Wednesday, March 30, 2011

in the arts: knitting

SHELLO Y'ALL! after a long long wait I finally uploaded my little knitting video! I hope to be doing more of them in the future and other techniques like homemade butter pecan ice cream (for the record I will be posting about that soon just not in video form cuz it was amazing. AMAZING.)

did i mention i was excited? yay!

a not really kinda sorta bachelorette weekend

My downtown adventure started as a familiar one. Jump out my apartment window... Heroically land on train platform roll onto the train and all with a frickin heavy picnic basket in hand. 

There might have been some slight exaggerations with the paragraph above. The picnic basket was real though. 

I hopped off the train, more like hobble-gimped cuz that picnic basket weighed a small ton, and caught the bus. It was the same exact route I took on the way to Core so I felt nothing but excitement as nostalgia took over. I passed 10 South Wacker, waved to my humble roots and found my way to Union Station for the first time. I know. I live in Chicago and I've never visited or even have taken the train from Union. For shame.  

Hello prettiest place I've ever been. I am a fan of architecturally stunning places and... I fell in love for the second time that day. The first time was on the bus with a yellow coat with buttons on the BACK. I KNOW!!! I wish I took a picture. Ah well. Moving on. Union Station is literally the most gorgeous place EVER. I'd get married there. Then shoo everyone out and live there. I'd do it. 

Well I found Jayme, who I commend for navigating Union, Chicago and the transit authority system HAH. We checked in at Club Quarters on the river and threw our stuff down before heading to the most giant Victoria's Secret EVER.

Let's spare you the deets on that cuz you can pretty much tell what went on there but we walked out of there with good loot. and by we I mean the bride. If you're going to Victoria's Secret it's obviously NOT because you really enjoy their tastefulness and reasonable price points. 

We went to dinner at Buca di Beppo's which hasn't let me down so far. It's a good restaurant! Also this. Just stare at this for a second. JUST STARE. 

that is... twelve brownie squares chocolate and vanilla ice cream and like 6 cans of whipped cream and probably a bottle of sprinkles. IT WAS SO GOOD! *sobs* so. good. Note Jen in the background taking a picture of this monstrosity. Also note the comically huge martini glass and the slop sized spoon next to it. I was in pain afterwards, but it hurt so good. 

Here is where I stop narrating the rest of this weekend (which was in reality only 1 day) because it got really complicated. I can assure you, though, it was a good time. My favorite part was the walk back to the train the next day. I checked out of the hotel last and even though Chicago isn't completely empty on a Sunday morning it is relatively quiet. So I got to walk through the city streets and look around and not worry about someone bumping into me. It was idyllic. Also I was told I have a 'city personality' by the bride. This could mean a few things: when I walk downtown I wear the "do not. mess. with me." face very well, I have a sense of direction and/or can fake it til I make it, or Chicago just sits well with me. I'd like to say it's all three. :)

If ever the miracle happens and I end up married I am DEFINITELY doing any get together, reception, marriage, forever afterwards in the city. Just sayin'. Wouldn't you? I KNOW! No brainer.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

why we do what we do

I like baking because it's methodical, way more methodical than cooking. Cooking is expressive and free and definitely an art form... so is baking but in a different way. There are a lot of variables to cooking... the great thing about it is you can experiment and pretty much it's going to come out right with the correct foundations. Baking is a science. If I add baking soda and baking powder to a muffin it's going to be light as air. If I forget the vanilla in a cupcake (speaking from experience) then a subtle undertone is missing that you just can't put your finger on. I know the limits I have within a recipe... I make addendum all the time, but the methodical nature behind baking is one of the most relaxing qualities of it. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that butter, confectioner's sugar, a little bit of milk and cream cheese equals an amazing frosting. Adding salt to sweet things like chocolate or caramel will always boost and balance the flavor. I like the fact that 1 + 1 + 2 = 4 every time in the baking world. I also know that when I get "expressive" I still understand the science behind it, which allows me to BE expressive, and it comforts me.

Is that weird?

I think I like the fact that when my baking adventures turn into successes I don't feel like I'm failing as much in other aspects of my life. I might be insecure in THIS random area in my life, but here. Let me feed you. This tastes good. You are smiling. I did something right. Here. Keep eating and smiling.

Pet peeve: when I give someone a baked good and they HOOVER it down without really tasting it. Odd pet peeve right?  I like... LOVE food and I enjoy savoring things so when that favor isn't returned I get a bit sad but I just never say anything cuz that's rude. But for real... if someone is going to spend the time and their butter, sugar, flour & eggs to make you something amazing you better ACT like it's the first and LAST confectionery treat you'll ever get - cuz it might be! that goes for anyone though...

It's interesting why we do the things we do. This is a small part of the reason why I like to bake. There are other parts that I'll let you in on later. : )

Sunday, March 20, 2011


today i...

...spent my entire day with the same people

...spent most of that day in one place

...that place had nothing to do with work was the least i've thought about work in a long time

...ate at a restaurant i've never been to before

...visited a church i've never been to before

...liked both.

...talked less than i ever have in like... forever. oddly enough i'm a quiet person. if you know me at work i am like off the wall super excited about life and it's adventures. but once i'm home as a generality i don't talk. when i have morning's off i make it a point not to make a noise emit from my mouth until i go to work where i will be talking with fervor for the next 10 hours. i've always been very comfortable with silences, which makes most people uncomfortable. i could lay my hand on your shoulder and not say a word but i just spoke volumes. i communicate differently. *shrugs* i'm a different kind of girl.

today was a really good day. needed. very needed.

happy work week : )

Thursday, March 17, 2011

true love (an h-bahn love story)

when i find my true love i will bestow upon him this card:

from sapling press via
he will blush, knowing that bob ross and happy little trees are inseparable like the accompaniment of an exhale to an inhale. 

to bind our love he will give me this in return:
from sapling press via

i will take his hand in mine and we will ride off into the sunset in our hybrid hatchback (bikes in the trunk), knowing we will be together forever. 

someday... *abby grin* hahaha

did you like that?! how cute are these cards! i KNOW RIGHT?! buy them already!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

a story of shoes

Have you ever had an item of clothing that just... GOT you? like it knew you and completely understood you? see those shoes up there? they are that item. the first time i wore those shoes i had a day unlike i've ever had in my life. they're the perfect accessory... they're like lipstick but for my feet. I've run in the rain in these flats, tracked through the snow in these flats, foot printed the sand in these flats. not to mention they're like the most perfect color. every time i step into them i feel like... a million dollars, a rarity.

well when i ran in the rain in these... seeing as they're made of leather, when they dried they split. I wear them anyway but that's a liiiittle bogus haha so i'm gonna try to sew them. I can't bring myself to throw them away and Gap doesn't even CARRY this color anymore in my size (you KNOW i tried to order some more already). Oddly enough in their short lifespan they hold a memory.

I know I can't hold onto them forever - that's irrational - and I also don't want to hold onto something I just need to release... but for now they complete every hipster outfit perfectly so here they will stay. and when the time comes to let them go... and the memory associated with it... i will. it's weird to talk like this about SHOES but... just trust me. : )

p.s. How gorgeous is it today?! my flats and i went on the most perfect walk. i think with my tax return I'm gonna get a bike instead of immediately getting an iPad 2 (like i TOTALLY want to haha). A bike has more staying power and health benefits than an iPad (or I could put my iPad in a case and use it as a frisbee!.... right.) and that way i can cruise around the city in the summer being the hipster i am. what do you think?

also go here. she's so awesome it's ridiculous.


Know what I love about children's songs and children in general? Everything is so straight forward. I'm listening to a song that is telling me me to swim on the moon and plant a garden under the sea and you can do it because "everything's a possibility when everything's a possibility."

Yes there are a lot more variables to adulthood but I love the straightforward aspect of a kids imagination. Ask them what they're doing and they will solemnly inform you that their pet chinchilla is sick and they're traveling to South America by tricycle to get them a popsicle to make them feel better.

Take a hint from your tiny ones... unclench every once in a while. Allow yourself to dream the wildest thing you can think of off the top of your head. Then draw it... and paint it. Just DO it.

you can download this super cute song for FREE if you go here! (originally i got this from Pacing the Panic Room. an amazing blog) great if you have kids... also great if you're a 24 year old insanely bubbly girl who finds comfort in these lyrics (psh... yeah i'm talking about myself. yep. i so am.)

also! I am SUPER excited to FINALLY introduce the next great blog to the 11 of you that sit perched and tense on the edge of your seat waiting for me to provide tidbits of amazingness. *sigh* that whole last sentence was completely ridiculous. i just went with it. anyway work friend, Kate, launched her blog diapers + skinnyjeans and I'm pretty excited about it. She's a hipster. There's not much else that can describe her in one word... she hoops - as in hula (AMAZINGLY better than you ever could lol) and is one of those people that could wear pretty much anything and be stylish. jelis already? i know. it's bound to happen. but! she's due to have probably the cutest baby soon and is chronicling her adventures in both motherhood and hipsterhood. go. read. doit. k. thanks.

i have the day off tomorrow. pecan streusel muffin from Sweet Annie's? better yet! i'm making THIS! yummm. a JtB surefire breakfast : )

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2AM ramblings

Have you ever been up in the middle of the night just thinking? It's 2:11am and I'm awake reading a book. 

I have a musical coping mechanism. Whenever my brain is overwhelmed with thoughts the thinking side of myself shuts down.Instead a song is supplied until I get to a state where I can effectively think. That time is right now. But for the past few hours the playlist in my head has been this:
•AM/FM Sound by Matt&Kim
•Diamond Dave by The Bird and the Bee
•Lady Killer (intro)
In small rotation. It's the weirdest thing and I never noticed it until recently when I was ASKED to lend thoughts to an overwhelming situation and I couldn't. I could only sing a tinny pop song. Makes me seem really aloof and detached. I apologize for anyone baffled by that. Shoot IM baffled. 

Now that I'm able to think... I've been feeling pretty "meh" lately. I'm feeling like a sack of nothing. Like wasted space. It is frustrating. I think I've given up on boys, boyfriends, relationships, marriage and the like because I'm not so great at that either. I think the less I pursue the more the eventual opportune person will be... brought to my attention. So that's frustrating too. I'm just a ball of frustrated LOL. I would throw myself into my work but when I do it backfires. I'm a people pleaser. I spend more time trying to figure out how to please the "important" people instead of taking initiative and action and lead, which, is what pleases them. (mmmDUUUUH!) so. It's like an incessant cycle of doing the wrong thing. *thumbs up* love it! Syke! 

Ok now (ok... now) I've hit the sleepy point. 

Good evening.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I can't believe I'm doing this...

I think I have to stop using recipes from Joy the Baker. *bursts into tears* I KNOW. I always end up having to tweak her recipes which I guess is the POINT of baking... you find your own style... usually I end up using salted butter for depth of flavor or adding a pinch more salt to her recipe in general (if you haven't figured out by now... salt in sweet recipes add depth and don't make it too cloyingly sweet aka gets-old-fast). Pretty sure for like... as long as I'm alive I will keep looking at her site... but I've finally seen the LIGHT! her site is not the only baking site out there. I finally get why my mother consults like 18 cookbooks in search of ONE recipe. One recipe never has the answer... it's usually a mix of one and pinch of the other and perfection is made.

There's a life lesson in that paragraph up there. I just know it.

In the meantime, in between time, check out this blog of awesome. For someone who could never be friends with guys I have two best guy friends that totally happen to have the same name. Fate? Maybe. Probably not. Anyway he's an up and coming artist who will fly me to his shows when he makes it big. *shrugs* one can dream correct?

Who's to say I won't be the one flying people out?? *woah!* dream big.

I meant that : )

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

scary kitchen adventures

Dulce de leche is tasty, but it's a dangerous road to get there.

I made Joy the Baker's Dulce de Leche cupcakes yesterday (are we surprised? really? yet ANOTHER thing from Joy? can't we just BE best friends already?! GEEZE.) and i made dulce de leche the old fashioned way. Aka boiling a closed can of sweetened condensed milk (A CLOSED CAN!) in a pot of water (can i repeat this. closed can. insert in boiling water. boiling hot scalding water) for a few hours until it turns all caramel-y and gorgeous.

Honestly I've never been so scared in my life. I had to flip the can... and it was rattling in the boiling water... I mean if you take it out too soon and open it too soon IT'LL EXPLODE! NO JOKE. IT WILL EXPLODE. SCALDING YOU WITH IT'S CARAMEL-Y GORGEOUSNESS AND GIVE YOU THIRD DEGREE CARAMEL COLORED BURNS. Hence my afeared state!

Well I got too scared and had to boil it again (open this time) and it turned gorgeous and delicious : )

but seriously. it was so. scary. good things came out of that experience though!

what is it about cream cheese frosting that makes it so amazing?! this frosting had dulce in it... and it just... sang. SANG. 

anywho... i've started designing again... working on an old sketch that always stuck with me. we shall see how it turns out! I'm taking my time... cuz I get to actually take my time! it's exciting : ) I will definitely show some updates soon! hoorays anatomy! 

later gators! i won't be back for a while... lots coming up... bridal shower, a product launch and other fun stuff of that nature. also i'm baking 30 chocolate cupcakes from scratch. recipe from... i won't say. cuz you already know. *hangs head in shame* seriously! it's BAD! i always know if i get it from Joy it'll be good! so i don't even search! for SHAME. (psh for AWESOME!)

Monday, March 7, 2011

even the stars hideaway

heyo. i'm alright! stop askin'! (none of you asked anything... but like if you DID ask... i'd be like... "i'm alright! stop askin!" *sniffs* yeah...)

anyway! i'm gettin that fun feeling where i wanna up and move and not tell anyone and reinvent myself as... a quirky funny person somewhere else. = / that's all i got. i bring the smilez. and the baked goods haha

via linen house

for now i'll just take wherever THIS bed/apartment is and move in immediately. that or i'm just gonna steal the bedding... the lamp... the sweet magazine table made out of magazines... the windows...... yeah seriously i just need to find where this is.

basically i am just frustrated with a lot, but it's okay cuz i'm grateful for a lot too. the journey to excellence suuuucks yo!

let's just stare at that bed some more shall we? *drool*.... goodnight : )

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

i'm going to tell you exactly what happened

i've got some things to work out 
and that's all you need to know.

from rosydesignsonline 


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