Book Review: Anyone But You

“Anyone But You” by Jennifer Crusie is kind of a chicky-romance book. It’s definitely a light read, but it was very funny, cute, and enjoyable. It’s about a 40-year-old woman, Nina, who has recently ended a 16 year marriage, and is on her own for the first time. She has a job, an apartment, and decides to get a dog. She finds a basset hound/beagle cross at the shelter, and names him Fred.

Fred is, quite obviously, the star of the novel. There’s even a foreword in my copy where the author talks about the fact that most of the readers feel this way. The way he’s described is hilarious, and completely accurate, as is Nina’s behavior once she becomes a dog-mom.

The romance in the book is cute, even though towards the end it seems like, “Uh oh, I’m running out of pages! Better make stuff resolve itself quickly!” It was definitely worth the read, and I enjoyed it heartily. On the Clever Chick Scale it gets a “I will give it away, but recommend it to others, and remember it fondly”.

August 31, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Book Reviews. Leave a comment.

Making cool magnets

I’m sure by now you all know that I love free stuff, and I love to personalize stuff. I have a bunch of random, free magnets on the fridge that were boring the crap out of me, so I dug through my “Box of Interesting Paper Bits” to improve them. For this project you will need: magazines you can cut up, glue, clear nail polish, toothpicks, scissors, and some magnets. And you should probably lay down some newspaper to work on.

I selected an image about the right size for this magnet. Lay the magnet over the image and trace around it with pencil.

I (very cleverly) took the pictures of the process of two different magnets, so bear with me. The steps are all here, but the magnets have changed. Once you have your paper cut to the right size, put some glue on the magnet. Spread it with a toothpick. Lay the image on top, and mush it onto the magnet, starting in the middle. Make sure the edges are thoroughly glued down. I used a silicon glue, which should be used in a well ventilated area. Which I found out after I was done. Meh, brain damage. I used a silicon glue, which haha I’m kidding.

Let the glue dry. If needed, you can trim the edges after it’s dry. Then coat the whole thing with clear nail polish. Glossy magazine paper works best for this project, because the ink won’t run when you use the nail polish on it.

Let it dry.

Aw, look at the cuteness! This will totally dress up my (already covered in magnets) fridge!

August 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. 1 comment.

Book Review: One for the Money

“One for the Money” by Janet Evanovich gives me hope. Not for the youth of America, or for the intelligence of our populace, but for my writing career. If this book can get published, as well as to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, then anything I write would surely do well.

It’s a decent book. There are no glaring plot-holes or grammatical errors. It’s an easy read, but not very compelling, so I had no problem setting it down when it was time to do other things; it’s the perfect book to take to the doctor’s office, or mechanic.

It’s about a young woman, Stephanie Plum, who loses her job, and can’t find another one. She gets so desperate, she goes to get a job from her cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman. She has to go out and collect people who have skipped out on their bail, and get them into police custody so she can get paid. She has to go after a guy she slept with as a teenager, who is suspected of murder. Of course, there’s some romance involved, but not a disgusting amount, and she doesn’t get all loopy-headed about the guy.

For most of the book Stephanie wanders around, not really knowing what she’s doing, or what’s going on. There are a couple big red flags that should have told her, “Maybe a murder investigation isn’t for you”. In the last 20 or 30 pages everything comes out, but by then everything is so compacted together it’s mostly one character saying, “This is what happened”, and I’m reading it thinking, “Wait, what? Why would that guy do that? But I thought he…oh the book’s over”.

I had actually acquired this three book set, “One for the Money”, “Two for the Dough”, “Three to get Deadly”, and after reading the first one, I feel no need to read the other two, much less anything else by Janet Evanovich. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “It’s an airport book”. Translation: It’s the kind of thing people buy at the last second when they’re about to get on a plane and realize they need something to read; it’s innocuous, inoffensive, and readable. That’s why Janet’s name is so huge on the cover; so you notice it across the terminal. Same goes for Dean Koontz.

August 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Book Reviews. 2 comments.

New Look

You may have noticed that the look of the blog has changed. I’ve been on word press, blogging regularly for a year now, and I decided I was not feeling the dark maroon. I wanted something bright, happy, and fun, so now we have the “Fresh Bananas” theme. I hope you all like it, and can find all the little buttons and other important things. Leave a comment, if you can find where to click.

August 26, 2011. Tags: , . Random typing. 3 comments.

Our Wedding Anniversary

Today is the four year anniversary of the day I married my sweet Hubby. We were already living together, so nothing really changed other than we got presents and it suddenly became socially acceptable for people to ask when we’re going to have kids. So here are some wedding pics. I love you, honey!

We’re so romantic. Photos by Katherine Fan.

August 25, 2011. Tags: , , . Random typing. 2 comments.

Broccoli for Breakfast

I usually make a nice breakfast on weekends, even if it occurs at 2 in the afternoon. This last weekend I wanted to try something a little different. I decided to make a sort of crust-less quiche. I started by chopping up a small head of fresh broccoli.

I diced up a small amount of onion.

I sauteed the two together in olive oil with a dash of garlic salt.

While that was cooking, I shredded a little over a quarter cup of parmesan cheese.

I cracked open and scrambled 4 eggs. I threw in a dash of pepper, and about half the cheese.

I then threw the eggs into the pan on top of the veggies. I stirred it around, and made sure all the egg was thoroughly cooked.

I used the rest of the cheese to top the eggs. It was AMAZING. I started stealing off Hubby’s plate, it was so good. I may make it for dinner tonight. I think the key was making sure the broccoli was well-seasoned before the eggs were ever introduced. Plus, this type of cheese is very flavorful, and I want more right this second.

August 23, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Cooking. 4 comments.

Bonus Mini Post

Even the fortune cookies know who I am!!!

August 22, 2011. Tags: , , . Random typing. 2 comments.

Frame Revamp

I have tons of things I would love to frame and hang up around the house, but not enough frames or wall space. When I was cleaning, I found not only an awesome picture that will go great in my kitchen, but a frame it would fit in! The frame was beat up, and the wrong color, so I decided to remedy that. You will need:

plus a paint brush and a sheet of white paper big enough to fill the frame. I dusted the frame first; it had been in storage awhile, and I wanted the paint to adhere properly. I took everything out of it, including the glass, which I was washed, and put aside to dry. I glopped the black paint directly onto the frame, and started painting.

Here you can see the difference between the before and after colors. It’s important to use long, smooth brush strokes so it looks professional. You want it to keep that satiny finish so no one notices you painted it yourself. Since the image I want to use is too small for the frame, I need a sheet of plain white paper to go behind it. I used the frame backing to measure where to trim the paper. By putting it in one corner, I only have to cut two sides of the paper. If I had set the cardboard down in the middle, I would have to trim all the way around, which also increases the chances of making a mistake.

I reassembled my frame with my new artwork (which came from a magazine), and it’s now hanging gloriously in my kitchen. I love how it turned out! Keep your eye out for nice frames at thrift stores, no matter what color they are, and you can fix them up however you like. Spray painting the frame would have been an option as well, but it is just so hatefully hot outside, I opted for a project I could complete sitting inside with a cool beverage.

 

August 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. Leave a comment.

T-shirt to Purse Transformation

I love my friends. They have gotten into the whole clothing swap thing, and I am profiteering like mad. I grabbed this particular shirt, thinking it was cute. I didn’t try it on at the time, and it looked HIDEOUS on me. I can’t even describe the horror. I still think it’s freaking adorable, so I decided to make it into a purse.

I started off using the seam ripper to remove that strappy, across-the-shoulders bit. This will later become the purse strap.

That strappy piece was one big loop, and fortunately it was only sewed together on on side. I used the seam ripper to get that apart too, and that gave me one long piece for the strap.

The pieces are now separated!

I folded down the top edge, and rolled it under to prevent it unraveling. There were little armpit curves on each side, so I folded everything down enough so that those were not visible. I then pinned it, and sewed along the edge.

This is the future strap. It was sewn to itself along parts of its length, but other parts, like this, had been sewn to the rest of the shirt, so when I pulled the whole thing apart there was nothing holding it shut.

I tucked the raw edges inside, pinned it, and sewed it shut. This created basically, a long tube of fabric for me to use as the strap.

The bottom of the shirt was already hemmed, so I just turned the whole thing inside-out, pinned it to each other, and sewed it shut.

For the strap, I tucked the raw edges inside the ends of the tube, and pinned the ends inside the body of the shirt. I centered them on the side seams of the shirt, and sewed them on, which hemmed them at the same time. And POOF!! We have a purse!

It’s a bit floppy, but it came out really cute. If you were going to be ambitious, you could sew a liner into it, but I didn’t feel like putting that much effort in. I enjoy looking at normal things in a new way. I have another shirt coming up that may get a make over as well, but it may be too complicated. You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out!

 

August 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. 1 comment.

White Lies

I went and bought a new CD this weekend, the first in ages. In fact, I bought two, and I have been obsessed with them ever since. They’re “To Lose My Life” and “Ritual” both by the White Lies. Hubby adopted “Ritual” right away, but I’m fine with “To Lose My Life”. I find the music swirling through my head endlessly, even though I only listen to it in the car.


I know this is one of those bands that everyone already knows about, and I’m standing here wondering, “How did I not notice this??” I did the same thing with Nirvana, Green Day, and pretty much every other band I’ve ever liked.

The White Lies are just fantastic. They sound straight out of the 80’s, but not in a copy-cat kind of way. It’s like they time traveled here. The music is like brand new cold wave, beautiful, romantic, and dark, with hints of the Cure, Depeche Mode, and Joy Division. It has permeated my brain. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “I will probably listen to my copy on repeat until it disintegrates, then buy a new one and start over again”. 

 

August 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Random typing. Leave a comment.

That Clever Hangover Cure

First off, I have to tell you all that something very serious has happened. I’m almost out of coffee. There’s enough for right now, but after that I have to go to the store!! I’ll try to be strong and plow ahead, because that’s how much I love you little minions. Enough to inflict my barely-awake, nonsensical ramblings on you. You’re welcome.

Friday night, I had a fantastic night. Me and Samantha went dancing at our favorite place, Barbarella, and it was everything girls’ night should be: dancing, drinking, gabbing, and pretending to be a lesbian couple so the people hitting on us would go away.

Saturday morning (and by “morning” I mean 2 pm) I paid the price. Not only were my legs sore from jumping around, I was dehydrated and *un-caffeinated*. I know, I don’t know how I survived either. I usually function based on a large number of caffeine injections throughout the day, starting at 9am, so I was well below my daily quota by the time I woke up. I am honestly surprised I even regained consciousness.

After scrabbling around in the kitchen blindly, coffee was created, and I gradually fought off my zombie-like state. I then realized food was the other cure for what ailed me, but again, I need to go to the store. I decided finding pants (other than my Mr. Bubble pajama pants) was a ridiculously monumental task, akin to getting the ring back to Mount Doom, so simple food would have to do. This is a recipe I’ve made before, and I really like it. You will need 2 eggs, 1 cup (uncooked) rice, 1/4 cup onion (or more depending on your preference), and this stuff:

The teriyaki sauce totally makes this dish. It’s similar to soy sauce, but with a more complex, savory flavor. I use instant rice, so I start it in the microwave first thing. Then dice up the onion; I like rather large chunks. Start the onion sauteeing in a frying pan in some olive oil or butter. Once they start to get a teeny bit cooked, throw in some of the teriyaki sauce, and stir.

Let the onions cook to your preference. I like mine a little golden, but still crispy. When the onions make you happy, crack the two eggs into the pan, and stir them around. As the eggs are cooking, throw in another tablespoon or two of teriyaki. Let’s all keep in mind that when I took the pictures I had not had any caffeine for about 15 hours, so the pictures are a bit blurry. You should all just be amazed at the fact I had the presence of mind to take pictures at all in my handicapped state.

Put half the rice in a bowl, and throw a dash of teriyaki on it, then put half the egg mixture on top. This recipe makes enough for two servings, so you can either share, or eat half, pass out, and reheat the rest when you regain your mental faculties.

I know it sounds weird, but this is really good, simple food, and I’ve made it many times when I was not hungover in the slightest. It is easy enough to make when brain no workee, which makes it great hangover food.

August 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cooking. 2 comments.

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