Monday, April 29, 2013

Springdale Farm

Last weekend, Andrew and I wanted to get out of the house and spend a fun day together. I heard about the sheep shearing festival at nearby Springdale farm. I love animals and I'm fascinated by farm life, so on a whim, that's where we went. It was unseasonably cold, but we braved the wind and toured the farm. 

The most interesting and educational part was the dairy barn and the robotic milking center. The cutting-edge technology allows the cows to be milked whenever they choose, without the need of the farmer's assistance. It was pretty fascinating. 

Goats, horses and donkeys, hanging around outside. The horses liked it when I fed them grass. Their big teeth crack me up - I'm such a kid at heart! 

They had two of the biggest pigs I've ever seen in my life. Literally, PIGS. In every sense of the word.

The baby lambs were my favorite of all. They're so cute and little! I felt bad for the parent sheep because they got really bad haircuts! I definitely won't be eating lamb any time soon (if ever again). All I'll be picturing is these guys!

I love spending the day with my honey, no matter where we go. He loves me enough to take me to a farm on a freezing cold day, just so I can see the animals, because he knows it will make me happy. Love him.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Five Favorite Things

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss, Sugar Pie
Every once in a while, I try new products and if I like them, I think it's worth sharing. I was looking for a new lip gloss, in that perfect "nude" shade. Not sparkly. Not sticky. Not expensive. Carmindy, on TLC's What Not To Wear (one of my favorite shows), always references a "nude lip" when she does makeovers. I found a good one by NYX (new brand to me) that was recommended by an employee at Ulta. It's a nice pale pink/nude color, with barely a hint of shimmer (no obnoxious sparkles), it's not sticky, it smells/tastes like candy, and it was just $4.99

Essie Nail Polish, Peach Daiquri
I also picked up an Essie nail polish while I was at Ulta (I wanted to use my $3.50 off coupon). I recently tried Essie for the first time and was impressed with the quality and durability of the polish, as well as the trendy colors. I normally don't pay more than $5 for nail polish (this was $8) but the coupon helped. Peach Daiquri is a perfect bright pink for spring/summer!
Bath and Body Works, Stress Relief Eucalyptus Tea Body Wash
As you know, I can't get enough of BBW's eucalyptus spearmint scented everything (lotion, body wash, home fragrance, pillow mist, hand soap, I love it all). Now, there's another scent coming in at a close second - eucalyptus tea. Andrew gave me the body wash/foam bath for my birthday and it smells heavenly. So fresh, clean, spa-like. I highly recommend it.

Crystal Essence, Mineral Deodorant Roll-On Lavender and White Tea
Normally, I wouldn't be talking about deodorant. But have you read any articles lately about the potentially harmful effects of aluminum in antiperspirants etc.? It feels like I've been on a life long "quest" to find the "right" deodorant (for various reasons), and the idea of something natural, without harmful ingredients sounds really appealing. So, I'm giving this one a try. It's a roll-on with a nice scent, but it does take some getting used to. It's not an antiperspirant, but it does battle odor-causing bacteria. So far, I like it. I've been giving it the sniff test throughout the day and so far so good (I think). 

Ninja Mega Kitchen System 1500
I have my husband to thank for this amazing machine. He really wanted one of these and did a lot of research (and watched the infomercial, repeatedly). I've always loved making smoothies. Lately, "super smoothies" and juicing have become very popular. Healthy recipes and energy boosting drinks include fruits as well as vegetables, protein powders, yogurt - you name it. Our favorite smoothies include frozen fruit (strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, peaches), greek yogurt, orange juice and sometimes spinach. It's a great breakfast, especially since this set comes with to-go travel cups. We also picked this one because it also has a food processor. I've never had one, and now we can make hummus, pesto, dips, dough, and other meal ideas. It was definitely an investment, but we got it at Bed Bath and Beyond with a 20% off coupon. I'm impressed with it's speed and versatility and it's pretty easy to clean.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Framed Scrapbook Paper Wall Art

Don't you just love scrapbook paper? It's uses are virtually endless. I finally got around to completing a simple wall art project using scrapbook paper, white poster board, and 6 uniform frames. 

Here's what said wall used to look like. It was time to freshen things up a bit and that particular wall needed more color. (See what I did there? Time. The clock. You missed that, didn't you)

I was struck with inspiration when I saw this wall of fun frames on Pinterest. Source here.

But my mind loves symmetry, and I've always liked a neat, orderly grouping of 4 or 6.

I just so happened to have 6 of the same pop-in frames throughout the house that would be perfect. 

Using plain white poster board, I set to work cutting 6 mattes. Just like I did for my other wall of frames

I selected 6 beautiful pieces of scrapbook paper from the craft store, in colors and patterns that would compliment my newly redecorated living room. I wanted them to really tie the colors in the room together.

I positioned them on the wall, measuring evenly between each frame. If you don't have a laser level, it's the best thing ever. Trust me. 

I love how they look! 

The wall feels so fresh and bright now. I look at it every time I walk in the room. The colors compliment the accent pillows on the couch and other pieces in the room.

This project was fast, super affordable, and added a lot of impact to an otherwise boring wall. You might have some frames and scrapbook paper lying around too. Pretty wall art is easier than you think. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Brownie Cake

I made a brownie cake. It. Was. Awesome. What is a brownie cake, you ask? 

2 boxes of brownie mix, plus 1 container of chocolate frosting = brownie cake. 

Mix up both boxes of brownie mix and pour evenly into two round cake pans (be sure to grease pans well). Bake according to directions (mine took almost 40 minutes). Cool brownies completely. Stack brownie #1 on a cake plate and frost with about half the frosting or so. Stack brownie #2 on top of frosted brownie #1 and decorate top with the rest of the frosting. 

Brownie cake is born. Talk about chocolaty! I used my "frosting gun" with a ribbon tip to make fun designs and added some sprinkles. 

Easy to make and sure to satisfy that pesky sweet tooth! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Painted Confetti Glasses

This is a fun little project I found via Pinterest - painting stemless glasses (or your choice of glassware). I've been seeing stemless glasses everywhere lately (Marshall's, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond). This project is relatively inexpensive and quick to do (just my style). You can make some for yourself or give a set as a gift. 

Marlyn (my MIL) sent me a fun pair of hand-painted glasses for my birthday. Aren't they cheery? She too, has a craft night and enjoys making new things. When I was at her house, we got to have a little craft time of our own.

I painted a polka-dot design in pink, orange and red. I really like how this one turned out! I also tried painting stripes on one, but the results were not as attractive.Whomp whomp.

These confetti glasses from Anthropologie originally inspired this DIY project by Radical Possibility.

You can use any size and style glasses that you like. The stemless ones work really well and have a wide surface for painting (we did not paint the bottom). 

Martha Stewart Glass Paint is specifically for glass (hence the name) and will last longer than acrylic paint.

Martha Stewart Glass Paint
Paint Brushes
Rubbing Alcohol 

1. Clean surface of glasses with rubbing alcohol. 
2. Paint glasses with Martha Stewart Glass Paint in desired design.
3. Place painted glasses on baking sheet and into oven. 
4. Turn oven to 350 degrees (with glasses inside) and bake/cure for 30 minutes (DO NOT PREHEAT OVEN). 
5. After 30 minutes, turn oven OFF and leave glasses inside to cool completely. 

Enjoy your one-of-a-kind glassware! Marilyn even suggested using them as votive candle holders. Wouldn't that be pretty? You could store cotton balls, makeup brushes or items on your bathroom vanity. Or paperclips on your desk. I bet this recipe would taste extra delicious in one of these beautiful glasses. 


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Easter in Pennsylvania

Last weekend, we celebrated Easter with our family in Pennsylvania. It had been quite a while since we saw our extended family. On Saturday, everyone gathered at Nana's house for the annual feast. 

After the meal, as is Ohl tradition, the men went outside to shoot guns into the field, swing golf clubs, throw the football, ride vehicles and various other "outdoor" activities. 

While the women stayed inside, talking, enjoying dessert and cleaning up (not sure how that always works out that way). 

I got to meet Zack and Maura's little doll, Riley, who's 6 months old. She's got red hair like her Mom and beautiful big blue eyes. She barely made a peep the whole time. So. So. Cute. 

I love getting to see our cousins.

We went for a long walk, as is also tradition, around the neighboring farmland and roads. 

The landscape really is beautiful. Everything is starting to re-awaken from winter. The fields will soon be growing again. Makes me feel like I've been transported back in time to simpler days.

The sky was an amazing blue and the sun was shining just enough to not be too cold. 

Nana is doing well. She's always got stories to tell (some new, and some have been told many times). She is the only grandparent we have left, and I look forward to visiting with her. It's also amusing and fascinating to look around her house. 

Especially on the porch where we have dinner. You know, just your usual deer head, turkey, pheasant, fox, squirrel, rabbit and bee hive on display. She has quite the collection of "nature". The funny part is that we're all so used to seeing it! 

On Sunday, we went to church with Denny, Marilyn and David, followed by brunch at The Local (also known as the old caboose). Is caboose a funny word, or what? Is it just me? It is a delightful little place with a unique locally based menu. It was fantastic. 

Aren't my in-laws the cutest? They really are the best. It's always great spending time with them. 
It was also so good spending time with David, who took some time away from Philly to be with us. Wish we could do this more often (minus the 5 hour drive time).

Here we are, just a couple of honey bunnies. I hope you enjoyed your Easter. Remember, Jesus Christ is risen! He is the reason we celebrate.