oh yum - butternut squash soup*

i know, 2 posts in 2 days.  what's gotten into me?
thank you for all the lovely happy anniversary wishes, we had a beautiful day in the desert.
my dress got lots of attention.  it's one of those things you either love or hate.
it pretty much got lots of love yesterday.

so now on to todays post...
a big thank you to my friend noelle who told me about this recipe.
here is the original from dr. oz.
it just so happens that they are practically giving butternut squash away this time of year.
this soup is full of protein, vitamins and antioxidants.
the next day i thinned it with some vegetable broth and added leftover brown rice.  delish.
i made a couple of changes so here is my recipe

in a soup pot...

saute 1 t olive oil with
1 t curry powder for 1 minute
1 small diced onion
1 small yellow or red bell pepper
1 can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans
2 c rough chopped or diced butternut squash
3-4 c vegetable broth

simmer until squash is soft (about 30 minutes)
blend until smooth being careful to not overfill blender
garnish with red pepper flakes

*enjoy knowing that no animals were harmed making this thick, heart-warming soup,


$10 outfit challenge #7 or happy anniversary darling

the calendar says february but the temperatures say june.

vintage maxi dress $2
naturalizer sandals $5
sunglasses .99
total - $7.99

actually we are headed to palm springs for the day to celebrate our wedding anniversary with friends over lunch. 

if i get lost, i don't think larry will have a problem finding me.

thank you my dear friends for following, for your lovely comments and mostly for being so awesome.
you make every day special for me.



my $5 closet makeover

what my closet used to look like...oh so lovely.

please don't get real excited because with $5 you know it's not going to be that fabulous but i'm kinda in love with it.  after participating in project 333 for a year and still purging almost every day, my wardrobe is small and i like it this way.  for me, less choice means more freedom.  i emphasize "for me" because this isn't for everyone.  as you can tell from the fashion posts i do, my clothes are pretty basic and dare i say...mediocre.  99% of my clothes would classify as weekend clothing. 
so even though my one and only closet is small, i wanted it to be prettier.  

at a recent yard sale i found a box of old ralph lauren wallpaper for $5.
wallpaper and a little spray paint were all i needed for this project.

so after i emptied the contents, i got my compadre to remove the rods and we started wallpapering.

a couple of hours later...
after lots of measuring, crazy matching and absolutely no cursing...we only had enough to do the back wall but that was ok with me.

aww look, now it's pretty

and organized

i'm well aware of just how weird it is that i spray painted my shoeboxes and labeled them.
i know you do weird stuff too.
that's why we get along.




j.crew workshirt, old navy pants, gucci bag, sperry topsiders, ralph lauren sunglasses

nothing special here.
just an average outfit for an average day.
i like simple outfits like this.
and lately i'm not even wearing jewelry.
everything can be tossed in the laundry and nothing needs ironed.
that's good b/c i don't iron.  well hardly ever.

still working hard on my closet post.
well, not hard but kinda hard.

i hope you are having an absolutely wonderful week.
see you in a day or so with my finished closet.



a love list*

february is national heart month

eat oatmeal with bananas, walnuts and maple syrup in the morning.

your heart will love you for it.

if you want more things to love pop over to jane's small but charming blog and see my complete
love list.

love ya,

*no animals were harmed making this love list.

let's build a home

while i'm without camera i thought i'd go through my files looking for posts i had written but never pushed the publish button for one reason or another.  here is one of those.
there are lots more where this one came from so you can take that as a warning.

this is little video of the renovation of our cottage.  it's not great or anything but it was kinda fun to put   together.  looking back at it cracks me up.  i didn't have a blog when we started this project so the before pictures are not that great and really the afters aren't much better.  but it does bring back good memories of 16 hour days full of back breaking work.  we (and when i say we you all know i really mean larry) with the help of a couple of craftsmen finished it in 8 weeks.  and while we did not actually build this home we did save it from certain demolition.  and why not bore you with the thinking that went behind our choices that we made in materials when renovating it.  we knew this cottage was built for the gardening staff of the adjoining estate.  we also know that it was built using all the leftover building materials of the main house.  so every time we were faced with a decision on materials we would think what would they have used in the main house.  i copied the kitchen as best i could of kimberly crest mansion, which is next door.  also, this house inherited a lot of hand-me-downs from the estate in the way of lighting fixtures, hardware, roses, etc.  sorting through the basement and underneath the house unearthed all kinds of treasures that we put to use.  so the house is a mix of castoffs which i think suits the place perfectly..

you may want to turn down the volume because it is set to the white stripes, whom i love but you may not. 
 i personally turn the volume up but suit yourself.

you can watch it...

i'll be back in a day or so with another reject post!



humane, healthy, hot*

fresh strawberry salad

mixed garden lettuces
cubed baked tofu
balsamic dressing

Everyone knows that being humane and healthy is hot, so this Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetie to a romantic day packed full of animal-friendly aphrodisiacs. Vegan aphrodisiacs—from chocolate and strawberries to tomatoes and peppers—are famous for their reputed carnal qualities, but did you know that there’s a scientific reason that meat-free fare is the recipe for romance? The cholesterol and fat in animal foods slow the flow of blood to all a man’s vital organs—not just his heart—but healthy vegan foods will leave lovers full of energy and vitality.   via PETA

well hello,  just one more reason to be vegan, as if we needed one!

and to dispel the myth that vegan men are wimpy, i give you this...

hot vegans

happy valentines day!


*no animals were harmed making this salad

a pretty pink necklace

my dear friend and talented jewelry designer, julie lorusso is giving away this beautiful pink pearl necklace (look at that clasp!) to celebrate valentines day, good news re a lump she found  and also her blog birthday.
go say hello and enter her giveaway here.

in other news...
my son hijacked my camera the other day so my blog is kind of at a loss without it.
i'm working on my closet and am looking forward to sharing that with you.
also, i have found some amazing pieces for my spring and summer wardrobe that i think you'll love.

so alex if you are reading this (which i highly doubt) i need my camera back!



real simple

you know, sorting through piles of junk isn't everyones idea of fun but persistence can pay off.

take this skirt for example.
the j. peterman company - $3
i wish i knew the jaunty storyline that went with this skirt.

the skirt includes beautiful, box pleating, gorgeous, heavy linen fabric and deep pockets

paired with a crisp white shirt
leopard cardigan
black kitten heels

some days it's just real simple

today i need to not over think everything and keep it as simple as i can.


this outfit would def qualify for a $10 fashion challenge because the shirt and sweater were a gift but i think that may be cheating so i didn't.
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