Amish People on Cliffs

I’m thinking of starting a new blog. Amish people on cliffs. How disrespectful would that be? 😉

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They’re just so darn picturesque…

Kidding, of course. But on a cliffhanger note, I’ll be disappearing for the next week or so to celebrate America with family and friends. Have a fantastic Fourth of July!

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Snoezelen Dreams

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Have you ever heard of a Snoezelen Room? They are wonderful, magical places.

While the word sounds like something you would find in a Doctor Seuss book, it’s actually a combination of the Dutch words “snuffelen” (to explore) and “doezelen” (to doze). Snoezelen rooms provide multi-sensory therapy for people with autism and other developmental disabilities – and have even been shown to benefit seniors with dementia and Alzheimers.

Mary Cariola Children’s Center has its own Snoezelen room (generously sponsored by the Ronald MacDonald charities) with music, bubble tubes, fiber optics, a projector, a swing, and even a black light room. It’s a fantastic place to take the kids when they (or the teachers!) are getting overstimulated and need some help chilling. In my experience, the room also helps to pull the kids out of their own worlds and a little farther into ours by providing motivation and allowing easier concentration.

To provide a full sensory experience, Snoezelen rooms may also have tactile stations such as ball pits and vibrating mats. For olfactory(smell) and gustatory (taste), teachers and therapists may also provide aromatherapy objects or even easy-to-eat foods. No matter what options are presented, the room is entirely client centered experience. Individuals are allowed to choose where to go and what to do with no demand situations, and an opportunity to relax and let their best selves shine through.

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In conclusion, will I be building a Snoezelen room for my future home? Absolutely.

What’s the Word, Nerd?

Ever been called a nerd? A dork? Maybe even a geek? Ever accused someone else of being one of those things? (Disclaimer: I am all of these, but we already knew that, didn’t we?)

Well friends, I’m all for judgement, scorn, and witty insults, but let’s spend a moment becoming just a little bit more well-informed, shall we?

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Nerd: A person (often of above average intelligence) interested in learning in general. The word first appeared in Dr. Seusse’s If I Ran the Zoo, alongside creatures such as Nerkles, Seersuckers, Preeps, and Proos.

Geek: An enthusiast or expert in a specific field of knowledge (Eg. a band geek or trekkie). Carnival performers whose acts included biting the heads off of chicken and snakes were also called geeks, but, thankfully, that is far less common today.

Dork: A foolish, socially inept person

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Now then, if you’re looking for some more original zingers, try these on for size.

Looby: an awkward, clumsy, lazy person

Pixilated: mentally unbalanced, insane

Sudoriferous: Smelly or sweat producing

Rampallion: a ruffian or scoundrel (this one is Shakespeare approved!)

Have fun!

Summer-y LinkStorm

Happy summer everyone! I’ll just leave these here…

First some crafts

Pressed Seaweed Prints, perfect for that Cape Cod trip with the in-laws.

Quick and Easy Brass Bookends, inspired by Young House love. A simple project with quick and pretty results.

Hot Air Balloon Mobile, an adorable felt craft, for the baby or forever-young adult in your life (hint hint, make me one!)

Faux Copper Patina, turn your trinkets into treasures, courtesy of EPBOT.

And then a couple recipes

Cottage Canapes, for all your summer tea part and picnic needs.

Hi Hat Cupcakes, wow your friends and family with yet another cupcake recipe from Bakerella.

Tiny Worlds

Summer time, and the living is easy.

My mother’s gardens have always been glorious, and someday when I have a yard I hope that mine will be anywhere near as beautiful. For now though, my gardens have to be small, portable, and difficult to kill.

And so, I’ve turned to bonsais and terrariums. And look what I made!

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A fairy garden! The glass jar is wonderful, an old vaporizer jug from Father’s college days. For greenery, you want to look for plants that thrive in similar environments. I did a little yard scavenging and found some nice shade plants – Sweet Woodruff, Violets, and Lily of the Valley. Currently, it is inhabited by a glass duckling in a bonnet, and a floppy eared rabbit.

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On a smaller scale, I also keep jars of moss in my windows. They are both decorative and useful, I can pull out a sheet of moss for my bonsais at any time of year.

For a nice list of plants that do well, check out Going Home to Roost’s post on terrariums. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to avoid the experimenting.

Let’s get this Party Started!

With some sugar!

Happy Father’s Day everyone! Or – for those in the know – Happy Falker Satherhood!

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For less wrecky baked goods though, keep reading.

My family has a tradition of doing silly, themed baked goods for Father’s Day each year. So on Sunday, we started the day with crepes, strawberries, and fresh whipped cream. Yum! Then for our family’s party, it was on to the main event.

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Hamburger cupcakes! Served with sugar cookie fries! The buns are golden cupcakes, the burgers are brownies, and the lettuce and ketchup are colored frosting (Father is allergic to nuts, but shredded coconut also works perfectly for lettuce). Recipe and idea courtesy of Bakerella, a fun little site that I discovered in my early college years. Hers are far prettier than mine though, so you should definitely check out her stuff.

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And this next one is courtesy of my creative and talented cousin Audrey. My grandfather has a wonderful little obsession with his lawn, and we cousins help him out whenever we can. He also has a wonderful little obsession with sweets. The diabetes is perhaps a threat- but hey, he hasn’t lost any toes yet!

What about you guys? Any fun traditions? Any special baked goods do you guys do for holidays? I’m always looking for more ideas.