Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lucy & Ethel

On April 1, our first little chick hatched.  Lucy was a day early and a complete surprise.  I picked Patsy up to check her eggs and there was the tiniest little chick under her!  Her chicks aren't silkies like her, they're buff laced polish (which is why they have the little poofs on their heads).

We tried both the broody momma hen and the incubator at the same time to see which way would work better. We had candled the eggs a few times and saw little chicks growing in them so we were certain we would have at least 4 chicks. 

Well, their hatch date came and went and we still only had one chick.  On Wednesday night, we checked them again and saw that one of the eggs in the incubator had a little pip.  I sat on the kitchen floor for hours that night to see if the little chick would crack any more of the egg but by noon on Thursday she hadn't made anymore progress and I was starting to get worried that she was stuck (she was flipped the wrong direction in the egg just like a breech baby).  I carefully cracked little pieces of her shell off so that all she had to do was push it apart.  She eventually did! 

I was away on Thursday night so Todd was texting me updates and sent me this picture right after Ethel hatched. Patsy took right to her even though she came from the incubator.

Ethel is even smaller than Lucy, has a smaller poof but much fluffier cheeks.  They are the sweetest, most adorable little things I've ever seen.  I wasn't sure how Patsy would react to having chicks but she has been the best little mom. 

She taught them how to eat and drink water.  She lets them jump all over her and squirm under her to stay warm.  Poor girl is so tired, I can tell!

This is Lucy.

This is Ethel.

Chicks are nearly impossible to take pictures of- I don't know how photographers do it with babies!  They bounce around everywhere and I swear the minute they see my camera, they hide.

For now, Lucy, Ethel, and Patsy will stay in a pet cage by back door- it's the easiest way to keep them safe from predators and at a comfortable temperature for chicks.  Once they "feather out", they will go out into their own little house next to our other chickens in the backyard.  When I post pictures on Instagram, people ask me all the time "you have chicken in your house?!" but they are rarely in my house.  They might come in if I leave the backdoor open or if I carrying them in but they don't live inside.  They actually do make diapers for chickens and some people keep them inside (especially if they're injured) but pet dust drives me crazy so no thank you!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mahi tacos with mango salsa

It's been quite a long time since I posted a recipe of any kind so after I made these mahi tacos for the second night in a row, I figured it was worthy of sharing.  I'm really over heavy winter foods and have actually been using the grill for a few weeks now.  These tacos are so simple but are the perfect spring and summer dinner.  You can use any mild white fist- just please don't use tilapia!

I covered the mahi with a very generous amount of Old Bay...I suppose you could use any seafood seasoning but you can't beat Old Bay.

I also give them a quick spray with Pam before I put them on the grill.  They cook pretty quick- just about 10 minutes or so.

The black marks are my favorite part.  When I was younger, I used to tell my mom to really burn whatever she was cooking on the grill because I liked the cripsy black pieces.

The mango salsa is so easy.  Dice up two mangoes, 1/4-1/2 red onion, a handful of cilantro and juice from half a lime.  I prefer the small golden honey mangoes- they're a little sweeter.

This sauce is really just one cup of fat free greek yogurt, one whole mashed avocado, a handful of cilantro, juice from half of a lime, salt and pepper.  You won't believe how good this is! I was eating it with a spoon after I made it- and it's just avocado and yogurt!  I had a bunch left over so I've got to find another use for it.

I topped each taco with shredded cabbage.  Todd likes his cabbage wilted down in a pan for just about a minute but well...wilted cabbage is not photogenic so use your imagination!

This will definitely be on our spring and summer dinner rotation.  And by rotation...I mean maybe again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Chickens

If you're in some part of the country that is experiencing another winter storm...I'm sorry for ya.  I really am.  And I'll be thinking about you while I'm sitting on my front porch enjoying our beautiful spring weather.  I will gloat while I can because it's only a matter of weeks before it's miserably hot for 9 months straight.

Last weekend we spent some time planting our spring garden (well, Todd did) and I put out new flowers.  As much as I love fall, I love dusting everything off and brightening things up for spring.  The greens bed is kind of out of control.  I don't even know everything that is in there.

And it looks like the cabbage will be ready just in time for St. Patrick's day.

My daffodils came back up and the first bloom opened yesterday.  I've also got foxglove, blue bonnets and delphinium to look forward to!

Several of you have asked about the chickens.  They're great!  Our city actually finally passed the code making them legal- no more outlaw chickens!  We're actually under the limit too!

That brings me to Patsy!  She's always been our most snuggly hen.  She is very, very small and was picked on when we first got her so we've always kept her in a separate "coop" from the bigger girls at night.  Patsy is also our most likely to be broody.  Being "broody" means a hen has decided that she wants to hatch her eggs.  Normally after a hen lays an egg, she just walks right out of the coop and leaves it there for you.  When she becomes broody, she will plop down on her eggs and try to keep them warm to hatch them.  That's a problem when you don't have a rooster and the eggs aren't fertilized..they will never hatch!  Patsy "goes broody" every 3 weeks or so.  We have to physically take her out into the yard everyday so she doesn't stay on her eggs.

Well, because we're under the limit for chickens, we've decided to get Patsy some fertilized eggs and let her hatch some babies!  We're going to have Easter chicks!!

I can't wait to see the little chicks peek out from under her wing! Wait until y'all see the crazy breed we picked!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Will you be my bridesmaid?

Now that my four bridesmaids have been given their little gifts (one is out of town so she hasn't opened her box yet but I don't think she reads my blog), I wanted to share the little boxes that I put together for them.

I got the idea from Pinterest (obviously) but changed a few of the items in the box.  The cards are from Sugar Paper for J.Crew.  I love Sugar Paper- they make such beautiful simple things and they came out with their J.Crew line the exact week that I was searching for cards.

In each box I put a Voluspa candle, Lollia hand cream, Julep nailpolish (in Jennifer), and macaroons.  I had to ship two of the boxes to my bridesmaids that I wasn't going to see anytime soon so instead of macaroons, I included a Rosebud lipbalm.  I saw another box that included a mini can of champagne which was really cute but I had visions of it exploding in the mail and one of my bridesmaids is only 19 so I'm not sure how much her mom would have liked that touch. :)

I tied them up with a satin ribbon and they're good to go!

Next post won't be wedding related- promise!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

9 months and 2 days

While it's been over a month since I last updated, I assure you that we did not elope!  We have actually made significant progress in terms of planning and I think after the next two months when we book the major vendors, I'll be able to relax a little.  I'm a planner by nature so crossing things off of the to do list is very satisfying!

We've decided to get married in Charleston on November 21 and I am ecstatic! I don't need to tell y'all that it's our absolute favorite city so the decision to get married there was a fairly easy one.

We will be getting married on a Friday in November which may seem weird to some people but really, it kind of makes sense to us.  Everyone on our guest list has to travel no matter where we have our wedding and because Charleston is such a great city, we want people to be able to enjoy it.  If we were to have our wedding on Saturday, it doesn't leave much time at all for people to go on tours, eat at the great local restaurants, and explore.  Plus, Fridays are a little cheaper for venue rentals so we're pinching where we can.  We do realize this requires people to take a day off from work and we will be very grateful for anyone who is able to/chooses to do so to be with us for our wedding.

We spent this past weekend touring the venue that we've chosen- it just seems to fit us really well.  It's beautiful but laid back and has the exact feel that I had in mind.  I'll save that reveal for later!

We sampled BBQ from our caterer.  We will class it up a bit and use china and real silverware rather than the 3 container Styrofoam plates it would normally come on. :)

We also did our cake tasting!  Because we are planning from about 4.5 hours away, we're crossing things off the to do list while we are there whether they really seem "in order" or not. 

I really just wish all of the planning was over, it was October, and we were putting together last minute things before our wedding- I'm sure that the next nine months will go by in a flash so I've got to remind myself (and Todd!) to take it all in a enjoy it.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wedding Planning

So..it's been a little while.  December is such a crazy month.  I know it is for everyone.  On top of the holidays, it's my busiest month for work so I decided that I would put off wedding planning until January.  I think before we were engaged, I expected that I would love wedding planning.  I have always loved looking at pictures of other weddings so why wouldn't I love planning our own?  Well.  Hah!  First of all there is that little thing called a budget.  I would suspect that wedding planning is a breeze is you have an unlimited budget but we do not. And then I've found myself really just not caring about a lot of stuff.  I've asked Todd approximately 15 times if we can just elope.  I even found a great elopement package at the Old Edwards Inn but he wasn't having any of that so onward we will go.

I'm a pretty decisive person- I know what I like, I pick it and then move on to the next thing so I've got a great deal of the wedding details already planned out in my head.  We are going to look at the venue at the end of the month and hopefully pick a date while we are there.  I haven't decided how much I will share beforehand but I will tell you, we've got about 10 months to plan, and it will be in a state that neither of us are from.  THAT I am excited about!  I've already picked out bridesmaids dresses (although I haven't formally asked my bridesmaids yet) and their gifts, all of my accessories, and the reception and ceremony decor.  I've contacted a caterer with menu ideas and requested a proposal and requested a proof for invitations.

There are certain things though that have made me roll my eyes.  I found invitations that I liked online so I requested a sample.  Then the next day I went into a local paper store to see what they had- I like to shop at local stores so if they had something and their prices are good, I'd go with them.  Well, as I was going through the details with the girl in the shop I asked her "can't I just put our wedding website on the invitation?" She about fell out of her chair.  I mean REALLY.  You want me to pay an extra $1.50 for an enclosure card just for a website? That's almost an extra $200 for a 2 inch piece of paper.  "Well, you want your invitations to be timeless."  Listen sister.  It's going to hang on someone's fridge for a few months and then it's going in the trash.  We might have a picture of it in an album somewhere and we might look at it a total of 4 times in the next 30 years.  And is the internet going somewhere? Are URLs going to be outdated?  Maybe I should get one of those little scanny squares instead and then they can just scan it with their phone to find out wedding details.  I'm just going to apologize ahead of time, if you get an invite and it has a URL on it, I'm sorry for being so tacky.

I've been emailing back and forth with my friend Kristen a bunch and one thing she told me that has really stuck is "no one is going to care about the chairs, napkins, and china.  Just get a pretty dress and a great photographer."  It seems so obvious but when you get sucked into the wedding monster, it's easy to forget.   The last wedding Todd and I went to was in Asheville- I cannot tell you what the napkins looked like, I can't remember whether they had white chairs, gold chivari chairs, or if they used real china.  I remember that their venue was beautiful, the bride was stunning, and they had like 6 different kinds of really, really good cakes.

If I disappear for a few weeks, it's because Todd finally gave into my elopement pressure.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas in Savannah

We took a little day trip up to Savannah this weekend.  It's been a while since we went on one of our little trips and there is so much fun stuff going on this time of year.  I chose this weekend because it was the Christmas Tour of Homes- I've always wanted to see inside those beautiful Savannah homes so why not?  Well, the rain...that's why not.  The weather was awful.  It poured.  In between downpours I was able to take a few pictures but around 5:30, we raised our soaking wet white flag and drowned our soggy sorrows in pizza at Vinnie Van GoGo's.

I really loved seeing all of the natural Christmas decorations that people used to decorate their front steps.  I'm a big fan of using fruits, flowers, and other natural things to decorate rather than crazy colors and cartoon figures, etc.

The absolute best store in Savannah is The Paris Market.  Their displays are so creative and everywhere you turn there is something else neat to look at.  It's got a very Anthropologie feel to it- minus the clothes and add a cute little espresso bar.

Let me say this.  I've been on a lot of home tours in different cities.  I thought that Savannah would surely rank up there at the top with one of the best.  I mean, how could it not?  I know that the rain put a damper on things but I was pretty disappointed that none of the upstairs were open. Not a single one! We went into 6 different homes, saw a living room, dining room, kitchen, and then were shuffled out the back door.  I kept thinking, "that's it?"  I know it's a lot of work to get your entire home prepared for a home tour and you've got to put away personal belongings etc but why open your home if you aren't going to show the whole thing? Or maybe just close off the master bedroom?  We finished touring all six houses in 24 minutes.  TWENTY FOUR MINUTES!  We paid $35/ticket.  $70 for twenty four minutes.

This tiny adorable house was the first stop on our home tour.  It's one of the oldest homes in Savannah.  It was probably my favorite home because it was so unique.  I mean it was tiny! And it still felt really old.  We didn't get to see the upstairs but I really loved the little fireplace in the middle of the room.  This home is a vacation rental.

Out of all of the homes, this was the only one where I even remotely liked the decor.  And then someone passive aggressvely told me that they didn't want anyone on the tour taking pictures because "they're private residences and all".  Well, hundreds of people are walking through your home so maybe you should have thought about that beforehand?

 A day trip to Savannah is always a good little getaway but I can't say that we will be going on anymore home tours there.  At least we brought home some goodies from The Paris Market!


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