July 31, 2013

Black Thumb

Remember the beautiful potted plants I showed you from our balcony?  Given the heat wave we've recently had in NY and title of this post, I think you can see where this post is going...

It's a good thing killing plants isn't illegal -- we'd be serving a double sentence for this!  Actually, we'd be serving many repeating sentences because, though I'm ashamed to admit it, these are not our only casualties.  Far from it.  In fact, I think I've now caused the demise of more plants than I've kept alive.

Out of the three foliage friends featured in this post from May 2012, only the colorful boot plant is still alive {and kicking!}.  The parsley unfortunately didn't survive our escapade through the French countryside, and the flowers in the railing planters did only slightly better last year than they're doing this year... which is not well at all.  Out of 4 railing boxes we currently have planted, 3 look sad if not outright pathetic.

What can I say... I was obviously born with a black thumb!  Shep is usually the plant whisperer of the family but alas it seems my black thumb is even trumping his green one!

Anyone else out there have a black thumb?  Come on, we can't be the only ones with so many sad plants?!

July 20, 2013

Balcony Gardening

Like most everything in life, living in an urban environment has its pros and cons.  We live in a condo building, and although we sometimes dream about the peace and quiet of a standalone house {e.g., when riding the elevator with nosy neighbors or listening to the "dog parade" out in the hallway as owners take their furry best friends for walks}, for the most part condo living suits us really well.  We both work long hours, are not very handy {though Shep definitely wins the award for most improved in this category!}, and would much rather spend what little free time we do have reading in the park or meeting up with friends, rather than having to worry about cleaning gutters, raking leaves and mowing the lawn.

We are very lucky though to have some private outdoor space in the form of balconies.  And although there are definitely space limitations, we try to "pretty things up" by keeping some colorful potted flowers outside during the warmer months.

Nothing too fancy -- just a few pots of blooming flowers from our local Home Depot -- but it's enough for us!  It's funny how a little splash of color can really improve your mood, isn't it?!

What are YOUR favorite flowers??

July 18, 2013

Texas Caviar

This is a recipe I heard about from a friend.  At first I was skeptical of its name, but "Texas Caviar" as it's known is YUM-MY!!!  {Can I get a YEE-HAW?!}  It's a very simply recipe to follow {even for a novice like me!} but be sure to prepare it the night before you need it, because the overnight marinading is key!

Texas Caviar Recipe

1 x 15 oz. can Black Beans
1 x 15 oz. can Black-Eyed Peas
1 x 11 oz. can White Shoepeg Corn
1 x 4 oz. jar Diced Pimentos
1 x 4 oz. can Diced Jalapenos
1 Celery Stalk
1 Medium Red Onion
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Vegetable Oil

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{You can use your favorites, but these are the brands I picked up from my local supermarket.}


(1) Rinse black beans, black eyed peas and shoepeg corn.

(2) Dice celery and onion.  {Not sure what the difference between dicing or chopping is, or need some advice on how to approach that onion?  Check out these handy tips for beginners!}

(3) Place beans, peas, corn, pimentos, jalapenos, celery and onion together in a large bowl and mix.

(4) In a small saucepan, mix together the vinegar, oil and sugar and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved.

As the sugar dissolves the liquid will become clearer:

(5) Once sugar is completely dissolved, pour marinade over dry ingredients.

(6) Cover and marinade over night in your refrigerator.

(7) The next day, drain any extra marinade before serving.  Texas Caviar can be served as a dip {it goes great with chip scoops} or eaten as a side salad!  This recipe is perfect for a hot summer BBQ!

Enjoy, y'all*!  ;)

* Disclaimer:  Please note that no cowboys were harmed in the writing of this blog post.  I'm a born-and-bred New Yorker, but a cowgirl at heart.

July 11, 2013


I shot a 60 at golf this week!  One minor detail... it was mini golf.  :)  I began with a couple of hole-in-2s {is that a thing? it is now!} but things went south very quickly.  I even lost my ball in a shrub during the game!

There was ONE almost-magic moment during my game where I ALMOST got a hole in one.  It was close.  Really close.

So Close Yet So Far Away...

the blue ball is mine!
Oh well, I may have tied for last place but at least I had fun!  And, I learned that there is a mini golf course in downtown Manhattan, which I never knew before!  It's right near the river so there were some very nice breezes, which definitely helped since the humidity was out of control as usual.

So tell me, what's your best mini golf score??

July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!

Happy Birthday, America!

Wishing all of you a great day with friends, family and hopefully BBQ'd hot dogs!