gnome g: plundering and playing

Goodness me, it’s already past mid-July! Right, I said I’d try to be a better blogger after my family visited didn’t I? The last 2 or so weeks were fantastic. I really love love love having my family around. I miss them tons. It’d be really nice if they were just a titch closer.  My folks really enjoyed Columbia. It was their first visit. Interestingly (or not?), my first visit to Columbia was the same time last year. The idea that I’d be living here a year later wasn’t really a real thought at the time…I’m hoping to convince my folks they’d like to retire (soon) here. And Lizzie, I don’t think there’s any convincing her. Her offer was accepted on the house in Illinois, and there have been some negotiations back and forth, so everyone cross their fingers that all the negotiating stress simmers down and Lizzie can close happily on her first new house (YAY!!!!!) come August. It’s been a wonderful and full and exciting summer.

Ok, forewarning that this is a photo-heavy post. Hope it doesn’t totally bog down your machines. Also, with the lack of posting frequently, the writing may bounce around a bit. That’s part of the fun, no?

Yes. So….

FOOOOOOD (plunder!). There’s been so much divine eating going on. Mom and Liz did a fair share of cooking. Perhaps a silent protest to the thought of me cooking, but I am not complaining. (perhaps my really unattractive melty ice cream cake gave them all pause (“not getting sick on vaca.”)):

 (it was Lizzie’s birthday!!!!!) 

Being well-fed is SO good:



banh trang (rice papers) with grilled sesame beef, bo kho beef stew (incredibly light and right in the middle of summer!), bot chien (steamed rice cakes fried with eggs and onions!), and bun (rice noodles) with grilled beef and eggrolls (oh, I am drooling thinking about them now!). My mom is such a whiz in the kitchen. Numnumnum!


southern fried porkchops, grilled salmon & chicken, and peppered steak! Lizzie too is a whiz. I have a codependency on my cookbooks and recipes. Mind, I doubt they have all that much of a codependency on me. In between, we filled up on lots of chicken from here and here. Because we love it.





I’ve been painting up for fun. Made a triptych for the dining room, but it ended up looking nicer in the bedroom. Made some pug pics for Liz. Only one (the silhouette) really turned out. Casey’s none too impressed either way. Pugs, schmugs.


I was in dire need of bulle boards for the office/craft room, so I spiffed up a pair of 11 x 17 boards with some paint too. Note the similar color scheme/theme.




I’ve been enjoying my new sewing machine. Here are some new cat toys I’ve been working on for The Walrus.


My mom also enjoyed playing with my sewing machine. Though it’s no match for her extraordinary Juki, it was fun for her to toy around with it. She’s whipped up some awesome milk bottle aprons (soon to be posted at The Walrus) and a swanky skirt from a pillowcase for me. Yay!


Shopping and hanging out (plunder + play).


Lizzie and I got pedicures and shopped like I was not on any shopping hiatus (which I have been for a while because of not being employed…). Here are a few pairs of pink shoes I’ve acquired. Because for some reason, I need more than 1 pair. Fun fun fun!

Some random family shots, I think are necessary:


I love my family. 


Snail Mail Fun (plunder)

I received this lovely tea towel (it’s French!) from the lovely Jess at Rainy Sunday. It’s way too pretty to use in the kitchen for wiping things up. I haven’t decided yet what to do with it (I’m open to suggestions!). But isn’t it lovely?


A while ago, I fell in love with Jess Kenenske’s ginger swimmer girl she did for Illo Friday. So I swapped a set of my Summer Toesies cards for the girl. I got this lovely print plus a fabu Kenenske bunny to boot. Woooot woooooot!!

I’m currently participating in the Snail Mail Swap of the Month, and this is the loot I sent out to my buddy (kind of secret) for the Summer Fun swap. Hee!  


Hmm. Lots of other stuff going on. Got a couple sunburns. Feel a bit like Kramer. Monkey and I are still househunting with George (neither Liz nor my folks found much curb appeal in the FSBO house we liked, and that turned us off the house for a bit…but we might go back to it still…it’s in a great location) and finding lots of nice houses that are even nicer and pricier than the ones before. Our home in Chicago is on heavy rotation with the real estate agent. That’s a good thing. Please keep your fingers crossed we sell soon!!


Ok, that’s enough for now, no? I’ll be back again sooner. I need to finish the resume updating thing. I think I’ve been avoiding doing that for a good month now.  Hope everyone’s been enjoying the month of July!