July 31, 2011

My lovely Turtles

I have been taking care of my grandma's turtles while she is taking care of my cousins.  She has 5 tortoises.  One is the same as the three I have, and four are some California tortoise.  The four she rescued from a home where the turtles were placed in a closet and pretty much forgotten about.  But they are doing well now.  The Cali ones are so cute and full of life! They are all about the size of your palm, and they are very light.  And they are not as skittish as mine are. 

We gave them new names too because my grandma had not yet done so.  One, who is the oldest and has a lot of pyramiding is named Captain.  The next biggest is named Square, mostly due to the fact that she is almost a perfect circle.  Slightly smaller is No Name, yes that is what we call her No Name, and I really like it so we are keeping it.  It came from me not knowing what her name should be within the first day.  Last is Water Baby.  She is the smallest, and my mom must name everything 'baby.' So she is water baby because she liked the water the most the first few days we had her.  
Captain sleeping.

They are fun to watch.  And they do the strangest things.  
Someone looking straight up.  Man are they flexible.

Smelling each others armpits.
Hiding inside cinder blocks.

No Name being cute.  She is my favorite.
Climbing on top of their house.

No-Name happily sleeping with her head vertical to the wall
 Turtles (tortoise's) are the cutest things ever.  When I grow up I want to start a tortoise sanctuary for when turtles get left behind or get too big for their owners.

Look at this funny turtle idea one mom had

July 30, 2011


I made a crown for a friends daughters 7th birthday.  I have also made a few in the past for my cousins.  They are a simple concept, but it gets tricky working with the curve of the headband.  I was originally inspired by Lu Bird Baby, who taught me how to make this incredible crown.  


This crown is not my best, I thought I knew how to do it, but had trouble and had to remake it once.  I also embellished with puffy paint to make it come alive.  Finally this headband is thicker, which made it trickier to put together, but to me thicker means more durable so that is why I used it. 


July 26, 2011

Birthday Toffee

I found a recipe for toffee here at Mom Makes It Happen.  I know my dad likes toffee, so I thought I would make it for him for his birthday.  I like this recipe because it is not overcomplicated and is also pretty specific about how to make the toffee.  I thought this recipe was easy to follow and led me in the right direction to end up with good toffee. 
My mom says that making candy is hard for a lot of people, but that my batch was really good.  I thought this recipe was easy to follow and led me in the right direction to end up with good toffee.

Mom Makes It Happen gives you the how to to good toffee making.

When using this recipe it is very important that you have a candy thermometer.  That is how you can tell when the sugar liquid is ready to be poured into your pan. 

Another thing I changed was to use way more chocolate, and to add it only two minutes after pouring the toffee out of the pan.  I have made the toffee twice (once for home, once for my dad) and both times the chocolate layer was soooooo tiny.  So next time I will melt chocolate another way then add it on top, maybe two or three layers.  My family likes a lot of chocolate.  And you must remember to slide the liquid all over the pan to make it thinner so that your bites are not through half an inch of toffee.  Ok, I am exaggerating, but my first batch was very thick and hard to eat.
Some thick pieces in here

July 24, 2011

The little things can brighten a day...

Oh how I absolutely love those friends who know me best.  And that I am reminded they are there by the little things they do. 

On the blog LOVE IN JOY, my best friend writes and shares inspiring things.  She posted this for me, because she thinks it's awesome and knows that I do too. 

Find the whole post here (don't worry it is short). 

July 22, 2011

My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things this week:

Reading.  Oh how I forget how much I love reading.  Books can take me away from my problems and transport me anywhere.  Sometimes I go on reading binges, then stop reading for weeks, and I am not sure why.  Sometimes I obsess over one book and stop everything to finish it as fast as possible, so that is probably why in busy times I give up my reading habit.

Bones.  One of my favorite series of all time.  Which also happens to coincide with the book I am reading.  While the two are completely different, I am constantly reminded of what I like about the show.

July 21, 2011

Kids puppet

I had another idea for a kids craft, which I thought was great.

It was a zebra with moving legs.  So what I did was to print out a picture of a zebra, then cropped the image in word to get extra front and back legs.  I also made two zebra copies, that is why there are so many extra legs.

So I had the boys color on  them, because they like to color and they love zebra's (they were excited just for the pictures).

Then I cut out the zebra - with legs, and the extra legs. 

The next step is to cut off the attached legs.  Grab some craft brads ( see pic to your left) that will allow you to attach the individual legs to the zebra body. 

After attaching the legs I taped a popsicle stick to the back so that it was like a puppet.  You could also put popsicle sticks on individuals legs to make them easier to move.

Linking to: Show n' tell saturday.  Making the world cuter.  Thirty handmade days.

July 19, 2011

Breakfast cookies

Breakfast cookies.  Always a good thing.  No matter what.  I read a blog called Love, Life and Lollipops, where Eve makes amazing vegan food, and shares her recipes.  I am no vegan, but I decided to make these anyway because they seemed easy, and she said these could be used for dessert of breakfast.  I am one of those persons who leaves without breakfast because my stomach aches just thinking about food.  Most of the time I would be fine not eating until after 11, but with work I cannot eat whenever I want, so I try daily to eat, and often times I just throw the breakfast away when I get to work because it repulses me (maybe that's too strong a word, but its close). 

So anyways, I found this recipe yesterday, and this morning after work went to the store (for brown rice syrup and whole almonds) and made the cookies.  They turned out super amazing.

They are called Vegan Thumbprints.  I am just going to call them thumb prints.

It is a pretty simple recipe, minus the ground almonds. To ground them I put whole almonds in my magic bullet and ground them into very small pieces.  Make sure you don't blend for too long or it may turn into almond butter.  And I also took her suggestion to chop the oats a little to make them smaller. When mixing the ingredients Eve suggests adding water if it is too dry.  Well I thought mine was too dry so I added 1/4 cup of water, and when I was putting the dough out on the trays it was very gooie, so I think next time I won't be adding water.
The end of my dough and jam

And the brown rice syrup I found at sprouts for $3.50 so it was a good deal for me.

These cookies did turn out very good.   The batch at first seemed really big, but if you eat three at a time I can see how they will go fast.

I was so excited I kept checking them every few minutes.  Making my cooking time longer, but they still worked out very well. 

I'm linking here: Homework. Homemaker on a dime.  Making me do.  Sumo's sweet stuff. Lil Luna.  Sew much ado.  Someday crafts.  Ginger snaps. Show n' tell saturday.  thirty handmade days.  Sweets for a saturday.  A vision to remember.

July 17, 2011

My anxiety

I have five weeks until my second year of grad school begins and I am already freaking out.  I knew I was getting stressed last week because in between my fingers become dry and red and itchy.  They have almost cracked a couple times too.  For some reason last semester at the end of school this happened to me for the first time and it was horrible to try to get rid of.  It spikes up now and again, but it has never been that bad since.  I am also breaking out all over my face, dumb adult acne.  I hate it! School is 5 weeks away and I am already fretting about how it may be, about how much I will hate the classes, about staying at my same job and being really unhappy. 

Sometimes I think I picked the wrong area of study.  I am getting my masters in public administration, which was really interesting as an undergrad and I loved how all the classes related to programs that were geared at helping people and making policy that was implemented to do good.  Well in grad school you do not learn about things like that.  It is all about policy making, and how to manage people, and the skills you need in relation to how to get a program policy to pass.  It is nothing that I wanted.  I really dislike it, but I want to work for a non-profit and be involved in implementing programs to the under-served population.  Plus my schools masters program is aimed at training city managers, who run a city and their budget and blah blah blah.  I don't like that, and it is talked about so much it makes me feel even more like I picked the wrong program.

So I picked the wrong program.  But I do not feel like I can just quite the program.  Its a conundrum I have been dealing with since my second semester.  And I think because it is the summer I have more time to thing about it, and also prepare for it.  I do a lot wondering how bad my classes will be, if I will have group projects, how long the papers are going to be, will I be able to get away with not reading the textbook... It is stressing me out already, and I cannot stand it!!!!

Anyways, thanks for listening. 

July 16, 2011

My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things this week.  They make me extra happy all the time.

new light cover, which I made and am planning to sell similar ones when I start my etsy store.

A picture of the niece and I

My favorite song this week, and month really comes from Tangled.  The song played at the very end of the movie, at the beginning of the credits, which is probably overlooked because it is at the end.  The song is called Something That I Want, and its linked to a youtube video.

Something That I Want Lyrics
She's a girl with the best intentions
He's a man of his own invention
She looked out of the window
He walked out the door
But she followed him
And he said, "What'cha lookin' for?"

She said, "I want something that I want.
Something that I tell myself I need
Something that I want
And I need everything I see."

Repeat Chorus

He's been livin' in a pure illusion
She's gonna come to her own conclusion
Right when you think you know what to say
Someone comes along and shows you a brand new way


It's so easy to make believe,
it seems you're livin' in a dream
Don't you see that what you need
is standing in front of you?


July 14, 2011

Ann Brashares

Has anyone ever read the sisterhood of the traveling pants? Well I have, and I have my books marked with my favorite passages, and post-its that I put how I felt when reading it.  SO, I am a very BIG fan of Ann Brashares.

In June she wrote a kind of sequel to the previous four books.  Those books followed the girls through their late teens to early twenties.  Her new book "Sisterhood Everlasting" is set ten years later when the girls are 33 ish.  Its a weird concept for my mind to grasp as I read the book.  I still picture the girls as they are portrayed in the movies, young and vibrant.  So whenever they talk about age I am kind of freaked out because I am still imagining them as teens.

Anywho... This story begins by giving the reader a view of their grown-up, separate lives.  Each girl is doing something very different, which has lead them to drift apart a little.  The girls are planning a trip to reunite and get back that closeness they once shared.  But the trip is met with heartbreak (and is very heartbreaking for the reader too).  Then each girl goes through a time of struggle, not knowing who they are without their three best friends.  So each girl grows up independently and finds herself through different means.  As each girl finds her path through the world the tragedy and pain begin to subside.  Eventually the girls are reunited and the truth is revealed.  --- I don't want to go past that for fear of spoiling the book.

When I began reading this I was very upset that their was such a heartbreak in the beginning of the book.  I thought that the heartbreaks would continue throughout the entire book.  Days before I got the book my aunt had passed away, so I was already heartbroken enough. I considered putting the book away in my library and not read the rest.  But because it is part of a series that I love so much I had to continue.  And I am glad I did.  It ended fantastically and left the reader felling happy and excited about the future of the girls.  Not that there will be another, but you never know.

I'm Linking HERE:  My romantic home.  Fingerprints on the fridge.  House of heprworths.  Paisley passions.  Pink hippo party.

July 12, 2011

Candle Lantern

Last year I made my mom a candle lantern for christmas with flowers around it.  It turned out ok, but I wasnt thrilled with it.  Yesterday as I was trying to clean my room I can across another vase I had bought to make a lantern out of.  So I decided that I would do the project right away.

This was a pretty easy project.
First I took my vase, mod podge and tissue paper and began adding color tissue paper as the bottom layer of this lantern.
Then for my second layer I added dried flowers which I had picked from the neighborhood and left in a book for many months. 
My last layer was another layer of light tissue paper to help keep the flowers on better.

Its not the best thing ever made.  And I think that the layering of tissue make the flowers harder to see, but when the candle is lit it is much more pretty.

Where I am linking: Homework.  Sew much ado.  Lil luna.  Ginger snaps.  Someday crafts.  My girlish whim.  Eisy morgan.  Sugar and spice.

July 9, 2011

Beach Theme Frame

One of my favorite girls had her 20th birthday this week.  So I decided to go all DIY and make her gift.  While I was at the dollar tree I was in the little craft portion and I saw sea shells and blue marble beads (the kind that go in fish tanks), and thought I could make a beach frame for her.  She also goes to college in Cali near the beach, so I thought it would be very potent in her present situation.

I began by gathering my materials - frames, paintbrushes, paint, hot glue gun, sea shells, marbles...

Then I wanted to add light blue to the frames for a pretty blue shade for the water.  I got my frames also from the dollar store, so they were already finished, so I put primer on the frames before painting. 

After the paint dried I hot glued on the shells and blue marble in a sort of pattern.

Finally an idea hit me to use the bag that the marbles came in.  It looks kind of like fish netting, so I added some of that onto one frame as well. 

Linking to: Fireflies and jellybeans. The girl creative. Nifty thrifty sunday.  The simple things. Craft. Flamingo toes. Nap time crafters. Sumo sweet stuff.  More the merrier monday. The girl creative.  Keeping it simple.  Craft o maniac.  SSB.  Sarahndipities. Eisy morgan. 

July 2, 2011

At least I tried...

When I was a freshman undergrad I very much liked this boy named Ryan.  We lived in the same dorm and were just down the hall from one another.  There was some initial attraction, within the first weeks, but after school got busy and things got crazy, so there wasn't the same sparks between us.  I also probably made the biggest mistake of my life when I kind of flirted with his friend and roommate.  I don't know why it happened.  I would always go down the hall hoping Ryan was in his room, but instead his roommate was there so I stopped by to hang out and wait for Ryan to return.   There was flirting that happen sometimes, and so it made him believe I was not attracted to him.  

And so as the year went along he developed a crush in another girl.  And he feel hard for this girl.  He told her his feelings and she rejected him (well maybe said not right now, but that sounds like a rejection right?). anyways I kind of lost interest that year.  When sophomore year started I kind of liked Ryan, but filled my life with many classes and clubs as distractions.  And through sophomore year he stilled pined after another girl, and she strung him along.  At some point he decided to try to get over her, and began dating some other girl, and I was so bummed that he would not want to date me who was right in front of him.  

Finally junior year he moved off campus with some friends, and I was going over frequently to try to see him, but he wasn't there often.  Then one day we were all watching a football game and the girl he was pining after was all over him, which was when I learned they had started dating.  After that I couldn't tell him how I felt.  And I never when over to hang out or see him after that.  It wasn't worth it for me.  So I decided to concentrate on my classes and graduated that year.  

I then decided that grad school was right for me.  I applied to my undergrad school and the one near my home.  I did not especially love the school I went to as an undergrad, but my feeling was (and still are) that if I was with him I would stay there for him.  I never thought I would be one of those girls who followed a boy because she loved him, but apparently I am.  And now I can understand when people do that.  I would have stayed to give us a chance together, and I liked him much more than going to school at home. 

So one year of grad school under my belt and I saw him a week ago when I was driving back from Cali and he was driving back to school from his house.  It was a freak thing, something that caught me totally off guard, but at the same time made me completely elated.  So we talked briefly and went our separate ways. 

Then I couldn't stop thinking about him, so I decided I would ask if he wanted to go out with me.  But the whole thing is complicated because his school is two hours away, and I have no real reason to be down there.  I would travel two hours to go on a two hour date with him.  Anyways, so I decide that I will ask him, but through text message because we talk via text sometimes, and I can't ask him in person because he is two hours away and I don't want to drive two hours for a rejection.  During our text conversation I ask if he has a girlfriend.  He says no.  So I say 'If I came down to ------- sometime would you want to go out with me?'  The reply: 'well our friend---- is planning on coming down in a few weeks, so you should come down with him when he comes.'  So I read this and its a screaming NO.  I tell my friend what happened and she said 'at least he still wants to see you.' Yeah right.  She can be naive sometimes, but I think that he did this so that he didn't have to say no flatout and hurt my feelings (he's considerate like that).  

Was texting a good idea? I don't know.  I asked some of my friends and they said I should just go for it if I felt so strongly for him.  So I asked, and now I can say I tried instead of regretting it forever.  But I think I may try again when they have a get together, to maybe show him that I am serious.  This is one things I will not be backing down on.  Maybe I threw it out to him way to out of the blue.  Next time maybe he will see it coming.

July 1, 2011

P & P spinoff

I am a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.  In high school I did a huge project on her and this particular book, and suddenly Austin has become an obsession of mine.  I like most of the spin-off books of Pride and Prejudice, because they have the same tone and styles of the original work.

What Would Mr. Darcy Do?  Abigail Reynolds

Obviously this is a spin off of Pride and Prejudice.  This story begins in the middle of pride and prejudice, around the time Lydia goes missing, and Elizabeth has once refused Darcy's proposal.  The story really delves into the emotions and thoughts of Elizabeth and Darcy, and how they are trying to come to terms with and comprehend their love for one another.  Elizabeth is learning about her love, while Darcy is worried about losing Elizabeth forever.   

There is an obvious presence of Austin throughout the novel, with more description of the physical attraction between the two.  Reynolds does an amazing job of making sure the actions of each character are the ones that would have been done in the time of Austin.  The romance is all about short glances, being in the presence of another, and soft touches.  Her descriptions of their actions and their interactions create romantic, intimate scenes, that are the epitome of true love.

This novel also goes beyond where Pride and Prejudice stops.  It takes you through the engagement, the courting (if you can call it that), and the marriage.  It is the best Austin spinoff I have read, and I am going to read all her Austin spinoffs.

The beginning of the novel felt very rushed as I read it, it kind of made me anxious while reading because of a fast pace.  And when I say fast pace the events did not go very fast, but I felt like the author was pushing the reader through the book not at my pace.  But the pace did slow down a few chapters in, and I got found the reading relaxing.

Where I am linking (see section for buttons):
Making the world cuter.