Archive | October, 2010

J. Crew = Love/Hate

21 Oct

Back in high school, my friend Gabe and I used to sit in Mr. Durbin’s Latin first section and flip through the JCrew sale catalog.  Gabe called it JPoo.  And we got a ton of work done in that class.   This was back when JCrew was old school preppy and super basic and known for pea coats and clogs.  We loved it.  I don’t think I ever actually owned anything from JCrew until college because St. Mary’s County was (is?) a little lagging in the retail area, but that’s beside the point.

Things have definitely changed.  For one thing, I got myself a pair of those dang clogs.  They were wooden and suede and made it impossible to walk up the 316 stairs in Sellinger.

Yes. The hot jam in college.

My roommate also had a pair and we really rocked it.  Stef had a pair too.  In maroon I think?  Stef, please confirm.  People need to know.


The point is, JCrew I love you.  I love you for your basic things, your pretty dresses, and your trouser jeans, but you’ve really gone off the deep end this time.  Sequin harem pants for approximately 1 million dollars?  Socks with heels on every single page? Telling me I wear a size triple zero one day and a 10 the next?  I don’t care if Katie Holmes and Fergie’s husband are splashed across your pages.  It’s not ok.   And JCrew, don’t think you’re fooling anyone with this “Ask Jenna. Jenna will help you.” malarkey.  Jenna, if  you’re really out there, and you’re reading this, please send me some sequins to wear.  And please tell me what size to order.  I’ll post myself and a select number of friends on this here super popular blog, and people will go nuts buying all of your special things.  Promise.

Wait, those harem pants are already SOLD OUT.  Here’s what “Jenna” just told me: We’re sorry. This item has been so popular, it has sold out. We’ve got other great ideas.

You can't have these.


Jenna – Since your popular harem pants have been snatched up by the popular kids, I’ll accept whatever else you can scrounge up.  You know where to reach me.

Friends – If you want to wear sequins (Nurk) and socks with heels, get ready.  Now’s your chance.

PS.  Speaking of clogs –  Todd and I went to a cooking class a few weeks ago.  Preview…


Baking with Pumpkin

4 Oct

A few weeks ago I spotted the Pillsbury pumpkin bread in the market near our house.  I immediately grabbed two boxes and one container of cream cheese frosting.  (I probably should have bought all of the boxes, considering they are crazy popular this time of year.)  I also grabbed a bag of mini semi sweet chocolate chips.  Then Sunday morning, I accidentally woke up really early (by my weekend standards)  and decided to put one of those boxes to use.  By 8am, the house smelled like pumpkin and chocolate (and coffee).  Ahh.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (courtesy of Pillsbury):

Then, this morning I saw this.  Martha never disapoints.

(Photo credit: “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” Stewart, Tabori & Chang, coauthored with Renato Poliafito, October 2008)

Well then.  I think I’ll make these too..which will require significantly more work than the pumpkin bread.  Also, it says I need to use parchment paper.   Do I really?  Mom?

PS.  In case you were wondering.  Here is THE crab cake.  Yes, it was amazing.  Yes, this is how it arrives – on its own plate.  Deservedly so.  No, I didn’t go for the double platter like most people.  I could barely finish this monster.

THE G&M Crab Cake

Guest Room: Befores and Middles

1 Oct

Moving on up the stairs…

The original stairs were white with a white railing, but as you can see, they were not in good shape.

We had no idea what the plan for these was.  Would they clean and paint them?  remove and replace them?  Then one day we showed up and there they were, shiny and new!  I like that they kept the bottom step (acutally I think they had to) and it’s original shape. 

Are you bored?  I am too.  Stairs are boring.

Here we have the guest room.

Guest Room Before

Guest Room Before

Guest Room "Middle"

The room doesn’t have a main wall or door yet.  They were removed when the work was being done on the ceiling.  Since the house is officially a two bedroom, the wall should be replaced sometime soon.  Although this seems strange, it was actually a summertime blessing in disguise.  We rely on two window units for air conditioning.  One is downstairs above the backdoor in the kitchen and works beautifully.  The other is in this room and cools the entire second floor.  Summertime in MD =  hot.  Man is it hot.   And humid.  So humid.  BUT with the window unit, and no wall, all of the cool air is free to blow around.  Score one for us! 

They did not replace the hardwood flooring up here.  If you remember from an earlier post, they restained and sealed the flooring. 

The bed frame is Ikea I believe and it’s your basic wood frame – which of course I plan on painting.  The bedding was mine from my old house and it is also Ikea.  They have some irresistable and inexpensive duvet sets. We don’t have a closet in here yet, but that’s also in the works.  For now, this is Todd’s “dressing room” and his clothes are all hung supermodel style on one of those moveable racks.   We installed the same faux wood white blinds in here as downstairs so that everything matches. 

The dresser is Todd’s and is quite possibly the heaviest piece of furniture in all the land.  I was near tears bringing it up the stairs…not because of how heavy it was but because I was so afraid of dropping on one of us (Todd’s head).   This will eventually match the bedframe and I think some pretty hardware is in its future.

The DIMPLOMAS.  Ok.  You guys.  I have been out of college for 4 years.   Todd has been out for 6.  Our diplomas have been covered in bubble wrap under our beds and in closets for that long.  The shame.  When we moved in, I swore the first thing we would hang on those pretty honeysuckle walls would be our diplomas.  Side by side in the guest room.

Just like God and Father Linnane intended.

I now present to you our first (and by far most expensive) pieces of art:

That’s about it for the guest room! 

This weekend’s plans are dinner at the famous G&Ms for crabcakes (sorry for rubbing it in mom!) and then we might be heading to the Fells Point Fun Festival. 

See ya next week!