Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wrapping up Loose Ends

Today is my Friday!!  I feel a bit chipper about that.  Today after work, Justin and I are headed to Alabama.  My sister is cooking a late dinner tonight, and then in the morning.  Probably very early in the morning, if I know my dad, we are headed to the campsite.  So I will be in the woods for three days.  But before I leave, I wanted to tie up some loose ends.  Didn’t want my readers to be on the edge of their chair for four days!!  So here are some of the projects that I have been working on in the past few days.
The first one is the glass etching project.  I have been thinking about this for awhile.  I watched youtube videos and read the instructions, and I really thought, “Hey, I can do this”.  So the day before my birthday, Holly and I went to Michaels to get some yarn and I bought this kit.  It was originally $32.00, so I waited until I had a 40% off coupon and it was a special occasion.  It was my birthday trip to Michaels, so I splurged! 

So over two months later, I get around to opening up the kit and trying this out.  I rewatched the youtube videos, and still felt very confident about doing this.  The first step is to prepare the glass you planned to etch.  That includes cleaning the glass, choosing the stencil, and taping down the areas that you don’t want etch.

Then you brush on the etching cream; let it sit for about a minute or so.  And then you wash it off with lukewarm water.  Pretty easy, right?   It actually really was.  Now, I know it doesn’t look perfect, but I think for a first attempt, it looks pretty dang good.  I need more glass to practice on.  I am going to the Dollar Tree to get some more glass to perfect my etching skills.  I am thinking etch Christmas ornaments are in my future, but I will keep you posted.

The second is my monster baby blanket.  I have been working on making things for the craft table that Yarn Fairies is setting up at the Holiday in Smokerise Festival on December 3rd.  Nice plug there, hunh?  But I really wanted to work on a blanket.  I haven’t done one since the one I made for my sister, and I have been itching to do another one.  I had a bunch of the variegated yarn (that is the multi- colored purple and green yarn), so I thought I would make a cute little baby blanket,   I don’t know if I screwed up on my initial chain count or what.  But after five or six rows, I realized that this was not going to be a small baby blanket.  I kept hoping that it would all work out, but it didn’t.  I quickly ran out of the variegated yarn and had to quickly come up with other ideas on how to turn long strip of crocheted yarn into a blanket.  So I Just kept adding yarn, and this is what I ended up with.  It is ALMOST finished.  I have to do some finishing work, but that is it.  I like it. 

I am trying to get more creative in the photographing of finished projects, so bear with me.  But I was in a hurry this morning, and this was the best I could do.  On our balcony, on my rocking chair.  I was anxious to get to Panera for breakfast to start this wonderful (my) Friday.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Breakfast for Two

Lessons come in all shapes and sizes.  You always have to be ready to learn something new.  Saturday morning, my lesson came from my husband and it came in the shape of a heart.
Breakfast is a common thing at our house. This girl has got to eat breakfast!  And I always seem to wake up first on Saturday morning, despite my intentions to sleep in. I blame my lack of sleeping in on growing up in my father’s house; his idea of sleeping in is rolling out of bed at 6:30.  And in fact, he did call me on this Saturday at 7:15 informing that if I wanted a worm I needed to get up.  “The early bird gets the worm” has to be one of my dad’s favorite sayings.  But all that is off topic. 
Back to breakfast.  Sometimes on Saturdays, I grab my Kindle and sneak out to Panera for a breakfast all to myself.  Other times, I try to lure Justin out of bed with the smell of bacon.  But this Saturday was different; Justin was up before I was.  And when I woke up, he recited a menu for the morning.  I could have scrambled eggs and crab meat or eggs benedicts.  I chose the latter.  I wanted to eat some pork or hog as you may call it.  I knew that the Crimson Tide would treat themselves to the same that afternoon.  Again, off topic.
Back to breakfast. The lesson I learned on Saturday and now will pass on to you, in case you do not know.  How to Poach an Egg. 
You start with a pot filled with water.  Put in a dash of vinegar to help the eggs congeal.  You do not need the heart, but Justin saw a great way to use that cookie cutter that I had to have and have yet to use.

Allow the water to almost boil and crack the egg into the cookie cutter.  Cover and let sit for about 4 minutes. Super Easy. Then just stack the egg, Canadian bacon, and hollandaise sauce up on your buttered English muffin.

Justin thought of everything.  We had a delicious breakfast complete with mimosas.  What a great way to start a Saturday!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1,296 Legos

I know what you are thinking... what does this have to do with homemaking?  How about this?  Creating an environment where play and creativity abounds is an essential part of being a successful homemaker.  Yeah, I think that is a bunch of hooey, too.  How about this?  Recently it has been brought to my attention that cleaning is actually a big part of homemaking, and this will show how easy it is for me to neglect those duties.  Um...That is not quite right either.  Oh well, maybe my two readers, or dare I say, three readers will understand and enjoy.
This all started when Justin picked me up for lunch.  A walk through Target led to a very heated discussion on Legos.  It started with us discussing which was better, the regular blocks or the Lego sets.  It ended with Justin questioning my creativity. And me revealing that I did not actually have Legos while growing up, and my whole argument was based solely on speculation.  Justin did not take this very well.  It seemed to baffle him, that a toy that was such a big part of his childhood had not even been present in mine. 
Three hours later. I get a text that says we are going to go buy Legos.  Justin had been selling some video games over the past couple of weeks and had decided to use the profits to buy us Legos.  After work, we head to Toy R Us and find a special deal going on.  Buy two sets, get the 3rd FREE.  In case you are from another planet, I will tell you.  Legos are expensive, so this is an incredible deal.  I picked up my Legos immediately.  Justin took forever to pick out the other two.  I let him choose two sets since he was the official Lego expert and I was a mere amateur.    Here are the spoils for our Toys R Us Trip.  Yes, the pink box is mine.  I was sold as soon as I found out it came with a horse!

We immediately got to building.  Justin suggested that we build according to the instructions first and then go from there.  Him being the expert, I listened.

I ended up with a barn and a horse pulling a wagon of flowers.

Justin completed a very intricate log cabin complete with a fireplace inside.

Then Justin came over and started playing with my blocks. He made this...  

This is me in my pink car picking up a coffee from Starbucks!  And then Justin and I created a garden. 

Needless to say, the laundry got put off one more night.  And dinner was simple and late. And I didn’t do anything on that blanket that I needed to work on.   But in my house, that is okay.  Some things, like legos, just can’t wait.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall is Almost Here!!

One of the biggest reasons I love Atlanta is because Fall is so beautiful here.  It was almost like I didn’t notice the season until I moved here.  In Alabama, the heat kills everything and the leaves are left mostly brown and dead looking.  But in Atlanta that is not the case, the leaves are filled with color and it paints the most beautiful backdrop to the impressive skyline.
Another thing that I have experienced only since moving to Atlanta is allergies.  I get them when there is going to be a significant shift in the seasons.  For a few days before Spring is about to breakthrough, I feel cruddy and my allergies and sinuses are all messed up.  When Fall is around the corner, the same thing happens.  So Fall is very close, for today I have the crud.  I figure it is a small price to pay for the beauty of Fall, so I always welcome the arriving and the departure of the crud.
With the arriving of Fall, there are some changes that I need to make around our house.  I have decided to save the pumpkins until October, but I need to change my wreath.  My mother-in-law, Terri, gave me a beautiful wreath for Spring. 

I love it so much that I have left it up through Summer as well. But it is time for it to be replaced.  I decided in the spirit of homemaking, that this year I would make our wreath. 
First I bought the materials....  The wreath and flowers were on sale at Michaels, so I only spent $5.50.

When doing these kinds of projects, I always find myself with TOO much help...

The picture does not do it justice, and I am very happy with it.

On my way to work this morning, I paid very special attention to the trees.  They are still mostly green, but I can see where bits of color are starting to develop.  Fall is close, and I am pumped!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Marshmallows and Star Wars Collide

This weekend was a whirlwind, and a perfect example of modern homemaking and the juggling that it requires.  Justin and I were in Birmingham this weekend.  I attended the Surplus and Excess Lines Insurance symposium Friday night and Saturday morning. And then left there to spend time with family and celebrate a birthday.
Sandy and I are creative, and we are known for diving into projects, and this weekend was no different.  Our project was simple, to make a birthday cake for Rian.  Simple, right? Not.  Rian was very specific about the cake instructions.  It had to be Star Wars. It had to have light sabers.  The light sabers had to be blue and red, green was not acceptable, and they had to be clashing with a pow.   He also wanted his name on the cake with the number 6. 
Not only did we have design specifications, we had a new medium to try, Marshmallow Fondant. As you probably know, regular fondant is gross, expensive, and hard to work with. So Sandy found and wanted to try this new (it is not new, but it is definitely new to us) recipe.   
We used a variation of this.  It takes a lot of sugar and a lot of marshmallows, and it is very sticky.  Here we are adding colors to the fondant.  This is very hard work. A lot of kneading and we found out unnecessary, since we found out that you could add it at the beginning.

And my attempt at making light saber handles.

In the end, it wasn’t our best cake that we have ever made.  Our guitar cake and Hungry Hungry Caterpillar cakes were pretty awesome. However, in spite of the fact that our knowledge of Star Wars is very limited compared to Justin and Rian and we were working with a new medium, we did pretty well.  We ended up with fondant that tasted really good, and a very happy Rian.  That’s a success in my book!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Roll Tide at the Broderway House

This past Saturday marked the beginning of a very special time of year.  Football season!!  If you know anything about Justin and me, you would know that we are huge Alabama fans.  Football season is a big deal for us.  I have been preparing for football season for awhile now.  Before kick-off, I worked hard to get the Broderway home ready for the start of a great season.
My first project was to make sure the game watching station (aka the couch) was decorated properly.  I got all my stuffed elephants out from their hiding spots and replaced the normal couch pillows.  I also knitted a pillow to add to the couch as well.  This is entrelac knitting; if you look carefully you can see that the red and the white are being knit in different directions.  Pretty neat, hunh?  I just sewed a gray backing to it and stuffed it.

Then I had to prepare game day food.  Of course, I used the Alabama platter that I hand painted and had glazed last year.  (Pic is before it was glazed.)

 I decided to make Brown Sugar Smokies.  Recipe here...
Justin informed me that he did not want brown sugar on his bacon, so I made half with the sugar and half without.  Both very good.  I served them with some smoke gouda.

 I also made some Man Dip. Yes, that is the name.  Just chili, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese.  It was good. 
But not as good as the final score on Saturday.  Roll tide!!


I have been reading the blogs of others for quite some time now.  And I have always toyed with the idea of writing one.  But my initial questions were always the same.  What do I have to blog about?  And who would care enough to read my blog?  After much thought, I have great answers to both of those questions, and so here I am starting a blog.
What do I have to blog about?   Although I am professional woman working a full time job, I still want to be a homemaker.  I want to cook dinner for my husband.  I want to make gifts for my friends and family.  I want to decorate our home for the seasons and holidays.   So I am taking the stereotype of homemaker and putting my very modern twist to it, and this blog will show the results.   Btw, I do not consider cleaning to be on my homemaking journey but merely a means to keep a clean environment in which I can create stuff.
Who would definitely read my blog?  My husband? – Probably not.  He is already a very loyal follower of several wrestling and video game sites.  More than likely, he was around for the initial event, so it is doubtful that he would want to catch the recap.  My sister? Ehhh. Maybe.  But she is very busy with school, her friends, and JB.  I definitely think she will read it from time to time, so that is progress.  My mom?  Yes, she will definitely read it.  Not only would she read it, because she has to as my mom, but I think she would want to.  I like to keep abreast of what is going on in my mom’s life and this is an easy way for her to keep up with me at her convenience.  Plus, she will probably get a big kick at some of my cooking adventures.  Who knows? I probably have other family members and friends that would like to read it.  The sky is the limit.
So now I have a reason and a purpose to blog.  So here goes nothing.  Stay tuned and Stay classy.