Sunday, September 28, 2014

This is Outlandish!

{The following blog post was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  I am a happily married woman and proud mom to two great kids.  Although I think Sam Heughan is a fine actor with a voice of whisky and velvet, I hold him and his character Jamie in the highest regard--and no, it's not so I can look up his kilt.  Oh my gosh, I have to stop this NOW!}

I hope you enjoy this post.  :)

Au revoir, mon petit chou, Jamie:

It has truly (read this with Jamie's accent) been wonderful getting to know you, but against my will, I must figure out what to do with my time between now and April 2015, when the second part of season 1 returns to television.  I have the books, of course, and that is fine.  I am well into Dragonfly in Amber.  Jamie has just visited Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Sun King.  Being a French teacher and having visited Versailles myself, I could really picture the Lever ceremony as Diana Gabaldón described it.  I didn't especially want to think of his chaise percée, but let it be known that I am an enlightened person.  I digress...

It's just not the same as getting to see my sweet Jamie every week.  

Perhaps I will pen my own novel featuring someone similar to you, love.  Or perhaps I will knit or crochet several cowls that will remind me of you (and not Claire, that Sassenach wench--Ha ha, just kidding!).  

Maybe I will find my own stones at Craig Na Dun and find my way to you.  

Oh, if that were only possible...

I think the most likely scenario is I will just live my life that way I've always led it, and sit on random stone walls out in the Scottish Highlands and wait for you to return to me.

Or maybe I'll just rewatch all eight existing episodes again and again and again (as if I haven't done that already!)  Here is  Episode 1 on for free!  

Happy Outlander watching!


In my other life, I made some cool things this weekend:  

1) Nutella Pumpkin Bread (for Jamie)

2) Perfect Pumpkin Handmade Soap (for Jamie)

3) And two crocheted hats (for me to wear with Jamie)

One last photo, in which we whisper sweet nothings to each other.  What I mean is we really didn't whisper anything at all, but it was really sweet.  And then I realized he has a lamp in his nose, which made me think of Rudoph, and then I thought of Christmas, and then I wondered when they started hanging stockings by the fire at Christmas, and why didn't they do it in 1743?

OK, this is truly (said once again with a Jamie accent) the last photo.

Je t'aime, mon amour!  Je serai toujours prête pour toi!  ;)

***Some photos are from***  I love you, Starz!  Thank you for bringing us Outlander!  Oh, and I quite enjoyed Spartacus as well!  ;)  You rock!***

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I am a happy Outlander fan today.  The episode we were all dying to see has made me love the show even more.

There were many scenes that were different from book itself, which made me slightly unhappy while watching this episode for the first time.   I've seen it again and I like it much better now.  I do understand that adaptations are not always going to be exactly the way the book was written so I have to let it go.  I hope the writers on the show choose to include some of the important dialogue in later scenes.  After all, we know Jamie Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Frasier is the king of men, but we want to hear more of his words to really bring that idea home!  Je t'aime, Jamie!


So now it's back to the old grindstone.  I wanted to mention that my son and his debate partner got first place in their first-ever Debate tournament over the weekend.  That is a wonderful accomplishment, but I knew my son would make an excellent debater because he has been arguing with me for years!  Bravo, mon fils!  Et je t'aime aussi!  

Voilà.  C’est tout pour aujourd’hui.  À la prochaine! 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Today is the big day!

I need to get myself to the store to buy Scottish cookies and whisky.  Ach, no, not whisky.  I will look for Rhenish instead.

Happy Wedding Day, Claire and Jamie!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A couple of new soaps

I wanted to share a couple of new soaps I just put in my Etsy shop:

Sensuous Sandalwood Handmade Soap

and Sandalwood Vanilla Handmade Soap:

These two soaps have lovely fragrances.  The Sensuous Sandalwood is more masculine whereas the Sandalwood Vanilla has a sweeter scent.  

Find them both at my Etsy shop here

Have a bright, sunshiny week!  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Happy Outlander Day!

Ye may have gathered by now that when I set my mind to liking something, I become a bit obsessive.  I won't and frankly can't deny that.  There's Ikea, crochet, sewing, scrapbooking, soap making, Michael Fassbender, et cetera.

Today, it's Outlander.  I have already posted about my nascent Outlander fandom here.  Now I am almost done with the first book in Diana Gabaldón's series.  And the television series on Starz is making me even more of a fan because it is the embodiment of the fabulous love story between Jamie and Claire (and all the complications therein). 

What is so darn great about a show set in 1743 Scotland anyway?  Let me just show you in photographs.  

 Need I say more?  I mean really!  J.A.M.M.F., baby!  Oh, yes, and there is lovely Sassenach Claire.  She's OK too.  ;)

Seriously, Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe make the show beautiful for sure, but the supporting cast is wonderful as well.  My previous blog post shows many of the recurring characters. Tonight, it looks like Black Jack Randall will play a major role in his own sadistic way.

You love to hate a villain and Tobias Menzies plays this one quite well.  By the way, has it occurred to you that the use of the word "sadist" would not have existed during this time period because the Marquis de Sade was only born in 1740?  I'm sure I'm not the only one with this thought.  I mean certainly the Marquis was not a sadist at age 3!

But let's think about bonnier things (is bonnier a word?).  And the bonniest (is bonniest a word?) thing I can leave you with is this:

Happy Outlander Day!  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Den här tjejen är väldigt glad över Ikea! (This girl is very happy about Ikea!)

The newest Ikea opened yesterday in Merriam, Kansas, U.S.A.

That is very close to my home.  In fact, I used the Ikea store locator today to figure it out.  Before Ikea-Merriam opened, the nearest Ikea to my zip code was 447 miles (719 km.) away!  Now it is a mere 11 miles (18 km.)!  Wow, what a difference!  I could conceivably go there daily and it would not be a big deal.  Except I wouldn't be able to buy anything after about the 300th time because I would eventually run out of krona.  :)

Hubs and I were lucky to go last Saturday because our neighbor (and my new BFF!) works for them and gave us a pass to enjoy the Friends and Family event before the store even opened to the public. Here I am looking ecstatic about going.  I am holding up the invitation-only postcard upside down because I was so excited:

 I took this picture while waiting in line to get in:

We spent three hours there and ended up getting a duvet cover with matching pillow cases.  This particular type is called Lyckoax and is quite pretty, at least I think so:

We also got a dish drainer because our dishwasher recently broke and we decided to do dishes by hand for the time being.  And we got these cool Hedblomster pillows for our couch:

And we had a delicious meal:

With this lovely princess cake for dessert:

And t his colorful Swedish flag for decor:

And I picked up some Swedish fish on the way out.  I loved the whole experience, except for the fact that hubs came down with a bad cold pretty much right after our shopping trip and I came down with it the next day.  I still have it.  :(

But I had originally taken today off to shop at Ikea once again.  I went and met my friend Amy, even though I am still not 100%.  I bought a comforter to fit the duvet (my old one was too bulky) and food from the grocery store by the checkout counters.  I got ginger snaps for Chris and chocolate cookies for me.  :)  And I brought my family back this evening to have dinner there.  Yum!  I have been three times to the new store, even though it has only officially open for one day!  

Have you seen the new Ikea catalog?  

I wanted to buy more but I had to keep telling myself that the store isn't going anywhere and I don't have to buy everything at once since I don't have to drive 447 miles to get there anymore.  I loved the Ikea in Bloomington, Minnesota, but I love Ikea-Merriam even more because it's in my hometown.  

Ikea, you've made this flicka very happy!  Tack!  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Awakening my inner Celt with Outlander!

So I must have had my head in the sand for the last several years.  The only Outlander I had ever heard of was the Mitsubishi we used to own.

Then I saw an article on Facebook about a new Starz TV series called Outlander.  The ad depicted a beautiful dark-haired woman walking away with a dazzlingly handsome Scot.  But she was also reaching for a man whose face I couldn't see.  As if there were any doubt not to follow Mr. Kilt!

Upon further study, I found out all about the TV series and I realized I actually have access to Starz through my cable company.  So I sat down to watch the show and I was hooked!  I didn't realize the show was based on a series of books until I had already watched the third episode.  Enter me buying the first book for my Kindle app:

A well written, easy to read tome written by Diana Gabaldon.  After I started the book, I started speaking highly of the whole endeavor to my Scottish-American husband and he decided he wanted to watch the show.  So I went back and watched all episodes with him, including the fourth one, which just aired last weekend and featured the author herself, as well as Ronald Moore, the executive producer, in cameo appearances. How cool is that?

The main characters in the series are Colum:



Mrs. Fitz:




but most of all, there's Claire:

and of course, our sweet Jamie.

One huge, unexpected plus on the show for us yarn crafters is the fact that the women have been donning gorgeous knitted wool cowls and fingerless gloves.  That makes me really want to learn how to knit well.  I can try to imitate them through the art of crochet, but crochet did not exist in 18th century Scotland.  Maybe I will learn how to make one of these lovely items soon.

I haven't been sleeping enough this week because of the book!  I am so excited to see how they bring this story to life because they have done a bonny job so far!

If you have not seen the show, subscribe to Starz and watch it immediately.

If you have not purchased the book(s), do so as swiftly as you can!

Ye will not regret it!

Et juste un dernier mot:

Je suis prête pour toi, Jamie!  ;)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dreaming of IKEA (part 2)

"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

-Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
      -Jenn to IKEA in 2014

Six years have passed and I have only been to IKEA once more since going to the Bloomington, Minnesota store in 2008.  Chris and I stopped in at the IKEA in Renton, Washington on our way to the airport in 2011.  We had just spent a week exploring the Olympic Peninsula, including


Crossing the Canadian border:

The Sequim Lavender Festival:

Olympic National Park:

The Hoh Rainforest:

Forks (yes, I am well aware of the fact that my husband and I are dorks!):

Cape Flattery:

and Port Townsend:

{Sorry for that little diversion, but I love reliving those memories!}

We were at IKEA so briefly that I didn't even get a photo of the occasion.  We just stopped in and walked through the place.  We picked out a stuffed animal for our daughter and I admired the Expedit shelving that I loved so much.  We also ate a scrumptious lunch at the restaurant.  We sped off to the airport for fear of missing our flight (we made it home in time).

And until the Fall of 2012, IKEA was still just a dream for me.  That Autumn, however, a momentous occasion took place--IKEA announced it was building a new store in Merriam, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, and a mere 18 minutes drive from my house.  I was ecstatic!  I was jumping off the walls!  I had a grin on me that day which rivaled the Cheshire cat's.

I couldn't help but impress upon my students at the time that I was HEAD OVER HEELS in love with the idea of IKEA coming to Kansas City.  I must admit I feel a little bit responsible for their decision.  You see, I had written a letter to the IKEA corporation imploring them to come to Kansas City.  My reasons included the idea that I would shop there several times per month because I love them so much, instead of my track record of shopping there two times in a 3-year period.  I think they took my letter to heart and decided to come to Merriam.  Yes, you are quite welcome, Kansas City.

And now, on September 10, 2014, IKEA in Merriam, Kansas will open its doors to the public.  I have been by the construction site many times to get glimpses into how it is looking.  When the put the sign up and the letters on the side of the building, I screamed.  Yes, I am that die hard.  Here is what it looked like last week:

Still a little rough around the edges but it will be fantastic!  My neighbor and new BFF works for them and she has told me all about what it's been like from the inside.  I just cannot wait.  I will take more photos when I get there and I would be glad to do commercials for them too.  Certainly, I have already done my fair share of promoting their stores because my students are aware of just how wonderful they are, even if they have never stepped foot in one.  

Thank you, IKEA corporation for deciding to come to the Kansas City area.  You have made this woman a fan for life. 

Tack så mycket!!!