Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paperwhites On The Rocks

While I am usually more of a "straight up" kind of girl, today's recipe really requires some rocks.

River rocks to be more specific. Today I want to show you a quick and budget friendly little project that I tossed together last night. If I timed it right (IhopeIhopeIhope) and they don't die (pleasepleaseplease), I will have some pretty little blooms at Christmas to help combat the heavy winter gloom that inevitably works into my head every year. Paperwhites are easy flowers to grow in the winter, and you don't even have to have soil! I am a big fan of having plants in the house, I think it makes the air feel cleaner, and the mood just a little more cheerful.

On to the show!

Step 1: Gather supplies.

I used a bag of black river rocks from Lowe's ($4.98), four paperwhite narcissus bulbs out of a kit that I also got at Lowe's ($5.98) and an 11" decorative bowl from Meijer ($19.99). Both the bowl and the river rocks can be reused in the home after your flowers have gone to a better place (moment of silence). Oh, and you'll need some water, but I'll get to that later. If you can't find river rocks that you like, or you just want to do something different, you can use any non-metal vase filler-like material. I'd love to use those plastic gem shaped filler beads, or even clear glass marbles in the future for a whole different look. Or bright colored pony beads would be fun!

Step 2: Lay a base.

Use about half of your rocks to create a base in your bowl. It should be at least an inch above the bottom of the bowl so when roots develop they have somewhere to go. Try to place the rocks rather than pour them in, I think I came very close to having a shattered bowl because I was impatient.

Step 3: Seat the bulbs.

Pop the bulbs into the bowl, root side down. In my bowl I tried to keep them in the middle-ish, since farher out to the side the bowl gets shallow again and the little rootsies might not like that.

Step 4: Rock blanket.

Use the rest of the rocks to secure the bulbs in their places and keep them from tipping over. Unless you have a ton of rocks they won't be completely covered, it's okay, they don't need to be. They just need some stability since as they grow they become top heavy and might try to topple and jump ship.

Step 5: Water and wait.

Add water to the bowl until it just covers the bottom of the bulbs. Too much water can cause the bulbs to rot, which would be a bad thing. I learned that a clear bowl is pretty handy for seeing exactly how high the water level is. I can see that my bulbs aren't drowning and I can see when I need to add more water. Now all I can do is wait. It should only take a few weeks for the paperwhites to grow and begin to bloom. And after they bloom, they should stay pretty for a few more weeks. I'll try to post a few progress pictures as these babies grow. I've heard that paperwhites are really hard to kill, so the odds are with me on this one.

One more VERY important note is that paperwhites are part of the daffodil family, which are toxic to pets. Your pets shouldn't ingest any part of the plant, but the bulbs are the worst for them. You can bet your ass that if Zula even looks at this arrangement for too long it will go live at my parents cat-free house, up on a counter away from the dog. So far Zula hasn't shown any interest and the bowl has been sitting on my table for more than a day, so I think we are in the clear, at least until stalks and flowers start to grow. If you have a kitten or a cat that really likes to chew on things I would recommend that you keep this in a room that they are never allowed in, or skip this project altogether.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Life Is Happening

And unfortunately I didn't blog any lot of it. Whoops.
So here are two of the major highlights:

1. On July 7th 2012 we got married!!! I will never be a girlfriend ever again, because now I am a WIFE. Cray cray. The wedding was amazing. It surprisingly went off with out any real disasters. At least none that I remember. It was HOT. But beautiful. So beautiful. It makes me smiley every time I think about it. I am still wedding-crazy so expect random wedding posts to pop up every now and then.

2. We bought a house!!! Well, kind of. We are at the beginning of what could be a long house buying process. The point is we put in an offer, it was accepted, and no one else can have the house. I can't put up any pictures of what the house looks like because I don't have any of my own yet and all of the pics on the internet can easily be traced back to the address and selling price of the house. Not something that I am super eager to have out there for all the strangers to see. Haha, it sounds like I think there are a bunch of serial killers out there reading my blog. I don't think that. But maybe there is one, and that's all it takes. So until I have some images of my own, I'll just use this image from weheartit to let you get a feel of what the house looks like:

As you can see, it's just your typical midwestern colonial. ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Wish I Knew How To Quit You!

That's a lie, Blog. I dont want to quit you. I wish I knew how to stop sucking at being a blogger. It's been more than a year since my last post. There's A LOT of really exciting stuff going on around here that I can't wait to catch you up on. But today is not for that, that's for later. Today is for this:

Oh yes.

Today I will spend some time drafting a few other posts that I am so excited to write. Stay tuned! I am going to try really hard to not be such a flake this time around.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Want It Wednesday

I'm a knitting fiend lately. Fall always does this to me. Also there is a project that I'm working on for a certain amazing baby in my life. The hope was to have it done before she was born...she's over three months old now...whoops. Hopefully it will be finished this weekend.

So, since it's fall, and I will be starting a new project soon, I return to trolling the internet for amazing knitting things. There is one thing that I have wanted for a few years and still don't have. A set of Options Interchangeable Harmony Wood Circular Needles from Knit Picks.

Knit Picks Harmony

Options Interchangeable Harmony Wood Circular Knitting Needle Set

The link takes you to the page of the online catalog, so you can buy them for me. Thanks! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Want It Wednesday

It's been a little while since I've done a Want It Wednesday. Firefighter and I moved in to a new apartment last month and we just got internet and cable. No internet really hurts my internet window shopping addiction, so I'm baby-stepping back into it with a little Amazon browsing.

So here are five (really) random books that I (really) want. If you're interested in learning more, the links underneath the pics will take you to the Amazon page for each book.

The Complete Dog Book: 20th Edition

NYC Ballet Workout: Fifty Stretches And Exercises Anyone Can Do For A Strong, Graceful, And Sculpted Body

Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition

Nikon D3000 For Dummies

Wedded Perfection: Two Centuries of Wedding Gowns

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Best Vacation Ever: Day One, Part Three

Or, "Ohhhhh, that's why he was acting so weird!"

Or, "The Main Event"

When I last left you "we" were napping before our trip to Sears "Willis" Tower. I slept, he paced the hotel room.

Firefighter told me that as long as we were in line before they close at 10:00 they wouldn't kick us out until we were done.* So the plan was to arrive around 9:30. We left the hotel room and walked to the tower with plenty of time to get to the observation deck before they closed. We were pretty quiet on the walk there, I blamed it on post-nap sleepiness. When we got there we were lucky enough to be able to walk right up to the desk, no lines! Win!

Next came the scariest elevator ride ever. I'm not a huge fan of elevators, they make my stomach flippy. The prospect of a 103 story elevator ride made me very nervous. I made it though, luckily it was really fast and not too bumpy. Shortly after we got up there we saw that one of the Skydecks had been roped off and there was a couple standing on it enjoying the view. Then I saw the woman start to cry! I whispered to Firefighter, "He's proposing!" He started walking in the other direction and stated that we should give them some privacy. I noticed that while we were up there Firefighter looked at his watch a lot. I was suspicious. Very suspicious. And there were all these announcements telling us that Skydeck was closing and we should make our way to the elevator. I thought we were allowed to stay! He didn't seem concerned about leaving so I went with it and keep looking at the view.

The view was AMAZING. Chicago at night with a little bit of clouds...breathtaking!

Skydeck view


Then things get a little bit fuzzy...

We headed to the one of the Skydecks and I got to take the one picture I knew I wanted to take:


And then I got to take the four pictures I didn't know I wanted to take:





He asked me to marry him, and I said yes because there is nothing I want more than to spend my life with him. There was a speech, I didn't remember it. AT ALL. He repeated it to me later after we got back to the hotel.

*sigh* It's difficult to write even now because my ring is so damn sparkly. It's a major distraction. And driving hazard. Wanna see?

Sparkle in the sun!

It's not blue. I think that's the sky reflecting in it's loveliness.

God I love Chicago.

*Big fat lie, they will kick you out. Unless you have prior arrangements for them to keep things open just for you!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Best Vacation Ever: Day One, Part Two

Or, "Seriously, why is he acting so weird??"

So after our yummy lunch we decided to head to Millennium Park. One of my trip goals was to go check out Cloud Gate, AKA The Bean. First we stopped at Crown Fountain so that I could take a photo of Firefighter looking awkward.

Akward fountain

See that wool coat he has on? It was BLAZING hot in the sun. I suggested he leave it at the hotel, he said he wanted it. I chalked it up to him being a weirdo.

After that it was off to The Bean!


More awkwardness:


I played (also, my left ring finger just a few hours before it would never be naked again):


He creeped:


After The Bean we wandered around for a little until we were hungry again and decided it was time to find another amazing place to eat. Italian was the final verdict. We stumbled upon The Italian Village. Dudes. It. Was. Amazing. After this trip I am entirely convinced that all the food in Chicago is wonderful. After an amazing and romantic dinner with some delicious wine I was knocked out. We had a couple hours before we wanted to be at Willis Tower so we went back to the room where I took a little nappy nap, and Firefighter had a little anxiety attack.

Up next: The Main Event!