Sunday, August 30, 2009

It feels like it's been longer than 3 days since my last post, which means:

a: it's been a looongg weekend
b: it's been a busy weekend
c: nothing's going on

Lucky, lucky, you're a ducky, because the answer is B - busy weekend!

We started off with a short camping trip to Clinton Lake with 5 other couples from our ward. It was really great! Clinton Lake is a beautiful area. I'd already been this summer for Girls' Camp projects {which I have yet to post about...maybe later this week?} but I only went for a few hours each day and disgustingly humid days, at that.

Friday night was gorgeous, all around. Beautiful weather, great conversation, must-have foil dinners, banana boats and reeses s'mores...what more could you ask for? Well, maybe I'd ask for an air mattress next time...or, better yet, skip the air mattress but gimme a bigger tent. I really don't know why manufacturers call it a 4-person tent when you can barely squeeze 2 adults with their belongings in there before everything is touching the sides of the tent and gets wet from the dew the next morning. I'm speaking from experience here; if it says it's for 4 peeps, you can fit 2. It's time for a tent upgrade for the Alexanders!

Saturday morning I went to a tag sale. Erm...yes..I know I was 'camping' but it was only 20 minutes away and I already had directions and everything. But back to the point. I set my 'alarm' to 6:45am, woke up, drove away as the sun rose and everyone was still nice and snug in their tents, and off I went on the back roads of Kansas. A few missed turns here and there but I made it safe and sound in 25 minutes. Not too shabby. Know what else wasn't too shabby? The tag sale {a tag sale is pretty much an estate sale, see here for a better definition} was a little old lady who was a collector; baskets, cigar boxes, antique canning jars, etc. I looked to my heart's content, spent less than $15, and walked away with an armful of treasures that will most likely find their way into my etsy shop.

I headed back to camp to find the others just waking up and starting breakfast, a still asleep husband and pup, and the most beautiful weather. I wish we'd brought a hammock.

Ryan and I couldn't stay long. We all started packing up our tents and belongings, airing them out this way or that, zipping up sleeping bags and burning whatever paper products we'd used for breakfast. As we headed home {missionaries were coming for dinner Saturday night} I think they decided which walking trails to venture out on.

Unshowered and exhausted, we took an hour or two and decided how to spend the afternoon to get the most done before our guests arrived later that night.

Two shopping trips later and I started our delicious dinner of Fettuccine Alfredo with fresh basil pesto, grilled chicken slices, homemade marinara and rolls. My awesome {she shares my love of vintage and thriftyness, as well as being uber-crafty} friend Brooke {+hubby} brought a salad to go with dinner and our other friends, the Barkers, joined us as well. SUCH good food. MMmmm..I'm craving some Alfredo sauce right now.

Sunday we woke up with headaches and backaches, made it to church halfway through the first hour and came home after an hour for ibuprofen and sleep.

And now to end this insanely long look into my mundane life, I'll tease you all with the fact that I get to go to my first ever true blue flea market this weekend! Yay! I've saved my duckets and they'll be spent. And not only am I going to my first, but I'm hitting a SECOND, too!

Think about that for awhile and let me know how jealous you all are ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Not much to say, so I'll just list a few things that I've really felt blessed about lately.

  • Ryan - [I've loved spending time with him these last few weeks. When we first got married we worked opposite schedules. Moving to Kansas {a YEAR ago, people!} helped us become even closer and reacquaint ourselves with each others' personalities and quirks. Last week he started Fall semester and he has no free time. I miss him during the day and am grateful we consider 'hanging out' as being in the same house together but doing our own thing at night. It's nice. He's nice.]
  • Unemployment- 'nuf said.
  • Health Insurance - thank goodness for COBRA
  • Friends - I've got great ones. The more the merrier, I say
  • Family - I wish we lived closer!
  • Internets - keeps my sanity but also wastes WAY too much time
  • Yard Sales - "with my by myself"
I'm sure there's more, but it's after midnight and I'm babysitting tomorrow {sort of like daycare!} and need my beauty sleep.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Salad

I'm typically not a fan of pasta. In fact, it's typically only a cold pasta salad {non-mayo based} or my aunt Lorie's Fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken that will tempt me. And occasionally a good old fashioned box of mac and cheese. I know, I'm weird.

But, with a large amount of fresh garden tomatoes and a limited recipe pool in the mass I refer to as my brain, I received an emailed newsletter with this recipe and make it I did.

Italian Basil, Tomato, and Pasta Salad


  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil*
  • 8 ounces dried pasta (such as rotini, bow ties, shells, cavatelli, or penne)
  • 2 9-ounce packages frozen cut green beans
  • 6 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives or ripe olives
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves*
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) finely shredded parm
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley


1. For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, and garlic. Gradually whisk in oil. Stir in the slivered basil. Set dressing aside.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook frozen beans according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.

4. Toss one-third of the dressing with the cooked pasta; place pasta in the bottom of a very large salad bowl. Layer ingredients on top of the pasta in the following order: cooked green beans, tomatoes, and olives. Top with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with the basil leaves, the Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. To serve, toss lightly to combine. Makes 16 servings.

To Tote: Transport in an insulated cooler with ice packs.

For 8 Servings: Prepare using method above, except assemble salad in a large salad bowl.

*My Notes:

1. I wouldn't recommend using all the basil the recipe calls for. I only slivered 1/4 cup for the dressing and had probably 1/2 c. left after I did that. I tossed that in the salad and it was plenty. Anymore and it would have been overkill for my tastes

2. Skip the parsley. I don't think it added anything to the taste and just a little to the color.

3. Kalamata olives are strong in flavor. If you're not a fan, use half of what's called for. I wouldn't suggest leaving them out, though, as they add a TON of flavor to the salad.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Front Page

I got a msg this morning on Etsy asking for a shipping quote. Had I not responded I would have never seen the front page and then realized my quilt top was front and center!

How cool, huh?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fabulous Friday Find

So...I didn't actually find this today. I found it yesterday. And I keep thinking today is Saturday. Calendars are for working people, apparently.
It had to have been lovingly cared for by Brian or Brian's parents, because it's in such great condition.

I almost didn't get it yesterday but it was the sole item purchased at a 'huge garage and barn sale' that wasn't so huge and it was a short drive out of town. But everyone knows how much I love the color combination and it was priced a little over just right so I couldn't pass it up.

And now someone else will get to cherish it, too. But until then, I will.

Also, I'm going to a flea market the weekend of Labor Day - it's about 2 hours from Lawrence and I was considering staying the night (Friday night) and coming home late Saturday or late Sunday. Anyone interested? There are two HUGE flea markets about 10 miles apart. I found out about them through Country Living and Better Homes & Gardens me if you're game...girls' weekend!

*update! I called and confirmed dates for the shows - Sparks Antique and Flea is Sept 3-6th, and the White Cloud Flea Market is the 4-6th. I'll probably be going on Friday and Saturday, but if anyone wants to meet up on Saturday, that would be fun!*

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fabulous Friday

We've done a ton of things with Ben and Kathy already, including a delicious lunch at Dempsey's, fishing, and a movie {for me and mom} at Liberty Hall {(500) Days of Summer}.

Everyone just finished their lunch in this picture. I know I've said it before, but they really do have the best burgers I've ever tasted. My favorite is the Pancetta burger. Just typing this makes my mouth water.

After lunch we drove around campus and walked around Ryan's building and he showed us where he basically lives on a day to day basis.

Around 5:30, Ryan and Ben went fishing up in Bonner Springs and mom and I went to the movies. Such a cute movie. I love the outfits! I wouldn't recommend seeing it if you've just gone through a breakup or are in a not-going-anywhere relationship because you might be depressed by the end of the movie. But all you marrieds - go!

But I got these pictures of the theater. Amazingly charming, no?

Liberty Hall is in well-known Downtown Lawrence. With last night's beautiful weather, we walked all the way down Mass. {with Yummies as the destination} and all the way back up. I think we worked off our frozen yogurt!

We stopped for a few minutes to listen to the street performers. These guys are here almost every weekend and they're so entertaining. Enjoy the 27 seconds!

Our town is so fun when I choose to take advantage!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Little Business

Since starting to hock my goods on etsy again, I've found that I've really wanted something to send along with my packages. Normally, I write a cute little note, but I wanted consistency and a more professional look.

So I turned to mpix again and used my smarts to be the most economical. {Also, I'd just received an email from them with a promo code for postcards.}

I received these in the mail today {ordered Monday - they're SUPER fast}:

I'm 99.9% happy with them. I'm sure you can look at them and see what's 'off' quite easily. I had them printed in a 5x7 postcard format.

So I added these other components:
And ended up with these to send along with orders and keep as non-standard size biz cards to hand out if the opportunity ever arises.
The paper is pearl, so it has this fabulously subtle shimmer to it.

I highly recommend mpix. Seriously.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


We're having visitors today! My mother-in-law and youngest brother-in-law are coming to visit us in wee little Kansas. A whole week!

I'm not sure what we're going to do for entertainment the next 7 days, especially with a 12 year old boy...any suggestions, friends?

Got to go...I have a guest room to clean and errands to run.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Recent Finds

I love Saturday mornings. I usually get up early and go to yard sales, then swing by the farmer's market before they shut down for the day {at 11am!}. But then by 4 or 5pm I'm ready for a nap.

Today went a little differently. I only scouted out two sales, hit those {found nothing I wanted} and then stopped by the market and was back in bed before 8am. Ryan didn't even know I was gone.

But look at what I did find at the farmer's market this morning.

Isn't the color fabulous! Gladiolas. Priced right at 10/$10. They're a really dark purple color. Very striking.

I put them in a tall vase and arranged them on the table. We finally moved the china hutch back in from the garage this afternoon. While we still have much work to do {that means I have lots to do} to get the house the way we want it, it's coming along quite nicely. The paint and the floors make ALL the difference.
Also, I thought I'd share some other recent finds of mine. These are ones I'm keeping:

{antique nursery planter - baby calf}

{1970s Fisher Price Pocket Radio Music Box}

I know there's more, but I have SO much stuff in the garage to organize back into the hutch. I'll post more goodies as I find them.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Around here, Thunder spends most of his days between Ryan and I. For example, if I'm downstairs {as I currently am} and Ryan is upstairs {as he currently is}, Thunder will be here.

Oops! Here he comes! I've been spotted. You know what they say about letting sleeping dogs lie? I think that includes not taking pictures with the flash on...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

House, meet Chair.

Chair, meet House.

Old {read: vintage} chair with great lines. Could do for a recovering but is fine as it is...for now.

Already cleaned and added felt pads to the bottom to make the legs non-scratchy.

Best part? Less than $10

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


was productive. A few loads of laundry {two remaining from yesterday}, unloading and loading the dishwasher, and bringing in some new goods to photograph and get put away in my not yet up-and-running craft room.

But this afternoon consisted of delicious fare from the burgerstand inside of Dempsey's Irish Pub {EVERYONE should try this place at least once. best burger I've had in my entire life. BEST!} and hemming some pants for a friend and a shipping of the pile below. Postage is much more expensive than I wish it were and one of my orders ended up costing almost as much to ship as the income it sad is that. So everything was adjusted, much to my chagrin.

But I am happy to have boxes to ship and thankful that my little piece of the world is all mine and others can enjoy it, too.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Seriously? It's Already August?

What happened to the year.

I'm remembering a certain list that I started eight months ago and I'm sad to report back that I still have quite a few things left on it. Quite.

And I'm going to suggest to my family members now {those we draw names for Christmas for} that drawing names sooner rather than later would be best. Considering that I still owe two certain sisters two certain gifts from last Christmas, the sooner I know who I can make a gift for, the better!

So, now that I've evaluated where I am on my resolution list, it's time to get crackin' for the next 4 months.

Anyone doing better?
{porcelain japanese lotus goodies available in ye shoppe}