Monday, April 30, 2012

My Weekend in Binghamton

My daughter and I drove up to Binghamton on Friday for a weekend-long tournament she was in.  I was excited for a few reasons.  Of course, I was excited for my daughter to be playing in this tournament.  Second, I went to college at SUNY at Binghamton.  
I couldn't wait to show my daughter around the campus.
On Saturday we had some time between matches to go and visit the campus.
I took her to the dorm where I lived my first two years.
One of the students was nice enough to let us in the building.  I lived in the A suite in Cayuga which is in College in the Woods.  When I went to Binghamton, this was "the place" to live.  As it turned out the RA who lives there now came out while we were there and let us in.  It was so cool to go back inside.  It looked exactly the same! (except for the fact that now it's a boy's suite).
sorry for the grainy's in an album and I couldn't get it out after all this time
Here is a photo of me, circa 1987, standing in front of this same door.
I showed my daughter the student union.  Back when I attended Binghamton, this is where everyone met for lunch.  Each dorm had their own cafeteria, but you could get "better" food at the Mini Mall (it was like a mini food court).   I think's amazing how we were always able to find each other.  There were no cell phones, there was no texting.  You would actually have to make plans in advance or just hope to run into each other.  Sadly, it seems that there is no longer a Mini Mall.
  At first I had a little trouble getting my bearings as to where everything was, but then it just started coming back to me.  I graduated over twenty years ago (YIKES!!!).  Seriously it feels like yesterday.
I also forgot how darn cold it is in Binghamton.  After a while my daughter had enough of the tour of the campus.  She was freezing and not nearly as excited as I was.  She was sweet about it, but I could tell that she wasn't exactly riveted.  It didn't help that is was 10:30am on a Saturday morning so it was a bit quiet at that hour.
The third thing I was so excited about, and probably most special part
of the weekend, was this meeting...
That's me with Marcia from Sugar and Spice in the Land of Balls and Sticks. She is one of my blog friends.  I knew that she lived in the Binghamton area, so last week I dropped her an email telling her I would be there this weekend.  We made arrangements to meet up.
She is so sweet. She suggested we meet for lunch and we met at a restaurant called Tully's (which was in the same shopping center that I took a LSAT review course the summer before my senior year of college).  It was me, my daughter, Marcia, her son and his friend.  I felt like I have known her forever. My daughter took these photos. It took a few before we got it right.  We had so much fun. This is the first blog friend that I have actually had an opportunity to meet in person.  It's really cool...I feel like I already know so much about her, so it didn't feel like we were meeting for the first time.  She is even more awesome in person.
Thank you Marcia again for everything!  We had a great time with you!!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Kale - A Super Food

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around.  Kale has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer nutrients in it.  With all the benefits Kale can provide, I wanted to expose my kids to it.  I decided the best way for them to try it was to add it to pasta.  Here is a recipe I made up with what I had in the house.
I started by chopping up kale, sopressata (italian salami) and onions and sauteing it in olive oil and garlic.
  After about five minutes I added 1 cup of heavy cream and lowered the flame to simmer.
I then added half a log of goat cheese.
In the meantime I cooked a pound of pasta and drained it.
I tossed it with my made-up sauce.

The best part was the kids loved it.  Kale is a crunchier than spinach.  
To me, it's sort of a cross between salad and spinach.  

How about you?  Have you tried Kale?

I'm off to Binghamton, NY this weekend for a tournament my daughter is playing in.
Hope you all have a great weekend.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teen Girl Room Revealed

Months ago I shared with you my daughter's friend Mia's room, that was in dire need of a makeover.  Mia and her mom enlisted me to help her transform her room.  Mia's main request...she wanted her room as orange as possible.  Here is the room after I got my hands on it:
 Let me remind you where this room began...
What a difference...right?
I started her makeover by transforming her closet.
I painted the closet Benjamin Moore Rhumba Orange
and added a closet system from The Container Store.
The wall behind the bed got the same wall color as the closet.  The room is a combination of white, gray and orange.  The desk is from West Elm and the white leather desk chair is from Ikea.
The memo board is inspired by the style tile boards sold by Pottery Barn Teen.

You can read a tutorial on how to make this here.
The Ikea Expedit was the perfect solution for storage in Mia's room.
Ikea was filled with orange accessories which made it easy to style this room.
Lighting was a problem in this room before.
They hired an electrician to add power so that we could add a ceiling fixture.
We had the electrician hang this super cool chandelier from Lighting Direct.
Here is the other side of the room.   The three other walls in the room are painted Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist.  It's a light silver gray color (which is hardly showing up in the photos).
The orange wall mirror and funky orange light on the dresser is from Ikea. 
The dresser and the drapes on the closet are from West Elm. 
I love how the lamp shape picks up on the pattern in the drapes.
The laundry hamper is made by OXO and is from Amazon.
Here is a closeup of the dresser.  I fell in love with this when I saw it.
The bean bag chair is from Pottery Barn Teen.
The rug is also from West Elm.  The grey zebra print helped pull the room together.
The bedding Mia had already and wanted to use it in the room.
The headboard and bed are from West Elm.  The lamp on the night stand is from Ikea.

Mia and her parents love how the room came out.  I love it too!

I can't wait to hear what you think.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Swing into Spring - It's a Party - #62

Welcome to this week's Swing into Spring party.  Last week's party was amazing and filled with so much inspiration.  You really are all so very talented.  Here are this week's features:


Worthing Court shared her gorgeous updated dining room.  
Hope you will stop by and check out this room from all angles.  
Frou FruGal made this beautiful Pottery Barn inspired quilt.  It was a ton of work, but I am so impressed with the end result.  I looks gorgeous!!
Start at Home revealed her daughter's room that she has transformed.  The room is filled with DIY projects.  Hope you will stop by and check it out.

Juniper and Roses transformed a dresser and painted it this stunning turquoise color.

The Decorating Diaries created this French graphic bucket.  I love the aged look.  She gives a full tutorial.  This is going on my "to make" list.
A Dash of Domestic gives an awesome tutorial for these fabric flower rosettes.
What a great way to embellish a wreath.

Crazy Little Projects shared her recipe for homemade pizza...even the dough!!

Moore Babies shared her recipe for Banana Pudding Bread. 
 What a yummy way to use up over-ripe bananas.

If you were featured, please grab an "I've Been Featured" button (you can now find my buttons by clicking on the buttons tab right under my header).  Now let's get started with this week's party.  I can't wait to see what you have been up to.  Link up anything you have been working on...home decor, sewing, crafts, organizing, baking, recipes etc.   I will keep this link open through Friday.

A few rules:
1.  Please become a follower (if you already follow me on Google, I would love for you to follow me on Linky Followers as well).  

2.  Please grab my party button above and display it either on your sidebar or somewhere in your post.  This way word can spread about the party.  The more people at the party, the more fun we will have.

3.  Please enter the link to your actual post, not just a link to your main blog page.

4. Please visit others who have linked up.   Everyone works hard on their projects and blogs...let's show each other some love by visiting each other.  Let's have some fun and hopefully make a few new friends along the way.

Ok...Let's Party


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Choosing a Lamp

As you know, I have a new three drawer chest that I bought at the Ethan Allen warehouse sale.  I am in need of a fabulous lamp for that dresser.  I thought it would be simple to find what I want... not so much. 
 I really am not sure what direction I want to go...

Maybe a tall buffet style lamp?
Or a lamp like this with a long cylinder shade?
Or a lamp with a crystal base?
Or maybe something with a bit of bling?

Hopefully something will inspire me soon.

Don't forget to stop back tonight for my Swing into Spring party.

The party opens at 8pm EST.  Hope to see you then.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

An Unexpected Outcome

Happy Monday!!  It's cold and rainy here today.  A big change from the beautiful weather we've been enjoying for weeks.  I actually had to turn the A/C off and turn the heat back on this morning.

Whenever I decorate I always have a plan in my head.  It always amazes me how that plan can change...and often for the better.  
For instance, take the chest of drawers I bought at the Ethan Allen warehouse sale last week...
  I knew I wanted the Ethan Allen chest of drawers to go right outside of my bedroom.
It would require me moving this table elsewhere.  
I was sure that I would move this to the living room to replace the glass sofa table I have behind the couch.  However,  once I actually bought the Ethan Allen dresser, I wasn't so sure I wanted to move this table to the living room.   I like the lightness the existing glass sofa table gives to the living room, so I wasn't sure exactly what to do with this table now.  
In order to get the sofa table out of the way,  I "temporarily" moved it down the hall 
while we carried up the new dresser.  Hmmm...I kinda liked it in the hallway.
Fast-forward a few's the end result.  I love it in the feels a little like a hotel where they have tables like this along their hallways.  You'll notice I changed out the artwork (the piano artwork was a bit too pastel for the color of the table).
This picture was in our basement.  I switched it out with a different picture.  
I am still trying to figure out where to put the piano picture.
It took a while to get the styling of this table just right.  I didn't want it too busy and I really didn't want anything breakable on the table since it's at the end of the hallway near my son's room and even though my son is a teen and my daughter a tween, they seem to still run through the house.  This basket I had in a closet and I filled it with flowers that were in a different closet.  You can't tell now, but it's actually a little vase filled with flowers that used to be on my vanity combined with a bunch of different flowers.  I covered the book using scrapbook paper and this very cool adhesive ribbon I have.
For the books, I simply used these light weight orbs I had as book ends.
The books are really standing up on their own. 
The lamp actually looks 10x better now that it's in front of this picture.  
The darker colors in the artwork makes everything look warmer.
The lamp is on a timer, which is an added bonus to keeping the hallway lit at night.

Has one of your decorating plans ever changed and landed you with an unexpected but better result?
Do tell...
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