Friday, March 28, 2008

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things....

Previously unbeknownst to me the blogging world has themed topic days! This is very exciting.

I am proud to join the many participating in Flashback Friday whom are busy round the globe posting: 'My Favorite Thing - a picture of an object or objects (Books, art, photos, mementos, shoes, garden gnomes, television set, whatever) that is/are dear to your heart. What would you grab if your house were on fire?'

So what would it be? This is a very difficult question. Well since I am allowed to grab multiple things here is the list:

1. My Box:
On our first year anniversary Jonathan presented me with this box. My heart swelled at the site of this hand crafted gift from my love. Of course when he gave it to me it was bare wood and completely void of any finish (I later painted it with acrylic).

The box is brimming with the chronicles of our life together. On the bottom you will find the carnation he gave to me on our first date and on top you see the card he gave to me this Valentine's Day. I cannot imagine losing this catalog of our lives together. Luckily, as i just learned (from Jonathan himself) he would grab the web server - which has all of the digital pictures from our entire relationship. The web server and this box are good companion pieces.

2. This picture:
That's me with my mom. I think i was about four when this picture was taken. The original picture was taken in a photo booth. I used to carry around the original in my Popples wallet when I was a kid. This picture was the only thing in the wallet. I found the picture several years later - the same year my mom died. I enlarged the picture and put it into a frame as a gift to her on Mother's Day. She loved it. The entire week after my mom passed away I slept with this picture and cried myself to sleep... the picture hardly left my side. I would have a very difficult time losing it.

3. Buster:
To be honest, I don't remember the story of how this little guy came into my life. What I do know is that I have had him for as long as I can remember and that he has always worn that flirtatious red shirt. He still lives in my room though I plan to pass him down to my children.

4. Things Mom Saved:
It doesn't look like much but, this Tupperware holds memories that precede any of my own. Among the objects that my mother set aside as things that were special to her are: the scrubs my dad wore the day I was born, a scrapbook of all the notes and cards she received after I was born, a baby blanket that my aunt made for me, all of my report cards, old art projects, the tutu I wore for my first ballet recital, my favorite childhood dinnerware, and more.

There are many other things that I would never want to lose but these things are definitely at the top of the list. I will save some of the others for future posts.

I should also mention that when I was a kid, my aunt and uncle really did lose everything in a house fire. I used to be scared to death that the same thing would happen to our house. I had nightmares of my house engulfed in flames night after night. I used to keep a grocery bag on the knob of my bedroom door with my prized possessions in it - just in case the house caught fire. Many of the things on this list were the things that were in that bag.

I pray that I never have to scramble through my home searching for these cherished items.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

100 Things About Me

  1. My name is Nicole, but I go by Nikki.
  2. Most people spell Nikki wrong, (i.e., Nicky, Nikky, Niki).
  3. It makes me crazy when people spell my name wrong.
  4. When people call me Nicole, I feel like I'm in trouble.
  5. I have curly hair.
  6. I get that from my Dad.
  7. My Dad called me Noodles when I was a kid because of my curly hair.
  8. I am an only child.
  9. Well, I used to be... I now have two step brothers.
  10. I wish I was closer to my step brothers.
  11. My mom passed away when I was a senior in high school.
  12. Nothing in my life has ever made me a stronger person than the experience of losing her.
  13. I wish I was more like her.
  14. Sometimes I cry when I wash the dishes because it reminds me of her.
  15. I hate washing the dishes.
  16. I always thought I was pretty artsy.
  17. I was in the art club in high school and I absolutely adored my high school art teacher.
  18. I wanted to be an art therapist when I grew up.
  19. I underestimate my own abilities.
  20. I'm not an art therapist; I work with kids with Autism and behavior problems.
  21. These kids spit on and scratch me a lot.
  22. I love my job.
  23. My first job was at Ender's Greenhouse in Cherry Valley, Illinois. I loved that job too.
  24. I am deathly afraid of crickets.
  25. I love to cook, I especially love to bake.
  26. Another favorite job of mine was at a bakery.
  27. I have had 15 jobs in the past 11 years.
  28. My favorite thing to bake is cookies, followed closely by pies and cupcakes.
  29. I have a major sweet tooth.
  30. Once I made a special trip to LA, just so that I could go to Yummy Cupcakes for a red velvet cupcake.
  31. I have been best friends with Valerie Suzanne since Kindergarten, she is my best friend in the whole wide world!
  32. We have an entire library of inside jokes... it is ridiculous.
  33. I was grounded once when I was young for not washing my feet (don't ask) and I missed a slumber party at Val's... she has never let me live this down.
  34. I love my feet.
  35. I wash them regularly these days.
  36. The town I went to college in is the home of the tallest Abraham Lincoln statue in the world.
  37. I believe in reincarnation. I believe in a previous life I died from being shot in the stomach.
  38. I am certain I know what it feels like to be shot.
  39. I have been out of the country twice - once to Mexico and once to Italy.
  40. I wish I could travel more.
  41. I was hit by a car on the first day of sixth grade.
  42. I have been in 5 different car accidents - twice my car was totalled.
  43. I have never broken a bone.
  44. I still have all my parts - i.e., tonsils, appendix, wisdom teeth.
  45. I am petrified to get any type of surgery.
  46. My favorite color is red.
  47. Painting my kitchen red would be a dream come true.
  48. I am obsessed with picking things off of my skin.
  49. ... and off of anyone else's skin.
  50. I used to bite my finger nails. Now I bite the skin around my finger nails.
  51. I wish I could stop.
  52. I love to sing even though I'm not that good at it.
  53. My favorite songs to sing, in no particular order, are:
    • The National Anthem
    • Silent Night
    • Stay -Lisa Loeb
    • Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
    • Part of Your World -Ariel
    • Rain King - Counting Crowes
    • Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall
    • Why - Annie Lennox
  54. I love to watch TV.
  55. I am perfectly happy sitting on the couch and watching TV all day.
  56. Currently, my favorites are:
    • Law and Order: SVU
    • CSI: Las Vegas
    • Top Chef
    • Project Runway
    • America's Next Top Model
    • Lipstick Jungle
    • Rock of Love 2
  57. Apparently I like to make lists.
  58. In the fifth grade I begged my mom to buy me a pair of fake glasses from Claire's, so that I could look "smart"... a few months later I was diagnosed as near sighted with an astigmatism. I still think that I jinxed myself.
  59. I love Play-doh.
  60. I still routinely wear a t-shirt promoting the 1985 Chicago bears Super bowl Victory - it is riddled with holes and is the comfiest piece of clothing ever.
  61. I have a shopping addiction.
  62. Bad customer service makes me crazy.
  63. The clothes in my closet are organized by color: white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple, blue, green brown, black.
  64. I freak out when the towels are folded "incorrectly" read: not the way I fold them.
  65. I have undiagnosed mild OCD.
  66. While I was working at Abercrombie and Fitch in college, I spent an hour folding shirts on a table. The manager told me it wasn't good enough, swiped it all onto the floor and made me do it again. I quit soon thereafter.
  67. My all time favorite book is Matilda.
  68. I won a contest for designing bumper stickers for the local library... Matilda was the subject of my design.
  69. I also won a contest hosted by Bob's hardware for being the "Cutest Clown," I was five.
  70. I got to be in the circus that year.
  71. I love word games i.e., Scrabble, crosswords, Boggle, etc.
  72. Jonathan will not play these games with me.
  73. During my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to assist with founding a sorority.
  74. I never ever thought of myself as a "sorority girl".
  75. I loved it. I am a Delta Delta Delta alum.
  76. I met my college roommate and dear friend, Mallory, on the internet. If you happen to be together with she and I we will force you to listen to the story of "how we fell in love."
  77. I also met my prom date on the internet.
  78. I compulsively lie about mundane things.
  79. Jonathan makes me use a "code word" after I say pretty much anything that he thinks might be a lie.
  80. Nothing on this list has been a lie.
  81. I drink way too much Coca cola. There is nothing anyone can do to make me stop despite many efforts.
  82. I prefer to be barefoot.
  83. Being atop anything high makes my feet tingle. Even if the height is simulated (like in a video game).
  84. I like playing video games.
  85. For several months I was addicted to playing World of Warcraft. There I said it... I'm a nerd.
  86. I desperately want to own Guitar Hero.
  87. There are VHS tapes of my ballet recitals next to my TV. If you are at my house, I will probably make you watch them.
  88. I desperately want to have children so that I can have videos of them in tutus.
  89. If I have a daughter I want to name her Amelia.
  90. I think that old cemeteries are beautiful and I love to walk through them.
  91. I love to take photographs even though i am not that great at it.
  92. My favorite pictures are in a small box. All of the pictures are of the sky.
  93. I love to clean things that are really dirty. Nothing else gives me a more immediate sense of accomplishment.
  94. If I could do any job for one day I would love to take a street sweeper through new Orleans the day after Mardi Gras.
  95. I like tomato soup with my grilled cheese sandwiches.
  96. When I was five I got chicken pox the day after my family got back from a vacation in Hawaii. I was convinced that I caught a disease from seed pods I played with under a tree at the airport.
  97. I sleep in the fetal position and am only comfortable if I have a pillow to hold.
  98. I played the clarinet while I was in middle school.
  99. I hate beer... unless its Guinness mixed with Irish whiskey and Irish Cream.
  100. Sometimes things I dream about come true.

Monday, March 24, 2008

On My Wish List: Kitchen Edition

1. Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven, 5.5 Quart in "Flame" from Williams-Sonoma. I am really in need of cookware that can transfer this nicely from the stove top to the oven. This would work perfectly.

2. Silicone Non-stick French Rolling Pin in red from Sur la Table. This pretty red pin would be a great replacement to the wine bottles I currently use to roll out pastry and fondant dough.

3. Mod Measuring Set available at Anthropologie. I love my current teaspoon set, but these colorful spoons are too much to resist.

4. Martha Stewart Collection Whiteware Cake Stands at Macy's. Truth be told ... I love Martha and I love these cake stands. These will be perfect at my friends upcoming bridal shower.

5. "HM" 12 inch Peppermill from William Bounds, Ltd. At $62 this peppermill is way out of my price range... but I adore it.

6. French Days-of-the-Week Floursack Towel Set also at Sur la Table. These remind me of being at my grandmothers house when I was younger. The bright colors would be a lovely accent agains the black and stainless appliances in the kitchen.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Unlike most Easters previous, I spent the majority of the day with Jonathan in the basement. We finally moved some of the plumbing that was inconveniently located along the center of the ceiling and because the pipes were old one of the connections was leaking and leaving an unpleasant rust colored stain on our new tile.

So instead of my usual hunting for plastic eggs in Pecatonica, I was hunting for PVC connectors in the basement.


I did, however, manage to squeeze two Easter traditions out of the day:

1. I ate cheesy potatoes. Mmm... my aunt's recipe that was an Easter brunch staple. I was excited to make it because the recipe is a favorite, but also because the recipe is in my mom handwriting, which I don't get to see much of anymore. Creating the meal was a nice walk down memory lane.

2. Jonathan and I dyed Easter eggs. It was quite an ordeal to get this done today by the way. First of all, we didn't have eggs... so I went out to buy some. Then we didn't have vinegar... so we went out to buy some. Then we didn't have water (the water was turned off so that we could replace the pipes) ... so we went out to buy some. We hardboiled the eggs and then set up the de station... when i realized I didn't have any food coloring!... I did howeer have some Wilton frosting dyes, so we tried that. Umm... my suggestion is not to do that in the future. The resulting masterpieces looked like this:

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Jonathan is making me breakfast right now! Let me say that again... Jonathan. Is. Making. Me. Breakfast!! Specifically he is flipping pancakes, making sausage and creating a strawberry sauce to pour over the flapjacks! I am so excited. This is far past his usual scrambled egg and cheese omelet. I am very impressed.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mailboxes and Shopping Carts: An Afternoon in the Yard

So... someone has been stealing our Netflix recently. I have a theory about this.... bear with me:

cool movies available on line + free delivery = netflix subscription to 3624

old mailbox + shoddy hinge mechanism = perpetually open mail box

High school near by = lots of foot traffic + rowdy kids


perpetually open mailbox (netflix subscription to 3624) + high school nearby = DVD sales in homeroom

I should mention here that I have no proof that the breakfast club has been stealing my psychological thrillers and romantic comedies but thats my hunch and I am sticking with it.

In any case, we needed to do something about the theft problem so we drove over to Lowe's today and picked up a spiffy new mailbox. It is quite a bit larger than the old mailbox and is equipped with a handy dandy locking mechanism and a slot for the mail that no hands can fit through! (... well maybe a kindergartener could do it but like I said I live near a high school... no worries) So we have been working on installing that today... much fun. I should clarify. Jonathan spent time installing ... I spent time chasing the cat up trees.

Also, while Jonathan was hard at work taking measurements I was spying on the neighbors. I was spying on the neighbors under the guise of chasing the cat up trees... very stealthy, right? So anyway... what I spied with my little eyes was a mass of shopping carts stolen from the local grocery store piled up in their backyard. They were all stacked up, just like you'd see at Walmart behind the sweet little old men who hand out stickers. There were at least 10 of them back there!

OK... so why do I care?... why do you care? Well you might not... but I have been pissed the last couple of times that I went to the market because there were no shopping carts near the door. And here my neighbors are, corralling buggies behind their house with (apparently) no intent to return them so that the rest of the world can shop for dinner without putting on a balancing act with cans of corn for the stock boys.

Anyway, the moral of the story here is that I am surrounded by thieves! Okay, so that might be a stretch, but you catch my drift.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hello World....

So... hello.

I'm unsure if etiquette requires that I introduce myself to the internet.... we have sort of been acquainted for quite some time now. But just in case Dear Abby is out there reading this and shaking her head in displeasure I should probably just go ahead and err on the side of caution.

Hello. I'm Nikki. I'm from the Midwest but now I live on the East coast. I live here with my loving boyfriend, Jonathan and our rambunctious cat, Bailey. We live at 3624.

I think I am pretty typical.... I'm actually quite sure that I have nothing interesting to say about myself. That is why I am typing this now. I have decided that I should have a record of the goings-on of my everyday life. Perhaps I will find a few fascinating tidbits here and there that I would have otherwise forgotten in the hustle and bustle of each day.

Look, basically the idea here is that I am going to get on this thing and ramble... much like I am now. Hopefully something interesting will come of it. Wish me luck. Oh - and nice to meet you.