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Showing posts from August, 2010

Brownies

I have a blog I love to check out called The Apron Revolution. The author started out dressing and living as if she was in 1955 and now has moved onto 1956. All of the stories have been fascinating and it has moved beyond an interesting experiment. She has even posted videos from old commercials and videos geared toward homemaking. That being said, I tried a brownie recipe of hers last night and was quite simple and good.
Yummy BrowniesIngredients1/2 cup butter 1 cup white sugar 2 eggs 1 TBS vanilla extract 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking powderDirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan or round pan (I used an 8” single layer cake pan to make fun cake slice servings.)In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.…

Mumblings for Monday

We had such a lovely weekend. Our friends who are using 2 surrogates out of India, are expecting 3, yes 3, babies. Their shower was this weekend and it was a beautiful day and the two reverends that were present gave a blessing. So nice and I was soooooooo hungover yesterday. You would think that by now, at my age, I would realize "Hey, I can't drink like I used to, nor should I drink like I used to." Plus, a wine hangover makes a gin one look gentle. The good thing about being a slug all day was I read a good amount of my Christopher Moore book, Lamb, I also read the newest edition of Southern Living and The Economist.
My obsession with farmhouse sinks continues. Franke products make a stainless steel one. Yes, yes, yes I will take this sink. Now, again, there is no idea when we will renovate said kitchen, but the one thing that is constant is my desire for a big sink. I have a cast iron pan and dammit, it needs to fit.

Yesterday my husband and I discussed my novel and …

Mary Magdalene Tattoo

Since Mary Magdalene is a major character in the novel I am working on. I have been doing research on her. Of course, I do not see her as I was taught by the Catholic Church back in the day that she was a prostitute. Was she a sinner? Probably, but aren't we all? My vision of her is she was a devout follower of Jesus Christ who had immense strength back in a time when women were no more than commodities. I may be idealizing her in some ways, but I like to think of her as a woman who stood by her convictions. She just got tainted by it pretty hardcore for it as well.Enough rambling. I came across a church in San Diego that has a pretty cool logo of her and I have decided I would like that as a tattoo at some point.
Church of St. Mary Magdalene
While the tattoo is very Gothic looking, thank you Filomena :), in my story she has golden hair. The reason for that is behind the altar of my old church was a giant mosaic of Christ on the cross with mourners at his feet and Mary Magdalene was…

Books, Reading and the occasional naughty read

I am a devourer of books.
From fiction to non-fiction, religious to history, I take every recommendation given to me and try to recall or write it down for future reference. I like to keep a list of books I want to read as well as a wish list on Amazon. The library is my friend and without I would be miserable. My husband and I also talk of getting a Kindle which makes me giddy beyond belief. Can you imagine having a Kindle and books? C'estMagnifique!!
I take immense pleasure in reading a few books at a time. Currently I am still reading One Hundred Years of Solitude which has been wonderful. I also have been enjoying the hilarious Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. For research on my newest novel I use the Bible (NIV), Dark Night of the Soul by St John of the Cross and MeisterEckhart. The last two books were highly recommended by a friend who is on the path to being a choice religious scholar. They are an intense read and ones need…

Interiors or Exteriors first

We got a quote from a landscape designer for putting in a blue stone pathway from the driveway to the landing for the front stairs. The path would also go from the landing to the mailbox. We would also put a red maple on the front lawn and then along the side where we had all those awful bushes taken down, they would plant Russian sage and really beautiful ornamental grasses. Mind you, we never even discussed front plantings. The price was what we figured it would be and my husband was grateful that I did not pass out or spew a vulgarity when I saw the quote. Of course it is cheaper to combine it all and so we are shooting to do all of this work in the spring.
Not everyone cares about curb appeal, but we do. Right now there is nothing since we ripped it all out. Plus, the exterior sets the stage for the house. Now, most of you know we would really like to modernize the bathrooms and reconfigure the kitchen. To gut and reconfigure three rooms will be way more expensive then the outside …

Josef Hoffman

My artist friend Mark who blogs at Rabbit Meets Hat was kind enough to turn me on to Josef Hoffman and the brilliant Wiener Werkstatte.

I am officially obsessed and there is no stopping me.

What happened was we put up a new pendant light in the dining room and my whole vision for my house changed. I saw more modernism blended in along with the cottage style. I was explaining to Mark how we like modern, but we also like country and he showed me this Hoffman designed cutlery set.


I swooned. There are brooches and chairs and glasses and so many inspiring designs that I have decided I need to replicate the black and white fabric on this chair onto our wing backs.

Do not even get me started on this "Melon" coffee service. Tim Burton has nothing on Hoffman.

All his designs are modern and classic. Thank you Wittman for recreating his furniture though I cannot even imagine how much it would set me or anyone else back. Let alone having the privilege of wearing one of his brooches.

While …

Costume Designers

I adore costume designers and by no means do I think it is an easy job. I can only imagine a day in the life of some of them and the crap and budget cuts they must deal. I admire the fact that they can conjure up all sorts of visual emotions by how they adorn the characters of plays, movies and television.As someone who loves period pieces, I am a huge fan of the work done on The Tudors, Mad Men, The Pillars of the Earth, any Jane Austen piece, Elizabeth, The Women (1939), Auntie Mame, The Matrix and many, many more. The LA Times this week has an interesting article called Emmy nominated costume designers on dressing characters with success, where they interview, Joan Bergin of 'The Tudors,' Janie Bryant of 'Mad Men' and Lou Eyrich of 'Glee'. I did not really watch Glee so I cannot comment on the costumes there, but the other two shows...LOVE!! There is also a link in the article to the company Sorrelli.com that did the jewelry for The Tudors and the link is at …

Questions I now have answers to

The inevitable questions that I am asked when folks find out I am writing are:

Q: How will you get published?
A: I have to find an agent. I have already researched some agencies and narrowed down a few agents that I will be sending query letters to after I get it just right.
Q:How much money will you make?
A: Do not know.
Q:Will you be famous like John Grisham?
A: Every writer would like to be famous like Mr. Grisham, chances of that happening are absurdly slim.

A multitude of thanks to the fabulous author Jennifer Crusie who put up a post on her blog called Six Myths About Publishing. Her honesty is refreshing and she lays it out for all of us inspiring writers with her usual wit. Incidentally, I have mentioned it before, but let me shout it again, Ms. Crusie wrote one of the best romance novels I have ever read: Bet Me. After reading her post I realize I will most likely need to get a day job, it is not like I have not been looking I have and applied to a few... come on, NO WHAMMIES! Th…

Yes the heat does make me lethargic

The last two days have been grossly humid, even at 9pm. Right now it is about 83 and sticky. I need another shower and I only took one about two hours ago! Granted, I am sure the deep south is much worse or to quote Eugene Morris Jerome in Biloxi Blues "Man it's hot. It's like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot. "
Anyway, things are sort of at a standstill in our house. We both have a lot of things to do in regards to house renovations and our jobs, but the husband and I have declared that we feel aimless. There is no real reason either, we just do. While we had a ton of fun with my cousin in town, financially it set us back a bit. Money is tight to begin with, now it is tighter. Maybe we got wiped out from having to be somewhere or doing something pretty much everyday she was here.
Due to aimlessness we also keep procrastinating with stuff, which is not smart considering things we are trying to do has some sort of urgency to them. I have been rese…

Southern Food

I was born, raised and live in New Jersey. I am mostly of Italian descent with a dash of Lithuanian and I am a pescetarian. With that being said, I am a huge, huge fan of Southern food.
We were watching Anthony Bourdain in New Orleans last night, two years after Katrina mind you, and it was fabulous. I loved New Orleans when I visited in 1999 and I would go back again. The food was fantastic and no, you do not need to be a meat eater to enjoy New Orleans. There is a wonderful food culture there along with the rest of the South. I could eat Collard Greens, sans the ham hock, black eyed peas and many many more dishes. Cafe' Reconcile was featured on the Anthony Bourdain episode and they had a white beans and shrimp dish that made me drool. I made a shrimp po'boy once and have been asked to make it again by my beloved. Of course when I look for the recipe used I cannot find it so now I will have to try another one.
To be honest, I would love to eat my way through the following s…

Homemade make up

Sure we have all heard many a report that there is lead in our lipstick and other unpleasant things in our make up. Let's face it, ha ha, they used lead filled foundation for their faces in the 18th century. Here is some more interesting information on fashions in the 18th century Reading the latest issue of Ready Made magazine, I came across a great article called Magyver Your Makeup by the women who wrote the book No More Dirty Looks and I wanted to share. I would like to try the lipstick since that is my most favorite beauty product to use. I used to by M.A.C. Makeup lipsticks, but I have regaled myself to Wet N' Wild and NYC makeup. Cheap. Very cheap. They work, but it would be sort of cool to make my own and I love beets which you use to make the color. I am curious though if they have more options so I need to do more research. I also want to get back to using grapeseed oil as a body moisturizer. We had used it in massage class and it is such a wonderful thing to use an…

Hello Again!

Whew! What a whirlwind. Our cousin just left to go back to Italy tonight after three and a half weeks here. We had a wonderful time and we were sad to see her go. That being said, I am also happy to get back to my usual writing schedule. I was able to maintain it pretty much with her here, she was a late sleeper, so my mornings allowed me to continue editing my first novel and my hubby has been given a deadline of September 1 to complete his feedback on inconsistencies and grammar. Also, many houseprojects fell to the wayside, we considered ourselves somewhat on vacation too with her here, so now we are anxious to get back to the grind.
I wanted to share some of the places we took her. Enjoy the links!

Back Forty Restaurant - cool place, good grub.
Pandan Room - we love going here and are friendly with the owner.
The Statue of Liberty - she always impresses.
Cafe Archetypus- have loved this place forever.
Greek Taverna - Yummy!
The Nevermore Hotel - drinks and dinner with friends

We also too…