Happy New Year!!

I've accomplished a lot this decade.  I'll give you the condensed version :)

-Learned how to drive.
-Went on my first cruise.
-Went to London.
-Graduated HighSchool.
-Lived abroad in Italy and travelled around Europe until I had no more monies.
-Happened to be in Rome the night the Pope died.
-Went to Africa.
-Graduated College.
-Moved in with a boy.
-Got my first 'real' job.
-Started paying my own insurance and cell phone bills :(
-Skiied out west and drank my share to keep those in Napa Valley employed.
-Got engaged and planned a wedding.
-Got married. (to the same boy that taught me how to drive stick all those years ago).
-Changed my name.

And now I'm off to do bigger and better things in the next decade.....Have a Safe and Merry New Year!

Tricks and Tips...

I love when the New Year rolls around and we get lists.  Lists of everything, best, worst, funniest, you name it....and I love lists and nothing brings them on like the end of a decade.

This list happened to be 50 New Uses for Old Things - there were a lot of 'eh' things, like putting sunglasses in mittens so they don't get scratched, but I'm bringing you my highlights.


Attach a key and money (if needed) to a binder clip which you can secure to your shorts/pants while walking and/or running.  I hate having to carry my keys with me!


When repainting, cover doorknobs in tinfoil to avoid any accidental messes.


Spray down your shovels with cooking spray (it said use a healthy dose) and supposedly snow and slush will slide right off instead of sticking to your shovel.  I'm definately going to try this in the next storm.


When packing, place shoes in old shower caps to avoid getting the rest of your clothes dirty.  I don't have 'old' shower caps but I think they can be had for mere pennies.

All images from original list here.

Do you have any good tricks/tips to share?


SSSHHH - it's a secret!

Shhhh it's a secret - but....I'M GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE!
I'm an auntie by marriage like 10 times over, but now I'm going to be a REAL auntie and it's so much more exciting.  I want to buy that baby EVERYTHING. 

For Christmas I bought baby (don't know the gender yet) Built NY bibs.  They are made of neoprene, (wet-suit material) and therefore super absorbant.  And one has a pocket for catching goodies like cheerios, when baby gets older.

I have an affinity for Built NY products (I have a lunch bag and wine tote already) and you better believe my baby will have these bibs as well.  Along with the cute changing bags and pads.

I can already tell this is going to be one spoiled baby.  Do you have any fantastic baby products that I NEED to buy for this baby?


and then I ran around with my new camera...

My husband refuses to let me take pictures of him, therefore I took pictures of most everything else in our apartment.

The most important thing in his life - his clubs....
(I'd like to think I'm the most important thing, but I wont kid myself)

My orchid...it's alive because its fake.

The river by my parents house -

One Christmasy self-portrait reflection...

And my dad...

I love my dad.


Two exciting things...

1. I got a DSLR for Christmas!!!

Quite excited about that!  Now I just have to figure out all the shmancy settings.   I also got some best-buy gift cards, so I'm going to grab a filter and probably the 50mm f/1.8 lens.
Let the picture taking commence...

2. I'm thinking of starting an Etsy store.  I love designing paper goods, and will mail out a virtual invitation for just about any occasion I can think of - so the store would be full of goodness like that.  Birthday party invites, cute notecards, maybe some wedding invitations?  BUT I need some help on the most important part....the NAME!

Heres my short list so far (well really its the whole list):

•fourth and folded
•p is for paper

Any suggestions?!
And what was your favorite Christmas gift?


Happy Holidays Everyone!

We're heading up to Maine today to spend the holidays with our families -
Wishing everyone a very merry holiday and safe travels!



How do you like my legs?

Our dining room chairs are falling apart.
Which do you like better?
Wood Legs?

or Metal Legs?

Both come in either shape (with sides and without) so don't let that factor into your decision.

Christmas Cookie Bake-Off - Installment 2

Task : Christmas Cookie Bake-Off for Work
Installment 1

After letting the cake balls cool for what I deemed an appropriate time, I decided to melt the chocolate.  Last time I did this the chocolate was really thick.  I tried to thin it using milk - FAIL.  I tried to thin it using water - FAIL.  I used the thick chocolate and got extrememly frustrated. 
So I called in back-up....my mom.  Her trick - to throw in a chunk of wax (typically used for canning).  It thins the chocolate and also makes it shiny ;)
It worked like a charm, those spoon thingys I registered for also worked beautifully.

I went with a highly studied drop and plop technique....

....where you drop in the ball, and plop some melted chocolate on top.  Quite precise :)

I got the hang of it after a while...

Et voila!

Alas, I didn't win.  But I got quite a few compliments.  The judge questioned whether they were really 'home-made'.  She said they looked store bought- so I think thats why I lost.  And the winner was BROWNIES....which I think should have been promptly DQ'd since it was a cookie contest.  I like to think I got 'best in show'....and the judge took one for the road (only cookie she took to go) so I'm pretty sure it was rigged.


Christmas Cookie Bake-Off - Installment 1...

Task : Christmas Cookie Bake-Off for work

Game Plan : Bakerella's Cake Balls with my own spin

This will be the second time I have attempted said 'cake balls' they are much trickier than they look on first appearance.  The first time tasted delightful, but I would be embarrassed to bring them to any type of public function - especially if they were being judged.

I decided to make mint chocolate 'cake balls' (I don't like saying cake balls one bit - any suggestions?), because I think chocolate and mint = Christmas in my mind.....this may stem from my peppermint mocha Starbucks addiction.

First I baked the cake....per the directions on the box.  I wouldn't know how to make a cake from scratch if my life depended on it.

By the way - this is the most amazing spatula ever....if you ever see it anywhere - buy it....fast.

I let the cake cool for a bit and then cut it into chunks, which I placed in the bowl of the KitchenAid mixer to be mixed with the frosting.  But then I remembered that I wanted to make 'mint' frosting, so I emptied the cake chunks back into the pan - there were a few crumbs but since the frosting was going to be mixed in with the cake eventually anyways I didn't worry about washing them out.....it's not laziness, it's water conservation :).

I used peppermint extract, the box said to add 1/4 tsp. of extract to a can of vanilla frosting for 'mint frosting'....I think I added about 3 times that much when all was said and done.

After the frosting was mixed with the mint I started chucking the cake chunks in.

Eventually it got all smashed up and delicious looking.

At this point STOP.....remove your rings and/or other hand paraphernalia (unless you want it to be coated in a gooey chocolate mixture).

Then roll your little heart out.  I needed 24 for the cookie bake-off.....I should have extras we can use for neighborly Christmas gifts provided all goes as scheduled.

Since it's freezing out, I covered them and put them outside to chill for a bit.  For those of you who do not live in said freezing environment the fridge will do (or freezer if you are in a hurry and have room).

I made it through this part okay last time, it was the dipping in chocolate that provided a challenge - but it's good to know I'm not the only one who has trouble with it :)

...to be continued.


It's begining to look a lot like Christmas!!!

We had our first snow of the season last night, so I got to wake up to this:

And quickly decided to brush the snow off my car and venture out to do a little Christmas shopping.
I love Christmas.  I love shopping.  But I really, really, love.....wrapping presents.
Last week I won this cute little stocking via 'Oh Apostrophe' (Thanks Again!) and loved the unexpected blue and bright green as 'Christmas' colors.

So, I decided to incorporate those colors into our Christmas wrapping this year.
Our bright and cheery Christmas palette:

...and it's begining to look a lot like Christmas! Round one of presents have been wrapped, bowed, tagged and placed under our tree.

Our tree is a little scraggly, but she was homegrown, and free :)

Whenever I say I LOVE wrapping presents people always look at me like I'm crazy.  Are you one of those people?  or do you love a nicely wrapped package as much as I do?