Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Harry Potter Personality Test

Take your Myers-Briggs result and match.

Click here to see a larger version so you can actually read what is says!  It was too big to see well on this blog.  Sorry.  I'm Ron Weasley, which kind of disappoints me.

Or, if you aren't so much a fan of Harry Potter, (we probably can't be friends), then match yourself to your Disney character.

disney myer briggs

Monday, October 28, 2013

10 Worst Halloween Candies

We don't do Halloween, see here for reasons.  But we definitely do Halloween candy!

Halloween Candies
Love it, and one of my all time faves.

Generally, we buy a couple bags of candy and hole up in our house playing games or watching movies and all around having a great time.  Last week I saw this list originally on MSN.

The Top 10 Worst Halloween Candies

1. Snickers
2. Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins
3. Candy Corn
4. M&M candy corn white chocolate candies
5. Tootsie Pops
6. Starburst
7. Sour Patch Kids
8. Fun Dip
9. Skittles
10. Sugary bubble gum

Let's see, I like numbers 2,5,6,7 and my kids cannot handle themselves around Fun Dip.  They go absolutely insane.  I don't like Snickers but I love Snickers ice cream bars, go figure.  And candy corn, meh, never been a fan.  But I think it is safe to say that this list just destroyed everyone's ideas on how wonderful their candy makes them feel, cause chances are its got one of your favorites on their too.

Oh well.  I'll get over it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Before They Pass Away

I saw this project on CNN.  It just gave a brief statement of pictures on tribes that will eventually become extinct.  So I quick jumped over to peek.  And you know how you see something that forever changes you or how you think?  That is this project.

It is some of the most beautiful photographs of tribes you will ever see.  I watched the video and actually cried at the beauty of it all.  The project was done by Jimmy Nelson who wanted to capture tribes showing how some of them have changed very little even with the huge changes the world has seen.  He wanted to record images of them before their current way of living goes extinct.

I really encourage you to go the website and look around.  The images are so stunning.  There is also a book on amazon that is going immediately on my wish list.  But at $142, it will stay there permanently.

All pictures below are from the site Before They Pass Away.
The Himba Tribe in Africa

Huli Wig Men

Kazakh Men

Maori Woman

Kalam of New Guinea


Here is the link to the short video I watched. So amazing to watch him with the tribes and how they got the shots.  

It is soooo worth your time to click over to Before They Pass Away and look around.  I promise that you will not forget it.  And probably, you will do what I did, and spend a day clicking back and forth and looking around.

It seriously makes me want to take my family, travel the world and see things how they are, before so much is lost.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rosemary Gin Gimlet

What's a gimlet you ask?  According to the dictionary, it is a cocktail including gin and lime.

I totally did not know that until I googled it after stumbling across this pretty drink from the blog Savor Home.


I used her recipe but tweaked it a little bit.  Originally it calls for you to steep the honey and sugar and rosemary for 6 hours, but ain't nobody got time for that.  So I cheated and crushed the Rosemary with a knife to get the juices moving.  In the end, I let everything soak for about 1 1/2 hours and it turned out fabulous.  (Recipe below with my modifications)  For her original recipe click here.  Also, mine didn't turn out so pretty and light as hers in the picture above.  I think it's because I crushed the Rosemary, but I don't know.  Mine were more of a yellow color, not the pretty whitish like above.  

But be careful, these things have some serious kick, so I also only added 1 oz. of Gin instead of the called for 2.  If you add the 2 I don't think you will be upright for very long, and that is never a good thing, so trust me and add much less then you think you need.

1 cup boiling water
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
Fresh lime juice

1/ To make the honey-rosemary simple syrup, add the boiling water, 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 1/2 cup sugar and honey to a medium sized bowl or pot.  Rough up the rosemary to get the fragrance out.  Let sit for at least an hour, more if you want to.

2/ To make the cocktail, fill a shaker halfway up with ice. Add 2 oz of honey-simple syrup, 1 oz of gin, and 1.5 oz of fresh lime juice to the shaker and shake it up.

3/ Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to a plate.  Run a slice of lime over the rim of your glass. Dip the rim of glass into the sugar.

4/ Pour the drink into the glass and garnish with the remaining sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!!

I didn't do the whole lime on the rim with sugar, or garnish with rosemary, but left the instructions in case you want to.

We had a "date" night at home and drank these and watched Sherlock.  It was the first time Chris had seen an episode and he loved it.  Bring on season 3!

Monday, October 21, 2013


I was going to title this "Meet Jaida" but then I figured it would be a cruel joke and someone would assume we adopted a girl or a pet or something named Jaida.

Faucets, we are talking faucets.  Specifically, this one by Pfister.

Isn't she pretty?

This was the one I wanted originally for the upstairs bathroom, but Chris vetoed it.  But then the handles we got for the new vanity were quite modern and didn't match the faucets we had picked out.  Enter Jaida the second time around.  Chris is totally onboard with it, and I am excited to hear my husband say things like "let's go with a modern look for the bathroom".  

Look at how nicely the water pours out of her.

She's also supposed to reduce water wastage by 30%.  I don't know how that works, so don't ask, but I am quite excited about it.  Although, to be fair, I would have been excited about this faucet if it had wasted 30% more water, so in the end, I guess that's a moot point.

Our friend Chad, our wonderful reno guy is gone this week.  And I leave next week for 2 weeks of hunting with my dad and brother in Wyoming.  The bathroom is being finished without me, which I admit has me a little nervous.  Not because I don't trust Chad, but because I am so type A when it comes to decorating.  So I will come back to a finished bathroom minus the decorating.  How crazy exciting is that?

I may even come back to Ava's new room downstairs being finished as well.  That would probably give me a heart attack, but it's like the little remodeling fairy came while I was away.  Come to think of it, that is how all remodeling should go- you go away some place fun and come back with things all done.  In my very rich dreams!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Salamanders Are Wandering My House

Yesterday we went to a friend's to take a walk and enjoy the nice weather and try to figure out something to do with all the kids over MEA.  And wouldn't you know it, my kids found 3 spotted Salamanders.  Which they promptly brought home for pets.

Spotted salamander.

Ambystoma maculatum, you know, in case you want to use their real name

We used to have one a couple of years ago until Chris dropped the corner of the top on it and it started secreting some type of pus and we had to help it go to Salamander heaven...

Anyway, we brought home three of them in a little cardboard box that we put on our kitchen counter and then forgot about when we went to Bible study.

2 hours later, we came back and the Salamanders were not to be found.

Now, I don't really have any irrational fears of reptiles and amphibians, but I am not particularly fond of the idea of some animal crawling into my clothes and getting squashed by my foot and wrecking my clothes with all their insides.  We did manage to find two of the three, one was in the bathroom that we are remodeling, and the other made it all the way to the beginning of my closet. The third, well, we don't know where the third is, and I am afraid it is going to be a replay of the pet crab we had that crawled out of the tank and into a vest I had on the floor and then was promptly squashed.

They are kind of cute little things, but I'd prefer they be in a cage, not free roaming my house.  We might be a laid back family, but not quite that laid back.  And they aren't very big and could be lost forever.  Also, I have kind of this irrational thing where I feel really bad for animals (people too) that are suffering.  And these cute little salamanders need moist places, which my house most certainly isn't, and I have all these awful images of it slowly drying up and being tortured. 

At least it isn't something that will be able to make it up the bed and crawl over my face in the night while I am sleeping.  Because then I might develop a fear of amphibians and reptiles....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Curtains Coming Up!

I am freaking out about the upstairs bathroom remodel.

Totally having shower curtain issues, which I realize sounds completely ridiculous.  But I want to get it right, and I want to get it right prettily, and cheaply.

Originally I had my heart set on this one.

Vintage Periodic Table Shower Curtain
But at $64 dollars I just can't do it.

So then I got searching, and searching and searching, and I found out quickly that there wasn't anything speaking to me in stores.  I moved online and came up a little more successfully.  But if it weren't for Target I would be out of luck.  Not even fancier (more expensive) stores had what I wanted.

Here's what I came up with to try and experiment with once everything is in place.  And remember, I am going for a black, white and wood/natural theme.

InterDesign Lizagator Shower Curtain - Black (72x72")
This one is fake alligator print.  I can't decide if it's brilliant or the worst faux pas ever.

InterDesign Dotti Shower Curtain - Black/Gray (72x72")
Weird dots.  But the background is white, and I am a little nervous that if I go dark it will be like showering in a cave.

InterDesign Twigz Shower Curtain - Black/White (72x72")
Fancy scrollwork.  But Target calles it Twigz.  Someone please smack the people who think it is clever to spell things wrong on purpose.  

Mudhut™ Filigree Shower Curtain - Black/White (72x72")
Too grannyish?  I can't decide.

InterDesign Abstract Long Shower Curtain - Black/White (72x84")
This the lead right now, and it's extra long so I can hang it higher and completely cover the tub.

Mudhut™ Azara Shower Curtain - 72x72"
I really like this one.  But I feel like it isn't going to go the best with black and white. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Totally Strange Culture

I went to my first professional football game.  The Minnesota Vikings vs. the Carolina Panthers.

On the way in, we passed the tailgate section.  Those people are insane.  I saw several couches, tv's, crockpots, all sorts of crap.  In the parking lot of downtown Minneapolis.  

I had no idea what the diehards do for their football.  I think my jaw hit the ground like 40 times.

Anyway, don't be misled.  I don't really care about football, but Chris was given some tickets for free, and baby, when it's free, I am in.

Also, they were totally awesome seats in something called The Legends Club.  Which from my limited experience of one game, is a fancy club where the totally rich people don't have to mix with the commoners. All the food and alcohol are free and you get a private bathroom.  Which let's face it, a private bathroom in an arena with 80,000 people in it is striking gold.  And then some of the cheerleaders (what a weird profession for a grown woman- professional cheerleader) brought in a signed helmet that they gave away.  I missed that because I was too busy looking at the people.

I actually saw this guy. He was down below us (with the commoners).  I think he is probably old, but holy cow, look at those muscles.  

And here's another shot of him, just for fun.  He has tattoos of a football team all over his arm.  I cannot even fathom.  Also, if I came across him on the street, especially in this outfit, I would immediately cross to the to the other side.  

This was super common.  I don't know how many Vikings I saw at this game, but it was a lot.

Also, for the month of October, the NFL supports Breast Cancer awareness, so the MN Vikings shoes were pink, and the little towels that hang from their pants while they play (weird, I don't know why that is) were pink.  Which I actually think is nice that they are willing to wear pink in such a manly event.  Kembia just climbed up on the table and said that "they are wearing girl shoes"...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lonny and IKEA Style Quiz

Found this quiz on the online magazine site for Lonny.  And as there never was a personality type quiz I could pass on, I took that sucker real fast, even while my little three were running wild.

I took it twice, because about half the questions there were two options I liked equally.  Both times I got the term "Rustic Romantic".  Here is there accompanying look for this.

I would say that, yes, this is a look I love and seems totally "me".  And I would totally move right into this house and read by that little wood fire curled up with a book by Jane Austen.

Go here to take it yourself.

And this is totally unrelated, but this youtube video is going crazy at the schools here.  The babies watched it and LOVE it.  I think it is totally bazaar, and like my friend said, you can pretty much now make a song about anything.  Give it a whirl.  I promise it will get stuck in your head for long periods of time.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Little Women

I just finished Little Women for the first time.  Can you believe that I made it into my 30's before reading it? Somewhere along the way I heard that Beth died, and that sealed the deal for me.  I wasn't going to read it.  Then I grew up, life became life, and I forgot about it until I ordered the cloth covered book from Penguin.

I feel like it's a book I would read every year, I loved it that much.

So then, of course, I had to get the movie with Winona Rider in it.  Loved it.  And I have to admit that I cried as well, even though I knew everything was coming.  I can't wait to have Ava read it and watch the show with her.  And I thought that Christian Slater played a perfect Laurie, who we all want to marry when we grow up...

Now I am reading Bleak House, by Charles Dickens.  And I admit that I am struggling to get into it, but the BBC did a miniseries on it, and you know how obsessed I am with almost anything the BBC does, so I am holding out hope that given a little longer, I will love it.

Anyone else ever put reading/doing something off for a reason as trivial as someone dying in the plot??

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thoughts On The Dreaded Christmas Letter

I know.  It's only the beginning (almost mid) October.  But all the stores have their Christmas stuff in them already and it is forcing me to think about our Christmas letter.  Way before I normally would.

Since we're not on Facebook, our Christmas letter is pretty much the only way for you to know what's happened with our family over the last year if you happen to be a relative or friend that doesn't live extremely close.  We try to do a picture and then a one page letter where we give a brief synopsis of each person in the family.

Every year I think I am going to be clever, and every year it is desperately hard to get all of us looking at the camera, let alone looking nice.  But this year, this year I am turning to Pinterest.  Where I will either exceed wildly, or fail miserably.

Here's a few ideas from that fabled place of craftiness.

A bunch of great ideas for fun Christmas Cards. Love this family photo idea from Summer Driggs. #Christmas #photos
This would probably be the easiest one for us to do, well, except the "everyone look at the camera and smile" part of it.

Cute idea for a picture
This is so adorable, but probably pretty much impossible to get our 5 kids to do.

”Silent Night” Christmas card
And this one is my favorite.  O Lord, please let me have a silent night.  Any night you choose.  Plus, it would be fun to duct tape all of our kids' mouths shut and wrap them in lights.  And could I help it if the tape had to stay in place for 30 minutes while we get the best shot??

Monday, October 7, 2013

Brain's a Spinnin'

No new bathroom yet.  We got stalled by a government job that our friend is doing this week.  :(

But the good news is, is that it should only take probably 4 or so days more to complete.  So I have been frantically using my brain to try and figure out what I want to do in there.

You know how Target is just killing it with their Threshold line?  I mean, I just want to move right into this house.

I'm still working on combining all the eclectic stuff in just the right way, you know, since I don't have my own interior designer to do it for me....

But see those bird prints between the windows?  Originally I was going to buy some Audubon prints off to put in the bathroom, but then I saw those in store and they would be cheaper than buying a separate print and framing it myself.  I'll be using them in the bathroom.  Kind of a whole black white and nature theme.

                          Threshold™ Heron Ink Sketch Print 11x14" Threshold™ Cormorant Ink Sketch Print 11x14"

The only thing I am not real crazy about are the black buttons at the top of the print.  In real life it looks better then the picture above, and I don't dislike them so much that I wouldn't not buy them.  First world problems....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Congo Adoptions Closed?

Earlier this week on the blog Alama ya Kitumaini, I learned that the US Embassy put out another memo on Congo adoptions.  And it's a doozy.  Click here to read.

Basically, it means that the Congolese government isn't giving out exit visas.  You cannot bring your child home without an exit visa.  In essence, it is temporarily (according to the memo, up to 12 months) shutting down adoptions.  They have given no wording of what it means for families with referrals, or families currently in Congo trying to leave with their children.

Truthfully, I am not surprised at this.  Only surprised that it took this long for something to happen.  I am, however, surprised that the Congolese shut it down first.  My thoughts after watching the program through the last two years is that the US would have seen all the crap going on both by the Congolese side, as well as with US adoption agencies, and pulled the plug themselves.

It's a sad situation.  And I have no idea what it means for the future of Congolese adoptions.  Holly wrote a great article on some thoughts about what has happened and the why.  She has an excellent view on Congo adoptions in general given the fact that she and her family lived in Congo for 4 1/2 years.  I recommend you pop over to read her article about the exit visas stopping.

And in the mean time, if you are interested in Congo adoptions, I would sit tight.  I would not sign on with an agency who pooh-poohs this as something small or says that they can get you most of the way and then wait on the exit visas becoming available again.  Maybe they will, maybe they won't.  But in my mind, an agency is not ethical if they are continuing their program in light of such a strong statement as the most recently released memo from the US Embassy in Kinshasa.