Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Yesterday I wanted to write this great post about how I have one corner of our house that is the peace and joy of Christmas, in the tidal wave of a mess that the rest of the house is.  But then the mess consumed me. . . it took me an hour to figure out that reason my SD card wouldn't read from the reader in my printer was because the printer and the computer weren't connected.  Then we went to get my phone and it took us and hour and a half to drive a 30 minute drive because EVERYONE was trying to get to Target, Best Buy and ToysRUs, by the time we finally got there we discovered that not only is the iPhone 4S on back order but  I need super Verizon national customer service to separate me out of my parents plan, not just in store Verizon dudes.  Epic Christmas fail on our part = no gift for me until the new year. 
Did I mention that Bruce spent the day drilling a giant hole in the chimney? He did. Then he had an anxiety attack that the wouldn't finish and sent me to Home Depot and after a phone call about deciding what I need my phone died so I missed the call in which he would have told me to just come home he had completed the hole.

Then I took this photo.
And remembered that: We are all happy and healthy, we have jobs, an awesome dog, and a warm house to live in.  Yesterday our (and my extended family's) gifts were delivered to the medical day care unit at Franciscan Hospital for Children. (Learn more about FHC here they are awesome!) I remembered that these are the important things, the embodiment of the holiday. So slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy the season.
Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Poor Kenny

Kenny Puppy has been having some lameness in his back legs, so we finally took him to the vet.  She couldn't find any glaring problems so she recommended doing a set of orthopedic x-rays to check out what was going on in his joints.  This required putting him under anesthesia. Bad news; he had one crappy looking hip and both of his knees don't look great either, probably partial tears in his ACL's.  Good news; he's super cute with the post anesthesia sleepies.   

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

S'mores Popcorn

I made this s'mores popcorn for a late night snack after my cousin's wedding.  It was so good.  I had to adapt the recipe a little bit because I only had one package of popcorn.
 It's pretty easy.  Pop the popcorn, put in a bowl.  Measure and mix in marshmallows and cereal. Because I changed the ratios I ended up using 2 3/4 Cups of cereal and 2 1/4 marshmallows.
 Melt the chocolate and lay the dry mixture on a sheet pan.  Drizzle the melted chocolate over the dry mix.
I made a huge mess with the chocolate trying to find the best tool for drizzling.  I'll save you the trouble and tell you that it was a whisk but you'll still get some big clumps.  
It was a huge success and a great sweet and salty bite for late night snacking!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We just purchased a wood chipper/leaf vacuum.  Bruce had Columbus day off and was planning on breaking it in.  I left the camera and asked him to take a few progress photos.  When I came home I couldn't really tell the difference accept the the wood rack was full, there is just so much brush and lumber on the ground!
This pile was left-over from last fall. Plus three new stumps.  Maybe next year the garden will have enough sunlight.
 This is the pile from Hurricane Irene it's three times as big as last years pile plus there are still some random branches all over the place.
 This is woodrack number two, there is no photo of number one but it's equally as large. Yes that is a pile of trees.  Some of them we've pulled from our neighbors yards who are too old/don't care to deal with half-down trees.  We don't want to look at them so we're doing them as we go.
 Another pile of tree trunks, some already pieced up.
Lumberjack Dog.
Logs to be split.  Bruce splits everything with a maul and wedge.  Look for the "How to Split Wood" tutorial coming soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Garland

I saw somewhere on pinterest a fall garland of gourds and twine.  I had a few coupons to Michael's so I used them to pick up some fake gourds and hemp.
The hemp was not as thick as I wanted it to be so I decided to braid it.  I unrolled a lot, then draped it across the mantle.  Once I was happy with the length I cut three of them.  I tied a knot in one end and put a large safety pin through it and used the safety pin to hold it to the couch.
 Then I braided.  I hate this couch.  We need new furniture.
 Once I was finished braiding I used scotch tape to hold the ends together.  This not only served to hold it all together but it also gave it some strength which I would need to thread the gourds onto the twine.
I used a drill bit which I thought would be the same thickness of the twine and drilled holes through all the gourds, not all the same or right through the middle.  I strung them onto the twine using a knot on either side to keep them in place.  
This currently is the only fall decoration we have up.  There's a whole box in the basement of decorations just haven't gotten to it yet.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pot Stickers

I don't remember what inspired me to make pot stickers.  I pinned it, so I must have seen it somewhere. I used this recipe and it was great.  Nothing compared to what we had at the rehearsal dinner last Friday but for my first time they turned out pretty good.
This recipe makes way more than a single meal for us but they freeze great.  As I made them I placed them on a sheet pan, once they were all done I stuck the whole sheet pan in the freezer overnight.
 Once they were frozen I used a room temperature spatula to loosen them and tossed them in a freezer bag.
 The best part is that they go straight from the freezer into the pot and are ready in 15 minutes
I spent around ten dollars and this will yield three meals for us.  It probably took me an hour an a half start to finish to construct them.  But taking into account that it will save me a lot of time after a long day of work it was worth the effort.  I suppose that I could have purchased won-ton wrappers to save some time but the dough was simple to make and pretty much free.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So I Bought a Point and Shoot

It was 100% an impulse buy.  I didn't want to lug my Kodak around with me to my cousin Amy's wedding last weekend.  I missed it BUT I wouldn't have used it.  Moral of the story: the point and shoot may take half unfocused photos like this one.

But it's small enough to take places and not feel like the paparazzi. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ever feel like this?

Kenny makes this face at me every morning when I leave for work.

It does not making going to work any easier.

But he's so cute!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Evil Monkey? T-Rex?

Also known as Chloe the Chinchilla.  And she does things like this.

Which makes me a half an hour late for work. Evil Monkey. Thirty minutes, on the floor begging her to come out while trying to figure out where to put her once I caught her.  That night we went out an bought her a new four story, had to get rid of a side table, monster of a cage.  For our monster.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bun, my version.

I eat out at work about once a week, depending on how stressed I am. Until this summer the only thing I ever ordered was Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup.  But one day it was just too hot.  I decided to get Bun, it's a salad with rice vermicelli and grilled meat, I usually get chicken.  My cart serves it with a sweet and hot chili dressing and a peanut vinegrette.

This is my version.  I've yet to master the sweet and hot chili dressing (honestly I forgot about it the first few times I made it) and when I'm at home I use marinated London Broil.

Romaine Lettuce
Rice Vermicelli
London Broil

Teryakie Marinate
Fish Sauce
Liquid Amines (or soy sauce)
Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chinese 5 spice

Peanut Vinaigrette
Smooth Peanut Butter
Rice-Wine Vinegar
Liquid Amines/Soy Sauce
Pasta cooking water

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Prep the marinate, mix it all together until it tastes good.  I'm sorry I have no measurements for you, caution with the fish sauce it's salty.  Then slice and marinate the beef.  I usually marinate a big batch, then break it down into smaller batches and freeze them.  Stir-fry the beef, prep the salad and dressing.  Again I have no measurements other than to say I use a rounded tablespoon for the peanut butter and it's always to much.  And careful with the sirracha it's sneaky hot and if you don't like hot don't use it. I serve mine on a plate because I don't have a bowl big enough.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Aren't You Guys Getting Married?

Yes.  We are, in May.  With all these fall weddings we wanted some space before our own.

Save the dates went out over the summer.  Maid of honor Justine came down (with Miss Harley Puppy) and helped me letter press them.

All. Of. Them.

The humidity did not help with the ink drying.  I'm sorry if yours was smudged.

We also had a wicked bon-fire while they were drying.

The dogs hung out in the pool because it was wicked hot.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Adventure Continues

At the end of August Irene came to visit.  She was mean.  She took out eight trees. But not mean enough to throw them on the house or really break anything. 
Three of them came up roots and all.
 Lots of roots.
Lots of trees.
There was a wedding shower and a girls night.
Then a wedding.
We do clean up nice.
However, you can dress him up but you can't take him out. 

Coming up we have two more weddings.  Hold on to your hats. . . and your livers.

I took the post-hurricane photos, Christina took the pictures at the wedding.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What have YOU been up to???

When I sat down to look through the photos on my camera, I had to take a minute to think about what have we been doing since February?

There is nada from March until September.  So I went to my calendar.  We were away for Easter, then I was at Duke for work, then I was in San Francisco for work, we went to Bruce's parent and he ran a crazy trail race, we went to my parents for a baby shower (and to meet my Dad's new dog), then we went to Georgia for a weekend, we went home for my younger cousin's high school graduation, we did Fourth of July with our college friends (on the 3rd), .
Start of the Seven Sisters Trail Race Bruce's brother Tim finished sixth and Bruce did the race in 3:23.

That Georgia weekend was awesome I helped host a baby shower for my bestest/matron of honor and did some dress shopping.
Kenny Puppy and I made a few trips to Massachusetts, for my Dad's Birthday, my friend Brad was in town for a weekend so I hung out with high school friends for a night, we did Father's Day with Bruce's family at our house, Kenny and I did the actual Fourth at The Pond with the July cousins, then we were back at the end of July for a family reunion.  
August I was back and forth from The Pond, I water-skied, which was awesome. We took a week vacation at the pond.  And did NOTHING, that's not really true we hung out with my family, ate, drank and were merry. And I got addicted to Words with Friends again.

More of the update tomorrow.

I "stole" all these photos from: Stephs' mom, one of my July cousins and cousin Daniel's girlfriend Vanessa.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Re-Covering the Couch

First, let me apologize for the yellow-ness of these pictures.  The downside of doing everything at night without a fancy camera.  Also these were taken before I remembered that the front hallway also has a light. 
So Bruce's parents gave me a Pottery Barn gift card for my birthday and instead of buying something cute and little I put it towards a slip cover for this couch in our living room.  AKA the couch I don't hate.

The Pottery Barn slipcover came it was beautiful and perfect.  Until it didn't quite fit.  I was very excited.  Then I was very upset, I'm not going to lie, I cried.  Bruce might have come home from work to find me sitting on the living room floor, crying and swearing at a slip cover.

So when I got over it I returned it and bought another one from Overstock. For way less. A third the price AND it fits.  It's a little more pastel than what I was going for but it will do for now. 

And the old "Slipcover" which was upholstery fabric with some elastic and these screwy things to keep it in place.  I'm going to use it to make a cover for the Red Sox pillow.  Not that we don't love the Red Sox but it doesn't quite fit the decor.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What Have We Been Up To?

After going through all the photos on my camera I've decided to do a quick run down over the next few days so look out!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sprouting Sprouts

Have I mentioned yet that I am in love with Pinterest?  I am, click the button, follow me.  It's Amazing.

One of the first things I pinned was this article from Simple Bites about sprouting your own sprouts. I took the plunge and ordered the seeds and screen from the recommended source.

Once everything arrived I promptly mixed my seed varieties together.  I have lots of these quart containers from my weekly trip to the Vietnamese cart outside work *mmmmm noooodles*
I set up the screen in one of my jars.
Five days later I had this:
I've found that they keep much better than what I've bought from the supermarket and they are super tasty.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Menu For the Week

These days we're trying to cram as much into a weekend as possible.  We lost EIGHT trees during Hurricane Irene, Bruce is in school full time and three fall weddings with assorted happenings.  So on the weekends we are around I try to get the shopping done as efficiently as possible to get home to stack wood or assist with backyard cleanup.  I find that one thing that helps with that is to know what we're eating during the week.  This week looks like:

Sunday: Pasta with home made sauce (just canned) and Sausages (on sale with a coupon at BJ's)
Monday: Cooking Light Pork Stir Fry  (Pork tenderloin on sale at Stop & Shop)
Tuesday: Bun or Soup
Wednesday: Bun or Soup
Thursday: Pork Burritos or Grilled Cheese and Soup
Friday: most likely eating on the road
Saturday: Christina's Wedding

Bun is Vietnamese (I think) salad~ish with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, rice vermicelli, and stir-fry beef (already marinated in the freezer in single serving packs) with a peanut vinaigrette.

I'm also planning on making Ina's Corn Chowder today to have through the week, I have a ton of frozen corn that's taking up way to much room in the freezer.  Because both of these are really quick I threw them in for nights that Bruce has class (with PB&J for dinner).

Thursday I left as a toss-up in case we go to the gym or I'm lazy and don't feel like cooking.

We have a wedding this weekend in Boston so we'll be taking off after work on Friday being a realistic person, Bruce is going to want fast food.  GROSS but we indulge when we're spending hours in the car.

This took me about 30 minutes to put together. Including looking at the Stop & Shop flier, BJ's coupon book and my online coupons. I write the lists and the menu and hit the road.  It took me under two hours at three stores. Go us, time to start the chowder and stack some wood.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Been A While

And I should 100% be doing other things, cleaning the house, getting ready to go to a baby shower or making my half of the office not look like this:
You can't even see the desk (or the pile that's on the desk).  Sorry for the blurry photo, things are a little blurry for me in the morning.

I have some cool things to share.  I'm ALL over Pinterest and have pinned approximately 1 million things to DIY.

I still really want a Cricut.  I was hoping for one for my birthday. Nope.  However in place of an expensive crafty gift I got an inexpensive awesome gift AND the assurance there is a honeymoon fund. He's the best.

Being a Domestic Goddess and having a job is like having two full time jobs and I'm not really sure how blogging fits in that picture these days.  BUT I've started taking pictures again and am wrapping my mind around blogging again.  Considering we're almost a year into employment I should have this routine worked out by now.

UPDATE: I have found the top of my desk.  Also I've put away four pairs of shoes from the pile.  Progress.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We're not dead . . .

or injured, or trapped under a crappy particle board dresser.  We just haven't done much all winter. I've taken some random assorted photos.  Also, had a massive FAIL with the duvet cover staying in place, and did some wedding planning. 

I'll write some new posts soon and show you what we've been up to!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I did it again, I got so busy I forgot to take pictures and blog.   

So a quick update: in the past three weeks we've both had colds, worked A LOT, booked the venue for our wedding reception and barely kept the house together.  I have not fixed the duvet and cover which I velcro-ed together on the wrong sides and have spent some serious time doing and thinking about all things wedding.

We also hung out with some great friends, I went dress shopping with my cousins, and my bestest from college got her PhD!

I promise I will take some pictures, do some fun things around her and tell you all about them soon! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Slipping Duvet

Don't you just hate it when your duvet slides around inside the beautiful, new duvet cover? I decided to do something about it. 
Iron-On Velcro
Step 1: Cut matching hook and loop pieces for the corners and middle.
Step 2: Take the duvet out of the cover and turn the cover inside out.
Step 3: Iron on the velcro, shake the duvet to move the batting out of the area. Iron the back side on the highest setting with the velcro against the ironing board.  Use another piece of iron-safe material to protect your duvet and cover.

I used a rag that used to be one of Bruce's t-shirts.

Step 4: Turn the cover right side out and put the duvet back in.

Tip: Iron the velcro onto the same corners.  Or it will look all bunchy.  I'll get around to fixing it this weekend.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not Killing the Orchid

I love orchids, they are beautiful.  I've also killed a few. They are a fickle beast particularly in a house that doesn't get a lot of sunlight and is not the warmest place. Since I recieved this little lady (for Christmas from my boss) I have been determined NOT to kill it. 

So she's gone into the half bath.  It gets the most sunlight and stays pretty warm because it is a teeny tiny room with a regular sized radiator.
I also put it in a pot specifically made for orchids, eventually her roots will come crawling out the sides.  In potting soil specifically for orchids.  Fickle Beast.  I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Procrastination

Bruce is working today. I've been sitting on the couch all morning, day dreaming about making over the basement, all things wedding and reading lots of blogs! 
I'm pretty sure the next crafty purchase I'm going to make is a Cricut, absolutely beside myself about the things I could make.
I have not been cleaning the house, which is desperately needed.
I'm going to get started on that.
This chair is hiding under some snow in the backyard, I can't decide what color I want to paint it. 
Pretty much everything in our backyard is still hiding under snow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bedroom Progress

Remember a few months ago when I painted our bedroom?  Or even further back to the summer when I was drooling over bedding from CB2?  I waited way to long to pull the trigger on the Doodle bedding and it was discontinued but I did get the accent pillow from them.
I originally found this bedding on Greener Grass Designs but when I finally pulled the trigger on it, I got a very nice email saying that this too was discontinued.  (It was an email from a real person and they offered me a discount if I wanted to buy something else.)
Not to be deterred I Googled the manufacturer, Unison Home, found their website and hit their sale section. 
We decided ala YHL to upgrade to a king size duvet (because we fight over the blankets).
My one disappointment is that under our CFL's it reads green instead of yellow. 
Other than that we love it, so does Kenny.
I need to remedy a small slippage problem, we still don't have very much furniture, Kenny's bed belongs in a man cave, new curtains are a must and the rad cover is still in the basement waiting to be painted.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Bruce has class on Monday nights, so we did most of our celebrating over the weekend.
 Have you ever tried to use a pancake mold? 
A heart is a pretty simple shape and it took some finesse, I can't imagine how these fromWilliams Sonoma come out so nice.  Maybe they come with directions.
 I did eventually get some pretty pancakes.  Then I made Ina's crab cakes and lobster pot pies.  Of course I can't leave well enough alone; I excluded the fennel, used my own shrimp stock and added summer corn (real Cape Cod corn on the cob that I froze this summer). Also, I sauteed the crab cakes instead of frying.  They were great but next time I would fry them.
For my efforts I came home to these beautiful roses!  I won't lie, the last (and only other time) I got roses for Valentine's Day was TEN years ago!
It's a beautiful thing to be happy and in love.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Last Minute Decorations

I picked up a few things at Joanne Fabric in the 40% off section.
This wasn't everything; the florist's wire and pliers are mine.
I needed something for the gaint vase that was festive. I took the heart wire and attached some of the silver hearts with the florist's wire.

The red and white candles were left over from Christmas, I love it when I can stretch decorations to last multiple holidays!
I also cut small sections and placed the silver hearts on the ends.  I placed them in a little vase like flowers.
This took less than an hour and looks so cute!