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Thursday, November 29, 2012

embrace the camera

linking up with the anderson crew today for
embrace the camera 


 today i choose this photo of myself and a dear friend.  this picture captures her relationship with friends perfectly.  she's so bubbly and has such an outgoing personality, she just brings out the fun in everyone :)

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we love you, E!
i hope we have many many more pictures like this in the future!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DIY Pom Wreath

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this wreath is the extra "little something" that we needed to add some holiday spirit to our apartment.  you see, we live in a pretty small place, mr p is mr scrooge when it comes to christmas decorations, and we only have a limited space to keep it all.

putting up a wreath is a great way to set the mood, because it's the first thing visitors see when they enter your home (and it's the first thing YOU see too! so it puts you in the holiday spirit too!) so, if you don't put up many decorations for the holidays, choose a wreath.  actually, choose THIS wreath.  because it can be stuffed in a box, squashed in there however it fits, and you can always reshape it and refluff it next year when it's time to break it out again.  it's not one of those "be gentle when you put the trash bags over it! don't let the flowers come off! and set it on TOP of the stack of christmas boxes and don't let anything else touch it!" kinds of wreaths.

anyways, i made this last year, but it's SUUUPER simple enough that you don't need step by step pictures.

....DIY Pom Wreath....

tools/materials:
scissors
yarn
wire hanger
needle-nosed pliers

instructions:
1. start off by making about 20-30 poms in whatever combination of colors you would like.
(excellent video of how to make a yarn pom found here..and while the video says to cut them clean, i like a few snaggles and some variation in pom size!) this will take the most amount of time, so this is why i suggest doing this part first! you can make a few at a time, and come back to the project later if you want.

2. use your hands to shape the hanger into a circle (use the pliers for stubborn corners).  i untwisted the neck of the hanger so that the wreath is a simple circle, but you can leave the neck in tact for a nice hook to hang the wreath!

3. use the long threads of the pom to tie the poms onto the wire circle, then trim as needed.  the poms will be off-center from the wire, but once you bunch the poms together it will fill in more nicely.

4. hang onto the door, and enjoy for the entire holiday season :)

5.  hang a small photo frame filled with a solid piece of paper inside of it, and write a festive message on the glass with dry-erase marker for a fun addition (we first used these as food labels at friendsgiving! i'm sure they will have many many uses in the future.  great $3 investment :P)

cheers!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thanksgiving road trip

i could just post a bunch of pictures from thanksgiving to show you how the big day went...

or... 

i could tell you that we were too busy spending quality time with the family in ohio that i didn't even take a single picture of any thanksgiving festivities.  camera never came outta the bag.

well... except twice ;)

once to snag a seemingly-rare photo of just my mom and i... just before heading over to my cousins' house for thanksgiving #1 ON thanksgiving.

once to snap a picture of some food at thanksgiving #2 in cleveland ...this is one of my FAVORITE mama P dishes, fried rice with eggs, veggies, and special sausage... after she TAUGHT ME TO MAKE IT!!! now i've got some big shoes to fill... because this stuff is good.

instagram sufficed for the rest of the weekend ;)





1. drinking games with mr p's siblings. someone made me take TWO moonshine cherries at once :/
2. my snuggle buddy for the night... lil miss ellie.
3. my little buckeye watched the game all the way from florida! (ironically, with 4 men in mr p's family, mama p and i were the only 2 watching the game at that house...)
4. there was no hesitation in setting up the christmas tree. "after thanksgiving" MEANS "after thanksgiving", people!! 'tis the season :)
(p.s. it hardly looks any different from last year! just the way i like it :P)

hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving weekend, too!

cheers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

small business saturday

i just saw a commercial for target saying it was opening at 9pm, thanksgiving day.
 
 
it
makes
me
 
via.
 
the sad thing is that i love target. i was just telling my coworker yesterday that it's pretty ridiculous that i'm there usually multiple times a week.
 
not only does this pretty much ruin thanksgiving for all of the workers, it ruins it for everyone involved, including those to GO to the stores, and the FAMILIES of those who go. we all know good and well that those workers don't walk in the doors at 9pm... they get there early, they catch up on sleep during the day so they can stay awake during the night... it's just really unfortunate what black friday has become.
 
what can you do instead?
 
support your local small businesses on
 
 
i always think it's better to support the little guy...
plus, no tv, gaming system, camera, computer, clothes, appliance, nothing is worth taking away thanksgiving from an employee that probably doesn't make much more than minimum wage anyways...
 
YOU know the small businesses in your area, go to them! they need your support even if they aren't having a sale...
 
grab a coffee from your local cafe instead of starbucks.
buy a cute necklace from a local boutique instead of forever21.
purchase a REAL piece of art from a local artist instead of the mass-produced ones at BB&B.
buy gas at a local station (or at least a franchised one)
eat at a local restaurant instead of picking up some McD's or sitting down at olive garden.
go on etsy and see what goodies you can find! even though they may not be local to you, they are still small businesses.
the list goes on and on....
 
you should support you local businesses anyways... BUT... if you want to know if stores near you will be participating in small business saturday, visit:
 
 
...and get out there!
 
NYC/NJ area people, your small businesses need it most. i know that many local shops and restaurants at least in jersey city were devastated from hurricane sandy, and NEED your help!
 
what are your shopping plans for the holiday season?
 
cheers!

Monday, November 19, 2012

friendsgiving

thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all of the wonderful things in your life.
yet, most of us simply spend a day eating, drinking, watching THE parade, and possibly watching or playing some football.... all with family.

for us, and many 20-somethings-without-children (and i suppose some WITH the kiddos), thanksgiving is ALWAYS a time for travel, especially us lucky ducks who decided to move hundreds of miles away, meaning holidays include a brutal amount of hours in the car (thanks, ke$ha and t-swizzle for making those trips a tiny bit more tolerable)


all that is great, but... what about your friends?
normally, we all just leave each other in the dust as we travel "back home" to our families.


this year, however, was different!  we were able to celebrate a "friendsgiving" last weekend with some great people in philly that we have had the opportunity to become friends with.  mr p and i have recently made friends through many different avenues, so they aren't all in the same group.  but it was still nice to get together and eat great food (and drink great drinks.. hellllllo Wells Banana Bread Beer)


our wonderful hosts, matt and jenna, made the turkey, and the rest of us brought the rest! by the time the list came to us, most of the standards were taken.  sweet potatoes, stuffing, green bean cassarole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, collard greens... all taken.  mr p and i decided to go for some not-so-traditional treats and hoped they would be a hit.  after much hesitation, mr p's chicken liver pate was a HUGE hit!  so was the mushroom pate, maybe even more than the chicken liver pate.
(ewwww... chicken livers?? you guys are gross..)

don't knock it until you try it (i couldn't even get a picture of it before someone snagged a scoop!!). we mr p followed this recipe to a T (with the exception of salt and pepper to taste), and the mushroom (aka vegan) pate recipe will be coming shortly, stay tuned :)
in the meantime, check out the rest of the pictures from our first ever friendsgiving :)


perfect labels for those not-so-obvious appetizers.  cheap frames with white paper.  write on the glass with dry-erase markers!!  use them over and over again.


the spread.  it's a good thing i'm getting to at least 2 kickboxing classes this week, because i tried this ALL....  AND the collard greens.  AND the stuffing.  AND the pies.  

we will be spending next year's thanksgiving with these two lovebirds on the beautiful island of barbados for their WEDDING!!

meet edie james.  slightly spastic, slightly cuddly, 100% awesome.

our other lovebirds. aren't they cute?

what did i learn from this weekend?

1. 2 thanksgiving weekends are better than 1

2. i NEEED a kitty
(wait, i already knew that, playing with edie james just cemented that thought into my brain)
 3. chicken liver pate isn't scary... it's DELICIOUS!!

4. wells banana bread beer is heaven.  definitely tastes like banana bread, but isn't sweet.  perfect beer combo :)


we have thanksgiving numero dos this weekend in ohio... can't wait to see our families!
what are your plans!?

cheers!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

dream home

what's your dream home?
where do you find inspiration?
are you addicted to pinning those perfectly-designed, lavish homes on pinterest?
 
 
for me, it's simple.
i go for a walk in greenwich village, and i stumble upon a house that i have to just stop and stare at for a few minutes.
i think it's because my "dream home" is always something that looks attainable.  i don't think i will ever have a 6,000 square foot home with 6 bedrooms and too many bathrooms with a sauna, indoor pool, and movie theater, but i DO think i could have a brownstone one day (maybe, it might be when i'm 70, but still).  and if i did, i would want it to have curb appeal like this beautiful place on macdougal street in the village:

painted brick just melts my heart.  i just love it.  this place COULD use some cute window boxes, but i'll leave that for what WE are the ones that own the place ;)

we were intrigued so much that we decided to peek inside the brightly-lit window (not creeper-ish at all :P)  i was stunned.  those windows near the street level are, on the inside, near the ceiling of a 2-story loft area.  there was a HUGE television mounted on the wall, and it had an adorable, eclectic-but-cozy decor.  this place was just perfect... curb appeal of a classy colonial home, but the modern interior of a typical new york loft.

but, when we turned the corner, i found this gem! just like the other place, but with the window boxes! as we got closer, however, we realized this place was a dry cleaner :(

still though, to live in this tiny little gated community right in the middle of greenwich village in manhattan?  i'd take ANY of those adorable little homes on macdougal alley!

what's your dream home?!

cheers!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

simple crunchy granola

.oats.
.sugar.
.oil.
that's pretty much all you need for this wonderful recipe.
(however it's MUCH MUCH better if you have a few other key ingredients)

it's granola! it seems so simple, yet when i want some, it's easiest just to pick up a package of nature valley bars that are grab-n-go instead of making it.  but in reality, granola is OH so easy to make at home!  ...and the nice thing about it, is that you know everything that goes into it (is it just me, or does it really bug you too when an ingredients list says "natural flavorings"? wtf does that even mean!?) plus, it's good with just a few ingredients, or if you want to put 20 things in it, go for it!

this recipe is as simple as:
measure it
(or don't, eyeballing is totally fine)
mix it
bake it
bask in the irresistible smell that will fill your home
(who doesn't want that!? this would totally beat out the "bake cookies before showing a house" trick)


simple crunchy granola
(inspiration from Sara Kate at thekitchn.com)

must-have ingredients:
4 cups of rolled oats (regular kind, not quick oats)
1/2 cup of olive oil (plus 1/4 cup for every 4 cups of add'l dry ingredients)
1/3 cup of brown sugar (plus 1/4 cup for every 4 cups of add'l dry ingredients)
1 tsp salt (plus 1/4 tsp for every 4 cups of add'l dry ingredients)

optional (but totally worth it) ingredients:
coconut oil (substitute half of olive oil for coconut oil)
coconut flakes (add to dry ingredients before baking, you decide the quantity!)
nuts (add to dry ingredients before baking, you decide the quantity!)
almond or vanilla extract (add to wet ingredients before baking)
cinnamon (add to dry ingredients before baking)
egg whites (add to wet ingredients before baking, 1/2 cup of whites per 4 cups of oats)
dried fruit (toss in after baking, you decide the quantity!)
chocolate chips (toss in after baking, you decide the quantity!)
wheat germ (add to dry ingredients before baking)

instructions:
- mix dry ingredients in a large bowl
- whisk together wet ingredients in another bowl
- pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix together
- pour mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or two, depending on how thick or chunky you want your granola)
- spread out the mixture evenly on the sheet
- bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, stir the mixture and spread out on sheet again, bake for another 15-20 minutes
- let cool completely before transferring to storage container (it will still be wet when it comes out, but will get crunchy when it cools down completely)






don't freak out.  that "optional" list of ingredients is lengthy, i know, but they aren't ALL necessary.  we made ours this weekend by adding the following:
- coconut oil
- walnuts
- cinnamon
- egg whites
- wheat germ

...and that was all just because we already had them in the pantry and didn't have to go buy anything. next time i'm banking on coconut flakes being the irresistible addition. the cheap kind that's been sweetened (because toasted sweetened coconut is to... die... for....) but maybe i'll get adventurous and try adding cayenne powder or something!! my mom makes this spicy, chocolate-drizzled chex mix stuff at christmas time that is SO good, and that same kick of spice seems like it would so perfectly in this recipe...  sweet and spicy are a perfect match sometimes!

the possibilities are endless, but at least you have a good base, and some idea for options to spice it up (pun intended :P) so, get creative with it!  then tell me about it.  what's your favorite thing to add to YOUR granola!?

cheers!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

you need a good belly laugh.

....and you thought david after dentist was funny, wait until you watch "laughing gas didn't phase julie at all"


thanks, the chive, besides all the pictures boobs that i have to go through to get to the funny stuff, you always manage to find a way to give me a good belly laugh.

cheers to the weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

apparently we name all of our storms now.

welcome, Athena.
 
although you made it pretty treacherous to drive home last night, and made it pretty unbearable to walk to our our friend's house to feed her cats (while she's in PARIS! lucky duck)...
 
front stoop view

back fire escape view
 
...you at least gave us some pretty pictures before turning into a gross slushy mess and let the trees plop big chunks of snow onto my good-hair-day hair while i turned into a wet sweaty mess shoveling the stoop and sidewalk this morning. 
(sorry, not gonna give you pictures of THAT hot mess)
 
cheers!


Monday, November 5, 2012

thirty acres

because of the wrath of hurricane sandyjersey city had a citywide curfew at 7pm on the first weekend in months that we've had no real plans... 

we didn't let that stop us!  on saturday, we popped in for a few afternoon drinks with friends at the local barcade before heading over to thirty acres for a date night (first in MANY months!)

oh, and we also ate pretty well this week and weekend too, our house turned into shower central for our friends without power, and they all paid us in food (although of course we insisted on nothing) ...which means having amazing indian food for leftovers.  can't complain one bit!


and date night means putting on the fancy shoes... mr p included... he just looks so cute in his new kenneth coles ;)


...and i, of course, had to put on my fancy vince camutos that mr p bought for me (on a MEGA sale at the end of the season last season, perfect time to buy italian leather boots!)


 




...as if the food wasn't enough pure happiness for us, this sign on the way out was the icing on the cake



thanks, thirty acres, for providing us with a schmancy impromptu date night... your limited menu didn't affect us at all! we were just happy that you were already back in business after the aftermath of hurricane sandy.  we probably would have ordered the fish and the pork chop anyways.  and you could seriously charge $15 for your $4 lemon bar and i'd still pay for it... i'm still raving about it.  can i get it to go?

cheers!
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