Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas is exactly a week away. Less than a week if you consider that Mike and I do our own Christmas on the night of the 23rd.

House decorating is done. Most of our Christmas shopping is done. We have a lot of baking to do, but that won't happen till later this week. Aaand I'm pretty pumped for the pumpkin pie and various cookie recipes that we are trying out this year. I've also been busy working on a variety of crafty project/ presents that I'll share later- after the gift-giving is done.

In the meantime, a tour through our festive home...

Starting with our front door. This year's new wreath.


Meatball resting by the tree.

THE tree.


The stockings.


Best nativity scene. Ever.


Home-made Christmas donuts. Recipe here.


Not our home, but the carousel at the mall.

Meatball watching Santa go by on the fire engine! (By the way, I LOVE this tradition.)


A view from outside.


Now I'm counting down the days till this weekend. And looking forward to my short week at work :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Look What I Found...

"The discovery of nuclear reactions need not bring about the destruction of mankind 
any more than the discovery of matches."
-Albert Einstein

Lucky gal that I am, I found this in my uncle's old stamp collection- a memento from when nuclear energy was still young.

3 cents. That's how old it is. Fun fact: It's apparently worth 20 cents now! And you can buy a whole sheet of them for $1.50. 

This one is old and rugged though, which I like better. So now its sitting on my desk at work.
That's how much of a nerd I am.

not shown: my desk

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Farm to Table

This year we had two Thanksgivings- one with each side of the family. Saturday night was the one with my side. For Thanksgiving #2 I contributed the turkey. It doesn't seem quite fair that my sister made corn bread while I got tasked with the turkey, particularly because I have never cooked one. But it was my own fault. I really wanted to try a local turkey. Lately (as in this year) I haven't been eating much meat. So when I do, I like it to be special. When I found a turkey farm near our house, Maple Lawn Turkey Farm,  I quickly reserved a bird!

Wednesday afternoon was the beginning of my little turkey adventure. Luckily I wasn't in a rush picking up the turkey because it was super busy. Plus I spent some time poking around the farm.

First things, first- picking up the turkey. The turkey I got (later named Pete) was 18.5 pounds. Never having bought a turkey before, I was slightly concerned that it would be too small. When turkey sizes go up to 40 pounds, 18.5 doesn't seem like much! Turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

If you look carefully, you can see the turkeys lined up in the back.

 After taking care of business I explored the farm a bit.


First stop, Pete's buddies.


Next, the baby cows! This is Frank and his neighbor. I took many more pictures of Frank not pictured here. He was so friendly! Had I been a little braver, I actually would have pet him.


Aaand that was the end of my farm adventure. I had to get home before traffic picked up. 

Now onto the cooking...

Brining. Since I had never cooked a turkey before, brining was also something I had never done before. Enter, Pioneer Woman. I found this excellent brine recipe here.

I actually made the brine in advance to use on Friday.


What sort of container is large enough to hold a brining turkey, you ask? A Lowes bucket. A Lowes bucket lined with a huge Ziploc bag.


And so the turkey sat until Saturday morning, when it was time to start roasting.
Jump ahead about 3.5 hours, and here's the result.


Looks good, right? Jump ahead another 3 hours and we have safely transported the turkey to my parent's house.

Expert carver

Time to feast.


See all of those sides? Yup, they're the reason for all the turkey leftovers. Multiple days of planning for such a short meal. Until next year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey

Poor Meatball. He never saw it coming. I've learned that sometimes it's more efficient to forgo the costume, and let Photoshop do all the work.

meatballthanksgiving copy

In real life Meatball would have never let me put tail feathers on him. Or a pilgrim's hat.

Of course, since I'm still slowing learning Photoshop (Elements) I had to seek some advice via the web on how to create a drop shadow. See here.

And now for some real turkeys.

Maple Lawn Farm

I picked up a turkey today from Maple Lawn Farm. If all goes well, I may put up some additional pictures later detailing the cooking process.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Party People

Back here I mentioned wanting to do something with all of the pictures I made for our wedding favors. 
So here it is.

Can you read me? No?

They look like a small army. Also looks like wrapping paper. But that's okay. I plan to print to canvas and hang. A LARGE canvas so that you can somewhat distinguish the people. And the words. By the way, those words are our wedding invitation.

I ended up with a perfect square. But I am certain that I lost some people along the way. My record-keeping skills are not quite what I thought they were.

Next up is a wedding album!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baltimore Birthday

I turned 28 this year. Only two more years until I'm thirty. I swear I was 21 just yesterday....

This year Mike and I did a very adult thing for my birthday and visited an art museum. Specifically, we visited the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Its been sitting there all this time and I've never been. And its FREE.



This guys would have been a better fit in my Halloween post.

Although the armor, and sculpture, and jewelry, and other random stuff is neat, I'm more of a fan of the paintings. I must have been entranced, because I forgot to take pictures, except for these two.


And some pictures of good ole Baltimore.


We concluded the festivities with lunch and beers at Victorias. All in all, a good day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love pumpkin flavored anything. And I love candy. This year Mike and I were invited to a Halloween party which means we got to dress up! Although we had the reoccurring conversation on whether I could make an abominable snowman costume in time, a la this guy...

We decided to go simple this year. So we dressed up as nerds!


Aka, my costume was "Caroline with Glasses." I came to the realization halfway through assembling my costume that most of the stuff I either, already owned (the graphing calculator, the Chucks, the spiffy collared shirt), or would be happy to wear after the costume party was over (hat and bag!). Aren't we cute?

The bag was one of the fun parts of the costume assembling. I totally stole the idea off of Pinterest, which has it posted all over the place, like here and here. Supplies: $2 tote from Michaels + ComputerCrafts iron-ons that I've had sitting in a drawer for a couple years. And ta-da!


And then of course there's my favorite part about any holiday: dressing up Meatball. The poor guy is such a good sport about it too.


This year he rewore the costume I made him last year: Count Dogula. Even though he was only about 5 months old around this time last year, for some reason it didn't occur to me that it might be snug on him this year. (Hence the neck roll.) For comparisons sake, here's a picture from last year. I had also previously posted a picture over here.


See how it used to actually drape around him? haha.  Needless to say I had to make some slight adjustments to the straps.

Despite the costume snafu, Meatball was my trusty companion while I handed out candy to the kids. Here's him eagerly awaiting their arrival.


And here's him standing watch at the door.


Oh and those sad little pumpkins and lights were my only Halloween decoration this year. I know, I slacked off. However, those small pumpkins will be turned into pies and treats soon. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, the brilliant, mercurial co-founder of Apple Inc. who introduced simple, elegantly designed computers for people who are more interested in what technology could do rather than how it was done, died Oct. 5 at age 56. (Washington Post)

As I was searching for photo collages tonight, this was one of the first images that came up. Remarkable picture. Remarkable man.

Steve Jobs for Fortune magazine  
 By Charis Tevis on Flickr.

Possibly My Greatest Accomplishment Ever... wedding favors. Yes, that's right. This is going to look crazy for a second, but this is everyone who came to our wedding:

IMG_1669IMG_1668 IMG_1666IMG_1667

These photos were taken in haste the day before our wedding. As were individual portraits of each.

Like this.

And this.


And this.


Actually, THESE portraits have been cropped. So there is no carpet background or occasional limb of mine.

This is me taking 120+  pictures in haste.

I really disliked wedding planning. But these personalized wedding favors were something I knew I wanted to do from early on. And so starting sometime in January (for our August wedding), I tracked down pictures of all of our guests and got to work. The generic male/female bodies made things a bit easier. What I worried about most was offending someone with their portrait. Of course, there were also a few people who I had never met in person. I totally relied on their photo being an accurate representation of themselves.

So I'm on a mission now to crop all of the individual pictures and make some sort of "cool" collage. (Better than what was slapped together above.) One of those photo collages that look like a picture of something from far away would be awesome. Not that I know how to do that.