everything is covered in ice. The trees, the roads, the barbecue grills.

It’s like a Narnia wonderland out here.

The roommates and I undertook what turned out to be quite the feat: shoveling the driveway. Underneath the six inches of snow was a wonderful little layer of inch to six inch thick layer of ice. My tool of choice? The three pronged hoe. <no comments, please> AKA “the claw of death.” And so I hoed and hoed <quit your snickering! i told you no comments!> and just tore that ice up. I’m pretty much miserably sore.

We were quite proud of ourselves.

American gothic, anyone? :)

Kitchen photography

January 27, 2009

So– it’s a SNOW DAY!! It’s pretty awesome because here in Louisville they definitely freak out about the weather about 100 times more than anybody in Missouri ever did. But, hey, I’m not complaining. I am still in my pajamas and its 2:32pm. Ooh– sorry about that little fact, all of you people who are still at work today.

When I have a day like this I jump into productivity mode. One of my topmost exhilirating life experiences is to cross things off my to-do list (man, that makes me sound like a BIG loser, doesn’t it?) Anyways… today I tackled a bunch of projects… including my taxes (bleh!).

For awhile I have been thinking that I need to print and display more of my photography. Often times it just gets relegated to the digital shelf.. and I might reminisce when it pops up on my screen saver, but I thought I should give my poor pictures a little more chance to be appreciated. So, I bought some of these awesome photo wires from Photojojo and got to work.

That kitchen wall was just crying out to have something hung on it

And so I obliged.

They’re super simple. I stuck them up with thumbtacks. That’s right people! Thumbtacks!

They have cute little silver weights at the bottom to hold them straight.

I just love my new wall decor

Too bad my kitchen on the whole doesn’t look as pretty right now.

#1) Yep, that’s definitely still a Christmas tree up!

#2) Where i am sitting right now writing this little message to you when I should be doing Greek. Shhhh…. don’t tell.

#3) Our handy little key hook. Everytime you come in, you just hang your keys there… that way you never lose them. I can think of a certain boyfriend of mine who would probably benefit greatly from a little invention like this. Let’s see if he catches this little comment ;)

#4) Diet Dr. Thunder. That’s right folks… only the best drink ever. And only like $2.38 for a 12 pack at your local WalMart. I have also heard that this drink, from scientific investigation is the proven winner for making people burp the most. I can neither confirm nor deny the truth of that statement from personal experience. :)

#5) Laundry… spilling out of the room. Does anyone else have this problem?

#6) A welcome mat that my sweet brother gave me for Christmas. It hasn’t yet made it to its appointed spot of welcoming. Is that bad?

Alright alright… enough messin around. Time to go cross more off my to-do list!!


I went to China once…

January 23, 2009

So… you might could say that I have some time to kill.

I was just looking back through old pics, and thought that you might enjoy some pics from my China trip in 2004 and the pretty hilarious stories they bring back to mind.

*NOTE* These are not professional pics… they are just from my point and shoot from 5 years ago… so if you want to hire me, your pics will look better than this :) <end of disclaimer>

This is grandma. She was precious and her family ran the hotel I stayed at. We couldn’t communicate at all… so I would act things out… things like computer <dianow> and bathroom :)

On the whole… Chinese food in China was A-MA-ZING. But sometimes we would get fun little things like this guy. For chicken soup… they just throw that whole darn chicken there in the pot! Check out its gobbler!! (or what is that thing called??)

And see these “horses?”

yeah, everything in China is smaller. Including the horses. The Chinese guys looked at us, not so sure we wouldn’t break their horses. But they assured us that no, they have had lots of big, fat Americans ride on the horses!

And then, the big fat americans that we are, we rode *as a 14 year old girl walked up the whole stinkin mountain, leading our horses* That is, until mine decided to tear off *running as fast as he could* down the side of the mountain. I was laying back completely flat on my back as branches whooshed over my head. Otherwise I might have ended up like Absalom.

Look at these freakin precious babies:

Here’s the piggy gettin washed that I just saw sacrificed. My favorite part? Watchin its intestines get squeezed out and then eating them later…  <oh, and check out the awesome hat in the background>

and there is our little piggy, roasting. Best stinkin pork I’ve EVAH had. seriously.

Here’s me… back there in the orange shirt… at a mud house in the Himalayas.

What am I doing, you ask?

Oh, just chopping rotten potatoes in part of an old tire with a machete to give to the pigs. You know, everyday stuff. (oh, and no comments on the ‘blond’ hair, please)

Oh, and we had to bring a gift to our hospitable guests. We brought a chicken. Shortly after this picture was shot, the chicken started pooping and pecking, and much screaming ensued. :)

Here’s me and some awesome ladies.

More stinkin cute kids that were followin us around.

Buddhist prayer flags at this temple we hiked up a mountain and found

Ummmm here’s me with a monkey. And an awesome double chin.

And my sweet friend, chattin it up. It’s what she does best. :)

This is how we ordered our food <aka the best stirfry EVER.> We would go up and point at stuff and they whipped it up… wok style.

And these are our feet (fresh with henna from India–yeah the Chinese thought we were *so* weird) on *THE* bus. You NEED to hear that story sometime… and preferably when Christina and I tell it together. Or maybe its just way funnier to us.

And this is how we felt on said bus ride.

Maybe I shouldn’t leave you with that face. How about some pretty flowers instead?


We’re all in this together

January 19, 2009

I hope my life will be an example in 2009 of what this video encapsulates. Friends, we are in this together.

Thanks to Katie for this video.


Flowers, Cupcakes, and Really, Really Cute Owls

January 16, 2009

Now, I’ve never been a huge Valentines Day kind of girl. Somehow the holiday is just not the same when all you have to look forward to is some pajamas and chocolate from your mom. (But Mom, if you’re out there, I really do love getting Valentines packages still! :) This year is a little different. Not only do I have a honey… but February 14th just also happens to be his birthday! In addition to those two things, we will be traveling to Chicago that weekend for his cousin’s wedding which is *also* on Valentine’s Day this year!

Anywho.. on a recent trip to Target (honestly, is there anyone out there that doesn’t just love that store?) I picked up a few things to decorate with. I transformed our kitchen and eating area into a little Valentines scrumptiousness, and I thought I should share :)

Well, there’s the window cling-ons.

And the really cute placemats…

Oh and did you see the flowers on the table? My uber sweet boyfriend sent me some pink stargazer lilies– which are only my FAVORITE!! This is round 2 of the flowers… there were more in a different vase that I had to toss already, but four of the ones he sent were buds, and so they are now blooming. It’s like the gift that just keeps on giving!

Oh– by the way, this next shot is SOOC (straight out of the camera…no editing whatsoever). It’s a tad overexposed, but I thought it was pretty and had sort of an ethereal quality about it… so I didn’t even touch it!

Oh, and this next one is SOOC too!

I found this heart shaped teacup and saucer that must belong to my roommate. I washed it out before the picture, and it left these sweet heart shaped rings on the counter… how fun is that! This pic is processed two different ways… the second one using the Boutwell’s In-Faux-Red action.

And then there’s the tea towels. I just love these lil darlins!

Yes you need to see that cupcake-y goodness up close.

Oh– and this pic is from a couple of months ago… but it’s about chocolate, which definitely means it goes with Valentines Day :)

Do you know what this is, people? You should all be very, very jealous right now… because this is a box of chocolates from my boyfriend’s family’s store. They have been making homemade chocolate and ice cream and all kinds of other yumminess for 100 years. Too bad there’s no more chocolate left in this box…

I’m thinking of getting my craftyness on this Valentines and making a few things in the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living. One of those is these adorable antique Valentines. Back in the day they would make these “purses” that you wrote poetry along the edges to be read as it was unfolded. What a quaint, romantic idea, huh?!


And my last little fun surprise for you… Did you notice that pot on my stove? Well, I really was cooking. I made a batch of Aunt Jana’s Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It is a favorite in our family, and we make it every Christmas Eve. I love it so much though that I’ve probably made it 5 or 6 times this fall/winter. Since it’s so chilly out there, how about you stay in and make you a nice pot of soup?? :)

Aunt Jana’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 6 T. vegetable oil
  • 8 corn tortillas, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 cooked chicken breast halves, cubed

Garnishes: Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, Avocado (pitted peeled and cubed), Sour Cream, 2 corn tortillas, sliced and fried crisp

Directions: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro and onion. Sautee 2-3 mins. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Add salt and cayenne. Simmer 30 mins. Remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Reheat. Garnish with Mont Jack, avocado, sour cream and tortilla strips.

Let me know if you give the recipe a try! Or heck– just leave me a comment to say hey! I’d love to know if you’re reading!!!


So others can simply live…

January 13, 2009

The Lord has been doing a lot of work in my heart, I think over the last several years, really, thanks to the influence of many godly, amazing friends and other experiences the Lord has allowed me (such as living in a mud hut in the Sahara desert for 5 months) to teach me about money, possessions, global poverty, and stewardship. I won’t explain too much now, but wanted to share a couple of quotes that have stuck in my brain as of late, and one blog entry that I think you should each read. I pray that 2009 might be the year that we would stop living so foolishly, but would live out of a compassionate, overflowing God-sized love instead.

  • “Live simply so others can simply live.”
  • “I believe that God wants to show us that a lot of fulfillment actually comes from denying ourselves from the material and opting for giving ourselves instead.” -my studly boyfriend

How are you going to change the world this year?


Outside my house in Niger with some of my favorite kids (and no, in case you were wondering, there DEFINITELY wasn’t wifi)


Faves from 2008

January 12, 2009

I didn’t keep up with blogging as well as I’d hope…there’s always next year right… or I mean… this year. Can anybody else freakin believe it is 2009? I graduated high school in 2000— that means I’m officially OLD. But, I always have my boyfriend and brother-in-law to tease… they’ll always be a year older than me!! :)

In 2007 I tried to do Project 365. I’m sure I just wore out my friends and family by whipping out my camera every single day (not that I really do it any less now) saying “Guys! I have to! It’s the picture of the day!”. It was fun… but I definitely needed at least a year long break. As a way of reflecting on the year, I thought I’d browse through my pics and post some favorites that didn’t make it on the blog previously. Some of these will likely just come from my point and shoot… just b/c I like them or the memories associated with them…

This one is in here b/c its the first pic of me and my man :)


Christmas Decoration

January 8, 2009

I’m a little behind this year. The tree got put up later than I’d like (and so I’m compensating and haven’t taken it down yet- ha!) And so, yet again, I’m a little behind on blogging these pics I took of some of my holiday craftiness etc.

This year I made bookmarks (but only for the family members/friends that I knew would appreciate it :) and had them double as gift tags. My mom’s got lost in transit to St Louis, and thus made for a present nobody knew who it belonged to on Christmas morning :) Never fear though, my sis found the bookmark in her trunk and mailed it mom’s way :)

One night I was feeling crafty and had seen this idea for an ornament. Julie was over, and although she wasn’t feeling especially crafty, I oftentimes subject her to my crafty whims, and so, she made this creation, which at first we thought was hideously tacky, but now has grown on me quite a bit!

While I was photographing the tree, I snapped this one of my precious first Christmas stocking

And this last one is NOT an example of good photography, but I just thought you should see how absolutely ghetto our tree is… and the nice little lean it has to it :)