Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's new? Skinny Tee's and Vacation, that's what!

Skinny Tops are new here at Next Door! We have all the summer colors in!

Stop in or buy them here: Next Door

Skinny Tee's, The Diet you wear!
*Does not roll up
*Made in America
*One size fits most
*Appear 2 sizes smaller
*Great pregnancy top
*Perfect for layering

More Spring items arrive daily, check these out.

Our weekly special:
Paige Venice Crop in Colette. Today's special while they last. We have a full size run in this cute jean for spring. Reg $198  Today's Special $160
Wear these cuties with this perfect Splendid Knit Tank

Hazel is right up my alley with these!
Hazel Bandeau Dress in navy stripe
Hazel Asymmetric One Shoulder Dress in tangerine

All we need here in Milwaukee is warmer weather, and I'm in!

Thankfully we are heading to Destin, Florida for a week with a group of friends and
their kids over Easter Break.

Re-entry from a family vacation is always difficult. May I recommend a ladies trip post the 35 hour
round trip family vacation?

Mind you, I have a post Easter Break annual trip with the ladies to
Miami ~ South Beach. So I do practice what I preach.
So sad, I will miss my family. sniff sniff, some
how I think I will be okay. 

This is where we stay....for free. (huge smile)

The beach is beautiful, but sometimes
this shows up...?
 It was a Bachelor party, this had to have been the groom. Lucky Lady!

But for the most part, we eat, talk, laugh, drink, sleep, sun ourselves, and have a great old time. 

P.S.  No, that is not a Bump It in my hair's some fella's head.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Absolutely, never, no way, no how!

This blew my mind!
Seriously, not a fan of this concept. I am sure many of you would feel just right doing this. I would freak out and assume I was going to pummel to my death. I would do pretty much anything but this. 

This made me feel panicked


This made me super anxious

And this one

I think I just threw up in my mouth.

I can do things like this

and even this

Iron Wolf

But not this type of high ridiculous stuff.....
I rode this at Navy Pier with two of my daughters,
.....I will never do it again. I promise.

Plan your next event with

Of course you'll need an extra 20-30K to
toss out for dinner.

Any takers?
You? Would you do this? Talk to me....
*update: My husband just made a very good point when
 I showed him this post....what do you do when you
have to use the restroom?   C'mon everyone we are
heading down.....Sally has to pee, AGAIN.  Do they set
you up with astronaut diapers....or is there a set hour to pee?
 I'm just saying, bladder production: reason #2 not to dine
in the sky. (remember reason #1?  Pummel to your death.)
 Ok, enough said.


Friday, March 25, 2011

happy birthday nina

My baby is 6 today!  Nina Katherine "Bean" was born on Good Friday{3.25.05}, easy breezy baby delivery. Always cuddly and such a sweet pea.  She met with the sassy side around age 3, probably because she stopped napping at age 2. Oh well, she is a great sleeper now and has a truely fiesty personality. Life would not be nearly as fun without her.

I made this little collage around her non napping hangs on a
bulletin board in our dining room.
Snif, Snif, I miss this age.

Sweet Nina needs a special treat for her birthday and I think it's these! She adds sprinkles to anything I let her loose is a special day!  *UPDATE* This recipe ROCKs!! My girls gave them the new name, "CakePakes"  and they loved them....they have been even eating leftovers cold from the fridge. I would recommend making a double recipe...LOVE!

found this tasty recipe here

I know, cake for breakfast? Watch this and don't judge me.

Happy 6th Birthday Nina!
You are a lovely little lady. You make me laugh. I know I can always
count on you to guess what I'm thinking. ;) Your such a big girl now!
We love you to the moon and back~xoxo
Mommy & Daddy

Here's a new collage for my little Spitfire! xo ~mama

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Evil to the core

These are the enemy.

Don't let the pretty purple bag fool you.

They sit next the kitchen sink so unassuming, so Easter like, all pastel and cute.

That is until you start filling a container
with them for short car rides,
like picking kids up at school or running to the bank, and then you eat them ALL and hide them from the kids when they get in the car after school.  I'm just saying.

They look all good until you open your 3rd bag of the season and nobody really knows that they are in the house, except you.

You would not believe it
I am not the only freak
318,494 like them on Facebook
Make that 318,495

"Mini Egg season!!! oh the joy!!! the perfectly white washed pastel colors, the candy shell that dissolves if you are patient enough, the smooth dairy milk chocolate takes me to chocolate paradise....I'm head over heals for those speckled little bit
sized gifts of God."  -Facebook Cadbury Mini Egg fan

My friend, Krista from San Francisco sent me the first bag this season. Sort of a tradition from back in the day, when we sat and watched movies (Boomerang to be exact), 
eating these out of a glass elephant jar on a large orange sectional sofa at my sister's apartment.  Good thing times have changed, now I eat them out of tupperware and geese bowls from Anthropologie....while watching Sky High on Disney with my kids. ......geez.


Think Spring? Think Again...

My friend/boss, Renotta shared this amazing recipe on her blog.  With the weather the way it is here in the armpit of the weather pattern why not bunker in and make a yummy comfort meal, chased by a large glass of red wine. Renotta and all the gals who have made this swear by this recipe...let's give it a whirl!!

French Chicken in a Pot via Granny Circle

Renotta says,

Gourmet Granny, this is probably old news to you, but I recently discovered French Chicken in a pot! It's so easy, no basting, no mess and no dry meat! Thanks to my favorite cooks at I can put on my Julia hat every now and then.

Serves 4

The cooking times in the recipe are for a 4 1/2- to 5-pound bird. A 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours. We developed this recipe to work with a 5- to 8-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. If using a 5-quart pot, do not cook a chicken larger than 5 pounds. Use the best chicken available, such as a Bell & Evans. If using a kosher chicken, reduce the kosher salt to 1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt). If you choose not to serve the skin with the chicken, simply remove it before carving. The amount of jus will vary depending on the size of the chicken; season it with about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice for every 1/4 cup.


1 whole roasting chicken (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back (see note)

2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion , chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)

1 small stalk celery , chopped medium (about 1/4 cup)

6 medium garlic cloves , peeled and trimmed

1 bay leaf

1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)

1/2 - 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon


1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary (if using) around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon inserted into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 110 minutes.

.2. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about 3/4 cup juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Stir lemon juice into jus to taste. Serve chicken, passing jus at table.

Delish! ~JR

Monday, March 21, 2011

Boot Love

It's been almost 2 years since you came into my life. We've been through so much together. We've been to Chicago, Miami, Puerto Rico, back to Florida again, the grocery store, dinner with family and friends, downtown, Home Depot, the Flea Market, a rummage sale or two, out to lunch, just to name a few.  Through the slushy Wisconsin winters, you've kept me warm and comfortable.  All the while keeping a modest face when the
compliments come rolling in.  Many times you have been mistaken for your cousin, Frye. 

It's you Katherine Engineer Boot from that makes me happy. Makes my mornings easy to get dressed. 

Thank you.

This is how easy it is. Throw in a buttery pair of Citizen denim. Pick a top and cardi from Splendid & Michael Stars, both are a staple at Next Door.
Our soon to arrive line of Spring scarves are sure to please.

Don't tell my darling brown pair, but it's sister just arrived last week.  I'll break it to her gently....there is room for both of them in my closet & my day.

I want to take this moment to thank Kiki for introducing me to Katherine. I have also shared the deal with Holly, Barb, Cindy, Kelly, and 4 fantastic Next Door shoppers I have had the opportunity to help out., I can't get enough of you. With your price of $39.99 I was able to shop at Next Door that much more. 

Thank you. 


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pancakes in a blender?

Yep, that's right, I am making these easy breezy pancakes made in a my trusty 1967 Hamilton Beach Blender.  My girls had friends sleepover last night and I went out with my high school girlfriends. My husband was the Dad of the year. He took them to a basketball game and got them to bed...all while I had the most delicious fish tacos and Blue Moons with the old school pals.  So this morning I redeemed myself with these crazy easy, but tasty breakfast.
(I just burned one because I am typing this, so *note, stay focused while cooking these)

Here is the recipe for the the easiest breakfast around:

2 cups milk

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder


1.Place milk, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla in the blender. Add flour and baking powder. Blend until smooth.

2.Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

COOL Kitchen Tip:
My friend Barb, from Minnesota :) taught me this cool kitchen tip.  Cut pancakes, pizza, and anything else like it with kitchen shears! Serves is up faster for the kiddos. Thanks B!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Smidge O' Irish

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I think I have a smidge of Irish in me, so I do enjoy a pint and a reuben.
But, for the most part this Mexican sticks with margaritas and enchiladas.  I hope you all have a great little green holiday.

Making my little chicks homemade Shamrock Shakes, Mmmmm

Shamrock Shake from

•2 cups vanilla ice cream

•1 1/4 cups 2% low-fat milk

•1/4 teaspoon mint extract

•8 drops green food coloring (optional)

Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth.
 Add some fun sprinkles, and drink it up!

Here is a little green from:



213 Dress @ Next Door




Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prayers for the people of Japan

I do believe I can live with the gray skies here in my town.
 Spring will come, and summer will follow.

 I am praying for all of the people in Japan. Those who are missing their loved ones, whose homes are washed away, and who have seen such
devastation in their lives.

This link is hard to watch. It does not show any one person being injured, but is of how the water came in with ships racing into homes and buildings. 
The people of Japan need our prayers.

Stop by this blog that I enjoy.  Mrs. Lilien makes a mean cocktail, has impeccable style, and knows when to put her money where her mouth is.  Donations for Japan here:

or click here to make a donation


Time for a change

I live in the midwest, it's not pretty here right now.  Gray snow banks, brown grass peeking through, gray skies, over all, living he** for anyone with SAD.

I am tired of each day being filled with the same gross weather. Today was a bit different with Day Light Savings and all. Along with the fact that this strange thing was in the sky. It was warm, bright, and it was surrounded by blue....

I think I need some color in my life. Whether it's in my home, my clothing, my pedicure...whatever!

How about adding a yellow wall in the kitchen? Kind of a lot of work, maybe in Fall.


How about red and yellow thrown together, that's a bit easier. Not so much of a committment.
via Domino

I don't think I would need color if the sun came into my kitchen through doors like these....especially a kitchen that looks like this...for real?


Just wearing color wakes me up.  Thank goodness for Spring Break. We are heading to Destin FL with the kiddos and friends for a week in the sun.  One of these dresses from 213 is coming with me, flip flops and the green dress? yep!

Find these @ Next Door

Maybe I should just paint a door.....

I see so many people painting things orange,  Maybe I could do it, maybe.

This little pretty turqoise pendant light could hang with me anyday!


This light is mine, it's hanging in the foyer. More affordable than the previous looked good before I show it
following the Massucco Warner Miller Chandelier photo.
Nice, now it looks ugly. Darn SAD, kicking in again...kidding.

I have no trouble trying new colors, pedicures are meant for that.
Lavender is the new pink this spring...atleast that is what I think I heard. Hmmm.

My daughters don't seem to notice that Wisconsin in March stinks. They played basketball with the neighbor kids and they built a fort in the family room.

Nope this photo is not ours, they are creative, but I couldn't give them lighting for their fort, they would burn the house down....

They were fighting about who goes where and grabbing blankets from all over the flipp'n house!  Here is what their fort looked like.
Cute, but that lamp fell over twice. 

My 5 year old is beat....she threw a tantrum over socks and fell alseep in this weird position next to me while I am writing this blog. 

Don't worry I wouldn't let her stay that way too long.

I have to go it too early to put her to bed? -JR


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