Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Menorah

Photo Courtesy of Pottery Barn

"Only you would buy a menorah at Pottery Barn." - Matt (every year around this time when we pull out the Holiday decorations).

$59 at PB right now. I bought ours about 7 years ago there.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Football

This doesn't usually go well for my 'Hoos. My family will be at the game today cheering on UVA. Go 'Hoos! Wahoowa!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All over the place...

Physically and mentally! I was in VA for a long weekend and had a great time with family. I'm back in NYC and getting ready for Thanksgiving and another long weekend. We'll head out to WH tomorrow night. I have a long list of things I'd love to get done later this week, we'll see how much I can accomplish.
  • Take artwork to be framed at Michaels (60% off coupon in the mail this weekend, score!).
  • Buy bedding for the downstairs guest room and the Master bedroom. The ongoing debate over white bedding continues. The dog sleeps with us (yes, save your comments since I know we're breaking the one rule of dog ownership), so I need something that can be washed frequently and won't require ironing. Ideas? Please help.
  • Hang remaining shelves and anything else ready to go. We have some things that have been in closets/storage since we closed on the house 18 months ago. Embarrassing.
  • Trim hydrangeas and butterfly bushes.
  • Make some batches of something since we have no food in the freezer...butternut squash soup, chili, pasta sauce.
  • Start Chranukkah, Christmakkah, or whatever you want to call it, shopping. 17 days until Hanukkah and 29 days until Christmas. Yes, it's all very confusing, but somehow it works.
  • Finish custom orders.
  • Give Vella a bath. She smells like Doritos. Or, maybe Doritos smell like dogs? Ponder away in your spare time.
  • Take Vella for a pedicure. We don't attempt this, it's like she's having her leg cut off. Geez.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Giveaway winners!

Maureen and Katie are both winners! Maureen, you're the winner of the green jade and coral necklace. Email me your mailing address when you have a moment, I'm at Katie, I have something going in the mail for you next week too. A "new Mom" present of sorts. Although you're not new to being a Mom, you have so much to celebrate with a new little girl in the family.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

My younger sister Megan shared this with me and it's delicious. It's a knockoff on Bob Evans pumkin bread. I usually get a big old F in baking, but even I couldn't mess this one up last night. It makes three loaves, so be prepared to share!

3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three (9x5 inch) loaf pans.In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

'Tis the Season for a Giveaway!

I'm in the holiday spirit earlier than usual and thought it was a great time for a giveaway. This is one of my favorites that can be worn all year (green jade and coral). Leave a comment by 12pm, Friday, November 20 telling me about the holiday parties you have this year and what you plan to wear! I'll draw a winner for the necklace on Saturday, November 21 (Note to my two sisters, you aren't eligible since I'll make you a necklace any time!).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rob Thomas

We had a great time at the final show of his tour last night. I'm not normally into tattoos and piercings (shocking, I know!), but as I told Matt last night, "I wouldn't exactly throw him out of bed for eating chips!" Best song of the show? He sang "Little Wonders" in a tribute to his dog, Tyler, who recently passed away. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house!

One Republic opened the show with a great 30-minute set...check them out here. You'll recognize Stay Awake and Apologize from the radio.

And the best quote of the night was, "This is yuppiest concert of the year!" That was just fine by us considering the last concert we went to was DMB at the Garden, which always draws a crowd interested in "extracurricular" activities at the concert if you catch my drift.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Special Orders of the Week

Top to Bottom: Green Jade with Coin Pearls, Amazonite with Purple Chalcedony, Pink Peruvian Opals and Oval Rose Quartz with Oval Coin Pearls.

Check back this week and in the weeks to come for giveaways!

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's Cookin' Tonight?

I got up early and worked out, which means I can head straight home from work to spend some QT with the furchild. I'm hoping for a quiet Friday at work since the morning started out so well! I even made time this morning to prep everything for dinner. I've recently been accused of not having food in the house, so I made a trip to Whole Foods on Wednesday and the refrigerator is full.

My sister recommended this recipe from Rachael Ray's first 30-Minute Meals cookbook. I'm adding a big handful of sugar snap peas and the chicken is marinating as we speak.

Cashew! God Bless You Chicken

1 box jasmine rice
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
2 TB sesame oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced and mashed
2 TB rice wine, rice vinegar, dry sherry, or sake
A couple shakes of crushed red pepper
Black pepper, to taste
1 large carrot, peeled and diced into small cu bes
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 can (about 7 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
3 TB Hoisin sauce
2 handfuls cashews
3 green onions, thinly sliced on an angle

Marinade chicken with 1 TB of the oil, the garlic, rice wine, red pepper, and black pepper.
Meanwhile, following directions on box, start the rice.
Heat the rest of the oil (1 TB) in a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat until it smokes.
Add carrot and stir-fry for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the coated chicken and cook another 3 or 4 minutes.
Toss in the bell pepper and chestnuts. Heat through for 1 minute. **If you would like the cashews a bit soft, add them now also.**
Add the Hoisin and toss to coat evenly.
Dump chicken out over a bed of jasmine rice and top with cashews and green onions.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Currently obsessing over this store! Vella needs Xmas and Hanukkah presents, right?!?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekly Workouts


This week was a good example of a four-day workout week.

Monday - 2.5-mile Run; 1 Core Strength Training Circuit
Tuesday - 2.5-mile Run, 1 Mile on the StairMaster
Wednesday - Day Off
Thursday - Day Off
Friday - Weight Training
Saturday - Day Off
Sunday - 4-mile Run

Sample Circuit (15 Reps Each, 3 Sets):

Dead Lifts w/ a Row (I use a 35 or 40 lbs. bar)
Forward Lunge with Press(using a lat pull down machine or something similar, ensuring that it's set at shoulder height)
50 Jumping Jacks Holding a Balance Bar at Chest Level (15 lbs.)

I can't stress how much I believe in interval and core strength training when you're race training. Check out Hal Higdon's website. His training programs always incorporate interval and core training, which will prevent injury and increase your endurance as you log miles. The best part is that you can find ways to incorporate these in your schedule if you can't get to a gym.

Some resources:

Interval Training for Beginners
Strengthen Your Core

Sunday, November 8, 2009

BLT Fish Cheddar & Chive Biscuits

We had dinner at BLT Fish a few weeks ago. A must eat for any New Yorkers out there or visitors looking for a spot. I think everything I ordered had truffles worked in to the recipe. How bad can that be?!? Not a fish person? There are more BLT Restaurants out there.

Below is the recipe for the Cheddar & Chive Biscuits they serve. I think I'll make these for the holidays.


1 1/2 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
3 Tbsp Shortening
3 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Chopped Chives
1 Cup Sharp Cheddar (Shredded)
1 1/4 Cup Cream


1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne.
2. Cut the shortening and butter into the flour mix. DO NOT OVERWORK.
3. DO leave the butter and shortening in small pieces.
4. Toss in the chives and cheese.
5. Toss in the cream, just until mixture comes together. DO NOT mix too much.
6. Bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Change of Plans, Thanks Vella!

Note: If you order the dress, order up a size for the arms and have the rest of the dress taken in to fit you. The arms are really small, as in made for a super-model who hasn't eaten in three years and has twigs for upper arms.

I'm wearing this to an event tonight. I should be wearing these with it...

Vella had something else in mind since she ATE the right shoe this morning. Yup, chewed the heel to bits while I was in the shower. She plucked the shoe right off the "needs to go with me to work" pile on the bed. So, I'm wearing a pair of JCrew Big Bow slingbacks instead. Life goes on, they're just shoes. JCrew doesn't sell them anymore, I'll have to look on eBay. But I did tell my little Odie if she does it again, she's getting a one-way ticket to Abu Dhabi.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanks Blue Eyed Bride!

Erin hosted an Old Navy Giveaway last week and I was one of the lucky winners. I never win anything, not even scratch-off lotto tickets. Nada. Thanks Erin...we all love your blog!

Now, what should I buy with my $50 off $100 of in-store purchases? I'll make the trip to one of the Manhattan stores tomorrow and report back!