"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Friday, May 18, 2012

family & fun things

Things have been busy but so fun lately. We've had lots of visitors and have loved it! First my parents came and spent a weekend with us and the next weekend my brother and sis-in-law and their adorable little girl came. Next weekend Seth's parents are coming and we are so excited! We love having the quality time with our family and exploring the city a little bit more! It's always more fun to do with someone else, because I think when you live somewhere you easily settle into "your routine" but when you are showing someone around you try new things and notice new things.
My good looking mom & dad :)

                                           We got out grandma's sewing machine that I've been wanting to use
                                           f-o-r-e-v-e-r but have had NO idea how to even thread the thing. Mom
                                           to the rescue, she was awesome & helped me figure that darn thing out!
                                          Haha, I was so excited because I sewed a straight line, :)...lots of work ahead
                                          Jen & Kylie Jo...love their ponytails...like mother like daughter :)
We went to the Peabody hotel to watch the march
of the ducks since Kylie is infatuated with "duckies" lately.

We've tried our hand at a garden. Initially we got so excited when we started to see seeds sprouting and growing into tiny little leaves. But our excitement soon deflated once two weeks had passed and those tiny little leaves had not grown. AT ALL. Our garden, with exception to our grape tomatoes, has completely taken a standstill position. We can't decide if it's just going to die or if one day we will wake up and it will look like a flourishing jungle of delicious produce (positive thinking!). I mean last summer when we lived in Goodfield, IL our garden could have won a blue ribbon at a county fair for biggest zucchini, now we can't even get the plants to bloom pre=produce flowers. sigh. I suppose an apartment balcony may not be the most accommodating to growing a vegetable garden. (Don't be deceived when you look at the pictures, some of these we bought as plants, they have not grown that much).

                                           In the back is a long planter with spinach...it's looked like that for over
                                           a month.
                                          Our sad pepper plants. I wanted fresh red and green peppers so bad.
                                          We can't decide if this is all they are going to grow, haha.
In the background you will see our ONE plant that is producing!
Grape tomatos!! We are hopeful for those guys!

We've tried our hands at a couple other DIY projects too. Seth sometimes dreams of having a house so he can set up shop and build projects, not on his apartment balcony, but at the same time we've loved this season of life and often laugh at how innovative he can get to make a workshop here! Over Christmas time we were doing some shopping and I saw an idea at a store that I wanted to copy...the sign was giant nails in the shapes of letters that spelled JOY with yarn wrapped around them. So we came up with our own saying and got to work. Now, if you would have asked me to make this I would have said "Just hammer some nails into the shapes of letters free-handed, it'll be fine!" whereas Seth, a construction perfectionist mind you, says "let's print large letters from WORD and tape them to the board so everything looks even and then we can hammer the nails exactly one inch apart from each other"....at first I thought that was way too much work, but as we started working on it I was laughing realizing how my design would have been horrific and probably unreadable. Here's what we came up with.

(notice the perfect spacing)

So all ya'll who are on pinterest know how many fun ideas they are and also how overwhelming it can be at times. Well the other day I was determined to try some of the ideas that i've pinned. So I tried to tackle homemade handsoap. I read and learned that a. it's much better for you (less chemicals than OTC handsoap) and b. it's much cheaper!! (who isn't a fan of that!?). If you want the "recipe" for this click here. http://www.thefarmersnest.com/2011/11/liquid-hand-soap-diy.html. We have loved it. It smells great and lasts forever! I definitely will be making it again. See how we did it:

                                           Start with your pick of bar soap. I love Mrs. Meyer's Lemon Verbana
                                           scent! These are hard to find though, I had to search town for this
                                           type of soap. 

                                           The recipe called for liquid glycerin. I looked ALL around the store for
                                           liquid glycerin and finally asked the clerk. She took me to the enema
                                           section and brought me to these...glycerin enemas. At first I thought,
                                           "hmmm this can't be right" but then I looked @ the ingredients & it's
                                           pure glycerin so we went with it, haha. 
                                           Buy a cheap grater from the dollar tree so that way you don't mess
                                           up your nice kitchen one!
                                           Grate the entire bar of soap.
                                            Boil the soap shreds into the water and glycerin.
                                           This is what you get after it sits for a while....
We had to add some water to get it to the right consistency. but we've
been using it & loving it!

We are looking forward to summer. Even though we are adults and don't get "summer breaks" anymore, there is still something in the air that is so fun about summer. Everyone gets more relaxed & has more fun with life. You get outside more (unless it's 100 degrees, like I fear it will be here soon), you spend more time with family and generally just feel happier. One of my goals is to read a lot more. I have started about 3 books so far, and have about 20 more I want to read, haha :) Anyone else been there before, haha?

Tomorrow I'm helping to photograph a wedding. YIKES. Thankfully i'm just the backup. It's been such a great learning experience already and i've gained so many tips & tricks. It's been fun and quite a bit nerve wracking to think about. My simple little canon rebel is going to get a workout! I'm excited for this opportunity and hopeful everything will go great! (you can say some prayers, haha :)).

happy friday and happy weekend!!