Thursday, August 28, 2008


As a child, I remember my parents requiring head protection anytime I desired to ride around our neighborhood and even as a small child, I remember being embarrassed by the dreadfully unfashionable look of typical helmets. Really, it is nearly impossible to not feel like a complete dork when riding around in a traditional helmet. And then, in high school, I went through a big rollerblading phase. I spent hours playing and thinking about playing street hockey, which is an incredibly cool and fun sport, and, being the ridiculously competitive person that I am, often a bit dangerous. Not only was it difficult to not be dorky on a regular basis while making it through the horrendous puberty years of high school, but add in trying to play such a cool sport as hockey while wearing a hideous and obstructive helmet. And, typically, I was the only girl on our street who played. (Somewhere I missed the memo as a teen that I was supposed to get into clothes and makeup and talking about boys like the other girls in my neighborhood. I instead was the athletic and rarely feminine girl on our block.) Luckily, my mother took pity on me at some point and stopped nagging me to wear head protection as long as I kept the knee pads and often wrist pads (which I started wearing on my own anyway, since I was tired of slamming the pavement and nearly killing my wrists). Thankfully, I think my mom understood my need for limiting dorkiness as much as possible. Not to mention the nasty, sweaty helmet hair that always resulted.

But now, they finally come out with something that at least attempts to mask the ugliness of helmets.

It's about time. I'm sure they are probably still a bit clunky, but at least they have a tendency towards fashion instead of ignoring it completely. I would wear one, too bad my bike got stolen back in Arkansas. Mark's did too. But maybe someday, when we can afford to repurchase some bikes, we will add these helmets to our cart. Thanks to AT (one of my favorite design blogs) for bringing these to my attention.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


maybe we will have a Red and White Irish Setter

for now, I'll just look at them online.

pictures from and

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ode to the raincoat… and that beloved Oreo bedspread

There is a quite a lovely rain falling today. It tends to put me into that You've Got Mail, ponderous sort of mood. I feel the need for a nap, but I also want to make some cookies. I'm not sure which will win out right now. Unfortunately with the rain comes my thoughts towards a certain apple green raincoat that I fell in love with at the Gap Outlet a few weeks ago. I could not buy it as our present state of finances does not allow much room for silly clothing purchases, but alas, I cannot forget that coat. Although I cannot purchase it, I've searched for it online and at our local Gap store in hopes of seeing it again, but no, it can only be found on that little rack in the Sevierville Gap Outlet. It is very rare that I come across something in a store which I regret not being able to buy immensely and cannot seem to forget about it for several weeks. I hate these random materialistic obsessions. This will probably turn in to the same story as the Oreo bedspread I didn't buy for my first year of college. Yes, I'm still sorry about that non-purchase 6 years later. I loved that bedspread and matching throw pillow. I'm sure I'm a better person because I don't get what I want all the time, but it really sucks when something sticks with me and I regret not being frivolous every once in a while. Perhaps I'll make cookies.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

our house is a very, very fine house…

And finally some pictures of our lovely little home. There are more on my facebook if anyone wants to see the whole place, but here are some of my favorites:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'll pass this on too

I recently stumbled across this video while reading a design blog. I decided I would put it on here too, not only to share, but so I can find it again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

it's funny that salt makes me smile

I just love the Morton Salt brand. It's silly really, but every time I see it's vintage design and lovely illustration, it just makes me feel nostalgic and smile. It was created in 1914 and there really aren't that many logos out there that have lasted as long as Morton Salt's, although the little girl has gone through changes of her own. The tagline: "When it rains, it pours" is something that I find to be very unique, considering I don't think I would have thought of rain when advertising salt. It is just lovely, and I'm confident that it will continue to be so.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

somedays I wish I had my own cooking show…

but I'm definitely not a good enough chef, I just pretend. This however is a post about how I made my slow cooker lasagna today. It is a delicious recipe and I decided it was time to take pictures. Since the pictures turned out fun, I decided to post them. And since I figure whomever sees these pictures might want to try the recipe themselves, I decided to write out the recipe steps and make it my version of a cooking show on my own blog. So, here it is…

| recipe originally from Real Simple
2-28 ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
Kosher salt & pepper
16 ounces fresh ricotta
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
12 ounces dry lasagna noodles
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed & torn into large pieces (I use baby spinach instead, since I can never find Swiss chard)
12 ounces mozzarella, grated

chopped parsley, oregano, garlic, and cut up baby spinach

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper

In another medium bowl, combine the ricotta, parsley, Parmesan, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Spoon 1/3 cup of the tomato mixture into the bowl of the slow cooker.
Top that with a single layer of noodles (break them as necessary).
Add half the Swiss chard (or baby spinach).
Dollop with a third of the ricotta mixture and a third of the tomato mixture.
Sprinkle with a third of the mozzarella.
Add another layer of noodles and repeat with the other ingredients.

Finish with a layer of noodles, remaining ricotta, tomato mixture, and mozzarella.

Set the slow cooker to low and cook, covered, until the noodles are tender (2 hours).

It is delicious! Try it if you want. Usually only takes about 25 minutes to put it together. Of course, you can always come visit us and request that I make it…

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ikea, guests and oh my… the Olympics

I love Ikea! It was such an incredible experience. We probably could have spent a couple days there, but ended up going twice, stopped on the way up to Maryland and on the way back home. And yes, we bought a guest bed. It was a tough decision, but ultimately we bought the best priced one. I would put up a picture of it, but our guest room is in use for the first time by my parents. It has been a bit of a whirlwind since the trip. We got home around 9 on that Sunday night. Monday, I finished painting the trim in the guest bedroom and bath. Monday night, Mark and I purchased a mattress at a local store, spent some hard work putting the bed up, and finally got the guest room together. Tuesday, I hung pictures throughout the house, cleaned like crazy and got some groceries. And Tuesday night, my parents arrived from Kansas City. Our first guests!

This weekend we took them around Knoxville and saw some of the fun sights. We also went to the Tennessee Theatre and saw the 1937 movie It Happened One Night with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It was so much fun!! The movie was hilarious and even better since majority of the audience probably saw it when it first came out in 1937. The Tennessee Theatre is incredible in itself. It was built in 1928ish and is simply beautiful and historic. We also took them up the Sunsphere, which always gives me a headache, but is a fun outing.

We've been watching a lot of the Olympics this weekend too. The opening ceremonies were so great. But last night took the cake. If you missed the 4x100 men's relay swim, then you missed something amazing! Michael Phelps is the first leg of that relay, but the anchor Jason Lezak dominated. It was the best Olympic experience for me so far. I was jumping up and down and screaming. Watch it, seriously. I love the Olympics!