September 30, 2011

Shameless Self-Promotion (aka I Opened My Etsy Store!!)

You've all heard me say that I'm going to open an Etsy store.  Guess what?!?!  I did!!

Lots of stuff will be going up in the next few weeks.  You can also expect an announcement in the next week or so on how my Etsy site will contribute during Breast Cancer Awareness month.

In the meantime... you can find a few cute things like this!

Come visit!

September 29, 2011

"It's OK" - Week 7

It's that time, ladies!!!  Neely and Amber's "It's OK" link up!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

...That the Red Sox concluded their season in a spectacular fashion.  A spectacular FAIL.  We waited 86 years for a championship win, then got two in the past decade.  There's always next year!

...That the staff at A.C. Moore and Michael's are starting to know me by name.  If my Etsy store takes off, maybe one of the stores will give me a bulk discount?!

...To not fully understand Klout.  I try to give people +k on a daily basis and am thrilled if anyone gives some to me.  I'll figure it all out.  My score keeps going up, so I must be doing something right.  Right??  :-)

...That I totally avoided Facebook all summer, and now feel the need to rejoin society.

...That it seems like there's something in the water.  Lots of people have just had babies or have just announced their pregnancies.  My time will come.  Eventually!

...To be addicted to Twitter.  I'm still thinking in sentences longer than 140 characters, so it's all good.

What's OK with you this week?

September 26, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Apple Blueberry Crisp

Happy Tuesday!!  Before I move along and share this week's recipe, I want to mention that the lovely Andrea will be hosting a giveaway.  And not just any of the hats from my Etsy store.  Go on, get your cute little self over there to enter! *NOTE: The giveaway isn't posted yet, so I've given you a link to Andrea's main site instead of a specific post.*

It's apple season folks!  I haven't gone apple picking yet...but I have some of my favorite recipes ready and waiting for when I do go.  :-)


Apple Blueberry Crisp

4 cups sliced peeled tart apples
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup cold butter, cubed

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Transfer to a 9-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. For topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly; sprinkle over fruit.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender. Serve warm.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

2 on Tuesday - Shows I Miss

Happy Tuesday!!!  I'm linking up with Andrea for 2 on Tuesday again.  You know I must love her if I willingly break my rule against posting twice in one day!

2 on Tuesday

This week, Andrea is asking What two shows that have gone off the air do you miss the most?

Such an easy one!!

1. West Wing!  My favorite show ever.  I love politics - so the witty banter, policy issues and current events were right up my alley.  Plus, Aaron Sorkin does the whole "walk and talk" banter better than any show I've ever seen.  I wish they'd do a reunion show or movie.  I really want to know if Josh ended up in politics after being Chief of Staff, if Josh and Donna had kids, how Toby is doing, and if President Bartlett succumbs to MS.  Don't you?!?!

2. The Muppet Show.  The old school, singing, dancing, guest stars MUPPET SHOW!  I'll always be a child at heart and have the Muppet versions of The Banana Boat Song, Lime In The Coconut and 12 Days of Christmas on my iPod.

I'd also like to mention that the super sweet Andrea will be giving away a hat from my *NEW ETSY STORE*!!  Go visit her and enter.  :-) *NOTE: The giveaway hasn't started yet, so I'm directing you to Andrea's main site instead of a specific post.*

September 23, 2011

Dear _____

Dear Red Sox
Getting to the finals was supposed to be easy.  Instead, you blew your lead and are now fighting for the wild card.  You can do it!!  Just remember, you get paid way too much and Boston fans are loyal but vicious.  So suck it up, buttercup and WIN!


Dear Comcast
Please fix the onDemand credits for Harry's Law.  It says "Nick Corddry" instead of "Nate Corddry".  While there are some that won't know the difference...this is his home town.  WE NOTICE.

But bless your little heart for putting The Big Bang Theory, Castle and Body of Proof onDemand.  There are so many new programs I want to watch, and it's nice to know that my DVR doesn't need to shoulder the load for everything.


Y'all are still rocket scientists, right?  Just checking.  So, if you could tell us where that space junk is going to land - we'd all appreciate it.  While getting killed by space junk makes a good internet/news headline, DEAD is not all that cool.


Dear Klout
I think I love you.  I got some adorable Moo mini cards for free, and its fun seeing my score go up.  But I'm confused by you. Exactly how are you deciding that I'm influential on "moms, music and movies"?


September 22, 2011

"It's OK"...Week 6

I am loving Neely and Amber's weekly "It's OK" link up.  They are also hosting a two week link up about all things fall.  Check them out!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

...That I haven't done any of Neely and Amber's fall link up yet.  I will!  Seriously.  Be on the look out!

...To have lost a few followers lately.  Honestly, it bums me out a little, but I realize that I can't make everyone happy.

...That I'm soooo loving fall premier week.  I'm like a kid at Christmas!
...That I would pretty much kill someone for a cupcake right now, but don't want to make them myself.

...To just be jumping on the Klout bandwagon.  And someday...I'll actually figure it out!

...That I'm losing my voice.  I feel fine!  So when I smile and nod, I'm not being rude.  Mmmkay?!

...To be hyped up at the possiblity of getting a really cool job.  (Cross your fingers for me!)

September 19, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Creamy Spinach Lasagna

Howdy, girls!!  Did everyone have a fun weekend?!  I did!!  I got to hang out with Kristin Friday night, got to celebrate my Grandma's 89th birthday on Saturday and got tons of cooking, cleaning and organizing done on Sunday.  :-)

This week I'm sharing a recipe that I tinker with each time I make it.  I absolutely love spinach, and if I'm cooking for my mom (a vegetarian) this makes her happy - most people I know are looking for a little meat in their lasagna.  To make the lasagna more "protein friendly", I tend to add ground turkey that I've given a quick browning to.


Creamy Spinach Lasagna

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/4 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry (or 2 and a half cups of FRESH spinach)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce, divided
Cooking spray
12 cooked whole wheat lasagna noodles, divided
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella and asiago cheese, divided (or the "italian blend" cheese)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, cooking 10 minutes or until onion is browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and spinach. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 3 minutes (until spinach is tender). Set aside.

Combine flour, milk, salt, black pepper, and red pepper in a small saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 2 cups milk mixture to spinach mixture. Cover remaining milk mixture, and set aside.

Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; top with half of spinach mixture. Top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1 cup marinara sauce, and 3/4 cup cheese. Layer 3 more lasagna noodles, remaining spinach mixture, and remaining 3 lasagna noodles. Top with remaining marinara sauce. Pour reserved milk mixture over the top, and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until lasagna is browned on top.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

2 on Tuesday - Fall Shows

This week, the uber-cute Andrea is asking us "What two shows are you most looking forward to?".  Seeing as I'm just giddy with the excitement of a new TV season, I think that this is an AWESOME question!

2 on Tuesday

We all know that I can't stick to the requested two shows, but I'll try to keep the list short (or maybe I'll revisit this topic again in a few weeks!).

New Girl.  Zooey Deschanel is so adorable.  I just love that Fox has both Deschanel girls in series this year!  Now, I guess I should admit that I've cheated.  My cable provider has the premier episode onDemand already - so, I just had to watch it a time or two already.  FABULOUS!!  So funny! 

DWTS. Generally, I don't enjoy reality TV (yes, I know I'm weird!).  This show just sucks me in.  The stars are pretty much lower-tiered, but it is amazing watching them learn to dance.  So much fun!  Plus, there's Maks.  And this year..his brother Val too!

NCIS. I am a sucker for crime shows.  I think that this is NCIS' 8th season, and every year, they come up with great new material.  It never gets old!  Does anyone else want Ziva and Tony to end up together as much as I do? And...while I'm talking about NCIS, shout out to NCIS:LA too.  A vastly different show, but absolutely of the same quality and caliper.  They better save Hetty, or I'm going to be one cranky girl!

Glee.  Little secret - I was one of the music geeks in high school.  Band, marching band, chorus, theatre, etc.  This show is awesome, and it reminds me that despite the teenage angst, high school was actually fun (kinda)!  I just wish that I was as talented as these people!!

*Bones is high on my list too. doesn't come back for a few months, so I'll talk about it then!*

September 15, 2011

"It's OK"....Week 5

You guessed it, right?  It's Thursday and I'm linking up with Neely and Amber!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

...That I totally forgot about the Target for Missoni release until I heard about it on the news.  By then, it was WAY too late.  :-(

...That I'm waaay late in linking up with Amber and Neely today.  It still counts, right?

...To not understand everyone's fanatical love for pumpkin spice lattes.  I like pumpkin!  Just not in my caffeine.  Hand me an iced white chocolate mocha ANY day!

...To be secretly (or not so secretly) thrilled that this will be Desperate Housewives last season.  That show has jumped the shark!

...That Carmella (my parent's cocker spaniel) killed a mouse and brought it to me last night.  My summer just isn't complete until some small backyard creature has been hunted.

...To have been in a craft store three times in the last week.  Yarn is my FRIEND!!

What's OK with you this week?

September 12, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Ranch Mac & Cheese

Happy Tuesday, ladies.  This weekend, I read quite a few 9/11 posts.  It was an honor to read all of your stories, memories and feelings.  Such powerful emotion in each post...  I'm sure we'll all never forget that day.

Weather is cooling (at least in theory), and I'm now in search of the perfect mac & cheese.  This one caught my eye on Taste of Home!


Ranch Mac & Cheese

1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon garlic pepper blend
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup crushed saltines
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, combine the milk, butter, dressing mix and seasonings; heat through. Stir in Monterey Jack and Colby cheeses until melted. Stir in sour cream.

Drain macaroni; stir into cheese sauce with the saltines. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

2 on Tuesday - Week 2

I'm linking up with the fabulous Andrea for her weekly meme.  She's such an awesome blogger!!

2 on Tuesday

This week's question...

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what two items would you wish to have with you?

And, of course, I have more than two items that I'd NEED with me!

1. My dogs.  My pups are my kids.  I can't imagine being stuck on a desert island and not having them.  They are sweet and cute and cuddly and vastly entertaining.  Plus... secretly, I wouldn't want anyone else taking care of them long term.  I know their little quirks and they know mine.

2. A laptop.  (Of course, this is presuming that that I magically get wifi!)  Read a book, write a book, read all your blogs, keep up on all my favorite shows on Hulu, and get some cute Youtube videos.  There's not much you can't do with a computer!

3. Coffee.  I am a caffeine addict.  Sure, I drink more water than anything else...but there's no replacing that first glass of ice coffee each day!

Now...if the question was "How would you build your own colony?", I'd say that I'd bring all my friends and their families to the aforementioned deserted island.  My friends and their spouses are some talented people.  We'd all have our taxes done, have fabulous constructed homes, some great graphic design to decorate the island, and have a teacher among us to educate all the kids, etc.  We would be the premier in newly created colonies! :-)

September 11, 2011

I Remember...

Like many of you, I want to share where I was on 9/11.

Even ten years later, I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I was the Office Coordinator in the financial district of Boston.  That morning, I got in early, turned on the TV to the "Today Show", and called the O.C. in the NYC office.  You see...that morning I was having second thoughts about being there instead of her.  I had been given the opportunity to be temporarily placed in our Manhattan office, and had turned it down in favor of staying close to my family.  The timing just didn't feel right.

So, I called her to chat while we both waited for staff to roll into both of our offices.  We said our "good-byes" just past 8 AM.  I should have turned the TV off at that point.  But I didn't. 

When news flashed that a plane had flown into the North Tower, programming went live to the World Trade Center.  I watched live while a second plane flew into the South Tower.  In a matter of minutes, the world as I knew it was shattered.

We quickly learned that both of those planes came from Boston.  MY airport.  The place where I felt SAFE to travel.  I was horrified.  And, as fighter jets flew overhead, our office was evacuated & we were all sent with the masses to go home and be with our families. 

I will never forget the feeling of being packed into the subway that day.  You just couldn't help but hug the people that surrounded you.  It didn't matter that they were strangers.  It didn't matter that you may never see that person again.  You gave comfort and received comfort from those around you.

I was one of the last people that my friend ever spoke to.  That frightened me for a long time.  I felt guilty that it was her, not me. Now, I just hope that our joking gave her a little peace.

I also want to share with you how that day changed me.  And how it didn't.

In most ways, I'm still the same person I always was.  I learned to trust my gut more.  Something told me not to take that job; told me not to turn off the TV that day.

I tell people that I love them more.  I used to be better about it...but I still will randomly tell people that matter to me that I love them.  You never want people to wonder how you feel about them.  :-)

Like the majority of Americans, I feel so much more patriotic than I did before that day. There a renewed dedication to God and country that swept over so many of us.  Life became so much more about us instead of it being about me.

I didn't shy away from flying.  Three weeks after that fateful day, I got on a plane at Logan and flew to a family reunion in San Antonio.  I was in England when we formally declared war.  When it's my's my time.  I refuse to stop living my life because someone else doesn't agree with the freedoms that Americans are afforded.

Over the years, I've known quite a few people who have practiced the Muslim religion.  Even that day, I knew it had absolutely nothing to do with them, and everything to do with a handful of absolute lunatics.

I'm linking my post with Andrea over at My Chihuahua Bites.  If you feel like sharing your story, I'd love to read it.


September 09, 2011

Friday Funnies - How Irish Dancing Started

This got sent to me a few days ago and I keep playing it over and over again.  And giggling...  :-)

September 08, 2011

"It's OK" Thursday...Week 4

You guessed it.  I'm linking up with Neely and Amber again this week.  You should too!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

...To have left the house yesterday for an interview with straight hair, but arrived at said interview with wavy hair.  Darn rain!

...To have been really amused that a pigeon was on the subway with my on the way to my interview.  Yes, I even tweeted a picture.  I'm that kind of geek.

...That I'm kinda sad that some of my favorite summer shows are ending.  I'm going to miss them!!  Thank goodness my fall faves are only a few weeks away.

...That while it feels good to be needed, I really need a few hours away from my parent's house.  If I'm lucky, I can sneak out for a cup of coffee after bringing mom to PT tomorrow.

...To be really excited at the prospect of sleeping in my own bed again.  Only a few more weeks!!

...That my migraine has been fairly consistent for the past three weeks.  Having an ice pack on your head is stylish, no?

...To really miss a few people.

...That I have totally let my dogs take ownership of one of my huge down pillows.  They need to be comfortable too, right?

September 05, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Mexican Eggrolls

Happy Tuesday!  It's that time again.  :-)
Did everyone get to enjoy the long weekend?!  I can't believe that the summer is over...or at least the unofficial end of summer.  Bring on the fall!!!

As part of being my mom's unpaid gopher caretaker since surgery, I've been trying to make sure I cook some meals that both my parents will like.  It's quite the challenge, as mom is vegetarian and dad doesn't think a meal is complete without meat.

This little nugget was a hit with both of them.


Mexican Eggrolls

1 can Corn (drained and rinsed to get rid of the excess sodium)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed to get rid of the excess sodium)
3-4 scallions (finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 package Eggroll wrappers
1/2 envelope Taco seasoning

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients but the eggroll wrappers.  Place a large spoonful or so of the vegetable mixture in the middle of each eggroll wrapper, wetting the edge of the wrapper to seal.

Place the eggrolls on a cookie sheet that has been coated in non-stick spray.  To ensure crispiness, spray the tops of each eggroll with non-stick spray as well.

Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.  Serve with salsa and sour cream.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

2 On Tuesday

The gorgeous Andrea from My Chihuahua Bites is hosting a new linky party!!  Having a Tuesday link-up isn't a new thing for Andrea.  You see...SHE was the originator of Tuesdays At The Table!  When she got pregnant with her darling babe, Cooper, I took it over.  It's hard to believe that it's been almost two years since I started hosting!

The prompt this week:

1.  The cooler temperatures!  Summer is nice and all...but I quickly grow tired of the heat and humidity.  Bring on the nice crisp air that comes with fall.  The air is drier and it's cool enough that I want a sweater some days.  At the same time, I'm grateful that it's not so cool that I need to have the heat on all the time.

2.  Apple picking!!  I love me some apple picking.  For the past few years, we (as in my group of favorite peeps) and I have gone apple picking at the same orchard.  Then comes the fabulous days of baking that follow.  It's always a challenge to use all those apples, but I find a way!


September 03, 2011

TAG: About Me

My adorable friend Megan did an "about me" post, and I thought that it was a fabulous idea.  I have a bunch of new followers, so I hope this tells you a little about who I am.  :-)

Feel free to fill it out yourself {be sure to tag the post to my blog} so that we can all get to know one another!

1. Do you have a middle name?

Jean.  It's my mom's middle name, and I hope to pass it along to my daughter one day.

2.What is/was your favorite subject in school?

In high school - English.  In college, Art History and Sociology.

3. What's your favorite drink?

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha is one of my guilty pleasures!  However, I'm never more than an arm's reach from a glass of water.

4. Favorite songs at the moment?

I can't tell you how much I love music.  There's just no way for me to pinpoint just one song that is my "favorite" right now.  Two songs that I adore right now are Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" and The Black Keyes "Tighten Up".

5. What would you name your children?

You guys won't steal my names, right?!  I'm not even close to having kids...but right now I really like Noah and Jackson for a boy & Ainsley and Harper for a girl.

6. Do you participate in any sports?

Now?  No.  I danced (ballet, tap and jazz) from the time I was three right through college and I did marching band in junior high and high school.  And, yes...I do consider marching band a sport.  Long distance marching and choreographed routines while playing an instrument.  It requires stamina, ladies!

7. Favorite book?

Here's another category that I can't limit to just one.  Right now, I'd say A Discovery of Witches and the Harry Potter series.

8. Favorite color?
Pink!!!  Though you can't tell from my closet.  Most of my clothes are black.

9. Favorite animal?

Dogs, of course!

10. Favorite perfume?

Romance by Ralph Lauren

11. Favorite holiday?

Hmm...that's a tough one.  Probably Thanksgiving.

12. Have you graduated High School?

Yes, Class of 1996

13. Have you been out of the country?

You could say that...  I've been to Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Wales, France and Belgium.

14. Do you speak any other languages?

Five years of Spanish...and I barely remember most of it!

15. Do you have any siblings?

I have a younger brother, JC.

16. What's your favorite store?

Macy's, The Paper Store, Kohl's and Barnes & Noble.  What?  No one said just clothing stores!

17. Favorite restaurant?

Either Cheesecake Factory or Pacini's.

18. Do you like school?

I did enjoy school.  I was a goody two-shoes, who spent all my free time volunteering in the school office.

19. Favorite YouTubers?

Hmm...that depends on my mood.

20. Favorite Movie?

Again, I can't limit myself to just one! 

(Representative of the whole Twilight series.  So far...)

21. Favorite TV show?

I am a TV junkie, so picking just one is completely out of the question.  Or maybe I just don't do well with picking a favorite in general.  Hmm.

Anyway, I lurve Combat Hospital, Royal Pains, True Blood, Covert Affairs, Suits, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS and whole bunch of others!

22. PC or MAC?


23. What phone do you have?

Droid Incredible

24. How tall are you?

5' 2".  I'm OK with being vertically challenged.

25. Meet the family.
We've established that I don't have kids.  Well, two-legged ones anyway.  :-)  These two are my kids!


September 02, 2011

True Life: I'm A {Food} Blogger

The witty and effervescent Mrs. Monologues' & Tara at Fabulous But Evil are continuing their True Life series... Sure, I'm not a full time food blogger.  But hosting Tuesdays At The Table for almost two years (anniversary later this month!!) counts.  Right?!?! :-)

Here are a few of my favorites...

Pesto Chili Peanuts
Dragon's Breath Dip

Main Courses
Italian Meatloaf
Enchilada Casserole
Crockpot Orange Chicken

Apple Cake
Mixed Berry Sorbet

Breakfast Foods
Lemon Coffee Cake
Cinnamon Rolls
Banana Walnut Pancakes

Sangria (Red & White)
Frozen Iced Tea

I'd love if you could share your favorite recipes each week too! :-)

September 01, 2011

"It's OK" Thursday...Week 3

I'm linking up again with Neely and Amber for "It's OK" Thursday.  It's funny how much I look forward to their weekly link-up!  You should join in on the fun too!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

...That I'm on day 12 of a cluster migraine.  But if anyone has a suggestion, I'm all ears.

...To be ready for the fall.  I know I'm weird...but I get tired of the heat and humidity of summer pretty quickly.

...To really want someone to hug me right now.

...That I've realized that I sleep better when the pups sleep with me.

...That I'm really struggling with a header for my Etsy shop.  It's the only thing holding me up from opening shop!

...That I'm weeks behind in watching True Blood.  I'll catch up!

...That this little clip of Shaun the Sheep makes me giggle, no matter how many times I see it.

What's OK with you today?
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