Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cartagena, Columbia

 Here's a few more photos from our vacation. We spent a day in Cartagena, Columbia. It was HOT out. We joined a tour so we could get a little background on the city and see the highlights. Our tour guide explained that there are two seasons in Columbia. Hot and Hotter. Apparently it was only hot that day (95 degrees). Whewee! I can't imagine being there during the Hotter season.
The buildings were beautiful around the square and down the alleys were beautiful. There were flowers flowing down from many of the terraces. So pretty! Our guide said the flowers are usually very fragrant and help to diffuse some of the people scent during the hot seasons.
There were a couple different Christmas trees up around town. One paper, one metal. It was interesting to see how they were displayed and the different representations. While waiting for a few of our our fellow tour members we stopped for a cold Coke. I'm a diehard (currently on the wagon and abstaining) Coke fan but these had a slightly different taste.
The scenery and buildings were one of my favorite things to photograph during this trip. I love buildings, especially those with history.








Thursday, January 24, 2013

Santa Cat

Yes, I know it's a month post Christmas season. It's been taking me quite awhile to get through all the photos from Christmas and vacation.

Here's just a quick peek at a moment from Christmas morning. I'm not sure why Peyton put up with it but we decided he would look very cute in a Santa hat. And the Build-A-Bear hat conveniently had ear holes.

Bailey put the hat on him and took these photos. Peyton is now 7 years-old. He came to us at around 9 months old and was a stray who had been on his own for quite a long time from the looks of it.

He's been a great cat. A little crazy sometimes but he's mellowing more and more as he gets older.

And best of all, he loves us all despite the fact that we dress him up.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Rebirth of a Chair

My mom gave me this chair a few years ago. At the time, she just needed somewhere to store it. But after two years, I decided it was getting a makeover.


A little sunny yellow paint and a quick trip to the fabric store and it was like new. There was a great sale this weekend and I picked up fabric for a seat cushion and a few other projects for about $30.

I made the cushion by tracing placing the fabric on the seat and tracing the shape of the seat. I folded the fabric in half and cut out matching pieces. I cut out a long strip of fabric 3" wide.

Next I centered the strip of fabric right sides together around the edge of one cushion piece. I sewed it in place and then pinned the other side of the strip to the other side of the cushion. I left an opening where the two ends of the strip meet so I could stuff the cushion.

Next I used polyfill stuffing to stuff the cusion tight.

Using a covered button kit and some scraps of fabric, I put together 4 coordinating buttons. Sewing the buttons in place and creating my the nice indentations was probably the hardest part. I would recommend using a needle designed for upholstery and stronger thread. Mine kept breaking.

Lastly, I sewed some ribbon ties to the back of the cushion and attached it to the chair. I'm so happy with how this came out.

I'm sorry I don't have pictures of the step by step instructions. I just sort of winged it first.

P.S. Here's some artwork that was already up.

Entryway Makeover

I currently have a list of to-do tasks. I asked Anique to pick a number randomly. The number corresponded to a task on the list. And yep, it was the entry way.
I repainted the entryway years ago but it's been still been pretty much plain and unadorned. And cluttered. Desperately needing some shoe organization. I decided it needed a few homey touches and more. The caveat being it had to be on practically on no budget.

Pictures were first up. I had several frames that had been sitting on a closet shelf. They weren't quite the look I was going for. So using some white latex paint I had on hand, I gave gave them a white-wash look.

I chose my pictures. I did spend the money to have them printed--less expensive than new printer ink. I sketched out a few arrangements and hung them up. Yay! Step one down.

It's hard to show the walls since the angle of the stairs don't allow much room to step back and take the photos. It does look homier though.

The chair was next up. But that's another post.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Potato & Leek Soup

Bailey has been asking me to make Potato & Leek Soup ever since he tried it on vacation. I had been putting it off for the last week and picking up ingredients here and there.

Last night I reviewed the Tosca Reno's recipe in her The Eat Clean Diet Stripped on my Nook. Sadly, by this morning my Nook battery had died. So, I decided to wing it and just use what I had on hand and what I remembered.

Here's the adjusted recipe I used:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 leeks thinly sliced
3 small zucchini thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 small russet potatoes thinly sliced
8 cups of broth

Thinly slice all of your vegetables. I used my food processor for a super thin cut.
In a large pot, add olive old and saute the leeks, garlic, and zuccini until soft. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

After simmering, use a blender to puree the soup. I did it in two batches. You can serve it warm or store to heat later. You can salt and pepper to taste as well.

The soup was a hit. Bailey thought it was fantastic. Even Anique tried a bite and then another when she realized how good it was. A success!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Panama Canal


The Panama canal was amazing. I can't believe it was built so many years ago and it is still functioning so well. They are in the process of digging new wider and longer locks to accomodate larger ships.

The Disney Wonder is one of the larger ships that navigate the canal. Larger and new cruise ships are too big to fit through but will fit in the new locks when completed.

There was about 2 feet of clearance for our ship. We had a fantastic narrator who came on board just before we entered the locks. She was picked up after we exited the last lock.

We got to the first lock (there are 3) around 6:30am and exited the last lock just before 5pm. It was quite a lengthy process but fascinating to see it working.

Ken and I went upstairs just a little after 6am. I took a few picture of the sunrise and the city but they are a little foggy. The humity was so high, my lens kept fogging up. Ken commented that he thought the city looked like Oz. Sorry these are a little out of order.

We took a break from the hot sun to mail some postcards and have our passports stamped. Just so we could prove we'd been there ya know.