Tuesday, December 31, 2013

And We Danced

Happy New Years!!!!!!!

Please please please be safe out there tonight!

We will be enjoying our fireplace, good friends company, some pony gambling, a seafood boil, chicken wings, strawberry cheesecake. lots of champagne and probably a lot of really bad dancing as well.

I can't think of anywhere else I would want to be.



 

Happy Last Day of 2013!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Fairytale of New York

Here is a prime example of why The Mister isn't allowed to buy presents.

This is almost as tall as me.


Ridiculous!
(We have named it the 1% Mansion.)


The Pogues - A Fairytale Of New York by vince_suelze


Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Goat Cheese and Chorizo stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Are you ready for your holiday parties yet?





Are you looking for a last minute hor'dourve for your Christmas day?

Look no further.

I made these for the Mister and I last week to see if they were any good.  (I omited the goat cheese in his)

We gained 15 lbs each.
(It was worth every pound.)

Chorizo and Goat Cheese stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon


These sure look fancy and complicated, don't they?

Great news!  

They are the easiest thing I have ever done.  
I will break it down in pictures for you.

This recipe calls for four ingredients.



Bacon
Chorizo
Goat Cheese
Dates

  1. Precook your chorizo.  
  2. Cut your bacon pieces in half.  
  3. Set out a cookie pan and line it with foil.
  4. If you didn't buy crumbled goat cheese, crumble it.
While researching this recipe I found most people said pitting the dates was a messy affair.  I had bought the dates a few days in advance and refrigerated them.  I did not find them to be messy at all, quite the opposite actually.  

Slice your dates and take the pits out.  
I used my thumbs to make the cavity in the dates a little larger.  
This way I could fit more delicious goat cheese and chorizo in them.


Put a teaspoon of chorizo and a hearty pinch of goat cheese in the cavity of the date.


Take a piece of bacon and set it down on your surface.  
Put your date in the middle and wrap it up.

(I used a full slice of bacon, next time I will halve them.)

Once all of your dates are filled, put the cookie sheet in a COLD OVEN.  Once in, turn the oven to 400 degrees.

They should be done in 20-25 minutes. 



These are meant to be served at room temperature which means you can make these the night before, refrigerate them and then pull them out a half an hour before party time.

They seriously taste like bacon candy.
Let me know if you make them!  
I wanna compare notes!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Do I Wanna Know?

We only just recently went to get our Christmas tree and such.  
(One thing that is definitely different from our old city apartments to this new suburban life is the size of our ceilings.  Our old tree only fits in the vaulted sun room.)

On our way to the store we thought we would go to the local nursery instead of Home Depot like originally planned.  We got there and found that Christmas had thrown up in the nursery. We ended up staying longer than The Mister or I, (or Clara for that matter) would of liked.

We finally (over an hour later) compromised on a tree and headed to the register.  
Upon coming to the register we heard lots and lots and lots of barking.  

Strange to hear barking in a nursery, right?  
Clara and I went to investigate.

What I saw next broke my heart in a million little pieces.

There were so many puppies.

Row upon row.
Cage upon cage.

And they all looked at you like this.


I've heard of and even seen pictures of puppy mills before, but I had never blindly walked into one.  However I seemed to be the only one it was bothering, given the ten or so other suburban women fawning over the pups.  The Mister walked up a few minutes later and instantly knew what I was feeling.  He asked if we should just return all of our items right now,

I said no feeling like the worlds biggest asshole for supporting their store and we went home.

But I just couldn't stop thinking about them.
Yesterday I went back and pretended to be interested in the puppy on the right.  

(A shar pei-beagle mix that can be yours!  For a little over $1000, that is.)
  
I played with him and asked about 500 questions about the quality of life they are given while at the store.  After about ten minutes the lady made it very obvious that she was done answering my questions, and to buy or leave.

I felt a little better about letting the puppy get out of his cage and play for a while.  
(I'm going to be honest, my hands took a beating.  I forgot how sharp itty bitty puppy teeth are!)

I guess the point of my story is next time we will be choosing Home Depot.

Oh, and thank god it's Wednesday. 







Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know? (Official Video) by domino

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Femme Fatale

Yesterday all three of the girls in our house was sick, present company included.

The Mister didn't have to work, and unfortunately instead of catching up on his day off like he had planned, he instead ran around making tea, soup, fetching tissue, administering meds, etc etc.
He really is the best.

Just in case you missed this post, it has a ton of wonderful ideas for your holiday shopping, and they are all local artists!
(Support your community!)


The Velvet Underground - Femme Fatale from Hikikomori on Vimeo.


Happy Humpday!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Shopping Guide: My favorite artists you should know.

I have always been a firm believer in shopping in and supporting small businesses.  

I'm an even bigger advocate in supporting local artists.  

When you buy something from a big box store your product is mass made.  This isn't always a bad thing when you are in the market for things like TV's and such.  However, when it comes to decorating my house and body I tend to look for things with unique flair.  

A one of a kind piece, if you will.  
In step the small mom and pop shops and the local artists.  

When you buy from local shops and artists you are supporting another persons creativity.  You are putting money towards their livelihood, their kids education, their house or food note.  

In return you get a product that has been made with only you in mind.  Something that you can collaborate on as well, tweaking it to your own liking and something that makes the most interesting and unique gifts.  

I am lucky enough to stumble upon some amazing artists in my life. I would love to share them and their work with you now.  

If you are still looking for last minute holiday gifts for loved ones (or yourself!) you should look no further then here!

Adornments by Jessica Louise Lynn
Artist:  Jessica Louise Lynn



I first met Jessica a few years ago while she was in the process of finishing up her M.A. in History.  Since then she has been very busy.  She had a baby, finished her degree and perfected her craft in metalsmithing handmade brass and copper jewelry.  All of Jessica's products are hand cut and made in her home studio.

 Since Rhiannon and I have to spend our summers apart, I usually try and get her a little something right before she has to leave.  At the beginning of last summer I had contacted Jessica to custom make a skyline necklace for Rhiannon.  We  both loved how it turned out, however Rhiannon lost it while traveling on vacation exactly one week later, so I don't even have a picture of it!

One of my favorite pieces Jessica makes is her hand cut Illinois earrings, seen here.



If you like these earrings but large and dangly aren't your thing she also makes them in a mini stud 1/2" version.  You chose your state or country of liking.

Other products I love by Jessica:

Parallel Earrings





















Fox brass necklace 

hand-cut animal totem charm


















Copper Navajo inspired geometric necklace














Jessica Louise Lynn can be found:





Two Crows Crochet and Cake
Artist:  Christi Williamson


 It's true that I have known Christi my whole life, as we are sisters.  It is also true that almost every single year Christi amazes me with her many hidden talents.  When we were kids my family lived in the middle of the country, in the middle of nowhere.  We were never an overly wealthy family.  Most of our clothes were second hand and all of our toys were modest.  This left us with a lot of time to find ways to entertain ourselves.  My sister usually gravitated towards the kitchen on those long and "boring" days to bake.  I would "help".

(My "helping" was limited to me sitting on the kitchen counter keeping Christi company while she baked delicious treats.  The few times I tried my hand at baking it was a complete and utter failure.)

Here are a few examples of her cake work:


As we have gotten older her talents have grown immensely.  She often is asked to make wedding and other special occasion cakes and treats. And while she isn't working at Sugaree Bakery, located in the heart of Dogtown in St. Louis, you can find her wrangling up her two small children while making the most beautiful hats and crocheted goods.

Unicorn Beanie

Available in Adult-Newborn sizes

Clara, modeling the unicorn hat.
It's seriously her favorite accessory.  















Unicorn Beanie
$12-35

Newborn Set
$15


















Ribbed Beanie with elephant appliquĂ©  
Newborn-Adult 
$10-25

Pom Pom beanie 
Newborn-adult 
$8-20
















Rolled Brim Rose Beanie
Size newborn-adult 
$10-35




















Shell beanie
Newborn-adult 
$8-20
















Every single item is made to order.  
You pick the color and style! 

Two Crow Crochet and Cake can be found at:





Tall Tall Grass
Tinctures and Trinkets
Artist:  Rebecca Schmitt


If you were around the St. Louis music scene in the late 90's you might remember Rebecca as the lead singer in the pop-ska-punk band Pow-Wow Lounge.  

If you were around the Carbondale SIU area in the early to mid 2000's you might remember her intricate and defined style as a painter and mixed media artist.  

If you have been around recently you might know Rebecca for her amazing all natural and organic body products.  

I have been lucky enough to know Rebecca for over half of my life.  She constantly drives me to push the envelope artistically.  She is by far one of my most favorite people and she has once again impressed me with expanding her resume to jewelry artist.

All of Rebecca's products are made in her studio in Vermont.  All pieces are nickle-free and silver plated.  She is also working on an all silver line that will be out soon.

Double Snake Fang Earrings
$20



















Quarter Moon Striker Earrings
$25














Fleur-De-Lis ring

$30




















Antique Spoon Ring
$30




















Snake Fang Necklace

$35




















Fleur De Lis Braclet

$30
















Quarter Moon Earrings

$20 



Snake Fang Earrings
$15





















Tall Tall Grass Tinctures and Trinkets can be found:


*All transactions for Tall Tall Grass will be done through PayPal and shipped out whithin the next two business days.

Custom orders may take longer.

A few other Artists I bought from recently:

ArtTx
Fun handmade accessories and unique art

Tinkers Treasures Inc
I've been noticing her work at local art festivals for a few years. I am in love with her painting style.

Sherry's Flower Shoppe
They sell witches balls!

ZHP Creations
I really like the coffee scoop

Josh Merrill Photography

Clear Candle
These were the coolest candles I have seen in some time.  Plus they are refillable and their design never goes away!

And last but not least, I bought our little reindeer friends from these guys:

Fox Hollow Gallery
They don't have a website set up, but I highly recommended checking them out if you ever get a chance.

8820 State Road 56
French Lick, IN
47432

Cell#812-797-4067
812-936-3110

Seriously, Check these guys out! 
So rustic and cute!




Happy Shopping!




Friday, December 6, 2013

E-I-E-I-O

 Remember when I was bitching about all the leaves I had to rake out of my front yard last week?  I feel like I need to finish that story.

(Apparently living in a forest doesn't exclude you from leaf raking.  I still don't understand.  Even my dad, who ALWAYS has the best looking yard has never raked up his leaves.  Ever.)


Trip 5,826 to the compost pile.

 Rhiannon came home from school that day and helped me finish up.  While taking the last pile to the compost, these guys stepped out of their little home, in the back of our yard.  

I had seen them about a week before, but I was under the impression they were just passing through looking for food.  I had no idea their home was literally on the edge of our property.  


Rhiannon became really excited and wanted to go over there to "pet" them.  

(She forgot, for a moment, that she is not Snow White and  telecommunication with wild animals is in fact not something she is capable of.)


I told her a firm NO. 

Actually, I told her that they were wild animals and that they had babies with them therefore they would probably attack her.

I went on, telling her if they did attack her, I would jump on our teeny tiny tractor and high tail it to the house.

With or without her.


Then I reminded her of the time the whole family tortured me by taking me here, just so she knew I was serious.

Deer petting zoo in the Wisconsin Dells.
A.K.A. the scariest motherfucking place on earth.

She promised me she wouldn't go near them.  We stuck around the deer long enough for me to take this picture of her in front of our leaf pile.



This is only from the front yard.  
I refuse to rake up the back.
But, from the front we (still!) have the cleanest lawn on the block!


Take that, neighbors!
(Dad would be so proud!)


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pocketful of Money

What a beautiful, dreary, warm and misty day we are having.  

Days like today just increase my desire to live on the northwest coast.  Nestled in between the redwoods and the ocean, watching the whales make their yearly trek all while being a short distance from a few delightful wineries really is where my heart is at.

I officially have my house purged and scrubbed.  I also have ALL of my laundry washed, folded AND put away.  

It's like a modern day miracle.  

I think I'm finally getting the hang of this whole "adult" business.  It's a good thing, too, (since I am now 31) and because last week proved that I shouldn't try and act like a 20 yr old ever again.

I just.....can't.
No.  No.  No. No. No. 

Lets re-cap.

This is Rick.  
He had a pretty amazing set up for his tailgate, including a bears ambulance and ample amounts of fireball whiskey.
His friends really liked my little sisters.



Actually the three of us made lots of friends that day.  
Let's just leave it at that.


Thankfully those are the only pictures I have of the weekend.
Tailgating/Bears game was a fun experience, but I don't think I ever want to do it again.
Youch!

We hosted another friends thanksgiving at our house.  It's something we like to do every year, and for a few reasons.  We originally started this tradition of ours because we both worked crazy shifts, him with what he does and I as a bartender.  

When I used to live in  my small town (frame of mind) I would always think it was sad when people didn't have a place to go on thanksgiving and therefore ate their dinner at a bar.  Then I quickly became that person and my view was drastically altered.

Working Thanksgiving at the bar let me experience the holiday in a different (and better) light.  Everyone who came to those thanksgiving meals were truly joyous to be there.  We were our own little community and thankful to be a part of that community.  We were happy to have other outcasts to share a meal and conversation with.  Nobody was judging us on our lifestyle choices, working habits, vices, etc.  

We would all share our meal together and tell the most inappropriate stories and jokes.

  There was (almost) never any fighting or hurt feelings.  

And, as an added bonus, I would make a hefty amount in tips.

After I quit the bar scene (hallelujah!) The Mister and I had our first family thanksgiving.  We realized that was not how we wanted to spend our holiday every year.  

Our prior years of spending it with friends in the bar had left us jaded, (or maybe just opened up our eyes,) to what our expectations of the holiday are and how it should be spent.

   Most of our friends live all over the world, but call somewhere around Chicago as their home-base.  They come back every year to visit their families.  

We all want to see each other anyway, what's more perfect of an idea than to host a giant dinner with our chosen family?

We can't think of anything and every year it just gets better.

The Mister smokes and grills the turkey every year.  I have never tasted a turkey as good as our thanksgiving birds.
At one point of the night, our entire basement was filled with adults and children, toys were thrown everywhere, children were chasing each other, screeching and laughing, adults were singing, joking, dancing and laughing.  

I could feel just how full my heart was and I could not have been more thankful then at that moment. 

Chocolate covered fruit, marshmallows and pretzel sticks.  Easiest desert I ever made.  (Tastiest, too!)

 (I didn't get to take a lot of pictures since I was in the kitchen most of the day so most of these pictures are stolen from our friends.)

My Chicago Gals. 

I'm so thankful for their acceptance into the group when I was a newbie.
These are a few of the best gal's I have ever known!
And, of course, there's Buehrle, who is desperately asking for something. 



 
I bought a bunch of puzzles and games for the kids.  They liked the games, but I think the rock painting was the biggest hit.
(Figures!)

And finally, the boys after their football game.
I don't know about the rest of them but The Mister sure did complain about being sore for days after.


I hope your holidays were also spent with the people you hold dear!




Happy Humpday!