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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Carapelli Olive Oil Tasting

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carapelli for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Yes, Really...
This blog is not about food. I love food but I'm not much of a cook.
I do make spaghetti quite a bit.  Like at least once a week.
Mostly I take a can of Hunt's tomatoes with roasted garlic and add a little olive oil and spices.
Sometimes I just put olive oil and Italian spices on my spaghetti noodles. 
So the other day when the good people of Carapelli contacted me and asked if I'd do an olive oil tasting, I thought - why not?
Apparently, olive oil tasting is very similar to wine tasting.
Carapelli sent me the instructions on how to do the tasting. First I was to poor the oil into a wine glass and warm it with my hands. You then taste using the four S's.
The four S's are:
Swirl, Sniff, Slurp and Swallow
1.  Swirl -  by swirling the olive oil in your glass you release the oil's esters, which are the molecules that contain the aroma.
2.  Sniff - Now inhale deeply. The aroma is the key to the fruitiness of the oil. Is it intense or is it more subtle?
3.  Slurp - Sip the oil while "sipping" in a bit of air. This slurping action emulsifies the oil and helps spread it throughout your mouth. Take note of the various tastes and sensations. Is it fruity, peppery , smooth?
4.  Swallow - Once you swallow the oil, it should leave your mouth with no aftertaste. Again, take note of any peppery or stinging sensation in your throat. 
Armed with these instructions I set about to give it a try.
I taste tested two of their oils.
Their premium extra virgin olive oil and their extra light olive oil.
The extra light is intended for cooking use. It is very light in taste...just a hint of olive.
I can imagine it would work very nicely in many recipes.
But what I was most interested in trying was their EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
I must admit I'm not very informed on olive oils..I buy according to who has the most authentic looking label and nicest bottle. Carapelli is very impressive on both counts. 
That is how I shop. If you have a pretty label...I'll buy your product.
But through the taste testing I did learn to appreciate the quality and taste of Carapelli's product.
First it has a lovely heady olive aroma and fine smooth texture. 
001950 CarapelliTastingProgram_9_28_11.pdf-1
The aroma is heavily olive in fragrance. The taste is very nice, very olive filled. 
I'd say it is hearty, bold and strong in olive flavor. I like my olive oil to taste strongly of olives and this one did.
It was much  better than the brand of olive oil I had in my cupboard and I will most likely buy Carapelli from now on.
And they are not paying me to say that.
Carapelli is Italy's No. 1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil and I can see why.
Carapelli's Master Tasters craft the exclusive blends of the best oils from the finest Mediterranean olive groves.
It's premium 100% Italian - made solely from the first cold pressing of the finest 100% Italian olives with an intense, robust flavor and aroma.
Actually, the tasting got me in the mood for a little snack that's served at many Italian restaurants.
I made a little dipping sauce for bread I had on hand. I poured a little in a bowl then added balsamic vinegar and cracked pepper.
It was a delicious little snack after my official olive oil tasting.
How about a  coupon for $1.00 off your next purchase of Carapelli olive oil? Here you go.
Now...does anyone want me to do a soy sauce taste test? 
I'd gladly do that too. Or actually wine taste testing for the blog would be fun...wouldn't it?
Well, fun for me.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Green Christmas

I've been pinning away Christmas decor that speaks to me.
I keep being drawn to silvers and greens.
I think I'm starting to feel the pull to switch up all my holiday decor.
I've been doing a white tree with vintage shiny brite ornaments and vintage putz houses 
and elves for quite a few years now. 

I love my Christmas stuff and I have lots of it. 
But I'm feeling an urge to change.
I will not be acting on this urge. 
I have many beautiful holiday treasures and no money to try something else.
But I can admire all these beautiful images.

Do you change up your holiday decor every few years or just keep adding to what you have?

I just keep adding to what I have.

I survived three straight days at Target and now I will be at Pier One the next two.
Much shorter hours for that job. 
And I love being around all the pretty stuff. Nice customers too.

So I got comfortable shoes to wear....and my feet hurt in entirely new spots today.
My toes went numb on both feet by end of day.
My ankles felt like I had twisted them.
It's bad....really bad. Not just a little uncomfortable but my feet feel like they are on fire.

Last night I worked from 5pm til 12:30 am.
Store closed at 10 pm. But the next two and a half hours were spent putting away things
that people had left around the store and returns.

I have always been good about putting things back when shopping but I always imagined
someone in the different departments taking their stuff and putting it away.
That is not how it works. Once the store closes and the cashiers clean up the front, they 
all go to the different parts of the store to put away merchandise which involves walking all over
the store searching for where everything goes. 

And you are so tired.

I also had to go out into the parking lot (it was freezing and I had no coat) and put away 
shopping carts. I kept asking "where are the boys that do this?"
No answer.
I guess they were loading new merchandise at the dock.

I will never ever not put something back in its proper spot.
The only thing that made it bearable was that the girl working with me 
had torn tendons in her knee and she was struggling as badly as I was.
We were a fine pair.

Tonight as I drove home...I thought...always in my life I've said..."I might be having a rough time
but I still have my dignity". 

Now that is shot too.

No more dignity.

I'm walking like a very old lady.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mod Mix Monday #26

Shabby Opulence
Ok...not mod but it is fabulous. 
I love all the mirrors piled on the sideboard.

There were great rooms in last weeks Mod Mix. 
Let's review my favorites.
Betsy of Betsy Speert's Blog showed off her pretty dining room. 
I adore that chandi and the mix of chairs.
Laura of Finding Home shared her tween girl's bedroom redo. 
It's colorful, young and a mod mix.
Andrea of Opulent Cottage created the prettiest Thanksgiving table. 
Kristie "The Decorologist" admitted to serial furniture rearranging and other disorders but 
her rooms aren't suffering from this affliction. Check out all her pretty rooms in their variations on this 
post. She painted the trim on her victorian sofa white and got me to thinking I should do the same.
This is Kristie's room too. I love her whole house.
And finally.... Theresa at Momma T's Place had such a pretty outdoor Thanksgiving.
She mixed natural elements with turquoise for a very unusual Thanksgiving look.

Can't wait to see what you have this week.

You know the routine...link up below your Mod Mix's for this week.
Anything old redone to be new. Old mixed with new.
Anything new redone to look old.
Mix it up.

If you enjoy this party...I'd hope that you'd become a follower.
Please give me a link back in your post and be sure to link up to the exact 
post not your whole blog.
Please no food links or baby stuff or clothes. This needs to be decor and furniture related.
I'm going to start deleting links off subject.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Open House Sunday 28

A Christmas Open House
Might as well start the Christmas Season off right with this Candy Colored Christmas Decor.

This home is in the December issue of Romantic Homes magazine.
More photos in the magazine. 

Thanks to everyone that have written me to express their support for my
new adventure in retail. 

I don't know that I am doing it with that much grace.
Today I worked my fourth day at Target.
I left after my shift to meet my Mom so we could shop for comfortable shoes for me to wear.
When I hobbled to her car I declared that I was over retail.
My feet hurt so bad I couldn't think.
I finally found some other shoes to wear tomorrow and I'll try again.

But now that I know the register...I have to say I am remembering why I didn't stay in 
retail back in the day. It gets so boring when not busy.

I have never had a job where I count the minutes and hours.
I usually don't have enough time in the day to get all my projects done so
it's strange to watch the clock wishing for the time to go by when I 
am used to watching the clock hoping I can get more done in the limited time I have.

I keep telling myself this is just to get me by till something good comes along.
I'm telling myself that over and over...but my feet don't understand - just for now.
They are screaming quit! 

But I will keep trying. 
I do enjoy the interaction with customers especially at the Pier One job.
I have met some really interesting people at Target too.
Today I met a couple from Russia.
They were very perplexed by the whole Black Friday thing and wanted me to explain it to them.

I found that difficult since it is beyond me as to why people go so crazy.
It's so against all that the holiday is suppose to be.

I hated all the terrible stories I heard.
Apparently Target has one of the better behaved crowds.

Ok, I'll be at Target tomorrow 5 to close. 
And then to Pier One one Monday. 

It's just for now....It's just for now...It's just for now.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

My First
So this was my first experience working Black Friday.
I reported to work at Midnight and people were going crazy...wanting in the store.
One lady tried to follow me in the employee entrance.
They were only letting in 100 people every 10 minutes to keep the crowd under control.
It was very very busy from Midnight to about 3am and then it slowed to almost nothing.
I'm wondering if their plan to open at Midnight worked. 
I think they were probably hoping for constant customers from Midnight on.

I didn't realize that everyone would be in such a hurry because they had to get to the next store on their list.

Not a fan of this....I have never ever shopped on black friday except maybe for Christmas tree decorations.

And this mornings experience has convinced me I never will.

So Thanksgiving was great.

I went by the hospital and spent some time with Shelly. 
She is feeling better...temperature, steady. 
She has pneumonia. Hopefully, she can go home tomorrow.

Then I went to Shannon's. I walked in to find the table set with new dishes.
Gorgeous, aren't they? She also had the matching big turkey platter. 
I had seen these online at Pottery Barn a couple of weeks ago and thought,
Shannon needs those. I should have known she'd already seen and bought. 
They are now on sale at the Pottery Barn website - here.

The weather was just the best on Thursday and
I got to eat out on Shannon's deck under the pergola and in front of the 
outdoor stone fireplace.

It was amazing. Lots of old friends and new friends were there and my Mom.
Good time had by all. 

Now I'm home to prepare myself to go to work at Pier One at noon.
My feet hurt so bad...I can't stand it. 

I really don't know how I am going to make it till 5pm.

At least nothing bizarre happened today like yesterday.

Read about my crazy horrifying experience here.

Hope you are all having a great Black Friday!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Giving Thanks
I'm thinking today about the things I am thankful for.
Every year when the whole extended family got together for Thanksgiving, my
Grandmother would ask each of us to go around the table and tell what we were 
thankful for before we ate our dinner.

To be honest we all hated this tradition.
One year as each took their turn and stated they were thankful for the love of their family, 
their job, their friends, their homes...etc....it came to my Uncle Scotty.

He said, "I'm thankful that things are not any worse."
And we all laughed. 

To be honest that is how I feel this year for real. I've been thinking that I'm thankful that
things are ok at the moment. 
This has been a tough year. It started out just fine (actually pretty great) but quickly went south.
But there are many things I am thankful for -
I'm very thankful for all of my blogging friends that pulled me through a rough time
in late summer. Your friendship and anti-depressants (ha!) have gotten me through.

I'm thankful that my sister is improving. 
She's lost like 70lbs! Can you believe it?

I'm always thankful that I have my great Mom.

I'm thankful I go to my friend Shannon's tomorrow to have 
Thanksgiving Dinner with friends and family.

I'm thankful that I found some part time jobs to help me out financially.
I ended up with only two...it was going to be impossible to manage four.

So I now work part time at Pier One and part time at Target.

Working at Target as a cashier has been an eye opening experience.

I have to say everyone that works there is super nice.
Kind to each other. The customers have been super friendly and forgiven me my inexperience.

I'm thankful my cousin and best friend  - Shelly is still here. Although, she is most likely spending 
this Thanksgiving in the hospital. She had to go there today....with a 104 temperature.
I will visit her tomorrow.
I love her so much...
Today something happened that made me realize how lonely I will be without her.
Well, I already knew this....but this made me feel how it will be without her.

This is the most absurd story and as it was happening...I thought....I can't believe this...
Wait till I tell Shelly!

But when I went to call her after work...I found out she was very sick and in the hospital.
I cried...thinking what will I do when she is not here any more and I don't have
her to tell all my stuff to?

I spoke to her husband and asked him to have her call me when she woke up and felt like talking.
I just got off the phone with her. Yes....she laughed at my story. 
And then we cried together
about how we are going to miss each other so after she is gone.

We have always had each other. She is six months older than me...so we have always been in 
each other's lives. I don't know what I will do when I can't call Shelly and tell her 
about my day. The plan was that we'd be old ladies together.

But I am thankful that I have her for now...

So, I'll share here my story of what happened.

Be prepared to be amazed...
Perhaps to be disgusted...
But I guarantee you will NOT be jealous...

So, today at Target, I was working as a relief cashier covering breaks and lunches for all of those working 
at the registers. I'd just come back from lunch and had gone up to the cashier manager (this is not what 
they are called...they have some kind of name that is initials like DSM or GML or DVD...I can't remember. 
So I'm standing there waiting for the manager to tell me which lane to go 
to so that I could provide them a break. 

I know this sounds boring...but it gets better.....

So just as she says...."Why don't you relieve Tayna on Lane 11?" and points me in that direction...

A fly comes buzzing in.... straight towards my face...in a second it comes straight at me 
and disappears and I swear I was pretty sure it had flown straight up my right nostril!

This happened in a split second while the Manager was talking and pointing. 
At first I thought...did that just happen? 
Couldn't be...he must have flown past but it sure feels like he flew up there.
I am thinking this as I walk to lane 11 to relieve the cashier.

Well, of course I wanted to immediately go to the bathroom to check out the situation.
But I'd just gotten back from break and this was my second day there and I couldn't very 
well scream out - "There's a fly up my nose! There's a fly up my nose!"
So I kept telling myself it couldn't be but yet...my nose did not feel right.

And there were customers lined up down the aisle waiting for me to ring them up.
I couldn't blow my nose! I didn't have a tissue. 
My nose was tickling and felt strange and I was resisting the urge to sniff.
The last thing I wanted to do was suck the thing further up into my nasal cavity!

So I'm still ringing people up and then....it starts to buzz. I guess it had been stunned
at first. So now I feel this thing moving and buzzing in my nostril and 
my greatest fear was that it was either going to crawl out my nose while a customer 
talked to me or just coming flying out!

I know....I know....

This was humiliating! Here I am trying to have as much dignity and class as I work at a job
that I never thought in a million years I would be doing and I'm trying to just live in the moment
and be friendly and happy and trust that things will improve in my life and 
BAM! A damn fly goes straight up my nose!

So the thing is really moving around now. I press the side of my nose hoping to kill it.
I guess I thought a dead fly up my nose was preferable to a live one!
How quickly ones perspective can change.
 Finally, I turn my head away from customers 
for a second and I had to pick my nose in public!

I had to! I had no other choice!

Luckily is was moving out as I stuck my fingernail in so it took just moment.

I was so relieved when the thing walked out on to my fingernail.
I flicked it to the ground and prayed no one noticed.

Yep! This is what my life has become. 
And I was so relieved and happy to have that thing out of there.
I was almost giddy!

Then driving home tonight I thought...what if it laid eggs!

Can you believe this happened?

I haven't felt right since. 
I came home and blew my nose and stuck a cotton swab soaked in alcohol up it.
That really stings by the way.
My nose still feels weird. 
I don't think I will ever forget that feeling.

I'm sure I'll be ok.
This sort of thing must happen to cows all the time and you never hear of them having problems.

So let's see, I guess I am also thankful that at least it wasn't a wasp or bee!

I hope you have a very pleasant Thanksgiving free of insects. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mod Mix Monday 25

Silver Christmas Wreath
This elegant sideboard and Christmas wreath amaze me.
What! A wreath created out of old silver plated trays?
And that sideboard was created out of an old bed head and foot board.
Again.... utter Genius....

I wonder if I could collect that many silver trays by next week?

Mod Mix Monday was awesome again last week...
René of Miss Gracie's House put together this wonderful girl's room
Such a lucky girl to have a room that looks like this. 
Love the color scheme...all the white plus bright pastels.
Bonnie of A Wee Meenit added warmth to her holiday creating a throw pillow out of 
a $3 cable knit sweater bought at a thrift shop and then made candle holder cozies with the sleeves.
B of B in Real Life decided with her Mother's urging that she had the perfect spot 
for a hutch but how to obtain a hutch without spending a fortune. 
She combined items she already had to make this very pretty display area in her home.
This one is a flash of brilliance. I first saw the post was about a vintage camera collection from
Carrie at Lovely Etc. but clicked and found it was so much more. I love the vintage black
and white cameras all lined up on the sideboard. 

Now on to this week....

You know the routine...link up below your Mod Mix's for this week.
Anything old redone to be new. Old mixed with new.
Anything new redone to look old.
Mix it up.

If you enjoy this party...I'd hope that you'd become a follower.
Please give me a link back in your post and be sure to link up to the exact 
post not your whole blog.
Please no food links or baby stuff or clothes. This needs to be decor and furniture related.
I'm going to start deleting links off subject.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Open House Sunday 27

Cottage in the Woods
built 1930
This looks like a tiny cottage from the outside but inside the place seems huge.
You had me at the front porch.
Inside it quickly gets kind of rustic modern.
The inside does not match the outside.
What do you think?
I would never put that table and that bench together or that candlelier with either.
Whoa! The kitchen is really a departure and must be added on to the back of the original house.
I like the finishes....even the basket light fixture.
This looks like a totally different home...maybe an apartment.
This room and the hall look like what I'd think the house would be from the outside.
Attic conversion
The bathroom is very modern.
Basement...I think
Now we're talkin'.
Yes, this would do.
Love this flagstone patio
and water feature