Happy birthday, B!!!

Happy happy birthday, Maurice!! I love you so dearly, and love celebrating “you’!! You are amazing, and what a great year this has been. Here are some of my faves from 2011 when you were just a wee young lad of 35 ๐Ÿ™‚

maurice (35 years old)

Damn you are still hott! hehehe… here’s to another super year, may it be your best one yet – Prost!!

Love you,
Nikki (and Hazeldog!)


Welding Wednesdays: 2nd Semester

Last week marked the beginning of the 2nd semester of welding school, and Maurice is off to a running start!

Mig 1G with perfect root pass

Mig 1G first pass

Finished cap on Mig 1G

Finished TIG butt weld (end to end with a 1/8" gap)

Looks like he’s well on his way to straight A’s, just like last semester! But most importantly, he’s totally enjoying it which makes both of us happy ๐Ÿ™‚

New Favorite Apple Recipe

I’ve been following Deb’s “smittenkitchen” blog for a couple of years now, and everything I’ve cooked from the sight has been tops. Yesterday I read up on the recipe she posted for an Apple Sharlotka, a typical Russian dessert. It looked like just my kind of recipe: lots of fresh fruit, not too much sugar or flour, dense, and moist.

Last night when I got home, I realized I had everything needed, including the apples! What fate. So I whipped it up and hoooooly, it is my new favorite apple dessert! This is after being stuck on apple strudel for months and months. I’ll have to rotate between the two but this will definitely be my new quick go-to recipe if we’re having guests or I just have a sweet tooth ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m enjoying a big chunk of it this morning with some hot coffee. Mmm!!

Homemade Haus – Sunburst Mirror

So I’m jumping on the bandwagon, albeit last years’ bandwagon, and making my own attempt at a DIY sunburst mirror! I have a big blank wall at work that I’d like to spice up, and this mirror should do the trick nicely. It’ll also give me a good place to freshen up without having to venture into the nasty ladies’ room (WHY are the women at work SO GROSS…)

This is the mirror I’m going to make, from the Centsational Girl blog:

DIY paintstick mirror (photo courtesy of Centsational Girl)

So far I have an 8″ mirror ($4.99 at Hobby Lobby), an 8″ embroidery hoop ($1.19 at Hobby Lobby), liquid nails, a paintbrush, and paint (Folk Art’s “Metallic Sahara Gold” and “Metallic Champagne” – layered, should give the mirror depth and a bit of shine). Maurice is making me a custom picture hanger, and he managed to score 50 paint sticks from Sherwin Williams for free!! We searched for them high and low; Lowe’s will only give out 2 at a time?! At that rate we’d have to hit up every Lowe’s in Texas!!

I need to cut & sand the paint sticks tonight, and then I’ll start putting everything together ๐Ÿ™‚ The project should only cost roughly $25, including everything we had to buy more of (liquid nails, fresh Xacto blades, and paint) so I really can’t complain about the cost!! If it turns out well then I’ll proceed to redecorate the rest of my boxy office.




Happy Hanukkah!

Or as my dad might say,ย ืžื–ืœย ื›ืึทื ืขืงืข!

One thing I have always loved about my family is its diversity. We have people from a smorgasbord of culture, colors, & backgrounds. “Tradition” means “variety” in our family. We do Italian, we do German, we do Native American, we do Mexican, we doย Ukrainian… there is a little bit of everything mixed in and I love it because I grew up learning about so many different cultures from the various characters in my own family! Maybe that helps to explain, in part, my love for travel? Hmm…

Anyway, it’s no secret that this is my favorite time of year. It’s a season of celebration, togetherness, dreams of snow, and drinking hot chocolate in my warm jammies. I look forward to it every year, and doubt I will ever grow too old to enjoy the simple joys of the season.

My dad used to teach us about his Jewish roots at this time of year, too. What is more fun for a kid than celebrating Christmas AND Hanukkah?! (Um, not much!!) Mom & Dad always made it fun for us; they’d hide a small gift for us on each of the 8 nights of Hanukkah and Dustin and I would dig through the house until we each found our gift. Then we’d light all get together at the fireplace and light a candle on the menorah. Afterwards Mom would make us a treat – hot chocolate, cider, a snack, something delicious! – and we’d all lounge around in our pajamas enjoying the glow of the Christmas tree (ne, Hanukkah bush!) and the menorah.

Today is the first day of Hanukkah for 2011. To my dad, who shared his traditions and opened our eyes to so many ways of life, to my Grandma B. who embodies the idea of “Jewish grandmother”, to my Uncles Greg & Guy, and of course my Jewish bestie – Shalom!

Welding Wednesdays: I’m a real fan of your work!

Last week Maurice asked me to send him a picture of the tail fin from my favorite airplane, so I sent him this:

my favorite airplane, the boeing 787 dreamliner

I would love to fly on it someday, hint hint!!

Then he started sending me these pictures:

hmm, what to build next?

first things first.

these go on the top and bottom.

clamping them together in preparation for welding

What is it? Well, turns out Maurice really likes the windmill my parents have in their backyard, so he decided to build one for us! School credit + garden decor = score!

the first louver goes on

...then the rest

So at what point does the 787 Dreamliner come in?

any guesses as to what this is? ๐Ÿ™‚

that's right, the tail fin from my fave 787 is going to be the tail fin on the windmill!

the tail fin being welded together

then the tail fin gets sanded and polished

I’ll be sure to share the rest as it comes together. Maurice sure is clever!