Friday, May 27, 2016

Easy To Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

It doesn't matter how fancy the party is, everyone loves a good Deviled Egg.  It's an American Classic that never fails to please a crowd.  And I make really good Deviled Eggs.  Lots of mustard is the key.  However, peeling a dozen or two hard boiled eggs has long been the bane of my kitchen existence.  It takes me ages and a lot of four letter words are used.

Enter a recent Google binge on random topics.  I came across the following top tips and let me tell you Bob, my life is forever changed!  I followed these directions to a T and peeled 18 hard boiled eggs in about five minutes.  

Happy dances occurred.  Choirs of angels sang.  Tears of joy flowed.  And a barrage of texts to friends who were not quite as enthusiastic about my discovery were sent.

So here it is, friends.  The holy grail of easy to peel hard boiled egg instructions.  Enjoy!

Step #1: Bring pot of water to a boil.

Step #2: Gently place eggs in water, ensuring that they are covered by at least 1" of water.

Step #3: Bring water back up to a simmer.

Step #4: Simmer for exactly 12 minutes.

Step #5: At about boil minute 10, get a large bowl ready with ice water.  

Step #6: Remove eggs from boiling water with slotted spoon or strainer, and place them gently in the bowl of ice water.

Step #7: Leave them in ice water for 5-10 minutes.  {I changed out the ice a few times}

Step #8: Remove eggs from ice water and peel immediately.

Please let me know if you try this and have the same successful results that I had.  I still can't believe how well this worked!  It really is all about the little things in life!

Monday, May 16, 2016

DIY Tutorial: Turn An Old Sweater Into A Wine Bottle Gift Bag

I'm allergic to wool.  But when I went to college in Indiana, I thought I needed a closet full of wool sweaters.  Most of which have long since been donated.  But I hung onto a few favorites for reasons I just can't explain.  Pretty is pretty, even if it makes me break out in hives.

But it's time to be realistic.  I am just never ever going to wear these last few treasures.  I can however find a way to reuse the pretty wool fabric.

Enter DIY Project Tutorial #1: Wine Bottle Gift Bag

Step #1: Get an old sweater.  If it's not clean, wash it.  No need to dry clean if you are just going to cut it up.  Wash on gentle and lay flat to dry.  

Step #2: Cut off one sleeve at the armpit.  

Step #3: Turn now cut off sleeve inside out.  Pin cut end.

Step #4: Sew, using zig zag stitch, cut end.  It doesn't have to be pretty as no one is going to see it.

Step #5: Turn bag right side out.  Slip bottle inside bag and add a coordinating ribbon.

These made adorable additions to your holiday party gift giving!  Change it up and use a button down shirt sleeve for a similar look.  

I love finding a cute way to recycle favorite fabrics, even if they are currently clothing items.  It's fun to think outside the box and make something useful again!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Middle Of The Night Musings: The Eve Of Our Forever Goodbye

Dear Sadie,

It's nearly 4AM and in just a few short hours I will have to say my final goodbye to you.  

I wish I knew what was behind the next door.  But I honestly don't.  I have never once lied to you and I won't start now.  So I keep telling you that if any part of the stories are true, you will get to see Bailey again the minute you cross over that Rainbow.  And my Grandpa.  And all the best human and puppy souls who crossed before you.  And I will try my hardest to earn a ticket to one day see you again too. I hope so deeply that this is what lies in front of you in a few hours.  No one deserves forever ear rubs and belly rubs and games of Chase Sadie and treats of bacon than you.  

I keep praying and as always, it starts with "If you're real God..." And then I beg and plead for you to be at peace and for this to be the right decision.  I sneak in a prayer or 200 for me to find peace too.  Because every decision I have made for the past 14 years has included you.  I have no idea how to walk this earth without you in it next to me.  You are my best friend and soul mate.  I feel lost and terrified just thinking about living a minute without you.

I am sitting in a dark room typing this and staring down at you on the floor.  You have struggled to find rest and sleep in the last 24 hours, but you are finally sleeping now.  And you are so beautiful.  So adorable.  Every day for the past 14 years I have said to you, "Oh my gosh you got cuter overnight!  How is that possible?!"  And I meant it.  Every night I went to bed and you were the single most adorable creature ever, and every morning I woke up and you managed to put yesterday's cuteness to shame.  You're amazing!

Last night my dad, your Poppy, and I took you on a long walk.  A walk we have taken thousands of times.  Poppy wasn't sure we should do it as you could barely walk, but I knew that I needed it just one last time.  So we put you in the stroller and walked over to the park.  I got you out and all the kids came running up to you {We know everyone and they all adore you.  You are the most gentle love with kids!}.  I said you were really sick and asked them not to pet you though.  I don't think you even noticed them.  But you managed to walk about a block, sniffing all the grass along the way.  I let you sniff and taste and do whatever you wanted and you had fun.  I then gently tucked you back in your stroller {you and I both just adore that thing!  It has been our saving grace over the past many summers when walking long distances become a struggle}, zipped up the top and off we went.  I walked extra slow as this is a city and city sidewalks are uneven and bumpy.  When we got to our favorite church garden, that I have forever referred to as your church garden, I strolled you in and unzipped the stroller.  I took a few teary photos and you didn't even lift your head beyond resting it on the unzipped stroller mesh.  That's how we used to stroll until you went rogue one horrible day late last summer when you flipped yourself out of the stroller and landed on your back.  You were unharmed but I still can't shake that terror so every stroll since has been fully zipped in.  We didn't want to move you though so Poppy walked next to you and I just pushed so slowly.  

It was such a blessing!  Your final walk was just the way you used to walk, head resting on the mesh and taking in your city and sights.  You were so weak but I could tell you loved it.  It gave me a lot of joy, too.

Sadie, you are my everything.  You taught me selfless love.  You taught me how to always put another's needs before my own.  You taught me what I need to work on improving.  You gave me unconditional love, even if I was a jerk.  You kissed away tears and gave the best cuddles.  For a few years when I would let you sleep with me, you hogged the bed.  I only half complained because I secretly loved it.  You traveled up and down the east coast with me- you have been to Georgia to see Bestie {hey you get to see Charlie tomorrow!}, to Charleston for Lauren's wedding, you went all over DC, MD and VA with me, and all over Upstate NY.  We grew up together.  You took such good care of me.  

I love you, baby bunny.  I know I keep crying over you but please be at peace and run off into your next chapter with a waggy tail and confidence that more love and care is around the corner for you.  You will be in my heart forever.  We are soul mates, there's no bones about it!

All my love,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Long Goodbye To The Love Of My Life

I've know today was coming for more than a year.  And over a month ago I actually had an appointment with the vet to put Sadie to sleep, but cancelled it last minute when she seemed to rally.

But today at 11AM EST, exactly one month after her 14th birthday, the vet will be at my home to help me send my best girl over the rainbow.  Last night we took the best walk (well...she only actually wobbled/walked about a block...she rode in her stroller the rest of the way) that we've had in ages.  I took is so slow and my dad came with us.  It was so warm and sunny and lovely outside.  We stopped at her favorite church garden and I took a few teary photos with her.  She didn't even ask to get out of the stroller.  She was just too weak.  

I am heartbroken.  I truly feel like my insides are split into a thousand pieces.  Sadie is the love of my life and has saved me from myself more times than I can count over our 14 years as momma and baby.  She has the purest, kindest soul and loves unconditionally. I have no idea how I will possible go on without her.  But I know she cannot go on in constant pain.  I love her too much to let my selfishness get in the way of what is best for her.

I feel an enormous amount of gratitude for the past 14 years with Sadie!  I will never forget one minute of our journey together.



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