a diy quilt for norah


not much has been going on around here.  it got cold, and that means no one in this house wants to do anything.  it can get pretty depressing in the cold months, but i've found that one of the best ways to make it through is to learn as many new crafts as possible.

we also do a lot of movie watching.  hot chocolate and comedies are a great way to deal.
so you get the picture, it's been dark and cold a lot lately.  meanwhile, rebecca took norah to texas for what seemed like forever and we missed her cute little face so much that i decided to make her a baby blanket.  some pictures of the process are below.
about this project:
- the internet tutorial said this could be completed in an evening and that is a lie.
- eric got me a sewing machine for my bday and this is my first project
- as in my very first sewing project (other than the 15 napkins i made from a sheet in order to learn how to thread the machine, use the pedal, etc)

please do not judge - it's all i can do to sew in a semi straight line.  and i'm pretty sure i had the wrong foot on the whole time.  who knows, there are plenty of mistakes but someone told me the mistakes were good luck, so this is the luckiest blanket out there :)
and the practice napkins:
many a napkin does one sheet make.

5 pointz


it was sad to hear that 5 pointz was whitewashed a couple of days ago.  i know there are many new yorkers more upset than i am, but after seeing it for the first time in 2010, it was instantly a favorite nyc spot so it's really too bad that it won't be around anymore. 
5 pointz is/was a huge graffiti art center.  the outsides of the buildings served as exhibit spaces and the insides were studio spaces.  sad to see that it's being replaced with residential buildings. i think art like this be covered under historic preservation acts or something!  at least the new building will have dedicated sections featuring graffiti art.
some favorite details are below.

on the bright side, i'm glad i've gotten to see it before it was gone? :)

moroccan tagine


i don't post a lot of recipes on here, but when we make something that is too delicious not to share i feel obligated.  this is about the easiest meal you can make.

one of my favorite things about my visit to morocco a few years ago (some pics after the recipe) were the tagines. a tagine is a pottery dish with a conical lid that is filled with food and then cooked over fire for hours.  the tagine pot can be glazed or unglazed and can also be painted, some even very intricately that are used for decoration.

you can put anything in a tagine but typically it is meat and veggies or fish and veggies.  every time i use the tagine i cook chicken and veggies because it's always too good to try something new. maybe next time :)

if you don't have a tagine pot, i would imagine any stoneware that is has a lid to seal in moisture would work.  i'm also curious about doing this in a crockpot.  you basically just throw everything in the pot and put it in the oven.  done.

moroccan chicken tagine:
  • some chicken, bone in
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, cut into squares
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • a couple of saffron threads, if you have them
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
put everything except the water in a bowl and mix to cover with spices.  put the tablespoon of water into the tagine. place the veggies into the tagine and then layer the chicken on top.  i like to save a little bit of my spices to rub on the top of the chicken, but that is optional.  cover and bake at 200 or 250 degrees for a few hours.  try not to take the lid off until it's been cooking for quite a while.

**note: for me spices can be a very individual taste preference.  play with the proportions and ingredients to get the flavor you like.  i have done a million different combinations and even used spices from different regions of the world.  it's always good so i'm convinced the magic is in the pot.
delicious.  and with some mint tea to go with the meal (not pictured), i was transported to fez.  yum!
i've included a few pics of my trip below.  it's such a beautiful country, i can't wait to go back :)
 ^^some real tagine... mine will never taste as good.^^  and a guy making tagines and other moroccan pottery.
 a drum circle and a puppy makes for a very good night.

diy art for your home


we've been in our new house for a little almost three months now, but i always have a hard time figuring out where to hang our pictures.  a lot of times i end up making something because i can't find or don't want to pay for what i want.

i saw a cool idea on one of my favorite blogs that looked easy enough and also looked perfect for the big wall behind our tv. voila, here it is! 
bella even posed perfectly for the picture.  she's a stylish dog-cessory.
i love the way the painting came out, and it was cheap. which is always the right price.
i've also re-purposed these guys that i made for our old place in our new bedroom.  they are really helping with the soothing nap-time vibe we've got going on in there.
slowly but surely. i guess we'll get the house right just when it's time to move somewhere else :)

autumn leaves


the leaves around town have been changing into the most beautiful colors over the last few weeks.  and now they are falling.  all of them are falling. 
and now our yard's got a leaf problem :)
 we've never had to deal with this many leaves before.  in texas and colorado they fall year round and you just mow over them.  i guess we could have mowed these into mulch too, but then we wouldn't have had a giant pile of leaves to play in.  and we wouldn't get to use the blower.
 the leaves seemed to make a comfortable bed.  they didn't try to escape.  and blowing the yard must have stirred up lots of good smells.  bella had her nose in the air most of time she was outside with us.  her little nose held up high and twitching to catch the scents is one of the cutest things she does.  you can see the bliss on her face as she enjoys two of her favorite things: sunshine and smells.

we're in a children's book about dolphins!


as of today there is a book out there about dolphins featuring our research team from two summers ago!  we are literally in a children's book about dolphins!
scientists in the field scott tuason
here it is -  Pamela S. Turner's book called "The Dolphins of Shark Bay."  we have had an advance copy for a while and i'm so excited it's finally published and out there for people to buy.  pam was incredible to work with and the final product came out so much better than i ever could have imagined. i should have expected it to be great though, her entire "Scientists in the Field" series is superb and will be on our kid's bookshelves before they're even conceived.
another children's science book author, Loree Griffin Burns, did an interview with Pam about the book which can be read HERE.  i would highly suggest checking it out and have pasted question 4 below as a teaser.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The dolphins would play themselves, and cheesy computer-generated scenes would be banned. I would cast Sandra Bullock as Dr. Janet Mann. Eric Patterson could play himself because he’s already ridiculously good-looking. I would be played by Steven Colbert in drag.
not only is eric "ridiculously good-looking," obviously ;), but he get's to work with sandra bullock and steven colbert. in drag.  i enjoyed the interview.

in all seriousness, it's a fascinating book and i appreciate that there's someone out there making biology interesting and relatable to young people.  if you are friends with us and decide to have a baby in the next 10 years, guess what you're getting for a present?

AND how freaking cool will it be one day to say "look at mom and dad when they first met in this published children's book." and they probably won't care...
oh and a couple of my photos are in the book, so i'm technically a published photographer. yes!

the book is out today and you can get a copy here!
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