March 26th, 2014 | Author: JeNNifeR

In the sake of not over-doing it on wedding posts (our wedding was June 1, 2013 so it’s not like I’m in a hurry to do them anyway!), I’m going to try and do some small reviews or other tidbits about our wedding on Wednesdays.

The first Wedding Wednesday will be dedicated to our guestbook. When Jimmy and I were planning our wedding, I knew I didn’t want a normal guestbook. The thought of having our friends and family sign something that ends up dusty on a shelf didn’t really appeal to me. Since our engagement pictures kept getting pushed back due to weather (so. much. rain. last spring!), we had to come up with something else.

I browsed Etsy trying to come up with a creative guestbook. There are several neat ideas out there like these: (I have no experience with the below shops, just think they offer a neat product!)

This one where guests sign the leaves of a tree - WeddingTreeGuestbook

This one where guests would sign around the last name - Alphabet Canvas

This one where guests sign hears & put them in a jar - Bateman Design

The one we ended up going with was Elegance Letters. We got to pick from a couple of fonts for our monogram (”J’s” are sometimes ugly!) and the item was shipped when they said it would. We went with the 30″ letters based on the # of people we invited. It comes as wood, ready to paint. We chose white based on where we were going to hang it in our house. (We used Valspar Latex Enamel Indoor/Outdoor paint in Satin White from Lowes)

We LOVED it. Our original plan was to just put it on a table and have people sign it, but our venue had an easel they let us use.

Wooden letter guestbook displayed

 

Guest signing wooden guestbook

Wooden guestbook close up

All images copyright Angel Canary Photography.

We also used it in our wedding pictures

Elegance Letters Etsy Guestbook

All images copyright Angel Canary Photography.

We have it hanging on our living room wall but right now it’s the ONLY thing on our wall. Once I get it prettied up a bit (I’m thinking wedding picture canvases!) then I’ll post a picture of how it looks in our home.

I will say that when I walk by it, I catch a different signature or message on it and it reminds me of our wedding day and makes me smile… which is exactly what I wanted from our wedding guestbook!

Have you guys seen a guestbook that caught your eye at a wedding for it’s uniqueness?

March 21st, 2014 | Author: JeNNifeR

One thing we got for our wedding that is one of my favorite things is personalized bags. One of our friends, Paula, sells 31 products. And while I’m sure we all have a friend who sells 31, Paula has a knack for coming up with creative gifts. She got us this bag which I LOVE. In fact, we used it for our engagement pictures (which happened after we got married because of the crazy weather and SO. MUCH. RAIN.)

Wedding gift idea 31 gifts

Picture copyright Angel Canary Photography.

And a close-up:

Wedding gift idea 31

Picture copyright Angel Canary Photography.

If you know someone getting married and you’re looking for a creative gift idea, here is Paula’s 31 Gifts page. She has great ideas for bridesmaids gifts too but from a newly-married standpoint, I loved having a personalized bag with my new last name! I encourage you to get ahold of her (email is on the site) and see what ideas she can come up with!

She didn’t pay me for this, I just think it’s a great idea to get for brides-to-be and one I hadn’t thought of!

March 20th, 2014 | Author: JeNNifeR

We went down to the lake this weekend to get some work done on our projects. (Which at this point are starting to feel NEVER. ENDING.) We ended up going fishing with our neighbors, Bubby & Rachel. At the lake where our house is, they drain the water during the winter. So it’s reduce to less than 1/3 of it’s normal size. (It’s pretty crazy to see how low the water is!) There was all sorts of rock formations and things visible that you don’t normally get to see. For some reason that day, driftwood kept catching my eye. I convinced Jimmy to pull our boat over and let me pick up a piece. I want to use it in my landscaping, but surprisingly, there’s not a lot of inspiration out there. (by “there”, I mean Pinterest and google images!)

Right now, I just have them sitting in my flower beds. I think they look kind of creepy but I’m hoping I can make them artistic by planting climbing flowers around them and seeing if it turns into a work of art.

Driftwood

Driftwood

If you have any creative notions for driftwood, please let me know!

The other thing we got to see was that our spring flowers are starting to come up! Yay!

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

I’m sure most of you guys have had it up to HERE (Insert hand motion way above the head) with the snow so you’re probably as ready as we are to see flowers blooming and fishing weather come back!

March 07th, 2014 | Author: JeNNifeR

There’s a big Family Farm/Winery/Restaurant near us called Huber’s Orchard, Winery, and Vineyards. It’s 600 acres in Starlight, Indiana and it’s a pretty neat place to see. During the fall months, there’s 10,000-15,000 people there daily on the weekends. They sell pumpkins and other fall-themed décor. Jimmy’s cousin, Jonathan, purchased a Groupon for a Winery Tour and asked us to go. Being big wine fans (and curious to see what Huber’s looks like in the “off” months) we thought it’d be a neat chance to see how the winery works.

We got there a little early and browsed around their shop. They had lots of wine-themed decor, including this cork holder:

Huber Winery Gift Shop

They also had this fancy wine-tumbler glass. I liked it, but am I the only one that thinks it’s TOO SMALL? I like a glass that holds a good amount. But then again, I guess it depends on how good the wine is!

Huber's Winery Decor

This is one of the wine-holder racks they had. It’s cute but it actually reminded me of paddles and if you put paddles on it, it’d be a perfect lake-house wine rack! 

Huber's WInery

Then it was time to start the tour. Due to the popularity of the Groupon, they put us in groups of 30 and led us on the tour. First stop was the wine storage area. I love the look of barrels stacked.

Huber's Winery

Our tour guide was Joel (I think that was his name, if someone else wants to correct me, please do!) He was great! He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Huber Winery production. He spoke loudly and clearly so everyone in the group could hear and I was glad to get someone who seemed to care about where they worked. He explained that cork actually lets air get to the wine, but a screw-cap (which most wine drinkers look down on) actually preserves the wine forever. Cork is good for wines which improve with age, but a screw-cap is good for the wines which you want to maintain their taste. (This is good to know in the event of a Zombie Apocolypse)

Hubers Winery

When we went through, they had fruit in boxes (that’s handpicked from Huber Winery’s own property!) waiting to get turned into wine.

Huber's Winery

 This was in a small work area they had set up. I had to take a picture because I want to do something similiar at the lake. I want to put a Cracker Barrel checkers set on it so people can sit on the back deck and play checkers. Joel mentioned that there’s a huge waiting list for their wine barrels. He said even distilleries request their barrels because it adds flavor to their products.

Huber's Winery

For those who don’t live in Indiana, the Indiana Government recently passed House Bill #1293 which is related to an artisan’s distiller permit. Because of the new law, Huber’s can now produce, sell, and allow samplings of spirits. This is the only still they have as of now for bourbon but they are adding on and installing more stills with the new law being passed.

Huber's Winery

They had boxes of wine that was ready to sell.

Huber's Winery

This was their packaging area where they filled the wine bottles and added labels. For someone who’s used to seeing LARGE manufacturing facilities, this was tiny and hard to believe they can produce the amount of wine they do with such a small manufacturing area!

Huber's Winery

Then came my favorite part- the wine tasting! We tasted 8 different wines and Jimmy and I chose 3 from the “back page” which were the premium wines & spirits for an extra $2.00 each. My favorites were the Huber’s Ruby Port, Huber’s Strawberry Infusion, Huber’s Lakeside, and Huber’s Marcella. (And we went home with a bottle of each!)  

Huber's Winery

Here’s Jimmy and I at the end of our tasting. We both chose to taste the Huber’s bourbon and it’s probably some of the smoothest bourbon I’ve had. But for $60/bottle, it should be! Jonathan (Jimmy’s cousin- who invited us to go with them on the tour) got a good photobomb in too! 

Huber's Winery

Have you guys been to Huber’s or do you have a favorite winery around you?

August 15th, 2013 | Author: JeNNifeR

With all the wedding activity, we’ve let quite a few of our normal chores go longer than they should.

The chicken coop? I’ve taken “deep litter method” to a whole new level. Instead of cleaning it out, I just put more and more fresh shavings in… which means the chickens are about to hit their heads on the ceiling. (okay okay… it’s not THAT bad) Not too mention the gobs of cobwebs that have taken over the coop.

Our garage was starting to look like a Picasso painting where everything looked out of place.

So last weekend, Jimmy worked on the garage while I pressure washed the deck and sidewalk. For those who don’t know, I think the pressure washer was the greatest invention EVER.

Our deck (this was the worst of it- which was under the picnic table) was turning a beautiful shade of green. But since it’s not Christmas, I had to get rid of that.

Pressure washed deck

The sidewalk didn’t look bad… until I started pressure washing it. (See the strip I did across? Wowza)

Pressure washing a sidewalk

We ran out of gas so we still have more to do but at least we’re starting to get caught back up on our normal upkeep activity. Now if I can just get the chicken coop cleaned back up.

Category: Around the farm  | Tags:  | One Comment
August 14th, 2013 | Author: JeNNifeR

Jimmy has wanted a new truck for a while. He had originally wanted to buy one back in February, but with the wedding expenses, I was able to convince him to hold off. For a short time.

He had very specific things he wanted on the truck. He wanted an F250, certain color, certain packages, even a certain kind of front seat. So a couple weeks ago, he got serious about it and within 350 miles, the dealer was able to find one that matched what he wanted exactly. ONE.

Lucky for us, my dad works at Ford so we were able to get the A-plan discount (ending up being a savings of a little over 10%!). So we went to the dealer and picked it up.

New F250

I admit… she’s beautiful!

It’s Jimmy’s first new vehicle and I think he washed it 3 times in the first week. (After we brought it home from the dealer, he said “It got bugs on it on the way home!”)

My only request was that it be able to pull a (future) horse trailer. One of these days, I will have a horse!

Category: Around the farm  | Tags:  | 2 Comments
July 14th, 2013 | Author: JeNNifeR

So I’m still looking for a new computer (which is the reason no Thank-You cards have went out b/c I want to design them myself!) but I had to pop in and show you our newest babies!

We had 3 baby chicks hatched from 2 broody chickens. Honestly, I expected them to divide up the chicks and mother them separately, but that hasn’t been the case. Instead, they co-mother them and trust each other.

2 mother hens

You can see them here in the ‘resting’ area where they keep the chicks to sleep at night. They just both lay next to each other and the chicks pile under whoever is closest!

Baby chicks

The mother hens took the chicks outside the first day I opened the door… it’s funny to think how much care we take when we buy chicks from the feed store because the mother hens are constantly throwing them around (they get underfoot while they’re scratching for bugs and they get kicked!) and these little guys tumbled right out of the chicken door to get to the ground. The chick above kind of looks like a dark-brown-egg laying Welsummer.

Chicken yard

This is our first baby chicks hatched out at our new house. At the last house, our chickens free-ranged so I wasn’t too worried about the other chickens reactions because their momma kept them pretty far from them. However now we keep the chickens penned up (due to predators). So far I haven’t seen anything from the other chickens besides a curious glance when they get too close. You can see the yellow chick in the far right with her 2 mothers. (The other 2 are darker and harder to see!) You can see their dad (the only rooster we have- he’s black and white) on the left side of the picture. In fact, now that I’m looking at it, he’s about as far away from the baby chicks as he can get! ha!

Baby Chicks!

Here the 3 chicks are! I think the far left one is going to be a blue chick (pretty rare color!), the middle chick almost looks like a dark-brown-egg layer (Welsummer) although I’m not sure which trait will be dominant- the Welsummer dark egg laying or the father’s white egg gene. Also, getting the 3 chicks in a picture together was as difficult as you’d imagine. They’re constantly on the go!

Have you ever heard of 2 hens mothering the same chicks?

June 16th, 2013 | Author: JeNNifeR

Sorry for the long absence! The computer I bought when I was a sophomore in college finally gave up…. which means no computer to update the blog with! My goal is to buy a new one within the next couple of weeks and get back to regularly posting. But for now, here’s one of the teaser photos the photographer (Angel Canary) posted for us!

 We haven’t gotten our professional pictures back yet but when we do, I’ll be writing reviews of the vendors we worked with!

Jen and Jimmy are married!

March 02nd, 2013 | Author: JeNNifeR

Flower Bed in the winter

This picture was taken last week. It may look like our flower bed is all gloom and doom (and chicken poom… er, I mean poop)…. but if you look closer:

Flowers starting to come up!

It’s yelling “SPRING IS COMING!!!!”

Category: Flowers  | Tags: , , ,  | One Comment
February 23rd, 2013 | Author: JeNNifeR

I haven’t been posting much about our chickens lately so I figured today’s post would be a Tucker post!

Tucker is our rooster. We lost our last rooster, Fred, to one of the many Predator Attacks of 2011. (We believe that attach was a weasel. Ugh.) When I picked out Tucker, I wanted a smaller rooster (Fred was a big boy and it wasn’t good for the smaller girls!) but I also wanted one with some color.

So we picked decided on a Silver Spangled Hamburg which gave us Tucker!

Silver Spangled Hamburg Rooster Silver Spangled Hamburg Rooster

Tucker has a pretty funny sounding crow (almost like he’s still trying to get it perfected) but the best part is that he isn’t aggressive. Fred would charge anyone but me which led to some potentially bad situations. But Tucker hasn’t charged anyone and seems pretty happy being the only male out of 25 chickens.

We also have 2 Silver Spangled Hamburg females who are just as colorful as Tucker is. (One is below next to him) They lay white eggs. You can also see the female in front (an Easter Egger- she lays green eggs) to see how small Tucker is compared to average sized hens.

Silver Spangled Hamburg Male and Female

 

Tucker seems to like having his picture taken too. He always stands very proudly and cocky (ha!) when I’m taking his picture!

 

What breed is your rooster? And why did you pick that one?

 

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