Grow Your Own

These war posters, encouraging people to plant victory gardens and preserve their own food so there would be enough to send to the troops, though pertinent during WWII, are just as relevant today for environmental conversation and saving money. With the recent resurgence of urban and home gardening, consumers are trying to work with what they have in order to survive this recession. I love that posters from 60+ years ago still have such a current message.

All images via

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Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with delicious food, good wine and quality time with family and friends.


Talkin' Turkey

Although we love our 1400 sq. ft. townhouse, it's not really conducive to holding large family gatherings like Thanksgiving. Mike and I will instead by heading to my Aunt Bobbie's for dinner with our families. I thought it would be fun however, to put together a plan for if/when I host Thanksgiving. Here's what I came up with:

The Invites

The Music

Everybody Eats When They Come To My House - Cab Calloway
All That Meat and No Potatoes - Fats Waller
This Land is your Land - Woody Guthrie
Home - Michael Buble
L'auttono - Vivaldi
Autumn Leaves - Johnny Mercer
Turkey in the Straw - The Hi-Lo's
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Theme - Vince Guaraldi

The Decor

The Kids Table

The Menu

The Dessert

Pecan Pie Pumpkin Pie

What about you? If you're hosting Thanksgiving, do you go for the traditional meal like me, or do you try something fun and new. Or, if you've never hosted Thanksgiving, are there any fun things you would like to try? Leave a comment below and let me know!


Happy Friday

chai latte (poladroid)

Fridays have just been creeping up on me so fast lately. With weekend clinicals and a quick trip to Michigan the last few weeks have just flown by. The semester is beginning to wind down, but this next week includes nursing lab, an education presentation, an exam, a 3-5 page paper, an online discussion board, a visit from the inlaws (which means house cleaning), and cooking homemade green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. Glad I have some Tazo Chai Latte in the fridge to help me make it through the week.

P.S. I dropped my phone in the toilet. The good news is that it was a clean toilet. The bad news is that I dropped it in the toilet. I went and upgraded to the iPhone 4. Although it's great to have the newest phone, we had decided to wait to upgrade our phones until we really needed to, so I'm still pouting about it a bit.

Either way, here are some links to check out:

9 Reasons To Be optimistic

How to Choose The Right Wine for Thanksgiving

"The Notebook" Inspired Engagement Photos

Thanksgiving Paper Chain

image used with permission from l.i.l.l.i.a.n via


Homemade Caramel Apples

image via

I almost forgot to share these amazing caramel apples that Mike and I made a few weeks ago. They were sweet and tart and oh so decadent. We used a recipe from Food Network for the caramel, and we were pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make it (we were also surprised by the amount of sugar and heavy cream involved). But what the hell, it's the beginning of the holiday season so time to get to those decadent sweets.

We chose granny smith apples because they provide a tartness that went well with the sweetness of the caramel.

Here's the caramel starting to come together. We had to use a candy thermometer to ensure the right consistency.

We had some chopsticks lying around that we used for the sticks. They worked well because they were tapered. The following few images of apple dipping were all Mike. In high school he worked at Hot Dog on a Stick and this apple dipping required that same skill and technique.

After all the apples were coated, we put them on a silicone mat, to keep them from sticking (I imagine wax paper might work equally well), then popped them in the fridge for a few hours and they were set and ready to eat.

P.S. We had a little bit of leftover caramel so we added some chopped walnuts and made little candies. These were crazy delicious and we plan on making homemade turtles for Christmas.


Nail Polish Pretty

I'm not really too into nail polish, but now that I am not allowed to wear it during labs and clinicals, I've suddenly developed an interest in them. These are some of the beautiful colors on my wish list.

OPI in Ski Teal We Drop

Zoya in Envy

American Apparel Nail Lacquer in Mount Royal

Priti Polish in Rabbit Tracks

Bonus! All of these polishes are nontoxic which means they are free of formaldehyde, toluene and phalates (find out exactly what that means here)


Happy Friday

What's everyone up to this weekend? For me this weekend includes another round of Friday night classes, early Saturday morning Health Fair and Sunday nursing lab. After that Mike and I are packing up Olive and heading to the Family cabin in Michigan for a late weekend getaway. We're going to relax as we sit by the fire and probably venture out to some of the local wineries.

Here's some things I'm digging this week:

This gratitude jar

A Greener Gobble

This yellow gold scarf

7 Fall Superfoods



As previously mentioned, I wanted to start canning vegetables this year. So after grabbing a bunch of tomatoes in season (we canned in September), we got to it:

We started with about 15 lbs of tomatoes

Clean the tomatoes and score an X into the bottom. This makes it easier to peel them.

Boil the tomatoes for about 2 minutes. The skins should slip off easily at this point.

Remove the core and seeds of the tomatoes

At this point, you can either leave them chunky or puree them for either canned whole tomatoes or tomato sauce. Fill each jar to about an inch from the rim (the ones below are a bit under filled). Place them in a boiling hot water bath for 25-45 minutes depending on the size of the jars.

Remove the jars with kitchen tongs or a sweet can grabber and let them sit for 24 hours. As they sit you will here little pops as the cans seal themselves. Make sure the cans are sealed before putting them in the pantry. We managed to produce about 5 jars of canned tomatoes and 4 jars of sauce.

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Happy Friday

Hi Friends. It's Friday, and that means class tonight, followed by a Health Fair on Saturday and Nursing Lab on Sunday. It's a little bit of a bummer because Mike is off all weekend, so he'll stay busy working on/winterizing the house. For a little respite from the busyness we're heading to a friends on Saturday night for pizza and drinks with her and her husband. What is everyone else up to this weekend?

Here's some things I'm loving this week:

New to me online boutique Ruche

I loved when my grandma used to make these

This necklace

The sweet deals in the Anthropologie sale section


Fresh Ink

Tattoos are common place in our family. Both my in-laws sport some ink, both of Mike's sisters too. Both my parents and my brothers and their wives, all have at least one tattoo. Because there are some many to choose from, this post is focusing on just some of the sweet tattoos that my oldest brother Eric and his wife Kate are displaying.

After years of determining what she really wanted Kate finally jumped in and started working on her sleeve. Here is what she's sporting so far.

All of these tattoos have a significant meaning for Kate.

All the above photos and tattoos by Brian Massey at Lucky Monkey Tattoo in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Kate also has this star "necklace" which I love.

My brother Eric has been rocking the tattoos before anyone else in our family. Although he has more than I have shown here, these are some of the more recent ones.

Sacred Heart

Our Grandpa's Fireman's Badge

"A broken heart for my best friend. We played lots of poker together. I miss him every day. A diamond for my wife, someone cool enough to let me not wear a ring, supports a wedding tattoo and got one herself."

Oh, there are so many more tattoos to share in our family alone including ladybugs, lettering, paw prints, baby feet, stars and, can't forget; the four horseman of the Apocalypse.

Tell me about your ink! Leave a comment below with your tattoo details.

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