Thursday, December 31, 2009


So, the weekend before Christmas we all headed into the city, despite that whole "winter storm warning" thing.

The drive up wasn't that bad, but by the time we got into the city, checked in to our hotel and headed up to Serafina for dinner, things had taken a turn for the worse!

That's the fam, Miss B. is in the oxygen-tent apparatus attached to the Bugaboo. (She was the only one truly staying warm and dry!)

There's 57th and Madison... snowcovered.

There's the trees around Rockefeller Center...

Hot Dog Stand across from Saks...

There's St. Barts in the background...

That's the Mom... you see, the Husband, the Dad and Miss B. stayed back in the room while we decided to make a late night run to the McDonald's on 51st and Third.

Mom said if she didn't have a heart attack on the way back to the hotel from Third Avenue, she never will!

So We're a Little Behind

The week before Christmas, Miss B. and I visited the Governor's Mansion, Drumthwacket. Typically, they have tours on Wednesdays. In December they do an open house format with the rooms decorated for the holidays.

It was very nice and a lot of fun, but I do have to say that I was a bit surprised.... Mostly by the fact that they let everyone park on the lawn (!) Can I just say, in Georgia, they wouldn't let anybody park on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion.
To add insult to injury, it had been rainy earlier that week and things were a bit muddy. There was one woman who had gotten her SUV stuck in the mud and she was literally spinning her wheels trying to get off the lawn. Clearly, some of our tax dollars will be going to repair that!


According to MSNBC, President Obama has now decided that postal workers will be our first national line of defense for delivery of "medical countermeasures" in the event of some sort of biological incident.

God knows what this will do to the price of postage!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just Saying...

my new iPod touch rocks.

I'm new to this whole concept of being able to watch movies and tv shows on this little gizmo. Any thoughts on what my first movie choice should be?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dress-Up Bag!

Here's all of the contents of the dress-up bag!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Have a wonderful day!!!

ps. nothing says Christmas Eve like a marathon of "Jersey Shore", followed by "The Hangover"!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Colorful Stitches!

I got an email today from the folks at Colorful Stitches a yarn shop in Lenox, Massachusetts. The email advised that on behalf of Colorful Stitches customers the shop had donated a "knitting basket" through Heifer International. How cool is that?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Think I

need this.

Or maybe this.

La Tour Eiffel!

Check this out! Thanks to the folks at Paris Bebe Fabrics I got to make my very own little Eiffel Tower pincushion! (well, actually, it's a gift for the Mom).... If you'd like to make your own, you can purchase your Paris Bebe Pattern by clicking here. It's $10 for the pattern and the beads and embroidery floss (you buy the felt) or $18 for the full kit. How cool is that? Vive la France!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Golden Globes!

The nominations are in! Interestingly, both Sandra Bullock and Matt Damon have been nominated in two different categories. On a similar note, Meryl Streep has also been nominated twice (but in the same category). And, I don't care how great Anna Kendrick was in "Up in the Air", if anyone saw The Marc Pease Experience you would rethink a nomination just on principle. But congratulations, none the less. ;)

Monday, December 14, 2009


What did we make tonight?

First off, we finished our Cookie Monster Pillow. I have to say it only took me two years to complete a needlepoint designed for children (and I don't just mean that it's children's themed, I mean it's actually designed for a CHILD to needlepoint it... whatever! It's done).... so then I sewed it together with a piece of yellow fleece and stuffed it and Voila! Cookie Monster pillow for Miss B.

THEN.... it was on to the big craft of the evening.... the Sweater Wreath!

Here's a picture of our inspiration: This was featured on the Viva Terra website... looks simple enough, right? Let's see!

First, we needed a wire hanger ("No More Wire Hangers!!!!") This was very reminiscent to me of a project I did in Kindergarten where we made wreaths out of strips of plastic garbage bags tied onto hangers. Let's hope our version is a little more upscale!

I'm in the bedroom, trying to bend a hanger into a wreath shape and all of a sudden the Husband goes into his closet and pulls out a hanger already straight and ready to be made into a wreath! How random is that? He did say it was blog worthy and I'd have to agree. Turns out he'd already reclaimed a hanger for use as a tool to fish wires through the walls while mounting our flat screen tv, so his home improvement gizmo is my craft gain!

With my wire hanger ready, I needed my supplies. Thanks to the Mom I had a ton of sweaters, in great jewel tone colors! I had started with some of my old sweaters and the Mom hit up her local $1 thrift store for some other colors. I washed them all together on hot and then dried them on high. The sweaters all felted up very nicely. If you're looking to replicate this, make sure you use sweaters that are 100% wool-- acrylics won't felt. For that matter, some wool felts up better than others as well. Shetland does particularly well, cashmeres and other softer yarns not so much. But, for the most part, if you are working with 100% wool you can get it to felt, eventually!
With my sweaters together I used a 4" quilter's template and my pinking shears to cut the sweaters into squares. I also supplemented my sweater squares with yellow and green anti-pill fleece squares (I didn't have any yellow or green sweaters but I wanted to mix up the colors).
I didn't follow any exact pattern with the squares, I just tried to make it look nice. Once all of the squares were on the hanger, I connected the two ends in a loop (I needed a good pair of pliers for this part) and then I covered the wire loop with ribbon (thanks, hot glue gun!)
I do want to find a green sweater that I can felt and make a holly sprig (with red button accents) as shown in our inspiration piece. But overall, I'm pretty happy with the end result!

I Can Totally Do This!

Today I met up with Mel and Miss Leda for a ladies lunch at Fred's at Barneys! It was great to get to see the gals! After lunch, we took a quick stroll through the holiday department and children's departments on the top floor at Barney's.

In the holiday department, I saw this neat Christmas tree. I really liked the wacky hot pink flower thingies that they have in the tree. They also had super cute sock monkey ornaments.

Then, over in the kids department I saw these great Sesame Street inspired t-shirts...
They were made long-sleeve by sewing tube socks onto the short sleeves. The Sesame characters have been appliqued. But, can you see that price tag? Yup, $75. I'm sorry, but I think I can totally make these (and for a whole heck of a lot less than $75!) Let's not forget that I already have "Quilting with the Muppets" so I've even got patterns for appliqueing these guys! Woo-hoo!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Was good. I was surprised. Poor Thomas Kretschmann, though. No lines in English. In fact, our friend from the Da Vinci Code actually had more lines in English and he was in the movie for a fraction of the time. What can you do? Work is work.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Tree!

Here's a picture of our tree this year. It's not as tall as usual, since we've got it in the family room proper (it usually goes in the nook, with it's higher ceilings, but Miss B. has taken the nook over as her play space, so thus, the tree has moved...)

It's a great shape and it was the first one that the Husband picked out at Kale's. Miss B. was instrumental in putting the star on top.

In years past I've done the high-concept trees (like the year we only had silver and gold decorations). This year, however, we've focused on the low-tech (in fact, I think we're just one small step away from hand strung popcorn and cranberry garland).

We've got a bunch of Miss B. made ornaments, like Santa and a Gingerbread man...

Then we have my various forays into decoupage. Let's hope dry modpodge isn't flammable.

Then there's the Mom's signature ice cream cone ornaments.... and more decoupage.

Our glitter decorated shells a la Martha Stewart.... (these are especially sparkly with the little white lights!)

A bird's nest with gold eggs (I made this a few years ago, during the "silver and gold" period)...

and another Miss B. creation

Happy Holidays, everybody!

Put Your Hands Up!

Sophie had recently been requesting the "Put your hands up!" Song. I didn't know what she meant until last night.

It's Beyonce's "Single Ladies"!

(It's on the mix cd that the Husband has in his car, and apparently its a fan favorite).

So, ladies, "Put Your Hands Up!"

Now I just have to work on getting her to learn the dance moves.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tonight's Craft?

King Julien crown.

Have you ever seen Madagascar? Miss B. just keeps asking me to make her a King Julien crown... well, now she's got one.

I also made two throw pillow covers out of some of the bolt of fabric I got at the Second Chance Thrift store the other day. It was $6 for a whole roll of fabric. This was in lieu of spending $56 for two pillow covers at Pottery Barn.

It was great, I just made a giant, square version of the tissue holder that I've been making.

Next item on the project list? Euro Sham for the bedroom, on the same principle (and with a really neat Asian inspired fabric I scored at the St. Thomas Episcopal church tag sale earlier this year).

Then? Finish needlepointing Cookie Monster and make him into a pillow.

Then? Superhero cape.

That sewing machine is getting a work out.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Last Night...

I had reached a new low in the "avoidance of work" department. I was actually attempting to learn how to make origami cranes (via internet) instead of working on my Loan Review.

Monday, December 07, 2009


Here's a look at tonight's craft:

Decorated fairy wings! I got the basic wings at the $1 store. I added silk flowers, extra glitter, ribbons and a little butterfly...

this is all part of one of Miss B.'s Christmas presents a:

Dress-Up Bag! The dress-up bag was one of Thisbe's ideas last year as a gift for the Wee-Kraken. For Miss B.'s bag I got an LL Bean boat and tote monogramed with "Dress-Up!" on it. So far we've got a tutu, a tiara, a wand, the fairy wings, a boa and a fireman's helmet (it's an equal opportunity dress-up bag, life's not all fairies and princesses, you know...) I'm also looking to find a little pair of ballet slippers. This was pretty easy to put together and I think Miss B. is going to like it a lot!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Twilight Madness Hits Too Close to Home

Apparently people are crazy over this Robert Pattinson fellow. I guess I'm out of the loop. I just thought this guy was one of the kids from Harry Potter. I guess I'm showing my age. When it comes to Harry Potter, I'm still a Ralph Fiennes fan.

So much so that I guess my Vanity Fair magazine is a coveted commodity.

Today it appeared in the mailbox swathed in a brown paper wrapper (a la an old Playboy).

Was it really likely to be stolen if it hadn't been?

Are teen girls everywhere raiding mailboxes? Are mailmen raiding mailboxes?

How random is that?

(photo courtesy of

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Wanda's Take on Tiger

Here's Wanda Sykes' take on the whole Tiger Woods Debacle. Best part? When she refers to Tiger's wife as a "Viking Bitch".

Monday, November 30, 2009

More Crafting

Last night I made a fancy blankie for Miss B. and four tissue holders and an eyeglass/sunglass case.

In addition to a Christmas tree hangie-decoration thingie and another tricked-out hairband.

Oh, what a little hot glue will do.

Then the other night I had decoupage madness-- decorating two boxes and a christmas ornament.

Tonight? Cleaning (I made home made chicken pot pie), sending an email to counsel in Hawaii about a deal I'm working on (Mahalo!) and finishing a hat (sewing on boa feather).


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!

Happy Thanksgiving! We've finished the cooking, the eating and two rounds of dishes. We went out to get ice cream for the pumpkin pie. Had dessert and then moved on to decoupage and now I'm contemplating finishing a scrap book that is four years overdue. Hmpf.

Gobble Gobble.

Which is what Miss B. kept telling everybody today when they asked what sound the turkey makes!

For right now? She is fast asleep and the Husband and I are having poached eggs on toast. Yum. Gearing up for tomorrow.... I've got our usual Griggstown Turkey, going to make stuffing, mashed potatoes (plain and with ranch seasoning), sweet potatoes, green beans, au gratin potatoes and two Ina Garten appetizers: ham and gruyere in puff pastry and salmon dip.

Also this evening? Again taking a page from Laura's Holiday Crafts-- I made 12 Ball jars filled with "King's Grant Farm Fluffy Pancake Mix". Okay, friends and family out there (you know who you are) guess what? You're getting pancake mix. Merry Hannukah and Happy Christmas. You know the drill.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Looks like they're finally putting the old girl out to pasture. As a former Saab owner (red, '90 4-door 900), I can't say it's coming soon enough. I did love my Saab, but it did have "personality", like how it would randomly turn on the wipers, if it felt like it, and how sometimes the odometer just wouldn't work. We'll not even discuss the final problematic issue-- the whole "step on the gas, but it doesn't go" thing.


Today Miss B. and I went to the city and checked out the Vermeer exhibit at the Met. The exhibit is rather small (and it only runs through the 29th) but the paintings are spectacular! Check these out:

And of course, as with any good trip to the city, hot dogs were also involved.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today we're in the car, listening to the iPod on shuffle.

19th Nervous Breakdown comes on and Miss B. says: "it's like The Wiggles!"

My response: "Kind of!"

I don't know who would be more troubled by this comparision,
The Wiggles or Mick Jagger.

Bargain Central

This month's Real Simple magazine has a bunch of gift ideas under $50, including a nifty jewelry section. Among their selections is this neat little bauble from Ann Taylor Loft. In the magazine, they show it with clear beads, rather than the turquoise shown in the photo. Either way, it's $34.50.

Unless you go to Wal-Mart (I know, don't remind me, I do detest Wal-Mart, but sometimes, they do have good stuff, case in point):

Guess what? It's the SAME necklace. (Okay, to be fair, the ribbon tie at the back of the Ann Taylor Loft version is a bit plusher, but still) IT'S $10.

Wal-Mart has three versions, one with clear beads, one with multi-color beads and one with black beads, as shown. Savings to you and me? $24.50!!

iPod Mysteries

Tonight's random acts of purchasing included tunes by:

Black Eyed Peas
Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel
Jimmy Buffet (covering Crosby, Stills & Nash)
Frank Sinatra (Christmas songs!)
Christina Aguilera and

It's like that thing about who would you invite to dinner if you could invite anyone who's ever lived. Or in this case, who's ever been on iTunes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chicken or the Egg?

Miss Ellen over at Nouveau Stitch just did a great post about her finds at HomeGoods... she was looking for botanical prints and this reminded me of some of my print finds on Ebay. In our guest bath we have a bit of an animal theme going on and I got some great prints of Elephants, which I framed in a frame scored at TJ Maxx (photos to follow).

On our staircase, I finally found a home for one of the two Chicken Prints that I bought years ago on Ebay. I had been planning on either putting the chickens in the kitchen or our half bath, but it never worked out.

Our upstairs hallway has a montage of photos of Miss B., and now our downstairs staircase is home to a painting I did, a drawing Miss B. did (rather modern, I must say) and the aforementioned chickens. I do have one other chicken print, and a fabulous Egg Print, which will have to find other homes. I do, know, however, that I bought the chickens first. Giving an answer, finally, to which came first, chicken or egg.
And by the way, every time Miss B. and I come down the stairs I ask her: "Who drew that?" and she proudly answers: "I drew that!!"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Green Planet

Is it just me or does anyone else find it ironic that on the Planet Green channel, they're showing Al Gore's "An Inconvienent Truth" and when they cut to commercials they're running an ad from Home Depot showing fresh cut Christmas trees.

It's like if the PETA channel were advertising for fur coats.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nothing Says

"Friday Night" quite like laundry! (oh, and Star Trek). ;)

Hey Crazy Crafters!

If you're looking for some cool holiday gift-giving projects check out Cathe Holden's Just Something I Made blog for some Nifty Gift Ideas! Click on the names of the projects and you'll be sent to a link where each project appeared in an earlier blog post. I personally love the globe bowls!!!

Skipper's Catch Phrases

We're loving the Penguins of Madagascar on Nickelodeon. I'm really going to try to integrate some of Skipper's catch-phrases into everyday conversation, such as:

"Fish and Chips!"

"Biscuits and Gravy!"

And, everytime you need to come up with an obscure example of why something is a bad idea just spin a yarn about what happened to Manfredi and Johnson when they attempted the same thing.

Oh, and let's not even talk about the Danes.


Sadly, our project was not chosen as the signature project for this year's Junior League provisional class. I was the presentation leader for our group and I do feel like I must have let our ladies down. Perhaps I should have worn Miss B.'s fruit basket hat and sung the Chiquita Banana song, as I had contemplated earlier in the week. Oh, well.

But, I do say the decision is one that's both disappointing and also a bit of a relief. Our project had a lot of components and would have been very time consuming (and we would have been the project leaders).... now we can relax and just be cogs! ;)

And the project that was chosen sounds pretty neat-- it will involve implementing a music and mathematics curriculum developed by the New Jersey State Opera, to culminate in the NJSO coming in and performing (in costume!) for the school children we'll be working with.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Channeling the Shorehouse...

Last week during her lead-up to a crafty holiday, Laura at the Shorehouse showed off a very cool recipe in a jar!

Tonight we took a page from Miss Laura's book and made our own!

As part of being a new member of the Junior League, I've spent the past month with a group of five other ladies doing research to create a "signature project" for our provisional class. Tomorrow night we're giving a presentation about our program to the larger group and we're all going to get to vote on which project we're actually going to pursue.

If ours gets picked, I'll fill you all in... but in the mean time, here's a taste of what we've been up to...

This is a laminated cookbook that we've put together. Our project would involve a 5 week nutrition/
science curriculum for children participating in an afterschool program in one of the local school systems. This is a picture of a sample cookbook that we put together. Another component of our project would be publishing a regular Junior League Cookbook (to be sold at local bookstores and on our website), the proceeds from which would go to benefit the community partner who runs the afterschool program we'd be working with.

Then, by way of bribing our constituency, we put together Recipes in a Jar for Cinnamon-Oatmeal Pancakes. I've never had so many oats in my kitchen before! Earlier today one of our research group members dropped off 36 mason jars, 10 pounds of oats, 10 pounds of whole wheat flour, 25 pounds of regular flour and assorted other ingredients.
Tonight, two of the other research ladies and I (and Miss B.) mixed together the ingredients and filled thirty jars! Thanks to some snazzy squares cut from fat quarters from Jo-Ann, and some ribbon and Voila!

We figured we would give these away to the rest of the Junior Leaguers as "handouts" with our presentation tomorrow night... it goes to show the type of healthy simple eating that we would focus on in our after-school cooking/nutrition program. And putting these jars together did demonstrate just how you can bring math education into the kitchen. All three of us were a little burnt out from the day so we really couldn't speak to one another while we were measuring (it proved to take too much higher brain activity to keep all of the measurement calculations straight, and let's not even discuss halving the original recipe!) ;)

Being Married...

I just saw a preview for "Have You Heard About the Morgans?" the new SJP/Hugh Grant movie. What can I say, it looks cute. I think pursuant to Section 3, subpart (b) of our wedding vows my husband will have to take me to see it. Especially since I went out this evening and bought him the new Star Trek movie on Blue-Ray (sadly, Best Buy did not have the special edition with the scale model of the Enterprise, but I tried!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Funkytown is Miss B.'s new favorite song (right up there with Kung Fu Fighting and I Like to Move It, Move It... All thanks to our friends at Dreamworks, and Shrek 2, KFP and Madagascar, respectively. This afternoon, on the drive home she calls out for Funkytown and I oblige. Next thing, I look in the rearview mirror, and as Lipps, Inc. Is rocking out quite loudly on the hi-fi, what do I see but our own little disco diva completely passed out in the back seat (I mean, mouth-open, passed-out, passed-out).

I guess she just couldn't keep up with the nightlife. She would have never made it at Studio 54!


So we're here in court waiting to testify about our car accident. Out in the hall we hear the following plea bargain: $1,000 fine, 2 years probation and you can never return to Wal-Mart. I guess I can't talk to that guy about Martha Stewart's fab line of glitter products at the big W-M....

Craft Crazy!

So, once the baby was asleep, I began crafting like crazy this evening. I blame Martha Stewart. I just got her latest Martha Stewart Living in the mail the other day and she had all of these crazy fun crafts for the holidays.

First up? Glittered sea-shells. I saw these in Martha's new mag and thought: "I've got shells!" The Mom had gathered tons of shells for Miss B. and I when she was at the beach last for crafting, and here you go-- shell crafts!

Martha shows off hers using glitter all in the same color family. Of course, you can buy Martha's glitter at Michaels (it's an arm and a leg), you can also buy similar glitter (also in fancy and amazing colors) for less at Wal-Mart (which also carry's a Martha craft line) however we went even cheaper. Michael's had 12 packets of 2 ounces of different color glitter and the whole she-bang was $3.49.
That coupled with what was left of Mod Podge that I've had since 2004 and bam! Glittered shells.
I figure I'll hot glue ribbon on these and use them as Christmas ornaments...

Next craft? Snow-covered pillar candles. How cool are these?

Again, Mod-Podge plays a prominent role, and the "snow" is actually (tee-hee) Epsom Salts.

I chose one white unscented candle and one beige vanilla-scented candle. Obviously, you could use all sorts of fun candle colors and perhaps dye the salts (or use glitter?) Unclear. We'll have to write Martha.

Either way, wrap them up in cellophane with some festive ribbon and you've got some cool looking holiday gifts!

Final craft of the evening? Making a flowery-feather-y headband. This is for a friend... will she guess that it's for her?