Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bee Roll

Yep, I'm one of those. Happy (almost) Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Decrepit Dahlias

While I am on the subject of Martha, I will admit that not only do I purchase her products, I steal her ideas, as well. More realistically, the ideas of her large, extensive, talented team of home professionals that I curse as I sit behind my desk.

I was looking for creative, chic Halloween decor ideas, so I perused her website in hopes that I would find suggestions beyond orange and black streamers and bat confetti. Voila! Spooky flowers - I loved this idea. I picked up some orange and deep purple dahlias at Trader Joe's, arranged them, and Halloweenified (look it up) them with cobwebs. Simple, elegant, and creepy - that's all I really ever ask for.

Fondue for Two

After three years of ownership and at least two moves without ever opening the box, I finally broke out my Martha Stewart fondue set last night! No, it is not necessarily the domestic aspect that got me excited, it is the triumph involved. Slowly but surely, I am getting around to each and every one of my myriad kitchen gadgets to prove to Will that they are useful and I do use them. So there!

Thanks to Trader Joe's ready-to-go fondue mix which already includes emmantel and gruyere cheeses and, of course, the indispensable white wine and kirsch ingredients, it was pretty much a snap - other than the twenty minutes I spent trying to figure out how to actually use the fondue set. Thanks for the great directions, Martha.

Alright, I already know what you're thinking: Martha would be so ashamed of my packaged fondue mix. (Are you also trying to imagine what it would look like if she registered emotion on her face?) I would like to point out in my defense a few items for your consideration: 1. Martha is worth approximately one bajillion dollars; 2. The tiniest little piece of gruyere costs about $15; 3. The Trader Joe's mix was $5.49 and delicious. Recessionista wins in a landslide!

Further triumph was achieved through the usage of my pretty, 99% of the time useless rectangular platter, which was perfect for displaying steamed asparagus, yellow potatoes, green apples, and chicken sausage for dipping. That is why I needed it, Will. Although the TJ's mix already contains kirsch (cherry brandy, for those unfamiliar with it, as I was), I picked up a little bottle of it so I could throw in an extra splash (or three) to, um, improve the consistency.... 90 proof cheese, anyone?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Everybody Dance Now

My Aunt Suzi sent me this blast-from-the-past picture the other day of my cousin, Desi (right), and me playing dress-up and apparently getting our dance on. Too funny not to post - thanks, Aunt Suz!

I have to say I think we look shockingly coordinated. As usual, it appears that I chose to affect the sullen child look the moment the camera was whipped out.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bats in our Belfry!

Ok, more realistically bay windows. Other than my yearly traditional carving of a cat-o-lantern (it is exactly what it sounds like), I have never really decorated for Halloween and suddenly felt in the creepy spirit. Not that we will receive any trick-or-treaters in our not-so-child-friendly neighborhood, but I thought it almost a duty to decorate at least a little in our often ghoulish and reputedly haunted 'hood (we have actually seen groups of tourists taking a haunted tour before).

I started with some eerie orange lights to give the living room a nice, creepy glow. Then, based on the overwhelming success of my 99 cent rubber bat scaring the hell out Will when he came home and saw it nailed to the door, I picked up a few more and strung one up in each window with fishing line. The total cost was only $7 and I am quite pleased with the spooky result. I'm looking forward to coming home this evening and seeing them floating in the windows.

It's Officially Raining

It's coming down in torrential bucket-fulls, actually. So much so that it merited pulling out Elwood's rain slicker for his morning constitutional.

Cute little Elwood is our family dog who is going to stay with me for awhile. It has already been a week, and he has proven himself to be a wonderful little houseguest!

Monday, October 12, 2009

You Say Tomato

Ta-dah! Behold, the literal fruits of our "garden"; in other words, the small collection of pots living on a tiny patch of concrete landing outside of our kitchen window. Isn't it darling? I almost don't want to eat it. This is tomato #2 of our plant, but it is by far the cutest!

Last night I asserted that this tomato is our own, home-grown "organic" produce, but Will disagreed, given that I have been watering the plant with Miracle-Gro .... I know, cheating. However, this plant receives virtually no sunlight, lives in a terra-cotta pot, is the victim of space-cadet, under-watering owners, and I'm pretty sure our colorful, drunken neighbors above threw a champagne bottle at it last month. I think of the Miracle-Gro as just balancing out these inequities; it's like affirmative action for city gardeners.

On a related note, why, oh why, didn't I plant a pumpkin?! Just think how pretty nice green vines and tendrils would like outside our window.