1
My Morning Meditation Chill Out
2
Corn and Tomato Rice Salad
3
What I Love: Dill Pickle Cashews
4
Vegetarian Sloppy Joe Lentil Sandwich
5
Traveling with a Happy Toes.. and a Mad Xanadu
6
What I Love: Cookies & Cream Popcorn!
7
Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting
8
Fudgy Milk Chocolate Donuts With Peanut Butter Frosting
9
Time To Decorate For The Holidays… And Dance!
10
Winter Is Coming…. I Need My Tea Hot! + Travel Mug Giveaway!
11
Making Birthday Boxes for Kids Who Need Them
12
Escape The Room, anyone else try it?
13
Avocado Sailboats Filled With Mexican Corn Salad
14
I Love Labels and I Cannot Lie, Tips to Organize Documents and Taxes for a Small Business
15
Bofinkles and Me Are In Love… Looking for your Pet Partner?
16
Christmas Dreaming with a Modern Kitchen and Decorations
17
How to Make a Whale Tissue Box, Hello Mr. Whale!
18
How to Throw a Inside Out Party! Ready for JOY?
19
We Adopted Our Brother Bear, It’s Time For You To Get a Best Friend Too!
20
Ricotta, Basil, Tomato Tea Sandwiches

My Morning Meditation Chill Out

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Folgers. All opinions are 100% mine.

Lately I’ve been dealing with some afternoon anxiety, the kind that creeps up on you suddenly when you’re working too hard, multitasking between jobs forgetting to breathe.    I’ve always done too much for work, and too little for me, so I’m trying to learn a little bit at a time why it’s really important to take a minute and chill.

Last year after coming to the full realization that life isn’t about purely about work (hard to believe, I still struggle with this) I started to try to make more time for myself, even if it meant 5 minutes of sitting in the quiet section of the studio staring at the wall, while doing some simple breathing exercises.   Eventually I started to get to into meditation, where I even participated in a group setting.  I started to explore meditation more, and even though I fell off the wagon for a few months, I’m trying to get back on as it was super successful in helping me deal with stress.   How to Destress In the Afternoon_3

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Corn and Tomato Rice Salad

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This is a sponsored recipe post written by me on behalf of Minute® Rice.  This Corn and Tomato Rice Salad is perfect for dinner, picnics and potlucks.  With it’s Mexican inspired flavor it’ll be a hit with everyone!  And even better, it’s ready in 15 minutes!

I’m in love with this rice salad.   I took a version of this recipe to a potluck last week and I’m proud to say it was the first dish that was empty.     This is a great fresh ingredient recipe that lightens up dinner.    You can serve it as a side dish or a main dish, preferably served alongside some fresh bread.  What I especially love about it is that due to the lime juice, crushed red pepper flakes and cilantro it has a Mexican flavor added to it.  Anyone else love Mexican flavored everything?  This salad is so good you could even fill up a burrito with it and call it dinner.

This Corn and Tomato Rice Salad is perfect for dinner, picnics and potlucks. With it's Mexican inspired flavor it'll be a hit with everyone! And even better, it's ready in 15 minutes!

And because I love fresh recipes that are quick to make, this salad is ready to serve in 15 minutes.

The main ingredient is Minute® Whole Grain Brown Rice so you’ll have great-tasting fluffy rice in just 10 minutes.   Brown Rice is a nutritious option as it has similar nutritional values to regular long cooking brown rice, but it’s done in 1/4 the time.  I love brown rice because of it’s versatility – you can use in cheesy casseroles or light lunch options.    One tip to get the tastiest brown rice is instead of boiling in water, try vegetable broth.  

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What I Love: Dill Pickle Cashews

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Emerald®.  This is my honest opinion that I’m obsessed with their Dill Pickle Cashews!

Based on my multiple pickle recipes (hello, hello again) I guess you can say I love pickles.  We grow cucumbers in the garden specifically for pickles.   I never leave any pickle untouched when they come on the side of a sandwich lunch.  I love peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.    So when I heard that Emerald® came out with Dill Pickle Cashews, I was like YES YES YES YES!
Dill Pickle Cashews

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Vegetarian Sloppy Joe Lentil Sandwich

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe Sandwich recipe made with lentils in crushed tomato sauce! This is one of my most requested comfort food meals from kids at dinner time! Families will love how easy these homemade sloppy joes are to make and how delicious they are! It’s also great for leftover lunches!

The love of lentils is a recent phenomenon for me. It wasn’t until I stopped eating meat that I realized how amazing (not to mention delicious and filling) they are. I usually put dry lentils in the mind frame of dry beans. Dry beans are cheap and tasty, but I never want to wait to soak them (or should I say, I always forget to soak them). Then I realized that dry lentils don’t have to be soaked overnight.  Cook them for 30 minutes and they’re ready to go. Once I found that out, it was official: I was in love with lentils.

I’ve been enjoying these Lentils in Crushed Tomato Sauce for a bit now.  They have slowly risen to my top 10 current favorite meals.  It finally feels like winter here, so we curl up with these lentils on sandwich rolls (Vegetarian Sloppy Joes!), alongside some french-fries, and it’s the perfect quick dinner while we watch whatever basketball game is on that night.    Vegetarian Sloppy Joe Sandwich recipe made with lentils in crushed tomato sauce! This is one of my most requested comfort food meals from kids at dinner time! Families will love how easy these homemade sloppy joes are to make and how delicious they are! It's also great for leftover lunches!

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Traveling with a Happy Toes.. and a Mad Xanadu

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Feliway® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last, last weekend we went back to Pennsylvania we went back to visit my family.  This is my annual pilgrimage to Pennsylvania where Dad feeds us calories to last us a month, while I poke around in picture books and share memories of where I grew up with Matthew.  Since my Dad hasn’t been up to NYC in a while that means he hasn’t seen his favorite Meowza girl, Xanadu.   My dad has a sweet relationship with Xanadu and Xanadu loves being spoiled by him.  Since he was missing her, we decided to take Xanadu back to Pennsylvania with us. She’s done this road trip before so we figured she’d be fine again.  We also took Toes because my Dad hasn’t met her yet and she’s a awesome girl.

Not to tell you the outcome of the story this quick but Xanadu didn’t like her road trip.  Actually she really hated it.  She didn’t like any part of it, except when we left my Dad’s a day early to come back to NYC because of how sad Xanadu was.   Something upset her during this road trip and she didn’t take well to the car ride there, or his house.  On the flip side, on the car ride back to NYC she was purring and kissing me like a baby, so maybe Xanadu just used her Siamese powers to get what she wanted and tricked us all.   This was on the trip to Pennsylvania….. and these were her subtle meows.

 

A video posted by Pamela Reed (@pamelaz) on


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What I Love: Cookies & Cream Popcorn!


In the What I LOVE series, I’m sharing current things that I love.  Maybe it’s a new restaurant, maybe it’s a new cookie, maybe it’s a new cat toy, maybe it’s… anything!

Remember Savage Garden? Remember their lyrics:

I want to stand with you on a mountain. / I want to bathe with you in the sea. / I want to lay like this forever. / Until the sky falls down on me

Yeah, well that’s how I feel about all the popcorn from Pop Works & Company right now, especially the Cookies & Cream.   It’s really good and I mean reaaaaaaaaaaaalllly good.  It’s so good we’re basically tackling each other to get the few pieces left in the bag.  There’s side eyes being shot at one another when someone says they finished the bag without you knowing it.  This popcorn is popped just right and seasoned with all the sweetness you need.    

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Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting

Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

The title of this recipe was a combination of Matthew’s “scrumptious” description and my “DA BOMB” peanut butter frosting because people love it a lot.   Also the phrase DA BOMB isn’t used as much anymore and I think we should bring it back.  Occasionally, not all the time, let’s not get crazy.

Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Chocolate cookies aren’t appreciated enough in my opinion.  Usually when you hear chocolate in a cookie you automatically think of chocolate chip cookies, but how about straight up chocolate cookies?  Chocolate cookies are a thing of beauty when you bake them and they get that cracked texture on top.  Now throw on some frosting (that’s right) on top and you have your new favorite cookie.   The holiday season is all about comfort food and cookies are on the top of this list.  Who else receives cookies as gifts from their mother, aunt or sister?  It’s the best! This year I decided I’m going to make cookies and chocolates as gifts to family and friends.   There’s something real special about handing a nicely wrapped tin of cookies that still smell like they came straight from the oven to people you love.   

It’s almost as good as unwrapping a Goblin for Christmas.  Almost.
Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

If you guys can’t tell I’m obsessed with peanut butter frosting right now so I asked why do cupcakes and donuts get to have all the fun? Cookies need decadent frosting too!  I’m sure noone will disagree with this… right?

Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

This might be the best cookie dough I’ve made.  I kept telling myself  “You need to eat dinner tonight, don’t eat anymore!”.  But I did..
Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

You’ll want to roll these into tablespoon sized balls (pictured to left).  Then gently press down with a spoon (not pictured).  And then when they come out of the oven they’ll be perfect (pictured to right).
Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

I just love how crinkly these look on top when they come out of the oven.  When they are finished baking, they’ll be soft, but don’t worry, give them 15 minutes to cool and they’ll harden up.
Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Now you can totally just use this recipe to just make chocolate cookies.  Throw some powdered sugar on top and you’re done. 

Or you can take them to the next level and add peanut butter frosting on top.  OH LA LA LA.
Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

This peanut butter frosting has become a staple in my recipe book.  I’ve also learned how easy it is to make my own powdered sugar from making this frosting so often. All you do is take 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch, put in the blender and blend until it has a powdered sugar consistency.  It’s so easy!
Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

If I have chocolate wafers in my baking cabinet, I’ll throw one on top of each cookie.  
Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Hope you guys enjoy these cookies!
Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting
Print
For the cookies
  1. 1/2 cup softened butter
  2. 2 tablespoons milk
  3. 1/2 cup white sugar
  4. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 1/2 cups flour
  8. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the frosting
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar (I make my own, instructions in Notes below)
  2. 1/4 cup peanut butter
  3. 2 tablespoon milk
Optional
  1. Chocolate Wafers
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or use silicone baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl mix butter, milk and sugars together with hand mixer. Add egg and vanilla and continue mixing.
  3. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda and mix until you have a nice cookie dough consistency.
  4. Roll up tablespoons of cookie dough and drop onto cookie sheet. Use a spoon to lightly press down each cookie.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven, but don't worry, they will harden up.
  6. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.
For the frosting
  1. Add powdered sugar, peanut butter and milk in a bowl and use a hand mixer until it forms into a nice frosting.
Cookie time
  1. Spread generous amount of frosting on each cookie.
  2. Add chocolate wafer on top of each cookie.
Notes
  1. Makes 24 cookies.
  2. To make your own powdered sugar, mix 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a blender until it is powdered.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

 Scrumptious Chocolate Cookies With DA BOMB Peanut Butter Frosting.  The most popular cookie that friends and families ask me to make! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.

Fudgy Milk Chocolate Donuts With Peanut Butter Frosting

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendHallmark  #CollectiveBias

Donuts + Holidays = that card. Don’t you agree?

I have a thing for donuts.  Ever since I was a little girl I loved heading to the local bakery to get a freshly made vanilla frosted donut with sprinkles.  On mornings when I was lucky, Mom would take us to Dunkin Donuts where I’d get a blueberry frosted donut.  Now, grown up (sorta) and living in NYC, I’m exposed to some of the best donuts in the world.  I have a confession. When I’m out by myself in a new neighborhood I will open Yelp and type in “donuts” to see if there’s any new spots nearby that I haven’t visited.    Just a few blocks away from me is the dangerously delicious DOUGH.  DOUGH is the best NYC donut spot.  No arguments allowed,  they are the best!  They are these pillowy soft donuts with the best icing.  They taste light but you know you just ate a whole meals worth of calories.  It’s worth it.    When I’m home and craving a sweet, or need to bring a dessert to a party, I usually grab my handy donut pan and get to work. Sometimes I’m feeling vanilla, other times chocolate, and maybe I’m feeling crazy so I add some tea or berries to make a new flavor.   If you don’t have a donut pan, buy one, it will be a life changing moment when you make donuts for the first time.

That’s how these Fudgy Milk Chocolate Donuts With Peanut Butter Frosting happened. I needed donuts.

Fudgy Milk Chocolate Donuts With Peanut Butter Frosting. These donuts are easy to make and will satisfy your chocolate loving sweet tooth. On top is the most delicious peanut butter frosting!

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Time To Decorate For The Holidays… And Dance!

Yesterday I begged Matthew to climb up the ladder and get all the Christmas containers down from the loft.  I’m not good on a ladder so I leave the dangerous chores to him. After passing each one down to me I dragged them to the other side of the room.  Then I coughed because goodness, it’s crazy how dusty this place can get in one year! Cleaning up For The Holidays

The lids came off the containers, the snowmen were released from their plastic homes and then Mariah Carey came on Spotify.  And then I danced.  And then the cats stared at me as they usually do when Mom is one of her dance moods.  Check out that flip dance move on Bofinkles.  Also apologies to my neighbors but this song is on replay for the next 24 days. 

 

A video posted by Pamela Reed (@pamelaz) on

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Winter Is Coming…. I Need My Tea Hot! + Travel Mug Giveaway!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Contigo®.  It’s how I stay warm!

This weekend we were Upstate (have you heard about our new adventure?) working hard.  On Sunday morning we were on the land bright and early and it was 27 degrees.  I saw ice on the land.  I shivered and shook as I dove into my work clothes.   Then I immediately grabbed my cup of tea that I made 30 minutes before at the motel.   I knew this would warm me up over the next few hours.

No matter if it’s cold or hot outside I always start my morning off with tea.  During the Winter it’s a hot cup of Oolong.  During the Summer it’s a cold cup of Green Jasmine.   When I walk to work in the Winter I carry my tea in my hands just in case I need a quick drink to warm me up while waiting for the Walk sign.  It helps a lot!

Contigo_1

So with a Pumpkin bagel in one hand and Contigo®’s Travel Mug in another, I was ready to get dirty and work all day long.
Contigo_6

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Making Birthday Boxes for Kids Who Need Them

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Create the Good for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I think it’s fitting that before Thanksgiving this is a post saying thanks and helping out others. I found out about the Birthday Gift Project from looking on the Create the Good website.  The website allows you to enter your zip code and gives you ways to give back to your Community from searching in your area, in your state or doing work from home. Honestly, I haven’t done much charity work in person.  It makes me feel like an awful person. I always look at those people who volunteer 2 times a week with such envy.  I’ve always wanted to volunteer at an animal shelter but I know deep down inside I wouldn’t be strong enough. Maybe you can handle that, or maybe you’re good at talking to seniors, or maybe you’d do great at a phone bank for getting food donations, or maybe you’d be great at helping make a kid smile at a distance or providing a school a new dictionary. 

The Birthday Giving Project is designed to give kids a birthday party that their families might not be able to afford. These boxes go to children in need, including a large amount going to kids in battered women shelters. The idea is to put in the box party supplies for them to celebrate a small party as well as a little gift to make them smile. Then you wrap it up and send it to the Charity who forwards it to the kid who has a birthday soon. You will help these families by providing a small “party in a box” for a child in need and at the same time gives children with “more” the opportunity to learn empathy in a concrete way by helping another child.

As soon as I heard about this opportunity I went out on the same day and got my box supplies ready. I mixed and matched the party supplies to try to make it as colorful and festive as possible.  A little goes a long way here and everything counts.  If you can only buy $10 worth the supplies, that’s totally amazing and you’re awesome.  If you can buy $25 worth of supplies and gifts, you’re equally amazing. 

Now time to get the birthday box together!  

I was putting together a box for a girl, aged 6-10. Colorful party supplies plus pretty cool Animal glasses.  Making Birthday Boxes for Kids Who Need Them

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Escape The Room, anyone else try it?

Have you heard of Escape The Room adventures? They’re getting popular in big cities. The basis is that you get locked in a room for usually an hour (sometimes more) and you have to figure out a bunch of different puzzles for the door to unlock win the mission. The room isn’t scary at all, it’s usually Detective or Space themed. The puzzles aren’t easy and they take alot of brain power and team work. They also make you work quick. Weirdly enough it’s a good stress reliever because while you’re in the room, you think of nothing else. It’s like this escape into another dimension. It’s awesome.

This was us after our first Escape The Room experience, look at how excited we still are.  Also that camera flashed totally didn’t work with my shirt… ooops!
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With the holidays coming up you might be thinking about what to get your boy. There’s video games, new gadgets, the never ending pairs of socks and the other usual items on a male’s Christmas list. But you know what I think is some of the best gifts? Experiences. For example, last year for Christmas, the last gift I opened was tickets to see Aladdin, the Broadway musical, in just a few days. It was a present where we got to get dressed up for, go to a new place, enjoy a few hours together and then chat about it after. Right now I am all about date nights. I’ve been trying to set something up for once every two weeks as it’s really easy to fall into a routine with home life. Over the past few weeks I took Matthew to Escape The Room and then a few days ago we went to see the Ghost In The Shell movie (only in theaters for 3 days) and ate at Malaysian restuarant that we never tried. Oh and then we got cake truffles from Milk Bar which always makes me think “How can something be so delicious?”.

One night when Matthew got home I gave him a piece of paper with a smile. With a raised eyebrow he opened it up.
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Avocado Sailboats Filled With Mexican Corn Salad

Tracking PixelThese Avocado Sailboats Filled With Mexican Corn Salad is a fun recipe that is perfect for parties!

Avocado, you beautiful thing.  Want to know a surprising fact? I had my first avocado in my 20’s.  As a kid we would never have them in the house and I never tasted guacamole.  Then I slowly started to eat them as a sliced topping on my favorite tortilla soup.  Now today, I’m licking clean (TMI?) the guacamole bowl.    So yeah, I love you avocado, I’m sorry it took me so long to realize this.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner I’m starting to think about parties.  I love a good potluck where all your friends gather together and bring all types of food to enjoy.   So I got to thinking about avocados…what could I do besides the usual guacamole?  And what I could do fun with them?  Then one afternoon it hit me, Avocado Sailboats!  And even better they’re filled with my favorite Mexican Corn Salad.

These are simple to make.  You can easily make a few dozen of these Avocado Sailboats in less than 15 minutes.  I love that they’re full of fresh ingredients unlike some other fried finger foods that might make its way to the table.    I hope you give these a try!

These Avocado Sailboats Filled With Mexican Corn Salad is a fun recipe that is perfect for parties!

These Avocado Sailboats Filled With Mexican Corn Salad is a fun recipe that is perfect for parties!


You’ll need 12 avocados which will make 24 sailboats.  If you want to scale it up or down, then do the math accordingly.  Or you can just follow the recipe exactly and if you have leftover salsa eat it with a spoon, it’s that good.
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I Love Labels and I Cannot Lie, Tips to Organize Documents and Taxes for a Small Business

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PutALabelOnIt #CollectiveBias

I know, what a title.

Why’s the end of the year great? Holidays, decorations, food, family, gift giving, smiles, lots of fudge and tea.
Why’s the end of the year terrible? I’m a small business owner (outside of the blog) so that means figure out expenses, organize 1099s to freelancers we have to send out, know if I have to spend, know if I have to save and start organizing my taxes.  And add up lots and lots of receipts. And cry. And continue adding up lots more receipts.

First, let me tell you a little bit about my other business besides this sweet little Internet home.  I don’t post much about work because I worry it causes confusion with my readers.  There’s recipes, gardening and then what happens when I post a wild fashion video?  Does that confuse readers?  Do readers like that?  Can you just tell me in the comments if you’d like to see more work that I create, including behind the scenes stuff? I hope you say yes as I’d love to start posting more, but I totally understand if you aren’t into it either. 

I work with my partner Matthew in a creative team.  We direct films for fashion brands, advertising, music videos and lots of online spots.  Our work has substantially grown in the past few years with new clients, bigger budgets and lots more hands in the cookie jar.  For one of our most recent jobs there was over 50 people on set.  With that many people involved, you can only imagine all the contracts and invoices that were involved.  Thankfully we have an agent that takes care most of that, but we still have to take care of all of our own paperwork.  

I love labels, I love labeling everything.  If you look in my closet you’ll see shoe boxes are labeled.  In our freezer, all the garden veggies are labeled.  So it probably comes as no surprise then that my label writer helps me stay organized with our business too.  Because gosh.. there’s alot of paperwork that we have to file.
I Love Labels and I Cannot Lie_5

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Bofinkles and Me Are In Love… Looking for your Pet Partner?

This post brought to you by PetSmart Charities. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/.

Did you read my post last week about Brother Bear? I hope so. I’m back with another adoption post… this one to get you to PetSmart for National Adoption Weekend.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that me and my FiFi Bofinkles have a special relationship, some even say romantic because we kiss so much. Yeah, we really love each other.  

 

A video posted by Pamela Reed (@pamelaz) on

Bofinkles is my babydoll and this month she will officially be with us for 6 years.  We adopted Bofinkles when she was already a senior cat at 9 years. Now she’ll be turning 15, some might call that a old lady, but Bofinkles would swat you if she ever heard you say that.  Bofinkles story is interesting. She was born in South Carolina, so she’s a Southern Belle with drama.  Ask Matthew, he can’t touch her without her biting me. But me? Oh no, I can do anything to her and she will drool happily.  We’re BFFs.

My baby Bofinkles. #iminlove

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Christmas Dreaming with a Modern Kitchen and Decorations

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Insight for this post was provided by GE Café™ Series.

Modern Christmas Decorations

I know it’s only the second week of November, but Christmas is in the air.  I went into a store yesterday and they had a life size Santa Claus dancing to a beat.  Ok first of all, I have no idea how tall Santa would be to be life size but I would imagine he’s “average”.  Also the dancing Santa was a bit creepy, especially because his eyes followed you.  But that’s besides the point.  I’m really excited for the holidays and I can’t wait to start decorating, so enter the planning phase.

I’ve given you peeks into our home here and here.  We live in a loft with 12 foot ceilings and a wide open living area.  When it’s Christmas we get a giant tree (that always is a adventure getting it out of here) and decorate our hearts out.  We love color, we love kitsch but we also love modern  lines.   That’s why when it comes to decorating I like to do a mixture to bring the worlds of smiling snowmen and sleek trees and lighting together. 

Here’s our home sweet home.
Home

 I love our home, but my dream list is a bath tub (I know – 10 years without one!) and a updated kitchen.  Have you seen GE Café™ Series?  Gosh, I want all of their appliances!  Looking at them just makes me cry with jealousy and happiness.  Maybe Santa will read this and know I’ve been a very good girl for Christmas.  Can we take a minute and marvel at how great these would look in our place? Imagine the sweet smell of cookies and savory casseroles that I could make with these. 
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How to Make a Whale Tissue Box, Hello Mr. Whale!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kleenex Brand. Winter is coming.. get ready!

This weekend was a chilly one.  Last week I was saying how confusing the weather was and this stayed true.  Over the weekend I was in Upstate NY where the temperature was in the 40’s and I was spending much of my time outside.  With a Ninja style face scarf on, double pants and a pocket full of Kleenex Facial Tissues, I was ready to brace the cold.

I’ve been lucky the last few years without getting sick in the Winter.  Last year Matthew didn’t get his flu shot and long and behold, he got hit with the flu mid Season.  The things I can never control in Winter though is a runny nose and dry skin.  When I think back to being a kid my Mom would have tissues stocked and ready to go everywhere, how did she always have one within grabbing distance?  As a I grow up I’ve turned into that… anyone need a tissue? I got your back.

What else do I love with my tissues?  Like everything else in our home, I need a cute tissue holder.    So let me introduce you to Mr. Whale.
How to Make a Kleenex Whale Tissue Box_8

Matthew and I teamed up on a weekend project a few weeks ago to make him.  Not to brag, but I got myself a handy man.  I told him I wanted a tissue box and it was cut and put together in about 2 hours.  So by “teaming up” with him I mean telling him I want a whale box and picking out the color.  Any ideas for complicated projects I can give him next to test him?  

How to Make a Kleenex Whale Tissue Box_4

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How to Throw a Inside Out Party! Ready for JOY?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutEmotions #CollectiveBias

Guys, have you seen Inside Out? Isn’t it AMAZING? Kids love it but adults really love it. When I first saw it I think there was more adults smiling in the crowd than kids.  I was one of them.

Well now it’s time to bring the fun into your home as Inside Out just came out on DVD last week (11/3 to be exact – I might have been waiting for it to arrive that day)!  Who’s ready for a party?
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If you haven’t seen Inside Out, it’s a 3D animated film made by the always amazing Pixar.  The film is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley.  Throughout her life there are 5 emotions that try to help her out in life problems, especially when moving to a new city.  The emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust.  I’m not going to tell you more because you have to watch it. 

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Because I was excited for the film to come out and I had many friends (and Matthew!) who haven’t seen it I decided to throw a rainbow filled party to celebrate the release and get everyone to think about their feelings. No, don’t worry, we’re not getting psychological deep here where we’re going to sit around and talk about our darkest hours, but instead it’s a time to celebrate joy but also totally be ok with sadness and fear too.  

Throwing a Inside Out party is pretty easy because it’s all about color. For not much money you can have a entire party zone set up.  You want to keep in the colors of Yellow, Blue, Red, Green and Purple.  

Things you’ll need:
Inside Out  DVD (to have a viewing party or to play throughout the entire party)
Inside Out Toys
Crafts section – colorful markers and paper
Streamers
Balloons
Tablecloths – to be used on tables and walls
Napkins, Plates, Cups
Food!  Have a good selection of vegetables, hand food, sweets (cake, candy, cupcakes, popcorn balls (see below)), and then something easy like pizza or sandwiches.

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We Adopted Our Brother Bear, It’s Time For You To Get a Best Friend Too!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fresh Step® litter.  All opinions are my own and my cat love is forever. 

Can I tell you guys about our loving boy, Brother Bear?  He’s the best.

Almost 6 years ago to the day Matthew rode the subway to the last step in the Bronx.   It’s a long ride there, but there was a treasure there waiting to be brought home.  We were about to adopt Brother and give him a forever home.    We first saw Brother online on a adoption site and fell in love with him.  It didn’t take much persuading to quickly make this a 3 cat home  (at that time it was only Essy and Xanadu).  With vet papers in hand, pink carrier in the other (sorry Brother!), Matthew took the subway back home to Brooklyn where I was waiting for him at the door like the super excited cat lady you all would imagine.  

Happy I'm home from work! #brother #mainecoon #blackcat #love #catlady

First funny story, the Vet papers called him MIKE.  Seriously, a cat named Mike.  That’s hilarious and horrifying at the same time.  Everytime I look at his papers I laugh.  Mike! Unbelievable.  Thankfully Brother agreed that his name was horrible so he happily approved of Brother (or Brother Bear for his Mom and Dad to call him).  

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Ricotta, Basil, Tomato Tea Sandwiches

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored recipe post written by me on behalf of Hunt’s canned tomato products.  Relax and enjoy a Ricotta, Basil, Tomato Tea Sandwich!

There’s something about a afternoon get together with mini sandwiches that makes me happy.  Can you imagine a brunch with friends and there’s heart shaped delicious sandwiches waiting for you on the table?  Doesn’t that scream love and yum at the same time?  In this super easy to put together recipe we’re going to make Ricotta, Basil, Tomato Tea Sandwiches that you can whip up in just a few minutes.

You only need a few ingredients for this recipe: bread, ricotta/garlic/basil mixture, Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes, and more basil.   You’ll also need some adorable cookie cutters where you can be creative.  I used hearts here because I love you guys, but stars and festive shapes like pumpkins for Thanksgiving would be super cute too.  Also, cat cookie cutters are always a good idea.  Anything cat is always a good idea.  Trust me.
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You can use any type of bread, I used whole wheat because that’s always something I have in my refrigerator.  You can also use some fancy bread but that’s something I pretty much never have in my refrigerator.  Grab a bunch of pieces of bread and start cutting your shapes out.
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