Afternoon Snack

This is my favorite snack of the moment.  It’s filling, sweet and pretty healthy.  When I came home today from a 7 mile walk this was the first thing I made.
1.  Grab a few dried apples. 
2. Grab a handful of dried pineapple.WP_20130310_019
3. Grab some apple blueberry granola.WP_20130310_021
Throw some sweetened coconut flakes on top.WP_20130310_022
Enjoy with Jasmine Green tea.
I’m on a big dried fruit kick right now and ordered all this fruit from   I thought it was just a regular company, and then I was blown away by their packaging design.
Imagine expecting a plain brown box and receiving this…
Imagine expecting plain bags and receiving this.   They make me smile enough to order from them again.

Start of Garden Season 2013!

Today felt like the official start of the garden season.  It was 50 degrees out, we were shoveling soil, taking care of seedlings, building boxes.  I was complaining that my  back hurt.  It’s just like old times, meaning every single year we’ve had our rooftop garden.   Our main goal today was to get the greenhouses rebuilt and if time permitted build a new box to replace one that was falling apart. Not only did we get all that done, but we were able to remove the soil from all the boxes to turn it over and feed it compost.  Woo!  I won’t be able to move tomorrow. 
It was sunny and nice out today.  Since there is so  much empty space on our roof we are able to have lots of room to build.
Garden 2013: commence greenhouse rebuild
First up was the long greenhouse that had some holes in the plastic, so the plastic was ripped off.
And then replaced. 
Woo! I’m excited too. Greenhouse is built.  The broccoli and cauliflower will probably hang out in here soon enough.
Then it was the smaller greenhouse.  In this picture it’s off to the left and it was destroyed by the wind.  It had a few holes in it, then suddenly the wind just ripped it apart.
So we covered that up with some new plastic..
Then it was all set to protect when the seedlings go under it…
Speaking of seedlings.  Say hello to them! I will do another post focused on them. :D )
Then it was time to replace this box.  This has been with us since the beginning of the garden and it’s seen it’s last days.
So I hulked up and shoveled all the soil out of this box.  My heavens, there is alot of soil in one box!
Box is now all empty.. time to take it apart.
Before we put the new box down we built we put sponges down.  This will protect the roof so the wood won’t lay on it.
New box all filled back up now! High 5. I’m exhausted.
Then we had to empty every single box to turn over the soil.  This is such hard work.  I almost took a nap.
This is Mr. Pumpkin who has been with us since October.  He’s finally saying goodbye and needs to be released back into the soil.  We will miss you Pumpkin man who has brought me so much joy every single day seeing him in the kitchen
So I did the sad honors of cutting him open so we could compost him. 
Isn’t the inside of a pumpkin amazing?
While Matthew was smashing the pumpkin up I pretended to be the pumpkin and said things in my pumpkin voice such as “Oh don’t hurt me”, “OOO that feels good”, “hehehe that tickles”.  I amuse myself.
I saved some pumpkins from him.  I will try to grow these.  I like keeping it in the family if possible.
Then we brought over the compost that has been working it’s magic all winter.
Oh delicious compost soil that the garden loves.  This will cause big strong plants!
We worked hard this afternoon.  So hard that by 5PM I already had my Fuel Points goal!
Excited for the new year of growing..  Happy gardening!

Irish Potato Candy

Irish potato candy is a favorite where I’m from in the coal mines of Pennsylvania.  There used to be a candy store in the mall that sold these that I would crave every time we walked by.  The candy has the sweet smell of cinnamon.  They are best serve chilled, and when you take a bite you will taste the sweetness mixed in with coconut.  Irish potato candy is a magical experience to eat.  As a kid I used to actually think they were made of potatoes, but boy was I wrong.  There is nothing healthy about these, warning.  But they are very good, so have one or two for dessert.  If you make these there is a strong chance you will declare your love for me, so give them a try.

These are easy to make – there is no cooking, just chilling involved.  There is also some mixing involved so you will have some bowls to clean (preferred to clean by mouth first).
Why are they called potato candy?  Because they look like little cute potatoes!  These would be extra cute to make for St Patrick’s Day!
Hey little beautiful spud.
And when you take a bite…. just wait!

1/4 cup butter softened
8 ounce cream cheese
4 cups confectioners powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
few tablespoons of ground cinnamon to roll them in

Beat your softened butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until it’s smooth. 
Add your powdered sugar and vanilla. Keep beating until this is smooth.
Mix in the coconut, with a spoon or your hands.
Roll into potato shapes with your hands.  I like to keep them about 2 inches big.
Roll in cinnamon to make them brown.
Place on wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill for a few hours in the refrigerator.
When chilled, store in a container in refrigerator.

More pictures behind the cut.

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CATGOD @ Art Hack Day

This past weekend we didn’t get much sleep because we participating in the 2nd Art Hack Day here in Brooklyn.  We were part of it last year and had lots of fun so we knew we wanted to do it again this year.  The event took place at 319 Scholes where artists in technology get together and have 48 hours to create a piece of work.  At the end of 48 hours there is a exhibition to show what you have created.  It really is a amazing experience because it proves that great work can be done quickly if you have a plan and work towards it.

This year’s theme was “God Mode”.  That meant one thing to us: it must involve cats.  Cats are our gods, we love them dearly.  They are furry little bosses that tell us what to do and how to do it and we do nothing but smile and agree.  Cats, what amazing little people.

Over the 48 hours we modeled a giant cat head in 3D, built it with foamcore and then video projection mapped onto it.  Guess my class I took one week prior paid off, although I didn’t think my skills were going to be tested so quickly! We are really happy with what we created for this and we hope to work with projection mapping more in the near future.  Group high 5 to everyone involved!

You can see the whole photo album here of us making CATGOD here.
You can also see a press piece that the Creators Project did on CATGOD which walks you through it.

This was how the final installation turned out:


And this is Matthew and I the next day getting our photo taken in front of it.  I’m afraid of heights but Matthew made me do this.

Some other pictures from the 48 hours:
Nametags are cool.  Hi.
Everyone gets super cool badges.Step 1 of our @arthackday project.  CATMODE.
This was our 3D cathead that Matthew modeled.We really could use a CNC router right now.  @arthackday
This is Matthew a few hours in.  We were pretty unsure many times if this was going to be done in time. WP_20130301_017
Peanut butter and jelly got us through the long hours.WP_20130301_037
This was 4AM one night. Xanadu had the right idea.  WP_20130301_046
We also made cat cards that people could take at the installation.  As if we didn’t have enough to do , let’s cut out 100 cat heads.  I love making things to give out though. WP_20130302_002
Beginning to create visuals for the projection mapping..CATGOD, almost there.  @arthackday @319scholes
So much hot glue was used.. Matthew has many blisters to prove it.WP_20130302_03920130303002734.jpg
Matthew posing with the cathead.  We ended up giving this to the space, 319 Scholes.  We want to rebuild it, possibly with metal!
That’s me.   Hey guys.

Table Area Complete With New Rug!

Well the table area is sorta complete.  Minus the television that needs to be mounted and the custom cushion I need to get made for seating on the bookshelf, this section is done!  I have been on the lookout for a colorful fun rug and when I saw this on FAB last week I was clicking order almost right away.  FAB is sometimes slow with delivery and my order still says “processing” but today I got a knock on our door and it was a UPS man delivering the rug. I cheered in excitement!
All the cats were excited about it too.  “Mom, what is in this giant plastic tube?”
So we opened it up.  Check out the beauty already.  This is a leather shag rug, all the leather strips are individually attached. 
Information incase you want one too. I think you should get one.  It comes in different colors, even single shades if the rainbow is too much for you.
So we rolled it out and officially all the cats were scared of it.  I think it’s because of the leather feel on their paws, it’s cold, it’s textured.  Do you see how Xanadu’s right paw is up? She basically walked on 3 legs.  She’s silly.  Brother was just walking around it.
Her paw is still up in the air.
I love how it feels.
I love the feeling so much I decided to take a peaceful nap on it.
So then we moved the table, chairs, television, pictures out of the way.  Put the rug down.  Then moved the table, chairs, television, pictures back in.
Doesn’t it look beautiful with the table and the colorful chairs?
*Look closer – Do you see Xanadu? She’s not standing on the carpet, she’s actually standing on the table base, she’s still unsure of the feeling on her toes*
With all of our toys we have it fits perfect.  Matthew thinks it looks like a nursery but I consider that a compliment as nurseries are fun and colorful.  Minus the babies.  Plus the cats.WP_20130307_030.jpg
The leather is all random on the rug, there’s colorful pieces, dark pieces, metallic pieces, pattern pieces. 
*Look closer- There’s a Brother Bear in this picture.  Where he’s laying is where we will get a custom long cushion made*.
I’m really happy with the palette and how it all blends together.  Every time I look over at the area I just smile.

Removing a Carpet Is Hard Work

I am sitting here with a heating pad on my back that wraps all the way around my chest.  I can’t bend down.  This body was not built for manual labor, no way.  Today we continued our series of renovations and removed a carpet we glued down years ago.  Many years later we would regret this when we wanted to remove it.    We are moving things around in our loft, the farmhouse table is going to be in the kitchen area which excites me beyond belief. We are also adding new custom kitchen cabinetry. This hideous carpet has been bugging me for years, so I have been waiting anxiously to get rid of it.   I already bought a new area rug to put in its place but it doesn’t arrive for a few weeks – I can’t wait for it!
Quick process:
This was before we removed the carpet.  We did put the cats away, don’t worry.  Here the cats know something is going on and are spending as much on the carpet as they can. I believe Brother Bear thought this entire carpet was his new area.
Adhesive remover put all over..
Carpet all scraped up:
Area all sanded:
Area all clean now:

Didn’t that look easy?
Yeah right.
Hard working pictures behind the cut.

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