September 21, 2011

What I Love Wednesday

Howdy friends! What an amazingly gorgeous day- we're getting a tiny taste of fall weather this week here in New England! What I love this week is fall decor- and I'm not talking about faux foliage or scarecrows. More like the warm, cozy and a little rustic accents that transform a home for the season.
This manzanita branch candle holder is amazing! It's a bit pricey at $99, but I've definitely seen some great DIY versions, too. I'd prefer it in a darker finish. (Note: it was from West Elm, but doesn't seem to be available anymore)
I would love a few of these chunky, knit throws from Pottery Barn to drape over chairs and the sofa. Love it! On sale for $59.99. 
I love adding little touches of nature in unexpected ways- love these dried wheat tea candle holders (although I'd be a little scared to light it....). I am thinking about using tiny sticks gathered from the yard.
How gorgeous are these monochromatic pumpkins? The orange guys are great, but there's something so elegant about these lovelies! 

What do you love this week? As always, we're linking up with What I Love Wednesday over at Lollipops Blog!!!

August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Good morning, everyone! We are experiencing (literally) the calm AFTER the storm. Boston was spared much damage from Hurricane Irene yesterday, instead merely getting quite a bit of rain and a little wind. I am so thankful that our area was relatively unaffected. I encourage you to say a prayer/send positive thoughts to those who didn't fare so well- especially where there is flooding. Our friends in Western MA have had really bad weather luck this year, with tornadoes just a few weeks ago and now much flooding. (Sidenote: did you catch this? So funny!)
On to our menu for this week. I'd like to start by saying that you might have noticed that we're mainly eating vegetarian lately- I'm really glad to be back to healthy and conscious eating. Now that the heat has died down (fingers crossed!), we'll be back in the kitchen with tons of healthy and affordable recipes to share! 
  • McCann's Irish Oatmeal, fresh fruit
  • Kashi Go Lean with coconut milk
  • Homemade wheat toast with Sunbutter and banana
  • Mushroom and sausage ragu over polenta (sub Gimme Lean "Sausage")
  • Black bean and sweet potato quesadillas with homemade guacamole
  • Chickpea tacos with pico de gallo (cook chickpeas with taco seasonings and mash slightly)
  • Smoky black bean soup
What are you cooking up this week? Spill the beans (teehee) in the comments and link to your Menu Plan so that we can steal your great ideas ;) As always, linking up with and Menu Plan Monday!

August 24, 2011

What I Love Wednesday

Tomatoes. I love tomatoes. Love them. Dream about them. Crave them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I grow them in my garden, but not nearly enough to satisfy my huge appetite for perfect, ripe, juicy summer tomatoes. Here's how I've been eating tomatoes lately:
Gorgeous, marinated tomato salad using a variety of heirlooms. Mmmm. 
No-bake lasagna lets the fresh, tangy flavor of summer tomatoes shine through. Mmmm
Tomato sandwiches. All day. I could eat 5 tomato sandwiches per day. Maybe more. This grilled onion and tomato sandwich looks quite tasty. 

Linking up with What I Love Wednesday at Lollipops Blog! Go check out what other bloggers are loving! What are you loving this week?? Spill the beans!

August 22, 2011

IKEA Planning

Hi Tiny Wallet Stylers! How was your weekend? Ours (as we mentioned in our Menu Plan Monday post) was absolutely wonderful. 

Mike and I have been meaning to get over to IKEA for a while- we have a little notepad with running lists for each store we don't get to regularly: Michael's, Christmas Tree Shop, etc. When we have more than a few items on any list, we make a stop at that store. Most of the time it's not urgent things that we need, so it's okay if we wait a little while. We find that this technique prevents us from suffering from the "just need one thing" syndrome- we walk in with one thing in mind and walk out with a whole cart full of things that we just don't need. 

So anyway, on this trip to IKEA, we're looking for:
Lyckhem Dining Table- $179.00. 

Possibly one or two of these Tryta benches- at only $9.99 a pop, they would be great extra seating. We would paint them and add pillows and cushions to make them more comfy!
This Gilslev rug for the new office/guest room. $19.99 for a 6'x4' rug?! Does anyone have this- is it reasonably nice? We would be using it to cover up the ugly, scratchy rug that is already in there. 
A pair of these adorable Eivor curtains for the office/guest room. It's a small room, so we're going to use gray/white as the main colors and then add fun splashes of color with accessories and art. They ring in at $14.99 for the pair! 

We'll report back with all of the cute things we will inevitably bring back home with us :)

Menu Plan Monday!

Good morning friends! Can you even believe that August is nearly over?! I most definitely cant- although waking up to low 60's this morning certainly helped me to be happy about the fall weather that's just around the corner! I am thankful for the gorgeous and warm weekend- we headed up to York, Maine to celebrate my "little" brother's 19th birthday! 
Here is what we have on the menu this week:

  • Steel cut oats (I started using the McCann's oats in a box- 3 minutes to cook!), with fruit and peanut butter
  • Smoothies (although only at work- our blender broke!)
  • Cereal/yogurt


What are you most looking forward to whipping up this week? Let us know and link to your menu so we can visit!!!
As always, linked up with go check out the copious menu plans that are posted there weekly!!! 

August 18, 2011

Outdoor Life

I've mentioned before how much I love our porch. It's a quiet little retreat from the city- green, breezy and relaxing. When I saw Gussy's Inspiration Workshop post for today, I just had to join! It's all about the porch!!!
I love to walk out here before cooking dinner and gather fresh herbs! We're growing thyme, rosemary and basil!
Our porch looks out onto our backyard and our neighbor's backyard- this is their gorgeous rose bush that has crawled up the fence that separates our yards! How lovely!
When we're having dinner on the porch, I can gaze down onto our thriving little garden! It's pretty nice to eat dinner with garden fresh veggies and see right where they grew!

Mike and I spend almost every night in the summer out on the porch. We catch up while dinner is cooking. We share a meal. We play board games while the sun goes down. We listen to music out there. We enjoy time with friends. We have a cup of coffee on lazy weekend mornings. We discuss the important and the mundane. We celebrate and we problem solve. Sometimes, we just sit together and hold hands. It's our little place and I love every moment we spend on our little porch. 

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

August 17, 2011

Imagining A Room of My Own

Thanks to my beloved Pinterest, I've been having some fun imagining a room of my own- an office/craft room/reading nook. 
All of my craft supplies stacked in neat little shelves.
A whole sewing table to spread out my projects on. 
A great, happy little desk for my computer to rest on. 
And a comfy little nook for me to get lost in a great book or do some writing. Ahhh doesn't this look wonderful??

Linking up with What I Love Wednesday!! Xooxox

August 16, 2011


It's amazingly easy to get into this horrible place...a place where I am judgmental, harsh, critical and unforgiving. Not of others, but of myself. My eye goes to every speck of dust illuminated by the afternoon sun, overlooking the gorgeous, dusky glow. I give up sleep, relaxation and time with my husband in pursuit of perfect. And it's not working.

So I give it up. 

Perfection is a lie- it's not possible. Life isn't perfect, it's messy and unpredictable. It's a little dusty, a little cluttered. You know what is perfect? Sitting on the porch with my husband, watching the evening sky turn fiery pink and playing a game of Yahtzee. Not worrying about the dishes. 
I started following the FlyLady plan- just doing a couple "baby steps" each day- getting into a groove. It's simple: wash your dishes before you go to sleep. Wipe down your sink. Swipe your bathroom fixtures before you leave. You come home to a tidier house- even by just a little. 

We will see how it goes! Do you FLY? Are you still in pursuit of the "perfect"??? 

August 15, 2011

Me, A-Z

I was inspired by reading Casey's "Me, A-Z", so I decided to share mine! Hope you're having a lovely Monday!!

{a} age :: 26

{b} bed size :: queen

{c} chore you hate :: mopping the floor

{d} dogs :: none- we've had a few fosters, though!

{e} essential start to your day :: husband smooch, enough sleep, iced coffee

{f} favorite color :: blue

{g} gold or silver :: silver

{h} height :: 5'1

{i} instruments you play :: none, but I love singing

{j} job title :: nanny, birth doula, student

{k} kids :: not yet!

{l} live :: The Bay State- good old Boston, MA

{m} maiden name :: Sargent

{n} nicknames :: Ally, Kanga (if you're my husband), Al

{o} overnight hospital stays :: None, thank God

{p} pet peeve :: thoughtlessness, rude people

{q} quote ::
 "Enjoy yourself- it's later than you think" - Chinese Proverb

{r} righty or lefty :: right

{s} siblings :: younger sister and brother

{t} time you wake up :: 7am, or earlier if Mike's up earlier

{u} university attended :: Suffolk University and University of MA- Boston

{v} vegetables you dislike: eggplant, if it's cooked badly

{w} what makes you run late :: lack of planning! 

{x} x-rays you’ve had :: fingers, feet, chest 

{y} yummy food :: chicken tacos from Cactus Grill. Mmmm

{z} zoo animal favorite :: giraffes- but I kind of hate the zoo :(

Menu Plan Monday!

Happy drizzly Monday, friends! How was your weekend? Ours was pretty terriffic! Lots of friends, food and family- just the way we like it. Here's what we're cooking up this week: 

  • Steel cut oats (I started using the McCann's oats in a box- 3 minutes to cook!), with fruit and peanut butter
  • Smoothies (although only at work- our blender broke!)
  • Cereal/yogurt
  • Mike's been wanting pasta salad, so I'm making a big batch (the dressing kind, not the mayo kind)
  • Leftovers
  • Baked sweet potato with veggies (for me!)
What are you making this week? Spill the beans- we love new ideas! As always, linked up with go check out the copious menu plans that are posted there weekly!!! 

August 10, 2011

What I Love Wednesday

You know what I love? This guy:
The hubs and I went to see Bon Iver this past weekend. Outside show, light rain, ridiculously amazing set= best night ever. I swooned. I swooned much. The new album has been in my ears non-stop. Mike bought me it on vinyl for my b-day. It's just so good. 

August 2, 2011


I had such a yummy lunch that I needed to hop right over here and blog about it. Does that ever happen to you? You eat something delicious and immediately need to tell someone about it? Oh...just me? Okay then. 
Whole wheat pita, Cedar's hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, tzatziki and sriracha. Mmm. Super messy to eat, but worth it. This would be easy to throw together in the morning before work, too. (I also had the last 8 corn chips leftover from a party this weekend, because they are so  yummy and I have zero self control with crunchy snacks.)

In The Mood

We have this absolutely amazing waterfront park in our neighborhood. During the summer, they host a series of concerts for free. We pack a picnic and meet friends for a night of music and fun, all right on the gorgeous Harbor. For zero dollars, I can't think of a much better night out! 
This past week, they hosted a wonderful Big Band that played swing music! A local swing dancing group came and showed off their moves for the crowd. So fun! 

August 1, 2011


Hola amigos! So last week was a complete wash-we were so overscheduled its not funny. The silver lining is- I'm on vacation this week! The problem is- this is how I feel: 
I'm making the effort to get back on track, so this morning I made a list of things I want to accomplish. 

  • Stick to Flylady system of house cleaning and organizing (have you checked this out? It's amazing!)
  • Bag and bring all donations to Goodwill
  • Finish painting the bathroom (this has been ongoing for 3 months now!!)
  • Do as much cooking and freezing as I can- I'm hoping to make at least a week's worth of meals. 
  • Inventory our pantry and figure out how to use it all up. 
  • Determine where I want to sign up for a gym membership and do it! (Ours expired in July and we don't want to go back to that gym)
  • Relax! Read a book, paint my nails, etc. 
How do you take time off? Do you play catch up or just focus on relaxation?? 

Menu Plan Monday

Good morning friends! Sorry for the little hiatus- last week was chock full and, unfortuantely, the blog was the piece of the puzzle to get dropped. We have lots of awesome things on the schedule, though, so stay tuned! In the mean time, here's what we're cooking this week!!


  • Steel cut oats sweetened with a little bit of pure maple
  • Whole wheat english muffin, toasted with some peanut butter + fruit salad
  • Sandwiches and leftovers for Mike, since he's in the office this week. 
  • Quesadilla with mashed sweet potato and black beans. (Recipe this week!) 
  • Low-carb wrap (I like Cedar's brand) with hummus and tons of veggies

Monday- Shepherd's pie with mashed sweet potato
Tuesday- Enchiladas with veggies, chicken and black beans
Wednesday- Slow cooker carnitas- pico de gallo and guacamole
Thursday- Calzones with whole wheat dough, pesto and chicken. Homemade marinara to dip!
Friday- Veggie burgers (we're obsessed with the Vegetable Masala ones from Trader Joe's) and salad
Saturday- leftovers
Sunday- Salad wraps (veggies + lettuce + chickpeas + hummus + tabouli for me, plus chicken for Mike)

Linking up with and Menu Plan Monday! Head on over there for lots of great menu plans!!

July 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

How was your weekend? Ours was s-t-e-a-m-y! It's been consistently in the 90's for the past week or so! Phew- looking forward to seeing the mercury drop a little bit, that's for sure! Here's what we have on the menu this week:


  • Steel cut oats sweetened with a little bit of pure maple
  • Whole wheat english muffin, toasted with some peanut butter + fruit salad
Lunches: (same as last week, but they definitely worked well and kept me full and happy)
  • Baked sweet potato with black beans and fresh pico de gallo.
  • Dr. McDougalls soups (the tortilla is my favorite!)- they're cheap, too. 
  • Low-carb wrap (I like Cedar's brand) with hummus and tons of veggies

Monday- Green salad with chicken (for Mike) and chickpeas (for me!)
Tuesday- Grilled whole wheat pizza with veggies and sugar-free BBQ sauce (plus cheese for Mike)
Wednesday- Slow cooker barley risotto with a big green salad
Thursday- Taco Thursday! Black bean for me, chicken for Mike
Friday- Whole wheat angel hair pasta tossed with veggies and herbs 
Saturday- leftovers
Sunday- Salad wraps (veggies + lettuce + chickpeas + hummus + tabouli for me, plus chicken for Mike)

Linking up with and Menu Plan Monday! Head on over there for lots of great menu plans!!

July 22, 2011


Happy Friday!!! It's more like Fryday, if you live in Boston! Phew, it's scorching today.

I woke up early this morning in hopes of beating the heat to workout- no dice! It was almost 90 degrees when I rolled out of bed at 6am. Nooo thanks. Instead, I drank a glass of iced coffee and watered my poor garden before it got scorching.  
Once I got to (wonderfully air-conditioned) work, I had a bowl of Irish oatmeal with a little maple syrup and bananas. Mmm. I picked up a snickerdoodle iced coffee on my way, my Friday treat! Best $2.25 I can spend in heat like this- it was gone VERY quickly. 
Lunch was just a big salad with tons of cold veggies and a little goat cheese. I also had a Sargento cheese stick (colby-jack reduced fat) to snack on. I brought a Dr. McDougall's black bean soup, but it's just not soup weather. 
We'll be going out for dinner tonight, but I'm working on a post for hot-weather dinner recipes for you! Lots of cold salads, a few slow-cooker recipes and even some filling smoothies. 

What's your favorite "hot-weather" food? Or are you like me and lose your appetite when the temperature goes up? 

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