Monday, January 31, 2011

A Journey. Part II

Day Eight...

In case you forgot... Day One.


"Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hop it, we know it."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rump Roast

I spend my early mornings squatting, lunging, squeezing, and stretching my way to a perfectly sculpted buttock. My efforts have left with me with a toned (at least more toned) but significant less insultated booty. Seriously. I'm shivering just thinking about the walk thru the parking lot in my dress trousers or night walks with Jim and Sofee dog.

I have a really warm ski jacket that Jim got me for Christmas last year, but it stops at the waist. So my top half is toasty warm and thanks to good winter socks, boots, gloves, a scarf, and hat most of my body also fairs pretty well. But, my little hiney gets so freakin' cold! So, I've had my eye on the winter clearance sales for a 3/4 length winter coat to double for dress or casual. And luck would have, I finally stumbled upon a steal of a deal at Land End's Canvas on this beautifuldown coat.

It's super warm without being bulky; the hood easily fits over my favorite hat; and I can easily wear it for casual or dress. Because it was a clearance item color choice was limited in my size. I was/am a little concerned about the cream color getting dirty easily, but the fabric is water resistant and easily wipeable. And most of all the price was right.

Regular price $140.
My sale price $49!!
AND free shipping.
Makes for one happy lil caboose.

How many words can I use to describe my ass in one post...backside, fanney, tush, gluts....

Dear Winter,

I have taken some lovely photos to remember you by.
It's been fun, as well as cold, and depressing.
It's Ok to go away now. I won't forget you.

Love, Mrs. Robinson

Happy Birthday Jim!

A Journey

Day One...

Monday, January 24, 2011


"You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants."

~Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wine & Dine

My desire to feed other people must be genetic. My mother was always dead set on serving you if you were in our home and it was something that obviously made her happy. As a teen, my brother live in the basement and had his own entrance to the house, so it was possible for him and any number of people to get into the house without encountering her. She was a big fan of putting food on the stairs just in case they got hungry. Even if you were just stopping by for 5 minutes she'd insist you take a pack of those peanut butter cracker things with you. It obviously made her happy. Ask anyone of my high school friends.

Every single decision we've made regarding renovating our kitchen area has revolved around the idea of guest being here. I've said it so many times in response to such a variety of different questions that Jim just chuckles now. He's beginning to think I'm a lunatic.

We have now completed all major construction projects in the kitchen and I was able to find a sweet hutch on Craigslist for only $300 (including delivery!) to the dining room table I also snagged out of someone's garage from a Craigslist posting.

I declare this room suitable for hospitality!

In case you have forgotten what this lovely space looked like to start....

current dining room. previously known as the "TV room"

I can't believe we decided to get rid of that awesome drop ceiling. (insert sarcasm)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

These boots were made for walking.

All this lovely winter weather can be hard on the footsies... and footwear. I decided this year I needed to invest in a brown and black pair of non-heeled boots, which turned out to be harder than I expected. I didn't want something too casual or too granny.

I found these Steve Maddens for a steal at Famous Footwear and wear them constantly on the weekends. They are so comfy and the color goes well with pretty much anything. I love having my skinny jeans tucked into boots to avoid getting all the wet and muck on them.

I was a bit more challenged finding black ones. I already have a pair of heeled knee high boots to wear with skirts or dresses but the heel makes them inconvenient for casual. I finally settled on these. I was a bit hesitant at first because they seemed a bit too clunky, but the price was right (and I had a coupon!) so I decided to go for it.

I'm actually really happy I did. I've worn them a lot during snowy or rainy days and they keep my feet warm and dry. I typically wear them for casual but I did wear them to work last week during a snow storm with a knee length skirt and tights and got a lot of compliments. And last weekend I paired them with jeans, a long sleeve tee from Gap, and my black blazer for a casual Saturday morning at work.

The plaid flannel scarf is one of my favorites!
A vintage find amongst my mom's old stuff.
I wonder how many more months of winter I can survive on the excitement of these fun winter fashions...

Monday, January 17, 2011


"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


I did a lot of cooking over the weekend, including 2 batches of these....

(take note of the lovely backsplash!)

I saw the recipe in a magazine waiting at the doctors office last week. They are packed with protein and gluten free. I'm really trying to find new gluten free recipes and I like starting my day with a high protein meal. I just feel better and don't get hungry mid morning. I think my body just likes a lot of protein anyways.

Anyways, I'm a nerd and was excited to give them a try. But, I have to admit I was a little concerned about how they would actually taste. I decided to try them for lunch on Saturday while Jim was at work so I could just toss the evidence and forget the whole thing ever happened if they turned out to be disgusting. The result...surprisingly delicious! And easy enough that they are certainly worth trying.

Protein Pancakes
1/2 C. rolled oats
1/2 C. cottage cheese
1/2 C. egg whites (2-3 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of cinnamon

Blend all ingredients (I used the Magic Bullet).
Heat skillet over medium heat, coat with cooking spray or a little oil first **The will stick so make sure the skillet is not too hot**
Pour ~1/4 C. batter to form pancakes.
Cook 2-3 minutes per side. It will start to bubble when it's time to flip.
Top with fruit and drizzle with agave nectar

(I defrosted some yummy mango chunks from Trader Joes)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011


It's a little sad taking down all the cute little Santas and reindeer. Especially because they have no replacements since all of our year-round 'stuff' is still packed away. But, the tree was starting to drop a lot of needles and a snowy Saturday seemed like the perfect time to get the job done.

To avoid an OCD girls nightmare of tangled lights and crushed ornaments, I dedicated one tote to tree decorations only. Then I use scrap pieces of cardboard (I think these are part of an old shoe box) and neatly wrap each stand of lights. It's so simple, not to mention free.

Then I put them on the top of the tree ornament tote, so it's all ready for next year.

Jim was busy doing man work in the kitchen, so I had a little Sofee dog helper to keep me company...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome Twenty Eleven

After a lazy New Year's Eve, Jim and spent the first day of 2011 enjoying an unusual break in the weather.

Sun, I love you.
Please come back to visit soon.
See. Happy face 'Chelle.

We spent the morning walking with Sofee dog at a really nice park near our house. Sofee had a grand 'ole time running, playing frisbee, and attempting to eat every pile of duck poop in site.

Then give me sweet Sofee dog kisses.

Dog lovers & owners, you understand.

Everyone else, don't judge me.

Or just do so quietly so I can't hear.

Jim aka Mr. Nature played around with the new camera and decided we needed to invest in a super zoom lense so we can get better bird and animal photos.

It's actually weird that there are birds at this park at all because there are about 500 cats lurking around in the brush, getting busy and mass producing future generations of wild felines who will eventually evolve into crazy, man eating predators.

It's seriously a problem.
Some strange cat people actually set up these little cat villages in the middle of thorn bushes.
I was a little nervous taking pictures.
Doesn't that big Papa cat look like he's ready to pounce on me and scratch my eyes out?

After surviving passage thru cat village, we ventured into the city to the Cleopatra exhibit at the Franklin institute. It was a great afternoon and evening for the city, even though the exhibit was a bit disappointing. We had discounted passes thru Groupon, so we only paid $8, but I would've actually been very disappointed and hungry if we'd paid full price ($30).

We used our savings to enjoy an early dinner and drinks at the Belgian Cafe, which not only had over 200 beer choices but 2 were gluten free!

Cleopatra exhibit. Not recommend.
But it doesn't matter because last weekend was the final showing.
Belgian Cafe. Recommended.
And with so many choices,
Walking or designated driver also recommend.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, Furniture,etc.

Aren't the new living room pictures lovely? There is still plenty to do in terms of decorating and rearranging, but it just felt SOOO good to snuggle on our new rug in front of the tree every night for the past 2 weeks. It's a big room (seriously. it's big!) so until we get some additional furniture, I've tried to incorporate almost every piece that we had from the apartment, including our old kitchen table as a record cabinet.

I've been scouring Craigslist almost daily and have already picked up a set of really solid wood side tables (see below) and a Nichols & Stones dining table and chairs (it's a bit 'rustic' but the price was right and it actually fits in with the decor really well) and I've got a hutch viewing lined up later this week.

Hopefully Jim + help will get the kitchen tile backsplash started/finished this weekend and then the whole first floor will be pretty much complete. Then it's onto bathrooms & bedrooms.....

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Boy 2010 was busy year!! After all the sweat and aggravation, Jim and I are so proud and happy with our new home. It was our main goal for 2010 and a big achievement in the grand scheme of things. It came down to the wire but we managed to pull it together in time to enjoy it for the holidays...