Monday, December 19, 2011

weekend highlights: last chance before christmas

It shouldn't come as any surprise that Christmas tunes are being played on loop around here. We kept busier than Santa's elves this Saturday.  

Building a rocket ship.  No, really.

Beau's store-bought gift wrap has been segregated from my 
upcycled packaging to prevent rumbles between the gangs.  

Parsley is still alive and well, though production has considerably slowed.

The parsley photo shoot led to all out spring garden planning.

If a person can get carpal tunnel syndrome from a sewing machine, I think I'm halfway there.  But since I've got less than half my gifts to finish, I guess I'll survive.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

upcycling trash into wrapping paper

Hidden deep in the recessives of my craft room for the past five months has been my personal shame.  My husband accused me of hoarding when he found it.  Stacked precariously in the closet was a collection of seeming garbage.  Now it looks a lot more reasonable.  It’s my holiday wrapping gear.

Way back in the heat of summer, I decided not to buy wrapping paper this holiday season.  No new boxes, no unrecyclable paper, no metallic bows.  Instead, I raided the recycling bin and removed a variety of wrapping superstars: newspapers, old boxes, catalogues, brown paper bags*, and, yes, one outdated textbook that no self respecting professor would have used after 2007.  I found a bagful of supplemental ribbons for $0.50 at a thrift store on the Cape.     
There are brown paper packages tied up with string...

Catalogue pages to make old boxes sing...


Newspaper pages from sometime last spring...


And a textbook from that guy who gave me a ring.


These ideas and tutorials can help you get started if you also want to limit your contribution to the four million tons of trash created annually from gift-wrap and shopping bags:

Wax Paper Flowers (I used old pattern pieces for mine) 

* Beau can attest to the fact that I frequently get into arguments with cashiers when attempting to refuse bags in favor of using my reusable canvas one or even my purse.  Home Depot is the worst.  Sometimes, they’ll continue to put things in plastic even as I pull them out and repeat “No really.  No bags needed.  For real.”  On occasion, I just give in and walk out with one.  Mostly though, our brown bags are conspicuously in the shape of wine bottles, which appear on my doorstep in the hands of friends.  I’ll never, ever turn those ones away.    

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

where i've been

It’s been a whirlwind month, but things are finally starting to calm down.  Thanksgiving came and went and it somehow involved chasing chickens as well as a two-year-old. Woodstock has long since been adopted by close friends who are currently lavishing him with affection.  I landed and completed my first freelance writing gig.  I helped rebuild a kitchen.  I’ve flyered half of the South Shore.  I picked up the cutest little pooch for my dog walking business.  I’ve logged more hours crafting for Christmas than some of Santa’s elves can boast.  I’ve ironed shirts, scrubbed bathrooms, and taught myself how to cook a respectable dinner.  
But I’m back and boy, do I ever have a lot to talk about.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

meet woodstock


There's one of the good reasons why I disappeared for two weeks.  His name is Woodstock and before you get too excited, he's not mine.  He's an adoptable dog that I'm fostering from Forever Home Rescue New England.  If you're interested in adopting this sweet dog and you're in the Boston area or know anyone who is, you can check out his Pet Finder profile for more information.  A few things that profile won't mention:

1) He's very polite and never goes up or down the stairs until invited.
2) He's smart and already understands which furniture is off-limits and which is not.
3) He lifts his leg so high when he pees, I'm always a little worried he's going to topple over.

I'm especially glad to have him as a house guest because I walked out of my job in mid-October.  Life is just too short and wonderful to spend it being miserable.  I've spent the last month starting up my own dog walking and pet sitting business called Bark Breaks (and if any of my lovely, lovely readers would want to toss a link to that page on their blog, I would love them forever and ever).  It's fun and exciting but also sort of terrifying.  I'm learning about all sorts of things I never thought I'd be into - business development, SEO, accounting.  Gracious!  

Now it's time to go flyer the heck out of the surrounding suburbs.  I'll be back next week.  Have a great weekend everyone. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

canned broth personally offends me

Since our condo complex neighbors wouldn't appreciate a heaping pile of compost in my backyard, I'm still trying to find ways to reuse food scraps.  By far, my most successful endeavor since learning how to regenerate scallions, was figuring out how to make my own chicken broth.  It starts with a giant tupperware container that I keep in the freezer and periodically fill with dinner scraps.  Things you'll find in my freezer stock pot:

     -  Carrot peels and ends
     -  Celery scraps and leaves (especially the leaves)
     -  Onion ends and skins
     -  Garlic ends and skins
     -  Parsley shoots
     -  Leftover chicken parts (bones, skin, fatty pieces that are trimmed off)

Once the tupperware container is full, fill a dutch oven with water and dump the block in - I don't even defrost it first.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and a few bay leaves.  


Bring it to a boil and then lower to a simmer.  Leave it there for a 2-3 hours.  Strain the solids out and retain the liquid.  You'll be left with beautifully golden chicken stock that blows away the flavorless stuff they sell in a can.   


After trying homemade broth, we're ruined for the canned stuff.  There's no going back.  It has revolutionized my risotto and changed the face of every soup in my repertoire.  It's that tasty.  Best of all, it's made entirely of things that would have been thrown out.  Keeping in mind that it's made of scraps that could have been garbage, how do the processed brands get away with charging so much for it?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

a school of fish

One of my favorite ex-coworkers has a baby coming in mid-November.  She decided to do things the old fashioned way and be surprised by the gender on the little one's birthday.  That means I needed a baby-gender-neutral craft project to mark the occasion.  After trolling her registry, I found that her nursery theme is animals, specifically fish and turtles. Conveniently enough, I didn't see a mobile on the list.  Bingo!


School of Fish Baby Mobile Tutorial

Materials:
Fabric scraps
Felt scraps
Cardboard or paper
2 embroidery hoops of different sizes
Embroidery floss
Stuffing
Sewing machine (or infinite patience)
Thread
Needle
Scissors/rotary fabric cutter

Instructions:
1) Nest the embroidery hoops together and lash them together with embroidery floss.  Knot tightly and tidy loose ends by securing with hot glue.
2) For the plushie fish, make pattern pieces for your fabric.  I wish I could give you a template but I'm not gifted enough with computer sketching programs to make one.  You can see the pieces that I used throughout the tutorial.  I used fabric for the body of the fish and felt for all of the fins.  In general, you'll need to: 
     - Cut two each per fish: top half of the fish, bottom half of the fish and side fin 
     - Cut one each per fish: top fin and tail fin.  
3) Start by matching up the top and bottom halves of the fish and laying out the side fins like so.


4) Make little fish sandwiches by matching the the curved sides up like the photo below with the side fins still in between the two pieces of fabric.  Sew along the flat bottom side of each sandwich about 1/4" from the edge.


5)  After sewing that edge, open them up.  They should look like this.


6) Take one sewed side and lay it flat with the fin side up (that's the outside of the fish).  Place the top fin upside down at the top of the fish.  Fold the tail fin in thirds, pin, and place at the back of the fish.


7) Take the other side of the fish and lay it on top of the laid-out fish half.  Make sure that the side fins are both pointing towards the back fin.  Unpin the back fin.  The weight of the top piece of fabric should be enough to hold it in place.  


8) Starting at the base of the tail area, sew 1/4" from the edge going counterclockwise around the fish.  Stop when you get to where the pin is in the previous photo. 


9) Trim excess edges and flip inside out.  I used a bodkin to do so because the fish are pretty small.  If I've explained things right, then you should have this once you've turned it right side out.  


10) Stuff the fish and sew up the opening.  I folded the raw edges in and closed it up with an overcast stitch because a) my attempts at an invisible stitch on something so tiny failed and b) I don't mind the homemade look.


11) Thread a piece of embroidery floss through the top of each fish right under the top fin.  Double-knot one end of the floss and tie the other end to varying points of the embroidery hoops.  


Then just repeat about eight more times.  That's all.  You'll be so sick of fish, you'll be avoiding the seafood counter at the market for weeks.  But aren't cute things for babies always worth it?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yes, I'm Already Thinking About Christmas

This time last year, I started following the Crafty Christmas Cluba group blog dedicated to homemade holiday presents.  It's a place for crafters to share their work without spoiling the surprise for their friends and family by posting the gifts on their own blog.  And I'll let you in on a little secret: not being able to talk about something I'm working on EATS ME ALIVE.  There's only so many times I can drag my husband to the sewing machine and show off french seams while he scratches his head.  

This year, I'm tinkled pink to say I've joined as an official member and author of the Crafty Christmas Club!  I'll be posting the gifts I'm making between now and the end of December.  In the new year, I'll list the links to my entries over there in case any of my loved ones are wondering how their present came to be.  In the meantime, I'm trusting all of you NOT to sneak peaks (I'm looking at you, Laura).  Or if you do want to follow/join the blog, I'm asking that you please skim past my entries so I can see genuine surprise on your face on Christmas morning.

Is it time to put on Bing Crosby yet?  

Monday, October 10, 2011

happy belated fall!

I'm back from a spectacular weekend in New Hampshire and Maine with a mountain (har har) of laundry and a dozen errands to run.  While I get my act together, picture-wise, here's a super quick project I slapped together to usher in the fall.

Original tutorial here at Two Butterflies




It's so rare that my projects take under five hours!  This one couldn't have taken more than 20 minutes.  I printed leaf clip art to trace for the felt pieces and then ran them through my sewing machine to make the center vein before sewing them to the wreath.  The hoop is one half of an embroidery hoop that was leftover from another project and the fabric was leftover scraps from my last skirt.  Now if the weather would just cooperate because 80° is not my idea of autumn.  

Friday, September 30, 2011

simple substitution

Despite working in an eco-friendly building, my office’s restroom stocks paper towels instead of electric hand dryers.  If there’s one thing I hate, it’s using something once and then throwing it away.  To combat this issue, I brought a seemingly strange item to work: a favor from my sister-in-law’s wedding.  It was originally intended as a lobster bib or a golf bag accessory but since we don’t regularly lobster or golf (and its way too cute to turn into a dust rag), it’s been sitting in my basement for about two years.  Now it’s been repurposed now as my personal office hand towel.

 


I did the math to figure out how much paper I would save by making this easy switch.  Excluding weekends, vacations, holidays and sick time, I work about 218 days per year.  I visit the girls' room about four times per day and on each visit, I use two to three paper towels to dry my hands.  We’ll call that ten paper towels per day and a grand total of 2,180 towels or 10.9 lbs per year (yep, definitely got busted weighing a small stack of them on the mail machine scale).  That’s a sizeable house cat worth of paper products that I’m not consuming and not tossing into a land fill, where, as William Rathje, director of the Garbage Project found out, newspapers can actually take decades to decompose.

As you can see from the picture, my hand towel conveniently has a grommet and carabineer poked through the corner, which makes it perfect for hanging it on a bathroom stall hook.  You don’t need either to make your own though.  Simply snipping a hole with scissors and threading a lanyard or bit of string through would work just as well and save just as many trees. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

sweat equity

There's been talk of renovating the kitchen for ages but this weekend, the right time was finally upon us.   There was no looming wedding, no trips to the Cape.  Just 48 hours and a sea of beige linoleum.  

before 

An order of tasks was established and the cabinets came up as the first logical step.  In an effort to keep perfectly good materials out of a landfill, we decided to refinish them instead of replace them.  Let me tell you though.  Things quickly spiral out of control when it comes to home renovation.  


during

No sooner had the cabinet doors been removed than we began eyeing the hideous laminate backsplash, Beau's least favorite kitchen feature.  A few chisels, two hammers and an hour of elbow grease while belting out Bon Jovi later and the backsplash was relegated to the garbage can.  Meanwhile, the cabinet doors sat around in a pile, patiently waiting their turn.  We were too busy congratulating ourselves and admiring the lack of backsplash to bother with them at the moment.  The new look of aging adhesive clinging to the naked dry wall feels like an improvement.  We're calling it the "distressed" look, like those sandblasted jeans with holes that cost $100.   

Attention was eventually returned to the heap of cabinet doors, quietly teetering on the stove.  I couldn't help but notice the ancient, wall-mounted microwave right above it - my least favorite kitchen feature.  Not once in over two years of habitation has it been used, namely because it looked capable of irradiating a small village.  It was just an evil, greasy waste of space.  
  
Drinks celebrating the lack of nuclear microwave

Several minutes later, the offending appliance was detached from the wall and sitting atop the precarious stack of cabinet doors.  This is when we found out that microwaves from the early 80s weigh as much as a sectional couch.  Determination won out though and it was relocated to the garage where I assume it is now terrorizing the cabinet doors, which after much perseverance have now been stripped, sanded and painted.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

stick it in water, see if it grows

Awhile back, I read about a woman who takes random produce - garlic, potatoes, onions - and puts them back in the ground to see what will happen.  Sometimes she's rewarded with fresh growth, sometimes she digs up a rotten tuber.  I admire that entrepreneurial spirit of homesteaders who aren't afraid of a little failure now and then.  It's a wonderful attitude to adopt.  The last bunch of scallions that I bought were the first victims of my own experimentation.


After cutting off the tops for dinner one night, I plunked the rest in a cup of water, using skewers to keep the bulbs from completely submerging and potentially getting the ick.  The photo above was taken less than 24 hours after I plunked them in their new hydroponic haven.  As you can see, after that short amount of time, there was already new growth creeping up from the cut line.  


A few weeks later and they've completed regenerated.  They just require a change of water every couple of days.  I have no idea how long they'll last this way but considering I've learned how to cut the cost of a bunch of scallions at least in half, I'd call this test a success.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

where to begin?

Once I realized just how much I could create instead of purchase, the options were mind boggling to me.  Instead of asking myself "what can I make?" I now ask "what can't I make?" Instead of turning the house into my own personal department store of randomly selected crafts, I narrowed my focus down to a few basics that I use on a daily basis: pitas, pickles and skirts.  


Before starting on my baking on Labor Day, I needed to procure a rolling pin.  Instead of heading to William Sonoma, I pointed Beau towards my old dress form stand, which has been sitting in the basement since it was ousted by my new one this past Christmas.  Ten minutes later, he emerged wielding my upcycled rolling pin.



Baking looks much scarier than it actually is.  I followed the directions prescribed by the very first pita recipe that popped up after I googled "how to make pitas" and was rewarded with fresh, pillowy success.  Whole Foods is insane to charge something like $5.00 for a package of them.  These cost me less than $0.50 and taste exponentially better.




My pickle budget was also an embarrassing $5.00 a week.  Is there anything cheaper that tastes that good with falafel?  I don't think so.  I haven't progressed to canning yet, which made this item a little harder to replace.  That was, until I found Red Fire Farms quickle recipe and promptly reused a few old Claussen jars that were loafing around.  Quickles don't require actual canning, so I was able to do without those supplies.  They just need to live in the fridge instead of the pantry.  Not a huge sacrifice.  Pickling cucumbers are at the top of my gardening list next year, which will reduce each batch to pennies a slice.    



I wear skirts almost every day and most of them are either showing their ages or er, getting a little tight in the waist.  This khaki one is the second skirt to date and by far my favorite.  I used Buttericks 5421 again but the similarities end there since this time I had an inkling of what I was doing.  Since it's grand unveiling a few weeks ago at my nephew's birthday party, it has already become a staple of my work wardrobe.  And at under $10.00 for the entire bolt of cotton fabric at Ikea, it is also, an absolute steal.

I'm happy to think of how much plastic packaging will stay out of landfills from my new ability to make these three little items.  I'm also avoiding an array of unseen chemicals, saving oodles of money and not fueling a garment industry that pays its workers an unlivable wage.  This is a slippery slope I'm on.  What's next?  What can't I make? 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

little squares of delicious

Beau is catching I-can-make-that-itis, the affliction that stifles purchasing anything that can be reasonably (or sometimes, unreasonably) made at home.  So, instead of buying croutons for tomato soup this week, he decided to make them from a mouth watering loaf of pumpernickel bread.  Just wait till I start making the bread, too.  




Ingredients

1/2 loaf of bread
Butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp thyme, dried
1 tsp rosemary, dried
1 tsp grated parmesan cheese


Cut bread up into cubes.  If the bread is fresh, throw the pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 200ยบ F to dry them out a bit.  If the bread is stale, you can skip this step.  Combine the rest of the ingredients (except for the butter) in a large bowl and toss the dried bread cubes in it to thoroughly coat.  Melt a pat of butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute the seasoned bread cubes for 2-3 minutes.  Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do multiple batches.  Add a new pat of butter for each batch.  


Add to soup or salad or attempt to keep your spouse's grubby little hands out of the bowl.

Monday, August 29, 2011

come on irene

We lucked out in my area of Massachusetts this weekend with just one big tree down on the road in front of my neighborhood and a smattering of leafy debris in the backyard.  Still, I moved the garden inside before things got going on Sunday morning.

Easier than putting bike helmets on them

A baby turkey from the rival gang* ran into trouble though.  One minute he was waddling around with his family, the next he was in the backyard, chirping the most heartbreaking cry.  Lucky for him, Beau leapt into action and ran outside to hustle him back to the tree line where the rest of the flock had disappeared shortly before.  St. Beau, patron saint of poultry, returned from his adventure unscathed.  

The rest of the day was spent safely indoors engaging in various cabin-fever fighting activities.  I taught myself how to cast-on and (generally) how to do the knit stitch but after half a dozen attempts, things were still going terribly wrong when I tried to start a second row.  I figure some frustration is probably healthy for a person though.  It reminded me that not everything comes so easy.  I'm sure it'll make success that much sweeter in the end.

Knitting abortions

While I cussed and threw balls of yarn across the room, Beau was happily overhauling the basement and jamming out to a mix CD from high school that was discovered in the clean up (featuring among other gems NSync's It's Gonna Be Me).  When I was finally permitted to enter the sacred man space, I was delighted to find that our dedicated junk room had been reborn into a home brewery.

Behold!  The Man Cave

Like little alcoholic soldiers getting ready for battle

I hope everyone else out there faired as well as we did, both physically and organizationally this weekend!

* There are two flocks of turkeys in the woods behind our house.  Our flock of six birds including three adults and three babies, which frequents our backyard in the morning and early evening, and the group that we call the rival gang, which is too large to get a clear count on the members. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

mein haus ist ein biergarten

It seems like only days ago that Beau was horsing around with his very first Mr. Beer kit, but he’s already outgrown the simplified brewing process.  This weekend, he took me to the Witch’s Brew to buy all manner of big-boy supplies – hoses, buckets, giant carboys, sacks of grain and even a packet of special yeast that sat in my purse while we ate lunch in a restaurant because the poor little guys would have fried in the hot car.



My kitchen turned into a small scale brewery on Sunday.  I’m inclined to think that makes me a relatively indulgent wife, considering I stepped in beer puddles on a few occasions and the smell was … unpleasant.  Something that my entire arsenal of Yankee candles couldn’t handle.  The aroma finally dissipated when the ribs that were being slow-grilled for dinner burned and I turned them into a divine broth.  Nothing quite like pork and onions to clear the air.




But what’s a little stink between spouses anyway?  Beau was happy as a (drunken) clam, which made me happy even if my feet were sticky.  Now the house is aired out and we have five gallons of ale bubbling away in a corner.  The bubbles, I have learned, are yeast farts (unrelated to the smelliness).  The yeast eats the sugar and makes carbon dioxide.  I’ve taken to watching the gas escape from the airlock while dinner is on the stove.  Fttttp.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

the cabbage worms of mordor

I killed a cactus once.  OK, twice.  I've killed two cactuses.  Yet despite the odds, my very first garden is still alive and well.  I harvested another round of herbs today and even planted a few new additions in anticipation of the upcoming fall.  It hasn't been entirely easy keeping everything alive.  Some were not as lucky as others (RIP cilantro and dill) but in retrospect, they did not die in vain.  I'm piecing together the lessons to be garnered from this year's garden:


Plants are not all created equal.  They have personalities, diverse as an after school special.  Some want as much sun as possible while others freak out in the heat.  Some need very specific containers, some will thrive in anything filled with dirt and will reach their creepy little arms out in an attempt to hostilely take over the other plants (I'm looking at you, mint).  For a successful garden, you have to cater to their quirks.  I've learned to recognize the signs of stress and make the necessary accommodations. 


Plants have unexpected needs.  I started out the summer thinking that they just want sun and water.  Then I read the container garden bible, which subtly suggested that it was a miracle that any of my plants were still alive.  I invested in a few organic and incredibly smelly fertilizers - namely blood meal and fish emulsion - and witnessed a boom in production.  I also learned how to give plant haircuts.  Now I'm a pro at pruning and pinching and shaping.    



I'm not the only one who wants to eat my plants.  Other than one cute slug that I removed from my lettuce in June, I've been lucky in the pest department.  Until last week, when I added cauliflower to collection.  Over the past week, something has been steadily eating the leaves and hiding from my attempts to find it.  Today, I examined every single leaf until I found a gross little caterpillar munching away.  I didn't have the heart to kill it so instead I scooped it up and chucked it into the woods behind my house.  I figure 20 feet to a one-inch insect is somewhere on par with Frodo's journey in length.  Sure, it's possible the little asshole could cross Middle Earth again just to chew on my crops, but I think it's unlikely.  Before I dropped the interloper off, I made it clear that Sauron will not be so merciful the next time around.   

Friday, August 19, 2011

something new

It has been a rough summer for me.  I’ve taken the last month off from blogging because the only things I wanted to talk about (at length) were my work related grievances.  Instead of dwell on the negative any more than I already have, I will summarize in a one short sentence and then move on:  work is not so good lately.  That’s all. 

What that means for me is that my professional life is once again in a state of upheaval and I will have decided to move on .  But it’s mighty hard trolling through job ads when you don’t want to relocate to a new cubicle in a new office with a new computer to stare at for eight hours a day.  It’s a song I’ve been singing for years.  Finally, I’ve decided to do something about it.

After much talk with my husband who is equally miserable living life from the confines of a desk, we’ve agreed that we are willing to work our asses off to escape and at least take a shot at living our dreams, which are conveniently compatible.  He wants to start a microbrewery and I want to start a homestead.  It won’t happen overnight but we’re teaching ourselves what we’ll need to know to succeed.  It’s a start and that makes me very hopeful. 

What does that mean around here?  Well, it’s not that I’ve given up on my goals.  More like I’ve finished prioritizing and refining them.  I probably won’t be doing my monthly check-ins anymore (I never liked those much anyway).  I’ll be committing myself to many more projects.  More gardening, more sewing, more back-to-basics logistics.  I will be putting it here to keep track of our progress and maybe to help someone else starting out on this sort of journey.  So, here we go!   

Thursday, July 7, 2011

everybody's living for the weekend. i'm just eating.

It's getting easier and easier to resist pre-dinner snacking and the delectable vegan baked goods that my coworkers bring into the office, but once I leave work on Friday, all bets are off. I am a cocktail-guzzling, bar-snack-inhaling, fridge-rummaging machine and all of those extracurricular activities are undermining all my hard work from Monday to, er, early Friday.

What I need is two-fold. First, I need a plan like I follow during the week. Check. Next, I need something to stop me from snacking as a recreational activity. Beau is too scared to get in between me and a cookie (granted, understandable) so I'm on my own. It's just me versus myself. That's why I decided to post these signs from my Reasonable Thursday Self to my Slobbering Saturday Self. These doses of tough love will go on the fridge and pantry doors. Stay tuned for Monday to see if they worked.

May you be successful in your weekend endeavors as well!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

knick knacks drive me nuts

I've never been a fan of clutter and extraneous stuff. Despite that natural inclination, putting down roots in one location has had a noticeable impact on me and the things that I keep around. It's been a few years since the time when I drifted around the Northeast and all of my worldly possessions fit into a Corolla. It's alright to have two bookshelves full of novels and twenty pairs of shoes when you don't plan on moving them anytime soon.

You go from a sedan to a 10-foot square bedroom to a two-bedroom apartment to a whole condo and thing are bound to accumulate. I'm not sure if I keep finding bigger living spaces to fit all my stuff or if I buy more stuff to fill up the extra room. It seems almost like a little of both. It starts with finding a shell a little bit bigger than the last, with a little extra room to grow into and it provides the perfect excuse to gain a few pounds of objects.

I found out recently that this natural penchant of mine has a name and even an ideology behind it: minimalism. After scouting around some blogs laden with dangerous ideas, I felt inspired to take back control by someone urging interested parties to start small - empty a junk drawer, clean out a closet, donate some clothing. I knew immediately where I'd start. My embarrassment of a makeup drawer.



Impressive, right? Not for most women but consider this: my daily makeup routine includes foundation and if I'm feeling fancy, a little mascara. So how in God's name did I end up with green eyeshadow? Why do I own an eyeliner sharpener when I don't own any pencil eyeliners? And, oh gross, is that lipstick from high school?!



I was ruthless. I kept enough to brush up nice for weddings but gone is the real nonsense. As a bonus, I found a little bottle of Purel, which is now safely in Beau's work bag and destined for his cubicle (I fear for his immune system now that he sits next to a guy that hoards dirty tissues). I'm hoping that the other surprise that I found will interest someone who's reading this.



Nestled in the back of the drawer was a full bottle of Burberry's Tender Touch perfume. It was a slightly off-target birthday gift. Much too girly and floral for me but I'm sure it will be perfect for someone else. There's where I'm hoping you come in. I'd like to find this bottle a new home and I'd much rather give it to a friend or reader (do I have any of those?) than Freecycle it. So, if you're interested, leave me a comment and it's yours. First come, first serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

As for the Bucket

We hopped the ferry to Nantucket for our very first wedding anniversary



Guess who's back to flickr? Friend me if you use it, too!