Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crap Shot-Wordless Wednesday

I was reading The Shutter Sisters today and they were talking about Crap Shots. According to them a Crap Shots are those shots that wouldn't necessarily win an award, but that help you save an important story. So in the spirit of Wordless Wednesday and Crap Shots I give you:

The Wedding Dance
Yes the lighting wasn't good and I was far away but I just love this shot for the way they are looking at each other and how they are surrounded by family who are wishing them the best. Yes its not the best shot but I do love it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fun in New Castle DE

Pic of Hannah taken by Dirkey on 8/23/08

Did you guys know that if you google "fun in new castle de" is comes up as no results... well it did on Saturday when I googled it from my phone.

Pic of Park taken by Dirky on 8/23
My SIL, we'll call her R-sis, and I were planning an adventure down to a big antique show down there on Saturday. It ended up that the hubs and his brother were able to go as well, so we all jumped in their minivan and headed on down.

Hannah and Pongo Boy, who is coincidentally a girl, taken by Dirkey 8/23
We got within about a mile away and they had one of those banners up that goes across the road. I started reading it and realized that the Antique Show was SUNDAY, yeah we drove that far away (over an hour) for something that was the next day.. grrrrr... We were determined to make Lemonaid out of the sour lemon situation and had ourselves a picnic and hung out at the cute park the Antique show would have been in had it been the right day. We had Homemade Hummus and Pitas, Cheese and Crackers, PB and J, Fruit Salad, Homemade Sugar Cookies.

Picture of some mini pb and j sandwhiches that were assembled by your favorite Dirkey 8/23/08
After we had lunch we had to burn off all those calories so we did some exploring.

Pic where Hannah reminds me of a pirate 8/23/08
And some Shoulder Riding... Ok only Hannah did this because if anyone else did it would cause some serious injuries

Pic of Hannah and Her Daddy 8/23/08
The hubs and I took the opportunity to take our famous self-portrait or as his brother likes to say our "myspace shot"

Dirkey and her hubs 8/23/08
After the park we went to the Christiana Mall for some tax free shopping, and ended up just window shopping.

It was a great day, made even better by some awesome company.

R-sis, Hannah and J-bro taken by Dirkey 8/23/08

So now when someone googles Fun in New Castle De they'll see us and our
Fabulous, relaxing Frugal Fun Day

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Linky Lovin

So I'm new to this linking thing but have found some great links this past week.

Kitty goes green-

So you know I like to be as enviro-friendly as I can well Cleo has some awesome information on enviro friendly kitty litter including a great recipe for recycled newspaper litter!
Also here is some information on making some homemade cat food that would be all natural. Looks good to me, but I'm not sure if I want to get into that then have a house-sitter have to go through all that hassle. We shall see.

Meal Planning:

I'm going to try to do some freezer meals to help aleviate some stress and also help ease the burden on the pocket book. Found some good recipes on Mom's Budget and also on Dinners in the Freezer.

Good Old Fashion Linkin:

My good friend Mama K is running a contest through her site for a $29 dollar gift certificate to her Store. She also talked me into taking my Green-ness to a whole new level by using Soap Nuts for my laundry and I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first order, she also took awesomeness to a whole new level by making me some Dryer Balls to go with it.

Another one of my favorite reads, Stephanie, at Adventures in Babywearing answered a ton of questions on babywearing that I will be holding onto till the time comes when I can where my own kids.

I've been so happy to see another one of my favorite reads, Jewels from Eyes of Wonder return from a long web silence.

Thats about it for my first weeks Linky Round-Up!

Prayers Please

A good friend of mine, Frank, is going for a biopsy of his brain today. He is my friend Becky's father and I'm asking any and all prayers I can get for him. From what I hear he lost vision in his one eye yesterday and they ended up scanning his brain and finding a mass there. Frank and his wife Leslie started a ministry called Hope Alive to provide for the medical and spiritual needs of the people of Haiti. I have been down to their clinic twice, once to visit(while on a missions trip to another mission) and another time I spent about 5 weeks working there with their daughter Becky. I am amazed at how much they do; and at the level of accountability they have. Frank and Leslie cover all administrative costs themselves so that every penny donated meets a direct need in Haiti. I have tremendous respect and love for the two of them. If you could say some prayers today, I would appreciate them more than you know.
I'll update as soon as I know anything.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Weekend Update Pt 2- The Wedding in Pictures A very wordy wordless Wednesday

So I mentioned before I went to my cousins wedding this weekend. It was a pretty classy wedding but you never know what will happen when you invite the family Dirkey to something classy, its very possible you might get this
more than likely you will get this.. yes its my mother swearing that she's only had two drinks... yeah.. as my cousin Kate said "were those two drinks, two bottles of vodka?!"
As is the case most times, the hubs and I took the oportunity to look ridiculously cute and in love (you can just call me squinty!)
My nephew Mason and his idol, Jason a.k.a. the hubs taking adorableness to a whole new level
It was great to see family that I don't normally see; my uncle, aunt and cuz from Colorado. I absolutely adore my cuz, and want to invent some type of tube that would connect Jerzy and Colorado so I could see her more or have her to dinner.
Yes, yes I lost track so we were at a wedding. The bridesmaid dresses were adorable, the church was awesome. Here is a pic of the girls walking down with an extra bonus of my moms camera
I've mentioned before that the hubs is a twin, but I'm surrounded by them here is my aunt the Mother of the Bride (looking absolutely stunning) being escorted by her twin brother.
Ahh the most important people in attendance my cousin, the gorgeous bride and the very very lucky groom. May they always look at each other like this.
Then on to the party it was held at the Larchmont Yacht Club which was just beautiful and very fitting to a cousin who has always had a love of water and sailing.

We were all treated to a full moon over the water. It really was a gorgeous day all around.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend Update: Pt 1-Michael Phelps

This weekend was just fabulous. The hubs and I went up to Connecticut on Friday and ended up spending some time with out of town relatives. We then headed out to an Irish Pub for a birthday dinner with my brother and his wife. We had a good time listening to the "band", it was just two guys but they did alot of good covers. My favorite part of the evening was when Michael Phelps was swimming for what would be his 7th Olympic Gold. All the small rooms in the pubs emptied as everyone gathered in front of the TV to watch as the music got turned off and the sound was up as high as it would go. It was amazing to watch this boy, a boy that many would have labelled and dismissed living up to such an amazing potential. Its amazing to me how different we all are, how if you try to put everyone in the same box that there will always be those who don't fit and aren't able to do some of the things that others find so easy. However, if you allow people to show you what they are capable of they can astound you. Michael Phelps proved this to me as I sat in that little pub and watched this young man who was diagnosed with ADHD accomplish something that no one has ever done before. Simply amazing.
More to come tomorrow on the wedding. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My hair, my crown of glory

So yeah, Dirkey's got her some thick old hair. Hair that hairdressers constantly comment on (oh when I say constant I'm talking about the two times a year that I go to a salon to get it cut). When Mama K told me that she washed her hair with a bar of soap I was skeptical. My brain was kind of exploding thinking that a bar of soap could never replace the ever changing amount of products that I put in my hair to make my ponytail look that much better. For one, I had never in my life, gone without conditioner. How does one do that, can you comb your hair afterwards? I've never even gotten it wet without putting conditioner in it before I attempted to comb it afterwards. So despite of my skepticism at how well this Shampoo Bar does, I decided to try it out. Now I stepped in gradually and used the bar in conjunction with a good natural conditioner but the more I read about it the more I saw that the websites said you don't need conditioner if you do this. I took the scary step last week and stopped using conditioner and you know what, I don't miss it. My hair looks and feels great (even though its still not out of its elastic jail of a ponytail).
I normally get mine at Chagrin Valley.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Garden Bounty or as Beyonce would say Bountyliscious!

Mmmmmm we're still harvesting the goodness, below is some freaking awesome tomatoes we have going on at Casa de Dirkey.
I think I've said before I'm totally digging on this whole gardening thing! I love having the freshest best tasting veggies at my hand for dinner. I don't know if I've divulged this yet, but I'm kind of a veggie snob (shocker I know). I will not buy canned veggies and it causes great pain to buy frozen veggies but I will do it (rarely).
One of my favorite things that I've been making this summer has been Zucchini Parm. Mmm just typing it makes me drool...

Here's the recipe:
3-4 good size Zucchini's
Olive Oil
Diced Tomatoes (preferably fresh)
2 white onions
7-8 cloves of garlic
Lots of spices (parsley, basil, oregano, etc)

I slice the Zuch's up into disks then lay out a layer of them in a Lasagna Pan. I then will spread 2-3 crushed garlic cloves over them and sprinkle with olive oil. Then I'll put a thin layer of diced tomatoes, diced onions, spices and cheese on. I repeat this all 3-4 times and bake at 350 for about an hour or until Zucchini is tender when you pierce with a fork. You might want to cover with aluminum foil until the last ten minutes of cooking time so your cheese on top doesn't get too brown.

Seriously-SO GOOD!

Happy Birthday Schmoop!

Its the hubs birthday, and we're heading out for a weekend of fun in Connecticut. My cousins wedding is tomorrow so we got a room for the weekend and we're gonna make it a mini-trip. We're thinking of heading to Mystic Seaport and checking that out and maybe heading into NYC cause the hubs wants and Irish pub to make him think he's in Dublin for his special day. We have a good amount of family coming in (my aunt from Hawaii and my uncle from Colorado) so it will be great to spend time with them and to see all the relatives we don't see too often.

So anyway, Happy Birthday to my wonderful Schmoop!
You are without a doubt the best person I've ever met. You're kindness, patience, compassion and love seem limitless. I can see that I am a better person when I'm with you. I am beyond thrilled that God has chosen you to be my partner through life and I look forward to many many years spent with you! The icing on the cake is you're so freaking fun to hang out with!
Love you with all of my heart!
Your Dirkey

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kitchen stuff is my weakness

Shoes don't do anything for me, I can live without makeup or electronics. Find me in a kitchen store and I'm looking like a five year old in a candy store. I scramble to regain the frugal footing I keep for most of my lifestyle. Recently I got a coupon for One of my favorite stores for $10 off any purchase. I asked the hubs if I could use $20 to just spend there on anything I wanted and he agreed, because it is our joint money we generally check with each other with any purchase. So theoretically I had thirty bucks with which to spend at my favorite store. I walked around with great joy just looking at the gorgeous serving dishes, neat little kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, serving spoons; trying to narrow down my decision to fit within my $30 budget.
I ended up with these

We've recently gotten rid of about 98% of all plastic containers in our house and when we have kids running around I knew I didn't want to feed them off of plastic either. I know, I know you do run into the problem of breakage but you know thats ok with me. So yes I used my $30 to purchase bowls for our future children but can you blame me these are some freaking cute bowls!!!!!
Check out the insides!!!

The hubs convinced me that it would truly be a sin to let these collect dust until we have little ones to feed, so now these are designated for blueberry eating! It makes the berrys taste that much better eating out of the cuteness! :)
Oh yeah, they didn't cost $30 they were $5.95 each. I did buy much more from the store but it was for the hubs birthday so I actually didn't hit my $30 allotment for me.
For the curious here is what I ended up getting the hubs for his birthday. We are big on Miso soup and Oriental cooking so I got him some fun bowls for when I make it at home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hey Internet!

How are you doing?
I'm doing good, sorry I haven't been around much. I know, I know I don't call I don't write; but honestly I do care about you... I do. I thought about you often as I was climbing Mt. Clean Laundry that I had to put away, or while swimming through Lake Dirty Dishes that need to be cleaned (seriously I have a dishwasher how is it so hard). Once or twice I got lost in the Oh my gosh my car is a pit Forrest, but with the help of the hubs we have scaled these formidable foes and we are in the home stretches of digging ourselves out. How did keeping on top of things get so hard this summer, seems like I haven't been home all summer and I know for the most part thats pretty much true. Things are starting to settle themselves down and I should be home (for the most part) till October when we leave for Hawaii! We do have a few little side trips till then, a couple wedding weekends away but nothing that should force my house into the land of the lost again.
There is someone you simply must meet. He's invaded my heart and although the hubs wouldn't quite admit it I know he adores him too.
Meet John Cougar Melloncat or kitten-cat snugglepants as I like to call him.

Oh I know he is Soooo cute!

As you might remember the hubs has an allergy to "some" animals, its so weird! He was fine with our first cat but had a horrible allergy to the two kittens I brought home later; so we've been a cat free household for more than a year. We literally rubbed our new cat on his face before we brought him home to see if the hubs would be ok. He was fine and Cougar (named for his similarity in looks and swagger) is literally the best cat I've ever known. So yeah things are looking up in the Dirkey household as we can now see our floors again and now we have a good reason for keeping it that way.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How to travel to Hawaii on a budget>

So I had mentioned before that the hubs and I were planning a trip to Hawaii. We were throwing around alot of ideas, with varying degrees of expensiveness. This trip is probably the last big trip for awhile so we really wanted to make the most of it and do it right. Now I have been to Oahu before, for a family reunion (my aunt and one of my cousins live there), and I definitely wanted to at least spend a week on Oahu to see my family. We were throwing around the idea of going to another island as well and had settled on Kauai as our second island. So we set off to planning with that intention.

The thing I've realized about planning trips is that you really need to decide what type of vacation you want to have right from the get go. We really wanted to just relax and have a good time. We went to Europe together and did the "see everything you can possibly see in 10 days thing", seriously 3 country's in two weeks! So ultimately we decided to stick to Oahu since I'm not going to Hawaii without visiting my peeps! Which thankfully also decreases our total price by about $300 bucks for airfare.

I love traveling and I'm pretty good (if I do say so myself) at getting a good deal. We found airfare from Sidestep. Sidestep is a service that you enter in your information and they search all the travel sites to find out the best value then you complete your transaction on the site with the best value. This time we found our best price was with Northwest Airlines and it cost us about $650 a piece (from Philadelphia). We have one layover in Minnesota so I'm hoping that there might be a possibility to see my sister and her kids even if its only a few minutes.

Once we booked our flight I settled into trying to find a place to stay. I had the luxury of experience with this and was able to remember what each of the parts of the Island were like. If we went with a hotel they really are mostly located in Waikiki, while there was a really nice one near my Aunt called Ihilani. The hotels at Waikiki are nice but it is very much a city type atmosphere and the beaches were very crowded there, it really didn't seam like the best choice for the hubs and I. Ihilani was a gorgeous resort with a really beautiful beach but if we booked there we really wouldn't have been able to afford much else. I then started looking into Bed and Breakfasts to see if this might be a better option. Turns out there are some awesome B&B's in Oahu and we found one that really fits our budget that is right on the ocean!!! We were able to do this for about $130 a night. Since beaches are public property we probably will take a trip to Ihilani's beach one day as its my aunts favorite beach.

We then turned our sites to a rental car, I found most rentals for compact cars were about $25 while the convertibles were about $50. The hubs and I were toying with the idea of a convertible but couldn't justify $50 a day. I was a step away from booking on Sidestep when I thought to check one other website, Hotwire. I was able to find a convertible for $25 a day, which completely rocks my socks off!!!

So thats where we stand now, we have the big stuff out of the way and now we are starting to investigate some of the things to do on the Island. More on that later :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I scream You scream we all scream for ICE CREAM!!

So I've recently been playing with my ice cream maker, then one of my friends got one as well, now it seems that ice cream recipes are all the rage in my daily reads.
Here is an awesome link from Apartment Therapy-The Kitchn (yes I know its spelled wrong) with every type of ice cream you could ever imagine!!!

You're welcome!!!

Besides being cheaper right now, I love the fact that my homemade ice cream is way less creepy than the store bought. With the exception of a few flavors, most store bought ice cream has some scary looking ingredients. My homemade only has what I put in it! Nice!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Shout out to Mama K

So Mama K's birthday was yesterday, so I wanted to show her a little bloggy love. If you don't know Mama K and I have been friends since high school, and she has grown to be one of the most amazing friends I've ever had. We met when we were younger maybe 13-14 at the Creation Festival (where I currently work) and then reconnected at a Bible study we both attended. We've stood up for each other our weddings, had lots of fun making memories with various different Karaoke moments, been to our fair share of Tom Jones concerts and just generally been there for each other. So in honor of when we first became friends I'm going to post this little ditty, and Mama K I hope you had and amazing Rappy Birthday!