Monday, August 30, 2010

Go Team Dodo!

I want to give a HUGE shout-out to my fabulous mother-in-law and sis-in-law for finishing the Susan G Komen 3-day walk for breast cancer this past weekend in Denver!  They walked 21 miles on Friday, 23 miles on Saturday, and 16 miles on Sunday.  You counted that right...it was 60 MILES in all!!!

Chris and I kept our cell phones (okay, my cell phone- if you know Chris you know why!) on us at all times throughout the weekend so we could get updates from Chris' dad.  Mary Pat and Caroline walked every single mile, not once using the van that gave weary walkers a ride to the next check-in point.  Together they raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer research in memory of "Dodo", Chris' maternal grandmother.

Mary Pat and Caroline- we are so unbelievably proud of you for your amazing strength and incredible dedication...congratulations on a job very well done!  With each step you took, we got one step closer to finding a cure someday.  We love y'all!

Just keep walking, just keep walking, just keep walking, walking, walking!

We made Bailey wear pink on Sunday to show his support.  He was thrilled!  I promise.  :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TOP 'o the evening to ya

So today I sewed my first real article of clothing!  (Can you tell I am anxious for school to start...now I have to rack my brain for things to fill my time.)  I found an online tutorial for a spring ruffle top and it actually looked like something even I could do.

Technically, this is my second article of clothing, because I did sew one sweatshirt my freshman year of high school in a truly awful home economics class.  But since I remembered literally nothing from that class when I sat down with my sewing machine after Christmas, I figure this top can count as #1.


Will I ever wear this top out of the house?  (Not just a random thought.  An actual question posed to me by my husband.)  Probably not.  Because though I love the fabrics (I should, I picked them out), I'm not sure if the top is really my style.  So why did I make it?  Well, I figure the best way to learn is just to do.  I learned how to make pleats and ruffles, not to mention putting the whole thing together, for less than $10 worth of supplies.

It was fun and I'm REALLY proud of it!  Even if I just wear it around the house.  :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A little wine, a LOT of water

This weekend we toured Connecticut by car and by boat.  Or, more specifically, by Porsche and by canoe.

The weather on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous.  Chris spent the morning tinkering around with the Porsche (he was actually doing something very complicated and detailed, the likes of which I cannot explain here) and once he was done, we took it for a drive!  We didn't have a plan but headed out towards Kent, stopping at Marty's Cafe for an iced tea and chocolate croissant, and eventually ending up right back in Sandy Hook at McLaughlin Vineyards.

I had been to a meetup event at McLaughlin Vineyards once while Chris was in class, but it was his first time to this vineyard.  It's hard to believe that such a beautiful vineyard is only 15 minutes from our house!  We did a wine tasting ($7 for seven different wines...excellent deal) and then sat outside and enjoyed the view.  It was the perfect, unplanned, afternoon.

Butterflies resting on a butterfly bush outside the vineyard

Grapes!


Today we drove back towards Kent to go CANOEING!  We were a little disappointed that the weather wasn't quite as sunny and warm as had been predicted but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

Normally the canoe company runs 6 mile and 10 mile trips, but due to an abnormally dry summer, the 10 mile route was inaccesible.  The alternate route was 13 miles long...but we decided to do it.  Oh boy.  The Housatonic River was still as a statue.  No current + a strong headwind = a very tiring trip!  But we did make it!  And in only about four hours.

How cute are my boys in their matching life vests?

Is Bailey the King of the World?!

The guy from the canoe company who drove us to the launch point told everyone, almost as an afterthought, that at some point we would come across an old dam.  He said it would look like an easy set of rapids that you could go right over, but that we shouldn't because there was hidden pipeage underneath.  Instead, he said, we should just go to the left of it.

We arrived at this old dam right behind another canoe and a kayak from our group.  We all paddled around to the left of the wall...but couldn't see how we could paddle around it.  Eventually we decided the best solution was picking up the canoes and moving them over the wall, then putting them back into the water beyond the old dam (which was a bit rough).

I'm glad to report we all made it through that spot!  At one point our canoe ended up right between two large rocks and we were just sure that we were flipping, but luckily we made it through.  Thank goodness for this little bit of excitement to break up an otherwise long, dull, uneventful canoe trip.

We're pretty beat (I actually fell asleep on the drive home- sorry Chris!) but had a great time.  Can't wait for the next one!

Looking back at the old dam once we crossed it.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

It DOES exist!

Phew!  So glad I'm not crazy.  By now, I think everyone on the planet has seen the trailer for Eat, Pray, Love.  It's a movie with Julia Roberts based on the book, and life experience, of Elizabeth Gilbert.  And the trailer is on television all the time.

Chris and I actually think the movie looks great.  Does this mean we'll go see it full-price at the movie theatre?  Probably not.  But we'll definitely see it sometime because there aren't a lot of movies we agree on!

The song you hear in most of the trailers for the movie is "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine.  And they've found the best 20 seconds of the song and used only that in the trailer.  But I could have sworn I heard a different song on the movie trailer just once...and it was a song that I'd also heard on the radio and loved.  But I didn't know who sang it.

I googled and watched the movie trailers online, and just when my husband was convinced that this song was all in my head...BAM!  I found it.  The band is The Temper Trap and the song is "Sweet Disposition".  I love this song.  It almost sounds like it could be from the 80s...but it's not.  And since I don't have anything exciting to blog about because my chair project is still incomplete, here is the song for you (and me) to enjoy!

Yes, I am that kind of dogowner

What kind of dogowner, you ask?


The kind who buys a lifejacket for her dog.




Not because I think of him like a child (although I guess I sort of do), but because he genuinely needs one or he may drown.  We're going caneoing this weekend up near Kent, CT and want to bring Bailey...but the last time we took him canoeing he fell out of the canoe and we almost didn't scoop him out in time.

Here's a pic from that trip.  We went canoeing in Delaware (or Pennsylvania, can't remember).  Bailey did an awful lot of this:



So even though he looks ridiculous and probably feels mortified, Chris and I will be able to relax in the canoe knowing that Bailey will be a-okay.  Here's to the weekend!  :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Warning: this is NOT an announcement!

Summer school ended just last week and I've thrown myself into some fun projects around the house.  Like reupholstering this awesome chair I found on Craig's List for $20.



The fabric looks okay in the picture, but let me tell you that forty years of wear was NOT nice to it.  The frame of the chair is in great shape, though, and I think it's going to look terrific when it's finished!  And if it doesn't, that's okay too, it's just going in our bedroom.

I've taken all the old fabric off, removed a thousand staples (maybe that's an exaggeration, but only slightly), and cut out all the pieces of new fabric.

I was actually making nice progress until yesterday, when I realized I need a double piping foot for my sewing machine and I couldn't find one at Joann's.  So, with the chair project on standby I decided to try my hand at clothing.  But I didn't want to buy any fabric because I'm still just learning how to sew.  When I found this adorable FREE pattern online for the Itty Bitty Baby Dress, I knew I could work on my sewing skills AND use up some extra fabric I had lying around.  This is what I ended up with:


It's not perfect but isn't it cute?!  I don't think Chris was too happy to hear that I was sewing a dress for an infant.  But let me reiterate, it is NOT for us.  Whichever one of my friends or family members has a baby girl next, I'm sending it right in the mail to YOU!  :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Just another weekend

Buckle your seatbelts...our weekend was super exciting!

Well, not really.  We didn't go hiking in the Presidentials or out for a night in the city, but we enjoyed a beautiful weekend here in Newtown nonetheless.  We always look forward to our weekends together whether we have big plans or not, and this was no exception.

Saturday morning we made crepes for breakfast...yum!  Chris chose to fill his with strawberries, blueberries, and fresh whipped cream.  I filled mine with strawberries and nutella.

If you've never tried strawberries and nutella well...you're just missing out.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly.  It's awesome.


Did I mention the beautiful weather?  Notice that I'm wearing long sleeves in this picture (just for the morning, though).  And we've been sleeping with our windows open...so nice!

Saturday afternoon we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and decided to up our curb appeal.  Well...I guess it's not curb appeal since you can't really see these things from the road, but it definitely makes our home's exterior look a LOT better.

This is the side of the house (part of the backyard).  We pulled a bunch of weeds, moved a plant, added a few mums, and tossed down some mulch.  The garden hose has always just laid in a little pile in the flower bed because there was no place to hang it.  I knew my husband could engineer a solution to that problem!

The after.  Not a huge difference, but we were happy.  And I love having the hose hanging from the deck.



Front fence.  There was nothing to the left of the one rose bush and the three big hydrangea bushes.  So we planted three little mums there.  We also pulled out the stone boundary and have something else in the works...but it's only about 60% done.  So that's another post for another day!