Office supplies, oh my!

I. Love. Office. Supplies.

Post-it notes. Pencils. Pens. Paperclips. Hole punches.

And the more crafty kind, too like washi tape and marker sets and fresh boxes of crayons.

I think it all may have started with this tape:

At some point in my early childhood I was gifted a Poochie stationary set that had a tape dispenser like this one. It came with printed on cello-tape that was totally foreign to me, as I had only just learned how to loop tape over on itself to stick things together like glue. I probably used the whole roll that way instead of for decorating. Silly kid.

Speaking of silly kids, this is for real (my mom posted it to my FB page) ūüôā :

art supplies meme

Wine, yes. Drugs, hell no!

Here are some of my current favorite supplies.

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I totally had the best Secret Santa in 2015! Amethyst scored this insanely purrrrfect Sharpie set for me at Black Friday last year! I had to keep the pens in the box because I love it so much. It makes great display case.

This is the little mini kit I keep in my pocketbook at all times!

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Smencils, Papermate Flair, multi-color clicky pens, Post-it notes!!!

Once upon a time in Knoxville I bought this 20 pen Staedtler Triplus Fineliner set. My ex-boyfriend broke the point off the rusty orange colored (color #7) one which is one reason he is not my boyfriend any more!

There is nothing as wonderful as a box of FRESH CRAYONS!

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This cigar box has some of my most prized office supplies in it, like tiny new pop-a-point-pencils, decorative brads, llama sticky notes, and novelty eraser pencil toppers.

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Those little rolls in the upper right corner are washi tape. Some of you are probably asking, “What the heck is that?” ¬†Basically it’s fancy masking tape, but¬†here¬†is a great article to tell you all about it.

Here is some washi tape that I want SO BADDD.

Please just go ahead and buy me one of everything from this store.

‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

This is one of the most glorious pictures EVER.

Major office supply organization inspo! Those neat metal cans are great!

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via Cathe Holden

So yeah, one of the many ways to my heart is through office supplies, and since my birthday month celebrations start tomorrow, I though it would be a great opportunity to remind you of one of the simple things I simply adore. ūüôā

 

 

 

 

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Picayune Pictures #6

PICAYUNE PICTURES TIME!

Here are a few little snippets from life lately.

I bought squash, zucchini, and sage for the garden. I am officially not allowed to buy any more plants! It was earth day though and I needed a few more vegetables. The garden has gone from 0 to 55mph in no time! NOTE: juxtaposition of plants in an STP box ūüėČ

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I have been wanting to hit up World Market for a few special things but haven’t made it in forever. Thankfully (I think) there wasn’t too much that tempted me. I got a few goodies for an upcoming party at my house. Stay tuned for more on that!

Here are things I did not buy but I did drool over:

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After the afternoon I had on Friday, I am convinced this wine was developed just for people in my line of work. Perfect, eh? Available in lots of flavors! ‚̧

This is Neighbor Kitty.

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Neighbor Kitty has ACTIVELY ignored me for the entire two years we have lived next door to each other. Last summer she looked at me ONLY ONE TIME and walked the perimeter of my truck to keep a 15 foot distance between us. Of course I have continued to talk to her, because I am a cat lady. She has pretended not to hear a thing.

Last week I brought my book and beer out to the carport to imbibe in an evening chillax session. Neighbor Kitty was in the back yard and as soon as I spoke to her she began trotting towards me with purpose. I honestly thought she was coming to attack me, but instead she began purring and head bumping me for head pets.

What the heck, Neighbor Kitty?!

Oh well, I’m just glad we’re finally friends!

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This is my current favorite graffiti in AVL. The combination of Passive Frick Face and the calligraphic feel of ovary are juxtaposed like Bart Simpson holding a coupette of pink vino verde. Good stuff on the south slope!

Speaking of keeping Asheville weird…

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Just a regular Sunday stroll with the calves…

NOW FOR FOOD PORN!

Crawfish boil buffet! Pineapple upside-down cake and fig cakes with hard sauce.

I love having friends who love food as much as me.

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Game of Thrones feast at my mom’s house. That’s a fancy smoked salmon nosh back there with two kinds of chips, and one kind of cheese. Not pictured: cocktails (of course).

I stopped by to pick up this EPIC asparagus plant (with a yellow tomato, dill, and moonflower plants included) from my cousins. Duck and Patti Smith were reeeeeeally curious about Uncle Bryce’s yard! ¬†The girls had an entertaining trip up the mountain with the giant ferny plant to attack. Yes, I travel with my cats. I’m a cat lady, remember?

Hoe Cakes & Tater Toast!

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I am my mother’s child and therefore I LOVE weird old cookbooks. I have never drooled so much while scanning documents! I am so going to make the Tater Toast. “Good with salad!” Could it get more hilarious or delicious?

Hope you’re having a great week that is full of rad noms and crazy cats!

‚̧

 

Tiny Tuesday #5

TINY TIME!!!!

It’s Tuesday and it’s time for TINY!

I had no idea how popular Tiny Tuesday would be when I first started it! It is easily my most popular post of the week. I will do my best to keep up to an every other week schedule for it! With that said,¬†I decided to google “Tiny Tuesday” to see if anyone was doing something similar. There have been a couple of other blogs that had a tiny theme, but they have all been dormant for a few years. I’ll share some of the things I found! Turns out, lots of folks like silly tiny cute things, just like us! ‚̧

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QUOTE ABOUT TINY!

Oh Trader Joe’s, you are so funny. I saw this while loitering in the beer and wine aisle waiting on the time to get to noon this past Sunday. Oh silly North Carolina and their liquor laws. FUN FACT: I have a pal who is a Trader Joe’s sign painter! How fun is that?! HI COOKIE ūüôā <— sign painting friend.

TINY PIZZA!

Lorraine Loots has mind boggling talent. I love her tiny illustrations which she does every. single. day. A TINY PAINTING EVERY DAY! Dedication to do multi year 365 projects is as mind boggling to me as tiny paintings!

TINY GUMMi PIZZA!!!

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Unfortunately I do not eat gummies (dang ol gelatin ūüė¶ )so instead I buy the really cute ones for my friends. I couldn’t resist these little pizzas a few weeks back when I was at the Mast General store in AVL. These should be fun for a doll dinner party, don’t you agree? Each one is made up of five tiny slices!

MOARRRR TINY SOAP!!

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Nunu’s ¬†tiny soaps!

I’m so smitten with¬†Nunu’s House¬†miniatures. There is something about soap for already clean things (that also don’t really get dirty) that tickles me. Check out the¬†website¬†for so many drool worthy teeny items where most everything is in another language so I have no idea what anything says. But who cares because CUTE & TINY!

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TINY DOLL HOUSE

I cannot even deal with how cute and tiny these matchbox scenes are. I want to have one of these to carry in every pocketbook I have. Check out the¬†Suitcase Dollhouse–it’s full of all sorts of little scenes on boxes! The creator of these houses is¬†Marisa David¬†and she is my latest etsy crush! Swoon!

 

TINY QUILT SQUARES!

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via So Scrappy

Y’all. This quiltlady is amazing. You have just got to check out her quilting blog,¬†So Scrappy. She worked on this quilt tiny square by tiny square as part of a tiny block challenge. I found her when I googled “tiny Tuesday”. She called the days she posted about these squares Tiny Tuesday or Midget Monday. It goes to show it is good to google your topic–you might find like-minded individuals out there! I call myself a quilter, but I have never attempted anything quite so intricate. What an inspiration! I’m stoked to have another new blog to look forward to reading on the regular! ‚̧

TINY CANDY!

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Because Nerds are the tiniest best candy around. I LOVED these so much as a kid. When we lived at the Cane Creek Campground I would go to the bait shop and buy a two flavor box of Nerds for fifty cents. Of course I got the kind with the pink and purple flavors–I was a girly girl who loved to fish! I loved to hold them in my mouth until the sour shell melted off and then I’d crunch the little sugary pieces left over. These are the first ones I’d had in probably 15 years! I am so not allowed any more–they are just too tasty.

TINY ERASER FOOD!!!

Iwako¬†never fails to disappoint! How adorable are these snow cones erasers!?! I especially love the green one! I think it has azuki beans on the top like traditional Hawaiian shaved ice. FUN FACT: I used to maintain a Tumblr¬†that was dedicated to various types of snow cones from around the world. I haven’t updated it in years but you can go through the archive and drool over the icy goodness anyway!

TINY BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS!

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Gregg’s Miniatures¬†makes all sorts of wonderful tinies for doll houses. From reproduction newspapers and postcards to circuit board pewter cups, this artist tries all sorts of techniques and totally nails them. You’ve got to go look at the log cabin WITH LIGHTS. I want to live in that rad little cabin!

TINY GLASS BIRDS!bird pin

Check out this birdie broach from May Cottage Prints. This UK shop specializes in vintage fashion from the 1920s through the 1980s. I pretty much want every thing that is listed. The bird pin is at the top of my wishlist though! Tiny and cute and colorful! My favorite kinds of tiny!

Have you seen any tiny stuff that I should know about?

If so, TELL MEEEEEEE ‚̧

See you back next time for more TINY fun on Tuesday!

Insta-crush!!

Are you on Instagram?

If you aren’t, you should be! If my great aunt can do it, so can you!

(waves to Annette ūüôā )

I thought that Instagram would be just another social media platform that would go by the wayside like MySpace and Friendster (yep, I’m that old). The thing that is really neat about IG is allllllllll¬†the niches that are there. My real motivating factor was finding other crafters and doll weirdos like me. Boy, have I found them. So silly and FUN!

I decided I wanted to share some of my favorites with y’all so here they are!

Twinkie Chan!

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via Twinkie Chan

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via Twinkie Chan

Twinkie Chan is pretty much my most major craft crush in years. I think we have the same spirit animal…but I’m not 100% sure what animal that is! Maybe a rhinestone encrusted flying crawfish?! Anyway, Twinkie writes all sorts of crochet and knit pattern and gives a bunch away for free on her blog. She also has a new book out! You MUST checker her out.

Full disclosure,¬†Grumpy Skittles¬†and his mom¬†Modern Makery¬†told me about Twinkie Chan…THANK YOU!!!!

Dr. Blythenstein

The good Doctor turns Blythe dolls into magical creatures called “Yarnheads”. Just go ahead and click over and look at them. You will not be disappointed. Plus, Blythenstein is a wonderful role model to weirdos–his inspirational quotes make me smile regularly.

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via BlackSpringsFolkArt

Black Springs Folk Art is made up of Beca and DougРtwo artists that seem so rad I can hardly stand it. Although I am confident it is incredibly hard work, I lust after their life of getting to make art as partners in the FLORIDA SWAMPLANDS with all sorts of critters around for company. I love getting to keep up with their work dirty hands, sparkling bits & dreamy jewelry, coffee drinking, and critter cuddling. Just wait until you see the tiny knives they hide in nearly everything. I. Love. It. 

See also dougswit and fromtoasttocoast for more content!

PeopleYouMayMeet

via PeopleYouMayMeet

My dear pal Tracie draws the most adorable portraits of people and pets. Check out her shop for details on how to order a picture of your own. I love keeping up with her projects via Instagram to see the lucky folks who have loved one with terrific taste in gifting! I also love the occasional pictures of Princess, the cat, who is one of my top five favorite cats that are not mine.

Also see¬†this¬†link for her other projects…like letterpress!

 

A lot of these Instagrammers also have blogs, so be sure to check out their IG profile and click through to find all their related links.

Who are your favorite folks to follow?

The Return of the Book Book: an epic tale

Check out this, my very first post ever on this blog! In it, I tell the story of my long lost book journal that I thought was long gone forever. Much to my surprise and thrill, I got an email last week from a librarian at the Swannanoa library branch telling me that they found a book of mine in their lost and found.

IT WAS THE BOOK LOG I’D BEEN KEEPING SINCE 2003!!!!!

I quite literally and loudly squeed.

Since I don’t live close by there anymore (but my mom does) I had her go and pick it up the very next day. A serious shout out to that librarian who reached out to me. After the fire (where my first one burned up) I went through all the books that I owned at the time (of which there were a *few*) and wrote down all that I had read. Then I started over keeping the list. Since the book log has been gone, (since around 2011) I started another one. I guess I’ll cut the pages out of this latest one and incorporate them somehow.

Here is the super dramatic inside cover of the recovered book:

(remember, I was 20 years old at the time this was written, lol)

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While we are talking about books and new titles for the list, here is a pic of one of my stacks from earlier this year. Duckie is in the background contemplating turning the dang lamp off (read more about that¬†here). I finally finished¬†Chasing the Devil’s Tail, which Mr. Smith lent me on one of our first dates over six months ago. I am not the best at borrowing books and returning them promptly, lol. I noticed that it is the first in a series, so I totally ordered the next one. Too bad the local library discarded their copy, but now I’ll have a copy for keeps!

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Memorable books lately:

If you like great plains scenery and Laura Ingalls Wilder type strong cowgirl heroine books, you will love The Poacher’s Daughter. I’d never read a western before, which is kind of crazy since I’m a huge fan of spaghetti western movies. I just thought of the genre as books for old crotchety men but Zimmer drew me in and made me think about reading more.

And speaking of poachers, I just re-read Danny Champion of the World¬†by Roald Dahl. This was one of my favorite books as a kid. Looking back, I think this must be because Danny and his dad lived in a gypsy caravan. I’m not sure how I so thoroughly missed the whole they’re coming up with creative ways to steal and kill birds part. Honestly, it was a difficult book to get through. Goes to show not all your favorites from childhood are worth re-reading ūüė¶ Dang¬†tender-hearted-sonuva-gun¬†that I am.

I have been plugging away at This Organic Life¬†book for too long. I keep getting distracted by too many other books and I’ve been reading this just a chapter at a time. I promise it’s really worth reading and worth telling you about! First off, this book was published in 2001 which seems like a lifetime ago. The book is about the author’s urban homestead on the ***Hudson River in New York. I can’t help but wonder how ¬†9/11 changed her life in the City. I love her humble truths and failures that she recalls as much as her wild successes. She gives the reader so much advice on plants and a lot to aspire to. I would consider this a must read for anyone who gardens, especially on a food stability level. There are also drool worthy recipes in every chapter that have definitely made my stomach growl at 11pm.

Here is everything I’ve read so far in 2016–kinda skimpy.

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Forgive my excitement over using Paint on the book log!

Ransom Riggs blew me away with the first book in the Miss Peregrine series. It takes a bit of work to sneak one over on me and shock me with a character reveal, but Riggs did it with this one. I’m cautiously enthusiastic about the next two books in the trilogy. Series can really disappoint, especially in the young adult genre. One of the things that make these books so irresistible are the photos. It sort of hearkened back to my teen years when I discovered the¬†Griffin and Sabine¬†trilogy. Looking at photos and letters that are’t yours will always draw me in!

Have any of you started a book log? What have you been reading lately? Anyone else reading the Ransom Riggs Books?

How does your garden grow?

Here is the start of the garden! The picture on the left was taken on March 26 and the one on the right was taken April 17. So far things are moving along pretty well for someone who hasn’t had a garden in at least seven years. Mr. Smith and I made a list of things we’d like to try to grow in the meager space I have at my house. I’m hoping to get a zucchini plant to put in today back in the back spot that looks like a mound of dirt. That’s where I’ve had a compost-y area for the past 2 years and the dirt is getting pretty nice.

I’d like to try Brussel’s sprouts and Mr. Smith wants to try asparagus. Both of these are plants that take a few seasons to really get going and since we both live in rentals we are thinking of trying to grow one of each in pots. I’ve read a bit online about doing this successfully but please chime in if you have any advice!

I seeded these radishes on 3/26 and took the picture on the left on 4/5. The picture on the right I took on 4/17. I know you’re *supposed* to thin them out, but this is a variety that does okay in pots and close-r together. I’ll keep you posted on whether this ends up being true. Speaking of true, the true leaves are really starting to get going, so I’m thinking I might be able to harvest in the next week or ten days.

I meant to start another bucket of lettuce like a week after the first one but I just got around to doing that yesterday 4/16 so the continual lettuce will take a little longer than I anticipated. Lettuce sprouts pretty quick though so I think I’ll catch back up in no time.

Do you recognize what those buckets are made out of? LOL, it’s kitty litter containers. I have tried so many litters over the years and unfortunately the stuff that works the best for my girls is stuff that comes in these dumb plastic containers. I repurpose them for all sorts of things, including planters. I just cut the tops off, and poke a bunch of holes in the bottom for drainage and they work pretty well. After a season I’ll recycle them (to prevent leaching of anything toxic after a few months in the sun) and start another batch.

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HUZZAH!

Finally, some true leaves of DILL! I have the WORST luck with this herb! My great uncle Bryce has epic stands of the stuff much to the chagrin of the rest of his kin! I’ve tried buying plants and I’ve tried seeding directly in the ground, but never in pots. Maybe this is the ticket? I know it’s still early, but I am hopeful and excited. Dill is my most favorite summer flavor and I hope this is the year I finally grow a reasonable amount of my own.

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I started these Big Boy tomato plants from seed in the first few days of March. I divided them up and transplanted them and ended up with about 13 plants that are probably going to grow to maturity. These are the plants in the white plastic dish tub in the top pictures. I also impulse bought a yellow tomato variety that is the one in the bigger terracotta pot. We may be running out our ears in tomatoes later this summer!

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Now I know that mint is not hard to grow, but I’m still proud of this year’s stand. Last year I bought a regular peppermint plant and a chocolate mint plant and propagated about 6 cuttings of each. The regular is the tall stuff in the back and there is some of the chocolate in the front right–it’s got darker leaves and leaves that are smoother and more petite. The plants did okay last summer, but this year we shall not hurt for mint in our cocktails. Bring on the mojitos and mint juleps!

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Allen the Aloe has gotten moved outside for his summer vacation. It looks like he’ll need a new pot this year! I’ve had this aloe for about 3 years–my mom got it for my 31st birthday as part of a beautiful pot full of other succulents that I promptly killed. It really only took off after I put the frames of the sunglasses in the pot two years ago–I dug the frames out of the garden bed my first year at this house. I have a friend Allen who wears glasses like that, so I named the plant after him. I think it has greatly increased the happiness of the plant and therefore has helped it grow! It’s the silly little things, right?

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Speaking of digging thing out of the beds, I found these, too! Aren’t they the sweetest? It makes me kind of sad to think that some kids probably made them and they got left behind at moving time, but now they are mine and I will take them with me and love them forever.

Do you have a garden this year? What are you growing? Do you have any advice for me?

Stay tuned for garden updates as the season continues!

Duck Tales, Part 1.

This is the story of how another little kitten came to live with me and Patti Smith.

Here is the ruff lil scruff that was my ugly duckling.

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overallduck

It was a Friday afternoon this past September when I got the hysterical call from my BFF and co-worker Violet. She was driving home from work on Highway 150 (a pretty busy connector highway for those of you not familiar with the area) when she saw something tiny and alive ON THE ROAD. Whatever the something was, it was right on the white line at the very edge of the asphalt. As her car whizzed past, she realized the something was a TINY KITTEN.

Vi whooped her lil red Fiat around in the middle of the busy road and rescued the scrawny little kitten. She looked around for other tiny kittens but she was all alone. At some point after the rescue operation Violet called me up at work. She was completely hysterical and she kept saying something about finding a kitten in the road and could she bring it to me. I thought she was talking about a dead kitten because she was crying so hard. I couldn’t figure out why she was trying to bring a dead kitten to my house!

Once I figured out that is was a LIVE kitten I agreed that she should bring it over. The little kitty was so completely scruffy and homely but it purred and purred and snuggled me super hard and of course I fell quickly in love. The next day, I took the sweet (but seriously mangy looking) creature to the vet for a thorough once over. Turns out the kitten was a girl, probably only three weeks old, and was healthy besides a very gnarly case of ringworm. While I was at the vet, the kitten decided her name would be Duck.

Late in the summer I had sort of been looking to get a kitten as a playmate for Patti Smith (see this¬†post). It was around this time¬†Violet’s grandmother, who was a total animal lover, passed away. Her grannie was her closest friend so it came as no surprise to Vi that in the weeks following her passing, some magical things happened. Vi had been wanting a rabbit as a pet, and low and behold, a rabbit ended up needing to get adopted. And not long after, we are sure that she put that kitten in the road for Violet to find for me.

I was holding the teeny purring kitten and said, “I sure am glad that Vi’s grannie made sure you didn’t get squished! Good job, Duck!” (Duck was her grandmother’s nickname) The kitten mewed right after I said ‘Duck’. I looked at her and said the word again. She mewed again. I said, “Is your name Duck?” She meowed loudly that time and began purring LOUDLY! And so it was. The kitten who had been saved by the spirit of Violet’s grandmother would be her namesake.

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Nicknames include:

Duckie, Duck-Duck-Goose, Diddle Diddle Duckling,

and DAMMIT DUCK

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This is my favorite picture of Duck as a kitten. I had just started reading Ronda Rousey’s memoir a few days before Duck arrived and it became abundantly and immediately clear that Ronda would be her spirit animal.

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I have never had such a mischievous kitten! Below is a picture of her next to one of my most prized possessions, my awesomely tacky touch lamp. Duckie figured out that she could touch it with her nose and make the light go on and off. She loved to practice this trick around 3am daily until I started unplugging it before bed. I think she thought it quit working because now I leave it plugged in and she doesn’t turn it off and on anymore.

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A rare sighting of the girls snuggling. Pretty much the only thing that gets them this close together is my warm lap in a very cold house.

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This is a far more typical lounging distance.

Patti and Duck have a pretty good time playing together and I think for the most part Patti likes having her around. They run and romp and hide and seek and attack and whine and growl and chase and eat and snuggle me together. Sometimes Patti gives me a look of desperation and I give her some extra attention and then all is well again. Life certainly wouldn’t be as entertaining with out Duckie. I guess she’s a keeper. ūüėČ

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Tender-hearted-sonuva-gun.

ATTENTION!

This is a post about my experience as a vegetarian.

Feel free to ask me questions if you want to…

…just please be nice about it!

I’ve been varying degrees of vegetarian since 1997. There have been times where I have known people for five or six years and they have never known this about me. It’s something I try to keep to myself, and instead lead by example. In all honesty I prefer new friends have the opportunity to get to know me, and then be surprised to find out my deep dark secret. I sort of kid. I would rather pick fruit out of a jello salad than hurt the feelings of anyone who has been kind enough to feed me. I get a fair amount of questions about why I’m veg and also about what I do and don’t eat, and what sorts of beauty products I use. This is a sort of FAQ style post to give you the Cliff Notes version of my “lifestyle.”

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BUT WHY DID YOU STOP EATING MEAT?

It all started at a family reunion–I thought if I could make it through all that great meaty food without any on my plate that I would be well on my way to a new lifestyle. But why? I quit eating meat for possibly the worst possible reason: I had a crush on a boy who was a vegan. As fate would have it, he secretly started eating meat about the time I stopped. He confessed a few months later after I had already gotten used to the new habit.¬†There had been a few other precipitating factors–that lamb stew incident in Spain and later the environmental science class I took and the many articles I read in National Geographic magazine. It seemed like I knew too much to keep eating meat in the way I had been.

The best explanation: I’m tenderhearted.

I was a strict ovo-lacto vegetarian (meaning I ate eggs and dairy) for about three years before I had started contemplating adding fish and seafood back into my diet. At the time I had a pet Beta fish named “Frederick the Frank Fish” and there was no way I was going to eat any fish while I still had a pet that was one. However, it was also during this time that I had most of my experiences with slaughter.

I got involved in 4-H and livestock during my early teens. After that I¬†worked on two farms where I participated in many of the gory aspects of farm life: breeding, preg checks, birth, dehorning, deworming, castration, and varying causes of death. I helped with the slaughter and cleaning of chickens, ducks, and geese. I helped process deer and hogs. I went fishing, and cleaned what I caught. I did all of this as a vegetarian. Of all those things, the fish bothered me the least. It felt like I was strong enough to be in control physically. Now I’m what is called an ovo-lacto-pescatarian. I don’t eat much ‘pesca’ (seafood) but when I do,¬†I try to buy sustainable and wild caught.

That leads me in to my main point of continuing to be a vegetarian after nearly 19 (!?!??!) years. My personal goals are focused on causing as little harm to animals and humans as possible.¬†I strive to be conscious consumer. This means that I try to support as many local businesses (and charities) as I can and I try to buy products that are healthy for me and the environment. I hope you’ll notice that I say this with honest humility–because I love all sorts of things that don’t really fall in to that category…plastic toys and fashionista stuff AND FRIED FOOD being at the top of my naughty list. See rule #4 ūüėČ But seriously, I try to limit the things I let myself consume (be that Shopkins or mozzarella sticks) that aren’t so good for me. Moderation, y’all. I TRY.

Here are my rules:

#1: Don’t get hung up when you slip up.

At least once a year I inadvertently eat something that has meat in it. Most recently it was a cake that had jello in it. Once it was a quiche that I thought had “veggie sausage” crumbles in it–nope, it was the real deal. Another time, after ordering veggie pot stickers¬†I ate about eight of the things before I realized there was definitely ground pork in them. First off, try not to freak out. My main concern at this point in my tenure is whether or not I’m going to get sick. I’m not going to lie; I contemplate the sick now or sick later options. In the instance of the pork pot stickers, I purged because I probably would have been sick for at least a day otherwise. As a non-meat eater, I get really sick when my body has to process stuff it’s not used to.

One of the products I choose not to eat is gelatin but one of the medications I take on a daily basis has a gel capsule. I know this, and I take the pills anyway (FYI-it’s an extended release drug that can’t be taken another way). I ate Jiffy cornbread mix for YEARS before I found out it had lard in it. It never dawned on me to read the label of a bread mix to check for meaty bits. The point is, do YOUR personal best and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t be perfect.

#2: Don’t fall into the¬†defeatist¬†rabbit hole.

You cannot save all the oceans, animals, trees, and children. Sometimes I just have to put my blinders on so that I don’t get too sad. You should be aware, but for goodness sake turn the channel when the ASPCA Sarah McLaughlin commercials come on. Donate LOCALLY. Be involved LOCALLY. Find out what you can do to help keep animals safe in YOUR community. Find out what your food pantry needs. Help your neighbors and your friends. Foster pets from the shelter. Pick up trash even if it isn’t yours.¬† The point is, do YOUR personal best and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t be perfect.

#3: Vote with your dollars.

This may seem obvious, but it’s the best way to support businesses you love. I try my hardest to buy cruelty free and avoid anything that has animal products. Everyone had different personal needs with this. I still occasionally buy leather shoes. My personal reasoning is that they last longer and I thereby use fewer resources. I also wear a leather belt–it was my dad’s and it is pretty much the only belt I ever wear. Y’all know I love fashion, but I buy Made in America products any time I can. I buy a lot second hand, I ALWAYS donate the things I don’t use anymore, and sometimes I make my own clothes.

As far a buying brands goes, I buy what I can afford. You’re not being a concious consumer if you live beyond your means.¬†I’ve gotten a little irked over the latest craze with the company¬†Beauty Counter. They sell healthy and cruelty free products but with a super steep price tag. $41 for foundation? $40 for blush? $38 for a cosmetic BAG?! You do NOT need that WHITE make-up bag. Not to mention, every person on the website is pretty white. But I digress. Needless to say, I can’t afford that. I use¬†e.l.f.¬†or¬†Wet ‘n’ Wild¬†for cosmetics. They’re done well for me over the years and cost a fraction of other brands and are definitely at least cruelty free.

I’ve read mixed tales about whether V05 is cruelty-free or not. I’ve got a letter in to customer service right now and I’ll let you know what I hear back. Even though V05 isn’t the most eco friendly (sulfates) it’s less than a dollar and *hopefully* cruelty-free. When I can afford it, I go to a health food store and buy whatever is less than $5 a bottle and says volumizing on the bottle. Remember, the bigger the hair, the closer to God. I’m kidding; sort of ūüėČ The point is, do YOUR personal best and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t be perfect.

¬†#4: Do what is best for you and don’t be a jerk.

No one likes a judgmental jerk (except for vegans…JOKING!!!) Show people who you are by your attitude and actions not by preaching and cramming your beliefs down other folks’ palettes. It’s a well used phrase but you’ll draw way more flies with honey than with vinegar…unless you’re a vegan SORRY teehee! The vegan jokes are so easy. Just be good to each other.¬†Don’t forget, the point is, do YOUR personal best and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t be perfect.

NOW HERE ARE SOME FUNNY MEMES!

YOU DESERVE A GOOD CHUCKLE!

i only eat vegetables

soymilk

Tiny Tuesday #4

‚̧ Tiny Tuesday time again! ‚̧

A QUOTE ABOUT TINY!

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TINY ERASER FOOD!

So I seriously learn something hilarious and new every time I write a dang blog post. Most recently I discovered there is an online¬†Eraser Museum! I only wish it was a brick and mortar museum because me and the doll club would be there like RIGHT NOW. Also, I never thought about where vending machine people got their tiny toys…this¬†is one of the places it happens. I’m stoked to find more places to find tiny stuff, OF COURSE.

TINY TEA SETS!   TINY COPPER KETTLE!   TINY COCKTAILS!   TINY DISH SOAP!

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You can use the tiny soap by Spanish miniaturist,¬†LugArt Petit, to “wash” your darling tea set, like this one owned by¬†Made by White, and the Tom Collins made by¬†SandSSweetMinis. Where can I find tiny copper polish for the kettle set from¬†The Heirloom Shoppe? The tiny dish soaps…they’re killing me.

TINY KAWAII!

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via Sanrio Rement

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Gudetarma Rement pic by my buddy on Insta.

Gudetama is my latest weird kawaii crush. Why is the lazy egg so amusing?! I had no idea until today that there is a Sanrio Wiki and that is where I learned all about who Gudetama is and where he came from. TINY GRUMPY EGG!!!!!

TINY BONSAI!

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Who knew Bonsai could get anymore incredible? Now we know, Benjamin Starr!

 

REAL LIFE TINY! (jelly packets)

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Actually, my most favorite tiny jelly packets come from Cracker Barrel, and I always take the extras like a good grandma. Alas, it has been too long since I’ve been to one and I have none on hand to take pictures of!

TINY IN ASHEVILLE!

Over the weekend I had a super fun overnight adventure with Mr. Smith (until I got a mega cold ūüė¶ ) We got to meet the Wranglerstars¬†(our favorite youtubers) and I think I managed not to squee too hard in front of them. While we were in town I saw some super cute super tiny things worth telling you about!

These tiny toys came from¬†Mast General Store¬†which is sort of a tourist trap, but I am such a sucker for their old time-y toys and candy. They also sell¬†Blenheim’s Gingerale¬†which I love so much that I could (and should) write an entire post about. Anyway, these tiny toys are so fun! There were also teeny army men, yoyos, sock monkeys, and Fisher-Price telephone and stacker toys. I was so excited over them that the pictures I took came out too shaky to use. Dang it!

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At Malaprop’s Bookstore¬†I found these insanely adorable tiny clothes pins. How awesome would these be for doll stuff?! Malaprops’s is old-school Asheville at its best, and I love them for hundred reasons but I gotta tell you that their tchotchkes send me over the edge. Not pictured here are their hundreds of Moleskine notebooks and Micron ink pens in the rainbow of colors.

Legos seem like sort of cop out as far as tiny things go, because OF COURSE Legos are tiny. HOWEVER, when you see this dang many tiny things together all at once I think it becomes a special occasion. Especially when the collection is FOR SALE at a flea market! Just one more reason to love¬†Smiley’s!

 

 

 

 

 

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Stay tuned for next time because I’ll be back right here…keeping it TINY!

Thirsty Thursday #1

With this coming up on porch sitting season I thought it would be a good time to talk about cocktails. Now, I call anything that has alcohol in it a “cocktail” be it beer, wine, or liquor. ¬†I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite drinks for this time for year for you to put on your springtime to-do list.

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I have a funny little annual tradition where on one of the first warm days of the year I stop at a convenience store and pick up a tall boy of whatever beer is cheapest, I grab a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie, I go home and enjoy both in the warm sun of the early evening. It’s a magical sweet buzzing thing to do that makes it seem like this summer is going to be just like in the movies. That’s a feeling you can only buy with a snack like that.

Here are my top 3 must have cocktails for spring!

20160323_164031.pngPISS BEER with Twang

From March until October I always have to have at least two or three cans of cheap lite ‘suds’ (as my dad used to call them) in the fridge. ¬†Not much can beat the cold sensation of 4% alcoholic carbonation on your palette. Don’t shy away from terrible beer. Get whatever is cheapest and be sure not to buy anything that sponsors a rival racing team (Gotdang Brad Kezlowski! I want him to switch teams so I can drink Miller Lite again!). The addition of beer salt takes this instant remedy to a whole other level.¬†Twang¬†is my favorite brand; it comes in little mini bottles and also¬†handy packets¬†that can go in your wallet. Beer salt is also really delicious on cut up cucumbers and all types of melon. Likewise, the chili powder fruit salt is really delicious in beer.

PRO TIP: be sure to drink a few slugs off the beer before you salt it, otherwise you’ll have a volcanic science experiment on your hands (and lap and floor).

WOODEN LEGS, a whiskey drink

I’m not 100% what the deal is with this drink name, but back in the day, that’s what this drink was called at the¬†Uprise Bar. Mr. Freeze would serve rail whiskey with ice, seltzer, bitters, and lemon. I make all sorts of variations of this drink during the hot hot hot summer months as it is a refreshing way to lighten up dark liquor.

#1 = Frozen fruit: raspberries and peaches–I like to use these as rocks. Aldi has these for less than $3 for 10 oz on most of their frozen fruit. Or better yet, freeze some fresh ones if you have access to free fruit! I’ve even heard of using frozen edamame, in a pinch. Either way, you’ve got a snack to eat once you’ve drunk the cocktail!

raspfroz

photo by coonsmithsutlery

#2 = Bitters: My brand of choice is¬†Peychaud’s¬†but lots of folks also like¬†Angostura. It’s good to have both brands for a well stocked bar. I’ve never been able to get past the ill-fitted paper label of Angostura…a silly thing, but it irks me none the less. ¬†Plus I like the historical connections that Peychaud’s has to New Orleans (be sure to read their history¬†here). I’m also a big fan of¬†Bitter Truth Bitters, specifically the celery and Creole flavors. So far¬†Scrappy’s Bitters¬†aren’t my most favorite, but admittedly I haven’t tried any of their stronger flavors like Firewater and Orleans. My favorite of the sampler pack I got is definitely the cardamom pictured here–it lends a subtle punch of India that I really enjoy.¬†Crude Bitters¬†are made here in North Carolina which automatically gets me excited. Although not overly strong, I do enjoy the Rizzo blend in drinks with white liquor. I’ve got some¬†Steen’s Cane Syrup¬†on my bar for making drinks that need simple syrup. That may sounds crazy but I find that the molasses-like sweetness stands up to whiskey in a way the white sugar just can’t.

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These are some LaCroix flavors I’ve never even heard of! via¬†Elaine Strauss for Medium

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Empties! Disregard the expired date, haha!

#3 = Seltzer: I usually buy the store brand of seltzer from whatever grocery store I’m at. If I’m having company I buy it by the bottle, otherwise I get cans. Truthfully, I drink this cocktail almost as much without the whiskey. If there is LaCroix on sale, I buy that. My favorite flavor to drink plain is coconut, but I lean more towards citrus flavors for cocktailing. I have a SodaStream but I never get the dang CO2 tanks refilled. I should put that on my to-do list!

#4 = Citrus: I’m usually too lazy to buy and cut up lemons/limes unless I’m entertaining. Most times I buy a bottle of¬†Nellie & Joe’s¬†key lime juice and use a splash of that instead of a slice or twist.

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#5 = Sonic Ice: Y’all. It’s what I call “crunch ice”. For around two bucks you can get a whole bag of it at Sonic and bring it home to your freezer.

#6 = Whiskey: Any kind! It doesn’t matter! Use whatever is your favorite. I am partial to Bulliet Rye if I’ve got extra cash or Evan Williams if I’m feeling broke.

BOOZY PUNCH for SPECIAL OCCASIONS

Chatham artillery punch (seen below) is traditionally a New Years drink according to some accounts, but I think it is refreshing for spring and summer.

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via Garden & Gun banquet picture from Georgia Historical Society

I just LOVE a punch. Punch makes any event so much more like a PARTY if there is punch involved. I like to make ice rings in my little quiche pans with orange juice and canned pineapple rings and frozen fruit, then float them in punch or sangria. I’ve been known to whip up a batch big enough to fill a cooler! I’ve never understood people using WATER for an ice ring–it waters down the punch, obvs! Once your ice ring is frozen, carefully dip your ice ring mold in warm water and your frozen treat will pop right out.

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Orange juice with lime slices and frozen raspberries!

What are your favorite spring time treats to drink?