Sunday, September 15, 2013

A little clean fun crocheting

Happy Sunday! It's been a good weekend over here. We were productive around the house for once, the Bears won...and I completed a small crochet project! Pinterest is just a huge source of project envy for me. And I think it's fair to say that I've spent way more time pinning than actually project-ing. So I decided to change that the last 7 days. Last weekend I started my first ripple wave crochet baby blanket and then today I made my first dishcloth/washcloth - even basically making my own pattern! I guess I know why they say to have a dishcloth as your first project: they are really, really easy and fun! Of course all those years ago, when I was teaching myself how to crochet I never listened and jumped headfirst into huge blanket projects. Dummy.

Here's what I created this weekend. I ended up crocheting a ring into one of the corners because I thought that it would be awesome to have so you could hang it from the faucet, from a knob on a shower caddy, or even from the bottle itself if space is tight. 

Now I feel like running to Joann's tomorrow to pick up yarn to make even more of these bad boys. I think I've created a monster!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Door County Camping & Birthday Trip

Last weekend my mom and grandma came up to Wisconsin to join us in a birthday celebration for my grandma up in Door County. They got up on Friday evening and stayed at our house overnight. On Saturday we all drove the two hours to Sister Bay where they stayed at the Birchwood Lodge and we camped at Aqualand Campgrounds. Both locations were fabulous. Their room was beautiful, as were all the amenities - outdoor pool, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, loft, great room, etc. The view from their private patio (2nd/3rd floors have private balconies) overlooked the bay and it was beautiful. The Birchwood isn't directly on the water, nor is it on the main strip but it almost is. Into town is only a short 5 minute walk. It's not far from anything really. 

Aqualand was our first true camping experience. We were very impressed by the semi-permanent campers that they host on their grounds! Some people go waaaaay out on their plots. It was fun to look at everything. I have no complaints about where we camped. They were very reasonably priced, the bath house/restrooms were kept very clean and the pool looked great. Too bad it wasn't the best weather the entire weekend so we could have enjoyed the pool. They allowed dogs so Wrigley came camping with us. I was so nervous about him. He's not the world's best behaved dog but thankfully he did alright. 

We crammed a bunch into our long weekend. Saturday was the annual Marina fest so we just hung out at the marina for the live music, food and fireworks and called it a night. They had a great fireworks show! On Sunday we went to Door Peninsula Winery (my favorite) and Harbor Ridge Winery and sampled (probably too many) wines and oils and cheeses. We ducked into little shops in Egg Harbor and Fish Creek. On Sunday afternoon the sun came out long enough for my mom and me to do some swimming in the bay. I had been wanting to jump off the pier since K's and my trip last summer and this time I actually got to do it. We ate lunch at Julie's Park Cafe on Saturday and I highly (!!) recommend trying their coconut chicken salad. Heavenly. O.M.G. We got ice cream at Wilsons but unfortunately for me K took one bit and never gave it back to me! And he's not even an ice cream person! As Stephanie Tanner would say, "How Rude!" :) Then for dinner we went to Sister Bay bowl for their Sunday night special of broasted chicken. Yuuuum! I love that place. Love. Monday morning we went to Door County Bakery for breakfast and while we enjoyed the food, it was expensive. Too expensive for my taste. But it was good so...I guess you only live once, huh?

It was such a great weekend with my mom and grandma. I know they both enjoyed it as much as I did. I'm so glad we were able to spend the time together. I always feel so time crunched when home so this was great one on one time with my gram. I love her so much and it meant so much to have her up here with me. 

And of course I have some pictures :) 

 Our little redneck paradise

 The Birchwood Lodge
Harbor Ridge Winery
 Wilsons Restaurant in Ephraim
Yum! Fresh Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Um...thanks?? Hey that was MINE! ;-)
 Jumping off the pier with my mom
 <3 nbsp="" p="" the="" water="">

Getting ready to go out for dinner
Beautiful sunset
Vanilla caramel crunch cake, mmmm.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Runaway Princess

The Runaway PrincessThe Runaway Princess by Hester Browne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one is one I will actually have some spoilers for…

The Runaway Princess was a charming book. It’s British chick lit and I think that gives it a little bit of a better edge.  Amy Wilde is a fledgling garden/landscape designer living in London with her best friend Jo. While Amy comes from a working class family in northern England, Jo runs in a higher society circle. It is because of this that when the girls throw a party, Amy has an encounter with a stranger named Leo, whom she is instantly taken with. Leo helped Amy clean up the mess caused by a party crasher named Rolf – someone who Jo can’t stand but is acquainted…and who is also a prince.

After having a wonderful second date with Leo, when Amy returns to dish about the evening with Jo, she is shocked to learn that Leo isn’t a friend of Rolf’s but is Rolf’s older brother and therefore a prince himself! Amy spends a great deal of time in the book trying to fit into the new title of the girlfriend and then fiancĂ© of a prince and struggles with it. She is constantly feeling like she isn’t being true to herself and her family and friends are being brought into the crazy paparazzi fueled spotlight – for better or worse.

Where I am going to go off on a tangent (and spoiling part of the book) is on the subject of the succession to the throne. Throughout the first half of the book, it was made clear to readers that Leo was not in direct line of succession. At best he was 5th in line after his uncle, his teenage cousins, and his dad. His sister was not in line due to the fact that it was a male line of succession, making her ineligible. Then: the twist. Amy had befriended, unknowingly, the Crown Prince (Leo’s grandfather) and shortly after he suffered a major stroke (or was it a heart attack?? Either way…) on his deathbed he changed the succession lines to Leo’s father. That made Leo the next in line to the throne. Amy struggled with this greatly. In the end, after having to deal with disapproval from her American supermodel future mother-in-law, being sabotaged left and right by Leo’s older and extremely bitter/jealous sister and having her family’s secrets painfully exposed, Amy decides that she cannot marry Leo and breaks off the engagement. After some weeks apart, Leo arrives at Amy’s doorstep and tells her that he can’t live without her and that he is giving up the throne to his sister. They reunite and the book ends shortly thereafter.

Ok, it might just be me but I hated that ending. I hated that Leo gave up the throne. I liked Amy throughout the book but it did always seem like she was never fully giving her best effort for Leo. He was used to the royal life and he gave her time and space. She resented the famous nature of his family and it was evident. It is my opinion that the lines of succession was changed not as Leo said “because his family was bringing in more money and more excitement” but because in the short time that his grandfather knew Amy and shared a nice moment together, he felt that by changing the line of succession it would bring Amy into the leadership role he wanted for his country. He knew she appreciated the small things in life, the beauty of simplicity and nature. She valued family and hard work over being spoiled indulgent brats. I believe that is why he changed it. And then we get Leo banging on the door saying he gave it all up for her so that they could be together. What the what?? So the spoiled brat with a chip on her shoulder “wins” and she gets to rule? Naw, I don’t buy that. Leo and Amy should have ascended the throne and they could have changed the lines of succession to first born child under their rule. Now that would have been better.

In the end, I still enjoyed the book so what does it matter? :)