Friday, March 20, 2009

My cute apron

This is my cute apron. I made it using this pattern. Measuring the pieces and making up my own instructions was fun, but the upside is that it was free, and I now have a cute flirty apron.
Sorry about the funny look on my face. Sarah was taking her time focusing and didn't warn me. I didn't care enough to retake. Also, my hair is all frizzy. Darn you, cheap Suave hair product!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peanut Butter Bears

A guest post from my sister, Holly. I question her originality, since she might have mentioned 'pretending it was her idea,' but I didn't have to do much work, so I don't question too far.

So here's a recipe that's adorable, and kids can help too!

Peanut Butter Bears

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • decorations (I use mini chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix shortening and peanut butter together. Mix in sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix in flour slowly.
  5. For each bear, form the following out of dough.
  6. -One 1" ball
    -One 3/4" ball
    -Six 1/2" balls
    -One 1/4" ball
  7. On ungreased cookie sheet, press the 1" ball to about a half inch thickness. Attach the 3/4" ball as the head; flatten. Arrange the 1/2" balls around for arms, legs, and ears. Place the 1/4" ball on the head as the snout.
  8. Add decorations as eyes, nose, teeth, whatever.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are light brown.
Makes about 24 to 36 cookies.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shadow Children series

The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix starts with the story of Luke Garner in Among the Hidden and follows him loosely through six additional books. (Several books follow another child, but the main plot revolves around Luke.)

It's your standard distopia of a future in which droughts and alleged famines led to a population law limiting families to two children. It's not a particularly new idea. They have it in China. It's a backdrop to Ender's Game. But the stories of these children still feel important. They have real problems and fears. And their actions - and consequences - have a real feel to them too. None of the 'spy kids' drama where adults are stupid and kids can do fantastic things. The adults in this series are intelligent and compassionate while at the same time, they are limited and have their own fears. The children are brave and inventive, but I never question that a child could do what they do.

The books are young adult literature. They're fairly short, and they're quick reads. I finished each of them in about a day. I recommend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mushy Valentine Day 4

Shakespeare is another oft-quoted poet.
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?..."
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds..."
(Love that part of Sense & Sensibility)

Have you read this one? I find myself liking it a lot.

Let not my love be called idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
Since all alike my songs and praises be
To one, of one, still such, and ever so.
Kind is my love to-day, to-morrow kind,
Still constant in a wondrous excellence;
Therefore my verse to constancy confined,
One thing expressing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent,
Three themes in one, which wondrous scope affords.
Fair, kind, and true, have often lived alone,
Which three till now, never kept seat in one.

~Shakespeare, Sonnet 105

Watership Down

I need a new topic. I was thinking about doing regular stuff about the Southwest and desert. But apparently it's not as interesting as I thought. I could probably do stuff about Twilight for a while, but it's not like it doesn't find its way into my regular posts already anyway.

Book reviews? I could totally do that.

Here's my review of Watership Down, from January's book club.

My introduction to this book was seeing Sawyer read it on Lost. And of course, I thought it was about some kind of sea voyage or something. It's not. There's no ship at all.

It's a little slow getting into it, but it's an easy enough read. Cute story. Despite being violent bunnies, I can't really take them seriously enough for it to be disturbing.

The consensus of book club was that it's a nice story about leadership and loyalty. The only disagreement was a discussion over Cowslip's warren. I think it represents a welfare state where the bunnies have all their food provided for them and forget how to survive on their own and go a little bit crazy. The alternate suggestion was that it showed a higher level of society where the bunnies could create art and poetry because they didn't have to worry about lower level survival issues anymore. Who's right? You decide.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mushy Valentine Day 3

Very, very famous poem. But how many read beyond the first line? The rest is powerful. I had it memorized once...

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Valentine's Day Finance

You can't argue with statistics. I also love that when you look at the original page, it has a mouseover that says "...okay, but because you said that, we're breaking up."