A Midsummer Night’s Tasting

I don’t blog about much these days, but Hurd Orchards deserves a post.  Especially because they fed me dinner the other night, and that dinner consisted of 22 courses.  Yes, I said 22.  It was insane.  Insanely good.

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_011

Mr. Bunches and I can take absolutely ZERO credit for discovering this place.  All the credit goes to our good friends B&A; they first introduced us to Hurd Orchards last November when we attended our first farm tasting meal.  That meal was titled “Abundance” and let’s just say that it was an appropriate name.  This summer’s tasting was titled “Delightful Surprises” and it also didn’t disappoint.

So here’s the deal: Hurd Orchards is a family-run fruit farm, and the Hurds have been hosting these bi-annual tasting dinners since 1985.  And they are amazing!  You can get more details here.  Basically, you make reservations in advance, bring your own wine and an empty stomach, and then you get to taste 20+ courses of farm fresh delicacies, all while soaking in the ambience of a centuries-old barn.  It’s basically magical.

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_010

Armed with a tin plate, you make your way to each station, which contains a full mini meal (from appetizer to entree to dessert).  Some are inside, some are outside.

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_006

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_001

You dine in a beautiful old barn, with live music to help you savor each bite (this meal included the most amazing harpist).

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_005

In addition to growing many different varieties of fruit, Hurd Orchards also has 20+ acres of flowers, so the arrangements on each of the tables were just breathtaking.

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_004

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_002

At the end of the meal, the owners (a mother and daughter) come around with a recipe book for everything we tasted that night.  My three favorite items of the night were the soups: 1) South American Coconut, Corn and Summer Squash Soup; 2) Cold Cucumber Soup; and 3) Peach and Raspberry Gazpacho.  They were so divine; my mouth is watering now just thinking about them.

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_007

Needless to say, Hurd Orchards’ Tasting meals have officially become a tradition of ours, and we can’t wait to visit the farm again this fall for the Thanksgiving tasting.  Yum.  Thanks again to B&A for introducing us to this place!

IMG_5449

 

20140801_Hurd_Orchards_003

 

 

About these ads

Step It Up

I haven’t blogged in about 10 million years.  Okay, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea.  So here’s a quickie–a little update I did that took two naps to complete, so about 4 hours for a regular person (that’s just for the vinyl sticker application; the rest of the steps were slowly completed over the past three years).  First, where we started when we bought the house:

Before_House_Shot_0048

And where we are today, after stripping the carpet, painting the doors and trim, painting the stairwell and upstairs landing, and adding some chevron-tastic details:

Stair_Risers_Chevron_001

Big difference, huh?  The chevrons aren’t painted on (I don’t have that kind of patience or time these days, and I also didn’t want something that would take a lot of effort to remove if I didn’t like it); instead, they’re vinyl stickers from here.  Yep, Pot & Kettle Studios made them custom to fit my risers, and they were super easy to install.  And when I’m sick of them, they’ll be super easy to peel off.

Stair_Risers_Chevron_003

Here’s a shot of them in black from their etsy shop:

PotandKettle

So there you have it–proof that we’re still alive and still making some changes around here . . .

Stair_Risers_Chevron_002

 

Embrace the Camera Challenge

My favorite blogger/photographer has set up another “Embrace the Camera” challenge (you can read all about it here).  And this time I thought I would partake.

She loves to do whatever I’m doing.  And taking pictures is no exception.  So it’s been hard lately to get her to let me take her picture (we usually end up with her helping me take pictures of Minnie and Daisy).  But then I remembered that I had a camera remote, and since the girl loves all things remote, we managed to grab a few keepers.

20130319_EtC_003

20130319_EtC_002

20140319_EtC_001

I’m glad that I got some of our Lego time (or, as she calls them: “Yegos”).  They are by far her favorite toy these days, particularly the “Pinky Yegos” i.e. the ones that we keep in the pink box.

20130319_EtC_012

20130319_EtC_005

20130319_EtC_004

It will be fun one day when she’s really old enough to cook with me, but since stirring is another of her favorite pastimes, I welcomed her help (and made sure to use a deep enough bowl to prevent the frequent over-zealous stirs of a toddler).

20130319_EtC_011

I like the reminder to get out from behind the camera.  Hopefully I’ll make it more of a regular occurrence.  Happy Friday all!  Oh, and GO WAHOOS!!!

Ruby Slippers

Everyone keeps asking when we’re going to get her a dog.

20131231_Ruby_001

 

And no one ever likes the answer, which is usually some form of “Never!” but in a much more polite way.  It’s not that we don’t love dogs (because we do), it’s just that it isn’t right for our family right now.  See how politely I did that?  But with the occasional doggie visitor, and all our neighbors, she seems to be managing just fine without one of her own.

20131231_Ruby_002

 

Although I have to admit that this is pretty cute.

20131231_Ruby_003

 

Or is it just the footwear that’s pulling on my heart strings?

20131231_Ruby_004

 

Thanks for visiting Ruby!

UPDATED: 2013 Goals

So I made the bold move to put my 2013 goals in writing, so now it’s time to face the music.  This could be really depressing, but let’s dive in . . .

  • Paint the fireplace.   STILL NOT DONE.  I need courage folks–tell me to do it.  Tell me it will look amazing.  I’ve been trying to muster my courage by scouring Pinterest for similar makeovers, but I haven’t found anything.  However, I did determine that it’s a lannon stone fireplace, which led me to this beautiful image (from here):

Lannon Stone Fireplace

 

So what do you think?  Any suggestions to somehow handle this beast?

20130608_1st_Birthday_104

  • Hang new lights in the kitchen.  DONE.  You can just barely see the new ceiling light in the reflection below.

Kitchen_Lights_001

  • Create better organization in our entryway.  DONE and detailed here and here.  Update: this has still been working out pretty great, especially with the cart as a catch-all.

photo (10)

  • Hang artwork/pictures.  Partly done, but still a long way off.

Artwork

  • Get a vintage sideboard for the dining room.  NOT DONE, and I’ve changed my mind slightly.  I need a piece that’s less than 12″ deep so that it doesn’t crowd that side of our dining room table, so I’m thinking of having something custom made.  Need to get on that already.
  • Get new dining room chairs.  DONE.  Mini Bunches is a big fan, and so are we.  These aren’t as tip-prone as our old ones.  

Dining_Chairs_002
Dining_Chairs_001

Dining_Chairs_004

  • Style the family room built-ins.  DONE.  SORT OF.  I THINK.  MAYBE.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Built-ins_001

Built-ins_002

Built-ins_003

Built-ins_004

  • Paint the master bathroom.  DONE. No pictures yet, but once I get some new lights, then I’ll share.  
  • Get window treatments for the master bath, guest bath, guest room, and Mr. B’s office.  Three out of four ain’t bad, right?
  • Finish painting all the trim in the house.  NOT DONE.  I don’t know if this will ever be done.  There’s just. so. much. trim.  But I made some progress.  So that’s something right.  Plus, I decided to paint all the doors in the house, and I’ve gotten through about 60% of them.  Now to just knock out the remaining 40%.  And then change all the hinges and doorknobs.  Oy vey.  Eventually, each door will look like this:

Door_001

  • Unpack our remaining boxes in the basement.  NOT DONE.  But progress has been made.  Once we have a garage sale this spring, I think we’ll be in better shape.
  • Paint our master bedroom.  NOT DONE.
  • Paint the upstairs hallway.  NOT DONE.
  • Paint the guest room.  Partially DONE.  I forgot to paint under the desk, and I’ve also decided that I need to paint the soffit.
  • Paint Mr. B’s office.   NOT DONE.
  • Paint the guest bath.  NOT DONE, but I did get all the trim painted in there, so that’s something, right? 
  • Take more pictures.  Especially ones with a little twist.  And get them edited/posted in a somewhat timely basis.  We all knew this was going to be a fail, right?  I had less than 15 posts in 2013.  But I had so much fun with Mini B, that I’m going to forgive myself.

MiniB_001

Well, the report card’s in, and I’m going to score it a C+.  And I’m going to refrain from doing a 2014 goals post I think, especially since there are so many 2013 goals that still need to be completed.  So I shall carry on, and maybe my 2013 goals will be finished sometime in this decade.  Fingers crossed!

2013 in Review

Another year.  Faster than the last.  Can that possibly keep happening?  I hope not.  Otherwise, I’m going to end up blinking and Mini Bunches will be graduating high school.

Now that everyone has hopefully received our Christmas cards (sorry for the delay, but it was Vistaprint’s fault), here it is for the interweb.

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

 

2013_Christmas_002

 

The photo was courtesy of Nickel City Studios’ Alyssa.  She is AMAZING.  I think that an annual photo shoot with her will become a tradition for sure.

It’s hard to believe that 2013 led us to so many places . . . Seattle, Dallas, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Florida, the Adirondacks, and Boston.  Phew.  Will 2014 be the same?  Let’s hope so.

And just to do a quick look back, here’s what a year did to my baby . . . from January 2013 to January 2014.  Sigh.

2013_Beginning_001

 

2013_End_001

 

Wishing everyone a happy and health New Year’s!!

Clowning Around for Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!!

20131030_Halloween_Blog_003

 

Mini B loves her clown costume (handmade by Aunt J).  She even gave us the “sad clown.”

 

20131030_Halloween_Blog_002

 

But only briefly.  The hat was a bit of a challenge for her to keep on, but she loved the rest of the ensemble.  Dressing up is totally her idea of a good time these days . . .

 

20131030_Halloween_Blog_010

 

20131030_Halloween_Blog_011

 

20131030_Halloween_Blog_006

 

I love that I have such a wonderful, talented Aunt who took time to not only make Mini B’s costume, but also a matching one for Mr. Squishy.

Processed with VSCOcam

 

If only they could be trick-or-treating together tonight, but maybe next year?  Either way, we love that they’ll be dressed the same even if they’ll be miles apart.

20131030_Halloween_Blog_005

 

20131030_Halloween_Blog_007

 

She loved walking in it and crunching leaves.  She just kept going back and forth.

20131030_Halloween_Blog_009

 

20131030_Halloween_Blog_004

 

I told her to go stand by the garage so I could take a picture.  She walked over and decided that she should sit down for the pictures.  Her mind is too funny.

20131030_Halloween_Blog_012

 

Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween!!!!

 

20131030_Halloween_Blog_008

 

Processed with VSCOcam

 

Someone can’t wait to get some candy . . .

20131030_Halloween_Blog_001

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53 other followers