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).

Whew.

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

R.I.P. SAAB

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.

Vermeer!

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
Elvis

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.

Update!

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/
math/
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

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!

Court...

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?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Note to Self...

if you can't wear eye make-up because it irritates your eyes, you probably should also say "no" when your asthetician asks if she can put the bilberry seaweed task mask over your eyes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jimmy Choo!

(for H&M)...

So today I went in to the city for a haircut (sadly, Misin is no longer with Frederic Fekkai... so I had to use a new stylist, who shall remain nameless-- it's okay, but when I asked her to make it shorter I got push back... last time I checked it was my $$$, not hers, so why, pray-tell are you telling me no???) ANYWAY... I also had an appointment for a facial at Bliss (shout out to Melanie-- thank you again for the wonderful birthday gift certificate-- YAY!!!), and I also met up with 410e9th for lunch at of all places the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian.

After all of these festivities, I was left to wander the city, aimless (as I had called the fam and they weren't at home). I walked through Bendel's (fab accessories these days, by the way), I toyed with going to Saks (our happy place), and then thought: "I'll go to H&M", it was a block closer to me than Saks and right around the corner from where I'd parked the wagon. I'm guessing somewhere in the back of my subconscious I had recalled that Jimmy Choo was doing a guest line there, but at the time I had no idea.

I walk in and it's a mad house. There's a DJ in the corner and women everywhere. This was a lot like when they had a Stella McCartney line a few years back (except then they didn't have enough clothes and it was a total madhouse... this time they did have TONS of clothes, but there were even more people...)

Let's just start by saying the line is very sequin and bedazzle heavy. But who doesn't like a little bling? There are leather one shoulder dresses, suede dresses, lots of black sequined evening wear, pants, lots of leather handbags, two different kinds of belts, a really cool lucite (read: PLASTIC) evening clutch and a really cool fur vest (very Sonny and Cher). Sadly, the fur vest is faux fur. I would be okay with it were there not leather pieces in the line, but if you're going to have leather, then use real fur. But that's just me.

I'm walking around and all of a sudden I see a roped off area with: SHOES! Turns out you have to get in line to go to the shoe area and basically they will let 40 people at a time in to try on shoes and you only have 15 minutes to pick out the shoes, try them on and pay.

WOWZERS! Luckily, waiting in line went pretty quickly, but then again so did the 15 minutes of try-on time. There are tons of stacked heel/stilletto shoes, two different kinds of flats and one amazing pair of faux-cowboy boots. The faux cowboy boots are just the bottom part of a boot-- so they're more like booties. They're snakeskin print with studs and jewels on them. They are so completely over-the-top gaudy that they are FABULOUS. They are also real leather. I would have bought a pair (despite the $149 price tag) but who wants a bootie? I want a full boot. I'm sorry, and no offense to gay men or lesbians, but booties can only be properly pulled off by gay men and lesbians, as I am neither, the booties had to stay behind. As for the rest of the shoes? The leather wasn't up to the same standard of quality you would expect from Jimmy Choo and unfortunately neither was the fit.

There was one pair of stilleto heels with cool cutouts and an ankle strap thingie, but the ankle strap was too big for my ankles and just didn't sit right. None of the sizing was right either-- size 7s all ran very big but size 6 was way too small. There's also no half-sizing. I think I could have gotten past the quality issues if the price point were better, but really you can still find a real pair of Jimmy Choos on sale for $149 and up if you go to Off Fifth or the Neiman Marcus outlet on a good day, so who wants to pay that at H&M?

Sadly, I kind of felt the same way about the clothes. Though the Husband liked one sequined baby doll dress, (and I loved that it was made of modal-- super comfy), the cut of it was a little bit Golden-Girls-on-a-Cruise. The leather one shouldered number? Didn't fit right on top and the quality of the leather used didn't match up with the $249 price tag. The belt? Couldn't get it off once it was on... I actually had to get it off over my head (for some reason, I couldn't get it unbuckled).

I am keeping a really nice midnight blue scarf. After all, one can never have too many scarves. So that's my review in a nutshell--- let me know your thoughts!

BTW, I also have to say, I really like the Stella McCartney for Gap Kids line that's currently in stores. The quality of those items is great, but again the price point could be a little better. The kids stuff is more expensive than her women's wear line was at H&M! But, what can you do. I guess it's inflation, even in the toddler clothes market.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bingo, Anyone?

So I'm listening to my iTunes library on shuffle and up comes a Chris Isaak song. This made me think, "hey, let's see when the next concert is..." well, there's nothing scheduled in our area in the near future, but, for all of you Wisconsin folks out there.... nothing says New Year's Eve like Chris Isaak in concert at the Potawatami Bingo Casino in Milwaukee!! Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

High Line!

Yesterday Miss B. and I visited the High Line and environs with Thisbe and the Wee Kraken! It was really cool.


Check out Miss B.'s Stella McCartney for BabyGap tuxedo jacket!









Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Circus!

On Saturday, after the garage sale, Miss B. and I headed into the city to join our friends David, Emily and Max at the Big Apple Circus!!








Monday, November 09, 2009

Maclaren Recall

FYI Moms and Dads out there: Maclaren is recalling all of its umbrella-style strollers that it has sold in the US since 1990. Click here for the MSNBC article with details. Apparently, you will receive some sort of cover for the side hinges in the umbrella mechanism which can cause harm to children's fingers... this is with reference to the Triumph, Volo, Quest, etc.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Garage Sale!!

Today we had a garage sale! Which basically meant that we wanted to try and get rid of a lot of moldy crap that had been filling up the storage room off the garage. (Let's not also forget the multiple boxes of stuff left over from our kitchen remodel)...

My ad had said 9-1pm so I headed out a few minutes before 9 to get set up. As I open the garage door, two women barge right in! (This is, after all, the nature of the "early bird-ers" who get up at the crack of dawn to be the first people at the sale)... I barely had the chance to move my car off to the side out of the driveway and begin moving goodies out of the garage onto the driveway before I started making sales.

Ovwerall I only netted about $70 but, it was $70 in exchange for pure crap, so I'm happy. The best victory of the day? The man who paid me fifty cents for five gallons of paint (previously opened) which was at least 4 years old. I was going to have to wait for County Haz-Mat disposal day to get rid of them, but instead, this guy hauled them off and gave me money for it! How cool is that?

I also met my neighbor from down the street (and his Puggle, Enzo). Yes, Virginia, there are Puggles.

I had three women visit (one was a repeat customer from last year's garage sale) who bought a bunch of things and also had a fun conversation with me about our Ghost, Anna.

Then there was the Filipino woman from down the street who just kept buying things (much to her Husband's dismay). Just when she would close up her change purse and put her latest finds in a tote bag, she would look in another box and find something else she liked.

Then there was the Mexican gentleman who not only bought an old remote control (for a quarter).... god knows what it was for, and really, does he have the same item at home? Probably not... but he also went away with a Martha Stewart Entertaining book. Random!

Finally, towards the end of the day, the Husband had to go to the office and Miss B. and I had to get ready for our trip to the circus. So, I closed up the garage door and put up the following sign:



Ironically, later on in the day I did find a quarter on our front stoop! (Who knows what was taken, but apparently, the honor system can work!

Finally, before Miss B. and I left for the circus I sorted out the remaining items into the (x) Lupus Foundation donation pile and (y) the curb. The Husband got home a few minutes after we left and someone actually pulled something off of the curb and paid him $1 for it.

Then, today, much to our shock and dismay the garbage men actually took away the rest of the stuff that we had put out as trash (this is a big deal because usually they give us an attitude about actually taking garbage in bags in our cans, let alone loose stuff in cardboard boxes!)

Overall? Success!

Friday, November 06, 2009

I Just Have To Say

I love TV5 Monde. We're watching On N'est pas Couche and there was this guy on for like 30 second who looked so familiar.... who is he? A French Comedian... where had we seen him? He's one of the Gendarmes from National Treasure: Book of Secrets. How random is that?

What to Watch...

Today's New York Times had the following headlines: "What to Watch Thursday:
Housewives and an IKEA Field Trip". I have to say I was a bit disappointed when I realized that it wasn't the Housewives who were going to IKEA.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Shore, Storm King and the Yanks

So we've had a few adventures over the past two days....



















Yesterday, after lunch, Miss B. announced that she wanted to go to the Beach. So to the beach we went.
















We event went so far as to visit Sandy Hook!




















Then, today we ventured beyond Jersey up to the Hudson Valley to visit the Storm King Arts Center with Melanie and Andrew!










It's a really impressive facility, however, like most things in Upstate, the weather isn't always cooperative.


As soon as we started picnic-ing, the sun went behind the clouds and stayed there until closing time.


But Miss B. had fun anyway.... and got an Alexander Calder stickerbook too boot. How cool is that?





After Storm King we also hit up the Woodbury Commons outlet mall. I mean, after all, we were in the neighborhood!




Finally, congrats to the Yankees! Sure, this is something like their 5 billionth world series win, but regardless that just never gets old!