Monday, February 28, 2011

Bye Bye February

You may have noticed there was no cooking Sunday yesterday.  I was deathly ill all day and there was no way I could stand up to cook let alone keep anything down.  Perhaps tomorrow I will cook the recipe I had picked out.

Today is the last day of February...crazy.  I feel like it was just New Years yesterday. Friday is my birthday already! Yay!! I'm actually thinking about using some Charlie Sheen quotes when I make my birthday layout ha.  That would be awesome.

Anyway, as promised I finished my February calendar page and here it is below:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Walk in the Park

I decided to scrap a page to remind me of warmer days....or last Friday when the weather spiked to a beautiful 61 degrees before taking a Shaq sized fall back to the 20s.  My friend and I ate a delicious margarita lunch and took a stroll through Central Park. I've lived in New York my entire life and I'm rarely in Central Park.  I always forget that there's a zoo there that was unfortunately closed by the time we strolled over but we still got to see the seals!  I love the zoo. It doesn't matter where I go if I find out there's a zoo nearby I need to go to it. 

Anyway, I put together this page with a few random pictures I took on our walk: one of the seals, one of the red fortune cookies we got at Bloomingdale's (that tasted oddly like candy but disappointedly had a fortune instructing us to go to a makeup counter in the store) and trio of musicians. 

This page actually took a really long time to put together. I ran out of my favorite glue.  That sounds ridiculous but glue tape runner is the BEST glue in the world.  It works like white-out tape. Does anyone use white-out anymore? Remember how gross the Liquid Paper brand was, it got all clumpy and nasty if you left it slightly open and all the girls used to use it to paint their nails white during class. Then when you tried to use it it would run all over the page and you'd either end up with an ant-hill size clump of white on the page or whiting out the word above and below it as well. Then they came out with the white-out tape that was revolutionary.  You could white out in a straight line.  Then you know, the delete button on computers was invented so...
Anyway, glue runner is essentially the same thing except it's clear and it's glue.  It makes it so easy to glue paper together without it getting all wrinkly and gross.  I ran out tonight and resorted to the glue stick...I smell a trip to Michael's in my future.

Sorry this picture scanned a little blurry. Also all the embellishments were in zip lock bags so I don't know the brands of anything.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Fought the Couch and the Couch Won

The couch in my living room is the best and the worst purchase I've ever made in my life.  It's the best because it's big and extraordinarily comfortable and the color is perfect (when we were shopping it seemed like couches only came in taupe..and I HATE taupe). It's the worst because once you sit on will never get up.  Sometimes I think I'll just sit down for a minute and watch some TV....then I lean to the side and my head hits the pillow...I start to get a chill so I grab the big furry blanket...and it all ends.  The couch wins again.  

Tomorrow I won't succomb to the comfort of my big gray couch.  This blog will be much more interesting.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cooking Sunday: Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Every Sunday, I open a cookbook and cook the first recipe on the page (unless it's seafood)

I guess I'm really good at turning to potato recipes...awesome because I love me some potatoes.  Love Love Love. I wasn't sure about this potato salad though because it didn't involve mayonaise.  Mustard vinaigrette?  Didn't sound too appetizing but I was going to try it anyway.

As nervous as I was to try it the mustard vinaigrette was delicious!  It's a half cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons wine vinager (I used red wine vinager) and a teaspoon of mustard.  After I chopped and boiled the potatoes I tossed them with the vinaigrette, parsley and I added some celery. I like a nice crunch in my salads.  I made a really large bowl of potato salad and I am not ashamed to admit I ate THE ENTIRE bowl.  Potatos satisfy my crazy hormones this week (seriously, I cried at the end of The Princess Diaries this afternoon).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Inspiration For the Week

I really wanted to scrapbook tonight but I realized..I ran out of pictures!  A few months ago my trusty five year old computer kicked the bucket.  Luckily I was able to transfer all my music and picture files onto an external hard drive before we put the old girl to rest.  I transfered all my music to my new laptop but I left the pictures on the hard drive.  Most of them are either up on Facebook or scrapbooked already.  When I got this new computer I sort of stopped scrapbooking for a bit...all my pictures were gone, my photoshop software, saved websites.  It was so depressing, I stopped taking pictures.  So now I'm left with an urge to scrapbook and no pictures to go with it.  I need to change that this weekend.  Time to bust out the camera again.  

Also lost on my old computer was a giant excel document I've been keeping of "scrap challenges".  Every scrapbook magazine, book and website has "scrapbook challenges" or "editor's challenge" where they are like...incorporate a line from a song in your title or make a layout using only 1 color. I used to document them all (nerd alert) in an excel document so that if I'm ever lacking for inspiration I can pick one at random.   So now i need to start making it all over again. Instead of putting it in excel, I'm going to write them on leftover scraps of paper and put them in a jar. No randomizing formulas needed.

Anyway, sorry about the ramblings.  So this post isn't incredibly boring (or maybe it still will be, depends on your definition of the word boring) I decided to list a few things that are inspiring me this week:

1. Barnes and Nobles
I treat my barnes like a public library.  I love to go in there sit in the craft section and pull out a bunch of books.  Then I sit on the radiator with all the upper east side nannies letting their kids run wild in the children's section and browse through all the books.  Every once in a while I'll actually purchase a book but mostly I just like the pictures.

2. Project Life
Project Life scrapbooking was invented by Becky Higgins (Becky Higgins).  It's a kit containing an album, divided page pockets and other embellishments designed to get you to focus on life's moments and pictures rather than complicated scrapbooking.  Normally not my thing but I read Ali Edward's blog and that's when I got inspired to take my pictures of everyday life.
3. Mixed Media Collages
I love collages.  I've been obsessed with mixed media books lately.  Just the combination of pictures and colors is inspiring.
Go to fullsize image 
4. Google Reader's "More Like This" Button
I love to read blogs but I don't know how to find blogs. So sometimes for hours at a time I will just go through the blogs on my google reader and selecting "more like this" over and over and over again.  I've actually found some good blogs this way..although I don't think anyone will find my blog that way.  I don't know how anyone will find my blog.  I also sometimes use the "next blog" button on blogger but it seems I just get a lot of Jesus-loving blogs when I do that.
Short list this week. Hopefully there will be many pictures taken this weekend (and a long weekend at that - yay presidents day)!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scrapbook Page: Polar Bear Swim

I love scrapbooking in my new apartment because the entire living room becomes my work space.  Originally I bought an adorable writing desk to be my soul scrap space.  It has space for all my pens and the desk pulls out for a full working area.  I was used to working in my bedroom at my parent's house.  All I had was a big black desk.  I usually listened to the radio because my back faced the tv (and it was an ancient tv, so from certain angles you can't even see the screen clearly). 

When I started working in my apartment I realized it was so much easier to use the computer/printer at the writing desk, but the actual scrapping at my coffee table (in front of the tv) and all the paper slicing at the dining room table (which is in my living room).  All my supplies are in the hall closet, except for the paper..that's in a basket next to the TV.  I really know how to take over the space.  I feel like I scrap more efficiently now though because I can really spread out. I can find all my supplies and I don't miss my favorite tv shows (tv always trumped scrapbooking back in the day). 

Anyway, tonight I did a page about our annual polar bear dip.  I love how the page turned out in the end, but I realized as I was putting it together that I need to start sketching my layouts.  I mentally measured all the pictures wrong so I improvised a bit.  I've never been good at sketching..I'm incredibly impatient.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Scrapbook Page: Hair Makeover

As I said earlier I've been working on a page about my recent makeover.  By "working on" I, of course, mean "thinking about."  I thought about it enough though and today I actually put something together.  I kept it really simple, making the patterned paper the majority of the embellishing.

(my scanner likes a nice white box at the end of all the scans).  Supplies used: Background Cardstock: Me and My Big Ideas, Cardstock other: DCWV, Letters: Momenta, Flowers: Kelly Fanacci, Font: Jokerman

I love to scrapbook while watching Glee, especially when it's a Justin Bieber episode. What can I say?  I love the Biebs!  Plus it's light and easy to follow while I concentrate on something else.  Not the best idea to follow it with a tape of Hawaii 5.0, although I didn't need to concentrate too hard on that...SPOILER ALERT once I found out that Nick Lachey was the special guest star (with his fiance Vanessa Minillo - even worse) I knew he was the one who did it.  Crime shows should never use celebrities - it always ruins the ending.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cooking Sunday: Bean and Potato Gratin

I love cooking and learning new recipes but I never have the time to make complicated dishes.  When I get home from work, I just want the easist and fastest thing possible so I can sit and relax.  So I decided that every Sunday (especially now that football season is over) I'll make a brand new meal, chosen completely at random.  I simply open up my cook book and cook whatever is on the page (except if it's seafood...not only do I not really eat it, it also stinks up the apartment).

Today I made Bean and Potato Gratin, from How to Cook Everything.  It was delicious, but how could it not be? It's beans...and potatos, two delicious things. It was extremely easy to make except the cooking time was almost 2 hours!  All you need are potatos, cannellini beans, vegi stock, thyme, butter, salt and pepper.  Spread the beans seasoned with thyme at the bottom of a pyrex baking dish, then slice the potatoes thinly and layer them on top. Pour the stock over it and top with butter, salt, pepper and a little more thyme.  Bake it covered in the oven at 325 for 45 minutes then uncover it and bake for another 45 minutes. 

Even though it took so long to be done it was worth the wait.  It was the perfect lazy Sunday slightly hungover (oops) food. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wish I Could Capture All Funny Moments on Film

I started to work on a scrapbook page tonight but it's not finished.  I don't like to post unfinished pages. The page is about my hair makeover that I blogged about a few posts back.  As I was going through all my pictures I started thinking about all the moments I don't catch on film but wish I did.

Today, for example, I decided to purchase a ladder so I can finally change the lightbulb in my kitchen.  I bought a ladder about the size of myself, hauled it on the subway and the few blocks to my apartment. The whole time I was thinking I wish someone was taking a picture of me right now. I also wish I got a picture of my dad's face when I told him the story over the phone.

Another moment I wish was captured on film was on New Year's Eve.  The evening was just OK, there's a few pictures from the bar that night but I wish I had pictures of the slumber party with my best friend afterwards.  Not only did we eat a weird combination of Trader Joe foods, as I was pulling out the futon the entire thing flipped up and I fell right off.

The best moments in life are almost never captured: the laughs, the embarrassments and our silly decisions...but I am grateful for the memories.  And for the times you can capture spontaneous moments:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finally Feeling a Little Inspiration

I finally felt the urge to create today!I  I feel revived, even though it was only a small project.  

Every year I start making a scrapbook..some years I finish some years I don't.  I used to get really mad at myself when I started something and didn't finish but now I don't.   It's the process of creating that I enjoy, finishing is just the added bonus.  I don't want to feel stressed about projects that are meant to be fun.  In my scrapbooks, I always place a "month summary" page in between sections - usually with the month name, a few preview pictures and some themed embellishments.  This year I still want the month pages, but I wanted to switch it up.

I was looking at my planner at work when I got the idea to do a calendar page.  I love to write and doodle in my planner.  I love a full calendar. So I decided to take that concept to my page.  My first thought was to either print a blank calendar or draw one but I decided against it.  If I messed up one box, I'd be so disappointed. So instead, I took my square hole punches and decided to make individual boxes....if I fuck up, I throw it away and punch out a new box.  The only problem...when I placed seven boxes in a row, they didn't fit on the page. Disappointing, but it forced me to be creative.  I took my smaller hole punch and made tiny boxes, layered on top for the days when there really isn't anything going on. 

I should mention that I started with a February calendar because I basically slept through it's obviously not finished yet, but here's what it looks like so far:
  You can see it starts out with the white box as day one, then the red, white and embellished box represent 2, 3, 4.  I'll repost again at the end of the month when it's finished. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fun with Fake Photoshop

I'm still trying to find my creative spirit. I honestly did not want to do anything tonight except watch tv, but I did not want to disappoint my two faithful readers.  However, I have no urge to scrapbook, needlepoint, sew, collage or take photos. So what creative endeavor could I complete?  Editing.

I always get upset when I see people's pictures on facebook and they all look awesome! Mine always come out slightly blurry, too dark or I'm making a stupid face.  I soon realized that a lot of my friends edit their photos before posting them to amke them look like excellent photographers.  While this can't fix my stupid faces, it can help the blurriness and the darkness.

Unfortunately I don't have a fancy Mac with the photo editing ability and my last computer died and took my adobe photoshop software with it.  All is not lost though because I discovered an excellent (free) website called   It allows you to upload photos and do most of the editing I was doing in Adobe Photoshop Elements.  So I took a few pictures of my parents' adorable dog Oliver and edited them using the website:

Original Photo
  I tried to counteract the dullness of the photo by over-saturating the color

I used a boost effect to enhance the colors

Again, I tried to sharpen the colors to reduce the blurriness of the orignal photo

I'm definitely going to be using this software a lot more. It'll be awesome if I ever get motivated to scrapbook again.  Now, I need to learn how to line up pictures correctly in this blog.  I tried to place the photos next to each other but they just overlapped. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Get the Red Out

Does getting my hair done count as a creative endeavor? I'm going to count it because that's all I did yesterday (besides go to work).  I've been dying my hair since I was around 15 years old. I've been every shade of red and brown, highlighted blonde and accidental orange.  I started going to a real salon my junior year of college to get blonde highlights then on a whim I asked my hairdresser to dye my hair red. That was 3 years ago.  Most of the people at my current job think I'm a natural redhead but I'm not.  I'm not even Irish.

I made the executive decision 2 weeks ago that it was time to go brunette after yet another person called out on the street "HEY RED".  I officially made an appointment when another person told me I looked like Bryce Dallas Howard from Twilight.  I went to a new hairdresser as mine outwardly refused to ever dye my hair anything but red.  The new guy was initially terrified to dye my hair assuming the red was a natural color but in the end he realized I was right. See before and after pics (also note, I actually have super curly hair but for comparison pics I'm using two straight hair photos).

For those of you who are curious.  My natural hair color can be seen here:
I feel like a completely new person.  It's funny how hair can make you feel different.  I can't wait to see it when it's curly again.  Unlike everyone else, I hate when my hair is straight.  I think it brings out every imperfection in my face and makes me look too much like my mom.