Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Favorite Pasta Salad

My all time favorite pasta salad!! I don't make it all that often b/c I honestly can't stop eating it when it is in the fridge. I like it b/c it does not have mayonaisse in it so you can bring it to a party and not worry about it being out or spoiling!


  • red onion minced (no measurements here mayber 1/3 cup?
  • 1 stalk of celery minced
  • 1 red pepper minced
  • bunch of black olives minced (get the good greek ones one from the olive bar)
  • basil julienned
  • small block of feta diced (I prefer the block to the crumbles)
  • 1 box of Israeli pearl couscous (Trader Joes)
  • olive oil 1/2 cup
  • balsamic vinegar 1/3 cup
  • salt and pepper

First off I forgot to buy the cous cous but thought I had (this type is more like a pasta) so instead I had to use stupid elbows. Really any pasta will work but I recommend something small. If you decide to go with a bigger pasta, make more vinegarette. Cook the couscous/pasta according to package. Drain and give a rinse with cool water.

Whisk the oil and vinegar in a bowl and add the rest. Season to taste - so good! xo, Brie

Monday, May 25, 2009

Up with the Birds

Literally! The sound of bird activity going on in my yard at 3 am rivals a Brazilian rain forest. I tried everything to fall back to sleep but gave up at 4 am. I decided to get up, make a pot of cowboy coffee and do something productive!

First up my refrigerator which was a disaster area. Poor thing has been really neglected for longer than I care to admit! I emptied out the ENTIRE thing, spritzed away with my cucumber method spray and went to town with a wet dishrag. Pulled out drawers and scrubbed them with hot soap water. Merged bottles of balsamic and soy sauce and bid farewell to a couple of sour cream containers that kicked the bucket in March 09. So happy to finally check this off my to do list and it only took me 45 minutes from start to finish!

I am going to try to do one project like this a day for 30 days, stay tuned :) xo, Brie


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ruffles, ruffles, give me ruffles

I clearly remember falling over in fits of laughter with a good friend from high school when we found her older brother's prom pics and he was wearing a powder blue tux with a ruffly top. (In his defense he was a lot older than us so I am sure he was quite fashionable that evening!!) He looked something like this minus the ridiculous top hat and cane. I draw the line at these types of accessories!!

If my prom date showed up at the door wearing this, I would have locked the door and turned out all lights!

Somewhere between 1988 and present date, I have completely fallen hard for the ruffles. Especially tiny ones. I just bought not one but TWO of these adorable polos from Talbots today. 49 dollars feels high to me for a polo but you can't just go around wearing ruffles EVERY day so I figure they'll last me a long time. I went for it and bought the black AND the white. Hopefully I'll throw someone into fits of laughter when they see a pic of ME wearing this, say 15 years from now!

Look how cute....

if only I can look like this skinny you know what in it! xo, Brie

Saturday, May 23, 2009

10 Minute Trainer

So I started this yesterday... I have several observations

  • they have this tension cord that you can shut into a door and wear around your waist. This isn't working for me... all rooms I have a dvd player in do not have a door. Tony insists you don't need to use the waist tension and it will still be effective.

  • you need a decent amount of space to do this effectively - my untidy family room was giving me troubles

  • probably not the best idea to start yesterday b/c it was HOT (in the 90's) and all 4 were off from school. They were busting out in fits of laughter and then decided to join me. Just not enough room

  • at first the cardio section seemed silly but in the end I was really huffing and puffing

  • it's not really a 10 minute workout as Tony Horton suggests doing 3 of his workout in a row. I'm no mathematician but according to my calculations that 30 minutes. Still short in comparison to what it usually takes me at the Y and that's not including travel time.

  • My family room is carpeted and during the warm up my foot slipped and I completely fell over - thank God the kids hadn't caught wind of what I was doing yet. Might want to consider a non slip mat of some kind.

  • On all the videos there is a countdown bar showing how much of your 10 minutes is left and I quite liked it!

I'll keep you posted with future reportings!!! We're off to a fabulous start - except the part where I ate an entire package of Archer Farm Cheddar Twists from Target! Will power is no friend of mine! xo, Brie

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lemi Shine!!

Found out about this product through my new fave pioneer woman. We must have hard water here in NJ because all my glasses have this faint gross "frost" on them when I take them out of the dishwasher even when I am fully loaded with Jet Dry. Even the dishwasher itself has this chalky coating to the inside.

Thanks to Lemishine everything is crystal clear and even the dishwasher looks brand new!!! I am totally not kidding.... available at Walmart and Target! xo, Brie

Monday, May 18, 2009

Love will Keep us Together

I can't seem to stop playing the Captain Taneal youtube video I posted yesterday. First of all, it's an awesome song and I think they should seriously consider a comeback but that goes without saying!

A few observations from the video
  • Taneal has a lot of teeth, I'm thinking more than an average person?
  • She loves to look at her background singers while she sings and it's weird
  • One of the said background singers is seriously copying Taneal's style.... Is it her sister or do we have a single white female sitch on our hands?
  • Taneal's lipsynching is not so good despite her perky demeanor (don't believe me, ff to around the one minute mark :)
  • The captain plays those bi level keyboards with the energy level of a snail who was slipped so exederin pm

He is very lucky this cat was little after his time or I think he may have been given the boot!

xo, Brie

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Queen of the Infomercial

I have a tendency to get completely sucked into infomercials and I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I have fallen victim to such items as the buttoneer (it stunk btw), aquaglobes (they don't work so great either), and Nads Hair Removal (worked - but not quite as well as it did of course on tv)! I was quite taken with this one a few weekends ago love songs of the seventies thankfully common sense prevailed and I realized I probably don't want to be the 30 something mom dancing around the house to Captain and Taneal no matter how much I enjoy them! Don't even get me start on the snuggie... I've been coveting one for awhile!

Well I have fallen victim today to the 10 minute trainer (yes, seriously, I bought it)! You should see the stunning results of the folks that have tried this ;) I would like to think I can find at least 10 minutes to dance around my tv room with resistance bands each day. Hopefully will be here this week and I can hardly wait to post of pic of me showing off in my old jeans like this gal....

Stay tuned, you can count on an honest review here! xo, Brie

I'll be singing this in my kitchen while I wait for it to arrive!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kayla's Big Achievment

I'm so proud of my 12 year old Kay, please indulge me and let me praise her how for hard she has worked this year. She started a new school this year in our public middle school transferring out of our local catholic parochial school. We wanted to keep her options open for high school and we figured if she were to go public we'd rather her make the move now verses then. She moved from a school where there were 56 students in the 6 grade to a school where there are 300 students in the 6th grade. The decision was ours and although she felt understandably nervous, she never complained.

The transition has been everything we hoped for and more. She's taking advantage of new opportunities that she has never had before (ie school play, newspaper, chorus etc), made lots of nice new friends, and is thriving academically. I'm so proud of her!!

Her language arts teacher had all the 6th grade students write an essay about prejudice and what it means to them sponsored by NCJW West Morris Section. My little Kay was one of 4 grand prize winners throughout our county. She is on top of the world about it. Last week she was invited to an awards ceremony for this, received her prizes and got to read her piece to a full auditorium of 350 people (I seriously would have not enjoyed that at that age) and did an amazing job!
above are the 4 grand prize winners for writing and 2 grand prize winners for art and below is Kayla reading her essay to the auditorium

The event had a guest speaker Stanlee Stahl was phenomenal! Her talk was about the Holocaust and the countless numbers of Christians and Muslims who sacrificed everything to shelter and rescue the Jews during this time. It was incredibly motivating and she had a way of speaking not only to the adults, all of my kids were listening to every word and taking it in. I emailed her later to tell her what a fantastic job I thought she did. It was a great night!!

Just got back from the library and picked up Anne Frank for Kayla (I was surprised she hadn't read this yet!) and a book called The Zookeeper's Wife, a true story about a Polish family who turned their zoo in Warsaw into a safe haven for Jews. That one is for me. I can't wait to read it! I'll let you know how it is :)

So congrats to my Kay, we are soooooooooooooooo proud of you! xo Mom and Dad

Monday, May 11, 2009

Who Says Twitter is Mindless?

I learned something fabulous this past weekend. THROUGH Twitter, I learned of a fabulous entertaining blog/website of a fabulous, entertaining do it all lady called The Pioneer Woman! She cooks, she photographs, she has four kids, she's funny, and she home schools. She's my hero! Based on the loads of comments she gets, she's not new at this, but on the off chance you were in the dark, under a rock, trapped beneath a large piece of furniture like me - go there straight away! It's good stuff! Thanks to twitter friend Sew Gracious for pointing me over there! xo, Brie

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'll send an SOS to the World!

Yesterday was Enrichment Day at school - a full day devoted to learning and fun, this year's theme was Hawaii. The kids LOVE it!! One activity for the second grade was to make a message in the bottle.

Here's mine - love that it is "from"

Here's Dad's - do you love it?

xo, Brie

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mother's Day Tea

My last one (sniffle) for Pre K anyway, Ms. C will officially be a kindergartner next year! We had a lovely hour of songs, lunch, and celebration. The kids did a great job and no party is complete without a foam crown, I think I'll wear this throughout the month of May! Great Day!

I wore one of my favorite denim dresses from the Isaac Mizrahi line that I picked up at Target in the fall. If anyone told me they liked my dress, I immediately revealed that I bought the dress from Target! Why do I do that??? I can't seem to resist revealing all my bargain shopping ;) xo, Brie

PS The stencil is coming along.... I omitted the third layer on the 2nd and 3rd flower (would put some dots in the center of the flower and accents on the petals) I kind of like them the way they are so I am still deciding. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Caroline's Room

Remember this project? We're getting there, mostly thanks to my dad! While we were away in Antigua (awesome trip, later post) my dad finished sanding off the wallpaper border for me, filled all the holes and other damage I inflicted onto the poor wall and painted the walls, trim, ceiling, and even the door. He's the best!!!!

I came home to this beautiful room done in Benjamin Moore's Fifties pink! I love the pink, it's a perfect soft pastel pink that doesn't look like a relative of pepto bismol. It looks so sweet with the white trim. Keeks made this curtain for Molly's nursery but has since moved out of that place and I inherited the gorgeous window treatment. The curtain rod with the pale pink glass globes is from Target - Shabby Chic line. I love it!

I bought this border to paint within the white of the room

It arrived on Monday which was bad timing b/c I was hoping my dad could help me get started on it but they were leaving first thing Tuesday. I am not going to lie... I LOVE this stencil, it's very me and Caroline loves it too. It is a very complicated stencil and probably not for a beginner - which might be me! There are 5 flowers in total and they are vertical stencils (I prefer horizontal) EACH flower has three overlays which adds up to one time consuming project! It took me an hour today to do three of these flowers (which appear to be the most complicated of the five)

I am happy with my paint color choices and it's nice stenciling on the white semigloss b/c it's easier to smooth out any accidental feathering. I'll keep you posted on my progress.... at this rate she'll be married by the time I'm done! xo, Brie

Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm taking Baby Steps

Back into blogging. Spring time is always a very hectic time of year for me... I have a lot to blog about actually! Here is how I spent my Sunday yesterday, de-bunking bunk beds in the boys room! Greatest thing I ever did!!! I loathed making these and after 4.5 years, I have definitely lost that loving feeling. So much better now! xo, Brie

Friday, May 1, 2009

C You Real Soon

These last 2 weeks have been nuts. Took a great vacation and now scrambling to get things together for Liam's First Communion on Saturday. I'll be back Monday with lots of pics and stories :) Have a great weekend!!! xo, Brie