By Ruth | 9:17 PM
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My favorite sweets

With all the lists popping up lately on the 30 day blogging challenge here is one of my favorite sweets. In no particular order...

1. s'mores
2. Lava cake (in the raw makes it best)
3. Salt water taffy (whatever flavor I got from sea world)
4. Frozen yogurt (orange leaf)
5. Orange thin mints...no longer sold, lame
6. No bake cookies (chocolate)
7. Arrow cookies
8. Chocolate covered peanut butter rice crispy balls (my grandmas)
9. 5 cent cinnamon candy canes
10. Mango keylime cheesecake (cheesecake factory)
11. Pecan pie (cosmo cafe's is the best)
12. Baklava

Do you have any favorites?

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By Ruth | 9:19 AM
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It's time for a mini celebration

30 day bloggers...we are officially 1/3rd of the way thru! As a reward to myself, I'm going to print and assemble my next calendar of the month. What? Haven't heard of the Calendar of the Month Club?

Say hello to Curiosity Group. They are the brainchild behind the little foldable calendars of the month that I've had on my desk since January. Based in Portland, OR these guys put out little foldable crafts for everything from Megamind to college mascots. For those curious, they do non-foldable things too :) Check out some of their work here.

This month's calendar is in honor of Jazz Appreciation month. So celebrate your success and have fun making a record player.

Jazz Calendar 
P.S. I plan on cheating and using my martha stewart circle cutter on the records, got to get some use out of the toys I bought for graphic design projects back in college ;)

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By Ruth | 1:54 PM
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a makeup palette


This is my favorite makeup palette. My face is just another canvas on which I play.
1.  Tender Rose Mineral Powder SPF 15 by Laura Mercier
2.  Black Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara by Sephora 
3.  Zero 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil by Urban Decay 
4.  Original Photo Finish Foundation Primer by Smashbox
5.  Orgasm/Laguna Highlighting/Bronzing Blush Duo by NARS
6.  Jitterbug Magic Marker Lip & Cheek Stain by Josie Maran
7.  Sweet Pink Super Shiny Lip Gloss by Burts Bees
8.  X Eyeshadow by Urban Decay
9.  Deluxe Shadow Box by Urban Decay

Do you have any go to makeup favorites?

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By Ruth | 9:14 AM
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Painting, my medium of choice

Painting to me, is the most rewarding form of art. I may spend my days playing on the computer and putting out educational designs...but given the choice, I'd love to spend my days with a paint brush, some comfy clothes covered in paint, and my current playlist of choice. Admittedly apartments aren't the most accommodating for my favorite type of painting, murals. The last mural I did was actually years ago. Nowadays I do "smaller" pieces...maybe 4 feet across instead of an entire ceiling.

What makes painting more rewarding?
Instant gratification and the knowledge that no one else will ever be able to make what I've created. Painting is an experience. I get lost in the moment as the brush hits the canvas. I love manipulating the colors so that what is in my minds eye can be seen on canvas...and although I never know what the exact ending will be, I'm happy with the end creation. Graphic design is rewarding in that what I work on helps people, but it still doesn't have the same tactile experience as painting. I will admit to wishing I had photoshops "undo" button on numerous occasions painting...graphic design wins in the ease of fixing mistakes :P

Here are some pics of the last large mural I worked on, say hello to the then accurate solar system...since then Pluto has been removed from "planet"...but Pluto will always be a planet to me :)

While I have no idea if this painting is still around, I do know that the most rewarding moment for me was when we sold the house, the little boy who was moving into that room thanked my mom for his new "space room" and his parents said they'd bought him a bunch of space books. Educating thru art...truly more rewarding than the experience of painting for me.

I spent a week straight up on a ladder. I'm fairly certain Michelangelo used scaffolding on the sistine chapel...wimp ;)

painting supplies and a finished ceiling, the walls are Buzz Blaster Blue (best paint name ever?)

my sister's arm makes a cameo

as my brother is very scientific...we researched the exact number of moons for each planet. the sun is in the middle and from there the planets rotate out in order.

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By Ruth | 6:17 PM
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Spiced Aztec Cookies: baking day

Today I got out my giant cookie roll and started cutting out my Spiced Aztec Cookies. For me I found the edge of my cookie roll to be very very crumbly...but after trying a few knifes...steak, saw, I settled on whatever the kitchaid aid one is called below...I find just slowly pushing the knife thru rather than sawing made cookies instead of crumbs pile.

just part of the crumbs pile...for a bit I wondered if I'd be making cookie crumble instead of cookies.

kitchenaid knife wins for cutting actual cookies...into the oven they go! 
I'll admit that these cookies are a bit harder to tell when they are done than less chocolatey ones...for me I knew they were done because the kitchen really starts to smell like hot chocolate about 8 minutes in...9 minutes and out they came! (The recipe suggests 10...but my oven always runs hot...I can't tell you how many batches of cinnamon rolls I've burned when I forget that early in the morning lol) Ideally cookies are done when they start to brown on the bottom.

done cookies!

Like aztec hot chocolate...in a cookie form, when straight out of the oven you get a real kick of the cayenne pepper.
yum! I bet these would taste excellent as mini ice cream sandwiches.

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By Ruth | 4:44 PM
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Spiced Aztec Cookes: prep day

Happy Saturday! I've loved all things Aztec since my first anthropology class...so when I saw a recipe called Spiced Aztec Cookies....I knew I had to try and make them. In Aztec stories chocolate, or xocolatl as they called it, was thought to be from their god Quetzalcoatl. Xocolatl was so important to the Aztec culture that the beans were even used as currency.

Below is my attempt at a step by step photo journal of Spiced Aztec Cookies. You'll note that mine are slightly different from the original recipe...I use MarieBelle Aztec Hot Chocolate, instead of chocolate chunks.

ingredients for Spiced Aztec Cookies

softened butter: if you are like me and forget to leave your butter out to soften,
just toss it in the microwave for a bit on low power...genius idea from my sister

add lightly packed brown sugar to softened butter

it's so fluffy!

I like to throw all my dry ingredients together and sift them, works to mix
dry ingredients and keeps there from being any clumps.

Just imagine a picture of dry ingredients mixing with the rest
of the wet ingredients (egg, vanilla) here.

MarieBelle Aztec Hot Chocolate....yum. 

After adding in the Mariebelle Aztec Hot Chocolate my dough looks quite different
from The Three Cheeses....which I'm sure resembled....well cookie dough,
mine I feel looks like ground beef :P 

Ground beef ....I mean chocolate cookies being formed into a log and tossed into the fridge.
Pretend my kitchen is spotless like Giada de Laurentiis would have hers at this point ;)
Will these taste good? Will the Aztec gods be pleased with my baking? Who knows, I do know that chocolate cookies would be a new flavor for them, as the Aztecs didn't add sugar to their xocolatl, nor was it used in baking.

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By Ruth | 9:01 AM
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Etsy Love: My Lavaliere


Happy Friday! Welcome to the 3rd week in the Etsy Love series where I show things on Etsy that I love. Who knows, maybe you'll find some Etsy loves as well. Today's Etsy Love is My Lavaliere, this shop specializes in handmade vintage inspired trinkets. She has necklaces, rings, headbands, etc. While I find a lot of shops try to make this style of art, for me hers stands out since the trinkets always feel balanced. The colors and scale of the coordinating charms work together to create a work of art that tells a story on their own. 

Here is some of her work:
I love this necklace, in fact, it made a great present for my hairdresser :)
Scissor necklace vintage style brass long
Explorer compass ring brass filigree
I hope you guys have a great weekend! Assuming I can drag myself from reading Chocolat and playing Little Big Planet 2 I'll be back tomorrow with some baking. Aztec chocolate chip cookies based on a recipe from The Three Cheeses, I haven't made them before...so it will be a fun experiment :) 

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By Ruth | 2:56 PM
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50s illustrations with a side of dark humor

I absolutely love 1950s advertising. The cheesecake factor to me is just hilarious. The artistry involved...fabulous, no photoshop back then kids!

1949 Maidenform ad I found ran across searching for firefighter pics

Not that these ads need help being hilarious...but, bluntcard.com has taken the 50s imagery and given them a new dark humored life. Below is one of my favorites. Happy Thursday!

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By Ruth | 4:46 PM
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In my imaginary closet: H&M edition

After seeing Creature Comforts blog create an "imaginary closet" post, I decided to do my own. Mine differs slightly in that instead of being "wishful thinking price is no matter" mine is, "If I had an H&M near by....these things would be in my closet." H&M fans that don't live near a store (like me) you'll be happy to know that according to their twitter online shopping in the USA should be up and running either late 2011 or early 2012 :) You bet I'll have that online shop bookmarked!

I played on their online fashion studio that lets you be the fashion director. I'd be set for the office or a day playing in the park in this comfy outfit.

P.S. In my imaginary closet, shoes are always comfy and fit size seven wide feet.


What is in your imaginary closet?

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By Ruth | 3:08 PM
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Caffeine for the Creative Mind

Caffeine for the Creative Mind
When I need something to get my creative juices flowing, this book is fabulous! Full of tons of little activities to get you going. I find a little doodling can go a long way to jump start my day. So far my favorite was my restaurant design. "Kiss the Lucky Egg Eatery" based on Cool Runnings. I think of it as an breakfast eatery with egg shaped chairs, and a quirky jamaican vibe brought thru in bright accent colors that bounce off the walls. The outside, white like the lucky egg.

Need a jump start to your day? In the book they have a paragraph followed by your task. Here is a paraphrased example: Make a list of 30 things you would find in a mad scientist's lab. Here's mine! Highlights include having a cd & mp3 of Skullcrusher Mountain by Jonathan Coulton, squid launcher, and brain freeze ice cream.
(click image to enlarge)
And as I hit "publish post" I will officially have broke my record of the last 30 day challenge by making it two days straight :)

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By Ruth | 11:14 AM
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30 day challenge: take 2

The 30 day challenge is here! Lets see if I can break my record of one day last time around :)

Do you tweet and like scavenger hunts? Then you should join me in a photo scavenger hunt hosted by playlookit.

Playlookit's website shows everyones pics and you can vote on your favs!
All you have to do is sign up, take a picture on your cell phone, and email it from your phone to their site. I've set it up so my photo then uploads automatically from playlookit to twitter. Rules are you have to take the photo the day of the challenge and don't take photos of screens (computer/tv/etc). Other than that you can't make a wrong choice. Todays challenge is bowl...and I'm on the hunt for a great one :)

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By Ruth | 1:35 PM
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Etsy love: yeti

Happy Friday! I hope you guys had a great St. Patrick's Day, personally I watched Destination Truth live from Ireland :) Destination Truth is a show on the SyFy channel that goes hunting monsters like the banshee or yetis. I like how the show finds the humor in what they do, while still leading a serious investigation. You also learn great travel trips: like if all else fails you can always find Pringles to eat anywhere in the world. Watch Josh Gates, Ryder and crew starting next Tuesday at 8pm.
Since we are on the topic of Monsters, meet Harry Larry the Yeti Monster from blupony808, this weeks Etsy love. Monsters have never been so cute until Katie started creating them. 
This yeti is a bit cuter than the one Josh Gates and crew found evidence of near Nepal.
Have a great weekend, I'll be back Monday with the start of the 30 day blogging challenge.

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By Ruth | 10:13 AM
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happy friday!

Ever heard of a 30 day blogging challenge? Well starting on March 21, I, along with some other blogging hooligans are going to blog for 30 days straight. Want to join in the fun? Leave a link to your blog and I'll add it to the list of people to follow. Lets see if I can beat my last attempt in 2009 where I didn't even make it 2 days straight :P

Blogs to follow:
There's Only Ever One Bonnie
The Naked Wife
MattieLynn Media

So lets dust off the old blog and start a new friday feature. Etsy love. Visit every friday and get introduced to an artist on etsy whose work I love. Who knows, maybe you'll be introduced to some new of your new etsy loves :)
For our first etsy love let me introduce the work of Blanca Gomez, you can check out her shop cosas minimas on etsy. All of her prints just leave me smiling. Below is her print "Mademoiselle under the rain", I love the rainbow of colors falling from the sky :)
Have a great weekend!

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