Lazy Man's Canning

My husband recently learned this trick from a colleague. I've tried it...and love it. It's so easy...and is a terrific way to keep up with the Romas that keep pouring in. Anytime a recipe calls for canned tomatoes, I will thaw in a pan of warm water, chop, etc...great for chili!

1.)Wash, cut off stem,
2.)Place in boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until skins start to look a little wrinkled.
3.)Using a slotted spoon, scoop into an ice bath.
4.)Remove skin.
5.)Place in freezer bags, squeeze out air. Freeze! (I have the "Frisper"...a machine that sucks most of the air out.)

Keep your fingers crossed that Earl goes out to sea...otherwise we will be eating lots of fried green tomatoes! (not to mention dealing with some pretty nasty weather).


Cleaning Out the Closet Blog Tag Sale!

Ok...here we go...I'm purging for fall...please read descriptions and email me with any questions. Item prices include shipping. For smaller items, I may be able to combine shipping, so please ask! Paypal only please to maggie_3@comcast.net. Please do not submit payment until I have emailed you to let you know you are the first! :)

J. Crew Cocktail ring, goldtone, size S, NWT, 15.00 shipped

Anthropologie Bird Sweater Size S Gently Used 25.00 shipped (sorry...wouldn't flip!)

J. Crew LKH color Broken in Boyfriend Chino Size 2 NWT 22.00 shipped

J. Crew gray Size S ruffle edge tank, Gently used 12.00 shipped

Be Bop Denim tone cotton knit dress size M(runs a little small)NWOT 15.00 shipped

Harve Benard Size S wool cardigan sweater coat(not lined) Gently pre-owned 20.00 shipped

BCBG Zip front sweatshirt Size S NWT 25.00 shipped

Tommy Hilfiger Denim Dress(or long shirt for leggings) belted, gently used 18.00 shipped

J. Crew Cardigan Jacket Size M (100% cotton) gold,gently pre-owned 15.00 shipped SOLD

Molly New York strapless dress size 6 gently used 20.00 shipped

J Crew (garden?) skirt with cotton lining Size 4 NWT 18.00 shipped

Pair of Martin and Osa cords, Size 30, Gently used 20.00 shipped

Adrienne Vittadini Audrey Skirt Size 8 black/white NWT 20.00 shipped

Banana republic Blouse floral Gently used Size s 18.00 shipped

J. Crew sheer silk gray blouse Gently used, no snags, size 6, 18.00 shipped

J. Crew cotton short-sleeved cardigan, gently used, size small 20.00 shipped

Jones new York Signature Tunic, gently used Size S, 15.00 shipped

Womyn White ruffle blouse Size 6, gently used, 18.00 shipped

J. Crew Ivory thin ruffle cardi Size XS gently used 15.00 shipped

J. Crew Navy silk blouse, gently used, no snags, size 6 18.00 shipped

J. Crew Size 6 Trench, Gently used 45.00 shipped


Doesn't Someone Want to Hire Me to Be a Stay at Home Mom?

Maybe Oprah should do an experiment on this. I would be GLAD to volunteer. Ok, so technically I wouldn't be a stay at home mom...my kids are going off to 1st and 6th grades. But...I could do all the mommyish things I need to...like go to school at lunchtime to eat with my daughter...like all of the other stay at home moms in my community. Believe me, my girly reminds me frequently that I'm not there. I could organize this unorganized chaos I call home. Peel the wallpaper, paint the bathroom, cook fabulous meals, run a forgotten piece of homework to school. After 19 years in my current teaching job, I am so melancholy to go back and leave behind what I have soaked up all summer. Believe me, I know I am SOOOO lucky to have that time with the kids and my husband(also a teacher). Just one year...that's all I want. If someone could just do me the teeny tiny favor of paying my mortgage for that year, I would be most grateful. :) Dream on, Dream on......


I've had her longer than...

I've had my cat Maggie since my first year teaching. I got her in February of that year. She's a Valentine's Baby.I worked at a clothing store in college, and she was at the pet store next door. She was the color of a Hershey bar...only fluffier. I checked on her daily. Then she was gone. I inquired. She was in the back with a double eye infection.. They made me a deal. If I would take her home and nurse her back to health I could HAVE her. Done deal. I put her ointment in daily. When she finally opened her eyes, she looked up at me from her perch on my chest like she owed me her life. We were in love.
Fast forward...this will be my 19th year teaching. Yup. She's an old lady. I had her in my first apartment. It was also the year I met my husband. Although we were just coworkers at the time:) We've lived through many years of mischief. Of bringing home 2 babies...now 6 and 11...of new apartments...new houses...and then a few weeks ago 2 seizures. She tried to get outside...something she has always been petrified of. I think she was close to dying...she knew it. But oddly enough she seems fine now. Slower. More reserved. But hungry...and loving. Maybe she had a virus or something. We are prepared just in case...but I will miss my girl. She sure has seen me through a lifetime. How blessed to have unconditional love.

My hubs took this pic of me on the floor with Maggie. I spend a lot of time there these days. She has become a bit spoiled by it. School starts soon. I'll miss checking on her 100 times a day. Maybe she'll get some rest.


Summer...Absorbing All of It

I had to go outside and take these pictures yesterday. School will be starting in 2-3 weeks, and I am starting to get depressed. I'll be returning to my 6th grade position for the 19th year! My husband will be returning to his 5th grade position for the 17th year. I am so sad to see summer go though. We are soooo lucky to spend time with our children. Yesterday I had to take myself out of the cleaning and Ebaying to suck up some sunshine and absorb all of the loveliness around me to get a quick pick me up.


Look What We Made!

Grew the lavender...

Picked the lavender...

Stripped the lavender...what good kids!

Stamped the bag...

Filled the bags...

Aren't they cute! We have grown lavender forever, but have never harvested it other than to put it in a vase. It really became a family affair. My husband and I harvested it, the kids(6 and 11) helped strip the fragrant buds. I stamped and filled the bags. We plan on wrapping them up in clear cello bags with a pretty tag/ribbon. I'll be sure to post a picture when done. It's a nice feeling having a little homegrown/homemade gift to give. We also grow without chemicals or pesticides, so it's a "pure" gift. Lavender keeps moths away, and also helps with insomnia.


Ciao Bella I Love You

Have you tried Ciao Bella?
We found it first at Target, but discovered it is also in our local Stop and Shop. If you are lucky enough to live in New York City, you may have visited a Ciao Bella shop. Lucky.
They make sorbet and gelato. I am counting the old calories, so I've been opting for the sorbet at only 60 calories a serving. I LOVE the coconut sorbet, and have been thinking it would be so nice at a dinner party in a little chocolate cup with chocolate shavings on top. My son loves the blood orange sorbet. The blackberry cabernet sorbet is delish, and smells JUST like a glass of cabernet.

The gelato...I have promised myself I can have some this weekend if I'm good all week. I bought the malted milk ball gelato today, and the chocolate hazelnut is also to die for.

What a perfect summer treat.

If you try it, or have already, please let me know your fav!
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