Saturday, July 31, 2010

Winner!

We're headed to the White Sox game tonight, where by random chance Laura and I are both going to be there and we will get to hang out!

As my two year old says, "Yay! Go White Sox Game!  Boooo Twins!"

And our random number picker thingamabob says that number three is the winner.  hahnak, if you could contact us with your address that would be great!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Freezing Blueberries

It sounds like most people are interested in gardening, cooking, and preserving techniques, so here is a quick and easy one.  After blueberry picking I had a lot of extra blueberries that I wanted to freeze.

If you put them into a bag and directly into the freezer then they all stick together into a big lump.  The trick to getting them separate is to freeze them individually.  Not one at a time, but spread out on a plate or cookie tray so that they are not touching each other.



Then a few hours later once they are frozen you can put them into a bag or freezer safe container.  My sister put hers into a clean used yogurt container (the 32 ounce size with a resealable lid) which was a good way to reuse an existing container before recycling it!  I put mine into a glass Pyrex container.  I am not affiliated with Pyrex in any way, but I love their glass containers.  They can go in the oven, the fridge, the microwave, and the freezer.  The containers are dishwasher safe, and they each come with a tight fitting plastic lid.  I love their versatility and the fact that the containers are not plastic.  If you have not read about plastics leaching chemicals into hot or cold foods and liquids you should.  It is pretty scary some of the effects it can have on you and your family.  Here is a list of which plastics are good and bad. 



Now you can reach into your freezer anytime and get however many berries you want!

- Laura

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blueberry Picking

My sister found a blueberry farm about an hour away from us.  She invited me to come with her and my niece to pick some blueberries.


It was a lot of fun!  Or at least it would have been if the heat index was not 105!

We arrived at the farm and there was a small building where you picked up a bucket and caught a hay ride type trailer out to the berry farms.  The buckets were lined with plastic bags so that you could just take the bag out of the bucket and take it right home when you are done.  Pretty clever!

Mary picked out a bucket. 
Posed for a quick picture.
And headed for the hay ride. 

I was not even sure what kind of plant blueberries grew on.  Turns out it is a tall bush.  I was surprised how many berries grew on each bush!




We spent a few hours picking berries.


Mary helped for a while.



But then was caught red handed eating berries out of the bucket!


After we picked the berries we returned to the same building to have our berries weighted, pay for them, and return our buckets.


I think we all felt like Mary by the end of the day.  Hot, sweaty, and tired! (Notice how wet her hair looks, that is all sweat.)  But we got about 5 lbs of berries which is enough for us to freeze some to eat later.  Blueberries are super expensive during the winter! 


We felt a lot better after we cleaned up in the bathroom.  Then we got ready to head home.


I guess that we wore her out!


 - Laura

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Giveaway- Bubbles print!

Laura and I are in the giving spirit this week.  We would love to send on reader a professional metallic print of the original art photo, "bubbles."



The photo size is 8x8 inches and obviously won't have that "win me!" watermark on it.

This photo has been featured on the front page of etsy!

But, it seems so perfectly summery to us.  And, you don't have to have a kid to make good use of it.  Though, I think you probably need a lighthearted attitude.  I don't think it would look very good framed in a dark and dreary place with no attempt at natural light.

The giveaway is open until 12:00 noon on Friday, July 30.  And here are the rules:

1. You have to live in the United States.  Sorry.  In the future we will open it up.
2. You must provide a valid email address or way to contact you.
3. You have to have a place we can ship it to.

And, to enter, all we need is:

A comment!

But, we would prefer if you could help give us some guidance for future posts (and future giveaways).  So, if you could let us know what type of posts you like the most, whether it is craft or cooking or gardening (or Laura apologizing for being a procrastinator), that would be super-helpful.  Seriously.

And, if you subscribe, let us know!


-Meghan & Laura

Sitting with the...

I have spend too much time sitting with these:




to get much done.  But, coming up soon is a garlic taste test!  And more about the mysterious brown cucumbers and cucumber fries!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kirkwood Market


I went to a local market in Kirkwood which is a suburb of St. Louis.  The market is open every day of the week, which I was impressed by.  The one in my area is only one day each week for a few hours.


When I got to the market I discovered that more vendors show up on some days than on others.  There were only three vendors the day that I went. 

I was kind of disappointed though because one of the vendors sold fruits and vegetables that they obviously had not grown locally.  Mango and kiwi in Missouri?  Prepackaged raspberries and mushrooms with commercial brand names on them?

However, they did have lots of locally grown tomatoes.  This was my favorite part.  You just cannot beat home grown tomatoes!








 The peaches had just come into season, and that is what I ended up buying.  I ate one each morning for breakfast.  They were delicious!  I was disappointed that I could not buy anything else because I did not think that I could safely transport them all the way home to the Chicago area.


- Laura

What is it? Part 2

I believe Laura has two posts going up soon, but from what I hear, Chicago got completely soaked last night.  The expressways are closed and many people are without power.  I'm assuming she's OK and hopefully has air conditioning and elevators!

In the meantime, here is another picture for guessing.  It was taken this morning in Urbana.  Should be a bit easier than last time:



Any guesses?

-Meghan

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Felt-o-rama: Story board

I would like to dedicate our final week of Felt-o-rama to Sarah Zwier.  She was the first person to leave us a comment (we love comments)!  Sarah is so brave, she grew up in the Chicago suburbs but she is currently living in Laos with her husband helping native people who are poor and uneducated.  She also has a great cooking blog that includes some Lao cooking.  You should check it out at Mak Noa.  She is really Meghan's friend, and I only know her through Meghan, but she is an inspiring lady, and I wish her nothing but the best!  She is also the inspiration behind this idea.  She suggested a story board.  I am not sure if this is exactly what she meant, but it is what my imagination came up with.  I pictured a story board being sort of like paper dolls, only made out of felt.  But of course the doll needs somewhere to live!

I started with a white rectangle to be a room.  (It is really bothering me that you can see the fold marks in the felt, hopefully those will wear out soon). 


Then I created hard wood floors by using dark brown felt and sewing horizontal lines into it, and then short vertical ones at different spacing to look like the boards of hard wood floors.


Next, I thought it required a place to sit down, so I made a living room with a sofa and a large clock.  I have a really big clock in my house, and it is one of my favorite things in the whole house.



Then I figured anyone who lives here would need a place to sleep, so I made a bed with some blankets and pillows.  And of course a dresser to store clothes in.





Then I realized that there was no person, so I made one of those too.  She was the hardest part because I had to sew the face and hair on by hand.


Finally, I made her a few different outfit choices.





All of the pieces except the little girl are just one piece of felt with decorative stitching on them.  The girl is two layers of felt to make her a little extra sturdy.



Here are all of the individual pieces laid out. 


I must be honest and say that I am not totally done with this one yet.  I plan to make some additional outfits, people, furniture and other accessories to go with it.  But I think that you get the idea.  I have three other big projects that I need to be working on, so I need to set this one aside to complete at a later date.

Hope it was worth the wait!!

- Laura

Not quite a failure!

Reading Laura's failure post made me smile.

While we wait for the sun to come up so she can take some pictures, let me disclose the giraffe-mushroom-yard-thing I posted about on Monday.

It's a cucumber!  I planted an heirloom cucumber, and forgot to write down what kind it was.  They were yellow-green when I left town and brown when I came home.  I thought some kind of disease hit.  But really, they were incredible!


Also, just to pimp myself out/show that I can in fact finish projects, I finished an alphabet poster for my son yesterday.  He has become obsessed with letters and letter sounds, so I worked on making him a fun poster.

He loves it.  And because it's fun for him, I put it over here too.


-Meghan