Monday, February 23, 2009

Pups and Popular culture

Well I made it back from NC, not thawed, but happy to have visited a lovely little blossoming family that I'm happy to be related to. Now that my computer and camera have gotten over whatever tiff they are having and start talking to each other again I can post some pictures of the cute couple and their dogs (one of which almost came home in my suitcase!).

Here's the cute couple on a not very warm beach. Wanna know something adorable? They always seem to be holding hands, especially in the car. Awwww, my little brother is in love :)

Here's the little guy I wanted to steal. His name is Deisel. He's part boxer. He's part pit bull. His feet are over sized. He's going to be enormous some day.

And here's the not so little guy, Torque, who is also lovable, but would probably eat me if I tried to take his Deisel away. As usual, he's making his "stupid face", lip over bottom teeth, tongue hanging out just a little bit.

They are really cute when they play together!

And now for something completely different....

Pop Culture Give-in #1
On the way back home from NC I gave in and bought a book (which I haven't done in a while, thanks to my obsession with Bookmooch.) That book was Twlight, by Stephanie Meyer.

I've heard a lot of women, young and old have fallen for this book and I just wasn't sure if I was going to be one of those people. Still, it was one of the cheaper books on the airport bookstore shelf and one of the only ones I had heard of, so I gave in. After the first chapter, I wasn't convinced. By the time I got halfway though, I had to finish it THAT DAY. It was good. A little romance doesn't hurt in a novel, but the way that the author captures the feeling of new romance was dead on. I remembered how I felt when Mike and I first started dating, when I felt like my nerve endings were on fire with the smallest brush of his hand. Sigh. When he picked me up at the airport, I gave him a great big kiss and it felt wonderful. I can't wait to read the next three!!

Pop Culture Give-in # 2

On Saturday, Mike and I decided to go see the movie Coraline in theaters. One of the major reasons I wanted to see it was because of all the hype that I had been hearing about its 3D that was supposed to be really good. When we went up to the counter to buy the tickets, but after Mike had forked over the money (thanks sugar daddy!), the cashier said "It's not in 3D, just so you know." Doh! Oh well, we went in and settled down just in time for the start of the movie. (Arriving 10 minutes late apparently means you're not subjected to advertisement-for future reference).

The movie itself was cute and creepy and similar in style to the Nightmare Before Christmas. There were some parts where Mike and I looked at eachother, laughing, thinking... did that just happen? I'd recommend it... but if you get a chance to watch in 3D, please let me know what you think. I might be a little jealous.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hello, Goodbye!

A quick note before I head out of town. I'm flying down to North Carolina to visit my brother and his wife and "the boys" (their two enormous Boxer puppies). (Isn't that a cute picture of them from their wedding last year!?) I'm hoping thaw out a little bit down there! Whoo upper 50s!

You may have noticed my blog has been spruced up a bit with a lovely little background, thanks to Simply Chic Blogs. Thanks to them for helping me make this place a little less boring, all for the wonderful price of..... free!

I'll be back Thursday night, pending good weather. It will be just in time to dive into my study materials for my certification test! Take care everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Searching, Searching

The wedding planning has officially begun! Mike and I have started looking into all the necessary things, photographers, dresses, locations, people to be involved... there's so much to think about! Location is at the forefront right now because that will help determine the types of decorations and dress, and will help us pick the vendors that we might need. We're looking everywhere in WNY and CNY since we have connections to both. We'd like to have our outdoor wedding and reception in the same place. We're looking for a location that is private, has a great outdoor space and a great indoor space, either for dinner or just incase the weather takes a turn for the worse. We also want something not too huge and that has some character. Neither are the type to appreciate a hotel ballroom.
So here's the list of places we're considering (including those that have been dropped). If you have any ideas, please feel free to contribute!

Knox Farm State Park: East Aurora, NY
Kloc's Blossom Grove: West Seneca, NY
Avanti Mansion: Buffalo, NY
Bever Hallow: Java, NY- OFF THE LIST, a bit too pricey

Hurd Orchards: Holley, NY
Glendoveers: Rochester, NY
Bristol Harbor: Canadaguia, NY- OFF THE LIST, a bit too pricey
Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum: Canadaguia, NY
Crystal Barn: Pittsford, NY
Springdale Farm Bed and Breakfast: Victor, NY
Casa Larga: Fairport, NY

The Lodge at Welch Allyn: Skaneateles Falls, NY (We checked this place out today and liked the budiling. We want to see what the grounds look like when there is some foliage living)
Skyline Lodge: Fabius, NY ( We checked this out one day last month, its in a county park and is pretty. We'll need to see what it looks like once things are growing again)
Arrowhead Lodge: Bridgeport, NY
Camp Brockway: Pompeii, NY (We tried to check this place out, but the driveway was closed for the winter)
The Wellington House: Fayetteville, NY- OFF THE LIST, we didn't really like the view of the McDonalds Drivethru.
Green Lakes State Park: Fayetteville, NY
Logan Ridge Estate: Hector, NY
John Joseph Inn and Elizabeth Resturant: Groton, NY
Taughannock Farms Inn: Trumansburg, NY- OFF THE LIST, too small and not pretty enough
Six Mile Creek Vinevards: Ithica, NY
Lorenzo State Historic Site: Cazenovia, NY
The Brewster Inn: Cazenovia NY
The Genny Lee: Lodi, NY- OFF THE LIST, required having more people than we're likely to have.

Thats 19 locations, not counting the 5 that have already been dropped off the list, in case you weren't keeping track. I'm not opposed to adding some more to check out, so if you know of any place, please let me know!

*Image Via Rodney Smith

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Morning Elegance.

Wow! Posting three days in a row is an unheard of record for me... mostly because I am NOT studying for my upcoming teaching certification test- oops.

Now a days, I have quite a commute to school which means a really early wake up and trust me, there is no elegance in it. Just a lot of stumbling and groaning.

I found this beautiful song/music video called "Her Morning Elegance" on Black*Eiffel, which is another lovely little blog on my long list of daily reads. I think the song is beautiful and catchy and the video is so clever!

I really wonder what I would look like if I was videoed in my sleep. I'm sure it would be an interesting experience!

*I couldn't figure out how to embed the video, so here instead is a picture of the morning elegance that Mike captured coming over the mountains at Alta. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy February!

Back in January, Mike and I took our "engagement honeymoon" to Utah. (I knew about the trip many months before I knew about the engagement part) Mike took way, way more great photos than I did. (Check them out here. ) It was a wonderful time and we both came home with all four limbs fully functioning, although there were a few close moments when there were white our conditions and thigh deep powder. But who am I to complain.... :)

The picture above is from the Alta ski resort outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. We spent days 1 and 3 of our skiing there and day 2 at Snowbird, pictured below.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

At last, an update! Holiday Craftiness!

I have totally been slacking on my posting, but I have a good excuse. After Mike and I returned from Utah, I started my first student teaching placement of my master's program at a great school for the Deaf. Hopefully, I'll get to posting about that later. For now, here are the as promised details of my holiday craftiness.

The first was a Secret Hollow Book that I made for Michael. I got the directions from the How to do Stuff blog and it was a pretty easy, though somewhat time consuming project.

I took a trip to the local used book store to pick out the book. I had a little trouble at first, because I wanted to get a book that was hard cover and large enough to hold something. It also had to be a book that would be expected to be in Mike's collection, but not one that he would be upset about not being able to actually read. I settled on a wine encyclopedia that was updated for 1980.

Without its dust cover on it was a simple white book with just a little bit of texture. I thought it would look nice on a shelf in the office. Then it was time to break out the decoupage and paint brushes which i had from a chair project I never finished several years previously...

After it was all glued together, I had the arduous process of cutting out the middle. This took several hours and made a lot of mess. But the finished project was worth it!

I filled it with several little gifts and wrapped it up. Mike seemed pretty happy about the finished project and hopefully will be used in our house for quite some time.

The next gift was another idea that I stumbled upon though some blogs I read. This one was from With this Ring, one of the many wedding inspiration blogs that I read. It was a really cute and really simple apron made from a tea towel. I decided this would be cute for Jenny as well as a good hostess gift for Cassandra who was going to be taking care of us while we were in Utah.

This is the one I made for Jenny, I bought some cute matching towels from Bed, Bath and Beyond so I could add a pocket to the original design and give her another towel to have that matched.

Here's the basic design.

The only sewing in the basic design was attaching the buttons. The ribbon is actually just tied around the buttons.

Here's the finished product with pockets. They were pretty simple to put on, but I think they add a lot to the design. I also gave Jen a bag of Wegman's loose leaf tea. Last year I gave her a reusable tea basket (which you use in place of tea bags). I like to try encourage good eco-friendly habits in my friends when I can- plus its handy and the tea tastes bettter!

I also decided to make Mike an apron. I didn't have a whole lot of time when I came up with this idea and I thought he'd like a full one, so I went with embelshing a pre-made one instead of making my own or another tea towel one.

I picked one up at my favorite store, Wegamans. I decided to embroider it, even though I've never done that in my life. My strategy was to print out a letter from Microsoft Word, copy it on to tissue paper. Then I pined it to the apron and use an embrodery needle I got with a set and some thread that I had leftover from my friendship bracelet days.

I think the finished product again came out really nicely!

I did a few other crafty things, but I think this is plenty of showing off for one day. :)
I'll try to be back soon with a little bit about our Utah trip and goings on in my life right now. Take care everyone!