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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No-stitch cross-stitch on glass

No-stitch cross-stitch? Yep! And that look can be achieved with glass and a trusty paint pen! My friend Katie found this craft through Martha Stewart and we knew we had to try it out for one of our craft sessions.

Fine-point white paint pen
Glass you want to "cross stitch" on
Templates sized (using your print page settings) and printed out to your liking

You simply cut out the template you want whether it be a letter or a word or the leaf symbol and tape it to the inside of the glass.

I wanted one letter on each candle holder and katie used the leaf symbol for her glass jar. Then trace the x's on the outside of the glass using the paint pen. You may end up a little cross-eyed feeling while doing this due to the reflection on the glass. My advice is to not stop in the middle of doing a letter so it is all done from the same perspective/angle.

Let it dry and fill with a candle or whatever you choose. I picked my letters to spell LAUGH and I also made one for my godmother that spelled SEW.

This was a very cheap and easy craft and has many great decor uses for any home. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Linking up at these fun parties:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Italy Trip Day 7

Catch up: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6

May 10 - A day exploring Venice

That morning we were ready for a day filled with the Venice things we wanted to see. We left the apt in the direction of the Rialto market.

We saw the Rialto market food unloaded off boats and an abundance of produce, meats, and seafood as we strolled through the market.

We took in the view and snapped a few pics at the famous Rialto Bridge

Then we hopped on the vaporetto and took it to the San Marco docks area. We walked around looking at all the vendors selling paintings, jewelry, clothes, and all sorts of trinkets.

After consulting our trusty Rick Steves book, we ate lunch at  Bar Verde. They had a great sandwich and panini selection. We sat outside since the weather was so nice and did some people watching.

One thing at Bar Verde that was not so nice was the bathroom. You have to pay for many public bathrooms in Italy so it is always best to use them in restaurants and galleries you are visiting. We saw our share of "interesting" bathrooms while in Italy but this one took the cake. Megan stepped in for a reference point - she is 5'1. I am proud to say we both used this bathroom if for no reason other than to say we did and really took in all aspects of Italy. Big thank you to Insanity and Shawn T. for strong squatting thighs :)

After lunch we visited St Marks Basilica. We had read in the Rick Steves book that if you check a bag you can tickets straight into the Basilica without waiting in line. The line always looked over an hour long so we took advantage of this. While checking our bags we learned that this practice is no longer allowed and the man called the Rick Steves book "rubbish" but he let us skip the link anyhow haha. We were extremely thankful we did not have to wait as it wasn't as impressive as we had imagined and it was very crowded - not worth waiting hours for. Of course no pictures were allowed inside.

After that, we devoured some pastries from the "best" patisserie shop in Venice, Marchini. It wasn't extremely easy to find and the customer service wasn't the best so it is a good thing the food was so yummy.

Next up was the Campanile (bell tower) right next to the Basilica. This one actually had an elevator instead of stairs :)  and the views were amazing. It isn't very expensive (8 euro I think) so make sure to do this if you are in Venice.

Chatting about our boys I'm sure :)

The bells went off while we were up there and they were incredibly loud.

We hopped on a vaporetto to go back to the apt. We stopped by the grocery to purchase items to make salad and we ate that and leftover pizza from our first night in Venice for dinner. Oh and course we bought some cheese!

Since this was our last night in Venice we decided to do the Grand Canal audio tour provided on Rick Steves website. The canal really does look different in the evening and it was nice to ride the long route and listen to Rick tell the interesting facts and history - this is a must do!

Break from our audio tour for some gelato!

On Day 8 we will go from Venice to Rome... stay tuned.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicken Salad My Way

LOVE me some chicken salad. Especially the chicken salad from Pot Belly Deli in Clemson... sigh. I have been in search of a chicken salad recipe that has just the right taste to the dressing part and I have found it with Pioneer Woman of course! I took her recipe and healthified it a bit and changed up a few things for Chicken Salad done MY way.

Emily's Chicken Salad
makes 6 servings, adapted from Pioneer Woman

Handful of Cilantro (or other fresh herb like Oregano, Rosemary, Dill), minced
1/2 cup light/reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
Rotisserie chicken, cut up with any fatty pieces thrown out
1-2 handful of Craisens
2-3 Green onions, chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped

In a small bowl mix first 7 ingredients. They key to this part is tasting it to see what you may need a little bit more of... start with the 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and brown sugar and add more to your taste. I know brown sugar sounds strange but I think it is the dressing's not-so-secret ingredient for goodness.

In medium to large bowl combine other 4 ingredients. Pour dressing over top and mix well. Chill for several hours or overnight and serve as desired. We like ours on rolls or in a wrap.

I have made this several times now but every time we eat it before I remember to take a picture haha so I am so glad I get to share it now. I think this chicken salad is delicious but can easily be adapted to have chicken salad YOUR way too. I have made this before with grapes in place of the apples or craisens and it was very yummy then too.

What is in the chicken salad done your way??

Linking up at these fun parties:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Italy Trip Day 6

Read up:  Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

May 9 - Murano, Burano, ooooh I wanna take you to....

Our first full day in Venice, we decided to head to the nearby islands. After a little search for an ATM which were not as easy to find as in Florence, we boarded the vaporetto (bus boats) to get over to the San Marco docks.

Then switched boats at San Marco to take us first to Murano. We purposely bought vaporetto passes for the length of our stay in Venice so we could use them around Venice and also to get to the islands and they are well worth it if you plan to ride several times and just more convenient. The trip out there took close to an hour.

glad we didn't stop there

Murano is known for their beautiful glass. And we were there on a mission to find some gifts and do lots of looking. First though we needed fuel for all the shopping.... lunch.

We walking along the street until we saw a little restaurant tucked a little away from the main street with shady (tree shady not the bad kind of shady) outdoor seating. A quick look at the menu and it was decided. It was delicious and they plated their food nicely too. I had the pesto pasta. I have to say they had some of the best bathrooms we found in our whole trip - Italy isn't really known for awesome public bathrooms so this was a big plus!

Then we spent the next few hours perusing the glass jewelry, vases, plates, and trinkets. Megan and I were able to purchase gifts and things for ourselves that we set out to get.

Next we boarded the vaporetto to take us to the next island, Burano. It was about a 30 minute trip. Burano is known for their lace making and very colorful homes/buildings.

Look, it's a Clemson colored building!

We just walked around Burano taking pictures and grabbed some gelato at a shop there.

Then we took the vaporetto back to Venice which was about an hour and half. This happened to be a large boat and we got to sit up top and enjoy the views.

Then in San Marco we took the boat through the canal back to the stop near our apt.

 Eric caught some zzz's

After a stop at the apt we got back on a bus boat to go to dinner. We rode under the Rialto bridge which looks very different in the evening.

We ate at a tiny little restaurant called Al Stori which was in the Rick Steves book.

I had probably the best gnocchi I have ever had... mmm seafood gnocchi

Keith had this fresh fish which we just had to take a picture of... looks like it just leaped onto his plate.

After dinner we headed back to the apt after our eventful day! More Venice to come...
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