Weekly Round Up
Soho House Berlin Review
Weekly Round Up
Custom Wrapping Paper Ideas
Weekly Round Up
Welcome to Brooklyn Farm Girl!
Removing a Carpet Is Hard Work
Happy 2013!
San Francisco
Twinings London
Road Trip to the Flea Market
Making Your Door Into a Chalkboard
Beach Thursday

Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday everyone!

Doesn’t the week go by so quick sometimes?  One day it’s Monday and I’m yawning, then the next thing I know it’s almost the weekend full of hopeful walks in the park, pancakes in the morning and  lazy evenings.  Every week doesn’t go so smooth, but this week sure felt quick!  How was yours?

I found this great link of 56 things to do instead of spending money.  I’m really feeling the ideas for:
Get Organized! I have a whole cabinet shelf full of tupperware that must be straightened out.  I need some type of system here that works out.
Use Those Gift Certificates! We have one that is almost a year old now, we need to get to the store and use it.
Spa Day At Home! Soak those feet! You deserve it!
Make Gifts! Make someone smile, it’s the best feeling in the world.
Clean! Must be done, usually not fun.
Catch Up On Your Reading! I have had Marie Antoinette’s biography for a few months that I keep renewing from the library. I was 75% into the book but then I stopped. I have to finish it!
Make Cookies! Of course.
Start a Happy Book! This for me means scrapbooking.  I need to dive back into this dangerous world.
Hike! We are planning a hiking adventure soon.

In recipes I made this week and shared with you:
Gingerbread Popcorn – easy to make, healthy and yummy!
Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars – hands down, one of the best things I ever made!

In recipes that I saved to hopefully make soon:
I started to use Pinterest (again) to organize all my recipes.  I found a great app for my Windows Phone so I can easily open up Pinterest in the grocery store and have all  my recipe lists.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Dough Overnight Oats – looking forward to try this for breakfast soon.
Lime Cake Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze – need I say more?
Easy Cinnamon Rolls – really… come on.. look at this magic!
Roasted Red Pepper Parmesan Baked Eggs – look how good this looks!
Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza with Sunny Side Up Egg – thinking of adding ricotta too…
Mexican Pizza – I got all the ingredients for this, probably will be made this weekend.

Things I ask you:
What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Do you have any fun plans this weekend?
What do you do when you are feeling guilty from eating too many sweets?

Garden News:
It is very close to being able to pick lettuce, spinach and kale.  Starting the next week we will start picking harvest for yummy lunches, dinners and snacks.    I couldn’t help myself so I picked a small amount of buttercrunch lettuce earlier this week.  Man, it’s so good.

I love seeing all the green appear in the garden!

We’ve had 2 big days of rain which is great because we were going on 3 weeks with no rain.  The garden did well with the first storms, it actually really enjoyed them and seemed to grow stronger.  Especially that kale, watch out for it.

Massive leaves on the Brussels Sprouts plants.  This is the first year growing them… very excited to see how it turns out.

Giant broccoli leaves!

We spent some time this week getting our compost situation back in order.  We were able to get a few bags of cocoa  husks.  I’ll do a full post on this next week.  Just think about how 200 pounds of cocoa husks smell….mmmmmmm.

House Updates:
We finally mounted the tv to the wall.  It’s been sitting on our farmhouse table for months.   Also the “FAMILY” portrait series on the wall is growing.  

I desperately want this chair from a furniture store in Soho.  It’s even on sale! If by sale you mean $10,000.  I’ll just dream about it..

Love how the light makes my desk area look purple ombre. 

Game of Thrones fans?  My lovely friend Jessie surprised me with this Jon Snow doll in the mail.  He now lives on my desk so we can talk to each other all day  long.

NYC Update:
Long Walk For Shoes 5/4/2013
We love taking long walks.  You can usually find us walking somewhere (or Matthew biking) instead of taking the subway if possible.  This past weekend we took a big walk from our home to Soho.  There we bought some sneakers and then walked back.  One of my favorite parts of New York is the ability to walk almost anywhere.

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These are the shoes we bought.  They’re both from the Adidas store.  Mine were 30% off!  *High Five*  I love the zipper in the middle, such a unique twist on a sneaker.

It rained, Manhattan was barely visible from our rooftop.

Birds flew…

You can see One World Trade Center pretty clearly with some binoculars from our apartment.  Here you can see the Spire was raised and is now on top…

Meowza Update:
Or as I like to call it, the loves of my life update:
FiFi Bofinkles passes out in front of me.

FiFi Bofinkles sleeping.

Waking up to FiFi Bofinkles in the morning looks like this. 

Xanadu being the queen on her pizza pillow throne.

FiFi Bofinkles questioning her position while Xanadu looks down at her.

Brother’s tail is furry too.

Brother Bear’s favorite spot to lay is in my underwear drawer (TMI?).  As soon as I open it up, he runs full speed (as fast as a big guy can run and jump) and dives in.  He loves it there.  Why?

I worked out while Brother took a nap in front of me.  Not fair.

This is the cat at our local pet store, her name is Lilly and she’s huge.    Often they have bags of cat food 50% off because Lilly decided to try to open them up with her teeth.  She’s a good girl though and is extra sweet.  Everytime I go in the store I look for her first.   Then she gives me her belly.

Food Update:
Chia seed brownies? Yes, please.  Going to try to figure out the recipe for these for a future share…

Matthew had a belated surprise party!  I told him it was just 2 friends then he walked out and everyone was there.  It was great seeing him light up.

The Calamari Fritti was delicious!

This was Mediterranean octopus  which was char-grilled.  It was my first time eating octopus and I found it good, especially since it was grilled and crispy on the outside.  The inside was very chewy, but still enjoyable.

Pepperoni and mushroom pizza are always our go to’s.  The surprise party was at Lisola’s in Williamsburg Brooklyn.  I would highly recommend it, the service was so good too.  The pizza is made in wood fired ovens, which is always the way to go with pizza.

Prosciutto is my favorite topping on pizza.

And then I ate a cannoli.  It was one of the best I ever had.  I actually ate 2, I’m a bad girl. They even had chocolate chips inside.  Oh my! I loved the restaurant because the entire balcony is filled with herbs that they pick and use on the dishes.   This always makes me so happy to see.

Matthew got a piece of cheese cake because he was the birthday boy. 🙂

During the week Matthew made some buttered noodles with steamed broccoli.  I added in cherry tomatoes and some fresh garden lettuce.   This was so simple but so yummy.

Lately I’ve been craving fruits and lots of it.  This was my breakfast one morning.

I also made a pineapple, strawberry, apple, ginger ale smoothie.  This was also great.  For my smoothies I pretty much mix anything I have that is a sweet fruit and it turns out wonderful.

I bought these tortilla chips based on the character on the bag.

Almonds are also a current weakness.  These are cinnamon sugar almonds, I have a hard time not coming back for seconds or thirds.

We met a friend in town from London at Pinche Taqueria.  

I had a wonderful tortilla soup and a steak taco.  The tortilla soup still didn’t beat my favorite recipe, but this was unique as it had more of a bbq taste to it.  

She brought us delicious Cadbury chocolate from London.  When we got home we ate some Crunchie bits while laying in bed.  I almost ate  a bar for breakfast but I held back.  I will wait for later in the day. 🙂

We met another friend in Soho that we haven’t seen in quite a while.  We went to Cafe Select and our waiter was a bit uppity.  When he gave me my change he totally didn’t give me back any of the coin change (it was 40 cents, not like 1 penny).  It’s like he took my amount due and rounded up to the nearest dollar.  Who does that?  Anyways, I had some earl gray tea.

And we split a warm apple strudel  with glazed caramel sauce that had whipped cream, strawberries and ice cream.  For the hefty price of $8 it was pretty big.

I like to wear cat print anything, including denim dresses that make me look like a first grade teacher (or first grader).

I got bored with  nail polish..

So I came up with this dot/sparkle/pastel combination.

Sunday night, calibrating RGBD, then on to Game of Thrones.
On the work front we have been experimenting a bunch with new technology.    This past week has been a good week to regroup after finishing a bunch of projects.  It’s a time to breathe, experiment and see where the next projects will lead.

This is a new project we just released for V fashion magazine.  It went live this week and we’re super proud of it.  You can see the entire project here


 Happy Weekend everyone!! Have a great one!

Soho House Berlin Review

I want to move into the Soho House you guys.  Seriously.

We were recently in Berlin where we stayed at the beautiful Soho House.  I could not have picked a better place to fall asleep at after a long flight across the Atlantic.  

The first thing as we walked into the hotel we noticed was how it was decorated for the holidays, simple but yet arty.  
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There were ping pong tables to the other side so you could have a cup of tea and then get your game on.
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After we checked in we made our way to our floor and found our room. As soon as we walked in I gasped with happiness.  This was my new home.
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Matthew had a great idea which was to just dive into those blankets.
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Want to know a funny story?  We wanted to set our alarm on the first day to wake up early and see the city but the bed was that comfortable and we were that tired we slept in until it was dark out the following day. Oooops.  
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Between this bed, the bathtub and the robe I basically was never going to get anything else done.
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What I loved about the room was how it was decorated with modern but yet classic design in style.  Little things like the stainless steel clock or the beautiful glasses to enjoy a cup of water.  
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Do you see what I see too? Zoom in to the right on the dresser.

Yes, my very own tea kettle filled with the best teas and sugars.  Little things like this really make a hotel special as it feels like home. 
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But my absolute favorite part of the hotel – that’s easy. That was the bathroom.  One giant bathtub and a enormous rainshower.  At this point I told Matthew I was moving in.
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What would be a review without getting some room service on a lazy cold night?  Matthew got the burger. I got the macaroni and cheese. I might or might not have ate this mac and cheese while lying in the bathtub in pure happiness.   I was seriously obsessed with that tub.
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We were there in Berlin to celebrate the opening of the Green Box Project where we showed our project AR_Avatars.  This happened right in the bar floor at the Soho Houses and was packed with guests that were having fun.
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Hope you guys enjoyed the trip with me – now let’s go back on a group trip!
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Other Hotel Pics:

The pool was closed in Winter or I would have been floating across it.

This is their very own restaurant in the hotel.  I can testify that their pizza is delicious!

Movie night!

Soho House Berlin is a private members’ club with 65 rooms, 20 fully serviced apartments and 4 spacious lofts. Set over eight floors of a restored Bauhaus building in the Mitte district, Soho House Berlin includes a Cowshed Spa and gym, a rooftop pool, restaurants, bars, a screening room and private Event spaces. It can be found at  Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany.  To make a reservation please visit their website

Weekly Round Up

Another week has ended and now it’s May!  Today I was outside with a short sleeve shirt on, it always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable going from winter to  short sleeves. I feel so…unprotected, short sleeve insecurities is what I call it.

This week I’ve had a flux of feelings dealing with life, work, future.  These are some words I tell myself, sometimes they help.
-Everything is going to be ok. Breathe.
-Remember as a kid you thought adults had it all figured out? Turns out adults don’t have it figured out.
-Keep doing what you love. It will pay off.
-Save = Security.
-Hugs can quickly turn a bad day around.  
-Take some time for yourself.  If that means sitting down with a cup of tea and reading a magazine for 20 minutes, then do it.  Everyone needs this time.
-Sleep more.  

In recipes this week I got you covered for Cinco De Mayo. I made:
Cilantro + Lime Basmati Rice
Fried Ice Cream
Tortilla Soup
Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Tacos

In recipes that I saved to hopefully make soon: 
Creamy Shrimp and Rigatoni with Sweet Peas and Peppers
Avocado, Mozzarella, and Jalapeño Chimichurri Grilled Cheese
Sweet Coconut Popcorn
Spaghetti with Pesto Trapanese
Stir Fried Shangai Noodles with Ground Pork and Cabbage
Chili Cheese Dip (plan on making this for Sunday afternoon of watching basketball playoffs)

Garden Update:
This week has  been about general upkeep and starting a regular watering schedule.  The broccoli and cauliflower are finally able to handle a full afternoon of sun as we have been protecting them with fabric.   All the hearty greens such as the kale, sprouts, cabbage, lettuce and spinach have showed large signs of growth!    The radishes I planted a week ago have all started to appear above the soil.  We also planted some herb seeds both in pots on the roof as well as in our loft in a hydroponic system we have.    I will have a few more indepth garden posts next week.. including.. TOMATO PLANTING!

Things I ask you:
What are some things I can make with 2 apples ready to go bad?  It needs to be delicious and easy.
What are your plans for the weekend?

And now I share you with snapshots from the past week:

A friend is thinking about starting a garden so he invited us over to get some vegetable advise.  I spotted a few garden flamingos which made my day.  Who doesn’t love garden flamingos?

Here’s some eye candy I spotted around my neighborhood that are true signs that it’s May.


One of our Rhododendron plants bloomed. I’m in love.  Every single day we go up to the roof I shout out “Look at it!”.

Weekly cat round up:
Essy has been rowdy this week.  Essy is our 19 year old queen of the household.  

Xanadu continues to fight NBA players for the basketball.

Brother Bear continues to just look at me and I melt right away.

Speaking of Brother.. a few days ago I was sitting at  my computer while Brother and FiFi Bofinkles were sleeping nearby.  Suddenly 2 pigeons landed on our air conditioner in the window and started to flap their wings.  Brother and Bofinkles woke up and immediately formed a Private Investigations team where they vowed they would get those pigeons.
“Brother, did you get them yet?”

“Bofinkles, did you get them yet?”

And then both just sat staring out the window, waiting.  The pigeons never came back.

We shook out our comforter cover that had a comforter inside that somehow got a hole in it.  Let’s just say we weren’t expecting a feather apocalypse.

This is a new magazine that I have been following online.  Matthew surprised me by getting me the first issue.    I love it!

Matthew turned 30! 

Is there anything more exciting than watching someone open up presents you got for them?

I commissioned an artist on Etsy to make Matthew these ceramic plates for his birthday.  Jolly and Jolly’s Brother are stuffed snowmen we have that love pizza.   I think I made him cry a little when he opened up this gift…



I made a few little snack gift bags for a friend who deserved it.

I started Book 3 of Game of Thrones.  Anyone else crazily obsessed? When Sunday night is over I cry inside because I have to wait an entire week for the next episode.  

My one doctor I go to has a waiting time of about 2 hours after your scheduled appointment time.  It’s brutal waiting, but he’s a great doctor.  Thankfully he has a aquarium full of fish so I just watch them and smile as everyone is creeped out by me in the waiting room.

In food time this week..
I made homemade pumpkin pancakes for breakfast over the weekend.  You can find the ultra delicious recipe here.

Powdered sugar, always a must!

For Matthew’s birthday, I made a slow cooked pot roast, creamy mashed potatoes and biscuits.  I will be posting the recipe for the pot roast and potatoes soon.  This dinner was thoroughly enjoyed!

Do you know about Momofuku Milk Bar? There’s a few locations but there’s one close to me in Brooklyn.  To put it into a few words, it might be the best place in the world.   They are famous for their cereal milk specialties which is exactly what it sounds like.  Ever have a bowl of cereal, finish the cereal but then you have that sweet milk left over that you sip?  Well they sell that in jars! And in soft serve ice cream! And in shake! OMG THE SHAKES.  They have a pretzel cake shake which has pretzels completely ground up so the shake is salty delicious.  It will change your life, I’m not kidding.  I got one. I swooned.  I do it all the time.

One of their other specialties are birthday cake truffle balls which causes me to go weak in the knees.   They are balls of sugary cake. They are the joy of my life.   If you ever visit, get the cake truffles and a pretzel shake,  please please please.  

Have a good weekend!

Custom Wrapping Paper Ideas

April 30.  It’s a memorable day. Today it’s especially memorable as it’s April 30 and my boy Matthew is turning 30.  What will happen this decade?  We both have no idea.

I am a birthday fanatic.  I am that person on Facebook who is posting photos of google image search cakes with your name written in icing, I am sending you birthday cards in the mail that have a envelope covered in glitter and stickers,  I am tracking down presents that I desperately hope will make you smile,  I am emailing you videos of me singing happy birthday (totally out of tune), I am making you birthday cupcakes full of funfetti sprinkle love.  I have a entire drawer full of birthday cards, I’m a Etsy birthday card buyer-aholic. I love birthdays!

One thing I love about birthdays is trying to make everything special and custom as possible, including the wrapping paper. I know birthdays aren’t just about birthday presents, but who doesn’t like receiving presents?  Especially when they are prettily wrapped!

 While wrapping all of Matthew’s presents I wanted to come up with ideas that were fun, colorful and semi related to what the contents were inside.  For example, the pizza wrapping paper holds ceramic custom pizza painted dinner plates that I had a artist make for him.   

I find that brown paper works well for wrapping paper.  Around Christmas time I usually make snowman or Christmas light stamps that I mark all over the paper.  It’s just something special that makes that gift recipient know how much you love them.  

The supplies you need are simple: a roll of brown paper, markers, neon crayons, stickers, colorful tape, stickers.  I also have a wild collection of scrap booking paper that I find works great to wrap small gifts (so you only use one piece) or you just tape the scrap booking paper together for larger gifts.  


For this one I just taped multiple colors of bright paper together with this Monster tape that I bought last year. 

I found this tape at Target and nearly fainted when I found it. I love monsters!

We love pizza.  Most people know we’re slightly obsessed with pizza.   We’ve been known to throw pizza parties, eat pizza for  many nights every week, do art projects based on our love for pizza.  We even have a pizza costume suit (maybe a picture of that one day).

So because both of these presents have pizza themed gifts inside, the wrapping paper was a must.

Pizza! Pizza!

I was going to draw bright yellow smiley faces all over but at the last second decided to go with neon dots.

Polka dots are one of my favorite patterns, especially big colorful  ones.  


For this one, you might think the gift inside is shaped like the wrapping paper, but it’s  not.  The gift inside is a regular rectangle shape, but I love wrapping up sides to gifts to make it interesting with a handle.  

Happy Birthday to my bones, Matthew!  I remember your birthday 10 years when I wrapped your present in construction paper and duct tape, looks like things haven’t changed that much! Turtle kisses to you.


Weekly Round Up

I hope everyone had a great week.  For me this week started on the chilly side wearing a hat and a coat to the store, while it ended sitting on the roof in short sleeves basking in the glory of the sun.  Speaking of the sun, I always forget to bring my sunglasses to the roof and then I can’t see for the next few hours.  I have sensitive eyes, you blue eyed people know what I’m talking about.  I bought these super cute sunglasses in Disney World in 2011 that I fell in love with and wore them every minute outside, but last summer they took a fall and cracked in the middle.  In the next few weeks a friend is visiting Disney so I have her on the lookout for them, if she finds them I will cry.

One sure sign of Spring is seeing one of our rhododendron plants opening up.  I love watching it’s slow progress.

Seeing sidewalks and parks full of blooming flowers is another sign.  Today I walked by the most beautiful display of tulips in front of a apartment building but I forgot to take a picture.

Today we planted potatoes that went bad.  We try this every year and sometimes it works great, sometimes not.  This is our annual experiment.  But besides that, how pretty are these potatoes?

We also are planting radishes for the first time this year.  I buried the seeds today.

Peek-a-boo! The first green bean is breaking it’s way through the soil.

The greenhouse came off the broccoli and cauliflower!

Every year the garden expands a little bit more.  This is the basic layout for this year.  

On the food side this week..
I had some delicious salted cabbage and pork soup.  This bowl was giant and I regretted eating the entire thing, but at the same I don’t regret it because it was so good.

M-Shangai in Brooklyn has some of the best soup pork dumplings you will have.   If you are ever in NYC, please go here for lunch or dinner.  You will fall in love!

A friend got some chicken lo mein.  Their noodles are always so thick here.  I usually get this but with shrimp, it’s also delicious.

For lunch one day I got a slice of pizza from Vinnie’s.  Vinnie’s is known for making crazy and creative  pizza.  They sell everything from BBQ chicken/bacon pizza, Macaroni and cheese pizza, pico de gallo/spicy chicken/tortilla chips pizza, black beans/avocado/feta pizza, eggplant/marinara/ricota pizza.  They sell lots of kinds of pizza!  On this specific day their special is “Greenpoints Finest” and since Greenpoint is the Polish community of Brooklyn it’s cheese and potato pierogie, caramelized onions, cheddar and sour cream pizza.  All 3 friends I was with got this slice but I can’t deal with sour cream so instead I got a garlic/pesto/tomato slice which was super delicious.  

Matthew has been begging for fried ice cream the last few weeks.  He ate it at Chi-Chi’s as a child growing up and has been craving it, so I found a copycat recipe and made it.  He loved it. I loved it.  We ate this in about 1 minute.  I plan on making a full post  on this delicious dessert soon.

I made chocolate chip granola bars.  We ate them all.  I’m making more tomorrow.  I’m also making some for friends and am going to wrap them real pretty. 

My beautiful friend Jessie was visiting from Florida so we spent a afternoon eating dumplings, trying on rompers at a vintage store and just gossiping.  I’ve missed her dearly.  She should move back to NYC!

We watched our cats play a game on our iPad.  Eventually Brother scored 100 points and it made a scoring sound and he got so scared he ran away.

I woke up for one minute, came back  to sleep and this is what I saw.  Xanadu already stole my side of the bed. 

#helloplayoffs BROOKLYN!
We went to the first playoff game in Brooklyn as we’re big Nets fans.  We’re season ticket holders for the Nets and the games have been really fun this year but there was amazing playoff energy.  Unfortunately the Nets are currently down 2-1, so hoping they come back so we can go to more games.  I’m not ready for my nightly chocolate/caramel/cheddar popcorn to end.

We’ve had some full moons this this week too. I took this picture during the night half asleep, I was worried I never hit the shutter button. 

Have a great weekend everyone! Pick some flowers from your garden, or buy some from the corner store.  You deserve it!

Welcome to Brooklyn Farm Girl!

Hello old and new friends.  Welcome to Brooklyn Farm Girl!  


This site has been in the works for many years in my mind but it was never made due to guilt for my previous blog.  It was hard to say goodbye to such a great blog that housed so many of my thoughts and contents for  years.   Finally I found a way to merge together all the worlds I love on Brooklyn Farm Girl.

World Garden – From Seeds to Harvest
World Food – Cooking anything and everything
World Cats – I just love cats a whole lot

This place now feels like home.  I invite you to sit down and let me attempt to entertain you.  Even if the jokes aren’t funny, try to smile a little bit, it makes me feel better. 🙂


 I will be working hard to make new posts often with gardening tips, yummy recipes and life adventures.

I hope you stick around.  If you ever want to say hi, just leave a comment or say hi to me on facebook or twitter.  I love when people say hello.

Big Hugs from Pamela the Brooklyn Farm Girl



Removing a Carpet Is Hard Work

I am sitting here with a heating pad on my back that wraps all the way around my chest.  I can’t bend down.  This body was not built for manual labor, no way.  Today we continued our series of renovations and removed a carpet we glued down years ago.  Many years later we would regret this when we wanted to remove it.    We are moving things around in our loft, the farmhouse table is going to be in the kitchen area which excites me beyond belief. This hideous carpet has been bugging me for years, so I have been waiting anxiously to get rid of it.   I already bought a new area rug to put in its place but it doesn’t arrive for a few weeks – I can’t wait for it!
Quick process:
This was before we removed the carpet.  We did put the cats away, don’t worry.
Here the cats know something is going on and are spending as much on the carpet as they can. I believe Brother Bear thought this entire carpet was his new area.
Adhesive remover put all over..
Carpet all scraped up:
Area all sanded:
Area all clean now:

Didn’t that look easy?
Yeah right.
Full process:

Read More

Happy 2013!

Welcome the year 2013!
Although I will promise you I will be writing the year 2012 on everything until at least July. I don’t make resolutions per say, but here’s a few things I look forward to, and hope to push in the next 12 months.

I turn 30 this year, and it’s totally ok.  You know when you’re young and you think 25 is old, and then you turn 25 and you glare at your self in it’s youth.  That’s how I feel about 30. 30 isn’t old.  30 is still young.  Will I say this at 40? We’ll see.  But I welcome 30, even though I’m very curious what the next decade will bring in life events.

Continue to take care of myself.  This year during June I started working out regularly for the first time in my life.  Now it’s January 1st and not only did I lose multiple sizes in clothing and currently 17 pounds, but I feel great.  I realized before how much I was just sitting at my computer and not being active.  I started to feel tired and not motivated.  Now with the help of monitoring myself everyday and knowing when I need to get up and move, it’s made me feel alot better about myself and become aware of what I need.  I also  learned how to eat better this year without starving myself.   You can still eat that piece of fudge, go for it, but it’s about learning when to stop.  This is hard when the fudge is so good, but once you learn to control yourself, it becomes quite simple to just “stop”.  I’m proud of myself for finally learning to take care of my body and I hope this continues.  One thing I want to give credit to is the Nike Fuel Band.  I received this a few months ago and I have to say it’s been very helpful with reaching my daily goal.  Sometimes you don’t quite realize how inactive you are being, and then you look at your fuel band at 8:00PM and realized you haven’t moved much at all.  Each day I need to get to 3,000 fuel points.  If I look at it at night and I’m not close to it, I will either get up and exercise (usually either running or dancing – I find dancing is a powerful workout) or take a long walk.  Do I need to get a carton of eggs? Ok, well instead of going to the grocery store a few feet away, let’s walk to one 2 miles away.  The fuel band really helps encourage to have a daily game with yourself.   If you need to get motivated, I really can’t say enough good things about it.  If you get one, be sure to add me to your friends, you can motivate each other on this and a little push sometimes really helps.
Take more fashion risks.  Have you always wanted that shiny purse box but wasn’t sure what to wear it with?  Figure it out.  You don’t need to pair it with a sparkly dress, just wear it with your grandma winter coat.  You can wear anything, don’t be afraid.  I just got this bag and I’m in love with it.  If a little thing like a shiny bag will make me happy, then I’m going to accept that smile.
Stop and tell someone you love them. Make sure that person you actually love or that might be weird for a stranger on the street.  Have pets? Tell them you love them.  Pets need time out of every single day for your devotion.  They become good critters because you are a good critter friend.  Let them know how special they are to you.
February will be the month of Matthew and my 10 year Anniversary. Who knew that 10 years ago when we first met in a college dorm in Pittsburgh that eventually we would have everything we have today, because we did it together.  It’s a good feeling to realize you created what you have. Be proud of it and keep working towards better.
Keep exploring the new.  Stay ahead of the curve, learn new things, push yourself, don’t be afraid of the unknown.  Doing the same thing is boring, don’t fall into that trap.   If you learn one thing, learn 2 more and then put them all together.  Who knows, it could be something amazing, but you don’t know unless you try.  Changes don’t come overnight, be patient.  If you’re proud of what you’re doing, then you’re doing great. It will come.
See more. I live in one of the greatest cities in the world but don’t take advantage of it as much as I can.  Make sure to see a show before it ends. Want to try that taco place? Do it. Go to a park and do nothing.   Show NYC how much I love it.
Get a washer and dryer.   Make my dream come true.

San Francisco

I was in San Francisco a few days ago.  I was only there for about 19 hours so I didn’t get to see much, but wanted to share the experience.  This was my first time on the West Coast, it’s so sunny in California – how do you guys see?
This is how I travel.  It’s really the necessities.
Watching live TV 35,000 feet up in the air is probably one of the most exciting moments of my life.  Sadly the Nets lost and I had a Knicks fan next to me.
I had IN-N-OUT for the first time.  I thought it was very cheap, but taste wise it was just ok. (I’m sorry!)
The next morning I met one of my best cat friends Melody for a very early breakfast.  Melody moved to San Francisco a few months ago and I have missed her so much.  She was nice enough to meet me very early for french toast.  We talked about cats the entire time.
This is us.   What a beautiful pose she made!
San Francisco.  It’s very bright.  That’s my suitcase too.  It’s very bright.
I did not pay to use this, instead I just took a picture of it.
I had Mexican, a chicken taco and chicken tortilla soup.  The taco was great but I still think this recipe for tortilla soup is the best.
Me and Miss Golden Gate Bridge.  I also said hi to the Pacific Ocean and Alcatraz from a distance.
I don’t usually get to see palm trees.
Then I flew home on a red eye.  Note how much Virgin America looks like a night club.
But it’s ok because I can order unlimited “free” Mighty Leaf tea from my screen at any time I want. I love it!

Twinings London

If you know me then you know I am tea obsessed.  If you come over, I will serve you tea.  If you see me, I am probably drinking tea. I dream of tea at night, dark english breakfast tea.  I have started lovely friendships with tea exchanges.  It all started as a young girl where everyday before school my mother would make me toast and tea.  Let’s not discuss if this is ok for a 8 year old to have, but I fell in love with it immediately.  So when we were in London, Twinings headquarters was my number one spot.  When I went in I told the employees how excited I was and I’m not sure if I freaked them out or they thought I was sweet. Either way, they did throw some free samples my way.  If you’re ever in London, go here.  Go have afternoon tea too.  Drink tea all day.  It’s totally ok!
Let’s go in!
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Magical fairy land..
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Of tea! Every kind!
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Bags, loose, pots – have your pick…
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I happily skipped down the aisles filling up my bag with tea.  Matthew asked me “Really, you need that much?”
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Why, yes I do!
Matthew doesn’t like tea, I’m not sure how this relationship has survived this.  One day I talked him into having tea with me and I thought I would serve him a dessert tea, something chocolate and mint, it would be delightful and he would fall in love with tea! Then we would go on daily tea dates!  Unfortunately Matthew burned his lips on the hot tea and cried.  So I drank his tea. He never has tried it again.  He was curious on the smells though…
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What a fun time!
Some of my loot!  I would highly recommend the Queen’s Jubilee tea

Road Trip to the Flea Market

Yesterday we rented a car and drove to Columbus, New Jersey to go to one of the biggest flea markets I’ve ever been to.  Besides the usual inside booths, the outside was filled with never ending rows of people selling their junk and treasures.  It seemed everytime we rounded a corner thinking it was done, there was another field filled with tables and items to root through.  Going to flea markets was a big thing in my childhood, we would go to the local one every Sunday and some other ones during the week.  Right before vacation every year we would even set up our own stand and sell to make some extra money.  I was always the kid selling the RL Stine Goosebumps books who was not going to give you a deal because did you have any idea how good these books were?  I remember sometimes my parents would leave me alone at the stand and I would have to sell tables worth of their goods.  Folks would come up to me asking how much my parents items cost or questions about them.  I would glance up from my Nintendo Gameboy and shrug, 50 cents for that kitchen table, sure take it.  But those RL Stines – no deal is being made.

It was a fun journey.  We found some items that we wanted, and some that we didn’t really need but had to buy.  Road trips are always supposed to be filled with eating horribly, so there was some treats to be had along the way too.

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This was at a rest stop along the way.  My sunglasses were just found broken in my bag but I decided to wear them anyways.
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For breakfast we split a Cinnabon.   I also got tea, they didn’t even ask me what kind of tea I wanted out of 20 options.  Instead they just gave me a Lipton tea bag and told me to take it over to the hot water station.  I was not in New York anymore.
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There we arrived! This picture was taken at the end of the day, at the beginning, there was cars to be found everywhere.  We had to park very far away which was good because of the amount of fudge I would soon eat.
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Once inside the flea we came across a store that sold almost every game you could think of.  We love board games so we just stood and stare in amazement.  Two games I didn’t see: Ask Zandar, a classic in my opinion, and Candy Land Lotto which was my childhood favorite.
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I found what I believe is the best pie dish ever.  This gem here cost me $5 and was sold by a very stylish older woman who I had to promise I would take good care of this for her.   It’s one of those things that you know you’ll always love and will always make you smile.  I’m in love with it.  I’m pretty sure it was made for me.
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We bought 2 baseball gloves.  Matthew has brought up the idea of going to the park and catching baseballs for years so at $10 for 2 gloves, we found this to be a great deal.  The guy who sold them (who I believe is Joseph Galm’s father?) was very nice and gave me encouraging words that I could participate in this sport and not get hurt.   The baseball though.. that’s another story.
We were trying to find a cheap baseball after buying the gloves.  Matthew thought he saw some earlier in the day so we went back to these stands but couldn’t find any.  Eventually we came across one baseball that had signatures all over – who was it signed by? Babe Ruth? Little League team? No idea.  The booth belonged to a older man who when he saw us popped out of his pickup truck.  “How much for this?” Matthew asked him.  “One dollar” the man said.  Now it’ gets tricky.  Matthew shook his head and put the ball down.  Matthew thought $1 was too much.  I wasn’t sure what to do so just looked at Matthew to the older man and back and forth again. Then the older gentleman started to yell at Matthew “OH! ONE DOLLAR TOO MUCH FOR THIS MAN HERE! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS. ONE DOLLAR, TOO MUCH MONEY”.  Then I grabbed Matthew’s arm and tried to push us away.  We walked off as the man continued to yell at us down the rows “ONE DOLLAR IS TOO MUCH FOR THIS MAN THERE.  ONE DOLLAR. ONE DOLLAR”.  By that time I was crying with laughter.   Eventually we found this baseball.. and paid $2.50 for it.
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After the stress of the baseball man, we needed lunch.  We got a pepperoni pizza pretzel roll from the Amish market stand.  It was delicious.
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Matthew got this winter coat at a military store that also sold guns.  Would you like to see someone awkwardly standing in a store while her other half poses in front of a mirror with a complete wall full of guns behind her? That was me.
I needed a piece of fudge, so I got some chocolate peanut butter. I love fudge so much. It’s dangerous.  It’s delicious.  This was amazing.  I asked for a quarter pound, but the 8 year old (seriously) who rang me out said it was a bit over.  Ok, I guess, pull my arm, I will eat half a pound of fudge instead.  Ok, Ok.
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Do you know Whoopie pies?  This is a childhood favorite from always visiting the Amish markets.  The Amish know how to make their pies.  These can be described as one of the sweetest pastries you will ever eat.  It’s full of cream with a cake like top and bottom.  I got this pack of chocolate, pumpkin and oatmeal.  I took it to a debate party we were attending later that night and basically whoopied everyone else, we were in a sugar comatose. I made a horrible choice of this morning eating a piece of a leftover pie, now my day is moving very slowly.  I’m going to eat broccoli for the rest of the day.
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Also bought from the Amish, the best sour dough bread ever.  The smell of it – oh god.  I also got organic freshly ground peanut butter. I never had fresh peanut butter, I don’t think I can go back to the stuff in the jar now. I wanted a jar of red raspberry jam as it’s a favorite. I bought this thinking it was local freshly made, then when I got home i realized it said “Made in Ohio”.  I was fooled!
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On the way home we stopped in a Cracker Barrel to have a early dinner.   I never ate in a Cracker Barrel, only heard about their large portions.  I got a baked potato, a side order of mac and cheese and a cup of cabbage stew. I ate about 25% of it.  Matthew said he was disappointed in my ability to finish a full American meal like this, but there was no way.  How can potatoes grow that big?
Anyways, to my surprise Cracker Barrel has a gift store full of cute  holiday items!  What a great idea, after I finish dinner with a full belly, have me walk past Christmas trees decorated with my favorite people: snowmen.  Just give me one of everything, I need to go to the car and lie down.  I got these Snowmen Christmas ornaments, and Peppermint Bark because it’s a favorite.  We are ready for Christmas.  It’s October 12th. Bring it on!

Making Your Door Into a Chalkboard

I have been in the mood to change things around our loft space.  I will soon be painting the walls around my desk area, but before I get to that I wanted to change the back of our front door.  Lately I have seen great ideas involving chalk board paint, but I wasn’t sure where to do this.  Then one day after coming home once again after forgetting to send out the mail (4 days in a row) I thought to myself “I need a reminder right by the door”.  There the idea of a chalk board on the back of the front door was born.   We can use the door for lists, reminders and more importantly we can leave happy messages to each other.

Chalk board paint is a pretty easy process.
Prepare where you’re painting.  For the door I just cleaned and wiped it down.
Then I used some painters tape to tape the edges.  I eventually did the entire thing.  Xanadu helped.
She really helped.
This is the chalk board paint.  You can also get colors but they are sold in smaller cans. You can find this at Home Depot by the spray paints.
I had to apply 2 coats to the door for it to take evenly.  Let it dry a few hours in between each coat.
Now here’s the hard part.. let it dry completely.  It needs to sit for 72 hours before you do anything.
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72 hours later:  Then you take a piece of chalk and use the side of it to completely cover the paint.  This creates a coat on the paint to protect the paint and seal it in.  Then you erase it completely with a chalk board eraser. Do not clean it with water until 10 days after painting.
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Now comes the fun part! Get the chalk out!
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Halloween is soon, let’s be festive and decorate the door too!
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The door is finished, and ready for any loving notes you want to leave.  One thing has been added to the door: Send mail out!
Have fun.. the ideas are endless!

Beach Thursday

It really feels like the end of summer.  Matthew will be attending a electronic music festival until Sunday and then Tuesday we begin teaching for the Fall semester, so we wanted to get a last “summer day” in there.  The answer: the beach.  This was the first time at the beach all summer for me, and it was a good day of just plain ol relaxing.
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Taking the subway out about 90 minutes will get you to Rockaway Beach which is our favorite NYC beach.  Upon getting there, we knew we would need some shade to survive, so we were going to rent a beach umbrella to lay under and read for hours (my Kindle is amazing for reading in the sun).  Surprisingly to buy a beach umbrella cost about the same thing we expected to pay to rent one, so we now own a neon pink beach umbrella!
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The funny thing is that we weren’t really equipped to get a umbrella into the sand so when we first put it in, it immediately came out and blew down the beach.  As I ran after the umbrella trying to catch it but always missing it by arm lengths, children shouted to their parents to look at the girl chasing after her umbrella.  It was just one of those experiences… Finally I caught it!
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Then we began the afternoon which always starts with attending sunscreen crazily all over.  This reminds me of how I used to look as a kid when my dad applied sunscreen to me except he never really rubbed it in. I have pictures for proof.  Thanks Dad.
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Then it was lunch time, and I was starving for my first meal of the day.  We picked up deli sandwiches on the way.  I was a little “eh” about  my orange cheese, but it was pretty good to be honest.
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The real winner of the day were these pretzel crisps.  Have you tried them? You need to, immediately.  You should stop reading right now and go buy some!
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I forgot how good it feels to just bury your feet in sand and do nothing but close your eyes.
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Matthew didn’t go into the ocean, but I sure did.. many times! I forgot how fun it is to just let the waves knock you down, and then try to catch one to swim in.  It brought me back to my childhood vacations spent at the beach, I would play in those waves for hours everyday while covered in sunscreen.
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Thanks for the good day beach! Next summer, we’ll be sure to spend more lazy days there..
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We’ll bring along our umbrella too!
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