Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Fun Part 2: Apple Madness

I visited a wonderful farm as part of my day of fall fun and picked LOTS of GIANT apples. For instance, take a look at these:
From Fall Fun

With some of my awesome apples I decided to tackle homemade applesauce. In a few easy steps here it is:
Step 1:
Pick glorious, fresh, fall apples
Step 2:
Chop and peel 8-9 large apples and place in a pot with the peel and juice of 2 lemons, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 tablespoons of white sugar, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 2 cups of water
Step 3:
Bring to a boil then simmer on low with cover on for 45 minutes then uncovered for another 15 minutes. Simply stir apples as they easily fall apart for you into perfect consistency, not overly sweet, applesauce goodness
Stay tuned for the next lesson, apple cake!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Fun Part 1

As part of our Combined Federal Campaign at work we had a basket "contest." That's government speak for a raffle, but we're not allowed to say raffle. Even though I'm running the campaign, I was still able to win this:

I assure you it wasn't fixed...I wasn't even in the building when the winning tickets were pulled! It was filled with all sorts of Halloween fun. So, during my day of fall activities today I produced this:

Pretty impressive, right? There was another craft activity from my basket of goodies, but it didn't turn out quite as well. There will be a link to check that out in the Part 2 post!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Hair!

I'm not sure anyone actually reads this blog anymore since I have a tendency to be so delinquent in my posting, but just in case some friends in Albany do stumble across it from time to time I thought I'd share the recent BIG change in my hair! Those who know me, know I tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to my hair. I generally keep it pretty long, a few layers in the front, and absolutely no color. It is black, after all, what could color really do? I've been struck with a recent bought of boredom about myself, I guess that's what comes from being so complacent in your life. Anyway, after consulting with my wonderful hairdresser, last week I walked away with this:

I couldn't really get a great picture that truly does the color justice since it looks best in the sun, but for some more pics that may better show the cut and or color, check out the facebook album here. Don't forget to let me know what you think, if anyone's out there!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Final Cake

Last week I finished my cake decorating class, at least the Wilton Level 1 class. I got a certificate and everything to prove I've mastered beginner's cake decorating. Anyway, I never did get a truly impressive rose; I'll have to keep trying. I thought the last class was going to be my day, but I was sick and just did not have the arm strength. Even without a rose, I think I finished the class with a bang with a pretty impressive cake. It was a good thing I stuck it out until the last class so I could learn sweet peas and leaves! I even did some Level 2 work and experimented with royal icing, making my star flowers ahead of time. So, I present to you my final project so to speak:

Just to make the mouths of those of you far away water, it was a french vanilla cake with orange creamsicle icing. Marcus wanted nothing to do with it, but I assure you my co-workers devoured it!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Yeah yeah yeah, it's been months since I've posted anything; I know, I know; so sue me!

Anyway, a few weeks ago one of my girlfriends mentioned that she wanted to take a cake decorating class to learn how to do fondant. It turns out you can take classes on such things at JoAnns, but we had to start with the intro class. Before you get to the good stuff I would like to explain that I spend several hours mixing buttercream icing so sweet it will rot your teeth on contact. It apparently take practice to make edible buttercream icing in the proper consistencies for cake decorating. There was some good that came out of all the experimenting though, I developed a scrumptious chocolate buttercream icing. I will admit up front that I used a boxed cake mix for my first cake (it was more about the decorating than the cake itself). However, I'm pleased to say that after being tasted by Marcus and several co-workers I've been assured that my cake is not pretty but also tasty! The end result was a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling and vanilla and peppermint buttercream icing. One final note before ending the suspense and showing you the final product: I did not come up with the design, it was what the whole class did from the book. Now feast your eyes on this:

I will also say that I know it looks green in the photo, but it's actually a more seafoam/teal green/blue color. Plus, the picture came from my phone so it isn't the greatest. I may replace with a real picture later. It was supposed to be sky blue but the icing I wanted to frost with wasn't pure white so when I added blue food coloring to yellow-tinted icing I got a little, but very pretty, surprise!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Beach. . . in April!?!?!?!

So last weekend was a particularly warm weekend on most of the East Coast, and here in Delaware was no exception. Marcus and I made plans to spend Saturday at the beach with some friends. While it was a little too warm up in Wilmington, down at the beach it was perfect: clear blue skies, low 80s, nice breeze, you get the picture:
From Blog Pics
Now, don't some of you folks up North wanna come visit? I'll promise a trip to the beach!!!
Oh, and as we were leaving the beach there was this awesome dragonfly hanging out so, of course, I just had to take a pic to share:
From Blog Pics
Happy Almost Summer!

Card Machine

As I've mentioned in past posts, I've recently gotten into paper crafts, specifically stamping. Well, I'm happy to announce that I've graduated from simply following instructions during workshops to crafting my own stamped items. I give a collection of cards and tags I made during a recent stamping girls day:
From Blog Pics
Some of these have already been sent to lucky recipients, but for the rest of you, don't be surprised if one of these graces you mailbox over the next year. I'll also be adding to this collection this weekend since I need to make some mother's day cards and add to my random card collection. Just remember to check the back to see if any future cards were handcrafted by your truly!

Flexing My Jew Muscle

So a few months ago, I decided to try to institute a real Shabbat dinner by making my own challah from scratch. I followed a recipe from my mom. It tasted great, but somehow I ended up with two GIANT challahs. I had to cut each in half to freeze since there are only 2 of us. They looked pretty great though, if I may say so myself:
From Blog Pics

Even more impressive, since I was missing out on my family Passover this year, I decided to make my own chicken soup from scratch. I was assured by relatives that of course I'd be able to do it, after all it's in my genes:
From Blog Pics

I know it doesn't look like much here, but believe it was perfect and delicious.

I feel I have now solidified my status as a Jewish woman!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Jersey

So, Jersey and I are not on the best of terms lately. You see, I've been travelling to the Atlantic City area a lot over the past few months (for work, not fun). When I go, I am always with at least my boss and one or two other people from the VA travelling in a government car. On a recent trip there a little over two weeks ago, this is what happened:

The first picture is the car that rear ended us while we were stopped at a red light. The other picture shows the $1900 worth of damage done to our government car. I know it doesn't look all that bad, but trust me it was more than a fender bender. The whole thing just sucked. We had left the hospital at 7am for a rainy day full of meetings in NJ. We were about 20 miles from home at around 4pm when bam! Some girl not paying attention runs into the back of us. Of course, I was sitting in the back on the side she hit which resulted in a very stiff/sore neck and shoulders for a few days. I also had the lovely experience of having to fill out workers comp forms in case my pain worsened.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I was at work the next day!


So wow, I can't believe it's been so long since my last post. Too often I sit home thinking "oh yeah, I should blog that" but then it just never happens. It's been especially crazy these past two or three weeks, so that helps explain my blog silence.

I have since enabled blogging from both my phone and email so look for a several posts today and/or tomorrow to bring you all up to speed.

Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Editor's Note

I apologize for the way my layout was cutting off the sides of the bigger photos. I didn't realize that was happening until today. Is it happening for all of you when you view my blog? Also, any of you bloggers have any suggestions as to why the templates with borders are creating such a HUGE border cutting things off? In the meantime, I've changed to a template I don't really like, but that at least let's you see the whole picture. Any suggestions from you more experienced bloggers would be welcome!

Stampin Up Take 2!

As you may recall, a few months ago I spent a day stamping. This past weekend while the guys were away at drill us girls (and a few others) had another Stampin Up demonstration party. Here are the results of my hours of hard labor:
From Drop Box

Not too shabby, huh? By the way, I cannot tell you how excited I am that there is now a Picasa for Macs so I can make cool collages too. You can bet you'll be seeing a lot more of them from now on. Anyway, back to stamping. This time, I was suckered into spending too much of my hard earned money. Hopefully my purchases will come soon while I'm still excited about this craft I can make all sorts of cool cards, which you will all be lucky recipients of some day.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Home Decor

So here are a few pics of some recent home decor additions (one more temporary and one permanent). During tulip festival in Albany this past May Marcus and purchased this centerpiece thing that you could stick flowers in the middle of. . . I don't know what it's called. We keep it on our table all the time, but it wasn't until a Super Bowl Party two days after Marcus gave me flowers that I was able to really try it out:
From Blog Pics

Pretty cool huh? Now I just need a reason/opportunity to use it more often.

Also, Marcus and I were discussing how we need to hang more pictures on our walls. We decided to print out 8x10s of pictures we'd taken on our various adventures this past year or so and frame them. We printed out 7 altogether, but since frames can get a but pricey have only hung 3. Here they are:
From Blog Pics

Isn't that pretty? I like having pictures of places we've actually been and taken ourselves up instead of just generic pics. Oh, and a big hearty congrats to the person who can name all 3 of places pictures. I even gave you a big thumbnail to see better. 2 out of 3 are very easy. . . actually they're all pretty easy. Anyway, happy home decorating!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hair Adventures

Okay, so this post is incredibly delayed, but better late than never I guess. Right before Christmas a Lush store opened in the local mall. Very exciting for me seeing as how I love Lush (if you've never used their bath bombs you don't know what you're missing). Anyway, while there I noticed some henna hair dyes.

Brief side story for those that don't know, I'm constantly on a quest for an at-home way to dye my hair. In high school I bleached streaks in my hair to dye purple and red. It took 2 layers of bleach and 3 hours and all I got was an amber color. So the color would never really stick. Basically, my stubborn black hair just doesn't want to change. I don't want to do anything to drastic to it so I don't put real highlights in, but I get bored occasionally and want to experiment.

So, back to the henna. The lady in the store assured me the red henna dye would do something to my hair. So I figured what the hey. So, here is my long overdue photo journal of my experience:

Step 1: This is what I started with.
From Blog Pics

Step 2: Cut up, heat and add water:
From Blog Pics

Step 3: Continue until you get a yogurt-like consistency:
From Blog Pics

Step 4: Apply to hair (don't have any pictures of this as I was working alone), then cover hair with saran wrap:
From Blog Pics

Step 5: Clean up the mess I made all over the kitchen:
From Blog Pics

Step 6: Occasionally heat my cone with a hair dryer to help the dye set more:
From Blog Pics

Step 7: Remove saran wrap and rinse after leaving on for 6, yes 6 hours:
From Blog Pics

Step 8: The Results:
From Blog Pics

Now, you can see it appeared to lighten my hair up a little, certainly made it nice and shiny. Marcus was a little freaked, but he had nothing to worry about. Within a few days it had pretty much all washed out and my hair was back to it's usual pitch black. Sometimes, in the right light, you can see some lighter areas on the ends of my hair, but for the most part, no difference.

So, yet another failed attempt to alter my natural hair color. So note to any readers with dark hair, the Lush Henna Hair Dye doesn't really work.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crafty Chrismakkuh!!

To conserve funds in these difficult economic times, this special lady and I partook in a homemade gift exchange for Chrismakkuh (in honor of our respective holidays). As promised, here's the product of my craftiness:

From Blog Pics

In case you can't tell, it's inspired by Dali's Melting Clocks. I wish I could claim all the credit for this genius craft, but I received the very simple instructions from instructables. Pretty cool, huh? Stay tuned for pictures of the totally awesome (and I'm sure much more labor intensive) gift I received!!!