Monday, December 13, 2010


I don't know if any of you have shopped or sold clothing/accessories at a consignment store, but I highly recommend you doing so! In our area there are several designer/high-end consignment stores that sell really nice things. Remember that cocktail dress that you paid $100 for and it's been hanging in closet ever since? Take it to consignment  and make some of your money back. I can't tell you how many times I've taken loads of clothes, shoes, handbags, etc to Goodwill just because I wanted it out of my closet.

Along one of my favorite streets in Old Town, VA you'll find a great little consignment store called Mint Condition. You have to make an appointment to bring in items and they do have a 15 item limit, but it's definitely worth it. I have purchased several things from this store which is exactly why I was encouraged to take some of my things there. Back in August I took 15 items and they kept between 8 and 10 of them (they actually didn't take 2 pairs of Seven jeans which I couldn't understand at all) but overall they took more than expected. They keep your items for close to 3 months and if they don't sell then they're donated, or you have the option to come back and pick them up.

I actually had completely forgotten about my clothes until this past Saturday. I mainly wanted to visit the store to see what they had in stock but then I remembered I had a check to pick up. I had no idea what had sold or what kind of profit I would make but I was pleasantly surprised when the girl behind the counter told me they owed me a check for $83.00 Not too shabby! While I was waiting on my check I decided to take a look around the store and of course I found something. Check this out:

J.Crew Pencil Skirt

Double-serge pencil skirt
First let me say that I've admired this skirt all season long. I've actually been looking for a camel colored wool pencil skirt but there are none to be found. I came across this particular skirt at J.Crew and really liked it but I thought $118.00 was a little on the pricey side....even their sale price of $98.00 is too much in my opinion.

So you can only imagine how excited I was to spot it on the rack at Mint Condition! I didn't even want to look at the size because I knew there was no way it would be the size I needed....just my luck. But believe it or not, it was my size! Better yet, guess how much it cost? $38.00!!!! That is $80.00 less than the full price and $60.00 less than the sale price. Now that's what I call a bargain.

Such a successful shopping day! I scored a skirt that I've been admiring for months for a steal and I got paid for clothes that otherwise would have been given away.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Favorite Things

I'm sure most of you have tuned in from year to year to see Oprah's Favorite Things. I absolutely love Oprah's show and this particular one always tops my list. It's fun to see the things she loves (I guess it's more like the things she's paid to love), but whatever the case it's always exciting.

A very good friend of mine, Jana, gave me a great idea a few weeks ago for my blog. She said it would be neat to feature my favorite things along with other family and friends. It's always fun to see the things that other people say they can't live without and you never could make a great Christmas present!

Since Jana was the one who recommended this idea I am going to start with a list of her favorite things. I'm still working on my list so I'll get it up soon. Please send your list of favorite things to share!

Jana's Favorite Things:

1. Ugg Slippers (I don't think I could live without mine either!)

Dakota Slipper
 2. Marleny, Jana's cleaning lady. If you're in the DC/NOVA area and are looking for someone that comes highly recommended let me know.

3. Baby Wise

Baby Wise Book

 4. Tempur-Pedic Mattress

Tempur-Pedic Mattress

5. Pottery Barn Blanket

Chunky Ribbed Throw

6. Super Solano Hair Dryer

Super Solano Professional Hair Dryer
 7. Cheryl's Cut-out Cookies

Buttercream Frosted Holiday Cut-out Cookies
8. BOB Stroller

9. Kiehl's Hand Salve

Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
 10. Keurig Platinum Brewer
Keurig Platinum Brewing System

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cocktails: Peppermint Martini

I had a peppermint martini for the first time at a Christmas party Saturday night and it was delicious!! Give this one a try over the weekend.

Peppermint Martini


2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
(Optional: 1oz. cream)
Mini candy canes (whole and/or crushed)

For a festive garnish, dip rim of martini glasses in corn syrup (or vodka, or water) then in crushed candy canes. In a martini shaker, combine vodka, Godiva liqueur and Schnapps with ice. Shake and strain into martini glasses.  Serve with a mini candy cane on the side.


Cookbook: Sweets

Tis the season for sweets! Here are two recipes that you should definitely try this holiday season.

Mock Apple Pie

My mother-in-law first told me about this pie. It's a pie that tastes just like an apple pie but doesn't have one single apple in it! When she first explained it to me I thought that there was no way in this world it could taste like an apple pie. Even Chris said it was good, so I decided to give it a try over Thanksgiving.

2 refrigerator pie crusts for a 9" pie pan
36 Ritz crackers coarsely broken
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place one pie crust in the pie pan. Place the crackers in the crust.

In a saucepan, over high heat, heat the water, sugar, cream of tartar to a boil.

Pour the syrup over the crackers. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Place the remaining pie crust over the pie. Trim, seal and flute the edges. Slit the top several times to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Make sure you let the pie cool completely before eating.

*The top of my pie browned quickly, as you can see, so I covered with a piece of foil until it had finished baking.

The story behind the pie-

I can't explain it, but somehow, someway the combination of ingredients makes this taste just like an apple pie. The only thing you may notice missing are the actual apple slices you find in a regular pie. It is very sweet, so if you aren't a fan of super sweet sweets, then this isn't for you.

My Mom was the only one in the house that knew the recipe. We decided we would give this pie the ultimate taste test by giving a slice to my two grandmothers, possibly two of the greatest cooks ever! If this apple pie was "good" according to their standards then boy do we have a winner! So sure enough I cut them both a slice and they went to town. They both commented on how good it was and hardly made a peep as they continued to eat. Meanwhile my Mom and I were dying laughing. After a few minutes one of my grandmothers asked what was wrong with us and could immediately tell we were up to something. I asked her how the apples tasted in the pie. She looked at me for a minute or two, looked at the pie, and then said "what are you up to?" I proceeded to tell her that there wasn't a single apple in the pie. She lifted her fork a little closer and said "oh yes there is....I see the apples and I taste them too, what are you talking about?"

As you can imagine, I couldn't stop laughing. My other grandmother had completely stopped eating at this point and was just staring at her slice of pie. I explained the recipe and neither one of them believed me. They both got up and walked over to inspect the entire pie and just commented back and forth to one another about how it couldn't possibly be. So, give it a try! I promise it does taste just like apple pie and your family and friends won't believe it.

Puppy Chow

This recipe also came courtesy of my mother-in-law (can you tell that she's a great cook?) This has become one of our favorite holiday snacks and I know it will be one of yours too.


9 cups of corn Chex Mix
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
Powdered Sugar

In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter.

Pour the Chex Mix into the saucepan and gently fold into the chocolate.

Spoon batches of the Chex Mix into a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour a generous amount of powdered sugar into the bag.

Shake until the Chex Mix is evenly coated in the sugar.

Place into your serving bowl. Continue this process until all of the Chex Mix has been coated in powdered sugar.