Tag Archives: AWESOME

Friday Favorites – 9/3/10

So cute.

Love this cozy bedroom.

Another great wall collage thingy.  I’ve gotta learn the secret to non-crappy wall collage thingies.

Adorable housewarming baskets.  Brilliant idea!

Note to self – make a list like this!


How good would this be with a nice smear of baba ganoush?

Pretty sure I’m related to one (or both) of these crazy kids.

Yes, yes I do.

Great.  Now I want bees.


Jeff denies it, but I’m pretty sure he made this GraphJam.

So. Stinkin’. Cool.

Ingenious – and infinitely useful!

Yeah, pretty much.


Guess which one is my favorite?  (hint: they all are)

Want to make!

Five lessons every kid should learn (and most adults could use a refresher course too).

Why didn’t I think of this?

No, MY new room.  In my dreams.

The ol’ middle finger

Because it’s Sunday afternoon, and because tonight I’ll be writing a big post for Two Closets and maybe one to publish here tomorrow too, and because this song ROCKS MY FACE and has been stuck in my head pretty much nonstop since I first heard it, I give you:

I’m gonna go ahead and name this the Song Of The Year for 2010.  It’s cute, catchy, crude, and eminently sing-along-able.

I just hope the radio version doesn’t completely suck ass.  (It probably will).

PS>To sweeten the pot even more, click here.

Friday Favorites – 8/13/10

Gotta make this quick, Jeff wants to go to Ted Drewe’s and I *guess* I’ll indulge him 😛


I fully support street art of this nature.

So cute I almost died.

Hyperbole and a Half wins again.

Great compilation!

Why haven’t I tried making baguette yet?  Oh yes.  The laziness.

Best use of color in a tattoo that I’ve seen in a LONG while.  J’adore!


Amazing afghan, amazing act of kindness by Thi.  Love it!

Orange-pecan sticky buns with dates and cranberries.  What else is there to say?

On writing and education.

Little House Cookbook!  I *must* buy this for HH’s.  Yeeahhhh…HH’s. ::solemn nod::

I am physically pained by this photo.  The windsuits and turtlenecks bring up childhood memories I’d *thought* I’d repressed.  ::shudder::

I love pun dog!

This is my new favorite.

OK LAST recipe of the week.  I promise.  But you can’t miss these banana chocolate chip oatmeal cookies!

I can’t decide if this makes me happy or sad.

One more.  That’s it.  NOW I’m done.  I mean it this time.

PS>Don’t click here.  Unless you find caramel and chocolate completely unappealing anyway, and won’t be tempted.

Friday Favorites – 7/23/10

My cats study this nightly.

Scary.  I can tell already I’ll be a free-range parent.

Alright, it’s official, I’m starting a plate wall.

Oooh a bike cupholder?  WANT!

Prufrock FTW! (that has always been one of my favorite poems.)

I love the *feel* of this house – it’s perfect!

I have blueberries, and I have cream cheese…

Gorgeous new ink.  I love the personal meaning!

Delicious-sounding raspberry brown sugar gratin.  YUM!

Hyperbole and a Half is my new favorite.

Moonlight ramble?  Awesome!  Too bad we’ll be out of town that weekend… 😦

…but most of all, today’s favorite is JEFF IS HOME!  Or, he will be in about an hour, anyway.  Happy weekend!

Friday Favorites – 4/16/10

Wise words from an amazing kid.

I love Margaret and Helen.  But then again, who doesn’t?  (post is good advice to those who aren’t  liberally-inclined 😉 )
I need these! Only mine would be more like tombstones… 😛

Speaking of gardening – I want to go here!

There’s truth in this graph.


Last breastfeeding link for a while, I promise.  But this one is SO worthwhile.

Anne made me LOL so hard I choked.

Spot on.

I’m now tempted to go destroy our perfectly adequate shower curtain, just so I can make this one.

I love these.  So funny.  So amazing.

We’re off to Kansas City for the weekend.  Hope you all have a good one! (Any exciting plans?)  See ya Monday 🙂


Saturday, I’d decided, was THE DAY to finish my bike.  I’d gotten the call from Big Shark on Friday saying my new whitewalls (!!!) were in (I picked them up on my way home from work that evening – they’re right across the street from my train stop), and at 6am on Saturday morning my eyes popped open and my mind was instantly alert and occupied with one thought – “BIKE DAY!”

I was like a kid getting her first bike on Christmas morning, only they make the kid work on it for 2 weeks prior and injure her hand in three different places and get covered in grit and oil before giving her the bike.


First thing I did was give the intact assembly another spongebath, and set her out in the early-morning sun to dry:

(side note – I really wish I had one of those bike-holder-upper things so I didn’t have to set her directly on the ground, but the best I could do in this situation was avoid scratching up the bottom of that front fork, and try to balance more weight on the lower pedal than on the sprocket*)

Then I got to work on the rims.  I think I mentioned in a previous post that they were a bit rusted, but it was nothing that a few hours with a Brillo pad + WD40 couldn’t take care of.

For comparison, here’s a “before”:

And here’s the “after”:

Not too bad, eh?  If I were willing to sacrifice my entire fingernails/fingertips in the process I probably could’ve gotten every speck of rust from right around the spokes, but really there were only a few spokes (as pictured above) that had any rust left at all – most were more like that one on the far right.  The sides of the rims really weren’t too bad; they sorta just got a once-over and were good to go.

This is one of those times, I think, when the visual effect of the finished product in no way communicates the actual work that is contained within.  ::sigh::

With the rims ready to go, it was time for tires!  Aren’t they beautiful?  For $15 cruiser tires, I mean.

Love that whitewall!  Farrell(?) at Big Shark definitely had the right idea in recommending them 🙂

I was able to put on the tubes + tires myself (sans Jeff), which is not only a big accomplishment in the name of independence, but also in holier-than-thou-ness and “nyah-nyah-nyah-I’m-a-grownup-you-poophead!”-ness.

This was also the great Fender Test – did my blind hammering and jamming and other physical abuse have any positive result on the fender-rubbing issue?

Survey says yes!  Quiet as a dead bug (after the legs and bits have stopped waving, when it’s just sprawled there on the hallway floor waiting for a cat to pass by and eat it).

Round ’bout noon, Jeff woke up and came out to see what I’d been up to.

I’d moved my little bike shop into the garage after the neighbor kid left.  Actually, come to think of it, I spent a good deal of time chasing the shade.  Gotta maintain the pasty, you know.

Also, looks from that picture (and that picture only) like I’d fare pretty well in a Dooce*** lookalike contest, eh?  Where the hell did I get that pointy chin, Mom?

But that’s neither here nor there.

“What’s that, Love? You say I’m completely unnecessary in this operation?”

“Yup, take my picture right quick for the b-log, then you go inside and eat your ravioli.  UNNECESSARYMANPERSON.”****

I attached the chain, then made a few final adjustments…

And then…



*I dare you to try and say “sprocket” without affecting a British accent.  Impossible, isn’t it?  SPROCKET SPROCKET SPROCKET PIP PIP CHEERIO!**

**Sorry Caroline, Jennie.  ❤ ya girls.  Please feel free to make fun of stereotypical (and probably thus inaccurate :-P)American accents anytime (turnabout’s fair play).

***Or Alton Brown.  Same difference.

****If this is what empowerment feels like, I can’t lie – I kinda like it.

Bursting with Excitement

So d’you ever have something really exciting that you want to tell everyone, but you’ve gotta keep it a secret for X amount of time, and you try really hard and you mostly do good at that, and then you can finally tell everyone, and then you’re almost less excited than you would’ve been if you could’ve just told everyone a week and a half ago?

Well, no worries.  That’s not what happened to me – I’m STILL super excited to tell everyone…

Jen and I have started a daily style blog!  It has been pretty much the funnest thing EVER to work on, even though we’re both total newbies at the whole idea.  Heck, I didn’t even know how to buy a domain name until two weeks ago!  But we’ve got it now, and I’d like to cordially (umm…”cordially” means “with much squeeing and jumping and giggling”, right?) invite you to visit us at:


(“A Tale of Two Closets:   Jen and Kate + Attire.”)

Yep, we went literary AND pop culture-ary, all in one go 🙂

Please go visit, comment, add us to your reader, print out every post and wallpaper your boudoir with them, whatever.  And as you admire the awesome layout and the presence of the in-blog Twitter feed and real gen-u-wine _____@twoclosets.com email addresses, take a moment and tell Jen how awesome she is for getting it all set up.

Me, I’m in charge of wringing my hands and whining and coming up with stupid ideas for Jen to politely shoot down and adding WAY too many blogs to our blogroll (but that last one is hardly my fault because OMG there are so many wonderful style blogs out there!  I’m like a kid in a candy store.)

PS> We’re also on Twitter, here.

PPS>Yes, I’m fully intending to let this go to my head.  Poor Jeff; I’ll be insufferable soon.  (As if I weren’t skirting dangerously close to the border already)

PPS>This also means that my occasional style/BOOTS/clothing related posts will mostly be over there now.  Which is good for my readers who have no interest in that stuff (umm…any of y’all a nudist?).

A New Hope

I have so much to blog about – so many exciting things from this past weekend in Kansas City, and stretching back even further.  But I guess the best I can do is address them one at a time, one day at a time.

The most exciting thing from last weekend is, without a doubt, my “big” (and big) Christmas gift from Mom and Dad:

Have you ever known a person to blog from beyond the grave?  No?  Well now you have.  Because when I got this, I died.  (See? I even Tweeted it).

I must have been a very good girl this year, because Santa sure treated me well – a KitchenAid Professional 600, in a gorgeous velvety heart-stoppingly amazing steel blue color.

I immediately tore it out of the box and hauled it into their kitchen and whipped up an angel food cake, and I tell you what – this mixer is AMAZING.  I cannot wait to make bread! and cookies! and marshmallows!

Everything about it is so solid, so strong.  The bowl lifts (unlike the lower-priced KitchenAid mixers, where the mixer head tilts backwards), adding extra strength and durability to the whole system.  It has a 575 watt motor, which doesn’t mean much to me but I assume translates to “really freaking powerful.”  It weighs about 40 lb, which means that once it has a home on my counter, it’s gonna STAY on the counter 🙂

And it’s so elegant in its simplicity!  The speeds are 1-10, not “mashed potatoes” through “egg whites”.  There’s no digital display or timer or a voice that yells at you when it’s time to add more liquid.  Just beautiful, simple, mixer.

It came with three pieces:  a wire whisk (in the machine, pictured above), a paddle for cookie doughs &etc:

…and an evil-looking dough hook for pizza dough, bread dough, grandma’s hot roll dough, and whatever other doughs I might fancy to knead:

Holy cow, I love this thing.

The LOLs spew forth like so many snowflakes

That‘s what it took to finally get me in the holiday spirit.

Best. Concert. Ever.

OK so you may know I can be rather sneaky and devious at times, but I PROMISE you that I only use it for good (mostly) (usually).

So waaaay before Thanksgiving, I found out that STAR WARS IN CONCERT would be coming to St. Louis, to the Scottrade Center, on December 10th.  As luck would have it, I was still in need of a brilliant Christmas gift idea for Jeff, so of course a lightbulb went off in my head when the opportunity presented itself.

Of course, December 10th is far before December 25th, so I had to come up with a brilliant and humorous way to convey Jeff’s Christmas gift to him, more than two weeks before the actual holiday.

So this is what I did (no pictures, you’ll see why in a moment):

1)I left work early one night, hopped off the train at the Scottrade Center stop, bought the tickets, hopped back on the train and made it home exactly on time (no suspicion aroused)

2)I procured a couple cardboard boxes of varying sizes, and stashed them until they were needed.

3)I bought a bag of Hershey’s Bliss chocolates, and a card “from Santa”, at Target.  Stashed them as well.

4)On the evening of December 8th, I sent Jeff to the store on a supposedly “urgent” errand for my work.  This got him out of the house for – I anticipated – half an hour at most.

5)I opened the bag of Bliss chocolates, stuck the tickets inside, and re-sealed the bag.  Then I closed it up in a box, wrapped the box, closed it up in another – veryverylarge – box,and wrapped that box.  Stuck a big bow on top.

6)I wrote a note on the card – doing my best to disguise my handwriting – reading “Dear Jeff – You’re a big boy now.  I’m sure you’ve figured out that I can’t possibly visit every house in one night.  I hope you don’t mind that I’m coming to yours a bit early.  Love, Santa.  PS:  Open this now!  You’ve earned it!”, and taped it to the box.

At this point, my plan diverged from what actually occurred.  I’d PLANNED to hide the veryverylarge wrapped box in our basement, send Jeff to study in the second bedroom, then retrieve the box from the basement, place it on the porch, ring the doorbell, and quickly devise a reason that Jeff had to be the one to answer the door.  What actually happened, though…

7)While carrying the veryverylarge box down to our basement, I encountered our downstairs neighbor.  He inquired what I was doing carrying around a veryverylarge box, so I filled him in.  At this point our downstairs neighbor’s teenaged son offered to take care of the legwork for me.  We agreed that at 10:00 he would place the veryverylarge box on our porch, ring the doorbell, and run back into his apartment.

8)Moments after the agreement was reached and the veryverylarge box was safely stashed in our neighbor’s apartment, Jeff returned home.  We carried on about our evening as usual.

9)At about 9:45 that night, I called Jeff away from his studying to come hang out in the living room with me.

10)At about 9:58 that night, I went into the kitchen, supposedly to fix a pre-bedtime snack for us.

11)At exactly 10:00 that night, the doorbell rang.  As I was off in the kitchen, Jeff answered the door.  He appeared in the kitchen doorway a moment later, carrying the veryverylarge box and wearing a thoroughly bemused look upon his face.  “Um…I think our neighbors gave this to us?”, he said.

12)I tried my best to feign surprise and befuddlement, and suggested he read the card on the veryverylarge box, and open the box.

13)As planned, he read the card and opened the veryverylarge box, only to see…well, you know.  Another wrapped box.

14)By this time he was more than a little confused about the whole thing, but he dutifully opened the other wrapped box.  Inside, of course, was the bag of Hershey’s Bliss chocolates.  He decided that the whole thing was a (not very funny) joke from our neighbors, and rolled his eyes.

15)I encouraged him to open the chocolates (thus jeopardizing my already-precarious position of “ignorant to this whole thing”), which he did.

16)He saw the ticket sleeve, clearly reading “Scottrade Center” across the flap.  “Oh,” Jeff said, “It’s our hockey tickets for Friday night.”  (Aside – my work Christmas party was last Friday, and was held at/during a St. Louis Blues hockey game)  Then Jeff looked at me – still confused – and said, “Did your BOSS do this?!”

17)I giggled quite a bit at the visual of my boss – an older gentleman who resembles Santa Claus a bit in physique – driving around in his Cadillac in the middle of the night to all his employees’ homes, for the sole purpose of delivering event tickets.  Between my giggles, I heartily promised Jeff that no, this was not the work of my boss.

18)”Why don’t you check the tickets?” I said, thereby giving away any pretense of ignorance.

19)He opened the sleeve, saw that the tickets were to STAR WARS IN CONCERT, and pretty much (for lack of a more graceful term) flipped his shit.  Out of happiness.  Suddenly, all was clear.  And all was awesome.

20)That Thursday night after work (and for Jeff, after a final) we hopped on the train and headed back downtown.  From this point, I’ll (mostly) let the pictures take over.  I left my D40 at home for this event, so all the photos were taken with our little $60 point-and-shoot.  And most pictures were much, much blurrier than the ones below.

We arrived early enough to check out the exhibits before the show.  They had a REAL Darth Vader costume:

REAL prop helmets:

And even  THE Yoda puppet!


Eventually we found our seats, and prepared ourselves for awesomeness.

I knew the concert would be cool, but I had no idea it would be THIS cool.

There were lasers!  Lights!  MASSIVE curtains of LED lights!  Fog!  EVEN FLAMES SHOOTING OUT OF THE STAGE AND NO I’M NOT KIDDING.
We didn’t know too much about the show going in, except that it would involve live music from the Star Wars films.  As it turns out, they had a full live orchestra…

A massive screen that alternated among showing clips from the films, live video of the performers, and sketches/stills of SW-related concepts…

And the whole she-bang was hosted by none other than…

(Lotta zoom there – can you tell who that was?)

Anthony Daniels! (C-3PO himself!)

One of my favorite parts of the whole setup were these huuuuuge curtains of LED lights that were suspended on either side of the main screen, and from the ceiling.

Throughout the show, they’d show images to supplement the main screen, or just artistic abstractions that pulsated along with the beat of the music.

This was one of my favorites – check out the starry sky effect!

The lighting was amazing, as well.  Not only was it customized to each piece, but the colors flashed and changed along with a piece’s phrasing and tone:

Oh, and did I mention the LASERS?  Because there were lasers!

Bad.  Ass.  My only regret is that I didn’t get a photo of the 30-FOOT-TALL FLAMES that shot out of the stage.  I was too awe-struck every time it happened.

Even though this was Jeff’s Christmas present, I had a great time too.  We thought it was one of the coolest things we’ve done in a long time.

I’d go back and see it again, in a heartbeat.

If you’re a total geek too, check and see if the tour has hit your city yet!  The concert is definitely worth attending (though be warned – they were selling t-shirts for $45 and programs for $30, so if that’s your thing bring lots of cash.  Personally, it was too rich for our blood ;-)).

May the force be with you.*

*I’ve always wanted to say that.

PS>There are a few more pictures on my Flickr, if you’re so inclined.