Fridays Excite Me!!

First things first... I am totally stoked about getting my nails done today... because I have THREE (yes thats 3) broken nails... all happening yesterday... not such a great day. I'm so embarrassed to even look down at my own typing fingers. lol.

Secondly... I just saw this...
yeah!! Check out This Sweet Giveaway!! 
The lovely and most talented 
Kat (isn't she a cutie pie!! just adore her)
has opened up her own shop...
I am so totally excited for her!! She has the cutest stuff ever! You must go check her out!!

Friday also means the last day of work... which is super lovely. But also, I get to do whatever I want tonight... it's the Last Friday of the month... so boys poker night... aka... mama's night in (yes, that is how big of a dork i am... i enjoy my alone time at home. lol)
So, I'm thinkin' about watching 
The Duchess with Keira Knightley: DVD Cover
Elegy with Penélope Cruz: DVD Cover
and maybe even
Little Ashes with Javier Beltrán: DVD Cover
....can you say YAY for Movie Night!! lol...
What are your big Friday night plans???

**Edited : Being 'all-by-myself' today in my office, I decided to make a fun little playlist for my next month of Gym Time (all they all said Yay! lol)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

(Pay attention ipod boy... looks like i need a playlist put together and added. hehe)

E is for Eggplant....

I happen to be quite fond of eggplant already... so here are a couple recipes I'd like to share....

Eggplant Parmesan Rolls with Swiss Chard and Fresh Mint



  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4 pounds total), trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, center ribs removed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 15- to 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 8-ounce ball fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained, thinly sliced


  • Cover bottom and sides of each of 2 large colanders with 1 layer of eggplant slices; sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Continue layering eggplant slices in each colander, sprinkling each layer with coarse salt, until all eggplant slices are used. Place each colander over large bowl; let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Rinse eggplant slices to remove excess salt; dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  • Position oven rack 5 to 6 inches from heat source and preheat broiler. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on prepared baking sheets. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil. Broil 1 sheet at a time until eggplant slices are tender and beginning to brown, watching closely and removing eggplant slices as needed if cooking too quickly, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove baking sheet from oven and cool eggplant while preparing filling.
  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add chard to pot and boil just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Squeeze chard very dry, then chop coarsely. Squeeze chard dry again between paper towels. Whisk eggs and pinch of coarse salt in medium bowl. Stir in chopped chard, ricotta cheese, 1 cup Parmesan, mint, and black pepper.
  • Lightly oil 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Spread half of tomato sauce evenly over bottom of dish. Divide chard-ricotta filling among eggplant slices, placing about 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each. Starting at 1 short end of each, loosely roll up eggplant slices, enclosing filling. Arrange rolls, seam side down, atop sauce in baking dish. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over. Place mozzarella slices in single layer over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and chill.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake eggplant Parmesan rolls, covered with foil, until heated through, about 30 minutes if freshly made or 40 minutes if refrigerated. Uncover and bake until brown in spots and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

    Picture of Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Ricotta and Grilled Tomato-Basil Relish Recipe

    Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Ricotta and Grilled Tomato-Basil Relish



    For the grilled tomato-basil relish:

    • 8 ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
    • 5 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 small red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil plus fresh leaves, for garnish

    For the eggplant:

    • 8 slices (2 medium eggplants, ends trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices)
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 16 ounces fresh sheep's milk ricotta
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the grilled tomato-basil relish:


    Heat your grill to high.
    Place the tomatoes in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes on the grill and grill until charred on all sides, and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the grill and coarsely chop.
    Put the chopped tomatoes in a bowl, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, onion, vinegar and basil and gently mix until combined. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Can be made 4 hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    For the eggplant:

    Heat your grill to high.
    Brush eggplant slices on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the slices on the grill and grill until golden brown and slighty charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
    Stir together the ricotta and parsley in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
    Place the grilled eggplant on a large platter and top each slice with a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta and a heaping tablespoon of the tomato relish.

Book Review : The Time Traveler's Wife

I began reading this book last week (I believe) and it was yet again another one I just couldn't put down.
Since Henry time travels the story reads back and forth in time and dates, and you have to pay attention to the age of Henry (and Clare) often. By the 30th page or so I was able to 'get it' (remember, I am still a beginner reader, so stories might not click as quickly for me) and I was fully enveloped in the life-long love story of Henry and Clare. The time traveling back and forth, recurring scenes from different perspectives made this book super interesting. I would certainly like to re-read this book.
Some other points of interest... I would have to rate this book "R" due to graphic language and content (lots of use of the F-word both as a 'word' and as an 'action') but it really fits so naturally in the book and it seems to bring you closer to the characters and their relationship that it doesn't really offend (at least didn't offend me in any way)... 
I will tell you that I cried. I cried more than I've cried in any other book I've read so far (which I think is just about every book yet this year... maybe it's me). It was so ... touching, and well, my heart just ached and needed to let it all go. Listen, ask anyone... I'm not a cry baby. But this was such a beautiful story that it affected me and made me cry. Period. Don't dwell. lol
I've passed the book onto my sister and I will be anxious to talk with her about it... and even more anxious to watch the movie!!
Two thumbs up!!

watch this.

it's entertaining.
and i like it.

p.s. i think there is a giveaway in the near future...


i'm addicted!
i went to my first zumba class last night with my neighbor (yes, even being sick) and i absolutely LOVED it!
If you don't know what Zumba is... or just curious... go HERE!
If you don't belong to a gym, or can't find a local class, I highly suggest renting or buying a video. So Much Fun! It really doesn't even feel like working out... more like dancing in a club getting super hot and sweaty but in a totally good way!
Give it a try!!
P.S. This Cutie Girl is a certified Zumba instructor (I Love reading her blog) and recently learning this gave me the extra push to finally give it a try! :-)

weekend mia. explained.

- i spent the weekend with my five favorite kiddos (my two and my sisters three)

- the hubs went pig hunting thursday but came home early on saturday because he got rained out. he was NOT a  happy camper. lol.

- i got most of the laundry done

- i made blueberry muffins from scratch

- i made cupcakes with green and blue frosting

- i began to read this book (and am less than 100 pages away from finishing)

- i watched this movie (it was okay. not my fav five. just being honest)
Cover Image

- also watched this movie with my sister (i haven't spent much time with her, and i really, really enjoyed it! thank you Lisa!!)
Cover Image

- we tried to watch this movie (since my son and nephew just finished the book) but BOTH copies from the library were scratched-to-shiz so I'm gonna go out and buy it today so that we can all watch it tonight... it was a real bummer
Cover Image

- i rented this movie from the library. and i can't *wait to watch it later today or tomorrow
Amadeus with F. Murray Abraham: DVD Cover

- saturday night my throat was sore. my sinus area was itchy.

- sunday i woke up sick. stuffy. body aches. swollen glands.

- sunday night nyquil put me to bed at about 8pm.

- i woke up today (monday) late. got to work barely on time. my ears are buzzing and stuffed. i hope i make it  til 2pm at least. 

- i don't feel good. whaaa. (fingers crossed for tomorrow).


oh the places we'll go : Ireland

Being that the hubs is Irish... we have every intention on visiting (and looking up family in) Ireland.
Trim Castle, Co. Meath, Ireland
Shelbourne Hotel
Castleroche - Guardian of the Pale
College Green, Dublin
South County Dublin, Ireland
Liffey Sunset a la Nokia - Dublin, Ireland
Temple Bar Pub
Patrick Conways Pub
Dingle Pub
(click on photo to link)
One day... Hopefully sooner than later, we will set foot on this Green Home Land. How exciting to know that it WILL happen! :-)

Inspiration : Mid Century Modern

I just got done watching the suuuuuper talented David Bromstad on Color Splash (HGTV) design and decorate this adorable home in Mid-Century Modern.... and I immediately fell in love!
Here's some yummy Mid-Century Modern Design Eye Candy that I found...
Pierre koening case study house

Kitchens from the '50s
The House Beautiful Treasury of Contemporary American Homes
The-Incredibles-Mid-Century-Modern- 1.jpg
The-Incredibles-Mid-Century-Modern- 2.jpg
Spy Vibe
Rose Hall now/then
The Standard Hotel Downtown LA

Norman Cherner Illustration
(Above images found at this amazing website Mid Century Modernist)


What a beautiful movie!
I highly recommend you see it. I checked mine out at the library, but I'm sure your local movie rental location will have it. It was brilliant!
© something Big is coming...
Maira Gall