July/August Read

Murder on Astor Place (Gaslight Mysteries) By Victoria Thompson.

Have not read it yet, however, it's historical fiction and mystery all rolled into one. My favorite!!! I'll start reading it tomorrow and then do a review once I'm done.

Also, I'm going camping.

That should be an adventure.

How To Clean Dog Vomit

1. Pick it up with a bar towel or dish towel.

2. Throw it in laundry basin. Worry about that later.

3. Scream an expletive as dog vomits again. ON CARPET. LESS THAN TWO INCHES FROM A CEMENT FLOOR.

4. Throw dog outside.

5. Remember that dog vomited outside which is why you brought it inside so it wouldn't eat puke.

6. Turn on faucet outside.

7. Hose puke into driveway and under fence.

8. Go inside.

9. Open beer.

10. Scrub carpet with brush and Nature's Miracle.

11. Take a deep breath.

12. Finish beer.

13. Return to laundry tub, shake out vomit and throw into washing machine.

14. Get another beer.

15. Get out bar towels/dish towels for next time.

16. Let dog inside if you dare.


Company Store Bright Stripe Towel, Clearance $6.99

Company Store Cambridge Stripe Bedding, Clearance $6.99 - $9.99

It's almost August. That means we're close to the end of summer. BOO. Stripes make me want to go out on the boat and bask in the Minnesota summer sun and smell like cheap hair conditioner because you just can't swim in a lake without cheap hair conditioner.


Wall Plaques

Positive Thought Plaque $14.95

Yep, I grew up in a home where my mother always had wall plaques. I sort of like them. At the moment I'm trying to find one of my french wall plaques that I somehow acquired from a great aunt. I think. Maybe.
Vintage Carpet Beaters, Set of 5 from Pottery Barn $79
And I sort of grew with stuff like this on the walls.

With a VERY HEALTHY DOSE OF ROOSTERS. Katie, how many roosters have you bought Mom????

Ceramic Rooster $79.00 from JC Penney

In fact, one time on vacation in Mexico there was a rooster like this in a shop. It wasn't for sale. And yet somehow, it ended up on the plane with us, peeking its scary, ugly head out of the overhead compartment. Weird to have to tell your seatmate that its not really yours, since, you know, its in your possession and all.

Next time I'm at my moms, I'll count the roosters. And maybe buy her a ceramic chicken instead. Liven up the collection a little bit.


Honey Mustard Chicken With A Smidge Of Lemon

I love grill food. It's so easy. You just throw stuff on the grill, turn when it's not sticking and then wait for it to be done and then eat.

So this is really just a guestimate of this marinade. It's super easy (yep, really easy!).

1/3 cup of mustard, I used Grey Poupon Creamy Dijon
1/4 - or less cup of oil (veggie or olive oil, I've used both before, the veggie oil cooks well at higher temps though), we have a pourer thingy, so count to 3 regularly twice and I think that's about what I used
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, a good smidge of each
2 good squeezes of honey, I think about 2 tablespoons
You can add garlic, I did not though

Mix everything with a whisk, start off with a minimal amount of oil and then add more if the marinade is kinda thick, however, you don't want it too thin because you don't want it all to run off on the grill. So it's consistency should be like a thick ranch dressing.

Marinate for at least one hour.

Then grill.

You first put it on one side, then when it doesn't stick, flip it over to the other side.

When it doesn't stick anymore, I usually grill for another minute and then it's done. I let it rest for 5 minutes. I was grilling other stuff too, so don't like, be afraid of those grill juices or anything.

Ok, have a great weekend! Get your grill on!


Friday Fun Find: Green Glass

Tumbler, set of 4 from the Green Glass Company $40

3 Section serving tray from Walmart $19

5 piece Carafe and Glass set $12 from Walmart

We've Got A Visitor!

River is pretty cute, isn't he?
Oh, dogs...
It's the face of a goon!
Yep, it's a Golden for sure!

We're just temp fostering until Tuesday. Pretty cute though, right? River is three and an absolute peach of a dog. Doesn't jump, loves to be with people. He's fantastic.

P.S. If you're interested in River's story with RAGOM, please click here for more info


Flies Have Sex Too

So the past two weeks have been fly haven in our backyard. But if you can identify these bugs and tell me they're not flies, then you win. I might send you something special (how 'bout a pic of them doing it?).
The foliage is pretty much gone. They ate and ate and ate and ate it all away.

And then started going at it. I know there's a natural order to this, but seriously, it's my backyard. And they're ruining my pretty vines!
Yeesh. There's more than three bugs here...
And lots more couples here...

So um, if you've ever dealt with this, what did you? Do you just let nature take its course or do you do something about it? I don't know, I've never dealt with this many bugs in my backyard before.

P.S. Feel free to laugh.

P.P.S. If you like bugs, come on over.

Patterned Curtain Panels

Bohemian Panel from Patina $29.95

I'm looking for curtain panels for our living room right now. It's kind of a pain in the butt. Our living room is a buttery, summery yellow color (which means that I'm thankful it will seem bright and airy even in the dead of winter), however it makes picking out curtains hard.

I want a pattern.

Something with brown.

Maybe teal or blue.

Maybe green.

Argh. Let the frustration begin.

Firenze Embroidered Panel from Ballard $179 - $219

Oh, did I forget to mention that they can't be too expensive like the ones above?

Audrey Drape from Pottery Barn $79 - $109
And these are a little TOO floral, well, no, just too much blue...

 Pier 1 Brightman Window Panel $45

Richloom Cornwall Garden $16.98 per yard (yes, I'd make curtains myself...)

Anthropologie Lakari Curtain $208 - $268 (um, way out of my price range, but still a thought...)

Meh... I don't know. I mean we bought the house, it's not like we're leaving in a year so I can take my time to pick stuff out, but still... I like stuff put together.

Chicken, Green Pepper & Onion Quesadilla

Oh.. the smells...

Oh... the chicken!!!

Oh... that cheese... YUM. My lunch.

Thinly slice an onion and green pepper. Saute those in a pan together for 7 - 9 minutes, until soft (sorta like the Chipotle onion and green pepper mix in their fajita burritos...). Using leftover grilled chicken or shredded chicken or whatever leftover you have, chop it into bite size pieces and toss into the pan.

Add to the pepper, onion and chicken mixture: chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, maybe some coriander if you have it.

Then build the quesadilla.

Tortilla, 1 good handful of cheese, the pepper mix, another good handful of cheese and then another tortilla. Heat over medium heat on each side until lightly browned and toasty.

I used a pizza cutter to get a good cut.


Broken Glasses

Don't you hate odd glasses? So these are the glasses from Pier 1 that we got as a wedding gift. They're so pretty, the color matches everything that I have in the kitchen (think teal, lime green and white...).

However, they also break easily. Or maybe Bimmer Man is just heavy handed. I don't know.

At this point I think we have 5 glasses left out of 10. And we've been married for three years.

So, anyone want to recommend any good drinking glasses?


MMM... Pork Chops.

Oh, yum. I didn't get a pick of them cooked though. We ate them too quickly. This is one of my marinades that I made regularly.
THE ingredient..

And you'll find the recipe HERE (From my archive of November 2009).

Penne with Chicken, Tomato & Basil

Easy. Isn't pasta just so easy? It's a go-to meal when you only have 30 minutes. Or 25. Or maybe 15. In any case, pasta is fantastic.

And so was the fresh basil from my garden!!!

So here's the ingredients:

1/2 lb of pasta, I like penne
2 chicken breasts, grilled and then sliced thinly
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt, pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for topping
Fresh basil - about 1/2 cup lightly packed and julienned
1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water

Make the pasta. Reserve 1/4 cup of the water.

Saute the onion and garlic until clear. Add in the tomatoes. Cook until the tomato juice has reduced by about half (but I was in a hurry, so I didn't really wait that long...). Then add in the salt and pepper and the basil, along with the pasta water if it seems to need it. Mix with the chicken and hot pasta.

Serve topped with parmesan cheese and garlic bread for sopping up the sauce.


P.S. While I was making this, I thought that I should wear a shirt that showed cleavage, a la Giada...


Friday To-Do List

1. Read some of my current book: All Together Dead (Original MM Art): A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)

2. Paint my toe nails.

3. Come to the conclusion that yes, conditioner is a better shaving cream than actual shaving cream (in other words, shave my left leg).

4. Water Shirley-the-Neighbor's flowers.

5. Finish the laundry

6. Organize and put away the laundry, particularly: find matching sheets/pillow cases

7. Make some sort of grilled chicken quesadilla for lunch

8. Furminate the dog.

9. Clean the dining room floor. Ugh. I think I will have to get down on my hands and knees too, otherwise the Swiffer WetJet leaves some sort of film. Gross.

10. Maybe stop and get some mixers for vodka (huh, fun weekend for McTatty/Bimmer? Yes, hopefully)

11. Go out to dinner with Leah and her hubby (so Bimmer and Leah's husband know each other from college, Bimmer and I met at a frat party. But that's a whole new post).

12. Stir up my compost bin.

So I guess my Friday is going to be a fun filled adventure.


Outdoor Seating?

So I adore our conversation set from Sear's that we had so much trouble obtaining (that little, I mean, lengthy post will come in the next week or so). I love it so much that one night Bimmer Man dragged a chair outside to the garage for me so I could read while he worked on the car.

So I'm thinking that maybe we need 2 outdoor chairs on our deck (no coffee table, not enough room) with maybe a footrest and side tables? Hmm... Oh, the possibilities... (though due to budget cuts, this may not be an option for awhile. We will probably just go with the Indiana Hoosiers camp chair and broken Ikea table).

Corsica Outdoor Oversized Chair $799
Corsica Outdoor Ottoman $539
Monaco Chair & Ottoman Set $1,119.99
Corsica Woven Top End Table $299

Le sigh. Maybe I will win the lottery some day.


Tin Wall Tiles

Pottery Barn Vintage Tin Tiles, set of 3 $99

These are way too cute! I'd love these for our living room (now that it's yellow) and I've been looking for blue accents. $99 is a bit much for me to spend though, if they were $39, then I'd totally order them. Le sigh. I wish my decorating budget was bigger. Oh, well!


Blueberry Muffins #315

Yum. Yum. Yum. Bimmer Man loves blueberry muffins and frankly, I'm always happy to try a new recipe.

I've also learned to line the muffin tin. It just makes transporting muffins to work easier!
And in the middle of July, well, there's nothing better than a little Halloween, right?

To Die For Blueberry Muffins (from allrecipes.com)


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.