Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Perfect Recipe Book…and so much more…

True story…Mr. T and I were  married about two weeks when I decided to have my first dinner party. I was beyond excited…Set the date, invited the guests, cleaned the house, picked out a menu…wait a minute, a menu? I was 22, and didn’t have a clue in the kitchen. Being the young, na├»ve newlywed that I was, I thought all recipes were created equal and I was about to learn a big lesson. For some strange reason I decided that a corn casserole would be a wonderful addition to our dinner that night. Let’s just say…it wasn’t! Easily one of the worst things I have ever eaten…and that’s a stretch. Maybe I should say the worst thing I have ever tasted. It was not edible. At all. Ick!
After that I stayed out of the kitchen for the most part. Well, maybe it was after the dinner party we had when I served lasagna. It wasn't terrible, but a one of our guests found a ladybug in her lasagna... Not good. So it was after the ladybug incident that I stayed out of the kitchen. Soon after, we moved, had a baby, had another baby, another move, and before I knew it I was a SAHM on a little budget with four mouths to feed. Every morning, noon and night. I need recipes. Good ones. Fast. I turned to everyone one I knew that had more experience in the kitchen than I did. My favorite aunt gave me a subscription to Southern Living. So I cooked, copied recipes, cut them out, and stuffed them into every nook in the kitchen. They were everywhere. It was time to do something.
I was able to scrape together eight dollars. I bought a 3-ring binder, a pack of 5 dividers (with pockets), a pack of sheet protectors and I came up with a book that 7 years later I live by. It’s my Bible. I love it. I want to marry it. It gets me through the days, weeks, and months. Can you feel my love for it? It has pockets in the front and in the back. It holds all of my recipes, and any other ideas and thoughts that I love. I cut and stuff on a weekly basis and everything goes into this notebook. It’s a must have. It’s a combination of all of my favorite magazines and idea books without a bunch of fluff. Everything in it I love. I know I love, and my family loves. It makes my life easy!

The front inside pocket is filled with house and decorating ideas.

The back pocket is filled with gardening ideas. (It's time for pansies people!!!)

And the middle is filled with recipes tried and true that my family loves. It’s divided into five sections: appetizers/salads, vegetables/vegetarian, chicken/fish, meats, and sweets/breakfast. I keep plenty of extra page protectors in the binder for days when I cut things out. It works great…nothing needs a hole punch.  I just slide them right in and the page protectors do just that when things get messy in the kitchen.
Marlene has informed me that page protectors are too expensive...this coming from the woman that buys $400 designer jeans...

Rachel :)
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Seriously...

Please...we've been strong for 10 years now...since I tracked you down. The reason Marlene and I separated for two years is because I was busy graduating from college and getting married and she was too busy drinking wine and dragging out her 4 years of college into 6!

In all honesty I love her messy closet almost as much as I love her. It would drive me crazy to live with (pictures of my closet are coming, but it's safe to go ahead and assume that ALL of my clothes stay in my tiny 1950's closet ALL the time and items are organized by sleve length and color) but every season Marlene cleans out her closet! Why is this so exciting for me? Because I then get to "shop" at the specialty store Marlene's Closet...a.k.a. Marlene's hand-me-downs that she doesn't want anymore. Most of my best pieces come from her...shoes, shirts, and handbags... if I am ever wearing something cute, it's from Marlene!

We will save the V story for another day...

Rachel :)
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Friday, October 29, 2010

How are we friends?

Rachel and I have been friends for almost 15 years now.  Along the way we lost touch, but for about 8 years we've been solid.  We could not be more different in our interests.  I know I can count on her for menu planning and exercise advice and she knows she can count on me to identify the designer watch she must have (and make sure she receives it for her anniversary) with just a glance. 

We started this blog because we are both really good at what we do!  She is excellent at organization, DIY projects, saving money and decorating her home.  While I rock at putting together a wardrobe and accessorizing it (I am a private jeweler by trade http://www.ascotdiamonds.com/ for those interested), finding out the newest restaurant or store opening, or the latest thing in skin care, I am terrible at homemaking. If you put us together, you would have the perfect woman.  We talk about 5 times a day and my husband says that one day Rachel and I will just live together.  I always respond that we would have a gorgeous house and fabulous wardrobe!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not proud of being a disorganized mess.  I make several attempts a year at turning over a new leaf.  Please see exhibits "A" - "C" as to why I have multiples of a lot of things in my closet.  I usually can't find anything in here.

 To be fair, my father does own a shoe store. You're welcome, Dad.




When we put our house on the market last year the real estate agent suggested that I put my "off season" clothing in another closet to make it seem like there was more room.  He was astounded that I already do that.

I hope that by having Rachel put her ideas and tips on "paper", I will learn something.  Maybe she will learn something from me and stop wearing those shoes that start with a "V".


Marlene
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