Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fresh Food and Family Fun

A little something fun. We are Family, Chipmunks style :)

So this weekend was filled with lovely things like family, fresh produce (some of which was free, even better I know!), house guest and lovely weather. What more could a girl ask for?!

My wonderful parents came up to stay with me for the weekend and they brought me some reserves from their garden, like butternut squash, cherry and regular tomates and garlic. We hit up the amazing farmer's market Saturday morning (it's "The largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country." who knew?) and came home with a few more cherry tomatoes, sungold this time (have you tried sungold cherry tomatoes? If not you must! They are such a wonderful summer snack. They are a bit sweeter than the red ones.), some green and red peppers, some green onions and basil (mine didn't make it this year, my mint and cilantro were too aggressive). It was quite the success and always a lot of fun just to walk around the capital and see everything that's in season.

Saturday afternoon was our family reunion for my dad's side (good lookin' group huh?!). It was over at my aunt and uncle's, which was fabulous since they're only 20 minutes away. The day was perfect. It's always great to catch up with family, make plans for the rest of the summer, eat way too much fabulous food, and just enjoy each other's company. I was sent home with some sweet corn (I'm so excited to cook it up, it's the perfect August food), potatoes (it's a long story) and some fresh maple syrup. I've found that once you start using the fresh syrup you never can quite go back to the storebought stuff. Luckily my uncle makes a huge batch every year, so I'm set for the moment :)

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, now it's back to another week in the office. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Proud to be Irish

The adorable mascots of Irish Fest dancing along with the band.

I had the pleasure of attending the Irish Fest in Milwaukee, WI over the weekend. If you live in the Midwest, or happen to be passing through in late August when the festival is taking place I highly recommend that you take the time to check it out. It's a weekend full of fantastic bands, food, Irish shops and activities and of course s bit of beer. Last year I went with a friend all day Saturday and this year, because of the weather, I ended up going with some friends on Sunday. I'm thinking that Sunday was actually better. We started the day with Mass at the Marcus Amphitheater and then spent the day wandering the grounds, eating and listening to music, watching the always amazing Trinity Dancers and just enjoying everything Irish :)

One of the bands I was most looking forward to hearing were the High Kings. They're pretty amazing. I found them right after I got back from Ireland while I was searching for some of the songs I'd heard in the pubs over there. They had the best versions and their harmonies are pretty great as well :)

Although I came in with the High Kings at the top of my list I left with the band below taking that spot, or at least tying for top honors on my list. Scythian, although they aren't from Ireland, were a down right awesome group of musicians that had the whole audience dancing and clapping, jumping and singing.

They're one of those bands that you can tell are having fun. That they love what they do. I love watching groups like that.

Look at the intensity! Kinda cute too ;)

I'm going to leave you with a video of one of the songs the High Kings performed (Rocky Road to Dublin), just so you have a taste, which may encourage you to go to the fest if you have the chance or catch one of the bands if they're passing through your town...

Oh, and just for fun here's Gaelic Storm's "Kiss Me I'm Irish" which is just fun. I caught the end of Gaelic Storm's performance and I fell in love with this song. Enjoy, and happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Few Things I'm Loving Right Now

I love Jane Austen, her books and even many of the movies that have come out of her books. Recently I stumbled across this site (which is a blog that "brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.") which led me to this lovely show, The Regency House Party, which is a reality show that takes 5 women and 5 men back in time to see what finding love was like back in "the Age of Romance" (1811 to be exact). It's entertaining and a nice break from the normal reality shows. Check out the clip of the first episode below. (I checked mine out at my local library, I LOVE the library :)

A little while back I was introduced to the lovely site Printerest. Recently I've joined and absolutely love it. It's true, it's addicting, but how great that you are able to catalogue all the great ideas that you see on the web with thumbnail pics. Brilliant! Let me know if you want an invite, you'll love it too I'm sure.

The weather! It's August and it's gorgeous! I had a little time after work yesterday and had the pleasure of just laying out on a blanket, eating fresh veggies from the farmer's market (I am so blessed to have so many great farmer's markets through out the week that I can go to, all within a 20 minute drive :) , drinking iced tea and reading a good book. It was a lovely afternoon. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Lovin'

So it's been a while and this post is going to be full of pictures, because, well pictures are just more fun :) and because somethings just need a visual.

All of my siblings were home for a brief time the end of July and I was fortunate enough to spend 4 days at home with everyone.  Above is a picture of all of us except my younger brother who was in and out all weekend because of work. There are pictures of all of us, they just aren't on my camera...I love it when we all get together. It's always entertaining, loud and full of singing, games and good food. I love them.

I spent the 2nd to last weekend of July with my boyfriend and his family and Saturday was spent at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. It is quite the event, complete with jousting and all.

This past weekend was spent in the oh so touristy Wisconsin Dells. I haven't been since I was little so it was fun to go again as an adult. One of the days we made the short drive over to North Freedom and rode the steam train. The last time I rode the train I was about 5 years old with my grandpa. It brought back some great memories. They evidently do dinner trains in the fall, which would be fun, so check them out if you happen to be in southern Wisconsin.

I refinished a cute little shelf that I got free from a neighbor who didn't want it. I wasn't really digging the whole white look with the flowery pictures and words on the doors.

Here's what I ended up with. Much better! I'm still debating on what exactly I'm going to use it for. Originally it was going to be for the corner of my craft table, but then I thought it might be cute in the bathroom for jewelery or maybe it might end up on my desk, not sure, I just know that I love the way it turned out. I'm still going to use the door as well, but that's for another time...

I've stumbled upon some great sites lately, so if you're bored you should totally check out Dear Photograph (it's "a picture of a picture from the past in the present.") or Honestly...WTF (it's fashion and art) or Six Sister's Stuff (great recipes, tips, crafts and more)