Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday


(Knox Salad Book 1958. No artist credit)

Hi Friends!

What are you up to this weekend?!?  Do you have big plans to watch the big game?  John is a lifelong Denver Bronco fan, so this Sunday we'll be rooting for the orange-and-blue.  : )  I am planning on doing a bunch of baking.   I am totally in the mood to bake.  Ready for some fun Friday links?  Here you go--enjoy!

1.  The truth about Instagram.  So funny (and true!).  Make sure you look at his slideshow, too.  Warning:  there is some language in this piece.

2.  This article gave me goosebumps.  I wish every single child had a teacher like this.

3.  These invites make me want to throw an Olympics party.  I just might.

4.  This is the best proposal story, ever!  (And doesn't the groom-to-be look like a young Wentworth Miller???).

5.  Ten Ways to Serve a Heart.  I may try a few of these out on the 14th--but not the conversational hearts cake.  Does anyone actually enjoy eating conversational hearts?

XO,
Vicki

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What I Read {January 2014}

Hi Friends!

Yahoo!  I have already read so many good books in 2014!  I can't always remember where I get my book recommendations from, but I'm pretty sure at least half of these came from a "read this book before you see the movie" list, because a bunch of these are coming out in theaters in the next year.  I'm especially excited to see "Serena" because the book was excellent, and the movie stars Bradley Cooper (sans perm) and Jennifer Lawrence (who is always stellar).  

Here's what I read in January:


The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt (4 stars).  I loved this big, huge, epic novel.  Donna Tartt's writing is brilliant.  It has some of the best always-rings-true descriptions and insights.  The Goldfinch's love him/late him main character, Theo, and a whole cast of interesting minor characters help drive this book's tension to the very end.  I definitely need to go back and pull some quotes from this book.  It was that good. 
The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion (4 stars).   Oh, Don, I loved you in the exact same way I adore Sheldon*.  You were quirky and exasperating, brilliant, yet comically obtuse.  The Rosie Project is a fun love story.  And yes, I read this entire book in Sheldon's voice--I couldn't help it.
The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarty (3 stars).  Um.  I am so glad there are no skeletons in John's closet like the ones in Cecelia's attic.  This book definitely sucked me in right from the beginning and held my attention until the sad, unfortunate end.
The Girl You Left Behind, Jojo Moyes (3 stars).  This novel is divided into two parts--the past, and the present.  I really enjoyed the parts involving Sophie during WWI.  She was exactly the kind of tragic heroine adore.  Sophie was a character I found myself rooting for.  Modern day Liv was not as sharply drawn.  I kept wanting to get back to Sophie's story.
This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper (4 stars).  I simply adored this book about grown siblings brought together to sit Shiva after their father's death.  Every page rang true.  There is a whole cast of flawed but endearing characters, and the main character, Judd,  is probably the most flawed and endearing of them all.  This book captures screwy family dynamics at their very best.  The movie is sure to be awesome because it stars Justin Bateman as Judd, Tina Fey as his sister, Wendy, and Jane Fonda as his mom.  I can't wait to see it.
Odds Against Tomorrow, Nathaniel Rich (3 stars).  Anxiety-ridden Mitchell Zukor, a mathematical genius, is hired to predict worse-case-scenarios for a company called "Future World."  His whole life turns upside down when one of his predictions comes true.  This book is strange, in a good way.

Serena, Ron Rash (4 stars).  Oh, boy.  This book is for those who like a take-no-prisoners leading lady.  I can't wait to see how Jennifer Lawrence plays Serena.  Read this book.  Then plan to go see the movie.

Have you read any good books lately?  I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Happy Reading!

XO,
Vicki

*Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.  If you do not know who Sheldon is, we can't be friends.  Just kidding.  If you don't know who Sheldon is, you need to watch the Big Bang Theory from the beginning on Netflix.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Workspace Wednesday//January 29 Edition


Hi Friends,

I am definitely fortunate to have a huge space to create in.  When it came time to fill my space with furniture and storage, John and I hit the local thrift stores.  We found the filing cabinet and big storage cubby at our local ReStore.  Have you been to a ReStore?  Each store is filled with builder's seconds and all kinds of old office furniture, doors, cabinets, fixtures, etc.  All ReStore proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity.  I love going there to look around.  The filing cabinet had definitely seen better days, but with a little TLC and a whole lot of spray paint, it's better than new.  I love it's happy red color.  The large cubby was donated from an old doctor's office.  John sanded it down and gave it several new coats of white paint.  It is perfect for holding all my odds and ends.  I think the total for both pieces was under $45.  I bought the white rolling rack system for $15 when our local video store went out of business.  I use it to display my mini albums, greeting cards, and other paper goodness.  

Re-purposed storage is the best, isn't it?

XO,

Vicki

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day (Again!)


1.  The kids have a snow day today.
2.  Technically, it's a "cold day."
3.  It's their third "cold day" this year.
4.  I seriously don't remember ever having a "cold day."
5.  When I was young, I had to walk to school.
6.  Both ways.
7.  Neither way was uphill.
8.  But it was still a long walk.
9.  Especially when it was cold.
10.  When I was little, we didn't have Northface.
11. Or Underarmour.
12.  Or Uggs.
13.  We did have red rubber galoshes that we wore over our regular shoes.
13.  They were not warm at all.
14.  They did keep my regular shoes dry.
15.  Unless I stepped into a snowbank that was more than 8 inches deep.
16.  All the snow drifts of my youth were more than 8 inches deep.
17.  When I was little, I wore mittens that were handmade.
18.  They were connected to each other by a long piece of yarn.
19.  They were not especially warm.
20.  When I was little I would walk home from school wearing my red rubber galoshes and handmade mittens.
21.  Then I would head over to the park and go ice skating.
22.  When I got home, my mittens and the bottom of my pants would be caked with snow.
23.  Mom would throw my wet clothes into the dryer so they'd be dry for the following morning.
24.  Then I would put them back on and walk to school.

XO,

Vicki



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Color/Colour: Red


Hi Friends!

Red, red, red! I had so much fun searching for and capturing all kinds of red goodness this week.  Here are my favorite captures all in one place.  
Loving this fun, happy photography project.
Next up:  yellow!!

XO,
Vicki


Friday, January 24, 2014

Five for Friday


Hi Friends! 

It's Friday!  This week has sped by, hasn't it? I seem to be losing huge chunks of weeks lately.  Every time I turn around, it's Friday again.  Ready for some fun links?  Here you go!

1.  Karen and I went and saw American Hustle last Saturday night.  Oh my gosh--there's so much goodness and a whole lot of bad hairstyles in that movie.  I'm not sure which was worse--Christian Bale's comb over, or Bradley Cooper's perm.   I will say that the scene with Christian Bale doing his comb over is cringe-worthy and fabulous at the same time.

2.  This cartoon is completely true.  John and I are adamant about the no-phones-during-dinner rule.  Too bad that doesn't always work when we are eating with other adults.

3.  Just for fun:  Old Loves shares snapshots of celebrities with their former flames. 

4.  Hands down, the best-tasting (and good for you!) protein bars I have ever tasted.  Crossfit approved!  : )

5.  I am reading this book.  The book (and the author's website) are both brilliant.  And odd.  In a good way.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

XO,
Vicki


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Workspace Wednesday//January 21st Edition

(I think I may be a tiny bit obsessed with colorful flair.) 

Hi Friends,
New for 2014:  I'm going to link up with Marcy over at Hello Forever on Wednesdays.  
Each week I’ll share a glimpse into my creative space. 
I'm kind of excited about turning all these weekly photos into a book at the end of the year.
Hooray for another fun photography project!

XO,
Vicki

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Color/Colour

Hi Friends!

Two truths:

1.  I love taking pictures.
2.  I love color--the more, the better.

Andrea over at Hula Seventy , and her friend, Xanthe are doing a Color/Colour challenge for the next seven weeks--seven weeks of seeking and capturing color in photographs and films. I have long been a fan of Andrea's photography, so it didn't take long for me to decide that I was in!  This week's color is RED.
It felt great to just play with my camera a bit today, both around the house and while I was out-and-about.  I love these bobbers my dad gave me--we used to fish with these tied on our lines out at the Bass & Gill Club:
I have grown used to people giving me weird looks when I whip out my camera to take pictures in the produce section at Festival.  The colors are always gorgeous in the produce section, aren't they?

I plan on searching for and capturing all things red this week, and I will post the best of the week's photos on my blog each Sunday.  Want to play along?  Here is the schedule for the Color/Colour challenge: 

RED: week one, Mon 20th January
YELLOW: week two, Mon 27th January
PINK: week three, Mon 3rd February
GREEN: week four, Mon 10th February
PURPLE: week five, Mon 17th February
ORANGE: week six, Mon 24th February
BLUE: week seven, Mon 3rd March

You can check out Andrea and Xanthe's gorgeous photos here.  

XO,

Vicki

Monday, January 20, 2014

The End of an Era



Dear Friends,

I am so, so sad.  One of my happy places is closing--Archivers is going out of business.  Say it ain't so! Archivers is where I buy 90% of my scrapbook supplies.   I can't even tell you how many scrapbooks I've made over the years with supplies from Archivers.  If you've been friends with me for more than 5 minutes, I've probably made you something with supplies I've gotten from Archivers.  Sometimes I just go there and walk around and just look.  (Okay, that's a lie.  I don't think I've ever left there without buying something, but you know what I mean--sometimes I just go there without a specific project in mind).  I started crying when I went in there for the last time.  I made the checkout lady cry, too.  We were quite a sight.  It feels like the end of an era.

Thanks for the memories, Archivers.

XO,

Vicki

PS  Yes.  I did take a picture of my last Archivers purchases so that I could scrapbook the memory.  And yes, I did buy every single double pack of tape runner that they had left in the store.  I wish they had had more!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five for Friday!


Hi Friends!

It's Friday again--yahoo! What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you find some time for fun.  Here are some fun things I ran across this week.  Enjoy!

1.  Right now, I have absolutely no need for business cards.  But if I did, I'd want them to look exactly like this, except, you know, with my info on them.  Happiest business cards, ever!

2.  I'm kind of a word snob.  So when this test came out, I jumped at the chance to see how big my vocabulary is.  My score was 31,000 words.

3. I kind of want to host a sledding party so that afterwards I can have a hot chocolate bar served on a table with a snowflake runner.

4.  Tyler Knott's haikus may me sigh.  So lovely.

5.  We made this Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken recipe.  It was amazing.

XO,

Vicki

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Names

1.  When I was in college, my hall director had a baby and named her "Emily."
2.  I completely fell in love with the name "Emily."
3.  I carried the name "Emily" around in my head like a secret.
4.  I knew I would someday have a baby girl, and I would name her "Emily."
5.  The year was 1987.
6.  In 1987, "Emily" wasn't even in the Top 10 of the "most popular" names.
7.  It was #19.
8.  The most popular names in 1987 were: Jessica, Ashley, Amanda, Jennifer, and Sarah.
9.  In 1996, I gave birth to a baby girl and named her Emily.
10.  In 1996, "Emily" was the most popular girls name for the very first time.
11.  It was the most popular name in 1997, too.
12.  And 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007.
13.  In 2008, "Emily" fell to #3.
14.  The #1 name became "Emma."
15.  Needless-to-say, there are a whole lot of "Emilys" running around.
16.  We had 6 "Emilys" on the swim team this year.
17.  That's a lot of "Emily's".
18.  I still love the name "Emily", but I kinda-sort of-wish that I had named her something more unique.
19.  Right now I love the name "Olive."
20.  I think "Olive" is just about the cutest name, ever.
21.  Last week I asked Maddie if I could start calling her "Olive."
22.  She said, "no."
23.  I just checked:  "Olive" is not even in the Top 50 for 2013.
24.  I have become obsessed with picking out dog names.
25.  Not that I want anything to happen to Buster.
26.  I just don't want to make the "Emily" mistake again.
27.  "Buster" is the #10 on the most popular dog names list.
28.  I didn't even realize that they kept track of things like that.
29.  I'm strangely attracted to old-fashioned men's names.
30.  I'm trying to narrow it down between "Earl" "Hank" "Bernie" "Cleo" & "Harvey" for our next dog.
31.  I also like "Wentworth."
32.  Buster gets mad when we practice calling out to our imaginary next dog.
33.  I don't mean to upset him, but I've seen what happens when I call out "Emily" in a crowded room.

XO,
Vicki

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dear Buster

(Buster refusing to even look at me)

Dear Buster,

I want you to know how much I love you.  You have been my buddy and constant companion for the past 12 years.  You are loyal and true and you love me with your whole heart.  No one is ever as excited to see me as you are.  You have an incredibly sweet soul.  You're the best dog I've ever had.  Sure, you have some weird tendencies, but hey, so do I.  I think that's why we get along so well.  

I know that I'm your best friend in the whole, wide world, which is probably why you were so shocked and saddened when I betrayed you the way I did.  Not only did I leave you at home while I spent 10 days in Chicago, but I somehow managed to get you involved in one of my ridiculous bets with my favorite obnoxious Packer friend, Karen.  What can I say?  I really thought the Bears were going to win that game. I was so confident in their ability to win that game that I gambled away your self respect and dignity.  I am so sorry.

I am sorry that while I was away, my obnoxious Packer friend Karen came over to the house, removed your beloved Illini collar, and snapped that ugly green and gold thing around your sweet neck less than 24 hours after her Packers beat my Bears.  I know you must have been traumatized, and I can't imagine your pain. I felt incredibly helpless when Karen started flooding Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with pictures of you wearing that hideous collar.  The worst part of the whole thing is that I wasn't even there to help you through the trauma.

(Buster clinging to the Illini blanket)

I promised the San Fransico 49ers that I would be their #1 fan if they helped me free you from that collar. Needless-to-say, I am bleeding scarlet and gold these days.  The good news is that you only had to wear it for one week.  It could have been worse--if the Packers had won the Super Bowl, you would have had to wear it until next fall (God forbid!).

If it's any consolation, I have learned my lesson.  I will never, ever involve you in one of my bets again.  The guilt was horrible.  I hope that you will one day be able to forgive me.  Until then, I'll keep slipping you peanut butter, which seems to help you forget how mad you are at me.

I love you, Buster!

XO,

Vicki


Monday, January 13, 2014

December Daily: Complete!

Hi Friends!

Woo-Hoo!! It's January 13th, and I'm officially done with my December Daily!  : )  I am really pleased that I finished this album.  I know I will love looking at it for years to come.  The end result was jam-packed with goodness.  This is one thick album:
Rather than show you every page, I thought I'd just share a few of my favorites:
I decided to include pictures from our Christmas with John's side, even though we actually celebrated with them in November.  My album wouldn't have felt complete without including the Terlap celebration.  
I'm not sure why the green stickers look blurry when everything else is in focus.  Odd.
I "floated" two pictures back-to-back and put them in a large pocket.  I love the effect.  I love that I can see through to other pages.
More blurry puffy stickers???
My first attempt at bokeh photography:
Sorry for all the photos--just imagine if I had shown you the entire album.  : )

I plan on doing a condensed Christmas spread in my Project Life album--when I get a chance.  For now, I'm thrilled to have completed this project and captured so many fun moments from December.

XO,

Vicki