November 22, 2012

Sarah: Ornament Swap 2012: IT'S ALIIIIIVE

Whoa, is this thing on? Thanks to Lisa for keeping the blog alive while I did weird stuff like quitting my job, moving to New York, finding another job, and forgetting to blog about all of it. The short version is that life is incredible, but I still cry sometimes.

But remember how once upon a time, we had an annual Ornament Exchange? Want to do that again? I like getting stuff in the mail and I've already decided what to make, so I say we do it. Can you handle that? Then check out the details and send me an email, yo.

The guidelines:

1. Send me your details:
Email sarah at twolooseteeth dot com on or before November 29th.
- name
- address
- email address
- you website or blog (if you have one)

2. I'll send you an email back. It's like we're pen pals:
On November 30th I'll send you all of the addresses that you'll be sending ornaments to. There will probably be 10, so plan your ornament size accordingly so that postage doesn't break the bank!

3. Make stuff:
Handmade! Hangs on trees (if you're in to that sort of thing)! No other rules! Make 10 of them, plus one for yourself if you are like me and get a little greedy.

4. Send em out:
Wrap them up so that they'll survive the mail, and send them on their way by December 19th so that they'll get to hang on everyone's trees on Christmas. Email me once you've sent out your ornaments, so that I'll know what's up. It comforts me.

5. Drink some eggnog. You've earned it.

March 06, 2012

Sarah: Living in New York

Tonight, I'm looking for an apartment on PadMapper. I've found that most of the time you have to choose between location, size, and price. I say "most of the time" because I just discovered the complete package:

I know I'm not male, but you can start sending housewarming gifts anyway. Just as long as they aren't pants.

February 26, 2012

Sarah: Wild Heart

I have funny stuff to share with you, I promise. But right now it's 10:30 pm on the night before I start working for 12 or 17 days straight, and I'm feeling overwhelmed with all kinds of feelings.

Excited to start a new job, relieved that the job hunt is over. Appreciative beyond words for the support and love of my family and friends.

I've also been thinking about dreams, and how they sometimes change and shift over time, so slowly and subtly that you don't even notice. Sometimes they get more solidly fixed in your mind when other interests and distractions wear away like sand around a harder stone.

And sometimes your heart breaks a little when something that you thought would be perfect isn't so perfect anymore. That's a little of what happened in my professional life I before I decided to move to New York.
I don't think that New York was the only solution to this problem, but I think it was a question of what if that had to be answered. And while I'm still working on that answer, I am learning that part of my heartache was because I didn't want to walk away from a situation before it was fixed.
I decided that I couldn't fix that situation for everyone, but I could fix it for me. And once in a while, that has to be enough.

When I accepted my job in New York (and had a bonus job offer, to boot), it was a confirmation that perhaps that dream-job-that-became-not-a-dream-job wasn't the only option for me. There are other options that will get me closer to the big dream in different ways.

This is all a vague way of saying that I'm excited about my new job. And if all goes according to plan, it is going to teach me some skills that I'm eager to learn, and I'm going to be paid to do some of the things that I love along the way. This is such a lucky, wonderful thing to be able to say.

And now, without any real segue, here's a little song I have in my head. Thanks for the heads up, Orangette.

January 20, 2012

Sarah: The Latest in Geocaching

Kaeleigh, Dave, and I did some good work tonight.

January 17, 2012

Sarah: Overalls

Dear Gap,

Are you sure this is the direction you want to go? Are you sure you want to be the one responsible for doing this to our nation, nay, the world?

Because I really think you should reconsider.

Sincerely (and sincerely considering a denim jumper),
Sarah

January 16, 2012

Sarah: Camera photos and Napkin envy

Today marks one week of living in New York, or as I like to call it: one week of resisting the empanada place down the block. No seriously, those empanadas call to me every afternoon, but I have stayed strong thusfar. But you will be mine, empanadas, and I won't regret the $1.60 or the slightly tighter pants. If you guys don't believe me that the empanadas are worth at least $2.15, just ask my friend here, who enjoyed one filled with macaroni and cheese.

I've done a terrible job thusfar of documenting my adventures. Let's recap with grainy photos, where available:

Some highlights of the day that I left Salt Lake City. Yes, it was really sad. And yes, the sight of a clumsy woman maneuvering 4 bags out of the airport and into a taxi isn't something you should have to see. But a few cute things include my brother, and my carry-on bag. Tied for first place.

My first day in New York was mostly spent sleeping and walking around Manhattan with Kaeleigh. She took a photo of me saying that New York was too loud for my phone call. I took a photo of the fancy visitor passes required by her building. And then blurred out any incriminating information.

Work:
This week I had my first job interview. I looked like a school marm, but I was fine with it.

Food:
If you're in the area sometime and like things that are delicious and made with butter, try Cafe Katja. They have spatzle. And Austrian meatballs. And we only got slightly yelled at by a drunken homeless man for not respecting veterans. And then my two 20-something comrades and I were home watching Downton Abbey by 8:30. We party hard.

In other food adventures, we discovered you can have a pound of shrimp delivered to your home. Peel and eat, my favorite.

Between fried food and the apartment, I took this photo of Kaeleigh documenting weird, homemade signage. It's almost like catching the Sartorialist snap a photo of Anna Wintour. I'm almost positive that those were all words.

Shopping:
When I got to town, I gave my NY friends their belated Christmas gifts. When Kaeleigh opened hers, she gleefully exclaimed "I don't already have one of these!"

Failure.

Kaeleigh and I also tagged along with Angie while she did some maternity shopping. Baaaaaabyyyyy! That fake belly really suits her. As does the sleeping dude in the Dad Zone. Hey baby? That's not your real dad.

Our satisfaction with Angie's clothing purchases, however, paled in comparison to the ecstatic conversation between these two women over one's paper napkin purchases.

Trust me, she was ecstatic at the time.

January 12, 2012

Sarah: And then I moved to New York

The fun part about being a mild hoarder is finding stuff like this, a thank you note from my brother and his new wife from 2008:

It may have taken almost four years, but earlier this week, I managed to get myself and four suitcases on a plane to New York with no immediate plans to move back to Utah.

Hopefully they were serious.

A few observations thusfar:
1. I'm not good at public transportation. I get total anxiety that I'll miss my stop and you haven't seen pure confusion until you've seen me emerge onto the street with absolutely no idea which direction I'm pointed.
2. One good thing about the subway is that I'm afraid to touch my face after I've touched any of the surfaces. It's at least partially due to this photo. I'm notorious for rubbing my eyes until the mascara on the eyelashes of the people around me flakes off, so this is really going to improve my appearance.
3. This is really going to improve the frequency of my blog posts. That last one you've probably heard before.

December 26, 2011

Sarah: When Parents Text

So there's a website called When Parents Text. I think that the initial idea behind this website is something like "oh parents, they're so old and have a hard time grasping new technology." And that's a little funny, sure. But the best thing about this website is that, possibly by accident, it's more about "parents are actually super funny." And I like that a lot more.

Some of my favorites:

December 22, 2011

Sarah: On Tuesdays, we wear pink

An otherwise fruitless trip to the thrift store was saved when Valori and I checked out a Series of Unfortunate Events notebook. Jackpot.

When your cheer squad needs a communal notebook, you find the first notebook around and make it work.

See? Fixed.
Now, what belongs in a cheer squad communal notebook?

Obviously. And now, the highlights:

Unconditional love. Except for burn victims (gross).
I support the showering rule, though.

Don't bossy. And also, don't bee a pig.

These are really just rules for life. Thank you, high school girls everywhere.

July 26, 2011

Sarah: Helpful Tip

I'm reporting from the thick of wedding season with an insider recommendation: if you're attending an outdoor wedding, go ahead and assume that there will be a gravel walkway.

That means it's best not to wear stilettos with shoddy faux-cork covered heels. That covering will get stripped right off when your feet sink into the gravel.

Farewell and goodnight, nude heels.

April 25, 2011

Sarah: Haiku for men who dress like Criss Angel

You think you look good
In your True Religion jeans
But, alas, you're wrong.

April 09, 2011

Sarah: The Curious Case of the Condo Complex

Can someone please tell me why there is a giant apple sitting on the water meter (Maybe? I don't know what those things are.) in my complex?

It's been there for weeks and I'm waiting for it to explode. Does someone know something about oversized water conservation apples that I don't know?

March 13, 2011

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 28-29

We're to the finish line! Because I doubled up on one day of the 30 for 30, we only have two more days to go.

Day 28:
That blur below is me wearing my blue button-up shirt with my grey mini skirt. Loose shirt + short skirt = Comfy Town.

What's that? You want to see more house awesomeness? How about this giant orange ampersand that my friends made for me?

They are great. It is great. You can come over and hang out with my ampersand sometime.

Day 29:
Today I went to see DeVotchka in concert. So I needed clothes that would be warm enough for waiting in line and comfortable enough that I could stand near the stage for a few hours.

Everything went pretty much according to plan. My recommendation is that you go to concerts with my buddy Mallory. She's good times. We had an awesome view.

At least, until this guy stood right in front of me. His date stood right behind me (chivalry is not dead?) and he was so close to me that I think some of his dandruff got stuck in my eye. It's okay, though. DeVotchka is worth it.

March 12, 2011

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 25-27

Day 25:
My main goal for my outfit today was to not wear anything from American Eagle.
I had dinner plans with some fine ladies to go to Vinto, and it's already the stuff of legend that when Jillian went to the same restaurant with a different friend, she lent that friend a coat so that her American Eagle sweatshirt wouldn't darken the door. True (if slightly exaggerated) story.

Outside of 30 for 30, I don't wear this sweater often. It seemed like a great addition to my wardrobe at the time I bought it, and a nice change from all of the black sweaters that I buy like an addict buys crack. But whenever I wear it, I feel like I look like a doctor in a lab coat.

Day 26:
When you wear heels and a blazer on a Saturday, it's your own fault when people say "You look ready for a business meeting!" when you walk into a party.

Day 27:
When in doubt, pose as awkwardly as possible.

But today I want to tell you about my tiny earrings. They're so small that no one really notices them, but my dad got them for me many years ago on a business trip.

I recently rediscovered them and they're still great. The guy has a good eye, right? He's also smart and funny. The arrow necklace sadly lost it's silver tip a few weeks ago, and I have not yet replaced it. I got it at last summer's Craft Lake City from someone that sold cool arrows and arrow necklaces, but sadly none of their products had their name or website.

February 28, 2011

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 22-24

We're in the home stretch, but in case you need a break from this steady stream of awkward posing and slightly wrinkled clothing, here's something adorable:

Now on to the clothes:
Day 22:

This outfit was mostly to prove to myself that I had a few more accessories that I could wear. I've decided that I like this shirt color very much. I've also decided that these jeans should be burned.
I knitted this scarf a few years ago. The yarn (or yearn, as I just typed...) is thin and shimmery and I used the biggest knitting needles I could find so that the result would be lacey. It was somewhat successful.

Day 23:

My guest bathroom and I have to stop meeting this way. You know what is comfy? Layering argyle knee-socks between your boots and tights. I suppose the argyle pattern is optional. I wore this outfit partly to justify the presence of this shirt and this skirt in my 30 for 30, and partially because I thought it made sense to wear these items for a little secret photoshoot at work. We found paper moustaches, so naturally we all took photos that looked like this:

There's not really a good explanation. Just go with it.

Spending all of this time taking photos in my bathroom (that sounds weird out of context) has been reminding me that I need to show you my favorite part of this room. It's always directly behind me in these photos, so you don't notice that proudly hanging on one wall is... Bam. My parents' engagement photo.

That is a good looking couple right there. Their wedding colors were brown and cream. I got my dad's eyebrows (Thank you, Dad!), but my mom is clearly keeping the long-shiny- flowing-locks-of-hair gene to herself.

Day 24:

I'll admit it, I was trying to recapture the magic of comfortable Day 18. The best thing about these photos might be the Mantovani record that I keep displayed on my flat filing cabinet.

Next time, I debate whether I look like a hippie or a doctor. Hint: probably neither.

February 23, 2011

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 19-21

Day 19:
I slept for 4 hours (not enough), then got lost in the IKEA vortex (too much). Please excuse my dazed expression.

See this awkward squatting? You know what that means. Jumping.

While taking these photos, Lisa would patiently say "Okay, once more, this time with facial control..." She tried, guys.
Then I went home and took a nap.

Day 20:
Do you guys see this moustache necklace?

My friend Jillian whittled this from a block of wood. And I love it. Though sometimes I get excited about it and put it up to my face and then...

Where did Al Swearengen come from?! (This photo was taken last summer and I use less hair product now. Thank you for caring.) Anyway, back to the clothing.

This outfit is good for coloring.

Day 21:
I don't have a photo of my slightly-sparkly-striped tank top, so imagine that it's in the mix for today's ensemble.

Basically, it was Monday and I need to do more outfit planning in advance. I make no excuses. Except for the one about it being Monday.

My next entry will embarrass my mother. Stay tuned.

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 16-18

We're halfway done, you guys. Did you think I would burn out by now? Admit it, you didn't think I'd last this long.

Day 16:
Here are the very blurry photos of my black sweater, grey skirt, pink tights, and the unexpected MVP of the 30 for 30, my new grey boots.

Do any of you have tricks for avoiding runs in the toes of your stockings and tights? I figured that continually clipping and grooming the nails on my stubby, round toes (you're welcome for that visual) would be enough, but I seem to be having terrible luck lately. I want to get at least a few wearings out of my tights. What am I missing?

Day 17:
Because I'm not planning on carrying 30 for 30 into March, I need to figure out how to squeeze a few more outfits into the 28 days of February. It made sense to start on a day when I was spending the day at my casual print shop and then rushing off to my cousin's wedding. Observe:

Ensemble 1:
I wore my grey sweater over my long-sleeved black scoop neck shirt with my black skirt, thick black tights, and brown boots.

Sorry that the mirror in my work restroom needs to be cleaned. The new location is a work in progress. Anyway, I was comfortable and warm during the day, and then presto-change-o:
Ensemble 2:
The sweater is gone and I swapped out the thick tights and boots for patterned stockings and black wedges.

Years ago, I was in Europe and while shopping at H&M, I found something that was either a gigantic scarf or a very silky tablecloth. My advice, should you find yourself in a similar situation, is to purchase immediately and ask questions later. You can see my outfit in action here when my parents and I rocked the photo booth at the wedding:

Day 18:
I've been looking for an excuse to wear this scarf. I like it.

This pants-shoe combination is so ridiculously comfortable that I don't even care that it is completely stumpifying. This outfit is going to be worn again after this month.

February 16, 2011

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 13-15

Day 13:
I have a 30 for 30 confession. I swapped out one clothing item. I've been passing over one of my tshirts (the blue v-neck from Alternative Apparel) while simultaneously wishing that my grey tshirt was in the mix. So I decided that since I hadn't really used the shirt yet, it wouldn't hurt to wear something else instead.

This is part of what I think is worthwhile about the 30 for 30: it's about getting to know what clothing is in your closet better. I'm figuring out more than just how many clothes I wear with a white or black camisole. I'm also figuring out which clothing items are the most useful, and which I like to wear.

Day 14:
True revelations: Often on Sundays, I don't get ready until the mid-afternoon. We're going to say that's because I'm busy cleaning my house and not because I'm watching Roswell while sitting on my couch. That means that sometimes I recycle my Sunday outfit on Monday. So I swapped out the sweater and wore yesterday's outfit. I'm only a little embarrassed.

The only photo of me wearing this outfit was taken when Lisa's singing group surprised me with a Singing Valentine.

I'm that slightly embarrassed looking blur in the center.

Day 15:
Another revelation I've had during the first half of this project: I don't really like my boot-cut jeans. They used to fit like a dream, but now they're oddly stretched out in some places and still snug in others. Do not like. It seems that these bathroom photos are code for let's get this over with.

Oh! And I dyed my hair. The goal was to use a grocery store dye to touch up the dark reddish brown color that I got at the salon. The roots are a bit light and red, though, yes?

I will call this an $8 take on the ombre look.

Next up: What happens when you realize that your cousin's wedding falls during the 30 for 30 and your clothing options are decidedly casual? Not even I know the answer to that one.

February 12, 2011

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 10-12

Day 10:
When I stopped by Lisa's house on my way home from work so that she could take my photo, I discovered that we had Matching Sister Sock Buns!

I kind of love sock buns and think they're super easy and comfortable. And good for when you wake up late and don't have time to wash your hair. Sorry I'm gross.

This was one of those outfits that you think look cute all day until you get home from work and then you think "Oh no. When did this turn bad?" When you're having one of those days, a jumping photoshoot with an unreliable camera is probably not the way to go. I look like I'm trying to take flight.

The humiliation I endure for your entertainment...

Day 11:
We're almost halfway done and I'm getting concerned that I am running out of ideas for outfits and that I have entirely too few interesting accessories.

At least my awesome niece is a good accessory to any ensemble.

Day 12:
And now (finally) presenting my 30th item:

A basic black dress that is super comfy and hopefully will add a few more options to the mix for the second half of this month. Of course, taking photos at 1 am in the freezing cold wasn't the very best idea I've ever had. Check out my sweater-y tights: they're actually regular black tights with some knit thigh-high socks over them. They were the warmest part of my ensemble at that moment. Power through this snoozefest of an outfit, my friends. More embarrassment is sure to come.

February 10, 2011

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 7-9

It which it is revealed that Sarah is a huge dork (and absolutely no one is surprised):

Day 7:
I asked Lisa to take a photo of my outfit in front of the giant fireplace at our Monday night spot, but then I felt like a weirdo, so naturally I posed like one. Lisa suggested props, but those photos were even worse. I'll spare you.

Here you can see one of my late picks for 30 for 30: a long-sleeved, peacock blue t-shirt from Old Navy. That'll do.

Day 8:
I call today's ensemble Weirdly Western. I've never thought that my brown boots have a western vibe, but when paired with a denim skirt and plaid shirt, that seemed to be the overall effect.

Things I've learned:
1. I can't tuck in shirts with this skirt. It looked terrible when I got ready in the morning.
2. Next time I'm invited to a barn dance, I know what to wear.
3. I'm not awesome at this whole daily photography thing. I'm trying to be better.

Day 9:
Nora helped me out with today's photography again. She placed me in front of her dresser and told me to say cheese:

I'm so glad I smiled.
Don't worry, the photo shoot got more uncomfortable.

Now you see why I stay away from props.

But is America ready for my side bun?

So what did Nora have to say about all of this silliness?

You know that a kid is being raised right when a 3-year-old sensors herself and says "sweater" instead of "boobs". I like you, Miss Nora.

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 4-6

Day 4:
I warned you about this: I wore leggings. If you are ever wondering if your friends care about you or if they're reading what you say to the internet, write something about how you plan to wear leggings as pants. It will not go unnoticed:

Editor's note: if you looked at that conversation, I'd like to clarify that I don't actually have a mole on my butt. I feel this is an important distinction to make.

Now you can judge the opacity of my leggings for yourself:

I think I love these boots. They're super comfortable and feel well made (especially for Target shoes) and I think they're my answer to the call of the combat boots.

In my attempts to photograph my top half without a giant flash and to show you my cute earrings, I remembered why I don't blog self portraits often.

My pinky finger is too short to reach the camera. It's useless and looks ridiculous just hanging out there.

Day 5:
I didn't get a photo of today's outfit. I was visiting my parents in Spring City and planned to take a photo in front of their big stone barn, or with the local livestock, or anywhere else in their charming town. But then when we visited the pig farm following our visit to the fish hatchery (yep), the cuffs of my jeans got covered in mud and muck. I don't do well with muck. So naturally, I changed into sweats and took a 3 hour nap. I'm the world's oldest 26-year-old.

Long story short, this is what I wore:

This is action clothing for my action-packed lifestyle.

Day 6:
Is it weird to ask a 3-year-old to take a photo of you from her car seat, just so that you can tell the internet about your outfit? Possibly. But Nora was a super good sport.

Please excuse the car window, my photographer was holding up the camera as high as she could. That kid is adorable, and only gets mildly distracted.

Yes, I know. She's already better at self portraits than me.

February 08, 2011

Sarah: Winter 30 for 30, Days 1-3

Day 1:
I started out with an outfit I've worn before, but with slightly more interesting accessories. A standard Sarah uniform is black shirt, black skirt, black tights, black boots because… that is how I do. But the marginally more interesting version is:

Black v-neck sweater, black camisole and black skirt with blue tights, brown boots, and a cream-colored pashmina scarf.

I think my mom got this scarf for me in New York. It has a pattern woven into it and I love it. So soft and pretty. The earrings from E match my new tights perfectly.

It feels a little strange to plan what I'm going to wear in advance, but I think it helps me look more put-together. And I think my friends and coworkers are already relieved that I haven't worn my most comfortable hideous jeans once this month. This outfit is fairly dressy for the print shop where I work, but there ain't no shame in looking somewhat presentable, right?

Day 2:
It. Was so. Cold. I'm talking below zero degrees in my drafty apartment. And I'm not okay with that. I woke up wishing that I'd included a Snuggie in my 30 clothing items, so I cobbled together a reasonable facsimile.

Lucky for you, gentle reader, I cannot wear this same outfit for 28 more days, no matter how cold it gets. I was not psyched about this outfit. Despite how much I love my comfy Chuck Taylors, I think I will retire them after the 30 for 30. They're getting a little gross, yes?

My favorite part of my ensemble was my necklace. I bought the compass for myself several years ago when there were some painful (but good) changes in my life. It really works, though no one believes me when I tell them. My lovely sister gave me the St. Jude medallion. He is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.

I don't intend to make the photos in the yellow light of my bathroom a regular thing, I just need to start leaving work while the sun is still up. Hmm, interesting idea...

Day 3:
Sometimes you work until you've rubbed all of your makeup off and it's dark outside and you're grocery shopping with your sister and niece and the best lighting is in the produce aisle. It happens, you guys, I swear. Most likely when you have forgotten your camera and only have your camera phone.

The jury is out on this blouse for a few reasons:
1. I do not like the word "blouse".
2. It has a built-in modesty tank top, which is great in theory, but it slides around a fair amount and just when you think everything is fine, (Mom and Dad, don't read this) all of a sudden your boob is above the tank top and you don't know what happened.
3. The fit is a little odd. Not a huge deal when it's a flow-y layer, but still. Odd.

I still think these boots look a little like the hooves of a Clydesdale horse.

This is a Clydesdale:

And this is a Clydesdale if its hooves were purple:

Am I crazy?

February 02, 2011

Sarah: 30 by 30, and so it begins

I gave you plenty of warning that I would be showing you pictures of me and my worn out well-loved clothes. So here we go! I'm planning to post entries every few days to keep you updated on what I'm wearing because.... that's sort of the point, right? To get started, here's what I'm working with for the next month:


1. Snake print wedges from Target 2. Brown boots from Target 3. Converse sneakers 4. Grey boots from Target 5. Purple ruffle booties from Steve Madden


6. Blue oxford from Old Navy 7. Black scoop-neck long-sleeved tee from LOFT 8. Blue t-shirt from American Apparel 9. Plaid button-up shirt from Old Navy 10. Blue v-neck tee from Alternative Apparel


11. Grey miniskirt from LOFT 12. Denim skirt from Banana Republic 13. Black skirt from Banana Republic


14. Shawl collar cardigan from Express 15. Grey v-neck sweater from LOFT 16. Pink sweater vest from Express 17. Black cardigan from Express 18. White cardigan from Old Navy 19. Black v-neck sweater from Express


20. Black camisole from Express 21. Floral sleeveless blouse from Old Navy 22. White camisole from Express 23. One more tank top that's still on its way to me. Unless it's hideous, in which case it's being replaced with something else.


24. Leggings from Old Navy 25. Boot-cut jeans from Banana Republic 26. Skinny jeans from Express


27. Pinstripe blazer from Banana Republic 28. Purple dress from Target

Clearly I'm two items short. I'm also feeling a little unsure about 16. So how do I fill these last few slots? To the comments! Please select:
1. Weird homemade skirt
2. Ruffle-covered shirt
3. Peacock blue t-shirt
4. An item, any item, from some other store. You're boring, Sarah.
5. Wildcard. It's late at night and I just don't know. Tell me what to wear.

January 30, 2011

Sarah: And it's not even November

I signed up for Kendi's 30-30-30, so while I'm sifting through my closet and doing laundry to get my 30 clothing items pinned down, I thought it was about time to recap the lovely ornaments from this year's Ornament Swap.

First up is Rachael, whose ornaments completely cracked me up.


Nothing says Christmas like penguins and dinosaurs. Awesome.

But tragically, Rachael's ornaments didn't make it through the mail unscathed.

In case any of you in Group 2 were wondering why there were a few loose plastic animals in your package of ornaments, I took the liberty of keeping one of Rachael's extra ornaments (Rachael, let me know if you'd like me to send it back to you!) so that I could show you how I fixed it. It's super easy, I promise.

First I scraped off the snow from the bottoms of the little dinosaur feet. I thought it'd be best to start with a clean surface.

Then I glued them back in place. I used Tacky Glue, but I bet that hot glue or superglue would work well too.

And then done! Easy fix. Thanks, Rachael! You are a sassy broad and I like you as much as you like cats (a lot).

January 26, 2011

Sarah: Bare Necessities

Today I realized that January is almost over and my main question is when did this happen? The first week of January I made a list of resolutions (more on that later) but then put off working on any of them until now. And now it's time to get serious. Tonight I've been musing on the amount of stuff in my life, from the clutter in my house to the number of (extremely enjoyable) social commitments that I take on each week and on down the list to what I put into my body. I will be writing about this sort of thing for the next few days.

In honor of Hoarders being on Netflix Instant, I'm thinking of ways to de-clutter my house and simplify my life a little bit. Some projects that are interesting to me are:


  • Kendi's 30-30-30 challenges readers to choose 30 articles of clothing (and shoes) and wear them in 30 different combinations without buying new wearable items for 30 days. Honestly, I am so boring these days with my clothing choices, I probably already do something similar, but I like the idea of more consciously using your wardrobe creatively and having fun with accessories. I also think it's good to realize that you don't need 100 different black skirts (guilty) or 5 new ill-fitting shirts (me again) per month. I'm tempted to sign up for February, but is it cheating to shop in preparation for the challenge? I need some more long shirts to wear over leggings. Just saying.

  • A Week Without Stuff is honestly a little too close to home for me. The author is a serious packrat (check) who knows that she needs to clean up and throw away (yep), but the things! She may need them someday! And they hold such sentimental value! (Okay, this is getting awkward for everyone involved.) And yet I'm inspired. Would I leave dishes in the sink if I only had one plate? Would I buy a ridiculous (but cute) sequin dress if I had to wear it at least once a week? Of course I am not going to suddenly lead a life free of possessions with some sort of new-found monk-like shopping piety, but maybe I can streamline my life a little if I detach myself a bit from stuff.

Speaking of Hoarders, does anyone else find it to be the single greatest motivator for cleaning your house? I watch that show medicinally. After watching an episode, I just wait for my hyperventilation to subside and then I'm off scrubbing floors, pulling clothing out of the closet, and otherwise improving my living situation. Please tell me I'm not alone. Please?

And now some questions for you:


  • If I were to do one of these experiments, which one would be more interesting to you: 30-30-30 or A Week Without Stuff? Either way, I promise to post blurry photos and write at least 300 words on the subject.

  • Am I the only one that lives in fear of becoming a hoarder? Am I the only one that lives in fear that they have already become a hoarder? And if you do not understand my feverish ramblings, please be so kind as to tell me your own irrational (or rational) fears. Yes, I'm asking you to make me feel better about my own neuroses.

January 18, 2011

Sarah: Animated Economics

I don't really understand all of this, but I can't look away from this video.

How did they do this?

December 28, 2010

Sarah: Bacon Pillow

Among my brother's extremely varied list of Christmas wants (everything from chain mail to socks from Wal-Mart) was ThinkGeek's My First Bacon Talking Plush. I found the idea of a bacon pillow amusing, but couldn't get behind paying $20 plus shipping for something with a face that says "I'm bacon" whenever you lean against it while watching a movie.

So I made my own version of the bacon pillow:

Which turned out to not look much like bacon at all. So I added a little embroidery to clarify things.

He really does. Done and done.

Sarah: Handmade Christmas

When I realized that I was going to be too poor to buy fancy items for my loved ones for Christmas, I started digging around the internet for gift ideas that I thought I might reasonably pull off. Now that most of the gift-giving is behind us, I wanted to save some of the ideas here for future reference. Sadly, my quick online searching and saving means that I don't know where these photos come from, or if they were originally handmade or if they're gifts available for purchase. I believe that it's a little bit of all of the above. Perhaps these photos will get your own wheels turning for how to make a gift that is special but still possible to make on a small budget. Or maybe you'll someday get some poor man's version of one of these items made by me at some future date. If you do, please be nice to me and pretend like it looks even half as good as these items. Thank you for your kindness in advance.




December 16, 2010

Sarah: 2009 Ornaments, Jeff, Jo, Jes, and E

I found a blog entry I started in January with several photos already pulled together. Behold, the blog that should have been:

My little brother Jeff makes great snowflakes. He made one for each participant with chubby penguins and their name along the edge.

Jo made delicate globes of hand-tatted lace in several different colors. Jo, let me know when you want to come teach me and Lisa how to do this.

Jes made little stained glass Christmas trees. Whoa. I was so impressed by this ornament. She really put me to shame this year, and I'll have to step it up next year.

E folded tiny gold paper stars, then hung them inside a clear glass globe. I love the ribbon that she used on the top.

Sarah: 2009 Ornaments, Jillian's Red Horses

Jillian took some red felt, added a little white felt, topped it off with some white embroidery, and ended up with something adorable.

They look to me like they're inspired by those red folk art horses that the internet tells me are Swedish and are called Dalecarlian horses.

Regardless, Jillian's ornaments are adorable. And her neat little stitches!

Austin Scarlet would be proud.

December 15, 2010

Sarah: Accordion Books

In 2008*, I made accordion books for our Ornament Swap.

I was interested in trying my hand at (extremely rudimentary) bookmaking and thought an accordion book could have an extra layer of specialness. Let me explain:

When I was growing up, our family was once given a sort of hideous book ornament. The pages had drawings depicting the nativity story and for some reason, I was fascinated by it. The cool part of the book was that you could tie it back so that the pages were on the outside and the cover was on the inside and, when you did, the pages formed a star shape.

That's sort of what I was going for.

The covers of the books were made with red or green duck cloth with white screenprinted bonsai trees that I had left over from another project. Successful recycling and I thought that they worked perfectly for the books.

Ta-Da! Next up: Stay tuned for Jillian's ornaments from last year's swap.

*Yeesh, I am just a teeny bit behind here.

December 14, 2010

Sarah: Ornament Swap 2010 Check-In

This is my favorite part of the Ornament Exchange: when the parcels start to pour in, full of all of the cool stuff you've all made! Observe:

Today at noon:

And then this evening:

I've been holding off on opening the packages (okay, true confessions, I peeked in the shopping bags) because I am excited to lay out all of the different ornaments. To distract myself, I'll be posting some ornaments from years past over the next few days. Stay tuned for a Christmas explosion.

For those of you that are participating in the Ornament Swap: Your ornaments should be finished and on my doorstep (or better yet, in my warm house and out of the elements) by December 15. That's only a few days away! As for me, I'm putting the finishing touches on my ornaments and then I'll be adding them to the growing pile. It feels like Christmas!

November 29, 2010

Sarah: Ornament Swap 2010 Update

The Ornament Swap for this year is officially closed. And this year is going to be great. For the first time, we have too many people for a single group, so I used a random number generator to decide who would be swapping with whom. And the results:

Group 1:
Megan in Provo, Utah. Megan is returning from last year. I love seeing familiar names in my email inbox!
E in Salt Lake City, Utah. Last year E gave all of the participants ornaments without asking for any in return. I'm excited that she's taking a more self-serving route this year. We owe you, E.
Mallory in SLC, Utah. Mallory's been in since Year 1. Hardcore. In addition to making cute ornaments, she's a talented artist.
Jennilyn in Orem, Utah.
Becky in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
B in...? Hey B, send me your shipping address and other info so that I know where to send your ornaments. Thanks!
Gail in Kilsyth, Victoria in Australia.
Marci in SLC, Utah. Marci's another long-time friend and participant. One year the US Postal Service prevented me from enjoying her ornament, but luckily she's just around the corner from me, so I'll make sure that no one comes between me and my ornaments.
Annette in South Yarra, Victoria in Australia.
Rachael in Richland, Washington. I first met Rachael when, before ever meeting in person, we threw a surprise party for a mutual friend. It was awesome. This is my one and only plug for Facebook.

Group 2:
Jillian in SLC, Utah. Jillian participated last year. I'd like to think that it was because of the swap that she decided to work with me over the summer. Okay, fine, that didn't occur to me until now.
Jeff in SLC, Utah. Jeff is my little brother. He makes the most amazing paper snowflakes I've ever seen.
Melinda in Canton, North Carolina.
Johanna in Camby, Indiana. Johanna is another returning participant. I can't wait to see what she comes up with this year!
Me (Sarah) in SLC, Utah.
Lisa in SLC, Utah. Lisa is the other Loose Tooth and her ornaments are the stuff of legends. I've never seen one of her craft projects come out badly. I don't think she knows how to screw up.
Colin in...? Hey Colin, send me your info!
Jeannie in Park City, Utah. Jeannie works with me. Her nickname is Happy Meal. I insist that I not be the only one that calls her this.
Jill in San Antonio, Texas. Another familiar name. This will be Jill's second year of swapping with us!
Sarita in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Our first participant from Mexico! Sarita, I don't have your shipping address, can you send me an email?

I'm excited to see what everyone comes up with! I only wish I could be swapping with all 20 people. And now, a mad dash to finish our ornaments by December 15. But more importantly: team names, anyone?

November 15, 2010

Sarah: Swell Season

You know that movie, Once? Every song that the featured band, Swell Season, writes sounds so personal and intimate, you have to pay attention. Their NPR Tiny Desk Concert is no exception:

Thanks to Momsyth for telling me about these mini concerts behind someone's desk in the NPR offices. And thanks to Lisa for telling me about their music video for Low Rising:

And now I feel like falling in and then out of love.

November 01, 2010

Sarah: Ornament Swap 2010

For the last three months, I've been living in denial that the year is passing so quickly. But, alas, I can no longer pretend that it's August, and so I am now facing the oncoming holiday season. So that must mean that it's time for the fourth annual ornament swap! I'm a bit more on top of this than last year, which will hopefully mean that we'll all have a little more breathing room for crafting this year. I know there were some late nights for some of you, and I was more rushed to make an ornament than I would like. But 2010 is the year for awesome. Trust me.

I haven't quite decided what I'm making this year. Possibly some tiny version of something in my shop, or perhaps a craft I've been dying to try. Lisa has been showing me up every year (a ball of yarn with miniature knitting needles, a zombie rising from the grave, and TINY. CROCHETED. CTHULU.), so I definitely will be stepping up my game.

Do you too want to put just one more project on your plate this year? Oh, I hope so. Here's what you do: Leave a comment below with your email address or send an email to sarah at twolooseteeth dot com and I'll send all of the details. Sign-ups will be open until November 25 (Thanksgiving) and you'll have until December 15 to make your ornaments and ship them to me (I need to receive them on the 15th, so plan your shipping time accordingly). I'll ship out packages on December 16, just in time to finish trimming your tree.

Details are after the jump. See you in a few weeks! Well, hopefully I will see you sooner. And also hopefully you will see a blog entry from me sooner. But I will bug you guys about the swap in a few weeks. Sarah: stop talking.

The guidelines:

1. Sign up for the swap by sending an email with the following information to sarah at twolooseteeth dot com by November 25th. If you leave a comment on this entry, I'll try to get in touch with you, but an email will make sure you get all of the information ASAP.
- name
- address
- email address
- you website or blog (if you have one)
(Note that when you submit your information, please submit it in this order with traditional capitalization - it makes things a little easier on my end!)

2. On November 26th you'll receive an email from me confirming that you're in the swap and containing the number of swap participants and the address to send your ornaments to.

3. Design a handmade ornament that you can create multiples of and make your ornaments. You will not have to make more than 10 ornaments, but last year's participants only had to make about 6 or 7.

4. Package your ornaments well...especially if you create anything fragile.

5. Send your ornaments to me by December 15th at the latest. Send a picture of your ornament in an email to me (sarah at twolooseteeth dot com) notifying me that you've mailed your contribution.

6. Sit back, relax and wait to receive fabulous handcrafted ornaments in the mail!

7. Once people have received their ornaments, I'll try harder than ever to post the pictures here, along with a link to your website, unless you request otherwise.

8. One last note: I'd encourage you to research the cost of shipping and take that into account when you design your ornament--lighter and more compact ornaments are cheaper to ship. I want this swap to be fun, so it shouldn't be a financial burden.


Most Common Questions

What sort of materials can be used?
Anything! Knit, sew, letterpress, gocco, paint, draw, sculpt, glaze, cut-out, glue, weave, blow glass, weld... whatever you do or want to learn how to do.

Who are the other people I'll be swapping with?
The other people on the swap list you receive on November 26th.

Will my address be on the internet anywhere?
No. I'll be the only person who will receive your snail mail address and email.

What about shipping costs?
You are responsible for the shipping cost to get your ornaments to me. I will pay for the ornaments to be shipped to their final destination. Please check your local shipping rates ahead of time if you are wary of the cost of shipping.

What if I don't receive my ornaments or I can't send my ornaments out on time?
Please email me if you're having problems meeting the deadline. Depending on the situation, I may hold back the packages for a day or two or ship your ornaments separately. But please try to have them done in time! If you don't receive a package from me with all of your ornaments, let me know and I'll track it down. Anyone who participated in the past who did not follow through and ship an ornament, however, is not invited to participate again. That sounds scarier than it is: last year everyone was angelic and on time.

Do I need to have a blog to participate?
No. If you have a blog, that is lovely, but absolutely not a requirement to join the swap.

Other questions? Email sarah at twolooseteeth dot com and I'll respond as quickly as possible.

August 25, 2010

Sarah: Urban Orangutan

Lisa's post about what to bring to the swimming pool reminded me that I'd learned a little about this topic a few weeks ago as well:

One of the amenities in my apartment/condo complex is a swimming pool, and I've been trying to take full advantage of this feature during the summer. Working without air-conditioning helps me stay motivated. As does knowing a cute little person that loves to play in the water. Over the course of the summer, I've spent evenings and weekends at the pool and only seen a few other residents: a young couple, a few parents with their kids, and one older lady that wanders the complex all day, watering the flower pots with a milk jug full of water.

Until now, dear reader. Until now.

I was sitting poolside on a Saturday morning when this orange-hued gentleman strolled in, supplies tucked under each arm. Don't worry, when he unpacked, I took a photo so that you, like he, can properly prepare for a day by the pool. I know, the water can be so unpleasantly wet and cool, but that beautiful, sun-reflecting pool will bring your suntan to a new level.

I call this instructional guide Operation Human Toast:

Pre-Pool Preparations:
1. A small swimming suit is a must. Black attracts heat, so that is clearly preferable.
2. Invest now in blond hair dye. Let the light yellow strands of your flowing locks be the yin to your darkening skin's yang.
3. Find a large plastic tote for your supplies. Your grandmother probably has one in her basement. Take a look.
4. Make a run to 7-11 for a Super Big Gulp. Probably diet soda. Obvs.

Pool-side Perfection: This will be faster with an illustration.

1. Suntan lotion. Bring it. If I have to tell you this one, you've already failed.
2. Cigarette. Summer in a desert state can be so frosty. Smoking will help you warm right up. Plus, your skin might not be wrinkling fast enough from the sun damage. This will help speed the process.
3. Bring Your Own Ashtray. The HOA has seriously overlooked poolside ashtrays. You might write a strongly-worded letter while you're laying by the pool.
4. Trust no one. The pool area may be scattered with chaise lounge chairs, but they're probably not good enough. Better to have a personal collapsible lounge chair specifically for tanning.
5. Bring your keys for the pool area, but keep it classy. Chanel keychains preferred, Fendi also accepted (not pictured).
6. Settle in for the long haul. You don't get this sort of burnt sienna glow by clocking in an hour here, an afternoon there. Purchase a beverage that reflects your commitment for a weekend-long tanning bender. Getting beautiful is thirsty work.
7. NOT PICTURED BUT VERY IMPORTANT: Boom box. Turn on some tunes. AM radio seems to suffice.

Invest in aloe. These words are scripture.

April 15, 2010

Sarah: Facebook Commentary

For you Facebook users: Do you feel like the latest redesign of Facebook has buried any vaguely interesting content that about what your friends are saying and instead presenting you with... well, not much?

Luckily, there are still ridiculous ads. And luckily my sister is hilarious. Observe:

From: Lisa
To: Sarah
Subject: question

What degree do you think these ladies are pursuing?

From: Lisa
To: Sarah
Subject: too busy to get a degree?

Yeah, when I saw this picture I was like, "that girl looks BUSY."

I like that girl. And I have a lot of ideas about how we can take photos together. A lot of ideas.

Lisa, start applying the frosted lipstick. I'll be right over to start weaving myself into your hair.

March 10, 2010

Sarah: In Which Sarah Overreacts

Mom: before you read this, I do not use drugs. I will not use drugs. Okay, carry on.

Sarah: Are you sitting down? Corey Haim died. Dude, only 38. That is too young.
Lisa: Aw, sad!
Sarah: Yeah, plus his BFF Feldman shunned him for his last year or two of life! Let's never shun each other. Even if I do get into drugs.
Lisa: Even if you are a bad influence on my kid.
Sarah: I'M SORRY.
Lisa: Well if you didn't take 85 downers a day, that would help.
Sarah: So what you're saying is that you will shun me. And I will die alone. And cats will sneak into my (meth)house and eat my face.
Lisa: No, I am saying that you will be a bad influence, but I will still never shun you. Because of our love.

Well alright then.

Sarah: Clean out your desk

I'm pretty sure it's not only because I've been doing some cleaning out of desks lately, but I like this site:

Simple Desktops

I hope they add more options.

I feel the need to declutter. This will help.

March 07, 2010

Sarah: Job Update

I meant to tell you about my job a few weeks ago. But now it's a better story. Here goes:

My work made some cut-backs and my position was one of the casualties. It's the first time I've lost a job, and it's a crappy feeling. But I have stayed positive, knowing that something would come up. For last few weeks I've been helping out where I can, cleaning out my desk, and tying up loose ends.

Meanwhile, I've been looking for other jobs. I applied for many, interviewed for a few. And today I'm excited to tell you that I've accepted a job offer. So I'm moving on to something new. And this time? I plan to stick around for a while.

I always hesitate to talk about work online. So until I know how my employer feels about it, let me just say that I'll be working with letterpressed items.

So, have anything you want printed? Because I know some guys.

February 25, 2010

Sarah: Sleep Cycle, Part 2

Welcome to Sleep Cycle, Part 2, otherwise known as My Friend Might Be Undead.

E and I are still fascinated by this iPhone App and compared sleep charts. And let me tell you, the scientific term for E's sleep pattern is "bizarro". I've included some sample charts to explain.

A normal night should consist of 90 minute cycles between dreaming and deep sleep. Your phone registers these cycles based on you moving very little during deep sleep and then moving more while dreaming. That was your lesson for the day. Now here's a typical night for E:

I can only assume that someone knocked on her coffin and startled E at 6:50 am.

E claims that she wakes up several times during the night. But according to her sleep graphs (and every night is like this, you guys), she must hold perfectly still, eyes open and blinking ominously. I am concerned for her well-being.

On the other hand, she would be an ideal bed mate. Until you rolled over and saw her staring at you, immobile but awake.

February 23, 2010

Sarah: Tool of the Week

I am still not positive how I feel about this iPhone App, but I'm excited enough to tell you to download it:

Sleep Cycle

You plug in your phone, turn on the app, set an alarm, and place the phone, glass down, on your mattress next to your head.

Then in the morning you can see how you slept, based on how much you moved around during the night. This is very entertaining to me, as I've always secretly wanted to spend a few nights in a sleep lab, or record myself (Do I snore regularly? How much? Do I talk in my sleep? Please say yes.). Or video tape myself (not creepy. Okay, a little creepy but how much do I move? I need to know).

So. How do I sleep? If you asked me last week, I would guess that I spend an abnormal amount of time dreaming, then fall into a deep death sleep at the exact moment that I should wake up. But instead, I got this:

Disappointingly normal.
Let's see what the Sleep Cycle website says is normal. Well this is an example of a drunk person:

Wait. That looks like my sleep one day when not drunk.

And what happened here?

So far (I've only had the app for four days) I haven't noticed a significant improvement in my waking-up experience, which is supposed to be one of the perks of using this app. The first night I was more awake because I felt like I was trying to win the game of sleeping. I'll be interested to see if my sleeping changes as I become accustomed to being watched by my phone.

One other thing that's changed: I usually am almost awake/awake but not ready to get up about two hours before my alarm clock goes off. I usually will check my phone at this time, see if I have texts or emails. This app makes it so that I can't use my phone. This is probably a good habit to break, but part of me wishes that it didn't monopolize my phone all night. Though I guess it cant sense my movements if I'm playing a round of 5 am Boggle.

Moral of the story: This app is a fun distraction and my own personal sleep lab, even if it is an ineffective alarm clock.

February 09, 2010

Sarah: Google

How did I watch the entire Super Bowl, yet miss the only good commercial?

January 13, 2010

Sarah: In Which Sarah Changes Her Mind

Sarah: So. Lady GaGa was named the Creative Director for the Polaroid brand.
Lisa: HA. That? is unfortunate.
S: Yeah.
L: But also possibly genius.
S: I am feeling very torn. On one hand, she's kind of done brilliant marketing for herself. And is creative in her ways of being insane and ridiculous. Also, I want Polaroid to survive, so maybe latching on to someone new is a way to do that.
S: But on the other hand, THAT IS A POSITION THAT REQUIRES ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE. And she is not an expert on Polaroid, or creative direction, or photography trends.
L: Yeah, I do wonder if she has some secret photographic expertise. Or if it's all about her shock value.
On the other hand, not enough judgement to say "maybe I should put on pants today."
S: I wonder if she would wear pants to the office. Or if she'd come to a board meeting in a death mask with hair that bleeds onto a golden onesie.
L: Actually, I am coming around. I think that might be exactly what Polaroid needs.
S: LISA I'M NOT SURE I'M READY TO COME AROUND.
L: Just like that movie with the Duffs! Maybe they figure they're dying anyway, so let's try something completely different! Can't get worse!
S: But she hasn't proven that she has staying power. Ugh.
L: Hee. Sorry.
S: I'm not sure about this.
L: Is Mallory going to kill someone?
S: I texted Mallory to tell her and SHE DIDN'T RESPOND.
L: Hee. Do we need to intercede before she actually tries to kill LaGaGa?
S: Lady GaGa also hit the Polaroid stand to announce her appointment as “creative director” and “inventor of specialty products” with the company.
Wearing a black see-through dress and a blonde sunhat made entirely out of her own hair, she described herself as a “Polaroid girl” and said she was “outraged” when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
[quoted from here]
Okay, now she's sort of seduced me with word "inventor" and her hairhat.
L: INVENTOR OF SPECIALTY PRODUCTS? How can i get that job somewhere???
S: I know, right?
“The Haus of Gaga has been developing prototypes in the vein of fashion/technology/photography innovation - blending the iconic history of Polaroid and instant film with the digital era,” she said.
“I am so excited to extend myself behind the scenes as a designer, and to as my father puts it - finally have a real job.”

NOW I'M CHARMED. DAMMIT. I am so easily seduced by pop culture.
L: Also, the Haus of GaGa
S: I know. She's ridiculous. Yet I want to be in that Haus.

December 14, 2009

Sarah: The Reason for the Season

Just finishing up my Christmas shopping.

This gift fits into any budget.

December 08, 2009

Sarah: I'm gonna write you a letter

I like this.

Sent to me by E.

December 06, 2009

Sarah: Next up, a tiny Hansel and Gretel

All this talk of ornaments got me thinking about folding up a paper ornament. So I designed a simple little gingerbread house to put together over a cup of cocoa. The print out and instructions are over at Anderson Ink.

I also posted a blank version of the house, in case you want to color in or design your own.

December 05, 2009

Sarah: 2008 Ornaments, Finally Part 2

Lisa always blows me away with her ornaments. In 2008, she went with a zombie theme.

That's undead Santa rising from the grave, clutching a jingle bell in his cold, dead hand. Awesome.

Plus, I liked seeing her original sketch and how that translated into the final product. Thanks, Lisa, for bringing just the right amount of creepy to Christmas.

Sarah: 2008 Ornaments, Finally

I'm starting off my belated review of last year's ornament exchange with Marci's glittery words.

Marci made some sparkly stars in 2007 and again brightened up our trees with a little glitter in 2008. I'm a little bummed that my ornament got lost in the mail. All I ended up with was an envelope, but the other swappers, and hopefully a postal worker somewhere, got to hang these adorable ornaments on their trees.

November 19, 2009

Ornament Swap 2009

Edited to add: Hey guys, I heard I was having email problems. A new email address is below. Thanks for your patience.

Oh hi. Good to see you again. It's been a long time. Are you feeling the holiday spirit? I have the constant urge to eat stuffing, so it must be time for Thanksgiving. And then, all too soon, it will be Christmas, which means: Ornament Swap! Are you in? Do you have the urge to cut and paste, stitch and glue? Glitter with wild abandon? I hope so.

I'll be ringing in this year's third annual ornament swap by finally posting photos of last year's contributions. They were cute, and everyone played nice, and then I slacked off. That's what happened.

But! I hope you'll still be game for crafting something this year! We'll be doing things a little differently: to prevent the occasional swap no-shows that we've had the last two years, I'm asking everyone to send their ornaments to me. Then you'll get one big package from me with all of the ornaments. It'll be fun! And if any of your ornaments aren't reciprocated by other swappers (which would be sad), you'll get them back for your own tree or to use as extra gifts (which would be happy!). I feel so much more at ease with this. I hope you do too.

So here's what you do: Leave a comment below with your email address or send an email to miss dot sarah dot anderson at gmail dot com and I'll send all of the details. Sign-ups will be open until November 28 and you'll have until December 19 to make your ornaments and ship them to me (I need to receive them on the 19th, so plan your shipping time accordingly). I'll ship out packages on December 20, just in time to finish trimming your tree.

Details are after the jump. Let me know if you have any questions. You are looking really pretty this year. Have you lost weight? Started using a new conditioner? Tell me your secret. In the comments.

The guidelines:

1. Sign up for the swap by sending an email with the following information to miss dot sarah dot anderson at gmail dot com by November 28th. If you leave a comment on this entry, I'll try to get in touch with you, but an email will make sure you get all of the information ASAP.
- name
- address
- email address
- you website or blog (if you have one)
(Note that when you submit your information, please submit it in this order with traditional capitalization - it makes things a little easier on my end!)

2. On November 29th you'll receive an email from me confirming that you're in the swap and containing the number of swap participants and the address to send your ornaments to.

3. Design a handmade ornament that you can create multiples of and make your ornaments. You will not have to make more than 10 ornaments, but last year's participants only had to make 5 or 6.

4. Package your ornaments well...especially if you create anything fragile.

5. Send your ornaments to me by December 19th at the latest. Send a picture of your ornament in an email to me (sarah at twolooseteeth dot com) notifying me that you've mailed your contribution.

6. Sit back, relax and wait to receive fabulous handcrafted ornaments in the mail!

7. Once people have received their ornaments, I'll post the pictures here, along with a link to your website, unless you request otherwise (for real this time. I promise).

8. One last note: I'd encourage you to research the cost of shipping and take that into account when you design your ornament--lighter and more compact ornaments are cheaper to ship. I want this swap to be fun for all of us. This shouldn't be a financial burden, it should be a chance to craft and get to know each other a little bit.


Most Common Questions

What sort of materials can be used?
Anything! Knit, sew, letterpress, gocco, paint, draw, sculpt, glaze, cut-out, glue, weave, blow glass, weld...go nuts.

Who are the other people I'll be swapping with?
The other people on the swap list you receive on November 29th.

Will my address be on the internet anywhere?
No. I'll be the only person who will receive your snail mail address and email.

What about shipping costs?
You are responsible for the shipping cost to get your ornaments to me. I will pay for the ornaments to be shipped to their final destination. Please check your local shipping rates ahead of time if you are wary of the cost of shipping.

What if I don't receive my ornaments or I can't send my ornaments out on time?
Please email me if you're having problems meeting the deadline. Depending on the situation, I may hold back the packages for a day or two or ship your ornaments separately. But please try to have them done in time! Anyone who participated in the past who did not follow through and ship an ornament, however, is not invited to participate again. If you don't receive a package from me with all of your ornaments, let me know and I'll track it down.

Do I need to have a blog to participate?
No. If you have a blog, that is lovely, but absolutely not a requirement to join the swap.

Other questions? Email sarah at twolooseteeth dot com and I'll respond as quickly as possible.

October 30, 2009

Sarah: A Very Merry UnBirthday To Me

What's that? My birthday was over 3 months ago and no one cares anymore? Well that's too bad, because I always had the intention of posting photos, so post them I will.

I turned 25. I planned some festivities (I'll mention that later), but some friends were so nice that they wanted to have dinner together too. So we ate Japanese food at Koyo. I could eat there every night. Yum.

But this is why they shouldn't leave us in the foyer unsupervised:



And these are my pretty, pretty friends:

And I was obviously deliriously with happiness to be around them, because I asked if this piece of art was 2D or 3D:


(Verdict: 3D)

Behold the power of the camera zoom: Guerilla baby pictures!

And then Valori wrote my name in Japanese. Out of ripped paper. On the water carafe. Awesome.

After eating some tasty Japanese food, my planned festivities: We headed to a park to light a few wish lanterns. I didn't intend to have such an Asian theme.

Thanks, everybody, for being so nice to me.

September 28, 2009

Sarah: Movie Monday

I almost emailed this video to a few friends, but realized that they were the three readers of this site, so I might as well post it here. This video is pretty long, but I think you'll like it. A little bit of internet optimism.

via swissmiss

September 26, 2009

Sarah: Douche

Dad, I'm not sure this entry is for you. You've been warned.

A few months ago, Dave and Angie sent me this video from the 1980s. They didn't prepare me for what was ahead, so neither will I:

"Mom, do you douche?" "I sure do." So disturbing. I need to call my mom and thank her for never having this conversation with me.

What I did not expect was to find that this type of advertising, the mother-daughter heart-to-hearts about douching went back to the 1940s:

While it is nice to live without the old bugaboos, your doctor or inappropriately open friend should be one to tell you about the womanly offense graver than bad breath or body odor.

Then Dave and Angie found this treasure:

Sorry, lady, that your husband avoids you because of your pungent hoo-ha. Note to self: don't ever lose the precious air of romance, if you know what I'm saying.

August 20, 2009

Sarah: Moments of Life

In case you're feeling like I feel, this is for you. A filmmaker set out to capture moments of life:

I sometimes feel like my dreams are slipping away a little bit, that the everyday details are distracting me from the big picture of what I want. But it's good to remember that what we do every day, no matter how mundane, is worth doing. We're living and we only have one chance to do so. So whether it's listening to the crickets while I work at night or squeezing with my niece or dancing around in a hot dog costume, I'm spending each day experiencing life, whatever that means. And some days just the experience can be enough.
...Right?

July 16, 2009

Sarah: Dating a nerdy girl

I think you'll like this list. Try it.

June 30, 2009

Sarah: Things I like

Declarations of grandeur that are lost in their own specificity.

For example: These are the Best Engraved Show Chrome Plated Ceremonial Shovels on the Market!

June 23, 2009

Sarah: Post processing

I know I'm just about the last person to discover Poladroids, but this stuff is fun.

Give it a try. The interface is pleasing: you hear the sound of a polaroid photo popping out of the machine, and then you watch your image develop. Go. Now.

June 14, 2009

Sarah: Easter in June

I watched home videos from my Dad's childhood for a little bit tonight. On Easter, he and his six siblings held egg fights on their front lawn. And even more importantly, they understood that Easter bonnets should be worn, regardless of gender.

That's my dad, second from the right. There's something comforting about knowing he's always liked hats.

June 02, 2009

Sarah: Nice Day for a White Wedding

Speaking of weddings, I love this surprise wedding party for a couple in Manhattan. The bride has a huge grin in so many photos, and it's great. When you aren't expecting any reception at all after your marriage at city hall, a party complete with bridesmaids, dancing, toasts, and gifts from perfect strangers would be pretty fun. This might be drama geeks at their best.

(via David Malki!)

May 28, 2009

Sarah: Office Romance

It's no Jim and Pam, but this video is fairly adorable:

via i like nice things

May 19, 2009

Sarah: Make a memory. To memorial.

What are you doing for the long holiday weekend?
No, you're not. Cancel all of your plans, because I can beat them. Come to the Spring City Heritage Day. You get to tour historic homes, participate in an art auction, converse with artists, enjoy local music, and eat lunch. Afterwards, I'll take you on a drive around the valley and we'll have burgers and milkshakes. Hugging alpacas is optional, taking pictures with the SPIDAMAN shoes is not. Let's go. Details for Heritage Day are on the flyer here. See you there?

May 13, 2009

Sarah: What it's worth

I can’t haggle. I can’t barter. I want to be able to trust that the price that is marked denotes a fair value. Charge what is appropriate based on production costs and what you need to survive. I don’t want to force you to accept so little that your kids can’t eat. I don’t want to be tricked into spending a lot on a shoddy product.

On a related note, I want to be paid what I’m worth and I want others to be paid and promoted based on merit, not politics or seniority. If someone has education, experience, and (most importantly, I think) a good work ethic, they absolutely should be compensated accordingly. I believe that everyone has skills and talents that are unique. We should be motivated to find what those skills and talents are. If you’re making only a little because you’re not excited about your job and motivated to do well? You should be looking for something that you look forward to doing each morning. It would make the world a better place.

Intelligence and hard work should be rewarded. Good craftsmanship should be worth more than sneaky salesmanship. Decide how much something is worth, and trust that you can get or achieve something of worth. If only oversimplifications worked in real life.

May 06, 2009

Sarah: Banking on it

You guys, I just had a heart attack. I got an email from my bank, letting me know that I'd gotten a "cash back reward" for visiting a restaurant. Where I hadn't been for months. My heart raced. My hand reached for my purse. I'd been robbed! My identity stolen! As I panicked, I looked closely at the email: I visited the restaurant in early February.
Oh.
We're alright, then. Carry on.

May 04, 2009

Sarah: Manners

I was raised to be gracious when paid a compliment. This leads to uncomfortably long conversations with friendly homeless men.

April 29, 2009

Sarah: Paper cuts

Remember when I started cutting up my belongings?

It was a very, very good idea.

April 22, 2009

Sarah: Monks and Honey

If you've never made the drive to Huntsville, Utah, you really should. It's a quaint town, but there's not much to see besides a few pioneer era houses (cute) and cows (not cute smelling), but there is wonderful monastery.

The elderly monks (well, most of them are elderly) make and sell creamed honey that's deliciously flavored with hints of orange, almond, raspberry, or other flavors. I could eat it by the spoonful, but don't. Usually.

When Lisa, Nora, and company were China, E and I were left behind to make our own fun. Huntsville was the perfect distance from Salt Lake for a Saturday drive. We had lunch at a biker bar, where I sat beneath the gaping maw of an upsettingly large stuffed head of a beloved Saint Bernard (so awesome, yet terrifying). We found that, when faced with an uncomfortably quiet bar full of older men in black leather, it's best to put a dollar in the jukebox and play cheesy music. I think we made a few friends.

After lunch, we bought out the honey supply of that little monastery (they also sell religious items and will bless them or their customer if asked) and were back on the road.

And the drive home? Gorgeous.

April 04, 2009

Sarah: Place settings

Dear Little Nora Bean,

While you and your mom were in China, your Dad missed you very much. During a cleaning spree, he set up a few play stations for you: a cooking spot, and a work station just like your mom's.

I think he might have missed you.

March 31, 2009

Sarah: Prezzies!

I signed up with a friend via Facebook for a gift exchange-type concept. I've posted my gift offer here, and I hope I can make something for you. Just leave a comment below with a valid email address so that I can get your mailing address, if necessary. I hope I can make something you'll enjoy!

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make, but I promise to make something that I would like!

2. What I create will be just for you, hand crafted with love.

3. It'll be done this year (2009). Beyond that, you won't know in advance when it's coming.

4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be, unless I can't resist teaser photos or hints on the blog. It will be something that you can hold, not an online gift. It may be weird or beautiful. Or both. Or neither. It might be baked goods. It might be a mix CD or an art project or something made with yarn. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange, if inspired to do so.

6. In return, all you need to do is offer up a note of your own and make something for the first 5 to respond to your note.

7. If I don't have your mailing address, I'll send you an email. Just leave a comment below. I can't wait to surprise you!

March 24, 2009

Sarah: Paper and Print

I have a load of pictures to show you, but until I work out some technical difficulties, they'll have to wait. For now, lets swoon over some lovely letterpress until I get everything fully operational. Thanks for understanding!

Greenwich Letterpress. Based in New York City, they walk the line between traditional and modern in the best way, respecting the history of letterpress while staying creative and clever.

Beast Pieces. I fell for this site the moment I saw their masthead. Then I saw all of their great customized calling cards. I think I'm in love.

Fugu Fugu Press. E emailed the link to this shop to me. This California couple makes some of the cutest cards around.

March 20, 2009

Sarah: These Boots

Nora, in addition to being charming and extremely smart, has a penchant for wearing grown-up clothes. On one occasion, she, like the rest of us, was coveting Marci's boots. Unfortunately her legs were not long enough for her feet to reach the ground when she wore them, so Marci helped her walk around the living room.

This is why I cannot wait for this little girl to return from China.

March 15, 2009

Sarah: Finger cozies, part two

Fine, you caught me.

I wasn't making finger cozies at all, but creating many blue legs for a small crocheted octopus. He now belongs to Shantelle's new baby, which is a very good thing. This amigurimi thing is a sickness. Once you start, you can't stop.

Hi. My name is Sarah, and I can't stop crocheting.

March 12, 2009

Sarah: Overwhelmed

Sometimes, especially when I'm not sure what the future holds, I am overcome by all of the things I haven't yet accomplished.

When Richard Branson was my age, he was buying an island.

When E was my age, she was buying a home.

When my dad was my age, he was embarking on law school, where he would graduate with a perfect GPA.

When my mom was my age, she was smiling in a photograph at her college graduation, wearing a cap and gown and balancing her third baby (me!) on her hip.

I could go on and on (and started to, but then decided you were probably already bored) about the examples of people in my life (well, with the exception of Richard Branson) who had already accomplished so much by age 24. I'm overwhelmed and feel inadequate, but I'm so lucky to have such inspiring people in my life. You make me want to be better. You make me want to reach higher.

February 27, 2009

Sarah: One of the cool kids

I finally posted my first little entry at the lovely Angie's brain child: high/low

I'm going to miss working with E each day, but I'm excited for her to jump in to a new, exciting phase of her life. And I hope that she will invite me over to her house sometime soon to watch Animal Planet.

February 16, 2009

Sarah: Happy President's Day

Are you saying you didn't spend the long weekend crocheting finger cozies?

Weird.

February 12, 2009

Sarah: That just about covers it.

E and I plan our weekends.

E: On Sunday morning I teach my first ever Young Women's lesson. Sunday night: potluck? (The question mark here is that my sister and her kids are coming to town and she may need some help that night.)

S: Fine, you can spend Sunday with your real family, if necessary. On one condition: that I be allowed to attend your Young Women's lesson.

E: You can start practicing for my lesson now: stand in front of the mirror and start listing your attributes. Start with: I'm a daughter of God. We'll pick up from there next session.

S: 1. I am a daughter of God. 2. Could be cankle-ier.

February 11, 2009

Sarah: She healed their bodies and their minds, you guys.

Today while listening to a story on NPR, I remembered the first time I considered that the Biblical version of the creation of Earth did not necessarily contradict the scientific explanation.

It was on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, when the title character explained to the ignorant townspeople that each of the seven days could have been thousands of years. My mind was opened to new possibilities.

I may have revealed too much.

January 29, 2009

Sarah: Music Video

This is pretty, I think.

via i like nice things

January 28, 2009

Sarah: 25 random things

I generally hate surveys, but my coworker pressured me into following the trend of writing 25 things about myself. Some of these you've probably heard.

1. I've performed at Robert Redford's Christmas party at Sundance on three separate years.
2. And yet I've sadly never attended the Sundance Film Festival.
3. I go to Crown Burger once a week, every week. I have done so for over two years.
4. I was in choir my senior year of high school, because I decided I wanted to do so when I was in the fifth grade.
5. There's a part of your wrist that's called the "snuffbox." I know this because I almost broke it.
6. I have scoliosis.
7. As my mom styled my hair when I was a little girl, I would yell newspaper headlines along the lines of 'Young Girl Tortured by Cruel Mother for Sake of Ponytail.'
8. I attended an arts camp where it was rumored that kids would sneak into the Tuba Hut for sex.
9. I've only had one live Christmas tree in my adult life. I cut it down myself.
10. I love puzzles and robots.
11. I have a contingency plan in case of a zombie attack.
12. My feet are slightly different in size.
13. Oh, and I have abnormally short pinkies. At this point in the list, I sound like a circus freak.
14. In the 7th grade, I let my big sister put some product in my hair one day and wore it curly to school. A girl I was constantly trying to impress said I looked pretty. I've never looked back.
15. One of the most fun days of my life started and ended on St. Charles Bridge in Prague.
16. A boy dumped me and broke my heart several years ago. It was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time.
17. I worked at Victoria's Secret for a holiday season. As I assisted one man with his purchase, he asked if my boyfriend had a problem with me working there. Um, no. Victoria's Secret salesperson is not on par with, say, exotic dancing.
18. My first job was as a server in the dining room of a retirement center.
19. I'm terrible at remembering names, but very good at remembering faces.
20. I was grounded for an entire term during my senior year of high school.
21. I slid down an entire flight of stairs in the middle of my junior high. I wish that had been the only time such an event occurred.
22. I hate gladiator sandals, love patterned tights, and feel strangely neutral on the subject of Uggs.
23. I grew up without a dog or a cat, but with two hermit crabs. I cried when one of them died.
24. Whenever I sit in the passenger seat of a car, I have to concentrate on not succumbing to the urge to pull up on the emergency break.
25. I'm usually convinced that someone has entered my apartment while I'm asleep or away at work.

January 26, 2009

Sarah: And have the body of a supermodel

Mallory: Not to alarm you, but I might be a witch. Like in The Craft.
S: Ha! As if I could love you more.
M: You're just saying that because you know that I can control your fate with my mind.
S: In that case, I'd like to get rich soon and then die before I lose control of my bowels.

On a side note, this now makes Mallory's career path something like: Wiccan psychic who builds bombs. She is a unique individual, and that's why I like her.

January 02, 2009

Sarah: Happy 2009!

Happy New Year, everyone.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and that you haven't given up on us yet. I'm sifting through photos and have some things to share with you in the very near future.

For now, I'm cleaning up my house, adding to the list on New Year's Resolutions that's already as long as my arm, and playing on my new Nintendo Wii, a graduation gift to myself.

I'll be seeing you around the internet very soon. Stay tuned for an exciting hand chair update!

December 11, 2008

Sarah: Direction

More plays should have stage-direction like this:

New Chorus: Love Is Always New When It's You
[sung by Hephaistos and his robots as they begin to erect around his marriage bed a trap of many fine volcanic chains]

(from Decreation by Anne Carson)

Sarah: The price is nice

Today I'm wearing my new shrug from Anthropologie. It was the last one on the sale rack and didn't have a tag, so I got it for $20. Originally priced at $118 (the site says $88, but the cash register said differently)! It's nice to look like a girl once in a while.

December 07, 2008

Sarah: Homework Night

Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.

From Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino

December 01, 2008

Sarah: Porcelain nativities are the perfect gift for your favorite goth

While others were fighting the crowds on Black Friday, the family was sleeping in. Eventually we went shopping at the craft fair held at a nearby co-op (Yes, I realize how deliciously small town that sounds). Our fellow shoppers were largely middle aged housewives, with one awesomely out of place exception:

Now, I too have a fondness for black clothing, boots, and buckles. I too frequently pull my hair back in a ponytail. This is not about judgement of his ensemble. This is about the fact that this man, after waking up and carefully compiling his best emo ensemble, walked to the Co-Op to peruse the doilies and religious figurines.

November 30, 2008

Sarah: Escalation

Maybe I was mean for disliking the cat on top of my car, but tonight things went too far. While my dad and I set my Christmas tree in its stand, the front door stood open. I locked the door behind Dad (thanks for your help, Dad!) and started rummaging through my kitchen cupboards, looking for a pitcher so that I could water my tree. When I turned around, the cat (THE CAT!) was strolling across the kitchen tile, as if it could stick around in my apartment.

When I told Lisa about the intruder, she told me that "It has totally escalated things to the next level: attacking you on your own turf." And I am not okay with this new development.

November 29, 2008

Sarah: Like Paul Bunyan, but with less facial hair

Today I cut down my own Christmas tree. With my bare hands, an ax, and a hack saw. And then Lisa and I carried our Christmas trees down a canyon. In Lisa's words, it's like hunting, but with a pleasant pine aroma and no organs. This experience is going straight on the "Pros" column for visiting my parents in Spring City.

Thanks for the great Thanksgiving weekend, Mom and Dad!

November 23, 2008

Sarah: Swap Housekeeping

Just a quick note: I've sent an email to all Ornament Swap participants. If you didn't receive an email from me, I didn't get your info or I've typed your email incorrectly. Leave a comment if I somehow missed you.

Let the crafting begin!

November 22, 2008

Sarah: Wanting to be in the country, not of the country.

Dear CMT,
Can't a girl watch Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team 3 at two a.m. while checking her email without being assaulted by Larry the Cable Guy? Also, how did I know Taylor Swift by sight?

November 21, 2008

Sarah: Last Chance!

As a reminder, today is the final day to sign up for this year's Ornament Swap. Follow the link for instructions on how to sign up.

If you're here in Salt Lake City, it's also the last day to see Lisa in The Music Man. Lisa and the rest of the cast have done a great job. Congratulations, Lisa! The play starts tonight at seven. See you there!

November 20, 2008

Sarah: Christmas Wish

What are you guys wishing Santa will bring to you on Christmas? Some lovely items I've been lusting after include:


Feather headbands seem to be getting increasingly popular. They're so unusual and dramatic, I think they'd make a great conversation piece or an unusual twist to a basic black tshirt and jeans.


Screenprints, Letterpress prints, photographs, and small scale (think postcard-sized) paintings are an affordable way to give someone a truly special gift and expand their art collection. Two paintings created by my dad, a photo by Mallory, and posters I've collected proudly adorn my walls. Prints of someone's favorite classic work are great, but I think an original work by an as-yet-unknown artist is intimate, creative, and an investment.


Rob Ryan makes some amazing paper cuts. He also has a book that would leave me inspired.

What about you? Are you eyeing some earrings? Do you have a long list of books to read in the new year? Are you yearning for leather driving gloves? A smoking jacket? Tell me in the comments below what you'd most like to receive for Christmas.

Oh, and this year, as with any holiday, I'd encourage everyone to Buy Handmade. Support independent artists and crafters and think outside the big box store.
I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

November 18, 2008

Sarah: Cups and Cakes

There's an odd little building near my apartment that has changed hands countless times. Originally a flower shop, the building is attached to a jello mold-shaped greenhouse.

The latest tenant is Diva's Cupcakes & Coffee, and I hope these guys stay a while. On Mallory's suggestion, I tried this new cafe out, and I hope to return soon. It's a bit of a walk from my home, but the exercise of a few blocks to and from might justify a little cupcake consumption.

The service is friendly, the beverages are tasty, and the secluded deck in back is awesome. Join me at Diva's and make this cafe stick around in that funny location in Holladay.

November 17, 2008

Sarah: Swap reminder

Hello lovely crafters, this is a reminder that you have until this Friday, November 21 to sign up for our second annual Ornament Swap. To sign up, send an email to sarah at twolooseteeth dot com with the information listed in the detailed swap information. Thank you and happy crafting!

Sarah: If you get a squeeze back, that's fancy cookin'

On Saturday, Mallory, Marci, and I went to see Lisa in the local production of Music Man.

The production was pretty good, and the lead character did a very nice job. The costumes, as I'm sure you know by now, were great and Lisa's enormous hats are AWESOME.

We were very excited to be there.

And Marci even got a photo with the Music Man. Except that we were too shy to ask him for a photo (well, too shy because we were obviously too RIDICULOUS), so she snuck behind him for the picture, a la Lloyd Dobbler.

Great job Lisa and the rest of the cast! There are three performances remaining, so you still have time to soak it all in.

November 16, 2008

Sarah: Because I love you

This is why funding to school arts programs is constantly being cut:

And yet is also hilarious. Thank you, Kaeleigh.

November 15, 2008

Sarah: Swap 2008

Hey you guys, is anyone up for a second annual ornament swap? Leave a comment below with your email address or send an email to sarah at twolooseteeth dot com and I'll send all of the details. Sign-ups will be open until November 21 and you'll have until December 19 to make your ornaments and ship them to their new homes.

Details are after the jump. Let me know if you have any questions. Everyone that participated last year did a lovely job and I hope they'll sign up again. They also have insight into how last year worked out, so I hope they'll let me know if they have any suggestions. Thanks!

The guidelines:

1. Sign up for the swap by sending an email with the following information to sarah at twolooseteeth dot com by November 21st. If you leave a comment on this entry, I'll try to get in touch with you, but an email will make sure you get all of the information ASAP.
- name
- address
- email address
- you website or blog (if you have one)
(Note that when you submit your information, please submit it in this order with traditional capitalization - it makes things a little easier on our end!)

2. On November 23rd you'll receive an email from me containing the addresses and email addresses of the other swap participants to send your ornaments to.

3. Design a handmade ornament that you can create multiples of and make your ornaments. You will not have to make more than 10 ornaments, but last year's participants only had to make 5 or 6.

4. Package your ornaments well...especially if you create anything fragile.

5. Send one of your ornaments to each person on the list of other swap participants by December 15th at the latest. Send a picture of your ornament in an email to me (sarah at twolooseteeth dot com) notifying me that you've mailed your contribution.

6. Sit back, relax and wait as you receive fabulous handcrafted ornaments in the mail!

7. Once people have received your ornaments, I'll post the pictures here, along with a link to your website, unless you request otherwise.

8. One last note: I'd encourage you to research the cost of shipping and take that into account when you design your ornament--lighter and more compact ornaments are cheaper to ship. I want this swap to be fun for all of us. This shouldn't be a financial burden, it should be a chance to craft and get to know each other a little bit.


Most Common Questions

What sort of materials can be used?
Anything! Knit, sew, letterpress, gocco, paint, draw, sculpt, glaze, cut-out, glue, weave, blow glass, weld...go nuts.

Who are the other people I'll be swapping with?
The other people on the swap list you receive on November 23rd.

Will my address be on the internet anywhere?
No. The only people who will receive your snail mail address and email are the people you are swapping with.

What about shipping costs?
You are responsible for shipping costs for your ornaments, just as others are paying to ship ornaments to you. Please check your local shipping rates ahead of time if you are wary of the cost of shipping.

What if I don't receive all my ornaments or I can't send my ornaments out on time?
This is why you will be given the other swappers' email addresses. Please email your group with any concerns directly. You may also post announcements on this blog entry or email me if you have any questions concerning your group. Anyone who participated last year who did not follow through and ship an ornament, however, is not invited to participate again. If you're running late, let us know and ship your ornament when you can.

Do I need to have a blog to participate?
No. If you have a blog, that is lovely, but absolutely not a requirement to join the swap.

Other questions? Email sarah at twolooseteeth dot com and I'll respond as quickly as possible.

November 13, 2008

Sarah: You, sir, are no Mr. Mistoffelees

When I first moved into my apartment, the presence of a presumably community-owned cat quickly became apparent. When the cat approached my open living room window to meow and beg, I took a spray bottle in hand and squirted through the screen.

The cat quickly learned that we were not destined to be friends. What I would soon realize, however, was that the cat had decided we would, instead, be nemeses.

It all began when the cat covered the hood of my car with paw prints. Can you see them?

And then. THEN, dear reader. The cat escalated. Look at that defiant stare.

Touche, Cat. You are a worthy adversary indeed.

November 11, 2008

Sarah: Really, really, ridiculously good-looking

I hope to soon be able to reveal the fruits of a not-so-top-secret photo shoot with some of my typewriters and the lovely and talented Mallory a few weeks ago. Until then, some behind-the-scenes shots:

I've never watched a photo shoot before and, while this shoot obviously had very humble aims, Mallory acted like a pro. I just paced around while she tested light and got the exact shots I had in mind, without me even explaining clearly.

The typewriters, on the other hand, were total prima donnas. They think that just because they've been around for a while that they know it all. I reminded them that I'd picked each of them up for less than $10. At that, they stormed off to their trailer to sulk, but eventually returned to the set and totally delivered.

After Janet showed them how it's done, of course.

Thanks, Mal! I am so lucky to have such talented friends.

November 10, 2008

Sarah: Haircut

With winter now upon us, I obviously had to make room on my neck for my ever-growing collection of scarves:

Old hair:

And yes, that is a hilariously oversized pen from Japan. Sorry it's not a good hair picture, I seem to have been avoiding the camera lately.

New hair:

An improvement, no?

November 07, 2008

Sarah: Working for the Weekend

It's after five on a Friday night and I just spent far too long at my desk crafting this creation:

I wish I weren't quite so proud at how far my Photoshop skills have come, since they still have a long, long way to go.

Don't even get me started on how quickly I can animate a PowerPoint presentation.

November 04, 2008

Sarah: I love you, Handy Andy

The handy man came around tonight to repair a nonfunctioning power outlet in my bathroom. He stood in my doorway, a raincoat draped over his head because his arm couldn't fit through the sleeve due to the cast encasing his forearm and hand. That's right, my handy man has a broken bone. I joked that this made him 50% less handy, but he didn't laugh.

Once inside, we headed straight to my power outlet. This dead outlet has sent me to blow-dry my hair bedside on the rare occasions that I get ready for the day. I left one-handy Andy (his real name) to his work and listened to him talk to himself as I hung up my clean laundry ("J***S S**T!" when he verified with his own flesh that electricity was coming to the outlet) and then to the outlet ("Of COURSE you just did that." when the fuse blew after his cast snagged a wire, leaving my entire apartment shrouded in darkness.).

After finding his flashlight and restoring light to my home, Andy successfully replaced my power outlet. Andy: my hairstyle thanks you, my bathroom thanks you, and I thank you.

October 16, 2008

Sarah: Ephemera

My love of typewriters runs true and deep. The latest addition to my growing typewriter collection (pictures to come soon) came in a case full of typewriter accessories.

Some of my impressive haul:

The manual for my new Royal Quiet De Luxe:

Typewriter Cleaner:

And a variety of type correcting paper:

This correcting paper came with an excellent special offer:


It's hard to read, but with enough coupons, a lovely typist could receive stockings, eyelashes, or even a pearl necklace. Amazing.

Maud of Paris, Idaho: I have your typewriter.

And your recipe for doughnuts.

A great addition to my collection, no?

Oh, and my new job is going great.

September 29, 2008

Sarah: It could be worse, aka Radio Science

There's something charming and romantic about the fact that authors Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning called their son (whose full name was Robert Wiedeman Barrett Browning) "Pen."

At the very least, it's better than Pilot Inspektor.


September 25, 2008

Sarah: Moving on

Tomorrow will be my last day at my job. The company where I've worked for 3.75 years. My first desk job, my first professional writing, my first event planning.

I've been lucky to work with friends, and to have the best bosses imaginable.

This job allowed me to rent an apartment, patiently worked around my school schedule, taught me patience. I could not be moving on to my new employer without the skills I have gained over the past several years. My company took a chance on a 20 year old student with no office experience and no previous long term employment. I hope that I've helped them as much as they have helped me.

I'm excited to move on, but incredibly thankful for where I've been. Thank you.

September 24, 2008

Sarah: Pontificating on Punctuation

Today is National Punctuation Day and, in its honor, I planned to tell you which punctuation mark is my favorite. It was too hard to decide.

& I love the curvy, sexy ampersand.
, I abuse and overuse the comma. It is my partner in crime when I compose endless lists.
[] I prefer the straight lines of brackets to parentheses, but ours is a secret love. We rarely see each other outside of class notes.
' The apostrophe seems to be the most abused punctuation. For National Punctuation Day (actually, every day), I encourage the English speaking world to insert that little apostrophe between the U and R, giving it a little E love. For today, let's have no more declarations that "Your great."

September 17, 2008

Sarah: Call Me, On the Line

I love the idea of a calling card. Like a business card, but for personal use, a calling card is unusual but traditional, cool and sophisticated, and much classier than writing your number on the inside of a matchbook. (Although that has some awesome kitsch value too.) I decided I wanted some calling cards of my own that (hopefully) reflected some of my interests. Here's what I ended up with:

Calling Card Tutorial

Materials:

- Cardstock. I used green cardstock, but I wish it were thicker. Bring a business card with you to the paper store so that you understand the relative weight of your paper when you're deciding.
- Linoleum Block. Think of it like a stamp that you cut yourself. Maybe you could use a halved potato as a stamp instead, like when you were a kid. Or actual stamps, if you have some that you love. You get the idea.
- Ink. I used white screenprinting ink because I had it on hand, but I'd recommend something less thick and gloppy, if you have your choice. Ink intended to be used on paper would be better. Even a stamp pad might be fine.

Tools:
- Paper cutter. To cut your paper into card-sized pieces, of course.
- Linoleum cutting tool. I love my Linoleum Cutter from Speedball, which I purchased at Utrecht Art Supply. It has 5 or so different blades that store in the handle, and they're super sharp. Excellent.
- If you use thick ink, you'll need a brayer and a piece of acrylic or glass (I used an 8x10 sheet of glass stolen from a picture frame). Unless you've come up with some other solution, like the stamp pad.
- Typewriter. It's just not the same if you print your name and number on the computer. Typewriters are much better.

Now that you've gathered some supplies together, let's get to work.

Instructions:

- Cut a design into your lino block. Remember, you'll be inking up the raised surface, so cut away any areas you don't want printed. And obviously your printed image will be flipped from what you're cutting, so any words or numbers should appear backwards on the lino block. Like I said above, it's like a stamp. The Linoleum Cutter is a sharp little bugger, so try not to cut off too many fingers.

My shapes were loosely inspired by this fabric I saw in a Pottery Barn catalog, inspired by Josef Frank.

Frank's fabrics were featured in Mamma Mia (I loved looking for them after reading design*sponge), and they're amazing. I do not mean to compare my crude shapes to Frank's awesome patterns, I was just delighted to be inspired. Moving on.

-Once the linoleum block is finished, you're ready to start printing. I wanted my pattern to be a little different on each card, so I didn't worry about where it would fall. First, roll the ink using the brayer out onto your piece of glass. This lets you get a thin, smooth layer of ink on the brayer. Roll the brayer across the lino block until the printable area is nicely inked up.

Then press the lino block onto the paper, re-inking as necessary.

- You're almost done. If you plan to print your contact information using a computer, now is the time to format your document accordingly. This is a perfectly acceptable method, but you will have slightly less street cred than those individuals using typewriters.

- If using a typewriter, I suggest cutting your paper into cards now. The standard business card size is 3 1/2 inches by 2 inches. Or postcards would be fun. Square would be unusual. Twice as wide or tall, then folded over? My heart is all a-flutter.

- Typing, my favorite part! I compromised for centering my information. Originally, I'd envisioned my name and number along the bottom of the card, leaving plenty of white space for a quickly scrawled message, if needed. Unfortunately, such careful registration on a typewriter is a little unrealistic. This works too.

- Then you're done. Slip a small stack of cards in your purse or back pocket and wait to be asked for your number. Or don't wait, but hand your card to the cutest guy in the room, you saucy minx.

September 08, 2008

Sarah: Up to No Good

My energy seems to have been spent elsewhere as of late, so my blogging has been a bit more sparse. Perhaps it went towards something like:


Making my own Seven Sins Pillow


Applying for graduation


Trying out a new cardmaking technique (Yeesh, the green is slightly less radioactive in real life.)


Responding to Jeff's adorable card


Enjoying my gifts from Japan (Thanks, Val!)
Pink text: Fruit Train -- Welcome to the country of the fruit. What do you see in this fruit? It is a train that carries your dream.
Yellow text: Cheese Driving* This rat goes to buy food while taking the cheesecar on the weekend.

Anyway, I'm keeping busy, and I like you. More entries brewing!

August 28, 2008

Sarah: Sweet Slumber

Any delusions I had about the aural privacy of my home were pretty much dashed when, while reading in bed, I was serenaded by my neighbor's snores. I guess that discussion Lisa and I had about how Nipples Are Not For Strangers was not as private as we might have hoped.

August 23, 2008

Sarah: Who are the people in your neighborhood?

Walking back to my apartment after taking my trash to the dumpster, I see an unusual stream of water making its way across the parking lot. I look to the source of the water and see another tenant, who stares at me while positioning herself in front of the trickling hose. She initiates conversation, I assume to distract me.

"Hello."
"Hi."
"How are you?"
"Good, how are you doing?"
"NOTHING."

Smooth, very smooth.

August 22, 2008

Sarah: Midnight Crafting

While getting my apartment into shape, I worried about scratching up my kitchen table with this pottery.

I tried attaching felt feet to the pot for my aloe plant, but the first time I watered it, sloppily of course, the water I sloshed around its base ruined the glue and made the whole thing unpleasant. Plus, the table needed something to make it look a little more finished, don't you think?

Perhaps a cute placemat/tablerunner, I thought. Something felt, so that no sewing is required. $3.50 for a yard of dark gray felt later, and I was in business. My tools:

My giant IKEA bowl was used as a template. I traced the bowl, then added an inch all the way around.

I loosely measured 1 1/2 inch wide scallops all around the circle of felt, cutting down to the bowl outline. I embraced the handmade quality of the project and let the scallops be imperfect. Ten minutes later and:

What do you think? Improvement?

August 19, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 22

I'm sorry. I know I've been neglecting you. Don't be mad, I still care about you. See? I made you chocolate covered bacon.

You heard me right. Bacon. Covered in dark chocolate. See? These are the ingredients:

I brought these to our final potluck dinner with the lovely Angie and Dave before they got into their moving truck last Sunday and drove to New York City. How better to say "I'll miss you, I love you, and can I come visit soon and sleep on your floor?" than with a surprisingly not-disgusting sweet-salty treat? I can't think of a better way.

These are really easy to make. Once was good enough for me, but I recommend you make these, if only to see the look on your friends' faces when you offer up a plate. Plus, bacon has protein and dark chocolate has anti-oxidants. So, you know, healthy.

How to make Chocolate Covered Bacon:

Cook the bacon. Crispy. No one wants floppy, chewy bacon underneath the chocolate shell. Sounds gross, doesn't it? Glad we agree. Crispy bacon it is.

Melt the chocolate in a makeshift double-boiler. Or a real one, if you're fancy like that. Don't splash water into the melted chocolate. That always ends bad, trust me.

Dip the cooled, dry bacon into the chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. I sprinkled about half of the pieces with sea salt. I'm not sure if anyone noticed or had a preference. The bacon was salty enough on its own, though, so this isn't necessary if you don't have it on hand. Let the chocolate cool.

Serve. Watch your dinner guests approach the platter with extreme trepidation.

August 11, 2008

Sarah: My sister is my cheerleader

Lisa: From our search logs: oh my god. i just got a manicure. the sun i swear its bleaching up my gorgoues hair. 98 64 like i dont even no the score rawr rawr fight fight tell me do i look alright
Sarah: The next time I'm getting ready for a date, I'm going to use the following cheer in asking your opinion:
Raw Raw!
Fight Fight!
Tell me, do I look alright?
Gooooooo Eagles!!!!
And then I'll high-step it out the door.
Lisa: I literally. LITERALLY. Can. Not. Wait for that.

August 10, 2008

Sarah: I wanna get witcha, and take your pitcha

I've finally gotten to work on photos from Europe. I set up a Flickr account so that I could share them with you. My photos of Scotland start here, and I'll be continuing to upload photos over the next several days. Thanks for your patience!

August 06, 2008

Sarah: That New Apartment Smell

Each night my apartment becomes stifling, the air thick with the scent of incense. The smoky aroma engulfs me, and I am left wondering how the neighbor's aromatherapy can effect my air quality to this degree. I tried baking brownies in retaliation, but they seemed unimpressed. Any fortification suggestions are welcome.

Across the grassy area separating two buildings within my apartment complex, I watch my neighbor's daily routine. Shortly after I come home from work, he walks out of his house wearing big noise-cancelling headphones, holding a glass mug full of lemonade, and dragging a white wooden chair behind him. He places the chair in the grass, 10 feet away from the street and sits nearly motionless for at least a half hour. I'm painfully curious about what could be playing in those headphones. A relaxation exercise, complete with soothing music and a Gaiam-worthy voice, directing his breathing and instructing him to visualize himself underwater? Perhaps he's learning French using a series of recordings? I'm dying to know.

July 31, 2008

Sarah: Wishing I could justify inflicting pain upon my credit card.

Lately I've forbid myself from shopping for myself. Although I'm sad there are now Victoria's Secret models in the catalog that I don't even recognize, I suppose my money is better spent on things like rent and food.

If, however, my budget did not have such painfully strict restraints, I would be doing more than just admiring Jonathan Adler's collection for Barnes and Noble. And maybe going crazy with a seven sins pillow.

Is this something I could replicate myself with my meager embroidery skills?

July 28, 2008

Sarah: Birthday Week

One week before my birthday, I got the best present ever from my brother Dave: a brand-new sister. The week couldn't get much better from there, but it certainly tried.

There was a basketball game.

What my team lacked in technical skill they made up for in style. Though the ref didn't seem to buy my argument.

I relaxed with the family, enjoying the shady outdoor dining and jazz music. Dinner was delicious, and Dave and Angie taught me that nothing goes with gnocchi quite like a re-gifted hand chair. Curses!

Hanging out with friends at The Tavernacle was fun.

Well, for me at least. I drank Shirley Temples until I was sure I'd be sick. And I forced them to look excited, at least for a photo.

They are true friends. Britni is such a good friend that she gave me her marschino cherries as a birthday gift. Mmm.

After singing until my throat was hoarse, I dragged my friends to Village Inn for a little late-night breakfast. There we saw a man so brazen in his blindfold use that he could only be... Justice.

These incredibly indulgent friends then threw me a robot-themed birthday party at Crown Burger.

I loved it. These girls? Are the best friends ever.

More pictures after the jump. Thanks, Marci!


July 16, 2008

Sarah: Ripples

"I believe the simple act of making something, anything, with your hands is a quiet political ripple in a world dominated by mass production... and people choosing to make something themselves will turn those small ripples into giant waves."
--Faythe Levine

July 11, 2008

Sarah: A Year in Review

In the past year, I have:
1. Gotten within a semester of college graduation.
2. Stood outside the hospital room while my niece was born, then held her on the first day of her life and countless days since.
3. Learned how to use an old hand-printing press.
4. Gained a new sister. An amazing new sister.
5. Traveled through Europe.
6. Bought a new (to me) car.
7. Learned to drive a manual transmission, just about burning through my clutch in the process.
8. Given up the apartment where I lived for almost two years.
9. Lived with my awesome family (Don't worry, guys, I promise that I'm looking for a new place).
10. Become much closer (whether she liked it or not) to a great friend.
11. Baked and cooked. A lot.
12. Cracked jokes with an albino.

It was a great year. One of my favorites yet. Thanks for being there with me.

Sarah: Occular Update

Mom, this is for you.

A little better, I think, despite the infection spreading to the other eye. Thanks for the magical eye drops.

July 10, 2008

Sarah: I can see clearly now, or not.

I have an eye infection.

I have never been more beautiful than at this moment.

July 08, 2008

Sarah: Friends Say the Darndest Things

Mark:
Favorite quote from a coworker today: I'm not really too familiar with the service side, let me go ask someone who is a little more inept. Hold on...

Mallory:
I dreamed that I was making out with a starship captain last night. We were on an escape pod from the Battlestar Galactica. I had to save the President. We saved her. Then he showed me space and it was awesome. Then we made out. For a long time.
Then.
I realized Marci was sitting in the back seat of our space-car the entire time.
Em. Barrassing.

E (stolen from her blog, but she told it to me as well, so I'm hoping she doesn't mind that I spread the awesomeness):
I teach the six-, seven-, and eight-year-old children at my church.
Lesson: Gratitude
E: Adam, you love soccer. A lot. It's pretty cool that your body can play so well. How can you show Heavenly Father that you're thankful for your body?
A: Well... I could get a plate of cookies and put it on the counter. Then I could leave a note: "Dear Santa, Please give these to God."
E (laughs): That's one way, I guess.
A: Except I don't know if God likes milk. So, if God doesn't like milk, I'll leave a glass of 7-Up.

For what it's worth? I'm betting that God likes milk.

July 07, 2008

Sarah: Monday Afternoon Haiku

Facebook, where are you?
I need to un-tag photos
And play Scrabulous.

Lunch: Went to the mall,
Returned lots of merchandise.
Visa: Zero owed.

Thank you for calling.
He's on a call, may I take
a message? No? K.

July 03, 2008

Sarah: Shod

Are these any better?

[Edited to add: I thought they coordinated very well with Nora's and my shoes. -- Lisa]


Sarah: Lookbook

As you know, our brother got engaged. This weekend is the wedding and I'm having some outfit insecurity.
I need advice on accessories, and if the shoes will work for either (and hopefully both) outfits. Internet, please dress me.

Day:

Night:

I'm wearing this dress with a white cardigan over it, but I can't find that image.

Shoes:

Are they too brown? Or are they alright?

July 02, 2008

Sarah: Here and There

You should never buy ugly motivational posters again. Why have stock photography of eagles soaring when you can have something cool like these? Via Zina, the coolest girl I know from Spring City.

Oh, and I can type things.
72 words

Speed test


I want to try Loobylu's No Spend Month. I think about it fairly often and think it'd be a nice way to declutter my space and mind, relax about finances, and appreciate the possessions I already have. Plus, I'd finally get back on the cooking bandwagon.

This will make you laugh. Horrifyingly retro photos from an old JC Penney catalog.

Sarah: The Kiss Heard About Round the World

While in Prague, I pimped out my friend Marci to a Texan named Mike. I highly recommend asking strangers to kiss your friend while on St. Charles Bridge.

It was clearly a magical evening.

July 01, 2008

Sarah: Apartment Hunting

I've been looking at apartments since the day after I returned from Europe (oops, I still haven't blogged much about that, have I?). I haven't found the perfect place yet, but I have found a few Craigslist ads that are just, well, they're linked below.

The longest dog-narrated ad of all time

Disgusting? Tempting!

The lovely Marci accompanied me to see an apartment. After overcoming the fear that the vision of the building instilled in my heart, we entered to find that the apartment came with house plants. What a charming feature. Why would they not include this feature in their posted description? Confusing.

I need help. Any ideas?

Sarah: Here to Help

Mallory asked for help on her blog entry.

M: QUICK. Give me a lyric that has to do with either penises or being smelly.
S: HA HA HA. "Feel a little poke comin through, on you..."
M: Umm less boner-y.
S: You want penis song lyrics that are "less boner-y." I just need to point that out.

June 28, 2008

Sarah: MeTube

Yes, we've already talked about how much we love YouTube, but I think there are a few videos you might have missed.

If you like baking, perhaps you'd be interested in learning how to make bread.

If you didn't think you were interested in knowing how slugs mate, well, you were wrong. You are interested.

And if you're wondering what I would do while my friend got molested by an Italian tourist in Prague? The answer is: I would take a video of it.
That's right, I'm on YouTube. It feels like home.

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 21

Did someone say artichokes?

Because, I think I might like those. Let me see...

Oh yes. They are, indeed, delicious.

I grew up dipping them in mayo, but if you want to look slightly more sophisticated, you could try a homemade aioli, thanks to Orangette. Yum. Just don't feed the aioli to the baby. She likes the plain artichoke just fine.

Recipe for the aioli after the jump.

Meyer Lemon Aioli
Adapted from Bon Appétit, April 2008

1 medium garlic clove
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. Meyer lemon juice (though I just used regular lemon juice. I'm a rebel)
¼ tsp. champagne or white wine vinegar (I used vinegar)
Heaping ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard (I used fancy mustard we had in the house. It wasn't as creamy as dijon, but I think the mustard seeds made it more interesting.)
½ tsp. salt, or to taste
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 medium Meyer (regular works!) lemon, or to taste

If you have a garlic press, press the garlic clove. If you do not have a garlic press, mince the clove finely; then sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and smash it a bit with the side of your knife, so that it softens to a dense paste.

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, egg yolk, Meyer lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Whisk briefly, until the mixture is bright yellow and well blended, about 15 to 30 seconds.

Now, start adding the oil. It is absolutely crucial that you add it very slowly. For the first ¼ cup, add it impossibly slowly – only a few drops at a time – and whisk constantly. Make sure that each addition of oil is fully incorporated before you add any more. (Your arm will get tired, yes, but don’t worry; you can stop to rest as often as you need to.) As the oil is incorporated, the mixture should begin to lighten in color and develop body, thickening tiny bit by tiny bit.

After you have added the first ¼ cup oil, you can increase the speed at which you add it, pouring it in a thin, continuous stream, whisking constantly. Stop every now and then, if you need to, to put down the measuring cup, whisk well, and make sure that the oil is fully incorporated. The mixture should continue to thicken, and by the time you have added all the oil, it should be pale yellow (or yellowy-green, depending on the color of your olive oil), silky and thick. Whisk in the Meyer lemon zest. Taste, and adjust seasoning - vinegar, salt, zest - as needed.

Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to three days.

Note: For safety’s sake, raw egg is not recommended for infants (I told you!), pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. To avoid the risk of salmonella, buy your eggs from a reputable source, and take care when separating the yolks and whites, so that the contents of the egg do not come in contact with the outer part of the shell. Or use pasteurized egg yolk instead.

Yield: about ¾ cup, or enough for at least four artichoke eaters

Sarah: Uniform

Logowear, nametag, glasses, fannypack (with attached luggage tag!), and cell phone clipped into belt.
This software vendor is ready to work.

June 27, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 20

I think these Whole-Wheat Apple Muffins (from Smitten Kitchen) are perfect for Sundays. Make them for a late breakfast or a snack. They are sweet enough to feel like a treat, but the big apple chunks and whole wheat make you feel like you're being healthy. Which means you can have two, right?

This recipe convinced me that I need to sprinkle brown sugar on top of everything and put it in the oven. I am convinced that this would be delicious no matter what. I'll let you know how my new and improved tuna sandwich turns out.

Recipe after the jump. Make these. Right now.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

These dark, crazy moist muffins will keep well for several days, and the brown sugar on top, should you not skimp on it like I did, adds a crunchy touch, perfect for those of you who know that the lid is the best part.

Yield: They said 12, I got 18

1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour an 18 cup muffin tin and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy.

Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


June 23, 2008

Sarah: Baby Genius

Lisa: Nora knocked over my soda, then bumped her head.
Sarah: Oh no. Everything okay again?
L: ßzxddwfrƒƒƒƒƒƒƒƒƒc'/r44;r5555555555555555555rrr455=4=
L: km
S: Hi Nora!
L: liTTLE hack er

L: DE AW  W
S: ...

Lisa may not respond because she is now offline.

Lisa is now online.

L: As I was saying, friggin hacker baby hid my dock, then quit messenger. I have no idea how.

June 22, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 19

I wanted to make a treat for the girls on a Tuesday night. Well, truthfully I wanted to eat cake, but luckily the girls saved me from consuming the entire cake on my own. I decided to make an Orange and Chocolate Cake from Joy the Baker (via Tastespotting).

The cake is easy to put together, since it's the same mix, split in half, then flavored (orange one half, chocolate the other). The sour cream makes it delicious and moist (ew, I hate that word) and the presentation is great for only a little work.

I didn't cook the cake quite long enough. I wish the cake hadn't fallen as a result, because it looked awesome when I first pulled it out of the oven.

I sprinkled the top of the cake with powdered sugar, but you could also leave it plain or drizzle it with icing. Either way, I'd make this again if I needed an easy dessert. Thanks, Lisa, for letting me use your bundt cake pan!

Recipe after the jump.

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake
adapted from the Gourmet Cookbook

3 1/2 cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
zest of 1 large orange
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Put rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour (I just used Pam on Lisa's nonstick pan) a 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add half of flour mixture, and mix until just blended. Add sour cream, mixing until just combined, then add remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Divide the batter evenly into two bowls. In one bowl add the orange zest and orange extract and stir to combine. In the other bowl add sifted cocoa powder and chocolate chips and stir to combine.

First pour the orange batter into the buttered Bundt pan, spreading it evenly around the bottom of the pan. Next, simply add the chocolate batter on top of the orange to cover. No swirling is necessary, although you can swirl the batters together if you like.

Bake until cake is springy to the touch and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from oven and cool cake in the pan for 30 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

June 18, 2008

Sarah: Catching My Breath

It's so good to be back home. To hug my friends, to chat with my family, to walk, hunched over, with my index fingers being gripped tightly by a little walking Nora. I am planning to write a little about the last six weeks I spent in Europe but am a little overwhelmed. How does one start? At the beginning? There are so many wonderful details, so many hilarious friends, so many new cities that I've fallen in love with. I want to share it with you, and I wish I could have taken you with me. Mostly, I am afraid to see how many pictures I crammed into 3GB, and I don't want to bore you. I hope to have some sort of wrap-up for you in the next few days, if you're interested. If you're not, well, you should comment and tell me what I should be writing instead.

Oh, and in case you are relieved that I finally stopped posting weekly entries about recipes that I often didn't have the culinary prowess to successfully pull off? Well, that's too bad. I actually cooked enough before leaving for Europe that I could have Lisa post an entry each week while I was gone, but then I didn't write them because I figured I should spend that time packing and catching my plane and stuff. So instead I plan to inundate you with cooking entries in the coming days or weeks.

Still there? I think you'd like this. I did.

I'm headed back to working (I was on time today, miraculous!) and apartment hunting. Thanks for bearing with me!

June 11, 2008

Sarah: Are You There, God? It's Me, and I'm Lost.

I am happy to let the internet know that Marci and I have an Austrian guardian angel. He carries a large camera and directs us on how to get on the right bus to meet Staci. I hope he will follow us to Rome to swat away any wandering Italian hands.

We'll be home in four days. It is craziness.

June 08, 2008

Sarah: The Price is Too High

I've been working a few travel details out the past few days, so I've been online with greater frequency (hmm. My fingers just typed 'freakwency'. Yeesh.) and have been utilizing the cheap internet at a McDonald's near our hotel.
Last night a man pretended to talk to me through the glass (in Hungarian?) and, when I motioned that I could not understand, he kissed at me and then stood there for a moment after I rolled my eyes and looked at my computer screen with intense and singular focus.
Tonight Marci and I sat near the computers, waiting for one to become available. I glanced out the window at a group of men in line for an ATM, only to be confronted by one man's exposed penis, peeing against the wall.

I think I need to find a new place to check my email.

June 06, 2008

Lisa: perhaps the three plagues are dorkfaces, cover bands and cologne

May 29, 2008

Sarah: Che-che-che-che Czech it Out!

Not much time, but:
Got to Prague yesterday. So far:

1. Dutch boys are officially cuter than Czech boys. Bummer.

2. I climbed 287 steps up the tower of a cathedral. Then my new friend Kaeleigh threw an 8 year old boy out of the window.

3. While on this same stairway, an overweight man in his 50s scooted up the stairs until his belly cradled my bottom. Un. Comfortable.

4. Walked down the Golden Road. Did not see any gold. Prague, how dare you lie to me.

5. Marci and I have two twin beds that the hotel staff has pushed together. She rejected my offer to spoon last night.

May 25, 2008

Sarah: Amsterdam you!

Lest you think I'm spending all of my time smoking doobies in the red-light district while in Amsterdam, I thought I'd check in to update. Yesterday was one of my favorite days thusfar. Sixteen of us from our class rode bikes out of Amsterdam and through the smaller towns that border the jetties. The weather was beautiful with the sun shining (oops, I forgot sunscreen!) and a breeze blowing. I fell in love with Holland. I'm a fool for a country that not only has such beautiful scenery, but an affection for wooden shoes. By the time we returned to the hotel, we'd ridden about 18 miles and had the sore butts to prove it.
Last night Feist was in town, but her show was sold out. I was seriously bummed until I discovered (just now! Just this second!) that she's performing in Park City, Utah on July 17th. Dear friends, I am freaking out. I didn't see where I could purchase tickets online. If someone would buy a ticket for me (and themself! Let's all go!), I would love that person forever. And pay them back as soon as I get back into town. Or, you know, it could be a birthday gift.

Before my trip to Europe, I did not have:
A farmer tan highlighting the outline of a shoe strap, watch band, and short sleeve shirt.
A shirt featuring a female-afro-sillouette. Which everyone should own. And which three of us do own.
A wacky pillow cover.
A well worn map of Amsterdam.
A constant, nagging need for poffertjes.

Besides imagining what shenanigans my dad probably fears I am getting in to, I am thinking about:
Yesterday was my little brother Jeff's birthday. He's in New Jersey, no doubt charming the crap out of people like he charms the crap out of me. I chatted with some new friends about Jeff the other day, and about how he attended such an amazing university after high school. I'm so proud of Jeff, for his incredible kindness, his cheerful friendliness, his superior intellect and how quick he is to love and forgive. Jeff, I wish I could grow up to be as great as you.

May 17, 2008

Sarah: London Calling

Neighborhoods or Sights:
Piccadilly Circus
Notting Hill
Covent Garden
The Tower of London

Musicals:
Les Miserables
Wicked

Artists:
Picasso
Kapoor
Monk
Rothko
Pollack
many, many others

Deepening Friendships:
I found out last night that Marci hates Ice-T even more than Horatio Cane. [Lisa, I'm leaving this up to you to find some awesomely hilarious links for these two "actors." Thank you in advance.] Yes, my mind was blown as well. And yes, they show Law and Order and CSI in the UK. It's like crack.

I wish I had more time to write better responses to the adorable emails I've been getting. I apologize if I've been slacking, but I hope to spend a ridiculous amount of time on the internet, my phone, and face to face (FACE TIME!) with you guys when I return.

I must be off, for there are still a few things in London that I haven't purchased. Namely, the entire inventory of Harrods.

May 13, 2008

Sarah: Checking In

I don't have long, so some quick lists:

Cities I've seen so far:
Edinburgh
Fort Augustus
London
Oxford
many others I will tell you about later

Foods I have tried that I swore I wouldn't:
Haggis. Not as terrible as you'd expect, actually.

Admirerers that Marci has not made out with (as far as I know):
Ash, from New Zealand
Damian, from Poland

We've enjoyed trains, tubes, buses, and lots and lots of walking in the eight days. Marci has written much more details on her blog, and I'm still working on pictures. They may have to wait until the end of the trip. For now, I'm off to work some more on my raging farmer's tan and hopefully get some shopping done. I haven't spent too frivolously, yet. For shame!

p.s. Other items of interest:
Staci's boyfriend's brother is the most adorable tour guide one could home for.
We were at the Sex and the City London premiere. So be jealous, if that's your sort of thing.
We have not eaten at McDonald's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, or any other places we might be ashamed to admit. Hurrah!

May 02, 2008

Sarah: (Someone Else's) Handwritten Friday

I loved this little video (via A Little Hut).

What is your favorite letter?

May 01, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 18

I often forget about how much I love salmon. I'm so glad that on a certain, otherwise forgettable weekday, I decided to make myself a nice, warm dinner. I'm not a great chef, but salmon is something anyone can cook without going too far astray.

I just salt-and-peppered the fish, browned the top quickly, then let it cook, covered for most of the time, in a pan with some water and some asian salad dressing (you know, as a marinade). It was lazy, but easy.

While the fish cooked, I put some red potatoes in some water (with a little salt and milk) and let them cook until soft.

And then dinner was done. It was not terribly exciting, but I recommend salmon and potatoes (or rice, or salad) for dinner tonight. Leftovers can be eaten hot or cold, served just like dinner or over a bed of lettuce. Yum.


April 30, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 17

Three days after we baked this week's recipe, Lisa sent me a text message that said something like "Curse you and your satan cookies!" and I couldn't agree more.

These bars were sneakily delicious. On first taste you think "well those are pretty good! And easy to make, too!" You finish a bar and think you might enjoy another tomorrow. You know, perhaps, if the mood strikes.

And then something in your brain snaps and you are a slave to these delicious little bars. They are breakfast! Snack! Dessert! Dinner! You must eat them all! Luckily, Lisa saved me from myself by putting the majority of the dessert bars in the freezer.* I have sold my soul to Blackberry Jamble. At least until I make another sugar-laden baked good.

Recipe after the jump.

*Lisa, I'm sorry. I may or may not have snuck one of these from the freezer. I am ashamed.

Satan cookies, aka Blackberry Jamble Shortbread Bars (from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Desserts)

Ingredients:

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
3 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup almond flour or very finely ground almonds
1 and 1/2 cup blackberry preserves
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Directions:

If you don’t have almond flour on hand, you can make it like I did by grinding up 1 cup of almonds in your food processor until they are finely ground. It’s going to be combined with the flour so texture-wise, you want to get it as finely ground as possible.

Combine the butter and sugars in a large bowl.

Using an electric mixture set at medium low speed, beat it until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until combined.

Combine almond flour (or ground almonds) with the flour. Mix well. Combine the dry mixture into the butter mixture on low speed, until a smooth, soft dough forms.

Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and press 1/3 of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust.

Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold and firm, at least 30 minutes. Wrap it in Lisa's pink plastic wrap for a fun brain-like effect!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake the bottom crust until it is firm and just beginning to turn pale brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the preserves evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining shortbread dough over the jam to form a pebbly, crumbled topping. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds.

Return pan to the oven and continue baking until topping is firm and crisp and lightly golden in color, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

Use a sharp knife to cut bars evenly into 15 large squares. Remove the bars from the pan with a metal spatula and if desired, cut in half on the diagonal to form 30 smaller triangular bars. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

The bars will keep, covered tightly, for about 1 week at room temperature, or in the freezer for up to one month.

Sarah: Boy Genius

See a similarity?

I haven't yet told my brother Dave in front of the entire internet that I'm so proud that he's headed to Columbia this fall, that he's engaged to an intelligent and hilarious (and ridiculously good-looking, of course) girl, and that he's just a generally great guy. Dave, I'm so proud of you. And your trademark swoop.

April 29, 2008

Sarah: Not actually moving

First I copied Marci, took a quiz, and was told that:

You Belong in London
A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique soul like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.
What City Do You Belong In?

I followed Mindy's lead and took a quiz to find out where I should live. So, I guess I'll see you guys later, because I'm moving to:

1. Baltimore, Maryland
2. Providence, Rhode Island
3. New Haven, Connecticut
4. Washington, DC
5. Little Rock, Arkansas
6. Boston, Massachusetts
7. Portland, Oregon
8. Worcester, Massachusetts
9. Hartford, Connecticut
10. Eugene, Oregon
11. San Francisco, California
12. Norfolk, Virginia
13. Corvallis, Oregon
14. Fayetteville, Arkansas
15. San Jose, California
16. Charleston, West Virginia
17. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
18. Long Island, New York
19. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
20. Albuquerque, New Mexico
21. Oakland, California
22. Chicago, Illinois
23. Frederick, Maryland
24. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sarah: Not actually moving

First I copied Marci, took a quiz, and was told that:

You Belong in London
A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique soul like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.
What City Do You Belong In?

I followed Mindy's lead and took a quiz to find out where I should live. So, I guess I'll see you guys later, because I'm moving to:

1. Baltimore, Maryland
2. Providence, Rhode Island
3. New Haven, Connecticut
4. Washington, DC
5. Little Rock, Arkansas
6. Boston, Massachusetts
7. Portland, Oregon
8. Worcester, Massachusetts
9. Hartford, Connecticut
10. Eugene, Oregon
11. San Francisco, California
12. Norfolk, Virginia
13. Corvallis, Oregon
14. Fayetteville, Arkansas
15. San Jose, California
16. Charleston, West Virginia
17. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
18. Long Island, New York
19. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
20. Albuquerque, New Mexico
21. Oakland, California
22. Chicago, Illinois
23. Frederick, Maryland
24. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sarah: Mom, I've never watched anything like this. No, really.

I told a friend I was having a bit of trouble coming up with good advice for my friends on plot points for their movie. He made a suggestion:

Friend: You should start giving them porno plotlines. "The muscular mailman in his tight cutoff shorts decided to check the back door..."
S: You mean like "Then the doctor said he'd need to check her temperature. Then she said that it was a pretty big thermometer..."
F: Yes!

Then I got distracted from the conversation with, you know, work, and was thus accused of 'killing the sexy with silence.'

S: Sorry, were you left wondering how the story ended?
F: Yes!
S: She had a fever! Bow chika bow owwww!

April 27, 2008

Sarah: True Life

Last night I hung out with Mallory and we ended up on her couch watching True Life. Although we were both tired, Mallory drifted off into a peaceful slumber while I sat, transfixed, watching an episode about being in debt, and having a panic attack. Ah, how relaxing. Don't worry, I still somehow managed to fall asleep, fully clothed, with my face buried in a couch cushion.

April 25, 2008

Sarah: Why I Don't Scrapbook

My contribution to Handwritten Fridays was going to be something hilarious yet charming, scrawled in the most effortlessly adorable handwriting you have seen to date. You were going to envy the charmed life that I lead and wish you had my penmanship. Then I remembered that the script that exits my pen is not the fine lettering that I have described above. And Lisa's entry reminded me of the ephemera I uncovered when I moved out of my apartment. I present to you my quote book, circa 6th grade.

I was truly the Van Gogh of $2 colored pencils.

This collage is truly a post-modernist masterpiece.

I was alright at basic calligraphy, I think.

But not so much at basic spelling.

For more quality submissions to Handwritten Fridays (though slightly less inspiring than the quotes above, I'm sure), check out Lisa, Marci, Andrea, E, Claire, and Angie. Because they rock.

April 21, 2008

Sarah: The Hids

The ugliest shoes I have seen, to date: Gladiator Jelly Sandals. Seriously.

I challenge all of you guys to find a clothing or shoe abomination even more tragic than the one linked above. I will bring back a prize from Europe to whomever out-uglies those shoes. Good luck and godspeed.

April 16, 2008

Sarah: Resplendent Responses

A conversation between Blake and his friend, centered around Plato (I think) takes a delightfully nerdy turn:
Blake: ... well one theory is that the universe is converging on another universe.
Friend: What's the Star Trek theory?
B: There are only four galaxies in Star Trek.*
F: Wait, but...
B: Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quadrant, Gamma Quadrant, Delta Quadrant

My response to Mallory's question was alarmingly quick:
Mallory: If you were to make a funny music video, what song would you base it on?
Sarah: Baby, When the Lights Go Out by the very underappreciated band 5ive. Or was it overrated? I can never remember.

*Note to Blake: I hope we are planning to go to this. I'm a fool for J.J. Abrams

Edited to add: I may have just spent the last several minutes contemplating whether 5ive really worked as a word, since you aren't really pronouncing it "Five-ive" but accepting the implied use of the number 5 as an "F" sound. Then I imagined forming a four-person tough girl band called 4ce, because the pronunciation would clearer, though the spelling would be at least, if not more, contrived. Stop looking at me like that. I'm going home.

April 14, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 16

To fully embrace this recipe, one should:
- Hear one's sister exclaim "Wow. Nice, plump breasts!" to you. Unfortunately, she was talking about the chicken.
- Set off the fire alarm. When the baby is a teensy bit fussy. Because, that's considerate.
- Once again serve an untried recipe to one's friends. I wonder if they live in fear of what I'll serve to them next. At least so far no one has complained of food sickness...
- Take zero pictures. Oops.

Over five months ago, Jeremy invited me to a recipe exchange and shared his beloved Sweet and Sour Chicken. Then, when I embarked upon my weekly cooking goal, he again encouraged me to try his recipe. Finally, I got around trying it out. Thanks, Jeremy! The tasty recipe (which Jeremy recommends you try cold when eating the leftovers. It'll change your life.) is not too difficult and makes a ton of food.
Recipe after the jump.

Sweet and Sour Chicken (Not the chinese type)

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up into strips or chunks
(we fed 6 adults, with at least one or two extra servings, with five breasts)

In container one: beaten eggs (I think I only used two eggs total)
In container two: a mixture of half flour and half cornstarch (Maybe 1/2 cup each?) Dip the strips in the egg then the flour mixture and brown in a pan with canola oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan) until just browned, not cooked through. Drain on paper towels. In another bowl mix:

3/4 c ketchup
1 c sugar
1/3 c soy sauce
1/2 c chicken stock

You can adjust these amounts to taste, and Jeremy recommends that you double the sauce, so that you have plenty. Don't be freaked out. I was a little worried that 2 cups of sugar for a sauce would be freaky, but it was tasty.

Combine sauce with cooked chicken and bake in a casserole dish for 45-55 mins on 350°. Serve over rice.

April 11, 2008

Sarah: Things that make me

Sad:
Shoulders of people that have been cropped out of pictures.
Feist's performance in Amsterdam being sold out.
Accidentally dumping 1/4 of a pineapple onto the gravel when I get out of my car at the office.
Annoyed:
The woman in my class who talks over everyone, breathlessly drowning out fellow students and the professor (!) so that she can loudly give her pedestrian interpretation of the text.
The guy in another class who says the most offensive remarks possible in my Children's Literature class, most recently during a discussion of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. To explain would bore you, but I may have uttered "Oh my gosh, STOP TALKING." under my breath. Two classmates heard me. Oops. At least they nodded in agreement and laughed?
Excited:
At long last, Ben Folds is returning to Utah. I will be there. So will Ben Lee. You should come!
Embarrassed:
Eventually someone is going to notice that I spend the majority of one of my classes gazing at the back of a certain young man's head. It's a sickness.
Murderous:
Flo Rida's reign of terror.

April 07, 2008

Sarah: Procrastinating

Since getting off work, I have:
-washed dishes
-cleaned the stove top
-played with Nora
-spent some time on the elliptical machine
-taken a shower
-researched ticket prices for Wicked in London
-written two blogs (three counting this one)
-pushed back my cuticles

Can you tell that I have an essay due in class tomorrow?

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 15

Lisa and I were in charge of dessert for a potluck, so we thought we'd try something out of the Everyday Food book that Lisa was liking. When we got down to deciding between two options, we decided on Carrot Cupcakes, since we weren't quite ready (with good reason) to face a lemon dessert yet.

Everyone has some gut feeling about what should or should not be in carrot cake. I believe strongly that raisins have no place in this delicious concoction. And you, pineapple! I love you, but once you've been cubed and heated, get off of my pizza and out of my cake! I do not want those shrunken orbs or bizarrely hot squares anywhere near my carrot cake. For Lisa, she has taken an anti-coconut stance, and I have to respect that. We searched again for a recipe void of these three ingredients. The internet embrace us in spite of our eccentricities (what is the internet for, if not for that purpose?) and delivered to us this recipe.
We set to work on the carrot cupcakes, deciding to still use the icing recipe from Everyday Foods.

Carrot cupcakes have never been prettier, you guys. They came out of the oven looking perfectly rounded and moist. The icing was just the right amount for 12 cupcakes (and I'm so glad I found a cupcake more worthy of cream cheese icing than I had in the past). Once it came time to eat the cupcakes they were good. Definitely inoffensive, but also a little boring. When did Princess Sunken Cupcake get so picky? Shouldn't she be happy with whatever non-disaster she can get? Apparently not.

The moistness was nice, and, like I said, they were very pretty and easy to make. But there was also nothing gripping, nothing remarkable. Lisa mentioned that she prefers a darker carrot cake. I think that walnuts and more spices would go a long way towards upping the interest. Still, I would make these cupcakes again if I needed something fast and, since they're missing any wacky ingredients, they're sure not to alienate someone with strong carrot cake beliefs, like myself.
Recipe after the jump.

Carrot Cupcakes

4 medium carrots
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
Coarsely grate enough carrots to measure 2 cups (we used the food processor, but you could also use a grater with large holes.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl.

Whisk together oil, eggs, brown sugar, grated carrots, and vanilla in a large bowl, then stir in flour mixture until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on rack, about 1 hour more.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 14

Despite my slow kitchen-to-blog turnaround time, I've still been cooking at least once a week, most of those times thanks to Lisa's willingness to hang out with me. More thanks go out to our Freaks and Geeks buddies who indulge us by tasting whatever items we decide to make. By the way, you should purchase/watch/rewatch Freaks and Geeks if you haven't already. Every episode is hilarious and heartbreaking and awesome.
And so, without further ado, the cooking:
We decided that beans and rice would be a great side dish to accompany E's tasty enchiladas. We trolled Epicurious looking for a recipe (I wish you could see the look on Lisa's face when I confidently said something like "All we have to do is just cook some rice and then mix in some salsa and maybe some spices. Tasty Mexican rice." Terror mixed with a sudden loss of appetite. And looking back, I have to agree with Lisa. Why am I so confident in recipe improvisation when I am petrified with indecision in most other areas of my life?) and decided that Yellow Rice Salad with Roasted Peppers and Spicy Black Beans described exactly what we wanted.

In addition to being overconfident when cooking, I also almost invariably fail to read the recipe all the way through before cooking. This is why I didn't understand the significance of the word "salad" in that recipe. "Salad" means cold. My brain had decided this dish was hot. That, combined with the lack of Mexican flavor (they have a more eastern flair) made these beans and rice much different than I'd planned, but it was all still fairly tasty. If I made this again, I would add different spices than cumin and turmeric (maybe chili powder to give it the Mexican flavor I was missing?) and serve this warm. Or you can enjoy it cold, especially now that I've given you ample warning on what to expect.
Recipe after the jump.

Yellow Rice Salad with Roasted Peppers and Spicy Black Beans

4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
1 cup rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained (oops, I just realized that I dumped the beans and their associated liquid straight from the can into the mixing bowl. You can too! Fun!)
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers from jar
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons minced chipotle chilies*

Stir 3 teaspoons cumin in small dry skillet over medium heat just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk lime juice and oil into skillet.
Stir turmeric and remaining cumin in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, rice and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover; simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Cool rice. Mix onions and half of lime juice mixture into rice. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine black beans, all peppers, cilantro, chipotle chilies, and remaining lime juice mixture in medium bowl. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Mound bean mixture in center of platter. Surround with rice salad.

*Chipotle chilies canned in a spicy tomato sauce, called adobo and found in the Mexican food aisle at the grocery store.

April 02, 2008

Sarah: Things you might not know and perhaps still wish you didn't.

A few things the internet may not already know about me:
1. I usually misspell "magic" on my first try. It's a small, common, simply-spelled word, and yet I almost always use a "j" on my first try. Embarrassing, I know. I'm getting better.
2. I agonize over social blunders for years after the fact. I was once extremely obnoxious and refused to leave the band room (yes, and geeky. I also had braces that year.) after school when I was in the 7th grade. The 9th grade boy in charge of making everyone leave was understandably annoyed. I think his name was Carson. I've been feeling guilty and stupid about it ever since.
3. I have scoliosis. It's a very minor case and no one but my mom has ever noticed it without having it pointed out to them, but I think about my curved spine several times each day. I think I was one of few girls more freaked out by the back brace in Deenie than by the pink plastic belts described in Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret.

A few conversations this week:
1. Over 27 minutes on the phone, after hours, with a work contact, wherein she related a detailed history of the back pain she has felt since her car accident, the related visits she has made to various doctors and chiropractors, and the suits she intends to file. She also said "boob" five times. I was not ready for this call.
2. Sarah: I just took a dress that Nora spit up on to the dry cleaner. And then realized that the spot I pointed out probably looked like semen. Classy.
Mallory: Ha! You skank!
Sarah: As soon as he wrote 'soiled' on my ticket, I felt so cheap.

March 28, 2008

Sarah: LOLisa

Because we like to join internet phenomena long after their "best before" date, Lisa and I (and Mallory and Marci) have long joked about LOLCats, their ridiculousness, the mystery surrounding their charm, and so on. I suppose I've already hinted at this schtick here.

Perhaps because we'd already joked about it, a string of emails from Lisa first confused, and then utterly charmed me. See, i could just picture my adorable sister giggling uncontrollably over her keyboard as she wrote these messages. You should imagine a similar image. It greatly enhances the experience when you know how much she was cracking herself up:

Date: March 5, 6:40 pm
Subject: You can thank me later.
Body: LolCat Bible

Date: March 5, 7:48 pm
Subject: I don't think there are enough thank yous in the world.
Body:

Date: March 5, 7:52 pm
Subject: Obviously this is a sickness.
Body:

And then, weeks later, the best email yet:

Date: March 27, 9:55 pm
Subject: LOLNora
Body: Nora has a message for you.

Awesome.

March 26, 2008

Sarah: Setting Up Shop

So remember how I mentioned that I was poor? Yeah. I know I can't complain, because I'm poor because I get to go to Europe. I'm incredibly lucky that the stars have aligned to make this trip possible, and it's an amazing experience and I will not whine about it any more.

But, in an effort to ease the pain, I've added a few items to our shop in hopes that I can earn a few extra dollars. So if anything strikes your fancy, please spread the word. If I have time to experiment, I'll hopefully be adding some different items in the next few days. Thanks to Lisa for letting me hijack her sewing machine, in addition to her spare room.

Here's my latest item:

You could send a note to your stalker that says something like Dear Alice, I'm sure you're a very nice girl, but I don't appreciate you sorting my socks by color and place of purchase. I find this off-putting. Please stay many, many miles away from me.

Thanks for letting me pimp my stuff. Advertisement over.

March 25, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 13

Aw. Yeah. Dulce de leche cheesecake squares, you guys.

Lisa and I made dessert for our Freaks and Geeks night potluck. They were quite good.

Did you know that dulce de leche is just sweetened condensed milk that's been a little carmelized? It's super easy to make. And here I thought it was some secret, well-guarded recipe. Turns out that even we can make it.

Actually, most parts of this recipe are surprisingly easy. Graham cracker crust? Fast and simple. Dulce de leche? No problem. Cheesecake? We have no fear! Chocolate ganache-like glaze? Not tricky. The only thing that you have to be careful on with this recipe is planning ahead. The cheesecake has to be in the fridge for many hours before you can add the chocolate glaze and serve the squares.

The pan for the cheesecake is only 9x9, but don't let that deceive you. Once you cut it up into little squares, you will have a ton of bite-sized treats. Each one is pretty rich, so we had a bunch left over after serving them to six people.

Recipe is after the jump.

Smitten Kitchen's Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares

Time: 9 3/4 hr (includes chilling) (about 1 hour active time)
Makes 64 (1-inch) petits fours

For crust
3 graham crackers, crumbled (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup whole milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dulce de leche (12 1/2 oz) (recipe follows)

For glaze
3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Dulce de Leche (Milk Caramel)

Pour 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk into top of double-boiler pan; cover. Place over boiling water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored.

Remove from heat. Whisk until smooth.

Make crust (you can easily do this while the dulce de leche is on the stove): Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 sheets of foil (crisscrossed), leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Finely grind crackers with sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor. With motor running, add butter, blending until combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

Make filling: Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, then stir in dulce de leche gently but thoroughly. Pour filling over crust, smoothing top, then bake in a hot water bath (we fit ours in a 9×13-inch baking pan) in oven until center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours.

Glaze cake within 2 hours of serving: Heat all glaze ingredients in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilting baking pan to coat top evenly. Chill, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Lift cheesecake from pan using foil overhang and cut into 1-inch squares with a thin knife, wiping off knife after each cut. (Don’t skip this step! Smitten Kitchen isn't kidding when she says this is crucial to making perfect, neat squares.)

Note: Cheesecake (without glaze) can be chilled up to 3 days.

March 24, 2008

Sarah: To My Favorite Brother-In-Law

Marci brilliantly suggested that we give Blake this zombie lawn decoration for his birthday. Truly a thing of beauty.

Also, this is sure to blow your mind: Peeps Smores. Actually, that sounds sort of good. More investigation may be required.

Sarah: What is sure to be the first of many entries about Europe

Here's a little Brain Dump on a theme of Europe:

1. I'm going on a study abroad program with Marci. She's good looking, and smells nice. The class is a Printmaking class, which I think will be interesting. I'm curious to see if/how my knowledge from Letterpress enhances my experience in the class.
2. I am consumed with stress about money. It's not fun.
3. We're going to Scotland, thanks in part to Lisa and Blake's recommendation (okay, that link doesn't go to a recommendation, per se, but that's the tour they took, and they really enjoyed it).
4. We're going to Rome. And possibly another city or two in Italy. Seeing Italy has been a life goal of mine since I was a little girl (one of only three I had at one point. The other two were to see Phantom of the Opera on stage (I saw it with my mom many years ago) and to see Les Miserables (not yet. Can you tell we listened to the soundtracks to musicals as kids?)).
5. I need the perfect purse/bag for traveling. Big enough to hold my wallet, camera, and a notebook, small enough to be easy to carry, good-looking enough to justify the purchase, and safe enough to not get stolen or pick-pocketed. Any suggestions?
6. Any suggestions of places to go or sights to see will be great. We're going to Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Klagenfurt, and Rome. It's possible that we'll spend a day in Venice or Florence, but that might depend on how long our money can last. I need your tips for the best cafes to try, museums to visit, streets to wander.
7. As soon as I return, I have to fill out an application for graduation. I have to find a new place to live. I feel like I'm getting a fresh start. This is going to be a good year, I can tell.

March 21, 2008

Sarah: Finally

Dude, internet.
I've been dying to tell you: I'm going to Europe this summer.
I'm really excited. More to follow.

Sarah: Not Lovin' It.

I find this creepy.

Just give me my drink, please.

March 20, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 12

For a while when I was around 12 years old, my dad became interested in baking bread. He even purchased a Breadmaker so that we could come home from church to freshly baked bread. He would get excited about the different kinds of mixes formulated especially for the breadmaker, and was always anxious to try his latest purchase. One time he even tried his hand at making bread from scratch, selecting a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.

As the less culinary half of the dynamic duo that is my parents, Dad knew this was an ambitious undertaking. When the small loaf emerged from the oven, my father's pride filled the kitchen and mingled with the aroma of freshly baked bread. He pried the loaf from its pan and sliced into his creation, eager to taste the fruits of his labors.

I watched my dad's face for a reaction as he chewed. And chewed. And chewed. Hmm. We looked back at the loaf sitting on the kitchen counter. I suppose it did look rather... dense. My brother entered the room, no doubt lured by the smell of Dad's latest endeavor. He asked us if the bread was good. Dad responded "Might I suggest a very thin slice."

It was with this culinary pedigree that I attempted my own loaf of Irish Soda Bread in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

It yielded a much smaller loaf than I'd imagined, but seeing as half of it is still sitting on the kitchen counter, I'd say that it was plenty big enough to taste.

I like that Irish Soda Bread is so fast to make. With only a few ingredients (but plenty of variations online, if you want to get crazy), it's quick to mix together and doesn't have to be kneaded or left to rise for several hours. After a few days, it is a little dry, dense, and boring, but if you eat it fresh from the oven, the bread is dense and biscuit-y and tastes great with butter and jam.

Especially Blake and Lisa's delicious raspberry jam that I keep using without asking permission. Mmm. Sorry guys.

I'll add the recipe and links when I find where I wrote it all down. Sorry!

March 14, 2008

Sarah: Why I Am Single, a tale of failed car-flirting

Mallory: How was car-flirting?
Sarah: He asked for my number. And I zoomed away. And why am I single? Because I zoom away.
M: Um. You TALKED TO HIM? Whoa. I just smile and think "doot doot I'm pretty".
S: No, he just smiled at me... and then when I glanced over again he was holding up his phone and pointing at it like "call you?"
M: Ooh.
S: But no, I didn't talk to him.
M: I think it was a good choice not to give him your number. He was probably sleazy. Just saying. Car-flirting is fun, but I think it is very similar to Myspace flirting as far as the quality of male. Hmm. I wonder if that is a reflection of the quality of female that I am.
S: Lol.
M: ..... I will ponder that.
S: Yeah... plus he wasn't even driving. HA. I almost just called him a scrub. I LOVE YOU, PRETTY BRAIN.
M: HA! I WAS JUST GOING TO SING THAT.
S: I'm petting my head.

Eight minutes later
M: That "No Scrubs" thing has backfired, because now that song is in my head.
S: Yesss.

Another three minutes pass
M: Nooooooooooo
Scruuuuuubs
Nooooooooooooooo
Scruuuubbs
no no

March 13, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 11

Despite my fear of cooking meat, I decided to brave the carnivorous storm to cook Chicken Adobo (found at Eating Out Loud, via TasteSpotting) for the girls. Let me now insert a preface to this recipe. Before I saw a tasty looking photo and recipe, I’d never cooked, tasted, or heard of Chicken Adobo. I didn’t know what it was supposed to look or taste like, and so my changes to this recipe may have seriously damaged the authenticity of this dish. In fact, in the weeks since making Chicken Adobo, I’ve read a little bit that has made me seriously question if my concoction could even be called by that name.
All of that said, I think it was pretty good. Lots of soy sauce meant that it was pretty salty and I think it’d have a more interesting flavor if I had made fewer omissions in the recipe, but the chicken wasn’t dry and it was easy to cook. Perhaps this means I’ll be cooking more meat in the future. I’m even considering making some Irish Stew (with lamb? How ambitious!) in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I know you’re waiting with baited breath.
My dumbed-down recipe is after the jump.

Chicken Adobo

2 lbs. chicken
1/2 cup white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, because I had it on hand)
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cups water
3 garlic cloves crushed
Juice from 1 lemon (I guesstimated by using bottled lemon juice)


In a medium pan, add the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, water, and lemon juice. Cut chicken into chunky pieces. Place the chicken in the pan and allow to marinate for 15 minutes before turning on the burner.

Turn burner to medium heat and bring pan to a boil. Adjust heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Keep pan partially covered. At this point, if the sauce tastes too salty or bitter, add a tablespoon or two of sugar, to taste. The liquid will reduce to form a sauce on the meat. Serve over rice.

Sarah: Moving Recap

Today's Sponsor:
My move, brought to you by Diet Coke and Dextro Energy.
Whoa. That Dextro stuff completely messed with my mind.

I was nervous that mixing energy pills with my already high soda intake would cause my heart to explode. Oh, and did I mention that I had a cold, so my dinner looked like this:

That's right. I mixed energy pills, caffeinated soda, and DayQuil. It was awesome (not to mention smart), except for the way that my stomach kept turning.
The point is, though, that I didn't have a heart attack. I actually didn't even feel hyperactive and full of energy. I just felt like I didn't need to sleep. Ever. I think I'll take Dextro again when I have a long day of work or a long night of studying. You don't feel frantic, you just feel like you have all of the awake time that you need until your project is done. Or until you're dead.
Want some Dextro Energy of your own? Well that is too bad, because it's a European product. So you'll have to make friends with someone as worldly and glamorous as my jet-setting friend Staci, who lives in Austria. Don't be too jealous, she can't help being awesome.

As far as the move, it took way longer than I thought it would, the number of dead spiders revealed when we removed the furniture was appalling, and the whole experience made me a little sad. Blake had to re-pack my garbage can to make room for everything I threw away. My dad lugged my table, couch, bed, and other items, all in his crisp dress shirt and pants. Lisa patiently packed countless boxes, never calling my stuff the crap that it is. David helped me fill up my storage unit. Oh, and Nora helped.

And now almost my entire life fits into a 5x10 space.

If you're curious about what my apartment looks like when it's all emptied out, I took pictures (though I forgot to take pictures when it was decorated. Lame!) and put them after the jump.
That's all I have to say, really. I lived there for over a year and a half. Countless heads have smacked against the low ceiling, many nights have been spent with the tv on as I fell asleep on the couch. Late nights, early mornings (or mornings that weren't early enough), dates, lonely weekends, and long talks with friends. This apartment served me well, and I hope to find a new one I like as well.

Living room: Complete with glamorous cable modem and wireless router:

Kitchen:Providing a scenic view of the driveway:

Bedroom: Meh. Boring, but serviceable. I don't even want to talk about how much crap that closet can hold. There are shelves behind and above the clothing rod. Having a double-deep closet is awesome.

Bathroom: Probably the room that people comment the most about. I think that it was the start of a remodeling project that hasn't yet extended into the other rooms. The double shower heads were awesome.

The photos are terrible, my apologies.

March 04, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 10

As promised last week, I used another recipe from Gourmet Girl to make this noodle salad:

Asian Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

1 lb. linguini, cooked al dente in salted water
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 carrots, julienned
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger
1 recipe peanut sauce found here
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts for sprinkling on top

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk 2 cups peanut sauce with up to 3 tablespoons of water to thin it out a little bit. Learn from my mistake: Don't think you'll be eliminating a dirty dish by simply adding the peanut sauce and the water to the noodle mixture separately. This will not mix them together and the peanut sauce will stay super thick and it will be a gluey mess. Add peanut sauce to noodles and vegetables and toss together until evenly coated. Garnish with chopped peanuts and herbs. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.

March 03, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 9

Hey.
Hi! You look good.
No, like really good. Have you been working out? Or did you get your hair cut? No? Nothing? Well, nothing is working for you.
Oh, me? Nah, nothing too interesting going on in my life. I moved out of my apartment last week, so there's that. Yes, I did love it, but it had its downsides too. Well, now I'm living at Lisa and Blake's house for a little while. I'll talk more about my moving experience at a later date. For now, I should tell you what I cooked for the girls for the last time we would hang out in my apartment.

I found a recipe on Gourmet Girl for peanut sauce (via TasteSpotting) and used it to make a sort of noodle salad. Because I'm lazy, the peanut sauce is this week's recipe.

Peanut Sauce

1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup sesame oil (i used vegetable oil, because that's what I had on hand. I think it'd be more interesting and flavorful with sesame oil)
3/4 cup mild soy sauce (This is when I texted Mallory and asked her to bring more soy sauce, because all I had was a tiny bottle. Poor planning, on my part)
1/4 teaspoon curry
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (I only had the dry powder. Ginger also comes in very small containers. Crap!)

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. I don't have a food processor, so I just whisked the ingredients together. They'd be better food processed. I then added extra soy sauce, because it was a little too sweet and peanut buttery.
Store covered in the refrigerator.

Tomorrow: The noodle salad I made with this sauce for Week 10's recipe!

February 27, 2008

Sarah: Fat Bottomed Girls will be riding today

To: Dave
From: Sarah
Subject: Poser

So you know how we talked about Mika and how he only has the one good song, which is only good because it sounds vaguely like Queen? Did you know that he has a song called "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)"? Is he just continuing to ride on Queen's coattails? I cannot stand for this. Plus, "Fat Bottomed Girls" is just so much better.

To: Sarah
From: Dave
Subject: Re: Poser

We will not stand for the Queen-apery of this lesser facsimile. Is he so bereft of his own musical ideas that he must traipse on the beloved legacy of dear departed Freddie Mercury, wot? Fie no.

Yours in indignation,
Dave

February 20, 2008

Sarah: Sensing Spring

Seeing: A peacock that had escaped from its enclosure, by the side of the road. Two rabbits on campus. Unfortunately, this is the best photo that I got, since it was dark when I got out of class.

Can you see them? Hi little bunnies!
Feeling: The sun on my arms. Finally, I am starting to think that I might be warm again, someday soon.
Tasting: Lemonade. It's edible summer.
Hearing: Ryan Adams playing in my car. It's alt-country/rock and I am loving it.
Smelling: Fresh air as I drive with the windows down.

February 19, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 8

Naan: noun A delicious flatbread specially designed to soak up curry or other sauces. Also effective at absorbing human saliva brought on by the aromas of said sauces.

Add garlic for an especially savory and delicious naan to serve with curry. Or skip the garlic so that the naan is still great with dinner, but also works as breakfast (top with a dollop of jam? wrap around scrambled eggs?) or as the crust of mini pizzas. The possibilities are endless!

Obviously, I am having trouble overcoming a mental block about cooking with meats. I'm working on it.

Recipe after the jump.

Naan

1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
oil or butter for pan

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and set aside to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough and knead in garlic, if using. Pinch off small golf ball sized handfuls of dough. Roll into balls and place on a tray to rise about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.

Heat a lightly oiled pan to medium high heat on stove (or use a grill, if you have one). Roll out each ball of dough into a thin circle. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Turn over and cook the other side. You can also brush each side with butter before cooking.

February 18, 2008

Sarah: Another Goodbye

It's out with the old here at Sarah's Basement. The insurance totalled my car after my accident. After spending about an hour emptying out all of my stuff (I didn't realize how much I'd managed to keep in that car. I am reformed now.), it was ready to be towed away.

Now if the tow company would only remember to come pick it up, I'll be ready to move on.

Oh, and something I discovered: after three years, a window cling won't take kindly to being removed.

Oops.

In other news, my niece is adorable.

And very advanced. She can already use a straw.

February 14, 2008

Sarah: Miniatures

Little notes in my life:

The margin of my notes from class, while we discussed Through the Looking-Glass:

A valentine from my mom. Just like the conversation hearts! She's adorable.

February 13, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 7

The snow just won't quit, dudes. Today was a bit rough and with the snow on top of that, I needed some comfort food. Thank goodness for Jeremy, who suggested that I try this recipe.

My house smells like cranberries and oranges right now. I want to make a blanket cocoon and never leave. I think I'm actually excited to wake up tomorrow morning, so that I can have a scone for breakfast.

Honey, we're having twins!

That's just one egg. Yes, I'm a nerd.

Cranberry Orange Scones

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix with a hand mixer at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn't stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter (I just use a round glass, because that's what I own) and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

February 12, 2008

Sarah: Punderful

I just titled an essay on The Rape of the Lock for class.

"Hair Comes the Pride" had me sitting in my chair, giggling, for at least one full minute.

Oh dear.

February 11, 2008

Sarah: A Farewell to Fangs

As part of my ongoing battle with apartment clutter, I have decided to sell my Roboreptile. He has displayed bravery at every opportunity, and I am confident that he will serve and protect whomever decides to take him into their home.

Sniffle.

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 5 and 6

There aren't any pictures this week, as my cooking has been a bit uninspired. I've been spending my time snowmobiling and deep cleaning my apartment instead of measuring and mixing. I also didn't feel like buying new ingredients or following recipes. I'm sorry.

So enough with the excuses, here's what I made:

Week 5: Pasta Bake

Pour a box of dry pasta, a few cups of water, some veggies, and a bottle of pasta sauce into an oven safe pot. Cook at 375 degrees while you clean your bathroom, dust your bookshelves, wash any dishes in the sink, take out the trash, and organize your junk surface (don't we all have one? Mine is the little buffet right next to my front door.). If you don't smell the pasta yet, go back to the bathroom and go through your cupboards, throwing out dried up nail polish, sample-sized conditioner that came with the at-home hair dye kit you used to turn your hair black over a year ago, and any other items you have no use for. Now can you smell the pasta? Good. Open up the oven, remove the lid, and sprinkle cheese on top. Close the oven and let the pasta cook about five or ten more minutes. Done!

Week 6: Baked Apples, Mmmm

Chop up three apples into a small oven safe dish (I used my little Corningware). Add about 1/2 cup water, a little sugar, and plenty of cinnamon. Cover your dish with foil and place in oven at 350 degrees. Let the apples cook while you eat dinner, then remove from oven and serve either by themselves or with vanilla ice cream.

See what I mean? These are not revolutionary culinary masterpieces. I'll try to step it up this week.

February 08, 2008

Sarah: The Kraft

You knew that I doubted that Kraft foods contained any real food items, but did you know that Kraft made Ready-to-Eat Cheesecake filling?

I'll give that a moment to sink in.
Go ahead, go check the link. I'll wait.


I KNOW, RIGHT??
Let's discuss this in the comments.

February 06, 2008

Sarah: Baby, I Nerd Your Lovin'

If you're giving a gift to a girl who is nerdy hot, she might laugh with glee and wear this necklace (via swissmiss). Or she'd be charmed that you decided to stay traditional and treat her to some Mii chocolate. Top it off with this awesome card and she will be unable to resist your charms.

Speaking of cool gifts for nerds, I once saw a sleek, silver usb jump drive on a silver chain. It was pretty and functional. I haven't seen anything like it since. Does this actually exist?

Oh, and a hollow book (via Mighty Goods) is perfect for that cute girl that you met in the library.

Edited to add: other stuff I like
Chocolate scrabble: Delicious and educational! Perfect for the person who always kills you on Scrabulous. Or for the person that you always beat. It's like a consolation prize.
This book would be a good gift for a girl that likes to play with paper and scissors.

Sarah: Sing, Sing a Song, Sing it Loud, Sing it Strong!

Our friend Jeremy wrote a song about us to the tune of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. Lisa declared it "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius." I would have to agree. Thanks, Jeremy!

I want to be where the Andersons are,
I want to see Buffy the Vampire Slaaaayer,
Walking around with that guy. What's his name again?
Oh DBo!
Running a 'thon, you get way too far.
Leggings are required if you want to look stupid!
Strollers are filled with uh.... What's her name again?
Noooooooorrra!
Up where they biff.
Up where they pun.
Up where they eat Crown Burger 'til one.
Oh Scrabble pee.
Wish I could be...part of their world!

Edited to add another verse by Jeremy!

What would I give if I could live out of IKEA?
What would I pay to give today a Dundie to Pam?
Bet'cha in Flor. they don't implore
for a "zombie outbreak" idea
They're bright young women, sick of gymin'
Ready to tan!

And I'm ready to know how to make record bowls
Exclaim "Viola!" while I read Imogene's Antlers
What's a segue and why does it - what's the word?
get pronounced all crazy?

When will I learn?
Wouldn't I love, love to explore Spring City in gloves?
*sigh* I decree,
Wish I could be...part of their world!

February 05, 2008

Sarah: Format

Form has been on my mind lately. An excerpt of a quick statement I wrote:

I am interested in the aesthetic quality of literature and text. Studying literature is not only about the content of the materials one reads. It also leads to studying and appreciating form. The audience's experience of a text is not limited to the words. Holding the weight of a book, smelling musty pages of an out of print text, turning the glossy pages of a magazine, letting your eyes be drawn to a well-designed poster: these are all ways that a reader is influenced by design and medium.

February 04, 2008

Sarah: Sports Fans

While watching the Super Bowl, I enjoyed the company of Lisa and Blake. The conversation highlight reel:
Why cheer for the Patriots: they're undefeated, Tom Brady is good looking.
Why cheer for the Giants: they're the underdogs, Eli Manning is the Jim of the quarterbacks.
They should hire the announcer from Friday Night Lights. It was way easier/more interesting to listen to him.
Does loving Friday Night Lights make me and Lisa enjoy the Super Bowl more? Perhaps. It makes the game more accessible and makes us more interested in the players.
Regarding the half-time show, Blake declared "They sound pretty good for being one thousand years old."
The players were low on potassium, so the announcers informed us that there were bananas on the sidelines to combat muscle cramps. Then followed the longest banana shot ever.
Tom Brady's chin demands that you find him attractive. Stop bossing us, Tom Brady's chin!

February 03, 2008

Sarah: Snowmobiling

It was a blast, of course. And I took a bunch of pictures. Oh, and I forgot to bring my makeup to my parents' house, so maybe squint your eyes so that you don't notice.

Getting ready:

Snow pants are generally unflattering, but I was glad to have them. Thanks for letting me borrow them, Marci! I didn't have any appropriate boots (I have knee-high leather boots or running shoes. Apparently these aren't made for playing in the snow. Who knew?), so we stopped by the convenient but soul-sucking WalMart to get boots for my brother Dave and myself. But you know what costs less than hiking or snow boots? A pair of galoshes. And they are AWESOME in the snow. My feet emerged completely dry after several hours outside.
You can also see me modeling my sunglasses that I borrowed from my Mom. Stylish!
Dave and Angie are cute. Nice helmets, right?

Waiting for our turn:

My parents have some friends who own a large property outside of town. They let us play in their fields. We also drank cocoa and played with their adorable dog that loved the snow. They have their own little skating pond. How cool is that?

Fixing the Snowmobile:

Okay, I didn't do any actual helping, but we chilled out for a little while after our snowmobile decided to stop working. Eventually my dad healed it and all was well.

All in all, it was a fun weekend. Thanks Mom and Dad!

February 01, 2008

Sarah: Crunch, crunch

Dear Internet,
I am fine, but I was in a little bit of a car accident today. I sort of have a feeling that the insurance company will total my car, since it's worth about $200 and a paper clip.
I'll show you pictures soon, as well as a lovely portrait from this coming weekend of myself in snowpants. I'm going snowmobiling this weekend. "Woo"s will be screamed, cocoa will be sipped, jokes will be told, and I am excited.
Now um... does anyone have a neck brace I can borrow? Ow.
Love, Sarah

January 31, 2008

Sarah: Open Letter

Dear Express,
Curse you for seducing me with your new selection and your email coupons. I hate how much I love you. I just can't quit you. You had me at hello, etc.
But this? Stirrup pants? I cannot abide these abominations, Express. Sure, leggings were one thing, but I still have nightmares about fourth grade and stirrup pants. How could you?!

But it looks like you have some cute new dresses, so I'll see you this weekend?

Always and forever,
Sarah

January 30, 2008

Sarah: Well-Versed

A moment ago, I almost emailed a well-read friend of mine to ask what book it was where the main character would unbend a paperclip in his hand to calm himself. I distinctly remembered the passage where he likened this paperclip to a lightening rod that took away all of his nervous energy. Approximately one second before writing said email, I realized where I had acquired that image.

It's from Maid in Manhattan.

And then I had to kill myself: for almost sending the email, for remembering this scene, but most importantly for believing it was a book.

And then I shared my shame with the entire internet. Ugh.

January 29, 2008

Sarah: Letterpress

While looking around my house for some samples of my writing (no particular reason), I realized that I never posted much about the letterpress class that Lisa and I took last summer. As far as the class itself, I would recommend it to anyone. It made me think in a different way and was a blast. Below are some of the works I produced.
Letterpress has a lot of aspects that can't really be captured in an image (especially one taken in poor light with a non-professional camera). A poem of less than 40 words took about an hour to set, letter by letter. The press leaves an impression on your thick, soft paper. The ink cannot be exactly replicated once it has been used up, because you mix the colors by hand on a smooth acrylic slab. Your left arm becomes stronger than your right as you pull the heavy wheel of the press towards you to print each single page. The size and face of your type is determined by many factors, not the least of which is whether you will have enough letters to spell the words you have chosen.
It's a slow, tedious process, but I always loved the result. Anyway, you should try it.

Color balance on these images is terrible. Like I said, bad lighting. This is what I get for blogging at night.
The text of three of my projects is after the jump, if you're curious.

Drowning
The weeds reach up to welcome me as I sink down into the murky depths. The last bubble of air escapes my lips as the currents brush across my goosebumped flesh. What was once a bottomless abyss now ends in a sandy floor.
The pressure is killing me.

Untitled*
We squeezed into an empty space.
The ether spills into the sun, the gases rise
through the cold air, crooked, bending
stars of light.
We sink, purposeless, to sleep.
Dizzy, spinning
Wonderful... round and round
Dizzy. Spinning.

Untitled**
Working tirelessly in his workshop, Frederick was the premiere taxidermist of the east coast. Famed for his realistic representation of indigenous birds, he could often be found working nights and weekends. Though his home was filled with pheasants, crows, and robins, it had one empty place. The table was always set for two, but Frederick ate alone. He continued to wait each night, hoping his wife would return.

*For this project I had to choose words included in a scientific article. In this way, my vocabulary was limited, but the end result could be anything I imagined.
**This project had to be a story inspired by a zinc cut (like a metal stamp) image supplied by the lab. My zinc cut was the bird that you can see in the first image above. If you spot the typo in that image, you get +2 smart points. If you tell me that I'm sort of dumb because I didn't notice this typo until I had printed my project, you get -3 nice-friend points.

January 28, 2008

Sarah: Rest In Peace

As I'm sure most of you have heard, last night President Hinckley died. The leader of LDS church, Pres. Hinckley was kind, funny, and accepting. The world was a better place with him in it.

January 27, 2008

Sarah: Tonight, I'll be your Nerdy Girl*

Yesterday was deliciously full of nerdy activities. On top of my daily Scrabulous-losing, I geeked out while doing the following:

Highjacking my sister's new computer while babysitting for an hour to goof off with Photo Booth.

What's self-respect?

Buying a typewriter for only $8 at a thrift store thanks to Mallory's genius tip. It works great and I am loving it. It reminds me of the typewriter my parents had before we bought our first computer, which came complete with a tractor feed printer.

The only problem I've noticed so far that I'm at all concerned about is that the 1 key doesn't seem to work. That means I'll have to count with care and refrain from phrases like "He was just soooo cute!!!!!!!!!! lol! What if he doesn't like me?!?!?!!?! OHS NOESSSSS!!"
You're welcome.

Watching my brother's band, who played better than I've ever heard them (good work, guys!), hack some Wii controls to play the drum track on one song. It was a cool effect.

As a slightly less geeky activity, I wrapped up the day by watching Gone Baby Gone at the dollar theater. The movie is gritty and, as my mom would say "pri. tty. rough". Still, I thought it was well done. It's rated R for a reason, so you've been warned, but Casey Affleck does a great job (and he's cute) and I think Ben Affleck is a better director than he is an actor.

*Yeah, that title was a stretch. Kudos if you figured out that I was modifying a Beyonce song. If not, I can't blame you.

January 24, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 4

Oh ma gaaahhhh, you guys.
Homemade curry makes my life so much better.

And I made up the recipe myself. I have never made curry before, but I couldn't find a recipe that matched the idea in my brain. "So I made some changes, using my own creative ideas."

I let the curry simmer until the potatoes were practically falling apart. It was really tasty. At least according to me.

Recipe after the jump.


Chicken Curry with Potatoes and Cashews
(makes about 6 to 8 servings)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 small yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ginger
4 T curry powder
4 T water
1 T olive oil
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup milk (I used skim, but you could use whatever.)
10 small red potatoes, halved (or substitute about 2 regular potatoes)
3 chicken breasts, cubed
handful of cashews, chopped
salt to taste

Combine garlic, onion, ginger, and olive oil and saute until browned. In a separate small bowl, mix together curry powder and water. Add curry paste to onion mixture and saute together until smell is strong and fragrant.

Stir in coconut milk and regular milk. Then add potatoes and chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Stir in cashews and add salt to taste. Cook up some rice and enjoy!

January 23, 2008

Sarah: Mmm, Pie!

Today is National Pie Day. Not to be confused with Pi Day, this might be one of the tastier holidays that come to mind. Thanks to the American Pie Council (yes, my mind blew also) for designating this holiday. I am happy to support any organization "designed to raise awareness, enjoyment and consumption of pies." I always do my part to raise the consumption of pies. So celebrate this delicious holiday! Join the American Pie Council in solidarity or cook up your favorite flavor, if pies are in your culinary repertoire. If not, run out, buy a pie, and come over to my house. We can celebrate together, and I'll make the dinner if you bring the pie!

January 22, 2008

Sarah: Email

To: Sarah
From: Mom
Subject: You're late for school!

Sarah

I had this terrible dream early this morning that we all had to go to the dentist, and then we came home to get a bite to eat before I took you to school, and everything fell apart. I couldn't find both your shoes, or the hairbrush, and you and Jeff (who for some reason was REALLY goofy looking, with flappy ears) were just goofing off, the TV was on, you were turning somersaults and messing yourself up!

We were late! Bad mother dream!

I love you. Hope you made it to work OK in the SNOW yesterday!

Is your car running OK?

xoxooxoxoxo

Mom

Updated to add the following conversation:
Sarah: Thanks for the laugh this morning!
Mom: It wasn't very funny in my dream, with you guys just goofing off and not paying attention to the time! How are you supposed to get an education with that kind of behavior going on????
S: Hee.
M: And to reply to your email, I am fine, other than being a totally inefficient mother who doesn't get her kids to school on time!
S: I'M SORRY!!
M: It's OK. I finally found your other shoe and the hairbrush. And you were looking really cute, with that little red twirly dress on. And long hair that I was in charge of combing. Which is my preference, don't you know.

January 21, 2008

Sarah: Lately

Though you wouldn't know it from this blog, life has been somewhat interesting lately. Here's what I've been up to:

Attending the Utah Democratic Legislative Gala with my parents. I pulled out my fanciest dress for the occasion.

Afterwards I met up with my extremely attractive friends, who were studying at a nearby coffee shop.

Driving through today's treacherous snowy roads.

Hanging out with my niece, the bean. She eats rice cereal now, see?

That's a rice cereal goatee she's sporting. She is also perfecting her Superman pose.

I've also been partaking in other activities including, but not limited to: listening to an NPR program about Finnish music (including Apocalyptica, Jeff!), visiting a slightly disappointing exhibit at the UMFA, playing a game on my DS and marvelling at my TiVo recording Blade II (terrible), Blade:Trinity (deleted it, I've seen it before), Underworld (vampire theme, much?), and Sleepover all in one weekend (I'm not claiming to have the best taste in movies, but come on, TiVo. Give me some credit).

So my life isn't too terribly riveting, but I thought I would check in and let you know that cooking once a week isn't the only thing I'm doing.

January 17, 2008

Sarah: Dream Journal

In the early hours of the morning, my brain came up with a few troupe names:

Natural Gas
A comedy group that cracks jokes related to the environment and living green. Yes, that sounded extremely un-funny to me as well.

44 Waynes and Reverend _______
I wish I could remember the name of the reverend. This name came up because someone else in my dream joked "he's like the 45th Wayne," as if this was a common cultural reference. Then that person had to explain to me who this group was. It's quite sad when you don't understand the cultural references in your own dreams, especially when your brain invented them. This group was a conglomeration of rappers, like the Wu Tang Clan. I am not sure if one must legally change their name to Wayne to become a member. They also sound like a bunch of scrawny white guys.

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 3

When you come home from class in the middle of the week, and your fast food intake in the new year is almost as nonexistent as your dating life (good and bad, respectively), you might as well cook up some Black Bean and Rice Soup. It's easy!

Add beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices to your favorite pot. Forget that you are supposed to add chicken stock. Leave the pot on the stove on low while you do homework for two hours. You're so responsible. And your hair is so shiny!

Return to the stove, add rice. Leave the soup uncovered in hopes that it will thicken. I love thick soup. Do the dishes because you are adorably domestic. And have straight, pretty teeth!

Add the bright green cilantro. Gather up some containers. You've just made lunch for a week. How fiscally responsible of you! Did I mention that your butt looks cute in those jeans?

Isn't it strange that, even though you first moved out of your parents' house almost six years ago, you don't own a ladle? Or really any serving utensils? Odd. Hey, remember that one time a couple years ago when you were acting depressed and said something like 'I'm just going to sit on my couch and eat sheet cake with a spoon' (because really, what's more depressing than that?) and your friends actually brought you a sheet cake and a spoon? Yes, I know they're adorable. But that spoon was also nice and deep, You can use that for the soup.

So, you took pictures of the new package of semi-disposable containers that you use when you bring lunches to work? That's... helpful. By the way, your new shoes are so hot.

Oh wait! You forgot something you were going to add to the soup. Did you just remember the chicken stock that is in the original recipe that is printed and sitting right in front of you? No, silly.

Bacon, of course. Just go ahead and sprinkle a bit on the top of each portion. Now, make sure that all of the tabs on the lids point the same way in your fridge. That is very important. No, it's not a sign of neurosis at all.

Recipe after the jump.

Black Bean and Rice Soup
makes 6 servings, recipe adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen recipe)

2 cans black beans with liquid
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth (hi, I always forget ingredients! I bet that, if you remembered this, it would thin out the soup a bit, but probably tone down how spicy it is. I guess my forgetting this ingredient might make it optional.)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T ground cumin
1 T dried oregano
1 tsp. chile powder
1/4 cup white long-grain rice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped bacon
1 or 2 limes (optional) for garnish

In a 3 quart sauce pan, combine beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, and chile powder. Cook on low for 2 hours on stove, until tomatoes are disintegrating and beans are starting to fall apart. Add 1/4 rice and cook until rice is done, about 30 minutes. Add cilantro and bacon and cook 5 minutes. Serve hot, with a wedge of lime for each person to squeeze into soup.

Update: I didn't try the soup when I first cooked it because I'd already eaten and wasn't hungry. Dumb, I know. Verdict: Without the chicken stock and with less cilantro than the original recipe, it was too sweet. I'm going to put it all back on the stove, add the stock and some salt.

January 13, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 2

For the second week in a row, I cooked up a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Ever since I read this entry, I've been salivating over the idea of beautiful roasted onions overflowing with homemade stuffing.

The result is definitely very pretty. I'm not sure that it's quite impressive enough, however, to be with the work.

Hollowing the onions took for. ev. er. I found that gouging out the insides of onions is the perfect way to get them to squirt their juices directly into my eyes. I cried so much that I had to wash my hands and take a break. Thank goodness for my stainless steel soap. It killed the onion smell on my hands, but there was nothing to be done for the smell that seemed to have permeated every corner of my kitchen.

After the onions were hollowed and the bacon was cooked, throwing together the stuffing was easy, especially since I used bread that had already been cubed and toasted for use in stuffing. Lazy, I know, but the grocery store didn't have any loaves that looked just right to me, so I figured I'd give that bag a whirl. This recipe is simple and makes a pretty, colorful and tasty stuffing.

I halved the recipe and only stuffed six onions. I still had a small dish of extra stuffing. I didn't realize until several hours after cleaning up that I had forgotten to include the cashews. Doh!

Verdict: This is a pretty, easy stuffing. I think the crunchy cashews would make it even better. I'll definitely add some to the leftovers. As far as the onion shells are concerned, I think this is too much work for me. Yes, the presentation is impressive and they infuse the stuffing with their flavor, but that ended up tasting a bit too onion-y for my taste, and the onion is just waste anyway. With the color of the spinach and the interest of the bacon and cashews, I think you could serve this stuffing in a large bowl and your guests wouldn't know the difference. I'd make the stuffing again, but not the roasted onions.

Recipe after the jump.

Roasted Stuffed Onions
Gourmet Magazine, November 2002

If you wish to make this vegetarian, simply omit the bacon, and cook the filling in olive oil instead. Vegetable stock can be swapped for turkey.

If you’re stressing because you have a lot of guests coming over, you can definitely do the onion-hollowing step a day or two in advance. The stuffing can be made in advanced as well, then brought to room temperature before filling and baking.

10 medium red and yellow onions (4 lb)
1 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces
3 celery ribs, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
15 oz baby spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped (14 cups)
1 (9-inch) round loaf country-style bread (1 1/4 lb), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (10 cups), lightly toasted
2 cups salted roasted cashews (10 oz), coarsely chopped
1 stick (1/2cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups turkey giblet stock

Make onion shells: Cut a 1/2-inch-thick slice from tops of onions, discarding tops, and trim just enough from bottoms for onions to stand upright. Scoop out all but outer 2 or 3 layers from each using a small ice cream scoop or spoon (don’t worry if you make a hole in the bottom), reserving scooped-out onion and onion shells separately.

Make stuffing: Coarsely chop enough scooped-out onion to measure 3 cups.

Cook bacon in 2 batches in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 10 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving about 1/3 cup fat in skillet.

Add chopped onion, celery, salt, and pepper to skillet and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in spinach, bread, cashews, butter, 1 cup stock, and bacon, then cool completely.

Roast onions: Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange onion shells, open sides up, in a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan, then add 1/2cup water and cover pan tightly with foil. Roast onions in middle of oven until tender but not falling apart, 25 to 30 minutes.

Stuff and bake onions: Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Transfer shells to a work surface and pour off water in pan. Fill shells with stuffing, mounding it, and return to pan. Reserve 5 to 7 cups stuffing for turkey cavity, then put remaining stuffing in a buttered shallow 3 1/2-quart baking dish and drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup stock.

Bake stuffed onions and stuffing in dish in middle of oven, uncovered, until heated through, about 25 minutes.

January 09, 2008

Sarah: An Open Letter to Friday Night Lights

Dear cast and crew of the tv show Friday Night Lights,

I didn't attend a single football game during my high school career, despite my school being the 5-year-running state champs. I don't really understand the game and I've never tried to learn. Yet, you made me care about football. No, not just care. You made my eyes brim with tears multiple times as I watched the entire first season in four days. And for that, I applaud you.

P.S. Wow. Rawr. Drunk, greasy, and brooding never looked so good. You should market Tim Riggins as tough and manly like Dean, yet tall and lanky (both in hair and in stature! ha!) like Other Dean.

January 08, 2008

Sarah: Vanity, thy name is Sarah

Santa rocked my world this year. He must know what a truly good girl I am. Or something.
How does one properly christen a fancy new camera? With badly composed self-portraits!

I recommend the Canon Powershot SD750. It also works away from the bathroom mirror.

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 1

On this first weekend of 2008, I baked up a batch of mini pretzels with the help of my lovely assistant, Mallory.

Something was a bit off with the dough (I think that it couldn't rise enough in my chilly apartment), but I pressed on, undaunted. They were such cute, chubby little buggers.

Poaching them made them puff up even more. They came unknotted somewhat, but who cares? I used my pretty new pot, because, why not?

Mallory (whose stunningly beautiful visage will not appear in this entry, at her request) applied the egg wash and salt (not too much! Aside from having cute new bangs, Mallory is a salt-application genius. She could totally work at a PretzelMaker) and then we popped them in the oven.

I think these are the tastiest while they're hot. They keep for a few days uncovered and beg to be dipped in mustard and enjoyed with a fizzy beverage.

I was, of course, happy to oblige.

The recipe is after the jump.

Next week: I'm deciding between beef stew, roasted stuffed onions, or something fabulous suggested by a reader. Votes? Suggestions?

Soft Pretzels
recipe found at Smitten Kitchen, originally from Martha Stewart

Makes 16 full-sized or 32 miniature

2 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 large egg
Coarse or pretzel salt

Vegetable-oil cooking spray

1. Pour warm water into bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. In a small bowl, combine water and sugar, and stir to dissolve sugar. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.

2. Add 1 cup flour to yeast, and mix on low until combined. Add salt and 4 cups flour, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour, and knead on low 1 minute more. If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour (this will depend on weather conditions); knead until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board, and knead about ten times, or until smooth.

3. Pour oil into a large bowl; swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

4. Heat oven to 450°. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray (parchment paper, ungreased, also works). Set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each) or 32 if making miniature pretzels, and wrap in plastic.

5. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long strip. Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; eight will fit on each sheet (you may need a third sheet if making miniatures). Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach 1 minute. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.

7. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.

January 05, 2008

Sarah: Resolved

Aging is inevitable, yet I wouldn't feel older than I was in high school if I didn't keep seeing tiny fetuses old enough to drive and getting ready for college. The five and a half years since high school have taken their toll, for the better and the worse. Though I've started sensing a few wrinkles in my forehead, at least my two-tone hair color has grown out and my bushy eyebrows are now in check (most of the time, anyway). Some things haven't changed. My bedroom is still messy with my unmade bed and desk drawers full of unnecessary items (though the price of rent has increased exponentially since moving out of my parents' house). I'm still a pack-rat, still press too hard with my pen on paper, still don't study as much as I should.
Though I still have many of the same faults that I had several years ago, my opinion of resolutions each January has improved. A few years ago, I smirked to my mom that I wouldn't be making any New Year's resolutions. The look on her face, as if someone had poured milk and lemon juice simultaneously into her mouth, has stayed with me. My obvious resolution towards emotional stagnation disappointed my mother. From my point of view, resolutions were empty promises, forgotten faster than a mediocre midnight kiss on December 31. That point of view has changed.
This year I decided to take advantage of New Year's resolution making. The personal goals that I've had for myself in the past several months have taken shape and I have committed to work on them in 2008. Without further ado, my New Year's resolutions:

I will try to blog more, but also improve the quality of what I write. This will hopefully translate into fewer one sentence entries. Or at least they'll be better constructed single sentences.
I will make at least one new recipe per week. Man cannot live on contaminated frozen pizza alone.
I will be more honest about what I want. Please note, friends, that this does not mean I will be more helpful when it comes to deciding where to go out to eat.
I will stop being paralyzed with fear about the unknown. This year I will take more chances and live a more exciting life.
I will make progress towards figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, because, well, I thought I'd be grown up by now.

January 04, 2008

Sarah: Sometimes my insecurities get the best of me.

M: So are you going to play with us tomorrow? Or are you too cool for school?
S: I AM NOT INVITED.
M: Whatever.
S: I was all "Golly gee Mally, I have nothing to do tomorrow except dip pretzels in mustard." and you were all "Wow, that's a shame." and then went off in the corner to whisper with Lisa about how my shorts are long and baggy and I'm wearing dingy sneakers. YOU'RE SO MEAN AND I HATE BEING IN JUNIOR HIGH.

January 03, 2008

Sarah: Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Mallory. She's a great sister (is it 'sista' if we're not genetically linked?), former coworker, late-night listener, notch minder, crush sympatizer, gallery stroller, sleep over-er, Mohinder lover, and friend. I counted. We've been friends for almost four years, and I'm glad. Happy birthday, buddy.

Sarah: You know, some people leave Christmas decorations up all year.

So maybe January 3 isn't doing so bad.

I present to you the lovely Christmas ornaments swapped by some lovely people.

Jen's ornaments were globes of glittery string that made a lacey cage for the gold jingle bells that filled the inside. They came in cute Christmas tins.

Marta included instructions to fold out her ornaments (it made me feel a little like I was participating in the process). These adorably patterned paper ornaments came with a tag so that we could remember when these ornaments were given to us.

Marci's glittery stars hang from a curly silver loop. I'm excited to finally have a star to put at the top of my tiny tree.

Jeremy personalized each of these South Park-style ornaments to look like each of the recipients. Clockwise from the top left, that's Marta, Marci, Sarah, Nora, Blake, and Lisa (the Smith family hit the jackpot!). Jeremy took the time to study our pictures and carefully choose clothing and makeup that he felt suited each of us.

Lisa crafted ornaments about crafting. What a great idea! I'm left wondering what gauge of needle one uses to start tiny ornament scarves.

I tried my hand at silver leafing and gave each person their first initial. Things I learned: metal leafing isn't as easy as I had imagined in my head (and it's a whole lot stickier), some craft stores are significantly cheaper than others, and the decision to try again after my first run of ornaments failed horribly was a wise one.

Thanks again to all who participated! My tree is so much cuter than it was before this exchange, and I love how these ornaments each have their own personality. I'm so happy with how this swap turned out and look forward to doing it again next year.

January 02, 2008

Sarah: Here's to a tasty 2008

Lisa's baking reminded me of one of my resolutions for 2008. I plan to cook or bake something new each week of the year. After all, with the Writers' strike dragging on (Come on, execs, we all want this to end. Compromise!), there isn't anything good on tv anyway. That means I'll need 52 recipes and friends willing to be my culinary victims. Someone who is willing to wash dishes for food is preferred, but anyone that wants to come over on the weekend (I'm thinking it'll probably be on Sundays) and chat and taste with me is welcome. I'm excited to put my new apron, pots, and knives to work, and would love suggestions on what to make.
This week, I think I'll try pretzels.
Someone who is also interested in expanding their culinary repertoire and is a fan of cheese should try making cheese at home.

Sarah: Training Table

Last night I went to dinner with Blake and Lisa to this Utah Original and, I must say, I was quite disappointed. Now, I can't complain too much, because Blake is super nice and bought my dinner (I owe you, Blake!) and I had a lovely time chatting with two of my favorite people.
I've joked in the past that I can't stand the tiny plates that Training Table serves their food on, as if they don't want you to have any extra room for you to set your pickles and onions on while you chomp down on one of their many different hamburgers.
Small plates aside, I was annoyed enough with my experience last night that I looked for a way to let their management know what I thought. Their website doesn't have any contact information for feedback, but I did post a review on Citysearch. It probably won't do any good, but at least I've voiced my displeasure.
As a small recap, I've put together a list of tips for the Training Table staff. I say this while acknowledging that food service is tough, underpaid work. The hours are long and the holidays are practically nonexistent. This is why I tip well and always try to be polite and understanding. It is also the reason why I appreciate our friends so much and why the girls brought them a Christmas treat last month for the second year in a row.
1. Consider having an adult manager on duty at all times. Five teenagers standing near the cash register are not a managerial equivalent.
2. When someone orders something which is sold out (like, say, the soup), do not wait until after they have paid to let them know that this item is not available. Offer to substitute something similar or remove it from their bill. You know, before you've charged their card?
3. If you put cheese on a burger that was ordered without cheese, throw the burger out and make a fresh one, correctly. This doesn't significantly change your bottom line (which I don't really think the cook was worried about anyway), and the customer will notice the remnants of the scraped-off cheese, not to mention that the burger will be cold once you've "fixed" the order.
4. Trying to discourage customers from ordering within an hour and a half of closing is probably not going to be effective. Perhaps just skip the three loud speaker announcements declaring "30 minute wait, order if you want", "no new orders", and then "okay, you can order again, if you want" and accept that you might have to serve the people lining up to give you their money.
5. If you're tired of serving customers, you should recommend that they visit Crown Burgers instead.

p.s. I would like to add that I believe my feelings would be more favorable towards Training Table if I enjoyed cheese fries and/or fry sauce. Those are their signature items and are, by all reports, quite tasty.

December 28, 2007

Sarah: The Perils of Dating

This made me laugh. And also made me glad that I don't own a papizan chair. Have a good weekend, I'm going home to rethink the items currently displayed on my fridge.
Warning: There are one or two bad words in that link. Click at your own risk.

December 26, 2007

Sarah: Your Slip is Showing

Note to self: Though it may amusingly remind you of a previous slipping experience, slipping and falling flat on my back in the middle of my horrifically icey driveway while carrying a cast-iron pot and a set of knives (safe!) was not the most pleasant way to end my Christmas vacation. It was, however, a very effective way to get a bruise that covers the majority of my elbow.

December 25, 2007

Sarah: Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

December 24, 2007

Sarah: Early Edition

Friends,
Fate has selected me to right the wrongs of today, by presenting me with Wednesday's newspaper at the grocery store checkout. It is Monday, so I have 48 hours to change the headline "Fountain Green Council hears about county detective again, remains non-committal" to something more exciting. Or at least more concise.

December 22, 2007

Sarah: Home for the Holidays

Quotes from my awesome parents:

Mom: Are you a nappy-headed ho?

Dad: Don't squeeze the jugs too hard. *Snicker*

December 18, 2007

Sarah: I was interviewed

by Jeremy and you can read it here if you're interested.

And no, I don't consider myself an internet celebrity. I just consider Jeremy very nice.

December 16, 2007

Sarah: Tagged

If you're still putting the finishing touches on your Christmas gifts, I would suggest that you consider using these gift tags at Angry Chicken. I've needed each of these tags at least once in my gift-giving life, and they're free to simply print and use on your own. Enjoy!

December 13, 2007

Sarah: Come Over for Tea and Cookies!

Christmas time inevitably makes me feel like baking, and now that school is over until January, I have a bit more free time on my hands. Last night I got started on my recipes-to-try list and made these dainty little cookies. They so so easy to make and end up sweet, light, and crunchy-yet-soft, and would go perfectly with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. I want to bundle up with a little plate of these cookies, a steaming mug of something tasty, and a friend to either watch a Christmas movie or just talk. I think these are a great cookie for parties because they're bite-size and pretty.

Russian Tea Cakes/Mexican Wedding Cakes

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup pecans, hazelnuts or other nuts, toasted and finely ground (if using hazelnuts, wrap in a dishtowel while still warm and roll about until most of the brown skins come off. I used pecans.)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional, but cinnamon makes everything better, wouldn't you agree?)

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until well blended. Beat in flour, then nuts. Divide dough in half; form each half into ball. Wrap separately in plastic; chill until cold, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and cinnamon, if using, in pie dish to blend. Set cinnamon sugar aside.

Working with half of chilled dough, roll dough by 2 teaspoonfuls between palms into balls. Arrange balls on heavy large baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet. Gently toss warm cookies in cinnamon sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough. (Cookies can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature; reserve remaining cinnamon sugar.)

Sift remaining cinnamon sugar over cookies and serve.

Makes about 4 dozen. (Or so they claim. My batch probably made about 3 dozen, but that's still plenty!)

December 12, 2007

Sarah: Noggin'

Jeremy encouraged his friends to each post a favorite holiday recipe, and my mind was swimming with possibilities. After all, my mom is a legendary great cook, so the holidays offer a dizzying array of delicious items coming from her kitchen.

One recipe that I think is different than a dozen others you might already have, is my mom's homemade eggnog. This isn't a boozey concoction, so you may have to look elsewhere if that's your sort of thing, but this is one tasty, foamy drink, and the only eggnog that I like.

Mom's Eggnog, recipe serves six people

Separate 6 eggs. Beat the yolks until thick and lemon colored and beat the whites until they make peaks, but not until they are dry.

Whip a half pint of whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Fold these three mixtures together gently.

Add about 4 cups milk (mom says any combination of 2%, whole, or half and half that you want), another teaspoon of vanilla, a little nutmeg, and sugar until sweet (start with about 3 tablespoons and then more as needed.). You'll want to mix the milk mixture with the fluffy stuff, but only til they're about evenly distributed. You don't want to lose all of the air that you blended into the eggs and whipped cream.

Top with a little more nutmeg. Lemon zest also tastes good on top. Serve.

December 11, 2007

Sarah: Quick Holiday Craft

Yesterday, fueled by adrenaline, caffeine, and one hour of sleep, I found myself feeling restless. Already at the craft store getting ornament supplies, I picked up a styrofoam wreath form.
When I got home, I cut several strips from some green coordinating fabric I had laying around from a previous project.

Then I just ironed the raw edges under and went crazy with the hot glue gun. If you try this project at home, learn from my mistakes: Hot glue will dissolve your styrofoam. While this may be a Fun With Science! moment, it will also make little craters in your wreath. Did I switch to one of the many other adhesives in my apartment at any given moment? No, because I will never give. If you insist upon using hot glue, apply the glue to the fabric, then press the glued fabric to the styrofoam. This dissolves it much less. Oh, and if you're clumsy by nature? You will burn off your fingertips. You always do.

Those dots on the bottom right side of the wreath are a few pushpins I purloined from my bulletin board. The wreath was just a little too plain. I tried to add a simple bow with my red ribbon, but my bow tying skills were not up to the task.

This project cost me about $4.50 and 20 minutes. Totally worth it!

Sorry the pictures are so fuzzy. I'm still sticking it out with only my camera phone. Hint hint, Santa!

December 09, 2007

Sarah: Gifted

There's a story, almost a parable, of how Marcel Duchamp suspended a book of Euclidian geometry by a string outside his window for several months and in all kinds of weather, and then presented the result to his sister as a birthday present, and of course as an art object. A lovely idea. Almost a philosophical gesture, a kind of ironic critique of Euclid by the elements.
Charles Simic, Negative Capability and Its Children

Nice idea, Duchamp, but it can't hold a candle to what my brother gave me for my birthday last summer. I think this picture really captures the class and elegance of that gift:

And what a happy birthday it was.

December 08, 2007

Sarah: Poetry

I love the first stanza especially.

A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
by Adrienne Rich

My swirling wants. Your frozen lips.
The grammar turned and attacked me.
Themes, written under duress.
Emptiness of the notations.

They gave me a drug that slowed the healing of wounds.

I want you to see this before I leave:
the experience of repetition as death
the failure of criticism to locate the pain
the poster in the bus that said:
my bleeding is under control.

A red plant in a cemetery of plastic wreaths.

A last attempt: the language is a dialect called metaphor.
These images go unglossed: hair, glacier, flashlight.
When I think of a landscape I am thinking of a time.
When I talk of taking a trip I mean forever.
I could say: those mountains have a meaning
but further than that I could not say.

To do something very common, in my own way.

December 07, 2007

Sarah: Self Motivation

After classes are over on Monday, I will:
- remove the chipped nail polish pathetically clinging to my fingertips and give myself a new manicure and pedicure.
- get to work on my ornaments. I have lots of ideas!
- actually shave both legs on the same day, rather than one calf or the other. Seriously, I am not up to my usual glamour standards (not that they're usually very high anyway).
- rearrange the furniture in my bedroom. I think I've found a solution to the "where the heck does one store a yoga ball in a tiny apartment" dilemma.
- get to work on the ever-lengthening list of recipes I want to try.
- finish some projects to put up in our etsy shop.
- catch up on personal email correspondence.
- get out of the "clean laundry pile, dirty laundry pile" mentality that I fall into when I'm busy.
- smell my niece's delicious baby head. I miss her.
- blog with pictures.
- fill at least one big bag of stuff to donate to goodwill. Why? Because it's Christmas time, and I have too much stuff.

Okay, now I better get back to work so that I'll be ready to enjoy the things I'd rather be doing than studying!

December 06, 2007

Sarah: A Message from Finals Week

Here's a good, underused word for you:
inure: to accustom to accept something undesirable
I am currently inured to my unkempt apartment.

My friends must inure my appearance this week.

Yeesh. Please take a moment to enjoy my headband that I believe I bought in the 7th grade, my PowerPuff Girls t-shirt from the 12th grade, and the makeup that is most obviously not on my face. This is the look of self-imposed exile as I study for my final. On the positive side, my dad painted that painting behind me. Those are rows of crop in a field. The painting has warm happy colors and I love it as the focal point of my living room.

I just noticed that my dry winter hands bled on my laptop keyboard. It's all class and grace around these parts. My beloved computer, pre-carnage:

Ah, G4. No one can display villanelles quite like you.

At least I have my Christmas tree to keep me company.

Most of the ornaments are hand-me-downs from my grandma. The gifts each proudly bear tags crafted by Marta.

Now it's back to the grindstone for me. I'm currently writing an essay about this poem:

Villanelle by William Empson

It is the pain, it is the pain, endures.
Your chemic beauty burned my muscles through.
Poise of my hands reminded me of yours.

What later purge from this deep toxin cures?
What kindness now could the old salve renew?
It is the pain, it is the pain, endures.

The infection slept (custom or change inures)
And when pain's secondary phase was due
Poise of my hands reminded me of yours.

How safe I felt, whom memory assures,
Rich that your grace safely by heart I knew.
It is the pain, it is the pain, endures.

My stare drank deep beauty that still allures
My heart pumps yet the poison draught of you.
Poise of my hands reminded me of yours.

You are still kind whom the same shape immures
Kind and beyond adieu. We miss our cue.
It is the pain, it is the pain, edures.
Poise of my hands reminded me of yours.

December 05, 2007

Sarah: Christmas Haiku

I wrote this for Jeremy's challenge. You should hop on over there and write a haiku also. It's fun!

Song for a Greedy Child
I made my list but
I don't think you checked it twice.
Where's the rest of it?

Something else I learned today: If you buy this Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer dvd, it includes a bonus Destiny's Child music video that appears to be in stop-motion animation. Was your mind blown like mine?

December 04, 2007

Sarah: Swag

You guys know how I love free stuff, right? That's why I jumped at the chance to enter this contest. Yes, there is little chance that you or I would win, but the prizes are excellent. Go enter!

Sarah: Tool of the Week

When I went to Seattle most recently, Marci and I spent some time wandering around Sephora. One thing I tried and loved was

FOUNDATION PRIMER

There are many different kinds and brands, but each one blends weightlessly into your skin, making it feel even, soft, and smooth. The idea is that you put this primer on before any other makeup and it creates a smooth base. It made my skin feel amazing and glowy, and I'm so sad I was too broke to buy any.

November 30, 2007

Sarah: NaBloPoMo, We Love You!

We made it! Lisa and I blogged all 30 days of November. Woot!

Oh and this is for Mallory, the lover of all things LolCats:

No need to thank me, Mallory. I already know how much it means to you.

Sarah: She's Mighty Mighty, Just Lettin It All Hang Out

Hey, it's Friday. Are you needing a break from work? Do you need to laugh a little to get you through the last painful hours of tedium before the weekend begins? I thought you might. Read this hilarious article.
via Mighty Girl

Sarah: Advent-ture*

Jeremy is keeping a blog advent calendar from now until Christmas. Each day he'll have a new movie screenshot. If you guess the movie, you can get a point. If you get the most points, you win a prize! The details are here. Run over there and try your hand. The competition starts today! He'll also have fun links, stories, and who knows what else!
I love Christmas.

*...I'm sorry. I couldn't resist the pun.

November 28, 2007

Sarah: Food Critic

Marci is my walking companion whenever I need a Coke or some candy from the neighboring gas station at work. When she purchased a SweeTarts Rope, I was a little excited. I wondered if it could be even more delicious than my beloved Nerds Rope.

Marci: So the SweeTarts ropes are like hollowed out licorice rope with sweet tart goo and Nerds inside.
S: Oh my goodness.
M: They are very sweet.
S: Are they insane? Good? Gross?
M: Um. My initial reaction is gross.
S: Lol.
M: And I think I am sticking with that.
S: I'm sorry. That's not something you really need to learn to like.
M: But I will take a few more bites to see if they grow on me.
(Pause)
M: Nope. Still gross.
S: Ha ha ha ha ha. I'm sorry.
M: It's cool.
(Another Pause)
M: Also the aftertaste is like barf. Do not buy.
S: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. If you need some Sour Patch Kids to heal your tastebud wounds, just let me know.
M: Thanks.

November 27, 2007

Sarah: Insert Fiddler on the Roof Lyrics Here

What would I buy, if money were of no object?

A new digital camera, because mine is seriously broken.

A pair of cowboy boots

books and stuff

One or two Le Creuset cast-iron pots

A KitchenAid mixer

Oh, and maybe a Scooba to keep my Roomba company.

Edited to add: A cool typewriter that isn't the fully-automatic kind. Metal pieces of type are a must. And a polaroid camera. I think my life would be better with these items. I'm nearly positive.

November 26, 2007

Sarah: Bad Decisions

Large woman in fabric store: "Creature of the Black Lagoon" tattoo across your ample arm.

Local bar: Proudly advertising an upcoming performance by the band "Soft Bone".

The band "Soft Bone": Your name. Seriously.

Sarah: Shopping Season has begun

Chronicle Books, my personal favorite publishing company, is having a sale through Wednesday, Nov. 28th, for 30% off all titles.

They have lots of lovely craft books and other titles that would make great Christmas gifts.

Just enter the promo code FRIENDS at checkout.

November 25, 2007

Sarah: Messages to Mallory

Text message sent to Mallory during church (yes, I know texting during church isn't good, but sometimes exceptions must be made):

Ohmygosh ohmygosh the youth speaker just concluded her talk with "The band Relient K pretty much summed it up with..."

November 24, 2007

Sarah: Swap Update

Hello everyone,
The Ornament Swap info has been emailed to all participants. If you didn't get an email from me, I must have somehow missed your request to participate. Drop me another line and we'll see what we can work out. if you did get an email from me, I'm excited to be swapping with you! Now to figure out what sort of ornament I'll be making...

November 23, 2007

Sarah: How I Spent My Time Today

In the last few minutes of Nov. 23, a quick run-down:

How I Spent My Time:
-Listened to my dad recite an elegy to lull the baby to sleep.
-Visited the Co-Op Mercantile in Ephraim, Utah. Remembered why I sometimes have "craft" shame. There were some adorable handcrafted items. And lots of ugly items, including countless fairy dolls with creepy, toothy grins.
-Chatted with some of the many talented artists that live in this little town of Spring City.
-Talked my grandma out of buying a hideous neon pink ensemble for Nora, only to have her purchase a second hand grass green sweatshirt with balloon-holding pandas embroidered across the chest. I'm sorry, Nora, I didn't realize that this would happen.
-Laughed, and laughed, and laughed. My family is pretty great. We played Speed Scrabble and Apples to Apples, plus countless crossword puzzles (and a little sudoku on my own).

How I Didn't Spend Time, But Should Have:
-Sent an email to all of the Ornament Swap participants giving them the information of their swap-mates. Tomorrow, I promise!

Now I'm headed to bed because the agenda for tomorrow is quite busy. We'll be putting up Christmas decorations, getting a tag so we can cut down a tree, and buying a few pumpkin shakes at the local Drive-In.

November 22, 2007

Sarah: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Thank you so much for reading, and may your Thanksgiving be pleasant and full of joy, replete with stuffing and mashed potatoes. Give your mom a hug for me and tell her I said thanks for birthing you.

November 21, 2007

Sarah: Shades of Gray

Some days I really like school. A few quotes from class this week:

What then must the avant-garde artist do to remain avant-garde? For it has by now become a question of survival both of the artist and of the individual. In both art and life today we are in danger of substituting one conformity for another, or, to use a French expression, of trading one's one-eyed horse for a blind one. Protests against the mediocre values of our society such as the hippie movement seem to imply that one's only way out is to join a parallel society whose stereotyped manners, language, speech and dress are only reverse images of the one it is trying to reject.

It's an interesting concept that if you merely react against a stereotype or philosophy and become the opposite, you are still being defined by that stereotype.

Today the avant-garde has come full circle - the artist who wants to experiment is again faced with what seems like a dead end, except that instead of creating in a vacuum he is now at the center of a cheering mob. Neither climate is exactly ideal for discovery, yet both are conducive to it because they force him to take steps that he hadn't envisaged.

We discussed in class that you have to explore a space that not only you haven't explored before, but a space that hasn't yet been imagined.

I thought this was interesting food for thought. I hope you do too.

Both quotes are from "The Invisible Avant-Garde" by John Ashbery

November 20, 2007

Sarah: Birthday

Happy Birthday to an awesome friend, a loving and rockin mom, and an incredible sister.
I love you Lisa!

Sarah: Help Yourself

Mallory: Hey. I need your brain.
Sarah: I just tipped my head towards the computer so that you could use my brain. Ugh. I make myself so tired.

November 19, 2007

Sarah: Hot like Fiya

In honor of my German test today, for which I was awake until 4 am studying, I present a discussion of temperatures from class last week:

Professor: 'I am hot' is 'Es ist mir heiss' or 'It is to me hot.' You wouldn't say 'Ich bin heiss' (literally, I am hot), because... that has sexual connotations.
Student: I said that in a paper once. He pulled me aside. So. Awkward.

November 18, 2007

Sarah: True to Life

The Lifetime Channel would like you to know:
Yes, you waited to get married or even date. Just when you started thinking that love had passed you by, you met a man. He was handsome, intelligent, romantic, successful, and loved kids.
You quickly fell in love and got married. Before you realized it, your wedded bliss produced a beautiful child.
You've now been married for several years without a care in the world. Your husband even gets along with your friends and family. And then...
Out of nowhere, your husband turns out to be a rapist/murderer/abuser. The cops can't pin anything on him, though, and you feel trapped. Luckily, you find strength you didn't know you had within yourself and escape his evil clutches.

Thanks, Lifetime. You taught me the value of telling the same story time and time again. After all, we need constant reminders that men are always hiding a deep, dark, evil secret. We're on to you now, men.

November 17, 2007

Sarah: Ornamented

As promised, I've found a few links to inspire you to make a few Christmas ornaments of your own. Wouldn't ornaments make cute gift toppers? I think so. I apologize that I don't remember where I found these links.

  • Martha, of course, has countless Ornament ideas, including some that look fairly speedy and inexpensive, like these Button Ornaments.

  • A Little Hut crafted ornaments made of cork

  • Afraid of getting too cutesy? Try the Tie-Fighter ornament. Christmas is for sci-fi lovers, too.

  • Sometimes something really simple can be just lovely. Acorn ornaments, for example. Can't resist a little lily-gilding? Spray paint them silver or gold, or maybe go crazy and... say... just paint or glitter (I know, right?) the top part of the acorn. I'm sorry, I'm stepping away now.

  • You can find lots of handmade inspiration on Etsy (I just searched for 'ornament' and got lots of examples), including ornaments crafted from polymer clay, painted glass balls, embroidered felt, and many more.

  • My parents used to have several clothespin ornaments that had been painted and dressed in felt to look like Santa, Mrs. Claus, and reindeer. Very cute and homey.

  • One Christmas in Elementary School, my classmate Parker's mom came to help us make gifts for our parents. Each of us painted a wooden spoon to look like Santa. The handle was a long, red, pointy hat and his face and beard were on the bowl of the spoon.

  • You could crochet a snowflake ornament.

  • Some people (not me) have the skill to make Kanzashi, which I believe were originally folded silk flowers used on hair pins, but they could also make lovely ornaments. Other folded fabric ornament inspiration here.

  • Oh, and remember how I was obsessed with yarn/felt balls for a day? Those could be cute ornaments.

  • Lastly, Anthropologie has some adorable ideas that could be mimicked.
  • And because I couldn't resist, instructions to make a Droidel. Get it? Droidel?? That made me giggle.

    This entry has spiraled out of control and marks the end of the Christmas-centric posts for the next several days, but I hope I helped get your creative juices flowing!

    November 16, 2007

    Sarah: Mmm, Smells Good

    Method now has their seasonal scents in. I bought one of their holiday kits (but not the one with the aroma sticks in the picture above) and now my apartment smells fresh and festive. Buy one now and you also get a free "Plastic bag Rehab" bag to take to the grocery store and save a little spot of the ozone layer. Method must love me, because I got two bags! Yippee! If you prefer to shop at the store rather than the internet, you can email or fax in a form along with your receipt showing that you spent $20 or more on Method products and they'll still send you your free bag.

    What's better than helping out the environment? Helping it out while it doesn't even cost you a thing!

    November 15, 2007

    Sarah: Swap

    Ladies and Gents,
    I'm excited to announce Two Loose Teeth's first Christmas ornament swap. Thanks for your interest! You'll find all of the details after the jump, but to get started, if you want to participate, send me an email with your information before November 20th. Please write "Ornament Swap" in the subject line of your email so that I don't miss you.
    Tomorrow I'll post some ideas for ornaments to get your creative juices flowing, but I'm sure that you're all going to blow me away. Stay tuned!

    The guidelines:

    1. Sign up for the swap by sending an email with the following information to sarah at twolooseteeth dot com by November 20th.
    - name
    - address
    - email address
    - you website or blog (if you have one)
    (Note that when you submit your information please submit it in this order with traditional capitalization - it makes things a little easier on our end!)

    2. On November 21st you'll receive an email from me containing the addresses and email addresses of the other swap participants to send your ornaments to.

    3. Design a handmade ornament that you can create multiples of and make your ornaments.

    4. Package your ornaments well...especially if you create anything fragile.
    Things to NOT include in your package: food or candy or any perishable items.

    5. Send one of your ornaments to each person on the list of other swap participants by December 15th at the latest. Send a picture of your ornament in an email to me (sarah at twolooseteeth dot com) notifying me that you've mailed your contribution.

    6. Sit back, relax and wait as you receive fabulous handcrafted ornaments in the mail!

    7. Once people have received your ornaments, I'll post the pictures here, along with a link to your website, unless you request otherwise.

    8. One last note: I'd encourage you to research the cost of shipping and take that into account when you design your ornament--lighter and more compact ornaments are cheaper to ship. I want this swap to be fun for all of us. This shouldn't be a financial burden, it should be a chance to craft and get to know each other a little bit.


    Most Common Questions?

    What sort of materials can be used?
    Anything! Knit, sew, letterpress, gocco, paint, draw, sculpt, glaze, cut-out, glue, weave, blow glass, weld...go nuts.

    Who are the other people I'll be swapping with?
    The other people on the swap list you receive on November 21st.

    Will my address be on the internet anywhere?
    No. The only people who will receive your snail mail address and email are the people you are swapping with.

    What about shipping costs?
    You are responsible for shipping costs for your ornaments, just as others are paying to ship ornaments to you. Please check your local shipping rates ahead of time if you are wary of the cost of shipping.

    What if I don't receive all my ornaments or I can't send my ornaments out on time?
    This is why you will be given the other swappers' email addresses. Please email your group with any concerns directly. You may also post announcements on this blog entry or email me if you have any questions concerning your group.

    Do I need to have a blog to participate?
    No. If you have a blog, that is lovely, but absolutely not a requirement to join the swap.

    Other questions? Email sarah at twolooseteeth dot com and I'll respond as quickly as possible.

    (Thanks to Kathleen of cake & pie and Nicole of freshly blended for the template for these guidelines)

    November 14, 2007

    Sarah: Ornament Swap

    Hey everyone, I'm considering hosting a swap and I'm just trying to see what interest there is. I wanted to participate in the Ornament Swap being hosted by Kathleen of cake & pie and Nicole of freshly blended, but the sign-ups have ended. Then I thought that we could just have our own swap! It's starting a few days later, but I think it could still be fun.

    The idea is that you make several handmade ornaments (I'd make sure each person had to make less than 10) of any style and then you mail them out all of your swap partners. Then we each get several new hand crafted ornaments to hang on our trees in time for Christmas!

    My head is spinning with the possibilities. Knitted or crocheted, sewn bits of lace or delicately patterned fabric, paper and glue, embroidered or glass, the possibilities are endless.

    If you're interested in participating, leave me a comment. If there are several of us, I'll make an official announcement, complete with ideas and rules, on Thursday, November 15. I hope you guys are as excited as I am!

    November 13, 2007

    Sarah: Music Suggestions

    A friend of mine asked me for some music suggestions several days ago, and I didn't have many at the tip of my brain. After some consideration, I came up with a short list. This is by no means complete, but I like these bands and you should too.

    Feist: You already know that I love Feist. She makes me dance and sing along and then, before I realize it, there's a puddle of blood at my feet because she has made my heart crack open.
    Spoon: They're fun. You should ask Andrea about them. She'll tell you how great they are.
    The Shins: I first was introduced to the Shins when I watched Garden State. They were smart but calming and the music drew you in, wanting to hear more. We saw them perform a great set at Bumbershoot and that performance made me officially love them.
    Devotchka: Gypsy rock. Who knew it could be so incredibly awesome?
    Ben Folds: Ben and I have been together for a long time. If you ever need a 'Best Of' Ben mix cd, just give me a call. I'd love to spread the joy.
    The Streets: When I listen to the Streets when I drive, I zip past the other cars, swaying and bobbing my head back and forth, comforted by the fact that my music is better than whatever fake-punk abomination is playing on their radios.
    Lily Allen: I like her.
    Ben Lee: I've said enough already about Ben Lee, but he's cute, and he loves life, and will make you feel optimistic and in love with the world.
    Justin Timberlake: Justin makes the girls dance in the car. Marci has a tiny Justin game piece from a board game that she sometimes sets on the table when we go out to dinner. Dining with a tiny Justin is an experience everyone should share.

    November 12, 2007

    Sarah: Christmas Movie Roundup

    Because I've given in completely to my love of Christmas and the over-commercialized season that skips Thanksgiving almost completely (hey, I still might purchase some gourds or something. How do we feel about be-glittered gourds? A catalog seduced me and it could be a fun and messy craft project...), I have a quick list of some favorite Christmas movies, in no particular order.

    Love Actually
    [Love Actually]

    Love (unrequited and otherwise), Christmas, Hugh Grant dancing, Colin Firth existing: how could this movie go wrong?

    Nightmare Before Christmas
    [Nightmare Before Christmas]

    I think you can watch this movie an unlimited number of times from October to January without being judged. It's a Halloween movie and a Christmas movie. Plus, Tim Burton can be appreciated year round.

    A Christmas Story
    [A Christmas Story]

    I love twisted, disfunctional families. And detailed daydreams. But I hate that kid with the yellow eyes.

    A Charlie Brown Christmas
    [A Charlie Brown Christmas]

    I get sort of sad just thinking of Charlie Brown's pathetic little tree.

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas
    [The Grinch!]

    I've never seen the live-action version starring Jim Carrey. I support the old cartoon version. Why mess with a good thing?

    What are your favorite Christmas/holiday movies? I need to stock up, since I have 44 days until Christmas.

    November 11, 2007

    Sarah: O Tannenbaum

    My Christmas tree is now erected in my living room, decked out with red globe ornaments and white twinkle lights with gifts wrapped in silver paper below it. Sometimes staying in on the weekend is way more fun than going out.

    Sarah: Food of the Future

    Lunch with Lisa:

    L: This tastes like what a robot would think a hamburger tastes like. And I'm okay with that.
    S: ... Dangit, a french fry just snagged my nylons.

    November 10, 2007

    Sarah: In Love with Possibility

    Keeping with tradition (see 1 and 2), Marci, Mallory, and I went to a Ben Lee concert on Friday night. Unfortunately, Lisa was unable to join us this year, but Mal and I were glad that Marci was able to experience Ben, sans gold suit and Rooney fans, in a small intimate venue like we did for the first time two years ago. Ben was charming and happy, per usual, and we had a great time.

    The keyboardist played with Ben on his last two tours also. Maybe they're best buddies. We love it, regardless. The girls appreciate loyalty.

    Cary Brothers, possibly best known for his song on the Garden State soundtrack, opened for Mr. Ben with a great set. He was also funny and charming, recommending tv shows to the crowd and just being generally personable and nice.

    Like in concerts past, everyone else on the tour joined Ben for one of his last songs.

    A Ben Lee tour is a happy tour.

    November 09, 2007

    Sarah: Retro Progressive

    Today I discovered Tiny Choices via Not Martha. This blog is mostly about reducing your consumerism or energy use, but the author isn't condescending and I don't feel guilty for any of my wasteful ways. Instead I'm inspired to look for easy, small ways to simplify my life, to reduce the number of scary how-do-you-even-pronounce-that ingredients or chemicals I use or consume.
    Perhaps I'm just feeling vulnerable right now because last night I ate a frozen pizza, only to find out minutes later that it had been recalled because of possible E. Coli contamination. (Good thing I bought Christmas gifts early. If I die, consider them my farewell gifts to friends and family.)
    Anyway, Tiny Choices discussed a term called Retro Progressive to describe returning to old practices in order to reduce one's energy and chemical use. I know myself well enough to accept that I won't immediately start cooking and canning homegrown organic vegetables, refuse to purchase any frozen (albeit deadly-bacteria-containing) food, and washing all of my clothes by hand. But I will continue to air-dry about half of my clothes (I totally believe that it extends the life of my jeans and delicate items) and I'm trying to cook more at home instead of grabbing fast food for every meal. These are my tiny choices.
    Giving sensible living a buzz term like "retro progressive" spurred some debate among Tiny Choices readers. Does the very notion of 'retro' home life imply oppression of women? Some found the term a bit insulting. It just made me want to put on a cute apron. I liked what one commenter said, though, that "'Domesticity' is not just a way to keep women oppressed - it's also a set of really useful skills." So I think that what I'm taking from that blog entry is that enjoying domesticity, whether it's crafting, cleaning (because what feels better than a sparkly clean house, really?), cooking, or taking an active role in your quality of life, is nothing to be embarrassed about. You can believe in your right as a woman or individual to choose your path in life, whether it's working or staying home, married or single, and still embrace how great your legs look in heels and enjoy the smell of something delicious bubbling on the stove.

    November 08, 2007

    Sarah: I Saw You

    I love reading classified ads. And I think I might have found something I love even more. Illustrated Missed Connections. Ah, love...

    November 06, 2007

    Sarah: Recipe Exchange

    Adorable Jeremy invited me to participate in a recipe exchange. I decided to share a recipe I found (I think while I was looking for a yummy soup recipe) at Smitten Kitchen. I don't know much about the author, Deb, but I do know that she makes delicious looking foods and photographs them wonderfully. Mmm. Anyway, without further ado, I present to you a perfect comfort food dessert for autumn and winter. This recipe includes so many things I love about food: pumpkin, spices, bread, and sugar mixed right in. Tantilized yet? I hope so.

    Pumpkin Bread Pudding
    Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, October 2007

    1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
    3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
    Pinch of ground cloves
    2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
    5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
    3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted* (can skip this step if using the second set of instructions)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle.

    Gourmet's Instructions: Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices (I added extra spices) and bourbon (I made it without bourbon and it was still great), if using, in a bowl.

    Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

    Alternate, Come On, Be Lazy With Me, instructions (I followed these instructions, obviously. Lazy? I'm in.): While preheating oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle, melt butter in bottom of a 8-inch square baking dish. Once it is melted, take it out of the oven and toss bread cubes with butter, coating thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Pour them over buttered bread cubes in baking dish, stirring to make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

    Hey! Are you still there? Awesome! If you want to participate in the recipe exchange, it's easy! I've attached the exchange email script after the jump. Just follow the instructions and we all get more yummy recipes (maybe I'll even get one for that homemade soup I've been craving). Delightful!

    1. Jeremy: hobbes8u at yahoo dot com
    2. Sarah: sarah at twolooseteeth dot com
    Hello! You've been invited to be part of a recipe exchange! Please send a recipe to the person whose name is listed in the number 1 position above. It should preferably be something quick, easy, without rare ingredients. Actually, the best is the one you know in your head and can type out and send right now. Then, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to the number 1 position, and put your name in the number 2 position. Only your name and mine should appear in this list when you send out your email. Please send this to 20 friends. If you cannot do this within 5 days, please let me know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. It is fun to see where these recipes come from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we can all use new recipes. The turn around is fast because only 2 names are on the list. Have fun with it!

    November 05, 2007

    Sarah: Honey, You Baked!

    In a recent flurry of domesticity, I decided to try the much talked about No-Knead Bread. The ingredients are so simple: flour, salt, yeast, and water. So around 1 pm on a Sunday, I mixed up the dough and then read on in the directions. Let the dough sit for at least 12 hours. Um. And then another two hours. I obviously had planned poorly. So after the dough sat through the night... and then while I was at work... and at school, I decided to throw away the dough. Because, obviously: Ew.
    So how hard could kneading be? It would seem that long blocks of time would be more difficult for my schedule than a little kneading. I found a new recipe via Not Martha with the same simple ingredients and a significantly faster timeline.
    The result? A tasty lunch of soup and homemade bread. Mmmm. This could be the start of something wonderful.

    November 04, 2007

    Sarah: Stream of Celebrity-Consciousness

    My brother Dave and I have slowly but surely been working our way through Mad Men on his TiVo.

    S: The mistress-artist was in that tv show with Ron Livingston.
    D: Who?
    S: The guy from Office Space.
    D: I thought that guy's name was Scott Something? He was on Felicity. Jennifer Garner's old husband.
    S: (laughing now, at the very silliness of the idea) Scott Foley?
    D: Yeah! Those guys look EXACTLY ALIKE. And you know who else they look like? Robert Sean Leonard.
    S: Dead Poets Society?
    D: Yes!
    S: So if Dead Poets Society and Ron Livingston had a love child, it would be Scott Foley?
    D: Exactly.

    Somewhere we got off track. Ahem. Back to Mad Men.

    November 03, 2007

    Sarah: Overshare

    Bartering with sexual favors with your significant other? Okay, whatever.
    Telling me about it? NOT OKAY.

    Thanks for listening.

    November 02, 2007

    Sarah: NaBloPoMo, the 2007 edition

    Alright, y'all. Let's do this thing.

    November 01, 2007

    Sarah: Words of the Day

    Good word:
    miasma
    1: a vaporous exhalation formerly believed to cause disease, a heavy vaporous emanation or atmosphere
    2: an influence or atmosphere that tends to deplete or corrupt

    Bad word:
    moist, because, just listen to it. Moist. Ew. Also, damp. Neither of those are good.

    October 29, 2007

    Sarah: Chasing Cars

    Sometimes I think that a car ride with someone you don't know well is like a social cage fight. Will you keep the conversation going, or curl up in a ball in the corner, dodging more awkward conversational attempts by feigning sleep? I think the score is assessed by how long you can keep the other person talking before the next lull.

    On the other hand, sometimes conversation is easy and relaxed. Perhaps the awkward car rides just make you appreciate the easy ones more?

    October 28, 2007

    Sarah: Halloween Costume

    Little black dress, glittery shrug, fishnet stockings, knee-high boots, lots of black eyeliner, and a $1.80 witch hat with a gold-edged brim unfortunately make a costume where the parts are greater than the sum.

    You get what you pay for, I suppose.

    October 27, 2007

    Sarah: Decisions

    Having to decide between Celine Dion's "Life After Love" and Maroon 5's "Makes Me Wonder"? Too difficult to choose which is the lesser of the two evils. I choose my Kelly Clarkson cd.

    Sarah: Talk Dirty to Me

    S: You could probably make more money as a phone sex operator. just saying.
    T: Oh jeez....wow
    S: Well I'm just saying!!
    T: Yes you certainly are.
    S: Well I would imagine that said operators make about $15-$20 an hour. Not that i know that. I am just guessing.
    T: Yeah who knows... but I don't really care.
    S: DAMN. NEVERMIND THEN. I WAS JUST TRYING TO HELP YOU FURTHER YOUR CAREER
    T: Why don't you... be a coke slut... or something, and like drink so much Coke out in public naked that Coke pays you for it.
    S: Dude. All a phone sex operator has to do is talk dirty. They get to lounge around their house in sweats or whatever. They don't even have to shave.
    T: Well you'd think they'd at least have to research all the latest porn slang and keep their voice in tune and such.

    Still. I think I won that argument.

    October 26, 2007

    Sarah: Saying 'Hello' is such a waste of complaint time, anyway.

    S: You know what I hate?
    T: Haha what??
    S: The placement of the parentheses on the keyboard.
    T: Why's that?
    S: You have to press shift, then go all the way up to the number keys. It's a lot of work for such a silly little punctuation. I blame their placement on the general overuse of ellipses and dashes.
    T: Psshh well it's because you hardly ever use them.
    S: Are you saying that i live life out loud? That is what i choose to believe you mean.

    October 25, 2007

    Sarah: Spinning a Yarn

    I saw this yummy picture on design*sponge and felt warm and fuzzy immediately.

    It's from scrap (scroungers center for reusable art parts), a place which, in itself, is blog-worthy. I want to get lost in there for hours at a time.

    The point is that I saw it and immediately wanted a curtain/room divider/art piece made of strings of balls of yarn or felt. So yummy and perfect for fall! The colors! The pleasurably tactile experience! The happy repetitive shapes!

    What do you think? Am I cracked? Do I just need to knit something to get this out of my system? Oooh look! More hanging balls of yarn!

    In the wonderfully apt words of John, I have to go now. Something shiny just shined.


    October 23, 2007

    Sarah: Tool of the Week

    This is not exactly an original post, since I was inspired by the hilarious and delightful Mindy, she of the excellent suggestions, but I still have been edified by having

    CRYSTAL LIGHT ON THE GO PACKETS

    in my life.
    [Note to self, that self-loathing you feel might be warranted, since you just linked to the Kraft Foods site, which seems a little shameful. Like, why not just eat a slice of plastic cheese and then chase it with a Jello JIGGLER? Dude, now that you've spent more time on their site, aren't you sort of wondering if Kraft sells any food products that are ACTUALLY MADE OF FOOD?? Ahem.]
    I've cut down substantially on my Diet Coke intake recently, and these little packets have made staying hydrated much easier, as well as tricking my brain into thinking I'm indulging in a tasty sweet beverage. Mindy recommends the Raspberry Lemonade flavor, and although it is a bit more flavorful and matches my phone, it has a bit too much of that fake-sweet-fruity taste for my liking. I recommend the regular Lemonade, which is just tart enough to combat the fake sweet and just flavored enough to feel like a treat.

    October 15, 2007

    Sarah: Bugged

    To the colony of potato bugs that seem to have moved in to my house:
    You are not welcome here. You will be tracked and killed.

    P.S. Are you the party responsible for my TiVo recording Mannequin and St. Elmo's Fire two weekends in a row? Because, wow. Touche.

    Sarah: Catchphrase

    The Juab County newspaper is called The Times-News. I can only assume their slogan is "The most poorly named newspaper of the West."

    This movie is bad. It could also be known as Time Treasure, following in the grand tradition of National Treasure and the beloved International Treasure (okay, I haven't actually seen that one). Note to Lisa: there is so much on the internet about Matthew McConaughey's super short arms. See?

    Speaking of my adorable sister, if you want to fill her with rage, just mention the Diet Dr. Pepper slogan: "There's Nothing Diet About It," because, well, there is something diet about it.

    October 14, 2007

    Sarah: No Judgement

    My brother Dave and I discuss my romantic options as of late:

    S: I don't know, I'm just not sure he's for me.
    D: So he's nice, just not very smart?
    S: No no, he's smart. And funny. But I'm not sure that it will work between us.
    D: Is it... *snort*... because you're a lesbian?
    S: ... I am not a lesbian.
    D: (Now giggling hysterically) Isn't that what Mom says?
    S: I hate you.

    October 13, 2007

    Sarah: Reasons

    Why do I enjoy so much the drive from Salt Lake to Spring City?

    It could be that the sky seems wider,
    It could be the gas station that has a Britney Spears sticker vending machine that marks the two thirds point of the trip,
    It could be the house in Fountain Green that has an eagle design incorporated into the brick on the side of their house (the actual brick, y'all, not just a mural of some kind),
    It could be that Moroni, population 1280, has its own opera house,
    It could be how friendly everyone is,
    It could be the old cemeteries with their variety of headstones,

    Or it could be that once I get here, my dad will give me a pair of old sneakers to throw up into the shoe tree, neighbors will come over and serenade me with a song about Oedipus, and my mom will teach me how to polka. Yeah, I think that's it.

    Sarah: Because I can't write entire paragraphs as of late.

    Aren't these prints cute? I think that a print for Baby Nora of the reader or musician like her mom (and aunt!) would be cute. Or maybe a scientist like her dad? So cute. You can customize the background, hair, and skin colors of any print (after you select a gender and profession/activity, and before you add the optional name and birthday). These are a great gift idea, I think. via design*sponge.

    I think I've officially decided that I don't really like Scarlet Johansson. In case you're keeping track.

    Is a guy answering his phone during a date and carrying on a conversation that includes snippets like "well if you only like him as a friend..." the sign that a date has gone seriously bad? Or is he just a supportive friend? You decide.

    October 12, 2007

    October 11, 2007

    Sarah: Don't Run Away, It's Only Me

    As the season for gremlins and goblins approaches:

    Jeremy: I don't know any Halloween songs. We could write a Zombie Halloween carol.
    Sarah: Lol. This is why I adore you. I just sing "Dead Man's Party" a lot, because that song makes me smile.
    J: Because of my willingness to write zombie halloween carols?
    S: Yes.
    J: My legs have fallen off again and please before it rains,
    Help me put them back on so that we can eat more brains.
    Brains
    lovely brains
    creamy brains
    Am I insane?
    I love these brains
    I'm a fancy comso Zomb, I love to travel Europe
    but before I check my bags I have a little bell hop
    Brains, lovely brains, creamy brains
    pick out the veins
    I love these brains
    The Bev Hills Dead are picky yes. And no they won't drink Ale unless accompanied with brains with PHDs from Yale

    Sarah: Non Sequitur

    Today my little bug is one month old.

    I don't think anyone's doormat is cuter than mine. (Bought at Target, found via Shelterrific)

    I'm getting a free iPod shuffle! I'm finally cashing in my TiVo Rewards Points and giving myself a free early Christmas gift. If this doesn't get me off my butt and running again, I don't know what will.

    Speaking of Christmas gifts, I've already completed and wrapped three gifts. December is going to be so relaxed.

    It would appear that my landlord has decided not to cancel my cable. Eeeexcellent...

    I keep cooking on dates these days. It's fun. I find a guy cooking to be very attractive.

    You know what else would be attractive, guys? If you changed my oil for me. Like um... immediately. My car needs it.

    I need a winter purse.

    Both Express and Victoria's Secret have sent me gift cards this month. It's as if they can sense that I'm trying to be more financially responsible.

    October 08, 2007

    Sarah: Buying Pretty Things

    Charming blogger, maker of pretty things, and fellow book-clubber Marta is hosting a boutique with her other talented friends. Does anyone want to attend with me? It is on October 20 in Draper, UT. Marta blogged the details here.

    Marta also has an online shop, if you'd like to browse some of her creations. Take a look here.

    October 03, 2007

    Sarah: Intimidating

    Selecting 'print' on an Graduation Application for an Undergraduate Degree. I'm excited and relieved that the end is in sight. On the other hand, do I have to be a grown-up now?

    September 27, 2007

    Sarah: Medicine Cabinet Adventures

    I've heard that an alarmingly large percentage (over 70%) of house guests will peek in your medicine cabinet while using your bathroom. Personally I had never taken a gander at my friends' medicine cabinets (with the exception of a few dates. I don't feel bad on dates, for some reason. It's... research. Does he use Rogaine? Does he have a vial of blood from an ex-girlfriend? Does he have a makeup compact that he may or may not use? These are things that a girl needs to know, and sometimes she has to do a little snooping. But I digress).

    The point is that, with very few exceptions, I leave medicine cabinets be. I am curious, however, to know if the rest of you are secret medicine cabinet snoopers. Do you look? Would you be upset if someone looked in yours? Do you clean out your medicine cabinet before guests arrive, just in case?

    I don't think I have anything too incriminating in my medicine cabinets. Yes, I could probably stand to clean out the bristles of my brush more often, and until the recent de-cluttering project, I had three separate hair products that could be used to achieve curly hair, but all in all, my medicine cabinet is pretty boring.

    Do you have anything bizarre in your medicine cabinet? Better yet, do you plant anything (XL condoms? Chewing gum that you've labeled "toothbrush"? Anti-fungal foot cream [no judgement]?) for snooping guests to find?

    September 22, 2007

    Sarah: Not So Secret Window

    After living in my apartment for over one year, I find myself still settling in. Some walls are still bare and the desk area still a bit uninviting. One thing that had to go, however, was this curtain on my front door:

    It's fine, I suppose, but not really me. Unfortunately, there's a matching curtain in my bedroom. Roses. Whatever. So obviously something had to be done. I decided to try for something a little more simple. And more importantly, something inexpensive.

    I decided to try clear contact paper to simulate frosted glass. This would be a lot more sleek than the dusty rose look, plus I already had the contact paper on hand. Free project!

    The process was simple: I just measured the window, cut four pieces of contact paper, and...

    There's a definite lack of privacy, and those hooks are left behind from the rose curtain. So for now I drape a blanket over the hooks at night for privacy. It probably doesn't matter much, but you know that I have issues.

    September 21, 2007

    Sarah: Note To Self

    Emptying one's TiVo does not qualify as de-cluttering one's apartment.

    September 20, 2007

    Sarah: Robot Wars

    Taking Blake's challenge, I pitted my Roomba and RoboRaptor against each other in an epic battle to the death.

    The winner? The Roomba. Though the RoboRaptor put on a fierce display of screeching and tail writhing, the Roomba out-maneuvered the raptor at nearly every opportunity. See?

    The Roomba escapes again.

    I have determined that the thickly carpeted terrain gave the Roomba an unfair advantage. Since the RoboRaptor is meant for hard floors, the only way to more accurately set up a fair fight would be for someone who really loves me to buy me a Scooba.

    The best part of this extremely scientific experiment? At the end of it, my floor was all nice and clean.

    September 11, 2007

    Sarah: Aunt

    Dear Internet,
    I am sorry I didn't visit you all day today. I had to go to the hospital to meet someone.

    Love,
    Aunt Sarah

    September 06, 2007

    Sarah: Spell With Flickr

    S A R A H

    You can make your own word here. Fun time-wasting fun.

    September 05, 2007

    Sarah: In the Queue after Harry Potter

    The lovely and talented Not Martha recently had a drawing for the new book Craft, Inc. on her site. Even though I never win anything (see: lottery tickets purchased on recent road trip), I put my name in the hat and... won! Yay!

    I received a signed copy of the book in the mail yesterday, and I'm so excited to read every word!

    A big thanks to author Meg Mateo Ilasco, Not Martha, and Chronicle Books!

    Oh, and incidentally, Chronicle Books was at Bumbershoot in all their adorable and craft-related book glory. The girl manning the booth even complimented my purse. I love them! Go buy some crafty books. They're all so pretty and full of ideas, I wish I could shoot Chronicle Books into the veins in my eyeball with a needle.

    September 04, 2007

    Sarah: When Banner Ads Are Awesome

    I dedicate this entry to my sister, who would have something to say on the matter addressed below. Thank you, MySpace.

    Sarah: Bumbershoot Weekend

    We returned from our roadtrip to Seattle last night and I write to you now after too few hours of sleep, extensive spider vacuuming upon my return, and two very confused legs (walking all day? or sitting in a car all day? They are having an identity crisis). Complete sentences overwhelm me at the moment, so I present to you the Roadtrip Breakdown Countdown:

    25 semi-trucks we convinced to honk their horns.
    24 hours of driving, approximately, leading to ridiculous car-photos like this:

    23 rd floor of the hotel is where we stayed!
    22 free swag items. Lip gloss, pins, postcards, and a bag, among others. Marci and I love us some swag.
    21 mix tapes enjoyed on the trip. No seriously, we listened to so many. It rocked.
    20 or so concert posters that I wanted to buy from the poster show, FlatStock, including some by a Travis, from Utah! Go Utah!
    19 hate units that I now have for Mallory, who DREW A MOUSTACHE ON MY FACE while I slept in the car.
    18 people behind the line cut-off we were to see Michael Ian Black perform. Repeated cries of "BUT I MADE A SHIRT!" from Mallory did little to soften the hearts of the event coordinators.
    17 times I probably yapped about how adorable The Shins are.
    16 marbles you could fit in Mallory's mouth as it gapped open in awe at the Seattle Art Museum. Don't get mad, Mallory. You drew a moustache on my face, and I owe you.
    15 times I've coveted my aunt's house since Marci and I went to see it.
    14 billion booths of crafty goodness in the ReadyMade Indie Fair section of Bumbershoot. Okay, maybe a few less than that.
    13 is an unlucky number.
    12 food items Marci and I wanted to eat at the festival (we put the "fun" in "funnel cake", after all), but didn't, because our gyros filled us up.
    11 on a scale of one to ten, how jealous you should be that we went to Seattle and, more specifically, to Bumbershoot.
    10 bottles and/or cups of Diet Coke consumed.
    9 o'clock, unfortunately, when DeVotchka was playing at Bumbershoot. Also the time when we were all passed out at the hotel. We wanted to see you, DeVotchka! So please, return to Utah soon!
    8 Tully and/or Starbucks coffee shops on the average Seattle city block.
    7 people that recognized Mallory and Mikey's ho-made Stella shirts. I taught her how to make freezer paper stencils, and they turned out great.
    6 people that may or may not have been members of the Wu Tang Clan that we saw in the hotel lobby. Oh, and we saw John Legend. And Michael Ian Black. And some tasty professional soccer players.
    5 lottery tickets I purchased in Idaho. I didn't win. Bummer.
    4 people in the car.
    3 mommies that Mikey had to tolerate on the trip. Well actually according to Mikey, it was...
    2 mommies and
    1 transgender uncle. Which is so totally rude. I hate you Mikey.
    0 words that Mallory and Mikey said to Michael Ian Black when we shared an elevator with him. ZERO!!

    September 02, 2007

    Sarah: Dropping In

    Paying for internet: Lame.
    Elevators: Full of Michael Ian Black.
    Bumbershoot: Awesome!
    Budget: More or less intact, but we're going shopping in a few.
    Friendships with Road Trip Partners: Still viable.
    Aunt's house: Freakin adorable.

    More to come!

    August 30, 2007

    Sarah: How to Charm Me...

    Smile and say "Ha! You have Irritable Bowel Syndrome-Face!"

    It sounds like a very unfortunate condition indeed, but you? You are charming.

    August 28, 2007

    Sarah: Brain Dump, List Edition

    Wanting:

  • a windowsill herb garden
  • cute galoshes. Oh, and don't you think that Lisa's baby needs some too? I'm so glad we agree.

  • a clear umbrella. To match my galoshes, obviously. (via Mighty Goods)

    Soaking up like a sponge:

  • the perfect just-before-fall weather.
  • the Real Men of Genius radio ads. They always crack me up.
  • and the Whopper Family commercials. I don't know what broke in my brain.
  • knowledge. Because I'm back at school.

    Eagerly anticipating:

  • the Birthing.
  • a road trip.
  • Peach Days, the second most delicious festival in Utah. The first is Raspberry Days in Bear Lake. Mmmmm...

    Plotting:

  • the demise of the gigantic spiders that are taking over my apartment. I will poison you soon, my pretties.
  • some letterpress cards to be listed in our long-neglected Etsy shop. I'm excited. You should be too.

  • August 22, 2007

    Sarah: Is there a support group for this?

    With my landlord moving out of the house and leaving me with a cable and internet bill that has more than tripled in cost, I am assessing how much I am willing to spend on these services.
    I'm considering some sort of technological detox for the semester, including getting rid of my own cable and internet and possibly even lending out my TiVo to a friend. This would save me an embarrassing amount of money and possibly make me a more interesting person, as I would have more to talk about than music videos and CSI. Not to mention the chiropractic benefit, as I would probably stop falling asleep on my couch. The following is my internet/TV shame:
    1. I've started watching The Hills. Seriously. How the mighty have fallen.
    2. I woke up at 4 am to a sharp pain in my hip. I got up off the couch and hobbled to bed. My couch broke my hip, you guys.
    3. I absent-mindedly started singing "Who Are You" while hanging out with friends. Mallory completely called me on it, and deservedly so.
    4. Two words: Internet. Boyfriends.

    On the other hand, could I survive it? Would I merely purchase DVD after DVD to feed my addiction? Will it hurt my schoolwork to not have internet access at my home? Will my friends invite me to their houses to watch our stories?

    So. I need to decide in the next two hours. To cancel my internet and cable or not? That is the question. Please give me your insight.

    Update: I've canceled my cable tv and my landlord is looking at how much it will cost me to keep my internet. No more ANTM marathons, no more Spike TV, no more FX. For at least one semester. Sniffle. Anyone want to go bunny-ears shopping?

    Oh, and to Emily in the comments: We'll see if this move results in more dating. It's an interesting idea. I'm sure I'll over-share all about it in the blog if it does.

    August 20, 2007

    Sarah: Granny Panties

    I drove with my grandma for a couple hours yesterday and needed to discuss. If you say something gross about my grandma in the comments, I will cut you.

    S: OH i just remembered. The other grandma-crazy thing: she discussed lingerie with me. AWKWARD.
    M: lol. You should not discuss lingerie with grandparents. That's just wrong.
    S: I know. She read a billboard and was all "So what do YOU think about Dirty Jo Punsters??" and I said "Um. I don't even know what I would do with anything that I could buy there." and she says "IT SURE WOULD LOOK SILLY OVER GARMENTS!" and then I just laughed and died a little bit inside.
    M: You should have said "Oh Grandma when you are wearing that stuff you take your garments off, silly."
    S: WELL. She said something about a teddy she owns and about how it looked silly over garments.
    M: WHOA. TMI, Grandma, TMI.
    S: and I said "I think you can take off your garments for those occasions." and she says "But then you're naked and you don't NEED any silly lingerie." and um. That was the moment when I knew too much about my grandma's sex life.
    M: Lol. Seriously. You totally had a bonding moment with your grandma.
    S: Lol. I didn't bring up boyfriend panties and cheating panties. Perhaps I should have. She might have some insight.
    M: Lol.

    August 16, 2007

    Sarah: Spicy

    I'm considering some sort of spice-management system in my kitchen.

    I have decided this is a worthy project because:
    1. It will add some interest to my extremely blah kitchen.
    2. I will free up a little much-needed cupboard space. I have a tiny kitchen.
    3. You know what makes you look like a domestic goddess with amazing skills in the kitchen? Pretty spices. And one kick-ass recipe sure to seduce any man that tastes it.

    So what do you think?
    Cute little glass jars, all lined up on a shelf?
    Or little tins with clear lids clinging to a magnetic strip?
    Your opinions in the comments section are much appreciated.

    Sarah: Tool of the Week, a cautionary tale

    Thank you,

    GIRL TOYS by BED HEAD,

    for teaching me that all shine serums are not created equal. You smell tasty, but make my hair almost instantly greasy. You are being demoted from behind-the-mirror storage to green-tupperware-of-bathroom-products-never-to-be-seen-again. I'm sorry. It's not me, it's you.

    I worried that it no longer existed, but was happy to find that the superior shine serum,

    GLASS by REDKEN

    still exists. Glass makes my hair silky smooth and shiny, but without feeling product-y and greasy after I style it. A curly haired girl needs a fair amount of help to get straight hair that doesn't feel like straw, and Glass does the trick. I love you, you tiny vial of expensive magic.

    Yes, I even like it better than AFTERPARTY, as plugged here.

    August 13, 2007

    Sarah: Past, Present, and Future

    Past:
    Self-Quote: "So, he's a good guy? I mean... an adulterer, but a good guy?"
    Present:
    To-Do at Work: Take bagel orders, go buy bagels. My job is so tough.
    Future:
    August 23rd. Calexico. See you there?

    August 09, 2007

    Sarah: My week in pictures

    I love my camera phone. It allows me to document the small things that delight me each day.
    Like this man that danced, unabashed, throughout the Peter Bjorn and John concert.

    Or a shrine to Collin Raye who, if you aren't aware, is some sort of country/christian/pro-America singer who... oh forget it, just go to his site. You will be dumbstruck.

    In case you can't read it, the writing says "Michelle, I love you MADLY." which amused me to no end.

    I also attended a close friend's wedding, where I came across this woman's vest. I wish the picture better displayed the volume of the vest, which had gobs of ribbon, bows, buttons, and other knick-knacks all clinging to it.

    My buddy Jen pointed out that this woman had an appropriately loud and startling laugh to match. Both the laugh and Jen's observation charmed me.

    Lastly, I finally captured on film Mallory's attempts to raise one eyebrow. She squints her eyebrows down, stares up, and asks "Am I doing it??" and really, it's adorable.

    Dude, that waitress is so close to her! She was wiping down the table and seats on the booth behind us but lady, give us some space!

    The end. That's what I did this week.

    Sarah: Drinks and Wisdom

    Apparently I spend my days talking via text and instant messenger to the people in my life that are funnier than me. Yes, that sounds about right. Jeremy struck up a conversation out of the blue with me on IM:

    J: Haven't you always wanted to throw a drink in someone's face?
    S: lol. YES. Or pour a drink into their lap like on Mariah's Heartbreaker video. That video kicks a**.
    J: Oh the lap is good, especially with the wet peed-your-pants crotch but I think the face is so much stronger and forceful. The face requires a big, short splash that says a quick "Screw you a**hole." The slower pouring in the lap says "You have done me wrong for the last time. I hope you die. Do you hear me? Die. And I hope you are never happy again." "DIE!!"

    J: I guess it all depends on what you have to say.

    S: I am blogging this.

    August 08, 2007

    Sarah: The Gift of Siblings

    A conversation in text messages with my brother Dave*:

    D: Every time I hear the song The Way You Love Me by Faith Hill, I think of you.
    S: Now that's just rude.
    D: Hee. You know the first line of the song? "If I could grant you just one wish, I wish you could see the way you kiss." It's like your poem! About giving the world a gift!**
    S: Hee. I hate you so much right now.
    D: I always think she's going to say "If I could give you just one wish, I'd make it so you wouldn't biff."
    S: Shut. Up.
    D: How could you not think of that rhyme? About "I wish you could see the way you kiss"? Oh yeah, because it's RETARDED. Personally, I'd rather not biff than see myself kiss. Gross.
    S: Hee. Finally, someone appreciates the quality of my gift. Took you long enough.
    D: Hee hee. Someday, people will remember you for having the courage to dream of a world without biffing.

    *Not to be confused with the Dave that has been frequenting our comments as of late. They're different Daves. I only clarify because there has been some confusion among readers.
    **Backstory about my poem can be found here.

    July 24, 2007

    Sarah: Goodbye, savings.

    It's 2:30 am and instead of sleeping, I am researching new Urban Outfitters locations.

    And, um. I'm excited.

    July 20, 2007

    Sarah: Listen to Feist

    When I told my brother how much Feist was rocking my world, he said it best when he responded "I know. She owns me."

    I love her.

    July 18, 2007

    Sarah: Survival

    43%

    See for yourself here.

    July 17, 2007

    July 14, 2007

    Sarah: Done!

    I wouldn't say it went off without a hitch, but I would say that we survived. My bosses are happy (though they haven't gotten the bill yet) and I'm still employed. Success!

    Now I promise to be more entertaining and to stop quizzing you about which hors d'oeuvres you would prefer if you were a software professional.

    July 13, 2007

    Sarah: From the Conference Room

    Putting together an event for work takes a fair amount of effort.
    Putting together that event in heels just makes things a little more interesting.

    July 11, 2007

    Sarah: Lunch Date

    He's just such a good listener.

    Thanks Marci!

    July 10, 2007

    Sarah: Trying to be Obtuse

    Jeremy: People are playing tennis outside my window. I wish they were dead.
    Me: YOUR OFFICE IS ON A TENNIS COURT! THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE.
    J: There's a court across the street, Sarah. Does that help explain things?
    S: I can't believe that you work at a tennis court.
    J: I DON'T. I work across the street from a development with a tennis court. I work inside a business building with three floors.
    S: OHMYGOSH Mally just told me that you work at a cemetery. A CEMETERY WITH TENNIS COURTS! THAT'S CRIZZAZY!
    J: I work on the top floor by a window that affords a stunning view of the mountainside and a little development with a tennis court. The cemetery is on the hillside, not by the development.
    S: You have the craziest job I've ever heard of.
    J: Here's my view.
    S: Aww. I feel like I'm there!
    J: Hahaha
    S: Right there at the tennicemetery.
    J: I call it DeadLuv.

    July 09, 2007

    Sarah: Break from Work

    Birthday week! It's birthday week! Doot-doot-doot, birthday weeeeeeeeeek!

    You can't see me, but I'm doing a little dance. With jazz hands.

    July 06, 2007

    Sarah: Afraid

    I have a deep and abiding fear of peeping toms.

    It's inexplicable, really. I'm less afraid of them breaking into my house, stealing my belongings, and terrorizing me.
    I'm not afraid of bodily harm or the loss of property. I'm simply afraid that they'll stand still and watch me.

    Just needed to get that out.

    Sarah: Flight of the Conchords

    My brother Dave gave me the link to this new show on HBO. Funny stuff.

    See? There are plenty more video clips at the site. Check them out. Now if only I had HBO...

    July 05, 2007

    Sarah: Perhaps this is my tarot cards' fault.

    As if it knew that I was busy at work and needed some peace and quiet, my brain's music-player has been singing JoJo's "Leave" all morning.
    Except for a brief respite, when my brain changed tracks to Akon. But instead of singing the lyrics as written by the artist, I was instructed to "Shake your body like a Necromancer".

    When college english courses and pop music collide, people.

    July 02, 2007

    Sarah: Domo Arigoto

    Every young working girl needs a cleaning robot for her apartment.
    On a completely unrelated note, my birthday is in a week and a half.

    Just saying.

    June 28, 2007

    Sarah: Eavesdropping

    I hope I am never the person who, after being introduced for the first time to a new aquaintance, does not follow the introduction with "Oh, was your ancestor one of Brigham Young's bodyguards?"

    June 25, 2007

    Sarah: Well-shod

    The importance of summer footwear should not go unnoticed.
    This weekend, I honored the summer shoe. And by honored I mean purchased.
    On my feet for the next three months:
    one
    two
    three
    four (silly site is hard to search)
    shoes to keep my feet happy this summer. Look ma, no flip-flops!

    June 21, 2007

    Sarah: Bargain Bras

    It's not my fault. Everything was on sale.

    June 20, 2007

    Sarah: MDFriday night craft

    Using some MDF leftover from another project, I decided to create a fabric covered bulletin board inspired by these homasote and fabric bulletin boards (found by way of Not Martha, Craftzine, and shiso mama).

    I first used spray adhesive to add corkboard to the MDF. Although MDF is soft enough for a tack to penetrate the surface, I didn't want the bulletin board to be stronger than my matching fabric-covered tacks.
    Corkboard attached, I was ready for fabric. I wanted my bulletin board to have a pocket, so the bottom strip of green is the top of the pocket. See?

    Attaching the fabric was an easy excuse for buying a staple gun. Just staple the fabric to the back of the board, and you're done.

    The little circles on the bulletin are my matching fabric covered tacks, which I made using this tutorial. They were easy and fun to make.
    Thank you, internet.

    Sarah: Don't call me listless.

    Wishing:
    That my living room was five feet wider
    That the spiders would stay away
    There were more hours in the day for me and my cruiser.

    Wanting:
    an Airstream trailer
    a Vespa. Still.

    Making:
    a fabric-covered bulletin board (pictures to follow)
    baby gifts
    wood cuts for our letterpress class
    thumbtacks. I may be selling a set or two soon.

    Eating:
    field greens
    nine-grain bread
    Mt. Rainier cherries
    Pastries and sandwiches

    Wandering:
    the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings
    the Arts Festival with the girls on Friday.

    Coveting:
    Andrea's good taste
    Lisa's knobs
    wall decals

    Liking:
    my brothers. I miss them.

    Working:
    on my company's annual event. It's in three weeks and I'm freaking out a little.
    fighting the good fight against apartment squalor.

    June 15, 2007

    Sarah: My Personal DNA

    How About Orange gets me hooked on quizzes. Today it was PersonalDNA, which has an interesting take on a personality test. Apparently I am:

    You can read more about me here if you are interested.

    Try it for yourself. It's a fun way to spend 10 minutes.

    June 13, 2007

    Sarah: 10 Reasons to Live Alone

    1. I clean what I want, when I want. And I'm not cleaning up someone else's piles of rubble or dirty dishes.
    2. My 5 alarms every morning don't disturb anyone else.
    3. Falling asleep on the couch can be my little secret. If I ever fell asleep on the couch. Which I don't.
    4. I never wonder if those tortillas or that head of lettuce in the fridge is mine.
    5. No giant dolphin posters on the walls or resin figurines on the shelves.
    6. Long showers until the hot water runs out.
    7. No passive-aggressive notes from roommates.
    8. My apartment is the perfect size for one person.
    9. Friends can drop by whenever they need to.
    10. Saturday mornings, hoodie and underwear. Enough said.

    There are many more reasons why I love my life these days, but my little apartment is near the top of the list.

    May 31, 2007

    Sarah: Thoughts of Summer

    Does anyone have a pool I can borrow? I'll bring the drinks and sunblock if you let me sit by your pool and read, write, and sleep.

    May 24, 2007

    Sarah: IKEA day

    We went to IKEA. But that's not the half of it.

    Mallory, Lisa, and I (we missed you, Marci! At least one of the girls is a responsible employee.) met at 6:45 am and picked up breakfast at McDonalds. Biscuits, muffins, hashbrowns, and drinks filled the car. Justin accompanied us in the car. I wore a sweatshirt I borrowed from Lisa McShrimpyArms, thus creating a patent-pending exposed-wrist-centric dance move. We packed lawn chairs in the trunk. We car-flirted. All of this before arriving at IKEA.

    Ushered by countless police officers, we parked in the rapidly-filling parking lot and chose to leave the lawn chairs behind.

    Music blared, fire dancers performed on stilts (but without fire)

    and tiny tumblers tumbled. We made our way to the end of the line

    and shook our booties with reckless abandon. Then came the swag.

    Through shameless cries of "oh! oh! oh! mememe!" everytime an IKEA employee walked past, we each received an IKEA Frisbee, rubber ducky (complete with tool belt and fetching baseball hat), compass keychain, and house-with-hidden-screwdriver-compartment keychain. Others closer to the front of the line received IKEA water bottles and those that camped out days in advance (some had been there since Monday!) received yellow shirts that said "I Slept With IKEA."

    Watching the line lengthen and snake around the building, we were glad we got to IKEA when we did (not too early, but not too late. We were the Three Little IKEA Piggies. Or something. Edited to add: Meaning, of course, the Three Little IKEA Bears. Or IKEA Goldilocks. Obviously Shrek has infected the fairy-tale portion of my brain. Leave my fairy tales alone!).

    We were still unsure, however, if we would get a prize envelope when we entered the doors. These envelopes are reserved for the first 2500 customers, and all of us were bad at estimating large numbers of people. But we got envelopes! Hurrah!

    None of the prizes were too exciting, but Lisa got a $10 IKEA gift card! Which she promptly forgot to use when she purchased...

    a children's easel with chalkboard and paper roll
    an ovary-burstingly cute bake set and teeny tiny ceramic tea set
    and finger puppets. For work, obviously. Because her job is awesome.

    My shopping was less exciting. I got a big new vase and some rocks for replanting my bamboo plant.

    Mallory didn't purchase anything, but I think we may go back soon to look at beds.

    And we can go back anytime. Because IKEA? Is in Utah.

    After we were IKEAd out, we all went to lunch at Great Harvest. It was so delicious and so relaxed. I wish I could spend the day with my girls every Wednesday.

    May 23, 2007

    Sarah: 6:38 am

    Today is IKEA day. I'm sleepy.

    May 16, 2007

    Sarah: My Design IQ

    I followed How About Orange's lead and tested my Design IQ.

    Rising Star: You really know your stuff, and should definitely consider pursuing your dream of becoming a designer! If you aren't already in design school, enroll as soon as you can and prepare to wow your profs with your impressive know-how.

    I haven't decided to quit my job and current major in college quite yet, but I was proud to know the difference between Craftsman and Art Nouveau.
    If you're looking for more quizzes, some people visit this site to get their fix.

    May 15, 2007

    Sarah: I know what you plan to do this summer

    Last night was everything a summer weeknight should be. I hurried home after work (in my newly repaired and very happy car), changed and went for a run . A short shower later, I met Mallory and Marci for sushi at a local restaurant, Go Sushi. Mallory had the always-delicious Vegas roll, with is tempura fried and topped with eel sauce (girl is crazy for some eel sauce) and we all had some stir-fried vegetables. I ate the deliciously spicy Taylor Roll (the first time I've had it: it has rice, cucumber, sprouts, tempura shrimp, and many other yummy ingredients) while the girls narrated the latest episode of Heroes for me, since I am greviously behind.
    For dessert, we each had a serving of Go Sushi's fresh ice cream and I finally got around to taking out my phone to take pictures. Mallory had raspberry.

    Marci had mango.

    I had green tea, which was interesting and delicious.

    On a related note, I recently purchased Demeter fragrance in Green Tea, which I love. I wear it every day and feel like a more interesting and beautiful person. Anyway.
    After dinner, we watched 24 at my house with Blake and Lisa, followed by some Supernatural. It was a delightfully relaxing evening with lovely people. I plan to run again tonight in an effort to recapture a small part of last night. I also plan to get sushi to-go from my new favorite local restaurant. Well, maybe it's not my favorite, but it's in the top two.

    May 01, 2007

    Sarah: Boy, Is my face red.

    Nearing the end of my workday, I took a quick break to use the restroom. While washing my hands, I glanced in the mirror to check the frizz levels of my hair (assessment: Threat Level Yellow) and lip gloss shine factor (assessment: 0 shine remains. Bummer.). Then I noticed a pinkish spot on my cheek. It felt slightly puffy and sensitive to the touch. I decided that it could be nothing other than a flesh-eating bacteria. Obviously I needed a second opinion.
    I walk briskly out of the restroom to consult Marci.
    "I have a flesh-eating bacteria on my face. See? See??"
    I stand on my toes to lean over the front of the reception desk. Marci soothes my paranoia and tells me that she doesn't see anything on my face. "Right here! It's eating my face off. I saw it on America's Next Top Model. Marci, I have a flesh-eating bacteria."
    "Sarah," she smiles, "your face is fine."
    "I have a bacteria! Look! The spot is right there!"
    I twirl around to head back to the bathroom mirror for confirmation.
    And then I see something.
    A man in a suit sitting in the conference room, waiting to speak with my boss.
    "Oh. Hi. I have a flesh-eating bacteria."
    He smiles, nervously.
    Just then, the president of the company walks past.
    "Sarah, stop scaring people away."

    "I have a flesh-eating bacteria on my face."

    April 30, 2007

    Sarah: A Health Drink for Me

    Despite my insistence that I can quit any time I want (after all, I've quit several times already), some individuals still believe that I am addicted to Diet Coke. To that I say: the line between addiction and true love is very, very thin.
    Because of my sincere devotion to Diet Coke, I was thrilled to discover (and by discover, I mean that Marci and Mallory went to Target and then told me about it) that Coca-Cola had released a new drink: Diet Coke Plus. I loved the colorful label, which I found a little silly and charming. I loved the idea that, though still soda and so not healthy, this version had vitamins and minerals. Since I'm going to drink Diet Coke whether or not it has redeeming qualities, I might as well choose the lesser of two evils, right?
    So I bought a bottle of Diet Coke Plus to test.
    I could tell that Diet Coke Plus is supposed to taste the same as Diet Coke. I could also tell that it didn't. It isn't gross per se, but it is definitly different than regular Diet Coke. Perhaps to a less-seasoned consumer it would be equally delicious. To me, however, it had a sweeter taste that clung to my mouth more than usual. And it was thicker. No, not thicker. More... viscous. And that? Is not good.
    Verdict: The idea gets two emphatic thumbs up. The execution needs some tweaking.

    Sarah: A Clumsy Thank You

    The past few weeks I've been overwhelmed by the lives of the people around me. I'm not sure how to articulate this. Suffice it to say, there are some things that a Hallmark card can't sum up in an amusing drawing or saccharine poem.
    Everyone in my life has taught me so much. They lead by example, or have moments when I learn what not to do. Some of you think I'm a much better person than I am. Some people have a knack for pointing out my flaws. Maybe life is all about finding how our flaws fit with those of others. Maybe that's how we find our friends. Do we have coordinating luggage? Can you tell me that I need to be less mean, less obnoxious, and less stubborn, but then love me anyway? I hope so. Because I sure like all of you.
    I'm falling into a ramble-spiral, but I just wanted to put this out there: I want to be there to support you. Thank you for being there for me.

    April 23, 2007

    Sarah: A short note

    Dear Mekhi Phifer,

    Starring as the romantic interest in Honey, O, and Carmen: A Hip Hopera forms some sort of shame-trifecta that is not entirely overcome by having a break-through role in Spike Lee's Clockers.

    Just Sayin'

    Sarah

    Sarah: They just felt like running.

    Last weekend was the Salt Lake City Marathon. Congratulations to all participants. Running a marathon is such an incredible, unforgettable experience. Good work!

    April 16, 2007

    Sarah: Marci's new job is to entertain me.

    Sarah: I love my white board, but I'm fairly sure I'm getting high off marker fumes. WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOO!
    Marci: Ooh can I join in the fun?
    S: I recommend the black marker. It seems to have the strongest fumes, but not the most pleasant smell. The smell of the red and blue are better. And yes, I have five markers that I use. What of it?
    M: Are they fruit scented?
    S: THAT WOULD BE AWESOME. Mmmmmmmmmm that makes me think of elementary school.
    M: I loved those markers.
    S: ME TOO! Except I often colored the bottom of my nose on accident. I got a little overexcited.
    M: Who hasn't. Though I think they encourage huffing.
    S: That's probably true. Do they still make them?
    M: I don't know. If they do, I need some.
    S: We should investigate. And we could color in coloring books. It'd be awesome.
    M: OH MY GOSH. I love that.
    S: Ok, you + me = coloring. This weekend. Or possibly Thursday night, if we get bored at the baseball game.
    M: We will have little activity kits.
    S:In a big canvas bag, hopefully.
    M: and some cheerios.

    S: MEAT CAKE! You're welcome in advance.
    M: OH MY GOSH
    S: Hee. AWESOME, HUH???
    M: I think I just threw up a little.
    S: No. It. Is. Awesome.
    M: That is so much meat.
    S: Hee. That's what she said.

    S: The urge to drink a can of Coke is very strong. Tell me it is wrong. SAVE ME FROM MYSELF!
    M: The Coke is all gone.
    S: WHAT??
    M: All gone.
    S: DON'T MAKE ME START CUTTING.
    M: I'm kidding.
    S: Too late. My blood has leaked out.
    M: Oh no, what about the carpet?
    S: I'm slipping away into the sticky red pool of life at my feet.
    M: ... With the nerds?

    Yes. I dumped a small box full of nerds all over my office floor. There's nothing wrong with that.

    April 10, 2007

    Sarah: "They'll need a crane just to lift her."

    I was delighted to discover that The Fug Girls love Center Stage as much as I do.

    April 09, 2007

    Sarah: He is known as Sweet D.

    Every once in a while, I like to recall the important life lessons that the internet has taught me. One site that I return to again and again provides an informative and life-altering list:

    Reasons to love the Backstreet Boys

  • They are all drop dead gorgeous

  • They make great music

  • They are all sweet
  • April 05, 2007

    Sarah: Insanity or Forethought? It's thin line.

    Last night I decided that April is not too early to start making Christmas gifts.

    What? What? Stop looking at me like that.

    April 04, 2007

    Sarah: Happy Birthday Baby-oh. I love you so.

    Today marks the four-year anniversary of putting Two Loose Teeth up on this little thing called the internet. Thanks for having us.

    April 03, 2007

    Sarah: Shut up, Alex.

    Our obsession with Grey's Anatomy here at Two Loose Teeth is fairly well-documented. What I haven't written about, however, is my main frustration with this tv show. During the first two seasons of this weekly hour of sometimes tearful bliss, the writers kept telling us how hot Alex was. He was fine, I suppose, but patient after patient would blush or fawn or flirt with Alex because he was supposedly so good-looking. Yet the audience seemed less than enthused. Okay, I guess some people thought he was hot. Those people aside, I found myself yelling at the tv screen almost every week from the couch "He's not. THAT. HOT." Still, the actor looked oddly familiar to me, so I did a bit of research. Had I seen him in The Musketeer? No, I'm more of a Chris O'Donnell girl myself (spooky Grey's Anatomy connection!), so I never saw that film. How many D'Artagnans does one woman need, after all? Apparently Justin Chambers was a model. No, that wasn't where I knew him from either. I suppose I remember him from The Wedding Planner (dude, JLo does not make a plausible Italian. Why did they make that a somewhat major plot point?), but I knew him from something more obscure. Something missing from his IMDB entry.
    And then I remembered. He's the star of the Dave Matthews Band music video for "Ants Marching." So, um. There you go. Mystery solved.

    Obviously I have digressed, but my point in all this is: why did the creators spend so much time forcing us to accept that Alex was hot, when we could have spent that time with lingering camera shots of pretty, pretty Izzie? Or Denny? Because Denny can make a girl cry with a single glance.

    March 21, 2007

    Sarah: Hot Diggity Dog!

    I have a sudden compulsion to make these two dishes for friends and family:
    Corn Dog Casserole and Deep-fried, bacon-wrapped, cheese-filled hot dogs.
    I hope that blew your mind as much as it blew mine.

    March 14, 2007

    Sarah: The only time I've worn Prada.

    My new friend Jeremy plugged our blog. His entry is awesome.

    March 13, 2007

    Sarah: Tool of the Week

    During these early spring days I use

    NATURAL GLOW DAILY MOISTURIZER

    An application every other day,
    Takes the ghostly pallor away.

    March 12, 2007

    Sarah: Tool of the Week

    Edited to add: If you have any interest in Vroom products, go to Target now. They're on clearance.

    Although I've blamed my dirty cars on a busy schedule and an older hand-me-down vehicle, I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I'm not a very tidy car owner. This does not mean, however, that I am incapable of improving myself. In fact, as a part of my Semester of Sacking Up (This was never officially announced, but I made a list at the beginning of this school semester of ways I wanted to improve my life. Some things have been crossed off, some I haven't yet completed.), I vowed to get my car-squalor under control. Enter:

    VROOM'S All-PURPOSE CAR WIPES

    I was attracted by the packaging and intrigued by what my dashboard might look like if not covered by a warm blanket of dust. It wasn't until later that I wondered if this earth-friendly product in the sleek container could be somehow related to Method, which is close to my heart. Why yes. It seems that it is.
    I didn't even remember that LJC, who has been one of my favorite bloggers for some time, wrote about this line of products some time ago.
    Sadly, it appears that Vroom's website no longer exists. I fear this may mean that the line has been discontinued. If that is the case, you should hurry to your nearest Target and snatch up the last of their products. You'll have to fight me for them, though, so be prepared to lose an eye, or at least some hair.

    Oh, and without the layer of dust? My car looks much better, thanks for asking.

    February 28, 2007

    Sarah: Tool of the Week

    You know what goes great with lovely waxed eyebrows?

    LIQUID EYELINER

    It goes on smooth and dark, but you have more control over the thickness and general application than with my old eyeliner.

    And no, there's nothing wrong with being ignorant to the wonders of a common beauty product until one is 22 years old. Why do you ask?

    Edited to add relevant links to past Two Loose Teeth entries.

    February 27, 2007

    Sarah: The Good, the Bad, the Excessively Snowy

    The Good:

    For Christmas, Santa put this lip balm in my stocking. I have just recently started using it, and I love it. The Mint Julep flavor tastes like an actual mint leaf, the lip balm is very silky (like the Burt's Bees lip balm I usually use) and stays on for a nice long time. Savannah Bee products are carried locally at the adorable Liberty Heights Fresh. I want to try something in Orange Mint. That sounds delicious.
    And speaking of lip balm, I also want to try this gloss/balm. So log that away.

    The Bad:

    Even with all of my faults, I've never been tempted to smoke. Sunday night, however, I had a very stressful dream.
    Social complications and major life decisions rattled in my brain. So what did DreamSarah do to calm herself? She took a few delicious drags from a cigarette. I breathed in the smoke deeply. I felt my brain clear. The cigarette cleansed and purified my body and mind. My lungs expanded with the smokey air and life seemed immeasurably more manageable.
    So I guess the point of me telling this to you is: Um. Why? Why did my unconscious mind want so desperately to smoke that sweet, sweet cigarette?

    The Excessively Snowy:

    More snow! Can't it just be spring already? My car was fine when I drove to work this morning, but was covered by several inches of snow by lunch time. I'm ready to wear shorts and read a book in the park and go barefoot! Oh well.

    February 26, 2007

    Sarah: Honey, you baked!

    Let it never be said that I can't work at something. Remember my catastrophic cupcake project? Well, my baking spirit was not dampened.
    Last weekend I finally had a successful concoction emerge from my oven. Following this recipe (fool-proof? I can do that!), I produced what I think turned out to be some tasty souffle.

    Making it was quite easy. Here are the instructions with some of my own blurry, poorly-lit photos.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the center.

    Prepare the souffle container: butter the sides, then sprinkle with some sugar so the souffle can climb the walls. I used ramekins, because individual servings are pleasing.

    Heat 1 cup heavy cream until it simmers in a medium saucepan. I probably took the cream off a tad early, because I was worried it would burn. I think it's fine as long as the cream is hot enough to melt the chocolate.

    Pour the hot cream over 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate that has been broken up into small pieces (I used Ghirardelli) in a heatproof bowl. Stir it until it is smooth, and uniform in color.

    + cream =
    Looks tasty, huh?

    Beat seven egg whites and two tablespoons of sugar until they are stiff and shiny.

    Mix about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites in with the chocolate to lighten it.

    Pour the lightened chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Fold them together using a rubber spatula. Break up any large streaks of whites, but in the end, this is more about keeping it light than making it even.

    Spoon the souffle batter into the prepared dish, and bake for 15 minutes. When done, it should be nice and puffy. I wish I'd taken a picture of the ramekins right as they came out of the oven, because they were truly a thing of beauty. They still looked pretty good when I served them to Lisa and Blake, topped with powdered sugar and raspberries.

    Ta-Da!

    February 22, 2007

    Sarah: Plus, I love prezzies...

    You know what would make crazy nights like this night or something like this even more entertaining? A polaroid camera.
    I'm not going to argue that polaroids are the best form of photography or anything like that. I just think they're fun. And there's a polaroid camera on my wishlist. I'm just saying.

    February 21, 2007

    Sarah: The preferred term is "Trekker"*

    Ohmygoodness. My little brother sent me this link. It is pretty awesome. If you like Star Wars, you should watch it. Because it is pretty much the entire movie in surprising detail. Thanks Jeff.

    * Yes, I know this is a Star Wars post, not a Star Trek post.

    February 20, 2007

    Sarah: Seriously, it's time for an intervention.

    Oh, Britney.

    Just because it's your prerogative DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT!

    Ahem. Thank you.

    February 19, 2007

    Sarah: Touchy

    I went to Logan this weekend and had dinner with Staci and a few others.

    "Is your neck okay?"
    "Yeah, it just gets blotchy when I get excited, or when I'm performing. Or emotional. Or making out."
    "Ooooo! You have mood skin!"

    February 13, 2007

    Sarah: Scared Speechless

    Regarding the events of yesterday evening, I just have to say to my friends that used to work there (and everyone else): I'm glad you're safe. And I love you.

    February 08, 2007

    Sarah: And now I can't stop.

    You asked me to blog, and see what you've created? See?? A MONSTER.

    I wish I'd come up with vocabulary homework this stellar. Mine was usually about how much I loved school, my teacher, our latest reading assignment, or some combination of the three. Or I tried to compose one super sentence that used all ten or so vocabulary words, just to show my teacher that words? They were my playthings. Like putty in my hands.

    Sarah: I choo-choo-choose you

    February is National Library Lovers Month. Love your local library. Or better yet, love a librarian.

    February 07, 2007

    Sarah: Things that Rock on a Wednesday

    Music suggestions from a coworker resulting in a new album on my iTunes.

    Cold medicine.

    Finding a favorite pair of underwear on laundry day, thus putting off for one more day the inevitable.

    Caffeine.

    Successfully formatting an email for work. (Nicole! I did it!)

    Valentines.

    Forming opinions on fonts I like and do not like. This is a first for me. I feel I have grown somehow.

    January 31, 2007

    Sarah: He's the tax man... Whoa-oh, he's the tax man

    Do you know what this means?

    It means that I finished my taxes. In January. And that pink label? It means that I'm getting a tax return. Sah. Weet.

    January 24, 2007

    Sarah: Ode to Nicole

    Because she's such a loyal reader, and because I really like her, I am writing today to pay blog-tribute to my friend Nicole. In one week Nicole will be moving to Washington D.C. I'm not sure that the east coast is ready for such awesomeness, but here she comes!

    Nicole and I have worked together for the past two years. She literally taught me everything I know and has been my sanity. I think she understands better than most what should be allowed in the workplace. Example.

    Working tirelessly late at night, Nicole covers for me whenever I cannot be in the office. I recently came into the office after an absence to find several post-it notes attached to different documents on my desk, noting Nicole's activities. I glanced at my Diet Coke cup. A post-it clung to the side of my cup reading "This needs to be filled." And she was right. It does. Always.

    Have you ever tried a Nerds Rope? Nicole introduced me to this confusingly delicious candy. Gummy, crunchy, tart, sweet. It's so wrong, it's right. And I was lucky enough to receive a special, Christmas-edition Nerds Rope. Yum.

    In honor of Nicole I am posting a picture the rare creature sometimes referred as MonkeyDog. This animal used to roam free in our office.

    Good luck, Nicole. This is my very inarticulate way of saying that I think you're great. I'll have to walk to the gas station for caffeine alone, but I'll send you Urban Outfitters shopping lists to make up for it. Have a blast and keep in touch.

    January 23, 2007

    Sarah: Do you need a Hope Coach?

    Utah residents, I pose a question to you:
    Have you ever listened to a certain radio station on Sunday nights? Say, from 10 pm to 12 am? If you have, you may have heard a certain Dawson McAllister.
    I find this radio program upsetting. The premise of the show is something along these lines: teens troubled by life issues, ordinary or otherwise, need an outlet and support. Callers can vent to Mr. McAllister about how parents just don't understand, how dating sucks (it's true, kids, and it doesn't always get better), or anything else. Callers have an outlet, a sympathetic ear. Listeners either feel like they aren't alone, or like life could be so much worse. I don't have a problem with any of this in theory. No, I think I have more of a problem with Dawson McAllister (that's right, he's hip with the kids these days: he has a MySpace) in particular.
    I'm willing to ignore the issue of someone believing that a two-minute session on a radio call-in show can significantly change someone's life. I'm more uncomfortable with the voyeuristic quality that the host of the show seems to exude. Unfortunately for him, this man walks a fine line. Perhaps his callers have a genuinely troubling problem in their lives that they are reluctant to admit out loud. Perhaps these callers need coaxing to admit the issues on their minds. Perhaps. Or perhaps the host pushes them to put more gravity into their situation than what actually exists. It goes something like this:

    "Hi. [heavy breathing] Um. Um. I don't really get along with my parents, you know? And um. [more breathing] I sometimes fight with them."
    "Uh huh. Is your dad mean to you?"
    "... Yeah."
    "Yeah, and sometimes he's violent, isn't he?"
    "[breathing.] ... [more breathing] Yeah."

    Or

    "So I've been dating my boyfriend for, like, a while. And lately he's been pressuring me."
    "Ah, I see. Pressuring you to be more physical?"
    "Yeah, sometimes."
    "Well, are you uncomfortable with that? How does it make you feel?"

    Now, I realize that this man is probably only trying to help, and his callers are on his show because they feel trapped and that they have no one in their life they can talk to. But I also realize that these shows have screeners, and a more frightening situation has a greater chance of getting on the air.
    I'd like to think that teenagers are strong-minded, independent young adults. To some extent that is true. They are, in many cases, probably more capable than some may give them credit for. But many of the callers on this program are probably younger than 15 and quite suggestible. Not to mention that there is a certain amount of junior high celebrity attached to hearing oneself on the radio. On top of all this, is it really right to encourage young people to villanize their parents and peers? I'm not sure about any of that. And I now listen to my iTunes while in my Sunday night cleaning frenzy.

    January 02, 2007

    Sarah: He apparently hasn't seen the picture of me and Mal kissing.

    T: Wow, this guy just sat down next to me and has WAY too much cheap aftershave on. Suddenly the world seems much less sexual. I think I'm getting high from his smelliness.
    S: Lol. If you get the urge to do double finger guns at someone, LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. I hear that's what an overabundance of cheap aftershave will do to a person.
    T: That's good stuff, Dude. Those are the kinds of comments that make me want to read your blog.

    December 13, 2006

    Sarah: Things I learned yesterday

  • The hours between 12 and 4 am are very useful for completing Christmas gifts.

  • Cutting stencils from freezer paper is a long and tedious process.

  • Buffy and Angel could never have a normal relationship, Faith is evil, Riley is sort of cute, Cordelia's dad committed tax fraud and she had to work retail to buy her prom dress. Oh, and Xander is a good friend. I want a Xander.

  • Realtors keep notaries on staff. Very nice notaries.

  • Being unable to locate one's birth certificate, social security card, or passport may lead one to question one's existence in the first place.

  • Information regarding ********.

  • Although I love Christian's colorful Miami suits and coordinating sunglasses, I draw the line at a white suit with giant, almost Willy Wonka-like white rimmed sunglasses.

  • I need to declutter my apartment. Why is there a four-year-old USU student directory taking up space in my limited storage?
  • December 05, 2006

    Sarah: If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends

    S: Last night I dreamed that I was dating Angel.
    M: Hee hee. That is sort of awesome, Although that would almost definitely ruin your relationship with Lisa.

    November 30, 2006

    Sarah: Weird

    Random quote of the day: "I ate a twinkie and fell asleep."

    November 28, 2006

    Sarah: Baby, You Can Drive My Car

    While emptying the memory of my digital camera, I came across several pictures of my friends in cars, but I have no idea when they were taken. I thought, though, since my friends are extremely attractive and make up a substantial portion of our readership, I could post the pictures anyway, regardless of context.


    Last week I gave thanks for friends that were so lovely, inside and out.


    Lisa in the rear-view mirror, and there's another Scion in the car in front of us!


    Mallory looks smolderingly hot. Marci is adorable. Lisa looks awesome, and can do that while driving safely.

    November 25, 2006

    Sarah: Seattle

    I haven't pulled pictures off of my camera for several weeks, and it shows. I broke that trend today in order to present my seriously lacking photographic evidence of my trip to Seattle.

    My mom and I flew out to Seattle:

    Yes, remarks about how much more pale I am have been made. I obviously have my dad's genes (note: eyebrows, fair skin, blue eyes, etc. etc.), but I am not even sure I was within 100 feet of my mother's womb. Oh wait.

    Possibly because I had skipped sleep altogether the night before, I restlessly took pictures.

    My mom is cute, her glasses are Prada, and I think that's Mt. Ranier in the last photo. I also slept on the plane. Actually, I slept a lot on my trip. I'm pretty sure that my mom and my aunt were bigger party animals than myself. Oh well.

    Stuff we did:

  • Went to the Bodies exhibit (not the same as the one in James Bond, interesting, a little gross, a trifle bizarre)

  • watched Casino Royale

  • visited Cupcake Royale

  • shopped at Archie McPhee (It's weird. It's awesome. Go there and buy lots of useless stuff for family and friends.)

  • Bought lime green galoshes (not for me, for my mom. I was a little jealous)

  • Took a walk in the rain around a lake (note to self: bring water-resistant pants to Seattle on next trip)

  • Watched a dance/music performance at the university

  • Listened to jazz harmonica at The Triple Door

  • Ate. A lot.

  • Attempted to buy or sample the entire inventory at Whole Foods. Remind me again why we don't have those in Utah?

  • Hung out in Becky's adorable apartment. Spending time with my mom and aunt was a blast.
  • So it was a fairly full three days. And what do I have to show for it? These two pictures of the space needle, taken from inside Becky's car:

    pictures of my mom trying on Becky's leather pants:

    a picture of Becky (she's much more glamorous than this picture would lead you to believe. And very pretty. I am mostly posting this photo to show that my mother is always ready for her photo-op.):

    and a picture from our flight back to Salt Lake.

    So I failed on the taking-picture front, but at least we had fun, right?

    November 23, 2006

    Sarah: Another shorty

    I'm going to do some nice long posts this weekend, but Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    November 21, 2006

    Sarah: No More Rhyming, Now I Mean It

    My creative writing class has entered the portion of the class focusing on poetry. This is a problem. Although I normally enjoy writing, I will never be a poet. Sure, I've written a silly haiku or two on this site, but as for actual, serious poetry? Forget about it.
    In the fourth grade, I set out to enter my school's contest in which, given a theme, students could submit a poem, drawing, song, or photo. My mom encouraged me to enter the competition, and, because it seemed easy, I chose to write a poem. The theme was "If I Could Give the World a Gift." I disappeared into my bedroom for an hour, working feverishly to craft the perfect, award-winning poem. After only two lines, my mind was a blank. Grasping my paper in my hands, I walked upstairs to seek guidance from my mom. I read the lines aloud:
    If I Could Give the World a Gift,
    I'd make it so we didn't biff.

    And there, amidst my mother's laughs, ended my future as a poetess.

    November 20, 2006

    Sarah: To My Favorite Sister

    Today is Lisa's birthday.
    Lisa, I love you. You are a great example to me, and I love being your friend. I'm so glad you were born.
    Love, Sarah

    November 19, 2006

    Sarah: Vacation Haiku

    Cupcake Royale, Bond,
    Bodies, Galoshes, Whole Foods
    Seattle was fun

    November 17, 2006

    Sarah: Awake is the New Sleep

    I have now been awake for 27 hours. Why? Because I chose to clean my apartment in preparation for a trip instead of sleep. Mom, I blame your genetic contribution exclusively.

    November 15, 2006

    Sarah: Haiku for Ryan

    Park City TV
    Featuring Neighbor Ryan
    I saw him myself.

    November 13, 2006

    Sarah: Considering

    Have any of you done a cleansing diet? If so, were you glad you did it? I'm thinking about trying one.

    Lisa and I talked about taking a Book Arts class through the U some time. I'd really like to, I just wish they had more of a variety of offerings each semester.

    I leave for a weekend in Seattle on Friday. I'd love suggestions for places to visit or activities to include. Thanks!

    November 11, 2006

    Sarah: Give Me A Cupcake, I'll Give You My Heart

    My mom and I are flying to Seattle next weekend to visit my Aunt Becky. As part of the planning for what promises to be an action-packed weekend, I suggested a visit to a little cupcake shop in town.

    Becky: Sarah -- What famous cupcake store?
    Sarah: Cupcake Royale.
    B: OK. I just checked it out. The Ballard store is about 5 minutes away. We could even walk.
    S: Do you watch Grey's Anatomy?
    B: Regularly. My favorite soap opera. Do you want to ride a ferry?
    S: Ha ha! Well, I, like McDreamy, love ferry boats. But if you remember when Alex gave Izzy a cupcake with a little sugar heart on it, that was from Cupcake Royale. Nothing says true love like a pink cupcake.
    A: That little detail blew right past me . . .
    S: Well. Now you know! Ha ha.
    B: My car repair place is in ballard. I usually drop the car off and then hike home. Now I can go by the cupcake store to fortify for the trip up (and I mean up!) my hill.
    Mom: OK I want a cupcake with a pink heart. But not from Alex. From George or McDreamy or maybe from the chief. He may need my help sewing on buttons.
    S: I would prefer a cupcake from Burke.
    B: Agreed. Or McVet.
    M: DEFINITELY from Burke.
    M: I would be SO much better for him than Sandra Ho. [ZIIIIING!] Or whatever her name is. McVet would make me allergic. But he is cute. And I would take his cupcake.
    S: Mom! DIRTY!
    B: But could someone send me a Mark Spitz style poster of Sloan in a towel? I could put it on the back of my bathroom door.
    M: Sarah is too young for Mark Spitz, Becky.
    S: Mark Spitz?
    B: But she is not too young for the poster.
    M: That is true. She'll have to look him up on the internet.
    B: I just tried to look him up, but the poster did not pop up.
    S: Becky, your taste in jewelry is impeccable, but I'm not sure about Mark Spitz.
    B: Way too clever! I didn't say I wanted Mark Spitz, I said I wanted a poster of Sloan in a towel posed like Mark Spitz!
    S: Ha ha. Oh, okay.

    November 09, 2006

    Sarah: Cabin

    I used to give weekend updates, but I've been slacking lately. Here's a quick review of what I did with myself a few weeks ago:

    I hung out with a group that I often call the Century Kids. They rock. And smell nice. And all have very pretty hair. Now to the point: E invited us all up to her cabin in Kamas. I drove up with Andrea and Michelle. Once we got within about five miles of E's cabin, it began to snow.

    Michelle drove and I was in the back seat. That's her in the mirror.

    Andrea is well-known for taking a plethora of pictures at any get-together. She was much more on top of her picture taking and blog-writing than me, so you can see her version of the events here. And below you can see Andrea in her natural state.

    Clay is very indulgent of Andrea and I taking photos. He even smiles (when I don't interrupt a cookie-tasting).

    I love my brother. And I love that he lets me hang out with him. All of my siblings are pretty cool that way.

    I admire E's fashion sense. Her sweater was very lovely. So was, apparently, her pizza-cooking. Michelle enjoyed it.

    Through all this excitement (er, that is to say, standing around while the camera flashes from Sarah and Andrea rained down upon E's guests), we played some Guitar Hero (see pictures below), watched The Fog, and played Monkey Ball and WarioWare until 5 am.

    I consumed approximately two liters of Diet Coke, and was ridiculously excitable and giggley as a result. It was a good night.

    Thanks E!

    November 08, 2006

    Sarah: That would be... pretty good...

    Mallory and I discuss her answers on a quiz.

    Sarah: 29. Who's your favorite Disney princess and why?
    Jasmine, because she's the coolest? and has the hottest boyfriend? PLUS She gets to ride on a magic carpet AND is friends with a genie, talking parrot and monkey. ...Um.
    M: Aladdin IS THE HOTTEST. I mean c'mon. Eric? The human beast? SIMBA? ALADDIN'S ALWAYS BEEN MY FAVORITE.
    S: Eric is quite dreamy...
    M: No he's not. He's all squarish.
    S: Ew. The Beast-Beast is hotter than the Human-Beast. We called him Prince Saucerlips.
    M: And Aladdin has a hotter personality. Lol.
    S: I. Um. We can't talk about this anymore because it's making me giggle excessively.
    M: I just almost spit out my water giggling. Thats all.

    M: Aladdin really is the hottest character. Who else is there to think is hot? Prince Charming? WOODY FROM TOY STORY? I dunno why I'm being so defensive of my attraction to Aladdin.
    S: Lol. Aladdin is hot.
    M: Mostly I want you to know that my love for him is a true love, and not based on my current relationships.
    S: I had a crush on him. Lol.
    M: PLUS his voice is totally Steve from Full House. And who DIDN'T have a crush on DJ's boyfriend?
    S: Dude. I don't remember that guy. I remember that DJ once went out with an older guy with a moustache and her dad was all upset, but then realized that he was dating a really young girl.
    M: Danny Tanner... What a pervert. She went to Europe and when she came back she told everyone she had a surprise for everyone? And it was Steve? And they were together FOREVER and then broke up after hiking to the top of a mountain. Lol.
    S: Wow. Was the mountain a metaphor for their love?
    M: YES! OBVIOUSLY THEIR LOVE WAS TRUE AND YOU DON'T REMEMBER IT.
    S: Wait. If their love was true, why did they break up?
    M: I think they went to different colleges. Mostly I think Steve decided to become Aladdin.

    M: I'm sort of ashamed right now.

    November 07, 2006

    Sarah: Very Exciting Day

    I. Have. TiVo.

    Or rather, it's en route to my house. I got the Tivo box for free. How exciting is my life??

    If you're considering Tivo, (which you should, because it rocks) take advantage of their Free-TiVo-box promotion. And list either lisa or myself as your referral, so that we can get TiVo Rewards Points. Then everyone wins!

    November 06, 2006

    Sarah: Take the Power Back

    With local elections being held tomorrow, I'd like to remind our Utah friends to vote tomorrow, November 7th. Take a few minutes to educate yourself about the different candidates. A list of candidates and links to their respective websites can be found here.

    A race of particular interest is that of the campaigns for U.S. Senate. As we've mentioned, our good friend and responsible citizen Mallory is working as a volunteer intern for Democratic candidate Pete Ashdown. Having a friend inside the campaign has given me a reason to examine this candidate and compare him to his Republican opponent, Orrin Hatch.

    I don't like to get very vocally political, nor am I comfortable explaining either party's campaign. Regarding Ashdown's stance, a campaign employee summarized by saying,
    "Pete is a great alternative to Hatch. He will unite us to solve the pressing problems of today, and lead us toward a better future. He's a fiscal conservative. He believes in a smaller government that doesn't interfere with people's personal lives. Pete will represent you, the ordinary citizens of Utah, and will not be beholden to special interests. He believes that success in Iraq would be best measured by giving the Iraqi people the chance to vote on our presence there."
    Mallory's thoughts about Pete Ashdown and her work on the campaign are here.
    Personally, I think that it's good to mix things up in political offices. A new senator feels the need to keep the voters that he represents happy. He is in touch with Utah, not accustomed to a job hundreds of miles away, comfortable with a long string of reelections.

    Take advantage of the democratic system and vote tomorrow. I hope that all Utahns can think seriously about who they believe is best for the job and vote accordingly, regardless of their decision. As for me, I'll be voting for Pete Ashdown.

    Dismounting from soapbox now.

    November 05, 2006

    Sarah: Tool of the Week

    I present to you a tool required for every self-respecting celebrity lover.

    NETFLIX

    Netflix is great because you make a wishlist of every movie you've ever wanted to see. It's like shopping, but way easier on your budget. Plus, you won't forget those movies, or lose the list. Eventually, you will see all of the movies you can handle. Plus, you can check out as many "guilty pleasure" movies as you like, because you aren't paying for the rental of each individual dvd. It's guilt-free and inexpensive, and as a side bonus, you get mail frequently. I love mail. The shipping of a dvd only takes one day, so you don't waste time between movies, unless you choose to.

    Now, if only Netflix would stop advertising via pop-up ads, I could endorse them even more whole-heartedly.

    November 03, 2006

    Sarah: Emergency

    Warning: I discuss underwear in this entry. Some links will lead you to photos of underwear. I realize that some people might view models in underwear as somewhat scandalous. If this is offensive to you, do not click the links. Thank you.

    I would like to take a moment to talk about Emergency Underwear. Maybe you think I'm referring to your days-of-the-week underwear that you keep near the back of your underwear drawer. I'm not. Because even though you feel a bit ridiculous wearing blue cotton panties with a smiling giraffe and "Tuesday" printed on the front, there is at least that moment when you are getting ready and you glance in the mirror and then start dancing in your bedroom to the radio playing Sexy Back because really? Your butt looks SO cute in Tuesday.

    No. I'm not talking about those panties. I'm talking about your laundry day panties. The underwear that you keep telling yourself to just throw away, but then all of a sudden, you have no clean underwear left, and it's either wearing your emergency underwear or nothing at all. You know the panties I mean. They are white, they are high-waisted, and they kill a small part of your soul every time you are forced by the dirty laundry gods to wear them.

    My emergency panties look like this. I bought them thinking they'd be kicky and fun. They would eliminate panty line and be comfy and lounge-y. Plus, look how they look cute on the model. Right? WRONG!

    These are horrible monstrosities. Best case scenario, the underwear is too loose. Worst case scenario, the "legs" of the shorts bunch up under pants and create an indescribable effect that is much, much worse than panty line, yet the overall effect is still sort of loose. No, not loose. Breezy. The shape of the underwear indicates that they should sit on your hips a few inches below your bellybutton. Placing the garment in the appropriate location, however, leads to an uncomfortable lack of bits-hugging fabric. Regardless of the cut of underwear you prefer, certain parts should be covered. My emergency underwear? DOES A SORRY-ASS JOB OF COVERING THOSE PARTS. My point is that these are very bad emergency panties. And I wore a pair yesterday. And another pair today.

    I need to do laundry as soon as possible so that I can get back to underwear I like. Like these. My good friend Marci, she who holds all underwear knowledge, encouraged me to get them, and they are hot. Hotter than they look on the model, if you ask me.

    November 01, 2006

    Sarah: Kevin is the fatherly figure

    The comments in a recent entry apparently brought up painful memories for Mallory.

    M: Dude. WHAT IS WITH YOUR FAMILY BRINGIN UP MY PAST EMBARRASMENTS?
    S: Yeah, um. Unfortunately? You got served. By DAVID. hee
    M: Let it be known, I'm not talking to either of your siblings.
    S: Dave said "haha, I looked at her fanpage. It is AWESOME. Dude, I still always think of Mallory as the girl with the backstreet boys fanpage..." I just love that Dave thinks of you as the girl with the BSB webpage.
    M: I dont! I have respect for dave's taste in music I don't want him to think im some teeny-bopper talentless pop music listener
    S: I know. You aren't.
    M: WHAT EVER.
    S: Wow.
    M: I'm so ashamed. I could never go into politics.
    S: You'd have to come clean about your fan page.
    M: That would be my dirty past.
    [I told Dave about this issue.
    D: "What do you have to say for yourself, Miss Qualls? Did you? Or did you not? Make... THIS... WEBPAGE"
    M: HE SHOULD SAY THAT TO MY FACE.]
    M: People'd be all "Don't vote for Romney because he's a mormon and he'd take his orders from the prophet before the people. Don't vote for Qualls because she'd do whatever Nick Carter tells her to do."
    S: Seriously, you'd have to hope that Lisa, Marci, and I were supportive or we'd rat you out.
    M: BLACKMAILING BITCHES. YOU'RE LIKE THE GIRL THAT STEALS KIDNEYS. KIDNEY STEALER!
    S: hee. Wait. THAT SEEMS LIKE A BIT OF A LEAP.
    M: ITS A SLIPPERY SLOPE SARAH. A SLIPPERY SLOPE.
    M: So, just wondering: When you, Lisa and I first became friends, when you went home and talked to Dave were you like "so last night we were hanging out with our friend Mallory, YOU KNOW THE GIRL WHO LOVES BSB, and shes all 'I like the internet' SHE LOVES BSB AND HAS A FANPAGE"?
    S: lol. NO.
    M: Because I think the first time i ever met Dave was at that Nintendo party, so really SHOULDN'T HE THINK Oh Mallory The Girl who likes Nintendo?
    S: I think it just came up sort of early on? I honestly don't know.
    M: or Oh Mallory The girl who likes Jimmy Eat world (I went to that concert that week)
    S: I don't think we found out about your dirty little secret for a while.
    M: Yeah i keep that one pretty close. YOU ALL KEEP SECRETS SO WELL. Hee. I see now that I can't ever trust you again.
    S: We are only telling the INTERNET about your site which is on the INTERNET ALREADY. DAMN! You have SUCH problems.
    M: BUT I CANT FIGURE OUT HOW TO TAKE IT DOWN AND YOU GUYS WONT STOP VISITING IT SO IT WONT DIE.
    S: We LOVE it.

    Because Mallory was so upset, I asked Dave to explain why he associated her so closely with her BSB-loving past.

    D: I think it's just that that was one of the first things i ever knew about Mallory, so what I've learned about her since has always been with that in the back of my mind. I've always seen her through that lens, if you will.
    S: I see. That's like with Mallory, the first thing she learned about Mark was that he loved Radiohead.
    D: Yes. Although, that's probably an accurate portrayal of who he is.
    S: So now when she sees him she's all, "Hey! It's that blond-guy-that-is-Dave's-roommate-that-loves-Radiohead" and Lisa and I are all "um. Mark?"
    D: Exactly.
    S: Dave, Mallory is very disturbed. She thinks that when I first met her I'd just go home and be all "so today Mallory, YOU KNOW, THE GIRL WITH THE BSB FANPAGE, said something funny..."
    D: I can't remember how you told me... was it something like that?
    S: Hee. I hate you. She's going to break up with me, and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT.
    D: She won't break up with you.
    S: I wouldn't be so sure, Dave. Women can be so fickle.
    D: It's true, they are fickle. But not Mallory. She is so sweet and childlike. With her undying love of Nick Carter.

    October 27, 2006

    Sarah: NaBloPoMo

    Today I signed up Two Loose Teeth for National Blog Posting Month. That means that for the entire month of November, Lisa or myself will be posting every day.

    Brace yourselves.

    October 26, 2006

    Sarah: What was old is new again

    The girls went shopping last Saturday, and I emerged relatively fiscally unscathed. I did, however, purchase a shirt/sweatshirt that gave me great joy to wear today.

    My short sleeved sweatshirt has puffed sleeves, a zip front, and kangaroo pockets. Nicole and I discussed the clothing item after I divulged that I (somewhat shamefully) purchased it from Hot Topic.

    N: The 80s are back. Your shirt has...
    S: Puffed sleeves.
    N: And little whales. And pink polka dots.
    S: I know. I know.

    My mom thinks I should be dressing more as an adult, and to some extent I agree. But really, how many years do I have before I'm too old for a shirt with small water creatures printed all over it?

    Not enough years.

    I know it's a bit strange to not have my face in the photos, but that way I could take them before I put on makeup.

    October 25, 2006

    Sarah: Scarier than Halloween

    Two months til Christmas.

    Commence freakouts.

    October 23, 2006

    Sarah: Props

    After making the unanimous decision among the group that props increased the quality of our girls nights, Mallory, Marci, Lisa, and I enjoyed a flurry of themed items. The cupcakes were supposed to be a Halloween-themed treat (did I mention that I was going to attempt some ambitious chocolate spiderwebs on top of the frosting to make them look more spooky? Because I was, and they were going to be beautiful.), but we all know how those turned out. Fortunately, we have had more successful props.

    There are certain things everyone should love. Among those things are vampires and pumpkin pie. Lisa brilliantly united the two with a pumpkin pie ice cream cake with chocolate cake and a frosting vampire. Did I just blow your mind?

    What about now? It was delicious, and all of the girls were looking deliciously cute.


    Lately we've been in the habit of calling each other our BFFs (Best Friends Forever), and our cake proudly bore a Marci quote: The F is for Forever.

    For Nip/Tuck night I brought along Operation (Mal sang the theme song, and it was awesome.)

    Lisa won the game. You can tell by her evil grin, and by Marci's sad face.

    In other operation news, Rosie O'Donnell was on Nip/Tuck.

    She was actually more likable than I thought she would be, and I liked her banter with Christian Troy.

    The verdict: We like props!

    Sarah: Weekend Wrap-up, Haiku edition

    Bad horror movies,
    Cabin, shopping, cleaning house,
    Anti-internet.

    October 22, 2006

    Sarah: Word of the Day

    A friend looked at me like I was insane when I described an undomesticated cat. Thus, I defend my vocabulary to her and the internet at large.

    Feral

    not domesticated or cultivated, wild
    having escaped from domestication and become wild

    As in: After spending time on the island in Cast Away, Tom Hanks became feral until reintroduced to civilization.

    October 19, 2006

    Sarah: Betty Crocker, Rescue Me

    My grandma worked for many years as a Home Economics teacher, instructing countless cooking classes. My mom won the title as her school's Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow. The domesticity gene runs in the family, but apparently took a detour around me. I offer as proof my latest kitchen endeavor.

    Using a recipe from this book, I attempted to make pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing for our girls night. Sounds delicious, right?

    Wrong. Apparently baking cupcakes from scratch is harder than it looks. Cream cheese frosting, however, is simple and delicious.

    The cupcake saga: I doubled the recipe and measured ingredients exactly. I preheated the oven, set the timer, and did everything right. Here is my first batch:

    Complete disaster. They were so large that they flowed into each other, then they deflated and made sad little concave puddles of moist cupcake. I decided that the problem was I had overfilled the tins, and perhaps I opened the oven one too many times. I prepared the second batch, leaving more room at the top of each cup. I set the timer and left the oven completely alone.

    These were actually a little bit better. Although just as sunken, there was not as much lateral cupcake expansion, and the bottom of the cupcake was actually quite tasty. Still, these monstrosities were too hideous to give away.

    After two bad batches, I was filled with sadness and a little bit of self-loathing. How hard could cupcakes be? Too hard for a Wednesday night, apparently.

    The frosting, which I made while Cupcake Batch #2 was baking, had much better results.

    See? Tasty. So... want some frosting? Here's a spoon.

    October 18, 2006

    Sarah: Haiku for my Desk at Work

    Book, mustard, stamps, pins.
    I need to clean off my desk.
    Really. Because, ew.

    Sarah: Haiku for Internet Shame

    MySpace is evil.
    That's what they say, but I can't
    Stop spending time there.

    October 17, 2006

    Sarah: "Life Doesn't Hold Tryouts."

    Despite our embarrassingly well documented love for bad movies, I can't help but express why last night was so very awesome. Mallory and I sat on my couch for a couple hours, playing on the internet and watching Center Stage. This movie was cheesier than either of us remembered, but I still loved it. Or rather, I did when I wasn't yelling at the tv screen "HE WAS NEVER. YOUR BOYFRIEND. HE USED YOU." and "EAT THE PIZZA, ANOREXIC GIRL" and similar. Why do I love this movie? I'm so glad you asked. Although other dancing movies feature one or two of several character types, Center Stage includes all of them. It is the movie that embraces all cliches equally. And that? Is my kind of movie. Behold, the characters:

  • The girl that loves to dance (see Girls Just Want To Have Fun) but lacks the technical ability (see Take the Lead.

  • The guy that is so wrong for you and, of course, the friend that is so right (see Clueless and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton).

  • The girl with the ability, but not the love of dancing.

  • The girl with the ability and the love, but with the bad attitude (see Stick It. See also Save the Last Dance or Raise Your Voice for the following variation: girl has the ability and love, but a traumatic life experience causes her to question her love and ability)

  • The person or group that must recognize that their twist on classical training and/or taking chances may not be initially accepted by critics, but it makes them better than the competition (see Take the Lead, Step Up, and Strictly Ballroom).

  • Falling in love with your dance partner (see every dancing movie ever made)

  • The girl who develops an eating disorder because of the pressures of school, society, and/or parents (see countless after school specials)
  • I'm sure there are more examples, but you get the idea. This movie is all kinds of shameful awesome.

    October 13, 2006

    Sarah: Haiku for Spreadsheet

    Why, hello Excel.
    When did you become my life?
    So many boxes.

    October 11, 2006

    Sarah: Dear Bambi, How are you?

    An open plot near my work is being developed. Construction workers are next door on a daily basis, working on a structure that promises to be bigger and better than the current corner gas station. Unfortunately, these construction workers perpetuate a negative stereotype. They leer at girls as they pass, display their coin slots above the beltline of their dingy jeans, and have even called out comments to passing young ladies with the apparent intention of flattery. To further disgrace the countless hardworking, classy workers in their profession, these builders have spraypainted the asphalt adjacent to their work site.

    Let me just get one thing out of the way: the phrase "X-crossing" is redundant. X-ing is short for crossing. Crossing is long for crossing. X-crossing doesn't. Even. Make. Sense.

    And I'm not sure that "dear" was the word they meant to use.

    Sarah: Good Things This Week

  • Butterflies in my stomach

  • Blake's impersonation of Splinter: "Tortles...!"

  • Mallory has the entire Operation song from the commercials memorized.

  • Talking with the girls. There's nothing else like it.

  • Clean Laundry

  • New sheets

  • Coming home to my quiet apartment every night

  • Fall. It's here for real.

  • Season Two of Lost: My new addiction.

  • Hanging out with my big brother. I don't do this enough. He is nice.

  • Nintendogs. I must get one.

  • Having a loud, heated discussion on the best tactical position during a zombie outbreak

  • Not wasting time on a silly thing like sleep. It sucks so many hours of your day away.

  • Diet Coke. Addictive, delicious, and dependable. Plus, it helps with that whole sleep-deprivation thing.
  • October 08, 2006

    Sarah: Best MySpace Message Ever

    There are times when prose seems almost too elegant, too romantic, too beautiful to be written by the human hand.

    Date: Oct 8 2006 5:37 AM
    Subject: lovly
    Body: you know God created the leaning tower, the great wall of china, the Payramids, Taj Mahal, The Babil Gardens, Evel Tower, and he created you.
    when God love some one, the he creat those ones to be a sign of his power of peace and love. I just love to kiss you right now.

    Mo

    This is not one of those times. Mo, I wouldn't bet on that whole kissing thing.

    October 03, 2006

    Sarah: I'm just glad she didn't say anything about my best friend Britney.

    Mallory has opinions on music. It is, after all, her life.

    Mallory: I hate The Killers. The Killers should try and kill the B-52's and there should be a huge explosion and lots of death.
    Sarah: ...
    M: .. hi.

    We talk about MySpace, boys, and the lack thereof.

    M: When The Killers kill the B-52's, Angels from Angels and Airwaves should be their guardian angels, and die too.
    S: HA!

    We talk about the campaign Mallory is working on. We also talk about school.

    M: Ugh. The Killers should fight the B-52's in the Sound Garden. And they should be fighting over a Chemical Romance. With the guardian Angels in Airwaves nearby.
    S: I love you so much.

    More time passes.

    M: I dunno how, but Depeche Mode should somehow be killed by The Killers too.

    October 02, 2006

    Sarah: Single

    It is time to reinstate Lisa's plan for finding me some great guys. And, go.

    I am adding to this project after Mallory's comment. The new project: to find dates for myself, Mallory, and Marci. All available, all fun. I realize I've tripled your work load, but really. You can handle it.

    September 27, 2006

    Sarah: Musing

    Last night I went to the Muse concert at Saltair with my brother Dave. Lisa couldn't go because she had to work, so I promised to give a very detailed account. Here we go. After I yelled during the car ride that we were late, lost, etc. (Dave was very patient and indulgent) we arrived at the venue to find a line that wrapped through the parking lot of people waiting to get inside. Here's Dave waiting in line.

    This is what Saltair looks like:

    Not quite as cool as in its heyday, but still a sort of interesting looking venue.

    After waiting in line for a while, we met up with Michelle and then got inside. The opening band hadn't started, so we took some pictures.

    The inside is basically one big rectangular room with a stage at one end and restrooms on the other. There are stairs on either side of the room that lead up to an upper level. On one side is the SaltSlick, a bar where some people went to get alcohol, others just for a better view. The other side was the VIP area, but that? is just lame. We stayed on the main floor. Dave and I ran into Mallory and her brother Mikey, but I forgot to take a picture. Believe me, they were both beautiful beyond all reason. They chilled out in the back of the hall, but Dave, Michelle, and I were just about exactly in the middle. Mallory and I texted sporadically throughout the night.

    The opening band was The Like, a group that Dave described as "exactly like the Bangles. But not as good." They are a girl group, though, and you have to respect girls that rock. Or try to rock.

    Text from Mallory: Is this the first band?
    Text from Sarah: The first we've seen.
    M: Muse better be next or I might punch a face in. Special
    S: Lol. We agree. Special

    After The Like's set, I started to get picture happy. And the crowd started to push towards the stage, so we got a little closer. Check out how close we are and see Muse take the stage after the jump!

    I took pictures of Dave and Michelle to show how close we were.

    Close!

    The guy behind Michelle was a little disturbed, so I showed Tiny Sideburns the picture I'd taken to show it was of Michelle, and not him. Thus began my concert-friend-making.

    I took this picture under the premise of showing how close I was to Dave, but mostly to show you, dear reader, that there was a guy near us that looked like my high school boyfriend. A Band Member lookalike! In a ridiculous hat/earwarmer!

    I've never seen someone at a concert look so apathetic. This dude was practically falling asleep. We'll call him Drowsy McLumpyBored.

    I thought I was going to have to make out with this guy because he was completely pressed up against me. Surprisingly, after I just turned towards him and took a picture, he backed off.

    Dave and I asked if we could take this picture. Dave took the picture, and I'm chatting with the subject. We call him Wormhole Guy, because we kept seeing him pushing past us towards the stage. But we never saw him go towards the back. The only solution? There was a wormhole. As a bonus, you get a better look at Not-Band-Member's hat.

    We made friends with the two guys standing behind us, mostly because I was worried that people would feel left out if I didn't take their picture. That was probably illogical.

    Meet Ammon and Ben.

    While the stagehands were setting up for Muse, the crowd would scream everytime a someone walked onstage.

    Yay sound guy!

    Text from Sarah: There's a couple that keeps watching me. I think I might take their picture just to bug them.
    Text from Mallory: Lol punch them in the face.
    S: Definitly.

    While we waited, Dave and Michelle surfed the internet on Dave's phone.

    Michelle declared her own myspace her favorite myspace.

    Right before Muse took the stage, A tall guy stood right in front of Dave. So unfortunately, this was what he saw.

    or, if he stretched his neck he might see...

    No, he didn't know we were taking pictures of his immaculately sculpted hair.

    Then Muse took the stage! Yay! They were loud and rockin, and there was much screaming, singing, and booty-shaking by me. Much hopping up and down by others. I think we were at the perfect place in the crowd because we were not at the back, but we weren't in the jump-y, moshy part of the crowd either.

    Muse began playing "Butterflies and Hurricanes"
    Text from Sarah: It's ur favorite! I'll punch some people for u.
    Text from Mallory: Your number has been called.

    Dave took a picture with his phone and emailed it to Lisa.

    Ammon kept offering to hold my camera up higher for pictures (he was tall).
    Text from Michelle: He likes you i think.

    Muse played "Supermassive Black Hole"
    Text from Sarah: I so totally commented on ur myspace about this song.
    Text from Mallory: Hee I just told Mikey that. Just shoved someone.
    S: Good work! I think I'm being flirted with.
    M: Is he tall? Because I didn't get the memo stating that you had to be at least six feet to attend...
    S: Lol. Yeah, he got the memo. It's like the opposite of Dave's band's fan base.
    Mallory and I have joked that all of Dave's fans seem very short. They have a concert this Friday, so you can check that out, if you'd like. In contrast, Muse's concert was full of people over six feet tall. Weird.
    Today on MSN Messenger, Dave illustrated the phenomenon:

    Apparently ghosts like Muse, because there were a lot of orbs in this photo...

    Or perhaps they're just hanging out in Saltair because of the curse.

    That picture was taken during "Knights of Cydonia". The chorus lyrics were projected up on the screens in time with the music.

    I have a few more pictures from cell phones en route to my computer.

    I'm working on a video clip, which would be the first video in Two Loose Teeth Blogging History. Right now the file is too large, so I'll see what I can do.

    I couldn't leave the concert without acquiring some fabulous booty. I had planned on purchasing the shirt from their site, but it wasn't for sale at the concert. Instead, I got this red shirt. The giant circle isn't on the shirt. Just a little ghost that followed me home.

    It was fun! Hurrah! Lisa, I so wish you could have been there!

    September 26, 2006

    Sarah: Does this mean it's "Fall City"?

    Last Saturday I attended the Spring City Artists' Studio Tour as an excuse to hang out with my mom and dad.

    My parents have been working hard on their new house, and the improvements are really starting to show! Here's some before and after for comparison:

    Old roof:

    New roof:

    New roof! Shiny repaired spire! Pretty!

    Before:

    After:

    Period appropriate fence! Woot!

    My parents were adorable. They let me drive the riding mower, and it was the most fun without vampire teeth I've had in a very long time.

    Unfortunately, I had so much fun that I left crazy mower lines all over the lawn. Mom fixed them.

    Action shot!

    It's like the Jazzy for gardners. In the coolest possible way.

    We also picked pears for some of my parents' artist friends.

    Obviously there is no shortage of "cute" in my gene pool.

    It looked like fall was coming to Spring City.

    One of the artists had a very pretty calico cat.

    I learned that calico cats can only be female "unless they're cross-dressing," jokes my mom. (I told you there was plenty of cute.)

    I stayed until my dad's eyes were drooping and then drove back home. It was quite a fun weekend.

    September 25, 2006

    Sarah: I'll be your love suicide

    Lisa sent me my favorite text of the week (and it's only Monday!):

    The ladies who work at McDonalds are totally discussing if the lyrics to 'i'll be' are "crying shoulder" or "crying soldier."

    Now, I didn't know anyone had thought about this song since my senior year of high school (see also: Lighthouse's "Hanging By a Moment"), but I was surprised how right "crying soldier" sounded when you keep singing the lyric that way. How many other people thought this song was more military than it actually was? Apparently a lot. At least the McD ladies were smart enough to not think Edwin McCain had earnestly vowed to be your Captain Aphid and your better wetter holder.

    The more I thought about this song (class was boring today, sorry), I kept thinking that "I'll Be" was in a movie. It turns out that I was right. But I've never seen that movie! It is, however, in my Netflix Queue... I know. I'm a little ashamed. Not ashamed enough to take it off, though. Besides, people seem to love the soundtrack for this movie. And I trust pink_suga and missy_prissy13 explicitly.

    Back to the mistaken lyric, have you ever wondered what has been written about crying soldiers? Well, this poem, for one. The google image search was mostly sad.

    In conclusion, bad poetry and cheesey teen movie soundtracks? Good. Trying to make fun of crying soldiers? Bad. Soldiers are good. I am pro-soldier. They do a job I couldn't do.

    I leave you with my favorite mondegreen: Dress it up with the droppings of a lamb.

    September 19, 2006

    Sarah: 6. None of the above

    Sunday night, after I had fallen asleep, I was jolted awake by the sound of my phone. I had received a text message. This is an exact quote:

    (FW:)SeNd diS 2 evEryoNe aND C Wat thEy vOtE u! 1.=ghettO 2.=cute 3.=cooL 4.=i'd marRy u 5. fun

    Is this what the kids are doing these days? Sending junk mail/spam/forwards via text message? Because I am NOT DOWN.

    I would like to add: this text spammer must be punished. If you would like to inundate his myspace or phone with annoying messages (the more nonsensical capital and lowercase letters the better), let me know, and I'd be happy to provide you with the necessary information.

    Sarah: Arr, Matey

    Today is the International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yaaay! I mean Yaaaarrrrrr!

    [So, is this the day we watch our pirate porn? -- Lisa]

    September 11, 2006

    Sarah: Pretty Plug

    I've written before of my love affair with my computer. This constant companionship, however, has taken its toll, mostly on little Powerbook's power cord. One part broke when my mom tripped over the cord (It was my fault. I had the cord extended across a doorway. Very foolish.), another after continued strain. The final straw, however, was when my computer may have slipped off of my couch (oops! I'm sorry computer!) and landed squarely on the small part of the power cord that connects to the computer. The result was not pretty.

    These pictures were taken after I tried to straighten the metal with needlenose pliers. Both the computer and myself were too traumatized to photograph the carnage before my attempted rescue. Obviously, the smooth circle of metal was damaged. I winced in pain when I tried to unite the plug with Powerbook. I ordered a replacement that day.

    Luckily for me, UPS Ground only took 2 days to deliver my new power cord.

    Hurrah!

    This story has a happy ending. Powerbook has a new younger, hotter life partner.


    September 06, 2006

    Sarah: What Not to Do

    Today on Two Loose Teeth, I am offering priceless dating tips for guys, totally free of charge. Your future dates will thank you. And now, without further ado, a list of behaviors that I or my friends have experienced to avoid while on dates, especially at the beginning of a courtship:

    Do Not:

  • Take me to an overlook spot frequented by high school students hoping to park and make out. It's not going to happen.

  • Joke about how your drink/meal is too expensive. It makes me feel like my drink/meal is too expensive, so your insistence that you pay just makes the entire situation awkward.

  • Repeatedly express that you think your "drink tastes like bile." No one wants to be dating the whiney guy that talks about bile. The same goes for being rude to the waitress or complaining excessively about the food. We all want a pleasant dining experience, but you're starting to ruin mine. Toughen up.

  • Honk or call me on the phone when you arrive to pick me up. Park, get out of the car, and greet me at the door. You will be rewarded.

  • Talk about other girls on our date. Dude, seriously.

  • Talk bad about guys I've dated. Yes, maybe they were jerks. Maybe they were a waste of time. Still, that is for me to decide, and me to say. When you tell me how lame they were, you're telling me that I have bad taste or make poor decisions. The idea is to make me feel better, not worse.

  • Bring up how much money you have/how nice your car is/how expensive your cologne is/the high end brands of clothing you prefer. Especially don't hand me a check to give to your sister, just so I can see that $300 is just pocket change to you. I'm not impressed.

  • Obviously cross the line between flattery and dishonesty. You think I'm cute? Nice. Pretty? How kind of you. Hotter than Kate Beckinsale? Now you're just lying.

  • Refer to "us" or being together or working through problems, or something along those lines before we've even gone on a date. Yes, it's true: girls can get freaked out by too much commitment too soon just as easily as guys.

  • Maybe this is a personal thing (ladies, please let me know if I'm weird), but I will not shop with you or try on clothes or accept gifts that I wear from someone I'm not dating somewhat seriously. We don't know each other. I'm not letting you help me pick out clothes. It's weird.

  • Be a stingy tipper at the restaurant.

  • Hump my leg when you ask me to dance. That is not dancing.

  • Force me to make decisions. This is another personal one. I hate making decisions on dates that were your idea. No, really.
  • August 29, 2006

    Sarah: Try the Peach Cobbler!

    I took a short roadtrip with my parents and Dave last weekend, and this sign was next to our hotel:

    Notice anything strange? Let's take a closer look...

    That's right. The restaurant where I enjoyed my breakfast proudly served pies made by actual hos. After reading this sign, my mom ordered a piece of rhubarb pie for the four of us to share in our hotel room. Interesting.

    Sarah: Ew.

    There are times to do some cleaning, and then there are times to move out of your apartment. The moment I discovered this little surprise was borderline. I may not sleep for days.


    August 16, 2006

    Sarah: I found the love inside of me.

    Dave and I had been talking about his band's upcoming show when he suddenly changed the subject:

    Dave: So you know the Whitney Houston song, "The Greatest Love of All"?
    S: Yes.
    D: Poor Whitney. I don't think things have turned out for her the way she imagined when she was singing that song.
    S: I think you are right.
    D: "No matter what they take from me, they can't take away my dignity"
    S: Yeah, I don't know who screwed up, but somehow her dignity was lost.
    D: "If I fail, if I succeed, at least I live as I believe." Um, ya. Have you seen her lately? She looks ROUGH.
    S: Very rough.
    D: All the heroin and the domestic abuse has taken a toll.
    S: As it would...

    Sorry, Whitney. It hurts us too.

    Sarah: Be-Dazzled by Your Website

    Even before Taryn Manning showed me how to make my own shirts styled after those found in Crossroads, I knew I desired and loved the Bedazzler. I did not, however, know that I loved the Bedazzler website. It is bright, flashy, obnoxious, and loud. In short, it is the epitome of Bedazzling. Check it out. If your computer won't play the video, find a computer that will. The Bedazzler is for personal AND business use. I don't know why I'm not already rich. But I do know that I'll be changing the Bedazzler's priority on my Amazon wishlist from "medium" to "high."

    August 15, 2006

    Sarah: I ain't got no strings to hold me down.

    Oh. Heck. Yes.

    There are perks to working at a small software company. One of those perks is being able to get advice from the VP of Development on how to get your wireless router to communicate with your computer as you walk to the nearby gas station to fill your plastic cups with Diet Coke.

    I am sitting on my couch with my laptop, many feet away from the router. That's right: I am wireless.

    Thanks Steve.

    August 14, 2006

    Sarah: Houston, We Have Internet

    That's right, after two weeks, I figured out my internet in my new apartment. Now if I could just figure out the whole wireless thing...

    Oh yeah, did I tell you I got a new apartment? I'm loving it, except that I just killed a spider that was about the size of a quarter (well, including the legs).

    I'm not sure what to say about our books right now. Apparently it isn't enough that Lisa and I share a passion for Britney Spears and karaoke. We have to share a strange obsession with book cover art featuring paper-bag-covered heads.

    I highly recommend my featured book, Why Girls Are Weird. Pamela Ribon made me laugh out loud as I attempted to clandestinely read a few pages of this novel at work. I cried as I read in my bed at night, staying up far too late because I couldn't put it down. I've been a fan of her website for a long time, but this book really impressed me with her captivating story telling and unique look at life. I cared about the main character and felt she had something to teach me about myself. I can't think of something better to have in a novel. Thanks, Pamie.

    August 10, 2006

    Sarah: The Battle of the Pronunciations

    Just to clear up any debate: Zenith can be pronounced "zE-nith" or "zen-ith."

    See the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster Online.

    Sarah: I had a birthday.

    ... And so we went to Crown Burger. Because that is what we do. Jessie wasn't feeling well enough to hang out, but Mallory, Marci, Lisa, my little brother Jeff (previously photographed here), and I hung out at Crown Burger and then drove around in an attempt to find a place with music, for dancing, that wasn't full of old people. We didn't find one, so we went back to Lisa's house to watch my birthday present from Marci. It was fun. Unfortunately, my extreme Diet Coke intake led me to believe that my fuzzy pictures were "art photography," so... there are many blurry photos that, after I took them I cried "IT'S ART!"

    So. Here is the night's events as I captured them on film:

    Lisa and Jeff sat across the booth from me.

    I kept the second picture uncropped so that you could begin to appreciate the decor inside Crown Burger. IT IS A CASTLE, Y'ALL. Next time I'll photograph the tapestry that hangs between the soda fountain and the restrooms.

    Mal sat next to me, and she looked very pretty.

    And she was made of ART!

    I was fascinated by our eyeliner.

    And the sparkles from Lisa's ring delighted me.

    Self-photography delighted Lisa.

    As it did me, apparently...


    (Those are going straight onto my MySpace.)

    Then Marci got off work and met up with us.

    The halo effect created by the flourescent lights? That, my friends, is no coincidence.
    So everybody says hi...

    And I took some art photos of Marci, my muse...

    While at Crown Burger, I took art photos of my cup,

    Lisa's purse and belt,

    and I more closely inspected Jeff's shirt.

    While driving around looking for a place to dance, I took numerous art photos not really worth posting, but I mostly just liked this picture of Lisa. I think she looks pretty.

    July 12, 2006

    Sarah: He's a ghost, and he talks to us.

    On Monday night, Jessie, Mallory, and I had an impromptu hang-out. This evening would turn out to be a very fond memory, thanks in large part to Hollywood Video. I have not been a frequent visitor to this store as of late for a variety of reasons, but mainly because they do not have the same No-Late-Fees policy as Blockbuster Video. With the exception of the unfortunate Now I Own That Copy Of House of Wax Because I Can't Find It experience, this policy has probably saved my college funds from utter destruction. However, when the DVD player at my apartment broke, Blockbuster let us down in the VHS department.

    This is where the genius of Hollywood Video comes in: they have a wonderfully complete VHS selection. Not just new releases or just old classics. ALL MOVIES. Think of a movie. Got one? Yeah, THEY HAVE THAT ON VHS.

    Mallory, Jessie, and I decided that going old school format should also mean old school material. What did we watch when VHS tapes were at their peak? Why, we watched Goosebumps, Ghostwriter, and Fraggle Rock.

    I. Know.

    We saved Fraggle Rock for another day when we were with the full group (us plus Lisa and Marci), since Marci is a big fan, but these two were too good to pass up. They were everything we could have hoped for.

    The acting in Goosebumps was pretty terrible, but I think Mallory was still a little scared. This particular tape told the story of a girl whose father turns into a mad scientist and nearly becomes a plant. It is interesting how easily your memory can be triggered: I didn't think I had ever watched Goosebumps as a kid until I remembered exactly the introductory sequence. I didn't just watch Goosebumps. I enjoyed it thoroughly. And it scared me.

    Ghostwriter is another thing. I've expressed my love for Ghostwriter before. This show was on tv at a very formative point in my life and Team Ghostwriter perfectly represented all that I wanted to be. How could they not?

    While watching the video (the tape was in the wrong case: we didn't find out who burnt Mr. Brinker's store, but watched the pilot episode instead), I remembered that I used to tease my side ponytail in an attempt to reach Gaby's beautiful volume. Her older brother Alex was one of my first crushes, and when I looked him up on IMDB today, I was a little disappointed to see he had not appeared in any films recently.

    I have added a Ghostwriter video to my Amazon wishlist because I simply cannot explain how much I loved watching this show. It must be experienced.

    Some fun facts to entice you:
    -Spike Lee has a glow in the dark Ghostwriter sticker! You can too if you write for one before 1994. Oh wait...
    -Are you a fan of Samuel L. Jackson's early work? ARE YOU REALLY? Because if so, you should know that he plays Jamal's dad.
    -Remember Jamal? Played by Sheldon Turnipseed? He was in Mo' Better Blues with Samuel L. Jackson. And, incidentally, Spike Lee. Maybe that's when they all met. It's New York-tastic!
    -I dare you to read this site and not get a craving for Ghostwriter. Go ahead. Pretend that you don't want to see the Box of Serenity.

    I think my next craft project may involve a stencil made from this image.

    Maybe I can somehow create a patch for my denim jacket.

    Sarah: 22

    This morning I woke up to this:

    Thank you for the beautiful flowers, Jessie! It was great to wake up to flowers (man, when was the last time I got flowers?!) and it was so thoughtful.
    Pretty!

    Also thoughtful was Lisa's and Blake's recognition of Birthday Week. Lisa sent me funny emails (a Monk E-Mail and an e-card from The Office) and Blake gave me a Birthday Pie. It's been a very exciting week.

    I gave myself a gift and this morning I got the greatest gift of all: Nicole's and my favorite grammar mistake:

    Happy Birthday, indeed.

    July 11, 2006

    Sarah: A Little Healthy Competition is Good for the Soul.

    My junk email presents a Deathmatch Match-Up: "Olive Garden vs Red Lobster 7/11." Although 7/11 combines convenience with Slurpees, it cannot cancel out the supreme evil that is Red Lobster. I have watched Disney movies enough to know that the good guy always wins, and so I did not need to open the email to know that Olive Garden would fight with the sword of truth and prevail.

    June 14, 2006

    Sarah: Missing Marci

    My buddy Marci is in Europe for the month. I think right now she's in Italy. I'm so excited that she's taking advantage of the opportunity to travel. But... I sort of miss her. She's really nice. And fun to hang out with. And totally funny and smart.

    And pretty. See? Here she is with Aviator McBeakerson.

    Have a blast Marci, but then come home and hang out with me. We'll watch bad chick movies. See you in July!

    Sarah: Canadians Among Us

    A few weeks ago, my brother, Dave, performed with his band, Canadians Among Us in Bountiful.

    They rocked.

    Hey, stop making fun of my photography. Blurry is the new clear.

    You know what was awesome about the performance? That would be the fact that they have an accordion player. And that accordion player is my brother.

    Attending the concert were Mark, Jessie, Andrea, myself, and my younger brother, affectionately called Young Jeffrey.


    Mark is known for his stoicism. And possibly for his habit of wearing sunglasses indoors? I assume he did so to shield himself from the brilliance that was the musical performance.

    There was a veritable smorgaasborg of emotion.

    Jeff found something hilarious...

    While Andrea expressed... anger? pain? a jealous rage? Your guess is as good as mine. Andrea is like a book written in a dead language... So much to be learned, if only I could understand.


    Meanwhile, Jessie and I admired our shoes (I'm at the bottom of the photo, she's on the right). Hers are from Aldo, mine are from Target. My shoes may be more casual, but I was still taller than her.

    If you're wondering about the band's name, the best explanation I got from Dave was as follows: "Well, have you noticed that all of the really cool bands are from Canada? We're trying to be cool by association. Or something like that."
    So there you go. The inaugural performance of CanAmUs, as the kids are calling them. It was fun. And when they perform again, you should come. I'll bring drinks.

    June 05, 2006

    Sarah: And we raaaaan, we ran so far awaaaay...

    I'm sure Lisa will have more to say about the marathon, but I just wanted to let everyone know that we didn't die! We were a bit slower than expected (about six hours, rather than the predicted 5.5), but our goal was always to just cross the finish line. The day was hot, but not as bad as I thought. We jogged and walked, taking a slower pace when I got worn out, and when Lisa's knee started hurting. The backs of our legs got sunburnt, but all of that didn't matter.

    What mattered was accomplishing our goal and being part of the race. The people that cheered us along from the sidelines helped more than they may realize. Thank you to the people that sent us encouraging messages: Jessie and Mallory on Friday night, and Mary, Nicole, Andrea, and E during the race. Thank you to everyone that saw us along the route: Mom, Dad, Blake, Bill (all of them multiple times! How awesome are they??), Dave (we saw him twice), Armando, Jeff, and Marci. The outpouring of love and support was so important to our success. You made us cry and you kept us going all the way to the finish line. Thank you for your well-wishes, Dawn, even though you had to work.

    Thank you, Lisa, for getting me to commit to running with you. I've loved spending time with you, chatting during our runs, commiserating about blisters and stiff muscles. You were encouraging, supportive, understanding, and determined. I wouldn't have dared attempt a marathon without you, and even if I had, I couldn't have finished without you pushing me along.

    We weren't the fastest, the most glamorous, or the most natural athletes. But we set out to run 26.2 miles, and we did it.

    May 25, 2006

    Sarah: Obi Wan For Century

    Dave asked me to create packaging for the magazines that different members of our magazine staff have worked on. I thought it would be cool to have obi-inspired "belts" around the stacks of magazines.

    Having recently fallen in love with Duck Cloth, I decided that this fabric would be perfect for the project: it is heavy duty, doesn't fray a lot, holds its shape well, and my local fabric store carries a variety of colors. I chose a bright red and a sage-y green. Joann's also had some skinny ribbon on sale, so I picked up a few spools (3 spools for $.99!) in the same colors.

    Since I've been wanting to try out some home screen-printing, I thought this would be a great project to try out, since it'd make the packaging a little more interesting. I grabbed an image of a bonsai tree from a Google image search, and went to town using this tutorial. I didn't take any pictures of the process, just of the finished product.
    Some notes on screenprinting using this tutorial:
    - The Mod Podge takes many hours to dry. Dave and I both needed to wait almost 24 hours for the Mod Podge to dry before we could begin printing.
    - Mod Podge is water soluble, so rinsing your screen after you screenprint (in case you wanted to save your screen for later) is not an option. Using paint or something else that would block out the screen but not wash off could be a better solution. I decided that the destruction of my screen would encourage me to make another pattern.
    - It seems like more abstract patterns (like my bonsai that didn't need to be exact) did better than more precise patterns (like the words that Dave attempted to print). One could try a finer screen than $1 super-generic brand nylons.
    - Do not, under any circumstances, use red Sharpie to outline your pattern on the screen. Dave and I used white screenprinting ink, and his red marker bled, making his phrase pink. No good.

    I put contrasting ribbons around each obi, and offset the screenprint because... I thought it looked better that way. People were nice and acted like they liked them.

    So that's the two different colors (again, the colors are prettier in real life, I keep taking pictures at night in my semi-dark apartment), a closeup on the screenprint, and then the back. At Lisa's brilliant suggestion I opted out of sewing the back shut, and instead just pressed all of the edges (yes, this was a sew-free project), and then used double-sided tape to close up the back. The effect was nice, and the construction was pretty easy.

    May 19, 2006

    Sarah: Mother of Two...?

    I'm playing catch-up a bit, since I've been too lazy to take pictures off of my camera, but I babysat my cousin's two kids a few weeks ago while he and his wife traveled to Mexico with their baby. The kids were great friends and very well-behaved. Look how neat they looked for church!

    I love that picture of them, so i was pretty bummed that it came out so blurry. Luckily, I was able to take more clear photos when we went to the park.

    All that spinning wore Samantha out, so she slept on the way home.

    Cute, huh?

    May 18, 2006

    Sarah: Getting Better at Sewing Straight Lines

    So, remember how I used to talk about how I loved to do crafts, and I was always making things out of garbage, like a mobile out of cds, and a wallet out of postal envelopes?
    And then remember how I completely stopped making stuff, and almost stopped posting on this site altogether?
    Well. I have regained my lust for life, and finished sewing a purse.

    I used this pattern

    and followed the directions for the big bag on the left, that looks like a giant tote, but is in reality a generously-sized purse. I altered the straps to be a bit wider and maybe a tiny bit longer (seriously, what was this purse creation originally? I think the answer is: short, skinny-strapped Uggo.) and didn't include the layer of polyester fleece (for increased purse rigidity?) because, well, I didn't have any on hand and couldn't be bothered to buy some.

    I used fabric that had purchased several months ago for a fraction of their original price. This is a closeup on the fabric, although the brown color is much prettier in real life.

    So here is the finished product:

    And showing the lining and inner pocket:

    Things I am learning about my camera:
    1. Moving at all, by the subject or the photographer, results in a fuzzy picture that may or may not be apparent from the screen of the camera.
    2. Natural light really IS needed for quality photos.
    3. I still have no idea what the icons on the Menu do. Perhaps it is time to read the manual.

    May 16, 2006

    Sarah: To My Big Brother

    About a week and a half ago, my older brother Dave graduated with a degree in Physics.

    Dave, I'm so proud of you. You were a great student, and you have never ceased to amaze me from a very young age with your varied talents and abilities. You have been a great big brother, since I was a baby and you'd sing the "I Love You" song to me, til you got me involved in the Century magazine, which has been a great opportunity for me to explore the world of publishing, as well as meet some amazing people, and now when you still hang out with me and ask me to go shopping with you. You've been a wonderful example of a stellar student and human being. I hope someday that I can be as honest about who I am, as kind to others, and as passionate about learning and improving. Thank you for being my friend.
    Love, Sarah

    May 08, 2006

    Sarah: How to Charm Me...

    Refer to your rigidly structured Monday evenings as "Jack Bauer Hour."

    April 24, 2006

    Sarah: You Got the Best of Me.

    I pulled up to a stoplight, the silence of my broken radio leaving me to listen to the sounds around my car. I heard the thumping bass from the approaching burgundy El Dorado. The low riding car looked tough, masculine... in a word, gangsta. As the vehicle pulled up next to me at the light, I could hear the melody of the song over the idling engine and car-shaking bass beat.

    It was Mariah Carey's Heartbreaker.

    Naturally.

    April 17, 2006

    Sarah: More found Pictures

    I believe I took some pictures when I first got my camera without purpose or discretion. Still, these two pictures made it onto my computer, and I like them.

    This is a picture of Blake taken from the backseat of the car. That means I was tagging along with them. So it really could have been taken on almost any day. Because I give them space like that.

    Look how handsome Lisa's husband is!

    I kept bugging Armando to smile while I accompanied him to the grocery store.

    Aww, look at that smile! So cheerful! He loves photographs.

    April 12, 2006

    Sarah: Computer Nerd or Photographic Phenomena?

    As I already posted, I took a picture of myself enjoying some Diet Coke while hanging out with Mallory, Marci, and Lisa.

    Afterwards, I set this picture as my MSN profile picture. Lisa mentioned that she liked to think it was me looking at my computer, drinking a Coke, and enjoying whatever website I was reading. In other words, what I look like all day at work.

    This conversation got me thinking about other pictures I currently had stored on my computer. I thought I'd share my somewhat disturbing discovery:

    Sometime during Aug.-Dec. 2003

    Lisa's husband Blake had a project for his photography class. I was the subject. So what did I do? Played on his computer while he took photos.

    Sometime during Jan.-Mar. 2004

    Me. At my computer in Logan. My roommate's boyfriend would always walk in while I was looking exactly like this (on the floor, computer and phone in easy reach) and say "Net-ratting it again?" I don't know what that means, exactly, but I always said yes.

    Late Mar. or early Apr. 2004

    Me. At Armando's computer. I think this may have even been one of our first dates. Hi. Nice to meet you. Can I check my email?

    Several months later.

    I was playing on Armando's computer. Apparently he got bored. So he played dress-up-Sarah while I continued to surf the internet. I looked away from the computer long enough to make eye contact with the camera. Why can't he just sit quietly while I interact with my cyber-friends?

    Mar. 2006

    I had to take a picture of myself for the Century magazine. My computer is just out of view, but you can see that I prefer looking at my computer over looking at the camera.

    I'm beginning to feel like I only exist on film in the presence of a computer. Either that, or I'm a total nerd.

    I prefer to believe the former.

    Another fun game is called Watch Sarah's Hair Grow. Because seriously dude. That took a long time.

    I made additional photo discoveries while searching my computer. I will post them in the next day or two.

    April 05, 2006

    Sarah: Hold Me Close Now, I'm Your Tiny Dancer

    So, remember that brilliant moment in celebrity gossip when Lindsay Lohan and Wilmer Valderama had a dance-off in a club?

    And then remember that wonderful point in time when The Superficial suggested a dance-off between Justin Timberlake and K-Fed (my money is on Justin Timberlake, by the way)?

    I have decided that Dance-Offs are the way of the future. So my question is, who would you pair up in a Dance-Off? I know it seems like Celebrity Death Match, but instead you have to consider not just who's tougher, but who has the most dance-osity. Plus, Lisa and I love us some dancing! So please suggest Dance-Off pairs in the comments.

    My nomination is a dance-off between Jared Padalecki and Chad Michael Murray. Watch out, CMM. JPad does a mean Robot.

    Edited to add: I'm sorry for my many typos in the last two entries. I wrote them when I was fairly tired and delirious and my hands took on a mind of their own. And that mind is apparently not very good at proofreading.

    April 04, 2006

    Sarah: Comfort Food

    Backstory: Armando adores our mother. This is a good thing, except that he keeps referring to her as a "good woman." By this he means that she is a good cook, wife, homemaker, career woman. Really, she IS a good woman. But hearing him use the phrase is amusing nonetheless. A recent conversation with him, however, revealed that he may think even more highly of Aunt Jemima, she who holds the imitation maple syrup. Lisa and I discussed this curious development:

    Sarah: Armando may or may not have a crush on Aunt Jemima.
    Lisa: HA. She's just like mom, except sweeter. And more pleasantly plump. And more of a pleasing maple-brown color.
    S: lol. Yeah. He called her "honorable auntie." He says "She makes waffles yummy."
    L: Oh no. I hope he pronounced it ohn-tee.
    S: Hee. She's totally the ORIGINAL 'good woman.'
    L: Seriously. And also, ew.
    S: I'm waiting for the day that he's all "I care about you Sarah, but I think we should just be friends... You just can't measure up to Honorable Auntie Jemima and her mapley goodness."
    L: Hee. That day may very well come.

    March 30, 2006

    Sarah: Spring City

    As many of our readers know, our parents are moving from the suburbs of Salt Lake to Spring City. They aren't living down there yet, but Armando and I drove down to see the house, so I made sure to take some photos.

    Here we are on the drive down:

    Ah, he is so pretty...

    I think the town is very quaint.

    And I've always loved the side of the little general store.

    It's a good thing that it's a Squirt ad, because if it were Fresca, I might be licking the building, just hoping to absorb some of the deliciousness.

    Some pictures of the outside of the house:

    The entrance (which my parents are going to change a bit... The glass bits on the left door are less than attractive.)

    The side of the house

    And the stone barn, which is one of my favorite features of the house. Mom and Dad are considering this as a potential big space for parties, hoedowns, etc.

    Because of some work being done, I didn't want to take a picture of the round tower-ish part of the house; it was not at its prettiest. But I do love it, and it makes the roofline more interesting.

    Some details of the inside:

    There's a lot of beautiful wood, and so many interesting details in the house. I love the banister,

    and the stained glass windows, and the fireplaces.

    The detail on this fireplace has portraits of the original owner's dogs.

    And I love all of the cool doorknobs.

    Armando tried to scare me while we were checking out the basement, but I had the last laugh when my good friend Creepy Doll surprised him.

    This is why you don't prey on the weak, Armando.

    As an extra Armando bonus, I have decided to delight others while embarrassing him! Hurrah!

    Why the frown, sad clown?

    Sarah: Money Can't Buy Nights Like This

    My camera and computer were disagreeing for a few days, so I am a bit late posting the photos from a recent girls night to go with Mallory's quotes. Here we go!

    The evening started with Mal, Marci, and I hanging out at The Bakery, each trying one of their delicious desserts. Mal had cheesecake, Marci had a fruit tart, and I had tiramisu. They were all delicious. We're pretty sure that Marci's tart and my tiramisu had rum or alcohol of some kind in them. Yes, I realize that we couldn't have gotten drunk, but hilarity ensued nonetheless.

    Mal's giant glasses were pretty smokin. Plus, her fans totally couldn't tell it was her.

    When Lisa got off work, we left The Bakery to join her at Crown Burger, so that Lisa could have dinner.

    (First we needed one last photo.)

    I tried to sneak-attack Lisa with my camera:

    It didn't really work.
    Lisa was looking extremely skinny, so I told her I was telling the internet.
    "Your new nickname is Nicole Richie."

    Marci got fries. They looked extremely tasty.

    Mallory mocks Salt-N-Pepa shakers. Nothing is sacred to her.

    Also, Marci and Mallory didn't seem to be liking each other (notice the huge space between them).

    But I thought Lisa was so pretty...

    Then I started dancing...

    At some point Mal decided that our wacky quotes needed to be written down. She started on her "NAPKINS OF GREATNESS."

    I got a video of Marci imitating Britney's airplane dance from her Toxic music video, but the video was lost in my efforts to make my camera and laptop become friends. I was able to salvage a few pictures, though.

    Mallory introduced a new conversation topic by instructing me to take a picture of her track marks.
    So I did. I think she got a vaccination of some sort.

    I experienced Diet Coke Nirvana,

    ... which made me have to pee. Unfortunately, someone had locked the door of the women's restroom and then camped out in there, so I used the men's restroom out of desperation. Urinals have always skeeved me out.

    After Crown Burger, we met up with Jessie and then watched Coyote Ugly at my apartment. Unfortunately, my camera batteries died. Still, it was a lovely, girl-tastic evening.

    For more girl fun, check out last night's Cinegrill Dinner pictures on Andrea's Flickr site.

    March 25, 2006

    Sarah: Spring

    Flowers are starting to pop up in front of my apartment window, and I opened the window for the first time in months. This is a good sign. I've been debating for the last couple hours how long my computer batteries would last if I took my laptop to the park. I'm guessing not long enough to finish my writing project. Dang.

    Man, I love Spring.

    March 24, 2006

    Sarah: The Miracle of Life

    My love of celebrities and celebrity gossip is well-documented on this site. In fact, I've come to the realization that Lindsay Lohan and I could be good friends, I'm pretty sure I could dance and sing along with Britney Spears music videos, and I feel that Jessica Simpson could do with some of my tough love ("Be smarter! Take off those UGGS!") There are times, however, when even I cannot support the celebrity-adoration of others.

    This is one of those times. (WARNING! Link is Not Safe For Work! Includes naked sculpture depicting Britney giving birth to Spawn of KFed.)

    Seriously, is that honestly supposed to be a depiction of a woman in labor? ON A BEAR-SKIN RUG? I do appreciate the artist's true-to-life replication of Britney's trademark messy pony tail.

    Edited to add: Link found via The Superficial

    March 22, 2006

    Sarah: And I was like "Hey! Emiliooooo!"

    Lisa, Mallory, Marci, and I decided that we needed to go out on the town for St. Patrick's Day. Unfortunately, St. Patrick's Day disagreed. Supposedly the biggest drinking day of the year, this holiday afforded us with few dancing venue options, as several places were closed. Not to be discouraged, we braved the crowded dance floor of Green Street, and were well rewarded.
    Well, mostly we almost had a brush with mediocre fame. And someone told me I looked South American. I know this was meant as a compliment, but it is nonetheless simply untrue. I mean, look at me. But I digress...
    So the mediocre fame I was speaking of? Yeah, there was a celebrity in attendance that night. Not Ryan Cabrera, as I know many of you were hoping, but Wilmer Valderama. Unfortunately, he refused to engage in one of his famous dance-offs with Lisa (he probably knew he would lose), but stood in the DJ booth all night yelling things like "MAKE SOME NOISE" or "UUUUUTAAAAAAHHH," apparently to remind us where we were. I hear that drunk people occassionally get disoriented, so they should be thankful for people like Wilmer.
    The point of all this is to share the pictures from my camera phone from that evening. When I first approached Wilmer for a picture, he was very gracious, and posed with the celebrity standard peace sign and peeked out from under his baseball hat in a manner intended to be cute. I took the picture and climbed down from next to the DJ booth. It was then that I realized that my flash was off, and had resulted in a completely black photo. As the night continued, Lisa and I made numerous attempts to take more successful photos. These were the best we could get:

    See? Baseball hat? I told you it was him!!

    If you look closely, that light in the top right corner is his cell phone. And the spot in the middle is his arm with his leather cuff-bracelet.
    So... the camera phone has obviously failed its test of high-quality picture taking. The bar was not full of fog, as it appears, but was too dark for the flash to handle. I lightened the photos so that people would believe that there was actually a person there, so they are cloudy as a result.
    This experience has also proven, once again, that Lisa and I cannot see a tv star without completely losing our dignity.

    First person to leave a comment naming the source of my entry title will recieve a prize. No, seriously.

    Sarah: I continue to amaze myself with my own lack of penis.

    My spam begs the question "Why have a Small Weenie When you can Have a Fat Kobassa?"

    Why, indeed.

    Edited to add a conversation resulting from this post:
    Armando: Sarah. Your mom isn't going to like that at all.
    Sarah: Dude. She will laugh harder than anyone. Your insistence that she is some sort of saint is tiring.
    A:Isnt it Kielbasa? Polish sausage I assume you mean. I may have spelled it wrong, I haven't been in NYC in awhile.
    S: Yes, that is what it SHOULD be, but my spam spelled it the way I blogged it.
    A: Make sure you add that stuff. Makes it funnier, for me at least.

    March 15, 2006

    Sarah: Logan

    As I mentioned earlier, I attended a concert in Logan last week, and took pictures. So here are some of my friends:

    I've never met this kid, but his name is Ethan Fallis (snort. Phallus.), and he told my friend Jason that he would "not miss a day of high school for anything." Good on you, Ethan.

    The cutest couple in the world may well be Randy and his teeny tiny pregnant wife, Megan. I'm not sure you can appreciate the tininess unless you understand that Randy is probably 5'6". Which makes her... significantly shorter than that.

    It was a surprise to see her there, but I was very pleased to run into my old roommate Nicole. She was also visibly delighted.

    She was looking very thin and her hair was shiny and smooth. Her date, Steve, was a lucky guy.

    Erin and I have known each other for a long time, and have even been mistaken for sisters. I think it has to do with the hair. I think she's lovely.

    See?

    Linnea is hilarious, and her hair also looked shiny, smooth, and luxurious. Damn those Loganites and their conditioner.

    Tammy and Staci smile big. Tammy is moving to Salt Lake soon, and will TOTALLY be my friend.

    They were shortly joined by Lauren, who couldn't hang out with us after the concert because she was late for frisbee practice. Yes, you read that correctly.

    That's most of my photos, and since no one is reading this entry anymore, I'll wrap things up. My friends rock, and it was good to see them, and they tolerated me as I got increasingly hyper from Diet Coke and hot chocolate.

    March 14, 2006

    Sarah: I would like some fries with that.

    Last Thursday I drove to Logan after work to visit some friends and attend a concert by the Fry Street Quartet. This quartet is good-looking beyond all reason, and their concert was amazing. While attending Utah State University, I had the pleasure of learning from this resident quartet, but needed to show the world that this group is only human. And so, I bring you candid photos:

    The lovely Jessica, who is so funny and once bought me and some friends dinner. I would love to dress, act, and be like Jessica.

    Next, my former viola teacher, Russell. Russell is super nice, and he once used a South Park reference in a viola studio class, and for that I will adore him forever.

    Russell is married to Becky, who is lovely, and apparently doesn't take bad pictures. So I now hate her a little bit.

    Last but DEFINITLY not least, Anne is tiny in stature but I'm pretty sure she could beat me up. This woman is pure muscle. Also, she is totally cool. Jason and I call her Annabelle.

    February 22, 2006

    Sarah: Quickies

    My parents have a TiVo wishlist for Bob Vila. This charms me.

    Lisa and I are going to this movie, and no one can stop us. But you can come with us, if you like fun. And I think you do.

    Unfortunately my digicam's battery died on Monday, but I was able to take a fuzzy picture with my camera phone of the creepiest doll I've seen in a very long time. Spring City, why must you skeeve me so?

    The picture doesn't do justice to the broken face, but I think you can get the general idea.

    I'm supposed to be editing an article for the Century and writing at least one article for the Chronicle, but I'm procrastinating by blogging. [Why do these writing assignments, when combined with my full-time job, make me feel like I might actually become a real adult someday?] Also, I need to think of a way to explain to my editor at the Chronicle that I was going to attend a concert to review, but then I got in a car accident instead. Oops.

    Speaking of car accidents, my car is now sporting a dent on the driver's door and the passenger wheel well, a cracked bumper, broken side mirror, and a charming little rust spot. Classy.

    Nicole lent me the first disc for season one of Grey's Anatomy. Sah. Weet.

    February 14, 2006

    Sarah: Beading, and oh yeah, Valentine's Day

    Last night Jessie, Mallory, and I went to the bead store and got supplies for a new crafting project we've wanted to do for a while: beading! We each ended up with very different supplies, ideas, and resulting jewelry. I liked that we didn't all make identical projects, and I think each of the items came out quite well.
    Unfortunately I don't have pictures of Mal's or Jessie's projects, but Mal's was a boho-chic style long necklace with light wood beads and dark glass beads (made from recycled glass in Africa. Or Indonesia. The saleswoman seemed a bit confused on the subject.), strung on a piece of "maximum cool" pleather cord.
    Jessie created a two-strand necklace that was black with a hint of silver. Her beads were ultra-glam and polished. She thought about her design more than me, and even had some larger beads for the center of the longer strand. The result was a very glamorous necklace that she can wear to work.
    I made a long necklace with the idea that I could double it up for a relaxed 2-strand look. Then I had some leftover beads, so I went ahead and made a matching bracelet.

    I used monochromatic beads (sort of avocado/lime-ish color) and six different shapes. The clasps are silver lobster clasps. I tried to keep the organization fairly random, and I'm quite pleased with the end result.

    And in honor of the one day each year where numerous people say "VD" with little irony and no negative connotations, I recommend Pamie's Annual Valentine's Day Poems. Not for the naive or prudish.

    February 10, 2006

    Sarah: That is to say, not hairy?

    Armando attempts to explain the level of female grooming he disapproves of.

    A: I just vomited in my mouth. There's a lady here that doesn't shave her legs.
    S: lol
    A: Her legs are like mine.
    S: ... Shaved?

    Sarah: Tyvek

    You know what's better than a cheap craft project? A free craft project!

    I made a wallet out of an Express Mail tyvek envelope:

    Tyvek is the material they make those envelopes out of that feel like a cross between paper and fabric. It's water resistant and supposedly very durable. Plus, you can get the envelopes for free from the US postal service! I've seen project tutorials where the material was sewn, but I just used packaging tape (and I did it while I was at work... Ssshhhhhh).

    So. Anyway. I thought I took pictures of the steps to make the wallet. But apparently I didn't. So here are some shots of the final project:

    It ended up being a tri-fold wallet:

    With six credit card slots:

    And a place for bills:

    But it was a little sproingy when I first completed it, so I had to try to squash it down:

    So there you go. I crafted and fought the man, all at the same time.

    Oh, and I left the postal stuff on the outside because, well, that's just so punk rock.

    February 07, 2006

    Sarah: The best pun I came up with was involving Fisticuffs.

    So, this? Is freaking me out.

    [ETA: You can knit your own wristicuffs, too! --Lisa]

    February 06, 2006

    Sarah: Reading, Writing, Etc.

    This was an exciting weekend. Why? Because I read some cool publications and got a new sort-of job. As a journalist! I know. It's a little exciting. I've been thinking a lot about my experiences, and would like to sort of mash out those thoughts here. Because guess what? I can.
    I think the most straightforward way to explain myself is to compose a list of the experiences or parts of my life that have brought me to my current line of thinking.

  • Everyone knows I love my celebrity gossip magazines. I truly do, but I can occassionally break out of my shell to read other printed materials.

  • As I've mentioned here, I've been an editor for the Century magazine (an Institute publication), and have really enjoyed my time there. I have met an incredible group of people (shout out to Dave, E, Mark, Andrea, Michelle, Becca, Emily, and Sunny), and also gotten a glimpse into the world of journalism, writing, editing, and publishing.

  • Armando and I occasionally will go to Barnes & Noble, grab some magazines or books, and just sit at a table and read. Saturday was one of those days. I've been interested in ReadyMade magazine, so I grabbed the latest issue. The tagline is "A BiMonthly Print Magazine For People Who Like to Make Stuff." Perfect for me, right? The magazine is very creative, not only in its content, but in its presentation. There is so much to read, and it is not full of only craft projects. There are interviews with interesting people, personal stories and essays, and a focus on re-use, re-thinking, and keeping the environment in mind. I have the magazine on my Amazon wishlist, and would love to eventually have a subscription. If the gift fairy does ever purchase this magazine for me, though, I believe you get a better deal purchasing a gift package from the ReadyMade site. I'm just saying.

  • Two of the blogs that I read daily (found here and here) are by smart, funny women that make their living by writing. Maggie Mason especially interests me, because from what I can tell, she writes free-lance for different publications, covering a wide variety of subjects. Her resourcefulness and versatility inspire me to find something I'm passionate about, and carve out a place for myself in the professional world.

  • I did some minor grocery shopping this weekend, and picked up a copy of Real Simple while I was out. I thought this was an extremely aesthetically pleasing magazine. Like ReadyMade, I felt like you get a good quality product for the price you pay (roughly 2.5 gossip magazines).
  • (I wrap things up after the jump)

  • I wrote my first little article for the Daily Utah Chronicle, the on-campus newspaper. It's not a big deal, but it's the first piece of writing I've been paid for. That makes me a professional writer! Well, sort of.

  • Being an English major, I'm often asked about my favorite author or literature. Honestly, I don't have a favorite author yet. I've enjoyed some poetry, but haven't been able to get excited about traditional choices, like e. e. cummings. I loved reading Charles Dickens, but sort of in the way you enjoy eating whole grain bread or celery. It's yummy and you enjoy it, but you can't help feeling that you enjoy it partly because it's 'good' for you. I know that I love short stories, though. That tiny capsule of literature, where every word is selected to convey as much as possible, seems more vibrant than an 800 page novel, where brevity is of little consequence.
  • People are often asking me what I plan to do with my English degree, provided, of course, that I eventually graduate. I don't usually have a good answer. The more I immerse myself in journalism, however, the more excited I get. Finding articles for a quality magazine would be like becoming Ira Glass of This American Life. You have to find something brief that still carries a strong message, emotion, or mental image. It is undoubtably a challenge, but seems so rewarding. Plus, think of all the wonderful personal narratives you'd pass on the way.

    I don't have much more to say on this matter for now, except that I'm excited to be exploring my options, and to be filling my brain with more than celebrity gossip (although that is really more in my heart... okay, just kidding).

    February 05, 2006

    Sarah: Dollar Store Project

    I completed my first dollar store project Saturday morning. Here's the whole process:

    I purchased my supplies:

    A hand mirror, metal picture frame with glass, and bag of tealights. Cost: $3 plus tax.

    I cheated a little on this project and used some aluminum flashing I already owned.

    How could I resist? It's so shiny...

    So first I cut a piece of flashing that was roughly twice as tall as the face of the picture frame. I bent it at about 90 degree angle and slid it into the area where a picture would go. Here I am, holding the frame sideways (with the frame's support sticking down... get it?):

    And then I destroyed the mirror:

    ...which would have been fun, if breaking a mirror didn't leave tiny glass shards on your bedroom floor and embedded in the sleeves of your sweatshirt. I obviously didn't think this step through. Oh, plus the whole seven-years-bad-luck thing.

    I then glued the pieces of mirror to the "back" and let it dry overnight. I ended up using the following materials, outside of my dollar store purchases:

    The flashing I've told you about, Craft Glue attached mirror to the back, I cut the flashing with the tin snips (after scoring it with the knife), and the ruler helped me bend the flashing.

    So the idea of this project was to end up with a wall-mounted tea light holder. I have a lot of silver accessories in my room, and I wanted the broken mirror to sort of make the candle light sparkle. It didn't come out exactly as I hoped, but I think it's not bad for $3. Ta-DA:

    February 04, 2006

    Sarah: I just want to wash my face.

    I apply astringent to my face every night with cotton balls. After looking more carefully at my bag of cotton balls, however, I'm not sure I'm qualified to use them: They are "for the adventurous, exotic, sensuous, free spirited woman." I don't need that sort of pressure from my cotton balls.

    February 03, 2006

    Sarah: Me and Artie Fufkin, We Love Us Some Felt.

    This isn't a dollar store project, but I just got excited, so I wanted to share! I made these hairpins last night and today at work.

    I used wool felt, some old buttons I had in my craft table, and extra strong burgandy thread. The hairpins are sewn on, and so the felt does slide around a little, but overall I like how they turned out. I'm trying to be guttsier, so I've been cutting the felt without first looking at someone else's cute shapes. I know. I live dangerously.

    So here I am wearing the flower:

    And look! I got a leaf in my hair!

    The colors aren't quite right in this photo. They are much more subdued and autumnal and pretty.
    And I did my hair in about two seconds, so don't mind how out-of-control messy it is.

    I really like the dot:

    Although again, we have the wacky hair issues.
    I didn't mean this shot to have such an excellent view of my work space. Hello cell phone! Hello discs! Hello Maverick cup full of Diet Coke!

    And here we are with a quarter for scale (since my head is abnormally large and doesn't give you an accurate idea of the size of the pins):

    Ta-DA! I am very anxious to hear what people think: Do you like them? Hate them? Think they would sell, if I chose to make more? I know they seem more autumn-oriented, which is strange to see in February, but I am loving those colors right now, and the felt at the fabric store I went to was rather limited. Just be glad I didn't use glitter felt. Because, damn.

    January 31, 2006

    Sarah: Dolla Dolla Bill, Y'all

    I believe that it's fairly obvious at this point that I enjoy crafting. I also really like the idea of being able to sell the items I make. I've decided that my downfall at this point is my lack of original ideas. I sometimes come up with wacky schemes, but end up either not executing them, or executing them poorly. The only ideas I trust enough to follow through on are ideas that someone has already come up with and created successfully. As a result, I can't sell anything, because everything I've made has been done before. The point of all this is that, starting this week, I'm going to start a new ongoing feature: Dollar Store crafting. Other crafters have flexed their brains by gathering bizarre materials from the dollar store, and turning them into something new. So this is my mission. I hope to make this a regular practice, although because I am in school, it's uncertain how quickly projects will be completed. Still, I hope to have something to show you within the next week. That's all for now!

    January 25, 2006

    Sarah: Man was not meant for Internet cafes alone.

    I don't understand why my wireless internet has been gone for three days. But I know that it is sucking my life away.

    Also, guy that sits in front of me in class: A quasi-mohawk that hasn't been washed for weeks on a dandruff-prone head is less emo-hot and more greasy-gross. I'm just saying.

    January 19, 2006

    Sarah: Falling Down a Slippery Soap

    Today I added soap to our shop. They come in two shapes:
    Round:

    and rectangular:

    Check them out! I really like them because the size is manageable and fits in your hand, and they make a very rich lather. Plus, they're handmade, which is cool.

    January 18, 2006

    Sarah: The only time I've wished to be Christina Ricci

    Armando and I recently watched the final 5 minutes of Slackers when it was on tv. We watched in silence, except for when I said "Hey! It's Casper."

    To which Armando acted like I was insane, because Devon Sawa is not a cartoon. Oh, it is troubling to date someone so old and out of touch... Next thing I know, he won't be familiar with Tom and Huck.

    January 17, 2006

    Sarah: Do you use a spoon?

    Someone at my work just ate a bowl full of brownie. How intriguing...

    January 09, 2006

    Sarah: Spring

    Back to school,
    Back to school,
    To prove to Daddy that I'm not a fooooool.

    January 06, 2006

    Sarah: Etsy, part 2

    Well, Lisa and I have made the decision to open a shop on Etsy. I hope you'll all check out our shop and the other awesome craft items available on this site. Please tell your friends about Etsy and about our shop. Thanks to everyone for their support!

    January 05, 2006

    Sarah: Etsy

    I didn't like the idea of filling up our site with items that I've made, trying to sell stuff to my own friends and family. After looking around the internet for craft fairs and other selling options, I've almost decided upon selling items on Etsy, but I'm going to first design a banner and hopefully get some feedback about their site from you guys. Thanks for your support, and for your nice comments. Let me know before Jan. 10 if you're interested in any specific items that I've posted here, and I'll make sure not to sell them to anyone else.

    January 04, 2006

    Sarah: Button, button, who's got the button?

    First of all, the sideview of the record bowls and box, as promised (with a coke bottle for scale):

    And now, I present some 5 button sets, selling for $4 per set. Remember, these are a little bigger than a quarter.

    Cartoons:

    Risky Business:

    Eyewear:

    Flowery:

    Girl's best friend:

    Health-nut:

    Party Girl:

    Pretty patterns:

    Self-love:

    Wordy:

    As a side-note, the "show us a nude scene" button came from a magazine article about Keifer Sutherland and 24. I think that makes the pin even better...

    So there you go. Leave me a comment if you're interested. Thanks! I'm going to stop bogging down our site with pictures for a while, but I've just been having so much fun with my camera. Sorry to monopolize!

    January 03, 2006

    Sarah: Crafty, part 3

    You might say that I could have used my long weekend to clean my apartment. And you would have been right. But instead, I hung out with Blake and Lisa, had dinner with the fam, watched some dvds, trained for the marathon, and Jessie and I ran errands, had lunch with our friend Staci, and picked up some records. I spent the remainder of the evening making record bowls and boxes. I've decided to see how these items fare on our site. If you'd like to buy a bowl and/or box, leave a message in the comments. These will work on a first come, first serve basis. Any shipping costs will be arranged through myself and the buyer. Of you want only the box, they are $2 each. All boxes, unless otherwise noted, are 3 inches tall. Any box that is not spoken for will be included as a free gift with its corresponding record. Thanks, and I hope you like them!

    Big Bird Sings record bowl and matching box:

    I took a picture of this box and bowl from the side, but it mysteriously removed itself from my camera. I will post a side view tomorrow. Bowl: $7, Box: $2.

    Kenny Loggins is ALWAYS a classic:

    He looks a little like he just finished creating the universe, and is bestowing upon our humble planet a sun to warm the land, but that's ok with me. My confusion, however, was that I thought he was hardcore (well, as hardcore as songs like Danger Zone) until he had kids, at which point he made Return to Pooh Corner. This picture makes him look less Top Gun and more benevolent celestial being. Anyway. The best part of this box and bowl is the back of the box:

    I know. It's great. Oh, and as far as quality control, I noticed after taking this picture that the sides of the box were coming a little unglued. That situation has since been remedied. Bowl: $7, Box: $2.

    Next up is Saturday's Warrior. Let me start by saying that I've never listened to or watched this production, so I am not sure how it actually compares to Beowulf, Ramayana, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, or Dante's Divine Comedy. This is a fine specimen of LDS culture, and is a two-record set. As a result, I have one box and two bowls:

    These can be sold as a set, or separately. Bowls: $7/each, Box: $2.

    In keeping with the wacky religious enthusiasm theme, I found several awesome looking bands when searching for more information regarding the band Rockin' Horse, but not the band that made this record:

    They have a great looking album cover, and also dedicated this album to L. Ron Hubbard.

    The dedication is easily visible on the side of the box (which is 3 1/2 inches tall). Bowl: $7, Box: $2. With this item, I am offering the optional Scientology package, which will include the Rockin' Horse bowl and box, plus the TomKat pin featured on my previous post and a few other Scientology/celebrity-related pins. This package will be $11.

    I thought this box and bowl was a little punk-rock, a little classical.

    Mozart! Bowl: $7, Box: $2.

    Thanks for tuning in!

    Prices have been changed to more accurately represent fair, competitive prices. Thanks.

    January 02, 2006

    Sarah: Armando finally gets talked about, like he requested.

    As I mentioned earlier, I recieved a digital camera for Christmas. I'm not sure, however, that Armando is pleased with the results.

    Namely, pictures of him on the internet. There is nothing like Christmas to inspire some Man-Love:

    (okay, that's actually my little brother restraining Armando from escaping the photo.)

    Continuing the Armando theme, I have included a list of the names people have called Armando during the past week:
    Almanzo
    Fernando
    Juan
    Orlando
    Pedro

    December 30, 2005

    Sarah: Crafty, continued.

    At Lisa's request, I took pictures of my craft items. I can't find my bag of marble magnets, so the list is incomplete. Also, this is my first time posting pictures, after a short crash course. Let me know what you think, upon inspection.

    Pins (some examples):

    and:

    (quarter shown for scale)

    Record bowl:

    (this one is more wacky-shaped than the other bowl i've made. All, however, would have a charmingly original, handmade, irregular shape. Oh, and yes, it IS a Barry Manilow record.)
    full of pins:

    Take out box:

    Jessie's suggestion to have this box as my trademark packaging was cute, but it'd probably considerably raise the cost of items. Well, by at least $3. Also, the boxes take a while to make. I like them, but they're a little labor intensive. Perhaps I can find a more efficient way to produce these.

    Mosaic:

    and a closeup, with a quarter for scale, to understand the size of the tiles:

    Ta-DA! I await your comments with baited breath.

    December 28, 2005

    Sarah: Crafty

    Doesn't everyone want a little extra income? I've been trying to think of a craft item I make that people would pay money for. Here's my list so far, but leave a comment if you have any ideas.
    I added potential price ranges, so please let me know what you think would be reasonable

  • Bath/beauty products $3-15 (I saw a 4 oz lotion bar selling for $9.50)
    (along the lines of what Lisa, Mom, Jessie, Mallory, and Marci recieved for Christmas)

  • Bud vases that hang in your window. $10
    I have yet to make up a prototype. This idea is still in my head, but I will post a picture when I make one (possibly this weekend).

  • Mosaic-ed items of some kind
    possibly picture frames, or this could be on a commission basis.

  • Marble magnets $5-10

  • Pins - 1.5 in. size $.30-.75 per pin
    (so far I've focused on celebrity faces, which I could not sell, but I could make some with words or drawings)

  • Record bowls (with their corresponding album cover made into a jewelry box) $10-25
    These have a hole in the bottom and are not for cereal. Dry foodstuffs or display items only.

  • Take-out boxes $5-15
    (again, like the girls got for Christmas - metal, for display or uses like holding pens)

    Does anyone have any ideas? Are you sympathetic in my quest? What would you pay me to make for you? What do people pay you to make?

  • December 27, 2005

    Sarah: Deluxe Pictobox

    For Christmas, Armando gave me something small, metallic, and shiny. A pretty, pretty digital camera! Between the camera and my sudden urge to craft and/or improve my living space, you may be seeing some before and after pictures in the very near future. Let's see what I can accomplish between now and when school starts again!

    December 19, 2005

    Sarah: And I thought Martha Stewart was the only person that used a bonefolder.

    So, I know I have an Amazon wishlist, which I love, but I was completely overcome by the beauty of this site, and now I want the entire inventory. Everything is just so beautiful...
    Lisa, you know how we were talking about how cool a bookbinding class would be? Well, it would be really cool. But you know how we can get our fix between now and when a class is possible? With their kits. Their pretty, pretty kits.

    December 14, 2005

    Sarah: Biggie Smalls is the illest.

    Armando picked me up from work to go to lunch:

    Sarah: Hey, how's it going?
    A: My hump. Myhumpmyhumpmyhump.
    S: My lovely lady lumps.
    A: There is so much bad music on the radio these days.
    S: [Sarcastically] Sigh, It just hasn't been the same since Biggie died...
    A: [Wistfully] I know...

    December 12, 2005

    Sarah: On the ball

    I'm not meaning to gloat, I'm just so proud of myself, I had to share:
    I am completely finished with making and purchasing Christmas gifts. I have three more to wrap (I ran out of cellophane at 1 am last night), and I'm waiting for one item to be shipped, and will then wrap that item. I also have purchased and wrapped my dad's birthday gift. I participated in a gift exchange with some internet friends, and the package I sent should arrive at its destination today, even though the delivery deadline is Dec. 16th. In short, I am more on top of Christmas than I have ever been in the past. I just needed to share my excitement.

    Unfortunately, I still have items yet to be accomplished. Why are so many of my friends and family born around Christmas time? Still on the list:

    Blake's birthday
    Mal's birthday

    Mom's birthday

    Still, hurray for me! I won't be finishing gifts Christmas morning, like last year.

    December 09, 2005

    Sarah: "I kissed Rory Gilmore and still got stuck with a James Van Der Beek cast-off."

    Lisa and I discuss my review of House of Wax.

    Lisa: So JPad and CMM totally flirt with each other.
    Sarah: well, possibly. It could have been friendly banter, but I have a feeling that CMM does NOT heart JPad.
    Lisa: Oh really? I am sure he thinks he is much better than him.
    Sarah: He probably got passed over for the New York Minute role and has been bitter ever since.
    Lisa: HA
    Sarah: Or maybe I just WANT that to be the case.
    Lisa: He chose Hilary Duff over MK&A.
    Sarah: Plus, JPad got Rory.
    Lisa: Hee. True, true. And CMM had to head over to the Creek to sex up one of Katie Holmes' sidekicks.
    Sarah: lol. Which is sort of sad, really. Because that means he played second to James Van der Beek. Who is uggo. And a bad actor. And uggo.
    Lisa: Hee. Totally. Beeky crying=audience laughter.

    Sarah: They're real people. Underneath.

    Armando and I have started watching really bad horror movies. It's fun to watch something that makes you jump, but is also hilarious. So far I've refused to watch Frankenfish, but Armando kindly followed my suggestion and rented House of Wax when he came over to hang out on Saturday. I was certain this movie would be horrible. Why? Paris Hilton, for one. And no one can be smarmy and annoying quite like Chad Michael Murray. Ever since he called Rory "Mary" incessantly, I've hated him. So. We were primed for an awesomely awful evening. And House of Wax did not disappoint.

    The movie was significantly better than expected (and way better than Boogeyman, also known as Darkness Falls Two: More of the Same). This is not to say that we couldn't see who was going to survive and who would die within the first 20 minutes of the film, or that the characters behaved like real people that might have seen a single horror film, or even had common sense, but it was entertaining. The deaths were scary, the antagonist was creepy, and I even was surprised by one situation. I don't want to give it away, however, because EVERYONE SHOULD RENT THIS MOVIE. You may think I'm insane, but you must watch the special features.

    Information I learned from this dvd:
    1. Spawn of Kiefer is a complete coffee fiend.
    2. And the shortest person in the universe.
    3. Paris Hilton is even more dumb than I could have imagined. But she does a pretty good job acting on the movie. Then again, she's portraying a rich slut, so perhaps it wasn't really 'acting' after all.
    4. Chad Michael Murray may be a victim of typecasting: he perpetually plays a snotty, yet inwardly tortured punk kid.
    5. Watching props fall on CMM's head is surprisingly satisfying. Possibly cathartic.

    Four of the cast members (Spawn (aka Elisha Cuthbert), Chad Michael Murray, Paris Hilton, and Jared Padelecki (whose middle name is Tristan, and whose tv brother is named Dean, all of which is very confusing)) all sit on a couch to watch and discuss the deleted scenes. This was by far my favorite special feature. Spawn's coffee cup never gets more than a few inches from her face. JPad may or may not believe he is "down" (further supported by his robot dancing of the past). CMM always seems about two seconds from shouting "WHERE THE HELL IS MY AGENT?!" and walking offscreen. And Paris Hilton is either practically braindead, or heavily sedated.

    Sample conversation:
    PH: Oh yeah, that scene. They made us, like, do that scene over and over. And we kept having to like, go back? And do it over? Like, from the beginning. So I had to keep running. I was just like, so calm. So they made me run to get out of breath.
    CMM: [staring at the tv screen]
    Spawn: Oh my gosh, you guys. Oh my gosh. This was so. Funny. It wasn't on the script. He was just making it up? And we had to be serious. Oh my gosh. [Slurps coffee]
    JPad: Oh yeah, it was, like totally so hard not to laugh.
    CMM: You always say "like totally."
    JPad: (flirtatiously?) Whatever. You're totally worse. You're all "like totally, like totally."
    CMM: Yeah.
    [Entire group watches tv as supporting cast member improvises a little song about the previous scene in the movie. It's actually fairly amusing. The scene changes, and the cast members seem about to discuss the next scene]
    PH: No, he doesn't talk like that in real life.
    [Awkward silence as the rest of the group thinks back to the conversation they were having five minutes earlier.]
    Spawn: Yeah... He was acting. Making it up.

    I could write more about the awesomeness, but I want everyone to experience it for themselves. Armando made me return it before Lisa had a chance to watch, though, and I was quite upset. Hopefully she and I will be able to arrange our own viewing.

    Sarah: Ping! My name. is. Ping.

    (The title is a Mulan reference. I'm embarrassed FOR you if you didn't get it.)

    Lisa wrote a cute entry a while ago, but when I was getting rid of spam from our site, I discovered it had been spam pinged 76 times. This is just sad. Spammers, leave my sister alone!!

    Update: Today I found an entry by Lisa with 89 spam pings. Seriously out of hand.

    December 05, 2005

    Sarah: Santa Baby...

    Dear Santa,
    I've been a very good girl this year, and have even made your job this year a little easier. At Lisa's brilliant suggestion, I've made an Amazon wishlist. You may have already noticed the link to this list on the left hand side of this page. I don't need a lot for Christmas this year, but I think it'd be great if I could get some running clothes and my textbooks for next semester. These items are on my wishlist with a "high" priority. I hope you drive safely on Christmas Eve, Santa. Oh, and make sure you look behind you if you need to reverse for any reason. I hear that really helps you avoid accidents.
    Yours,
    Sarah

    Something to take note of: Lisa and I both have items from Bluefly on our wishlists. For the rest of this week only there is an extra 15% off coats and jackets if you buy directly from Bluefly. Worth looking into if Santa's considering getting us the coats on our lists.

    Sarah: Duff... Man?

    Not said by me, but still quote-worthy:
    "Hilary Duff is not hot. Proof that it takes more than being blond and thin. I don't care how much she drowns herself in gloss, still not cute."

    Pretty harsh, but not entirely untrue.

    December 02, 2005

    Sarah: I'm Superficial.

    Yesterday I applied for an editor position at The Superficial. Why? Because I read that site at least once a day, I want to be funny like them, and I'd love to be an editor. I don't know quite how the job would work, but I'm hoping that it's completely internet based. If that were the case, I could a) keep my current job (which I love), b) have an extra income from the part-time position that they are hiring for, c) have editorial experience, which I think is what I'd enjoy doing, and d) be considered funny, and possibly even have people other than my professors reading my work. So I'm hoping that I am seriously considered, but I know that the competition is tough, so I'm keeping my thoughts realistic.

    The application process was fairly simple: Give some basic contact information, list websites you frequently read, write a short bio, and submit three sample posts. My sample posts are below:

    While on tour together, Kelly Clarkson and Graham Colton found true love. I'm guessing this was not because of her fashion savvy.
    "They have both lived in Dallas 'so they have that Texas thing in common,' a source close to the singers tells PEOPLE. "They're both very spiritual and mature for their ages. They are in a committed relationship."
    One can practically bet money on a couple that has "that Texas thing" in common. Congratulations, Kelly. You've found what most of us can only dream of.
    (Inspired by this article)

    Matthew McConaughey is named the Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. And by "sexiest" they mean "the most orange".
    (Inspired by this article)

    Charlize Theron says she's tired of being noticed for her good looks. I want to like her, and I often do, but when the article says "it's part of her job to hide her looks," I think of another starlet, Eva Longoria. When actresses lament the burden that is their beautiful faces, it just makes people hate them. Well, that, and when they're complete bitches.
    (Inspired by this article)

    Sarah: Visions of Sugarplums Dance... On my butt.

    Every Christmas, I'm able to avoid many of the silly Christmas decorations. I don't have any Christmas tablecloths, resin snowmen, etc. My weakness? Christmas underpants. I have ten pairs. What adorns my bottom? Candycane stripes, elves, reindeer, gingerbread men, snowmen, and others. Oh, and my other Christmas splurge item? I own three Christmas cds.

    November 21, 2005

    Sarah: Chip off the ol' block

    A few weeks ago, I told my friend "I'm just going to finish this, because I know I'll be happy with how it gets done." I was told I sounded like my mother. A few years ago I would have taken offense (as most children would), but now I'm not so sure that being like my mom in some ways is a bad thing.

    Unrelated: A Thanksgiving tradition: watching Basted in Blood (courtesy Defective Yeti).

    November 17, 2005

    Sarah: And by "any time" I mean...

    Armando has a fairly new job. He fills job positions with compatible employees. Or rather, that's what he tries to do. In real life, after speaking with a prospective employee, he sends me emails that say the following:

    Typical work convo:

    Guy: I need a job
    Armando: When can you work?
    Guy: Whenever
    Armando: Can you work tonight?
    Guy: No?
    Armando: So when can you work?
    Guy: mon-fri, anytime.
    Armando: Anytime? So can you work tonight?
    Guy: No
    Armando: Any reason why?
    Guy: Just can't.

    Armando, although you may be frustrated, these experiences never cease to amuse me.

    October 28, 2005

    Sarah: Tune in, Tokyo

    In a ten minute drive, I heard the following phrases on my radio:

    "Your body will thank you. Your wallet will kiss you."

    "You can't see the forest for the frrrrrrustrations..."

    Thoughts:
    -WHAT???
    -I need to change my programmed radio stations.
    -This is why I have an iPod.

    October 24, 2005

    Sarah: For Your Information

    Some people think they are not adequately mentioned on our site. Always a pleaser, I would like you all to be aware of Michelle (Michelle ROCKS!) and Andrea (RAZRPHONE!), both of whom are on the Century magazine staff with me, and Armando, whom I date.

    I expect those I mention on this site to leave amusing comments. Thank you.

    Sarah: For Lisa

    Mallory and I have a new game: Each day, we include in our emails to each other lists of words, all somehow related. Perhaps we choose a letter of the alphabet that must be the first letter of all the words. Perhaps we chose a subject. Last week, we explored the synonyms for boobs. Below is the list, along with the initials of those who l