Saturday, May 30, 2009

"I carried a watermelon..."

Hmmm...I thought I published this to the blog a few days ago. So the timing is a bit off.

Do you remember that amazing line from Dirty Dancing? Yesterday "I carried a watermelon" all around the farmer's market because I knew if I didn't buy it right then and there I would forget to get one.

I also picked up a yummy cantaloupe at the market. I cut it up as soon as I got home and went to work (well not that much work really) pureeing it so that I could use it in a sorbet. I found a couple recipes, one on Recipezaar and one on Cupcake Muffin, that I used to get the measurements accurate and into the ice cream maker it went!

As soon as it got finished churning I had to sample it and it was delish. Light and fresh, it was a great addition to the cook-out we went to last night to celebrate the anniversary of two of our favorite people: Stephen and Christie. In fact none of the sorbet even made it home.

Side note:Cupcake Muffin's recipe makes an optional call for white wine which I didn't try but it sounds interesting. Let me know if you try it!

One more stop I made on the way home from the farmer's market was off to the local fabric store for some fabric. I found the cutest blues and greens. These guys (which I hope you can see in the fruit pictures) are going to turn in to a snazzy apron later this week. I can't wait...those monkeys are adorable!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lightning Bug or Firefly?

Either way I saw my first one of the year tonight when I was out walking Frank-monster (aka Frankie). I absolutely love lightning bugs! They are one of my favorite parts of summer. I hardly ever saw them growing up in FL. So moving up to Georgia and getting to see them every summer has been great. Seeing those little guys for the first time each summer is like seeing them for the very first time all over again.

Now for some fun facts: According to the term lightning bug is used in almost every part of the US aside from the Pacific coast and far North where the British term firefly is used. I don't know about the accuracy of that statement though as I've heard a little bit of both, but maybe that's just because Florida is such a melting pot for people from all over the US.

The lightning bug's glow can be yellow, green or pale red but I've never seen the red glow, have you? And if that doesn't turn you on, that just means you're a different species. Lightning bugs use their glow to attract the opposite sex for mating.

Now I looked all over etsy and the Internet for some cutie lightning bug images but was disappointed with the results. I did manage to find this little blast from the past. Anybody remember a lightning bug named Louie?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Optimistic by nature...

Is there anything better for recharging your batteries than a day or two in the woods? This weekend we ventured up to a place Beau has been camping all his life: Lake Conasauga. This is one gorgeous piece of the planet and something that you have to put on your things to do and see in Georgia.

Camping is one of those rituals that I missed out on growing up in Florida. Not that you can't camp out in Florida but it's always easy in Florida to make a case for the beach or Disney, basically anything that includes an air conditioner as even the Florida summer nights get pretty brutal.

One of my goals upon moving to Georgia was to embrace my inner, neglected, outdoorsy nature. And why not? This state has so much to offer in the way of camping, diverse hiking trails, fishing, water sports, the list goes on and on. And camping (especially in Lake Conasauga) has to be one of my favorite outdoorsy activities as it can encompasses all of these.

Lake Conasauga is esteemed as being some of the "best tent camping near Atlanta". "Near Atlanta" is debatable, it takes only an hour to get to the base of the mountain from top end of the permimeter but it's about another hour up the gravel path to the campsites we prefer but it is so worth the dust and gravel. While most say that "it's the journey not the destination" in this case it's both!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

If you're still on the market... should totally check out this website when you are thinking about taking yourself off the market.

Disclaimer: This is not a dig for people that went the diamond engagement ring route, it's just celebrating the alternatives!

So as many of you know, I am not a traditional engagement ring kind of girl. Not that there is anything wrong with them, after all diamonds are a girl's best friend. But when it came right down to it after years of thinking that I wanted a traditional diamond solitaire for my engagement ring I found that they just came up a bit flat (for me). I tried on several different styles of diamond rings while I was supposed to be helping a friend pick out her engagement ring, but continually found myself drawn to the sapphire case.

Luckily Beau embraced my need for a bit of individuality and chose accordingly when he made his mind up to pop the question. He actually sent the ring back 3 times after trying diamonds in the setting that he knew I loved but decided that it fell short and thankfully went with the sapphire!!! (sorry the pics of my ring aren't better but my camera battery is charging so I had to go with something saved in the computer instead of taking a better I sliced my finger while cutting firewood when we were camping this weekend so my hand is a little too mangled for a close-up right now)

I have gotten hundreds of compliments on my ring as a result and I'm so happy that Beau didn't go the "what an engagement ring should look like" route, it just wouldn't have been me, it wouldn't have been us!

So anyway, the point of this rambling post is when you do decide to allow yourself to be taken off the market don't be a afraid to think outside the box. Find a ring that is as unique as you and your future spouse are as a couple. Let it set the tone for your life together. Go to an antique store with your future hubby and find an heirloom piece that can become a wonderful story to share with your kids, check out different stones in a traditional setting, or find a cool shop like Turtle Love Committee. This shop has beautiful, non-traditional rings that are gorgeous and affordable.

***Thanks to the shout out from the Turtle Love Committee in their blog! Also check it out to read more on diamond engagement ring alternatives.

What do you do???

What do you do when the weather outside is less than inviting? We've had so many weekends of rain lately that Beau and I are running out of rainy weather ideas. What do you and yours do when the weather outside is frightful...go see a movie, play board games, go to an antique market, sit inside and ask yourselves "what should we do today"?

I'm curious. Post your ideas in the comments section and let me know what you do!


(p.s. more to come on our camping trip later)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More apron fun

Today was yet another day of very high wind and lots of clouds. Not the best day to lay out so I'm going to be the only person I know to take a week off of work and come back with no tan :-(

It did leave lots of time for crafting. Today I made several more heart squares for eventual posting to etsy, not sure when I'll get around to it because my hubby and I are packing up for a camping trip this weekend!

My favorite craft of both this day and my week of crafting has to be the apron I made today! I've had this pink picnic table fabric literally forever and never knew quite what to do with it. It was much to kitchy for most of the things I had previously considered for it. Today while looking through my scraps I figured out that I had enough other fabric scraps that coordinated with it to make a pretty snazzy little apron!

I didn't exactly have a pattern for this little guy but I think I'll go back and make one as it turned out pretty well. I consulted several blogs with apron patterns though in the process. If you're interested in making an apron check out Stardust Shoes or One Hour Craft as both blogs have great apron tutorials. I'll post again when/if I make a pattern.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What a day!

First and foremost I have to thank a very special Texan for being my first ever etsy customer! How exciting! I'm so glad that she liked my little felted bits of fun! She purchased a heart keychain/ornament which just so happened to be one of the very first items I ever made using felt. After that heart I was hooked! I love crafting with felt. It's easy to cut, stich and comes in such bright and cheerful colors.

My craft item "de jour" is another etsy shop item. Some fun and sassy little winged heart keychain/ornaments.

On another fun note I made some homemade pizza dough today so my hubby and I had some yummy pizza for dinner tonight. We tried to eat out on the patio tonight but these crazy winds we've had nearly blew us away. I really hope things calm down for this weekend's camping trip (more on that later).

Anyway, I tried out the wheat option on the crust which turned out delicious. I'm sure using just the all purpose flour would have been more delicious but we are trying to eat more fiber these days. Here are some pics of the pizza.

Tuesday's craft

Day two (yesterday) of vacation was great and the afternoon turned out to be much more productive than the morning. Well that's not exactly fair to say because the morning was somewhat productive as I finally loaded some stuff in to my etsy shop. After months of promising myself that I would sit down and get it all figured out. Nothing big or super amazing just a couple of cutesy felt tags that I made a few months ago that could be used as keychains, ornaments or a really cute addition to a wrapped gift if you need a punch of color.

During the afternoon I made a super long grocery list but I never got to it because I remembered that Tuesday means open vet hours day (no office fee). So I packed Frank up, who thought she was at doggie day care up to the point the doc gave her the rabies vaccination :-( Oh well. She was a very good puppy and got a yummy treat for having such a good visit.

Beau decided that last night should be date night! So we headed out to the movies: Angels and Demons! It was a great movie, totally blew The DaVinci Code out of the water. A&D had none of the hokey, silly stuff that annoyed me about DC. I also thought Hanks did a much better job this time as Robert Langdon. He didn't go into Symbology 101 quite as much as he did in DC.

I will say I don't get all the talk about how sacrilegious A&D is supposed to be. No spoilers (though it should already be spoiled for you because you should have already read the book, always read the books first!)but I'm interested to hear what you guys have to say about it so leave me a comment if you've seen it.

Oh and finally the craft(s) of the day. I didn't want to miss out on my goal in only day two of making a craft a day so when we got home I got to work in crafting two new pairs of earrings similar to those I made on Sunday. It's hard to tell because of the felt colors I used but one pair is silver with a light blue bead, the other is gold with a pale coral bead.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spoon spoon fork

Okay, no work apparently makes me super bloggy. I've decided to try and make one craft item each day of vacation. This first day is a little something to go with the crafty aprons I plan to make later on in the week. I saw these on one of my favorite sites: Design Sponge. They have lots of outside-of-the-box home design projects. I made a few tweaks by using some craft paper mod-podged on but I think it was a fun innovation to the project. Anyway, I'm going to use these guys to hang my aprons.

One more thing...

Made some fun earrings last night!

Patio garden glam!

So I have the whole week off this week. And since I get 10x more
vacation than my hubby can ever dream to get (unfortunately), I've made this week a total staycation! Nothing but hanging out!

I'm hoping the weather warms up a bit so I can hang out at the pool
but today I devoted to crafting and my new patio garden (of sorts). The produce around here can be so hit or miss and since I do not have the time or normal work schedule to allow for frequenting the farmer's market, I decided to grow some favorites of my own.

Truth be told, I was really inspired by an infomercial. I
decided to go to my local BB&B to see if they had this "made for TV"
item called the "Topsy Turvy Tomato Grower" since they have so many
other "made for TV" items in their store and sure enough they did!

I couldn't leave it at just tomatoes though so I hightailed it down to
Home Depot (shout-out to my best friend who is an HD employee) and bought some green and red pepper seedlings, lavandar, basil, rosemary and in an ode to Beau.....Jalapenos!

So I brought all the goods home and got to work with some organic potting soil. Potting all the plants in the topsy turvy, a pot and a repurposed basket. I of course forgot that the green and red peppers would need something study to grow on so for now they are propped up with a couple of fondue forks. Actually it worked out though because the red and green tips to the fondue forks will help me keep them straight till I find an appropriate alternative.

Oh and did I mention what a great little helper Frankie turned out to be? I'm going to have to keep a serious eye on her around those peppers. I'll probably end up finding something to raise the plants up out of her reach.

I'm pretty excited about how all the planting turned out and I just really hope
that my thumb turns out to be green.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A (not so) desperate housewife apron

So it's been forever since I busted out the sewing machine but I got bored a few nights ago and decided to put both my machine and a few fabric scraps to work to piece together a little apron. I'm really intrigued by those "desperate housewife" aprons that are getting so popular now. You know the kind you see at Anthropologie with their mis-matched fabrics and random details? Anyway, since it is a recession, rather than spend the $30 plus at a store, I decided to make my own.

This first attempt came out okay. I'd like to make a few tweaks but they are super easy and super fun. I was even able to use one of the felt flowers I made a few weeks ago. I think I will try out a few more this week while I'm on my staycation from work. If I get the hang of them I might just to crazy and post them on etsy. I also think they'd be a great fundraiser for LLS not to mention a fun gift for brides-to-be!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pasta cook-off

So yesterday Beau's Team had a pasta cook-off fundraiser. It was a fundraiser to benefit the Summer Marathon teams for TNT. I've never entered any cooking type competition but Beau's been really sweet about complimenting my cooking lately so I decided I might as well go for it and enter. I made something similar to the Maggiano's Rigatoni D's recipe but with a few tweaks and a little less wine.

There was some pretty stiff competition including one amazing Orzo Pasta Salad that was absolutely delish! The event itself was so much fun and we ended up raising over $2000 for LLS. The best part of it was that I won the cook-off with my Singletary Rigatoni Surprise. Okay, the name needs some work, but all in all it was a huge success!

in the lime light...

So as I mentioned Beau's sis got married recently. Rather than go with traditional flowers for centerpieces we made some really cool lime centerpieces. Very summery, fresh, bright and cheery. Plus they served Mexican food so the centerpieces went with the theme.

Anyway lime centerpieces at a wedding of close to 300 people meant tons of leftover limes. So in addition to some delicious strawberry limeade which was gone before I could even get my camera out, I also dug around for some lime dessert options.

I found a delicious West African lime cake recipe online and I couldn't wait to try it. Sure enough it was every bit as delicious as the reviews said.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cancer sucks!

I don't know if you've heard but cancer sucks! My husband's family knows this first hand. Beau's mom lost her father to leukemia when she was just a little girl. My husband decided to run a half marathon in memory of his late grandfather Bill Hardy. Since signing up we've heard way too many stories about lives affected and lost to cancer.

Mother Theresa said "We can do no great things, only small things with great love". Running a half marathon is no small task but it is nothing compared to the battle others face when they fight cancers. As another wise person once said "if you think running a half marathon is tough, try chemotherapy".

Beau's race will not be easy but he's doing it to for all those who are currently battling, have every faced or who have lost their fight to cancer. It's just the small thing he's doing with great love.

How can you help? Well besides grabbing a cowbell and cheering him along, why not consider doing a small thing of your own. How about a small donation made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society? All donations are 100% tax deductible and $0.75 of every dollar that you donate goes right back to LLS for patient aid and research. Even $10 goes a long way in a cancer patients fight against cancer, but here are some real costs to give you an idea of how your donation will make a difference.

$ 100 provides 3 patients access to an informational teleconference.

$ 75 is the average cost of tissue typing to become a bone marrow donor.

$ 50 is the cost of a CT scan.

$ 25 covers a single prescription co-payment.

$ 5 is the cost of sending a newly diagnosed patient packet which includes information about their specific disease and support.

So please, make a donation, tell you friends and family to donate as well. You won't regret it. What's the worst that could happen? You could save a life, your money could even help fund a cure!

Life is beautiful, small is beautiful....

Small is beautiful.

So true! I write this blog for me, to keep track of myself and to help others keep track only if they are interested.

Crafting, cooking, writing, loving, reading...what a wonderful way to live!

If I'm the only one that ever gets a kick out of this, than I still consider myself one lucky lady!

The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wedding daze

We've really had a lot going on over the last several months. Not only are Beau and I into month number 6 and loving married life but Beau's sister got married just last weekend. She was sweet enough to allow me to use some of my newly aquired wedding planning knowledge to help her with her big day. I was so busy running around that day that I don't really have any pics but I have to tell you it was absolutely wonderful! Anyway, not that the weddings are all out of the way we'll be back to the every day normal life.