A Recipe Update

whole wheat pizza doughI have an update on our homemade italian pizzas that you may remember from this post. About a month ago, I received my copy of Whole Living by Martha Stewart for September 2011. There was an article chock full of pizza recipes and a recipe for whole-wheat pizza dough that W and I had to try. I have to say that this whole-wheat dough is really good and has so far replaced the dough we were using before. We can get the crust pretty thin, which we both like, plus the outside crisps really well. Tomorrow night we plan on making this pizza that includes turkey sausage and peppers (also featured in the September issue). MMM!


A Mini-Remodel

While I was home in Texas several weeks ago, my sister Kathleen and I decided to do a mini remodel in my parents’ kitchen. We felt confident after reading so many DIY blogs that we could pull it off. My mom collects iron pieces by Jan Barboglio and many of them are on display in the kitchen, however the cabinet hardware was dated and bronze. We knew the solution was ORB (oil rubbed bronze) spray paint for a coherent look.

Kathleen and I removed every piece of hardware and performed the following steps.

1. We sanded every single pull with high grit sandpaper.

High Grit Sandpaper

2. We then cleaned all of the sanded pulls with liquid deglosser. The fumes from this product are horrendous so definitely do this in a well-ventilated space (i.e. outside).

Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint

3. After our deglosser had at least an hour to dry, we began spray painting the pulls. We stuck the screws through a cardboard box in order for them to “stand” so that we could spray from every angle. Thin, even coats are key here. Kathleen and I ended up doing two coats from each different angle.

Cabinet Pulls Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint

Family Room Pulls Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint

Once we had allowed the spray paint to dry for 24 hours, we started installing all of the pulls back onto the appropriate cabinet or drawer. We finally thought we had a job well done, but when we sat down to relax in the adjacent family room we noticed more bronze pulls. These were massive, ornate, and original to the house (meaning extremely dated and are actually those pictured above). We were back to work immediately, following the same steps. The next day Kathleen and I were set to leave early so I did not get a final picture of the pulls reinstalled. Instead I leave you with a picture of Buster, my parents’ new found mutt, who at times looks homeless but can also be very snuggly.

Missoni for Target: My Story

As a fashion merchandising major who studied abroad in Italy, I have always coveted anything Missoni. When the fashion blogs initially discovered the collection for Target and revealed the lookbooks, I started creating my mental list of personal must-haves (i.e. absolutely everything). This is my story about the pursuit of said personal must-haves.

On Tuesday, September 13, I was there bright and early for the release of Missoni for Target. I woke up early, threw on workout clothes and flip flops, pulled my hair in a ponytail and stood in line at 7:45 with approximately 8 other people. When they opened the store doors, we all calmly walked in and went to the women’s clothing section. I grabbed my size in every. single. piece. of clothing. I then hurried to the shoe section where Target employees were still unloading boxes and loading the shelves. This was extremely helpful as they asked what styles and sizes I needed. They handed them straight to me, then did the same with the customers lined up behind me.

Now that my cart was filled to the brim with clothing and shoes, I grabbed a tie from the men’s section and ran toward the home section hoping for some throw pillows. Sidenote: I was secretly hoping that a stylish Italian designer tie would make up for my sin of gluttony when W saw the total amount spent. The throw pillows were all gone. GONE. Ok – deep breaths – let’s see if I can get the rolling carry-on bag in the luggage section. Also gone. GONE! At this point I’m thinking I did not take the 8 women seriously enough and I could kick myself. I lust over the black and white bike, which is highly unnecessary and $400.

At this point I decide to live by the motto “You get what you get and don’t pitch a fit.” I do have a full cart after all and I need to start trying on these clothes. They will only let me take in so many items at once and I am forced to leave my cart outside the dressing room. I start to panic, because who’s to say that the 20 crazy women now in the store won’t pilfer through my goods. I try on clothes in record timing, not bothering to hang anything back up, and keep switching piles between the dressing room and my cart. Oh God, everything fits, everything seems really well made, and now I’m in a major situation. I cannot spend $1,000 or more for a Target designer. So I find a quiet corner in the men’s section to debate each piece and make my cuts. As Heidi would say, “In fashion, one day you are in and the next you are out. Auf Wiedersehen.”

I limit myself to spending $500. I decide to purchase two wrap sweaters, one cardigan, one dress, two pair of tights, two pair of shoes (heels and flats), headbands, and the tie to make up for my sins. This is actually ideal because I have only spent $350-ish and now I can look to see if they had any online-only items (it’s a sickness I know).

After being denied access to the Target website all. day. long. I am finally granted access around 4:30 pm EST. At this point I call my sister and order clothing for her that she missed out on in her Target store. The home section is perpetually sold out, so no throw pillows for me. I’m about to close the screen, when I think “I should take one more gander while I’m allowed access.” One more section of Missoni goods catches my eye – the electronics section. I order an iPhone and iPad case for myself and my sister and call it a day.

The Best is Yet to Come

I know that I disappeared off the face of the earth, but let me assure you to hang with me! I have many awesome things to post since they have been piling up in my mind, our tiny apartment and my camera. Here are some teasers of the stories W and I owe blogland:

1. Missoni for Target collection – My personal story is coming!

2. DIY renovations – Who doesn’t love these?!

3. Recipes, recipes, recipes – I have a stack of them I need to share with you all!

4. College Football News – Expect some orange and blue to come your way!

5. New Business Venture – I’m so excited about this. It is somewhat related to our blog header đŸ™‚

Next week will be a full week of updates! Plus I’m sure I’ll have more to add to the list after this weekend. So I leave you with a picture of Sophie, who is rocking a faux hawk since her top knot was hacked by a new groomer. Faux Hawk

In Sickness and In Health

I know the title of this post sounds scary, but let me first assure you that W and I are both ok. This is actually about a loved one’s well being and not our own.

Because we are newlyweds, everything seems great and whenever anyone asks us about married life we let them know we are loving it. But it also means we are grown ups who will have some grown up issues to face. Our first hurdle is dealing with a chronic illness that plagues my beloved grandfather, Poppa John (aka The Man). This disease is pulmonary fibrosis and it sucks – hard. He has had it for quite some time now but we have come to a point where it destroys his ability to do almost anything. The smallest effort requires all of his energy and oxygen. It threatens his plans daily because his oxygen depletes quickly and he must rest to catch his breath. The Man comes from a generation of people who work hard, no matter their plight, so all he wants to do is go to the office each day. Like I said, it sucks really hard.

I have been in Texas for two weeks now, one of which Poppa John was in the hospital and the other I spent in my childhood home with my parents and my youngest sister. I was there trying to offer help and comfort to whoever needed it. Although I think we all needed it. My extended family on my mother’s side is not normal – but in a good way. We are extremely close with all of our aunts & uncles (including greats), and cousins (both first and second). My grandmother, Poppy, has been amazing but I suppose that comes with their 60 years together.

I am back at home with W now and we are getting back into our normal routine. He was able to spend a long weekend in Texas over the course of my stay, but two weeks is a long separation as newlyweds. I don’t tell those who ask about marriage and all that it entails these details so this was my chance to talk about it. Prayers for Poppa John would be greatly appreciated – we sure do love The Man.