Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Featured Etsy Blogger

We have a great find for the month of February! I am such a handbag lover, it isn't even funny! So I'm happy to share with you all a great Etsy seller.

Here is a tidbit from TiLT Creations:

Here is where you can find her: Etsy shop & blog


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Etsy Blog Carnival- Dream Vacation

This month's Etsy bloggers carnival is to talk about a dream vacation. Easy peasy. In about 10 weeks, Chris and I are going to Oahu for our honeymoon. I am so very excited! I haven't been to Hawaii so I am looking forward to soaking up the sun and the absolutely beautiful landscape.
I mean, really, what's not to like?!
Now granted there is so much to do and not a lot of time...but the couple of things that I am really looking forward to are:

Swimming with the dolphins
and hopefully seeing a few of these:
and there will definitely be some of this...
Scoping out a bit of:

and??? Hmm...anyone have any suggestions?! Aside from those couple of things, that is about all that we have. I would love any ideas and stories!

(all images from Google Images)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Curling 101

Alright, so I have been stuck in bed for the last few days with a cold, cough and a stubborn fever that won't go away, and I have been watching a lot of TV. And I am one of those really weird people who thinks that I am not doing my patriotic duty if I am not watching every possible minute of the Olympics. Crazy, right?! So that has meant one thing... Lots and lots of curling.
Before this week, I was curling stupid. Just plain ignorant on the sport. But I figured that if I am going to be watching a lot of it, I might as well learn what I can about the sport. So here is what I have learned so far:
  • Two teams- 4 people per team
  • 4 people- one skip (one who call the shots) one thrower, and two sweepers
  • Playing field 15' by 150 approx. Ice is covered with a brine solution to make it "pebbly"
  • The friction between the stone and the ice causes the stone to turn one way or another is know as "curling"
  • One game consist of 10 Ends (or rounds). One End consist of 16 thrown stones total (8 per side)
  • Each team has a total of 73 minutes to throw all of the stone for the game. If they don't make that, they forfeit.
  • The circles at the end of the playing field is called the "house" and the center white circle is called the "button". The button is the target.
  • Goal is to score points by having more stones closer to the button than the other team. One point is awarded for each stone that is closer than each of the opposing teams stones. Points are awarded at the end of each End.
  • Thrower uses a "hack" which is a black block (similar to someone running track) to push out of to throw the stone. They have to release the stone before the first black line which is a "hog line" and the stone has to cross at least the second hog line.
  • The skip is person that stands behind the house calling where to throw the stone and how hard.
  • The sweepers are "sweeping" the ice as the stone travels down the field.
  • There are two reasons for sweeping: to increase the distance that the stone travels, and to make the stone travel straighter.
  • Stone weighs between 38 and 44 pounds
  • The player's shoes have two different finishes. One has a Teflon finish that will slide on the ice and the other shoe has a rough surface for traction.
  • The speed at which a stone is thrown is called the weight.
  • Stopwatches are used to tract the speed of the stone
  • There are three types of shots: the guard, the draw and the takeout. Guards are thrown in front of the house and are used for protection, the draw are shots to make it into the house and the takeout is a shot used to remove the stones from play.
That's what I got so far. And I will tell you what, I am really enjoying it! Who knew! I still don't understand a lot of the strategy, but I'm picking up some from the commentators.

If you have a chance to catch a game, give it a shot! And if anyone knows the sport and can correct me on anything that I have written, please do! I am certainly no expert.

(images from Google images)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy New Year!!

I know, I'm a bit late!!! lol I hope everyone's new year has gotten off to a good start and everyone is staying warm and out of the snow. It's crazy that we have had 11 days of snow now here in Alabama. Craziness!

Well, I have lots to catch you all up on, and I have lots to catch up on and I'm looking forward to getting back to it all! I have missed you guys!

So I'm going to back up a bit and share a fun project that I "attempted" for our Christmas celebrations. Chris and I had Christmas dinner over at our house, and it was great to finally host a party! It was nice!

I thought that I would try to put together a gingerbread house. I have never put one together before, who knew how this thing was going to play out.

Here is the recipe that I used:

♦ 1 cup butter at room temperature
♦ 1-3/4 cups brown sugar
♦ 1-1/4 cups white sugar
♦ 2 tablespoons molasses
♦ 6 eggs
♦ 6 cups all-purpose flour
♦ 2 teaspoons baking soda
♦ 1 tablespoon ground ginger
♦ 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
♦ 1 tablespoon allspice

Preheat oven to 325°F degrees. Line several cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Butter and flour the foil.

Using the dimensions in the Gingerbread House Drawing, cut out paper patterns for the walls, roof and chimney, and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Beat in the molasses and eggs. In another large bowl, sift dry ingredients. Combine mixtures and knead into a smooth ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

On a well-floured surface, roll out a small amount of the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Place one of the paper pattern pieces on the dough and cut around the edges. Gently, using the spatula, lift the dough and place it on the foil-lined, prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly firm. Let cool on racks until firm enough to handle. Peel the foil off the sections and set the pieces aside to dry thoroughly overnight.

I got this recipe from Texas cooking and it made a decent size house and 20 very large cookies. So you can judge accordingly. This year, I might use this towards a gingerbread village! lol

Now after it was all said and done, I do have one suggestion. Instead of cutting the pieces to size before baking, I would cut the pieces afterward. Just in the process of cutting the pieces to size and then picking them up and moving them to the cookie sheet, they got all warped and I had to re-cut them. So this year I will just bake one big sheet and then cut. Just a thought.
The two of us had a blast decorating this thing! It was a fun project to tackle together.
After all of that work, it was fun to see the kiddies have so much fun digging into it!
And this is what we ended up with!
I hope that this becomes one of our family traditions!



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