Monthly Archives: February 2012

Serve Up The Valentine’s Day Love

Sculpey Sppon for valentine's dayUnpacking isn’t a complete drag. Because our so many of our possessions were boxed away for so long, opening them all is like an extended Christmas. Which I guess would be Chanukah. But since it’s taking more than eight days to slog through our items, it’s like an extended Chanukah. One fun find was these serving pieces, perfect for Valentine’s Day, that I had crafted when my boys were quite young.

I’m a function over form person, so I enjoy making things can can be used, rather than just admired.

I bought a bunch of old serving pieces at a thrift store, sanitized them and then used a polymer clay (like Sculpey or Fimo) to craft custom handles. Because the serving end is untouched, the pieces can be used to dish out food, however, they do need to be carefully washed by hand.

These and a heart-shaped crystal dish pretty much represent the extent of our V-day display.

Oh wait, I just found the personalized champagne glasses emblazoned with hearts from our wedding, so now we’re upping it a notch. We may even fill them with alcohol.

From decoration to celebration, do you do anything special to mark Valentine’s Day?

Thinking Green with a Terrarium Thanks to Chalet Nursery

We’re at the tail end of our move-in process and have *almost* found the proverbial place for everything. But, as happens, I’m already bringing new stuff into the house.


Also? I found my pot and I’ve already cooked up my first batch of matzo balls in it.

I love the bit of green the terrarium brings into our house. I had a wonderful time making it at a blogger program at the Chalet. As a child of the 70s, I have vague recollections about making these back in the day, maybe for mother’s day gifts?

But did you know terrariums terraria plants under glass are coming back around?


West Elm, purveyor of hip home decor, is selling them. Well, they are selling glass globes and such in which to build them. But just let me know if you want to build a terrarium on the cheap because as shown in the video, I have plenty of glass I’m willing to pass on for free.

The program at Chalet Nursery led by Gayle Smith and Jennifer Brennan was quite enjoyable and informative. I think it’s been decades since I stopped inside and though I recalled the Chalet as a garden shop, they are so much more. They have a unique selection of gifts- delicately scented lotions and candles, books, pet food, items for outdoor entertaining and more.

I was especially geeked out by their diagnostic station. Customers can bring in leaf or branch from a plant that’s failing to thrive and trained horiculturists will examine it under a microscope that’s wired to a monitor. The customer looks up at the monitor as the horiculturist points out insects, mites barely visible to the naked eye or other marks of diseases and then recommends treatments.

I was impressed by the many knowledgeable staff members we met as well as the fact that many of them worked at Chalet for years. The Walmart garden center this is not. Of course, I say that hypothetically given that I don’t shop at Walmart. My point is, these folks really seem to know their plants. Speaking of which, if you recall what my front lawn looks like, you’ll know why I’m going to have Chalet on speed dial soon.

I’ll share directions soon to help you build a DIY a terrarium.

Disclosure: As a guest of Chalet, I received the supplies and instructions, as well as a muffin, at no charge. I was not required to post about the event. All opinions are my own, though I’m sure you’ll agree my terrarium is lovely.




I Am Not Buried Under Boxes

moving van pulled up to my house

Quite literally door-to-door service.

It just feels that way. We had movers bring over some of the larger pieces of furniture the other day. The driver took one look at our lawn which, sadly, is not currently covered with snow. I say sadly because it looks much like it did after the plumber left us back in July. Of course, there was a dumpster sitting on the land from September through December, so it didn’t make sense to sod until this coming spring. The driver asked if he could back his truck up onto our “lawn” and I couldn’t think of a reason he shouldn’t.

Plus, he said it would save a little time and since our four-man team’s hourly billing rate was higher than mine, it made even more sense.

They were pretty efficient, which is to say the guys from Happ Movers didn’t waste a lot of time wrapping stuff.

Some movers mummify everything in bubble wrap and tape and then charge you for materials plus time. A waste of money and bubble wrap, not to mention tape. These guys had large rubber band-type things and lots of moving blankets. Nothing was damaged.

Honestly, the only piece I was really concerned about was the piano- a 1920s player piano. There are few material possessions that I consider completely irreplaceable; the piano is one of them. When we moved it into my parents’ house, we used Burrows. I felt more confident with the way that team cared for the piano, but Team Happ moved our piano and about 5 other sizeable pieces of furniture for less than it cost just to move the piano a few years ago.

Most importantly, the piano and the player mechanism appear to be working just fine.

{wipes sweat from brow}

There’s still lots of unpacking and settling in to do, but I look forward to sharing more pictures soon. I finally found the piece I need to transfer photos from my camera to the computer, so the quality of my shots should improve soon(ish). Check out the before and after shots:

living room before


player piano 1920s

AFTER (note the mess in the foreground; it's called Keeping It Real or perhaps Too Lazy To Clean Up For The Shot)

Those white squares to the left of the piano are the song rolls. Wanna come over for old skool karaoke? It’s tons of fun.

(No, I did not get any special discount or deal from our movers. Just called around for prices based on recommendations from Angie’s List.)