Friday, March 30, 2012

Maymont park continued

After much begging and pleading with the computer I was finally able to upload the remaining pictures from our day at Maymont Park.  Twas just a short week ago....but feels like it's been a month.

The family mausoleum.  It sits on a hill overlooking
the James River

I dunno about you...but I could live here.

Much of the view is obstructed with trees
but the view from the house is looking over the
James River

The park has a petting zoo, numerous floral gardens (Japanese garden, Italian garden, Butterfly garden), a learning center with a cafe and gift shop, offers tours of the mansion, and has every kind of outdoor space you can think of for picnicking.  If you come for a visit and plan to see everything give yourself several hours and bring your camera.  You are going to love it!   

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Maymont Park

I was lucky enough to take a day off during the week and sneak off the Maymont Park, in Richmond, recently.  This park has to be one of my favorites.  Historical, botanical, and just gorgeous....this place has everything I like in a park. 

I can only share part of the pictures today (the computer and I are having issues getting along)

A staff member discussing hawks

The bobcat exhibit.  I haven't seen a bobcat
in there in years....but I still always go look.

I will work on getting the rest of the pictures uploaded soon...The park is just too beautiful not to share!  I think I really could spend an entire day sitting here and taking in the sites....well unless Emma went with me :o/ 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Easter Tree

With Easter just a couple weeks away I have been super busy trying to get my Easter decorations up around the house and on the seasonal tree.  I finally have the tree close enough to finished so that I could snap some pictures of it. 

The Easter Tree

The various eggs I've bought here and there over the years, the yarn pom-poms I made myself (find out how I did it here).  The yarn garland I also made (I have links here that tell you how I made the garland).  There are a couple baskets on the tree that I picked up at Michael's I believe.  I have a new idea for a spring tree skirt so if I'm AWOL you can find me at home working on that. 

These pretties were just to nice not to share.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Love

It's another Monday and another start to a great week....however I'm sad to see the weekend go.  It was such a nice one. 

I was able to spend some time
taking in the beauty of
Maymont Park

My son got his second letter for
indoor track (he is the
cutie in yellow)

I finished up some Easter deocrating

Yeaaaaaaaaaaa I think I'll just
stay inside

We had plans to get outside on Saturday but heavy rains kept us inside.  So we opted for indoor fun instead and stayed home.  This week looks to be the usual craziness: learn to knit, attend a track meet, girl's night with my sister and some friends, a 10K on Saturday and get the girl's room ready for their new bunk beds.  Yep usual craziness.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Finger knitting

I am not sure if I should feel cheated or not......apparently a new craft I have discovered, finger knitting, has been around for a while.  Only I am just NOW hearing about it!  I saw a few sites (here and here) blogging about the joys of this new old craft and decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did.  I had yarn laying around from the pom-poms I made for the St. Patrick's tree and followed the instructions I found on the web.  Now I can't stop!  I've made a few garlands for the trees plus a few other things here and there.  It's slightly addictive...and calming.  I won't even try to give you instructions since the other sites really do a good job of it....but I can at least share a couple of the things I've made. 

Why do I look so orange??? Ane where
did my face go?

This will be the garland
for the Easter tree

When I want to change colors I just tie
the two ends in a square knot

I like to change the colors
around with the yarns

If there is another craft I am missing people you have to tell ME!  I had no clue that I could be doing this...and what I love is that there is no special tool and no counting like in knitting.  Simple.  Easy.  I'm all about that!

I have taken down the St. Patrick's day tree ornaments and decorations.  Tonight I'll try to put up the Easter Tree ornaments and decorations.  But for now my dining room looks like this.......

Ho hum :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cake Pops

For some reason it hit me today that this month is flying lightening speed.  In fact the first quarter of the year is almost over.  Where has the time gone?  Maybe it has something to do with the theory that time flies when you're having fun :)  I hear people say that as you get older times goes by faster.  I like my the fun theory much better than the one pointing out that I'm getting older.  Speaking of getting older this last weekend my dad celebrated another birthday.  In prepping for the big party I volunteered for cake detail.  I planned on making my "green cake" again and have to say it turned out just as great as the first one.  But I also decided to try out my hand at making cake pops.  I have seen lots of websites and blogs with ways to make cake pops....but I was lucky enough that at Christmas my parents gave me a cake pop pan.

It's really pretty simple.  Mix the cake batter, fill the pan, toss in oven, bake, remove and decorate. 

I used white cake batter with
green food color

The cake pan comes with a top and bottom.  You fill the bottom so that each hole is filled with batter to the level of the pan.  Put the top on and clip together with two silicone clips that come with the pan.  The top has tiny holes in the top so that extra batter can escape and not cause the pops to deformed.  I followed the directions for baking that come with the pan, 25 minutes maybe, then removed from oven to cool.  My cake pan came with pop "sticks" but if you don't have any I know that Michael's sells them.  I melted white icing in the microwave and again followed the pan's instructions.  I dipped the handle in the icing and then stuck it into the individual cake pops.  Once on the stick I removed the pops from the pan and dipped the pops into the melted icing.  Then I sprinkled them with sprinkles I already had at the house. 

When they came out of the oven the top
looked like this

After some icing and sprinkles (sorry it's blurry) and please excuse
my cluttered counter

Hello Mr. Cake Pop

Now here is the kicker....I made these the night before and had them all packaged up to go.  But the next morning in our rush to get out of the door......we forgot them at home!  And we didn't realize it until we were already at my sister's house :(   The good news is that we at least still had the cake and we were able to chow down on that.

And since we didn't want the cake pops to go to waste we have been eating them up this week.  Just the right amount of something sweet to tame the sugar craving after dinner. 

She LOVES them.  In fact it's one of
the few things she requests
to eat
 So yea that is the first of my experiences with making cake pops.  Nothing fancy and not nearly as creative as some other pops I've seen but we liked them all the same.  My only hope now is to find out how to make brownie pops!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Kitchen Shelves

I'm happy to report that the kitchen walls have been painted and our new kitchen shelves have been hung.  While browsing through Anthropologie months ago I saw a display of open shelves and fell in love.  And since our kitchen is short on counter space and cabinets I thought that a couple of shelves would help in that area too. 

Before the paint job and shelves

And after

I like the way they turned out.  I thought that a third shelf would crowd the wall but I am second guessing myself now.  I think I might drop the selves about six inches and put in that third one.  And the selves were a DIY project so super cheap.  My kinda budget!  That is what prompted Mark to cut me up some would in the dark!

I at least cut the light on for him
My next goal is to sand, prime and paint the kitchen cabinets........blah!  Not looking forward to it.  Wonder where I will find the time?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Love

Another fine weekend here in Virginia.  The warm weather is a welcomed addition and all the fun spring activities are even MORE welcomed! 

Our weekend was filled with home projects, the Westchester Shamrock 5K, a birthday party for my dad, and more time at Henricus Park.

Yea that is Mark cutting wood for me in the dark :)

Cake pops for the birthday boy grandpa

Post race

I was too pooped to climb down with them...
I knew they would have to climb back UP.

It was a good weekend spent with family and friends.  Wonder how long this wonderful weather will hold out?