Oh. my. goodness. Are you a Downton Abbey fan? I realize I'm way late to the fan club, but I'm totally loving this period-drama on PBS. My dear dad recently mentioned he's been enjoying the show and hearing that, I was inspired to check it out. Luckily, I found the first season on Netflix and the season 2 (the current season) is available online. After two marathon evenings, I'm one episode away from finishing Season 1.
If you like Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park or Emma, I bet you'll love Downton Abbey.
My favorite characters so far are Anna, Bates, Matthew, Lady Sybil and Violet. Oh, and the music during the opening credits is fan.tastic. The scenery isn't too bad either. :)
I accidentally took a blog break for the past couple of weeks, due to several factors including a few babysitting dates with a cute nephew and busy days at work. During this time, I also made progress on my first ever quilt (a project I "started" last summer) and read a few good books. The most exciting update from the past week, however, was that Karl passed his boards! He's now an official Registered Nurse and we're so excited! His future patients will be lucky to have him taking care of them.
We're celebrating tonight, so I made his favorite cake - Funfetti. Read on for a tutorial on how to make the little cupcake flags shown above.
One of my favorite childhood memories is of the time my family toured the Binney & Smith plant in Winfield, Kansas. Binney & Smith produced Crayola products and my grandparents lived in Winfield. It was a tour that was a long time in the making due to the lengthy waiting list at the plant. My father smartly placed us on the list and on one lucky Kansas vacation we finally made it to the top.
I remember driving by the Binney & Smith plant on the outskirts of Winfield several times, wondering what sort of colorful Willy Wonka-esque world of art supplies existed behind those beige warehouse walls. I remember the summer day when we arrived for our tour and swinging my short legs while sitting in the little waiting room, mesmerized by all the Crayola memorabilia for sale. There were t-shirts, coloring books, watches, jewelry, and of course, crayons and markers galore.
We soon joined other families on the tour and learned all about crayon making process. We saw the crayon and marker colors of the day rolling along the assembly line, waiting for paper wrappers and plastic caps. The plant workers served as quality control, making sure each finished crayon was in tact, sharpened, and ready for the famous yellow and green box.
I can't remember if the perfume of crayons was in the air -- that wonderful smell of wax, creativity and possibility -- but I like to think it was.
My sister and I each left the tour with a travel pack of crayons, little coloring book, and t-shirts that featured cute cartoon crayons. We wore those shirts proudly that summer, and many days after that. Sometime later my Kansas grandparents gave me a crayola wristwatch complete with crayons as the watch hands and scribbled letters for the numbers.
I went back to elementary school that fall with a new knowledge of where crayons come from. Every time I pulled out a box of Crayola crayons, I looked on the back to see if they were produced in the Winfield plant. Most of the time they came from Easton, PA (my only association of that city is crayons!) but on rare, exciting occasions the box read "Winfield, KS" and I pointed out proudly to my table mates that my grandparents lived there and I've been to the factory! It was one of my few exciting life trivia facts (later to be replaced by once seeing Jennifer Garner in person, sitting next to Michael Eisner, the one-time CEO of Disney on a college visit, and saying hi to Ross 'the Intern' Matthews at a work event.)
The crayon colors have expanded since I was young (see all the exciting "flavors" and colors above) and now crayons are even trilingual, which is incredibly cool as Karl and I aspire to raise children one day who are at least bilingual.
I purchased a brand new pack of 48 crayons a few months ago for a work coloring contest and felt so nostalgic as I opened the box. The waxy smell, rainbow of colors, and 48 sharp crayons absolutely made my day for less than $3.
Do you have any crayons or markers in your arts and craft stash? If not, go buy a pack, print off some online coloring pages (or pick up a coloring book!) and connect with your inner child. It's fun, I promise.
My favorite (and only) nephew, Anders, turned 1 on New Year's Eve and I had the lovely honor of baking him a birthday cake! We celebrated his birthday and a belated Christmas yesterday evening and had a ball watching him enjoy his special cake. Anders started out taking dainty bites of frosting but finished up using two hands to hold a huge chunk of cake. Happy Birthday, Anders! We're so excited to have you in our lives and look forward to many fun aunt/uncle/nephew adventures in the future.
hello! i'm meredith.
i currently live in the beautiful twin cities of minnesota, but am a true southern girl at heart, born and raised in east tennessee. bright colors, baking, designing and being creative are my passions. here's where i document my inspirations, creations, and attempts to fuse southern style into life in the midwest.