Monday, May 16, 2016

Twenty Seven

This weekend, we started working on the house.  The exterior of the house.

We've got a lovely little 1930's bungalow that I bought for a very minimal amount because it desperately needed so much work.  While we have worked diligently on the inside since I've bought it (although a new bathroom and new kitchen are in need), the outside has been neglected.

The other side of the house that didn't get touched this weekend.  This is what it looked like before.  Note my squashed johnny jump ups next to the hose - I am super sad about them.  I hope they recover.  

Hidden window in the bathroom.  I'm pretty sure we're going to put that one back in.  I am in the midst of trying to convince B that we need to buy this claw foot tub I found on Craigslist.  So far he's not biting.  Our bathroom would look AMAZING with a window and a claw foot tub.  Oh to dream.

Ughhhh... Look at all that beautiful cedar siding they RUINED!  So many nails the place looks like a porcupine.  It's so disheartening because I wish we could salvage and refinish the original stuff.

Hey there hidden window in the mud room!  I can't figure out why they removed you.  The bathroom was pretty understandable - they wanted to put in one of those new-fangled fiberglass tub surrounds (my inner Nicole Curtis is DYING), so they removed the window.  Now, the bathroom is a sauna because the moisture can't escape and I hate it.  

We will probably be putting this mud room window back in, too.

This was pretty cool.  Someone must have had house numbers on our back entrance and their shadow is still looming.  Not certain if that's paint of just dirt but, I like it and I would love to figure out how to preserve it somehow.  SO MANY NAILS!

Sunday, I decided to make the cloudburst cake that Alicia from Posie Gets Cozy always blogs about.  I went with the original cake and not the vegan one because, well, I'm down with dairy and eggs.

I got one of the layers out beautifully.  Yummy - cake ahead.  

But then, whomp whomp...  I absolutely decimated the other layer.  So, I picked at that one for a while and decided to just make half the frosting and make a wee-squat cake.  I'll be the only one eating it anyway.  Guess who is using parchment paper next time???

See, it didn't turn out too bad.  It sure tasted amazing.  I kind of wish I had some breakfast cake right now...

Little miss had a gym meet Sunday afternoon.  Here she is after her vault.  She got a blue ribbon and she was so proud.  The picture quality is crap but I just adore the look on her face here.  You would have thought that she just won the Olympic gold medal.  Proud Momma here.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Two girls, one dream

When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with surfing and the surf lifestyle.  I spent every summer at my parents' shore house, I bought all my clothes at surf shops, I would spend countless hours on the beach, perfecting my tan.  What I never did do though, was actually learn how to surf.  I was (as teenagers in the 90's called them), a "poser".

Me and my college boyfriend (sorry B! - I need the picture for reference!).  
Note the painting of waves on my dorm room wall.

Me at 16, in full surf wear regalia.  I see where the little one gets her sass.

Again, in a dorm.  Again, rocking clothing bought at a surf shop.  
Happy 19th birthday younger me!

The closest I have come to surfing is stand up paddle boarding, SUP.  It's like poor man's surfing.  Anyone can do it and personally, I love it and find it relaxing.

Me doing SUP Yoga.

I can't lie.  I am still obsessed with the ocean.  I've given up on the dream of learning how to surf (I am cool with SUP) but, it appears that I have passed it along to a new generation...

I've created a monster...

She started talking about learning how to surf a few weeks ago when we bought a second hand plastic seesaw from a yard sale.  She'll jump on the top and pretend to surf.  

Brett and I bought her a copy of SURFER magazine last weekend and that's all she's been looking at.  We have to read it before bed and now she wants to tear out all the pictures and put them up on her walls.  Last night, I let her put her bedside light on and keep flipping through the pictures.  (Yes, we rock Christmas pjs all year round.)

I think it's time for us to buy some kind of board for her (and our family in general) to play around in the ocean on. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Green Space

I will be the first to admit that our backyard needs some help.  If you can even call it a back yard.  We live on a corner so, it's more of a sliver of clumps of grass and dirt than anything.  Most of our property is on the side but, that is adjacent to a fairly busy street so...

Regardless, I am still trying to make the most of the space we've got and spent the weekend tilling our raised garden bed, planting some veggies, creating a vertical herb garden (which I think I am going to turn into a bed for cascading flowers instead), and donating much of my tax return to the cause that is the Home Depot.

I had gone to a food swap Saturday morning (more on that later) and ended up a bit turned around on my way home.  Luckily, I ran across a farm stand that was selling seedlings.  While I am not totally on board with the organic only, GMO-free movement, I do try my best to buy local if I can, so I was excited to be able to purchase my seedlings from a family run farm in South Jersey.  I picked up tomatoes (if you have never had a tomato sandwich with a true New Jersey mater - you have not lived), eggplant, strawberries, romaine, and a bunch of herbs.  

The older woman who was running the farm stand let me know that it was safe to plant the romaine, but to hold off on the tomatoes and eggplant for another week or so to make certain that there would be no more days below 40 degrees.  So, I put in my romaine, planted some garlic cloves (more as an experiment than anything), and a row of radish seeds.  I am also hoping to get cucumbers to grow up that chain link fence but, they didn't have any available yet (she said the cucumber seedlings were too delicate right now - I get it).  

Here is my Pinterest inspired herb garden.  Well, it was supposed to be a herb garden but, I kind of changed my mind about that whole idea.  I think now I may just want some purple rock cress to cascade down it like a wall of flowers.  Maybe I could hang it up on the side of the (crappity) garage to make it look (less crappity) nicer?  Will have to talk to the powers that be about that idea.  LOL.

Next to the future flower wall is my wee peppermint plant.  I know from experience that those buggers are resilient so, I put him in this weekend, too.  I am loving the idea of mint sun tea this summer.  Or mint lemonade.  Or mojitos.  (Side note: I used to think that the Eagles song "Hotel California" said warm smell of mojitos which I never understood.  Apparently they just made up a word to use there.)  

This is my window garden (see above mentioned busy street?).  I have a big bay window in the kitchen and I keep a bunch of different plants there.  Basically, I try to keep from killing them so, luckily I picked pretty hearty plants.  Aloe and some little guys that once flowered but now, well, I'm not sure what they do.  The green onions just relax in the jar of water so I can use them whenever.  There is a small bowl with a regenerating romaine heart and two lemon basil leaves I am trying to get to root.  This entire widow is basically my botanical R&D lab.  Yikes - looks like I have some overripe bananas to attend to, huh?

I have been saving aluminum cans for a few weeks now.  I wash them out and take off the label.  Brett thought I was crazy.  Or a hoarder.  Not sure which.  Well, Sunday, I finally showed off my idea (yes, also adapted from a Pinterest post - all hail Pinterest).  I painted them with fun spring colors and a coat of Modge Podge and volia!  Planters.  I am hoping to put the above rooting lemon basil into the orange and green ones for Mother's Day and catnip is going into the blue one.  Not sure what I will do with the pink one.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Weekend in Review

Yeah, it's Tuesday.  But, this weekend was a nice one so, I thought I would recap.  We had a nice, albeit rainy and cold, weekend.  The weather can't seem to quite figure out what it wants to do - sunny and warm or cold and snowy.  It's rather frustrating to see big fat snowflakes when all you really want to do is break out the shorts and get some Vitamin D.

I am almost finished the reusable snack bags for my Food Swap this weekend.  I have 10 of each bag; one sandwich size and one snack size.  I hope everyone likes them.  I discovered that sewing with vinyl fabric is a bit tricky.  Google says one needs a teflon foot to accomplish this so, I did my best without and conceded to using fusible velcro.  I hope it works for everyone.  I'm really excited about this food swap and I don't want to disappoint my fellow swappers!

Next up for the Food Swap is fermented lemonade.  I used whey left over from one of my many "domestic projects" (aka homemade cream cheese - super easy), lemons, sugar and water.  It's still on it's first ferment but will be poured into bottles tomorrow for a second ferment (and hopefully, added fizz)!  The recipe calls for the bottles to be swing top.  By the time I finalized my plans to make the lemonade, getting swing top bottles was going to take too long and be too expensive.  My solution?  Grolsch beer.  Thankfully, it is Brett's favorite kind so, it wasn't too difficult to convince him to purchase a 12 pack and actually drink them all for me.  Maybe the packaging won't be as pretty as clear bottles but... recycle and re-purpose, right?

My "supportive" sandals finally arrived.  I now have the daunting task of breaking them in.  At this point, they are not very comfortable.  Legend has it that once they are broken in, they make your feet very happy.  Here's to hoping.  Also, my 5 year old also gave me a pedicure.  Lovely, right?   She was so proud of herself and so excited that, well, my toes are still looking the same.  For the time being, I'm not too worried.  It's still not open toed season around here.  And - my, how desperately we need new rugs.  We need new everything.  *Sigh*  We're getting there.

In another turn of domestic bliss, I made "poor man's beef wellington" Sunday.  It wasn't half bad.  Brett and Kate really seemed to like it.  I ate it.  I have also been eating it for lunch the past two days.  It's an okay dish.  A lot of work for what it ended up being.  Well, I made it a lot of work since I had to split the recipe into with mushrooms and sans mushrooms because Brett refuses to touch them.  

It's Phillies season here!  We are a baseball house spearheaded by Brett.  Kate and I also love the Phillies but Brett is truly a Phanatic.  He has actually asked for this cake for his 40th birthday.  We also had to purchase MLB tv or something like that because he wants to be able to access ALLTHEGAMES.  Unnecessary expense, yes.  Did he just make enough to cover the cost plus other actual necessities selling some items he thrifted on eBay? Yep.  I pick my battles.

 (PS - I did not buy this)

Last but not least, I put a new (to us) table cloth on the table.  Very springy, very vintage.  We love true vintage linens (see our new quilt).  I originally bought it for out outside table.  But, it hasn't been nice enough to eat outside and I hate that it was just waiting in the drawer.  So, I threw caution to the wind and brought it out.  It's cheerful and bright so, it's staying put for now.

How was everyone else's weekend?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Stuck in a Rut

Sometimes, you have those days where you want to come home from work and consume a bottle or two of wine.  But, then you remember that a) you are a grown up with children and b) you are a grown up who has to go to work the next morning.

It's been a rough week in our household.  Cars breaking down, kids breaking down, adults holding on the the tiniest sliver of sanity to keep from breaking down.  What is one to do in these types of situations?

I chose the proverbial "screw it" approach.

We had ice cream for dinner.  Who cared?  It wasn't going to kill anyone to have one night of ice cream only.  But, she'll remember it forever.

We wore funky Star Wars socks with dainty Princess shoes.

We put the new (to us), soft as silk, vintage pillow cases on the pillows.

I finally put the order in on the supportive shoes (White Birkenstocks) my doctor told me I should get for the summer.  They were super on sale!  I was so excited!
(Stock Photo from Sub-Urban RIOT


Monday, April 4, 2016

Cheers to the Weekend

Ugh, like everyone around the world - I can't believe it's Monday already.  It's so disheartening how quickly the weekends fly past.  Mondays are truly one of the most annoying parts of life.  And yet, here another is.

This was a fairly productive weekend.  The littlest was with her dad so, that made things a bit less hectic.  Not that I don't like when she is around; it's just a totally different dynamic.

I started a few sewing projects on Saturday morning.  These are some reusable make up removal pads I promised my friend Jess.

Next, we hit up the thrift stores.  Here is some of my haul: a soft as silk vintage pillow case, some pretty embroidered napkins that will be a gift for my neighbor, an awesome pepper pin cushion, and a "New Garden Book" that isn't so new (and also recommends the use of DDT for insect removal - going to skip that advice...).

I got my hairs did on Friday night.  This photo was Saturday - apparently, my girlfriends and I were having a stickie-outie-tongue battle via text.  We're all in our late 30's. 

Got in some good reading/kitten snuggles time.  That's Izzy,  When she snuggles, she looks like she's dead.

B also got in some good kitten/cat snuggle time.  They love him.  I call him the "cat whisperer".  It's legit.

I also started working on my items for the Food Swap on the 16th.  I am bringing reusable snack baggies and I think homemade anti-itch lotion.

This wasn't this weekend but, we finally broke down and bought a water filtration system.  I opted for the Soma Carafe because 1) it is made of glass and not plastic and 2) I just think it looks cool.  

How was everyone else's weekend?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bloglovin Test

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>