Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wicked Space

I have been loving deep space satellite photos. I used to watch Carl Sagan with my Dad when I was young. And I was 6 when I waited in line to see Star Wars with my folks. Science has always intrigued and moved me. I hope you enjoy this little film from Wired Magazine.

Monday, October 22, 2012

One Bad Bird

Today is my birthday! Twenty Nine and counting!

On Saturday night my husband and I threw an epic birthday party for me and had 50 friends join us in the celebration.

This post however, is not about the birthday festivities. Oh no. This post is about my birthday invitations. They were designed by One Bad Bird Design Studio.

Penelope, the owner/designer of these sensational creations, is an absolutely wonderful person who will literally bend over backwards to get you exactly what you want! I have never had so many complements on an invitation in my life. I loved them and my guests did too. So festive! With Halloween right around the corner, you could have an epic party, too. I think our party was a success because of the invitations. Paper goods set the tone for the fete!

One Bad Bird has no limitations on what she can do for you. On her Etsy site she has a $20 custom design fee. For $20 and $10 more at Target for printing, you can have yourself awesome invites that will not break the bank.  Check these out! And for your next party, I am telling you One Bad Bird is your invite destination!

(I have not included my actual invitations as my address is on them...I know you all want to hang out with me but for privacy purposes, I have included OBB's originals).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

An Easy DIY Messenger Bag

This is just a very simple but very useful project.

Get 2 yards of fabric you like. It should be pretty weighty, though, as you want it tough enough to put things in. It is after all a bag.

Fold the bag evenly right sides together and sew up either side. Do a double stitch on the machine and do a triple on the bottom for security, press it and make the strap.

I measure the strap long so it could be adjusted later. I folded it in threes as you would fold a business letter. The I stitched it twice in the middle and pressed it before adding it to the inside seams.

I added a pocket to the inside, but this step is optional. I also embellished it with vintage buttons. I call this bag "Apples and Oranges."

Try it. You won't be disappointed!

The inside pocket.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lovely Martha

So I'd like to think I'm a versatile girl. In fact, I'll try just about anything once.

When I was young I went fishing for the first time. I was perhaps six when my dad, who is a master clammer/crabber/lobster man, took me on my first fishing trip. I caught a little trout and felt like a million bucks. About 20 years later, I went to a ranch in outer Lincoln and made a fishing pole out of a stick and caught a 3 pound Large Mouth Bass. Woo-hoo!

My grand-dad is a big fisherman and use to get on the boat every weekend. We'd catch our fill of Rock Cod.

But now, I am an ANGLER! Not a simple fisherwoman - an ANGLER!!!

My husband's very closest friend, Mike, called us and asked us to join him and his wife on a charter fishing trip the following day in San Francisco. To be honest, I had no desire to go. I rolled my eyes and hemmed and hawed. Then my husband passed me the phone and Mike said, "C'mon, Gwen, please come with us. It'll be great." I answered cheerfully but secretly begrudgingly, "Ok!"

And, Thank God, I agreed to it! It was one of the most exciting days I have ever had in my life!

Mike and Christina picked us up at 2:45 AM. Yup, our day started before the crack of dawn. We got coffee, ate bagels and drove to the San Francisco City. We parked somewhere near the Embarcadero, grabbed our stuff and jaunted to the dock - all in the pitch of night.

We were the first group on Lovely Martha and we scoped our spots right away. We met the captain and the crew and as soon as I arrived on the deck of the boat, my previously cantankerous attitude left! I was so excited.

The other group of four Japanese folks arrived and we were ready to shove off.

The crew went over safety, courteousness and basic angling - for instance, when you hear the fish on a hook, scream, "FISH ON!"

As we made our way through the darkness, all of us sat in the cabin exhausted and freezing. My husband slept, Mike slept and Christina and I chatted. All the Japanese folks slept and then the boat slowed to 3 knots.

The air was bright with glare and fog and we readied our poles. The first fish was caught shortly after that by one of the Japanese girls and it was a biggie. I was a little discouraged but the Captain (also, Mike) came over to me and said, "Don't you worry, I bet you'll catch the biggest one of the day!" I brightened and went and stood by my pole again!

There is quite a bit of waiting on a fishing boat. It's about 97 percent waiting and 3 percent of sheer heart racing excitement. And that three percent is a hgih I'll chase forever.

At around high noon, Mike (the captain) came on deck to check out the scene. I glanced at my pole and saw some movement. The entire boat including me screamed, "FISH ON!" It was my pole. I ran to it, grabbed the pole and began reeling with all my might! I was helped by one of the crew members who kept telling me to point the tip of the pole to the bow of the ship...I was reeling and pointing and panting. And Mike (the captain) told me to relax! How could I relax? I was so extremely excited I was overwhelmed. It took me a good five minutes to reel this fish in. Pure excitement - like your first kiss or the first time you drove a car. Mike Rescino, the captain of the Lovely Martha, grabbed my fish with the big net and VOILA...his premonition had been correct! I had caught a 35 pound Salmon.

To say our day on the Lovely Martha was good is nothing short of an understatement. It's right up there with my wedding!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Fall

And because it's fall, I have  a whole new batch of recipes for you.

Today's is an Autumn treat that I often serve for Thanksgiving but with all the root veggies in it, it'll carry you right through Christmas too. It's colorful, festive and delicious. It is NOT, however, calorie conscious.

Roasted Winter Vegetables with Maple Glaze

  • 1/2 small butternut squash 
  • 1/2 small sugar pumpkin
  • 3 large parsnips
  • 1 bag baby carrots with green tops 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 Cup Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 3/4 Cup Mac Nuts or Marcona Almonds
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste 
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Chop pumpkin and squash and peel and chop parsnips
  3. Melt butter and mix with nuts, maple syrup, crushed garlic and rosemary
  4. Put Chopped veggies in a bowl and toss with the butter mixture
  5. Butter a large glass baking dish
  6. Add veggies to baking dish and generously season with Salt and Pepper
  7. Cover Squash mixture with Foil
  8. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes covered.
  9. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes more.