a lot can happen

a few weeks ago i was starting to grow weary of the best of the decade lists that were popping up everywhere i looked or listened. then it hit me, the best of the DECADE.

ten years have passed me by in the blink of an eye. i started the decade at a party, wearing my favorite sweater, with shawn. a picture from that party is on my desk at work. we got married months later and time started to fly.

there were many weddings, and unfortunately a number of funerals. but there were also a lot of babies born. there were trips and parties and fights and new cars. there were friends lost but we made a few new ones. there were countless craft projects and baking experiments. hey, i really learned how to bake over the last decade. there was a dog, and another dog, and a new house. and somewhere in the middle of it all, i started this blog. there were some realizations and a few confessions and it was work. there were more than a few tears but there was also laughter and dancing.

a lot happened. and its no secret that the last few years have been hard on me or that i have been hard on myself. but when i think about it all as a part of a bigger picture, a decade, it doesn't seem so bad. it just feels like a life. i very full, very blessed life.

so, here's to 2010. and to the next 10 years.

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more words to live by

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lazy day

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woke up a little late & read a little, made coffee and pb & j french toast, watched a ton of dexter. made some yoyos. i need to mentally prepare myself for two crazy busy days before we leave for portland - must pack orders and luggage, must tie up loose ends at work, must tidy the house for the house-sitters... 

but since i'm not quite ready to take on the to do list, i'll just sit and work on a new idea and watch the 'burbs - one of my most favorite movies. no joke.

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vacation, all i ever wanted

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see you on january 15! xo

 

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thanks flickr!

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they featured my most favorite photo i've ever taken on the flickr blog: 

http://blog.flickr.net/en/2010/01/10/your-best-shot-2009-ferris-wheels/

 

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have camera, will travel

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i'm back from my trip and up too late, suffering from jet lag. so, i've been sorting photos from the trip. i took ALOT of photos. everything was so lush and lovely, it was hard not too. i'll admit to falling hard for oregon but more on that later. for now, i've posted a bunch of pictures to flickr. check them out here...

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20% off yoyos & buy 1, get one half off rings this weekend!

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i'm having a sale this weekend - just because i think you're swell!
20% off all yoyo necklaces, bracelets, earrings & hair things (prices are adjusted here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/cookoorikoo?section_id=6566917)

and buy 1 ring, get the second one free! 
(i'll refund the discount on the ring of equal or lesser value once i receive payment)

i will also be donating $5 from every order this weekend to doctors without borders, to support the good work they do throughout the world but especially right now, in haiti.

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some of the reasons i fell in love with oregon

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  1. meeting people whose work i've admired (although i'm a bit confounded that i didn't take their pictures.) {the comment below reminded me that we also met ward of ward-o-matic, andrea's husband. i LOVE his work.}
  2. the weather. kind of grey, kind of rainy, always a bit moist but it was wa rmer than chicago every single day.
  3. the green. its almost everywhere. even on snowy, snowy mt. hood there was a ton of big green trees to look at.
  4. the food. holy crap, the food. the food carts - yay for potato champion! the small plates and charcuterie - clyde common & olympic provisions, yum. the tasty tasty sandwiches from bunk and one of the best grilled cheeses i've ever had at the grilled cheese grill. oh and don't forget voodoo doughnuts!
  5. the beer - we found ourselves in brew pub after brew pub, day after day. we had at least one beer a day. my favorite: the arctic blastonator weizen bock from deschutes brewery.
  6. the people. incredibly friendly. completely into their city, or their state as the case may be. and helpful. nice.
  7. small businesses seem to thrive. like the food carts. a waiter told us he thought it was all the rain - people needed to channel their creative energy somehow. so, they figure out what they do well and do it. and people appreciate it. pretty excellent if you ask me.
  8. the mountains. and the ocean. and the desert. and the trees. drive in any direction for a few hours and your bound to hit something new and pretty. entirely unlike illinois.
  9. our hotels. i know there are nice hotels everywhere but shazam we stayed in some excellent hotels. ace hotel, cannery pier hotel, jupiter hotel, and even the timberline lodge. awesome. and just made us like everything that much more knowing we had nice places to rest our weary heads.
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i want

i feel like shopping. but i won't. the clothes horse days are over. so i look. and covet. and look some more. without blinking. this is the current object of desire.

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farrago fairy tale fascinator

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pie day!

on the eve of national pie day, i made chocolate pecan chess pie. yum.

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for the for the crust:


1 1/8 cup flour + more for flouring the rolling surface
1 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons water

mix dough until sticky. roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and press into a disk. refrigerate for a half hour.  preheat oven to 450°F. roll out disk of the dough and put into a tart plate. place foil & pie weights into crust and bake for 15 minutes. remove foil and pie weights and place back into the oven for another 12 -15 at 350°F, until golden brown.

for the filling:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon bourbon (i used knob creek)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Stir butter and chocolate in heavy small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes.

Whisk sugar and eggs in medium bowl to blend. Whisk in chocolate mixture, then bourbon, vanilla and salt. Stir in pecans (filling will be thick). Spoon filling into crust.

Place pie on baking sheet in oven. Bake until edges of filling puff and begin to crack and center is just set, about 30 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. eat and then go to hell for eating it. that's what kateri said was going happen. at least we'll have happy bellies.

we'll be continuing to celebrate the wonder of pie tonight, with a meyer lemon curd, berry tart. yum.

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dinner at 8

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there's little shawn & i enjoy more than feeding people. for holidays. on casual saturday nights. breakfast for each other. we love cooking and we're good at it. last night was no exception. we had the crafty folk over for a potluck. shawn smoked a turkey. i made cheese dip and balsamic roasted beets with ricotta and pine nuts. i also made a meyer lemon curd tart with marionberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. everyone brought other yummy things to eat and a great deal of beer and wine was consumed. we had happy bellies and laughed. a lot. 

now, if only monkey would clean the kitchen for us.

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