Feb 26, 2012




Happy Sunday to everyone!  We finally have some sunshine here in da ‘burgh and everyone and their mother seemed to be out today.  The grocery store was FILLED with people.  Could barely get through the aisles!   Now it’s count down to Oscar time.  I’m finishing up some cleaning and other chores before the big show comes on!  Cannot wait to see all of the great clothes! 

Here’s what I’m coveting (and may have bought lately)

These jeans from Target.  So many bloggers I follow have a version of these jeans and have made great looks.  I did a search online and of course both this pair and the grey version are sold out online.  My BFF in MN said she would look at her Target for me, but I decided to just stop on the way home from visiting my grandma at the hospital to take a look.  Lo and behold---they had them in my size!  Tried them on and decided to get them.  I couldn’t pass them up for under $25!!!  Now I just have to figure out how I want to wear them.  I am thinking with a bright color such as cobalt blue or kelly green.  What do you think?

These pants from Express.  As soon as I saw these on their site, I knew I would be getting them.  Kelly green is one of my favorite colors and I always get complimented whenever I wear this shade.  Must be the red hair!  The site shows it with blue but I don’t know if I would wear that combo to work.  It might be a bit TOO bright for work.  However, I think I could make them work with a lot of other items.  Express seems to be hitting the right spot this season for trends.  There are about 4 or 5 other pieces I have my eye on right now.

This Marc Jacobs bag.  It’s kind of funny to me that while I LOVE purses, I’ve never really gotten into the higher end bags.  Maybe because I know how rough I am on a bag.  It has to be able to take a good beating and then some!!   Right now I’m carrying a beautiful Lucky hobo that I was lucky enough to score on mega sale.   I have no problem buying shoes, but I never seem to find a purse that I really like.  Unless it’s one that costs $1500.  Last summer my brother and I took my mom to a mall because she wanted to order a couch at Pottery Barn.  She took so long that we got bored and hit Nordstrom.  I saw the most gorgeous Marc Jacobs bag and it was $1550.  Wrong!  Well, not as wrong as the saleslady at Pottery Barn who thought my brother and I were married---to eachother!!!!  LOL  Let’s just saw we do not look alike at all but that was still really weird!  Anyway---I could  never ever see myself paying that for a bag.  And the funniest part is that the saleswoman gushed over my bag, which was $25 from Kohls!!  Just shows that good style can be inexpensive.   The bag above is just so me and I know the the leather is quality and it will last a long time.  I plan on saving up for it and then treating myself.  Maybe for getting in my workouts for the week I’ll contribute an amount until I get there.  Good idea?


These Lucky sandals.  Of course I have to have a pair of shoes right?  If you know me in real life, you will know I love a high wedge!  I would gladly wear them all the time if I could, especially in the summertime.  Nothing looks cuter with just about everything than a wedge AND makes you taller.  Just saw these last week on Macy’s site and have them wishlisted already for when they go on sale.  I have 2 pairs of Lucky Brand now and they have not disappointed!  They also come in a tonal grey shade which is just as cute.  I can just hear Salsa Judy now “Oh Missy—how do you walk in those shoes?”.  She says that every time she sees me in a high wedge.  It’s called practice!!! 

Like that pic above?  Those are Toffee Oatmeal Cookies, other wise known as Zorba cookies.  I’m going to make these for my BFF in MN who was sweet enough to grab me a Jason Wu for Target kitteh scarf when they came out.  I call them Zorba cookies after her late kitteh Zorba.  I always send her treats with her Xmas gift and Zorba LOVED these cookies.  He was an extremely smart cat and very intuitive.  The last time I sent these to her (for her birthday), she and her roomie Michael both though the other had finished them off.  Until that night at 2am when Michael heard noises in the hallway.  There was Zorba, who had gotten the cookies off of the counter, dragged them off somewhere and hidden them, and was now taking them out when he thought everyone would be in bed.  So they decided to let him have them as he had worked so hard for it!   What a smart kitteh!!  So in his honor, I have christened these the Zorba cookies.  If you bake them, you will see why he loved them so much.

I better get started on the Zorba cookies!  Enjoy your Oscar Sunday!





Feb 25, 2012

A bit of construction…..


If you’ve checked out the blog lately, you’ve seen me play around with a new template.  I will fully admit I’m no HTML girl as if it wasn’t already obvious!!! But I did fix some of the things I set out except for one thing.  So I decided to take another route and use a Blogger template until I can get my act together or get someone to help me out. 

If you have any tips or tricks or can point me to a good site to learn a bit of this to fix my template, let me know!

I’ll be back later with a post on things I’m coveting……

Feb 21, 2012

Flowers---I haz dem?

Happy Fat Tuesday!!! 

For the past few days, I’ve been had spring flowers on my brain. I’ve always been a rose lover, but have never undertaken growing my own until recently.  


The rose above is the first one I planted in my yard 2 years ago. I forget the name of it though!!  Isn’t it beautiful?  This plant had continuous blooms for the entire summer and most of the fall as well.  At one point, DH counted 12 roses blooming on that bush.  I rarely even cut them because they were so pretty!  I thought I had some kind of magic touch when it came to roses because that one grow so easily and abundantly.  LOL—was I wrong! Purplerose

Last year, I got my hands on the last Blue Moon rose bush at Walmart.  I had looked around several places for a few weeks but this was the only one I found.  I planted it and didn’t have the same luck with my roses as last year.   Last year’s spring and summer were incredibly wet and humid and my roses developed black spot. (You can see some if on the leaves of the yellow rose pic) Now the Blue Moon above did grow but not nearly as big and full as my yellow bush the first year.  I was disappointed but also started to educate myself on how to care for my roses.  I stopped at my fave local greenhouse, Chapon’s Greenhouse. They not only do organic gardening but have a very knowledgeable stuff that was willing to answer questions for a clueless newb like myself.  They even have 2 adorable, friendly kittehs that live there—Ashes and Lily, pictured below from their site.

Chapon’s recommended a spray for the black spot, which did help. But I was still cutting diseased leaves all summer.  I’m hoping that this year I can get ahead and do some pruning this evening if it isn’t raining.   I also plan to do some fertilizing come early spring time to help encourage as much new growth as possible.   And with spring comes new flowers and and ideas!

I FINALLY got DH to give in on his clematis plant.  He had grown it for 3 years on our metal arbor and every year it would die.  I talked to one of the guys at Chapon’s, who confirmed for me that the metal arbor was too hot.  The plant was probably being scorched.  I had been nagging him for the past 2 years to admit defeat and let me plant some climbing roses so I was so happy to run home and deliver the verdict from an expert!  The pic above is called Eden Climber or Pierre de Ronsard.  Just look at those beautiful blooms!   It’s considered to be an old fashioned English rose and it blooms perpetually all summer.  Within a year it can grow to cover your arbor, which is what I am hoping for!  And the color runs from deeper pink to light pale pink.  Just so pretty. 

I’ve also built up a pretty healthy wishlist for roses even though my small yard couldn’t accommodate them all.  The pic above is the Anne Boleyn Rose. (All pics after the kittehs have been taken from my Pinterest page and you can find direct links there).  It’s a David Austin Rose, a specialty English rose breeder.  The thing I like about this is the name (I’m a huge Tudor history buff) and that it can be grown in a large container.  I would like to order this one and put on my deck for the summer.

The next one is so pretty.  It’s a Joseph’s Coat climbing rose.  The variations of color would make a great contrast to climb up the other side our arbor.

Now isn’t this one gorgeous?  It’s a Marilyn Monroe Hybrid Tea rose.  Most of the roses you buy in a florist shop are Hybrid Teas.  We think of these as traditional roses, but they are far from it.  The MM rose is a beautiful apricot shade and very tolerant to heat.  Also considered disease resistant, which I am starting to appreciate after dealing with black spot for the first time!

This one is just so striking---the Kleopatra rose.  I have no idea where I would plant this one but I would find somewhere for it if I had to!

Here are some of my fave images from my Pinterest of some gardens (click on pics as they are linked to original sources):


I just love that romantic cottage look that climbing roses can give to a home.  Now if I can just find a climbing rose that likes some shade!  Then I will have something to plant to grow around the ugly metal things that hold up our porch roof!

Would love to hear any rose tips, tricks or advice if you have any!  I’m in Zone 6b and most of the roses I have been researching are able to be grown there.  

Do you have any favorite roses or rose memories?  My fave memory is when DH used to buy me roses when we were first married.  (We’re an ‘old’ married couple now, so flowers are few and far between).   Our kitteh Duncan would always steal one of the roses from the vase.  And he would just lie down with it, never eating it.  I have caught him sneaking up to vases several times over the years!!!   Maybe he just likes the smell! 

I will keep you updated on my flowers for this year too!  My lilac bush is already budding thanks to our warm winter!!!

Feb 17, 2012

Some Faves for Friday….


Happy Friday!!!!  Smile

For some reason, this week has gone both fast and slow for me.  Some days flew by and others (like today) are dragging on.   So I’ll give you some of my latest faves!

Momma Dietz Chicken Parmigiana  I stopped at Giant Eagle last night after work to pick up some lunch meat and came home with this delicious-ness.  If you’re trying to eat healthy, you’ll hear people tell you to stay away from lunch meats because of high sodium etc.  Normally I would agree.  However, this chicken is gluten and nitrate free.   Also low fat.  One serving of this (2 oz) is just 2 Points + for WW!  I was actually looking to get my usual, Cajun Turkey breast, but the deli servers asked me if I wanted to try this chicken as it was new.  They said it was exclusive to Giant Eagle, but as it’s on the D&W site, I’m not so sure.  But I can tell you that it’s tasty!!  I had it today on my sandwich for lunch and I loved every last bite!



The hunt for navy boots is over!!!!  I would say navy boots have always been my ‘white whale’ of sorts.  It’s hard enough to find navy shoes that don’t look like grandma shoes.  Finding navy boots is virtually impossible.  So imagine my shock when I saw these Paris Hilton boots on Macy’s website a few weeks ago.  I was perusing their shoe sale (had a giftcard that was burning my wallet) and saw these cuties on their site.  I had to click and confirm they were indeed navy.  Swoon!!! I wanted to order, then I saw $8 shipping and balked.  I’m sorry but $8 Macy’s?? Zappos and Amazon will ship for free!  So I copied the style name (Allison) and did a search online for them.  I am guessing that this navy shade was an exclusive to Macy’s because not even Paris Hilton’s own shopping site had that color.  Just black and gray.  So I started the sale stalking to see if they would drop or I could get a free ship code.  The following week I went out to dinner with SJ and we decided to stop at Macy’s to check out the clearance.  She got a few things and I hit the shoes.  I started talking to one of the shoe guys and asked him about the boots.  He said they didn’t carry them there but he could order them from the store for me and ship FOR FREE!  And they will match any online price if you print it out or show them on your phone, like I did.  I knew SJ had a 20% coupon I could have but she went in search of a ladies room.  I called her and she answered “What?! I am peeing!” LOL.  After SJ’s coupon and my giftcard I saved quite a bundle on these.  They fit perfectly and are a true navy in person. But they are very high (even for me) so I am going to get some cushions for the balls of my feet.  After wearing them to work, I received several compliments.  I’ve never been a Paris fan, but these shoes may help to change that! 



Sometimes it is hard to come up with new ideas for healthy food, especially when you don’t cook very often and you are the only one who eats most of it.  DH is lucky and can eat pretty much anything and stay thin.  That’s why I love magazines and blogs for giving me ideas.  One of my fave blogs lately is Hungry Meets Healthy.  Her blog tells it like it is and she’s adorable. She’s also realistic about healthy eating (we do need our treats) and she loves cookies more than me!  I had been wanting to cook with butternut squash for a while but hadn’t found a recipe that really appealed to me.  Until I saw her post on Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Quinoa. The pic above is hers as well (I forgot to take a pic of mine!).  So you may look at this and think it doesn’t look super appetizing, but it was so FREAKING good.  You season the quinoa with some cinnamon and it really enhances the flavor of everything.  Plus, who could hate a recipe with blue cheese anything in it?  It was so easy to prepare—the hardest part was cutting up the squash.  DH took one look at this and refused to even try it but I happily ate it that night and took it for lunch the next few days.   Thank you Christina for the great recipe!!!  



Sometimes you don’t realize how much you love a product until you don’t have it.  That’s how I figured out I really love my Aveeno Postively Ageless eye cream.  You use such a teeny amount so it lasts a long time.  I am lucky to not have many wrinkles but I do have some starting to try and work their way out.  I ran out of this last week and was using a backup Garnier cream until I could hit Walmart to pick this up.  WOW—I could tell a difference right away.  This cream has a gel-like consistency and really makes you look awake.  I used to feel like my eye area was really dry (despite having VERY oily skin) but this stuff works its magic.  I use it both morning and evening.  I don’t find it expensive at $17 (some of the creams I have used in the past were $50 and up) but DH asked why it was so much.  Men just have no idea!!!


I’ll keep it short!   Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Feb 16, 2012

The Story of Salsa Judy…..

So I have been getting a few requests for me to tell the story of how Salsa Judy got her name.   Now, if SJ herself knew I was telling this, she would be mad I am spreading the SJ legend because she doesn’t think the SJ name is as hilarious as the rest of us do.  And I know if I posted her pic, she would KILL me.  So just be content with the story.  

First off, some background.  SJ is not Mexican or of any Hispanic background at all.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say.  She could care less if anyone thought she was or wasn’t.   Just wanted to make that part clear so I don’t get accused of being anti-anything. 

Anyway—back to the story.   The story starts when my brother was in college and living at home.  I had just moved back to the area and was staying with SJ while DH sold our house in MN and could move as well.   One lovely summer day, my brother’s not-so-sane friend, Skulls (a nickname she gave herself if that explains anything!) came to pick up Michael for work.   SJ was out in our driveway, sweeping up leaves from this annoying tree we had.  She hates to wear shoes, especially in the summertime and will often go barefoot.  As she was working in the yard, she just had shorts and an old tshirt on.   Skulls pulls into the driveway and Michael gets in.  He said the conversation went like this:


SKULLS:  Who is that Mexican lady in your driveway?  Does she work for your family?

MICHAEL (shocked): No!  That was my mother!


The next day Michael called me to tell me about it.  I thought it was really funny, because in the past people had also assumed that SJ was African-American (she was dark and used to be a sun worshipper) South American, or Italian.  But this was the first time anyone had asked if she was Mexican.  Michael said “Should I tell her?”  I said no because I figured she would be mad.

So the next day SJ and I and her friend met up after WW at Bruegger’s for sandwiches.  I distinctly remember the day because we sat outside.   We were talking and she said to me (with a look on her face) “Guess what Michael’s friend said about me?!”.   I had to think for a moment to remember.  Once I did, I just thought of the first thing I could find to put with her name.  I snickered and said “I heard all about it (dramatic pause) SALSA JUDY!” Her friend and I started laughing. And right at that moment, the guys from our local landscaping place (who were Mexican) came into the parking lot with their truck.  SJ’s friend said “Look Salsa Judy!  There are your sons!”   She laughed.  Ironically, she ended up using that company to help her do a project and told those guys what Skulls had said. They called her ‘Mrs. Salsa Judy’ after that they thought it was so funny.

And for some reason the name stuck.  I call her that all the time and friends and relatives call her that too.  My BFF (who is Mexican) sent her Mexican coffee and a Spanish Peanuts card for Christmas that year.   SJ loves coffee so she loved that!   And SJ was never mad anyone assumed she was Mexican or not.  She always had a stigma about looking different than her siblings when she was little.  They were all blonde and she was dark with brown eyes.  She looked like her maternal grandfather and her siblings used to tease her about it all the time, saying she was the mailman’s kid (he was African-American).  So she was sensitive about it. 

Now she just kinds of tolerates it.  She said a few weeks ago that she wanted to have a girls’ margarita night at her house and I said “Isn’t that kind of ironic that Salsa Judy wants to have a margarita night?”  LOL

If you are reading this and you know SJ, you know how entertaining she is and the funny stuff she does and says.  (I will save the story of her purse catching on fire for another time.) I told SJ and Michael we should start a twitter tag #shitsalsajudysays.  SJ doesn’t quite get Twitter and said “I don’t’ think you two are funny!”  but after posting on Facebook I had agreement!

And as for Skulls—Michael said at least she contributed to society in one way—she named our mother Salsa Judy!

There you have it---may not be as funny if you don’t know SJ, but at least you know why we call her that now!  :)