Monday, December 10, 2012

The Real Reasons I Work Out

Have you known me for more than 15 years? If so, you will have known me as a size 12, size 2, and everything in between. I think of myself as open and secure about it, but still don't want to post pictures of me at my heaviest. Hm.

In the most recent four years I've vacillated between a size 4 and 6 and have learned to maintain a healthier weight for my body. For my athletic-shaped frame, the main key to weight stability is regular exercise.

I'd love to claim that I am motivated by supporting my mental health, preserving my reproductive organs, seeing my great-great-grandchildren, and looking awesome at reunions, but when I can choose between an hour of my favorite show or an Insanity session, it's not enough to get me off the couch and into sneakers. Perhaps I am just not long-sighted enough.

But I am imaginative and challenge oriented, so I've found reasons and thought patterns that do motivate me.

1. Fight the bad guys.
We are Americans and live by assuming nothing bad will happen, but bad stuff does happen. Whether is a street mugging or an answer-the-wrong-phone-call-and-get-wrapped-into-an-international-spy situation, I want to be able to out-muscle or out-run 90% of the world's population (I'm excluding professional athletes, green berets, and 007s here, naturally). It's simple survival and preparedness. Let's go, crazy world, I'll be ready for you.

2. Survive an isolation scenario or natural disaster.
Does every individual think that they would be in the small percentage that survives a zombie attack or first pilgrim winter in the new world? That's ridiculous. The smartest and fittest are far more likely to survive in these or other more realistic frights. I want to be in that small group of survivors and to help people be there with me.

3. Be ready for discovery.
Is that right person watching? Will I catch someone's eye across the road? Will they come up to me and say, "I'm making a movie, and I want you to be in it"? Probably not, but if it does happen, I want to be ready. I want to be able to say, "Of course, I can even do my own stunts!" The most interesting things happen to me on accident, and I never want my body to be a reason it doesn't happen or can't participate when it does.

Fundamentally all of these are about having a knowledgeable confidence in my physical abilities and setting myself apart from helplessness. THAT is what motivates me enough to stay active.

I hope every one can find those things that keep them going. Be healthy...maybe use your imagination!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Cards - For the Orphans!

Orphans totally melt me. (You can read about why here and here.)

If something pulls at your mind and emotions, I think it's a sign that you should do something about it. Here is my holiday equation, therefore :

These green or red cards, each in sets of 4, can be purchased on my Pepper&Glow Paper Etsy store. Every single penny of profit from the sale of these cards will go to support four international orphanages.

The front of this card says "hope" in five different languages, each represented the language of the children at the following orphanages. 

Lighthouse Orphanage in Haiti
Bible Fellowship Orphanage in Papua New Guinea
Rainbow Town Orphanage in Liberia
India Gospel League in India

Check em out!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Team Finnick and Team Katniss Shirts Go Live!

November means many things. Thanksgiving celebrations. The final installment of Breaking Dawn. Black Friday. Christmas music (I have a strict no-Christmas music until after Thanksgiving policy). Ribs at the in-laws.

It also marks the 1-year countdown to the next Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire (in which we will finally meet Finnick). It seems a long wait, but anticipation will only add to the experience later. I debated openning up these shirts closer to opening night, but the business woman in me would not hear of it. It's a holiday shopping season NOW, and I don't want to carry hundreds of shirts in inventory over an entire fiscal year...


Especially with this new photography by Chelsea Taylor. She's at the early stages of a photography business, so when she has a linkable site, I'll put the link here.

 A big shout out to my friends and models Jen and Jill!

Without further ado, new Team Finnick and Team Katniss shirts, now purchasable on L-Hop Designs.

Monday, August 13, 2012

NEW Team Hunger Games Shirts coming soon!

Well they finally cast Finnick! He's handsome...but is he handsome enough? I am not convinced. Make me believe it Sam Claflin!

In celebration of the casting coming to light, I'll give a sneak peak of (one of two) new shirts coming soon to my etsy store.

Team Finnick!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nut-Encrusted Salmon Fillets

If you need protein, eat this dish!

Husband and I have been working on eliminating dairy, meat (not including fish), and grain on a semi-regular basis. Normally when we succeed in acomplishing this for a whole day, we are STARVING by dinner time and have huge stomach voids to fill. This dish, while still meeting our restrictions, was so filling I could barely finish it. (Though not to worry, I did).

Two salmon fillets
Handful of unsalted, raw almonds
Handful of unsalted, raw cashews
Handful of unsalted, raw walnuts
Peanut Oil
Cumin to taste
Fresh rosemary, chopped, to taste
Fresh Basil, chopped, to taste
Garlic Powder to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Finely chop all nuts. Combine in small mixing bowl.
3. Mix Cumin,  Rosemary, Basil, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper into nut mixture.
4. Stir about 1 Tablespoon of peanut oil into the nut mixture, until it packs loosely.
5. Place salmon fillets into baking pan. Pack nut mixture on top of the entire fillet, about 1/4" thick.
6. Bake fish for about 12 minutes, or until just before the dark pink disappears throughout.
7. Turn your oven to broil, and broil for no more than two minutes. This will finish cooking the fish and will give a nice crispiness to the nuts.
8. Serve immediately.

This meal was a nice distraction from a crazy week. My normally healthy and medicine-hating husband had back spasm AND wisdom teeth removal this week. This about sums it all up :

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Crayola@ Color Guide : Yellow Green

Yellow Green is spunky, bright, and invigorating.

In line with The Great Neon Trend of 2012,  Yellow Green is a slightly toned-down, almost-neon option for anyone that wants to be on-trend but just won't commit to the boldness of pure neon.

  1. Tonal Canvas Lace Up from Urban Outfitters
  2. Tasi Sunglasses via BCBGMAXAZRIA 
  3. Cloe Gauze Curtain from Urban Outfitters  
  4. Pure Soap Dispenser from Urban Outfitters
  5. Bouquet of gladioli and santini mums via Martha Stewart 
  6. Living Room via Better Homes & Gardens
  7. RE Green Banded Dinnerware Set from Target

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spicy-Fresh Fish Taco Lettuce Wraps

Hello. Yum. New pseudo-recipe! Sister-in-law is on the Paleo Diet, and she was talking of mahi mahi lettuce tacos. She inspired me to try to create a version with my favorite ingredients.

Two fillets of mahi mahi
8-10 large leaves of lettuce
Half white onion, diced
Bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, finely diced
1/2 spiced tomato, finely diced
Canned jalapenos to taste, finely diced
1 egg white
1 ripe avacado
Chili and Garlic Olive Oil (pick an appealing flavor to you!)
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Cumin, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste

  1. Marinate the mahi mahi fillets in flavored olive oil.
  2. Dice the marinated mahi mahi and put into a bowl.
  3. Sweat the onions in the flavored olive oil. 
  4. Combine diced mahi mahi, sweated onion, cilantro, red pepper, tomoato, jalepeno, egg white, cayenne, cumin, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix with your hand.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of flavored oil in skillet. 
  6. Pack fish mixture into 8-10 "long cakes", about 5" long.
  7. Fry the cakes in the skilled for about 3 minutes per side. 
  8. Place each cake onto the center of a large lettuce leaf and top with a slice of avacado. Wrap and eat like a taco.
This is lettuce from our garden! I literally cut it off with a knife about 5 minutes before we ate it.

And what goes best with fresh fish tacos? Homemade pan fried sweet potato fries with sea salt.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Long and Subtle Small Business Journey

Whamy! Hello beautiful friends. Will you listen to a story I have to tell?

Two years ago I had an itch; it was an itch to work at things that I truly loved, and perhaps it was an itch for independence. I itched to wake up motivated instead of dreading what the day might bring. Within a month, it was an eczema level itch (sorry, too much metaphor?), and I began to ponder.

Thus began two years of plotting, praying, and waiting; two years of squeezing extra work into my evenings and weekends. Two years people! I took freelance jobs and started projects, and the only time to log those hours was sleeping time, date nights, and in the car on road trips.

First wedding invitations picked up :

Then The UpCycled Pillow was born :

Then these happened : 
And I started teaching again, and I got a tax ID number and a new bank account, and I bought QuickBooks...and suddenly...well,'s happening. It's time for a full fledged pursuit!

Lisa Langenhop Design, llc. is born and moving. You can call my business baby LLD for short. (You may ask why I chose "Langenhop" instead of "Crandall". There are about 15 Lisa Crandalls already in the world...including one prominent Australian photographer. Believe it or not, there is only one Lisa Langenhop that the internet can locate. It's me.)

So, I have been out of blogging for a while (I've even been out of a lot of things for awhile), but I can't wait to share this adventure with you!

Spontaneous dancing is a common occurrence in my house right now. Once I get that under control, I'll be back to post again.

How is your summer going so far?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Katy Birthday Invitations

Katy came to me with a request for classic but feminine invites for her mom's 60th birthday. This is the end result. Thanks for using LLC, llc. Katy! :)

These will be available to purchase withing the month with many color options!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crayola® Color Guide : Bittersweet

"Bittersweet" is the perfect Crayola® color for contradictions. Bitter, but sweet of course to start. Also, the following :
Warm, but Wintery
Citrus-ey, but Calm
Strong, but Subdued
What a delicious color!

  1. Oxford Rose Pillow from Bobby Burk Home 
  2. Summer Surrender Sunglasses
  3. Ranunculus from
  4. Henri Dining Chair
  5. Sugar Plum Campaign Sorbet
  6. Awning Stripe Umbrella from Barneys
  7. Great bittersweet home d├ęcor from

Friday, January 20, 2012

Something Soothing for Friday

Every now and then, music can really shift my attitude. Or my state of mind. Or my perception of reality. These are two songs that have wooed me to a state of calm productivity during some of my more discouraging work days.

Called Out In The Dark by Snow Patrol ---hilarious video

After Tonight by Justin Nozuka -- super talented kid

This week's recap :

Someone is 28! Boom.

Interview from Home in Style Magazine

Tweeting and pink hair.

Everyone have a soothing weekend!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tweeting in Cincinnati

Did 28-year-olds miss the Twitter boat by a few years? Very few of my friends are on Twitter, but my (younger) sisters and their friends are. Is it regional? Everyone in LA tweets. It appears that my geographic contemporaries don't really care about tweeting. However.

Now I'm on Twitter, and I rejoice. My account with host updates for L-Hop Designs, The Up-Cycled Pillow, MHHM, and other goofy things. #getstoked

Haha, just practicing.


Just for the sake visual interest in this post, check my pink tips from my birthday night. I used Kevin Murphey's Color Bug (it's like washable chair chalk).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chevron Interview

Before the turn of the year, I was interviewed by a media outlet in regards to the Chevron pattern. Several publications picked up the story and published it. Unfortunately, they call me Lisa Lagenhop, but I swear it is me!

Check out the article and let me know what you think. I love Chevron, as evidenced by my Bonus Chevron Guide post.

Home In Style Magazine (p 4-5) : 

Home Style in The Gettysburg Times

Trend Watch in The Florida Times Union



Monday, January 16, 2012

28 in 2012

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King, Jr.! As I'm about to go into ramblings about something more personal, I don't want to forgo today's national celebration. I really think MLKJ was one of the greatest American heroes.

No, it's not because his national holiday often falls on my own birthday. 

Today I am 28! I love my January birthday because I can almost exclusively associate each year of my life with an entire calendar year. I will 28 for all but 15 days of 2012. It segments my life into nice, yearly chunks.

Last year my birthday was a little difficult to swallow; something seemed intimidating about 27...At 27 I was leaving my middle 20s. Young adult really didn't apply anymore. HOWEVER, I am all about it for 28! Maturity no longer sounds boring, but more like a tool for the way I actually want to live.

Suck on that for a while (mature people can still say stuff like that, right? :)

Here are my goals for 2012/my time being 28 years old:
  • Be a woman, not a girl.
  • Raise and give money to the Tree of Giving Orphanage we discovered in Haiti on our last trip. (More to come on this later).
  • Be in shape enough to outrun or fight off any sort of bad guy (more to come on this one too.)
  • Expand my freelancing business. (Again more to come. Wholly goodness you are getting a lot of teasers today.)
  • Use the Bible to form my perspectives and priorities.
  • Handle these goals appropriately. 

Happy 2012 everyone, a little belated, but in my backwards head, this year is just beginning!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Something Happy for Friday | My New Desktop

I am so pleased to be back and rolling with the blog. Finally a week with more than zero posts. :)

Today, let me introduce you to the work of Jing Wei. Jing Wei is a new addition to my favorite illustrators list. This image is actually even my new desktop. I can't help but feel happy and giggly with it. It's the perfect vision of summer to get through the current state of winter drabness. See more of Jing Wei's work.

The week's recap :
  1. I've been eating biscotti all week thanks to this experiment.
  2. Thanks to all the people and blogs that have shared my projects this month.
  3. Oopse! I finally posted the winner of The Up-Cycled Pillow Giveaway!

Have a happy weekend!

Oh, and here are a few more awesome pieces from Jing Wei :


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Up-Cycled Pillow Give Away Contest Winner!

**Critical Blogger's error! I wrote this about two weeks ago and failed to publish it. This post has just been sitting around waiting for me to notice it, which I finally did thanks to Kelley. Thanks Kelley!

It's time to announce the winner of The Up-Cycled Pillow Giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered.

The winner is Ashely Pitkin Clark! Yeah Ashley! Ashley shoot me an email at to claim your prize. 

Insider tip : I have about 15 pillows sewn awaiting photography before they go up...maybe this weekend. Watch for new stuff!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Shout Out for My Shout Outs

Back in December I posted here about the new Hunger Games shirts I opened up to Etsy. Since then so many people have been awesome to feature the item on their blogs, so I just wanted to share the love and point you in their direction.

Thank you The Stir at CafeMom!
15 Ways to Wear 'Hunger Games' Fashions without Looking Crazy

Thank you! (This blog is great! It's my new source for YA literary updates.)
A FYA Christmas and Holiday Give Guide

Thank you! (This entry is me at least :)
Cute Team Peeta Shirt on Etsy

Thank you!
Gift Guide to the Hunger Games

My friend Sara made me her featured designer this week! I feel so honored! Be sure to check out her sweet family blog, Our Bloomin' Lives:
Featured Designer

Again, thanks to everyone!

I just want to throw out there how much literary fun the Hunger Games has implanted in my life. Instead of my girlfriends and I discussing literature (which is awesome), now our man friends are in on the action too (including Husband! I found him like this the other day.).


Friday, January 6, 2012

Bring Back Biscotti

For years I have scoffed at biscotti. Why would you bake or buy a cookie so hard that the only way to even taste it is by dipping it into even more calories? If you try to scarf biscotti you will break your teeth. Aren't cookies innately for scarfing?!

And here in comes my change of mind. Maybe....some cookies are for savoring, not scarfing. I found myself so curious, after the breaking of this new consideration, to experiment. Biscotti is a cookie created for eating slowly, for mingling flavors, and for interactive eating. What a mature cookie!

For those of you, like me, who are bad with recipes but good with food spontaneity, it is easy to get stuck in a food rut. I start to use only ingredients and cooking skills that I already know. So, though I'm not really comfortable doing it, I make myself use a recipe every now and again. This time, biscotti was the goal.

I made two recipes from this page on NPR : Not All Biscotti Are Created Equal. The page also outlines some tips and cookie history. (Side note I halved each of these recipes and used really strong coffee instead of the coffee extract.)

Maple Walnut Biscotti with Maple Icing

 Chocolate Dipped Espresso Biscotti with Kahlua Icing

And I love them. The flavors mix a little differently every time to dip it. Use coffee or milk!

They are so good, I've made grand plans for them:

1. Coffee bar for girls small group gathering.
2. Boozy coffee night with girl friends.
3. New Years gifts to neighbors.

I'm not sure, but I think it's time to bring biscotti back. The cookie of the mature pallet :)

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