August 30, 2011

Good Riddance Irene!

There are lyrics to a hymn we sing in church that go something like this, "Trees do bend, tho' straight and tall, so must we to others' call."

I cannot tell you how many times I sang these dang lyrics this weekend as that bitch Irene made her way through my town.

Now, church hymn and bitch may not go together in the same sentence but, for the purposes of this blog post, they do!

I was never so scared as I was this weekend. She touched land in NY at around 8:45am Sunday. Major winds and some rain.

My trees made it through although I did see them bend quite a bit.

What seemed worse to me was the wind after she left NY and headed to New England. That bee-atch and her nasty-ass wind stayed around until 10pm, all while I sang my lyrics and prayed to my brother and the Virgin Mary.

Local hospitals on the coast were evacuated as were local residents that border the water.

There was a down power line in front of my home but amazingly we did not lose power but my neighbor across the street did.
We are very very lucky! No flooding, no damage. Just broken tree limbs and branches.
One of my friends (love you) said "all that hysteria for high winds + rain."

I am going to let the comment slide since she hasn't had power for days and hasn't been able to see the devestation that I have seen on tv.

I pray for all those who lost their lives and their homes to Irene and our gorgeous coastline.

My beach is closed as are all NYS beaches due to the erosion.

G'night, g'bye and good riddance Irene!

August 27, 2011

We Have an End of Summer Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is:Beth of Walk a Mile whose favorite summer memory is . . .Thank you to everyone who entered!

And let's hope Irene doesn't cause us too much damage.

Be safe!

August 26, 2011

Irene's a Coming!

I am kinda worried. Well, lotsa worried.

See that black dot called New York in that lovely shade of purple?That's me.

Supposedly this is going to be a whopper like we haven't seen in a generation.

I am worried because I live on the coast only a mile from the ocean plus I have huge trees on my property.

And, a freezer full of ice cream that I am just going to have to eat before Saturday afternoon!

Stay safe East Coasters!

August 24, 2011

29 Ways to Stay Creative

Don't forget to enter my END of SUMMER GIVEAWAY here.

I just love this video. Especially #25 and #27.


29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE from TO-FU on Vimeo.


August 23, 2011

I Won an Almondina Giveaway!

Don't forget to enter my Summer Giveaway here.

I love giveaways. I currently have one going on now on The Single Nester Blog.

But, I have never won a blog giveaway that I have entered. That is, until NOW.

I saw an Almondina giveaway on NYC, Style & a little Cannoli blog. A fun, picturesque blog, I decided to enter.

I was surprised to win and awaited the arrival of this lovely box.9 tasty bags of assorted Almondina cookies.Started by a son's love of his grandma Dina's delicious cookies, he started Almondina which is based in Ohio.

I began with the Original cookie and was instantly hooked. Crunchy, thin, packed with flavor and healthy too.I can see myself eating a few of these as a healthy breakfast option or late night munchie; an assortment for guests with a steaming hot espresso or dipped in some dessert wine.

I know what I will be packing for the beach this week!

Thank you Rosemary and Almondina!

August 22, 2011

Paint Chip Framed Art

I love paint chips! And, I have always wanted to make some kind of framed piece of art using them.

I had collected quite the amount of paint chips from a remodel project 2 years ago and just in general.While reading Tatertots and Jello, I came across a guest post by Just a Girl and I was inspired.

I set out to make my paint chip artwork wanting to do a gradation of color in my favorite color, blue.

I purchased an 8x10 inch frame from The Christmas Tree Shops for $4.99 and using my circle punch, I punched and I punched.I needed about 110 circles for 11 rows of 10 circles for each row.I did my best to organize the shades of blue but seriously, my eyes were going batty looking at all of these different colors.Using Elmer's Glue, I glued the circles directly to the glass.I set a Dutch Oven on top to set the dots in place and let it dry for 20 minutes or so.Here's the finished project.It doesn't appear that I got the color correct from light to dark. Next time, I will just get 10 paint chips of each color and do it that way.

What do you think? Do you craft with Paint Chips?

Ps - The color I selected for my guest room after all of these Paint Chips was Valspar Surf Spray.

August 19, 2011

End of Summer GIVEAWAY Celebrating 400, 500, 600 Followers!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Can you believe it? Whoo hoo!

Let's celebrate!

In the past, after every hundred followers that I reach, I have hosted a giveaway.

After a lazy busy few months, I am celebrating not only reaching 400 or 500 followers, but 600!

And why not celebrate the end of summer too with the following giveaway . . .
One lucky winner will receive a set of coastal-themed notecards, votive holder, notepad and Dressed to Grill, a fun bbq cookbook. Not only will one follower receive these items, but a few others as well that I have not included in the photo - kinda like a surprise.

All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your favorite summer memory and upon winning the giveaway, blog about it.

Multiple entries and any entry that does not share some summer love will be deleted. US entries only.

My giveaway ends Friday, August 26, 2011 at 5pm EST.

Good luck everyone and thank you for following my blog!!

August 18, 2011

Have You Tried Eyebrow Threading? I have!

Ahh . . . eyebrows. A frame for the face.

When I was in high school, I remember tweezing my brows and making my parents so upset as they thought I had beautiful eyebrows.

With Brooke Shields as my eyebrow idol, I have always liked fuller brows.

Back in 2001, before Anastasia, there was Eliza Petrescu.At the time, she had a salon at Trump Tower and since I was working across the street, I decided to book an appointment.

5 months! That is how long it took to get an appointment with her. When I arrived, in her Russian accent she asked me, "Why are you here? You have beautiful eyebrows."

After waiting 5 months, she better pluck something!

Althought she gave me a beautiful eyebrow wax, I never went back. It was over $50!

So, on the spur of the moment, after leaving my hair salon last week, I saw a tiny Indian woman threading and decided to give it a try.

It was amazing! I am awestruck and will never, ever go back to waxing!

Less painful than waxing, electrolysis or laser hair removal (I have tried all).

I did feel the string pulling out the hairs but it took less than 5 minutes and the shape is amazing and still full.

I am hooked and will definitely go back to her. And, it was only $10 !!!!



Have you tried threading?

image - beautyexpose.com

August 17, 2011

Roasted Tomatoes

I recently heard from Lynn over at Happier Than A Pig in Mud asking me about what ever happened to my recipe posting that I had started to do every Wednesday.

Lazy! That's me. I really haven't picked up a cookbook this summer.

But Lynn inspired me to post something.

The best thing to post about this summer are my dad's tomatoes! He has some crop this season. All the time and love that goes into his garden always amazes me.

You may notice that purple tomato in the middle and upper right. That is an heirloom tomato called Purple Russian. I had purchased the seeds from Seedsavers a few years ago. They are delcious. A bit spicy.

Well, I love sun-dried tomatoes and while I didn't want to dry mine in the sun like my Italian nonna used to do, I did roast them in the oven.

I sliced the tomatoes in 2 or 3 slices than sprinkled with some salt, pepper, fresh rosemary and just a drop of olive oil on each. You do not want to drown them. Just a drop.Here is what they looked like after 220 degrees for 5 hours.They are so sweet! The taste is amazing and I will definitely be making more of these so I can eat them all winter.TIPS:
1- Only slice the tomatoes into two. I had some big tomatoes so I sliced them into 3 or 4. These were paper thin and while still good, the tomatoes sliced in 2 had more substance.
2 - I cooked mine for 5 hours but they may be ready after 4 hours.

How are you cooking your tomatoes this summer?

August 16, 2011

Who Knew Mosquitos had so Much Blood and Conceal by Yankee Candle

I have had it with mosquitos.

I recently heard a report that this is the worst summer in many years.

My hands are sore from clapping them together hoping to ensnare (kill) the bastards between my palms.

Who knew mosquitos had so much blood? Look at the nice mark left behind on my dragonfly curtains.I have tons of products that are supposed to protect my delicate skin from bites. They work just okay.But, I recently found the most AMAZING product. Conceal by the Yankee Candle Company..They have something in them called linalool. When I tell you that I lit a candle and was outside reading for over 5 hours without one bite, I mean it! I was so pleasantly surprised. And, for only $4.99 for 4 votives, well worth every penny!!

While in the house, I spray myself with Avon's Skin-So-Soft body oil spray.I am not sure if it is an old wive's tale that this is supposed to work but I haven't been bit inside my home since using it. And, my skin is nice and soft too.

While playing golf, I use Avon's Bug Guard Spray and SPF.A few years ago, I was bitten by a tic. Never knew it until I saw that tell-tale ring. I caught it early enough using antibiotics but I am so cautious since then.

What do you use to fight those dang mosquitos?

"If you think you are too small to be effective,
you have never been in bed with a mosquito."
- Betty Reese

August 15, 2011

Never Pay Full Price. Summer Bargains at Lord & Taylor

Who doesn't love a bargain?

Really - why pay full-price for anything when you can purchase beautiful items on sale and with a coupon?

I headed to my favorite store, Lord & Taylor with a 20% coupon in hand and this is what I picked up.
Micheal Kors Black and White Dress - Originally $99.50 - Paid $23.87
Lauren by Ralph Lauren Brown Print Dress - Originally $134 - Paid - $32.15
Blue Top - Originally $54 - Paid $12.79
Black and White Silk Top - Originally $80 - Paid $15.99
Sand Diego Hat Company Hat - Originally $38 - Paid $10.63
Echo Scarf (LOVE THIS SCARF) - Originally $48 - Paid $13.43
Anne Klein Shoes - Originally $69 - Paid $31.99
BCBG Leather Bracelet - Originally $50 - Paid $15.99
Betsey Johnson Necklace (gift for niece) - Originally $48 - Paid $15.35
Robert Rose Multi Chain Necklace - Originally $32 - Paid $10.23

That's a total of $182.42 for all of this scrumptiousness!

How about you? Have any of you scored some terrific bargains this summer?

August 12, 2011

Weekend Thoughts

With summer slipping away, it is so important to . . . image

August 11, 2011

Emeril on Top Chef? Please say it isn't so.

Just saw a blurb online that said Emeril Lagasse was joining the Top Chef panel.

I just threw up in my mouth.

I cannot tell you how grossed out I am. There is something about this man that makes my skin crawl.

He is 51 but looks older than my dad and he is in his 80s!

I love Top Chef and will now have to hit the mute button every time he speaks and will have to look away anytime he is on screen.

Eww!

Now on to more lovely things like Spike, my favorite Top Chef ever.image


August 10, 2011

Barnes & Noble and The Anatomy of the Sea

While at a Barnes & Noble recently . . .I came across some fun beach-themed items.Who knew Barnes & Noble had such things.

While perusing the bargain book aisle, I spotted and purchased the following book - The Anatomy of the Sea - Over 600 Creatures of the Deep by Dr. David Ponsonby and Professor Georges Dussart.How fun is this book?!When it is 30 degrees out, I will pick up this book and think of our friends from the sea.

"A life without love
is like a year without summer."
- Swedish Proverb

August 8, 2011

Sea Glass Votive Candle Holder

I love sea glass. Mind you, I have never actually found any sea glass.

But, after purchasing some at the Dollar Tree for $1, I decided to give this craft a try.

Using a faux blue Ball jar from a project a few weeks ago which you can read about here, I set out to create a votive holder made of sea glass.I used my hot glue gun and for such a wee little project, I was perturbed. The sea glass kept falling off. But, I managed to get them to stick. The light at night is amazing from this candle holder.$1.00 for the sea glass.
Jar left over from capers or artichokes.

Not bad for a cheap and easy craft.

August 5, 2011

Why I am Boycotting The Jersey Shore

"There are days when any electrical appliance in the house,
including the vacuum cleaner,
seems to offer more entertainment possibilities
than the TV set." - Harriet Van Horne

I refuse, absolutely refuse, to watch The Jersey Shore in Italy.

They are an absolute disgrace and I really hope my fellow Italians do not think that this is the best that America has to offer. It is not.

No one, NO ONE, in my family both in the States and in Italy look, act or are anything like these trashy fools.

I am a proud Italian and these fools give Italians a bad name!

August 4, 2011

White Pumpkins

It is hard to imagine Autumn when it is 90 degrees out but growing in my dad's garden are the most beautiful pumpkins including this white one which was grown from seeds from a pumpkin I purchased out in the Hamptons last fall.Do you grow pumpkins?

They are so easy to grow and their flower blossoms are delicious.

UPDATE - Said white pumpkin has been eaten by a squirrel or some other garden creature! Ick!

August 3, 2011

Goodbye Borders. Goodbye Talbots (sort of).

I am so sad to see Borders go. I am sad to see any bookstore fold.

But, I do love a bargain!

While items continue to be discounted every day, I went to my local Borders and picked up these two magazines that were 40% off.The Church Supper magazine is amazing! Can't wait to try the recipes.

On to Talbots. While Talbots is not closing, they are shuttering hundreds of their stores; including the one near me.

Clothing was a bit sparse although I did purchase a lovely top for $10. But, what amazed me were all of the store's fixtures that were on sale. Everything from mannequins to frames to vases . . .

I purchased 4 hangars that were new and never used. They were 2/$1.00Next up were these huge, in-great-condition, wooden boxes. They probably held scarves or jewelry at one time. They were $5/each and my head is spinning with the possibilities.Thanks for the bargains but so upset that great stores are closing.

August 2, 2011

My Favorite New Essie Nail Polish Color

Ahh . . . pedicures.

After coral and hot pink and bright blue, I wanted a more subdued color for my next pedicure. So, I chose Essie Nice is Nice.What do you think? Do you have a favorite nail polish color for summer?

August 1, 2011

My Favorite Reads for Summer

My favorite bookmark says it all . . .Is there anything quite as pleasant as summertime reading? On a beach chair, poolside, your favorite patio chair . . . once Memorial Day hits, I so look forward to choosing my summer reads.

I decided to share with you some of my favorite summer reads through the years.

The ultimate summer read is Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea.First printed in 1955, relevance still leaps from its pages. A wife and mother looking for simplicity in the everyday, escapes to the beach to find herself. Cannot recommend this book enough. It is to be read every summer. I only wish the author were still alive as I would love to hear her speak.

During the summer, I enjoy reading beach-themed books.From a woman pondering divorce in A Year by the Seaby Joan Anderson to two sisters sharing one love on Fire Island in The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Anne Brashares (a favorite of mine) to my current read, The House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jon Schmidt, you cannot go wrong with these beachey reads. I can feel the sand under my toes.

I also like to be taken away, far far away and these following books do just that.A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke is about a Brit who moves to Paris and all the culture shocks that go along with it. This book had me laughing out loud.

Capturing Paris by Katharine Davis is about a 25 year marriage that is on the brink in, wherelse, Paris.

French Trysts by Kirsten Lobe is about an American escort in Paris and it is a very fun, sexy, oh-my-word read. My sunglasses are getting all steamy as I type this.

By Bread Alone by Sarah-Kate Lynch. While on holiday in France, Esme allows Louis to knead more than her sourdough bread.

I read The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club by Jessica Morrison a few summers ago and it is what started me thinking about creating a blog. In one day, the main character loses her job, her apartment after finding her fiance cheating on her and in a drunken binge, leases an apartment in Buenos Aires. Stupid title but fun read.

When in Rome . . . A Novel of Piazzas and Passion by Gemma Townley is another "my boyfriend is an ass" book but he's an ass in Rome. Heck, you're in Rome. Go shopping!

I love to read travel memoirs. These are two of my favorite reads and I think about the authors often. Isn't that the sign of a good book?An Italian Affair by sometime More magazine columnist Laura Fraser details her affair with a Frenchman throughout Italy. She comes to appreciate and experience her bigger-than-a-size-2 body. Love this book. She is such a great writer.

Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach holds a special place in my heart as while I was in Italy, solo, for several weeks, I contacted the author and she kindly replied. Ms. Steinbach is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and in this book, she chronicles her travels through Europe and her love affair with a Japanese man.

In A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance, Jane Juska places the following personal ad: "Before I turn 67--next March--I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like."She does just that. Poignant, I admire her chutzpah. She was on The View a few years ago discussing this book. Love her.

My summer would not be complete without reading one of Sue Grafton's books.A mystery writer, I somehow can't seem to put down her books and "O" is for Outlaw was no exception.

Well, there you have it. Some of my favorite summer reads.

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think?

What's your favorite summer read?

"No matter how busy you may think you are,
you must find time for reading,
or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance."
- Confucius
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