Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Watching Bethenny

So I happened to catch a marathon of Bethenny Getting Married? a couple of weeks ago. What can I say? I'm totally obsessed with this show. She had a huge last-minute wedding and finished editing her latest book on the same day. Then she went on her honeymoon, and had a baby weeks later. Awesome. And I viewed it all in one sitting. Even better.

She wrote a couple of books on healthy eating. It turns out this stressed-out, fast talking, New York, A-type is a natural food chef and obsessed with yoga. So my speed!! I'm picking up this book this week.

photo credit:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Calling tech support

Our computer is dead and about to be buried.

We're trying to retrieve our files and also trying not to panic.

Will update soon with hopefully a new computer and everything restored!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Been off and away this week in Southern California. Took lots of pics and hope to post them here real soon!

I'm also refreshed and inspired to continue with some house projects that have fallen by the wayside these past few months. Can't wait to get back into it. I have even ordered the bathroom sink. Finally. So finishing the bathroom by the end of the summer is my number one priority.

For now, I'm off for a beachside run, to be followed by mojitos by the pool.


Friday, July 16, 2010

In the Kitch: Garlic

Does this scare you? *

As much as I love garlic, I hate the way my hands smell for days and days after cutting up a few cloves.

They sell the "Rub Away" Bar here:
But seriously? Who wants another thing sitting on their counter? A special "bar" just for cutting garlic?


Mom taught me, all you need to do is rub your fingers along any stainless steel object. There's some kind of chemical reaction that dissolves the garlic smell. Most of us have this laying around the kitchen in the form of a stainless steel knife:

You sooo don't need a special bar.

* vampire?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Run, run, run

Kauai, August 2009

I turned 30 this year. So I decided I would lose 10 lbs and get in shape.

Instead I gained 7.

What? seriously?

I didn't change anything I ate or did or didn't do. In fact, even when I wasn't active in an exercise-y way, I considered myself pretty physical. I spent most of my winter running up and down ladders, painting, lifting, moving all my crap around the house. And more recently, I've spent a lot of time outside, mowing the lawn, weeding.

One recent Saturday I spent about 3 hours out in the backyard, hauling big pieces of flagstone from one side of the yard to the other, using only my own brute strength! If you could have seen me! You would have thought "that girl can lift some rocks!" I proceeded to build an entire step out of said rocks. I was landscaping!

I started jogging in the mornings! I ate nothing but fruit and vegetables some days! Amy's Vegetarian dinners! Never had dessert (ok, maybe a little something once a week?). Salad everyday! No pasta! No rice or carbs! I already don't eat meat and there's nothing else I can possibly cut out of my diet. I must have lost a few pounds by now?


I recently stepped it up a bit and twice this week went to the track.

I've been clocking in at 11-12 minute miles. This may seem slow (it is). But it is a crazy miracle that:
1) I choose to spend time running
2) I do get some sort of enjoyment from it. If I can get into a groove, it feels like I can run forever. But more recently the humidity has made this hard to achieve.
3) (and this one goes out to anyone who might remember me from gym class) that I can run a mile in under 16 minutes. I was the girl who was walk-running with a stitch in my side the whole way. I was a tortured soul, who dreaded running "the mile" (required by school rules to be run twice a year). I learned in the last years of high school how to rearrange my entire year's class schedule to have to only run it once instead of twice. Yes, this was what I cared about back then.

So I do consider it a minor victory to run a couple of miles, even if no weight has been lost.

But seriously - can a girl lose a pound?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Keeping cool, keeping warm

We really need better window coverage and insulation in our front office/sunroom.
These shades have seen better days

(Also ignore the naked radiator and ugly fan, both on my to-do list)

Seven gigantic, 84 year-old, single-paned windows really start to wear you down in the winter time. Yes I'm crazy to be thinking about freezing temperatures when it's been about 100 degrees Fahrenheit the past 2 weeks, but I think better insulation might even give us an edge over the sweltering heat.

I'm considering these from JCPenney. I'm usually not a JCPenney kind of gal. But... the prices are just so great! And all I really need is something that insulates better and looks neater than the existing tattered shades.
Photo from JCPenney website. I would get the white version, because it's more sun-roomy

The downside is that the reviews range from "these are the most awesome window shades in the universe" to "I hope these window shades burn in hell". Yeah, like most things on the internet.

Anybody have any luck out there with JCPenney window shades? Should I buy one and see how it works out before committing to seven of them?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Guest Room: Get Nauticalized!

I've been thinking about the guest room lately. Just thinking. Very little "doing" around here lately. Could be the blazing temperature or just my general summer-time laziness.

I have always had a thing for nautical stuff. In a perfect world, my alter-ego would wear white everyday and sale around the sea in a hypothetical sailboat with the wind whipping through my hair. In real life I wear black about 95% of the time and trudge around the city with my headphones on.

So this is my guest room, inspired by the sea...

1. The room as it sits right now. Kensington Blue (BM Aura in Flat finish) on the walls. Decorator's White semi-gloss on the trim. Fresh white ceilings. Floor - newly finished in Minwax Jacobean.
2. These pretty blue and white ceramic pieces are the original inspiration for the room's colors. Blue and white china reminds me of my childhood, because we always ate off the old-school Blue Danube plates. These ceramic pretties by Samantha Robinson are the perfect modern twist.
3. Mirrors are a must in guest rooms. And this one from Ballard Design will do nicely perched above the dresser. Also a twist on the white against blue background.
4. Let's bring in some primary color. Got a vintage Moonbeam alarm clock? Check.
5. I have an old dresser from the 50s - similar in shape and size to the one pictured here. Wouldn't it be a bit dramatic to paint it a dark glossy black?
6. It would be sweet to leave a few favorite books in the room. Extra points for the gorgeous cloth-bound hardcovers from Penguin Classics.
7. A couple of upholstered benches at the end of the bed would be a handy place to lay a suitcase, or sit to put on your shoes in the morning.
8. I already have a brass headboard, similar to this style, that I have started to prime. White glossy paint is next! Also love simple white bedding for a guest room.
9. For a side table - something light - like this little round table.
10. A simple clean-lined lamp like the Kathryn from Crate and Barrel.
11. Vintage-style drinking glass from Anthropologie.
12. Pillows! How I love thee... The coral-embroidered cushion or the sea creature inspired pair of pillows to really drive the nautical point home.
13. Navy and white striped linen - for the sheets, or for another detail, such as the window coverings.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Turkeys running amok

No, literally, we have a couple of turkeys living just around the corner from our home:
They walk along the street, stopping traffic. Sometimes I change my jogging route if I see one lurking ahead. Because they can get a little flustered and they scare me. It's quite funny.

Home-made signs were placed around the neighborhood warning motorists:

The elusive little crazies even made an appearance in our backyard, of all places:

It may not seem like a big deal, but considering we are about 10 minutes away from Manhattan, it is a real novelty.

Today our local paper, the South Bergenite, had a little article about the twosome:

I'll quote it:

One of our country's founders, though he never said so publicly, privately opined that a different animal [than the bald eagle] should have been selected [as a symbol on the Great Seal of the United States]

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country... For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on"

- Benjamin Franklin, letter to his daughter, 1784

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!