Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Meetings

On Thursday, Erik had a work party so I got the opportunity to meet most of the people he works with on a daily basis.  I get really nervous about meeting new people (especially when it's a lot of them) so I kind of obsessed about what I was going to wear.  Here's what I chose.

Coral seems to be my color of choice lately.  It's so bright and happy.  

This was the first time I pulled out a scarf here.  It's a little difficult to figure out how to pull that off but I'm easily chilled so I figured since it was the evening it would work.  If you've got something sleeveless on, it helps balance things out.  Plus this was a lightweight scarf.

The party turned out well, just hopefully everyone doesn't think I'm weird.  With my nervousness, the weirdness can really come out.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Best of the best #1

A lot of bloggers like to sum up their weeks, posting pictures or links or just writing about the random little bits that wouldn't make up an entire post on their own but work well together.  I've been calling these posts a "Week in Review" but I don't like that very much for whatever reason.  So I'm changing it, because that's what you do when you don't like something and you can do something about it.

Welcome to "Best of the Best"

I don't necessarily like that 100% either, but I'll keep thinking on it.

If you'll remember last week's "Week in Review" I was looking for suggestions to create a better looking collage.  I found FotoFlexor, and it did exactly what I wanted it to.  Yay!

1. Last Saturday, Erik and I went to the mall to look around a bit and we found a froyo place.  Mmm.  I hadn't been to one since leaving our little town in Idaho and kind of missed it.

2. Look at this adorable beer!  I almost bought it for the bottle.

3. Sunday was our six months of marriage-- "semiversary" --so we pulled out a little cheese, chocolate, crackers, wine, etc. 

4.  So I pulled this thing out of the dumpster the other day.  I simply could not leave it behind when I was throwing out my trash.  It definitely needs some work, but I think it would make a really good shelf for the entryway.

5. I'm back at pretty labeling everything I own again.  This jar in particular is now holding laundry detergent.  For those of you who don't know, I went through a phase of relabeling everything I could with pretty paper.  

6. My last big project for the personal finance and management class I took this semester was creating a filing system for all your financial and personal documents.  I think everyone should take a personal finance class because the information is so useful.   

7. Chobani was on sale at the grocery store this week.  It's another little thing that I haven't had since before we moved (mostly due to cost) so I picked one up for a treat.  I never had the pomegranate flavor before and it was delightful!

8. I'm in love with iced tea and this glassware.  We picked up the liter bottle at the thrift store right after we moved, just because it looked so awesome and could work for a lot of things.  The glasses were also thrift store finds but from years ago.  I just realized this week how adorable they are.

9. You've seen this grocery bag already, but I cannot tell you how excited I am to have it.  I use it all the time.

I hope you have such a delightful weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pizza Friday #2

Pizza Friday has been successful so far.  Last week I made a mixed mushroom pizza from the Vegetarian Bible, a cookbook full of honestly good vegetable recipes my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas one year.

The recipe called for curd cheese, which I think actually meant quark.  Quark is something I tried in Germany, a little like sour cream or cream cheese.  There isn't a true equivalent in the U.S. so you have to go to a specialty store (i.e. health food store) and I just wasn't willing to do that last week so cream cheese it was.  

I also had a good opportunity to use my oregano plant for the sauce!  I was such a happy camper out there clipping away a few sprigs.  How nice to be able to use your own fresh herbs that you've been growing yourself.  Herb gardens are something I would definitely suggest to anyone.

Have a fabulous Thursday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I should be working on homework and housework right now, but see what I'm doing instead? 

The other day, Miss Indie was talking about a photo editing site called PicMonkey that she had discovered and I couldn't help myself but try it out.  It's so fun to be able to mess around with all the neat effects and features.

That shopping bag is now my favorite.  I couldn't help myself when I saw it (I could, but you know sometimes...), even though I know I don't need anymore reusable shopping bags.  I'm certainly going to have to limit my needless purchases with so many shopping centers so readily available close by.

What fun things do you find to distract yourself from what you should be doing?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Storage eccentricities

As I start putting the office together, I'm trying to find creative ways to make things look just right.  Part of that is storage space.  You know, that thing that always seems to be lacking in an apartment and you can't really do anything about it since you don't own the place?

One thing I've always had a hard time finding a good solution for is my yarn.  Of all the silly things, you may say yourself.  Put it in a basket or a box!  But for some darn reason, that's never been good enough.

I ended up with this cute little birdcage as we were gathering things up for the wedding (it was for cards).  When I was looking at it yesterday, I spotted my pile of yarn and thought to myself "hmmm...."  This is the end result.

You may have noticed that things I've been featuring have our wedding in there some way or another.  One of the big things I found to be important was being able to use all the stuff later.  I will attest that even the bridesmaids dresses have been reused.  Our "theme" (if we really even had one) utilized a lot of colors and elements that I loved so much I would be happy seeing them in my own home. It's been pretty neat because here and there throughout the whole apartment, I've got stuff either from the ceremony or the reception (like the millions of bunches of lavender).  So as I continue to get our apartment situated and show you pictures of the endeavor, bear with me as I mention some way "this particular thing" ended up at our wedding.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meet Me on Monday #64

Here's the weekly Meet Me on Monday quiz I like to do every week, hosted by Never Growing Old.

                          1.  I keep putting off _________
2.  What is your current weather?
3.  What is the nicest room in your house? 
4.  What jewelry do you never take off?
5.  Do you eat a snack before bed?

1.  I keep putting off writing my final literary analysis.  This class has been such a bore and I've been frustrated with not being taught.  Sometimes it feels like when you're taking an online class, the professors just ignore you.

2.  My current weather is rainy and windy.  It's been like this for two straight days, and thankfully it stopped long enough so we could work on doing trail restoration for the first half of yesterday.

3.  The nicest room in my house is the office.  So this is incredible to be saying, but it's the only part of my home that looks like it "matches."  Things are painted, I'm getting it all organized.. it just has a more complete look than anywhere else right now.

4.  I never take off my engagement and wedding rings.  Although, yesterday when we were working I decided to leave my engagement ring home just so nothing would happen to it.

5.  I try not to eat a snack before bed.  I used to be really bad about it, but since moving, our schedule is much more stable and I tend to not end up snacking so easily.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A festival, perhaps

With Coachella happening over the last few weeks, everyone seems to be in the music festival mood.  I love music festivals but I haven't really been able to locate any good ones on our little island.  I think that's something we'll have to travel to the mainland for, as if festivals aren't expensive enough as it is.

Shirt: Urban Outfitters
Bandau: VS
Belt: Somewhere in London (H&M?)
Skirt: Thrifted
Earrings: Birthday present!

If I were going to a festival anytime soon, this is probably what I would be wearing.  All elements are incredibly breathable (except that massive belt, perhaps) and make for a fun "I'm going to be in hippie land and enjoy my free spirit" feeling--especially with these neat earrings!  About that belt for a second, I bought it four years ago when I was traveling Europe and haven't worn it once in the states.  I figured it was about time.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Week in Review

This week was so delightful.  I don't know what it was, other than I kept a really nice routine while not feeling like I was doing the same thing day after day.  I'm not really "unpacking" as much as before, but rather doing all the fun things of making the house look nice with the stuff that's outside a box.


I need to remember to do more with Instagram during the week.  I feel like so much happens and I don't end up with enough pictures to prove it.  I'm also trying to figure out how to do collages without requiring an free online collage creator (which truly limit options).  I would love some ideas!

1. On Sunday, I had to go rescue my phone from Waikiki (over a 30 minute drive on a good day) so we decided we better make a day out of it and hit up the famous Waikiki beach.  This was the first time we had gone and it was really nice, even though very crowded.  We won't go often, but I think once a month or so might be in order.

2. The big assignment for my personal finance class is putting together a filing system for all your important documents.  I love this class because it's all so incredibly relevant.  Anyway, I pulled out all my documents that had been packed away in boxes and the new ones we had gotten since moving, found all my files, separators and manila envelopes and got to work (all while watching some really cheesy romantic drama).  I still need to label everything all nice with pretty paper and all, but it's almost done!

3. After organizing my DVD's in alphabetical order, it was clear that we had purchased two copies of Inception and Harry Potter 3 and 4.  I think I knew about the Harry Potter oversight, since I'm pretty sure they had become so scratched I couldn't watch, but Inception?  This is a classic example of why organization is important.  We have moved so many times while still doing a million things that I hadn't taken the time to really organize much of anything.  I'm certainly going to do a better job now.

4. Banana muffins.  My first baking project since moving.  I was so excited :).  I didn't want them in the house so after keeping one for myself I sent them off to work with Erik.  

5.  I am so sad I forgot about this one last week and really had to add it to this week's review.  Erik bought some flowers for me "just because" on the way home from work one day.  It was super sweet :).  

6.  Last Saturday, we went hiking at the Aiea Loop Trail and it was awesome!  We were in a million environments at once.  At one point it was like the pine mountains of Idaho, the next a rainforest and even further a eucalyptus forest.  All within a 4.5 mile hike!  Not to mention at some high points we could see the freeway, the ocean and skyscrapers.  Living on an island such as this makes for interesting living.

Woah.  Word heavy post.  I just couldn't help myself I suppose :).  Like I said, it's been a good week.  I hope you have such a super weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When accidents make for the best surprises

When Erik and I got engaged, I immediately set out to looking for absolutely everything we would need to pull this thing off.  We had about a 2.5 month engagement (AH!) and had to get everything done as fast as we could.

One thing I really wanted to do was find mis-matched dining ware at thrift stores.  I made some great finds, shopping at Goodwill as often as I could and finding pink/green/blue/red tagged items whenever those were 50% off.  And then I found out the town we lived in at the time did a Plate Project, so we could just borrow mis-matched plates, cups, silverware, napkins... everything.  Amazing, right?

Well I ended up with all these plates and bowls that I had started picking up.  I realized, however, that a lot of these plates are gorgeous and would definitely earn a place in our home.  So I picked through all the ones I liked and re-donated the ones that were leftovers.  

These are my favorite dishes and I have a lot of little plates, which makes eating reasonable servings a tad bit easier.  One other thing I have ended up with a lot of after the wedding (and not so much by accident) is lavender.  So much lavender... 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Little projects to look forward to

Since I'm still working on getting everything in it's place, I haven't started any new projects yet (which is why you get a lot of cooking posts :) ).  Since I have more time I want to get more decor going, so I have been gathering as many ideas as I can find!  As an FYI, if you follow me on pinterest, you may have seen some of these before. 

Here's what I'm loving this Wednesday! 

This cute little idea was for a Christmas decoration, but I think it would work for just about anything!  I have been carrying around a stack of very scratched up CD's for years because I haven't been able to just throw them away, but I don't know what else to do with them. I think these would be fun to hang in an entryway to say "WELCOME" or some other such nice greeting.

I don't have a single coaster in my home and since the bar, the counters, the coffee table... pretty much everything is white, then I need something to keep the rings away.  This is a great project to take your own photos and turn them into awesome (and original) coasters!  I thought it might make a neat wedding present as well.

Framed artwork is expensive, but this idea utilizes extra fabric scraps to create a pretty collage on your walls.  This would work out particularly well on our very plain, white walls.  Not to mention, I'm always looking for projects that utilize fabric scraps.

I'm always using glass jars, whether recycled or new, for all the things in my cupboard.  Especially now that we've got bugs all over the place, everything must be sealed away (italics AND underlines? It must be a big deal..).  But keeping track of it all gets to be a pain and even more so with the deep cupboards.  So here is a cute way of labeling and being able to reuse!  

What projects are you all working (or planning to be working) on?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Meet Me on Monday #63

I always enjoy doing one little blog hop on Monday, just because I think it's fun to answer a few questions about myself and see what other people have to say.  So here's Meet Me on Monday!


1.  Right now I could really eat _________?
2.  Full length pants or capri's?
3.  The best smelling men's cologne (women's perfume for the guys playing) is ________? 
4.  What is your favorite kind of Cheesecake?
5.  What TV Show do you currently never miss?
1.  Right now I could really eat absolutely nothing.  Since it's 5:30a.m., I'm still not hungry and quite frankly still waking up *yawn*.  I don't tend to be super hungry in the mornings and I really don't crave much then either.  Now if it was later in the afternoon...... ;-)

2.  Full length pants or capris?  Capris.  It's too warm most days to wear full length pants but I don't like shorts so capris it is!

3.  The best smelling men's cologne is ???.  I like whatever Erik smells like, and he's usually got some Old Spice on. 

4.  What is your favorite kind of cheesecake?  Okay, so now I'm going to have to go back to question 1 and re-answer because cheesecake sounds good!  I like plain cheesecake, sometimes with a few fresh strawberries on top.

5.  What TV show do you currently never miss?  Since we don't have cable or dish, we watch everything on Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Instant, so it's not like I can really "miss" anything.  But the only show I actually pay per episode to watch is "Mad Men" and I watch it the moment it becomes available on Amazon.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pizza Friday's

What is it about Friday's that just scream pizza?  I know growing up we often had our pizza day on Friday, and lots of other people do the same thing.  Perhaps it's a celebration of the weekend, to feel good about all the hard work we did during the week.  Whatever it may be, I am happy to make it tradition in our home.

The recipe I chose was Basil Tomato Pizza from the "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" cookbook, a bridal shower gift from my aunt (the baking stone I used was from her too :) ).  I was actually able to find the recipe on their blog, so now you can try the recipe out if you would like!

First, the pizza dough recipe is great!  It makes enough for two medium pizzas, so I put half the dough in the freezer for next week.  Adding a cup of whole wheat flour gives the dough a little more "health" so you're not eating only refined flour.  I also didn't let it rise quite so long (20 minutes) so the dough would be a little thinner.  

It's a white sauce based pizza instead of tomato sauce.  Erik and I don't like tomato sauce pizza as much as a white sauce, so I was happy to try this recipe out even though white sauce means far more calories (it's the weekend!).  There is a lot of chopped fresh basil and garlic, making the sauce more than just something to stick the toppings to.  It becomes a topping!  The only odd part about the sauce is the use of mayo.  I used Veganaisse, a vegan mayo substitute--I still maintain a lot of the habits I picked up over the years I was vegan.  

The rest of the pizza is loads of tomatoes and cheese.  I found some fresh mozzarella on discount because it was going to expire in a few days.  If you ever use fresh mozzarella, try to dry it a little beforehand.  It's full of liquid and will make a huge mess when you're baking the pizza.

All in all, this was a great recipe and will probably do some variation of it again in the future.

Any pizza or other food traditions in your home?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week in Review

It seems like I just wrote last week's week in review, but here we are again.  Goodness, I can't get over how time flies!

1.  One of my best friends sent me this awesome card!  Neither one of us feel too good about skinny jeans, so it was a little inside joke.  I sure do love cards and letters!  I've been trying to send them out more since I have some more time on my hands.

2.  MY TOMATOES ARE RIPENING!!  You can just barely see it but this little tomato is turning orange.  There are so many bunches of tomatoes on my little plant but none of them had started to ripen yet so I was getting worried.  But lo and behold, today when I was out watering there was some color.

3.  Last nights dinner was super yummy, and very pretty (and on a plate!).  We had grilled baby bok choy, tamari marinated tofu and a tomato feta salad.  I got the idea for the bok choy when we were on our honeymoon.  Maho Bay camps have a restaurant that provide lots of vegetarian food (that is actually good and veggie heavy). One night there was an asian vegetable plate and a grilled half of baby bok choy was on there.  It's super yummy.

4.  Now that things are unpacked, I get to have my french press and coffee mug back!  Erik took our little french press to keep at work, so I got the big guy.  I'm not so good at making coffee in this one though, as you can see by the light color.

Hoping you all have an awesome Friday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nautical fun

First off for the day, I wanted to share my awesome bike.  I am so glad it made it here safe and sound since it's probably the coolest thing I own.  I found this on craigslist when I lived in Idaho and was so glad I did.  I need to clean it up, since it had to sit under a sappy tree when we lived in a downtown apartment but I'm happy to have it back.  Does it not look like the best beach cruiser ever?

Blouse: Forever 21
Skirt: Forever 21
Sandals: Unsure
Watch: Unsure
Belt: Urban Outfitters

 This skirt goes with everything and the top is so light.  I end up wearing one, the other or both all the time.  I'm trying to figure out how to not wear this skirt, but it's not going so well. The belt is also my favorite, although I'm not sure if such a light colored belt is the most flattering.  It looks cool, if nothing else. 

It all looks a little nautical, yeah?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


My goodness, it's already Wednesday and I haven't posted anything.  Time to remedy that.

This week has been the unpack-and-find-a-home-for-it week.  Isn't it amazing how much random stuff can accumulate?  Those darn things you have such a hard time finding a home for because it's category is "miscellaneous."  It's becomes a little taxing, but I think I've made it through the worst of it. 

The whole ordeal has led me to find organization blogs, tips and photos.  I have to find just a little guidance to get me going in the right direction!  There are a lot of weeds to go through, but these two were my favorites.  

iheartorganizing was my first stop.  I had come across a really great cupboard organization photo and had to look around some more.  Everything looks so fabulous and inspires me to get my things in order.

Chaos to Order has a short entry on dealing with all those various items in your closet (which always seems to be the spot for them).  Photos and all!

How do you deal with organization and clutter?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Week in Review

I'm in shock that it's Friday already.  I know we always say time flies, but good grief.  This week has been a blur!

1 and 2 go together this week.  I spent all of Monday painting the gigantic six foot desk I found on craigslist.  It's a lovely light gray color that makes the office/guest room look delightful, even if the desk is way too big.  

3.  We went to a luau last night with my grandparents at the Hale Koa!  I've never been to one and it was really neat.  Towards the middle of the show, the MC found the longest married couple (58 years!), sang to them and had all the other married couples dance.  I realized since we didn't have a first dance at our wedding, this was Erik and I's first married dance.  I definitely got emotional.  It was a really nice evening.

4.  Everything finally arrived.  Our apartment here is much smaller than our old apartment in Moscow, so this is going to be interesting.  Clearly I'm putting off unpacking because I'm here or doing my assignments or some other silly thing (like watching my wedding video).  Most of the dishes arrived unscathed, but unfortunately the clay mug we purchased on our honeymoon totally collapsed.  That's probably the most disappointing damage I have found so far.  But after waiting over a month, I'm just thankful anything got here at all.  You all know what I'll be doing this weekend.. :).

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Just a little tired

This week has been exhausting.  Whew!  I've figured out how to use the bus, so now I can go wherever I please while Erik's at work, thank goodness.  I met a friend on Tuesday (Hooray!) and met my grandparents at the airport afterwards.  There has also been painting, school and cleaning (as usual).

It may not sound like a lot but when I wake up at 5am, it sure does feel exhausting by the end of the day.

Tonight is the big luau and I cannot wait to show some pictures.  Touristy Hawaii isn't something I've done before, and this is about as touristy as it gets so we'll see how it turns out :).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Time to get out those pots

Since I've been donning my gardening gloves, I wanted to share a few sites that I've found helpful for my container garden.  I know there are a lot of people who don't have the pleasure of a garden plot in their backyard (or a backyard at all) so containers are a great remedy.

Garden guides has this great little two page guide with tidbits of info on what containers to use, what size pot for which plant, etc.  Very useful!

Urban Gardens, a great blog I've been following for a while, has some wonderful ideas on how to garden in any area of your outdoors.  I love looking at all the crazy containers you can grow stuff in--it always sparks my imagination.

And finally, Gardening in Small Spaces is a great website full of information on how to garden in containers as well as everything that goes along with it.  This includes caring for your pots, what to do when winter settles in, etc.  It's a great stop for every bit of info you could possibly need.

I hope this inspires you to get your Spring gardening going!

What are some of your best gardening resources?

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's going to be a good one

(A little weekend-to-the-beach photo)

It's Monday already?  How did that happen?  It seems that with Erik and I getting into our groove of things, time just flies by and it's April!

This week should be full of lots of excitement.  We're going to have our very first visitors!  My grandparents had already planned a trip to the islands before Erik got this job so it worked out that we would be here to visit with them during their vacation.  I'm actually going to do some of the touristy parts of the island, which neither one of us has done.  I haven't even been to Waikiki beach!  A friend of mine is also coming for the weekend, so we have not one but TWO sets of  visitors.  Yay!

There are actual dates for the arrival of our things.  Not just "oh, it might get on a container this day, we'll see."  Nope, an actual "it will be there between the 3rd and 10th."  Hooray!  The task of unpacking seems like a small thing in replacement for my sewing machine, kitchen aid, etc. 

I headed to Lowes yesterday for some paint.  That's right--time to get to work redoing some of the used furniture we picked up over the last month.  I wanted to get it done before everything else arrives, but we'll see.  The light gray I chose for my work desk has me very excited.

Clearly it's going to be an exciting week!  What do you have planned?

Happy Monday!

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