Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah Georgia

I haven’t really been to that many Zoo’s in my lifetime, but I must say the Oatland Island Wildlife Center was one of the best.  It was all tree roots and dirt paths instead of concrete.  And the animals were more regional. 
Here are some of our favorites . . .

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Is there another zoo where you can just walk out onto a marsh on a boardwalk?  I don’t know of any.

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There was also this  neat area where you could stop on a dock by a lake and buy fish food.  However, I saw this and freaked out. 

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Ok, from the above picture you might be able to figure out what it was, but when it was swimming toward the dock I thought it might be a water moccasin.  And even though I was well above the water I was going to get the heck out of Dodge.  But then I saw this.

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They even had this sign posted to show you what you could see at the lake . . . but it was only discovered post freak out.

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Yes those are wolves that she is petting.

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They also had some old homesteads set up.  Can anybody figure out what this is?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Roundhouse Railroad Museum, Savannah Georgia

Hubs says that anytime I pick a place to visit we are always surrounded by older folks.  I guess he is trying to call me old fashioned, which is fine with me.  I say it’s because I like history, and love museums and parks.  And a good deal.

So when we had to make a trip to Savannah, the first place I decided to visit was the Roundhouse Railroad Museum.  Every kid loves trains right?  Well, I know one that does.  At least Thomas that is.
  
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A neat story about this tower is that a lady who lived nearby noticed that the tower was starting to lean.  She called someone (from the county I imagine) and after they checked it out they realized that people were stealing the bricks.  Something about how bricks used in the tower were more valuable because of the material they used. 

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This was the big hit of the whole visit.  A model miniature of the whole city of Savannah!

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Here is the Roundhouse in miniature . . . at the Roundhouse.

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They even had the Waving Girl by the docks. 
If you find yourself on the Georgia Coast for vacation this year with littles, this is a must!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Amaretto Fruit Dip

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I know this might be a weird picture, but it was a lot better than it looks.  Someone was weird with the last apples that I bought.  They were a little mealy.  And some of them were red when I peeled them.  But when I  saw this recipe I knew that it would be perfect for these.  But like every time I follow a recipe, I gave up half way and started guessing at measurements.  And you know what?  It turned out REALLY good! 

The inspiration came from Let’s Explore.  Here is what I did.
  • 1 package of cream cheese straight out of the refrigerator
  • about 2/3 brown sugar ( or what hadn’t formed into a hard block)
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a little bigger splash of almond extract . . . because I like it
Not totally like the originally, but really really good.  I think this would go great on cupcakes!  Give it a try!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Martha at Wal-Mart

It’s no surprise that I am a fan of Martha Stewart Crafts.  And that I get a little . . . we will just say carried away (like here, here, and sadly here) when it comes to marked down Martha Stewart Crafts.  So I couldn’t pass up some deals I found at a Wal-Mart.  It looked like they were doing an aisle reset, and had a few things marked down.  Some of the items were still a little pricey, but here is what I picked up.

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The edge punch was $7 regularly $14.  I think everything else was $5 except for the glue pen which was $1.75.  I thought I already had the leaf stamps, which I did, but I couldn’t pass it up if I didn’t.  I might take them back and swap them for another design.  I think they had birds. 

There were other craft items on sale, but I didn’t pick up anything else.  They did have these though, not on sale.  Great for any of you military wives, or if you just need a little patriotic ribbon.  They had it in other colors too.  This would also be great on something for Father’s Day.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Worst Movie I Have Ever Seen . . .EVER

Yesterday night after coming home from a long car trip, Hubs  and I settled down to watch a movie that he picked out for us last week.  It’s way over due.  The movie he picked was The Road . . . DO NOT watch this film.  It was the saddest most depressing movie I have ever seen . . . And I’ve been to film school . . . and had to take feminist film  . . . which was pretty gross and depressing. 

When I say that this was the worst movie I’ve ever seen, I don’t mean it from any sort of artistic perspective.  There was nothing wrong with the normal things that go wrong in film.  In fact the acting and some of the shots were brilliant.  I just don’t understand why anyone wanted to make this film.  Why anyone would want to write this book.  Usually in films there is at least some moral or up lifting moment . . . not in this one.  If there is a son or father in your life for the love of Pete, do not watch this movie.  I wish I had been warned. 

And Hubs movie picking privileges have been revoked.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Keep or Purge

Maybe instead of choosing the word “keep”  for my one word resolution this year I should have chosen “purge.”

A few weekends back  we had a our first yard sale at this house and the second in our marriage.  I was still trying to get rid of our bachelor things.  We also had somethings that were left here by the other owners and some stuff that we had changed out since we moved in (front door, chandelier, etc.).  We did really great!  Hubs kept telling me, “we are making room, not money.”  I think we did really well on both fronts.  After the sale we took most of the leftovers to our local thrift (which was about three good sized boxes)  and kept some of our big ticket items to sell online.  Big ticket being VCR’s and TV’s, TV console, corner desk, etc. 

Well I think I’m going to sell it online.  It seems that since the yard sale I’ve been finding more stuff I want to get rid of, so I haven’t decided if another yard sale is in our future or not.  It feels so much better to be getting our garage back.  And cathartic to just free myself up from clutter.  And the more space I have, the more room I have to find more things to get rid of.  I feel like I’m on my own version of Clean Sweep?  (But just so you know we weren't any where near as bad as those on the show . . . just sayin)

I have decided to find a few things everyday to put in my get rid of pile.  This might seem a little crazy, but it’s been working so far.  I put it in the pile, and then walk away.  If I don’t go get it I’m pretty sure it isn’t something that I need. 

Yesterday the big accomplishment was signing up on the website PaperBackSwap.com.  I’ve already listed 16 books (the requirement for your first two credits is 10), and I hope to hear from someone soon!  So far, being that we just signed up last night, I think this is a great idea.  My husband really goes through books, but doesn’t really have time to go to our local library.  I end up paying late fees because it takes me too long to read them anyway.  I think this will be a win win.

So, what are some things you guys do to keep down clutter and free up space?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rock’n Roll Party

A few months back we had a rock star party at our house! 

First I decided to make a birthday shirt. 

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I freezer stenciled a guitar with a three in the middle.  I hand drew the guitar and three.  I used white Speedball screen printing ink.  I was hoping to try the Jacquard brand, but the only place I have seen it has been Joann’s, and there isn’t one close.  I had to do several layers of the ink to cover since it was white on black.  I’m not sure if that is the reason that it has cracked after several washings or if it was the paint.   It isn’t perfect, but to date he says this is his favorite shirt ever.  Awesome!

Then we had a photo shoot of some fantastic guitar and drum playing.  After getting the perfect picture, I scanned some fabric that I was originally going to use to make favor bags, and used that as the background for our party details.  Then I went to one of the local pharmacy stores and printed them out as 5x7s. 

BD Invite

Then every good concert must have a marquee right?  I tried finding a blank image online, but couldn’t find anything.  I decided to just make my own on Publisher.  I made a grid, and then did a yellow gradient box behind that.  I can’t remember the fonts but the one for Main Stage ins Engravers MT.  It’s one of my favorites.  I didn’t want to pay to have it printed at a printing shop, so I just printed it out on paper and then taped it together. 

Here is what our concert goes saw as the drove up to our “venue”

BD Sign

And here are a few more that I decided to make.  The colors for the signs are actual colors picked up from the fabric. 

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The one above was for the kitchen where we decided to go simple and service Chick-filla.  Picking the food was a hard one.  I decided to just think of what our little musician would have in his green room . . . Chick-filla nuggets, vegetables and fruit.  Well, he would if Mommy was his manager, and she is.  If it was up to him it would have been candy, lots and lots of candy.

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I thought that this was hilarious.  No there really wasn’t a key.

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I was afraid with the mix of ages that we had that some of the kids would be bored.  When I found this rock in roll dog tag foam kit at Michael’s, I thought it might be something that the older kids could do and take home with them, and something that the little ones could do with help.  I called them back stage passes. 

Some of the time was also taken up with applying tattoos.  I  purchased them at Party City, but ended up only using half of them.  Most of them I thought were inappropriate for younger children.  Or really any age but older teens and adults.  Something doesn’t quite seem right about little kids wearing skulls. 

And now onto the dessert portion of our party!  Jerusalem of A Jolly Goode Gal planned a Rock’n Roll party for her son, and decorated her cup cakes with pixie dust stars!  I thought this was cute, and remembered it when I was planning my party.  I cut a star shape into a top of one of the icing jars and used it as stencil to dust some colored sugar over the adult cupcakes.  Not all of my stars turned out perfect . . .

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I was so excited when I saw these microphone cupcakes at Family Fun (I couldn’t find the link to cupcakes at Family Fun, but they very much like the ones here).  My sister who usually makes the fancy cakes bowed out.  When I was elbow deep in chocolate pixies, icing, and cupcake crumbs I figured out why. 

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As perfect as these were, if you decide to make these DO NOT follow the directions like I did.  Apparently you can cook cake mix IN the ice cream cones to make these instead of trying to cram cupcakes into the openings.  They still turned out though, and were a hit I think.  Something I did change is that the recipe called for licorice whips. I couldn’t find them anywhere. I decided to improvise by getting sour strings ribbons and peeling them apart.   Perfect!
Besides the signs, the rest of the decorations were fairly simple.  I bought foil starts from Party City and hung them around the room. 

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Then I took some sheets that we had that just happened to match our color scheme, and I draped them over our entertainment center to make our stage.  I took some blue, green, and purple twinkle lights that I already had and  swaged them over the sheets for stage lighting.  I did have some clamp lights but I thought it would add too much heat.  I also moved some of our furniture to make sure there was enough room for guests. 

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We also had a microphone and a speaker set up, but no one really used it.   I had also brought down a box with all of our assorted musical instruments for the kids to play with. We had drums, horns, and guitars.  That was a lot of fun for a while.  

For favors, because of time I decided to just use gift bags in coordinating colors instead of using the fabric that I had picked out earlier.  Instead that fabric was used as a table cloth for the food, which I didn’t get pictures of.  The gifts inside the bags were plastic guitars that I had luckily got on clearance at Michael’s after Christmas, plastic kazoos from Party City, Pop Rocks, and of course their backstage passes.

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And here it is after all our little Rock Stars trashed the stage.  HA!