September Favorites

HOW is it the last day of September????  This month flew by in a flash!  We had some of the best weather of the year and Jacob has been taking me on lots of long walks.


Friday favorites is too hard to keep up with…so I’m changing to monthly favorites.  Here are some of the things I’ve been loving lately.


Jerry and I went to this new (to us) restaurant in Irwin for our Anniversary Dinner.  Cenacolo provided us with one of the best meals in recent memory.

September 17th was 3 wonderful years with this handsome guy.


We started out our meal with Fomaggio Fuso.  Wait until you hear this!  It’s this insanely yummy cheese melted in a skillet until it’s nice and gooey.  THEN they fill half of it with potatoes, leeks, pancetta and goat cheese and flip the other half over like a quesadilla!  The melty cheese is the tortilla!  It was insane.

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Cenacolo makes their own pasta every day and it did not disappoint.  I had the Tagliolini which had crabmeat tossed in a light sauce of garlic, chives, lemon and parmesan cheese.  Jerry had the Rigatoni with hot sausage, banana peppers and roma tomatoes.

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If you are in the Irwin/Greensburg area, GO!  Run to Cenacolo!  It’s BYOB too :)

Happy 3rd Anniversary to Team Soscia!


Chicken Spaghetti

I revisted one of my favorite comfort foods this month.  Pioneer Woman’s chicken spaghetti! I haven’t made this in ages…it’s happiness in a bowl.  I switched out the pasta for bowties and used a rotisserie chicken.  Oh, and I made my own cream of chicken soup too.

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Hanging with our favorite kiddos

We’re pretty lucky that we now live so close to my brother and his family.  September brought us Fall soccer. Jerry and I are official members of the Sharks fan club. Look at the moves on this guy!



Ryan scored a goal in last weeks game!  Uncle Jerry taught him everything he knows.

And guess who does NOT cry every time her Aunt Jenny walks into a room???  This little munchkin!  I knew she’d come around.

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Honeycrisp Apples


I picked up a bushel of honeycrisp apples from Shenot Farms a few weeks ago.   I know Soergels is the place to go around here for all the apple madness of Fall.  But I avoid that place at all costs in Sept/October.  It is madness!!  Shenot’s is a much smaller farm with exceptional produce and the apples are amazing.  I’ve been eating one of these babies every day.

And beginning  the last weekend in September and every weekend in October, plus Columbus Day, they offer hayrides to their pumpkin patch and corn maze.

It is a great way to spend an afternoon with your family, and it’s the perfect time to get your jack-o-lanterns, cornstalks, straw bales, decorative Indian corn–as well as delicious sweet corn, apples, cider, and vegetables.  Of course don’t forget to stop at the fudge counter!

The hayrides to the pumpkin patch and corn maze are from 11:00 5:00 P.M. Saturdays and Sundays.  Columbus Day hayrides are 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Baby on Board


Our dear friends, Chiquta Banana and B-rad, are expecting their first baby in April!  They made it Facebook official yesterday (how cute is this announcement??).  We are so thrilled for them and can’t wait to meet Baby Banana in April!

Happy Fall to All!


House Tour – Master Closets

Jerry and I are very fortunate to have 2 walk-in closets in our Master bedroom. Not sure why all of my clothes looked jammed in there in these pictures…it’s very spacious.




Annndddd here is Jerry’s closet…

He spent a LOT of time organizing his clothes.  You will notice that everything is arranged by style, then color.



Even his t-shirts are organized.


What’s the over/under on how long this organization will last?  I say 1 month….

Weekend Wrap Up

Jerry and I had a fantastic weekend. 


Friday night is typically our date night at home.  But we decided to take the party on the road and hit the Springfield Grille for dinner. 

Date night selfie


I haven’t been to the Springfield Grille for over a year. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the overall meal.  We started out with their version of Bang Bang Shrimp and they were excellent.


But my crab stuffed shrimp and garlic orzo were kinda blah.  The orzo had zero flavor and the shrimp were really little and the crab stuffing was soggy.  It was fun to go out but I think we should probably just stick with Mexican :).


Jerry had an alumni soccer game in the morning.  He dug out the retro North Hills soccer tee for the occasion.  I only stayed for the 1st half.  Figures he scored a goal in the second half!  Needless to say, he’s not 22 anymore…we have some hobbling around going on today. 


Saturday night took us to Meat & Potatoes for dinner with some friends.  Fried pickles and brussel sprouts stole the show (of course I didn’t take pictures) and my Plain Jane burger (topped with a mound of white cheddar) was perfection.  I split my fries with 2 other girls and we almost (almost) didn’t finish them.  They don’t skimp on the fries! 


But the big talk of the night (besides Sidney Crosby being 3 tables down from us) was Jerry’s dinner.  He and a friend split the 34 oz rib-eye (served with steak fries, housemade steak sauce and bone marrow gratin).  It was ridiculous.  I passed on a sample (I’m a purist when it comes to meat and it looked too primitive to me) but I was told it was outstanding.


UNTIL 2:30 am.  Jerry was up all night with various digestive ailments and we found out the next day that his partner in crime was sick as well.  Glad I stuck to the basics! 


Beautiful morning in the ‘hood. 


Jacob and I covered 3 1/2 miles while it was nice and cool.  Sunday’s weather was about as good as it gets.


We putzed around during the morning, watched the Steelers win and then headed over to my brother’s house to celebrate this big guy who was turning 6.


How is he SIX??  Didn’t he just look like this last month??? 


Perfect weekend of fun and relaxing…I took 2 naps!  September is quickly becoming my favorite month. 

Hope yinz guys had a great weekend!

House Tour – KITCHEN!

It is very fortunate we are having guests this weekend.  It forces me to clean like a crazy lady…and allows me to take some decent pictures!  It should be noted, my kitchen never looks this clean.


I am so spoiled by this space…I’m ruined forever!!

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I am in love with this cooktop…and shiny range hood.


It’s so easy to clean and cooks like a dream.  So come on over!  I’ll make you dinner :).


This island has been all I’ve hoped it would be.  I have tons of prep space and storage in the cabinets.

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I have a very strict rule about dogs in the kitchen.  They’re not allowed.  I was nervous this might be an issue with Jacob because it’s so open.  But he’s been pretty good.


He’s so darn cute!!


I see lots and lots and LOTS of kitchen time in my future!  Happy Labor Day weekend to all of yinz!

Whatcha got cookin?

I may have mentioned 926616 a few times, our kitchen was the thing I was most looking forward to in our new place.  And I’ve wasted no time getting my hands dirty.  In the 10 days we’ve lived here, I’ve been cooking up a storm almost every day. 

The first, best thing about my kitchen, is the cooktop.  Do you notice anything about the eggs in this picture?  They are in the center of the pan.  Not swimming along one side because the burners are all lopsided.  This shouldn’t been as exciting to me as it is…but I’ve never had so much fun making eggs! 


This weekend I made Mel’s chicken enchiladas.  They are In. Sane.  So good!


Served with some brown rice and avocado. 


And when I was at the Market District on Sunday, they had freshly roasted hatch chiles available.  You bet your bottom dollar I picked some of these babies up! 


They’re hot.  But I like hot.  I slow cooked an eye of round roast to make the Mexican Shredded beef from Gimme Some Oven and used the hatch chiles in place of the jalepeno in my simple slaw.  Yowza! 

So about that beef.  It’s ridiculous.  I’m on a chipotle in adobo kick recently (I know, so 2011) and I want to add that flavor to everything.  This recipe is simple perfection.  Make it! 


After our weekend of heavy eats, Jerry and I have pledged to clean up our diet this week.  Fresh fruits and veggies make me giddy!


And seriously, how cute is my dog???  Where’s Waldo Jacob?

House Tour – Bathrooms

We are slowing getting settled into Lot 256.  One of the first things I did when we moved in was spiffy up the bathrooms.  They are easy.  There is no furniture to buy…just toss around a few accessories and that’s that. 

This is a terrible picture of our first floor powder room.  Yes, we still have the ugly mirror (although it’s not so bad once there is some stuff in there) and yes, the ugly light fixtures are still there.  But they’re going up on Craigslist this week.  Those towels are blue, btw.  I need to stop using my iphone to take pictures and break out my real camera. 


I took this picture of the giant duck last summer.  It was a perfect day and the sky was an insane shade of blue.  My towels match the sky in the picture.  This picture was ordered from my instagram account and I just centered it over an old IKEA stock photo to fit in the frame.  I like these frames a lot. They were like $15, are pretty heavy and I like the wide mat.  Of course when I was taking this picture, I noticed one of Jacob’s hairs stuck under the glass.  It will probably be there for a while.  Keeping it classy at Lot 256!


The duck makes another showing in the guest bath.  But he probably won’t stay there.  We had this print in storage and it got a faint smudge on it during transport.  I will probably replace it with something botanical. 

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You will notice a bathroom trend at Lot 256.  Apparently I have a thing for flowers/plants on the back of the toilet.  It’s a hot design tip.  Here I have some fresh flowers going on but never fear!  I have a fake hydrangea to take it’s place once they die. 


This is our master bath.  Kinda basic but I added some color with another fake plant.  I’m so fancy. 


More plants on the master toilet!  This little room is so tight…I only use this bathroom in the middle of the night.  But the shower makes up for it!  SOO glad we decided to go with the obnoxiously huge shower instead of the small shower/big jet tub option. 

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So that’s your first glimpse at the progress we’re making.  More updates to follow as we get other rooms put together. 

Happy Monday!

Friday Favorites #6 – House stuff

I know.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  Packing, unpacking, cleaning the old apartment, organizing…we’ve been super busy at Lot 256.  I promise so pics of how the place is shaping up.  But here are a few of my favorites from the new house thus far. 

New dining room table and chairs

I found these babies on Craigslist.  The set is from Ikea and was already assembled (score!).  The price was right, the table length was right and the (omgWHITE) chairs were right (the covers are washable)…so we picked it up as a nice in-between compromise until Jerry builds his table.  Now the pressure is off of him!  The table is 108” long but there are 2 removable leaves which drop it down to 60”.  We can resell it or reuse it as a desk or whatnot.  I’m thrilled with this purchase!

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New Washer & Dryer

It is not normal to be as excited about these appliances as I am…but I’ve never claimed to be normal.  Jerry and I purchased these 2 beauties at HH Gregg over the 4th of July during The Biggest Sale of the Year.  We got a great deal on the washer and the dryer was an “out of the box” model that was reduced by almost 50%. 

We got the 4.7 CU. FT. Ultra Large High Efficiency To[ Load Washer w/ Waveforce…and the capacity this thing is crazy huge.  It’s super quiet and although I’ve only done a few loads, it’s a rockstar!  The dryer is the 7.3 CU. FT. Ultra Large Capacity Steamdryer and it’s been great thus far as well. 

I have a full post in the works all on appliances!  Try to contain your excitement.


Temporary Blinds

Jerry has very strong opinions on window treatments.  He knows what he likes but more importantly, he knows what he doesn’t like.  And because holygeez window treatments are expensive…we came up with a nice, cheap interim solution (we’re big on interim solutions in this house!).  Paper shades!  We bought these ones from Home Depot and while Jerry was out of town on business last week, my Dad came over to ensure I didn’t muck up the installation.  These are pretty foolproof but If there is a way to screw it up, I’ll find it.  They attach to the top of the window frame like a super stick post it and then you can clip up the length to your desired level.  There was some cutting involved (again, better left to my Dad than me) but they were pretty simple!  And now my neighbors are spared the free show.


Consignment furniture

The most adorable little consignment store opened in Wexford this summer.  I can’t remember the name of it to save my life but it’s by the Aldi on Rt. 19.  Anyway, I picked up a few things over the last few months.  And this little gem is one of them. 

Jerry rolled his eyes when I brought it home. “WHAT are you going to do with that thing?”  In his defense, it’s pretty huge.  And heavy.  But I have a thing for metal and fleur de lis so I bought it.  And it’s PERFECT on the wall in our stairwell. 

My Dad came to the rescue on this one too.  No way, no how was I getting that thing hung by myself.  But


So that’s that for this Friday.  More house updates to trickle in over the next week or so!!

Weekend Wrap Up – Food edition

This was a nice relaxing, low key weekend.  The calm before the storm that is coming for the rest of the month.  I did a lot of cooking and not much else.

Margarita pizza with my patio grown basil, farmer’s market tomatoes and trader joe’s crust.  Very yum.

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Shenot farm broccoli, Sutton Farm flank steak and sundried tomato & Asiago farro.  I am loving all of this local food!


We need to talk about this chicken.


Chicken is probably the #1 protein Jerry and I consume.  We usually grill it but sometimes bake or stir-fry it.  And while it’s very versatile, I get sick of eating the same grilled chicken every week.

I made these honey chipotle chicken bowls when we were still living on Shelley Street.  I was blown away by the flavor.  But as amazingly delicious as they were, I kinda forgot about it.  Until this week when I realized I had a 1/2 eaten can of chipotle chilies hanging out in my fridge.  I didn’t want to pitch them and remembered this chicken.  So I bought all the stuff and whipped it up Thursday night.  The ingredient list for the marinade is pretty long.  Especially if you’re like me and your chicken marinade typically consists of a bottle of Italian dressing.  But if you make it in the food processer or blender, it comes together pretty quickly.

Honey Chipotle Chicken from How Sweet Eats

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves, minced

Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or ziplock bag and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, adobo, honey, mustards, cilantro and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken, covering it evenly. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

I doubled the recipe and marinated the chicken for 2 days in the fridge.  Reserve some of the marinade to use as extra bbq sauce for dipping.  Jerry proclaimed this is the best grilled chicken I’ve ever made.  He is absolutely correct.

This is the infamous Shenot’s sweet corn and it is heaven on a plate!


I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Oh and we’re buying a house tomorrow.  No big deal.


The Final Progress Pictures

Things are wrapping up at Lot 256.  It’s strange to think that in less than a month, we’ll be settled into our new home. 


This will be the last set of progress pictures.  I know, so sad.  The next set will be during our final walk thru when everything is shiny and clean!  Lots of dust in the house right now.

The garage is finished and almost cleared out. 


The carpet is down in the rec room.

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The hardwood has also been installed.  All that paper you see throughout the house is protecting our newly installed floors (eeek!)


Look at our kitchen!!  I seriously had heart palpitations (the good kind) when I saw how much had been completed!  The granite.  The cabinets.  The BACKSPLASH! 


The super ugly pendant lights.  I really, really don’t like these shades. At all.


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And I also don’t like the mirror in the powder room.  I know…I’m a brat.  But WHY would you design such a modern home and use all of these NOT-modern finishes???  (NOT-Modern is a technical term).  And why did they install a full towel rack in a powder room? And why is it called a powder room?  That is definitely not a modern description…I think it’s now called a half-bath


Carpet is in the office and guest room.  Yes, I tried to take the darkest pictures I could.

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Tile and finishes are completed in the guest bath.  Notice the same NOT-modern light fixture as in the half-bath (it’s also in the master bath). Anyone in the market for a crapton of fluted shades?  Anyone?? 

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Master bedroom is carpeted.


And the master bath is almost finished.  We just need a shower door.  

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And the closets are ready for all of our clothes. 

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So you can see, it’s almost ready to go!  They have some touch up work to do on the paint and probably a bunch of other details I didn’t notice…but we’re in the home stretch! 


I know some of you have been on pins and needles waiting to hear about the resolution of the deck issue.  Well, we went back and forth with Heartland…Jerry stormed out of a meeting with one of the managers and I fired off a very nasty stern email to the same manager and the VP of Sales.  Bottom line…they feel bad but still, there is still nothing they can do.  Legally, we are stuck because we signed off on the deck as is.  The large deck was approved by someone no longer with Heartland.  So at this point, we’ve just decided to let it go and move on.  But I still clench my teeth every time I see that dumb deck.  It’s all good though, because we’re going to build a bigger, more kick-ass deck than the other end unit.  So there.