Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kippot Project

This is the kippah I made on Sunday night.

This is also the kippah that I fastened to my hair with bobby pins on Monday afternoon to see how well it stayed put. After a while, I just forgot it was on my head. My husband thought it would be hilarious to let me wear it while we ran errands. It wasn't until we were back in our car - after I had walked through a very busy store and talked with a clerk at length for several minutes - that he broke out into a self-composed song about his wife wearing a kippah. It was a moderately embarassing experience for me.

I made the kippah as a trial run for a much larger project. One of my dearest friends is getting married this fall and asked if I could sew some kippot using her family's tartan. She wants the males in her wedding party to wear them. I want - and still need - lots of practice before I start making the kippot for her wedding. This version is reversible, lined with interfacing to give it a little more shape, and trimmed with some brown fabric. The bride is pleased with the first version, but I want more practice. It's a fun project!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Menu Monday

It's been a good day at the K residence. I broke out my new running shoes (purchased at a super sale price yesterday afternoon) and finished a three mile run on the treadmill at a slightly faster pace than I've run in the past, set up the oral defense for my proposal, and found an interesting article for my research. Plus, Federer beat Soderling, which means my husband will be in a great mood. A good day, indeed.

The husband is taking Friday off from work so we can make our semi-annual trip to visit our favorite dentist. We'll stay in W-town for the extended weekend, so our menu for the week is just for four days.

Breakfast: Toast and smoothies made from frozen organic peaches and blackberries, vanilla yogurt, a generous portion of powdered flax, and orange juice. They were the best we've had so far!
Lunch: G = Turkey sandwich, chips, pear, and Petit Écolier cookies (if you ever need to bribe my husband to help you with a task, offer him a box of the dark chocolate cookies); A = salad with feta, yogurt, and a pear.
Dinner: TVP tacos. These were on the menu last week, but our plans ended up changing due to house hunting.

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Monday
Dinner: Leftover tacos.

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Monday, but G will have egg salad and I will probably have more leftovers from Monday night.
Dinner: Whole wheat cheese ravioli with tomato and basil sauce, beans.

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Wednesday
Dinner: Leftovers from Wednesday

Exciting, huh? Maybe I'll be more creative next week...or the week after my defense.

JC, I know that's you leaving the comments about chocolate and chips - there better not be any complaints this week!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

House Hunting

We saw some great homes last night. I know they're great because the husband and I couldn't stop talking about them last night, and I was very excited about them this morning. Unfortunately, I'm not going to blog about them until later in the week. Our parents are going to check them out on Thursday night and give us their feedback, and I don't want to influence their opinions by writing about our likes and dislikes before they see them...

The Husband Buys New Clothing

Several months ago, I posted about the shock I experienced when my husband approached me with a complete outfit - granted it was a tennis outfit - that he wanted to purchase. He never wants to invest in clothing. In fact, a portion of his current wardrobe can be dated to 1997. He has an "if it's not broke, don't fix it" attitude about clothing. I've just learned to deal with it.

Until last weekend.

My husband buys his work pants from one store, and one store only: Eddie Bauer. If EB ever stops making its line of flat-front Performance Dress Khakis, I am certain that G will be completely beside himself. Color changes within the line are hard enough for the guy to stomach. Last fall, when we couldn't find an exact replacement for his "browners" (his nickname, not mine), he refused to buy a different pair because he had "other pants at home" and didn't want to pay full price for something he already had hanging in his closet.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when I realized that he had been wearing the same pair of khaki-colored pants for several days in a row. It was at that point that he confessed they were his last decent pair of pants and that he had been wearing them for several months. That means weeks and weeks of daily wear with no washing. How did I not notice this? G is fantastic about hanging up his clothes after work, and is very good about putting his dirties in the hamper. I only wash what's in the hamper. It never occured to me to check his hanging clothes for quality and cleanliness.

Lesson learned.

He told me he was a little concerned about the pants because the cuffs were starting to wear a little. He asked if I might be able to hem them so they would last longer. I can sew, but hemming is another thing and I didn't want to make his last pair of decent work pants my first attempt. I tried to prep him for the fact that he needed to invest in new pants. His reaction was similar to my own reaction when I find out I need to have bloodwork done - anxious and frustrated. I told him we could probably manage to wait until they were on sale ("sale" is a magic word in our household).

The gods of fashion must have known we were in a bit of a fix at Casa K, because last Saturday the newest EB sale catalog arrived in the mail. The pants were discounted enough to make G consider buying a new pair, so we went to the mall that afternoon only to discover that they were further discounted in the store. He purchased not one, but two, pairs of pants and saved over $40. It was a good day.

He thinks he's set for at least the next 12 months.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Menu Monday

Our new diet and exercise plan is working! Losing weight wasn't the main objective of our quest for a healthier lifestyle, but we both admit it's a nice perk. By making simple adjustments to our diet and dedicating at least 30 minutes to exercise 5 days a week, G has managed to drop almost two notches in his belt and I've shed nearly 5 pounds.

What's on the menu this week?

Breakfast: G = one slice Canadian bacon, one slice cheddar cheese, one scrambled egg sandwiched between a toasted wholewheat English muffin; A = whole grain rice, eggs and onion sauteed in olive oil & a banana
Lunch: G = Chicken sandwich, juice box, baked potato chips, pear, cookie; A = salad w/ feta, yogurt w/ flax, pear
Dinner: Leftover baked chicken, carrots and potatoes from Sunday night.

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Monday
Dinner: TVP tacos, apples

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Monday
Dinner: Leftover TVP tacos

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: G = tuna fish sandwich, yogurt, chips, banana, cookie; A = leftovers
Dinner: G = turkey burger, A = veggie burger, mac and cheese, broccoli

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Thursday
Dinner: We'll eat en route to our concert that night.

* We're staying with my parents on Friday night after our concert and spending Saturday at an event taking place at my research site.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cloche Hats

This cloche hat by Fey Handmade is a little out of my price range and probably a little too small for my tête, but I think it's darling.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Tunes Trivia

Those of you who own an iPod Touch or iPhone should all click on the image above and purchase the "My Tunes Trivia" application. It's the brainchild of one of our dearest friends, and G contributed a little of his knowledge to the project. We played the game en route to Fat Lorenzo's last night and had a lot of fun!

Friday, June 19, 2009


There are several phrases you never want to hear on an airplane. This afternoon, shortly after reaching cruising altitude (which we were at for all of a few minutes), our pilot came on the PA system and announced: "Folks, things aren't looking so good up here." This statement was followed by a short pause during which my I developed a cold sweat and a rapid pulse rate. The pilot must have realized that he needed to clarify his statement, because shortly thereafter he tried to offer some clarification, letting us know that he was referring to some "rough air" that was going to cause some significant turbulence. I didn't recover until we had pulled up to our gate.

The rough air we flew through was on the tail end of a giant storm that was raging across Iowa and Illinois. Several flights from the airport in Nebraska were delayed or canceled, which meant there were a good number of unhappy people. Trust me when I say the Omaha airport isn't an ideal place to spend a lot of time..especially for those people who left campus at 3:30 AM to catch 6:00 AM flights, only to find the departure times had been delayed until early that evening. Fortunately, I had booked an afternoon flight and didn't have to worry about delays or cancellations.

I am so glad to be home. I have big plans to sleep in tomorrow. Grading the same essay question from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM for 7 days straight can really make a girl tired.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I survived a 5+ hour wait at the airport before my flight left for Nebraska. During that time, I finished an impressive number of crossword puzzles and had a great time people watching.

Remind me to never travel with four children under the age of seven.

The flight went well. The equipment was old, which always makes me a little nervous, but we made it safely and in less than 45 minutes. We were hardly in the sky.

I made a trip to the gym tonight to check out the equipment. I guess “cardio machine” isn’t part of the Nebraska vocabulary, because I had to ask five different people where the cardio equipment was before I found someone who could actually show me the treadmills (which have built-in televisions). The lady at the front desk somehow interpreted cardio machine as yoga and sent me to a studio filled with women practicing hatha yoga. The next guy I ran into confused me for a volleyball coach (I’m not sure if it was my name tag identifying me as a visitor, the tennis magazine, or my very confused look that led him to believe I might be the coach) and asked if I had “all the girls out on the court.” I turned around and saw somewhere around 50 girls hitting to each other and then told him I didn’t know anything about what was going on in the gym. He repeated his initial question, to which I responded that I had never been in the rec hall before and didn’t know if all the girls were in the gym. He then repeated his question a third time. I looked at my magazine and my name tag and told him I was lost. He also didn’t know where the equipment was. Fortunately, I only had to talk to a few more people before I found the treadmills…

I opted not to bring my computer with me, so my postings may be sporadic. What’s new? Send me some good book recommendations. I’ll have plenty of time to read before going to bed each night since I can't poke around on the interweb to kill time. I’m in the middle of re-reading Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, but it won’t last much longer.

Note: I will post something about our first house hunting trip sometime soon. I'm too tried to do it tonight.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Monday

Breakfast: G = eggs, turkey bacon (that stuff cooks strangely, but he likes it!), lemon ricotta toast; A = an egg/rice/vegetable concoction I came up with last night to try and increase my protein intake at breakfast (I do not like eggs by themselves)
Lunch: G = BBQ chicken sandwich, apple, string cheese, cookies, juice box; A = peanut butter and jelly English muffin, apple, string cheese
Dinner: Turkey burger/Veggie burger, broccoli, some sort of carb

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Monday
Dinner: Bean enchiladas (we have some ingredients leftover from last week's chicken enchiladas that should be used), banana

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Monday
Dinner: Leftover enchiladas

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: G = peanut butter and jelly sandwich, string cheese, apple, cookies, juice box; A = airport food (en route to Nebraska)
Dinner: G = Mac and cheese, turkey burger, apple

Breakfast: Fiber One cereal, yogurt
Lunch: Eat at work
Dinner: Brat, potato salad, banana

Friday, June 5, 2009

Things I Like: Martin + Osa Skirt

Oh my, I am in love with this skirt. I'm especially fond of its length and its giant pockets. Perfect. I tried my best to include a picture of it on this post, but the only size image I could import was the size of my thumbnail.

I'm hoping Federer has a big win on Sunday. If the husband is in a good mood maybe I can convince him to make a stop at Martin + Osa ...
Last night, just after 1:30 am, our little friend next door decided to revive her screaming tantrums. This great fun lasted until around 2:15, when a car alarm started blaring in the parking lot. We tossed and turned and complained about it for several minutes. Then G commented that the horn sounded like the Green Demon's (my car). I sprang out of bed and ran into the living room. I looked out the window and saw the Green Demon's light flashing. I was shocked that my little car was causing the chaos. I asked G if he was going to go outside and take care of it (I'll be the first to admit I was a little scared), to which he responded that his foot hurt too much and he didn't think he should leave the apartment.* Now, I am not the friendliest or most understanding person in the morning. Especially at 2:20 in the morning. As I threw on the first coat I could grab and my red Crocs (which complemented my Snoopy boxers and tank top very nicely, I might add), I told him that was the lamest excuse I'd heard in a long time and stormed out the door. I managed to get the alarm turned off and made my way back to our apartment, where I found my husband peeking outside through a crack in the blinds in our bedroom. I think he was scared, too.

After breakfast this morning, I did a little investigating on the interweb and found a few other people who own Neons made in the same year who have experienced similar problems. One of them made it sound like it happened almost every night. Looks like we could have lots of fun nights ahead of us..

*I have always hated being outside at night by myself. Being outside while investigating what tripped the Green Demon's alarm system was a less than ideal situation for me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

Shortly after we moved to MN, I made enchiladas using a canned sauce that was horrible. And by horrible, I mean difficult to even put in our mouths. I tried a new recipe - and a new brand of sauce - last tonight and the final product was awesome. Here's the link to the recipe. And here are the changes I made:

* I substituted extra virgin olive oil for vegetable oil
* Chili pepper instead of Mexican spice blend (does that even exist?)
* 4 teaspoons canned chopped green chilies (I omitted all other peppers)
* The corn provides a nice sweetness, so I added a little extra

I should also mention that I used 1/2 the amount of chicken and spices, but all of the stewed tomatoes. I started with one can (14.5 ounces), but there wasn't enough liquid so I added the extra can. That decision resulted in way too many tomato chunks. I think next time I'd use one 14.5 ounce can of stewed tomatoes and a little (1/3 cup?) chicken broth. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Julie and Julia

I've wanted to read Julie & Julia for a long time (blasted school books!), but have yet to track down a copy. I think a trip to the library is in order asap because the movie adaptation of the book is going to be released on August 7th. I must see it! Does anyone else think the trailer looks good?

The Lunch Cube

When I started packing lunches for G, I looked around for an alternative to plastic baggies. I figured we'd go through a lot of them (and we do - especially on the days I work) and thought if I could find a different way of wrapping food we'd ultimately save money and some space in a landfill.

Today I stumbled across these BPA-free storage containers:
The lunch cube (on the right) is pretty inexpensive. In fact, it costs just a little more than a box of ziploc bags.

I got to thinking that it probably wouldn't fit in our lunch bags, so I poked around the interweb searching for carrying cases. I liked what I found:
Unfortunately, the lug lunch bag is a little too expensive for me. It's cute, though, isn't it?

We'll still try the lunch cube...just need to figure out how to keep the food cool without having to invest in special, expensive lunch cube accessories.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

News Quiz

Check out this current events/news quiz. The average person in my age group (18-29) ranks in the 28th percentile. What's your score? I managed to get all of the questions right, but for two of those questions I had to make some educated guesses.

I'm off to my research site for the day. More later!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Menu Monday

For the last week, we've been trying to up the protein we consume during breakfast. It's a bit more time consuming, but the longer it's part of routine, the easier it will be. At least that's what I tell myself.

Breakfast: G = one slice Canadian bacon, one slice cheddar cheese, one scrambled egg sandwiched between a toasted wholewheat English muffin; A = yogurt with flax, 1/2 bagel
Lunch: A + G = Pasta salad (3/4 cup mini penne, chopped tomatoes and feta tossed in light Italian dressing), pear and string cheese. G also had cookies and a juice box.
Dinner: G= Turkey burger, A= veggie burger, steamed broccoli and carrots, roasted potatoes

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Monday
Dinner: G= Turkey burger, A= veggie burger; veggies

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Monday
Dinner: Chicken enchiladas (from the most recent Food Network magazine)

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: G = tuna fish sandwich, yogurt, chips and salsa, apple, cookie; A = leftovers
Dinner: leftover enchiladas

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Lunch: Same as Thursday
Dinner: Salad and pizza

Breakfast: Fiber One raisin bran