Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This is my dream.

Flash mob dances to Whitney Houston in the Seattle Public Library... Are you there, God? It's me, Amanda. Can I please join a dance group like this? You know I've always wanted to be a ballerina. This is just as good. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

By the way...

The July Give-Away is still open... enter by July 31 for your chance to be the proud owner of two lovely picture books!

Weekend Adventures

Karl and I both had this past weekend off, which was totally awesome. My idea was to lounge around the house, maybe go to a movie, bake something, mow the lawn... But Karl had other ideas. We were at the farmer's market on Saturday morning when he said, "Um, Sweetie, I have a confession to make. I booked a campsite for tonight. But we don't have to go if you don't want to." Of course I wanted to go! Hooray for camping!

It didn't take us long to get our camping gear together and hit the road for Cassville, Wisconsin, home of Nelson Dewey State Park. We decided to simplify things by going out for dinner, and man, am I glad we did. We found the sweetest little tavern... take a look:

Stained glass Packers lamps!

Nothing says "Let's party all night" like coffee pots in a bar.
Seriously, people. Our bill was $29, which covered a huge prime rib for Karl, a prime rib sandwich for me, and four pints of Spotted Cow. If that's not a good deal, I don't know what is.
But the best part about the whole scene was the women's bathroom...
The local Lioness Club was advertising on the back of the bathroom door...

A little framed artwork perked up the room...
It was basically nonstop classy. Totally small town Wisconsin. Love it.

We camped that night and used our brand new Pudgie Pie makers in the morning to make egg sandwiches over the fire. Then we hit the road. We stopped in Dodgeville at an A&W so Karl could quench his craving for a root beer float. I haven't seen one of the A&W's with the drive-up window trays for a long time, but we found one!

It was so nice to get away with Karl, and much more fun than lounging at home. Although I do love lounging.
p.s. These are seriously all of the photos I have from our trip. I took zero pictures of camping or of the two of us. Just goes to show how food-oriented I am.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

After much stewing, discussing, hemming, hawing, and pro/con list making, I have decided to apply for a Ph.D. program in Library Science. This is something I've wanted to do ever since I finished library school in 2005. I'm not sure if I'll actually end up doing the program or not; I have to wait and find out about funding and other logistics. But for now, I've decided to apply and see what happens.

That is probably the most major thing going on for me right now. Also in the news, Karl and I both have this weekend off! This only happens once a month, so we're going to try to make the most of it. We're going to see some music tonight, and we might even have dinner out before that! For two people who usually act geriatric, this is big.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July Give-Away Part 2

What? Huh? What's up with all of these July give-aways?

Well, I figured that:
1. The first July give-away was a little bit limited, since a lot of people already have garlic presses.

2. These two books are summery, and I didn't want to wait until August to give them away.

I hope you don't mind!

All of you Nikki McClure fans will want to leave a comment or email me with the title of your favorite picture book ever. These two hardcover beauties could be yours! I'll choose a winner on Monday, July 26, so be sure to enter before then.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Proud to be an American (Girl)

Last weekend, I did something I've always wanted to do: I went to the American Girl warehouse sale. It's kind of a big production; tickets have to be ordered ahead of time, and each ticket holder is assigned an entry time. My entry time was 10:30, and the sale started at 7:00, so I was nervous that everything would be sold out by the time I got in.

Basically, the entire area around the warehouse was Minivan Central. I've never seen so many minivans in one place in my life! I felt a little out of place in our tiny little Yaris.

Luckily (because otherwise I wouldn't have had an excuse to go), two friends from out of state asked me to look for things for their daughters. Andi's daughter, Audrey, has been longing for a Kit doll... and she will soon have her!

Caitrin's daughter, Macie, requested a few accessories for her doll, but the only ones available were these sweet earrings. I don't think she'll be disappointed.

I didn't buy anything for myself, but I did leave thinking, "Must. Have. Children. Soon." Speaking of that thought, the #1 cutest 9-month-old baby was sitting in front of me at church last Sunday. It was all I could do to not ask his parents (who I did not know) if I could hold him. So cute... I want one! Just don't ask me what the sermon was about!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July Give-Away: Results!

Wondering if you won the garlic press? Watch your mailbox this week!

Sidewalk Sale Treasures

I love sidewalk sales. Love them. Here is what I scored at Anthology's sidewalk sale on Friday:

Check out all of that fun fabric! Three pieces are over two yards long (hello, skirts!). Grand total: $10. And that pair of pinking shears was included! So was a brand new, complete Hearthsong craft kit. Lucky me!
Here are my two favorite fabrics from the bunch:

It was a teensy bit ridiculous because I took the bus downtown to go to the sale, and then I had to lug all of that back with me. But who cares? Let's start sewing!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hardy Boys Book Club

This summer, I'm running a graphic novel book club at the library. So far, we've read Babymouse and Owly (if you've never read them, I recommend them-- they're super fast and fun!), and today we're discussing two Hardy Boys books: one graphic novel and one in conventional format.

Well, truthfully, we'll only be discussing for about five minutes, and then the fun will begin. I like to think of book clubs as more of book parties, so today each participant will be making his or her own trail mix (in one of today's books, the Hardy boys go hiking and eat-- you guessed it-- trail mix), and we'll be playing an assortment of Hardy boyish group games. I can't wait.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Karl and I are planning to re-do our kitchen in the next year or two, and one of the things that we really want is a porcelain farm-style sink with drainboards, like the one we had in our old apartment:

Earlier this week, I was so excited to find one for sale on Craigslist! It was exactly what we were looking for, it was in great shape, and the price was unbeatable. The posting was from July 5, so I nervously called the seller and left a message, hoping that the sink wasn't already sold. Last night, while Karl and I were at a movie, the seller called back and left an irritated-sounding message: "I wish you would have called a month ago! We finally gave up trying to sell the sink. It's in the bottom of our dumpster now." Nooooooo! I'm guessing the July 5 date was from a re-post. I will now be checking Craigslist daily, rather than whever I feel like it. In fact, I'm going to go check it now... wish me luck!

Monday, July 12, 2010

July Give-Away

For our wedding, we got a fantastic garlic press. I love it so much that I want you to have one, too! It's a brand new Pampered Chef press, ready to smash all of your garlic cloves.

To enter, leave a post or send me an email telling me your favorite dish that involves garlic.

Enter by the end of the week (7/16); I'll draw a winner this weekend. Good luck!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Husband is the Ham of the Century

I was merely trying to wrap up my brother's newly kitted hedgehog and send it to him for his birthday. But Karl had to get in a few final cuddles before the little guy made his way to Washington, DC...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Heart the Dairy State

You know you're in Wisconsin when the menus feature cottage cheese!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Show and Tell

The other day, I found this in the rolled-up cuff of my capris:

It took me a second to realize what it was: a smashed m&m. Then it all came back to me... I had been eating m&m's in my office a few days beforehand, and I had dropped a green one and never found it. Well, I guess it found me.

On a completely different topic, could I get your opinion on this hat, please? I just finished knitting it for a friend, but I'm concerned that the yarn is too '80s-ish.

It's darker than that in real life... my lack of photography skills is popping up again. But my real concern are the flecks of dark pink and turquoise. Too '80s?

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I was so tired when I got off my flight to DC, it was all I could do to take these pictures...

The air traffic controller did a great job! We didn't hit any other planes.

I stopped at the snack bar right away to get a sandwich.

I collected my luggage at the baggage claim, where my husband met me. I was so happy to see him!

As we drove away from the airport, I took one last picture of it...

Thank you to Elsworth and Lia, who surprised me with this awesome addition to my Fisher Price colletion! I managed to put it in my carry-on on my flight home.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Peek at DC Trip

I got home on Tuesday from the American Library Association conference in Washington, DC. It was busy and fun; I read that over 28,000 people were there. That's a lot of librarians! Here are some glimpses of a couple of highlights:

I got to go on a tour of the Rare Books Collection and the Children's Literature Collection at the Library of Congress. They have a really amazing conveyor belt system...

This pattern is seriously on the carpet in the Reading Room:

The Library of Congress is full of all kinds of neat details, like the grate above this door.

We were greeted by this sweet little mouse...

and this wise owl.

I was thrilled to visit the American History Museum. Julia Child's kitchen is there!

They also had a neat exhibit of pop-up books. And we got to see the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz!

As promised, here is a photo of my friend Ellen (in the middle), who was the first person to play Mary Poppins at Disneyland.