Monday, April 30, 2012

Peas, Please!

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I love peas.

And thanks, to my neighbor cutting down a tree in my backyard (long story, but yes, it was my backyard),
I now have more bright sunny space to plant more veg.

Peas are probably some of the easiest plants to grow.
However, I have had non-success in the past because birds love peas about as much as I do.

I planted my peas a couple of weeks ago, and they're looking good.
Two varieties: one a typical spring pea, and one snap pea.
Aren't they cute?

They've grown enough now that they can start grabbing hold of the tomato cages for support.
(I got these at HD for a couple bucks a piece)

The big difference-maker, and my only real tip for growing these puppies is to invest the couple dollars in some bird netting.

Mind you, my goal was not to catch birds, just to keep them out...

but one of my little bird nemeses got stuck over the weekend.
The dogs freaked.
I freaked.
But no worries, he broke free and flew away, leaving what looks like a massacre site behind.

I secured went back and secured the netting better around the sides and bottom so it wouldn't happen again.

Hopefully it works.
And hopefully that bird went to tell all his little birdie friends not to mess with the crazy lady's peas.

Sidenote: There's a 72 year old man named Sid in my kickboxing class.
Also, he's better than me.
Also, he's single, ladies! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No Need to Thank Me

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We celebrated my husband's 30th birthday over the weekend
by throwing a joint birthday party with his best friend.

Don't hold your breath,
nothing really blog-worthy about it.

It was a great party,
involving many people, food, drinks, and a bar.
No cute decorations, games, or any such thing.

I did, however make a bunch of desserts,
and two were somewhat noteworthy.

The first was not even my own recipe.
Rather, this one that I found on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago.
At first take, it looks like a plain ole chocolate chip cookie recipe,
but I got so many compliments on them, I thought I should share.
I think the secret is in using coarse sea salt instead of regular salt.

The recipe also calls for cake flour, but I just used straight up all purpose.
So good.

The second dessert was my

Chocolate Kahlua Cheesecake

I'm not sure where exactly it came from,
but somehow ended up in my arsenal,
and it is always a hit.

Chocolate Crumb Crust:
1 1/3 C. Chocolate wafer crumbs (I just found out you can actually buy these now. just the crumbs! crazy.)
1/4 C. softened butter
1Tbsp. sugar

Combine ingredients. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9" spring form pan. Wrap bottom of spring form pan in foil to prevent leaking, and to prevent water from water bath from coming into the pan.

1 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/4 C. Kahlua (let's be honest, I use more)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sour cream
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened

In a bowl over a pan of simmering water (or a fancy double boiler), melt chocolate with Kahlua and butter. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
In a bowl combine eggs, sugar, and salt. Add sour cream and blend well with a mixer or a lot of elbow grease. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in chocolate mixture. Pour mixture into your prepared crust.

Place in a water bath (I fill a large roasting pan with about 3/4" water). This will allow the cheesecake to bake slowly and not to crack when it cools. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until center is just set. Let come to room temperature, then cool in the refrigerator for several hours (if you can wait that long).

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Kids on the Block/Shop

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A couple of weeks ago (I think), I posted a tutorial for a medium-sized wet bag,
perfect for pool, beach, cloth diapering, whathaveyou...

but some of you let me know kindly but aggressively :)
that you don't sew
but want one nonetheless.

Your wish is my command.
This time, anyway.

So I made some cute contrasty bags, and they're now up in the shop.
Let me know what you think.
Order one if you want.

Or if you want to make one yourself,
I'll show ya!
For free!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

And if you're wondering, I'm hoping to be back to tutorialing next week! :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Feel Better

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So the middle part to this week was a big ole downer.

For those of you who don't know me personally, I'm a Junior High Youth Minister, and my youth group on Tuesday night quickly turned from awesome and everyone playing a super fun balloon popping game (called "Super Awesome Balloon Popping Game)...
to a kid sustaining a injury (minor, thank goodness) and me threating to enroll them all in the Hunger Games.

Not joking. I actually said that to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders...

I'm shaking my head even as I type.

This was followed by a Wednesday where my son decided that he didn't need a nap, and since he's just one and all... it wasn't an especially pretty sight. Not to mention my husband was at work until late late late...

But then the Penguins won game 4!

And now:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back to Life.

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Back to reality.
So Holy Week and the Easter Octave are over.
I have fully taken advantage of my "Easter Break,"
which was, by the way, a break from blogging and not much else.

Yes, things have a bit crazy.
I can hear my mom in my head now, "You're burnin' your candle at both ends, Megan!"

Some things I've been doing:
1) Moving my best friend, Sarah, (halfway) cross-country to her motherland of Colorado.
This included driving through the midwest (among other things).
Hanging out in aforementioned motherland,
making seat cushions,
drinking coffee and wine,
and a mometary interlude with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Good times had by all.

2)Trying my darndest to keep up with my Etsy shop,
This is not a complaint, rather a statement of gratitude. :)

3) Going to a great wedding of a friend.

4) Texting aforementioned best friend A LOT.

5) And finally... this:

My crazy attempt at a family tree.
I guess after my grandfather died a couple of weeks ago, I starting thinking of my family and how I would like to have record of my heritage and history, especially for my current and hypothetical children. Since, to put it nicely, my family has been "dwindling," I figured I needed to get started sooner rather than later.

Pots of coffee,, phone calls, and eyedrops to soothe my bleary eyes after scouring census after census later... and I've found out a lot.

I've had successes, learned a TON about where I come from, and also come upon multiple road blocks which I am still trying to get past.

One thing is for sure, though.
It is even more amazing to me, now, how all of these people in all of these years have had something to do with me and my husband, and now our son. CRAZY.

My plan is to compile all of my information into some kind of prettier, neater, framed version of the tree above. I'll share pics once it's complete although I couldn't even begin to tell you when that might be. the meantime, I thought I would share with you all some of the family tree options that I've found and think are cute and worth a looksee. Enjoy...

There are the simple:

Love this one from cozyblue on Etsy

And the more complex:
(I found this the to be the best way to keep parentage organized)
You can download a free template of this style of chart on
Thanks, Marth!

The economical:
(but really really cute)
Made from an old platter and a Silhouette machine.
Homemade by Jill... always great.

 The mod:

Love these colors, BTW.
by:My Tree and Me

And finally, the look for which I am opting...
Antique (and inexpensive!!!):

From the Fresh Retro Gallery on Etsy.
Only12.40 for the DIY print AND there's a BOGO sale right now,
so check it out.

And finally, I must leave you all with a picture my mother-in-law shared with me after discussing my frustrations on hitting multiple dead ends in the lineage of Chris' and my sides of the tree...

 Hope you're having a great week!