Martha and Eggplants

Call me old fashioned, but I love a good magazine. There are tons of great DIY projects, recipes, beauty tips, and of course perfectly staged photographs to swoon over. A magazine is great for a relaxing weekend, especially one where you want to unplug.

On Saturday we drove up to Lake George, NY to hang out on my friend’s boat for the day.  We stopped to buy some beer and chips, I also grabbed the September issue of Martha Stewart Living. Sometimes I feel like those magazine racks at the check out are just staring at me – buy me, buy me, they say. While the boat outing was filled with lots of relaxing and swimming, I didn’t have a chance to read my magazine. I guess that’s what lazy Sunday’s are for. I know, poor me, right?

In this months issue, Martha Stewart made an enticing salad dish with blistered eggplant with tomatoes, olives, and feta. “Blistered”, doesn’t sound so enticing, but that’s where those perfect photographs come into play and you can smell the deliciousness coming to life from the pages. As the title suggested, the salad also consisted of tomatoes, feta, and olives, seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

For me it was the eggplant that caught my attention because we had two gorgeous purple eggplants sitting on our counter from our garden. First you slice them in 1/4 rounds and sprinkle with olive oil and place 6 inches from the broiler. You lightly toast them or “blister” as described in the magazine on each side for 10-12 mins.  I only set my timer for 10 minutes each side and a few of them became little charged. I suggest you monitor them if your oven gets really hot, like ours. After you take them out of the oven, place in a bowl and cover, so they stay soft.

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Veggie Garden

I find gardening very rewarding. When you think about it, growing plants is not rocket science. Plants need water and sun. Simple. Yet keeping plants alive is a craft and not everyone has a green thumb as they say.

Luckily I inherited a gardening itch from my grandparents, and for the most part my thumbs are green. My mormor (mother’s mother in Swedish) can turn a pile of dirt into a lush green garden. Her talent amazes me. A lot of our house plants were given to me by her.

When we lived in Albany, we participated in the Community Gardens and grew our own vegetables for several summers in a row. Growing your own food is the most rewarding gardening there is.

This summer with the help of Sam’s mom and her husband Mark we made some raised garden beds in our backyard. We thought this would be an easier option, rather than having to dig up the hundreds of rocks that are hidden under the soil. First, we searched everywhere for cedar planks to build the beds out of, but after doing some research hemlock is a more common and naturally not resistant.

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Etsy

I have an obsession with Etsy.com. I love everything about this site and the thought that a lot of people have never heard of it boggles my mind. This needs to be bigger than EBay and Amazon people! Not a day…or hour goes by where I am not taking a peek at what’s new. For me it’s a place to find cool one of a kind treasures from individual people and sellers.
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Kitchen finds

So I have this is sickeness – OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). If you want to leave out the fancy terminology and call me a neat freak – that works too. I think it’s in the genes because my dad has it as well.

Last summer when we were visiting Sam’s brother and his wife in Connecticut we stopped at a Scandinavian store in Mystic, CT that my mom use to take me to when I was little. We found these fabulous Swedish dish cloths! At seven bucks a pop we only bought one, but that is all you need because they are made of this all-natural cellulose and cotton material that never smells. They are are also very absorbent; can be machine washed; they never leave any streaks; and they are SWEDISH!

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Honeymoon – Part II

The first week of our honeymoon was spent in Venice, Italy and when it came time to say “arrivederci” it was extremely difficult to leave! I’m pretty sure this city has some mystical magical powers….and it’s a little bit of heaven on earth.

Our next stop was Florence, a complete change of pace from the slow moving Venice. I think there was a moment when Sam and I looked at each other and we both thought…lets turn around and go back to Venice! But after a few days we found Florence to be a special place too. The city is a walking city and walk it we did… it also sits smack in the middle of the Tuscan mountains, which is an amazing site to be seen.
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Five buck lamp shade

I kinda have an infatuation with using natural, rustic things as decor in our house …wood, stones, rock, glass…and right now burlap.

A few weeks ago Sam and I splurged and bought a Pottery Barn burlap lamp shade for – I don’t know – over fifty bucks (I had a coupon and we bought a rug) – and I can’t bare to look up what we actually paid because I made an almost identical one for five bucks.

We had a plain white lamp shade on a cool floor lamp that was a bit shabby, so I went to the craft store and bought some burlap for $5 (and I even have enough fabric left over to cover at least one more shade). I traced a pattern on some newspaper, cut, and used a hot glue gun to secure it on the shade!

What do you think?
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Photo montage at Empire State Plaza

Enough house talk already, right? I thought I would switch gears to our fabulous wedding – set for August 24, 2012!

I think the top two most important things for any wedding is 1) the vendor and 2) the photographer. The vendor is all about the food and atmosphere and the photographer is all about capturing the memories.

To be honest the pictures may take first place for me because I LOVE photos. I love the memories they hold and the expressions they capture.Needless to say the person taking pics at my wedding needs to be awesome, and I’m pretty sure he is.

Our wedding photographer is Scott Langley, and he is a local guy from Columbia County – a photo journalist. When we met him he said that as a photo journalist he likes to tell the story of your big day with his photos.

Judging by the engagement shoot we had at Empire State Plaza I think he will do just that. Tell our story, which is what pictures are all about. I’m in love with the photos he took. Sam and I had an awesome time last October. The Plaza is so memorable for us because for several years we lived one block up the from here.

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5 Great Books to Read

Last spring / summer I attempted to read the the New York Times Top Ten Best Seller List for nonfiction. I only made it through a few, but they were the most amazing and powerful books I have ever read. There is something to say about reading real life stories and the struggles that people go through. These stories are astonishing, and I think a true testament to their character.
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