DIY wine coozy :) how fun!

some people enjoy winding down to tv. others might do it by going out... but all i need is good music, a glass of wine and inspiration :) i stumbled upon this wine coozy idea a few weeks ago and thought: genius... and cute!

it also makes for a more personal companion when gifting your favorite bottle - and the best part, you can skip the wine bag and/or bow... and customize it any way you see fit! definitely in my realm... and most definitely a dorothy project!

this tutorial i followed is pretty simple and straightforward. using leftover fabric, i found a coordinating print from my stash to balance out the girly pink! the hardest part was probably deciding whether i wanted to use my pink buttons, or the gold ones! hha.

there were also a few "tweaks" between my cozy and the original that is worth noting though...
1) i didn't need to use batting because my coordinating fabric was thick enough.
2) instead of using two buttons, i had a set of four i wanted to integrate and found it secured much better in two points, versus one... as well as looked neater too.
3) rather than fastening with twine or cord, i used two coordinating NEW hair ties and it was the perfect touch to bring it full circle; literally! talk about a minimalistic approach to re-purposing! i'm a happy girl right now! (i'm doing a happy dance too, haha.)

practical. useful. and easy! but most of all, so darling cute!

and it was such a totally simple and rad diy - i made another one! ahah.

guess who went to the oprah winfrey show!?

a few months ago, i was on facebook when a friend asked who'd be interested in going down to attend a live taping of OPRAH in chicago during her last season. never ever having even watched a full talkshow before, i figured if this was a real deal - i might just get a new car out of it, haha, so i skeptically commented. before i knew it, my friend was following up with me for my info as she had to submit it asap... and before i even knew what hit me, we were on our way down to chicago!

actually, we were on our way to milwaukee first... where we planned to spend the night at my sister's and wake up early to drive the last stretch to chicago hoping to beat the morning rush hour. little did we anticipate the arrival of our company was going to be a soiree that night, smh. "makeup over makeup!" was all i could remember that morning while hustling out the door, haha... those details will be a blog post for another rainy day :) lols.

what an inspiring experience though! in retrospect, i can't believe i was fortunate enough to have gone to a live oprah winfrey show this october! her last season! it's only now after seeing her live that i understand why she has such a loyal following across the board! i wouldn't say i was converted, but i do have a newfound appreciation for her as a person who continues to inspire women all over the country. all in all, this was yet another incredibly fun but unexpected trip!

*on a random note, the last time i found myself in the windy city was actually to attend a jerry springer live taping! lols... and let me just say... wow! not something i'm proud of, but quite the outrageous experience one would expect to witness from the audience. yet another rainy day post to blog about! ;D

RECIPE: banh cuon

when i'm stressed, all i can think about is cooking! and if there's anything i make on a regular basis, it's my favorite - banh cuon aka fawm kauv! simple, cheap and comforting... though meticulous in execution! but it definitely doesn't hurt that find complete therapeutic enjoyment in the latter! this wasn't always the case though. for me, the learning curve was pretty steep..!

because this dish is pretty time consuming, they're not very popular or common on menus - regardless of the plethora of asian restaurants you may have at your disposal. and even when they are, i felt like they're half-assed... where due diligence just isn't paid and therefore never as good as homemade!

i've come to see the assembly as an art - the way everything works independently in tandem with one another with perfect timing. if that makes any sense.

i've also experimented with several different pre-packaged rice/tapioca flour mixtures and have uncovered the secret... adding 1 additional cup of water beyond what the package calls for. of course, there will always be its differences, but in my experience doing this allows for the best result for the brand. and i've come to develop my own preference... and ways to tweak it to my preferred consistency - a thin, transparent crepe-like steamed rice wrapper!

the only thing i enjoy as much as making banh cuon is experimenting with different dipping sauces to pair them with - but that's a post for another rainy day! :) mmmm! sometimes, the sauce is what keeps these little rolls of heaven interesting!

i wanna touch the earth...

we might not have palm trees, deserts, canyons, redwoods, sandy beaches and all that jazz... but i do whole-heartedly love the northwoods here in wisconsin! the seasons. smell of petrichor in the fall while soaking in the dynamic colors. the rivers, lakes and trees. the history. the character. the appreciation for simplicity... nothing short of absolutely oh'mazing!

what a nice weekend it was up north for my best friend's 28th birthday! i can't believe it's been 14 years since the day we forged our friendship... and to think about everything we've gone through together since then, i couldn't have asked for a better partner in crime and kindred spirit to share in those experiences with! cheers to growing older together and many more memories!

the five of us roadtripped up to the beautiful little town of bayfield and took the island princess ferry  out to tour the apostle islands. i definitely want to make it back here sometime to specifically explore the sea caves!

we stayed at our usual cabin in cornucopia - wisconsin's renowned northern most point - where the largest of the great lakes was our front yard. so even though all you need sometimes is a quaint getaway with a few close friends, being able to enjoy a cozy bonfire on a wisconsin beach while watching the superior sunset is just an added bonus!

we even squeezed in an adventure hiking to "lost" creek falls before heading back home, so birthday girl could cross that off her list... and what a morning that was, haha. after missing the turn, the 1 hour hike turned into a 4 hour adventure! lols. but it's true what they say; getting lost is just an opportunity to explore!

bayfield, the apostle islands, cornucopia and lake superior. definitely sights for sore eyes..!

my eau pleine reservoir!

the great outdoors... incredibly therapeutic. to be out there on my little adventures with nothing but my thoughts and what i go equipped with - whether it be a book, a bottle of wine, a fishing pole, a journal or a picnic; i love it all the same.

here's just a glimpse of the scenery i've come to regularly surround myself in since the move back to smalltown usofa - this is the eau pleine reservoir, about 10 minutes from my driveway. definitely one of my favorite spots i enjoy most! and it still boggles my mind how no one else takes advantage of the natural beauty right here at our fingertips, yet continue to look for that sense of peace outward for something still unbeknownst to them!

...and forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair!

so lovely is the loneliness of a wild lake!

"i've always liked the time before dawn because there's no one around to remind me who i'm supposed to be, so it's easier to remember who i am." <3

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: an improvised [breadless] turkey n'herbs burger!

i put together a [breadless] turkey and herbs burger for "breakfast, lunch - not quite brunch" today. i've been thinking about trying out turkey patties, as a healthier alternative, for a good while now... and just so happened to have some ground turkey leftover from when i made banh cuon earlier this week.

it definitely helped that i didn't have any bread on hand when i had this genius idea while standing in my kitchen thinking of what i could quickly make for lunch, haha, and it turned out for the best! i grabbed the meat and folded in a variety of fresh herbs, then seasoned it with sea salt and fresh peppercorn. grilled it on the skillet while i fried up an egg - also chopped up some red onions, green peppers and tomatoes... oh my!

served on a bed of green leaf lettuce... with ketchup and mustrrrd. yum! the sconniegirl in me sure wish i had some cheese, though! don't judge me, kthxbye! lols.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

the first thing i did when i woke up was bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and put together a simple meal while watching my favorite romance flick "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind," for the millionth time! i'm not quite sure what brought it on, but what can i say, sometimes i just wake up in one of those moods :) not to mention it'd be an understatement to say i love, love, love this movie!

since the first time i saw it back in 2004, i grow to love it even more every time i watch it; like any good book, there's always something new to take away and that's the magic of this film! at least for me. or maybe it's because i just see myself in the characters all too much. scary. :)

these three photos c/o google images.

it's also worth mentioning that the screenwriter is charlie kaufman and director, michel gondry... two individuals whose work i've always found independently brilliant!

charlie kaufman puts forth an exquisite effort toying with space, time and existence in eternal sunshine of the spotless mind... in such a profound way, free of overt references you find in other romance films. i'm a big fan. if this piques your interest, check out his other works too - like being john malkovich and adaptation, both of which are obscure favorites of mine too!

in addition, i love michel gondry as a stylist as much as a director. his manipulation of mise-en-scène and visual take on everything is always nothing short of simply refreshing! the way he deftly maneuvers through the seemingly impossible narrative - for instance, the characters being chased through memories as they are one-by-one being deleted..! i don't know. but whether you choose to see this film as a science fiction mindtrip, a neat literalization of the way human relationships progress, or both... all credit to gondry for visually guiding us! <3