Monday, September 26, 2011


"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance."


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Conquering the pink beast

We have about 300 half finished projects around here. We seem to get things 70% complete then move on. A lot of it is decor stuff that I am seriously indecisive about, some of it is just boring stuff that we're avoiding, and some it is pure laziness. I've been making list left and right and trying to get some stuff moved over to the completed column.

One such project...the pink beast aka our new buffet.

One of my patients was moving back to Oregon last March and planning to leave behind a lot of their furniture. We ended up snagging this solid, handmade pink hutch; a vintage hoosier cabinet; a really nice wood bench; small glass top table; and a cool rocking chair for a $100. Pretty good deal, right?

The hutch was originally two pieces with a really tall glass front top with crown molding. We already have the Craigslist Ethan Allen hutch in our kitchen/dining room, plus the height would've put it really close to the ceiling so we decided to just use the bottom as a buffet.

Months and months ago we gave the guy a good sanding, a layer of primer, and a coat of nice white paint.

On top I added an assortment of items I had around the house including: a basket of folded cloth napkins, a summery lantern, and a cake stand my mother-in-law didn't want anymore. The artwork is actually the front of a card I saved from our wedding in a frame I already had (I think it was from Target). I added a set of cool knobs that I had picked up on a random shopping at HomeGoods last year and we ended up with a pretty satisfactory "after."

Not bad for a almost free project! Especially since it helped fill in a really empty spot in our large dining room area.



Before..view from foyer

After...view from foyer

My biggest problem is that it still seems a little empty on that side of the dining area, especially looking in from the foyer or dining room. So my goal for the week is to get something hanging on the wall above the buffet. I've been debating and searching for the perfect thing for months now.

I have a large mirror from our old apartment that would be the perfect size, but it's a green, kinda distressed looking frame and I'm a little concern it might just be too much green going on in one place. It will probably involve having Jim hold up the heavy mirror repeatedly over a period of days in different lights for me to decide...we shall see.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mad Men Collection

Have you seen the Mad Men inspired collection at Banana Republic?

The limited men's collection includes slim tailored suit pants & vest, as well as a collection of kickass fedoras. For the ladies they're featuring a killer pair of cigarette pants, tie neck tops, cardigans, and the classic pump.

I can't believe I missed the 60's. sigh

Monday, September 19, 2011


Let your heart guide you. It whispers so listen closely."

~The Land Before Time

Friday, September 16, 2011

Eggplant Bean Dip

I concocted this dip earlier this week and it turned out so, so good.

Eggplant Bean Dip

1 medium eggplant (I actually used 2 smaller asian eggplants from our farm share)
1 can cannellini beans
2-3 medium tomatoes
olive oil

Puncture eggplant and tomatoes with a fork.
Drizzle tomatoes with small about of olive oil.
Roast together in oven at 4oo degrees for 20-30 minutes.
***The skin should easily peel off both the eggplant and tomatoes and the inside should be soft. If you're eggplant is on the larger size it may take closer to 40 minutes and I would recommended added the tomatoes to the pan half way through***
While waiting, drain cannellini beans and heat slowly in small saucepan with the juice of 1/2 lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
Remove eggplant/tomatoes from oven and let cool, just enough to be able to handle then peel away the skin.
Combine beans, lemon sauce, eggplant, and tomatoes in food processor and blend until smooth.

I served it chilled with tortilla chips and it was amazing, but I think you could also experiment with serving it warm with toasted pita bread. YUM!

Quiz Show

Our Netflix pick for the week was Quiz Show. It's one of the many classics that I had never seen and it had been long enough that Jim didn't mind watching it again. The film chronicles a major game show scandal of the 1950s and is considered a fact based dramatization aka a better version of the the true story.

Herbert Stempel (John Turturro) the reigning champ of the hit quiz show, Twenty One, is told to take a dive and intentionally lose to Columbia professor, Charles Van Doren to boost the show's falling ratings. Handpicked by producers for his American appeal, Van Doren (played by Ralph Fiennes, who also had major roles in Schindler's List, The English Patient, and starred as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter Series) is launched into an unstoppable winning streak and easily becomes a national celebrity.

Meanwhile, Stempel is broke after a bookie runs out with his prize winnings, becomes overcome with anger in the shadow of Van Doren's celebrity status and initiates an investigation of the show.

I really loved the movie and would easily watched it again. I'm a huge fan of the late 50s/early 60s (bring back the 3 piece wool suit already!), love a good Jewish character, and enjoyed the innocent yet scandalous tone of the the film. It was also an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture in the mid 90s so I'm not the only one who approved.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cute tees

Check out the cutest girls and boys t-shirts collection ever in the new mini Boden catalog. There are lots of bright fun colors, strips, and patterns and I love the variety of appliques ranging from flowers, birds, and puppies to monsters, skulls, and rock n roll.

Patchwork Appliqué T-Shirt (Soft Green/Robin)Big Appliqué T-Shirt (Sailor Blue/Pear)

In the band T-shirt (Vintage Blue/Fox)Monster Applique T-shirt (Orange)

For a cheaper option check out this DIY using cheap, discount t shirts and fabric scraps.

and because I have kiddos on my mind today....I loved this sweet little video

Monday, September 12, 2011

Eggplant Parm

Although the extra rainfall and cooler evening temperatures were a little tough on the garden, we're still holding it's own. In particular we've got tons of green beans, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots. The tomatoes took a big hit but I'm hoping they make a good recovery and bounce back for another round.

The one thing that's done and gone for this year is our eggplant. It was one of our experimental, first time crops and I'm pleased to say we ended up with 4 lovely deep purple beauties. It's a hot weather plant and has a longer growing period, so the dropping temperatures definitely had an effect on it's ongoing production. But, I'm certainly going cooking up what we do have....

Eggplant Parm

1 medium eggplant
1 egg
bread crumbs
shredded cheese (I usually go for a blend)
tomato sauce

Cut eggplant into 1/4 slices.
Next is an important step, "sweat" the eggplant. This will keep your dish from getting soggy. Sprinkle with salt and place in colander for about 30 minutes until you start to notice little droplets of water forming. Then press the slices between paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Now onto the breading. This is the same process I use for any kind of parm dish. You'll need 3 medium bowls with flour, 1 egg (beaten) and bread crumbs. The amount needed will vary depending on how much eggplant you have. I use gluten free flour and gluten free tortilla crumbs but the traditional stuff works the same. I also add in some italian spices to the bread crumb mixture (oregano, basil, salt, etc). Next dip each slice of eggplant into each bowl until coating following the order: flour, egg, bread crumbs.

Then fry them up in a preheated skillet on medium heat using desired oil. I usually stick with vegetable oil because it doesn't splatter. 3-4 minutes per side until brown.

Transfer to lightly greased baking dish and cover with desired amount of tomato sauce and cheese. Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.


"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

~Nelson Mandela

Friday, September 9, 2011

When it rains it pours.

That has certainly been true in these parts. It just will not stop raining! August was the wettest month in Philadelphia history with 19.31 inches and September is already off to a wet and dreary start with rain all this week. There is severe, severe flooding all along the Delaware River causing tragedy and heartache for some many homes and businesses, along with other locally flooded roadways and bridges, even closing a major expressway. It's not a pretty site and even more depressing to think that that they're forecasting more storms throughout the weekend.

We certainly have been fortune in so many ways but man o man do the little things add up sometimes....

Like our leaky roof. The leaky roof that started weeks and weeks ago during a long rainy weekend, which was followed by a long rainy week, which was followed by Hurricane Irene.

At this point the skies cleared and the sun shone again allowing the Nick the roofer and his crew to spend a day smoking cigarettes, repairing the roof, and taking lots of our money.

Did I mention that it's been rainy AGAIN all week and my roof is leaking AGAIN?! I'm serious.

While we were in Ohio my nephew crashed his new birthday bike, during his birthday party, in front of all his friends. It was rainy and slippery in the driveway.

He hates blood. He hates needles and hospitals even more. It caused quite the scene. He ended up with 9 stitches.

The whole thing was a bummer.

I have this gross mucous, phlegm thing that has been going on my whole pregnancy. There's lots of hacky, coughing, lugie hockin, and often it gets bad to the point of throwing up.

Really attractive stuff.

I had attributed it to just being pregnant in general. But it turns out that it's just being pregnant here that causes this lovely phenomenon.

During our recent 5 day excursion I didn't have one single problem and felt better than I have in months. But, within hours of being back home I was hacking and hocking away. And to top it all off I'm pretty sure the allergen to blame is mold.

I mean why wouldn't there be mold in this house?

And at 17 weeks along I can't seem to gain one damn pound. I actually weighed 2 pounds under my last check a month ago. To this point the doctors seemed sympathetic and unconcerned, contributing the loss to your typical first trimester morning sickness.

But, today I got the stink eye from my doctor followed by "you know some women think it's necessary to diet during pregnancy...which isn't true." I'm not dieting. I'm not even working out. I couldn't get out of the office without a few more additional "are you sure?" type comments.*

I took that to mean I should head to Starbucks for a grande decaf latte with extra whip and some chocolate goodness. To be followed by 400 calories and 16 grams of fat in Amy's gluten free mac & cheese for lunch.

And to round the week off the washing machine broke today. Of course it broke down filled to the brim with dirty water and soaking wet clothes.

I called Jim at work. He was so pleased with the news that he responded with "I have to go" then hung up. I took it to mean...."I'm super busy right now but I trust you to go ahead and head over to Sears and picked out a shiny new one that best suites your needs since you do 99% of the laundry services."

Some things are just a matter of interpretation....

*no worries. the baby is healthy and my doctor is confident I'll beef up in the next few months!