Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bento Box and Pink Toes

Lunch with my 3 favorite people in the universe and freshly painted pink toes (attached to big feet) to bring in the new year makes for a nice afternoon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vintage Finds And Crispy Roast Chicken

I scored this funky vintage shirt by Lady Arrow, in mint condition! Not really my style so up for sale it shall go. I also found an adorable carpet bag clutch purse (photos coming soon), two Bon Appetit cookbooks from the early 90's, an old hardcover issue of "From Here To Eternity", a small book of poems and an old thermometer/ owl thingy. It's broke and serves no purpose other that it's vintage and I think owls are cool.

On a different note, I made the crispy roast chicken that's featured in January's MSL- Delicious! I added a few onions chopped in quarters and several whole cloves of garlic in to roast with the potato's. If by chance you have any drippings left in the pan after the chicken is done, try adding a little cooking sherry to taste and a few dashes of "Wondra", maybe a little salt, too. Makes for some tasty gravy. This meal got rave reviews from my family and smelled incredible while cooking.

That's about it, life is slow and I like it that way. Happy Monday. :)

PS- Don't forget to check out the eclipse tonight!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vallerie Galloway

I was selfish again... But a 2 for 1 sale on Vallerie Galloways signed and dated prints at a very affordable price could not be passed up. They will be placed in simple black frames surrounded by simple white matting and placed like a square over my desk. Four wish list items down. Tra la la la laaa la la la laaa.
Besides, my Christmas shopping for everyones gifts is done. :P

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Warming Up On A Cold Day DIY (Green Style)

In the January issue of Martha Stewart Living I found an article on how to make fire starters out of newspaper and twine. So simple it was hard to resist! Tightly roll a sheet of the paper length wise, fold in half and then braid. use a piece of rope twine to tie it at the bottom. Easy and a very pretty addition to the bundle of wood I have resting in the big basket by my fireplace. This project prompted me to look for similar ideas and here is what I found- Herbal fire starters as seen above: Dry out a few of your favorite herbs and spices (mint, rosemary, cinnamon, etc), twist them up, add to fire. Makes the house smell incredible.

Next: I've always liked the Java Logs and have been curious to try and make my own seeing as we drink a ton of coffee in my house and always have grinds to throw away. The recipe for this sounds extremely easy and can be found here- I will let you know how mine turn out.

Last, I stumbled on to this idea by accident and cannot wait to try it out... Dried orange peels for kindling the fire. I can only imagine how amazing this must make ones home smell. You can save the peels and dry them in a paper bag or you can set them on a roasting pan in a warm oven set to a very low temp. From what I've read, they get very hot and in the old days were used as a substitue for coal to heat stoves. How cool is that?!
Incredible scents to fill your home on a cold day, good for the planet and good for your pocket. :)

Merry Christmas To Me

I was horribly selfish last night (yet smiling as I type). After buying my youngest some adorable handmade toys on Etsy, I went over to Valerie Galloways page to drool. I wasn't going to... I didn't mean to (ok, maybe I did). But I ended up buying myself this print that I've wanted for a while now. It wasn't very expensive and I still have money tucked away to get everyone their gifts. Guilt level - low. Excitement level in anticipation of hanging this on my wall - very high.

You can find more of Valerie's work here

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Dinner

*My mom and I at Saint Peter's Square. I felt this photo was much nicer homage to Italy than my stew that, while beyond delicious, doesn't look very pretty when captured via iPhone. I really need a good camera Chianti Marinated Italian Beef Stew
courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Serves 4-6

2 1/2 to 3 pound beef brisket
1 (750 ml) bottle Chianti wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-ounce) piece pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) kalamata olives, halved
6 ounces green beans, halved
4 medium red potatoes, quartered
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sage leaves
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups beef broth
Place the beef in a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish. Pour the wine over the meat and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the meat over and marinate for another 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the meat from the wine and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the wine.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Using tongs, place the meat in the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the meat and add the remaining oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, olives, green beans, potatoes, rosemary, and sage. Cook for 3 minutes. Pour the reserved wine, tomatoes, and beef broth into the pan, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the meat to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Remove the meat and the rosemary sprigs from the stew. Place the meat on a cutting board and cut into quarters. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Add the shredded meat to the stew and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

*This stew is abundant with taste, the down side is the time. Start early, maybe even the day before (which is what I did). In my case, the brisket needed several hours to become fork tender (cooking time may vary). This recipe is going in my box, will definitely make again.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Instant Like

I found this photo when I was browsing on line for something completely unrelated. There is no purchasing info in any of the associated links. Total bummer. I'd love these for my bookshelves. Anyone know where to find them?


Not sure why but I love fall leaves. If I could, I'd scoop up as many as possible. No clue what I'd do with them just know that the colors are inspiring. Like shells by the ocean, they are natures little gifts.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


My friend, Patrick, is a genius with the written word. Every now and then he will treat me. Today's entry "For Ann" is for -me-. (Ann is my middle name). You can find him here

Check out his "Red Bank Blues" in the other blogs section - start at the beginning, amazing writing. Everything with the name Ann attached to it is about me. Yes, this makes me beam.


Taken last week... When it was still warm. Woke up to the low thirties today (bliss).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh That Coat! Oh Those Shoes!

I love EVERYTHING about this outfit!!!
Courtesy of the Sartorialist


I have the flu, bah! Hot coffee, Eartha Kitt and a warm fire are helping, though. That and I called in sick. Why is it that as soon as you know you don't have to go to work (or school) you feel so much better? I might even be up to making bangers and mash later tonight. Shortbread sounds good, too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Vintage Christmas

Johns Christmas elf, close to 40 years old. Gotta love vintage ornaments

My Loves

Sydney and Hunter, my grandson. :)
(Yes... I look way to young to be a granny.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wonderful Nothing

Yesterday I did nothing that involved physical effort. I did not change out of my pajamas and the only reason I stepped foot out of bed was for coffee and to tend to my fur babies. My boyfriend brought me an extremely unhealthy, unglamourous (taco bell) lunch. We watched the Seminoles cremate the Gators as I pretended I was eating cuisine from some fabulous 5 star bistro. Not a Nacho bell Grande. I entertained day dreams of owning a vintage dutch bike and opening up a quaint little soul food restaurant in the historic part of town (two words - gold mine). I downloaded "Truth" by The Jeff Beck Band released in 1968 and listened to a young Rod Stewart croon the blues. I also downloaded Tom Montefusco, Unknown Hinson and Trombone Shorty. I searched for sweet potato pancakes and lemon pie recipes. I played with Johns beard scruff and showered his cheeks and lips with light kisses.

Today, I clean. Bummer. :( Maybe I'll bake something, maybe a little thrifting...

...And Everything Nice

Little girl at the new Disney Princess movie Thanksgiving night.

Downtown Last Night

It's a blurry mish-mash of lights, people and a windshield in dire need of cleaning taken with a dinky IPhone. I still like it though.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Belle Moto

*Photo courtesy of The Sartorialist

Never mind her shoes, where can I get a bike like that?! Absolutely beautiful!


Yesterday at the park. I'm sure there are plenty of people that are envious of me right now seeing as I wake up to 70 degrees... But what I wouldn't give for cold and snow. Time to make the turkey. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dapper Men

I plan on treating myself to this little gem. The illustrations are amazing!

Market Flowers

I could have spent all say smelling them. Such a treat!

Monday, October 18, 2010


My Monkey drew this on the back porch today. Pretty cool, huh!

Sunday Dinner

I doubt that I will ever be able to capture a neat and orderly dinner table. You know, the kind where everything matches and everyone looks crisp... Besides, most happy families are messy, right? {I know mine is.}

Sunday Dinner: Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola- fancy for penne with vodka sauce
Courtesy of Ina Garten/ Food network

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 medium Spanish onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, diced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 cup vodka

2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 pound penne pasta

4 tablespoons fresh oregano

3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream

Grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve and crush them into the pan with your hands. Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.

Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Return to the pan.

Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough heavy cream to make the sauce a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh oregano on each plate.

I kept last night simple pairing the pasta with a fresh baguette and a mellow red table wine. However, next time I'll add a dark green salad, pancetta appetizer and make a tiramisu for desert.  {Maybe I'll even triple the ingredients and invite friends over - it's that good-} This is one of those recipes that doesn't need to be altered. It's a bit time consuming but if you follow the directions, you will have the most amazing vodka sauce -ever-. My second oldest, the pickiest eater in the universe, went for seconds. When this happens, I know I've got a winner.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kewkies By Alice

Today, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies... Not just any chocolate chip cookies but superfantabulous chocolate chip cookies. I searched the net for something better than good and found a new favorite blog as well as a keeper cookie recipe which can be found here
As usual, I added my own touch by throwing in a dash or 3 of cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves and double vanilla.
Thank you, Alice - these are, hands down, the best chocolate chip cookies I have -ever- made!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Pink Promise

At the mall today: The Pink Promise- they (the mall) will donate $1.00 for every person that signs the promise and posts it to one of three walls. Mine is right smack in the middle of the newest wall to be filled. :)
 Awesome and win.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Timeless Style

Spotted these over at A Cup Of Jo.

During the cooler months, my mom would wear moccasins like these with argyle socks, jeans and a complimentary sweater. Even as a wee kid, I thought she looked sharp (this is dating back to the early 70's when we lived in Jersey- where it actually got cold). Eventually, I got a pair and thought they were the coolest shoes!
How great would these look with a pair of faded jeans, fitted plaid blouse and vintage cardigan? The answer is really great! Putting these on the top of my wish list and silently thanking my mom for having an awesome sense of style. (Love you, mom!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blog Sweet Blog

Oh my sweet, little blog how I've missed you! I took up a job opportunity to house sit over the weekend (with an iPhone as my only link to the internet).

But I'm back now.

Back in my bed, with my guy.

Back with my kids who are sleeping soundly in their disgustingly messy yet happy rooms.

Back with my 2 dogs and 3 cats.

Back with my coffee maker, pc, tv, front yard, back yard, Halloween decorations, hairballs on the floor, dust on the ceiling fan, messy garage, wilty porch plants, sink full of dirty dishes, ETC.

Back with my -family-... And I have to say that I've never been happier to be with them, either.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fire In The Hoooollllleeee

My Monkey :)

A in defensive "why are you taking my picture" mode.

Blurry of John but I still like it

Patrick our chef for the night (funny guy)

 Not pictured is the ginormous Scorpion that John and I shared. It was just us and the 2 oldest. I had the itis so bad that I could barely walk to the car... And today I will have to work out double time, but it was worth it. One thing I noticed and I'm extremely grateful for is that John and I still act like kids and we are still very affectionate. While all of the other couples at our table and surrounding tables are not talking to each other and staring off into space with a miserable look on their faces, we are laughing and kissing. Beautiful children, amazing food, incredible man. Count your blessings.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Tiger/ Ethan Chronicles

Because it's not just in the lunch room anymore...
Since the last update, there have been many unspoken tests of true infatuation. Like Ethan farting, and Ethan having a "slimy green booger" hanging out his nose and Ethan eating bbq potato chips that smelled weird. I don't know about you but when I was a kid that kind of stuff was enough to make me run for the hills. Not the Tiger, though, she still likes him best of all. The big news is that their relationship seems to have progressed from the lunch room to the class room. According to Tiger, Ethan now hangs his back pack next to hers and they sit next to each other at reading time as well as lunch and Tiger chose Ethan to carry on her legacy of official chalk board washer of the week.

To make things interesting there is another little boy in her class that we'll call Idon'tknow (until Tiger can remember his name) that has a BIG crush on her and follows her around like a wistful puppy (my words). Unfortunately, Idon'tknow's love is unrequited. I've made it very clear to the Tiger that she needs to be nice to Idon'tknow. There is nothing worse than having your heart squashed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'll Take Them All, Please

At the mall today: I especially love the black with the gray flower, plaid with purple bow and  my absolute favorite, the mustard yellow hat. Unfortunately, I cannot pull off this look due to an abnormally round head but it doesn't stop me from admiring and noting that this is a great look for Fall.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Garage Sales And Cool People

Woke up, did 2 miles at the park and then headed over to a neighborhood I read about in Craigslist that was having a community garage sale. The first house I stopped at I purchased a cutting board with an art-deco cat design on it and an oriental paper umbrella. I stopped at 5 more houses with no luck and then I happened upon Jacklyn. At first glance, it didn't look as though she had much to offer. What little she did have, though, was quality. A hand painted honey bucket from Russia, an old coffee grinder from Spain, and what caught my eye, colorful drink coasters from Greece which she sold to me for $2.00.

The fact that the coasters were from Greece prompted me to tell her how I had been fortunate enough to travel extensively through Europe and Asia with my parents when I was young and that Greece was one of my favorite places. This opened a flood gate because she to had traveled and even lived overseas due to an occupation that she would not elaborate on (I'm guessing Government). She asked me about Germany. I told her that I didn't get a chance to visit there but that John was born in Heidelberg. Then he'll love this! she said and held up a super cool metro sign which she also sold to me for $2.00.

This now resides on our bookshelf as do the three Beer steins that she gave me for free just because.

When she found out that the Tigers dad is from Dublin, she went in her house and came back out with a little green bag full of Irish currency. She gave me 2 coins from Ireland, 1 for the Tiger and 1 for the Monkey. Wishes for luck and prosperity. :)

Lastly, I saw a water painting that was dated 1976. Jacklyn said it was done in Germany.... An actual hand painted picture (not a print) done overseas 34 years ago. The asking price was $50.00- I did not haggle. Now it stands up against my bookshelf as I search for it's new spot in the house.

More than anything, I enjoyed meeting and talking to Jacklyn. She is a very well traveled, interesting and generous woman. Not a combination you see to often. I can only imagine the stories she has to tell.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...