Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Snugglebug

I would give anything to be in the 'burbs snuggling with this little bugger on this rainy afternoon. Instead I am stuck in the city, in my cube workin' away. Blah.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Featured Favorite - Part 2

It's time for another featured favorite (click here to view Part 1). Today I am featuring my very first antique purchase, this vintage fireplace mantle. I saw the idea to use an old fireplace mantle as a headboard in a magazine and from that moment on I was in search of MY mantle.

Sorry for the not-so-great photos, but I took them at night..eek! -  with unnatural light...double eek! - a photographers worst nightmare and a major photo faux pas. But that's what you get when there is not enough time in the day.

I spotted my mantle in an antique shop several years ago in Somewhereville, Pennsylvania, and knew I just had to have it. Not only was this my first antique purchase, but it was also my first attempt EVER at price negotiating - and I think the shop owner knew it and had fun watching me sweat while I haggled the price down by $50. Score!

The mantle came with an authentic distressed's not a DIY job done by me. It was just perfect to be used as a headboard. And since our 2nd floor bedroom ceilings are angled, which can pose major challenges with decorating, I was limited with what I could put on the mantle/headboard. I spotted the DREAM sign in TJ Maxx which was just perfect.

This mantle made the move from our condo to the 'burbs. As much as I would like "real" headboard for our bed, part of me doesn't want to give up my mantle version.

Oh-and check out the beautiful blue pillow shams made by my mom. She is an incredibly talented sewer but would never admit to it. I really REALLY need to learn how to sew. I am adding it to my endless "to-do" list.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crab Feast

The hubs and I hosted our closest family, friends and neighbors for our annual crab feast/BBQ in the 'burbs last weekend. What's this Jersey girl doing eating crabs?!

I will never forget the first time I saw someone eating crabs - I was utterly grossed out. Credit goes to the hubs (and my in-laws) for formally introducing me to the art of "picking" crabs. I will admit that I was not fan of picking crabs at first - it was so messy! Yuckeroonies! But after about a dozen attempts at picking crabs, I began to see the appeal and enjoy it.

We couldn't have pulled off this party without the help of family and friends (you know who you are - THANK YOU - and hopefully you are reading my blog!?). I wasn't able to take any pictures at the party, but thanks to my sis for snapping a few pics in between running after her energetic 2 year old. Oh, and don't forget to check out her blog post about the crabby t-shirt she made her little one for the event. So cute!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Adventures of Emmit Continue...

 (Laptop power cord)

This is what happens on a lazy Sunday night when you have a puppy and you turn your head for 30 seconds while writing a blog entry. How did I spend my Monday morning? At the Apple store of course. $80 later...


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fried Green Tomatos

Not the movie...the real thing. I saw some green tomatoes at a farm stand and thought I would attempt to fry 'em up. I have tried this once before which resulted in a mushy icky mess. I accepted the fact that maybe fried green tomatoes just would not be in my recipe rotation ever again. I am, after all, a Jersey girl and have no business cooking "southern food".

Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law (who is a great cook but would never admit to it) for giving me some pointers and her "easy" recipe for fried green tomatoes. Turns out I made the mistake of breading the slices of tomato with breadcrumbs on my first attempt which actually isn't necessary.

Attempt #2 of fried green tomatoes was successful!

They turned out pretty good!

I didn't deep fry them, just pan fried them. I basically need to wear a hazmat suit to deep fry anything because I freak out any time something splatters. I need to get over my fear of deep frying, seriously.

Here is my interpretation of my mother-in-law's recipe:

Joyce's Fried Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes
Vegetable or Canola Oil (for frying)

Egg (whisked with a little water)
  1. Place about 1/4 inch of oil in frying pan. Turn on to medium heat. 
  2. Slice the tomatoes (I did about 1/4 inch or smaller on slices).
  3. Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk with a little bit of water. In separate bowl, put a generous amount of flower with some salt and pepper to season. 
  4. Take each slice of tomato and dip in egg and them dip in flower mixture to coat. Tap off excess flower.
  5. Place slices in hot oil and fry for several minutes, until golden brown. Flip each slice and cook other side until golden brown.
The hubs thought attempt #2 was a success. In my opinion, they needed some type of dipping sauce or remoulade. Anyone have any suggestions?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Featured Favorite - Part 1

I can't take full credit for this post, as the idea came from Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday's over at Mustard Seed Creations. FAB-ulous idea girl!

Although the hubs and I are just starting out in our old new house in the 'burbs, we have a few pieces of furniture that are my absolute favorite. Today I am featuring this antique sideboard that I picked up at the annual Lucketts Spring Market in 2009. It was love at first site. The detail on the doors and the legs are FAB and unlike anything I have seen before. I. Had. To. Have.

I have an affinity to shabby-chic, painted, "upcycled" furniture. This piece stood out because it wasn't white or cream but a smokey pale gray.  It sits in our living room and is the first thing you see when you step through our front door. I am hoping to find something similar to makeover myself and use as our TV stand in our finished basement. The search is on....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Adventures of Emmit

First and foremost, I apologize for all of the puppy posts lately. But the adventures of Emmit continue in the 'burbs. Being a new mom puppy parent basically feels like having an child and has been a true test to both my and the hubs sanity and patience. I did some research online as to the stages of puppy development, and here is where we currently stand:

6 Months – 1 1/2 Years:
Watch out! It’s the beginning of adolescence for your dog(oh great). At this stage, they begin to challenge rules and authority, and tend to explore who the leader is (sounds more like the teenage years). It’s important to establish yourself as the leader during this period. Be stern with your pup for your own long term benefit. They are beginning to look like full grown, mature dogs, but still a puppy at heart! (courtesy of

Bingo! This couldn't be more true for Emmit. I like to think of his current stage of development as the equivalent to a child's "terrible two's", or do we have a teenager on our hands?! He's quite the snatcher these days and anything left on the floor WILL be sniffed, chewed and/or eaten. 

Including one of these this morning....

 ...a bobby pin! YIKES! 

Immediately called the vet.

ME: Good morning, my puppy ate a bobby pin this morning, should I be concerned about that?!

VET: Well, that's not good! You are going to have to monitor him and see if his appetite changes or if he starts to vomit. If the bobby pin gets lodged in his stomach or intestines, it may cause a blockage which can be serious.

ME: (nervously giggles) Oh? That doesn't sound good.

VET: And check to see if he passes the bobby pin in his stool over the next week or two.

ME: Oh?

VET: If he doesn't pass the bobby pin, we can take an x-ray of his stomach and possibly scope his stomach or he may need surgery.

ME: Oh. (All I hear in my head is the cha-ching! cha-ching! of a cash register). Ok well I will monitor him and keep you posted.

CHEERS to sorting through dog poop over the next two weeks! 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Cone of Shame

It was a tough weekend in the 'burbs. Emmit was neutered on Friday and has to wear the "cone of shame" for the next 2 weeks!

He's doing extremely well and doesn't seem to be phased by the experience at all. Let's be honest, it was probably harder for the hubs and I then it was for him. He's a such a trooper.

Emmit would like to thank everyone for all the well wishes. He's on the road to recovery. The hardest part will be for me and the hubs to keep him "quiet" over the next to weeks, per doctors orders. Yea right!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Penthouse Suite in the 'Burbs

I know what you are thinking...and NO I do not keep the hubs in a crate in the 'burbs. Let me give you the story behind this picture. Emmit outgrew the original crate we kept him in, so I ordered a new one online. It arrived yesterday. Let's be honest, it's a lot bigger than I anticipated. It's so big that the hubs decided to see if he could fit in it!

Emmit now lives in the penthouse suite in the 'burbs in case you were looking for him. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Office Chair Makeover

Here is the breakdown:

Paint & supplies...$0 (already had)
Foam cushion.......$4 

The hubs and I were graciously gifted this chair by our neighbors who were moving and purging items from their shed. In this case their trash was definitely our treasure. I gladly took the chair with plans of "upcycling it". 
This chair serves as our desk chair, so I needed to spruce it up a bit. More importantly our desk is white, so the chair, as-is,  was clashing with the decor. 

The chair is in great condition, however, the seat was not the least bit cushiony (not a real word, I know). And not having (1) sewing skills or (2) a sewing machine, I needed a no-sew option for upgrading the seat cushion. So I bought some 1" cushion foam.....
And this great fabric at the fabric store.....
No wonder the seat wasn't cushiony enough....I turned it over and found this....nylon straps woven as the seat support. Who's butt wants to sit on that? Not mine.
So I disassembled the chair, removing the seat part from the chair frame. The hubs helped me do a rough sand to get the shiny finish off (no pics of this step...oops!). I applied one coat of primer to the sanded chair which was definitely needed because it then took 3 coats of white paint to hide the reddish tint of the original wood!
Re-doing the seat cushion was easier than I anticipated but forgot to take pics...oops! All I did was cut the 1" foam to size by tracing the original seat form onto the foam and cutting it out. Then I attached the new foam form on top of the original seat form using spray adhesive. I also sprayed the top of the new foam form with spray adhesive so the fabric would stick to it. Not sure this is an absolutely necessary step, but it couldn't hurt. The last step was to cover the newly enhanced seat with the new fabric using a staple the staple gun. It was super easy....and here is the finished chair!

Next chair makeover project is to finish this diamond in the rough...stay tuned!

Monday, September 6, 2010

'Burb Etiquette 101

Solicitors - in our pre-doggie days it was a simple answer of the door, polite "no thank you" and we could move on with our day. 

A solicitor knocked on our door today. In my flurry to calm down our excited 6 month old puppy, I managed to only appear minorly frantic to the solicitor as I pushed the pup back, squeezed out the door and closed it behind me and stood on the stoop. I say a polite "no thank you" and return to this...
Not sure how this happened, and I probably don't want to know. But I know the culpret was this little guy:
How can you get mad when you see this face looking back at you?

Embarrassing tid-bit #1: The hubs and I have been living with temporary blinds on our front window for over a year. No, that wasn't our original intention. And yes, that is against 'burb etiquette. The "upgrade" to wooden blinds is on the "to-do" list. 

Embarrassing tid-bit #2: Those temporary blinds are actually pretty decent and don't look so terrible (can't believe I just admitted that!). And let's be honest, they cost about $10 each. They practically just give 'em away for free. But still against 'burb etiquette.

Embarrassing tid-bit #3: I immediately ran out to Home Depot to snatch up 2 replacement blinds, get home and take them out of the package only to realize I bought the wrong ones. So I had to go back to Home Depot, return wrong blinds and purchase the correct ones. 2 trips to Home Depot in the span of 30-minutes. That may be a record?

Lesson of the day: READ packages carefully before leaving the store and driving all the way home. DUH.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's 90210 Day!

Blonde moment of the day.....

Me driving to work thinking, "Why is everyone making 90210 references on the radio today? Strange."
Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook (which has pathetically been my main source of news headlines these days....disturbing, I know) I came to the conclusion that 90210 is actually today's date 9/02/10. 


See you at the Peach Pit.