Hi, everyone! As of December 20, 2011, we have made some major updates to how the blog works. Click here
for the most recent blog post, and here
for older posts. If you are here looking for the wedding emergency kit
, please check out the versions we have for sale
. Thanks for visiting!
December 16, 2011: A Busy End to the Week
First off, I just finished my first semester in a PhD program! Only 9 +/- 4 more to go (man that standard deviation is big ... and for the record that is not including summers)! Had my one and only final this morning. From a professor's stand point it was a pretty good final, had some great questions on it. There were only four questions in total, so you know got to make 'em count. Don't tell the department though, but they ain't got nothin' on Georgia Tech. I don't think the material is any harder, Tech just takes pride in making you feel like you got hit by a bus.
Secondly, I have a home! And by a home I mean I officially have a lab that I will be doing my PhD research in. This past semester has been fun rotating in all the different labs, learning new things, and meeting new people but it is so nice to finally have a place to hang my hat so to speak and a project that I can start focusing on for the long haul. I will be working under Dr. Scott Nelson on a project that will focus on characterizing the replication system of the apicoplast found in Malaria. The apicoplast is similar to the mitocondria and choloroplast in that is was once a bacterial cell that was engulfed by, most likely, an aglae where it formed a symbiotic relationship and has remained within that eukaryotic cell ever since. The apicoplast has its own replication system apart from the main cellular system which appears to be a good drug target for anti-malaria drugs. The current anti-malaria drugs have in fact been shown to target the apicoplast in some fashion. So starting Monday I will move in and start setting up some crystal trays in hopes of crystalizing the apicoplast polymerase, should be fun! There will be a lot more about my lab work as the months go by, this blog most likely will end up tracking the ups and downs of my research. Right now I just can't wait to get started!
Third and finally, the necklace I mentioned on Wednesday but first a little back story. Janette at Fashion Loves People
had this wonderful idea of doing a necklace exchange
. I loved the idea and decided to join in in hopes of making new friends and spreading some cheer. As soon as I was assigned my person I got to work, unfortunately I had to start over Wednesday when I realized I messed up. But at least I noticed so I could make sure it was perfect for her. The technique was pretty labor intensive but I think well worth it. So here is the fruit of my labors:
And a close up:
It is inspired by some French designs that I found and loved ... I really hope she likes it *crosses fingers*. I can not wait to see what other people make and I hope this becomes a yearly event because who does not like to get a pretty new handmade necklace? After the exchange the design will be available for sale on our jewelry page
December 14, 2011: An Uneventful Wednesday
So I was all excited to share a necklace I made for a holiday necklace exchange for the blog post today. As I go to take a picture of my little creation to post, I realize that I messed up the pattern ... right in the center of the necklace and the way the necklace is made, there was no way of fixing it without taking it completely apart. I guess that is what I get for working on it at 4:00am when I couldn't sleep. So I am in the process of remaking the necklace and will hopefully have it ready for viewing for Friday's post.
On a different note, it is finals week. Which means I'm busy studying and the guy is swamped with work as everyone runs around going "omg this HAS to be done before the break!" It has been a fun week to say the least.
Well let's hope I'm not too brain dead from my final on Friday and I can get this necklace remade -.-
December 12, 2011: Keeping Warm
This weekend I made a curtain to go over the window in our bathroom in hopes of keeping some of the heat in. It ended up being a quick and easy little project. If it works in the bathroom then I will make some for the bedroom as well. Now there were several goals with this little project first and foremost to help keep heat in our town home and secondly to do little to no damnage to the wall/window (we are living in a brand new building and would like to keep our destruction to a minimum). With that in mind we headed to the fabric store to see what we could find. We decided on fleece and flannel because they are both warm, heavy-ish fabrics and most importantly they were on sale!
I cut them to completely cover the window and overlap over trim. Fleece is lovely in the fact that I did not need to hem it, but the flannel did. So I gave it just a simple hem (no one will be looking at the underside of these things anyway). By the way, I love my sewing machine! It is so user friendly and can do some amazing stitches. Having grown up using my mothers old antique sewing machine I really appreciate all the modern features this one has. I used it to make table cloths for my friends bridal shower which turned out super cute (sadly I left them in Atlanta so can not show them off .... unless I drag them back up here with me, we will see if the suitcase has room over Christmas).
So to hang these curtains we decided that the best option would be to put a grommet into the top corners. We would then put a little nail in in the top of the window molding to loop the grommet onto. Sweet, simple, and causing little damage, what little there is is only noticable if you are looking down on to the top of the window ... which being a foot from the ceiling just won't happen. I really like using a hand held grommet press. It is quick and simple and works very well for little projects like this where you don't want to pull out the tool box and hammer stuff together. One trick my mother always used with a hand grommeter is to cut a little hole in the fabric, just enough to poke your eyelet through so that you are not fighting with the fabric. Works like a charm every time.
We ended up layering the flannel on top of the fleece creating a double layer and a two-tone look for our curtains. We also grommeted them each individually so that we could wash them seperately and make adjustments as needed. So far it seems to be working well.
December 9, 2011: Oh baby its cold outside
Well we survived our first day of snow in Iowa. All of you northerners who deal with this every year can laugh all you want but the two inches we got last night was more than Atlanta ever sees. So this weekend we are planning on putting the winter kit together for the cars. Also on the agenda is Christmas shopping .... which means heading to Des Moines .... which means going to the mall .... which means Chick-fil-a! *does a happy dance* There is a lot of "southern" food that we miss and Chick-fil-a is high on that list, so you can imagine how excited I was when we found one in the mall food court.
Aside from the snow another exciting thing happened today, I submitted my lab placement request. So what does that mean? Well all semester the first year graduate students in the biochemistry department have been rotating in different labs they they find interesting. At the end of the semester, aka today, we had to turn in our decision for what lab we want to work for. A committee then pairs up the students' top picks with the professors' picks and desides our fate for the next 5+ years. It was a very hard decision but I am happy with the choice I made. Not only is the science interesting but the people in the lab I would be working with are great and the professor I would be working under is awesome. I am not going to give any details until I am 100% sure that everything is official (who knows what craziness could happen between then and now). So keep your fingers crossed, unless the whole world is against me things should work out.
On that note I am going to go curl up under a warm blanket and drink some hot tea (hopefully that will warm up my frozen toes).
December 7, 2011: Christmas Cookie Bake-a-thon: Take-two!
I did not have class today and since lab rotation is over, I had the whole day off, which means I was in the kitchen. Today I made Not so Humble Pie's
Peppermint Tea Cookies which were amazing! There is so much potential for other flavors and colors with this recipe and they would be easy to make for parties.
I have also been trying my hand at making macarons. Using the tips and cocoa macaron recipe from The Catalyst: Cupcakes
I finally manged to get some pretty decent results. The biggest issue I ran across was getting my eggs to age properly, 24 hours was just not long enough for me. Once I realized that the lovely Iowa winter weather most likely was not helping the aging process, I let things go for 48 hours and voila happy macarons. So in the end I made cocoa flavored macarons and filled them with a pretty pink pepperment butter cream. One thing I do need to find is some almond flour, the food processor just does not grind the almonds fine enough.
Peppermint Buttercream Icing
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners's sugar
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp peppermint extract
food coloring (I used red to match the peppermint flavor)
Cream the butter until nice and fluffy. Add in your flavor, milk and food coloring (you can add any flavor you want and make the icing any color, experiment and play). Slowly add in the sugar until everything is well blended and you have a nice smooth texture.
Finally I finished the lemon sugar cookies I started over the weekend. Using Alton Brown's recipe
, I made some pastel royal icing. My piping work is not the best, but heck it is not too bad for using a zip-lock bag rather than a actual piping bag with tip (which is on the Christmas list).
We got all the cookies bagged up and ready to give to our coworkers and classmates. Hopefully everyone will enjoy our little creations.
December 5, 2011: Christmas Cookie Bake-a-thon!
This weekend we kicked off our Christmas Cookie Bake-a-thon with some classic chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter balls, and lemon sugar cookies. Christmas cookies are a great personalized gift to give coworkers/classmates, just a nice way of showing your appreciation and spreading some joy. For about $50 we will be able to make cookies and give them to everyone on our list … and it is a pretty long list.
First off the chocolate chip cookies, we got this recipe from one of the kids my guy works with and it is supposed to make amazing cookies and well, they are now his favorite. I personally am a Toll House fan, having grown up making those with my mother, but these were pretty darn good. I am not sure what cook book this kid got the recipe out of but it makes huge chocolate chip cookies that have a nice crisp edge and a soft interior, the perfect combination.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 ½ cups flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla extract
12oz semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 325F. In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugars (brown and granulated) until well incorporated. Beat in your eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add in your flour mixture and once everything has come together then add in your chocolate chips.
Take ¼ cup of dough at a time, roll the dough into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Try to leave about 2 1/2” of space between each of the cookies.
Bake for 17-20mins, until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10min before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Next up was to make some chocolate covered peanut butter balls, mmmmm. I found several recipes that looked really good but they all made way too many balls so eventually I decided to try a recipe I found on allrecipes.com. The peanut butter filling was very yummy but I think next time I will use a different type of chocolate for the coating, something that melts a little more evenly and smoothly than chocolate chips so that I don’t get such a thick coating. Overall very yummy!
Peanut Butter Balls
By Nancy Puig via allrecipes.com
2 cups creamy peanut butter
½ cup butter
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Melt peanut butter and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Put confectioner’s sugar into a large bowl and pour melted peanut butter and butter on top. Blend thoroughly.
Form into 1 inch or smaller balls and place on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate till firm. I also refrigerated mine before making balls because the peanut butter was so sticky.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Use a teaspoon to dip the balls into the chocolate. Once completely covered, place on a cookie sheet, decorate as desired, and chill till firm.
Finally we made some super delicious lemon sugar cookies. Now this one was a little bit of a challenge, mainly because the goal here was to recreate the sugar cookies that his grandmother used to make (a hard bill to fill but he says I came pretty darn close). This weekend I just made the dough and baked a small test batch but I’ve been given approval by the boy and will start baking the rest. Now he prefers the cookies to just have sugar sprinkled on top which is a lovely simple and classic look but I also plan on doing a little piped icing work on a few snow flake shaped cookies, but not too much.
Lemon Sugar Cookies
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp lemon extract
Blend together the butter and sugar until it is well incorporated and kind of fluffy. Next, mix in your egg and lemon extract. Finally add in your flour and baking powder and mix until it comes together.
Wrap the dough up tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about two hours. Once chilled, break off a portion to work with, keeping the rest in the fridge, and preheat your oven to 350F. Roll the dough out to about 1/3” thick, cut with your favorite cookie cutter and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Add a few sprinkles if you like or leave them plain so you can frost them once cooled. If the dough begins to get sticky as you are working with it just pop it back in the fridge to chill.
Bake for 8-10min, until the edges begin to turn a pretty golden brown. Keep in mind that smaller cookie shapes will bake faster than larger ones, so plan ahead.
Three yummy recipes in one blog post, phew. Next on the list is some peppermint tea cookies from Not so Humble Pie
and chocolate macarons from The Catalyst: Cupcakes
While I was busy baking, my handsome man was busy working on this website :D. Check out the jewelry page
to see all of his hard work.
December 2, 2011: Pssst...
Hurray, its Friday!
Today I would like to share something that I stumbled on the other day: Pssst...
by General Mills. It is a way for General Mills to test out new products and get feed back from customers. It is a great way to receive information on new products, get coupons to share with friends and family, and even try some samples. So check it out, take the survey to see if you can join, and share it with your friends.
We are preparing for a pretty fun weekend. Working on putting together a Christmas cookie to-bake list which we will share with you all next week. While I'm busy baking and getting ready for final exams, hopefully the boy will be knocking out some code for this website so we can roll that out this weekend. Now time to watch more Pawn Stars and kill brain cells on Reddit.
November 30, 2011: The Holidays are Coming
Man it has been a busy week in lab and with classes! This is the last week of lab rotations, by the end of next week I will have to decide which lab I will do my PhD with. It is pretty nerve wracking, the decision affects at least the next five years of my life. On the plus side I know I can't go wrong. Everyone I rotated with was great and I know I will learn a lot regardless of who I end up working under.
This evening was the Biochemistry Holiday Party and we got to make some super geeky Christmas ornaments. I am very pleased with how they turned out.
First our lovely caffeine molecule:
And a cute little double helix:
On a different note, we have not been adding new products lately because we have been trying to do a lot of backend work on the site. Until we get things more streamlined for uploading products we won't be posting anymore. Having said that though, I am really hope to have more available some time next week. Once we get the product pages cleaned up (hopefully with a little facelift on the front end too) we will tackle this blog. Maybe get a way to post comments .... I hope! *crosses fingers* Coding a site completely from scratch really makes me appreciate what sites like Google's Blogger provide but this has been a very fun project and we enjoy having complete control over our code.
November 28, 2011: Brain Dead
Sorry no blog post today. I've been studying metabolism biochemistry the past two days for an exam this evening .... this about sums up how I feel:
We will be back Wednesday!
November 26, 2011: Saturday Special
There has been so much food and cooking this week that we wanted to dedicate a special Saturday blog post to our favorite new creations with wontons. A few months ago we decided to try our hand at some dumplings for a tailgate and they turned out so well that they are now our go to dish for events. This past week we made two variations in addition to spin off of crab rangoon.
First off we used pork chops from our local grocery store; we got 10 for $10 so it was perfect for this. You could use ground pork if you like but buying pork chops in bulk and saving some for future dinners worked well for us. After cubing up two pork chops, we threw them into the food processer (resulting in about 1 1/2 cups of pulverized meat). Now this is where you can play. Our first batch had more of a traditional dumpling flavor with about 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1/2 cup pineapple, and 1 tsp salt. With the second batch we decided to play around a little and threw in 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 tbsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp salt (this had a wonderful nutty flavor with a nice little kick at the end).
Next we got some raw wonton wrappers, which you can find in the produce section of your grocery store or at an Asian market. Plop about half a spoon full of your meat mixture into the center of the wonton. Use water to wet the edges of the wonton, this will act like a glue holding everything together. There are many ways you can fold up your dumplings, so play around and find what you like best. Our favorite is to bring the four corners together as shown below. To do this wet all the edges of your wonton, bring two opposite corners together and then the other two, pinching tightly in the center to join them all.
Pop your little folded dumplings into your steamer of choice (great trick is to put down some iceberg lettuce so they won't stick). Our steamer suggested cooking the pork for 30mins .... so we did.
Two pork chops (or 1 1/2 cup ground pork) makes about 26 dumplings. We finished them off by serving them with a dipping sauce made with 1 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sake, 1 tbsp sugar, and a little green onion. This sauce went every well with both dumplings and they were a huge hit with our Thanksgiving hosts.
Now lets talk rangoon. While wasting hours on Pinterest the other evening I came across someone's crab rangoon recipe. I turned to the boy and said "mmm I want crab rangoon". We had the wonton wrappers and the cream cheese but no crab and we had already eaten dinner so that was out of the question. Suddenly a fun little idea popped into my head, how about we make a rangoon dessert by adding cinnamon to the cream cheese. We decided to do a test run and threw about 1 tsp of cinnamon into 1/2 cup cream cheese, folded it up in the wontons, and baked at 350F for about 15mins (or until golden brown). They turned out sooooo good! Next time I may add just a touch of sugar to the mix or maybe sprinkle some powdered sugar on top but they were a very yummy bedtime treat. I am sure they would be even better if fried like rangoon normally is but baking is a little easier and slightly healthier.
We plan on playing around with these recipes a little more; we will be sure to share our future adventures. And that concludes our Saturday special!
November 25, 2011: Setting Up the Christmas Tree
We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, we sure did :D. The pecan pie turned out wonderfully! You know you have made something good when someone takes a bite, closes their eyes, and says that it is just like their grandmother's. The pecan tassy crust worked perfect, I am never going to buy pie crust ever again.
Today we decided to put up the Christmas decorations. Since the budget is a little tight, a big tree is out of the question this year. So we had fun dressing up my little 2ft tree that my mother got me for my dorm room freshman year. I am very pleased with how it turned out, it is a Microbial Christmas Tree of Life! The tree is decorated with microbe plushes (Giardia, E. coli, The Plague, Gonorrhea, and Syphillus), and you've got to love the Ebola tree topper. It makes me happy.
This week has been filled with fun in the kitchen; I love cooking with my man. We started off making a few dishes for the Biochemistry Thanksgiving Feast. Beside the pecan tassies that I made, we also made some super amazing cheese potatoes. They were so easy, just take frozen chopped potatoes, about 8oz of sour cream, about 2 cups of shreaded cheddar cheese, and whatever seasonings you would like (I did green onions with a little cayenne pepper but you could throw in some bacon, garlic, whatever). Mix it all together and just pop it in the oven for about 45min at 350F. I threw some more cheese on top to brown which finished it off nicely. They were easy, inexpensive, and yummy.
We also made two different types of dumplings which I will share with you all tomorrow (in a special Saturday blog post) because right now it is dinner cookin time!
November 23, 2011: Expanding Our Network
Happy Thanksgiving! Well almost. We hope that everyone has a wonderful Turkey Day tomorrow. This will be our first Thanksgiving together after four years of dating. That is what we are most thankful for, finally being together. Unfortunately we won't be able to spend time with family but one of my professors has invited us to join his, which should be a blast. We figured we would treat these midwesterners to a traditional Southern pecan pie, so I've got that in the oven right now. I used the pecan tassy crust I mentioned in Monday's post to make my pie crust, I have high hopes for it.
Recently we have been spending a lot of effort working on the backend of the website and by we I mean the boy. Unfortunately there is little changes for you all to see but posting new products is now soooooo much easier. There is a lot more work planned for the days to come that should help clean up and streamline the site. So keep your fingers crossed.
Well, while the guy is coding away I've been "playing" around on the internet. We now are on Pinterest so please follow us!
Also don't forget to follow us on Twitter:
and like us on Facebook:
November 21, 2011: Cooking up a Storm
Spent most of the weekend cleaning, cooking, and occupying a friend’s Facebook wall (would pay money to see the look on his face when he either finally checks his email or logs into Facebook :D). Today is our big Biochemistry Thanksgiving feast, get excited for all the nomnoms! We made some extra cheesy potatoes and pecan tassies. So ya, I mentioned the pecan tassies last time so let’s get down and dirty with that recipe (seriously I made a huge sticky mess all over our freshly cleaned kitchen -.- fail).
First off, get that oven preheating at 350F. This recipe makes about 24 tassies, I tried to double it so I would have a lot for the event today but it did not scale up as nicely as I would have liked. I like to spray my mini-muffin tins with non-stick stuff in case the filling spills out and gets everywhere (*sigh* which it did this time, messy messy).
The tassy crust is very simple: add one cup of flour to a 3oz package of softened cream cheese and ¼ cup softened butter. Blend everything together until you get a nice dough, I ended up just using my hands to knead everything together but an electric mixer should do the trick just fine. Next shape the dough into roughly 24 balls and plop down them into your mini-muffin tin.
Next, press the dough out to create a crust. Be careful not to make the walls too thin so that the yummy filling won’t leak out. My grandmother had this awesome trick where she would use the rounded end of a champagne cork to press the dough into the right form. It works like a charm. This is your pecan tassy crust in all of its glory; now we can work on the filling.
Add ¾ cup of packed light brown sugar to ¾ cup of chopped pecans. I used my food processor but you could just chop them on your cutting board if you like. You want decently small pieces so that they will fit in the tart shells well. Next add one egg, a tablespoon of butter, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and about a teaspoon of salt (my grandmother’s recipe says a “dash”). Mix everything thoroughly and spoon into the tart shells. Try to fill each only ¾ of the way full since the filling will rise a little while baking … scraping caramelized tassy filling off your tin is not fun.
Alright, awesome, they are ready to go into the cooker! Pop those babies in the oven and cook at 350F for 20min. They should start smelling delicious and amazing as the timer ticks down. When finished, take them out of the oven and allow them to cook slightly in the tin. After about 5min or so, move them over to a cooling rack to finish off. Mine puffed up a lot more than they should have … remember that ¾ full for the filling part? Yeah didn’t do that, oops. Oh well still yummy just means I have a bigger mess to clean up. You can then finish your lovely tassies off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Store them at room temperature in an air tight container and enjoy.
I hope everyone at the Thanksgiving feast tomorrow will enjoy them, I know I will!
TL;DR: The recipe
1 cup flour
3oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
Combine and blend well. Shape into 24 balls and shape to fit greased pan.
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
Combine and spoon into tart shells so that they are ¾ full. Bake at 350F for 20min. Dust with powdered sugar.
While I am at it, I want to show off our awesome cook book. All of our favorite recipes are written down in a lab notebook that I got from the lab I worked with this past summer. It makes me feel very geeky and happy. It goes very nicely with the theme science lab we are trying to create for our kitchen. We are slowly collecting apothecary jars and laboratory equipment :).
November 18, 2011: Ready for the Weekend
It is time to get ready for Turkey Day! This weekend is going to be a lot of fun; we are pulling out the baking sheets and going to get messy in the kitchen. First on the agenda is pecan tassies! I will post the recipe (my grandmother’s) on Monday when I have pretty pictures to go along with it. We are having a big feast on Monday for the Biochemistry department and I thought pecan tassies would be perfect festive finger food for everyone to enjoy.
This week is going to be all about cooking, but who are we to complain, we love cooking together :). Since family is all the way back in Georgia we sadly will not be able to make it home for this holiday but we were invited by one of my professors to join in on his feast. When I mentioned the potential of making a traditional Southern pecan pie he responded with “mmmmm pecan pie,” so it looks like that is on the baking list too (lots of pecans!). It should be a lot of fun: good food, good people, good times.
So … yup … that is the weekend plans: cook, cook, cook! We should have some time to make some new products too. I have a long list of all these things I want to make and share with you all but this fall has been so busy! Oh well, no more weddings ‘til next fall, lab rotations will be over within a few weeks (omg I will have a lab to call home soon!), and finals will be in a few weeks. Then we can sit back, enjoy the holidays and create!
November 16, 2011: Weddings, Weddings Everywhere
We are finally back from a long weekend in the North Georgia mountains for our friends’ wedding. Now that the craziness of traveling is over we finally have time to post the wedding escort/place cards that I mentioned a week ago. So please check those out!
I would like to dedicate this blog post to providing some advice for being a Maid of Honor. This was the first wedding I have been involved in so I had a lot to learn, not only about being a bridesmaid but also taking on such a big responsibility as being the Maid of Honor. First and foremost, the most important thing I learned was to make sure your bride, the families, the other members of the bridal party, and yourself are all having a good time throughout the wedding process. What is the point of going through the motions if you are not going to enjoy it?
Secondly the most useful thing you can have on hand while getting ready for/during the wedding is an emergency kit! Mine was scored in an ammo can which had special sentiments to the bridal party in addition to being waterproof and sturdy. Below is a complete list of items I had in my emergency kit and a few comments on their usefulness. I had found a lot of lists online but none of them seemed to be very complete. The one thing we were missing at the wedding that we really needed was burn cream (*sigh* yes, my bride burned herself on the oven while making lunch when my back was turned).
- Bobby pins - always a must for hair prep
- Hair spray
- Touchup makeup
- Clear nail polish
- Baby wipes
- Extra jewelry
- Breath mints
- Nail clippers
- Nail polish remover
- Makeup remover
- Pain killers - very important
- Band-Aids/first aid kit
- Hand sanitizer
- Snacks (energy/chocolate)
- Contact lens solution
- Extra contacts
- Allergy medicine
- Safety pins
- Thread (one for each color of garment)
- Scissors - Most used item in the kit
- Panty hose
- Bleach pen (to cover up stains on the wedding dress)
- Emergency phone numbers
- Chalk/pastels (to cover up stains on the wedding dress)
- White nail polish (to cover up stains on the wedding dress)
- Straws (so you don’t ruin your makeup)
- Static guard
- Walkie Talkies - best idea we had! Best Man had one and I had one so we could communicate but still keep the bride and groom apart
- Liquor (good for the nerves and the breath)
This is a good basic list to start your emergency kit; but know your bride, know your groom, know your bridal party and add to your emergency kit based on their tendencies. If you have a bride that gets hurt a lot, a well stocked first aid kit may not be a bad idea. If a groomsman has weak nerves, an extra shot of vodka may not be a bad idea. Bottom line is, plan for the worse. If you end up not needing an item, awesome, but it is better to have something than to be scrambling around trying to find something when everyone is already stressed out.
Do not wait to prepare your speech. Short and sweet, just get it done and give it time to digest so you are sure you are happy with it. I went for a speech that I knew would make my friend smile, shared a few heart to heart moments, and gave the guests a little glimpse at the couple’s relationship early on. It turned out quite well and actually inspired the Best Man who ended up giving an amazing speech filled with geeky commentary.
When the wedding is all said and done and the bride and groom are off on their honeymoon, it is a wonderful idea to make sure everything is taken care so they will not have to worry. In the case of my friends they were running off to catch a flight at 5:00am the day after they got married. So it was up to me to make sure everything they wanted to keep from the wedding was gathered up and taken back home. Get a list from the bride of everything she wants to keep so that nothing is over looked and don’t forget to pick up the top tier of their cake! If you can, get the dress cleaned, make sure there isn’t any laundry for them to come home to. Any stress that you can take off of the couple is a major win.
The bottom line though is to make sure that you and your friend are having a good time. Weddings are fun and exciting, enjoy the planning, enjoy the preparation, and enjoy the actual event.
November 7, 2011: New Products
Man was it a busy weekend! We got lots and lots of stuff done and some fun new products for you all. We also have our first wedding item up :D.
One of the main new items we have to offer is embellished glass stones. These fun stones can become anything; a pendant, a magnet, a broach, or just keep them in stone form to add a unique touch a centerpiece or a fun element to your desk. There are just a few designs up for display at the moment but there are many more to come. We can also personalize stones for you, be it a special event, your favorite video game, or just a fun pattern that you love. Just contact us
and we will hook you up.
Also along those lines, we now offer personalized escort/place cards for weddings. Using the same technique with the glass stones, you can have the names of your guest shinning through the glass. It is a beautiful handcrafted accent to your wedding and also a great memento for your guests. The stones can all be personalized with the colors of your wedding, a font of your choosing, and any embellishments you may desire. These decorative stones would also make a great addition to a centerpiece or guest book table.
Over the next few weeks we are hoping to be making some tweaks to the website (mostly back end work so that we will not have to enter all of the data by hand). Hopefully we will be able to improve navigation in addition to having some more items for sale.
This next week is also our friends wedding and our four year anniversary, so it looks like it is going to be busy but super exciting week. It will be nice to head down south again and enjoy the last bit of fall … and some Waffle House.
November 4, 2011: Ready for the Weekend
It is finally Friday *does a little dance*! This time next week we will be celebrating around a huge bonfire with some newlyweds. This weekend should be pretty exciting though, we have all the materials we need to make our line of geeky glass pendants. Hopefully we will have them up soon to share with you all. Along with playing around in my craft box, we are hoping to try our hand at making some homemade French bread. We found a recipe on How to Cook Like Your Grandmother
which looks pretty darn good.
Nothing else exciting is really going on, except for the awesome new coffee mug I got at the Fischer products fair on Wednesday! Isn’t it just wonderful, it makes me giggle very time I look at it. The design is modeled after a bottle of chemicals, in this case caffeine, that you would use in a laboratory. It is just too perfect for a Biochemistry PhD student too have and it will really come in handy once the Midwestern winter weather finally kicks in.
Well it is time to get back to studying carbohydrate structures for my exam this evening. We will post all of the new items we are going to make this weekend as soon as they are ready, so be on the look out!
November 2, 2011: In the Lab
Well it is only Wednesday and it has already been a crazy, crazy week. First a plastic bottle exploded in the giant centrifuge in lab causing my bacteria to spill out all over the inside of the centrifuge. Now when I say exploded, I mean exploded! These are heavy duty plastic bottles made by Nalgene, and well, as you can see from the photo, that bottle was ripped to pieces. Luckily I was able to salvage most of my cells from that bottle but the sound scared me half to death. I thought I had broken a very expensive machine.
Then I managed break a thermometer, spilling mercury all over the lab bench. We had to call the health and safety people to come clean it up. Long story short, it was an expensive adventure. Luckily the boy friend seems to be having a pretty decent week so far and we are counting down the days to our friends’ wedding which makes us very excited.
But any who, progress is slowing being made to clean up the site; got to make it all pretty! We have also started working on a line of geeky glass pendants. The crazy scientist in us has come up with some cute and crazy ideas that we cannot wait to share with you all. We also are now up on Facebook
as well as Twitter! So please "like" and follow us ^__^.
October 31, 2011: Getting Started
We are finally up and running ... well, almost. After spending most of the weekend coding, we have got the backbone of the website up and running. There is still a lot of work to do so please bear with us while we make the final adjustments to the site. If you have any comments or suggestions about things, please feel free to contact us
, and please be gentle with us ^__^.
Having recently moved, we currently only offer jewelry for sale. As we get a workshop up and running, more and more items will be available. We are hoping to provide a nice selection of handcrafted wedding items, home décor, and jewelry when all is said and done.
Things have been crazy busy the past few weeks while we are getting ready for my best friend’s wedding on 11.11.11 (what an awesome date). I am also in the middle of doing lab rotations while I try to decide on a lab to do my PhD with. And what did we decide to do in the middle of all this? That’s right; get this website up and running. Sometimes I wonder how sane we are.
But on to more pressing matters, it is Samhain (the Irish harvest festival)! To celebrate, I made some amazing baked pumpkin donuts that I found on Pennies on a Platter
. They turned out so well, compliments to Nikky for the wonderful recipe! Halloween has been pretty low-key this year; hopefully next year we will have made lots of friends here in Iowa and will be able to throw a Halloween extravaganza.