You know you're still young, and extremely transparent when...

reps send you cookies, cupcakes, cake, candy AND TOYS! And yes I pranced around the office with this lovely face, and I'm typing with these nails on!

This granola is just right

You know the story of Goldielocks and the Three Bears..."This porridge is too hot...  This porridge is too cold...Ahh, this porridge is just right."  I know this a strange analogy (I'm somewhat known for this), but that's what comes to mind when I think about Lloyd Kahn.  I came across a video of him on the Old Faithful blog today and I can't help but love the guy.  I'm not a fan of over the top granola crunching hippie types, nor do I appreciate those selfish enough not to realize that our resources are not limitless or that what we do can and will affect others in a negative way (and that this IS a big deal), but Mr. Kahn is just right.  As Old Faithful puts it, he is  "a true original... prolific D-I-Y man."  He was also a big fan of Buckminster Fuller, a personal favorite of mine.  I think he would be an interesting person to hang with for a day.  I wouldn't have much to add to the conversation but I would thoroughly enjoy listening to him ramble on while nodding my head every so often.  And maybe he could teach me to long board!

Happy Friday!

A rep brought me these flowers for being the biggest pain in my ass and calling and emailing a total of 15 times in one day! I forgave him, but told him next time to have patience and faith that I will call him back when I have a chance.
It's like the old man that sold Beth and I our dining room table off of craigslist said. We were on the phone trying to coordinate a time for us to pick it up and he says to me in all seriousness, "So when you call me, if I'm not here, I have an answering machine. You can leave a message on it and when I get home I will know that you called and then I can call you back." What a genious concept!

I do love the pretty flowers though :)


Gorilla Gardening with Antoinette

Last week I was sitting with my usual group of friends for Paint the Town Red over at the Pat Crowley House. It was like every other Sunday afternoon I'm with them. We paint, have a quick chat about the weather, then straight into the stories I've heard now approximately 30 times. Al talks about the 1945 World Series at Wrigley Field, what Lane Tech was like when it was an all boys school, and why he had to give up art school to work security for a bank (who's building was torn down for a McDonald's); Alex interrupts (he has to because Al is a chatter) to tell me how beautiful I am and how I'm his favorite, in his adorable version of English which is mostly Spanish; and Rosalie recaps all the phone calls she has made or received over the previous week.

Then there's Antoinette, she's the liveliest of the bunch and the one most likely to tell a story that has taken place in my lifetime. She wanted to know when the next Earth Day was going to be. I looked it up on my phone and told her it was April 22. She was upset, that was just too far away. I asked her why this was such upsetting news. That's when she told me about her "Gorilla Gardening". You can imagine why this would be a funny thing to hear from a 75 year old woman who more closely resembles a mouse than a gorilla. She told me that last year during the week of Earth day she went to a nearby school every day to make "seed bombs" at one of their many workshops and demonstrations on being green. She then carried these bombs with her on her afternoon walks to throw into empty lots, she hates those eyesores and wants to fill them with beautiful wild flowers. She says to me "I get scared sometimes because I don't want to get caught by a police man. I don't want them to think I'm a crazy old lady." I laughed and told her she shouldn't worry about it.

I've seen these seed bombs before and of course I think they are pretty neat. But hearing Antoinette tell me about them and imagining her lugging around dirt balls and throwing them all over the city makes them, and her, much cooler!

Here is a tutorial on instructables on how to make these seed bombs at home. If you're not the do-it-yourself type you can also buy them here or here.  I really want to make these with Antoinette when I go to see her next Sunday.  Even if they will most likely freeze before they ever get a chance to grow.  Who am I to deny her they enjoyment of throwing a few dirtballs?!


As if I needed one more thing to do... now I can have a vertual pin board at  If this websites server was not so slow I could see myself really obsessing over looking at everything that has been "pinned" here.

{ps.  I have that bracelet}

Happy Friday!


I am happy to announce the grand opening of my new Etsy shop, Estate of Grace Vintage.  My unwavering love for estate sales has my apartment busting at the seams with whosits and whatsits from days of yore.  I have no choice but to unload my ever expanding loot onto those shoppers of the Etsy marketplace who are lucky enough to find my shop amongst the endless rows of virtual store fronts. 
I'm very excited to share my love for all things vintage and decorate the lives and homes of those who enjoy it as much as I do.  So please come check it out, tell me what you think.  Even better, give me a challenge!  If there is something you are looking for, something that you think is cool, or something you think might be a good addition to my shop, give me a shout.  I'll put it on my radar and you better believe I will find it!  But don't get crazy :)       

side note:  The title of this blog post is a favorite memory from my semester in Prague.  There was a man who passed out news papers at the metro station by my apartment, everyday he would be there shouting in a deep scratchy voice "Noviprata,  Nooooviprata!"  Which roughly (meaning this is made up) translates to "news, get your news!"  I do know that news in Czech is novi, it's the rest of his babble I was never able to figure out.  Though I'm sure what we assumed he was saying is pretty spot on. 

recipe cache: butternut squash and bacon risotto

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

1/2 butternut squash
1 tsp grapeseed oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
4-5 cups mushroom stock from dried shiitakes (chicken or vegetable would be fine too)
3 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 fresh thyme sprigs (about 1 Tbsp fresh thyme)
1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
250 g thick cut, double smoked bacon, cut into cubes
1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine
1 tbsp white truffle oil (optional)
1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated

1. Brush squash half with one teaspoon of vegetable oil and roast in a 400°F oven for 45-60 minutes or until softened and cooked through.
2. Remove from oven and let stand. When cooled, peel and dice into large cubes. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, fill with four to five cups of hot water.
4. Place in dried mushrooms and allow to steep for 30-45 minutes. When reconstituted, remove woody stems and dice but reserve the water for use as stock. Set aside.
5. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan or pot, heat one tablespoon of butter. Add in onion, garlic and thyme and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables begin to turn translucent.
6. Add mushrooms and rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 5-10 minutes.
7. Add mushroom stock one cup at a time, stirring between additions and allowing the stock to be completely soaked up by the rice before adding more.
8. Meanwhile, in a small heavy bottomed pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper or kitchen towels and set aside.
9. When last of stock is used up, add vermouth to risotto and allow to cook off a bit.
10. Stir in remaining butter, cubed squash and bacon. Sprinkle with Parmesan and stir in.
11. Serve with a drizzle of white truffle oil or more Parmesan for garnish.

And if this doesn't work, call Pizza Hut.  Right Deb?!

I just wanna dance!

HAPPY FRIDAY DANCE PARTY #3 from blaine hogan on Vimeo.

Blogger Blaine Hogan is starting a virtual dance party, and I can not stop smiling about it!  I think everyone should join in!

You and me both kid

Confetti System

These too quite possibly have the greatest job on earth!

The Selby at The Confetti System studio in NYC.

I'm better, I'm back!

Once upon a time there was a magazine called Domino. This was a fun little design magazine treasured by many. I used to love flipping through the pages looking at all the pretty pictures of all the pretty spaces. I would tear out the pages of the ones I liked most and file them away with every intention of referencing them regularly. A custom I know many people have.
I recently came across my notebook full of Domino clippings and now realize that my passion for this ritual died along with the magazine, March of 2009 to be exact. The day Conde Nast broke a little piece of my heart and stopped publication of the magazine, blaming it on the economy. LAME!
Recently the interwebs have experienced an influx of online design magazines. Restoring my heart to its full and happy condition and showing that silly Conde Nast how it's done!

Economy schmonomy, heres to those smart go getter's who know how to keep with the times.

I do still miss the physical act of flipping through the magazine, tearing out the pages and stowing them away (so what I'm a boarder line pack rat).  But this is me, keeping up with the times. 

Recipe Cache: Ricotta Gnudi

Cheese is what dreams are made of!


3 eggs
1 425 g tub ricotta cheese
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter
12 fresh sage leaves


Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add ricotta and whisk until well combined. Whisk in flour, Parmesan and salt. Let gnudi mixture chill 15 minutes.
Step 2: Bring a large, wide pot of salted water to a gentle simmer. Form gnudi mixture into 24 rough balls using 2 soup spoons. Gently drop each ball off the spoon and into the simmering water. Simmer the gnudi about 2 to 3 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and reserve on a baking sheet. (Gnudi can be made in advance up to this point and kept for up to 4 hours in the fridge.)
Step 3: Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add sage leaves and cook about 5 minutes or until butter is browned. Add gnudi. Gently toss and cook about 5 minutes or until gnudi are heated through, lowering heat so butter doesn’t over-brown.
Step 4: Divide among 6 bowls. Garnish with pepper and additional Parmesan if desired.

prepping for the big day

I absolutely love Halloween!  Actually what I love is making a costume and dressing up.  It just so happens that the most widely excepted day to do this is Halloween.  Being that we are 4.5 days into October, according to my book I am way behind on costume production.  I have yet to decide what I will be.  I do at least know the theme {circus freak}, I just need to narrow it down.  Here are my options so far.

bearded lady
snake lady
tattoo lady