Friday, October 30, 2009


It was bath-time at the house last night.
From top to bottom: JJ, Charlie, Murphy, and Riley. Rascal got an exemption... until this weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stark Carpet Warehouse Sale

If anyone is interested in or wants a copy of this coupon, leave a comment and a way for me to email you.

It's going on Nov. 5th through the 8th at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY, in case you can't read the picture. There should be a lot of great stuff there!

My current obsession: Lamps with Black Shades

Black shades are still pretty traditional and can act as a neutral, but are much less common than white or ivory shades. And while they don't let out as much light, they do create a kind of cozy feeling which is lovely as the nights grow cooler.

They work well in modern settings.

As well as more traditional ones.

I've decided that I'd like to use at least one or two black lampshades in our house, I think it's a nice change to the standard white that we have everywhere. The problem is, I need to find a good and affordable source!!!! (So if you know, please share!)

What do you think - do you like black lamp shades?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words...

Last night was spent running a few errands... one of them being buying a gift for a very special lady who is turning _____ tomorrow, Chris' grandmother. I don't know that she would appreciate me broadcasting her age throughout cyberspace, but we'll just say that she's over 40 and still going strong!

So, since I didn't really have time to put together a beautiful or thought-provoking post, I thought I'd steal one I saw over on Linda's blog last week! ;-)
This is a little Q&A with yours truly where I answer each question with pictures I found on Google Images.
Let's get started!

My favorite beverage:

Followed veeeeeery closely by:

My hometown:
(where I was born and spent the first 9)

Where we moved over 20 years ago, and what I consider my hometown now:

Which is home to:
(bonus points if you can guess)
My favorite TV show:
(I have several. I am kind of a TV addict.)

My occupation:

I work for a high end designer trade showroom as a sales rep selling rugs and carpeting. I did go to school for Interior Design, but I got my job right before I graduated, and I have been working here ever since.

This is the fun one!
My first car:
The year was 1992, and I had a 1983 Firebird (mine didn't have gold wheels...but it was this color!) I thought it was very cool.
It was followed very shortly thereafter by a silver 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity after the Firebird's engine burnt up (and not because of my driving, but because it was a piece of crap to begin with!)
Yeah, this car didn't even have a clock. It had one of those old radios with the knobs you turned that moved the needle up and down the dial.... remember those?

My favorite dish:
Chips and salsa - but restaurant fresh chips and salsa.
And pretty much anything Mexican.

The celebrity you have been told you resemble:
Sandra Bullock
And once, a drunken Irish lady in Cleveland (I was up visiting friends) said I looked just like Catherine Zeta Jones. But I think it was the whiskey talking....

The celebrity on your "to-do" list:
Gerard Butler
Hi there handsome....

Favorite childhood toy:
The Barbie Doll!
And now for your enjoyment, a random picture!
Here's Charlie, our Lhasa-Poo cutie pie.

I had fun playing along, and if you'd like to - consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trim-It-Down Tuesday: Weeknight Pork Chops and Apples

This week's recipe was so good! It doesn't taste like it's low-cal or "diet" at all.

And this week, I took pictures!

Weeknight Pork Loin Chops and Apples

Warm flavors like sage and cinnamon play up the contrast between the juicy chops and caramelized apples. Tart Granny Smiths and slightly sweeter Braeburn apples both work well for this dish.

4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and 3/4 cup apple mixture)

1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon butter
4 cups (1/2-inch) slices peeled Granny Smith apples (about 4 medium)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt

Combine first 3 ingredients, and sprinkle over the pork. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add pork; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. **Note: It took me much longer than 3 minutes per side to cook these. More like 5 minutes per side at least! Just make sure to cook all the way through.

Remove the pork from pan. Cover and keep warm. (Please note that because our pan tips forward on our stove a bit, all the oil and juices kind of flood the front of the pan. But next time, I would use less oil than I did this time.)

Here is a photo of Chris peeling and slicing the apples. What a nice husband!

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add apples and remaining ingredients, and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

Serve the apples with pork.

I served ours with mashed potatoes and a side salad of field greens with balsalmic vinegrette. Granted, mashed potatoes aren't really "diet".... but they were the splurge of the meal.

As I said, these turned out really really well. The apples were so good! The only thing I would say is to make sure the pork is thoroughly cooked through, which took me longer than the 3 minutes per side on medium heat.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 251 (30% from fat)
Fat: 8.3g (sat 3.1g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 24.1g
Carbohydrate: 20.2g
Fiber: 2.3g
Cholesterol: 67mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 388mg
Calcium: 38mg

Abby Duchin Dinces, Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2003

Monday, October 26, 2009

Out in the Garden

This weekend I was out planting our fall/winter flowers in the hanging pots off our back porch. Whenever it's time to switch out cool season annuals, or warm season annuals as I was doing, I'm always a little sad. While I know that once the first frost or freeze comes, they'll be toast, it makes me a little sad to rip up such pretty flowers and get rid of them.

But, with the new season comes some tiny new flowers with their own promise of beauty. And planting them now gives them the chance to grow a bit and get established before the cold and freezes roll in.

This past spring I planted angel wing (or dragon wing) begonias, and they did really well. They were so pretty and got so big! I replaced them with some cyclamen, which are kind of dainty, but have such pretty foliage and unusual flowers. Both do well in the shade.
I also planted some dianthus in my pots up front by the mailbox, but didn't get a chance to take pics of them yet. I'll have to take some and share those later this week (guess what? it's raining again!). I planted dianthus up there a couple of years ago and had great luck with them, so I'm hoping for the same good luck this year. My pansies got kind of leggy and floppy last year, so I didn't want to use them again.

Hope you all had a great weekend! Ready for another week?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why I subscribed to Country Living...

This house is pretty fantastic.

After losing my Cottage Living last year, I've missed seeing some of these smaller and sometimes quirky-but-beautiful homes like this one.

This is the home of Jayson Home & Garden's head buyer. You can see the full slideshow here.

Subscription rates are cheap! So I jumped on board and am looking forward to next month's issue.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'd like to be here

On this rainy and cool Wednesday, I'd like to be curled up in bed. Any of these would be lovely.

Some of my favorite bedroom images from: Head Over Heels, Apartment Therapy, and Country Living.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank you to Mrs. Life Accounts!

I was given the Kreativ Blogger award by Mrs. Life Accounts! Thank you!

For this award, I am supposed to post 7 facts about myself and pass the award on to 7 other bloggers!

Here are some facts:

1. In case you don't already know, Chris and I have 5 dogs. Yes - 5. We didn't intend to have so many - he had one, and I had two when we got together - but we love them all (although this is it for probably the next 10 years!).

2. I hate some of the clothes and hairstyles that some kids and teens are sporting these days! I secretly am glad that all of that will be out of style by the time we have kids and they are that age!

3. We live about 10 minutes away from the new Dallas Cowboys stadium ("Jerry-World") in Arlington, and it is absolutely massive on a grand scale. But it is really cool looking. Can't wait to go see Texas Tech (Chris' alma mater) play Baylor there in November.

4. I always thought I was a "city girl" at heart, and in many ways I am... but as I get older, the draw of living in a small town gets more and more appealing to me.

5. Because Chris travels so much, and I am the one to drop him off and pick him up, I have now memorized the DFW airport and could probably navigate it in my sleep. I realize that is nothing exciting for you to know about me, but just something I was thinking about last Sunday afternoon when I was dropping Chris off again.

6. I have mad love for spicy food. Really spicy food. I love it. Unfortunately, Chris doesn't.

7. When I was younger, in high school, I would get really scared at haunted houses. But now, all they make me do is giggle and laugh. I guess it's because I know they're just people (like me) and that nothing's for real - it's all for fun. I don't know, they're just not all that scary to me anymore. (*On a side note: I also didn't think Paranormal Activity the movie was as scary as I was expecting! It was okay, but not the scarefest I thought it would be! I guess I'm jaded.)

Hmmm.... I'm supposed to name 7 fellow bloggers, but I'll leave it open to anyone who wants to play along . Just let me know so I can come read about you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trim-It-Down Tuesday: Slow Cooker Veggie Chili

I have to be honest here... I haven't tried this recipe yet. BUT, we are trying it tomorrow night, and I'll be back to report on how it turned out. Slow cooker recipes tend to turn out pretty well, so I'm going ahead and posting this one.
***Edit*** This recipe is fabulous!!! Really very tasty and filling. My sister subbed one can of Rotel to spice it up a bit - yummy!

Slow Cooker Veggie Chili

Prep time: 25 mins.
Cook time: approx. 8 hrs.

Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce for some extra heat, and use a variety of your favorite beans if you wish.

Makes 15 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

2 large carrots, diced (1 cup)
2 celery ribs, diced (1/2 cup)
1 medium-size sweet onion, diced
Vegetable cooking spray
2 (8-oz.) packages sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large zucchini, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 yellow squash, chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
3 cups tomato juice
2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
4 (15-oz.) cans pinto, black, great Northern, or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn

1. Sauté first 3 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and squash; sauté 3 more minutes. Add chili powder and next 2 ingredients, and sauté 5 more minutes.

2. Stir together tomato sauce and tomato juice in a 6-qt. slow cooker until smooth. Stir in diced tomatoes, next 2 ingredients, and carrot mixture. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.

Note: Cool leftovers, and freeze in plastic freezer containers or zip-top plastic freezer bags for up to 2 months.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 124 (0.0% from fat)
Fat: 0.8g (sat 0.1g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.2g)
Protein: 7.4g
Carbohydrate: 24.5g
Fiber: 7g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 2mg
Sodium: 566mg
Calcium: 63mg

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