Monday, February 28, 2011

Time to raise some….

Well, here goes another month. Can’t say I’m sad to see it go. It was one long, snowy month here in NY. Spring cannot come soon enough. As I’ve been lying around wishing for warmer weather and trying to talk spring out of its shell, I also realized I need to get moving on one of my New Year’s resolutions/goals. Raising chickens…for eggs only.

Needed a little help with this one, so I headed to the bookstore yesterday and wouldn’t you know it right there in front of the store on one of the clearance shelves there sat a $7 Keeping Chickens book with loads of colorful pictures and information. I was SOLD! If that wasn’t a sign, then I don’t know what is. I couldn’t wait for the evening to come to curl up and start my research. I thought how hard can this be? Ha! I made it through a couple of very vivid chapters and immediately formed this one key takeaway – there is a LOT to learn.

I ended the night with my heading spinning over the fact there are more chicken breeds than I knew existed. Let me pause and be honest in that I really didn’t know there were different types of breeds (told you I had a lot to learn). I guess I just never stopped to think about it really. Funny how you go your whole life not interested in something and then one day, there it is, an interest in something new that opens up a new world. I digress…

Those vivid pictures had my head spinning, made my dreams swirl with confusion and yet still left me wanting more. Before we decide we are getting these fuzzy egg layers, my husband is looking into whether or not we are allowed to have them in the town we live in. Ironically enough, we found out that the town is making a decision on this very topic in two weeks.

For now, I’m having a bit of fun daydreaming about my grand notions of feeding “my girls” (I do not want any noisy “boys”) on those pretty sunny mornings when the day still holds so much potential. Not to mention the fact that this would give me a reason to put on a cute pair of wellies every morning. It’s funny, I do know it will probably be nothing like that, especially considering that at this point in time I am a bit scared to even touch a chicken, let alone pick one up. Plus from what I read they can be a bit “flighty” is the word the book referred to time and time again. I’m assuming they mean this literally and figuratively.

Anywhoo, in two weeks time I’ll be two weeks closer to spring, a bit more well-versed in chicken keeping and fingers crossed I will be planning where to put the coop!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cupid’s Arrow Has Struck

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day?

Ours was utterly romantic. As I was plotting and planning little surprises, so was my husband. Apparently we had so much fun around the holidays with homemade gifts we couldn’t resist conjuring up simple gestures to profess our love. Before you gag with all this ooey gooey stuff, check out a few pictures from our day...pretty please?!

Settling on one card wasn’t going to happen this year. So I decided to make a hanging card with multiple envelopes glued together. This provided plenty of real estate to decorate with sweet nothings, candy and other little goodies.

In addition to some blown up canvas photos from the wedding, I made us a memory box comprised of my wedding dress as the background (and no, I did not become a heartless bride and cut up my dress). The fabric came from remnants that the seamstress gave me when I had my fittings back in the summer. The box also contains our place cards, a special card that ‘coincidentally’ also happened to be the same poem that was read at our wedding and then there are things like flowers in the box. It really was a fun piece to put together. I call this the “us” gift because its for him just as much as it is for me.

So while I was doing all of this, my husband was planning my end of work-day surprise. Check it out! Red and pink spray painted hearts that line the driveway. It melted my heart. What a romantic guy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ooh La La

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I have chocolate on the brain. So it seemed only natural to make one of my co-workers her own ‘Barre de chocolat’ to help her celebrate her upcoming birthday. This was super easy to make and not to mention affordable to do for multiple people when their birthdays roll around. The best part, you have a chic gift sure to be enjoyed.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to create your own delightfully pretty bar.

Supplies: Standard size chocolate bar; Plain wrapping paper; Decorative tissue paper; Embellishment and/or tag; Ribbon; Scissors and tape

Remove the outer wrapper on the chocolate bar, leaving the foil in place. Cut the plain wrapping paper so that it’s slightly smaller than the candy bar. Tape the long edges of the paper to create a sleeve for the bar. Repeat the same steps with the decorative tissue paper. (Using the plain wrapping paper sleeve will protect the thin foil, while the tissue paper adds that feminine touch).

An image from an old Papaya calendar served as the perfect embellishment and allowed a place on the back to write a little note.

Last but not least, leave your homemade goodie for the birthday girl to discover when she comes into work in the morning. Don’t be surprised if you hear some rustling of papers around the afternoon slump hour (wink, wink).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

To do

With an ‘extended-stay’ house guest arriving in a couple of days, I’m in planning mode, which in this house basically means one thing, I live by my to do list. At one point I had about six lists going and vaguely remembered seeing a simpler way to manage obsessive list making in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. Dug through my magazines and found exactly what I needed. January’s Real Simple issue, for those that missed it, it had two quite useful, and colorful, free templates (A.K.A - they can be used again and again). Click on the links below. Print. And…Happy Planning!

Weekday Meal Plan and Shopping List