Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hallway Adventure: Part Two

Getting this hallway finished is taking forever, but I've made a little more progress.  Bruce asked me when he came in if this was my "decorating hallway".  Also known as one of the only places in the house that is truly finished.  I proved him wrong by hanging our anniversary art in *gasps* the bedroom.
I'm so happy with the way it came out.
We replaced our circa 1970 doorbell with pretty white one.  The bud vases are from CB2, they are just on nails that I painted with the wall color so the vases look like they are floating on the wall.
My mom brought home some vintage (looking?) keys from my late aunt's house and I snagged them.  Then I took the glass out of a regular 8x10 frame, punched two holes in the back and a piece of white card stock then attached the keys with some floral wire.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Adventures in Gardening: Progress Update

We last left off here, I had "potted up" all the squashes and restarted the peppers.  Right before Mother's Day I "potted up" all the tomatoes and last week I ordered peppers from Burpee because my little baby seedlings won't be ready until August at the rate they are going.  I have to say that Burpee's Mix and Match plants are great, Burpee has perfected shipping live plants.  I planted beans at the beginning of last week before the rain so hopefully with some heat this week they'll come up.  The peas are looking great and loving the new trellis. I planted salad greens in all four short rows around the trellis but only this side came up.
Don't mind the weeds, it's so much better with the mulch this year than without like previous years.  The garlic is huge, so I hope it's a sign of good things to come.  The onions look ok and I think they will do as well as they did last year.
We've had some monster asparagus but not a lot of them.  I'll have to research if they need to be separated.
I got the winter squashes: spaghetti, butternut (x2) and acorn, hardened off over the past three weeks and finally into the ground on Memorial Day.  I ordered bush variety instead of vines this year and I'm hoping I'll get more than one fruit from each.
I also built a trellis Memorial Day for my cukes, summer squash and zucchini.  The cucumbers and summer squash were hardened off with the winter squash and went into the ground the same day.  My zucchini seeds never germinated so I picked up a plant at Home Depot.
The tomatoes have been hardening off for just over a week, they were in the breezeway for the first week (acclimating to temperature and light changes) and Memorial Day I moved them all outside.  I hope to get them in this weekend with the peppers.
Things are looking good!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Our Wedding Adventure: One Year

I had a plan to do a big photo heavy post with all my favorites that Jess took.  Then life happened.  I had a crazy week at work, the Bruins are in the play-offs and did I mention work is crazy.  I haven't had time to resize a bunch of photos but this is my absolute favorite.
June is going to be very busy for us so for the holiday weekend we opted to stay home and have a quiet weekend (I also had to run in to the lab both Saturday and Sunday.)  I made stock and caught up on laundry, Bruce cleaned the garage and worked on our cars; we watched the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and then the Coke 600. Bruce's brother Tim came for very late dinner Sunday nightToday we worked outside around the yard and garden.  We ate wedding cake that my mom perfectly froze and my cousin Dan brought to us last weekend.
This photo shows our hard work today, no make-up, dirty, and a little paunchy from a few to many beers and burgers lately.  I picked a poorly lit spot, Bruce is anti-posing for photos, I had the ISO up to high so it's pixely and out of focus, and my remote battery was dead so I had to set the timer and run.  But it's us on our anniversary.  Bruce gave me a Pandora charm, a new cross necklace and a Wonder Woman apron.  I made a print for our bedroom with the lyrics from our wedding song.  And we're spending the weekend in Newport in a few weeks which will be awesome and I'll be less of a stress-ball.  Hopefully I'll be back later in the week with fun house/garden stuff!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Better BBQ

Now that we're really trying to be grown-ups, last weekend I thought I'd try for a BBQ that was a little more sophisticated than burgers and hot-dogs.  With BBQ season kicking off this weekend here are a few tips to help you easily elevate your BBQ:

Skip the Burgers and Dogs.  We did strip-steak and a whole roasted chicken, right on the grill.  For ten people I purchased two strip steaks and a seven pound roasting chicken. I purchased the steak on sale weeks before and froze it in the marinade all I had to do was pull it out of the freezer a few days before.  We have a grill roaster, but you can just as easily use a beer or soda can; just remove and discard the giblets, rinse, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss that baby on the grill over indirect heat. Once the chicken is done crank up the heat and toss on the steaks while the chicken rests, pull off the steaks and let them rest while you carve the chicken. Slice the steaks and you're ready to go.
What Can I Bring? A side.  It's that easy; if your friends don't ask get new friends, pick something up from the deli, make a pasta salad or make something else quick and easy.  Depending on your crowd you might want to have some easy appetizer dips on hand to prevent anyone from getting hangry.*

Use Your Dishwasher.  I'm not telling you to pull out the fine china but for steak you'll need real knives.  Use plastic plates that can be thrown away and your everyday silverware that can be tossed in the dishwasher.

I Don't Drink Beer. Everyone has a few friends that are adverse to beer, throw together a pitcher of sangria or margaritas.  Set out soda next to the pitcher as a gentle suggestion to mix them; this will do two things, it will stretch your liquor and it will prevent the non-beer drinkers from becoming too tipsy too fast.
Keep it Simple. Don't try new recipes go with something that is tried and true, that you don't have to think about, that you can make while having a conversation, that you can make ahead. And have fun!

*Hangry - verb. Hungry/Angry, grumpiness caused by hunger.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Our Wedding Adventure: Details, Details and more Details

It is amazing how much time I put into arranging little details but they made our wedding ours so it was well worth it.  I spent so much time looking at flowers; bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces and on and on!
Top left clockwise: Bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres, altar pieces, and my bouquet.  I was able to give Ann (from Dedham Flower Shoppe) our colors and preferences and she did an amazing job putting it all together.
 I was able to pull up my Pinterest Wedding Board to show her things I liked and she transformed them to fit our style.  She designed these pew pieces to fit both the end of the pews and the railing at the reception.
This pin belonged to my great-aunt Kay, it was a great way to to remember her.  My Cape-Cod bracelet was a high school graduation from my aunt Betsy.  I've worn that claddagh ring since Nana gave it to me when I was 13; it's a little worse for wear but I love it.
I designed and printed our ceremony programs, the trifold programs were from Staples.  It was super easy, I downloaded a template and plugged in the details then ran them through my printer.
Tables, my mom specifically requested those chairs.  The 4x6 frames I picked up at Michaels with lots of coupons then printed the numbers on white card stock. I spent some serious time on Ebay hunting down hobnail milk-glass vases and after emailing with a seller he hunted more down for me and sold them to me at cost!  
I also bought the same frames as 8x10 for photos of my grandparents, my parents, Bruce's parents and my great-grandparents. (clockwise from top-left) Some of them were at the table with the guest book and some were on the fireplace mantel. 
I think my mom picked this up at Home Goods? Then Ann supplied the ribbon.
Thumbprint guest-book print from Tear Drop Weddings
Escort card holders were sail boats and fish to represent our lakeside location.  My mom's cousin John did the calligraphy.
Champagne flutes, I nursed that baby all the way through dinner!  
When we snuck out to take photos on the dock we had a very cute audience.
Simple, beautiful and delicious!

So many little things that made our wedding so special.  I have to give most of the credit away to my mom who organized it all and did so much work.  My mom's cousin John who came early (a week!) to help with all the details and the calligraphy. And last but not least Ann who designed all the beautiful flowers!

Photos by Jessica Doherty

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kennay's New Hair Cut

Around this time of year Bruce starts saying Kenny's hot it's time to shave him, I spend a fair amount of time saying No it's too early, I only want to do it once.  Some M.O. this year,  until he started bringing in ticks. So. Gross.  I wanted shave him before applying his Advantix because it's less messy and because the less hair the easier it is to find the ticks.
He's a hairy beast.  He's also the best dog on Earth, I can shave him solo.  Kenny sit, down, good boy.
Ok time to roll over. Literally this dog lets me roll him over and drag him around the living room to shave him.
Ok we're done for tonight, you were a good boy have a treat.
I still need to do his tail, paws and ears. I'll need Bruce to hold his head still for the ears, Kenny doesn't like the buzzing.
He looks so different!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Our Wedding Adventure: Ceremony and Reception

These were supposed to be separate posts but I had a crazy week last week so it's a mega-post! Also the last wedding post was pretty text heavy, this one will be photo heavy. I'm sure no one will mind :-)
We were married at the (Catholic) parish that I grew up in; it is where I was baptized, made my first communion and my confirmation.  We were also married on the Holy Day of Pentecost. Getting married on Pentecost meant that I we were not able to choose our readings, there were a few extra parts to mass and we had to be a little bit more conservative with our music choices than I would have liked.
Our moms processed to Ave Maria and everyone else (me included) walked in to Bach's Jesu Joy of Man's Desire.  Our music choices were simple, a male and female vocalist with piano accompaniment   My good friend Barry Kingston sang during communion. The recessional was Clark's Trumpet Voluntary.
Our vows were traditional, I didn't cry.  I smiled all freaking day.  The matron of honor and the best man were on the altar with us, everybody else were in the pews.
Then dad handed over the keys to the corvette and off we went.  No getting drunk in the limo for us! Most of the bridesmaids took the limo all the groom's men drove.
Our reception was at Camp Bournedale and it was perfect!  Darin was great to work with and the location is beautiful.
After photos we made our way inside to Mothership Connection (P-Funk)  then danced to Forever (Ben Harper).  Tip: If you are going to take dance lessons, really do it, take more than three.  We took three and I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. One of the few not grinning moments of the day.
Grace by Fr.Charlie, then three speeches. That's right we had three speeches, Best Man, Matron of Honor and TapDan aka my cousin Daniel who is also one of Bruce's best friends, he introduced us.  He told us he was going to give a speech, so we went with it.
We snuck away with Jess after dinner and took some more photos, which ended up being my favorites.
Our cake was chocolate with raspberry filling, it was awesome so awesome that I ate it for breakfast. The song we used was Good Life (One Republic).
Then I danced with my Dad, to another of Barry Kingston's songs Run Wild Baby Child.  I love this photo, that's Barry and my mom in the back watching us dance.  Bruce and his mom danced to the Joan Baez version of Forever Young.  I watched some of their dance then snuck off to change out of my gown into . . .
My dancing dress! Because it was time to dance. And dance we did. What an amazing day. There are so many photos of crazy dancing, you will just have to take my word for it. I may or may not have danced so wild with my Uncle Chuck to Moves Like Jager that my garter fell off!

If you are getting married near Cape Cod we recommend:
Jess Doherty 
Mike's Music
The Bashful Baker
Camp Bournedale/Bournedale Function Facility
Dedham Flower Shoppe

Jess took the photos, Mike was an amazing DJ, Darin and the staff at Bournedale did an amazing job all around (food, bar and accommodations) and Sue baked an amazing cake!  I've known Ann from the Dedham Flower Shoppe my whole life and she did a beautiful job with the flowers everything was perfect!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Monogram Doormat

We have had a gross piece of the leftover black rubber welcome mat for almost two years.  It's embarrassing, now, the Christmas Tree Shoppe has monogram doormats but I could never seem to find the right one.
I decided to make one, so I pinterest-ed around I after pinning a few things I think this is the source. Pinned here and here. Then I got too it.
I bought the mat for $10 at Home Depot, but I'm sure you could find one for less at Wal-Mart, I was at HD that day so that's where I bought it.  I used my Silhouette machine to make the monogram.
I used painters tape to roughly make a one inch border and some newspaper to cover the negative space.  Now even though I used adhesive card stock for the monogram I ended up needed to use some pins to keep it from curling and I should have used more (there was a little over-spray).
Then I sprayed away, I used spray paint for plastic but that was just what I had, I'm sure regular spray paint would work fine.
It looks so much nicer, like, maybe grown-ups live here. It's been out for a few weeks and still looks great, probably better as the little bit of dirt hides the overspray!
I'm linking this to some Pinterest Parties at Young House Love, Bower Power, Sparkle Meets Pop and RedBirdBlue.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Front Yard Planning

We spent a lot of time this weekend cleaning up the front yard, and by a lot I mean I have a sunburn in April and very sore muscles. The destruction of the previous weekend was, by yesterday afternoon, in the backyard and most of the brush was burnt.  Sunday we cleared a planting bed in the front yard that we've never seen before.
Monday, at work, during lunch (doesn't everyone make landscaping plans on their lunch break) I made this very elaborate plan for the planting bed in the front yard.
I've already started on it, it's looking great.  But then again something is usually better than nothing and I'm hoping that our neighbors will stop giving us the stink eye when they are mowing their front yard.