The Cure for Winter and Tarnished Jewelry

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The cure for winter? Celebrations!

This week has been a head spinning week! We are working on our gallery renovation for 24 Below Gallery and Cafe, which is moving to a great entertainment district in Niagara Falls but is going into a building that was empty for several years.

Not only are we working on trying to renovate and move into a new house but also a new business! I’ve been working on the restrooms this week and took it into my own hands that I thought I could make horizontal stripes on the walls of the restroom. I’ll have to update you all on that next week, but here is a preview picture:

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New Year’s was quite a night this year! The temps were freezing and the wind was howling. Niagara Falls is lucky enough to have a Hard Rock Cafe that does a light up guitar drop down the side of a high rise building, with fireworks at midnight. But we all settled into this great bar in Niagara’s old Polish neighborhood. We had such great steaks, and such great conversation and fun we decided to stay in  the warm tavern & restaurant called The Bakery.

Warm and friendly, we had a few drinks after an excellent dinner and toasted the new year at midnight, with free party hats and noisemakers. It was a great low stress way to celebrate- and just a few blocks from my neighborhood.

Here are some great friends celebrating with us at the Bakery:

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Here we are officially in the Niagara Winter, and the afternoons seem to be mostly dark these last few days. What better way to turn that around than a good old fashioned Southern birthday?

My gay husband, M., is celebrating a “milestone birthday” today that ends in a zero. M. is from Mississippi so we were invited to a homemade southern food birthday party! The downtown home of R. and M. was glowing with beautiful candlelights and eclectic decor. Located on a beautiful street right near the Niagara Gorge with a view of the Canadian skyline from the back yard- their Victorian home is frequently the location of a great party.

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We were treated to homemade gumbo, red beans & rice, pulled pork sandwiches and cole slaw. So DELICIOUS!!! The food was absolutely amazing- prepared with time tested recipes. We gathered in several rooms and were treated to a full bar complete with spicy Bloody Mary’s. The afternoon ended with singing  to the birthday boy, and he blew out the flaming skewer, (someone forgot a candle), and we all dug into the moist delicious carrot cake and red velvet cake. (I opted for red velvet; great choice.)

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As you can see, we were treated with a whole lot of southern hospitality- and maybe a little Italian American thrown in.

While I was getting ready for the party, I decided I wanted to wear my silver hoop earrings but they had become a little dull and tarnished over the last couple of years. I did a brief google search and discovered this great trick for taking tarnish off of silver jewelry: (It really works!)

First, you assemble a bowl with your silver pieces and some pieces of aluminum foil.

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You boil a small amount of water, (enough to cover your silver) on the stove in a pot. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and add one tablespoon of baking soda. The aluminum and baking soda interact and create a bubbling fizz, which is a fun science project.

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Stir the silver jewelry around in the boiling water a little bit, allowing the reaction to loosen the tarnish. Do this for a few minutes and after the bubbling ceases and the water starts to cool down, remove the jewelry and rinse with clear water. Dry and shine up with a soft towel and it looks great!

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Now just throw on your jewelry and go party with your gay husband! If you don’t have one, you must find one! I love my gay husband. He’s been with me during the hardest day of my life and also during times of big accomplishments. He’s my filter on facebook (when I let him) and has kept me in line during work projects by letting me know I’m not alone, hence preventing me from having the big meltdown that creates my emotional volcanos.

Happy 30th M, and here’s to 100 more!

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