Thursday, January 31, 2008

Freshly Brewed

This morning's coffee brought to you fresh from Costa Rica! Mom and Dad recently visited this Central American country on a mission trip. Mom, being the avid coffee lover that she is, brought back bags of the delicious beans. I am not talking about a bag or two... more like 8 or 10 bags. We are serious about our coffee in this house.

Coffee farms are in abundance in Costa Rica, as in much of that area of Central/South America. Coffee plants grow beside the streets, where you could reach out and grab a few of the berries in which the coffee beans we love grow. Here are a few that Mom brought back. Who would have thought the delicious brown liquid comes from such vibrantly colored berries?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Boy, oh boy... ever have one of those days where you just can't get moving...or don't want to? I feel like I could sit in front of the computer all day today. Except I would probably fall asleep. It is dark and rainy outside and I would love nothing more than to crawl back in bed with a book and stay there for the rest of the day. Even my cup o' joe hasn't given me much of a kick today. As cozy as I feel, I have already been out and about this morning. Dad and I had appointments early this morning to get our second round of vaccinations for our upcoming trip... which may or may not happen. Doesn't a girl deserve to take it easy after getting a shot???

As much as I would like to lounge around, I do have things I need to do. First of all, I have some work to do that I have been putting off and putting off. That is the worst kind, don't you think? The thought of having to do it gets heavier and heavier, making the task seem bigger than it really is. And any extra time I have should be spent practicing. I have a little recital coming up and a couple of auditions on the horizon. The music isn't that hard, but I do need to be in good shape and unfortunately it goes away pretty fast when I don't stay on top of my practicing. Well, I guess I should get moving...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

furniture connoisseur

Haha - so I just took this quiz here to see if I could tell the difference between cheap furniture and furniture by a "famous minimalist sculptor", Donald Judd. The internet is literally full of things to waste millions of hours doing. It is endless. Anyway, back to the quiz. I scored really well - a 92%. Does this mean I have high taste in furniture and I can recognize designer quality? Or...and more likely, does this mean I really know my cheap furniture! Go kill some time and take the quiz. See how refined your taste is. And while you are over there, has other similar quizzes, such as "true art or a fake" and "famous or unknown musician". I think I'll try a few more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

say "cheese"!

What an exciting day! Santa swung by on a FedEx truck this morning and delivered this jewel to me! I have already snapped a few random pictures and can tell I am going to have a lot of fun with my new camera. I have a LOT to learn! Uncle John helped me out with a couple of lenses and a good book so I will quickly be on my way to paparazzi-hood. Be on the look out for GREAT pictures on this blog! Yeah!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday

At about 3:30 AM last night...

Jared returns safely.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

since the year is flying along

If you ever wanted to know how to make a pop-up valentine: here it is!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

worth a thousand words

Sometimes I like to look back through old pictures I have on my computer. I have been fortunate to have traveled and experienced a variety of things over the past few years. I love taking pictures to capture the things I see. They are moments of my life preserved. When I look at pictures I took I can remember the way things tasted, how the sun felt, who I was with... I am surrounded by memories.

Tonight I revisited my trip to the Florida Everglades. I went in late spring, 2005. I have many amazing pictures from that trip. Here is the one I choose to share tonight. I think it speaks for itself.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

my addiction

I got a new espresso maker! I found this super cute one-cup espresso maker in the clearance aisle at Home Goods! I love it! It looks like a fire hydrant!

This morning I decided to do something different from my typical morning coffee and give my new pot a try! In order to get the best possible I had to start with freshly ground espresso beans. I warmed and frothed some milk on the stove and in no time the kitchen was filled with the delicious aroma of espresso!

The perfect amount for a delicious latte. YUMMY!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Before Chrismas gets too far away I want to post pictures of some handmade gifts I gave this year. Giving handmade gifts this year was fun because I was able to personalize the gifts to fit the person. I enjoyed putting the thought into it and was excited on Christmas morning to see the reactions the gifts got.

First I made this purse for Stacy: I used the same pattern as my corderoy purse that she liked. I really like the material in the lining and she has a green coat I thought it would match nicely.
I also made a purse for Mom. It was fun to make one for her because she taught me how to sew and this would be my first project that she couldn't help me at all on (because I wanted it to be a surprise). I bought the fabric in DC and had to work on it in secret - like after she went to bed or when she was running errands. It was the first purse I made without a pattern and it was a good experience. A few things did not work exactly as I had hoped so I had to modify and adapt, but I am pleased with the final product. Mom was shocked that I had pulled it off without her suspecting a thing and she loves the bag - success!

Lastly, I did this cross-stitch verse for Ben and Jen. Since they are newly married and moving to a new place I figured they could use something to hang on their walls! After sewing a lot, cross-stitch seems to take forever to finish! I had it framed at a place in town and I am happy with the outcome. They both seemed to like it and I'm sure it will find a nice home in Montana.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome 2008!

Happy New Year!!!

I got to spend this New Years eve with several of my closest friends. We gathered from across the eastern U.S. in Bloomington, Indiana.
My friends are very special to me and I am glad that we can begin another year together. Regardless of where we have been and what we have done this past year, we have been able to keep our friendship strong and always enjoy spending time together.

This year, we weren't able to "watch the ball drop", but we had our own countdown. Most of us being frustrated musicians, we wanted to drop a clarinet (from a serious height) to bring in the new year, but had to settle for burning a reed - I was able to donate one to the cause. May the sacrifice bring a year of good reeds!

At the close of one year, I like to look back at some of the highlights of the year behind me. 2007 was a different kind of year for me - not marked by new degrees on my wall or career advancements, but was special because of the smaller things, which may prove to be even more important. In 2007 I enjoyed spending lots of time with my family - something I have not been able to do in a long time. I enjoyed endless cups of coffee over good conversations, with an occasional donut to keep it interesting. I enjoyed traveling. I saw the wonders of Yosemite National Park in California and Denali National Park in Alaska. I also had many good meals in 2007! I loved trying new restaurants in different cities, as well as feasting in familiar places and trying new recipes at home. And I must not forget my newest accomplishment and interest: sewing! A year ago I had a machine and not a clue on what to do with it. I have now learned how to sew and was able to make gifts for other people this past Christmas!

I am looking forward to what 2008 has in store for me. I hope it is filled with beautiful days, each full of its own simple delights. I look forward to improving myself and my current abilities while also learning about new things and finding new interests. I hope to find myself with old friends and in new places. Amidst it all, I'm sure I will find time for a little shopping and a few coffee breaks here and there.