Thursday, May 26, 2011

a quick post as i start playing with picnik!

We're on day six of our vacation. It has been FANTASTIC. And I'm not joking (minus the fact that Ry is in our bedroom taking a nap because he's not feeling well). We've spent so much great time together and done things we've always wanted to do here on the North Shore. And let's just say this is a little bit of what we're dealing with for weather:

TonightMay 26Fri27Sat28Sun29Mon30
Mostly CloudyIsolated T-StormsMostly CloudyAM Clouds / PM SunMostly Sunny
Mostly CloudyIsolated T-StormsMostly CloudyAM Clouds / PM SunMostly Sunny
Chance of Precip:
Chance of Rain:
Chance of Precip:
Chance of Precip:
Chance of Precip:

rough life, i know. it's been gorgeous here. you know, the kind of weather that makes you realize why living two feet from the ocean is probably one of the coolest things one can experience in life. anyways, i'll do some more updating on our happenings at a later date, but today has been a quiet day, perfect for:

still learning how to work with picnik...but we'll get used to it :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

fondue addicts.

remember that tax season staycation we had where we redid the porch? well, in the midst of the porch makeover, we needed a nice night out and found ourselves at the melting pot. i had heard of this place a while back and was dying to go and snatched up a buy with me coupon that allowed us to go for 50% off. FAB, since one meal out at that place can cost you $100. Anyways, the food was alright, but it certainly piqued our interest in the fondue world. you see, the process of eating all courses via fondue was SO intriguing and fun to us that we had to try it at we decided to test out our fondue pot that ry bought me for my birthday last year:

our menu:

course 1: cheddar fondue
1 cup beer
two blocks cheddar (shredded)
1 TBS flour (plus some more to thicken later)
2 TBS brown mustard
few drops hot sauce
few drops worcestershire sauce
whole wheat bread

add beer and cook for a bit til it bubbles. add cheese/flour mixture and melt. stir in mustard, hot sauce and worcestershire sauce. turn pot on low and enjoy your dippers with the deliciousness.

course 2: broth fondue
three cans beef broth
one can water
2 bay leaves
some basil
some oregano
some fresh ground pepper
2 cloves garlic
onion chunks
1/2 cup red wine
uncooked chicken
uncooked steak tips
homemade honey mustard
homemade buffalo blue cheese
teriyaki sauce
bbq sauce

combine broth, water, spices and onion chunks in pot. bring to boil. add wine and bring to a boil for a few minutes. yes, we played it by ear. as long as it's hot enough, it'll cook the meat. Meat takes approximately 2 minutes per chunk. We use flavored steak tips from our favorite butcher. The maple bourbon cooked this way is DELISH. We also pair the meat with the side sauces for different flavors.

course 3: chocolate fondue
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS unsalted butter
12 oz chocolate (we use 1/2 milk, 1/2 dark)
rice krispie treats
graham crackers

add ingredients into pot. stir while melting the chocolate. keep pot on low and love every bite.

we've now done this meal twice. once when ry's sister lester (pictured below) and the other when chris and allison came over for dinner. both times have been extremely successful and we're sold on fondue. it's a fun way to eat and makes dinner completely social. two thumbs up from the dumas fam, for sure. and yes, we did enjoy all of this from the comfort of our newly redone porch if you were wondering :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

playing on repeat

I can't stop playing this song on repeat these days:

thy mercy - caedmon's call

Thy mercy my God is the theme of my song
the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue
Thy free grace alone from the first to the last
hath won my affection and bound my soul fast

without Thy sweet mercy i could not live here
sin would reduce me to utter despair
but through Thy free goodness my spirits revive
and He who first made me still keeps me alive

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart
which wonders to feel its own hardness depart
dissolved by Thy goodness i fall to the ground
and weep for the praise of the mercy i've found

great Father of mercy, Thy goodness i own
and the covenant love of Thy crucified Son
all praise to the Spirit whose whisper divine
seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

staycation: the porch makeover

So it was Friday of our post-tax-season staycation (thank you grad school for stealing our vacation money) and we had planned on going to the aquarium when we wandered out onto our storage shed that we like to call a porch (picture was taken mid removal of stuff - i almost forgot to document!).

Now, our porch is FABULOUS, especially in the summer months with the breeze blowing through the screens. However, in the winter, it becomes home to way too much clutter and Ry has been dying to do something about we did. So we quickly removed all objects from the porch to see what we had to work with.

We took some measurements and quickly found out that our porch was on a slant, which would make it difficult to do too much with the limited tools we have (all ry's cool tools are living in VT since there is no room for them here). We drew up plans and then decided we needed a piece to base the room off of. Off to White Elephant we went in search of a window. JACK. POT. We found this beauty...and it was unmarked, which means the guy gave us a decent deal on the thing.

Now we had a theme and could move forward. We decided on building a table/bench type thing to optimize seating (four seats does not cut it during the summer months when we're bbq-ing and ladder balling). So off to home depot we went, grabbed some lumber and came back to start building! What a process, but it was totally worth it.

we love irwin quick grips!

We also remembered that we had picked up a trunk from yard sale (for $15!) that would work perfectly as a coffee table and pair nicely with our rustic window. We're still deciding if we're going to redo the trunk, what do you think? I've included a picture of a trunk that ry has already redone...

So then over the next week we scrambled to finish up the seating as Ry's sister was coming and we wanted to make sure everything was finished up for when she got here. Check out the benches/table all put together:

Defintely not a fan of the wires coming through the windows, but we're trying to figure out a solution for that. Also - i'll be sewing some pilows for the benches. On top of the table are two vases filled with sea glass that match the colors of the window. We also wanted to decorate with lanterns, but they're expensive, so we did this instead:

I'm hoping to find a lantern or two to hang over the trunk that we can use and we've strung up white lights around the perimeter of the porch. It is a hard space to fully capture, but once it's completely done, i'll repost. We still need to stain the benches/table and I need to sew those pillows. I also found this wicked cool piece of driftwood that I'm trying to figure out what to do with - any suggestions?

So there it is...the mostly made over porch. Any suggestions for some final touches would be greatly welcomed. (and thanks to Jen Migonis and the Bayreuther's for their home maker over posts on their blogs for helping to inspire us to get our butts into gear!)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Here's a look at Beans' first year...

This is the picture that won our hearts...what a precious pup:

This was the day we picked him up in NY and brought him back to my dad's:

We quickly taught him the family sport:

He started to grow up quick...notice how his face is starting to lighten:

He will never outgrow being carried around like this:

This is right after his first haircut...not much brown left:

What a good little snuggler we turned him into:

Beans first trip to VT:

He LOVES his red frisbee:

First time in the snow for Christmas in VT:

Beans learned to LOVE the water and the playing with his friends at the beach:

We thought about not letting him on the bed. He's too cute, he gets to go everywhere in the house, especially wherever he can best snuggle:

He LOVES playing fetch out in the back yard:

And this is mister today, super excited for his new birthday toy!!

We love this "little" guy to pieces - can ya tell!?