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.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

DIY Tutorial: Chive Blossom Vinegar Recipe

One of the first signs that summer is about to show her sunshiny face in the garden is when the chives delight with beautiful purple blossoms.  They are so lovely and cheerful when nothing else is growing well yet.

More than that though, chive blossoms are delicious!  They turn ordinary plain white vinegar into the most spectacular lavender onion flavored vinegar to use in salad dressings.  And it is truly as simple as it gets.

DIY Tutorial: Chive Blossom Vinegar Recipe

Step #1: Snip off blooming chive blossoms.

Step #2: Place chive blossoms in mason jar with white vinegar.

Step #3: Wait a few days.  A week tops.  It will go from white to the most delightful shade of lavender and take on the most delicious oniony scent.

Step #4: Strain off the chive blossoms and reserve the lavender chive blossom vinegar for summer salad dressings.  Or gifts.  It makes a lovely summer hostess gift!

I hope you give this easy recipe a try this year!  It's such a delicious and beautiful addition to your salads!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Love For Those Without A Mother In Their Lives Or A Baby InTheir Arms

Just a quick post to offer a little love and support to anyone who doesn't have a mother in your life, for any variety of reasons.  As well as to those who so deeply desire to be a mother but life just hasn't made it possible.

I get you.  I know you.  I am you.  

Today is hard.  One of the hardest days, in fact.  It's a reminder of all the silent heartache in your life.  But please don't ever feel like you are all alone.  Deep breaths and avoid Facebook at all costs.  You got this!  Tomorrow is just a plain ole Monday.  

You are so loved and so supported, even if today feels like it's swallowing you up.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Tiny House Hunters

Dear Tiny House Hunters,

I get the initial appeal of the perfectly adorable Lilliputian-esque tiny houses.  I've been watching the YouTube channel that the HGTV show ripped off for a few years.  Those teeny tiny itty bitty homes are completely charming and look so fun.  Like those fancy playhouses that I used to drool over in the Christmas catalogs as a child.

I think I could even do it for a year or two.  I could scale way way down and live tiny for a finite period of time on a lark.  And it could be super fun if you owned a lake property to have a few set up instead of a big house.  

But that's all far too level headed and rational for most of y'all on Tiny House Hunters.

Tiny House Hunters like to drivel on and on about how they are into living tiny and with a lot less....until they actually get inside the first house.  The moment they step inside, they suddenly forget all their jabber about wanting to scale down and live within your means and spend quality time together.

Have you even seen a tiny house before?  You didn't think to google the heck out of it before you went on the show?  Almost universally you are all shocked that the tiny houses are in fact....sit down for this late breaking news...tiny.  

Where's the closet?  I have 984 pairs of shoes, where will they go?  I can't stand up in the bedroom.  It's simply impossible for me to sleep on anything smaller than a California King size bed.  I have 2 giant mountain dogs, where will they run?  What's a composting toilet?  I don't want a composting toilet.  I need a bathtub.  Why is there no dishwasher?  How will I host a dinner party cooking on a camping stove?  But I can only fit two dishes in the entire kitchen.  Where will I go to get away from my husband/kids/partner?  But I need a separate office.  It's all so tiny!

What did you think you would get for $30,000 and 150 square feet on wheels?  Seriously...what the heck were you expecting?  You are getting a glorified Barbie Dream House.  It's cute and sweet but as the title's effing tiny.  

Please HGTV say you will do a follow up show to see how this all panned out for some of these people!  

And in the mean time, I strongly encourage wannabe Tiny House Hunters everywhere to take a look at your current apartment.  Then walk into your bedroom.  Then figure out a way to live in less space than said bedroom.  That's tiny house living.  Don't you dare proclaim you are ready to live in a tiny house until you go through that exercise, you tiny house wannabes.

Living in a Barbie Dream House isn't for everyone!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dating, Hiking, Yoga, And My Year Of Yes

Life has been full and fun lately.  Which has been such a relief after a rather tough winter.  I'm continuing to embrace my #yearofyes and am constantly pushing myself past my comfort zone.  Here are a few highlights to catch you up...

#Dating.  It's happening and it's making me smile.  I leave a few more breadcrumbs on my other socials (Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat...@preppycrocodile on all three) but let's just all rejoice that the painful stories of a bad past relationship and the {now} hilarious stories of some crazy and unsuccessful first dates are all in the past.  For now anyway... {because...let's be realistic...#datingishard...even though right now #datingisfun}

#Reconnecting.  With myself.  With family.  With friends.  I've been doing a lot of reconnecting over the past year and I can feel all the good coming out of it.  It's amazing to know that there are people in my life who just don't care why we lost touch because they love me too much for such pettiness.  #lovewins

#Hiking.  Yup...I said hiking.  I'm from South Florida.  No one hikes.  You can walk the beach.  But it's flat.  And open.  But up here in the North Pole, hiking is a rather popular pastime.  And guess who has decided she flipping loves hiking?  ME!  I know...crazy pants.  Here's the thing...  I used to think hiking meant scaling a mountain and needing special equipment {remember...FL girl here}.  It turns out it's basically just the woods.  Why they don't call it walking in the woods...well I don't know.  No one asked me.  But that's what it is.  Walking.  With trees and lakes.  All things I dig.  So you're hearing it here first: KK the Preppy Pink Crocodile really likes hiking.  

#Gardening.  Proper post just on this year's garden is forthcoming but in the mean time, I've planted not a darn thing yet.  Mostly because I was seriously sick for six weeks.  And now that I am not on my deathbed, it's cold and raining.  Like, raining a lot.  Y'all...I'm considering building a damn ark.  All the precipitation we didn't get this winter is coming down in buckets this week.  But I assume it will eventually let up and I will finally get my new fence up and brassicas and potatoes and carrots and other goodies planted.  Until then...I'll just be over here collecting animals two by two...

#Yoga.  Proper post on this coming soon too.  But I have really embraced practicing yoga this year.  I've had weeks where I did none and I could feel the difference in myself mentally more than anything.  Y'all...I'm becoming someone I don't even recognize with the yoga and hiking and dating and whatnot.  But a great way.  I like it.  #om

#Sadie.  She's doing okay.  She has stable days and less stable days.  But she's 14 and I am highly aware of what our next step is.  I will note that living every day haunted with the "is today the day" feeling is miserable. It's truly unhealthy and something I am really struggling with pretty regularly. For now though, she is just the cutest little lovie ever to walk this earth.  Not a day has passed in the past two months that I have felt anything other than deep gratitude for another day with her.  I have several new #sadiesunday posts coming up because I love having the photos and memories of her on here to cherish moving forward.

And that's where I am now.  Making my own sunshine and taking life as it comes to me.  Deciding in October to start my #yearofyes was the best decision I ever made.  

So how are things with you lately?  Have you found any fun new hobbies or pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone to try something new recently?  


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