About Krista

Krista Maurer is writing her way through life as she dives head first into her 30s, learns how to survive [read: pay the bills] without a "day job," and looks for the man of her dreams. She reads the dictionary for fun, collects globes and maps, often confuses Williams-Sonoma with Mecca, and still remembers the thrill of meeting Alex Trebek when she was 10. Oh yeah, and she's the boss/owner of this here site, so please ask permission before reposting any content (pictures included) anywhere else. Thanks mucho!

Cluttered, PreOccupied, and a Lemon Tart


Remember how I was nesting? Yeah, so it turned out differently than I expected. It was more of an internal nesting (although I really do still need to clean out my closet). Does that happen to anyone else? Where you feel so full of thoughts and emotions and memories and lessons and experiences you need to deal with that you just feel dizzy with it all? And unless you sort though it piece by piece you find yourself unable to take anything more on, because you’re already stuffed to the brim?

Well that’s where I’ve been. And when I feel that way, I retreat until I am able to come up for air (hence the blogging hiatus). I think maybe it was the 6-month mark of being unemployed that hit me. Well that, and this other thing in my life that has forced me to look at my worries and fears and scars and insecurities left over from past experiences. And that combined with the reality that this business has to work (it has to), I found myself digging deep inside myself, sifting through the rubble created by the whirlwind I’ve lived in for the last few months.

I’ve felt consumed by the “business side” of this professional venture and when I’m in that mode, I find it hard to be creative. Which is a tricky thing when you “do” creative for a living. And yet, I’ve also found myself extraordinarily happy (also due in part, I’m pretty certain, to this other thing in my life), which makes me feel creative. So basically I’ve just been a mish-mash of right brain and left brain, cautious and hopeful, scared to death and ready to jump, blank with no ideas and overflowing with so many ideas I don’t know where to start.

Are you still with me? (I’m not sure I’m even still with me so don’t feel bad if you’re lost.)

So anyways, I’ve been cleaning out the clutter, or trying at least. Letting go of things that don’t matter anymore and framing in front of me the things I want most. I’ve been pre-occupied with a gallon of happy possibility that I can’t drink fast enough. And I’ve been diving into what I really want from this life I’ve chosen and committing to making its success a reality rather than treating it like a hobby.

But I’ve lacked words, which is weird for me. And I’ve not known where to start when it comes to creating again. So in an effort to just take a baby step forward, I made a tart. Yes. I made a tart. It was #29 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days and I knew it was doable. And it was delicious.

So here’s to baby steps. Here’s to recommitting to the lives we want and are totally possible. And while you’re at it, go make a tart.

Orange-Lemon Tart

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cups  crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 5  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1  (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3  cup  frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4  cup  fresh lemon juice
  • 2  large eggs, separated
  • 1  cup  heavy whipping cream
  • 3  tablespoons  granulated sugar
  • Garnishes: fresh mint leaves, lemon and orange slices

Preparation

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; set aside.

Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and egg yolks until blended.

Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into condensed milk mixture. Pour into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 20 to 25 minutes or just until filling is set. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Remove tart from pan, and place on a serving dish.

Beat whipping cream and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Dollop around edges of tart; garnish, if desired.

Not Pregnant, But Nesting None-the-Less

I’m not pregnant. At least I wasn’t the last time I checked. Not that I’ve ever checked–never really had a need to. Hm. Let’s start this post over, shall we?

[Take 2]

I’ve never been pregnant, but I’ve had plenty of friends who have. (Much better way to start this entry, I’d say.) And many of them have shared pieces of their experience with me–the feelings, the instincts, the urges, the emotions, the needs, the cravings, the thoughts, the worries, etc. that come with growing a human life inside your belly, right below your heart.

One of those “pregnant woman” instincts I’ve always found interesting was the one that comes just a few weeks before the baby is due. The one where a woman, round a swollen, who avoids the floor at all costs, would get on all fours to scrub the kitchen tile. The one where she pulls all the clothes, already cleaned and pressed, out of the closet to wash them just one more time. The one where she dusts and vacuums and then dusts again–every day. The one where she re-cleans, re-organizes, and repositions the nursery.

“Nesting” is what they call it … Getting ready and preparing a perfect place for the impending arrival of a new life.

Well. Like I said. I’m not pregnant. But even still, I’ve been feeling a swell within my soul the last couple days–a need to nest, oddly enough. To get my life and my home ready for something. I don’t believe it’s something big or grand. And I don’t believe that it will just suddenly arrive one day on the doorstep of my life with bells and whistles and a parade in tow. Maybe it will. But I don’t think so.

But regardless of what it is that’s coming or how it comes, there’s a tangible need that I’m feeling. A need to weed out, declutter, reorganize, rededicate, reexamine, and refocus. For something. Something good. And in order to be in a place to receive this good thing, I need to let go of other things, old things, worn out things. So that there’s room for it. And so that I’m ready for it.

So this week, and maybe next, I will be nesting.

xo

Krista

A Little Brighter

I’m a generally happy person. It’s just my disposition. I see the world in living color and want to take as much of it in as possible. But for a while there, the brightness faded just a bit. And I lost the color.

This happens when you don’t do the things you love. It happens when you stop being (for whatever reason) who you were really created to be. It happens when you don’t make time for the people who mean the most. It happens when you let others dictate what your life should be made of.

But over the last 6 months (yes it’s been 6 months now), the color has come back. In new hews and with greater brightness. It’s amazing really, to be living in technicolor again. Things seem possible. Things seem wonderful. New opportunities come my way daily and I see the providence in them all. And even over the last couple weeks I’ve found myself unable to keep from smiling due to another new something that has made everything seem particularly bright.

I was talking with someone last night about the best things, happiest things, and most exciting things in our lives right now. It was good to take inventory of this life of mine.

And for so many reasons, but especially for a particular few, I just want to say …

I am happy. So very happy.

A Mid-Day Phone Call

You called today. In the middle of the day.

You didn’t know that I wanted you to. You didn’t know that I needed you to. But I didn’t know how to tell you that. I didn’t think I could, or even should. I didn’t know how to say, “I need to talk to you.”

But you called. For no other reason than to find out how my meeting went. Which in and of itself makes my heart beat a little faster for you. And I sort of cried. But I didn’t know where to start or what to say. And you just said, “OK. Let’s just start at the beginning. Tell me who all was there.” And for some reason that was all I needed. I told you everything–how it all went down and the resulting mish-mash of feelings.

And you listened. And you didn’t make me feel dumb for crying about it or being upset. And then you said all the right things.

And then you made me laugh.

You could have hung up at this point. I know how busy you are and how much you need to get done before tomorrow. But you didn’t. You just kept talking. About little things. Insignificant things really. But after forty-five minutes, everything was right in my world again.

So I guess I’m just wanting to say thank you. Thank you for calling.

Little Miss Lola: Part 2 [Infant Photography Session, Bountiful, UT]

Yesterday I had the pleasure of doing an infant photo shoot of little miss Lola. She’s 3 1/2 months now and has quite the hilarious personality. And oh does she pull some faces! Here are some of my favorite shots of the day.

And speaking of “pulling faces” … check out the family resemblance in these photos! # 1 is Lola on her blessing day. # 2 is Frit (Lola’s auntie) on the same day, not having seen Lola’s face earlier. I always make Frit “stand in” so I can check the lighting before I begin shooting. It’s like her favorite thing to do. Ever. Can’t you tell?

#1

#2

The eHarmony low-down, 411, dealio, scoop, or whatever you want to call it

So here’s how it works. You give them your email and your name and your height and your location and your gender and then you take this really really long test. You answer questions about your talents and your decision making ability (or lack thereof). You answer questions about how you deal, or don’t deal, with conflict. You answer questions about your life and your views and your ideals and your hopes. It takes forever. But then again, I was always the one who flipped straight to the quizzes in Teen magazine to find out, scientifically of course, what shade of lip gloss my personality is (frosted coconut), which kissing style I am (soft and sweet with a side of sass), which Saved By the Bell character I’m most like (Jessie, always Jessie. Ugh. After that, I began “cheating” so I could be Kelly.), and how to tell if “he” really likes me (And he never did. I was always the “friend.”), so I actually thought the eHarmony inquisition was pretty fun.

After you finish the test, which is supposed to “read” your personality and ultimately match you up (scientifically of course) with others of a “compatible” personality, you fill out your profile. Here you post your pictures and answer questions about what you’re most passionate about, what your best life skills are, the five things you can’t live without, the last book you read, who you admire or look up to, and basically try to present yourself to your matches so that they can get to know a little bit about you and decide if you’re someone they want to communicate with.

If they don’t–they “close” you. And honestly, the first few times I was “closed” it almost broke my heart. I felt like I was being broken up with for no reason. I mean, what was it about my profile that they saw and automatically didn’t like? I’m a likable girl right? I’m smart and successful and interesting, right? And I know I’m not the most gorgeous girl on the planet, but I’ve got some attractive features, right? Anyways. It stung a little the first few times. But then I had to close some of the matches I received myself and I didn’t feel so bad about it after that. :)

My goal in signing up for eHarmony was never marriage. If that came as a result … sweet. But no, my only purpose was to date. Just date. Anyone and everyone I could. It’s been a while for me so I figured what the heck. Why not hop online for a spell? What’s the worst that could happen?

Over the course of the two months I was on, I was probably delivered about 400 matches. At first I was hesitant to initiate communication. I’m old-school like that. I want the guy to step up and decide he wants to talk to me. But one day Frit was browsing my matches with me and told me to just do it. “If you’re going to pay as much as you’re paying for this, you better get the most out of it,” were her exact words. And so I did. I began sending communication requests to any guy that remotely seemed like a good fit and even to some that didn’t. I tried, not to lower my standards, but to give guys that I wouldn’t normally have thought I might be interested in a chance. Of the 400 matches I probably initiated communication with nearly 75 guys. I personally closed, or was closed by about 300. And then there were probably 25 or 30 who initiated communication with me.

Of those 100 or so matches I communicated with, all of them fizzled out either during the “guided communication” that eHarmony sets up (series of multiple choices questions, lists of must-haves & can’t stands, and short answer questions) or once we began emailing. I never went on one date. But lest you think all is lost. It is not.

My eHarmony experience got me in the “dating mindset” again. It taught me that there are good guys still out there (In fact I might still be talking with one of them. And by might, I mean I am.). And it certainly reminded me how hard it is to click with someone. I mean seriously, it is an honest-to-goodness miracle when two people meet, click, begin dating, become serious, get past all the “stuff” they each bring to the relationship, and actually get married. A miracle. But like I said. I’m thinking about dating again … after a really long hiatus. So despite my nervousness about doing the “online thing” … I’m really grateful I did it.

And there you have it. For all your inquiring minds. I really do love y’all and I so appreciate your care and concern over this matter in my life. You’ve supported me through everything that’s changed in my life lately, and since a lot of you have asked how it’s been going, I wanted to share a bit.

xo

Krista

Good Things Utah Appearance: March 5, 2010 [Ruffle Collar T-Shirt]

Hello and happy Monday! If you missed my segment on Good Things Utah last Friday, here is the video. Enjoy!

(and here are the step-by-step instructions with photos)

Tutorial: Ruffle Collared T-shirt

Ruffles! Ruffles! Ruffles! I love ‘em! Whether it be on tops, skirts, belts, headbands or other accessories, they add a bit of whimsy and romance to any outfit. Here is just one simple way you can embellish a t-shirt with a ruffle of your own.

Supplies: t-shirt * needle & thread * fabric for ruffle * scissors * tape measure * sewing machine (not pictured)

Instructions:

1.    If you’re using a standard t-shirt like the one pictured in the image above, feel free to cut the ribbed part of the collar off to make it a bit more loose. But it’s totally up to you. You could also use a shade shirt or even a tank top for this tutorial. If you do cut the collar, you can certainly hem it under so the raw edge is held more securely in place. I did not do so because I like the raw t-shirt edge. Again, it’s totally up to you!

2. Measure the full length around the collar of your t-shirt. Double the length of the collar and this will be the length of the ruffle fabric strip you cut.

3.    Decide how wide you want your ruffle to be. Multiply by two and add a ½ inch. This will be the width of the ruffle fabric strip you cut.
4.    Now that you have your width and length, cut your strip of ruffle fabric. (Mine was 60″ x 3 1/2″ … but don’t worry about being exact.)

4.    Fold the ruffle strip length-wide with right sides of fabric facing each other.
5.    Sew along long edge using a ¼ inch seam and press open.
6.    Turn right-side-out. You will now have something that looks like a tube.
7.    Fold each open (raw) end of ruffle fabric towards the inside of the “ruffle tube” and press in place.

8.    Using a running stitch, use your needle and thread to sew the entire length of the ruffle. Gather as you go.


9.    Pin ruffle to t-shirt collar.
10.    Sew in place with sewing machine. Once the ruffle is attached, remove your running stitch. You can usually just pull it right out, but if it gets stuck a seam ripper will be your best friend.
11.    All Done! Enjoy your ruffled collar t-shirt. (If you do make one … take a picture and send it to me. I’d really love to see what you create!)
Variations:

  • You could also add a ruffle to the bottom of the t-shirt around the hip area, or even to the sleeves.
  • Instead of sewing the ruffle around the collar, pin it in swirls around the shoulder/chest area on one side of the shirt.

Other ruffled projects: Click Here for the Ruffle Cuff Bracelet Tutorial

p.s. Welcome! Welcome! to any new visitors from the Good Things Utah site! I’m so glad you stopped by.

+++

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Today Is My Birthday

This is me …

… after my haircut and style this morning. On my 31st birthday. A perfect way to start the day.

I have a feeling this is going to be a great year. A year with even more twists and turns than last year.

And I’m excited. I am ready.

p.s. I will be on Good Things Utah tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. MST. The topic? How to embellish with a ruffle. Specifically, how to create a ruffle collared t-shirt.

A Broken Piece of Bread & A Thimble Full of Water

When the sacrament finally made its way to me, I felt as though I needed to grab a handful of bread from the tray and eat it all at once. And when the water came, I wanted to drink a gallon. That’s the only way I can describe the feeling I felt Sunday morning after three days of memorializing my friend. It was a whirlwind of crying and hugging and reminiscing and eulogizing and laughing and crying some more.

The funeral was Friday. The burial Saturday. If I thought any semblance of composure I had left shattered when baby Sarah started crying “mommy!” when the casket was rolled away, I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I felt as the red Tennessee dirt fell, filling the hole in the ground, but breaking a new one in my heart.

It wasn’t supposed to end this way. When you believe in miracles, you’re supposed to get miracles. By Sunday I was drained.

I craved the healing power of Christ’s atonement in the worst way. I needed Him to fix the gaping hole left in my heart, and in my faith. And so yes, I contemplated taking more than my fair share of the bread and water. After all, isn’t that what it’s for?

My heart still questions. My eyes still cry. But life has gone on. It has to, I know. And yet, I want to stop and scream sometimes. “Don’t you know?! Don’t you know that my friend just died? Don’t you realize that while you are worrying about silly, stupid things that a good man just lost his love and three little ones just lost their mother?”

But instead, I bow my head. And I pray. That, just like He fed the 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes, He can fill me with just a broken piece of bread and a thimble full of water.

Wanting to say. Needing to say.

All the to-dos are accomplished. Bags are packed. Itinerary printed. Security cleared.

And now I wait. For the plane to board. For the group to gather. For the memories, laughter, and tears to mix and flow.

While the reality, and fragility, of life seems to sink in.

All my thoughts seem to epitomize “cliche.” And yet, I still find myself wanting to say, needing to say …

Life is short. Life is precious. Life is a gift. Say I love you. Today. Right now. Hug daily. Forgive quickly. Forget the laundry, and go to lunch with your girlfriends. Get off the phone, get on the floor, and nuzzle your little one. Turn off the TV and talk. Look around. Look up. See the world. See others. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t wake up late. Do the things you want to do. Go to the places you want to go to. Learn the things you want to learn. Become the person you want to become. Be real. Be truthful. Be great. Don’t waste. Don’t wait.