DIY Weekend!

I think this is the first weekend I have been home this October and I wanted to make the most of it. Lucky for me T was also in a bit of a project mode and helped me build a pot solution for the kitchen. Here are this weekends DIY projects

1. Paint a chair. This chair is supposed to be "Key Lime". I think they mislabeled the paint. This chair turned out to be much more chartreuse then "Key Lime". For the moment I am going to live with it, see if it grows on me.

2. Build a pegboard pot and pan holder. Success! T helped with this one and I am loving it. I will do the finally painting next week, but already I can see this is going to make it much easier to cook in our kitchen.

3. Cheap, quick, halloween light. Halloween snuck up on me a little this year and I was trying to find a solution for decorating our house and letting trick-or-treaters know we will be open for business. What I decided to do was take one of the plastic pumpkin buckets you can buy at the grocery store and cut out the back and bottom and put it over my porch light. Perfect! Super easy and very effective. I am now totally ready for Halloween.


Three days in Death Valley

UPDATED! More pictures below

I just got back from three very full days in Death Valley. I drove for a field studies class that a friend teaches. I have never been to Death Valley before and think it is such an interesting place. I am exhausted and heading to bed but wanted to share my favorite picture from Badwater. I will be updating this post with more pictures later this week!

The adventure stated at Dante's View looking down into Death Valley.

Mo teaches us about the geography of the valley.

The ladies at Dante's View

Golden Canyon

Lonely bench, out in the sun

Having a Capri-Sun break as some drivers wait for the hikers

Scottys' Castle

Matt and I at the end of the tour of the "Castle"

Ubehebe Crater

Bathroom break in the middle of no where

Devil’s Golf Course

The SBC crew....

Three days packed with so many different sites to see in Death Valley and we still have so many more we could see. Check out the National Parks website to see about planning your own adventure to Death Valley!


I'm writing a book....

I'm writing a book.

It's a cookbook filled with all my go-to recipes. Not only am I going to write this book, but I am also going to be the photographer too.

Do I plan on making millions of dollars on this and getting it published? Well no actually. I just want my go-to recipes in ONE PLACE. All together, organized and ready for me.

Lucky for me there are a lot of ways I can publish through a "vanity press". The one I have chosen to go with is Blurb books. T turned me on to this last year and we have talked about making a collaborative photo book of some of our trips. Kind of like the most professional scrapbook around! But T seems to have a lot on his plate and this idea never really took off. Me on the other hand, I've decided to make some Blurb books. The cookbook is a little ways off because I really do want to take photos for the book. Try my hand at food photography. So I have started by making a Paris book.

Two summers ago my sisters and I spent a month in Paris. I have some great pictures but they are sitting on my computer. It's time to organize them and put them in a book. I had fun working with the layout n Blurb and deciding how to theme each page. Looking at my collection of work is much harder then looking at a single picture. I'm trying to let the photos them tell a story of Paris but also let them speak about themselves. It's kind of a challenge.

When I am done with this I will move on to the cookbook. I am already compiling recipes and thinking about how to organize each section. When I am finished I will have all my go-to recipes in one place. Who knows, maybe everyone with get a "new" cookbook for Christmas that year......


The gift of a good book

Sometimes life gets away from me. It spins forward and I find myself working, going to school, eating, sleeping..... repeat. Even when I travel it spins. And I miss things. Forget to smell the flowers. Skip over the details. Become a rat in the race. It's not the way I want to live. Its not the version of myself I want to be.

When life gets like this I find I read less. For some people this is not a big deal. For me it is. Reading is a gift I give myself. A book surrounds me like a warm blanket and lets me leave my spinning world behind.

I didn't realize until recently how much I had stopped reading during the school year. There was a running commentary a colleague and I had about only getting to read during Christmas and summer break. Maybe it was because books absorb me or maybe it was because I was too tired to read when I got home. I can't put my finger on it, but I can tell you the tide has turned.

Recently a friend recommended The Hunger Games and I couldn't put it down. Which was unfortunate because I started reading it at 10:30pm and finished it at 5am the next day. I then had to read the other two books in the trilogy but waited for the weekend to come. They consumed me and took my breath away. They reminded me how much I love to read.

I realized that books are a gift we give ourselves. Or at least a gift I give myself. They let me slow down and stop the spinning in my life. Books remind me to smell the flowers and smile at strangers. And above all, take me to a place in my imagination that gets dusty with out them.

To see what I'm reading, check me out on Shelfari.