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Met Gala Red Carpet Recap OR Dresses that Hurt to Sit In

So in case you are like “seriously wtf is the Met Gala”, let’s just jump right in with a refresher: The Met Gala is a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute hosted by Anna Wintour. It’s a Fashion Thing. And every year, Anna Wintour trolls all of Hollywood by giving it a theme that is basically an opportunity for them to look like idiots, or in last year’s case, probably be racist.

A lot of celebs half-ass the theme, because they don’t want to look stupid. But then they look sort of stupid for not showing up on theme. So basically Anna Wintour is as wonderfully evil as The Devil Wears Prada made us think she is.

Our future’s looking bright, guys!

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This wins all red carpets ever. It perfectly encapsulates the theme; it’s flawless in the light AND in the dark. So do we all just go home now orrr…..?

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I heart this dress (which I’ve only ever seen at GCGme.com on the store page) and felt it didn’t get nearly enough attention. That train is just. JUST. UGH. And the simple black bodice and sleek hair were perfectly styled. She is a freaking peacock. I want one opportunity in my life – ONE – to walk up some stairs in a dress like this.

That said, it takes second place for me only because it wasn’t really on theme like Claire’s.

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When I originally saw this, my jaw dropped to the floor. I got to Googlin’ to see who made it, and found out it was actually a pant suit? Which made me *kinda* sad until I read that it was made completely of recycled plastic bottles which made my jaw drop AGAIN. Because this might be the most creative interpretation of the theme. And probably I wouldn’t have loved it at any other event. But for this particular event, I’m here for it.

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Another favorite: Karolina’s “Cognitive Dress” was designed by Marchesa and IBM and featured lights that changed colors according to reactions from her social media accounts. This was a super cool idea that could’ve ended badly in execution, but this dress would’ve been one of my favorites without the lights. So, win!

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I’m usually the first person to roll my eyes at Kate Hudson on the red carpet. Something about Versace in general, but especially on her, gives me some pretty hardcore mall-store vibes. But this was so weird and pretty and perfect on her.

Props to these ladies for arriving on-theme and looking hot, but unless your metal dress gets a good Wifi signal, I’m deducting points for lack of creativity.

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When you’re still holding out hope for that Practical Magic Netflix reboot.

(I love this dress tho)

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I wobble back and forth between loving and not loving this dress. It’s gorgeous and she looks great in it, but it shows just a skosh too much of her hip area for me to be totally on board.

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Zayn looks like a futuristic gladiator, and Gigi looks like the sexy legal property of a futuristic gladiator.

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Dress: YES. Wig: Backwards.

“Hello there, sweetie. Come look at what I knitted for you! I’m not a regular grandma, I’m a cool grandma!”

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The shape and artistry of Bey’s latex dress is a true example of “Manus x Machina”- BUT (and I will not post a photo here because I do not want to sully the image of Our Queen that you’ve undoubtedly built up in your mind) in close ups of her in this, she is sweating to an UNCOMFORTABLE degree. AS WE ALL WOULD. The sweat is running down the inside of the dress, and the material is stuck to her skin. There are photos where *ahem* parts of her are literally fogging up the dress. Like, there’s a reason she held her clutch in that spot all night. I imagine her trying to go to the bathroom and something like this happening:

ross leather pants

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Emma Stone looks sexy but also like she’s really into Dungeons and Dragons cosplay, which means there’s a nerd somewhere with only two wishes left.

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Can I crop the top two inches off this photo and say I love it? Because I love the dress and the color and Lupita, but y’all, I just can’t with that hair.

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Person: “This technology-themed Met Gala is gonna be a hot topic on the web tomorrow!”

Taylor, looking up from her iPhone: “Hot Topic theme? I got this.”

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When you find out your ex is gonna be at the Met Gala and the only way you can deal is to get really high first.

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When you find out your ex is gonna be at the Met Gala and the only way you can deal is to get really high first.

INTERLUDE FOR PICS OF CELEBRITIES’ TEENAGE KIDS THAT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE.

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How does that old saying go? “Those who seek attention wear the shiniest outfits.” Yeah, I think that’s the one.

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I don’t know what the HAIM sisters are wearing but if you don’t cover your ears when they start singing, your soul will be trapped in the body of a woodland creature for an indeterminate amount of time.

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When your sister drops the dopest album of the decade and you gotta represent that in dress form.

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Alicia Vikander’s dress looked like someone tried to upcycle one of those oversized bikini t-shirts, but failed quite miserably.

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Teen Witch alternate ending: Louise shows up to prom in this outfit and tells Brad she’s leaving him to pursue her dream of being a rock star and tbh she can’t have some high school jock dragging her down.

But not before having one last badass dance scene. It’s her finest hour, after all.

INTERLUDE FOR PICS OF CELEBRITIES WHO THINK THE FUTURE/TECHNOLOGY JUST MEANS POSING LIKE A ROBOT?

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Kerry looks like she ransacked the sale bin at the Halloween Super Store. Like I’m honestly a little offended at how bad this is?

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When u mad cuz u found out Cinna designed Claire Danes’ dress and u gotta wear something from some no-name Capital designer.

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“Yes, hello, is this the line for Hamilton auditions?”

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“Dear Lord. I said a loose interpretation, not to go full android.” – Anna Wintour probably

I mean, listen, we’ve all got our Jon Snow fantasies, but the Met Gala is not an appropriate place to act out your Game of Thrones erotica fan fic, babe. Leave that weird shit at home.

In closing:

my mood 24/7

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SAG Awards 2014 Fashion Recap or “Oh, the SAG Awards were this weekend?”

Ah, the SAG Awards. The Screen Actors Guild Awards. The awards show for actors, by actors. The awards show that no one cares about. Not even TV. Which is why they air on TNT. You’re probably like, “I didn’t even know the SAG Awards were this weekend!” and you are not alone. Did I watch it? Hell no! Did anyone bother to make funny GIFs about it? Absolutely not! Am I still gonna make fun of celebrity red carpet dresses from it? UH, DUH!slide_333355_3336324_free

Lupita Nyong’o wins again! For being a first timer on the red carpet this season, the girl is NAILING her dress choices. I thought this blue was so perfect against her dark skin, and while there was interest at the neck, she kept the rest simple, so nothing felt like too much.

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Best she’s looked all year. This dress fits her like a freaking glove and totally makes her spunky hair look amazing. Finally, Dior dressed the girl, rather than girled the dress. (BTW it’s just black sequins, but in all the pics it has a crazy color thing happening from all the flashing bulbs.)

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As I was going through celeb red carpet photos, there were a ton of people I didn’t recognize. Then I realized it was because THEY WERE ALL THE CAST OF DOWNTON ABBEY and they’re far less hideous in real life! It’s so thrilling to see Lady Edith look completely unlike Lady Edith. Like, guys, she’s so pretty! I’m usually not a fan of this color, but the shimmery fabric made it forgivable. I loved the draping of this dress, how flattering it was at the waist and the killer bracelet. Though, had it been me, I wouldn’t have done a black shoe.

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Dude. This is the wife from Breaking Bad. She looks way hot. Props, lady.

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I rarely include Maria in my fashion recaps because she ALWAYS looks model gorgeous, ALWAYS wears tasteful dresses and she is NEVER important. Like, she isn’t nominated or presenting. Is she even invited? Does she host red carpet coverage? I don’t know because I can’t force myself to listen to Guiliana or Seacrest or heaven forbid Carson Daly talk to famous people without wanting to stick sharp objects in my ears.

But I loved this dress. Loved it. So she gets to play today.

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I LOVE this dress and the earrings were perfect with it. But something about this look isn’t  jiving for me and I think it’s her hair. Amy is one Pantene dollop short of having Tami Taylor hair, but she’s always pulling it back in unflattering updos. I think she was going for “Old Hollywood” here but it just comes off as “Old.”

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I thought Gretchen Mol looked amazing and I seriously applaud a pale person who wears white. My only beef – ONLY beef – with this dress was that the mesh on top was a tad Foot Locker.

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I thought this was pretty and simple, not boring but also not newsworthy, which is exactly the kind of dress you should wear when you look in your closet and say, “What should I wear tonight? I mean………it’s just the SAG Awards.”

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At first when I saw this pic of Ariel, I was like “Ahhh, she looks so pretty!” and I was happy to place her back in my “Nearly Always Looks Awesome on the Red Carpet” file. Then, I saw this picture:

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And I realized she took a page out of the Christina Hendricks playbook. She’s young, though. She still has time to learn how to lasso those things, so I’ll give her a pass on this.

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OMG FREAKING FINALLY SOFIA. For once, you’re wearing something that’s a little different from your normal bombshell mermaid dresses. The necklace is a little much with this dress, but that’s minor. I almost didn’t recognize her when I saw this photo and that’s actually a good thing.

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I think if literally any other actress had worn this dress, I would’ve declared it hideous and moved on. Yet because it’s Cate, I gave it some serious consideration. But as I’ve said before, I try to be objective here, so I’m begrudgingly placing this in the ugly bin and never speaking of this moment again.

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When I write fashion recaps, I put all the photos in, then rearrange them in order from best to worst. I kid you not, I have moved this photo at least six times. Do I like it? Do I hate it? There is a LOT happening. There’s some sparkly stuff, and a dark sheer panel, then an ecru panel, then some black stuff in the back. This dress is a trick question, right?

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It is absolutely admirable that Kerry Washington would wear a crop top on the red carpet while totes preggers. And her pink clutch, lipstick and hair look fabulous. But this custom Prada outfit is a hot mess for a lot of reasons. The biggest one being:

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Remember that period of time in the mid-to-late 1990s when it was cool to cut slits in the ankles of your straight-leg jeans so they’d lay all cool over your Doc Martens? THIS IS THE PRADA EQUIVALENT OF THAT. Do pregnancy hormones make you do crazy things?! Because she’s pregnant and this is crazy.

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Is it a vest? Is it a tuxedo? I don’t know the answer to those questions. But I DO know that it’s kinda ugly. Sorry, girl!

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While I’ll give Kelly props for doing the purple hair thing and sticking with it for this long, this dress feels like a monument to her purple hair and that’s just taking things too far.

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If you’re planning to travel back in time to Prom Night 1982 and need a dress, I’m sure my mom still has a McCall’s pattern for something like this tucked away in her collection of vintage sewing patterns. She can also do a MEAN French twist if you’d like.slide_333355_3336420_free

Tromp l’oeil, tuxedo t-shirt or a pair of pretty sweet Ninja Turtles pajamas? YOU DECIDE.

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Juliette Lewis needs to remove this dress and use it to upholster her fainting couch immediately, because I’m presuming she’s going to need one when she finally gets a look at herself in the mirror.

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Amanda Peet made this dress from the fabric scraps left over from the eight dresses she wore to the Emmys.

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So, Julia wore this. And at first, I was like “Oh, that’s not terrible.” It’s boring and too short with a weird middle slit, but hey, it’s not a white button-up under a dress! Amiright?

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WRONG. I’M WRONG. I’M SOOOO WRONG. IT’S SO MUCH WORSE THAN THAT. I’LL NEVER UNSEE THIS. *claws furiously at eyeballs*

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I haven’t bothered putting Sarah Paulson in my last few fashion recaps because she always wears stupid dresses that are always this stupid length. But now, I feel like she’s baiting me. This dress is the equivalent of holding a fishing pole over my head with a Chik’n Mini on the hook.

And for that, I deem her worst dressed.

Your turn! Who’d you love? Who’d you hate? Who didn’t know that the SAG Awards were a thing?

GPOYDT : Lula’s 5th Birthday!

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My baby’s all grown up! Lula turned five years old on Friday and I’m just having a little bit of trouble getting used to that fact. She got a new toy that she doesn’t want to share, a bag of homemade dog treats from the farmer’s market (organic!), and a handful of clingy hugs from me.

{Gratuitous Picture of Your Dog Tuesday is exactly that: I post a photo of my dog Lula every Tuesday. Have a blog? Get in on this action. Everyone loves cute dog photos.}

Lawn Games

As everyone with a Pinterest account knows, Aaron and I tackled the front yard this spring. But what you might not know is that our  backyard is actually in worse shape than the front yard was. I’m not going to go into detail now because we aren’t planning to so much as look at the backyard until the temperature drops about 30 degrees. But I will tell you this: There will be a patio. And a firepit and grill. And places to sit. And parties and barbecues and all the other stuff you do when it’s delightful outside and you have a patio.

So if I plan to have lots of people over to hang in my backyard oasis, I need some sort of yard game, right? Let’s explore our options, shall we?

Croquet

Requirements: A croquet set (mallets, balls, wickets) and a level stretch of lawn

Pros : Minimal set up, easy to play, makes you feel fancy/British/like a Kennedy

Cons: I’d have to put out the wickets every time I wanted to play, because they’d get stolen otherwise.

Badminton

Requirements: a net (blah), racquets, shuttlecock

Pros: Still makes you feel fancy/British

Cons: Set up’s a bit more complicated, since I couldn’t leave the net outside all the time. Also, I suck at racquet sports.

Yard Bowling

Requirements: balls, pins, a wooden bowling alley if I want to be awesome

Pros: I LOVE BOWLING

Cons: I will probably not be building a wooden bowling alley any time soon, so this photo loses a bit of luster.

Horseshoes

Requirements: stakes, horseshoes

Pros: Incredibly easy set up, simple rules, reminds me of my roots (BEEBE, AR 4 LYFE!)

Cons: Is it enough to keep people really interested or would they bore easily?

Bocce Ball  or Pétanque 

Requirements: A court – could be grass or sand but needs sides and backboards of some sort, a bocce set

Pros: Can have many players, is similar to bowling (I LOVE BOWLING) and seems like an addictive sport

Cons: Set up is mid-level, not the easiest, not the most complicated. Also: I don’t exactly know how to play.

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What do you think? Do you have a favorite lawn sport? Am I missing a very important one?

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Manscaping, Phase 2 : A Guest Post from Aaron

Friends, I’ve been ready to wrap up this landscaping project since about four minutes after I began it. And lo, the time is nigh! We are just a few finishing touches from completion (for now, of course, since…you know…plants die and stuff), so I badgered Aaron to write his Manscaping follow up and guess what? He only complained a little bit. What a sweetheart.

If you missed the first installment, check it out here. If you’ve been dying to read how it ended, I’ll let Aaron take it from here.

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When we left off, we had all of our blocks in place and then we brought in extra dirt to level things out.  Things were starting to take shape and the thought of the finished product’s lush splendor had given me my second wind.  Now I could move on to adding mulch and transplanting the four dwarf hollies and the rosebush. Because we could only work on this project on the weekends, transplanting was tricky – especially for the rose.  As you can see, I left it in place while I started mulching so that I could plant it as soon as I had removed it.

If you have ever done any gardening you are probably familiar with that terrible black “weed-stop” fabric that is often used. If you have ever had to remove a flower bed or just do a little renovation, this same fabric has probably been on the receiving end of an impressive string of four letter words. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, suffice it to say that after a nuclear attack, the only thing that will exist besides cockroaches and Twinkies is this fabric. Ironically, to be so durable it doesn’t stop weeds all that well. Go figure. Because I hate this fabric so much, I was excited to learn that a considerable number of people avoid it by using newspaper instead. I put the newspaper over the dirt 3-4 pages thick and then covered it with mulch. The newspaper will prevent any grass and weed seeds from germinating, but unlike fabric, it will decompose after about 18 months. By that time, any grass and weed seeds that were present in the soil on planting will be dead.  It’s green, it’s cheaper than fabric, and when you decide to remove or redesign the bed later on, you will not have the headache you would with fabric.

And so it went.  Lay down newspaper…drop on a bit of mulch to keep it from blowing away… newspaper… mulch… newspaper… mulch. Mulch is actually the best means of preventing grass and unwanted weeds from germinating in the bed. In order to get the most protection, we applied the mulch 3-4 inches thick throughout the bed.

Here is the old arrangement with the four holly bushes cornering the rose bush.

The holly bushes found a new home on the opposite end of the bed surrounding our new Jane Magnolia, commonly known as a “Tulip Tree.”  In the spring the tree’s blooms resemble purple and white tulips.  To round things out we had to purchase a fifth dwarf holly.

The rose bush was moved to the center of the bed and is flanked by two new pink knock-out roses. Between the roses you can barely see a couple of Indian Hawthorn. These are evergreen shrubs that have small pink blooms in the spring.

To line the outside of the bed we chose Trailing Verbena. Our bed gets full sun almost all day long. This limited the choice of annual we could use. This variety of verbena will spread and eventually spill over the edge of the bed while blooming through the summer.

Finally, the bed was finished!  Admittedly, it looks a little sparse, but after all that time and effort, we were proud.

The finishing touch were the two planters we decided to use to frame the front steps. The planter in the foreground will eventually be placed in the area currently occupied by our immortal violas. We planted them last fall and they lived through the mild winter. We’ve been expecting them do die for the last month, but they just keep hanging on. Most likely, to get both containers at equal height, we will need to build up that little square three stones high and fill it with dirt and mulch.

Here’s a rough ariel drawing/example of Rosemary’s artistry. This fall, we plan to finish things off by planting some bulbs in transition areas on either side of the roses and in the “island” in front of the steps.  We are going to plant bulbs that bloom in both spring and summer (possibly fall or winter too!). This should give us some color throughout the year. And that, my friends, is manscaping.

{Aaron is my boyfriend. He owns this house I’m constantly tearing apart. And sometimes he’ll write blog posts about things I do not enoy or understand, and therefore, am not qualified to blog about. Read his other guest posts here and here.}

**TWO YEAR UPDATE**

It’s been two years and the newspaper has completely biodegraded. We’ve had little-to-no weed pulling thanks to our newspaper trick! We will probably replace the newspaper next year, but for now, the few weeds that we have tend to pop up right at the base of the plants, where I originally had to dig a hole through the newspaper. 

We never had a problem with squirrels or birds digging up the newspaper and shredding it everywhere. The newspaper’s gone now, but even at the beginning, that wasn’t a problem, even though we do have birds that dig little holes all over the bed to find grubworms. If it was a problem for you, I might suggest putting a thicker layer of mulch down next time.

Lots of commenters have asked if this would work in a vegetable garden, and though I have personally never tried it, a nice commenter informed me that it does, indeed, work great in vegetable gardens!

And finally, I feel like I need to mention that I am NOT a gardening expert. This project was the first time I’ve ever built or even fully landscaped a flower bed. I’m happy to answer your questions if I have an answer, but please know that I’m probably not the best person to ask for gardening advice! 🙂 

Best of luck and thanks for reading!

Bacon Vegetable Quiche

Aaron’s been hinting that he’d like me to make a quiche for weeks, and finally finding a Sunday morning when I wasn’t rushing out to do yard work, I was able to make one this weekend. And it turned out SUPER DELISH. So I thought I’d share the recipe!

Bacon Vegetable Quiche

Ingredients

1 9-inch pie crust

6 slices bacon

1/3 large onion

1/2 large zucchini

6-8 stalks asparagus

6 oz package spinach

3 eggs

1 1/3 cup milk

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

Salt, pepper, Cavender’s seasoning to taste

small handful grape tomatoes, halved (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line pie plate with crust. This is a good recipe for pie crust or you can be like me and use a refrigerated crust because, c’mon, it’s 10:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Bake for 5-7 minutes until light golden brown. If you pull out the crust and it’s ballooned on the bottom, just poke it with a fork.

Reduce heat to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, cook the bacon, then transfer to a plate with paper towels to drain. While the bacon is cooking, chop your onion, zucchini and asparagus. For the zucchini, I sliced it very thin then halved the pieces. When you’ve removed the bacon from the skillet, add the vegetables to the grease and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. If you keep a jar of bacon grease in your refrigerator (ahem) and would like to add a bit more, feel free. When the vegetables are tender, add the spinach and toss until it’s wilted. The spinach should soak up any extra moisture in the skillet. If not, drain the liquid.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk, crumble the bacon and add it, stir in the vegetables and season with salt and pepper (and Cavender’s if you’re like me and add it to everything). Stir in cheeses until just combined then pour into the prepared pie crust. I topped the quiche with the halved tomatoes and even though we aren’t big tomato people, it turned out really well.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until set. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Thank me later.

{It’s a safe bet that you could substitute mushrooms, squash, bell peppers or just about anything else. I just used the vegetables I had on hand. Same goes for cheese – this would probably be amazing with Gruyere.}

Manscaping, Phase 1 : A Guest Post from Aaron

About three weeks ago, Aaron and I commenced work on the front yard. We got up early, I lathered on some sunscreen, did a few stretches and grabbed a shovel. I was READY.

Fast forward 8 hours and I’m lying in the grass, whimpering, filling a trashbag with dirt, earthworms and my soul one tiny handful at a time. Suffice it to say, I am not cut out for yard work. But we’ve made great progress, and amazingly, we haven’t even broken up ONCE since we started! No, no, I’d say this project has actually brought us closer together. Like two plane crash victims bonding over our mutual trauma. Only, I’m like the Jack and he’s the Kate, because I do all the crying.

So to save you from the whiniest, most melodramatic blog post of all time, I present to you: Aaron’s second guest blog post!

Take it away, Aaron!

As you all know (and if you do not, you haven’t been following closely) our house was lacking what those in “The Biz” like to call “curb appeal.” Some of you may know that I did a little landscaping during my college days.  So this was right in my wheel house. I mean, I’m basically like a less ripped HGTV host. At least, that’s how I like to think about it. However, unlike an HGTV show, this project was not completed in one weekend nor was there a motley mix of good natured landscapers and friends to help. No, it went on for weeks….literally….weeks.

For a little background, the previous owners left us a few struggling azaleas, four dwarf hollys, and one decent Knock-out rosebush. All of these beauties were housed in a snaky bed, lined in rusty metal, and lacking any mulch or other organic material.  We set out to right all those wrongs and maybe even add a little value in the process.

First, we decided on a shape for our new bed. I went all out and bought graph paper so that our sketches would be to scale. We decided on a symmetrical curve that would give us two larger areas at both ends of the bed. The yard also has a grade and we knew we would have to build the bed up as we got closer to our driveway to keep it level. With all this in mind, we settled on these blocks from Lowe’s to build the bed. We then laid out the rough design and I sprayed the grass with Round-up a week before we started to avoid having grass growing in our newly built bed.

Next, we pulled out all of the rusty metal edging and I set out to dig up the dead grass. This was the step that brought Rosemary to tears and left us both sore for the next week. If you have ever laid sod, we were doing that…in reverse.  I should note that this is WAY harder than laying sod.

Here are the bags of sod and metal edging we took up.  Each one of these bags weighed about 60 pounds. That’s 60 pounds of GRASS.  I apologize to the Waste Management guys that had to pick these up. I should also note that the metal was sitting on the side of the street for an hour before one of our friendly neighborhood scavengers stopped to pick it up for scrap. Remind me to put a lock on our A/C unit.

After a really long day of digging up grass and turning the soil, we put the blocks back in place.  There was really no purpose here except to give us a little glimpse of how good everything would look when we got done.  By this time, we could use any motivation we could get.

The next weekend we set out to set the blocks in place properly.  To do this, I dug a trench about 2 inches deep around the entire bed where the blocks would be.

While doing this, I unearthed a big spider that Rosemary found worth sharing. See if you can spot it. Also spotted: snakes, earthworms, grubworms and most other members of the Orthoptera order that Rosemary has only before seen in her nightmares.

Once the trench was dug, we bought this paver sand.  This material is used to provide a solid base for retaining walls and patios.  If we had put the pavers directly on the dirt in the trench, it would eventually have settled and been uneven.  The paver sand locks the blocks in place and prevents settling.

One by one Rosemary filled the trench with about an inch of sand.

She then smooths the sand to create a level base for the block.

Then she laid the block on the sand.  Once the block was in place, we use a rubber mallet to “seat” the block.  This serves to pack the sand below the block and create a tight fit with the surrounding blocks.

Here is the Western side of the bed once the blocks were in place.  This is the high side of the yard, so you can see that the blocks are almost flush with the yard.  Because this process took so long we decided to leave the plants in place until we were ready to transplant.  Here you can see the azalea looking lonely.  As a side note, we took some of the dirt from the bed and spread it on some bare spots in the yard.  I then seeded these areas with Bermuda Grass.

Here you can see the low side of the yard.  We decided to stagger the blocks so that it wouldn’t look like an imposing wall by the time it got to the driveway.  Otherwise, we would have had three feet of blocks.  Also, since this area is raised, we would have had to buy more dirt to fill the bed here.

Here is a look at the raised portion of the bed.  On the backside we were a few blocks short so we had to make do with only two.  Luckily, we had a lot of dirt to bring in and I couldn’t get the truck till the next weekend so it wasn’t a problem.

Bright and early the next Saturday I bought the first yard of dirt and got started leveling the bed. You can buy a cubic yard of dirt or mulch at nurseries such as Horticare for $20-40.

Four truckloads of dirt later and we were ready to start laying down some mulch. That brings us up to week three and the end of Manscaping : Phase 1. You’ll have to check back to see what we decided to plant and the final conclusion.

{Aaron is my boyfriend. He owns this house I’m constantly tearing apart. And sometimes he’ll write blog posts about things I do not enoy or understand, and therefore, am not qualified to blog about. Read his other guest post here.}

Fashion Recap : Oscars 2012 or “How Billy Got His Groove Back”

How terrible were the Oscars last night? Billy Crystal: epic fail. Red carpet coverage: epic fail. Recipients of major awards: epic fail (I’m sorry. But the reason we don’t make silent movies anymore is BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE TO. Technology was the biggest loser last night.)

Famous people in attendance: epic fail. Did anyone else notice whilst scouring the web for red carpet pics that there was a mysterious lack of famous people at last night’s show? WHERE WERE THEY? Hiding out inside Billy Crystal’s jowls, I bet.

Best dressed, hands down for me was Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli. I love everything about the dress, and her hair and makeup were flawless as well. Emma Stone has personality and she DRESSES with personality. And I like that. She also was the only presenter to make me really laugh throughout the entire show.

Glenn Close in Zac Posen. How hot does she look? It’s age appropriate but also a little edgy, a little classy, extremely flattering. The jacket over the dress was the perfect touch.

I loved Mila Jovovich’s dress, but it was really the hair and makeup that sealed the deal for me. Flawless.

This is how Angelina should look. Red lips, flowy hair – not too harsh. She looked great, despite looking a bit thin for a PREGNANT PERSON. Did you see her arms when she was presenting? Those are Lifetime movie arms, my friends.

And WHY did she keep sticking her leg out like that? It even prompted the dean from Community to make fun of her when he accepted his award. Someone crown that man Grand Supreme:

Someone on Twitter declared that Tina Fey should host next year’s Oscars. I retweeted them, so obvy, I agree. Anne Hathaway tried too hard, James Franco was high the whole time, and Billy Crystal only appeals to the Celebrex set. But Tina? She’d kill it. She looked SUPER classy and beautiful. And yes, I’m choosing to ignore the peplum.

For once, Michelle Williams wasn’t on my worst dressed list! I loved the color of this dress. I loved the top of this dress, the bottom of this dress and the back of this dress. But what is with the tutu? Julianne Moore did it at the Golden Globes, Michelle and Tina Fey did it at the Oscars. Lord help us all if this is the New Big Thing. Because the only thing “big” about it is how it makes your mid-section look.

Ok. Now THIS was exciting. Thank you, GP, for spicing things up a bit. It might not be to everyone’s tastes, but at least this Tom Ford dress and cape were DIFFERENT. And you didn’t even have to bare your midriff! I love it, but I watched Contagion last night, so please don’t touch me. Thanks girl.

You know, I honestly couldn’t tell you a single thing Viola Davis was in before “The Help.” But she has knocked this award’s season out of the park with a series of amazing dresses. She gets the Award Season MVP award, though this one had me a little nip-slip anxious.

Rose Byrne. Meow. Loved the Vivienne Westwood gown and bob haircut. Girl could smile a little bit though. She’s at the Oscars. For Bridesmaids. You know, that movie where Melissa McCarthy went #2 in a sink? Don’t take yourself too seriously, girlfriend.

I have no idea why Kate Mara was at the Oscars. I had to Google “girl from American Horror Story” just to figure out her name. {UPDATE: Turns out she’s Rooney Mara’s big sister, duh.} But that dress was gorgeous. She had beautiful hair and makeup too, if you can see past her undead pose. Hey girl, pretty sure your run as a baby-stealing-bitch-homewrecking ghost was up at the end of season one.

The fact that I liked Rooney Mara’s look last night kinda surprised me. I mean, the bangs are weird, yeah. But she’s playing up the goth-girl-who-sits-at-the-back-of-the-bus, Hollywood edition, and for that, she actually looks pretty. And I thought the gauzy white dress was a nice balance to her severe hair and makeup.

High five, Melissa McCarthy. This is such an improvement from your past red carpet looks. Even though Octavia Spencer beat her as Best Supporting Actress, I love love love that she was nominated for Bridesmaids. And that she hid a mini-bottle of vodka in her cleavage and took a shot onstage.

When I first saw Maya Rudolph on the red carpet I totally had a “wop wop wopppp” moment. The front of that dress was pretty boring and IMHO a little unflattering. The back, however, TOTALLY made up for the front.

THIS is how you dress a curvy figure. Octavia Spencer was gorgeous in this dress. I would have preferred a more exciting color than this…..non-color, but the cut and beading were flawless.

Everyone was going nuts for Penelope Cruz’s look. It was pretty yes. But I feel like if you’re going to throwback, you’ve got to include SOMETHING modern and edgy. The Grace Kelly hair, dress and jewelry were great, but this dress in an exciting color would’ve really pushed it over the top.

And with Natalie Portman, we move into the “Ok But Kinda Boring” segment of this recap. The vintage hair, vintage dress, kinda 80s looking necklace. Like Penelope, it needed something exciting.

Ok but Kinda Boring. I can’t get past how terrible Natalie’s hair and dress look in the background.

Everyone was raving about Jessica Chastain’s Alexander McQueen dress, but I wasn’t impressed. It looks like a tapestry that should be hanging on the wall in a Chinese restaurant. Gorgeous hair and a flattering cut, however, make this an overall improvement from her total Golden Globes fail.

I kinda feel sorry for Judy Greer. She’s in everything, but she always has to play the ugly girl. Or the mean girl. Or the mean, ugly best friend to the nice, pretty girl. So I gotta give her props for looking better than I’ve ever seen her last night.

 Anna Faris looked ok, but with Rose Byrne showing up looking way better in a similar dress and hairstyle, Anna’s look suddenly seemed costume-y and unflattering in comparison.

I’m going on strike and all my posters will say, “GOLD LAME. NOT OK.” But hey, even though he didn’t win, George still got to take home a big, shiny, gold thing.

Shailene W???????. Girlfriend. You are young and reasonably attractive. What is this? Lady Mary was showing more skin than this in 1919.

I feel bad ripping on a 14 (?) year old, but Sarah Hyland has a decent track record when it comes to red carpet attire. Therefore, she should know better than this puddle of messy silk. The only thing “youthful” about it is that it kinda looks like she wore it to prom. Then got drunk at the after-party in it. Then rolled off a stranger’s couch the next morning and came straight to the Oscars in it.

Nope. For someone who has dated both Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling, Sandra should know something about youthfulness. And attractiveness. This dress is neither. And no, that’s not bitter jealousy you hear in my voice. It’s COLD HARD TRUTH.

😦

An evil, sick part of me likes that J.Lo is always failing on the runway. She has more power than any mortal from the block should, and giving us the ability to rip on her red carpet style is karma’s way of keeping her in check.

Worst dressed goes to Best Actress Meryl Streep. She has a reputation for looking terrible on the red carpet and last night was no different. Golden Girls Gone Grecian. Devereaux meets Dionysus. Everyone – repeat after me: GOLD LAME! NOT OK! GOLD LAME! NOT OK! GOLD LAME! NOT OK! GOLD LAME! NOT OK! GOLD LAME! NOT OK! GOLD LAME! NOT OK! GOLD LAME! NOT OK! GOLD LAME! NOT OK! GOLD LAME! NOT OK!

Ok. Your turn. Who’d you like? Who’d you hate? Who did you want to win?

A Hallway Update!

Work on the hallway is coming to a close. We have only one project left – replacing the attic door. I think after the last door debacle, Aaron and I are both a little hesitant to rip the old door down. We’ve got to build up our DIY courage again!

Ok. Maybe we haven’t done it because we’re lazy. So what?

Regardless, we’ve managed to paint the walls, ceiling and trim, replace the light fixture and doorbell and remove the old security system hardware. Check it out:

You can read about replacing the doorbell here. As for that little plastic box leftover from the previous security system, we weren’t sure if electricity still flowed to that box or not. But while the breaker was flipped, I unscrewed the plastic box and removed the circuit board. To be safe, I wrapped the exposed wires with electric tape and stuffed the wires up into the ceiling, then patched the hole with spackle.

I changed the light fixture here.

We painted the ceiling Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. We bought a 5-gallon bucket of the stuff when we moved in and are still chipping away at it. The walls are “Cookie Crumb” in Olympic’s Zero VOC paint, leftover from the guest bedroom, which means we spent a whopping $0 on paint for the walls and ceiling.

Five of the doors and their hinges were a Christmas gift from my mother. I purchased the 18″ closet door for $20 and the six knobs for $9 each. That’s $74 (I purchased more doors and knobs, but those weren’t for the hallway.).

Aaron purchased a gallon of Sherwin Williams Alabaster paint in a semi-gloss finish for the doors and trim, which cost $40, and we still have plenty leftover for the other doors in the house.

And finally, I purchased a light fixture ($11), a doorbell ($27) and three switch plates ($3) which brings the cost so far to $155. Assuming we can replace the attic door for less than $50, we’d bring this hallway in at around $200. Not too shabby if you ask me.

GPOYDT

Last week, my friend Shannon came to visit and snapped a couple of photos of Lula on her iPhone, so I thought I’d share.  We learned a valuable lesson. Rice Chex = concentration.

Happy Tuesday!


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