Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shad Festival, 2013

It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend here in New Jersey! Gorgeous trees in bloom, bright flowers, blue skies, and perfect temperatures in the low-mid 70s! I can't say the same for today as I'm looking outside right now at rainy, wet conditions, but I am so thankful for the weekend we had.

One of our favorite places to hang out in is the Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA area.  Lambertville is full of cute coffee places, antique stores, interesting shops and restaurants with narrow streets, gorgeous Victorian style homes and charming row homes. New Hope is known for it's artsy feel, unique shops and restaurants. These two towns are simply divided by the Delaware River and a bridge. 

Annually, Lambertville holds what they call the Shad Festival. I don't know much about fishing, but apparently the end of April marks the best time for Shad fishing. By midday during the Shad Festival the streets are lined with vendors, the town is packed with people, and the river is full of fishermen scooping up Shad with their nets. Paired with the musicians playing along the streets, the smell of Shad Sandwiches (or "Shadwiches") and the gorgeous Spring weather it makes for a fun relaxing day in the town. 

People crowded the bridge to watch a couple of fishermen who were catching loads of Shad and showing off their catches. 

We also wandered around the cute narrow streets of Lambertville and saw tons and tons of tulips! I think tulips are becoming my new favorite flower. I couldn't resist taking lots of pictures. 

Another thing we love about these river towns is the canal path that lines the river. The canal has become a great biking and running trail and travels all the way to Trenton, NJ. In the Spring it is particularly beautiful.

Crowds of people gathered along the river to listen to music, watch the fishermen and eat food. This view is from the New Hope, PA side of the bridge looking at the edge of the river by Lambertville Station.

What did you do this weekend?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Organization 101- week 7 The Linen Closet

How we organized our Linen Closet!

So, remember back in January, February and March when I had been working on big organization projects from A Bowl Full of Lemons blog? {catch up here to see our kitchen} {catch up here to see our pantry}

Well, while I was on our little "Spring Break" we worked on A Bowl Full of Lemon's week 7 The Linen Closet. {See her post here}

So, in order to completely clean our linen closet, we followed some rules from the Home Organization 101 series {see her complete list here}. 

1. First, we took pictures and completely emptied our linen closet. I'm pretty sure Frank's facial expression was priceless when he came home and saw the entire bathroom on the bathroom floor.

I sat there with a trash bag and made piles of things that did not belong in the bathroom, things that were alike, and things that need to be thrown out. And those things went straight into the trash bag!

2. Second we cleaned out the space, wiped down, dusted, and swept until it was nice and clean. If you're going to put back everything nice and neat, it only makes sense to make sure everything is freshly wiped down. Besides, how often do you completely empty your closets?

3. Then, we had to figure out where everything would go using containers for alike items to neatly fit them back into the closet. That's the best way to keep things clean--when everything has its own place. 

Now isn't that so much better!? Everything has a neat little place. 

All the towels are neatly folded and fit on one shelf. Our sheets fit nicely on another shelf. And the top shelf holds extra blankets and extra towels we rarely use. 

The bottom shelves hold laundry supplies, cleaning supplies, and a basket of extra toiletries that I pick up for when we run out of things. 

I'm using a clementine bin for our cleaning cloths, dryer sheets, and dry cleaning sheets. I am planning to paint the bin someday to make it look nicer, but  for now it's the perfect size to hold all those smaller things.

I had this shower caddy from Target and used it to store all of our cleaning bottles and sponges. That way they're in one place and I can carry the bucket to wherever I'm cleaning. 
The brown bin is from Target as well and is perfect for storing extra rolls of toilet paper without it looking like a mess. 

The Before & After photos are my favorite!

What have you organized lately?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Succulent Swooning

Okay, let me be honest with you. I do not have a green thumb. 

I am a plant killer. Serious. I bought a basil plant last summer. Give me two weeks. Wilted and dying. Give me a parsley plant. Give me a week. Dead. Give me tulips. Died in two days.  I don't know what I do so terribly wrong, but I'm determined to learn to at least keep my plants alive for longer than a few weeks! 

So, I've been swooning over the recently popular succulents.  {CLICK each photo to link to the source}

Tips on keeping succulents alive from Sand & Sisal

A tutorial on building a succulent garden from the lovely April from House by Hoff on Migonis Home blog. Both great reads!

All of these ideas are so great! So, Frank and I went on a trip to Lowe's {one of those stores we cannot walk out of empty handed...} and ended up buying three succulent plants. I bought the terracotta pots for them, but haven't quite decided how to decorate the pots yet. The pictures above are my inspiration. But for now, I'm hoping to at least just keep them alive!

I found these tips for planting succulents

Do you own a succulent? What are your tips and tricks to keep them healthy?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mediterranean Pizza Night

We love pizza. Like...LOVE pizza. But pizza isn't always the healthiest choice when it's covered in grease (even though it tastes the best that way). Frank and I decided to try something new so we made this pizza with some Mediterranean toppings to add both flavor and nutrients.

Mediterranean Pizza
Whole Wheat Dough
Grilled Chicken (in bite-sized pieces)
1 can sliced black olives
1 jar roasted red peppers
1 jar pesto sauce
crumbled feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. I grilled some chicken on our George Forman grill and cut the chicken in bite-size pieces, but you can also buy a bag of pre-cooked sliced chicken if you don't have the time to cook it fresh. Then, roll your dough on a pizza stone and layer the toppings: pesto,arugula, chicken, peppers and olives, and plenty of feta cheese on top. Cook for about 15-20 minutes (check often) or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. 

Frank doesn't like olives...as you can see above. 

What kind of pizza do you like? Have you ever tried making your own pizza at home?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I'm Back...

Well hello everyone! I am so, so happy to be back and a part of blog-world again! And if you haven't already noticed, I worked on some changes over here with the layout and some updates. I will be continuing to update my pages and will let you know as soon as I do!

For now...I suppose I should show you a little of what we've been working on while I've been on "Spring Break" {catch up here}.

For one, I've been studying hard to finish school--the biggest reason I took a break this past month. I officially have 1 more week of classes and 2 more assignments before I am completely 100% done!

Okay...so here's a bit of what we've been up to...

1. We cleaned out our porch area that mainly stored Frank's hockey equipment, our bikes and dirty shoes and boots (ew, I know).

First, we had to empty the porch of all of our crap valuables.

We picked up this great outdoor storage cabinet from Lowe's with a gift card we had to store all of Frank's hockey equipment and tool boxes. Unfortunately Frank's hockey stuff takes up a TON of space so we needed to use that blue bin for additional storage until we think of a better solution.

Frank installed a hook into the ceiling of our porch to hang his bike...and then we attempted to fit everything back onto the porch (for now). It's clearly still a work in progress, but at least we're starting to get things put someplace.

The plan is to find a better place for the bikes & get a shoe rack for work shoes and boots. Then, we plan to make a small sitting area so we can enjoy our backyard view.

2. We painted our bedroom! It was sort of an impulsive project (on a weekend I had a paper due...) and I'm so glad we did it! (please excuse the horrible iphone pictures...)

Here's a sneak peek...I'll be sharing the room reveal in a future post.

3. We got curtains! We got these great curtains from Ikea. One set for our living room and one for our bedroom. I purposely chose neutral colors since I am planning on a DIY project involving both sets of curtains in the near future.

LENDA Curtains with tie-backs, 1 pair IKEA The curtains let the daylight through but reduce direct sunlight. Tab heading works on curtain rods.
You can find these at Ikea
We are so excited to start working on a whole list of projects around our apartment, especially now that it's so nice out {read...perfect DIY and yard-sale season}.

I hope you have had a wonderful Spring. What projects have you been working on lately?

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