Monday, July 25, 2016

chain tassle earrings

Sometimes you just need to make something. And sometimes you get lucky and find some odds and ends lying around that work together perfectly. I made these earrings from supplies I had left over from other projects. So I'm happy, and my husband is happy. (He never says anything but he always gets this look in his eyes when I head for the craft store. It's like a "oh boy how much is this going to cost and how long is my wife going to be gone?" kinda look. You know? It makes me happy to keep his blood pressure down.
DIY earrings

So after many other projects and trips to the craft store (with many aforementioned looks from hubby)  I already had all this stuff: a couple cute beads, a length of chain, earring hooks, wired loops, and a couple jump rings. If I had bought all the supplies new I doubt Josh would have even noticed, the bill is so small when you use a coupon or two! And I will confide in you that at no point in my life so far have I regretted my small investment in needle-nose pliers and wire cutters. Seriously. I'm surprised at how often they get used. 
DIY earrings supplies

Just cut a few pieces of the chain into the same length...

and add those to a jump ring. Tip: don't pull the ring apart, twist it open so it keeps it's circular shape.

Add the chain to the end and layer your beads together. I found these cool turquoise beads but anything you like will work. 

Finish them off by using your needle-nose piers to create a loop on the other end. This takes a little practice to get perfect but nobody will notice in the meantime (I say that with confidence because nobody ever seems to notice my very lopsided loops). Then just add the earring hook and you're done! I was almost disappointed at how little time these took. But I suppose there is something to be said for a little instant (or almost instant) gratification. You could whip these babies up as a quick gift or create a pair to match your new shoes, and then of course send me photos because I would love to see!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Grand Prismatic Spring

After two trips to the airport, I am happy to report that our vacation was fantastic. Here's just a little taste of one of my favorite sights- the Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring

I asked my dad to take a photo of me and after standing there with the camera in his hands I wasn't sure he actually took anything. So this is what we got. I think it turned out pretty well, considering I was standing there for 3 minutes not moving.

Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring

My contemplative husband: 

Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring

Not pictured: our trip to the local creek where we jumped off the bridge, Ole Faithful,  my parent's lovely retirement ceremony, family games and sitting around the fire. It was really a wonderful trip and in this case, I don't think words or photos will do it justice!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

leaving on a jet plane....twice

My parents are finally retiring! And to celebrate, my family is taking a vacation together to Yellowstone in Montana. We've be planning it for months and months and I purchased our plane tickets weeks ago and vacation day finally arrived!

And then we drove to the airport a day early.

But don't worry, it's not like I got my husband up at 5 in the morning in order to get there on time. Oh wait, I did.

Oh yes, we had packed, worked like maniacs to get ready on time, hired a dog sitter, cleaned the house, changed the sheets, finished the laundry. You name it, we were ready to go. And then, while on the shuttle to the airport, Josh tried checking us in on our phones. And I realized our flight is on SUNDAY not SATURDAY. Seriously. I couldn't believe it. To make matters worse, I called my mom thinking that she would be expecting us on Saturday. Nope. Turns out I'm the only one who didn't realize we weren't arriving until Sunday.

Needless to say we sheepishly rode the shuttle back, picked up our car, endured the puzzled stares of the lot attendants, and went home.

We did eventually make it to the airport on the correct day, although my complete buffoonery hadn't ended. After several attempts to check in on our Delta phone app, Josh looked at my confirmation email that was clearly labeled UNITED AIRLINES. I seriously don't know what I was thinking. Oh wait! I wasn't. And then I almost missed our shuttle because I wandered away, looking for Pokemon..... At that point my loving husband put his hands on my shoulders, looked me in the eyes and said, in all earnestness, "I'm going to need you to be an adult today."

Thursday, July 14, 2016

homemade guacamole

Today is our company picnic and I decided to bring my homemade guacamole, because you have to be a crazy person not to love it (my professional diagnosis). And also because I'm hoping nobody eats it and we can bring the leftovers home (mwwahahhaah!) So while I mix it up, I thought I'd share my recipe with you. Until I realized that I don't use a recipe because it's just all "to taste" which is the single most annoying thing to read on an actual recipe. I've never written a recipe before, but I figure this is a safe place to start. If you make it and don't like it we can just blame it on "different palates" or something like that. (Of course that won't happen cause this stuff is delicious). 

And while I'm at it, I thought I'd share some tips, starting with my favorite method for dicing up the avacado. I'm all about minimal clean-up and this has never let me down. After you cut the avacodo in half, use a butter knife to slice it top-to-bottom and then left-to-right. Then use a large spoon to simply scoop the whole thing out. Ta-freakin-da! Instantly sliced avacado!

Next I add the cilantro, lime juice, onion, salt and garlic. Next tips: I prefer to chop the onion small (it's about having flavor, not big chunks) Also, garlic paste because, say it with me: "minimal clean-up". And don't tell my husband I said this, but lime juice from the bottle is fine.

Give everything a big stir and taste test it. Too salty? Add lime juice. Too limey? Add salt. Kinda bland? Add a little more everything, especially cilantro. At this point I add the (optional) tomatoes because, not surprisingly, I have a thing for tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are my favorite: just dice them up and deseed them or you will have runny guac. Yuck. And then stir them in like you add chocolate chips to your cookie batter- until they are just incorporated. (Nobody wants mushy and over-stirred tomatoes!) Next tip: enjoy!

My last tip (from a true expert friend of mine): if you are storing it overnight, add an avacodo pit or two to keep it from turning brown. I hope your family loves it as much as mine!