Category Archives: Flora

Saturday Morning Walk

04.29.13 Pink flowers 1

The weather this weekend was perfect – highs in the upper 70s – so Dave and I decided to go for a slow stroll around the neighborhood on Saturday morning. We wound up at the hardware store, which was selling all sorts of veggies and blooms. We came home with a hanging flower basket and just a few flower starts – I’m always nervous about planting too soon, as we can sometimes see freezes as late as June. Hopefully the warmer weather is here to stay and our pretty new flowers will make it through the last few freezes of the season!

04.29.13 Flower close up

04.29.13 Hanging Flowers

04.29.13 Dress

04.29.13 Purple flowers

04.29.13 Three Flowers

I fly to Chicago tomorrow morning for work and won’t be back until Saturday. I have some posts scheduled for while I’m gone, and hopefully I’ll be able to check in once or twice. In addition to working like crazy, I hope to carve out some time to explore the city, hopefully head over to the Art Institute, and of course eat some good food. I traveled to Chicago quite often for my last job, but always had to spend my downtime with a big group of people. Let’s just say there was a lot of Chicago-style pizza involved (which is great, but I would like to branch out from Dino’s this time around). All that to say – if there’s something in the city I need to see or do, or if you have restaurant recommendations, please let me know in the comments!

Camera ready

I have been shopping around for a DSLR for some time now, mostly so that the pictures of food in my recipe posts will no longer look like piles of inedible slop. I finally picked one up last night – I went for the Nikon D3100 – and took advantage of the warm spring evening to head outside and play around with it a bit:

04.23.13 Cactus

04.23.13 Whisky

04.23.13 Dandelion

04.23.13 Smoke

Bagels and doughnuts … round food for every mood!

This weekend has been incredible.
It started on Friday when I handed my boss my letter of resignation, something my friends and family have been urging me to do for years. I guess they got tired of hearing me say, “I’d love to, but I have to work” every time they invited me somewhere.
My last day is June 15, and after that I’m taking two weeks off to do absolutely nothing. I mean, I’ll probably get up every so often to open a new can of Easy Cheese or to change out the Harry Potter DVDs, but that’s the extent of “work” I plan to do. And after those two weeks, I’m starting a new career path in marketing, something I’m seriously excited about. That excitement far outweighs any lingering feelings of dread I may have about having to work these last two weeks, and this is the first weekend I’ve truly felt relaxed, or even remotely creative, in such a long time. I decided to celebrate by making something pretty.
I pinned this like three months ago and this weekend I finally got around to actually trying it:
I’ll note that I try not to pin things I know I won’t make. If the words “chiffonade” or “julienne” or “cut in a straight line” are involved when I click the link, I close that shit right down. But this one looked super easy – all it involves is a glue gun, a bottle and some spray paint.
What has two thumbs and can screw up a project that only involves a glue gun, a bottle and some spray paint? THIS GIRL.
I started out by taking a couple of wine bottles and soaking them in warm, soapy water to get the labels to come off. This actually worked really well, giving me a false sense of confidence that I’d be able to complete this task without wanting to kill myself.
Next, I dried the bottles off and got out the glue gun.
You guys, the glue gun beat me. I was at least wise enough to know that I’d never get my handwriting to look as good as it does in the original pin, so I figured I’d do a pattern of vertical dots running up the sides of the bottle. The first two columns went OK until this happened:

I wish I could blame this on a hand tremor or major earthquake, but I just suck.

I was running out of glue so I put a new stick into the gun. It wasn’t getting hot immediately, so I looked at the T.V. for a second and got sucked into the Dawson’s Creek pilot. Dawson had just told Joey he slaps the clown to Katie Couric every morning when I looked down and saw that a huge blob of glue was streaming out of the gun* and forming on my bottle. Of course I tried to stop it from running with my fingers, and of course it hurt like hell because hi, it’s HOT GLUE, not pleasantly warm, finger-friendly adhesive.

Tip number one: Use puff paint if you want to make a design without burning your fingers off.

After the hot glue incident I still had two bottles left, so I decided to scrap the whole glue idea and just use the chalkboard paint. This leads me to tip number two: Wear gloves when you spraypaint:

Fun fact: I designed the newspaper behind this freshly ruined manicure.

That picture was taken after about 10 minutes of furious scrubbing. When I first came inside my entire left hand was covered in paint, so I tried to scrub it off, only it wasn’t working. At all. Just as I started to panic about what if it hardened and my hand was stuck forever as a chalkboard claw, I tried rubbing it with the back side of (my boyfriend’s brand new) sponge, and it (mostly) came off.
Feeling tired from that ordeal, I sat down at the kitchen table to kick my feet up for a few minutes while the paint dried, which leads me to tip three: Don’t wear a skirt while you spraypaint:

Bonus life tip: Use fake tan every day if there is even a remote possibility a picture of your legs will ever be posted on the Internet.

At this point I decided the wise thing to do was have a beer and not care about what the final product looked like. Which, if you’re wondering, is this:
The spray paint bottle said to wait 24 hours before using chalk on it. Hopefully by then I won’t be able to use chalk on my kneecaps or fingernails anymore.
* The irony was not lost on me

Water RULES!

A couple months ago we discovered this game called Plants vs. Zombies, and I swear it contains the secret to time travel. Every time we turn it on, 72 hours passes like five minutes and I crash back into time when I realize I have to get up and pee but can’t because there is a quicksand of potato chip crumbs and spilled coffee cementing me into the couch cushions. I refuse to believe I have lost entire days of my life because I actually gain satisfaction from blowing up zombies by planting exploding peppers and corn cannons. Which leaves just one option: WORMHOLE. Stephen Hawking – call me.

Even though I am kind of a wizard at keeping zombies from killing from my digital veggies, I have a huge problem with keeping plants alive IRL. My coworker recently went out of town for a few weeks and asked me to keep her desk plants alive while she was gone, and I was a basket case the entire time. My face broke out. My heart raced. I actually LOST HAIR over that shit. I had no idea how often to water them; all I knew was that every plant I’ve ever owned has gotten all withered and shriveled up, become LeAnn Rimes’ doppelganger, and died. I decided that watering twice a day would keep her plants from a similar fate. Guess what? Watering twice a day will definitely hydrate your desk plants. If by “hydrate” you mean “drown them Titanic-style.” By the time I realized the roots had pretty much disengaged and the plants were not so much planted as they were floating, it was too late.

ANYWAY my points are these: A) What are some plants I can buy that won’t die if I forget to water them for a period of time ranging from 1 day-forever, and B) EAT A SANDWICH, LEANN.