change of plans – take 2

image: hydrangea wreathIn the end, the living room was not remodeled to accommodate my lovely hydrangeas. I know, I know… big talk, little action. In my defense, I made the wreath and gave it as a gift to my sister who mentioned a few times that she would like to make a hydrangea wreath but doesn’t have time. And she had hydrangeas for her wedding bouquet and every time I looked at them they reminded me of her. So, no judgements based on the photo, please. It’s a lot prettier than it looks here… I may have forgotten to take a picture before I wrapped it up for her birthday and if you’ve never wrapped a gift made of dried flowers let me share a little supergirl tipnot worth unwrapping to take a picture.


wrap it up

With December just around the corner I planned to create a tutorial for wrap, or ladder, bracelets similar to the ones I have in my etsy shop. They’re pretty straightforward to make even if you haven’t made any jewelry and the material combinations are endless. The bracelet or anklet you make can be as individual as the person you plan to give it to.
Luckily I was on Pinterest and realized all the hard work has been done! Let me introduce you to Adrianne of Happy Hour Projects who focuses on quick and easy projects you can do in an hour or less. Her Double Wrap Bracelet tutorial is great – well written with lots of pictures and notations.
This tutorial suggests cutting your thread to any workable length and tying on more as needed. I haven’t done that and certainly intend to try it out. My experience with single-wrap length bracelets is 8 feet of thread, folded in half is needed. “Tending” to tangle is an understatement.


supergirl smoothie

Whether you enjoy a supergirl smoothie for breakfast or post-workout there's a lot of good-for-you stuff going on. Let's start with the recipe, this makes 2 servings of approximately 16 oz. each.

In a blender combine:

3 c frozen fruit
2 scoops protein mix (see below)
1 c organic, low fat vanilla yogurt
3/4 c milk (dairy, soy, almond, your preference)
3/4 c juice

protein mix
Here's a little supergirl efficiency to speed up the daily shake making process. In a clean dry container mix 12 servings each of: whey protein, wheat germ (too many good vitamins and minerals to talk about here), ground flaxseed (omega 3 source) and crystallized vitamin C. Use the large scoop that comes with the protein to measure two scoops of this mixture into your shake. Obviously you can mix more or less of each serving depending on the size of your container. I like 12 servings of everything because it gets me through about two weeks worth of shakes.

frozen fruit
Select your favorite types of fruit so you enjoy the shake. At the same time, do your best to incorporate different fruits so you get the widest range of vitamins. I buy BIG bags of frozen fruits at Costco and then mix-and-match in a zip-lock freezer bag. Strawberries, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, honeydew, mango...

I use rice milk, substitute organic nonfat milk, almond or soy milk - whatever makes you happy. The point is to get a bit of added protein and calcium.

100% Pomegranate juice is my preference. Lots of antioxidants without the sour taste. Blueberry works, too.

Make the shakes in the evening and drink for breakfast - just store in the fridge. I've been known to forget my morning shake and it turns out it will keep until the second morning, no problem. So you can make them daily and share or whip them up every other evening. If you need it on the go use an insulated coffee mug to keep it cool for an hour or two.

Because I eyeball my ingredients quantifying the nutrition info is sketchy. My best guess is 350-400 calories per shake with 5-6 grams of fat, 11-12 grams of protein and 60(ish) grams of carbs. I think it's carb-heavy because of the juice. You can switch to all milk if you're getting you're antioxidants somewhere else, you won't hurt my feelings.


sensible styles

My favorite style is sensible. And I'm not talking about fashion here, I'm referring to the feature that is found in word processing applications like Word and InDesign. Why are styles sensible? They save time and help you produce better looking documents. A style is a basket for a group of formatting commands. If you decide to make your chapter titles 37 pt Bold Dark Teal Verdana on chapter 1 you may not recall exactly what you did by chapter 13. Styles would save the day! You can name your 37 pt Bold Dark Teal Verdana text "Chapter titles" and then apply the "Chapter titles" style wherever you like, without remembering all of the details. Another sensible trait of styles is the ease with which you can change your formatting. Down the road, around chapter 32 of your book, you decide you want the chapter titles to be purple and small caps. Styles save the day again. Instead of selecting and changing each of your 32 titles individually (hello, time-consuming!) you can modify your "Chapter titles" style and every instance of it will be updated.

If styles only assist in making things look pretty they wouldn't be supergirl-in-disguise-worthy. Add functionality to styles and now we're talking. Remember the days of typing out your table of contents only to have more edits come in. The edits change the pages and the table of contents you carefully typed is useless. Those days are over. Let's go back to your 32 chapter book. Because you used "Chapter titles" for every chapter tile in the book you don't have to retype anything. Instead you will insert a dynamic table of contents based on your style. The table can be updated to reflect edits to your document without retyping or counting pages. [In Word Help keyword search "Table of Contents" to learn more.]

Using styles can seem complex at first. Don't give up, supergirl, they're worth learning. Begin with the built-in styles in Word. Apply them, modify them, see just how many different options you have. When you're getting the hang of things look for an online tutorial to teach you more. Let's see where sensible styles take you.


change of plans

When I came across this hydrangea wreath tutorial I knew it was a project I would not only pin, but actually make. And I have real flowers to make it with. Bonus.  Until I hit a little snag; they’ve been dry enough to work with for at least a week but they look so pretty hanging I hate to take them down.

Maybe this calls for a change in plans. Such as remodeling the living room so I can hang these on the fireplace mantel? Hmmmm.
hydrangea blooms hanging in a row



I love the smell of autumn. Blackberries ripening in the sun, leaves crunching underfoot. It’s glorious.
In an effort to eat along the lines of a less-processed, whole foods diet I’ve been paying attention to the seasons. I swear it makes time go slower, it’s a nice side effect.
Taking cues from Béa at La Tartine Gourmande — who seems to have a masters degree in enjoying life — I raided my parents’ plum tree this year. Me, my dad and a ladder. Sure we could reach just one more plum on that branch just — out — of — reach. There were a whole lot of plums left on that tree but we managed to get enough for me to bake and, for the first time ever, make jam on my own.
Plums to me equal Pflaumenkuchen. The whole gluten-free eating thing means I don’t get to have the real deal, but I’m hard-pressed to follow a recipe twice anyway, so improvisation ensued. I  used a modified version of a gluten-free tart found on La Tartine Gourmande and promptly ate an entire tart when it came out of the oven.


blue skies

Summer was outrageously late arriving in Seattle this year. Mother Nature is making up for it with mid-70 temps and no rain into September. Love it!
image: space needle, Seattle, WA