Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Shots

Pictures from the weekend.

cherry tree
I don't think I've ever seen a cherry tree before. So pretty.


phone booth

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Internationales Strassenfest Sindelfingen (International Street Festival in Sindelfingen, Germany)

We went to an International Street Festival in a nearby town today with food, music and dancing from lots of different countries. Yummy and fun. We heard and saw dancing and music from all over the world. Even Detroit. Lol. Really, though. Eminem and what must have been the German interpretation of hip hop dancing. It looked more like aerobics, but was quite fascinating.

turkish dancers

oooh sparkly


Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Creative cooking: thinking *inside* the can when fresh food betrays you and tries to kill off your country

With the big, scary drugproof e coli threat hanging over us, we had to get creative making a salad to take to a barbecue this weekend. They've gone from blaming unknown meats, to bagged salads, to Spanish cucumbers, to bell peppers to organic bean sprouts for the raging, superhero strength e coli over the last few weeks. And, since it doesn't seem anyone actually knows where the bacteria is coming from, we've been playing it safe and sticking to frozen veggies and canned fruits.

But, a pasta salad should be fresh! Unless it could kill you. So, we threw together oil packed sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, canned olives, marinated artichoke hearts (just for that extra germ killing kick) with tri-color rotini and a sun dried tomato vinaigrette.

And it was actually pretty good! Which taught me two things:

1. Pasta is magical. You can pretty much throw anything into a bowl as long as you add noodles.

2. I sneer at frozen veggies and canned fruits no longer. They could one day save your life.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A new challenge

Wow, my last post was in March!? I knew I'd been neglecting this poor little space, but wowzas! We've been to Paris, spent a week in Provence and done lots of other fun and some not-so-fun things in the meantime. Maybe one day I'll catch up on some of that here. But, not today.

A friend turned me on to the 30 Days of Creativity challenge, and I'm taking up the reins!

Yesterday, I finished off a pair of baby booties that I carry in my handmade accessories shop.

Source: None via Jennifer on Pinterest

Today, Day 2, I tackled a mini-project that I've been meaning to do for too long. This is what I love about challenges like this - just the incentive I sometimes need when my own personal motivation jumps ship. I covered two recycled cans with fabric to create pencil cups that the kids can keep in the living room.

Decorated pencil cups for #30daysofcreativity

I stitched hems around two Ikea fabrics, then added a little bias tape around the top (sharp) edge and along the base of the covering fabric. Easy peasy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I am so very happy to report that Etsy reversed their position on collaborative charity shops and the lovely shop LoveForJapan popped up immediately. All proceeds from sales in the shop are donated to the Red Cross, shipping is covered by the individual sellers.

Fuzzy Sushi donated a set of hair clips, made in Japanese red and white, to the shop.

Hair clips donated to Red Cross fundraising effor

Red and White Flower Hair Clips Listing

There are tons of other gorgeous listings from other sellers as well! Click on the pictures to get to the listings.

Donated to LoveForJapan by KaleidoscopeByErin

Donated to LoveForJapan by Kimiko611

Visit the LoveForJapan shop to see everything they have!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trying not to be useless.

I've been wanting to blog - lots of ideas and things to share! - but have instead focused my time recently on 1. Veronica Mars and 2. building out my hair accessories section in the shop. One of these things is less embarrassing than the other.

I can't sit still and not say anything at all about Japan, though. These satellite photos from before and after the disaster (use the sliders to see) show just how horrifying the devastation is. (via @makingitlovely)

I had wanted to participate in the relief effort through Etsy, by donating handmade pieces to a collaborative charity shop like the amazingly successful HeartsForHaiti. I was involved in the intital discussion to launch a similar effort, but unfortunately Etsy administrators disallowed the collaboration and instead suggested we tag our items with the campaign name and donate our individual profits to charity. Well, in my case that would largely be a symbolic move as my sales are few and far between.

It's times like these that make me wish I were independently wealthy. But, I donated what I could straight to the Red Cross. For whatever reason, neither the Japan Red Cross or American Red Cross sites were working properly for me. So, I went through PayPal. If American readers would like to do the same, click below:

PayPal Donations.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fuzzy Sushi Accessories Line

I've been working on rounding out the new accessories line in the shop. I have so many more ideas and can't wait to keep adding to it!

I'm thinking more hair pieces, more jewelry, belts...I'm excited to get my fingers moving!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

das Colors

I'm trying something new here. I want to get more comfortable with color, especially combining different colors. It's really never been my strong suit. The Man can send me pillow covers he found at a street bazaar in Iraq and they will match perfectly in whatever room he says to put them in - a room that he hasn't seen in months. Me...? I can leave my living room, go straight to Ikea and come home with things that don't go at all. Mostly, I'm happy wearing 47 different shades of brown. So, here begins a new feature that I'll keep going...well, as long as I feel like it.


Still a lot of browns in steps, you guys.

Technorati tags: color, photography

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend Pics

We took a quick, three day trip up to Garmisch, Germany this weekend. It's a small ski town on the German/Austrian border, where the Alpine Ski World Cup 2011 just happened to be underway. It was a lovely little jaunt out of town and, though we didn't ski this time, we all had a blast. We wandered around the quaint little town, ate lots of delicious food, swam in the hotel pool, met up for dinner with a big group of friends one evening and walked around the beautiful and frozen Eibsee lake.

There are more pictures in my Flickr stream, but here are a few of my favorites.

Garmisch, Deutschland

Eibsee (Lake near Garmisch, Deutschland)

Fillisee (Lake near Garmisch, Deutschland)

Eibsee (Lake near Garmisch, Deutschland)

Eibsee (Lake near Garmisch, Deutschland)

Ice hole in the Eibsee (Lake near Garmisch, Deutschland)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Taking It Waaaay Back

A while back, I fell in love with and purchased an old Bilora Bella 66 medium format film camera. The body itself is so pretty and I love the retro look captured by the camera. Using brand new film and completely modern developing techniques, the pictures look like they were taken 50 years ago! Love that.

I took these pictures back in August. I know, I know. I scanned them in September! Not sure why it took another 5 months to post them but here we are.

Burg Kalteneck in Holzgerlingen, Germany

Burg Kalteneck in Holzgerlingen, Deutschland

Barn doors in Holzgerlingen, Deutschland

Grape vine in Holzgerlingen, Deutschland

I picked up some color medium format film and shot some pictures on our recent Sunday afternoon excursion. I'm hoping to drop those off for developing today!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine

Cheeseball and I put together valentines cards for her classmates yesterday. I don't think most of the kids at her German kindergarten will understand what Valentine's Day is, but nor do I suppose most of them will be too concerned about it once they realize candy is involved.

El NiƱo spotted boxed cards about a month ago and wanted those. While I'd prefer we put together handmade cards, being most likely unable to execute lenticular robots myself I didn't push the issue. Cheeseball, on the other hand, is a ♥ handmade kinda girl. We used designs from this lovely printable class valentines set, put out by the fantastic party resource blog, One Charming Party. I pulled out the two left-most designs and shrunk them down then addressed each to "Mein Freund" while Cheeseball signed them all with a flourish.

To help her differentiate between the teachers' cards and the kids' while she was passing them out, we used these totally modern and pretty valentines tags from Draw It Modern for her teachers' treats.

And, next year - it's always next year! - I really want to make this beautiful garland to hang up in the house. I found the DIY I Love You Garland tutorial on Lovely Indeed via Creature Comforts.

Maybe I'll make it this year in pink to hang in Cheeseball's room year-round...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Weekend Pics

We had such beautiful weather this weekend, that we had to get out and see something new. So, on Sunday, we took a short drive over to a cute little town called Rottenberg am Neckar, walked by the river, sat outside at a cafe, drank beer, ate cake and watched the kiddos play in the sunshine. It was lovely!

I took more pictures with my old Bilora Bella medium format film camera. (Can't wait to get those developed!) But, I snapped a few with the new school camera, too.


I'm not sure why the bunting was up, but I loved it.


It was such a beautiful day, the reflection in this small drainage creek was amazing.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Oh, no not cats!

Maybe cats that pray for Deutschland wins are ok.

We've long noticed Deutschland's love of dogs, but - not being cat people ourselves - had no idea on the local feel for felines. A new acquaintance called their hotel before their recent arrival to make sure it accepted pets. Oh yes! We love pets!, he was told. So, he and his family showed up on the doorstep, cat and carrier in hand. Oh, no! Not cats!, he was told.

But, you said you allowed pets...?

Yes, we do! But, not cats.

Imagine his confusion. A common acquaintance with German family roots explained. Cats aren't pets. Consider them more like farm equipment! And, you certainly wouldn't move your oxen or your tractor into your hotel room, would you? I mean, sure, your oxen serves a purpose but it does not sleep by your bed!


I found this hilarious.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Urlaub in Berlin, Tag Zwei

^Holiday in Berlin, Day Two

Oops, I took too long to post and now I'm losing steam. Day Two in Berlin was what we were calling Super Fun Kid Day. I'm not sure why, but giving things Engrish style labels makes them even more awesome.

We started out at the Berlin Zoo, where it was so pretty, fun for the kids, and ohhhh so very cold.

Berlin Zoo

Berlin Zoo

Berlin Zoo

Then, we headed into the Aquarium where it was much warmer. El Niño is really into that type of thing. Cheeseball is more into surprise relaxation spots.

Berlin Zoo

Hours and hours and hours later Mom hijacked Super Fun Kid Day to drag the kids to the KaDeWe department store. It claims to be the biggest department store on the European continent and I think that's probably about right. It was ridiculously huge. I actually just wanted to pop into the Idee craft store, housed in the department store. But, that crafty El Niño hijacked my hijack and spotted the Lego Berlin store on the way.

Lego Berlin
Pretty stoked.

After that, we headed to the flea market where my pictures came to a crashing halt, because you know...propietors, goods...I have a thing. But, I did pick up some vintage buttons and a sweet pin to embellish some pieces for the store.

Day Three I can roll up in one sentence: swim meet. Actually, that's not even a sentence. We spent the entire day at the pool. I was hoping we would make it out of there in time to hop over to (what I heard was) an even cooler flea market. But, the meet ran long and that was that. Next time!

We had a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to another trip to Berlin sometime. For now, though, we're thinking about Spring Break and what we want to see then!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A little bite of Hawaii. An incredibly fattening, totally awesome, nothing quite like it bite.

A friend of a friend recently moved to Hawaii and raved about her discovery of Chocolate Haupia pie, making me crave one of my hometown favorites. Also, making me simultaneously want to kiss and kick her.

Chocolate Haupia Pie

I'm not the prettiest pie maker. But, it's darn tasty.

Haupia is described as coconut pudding, but it's really more of a jello usually. In this pie, though...all pudding. Alllll good.

I found a Chocolate Haupia Pie recipe here. Actually, I found a ton of them all over the web, and all exactly the same with the minor exception of the inclusion of coconut extract in some but not others. Weird. There cannot only be one way to make this, but apparently no one has published anything different. Which is a bummer, because frankly I would commit a lot of unconscionable crimes for Ted's Bakery's recipe.

I made a pie without the extract just before leaving for Berlin. It was good, but could stand to be more coconut-y. And the semisweet chocolate was kind of gross. Most of that pie went in the garbage. Not because it was terrible, but it just wasn't good enough to snarf the whole thing before we left.

Yesterday, I made the pie with the extract and with The Most Incredible Chocolate In The Universe in place of semi-sweet. I also added a little coconut extract when I was whipping the cream topping. It's pretty awesome. The only drawback is that - on the first go round - the filling almost overflowed the crust, so I reserved some of the chocolate mixture before adding the haupia layer. I reserved waaaay too much. As you can see.

Chocolate Haupia Pie

Still awesome.

I find it's more coconut-y on Day 2, so make ahead and refrigerate overnight.

Chocolate Haupia Pie

♥ Ingredients:

1 9-in. unbaked pie crust
1 cup milk
1 can coconut milk (14 oz.)
1 tbsp. coconut extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
7/8 cup The Most Incredible Chocolate in The Universe
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
more coconut extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, coconut milk, coconut extract and 1 cup sugar.

4. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in water.

5. After bringing coconut milk mixture to a boil, reduce to simmer and slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring over low heat until thickened—about three minutes. Divide evenly into two bowls.

6. In another bowl, microwave chocolate until melted.

7. Mix chocolate into one of the bowls of coconut pudding, then pour mixture into the pie crust, spread and let sit.

8. Spoon the remaining bowl of coconut pudding on top of the chocolate-coconut pudding mixture and spread smooth being careful nut to mix the two layers. (Don't pour in the middle or the chocolate layer will part like the red seas and you're Moses.) Refrigerate the pie for an hour or more.

9. Whip the heavy cream with 1/4 cup of sugar and some coconut extract until stiff. Layer the whipped cream on the pie surface.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Urlaub in Berlin, Tag Eins

^Holiday in Berlin, Day One

Last week El Niño had a swim meet in Berlin, which we used as an excuse to spend several days exploring. Berlin is newly minted as one of my favorite cities in the world. It has so much character and style and the oddest charm - kind of communist chic. So much of the old Soviet style is evident in the Eastern section, but modern sensibilities are taking over and making for a fantastically unique mix.

I need to warn you now that we did not visit Checkpoint Charlie or Das Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) or see any remnants of the wall or any of the new memorials to opposition politicians or Holocaust victims. It's not that I'm not interested in history or Nazi sites. It's just that I'm that tourist. I will go to Paris and never see the Eiffel Tower. I only saw the Mall in D.C. briefly and because I tagged along with others for whom it was a priority. I have an interest in visiting a place like Auschwitz where I believe the experience in person will be completely different than what you get from a printed account. But, to stand in line to look at the outside of the building where a handful of nutjobs dreamed up The Final Solution? Or to scurry all the way across town to get a glimpse of a place where there used to be a wall? No, thanks.

I was more interested in exploring the fabulously hip Prenzlauer Berg district and Berlin's storied flea markets. The kids were far more interested in checking out the zoo. So, we did what we wanted to do and we had an absolutely lovely time. I took a pathetic number of pictures, but here they are:

Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

The sheer amount of graffiti - particularly in East Berlin - was astounding. And the quality was fantastic. I loved the way the artistic youth have absolutely reclaimed their city. Without it, the whole place would still look a lot like this:

Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Some people seemed determined to keep their spaces art free, and they were lovely too. I can't imagine the battle it requires, though.

Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

There were so many cute shops and little cafes and restaurants of all different world cuisines! I wish I was less self-conscious about taking pictures inside establishments but I have a thing, what can I say.

Suffice it to say that El Niño got his sushi fix, I got my adorable eclectic shop fix and Cheeseball got very tired. After that, we hopped over to the slightly more tony Hackescher Markt. There was a cool Japanese department store called Muji of which I again took no pictures, but we loved exploring all the stuff. Their selection was definitely of the modern, sleek stylish Japanese variety rather than the kawaii, colorful adorable Japanese variety. Less interesting for the kids, but I loved it.

We wandered by this gorgeous synagogue, guarded by three fully armed Polizei.

Synagogue, Berlin

Then stumbled on this beautiful building on the river.

Bode Museum, Berlin

Bode Museum, Berlin

And that was day one!