Friday, July 30, 2010


Ok so I pretty much blog about whatever is on my mind (which is alot, hence the long paragraphs) If you spoke to me its the same...but everyone loves me anyway (i think).

So have you ever met someone and realized you had alot of the same traits...obviously that isnt always the case with family members.  Even if you live and grow up in the same home with someone, you can be total opposites.

What would the explanation for two sisters (same father, not mother) who were born in the same town, never recall meeting and then one sister moves to another county with her mother and the other remains until later on marrying and also moving to another county.  Do you think that they would be alike or polar opposites?

Fast forward 30 years, living in separate counties in NJ.  One sister has been trying for years to find this sister she knew she had but didnt have any other information due to lack of disclosure from both her mother and father (distant relationship).  In December of 2003 the sister through an online search service is given the information she's been waiting for on her sister.  She calls and leaves a message, a few days later receives a call back (that convo is long and detailed).  The sisters set up a date and meEt at a local mall, the one sister has a little girl that she recently had little J, so the other sister is actually an aunt too.

If you hadnt guessed by now, this short story is about my sister J and myself.   Our first meeting was in our 30's, I already had 3 children and she just had her 1st.   Its been almost 7 years now and although we may not see each other often (she lives in no. jersey/ i live in central).  She is everything I thought she would be and more, we love the same things (her taste is a little bit more exquisite than mine...lol)  But she is extremely creative and talented!  I love her personal style as well as her home style, she just bought another home and Im waiting to see how she transforms it.  Our Father J was a talented man that wasted his talents, he was an amazing artist and I think we get our creativity from him.  Its so strange, we are similar without being around one another to mirror each other.  So I guess it really is in the genes. 

My sister J inspired me to start this blog, she had a blog called Craving Anthropologie for almost 2 yrs. http://cravinganthropologie.blogspot.com/ (check it out) and she also has a design blog called Pinky Brown Inc. http://www.pinkybrowninc.blogspot.com/ in addition as if that wasnt enough.  She is the owner of an Etsy shoppe http://www.etsy.com/shop/pinkybrown2005, I support her and buy from her through her shoppe.  Then she emails me and yells (CAPITALS) at me.   I love that she handmakes gifts for my children for their birthdays and for me too.   I only have a few pictures of the items she has made them but you can see her work in her shoppe.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


So I haven't received treatment for my Craigslist addiction yet.  I can name at least 3 items in each room of my home that came from Craigslist.   I love a bargain plus as a mom of 5, I dont have alot of time to go flea marketing to garage sales or junking. 

So I search until wee hours of the morning (my quiet time).  I usually go to bed at 2-3a.m. which isn't a good idea with a 4 1/2 month old baby.  But its all worth it  when I find a great deal.

I found this precious girl right in town and for $20.00, its a vintage sewing table.   I bought it to put into my 15 yr old daughters room which is going to be in a french, italian...lets say European theme. (I will post when complete).

But when I brought it into the dining room and just shoved it between my wing chairs (another craigslist find) it looked sooooooo good.   The legs match, so Im thinking mama's got a new side table for her wing chairs. lol

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



So things are always hectic in our house between the kids and work schedules (well Ive decided to be at stay-at-home-mommy again) so basically just my husband (Big Daddy J)'s hectic 3 job schedule.

So he called me during the day saying he was trying to buy me something (just because) but was having a really hard time.  AWWWW How sweet is he!  He then proceeded to give me color combinations like brown/green, black/red, or just solid black and I was supposed to choose!  How hard is that if you dont know what it is your chosing....I mean really.   I told him he can just buy me a $0.25 plate at the flea market this weekend (he promised we would go this Sunday) and I would be thrilled.  He said he was feeling good and wanted to buy me something.   So I told him that I would leave it up to him to surprise me....this is what he brought home.

HE GETS ME....HE FINALLY GETS ME.....   No Really!!  Since we moved here he has been watching me decorate this house, supporting me launch my new design/styling business and this blog.  When he comes home and there is a new tablescape on the table, he says its nice but I dont think he realizes the joy it brings to me.

But...now I think he does.     Never has he bought me dishes, or would even think of buying me dishes. lol   Im so happy is really is Christmas in July but with a much bigger meaning behind it.

The pattern is really nice...black on black and it looks to me like olive branches (I could be wrong).  Also the shapes are fabulous..obviously the dinner and salad plates are square but not hardlined (love that).  Check out  the bowls, theyre not round but rather kinda warped (how fitting for me). I love them.

Again, ladies I appreciate you if you get why I linked to this party.  I know its not dishes in a fabulous display but it will be soon.  The wheels are turning already, and Ive been pulling out other bowls and napkins to see what I come up with.

As always Im linking this post up with Susan over at Between Naps On The Porch for a fabulous display of ladies hard work.


Helloooooooo everyone!

So as most of you already know I'm on my laptop until the wee hours of the morning.  Last night it was 3.a.m. and I just couldn't stop.   I discovered this website and its AMAZING!  Its like Color forms for adults...I just cant tell you enough about it, you have to go over and check it out.  The website is called Olioboard the link to start is http://olioboard.com  Here is the link to my 1st Olioboard http://olioboard.com/boards/7608, and the board looks like this!  The best part of this all besides the amazing fun you will have designing room after room is that its FREE...YES THAT'S RIGHT FREE!   It will even give you an index of the items in your room and the link to the store or company where they are sold.   You can imagine the fun....ladies n gents!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Well.......by that I mean Ive looked around the house, back deck and front porch and realized how much greenery I have going on.   Short and sweet this week, here are some photos of my plants....there a 2 faux foliage friends in this batch.  I dont discriminate, if its fits I'll display it.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The fact that we're considering moving down south.....actually probably Florida versus the Carolina's.  Ive been trying to get rid of clutter and put away things in appropriate places.  Under my bed were these 2 boxes...I forgot I put them there.   They hold treasures close to my heart.....My baptism outfit from 1972 ( yes Im a 70's baby and named for the famous 70's singer Melanie) haha.

It needs to be cleaned, its got some yellowing spots (mom didnt pack it up to well) Im thinking of using Susan from BNOTP method that she posted last week with the Oxi .  The other treasure was my grandmothers bed cover and pillow covers.....they're so delicate (as you can see).  I love that the pillow covers are joined and you just lay them over the top of your pillows.  There is also embroidery on the centers of them it says: Amor Mio....which is kinda funny because my grandmother was born in Italy and migrated to Brooklyn with her family so my grandfather can open his bakery there. (I'll do a post on that one day soon)  But Amor Mio is Spanish....and my mothers father was Spanish (from Puerto Rico to be exact) so I guess it all works anyway.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010


This is my little one (bugga bugga)..thats my nickname for her.  When she's not crying her face reminds me of the little flying bees on Dora...and there called Bugga Buggas.  At 4 1/2 months she has become quite the drama queen as you can see here in this photo of Big Daddy J and I trying to share bath time duty.  It was just so over the top I had to post it. lol    She was only born in March, but she's a big girl....frankly she's never been tiny.  She was born 9lbs 11ozs (just 4 1/2ozs shy of beating out her sister for largest baby of the family)  All 5 of my children have been between 8 1/2-10 lbs. (ouch).

Friday, July 23, 2010


Okay so I have 5 kids and we are a family of 7!  This year we started doing some shopping at Costco's (bulk shopping whse) and its been working out pretty well.  However, my husband is addicted to shopping at Costco as I am to HomeGoods,Marshalls's,Lowe's ummmmm well you get the point.   That man will put anything in the cart because he thinks he's getting a deal (kinda what I say to him to explain my shopping excursions..lol)

To the point of this blog now.    I had over 6 pounds of ground chuck meat in the freezer, because my sweetie didnt separate it when he brought it home.  So after defrosting it, I had to use it all....thats alot of meat.  I decided I would make my chili that he likes so much and the kids do too so its a win, win for me.    The other situation I had is that our friends daughter (and my 9yr old BFF) was sleeping over and I needed to feed these children.   They were swimmimg all day then her dad picked them to go to do a craft a her local library so I thought I would keep the fun going when they returned.

Here's where my bad memory comes into play....I was blog hopping (Im addicted) and came across a recipe but I cant for the life of me figure out who's blog it was.   Im thinking I found it through Erika from Crafter's A.D.D (it might even be hers) I feel really bad but I can remember to give credit.  The recipe is for MEATLOAF CUPCAKES!!!!   I know what your thinking....

We are always making cupcakes in this house, my daughter Gabriella (15) is an aspiring pastry chef and is always making cakes and cupcakes and its great fun for the kids.  So I thought I'll trick them and I prepared it all while they were swimming. (hehehe)

The recipe is just your basic meatloaf ( i use meat, eggs, bread crumbs, lipton onion soup mix, ketchup, salt, pepper)  mix it all together.  Then basically grab your muffin tins, line them with cupcake liners and fill them with meat (???) lol   Bake at 375 for approx 30 minutes...we like ours well done.

(Excuse the bottom of the oven, mishap from night before...its on my weekend chore list.  Dont think even my self cleaning oven can handle that.

 Cooked cakes (foil liner probably wouldve held the shape better, but papers what I had on hand)

For this occassion I used boxed instant mashed potatoes (make as directed).  Then put the potatoes into a ziploc bag and cut the corner.   When the meatcakes are done, just pipe on the potatoes in a swirly circular pattern (like soft icecream cones)

For added appeal, I shredded up some cheddar cheese and placed it on top for sprinkles (my 3 year old helped with this task).  She really thought that I was making cupcakes. lol

And now.....Dinner is served.......Meatloaf Cupcakes, Mashed Potato Frosting and Cheese Sprinkles!!!

My most important critics were Neen and Taz (as there known in this house)....I asked them if it was a thumbs up or thumbs down.     And their response was (drum roll please.........)
 The one on the left is my daughter and that's her plate, they were actually eating them with their hands like cupcakes (kinda gross...but hey they ate them)  And I mean ate them....I made 24 and I had to hide one to save for Big Daddy J...4 kids ate 23 meatloaf cupcakes!  I'd say that's a hit!

Big Daddy J's dinner was the chili (below on the stove) and 1 of the cupcakes I smuggled from the kids!


Well if you remember I won a $40 giftcard for CSN stores from gracious host Melissa @ Keep Calm and Decorate.   http://keepcalmanddecorate.blogspot.com/
I changed my mind from my original thought of what I would do with the $40 if I won.   I decided since I was doing Part 2 of my mini kitchen makeover I would look for items that I need for my kitchen.   Well they've arrived.

So this is what I came up with....it totaled $39.98!

 8 pc Ginsu Cutlery Set......

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Well I am thrilled about this week's Friday Find.   I saw this hutch on Craigslist and it turns out it was listed by the same seller that I purchased the green colored Mexican glassware (thanks Marion).  She had it listed for $50 and gave it to me for $40.  (repeat customer..lol)  Ive been looking for a cabinet for my bedroom...not so much an armoire because I dont have enough room.  I already have the queen size bed, my desk, 2 antique dressers and not enough walls. lol. 

So I hope to get this done before I go on vacation (1st week in August woohoo) Actually I hope to have it done by the end of next week, but I want to either paint the inside or line it with beautiful paper.  Any suggestions ladies?  I will be changing out the hardware and giving her a fresh coat of creamy white paint. 

Im going to use the top shelves to store vintage linens and possibly a few small frames.  My days as a  merchandiser are kicking in and Im imagining folded piles of wonderfulness...lol.   But I dont want it to look like a linen closet so Im thinkin of it like a huge shadow box.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Okay so things have been a little hectic here and sometimes I just find myself standing at my kitchen counter grabbing a bite all by myself.  Dont feel sorry for me ladies, with 5 children in the house including a nursing infant....that's lucky.   So this week I thought I would show you a sweet little italian lunch setting for 1-uno-ME!
Anyone who knows me understands that I love all things Italian, Roosters and Rustic European Country.  In the top left corner of the picture...you can see a something very special to me.  Its a liquor set that my husband brought back from his deployment in Iraq.  I hope to use them in a tablescape in the future.  

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Well I must say that the namesake of my design business is truly fitting.  I have enjoyed discovering new blogs and communicating/learning about their authors.  Each time I seem to find more that I love more than the other, but I found Under The Table And Dreaming the other night and I was on there for hours.  Not only did I so envy her craft room, but loved her project ideas and her playroom.  But I learned we also have something else in common besides a love of all things cheap and crafty.  On her blog Stephanie Lynn shares that her young son was diagnosed with Autism last year.   My daughter was diagnosed 9/11 of last year at the age of 2 1/2 and she is not 3 1/2 and progressing very well.  For those of you who have any knowledge of Autism, there is a broad range on the spectrum.  You have very low functioning and very high functioning children, thankfully my daughter is an extremely high functioning.   But I was touched that Stephanie Lynn shared that with her readers as well as the detail she put into the playroom.

She also happened to be hosting a party and a giveaway, so I linked up my little window treatment I just did this week from placemats and a dish towel and I entered the giveaway.

Well as luck would have it...(lol)  Lucky 7 Design won...which means that me!  I won a day planner from Dotmine.....http://www.timemine.com/  Take a look at all the great patterns they have.  Great way to keep track of all decorating jobs, home shows and craft projects.

I received an email from Stephanie Lynn thanking me for my comment on her blog and saying that she featured me to grab a button from her blog.  So I clicked on over and did just that......here it its. lol


I also saw my little project on her wonderful site and then also saw that Lucky 7 Design was the winner...Woo hoo!  Im so thrilled not only to have found a great blog, but also that she was sweet enough to post my little project.   Now, I dont have many followers but I add the buttons of the blogs I love the best.  Its away for me to refer to them daily as well as to share them with anyone who happens to find little ol me.

So I hope you will all click on over to visit

 UndertheTableandDreamingStephanie Lynn @ http://www.bystephanielynn.com/..here is her little button for you to pop over.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I wanted to post today a big thank you to Melissa from Keep Calm and Decorate (awesome blog). I recently discovered her blog and entered her giveaway for a $40.00 gift certificate to CSN stores.  And........I WON!  I couldnt believe it when I got her email.  I got all excited and was like (OMG...shut up! I won!)  my husband who was sitting nearby asked who I was talking to and of course it was the laptop (lol)   So I had to explain the whole story (I havent pulled him into my blogworld yet, its hard enough getting him to help with the decorating world...he's so busy).

I placed my order yesterday, and although I didnt order the item I originally intended on I ordered 2 items that I really need and that will complete my little kitchen makeover Part II. lol   I will post the items once they arrive in the mail.

Thanks again to Melissa....I encourage you all to click on over to her blog at  http://keepcalmanddecorate.blogspot.com/

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Im always amazed at the cute transformations that everyone creates and links up with Susan over at BNOTP for Metamorphasis Monday.   So this week I in preparation for a little kitchen makeover I tried a little project of my own.  All that I used for this project was.
1. An exsisting regular metal curtain rod
2. A new cafe curtain rod ($0.99) spray painted black
3. Dish towel (Dollar Tree)
4. 2 Fabric placements (Dollar Tree)
5. Package of curtain rings (Lowes...got for 3.50 because 3 were missing!)

the cafe rod in its original state...yuck!
the dishtowel (green, yellow, redish orange)
the fabric placemat
 the dishtowel as a valance
the placemats as cafe curtains on the curtain rings w/ clips

Ta-da.....the final product!    It isnt upscale designer...but rather do-it-yourselfer....and thats me!  I'll be posting the rest of the new color and items soon.  Im working on refinishing my Craigslist hutch but this heatwave her in NJ is killing me and the opportunity to work on it.  Come back and visit to see the end result.

Im linking up to:


Saturday, July 17, 2010


I know alot of you have seen the show "Cake Boss"...well on Friday I went with my girlfriend to order her daughter Isabella's birthday cake.   Now keep in mind Isa is turning 9 and everyone of her cakes since birth have been from Buddy.   This obviously was before he was famous and on televison, my friend has been getting cakes there for 20 years.

We drive into Hoboken and turn onto the street and I look at my passenger window and notice people gathered together. OMG.....they're not gathered, they're on a LONG, LONG, line!   This line stretched 2 blocks!!!!  I said to my friend "is this the line for Buddy's" she then started to flip out, panic, go histerical (whatever you want to call it) Ive never seen her so upset.    We had to call the bakery and make sure that we didnt have to wait on that line to order this cake for the party NEXT SATURDAY!    Of course we didnt and boy did we get looks when we just cut all those people online. lol  But those were the instructions they gave us over the phone. 

When we got in, I felt like a packed sardine...the place isnt large and it was counter to counter...wall to wall people.  We dont know if Buddy was there, we didnt see him.  Just saw his sister's (who takes the order) and brother-in-law.  I was only able to take these 2 pictures because it was so hot and so many people trying to gets photos it was ridiculous.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Okay so I dont know why this didn't post earlier so Im re-posting it now.  But I dont know how many of you have little ones.  I have a new babygirl who was born in March and she was 5 ozs shy of 10lbs. lol  Our record is 9lbs 15.5ozs. but she came in under the wire.
Anywhooooo.......I've been seeing the new Huggies commerical on television for the new demin patterned diapers.  I was holding off because I thought it would be a waste since she is breastfed and has lots of diaper changes a day.    And I believe they start at size 3 which is big, but turns out that size starts at 16 lbs and my little bugga bugga is already 17 3/4 lbs.  so she meets the weight for them.

While shopping at Babies R Us the other day with my oldest daughter (15 yrs old) and my 3 1/2 yr old and they were having a SALE.    By one pack of the demin diapers for $11.99 and the second pack was 50% off...so they are 29 diapers in a pack her size so I estimated 1 a day for a month.  I dont plan on using them regularly.....theyre really cute but I think I will just use them under sun dresses.  Like the ones that dont have the matching bloomers....its been so hot in NJ lately no use in layering a poor baby.

Above is a picture that my daughter took of the baby wearing her new denim diapers!   I gotta admit they are cute on a 4 month old body.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Okay so many of you know I have mentioned RATE MY SPACE before.   I decided to transfer over my uploads from there to my blog.  Even though alot of the stuff has since been changed, due to the fact that the photos were taken when we just moved into this rental home (I was 7 months pregnant).   Although I cant do alot of things I want to due to the rental situation.  I've the best that I can....hopefully we'll be in the Carolinas next year.   I will do some re-takes and post them in the sidebar at a later date.  Now that I think I've unpacked every box and have found my stuff (well maybe not every box)hahahha.

Monday, July 12, 2010



I was visiting Susan from Between Naps On The Porch blog and she has this great giveaway posted.  I clicked on over and what an awesome item.  I entered and hope that you'll do the same.   Have a great Monday!