Tuesday, June 28, 2011

grow garden grow

(the tiniest cucumber)

(wee berries)

(beans! I've been eating these guys everyday)

(pea pods!)

Sorry for the spotty posting, folks. Promise to be back soon! Like a champ this time!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ode to my nan

(Isabelle in her navy blue velour suit)

My nan passed away last week. It was awful to see her spend the last few days of her life suffering so I was glad that her funeral became a celebration of her 92 years instead. We told great stories. Like, how she used to scare us as kids with horrifying (and made up) animal stories and as a result, my cousin is still afraid of cows. Or how much she loved to read, especially murder mysteries. How much she loved Jeopardy (and how good she was at it). How she used to go all out on holidays and wear color coordinated outfits with tons of accessories (think Fourth of July with knee high striped socks, mardi gras beads, blue sweater, white keds, red shorts). How she loved to crochet and bake. How she let me eat cans of mandarin oranges from her stockpile that lined the walls down to her basement. How she kept a beautiful garden and canned wonderful foods. How she named the chipmunks in her yard (Charlie, in case you're wondering). How much she loved tea and sweets*. How she despised alcohol but smoked like crazy. How she loved to dance. How she used to model shoes for Stride Rite with her adorable size 4 feet.

Thanks for everything, Nana. Hope wherever you are, you're sassing someone (and if they're being fresh, giving them a pinch).

*Just like Isabelle's PB cookies

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 cup sugar
1 egg

preheat to 350. mix ingredients + roll into balls. wet a fork + create a crisscross pattern on the cookie (this is crucial for that 'grandma cookie' look). bake 10-12. enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

hello again

(image from here)

Sorry for the blog absence all. Things have been a little crazy here. Two people in my husband's family have passed away recently and then my grandmother passed away as well as a beloved student at the school I work at. I also met a long lost relative who had been out of touch with the family for 20+ years. So things have been fraught with emotion to say the least. I promise to be back in the swing of things soon, commenting on your blogs, talking about food I like, posting about music stories. Hope all is well with you + happy Friday.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So last night my dream was pretty epic. It involved walking down the highway at various points. During those times, I saw people standing on these poles with bandaged hands panhandling with signs. Somehow I knew these people and I knew they were scam artists? Also, there was a crazy band playing on the other side of the highway and I saw an old friend playing with the band. I wanted to hug him to say hello (after their performance of course) but he was really sweaty. Also for some reason he had become super muscle-y and was wearing one of those work out tank tops. Not as crazy as this but you get the idea (p.s. anyone seen this guy's TLC special? Its scary AND gross!). So anyways, I also remember I had to drop off my dad at the train station and we drove to this amazing farm with lots of animals. For starters, they had fuzzy baby ponies. FUZZY BABY PONIES!?! Can you even handle that?

(like this but even fuzzier! like a baby chick)

Then, as we drive down this dirt road to the train station (I'm sure it was an excellent train station being down a dirt road and all) we saw tons of beautiful birds and I kept thinking, 'Wow I should tell my mom about this place'. So I did and then me mom and I went to a bunch of different Targets where she went food shopping and then we were looking for a special item no one had. I feel like it was drugs? Also, half of the store sold strange faux stone and marble museum statues and heads. They were 'aged' and missing pieces, as if they were actual discovered artifacts. There I saw someone's old boyfriend, who I hadn't thought of in years, buying his girlfriend a marble cat head to display her hats on. I kept thinking,'how many hats? Is she going to stack them all on this one cat head?' Because clearly, that's what I should be concerned with in this situation.

And this is why I shouldn't eat so many cookies before bed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I think I'll go home and mull this over

So a couple years back, before Ryan and I started dating, I went to Poland. I had just broken up with my ex boyfriend and it felt like a fresh start. I was going to do architectural studies of synagogues with a class I was taking. I would have probably never chose Poland as a destination in my personal list of places to travel but I loved it and would recommend it to anyone. The people were amazing, the food was delicious and the sites we visited were lovely (a lot of sad history but very important nonetheless). I have lots of memories of drinking too much vodka, laughing too hard, sleeping on beds made of straw, staying over at a place which was decorated with large posters of cats, hearing 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' alot, eating lots of tomato and onion salads. We traveled all over the country, mostly by bus. I can still picture of our gigantic bus making its way up narrow and windy dirt roads (that all seemed to slope upwards) and then all of us applauding at our bus driver's skill, since we made it there alive. On these long bus rides, that's where the music comes into play. I remember I had brought my hot pink cd case that fit about 25 cds and my cd player (oh lord, I'm dating myself here). My cd player was bright yellow and my headphones were big (and not trendy big, big like 'I-borrowed-these-from-my-dad' big). I don't recall all the music I brought with me but I know I brought Smoking Popes, Mirah and The Shins. Oh The Shins. They could have been called 'Welcome-to-Indie-Rock-Lisa-This-is-All-You'll-Be-Listening-To-For-Quite-Sometime'. The beginning of Caring is Creepy will always remind me of sitting on a bus, watching out the window. I can almost feel the bumpy roads when the intro starts. And that my friends, is the place where I got to ride a giant rooster (they sold rooster shaped bread at a bakery nearby, I know there was a meaning behind it but I'm not sure of it now).

Monday, June 6, 2011

winner of giveaway #2!

and the winner of giveaway number 2 is....

(dramatic pause)


Step right up and get your prize! Actually, shoot me an email with your address so I can send you out your winnings! My email is orangeimpossible* at yahoo dot com.

Check back tomorrow for a post with a little more substance. Here's a hint about what's in store:

(yes that is me riding that rooster backwards)

* its an email address that I picked at random from my ipod. I had no idea I would keep it for so long. Anyhoo, I can't find any links to this particular song but its a song from the band Congratulations on Your Decision to Become a Pilot. I did however find a link to their myspace page here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

a winner + a new mix!

and the winner is...

(dramatic pause)


(pause for applause)

who said (and by said I mean typed):

Hi! You're one of the blogs I follow just by typing in the url and it auto-completes and then I just visit your blog every day. Old school, I know. Well, sort of school. I'm not sure how old auto-complete is.

ANYWAY I love this bag http://www.etsy.com/listing/72172200/zippered-pouch-shay-large even though I'm sure even sure it's a cosmetic bag? If I win, I'll either give it to my fiancee, or heck, I'll use it as a new toilettry bag or even as a travel bag for my guitar picks and capos.

Hooray! I totally liked her Facebook page too. I also liked it in real life.

Excellent! I just checked and your site autocompletes here too! I just sent your info over to the other Lisa and she will be in touch!


Today's mix is a collection of songs on my mind lately. I'll list the reasons why for the full effect!

Paranoid Android (cover)- Weezer (great cover/heard on the radio the other day)
Life Goes On- Noah and the Whale (radio)
Flame- Sebadoh (thinking of my music friend my high school/think I will do a post on this)
Letter from an Occupant- New Pornographers ( great summer music/had cd on repeat)
You are a Tourist- Death Cab for Cutie (new cd!)
Silver Lining- Rilo Kiley (wanted to listen to/ cd is skipping/boo)
No One Else- Weezer (probably bad mix etiquette/whatever/listened to this cd in lieu of RK)

MusicPlaylistView Profile
Create a playlist at MixPod.com

For more Mixtape Master madness, peep the playlists on these blogs:

Hi-Fi Weddings Tylre. Ten Thou Bride Fashion Under 100 Jo, Rooting One Cat Per Person another damn life Savoir Weddings Fancy Notion Dead Flowers Casa De Kaloi Bunnies’n’Beagles My San Francisco Budget Wedding Existing Between Reality and Dreams Smile in Motion

Be a Mixtape Master. Email Angie or Ashley to get in on it

Thursday, June 2, 2011

giveaway #2

Today is my second giveaway! Ya free stuff. So today I will be giving away a copy of my husband Ryan's latest book, Lief. I could go on and on about him here (like about how he is hilarious and tells a great story and how he grows a beard because I like it) but I think he gives some excellent answers to my mini interview below, so I will let those do the talking for me. (One last thing. if you like comics, check out his new blog)

(image from amazon, where you can buy his other books and also their kindle versions)

1. tell us about yourself!
I am 32 years old, and married to internet superstar Lisa Tressel. I am teacher of children, writer of books, butler to three cats, and groundskeeper of Stately Tressel Manor. I'm a Leo, not quite as tall as my license says but not as short as I could be given the stature of other Fitzpatrick men, and I can grow a pretty decent beard.

2. why do you write?
It's cheaper than dancing lessons.
But as long as I can remember I've been making stuff up. When my mother inevitably starts her post-retirement blog, I'm sure she can share dozens of stories about baby Ryan and his crazy imagination. I do know that I submitted a hand-written Spider-man story to Marvel comics when I was in second grade, and got a rejection letter from Stan Lee himself. "I'm no longer in charge of the day-to-day operation of Marvel comics," he wrote, and even as a seven year old, I remember thinking, "Then why are you wasting my time?"When I was in college, my friend was dating a playwright, and when she told him that I wrote, too, he asked me "What's your message?" I told him I didn't have one, and he was aghast. "Why else tell stories if you're not trying to teach people your message?" His name, no lie, was Jesus. I scoffed at it then, but I do think that with each of the things I've written, I have, consciously or not, been trying to show people the way that I see the world. And trying to stick it to Stan Lee.

3. What is your favorite thing you have ever written?
I think the proper "interview" answer is to say 'Lief' because it is the most recent thing I've written, and because it succeeds as a technical feat (a modular novel in which the chapters can be read in any order) better than I had even hoped when I started it, and because there's something on every page that manages to move me. The 'mom' answer would add my other two novels, "The While" and "Immortallo" and say something about how they are all like my children and I love them all in their own special and unique ways, and then I'd point everybody to ryantressel.com for more information. But the "craftmylife" answer is: my favorite thing I've ever written is the wedding vows my wife and I exchanged last summer.

4. What is your favorite thing you have ever read?
I think in my "writer DNA" is a pretty heavy chunk of Kurt Vonnegut's "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" with a dash of William Golding's "Freefall". But a majority of that DNA is 13-year old Ryan brought to the brink of tears by Doom Patrol #63 by Grant Morrison and Richard Case,where Robotman reaches his hand out to Kay Challis in the pouring rain and tells her, "Didn't I promise? We're going home now. Come in out of the rain."

5. On a scale of 1-10, how awesome is it to be married to me?
To paraphrase Spinal Tap, "Ours goes to 11."

To win this awesomeness:
1. let me know how you follow me in a comment (reader, blog, etc)
2. for increased chances to win*, like Tiny Bear's facebook page
3. swing by Ryan's blogs here and here
4. for extra points*, follow those too!
5. be sure to comment + let me know what you did!

You know the drill from yesterday, I will be pulling the winning name out of a hat. Good luck! I will announce the winner on Monday!

*more names in the hat

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

giveaway #1

So my friends, I have brought you here for a chance to win something great. I know I have mentioned Lisa before on this blog but she always deserves another mention. We first started chatting because of wedding planning but have stayed in touch ever since. She is so sweet, very talented and an all around great friend. Oh! and she is expecting! I kinda wish she lived down the street so we could go to JoAnns all the time. So in some kind of fancy giveway swap Lisa is giving away one of my Tiny Bear animals on her site and she is offering a chance to win a free cosmetic bag of your choice from her shop. I am personally enamored with this one.

(some custom work from Lisa!)

I also got the chance to ask Miss L a couple questions:

1. Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I'm Lisa, a 26 year-old hairstylist turned sewing addict. I started blogging to chronicle my life and my wedding plans. I received my first sewing machine as a wedding gift last May and have been teaching myself to sew ever since! I am so blessed and happy to be able to do what I do!

2. Why do you craft/make things?
I craft because if I didn't I think I would explode into a magnificent cloud of thread, fabric and hot glue sticks. It's just so fun to be able to create something from nothing. It gives me such an intense feeling of satisfaction whenever I finish a piece. I don't get that feeling from anything else!

3. Please tell us about your shop!
I have an Etsy shop that I opened 2 years ago in an effort to sell jewelry. When that bombed miserably it sat empty for quite some time. Then when I received my sewing machine and was actually able to make something viable, I gave the shop a makeover and restocked it. There are always new things being added and switched around. I like to change things often. :)

4. What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
Oh man, my favorite thing? I don't know if I can narrow it down to just one. I will say that I recently started quilting and I love LOVE doing that. I really like the idea of no two pieces being alike. I carry one of my quilted purses every day.

5. What are your favorite things to do other than craft/make things?
I love to read, watch movies, obsess over Pinterest, spend time with my husband and dogs, and of course, write. I find that writing can be an equal, if not greater, creative outlet. I always have 2 or three personal journals going in addition to my blog. I'm an addict. :)

To win this awesomeness:
1. let me know how you follow me in a comment (reader, blog, etc)
2. for increased chances to win*, like Tiny Bear's facebook page
3. swing by Lisa's shop, facebook page and blog, let me know what you like
4. for extra points*, follow/like those too!
5. be sure to comment + let me know what you did!

Because I'm old school/computer literate, I will probably be pulling the name out of a hat. Good luck! I will announce the winner on Friday!

*more names in the hat
** it's over people, Bret won!