Friday, November 30, 2007

goodbye to fall.

i found the 24 hour XMAS music radio station and i'm hooked. i really couldn't be more excited about the upcoming holiday season. we were away last year taking the most wonderful trip to Europe and i was very okay with being gone for xmas. but now that the holiday cheer is all around me, i'm realizing how much I missed that tradition last year and i'm super nostalgic for a holiday with friends and family.

but that's not what i'm here to talk about. i'm actually pretty bent that fall came and went so quickly. fall is my favorite season and i feel like we were ROBBED. i'm serious! where did it go?! it came late and left early. and even before it was leaving, the holiday music was kicking it out the door. poor FALL. so here's a mosaic to celebrate fall, see ya next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

burlap or bust.

you just HAVE to check out Sondra's burlap projects. they are super duper cute, especially the tree skirt.

she's not the only one making good use of BURLAP. we brought our herbs in a few weeks ago and i plopped them under a window. they were looking mighty drab until i saw a cute BURLAP idea in Country Home.

potted plant + burlap + ribbon = burlap heaven. i even made a burlap BOW for the Turkey Day wreath. check more pics! happiday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

flippin furnace.

it was awfully nice of our furnace to wait until AFTER the holiday to BLOW up on us. (sigh)

only a whopping 3 days, but much nicer than the thought of NO heat before or during the holiday where we hosted 14 people for dinner.

(the furnace is much kinder than the old stove. some may recall it kicked the bucket two days before Turkey Day years ago)

looking at the warmer side of things, CHEERS to our first fire of the season. my checkbook and i will be welcoming the furnace repair man with open arms later today. and only then will i take my mittens off...

Friday, November 23, 2007

wine cork placecard holders.

for turkey day, we used wine corks as place-card holders. i think they fit the table's harvest theme quite well. plus they're quick and inexpensive to whip up for a large party.

i used this placecard template from martha stewart's website. just download, print and wedge them into a teeney slit on the top of the cork.

here are a few more project pics. enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


i haven't given up on my pumpkins yet.

Monday, November 19, 2007


my other half is pretty darn creative in the kitchen. he reads a ton of autobiographies and books written by the chefs he likes and then PRACTICES what he learns on moi. (lucky me!) this weekend he ran out to buy a new 'dutch oven' for the current meal inspiration swirling around in his brain.

he's reading another one of anthony bourdain's books - A Cook's Tour. in it, bourdain travels ALL around the world in search of the perfect meal. i guess it's a pretty easy read - he said every chapter is like an episode on the travel channel.

so that's how i met borscht. bourdain talks about it when he was traveling in Russia. it's a beetroot vegetable soup but he put a Russian twist on it adding beef, parsnips, cabbage and potatoes. oh, can't forget the DOLLOP of source cream. yummm.

1000 words.

today i'm on 1000words talking about... what else, pirogies. these plump, polish treats have been on my mind (and in my tummy) since we had pirogie day at my mom's house last weekend.

Check it out and comment over there if you'd like!

Friday, November 16, 2007


i've seen some pretty odd items in airport vending machines. flowers, ipods, acne medicine... but nothing like my newest addiction - redbox.

it's a vending machine that rents dvd at Wegmans. and quess what, it's in the shape of a red box.

the concept really works for me. a buck a night. no late fees. (just another buck) no people to deal with. a limited supply of vidoes to choose from. (it's a proven fact one makes decisions faster with less choices)

we've hit up the redbox like 6 times now and only had to pay TWICE. i gave them my email address and I get emails with free rentals all the time. new releases come out every Tues and i just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that the website is always up to date with exactly what movies are in my local redbox. it works!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

wine cork wreath.

i'm notorious for starting a craft project and then moving on to my next great idea before it's completely finished. case in point -> the wine cork wreath I started ages ago.

I had a legit excuse when I ran out of corks. i just couldn't drink as fast as my lush neighbor. I should have left a note in her recycling bin asking for a weekly donation. but then i scored 2 bags FULL of corks at a garage sale- so I had to finish it.

it's a delicate wreath, but i'm very pleased with it. project pics and instructions are up on my gallery page.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


apples covered in caramel. yuuuummmmmm.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

lucy 4th bday.

nov 12th was many reasons to CELEBRATE:
1. it's mc's late Grandma Ross' bday
2. it's Lucy's bday
3. it's Veteran's day / Remembrance Day

to celebrate - we sang 'happy birthday' to lucy and grandma while we wore our red poppies. poppies are a wartime remembrance symbol. we pick 'em up in Canada every year for Remembrance Day.

i really wasn't feeling well on Monday, so I didn't force Lucy to wear a birthday hat. i only had the energy for a BOW. what's even more unfortunate is that I didn't hang streamers or balloons. she barely got a 'happi bday' sign. i'm such a bad mom.

she totally knew it was her bday though. she got LOTS of treat from her dad, who thankfully had more energy than me and picked her up a few gifts (thx babe!). she got a new collar & squeaky cow toy... oh and Frosty Paws. here is a video of her getting introduced to booda. (we can't make this stuff up, it came on the cow just like winslow)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

pirogie day.

the pirogie debate of last week is officially over. we opened and then closed the polls and made about 325 pirogies in one day. I chronicled the making of a pirogie on my Gallery page.

this was our YODA pirogie. we waited till the end to eat it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

junk wagon.

i fell off the JUNK wagon the last few weeks. work is crazier than a fish with fur and I just haven't had time! (hey - someone keeps telling me that there is a fur bearing TROUT species - is he fibbing me?)

anywho, i'm happy to report i'm slowly crawling back on the wagon! I've been kickstarting projects that were collecting dust and scooping up junk deals. case in point, last weekend I scored some JUNK from Sue. (my future mom-in-law)

Sue takes the most-junk-in-a girl's-possession prize. all i say is 'i'm looking to do a photo gallery up our hallway stairs' and she takes me to the several of her stashes waiting to be sold at her antique store. (basements, barns, garages... note these are all PLURAL!) before i know it, i have 20+ OLD, antique frames in our trunk waiting to be smuggled over the border! yea for junk! THANK YOU so much Sue - I can't wait to post about the before/after makeover!

some other treasures... a PINK blossom pyrex bowl (this made me squeal), a vintage fan, (she had like 8 to choose from), some kodak film canisters, an OLD meat thermometer (it says Rochester, NY on it!) and a piano bench in desperate need of paint and a new fabric covering.

Let the PROJECTS begin!!

Oh... how could I forget my most FAVORITE treasure of all - a vintage, wooden swivel desk chair for the office upstairs. i know why i forgot - it didn't FIT in our trunk ;-( so it's being delivered on TURKEY day when they come visit. I'm dreaming this chair sat in an old lawyer's office for many moons. the wear on the arm rests tells me they leaned back and rubbed the arms a lot, perhaps when pondering life or very stressed out. this chair is a keeper-for-life treasure!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

pirogie polls are open.

ok everyone. there is a HOT pirogie 'flavor' debate email flying around inboxes near some of us. (thank goodness for gmail 'threads' b/c if I logged in to see 34 reply-to-alls I would just log right out)

here's the deal: i'm polish. my family's polish. and we make darn good PIROGIES. twice a year we get a group together and pump out hundreds of the plump, polish treats. this weekend happens to be one of our bi-annual events hosted at my mother's house.

since we are the common people of our pirogie community and live in a world of democracy (not to mention yesterday was voting day for me in the Roch) I've OPENED THE PIROGIE POLLS as the official voting mechanism for this weekend's flavor.

so - grab your mouse and PICK a flavor, darn-it! (ur voting limit is THREE) the poll is in the left column on this page. (who knows, even if you don't come u may be the lucky recipient of our weekend's yummy product.)

to get you in the mood for Saturday... here are pics from last Nov's event at my aunt annette's house and here are pics from last Jan's event at my mom's house.

ps - I'm sorry Brian, but Tuna didn't have enough seats in the house to make the poll as a candidate. maybe next year.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

gone truckin.

mcallister's dad has these old trucks that have spent many, many years parked in their back orchard. I like to think of them as FUN vintage, garden art pieces. there are two of them that have been in the same spot since as long as I have known mcallister. (plus a few decades)

his dad has been restoring the 1947 International Truck. since we were in canada this past weekend catching up on some long-overdue family time - we got to see how far it's progressed. I spent some time capturing photographs of it b/c I just like OLD things. i will admit, the orchard looked a bit empty now that this staple is being moved into storage.

while trying to research it, I found this neat website that provides copies of old classic advertisements, including trucks. above is a 1947 ad for another International Truck. looks a little different now that it is 60 years old than it did back then!

a wedding idea crossed my mind when I was photographing it. it reminded me of a story I read about a couple who used the bed of an old truck to serve up appetizers at their fairytale outdoor, country wedding. mcallister wasn't too fond of the idea but maybe it could work!

There are more pics of the truck & our weekend on my Gallery page.

Monday, November 05, 2007

the next firedog.

I got an email from Kodak about a contest with Circuit City to find the next 'firedog'. Firedog is Circuit City's installation and technical support service. Think like the people who come to your house to install or fix your home theater or computer.

Lucy and my ears were PERKED as soon as we heard about the contest. Since I don't work for Kodak anymore, I don't see why we can't enter it. That's where you readers come in... I need some ideas for a 'photo-shoot' theme to take the PERFECT picture of Lucy.

What would best capture her as the perfect mascot for Circuit City's TV commercial for technical repair/installation?