Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine’s Day Card

Photos from The Hungry Workshop.

I love this letterpress Valentine’s Day card by The Hungry Workshop. The colors are beautiful and I love that you can add your personal touch to this card.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

TED Ideas Worth Spreading

Have you seen TED?  TED is a small nonprofit dedicated to sharing ideas worth spreading.  TED conferences bring the worlds most fascinating thinkers and doers together and challenges them to give the speech of their lives in 18 minutes.  The last speech I watched was by Brene Brown and it is titled, The Power of Vulnerability.  It was worth 18 minutes of my time and I found it very interesting.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Organization 2011 Project {1} Coat Closet

Better organization is one of my 2011 goals. I started with a small project, the coat closest. This closet is at the bottom of our stairs in our family room and had gotten all little out of control with stuff.  It is hard to ignore because it doesn’t have a door.   Here are the steps I took from start to finish to complete this small project.

1. Remove everything and sort in piles.
2. Sort each pile further into STAY or GO.
3. Sort each STAY pile to decide if it was going back in the closet or to the attic for storage.
4. Clean closet top to bottom before refilling.
5. Purchased three baskets at Target for 1)games 2)hats mittens and scarves 3)blankets. Purchased 2 packs of wood hangers at IKEA for 3.99/ea.

Over 60% of the junk is this closet made it in the GO pile. It feels good to get rid of clutter. I like starting with small projects. It makes me motivated to tackle another organization project.  The next one is going to take a little more time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ruffle Skirt


I love that you can learn almost anything from the internet. I read this skirt tutorial then made this skirt for my niece. Although I didn’t use a t-shirt it worked well for the fabric I had on hand.

At my sewing class we talked about how sewing isn’t as frugal of a thing as it used to be. I appreciated this tutorial for reminding me that by sewing with used materials sewing can still be super frugal. I’ve got a couple other skirts in the works that I’m creating from button down shirts purchased at Good Will.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sauder Village Sewing Class

I took the sewing class, Me and My Sewing Machine that I mentioned last week.  It was an excellent class taught by Linda Rufenacht at Sauder Village.  We made a pillow case using a megasimple “hotdog” technique.  I learned a lot and it was so nice to have a defined time to complete a project from start to finish.DSC04965
The Sauder Village classes are a fun thing to do with friends.  These girls were some of my classmates and are proudly displaying their finished pillow cases. There will be more classes in the future so remember to check out the Sauder Village website and sign up.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

West Elm

Photos from the West Elm website.

West Elm is another favorite store for inspiration and ideas. You can shop online, but there is a West Elm store at Easton so it is on my list to visit the next time I’m in Columbus. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chocolate Truffle Brownies

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it and I’ve got chocolate on my mind.  I also need to take something chocolate to work on Friday.  I had forgotten about these, but they will be perfect for Friday because they are so easy.  Find the original post here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


We are slowly, but surely beginning to work on our house again.  This weekend we browsed Ikea for ideas and inspiration.  We failed to measure the room we are working on which means we’ll need to make a trip back to purchase some larger items.

Of course, we couldn’t walk away empty handed. Here are a few of our finds. We bought some wooden hangers for an open coat closet on our main floor.  For 3.99 they make the difference we were hoping for. The roll of paper cost 4.99 and the metal rod for storing it costs 7.99.  Sammy has already picked out a spot in my new office for his project materials.  We purchased 4 dish towels at .49 cents each.  The cheese slicer was 4.99 and seemed a necessary purchase after our cheese making class. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Guest Post by Kent: Mozzarella Class Recap

Over the weekend, we celebrated our anniversary by heading to Ann Arbor, Michigan.  It’s is great place to hang out with lots of great shops, restaurants and many other things to do.  One of our favorite places to visit is Zingerman’s Deli.  We stopped there for breakfast on Saturday morning, but also visited thezingermans_creamery_logo other four Zingerman’s locations:  the Roadhouse, the Coffee Company, the Bakehouse and the Creamery.  We actually did the Tour de Food:  all five locations in 24 hours.  We got a free T-shirt, which made a great and megasimple anniversary present.

OK, I’m joking about the gift, because my real anniversary present to Megan was the Mozzarella Making Class at the Zingerman’s Creamery!  Here’s a recap of what we learned . . .

First, we added rennet and citric acid to a gallon of whole milk and mixed it in a large bowl.  Then we waited . . .


While we waited, our instructor Aubrey gave us a very thorough overview of the cheese making process.  I was very impressed with her knowledge, and she was also really fun to get to know.  After the class she even recommended a great restaurant and then proceeded to call and get us reservations.  That’s Zingerman’s customer service though!

IMG_0375IMG_3966After letting the mixture set for around 15 minutes – to about the consistency of custard – we used a large knife to cut the curd into about 9 sections (right).

Then came a time-consuming process of pouring 180 degree water over a spatula to heat up the curds and then dumping it out after the water had cooled.  The curds are very delicate at this point, so we didn’t want the hot water hitting it directly.

We repeated this process between 5-6 times, until the curds became very solid.


This is what the curds looked like as we heated them up.  The photo below on the right shows what the curds looked when we were finished with the process.


Next we drained the water and gathered the curd together into a single mass.  We gently stretched the mass until it became firm.


Aubrey demonstrated how to form the cheese by folding it and then shaping and squeezing it into a mozzarella ball.


We were able to form about 4 mozzarella balls from our curds.  When finished, we placed the balls into a heavily salted water bath for about 20 minutes.

We finished the class by making some mozzarella from curds (instead of milk like we did above).  The photo below on the left is mozzarella wrapped with myrtle.  You bake it in the oven and the myrtle seasons the cheese.  In the photo on the right, Megan is showing her finished Burrata.  This is mozzarella cheese wrapped around some curds and cream.  The finished Burrata is placed in a bowl and cut width wise into small bite size pieces.  Add olive oil, salt and pepper along with your favorite bread and enjoy.


We had a great time and expect to head back soon for more classes at the Creamery or possibly the Bakehouse. 

You can learn more about the classes at Zingerman’s  here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fresh Mozzarella Class

mozzarella photo from

I am super excited about my anniversary gift. We are taking a fresh mozzarella making class.  It’s not just any class either. It’s a class at the Zingerman’s Creamery that makes my very favorite fresh mozzarella cheese. If they let us take pictures of their super secret process I’ll have a full post next week.  I don’t think it’s really super secret since they offer the class every Saturday.

sewing machinePhoto from 

Speaking of classes.  I need to take the “Me and My Sewing Machine Class” found here. (update – This class is booked, but a reader told me they are planning to schedule another one) “Me and my sewing machine”…we know each other, but I wouldn’t say we are friends. That sewing project I was hoping to post this week will wait until next week.

What do you want to learn this year? Are you taking any classes?

Have a great weekend.  See you back here next week!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wifetastic Chore Wars

lg-signalight-dishwasher                                                                                                           **Photo from

Shortly after the holidays there was a silent war going on in our house. We were having The Silent Dishwasher War XII.  Who is going to unload and load…again?  We were both holding out without mentioning it to the other. 

One day passed. Two days passed. On the third day, I came downstairs and much to my surprise, I found the the war was still on.  The dishwasher was still full of clean dishes waiting to be unloaded and the sink had been filled to the brim with dirty dishes.  I wasn’t about to lose, so ate my eggs with a spoon.

The third night I finally broke the silence. I told Kent, “We both know the dishwasher war is on and I’m sorry, but you don’t stand a chance.”  I continued, “I ate my eggs with a spoon this morning and I am prepared to drink my coffee from a measuring cup if I have to.”  He laughed.  Offering no other response, I knew this meant he intended to continue the war. And he did.

The truth of the matter is that on day four I came home for a quick lunch and I unloaded and loaded the stinkin’ dishwasher.  Not because I wanted a fork, not because the kitchen was starting to smell, but because I felt sorry for Kent. Although I was impressed that he made it to day four, he just didn’t stand a chance. I can win the dishwasher war EVERY time.  So I let him win.

Do you have any chore wars at your house?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

iPhone 4. Verizon


It’s official. Verizon will start selling the iphone on 2.10.2011. I’ve not posted much about technology, but I’m committed to it. I’m committed to continuing to change with it and learn from it. I’ve got one month to research and contemplate my need for and the value of the iphone. Any iphone users out there have a review for me? Any other phone users want to convince me why I don’t need an iphone?  I’m open to your thoughts/suggestions.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pelotonia 1.11.11


Do you know someone who has cancer? Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape, exercise or just be healthier? If you answered yes to either of these questions this event is for you! Today is the first day to register to ride in Pelotonia 11’! Check out the Pelotonia website here.  Read my recap of Alex’s ride and Morgan’s work for Pelotonia 10’ here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Three Ways to Wear a Regular Scarf

I took advantage of using my little sister as a model while she was home for Christmas break.  The scarves are my first sewing project of the year. I’m working on my next project which I hope to post by the end of the week.

1. Simple neck wrap.

2. Slip Knot

3. Double Loop Knot. This is the knot that prompted the scarf posts. It was new to me. Good thing my little sister keeps me in the fashion loop.