Make This: Evergreen Wreath

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12-13-13 make this wreath

I now it’s been said by pretty much everyone I’ve run into the past week or so, but I still can’t believe that Christmas is right around the corner. It’s next week! Holy cow! I am happy to report that all my gifts are purchased, but I still have a few to make, and everything still needs to be wrapped up. That’s the easy part, in my opinion: the tricky part is assuring myself that I’ve got the right gifts for everyone in my life.

Still, the biggest wake-up call for me is decorating the house for the holiday. We brought home our tree on the first of December, but didn’t get anything up on it until this past Friday night. I would love to put some lights on the house, but I’ve admitted to myself that it just won’t happen this year. However, I was still determined to bring holiday cheer inside our home. We need decorations around the house to accompany the Christmas music we’re playing every night!

When we picked out our Christmas trees a few weeks ago, my parents took home extra boughs from trees that were trimmed at the bottom. I took home the spare boughs they didn’t use, and after sitting in my garage for a week I decided it was time to make a wreath. I love the smell of fresh pine, especially this time of year, and what better way to bring the outdoors to our home than utilizing what would be discarded as “waste”? 

12-14-13 green boughs

12-14-13 wreath on door 2

That’s how we ended up with a homemade wreath on our main door. It was a fairly simple project, but it took some time to fill it in nicely and get it looking right. I also didn’t have the proper tools (I used duct tape, but really could’ve used some floral wire). Continue reading

Anatomy of – A Bike Commuter, Autumn Edition

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10-5-13 anatomy biker

One of the major criteria for us when looking for our first home was how bikeable our home was from our jobs (and the city, for that matter). When we couldn’t find anything inside the city limits, we starting looking just outside the limits…which in the case of Traverse City means you’re going to go up a hill. All roads lead down into TC and the waterfront…the ancient glaciers that gave us all this beautiful water also carved up some pretty steep slopes on the edges of the lakes.

So, while I only live about 2.5 miles away from where I work, commuting on my bike isn’t always a simple task. Going into work is great: it’s basically all downhill and I arrive in ten minutes. Coming back home, however, isn’t quite as easy. I have to scale the hill home, and my commute easily doubles in time.

10-5-13 bike handles

Just because my commute takes twice as long on the way home, though, it doesn’t mean I should drive. The past few days I’ve counted the cars I’ve seen stopped at a major intersection on my way home as I bike right by them: I biked past 38 cars one day and 43 the next. Can you believe that? This is not a big city at all and it’s not even summer-busy-season, but rush hour is still pretty fierce. I would need to wait at that stoplight at least 4 cycles before getting through via car, but on my bike I can breeze right up to the front and cross with the cross walk signal. I don’t technically know if it would take me longer to drive or bike home, but I do know that I’d rather be doing something I love (biking) than something I hate (sitting in a car, idling with no purpose).  Continue reading

A better way to eat your apple a day

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Well, folks, there’s no denying the plethora of apples already this fall. We picked up a whole peck of honeycrisp apples at the market this past Saturday and I am in pure apple heaven. Apples are my favorite fruit, and I strive to have one a day (or these time of year, two or three day) because I simply can’t get enough of them.

9-23-13 apple 9-23-13 apples

Still, with all my apple-eating expertise, it turns out that I’ve been eating apples wrong my entire life. I remember my freshman year in college when I learned how to properly eat a banana (peeling from the bottom, not the top where they bind together in bunches) and I’ve eaten bananas that way ever since. No more squishy parts from peeling at the top of the banana! What a revelation! However, I was never expecting someone to tell me I eat apples the wrong way, as I consider myself an expert in consuming apples. Turns out, though, there is a better way to eat an apple that minimizes food waste and allows the apple-enjoyer to get more apple for their money. Continue reading