Monday, February 28, 2011

Culie Pee or Cutie Pie?

So first and foremost, I have been sick this past week.  It was a horrible cold that left my head and body aching, and blogging wasn't exactly on the top of my list.  So, this week I promise to get back into the swing of blogging.

On a completely unrelated (to absolutely anything) note, my friend April bought me this beautiful wine glass that I had been eying at Ross.  I had seen it once and then regretted the fact that I didn't purchase it.  Since it was at Ross I figured I would never see it again, but lo and behold, it now belongs to me.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

My only assumption is that a prototype of this beauty was created and then sent to a non-english speaking country to be produced.  The creative spelling and creative depictions of pie landed this glass (which is sold as a candle holder, most likely meaning it's lead paint) at Ross, the land of misfit housewares. 

It gives me a laugh everytime I look at it and I think it deserves a prominent spot on our mantel (and our blog).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Elephant Seals

Today, my mom and I decided to drive up the coast to see the elephant seals in San Simeon.  We figured we would go see the babies born this year before they got too big (they already got pretty big).  We watched the seals up to their usual antics of lumbering across the sand, waiting for their mom's milk, or just being lazy.  On the way back down the coast we stopped at another beach to pick through the rocks and the driftwood, and do a bit of bird watching.  The weather was beautiful, and a welcome change from the rainy start to the weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

That little camera on your phone

If you have a modern mobile phone you most likely have a camera on it. They don't represent the best in camera technology but what they do have is locality; we don't often carry a full blown camera but we always have our phones. Quality however is often lacking. But there's hope!

I own a first generation Motorola Droid with a 5 megapixel camera. With the factory software I often found my photos hard to take and even harder to clean up or make fun. That was until I found Vignette.

Vignette costs about $4, but I think it is worth it. It has all sorts of filters you can apply to any photo, not just ones that you take with the phone's camera. Things like tobacco filter, soft focus, etc, that you often find in desktop photo editors are now in your hand.

An early evening in Morro Bay

The beautiful gardens in Fort Bragg

Restored Southern Pacific train cab

Dopp Kit

I sewed myself a dopp kit (or toiletry bag) yesterday.  I'm really proud of myself, I sewed in a zipper!  I think it turned out really cute.  I used the laminated cotton Heather Bailey fabric that I got on Monday.  I think if I made another one I would use a lining since the laminated cotton is not as sturdy as regular oil cloth fabric.  I got the tutorial from the Purl Bee's blog.  It was easy to follow, even though I've never sewn a zipper before.  Now I have more confidence to tackle other sewing projects, so stay tuned.

Even Monty likes my new bag.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


After our Valentine's Day dinner we decided to walk around downtown SLO for a little while before going to get frozen yogurt.  Beverly's Fabrics was still open so we went in and Graham bought me some fabric for a Valentine's Day gift.  The fabric colors were very fittingly valentiney.

I have plans for this fabric which I hope to complete tomorrow.  So we shall see how that goes.  Hopefully I can post tomorrow night about my latest sewing adventure.

And in other news, we were just settling down on the couch a few minutes ago, after doing our Just Dance 2 workout on the Wii.  Then we heard some loud thumping noises on the side of the house, coming from outside, followed by some squawking.  It sounded like a bird had been attacked by something and was crying.  So we went outside to investigate and see if we could help the bird.  We were shining a flashlight in the bushes and then we smelled a scent that is all too common here - SKUNK!  I didn't last long outside, but the house quickly filled with skunk smell too.  We never could find the source of the noise and it soon stopped, the poor thing.  Shortly after that we saw the skunk waddle down the driveway.  We don't know what happened out there, and unfortunately it still smells like skunk in the house, but I'm getting used to it through our past skunk experiences.

A day after

Happy day after Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day, even if you think of it as a corporate holiday, still means something to me. It's not necessarily something I wait for year after year, but when it comes around I make sure to turn it into something special. To help with that I took the day off of work :)

I started the day off getting Julie blueberry muffins, the kind she really likes with sugar crystals on top. We took the opportunity to enjoy breakfast in bed, lounged around, and turned the day into one of rest and relaxation.

Around two o'clock we decided it would be fun to go see a movie. We already had reservations at Novo in San Luis Obispo for dinner, so we realized seeing a movie around four o'clock would lead right into the dinner. Looking at movie times we decided on "True Grit", the cowboy movie with Jeff Bridges. It was okay, but I feel like it could have done with a bit more story line. Half the dialog I could barely understand, because it turns out the grit was in everyone's lower lip. Oh well, it was still nice to enjoy a movie in our favorite local theater. If you've never been to
Arroyo Grande Regal Cinemas it's one of those theaters where every screen has stadium seating and the armrests lift up so you can get comfy with your significant other.

On our way from Arroyo Grande to San Luis Obispo it started drizzling. One of the really cool things about Novo is their outdoor patio dining. Two things that don't go well together: patio dining and rain. No worries, we were still going to enjoy the rest of our date. Turns out Novo has a swanky dinner setting in their basement, believe it or not. I suppose we should have expected that from our favorite restaurant in SLO. We shared a few appetizers and ordered our own entrées: Julie got a petite filet with bleu cheese sauce and I got a lamb shank. Julie's filet was the better of our two dishes in my opinion.

All in all, the day was wonderful. Spending the day with Julie was exactly what I needed and what Valentine's is all about. Next year should be even better!

Friday, February 11, 2011


I recently joined Pinterest, and I have to say that it is pretty awesome, but at the same time a bit overwhelming.  I can spend a long time just staring at all of the pretty photos.  I find that I want to pin them all to my boards.  The site acts as a virtual bulletin board of sorts.  You can create different boards for different themes in order to collect your visual inspiration.  And inspiration it is, but right now it makes me want to turn the office into a craft room, make beautiful foods, get pretty tattoos (don't worry, that one's just a crazy fantasy), and create gorgeous flower arrangements all at the same time.

See, just look at these little bear breads, I need them in my life:

Source: via CollectedNest on Pinterest

So, go join Pinterest and add more pins for me to find and drool over.  You can follow me while you're there.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grilled cheese for grown ups

Before I jump in and start claiming the virtues of delicious little grilled cheese sandwiches I should introduce myself. Hi, I'm Graham, and it is my pleasure sharing with you some of my interests alongside my wife's posts.  My primary focus on here will be culinary but I'll try to write about other topics from time to time.

Anyway, about those sandwiches...  They're really dead simple.  I mean come on, they're grilled cheese.  So what makes the ones we enjoyed today any different?  Easy: olive oil.

For some time we've been making crustinis by spreading olive oil on little slices of sourdough and broiling them to make nice little snacks with cuts of cheese and grapes.  Today I really wanted a grilled cheese sandwich and realized I could do something similar.  I poured some olive oil, just a thin layer really, in our non-stick Green Pan and laid out four slices of sourdough.  I also put some olive oil in a measuring cup for later.  I then took hand shredded cheese and laid it on the bread.  I let the bread fry until it turned a beautiful golden brown at which point I topped the cheese with the other slice of bread and put some olive oil on and flipped.  Some of the cheese escaped but that led to nice crispy bits on the outside of the sandwiches.  I then just waited for that side to brown and plated them.  They looked great and tasted even better!

Julie swears she tasted a bit of onion.  Whether it was true or just her imagination we're going to try adding a little onion to the oil next time to give it just a little more zing.  Come back later and I promise we'll have pictures.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Reversible Tote Bag

I received a new sewing machine for Christmas from Graham and it is awesome!  I also received the book, Stitch by Stitch by Deborah Moebes.  The book is a sort of guide to teach you to sew and/or get back into sewing, like me.  The first project I made from the book was a set of four napkins with mitered corners.  I know it sounds weird to say that you sewed napkins, because aren't they just a square of fabric anyway, but they look really nice and professional.  I skipped a little ahead in the book for the second project which is my reversible tote bag.  I'm really proud of it and I think it turned out great!

I used two prints from the line, Red Letter Day by Lizzy House.  I always thought the prints were adorable (I have a soft spot for ducks) and it was on sale for half off at my local quilt shop, the Cotton Ball in Morro Bay.  So I bought some of each without any idea what I was going to make (I also have a soft spot for cute fabric that I have no "use" for).  So needless to say, it came home with me and then I flipped though my book, and ta-da!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Homemade Kettle Corn

So we made kettle corn today as a snack, and it was delicious.  It was just as good as the real thing and sooo easy.  It took all of about 10 minutes to have fresh, hot, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth kettle corn.  We used a recipe found on  We used Sugar in the Raw and added the sugar after the oil had heated up and let it melt a little before we added the popcorn.  Oh, and we added a sprinkling of sea salt. So good!  You should definitely try it if you like that sweet and salty combination.

See that bowl there, it's gone.  It was inhaled in mere moments.

Friday, February 4, 2011


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