Monthly Archives: December 2012

WIWW: A Blue Christmas

Last What I Wore Wednesday of 2012! In keeping with my habit of limping across every finish line, I only took two pictures this week, and they both feature the same theme: deep teal. Hence the title of this post.

pleated poppy

Last Thursday I wore a new pair of teal pants, which I procured from Target. The lace tee? Also Target.


And why am I so psyched? Because I only worked half a day on Thursday….. and then spent the rest of the afternoon at the Honda dealership, getting some recall work done on my car. Needless to say, there were no finger guns at the dealership.

And today I’m wearing this. Sweater from Target, cords from Loft.


Hope you had a lovely Christmas.


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Scrub A Dub

As you may recall, last week Jason and I had a lovely date night wherein we purchased supplies to make shelves for our laundry room.

photo 3

Remember these? OK.

This is what our laundry room looked like when we bought the house in 2011:


It was billed as a “half bath.” Also, please note that the dryer hookup is immediately across from the toilet. Brings a whole new meaning to the term “Fluff & Fold.”

After the fire, we removed the shelving and flipped the dryer to the other side of the washing machine (closer to the door). This is how the laundry room looked last week:


This is definitely an improvement, but it’s still kind of meh. The color is “Green Energy” by Behr, and we bought the prints the last time we visited New Orleans:


We had been storing our laundry supplies on the windowsill, like so:


The rest of our cleaning supplies were scattered throughout the pantry, bathrooms, and under the sink.

So my super-handy (and super-cute) husband cut, painted, and installed the shelves, so now the room looks like this:


Jason had the brilliant idea to use the dowels as hangers for spray bottles:


The next step will be corralling all the bottles and boxes into a less visibly jumbled arrangement. I’m thinking something like what this woman did:

Hooray for Home Improvement!



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WIWW: Have Yourself a Zen Christmas

And good luck with that.

pleated poppy

I failed in epic fashion this week – I forgot to take pictures on Friday AND Monday. And Friday’s outfit was cute, I promise.

Thursday. I love this sweater, but am beginning to think it makes me look matronly or hobo-esque. Hm.IMG_6466

Mayhap I should not have paired it with witch-adjacent shoes.

Friday placeholder shot, in which Tyler practices for his own WIWW posts:


So stylish! I love that kid.

Tuesday I did much better:


I used to haaaate wearing red, because I have rosacea and thought it was adding insult to injury, but this cashmere sweater/vest is nice.

And today I tried something new:


Gray cords, gray and white stripe tee, deep pink cardigan, flower pin of my own creation. I am very  happy with this one.

Update on Homer, the blind foster dog: Homer is doing really well! He’s now comfortable wandering around most of the house, and we’ve learned that he tolerates baths and the vacuum cleaner like a champ. The vet wants him to see a doggie eye specialist, but that won’t happen until after Christmas. He’s on several different eye and pain medications, so he’s a happy pup.

Homer 6

Have a lovely week!

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Amateur Sewing Night: Stockings Edition

I want to enjoy sewing, much in the same way that I want to enjoy running. But I find both activities very stressful, because I’m not naturally good at either of them. And yet I press on in both endeavors.

At least with the sewing I’m seeing some improvement.

Over the weekend I finally made everyone Christmas stockings. And when I say “finally” I mean “because I have intended to do so since Christmas 2007.” The problem was that I wanted to make everyone The Most Amazing Christmas Stockings of All Time, and yet lacked the time/skill/materials to do so. Once I scaled back my expectations, it was relatively easy. And, it turns out, free.

Back in 2004 I bought many, many yards a Waverly green toile and a Waverly green ticking stripe. I was going to “do something” with it, one day. Yes, this is the unofficial motto of hoarders everywhere. But now I’ve actually done something! Good thing I schlepped all that yardage through three moves.

I used this tutorial, which I found on Pinterest. I omitted the batting and the lining, because I didn’t have any. I decided to make the kids’ stockings with a stripe body and toile cuff, and the adults’ stockings the opposite.


The first one….. took some time. The cuff was way too big, and I had to rip out the seam and re-do it. But in about an hour, I had a reasonable-looking stocking. I used some red grosgrain ribbon I had on hand for the hanger.


The next four were comparatively easy, and I think I finished the last one in about fifteen minutes.


Then it was time to hang them up!


This would be a good time to go over the mantel I put together. I shamelessly stole, er, borrowed this idea (covering a foam board with holiday fabric) for displaying Christmas cards. Yes, that is more of the same green ticking fabric. The garland was free – a neighbor was getting rid of it, and I scooped it up. After wrapping it with a string of C7 lights I already had, I added a set of Christmas cookie cutters, purchased last year to make salt dough ornaments, and a tube of shatterproof shiny balls, purchased last year on clearance after Christmas.


I finished it by shopping my house, and came up with the candlesticks and a green pineapple finial. Total cost was $4.50 for the foam board.


It’s not mind-blowing, but it’s mine and it’s DONE.



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Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends

I am a huge fan of the Boston Terrier. My first two, Coco and Darth Vader, went missing from our fenced yard in February of 2011 and have not been seen since. In the spring of 2012, we adopted Chichi, who passed away suddenly just a few months later.

After Chichi died, Jason and I didn’t know if we were ready to commit to another dog, especially because our elderly beagle, Bailey, is in the middle of a long, slow decline.

Truman fell into our laps totally by accident, and he was our first foster dog. He has now been adopted by a family in Georgia who has one child and (very important) no cats. The family reports that he is doing great.

Which brings me to Wednesday.

Because most Bostons look basically the same, I occasionally get e-mails from friends who have spotted lost-and-found Bostons who might be Coco. On Wednesday, a co-worker told me that there was a Boston in Animal Control’s mug shot lineup of animals who have been picked up over the week, and it might be mine. After confirming that the dog in the blurry photo did, in fact, look a good deal like Coco, I called the shelter.

(Note: This is not the first time this has happened. The lady who runs the local Boston Terrier rescue has had to break my heart on several occasions.)

When the lost-and-found coordinator answered, I breathlessly rushed into my monologue: “I had a Boston Terrier, and it was taken from my yard, and I think you have her, and I have her vet paperwork and pictures if you need to see them….”



“Um, it’s a dude.”


I hung up the phone. And then I got to thinking. That may not be MY dog behind that chain-link fence, but it’s A dog who would probably appreciate a warm, quiet place to sleep, and a little affection.

I called the shelter back. The dog had been picked up as a stray on the 7th of December, and was due to be released on the 13th. However, he had unspecified eye injuries/problems, possible blindness, and was slated to be taken in by the Boston Terrier Rescue. That was my next call. Sue, the rescue lady, told me that she didn’t have anyone to take the dog in, so (after consultation with my better half) I offered to foster him.

Yesterday I picked him up at lunch, and finally got a good look at his eyes. In short, they were MESSED UP. The left eye looked intact, but red and cloudy, and the right eye looked collapsed, gray, and gnarly. Bless his heart.

I took him to the car, lifted him into the passenger seat, and after a long grateful look in my direction, he lay down and went to sleep.

Dog 1

He was fine when I got him home, but it was obvious that his pain level and discomfort were increasing throughout the evening. At 8:30, I called Sue and asked what we could give him to help. He was grimacing, twisting his head to one side, and tensed from head to tail.


(That’s his good eye.)

Sue agreed to meet us at a CVS between our houses to give us pain medication, prednisone, and eye drops. She also agreed that he needed to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. We were standing in the parking lot, going over dosages, when the CVS was robbed at gunpoint. Seriously. It was that kind of night.


Since he’s probably blind, we’ve started calling him Homer. Tyler thinks he’s great, and while Ron was a bit hesitant at first…….


……… he has warmed up considerably.


Homer is at the vet today, and there’s a good chance he’ll lose one of his eyes; however, a one-eyed dog is infinitely preferable to the suffering I witnessed last night. And when he’s done at the vet’s, he’ll come home to a warm bed and belly-rubs, instead of a concrete pen or worse. It’s the least we can do.




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Date Night

I’ve always had mixed feelings about “date night.” While I certainly understand the motivation, and appreciate that some couples get a lot out of it, it’s never been my cup of tea. For one thing, I’m kind of a homebody who loves to cook. For another, crowds make me anxious. And third, I’m kind of, um, frugal.

However, Tuesday night rolled around and there was a vacancy on the weekly meal plan, so I suggested we go on an actual date. We mulled a few ideas, but quickly realized that awesome date ideas on a Tuesday night in Tallahassee are in rather short supply, especially for people who work.

So we winged it. As per usual.

First we went to our favorite sushi restaurant, Kitcho. The place was almost empty, which meant we got great service and no pressure. We shared the Special Killer and the Spider Roll. Because nothing says romance like a Special Killer.

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After fueling up for more date night awesomeness, we headed over to Lowe’s to pick up supplies to install shelving in our laundry room.

I know! Best date ever!

Lowe’s was also pretty desolate, so we spent about an hour wandering the aisles, getting ideas and making DIY plans.

photo 4

We’re currently storing all our laundry supplies on the windowsill in the laundry room, which is fine-but-not-great. I’d also like to move some of the cleaning products and supplies out from under the kitchen sink, as it’s getting kind of crowded under there.

Lowe’s had a good selection of brackets, but the shelf boards were kind of sad-looking. So we picked up a long 10″-wide board and will cut/sand/paint it.

photo 3

See the dowels? My idea is to thread them through the curlicues at the bottom of the brackets and use them to hang delicates. We’ll see how it goes.

Bonus: we found a gallon of mis-tint paint + primer, in the palest gray, for $5.00. Prepare to see a lot of pale gray in my future.

photo 2

I have also been on the hunt for buffet lamps for our dining room. The chandelier is awesome, but the light is a little…. harsh. And at night it can feel dim.

You’ll never guess what was on sale 50% off. Go ahead. Guess.

photo 1

You guessed right!



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WIWW: Winter Wonderland…..ish

What I Wore Wednesday: Keeping Me Out of Yoga Pants, One Week at a Time.

pleated poppy

Thursday was Moose Day, with an assist from Hollyn.


Friday I ended up having my own personal Gun Show at work, in which I lifted heavy boxes and totally cleaned out the filing room. Rawr. Ron did not help. Nor did he cheer for me from home.


Monday: Statement Necklace. I’m not sure what the statement IS, but it’s…. big.


Tuesday: I love this dress. I got it at the Ann Taylor outlet a couple of years ago, and it’s basically perfect. And I was complimented for pairing it with the teal wedges.


And today I felt like I woke up in Seattle, as it was chilly and rainy. Yes, those are the same cords I wore last Thursday. Oops.


Have a lovely week.


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Confession: A Mushroom Story

True Story: I am terrible at cream sauces when there is no flour or binder involved.

This will be relevant later.

So, last night I tried my hand at this recipe: Dijon Chicken Linguine with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Toasted Almonds.

Looks tasty, right?

I have realized something about myself – if a recipe calls for, basically, throwing a sauteed chicken breast on top of (name a perfectly fine food), I would rather just omit the meat. I find boneless skinless chicken breasts to be the soulless jellyfish of the meat department, pale and insipid. Leave them off my Caesar salad, leave them off my fettucine alfredo.


I started by sauteeing the chicken and removing them to a plate. At that point an alarm bell went off – “How are they going to be flavorful and awesome if they’re sitting on this plate while the sauce parties in the pan?” (Answer: They pretty much won’t!)

Then I sauteed the mushrooms. The recipe says to add them raw at the end, but the picture appears to feature sauteed mushrooms, so I went for it. I added the wine and reduced.

I poured myself a glass, too. Wine doesn’t keep forever, you know.

I think my problem with cream sauces is that I’m impatient. I lower the heat but apparently don’t wait long enough for the sauce to chill out before adding the cream. APPARENTLY.

Long story short – my sauce broke. There was some cursing. I semi-salvaged it with some of the pasta cooking water.

I returned the chicken to the finished sauce and let it all hang out for a full 10 minutes, hoping that the flavors would penetrate the chicken.

No dice. The sauce was delicious, but the chicken seemed like an afterthought.

So this is the recipe I’m going to make next time:

Dijon Mushroom Linguine, by Windy

1 lb. Linguine
8 oz. mushrooms, your choice

3 TB olive oil

4 cloves garlic

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 TB flour

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups half and half

3 TB Dijon mustard, preferably whole grain (but I’m not picky)

Salt & Pepper

Cook linguine according to package directions and drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Toast slivered almonds and set aside.

Heat 3 TB olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic, saute until mushrooms are browned and have released their juices. Add 2 TB flour, stir until incorporated (no lumps). Add wine and stir until bubbly. Reduce heat, stir in half and half and mustard, and heat until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss with linguine. Top individual servings with toasted almonds. If you’re feeling fancy, you can throw some chives on there.

Serves 4.

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The Windy Seal of Approval (bark, bark, bark)

The last time my women’s circle met, one of the ladies sidled up to me and said, “I’m beginning to understand that if there’s some kind of gathering and you make food, it’s going to be good.”

What a compliment!

I’ve been pin-testing quite a few recipes over the last week, so I thought I’d share some of the more successful ventures.

On Thursday I made this Addictive Brussels Sprout Salad, and OH MYYYYY did it live up to its name.

I didn’t have walnuts, so I substituted pecans with no problem. The nuts and cheese give it enough substance so that a big portion would make a nice light lunch. I served it with salmon for dinner.

On Saturday night I made this Pulled Pork Pizza from Tasty Kitchen, which was also a rousing success. Even the children loved it. EVEN THE CHILDREN.

Jason and I wondered if we should saute the onions before throwing them on the pizza, but they were just perfect. The squeeze of lime and the chopped cilantro really made this amazing. Plus, we used the whole package of cotija cheese (probably 1.5 cups) because CHEESE.

And last night I tried Braised White Beans with Leeks. Another hit!

I don’t really do celery – not because I have an objection, just because I refuse to buy a bunch of celery and only use 1 or 2 stalks. I did not have Herbes de Provence, so I used rosemary. And I substituted chicken broth for the vegetable broth, because MEAT.

Tonight I’m going to try my hand at Dijon Chicken Linguine. Wish me luck!



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WIWW: This is Ridiculous

The highs this week have been dangerously close to eighty degrees. Let’s just say I’ve been putting the “sweat” in “sweater.”

pleated poppy

This is distressing, because dressing for the season and dressing for the weather become almost mutually exclusive. I am somewhat old-school, in that I firmly believe 1) flip-flops should be put away after Halloween, and 2) leggings are not pants. But this week is breaking my resolve with respect to #1. My commitment to #2 shall NEVER BE BROKEN.

Thursday I had my short assistant take my picture. Bless his heart.

Khakis from Dockers, tank from loft, cardigan from J. Crew.


Monday I went simple. NOT LIKE THAT. Clothes from Loft, necklace from Brooks Brothers. Everything on sale.


Tuesday I once again kept things easy with a lace tee from Target and navy pants from Loft, and a flower pin made by a crazy Southern lady.


And today marks four straight workdays in which I avoided nudity:


Shirt from Loft, brown/gold tweed skirt from Target.

Have a lovely week!

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