Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Exploring my new home - Garden of the Gods

Here are a couple of the pics I took at Garden of the Gods my first day here. It's nothing too extensive because I hadn't unpacked my gloves yet and I couldn't keep my hands out of my pockets very long to hold my camera. Oops!

Colorado Springs - Garden of the Gods

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs

The rock formations are so cool and they seem so out-of-place that it is almost shocking.

Tuesday Treasures - 5 things I like

This feature embraces two things I'm good at: 1) making lists and 2) liking random things. Basically, I just list five completely unrelated things that I love, or that I'm into at the moment. Feel free to share things you like or that you think my things are awesome in the comment section.

1. Roller Derby - we are planning on going to a bout in December. I know it's trendy or whatever, but that doesn't mean it's not awesome. P.S. I really liked this movie.

2. Vintage signs (this should be obvious, but it's still fun) - especially for motels, diners, and movie theaters. The more neon and/or bright colors, the better.

Route 66

3. Croissants - I am in love with this french bakery here in Colorado Springs that makes the best ones I have ever had. Here's a cell shot of my plate (after I already devoured it, of course).

4. Gomiso.com and the miso app - it's like foursquare, except you check into the TV shows and movies you are watching to earn badges. So much fun!!

5. Mike Rowe. 'Nuff said.

Movie Round-up

So, since I have been out and about every day looking at rental homes, my walkthroughs and meetings were often spread far apart. My hotel is on the north side of town and the houses I'm looking at are on the south side. As a result, I've seen a bunch of movies to fill the gaps in my day. My friend had eye surgery recently and hasn't seen a movie in a while, so I was giving her my thoughts on what I've seen, inspiring the idea for this post.

Route 66

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I- of course this is a must-see for Potter fans. I thought it was the best of the movies, even with the challenging task of having most of the jealous, tense, camping scenes without the super exciting battle scenes of the second half. I enjoyed it a lot.

Tangled - I thought this one was pretty great, too. I originally thought that I wasn't going to like it much because I thought the previews made it seem too silly and too far removed from the original Rapunzel story. And, though I'm not really a 'rah rah 3D everything!' type of person, the lanterns were just magical in 3D.

127 hours - already covered the must-seeness of this one in an earlier post. Although it may be hard to watch at times, I thought it was pretty amazing. I'm hoping Aron Ralston is at the Oscars to support James Franco's Best Actor nomination (hey Aron, we are looking for Temple Grandin at the Emmy's level of enthusiasm). But yeah, I would be shocked if Franco didn't get a nod. And he's co-hosting too!

Burlesque - Great dance numbers, decent singing, but it was too long and, although not on par with Crossroads or Glitter, Christina Aguilara's acting is just not quite wonderful. There's some essential quality missing there. If Cher and Stanley Tucci hadn't been in it, I might have written it off completely. Also, can Kristen Bell please be given a great role?? She can act, people!

Love, and other Drugs - This one goes for sex over story and substance. The two leads were hot, I can say that for it. It tries to be a fun, trashy comedy and a romcom and a drama, all at the same time, unsuccessfully.

Secretariat - Very uplifting, but maybe a little too Disneyfied. I was hoping for real oscarbait with this one but I don't think it had that thing. You know, the undefinable oscar quality. I guess you can't really change what happened since it's a true story and all.

Life as we know it - They should have left some surprises out of the trailer, because it basically tells you the whole story. Nothing special here, funny at times and some mindless fun.

Random gleeness

After abysmally failing at nanowrimo (with the move and looking for a new house and everything), I just couldn't let nablopomo go. Must have 30 posts by midnight MST!

First of all, I just have to say that I'm still kind of in love with this mashup number from Gwyneth Paltrow's Glee appearance. Of course, it stretches my already completely suspended disbelief to the breaking point* (there's no way a high school glee club pulls off that raining on stage stuff 'just for fun'), but I thought it was really cool.

Also, did you guys catch the episode of The Office with the Glee viewing party? I loved Kelly's disparaging remarks about the show's inherent unevenness "this show is like... irresponsible." LOVED IT.

*I could start a rant here about stuff like 1) they don't have money for the glee club to travel to competitions but they can afford all those special effects? and 2) why is Schue always performing with them? but that would just snowball

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday Sale - 20% off

Any print in my etsy shop is 20% off with the coupon code MONDAY20.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Famous Guild Poster on Think Geek

Anyone else a fan of The Guild? This amazing poster is available at thinkgeek right now and all proceeds go to Child's Play.

Love it. Buy it here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

And that's why you always leave a note

Go see this movie. It's great, and crazy intense. James Franco is pretty amazing in it.

Oh, and always tell someone where you're going if you go off by yourself. Seriously.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving TV

This week's How I Met Your Mother, Blitzgiving, was pretty good. Jorge Garcia guest-starred and there were many LOST references (he was cursed, for one thing). It was probably their best Thanksgiving episode. Traditionally, Thanksgiving episodes are my favorite, but I had been disappointed in every HIMYM Thanksgiving since the first Slapsgiving up until now. Here's the link, if you haven't seen it yet.

Watching this made me think about my favorite Thanksgiving Episodes. Most of them are episodes of Friends because, in my opinion, those are the best episodes of Friends, period. When searching for clips, I found that all the Thanksgiving Friends episodes are available for streaming right now at theWB.com. Great, right? Here are my top five favorites:

The One Where Ross Got High - I love when they all start confessing secrets.

Custard, good!
Jam, good!
Meat, goooood!

The One with Chandler in a Box

Hey, Mon, if everything works out between you and Richard's son, you will be able to tell your kids that you slept with their grandfather.

The One with the Football

I love Phoebe's That Girl shirt. Interesting, because Marlo Thomas ends up playing Rachel's mom.

The one with the Rumor (I like to call this 'The One with Brad Pitt')

My two greatest enemies: Rachel Green and complex carbohydrates.

...and my favorite....

The One with all the Thanksgivings (flashbacks, enough said)

Did the little rich boy have a problem with the butler? Yes, mine's worse!

Oh yes, Thanksgiving episodes of OTHER shows....

Surprisingly, one of my favorites is the episode from the first season of Gossip Girl, Blair Waldorf Must Pie. This promo is terrible, but it's a good episode of GG, possibly the best one ever, with flashbacks and startling revelations abound.

There's always Gilmore Girls, and I love the one where they go to four different Thanksgivings in one day, A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving. And look, it is streaming for free right now as well!!!

The O.C. episode from the first season was pretty good, with Seth trying to hide Summer and Anna from each other and Ryan and Marissa running off to Chino to help his brother. (also streaming for free... awesomeness)

And, last but not least (as these are in no particular order), the Thanksgiving episode from the fourth Season of Buffy, Pangs, is pretty entertaining. Too bad it's not streaming, but here's a clip for you:


I also noticed that the movie, Pieces of April, is up on Hulu right now. It's a decent little indie flick about a nontraditional girl making Thanksgiving dinner for her traditional (and estranged) family, starring Katie Holmes in a non-Katie-Holmes-like role. My cousin and I watched it a few years ago and it's pretty good if you're looking for a Thanksgiving movie.

Please share your favorites!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tuesday Treasures - 5 things I like

I'm hoping this will become a new feature. I had so much fun with it, and it embraces two things I'm good at: 1) making lists and 2) liking random things. Basically, I just list five completely unrelated things that I love, or that I'm into at the moment. Feel free to share things you like or that you think my things are awesome in the comment section.

Route 66

1. Old movie theaters - everything from grungy indie theaters to historic masterpieces. If it has stadium seating, forget it (unless it is showing the new Harry Potter)!

vintage reflection

2. SX-70s - an awesome, awesome camera.

3. Petite Syrah - picked this particular bottle up at the BevMo wine sale. Loved it! One of my favorite wines ever.


4. Netflix for iPhone - it's just so convenient, especially because the 3G coverage is faster than the wifi in our hotel room right now.


5. Nathan Fillion - this one should be obvious.

Balloon Photos up in my etsy shop!

Hi all, just wanted to let you know that some select hot air balloon photos are up in my etsy shop. Tell your friends :-)

Here are the new guys:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Slight disappointment in house hunting

I have been looking at houses and I found a really, really great one. It's the perfect size, it's blue with scallops on the outside, hardwood floors, french doors, big backyard, 71 walkscore, big trees in the neighborhood, and a cute little porch. Perfect! Only one drawback - it isn't available within our timeframe. Now I wish that I had never seen it because I want it so badly.

Here's to a better search next week! At least I've set the bar, right?

In better news, I have been doing some awesome exploring of Colorado Springs, to be shared once my SD card reader has been unearthed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Apple Raspberry Pie - Recipe Repost

I really wanted to repost this one as I didn't get around to blogging about it until after Thanksgiving last year. Enjoy! This one is also Grandma-approved.

I like baked apple desserts but I am not the biggest cinnamon fan in the world. I think it's OK, but I'm not worshipping at the altar of 'add cinnamon to everything.' I was glad to find this apple pie recipe that doesn't call for it. It was really yummy and quite popular at Thanksgiving. We brought back an empty pie plate and I think that's the best compliment for a baker. I highly recommend having a pie crust shield or tenting the pie with foil to avoid my overly-browned crust.

Apple Raspberry Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Crust (Pate Brisee) - It is most convenient to make this the night before

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons ice water

  1. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube until dough just comes together (no longer than 30 seconds). 
  2. Turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface. Divide in half. Shape into disks. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (up to 2 days). 
Filling & Pie Instructions

2 3/4 pounds assorted baking apples, (I used Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Braeburn), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
6 ounces fresh or partially thawed frozen raspberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir apples, raspberries, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Fill with apple mixture, mounding the apples in the middle. Dot with butter.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into a 12-inch round. Drape over filling. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Press edges to seal. Fold overhang under, and crimp as desired. Make five 3-inch slits in top crust. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
  4. Whisk egg yolk and cream in a bowl; brush over top crust. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Place foil on rack below to catch juices. Tent pie with foil if browning too quickly or use pie crust shields. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 4 hours (up to overnight).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spicy Pumpkin Pie - Recipe Repost

Last year during nablopomo, I shared some awesome pie recipes. I think they are delicious enough to share again over the next few days. I don't get to make anything for Thanksgiving this year as I'm living in a hotel, sans oven, and many miles away from my family, so please make these pies and enjoy so I can live vicariously through you.

But, anyway, here is the recipe for the first yummy pie from last year, Spicy Pumpkin Pie. This is a traditional classic with enough of a twist to keep it interesting, but your grandmother won't hate it (officially Grandmother-tested by my tiny, fiesty, midwestern Grandma).

Spicy Pumpkin Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart

All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 recipe Pie Crust (see this post for the recipe)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle-chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (I use 3/4 real pumpkin puree*, 1/4 canned pumpkin)
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk


  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into a 12-inch round. Fit dough into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Tear away any dough that hangs over to create a jagged edge near rim. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick bottom of crust all over with a fork. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. (The original recipe called for you to pre-bake the crust with pie weights for 15 minutes and 15 without. When I tried this, it burnt to a crisp. You might want to do this if you are using a different recipe for the crust.) 
  3. Whisk together granulated and brown sugars, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin, followed by the evaporated milk. Pour filling into piecrust.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Pie can be covered loosely with parchment and then foil, and refrigerated for up to 3 days.) Unmold pie. Serve with whipped cream (I use a ratio of 1/2 pt heavy whipping cream to 1/4 cup sugar - whip until soft peaks form).
  5. Optional - I used the extra pie crust that the recipe makes to make cut-outs to decorate the top of the pie. Roll out extra crust to 1/8 inch and use cookie cutters to cut shapes. Bake on a cookie sheet along with your pie. Let cool and set on top of filling after pie has cooled. 
*Directions for making  your own pumpkin puree

1. Scoop out the insides of a pie pumpkin.
2. Cut the pumpkin into quarters or smaller pieces, if possible.
3. Place pumpkin pieces in a microwave-safe casserole dish with lid in 2-3 inches of water (enough to cover the pumpkin pieces).
4. Microwave for 10-20 minutes, until the pumpkin is fully cooked and mushy.
5. Scoop out cooked pumpkin (skin will fall away)
6. Puree cooked pumpkin in food processor or blender.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Day

So, I missed a few days of posting due to the whole moving thing. I'll try to post extra later to make up for it!

We made it to Colorado Springs! We are staying one night downtown at the Antlers Hilton. Due to some luck with booking, they upgraded us to the governor's suite. It has two bathrooms - crazy! This hotel is beautiful and affords a great view of the mountains and the city. America the Beautiful was actually written in this hotel, when the poet Katharine Lee Bates was inspired by the Colorado Springs skyline (purple mountains majesty and all that). Bates has a suite named after her.

We have had a really great first night. We had a delicious dinner of appetizers (pretzels with beer cheese and some artichoke dip) at the local brewery, Phantom Canyon, paired with some great Railyard and Cascade Amber Ales. I have truly never had better pub food, and I'm planning to head back for a growler of one of those beers tomorrow. While we were eating, it started snowing, a brief "welcome to Colorado" flurry, and then the night was clear. We finished our evening off with salted caramel hot chocolates from starbucks, and a walk along the main drag downtown. I've already spotted about a million things I need to check out tomorrow, this time with camera in tow.

Until then, have a great night!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Etsy Shop mentions on Campfire Chic :-)

Yay, my etsy shop got a mention on Campfire Chic the other day! Thankfully, it was mentioned as a good example, not a bad one. Whew. Once the whole moving thing calms down, I want to go through all her tutorials for optimizing SEO. She has some great advice there!

Kam also made this treasury, which has my photo in it. I love the set! I would like one of everything, please!

Here's a close-up of my photo

Thanks for the mention!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

101 things update - 660 days

Oh man, it has been 660 days! I have to finish this list. Some of them need to be modified now that I'm moving, so I will work on those. Here is my 304 day update with commentary - I didn't want to include the same ones I had already discussed there. As of that date, I had completed 29/101. As of today, I have completed 43/101 and substantially completed 3 others. Here are the additional ones, with commentary. 

3. Become a CPA - now I just have to do it in Colorado too.
9. Read 30 books I haven’t read before (five should be "banned books") (30/30) - need banned books!
20. Do at least 1 closet clean-out - donate clothes/purses to charity
30. Hang all art/posters - and then I had to take them all down to move :)
40. Visit 5 states that I've never been to before (3/5) (Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma)
41. Create cleaning plan that is consistent. Maintain this cleaning plan until it becomes habitual. - This has been derailed a bit since we are moving. 
48. Take a solo trip - I definitely accomplished this one. 
50. Clean/organize closet
52. Complete a NaBloPoMo - working on my second one!
56. Go to a drive-in movie - just did this the other night. 
58. Plan meals/cook dinner every night for a week
59. Make lunch and bring to work every day for 2 weeks
61. Eat at 25 new restaurants Count so far: 20
71. Visit Hawaii
85. Stock up on polaroid film and store in refrigerator
94. Go to a ComiCon 
100. Go camping - lots of camping on my road trip!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What I hate about nablopomo (and moving stuff)

There are too many posts during nablopomo and people end up ignoring the ones you put all the thought into because, by the time they read it, there are a bunch more posts. It's sort of frustrating.

Anyway, we have been going through all our moving stuff lately. It's been a little crazy, especially because we had our estimate done and the weight was way over what we thought it would be. The guy seemed to be very generous with his estimation, though, putting our balance ball down as weighing 14 lbs and listing more tables than we own and estimating we would need way more boxes than could possibly be necessary. We decided the way to combat this would be to clearly stage everything that is coming with us and what is staying, so there has been a lot of last minute shuffling of clothes and books and furniture. It's an adventure, and one we didn't plan on, making it a pain in the butt.

In addition, we will be living in a hotel for 3-4 weeks while we look for a place to live and explore the area. Not having to clean or organize or paint for a while feels pretty good, but it requires a completely separate set of packing. While packing us up, it has become apparent to me that my husband has very few cold weather clothes, and might die this winter. Apart from a few dress shirts and some actual coats, the man has no long sleeves. How is that possible? He also has no warming accessories. I had to pack his ski gloves. Weirdo.

I know that too many of my posts have been about moving lately, but that's pretty much all that's going on with me besides a marathon of Gilmore Girls, my favorite "have it on in the background while doing things" show. Anyone else have one of those? Anyone else out there moving?

Monday, November 8, 2010

My wardrobe is so obsolete

So, today I wore a skirt, short sleeves, and flip flops. It's about 80 degrees out and it wasn't until about 2 weeks ago that it was actually cool enough to turn the air conditioning off.  In Colorado Springs, however, the first snow of the season is expected this week. It's hitting me now that I am going to be wearing the same sweater over and over again this winter and I only have one coat (and one ski jacket).

I started poking around my favorite sites and found some cute stuff.

cold weather

Too bad I don't have infinite money.

So, what I want to know is if anyone reading this has some good cold weather clothing shops to recommend. Or, are there any cute coats you've seen lately? Send me some links!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Accidental Costuming

Is anyone working on a Marty McFly (BttF I) costume for a convention and/or next Halloween? Because, randomly surfing the Old Navy website I found this:

And this:

And this:

Is the Marty McFly look back? It's not exact but close.

And if close is what you're going for, swing by Zappos and pick these up:

Add some jeans, suspenders, and a red t-shirt and you're good to go.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Big Announcement (no, not pregnant)


Since my husband finally got going and told his friends about this (he has been out of town basically every week), I can officially announce it to the internet world.

We are MOVING. To Colorado. Like I have always wanted.

And, since I took way too long to make this announcement, we are moving in a week. Woohoo!

We are moving to Colorado Springs, (and I know that parts of it are conservative and religious, so you don't need to mention that to me for the millionth time - we will not be living in those parts), home of the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak and the Stargate Program NORAD. I haven't actually been there, but I have been around there, and it is just so damn beautiful, I can't begin to tell you.

I have never lived outside of Arizona, though I have lived all over the state, so I look forward to discovering new things and chronicling those discoveries here. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Coat Season

So, I know that it is nearly 90 degrees outside here still, but I'm doing some electronic window shopping for fall/winter type clothes because I love them.

I have this awesome green coat that I get a ton of compliments on. Where did I get it? Old Navy. Seriously.

Old Navy outerwear is surprisingly cute and totally affordable. Plus, it's on sale right now. Here are some of my favorites from this year's site. They come in various colors and/or patterns as well as tall and petite sizes.

I would like them all, please!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Netflix surfing - some hidden gems

Hmmm... so I'm surfing for gems? Mix metaphors much?

Lately, I've been watching some of those movies on my Netflix Queue that have been there for a while, but I hadn't had a chance to watch them. A few of them were pretty bad, but some were great. Here are a couple of the great ones.

Original ideas still exist, thank goodness!


I can't believe I hadn't seen this one, but it came out last year, and last year was the first year I did the Fangirl Academy and vowed to watch all the Oscar nominated movies. The fact that this wasn't one of said movies is a travesty. I won't tell you anything about it, because it should be watched with a clean slate, but Sam Rockwell was amazing in it. He is so versatile. It almost made me forget about his disappointing performance as Zaphod Beeblebrox.


It's a romance, it's a comedy, but it is in no way a formulaic RomCom. There's a bit of subtle sci-fi, social commentary, and philosophical thought-provokingness. It's also charming and entertaining as hell, and stars our favorite ex-demon former scooby, Emma Caulfield.

Add these babies to your instant netflix queue, trust me.

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