Tag Archives: Favorites

Blooms to Bring in a New Year

I have a thing for peonies, they are by far my favorite flower. The intricate blooms with varied petals — some finger-like and supporting the central petals, while others are wide, flat and delicate. If you are lucky you will get three layers of varied petal structures in a single bloom. And the best part of peonies is that they are in bloom during my birthday.

 

I am proud to announce that my “I hate my birthday” attitude is ebbing. Here is to two birthdays in a row without tears . . .  happy birthday to me!

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Inspiration

I wish I wanted to apologize for my absence, but I am not sorry. The last several weeks brimmed with excursions to visit friends and siblings who bring joy to my heart, exploring new places and rediscovering old ones, thoughtful discussions with brilliant minds, as well as my first time driving in snow in three years.

 

For whatever it is worth, I am compiling current sources of inspiration (i.e., videos, photos, articles, whatever snags my attention and causes me to pause) on my recently established tumblr site, which you will find HERE.

 

You are . . .

I love small surprises! And nothing beats cards and packages in the mail from friends who live far away.

Karen, thank you for your consistency, laughter, thoughtfulness, and treasured friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogtracks:
– TV Girl, “On Land”  (download it HERE)
– Rubik, “Laws of Gravity”  (download it HERE)
– Tapes ‘n Tapes, “Freak Out”  (download it HERE)

Farewell Project 365!

I was inspired by Erin Loechner’s list of “2011 Non-Goals”, in which she listed the things she loves about herself and life and does not want to alter in the coming year(s).  Here are the moments, habits and choices I want to stay the same:

  1. Embracing hope with a deep faith + refusing to settle.  You am more than you seem and more than how others’ see you/your situations.
  2. Be present.  Right here.  Right now.
  3. Keep drinking that water, putting mileage on those soles, and doing those push-ups.  You can do it!
  4. Sensing wonder and recognizing beauty in the smallest and most forgotten of places.  Keep your eyes wide open.
  5. Asking for help.  Remember, doing so is not a sign of weakness.
  6. Journaling about your gratitudes.  Each moment, each interaction, each sigh is a chance to receive grace; choose to live in its abundance.
  7. Flossing.  You averaged 5:7 nights/week . . . keep up the good work.
  8. Dreaming, wrestling with your faith, and writing.  Never stop.  Please never stop.

Goodbye 2010.   Thank you for the moments that stung, that brought laughter to my lips and others that brought tears to my eyes.  At times your challenges felt as though they would destroy me, but in your fading light I stand and know my worth.

2011, I look forward to meeting you!

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S ALL!

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12.29.2010 – Lion Opener*

12.30.2010 – RegularSpicy* (Los Angeles, CA)

12.31.2010 – The Possibilities New Planners Hold* — I love all the blank dates and pages that I get to fill-up with birthdays/holidays/weddings, events and simple dates for drinks and coffee that will overflow with poignant conversations and produce cherished memories, trips to see beloved friends . . . oh the possibilities!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blogtrack:
– Julianna Barwick, “The Magic Place”
– Duchess Leo, “Bloom” (download it HERE)
– First Aid Kit, “When I Grow Up (Fever Ray cover)” (download it HERE)
– SilOHs, “A Zealot Sun”

Like it’s Christmas in the Room

No gifts to give, they’re all right here
Inside our hearts the glorious cheer
And in the house we see a light
That comes from what we know inside

I’ll come to you, I’ll sing to you
Like it’s Christmas in the room
I’ll dance with you, I’ll laugh with you
Until it’s Christmas in the room
Until it’s Christmas in the room

~Sufjan Stevens, “Christmas in the Room”

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11.22.2010 – Bits and Pieces*

11.23.2010 – To Scale*

11.24.2010 – Almond Toast*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Grandma Ahlquist’s Almond Toast (Svenska Mandel Skorpar)

Almond toast is a hybrid between a shortbread cookie and a biscotti.  My brothers and I would get this sweet treat as part of our breakfasts when visiting my Swedish grandparents.  I make almond toast every Christmas now that my ninety-two-year-old grandma is no longer physically able to do so. Like most Swedish baked items, almond toast is buttery with a subtle almond flavor.  My family enjoys them with their morning and evening coffees.  Njut!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ cup finely chopped (roasted) almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix together butter, sugar, sour cream, eggs, and almond extract.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Add (¾-1 cup at a time) the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix well.
  5. Add almonds to batter.
  6. Transfer batter to a greased pan (I use a glass 9″x13″ baking dish and a glass bread pan)
  7. Bake for 45 minutes.
  8. Cut into strips, remove from pans, and place strips on a cookie sheet.
  9. Return to oven (250° F) to dry and lightly brown for 45 mins-2 hours (I like them on the more toasted side, so I dry for 1.5-2 hours).
  10. Cool, and store in an airtight container.

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11.25.2010 – O Holy Night*

11.26.2010 – SoCal in Winter*

11.27.2010 – Textures* (The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA)

11.28.2010 – Many Thanks to Trader Joe’s Unsweetened & Unsulfured Dried Pineapple Rings*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blogtrack:
– Bikini, “American Mourning” (listen HERE)
– The Winston Jazz Routine, “Through the Snow” — for AIA & AGL who are making their way back to NY (listen HERE)
– Washington Mile, “All of Your Blue” (download HERE)
– Beach House, “Take Care”

Broken Bubbles

12.20.2010 – Simple Pleasures: Popping Bubble Wrap*

12.21.2010 – .*

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Blogtrack:
– The Notwist, “Boneless”
– Sam Amidon, “Climbing High Mountains”
– Chief, “Night & Day”
– Of Mountains and Men, “Little Talks”

The Pink Elephant in the Room

12.6.2010 – Deliciousness.* (Tustin, CA)

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Blogtrack:
– Dolorean, “Country Clutter” (listen HERE)
– Zola Jesus, “Poor Animal”
– Home Video, “The Smoke”