Friday, March 30, 2012

Lunch. Brunch. Brinner. Dinner.

Well, it's official. I hit the big 3-0 mark this Tuesday. I must say, I am one lucky lady. During my extended birthday celebration I got to spend time with nearly ALL of my best friends (miss you Cassie!) and family. From birthday breakfast to a pre-birthday dinner and shopping, a lovely family meal, and awesome conversations complemented with Prosecco, I feel completely and utterly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life! The weekend before my birthday was filled with visiting friends, yummy food, time by the lake, and a Black Keys concert. Then I headed home to spend time with family. I received so many lovely and personal gifts from everyone and was flooded with beautiful fresh flowers. There are truly not enough thanks yous! Age doesn't bother me too bad. Honestly, I'm glad to still be here!

I'm also celebrating another birthday today...the 2-year anniversary of my blog! I can't believe how fast the time has gone. No, I don't have a huge following, nor am I making millions with ads, etc., but this experience has been amazing. Blogging has kept me creatively inspired, motivates me to keep taking photos, has led me to "meet" some incredible women via other blogs, keeps me writing, and helps me keep in contact with family and friends. My first post was about one of my favorite trees, one that still awes me each time I drive by. Happy weekend everyone!

Pre Black Keys festivities included games, a cookout, and cold brews. Perfect afternoon!

 My family went all out with the decor and Mom made me a really special table setting. She went to several antique shops and picked up unique plates and doilies for each person. My favorite plate was the one with the crooked fork beside it. Pink flowers with silver design around the edge...sooooo lovely! 

I decided that I wanted "brinner" for my birthday meal. Typically, brinner means breakfast for dinner. But we had the meal at 2 pm, so it felt more like an afternoon brunch. Is there an official word? The menu consisted of tomato strata (OMG SO GOOD), salad, roasted potatoes, bacon, and homemade garlic cheese biscuits. Mom and Mammol spent hours making the mini cupcakes: salted caramel chocolate ganache and almond infused vanilla with a delicate almond center! They were so delicious. Mammol made a giant bowl of her fruit salad, one of my favorite dishes of all time. Although I didn't win millions in the lottery, I still feel like the richest girl in the world! Thanks to all who made my birthday special!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sights of Spring

So I'm not going to go on and on about the weather because I'm sure it's been super nice where you are too, at least I hope so. OK, nevermind, WOW can you believe this weather? Everything is so vibrant and alive. Every day I see something new springing up. While driving around I've been getting the urge to just stop my car, grab the camera, and run around gleefully snapping shots of the beautiful purples, pinks, and greens around me. So instead of skipping around random streets and neighborhoods with my camera, I decided to grab the dog and go for a walk around the neighborhood. The cherry and dogwood trees are at their stunning peak and I don't want to miss it! Spring has officially sprung in my neck of the woods. P.S., we're only two days away from the Mad Men Season 5 premier, I'm turning 30 next week, and I get to spend lots of time with friends over the next few days...very excited for these events!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ingredients for an Awesome St. Patty's Day

Clover socks

Grilled cheese and sparkly green nails

Irish road-bowling...yep that's a cannonball!

Children blowing bubbles

A festive pup (Bella)

A tiny primate eating giant peanuts

Green beer with amazing friends!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bo the Flying Beagle

It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's Bo the flying Beagle! I hope everyone has a fantastic St Patrick's Day tomorrow filled with lots of green! You can see more pics of Bo in my latest post on Fuzzy Face Photography. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My First Stamp

While brainstorming my post title, I noticed that "stamp" is one of those words that sounds really weird when you say it over and over. Anyhoo, I recently carved my first stamp! My hubs got me the Speedball Deluxe Block Printing Kit for Christmas and I finally overcame my apprehension and just did it! The directions that come with the kit are kind of vague, so I did a little internet searching. I found some cute stamp carving DIYs at Color Me Katie and A Beautiful Mess, but Atlas Quest had the most in-depth and technical information.

I started small with a heart and a star and discovered that I love stamp carving! There is something so relaxing about carving away layers to make the shape and I love the awesome feeling of accomplishment once I saw the design stamped on paper (or whatever medium you choose to use). Perhaps it's my inexperience, but I didn't have good results with the ink included in the kit so I just brushed on some acrylic paint. Do you have any stamp carving tips? Happy stamping!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Flowers and Fuzzy Faces

Got some beautiful spring flowers from the Hubs this week and they really brightened my mood! Purple, green, yellow, and peach is a really nice combo. 

An impromptu photo session in the hallway with Murphy ended up being some of my favorite photos of him! Although this last one is dark, I just love it! I mean really how can you not smile when you see that face? Actually, I secretly judge people...if you look at my dog and don't smile, we're not friends. Have you seen my latest post about Murphy on Fuzzy Face Photography?

 In March 2010 my mom gifted me a clover plant for St. Patrick's Day. Although it may not be as vibrant as it used to be...see here, it's still kickin' and starting it's third year of life. Happy 2nd Birthday and St. Patrick's Day clover!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thoughts On...Easter Eggs

While strolling the aisles of Harris Teeter last weekend, I noticed these:

Pre-dyed Easter Eggs! This struck me as a very odd product. Now, I haven't dyed eggs since I was a youngster, but I don't remember it being a horribly difficult task. In fact, I remember it being quite fun! I started thinking, who in the world would want a product like this? (All ranting aside, I do think that people with mobility impairments could benefit from pre-dyed eggs). Yet, initially, my mind went to "How lazy can we be?" Visions of lethargic people slumped on the couch in their Forever Lazy presenting their kids with pre-dyed eggs jumped into my head. I was also curious if they're edible, and it turns out that it depends on several factors: the type of dye, the amount of time the eggs are outside refrigeration, the cleanliness of the hands that peeled them, etc. What do you think? Useful product or not?