Friday, April 29, 2011

I have a hater!

This morning while I was live tweeting the royal wedding, I saw a flurry of tweets about William's red uniform.  I'm the first girl on the man in uniform train - heck, I'm the conductor.  Talk about making me weak in the knees. Talk about making my heart go pitter patter.  Talk about making me coco for coco puffs.

I also have this weird notion that I somehow earned the right to brag about Mr. Palindrome's smokin' hotness in that uniform.  Something about the deployments, the sea time, the long distance, the no comms - call me cray cray. So when I saw the drooling tweets about the handsome red uniform, I tweeted:
Three minutes later, I receive a reply notice:
My first thought?  Yes! I just got a hate tweet!  Twate.  And that means, I've made it to the big time!
Thanks JP!

Friday Finds - Royal Wedding Version (Obvi)

Since I started watching pre-ceremony coverage at 4 am EDT, streamed the vows to my phone at the airport, and live tweeted everything in between, I thought it only appropriate to theme this week's collection.  Though "matchy-matchy" has become almost a derogatory design/fashion term, I think it still works for royal wedding outfits.  If I had been invited, I might have worn this outfit.  Sensible, modest, tasteful and oh yes, a hat!
Clockwise from Top L:
Go Go Vintage - Peach Party Dress (click to see the bows on the back!)
Frou Frou for You You - Peach Straw Hat with Feathers and Bow
Vintage Alcove - Hunting Woman with Dog Cameo
Slubird - Golden Peach Metallic Heels with Bows

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jersey Diners

After a week straight of gumbo, I was ready for a change of pace.  I walked in to the Raceway Diner in West Long Branch hoping it would live up to my memories of hearty, plentiful food. When I was greeted by a little, old man with a heavy accent, I knew it was gonna be good. "The pretty girls get to choose where to sit!" he said as he pointed out a big window booth.

Taking the risk that whatever he offered would be the actual best and not just what they needed to get rid of, I asked, "What's special here?"

"You," he said with a wink.  "And our stuffed cabbage is very good."

"As good as my grandma's?" I challenged.

"Haha! We will see," he called.

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Sweeter than my grandmother's, yet comforting as I swirled potatoes and sauce into pink forkfuls, I approved. My 70-year-old waitress cleared my plate and unceremoniously delivered a bowl of rice pudding.  A cup of coffee and 3 refills later, I took the check to the register.  $12 including tip had just bought me an hour of reminiscing.

On my way out, the owner approached me with his fist out, "Good, no?"  "Delicious," I rejoined and fist bumped him back.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Naw'lins!

To make Megan from Notes from the Bench feel better, I'll join in the Naw'lins recap fun this week.  You may recognize some of my blogging friends from our Weddingbee days or from their frequent appearances in guest forms on my blog and twitter feed.  They're a Fun group of girls with a capital F!  We also ate a lot of Food with a capital F!  Now I'll let the photographs do the talking ...









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The group of gals really made my first trip to New Orleans memorable!  Do you have a favorite memory from NOLA?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Finds and a Winner

It's Good Friday and the weather here is overcast and grey.  I always find it apropos when Good Friday is rainy and Easter is sunny.  There's something about the weather coinciding with the death and resurrection that seems so tangible.  So this week's collection was inspired by the rain and is infused with joyful colors to reflect the season.
Clockwise from Top L:
Totes via Macy's - Umbrella, Bubble
Apples and Eggs - Umbrella Buttons
Laura Amiss - Happy Tears
Pink Oasis - Umbrella Clutch

And now . . . drum roll please . . . for the winner of The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook:
Congrats Nodakademic! Email me at PalindromeAtHome @ yahoo . com with your address and I'll send your new cookbook right quick!  I'm going to be making the brisket recipe for Easter brunch myself :)
Thanks so much for all the entries y'all!  We hit a new record for comments on my blog.  The blogging nerd in me is really tickled about that!  Y'all are the best!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Close Ups of Spring

I have a looooooong post about landscaping our front yard waiting in the wings, but until I can round up some budget info from my accountant (aka Mr. P), I thought I would share a few closeups of the planting we did this spring:
Dusty miller, dianthus, english ivy and violas are just loving the warm weather and sunshine from their planter!
There's also a spike plant hanging out with them and some leftover pansies from the winter box I did with ornamental kale too.
We decided on this creeping phlox because we wanted a low flowering plant plus it's a perennial!
Our hostas just sprouted.
Last week when I took these pictures, our azaleas just barely showed new green growth.  This week, the bright coral blossoms went to town and have been opening up all over!
Our camellia is more of a tree than a bush and should probably be pruned waaaaaaaaaaaay back after it's done blooming.
I hope our bleeding heart blooms again since all of these delicate lovelies fell off this week.
These cute dianthuses are the only annuals I planted in the beds this year.  We bought a whole flat of multicolored flowers, so I can't wait to see them all grown up in a few more weeks!

How's your spring looking?  Have you dug into your beds/planters/pots yet?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kitchen Makeover Part 2! And a Giveaway!

Let's cut to the chase shall we?  After a lot of hassle with Lowe's, finally working with our awesome local shop, and quite a bit of our own sweat, our kitchen went from this:

To this:

Can't get enough?  Neither can we!  I shot it twice with the better pictures coming out on the more overcast second day.  My awesome wide angle zoom captured so much of the room.






Here's the BUDGET breakdown:

Paint (April Mist, Valspar) - $50
Flooring (mid-quality linoleum, natural line) - $825
Countertops (custom laminate from Lowe's and private handyman for installation) - $550
Lighting (Habitat Re-Store) - $42
Oven hood (Craigslist) - $25
Dishwasher (Lowe's, on sale) - $200
Varnish and supplies (Mr. P cleaned and revarnished the cabs) - $25
Cabinet pulls (Overstock) - $100
Cabinet hinges (Amazon?) - $80
Refrigerator parts (to make the ice maker work again) - $25
Cast Iron Sink (Habitat Re-Store) - $40
Faucet (Overstock) and plumbing parts - $100
Total: $2062

Because you all hung with me through the kitchen recaps and because I think my internet friends are the cutest/sweetest, I'm giving away a copy of the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook!


I have one too and so far I've tried out the morning muffins and enchiladas which I recommend with the caveat that you should either cut the recipe in half, have a visiting army, or have plenty of free space in the freezer.  If you want to bring more pioneering to your cooking, just leave me a comment with "I Cook!" and I'll enter you into the random drawing.  For extra entries, you can follow the blog and my twitter feed.  Comment separately telling me which ones you follow.  Winner to be announced on Friday!

Editor's Note: I forgot to say when the cutoff time for entering was . . . maybe it's a sign that I don't do giveaways often enough? Let's say 11:59 pm EDT Thursday with the winner announced Friday before Noon EDT? Mmmmkay.

Plus you Pay da Taxes

I don't know why this cracks me up so much, but the idea of an ideal woman having real boobs and paying her taxes is a pair that I wouldn't have necessarily summed up into a song if I were a song writer.  Thanks to B.o.B. and Bruno, I know now that I'm on my way to being a pop song siren.

"Baby you da whole package, plus you pay your taxes 
and you keep it real when them others stayin' plastic"

And smooches to Mr. Palindrome for filing our first joint taxes (and for getting his MBA so that he's the obvious choice for the laborious task)!  Happy Tax Day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Finds - Bright NOLA

I'm slightly paranoid about telling the blogosphere when I go on trips.  On the one hand, I want to share my excitement, blog real time and give you the freshest writing possible.  On the other hand, I don't necessarily want to advertise my location and my empty house.  So yesterday, you got a taste of where I've been and today you get a taste of where I'm going.  Beignets and mint juleps - here I come!

Clockwise from Top L:
Heather Galler/Modern City Art - St. Louis Cathedral Print
Sandia Shirts - I Love Louisiana
katnawlins - Easter Shotgun Card

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New York City - Turning into Spring

I celebrate spring by heading North, right back into winter.  While the daffodils had bloomed in Durham, the weather in NYC demanded winter coats and suggested scarfs. No matter.  The calendar says "Spring" and baseball follows the calendar.
If you remember Palindromaid A, you already know that she's smart and fun.  What you may not know is that she's a die hard Yankees fan.  For some women, shoes and handbags make their skirts fly up.  For others, it's an afternoon at the ball park.  I'm so glad to have a buddy who enjoys the latter with me!
For our 7th inning stretch snack, we eyed up and eventually bought some jumbo pretzels.  I carried back the drinks while A hauled the salty, doughy goodness.  As we made our way back to our (awesome, Stubhub deal) seats, a guy shouted, "Nice pretzels!"  We analyzed it for the rest of the inning.
I'm a fan of two of the most hated teams in sports history - the NY Yankees and the Duke Blue Devils.  And I'm not too shy about it either.
I witnessed three home runs and a Yankee W!  There was a lot to smile about.
Later, we met up with Denise and Laura for drinks at Prohibition.  Denise was rocking a unicorn/castle/rainbow shirt as a gag.   With her cardy, belt, leggings and the dim bar lighting, I had no idea until she pointed it out.  We were psyched to hear the 80's cover band, but after waiting 30 minutes for them to start, we packed ourselves off to bed.  We had a big day planned for Sunday which included the zoo!  Our NY friends (Laura and A) had never been and with the beautiful weather there were no excuses not to enjoy the outdoors.
The sea lions were hard core hams.  Look at that face!  This guy frequently propped himself up on the edge of the enclosure to hear his adoring fans.

(You can hear my high pitched awwing and oohing.  Ha! That's the kid in me!)
It's so hard to believe that bears are wild animals and not big, cuddly house pets.  This guy was awesome, just doing the back stroke, soaking up the sun.
(Seriously, this bear just kept pushing off this rock to do the backstroke over and over again - we must have watched it happen almost a dozen times!)



There was an impressive array of animals for such a small zoo.   The snow leopard and red panda were some favorites.
Overall, we thought the $12 admission was a fair price for the amount of entertainment we got - it's all relative to other NYC prices!
The chill in the air made hot chocolate at City Bakery irresistible.  I never, ever want to find out how many calories are in those pots of liquid heaven.
We eyed up the line to Shake Shack and figured by the time we got through the line, we'd be hungry again.  There was all sorts of people watching entertainment, including a woman feeding her two roly poly pugs gigantic cups of doggie ice cream.  When we read the sign closely, it definitely warned that it was too much ice cream for small dogs, but those pugs looked like this wasn't their first experience.
After the wait, we concluded that it was good.  Not awesome, but solid and given the line, it seemed like the thing to do.
I love that NYC never gets old.  I get that some people just don't prefer it, but I can't help but think they're doing it wrong.  Or maybe I've just been gone from a city for too long.  In any case, it was a great weekend and I enjoyed taking a relaxed approach to the trip.  It was like being a real city dweller instead of a tourist jam packing the schedule.

Have you been on a trip recently?