My Greek friend Steph invited a couple of girls (and Alexei) over to learn how to make spanakopita… from scratch!

It’s a bit of an elaborate project:

Kneading the dough
Rolling out the dough
Cutting out circles to lay upon each other
Making ‘mille-feuille’ to get the phyllo-like pastry. Careful to butter every. single. layer.
Mixing ingredients and stuff.
Alexei decided to take a break from watching Cars to help out. Such a great helper. Haha!
Making the filling and preparing the baking sheet.
Assembling all the layers using lots of butter!
2 hours later… 😉

I’m glad this was done in good company.

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Thanksgiving in Sea-Tac

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the Sea-Tac area with some relatives.

Wall of gum. Kind of gross.
The original Starbucks…and a ridiculously long line for over-roasted coffee.

That’s what’s up.

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Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Hello sweets. I hope you have a marvelous, long, Thanksgiving weekend!
I had plans to go back to Texas, but I’m thankful that I won’t be flying down south. (Thanksgiving weather isn’t so kind this year).

Instead, I’m driving up to visit my uncle and his family who live in Tacoma (a suburb of Seattle). I’m excited to explore and catch up with family I haven’t seen in years!

Given that this is a holiday centered around food (and cooking), I asked my friend Rachal how to make situations in the kitchen around new people less awkward.
Her answer: stir something!


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Another hike in the Gorge

As soon as I learned that the weekend would be full of clear skies and no rain, I called up my friend Steph to see if she could duck out of lab and join me on a hike up Multnomah falls (the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon!)

Gearing up to go up!
Me and Steph made it to the top!
Looking down from the top
View of the gorge

Then, after hiking, I headed out with Steph, and Santia to check out this ‘Indian’ restaurant called Bollywood theater. It was a really interesting fusion of flavors (beets… in Indian food, and saag paneer…made with kale?!?!), soo delish! I’ll definitely be going again!

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Why I’m tired of markets

I just don’t trust any of it. Every time I read something about how there’s been another ridiculous climb of the Dow Jones, there’s a part of me that goes, “This can’t be good.” None of this is real money. You know what I mean? It’s not like there’s actually more of anything. It’s just ideas. When people are getting richer and richer but they’re not actually producing anything, it can’t end well.

~Louis C.K.

Crass as he may be, Louis C.K has his moments. Especially, in this excerpt from Late Night about cell phones, and that empty, alone feeling all of us have, but few admit to.

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Mon Poupette

Since moving to Portland, I’ve met several people who espouse Waldorf-style education.

Waldorf pedagogy distinguishes three broad stages in child development, each lasting approximately seven years. The early years education focuses on providing practical, hands-on activities and environments that encourage creative play. In the elementary school, the emphasis is on developing pupils’ artistic expression and social capacities, fostering both creative and analytical modes of understanding. Secondary education focuses on developing critical understanding and fostering idealism. Throughout, the approach stresses the role of the imagination in learning and places a strong value on integrating academic, practical and artistic pursuits. After doing a bit of research, I think the method is too loosey goosey, however, I think Waldorf is onto something when it comes to the types of toys children should play with.

I happened to stop by my LYS here in Portland and saw a bunch of Waldorf dolls – a form of doll used in Waldorf education. Made of wool and cotton, using techniques drawing on traditional European dollmaking, its appearance is intentionally simple in order to allow the child playing with it to improve or strengthen imagination and creativity. For instance, it has no facial expression. Its legs and arms are flexible, allowing natural postures.

Traditional Waldorf dolls are made from cotton interlock knit fabric and wool stuffing. They are often entirely natural. Typically the trademark long hair of a Waldorf doll is made of mohair or boucle. Some doll makers use alternative hair material such as wool, rayon, and cotton. The facial features of a Waldorf doll vary with the maker. Most Waldorf dolls have small suggestions of noses, their eye and mouth colors are generally varied with each doll. After seeing the dolls, I thought it would be cool to learn how to make a jointed one. So I did!











Now, to sew some clothes!

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Making new friends in Camas

Lisa (my newly married friend back in Bloomington) got to thinking, and realized that I had a lot in common with a couple of her friends from art school who presently live in the Portland area. She put us in contact with one another, and we ended up getting together for a craft/project/chili night.

Miranda and Joel are the cutest couple. They have excellent taste in music, are remodeling an old home built in 1927, and like things that are real. Joel is a woodworker who makes furniture, and Miranda is an art teacher. They have the cutest home, and a cool warming oven!


We ended up working on projects, chatting about life in the PNW, and I even convinced Joel to give me a lesson in how to carve dovetails!

wake02 Now, if only they lived closer than 25 minutes away!

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