Friday, December 17, 2010

What's In My Name?

Going along with my previous post I'm definitely feeling a pull to change things up around this ol' blog with the impending new year just around the corner. I know that I want to blog more about things that are important to me, like living creatively in design, cooking and life. More healthy stuff that is still GOOD stuff. So I feel a name change coming on. The current name is also the name of my design business and works great for that but since this isn't meant to be a BUY THINGS FROM MY ETSY SHOP kinda of blog I think I need a new title.

I have a few names in mind that I have to chew on for a little while and see if they fit.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The End and a New Beginning?

A lot of people get very contemplative about what they have or have not achieved in the past year. I feel like I have acheived a lot in the past year, a lot that I have to be proud of. I started Wonderland Papers right as the year was beginning and I have had so much success with it. I'm pretty notorious for burning bright white hot for something and then burning out and not following through with things all the time but I feel like I broke that pattern with the launching of WP. It has been a great experience and I hope that it continues to grow even more in the next year.

One thing that I do expect to change, in what direction I'm still not sure of, is this blog. My first blog was one that I created for family and friends when my husband and I were engaged. It was a lot of fun and the subject was pretty firm and set, wedding stuff. Lots and lots of wedding stuff. I got a lot of compliments on the blog that it was resourceful and heck, even a little funny. I enjoy writing and it seemed they enjoyed reading it.

After the wedding I started posting things about our life and what was happening. It eventually became a private blog because we started to get concerned about there being too much information about us out there. It was hard to find a balance for it all and that blog is kind of dead now. I think the last post on it was from this past Easter and it really only had photos on it.

And then there is this blog, the Wonderland Papers one. Granted, I started it because I felt like it would be a good tool for my company. But since I'm not getting married the idea of thinking and posting things about weddings anymore is kind of boring to me. And of course that is the main things that brides want to see. Therein lies my dilema.

It all comes down to the idea that I don't know what my voice is for this blog right now. I have a lot of interests and things that I'm thinking about and get really excited about, but I don't know that its blog worthy. I love food and cooking and more and more I care about doing all that in a healthy but not overally strict and rigid kind of way. I also know that while opening yourself up and being personal makes you a lot more likable there is always privacy and what is too much info to consider also.

I don't know what the next step is but I figure that to get there you have to start here, with a good deep look inside to figure out where you are before you move from that spot.


Friday, December 3, 2010

A Christmas Survey

1. What is your favorite Christmas Movie?

The Nightmare Before Christmas and Love Actually. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (the original one that includes the elf that wants to be a dentist). I also love The Christmas Toy (anyone remember that one?) and the Muppets Christmas Carol. Yeah, I kinda love Christmas movies.


2. Favorite Christmas Song?
Christmas is all Around – Billy Mack, Love Actually. Seriously, it’s my favorite.


There will always be a special place in my heart for Amy Grant's Breath of Heaven which I sang with my BFF Holly one year at her church. Looking back I have no idea how she convinced me to SING in front of people. Like I had talent or something. Ha!

3. Favorite Holiday Memory?
My brother coming into my sister and my bedroom and then making sneak trips at night to see what was under that tree. All at 3am. Trying to make my brother believe in Santa as long as possible with the help of my sister and I and some truly ridiculous "stories" that we told him and proof of Santa that we created. Ok so they weren't "stories" or proof, they were straight up lies but it was the thought that counted and we wanted our little baby brother to believe in Santa just a little bit longer :)

4. What kind of cookie/treat do you like to make?
I don't discriminate. I eat them all. I don't have a signature cookie recipe for the holidays. I just might have to change that. I will be attempting to make Christmas cake pops this year though.


5. Have you ever made an igloo? Like a real igloo?
Has anyone been able to say yes to this that isn't an Eskimo? Do Eskimos do surveys?

6. Do you love Starbucks?
Only time I think about Starbucks during the year is during the holidays. I get cheaper and cheaper as I get older though and can’t rationalize $4 a cup.

7. What makes the perfect Snowman?
One made of...snow? I've only made one in my whole life, April 1st in Ohio with my siblings and faux sibling (cousin) Alex. It was a sad and adorable snowman at the same time. Florida kids in less then half an inch of "snow".

Gotta love my awesome teal puff jacket and my Vanna White skills there.
"This is a snowman".

And then a couple years later I realized I still don’t like snow.

Still making hand gestures. Some things don't change.

Meet my husband, the viking. He’s just keeping his face warm.

8. What is your favorite part about Christmas?
I love the music, the movies and the food. I love the Christmas style and decorations and how it can bring out the good in people. Presents are probably my least favorite part. I’m not a stuff person. I’m very blessed and so is my family which is what matters the most.

9. Best gift you have ever received?
I have gotten a lot of good ones. I'm not sure which one is the best. I know, sounds like a cop out. A lot of memorable ones, I believe my husband’s goal each year is to get me to cry over my gifts, cause I’m an emotional girl like that. The heart diamond necklace that he got me two years ago was pretty amazing, I wear it every day. So was the Tampa Bay Lightning jersey he got me the year before that. And for the record, I cried more happy tears over the jersey then the necklace. I'm just saying.

10. What is the snowman's name on Rudolph?
Sam. It’s Burl Ives in the movie which I think is the voice I associate the most with Christmas.


11.Silver or Gold?
I like silver jewelry. And its a great Sam the Snowman, errr Burl Ives song.

12. What is your favorite Christmas decoration?
Christmas candles cause it makes the apartment smell good.

13. What's your Christmas decorating style?
We'll call it "eclectic" but really right now it just means that I have my Christmas stuff and John's Christmas stuff trying to all look festive together.

14. Do you hang stockings?
Yup, not that we actually do anything with them once they are hanging.

15. How many days do you celebrate Christmas?
1? I look forward to Christmas but it’s really an overwhelming holiday in general. Being able to go home and visit the family is the best.

16. What was your favorite ornament on the tree as a child?
My mom had this really old ornament that had a bird (I think its a bird) that would spin when you put it above a Christmas light because of the heat from the bulb. Coolest. Thing. Ever. But it is a very old ornament and birdie don't spin no more.

17. Where will you be spending this Christmas?
In Florida, splitting time with both or our families. Loading up the car with 2 humans, 2 fur balls and all our gifts and heading back to the Sunshine State. This doesn’t make me a snow bird though. Because I said so. Never thought I would want to see Christmas lights on a palm tree again but I totally miss it.

18. What is your least favorite Christmas movie?
The Christmas Story. My husband and I have a mutual loathing for this movie.

19. What do you want for Christmas this year?
It’s a secret, one that I want so bad that I don’t want to jinx it at all. It’s not something money can buy though. And I wouldn’t actually get it till after Christmas but if we can use some Christmas magic to make it happen I would gladly take it. Oh and world peace of course.

I wouldn't mind getting this guys for Christmas


Gingerbread Yogis!

20. Have you been naughty or nice this year?
Always nice, I leave the naughty part to Wednesday and Wylie. He hams it up. She judges him for it.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's Your Craving??

I live in a house divided when it comes to cravings. We aren't on the same page when it comes to getting a treat that makes you feel like a warm teddy bear inside.

It comes down to this:


I'm the cookie lover and he loves his ice cream. He was born in the land of dairy (that would be Wisconsin and not California, happy cows don't live in California :) so is it really any surprise? I'm not a huge fan of ice cream mainly because it makes my teeth hurt ( sensitive teeth) and shocker, it makes me cold. If I am eating ice cream most likely I'm also wrapped up in a blanket which all seems a bit counterproductive to my efficiency loving life.

Growing up the grocery store that my mom would go to (Oh Publix, how I miss you!) would give kids a free cookie. Sounds like heaven. Maybe not to the moms that had to fight the sugar surge a few hours late but it was pretty awesome as a kid.


"C is for cookie, thats good enough for me"

You tell 'em Cookie Monster, a cookie is always good enough for me.

So this is what it all comes down to, which side of the fence are you on? Cookies or ice cream ?


Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Morning Brain Dump

Just some stuff on my brain...

- Being sick on Thanksgiving, and most of the holiday break, made me realize how much of a Type-A planner I can be. I was sick, stuffed up and feeling pretty sorry for myself that all my perfect plans weren't going to work out. Guess what, we still had a good Thanksgiving and after my medicine head wore off I realized that it probably wouldn't have been that much different if I was fully healthy. I was still able to eat some good food and the cold actually helped me lose a few pounds! Can't complain about any of that.

- My husband was a rock star and took care of me and our Thanksgiving dinner and guest. He is amazing and we are a great team. I will always be thankful for him.

- Our Jamaican guest made us festival (fried dinner rolls) and Jamaican jerk chicken. Jamaican jerk chicken is really good for your nose when you have a cold.

- We had our first snow on Thanksgiving day, it wasn't much but oh boy, snow. Snow is really pretty to watch when its falling. That is about all the positive things I can think of when it comes to snow. I'm not really looking forward to more of it.

Did you have a great Thanksgiving? Any special moments or dishes?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving full of yummy goodness and a heart full of thanks!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Easily Entertained

The blog post title kinda says it all. I'm easily entertained. And I'm about to give you some examples. My top 3 favorite YouTube videos. I've watched each one over and over again and they never cease to make me smile.

The Standing Cat

The Two Talking Cats

If you are just starting to catch on that I have a semi-unhealthy fasicanation that is easily tickled by cats you haven't read this blog long enough. My goodness, my cat has its on feature on this blog even!

Weezer- Gone Fishin'

I really really love this music video. I just find myself wondering about who I'm more jealous of. The fact that Weezer got to jam with the Muppets or the fact that the Muppets are in a Weezer video. Either way, I really love it.

So what YouTube videos always get a smile out of you?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When I Grow Up

When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. Nothing else mattered. I loved when we had to take our pets to the vet because then I could see everything that went on in a vet's clinic. I borrowed every book our little library had about being a vet. I was really proud of myself when I learned how to spell "veterinarian" correctly. And I was always trying to get my parents to let me have just one more pet. Never got that ferret that I begged for for many years. My parents even recruited our vet in hopes to get me to give that dream up.

Even today when we take our own pets to the vet I feel a tiny twinge of envy when I talk to our vets. I kinda wonder if I could have every pulled it off. I have decided though that as much as I love animals that if it came down to me having to start a new job, totally different from the one that I do now, not art related, that I wouldn't want to be a vet anymore. Nope.

If I could start all over again I would want to be a chef.


Ok maybe not that one but you get the idea :)

Now if I would have made this announcement about 5+ years ago my mom would have fallen on the floor laughing hysterically. And my mom is one laid back lady. She did her best for years and years and years to try and get me interested in cooking. I just didn't care about it. I grew up on home made foods prepared by my mom every day. Very little junk food and going out to restaurants. And lots and lots of reminders that "Someday you are going to need to know how to cook". And then I went to college and my mom's reminders seemed to be a little more urgent. Maybe she imagined me in a macaroni and cheese coma some day, since that little blue box was all the I knew how to cook at that point.

So what was the turning point?

Rachael Ray and Top Chef.

Yep, so not kidding.

I'll start off by saying right now that I'm not a HUGE Rachael Ray fan. But she did make me want to learn how to cook because she made it look easy and because she made it look fun. Top Chef basically did the same thing. They made me want to learn to cook. I saw the art and the creativity in it all and heck, in this case you got to EAT your creation.

I think cooking is kinda scary to a lot of people. When people give me compliments on my illustrations a lot of them point out that they can't draw. I'm sure that they can, you just have to want to draw and believe that you can. Anyone can draw. Just like anyone can cook.

Just ask Remy.

Some of us will be better at it then others but believing that cooking is possible and even FUN was a big door opening for me. And now I really love it. I just hate the dishes part.

So if you got a "do-over" card what would you do? Do you enjoy cooking?


Monday, November 15, 2010

A Morning In The Fall

All photos are my own

No words really necessary.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Preparing for Turkey Day

I don't know why it is but lately I seem to be behind on keeping track of where this year is going. Everytime I look at the calendar it seems like things that were planned far in advance are inching their way closer to present day then I expected. Take Thanksgiving for example. I thought for sure I had a good 3 weeks to just think about it before having to spring into action.


Last year the husband and I spent our first Thanksgiving away from our families but with each other. We watched some Food Network shows to prepare us on how to cook a turkey and we had a really nice Thanksgiving meal.

This year we are having a guest at our Thanksgiving dinner which is pretty exciting. We both like to entertain guests and this is a great excuse to roll out the hostess skills.


And since she isn't coming to cook my Thanksgiving dinner then it sounds like I have some planning to do.

I used Paula Deen's recipe for Pumpkin Pie last year and was really happy how it turned out. For one reason because it turned out 2 pumpkin pies. And 2 is wayyy better then one in this case.

Last year I was pretty much new to everything about making Thanksgiving dinner. This year I'm thinking about taking it a step further and trying something a bit more challenging.

For starters I'm thinking about making my pie crust from scratch. I'm also thinking about trying a 2nd pie for dessert. Here is the issue. I have never tried to make pie crust from scratch before and I have no idea what the second pie should be. I don't want to make apple pie because I don't really like it. And since I'm the baker I can make rules like that.

So what should my 2nd pie be? Any tips on making pie crust?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday's Wednesday Wisdom

My theory is that I need to practice my yoga practice more if I don't want the cat to be better at it then I am.

Some days she does spend more time on the yoga mat then I do.

You can't have an ego with yoga though so that is ok :)


Monday, November 8, 2010

Ragin' Cajun Sub

The husband and I both enjoy cooking. It's nice to have someone that is willing to share the task of providing food and its also nice to have a common interest and a hobby that we can share together. Coming up with new recipes together, going grocery shopping, watching food shows to get ideas and just learning together.

When it comes to our roles in the kitchen I would have to say that I'm the fast one. If there was every a team challenge on Top Chef I would be tagged in to handle the Quickfire Challenge. I cook fast and I clean up as I work. I'm an efficient chef. The husband is actually the more creative one in the kitchen. Maybe its the science side in him that is curious about what happens when you add "this" with "that". Usually it turns out really well. One example of this is a recipe that I'm going to share with you.

Our Ragin' Cajun Sub

First, you start off with some sub rolls and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Then you take mayo and mix it with some spicy cajun seasoning.

Then you smear the spicy mayo mix on to your sub rolls.

Then you add your meat. We usually use chicken and hard salami sandwich cut meats.

Place it into the oven for 10-15 minutes just to toast everything.

When you take it out of the oven you can add cheese to it if you like and then place it back in the oven for 3-4 minutes, just enough time to melt the cheese.

Once you take it out then you add the Italian dressing and lettuce.

You can add other things to the sandwich also, tomato maybe a pickle.

All done! Time to enjoy!

I this is one of my favorite sandwiches, I'm so glad he decided to some experiments in the kitchen!

Do you have any kitchen experiments that turned out really well? Do you like to experiment in the kitchen or do you stick to your recipes?