and Happy New Year!
from the newlyweds:
Steve & Sarah Nyktas
Today is one month till our wedding! 31 days to be exact. I am actually feeling less stressed and starting to get excited about everything. There are only a few loose ends to tie up. Today we are taking care of one of them - going to get our marriage license. I hope that it is not as painful as renewing a drivers license, but we shall see.
After that I want to make a trip to Super H Mart because it's on the way home and I have been wanting to go there for AGES!!! I guess it is a huge Korean grocery store but they have lots of other things too.... Maybe we will have to pick up dinner there as well.
Other than that, we have just been trying to enjoy our summer when we can. Haven't had as many trips as usual so that has been nice. At the end of May we went to Iowa for a big party for my cousin's graduation. Then in June I had a bridal shower in Cincinnati (but there are no photos of that b/c I am the family photographer so I am rarely in photographs....)
Posted by sarah b. at 7:16 AM
I bought some polymer clay (fimo, premo, sculpey) to sculpt my cake topper out of, or at least give the cake maker a rough draft of what I am going for. I have never used it before. Any tips or anything I should know about???
I also purchased a bottle of the glaze. Does it go on before or after I bake? If I want to paint it with acrylic or water based paint, should I do that on top of the glaze or under the glaze?
Thanks art/craft buddies if you have any info!
Posted by sarah b. at 9:19 AM
My friend is selling her couch and I'm wondering if we should buy it... what do you think? It is a very nice and comfy Ikea couch. It's a cotton fabric couch that looks kind of leather-ish. She wants to sell it for a really great price. Here are some photos of it:
Posted by sarah b. at 6:46 AM
Oh the places I've been... Here's a quick list of all the things I've done since my vermicomposting post (which, consequently, does not involve vermicomposting):
Click on the picture to see more from that event!
Posted by sarah b. at 4:30 PM
Oh my goodness! I have been neglecting my blog! If it weren't for my tweets, I bet anyone visiting here would have thought the earth had swallowed me up into a big dark hole. (In fact, I think my wedding has swallowed me up into some kind of hole... I don't think I would call it dark.)
Anyway, here is my latest trip - a visit to Tennessee to spend time with some of the Clanton and Ellis relatives.
This is Magpie (Maji) meeting some of the cows on the farm. You can see the rest of my pictures here.
Posted by sarah b. at 6:15 AM
... because we all know that the Amish frequently use instant vanilla pudding in some of their oldest recipes.
Posted by sarah b. at 7:14 AM
I feel like a real adult now. Steve and I just purchased our first rug together. It all happened so fast and then BAM! a rug was delivered and we were the owners. We first started looking on overstock.com for styles and patterns that we liked. I was very afraid to commit to anything. I was very comfortable with my beige carpet remnant from college.... hey... i LIKE beige! But we've been gradually trying to distance ourselves from college furnishings, though we do have a lot of hand me down items that i love and I think still work in our home.
A couple of weeks later we were looking around at Crate n Barrel and noticed one of the rugs there was the same as our top picks from Overstock. AND it was double the price at Crate n Barrel. The nice thing is that we were able to see it in person and feel it. So we decided that night to place our Overstock order. It was here within a week.
Posted by sarah b. at 12:34 PM
Paczki Day has come and gone. I had two! They were so yummy. Thank you to Maura in the office down the hall for bringing them in. Then I decided to do research on the calorie content..... according to this article they contain anywhere from 300 to 450 calories AND 22 to 27 grams of fat. And you would have to jog for a whole hour in order to neutralize that ball of yummy goodness. But they are well worth it, my friend. In my opinion they beat the socks off any old krispy kreme. Not a big fan of krispy kreme. Too sugary or something. I love how paczki's are so fluffy and yeasty..... mmmmm.
I found a recipe and I think I may try to make some next year.
Posted by sarah b. at 4:42 PM
I woke up this morning in Chicago, to a fresh dusting of snow on the ground. The bitter cold temperatures and the layers of ice we endure in the midwest can drive me nuts, but I'm always in the mood for snow. Afterall, I do consider myself 75% Michigander and 25% Buckeye. I know some parts of Michigan are vacation destinations for Lincoln-Park-ers to go play rustic tourist. I'm not saying I don't like tourists or tourism, it's good for business and jobs! For me it's different - it's HOME. Today I'm leaving on a solo road trip to the home lands.
I am in love with the most recent ad campaign for Pure Michigan (michigan.org) that I've been hearing on the radio. I guess there are some on tv, but since I don't watch much tv I haven't seen any of those. The music and the man's voice and his words, like poetry, all tug at my heart strings, bringing back memories of my snow covered yard at my Dad's house on Lawrence Rd..... I know that sounds dumb, but that's what the ads are trying to do right?
Here's one called "Snow Days" made for televsion:
Remember Snow Days?
When the schools were closed
and the day was wide open.
The first step into fresh powder
was like stepping into a new world:
the crunch of the snow as it packed under our boots,
the drip of icicles melting in the sun.
So pull the hat down a little lower, and make sure
there's a cup of hot cocoa waiting.
Because this winter,
every day is Snow Day
in Pure Michigan.
This one makes makes me tear up every time I hear it on the radio:
Snow can keep us in
or snow can call us out.
Snow makes us shovel,
but snow can make us wonder again.
Snow will melt off our boots,
but the snowmen our kids make
will melt our hearts.
Snow makes everything new again,
falling across millions of acres of forests
blanketing more than 3,000 miles
of cross country ski trails
and waiting patiently at more than 40 downhil ski areas and resorts
Sure, snow is cold
but it stirs up amazing memories:
of snowball fights
of sledding with our friends
of waking up to a fresh canvas
and doing it all over again.
Snow can do so many things,
and right now it's rolling out the white carpet.
Come play in the snow
of Pure Michigan.
(I could do without the ski resort part, personally.) If you haven't heard the advertisements yourself, click here and play "Snow Days - TV" and "Snow - Radio". Oh and make sure you have some tissues handy... okay so I'm a sap.
Posted by sarah b. at 8:14 AM
This weekend we celebrated Steve's birthday!!! We had some buddies over, played video games, and ordered Candlelite pizza... had some beers, broke out the Stevie Nicks vinyl... and I made the chocolate peanut butter cake again. This time the cake was a little bit different. First of all, I made the mistake of buying expensive, organic powdered sugar. The back of the bag says "We add a bit of cornstarch to discourage clumping." And what was the bag full of???? CLUMPS! Rock hard clumps of powdered sugar that did not break up in the mixer. It was okay though. You couldn't tell by looking at the cake. For the top glaze, I used Dark Chocolate Chips. I'm not sure if I didn't heat it enough or if it's because I used Dark instead of Semi-sweet because it was more ganachey than glazey. But it ended up being REALLY GOOD. I think I liked it better than with the semi sweet glaze. I wish I had a photo of the cake... but I don't think anyone took one. It's in our bellies now :)
I gave Steve some movies AND I finished his sweater!! You know the one I started over a year ago??? Well it's DONE and it fits him perfectly and he loves it. I'm so proud. I made him model it a million times on Saturday. There are no photos perfectly showcasing the cardigan but it makes an appearance in some of these. I will post some better ones in a future blog entry, which will be entitled "Knitting Report".
The weather on Saturday was so nice, I bet it was probably the best weather anyone with a February birthday could hope for. It almost got up to 60 F. We've had a warm streak these past few days and I am NOT complaining!!!! I'm trying to convince Steve that we should ride our bikes to work tomorrow...
Posted by sarah b. at 9:28 PM
Bless me blog for I have sinned. It has been 37 days since my last posting.....
ok so it's been a while, right? Many of you know that is not like me, so it seems I have a bit of catching up to do.
First on the list is the Holiday Report!
Our holidays were lovely. You saw our very fake tree... well we liked it so much we didn't take it down till... um... this is kind of embarrassing..... Jan 26th! Yes, a whole month after Christmas Day. I wasn't ready to get rid of it right after Christmas or even New Years because we didn't put it up till Dec 12th. Plus, you know, we were busy. Hence the lack of blog posts.
Posted by sarah b. at 7:18 PM
Happy New Year everyone! I did not manage to stay up past midnight CST, however, I did watch the ball drop in NY on tv. Instead I was more focused on reupholstering our beloved ottoman. It is something we use everyday to put our feet up while we're sitting on the couch. It came from Steve's grandma and was originally a sea foamy green velvety material. The cats have gotten some good scratches out of that thing, though they were not encouraged to do so. (Click on the photo to see more.) It was time for a change.
Steve has been eyeballing some leather ottomans from Crate & Barrel for some time now. So I decided to go with some nice looking vinyl and that I found at Vogue Fabrics about a week or two ago. It is an espresso color with cocoa colored areas between the "scales".
I had expected this project to take a while, but I was armed with a staple gun and finished it within a couple of hours. I did use an upholstery needle to stitch the corner edges where the fabric overlaps. I might need to put a few more staples in as time goes by. I also removed the skirt around the bottom to make it look cleaner and more modern. This really feels like a new piece of furniture!!!
Hopefully the cats will not destroy it, but so far they have not shown any interest in it. I also started spraying it with Feliway every now and then to discourage them from marking it with their claws.
Posted by sarah b. at 9:39 PM