Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesdays!

Time for another installment of What I'm Loving Wednesday with

So...what am I loving this Wednesday?

I'm in love with Essie nail polish. Since the weather is a bit cooler...the peaches and oranges I wore all summer have been shelved and I'm back to my absolute favorite Essie color ever...Wicked! I had a family wedding this past a manicure/pedicure was needed and Essie's Wicked it was!

I'm also in love with this salsa...I buy it almost weekly unless I can't get to Whole Foods and it's one of my favorite salsas ever. I'm not a fan of super spicy stuff..but this has just enough kick to make it interesting but not send me running for water. Sister's comes in mild and Twice the Spice..which is my favorite.

 I buy my Sister's Salsa at Whole Foods...check them out at

I'm also excited to have this Friday off! We're headed out of town for the weekend for a little early anniversary celebration. Since we had such a great time on a weekend trip to Nantucket in June, we decided to go back.
looking forward to lots of good dinner reservations we have set up and exploring the beaches in a Jeep once again!

I'm also loving that our 2nd anniversary is creeping up on us! So hard to believe that this day was almost two years ago!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The First Weekend in Fall...

It may have been 80 degrees and humid as hell...but the first weekend in fall brought us a fabulous family wedding in the little town of Sturbridge, Massachusetts. After the festivities were done, we were checked out of the hotel and had breakfast in our hung over stomachs....Mr. Allan and I explored the area a little and took the back country roads home. It proved for a very relaxing drive home and gave us an excuse to stop at all the little farm stands. The towns were all decorated with pumpkins and of course we decided to buy as many mums that we could fit in my good old little Toyota..

And...we've accepted the fact that summer is over. No more Saturdays by the pool, it's time to put pantyhose on with my skirt suits and the open toed shoes will be put away. I'll probably start packing up the 53 different tank tops from Old Navy and pull out the boots and we've found ourselves ordering pumpkin beer any time we're at a bar. So, we saw fit to embrace fall and decorate the stoop....and the fact that it is now officially fall!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pumpkin Mousse

it's the perfect fall of our favorites and an occasional treat I make for Mr. Allan. I go into absolute pumpkin overload once September hits and I realize it's time to pack up the bathing suits, quit caring about how dark my legs are and come to terms with the fact that I have to start wearing pantyhose and closed toe shoes to work again. So, this recipe came out of the archives. It's pretty low calorie but I don't make it a ton because it has some ingredients I try to stay away from...fake stuff like fat free cool whip and such. I've tried to think of some alternatives...but nothing has quite worked out for me yet!'s the old go to maybe not the healthiest thing for you but at least low cal pumpkin mousse recipe!

Pumpkin Mousse
from some Weight Watcher meeting somewhere

1 can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup skim milk (you can use any kind..I used Almond Milk)
1 pkg sugar free fat free pudding (vanilla or butterscotch work best)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tub of fat free cool whip

whisk together pudding and milk. Add pumpkin and spice. Fold in cool whip. Chill and serve with a dollop of cool whip and an additional sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Just a couple notes...if you want it more mousse like and a little less can reduce the pumpkin to 1 cup, the milk to 1/2 cup and the cool whip to 1 cup. There are a million variations of this play around with it until you get a consistency you like!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I've been bad with my favorite weekly blog hops I'm hopping back on the What I'm Loving Wednesday wagon.'s what I'm loving this beautiful sunny Wednesday!

I'm loving the new fall television line up...stuff I'm kind of over..Dancing with's just way too much of a time commitment for me! I'm not a big fan of the shows like the X factor and America's Got that frees up a lot of time for my little TIVO. I've been excited to check out some new shows...

First up...The Ringer with Sarah Michelle Gellar. I wasn't a big Buffy fan but I kind of like this's obviously targeting the younger probably 18-30 female demographic..but I like the whole twin story line, one twin cheating on her husband with the best friend's husband etc.

I'm also excited for A Gifted Man..I read rave reviews about in People Magazine

and Revenge starring Emily Thorton from Brothers & Sisters..I'm mostly excited because it's set in the Hamptons...a place I'd love to vacation!

Besides tv...there's also a great book I just read. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I read tons of reviews about it on and was unsure if I'd like it since it's told from a dog's point of view. But, I took the chance and LOVED this book...a great read for any dog or animal lover!

I'm also loving this new pencil skirt I grabbed from Banana Republic. I was looking for a new staple to add to my boring closet of work suits. This did the trick and looks fantastic with a nice crisp button down. I like the sleek fit of it..although order a size down! While the stretchy material is great, my normal size got weird and baggy and I had to swap it for a smaller size!

I'm also obsessed with the store LUSH. I could easily make my whole post about products I've tried from there in the past few months. So I like, others didn't do it for me, but the majority of them I LOVED. I love that every product is made from fresh type of preservatives or weird chemicals. This week's product I'm loving..the BB Seaweed mask. Plop it on for 10-15 minutes and you're left with soft hydrated fabulous looking skin..and it's a steal for $6.95!

Enjoy your Wednesday and be sure to link up at!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to tell it's fall in the Allan household

There are still 2 days left to the summer season, but fall is upon us in my's how I can tell...

the quilts have emerged from the closets....and unfortunately we're using them at night!

I'm no longer pitter pattering around the house in my bare feet..okay, maybe I don't necessarily pitter's probably more like stomping around..but the good old Isotoner slippers have been dug out of the bottom of my closet

The old Weight Watcher's pumpkin mousse recipe has surfaced...our favorite fall dessert at home

Once the weather turns..Mr. Allan switches from his Bombay Sapphire gin to his cold weather drink..Maker's Mark

the saddest summer is really over sight of all...the pool all closed up! While I do love the change of seasons in New England, it's always around this time where I wish summer was just a teeny bit longer. Once again, summer was way too busy and way too short!

Monday, September 19, 2011

What has happened to Ali Lohan

Her sister is the one always in the news..but the younger Lohan is turning some heads for her drastic transformation. I was sitting in my hairdressers this week and was shocked when I saw these photos in US Magazine....on the left..Ali last year...and on the right a picture taken of the 17 year old in the past month! Her modeling agency, NEXT models, is denying that any type of enhancement or plastic surgery has taken place. I don't know what's taken place but I doubt she grew a chin, cheeks and a different nose overnight.

Emmy Fashion...

While I'm not necessarily a big fan of the actual show..I love the fashion. Last night it seemed like red was the IT color....
Kate Winslet in Elie Saab

Lea Michele in Marchesa

Nina  Dobrev in Donna Karan

Kerry Washington in Zuhair Murad

Other ladies I liked...
Sofia Vergara in Vera Wang
Sarah Hyland in Christian Siriano...another cutie in coral
Christina Hendricks...her boobs do look like they're fighting to get out..but I love the old Hollywood Glamour look
Some that missed the mark for me...

Heidi Klum in Christian Siriano...I read an article where someone described the bottom of the dress as a piece of curly green leaf lettuce and asked where the side of ranch dressing was...I can't say I disagree...

Elizabeth Moss in the dress but she either needs a little spray tan or some hilghlights in her hair...the whole look just isn't working for me
Katie Holmes in Calvin Klein..she looks good..there's just nothing award show red carpet about it

Gwenyth Paltrow in Emilio Pucci....ok..I think she's gorgeous and I know she's had 2 kids and still manages to have a rocking svelte body...but this two piece ensemble does nothing for actually makes her look like she's sporting a pudgy mid section...aka muffin top...which we all know she doesn't have.

So..who were YOUR hits and misses last night?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A New Guiness World Record!

Chris "the Duchess" Walton has set a new world record..for the longest fingernails..measuring over 10 feet long on each hand.
the 45 year old singer from Las Vegas claims her nails rarely get in the way. She can cook and polish off a meal with ease, she texts using her knuckles, and she can clean, drive and wash.

She manicures them once a month using FIVE bottles of nail polish.
Wow..what an accomplishment!?!
just one more fun fact about the Duchess...her left pinky nail is the length of a fire hydrant.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kardashian funny...

kind of funny as a news anchor interviews Kourtney and Kim and then does his best impression.

that is a yoga pose called Bird of Paradise...last night, I did it. Might not sound like much but a huge yoga victory for me. I was so excited I showed Mr. Allan my new holy crap I can actually get into this pose last night in the yard. Not everyone may share my excitement, but those who yoga and see the crazy gumby ladies wrangle themselves into god knows what position and sit there with their tight hamstrings like me will understand.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

$10 for $20 worth of groceries at Whole Foods

It's today's deal on living HERE

Home Made Marinara

I was quite proud of our little raised bed garden this year. We stuck to our guns and kept as garden as organic as possible. We used no type of fertilizers or pesticides, and I think we did pretty well...that was until Hurricane Irene blew the garden over!

One thing that I haven't done well with in the past but turned out stellar this year...tomatoes. We live in the woods and one big problem we've faced every year is a fungus called blight. Since the conditions in the woods is typically damp, it's attacked our tomatoes in years past. Usually when there's a summer with a lot of rain...this kills us. This year we took extra precaution by placing piles of mulch around the base of each plant, we made sure to only water in the morning and later in the season, when a couple bottom branches began to yellow, we promptly cut them off.

The result....bowls and bowls of these.

so, I decided to make some fresh sauce. I've attempted this in the past and the process of boiling, peeling, and deseeding tomatoes is kind of a long one. I found other recipes that put the entire tomato in a food processor or blender but in the end, just went back to the old fashioned way of doing it. Here's what it looks like.

I took a paring knife and on the bottom of each tomato cut a big X..just deep enough to pierce the skin. Boil a pot of water and in goes the tomatoes. They stay in there a minute or two..just until you see the skins peel back.

Take the tomatoes out of the boiling water and place them immediately in an ice bath. This is so they can cool off and allow you to peel the skins and squeeze the seeds out.
 Here's what your peeled tomatoes look like..

I just take the tomato and squeeze. The seeds will shoot out. You can then take a paring knife and cut the base where the stem was out as well. Then you have a big bowl of tomato guts.

Since I had a lot of large tomatoes, I just roughly ran a knife through them to break them up a little bit. In a large pot I combined 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 grated carrot, and 1 medium diced vidalia onion. I sauteed the veggies for 5 minutes, then added the tomatoes. I added a splash of red wine with one batch...once I drank all the wine and had none left..the next batch got a splash of balsamic vinegar. I let the mixture simmer for about 2 hours and then added some seasoning..mostly some salt, basil, oregano and parsley.

The finished product, in it's tupperware and ready for the freezer. 
You can use this sauce for anything. I top i over some whole wheat pasta and top it with fresh basil and a good quality Parmesan! I also like this sauce because it's a good way to use the uglier, maybe not so perfect, tomatoes in your garden!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's a girl to do when she has boat loads of zucchini? Why make a zucchini pizza. My first idea was to use some goat cheese and load up the pizza with tons of veggies. I splurged and bought a local fresh goat cheese at my grocery store. Mr. Allan and I cut some veggies and then I was flabbergasted to open my $10 goat cheese to find mold all over it. I double checked the date and was soooo mad to see that it was a good week before the expiration. So, Plan B came into play. We're not big cheese eaters...the only thing we had...Parmesan cheese. Luckily I'm a little squirrel like and stockpile other homemade pesto in the freezer. The final product...a pesto, zucchini, pepper pizza topped with Parmesan...and I must was pretty good!

I've been using these crusts all summer. It's so easy to make a great grilled pizza and 1/4 of the pizza crust is only 130 calories and 1 gram of fat. I always opt for the whole wheat one!
I buy mine at Whole Foods market..some stores sell them in the freezer section..other near the bakery items. case you're wondering...the grocery store I purchased my $10 local goat cheese at is on the side of my gym. One Saturday morning before kickboxing class, I got there early to return the moldy goat cheese. The service desk lady told me she couldn't do anything for me because I didn't save my receipt. I told her I don't save my grocery receipts because I don't expect goat cheese to be a moldy mess..especially the $10 ones..did I mention I mention I spent $10 on this little tub of stupid cheese! She told me she could do an even exchange...I told her I was headed to kickboxing, it was 75 degrees out and I didn't want goat cheese hanging out in my hot Toyota. I asked for her manager who gave me a $10 gift card...argghhh...still sour over the moldy cheese...only because I waffled back and forth whether to spring for the good local stuff..and look how that ended up!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I was a second year law student. I got to Roger Williams University around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. My class started at 9 a.m. Because I hate to be late, I went upstairs and took my seat around 8:45 a.m. The class was Professor Eberle's Constitutional Law. We went through the entire class. Finally during the last five minutes, someone came in and told the Professor something. We all left and went downstairs to the law school cafeteria. It had one television that everyone was glued to. I remember the confusion and the overload of information. By the time we got out of class one tower had already collapsed. I sat in that cafeteria for a good hour or two watching the news report. I remember going back to my apartment and sat watching television for hours on end that day. I was somewhat newly dating Mr. Allan and went to his apartment that night where we watched news reports all night.

this was the image that we saw over and over and over on that day

It was one of those days where you'll never forget where you were, how you couldn't grasp the information the news was telling you and the impact it would have on the country. I remember growing up I'd hear my parents talk about where they were when they heard the news that President Kennedy was shot and how they'd never forget since it was such a national tragedy. Unfortunately September 11 is the tragedy that marks this generation.

In the days after so many stories emerged about the unfathomable loss of life, the heroes who risked their lives, and the despair of those looking for loved ones. Today, ten years later after the most horrific attack on America, we remember those who lost their lives. To put 9-11 in perspective, here are some figures from the NY Magazine that hit home for me.

The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.
•Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): 2,819
•Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
•Number of NYPD officers: 23
•Number of Port Authority police officers: 37
•Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
•Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402
•Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614
•Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115
•Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1
•Age of the greatest number who died: between 35 and 39
•Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609
•Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051
•Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20
•Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124
•Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99
•Jobs lost in New York owing to the attacks: 146,100
•Days the New York Stock Exchange was closed: 6
•Point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average when the NYSE reopened: 684.81
•Days after 9/11 that the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan: 26
•Economic loss to New York in month following the attacks: $105 billion
•Estimated cost of cleanup: $600 million
•Total FEMA money spent on the emergency: $970 million
•Estimated amount donated to 9/11 charities: $1.4 billion
•Estimated amount of money raised for funds dedicated to NYPD and FDNY families: $500 million

Friday, September 9, 2011

One reason I'm excited for fall....

can't wait to start wearing these bad boys