Saturday, February 28, 2009

Apartment Therapy February Jumpstart Project.

Apartment Therapy selected my floating nightstands entry to use as part of their February Jumpstart project contest.

If you are feeling so inclined, you can give it a "thumbs up" or check out the other entries. There are a lot of neat things over there in the projects list.
Voting ends on March 2nd I think...
I submitted my info pretty late so I didn't get too many views, but that's okay because I still had fun.
What are you up to this weekend?
This morning I painted a few boards (more on that later) but now I want to go DO something.
Joe is laying on the couch (which is what he does best on the weekends) but I'm not going for that.
So I might go bum around in a bit, but's already 2:30 so time isn't on my side.

We'll see what happens.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sweet Book

I'm not a reader. I've tried and tried and it's just not something that happens. Probably because I'm a daydreamer and it generally tends to override the story on paper.

I can do paragraphs when they are separated by photos.
[think: blogs and magazines]
But not novels and not forwarded emails.
[too long and boring, to me]

That being said, this book is perfect:

By Natalie Shahmiri (playrawkstar)
Cover design by Devon Harris (jaunFEDORA)

See more over at blurb.
And Natalie's blog, Altruism in the Morning.
I can't wait to check it out.


What are you doing this weekend?
I'm going to a potluck tonight.
Tomorrow I'm working on some projects
And Sunday I might work on on some other stuff.

I'll be in touch.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So I have been trying to get into the habit of unplugging my electronics and appliances when not in use. So far I've only been successful with the coffee maker, coffee grinder and toaster.

This awesome submission to the Greener Gadgets design competition would be really helpful. The name is pretty clever too: WattBlocks. Think about it.

"Few consumers understand that many of today's electronics consume power while not in use. These energy vampires can account for $100 of a home's yearly power cost, wasting up to $10 billion annually in the United States. The WattBlocks kit is designed to reduce this wasted energy. It consists of several WattBlocks, which are plugged in between wall outlets and vampire devices, and a master step switch that plugs into an outlet near the entry/exit of the home. As the user exits, tapping the step switch sends a signal through the home's power lines, telling all WattBlocks to block power to the vampires." (via
Okay, off to finish my Madtown Nutbrown.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I blog when I don't feel like washing the dishes...

So I've been blogging a lot lately. It's nice to be doing this again--I used to post all the time back in the early days of Operation Paper Cut and then I kind of got caught up in things. But I'm back now and I plan on sticking around for a bit.

Speaking of Operation Paper Cut, I cut paper for 6 hours today. Totally unrelated to MY Operation Paper Cut, but an operation nonetheless. This was with a real paper cutter, though- not my traditional X-acto and metal straight edge that I love.

For those of you who are new here, I'm sure I've completely lost you by now. Quick background: I used to make handbound journals and I cut all the paper that went into them from large 18"x24" artist sketch pads. I used an Xacto knife and metal straight edge rather than a "real" paper cutter because it's much more fulfilling and just plain awesome (right Shona?) to see a tall stack of paper that's perfectly cut by human hands (which takes a lot of patience and precision, might i add).
I sold the journals under the business name "Operation Paper Cut" and used this blog to document it all, which is why the blog is called O.P.C. as well. I named my shop that for 2 reasons- I was cutting tons of paper at the time, to the point where my life pretty much revolved around it (not really, but you know...) and there was never room on the kitchen table because of it. Quite an operation. And, with a hobby like that, I'm sure you can imagine the amount of paper cuts I received from handling so much paper. So "Operation Paper Cut" was born. Oh, and I went by the alias "Erin Scissorhands" which is the name I used to use way back when I was writing zines, because I had cut a lot for the zines and so "scissorhands" became my pen name. It kind of stuck when I moved onto the whole OPC thing because I was still cutting like crazy (even though it was no longer with scissors) and I wasn't ready to be Erin Lang Norris on the internet. Anyway, you can see the stuff I used to make and sell by browsing through the pages here.

So getting back on track, that's what I did at work today...cut paper. I volunteered to do it though, so I was totally fine with it.


Joe has the camera with him in Dallas (and most likely not even using it for anything...) so I'll leave you with this photo that I took a few weeks ago.

{on top of my dresser}
Hope everything is going well. I think I'm going to have some exciting news soon but we'll see. I'm still on the fence with it all.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday Thrift

How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty good. I went grocery shopping on Saturday night since it was snowy out and I knew that the grocery store wouldn't be busy. That's the trick to staying remotely sane at that place--along with bringing an iPod.

Then on Sunday I went thrifting, which is always a good time.
I didn't get much, except for this little mirror and 2 of the candle holders you can see in the reflection.

Joe was bored but "didn't feel like walking through thrift stores" so we went and looked at neighborhoods just for the hell of it after I got home.
Lots of pretty houses, but too close together with no yards.
Lots of ugly houses, but spread out with huge yards.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm rather particular.

Yesterday I baked banana bread and it turned out awesomely. I want a piece right now but I put it all in the freezer so I wouldn't eat it all at once (I'm notorious for eating entire batches of cookies and muffins and breads in under 24 hours). I substituted vanilla yogurt for buttermilk and applesauce for vegetable oil and cut the sugar in half...but then went and added chocolate chips and pecans, so there goes the healthy version I was going for.

I got up at 4ish today (which is effing early to me) so I could take Joe to the airport. He is in Dallas doing some physical inventory stuff. FUN...

Tonight I went out to Casa Del Sol with a friend of mine.
Every time I go for Mexican food I make sure to get fish tacos.
I still haven't found ones as good as my boss used to make when I worked at stupid Chili's.
They weren't on the menu but he made them for me once in a while and they were phenomenal.
Anyway, the fish tacos I had tonight were a 3 out of 10, at best. They weren't terrible but they definitely weren't anything to write home about. Which is good because I don't write home much (or ever, for that matter. unless email counts.)

For now I'm off to defrost a piece of banana bread and pretend I didn't tell you that.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Lately I've been having trouble sleeping so I'm trying out a new tea.
Well, new to me anyway.
It's made by Yogi Tea and they call it "Bedtime".
The packaging is really something...the patterns and colors are beautiful.
(side note: i almost titled this post "nice package" but i thought twice about that.)

I added a bit of milk, because that's just how I always drink my tea.
It tastes wonderful and finishes nicely.

I'm currently feeling pretty sleepy.
And almost as if I've been drugged, which really isn't too bad.
Bring on the dancing pink elephants!
Okay, I don't feel that drugged, unfortunately.
(or fortunately since i want to sleep.)

So for now, I'm going to call it a night.
Edited to add: Although this photo makes my bed look cozy, don't be fooled.
I bought a down comforter on mega sale, since I needed one for my duvet.
(And went through heck trying to find it.)
It's rated for people who sleep with their heat at 68-71 degrees.
Let me just say this- I turn my heat down to 58 at night (crazy, i've been told) and it's like the friggan Sahara under there.
Joe threw the packaging away before I had a chance to test it out.
So for now I'll just hope that we someday have an old, drafty house.
Because then I could at least appreciate the warmth...

Because I'm waiting for paint to dry...

Five Things:
1: Favorite Color: It varies, but I will always love grey.
2: Favorite Season: Autumn. Or Spring. Okay, both.
3: Guilty Pleasure: Haha...I'll admit, I like the Bee Gees. What can I say? I like to dance.
4: Today: Painting things.
5: Currently: Hungry, bedheadish and listening to Pandora.

Photos coming later.
I'm off to paint more of this and then make some concoction from the food that I have on hand.
That should be interesting since I don't have much.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I got this plant from IKEA a few months ago, along with the planter.

I named her Gloria.

The window panels in the background are from West Elm...I just put them up today.

Hope your weekend was good!
Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I'm not usually a Valentine's Day person, but this year I felt like celebrating.

My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that I no longer work in the restaurant industry and don't have a valid reason to hate this day any more.

Tonight we're going to Bucatini for dinner.
I don't really like going to restaurants on these kind of gives me flashbacks, haha.

But anyway, that's what we're up to.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day, for what it's worth.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Boots

Joe told me that he didn't have a birthday gift for me and I told him I wasn't surprised.
Not in a mean way or anything, but that's just kind of how the past 5 years have gone.
(Oh wait- last year he got me 3 lb dumb bells and gave me a check so I could chop my hair off. OH and a vase...which I was absolutely smitten with. As you know I love things for the house.)

This year he asked if he could buy me the boots I've been swooning over.
(Okay he didn't really say it like that. But that's what went through my head.)
I knew he meant the Miz Mooz boots, and not the Frye boots.
I think he would have flipped out if I told him they were the $370 Frye boots.
(He just doesn't get it...but I am conditioning him slowly...slooowllly)

So there they are.
Miz Mooz Pacey Boots, in tan.
And that's my owl, Owliver.
Not owl-liver. More like Oliver with a W in it.

Oh and the shirt is from the inlaws.


Lately I have been big on coffee and tea.
1 cup of coffee in the morning. About 3 cups of chai during the day.
That's a lot to me.
Probably why I haven't been sleeping at night...
...which then leads to me drinking tea all day.
And now I'm at the point where I have a headache in the morning, until I drink my coffee.
Damn it.

Well it's time to get ready for work now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Roman Candle

Lately my work schedule has been throwing my life-balance groove for a loop.
I'm used to having a weekday off every now and then, but that's no longer the case.
So we (and by "we" I mean "I") haven't been able to keep up with the meal planning/making as well.

So tonight we went to the Roman Candle in Middleton, WI.

It's about 2 miles away from our apartment.

Cute atmosphere and great pizza.

I like it because I can get pizza by the slice, and get all the stuff Joe doesn't like.
In this case, it was Roma tomatoes, banana peppers and mushrooms (although Joe does love mushrooms).

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


When I started working at American Girl (I don't think I ever officially announced that on here, for various reasons), I got into a huge "buying" frenzy.

But that was a seasonal job, and I'm not there anymore, and I'm not into buying a bunch of stuff anymore, either.

Basically what had happened was this:

I worked at Chili's for a long time.
I got crappy tips for a long time
I couldn't buy a lot of things that I wanted, let alone needed, for a long time.

Then we moved to Madison, and I started breaking even.
A few months later, I started working at American Girl, and I had extra money for the first time in yeeeearrrrrrsss.

So I went through this phase where I was buying a bunch of stuff, only because I hadn't been able to for so so long.
If you know me, you know that I like stuff...all sorts of stuff.
And if you know me, you also know that I like quality stuff.
In a nutshell, the things I gravitate towards tend to be pricey.

Thankfully clearance racks exist, which is where I tend to buy the things that were once a pretty penny for a much more affordable price.

This Payson Lamp from Pottery Barn is a great example of one of those clearance things.
{And so is the green West Elm vase, now that I think about it.}

I think I am finally out of my buying phase.
There were just so damn many things that I wanted or needed for so long that everything kind of just stacked up.
All of my purchases seemed justified.
{And luckily, they still do.}

So now I am in a new phase, which is the "making" phase.
There are so many projects on my to-do list, I can't wait till some of them are finished!

It's so strange that we find comfort in habits and then get into these deep grooves with them.
I go through these spurts that usually last about 2-3 months each, and they all seem to focus on one certain topic of interest. And then I move onto something else.
I wonder what will come after this "making" phase?
Some previous habits included working out (i was hardcore into that for awhile until my life got a little off-balance), then it was healthy eating (which is still there but not quite as extreme, because of the balance thing) and I know that beer was in there somewhere for a while (good beer, i mean...not just any beer).
So we'll see what happens's always interesting.

For now I will just keep on keepin' on.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


How was your weekend?

Mine is going pretty well.

Last night I started on our new rack for the bedroom:

Today I'm going to bake some banana bread with pecans.
And I'm going to Pottery Barn to return 1 of 2 lamps I bought on mega sale.
I need new pants too...but pants shopping takes months for me, so I doubt I will even look.


Joe felt bad about not having any surprises for me for my birthday, so he told me he'd buy me the boots I've been wanting.

But now I'm second guessing the size, so I may have to exchange fun!


I've been looking at houses lately on

We like our side of town, but I'm an old house kind of girl.

And there aren't many affordable old houses on our side.

Everything is new, not to mention expensive..and I don't like new houses one bit.

But I really like our area in general.

It's 1.5 miles away from Target.
2 miles away from my grocery store.
1-2 miles away from some of my favorite restaurants.
2 miles away from Joe's work (and my work in the fall/winter)
Downtown is 12 minutes away...and at the same time, the rolling country hills are 12 minutes away.
My doctors office and eye doctor is walking distance, less than half a mile.
And the really nice thing is that we live right by the belt line, which is the main road that takes us pretty much anywhere in no time.

But there are no pretty houses in our range.
And by pretty, I mean old and creeky.
Wood floors.
Quirky architecture.
That sort of thing.

So I don't know what we're going to do.
Not like we have to decide today, but it's fun to look.

Time to venture out into the busy world.
Hope your weekend was good.