taking stock

on 2.7.15

June :: 2015

Made: a stamped t-shirt with the NowYOU logo thanks to some amazing ladies who made it all possible!

Cooked: many things for Yusei to try
  
Drank: some green tea

Read: 7 or seven, I am loving it!

Wanted:  to be able to enjoy the outdoors

Played:  monopoly and won!

Decided: I haven't decided yet....irony

Enjoyed: the massive amounts of thunderstorms, lightening, and rain showers, I mean floods we have had
    
Liked: that the heat finally arrived 

Wondered: if it was a good idea to hang a hammock chair from my rental balcony....oh snap

Loved:  my hammock chair

Pondered: the law of unintended consequences of the Supreme Court decision and what it means to REALLY give ones life away

Started: learning more about stamping 

Watched: many lightening storms light up the sky

Hoped: I would hear some words of wisdom that would shift my perspective


Needed: to play catch up with everything 

Smelled: Paddywax natural candles

Wore: a dress with my jeans

Noticed: the intolerant tone against those with differing opinions on fb after Supreme Court decision

Knew: how this story ends

Admired: Rand Paul

Sorted: my thoughts

Bought: my husband some shirts

Got: to spend time in nature enjoying the many wild flowers with Tanya, and my family

Finally:  started taking stock again

Disliked: that an apartment building not far from here was hit by lightening, what the heck?

Felt: excited to take Yusei to Devils Bathtub

Following:  Jen Hatmaker

Snacked: on too much cheese

Wished: for a better routine

Helped: Yusei understand more english
  
Discovered: we now have neighbors below us

Scripture Reading: Galations 5 :22-23 
But the fruit of the spirit is love, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control, against such things there is no law.

summer manifesto 2015

I love the idea of a summer manifesto.  I have done them before, but never posted it on my blog, usually I just write it on our chalkboard wall. It is a great way of not letting the summer slip away!  So here we go.

1.  go camping


2.  make 4 different new to us pies


3.  drink homemade lemonade often


4.  get through my summer reading list


5.  spend mornings with tea and reading on

     the balcony

6.  try juicing


7.  go to a drive-in movie


8.  make video recording one second a day


9.  take evening walks


10. take art class


11. print out my 40 + rolls of film


12. practice doodling and drawing


13. visit Tanya in Wyoming


14. watch the sunrise with my family


15. visit the ocean ~ we live in the mid-west

    but I had to add it in hopes of....

16. visit junk store in Belle Fourche


17. just be


18. try something new


19. eat at the local lunch truck


20. visit the farmers market often


21. sit under a tree and read


22. go paddle boarding


23. make homemade pizza


24. wear skirts and dresses often


25. find / enjoy silence


26. revisit my memorization of the beatitudes


27. empty the garage of stuff


28. unplug 


29. get my photo mojo back


30. use my polaroid


31. maybe, just maybe jump from the rock
      that is much higher than my comfort 
      zone
32. visit hippie hole

33. go to devils bathtub

34. try to not add anything else to this list
      after I post it



7 Most Stylish Couches

on 23.4.15

Well, we are finally done moving.  Thank you Jesus!  I really felt like it would never end.  We are still in the process of purging and downsizing.  We have moved a 4 bedroom house, with a 2 car garage into a 3 bedroom apartment with a single garage.  The garage is busting at the seams to say the least, so the battle continues.  I have sold several pieces of furniture, as well as this and that.  We sold our living room furniture and kept the family room sectional for now, until I find a replacement.  We are not only downsizing, but I really only want to surround myself with things I love. If I love something, but can't afford it, then I should wait or live without it, not compromise and buy something I can afford for now.  I want things that have value, not because they were purchased at a high end store, but because they were made by someone who was doing something they loved, who cared about the details, who made it with passion, which means more often than not, not store bought. I live on a very tight budget, so this should be interesting, but maybe that is where more of the minimalist part comes in.  Having one thing you absolutely love, versus having ten things you like. In the instances of the past when I was able to buy the exact thing that I loved, I can say, I still love it today.  Of the things that I bought because of need, or affordability, I am only so happy to let them go. It is a process, and a matter of changing your thinking, as my husband has already had to remind me not to compromise.

So one of the purchases I want to make is a new couch.  It will be the only couch we have, so I want it to be something I really like, as well as comfortable for the guys in my life.  This should be interesting.  Where I live, the furniture stores SUCK!  This means I will not be purchasing locally, and can not try out how comfortable they are which worries me a bit.  I once found a couch at Ikea online that I thought would be great.  We traveled to purchase couch and other items, only to find that the couch was very stiff and uncomfortable.  Oh snap.  Anyways this couch will be lounged on, read on, knitted on, and napped on.  I am really loving the vintage look, but several of the couches I have really liked, don't exactly look like they would be comfortable for anything other than upright sitting. Below are seven couches that I do really love, but all may not be as practical as I would like.  I guess I will have to rely heavily on reviews.  The other decision I have to make is the color.  I would love a turquoise couch, but then I thought maybe I should go with grey and accent with my favorite color. Thoughts?

These couches that I choose are not necessarily ones I can afford, but you have to start somewhere.  Once I narrow it down to a specific style, then I can figure out the affordable option.  So without further ado, here are my choices.


Bliss Down-Filled 2-Piece Chaise Sectional
                                                   West Elm

I really like this one because it is handmade in the USA, and stuffed with down.  The designer said she set out to create the most comfortable sofa she could, one that everyone would want to sit on. I do wish you could choose the stain for the feet, but you can't.  The description sounds wonderful, the only things is it lacks some of the vintage detail I am loving in the other couches.  This is the grey color in linen, or I would one of these colors both in velvet.
Performance Velvet, Lagoon  Performance Velvet, Shadow
Edith Sofa
                                                  Dot & Bo

I really love this one, the color is perfect, the style is perfect, though it does lack the built in chaise (for the guys), and I am not sure how great it would be for lounging.  There are no reviews to read.


Spiers Sofa in Citron
                                          Dot & Bo

This one only comes in this color, which is still a perfect compliment to my home. Again another great style, but would it work for a family room setting?  I can hear those men in my life complaining about its lack of functionality. 


Hughes Sectional                                                        Joybird

This one seems like a great compromise, with great style, color, and a built in chaise. I think it marries my style, with the lounge factor, but is it really comfortable?  
                 

Petrie 2-Piece Sectional Sofa
  
                  Crate and Barrel

This one is ok. It does have a vintage feel to it, and the built in chaise, however this is the only color option for me, and the fabric is a nubby one.  It is among the most expensive.

Delano Tufted Sectional Sofa in Laguna
                                                    Joss and Main

This one only comes in this color, which I do like, but it might be a little too light for something that would get a lot of use.  The style is there as well as the possible lounge factor. 

Peggy Mid-Century Chaise Sectional
                                                       West Elm

This is another one from West Elm, which has the style I like, and it looks really comfy.  Also handcrafted, and assembled in the USA. The same colors are available as with the first couch from West Elm.
Performance Velvet, Lagoon Performance Velvet, Shadow




taking stock

on 18.4.15

March 2015

March was a very busy month for us.  We were busy purging, and preparing to move. So my list is short and sweet.


Making : wooden industrial shelf unit

Cooking : corndogs


Drinking : too many mt dews, arrrggghh!


Reading: Bella Grace


Wanting: to purge stuff


Playing: words with friends again


Deciding: what to get rid of


Wishing: for spring something fierce


Enjoying: the unusually beautiful weather


Liking: selling stuff on fb, it's fast and way better than a garage sell


Hoping: the early lilac buds don't freeze 


Needing: signs of spring


Smelling: paint, since we have to repaint our house back to white


Wearing: light bulb shirt


Noticing: signs of spring are showing up a tad early


Sorting: through all our stuff, and purging, feels good

Buying: new polaroid circle film


Snacking: on dried strawberries and pineapple chips which are crunchier than dried pineapple


Wishing: I could wear dresses


13 Mind-Bending Thoughts About Photography

on 30.3.15



I can say that it never actually occurred to me that people did not know what they looked like as a child until the camera was born.  I know they would commission paintings, but that is not quite the same. The one about the food, might actually prevent me from eating ever again.......

simplicity

on 29.3.15


 “Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.” ~1947. Linda Breen Pierce.





Much like the quote, i am in need of feeling lighter, unburdened, more free. i need to purge.  i am at that place in my life where it is time.  i am in the process of doing what i was not able to do in the past seasons of my life.  i can't help but feel regret for having not done it sooner, or kept myself from having to do it at all.  The fact is, it wasn't who i was then, but it is who i am now.  My kids have grown, and my life is changing.  i need simplicity. i don't know what the future holds, or what God has planned for me, though i see snippets.  i am excited. i am ready. 

i am not a minimalist purist. i just want to live more simpler.  Actually, i have always wanted that, but life has provided many conflicts.  i have been told i am living in the wrong era, i need to go back to the days of Little House on the Prairie. The problem with that is i do love technology.  It is a love hate relationship, i love technology, but i hate what it does to people.   Anyways, all this to say that i will be sharing or attempting to share this adventure i am on.    

love

on 27.3.15

This video, while sad, is also such a blessing.  What a wonderful testimony of a man, a husband, a father, a caregiver, a mother, a wife, a son, a family.  The tears will flow.  I love that their son recorded this, even in its sadness, there is blessing.  What a reminder of how important it is to record moments, whether it is photography, or videos, whether the moment is monumental or just ordinary. It matters. I am taking a video course on making time capsules, and sometimes it is difficult to capture the everyday, the ordinary, like it matters.  Looking at this film, you see her when she was a toddler, fiddling with her brother, you see her walking through a gathering of people eating, and playing with her new son. We get to see glimpses of her through out her life, and that has always been such a fascinating thing to me, an important thing.  When I feel silly, or ridiculous doing things like taking pictures of feet, or something mundane, I will remember this, and remember how one day, it will not be seen as mundane, it will matter.  





in need of a little inspiration.....

on 25.3.15

Do you ever just need a little inspiration, a glimpse of hope, a lovely reminder?  I sure do.  Our winter weather has actually been mild for this area, and yet, it has been the hardest winter for me yet.  I think age has something to do with it.  I never seemed to notice before, but in the past few years, winter has become a real test.  Maybe its a phase, a season or maybe it's just time for me to find a warmer place to live. Or maybe I just need to learn to embrace it, and work with it not against it.  Spring, summer, fall, I am busy, busy, busy, living, creating, being, doing, all outdoors. Winter hits, and it is all I can do to leave my house.  Photography, no thank you.  It's not just not wanting to leave, but there is nothing I want to take a photo of.  So why not use this down time to pursue other creative things I love to do.... painting, sewing, sketching, etc.  These are things that take a backseat when I am so inspired to be outdoors, so why not enjoy them now.  Forced creativity = frustration, so work with it not against it. Next winter, I can read my blog post and remind myself of what my new attitude shall be.
Right now I am in the process of moving, and so starting art projects isn't in the very near future, so I figured I would find inspiration in the many amazing photographs of friends, and people who inspire me.  Even on warmer days, when you go outside, everything is brown, and crispy.  I can't wait for the carpets of green, the bluest skies, and all the colors of creation to explode. In the meantime,  these photos put a smile on my face.  The links are below, starting with the largest square as #1. All these photos are favorites, that is how they made the cut, but there is one photo that makes me laugh out loud.  It is the large photo in the middle from Tracie.  It just cracks me up!  The expressions on those masks are hilarious, and then add the yellow bug, and well it is just the best!


If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
 ~Anne Bradstreet


    #1        #2        #3        #4        #5         #6         #7        #8         #9        #10        #11        #12        #13




NOWYOU :: cooks :: Bread and Wine

on 14.3.15

My February contribution to NOWYOU cooks is from a book that is not actually a cookbook, but a wonderfully written book that includes recipes. The book is called Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, and I loved it!  She has a few other titles as well that I can't wait to read including a brand new one called Savor - Living Abundantly, Where You Are, As You Are.  I got around to making three recipes but I only photographed one.  I made Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, Goat Cheese Scrambled Eggs, and Goat Cheese Biscuits.  I asked Shauna Niequist if I could repost her recipe and she said "of course", so scroll down to find it. 








                Goat Cheese Biscuits
         *Adapted from a recipe created by Art Smith, Table Fifty-Two

Ingredients

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup plain yogurt
6 tablespoons cold butter, divided
4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a 10-inch cast-iron pan into the oven while it’s preheating.
Pour flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Cut 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl, with the goat cheese and the yogurt. Stir until the mix is moistened, adding an extra tablespoon of yogurt if needed.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place a tablespoon of butter into it. When the butter has melted, divide the batter into 12 biscuits, each about the size of a golf ball,  and then nestle them into the pan - they'll be snuggled in there pretty cozily, and that's all right.  I usually start by making a ring of 9 around the edge, then 3 in the middle.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with one tablespoon of melted butter.  Bake for 14-16 minutes until browned on the top and bottom.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.
MAKES: one dozen biscuits
In her book, she says "they're rick and buttery and tangy, and when I make them, I serve them with strawberry jam - the perfect breakfast, or a lovely thing to serve with sparkling wine as dinner guests are arriving".   
I concur! I thought they tasted wonderful with jam, and made a perfect accompaniment to breakfast!





And here is a little teaser if you have never read the book.

March playlist

on 9.3.15




 I recently heard "Down to the River to Pray" while listening to Pandora at home.  I immediately ran downstairs to see who was singing this song.  I was instantly smitten with it.  I love blue grass! There isn't a theme here, you will find I am very eclectic.  I am really all over the place.  So instead of going with a title that was cohesive, I just titled it March, all encompassing. 

"Forever Young" is on my radar recently because it is the theme song for Parenthood.  Bob Dylan is the one concert I regret not going to.  I had the chance, and I didn't take it, hopefully there will be another. I think my favorite Bob Dylan song, or at least one of them is "Oxford Town". And his Christmas album is the bomb, at least I think so......

My son introduced me to "The Hanging Tree", as I have not been able to see Hunger Games 3 yet (maybe tonight).  He thought I would like it, and he was correct.  I did google it to see what it was about, as the title bothered me. 

I love the instrumental version of "My Song 5" by Haim, and hope to use it in one of my video's soon!


My daughter came home one day and said there was this song/video that I had to see.  She said it reminded her of me and she thought I would like it, again correct. I love it!  I am including the video to that song, "Mississippi Isabel". 

Rend Collective will be here this summer!

If you have never heard of Flatfoot 56, they are an American Celtic punk band, and they are awesome! I have had the privilege of seeing them live a few times.  I love praise and worship as it is, but I also love it when it's done differently such as blue grass, or punk etc. 

And of course, who doesn't love the Lumineers?

Well here is my playlist for March, click listen to enjoy, or make your own and share.


 listen

   1.   Down to the River to Pray - Alison Krauss & Union Station
   2.   Forever Young - Bob Dylan
   3.   The Hanging Tree - featuring Jennifer Lawrence
   4.   My Song 5 instrumental - Haim
   5.   Mississippi Isabel - King Charles
   6.   Build Your Kingdom - Rend Collective
   7.   I'll Fly Away - Flatfoot 56
   8.   Ho Hey - Lumineers


taking stock

on 5.3.15

February :: 2015

Made: progress with my past video projects
Cooked:  Goat Cheese biscuits and Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin ~ Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
Drank: a specific number of glasses of water, daily, no exceptions, still
Read: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Wanted: to be mindful of my Savior and the greatest gift ever
Played:  Nascar video games with my son
Decided: to participate in Lent 
Wished: i was already moved
Enjoyed: watching a program with my husband, it is such a rarity.
Waited: to find out if we got the place we wanted
Wondered: what i am going to do when i grow up 
Pondered: what direction do i want my creativity to take?
Started: making time to read every day, most days
Watched: Parenthood for the first time
Hoped:  i would lose the weight, but i didn't, even after cutting out 6000 calories per week......:(

Needed: to be inspired to keep up the hard work
Smelled:  nothing
Wore: my new cactus green converse
Noticed: how much winter affects my inspiration for photography
Knew: i needed to keep up the hard work even if the scale doesn't show it 
Thought: how amazing it would be to live near the ocean
Admired: my daughter and the person she is becoming
Sorted: through videos from 2012
Bought: cactus green converse 
Finally: finished 3 video projects
Disliked: the cold
Felt: frustrated for not losing weight
Following: Ann Voscamps Lent  
Snacked: on dried pineapple rings 
Wished: i would sew some new scrub tops already... 
Listened: to Alison Krauss - went down to the river to pray
Discovered: fresh pineapple can make your tongue bleed
Scripture Reading: reading along with She Reads Truth and Shaun Groves

She Reads Truth

on 18.2.15

I came across this website called She Reads Truth during Advent.  I have since become a fan, and have loosely been following their daily posts.  They have some great stuff! Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  This is not something I have participated in, in my Christian walk.  Much like the author of today's commentary, I also thought of it more as a ritual, and it is, but that doesn't necessarily make it useless. To quote Raechel Myers, "Bearing ashes or avoiding words will not purge us of our sins. These acts alone will not draw us nearer to God. But often times Church traditions—when we understand their origin and the intent behind them—can serve as tools to remind us of the very real reality of the Gospel in our lives."
I think it is so very important for us to always be mindful where we are at with God, what stuff in this world we have allowed to creep into our lives,what compromises are we making, you know just taking inventory. Being mindful, that is such an important characteristic to me. I want to be more mindful.  I know that my participating in Lent does not make me more spiritual, God is not "proud" of me, I am not more enlightened, I have not earned special favor, nor is my salvation dependant on it.   For me, right now, taking part in Lent feels like a tool for me to be more mindful of Christ and the most wonderful gift that changed my life forever! 




She Reads Truth

taking stock

on 2.2.15

I discovered a new blog called Meet Me At Mikes, and one of the things she does is called taking stock.  I have seen different version of this, but I thought I would give this one a try, with a few tweaks.  


January :: 2015

Made:  nothing that i wanted to {sad face}
Cooked:  lasagna from "What Katie Ate"
Drank: a specific number of glasses of water, daily, no exceptions
Read: Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist (highly recommend)
Wanted:  to move
Played:  Stratego, and horse (basketball)
Decided: to move
Wished: i didn't have to do the work that it takes to get rid of stuff
Enjoyed: putting together a puzzle with the family
Waited:  for Madam Secretary to return  
Liked:  the two 60 degree days we had
Wondered: if we would ever move
Loved:  Jeanne Oliver's class Becoming : the unfolding of you
Pondered: a simpler life
Started: listening to podcasts on my tv 
Watched: our church on Live Stream
Hoped:  i would lose weight in the challenge i am in

Needed:  to lose weight in the challenge i am in
Smelled: Candelles all natural wax tarts
Wore: my plaid puffer vest
Noticed:  the weight was not coming off very fast, even after cutting out 3600 calories a week just from soda
Knew: losing weight would be challenging with my thyroid
Thought: this time might be different
Admired: Tracie West's videos
Sorted: through 2014's mail
Bought: a new pair of shoes
Got: overwhelmed with projects
Finally: started playing with my new camera  
Disliked: my lack of inspiration that happens in the winter
Felt: sad
Following:  She Reads Truth  blog
Snacked: on a lot of granola 
Wished: my adult kids knew what being a parent was like
Helped: convince my grandmother to move in to an assisted living place
Listened: to The Art of Simple podcast with Tsh Oxenrider
Discovered: you can listen to podcasts on the Roku
Scripture Reading: it's chronological so skips around, Chronicles, Kings, and Obediah

It's time.....

on 30.1.15

It's here......it's time. Yesterday was day one of eleven for the Volcom Pipeline Pro surf competition that takes place on Hawaii's North Shore.  So why am I posting this on my blog?  I may live in the mid-west, but I am obsessed with the ocean, the tropics, and of course surfing.  Where I live, people make the comment that this is God's country.   Now I am a nature lover, but that statement doesn't really resonate with me here .  When I look at something like the Grand Canyon, it's beautiful, and it's amazing when you think of its creation, but...............it doesn't impact me the way the ocean does.  When I see the ocean up close and personal,  that is when I feel in awe of my Creator, and His creation.  I don't know how you can have a bad day when you live near the ocean, when you can walk the beaches, hear the waves, smell the salt, feel its spray.  I love the ocean, its power, its might, its stories, it history, its gifts. It demands respect.  As much as I love the ocean, I am also terrified by it.  Not having grown up near it, even just playing in the waves, can turn ugly. There is a lot to know about it, and even those who do, still find themselves in dangerous moments, some even lose their life doing something they have done for years. It demands respect. This brings me to surfing, what an amazing sport. So fun to watch and you can't say that about a lot of sports!  I have never surfed, but it is on my bucket list.  It is a high priority on my bucket list, like if I don't do it, it will be a huge regret. But I am afraid.

If you have never heard of Banzai Pipeline, it is what they call the surf reef break that creates amazing waves that hit the North shores of Hawaii starting in December.  The waves are enormous, up to 30 ft, and because it is so close to the shore, the water is shallow with razor sharp lava reef. Pipeline is considered the best waves in the world, but also the most dangerous. They say that this is where surfers come to die. Many a professional surfer has lost their life there. The sound of ambulance sirens are a regular occurrence during this time.  Pipe Masters is held there every December, and a few others that follow. Volcom is one of those.

With today's technology we can get live cam feed of what everyone there is seeing.  Now I would so rather be there, and one day I will, but for now this is all I have.    Volcom Pipe Pro Live is the link for the live feed.  The video below is actually from a few days prior.  Enjoy, I know I will!


NOW YOU :: cooks :: What Katie Ate

on 6.1.15

NOWYOUcooks :: 
nowyou is a tribe of creative women that i belong to. we are going on our 3rd year, and it just gets better and better.  we are picking a different cookbook of our own choosing each month to cook from, photograph, and share our successes and failures with.  i am so thrilled to do this. 

the book i chose for january is what katie ate.






  this book is so beautiful, the graphic designer in me fell in love with the font, the mixing of fonts, the lay out, and the amazing photography, and i suppose the recipes aren't bad either.  here are a few examples.











 actually the recipes are out of my scope of practice, but that will be a good stretch for me.   The author of the book (who does both the recipes, and the photography) also has a blog, What Katie Ate, with more beautiful photography. she is from dublin, ireland, but lives in australia.  that might explain why some of the ingredients are foreign to me. anyways i am so excited to get cooking!