Monday, September 30, 2013

Picture This: Week 39.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

September 23, 2013

I'm realizing this might be borderline disgusting, but every picture on my phone from this day is of my ear. Other than the obvious redness from me poking at it, there's something in there, or there must be, because wearing earbuds had been uncomfortable all week. Whatupwitdat.  


September 24, 2013

When did this girl become a walking advice machine? I've always wanted to hire her as my assistant, in my hypothetical very important and busy life, but I might need her as a life coach, too.


September 25, 2013

I've been opposed to Sperry's for roughly eight years. I hold grudges very well. I didn't see the point in a boat shoe in a land-locked state, and would snarkily ask where the individual's boat was when seeing someone wearing them. If anyone had ever answered with a positive location of a boat, that snark would've disappeared immediately while I tried to recover and invite myself onto said boat. I learned this year that they're waterproof, and as I shopped for my annual pair of Toms because I poked my pinkie toe through yet about pair, I realized that a waterproof shoe that isn't a heavy, no air-flow, sweaty, rain boot is a very practical thing. It would also save some embarrassment on that days that I wear my galoshes in anticipation for the rain in the forecast that never shows. I swallowed my pride, ordered a pair, and I'm in love. I had heard my feet would be a blistery mess until I wore them in (and I witnessed this first-hand in Zach's foray into the Sperry world), but I haven't had a single blister. They are incredibly comfortable and I'm convinced that I should've been a sailor. 


September 26, 2013

Honestly, it never ceases to amaze me when I turn a corner and see the Capital or another landmark in DC. It's a regular day for me, but a symbol of freedom, a destination, for so many others. I'm so happy to call this home. 


September 27, 2013

High-rise living means creeping on neighbors. In this terrifying situation, someone is unfazed by the blaze of their illegal grill. I'm glad I'm in the building across the street. PS - everything's fine and today I can see someone on the porch drying their laundry.


September 28, 2013

Saturday morning yoga is quite possibly my favorite thing. 


September 29, 2013

I did it. I deactivated my Facebook and then took a picture of the computer screen so it looks all cross-hatched. It was creeping me out more and more with the data it collects, I hated finding important news from the site rather than in person, and I read one too many study about how it was the cause of depression. So far, I feel liberated.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Picture This: Week 38.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

September 16, 2013

I believe wholeheartedly in fate. On Monday, Zach got a fortune that he'd be receiving good news from far away. He sent it to me and asked me if I had any. I didn't, as it was Monday, the day of the Navy Yard shooting in DC, two miles from my workplace. Later that day, Dad texted that he'd be coming home from England two months early and we received news from sellers in Arizona that our offer on a house was accepted. Tell me that doesn't give you chills.


September 17, 2013

I like that my family prefers nontraditional nicknames.


September 18, 2013

It first felt like fall on Wednesday. It was cool enough for a trench, but sunny enough to be beautiful outside. I love it.


September 19, 2013

We had a firm happy hour on Thursday. As the alcohol flows freely, I always stay and drink longer than intended. I walked home with my friend and coworker, who was insistent on showing her yoga skills. Here she is demonstrating crow. File this under reasons and people I'll miss in DC.


September 20, 2013

Baby boy got some extra snuggles Friday night after the great beast went to bed.


September 21, 2013

Henry ran into my room as soon as she heard my alarm Saturday morning. As only purry pants can demand, she got her twenty minutes of undivided attention. Make sure you click the speaker within the video to hear her purring!


September 22, 2013

I saw the house in person for the first time on Sunday during our inspections. We had the best inspector, who spent four hours going through the house with us, teaching us maintenance topics and pointing out different things for which to watch. The negotiations are ongoing with the seller now, and it's so nerve-wracking, but let's just focus on this bar. This bar that could be ours.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lucky break: cedar chargers.

I apologize for all of the wedding crafting that I'll be inundating you with for the next several months. Wedding crafting is a weird world - crafts must be simple because you're probably not making just one, but impactful, because you also probably don't have the time and money to make everything look as detailed and perfect as a celebrity wedding. That doesn't mean you won't try, as pinterest both pushes and consoles you toward the brink of sanity. All of my time is spent on wedding crafting - whether it be making the invites, designing earrings, making a veil/headpiece/something-yet-to-be-determined, favors, seating tags, the list goes on and on. I realize that I'm ambitious in some of those areas, but I love creating so it's a fun experience for me. That doesn't mean printing and cutting 200 single cards of a three-piece invite isn't monotonous. 

Wedding crafting is also expensive. When you need things in multiples, it adds up fast. It's no wonder there's a multi-billion industry devoted to this one-day celebration. 

I wanted 40 tree slices.  A quick search told me that it would be anywhere from $378 to $960.  My plans were for it to be a part of the centerpiece, so that price range was impossible.  

To prove I'm not faking, here's my low-ball and high-ball prices.

I love playing American Pickers at my Grandpa's house. He's got a massive barn filled with tractors, old refrigerators filled with paint (which is just ingenious repurposing to me), and tons of crafty supplies.  I found the item I came for quickly (but it's a part of a secret detail of the wedding), and then continued to browse. Behind the barn, Gramps had tons of chopped wood.  That's logical, because they have a wood-burning fireplace.  Though my aunt had told me that I'd have to know someone at a lumber yard or mill to even have a shot at getting uniform slices of log, I wasn't convinced Gramps couldn't do it. Why does the double-negative seem fine there? I asked, and he did me one better - he offered the cedar logs, which he's had for ten years (unbeknownst to the entire family).  Jackpot! 


Gramps fired up the chainsaw, sliced off twenty slabs, then called for a beer break while we tested some different oils on the overly-dried wood.  His go-to is motor oil. He has a paintbrush dedicated to painting things with motor oil. I wouldn't imagine there were that many things to paint with motor oil, but Gramps isn't frivolous. 



I was skeptical, and after a few hours, the motor oil wasn't sinking in and letting the natural color shine nearly as nicely as the vegetable oil. We decided on the vegetable oil, then set up an assembly line. I chipped the bark off the sides (it was rotting, or else we would have tried to keep it) before Gramps sanded the sides with what I can only describe as a sanding belt.



Zach used the palm sander to give the top and bottom a smooth finish. 


I then brushed the slab to get as much of the dust off as possible before coating both sides with vegetable oil.  I laid them out to dry on cardboard to soak up all the excess.


Gram was anxious to see what we were doing, so I took an un-oiled slab up to house. 


I think they look pretty darn good, and at the low price of $8 for a giant tub of vegetable oil, the price couldn't be better.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Picture This: Week 37.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.


September 9, 2013

DMX literally cracks me up. See here for further support on that fact. It's him rapping Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - all safe! 


September 10, 2013

The Express, the daily newspaper on the Metro, took the spot for picture of a day for a second day in a row with it's blurb on giraffes. I'm a sucker for animal stories and factoids, but who knew that giraffes were born with stats like 5'8" and 130 pounds?! They're humans!


September 11, 2013

It's hard to put into words the feelings that this date quietly demands. It snuck up on me this year, but it took be back to that Tuesday when I was in middle school outside of Pittsburgh and the fourth plane flew over my campus, so low in the sky that the the engines rattled the windows. It would be taken down about forty miles away by the incredibly brave passengers.


September 12, 2013

I opened a new tube of toothpaste only to have it shoot out the back instead of onto the brush. I emailed Colgate about this. They said they're mailing me a package to send back the toothpaste for their investigations and some coupons. I'll keep you updated.


September 13, 2013

I have 2/3 of the s'mores ingredients in my work snack drawer. 


September 14, 2013

Most of my 5K's are color runs. It appears I'm drawn to organized runs that specialize in throwing stuff at you. I ran this entire race, which was a first. Running is such a mental game, and I don't consider myself to be incredibly strong in that realm, but I'm very excited to have overcome it here. 


September 15, 2013

My super talented sister took our engagement pictures and then made our save-the-dates. I'm crazy lucky to have such talented family that are happy to help.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wine to Water.

Nowadays, it's rare to have a unique idea. That's a bold blanket statement to start with, but that's how I feel. I'll present an idea in conversation, then struggle to remember where I saw that idea. The internet is overwhelming enough, but add in Pinterest, and I don't even know if my imagination works anymore.

I feel like my creativity worked for my water carafes I'm planning to use for my wedding. I'm pretty proud of it, too. If you find otherwise, please give me a week to live in my ignorant bliss. Maybe wait until after my wedding, even. I will take all evidence of otherwise starting July 15, 2014.

In the very early stages of wedding planning, I knew for certain that I wanted water on the tables. I am notorious for my fish or camel-like intake. There are very few restaurants that can keep up. As we're planning a July 5 wedding with an outdoor ceremony and a reception to follow in an un-airconditioned barn, hydration will be key and I wasn't going to trust anyone to mess that up.

So what's a water and wine-loving girl to do? Dress up wine bottles, of course.

We're taking wine bottles, wrapping them up in twine, labeling them so people don't feel self-conscious when they're hitting the bottle before dinner, and filling them with water. 



Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. We were trying to create a mock table without the distraction of the craft table behind.

I took some suggestions from my sister Veronica and my friend Alex on the tags. I had planned on embossing them to add a little extra somethin-somethin. Veronica suggested I write 'Drink Me' on one side as a playful addition and a nod to one of our favorite movies, Alice in Wonderland. I want this wedding to be fun and I want that to be obvious. I added the 'Drink Me' to half of the tags, just because I was afraid it could be overkill on all of them, and look like some sort of potion collection. Which also wouldn't be a horrible thing because I love Hocus Pocus. 

That was all fine and dandy.  The tags were informative, playful, and a touch fancy with their embossing, but they were still so manilla, both literally and figuratively.  They were straight, perfect, and so wrong for the barn wedding. Alex suggested tea-dyed hang tags, which she used as seating assignments for her wedding. It was perfect too - the hang tags were hung on chicken wire in a frame. 

I had already starting wrapping bottles in twine and including the hang tags as you can see above, but I couldn't shake the thought of a tea-stained tag. A coworker had brought in boxes of tea after her vacation to Africa (side note: who knew Africa was a hot spot for tea?), so I had boxes of tea to spare. I had to try it.



I boiled about 14 quarts of water. This wasn't purposeful, it was just the size of the bowl that I filled up when the teapot started hissing. I then dropped in three teabags. I let that steep for a couple minutes while I laid out wax paper and the tea tags on the table. Using a foam brush, I started with a thin coat on the tag.



One thin layer of tea gave the tags a slightly darker color and a bit of a worn look. I loved the slight change, so I decided to go with it and be a little more adventurous as I stained 90 tags for the water wine bottles and retroactively stained those already attached to bottles. I then stained 200 tags to use as seating assignments. In my staining of 300 tags, I have a few tips:

1. Really splash on that tea. The puddles and drips will make each tag unique and give you the rustic, vintage look.



2. Layer strings, corners, anything over the tags to give a different look. I let the strings from the tags drop onto each other, and it gave some really cool shadows on some.



3. Paint multiple coats of tea. I used three, generous layers on each side, allowing six hours between coats to make sure everything was dry before another bombardment. 

4. The tags, paper, whatever will curl when you layer on the tea. Don't stress yourself by trying to flatten everything immediately - get through the round, and push them down if they're still curling. I would push the corners into puddles, which would help them to stick flat to the wax paper. Even still, they'll probably flatten as they dry.  


With that, I took 300 manilla shipping hang tags from standard to rustic for free. Well, I had to first buy the tags, which was just under $24 on Amazon. If I had to buy the tea, and I used six tea bags for 300 tags, I would have maybe spent $5.  We'll say I spent $30 on 300 tags, breaking that down to $0.10 a tag, and that's pretty awesome.

I'll be back with embossing tips, tricks, and favorite products later. I have some new things I'm trying out, and want to experiment first. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dough Dip.

Hello, there, how are things? It's been quite a while since you've seen me outside of the weekly picture-a-day posts that I've kept myself to when everything else fell to the wayside. I would like to say that I'm getting back to a normal schedule, but it's fall and that means pumpkin spice lattes busy season.  Also, pumpkin spice lattes, which support me in busy season.  I'll do my best, though. 

I work with a health freak. She snacks on kale. Straight-up kale. I try to eat healthy, but the closest I can get to snacking on leafy greens is celery wrapped in peanut butter. I'm okay with that. For the past month, though, she's been raving about this cookie dough dip made with chickpeas. I was mildly interested, but while she gloated about the healthy dip and it's lack of salmonella, I was just considering how the fear of salmonella has never kept me from dipping in the cookie dough.  I hope I didn't just give myself bad karma. 

After a trip to Trader Joe's in which I bought everything named butter (peanut butter, almond butter, and cookie butter), I had enough nut butters to last an apocalypse and needed an outlet. Turns out that the chickpea cookie dough also called for nut butter. 

I used this recipe, almond butter as my nut butter of choice, brown sugar as my sugar, and only a splash of milk at the very end (instead of the recipe requirement during the mixing stage).  Also note that 1.5 cup of chickpeas is a can of chickpeas.



I was concerned that the very full food processor wouldn't mix everything at first, but slowly, everything started to turn, chop, and mix.


After a couple minutes of grinding and the dough not looking much more appetizing, I was a bit concerned about the motor of the processor and the final result, so I added a splash of milk to help with the mixing and to thin out the dough. It helped.


After the milk was fully incorporated, I spooned the dough into a container and mixed in chocolate chips. The smell of chickpeas was still in the kitchen, which isn't the most pleasant smell, and I couldn't separate that from my first taste. It was good, very good, but it wasn't the buttery, sugary dough ready for the oven, and I knew that the slight differential was the chickpeas.

I sealed it up for the fridge. The next day, I took it out, rationed myself a few graham crackers, and the result was much different. The dough dip was fantastic. The chickpeas taste wasn't there. 


I was breaking off pieces of graham cracker so I could scoop up more rounds. 


I was really skeptical, and I'm still unsure how this combination works, but I think I found a healthier replacement to my guilty pleasure stock. It can only be a good thing. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Picture This: Week 36.


I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to  recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

September 2, 2013

Zach made banana pancakes for breakfast on Monday. This is a big thing, because the only thing I may be religious about is my devotion to eating eggs for breakfast on weekends. He's been talking about these pancakes for years, though, and they lived up to expectation.  I don't know if they're enough to break my tie to eggs, but they'll be a welcome alternative.


September 3, 2013

Union Station is such a beautiful place. I would have loved to see this place in the heyday of train travel and travel fashion. 


September 4, 2013

It's officially pumpkin spice latte season! Though I had my first taste of the syrup a few days earlier (Veronica's job at Starbucks is dangerous and addicting), the first latte on a cool morning really made it feel like fall.


September 5, 2013

I took a new path to work Thursday morning. Though it wasn't shorter as the partner had promised, the change in sites was interesting.


September 6, 2013

My dad installed in my sisters and me a weird devotion to carrying groceries in one trip. It landed me some bruises, but they felt more like victory marks. 


September 7, 2013

I made a cookie dough dip on Saturday from chickpeas. I wouldn't describe the "during" process as appealing or appetizing in any way, but the result was much better. 


September 8, 2013

My friend Ellen ran her first triathlon Sunday in honor of the memory of her friend Kate, whom she lost to leukemia last year. I'm so proud of this girl.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Picture This: Week 35.

I started a picture-a-day project with the new year. My intent is to try and appreciate every day, the good and the bad. I'm posting weekly recaps of the past seven days. It's a fun way to recap the week, and keep me motivated for the next week. By throwing it up to the interwebs, it's a not so subtle reminder to myself that if I'm laying around all week and taking pictures of my feet poking out of a blanket as I watch Clueless for the millionth time, I'm going to bore everyone to sleep. Not that that's not my idea of a good time - Clueless, I mean. That being said, it's rarely ground-breaking, but I couldn't handle that anyway. It's a log of my life, and a gentle reminder to myself that life is a gift and I should take advantage every day. Does anyone else do this? I'd love for you to share! You can start anytime, too - a new year doesn't have to start on January 1. I'd love to nose around your life and live vicariously. In the least creepy way possible. And PS - my sister does this as well, but I'm losing faith in her ever updating her blog. Check out my past weeks through the "picture-a-day" topic link on the right.

August 26, 2013

On what's becoming a weekly trip to Trader Joe's where I buy way more than intended, I stumbled upon a new obsession: cookie butter and cat cookies. The combination is delicious and I spend the latter half of the work day anticipating my return to the snack. I think that's called addiction. Serious addiction. 


August 27, 2013

"That's like a week's worth of Cheerios for you!" Everyone's always making fun of my childlike eating habits. 


August 28, 2013

 Have you ever seen the ceiling of my high school bedroom? I've been obsessed with stars, zodiacs, and the nighttime sky for longer than I can remember.


August 29, 2013

I traveled to Michigan over Labor Day. The first stop on that trek was at mum's late Wednesday night. I woke up to a hobbling nephew, not willing to put down his leg. Off to the vet we went! Poor baby's doing better and on a higher dosage of pain meds, but his bones aren't growing as quickly as he is, causing severe pain in his long leg bones. He'll grow out of it, thankfully, but we have another 7 months until he's full grown.


August 30, 2013

My cousin bought her first house and it's the cutest!



August 31, 2013

My life revolves around wedding planning, but I'm so lucky to have a family that's willing to help out. Gramps cut me 50 rounds of cedar and sanded all of their edges so I could oil them up and use them in the centerpieces. 


September 1, 2013 
 
We picked ten gallons of apples for Mum from Grandma's apple trees. It's been such a rainy summer that the trees were weighted down with all of the delicious fruit.

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...