another 6 month scan today!

Happy Wednesday!

By the time you read this, Brett and I will be in the middle of another one of my every 6 month scans.  This time around, I decided that we would do a post where you see exactly what one of these scan days is like for us, so look for that later next week (eep!  Teasers!).

We’ll definitely keep you up to date with the results!  Wish us luck!

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Boston weekend!

Brett, Raj, and I met a group of friends from early in graduate school (right as I was coming into the picture hehe) this past weekend in Boston.  The three of us drove the 1000 mile journey from Champaign to Boston.  The boys quickly forgot why they agreed to participate in the 16 hour (each way) drive about 5 hours in… 🙂  I will add, however, that I brought plenty of entertainment with us including hours of podcasts, music, and audio books!  I guess I hadn’t really anticipated the deadened looking, winter scenery though 🙂

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We saw some interesting sites along the way…including snow (even though it was 60 degrees F when we left Chambana!) and a trailer of full-sized glass (maybe?) horses.

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Needless to say that some caffeine was in order a few times along the way.  On the way there we split up the drive with a night spent in a hotel in Liverpool, NY but on the way back home we drove straight through.

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Once we got there, the three of us found Fred’s house in Somerville and headed into Boston to meet the others!  The T (the subway in Boston) had these really cool bronzed gloves on display everywhere.

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Our first stop with the group was the Sam Adams brewery.  Brett and I didn’t actually like the brewery tour very much despite very much liking the beer!

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Later that night we all had dinner at a fun oyster bar.  The restaurant was decorated in reclaimed wood and had an entire wall covered in caged oyster shells!

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The next day we hit another brewery, the Harpoon Brewery.  While waiting for our tour, we all enjoyed some really great pretzles, beer, and of course some riveting games of Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.  🙂

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The Harpoon Brewery tour was really interesting and our tour guides were fantastic 🙂

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Later that afternoon we walked a large portion of the Freedom Trail.  We enjoyed such sites as the Green Dragon Tavern and the Skinny House 🙂

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Then came the drive home.  With about 6 hours to go, the boys decided we would drive until we reached home at 4 am.  I will fully admit to falling asleep in the back seat 🙂

Boston_28 Boston_29All in all a really fun weekend filled with really fun people 🙂  We tried to talk Fredrik into driving back to Champaign with us…I think we almost had him!  😉

japanese sweet potatoes and homemade garlic orange chicken

One night last week, it was my turn to cook dinner.  Armed with only some chicken and some Japanese sweet potatoes (never tried these before), I invented something new 🙂

My first hurdle was to figure out how best to cook the sweet potatoes.  I found a great website here that explained how to bake them…so bake them I did.  While the sweet potatoes were baking, I melted some butter in a saute pan and sauted some garlic.  Then I quickly cubed some chicken breasts.  To the pan, I added about a cup of orange juice (no idea where this inspiration came from!).  In the orange, garlic liquid, I poached the chunks of chicken.  Once the chicken was almost all the way cooked, I added zucchini and onions.  When these vegetables were almost tender I added a bunch of spinach, covered the pan, and simmered a few more minutes.  Voila!

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The Japanese sweet potatoes were also fantastic!  I added nothing to them, just cut them up and served next to the chicken dish.  While the color wasn’t quite as nice as your standard, bright orange sweet potato, the flavor was so delicious!

Have you ever cooked with something that you would have never thought to use before?  (like orange juice!)  🙂

 

a homemade light box

Lacuna Loft sells product and activity kits to people undergoing cancer treatments.  This means that I currently have a picnic sized table full of the initial round of products to go into these kits.  And selling product kits means that I need pictures of product kits!  Here enters Brett 🙂  He found a really cool tutorial to make your own, homemade light box!  The light box allows for equal lighting all around the objects being photographed and results in some really great photos.  Brett mixed two different sets of directions together (found here and here) to make our very own light box 🙂

The whole process took about an hour and the box turned out really well!  We started with the box that our shop vac came in (seriously, shop vacs are an awesomely necessary household item…along with their box haha!).  Brett cut out windows on the top and two opposing sides, and the front.  I measured out white fabric to cover the top and sides, and Brett stuck them in place.

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Inca had to come and check in on our progress 🙂

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Then white pieces of poster board were cut out in order to cover up the remaining corners of brown cardboard on the inside of the box.

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Finally, a strip of cloth was adhered to the top, back side of the box and slung towards the front, bottom side.  This softens the appearance of the inside of the light box as it removes any right corners that were visible.

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Once the light box is complete, we set it on the dining room table and surrounded it with lights.

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And voila!  Brett took some practice shots with a vase that we have in the living room 🙂  It has been so handy having this light box around!  I’ve taken all of the product shots found in my business’s online shop in it.

photo 10What do you think?  Have you ever made a light box before?  🙂