Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

So in case you couldn't guess by the title, today is my birthday.  These means a few things:

1. I was going to say "A million notifications on Facebook" but Facebook has toned it down to one "A million friends have written on your timeline."  But still, a million.
2. I get to see all the cute things my husband does.  He's so sweet.  He got up in the middle of the night to create a heart on the wall made out of Post-It notes.  And each one has an adorable message on it.  What a way to wake up!
3. FREE STUFF!  Seriously.  About two weeks ago, I visited this site and signed up for a dozen email lists.  Not only did they give me coupons for signing up, but they sent me coupons for my birthday.  The best part is, since they're pretty much only email coupons, they give me longer to use them.  Many don't even expire till next week!  We have a pretty fun day planned with ArtPrize downtown and FREE STUFF!  Oh look!  Another one just came in my email!  Awesome!

And for your viewing pleasure, here's the next leg of my walk!

I don't know why these don't appear rotated. Ugh.

Love and Free Stuff,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More Fall Colors

So, for my friends who don't get a million (or at least 25) different shades of red, orange, and yellow in their woods every fall, I went out yesterday and took 100 pictures of the woods.  I deleted some of them when I got home, but I still have most of them, and I thought I'd share them a little bit at a time.  I started my walk by leaving the apartment and heading towards the beach.  Today you'll get the leg of my journey through the beach.  Enjoy!

This is my neighborhood.

I apologize that this picture is sideways, but for the life of me, I couldn't get it to rotate.  And I tried a lot of things.  Boo.

Have a fabulous Wednesday!

Love and Leaves,
Leah Joy

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Got Paid For This?

Yesterday, part of my job was to take a really nice camera, go into the woods at camp, and take pictures of the newly built (new this Spring) tabits (tent + cabin).  While I was there, I also snapped some fall pictures.  So you get pictures today!  From a nice camera!

If you followed my 365,000 words project on Facebook (finished just over a year ago), you know I love the sky.

I love the trees with the close leaves on them.

I rode my bike out there.  And boy am I out of shape.  I guess it's true that you can't keep doing the same workout over and over!  I thought I was doing great with long walks and stuff on the Wii Fit, but I clearly need to spice things up!

Hope you enjoyed this taste of fall!

Love and Leaves,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another Wednesday Ramble

Dear Friends,

I apologize for not blogging last week.  It was my week of insomnia, and I barely had energy to get out of bed in the morning, much less write something interesting.

I also apologize for my recent lack of pictures.  We're attempting to locate Caleb's camera (which we've only looked for once and it wasn't where he thought it was, so we have to look again) so I can only use mine which has that stupid annoying spot on it, and I know bad pictures are better than no pictures, but I just haven't done anything with it yet.

Last week, I wanted to post about chicken soup (soup-er exciting, right?) because I found a new chicken soup recipe that I love and doesn't take quite as long as the four-hour-simmer one I made before.  This recipe says to simmer for 45 minutes, but I like stronger soup, so I gave it probably an hour and 15 minutes or so.  (Bonus: this also makes the chicken come off the bones much more easily!)  Then, I made two batches, since if I'm cutting up a chicken, I may as well cut up two.  The second batch was for dinner, but the first batch I poured into muffin tins and froze (idea via Pinterest).  (The purpose of this is so one can grab 1-3 soup "cubes" and heat them up in a bowl without having to reheat the entire batch of soup.) I placed the muffin tin full of soup on a small cookie sheet in my freezer to keep it straight and upright.  While at first it seemed annoying that only one tin fit in my freezer at a time (meaning I had to pour and freeze multiple times), it turned out to be a blessing.  The first time, I was worried about how the "cubes" would pop out, and I read somewhere that you should put little squares of plastic wrap down in each space.  DON'T DO THIS.  In some of the cubes, the soup got under and around the plastic wrap and so it froze around the plastic wrap.  Meaning some of our soup "cubes" have plastic wrap in them.  GROSS.  Next, I tried just pouring the soup into the muffin tins.  This worked much better and they popped out no problem (well, a few of them needed a bit of warmth on the bottom, but then they came out no problem) and it was far less messy than peeling greasy, wet, thawing plastic wrap out of frozen soup.

I've also been thinking ahead to Christmas, believe it or not.  Of course, things I'll buy or food I'll make will wait until much closer to Christmas, but anything crocheted or knitted should be started now!  And I always like to be ahead of the game.  So I've made my list and I'm checking it several times and have lots of ideas.  And keep remembering people to add to the list.  (The real reason I start this early.)  I'm very excited for some of the projects I'm going to try this year.  I get to singe fabric!  Woohoo!

Well, I have dishes to wash and I'm trying to keep my morning routine relaxing, productive, and timely (because I'm anal-retentive), so I better go.

Love and Daisies,
Leah Joy

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pinterest Fails

Hi Friends,

I'm trying to ease back into this blogging regularly thing.  This is the third week in a row I've posted!  Once a week is regular, right?  :)

I'd like to share with you some ideas I tried on Pinterest that absolutely failed (mostly because of my own ineptitude).

1. This one was definitely my own fault that it failed.  It's a "bird feeder" but with yarn in it so they can use it for their nests.  I thought, "What a great way to use up all the really little ends of yarn!  (Ones too short to use in a crazy afghan.)"  All my pieces about 6 inches or shorter!  Now, in the defense of this original idea, I didn't actually go to their blog to see what they used.  I had an old plastic container that had cracked, so I decorated it with some yarn, filled it with yarn ends, and hung it up outside.  IF I had used the container they suggested - with a top to hold everything in - my problems wouldn't have happened.  But because the only hole was the large top, one gust of wind blew ALL the yarn scraps EVERYWHERE.  That was a mess.  Believe it or not, I actually picked them all up and put them back in, thinking that it was just a fluke.  The second time, I just threw the whole thing away.  I didn't even take a picture, though it would have been amusing (especially since I was working on all my rainbow projects, so the yarn was extremely colorful), so you'll just have to picture it.

2. My sister and I saw this Wax Paper and Crayon Chandelier and wanted to try it out.  We had absolutely no idea how many crayons we should shave in between the wax paper.  Let's just say we erred on the side of too many crayons.  Navy blue crayon wax melted out the sides... and I owe my mom a new ironing board cover.

3. I wanted to make these Raspberry Lemonade Bars.  They look absolutely wonderful, plus I love Raspberry Lemonade!  I don't know what I did wrong, but mine ended up a vomitous pale pink.  Maybe I didn't add enough raspberry.  I don't know.  They tasted weird, too.  I ended up bringing them over to a family reunion happening at the camp.  I said that a lady from our church made them for an event and that there were leftovers.  We'd never be able to eat all of them.  Technically that was true.  I'm a lady from our church, I made them for the Dessert of the Month club (that was Caleb's birthday present), and we'd NEVER be able to eat them!

4. This final fail (for today... I'm sure I'll find many more) is actually a true fail.  Don't try this one, because it doesn't work.  Everyone's all excited that you can write with Sharpie on a mug, bake it, and it's permanent.  Great gift, right?  I don't know how this girl got it to work, but it doesn't.  I tried it with all different colors, and some wash off at different rates, but they all eventually wear off.  If you're never going to wash it and only use it to hold paper clips and push pins on your desk - go for it.  If you want something safe that you can wash and it won't go away, use Porcelaine Pens.  Follow their directions, and you'll have a permanent design.  Here's a really great blog post with some helpful hints.

DO NOT purchase them on clearance at Michael's.  The packages in which Michael's sells them are very easy to open and close, so you can't tell what has already been opened.  If someone returns a pen to Michael's, they might just throw it back on the shelf at a clearance price.  Meaning it's dried out.  I purchased my first one this way and was extremely disappointed.  My second one I purchased from and had NO problems.

I've purchased mugs from Goodwill or Salvation Army (50-70 cents each) and they make great gifts!  I look for the mugs that are differently shaped than your typical mug.  I had a cute little short one that I decorated for my favorite 2-year-old.  I found matching tall thin ones that I monogrammed for a friend's wedding.  And I did use one regular shaped one for a test mug.  Since then, I've also found one of those really big mugs.  I can't wait to decorate it for someone who loves coffee!

From now on, I'll try to document my crafty and cooking adventures more in pictures, so they'll be more interesting to you.

In other news, yesterday was our first anniversary!  We had coupons for a free bowl of soup, salad, or noodles at Noodles & Company so we went out for lunch!  Caleb had never been there before and LOVED it.  We also had gift cards to Celebration, so we went to see The Bourne Legacy.  It was okay, but certainly not as great as the first three.  Then we went crazy and spent our own money - on Coldstone!  In the evening, he made me hamburgers, and I made him watch Mean Girls because he'd never seen it.  I'm not sure he appreciated that.

Love and "So Fetch",
Leah Joy