Friday, July 31, 2009

Fabulous July

It is July 31st.
Where the eff did the month go?

Anyway, on to the things that made July like, totally fab.

1. Bahama Mamas
I loved Bahama Mamas when I first turned 21 and drank them all the time. Subsequently, my fancy turned to hard liquor and my love of the Cosmo was born. I never looked back. This past month I made a batch of Bahama Mama for a party, and it was like rediscovering an old flame. I drank copious amounts of it. Much like a one night stand with an ex, I woke up the next morning remembering why we broke up in the first place. Holy hangover. However I had an entire pitcher left over, so now I was commited to finishing what I started...
..and if my analogy is right, I think I just had a baby with my high school boyfriend.
Umm... yeah.

(Random story about Bahama Mamas- today I was at the liquor store stocking up on supplies for OBX . I had a handle of Malibu, a handle of house rum, some 99 bananas, and oh yeah, I'll have some of that Absolut Mandarin behind the counter. As the cashier is ringing me up he says " I wanna go where you are going". HA! OBX BABY!!)

2.Spinal Adjustments.
I have been having a lot of problem with my back for years. I've been to chiropractors who adjust me and send me on my way. I feel good for a little bit- but the pain always comes back. Recently the pain behind my shoulder blade has become unbareable. I looked up some chiropractors in my area and found a Dr. Ben Grisafi. I figured, what they hey, let's give this dude a try. Love him. L-O-V-E him. He really examined me and even took x-rays to determine what the problem was. Turns out the pain that I thought was a knotted muscle, was in fact, my spine. I am now going to physical therapy 3 times a week to fix this:

"His legs is strong, but his back is crooked as a politician"
3. Entourage
JEGs and I have been awaiting the return of Entourage since the season 5 finale. We just discovered this show last year and spent countless hours catching up on the seasons (and when I say "countless", I mean we sat and watched six hours straight). I'm not sure where this season is going, but it's got me hooked.
Let's hug it out, bitch
4. Locks of Love
Earlier in the month some of the girls and one of the coaches of my cheer squad donated their hair to Locks of Love. Let me just say, I am so proud of the girls who showed up. I think 10 girls orginally signed up, but only four showed. As a former teenage girl, I think it takes guts to chop 6+ inches off your hair. Lord know I wouldn't have done it at 16, that's for sure.
As and extra bonus, I was able to get the station out to cover it. If you look closely, you'll see me in the back, with the purple shirt on. LB's gone Hollywood. No, pictures, please.

Well, there you have it ladies and gents- another month come and gone. A tip of the glass to you, July '09. You were muggy, and it rained.. a lot. See ya next trip around the sun.
Always and Forever,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Color My World: Melon of Troy

I love to paint my nails. Rarely will you ever see me without polish on my nails. I have a shoebox sized tupperware container of my nail polishes. Most I have bought, other given to me. Some I "borrowed" from my mom and never gave them back (sorry Momma). I have staple colors that I like to use, mostly from O.P.I. Looooove O.P.I. Not only do they have fun colors, but, woooo, those names! During the winter I rock out with "I'm Not Really a Waitress" or "Lincoln Park at Midnight". The fall usually has me showing that I'm "Smokin' in Havana". When it comes to my summer color, I have been a loyal "Melon of Troy" wearer for at least 3 years. This past May I finally had to retire my bottle because I couldn't scrape anymore out. (Side note: that was the first time I've ever actually seen an empty nail polish bottle. Normally I just throw them out when they get all goopy.)

Anyway, I was in Target yesterday stocking up on last minute needs for our OBX vacation, when I decided to meander through the cosmetics aisle.

I say that like I stumbled upon the cosmetics aisle and was all "Oh my... what do we have here?" Let's be honest- I grabbed my basket and made a bee line towards the L'Oreal and Maybelline. I don't flirt when it comes to Target. I'm direct.

Moving on...

I took my last polish off on Tueday but hadn't decided on what I wanted to put on next. I wanted to get a new, fun color to wear to OBX - I was thinking hot pink. Something that just screamed Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. However, when I made it to the O.P.I section I noticed something. There, standing by itself, was one bottle left of "Melon of Troy".

Oh happy day!

I didn't even think twice about dropping that little bottle of happiness in my basket. As soon as I got into work today I painted my nails, and I'm a much happier person.

Isn't it pretty??? I even painted my tootsies:

So how about you ladies? Any fav polish that makes you feel a little sassier??

Always and Forever,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

House Crashing: LBI edition

The Youngsters over at This Young House Young House Love have this great section of their website labeled "House Crashing". Now I don't know anyone who has done amazing, jaw-dropping, cover-of-a-magazine renovations, but I do know people who own houses. Therefore, I shall crash them.

First up is my parents shore house. This story is really a "lemons to lemonade" story. I mentioned before that my parents owned a house on Long Beach Island, NJ for over 15 years when they decided it was too much for them and sold it (making out like total bandits too!). They still wanted a place to come during the summer so they struck a deal with my Great Aunt Ola who happens to own a duplex. Mommacita and Daddy-O rent out the bottom for the summer and my great aunt doesn't have to worry about where the extra income is coming from.

I need to preface this a little more by saying this duplex was built sometime in the 1950's by Ola's hubby, Uncle Wilfred. When my parents took over the bottom half of the duplex it looked like Ola decorated in 1957 and never looked back. Everything was gold and brown. My mom has done a lot with what she had. She convinced Aunt Ola to let her freshen up the house with a fresh coat of paint and replace the dated peel-and-stick tile with carpet. Although my mom doesn't have the same decorating tastes as I do ( she's a little more country/ traditional), I think she's done a great job with what she had.

To start with, we have the family room:

The furniture is what Ola had in here, and I have to say, I kinda dig it. It has this great mid-century vibe to it. I've already called dibs on the set if they ever decided to get rid of it.
All the slip covers are hand sewn by Aunt Ola. My mom added the throw pillows.

I love this little table by the window. How adorable is that lattice work on the side? I love the molding on the top as well. Couldn't you imagine this with a coat of white paint? Love it.

What better place to hold the remote then a glazed sea-shell?
I love this chair in the corner. It is so soft and comfy, AND it rocks! The light behind it creats a perfect little reading nook.

The master bedroom sits off the family room, and most of the furniture was supplied by Aunt Ola. My parents replaced the linens with one of their bedspreads, a bed skirt and some throw pillows.
There is also a cute little bench so my mom can set down her yard sale finds:

The dresser- also a hand-me-down - is just big enough to hold their clothes

The guest bedroom originally had two single beds, but just this past spring Aunt Ola removed the twins and added a double bed. My mom inherited my old bedding from my bachelorette days (JEGs was not feeling a fully purple bedroom) and added a little coziness to the guestroom:

The kitchen is not very big so my mom painted the walls a pretty yellow and cheerful curtains:

Since there isn't a whole lot of cabinet space my mother aquired two buffets for storage. The first one was a yard sale find and is the perfect place for snacks, sodas and other dry storage:

The second one is from Aunt Ola's daughter, Becky. It was painted blue to match the room and houses other dry goods such as paper plates, canned goods, as well as scissors, tape and other office supplies in the drawer:

The backyard is really were everyone spends most of their time. After a long day at the beach, here is were everyone gathers for cocktails and snacks. When the weather is pleasant, most dinners are served al fresco

In the corner of the patio is a wood carving my mother bought. He has been dubbed "Old Salt". He watches over us.
So there you have it ladies and gents. This is the place where my retired parents spend their Thursday evenings to Tuesday afternoons (yes, you read that right. That means they are "home" in PA for Wednesdays only). It might not look like much, but it is a cozy place to spend a weekend in the summer.
Always & Forever,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blooming-ly Good Design

I forgot to mention in my post yesterday about JEGs' yard sale find this past weekend. He got this great vintage scale for $1.

When JEGs placed it on the counter I loved it more then I thought I would. Originally I was going to sand it down and repaint it, but now I'm kinda digging it's busted-up vibe. And honestly, who doesn't love a sundial on top of their scale?

Doesn't it look so kitchy in the corner? Love it with my mothers old fuit bowl. Of course the peanut butter crackers really adds a certian je ne sais quois to the room. hehe.
While I was down the shore, I snipped a couple of my Great Aunt Ola's beautiful hydrangeas to bring back to my apartment. I added some pretty pink blooms on my bedside table:

Next I switched out some yellow daisies for these deep purple flowers on the self above the buffet:

I think they look so pretty in the white vase, and I love it next to my parents' wedding photo.
The daisies were still in good shape, so I didn't want to throw them out. I was running out of vases, so I grabbed one of the crystal goblets from my yard sale finds, cut the stems down, and voila! A pretty posies by the sink:

Stay tuned kids... in keeping with my beach-themed week, we are house crashing the shore house!
Always and Forever,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Complete and Utter Randomness.

JEGs and I went down the Jersey shore for the weekend, and I've decided to share the totally random pictures.

To begin with, my good ole Irish skin didn't let me down. I was burned to a crisp. Here I am with an umbrella my mother forced upon me to shelter me from the sun. Also note the long sleeved cover up and towel covering my legs:

Keeping with tradition, my mother and I headed out early Saturday morning searching for yard sales. I got a couple good deals:

cute silver necklace: $.25

Isaac Mizrahi shirt (never worn): $.50
American Eagle skirt (never worn): free
J.Crew pants: $2.00

crystal goblets: $.50 for 5

I also grabbed a paperback version of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (OBX reading) and Angels and Demons for JEGs.
Total cost of yard saling: $4.00
Woot woot.
Also snapped this picture over the weekend:
There is something about a bathing suit and towel hanging on the line that takes me back to my childhood. *sigh*
Something else that takes me back to my childhood? My dad totally passed out on the beach:

"One of these days the seagulls are going to get him"- My Mom
Now I know that hat he is wearing caught you eye. That hat is rather in famous in our family. My dad fastens his beach tag to his hat and never takes it off. I think they go as far back as 1992. I think when the Beach Patrol comes around to check his tag they get a little overwhelmed. They ask everyone else for their tag and when they get to my dad they just stare for a minute and then stumble away in a fog of confusion.
The kicker of it all? As a senior citizen, my dad doesn't even need a tag anymore. hehehe.
Anywho, I meandered around some of the shops along the main drag and came across some great little finds. This first is this capriz chandelier:
Wouldn't that look adorable in a sunroom or guest room? I'm in love. And, it was only $80. Swooon.

I also found this adorable frame:

I find these purple seashells all over the place and I love them. I was totally loving on that frame!!

On Saturday there was a car show that JEGs and I stopped by too. This guy had a Challenger (or a Charger, I don't remember) on display and he included every model he could find, in size order:

I saw the coolest Mustang ever. JEGs has promised me he is going to build me a 1966 Mustang when we have a house. Originally I wanted it a deep red, but if this owner wants to give this beautiful orange one, who am I to say no??
One of the best parts of being down the shore?
My mother had the cocktails and snacks ready as soon as we got home from the beach. On Saturday she had made a peach sangria with fruit in it. Once we had finished the beverage (with my Aunt Becky's help) there was left over fruit. My mom popped it in the freezer and on Sunday afternoon we added it to our Verdi in leu of ice cubes:
They kept the drink cold without watering it down. So smart. So tasty. Yummmmy.
Well, if you've made it this far, I thank you for making it through my totally random post. I promise tomorrow things will be a little more organized.
Always & Forever,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just Beachy.

I have been going down the shore all my life.
My mother has been going down the shore all her life.
My grandmother has been going down the shore all her life.
It's safe to say my family are beach people.
I love everything about going down the shore- except the actual beach. Here is why:

1. I have good Irish skin. I don't tan. With gobs of sunblock I become a darker shade of pale. Without- holy lobster skin, Batman. (JEGs, on the other hand, becomes a beautiful cocoa brown. And it's not like his family hails from a southern, warm climate nationality. He's Ukrainian... I don't get it.)

2. Sand. That shit gets everywhere! I find sand in nooks and crannies I didn't even know I had! Walking across the sand in the summer is like raking your feet over hot coals, and if you attempt to wear flip flops to cross, you are now spraying these scorching hot weapons onto your back.

3. I have the attention span of a 5-year-old hopped up on Pixi Stix. Laying around all day is really not my "thing". I need to be constently entertained or else I get rammy. When I go to the beach I make sure I have plenty of magazines and books to keep me entertained. It's the only way we are going to make it out alive.

4. Shells. Don't get me wrong, they are beautiful items from the sea that I love to collect. However, I don't love them when they are wedged 5 inches into my foot after stepping on the ocean floor.

5. Sharks. I know the chances of getting bitten by a shark are 1,000:1, but still.

6. New Yorkers. Do I really need to say more?

But, being a glass-is-half-full kinda girl, there are plenty of reasons why I do love going down the shore:

1. Time spent with family. Honestly, it doesn't get better then this. A week down the shore with my family is a week spent boogie boarding, bike riding, nightly trips to the ice cream shoppe, jigsaw puzzling, story telling, figuring out how many people can you cram around a table for a cut-throat game of Rummy (Note: Dad always wins), and very little television watching.

2. Food. There are some of the best restaurants at the shore. A personal favorite of mine is ScoJoes in Surf City, NJ. The breakfast there is amazing. Also we have a tradition in our family of eating what has been dubbed "little baby sandwiches" or "shore sandwiches". Basically it's Italian bread with mayo, pepper and Jersey tomatoes. Cheese is optional. They are served at noon, sharp.

3. Ambiance. Something about when I cross over that bridge onto the island just makes me go "ahhh" and I start to relax.

4. 06/20/01. LBI is where JEGs and I offically started dating. We try to go down at least once a year as an hommage to our anniversary. The beach between 3rd and 4th Streets will always hold a dear place in my heart.

5. Old Barney. The lighthouse on the island is Barnegat Light, or Old Barney as I fondly refer to him. It is probably one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. After climbing 217 steps to the top there is this amazing view along with a sense of calm that sweeps over me. I could stay up there all day.

I'm coming back, old friend.
My parents used to have a house in Surf City, but sold it during the housing boom of 2004 (and made out like bandits). Now they rent the bottom half of a duplex that my Great Aunt Ola has owned for over 50 years.
JEGs and I haven't been able to get down as often as we like, but we have two trips planned for the next month- as well as a trip to OBX at the beginning of August.
I've started my magazing collection already. Just in case ;)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Must-Haves..

As the summer meanders along, I've noticed there are certian things that have become essential to my every day:
1. White Pants- White pants, white shorts, white skirts-- if it is white, it is going on my bottom half. I figure I've only got three months to rock it, I'm going to go all in. Plus I love pairing white with summers saucy shades of blue, green and pinks!

2. Secret Clinical Strength- Psstt.. I've got a secret. I sweat like a hooker in church. Will you still be my blog follower friend? My secret weapon is Secrets Clinical Strength keeps me high and dry. And the fresh scent keeps me smelling oh so sweet!

3. Flip Flops- Oooh flip flops, how do I love thee- let me count the ways! I love that I can throw them on quickly and I picked up a silver pair for ..wait for it.. FREE from NY&Co with a coupon! With sparkily silver on my feet, I don't feel like I need to wear as much jewelery!

4. Aveeno Lotion- I love this stuff for two reason: the first being it helps to even out the your skin tone (read less foundation) and number two being there is an SPF 15 in the lotion! With my job I can be in direct sun a lot so I need something to protect the money maker!

5. Tank Tops- So easy, it's almost cheating! I can throw two on over each other paired with some white pants and my fab silver flip flops and I'm ready to go.

6. Vera Bradley wristlet- Normally I'm not a huge fan of Vera Bradley. Her bags are a little more 'soccer mom' and less 'diva'. However a wristlet is sooo convient for the weekend-errund-running or - better yet- yard sale hunting down the shore. I holds the essentials- phone, camera, keys, ID and moola. And I just can't resist the Java Blue print... it matches my tank tops perfectly!!

7. Stainless Steel Canteen- with temps hitting over 100 degress in the chopper I need to stay hydrated. I love the stainless steel. I've been trying to stray away from plastic bottles because I've heard bad things about them. So I've upgraded to stainless steel and a Brita pitcher at work! The container keeps my high quality H2O super chilly and I can hold about a bottle and a half worth of water!

..and the number 8 summer-must-have?
A super hot boyfriend.
Check ;-)

Two Reasons Why I Love Target.

Well I love Target for a lot of reasons so let's just call these reasons #758 and #759:

See these two shoes? The one of the left was purchased at Target a couple weeks ago for $12.99 (now on sale for $11.04).

The one on the right I found yesterday in a department store for $45. Can you tell me the difference? (other then the fact mine is dirty- it was raining out).

The second reason? I have a new hat:

Yes, I know, it is amazing. How much you ask? $3.74. Oh hell yeah.

That burning feeling in your chest?? That's jealousy you don't have this hat. Just deal with it.

Always & Forever,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fashion: HALT- er

As I mention in my last fashion post I have some big knockers. I am a small 5'2 chick with DD boobs.

As you can imagine, this makes life a little diffcult when it comes to swimsuit season. I love to wear bikinis, but I hate hate HATE halter tops. The weight of my boobs around my neck hurts, and if I'm wearing it for hours on end, it starts to give me a headache.

This makes my life a little more difficult. I don't have the luxury of going into Target and just picking something in a color I like. Most of those tops won't even fully cover these suckers. I look like a porn star.

I've got two weeks till OBX and I am on a mission to find a bikini that is NOT a halter. Any ideas?

..and if anyone suggests one of those bandeau tops, I'm going to laugh in your face.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Turn Around Bright Eyes.

I was roaming around Target beauty department the other day stocking up on my supplies. I had a coupon for $1.00 off any Alamay product so I zeroed in on what they had to offer.

If you watch a shit-ton of What Not to Wear like I do, you know the best way to brighten up your eyes is to have a highlight shadow under your brow and in the corner of your eye (PS Carmindy, I've been doing the corner-of-your-eye trick since the late 90's. So there). Normally I use CoverGirls Eye Enhancers in "Champagne", but since I had coupon for Alamay, I decided to test something new.

I stumbled upon Alamay's Bright Eyes highlighter/liner duo. What the heck, I'll give it a try.

According to Alamay the product is meant to "Instantly refreshes and enhances your eyes with a unique natural complex of marine extracts, white tea and light reflectors. The eyeliner works double duty to softly define eyes, while the highlighter illuminates the brow bone and corners for a lifting effect".

It comes in three colors to correspond with your complexion: Cocoa/ Pearl, Dark Chocolate/Shell, and Black/Champagne. I was originally going to get the Black/Champagne combo, but I have never liked black eyeliner on me, so I settled with the Cocoa/Pearl set.

I usually use a liquid liner or a dark brown powder to line my eyes. This stick is much lighter. Since I like a darker hue, I'm not digging the eyeliner part. I didn't feel like I could get it smudged into the lash line and that is a huge pet peeve of mine. If you like a lighter, softer look then this is right up your ally.

I was really excited about using this product because I thought it would be simpler then my shadow/brush technique. This one step process is much easier- boom boom and I am done. Since I am always running late, every second counts.

For as soft as the liner is, the highlighter is harsh. I find myself dabbing at it with my finger to soften the color. All it is really highlighting is the fact that I need to pluck my eyebrows.

However the point to the highlighter end (and the eyeliner end for that matter) gets dull very quickly. The pencil is thicker then a normal eyeliner so you need a sharpener with a bigger opening. I have found myself sharpening almost every two days.

Does it brighten my eyes? Sure. Am I in love with it? Ehh.

My final evaluation: I don't think I would spend the $8.99 for this product again. Coupon or not.

Tomorrow I'm headed back to Tar-zay for my trusty CoverGirl Champagne.

Always and Forever,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Proposition.

I seriously need a new project.
JEGs thinks I should chill out with the apt decorating.
My wallet agrees.

So here is the deal.
You need a little change to a space?
Call me.
You pick up the bill for the supplies, I'll do the work.

I have great ideas for this chair:

If you are interested, contact me.
You don't have anything right now- keep me in mind down the road.
Always & Forever,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fashion: Epic Fail.

Ahh, the Maxi Dress.
We've all seen them hanging in our favorite stores since February. The perfect, easy summer dress. Throw it on with a pair of wedges to dress is up or flip flops to bum around on a Saturday afternoon.

I have been coveting these dresses since I first saw them in Target in February. I had dreams of floating through Manayunk with JEGs on a sunny Saturday afternoon, popping in and out of little stores. Girls would stop me on the street and say, "Where did you get that dress?" and I would reply "Oh this rag.. it's just something I threw on". Or bring it to OBX in August; coming home from the beach and putting in on and hanging out with everyone in the living room. Or even walking on the beach late and night....


That was it, I needed to have one.

So a couple of weeks ago I had some time to kill and I stopped by my old favorite NY&Co to try on their verisons. I grabbed a couple colors and skipped to the dressing room. However, I forgot one minor detail:

I am not 5'10. Or a B cup. Or super skinny.

No ma'am. I am in fact a curvacious 5'2 DD.

This is the monstrosity that ensued:

These pictures are taken with super high wedges on too, so flip flops were out of the question.
Don't get me wrong, I have curves and I am totally fine with that. I love my curves, and I've gotten pretty good at dressing them (or so I think). But once in a while I get blinded by the fashion magazines and have to try on something that I should know will never look good on me.
So I slowly returned them to their racks and with my head hung low I left the store.
Always & Forever,

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Buffet of Organization

As I told you all, I spent my 4th of July cleaning and organizing. This was my ToDo List that I made for myself on Friday:
Clean Closet
Organize Buffet
Clean Out Car
Organize Pots and Pans
ReOrganize Kitchen Cabinets
Organize Laundry Nook.

By the end of Saturday, this is what my ToDo list looked like:
Clean Closet
Organize Buffett
Clean Out Car
Organize Pots and Pans
ReOrganize Kitchen Cabinets
Organize Laundry Nook

As you can see I was a little over zealous with my list.
But since I did get the buffet done, I thought I would show off my work.
Here is the buffet and shelves:

Let's start from the bottom, shall we?
I picked up a three basket set from Ikea (14.99 for the set) and used two of them in the left side of the cabinet. On the middle shelf I stored a throw blanket for the couch.
The smaller basket on the top holds all our extra Thank You cards and Chrismas cards. It has become our own little postal office:

The middle sized basket of the set has become storage for all my extra candles, votives and picture frames that I don't have a space for right now, but don't want to get rid of:

The drawer in the middle of the buffet has become our own little Office Depot. Pens, pencils, tape, stapler, glue, etc is stored in here:

The right side cabinet is home to all my picture books, scrapbooks and yearbooks:

The top of the buffet has my faaaaavorite martini set and pictures of my beautiful neices Abigail and Bridget and my very handsome nephew, Owen (there you go T, I found a picture of your son ;) as well as a picture of my brothers and I:

The first shelf has kinda become "my shelf" (I guess because I'm shorter, hehe). From left to right we have pretty flowers, a picture of my dad in the military, my two cricket boxes with a plaque my mom bought my in front that read 'A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be your friend', Mommacita and Daddy-O on their wedding day (hellloooo beehive on Mom!), a picture from LBI that my dad bought for us, and a great little vase that I picked up from Michaels for $3.99.
The second shelf has is JEGs and has a poem he wrote for me years ago, a model of a 1987 TransAm (aka Vanessa), two pictures of his PopPop (can you say Gangster in that second picture??), a stack of books and a cute little plant for added texture ( both from Ikea- $1.50 for the plant and $.50 for the pot)

So there ya go... the anatomy of my buffet.
As soon as I finish cleaning the closet, I'll post about the other areas I organized.
Always & Forever,