Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tendercrop Farms and the Llama love fest

Brenda and I took a ride up to Newbury today to browse around Tendercrop Farms.  I was told that when I had been there as a kid, but couldn't remember it.  Once we pulled in the fence helped me remember being there before.  I'm pretty sure the buffalo that I climbed the fence to watch as a kid is still there.  But, the buffalo really wasn't the main was the llama. 

We brought along Sofie and as soon as we got her out of the car she went straight to the fence.  For once I was a responsible dog owner and had her a leash..otherwise she may have met her demise as the Llama's late lunch.  She was OBSESSED with this big furry animal.  She got as close as she possibly could, which was pretty close.  She was smelling the llama's behind and inspecting the rest of it's body.  The Llama was pretty unimpressed and would occasionally turn its head, pose like Maizy (mom's dog), and then go back to staring off into space.

After letting Sofie spend quality time with the llama, we checked out the buffalo (she wasn't nearly as interested), and then headed inside.  There was a market downstairs and upstairs a room filled with beautiful dried flowers.  They were only $3.99 a bunch!

We strolled back over for another Sofie/llama love fest and then fed the chickens.  There were a few of them that had hilarious feathers.  2 of them had crazy head feathers and another one had feathers on it's shins (or that general area because I'm not sure if chicken have shins) that looked like some indian ceremonial outfit.

Oh yeah...on the way home we scored pumpkins from a stand outside someones house for $1!!!  Gotta love fall in New England.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The only good kind of flood is the cookie kind!

I LOVE to make sugar cookies and I love decorating them even more.  In true Kiley form I am always excited to start, attack with much gusto, and then ten minutes into the frosting portion of the show hit the hate button.  I never understood why my cookies always looked like frosted gunk.  Then I remembered that years ago Brenda (aka mi madre) shared with me the concept of 'flooding'...well well well what a smart woman she is.  

I am still working on a technique that really works for me.  Sometimes the colors run, other times the frosting doesn't harden enough.  It is a vicious cycle.  I'd get one piece right, but another would inevitably be wrong.

Granted, they are just cookies and I make them for fun...but I have issues with things being Kiley Perfect* and will work until they are....or I give up (whatever comes first).

A perfect example of this happened just last week.  I baked onesie, carriage, and bear cookies for a baby shower.  I had to do them a few days in advance because of a hectic week I had signed myself up for.  When I got to the shower and saw the cookies.... holy embarrassment batman!  The faces of the bears had run and they looked like demon spawn teddy bears.  I immediately took them off the plate and trashed them.  NO WAY was I being associated with something like that or being known as the girl who can't draw a bear face. 

I digress.....
 However, tonight I think I've hit my stride.   I banged out a bunch of pumpkin, ghost, and circle cookies for girls night tomorrow and I'm liking them. 

Here are a few tips that I think helped me get to a point where I can say they are 'Kiley Perfect'
  • don't draw your outline too close to the edge or else your flooding will embark on a journey to your counter top
  • when flooding the cookie use more frosting than you think you need and spread slowly..otherwise it looks like you cheaped out on the frosting
  • let your flooded cookies dry overnight before decorating them as your cute bear faces will turn into demo spawn faces
  • theres no need to be overly obsessed with the ouline, once you fill the inside it will look just fine

*Kiley Perfect: it is really pretty simple to explain...whatever it is i'm doing whether it be crafting, baking, cooking, cleaning, organzing...I have to be able to own up to it and not feel guilty, embarassed, or ashamed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

lets talk a lil shellac

I love having painted nails. But generally don't have them done because:
1.  I cannot stand chipped nails and my nails chip pretty quickly because i'm always scrubbing or picking at something.  
2.  No matter how hard you try, you cannot paint them yourself and have them look as good as at the salon.
3.  I don't like having my nails drilled or filed down to nothing so no Gel.
4.  I can't stand having fake nails. nails generally are not painted.

However, when Sam and Kaela told me about Shellac I was over the moon.  First I'd heard of Axium and tried it out...didn't last.  So I decided to try Shellac.  Sam and I got our nails done for Scott's wedding last Thursday.  It was $30 for the manicure and so far it is WELL worth it.  No chips and they look pretty good.  I'm even wearing the darkest color they offered which would certainly show chips easily.

This stuff may change my life!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tahitian Flowers

When people get a nice camera I think one of the things they are just drawn to are flowers. First off they are mostly that makes photographing them easy. On top of that the colors for some reason can be so rewarding when transltated into a digital fie. Also, you can stand in front of a plant and play with your camera; change the settings, use the flash, use pre-set mode, change your ISO...the possibilities are endless. Try doing this with a person as a subject!
In Tahiti the flora and fauna are unbelievably beautiful. You really can't help yourself when everywhere you turn there is a new flower staring at you that immediatley grabs all of your attention.

When we arrived in Tahiti most women and man men were wearing flowers behind one of there ears. At first I thought this was just something hotel employee's did to create a paradise like atmosphere for the guests. However aftera few days on the island it was clear that this wasn't the case. People wore them in there every day life. Here is how to translate what the flowers mean:
behind right ear -single & available
behind left ear - married, engaged, or otherwise taken
behind both ears - married, but still available
backwards behind either ear - available RIGHT NOW