Maybe this Christmas...

Yay for it almost being Christmas! And I get Christmas fun a little earlier than most because Jeremy and I are having our family Christmas this Sunday since we have to drive to Arkansas to have Christmas with our families there. I have no idea what he got me, but the box is huge. I don't remember mentioning wanting anything that big, so I really have no idea what it is.

I think I got all my Christmas shopping done -- finally! I got a very nice Christmas bonus at work, so I was able to get everyone what I had really wanted to get them and not compromise on it due to finances, which was very nice. I don't usually go and buy everyone something for Christmas. We usually make cookie baskets and stuff, but with us being so far away that wasn't really an option this year as I'd have to make it so far ahead it would probably get crumbly and not so fresh, not to mention the 11 hour drive in a car full of luggage, gifts, and a stinky pug dog. I did try to get as much as I could from local shops and from etsy.com, so I don't feel too bad about my consumerism. I bought probably 17 or 18 things from etsy in the past month or so! It was soooo fun and it's going to be hard to stop once the Christmas season is over. Valentine's Day is coming up, though, and that's my FAVORITE holiday! I can't wait! I wish Kandi would come make Valentines with me some weekend!

I listed this little cupcake last night, and (sloppily) edited the photo to make it look like it's floating! Fun! I do need to work on my photoshop skills, though. There's a community class at AB Tech that is fairly affordable, so I should take it. Or do some online tutorials.
I'd like to give a shout out to the creators of my latest etsy purchases, all of which I LOVE so much:

The Early Girl for her adorable apple sweaters! Great little gifts for anyone on your list.

Toybreaker and Cyberoptix Tie Lab for their AMAZING, hand screenprinted ties. And the packaging is wonderful and perfect for immediate gift-giving!

And last, but definitely not least, Eventual Invention for this perfect little felt apple snail named Walter. I ordered him as a gift for myself and he is divine! Eventual Invention's packaging is so lovely and fun to open! I really did feel like it was a special gift, and the quality of Walter is so great I think my real apple snails think they have a new friend! I'll try to get some pictures of him with my real snails.

Happy Holidays everyone! Be safe if you're traveling, and I hope everyone has a great time seeing their friends and family.


Too Cute!!!

I found this on the urbanpug blog, and it is just toooo precious! I love pugs so much. There's a sweet sooty faced pug that gets walked near where I work at around five, so I'm almost causing wrecks almost daily to get to see him.

Today is Jeremy's birthday! I don't know what our plans are for tonight, but I'm sure it will involve a yummy birthday dinner of some kind, so that's fun. He already opened his presents, so all that's left to do is blow out the candles on his strawberry cake with homemade cream cheese icing. Nom Nom Nom

Things have been super busy lately. I've been buying up stuff on etsy for Christmas, hassling Jeremy to do his Christmas shopping, getting Jeremy from the airport, painting, thinking about joining the YMCA, and tons of other stuff. It doesn't sound like a lot, but really, it is.

Last night I made some delicious tortilla soup, but the jalapenos I got were WAY hotter than I had expected. I'm wondering if they were even jalapenos. When I was de-seeding them some of the juice got on my fingers and later, after I'd washed my hands a bazillion times, I got some of it on my tongue somehow. It hurt SO BAD! I had just eaten a full meal and still had to drink like a half gallon of milk and eat a piece of bread to make it stop. I thought it was going to make a blister.

Why is it iced over in Arkansas and like 68 degrees here today? Are the mild winters following me around? I thought we were supposed to get the cold weather!


lemon creme brulee! yum. gotta love the laughing seed. 


baked sweet potato fries and sauteed kale -- nummy!


new grey cardigan! yay! it was on sale for $3.

today is a rainy day again. the clouds over the mountains are so amazing! sometimes i miss the cotton fields in arkansas, but the mountain views here totally beat out the field scenery. i've been lazy all week. i haven't cleaned a thing, can't upload my etsy stuff because of the camera situation, and have just been sitting around watching tivo. it's pitiful. i did manage to get some groceries yesterday, though, and david is coming for dinner tonight, so maybe i'll get off of my butt.

i'm gonna make some hot chocolate. mmmm..

To Ani or not to Ani?

So, Ani Difranco is playing two nights in Asheville in March, one of which is on my birthday. Being the Ani fan that I am, I immediately have the urge to buy tickets to both shows right now. There are problems with this situation, though, which I will enumerate below: 1. I'm not a fan of the venue. If it were the Grey Eagle, I'd definitely get tickets. The shows are at the Orange Peel, and while I've seen some good shows there, I tend to regret my decision to see shows there. I'm too short to really see anything if I'm not in an ideal spot, there's a constant stream of people shoving through the packed crowd to get a cheap beer so they can then shove back through sloshing it everywhere, and somehow there's always a six foot tall frat boy in front of me. Really! 2. I might want to do other things on my birthday like go to Savannah or something. The tickets to see Ani are $35 each, and I would have to have a date, meaning it would cost me and (I assume) Jeremy $70 to see her. That's gas to a fun place or a hotel room for a night. 3. I've seen Ani more times than I can remember. Once I made her a spaghetti strap tank top that said "I Love Gas Stations" and threw it onstage to her, and she actually got it, read it, laughed, and shoved it down her shirt! This was at the New Daisy and my good friend Laura Holt was with me. I've had amazing, glowing Ani experiences. I've also seen her and been less than thrilled - not necessarily because of her, but maybe because I'm older now and don't get as excited about shows anymore. It's sad, but true. (Man Man is an exception because they are so unreal live. I still get jittery excited about seeing them, and a little about Langhorne Slim too now that I think about it.) 4. Here's the real problem - I despise Ani's new album. I mean, hate it. I couldn't listen to it more than once, and I struggled to get through that. In fact, I haven't liked much of anything she's done lately. I'm a huge supporter of RBR and have nearly everything Ani's put out besides the "official bootlegs," I have bought at least 5 Ani shirts over the years, I have a Hammel on Trial CD, I've put her on nearly every mix tape I've made, I've stood up for her when people pronounce her name incorrectly (she says it herself in "In or Out, people - it's not that hard), I've argued when people compare her to Alanis Morrisette, but this album blows. I hate it. I don't even like the lyrics in most of the songs. I was hugely disappointed. I know she'll do old songs too, but do I want to pay that much to see her? Is that how I want to spend my birthday? Maybe I'll just plan a trip to Savannah or Charleston instead. Feel free to let me know what your advice would be. :)


sometimes i wish i were a pug. particularly on cloudy, rainy, sleepy days like today. at least there's coffee with hot chocolate mixed in to make it at least a little better. for some reason nocci was super excitable last night and this morning, so after a 1 a.m. walk and eventual 2 a.m. settle down, i was sadly awaken by a jumping, snorting, excited pug wanting a walk an hour earlier than usual this morning. a pug wanting a walk while you sleep is no easy thing to ignore. i literally got my head sat on and a wet puppy nose on my eyelid until i got up.

unfortunately, jeremy accidentally took the camera battery charger to florida with him in the laptop case, so i can't take pictures of my etsy stuff so i can list it. :( I did get this one bunny painting listed, but i had to take the photos super quick! i also have another mustachioed cupcake painting to list, and i'm working on some mixtape paintings.

Old Crow Medicine Show was great at the Orange Peel the other day. they always put on a great show, and they were filming this one for a dvd, so they probably played even harder than usual. i have a love/hate relationship with the Orange Peel. i love some of the acts that play there, but i feel like they sell more tickets than they should to fill the venue comfortably. i'm totally sick of going there and being smashed up against drunken frat boys and angsty, crying 16 year olds (that was the conor oberst show - go figure). i told myself i wasn't going there again because i always regret it once i get there, but how am i supposed to pass up seeing an artist i love? i just wish they'd all play the Grey Eagle instead.


roasted acorn squash with walnutty brown rice. yum.


my largest snail. isn't he lovely?

I already miss summer.

cherries 1, originally uploaded by cherry valentino.

This year I like winter much more than I used to. They seem more tolerable here than in Arkansas. The snow is fluffier, it's not as grey and depressing, and we have a fireplace and cozy apartment, but it still gets dark at 5:30 p.m. and leaves me with little to no outside time or sunshine each day, which makes me a very cranky girl.

I just want to pit cherries on my covered porch and have some sweet tea in the sunshine.

I guess I'll settle for hot cocoa by the fire.


Busy Week

This is a busy week. Last night we had homemade pizza dinner with friends, which was awesome; tonight we're getting our first Christmas tree; tomorrow is the Old Crow Medicine Show concert at the Orange Peel; Friday is one of my best friend's birthday parties, and I have no idea what's going on this weekend. I haven't even had a chance to clean up from last night's dinner.

I got some soap from etsy that I loved, but I think it was scented a little too strongly for me, so I gave it to a friend. It was delicious, but I'm super sensitive to scents so it didn't end up working out.

I've been doing a lot of Christmas shopping on Etsy. I think even if I can't get as much for people because it's more expensive, at least it will be handcrafted with love and something you can't find anywhere else, right?

Didn't get to work on the legwarmers last night. Maybe tonight? I was thinking of trying to knit some Christmas ornaments. I have some little knitted circular thingies that I was going to try to make into a scarf somehow, but maybe I'll just hang them on the tree.

Hanging out with other pugs over the holidays is making me want another pug friend for Nocci. I'll keep an eye on the MAPR site and maybe one will come along. Nocci would like to have a sister to share his treats with. Okay, maybe he wouldn't share, but he'd still like a sister.


New Blog!

I honestly have no idea why I'm starting this. I have a ton of social networking junk anyway, but there are so many blogs I see on blogger that I'd like to follow, it just seems like the easiest way to keep up with them would be to blog here too.

Today I listened to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Show Your Bones," which I really didn't like when I first heard it. Today I love it! It's like I went out and bought a new record, but I've had it forever! Don't you just love it when that happens?

Tonight I'm having a homemade dinner date with some of my best friends, and I plan on working on some teal ribbed legwarmers I've been knitting. Yay!