October 25, 2012


 I prefer these types of hurricanes

Over this kind \/

I am off for a long weekend, that may or may not end with Hurricane Sandy, A full moon Nor'easter or Frankenstorm as they are dubbing it locally.  Please say a prayer that this storm will go out to sea and not affect the mid-atlantic as it is currently forecasted to do...

Geez....we are still cleaning up from Hurricane Irene...

Have a lovely weekend ~ thanks for visiting!

October 23, 2012

Stationery card

Merry In Elegance Christmas Card
Create beautiful photo Christmas cards at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

October 20, 2012

Our Baby is Three

You are a source of endless joy.  You make us laugh every single day.  You are funny, imaginative, smart, sassy, dramatic and sweet.  We can't wait to see how you develop and what mischief you can make in your 3rd year!  Happy Birthday Brennan Dennis...We love you

October 19, 2012

Spicy Turkey Sausage, Pasta & Zucchini Bake {Recipe Swap}

Marvelous meal!  I found this recipe via http://www.littlemissmomma.com/.  I doubled the recipe and baked it in 2 pans so that I may freeze one for the coming weeks.  I served with a small green salad and garlic knots.  I urge you to prepare this for your family...even my meat & potato husband loved it.  Spicy turkey sausage is the bomb. Do it!!

Spicy Turkey Sausage, Pasta & Zucchini Bake

8 ounces of uncooked penne frigate pasta
6 ounces of spicy turkey Italian sausage with the casings removed
2 medium zucchinis
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
3 garlic cloves, minced
dash of sugar
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 (28 ounce) can of no-salt-added whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
Cooking spray
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. Add sausage to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes or until brown and crumbled. Discard excess fat and remove pasta from the pan. Wipe the remaining drippings from the pan with a paper towel.

4. Dice zucchini and add it to the pan. Saute 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring the entire time.  Add the oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper, dash of sugar and the minced garlic. Saute for another minute, stirring constantly.  Add the vinegar and cook for another 30 seconds.

5. Crush the tomatoes by hand and add them to the zucchini mixture.  Pour in about 1 cup of the remaining tomato liquid from the can. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the whipping cream.

6. Add the penne pasta and the sausage to the tomato mixture.  Stir to combine.

7. Grease a casserole dish (11×7) with the cooking spray. Pour about half of the pasta mixture into the casserole dish and spread evenly.  Sprinkle about one third of the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Reggiano over the top.  Top with the remaining pasta mixture.  Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheeses.

8. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Again, thank you to Ashley @ littlemissmomma for sharing this recipe.  I'll be visiting her again for the Pancake Pumpkin Cupcake (say that fast...) Recipe...that will be perfect for Halloween Eve.

Thanks for visiting & have a lovely weekend!!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


October 17, 2012

15 Dollar Store {Fashion Post}

I am by no means a fashionista.  I can hold my own though, mixing cheap & thrifted items with higher end staples.  One of my go~to cheap resources is the 15 Dollar Store .com.  Everything is $15.  Tops, Bottoms, Jewelry, Accessories, you-name it.  It can be a bargain or not.  You have to pick and choose wisely.  All sales are final.  For as long as I have been ordering from there...2 items ever have disappointed me (not quality-wise, fitting-me wise!) and I took it for what it was worth. 15 Dollars.  Here are some recent finds for Autumn.
Perfect for a Girls Night Out with a fun jacket, jeans and pumps

Perfect for Soccer Sundays with coffee & boots

Again...GNO or brunch or a bachelorette party, perhaps?

Work or Play, Layered or not. Whatever floats your boat...

I CAN NOT wait to get this Jolt vintage-inspired coat.  So sweet...15 Dollars?@#$@%!

Steven Madden belt for...pretty much anything.

Belted with the above and the boots below...Hello Autumn!

Shipping is free for orders over $100.  Shipping is not unreasonable for orders less than that.  Again, the site may look shady upon your first visit, but I have had much success.  Many of the items I had purchased years ago are still in my wardrobe and used often.  Go take a look and let me know if you find it intriguing...

Thanks for visiting!!

October 16, 2012

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

This weekend we attended a Carnival themed birthday party.  Happy Birthday Lea!  Unfortunately, I did not take any photos.  I will describe it a simply and clearly as I can.  

Each child was given a bag with there names on it and a list of all activities offered:  Duck Pond Fishing, Ring Toss, Sand Art, Face Painting, Balloons & Darts, Tip the Can Over, etc...  They would accrue tickets from each event. Literally, hours of fun.  It helped that is was a breezy, warm, crystal clear day.  When all of the guests convened inside for cake and singing, the carnival "workers" (teenage cousins!) set up the prize tables.  3 tables long of fun stuff for boys & girls and this is when they got to spend their accrued tickets.  The hostess had been scouring sale bins, dollar stores, etc..for a year.  The stuff she chose was really nice, not junkie {you know what I mean}, she was thoughtful in her choices.

Lets get to the food tables.  The important part...since parents were invited to partake in eating.  Boardwalk pizza slices, sausage & pepper sandwiches, burgers & dogs, mozzerella sticks, fried oreos, popcorn, cotton candy; the menu went on and on and it was delish!

I really regret not taking photos, as this was such a great time.  Visit Pinterest for more amazing ideas.  Search Carnival Party and such.  Thanks for visiting!

October 12, 2012

Greetings from Asbury Park {Homes I Love}

Convention Hall
 Developed in 1871 as a resort town, Asbury Park was coined "Country by the Sea".  During it's heyday it was known for its boardwalk, the famous Palace Amusements and its victorian architecture.
Over time, with new transportation options and suburban sprawl, Asbury Park began to experience urban blight.  As a teenager in the 80's/90's, I wouldn't have driven through town alone and never at night.  The town was dangerous and depressed.  Stores were boarded up, streets were filthy, there were multiples crackhouses and a hooker or two. When I was around 11 (1984), a friend of our family took me to a shop that specifically made and sold nutcrackers.  With the exception of a quick mart and a bail bondsman, it was the only shop on that block.  I still remember the pleasant smell of that store and it's beautiful creations.  I am sure the town still contained a tailor, a watchmaker, a cobbler, etc.., but they were scattered and probably on the verge of closing their doors.

But over the last 10 years or so, there has been economic & cultural revival.  Homes were bought & restored, realistic businesses were developed and the town has returned to its former status as a good time!  The restaurants, clubs, shops, fortune tellers, bars, roller derby, gay pride weekends, music festivals, B&B's and boutique hotels are supporting Asbury Parks revitalization.  
 Sooooo for this edition of Homes I Love I chose a loft-style condo to showcase
Beautiful, isn't it?  Looks kinda LA-ish to me.  Refreshing for our area
Modern, updated kitchen.

Wide open space.  Love the painted tile ceiling and wrought iron

View from above overlooking the awesome arched windows

I'm thinking its being used currently commercially...A shrink perhaps?

Grand spaces in a condo...only 2 block from Beach & Boardwalk

Secret Garden...tons of potential
From the Realtor:  A Great Condo Alternative - Spectacular Deco Loft Home.1550+ Sq. Ft. of Live/Work space 2 blocks from Beach & Downtown. 13 ft. Tin Ceilings, Hardwood Floors, Granite & SS Appliances, first class renovation retaining incredible original details. Built for possible 2nd floor expansion, which will give you great views! Parking for 2 cars, Beautiful Private Garden, super low taxes & no condo fees! Manhattan living on the Jersey Shore. A truly one of a kind property for the most discerning buyer. 

The place goes for $440K.  If I won the lottery, I'd open up a sweet design shop and have access to all the fabulousness in Asbury {Including random sightings of Bruce and Jon} like...

 The Watermark ~ A premier beach club on the Ocean. http://www.watermarkap.com/home.html

Strolling the quirky boards or taking in some live music at The Wonder Bar: http://www.wonderbarasburypark.com/ marvelous venue that also offers a Yappy Hours for your pups multiple times per week.

Thanks for taking my tour of Asbury and visiting!