Friday, March 28, 2014

New tichels!

Hey everyone! Good Shabbos to those who celebrate it!

I just wanted to put together a quick post showing off a new tichel (head-scarf) I got for myself:

I got it from (which I highly recommend, and will probably be blogging about at a later date). I swear to blob that I did not know it had an elephant on it when I bought it! I just loved the color so I wanted to get it!

I thought I would also share a shot of most of my tichels, and all of the ones I wear on a regular basis:

These are (almost) all Israeli-style tichels, which are the type I prefer. And, I love my wonderful scarf-hangers which my husband picked up for me several months ago! Isn't he wonderful?

Well, that's it for now. I've got to finish getting ready for Shabbos! There's a challah that needs to come out of the oven and some more cooking to do.

I plan on writing more about my tichels soon, so stay tuned!

What are your weekend plans? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Projet Sunday 3-23-14

It's that time again folks! Time to re-cap yet another amazing Project Sunday! And it's been a pretty productive one, if I do say so myself!

We slept in a bit, as one is wont to do on a Sunday morning, but immediately sprung into the spring-cleaning spirit. I had decided that I was going to tackle a few problematic areas of the apartment today, so while my husband worked on cleaning our snake's cage (which badly needed doing) I vacuumed the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Then we got to visit with a friend who just got back from France, and do some grocery shopping with them. Yes, this is what we do for fun. We needed to go, they needed to go, it seemed like a good idea. And... check out what they brought back from France for us (okay, mostly for me):

It's from a French medical text-book, can you tell?

Isn't that sooooo cool? I'm going to have it framed and you know I'll share some photos of the finished product!

Next on the agenda we had to decide if we were going to stay home to work on the NAME OF PROJECT REDACTED FOR SECURITY REASONS, or wander down to the university where my husband works to help the Steel Bridge team that my husband was captain of for 2 years running (and since competition is next week, they badly need all the help they can get). In the end we decided to stay home and work on the TOP-SECRET project, and I'm so glad we did because some other friends stopped by and we had an amazing visit! :o) I love getting to see our friends, especially ones who live far away, whom we don't get to see often enough.

After that, I ran off to do some actual work (super fun, I know) and gave my husband time to just relax. When I got home we got to finally put the almost finishing touches on the PROJECT THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED. So that's a good thing. We're like, 98% done at this point, and I swear that I'll have a really big post all about it when we're done.

Whew, I guess that's about it for this Project Sunday, but that's a lot right? We worked our little buns off, but had a really lovely and amazing day, full of projects and friends. What more could we possibly ask for? Spring temperatures above freezing? Nah. Who would want that?

Hey, how did you guys celebrate Project Sunday? Working on anything interesting or fun? Tell me about it in the comments!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Project Sunday 3-16-14

Happy Monday, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to all those who celebrate! And to all those who don't, wear something green anyway, it's not worth getting pinched by strangers.

Here's a quick re-cap of yesterday's Project Sunday activities for you to enjoy:

Yesterday we celebrated the Jewish holiday of Purim. My husband and I went to morning services to hear the reading of the Megillah (the Book of Esther, which tells the story of how the evil Haman wanted to destroy the Jews because a man named Mordechi refused to bow down to him, and how Esther the Queen managed to save her people), and to stuff our faces with delicious food-stuffs.

No, I didn't make these, but don't they look delicious?

Then is was off to a Sudah (Purim party) at my in-law's house, where we stuffed our faces some more with more delicious food-stuffs.
Then it was time to get to work on my father in law's wine press. This is a project that we started working on more than a few months ago, and have been making spotty progress on ever since. It's sort of a slow going project, because we have to be at my in-law's house, and have everyone involved in the mood to work on a project, which doesn't always happen.

Anyway, we finished up the last step of the wine press, and I'm happy to report that it is now in working condition. There are more improvements that we could make, little additions that might improve its performance, but we wanted to hold off until we see how the wine press actually works. And since my in-law's won't be getting their hands on the right grapes until at least September, we might be waiting awhile. Oh well, at least that's another project done! I'd love to write about the press and its construction at some point, so keep an eye out for that.

After that, my exhausted husband and I came home and crashed. We just had no energy to work on our own projects (and it was just too cold outside for the painting we were planning on doing), so we decided to chill out and play video games for a bit.

I got some work done on a personal writing project, but other than that, we had a rather un-productive evening, and I'm okay with that.
Sure, Project Sunday is for working on projects, but we did, and we celebrated one of my favorite holidays on top of it all.

So was this the most productive Project Sunday we've had? No. Was it a fun and relaxing one? YES!

Don't worry, we'll have another Project Sunday coming up next week, so stay tuned!

And I'd love to hear what you guys are working on for your Project Sundays, so let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Anniversary Art

I've mentioned my obsession with Pinterest, right? If I haven't, I guess I just did, and here's a re-cap: I'm obsessed with Pinterest! I'll admit, it took me the longest time to get into, but I'm so glad I did. Because I'm finding so many amazing things.

I've got different "boards" for each room in our apartment, filled with decorating ideas. I've already done a few projects that I found on Pinterest, and I plan on making a lot more, but I wanted to take a few minutes to share one that I'm particularly proud of.

It all started with this pin:
I don't remember where I found it, but it's from a blog called: Nalle's House. As soon as I saw it I knew that I wanted to try to make one for myself! I pinned the picture to the "Bedroom" board and saved it for later.
Fast-forward a month or so. My husband and I were heading out this past Project Sunday to work on that super-secret project that I keep dropping hints about, and we were going to be passing by Michael's. Suddenly I remembered this project idea, and decided that we should pop in to pick up canvas and such. We picked up a two pack of canvas fairly quickly, but the stencils took a bit longer.
We browsed for a bit, and finally found a Martha Stewart brand stencil set that was kind of what I had had in mind. The pack came with a complete set of letters and numbers, was in a font that I kind of liked, and was several sizes smaller than what I was looking for... and yeah, for over $17, it just wasn't worth it. 
So I was at a bit of a loss for what to do stencil-wise, when my brilliant husband suggested that I make my own stencils. What an idea! With a bit of poking around in my word processing program, I could pick out any font I liked, and make stencils of almost any size! I picked up a pack of white construction paper for $1.99 (I figured it would make for a sturdier stencil than just printer paper), and we were off!
I didn't have a chance to work on my project then, even though it was Project Sunday, because we had other plans, but an evening shift on Monday left me almost the whole day for crafting!
I started by printing out the "stencils" I had designed the night before.
Then came the most annoying part, cutting out the stencils. I could have gone about this one of two ways. I could have cut around the numbers (which would have been so much easier), but past experience has taught me that I'm very bad at tracing around things. So, I took the much more tedious route and cut out the numbers. It was obnoxious, but I got it done with only a minimal amount of swearing.
Next up was tracing the stencils, and this part actually went pretty quickly, once I found a pencil:
It's a little hard to see, but I've outlined the numbers that I'm going to paint
After that, all I had to do was to color (or paint) in the lines! Now, I'm really not the best painter, so I thought that this was going to be the hardest part. But once I got started, it was pretty damn easy. I just had to have a modicum of patience and a very small brush.
Oh right, I forgot to tell you. I decided to make two paintings! Since we got a 2 pack of canvas for such a reasonable price (~$10), I thought, why not? The first painting has the date that we met, and the second one has our wedding date on it. It seemed appropriate, and super cute.
And you know what? They came out pretty damn awesome, if I do say so myself.
I know it's blurry...
Definitely not a Pinterest Fail. And now I'm thinking about making some more of them! They would make great wedding/anniversary gifts, and I've got a few of those coming up.
So, uh, that's all for now. Hopefully this mystery project I've been talking about will be finished really soon, because I'm dying to blog about it.
Stay tuned!
PS. I promise I'll post a better picture of the finished product as soon as we hang them and get our bedroom just a little more put together!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Why I Love My Earskins

Back in August I started stretching my ears. For those of you who are not familiar with this type of body modification, stretching your ears involves using tapers or tape to stretch an existing lobe piercing to a larger size. Stretched ears (and the jewelry that fits that) are measured in a unit called a gauge. If you got your ears pierced with a gun (like I did...) the holes in your ears are probably an 18 or a 20 gauge.

It's taken me almost 7 months to stretch my ears from that starting size to their current size, which is an 8g. I like having my ears at an 8, and I plan to stay at this size for a while, so I decided that I should get some nice jewelry that fit an 8 gauge.

I'd heard of the store Body Art Forms, and decided to browse their offerings and see if there was anything that I liked. After only a few minutes on the site, I had already decided that I wanted at least one of everything there! But, realizing that I don't have that kind of budget, I decided to pick out one pair of "earrings" and start from there.

So I picked out a pair of silicone earskins in pink. They're essentially flexible tunnels that you can wear in your ears.

I took this one out just so I could take  a picture for you!

As soon as they arrived, I had to try them on! It took some doing to get them in (since they're silicone and flexible, it can be pretty tricky to shove 'em trough a piercing, even a stretched one), but once I did I knew that I had made the right choice! I love my earskins.

Why? Let me count the ways.

1. They're super comfy to wear. - I've had them in day and night for over a week and I can hardly feel them, even when I'm sleeping on them.
2. They were so cheap! - I think I spent about $10 total on them (they were priced individually), and that was including shipping.
3. They're way cute! - I love the way they look.
4. They were exactly what I had in mind when I started stretching my ears. - Here's a tangent, I used to watch LA Ink when it was on, and I remember that one of the artists wore a large pair of hoops through her stretched ears. I loved the look, and that's what I had in mind when I first started stretching my ears.

So there you have it. I'm totally in love with my silicone earskins from Body Art Forms, and I don't care who knows it.

I love that I can wear a 14g hoop through my earskins!

Would I buy more jewelry from Body Art Forms? Absolutely! When I ordered my earskins, they sent me 4 o-rings, a gauge card and a sticker for free! :o) It was such a fun and easy shopping experience, I would recommend them to anyone looking to get good quality jewelry for ear/body piercings. Personally, I've been ogling their wooden jewelry and will probably be making another purchase soon!

And if I do, I'm sure you'll hear about it right here, so stay tuned!

P.S. For those of you who might be wanting to try stretching a piercing, I love Morgan Joyce's no-nonsense guide.

UPDATE (3-28-14): I love my ear-skins so much, I ordered another pair:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Travel Plans for 2014

It's only March, but I'm already feeling overwhelmed about everything that's going to be going on this coming year. So I thought I'd take a moment and share our travel plans for the year, and then maybe I won't feel so overwhelmed? Maybe? Please?

Now the funny thing is, I always say that I don't particularly like to travel, and that I don't do it very often. Now don't get me wrong, it's not a fear of flying or anything like that. I actually love to fly. It's airports that I hate. Long lines for security, body-scans, rushing to get to your gate seconds before the plane takes off, only to discover that the $5.99 coffee you just purchased in the terminal can't be taken on the plane... Ugh, and don't get me started on the fees associated with flying these days.

Anyway, despite my claims to not be a big traveler, my husband and I have already made three big trips in the 7 months we've been married.

  • In August we went on our honeymoon, driving first the the Toledo Zoo, then to the Mutter Museum in Philly, then to New York to celebrate with family and relax in the country.
  • Then in November, we drove 10 hours down to Baltimore to celebrate Thanksgiving with my aunt and uncle and cousins.
  • In January, as you might have noticed, we went to Washington D.C. (which is the best trip of 2014... so far)
  • In May we'll be flying up to New York again to celebrate our niece's wedding (and hopefully meeting her fiance at some point before the ceremony).
  • In July, we're off to fight in the Pennsic War, or at least to watch the fighting. And don't worry, I'll be posting about the prep for this trip, as it promises to be interesting.
  • We'll probably head back down to Baltimore in November, as Thanksgiving tends to happen once a year, and celebrating with my aunt and uncle has sort of become a family tradition over the last few decades.
  • And finally, in December, my husband and I are hoping to take a trip to Israel, as I haven't been there in about 8 years, and that's a sad thing.
So uh, yeah. I think that's it. 7 major trips in a year and a half. That's not crazy, right? Right?
Okay, maybe it's a little insane, but what can we do? We've got wandering feet, I guess. Or, just a lot of family celebrations all over the country!

See why I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed? I swear, I'm such a homebody... Oh well.

Stay tuned for more madness, and I promise to blog about all of these amazing trips as they happen!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Project Sunday 3-2-14

It's been yet another busy Project Sunday, and so I'm going to keep this very short.

Just wanted to say that our crossbow racks have been made and hung up, and they look fabulous!

And here's a close-up of my husband's crossbow on its new rack:

In case you didn't know, we're a little strange

Happy Project Sunday!