December 29, 2011

Reflecting: Good-Bye 2011, Hello 2012

Wow, another year is pretty much gone! What a year, what a year. On my 3 1/2 hour drive home for Christmas and the 3 1/2 hours back I had a lot of time to reflect on 2011. And just even the last two years since college graduation. 


2011 brought: 
  • New friends
  • Grand adventures with new friends
  • Grand adventures with old friends
  • A pile of ideas and plans for the future
  • Learning to make 3D models of itty-bitty computer parts like none-other
  • A great new job!
  • Indulging in the world of web design, WordPress, and social media
  • A start to understanding CSS and HTML
  • Lots of new crafts
  • Learning to drive in the Cities by myself
  • New recipes
  • Paying bills...
  • Mistakes and lessons learned
  • A another year of finding out who I am

This year I am not making a formal list of resolutions. Some people say that writing goals down is the best way to make sure you complete them. I'm starting to find that when I look back at that list (after forgetting about it 2 months in...) I am disappointed in those things I wasn't able to cross off. And that tends to be more of the focus than the things that were accomplished. Because many times those accomplishments weren't planned goals.  

For 2012:
  • Greet every opportunity to grow and learn
  • Keep on track and stay focused
  • Enjoy time with friends and family
  • Have more grand adventures
  • Continue to learn and be curious about the world
  • Keep finding who I am
  • Enjoy whatever comes my way
So those are my list of resolutions. For the little things like getting healthy or save money or whatever, I am just going to keep these thoughts in mind:
  • Challenge myself but start by taking baby steps
  • Understand that results don't happen overnight- they take time, patience, and hardwork
Here's to another year ahead. Twenty Twelve- Bring it on!

December 28, 2011

Handmade: Colorful Clutches

My living room looks like a fabric store exploded in it. There's sewing supplies, fabric, and thread are all over.

I haven't done any sewing since I was little, but I was surprised at how fast it came back to me. To start and get used to sewing again, I found this great little clutch in a book my Ma gave me.

How great are these? They would work well for so many things: art supplies, make up, going out, traveling. These ones don't have pockets inside, but I think it's something I'm going to experiment with a bit. And making a small matching ID case/money pouch.

Really need to get my Etsy shop up and running...

December 27, 2011

Sew, Sew, Sew

My Ma got me a sewing machine for Christmas and a late birthday present. I'm so (not a pun, I swear) excited! When I was little she taught me how to sew but it's been years and years since I've done it. Now I can finally create the projects I've been wanting to do for quite some time now.

I'm going to attempt this pillow...right now. We will see how it goes!

December 22, 2011

Merry (Early) Christmas!

Upon baking and watching The Family Stone tonight, magically, I found some holiday spirit. I think. Haven't quite decided if I'm leaving tomorrow night to go home or on Saturday morning. So I will give you a little Christmas greeting tonight! (Just in case.)

Hope you are all getting ready to spend some time with family and friends, plenty of good food, and a little gift opening.

Safe  travels everybody!

December 20, 2011

A Very Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

It's my very own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! I got this great little ornament from my boss that says 'Shine From the Inside Out' and I felt it deserved a tree. So I made one! It feels a bit more festive in my apartment now with the presents for the family wrapped and piled underneath. 

Now to do some baking...

December 19, 2011

DIY Feature @ Crafted Love

Are you still in need of a Christmas gift with a minimal budget? Check out my super easy DIY photo canvas over at Crafted Love. Check out the post here!

Dreaming of a White Christmas

This year I am literally dreaming of a white Christmas. It's so brown outside. How gorgeous are these winter wonderland photos? Definitely make me want to hear the crunch of a little snow under my shoes. And then if it wants to melt after New Years it can. I would be okay with that.

P.S. Did you check out my Easy Photo Canvas guest post over at Crafted Love today? If you're looking for a simple, fun gift idea check it out here! The best gifts are handmade gifts -- they come from the heart!

Images from Pinterest

December 18, 2011

Recipe Box: An Amazing Cuban Sandwich

Have you ever had a Cuban Sandwich before? I kept seeing different variations of them on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. I love a good sandwich. So after digging around and finding the traditional ingredients, I put my own little spin on it.

Cuban Sandwich
  • Crusty bread that has a soft interior like a baguette or telera roll (which is what I used)
  • Light mayo
  • Spicy mustard
  • Swiss cheese
  • Deli sliced ham
  • Deli sliced roast beef
  • Capocollo
  • Sweet pickles
1. Slice bread down the center
2. Spread one side with a bit of mayo and the other with mustard
3. Layer sandwich: swiss cheese, 3-4 pickles, 3 slices capocollo, one slice each roast beef and ham, and another slice of swiss cheese.
4. Heat up skillet to medium heat. Lightly butter both sides of sandwich and grill. Slightly press down while cooking.
5. Once toasty, remove from heat. Slice in half and enjoy with your favorite side!

This was the perfect lunch after finishing my Christmas shopping (which I hadn't started until...uhhh, yesterday.) It has been a decently productive day. I vacuumed and cleaned the interior of my car, finished shopping, wrapped everything up, and working on finished up some of the gifts I'm making. And I can't believe tomorrow is already Monday...

It was also like 50 degrees or so out today. It's December...Come on....

December 15, 2011

FB Timeline Is Here!

Did you hear the news? Timeline on Facebook was released worldwide today!

Right now you can apply it to your profile and have the option to either put it live right away or play with it a bit for a week. On December 22nd all person profiles will have Timeline permanently applied.

Here is what my profile looks like with Timeline:

I've seen some pretty nifty things people have done with the cover photo and profile picture. Check them out here, here, and here. And if you want to give Timeline a try now click here to apply it to your profile.

Oh, and as if Facebook's changes weren't major enough, Twitter is joining the parade and making some of their own changes. Give this a little lookie-lou--

 The social media work is a-changin'...

December 14, 2011

Recipe Box: Spice Rubbed Chicken

I made this quite awhile ago. And to be honest, it's another one of those things where I don't exactly have a recipe for it. I just started throwing spices in a bowl.

Spices such as: 
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Celery Salt
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Brown Sugar
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Paparika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
I think I used chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, parsley, brown sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper.

1. Rub the chicken with your spice rub. Place in baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Store in fridge for 4-5 hours to marinate.
2. When you're ready to bake them, preheat oven to 400.
3. Remove plastic wrap from baking dish. Add just enough water to keep chicken moist while baking. (About 1/4 way up chicken.)
4. Bake for about 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
5. Let rest for 5 minutes.

*I added a bit of rice vinegar to my pan drippings for a sauce. The rice vinegar is a sweeter vinegar so it was a good pairing for all the spices.

Serve with sauteed veggies. My favorites are red and green peppers, mushrooms, red onion, and potatoes. I sauteed them in olive oil and a few of the spices from my rub.

Sounds delish right? The leftover made great fajitas the next day.

Need ideas for spice combinations? Try herehere, and here.

December 13, 2011

5 Wonderful White Trees

One day I'm going to own a white Christmas tree with a bright bold color palette of either orange or pink and a great teal. Just to spice up those Christmas colors.

I feel a bit like a Scrooge this Christmas. I'm almost refusing to put up Christmas decorations and I've still got over 75% of my shopping to do. But in hopes of amping up my holiday spirit, I'm watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Perhaps my own Grinch-ness is coming from the lack of snow. You just have to have a White Christmas when you live in Minnesota. I'm not asking for a blizzard by any means, but being ankle deep in the fluffy white stuff would be nice...Today there were schools late due to fog. What the heck? When I was a kid there was a thing called a Snow Day.

Images from Apartment Therapy

December 9, 2011

What I'm Listening To: Doomtree & Dessa

Last weekend when I was in the Cities, Marlon had Doomtree's new CD "No Kings" going in his car. Now I'm hooked, as it usually happens when I get re-introduced to Doomtree and Dessa. 

December 8, 2011

Happy One Year!

Tomorrow marks the end of Inspire Me's first year!!! Holy cats! I can't believe it's been that long already!

Looking back on the year, so much has happened! The blog's name has changed. The look has changed probably a dozen times. It's moved from TRF to Hutch. And just recently had it's first giveaway! Inspire Me is finding it's voice and what it's all about- inspiring its readers in any way possible.

I would like to thank all of you fine readers! It's been great seeing the comments and number of views growing.

So here's to another year ahead of inspiring things!

December 7, 2011

Behind the Lens: Weekend Adventures

My computer is getting filled with photos that I have yet to sort through and edit. The pile just keeps growing and growing. So in my attempt shuffle through some of them, here are a few from the past couple weekends.

Downtown Fargo

Thanksgiving weekend baking

Do you live in the Fargo area? If you do, head to Nicole's Pastries. Delish. Then head to the other side of Main Street and do some of your holiday shopping at the Unglued Craft Market.  
Support your local small businesses and crafters this holiday seaon! Handmade gifts are always the best ;)

So speaking of the Unglued Craft Market, take a looky-lou at what I picked up there for Marlon's birthday gift! A great little stemless wine glass.

Snowy St. Paul
 It's the closest we've gotten to any sort of true Minnesota winter.

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