Check-In: January 28

What I’m working on: St. Patrick’s Day! I’m trying to keep my momentum up so I can be well ahead of seasonal and holiday stuff by this summer. We’ll see if that actually happens. I also need to start working on all that blog stuff I was going to work on in the new year.

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I’ve also got to get some crafting projects done. I’m putting my great-grandma quilt back together slowly, but surely. It requires big chunks of time, though. I have trouble making myself sit down and work on it for a couple hours at a time. Plus, I’m nearly finished with a scarf for my husband to wear on our trip to Chicago. (It’s big and fluffy and we might have to check it separately in its own bag.)

What I’m playing: I’m finally getting moving on Final Fantasy XV. It’s pretty fun, so far. It has all the cute boys. Plus, I like the open-worldness of it. I don’t know that I would have the attention span for an old fashioned liner RPG these days.

What I’m reading: I just finished book 2 of March and I’m waiting on book 3. I very much recommend it. I have to admit, it included a lot of people and events that I didn’t know about. And a whole lot of stuff that we’d do well to remember.

What I’m eating: The husband person and I took a little excursion this morning to the Greenhouse on Porter — a little coffee shop (in a greenhouse) nearby. We’ve been meaning to visit forever.

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Yep. It’s a greenhouse.

It’s menu is limited, but they have good pour-0ver coffee and the specialize in biscuits. We got a savory broccoli and cheese biscuit with spinach filling and a sweet sprinkles and chocolate one. I think we both preferred the savory. I generally prefer my biscuits to be buttery and salty rather than sweet anyway.

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And the best part… there’s a kitty!

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So sweet. So soft.
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Check-In: January 12

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What I’m working on: So, here’s a sneak peek of the project I started this week… that’s taking me much longer than I’d anticipated. I was hoping it would be live in the shop today, but I’ll be doing good to get it up this weekend. I kinda dropped the ball big-time on Valentine’s Day, so I’m thinking I might just skip ahead and see if I can’t get something out for Easter and Spring. I can revisit Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day this summer while I’m working on Halloween and Christmas.

What I’m eating: I don’t think I talk a whole lot about food here, even though I love it. (All of it.) But one of my latest obsessions has been Korean food. The husband person and I went to a tiny local Korean restaurant for our anniversary last week. We’d been meaning to go ever since we found out about this place, but it’s in a part of town we never pass through, so we just kept forgetting. But, it was amazing. I had the beef bulgogi, he had the bibimbap and we shared some kimbap. And it was so good.

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Editing this photo is making me hungry again.

 

I’ve always liked Asian food. I’ve been down with sushi for twenty years now. We’re lucky enough to live with a large enough Vietnamese community that we have more than one place to get excellent Vietnamese food. I’m trying to learn to cook all of it. I’ve made some sad sushi rolls. I’ve gotten okay at making donburi. (I love a big bowl of rice with just piles of stuff on it.) I’m working on upping my kimchi fried rice game. (I made some for dinner tonight.) I haven’t attempted Vietnamese food yet. But I might start off slow, like figuring out how to make those pickles that make bahn mi so good.

All this rambling leads nicely into —

What I’m reading: I recently discovered the webcomic I Think You’re Sauceome by Sarah Becan… which I discovered when I was looking for bibimbap recipes. It’s a webcomic that starts as a food diary and a study in body image but it also includes recipes and restaurant reviews and other good stuff. I’ve never identified with a cartoonist so hard. She puts into comics the exact same thoughts I have about my body all the time. And it’s nice to see her overcome them. Plus, she’s really into tacos and bibimbap and so am I.

I’m only about a third of the way through her archives, and it doesn’t look like she’s posted since May. But, I’m definitely now a Sarah Becan fan.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

This past weekend, the husband person and I took a little trip up to Chattanooga to visit his brother for a couple days. It’s about a six hour drive from where we live, so it’s not too bad for a short vacation. And when you leave a coastal area for the mountains, it really feels like you’ve gone a lot farther than you really have.

Chattanooga’s a pretty hip town, too. It’s walkable (or bikable if that’s your style), there’s history and art and so much food. It’s like Nashville Junior, if you consider Nashville the Austin of Tennessee. (Austin being the Portland of Texas.)

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Here’s what we did!

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First up: Nature! This is the husband person (right) and brother-in-law person (left) marching toward Signal Point on Signal Mountain. It’s called that because of the Civil War Signalin’ that went on there. (Click the link for someone that knows what they’re talking about.)

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Check-In: May 28

Well, I skipped a check-in last week because I didn’t feel like I had much to check in about. This week I just plain forgot. So, let’s play catch up.

What I’m working on: I finally finished this shabby-chic-y looking rustic floral venture I’ve been working on.

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I’m happy with it. The images all pre-1924 and come from my mom’s postcard collection. I’m excited about how cohesive they all look, despite not being a “matched set.”

What I’m reading: I finished The Bees, which I really enjoyed. I realized I have a lot of pre-19th century bee imagery, so watch out for bee designs in the future. I put a hold on our next book for book club at the library. While I’m waiting on that, I got back to the X-Men and finished up the end of the Brood Saga. Wherein Colossus admits (more or less) his feelings for Kitty, Lockheed makes his first appearance and Storm is that one player in the party who takes Chaotic Good entirely too seriously.

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What I had for dinner last night: 

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Jealous?

Bad blogger

I haven’t been so great at the blog stuff lately. We got back from our little trip to New Orleans last week and I haven’t felt 100% since. I was dealing with some pretty intense back/shoulder pain for a while (this will be an ongoing theme with me, comes with sitting at a computer all the time) and was just pretty miserable for a few days.

I did manage to somehow get some stuff done for the shop, though. So go me.

Anyway, here’s some of the very few pictures I took on our little day trip to New Orleans. There’s so much more I could have taken pictures of. But again… I’m a bad blogger.

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Beers at Barcadia!
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The Victory Garden at the National WWII Museum
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I fell in love with the credenza in our room at the Old No. 77 Hotel.
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This lady was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
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The Louisiana cochon on cabbage and picked turnips at Cochon.
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Stopping at Lafayette Square to say hello to our buddy Ben Franklin

Happy Easter! I’ll be better next week!

Check-In: Feb. 25

What I’m working on – I posted my weird squidy design yesterday. This week I also made something a little “prettier.” (I mean, pretty is subjective. I happen to think spooky ocean critters are beautiful in their own special way.)

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I’m also working on maybe getting a freebie up on the blog next week. Nothing big, just a little somethin’.

What I’m reading – I finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up this week. I’m not one for self-help in general, but I am fired up about KonMari-ing the house. My husband is working most of Sunday, so I’ll probably spend the whole day on Step One: Get All Of These Clothes Out Of My House.

I’ve started two other books, Unseemly Science and Wicked Temper. Unseemly Science is the sequel to a book I read for our book club. So far I think I like it better than the first book. It moves a little bit more quickly and I care more about the main conflict. Wicked Temper I just started today and I’m not very far in, but I like the style so far.

What I’m watching – Tonight, I watched the first episode of Michael Pollan’s “Cooked” documentary series. It was fine. Fairly interesting. I’ve watched a lot of food+culture shows (Holla atcha girl, Anthony Bourdain.) so I don’t think Pollan was imparting anything terribly revelatory. To me anyway.

But. He spent a lot of time with some guys who were making barbecue. Specifically Eastern Carolina style barbecue. And, I swear this is the truth, it made me cry a little. I was watching a man chop up slow-cooked, vinegary pig meat… and I got seriously choked up. I don’t know if I’m particularly emotionally fragile today and I just didn’t realize it or maybe I’m feeling some sort of genetic nostalgia.

My mom’s family is from East North Carolina. Carolina-style barbecue is something I only ever got when we’d go to Grandma’s. I didn’t really appreciate it all that much as a kid. The first time I had it I was baffled. I’ve lived in Mississippi my whole life. Barbecue is ribs covered in sweet red sauce — not tangy pulled pork. (And then there was the Christmas at Grandma’s where we all got a stomach bug and the first thing I threw up was that vinegary barbecue. It put me off the stuff for years.) But now, I love it. I don’t know if my palate has matured or if I recognize the specialness of it now or if something in my DNA has finally awakened to the barbecue of my mother and my mother’s mother and my mother’s mother’s mother… but I am all about it.

So maybe my little barbecue breakdown was a combination of  general temporary oversensitivity, genetic memory and the fact that I really, really like Carolina-style barbecue. Who knows. Hopefully the next episode doesn’t cover braised beef tips. I may lose it all together.