Eye on the Prize

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For the past 4-5 months I’ve been searching for the perfect bike. I’ve researched different brands and looked at countless websites and I’ve finally found it! It’s a bit pricey, so when I told my husband that I had finally discovered the bike that I have been dreaming about, he said “Ok we can get the bike, but let’s make a deal.”

This intrigued me. As a child my parents observed my competitive nature and would come up with “contests” where the prize was something I desired or an experience I wished to have. So this appealed to me. My husband and I have made such deals in the past and I always keep my eye on the prize and ultimately get what I want, the great thing is that the journey always brings something with it as well. When I said that I wanted a pug, we made a deal that when a certain amount was paid off on the credit cards I would get a pug. So in the end, I got my beloved Fiona and our credit cards were paid off as well…win/win.

This deal is, I must admit, a little more daunting. So here’s the deal. In order for me to finally get this beauty……

My Bike


I must remain sugar and gluten free for 3 months AND workout at the gym for 3 hours each week! The first part won’t be so hard for me, I’ve been gluten and sugar free for almost a year now (aside from a few setbacks here and there), It’s the latter part that I’m having a hard time with.

I’ve never been much of a gym kinda gal. I don’t like them, I don’t like working out, and I feel intimidated at the gym. But damn it, I want that bike!! So I got myself a personal trainer and have my aqua aerobics schedule written in my calendar and I’m on my way. I will have to say that I LOVE aqua aerobics. I did it when I lived in San Diego and I really like the pool at my gym here, so I’m very happy to be doing that. I’m looking forward to working with a trainer so I can learn the best way to work out and help strengthen my back, since my injury/surgery I have noticed the strength in my back and core has really diminished.

I know for most people the prize of working out is feeling and looking better, but for me that just isn’t enough to motivate me. I know it’s strange, but hey whatever works, right?

So hopefully come the end of September you’ll see me riding around town on my new gorgeous bike (and a few pounds lighter as well).


Missing San Diego

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Will and I have been missing San Diego a bit lately. Well…mostly the food really. So when a new Mexican Grocery Store called Jalapeños opened near our house we were so excited to troll the aisles reminiscing about the times we would spend at my parents house in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. I have to say for a small Mexican store in Glen Burnie, MD it did a great job bringing back those memories. They have it all Fabuloso, chicharones, all the wonderful Mexican pastries, my favorite Apple Soda – Manzanita Sol and queso fresco. All with piñatas hanging from the ceiling.

We were so inspired and so missing good Mexican food, that we decided to have a Mexican Feast.


We made Carnitas de Michoacan.



My Famous Guacamole

IMG_0844Will’s Famous Salsa Fresca

I also made Tomatillo Salsa to be used later this week for Enchiladas Verde and Chile Verde. Photos of those to follow. Everything turned out really tasty, but I still miss the REAL San Diego Mexican Food. But this will have to do for now.

DC Flea Market

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Will and I have a new obsession lately. We’ve been finding estate sales and flea markets and trying each weekend to attend one or the other. I’m so lucky to have a guy who loves to look at old stuff with me. While we were in Paris we came across a flea market in the 12th arrondissement, selling everything from old books and photos to furs and tableware. Then while in Vienna we met a gentleman at one of the Christmas markets selling trinkets, watches, jewelry and all kinds of cool stuff. Will found this really neat straight razor. He bought it for 30 euros and a new obsession was born.

Now at estate sales and flea markets he has another item he’s looking for, he wants to add to his collection of straight razors. He’s always searching for old jazz albums, anything having to do with the atomic age and just plain cool stuff.  I on the other hand am looking for hats, gloves, brooches, clothes, anything pretty.


So when we heard about the Big DC Flea Market, we knew we had to go. It’s a two day even at the Dulles Expo Center and it was huge. We were a little overwhelmed. I kept forgetting to take photos. But I did take some shots of one booth that carried antique medical equipment, books, and bottles.

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I wish I could have bought so many of these items. Especially the antique fire cupping set. All the books were great to. But I did make two purchases. Two very lovely vintage hats. The first one, I saw right at the beginning and really wanted it, but I didn’t want to buy it and then find something else that I liked better (we had set a budget you see). So I spoke to the lady and asked how much it was and told her I’d be back. By the end of our day we went back and there it was, waiting for me. The woman got so excited as said she knew that it had a good home with me. So here it is.

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The second hat was a great find as well. This lovely lady had tons of hats, gratefully she had separated them into colors, so you could choose what color you wanted and then sift through all the hats. It was between this a blue hat I loved, clearly this one won out. I’m still on the lookout for a fabulous blue hat.

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So there you have it. My wonderful DC Big Flea Market finds. We had such a great time and can’t wait for the next one.

Disneyland in Maryland?????

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After seeing The Hobbit this morning (awesome!!!), Will and I stopped in at an antique shop in our neighborhood. This place is amazing! Last week I bought my first fur hat. It’s from the early 60’s and quite cute. There is so much to see there, it will take us several hours to look at everything and the inventory changes each week!

But this time I found a little piece of my heart. On a small glass table was sitting this blue bowl from Disneyland! I looked it up and its from the early 60’s. Some say it’s a candy dish, an ashtray or simply a souvenir. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d find a vintage Disneyland souvenir in Maryland.

Boy do I miss Disneyland right now!

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Halloween Party Invitations

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As much as I love technology, there are times when good old fashioned communication is called for and much appreciated. For this years Halloween Party I decided to forgo the E-Vite or the Facebook invite for actual, paper invitations. And I’m so glad I did. They were fun to make and I think they turned out quite well.

I created them on Zazzle.com, they had a bunch of different templates to choose from and you can edit and change a good bit of it. You can also choose why type of paper to have them printed on.

Here is how they turned out. What do you think?

This is Halloween…..

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So I’ve decided to have a Halloween Party this year. I had one every year in San Diego and in Raleigh. But when we moved here to Baltimore I found it much harder to find and make friends. When you own your own business, and that is the only job you have, it’s a bit more difficult to make new friends. Anyway, we’ve been here 4 years now and it’s finally time to bring out the party decor and have some ghoulish fun.

Here are some of the decorations I’ve put up, or should I say added to since most of this stuff is up all year round.

Here are some close-up shots of my “Witches Notions & Potions” Bookcase

Pesto Potatoes & Eggs

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Photo from Notions & Notations of a Novice Cook Tumblr Page

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and just had to try it. Will and I made in on Sunday morning.

We used the last of our basil from the garden (it was really starting to look leggy so we knew we had to do something). And I cooked the potatoes in our cast iron skillet and just used that to cook everything in the oven too. Less dishes to clean.

Well it turned out amazing! Next time I’d like to add some mushrooms to my side (Will is none to fond of fungi), but I think it would add a great flavor to it.

Here’s the link to the original blog post I found it from. I hope you try it, it’s a great brunch dish.

Notions & Notations of a Novice Cook