Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coveting Beautiful Couches and a Few Rugs.



Click here for larger version
Here are a few cool rugs. Click on the Rug Image for the source.

Jute Dot Rug 2'x3', Natural/Ivory
Iznik DhurrieBlack Marbel RugRangoliAndalusia RugB.S. Trading Reindeer Skin RugRajasthan-Stripe Printed DhurrieJORUN Rug, flatwoven beige, dark gray Length: 7 ' 10 " Width: 5 ' 7 "  Length: 240 cm Width: 170 cm

New skirt

I bought a skirt from a fellow blogger and it came in the mail today. I wanted to expand my usual wardrobe of neutrals so I thought a bright orange skirt was something new. I don’t have the right shoes…or am I particularly good at figuring out what goes with this skirt, but I’ll keep trying.


Coal Mine

Solely because I'm weird, I took a picture in the bathroom with the vanity lights on  because I always notice the triple shadow thing going on. I ended up with some creepy 1930's coal mine/ prisoner pictures.  This will have to do for my "outfit" picture for today. I did two things with the first picture that I really hate on purpose.
 a.) I hate my profile
b.) I hate when you can see my hearing aids.

So why did I take a picture including two things I hate?.  Did I get a wiff of Face-your-fears bravado today? No,  because if I had a fear of my profile I couldn't go out in public...and I'm not afraid of talking about my hearing loss to anyone. (As a disclaimer I just think my hearing aids look gross, like ear wax or something for someone who doesn't know what they are. )
I think I wanted to take a picture to expose a part of me that I don't always put in the open.  For a little reflection on Self expression: I must express my true self and not just the parts of myself that I enjoy. 

The internet, blogging, and Facebook are all very centered on putting forth your image. People create their character and place flattering pictures to represent themselves. They want to be known by the name they've created, how many followers read their statuses or ideas, how many times they've been "liked".  For some it's a relationship contest: look at who I'm with, look at how happy I am next to my spouse/boyfriend/friends. For blogging it's the same: we like to highlight the good things. Look at the cool things I can do/make. Look at my pretty house and my creative outfits. 
I say this because I am guilty of "crafting an image". I want to keep it real and this is who I am. I'll probably do a little post about  why I blog later..but for now...eyelids...drooping.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I left for one minute

Exibit A: Juneau decided the explore the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Not only did she manage to open the propped door and craw through various soap/cleaning bottles, she managed to get herself stuck behind the disposal because of the sink hose. She also licked a dishwasher tablet so I find a frantic and foaming puppy in need of rescue. 
Huskies seem to go through moments of "creative destruction" where they must tear everything in sight. We usually hide the toilet paper because although she knows not to shred it in front of us, she sneaks to find it to shred it behind our backs. Exibit B: I took a shower and she  has managed to find toilet paper, a stack of tissue paper, scatter the laundry and chew a shoe all within a short while. 
Whats your puppy capable of?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Orange Juice Chicken

Last night I attempted to cook some chicken from the freezer. Not wanting to wait for it to thaw, I stuck it in a pan and tried to cook it slowly until I could shred it and eat it plain on something. Charley came in and shook his head at me. He went to the refrigerater to see what we had to enhance my dish (I'm guessing out of fear of having to eat it). He started pulling ingredients onto the counter, but when he grabbed the orange juice I protested, "gross!"
Charley: "don't you trust me?"
Me: "no"
Grumpy looks were thrown my direction. He put the chicken in a small dish and tossed some orange juice, a chopped onion, some ginger miso dressing, chicken stock and WHO knows what else. I should have paid more attention. He roasted it slowly for about three hours in the oven. We plopped it on some sushi rice and voila, "orange juice chicken". It was quite good, citrusy sweet but  balanced by the chicken broth and onions. Live and learn I guess, he was right after all. 

Lemons and Limes

Just a quick pick of whats on our table right now: a tribute to the simple things that make summer so wonderful. Fresh fruit!


You may remember our little dining room area looking like this before:
It was definitely a bit cluttered and random. We had dishes on the bookshelf due to lack of room in the kitchen along with a lot of knick-knacky things like  car made out of floppy disks, dominoes, ducks, cookbook holder, frames, toy cars, stuff that we just stuck up there while passing by ect. Our landlords were very nice to leave their handmade bookshelf but we were also a bit concerned for it toppling over. It's very tall and not anchored to anything. 

Enter phase two. We nixed the gaudy lamps on either side which didn't even work. They are being stored in the garage since they are not ours and we couldn't throw them out. Secondly we received the china cabinet from my moms house which helped us out tremendously with space issues. The downside: now we have two large pieces of furniture crammed together for even more dysfunction, not to mention that we now have a dog cage in the corner by the door.

To clean up the bookshelf for a more uniformed and less cluttered look, I took down all of the knick-knacky things. We put the cooking book holder away). Next to help anchor the bookshelf with more weight on the bottom, I put the heaviest books down there: my southern living cookbook collection. We put to light things on top: a cow head and a wooden board that I use on the table sometimes. From there I grouped books in different directions to break up the space.

I fondly refer to the light as my nemesis because it's downright evil. I can't tell you how many times i've hit my head on that thing. In my imagination it looks something like this:

I turned my gaudy-not-to-cool sci fi books facing the wall so that the light colored pages show. This might annoy some people, but I know exactly which books are where if I need to find them. I covered some of my hardback books in need of a little repair in brown paper, writing the names of them on the spine with a white paint pen. Now we have groups of similar colored books.

Next I added the smaller Items back onto the shelf. We nixed the ducks and cars and traded them for more adult friendly items such as the little vase with grass, candles, and Charley's board carved with peoples signatures from a memorable trip he went on as a kid. Also the little white ceramic dog seen here and Juneau's cookie jars (which usually have white rawhide in them not icky red bones).

 I'm such a dork that I drew a picture to help me while rearranging.  It  helps to get a feel for the negative space. The bulky items and large blocks of space, such as a row of books, draw the most emphasis. By making those items (the books) more muted, I can use my interesting items as the focal points (i.e cow head). Even looking at my little drawing I can tell that it's still a little to cluttered. I think it's going to be one of those things that I walk by from time to time and move things again. We probably should go through and do a "book weeding" and get rid of the ones we have two copies of or will never read again. It just seems sort of sacrilegious to get rid of books. The funny thing is that I noticed that we have 8 or 9 different versions of the bible on the shelf, mostly in different languages that we don't speak.

Whew! all that work for a bookshelf. I might be a little crazy for worrying about bookshelf arrangements but it sure does help the OCD bit of me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baan Sawan

Charley and I went on a date to Baan Sawan, my new favorite restaurant in Columbia with not competition whatsoever. I am so in love with the food and it's not just because I'm crazy about Thai food. These guys are authentic, original and creative. 
I met the executive chef at a food show last week and he gave me a menu. I put the menu on our refrigerator and pointed at it as frequently as possible and said to Charley " date night" (complete with a small hungry baby bird impression in which I point to my mouth and squawk for extra annoyance). I think he got the point. 
The chef remembered Charley and I from the food show, so he gave us a complimentary appetizer of grilled mushrooms, shrimp and a green onion in a hot chili sauce. We also tried the spring roll appetizer. 
Charley ordered this tasty and refreshing beer with a light citrus taste.
This was my entrée : Pad Thai with organic sprouts and roasted chicken. It was so incredibly amazing that I ate more than I should of, and then ate the leftovers approximately 30 minutes after we got home because I couldn't stop thinking about them. 

This was Charley's entree: Crispy Duck Confit with peanut curry on a bed of spinach. The duck was phenomenally tender and the sauce perfect. They allow you to pick your spiciness one to five and Charley ordered a two to balance out some of the sweetness of the peanut sauce. 

 And finally we got desert. We were stuffed truthfully but ordering dessert is sorta Charley's thing since he's a pastry chef. It was fried bananas with ice cream and a chai reduction sauce. We dug into it before we took the picture so it looks a little mangled...but it was light and refreshing. A perfect finish to a completely awesome meal.
I'm no food snob by any means, but I have been able to sample food from a good many restaurants in Columbia thanks to picture taking events and I will say EAT HERE!! If there is any place in Columbia you should try- it's this place. It's better than a lot of the Thai that we've had in the big places in Charleston even. It's a pretty penny for the tight budgeted folk but well worth every bit of it. The entrées run from about 15-22 dollars. It's also a cozy date night atmosphere. the restaurant is in a little white house off of Devine (it's a little hard to see from the road). It's bright and sunny with skylights and seats only about fifty people so think quiet and relaxed. Here is their blog.

and to end, here is my hubby's picture with a gigantic fish from work. Crazy! Pardon our fuzzy pictures from the night courtesy of Charley's phone.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter and the Angry Kidneys

Easter didn’t really turn out as I had planned. I had intended to go to church with my brother and sister in law and my adorable neice…however yesterday was spent at a shoot in charlotte and I came home with incredibly sore ankles. I was having a hard time walking even while I was with the couple. I’m guessing they thought that I walked weird. Turns out, I was extremely dehydrated. Sunday morning I woke up with gigantic swollen ankles and angry kidneys. Instead of going to church I sat with my feet propped up and drank glass after glass of water.

Since I had already dress for church, this was my “Easter dress”. It’s a skirt from the Loft and an old shirt with birds on it from the Gap. I think I got it for three dollars Winking smile.  I’m not always to sure what to do in these pictures 


which I then changed into “comfy chillax outfit” with my new sweater from target and some lightweight pants from Loft that I got for our trip to Lebanon last year.




And last but least, I cleaned our kitchen in an old t-shirt. lovely huh? haha I probably should have just skipped the last part of the day but it goes to show that I changed way to much in one day and didn’t go anywhere.


Unrelated, but I really want a bunny now.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The ten of us

Thats right- I took ten pictures of myself in the hallway of Winthrop university while waiting on a couple to take their engagement pictures. The place was deserted due to easter weekend, giving me complete freedom to be downright weird. Alot has changed on campus since I went there...somebodies money bags have been pooring in because there were several new buildings, new lounge areas, fancy fountains (including one that you play in) ect ect. I wanted to see the art galleries and walk around but since I  no longer go there it's all locked without an ID. Lame. I was kinda hoping to stumble on my old art that they never gave back after I left. This little hallway is open to the outdoors and is connected to Tillman (which looks like griffindor common room). I used to dash through this hallway to microwave my tomato soup that I drank from the can because we had a 15 minute lunch break between studio classes. The cafeteria is a fifteen minute walk from the art buildings. Nice of them huh? Yep, I'll say it was pretty weird being back on campus.

But ain't this some cool student art, people!!?!?! (look between the buildings). Some awesome sculpture major made it out of cast metal, wire and fiber. I would love one for the side of our house...or the living room.