Photo provided by Getty, found here, Photoshopped by me.
In addition to having a wonderful time at the wedding, the hubby and I had a great time at the coast, which I captured in a few diptychs.
The hubby enjoying our new green and blue beach gear and getting serious with his fantasy football strategy magazine.
An old pier on the river at sunset, and a new pier on the sound just before a thunderstorm.
The sky over the ceremony site and an upside-down sky courtesy of a large puddle.
As you can see, I take far too many pictures of clouds and/or my hubby. But when your hubby is as handsome as mine, can you blame me?
All images by me. Click here for more.
3 – What three independently owned businesses would you miss of they disappeared? Stop in. Say Hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases keep those businesses around.
50 – If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned, independent businesses, $42.6 billion in revenue would be generated. Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 of the employed population did that.
68 – For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.
1 – The number of people it takes to start the trend…you.
Are you up for it?
Stop in and give some love to some of my local favorites: ahpeele, Father and Son, Escazu and Cat's Cradle.
I found the challenge on the blog gogoraleigh.
I already had most of the pieces, and a few were bought for this purpose. I pulled a thrifted milk glass goblet to hold q-tips, a milk glass juice glass for my make-up brushes and a crystal sugar bowl for bobby pins. I had already been using this milk glass candy dish for cotton balls, then I added a thrifted crystal jam jar to hold my daily vitamins and a silver clock - I am one of those people that always has to know what time it is, and therefore has at least one clock in every room. To tone down all the feminine, antique details I coralled my loose make-up and perfume on a sleek melamine tray from Target. This last image is my shower curtain, which I adore, also from Target.
The root idea behind this strategy actually came from a bridal magazine a few years ago. To paraphrase: " To make writing your thank you notes less of a chore, buy beautiful note cards and very nice pens then keep them in a pretty box. If you look forward to using them, then the task won't be so cumbersome." So i took their advice - it worked, by the way! - and realized within their helpful hint was my new life motto: never use an boring, functional storage piece when you can use something pretty yet functional instead. Lovely! As you can imagine, this principle can be applied to many areas of your home or office.
Written by John and Sherry, Young House Love gives out affordable design/decorating advice, provides DIY inspiration and major renovation How-To's, among other things. I don't have a house yet, but when I do I have a feeling I will be spending alot of time on this blogsite.
[EDIT: The fabulous blog now goes by a new name, so all links and references to their old URL have been removed.]
TIP #1: Make your dough ahead of time. I made a huge batch at Christmas, divided the dough into smaller portions (using our awesome FoodSaver) and froze the leftover dough. Each batch makes 16-24 cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutter. With smaller batches and less prep work, this allows me to bake on a whim - which I love to do.
Since I haven't yet bought any cookie cutters of my own, all the ones I have are hand-me-downs (thanks Mom!) which means I only have Christmas shapes, a heart and round (which isn't much fun) - so I made hearts. But I figured a fancy shape deserved fancy icing, so I did some experimenting and came up with an easy soultion!
1- I rolled and cut out my dough - even if you didn't pre-make your dough, it always helps to chill it for 10 minutes to make handling easier.
2- I whipped up a batch of Super-Simple Cookie Icing (see recipe below) and made it thicker than normal. I colored it pink and used and sandwich bag to pipe a dam of icing onto the cookies. NOTE: I first attempted to do this with actual decorating supplies (a piping bag, coupler and tip) but the icing was so runny it just oozed out around the coupler and made a huge mess. The ziplock bag made everything so much simpler!
3- Once the dam had dried, I thinned the icing a bit and filled in the rest of the cookie. I didn't want to be too messy so I cut a bigger hole in my ziplock bag, piped a pile of icing inside the dam and used a butter knife to smooth it out, making sure the icing touched the dam all around.
This is such a simple method! No fancy tools needed. This is also a great way to get detail on your holiday cookies - stars and stripes for July 4th, trees with ornaments and garland for Christmas - you get the idea!
Go experiment with your own cookies and let me see your results!
my recipe for:
Super-Simple Cookie Icing
*It's impossible to give exact quantities for this recipe because it's all based on feel.
-In a small mixing bowl pour a very small amount of milk (approx 1 T) and a large amount of confectioners sugar (approx 2 C). Stir ingredients together. The consistency is right when you feel some resistance when stirring, but the icing is still runny enough to drizzle quickly - you really can't mess this up. Just add milk or sugar accordingly until it feels right to you. If the icing starts to crust, just stir it and add a tiny bit of milk if needed.
TIP #2: Always start with the milk then add the sugar. It's easier to get a feel for how much liquid you are adding to the mix. And always remember: a little milk goes a long way.
TIP #3: Make your icing in small batches. It's much easier to control the consistency this way.
-Color the icing as desired and apply to cookies.
The Raleigh t-shirt by ahpeele. I've been a fan of their stuff for a while, but this one hits all the right notes.
This bumper sticker. The truck was in my parking lot this morning, and I had to get a snapshot. It's great to see clever campaign techniques from other cultural groups. GOBAMA!
This video. Like most viral videos, it was sent to me and now I am passing it along to all of you. It's a unique concept and a wonderful message. I literally couldn't stop myself from smiling when I watched it. The video was made by Playing For Change and there are more videos on their website.