Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brownies 4 a Cause


Hello my blogging friends...I have a favor to ask of you. One of my friends at work told me yesterday that her kitty, Smokey, is sick and needs a $500 test. Tina, my friend, is the sweetest, kindest, most genuine person I've ever met. Literally. And I hated hearing her talk about how she'll have to "figure it out somehow" because she can't NOT do the test. So, I'm having a bake sale to try to raise some money for her so that she doesn't have to eat the entire cost herself. If you'd like to donate, please email me and I will give you the paypal information.

Brownies are $10 and Chocolate Chip Cookies are $11...shipping will be $10.50.

Obviously there is no pressure and no hard feelings if you can't or don't want to donate. I know times are tough for everyone.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bacon Cups

Every year I think seriously about what I should bring to my Nana's house on Christmas Eve. I used to bake lots and lots of cookies but after the year the platter got left in the den without being opened, I said "No Way Jose". (One of my aunts bakes and Nana puts those out.) I used to bring a delicious hot crab dip but that was expensive and labor intensive. I could bring my famous artichoke dip but everyone there eats it when I bring it to other parties. One year I brought pumpkin creme brulee and made everyone swoon but that too was a lot of work and too hard to cope with during the craziness of Christmas Eve at Nana's.

This year I made bacon cups.

Yes, bacon cups. Little 2-bite bacon cups that I filled with a blue cheese dressing and topped with roasted buffalo shrimp. They were delicious. Unfortunately they are a lot of work and I ran out of time so I only had about 18 of them-and they went fast.

I started out with a mini-muffin pan and sprayed it with baking spray.

Then I cut one strip of bacon into 4 pieces and put that small strip on the top of a few cups. Next I wrapped a single piece of bacon around the cup and tucked the edges in so that they wouldn't curl while baking.

I tried several different ways of making these cups. I braided a piece of bacon and wrapped that around the cup and I also used two slices as is. The best result came from the single wrapped bacon slice baked at 4oo degrees for about 12 minutes.

The best part these little gems is the look on peoples faces when you say "bacon cup". It kind of made it worth it.

I'm not sure I'd make them again though...

Rainbow Cookies

My very favorite cookies of the season (and any season, really) are rainbow cookies. I've grown up eating them and even made them once with my aunt when I was little. Until I moved to Boston, I usually only ate them once a year when I traveled to NY for Christmas Eve. Once I moved here though, I found a local bakery that sells the best cookie I have ever eaten.

This year I felt like I wanted to try to make them again. Sure, I could easily (well, not really easily-parking is a bitch in that neighborhood!) have gone to the bakery and bought a few pounds but I really wanted to see if I could make a cookie that rivals the ones I get from the bakery.

I mixed up the dough and folded in egg whites...

Divided it into thirds and colored one red and one green...

Put them into pans and let them bake...

Slathered them with raspberry jam and wedged them together...

Drenched them with melted chocolate and let it set...

Trimmed them...

And cut them into rectangles...

They were delicious. Originally I told you I was going to post the recipe, but this is the first cookie recipe that I actually developed and made my own and to be honest, they really DO rival the ones from the North End. And since I do want to someday open a cafe in this area, I feel like I need to protect it. It might be silly, but you never know...

While I enjoyed the process and loved the outcome, these cookies are very expensive to make. In fact, this batch cost about $20. Commercially I am certain I could make them cheaper, but for now, I think I'll circle the block a few times and pay half the price for someone else to make them. Plus, it's a good excuse to play in the North End!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1 More Day!

Good morning!! I'm in such a good mood today-not only do I have the day off (and therefore got to sleep late) but it snowed last night and so it looks quite pretty outside.

Oh, and did I mention that it's CHRISTMAS EVE EVE?!?!?! Tomorrow's my favorite day of the year and this year will be extra special for me because it's the first time in 10 years that someone I love will be with me. I simply can't wait to have B1 get to know my family more. (He met them at the wedding but that was for a few minutes and done over music.)

All of my shopping is done and yet I really feel like I want to go out and be a part of the crazy. I fully realize that this makes me PART of the crazy but whatever. It's fun. Instead of actually shopping though I think I'm going to cook/bake and then get my nails done.

Stay tuned-I'm trying to make 2 things that I've talked about for a while but never made (well, the cookies I made when I was very little with my aunt). I'm going to take step-by-step pictures and if it works out, I'll post them with instructions.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I get to leave work today at 2pm...and then not come back until Monday!!

My favorite little cousin got accepted to 2 colleges that she wants to go to. I can't believe she's old enough to go to college!

Giving someone a gift should not mean you expect one back. But if you DO receive one back, you should at least pretend to be thankful.

Our Christmas Angel on our tree looks like she is trying to commit suicide. She's leaning precariously to the right and looks like she might jump.

I've always enjoyed making cookies but making cookies with B1 is the best.

You can read that any way you'd like. But we really did make cookies.

My boss gave us all books at our holiday lunch the other day-I'm already about 1/4 of the way through it and I started last night. It's the first book in a long time that I've sped through. It's "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.

I can't wait for Christmas Eve. And then Christmas morning at home with my B1. And then Christmas dinner with B1's Dad and siblings. It's so fun to have another family to celebrate with!

Christmas means it's almost New Year's and that means it's almost time for our vacation!!!!

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Toosdae ?'s

Good morning my lovelies! And how are we all doing today? My guess is you are sleepy. Am I right? I am W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L. Christmas is soooooo close and I'm all a buzz with excitement. Yesterday we got our first real snow and my world is finally cold and white. And last night B1 and I made Christmas cookies! Though it was tiring, we're done and have little boxes all set to be delivered to family and friends. *sigh* I love this time of year...

1. How are you spreading the holiday cheer?

2. What is your most favorite Christmas cookie of all time?

3. If you look out the closest window and look left, what do you see?

My answers:

1. Um...excuse me...didn't you read the commentary above? :)

2. This is a no-brainer, even though it's not really a Christmas cookie, the Rainbow Cookie is my favorite. Layers of almond flavored cake sandwiched together with jam then topped with chocolate. Delicious. In fact, I'm going to try to make them for the very first time since I was a little girl. Of course I'll share the results!!

3. I initially published this post without answering my own #3! When I look outside to the left I see mostly the university lawn but then I can also see the Boston skyline. I'm so in love with my city!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thank God It's Monday

**Updated 6:27pm-Scroll down for pictures!**

My sisters & I

I'm wearing my new red glasses today. I've been here for 7 minutes and have gotten 4 compliments already. Sometimes being the weird one is funner than normal. :)

There are pictures to share from the weekend-but they're at home. I'll add them into the post later tonight...

Saturday afternoon B1 and I met my sister and her boyfriend at the hotel and chilled in the hot tub for a bit before getting ready for my father's fancy pants dinner. I love to swim so I jumped in the pool a couple of times, but for the most part, we stayed in the hot tub. So relaxing.

The hotel itself was really nice. It was new, so everything was clean and fresh. B1 and I got upgraded to a suite-which was nice but not really a suite. We loved the decor and the bed. The lamps on the side table were funky and cool and I wanted to steal them. But I didn't. Mainly because of the whole moral thing but also because they were too big to fit in my bag. :)

The party itself was fun. They always have an open bar so right there you know that even if it blows, it'll be a good time. And this is the first year I've ever had a date for this party, so it was extra fun for me. We had JUMBO shrimp-like really, really big. There were beef appetizers and fried ravioli and then my favorite-tuna tartar on a potato crisp with avocado cream. I'm totally making these. So. Good. I think I had like 7 of them. Which was good because our food came about 2 hours late.

That's not an exaggeration. They took our orders and then never gave us food. I learned the following day it was because no one was at their tables, but the staff should have asked someone to make an announcement to have them sit down. And, um...there was a DJ, so we had a microphone! In any case, the food came out and it was pretty good. I had a filet with mashed potatoes and spinach. Delicious. The only bad thing is that I was served my sisters boyfriends meat at first and he orders his more cooked than I do. I finally convinced him to switch with me about 1/2 way through the meal. So I got to taste how it should REALLY be.

Unfortunately both B1 and I were very sick all night on Saturday. We ended up waking up to alternate in the bathroom and then at 3am we were just awake. We stayed up until about 5am and then both drifted off until we had to get up for breakfast.

I didn't feel well for the rest of Sunday, really. I was tired and still had some stomach issues so thankfully my boyfriend is super sweet and he drove back to MA for us. I wanted to rest a bit because yesterday was "Christmas" with one side of his family.

Which, for me, was awesome because B1's grandfather sort of caught me alone and asked how B1 and I were doing. After I gushed about how wonderful he is and how much I love him he said, "Good. Because you fit in here pretty good." He then went on to say that he already considers me to be part of the family and that his wife does too....and then said, "Everyone does!". So that was nice.

We both did pretty well yesterday-we stayed alert and interacted with everyone and ate the good food. Toward the end of the day though, I was fading fast and I worried that I'd fall asleep! Again, B1 rocks and he drove us home. (Well, not quite-we had to pick up some tins for the cookies we're making tonight, but THEN he drove us home.)

And the weirdest thing was that when we finally did get home, I was hungry. And all I wanted was Chinese food. This is funny because B1 wants Chinese food all of the time. (Not really, just any time we get take out, that's what he wants!) And also because I was sick all day and kind of hung over. But that's how it goes with me-if I get a hangover, I usually need food. And that did seem to help because once I got that greasy yumminess called boneless sparerib I was good.

Today is our holiday luncheon with my boss. 2 hours away from our desks eating yummy food. Should be fun!

B1 and his boyfriend (my sisters boyfriend)

Us-Not quite drunk yet, I think

My B1 has drunk cheeks!! :)

We are definitely drunk in this picture. And also, I'm straptastic

Friday, December 17, 2010

The LOST Girls

Sometimes I'm crazy and sometimes my imagination runs wild and then all of a sudden my life is over. In my head, at least.

My girl friends are wonderful. I'm lucky to have them in my life. Even if we aren't BFF's and we don't hang out all of the time, it's good to know I have them as sounding boards and that I have their support.

I'm going shopping.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

House Full of Friends

I have been MIA lately. Sorry. I've been pretty busy.

Friday B1 and I hosted our first dinner party. It was, if I do say so myself, a great success. Our friends enjoyed our food and drinks and had fun laughing and talking the night away. B1 and I had so much fun's so nice when both of us can relax and enjoy the drinks because we don't have to drive. :) We had beer, wine and my now famous ginger martinis. Yes, I self proclaimed them to be famous, but everyone who has them loves them and people talk about them from year to year. They're deadly. In a good way.

We had a cocktail hour and served bacon wrapped scallops, a cheese platter (with home made blue cheese crackers) and these:

They are little puff pastry cups (that I made) filled with mushrooms, garlic, wine, thyme and cream. Delicious! I've made them before and always get the same reaction-an empty platter. They're really easy to make too, which makes them a obvious winner.

We headed to the dining room and started dinner. The first course was shrimp bisque.

We served the soup and sat down and I heard my favorite sound ever. "Hmmmmm" and then silence. It was fantastic.

This, my friends, was the last picture of our dinner party. Why? Because I had a lot of ginger martinis. And wine. And I wasn't up to taking pictures. In fact, the whipped cream on the dessert was a little lopsided...but no one noticed because it was so delicious. :)

I love entertaining-but even more, I love entertaining with my B1 in our home. It's an amazing feeling to look across the room at the man you love knowing that he loves you just the same. And that the people visiting are visiting because of the two of us...together.

I've been having a really hard time lately and I can't really explain it. I've burst into tears for no reason, gotten upset over things that normally would not bother me and have felt like I'm not worthy of B1's love. I think it's partially hormonal, partially a wiring issue and partially stress. But Friday sort of kicked off a really warm, happy feeling again. I feel great and am so happy and excited for the rest of this Christmas season.

I've been busy shopping and wrapping...and driving B1 crazy because the big silver one is for him.


It's December 16th for crying out loud-and I haven't seen any major snow yet! Grrr...

However, we ARE supposed to be getting some snow this weekend. Hopefully in the late afternoon/evening so that all of our travel will be uninterrupted.

This weekend is another busy one for us. Saturday we're heading down to CT for my Father's annual holiday party. It's a work function-he's one of the partners and he likes it when we can all make it. I like it too, it's mostly fun. There's an open bar, lots of good food and usually good music. This year he isn't going to play his guitar though, so I'm a little sad about that. But this year I have a date! :) It's going to be fun. There's a shuttle to and from the hotel we're staying in too, so we don't have to worry about driving. And there is also a pool and a hot tub, which we'll use before the party. Good times.

Sunday we have a holiday celebration with B1's Mom's side of the family. They're such fun, nice people and I'm looking forward to sharing this time with them. It's so lovely to have extended family and friends-holidays were always wonderful, but now they're even better.

It's no secret that I love the winter season and specifically Christmas. And I'm so excited to have someone to share it with.

Monday B1 took me on a date. We went to see a Christmas display at a local furniture store. It sounds weird, but this store has rides and attractions and movie theaters. It was so pretty and cute.

Afterward, we went and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants; IKEA. :) I'm only sort of kidding-it's not our favorite restaurant, but we have been known to have date nights at IKEA. It's a cheap date and fun, too! And c'mon-$0.50 hot dogs? You can't beat that!

Dinner was over and we headed to yet another holiday display. This one was at a shrine and had lights splayed out all over the grounds. It was so pretty. The pictures don't do it justice. I didn't take the time to change the settings on my camera because I was enjoying walking around in the cold air with my B1...but you'll get the idea:

So pretty! After we walked around a bit, B1 bought us hot cocoa and we made our way home.


I love him.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Today my horoscope says:

Try not to get weighed down by your own emotions today, Mags, but make sure you give them the opportunity to have their time in the spotlight. You may find that there is a strong force working to cover up the truth of what you really feel. Make sure you express yourself openly and honestly.
Um...yes. This is pretty much 100% on I will not be weighed down. I will let my negative thoughts be fluid and to drip right away.

Sometimes I wish I could be a stand up comic for just an hour-so that I could tell you about all of the un-ladylike things that happen without you really judging me. Like when certain parts of your body twitch when you are in public and you have to touch them.

Being told that you are the prettiest girlfriend someone's had (by someone other than your boyfriend) is a pretty great feeling. Even if it is indirectly.

Cheap glasses make my day. (I'll blog about this soon!)

Sometimes Tupperware does work as a mousetrap.

When you find a mouse that is not yet dead, by all means, let it go. But please, let it go OUTSIDE! ;)

Kissing in front of your very first Christmas tree is amazing.

I don't like being bought. Even though I love presents, I don't love it when people use them to buy my affection. It's troublesome. And now I feel obligated to reciprocate.

Is it weird that a guest of ours is finding an alternate "date" for our dinner party on Friday? His partner (who we are friends with) can't make it, so he's looking for someone else to bring. I don't actually really mind, but I would never think to do that. Am I weird?

Don't answer that. I already know the answer. :)

I have the bestest boyfriend in the whole entire world.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fluid...I Like That

Toosdae ?'s

Good morning! Actually, as of right now, it's not been a good morning. My hair dryer is on the fritz and that threw my morning off (for the 2nd day in a row!). When I got to work, the coffee machine was broken. :( Luckily though, the morning is turning around because I didn't get into an accident on the way to work (I worry about that when I have mornings like this!) and the coffee is now brewing somehow. *sigh* Moving on to sunshine and happiness...

1. What is your least favorite holiday song? (I thought of this question last night while listening to Christmas music and ironing our drapes-it has NO reflection on my sour mood earlier! LOL!)

2. What is your favorite food to order from a street vendor?

1. To be honest, I'm not a fan of "Oh Christmas Tree". I wouldn't say I hate it, but it's not favorite.

2. Hot dogs! (Did you think it would be anything else?!)

There are only 2 brain is too foggy right now!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Up on the Rooftop

This weekend B1 and I picked out and decorated our very first Christmas tree. We walked to the park a few blocks away and bought the tree then walked back and put it in the living room to settle overnight. Saturday we did errands and met back at the house to decorate and to watch Christmas movies.

It was, needless to say, awesome.

Here is our tree:

I think I mentioned to you all that I used to collect ornaments that had to do with the year that just passed. I threw most of them out (on purpose and by accident) so most of my ornaments are generic. This year I wanted to find a pool themed ornament for B1 and I since we met while playing pool. I found this:

I wrote the date on the back and had B1 write our names on the cues. *sigh* Even though it's a little hokey, I love it.

And here are our stockings, hung with care by B1. (I swear, I did stuff too!)

Of course, my little elf stocking holder from when I was little sits in our office. Maybe one day I'll have a mantle to put him on.

We also have garland on the railing leading upstairs and various other little decorations sprinkled throughout the apartment. It's very homey. :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

ACoA Strikes Again

Tonight I almost went to an ACOA meeting but I got lost and then I got sidetracked. But I think it might be a good idea for me to go to at least one to see how it is.

No doubt, the reason I think the way I do is because I am an ACOA. I've pretty much known this for quite some time, but have always felt that I could work through things and move on. I think I'm coming to the realization that this, in fact, isn't the case. I've read books, journaled, reflected...but I always end up having a round of this funk that seeps into my otherwise fantastic life. And it tries taking me down. It tells me I'm not good enough and that if people really get to know me, they'd hate me.

It tells me that I need to work harder at being better, even though I'm pretty damn good. It tells me that I'm going to live a long, lonely life, even though I am in a loving relationship. It tells me if someone around me is having a bad day, it must be because I did something wrong, even if I know that I have not.

It messes with my mind and makes me feel small and useless and less than. And that is not OK.

I suppose the reason I'm thinking more about this is because the guy I went to see over this last month really seemed to push the issue. He made me remember that I do, in fact, identify with most of the characteristics (if if I don't currently identify with them, I did at some point) and that it's part of who I am. Unless I finally truly accept this and face it head on, it's not going to get better.

Something struck me in our last session-my father, the one who made me this way (for lack of better wording) is also an ACoA. In fact, BOTH of his parents were alcoholics and his father, though I did love him, was kind of a jerk. I guess I am just luckier than he was because instead of drinking and partying to escape, I turned the other way and became introverted and guarded and wrote poetry and stuff.

But it really made me stop to think for a minute and I sort of wish that I had this epiphany when I was younger. I'm not sure I would have been able to understand what it all meant, but maybe I could have seen a little bit into his world and perhaps understand why he was the way he was.

One of my biggest ACoA characteristics is my fear of abandonment. Which is weird, I think, because though my father was not around for me when I was little, he always lived with us, always worked hard to keep food on the table, clothes on our backs and we always went on family vacations (though I know now that they used my "college" bonds to go!). I only remember one time in which my mother exclaimed she wanted him to leave. In fact, I'M the one who wanted him to go it's strange to me that this is one of my biggest hangups...worrying that the people I love are going to stop loving me and that they will leave once they realize what kind of person I "really" am.

Stupid, right?

I know I'm kind and thoughtful. I know I'm funny and vivacious and smart. I know these things and yet, this disease sneaks in all of these years later and slowly chips those thoughts away until I'm in complete meltdown mode. It's been a rough month for me. I want get back to being myself again.

I feel better when I'm doing something about it. Which incidentally, I am told is another ACoC trait. But I do-I feel better when I am acknowledging it and actively working on trying to fix it. I've been going to see that therapist and am going to start seeing a different one soon (this guy was through my EAP and the time ran out). I'm going to see if I can find an ACoA group which makes me feel comfortable enough to join and I'm going to try to find a church where I feel welcome. I also bought a workbook tonight at the bookstore and am going to work on that as well as continue to exercise (hopefully more than I have these last couple of months!) and to get chiropractic adjustments.

I'm also trying to find a good guided meditation cd or a self hypnosis cd...does anyone have any suggestions? If so, please email me!

So there you have it. I'm having small breakdowns and am worried about losing everything because it's so good. BUT-I am working on it, telling myself to shut up a lot (not really in that mean way-just trying to remind myself that my lenses are a little blurry and that my life really isn't horrible or in jeopardy) and am going to bounce back, just like I always do.

And now I'm going to have a good. cleansing cry, a glass of wine and I'm going to bed to dream good thoughts.

3 Good things from today:

1. I woke up next to an amazing man who loves me.
2. My boss called me "sweet" and appreciated something I did
3. I took action and found a workbook.

Why stop at 3 when there were more??

Bonus: (4) I saw the "B1 Loves Mags" screen saver that B1 put on our computer the other day and it made me smile. Not just on my face, but in my heart.

Bonus: (5) I got a random "Thinking of you" card from my good (but long lost) friend Kurt.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The councilor I am going to see gave me this exercise to do every time I'm feeling anxious or down about myself or a situation. It's a writing exercise which requires me to sit down and write things in specific categories. In theory, I liked the idea. But every time I was feeling this way I was in the middle of something. So I never did it. It was kind of impractical and not what I was looking for.

Yesterday I was feeling sad due to some dreams I've been having the last few days. Mix that with B1 having off days too and it made for a yucky feeling. When I got home I decided that I would look up a few meditation podcasts. One worked well and I'm pretty sure I was in that "floating" state. Until the ladies voice came on after about 5 minutes and I jumped a mile.

When using the office toaster oven you should be mindful of other people who are waiting for it. Don't toast your stuff and then leave it.

Top Chef All-Stars starts tonight. I'm pretty excited about it!

Do any of you watch Sons of Anarchy? What did you think of the season finale last night?!? And what do you think about the fact that Jimmy was played by the MIB?

If you don't know who the MIB is, then you don't need to know.

Finishing my sentences is only OK if you're a tall handsome boy named B1. If you work with me and butt in and do that, it's very likely that I'll stop liking you. Even outside of work.

I keep getting interrupted...stupid work.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Toosdae ?'s

I've been plagued with bad dreams about B1 the last couple of days and it's really making me tired.  I know they are not real.  I know he loves me very much and that he's not going anywhere.  But they shake me.  I don't like feeling sad when I wake up.  I don't like "seeing" him with another woman or hearing him say the words, "I don't love you.".  It just makes me sad and I have to try to turn that off now.

It's harder than you'd think, for some reason...

That being said, we're picking up our first Christmas tree on Friday and we'll decorate it together on Saturday.  I'm really looking forward to sharing this holiday with him and waking up on Christmas morning with my cute boy...OK...that helped a bit.  (Also, someone across the building just told me that my laugh is contagious and that it brightens her day.  Wow.)  Now, here are a few questions for this week:

1.  If you celebrate Christmas, do you already have your tree?  If not, when do you think you'll get it?  (If you don't celebrate Christmas-do you decorate at all for the winter season?)

2.  When you find a lone sock in the laundry basket, what do you do with it?  (I hope at least one of you will tell me you use it as a puppet! :)

3.  Did you go shopping on "Black Friday"?

1.  Well, I gave my answer away up there, didn't I?  :)  We are getting our tree (our very first one!!) on Friday after work. 

2.  I usually put it in my sock drawer in hopes of finding the other one someday.  Most of the time they do get reunited, but other times they linger alone at the bottom for a while until I do a cleaning.  Then they get thrown out.

3.  I DID!  AND...I got most of my shopping done too.  Also all of the items I bought were half price-which means the people I bought for got more! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We're Almost Done! Dining Room "After"

B1 and I have been working tirelessly (OK, forget that-we're tired!) trying to get our apartment all done. Practically every inch of this apartment has been touched by us. We decided when we moved in that we'd really make it our own and that we weren't afraid of a little elbow grease to get it to where we want it.

It's been a long road, but it's finally all coming together. Last week we started the process of painting our dining room and setting it up. Since we're having a dinner party in a couple of weeks, we really wanted to get everything in the "public" areas buttoned up. It came together really, really well and I have to say, the dining room is easily my favorite room in the house...Before I share the pictures, I wanted to share with you a restoration. Remember my Nana's fish lamps? They were in pretty bad shape. I didn't 1 leg from each was missing, one tail was broken and several of the crystals were gone. They were starting to rust, too.

Over the course of the last year, my Nana has managed to find the legs, more crystals and the medallion to the 2nd lamp. Yesterday I took them out and decided that one good fish lamp was better than 2 fish lamps sitting in a closet. So I took it apart, cleaned it, glued on the leg and spray painted it. Then I put it all back together:

I know they're ugly, but I love them. And I love that I have something of my Nana's on display in our home. B1 has a lot of old things from his grandmother and his mother but I have nothing. All of my stuff is new-things I bought myself. So I'm happy to have a family item-especially one that I really love, and remember from my childhood...and now, onto the pictures. This is a horrible picture, but it's the only one of the dining room "before" that I have:

First we painted the walls "Toasted Pecan" (which is a horrible name-the walls are yellow) and the trim white. (As always, this was MUCH needed-this room was one of the grimiest.) Then we bought a China cabinet.

Now *most* of our glassware is stored in here instead of in boxes...and we can use it all! (I'm seriously considering painting this black to update it and to have it match the chairs and eventually the table.)

Then I found this chandelier...for $30!!! B1 worked so hard on this yesterday. Thank you my cute boy!

(I still need to find shades for it, but it's so pretty!) I made curtains, pictures were hung and the table set...

Isn't it pretty!? It might not be your thing, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! We also have the old bar I made a couple of years ago in the corner.

Our first dinner in the new dining room. B1 set the table. :)

One of the last things we did yesterday was take the door off of the living room. There is really no reason to have it there and it was just making the space look smaller. I can tell you that the room (which is quite large, actually) looks HUGE now. AND we were able to hang up the last of my 3 set pictures...

And of course I needed one little lone bird somewhere, right? Here he is...

There might be more birds in the apartments future but for now, he's it...

What do you think?