Thursday, December 17, 2015

Too Much Work and Not Enough Play Makes This A Dull Blog

Written September 19, 2015...

Sooooo - I haven't blogged in a while.  Starting back to work at the end of January put quite a dent in my leasure time which is sometimes then used to blog.  Also, moving back to cincinnati things see more "normal" less "blogworthy" than life in Key West.  We aren't spending weekends on the ocean and celebrating festival after festival.  But I love Cincinnati just the same.  I'm so happy to be back to hills and trees and overcast days and cold weather.  Almost 1 year later i feel like i'm ready to stop "getting things settled" and start having a great blog-worthy time again!   One thing i'm really looking forward to as the weather starts to cool down is playing.  I know.  A lot of people love to be outside and play in the summer - but its too hot for me.

Annnnnnd now, December 5, 2015... Or 17th by the time I actually finished...
So yeah. I really do want to blog again.  Certainly because I want to please my "fans" but also because I love having my blog to look back on to remember moments in my life.

Sooooo, what's been going on since my last blog on February 14, 2015? (and a thing or two before that never got blogged about)

February 4, 2015 - This all started as we chatted with Mike, the proprietor of Ludlow wines and asked him what food was best pared with Port.  He suggested something hearty like bacon. The Hoffman's invited us to their estate and as Mark and I are Bacon connoisseurs we have found the best bacon in the city and it is available at Kroger & Sons at Findlay Market.  We ate plain bacon, brown sugar and cinnamon bacon and bacon with Grippos BBQ seasoning.  That night the 4 of us ate 3 pounds of bacon and various amounts of potatoes with a mysterious cheese that smelled like feet before cooked.
We also drank amounts of port, other red wine and water and finished the dinner with small amounts of rich chocolate.

Feb. 26ish, 2015  -It snowed and we let the cats out to walk in it - they didn't like it much. So they went in and Mark and I went to Burnet Woods to have some fun. 
one eyed cat in the snow
black cat in the snowcat paw prints in snowcat paw prints in snow
We created a snow cat.  It was popular among the neighborhood children.  Even into the summer when one particular child walks by he always reminds his parents that we were the house with the snow cat.  One time he told me he liked it and then he told me his cat died.  He was very matter-of-fact - not sad.

I stopped for a "snow bunny" pose on the jeep.
I did a flip...a cartwheel...a handstand...?  Something like that.
 Mark took a calmer approach and climbed a tree for some peace.
I can't climb as well as Mark so I went and found my own relaxing fun.
March 18ish, 2015 - Mark got his new backpack he ordered from Hacked Packs on Kickstarter.  Its a hiking pack with a hammock built right in.  We went to Burnet Woods to test it out.

 It's double size and holds up to about 400 lbs so we can both fit!
March 16ish, 2015 - The river flooded so we headed down to Bicentennial Commons and the Serpentine Wall to enjoy.  Mark found he has his own town along the Ohio.

March 13, 2015 - I finally finished this pillow I had been wanting to make for Mark.  He loves grumpy cat.  If you want one the pattern check out Sew What Sherlock?

March  - Back in November of 2014 I attended my first meeting of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt guild. Since then I've had fun working on a few new quilts based on the different techniques I've learned and challenges we've had.n  I was working on a flying geese pillow cover and couldn't decide on a layout.
Mark liked this one so I tried it first - but I just kept seeing a ninja star.
This was my favorite but Marks least favorite.
This is what we both liked so now this has become a pillow in our house!
This is a quilt I was starting using the "slice and insert" technique.  At first I didn't like the technique at all but once I started using this old pink sheet that was sun faded and coffee stained I really just fell in love.  This quilt is also the first wall hanging I ever made.

Sometime around the time of making these quilts - Mark takes such good care of me.  Very often he cooks wonderful dinners.  I always request stir fry or anything with caramelized onions because he makes them so much better than me.

Also in March - Bikini Body Guide (aka BBG) - I started this new workout program that I found online and I really liked it because you don't really have to think - you just follow the program and I loved that there is a HUGE online family on Instagram.  I started  separate IG account just for this so I didn't have to overload my quilty friends with progress pics and sweaty pics.  I am really happy with the results I got from the program. This is a pic from the first workout.

This new program as well as looking at all the "fitspo" online has led me to buy TONS of new workout clothes.  Don't worry too much as most of them came from my fave place - the Valley Thrift.  This isn't even all - there are many more pairs of shorts and long sleeve tops that have been purchased since this photo.

I made it through the first twelve weeks and started on a second round!

April  -  Jamie's dad got a really good deal on clown noses and Mark and I were lucky to be recipients of two. We brought them downtown to Fountain Square.

See the resemblance? 
Mark wore one while showing off his asparagus next to one of his chalk drawings.
Chalk drawings? Yeah, Mark likes to draw fun pictures on our kitchen chalk board.  They change every few weeks or so.

One day I work we had some adorable, tiny local strawberries.  I thought the waste looked pretty.
See how cute and tiny they were?!

May or June  - Ugh - the carpet in our bedroom was so gross. There was no other carpet in the apartment so with the landlord's blessing we pulled it up. It was so gross that when I would vaccum it it would just kind of disintegrate.
We started by peaking at the underfloor in my closet.  It looked great!
Ewww...looks gross underneath.
This is the carpet that was under the radiator where you can't vacuum.

The padding was just disintegrating.
We started to realize that those who had painted the walls over the years never intended the floor to be seen again.
Why DEB, WHY?!?!?!?
Even with the carpet gone we had a big job ahead of us getting rid of the paint.

But with about 10 million gallons of elbow grease, rubbing alcohol and Rejuvenate cleaner and polish - we got rid of most of it! The room just feels and smells fresher.  I love the look of the dark wood tone.
Its uneven throughout the floor since its so worn.
Early July -We went with Marks family to Maumee Bay State Park and Cedar Point.  We enjoyed our day at the theme park and spent the rest of the trip relaxing, hiking and biking.
We visited the Museum of the Great Lakes.  It was pretty cool.

Mark got the ship under control.
We walked all over the park.  It was really pretty.


 Our very own picture-in-picture.

At Cedar Point we road to the front of the park at the end of the day via the gondolas and the slow-moving-yet-high-up ride was kinda scary. Even though we went on just about every other ride in the park - including the really high and fast ones - this creeping slow mover gave me the willies.

June 12 - Jurassic World.  HUGE.  Jurassic Park is pretty much "our movie" so this was a pretty big deal for us.  Mark made some chalk art the day before in anticipation.

We wore our matching t shirts to the theater.  We weren't the only couple both in JP t shirts but we were the only couple in MATCHING ones.
The movie release coincided with an amazing week where Kroger had skyline chili on sale for $2.50 for the big can.  So we stocked up.
After the movie we cooked some up for a late night snack and somehow I set the fringe of this towel on fire.

July - I noticed this sign not far from our neighborhood.  We REALLY love Vernor's Ginger Ale.

The ladies from my paternal side of the family held a tea party on a very hot summer afternoon.  It was hosted by my aunt who has a wonderful old house full of antiques.  She also has a collection of antique hats for us to wear during the party.  I really wanted to keep this fully floral cap.

I cant drink beer (I'm gluten free) but I never really liked beer anyway.  What I do like is mixing a great cocktail.  Early one Thursday morning one of my lovely co-workers (who reads this blog!) brought blackberries and maple syrup.  Now I had never had blackberries and maple syrup together but all I could think was that it would make a great cocktail. My intern (of legal age) agreed.  So it began.  Create a blackberry maple syrup...
Strain seeds out.
Ohhhh...looks gross but just blackberry seeds in cheesecloth.
Then put a bit of syrup in the bottom of a glass, add ice, gently top with orange juice, orange liquor and whiskey.
 Enjoy your Autumn sunrise.

August 7, 2015 - On a Friday afternoon I was in a car accident. Some young guy hit my car from behind and spun me around.  My car was totaled and while I wasn't seriously injured it was enough to really set me back on my fitness goals. The whole experience from not being able to work out, to dealing with the insurance company to getting a new (to me) car has been really physically and emotionally draining.  It's December as I write this and I'm still struggling to get back to where I was pre-accident.I don't want to put in a picture - but I felt this was important to capture in this review because it definitely was an ordeal. But back to happier things...

September 14,2015 - Renaissance Festival - HOLY CRAP Why have I never been to this?  It was so much fun.  Mark, Dave, Scott and I braved a chilly, rainy September day to visit the festival.  We ate giant turkey legs and drank Meade.  I bought a ton of stuff including those awesome dragon horns I'm wearing.
We watched lots of jousting and had a blast people watching.  I cannot wait until next year!

September 25, 2015 - The best birthday gift ever.  Mark made this chalk board drawing for my 33rd birthday.  I don't really even remember anything else.  This is amazing.

Mid October 2015 - Mark got new skates.  We liked that they were really big and looked like moon boots. I made Mark bust out some poses for me.
Mark is excited to skate.
 Mark is planning his slick skating moves.
 Mark is giving deep thought to his skate plans.

Have you ever found a strange hobby and just had to take it up?  I did.  Ball Jointed Dolls.  Yeah, people get dolls and paint faces on them and pose them in lifelike ways.  Many beginners buy Monster High dolls from any big box store because they are affordable.  Then, once home, you can use acetone to remove the factory painted on face and paint on your own.  This is my Spectra VonDerGeist doll.  At this point I have repainted her lips but she has factory eyes.  I was prepping her to wipe off her eyes and decided to test a feature on my new work camera.  The camera will record like 3 seconds of video and then take a photo.  At this moment I was listening to Gone Girl on audio book and I was really excited by the moment that was captured.

October 31, 2015 -  Halloween, my favorite holiday ever.  We sat outside with our upstairs neighbors and handed out candy.  We had WAY more kids then we expected and ran out of candy and glow sticks about half an hour before trick-or-treating was officially over.  We had a lot of fun, and a few drinks, and spent the rest of the evening chatting inside.
I was a skeleton and Brenden from upstairs was an old school ghost.

Mark channeled his inner Tim the Enchanter.
If you can imagine we both carved cat pumpkins.

November 3,2015 - Marks birthday! Oh, and did I mention it's Dinovember too?  The Dino's helps to wrap Marks birthday gifts. (Only one dinosaur tooth was harmed in the making of this photo).
T-Rex got angry...
And threw Batman from his perch on the chandelier.
The Dino's were made when November was over.
 November 5,2015  - I got a new phone - a Samsung Galaxy S6.  It's pretty awesome so I hope that from here on my pictures should be better.  The camera on this phone is way better than the Iphone 4 I was using.  As I was loading my phone up with the usual apps I came across the YouCam Makeup App.  It uses the front facing camera and you can put makeup on yourself in real time!  You can also slim your face and smooth your skin.  This also works for photos you may already have on your phone.  I had a lot of fun with the app and came up with pics like these.

During this time Mark was awesome and had my favorite Key West Coffee and potato chips delivered to our house.

After my very successful KonMari style clean out earlier in the year things were still pretty organized.  Though truly with only two regular size closets and two dressers in the whole place we just didn't have enough space for all of our clothes and coats and sweaters and such.  Soooooo I just had to improve our storage capabilities.
Two IKEA Malm 6-drawers and one Malm 2-drawer later I'm pretty pleased except that our floors are so un-level that the left dresser sits just an inch above the left one. Either way we have tons of storage.  Now I just need to get some art or mirrors or something on the walls.
November 11, 2015 - One of the fun things we've been doing this year with the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild was a traveling quilt bee.  Back in January each participant made starter blocks and then the rest of the year we passed them around and each person made a block for each of the quilts.  These are the pieces I got back after tonight's meeting.  I was hoping to lay out some variations but Leeroy had other plans.

 Dec 7, 2015 - Our big Black Friday purchase was a second double size hammock from Amazon.  We went to the park to test it out. Now we each have our own hammock which is nice for space but lame for warmth and cuddling.

OK - so I hope to start keeping things more up to date again.  And there may be a post solely of cat photos because I couldn't fit all the cute ones in this post without making it forever long.  I hope you enjoyed the catch-up post!


  1. Oh my, I totally read this when you told me about it - with the intention of coming back later to leave a comment then I forgot. Now I need to re-read it to make an appropriate content related comment but because I need to work on a time sensitive post, I am adding it to my list of things to do. I'll be back!! Is Becca still 32 weeks pregnant??

  2. Answer, yes, she is still on week 32. This does not count as my content comment. MUST STAY FOCUSED!!

  3. Bacon dinner delicious. Snow cat awesome. Hammocks fun and relaxing. Food pics ugh. Chalk art fantastic. I didn't know he regularly changed it? You should make a mini-coffee table book of it. There's always free 20 page book deals floating around. Carpet nasty. I think you need a free month of rent for doing your landlord that favor. Thank you - never thought I'd ever see what $50 in canned skyline looked like. Dude. The makeover plastic face pic - still creepy. Love your quilty group blocks! When you write again in two years, I hope to see the finished piece!

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