Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top albums of 2012

This years list was hard for me to put together.  It was an interesting one for me music-wise.  I've been reflecting back on who I discovered this year, who dropped new albums and what I spent my time listening to.  I can tell you I spent nearly the entire summer listening to the MONDO BOYS playlists and they never got tiresome.  
However, that being said, here are my top albums/artist of 2012 and three useful descriptions:  

Grizzly Bear - SHIELDS
pine trees  ::  rod stewart ::  hiking boots

dancey ::  harmonies ::  boingy beats

Purity Ring - SHRINES
gritty ::  a creepy doll ::  sick bass

full on danceparty :: 2012 roller rink  ::  zaney-bowie maybe?

sensual ::  a breakup story :: musical red wine

Tuneyards - WHO KILL
utterly ridiculous pipes::  adele who??  ::  party for your ears.

wait? who? WOAH ::  backwoods paul simon  ::  story-tellers

Crystal Castles - CRYSTAL CASTLES
acid+beats  ::  video games  ::  toughchick.

Arcade Fire - THE SUBURBS
too good for mainstream :: mature/developed  ::  a collection

LCD Soundsystem - ALL
soulmate. ::  perfection.  ::  late to the party. 

Beach House -  BLOOM
girl crush  ::  sinking into a warm bath  ::  home

wonky :: upside down-inside out ::  unique

Well, there you have it. I'd say Yeasayer, Beach House and Arcade Fire are my real 'Album of the year' candidates, but that's just too hard for me to call this year.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Daily Pic | December Edition

Hello to one and all... It's December pics time!  I usually have more to say, but, I'm going to keep it short and sweet.  Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year too!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Daily Pic | November Edition

November Nutshell
Hurricane Sandy • satellite offices • BoweryBallroom • meeting up with old pals • a super-fun wedding • a Nor'easter • epic Boardwalk Empire • no cable for over a week • free brunch • more warbys • thanksgiving • finally getting inked • finally getting a smartphone • art projectz • The XX • Lord Huron • Crystal Castles • homemade soups • pizza dough disaster • RetroFitness • McLoone's date • guess those are the highlights... Till next month...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fennel and *Chicken* Soup

I managed to come up with a good soup recipe last night.  It really hit the spot, and while happily we're healthy in our house, this would be a perfect 'under the weather' soup.  Super fast, healthy and satisfying!

Fennel and *Chicken* Soup 
• One huge carrot or several small (about a cup), cut into coins/moons
• 2 ribs celery sliced into moons
• ~2+ C chopped fennel.  Use stalks 1st, then however much of bulb, cut into coins/moons.  

     Use as much fern part as you want. 
• 2 small shallots diced
• 2 TB olive oil
• Black pepper to taste
• 1 bay leaf
• Dash of garlic powder
• 2 C wagon wheel pasta
• Chicken or turkey (I used pre-cooked light meat turkey) About 2 cups or 1 package
• 3 cans low sodium chicken broth plus 1 3/4 cups water

2TB olive oil in the bottom of a dutch oven or heavy pot. 

Saute carrot, celery, fennel and shallot in oil until they begin to soften.

Add chicken stock and bay leaf and let simmer (covered) 5 minutes.  Add pasta with additional water and semi cover.  Allow to simmer until pasta is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Add meat at the end and let simmer together for a minute or two.

Served with crusty bread.  Any and all substitutions encouraged ;) 

Serves about 5?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Daily Pic | October Edition

Good Morning.
What a month!  October flew :)  I cannot believe this was the same month that we came back from our honeymoon!  Seems like ages ago.
Lots of activities, excitement, and even frustration! 
We had.... A MOUSE!  That was the low-point probably.  We never did catch it, but we still have a factory's worth of traps around.

We saw Delicate Steve @ the Historic Blairstown Theater, and they were totally awesome.  The stars out there were more incredible than any I have ever seen, ever.
We had two dept birthdays at work: So.many.balloons. And 5 family birthdays as well.  Libras all around!
Hurricane Sandy was not overplayed at all and we've all spent the last week going somewhat crazy.  Living between two gas stations has meant waking up at 4:30 in the morning to the red glow of break lights through the curtains and a soundtrack of fights and angry horns.  SO glad its passing.

Besides that all, I managed a teeth cleaning, a trashy book trio, a trip to the Papermill Playhouse for 'A Chorus Line' two (!) trips to McLoone's, a fun Halloween Party in Chelsea, a pumpkin carving sesh with my man, and several trips into the boonies!    Even if it went out on a weird note, October was a good month. 
And, now the 'Tobes Grid!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Daily Pic | September Edition

The month we've all been waiting for folks!  Well maybe not all of you- but certainly the two of us in our little household.  To say this month was over in the blink of an eye would be an understatement!! 

We were so incredibly blessed this month with the generosity of our friends and families.  I was thrown the most amazing wedding shower at McLoones Boathouse.  [Technically in August] My sister and bridesmaids truly blew me away with how lovely it all came together!

No less awesome was my Bach party, again.... all my girls are just amazing.  I had the most fun night :)  Couldn't rain on our parade!

As if I wasn't being spoiled enough, my great co-workers threw me a shower too.  Cake, beer [of course] and an afternoon of doing no work.  Who could want more than that!

Tons of last minute crafting and prep all came together by the 22nd for the most perfect wedding any couple could hope for.  Thank you so much to everyone who celebrated with us!!  And of course, thank you to my new husband.

I'll have to come up with a honeymoon post some time soon.  Stay tuned for that one.
And last but not least, well in this case, maybe the least.... September Daily Pic!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Daily Pic | August Edition

I truly cannot believe it's already time for the August grid.  It feels like yesterday I uploaded July's.  Let's see whats new:

Awesome new Warby Glasses.
Umbrella-Free wedding for a pal of T's in Jersey City.  Pretty.
Great bday celebrations for my dad and sister-in-law.
Unbelievable amounts of crafting & jamming out to Cut Copy [a new fave].
Shower hosted by my amazing girls.
Tanning on my lunch break.  

That'll do for now I think!  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Daily Pic | July

July Highlights

Well, there's a pox upon our house!  T's been sick, I did something dumb and ended up with three stitches in my ankle.  We're like Lame and Lamer.
Besides that though.... we had a good month.
- Modest Mouse @ the Wellmont
- Lots of rsvp's rolling in, which, is the most fun thing ever.
- I'm DONE at the DENTIST!  I have a whole new mouth!!!!
- Company picnic which was a blast!
- I'm one step closer to getting to specs.  I am totally looking forward to this.
- Lunches and dinners with friends new and old.
- CONE-Y 2012 is back on.  Sometimes these things just need to be handled mano e mano. 
- Developing a whole new 'lack of sleep' sched while the Olympics are on. USA USA!

And Le Grid!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Daily Pic | June Edition

Here 'tis folks.  June.  Over in the blink of an eye.  Which would more accurately be the wink of an eye, singular.  
Noteworthy items:

1] 6.30.2012: Laura trades in the Satty for a 2012 black Scion tc.  This was pretty earth shattering.  Separate post to come. 

2] Saw two of the MOST amazing concerts at Terminal 5.  TuNeYaRdS and The Hives.   

TuNeYaRdS: Honestly, Meryl has some of the best pipes I've ever heard, ever.  Artists like her are what it is ALL about.  Seeing her in person surpassed my HIGH expectations.  Simply, amazing. 

The Hives: DAMN!  Haven't seen a crowd like that one since high school.  Constant crowd surfing, a decent moshpit and energy through the roof.  Despite being pretty much of a narcissist, lead singer Pelle Almquist knows showmanship.  He pulls off his self absorption like a champ!  I showed my age by wearing ear plugs this time and I was really glad I did.  T5 isn't afraid to blow the roof off the joint.  ROCK!  Opener FIDLAR kicked major butt as well. 

3] I've officially lost count of my trips to the dentist.  Oh, this wont be ending with June's close. 

4] CCP and her random shenanigans gets me through one of the toughest work weeks to date at RP.

5] I am utterly OBSESSED with Original Gourmet Wild Cherry Lollipops.  [see #3: Sigh...]  It just so happens they're sold everywhere I go most.  Michael's and Rite Aid.  (That's everywhere!)  I buy them like, 3 at a time now. 

6] Lets see, #6 for month 6.  .... Final fitting for the weddin' dress... most of the details are falling into place.  The next two months will be buuusy.  Close!!!

And last but not least... The Daily Pic

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Daily Pic | May Edition

Whoa!  Fastest month ever.  


Rain rain rain... followed by some more rain.  Then a little rain.

Hoping to snap out of my exercising rut with one of these SOON! 

We’ve dropped from 8 to only 6 appearances of the pashmina.  Next month I predict none. 

First trip to Ocean Grove.  Resulted in: The Laurbster.  Weirdest sunburn in random streaks. 

Already working on box #2 of 2012’s FLA-VOR-ICE.  Simultaneously working on the fudge pop version and excited to try the Soda Pop flavors soon too.  Maybe I should consider sugar free....

Had Extreme (!) recipe success with: Mexican Street Corn, Chicken Enchilada Pasta and our take on Tipsy Parson’s Mushroom Toast.

And if you're still here.... daily piczzzzzzz:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cone-y 2012

Welp, Here it is.  One of the wedding crafts!  Don't think I've shared anything since the save the date.  

Part of the Cone-fetti Colony

Behold!  The Cones!  These little guys and I have become so close.  I thought it would be so cool to have cones filled with confetti for throwing after the ceremony.  The top would be a little tissue paper hat of sorts that you'd poke through (like that game in Price is Right)  and then filled with eco-fetti!

The first cone to be born

I hastily made about 80 of them over the course of a Saturday morning and some slow afternoons at work.  I even thought it would be the perfect way to incorporate chevron in a way that we probably wouldn't regret in 10 years (it wouldn't be a 2012 wedding without chevron SOMEwhere!). Anyway I digress:.. Curious why I am using past tense here????

We went for our meeting with the priest on Thursday and he put the kabosh on my cones!!!!  Can you believe it!?  No confetti, no birdseed, basically nothing that "he would end up needing to sweep from the church steps" after the ceremony.  (And to think, in our parents era people threw RICE and PENNIES of all things!  I guess priests back then were just happy to give the 87¢ to the Church).  I explained how the innocent eco-fetti worked, that it "disintegrates" (or did I say "evaporates"?) as he stared at me blankly just waiting for me to say that it takes a day or so.  Yup- a no.

I do not plan to give up my cones, so I'm reaching out to everyone in blogland to see if they've heard of some miracle to put in these dang cones!  I thought a teensy helium balloon would be SO awesome but when I told my sister she gave me a similar look as the priest.  I need something that would literally float away with the toss rather than fall to the ground.
I probably just need to give up the dream here.  I could try to somehow make a ribbon explosion or my latest hairbrain idea is to put pom poms on a yarn string inside.  I fear everyone is going to feel like a giant tool "tossing" that though (even though the pictures would probably be priceless!).

Candy was a good suggestion too, if I use the cones in a different way, which is what it might come to.

Wah, Boo to the Cone Grinch!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Taking a Bite Out of 'The Avengers'

 So, a bunch of us went to the Dinner & a Movie theater and saw The Avengers tonight.  I was happy to go, and I really like the genre, but I can't say I had super HIGH expectations.  Well, I thought it was AWESOME.  I'd forgotten how FUNNY Iron Man is.  Robert Downey's humor, Chris Hemsworth's awesome 1950's-appropriate-script, ScarJo's flexibility, yada yada yada.  The real surprise for me came from Ruffalo & The Hulk character!  TOTALLY awesome.  

Ok, I've gushed enough.  My criticisms are simple and two-fold.  One, I thought Samuel L. Jackson sounded like he was reading his lines off a cue card.  Bleh.  Felt very much like watching an "actor", very little like watching a character. 

Secondly, BAH!  Whats up with Hulk's teeth?!  He's totally baddd ass in this movie and he has this lil nubby Chiclets teeth.  I mean, the dude should have the chompers to match his personality!  See for yourself....

Remind you of anyone else? ...Like....

Hmmmm, oh well!  It was still an awesome movie.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sushi Ya... Yeah YEAH!

So, ya know… as per the 'usu (yuge?…whatever)  we go to Sushi Ya last night.  No biggie.  I get the same thing as always- no biggie.  I'm sensing more and more familiarity with my girl there (meaning the 50-something lady owner/hostess/waitress/wife of sushi making master).  She's warming to us more and more.  Her stoic-sushi-serving exterior is falling away each time we come.  As always, it was a bangin meal.  The bill comes and I say thank you and that the meal was delicious.  I get a nice big grin from her and some nodding.
Pic from the web, but this is what they're like.

Cut in half for us.  Why Sushi Ya lady!!!  How NICE of you!!!!
Have you heard of these?  Mochi Ice Cream?  They're so so so good.  First bite impression is like, what is this?  Its kinda like ice cream wrapped in raw dough.  But the ice cream isn't super rich.  And neither is the dough.  And the dough tastes good.  And by like, the third bite, (which is all you get when you have 1/2 of a mochi), you want MORE!

Its unclear which flavor we were given.  They had green tea (really wanna try this), 'red bean' (?!), vanilla, strawberry... and maybe 1 or 2 others.  Plus I think they charge like, $3.50 per on these lil babes.  Do I even need to tell you what I was like as we were leaving?! 

No, I can't explain my craving for social acceptance from the Sushi Ya couple.  I don't know why I long for the day when we would go in and I could just say, "The regular" (I think 'usu [or is it "yuge"?] might get lost in translation) and my Sushi Mama would know what that is.  But I DO know we're one step closer.  

That little Mochi Ice cream spoke unsaid volumes.

^ _ ^

Friday, April 27, 2012

Daily Pic | April Edition

Somebody's been a bad blogger this month!  
Here's a little April Breakdown:
- I had a lot of allergies, and thus wore almost no makeup the entire month!
- I'm slowly phasing out the pashmina and blue flannel!
- I've completed one full week of brewing my own coffee at home and not buying it on the way here!  Helps me rationalize my other out of control spending!
- I had my 2 year anniv. at work, which i filled my duty of bringing bagels in for.
That's about it!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The 'A' in April Stands for Allergies!


Here's a quick post about some things I could absolutely not live without at this present time.
1) Allegra.  I forgot to take it last night before bed when my 24 hours from the previous dose ran out.  My body kindly reminded me at 5 AM with full out allergy mayhem of the head.

2) Tissues & my eyedrops.  See above.

3) My Adobe 'progs: AI+ PSP+ INDD= <3

4) My XMU

5) As always, QC coffee

6) My new pink h&m flats. MUST get a backup pair.

7) Micheal's and more importantly, Micheal's Weekly Coupons. 

8) My google reader

9) The nifty small gauge wire that's holding my muffler [er, entire exhaust system apparently] on until further notice.

10) Rita's Ice.  I went 3 times between Monday night and Tuesday night.  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012


I'm not sure how long you have to do something before it is considered a "tradition", but I am hoping that T and I are beginning to settle into one.

For the fourth or fifth (?) time last night, we went to a nearby sushi restaurant (Sushi Ya) for dinner.  We love going out on Thursday night.  Maybe its memories of college when Thursday night marked the beginning of the weekend (le sigh...), but by the time Sunday rolls around you look back, it feels like what you did Th. night was part of the weekend. You just need to zip through work on Friday and its back to playtime. 

This place is really the BEST.  Owned by a 'mom and pop', it has full on authentic appeal.  Like our meal might actually be helping them earn a living.  I've gotten the same thing every time so far: 1/2 Udon soup and spicy crab roll.  I have no intention of switching my order any time soon.  It's SO good.  

Nabbed this from Yelp.  I haven't creepily taken their pic... YET!

We walk the mile+ [that's there and back] which will only get more enjoyable as the weather turns warmer.  And, cheesy as it is to admit, I kind of love that we are becoming "regulars"!

Plus, every time we go we get to say... 'Sushi... YA!' at least 50 times.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jammy Time & a Little Reminiscing

So this post kinda came together today.  Last night, I was poking around the interwebs before bed, when in walks my man, also ready for bed.  He looks down at himself, then at me and goes, "Oh!  Nice!".  We were both wearing one of the tee shirts I had designed for our company picnic 4 years ago at the company where we first met.  I had done two versions and we were each wearing one of them as bed time attire.  It was a fun little moment so we snapped a pic. 


Better yet was this morning when I realized I probably had the oldddd email correspondence from my then, 'work buddy', regarding said shirts from way back in '08.  I DID find the email. [Gotta read from the bottom, up.]

I didn’t include the part of the email from after the picnic when we discussed the young, awkward intern who became totally smitten with my guy that day and was following him around every minute.  He cracked me up noting her resemblance to Tony Danza circa the Taxi era.  

...And he's cracked me up every single day since.  <3

Friday, March 30, 2012

Daily Pic | March Edition

Hey all... It's that time again! LAST WORK DAY OF THE MONTH!!! Seems like this month crawled by as much as it flew. But, March is a long one. That week of warmth was really the best thing ever. 
Before I post this months daily pix, thought I'd do something cheesy! Here are some things I <3 from this month: 

My new wind chime.  LOVE it. 
All the successful projects and purchases that helped the home look much better.
Rad time that will be had tomorrow night.
Concert that i caught streaming on youtube that i still can't stop thinking about.
Higher temps and more sun. Need i say more?!

And in case you missed last months explanation on The Daily Pic.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A little artschmart Art

After looking through (and loving) the abundance of 'typographic affordable art' that's out right now, I had a brainstorm about making my own up.  

These pix have been all over blogland, pinterest and most of them originate from here. I love them, but a lot of them make me feel like a hack.  I love the look of the 'Not All Who Wander Are Lost' print, but it really doesn't fit me or my life.  What does?  Check out tonight's creation...

Low Res so's I wouldn't have to put a watermark over it, sahry!
I'm excited about this.  I was warning T that I was planning to stain some pine planks (for some diy shelves- stay tuned for that one) on the kitchen table.  Of course, right?  Where else would you stain planks of pine?!  This is totally the story of my life though.  My life long art projects have occurred in locations such as, but certainly not limited to: bed and living room floors, dorm room floors, various abandoned classrooms, brother/sister-in-law's basement, parent's back yard, unauthorized storage area in old apt complex (got in trouble for that one and almost got my paintings thrown away), library parking lots, etc.. the list goes on.  So yeah, I've never had my own back yard/garage or studio space [Ha!] to work in.  

So, rather than stain planks tonight I ended up in psp making that print. I thought about what kind of background image I wanted and felt that one worked well.  I've actually staged 'photo shoots' for my etsy paintings in alleys that looked JUST like that (sadly).  The grimier and more abandoned, the less chance of getting in trouble for working there!

T actually had the BEST idea EVER when we were joking around about having a Pimp My Ride-esque expandable art studio tent that would pop out of my trunk.  Like seriously- that would be the most awesome thing EVER.  Then I could do projects on my lunch hour too!

Anyway, planning to print this out this coming week and can't wait to display it on those shelves, once I actually get them stained and up on the wall. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chopped: Part 2

Its been a couple weeks since we did Chopped At Home, Part 1.  And now: I'm BACK!
This time it was my turn to be the Chef.   Once my man got home with basket items in tow, it was ready, set, cook!  And what were they?  I'll tell you!  My basket contained: Fresh swiss chard [reaction: Ohkaaaay] , Dried porcini mushrooms [Oh boy!], Aloe Vera Drink [What the …?!], and Veggie Balls [Double, What Tha?!…]. **Post disclaimer: Be ready to read the word 'balls' a lot.
Tisket a tasket- Check out my Chopped basket
I think the first thoughts running through my mind were, 'You've gotta be kidding me, my mom has made swiss chard about one million times and I've watched and I HONESTLY am not sure how to cook this stuff'.  That and 'What on earth are these veggie balls and what the heck does ALOE VERA DRINK even taste like?!'  So like any good procrastinator, I quickly opened the mushrooms, and threw them into a sauce pan with some canned chicken stock from the pantry, a shake of italian seasoning and let those start to reconstitute.  They smelled interesting right away- kind of smoky and very… shroomy, if you will.  **Edited to add: WINE!  Why didn't I put wine in this mix?!

My initial idea was something like, 'I'll bring these mushrooms back to life and do sort of a brown sauce with them & the veggie balls, and do kind of a swedish meatball thing with some broad noodles.  ::Cue record scratch sound.::  T HATES egg noodles.  I mean haaates.  A completely unreasonable thing to hate?  YES.  Its a NOODLE!  Sooo, I back burner-ed that idea (so to speak) and pressed on. 

Since I really couldn’t think of how to approach the chard in the proper way, I did basically what you do with any veggie you don't know what to do with.  I chopped it up and threw it in a pan with olive oil, some of the stock, and a shallot.  And that’s about the last thing that I did with it.

Next step was, be a big girl, open the Aloe Vera drink and find out what on earth it tasted like.  I was expecting: Sour?  Bitter?  Medicinal?… I got… YUM, sweet and a hint of peach.  Ever so slightly effervescent and strangely viscous.  Really, there was no way I could think to incorporate this into the savory meal, so I totally ripped the idea off T and decided I'd make a cocktail with it.  Put a few tablespoons of it in a shaker with a lil Smirnoff and poured over ice with some gingerale and a cherry garnish.  Done.

Back to the stove: I threw the veggie balls down into the mushroom sauce, which had come together pretty well.  I knew I had to come up with the 3rd component of the meal and it was back to the pantry for some fakey-fake mashed taters.  Those took all of 2 minutes to come together (Geoffrey Zakarian and Alex Guarnaschelli would have a stroke on the spot if someone tried to use fake mashed potatoes on Chopped but sorry, I was working in a no-egg-noodle-zone and really needed something I knew would at least taste good for sure).

I think my biggest fail came in the plating stage.  I really wanted to plate impressively.  I thought my artsy side would take over but instead my practical side was like, 'If this sauce turns out to taste gross and its all over everything, then this whole meal will be a bust', so I took a more pragmatic approach to the plating and just put each thing down. 

All in all, the chard was okay, except the stems were underdone.  (Mom later informed me that she boils it first… Duhh).  The balls in shroom sauce were actually totally delish and you can bet that if I ever got them in the store I would NOT have thought of this way of preparing them.  The drink- now that was kinda odd.  It was weird to drink something with clear globbiness to it and also not knowing what any of the benefits are to Aloe.  Web search later revealed that its actually VERY good for lots of things: digestion, skin, immune health, etc.

I guess in real Chopped world, I'd get points for the shroom sauce but I think they'd be underwhelmed with my lack of 'transforming' the veggie balls.  Eh- I did okaaay with them.  Its HARD to transform ingredients.  They also have a huge advantage with their expansive pantry.  Anywho, it was really fun.  I felt challenged and we were satisfied.  T had seconds and cleared his plate twice.  Woo hoo!

Oh, and in lieu of $10,000 or brownies, I was taken to Target and this happened: