Friday, April 16, 2010

Only in New York

can you buy a golden mosaic bathtub shaped like a giant high heel shoe.

Seriously, who wouldn't want to soak in this beauty?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easter Crafts

Chocolate dipped Peeps and Easter Packets!
Bex gave me this cute book on things to do with Peeps. Not only did I love the idea of chocolate dipped Peeps dusted with gold powder, but I already had the chocolate and the gold dust. I just needed to buy the peeps. The best things you can make are the things where you already have all of the supplies (a theme you will see repeated here).

I thought I was being very clever when I set them to dry on a rack (to avoid chocolate puddles on the backs of the Peeps) - unfortunately the part that touched the metal also stuck to the metal. I had to gently loosen them to save as much chocolate as possible and then I had to do repair work to fill in the holes. So much for being clever.

Once the chocolate was set I dusted them with gold dusting powder. I used a very soft new paint brush. I had extra chocolate and plenty of gold dust so some pretzels got the royal treatment as well. And really, who doesn't love a chocolate dipped pretzel - that salty sweet combination is a home run.

And finally the packaging. I put two in a bag with a little bit of green paper Easter grass and sealed them off with a big Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit sticker. I have so many stickers I bought for scrapbooking and then I saved them because they are "too cute to use". Well I finally started using them - and they are cute but they look so much better on a completed project than in my sticker binder.

This year I didn't make Easter baskets - I made Easter packets. It was one of those "make it work" moments. I needed something cute for my Easter treats and I didn't want to buy and send baskets - just too much and people have so many baskets already, what would they do with them? I didn't have enough cello wrap to make basket-less baskets like I did last year. But I did have my great big roll of craft paper I bought over the holidays. (This roll of craft paper has been amazing, it's wrapped everything from Hanukkah and Christmas presents and now Easter treats. Plus I feel so 'green' using craft paper as it is easily recycled.) I thought I could wrap up the treats in the paper, sew the ends closed, add some ribbon and it would look really cute. And again I had all the supplies already.

I didn't use any tape or glue to seal the packets, just folding and sewing. I trimmed the edges with decorative scissors and added a cute sticker (yay for using more scrapbook supplies). The packets were so cute. I was really pleased with how they turned out (Michael can verify this, as I kept making him look at each one and tell me how cute it was once I finished putting it together) and they were a hit with the recipients as well.

I suspect there will be more packet gifts in my future. Not only are they easy to make and adorable they are very flexible making them oh so easy to fit in to shipping boxes.

Remember When We Had Snow Days

It's hard to believe just 6 weeks ago we were playing in the snow - lots and lots of snow.

In Vermont we tried tubing, basically sledding but instead of a small hard sled you glide across the snow in a big bouncy tube. I thought we could just use our inflatable tubes from the lazy river in Las Vegas - not so much. They would have been shredded after the first run. The snow tubes are made from super thick plastic and they are covered with nylon. The tubes offer ample cushion over rocks and bumps - a key improvement over the sled.

Behind our hotel was a small 'adventure' course. They had rope ladders, a zip line, an ice climbing wall, and a small basin for tubing or sledding. We signed up for two hours of tubing and rented our equipment. They are smart enough to require helmets.

We started off small and well, I kept my runs pretty tame. I had some cute video clips but I can't get them to load! It's so frustrating. I've tried so many times - I'm just going to post without video and if I figure out how to add them I will.

I was still in 1/2 marathon training when we were in VT. I counted tubing as my cross-training for the day. Getting myself and my tube up those hills was a workout!
There are ski resorts that have tubing runs, you hook your tube to a tow rope and ride to the top of a hill and then slide down. Based on the fun we had on the little tubing course in Vermont we would have a great time on the bigger runs.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Only in New York

A new on-going series of things you only see in NYC.

Last Thursday night we were coming home from the restaurant Fish. In the West 4th St subway station we were entertained while we waited for the train by.....

piano music! As I tipped the musician (you should always tip before taking a photo) I asked how he got the piano down in to the station - he just smiled and held up his arm and flexed his bicep.

He was a very good piano player and it was really quite a nice way to wait for the train.