Monday, January 30, 2012

Cookie Monster

A week has gone by and I think I'm finally over the Ravens loss.  I got to meet Torrey Smith on Friday, and I found myself looking forward to seeing what he can do next season.  And that's when you know you're over it:  when you're looking forward more to what could be than looking back at what could have been.
Torrey's so fast, my camera phone couldn't keep up

Before I go waxing way too philosophical, let me talk about this past weekend.  There was a new reason to celebrate: our friends' son's 1st birthday.  We got the cutest darn invitation for the party:
And although I am over the last Ravens game, I am still holding onto thoughts of one thing that came out of it, the cookies that I made for it.  When I saw that super cute invitation, I thought, "Wouldn't that make a great cookie."  So with my new found cookie-making skillz (is baking hard-core enough to warrant the "z"?) I made these to bring to the party:
I never got the consistency of the icing quite right, so the piping was not ideal, but the cookies were still a hit and ended up going perfectly with the theme of the party.  The kids sure didn't care that they didn't look perfect...the entire plate was polished off by the time we left.

I think I've created a (cookie) monster.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

It is a blue Monday here in Bmore.  It's cold, rainy, and worst of all the Ravens lost yesterday.  In the AFC Championship.  To the Patriots.  In the last seconds.  On a missed 32-yard field goal, after a dropped pass in the end zone.  It just doesn't get much worse.

Now I am just in a bad mood.  Clearly that game is going to take a few days to get over.  However, I guess I can take comfort in knowing at least my first attempt at royal icing over the weekend didn't miss the uprights.  I decided to make cookies for the game on Sunday, so I studied the fantastic tutorials at The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle and put them to werq.  I have to say I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.

Not bad for a beginner, right?  Yep, I even made Flacco, T-Sizzle, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed jerseys.  (Which by the way, the nice thing was I only had to learn to draw 3 numbers (5,2,and 0) between the 4 of them.) 

Maybe in a way I was hoping that kind of dedication on my part would somehow translate onto a football field 400 miles away.  

Sad Flacco :(
Maybe I should've made a Cundiff jersey....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Admit it, you've googled yourself before. Why is that so wrong?  It's not necessarily a purely narcissistic undertaking. It could be for security purposes, too.  Can never be too sure if there's someone out there with the same name as you with a rap sheet or advertising themselves on the casual encounters section of craigslist, right?   Better google yourself and get that cleaned up, tout de suite, is my advice.

So in that vein, I googled the blog's title today, really more to see if it has been search engine optimized, if anyone out there could even find it if they tried.  Results of that being "not so much" but they could find this beauty at the Our State store instead:

A literal Tar Heel charm.  And I think I need this now.  It's only fitting, isn't it?

So it appears as though I've found this blog's doppelganger.  A Bloggelganger, if you will.

Will you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thoughts from the Torture Chamber...

After way too long of a holiday hiatus, I found myself back in the Bikram yoga hot room on a regular basis this past week.  If you're not familiar with this particular form of yoga, allow me to explain, it's a 90 minute class in a room that's about 110 degrees, with 30% humidity, affectionately known as the Torture Chamber. 

It isn't that beautiful, serene, in a field of grass yoga you may imagine like this:'s a bit more like this:

You could say it's yoga for meatheads, i.e., perfect for me.  And it has done amazing things for me, my body, and my mind, I could go on forever.  But today it's just this one revelation I wanted to share.  Because I have taken so much time off from the yoga, I have experienced a bit of regression, in my flexibility and strength, and carrying a few extra lbs than I did before the holidays.  (Womp, womp).  It was easy for me to get discouraged, staring at myself in the mirror for 90 minutes (as you're required to do in this class), seeing my inability to get entirely into certain postures, wearing a tank top instead of just a sports bra.  However in last night's class I realized, I may not be as good as I was in a prior class, but being there didn't make me worse, it's what happened outside of the class that did.  No matter what I was going to walk out of that class better than when I came in, and that will always be the case.

When you go into the hot room, you leave better than when you came.

So I will be going back tonight.  Namaste.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Purely Ornamental

So...I have a confession.  I'm kind of in love with our Christmas card.
I mean, right?  We used Shutterfly to make our cards and were so pleased with how they turned out.  And we went with wedding pics for our Christmas cards because

  1. The pictures are awesome, not gonna lie.
  2. It was pretty much the biggest thing that happened to us this year.  Obvi.
  3. A lot of our guests couldn't make it due to a hurricane showing up the same weekend (another story for another day), so we had a lot of requests for pictures.  Ask and ye shall receive, y'all.
So that being said, I was a little sad today while taking down our decorations, since I also had to take down our Christmas Card display, including our first card.  I know it is something we'll always want to remember, but what could I do that would be better than wrapping it up with all of the other 2011 cards?

It was then that I remembered some inspiration from one of my favorite wedding websites...Weddingbee!  It's basically crack for any bride planning a wedding, and during our engagement I was always jonesin' for mah 'bee fix.  Part of the my self-prescribed treatment for planning withdrawal is to continue to visit weddingbee on occasion, especially to read a post by a fellow recently-wed lady.  It was in such a treatment session I saw this honey of an idea:
Making an ornament with mementos from your wedding!  This is still something I'd still like to do but today I decided to just make an ornament from our beloved Christmas card.  And it was easy like Sunday morning.

You can buy these empty glass ornaments at any craft store.  I got mine at AC Moore for $3 for a box of 6.  

And the directions are right on the back!  (I love how they have to state that the "anything you like" is not included.)

Then I just cut up our card into sections, rolled the sections up so they would fit through the ornament opening, added some ribbon, and put the top on.  The final product was this:

Now we'll be able to look back on our card every year when we put our ornaments up on the tree.  Now I'm kind of in love with this ornament.  One last Merry Christmas from the Walters!
Two UNC ornaments in the background, too, gotta love it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Because it's still Christmas until Epiphany

That's what Betsy (my mom) always told me.  We kept our decorations up and turned our Christmas lights on all the way until January 6th every year because you know why?  It's still Christmas until Epiphany.  The twelve days of Christmas isn't just a song, people.  As such, while not specifically mentioned by my mother as a rule of the holidays, I am still allowed to make a Christmas project post today. 

This being our first married Christmas, we received quite the influx of cards, much more than our mantle...okay, not mantle since we don't have a fireplace, but ledge of our of stained glass window could hold.  I wanted a better way to display the cards so we could get their full effect and not look like a hot mess piled on the window ledge.  Any ideas, Martha?

Ooh, splendid.  Where do you come up with them?  However, we don't yet have a decorative mirror downstairs (not to mention a that buffet table I still haven't made out of matchbooks).

Nope, I needed something else but with high visibility so we could enjoy seeing all the faces on the cards on a regular basis.  And then I had...well, I just can't help myself on this epiphany.  The downstairs bathroom door!  Outside of the door, though, don't be weird.

With also a lack of tinsel garland, I went with what was still sitting out from wrapping presents, good old ribbon.  And I didn't want to punch holes in my cards so I just used mini clothespins that are about $.99 a bag at the craft store.  Here were my supplies: 

Why, yes, that would be a UNC magnet on our fridge.  Go Heels!

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ribbon
  • Clothespins
I just cut a long piece of ribbon and wrapped it around the bathroom door, taping it a few places here and there so the weight of the cards wouldn't bring it down.  And then I just secured each card with a clothespin. 

Voila, the final product:

Our Christmas card:

Wedding pics by the fab Rachel Barker at Millie Holloman Photography

Not bad, right, Martha?  Well, it was basically free and super easy and didn't end up falling off the wall in a pile like my other previous card display attempts so I am one satisfied Tar Heel. 

Happy Epiphany to all! 

Getting my link on:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Come on Baby, Light My Fire

Ah Jim Morrison, or Uncle Jim as I like to call him since we once shared the same last name.  I would even sometimes convince classmates that he was my actual uncle, mainly because I could mourn his loss as if we were truly flesh and blood.  "Poor, poor Uncle Jim" I would say with tears welling up...  but I digress, as I often do.

This isn't about (Uncle) Jim, it's about fire.  Well, it's not really even about fire.   What is this about?  Well, okay, maybe fire a little.  Because I am fascinated it by it.  Not as in I am going to torch this place any second, more like, "wow, fire is cool."  Let's be honest, it's really neat to just watch a fire burn in the fireplace, right?  Well, for me it is, and always has been, don't judge.  I think it is this interest in fire that, ahem, sparked my desire to collect matches.  I swear I must have still been in middle school when I started my collection.  And it probably didn't hurt that it was around that time I had Beavis and Butthead on MTV every week reminding me how cool fire is (but only when I babysat or we went on vacation, since we didn't have cable growing up).  There I go digressing again.

The point is, I have been collecting matches for quite some time.  At just about every restaurant (or hotel or gas station) I'd go to from age 13 until now, I make sure to look for or even ask if they have matches, and if so could I have a book of them.  As my collection grew, I realized what a neat way it was to document all of my travels, experiences, and gas fill-ups.  But not so much lately, why is that?  Well in 2007, I had just moved to Baltimore when smoking was banned in bars and restaurants.  A funny thing happens when there's no more smoking at a restaurant, there's no more need for matches.  I've since noticed that hardly any place has branded matches these days, except for the occasional steak house, and the most recent matchbook I picked up was in Vegas last summer (where you can still smoke in a bar, go figure). 

So it has been for some time now that my collection really hasn't grow too much, and I have had more time to think about what would best way to actually put it on display (each and every day, every day, every day.) Darn you Melissa Gorga for haunting my thoughts!

Most of my matches are currently placed in an Ikea vase like this

which looks okay but not quite as chic as I had imagined. 

There has to be something more I could do with such a fabulous collection.  Plus our dining room is hurting for some wall decoration so I wouldn't mind if I could do something about that at the same time.  It was with idea in mind "matches + display x wall art = happy Tar Heel"  that I went on a search of the interwebs. And what did my little googling self find?  Inspiration!  <Cue the background choir of angels>

Man, I sure wouldn't mind having that banquet table as well.  Unfortunately I don't think I can make one of those out of matchbooks.  I don't even know if the wall art is actually matchbooks, but darn it, that's what it shall be in my house.  So I believe that will be my first project for 2012.  Wish me luck!

UPDATE:  You can see my finished product here!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What is a Tar Heel?

I have noticed since moving away from the old North state, I get this question a lot, especially since I am found routinely cheering for and calling myself a Tar Heel.  Plus there are a lot of ignorant Maryland fans in these parts (I kid!...I mostly kid!).

When you grow up hearing the term Tar Heel practically from the womb, you don't really question it too much, rather you respect and adore it, nay identify yourself with it.  However if I take a step back and try really hard to imagine what it must be like hearing the term for the first time with no context, I suppose I can understand how it may seem odd.

So here it is...the answer to the question "What is a Tar Heel", from the University of North Carolina website:
Our nickname, which also applies to North Carolina citizens, has at least two possible origins. One story hails back to the Revolutionary War and the troops of British General Cornwallis. After fording a river in eastern North Carolina, the British troops discovered their feet covered with tar, a product of North Carolina’s abundant pine trees and one of the state’s most important exports at the time. Some say the clever North Carolinians dumped it in the river to slow down the invading army. The British were said to have observed that if you waded in North Carolina rivers, you would get tar on your heels.

Another story comes from the Civil War. A group of North Carolina soldiers scolded their comrades for leaving the battlefield when things got tough. The soldiers threatened to stick tar on the heels of the retreating soldiers to help them stay in the battle. General Robert E. Lee is said to have commented “God bless the Tar Heel boys!” Whatever the reason for the moniker, our students and sports teams have long worn it with pride.
I could have sworn I had heard another story, something about the North Carolina troops being so brave, they stood their ground as if their feet were stuck in tar.  I imagine (and often tell the story with) the opposing general exclaiming: "There must be tar in them there heels!" 

There you go, clear as tar, ahem mud, right?

See also:
I.e., me

New Year, New Blog

With all the blogs I find myself reading now in all that time that has been freed up since I am no long planning a wedding, I thought it was only right and fair to contribute my own musings, projects, anecdotes, random thoughts and anything else someone might be able to kill some time while reading.  I like to give back...

So here we go, as with many projects I start, I hope this one doesn't turn out abandoned, in the corner, with the unpainted side facing the wall in hopes that no one notices it.

Happy 2012 y'all!