Saturday, October 22, 2011

Favorites at the Penn Ave

What we're digging right now at the Penn Ave:


I used to only be able to find these at Trader Joe's, 
but now Target has them and the obsession is back in full force!  
They are so spicy-ginger-y good.

  Hands down the best color of this fall.  Love love loooove it.

I've always loved me some Burt's Bees.  
Hibiscus has the perfect hint of color -- 
I swear, a swipe of this and some mascara 
and it's like I actually put on make up for dance class.

I wear this Active line from Old Navy like it's going out of style.  
It is the most durable, comfortable active 'yoga' pieces I have found. 
(and it's ON, so the price is right)
Perfect for dance.  Perfect for lounging.  Perfect for my life.

Mrs. Meyers products are a staple in our home.
This seasonal Orange-Clove scent is extra awesome.  Loving it in our kitchen right now.


Seasonal Beers ... all the more reason to drink and be merry!
This one is extra delish.

At the first sign of chilly weather, Eric breaks out the arsenal of plaid  button-downs.
Favorites are from Urban Outfitters.

   When it's too cold to ride a gazillion miles on his road bike, Eric hits Planet Fitness while I hit the dance studios.  It's a purple and yellow good time.

   Another chilly weather staple.  Easy, cool style to hang out and stay warm.
(especially since there have been days the 
penguins could comfortably march through our house)  

When he's not sporting the beanie, 
Eric's perfect faux-hawk is achieved with Got 2 Be Styling Glue.  
We have a closet full of rejected mens hair styling waxes, pomades, gels and sprays.  
This apparently is the winner.


This is the Woo's second year sporting the Pup Crew Fleece.
They are super cute and warm for our little pup.

Talk about a spoiled doggie.  Elwood has acquired a taste for pumpkin.
We give him a taste when we're making our favorite pumpkin dishes and he loves it.
Not surprising since his other favorite thing is sweet potato.
Elwood has tried all of the Beneful prepared meals, but this one is his favorite.
One container lasts him about 4 dinners - but if it were up to him, he'd scarf more down!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Soda Shop Bop Prop

The small fryz at the dance studio are doing a Soda Shop Bop for their competition jazz dance this year to Sh-Boom by the Taffetas. 

Well, I decided they needed a prop (of course I did, ha)
So I'm making them little waitress trays and ice cream sodas!

The Materials:
plastic (princess) kids plate
pink paper 'filler'
plastic ice-cream or parfait glass
white bath scrubbie
mini red Christmas ornaments
pink straws
tacky glue
hot glue
red glitter
plastic spray paint primer
silver metallic spray paint
the patience of a saint

This is not a quick project.  It is something to tackle while there is an awesome TV marathon on, preferably an old season of Project Runway!

All of the ice cream soda components were purchased at the Dollar Tree & Lowes, with the exception of the plastic cups which were ordered here $6 for a sleeve of 20
(Nothing pushes creativity more than a tiny budget)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trash Day Project

I was recently the recipient of some Tyrone Trash Day treasures
that will be getting an over haul around here.  Happy happy!
This is a piece that I'm making over for the besties mom.
The before is not my style, but it is super cute with tons of possibilities.

Step One:
The scrub down.  Um, hello, it came from trash day.  It needed a scrub.

Step Two:
The color - Rust-Oleum Sunrise Red
(3 coats total)

Step Three:
The details - I hand painted some fun teal-blue swirls on the back and sides
just to punch it up a little bit.

Not bad for free trash!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Soup

Today I'm lunching with the ladies that will be working at the new shop.
I'm making pumpkin soup and my mom is making a fall salad. Super easy stuff!

Pumpkin Soup:
2T butter / 2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion - finely chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1 t curry powder
2 t ground coriander
3 (15oz) cans pure pumpkin
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 T light brown sugar
1 c heavy cream
salt / pepper

Saute onion & garlic over med heat in butter/oil until soft.
Add spices and cook another few minutes.
Add pumpkin and chicken stock.  Blend well.
Use immersion blender to puree soup on the stove top.
(I sometimes skip this step if the onions and garlic are chopped finely enough.)
With soup on low heat, add brown sugar.
While stirring, add milk & heavy cream.
Finish with salt/pepper to taste.

Garnish with cinnamon croutons or toasted pumpkin seeds

Mulled Cider Candle

This is the most fantastic smelling candle I have ever purchased.  
It smells like Autumn... and now so does my house!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Project Runway: Calling it now!

I'm obsessed with Project Runway this year.  We (PR and I) almost broke up when Anthony Ryan was "Auf Wiedersehen-ed" outta there waaaaay too early.  

(He's still an all-time favorite of mine.)

And I wasn't thrilled tonight when Laura got the kiss of death as well.

(I just think Nina hated her.  I still totes love her and her semi-bad 70's style)

 Of the remaining four designers, only three will show at Fashion Week.
Yadda yadda yadda, drama, suspense, yadda.

I think Anya is totally going to win the whole enchilada.

  (Yeah, she can't sew, but she's cute, different and has killer design skills and style.)

I actually love Viktors clothes the most, but he'll have a career with or without Project Runway.  There just isn't a reality show reason for him to win.
(I'll buy all of his clothes when he puts out his line for Target. ha)

As far as the final collection 'showdown' and who will show at fashion week drama...
It's going to come down to Josh M & Kimbery.
Josh because American loves to see him cry (I just love his Ken Doll hair) and Kimberly because she has the personality of a kumquat and her clothes are forgettable.

Showdown winner? Meh, I'll say Josh M.

Note: I'm usually 100% wrong when it comes to Reality TV predictions. 
I will venomously deny making all of the above statements when confronted with the final outcome.  Just sayin'.

Other unfortunate Reality Show obsessions of the moment:  Work of Art, Top Chef (Just Desserts), Real Housewives of any county, Rachel Zoe & Dance Moms.  Also a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance, Sheer Genius, America's Best Dance Crew & America's Next Top Model when they are in season.
Clearly, I love me some Bravo.

Finds Furniture Consignment

Can't wait for the new family shop to open!
The space is huge and it's going to have an awesome inventory.
Eric and I are building the website now... it seems to be our new niche with his web background and my design background.
I'm also helping my mom throw the launch party.
Retro theme with a Halloween twist is where we are thinking of taking it.
As always, SO much to do!

Chopped Garlic

We go through so much garlic in this house... I'm Italian, it's what my people do. 

(Though Eric is Irish/German and Elwood is French/Asian, 
I'm pretty sure my Italian genes dominate all ancestry pools combined.)

I prefer fresh garlic to the jarred stuff, so we just chop our own.
Store it in an old jelly jar with some extra virgin olive oil and pop it in the fridge.
Saves me a ton of time in the kitchen!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just Little Things

Just Little Things is a site I've followed for a while now.
Updated daily with little things that can make your day and make you smile.  
Sometimes they are just OK things and other times they totally hit home.  Cute stuff.

Challenge: Master Bedroom

I have several home challenges to tackle in the next 6 months or so.

We LOVE our house and I really like our funky mix-n-match design throughout.
Is this how I would decorate my home if I had a billion dollars?  No.
But our house is decorated with a modern eye, a sense of mixed styles and a shoestring budget.  In the words of Tim Gunn, we 'make it work'.

When we bought our house 2 years ago, there were some rooms that felt the budget love and others that were put on the B-list until a later date.

I'm starting to tackle that list and I'm starting at the top in the Master Bedroom.
Our house is a Cape Cod style with an open layout, one-room second floor.  This room hit the B-list for that very reason... no one really needed to go up there besides us!

We hastily chose a paint color (with lofty visions of a future design in mind), slapped it on the walls, shoved our furniture in there and haven’t touched it since.

So, I’m giving myself $200 to make it over into a room we love.
The Timeline: Before Thanksgiving. 
Scaled layout of the current room.  Pardon the crappy picture it's attached to. 
Paint Color 
(Three sample swatches painted!)
Area Rug 
(for our ‘sitting area’)
Love Seat 
(needs some love, it’s looking a little ‘used’)
Throw pillows 
(for couch and bed)
Vanity stool
(fabric to reupholster)
Art solution for stairway
Paint/Refinish: chest, little stand & end table

Long-Term non-$200 Budget Goals for a later date:
Window Treatments
New Bed Frame/Headboard
Pull-out closet doors (+ great hardware)
Master Bathroom

That’s a huge list and a tiny budget, but I totally think it’s doable.  My other goal is to make the whole room feel more gender-neutral.  Yeah, I dig a floral or damask, but I like chevron just as much, so I’m going to try to lean towards a more neutral vibe 
(did ya hear that?  It was Eric cheering.)

Fingers crossed!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Holy (Pumpkin) Cannoli (Dip)

Another cheater 'recipe'
(can you call it a recipe if it's just mixing crap in a bowl?)

I spent the day with my second family this past weekend 
and met my brand new sweet baby niece (excitement overload!)

I rarely show up anywhere empty handed, so this time I was packing Pumpkin Cannoli Dip.
Totally season appropriate and super easy. 

Combine in a bowl:
8 oz mascarpone cheese
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 small can pumpkin
1/4 c sugar 
1 c semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Fold in:
1/2 container cool whip 
(this should say 'real, freshly whipped cream', but I was in a hurry people)

Spread in dish and sprinkle on top:
semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
chopped toasted pecans

Dust with powdered sugar

Serve with cinnamon sugar pita chips

The idea of turning a Cannoli into a dip isn't anything new.  
But for lovers of Italian confections, this is just a quick way to get a sweet Cannoli fix! 

Note: This 'recipe' makes a party sized portion.  
Half it if you're making it for hanging out at home!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sparkle Polish

I've been rocking the sparkle ring finger with fun colored polishes all summer

I didn't think it was a trend with staying power for me through fall ...
but I think I'm still going to love the look with muted polishes too!