Sunday, July 29, 2012

St. Louis Tomorrow!

Title says it all :)

OH and it's my birthday today. 29 years old. Ugh. Not like I'm doing anything for it. I went and paid the rent, got my eyebrows waxed, got my nails cleaned up a bit (that's usual stuff- not special birthday stuff unfortunately!).

I'll probably do something nice / special when we're in St. Louis as a belated birthday present. Honestly though I wasn't at all enthusiastic about today. I'm just starting to feel OLD. I think I've officially reached the point where I don't want any more birthdays!

Next year is definitely going to be a scary one!

Anyway I'll write more later- or write more once I get to St. Louis. Can't wait! Seriously hoping we're able to find a house to buy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mini- Grocery Haul!

Good Afternoon!

Enjoying your lunch? I just got back from Food Lion and decided to share with you the Groceries I bought! Call me a dork but I am always really curious when it comes to what other people load their grocery carts with- so I thought you might be interested in what I bought from the grocery store! Or you'll be totally bored (in which case you can skip this post altogether!). 

As Jon and I will be going to St. Louis in 5 days time, I wanted to minimize the amount of Fresh Produce that I bought because there is no way it will keep fresh while we're in St. Louis for two weeks! Therefore, I upped the quantity of staples, frozen and canned products so that I won't need to do a grocery shop immediately when we get back from our trip- but we'll still have plenty of yummy things to eat between now and then!

First- some photos! (click to view larger)

The List:
Bertolli Marinara Sauce $2.50
Lipton Onion Soup $1.25
KCups Green Mountain Breakfast Blend $7.99

Gensoy BBQ Soy Crisps $2.69
2 Metromint Waters $3.18
Dole Field Greens $2.60
Morningstar Chik'n Nuggets $1.69
Morningstar Chik'n Patties $1.69
Hard n Soft Taco Kit $2.29
Morningstar Meal Starters $1.69
Almonds $4.29
Stir Fry Corn $1.59
Red Beans & Rice $1.19
Minced Garlic $1.79
Sweet Relish $1.79
Gourmet Garden Cilantro $3.97
Gourmet Garden Ginger $3.97
Nasoya Tofu $2.50
Matchstick Carrots $1.55
Bush's Chick Peas $1.19
Smart Balance $3.49
Diced Onion $2.61
Sliced Green Onion $2.69
Steam Fresh Green Beans $2.79
Corn on the Cob $3.19
Chopped Walnuts $1.79
Flaked Coconut $1.59
Green Apples $2.50

Total: $72.87 (inc 2% sales tax)

I didn't need to buy bread or soy milk this trip and Jon picked some up on his way home from work yesterday (otherwise there would be no sandwiches for his lunch today or milk for his cereal!). This was definitely not the most frugal shop- I didn't use any coupons today but I did take advantage of a sale on Morningstar Vegetarian products! 

Also, over the last few months we've been using a water filter as opposed to buying water. Metromint water though is so dreamy I sometimes pick up a couple of bottles as a treat. They're actually zero calories and all natural (the ingredients read purified water, mint and cocoa) but I usually can't justify paying for water. 

Finally- you'll notice that I opted for pre-prepared veggies today as opposed to Fresh. Why? Well, for starters I can't chop onion to save my life. I know that everyone cries when chopping Onions- but with me it's literally painful and more like Niagra Falls. My eyes get so bad I can barely see! Therefore I always opt for the pre-chopped in Onions to avoid my eyes freaking out. As for the Carrots- I've got a super busy week getting ready to go back to St. Louis so I opted for these as a time saver. I really, really don't see anything wrong with going for the pre-chopped vegetables if time isn't on your side. Sure, you'll save money by slicing and chopping your own, but if you know you have a busy week ahead you don't have to.

Plus- Fresh Produce at Food Lion is far from great. Unfortunately my only local grocery options as before mentioned are Food Lion and Walmart (and Piggly Wiggly but I don't shop there) and neither have a wonderful or extensive produce section. 

Believe me- if I had a Whole Foods or something similar near by, my cart would be filled with beautiful fresh produce!

Anyway- until next time, Stay Glamorous!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Coconut & Key Lime Pie

Good Evening!

I just thought I'd post a couple of photos of the Coconut & Key Lime Pie I made over the weekend. I'll post the recipe later. Sorry I don't have any photos of the 'inside' or a 'slice' of it- and excuse the disposable pie pan! I had to take it to someone elses house after all :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'd Rather Be...

I'd rather be in St. Louis this weekend. Unfortunately I won't be back until next weekend :( Butch Wax & The Hollywoods are playing at some festival in Woodson Terrace (St. Louis) this weekend. I'm so annoyed that I'm not there for it! They are seriously an awesome, awesome old school cover band! Check them out here and here and here

This weekend we're going to one of Jon's friend's kid's 3rd birthday. I'm not sure if it's mainly going to be adults or adults with kids or what the deal is. Jon wants to go though to see his buddies so we're going. We went to Walmart this morning and Jon picked out some little Batman type car thingamajig that lights up and has some sort of spring action to make it go along. I personally was going to opt for either Duplo or Thomas the Tank Engine but Jon thought the Batman thingie was best sooooo I trust his judgement because he is way better with kids than I am.

I'm still really nervous/ uncomfortable around children. I don't know what to say or do with them. I virtually know nothing about them. I remember not liking children when I was a child. I'm still not sure how to interact with them although I'm not as vehemently opposed to having one now as much as I used to be. Actually I'd kind of like one. Preferably a girl because I think it would be easier. If it happens it happens though, right!

Anyway, I made a Key Lime & Coconut Pie to take this afternoon. It should taste awesome in theory. If it is awesome- I'll post a pic and photo tonight or tomorrow.

Must dash for now though, Jon's telling me to go do my make up and start getting ready.

Stay Glam!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The NoCo Curse

So far, I've fallen in love with 3 properties in St. Louis County.

#1: was in the incredible little city of Pasadena Hills. (If you look at the photos under the Historic District section of the website- you'll see what I mean!). The house was about 80 years old but had all of the major systems updated. It was adorable. The area was gorgeous. I loved it. I wanted it... but the husband vetoed it because the Garage only measured 19'x20' (one foot narrower than the standard double garage size). He didn't even want to seriously look at the place after ruling out the garage. 

Subsequently I sulked for days. Weeks? My friend Donna tried to console me by saying that the area was too ritzy and that I wouldn't be happy there. It's not much consolation because the snob in me kicked into overdrive upon entering the neighborhood. I loved the idea of living there. I loved the idea of inviting people over to my house there. It was very much a selfish look at me! look at me! look what I have! kind of devotion. 

Of course though, if Jon's not happy, I doubt I could have been happy... so moving on!

#2: was in Riverview. Okay St. Louisans and West County Folk who never venture further than West County Mall- I know what you're thinking- ewwww Riverview. Bare with me! 

This house was up on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. It was architecturally designed and built in the 1950s. It was literally my Retro Mid Century Modern Dream Home. Real Timber feature walls. Real (huge) heated slate tile flooring throughout. Mamie Pink Bathroom and an Aquamarine Bathroom. Huge Garage. I wanted it. It was going to be mine. 

Jon and I submitted an offer to Bank of America coming in slightly below the asking price with the contingency of inspection. They rejected it. So we came back in at the asking price (we really, really wanted the house) again with the contingency of inspection. Anyway, somewhere within the process- the house got broken into TWICE and got a lovely splashing of Gang Graffiti, had the HVAC stolen and numerous other issues. What the WHAT? Oh- and our lovely intruders left all of their beer bottles and signs of their little party all over the yard and such. Goodness Gracious Me. 

It left such a bad taste in our mouth that we withdrew the offer- although Jon kept saying we should go back at $10k because that was all it was "worth now" with the damage the local doosh-doosh-gang had committed. Ironically, about a month later the Bank of America contacted our realtor asking us to make another offer. Pfffft. 

#3: is/was in Green Acres- again located in North County. It's a gorgeous subdivision. Jon and I looked at 2 other properties there but when we found out that one particular one was getting ready for market we decided to bide our time and wait for it. So we waited. And waited. And waited. 

We knew (per county records) that it had been foreclosed upon in late February. Finally, a month ago it appeared on Wells Fargo's website as Coming Soon- Price TBD. Yay! Finally! My Mid Century Modern Ranch is almost here! This house ticked all my boxes. An oversized double garage, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full basement, 2400+sq ft. Pretty subdivision. So my realtor contacted the realtor representing the house for Wells Fargo. I contacted the realtor representing the house for Wells Fargo. (This is where we insert crickets chirping). Nothing. Zilch. Hell, even his cell phone was constantly switched off and the land line always went to message bank. 

Finally he responded to one of my emails and bluntly said This house is not for sale. DUDE. You're lying to me! So I emailed him back and said it was listed on Wells Fargo's website as coming soon, it was foreclosed upon in February, and per county records it hasn't been sold. I would have noticed if it was listed anywhere else as I've been OCD about keeping tabs on this house. (More crickets chirping). 

So the other day, my realtor was in the area and decided to swing by Green Acres to see if there were any signs of what was happening. The trash can was out on the curb, a car was in the drive way, the porch light was on... what? So she went to ring the door bell. No answer. BUT there were evidently signs of life. The house was occupied. How is that possible? My inclination is that Mark Fowler at Gateway Realty Solutions has something to do with it. He's Wells Fargo's listing agent but he is also the only employee of Gateway Realty Solutions and operates from his private home (which just happens to be on Green Acres doorstep). With how shady he's been about returning calls (or lack thereof) and emails- it wouldn't surprise me if one of his buddies or cohorts was occupying the house in Green Acres.


So I was doing some housework today and thinking about it. I started getting angrier the more I thought about it to the point where I was furious. So I calmly called Wells Fargo and spoke with a nice gentleman who is going to pass the information to the relevant department to investigate. They should get back to me by Tuesday. HAH. I hope they deep fry Mark Fowler in Toad Fat. 

The moral of this story is... so far we've had atrocious luck in finding a house. (St. Louisans will probably tell you at this point that this is North County for ya, go to West County or St. Charles... go far, far away from St. Louis because it's an awful scary place. Tell them to hush. North County is super affordable and mid century cool). The other moral of this story is to not mess with me if you're a real estate agent. If I like your house and you try to screw me over... I'm going to hang you out soaking wet off the Chain of Rocks bridge by your ankles to give you some time to contemplate your actions.

On the flip side, my realtor Shannon over at St. Louis Homes with Soul is incredible. If you're looking for a house somewhere in Eastern Missouri you can't do better than her! 

Anyway that's my ramble for the day! 

Stay Glamorous!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

St. Louis Love: Grocery Stores

Goodness Gracious Me...

Am I that boring that I'm going to tell you all about Grocery stores? Yes. Yes I am. I love grocery stores. I buy ingredients at grocery stores to bake and cook amazing things. I'm very darn good at cooking and have honed my craft immensely over the past couple of years. 

One thing (of many) I hate about Podunktown, North Cackalackee where I'm currently stuck- is grocery stores or lack thereof. My options are Food Lion, Walmart and Piggly Wiggly. I have never shopped at Piggly Wiggly. I refuse to shop anywhere that gives me horrible visions of an unhappy Wilbur in Charlotte's Web. Piggly Wiggly may have brought us the "modern" grocery store concept that we all know and love... but come on, change the name! 

Food Lion recently got ranked as one of the Top 10 worst Grocery Store chains in the United States. If you've never been to one- they're pitifully small. About half the size of a 'regular' grocery store. On the plus side- I prefer them to Walmart because you get less crazy riff raff, and my shopping trip is usually quicker due to the smaller size. I avoid Walmart unless I really have to go there for something. I have a choice of 2 Walmarts here in Podunktown- one of which is the busiest East of the Mississippi. Seriously. 

For a decent grocery store experience, I currently need to go to Lowes Food in Cape Carteret, or even better, Harris Teeter in Wilmington (Harris Teeter on the flip side is ranked in the Top 10 Best Grocery Stores in the nation). 

All my problems and frustrations with my grocery store experience however will vanish when I return to the Lou! Now let's see... Grocery Stores in my beloved St. Louis include:

Schnucks: Oh Schnucks I love you. You have a stupid name, but you are oh so wonderful! Everything about Schnucks makes me happy. They usually have great produce at affordable prices, a well stocked beauty / drug store section, and even fresh little refrigerated meals and sides (The Green Beans Almondine is fabulous if you don't feel like cooking a side!). 

Dierbergs: A fancier, step up from Schnucks but oftentimes worth the trip. The St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake in their Bakery section is amazing. (Better than Schnucks, sorry Schnucks!). Of course, I bake an awesome Gooey Butter Cake too! Dierbergs is usually a bit more expensive than Schnucks but often has products not at Schnucks (I think Dierbergs currently carries Gardein Vegetarian products... yummy!)

Straubs: If I was made of money, I'd probably still shop at Schnucks & Dierbergs, but Straubs is an absolute treat. It's the optimum in quality and carries all of those elite hard to find ingredients you saw last season on Top Chef. One of my managers when I used to live in St. Louis used to go to Straubs daily. I don't think he could cook. I think he focused primarily on their fresh 'ready made' meals. Seriously though- you have to be earning some $$$ to be able to afford Straubs on a daily basis.

Trader Joes: Can you believe I never went to Trader Joes when I lived in The Lou? Actually- I've never been to a Trader Joes, period. I'll be sure to check it out though upon my return.

Whole Foods: I love Whole Foods. I crave certain things from Whole Foods. Unfortunately, they're also super expensive - I can usually get the same Organic produce I would get at Whole Foods at Schnucks or Dierbergs for about half the price. My Whole Foods trips will then be solely for items I can't get at any of the more affordable stores. 

World Market: Not strictly a Grocery Store- but it does have a grocery section. I have to currently travel an hour to my local World Market for my Australian/ British pantry supplements like Golden Syrup, Vegemite, Marmite, and Bundaberg Ginger Beer. Yummy.I'm just beyond annoyed that they no longer carry Cadburies. What's with that? Nestle isn't nearly as good! 

Stelmacki: I really, really want to check out Stelmacki when I'm next in the Lou. Chances are, I'll be living near-ish to Stelmacki due to our budget constraints (in NoCo by any means... don't knock it... NoCo is retro cool). Stelmacki came into being in the 1960s at the base of the Lewis & Clark Tower (there were meant to be two of them but the second tower never came into fruition). The 'Top of the Tower' restaurant is long gone, but Stelmacki still remains, complete with it's awesome Mid Century Modern signage. It's still owned by the same family and apparently not much has changed. I can't wait to live the 1960s grocery store experience! I'll let you know how it is when I move :)

Bill's Riverview Market: Another NoCo gem, yet another I haven't visited. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch this is another family run, retro cool grocery store with old fashioned counters and old fashioned service. Another I'm looking forward to checking out!

Thies Farm: Strictly a Farmers Market type deal with loads of yummy, fresh, locally grown produce and preserves! 

Soulard Market: The oldest surviving Farmer's Market west of the Mississippi! It dates back to the 1700s and is still entirely wonderful. It's going to be receiving an overhaul in the near future to accommodate more modern standards and tastes however.

Aldi: We had Aldi in Australia as well. It's nothing I get excited about. It's just kind of... there. 

Anyway, I think that's about it! The ones I'm most looking forward to are Stelmacki & Bill's Riverview, mainly because I've been almost everywhere else and they are still largely into the realms of the unknown to me. If they're as amazing as I think they'll be, I'll be sure to let you know. 

In the meantime, Stay Glamorous!

Carry On Adoring 'Carry On Loving'

Oooh I just stumbled upon this website which has all of the locations used in some of the most popular Carry On films. I'm viewing the page for Carry On Loving right now- and it's wonderful to see that not much has changed in the 40 odd years since the film was made! 

Check it out here

Fairy Floss & Nonsense

I think I'm writing so much today to make up for the moons spent not writing. I'm so out of practice it's ridiculous. I also realize that what I've been writing is complete Fairy Floss. All air, all sugar and no substance. Does this mean I'm happy? Does this mean I'm content?

 I used to write some intense stuff back in the day. It was borderline crazy albeit well written. The verge of insanity seems to bring out the creative demon in us. Most creative people are arguably crazy or at least going through a crazy period in their life. I think my former rambles from moons gone by was the latter. I am not crazy- but I was living in a crazy situation. Not crazy good. Crazy bad. Deranged. Unhinged. Maniacal. Not through direct fault of my own- just through events and situations that transpired. Negativity however seemed to draw out my artistic spirit.

 Suddenly, everything became normal. Normal. Normal. (adj.1. conforming to the standard or common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural 2.serving to establish a standard)

I realize this isn't completely normal. I live without a television, surrounded by all 1950s furniture. I never wear jeans anymore- only 50s style and vintage dresses. I hide signs of the modern world (aside from my laptop) away from myself and others. Obviously, this kind of regression to the past in my self created time machine is abnormal.

Yet everything else is... normal in an odd retro sense.

I play homemaker. My husband is a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. We never argue. We rarely have conflict of any kind. I cook dinner and clean the house. He works on his old Chevrolet Camaro. We both read a lot. We don't socialize a great deal and don't feel the need to.

Plus, we've given up alcohol. For now. For the sake of health, ethics and sanity.

It sounds like Fairy Floss doesn't it? My married life isn't really though. I sometimes have to pinch myself as I wonder if my current existence is real. I have nothing to complain about. No issues. None. It's like living in our self-created Mayfield within the walls of our house.

All of the triggers that used to drive me to stupidity and to partially insane and reckless acts have disappeared from my life.

I used to hate life so much that I wanted to disappear from my own world. I was on a constant search for happiness and virtually did anything in a futile effort to find it.

Now I've found happiness. Jon and I are going on 3 years later this year. That's honestly my longest ever relationship.

But what now?

Part of me thinks I've lost my sparkle. The glitter that used to make me a fascinating, unique individual.

Do I want conflict in my life? No.

Do I want my sparkle back? Maybe. My life was far more interesting when everything was laced with a shimmer of insanity and desperation.

Normal is boring. Maybe this is the sacrifice I have to make for happiness.

I live in hope that normal won't be boring when Jon and I move back to the Midwest this year. There's too much to do in St. Louis to be bored.

For now though... you'll have to deal with my life being Fairy Floss. No laying on the beach at night hoping for things to end. No lapses of mental stability. No hate or anger for the world and individuals around me. No physical or emotional scars inflicted by others to make me hate myself.

I suppose it's all better now. It's been a long time coming.

Festive Fiestaware

One year ago or so, I don't think I even knew what Fiestaware was. It wasn't available to us in Australia, and despite living in the United States for a number of years now, I was yet to 'discover' it. Then, a friend bought me a Sunflower Fiestaware pitcher- and I was hooked! My wonderful inlaws started buying me more Fiestaware for my collection and then I got a motherload of it at Christmas from them and my husband! It definitely makes me easy to buy for. Buy me Fiestaware and I'll be happy! 

Sorry about the glare from the glass on my display cabinet and the low photo quality:

Obviously the black and red bowls down the bottom and the red jug are not Fiestaware- they're just 'filling up space' right now until I obtain more Fiesta to put there. 

The colors I collect are:

Sunflower (yellow)
Tangerine (orange)
Lemongrass (green)
Scarlet (red)
Peacock (blue)
Plum (purple)

I currently have 10 five piece place settings (with teacups)- 1 in each of the colors (and then 4 double ups in Peacock, Tangerine, Scarlet and Sunflower), a 9" x 13" Tangerine Baking Dish, Scarlet Salt & Pepper Shakers, a Lemongrass Condiment / Small Oval Baking Plate, a Peacock Pasta Bowl, 8 Gusto Bowls, Sunflower Oval Serving Platter, and the Sunflower Pitcher that started it all!

If you don't use Fiestaware already- I highly recommend it for the following reasons:

1) It's super pretty. The color brings a brightness and 'festive' quality to your table.
2) It's retro! Fiestaware started in 1936 and spiked in popularity in the 1950s.
3) It's Made in the U.S.A! Show some patriotism!
4) It's amazing quality! It's Microwave Safe, Oven Safe and Dishwasher Safe. Can't beat that! 
5) Almost every serving dish or baking dish you could ever want, is available in Fiestaware!

On the flip side, Fiestaware is expensive- but you have to pay for quality! Oftentimes however, Macys or Amazon will have extraordinary sales on Fiestaware with as much as 50% off- otherwise a place setting will run you about $50 a piece. 

Serving food on Fiestaware and eating off Fiestaware makes me super happy. I can't wait until Christmas, because I'm certain to get more :) 

So, ditch your cheap plastic plates and add some Festive Fiestaware to your wishlist today! 

Stay Glamorous!

I love LIFE

That's right folks... I love LIFE... magazine that is! I live vicariously through 1940s and 1950s LIFE magazines. I started collecting them last December during my trip to Florida to visit the inlaws. I bought the June 20, 1949 edition at a Flea Market / Antique Mall in Mt. Dora and you know I was hooked!

LIFE magazine premiered in 1883 as a general interest magazine and was reintroduced on 23 Nov, 1936 as a weekly news magazine. The archive from 1936 until 1972 is available online here. As great as it is to be able to read LIFE online, nothing can beat the feeling of turning the pages and having something tactile. This is part of the reason I refuse to have a Kindle or a Nook. There's no fun in reading a book that you can't touch. I love the smell of paper- the older the better. Digital book technology just doesn't interest me (says the girl writing a blog in a digital realm. Tsk tsk!.) 

Sadly, LIFE magazine as it was, ceased publication in the 2000s and now only appears on news stands as 'specials' from time to time. 

Right now, my LIFE collection is small- it grows only when I find a LIFE magazine from the 1940s or 1950s (got to limit it somewhere!) under $10, and in it's complete condition (no torn out pages or clipped out photos). 

The issues I currently have are:

July 15, 1946

November 1, 1948

June 20, 1949

January 2, 1950

October 22, 1956

August 26, 1957

December 28, 1959

I also have The Very Best of Life- 75 Years but haven't included it here as it's a modern 'special edition'. 

Anyway, I've been good about storing all of my LIFE magazines in plastic slips and keep all of them flat on my 1957 Drexel Counterpoint side table- except when I'm reading and re-reading them of course! (Excuse the glare from the plastic slips)

I haven't bought any 'new' magazines this year- with the exception of the LIFE 75 years special. I've been proud of myself! I figure if I focus solely on vintage magazines and nix the modern Good Housekeeping,  Better Homes & Gardens, Marie Claire and Glamour that I used to so desire, I'm not only going to save money but I'm going to get more enjoyment out of it. So far so good! 

I even enjoy the ads in old LIFE magazines- even though they are just 'dead' pages I skip over in modern magazines. Everything seemed better more than half a century ago! Vous ne pensez pas?

Stay Glamorous!

4th of July Creations!

Just quickly, I wanted to share a couple of the dishes I made to bring to the 4th of July party a couple of weeks back! Needless to say, they disappeared VERY quickly! I'll post the recipes at a later date!

Veg*n 7 Layer Fiesta Dip:

Patriotic Flag Cake:

I also made a Patriotic Red, White & Blue 'Jello Shot' Layer Cake using Jeannie Vegan Jello Substitute but unfortunately didn't get any decent photos of it! I realize that my flag cake isn't the 'prettiest' (I'm impatient when it comes to decorating!) but it was still delicious!

Stay Glamorous!

Veg*n Cottage Cheese Substitute

If you are Vegan or Lactose Intolerant you can easily make this 'Cottage Cheese' substitute for any recipe that calls for Cottage Cheese, including the Retro Veg*n Not-Meat-Loaf below!


16 oz (450grams) Firm Tofu Block, plain flavor, drained
2/3 cup Vegan Mayonnaise (I used Vegannaise but any available to you will do)
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt (just a tiny pinch) 

1) Cut tofu into large chunks
2) Place in saucepan and cover with water
3) Bring to boil on stove. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes
4) Drain well
5) Chill, uncovered in the refrigerator until cool enough to handle
6) Once cool, crumble and place in bowl with remaining ingredients
7) Mash until mixture has a fine, grainy texture like Cottage Cheese
8) Put back in refrigerator and chill overnight before serving or using, to allow flavors to blend

Veg*n Not-Meat-Loaf!

Hello Again Glamour Girls (and Guys!),

I intend to make a step-by-step YouTube video detailing how to do this, but you'll just have to deal with the bare minimum in the meantime! As a regular segment on this website, I wish to bring you Vegan/ Vegetarian versions of popular Retro Recipes. 

Ask anybody in the United States what food they think of when they think '1950s' and almost always the answer will be Meatloaf! Our favorite TV mothers in the 1950s (through the 1970s) served their children the affordable American staple, undoubtedly with sides of Mashed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts. 

I'm not here to preach to you about the benefits of a Vegetarian or Vegan diet (although- I do strongly  believe in the benefits for the welfare of our dear animal friends, our planet earth, and our bodies). Partaking in a Veg*n diet is something you have to decide for yourself. What I wish to show you however, is how easy it can be to go meat-free yet still have delicious comfort food with little effort. So, if you're already a Veg*n, planning to become one, or just wish to have some meat free days, read on!

Additional PLUS is that this is less calories than your regular Meat-based Meatloaf!

Retro Veg*n Not-Meat-Loaf:

8 servings approx @ 280 calories/ serving

1 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
16 oz Cottage Cheese (see Vegan Cottage Cheese recipe above! Use all of it!)
4 Cage Free/ Free Range Eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1oz packet Dry Onion Soup mix (I used Lipton) 
2 cups Cornflakes or Weetabix, lightly crushed
1/4 cup Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Green Onion, chopped
1 cup Carrot, finely grated
1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
BBQ Sauce for topping (I used Kansas C
ity Masterpiece)

1) Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
2) Grease a loaf pan (I used cooking spray and a 9" x 5" loaf pan)
3) In a large bowl, beat eggs
4) Add Cottage Cheese, Vegetable Oil, Onion Soup Mix, Walnuts, Cornflakes, Onion, Garlic, Green Onion and Carrot
5) Combine all ingredients well
6) Spoon into prepared loaf pan
7) Bake for 60-70 minutes
8) After 30 minutes, remove from oven and liberally spread BBQ sauce all over the top (this will be the bottom when serving)- return to oven for another 30-40 minutes.
9) Remove from oven and allow the loaf to 'rest' for 10 minutes- this will help firm it up
10) Run a knife around the edges and then turn out onto a serving platter. Cut into slices to serve.

Sorry mine looks a little messy on the platter! It was YUMMY though! I served mine with a side of Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob and Green Beans. I also slathered my slices with extra BBQ sauce for flavor. DH put Ketchup and Tabasco on his! 

Please stay tuned as when I get a Digital Camcorder I will be showing you exactly how to make this on YouTube! If you try this out in the meantime, post a comment and let me know what you think!

Stay Glamorous!

Je Suis Retournée!

Hello There!

I'm Lottie Lee. Or rather, that's my nom de plume for the sake of this project. My original intention when I started this blog was to fill my time while my dear husband was deployed to Afghanistan last year. So what happened? 

Work. Work. Work. Work. That's what happened. Last year was probably the most dismal year of employment I've ever spent. This was partly my fault for not standing up for myself, and partly my employer's fault for taking advantage. 

In a military town, the logic prevails that if your husband is deployed, you should have no life and spend almost every waking minute at the workplace. This is all well and good to an extent- you naturally want to keep busy when your other half is away. That said, you don't want to exhaust yourself physically and mentally either. Unfortunately, I became totally exhausted. 12 hour days were my norm, with little pay compensation for my efforts. Days off for me virtually became non existent too, due to staffing problems. If/ when I did get a day off- all I wanted to do was catch up on sleep or lay in a hot bathtub because my feet and joints ached so much. 

I was 110% miserable with little respite. Of course, I regularly wrote letters and emails to my husband- but overall my personal time felt limited. 

To some of you, 12 hours a day may not seem like an awful lot. Gosh, when I was younger I even pulled 15 hour days from time to time when I worked for Government- more until they put a cap on how many hours a shift we were entitled to work. When it's every single day though, it starts getting old.

I'm a stickler for time to begin with- I have to be early everywhere I go. I can't just be on time. No. I have to be early or I'll start turning into an anxious mess. Therefore, I used to wake up 2 or more hours prior to the time I had to be at work- giving myself plenty of time to feed Kitty, make Oatmeal & Coffee for me, pack my lunch, shower, wash my hair, iron my clothes, do my makeup and get to work with another 20-30 minutes to spare (enough time for another coffee and to get myself situated and mentally in the 'zone' for the day). 

By the end of the day, I was exhausted. Even after I clocked out- work continued. Somebody would ask me for something, or how to do this or that, or I'd get a phone call from one of my staff with a problem, or a phone call from one of my managers with a problem. It was never ending. Then of course I had to attend to groceries and laundry and any housework at home that needed my attention. After all was said and done, I only had room for sleep left over, and rarely felt as if I got enough of it. 

Yes- this is the daily life of a lot of us- although it shouldn't be. Modern reality? Yes. The reality I want? No. 

The result of all of this was that I gained weight back because I was having little time to work out or spend time cooking healthy options, and I was eating far too many carbohydrates. 

Jon, thankfully came home safely- albeit worse for wear (he sustained a non-combat related knee injury while deployed. It's still giving him grief). Finally, in April this year- Jon too could no longer tolerate my work schedule and prompted me to quit- which I gladly did.

After all, he's partaking in the '3 month early' program which will get him out of the Marine Corps 3 months earlier than his EAS (end of active service) date so that he can start College in the Spring Semester of 2013. This of course means that we are:


You have no idea how happy this makes me! I'm literally thrilled that I finally convinced Jon, while he was deployed, that St. Louis is the most amazing, wonderful, incredible city on earth. For all it's grit, decay, dirt, crime and poverty... it's balanced out by super-low cost of living, four beautiful seasons, mid century modern architecture everywhere, history along every pavement and a wonderful Midwest mentality. I'm so, so, sick of living in the South that I'm looking forward to again experiencing the Rust Belt. The South is for some people, but it isn't for me. 

Anyway, now that I'm not working and we are in the process of buying a house and moving (long story on that one... that'll have to wait until another day). I am back! 

Finally, I'm going to start a new little side project which will hopefully intrigue and enlighten you all! 

Thanks again for reading, and thank you for your patience!

Best Wishes & Stay Glamorous,