Can you believe August is just a few days away? Me either! I am so not ready for this Summer to start coming to a close yet. So, I am praying hard for an Indian Summer and some more free time to hit the beaches!! (Pray with me people! MORE HOT WEATHER!)
Thought to talk a little about what has been weighing on my mind. Our house renovations. If you haven’t kept up, we are in the midst of finding a contractor to work with us on a kitchen and guest bathroom renovation. It’s been tough, but that is because this job is big and a lot needs to be fixed/updated.
We took a ride early Sunday morning to a cabinetry place in NH. I was so impressed with this location. My husband had contacted them check in on their cabinet selection and hours of operation. Within seconds of talking, the person invited us up to see their showroom on Sunday, even though they were not technically open. We showed up and they let us have full reign of the space, browsing, pulling out stock and talking for hours. Great experience. The girls had a blast, too, cause this company was smart! They had a decked out TV room and a fun play room filled with toys. So, needless to say, we got to browse and shop alone! And. Glad to say that we finally made a step in a direction with our renovations project. We picked out a cabinet style and two finishes we liked..and counter tops, too. God I hope this all works out well!!
Tomorrow night someone from that company is coming by for measurements, design consultation and further pricing. Then right after they leave, another contractor is coming by, contractor #3. I am looking forward to this meeting, he is a real nice guy, and was the contractor we used on our last humongous construction project in 2007 -the creation and build of new stairs, gutting and rearranging the bedrooms on the second floor. Also, renovating master bathroom, refinishing ceiling and walls in master bedroom and ceilings in living room. Like I’ve said, I live in a quaint contemporary MONEY PIT. ugh.
Anyone want to contribute to my HOLY SHIT I AM POOR fund? No? Damn.
The hunt to find the right contractor at the right price is overwhelming me a little more. The thought of this whole project is, actually. I just want it all to be done!! Here’s our Houzz page or pinterest board of what I like.. now make it happen! (Did I mention I am a touch like Veruca Salt? 😦 ) So far the two people we have met with have been fine and dandy, knowledgeable and nice, but they seem to have the pricing skewed. One guy priced out the build without cabinets or appliances included, but $O RIDIC EXPEN$IVE! And the other guy priced it out without the bathroom tiles included..and OMG! FAQN EXPEN$IVE. Then we still have to add in the costs to buy appliances, lighting, table and chairs, faucets, bathroom storage, washer and dryer, and accessories!! With my husband sort of this business, we know pricing well, and feel like this job can come in less than the two quotes so far. We have a budget and want to stick to it as close as we can. If this other gentleman doesn’t work out, then I am fearing we will hold off on this project longer, or snag someone too late with the job going on for weeks in the winter.
Our current kitchen is such an eye sore. Some cabinets are falling apart. Drawers are not working properly. The faucet’s spray handle is temperamental and the garbage disposal decided to seize. I can hardly fit things anywhere. Since we’ve discussed this updating these past few weeks, our dishwasher has decided to be a jerk and not work right (like it knows we are trying to replace it!) and our brand new fridge’s handle broke off out of no where the other day; which we bought last year after our other new fridge died! My desire for this project is hard pressed since we have been talking about and looking at (and PINNING!) so many new, white, shiny things . NEW AND SHINY in a kitchen! I want that!!! My kitchen is so dated, ugly, drab and…brown.
I don’t like brown.
I like shiny.
OK! Before I start more whining I should get outta here smiling. Maybe I should weigh myself? ha NOT BLOODY LIKELY TODAY!
Love you all!
4 lbs Granny Smith Apples, washed, cored, cut into quartered pieces and peeled
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup raw sugar (Sugar in the Raw), and 1 tbsp for topping crust
1 tspn salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tspn ground nutmeg
1/8 tspn ground allspice
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 pre-made pie crust (follow directions on package)
1 egg beaten with a tbsp water for egg wash.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine in a bowl: cut apples with the zests, juices, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Roll out half the pie dough and drape it over a 9-inch pie pan, bring it about 1/2-inch over the rim.
Fill the pie with the apple mixture.
Brush the edge of the bottom pie crust with the egg wash. This will keep the crusts together.
Top with the second crust, bringing the edge 1 inch over the rim.
Crimp the 2 crusts together with your fingers.
Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and cut 4 or 5 slits.
Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 1 -1 1/4 hours.
Let pie cook till browned* and the juices boil and bubble out.
*If your crust edges are browning too quickly, cover with tin foil so they don’t burn. (nothing worse than making this delicious pie and the crust burns!)
Not only does your house smell insanely good after baking this, but you now have a delicious fool proof apple pie! Enjoy!
Pasta with Zucchini and Cannelini Beans
1 medium-sized zucchini, washed and cubed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
1 can of cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated cheese, Romano Pecorino works best.
1lb cooked pasta
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add in garlic and onions, cook till translucent.
Add in zucchini , stir, then sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Caramelize the zucchini (cook until the zucchini begins to brown slightly, but do not burn!!).
Push the zucchini to one side of skillet, and add in the beans to the empty side. Let beans heat through, then mix the zucchini with the beans till incorporated.
Turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 5-10 minutes, till the beans are soft and cooked through.
Take skillet off heat. Toss in pasta.
Top with your favorite grated cheese and done!
Hello gorgeous blog readers!
I cannot believe the hideous day I have had. Glad it is over! And, for some reason I felt compelled to weigh myself. To see if I made progress, to lift my spirits. I know, I am crazy!
First, since my last weigh in, we had the Fourth, a week of vacation and a week of not going to the gym much. Life has been crazy with schedules and this heat wave. Which is heaven for me, but by the end of the day, I just never felt up to going to the gym to get heated and sweat. I have to share that from all this life stuff, I weighed myself last Sunday; blergh! What an upset. Because, unfortunately, I gained 4lbs. Ugh! That gain was such a let down to me, cause I didn’t really eat that poorly as I was like a food cop, depriving myself but, it snuck up on me after the Cape.
……. But!!!! I have awesome news today!! Not only did I shed those nasty lbs, but I lost an additional lb and a half!! Can you believe this!?!!. I had to weigh myself three times and checked the scale to see if it was off balance! It wasn’t!
I am beyond giddy right now, and it worked to pull me out of this crappy day! Yes! Just so you know…giant, glowing smile..ear to ear! And this means that I am at my lightest since the late 90s! Canyabeleeddat!?!!? I think I just happily hovered over my seat.
So relieved, and overjoyed. I can finally breath.
Which I am going to need to do cause we have a contractor coming by with a written estimate for the kitchen/bathroom renovation. He is supposed to be here in an hour. The guesstimate was so high! But he was real great to talk with, super knowledgeable and a designer like my husband. His company is reputable too. So. We shall see, but I am dreading this now. The finance part of this is such a weighty stress. And my husband and I have so much to talk about still. Do we want to pay off a loan until the girls are ready for college? Uhm, I don’t think so, but we need to figure out the right price and right contractor for us. I mean, we are getting a new kitchen or else! Lol. But it might not be that extreme lush kitchen of our dreams. But it’ll be close enough! 😉
Well, I should get going! Love this post so much guys! Yay!
Hey Everyone! We are having an amazing vacation week!
Started off Friday, with hitting up our second favorite beach in Gloucester. Spent an entire day, till the sun set, enjoying the hot weather and warm water. Such an amazing day! Then we took the kids to see Despicable Me 2 on Saturday; which, I was shocked I liked..cause I passed out watching the first one. Actually, I passed out two times in a row with their first movie. Which is shocking cause Jason Segel, the man of all men, voices the villain. Hmm, I am not even sure I have ever made it through an entire 1 movie!! But 2 was a real fun movie! Great story and I laughed a lot. Most definitely will buy this when it hits video. Then on Sunday we went to our first birthday on Pomp’s Pond. We live about a mile from this pond, and never more than just drive by it. So, I was really looking forward to this birthday party to check it out. Uhm. All I can, nicely, say is that I am not a pond person…and I grew up walking to Wright’s Pond with family and friends throughout my childhood! BBUUT, my kids had a ridiculously fun time with my husband. And have asked to go back several times already. Not with me I can assure you.
After this we took a day to pack and fool around; which means we went to see an Omni movie after walking through the Museum of Science, then grabbed some German pub food at Jacob Wirth’s. Which, was hilarious. It was trivia night, and I won a tee shirt for knowing a whole lot of nothing. A tee shirt that has the writing on the back that I won the tee shirt at trivia night there. A powder blue tee shirt that my oldest daughter has been priding over since I had her go up to Mr. Morgan White, a Barry White type, who was the trivia master, to grab it. So much pride, that I had to immediately launder the trivia tee shirt to bring to The Cape for her as a PJ! Only my kid. Of course, I think it is totally awesome, too.
Then, we left for The Cape! We got there in record timing, and it was non stop fun together. Lots of swimming, beaching and a lot of eating and drinking! Even had a couple of hours to myself to get ready for dinner one night. Which, if you know me, know that this meant way more to me than most women or mothers! Nothing like a blazing 15 minute hot shower, the tunes kicking, and, singing like a reject out loud… Yup. Just being able to be in a towel for thirty minutes putting on makeup and doing my hair without rushing…is a big gift. So awesome. :). My husband rocks!
My goals for this trip were to not be ‘connected’ so much, wear zero black and to eat like a human being, not a big fat pig. Welllll, I got wearing hardly any black down! And, I am proud to say I didn’t eat all that bad. I didn’t clear any plates, actually split every dish with my kids, and I had small kid sized ice creams twice. I was online once or twice a day while grabbing a latte or when in need. So, not bad, right!? But, we did have an issue with weather. The mid Cape, where we were, had cloudy weather with spots of sun, and on our last day rain. But we didn’t let that get in our way. Nooooo way!!
Here are a few pics taken from our Cape trip… I took soooooo many, and these were cute enough to share!
Ahem, anyone notice my tan lines!? I fqn got a tan on my already visible tan!! A newwwwww record! (Said in my Mario Party mini-game voice-yup i’m a nerd!)
It was a wonderful trip ..together. we have already started discussing next year’s Cape trip! Thinking of renting in Truro! If you have been there, rented or hotel, please message me!!
Oooh, and I chuckled every night seeing my daughter in the Jacob Wirth’s coveted trivia tee shirt. A small men’s tee shirt on a seven year old is quite cute. Well, she is real cute anywayzzz!!!!
Our vacation isn’t quite over yet! Yes! We have a family day planned all day tomorrow and fun stuff throughout the weekend, too! So looking forward to this weekend, cause I am still in need of more sun! Though, I am not looking forward to going back to work Monday, but I’m going to forget that part till…well, Monday morning!
Three more days! (Said in my ‘Steve Holt’ voice). Yup a big nerd.
2 large-sized eggplants, washed and sliced thin lengthwise
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Romano/pecorino, and three tbsp for sprinkling on top
1/3 lb fresh spinach, washed, drained completely and minced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling pans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Need: 3 cups marinara/tomato sauce, a couple parchment paper covered baking sheets, and a 9×13 baking pan.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the eggplants lengthwise into thin slices.
Drizzle olive oil on pans, then place eggplant slices on top. Sprinkle with salt. Roast till lightly browned on both sides, and fork tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove slices and allow to cool.
In a food processor, or you can cut by hand, take fresh, washed spinach and mince.
In a large bowl, beat egg then mix the ricotta, spinach, Romano cheese, nutmeg, and salt/pepper .
Place a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the fatter end of the eggplant and roll up tightly.
Place the eggplant rollatini into baking pan, atop sauce, seam side down. Continue with remaining eggplant lining them up tightly in the pan.
Evenly distribute the sauce on top of the eggplant rollatini.
Season with grated cheese and mozzarella.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
Sssso you all know, I really don’t like videos of myself. And it shows!
Happy Fourth All! I am off to invest in wrinkle cream. :/. Heehee