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Jul 10

Transporting Perishables

Posted on Friday, July 10, 2009 in Deep Dish, Favorite Finds, Going Green, Happy Home

When you commute between homes, have specific diet needs or feed children you find yourself bringing food back and forth and trying to maximize each trip to the market. When I plan for a weekend of entertaining, I love to cook things that make good leftovers and are easy to reinvent in the next dinner. I also plan my menus out in advance so that I can shop locally for any items that the town market won’t have and transport it on my way out of town.


The perfect accessories are coolers and containers. These are few of my favorites.


LLbean- the classic canvas tote, good for dry foods and walking the farmers market.





Flee a company I discovered when living in Boson, water resistant and super cute fabricsflee-berry-pink-bag


Coleman, the Standard cooler made by a company that knows the outdoorscoleman-cooler


Crate & Barrel, sort of cheesy, but insulated and practical so you can’t argue with that.cb-green-bag


Gladware Family Pack- Head to your BJs or Costco and pick up the Family Variety Pack….they are the best and don’t throw away the box it is so nice to grab the whole thing from the cabinet when it is cleanup time after a big meal.


Happy Eating!

Jun 17


Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 in Favorite Finds, Happy Home, Wallet Wise

There is nothing more fun that stationary. The art of writing letters to stay in touch is a thing of the past, but nothing beats the holidays when your mailbox is stuffed and the creativity of each piece showcases the personality of the sender. Because I haven’t lived in the same place for very long, I have invested in a few various stationers and I just love the process and result. In times like these, value is the most important consideration when purchasing a luxury item like stationary. This year I used, Etsy, my new favorite resource for “All things Handmade” I was able to have multiple artists bid, quote, and demonstrate their unique designs. I ended up with a product for ½ the price of Kate’s Paparie or Papyrus. Here are the final products. etsy2

To start the bidding process figure out what you are comfortable paying for your project and in my case I ordered, We’ve Moved Cards, Birthday Invitations and Return Address Labels. I figured a bulk order would give me more bargaining power and I am happy with the result. Check out Tucci’s shop at Etsy if you like her style.



Jun 9

Do you have a green thumb?

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 in Favorite Finds, Happy Home, Wallet Wise

After reading, watching and asking others with green thumbs how they do it, I decided to take a leap into planting over Memorial Day weekend. Being that my soil hasn’t been tested and there isn’t anything that seems to like to grow on the property I figured I would start out with container gardening. If you are living in the north east then it is still spring and you have time to plant both perennials and annuals.

I made a few visits to Lowes, Walmart, Home Depot and garden centers, but left with nothing. I was always unsure of what would work and not be a waste of $$$. I was also concerned for  what I could care for and the quality of the plants. I had always heard that diseased plants come from chain stores and the only guarantee in buying plants was to buy them from a grower and have them plant them for you. 

All my plants camp from Home Depot & 99% of my plants have survived the past 2 weeks, 1.5 fatalities and that was because I didn’t read that it needed full sunlight which I don’t have and the tomato plants in the topsy turvy are TBD. In addition to sunlight, a watering schedule, pots/ planters and deer are the other concerns I needed to understand before buying anything. 

Here are some sources I consulted and here is what I ended up with…I’ll keep you posted on how they survive the










Martha Stewart Show w/ Jerry Fritz of Linden Gardens Topic: Deer Resistant Gardens where Jerry coins the key to planting planters…always be symetrical and have a Thriller plant (Attention Grabber) a Filler (bulk) and a Spiller (flows over the sides), LOVE IT.

Garden Anywhere by Alys Fowler

Earth Easy: Raised garden beds, for those of you with property a friend of mine is composting and everything with the raised beds…Very Obama!

Upsidedown Tomatoes: Topsy Turvy, As seen on T.V.

White Flower Farm - Highly Recommended Highly Recommended


Fun Pots/ Planters


May 8

Tribeca Film Festival

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2009 in Favorite Finds, Ticket Trips, Wallet Wise

Not all that different from a regular cinema experience, except you are one of the first 1000 people to see the film and it costs $15 (+fees). Getting tix was made possible of AMEX Concierge. A feature that I am not aware if any other credit card has, but something I have now used a few times and just love! 

I saw two films during the Tribeca Film Festival this year and both were in the same theater, AMC VII on 3rd Ave. The theater was small, but still smelled of popcorn and the seats were filled for each event.

explodinggirl_still1First I saw, The Exploding Girl, a narrative about a college student home for a summer break in Brooklyn, NY. The movie was slow, but enjoyable. The love story between two teenagers was juvenile and chaotic, but reminded every audience member of their first “like” in life. The acting was good and the scenes were realistic. The directors, webpage.

racing-dreams_still3Second I saw, Racing Dreams, a documentary about go-karting. Racing Dreams won the Tribeca Film Festival Award for Best Documentary. I learned that Jeff Gordon and other NASCAR racers got their start in go-karting and governed by the WKA it is becoming a more popular youth sport. The documentary followed 3 karters for 1 season and it was just sensational. The director, Marshall Curry took some questions after the film and everyone was mostly curious where the 3 kids are today. Watch the red carpet premier and meet the three stars. It has been 2 years since the first film footage was shot. I laughed hard and got teary eyed too. We went to dinner and talked all night about the 3 kids. It was a really great film. Want more…Clip 

IFC- The independent film channel might be the best chance you have to see these films, so if they come across your t.v. stop and watch.

Mar 24

Dyson- Worth Every Penny

Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 in Ding Dong, Favorite Finds, Happy Home

dc17When I am asked, what it is I want for my birthday or Christmas most of the time I look to my closet and think, a purse, a necklace or pair of heels. Then later that same day I think of my home renovation list and fixing the patio or saving to replace the roof would be a practical gift. But since I received an early birthday gift this week I am calling the Dyson Vacuum the Gift of the Year! 

The only reason I was in the market for a vacuum is because I accidently locked my cat in a closet for 24 hours. Now every time I turn on the old vacuum it smells like cat! So it had to go! 

I would like to consider myself a patient and thorough shopper. After an ample amount of research every vacuum available at Best Buy, Amazon, etc. has negative reviews except Dyson. The only reason people don’t buy Dyson is because of the lofty price tag. (avg. $500) After 1 day of using the thing, I am here to tell you it is DYSON or DUST. 

A pet friendly and baby friendly house must be rid of dust, hair and germs and that is a challenge for even the most diligent home maker. A friend recently told me she vacuums just about every day and sometimes multiple times a day so I hope you are reading this and add the Dyson to your gift list! 

My husband thdyson-toolinks that I now seek out reasons to vacuum b/c it is fun. I purchased the DC17 aka “animal” and a few of the accessories including the mini turbine head. It is amazing. I was able to clean the couch from head to toe and while it is junk…it looks a whole lot better. I also used this tool on my zebra rug which collects every piece of dirt & lint and all new! The suction is insane and the small things about its usability all make so much sense. I think it is a work in progress transitioning from the Stone Age to modern Dysontime, but well worth the struggle.

Have a maid? Clean for yourself for 4 months and it pays for the Dyson!   

The Silver Lining: Dyson sells refurbished vacuums and I am so far very happy with mine. I have never been afraid to buy a refurbished machine b/c honestly they are the same as the original. You can still get a 6 mo warranty with refurbished vacuums through Dyson.

Mar 4

Sharing My Secrets

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 in Deep Dish, Favorite Finds

Hate having too much rind on your orange or in your finger nails after peeling?
I will never forget when a 4th grade student of mine showed me how he peels an orange. It was genius. 

I guess I never showed this trick to my husband because last week, when a television character was peeling it the same way I said, ‘that is my secret’! He went to work with an orange the next day and reports he loves the orange peeling process. 

How do you peel an orange?

Feb 25

Who Loves to Travel?

Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 in Favorite Finds, Ticket Trips

Anyone itching to get out of town, planning a family reunion or honeymoon?
Here are some helpful sites, hotels, search engines I use, read about or know someone who loves. There are millions of options out there for your ideal vacation stay. 

Please add places you have been and loved.
Shout Out…Jefferson Hotel- Richmond, VA made the T&L Top 500 Best Hotels 

 Luxury Hotel Accreditations
Relais Chateaux
Preferred Hotels
Orient Express
Rocco Forte Collection
Leading Hotels of the World
Five Star Alliance 

New Hotels
Four Seasons Seychelles- East Coast of Africa
The Estate at Grace Bay Club- Turks & Caicos Islands
Singita Grumeti Reserves- Tanzania
Pelican Hill- Newport Coast, California
Seven Seas- Thailand
AVIA Napa- Napa, California
Fontainebleau- Las Vegas, Nevada

Boutique Hotels
Leading Small Hotels of the World
The Porches- North Adams, MA
Ellerman House- Cape Town, South Africa
AVIA Savannah- Savannah, Georgia
The Inn at Perry Cabin, St. Michael’s Maryland
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, PA
Farm 215- Overberg, South Africa
Blackberry Farm- Walland, Tennessee

All-Inclusive/ B&B
Excellence Riviera Cancun- Mexico
Paradisus Palma Real Resort- Dominican Republic
Round Hill- Jamaica
Secrets Resorts- 4 New in 2009 & 2010
Iberostar- Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Hayden Street Inn- Healdsburg, CA
The Lodge at Woodloch- North Eastern, Pennsylvania
The Round Barn Farm - Waitsfield, Vermont Last Snow Shoe Dinner of the Season 3/14
Holiday in Tuscany- Chianti Region of Tuscany- Cooking School 

House Rentals
Home Away- Vacation Rentals
Vrbo- Vacation Rental by Owner
Mustique Island- Deals between May 1 - November 14
(Blue Waters / Cotton House)
Casa Paraty, Brazil 

Online Travel Advice, Booking, Help, Guides…
Travel Artistry - Tell them I sent you!
Home & Abroad
One Time
Side Step Conde Nast Consumer News Editor Wendy Perrin’s blog 

Current Deals
Fairmont Hotels have cut rates through April 15
Deal @ Fairmount Pearl in Mexico until April 30th
Starwood Hotels- 2nd night is ½ price including W & Le Meridien hotels Through March
Los Cabos, Mexico- $950 for 3 nights in a Villa, Flights & airport transfer & $100 credit
Half Moon- Jamaica prices are down to $250 a night April - early December

Feb 16

Follow Up

Posted on Monday, February 16, 2009 in Favorite Finds

Keeping you posted on the updated developments of old blogs. 

Jan 9 : Bullion Coins… continued

Here is the photo of my co-workers Chinese Bullion Necklace







January 26: Project of the Month…continued

Here is the necklace I made






January 29: Target Designers… continued

A new one….Orla Kiely’s Retro Patterns a kitchen, dining and storage collection.







C-Thru Ruby Perfume sold at Target, Walmart and Kohls. C-Thru is an Estee Lauder product geared for teenage girls, so buy for your daughter and use for yourself.  


Feb 2

Evil Eye

Posted on Monday, February 2, 2009 in Favorite Finds


As a teenager, I recklessly blasted evil stares at athletic opponents, ex-boyfriends, and clicks of girls referring to the look as giving someone ‘the evil eye’. Have any idea where this concept originated?


Over the New Year, I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, where the” evil eye” is a prominent symbol. Every taxi driver has one dangling from their rear view mirror; local artisans carve evil eyes into ceramics and beads and the duty free stores are stocked in “evil eye” paraphernalia.


The cardinal sin of envy is heavily written about in the books of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The evil eye seen all over Turkey is an apotropaic talismans, an object that wards off evil, similar to the act of knocking on wood.  It is believed that a person who resents another’s  attribute or material possession they  themselves  are  lacking, can wish the other person to be deprived of it by  casting  a jinx or curse through their evil eye. The token evil eye is hung in hopes of warding off these stares, gazes, and looks of envy. Some people believe the effects of jealousy can manifest into illness, death, and misfortune. 


I did pick up one evil eye while in Turkey and have since noticed them in fashion and home decor. Nothing wrong with warding off evil!



Mink NYC: Scarf












Aaron Basha: Charm














Etsy: Painting



Jan 29

Featured Designers of Design for All at Target

Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2009 in Favorite Finds, Happy Home, Shopping Spree, Wallet Wise

Recently, I received a Get To Know Your Friends Better chain letter, and my friend wrote,  “In Target” as the “Place I Would Rather Be Right Now”.


Target’s tag line; Great Design. Every Day. For Everyone.   This store is the single most reason I get jealous of the ‘burbs’. There simply is no better way to utilize your lunch break or spend your down-time before a dentist appointment.


Target is constantly adding new designers and new lines to their Design for All campaign. The products are innovative, fun, well made and look just as good as the alternative at half the price.


To search their list of designers Go Here, but these are a few products that make me want to drive to Jersey this weekend.


Hayden Harnett



















Sigerson Morrison Teal



































JK Jemma Kid








Thomas O’Brienthomas-obrien