Category Archives: The house

Frames, and grilling, and soap-making, OH MY!

It’s been a pretty miserable winter that rolled into the beginning of Spring where it’s just been nonstop rain/clouds pretty much daily here. That takes a toll on a person, and it was really starting to bother me and making me a Debbie Downer. However, our old friend Mr. Sun decided to make an appearance not once, but twice this weekend and thus, my reaction:

(Okay, this might be a minor re-enactment of my reaction.)

So basically, this weekend was exactly what I needed and I got so much done I don’t even know what to do with myself.

So let’s start with Friday.

Friday night Matt and I were both tired and irritated with our work days (both for different reasons), so we decided to hit up the grocery store and get the ingredients for that night’s dinner. We used Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough, brushed on an olive oil base, then placed it on our awesome new Weber Pizza Stone on our grill. We then put on light mozzarella, prosciutto, white mushrooms, feta cheese, and light parmesan cheese shavings. We left it on the grill for a bit then took it off, put basil leaves on top and… holy crap, I don’t ever want to buy a pizza chain pizza again.

To be able to make homemade grilled pizza is the best. thing. ever. It might be more work to do it on the pizza stone out on the grill but I promise you that you want to buy this pizza stone. The crust was crispy in the middle but fluffy on the outside. Oh and you can also use it in your oven, too! So suffice to say, I was happy to eat this pizza and not feel like I was consuming straight grease.

After dinner, we watched half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 which is absolutely fantastic on blu-ray and with surround sound. We eventually called it a night as I was totally pooped from a long day at work.

Saturday we allowed ourselves to sleep in, made some breakfast (eggs, turkey sausage and feta scrambled together with fresh strawberries and a cup of Cheerios, yum!), and got ourselves going to Target. After mailing my little sister a package of goodies we got her in Disney World (I kept forgetting to send it!), we hit Target hard. We decided to get a brand new Xbox 360 because we couldn’t move the old one into the great room but really wanted to have the space to play the Kinect. We also picked up a ton of frames for photos and posters we’ve had sitting around, as this was a project we’ve been wanting to work on since forever.

Once we got home, we got right to work and ended up kicking major booty:

Honeymoon photos; custom drawings done for us by Disney animators from PAX 2010.

Our new wall hanging for our keys and mail; our Mumford and Sons poster from when we saw them last October at The Paramount.

We made a poster out of a photo I took from Mt. Constitution (on Orcas Island), overlooking the San Juan Islands, and put it over our bed.

We took a break and watched the rest of Harry Potter, then called our friend Bruce as he’d offered to help Matt set up our new Xbox 360 in our main room. We have a little nook in the wall for all of our video games systems, surround sound receiver, and cable box and it allows for a neat little area with no wires showing. The only bad part about this is getting the wires through the wall and up behind the TV can be a pain in the ass. After an hour and a little input from me (though honestly they did all of the work), we ended up hooking up all 3 of our video games systems onto our TV, and made it look pretty, too:

Because the boys did an awesome job with the TV stuff, I decided to head out to the grocery store and then prep our dinner for the grill. I made us feta and spinach turkey burgers, zucchini, and grilled mushrooms and sweet onions.

It was delicious and we had enough leftovers for a great healthy dinner tonight. Tons of protein, low calorie, AND delicious? I love turkey burgers so much!

Bruce hung out for awhile then left, Matt and I played “You Don’t Know Jack” on the Xbox (where he whooped me in game one, I beat him in game 2!), then eventually went to bed as we both had to be up early this morning.

Sunday morning rolled around bright and early, and while I was initially dragging ass getting out of bed at 7:30, I finally pepped up and Amy and Cara arrived at the house. Cara bought all 3 of us Groupons to take a class at Herban Wellness in Kirkland, and we agreed to do an Aromatherapy soap-making class. This was taught by a nice lady named Kim who owns her own soap company, Pepo Park.

We carpooled our way over to Brown Bag Cafe, one of our favorite breakfast places around this area. Over a seriously-needed more feminine conversation, I enjoyed a delicious breakfast sandwich, hashbrowns, sliced fruit and coffee. We made our way to Herban Wellness and I loved the look of this little place; not to mention, it smelled SO GOOD in there:

After waiting a bit, the class started and we learned about the process of soap-making. We were first handed little chinese food to-go boxes, which is what our soap would eventually end up inside.

Soap is made with either animal fats or oils, mixed with lye, AKA sodium hydroxide. We learned while it’s a simple process, it can also be dangerous due to said lye. While going over different ways to make soap, Kim heated up the fat/oil (which really looked like a big vat of butter):

Once it was melted, she added olive oil to bring down the temperature so the lye could be safely added into the pot. Once the lye was added, she began mixing it with a hand mixer (vs. hand-stirring it), which really sped up the process. It was pretty fascinating to watch the liquid thicken:

We were allowed to pick out the scented oils we wanted to add to our soap, while taking Kim’s advice on what did/didn’t work.

I ended up choosing to do a lavender, lemongrass and peppermint combination, as she’d made a previous soap with these 3 and it seemed to smell really nice.

Kim poured the mixture into our little boxes, and we took them over to the oil area to put in little squirts of our chosen liquids. After putting in our oils, Cara, Amy and I all stirred and stirred with our little chopsticks!

After stirring for awhile, I decided to make a smiley face in my soap (which is kind of hard to see):

Unfortunately, Kim spilled someone’s soap all over the floor and on herself (thankfully not directly on her skin but on her shirt), so I felt bad because she was worried she was going to ruin the store’s floors. After they cleaned it up, she told us we would want to leave our soaps in their containers overnight, then we could peel off the box and slice it up into little soap bars! However, you then have to let your new bars dry out for 4 weeks before using them. It’ll be hard to be patient, but worth it in the long run!

We said our goodbyes and headed out to walk around downtown Kirkland since it was so nice out. We stopped at a little doggy boutique, where I bought Milo and Anya the CUTEST doggy cupcake treats I’ve ever seen, along with a tiny Teddy for Milo (who seems to really love resting his head on it)

We made our way to the waterfront and I was so happy to see blue skies and water.

We drove home and it was so nice to have the windows down in the car and to feel the sun on my arms. Even Anya was happy the sun was out, switching between laying out in the sun on our deck and coming inside to lay in the sun:

It was such a productive weekend yet awesome and uplifting. It really was what I needed. Since I got home, Matt (who had a guy’s morning with Bruce) and I have been relaxing, playing video games, and doing our usual Sunday laundry.

Amazing Race is on in a bit, then I think some people are coming over to watch the Game of Thrones premiere at our house. Matt is really excited about this show, and while I don’t know much about it, I do think it looks like it’ll be pretty awesome from what I’ve seen.

Overall, excellent and productive weekend, though the next one might need to be a little bit more mellow.

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Filed under Crafts, Healthy cooking, The house