Monday, February 24, 2014

Project Sunday 2-23-14

I know it's not Sunday anymore, but I was simply too exhausted last night to possibly post this, and I'm going to tell you why.

Sunday is usually the only day of the week that both my husband and myself have free time. So we try to spend almost all of our Sundays working on the myriad of projects that we're occupying our time with. Thus we have dubbed the day Project Sunday. Catchy, right?

So what did we do this past Project Sunday? I'm so glad you asked.

First, since we're planning on going to Pennsic this year (yes, that again) I'm going to need something to wear. You might remember that last time I went to Pennsic, I had to make a bunch of funny looking cloths for myself... Well, I don't know what we were thinking, but they all came out way too big. Over the years, we took in one of the tunics and made it wearable, but nothing else really fit me. So yesterday, we went to a Garb Workshop in our Barrony and fixed up the other two pieces! I'm so excited that now I'll actually have garb that fits me! We spent the whole morning measuring and cutting and sewing and surging, and it was so much fun. There's still a lot of work to be done. One of my tunics needs to be hemmed, and I still don't have any pants, but oh well. Such is life.

After the Garb Workshop, we headed over to my mom's office so that I could do some work, and so my husband could provide some tech support to her. No matter how old your children get, they will always be your precious little IT people.

Next was a trip to my in-law's house to have "dinner" (at 4:00pm) with some friends of theirs, and then to work on a really special project that I can't tell you about now, but that I promise I will blog about as soon as it's finished!

Now you might think that we packed a lot into our Project Sunday, but we weren't done yet! We had the most important project of all waiting for us at home.
We had to finish our thank-you notes! Yes, I know that we've been married for over 6 months, and we haven't done our thank-you notes yet. But guess what? They're all done now! It took about 4 hours of solid work over Saturday and Sunday evenings to hammer out all of the details and write some of the ones we had been putting off. But it got done. I'm going to head out to the post office today to mail them! (then I just have to worry about my grad-school apps... yay)

And that was really the end of a very long, yet very productive Project Sunday. What will we get done next time?
Stay tuned and find out!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Wedding Ring Review

So my husband and I have been married for just over 6 months now, (I know, I know, we're an old married couple) and I thought that the six month mark would be a perfect time to tell you guys all about our wedding rings.

First, the back-story.

My husband and I had our wedding rings picked out before we even got engaged. When we first started talking seriously about getting married (this would be back in March of 2011) I started looking for rings. I found a pair I liked on etsy, and "favorited" them so that I would remember what I liked.

Fast forward a year or so... we got engaged in July of 2012 (he proposed with his grandmother's wedding ring and her blessing) and kept poking around online, looking at possible wedding rings. But over and over we kept coming back to that first set we had seen.

The "Starry Starry Night" wooden wedding rings from Minter and Richter Designs on etsy.

We hadn't officially picked out our wedding rings, but I was showing pictures of these to everyone saying "wanna see the rings we're looking at?" After a few months of that (and some half-hearted looking at other bands) , it occurred to us that we had picked out our wedding rings.

Now let's fast-forward to a few days ago. I logged onto my etsy account wanted to leave some amazing feedback for Minter & Richter. You see, when my husband and I were first looking at these rings, I checked the seller's feedback on etsy to see what the reviews were like. They were (and still are) overwhelmingly positive and I got very excited. But they were all from people who had recently purchased their rings, and I was really hoping for some long-term reviews.

So now that my husband and I have had our rings for 6 months, I thought I'd post a review on their etsy page... But I can't; etsy has a 60 day cut-off for reviews. Which means that the only way I could have left a review for the rings would have been if I had done it within 60 days of my purchase, by which time we hadn't even worn them yet! That is ridiculous.

Well, since I can't post my review on etsy, I thought I'd post it here.

We've had and worn our wedding rings for over 6 months now, and I can confidently say that it was a wonderful purchase! I'm so glad that my husband and I got these rings. They're absolutely stunning and unique!
The metal is titanium, and the inside is a dyed wood in-lay. I love that, because my husband and I are the only couple I know of who have wooden wedding rings!
When we placed our order, we gave the size that we thought we needed, and we received sizers for that size, 1 size up and 1 size down so that we would be sure to get rings that fit us perfectly!

As for wear ad tear, I can tell you that after 6 months of use, they still look brand new! I was told by the sellers that because the rings are sealed they are completely water proof. But I'm very protective of my ring, and a little paranoid, so I do take it off when I shower/wash my hands/cook messy foods.
This is going to be short, because I have nothing negative at all to say about these rings or the sellers!

All I can say is that if you are considering getting and jewelry from Minter and Richter, go for it! The jewelry is beautiful and extremely high-quality, and their prices are very reasonable!

So that's it for the wedding ring review! I've got a lot of other cool things coming though, so stay tuned!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Making Challah

Every Friday I make challah, which is a traditional Jewish bread made with eggs. Now my husband and I aren't all that religious, but having a nice sit-down family meal on Friday nights is an important tradition to both of us. And having a nice challah is a part of that.

When I was a little girl, my parents and I went to my Bubbie and Grandpa's house every Friday night for dinner. Either my grandmother or my mother would bring a challah, but they were always store bough. Even after my grandmother passed away, and shabbos dinners moved to my parent's house, the challahs were always from a local bakery.

Before I got married, I'd made challah with my mother once or twice, but we never had the time to do it on a weekly basis. After I got married, I decided that I wanted to be the kind of woman who made her own challah every week.

And you know what, it was a lot easier (and less time consuming) that I thought!

I found a nice recipe on-line at and it's still the one I use every week. I'm not going to walk you through the every single step here, because you can just follow the link. Just a tip, I cut the recipe in half. There's only the two of us (unless you count the snake), and we were throwing a lot of bread away at the end of every week.

So, how do you make a challah?

Step 1: Gather all of your ingredients together.

We switched from the 5lbs bags of flour over to the 10lbs bags, because we were going through so much of it. Then my mom bought us a 25lbs bag from Sam's Club for something like $8! Thank you mom!

Step 2: Mix!

We got a KitchenAid stand mixer as a wedding gift. It was something that I had been drooling over for years, but it's a very expensive piece of equipment, and I couldn't justify the cost. But now that I have one, I don't know what I ever did without it!
Another tip, use a rubber-band to hold the "lock" switch in place. Trust me on this one. Especially if you're making a dough, that switch will not stay in place without a little extra help!

Step 3: Raise the Dough

It might take a few hours, but your dough should go from a tiny little ball (like the picture on the left) to an exploded looking dough-balloon (like the picture on the right).

Step 4: Braid!

One thing that I before I braid, is cut the dough in half and stick half in a loaf pan. That way, we'll have bread for sandwiches throughout the week.
It's taken me a long time to perfect my braiding technique, and the only tip I can give is to start in the middle. It might sound crazy, but trust me on this one, it'll come out so pretty!

Step 5: Bake it

The only thing left to do is to bake your challah! It'll be ready to come out of the oven when your whole apartment (or house, or igloo, or whatever) starts to smell like fresh baked bread! It's wonderful, and I've never had to set a timer for my bread!

So there you have it, 5 easy steps to a delicious challah! Enjoy and have a good Shabbos!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kitty Rescue

Hey you guys, this is going to be really quick, I promise.

The other day my friend Colleen rescued a kitty she found wandering around out in the cold.
She took him in, named him Descartes and gave him a safe warm place to sleep. But Descartes is a sick kitty, he has a possible upper repository infection and needs medical care.

Isn't he a cutie-pie?
According to Colleen:
"he needs an exam, neutering, fiv and filv testing, antibiotics and possibly more, we aren't sure yet."

*UPDATE* Descartes is doing very well! He had his check up and is FIV and FILV free! He does have an upper respiratory infection and a bladder infection, but he's on antibiotics and his prognosis looks good!

So click here to help out if you can! Thank you!

Monday, February 3, 2014

KILBY Bookcase Hack

So recently, my husband and I took our very first trip to IKEA. Well, actually my husband had been there a few times before, but it was all new and very overwhelming to me.

We were at the store in search of a couch, which we acquired (more on that soon, I promise), but we also needed some bookshelves. I don't know if they were featured in any of my boring apartment pictures, but I've got boxes and boxes of books just laying around the apartment with no where to put them.

Even though we've been here for over 6 months, the boxes everywhere make it look like we just moved in.

More bookshelves. Specifically, the KILBY bookcase that we found for a steal ($25) at IKEA. 

The new problem? 
It's kind of well, ugly as all get out. See for yourselves:
The KILBY bookcase from IKEA

What in the name of interior decorating is with that ugly grey backing? It seems to be the only difference between the KILBY and the much more expensive BILLY is that ug-o grey back.

New solution? 
No problem, we'll hack it and make it pretty.

Enter two cans of Krylon Island Splash spray-paint. Only my husband and I are crazy enough to be spray painting outside when it's 20 degrees. We had one of those plastic table-cloth covers and we laid it over the back of our balcony so that we could spray away without worrying about making a mess in our rented space.

It took several coats of paint (we had to run out mid-project to get the second can of paint), and was frustratingly uneven for most of the job. It's been a long time since I spray painted anything, and for some reason I completly forgot how difficult it can be to get everything to come out smooth and even (even if you're using a glossy finish paint). But in the end, everything turned out even better than I had expected.

Check it out:

I call it the KILBY SPLASH

I love our IKEA hack! It adds such a wonderful splash of color to our drab apartment! 

So what's next? We're supposed to be getting a couch and well... stay tuned!

So what do you guys think? Would you "hack" a bookcase like this? Have you? What's your favorite hack? Let us know in the comments!