Saturday, April 30, 2011

This week...

...went to see M's band play.
...weirdest Easter morning EVER.
...mega Easter family time.
...cuddle time with the kitties was the best cure for feeling under the weather!
...searching craigslist for various things.
...lots of rain and thunder.
...first official BBQ of the season.
...also, first official sunburn of the season.
...craving for soft serve satisfied.
...resumed catching up on Mad Men season 3.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Dear Forever 21,
I'm trying to resist the siren lure of your new spring dresses. My self restraint is wavering.

Dear Flowering Trees,
You're finally blossoming and you're gorgeous! I love you!

Dear May,
I hope you bring some better things than April has. Ready to keep moving forward.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hometown Hearts: Washington, DC

Good morning, Internet! My name is Patchie, and I am a 24 year old who lives in the Washington, DC area. Besides three years in North Carolina to earn my degree in Stage Management and Directing, I have lived here my entire life. For the last two years I have worked with a sword fighting duo at the Maryland Renaissance Festival (only 45 minutes from DC!), and I hit as many faires and festivals as I can in between. I love the accessibility of not only DC but the cities surrounding it and how no matter what, you can always find an event going on. Here are 5 places worth noting!

The Tidal Basin
Everyone should walk The Tidal Basin once in their life. Along the path you’ll find The Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the George Mason Memorial along with excellent views of all the above mentioned and the Washington Monument. Because FDR and George Mason are only accessible by foot they can be found completely empty of tourists quite often.  This is also the prime location for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which usually falls in the first two weeks of April.

This Irish Pub has a few locations in Maryland, but the DC one is located near the Verizon Center. Stop in for a Guinness and some amazing food (I recommend the fish & chips!), and if you’re lucky and plan ahead, you’ll catch one of the many great local bands they bring in.

The National Zoo
While this is a must see, I have a few bits of advice: don’t go on a super hot day (the animals will be really inactive and you’ll be miserable), if you get there via Metro hit Starbucks first for a drink (sadly the zoo is more expensive) and keep in mind that from that angle, the entire zoo is downhill. Which means you’ll have to walk uphill to exit. That being said, the zoo is free and has a wide variety of animals – see our famous pandas (every sign points you in the right direction), check out the houses where the birds can roam free, and don’t miss our seven new lion cubs!

Old Town Alexandria
While not technically in DC (it’s actually in Virginia), Old Town can be reached from DC by Metro (in fact, everything I’ve included can be). Walk King Street, visit the local shops and the Gap Outlet, and eat wherever looks interesting – I have literally never had a bad meal there, and I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten the same place twice. If you hit it on a weekend, visit the Torpedo Factory and watch all the street performers surrounding it. I’ve seen rescue parrot displays where you can actually hold them, magic shows for kids, and sometimes I’ve run into a Renaissance Festival performer or two!

Papa Razzi
Georgetown is gorgeous and while the hardest to get to of anything I listed, worth it. Make sure you explore alleys and little side streets, they lead the greatest treasures. Slightly off the beaten path we found this gem of an Italian restaurant. Not terribly priced and super generous portions, it is my favorite restaurant I’ve been to over there.

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Thank you so much Patchie for showing us what you love about DC!

If you would like to share your hometown with the world, please email us:
windshielddiaries at gmail dot com

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

smores cookies

 Last week we bid bon voyage to an awesome chick going back out west, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try a new cookie recipe I came across on Sugar Cooking. So I gathered the ingredients, pre-heated the oven, and dove in!

 The recipe calls for a cup of Graham Cracker crumbs. I chose some cinnamon graham crackers. I think the next time I make these I will up the graham cracker crumbs to give the cookies even more of the smores experience.

 The graham cracker crumbs are mixed with the other dry ingredients.

 The sugars are creamed with the butter.

 The dry and wet are mixed thoroughly, and an entire bag of chocolate chips is folded in to the dough. Then the dough is scooped into tablespoon sized blobs.

Bake the dough for 8 minutes, pull out the cookies and stick some mini marshmallows and pieces of Hershey bar on the top. Bake for 2-3 more minutes, cool. STUFF!

Want to make them yourself? 
Here's the recipe from Sugar Cooking (who adapted it from Baked Perfection)

Smores Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 3 Hershey bars, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet (I chilled the dough for an hour first; I always do).
  3. Bake for 8 minutes, and remove from the oven. Push 3 to 4 marshmallows and a few pieces of hershey bar into each cookies. Return to the oven and bake an additional 2-3 minutes until fully cooked. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Monday, April 25, 2011

coffee house show

 This weekend M's band played a show at a coffee house. I know it might sound weird that a rock show took place at a little coffee shop. But it totally works there! Hudson River Coffee House hosts shows regularly, and they know how to do it right! This shot above was taken from the van as I waited for them to unload their band gear.

 This is Anchorage Nebraska from Rochester NY.

And then M's band, Severe Severe closed!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
This is a photo of me (center) with my brother and sister on Easter Sunday some time in the late 80s. My mom hand made our dresses and hand knit my brother's vest!

PS: We still have a few FREE sponsorship slots open for May, please email us for details! windshielddiaries at gmail dot com

Saturday, April 23, 2011

This week...

...diner breakfast with M
...BBQ to honor one of the coolest chicks on the planet!
...baked some killer cookies
...hung out with the old work girls
...ladies packing & box wine night.
...lunch out with M
...listened to M learn Nintendo songs on the guitar.
...drew, drew, drew!

PS: Still looking for a few sponsors for May. This may be the last month I offer spots for free, so get one while you can

Email me for details: windshielddiaries at gmail dot com

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Dear October,
You can't get here soon enough. Not that I'm trying to get past summer too quickly....but I'm REALLY excited for what you have in store!

So glad I got to hang with you while you were back in town! Who else would quote Lebowski like it's no big deal. You're awesome!
Dear AMC's The Killing,
You are NO WHERE NEAR as good as Mad Men or The Walking Dead. I'm trying REALLY hard, but I just can't love you the way I've loved the others. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blogging Buddies: Styles, Miyagi, and Me

Welcome to the first in our new feature series about bloggers and their pets!
We're looking for submissions, so if you blog, have an awesome pet, and would like to write a guest post about it, drop us a line (we'd love to share your story!) 
windshielddiaries at gmail dot com

Now on to the pets!

Styles and Miyagi came into our lives about 8 months apart. When M & I first moved in together we both wanted a cat. M really wanted a black and white cat, so I scoured craigslist looking for black and white kittens for adoption. After a couple of days of searching, I came across a listing with this photo:
A male, black & white kitten with a HEART on his paw?! Are you kidding me? He was SO ours! I contacted the lady who placed the ad, and we made an appointment to go pick him up. When we went to get him he had 2 other siblings who were also adorable, but we knew that he was the one. So we resisted the urge to bring them all home :)

Styles made it quite clear around the age of 6 months that he was REALLY bored when we were away at work. How did he let us know? He would climb onto the fridge and knock all the magnets on to the floor. Or just go on a rampage in the living room and knock everything over. We knew it was time to get him a playmate if we wanted to keep our apartment intact!
It just so happened that around this same time, M and I were visiting my parents when their neighbor randomly called across the driveway, "you guys want a kitten?" We went over to talk to him and found out their purebred Balinese had an unplanned litter on ONE four days earlier. We went over to see the tiny baby. He was so small he fit in the palm of my hands. I knew that he was going to be ours.

Four weeks later, I went back to visit again and he was ever cuter:
It was excruciating waiting another four weeks until he was old enough to bring home, but Miyagi was definitely worth the wait!

My favorite thing these two do: tricks! I taught both of them to sit and high five on command for treats!

If anyone out there is considering adding a second cat to their home, my advice would be to go for it! These two keep each other entertained all day and night. I really think their lives are so much better than if they were solitary cats. Plus, who doesn't like to see two kitties cuddling?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

springtime and the livings easy

 We've had ONE warm night here in Upstate NY so far this spring. It was the perfect time to sit on the back porch with a couple of cocktails and a boombox!

 First 2011 spotting of sandals!

 Listening to The Clash and sipping a Kettle One and tonic.

M had a Kettle One and Cranberry while enjoying a black and mild.

We are in dire need of more nights like this. Weather, you better start cooperating!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This week...

...another 7 mile walk, no froyo this time ;)
...tried hanging out on the porch for the first time this season, it was still a but chilly.
...talked about adding a canine to our little family
...sushi date with one of my favs.
...M totally creamed me at wii bowling
...sewed, sewed, sewed my new quilt!
...worked on yet ANOTHER crafty project... I have too many simultaneous crafty projects right now. back is killing me, I can't wait to finish this quilt!
...brunch with M and three of my favorite ladies!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Exciting News!

I Love California by CAPow! on Etsy

I just got an email from Society6 telling me that Urban Outfitters picked up my California print to sell in their Print Shop! I'm beyond psyched!


Dear Contact Lenses,
Wearing you lately has been driving my eyes buggy. I prefer you to the glasses, so please start behaving!

Dear Carbs,
You're OUT! Swimsuit season is quickly approaching. It's time to take drastic measures.

Dear Local Stores,
I fell in LOVE with Organix Cocoa Butter Shampoo and Conditioner. Only ONE of you ever carries it. I'm starting to get scared that I won't be able to find it anywhere. Please help me out by beginning to stock the shampoo that makes M say my hair smells like birthday cake.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hometown Hearts: Chicago, IL

 Hello! My name is Hails and I've been living in Chicago for just shy of 6 years. I grew up in the 'burbs but my family has lived in and outside the city since they came over from Europe generations ago. I'm about to turn 26 (eek!) and work for a website because I'm obsessed with all things internet. I have a blog (, a tumblr ( and a twitter (, obviously. 
I live in Logan Square with my boyfriend, a male roommate and my diabetic cat. It's a gentrifying neighborhood on the northwest side of the city with the largest and fastest growing collection of hipsters. Chicago is known for being cold and windy but no matter the weather, we always find time to get out and have fun. I still have yet to see so many sides of this city, but here are the places that I like the most and that get most of my hard-earned money.

 Alice's Lounge 

This bar is the BEST place to do karaoke in the entire city. The KJ (that's Karaoke Jockey), Fred, is fair, has a huge song selection, and has a bag full of props at his disposal. He also does some pretty good harmony and backup. There are usually free snacks, drink specials, and did I mention the smoke machine and laser lights? Karaoke is 4 nights a week and I'm usually there for at least one.

 This vintage store specializes in 80's/90's/00's fashion and unlike your run of the mill thrift store, they pick and choose only the best and will even fix a garment or accessory if it's broken before selling it. The owners are super friendly and will remember what you like and what to recommend the next time you stop by. I got an amazing vintage Swatch watch and Prada shoes so far, but my collection grows almost weekly. And they always remember my Patrick Nagel obsession.

Rudy's Roundup
 This tiny little store of awesome is a variety shop in every sense of the word. From paper goods, to perfumes, to clothing, to every little knick knack you can think of. They offer many vintage items as well as items from local Etsy sellers. I've found some amazing stationary here as well as all sorts of other things I had no idea I needed. They run their own etsy as well but the store if a real treat if you are in the area.

Small Bar Logan
 This is the closest bar to us that also sells food and we're lucky that it's also really sweet. They have a huge tap list consisting of almost exclusively micro brews, with a few imports thrown in. The kitchen is tiny (hello, it's a "Small Bar") but they consistently pump out tasty bar grub. The boyfriend and I have become regulars and are on a first name basis with at least one bartender so we are always given great service with a smile. 

The Whistler
 So you want a fancy drink? This here is the place to go. They have zero tap beers because this dark bar is made for cocktails. They have seasonal menus with different cocktails made with all types of liquor. The price is always $8 a drink and for the amount of booze you get, it's quite a deal. The bar also serves as a music venue and the owners run a record label as well. Just get there early or you'll be waiting outside!

Belly Shack
 This restaurant previous was an amazing brunch spot and I mourned it's disappearance when they lost their lease. But thankfully this latin/asian fusion BYOB popped up in it's place and I've yet to be disappointed. This tiny spot under the loud train offers a rotating menu of dishes of Puerto Rican and Korean influence. Which sounds nasty but is so delicious you will want to try everything. Also, it's BYOB which means it's nice and cheap!

Logan Theater
 My grandma told me that she used to go to this theater when she was a kid. Yeah, it's that old. And it's still awesome. This is a second-run theater, so that means nothing is exactly new but all the movies are only $4, which for Chicago is basically free. I think it's been run by the same family for decades and it's rarely crowded. In fact, usually we show up a mere 10-15 minutes before the movie with time to get snacks and great seats. Go if for no other reason than the "ladies lounge", a total throwback to the bathrooms of yore.

Labrabbit Optics 
I am kind of biased since the owner is a friend of mine but if you wear glasses (or sunglasses), you need to visit this shop. The owner, Coyote, is a certified optician and while he isn't an eye doctor, once you have your prescription he can hook you up with some amazing frames and a variety of lenses. He specializes in vintage frame, deadstock, as well as rare brands that you won't find at your local Lenscrafters. He is quick to cut a deal and will always be honest if those frames make you look totally awesome or like a total tool.

Smart Bike Parts
Before I started dating the equivalent of a free bike parts bin, this was my go to shop. The owner, Eric, is amazingly high energy and most likely has not one, but two bluetooth phones going at the same time. He's honest, fair about prices, and will remember every minute detail (he always asks how my mom is doing because he met her one time!) It's a tiny storefront but they do most of their work online and can order any crazy part you can think of, usually without paying shipping. It's a true service based shop which is rare these days.

Barbara & Barbara 
This hair salon is the newest on my list but has already won a place in my heart. It's a small three chair shop, independently ran, and you usually have to make an appointment. It's pretty no-frills but the prices are right on the money: $20 for cuts, $30 for extra long hair, and bang trims are a mere $7 . That's it. Simple. The music is always great, it's right on the square so the people watching is fantastic, and you are in and out without any pressure to buy product. Oh and the stylists always listen to you and I have only had great cuts since.

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Thank you so much Hails for showing us another side of Chicago!

If you would like to share your hometown with the world, please email us:
windshielddiaries at gmail dot com

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

happy birthday brother & sister

My brother & sister are twins. They were born 3 years and 6 days after me. 
Today they are 27!

Happy Birthday Brother & Sister!