Recipe Exchange...PS

OK...I seriously have the BEST MIL in the world. I called her from work to say that my pictures of the yummy pot pie were a disaster once I downloaded them (believe me, you WOULD NOT want to eat it just from seeing my pics) and she quickly assembled an all-in-one-piece mini version and took a perfect snapshot with her iPhone. I'll shoot some of the inside later tonight when I'm digging in.

Recipe Exchange

Michelle at Pretty Mommy has been doing a recipe exchange among bloggers for a few weeks now. Today it's my turn! Last night my mother-in-law taught me how to make the best chicken potpie (rustic, organic and perfect for fall) - and it's easy!!! Here's how to do it:

- Cut up about four chicken breasts (organic and fresh are the best)
- Gather some veggies (our faves are carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, peas, celery and turnips)
- Chop up (rustic-style) the veggies (make sure they're all scrubbed and clean)
- Combine chicken and veggies in a pot of boiling water and cook until the veggies are tender (about 15 minutes)
- In a separate skillet, make a quick sauce with three tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup flour, one cup of milk, one teaspoon of thyme (dried is fine), a little salt/pepper and a touch of parsley
- Whisk at medium heat until the sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes)
- Poor all the ingredients into a pie plate and cover with pre-made pie crust and bake for 45 mins at 350 degrees.

We ate our with a salad with chickpeas, shaved Parmesan, fresh tomatoes and Gwyneth's salad dressing. YUMMY!

My pictures were less-than-stellar, so this photo is courtesy of the Ginger Lemon Girl who has a similar recipe that's gluten-free.
Thanks, Michelle, for including me and everyone check back for pictures of said pie tomorrow. Bon appetite!

Almost a Year Ago...

I still cannot believe that almost a year has passed since this early moment with baby P (please try to ignore the BLARING TV in the background - we hadn't yet learned how to be responsible parents):

It's extremely difficult to put into words how much we adore and love our little monkey - she's the brightest light of our lives and every day with her is a joy. Stay tuned for pictures from her party on Monday!


RIP No Longer

Calling all Domino fans who have been living in a cave (as apparently I have been)!!! Brides.com has access to the Domino archives and is posting articles on their site regularly (since this summer). I spent hours last night going through some of my old favorites. Domino was to me, what power tools are to my husband. When I heard that it was being canceled, I sent letters to the editor, posted pleas with millions thousands of other fans and feverishly cataloged my collection and made sure they were sealed in a steel, water-proof safe (I kid - sort of).

Every once in a while when I'm lacking inspiration, I flip through an issue or two and feel instantly revived. One of the most recent articles to be published on Brides.com is from a mid-2009 piece on J.Crew's Creative Director - now President - Jenna Lyons.

Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore - AH!
LOVE the reclaimed wood table and bare mantle with bird.
Feed sacks tacked to the headboard - HOW did she think of that???


Mergers and Acquisitions

With the help of some coupons, sales, gift certificates and merchandise credits, I've splurged on some fall goodies. G doesn't believe me when I say - EVERY SINGLE TIME - I got something on sale or that I had a coupon ready to go...but it's true! If you're a careful shopper, bargains are out there! A few of my trusty online tips (which may not be NEWS per say, but good reminders, nonetheless):
  • Bluefly offers 10% off your entire purchase once every few weeks. If you have an item in mind, check back often to take advantage of the extra $ off. They also restock frequently, so if something is sold out one day, it could be there again within hours.
  • I NEVER shop at Gap/Banana/Old Navy without a coupon. If you're a card member, you get those nifty cash-back coupons with your points. Sign up for a newsletter and you'll receive sales all the time. 
  • Google-ing 'J Crew coupons' (or whatever you're looking for) always leads to a plethora of savings sites where you're bound to find an online code for $ off.
  • I'm also a stickler for 'after the fact' sales. If I buy something for $49 on Monday and on Tuesday it's on sale for $39, I always take it back or call customer service. Most retailers are very good about crediting you. 
My recently acquired favorite things:

House Beautiful subscription; Macy's pumps; Target (yes, TARGET!) necklace; Gap sweatshirt; Beirn 'Caroline' bag (in mocha, not hot pink); Old Navy skinny jeans.


Our Old House

1840 = some friendly colonial ghosts (no lie, doors open unexpectedly, toys disappear...)
I've been a bad blogger! Luckily, I have a bunch of spare posts ready to go at a moment's notice (P was sick all week and now we're in Dallas for a wedding (yea Bill and Michelle!!) so blogging has been put on the back-burner for a few days). One weekend, I went around the new house and took pictures of all the cool, old stuff that give it character. Here are a few favorites...

Our pretty front door that no one uses.
A bronze horse statue in the front yard.
I like to think that this was actually used as a post to tie your horse.

The original shoe 'cleaner' - the easiest way to rid soles of mud and dirt.

This is the OTHER front door - I love the diamond window.

The dutch door (or stable door) in the kitchen. Perfect for calling out to the men that it's dinner time :)

Floor heating vents - these suckers need some LUV.

Funky doorbell - it doesn't work, unfortunately.


The Domino Effect

It's been a busy couple of days and I've neglected you - poor little blog! Our weekend was primarily spent wiping runny noses and taking huge doses of vitamin C. It's sounds ridiculous, but we're ALL sick again. I am blaming it on the fact that I bragged nonstop about how my infant was NEVER sick...and now it's payback.

Besides being sick, G and I were obsessed with finishing a few house projects. G spent all day Saturday laying a new back patio and Sunday was spent in a closet applying trim to a new stereo built-in. I basically set up camp in the dining room and ALMOST finished the revamp from top to bottom. I have a few things left to do, and then I'll post some pictures.

I finally relaxed a bit on Sunday night after the monkey went to bed and I found myself falling down the rabbit hole of blogs. Have you ever done that? You visit your favorite blog and click on something you like, which leads you to another click for something you like, which leads to another click...before you know it, two hours have passed and you're reading about an installation artist in Sweden who - never mind you get the picture.

I started out here and stumbled upon this lovely jewelry designer...

I love the simplicity of all her pieces - if you're a horoscope fan, check these out.
 Who had a really fantastic blog where she wrote about this...

The closet is perrrrrr-fection! Check out the fireplace filled with books!

And this...
I finally ended up here...

I wish I had thought of this name.
And then climbed up out of the rabbit hole and tucked myself into bed. Happy Tuesday!!!


What a Stinker

This blog should be a place of inspiration, positive energy and good thoughts. But today it isn't. Some days are just stinkers, from start to finish. That's how I am going to classify this one. Instances of stinkiness:

1. Getting stuck behind a car going 25 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. FOR 10 MILES.
2. Spilling hot soup on your lap while sitting...on a conference call...that goes on for 45 minutes...with nothing to wipe it up.
3. Overdrawing your checking account.
4. Losing your driver's license (I eventually found it, but the HELL I went through looking for it - URGH!)

And here's the stinkiest one yet...

5. Witnessing your child picking your mother over you when she's sick (cue - heart breaking).

Ah. Anyway. IF I could carry a toddler and balance in these shoes (and didn't mind having people stare at me in CVS), this is what I'd wear while running errands tomorrow:

What a Stinker



The modular carpet company, Flor, has added several new patterned designs to their repertoire, and I AM IN LOVE!!!

Flor carpet squares cover your floors in an affordable (the pattern I like would be about $400 for 7x10) , sustainable (made with renewable and recycled content and and can be recycled when you're done) and utilitarian (the sturdy floor pieces are easy to clean and removing or adding tiles is easy) way. Plus, with these new designs, the overall effect can be absolutely stunning.

This zig-zag pattern comes in five gorgeous colors.
A classic design for almost any room - and it's only $12.99 per tile!
Martha adds some of her genius to a fun geometric pattern.
I'm really drawn to this - could be used in a modern or traditional setting.
P.S. I just discovered this site - an amazing source for daily design inspiration!


Two Against One

I've recently realized that my baby is quickly learning things to outsmart me. To my dismay, no one believed that baby P could be so sneaky. After a few incidents of missing food, spilled drinks and hidden diapers, I finally wised up. Caught on camera, below, is little miss P quietly disposing of her dinner (that Trader Joe's SLAVED over) while she thought I was reading a magazine. Ha! Who's the joker now, baby P?

Dinner begins - look at my precious feet!
It is SO funny when I feed Daddy...
La-dee-da, I'm just eating my dinner...

No one will notice when my hand slowly drops below my highchair...
Cam to the rescue! {Giggles ensue}Voila! A way to dispose of unwanted vegetables!
Mommy! I SWEAR I ate all my yummy kidney beans and tofu!

Some Like It Hot

It's hard to tell what's come over me, but I'm recently obsessed with making a ton of food on the weekends to freeze and use during the week. After an initial investment of $60 (most meals require a Dutch Oven and I had NO reusable containers that actually had a matching lid), this obsession is going pretty well. The latest 'success' (success = making it again) is this recipe for tamale pie.

Pan-fried polenta - YUMMY.

Next time I won't use a whole can of salsa...I think it made the chili too watery.


What I See

I am going to descend into my closet next weekend and will refuse to come out until I have organized, purged and cleaned it (and it's contents) from top to bottom. Part of my reason for doing this is that it's starting to resemble a room from an episode of Hoarders. I also need some space for a few new fall pieces. A few of my inspirations:

JCrew has a really beautiful fall palette this year - I love the dabs of red, pink and camel.
ASOS always does a great job of summarizing the trends. The shearling boot is a must-have.
As always, Zara delivers. Don't you love the wide-leg jean/floral blouse/fur combo?


In a Brooklyn State of Mind

Some of my dearest friends live SO very far away. It's awful. Talking on the phone? Who has time for THAT? Writing a letter? Say what?!? Oh, and then there's the, 'But, we'll visit ALL the time...'

Before you know it, years have passed and you have no idea that they've donated a kidney, sailed around the world or don't even live at the SAME ADDRESS YOU'VE BEEN SENDING HOLIDAY CARDS TO FOR FIVE YEARS.

Case in point - Cort and Isabelo in Brooklyn (Izzy is an interior designer/artist and Cort is an advertising/brand guru). We hardly ever see each other now that I'm back in New England and I had NO IDEA that their apartment looks like it was ripped from the pages of ELLE Decor. I begged for some pics so I could share their creativity with everyone. A few of their design ideas have inspired me to kick-start some projects around the house this weekend...anyone have a box full of old, antique keys for sale?!?!

The mirror is such an amazing way to make a smaller space look larger and more inviting.
Izzy cleverly displayed old keys on the left-hand wall of the entry. I'm SO gonna steal this idea.
How do they avoid kitchen clutter?!?! The minimalism in this room is offset by all the rich, warm lighting.
Who says you have to put books on a shelf?
Every room has just the right mix of white and neutral colors.
Hanging pictures is an art form...
I already showed the entry staircase, but who can resist these two? BONJOUR, Pepper and Franque!
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