June 30, 2008
June 28, 2008
While my husband always humored me (telling me that each arrangement was the most beautiful arrangement he had ever seen--yes, even the crazy one with the baby's breath), I always felt like I had no idea what I was doing (although I always did manage to have a great time regardless of my clueless-ness). For the past couple of years I've been searching for a flower arranging class, but for some reason these classes were always held at unrealistic hours for a person who worked like I did or across the country.
I had almost given up on my dreams of learning how to arrange flowers in a proper way, until today, that is. Today, I wandered into a bookstore (which is my version of a candy store), and came across a section of flower arranging books. I was in heaven, and for the next couple of hours I searched through all the books to determine which ones wanted to come home with me.
Which brings me to the point of this blog entry (queen of tangents that I am), I have decided it is time for a new challenge: From now on, once a week (or if more realistic, once every other week), I will challenge myself to pick out flowers from the local farmer's market by my work, and I will try to use a new skill or two to make an arrangement. From time to time, I will post my successes and failures on my blog, and you can be the judge as to which are which (I also openly invite you to help me name my challenge).
In the meantime, I have a lot of reading to do!
June 27, 2008
Today I had a little too much fun making a flower arrangement for my mother.
But, since I traded blogging time for flower time (and because I am ashamed of how little I've blogged during my time off . . . let's face it, I have too many hobbies these days and even without working there just isn't enough time in the day), I figure . . . why not kill two hobbies with one stone:
1. 1 block of floral foam (make sure it's the kind for real flowers)
2. Rectangular container
3. 6 Green Hydrangeas
4. 2 Green Mums (instead of using the mums, you can use 8 hydrangea stems or you can use 8 mums and forgo the hydrangeas)
4. 1 dozen pink, orange or other bright hue of roses (I used pink roses with an orange hue, pictured below)
1. Prep the Foam. Soak the floral foam block in water for about 30 minutes (until there are no longer bubbles in the water). If you don't have a floral bucket (or any kind of bucket for that matter), you can close the drain in a bathroom sink, and use the sink to soak the floral foam. Note that floral foam has a tendency to want to float on top of the water, so I usually place something heavy on top of it to keep it under the water (when I'm being lazy about it, I use the actual container that I will but the flowers in to hold the foam down). When the floral foam is properly soaked through, place it securely in the rectangle container
2. Prep the Flowers. Cut the hydrangeas and mums, leaving about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches of stem. Cut and prep the roses, leaving only 2 inches of stem (make sure to remove all the leaves from the rose stems).
3. Arrange the Frame. In starting with the outer layer, place the hydrangeas around the edges of the container, on a 30 degree angle (as pictured below, the stems should be inserted into the sides of the floral foam towards the bottom of the foam). peel off the leaves that will be on the "top" side of the hydrangeas (leaves should only be at the bottom of the arrangement)
The shorter side of the rectangle should each have one hydrangea, and the longer, is arranged in the following order: hydrangeas, mum, hydrangea (of course, if you choose to use the same type of flower around the edges, any order will do).
4. Add Rows of Roses. Once the frame is complete, start arranging the roses in three rows (each row should have 4 roses). Try to keep the smaller roses in the center and the larger ones on end. Since the roses will not likely all be the same size, you may want to do some adjusting and trading places until it looks right.
June 26, 2008
True, we could have just stood up behind them (although we no longer have the energy we once had), but given that everyone behind us was screaming "sit down" to the dancing couple in front of us, we thought it best to stay seated. While we could hear the music perfectly, unfortunately, for most of the concert (until the couple eventually also succumbed to peer pressure, after almost getting into a fight with those yelling at them), this was our view:
June 25, 2008
BTW, if you missed the human tetris video that floated around, check it out:
June 23, 2008
Defeated by the fact that he would not get to witness first hand the way and egg and stand on its end, he decided that he would just have to succeed at another experiment. So, the poor egg that wouldn't stand on its end for my hubby was placed into a bowl filled with vinegar. The next day, my hubby proudly showed off the now rubbery egg. He tossed it like a ball, squished it and played with it for about 10 minutes, until, crack, egg and yolk pierced through the rubbery shell all over our white carpet.
Stained carpet aside, it is moments like these that I see the charm I fell for over five years ago.
June 21, 2008
I am happy to report that we were able to confirm, that, yes, the egg will stand on June 21st (and we took plenty of pictures to prove it; and, yes, I know, I am easily entertained).
Fear and Pride: The Consequence (and Benefits) of Aging (aka It Might as Well Have Square Wheels, but I'll Be Proud of It Anyway)
first hand smoke
air that P approached me and asked me if he could bum
We got to talking and realized that we had a lot in common: we studied at the same coffee shop, we knew all of the same people, we lived on the same hall freshman year, and yet, it wasn't until the summer before our senior year in college that we met on the other side of the country, sharing
a cigarette break
P and I have been friends now for almost 8 years, but it was only recently that P learned one of my deepest, darkest secrets: that I cannot ride a bike. However, unlike others who only poked fun and teased at my ineptitude, or questioned how it was possible to go through childhood without learning how to ride a bike, P decided to take action. His mind was set on the fact that it was finally time for me to learn.
I have been a huge fan of the Brianna's Homestyle dressings since I discovered her Saucy Ginger Mandarin Dressing at our local Whole Foods Market (which has inspired a whole slew of salad recipes). Each bottle of dressing features a picture of an ingredient that Brianna recommends will pair well with the dressing, and hence, each time I try a new flavor, I start with 2 inspirations: 1) the dressing itself and 2) the pictured ingredient.
6. Brianna's Rich Poppy Seed Dressing (delicious on peaches)
By the way, I have now purchased my next inspiration from the Brianna line of dressings, and the wheels are already turning:
Hmm...ripe avocados...this one could go in a lot of directions.
While I can save my many thoughts of proper small talk and conversation, let's just agree that it is never a good idea to bring up someone's weight. If you feel the urge to acknowledge someones body makeover, try "you look fabulous" or something to that effect.
June 20, 2008
But then I saw this...
And it might just be time for a career change...except my petite feet could never get the job :( Damn discrimination!
But I hear there are grapes to stomp in October, so I will be back! And if all else fails, I may just have to recreate the experience in my living room (don't worry honey, I will make sure to lay a plastic sheet down on the white carpets before the stomping fun begins).
June 19, 2008
It's been six years since I've had any free time. Three years of law school were followed by three years at an intense law firm. Since it's been a long time since I've tasted freedom, and since I only have two weeks of unemployment until it's back to the grind, my husband and I decided that we had to make these two weeks count.
For me, that meant sleeping as much as I could, finally getting around to blogging, and indulging some of my other creative urges.
For my husband, that meant planning many trips. We discussed Greece, Paris, New York, Disney World, Hawaii, etc., but in the end, we decided on our favorite place of all...the couch in our living room. While we did take a short road trip up north, I have to say, as enjoyable as our quick getaway was, I much prefer the cushions on my own couch.
It was there that I was able to sit and brainstorm about how I should spend my brief moments of freedom. Then a plan ensued: I decided I was going to blog, finish up a couple of old scrapbooks, try some new recipes, organize my flickr photos, make a couple tablecloths, organize our apartment and relax.
But then I saw this...
and I got sidetracked. After a quick trip to Whole Foods (and a large bill thereafter), I set my sights on recreating this recipe from epicurious.com.
I had never worked with beets before (and hence was not aware of their staining power), but despite the challenge of the price of pistachio oil and not being able to find mâche or the right type of cookie cutter, my husband's compliments were well worth the struggle (and the consequence of the red cuticles I will proudly boast for the next week).
While I didn't perfectly recreate the masterpiece I found online, you'll have to trust me on this one, it tasted better than it looked (although, I will be working on the pretty factor)!
So without further ado . . .
June 2, 2008
Subject: Companies filing Bankruptcy...
The following companies just filed for Bankruptcy: Hollywood Video, Levitz, Sharper Image, Performance Team Freight, Linens n Things, Circuit City and Bed, Bath and Beyond If you have gift cards from the above list use them ASAP, they will not be valid for much longer. PASS THE WORD.
No offense to the other stores exposed in the e-mail, but all I saw was "Bed, Bath and Beyond" (or as we affectionately call it, BB&B). BB&B going bankrupt? What is this world coming to? How could this be true? And more importantly, what would happen to all my unused 20% off coupons?
I refused to believe the news. It must be a joke, right? I mean how can a store with unlimited discounts and amazing return policies possibly be going out of business?
The security I often feel in being an American was threatened by this e-mail, and I decided I had to find out the truth. True ridiculous gas prices and all over increases to the cost of living have caused most Americans to cut back on luxuries...but BB&B is clearly a necessity!
Thus began my diligent search on the Internet for confirmation that this was nothing but a bitter lie. While the outlook for Linens N Things wasn't looking good (it's true that the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, sorry Linens N Things) (click here for the full story), there was nothing to confirm the news about BB&B; however, there was a lot of Internet buzz that the rumors about BB&B were just that . . . rumors.
Just to make sure that I wasn't missing anything (and because some might say the Internet is not always a credible source), I decided to attack the situation the old fashioned way: I picked up the phone and called my local BB&B to get to the bottom of the story. The nice woman who answered the phone said that BB&B was not going out of business, and that I might be confusing them with Linens N Things. However, when I asked if she was sure that my gift cards were safe, she put me on hold to confirm. Although the silent pause made me nervous, a nice gentleman soon answered the phone and further assured me that it was not BB&B that was going south.
So it turns out the good news is that BB&B is here to stay (at least for the time being); the bad news, on the other hand, . . . yeah, it's our economy.
Photo pictured above is not my own brilliance, but was found on here on flickr and is by Billy Hunt, which I am required to tell you - if you want to borrow this picture like I did, see this link for the rules for sharing.