Category Archives: Random

Lord of the Rings Detour

If I’ve been a bad blogger lately (I have), it’s because of Tolkien. My life has taken a bit of a Lord of the Rings detour in the sense of being side-tracked from everything that I should be doing and thinking pretty exclusively about LOTR. Earlier this summer, I picked up The Hobbit with no intention of going through the other three again, mostly for length reasons. Probably because I knew this exact thing would happen.

You see, I have a confession to make. I wasn’t a fan of the series pre-Peter-Jackson movies – I don’t think I’d ever even heard of them. Admittedly, I was 10 when Fellowship was released in theaters. So the movies were definitely the primary source of interest for me, though at some point, I picked up the books and tried to give them a read. Still being young and not a hardcore fantasy reader, I did not have the same experience then as I am having now. In fact, I now remember little of that first time with the books. Needless to say, I was long overdue for giving it another shot.

I am 88 pages into Return of the King right now, and already I’m feeling concerned about what I’m going to do when I’m done. I’ve grown attached to these characters and all of Middle Earth; what happens when I find myself back in New Mexico? True, I have a lot of other books I need to read this summer (mostly books loaned to me by family and friends that won’t see the light of day until winter if I don’t get to them before the semester starts), and getting caught in the middle of this epic series was probably the most inconvenient thing of the summer thus far. But it’s also been the best.

I’ve seen a quote somewhere, though I don’t remember where anymore, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” (A quick Google search led me to George R. R. Martin.) If that’s not enough incentive to pick up a novel, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, I’m not planning on asking some dumb “do you prefer the book or the movie” question because nine times out of ten, there’s no comparison. I am, however, interested in one question: is there a scene or character that got little or no screen time in the movies that you would have chosen to include or highlight, even if it required of you to reduce focus on a different scene of your choosing? If you want to add something in, you have to take something out.

I’m really interested in hearing anyone and everyone’s response. I’ll come back in and edit this post with my response when I finish those last 252 pages. ;)

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Book Matting


I took one interior design class in high school. I enjoyed the class, but I don’t even remember how I ended up in it. Needless to say, I am not qualified to tell you how to design your home. I simply think very few homes benefit from bare walls and only necessary furniture. Even minimalism shows intent, prison cells do not.

When I was living in a college dorm, I had a friend that frequently described his single-occupant room as looking like a jail cell. I repeatedly told him that I was sure it couldn’t be that bad, but when I finally saw the room for myself, I was a little surprised by how accurate his prison description was, save for the single poster hanging on the wall: a map. (A motif I can absolutely get behind: here, here, and here.)

In an effort to liven up his room a little, I drew a dinosaur on a sheet of paper. And in a great show of friendship, he left it hanging for the rest of the school year. I am certainly no artist.

I’m not saying I blame him for not trying to turn his walls into a museum of his life; college dorm living is all about the temporary and living off of things that will all fit in your car in the spring. His room caused me to really see the benefit of putting a little of yourself into your decoration.

The way I see it we are as much a reflection of the space around us as the space around us is a reflection of who we are. Yeah? Maybe you like pastels. Awesome. Maybe you like black and white contrasts. Fantastic. Maybe you can’t get enough prints. More power to you. Your individual tastes will find a way into your space one way or another, through fabric choices, pictures on the walls, whatever you want, and that’s the best part of designing any space. Then, your space will get to design you a little. What? I just mean that if bright red lipstick can make you feel bold, why can’t your walls? Blues can be relaxing, yellows energizing. But it also goes beyond that. The sculpture sitting on your bookcase that can make you smile every time you see it, the piece of artwork on your wall that you created yourself, these things form the real sense of a “homey” environment, not the wall treatment.

You’re a part of everything you create, and everything you create is a part of you, even if it’s just a simple project to give your space some life.

Book matting idea from this book.

You will need a frame, an image you’d like framed (I used cards that came with the special edition CD of a band that I love), an old book you will never read again, scissors or an exacto knife, and a ruler. Not pictured: all-purpose glue, white paper and a black marker or black paper, and clear tape (optional).

All you’re doing is cutting out random shapes from the pages of the book. I like to trim off the margins so there’s less blank space in the final product.

Then you just start gluing to the cardboard backing of the frame. Or a piece of paper the size of your frame. Whichever you prefer. And it’s alright if you don’t cover all the way to the center because your chosen image will cover it.

For the corners, I just cut a strip of white paper about ½” wide and color it with a black marker. Cut it into four pieces and then just wrap them around the corners.

The back of the image will look like this in the corners.

Glue or tape the image to the back of the frame and you’re done! Find a nice spot for it on your mantel or on a book shelf, then step back and admire.

* This same concept would also work really well with other types of paper such as sheet music or scrapbook paper.


Nice to Meet You!

Food, books, and crafts? That’s a bit of a wide scope. It’s a bit odd, you may say.

Well, I would reply, life is random.

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I went back and forth on this one for a while. Should I do a cheesey introduction post? Or possibly just jump right into a recipe or book review without warning?

So, I made a bit of a compromise: a list of my obsessions!

That way, you get a little taste of my tastes. Sound good? Good.



1. Teal pagoda shelf!

I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it in this book. Over winter break this year, I managed to convince my dad to help me make one. After incorrectly buying lumber, dropping the borrowed saw, and inhaling too much spray paint, we ended up with this! I am incredibly proud of it because it was my first attempt at carpentry, but mostly because I created it with my awesome papa.



2. Cyclamens!

These flowers are called cyclamens, at least according to this label. I had never seen them before, until I bought them for my rad boyfriend. I almost wanted to keep them for myself. Look how vibrant they are! And the strange way they open! Love.

While I’m on the topic of flowers, I have to say, I’m highly obsessed with anything floral print. I’m on a quest for the perfect pair of floral pants. They would need my sister’s nod of approval because I’m blind to all sense of taste when it comes to floral prints.

So, expect plenty of floral!



3. Nail polish!

This particular look was inspired by this post. I love that nails are a simple, yet bold way to add a pop of color or drama to any look at any time. I’m a big fan of strange colors like lime green and bright yellow, and -of course- anything with glitter. I obviously belong in the craft world- I can never get enough glitter.

I’m really into Essie brand nail polish, right now. The one in the picture is Rainbow in the S-Kylie from the Nicole by OPI collection.


4. Spinach Chop!

This spinach chop, from this book, knocks me on my butt every time I make it. Here’s the genius of this recipe: the ingredients aren’t from specialty stores, the preparation isn’t complex, there’s no reason why it should be THIS GOOD. But somehow, it just is. Heidi Swanson must just be brilliant. Only explanation.


5. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice!

I’m completely obsessed with this book. It’s everything you ever needed to know about how to make bread as close to in a professional kitchen as possible. It even teaches you how to think like a pro bread baker in terms of dough formulas. Awesome.

One thing in particular that this book says that I’ve never before seen in a bread recipe: wait 45 minutes after it comes out of the oven to break into it. There’s some on my cooling racks right now…staring at me…taunting me.

It’s going to be a long 45 minutes.

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So if you’ve made it this far without closing out of your browser, there you have it. 5 of my current obsessions. A couple of recipes and topics didn’t make the list, but there will be time for them later. For now, I hope you found something interesting or otherwise enjoyable.

Come back later this weekend for the first food post!

You know you want breakfast rolls in your future. I want them in your future, too.

— Mirandom

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