Saturday, August 28, 2010


I had never heard or used the term “yarnophile” (maybe this will become one of those new dictionary words we see pop up from time-to-time like "defriend") until I became acquainted with - through - a newly-formed Portland, Maine-based company called Quince & Co. When I say new, I mean new! In July, two knitwear designers and an owner of a spinning mill, got together and decided to create a company with a focus on spinning American wool from sheep that roam in Montana and Wyoming and using earth-friendly techniques and labor.

The owners, Pam, Carrie and Bob, who admittedly I don’t know personally but refer to familiarly because their story is a rather inspiring adventure, are, respectively, a knitter/writer, a knitter/photographer and a business owner/historic building rescuer. All of the lovely wool and wool-blend yarns offered at Quince & Co. are spun in a New England mill allowing the trio to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by sourcing (as much as possible) and spinning wool locally…love hearing good stories about responsible commercial citizens, don't you?!

In addition to beautifully photographed yarns offered in nature-inspired colors such as twig, egret, and chanterelle, the site offers lovely and airy patterns that any knitter would happily want to wear and make for their loved ones…in their words, they like “projects that are utilitarian and friendly—the sweater you reach for when you pour a cup of tea or grab the dog’s leash for a walk. But we also like the precious, labor-of-love, little jewel of a knitted accessory, too—a cabled mitt, a dainty lace kerchief—you know the kind of thing.”

You can visit their charming website at Quince & Co and, with autumn just a short 25 days away, begin to think about purchasing some beautiful, American-spun yarn for your fall and winter projects. We’ll avoid any conversation about my knitting project(s) right now…..I am still committed to having a hand-knit (by me) sweater to wear this fall…I promise. Anyway, I've never been to Portland, but it looks like a delightful part of the world and I will certainly stop in to say hi if I am ever lucky enough to visit.

Photo from Quince & Co.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Text me, text me, say that you'll text me!

OMG…I thought it would a really fun (not to mention an exercise in persistence) to write a post using text lingo. 404, but I think you will figure it out because GMTA and we are doing this FYA! BION, you might be good at deciphering this stuff, and GF, once you do, it may be FMTYEWTK! BTW, WIBN if we could all would talk F2F, 121 if you will, OTOH, sometimes there is NADT I have to say to some people. Although I could say, 831 to my BF, oh but wait…NM!

If this is TMI then, YBS the next time you get a cryptic txt from a BFF, BWTHDIK! @TEOTD, this is how kids communicate 2day and if the AITR start to do the same, we may see them ROTFL. ?FY, RU totally confused yet? STW if you need help!

Anyway, FWIW this is NFM but, DQMOT, IC the efficiency of it all! IAE, IG2G…W/B if you’d like to add your .02! I’m exhausted!


Image from Google Images.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches

As you know, I subscribe to and follow several cooking and knitting websites and one such site is Today, they had an absolutely fabulous recipe that I just had to share!

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches


Image from

Monday, August 16, 2010

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

As you know, I read the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Well, this past Friday, I saw the movie and I don't ever remember seeing a movie on opening day - I looked forward to it all day! Usually the reason I don’t like to see the movie adaption of a good book I’ve read is I don’t want my vision of the characters to be transformed, diluted if you will. But, I must say that the casting director did a fabulous job with this movie…bravo! The actors were spot on, the scenery was beautiful and even though some scenarios described in the book were altered in the movie for the sake of brevity, the message triumphed. I sobbed, no really, SOBBED, and laughed, but mostly I sat completely still (quite an accomplishment for me) for two pleasurable hours totally riveted by this adventure.

The founder of Soul Source, a local yoga studio, Clair Oaks, was lucky enough to have an appearance in the movie, leading a chant! Read about her amazing experience and learn about her music here --> ClairOaks

Anyway, while in Italy, Liz and her on-screen amici devoured (with much zeal) many Italian dishes, among them, Spaghetti Alla Carbonara that I decided to make for Sunday dinner.

(recipe from the film's food stylist, Susan Spungen)

2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
½ cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
4 oz of pancetta (cured Italian bacon, cubed)
Garlic (I added this…omit it you’d like)
1 lb. dry spaghetti
1tbsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Whisk the eggs in a small bowl until just combined. Whisk in the cheeses. Set aside

Place the pancetta in a large sauté pan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crisp on the outside and much of the fat has rendered out, 10-12 minutes. Add 2 cloves of garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

Cook and drain the pasta when al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water (the starchy water combines with the sauce and will help it cling to the pasta more evenly)

Add the drained pasta to the pan with the pancetta. Over medium heat, toss the pasta well, making sure it is piping hot. Remove from heat and stir in the egg mixture, tossing to coat the pasta evenly.

Season with black pepper and toss again. Add a little of the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce, if necessary. Add salt to taste. Grind some pepper on top before serving.

I served this with a Ceasar salad a nice Italian red table wine…..Cantina Zaccagnini.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'll Trade Ya!

This morning on my run I saw three deer, a mommy and two babies, complete with spots. Absolutely adorable. They were just as surprised to see me as I was to see them. I only wish I had my camera but toting along a camera on the off chance I’ll see something interesting would not only be cumbersome, but also a little extreme (don’t you think!?). Usually, my runs are quite boring; I use the time to think…often times about appealing and informative blog posts.

Today was bulk trash pickup day and, in addition to the deer, I also saw many discarded items, some of which still looked perfectly serviceable….windows (I have a great trash-to-treasure idea for discarded panel window frames…keep checking!), a table, a vacuum cleaner, toys, and a shelving unit just to name a few. Other than donating, I wonder if people know about the plethora of stuff-swap sites available. Remember, as kids, we used to swap baseball cards and “45” records (remember them?) anything else???…we knew then the smart way to get the stuff we quickly we forget or is it just easier to buy something new! Anyway, I found a great site,, that lists many sites through which a user can sign up to barter their stuff…here are just a few they list: --> book swap (I have a friend who uses this site all the time with great success) --> music, books, video game swap --> fashion swap --> discover more of the world… (temporary) home swap --> anything swap

With so many great options, why hold on to stuff that you don’t need anymore when someone else can use it? Alternatively, why buy something new when someone else may be able to offer you a perfectly functional, albeit previously-loved, counterpart!

You can also barter services…I know someone who bartered restaurant design services for free food (and beverages!). I barter with my architect friend all the time (although, sometimes I think she gets the better end of the deal). Around Christmas time, we often hear about cookie and ornament swaps and I have read about vintage apron and tablecloth swaps…I feel an event coming on!

Image from Google Images.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's a map; no it's an envelope!

I take no credit for this idea and I can’t remember where I saw it (probably Martha Stewart) but it is too fabulous and creative not to share. Here’s a terrific way to RECYCLE all those old maps you have hanging around and save money at the same time…create map envelopes… it’s really easy!

1. Unfold an envelope in the size you want to make….I used a standard, business- size envelope

2. Use the unfolded envelope as a template to trace onto an old map

3. Cut the template out of the map

4. Refold the “map” back into an envelope

5. Glue the flaps. I found that the glue sticks work well.

6. Abracadabra…you’ve got a map envelope….how cool is this?!

My envelope is made with a map of Boston I used during my visit. I bet Rand McNally is pretty pissed with the likes of Saint Garmin (because he and the saint formerly known as Christopher help me to get places) and Tom-Tom right now! Even the fancy GPS options are not always fool-proof...just yesterday, St. Garmin decided to take a mid-day siesta on our way back from a University of Delaware campus visit (even though we had a car charger!)...little daughter and I were left to navigate Newark on our own with no MAP! With the help of the Newark police, we obviously found our way to I95 north and surprisingly, we both remained very calm.

A quick search on Google Maps takes the map-making envelope process a few steps further…search the desired location, a “you are here” prompt will appear, print the map (there is even a “address sticker” choice) and follow the same process. Complete instructions can be found at:
This is not a recycling option, but still a great idea!

Did you know that the first map was drawn in the form of a carved wall-map of Roman streets and dwellings in 200 AD? The first map-makers had practical and geographic familiar goals and would marvel indeed at today's world and technology!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

As you know, every so often I write about a book that I read. I recently finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert…a self-discovery memoir that, for me, was more than simply a pleasant beach read. It’s the true and sometimes self-deprecating story of the thirty-something writer who goes through a painful divorce and a subsequent break-up from someone who couldn’t be the man she wanted him to be. She decides to spend a year searching for joy, peace, and meaning in her life rather that wallowing in the repercussions of her life choices and consequent decisions.

She travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia where her mission in each country is most fittingly described in the order of the book’s title. While in Italy, the goal is pure and unadulterated pleasure, through the experiences of food, beautiful art and architecture, and learning one of the most romantic and beautiful languages on earth. Our author leaves Italy a little lighter in spirit but heavier in form! Next, there was India where she stayed at an Ashram, a retreat house of sorts, where pilgrims from all over the world travel to deepen their self awareness and meditative practices. While in India, Liz sheds the pounds gained in Italy, mainly because of the vegetarian diet, chores, yoga and meditation at the Ashram, and where she meets Richard from Texas who uttered the words “stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone should be” one of my favorite literary quotes. From India, Liz sets off to Bali where she learns to recognize and appreciate basic, common-sense life lessons, mainly through her interactions with an indigenous medicine man and woman and where she learns to love again through the gentleness, attentiveness, and kindness of a somewhat unlikely suitor. It is in Bali, when referring to romance, that Liz admits she “has fallen in love more times than [she]can count with the highest potential of a man…a victim of [her] own optimism.” Hmmmmm....

This is a sometimes irreverent but intuitive and enjoyable tale about expectations, choices, anguish and consequences and also about the courage to change your path. A very pleasant, thought provoking and often humorous tour into the author’s physical, spiritual and emotional voyage. Thank goodness Ms. Gilbert was gutsy, introspective and generous enough to embark on and chronicle this amazing journey!