Linkfest: Chocolate Obsession

What’s that you say? You’re having difficulty getting enough chocolate into your diet? Never fear, I have collected some recipes to help you get through this trying dietary dilemma.

Some basics:

Taking cake to the next level:

Feeling nutty? Hazelnutty?

A bit more sophisticated:

via Google Reader (Shared Items)

Rained out

This past week was the annual city-wide garage sale here. It was Thursday through Saturday, and I was only able to go out on Saturday. I knew there wouldn’t be much left (except for the few places that only were “open” on Saturday), but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. I wasn’t really looking for anything, or at least I didn’t think I’d find what I was looking for (matching side tables for the sofa, the perfect dining room table – neither are easy to come by it seems).

Saturday morning, we went over to the farmer’s market (which is only open Saturday mornings when I would rather be sleeping, but I digress). I got some cucumbers and a bunch of asparagus; we also got some havarti cheese from the local dairy (they had a stand there), and then some fresh sourdough bread from the Breadsmith (and I do mean fresh – like baked just hours earlier fresh). We also bought a few plants (rosemary, lavender, and cilantro).

After stopping at Home Depot, we went home, and I got into my car to go to at least one sale: a church sale. Specifically, the Evangelical Covenant Church here that I’ve been meaning to check out. We drove by once and it was super cute, and didn’t make me hyperventilate or anything. (Seriously, I’ve had some very strong reactions to churches on occasion – having had the experiences I did while working in them, it’s completely understandable, though I admit a little strange.)

The sale was priceless, and they only asked for a donation. Genius on their part, since I gave them more than they would have charged for the items I got. Sadly, it was a really small sale (just one room and part of a hallway). I will still give them a chance as a church to try out, even though it was mostly old ladies. Sometimes those are the only people available to staff such things.


I found this cute tablecloth. Red really isn't my color, but I couldn't resist its embroidery.


Close-up of some of the embroidery. Darling, no?

The tablecloth is stained a bit, so I’m going to see what I can do about that. Nothing terribly big or dark, but it would be nice if it wasn’t stained. Wherever shall I put it?


I also found a nice stack of vintage sheets (I didn't take all of them, just a few) and pillowcases, and "Through the Gates of Splendor" by Jim Elliot. I've been meaning to read that book (since I only know the short version of the story, as told by his wife), and this is a nice, old copy of the book. Also, I found it charming that it has "Evangelical Covenant Church" stamped on the edge. I grabbed the copy that didn't have a library code written on the spine. It's in pretty good shape considering its age.

Though I wasn’t feeling terribly motivated to go to any other sales (though I’d done my research and figured out which ones had the most potential), I was sad when it started raining. Poured, actually, shortly after I arrived at the church. So instead of going to any other sales, I went home, and we had lunch. Turkey and havarti sandwiches on sourdough, with cucumbers. Yum!

I will have to continue keeping a watch on Craigslist for what I’m looking for. If I ever find side tables, I can get rid of the coffee table that I don’t like (it kind of came with the house), and pull the couch away from the wall a bit. I think that will help the “flow” or feeling of the room dramatically. So would a rug, but I have yet to find one I’m willing to pay rug prices for (rugs are expensive!). Paint, some artwork on the wall behind the sofa… I might figure out what to do with that room yet!

Decisions, decisions

When the first set of beads I ordered had come in, and they didn’t even come close to coordinating with my shawl, I promptly ordered more. And now I can’t decide. I’m talking about my jewelry for ‘s wedding. The other girls’ sets are already done. (See here and here.)

So, I’m letting you decide giving you the chance to provide your opinion.

This was very hard to photograph, so I have quite a few for you to look at. I know that colors on monitors can vary widely from real life, but I figured that if they were in the same picture, or at least photographed in the same conditions at the same time, they were at least OK relative to each other.

White background:


At the top, you can see the shawl that I'm talking about. It's a turquoise-y jersey. Below you see all seven sets that I'm considering (I will try to not sway you towards the one(s) I like).


Close-up of the first four. Note that the ones on the far right are not laying correctly, but I couldn't get them to sit upright. They're not as white as they appear in the picture, but they are pretty pale.


Close-up of the other three.

Colored background:


All seven on the shawl itself.


Close-up of the first four.


Close-up of the remaining three.

And now, some artsy shots for you. I was hoping to be able to show more of the detail of the beads so you could make an educated decision.




Or maybe this view is helpful?


How about this one? It was really hard to photograph that third one. Even without flash (and it wasn't terribly bright outside), the mother-of-pearl reflected way more light than anything else. You get a truer view of the color in the photos on the white background.


Trying to show you the details of these little beads.

So, there you have it. Since it won’t take much time to make up, I’ll let you make comments through Friday, and then I’ll create over the weekend and share with you next week. (I can’t do a proper poll, as all of the free sites to create those are blocked here. We’ll have to do it old-school. Well, as old-school as blogging and digital photos can be.) Remember, we’re looking at doing a necklace with three in a row, followed by the pendant, just like the other five sets. Earrings are more free-form, and styling will depend on which beads are ultimately chosen.


Once more, just for reference. You can refer to them by name, designation, or by number (left to right, one through seven).

So… what are your thoughts?