oh, october!

jack o' lanterns by ebonypaws

october, oh october, i love you so. you are my most favorite month in chicago. crisp air, crunchy leaves, the urge to wear knee socks and make soup. oh, october, i'm so happy to see you again.

if you've been following me awhile you know that i LOVE horror movies. and every october i subject myself, and my readers, to a horror movie a day. while some of you may enjoy this, my guess is that my referencing the number of quality kills in a movie is something many of you could do without. so, i'm starting a new blog. it should be up and running any moment and if you did enjoy my horror ramblings, that's where they'll be. my goal is to a) not scare anyone over here and b) give myself a place where i can expand my writing about horror further, not only reviewing movies but discussing women in horror, as well as the important rules for survival in a horror movie - which is something i'm, um, passionate about.

in the meantime, october seems to be influencing my work. i can't seem to stop making necklaces in pretty fall colors. like this one:

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Afraid to listen

I just heard that Ben Folds and Nick Hornby have collaborated on an album, and I'm afraid to listen to it. 

I've probably listened to the first Ben Folds Five album over 1000 times and was a big Ben Folds fan up until about the time he started doing the Ben and a Piano thing. I was interested in the idea before it happened, and even remember talking about it at a show on the Rockin' the Suburbs tour.  But when it finally happened, despite the rest of the world loving it, I was done. I guess I finally started to see the Billy Joel that my non-ben-folds-liking friends always taunted me with. I saw the chat roulette videos and thought that was funny, but with the whole a-ca-pella thing, I feel that me and Ben have drifted apart.

Then there's Nick Hornby - I read High Fidelity when it came out (Working in the music dept at Borders, someone was nice enough to give me a galley copy thinking I'd like it) and loved it. Never had i felt more close to characters in a book.  I told everyone I worked with they had to read it. I tried to decide which character each of my colleagues was. I read a couple of his other books and stories and enjoyed them. Then in 2003, he released a collection of essays about songs. I was very excited. I got the book. I never finished. Maybe it was his choice of songs, only a few that I know very well, but I thought it was quite a snore. 

That brings us back to my fear. Why fear? I probably won't like this album. The CNN article mentions strings. Nothing turns me off of music faster than strings. But then there's that minute possibility that I'll enjoy it. And I'm afraid of the consequences if I do. I mean, I like tomatoes don't you know. (but that's another story for another day)

I'm not listening to it today. Maybe I will later. If I do, I'll post my reaction here...

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a lovely way to spend 48 hours

i cleaned. i baked. i spent some time with shawn. watched some bad movies. made some yummy soup. talked on the phone. spent some time with my favorite five year-old (and her big sister and mom). made some pretty things. made a couple of kids 2000 miles away very happy. and i'm ending my weekend feeling beat but all around happy and ready to face another week with the epic to do list.

hope your weekend was great too. xo

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music monday

not sure why but i haven't been able to shake this song in days. not that that's a bad thing.

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things i love tuesday

a list, in no particular order:

chicken soup

thinking about baking

slouchy knee socks



sunny days


new boots

candy colored jewelry

lost at sea

and fire king mugs


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say no to pity parties

preparation for moving was moving along at a steady clip. we're running behind schedule but it was fine. we were making progress. we've set some goals for ourselves and everything was moving along as planned, and then i got sick. just a cold but sick nonetheless.

my to do list has sat neglected for days. i haven't been making much - despite many projects that need to be completed. i haven't baked anything in days.  i hadn't worked out in days. my sleep, not so great either. shawn & i were getting snippy with each other. my sister-in-law is in labor and i was bummed that once she had the baby i wouldn't be able to go visit right away. i've actually cancelled a number of plans for this week/weekend because of my cold. what we had here was a perfect storm.

i threw myself a little pity party. not the mature thing to do, by any stretch of the imagination but i did it anyway. did i feel better afterward? no, not even a little. after a short nap, a short workout and a long shower i did. but no, the pity party didn't help. it never does. i know better and i really hate my tendency to wallow.

so, tomorrow will be better. i'll feel better. shannon will have had her baby and although i won't get to see her, phil and the baby tomorrow, i will soon. i'll make something and soon i'll finish all the half finished projects. and tomorrow i'll feed my bread starter - so i'll have to bake. which always improves my mood.


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flashback friday

a picture of shannon as a baby seemed appropriate today since she had a baby boy of her very own this morning. really, i can't believe the same little girl i met when she was 7 years old, playing my little pony, is now a mom! and that shawn & i are now an uncle and aunt. so crazy. so good.

welcome to the world ethan!

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weekend update

i woke up feeling mostly better today so i'm trying to get some stuff done. the epic to-do list will be ignored no longer! i'm also trying to do some fun stuff so that the misery of chores doesn't send me right back to bed. on the docket for today?

  • baking bread and these pretzels
  • watch some movies and write reviews for the new blog.
  • sewing baby blankets, bibs and burp cloths
  • packing up more boxes of free supplies to send off next week

also, i'm having a little sale at cookoorikoo - $7 off all necklaces. AND i finally listed an item in the shampton industries shop! VERY EXCITING.

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music monday

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things i love tuesday

learning new stuff.

and naps.

lissy elle

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ho hum

i've been sick all week again. unbelievable really. i've only gotten dressed and left the house a few times this week. i don't even remember the last time i wore makeup or earrings. i've yet to meet my new nephew. i've barely talked to anyone but shawn all week. the pity party has threatened to return a few times and i've just refused to let it. my defense? naps (not so good) and making stuff (good) - like this barrette...

other things that have distracted me this week?


next week WILL BE BETTER.

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i made the BEST cupcakes i've ever made. light, fluffy moist chocolate cake. rich and delicious nutella frosting. true story.

for the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees. place 12 cupcake liners in one muffin pan.

2. sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. whisk to combine them well. add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. gradually beat in the water. blend in the vinegar and vanilla. whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.

3. bake for 20-22 minutes - until a toothpick comes out clean. cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then cool completely out of pan.

for the frosting

  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. cream the butter in a stand mixer. add the cream cheese, then the nutella and mix until well blended. mix in the vanilla.

2. add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until you achieve your desired consistency. 

3. frost the cupcakes.


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