Hurricane Flo and a New Roommate

Hey There!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying dry. From what I can tell, most of the East coast is getting rain, and with Hurricane Flo heading our way, a lot of us are in for a bumpy ride as we get closer to the weekend!

We had initially planned on taking a second round of wedding photos this weekend, but the more I try to plan something, the more it seems like it is not ever going to happen! I’m not going to lie though; I’m glad to have nowhere to be this weekend. My plan is to stay snuggled up inside and work on the house and enjoy baking things while it’s nasty outside!  I just bought a new high tea cookbook, and some of the recipes look delicious and need to be tested!

It’s funny that even though I feature recipes on my blog, I’ve found lately I’ve been enjoying baking directly from a cookbook over using a Pinterest recipe. Working from an online recipe, I find myself trying to click back and forth, getting flour on my phone or laptop. A friend gifted me The Joy of Cooking, and I’m obsessed. Seriously! The best chocolate chip cookies, EVER! It’s been my go-to for a while when I have a question or need a recipe. There is definitely a reason it’s one of the most published cookbooks in American history.

I’m just hoping the power (and my oven) stays on! I’m also relieved that should something go wrong, even though The Fellow still has to work on Saturdays, I won’t be completely alone in the house – we’ve got a new roommate!

My sister-in-law J has joined the same company that The Fellow and I work for and has taken up residence in our spare room.

It’s certainly going to be an adjustment having someone else in our space, but luckily she’s pretty chill, and we’ve always gotten along. I think I finally need to upgrade my dinner game and start prepping meals in advance some though. It’s harder to just throw something together for three people’s dinners than just two.

We have plenty of candles and lanterns should we lose power, and if worse comes to worst, we can always cook on the grill, so I’m not too terribly concerned about weathering the storm. I am worried about our basement. The Fellow and his grandfather added soil around the edges of our home last fall which prevented it from flooding. (We had issues with that when we first move in.) So far, it’s held up well. We haven’t had any flooding despite all of the rain this year! Hopefully, it will withstand this next storm too.

Do you have any favorite stormy weather recipes you love? What do you do to prepare for a storm? Let me know in the comments below!

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Garden Pickings

Hey There!

The Fellow and I are not much of gardeners. I think we probably got our stuff planted super late, so we’re just now getting some of our garden yumminess.

Unfortunately, we lost a lot of our plants moving from the seed to fully planted stage, so we’re eating a lot of tomatoes, squash and peppers, but that’s ok!

I’m enjoying all that our little garden has to offer. It’s so nice to be able to just run outside and grab something fresh for our meals.

Next year we’re going to try to be better about our variety and research. This was a good test run.

What are your tips for easy gardening? Let me know!

 

Labor Day Activities

Hey There!

I hope that you all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend!

The Fellow tried his best to pack our weekend full of fun activities since I didn’t get to go where my heart was longing – the beach.

I need some salt water to ease my soul. We didn’t go last year because of the wedding and honeymoon, and my mermaid half is crying a little bit.

Next year we are 100% going to the beach. Now I just need to plan when and where! (I may even try to get The Fellow out of the country!)

It’s probably a good thing that we skipped the beach anyway. OC had an outbreak of Sea Lice which are tiny, terrible jellyfish things. Yuck!

Instead, we hung out with our SCA family Saturday night, stayed the night with friends; then we all drove up to his grandparents on Sunday to spend the day swimming and grilling out.

We stayed the night again (We’re lucky they love us.), and then we all went tubing on Monday.

It was a lot of outdoor time, and my sister-in-law laughed at me as I was sitting in the river in my tube with a hat, long sleeve shirt on, and a towel over my legs. She asked me, “Are you cold?” and I replied, “No. I’m pale.” The struggle is real when you’re as fair as I am. I’ve gotten a decent amount of sun this year for me, and I’m about to have to change over my foundation color!

I’m not a fan of being sticky or smelly, so I was sooooo glad to get home on Monday night to a warm shower and wash away the greasy sunscreen oiliness and settle in for the evening with a cup of tea.

It was a great weekend, and we’re already talking about when we can all get together and go adventuring again!

What did you do with your long weekend?  Let me know in the comments below!

Headspace

Hey There!

It’s absolutely amazing what you can get accomplished when you are in a good place. I’ve had a few super “up” days in the last week or so, and I’ve been using them to my advantage.

So far I have cleaned, organized, and purged things from the kitchen, living room, and dining room, and we have started on the bedroom.

We have also started eating healthier, and I’m feeling really good right now! I’m even contemplating adding exercise back in.

I’ve been riding these good vibes and catching up on some SCA reading, making plans for a backyard forge, and taking some time for things that I love like singing and daydreaming.

I wish I had more summer months, but I can feel fall slowly pushing its way in. I love fall and am excited for pumpkin spice and Halloween decorations, but I’m still dreading winter.

Hopefully, I can get all the big projects out of the way so I can just snuggle and work on fun things until spring!

If I can get 3 non-rainy days together, I want to keep working on limewashing the house and then organizing the rest of the upstairs before moving down to the basement to clean.

I’m really trying to hang onto this good feeling and stay in a positive headspace as we move into fall and then winter.

What are your tricks for beating the winter blues?

 

 

 

A Bizarre Cure for Hiccups

Hey There!

Thanks so much for your comments and feedback on my Vintage Camper Remodel here, on Facebook, and in person! I really appreciate all of the thought you put into my little project!

I think after much conversation and deliberation I’m going to stick with keeping as much of Rosie Lee’s interior original as I can. We most likely won’t get back down to work on her until the middle of August, but I’m so excited to keep moving forward and share the journey with you!

We had a family reunion this past weekend, and the camper was a hot topic. My aunt and uncle have been RV camping for a while, and my cousin and her family just bought a camper. I’m seeing family camping trips in the future, and I can’t wait!

I love family reunions because it gives us a chance to get together and catch up with what everyone has been doing during the past year, and allows us to bond with family members we may not have visited much with when I was a kid living two states away.

After that fabulous weekend, I had to go back to work. It’s been a rough week already as we’re working short-staffed, and when  it rains, it pours. I decided to relax in the break room with a cup of coffee for a quick minute only to get the hiccups! One of the ladies at work showed me how to stop squeaking, so I just had to share this bizarre trick with you!

This is going to be tricky to describe in writing, so stick with me, ok?

First, you’ll need a glass of water, then bend over and instead of drinking the water from the normal side, drink from the opposite side of the glass. You’ll need to focus on making sure you don’t spill it on yourself!

If that’s incredibly confusing, you can watch a cute video demonstration (not by me) here.

I was super happy it worked because it’s really not fun to be squeaking super loudly in a very quiet office!

Let me know what your tried and true hiccup cures are!

How to Host a Stress-Free Brunch

Hey There!

Since Mother’s Day just passed, and I hosted 13 people for brunch that day I thought I’d share with you my tips on how to make it as stress-free as possible.

1. Tidy up your house the prior week.

I had gotten really behind on housework the week leading up to the brunch and did not have everything as tidy as I would’ve liked. That meant I was scrambling to clean, along with cook right up to the first knock on the front door. The food portion was the easy part.

2. Make a plan.

Moonshine in a Teacup| Make a Plan

It’s far better to over plan and nix a few things than to have no plan at all and forget things. When I started planning brunch, I originally wanted to make those cute succulent cupcakes on Pinterest. That was quickly crossed off the list. I wrote down the guest list, what I wanted to serve, what things I could make ahead, and the grocery list. As the old adage says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

3. Cut a few corners.

Or in my case, most of the corners. Don’t be afraid of box mixes or pop-open biscuits. When you’re cooking for a group, sometimes quick and simple is better so you can just relax and enjoy the time of fellowship.

4. Make what you can in advance.

Moonshine in a Teacup| Bread

Breads and biscuits will hold for a day or more. You can also make things ahead and freeze them (like I have done with my most recent batch of scones). I cooked my bacon in the oven probably 3 days out and kept it refrigerated.

5. Borrow, don’t buy.

I have a ton of stuff for hosting meals from our SCA adventures and the wedding. Honestly, they are a bit of a pain to store. If you don’t have something, check with a friend! There were a few things I borrowed like my mother’s coffee pot. Yupp. I don’t own one. Well, I do own a pour over pot, but for this many people, it was not going to work. I also borrowed her 2-tier pie rack to serve plates of cinnamon rolls.

6. If you do buy, buy cheap.

Moonshine in a Teacup| Juice

 I love the Dollar Tree. I had this carafe that I bought a while back at TJ Maxx, and when I was at the Dollar Tree recently I found the exact same one. For $1 I snagged two and had a mini juice bar!

7. Presentation is key.

See number 5. I have a ton of hosting stuff. The majority of that though is rustic wooden trenchers and baskets. When we have company, I pull out our long wooden trencher and fill it with snacks like pretzels and Wheat Thins. Biscuits and baked goods go in baskets lined with flour sack tea towels. It’s quick, easy, simple, and I think it’s pretty.

7. Figure out seating in advance.

I didn’t bring up extra seats on some bad advice until after people had started getting food and finding seating. I wish I would’ve gone with my gut and brought up extra chairs earlier. I also wish that I just owned folding chairs. Our families are so large when they are together that seating is always a struggle.

8. Relax.

Moonshine in a Teacup| Relax

Don’t make it obvious that you’ve done a  ton of work. Be gracious and enjoy your time with your guests. Dishes will wait to be cleaned, and if something doesn’t turn out quite right, it’s ok. It’s the company and the feelings they had on that day they will remember!
What are your best easy hosting tips? Help a girl out and let me know in the comments below!

50s Murder Mystery: Who Done It?

I had a fabulous weekend last week, and I promised to share it with you. We went to our murder mystery and visited with friends and had a jolly old time. So many people have asked me questions about murder mysteries that I wanted to give a few answers. A friend hosted us. She went to Party City and bought some 50s party decorations to up the atmosphere.

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We all opted to dress up because, why not? I finally got to wear this great Stop Staring dress I picked up at a yard sale several years ago. I had to go on quite a quest to find a tiara, which surprised me. I tried Wal-Mart and the Dollar Tree, but struck out. I finally found a 5-favor pack of tiaras at Hobby Lobby that were cheap. I decided to go ahead with the pack because I have an idea for where they may come in handy later.

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I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the tiara as well. I maaaaay have been wearing it around the house a good bit. (The Fellow just shook his head at me.) One night I wore it while doing house work, which makes it a much more entertaining enterprise.

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Anyway, back to the plot. Murder mysteries come in kits with character packets and usually a CD (although this one was so old the CD track said, “Turn tape over for next part”). Each character packet has specific information that leads the story in the right direction. This one had scripted pages that each person read to ensure key plot points were covered. Once you go through all the scenes and listen to all the clues, everyone makes a guess as to who they think is the murderer.

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Both times I’ve done a murder mystery I’ve ended up being the killer. I will say, if the script reveals that you’re the murderer and then you have to guess who it is, it kind of steals a little bit of the fun (and is tricky if you have no poker face like me!), but overall it’s such  an awesome time!

Weekend Plans

I’m excited to have a three-day weekend. I’m planning to work on things for the wedding. I need to take a trip to the venue to figure out placement and determine table linen sizes. (Any suggestions for where to get table cloths?) Then we’ve got a BBQ, river float, murder mystery, and a visit with friends. Very busy but fun!

A friend has the murder mystery game for us to use, but we’re hosting. It has a 50s theme, and I can’t wait. I love any excuse for a good costume!

If you’ve never participated in a murder mystery, you’re given a character with costume suggestions and a packet of clues with instructions/rules. You follow the prompts and script to play through while learning more about the murder as you go. Most of the time you don’t even know that you’re the murderer until close to the end. A good thing too – last time I played I was the murderer, and I have NO poker face whatsoever!

For this game, the Fellow will be a Russian scientist, and I’ll be a pageant queen with long evening gown and a tiara. I lucked out with a super clearance dress with a broken zipper from Gabe’s that I’m going to doctor up to fit the part.

I’ll post pictures from the weekend in next week’s blog.