Patty Catalano

World’s Longest Yard Sale —UPDATE

I’m so excited for the World’s Longest Yard Sale this year. I just booked my hotel room for Friday and Saturday nights and I’m coming up with a game plan for the trip.

Packing List:

Boxes to corral small items

Newspaper to wrap breakable items

Bungee cords…in case I need to strap something to the roof

Variety of bill sizes and coins

LOTS of water & ice

Snacks (both munchy snacks and more substantial)

What are some of your favorite road trip foods to pack?

Any yard sale strategies that you use to negotiate the best price or find that treasure?

The offer is still open, so let me know if you want to join me!

— 2 years ago
A walk in Lindmoor Woods

One of my favorite things about having a dog is taking her on walks. I see things differently when I stroll by rather than when I drive past. Here are some images from my walk last night.

Honeysuckle (love that scent!) and blackberries/raspberries intertwined

A tree swing

Funny garden art

I’ve always wondered what these people are fencing in…

Beautiful. I want these in my yard. Peonies?

The prettiest yard in the whole neighborhood. I met the owners, Kathy and Ron, as I was snapping a photo. They so nice and even invited me in to show me their remodeled kitchen, screen porch add-on and immaculately landscaped backyard. Someday my yard will look this good…

This is my second favorite yard. Nothing is flowering here right now, but take my word for it.

Madison…tuckered out

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
#flowers  #Madison  #neighborhood 

Morning!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Easter dinner in the new kitchen was a SUCCESS! Vince and I spent parts of both Friday and Saturday nights prepping and cleaning, which left Sunday with only finishing touches! I was so thankful for all the space (counter and cabinet) we gained through the remodel, because we literally couldn’t have done it in our old space. 

— 3 years ago
Easter Dinner in the New Kitchen

Easter is right around the corner and I’m hosting this year! It will be a small crowd, just my parents and Holly and Mark (Vince’s sister & her hubby), but I’m excited for the first holiday celebrated in my new kitchen!

Here’s what’s on the menu:

Appetizers:

Deviled eggs

Sweet Grass Dairy cheese patter 

Main:

Spiral sliced ham with a glaze. I’ll probably use something similar to this Old Fashioned Ham with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze from Bon Appetit.

Sides:

Yeast rolls but shape them in rounds and bake in a 13x9 pan

Twice baked potatoes

Either roasted asparagus because they are in season and nutmeg + roasty toasty asparagus is delish OR triple pea salad but use a different dressing because tarragon isn’t my favorite.

Dessert:

Angel food cake with strawberries and lemony whipped cream

Cocktail:

Bocce Ball as seen on Sweetoothed. I’ll probably mix up a bunch of the cocktail punch-style and as we fill up our glasses top it off with soda water.

What are your Easter plans?

— 3 years ago
Happy Earth Day!

What are you doing to celebrate Mother Earth and keep her happy for generations to come?

Earth Day actually snuck up on me this year, so I don’t have anything specifically planned for the day but I thought I’d share some of the things Vince and I do every day of the year.

  • LIGHTS/LIGHTBULBS: This is one that I struggle with, ask Vince and he will tell you that I am just TERRIBLE about leaving lights on throughout the house (though in my defense, it is a tiny house). So, even though we’ve transitioned most of the bulbs in our house to the energy-efficient kind, I’m still working on this!
  • RECYCLE: We recycle just about everything in our house. Dekalb County has a great curbside recycling program, but places like Your Dekalb Farmers Market has a whole section of their parking lot to set aside for recycling. I get really excited when our recycling bins are more full than our trash can. 
  • COMPOST: This is a BIG thing for us. I hated seeing all those useful kitchen scraps (fruit & veggie-no meat!) getting tied up in plastic bag destined for the landfill. I say useful because by composting I’m creating nutrient-rich material for my gardens in addition to reducing the amount of “trash” that goes out to the curb.  I used the book “Backyard Composting: Your Complete Guide to Recycling Yard Clippings” by Harmonious Technologies. It outlines the different types of composters, composting styles, formulas, etc. I got the generally idea, but really, I just fill a bowl with kitchen scraps (known as “green” material) as I cook, then dump it in the bin, and mix yard clippings (known as “brown” material). All it needs is a little moisture, periodic “stirring”, and time. I’ve found that pine needles don’t decompose very fast and that’s what most of our yard clippings are composed of-so I’m always on the look-out for other “browns” I can add to my pile. My dad helped me build my double compost bin year or so ago and here’s what it looks like:

This side is getting close to being ready for the garden!

I am currently adding to this side (and I probably need some more “browns” on top!)

  • EATING LOCALLY & MORE VEGGIES: When we eat at home, I try to fill our plates 2/3 full of veggies and leave the rest for meat and starch. I’m also thinking of incorporating a weekly meatless meal. Hopefully that will make me get more creative with grains, legumes, and veggies! Eating more locally produced food is something that I am still working on. As you know I’ve started volunteering at the Decatur Farmers Market (which btw is from 9-1 tomorrow), so I’ll be procuring some of our veggies and eggs from those farmers in addition to those that I’m growing in my backyard (a post on that in the coming days). I feel like eating locally helps small farmers, keeps “heritage” or “heirloom” varieties of fruits/veggies/meats/poultry viable, and cuts down on emissions from transportation.
  • CLEAN GREEN: This is a project that has been in the works for a long time. I’ve been wanting to make and use my own natural cleaners. I bought a box of Borax and a big jug of vinegar and that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. Anybody already doing this? I’d love some advice and suggestions!
— 3 years ago
Countdown to World’s Longest Yard Sale

As of this writing the World’s Longest Yard Sale (aka the 127 Sale) is only 105 days, 10 hours and 49 minutes away….August 4-7. The sale runs 675 miles from Gadsden, AL to Hudson, MI and I’m going.

Last year, my mom and I packed snacks, water, tarps, bungee cords, and newsprint, piled in her ca, and headed to Chattanooga, TN to hit the sale. Work schedules and poor planning on my part meant that we only spent 1 day on the road. But we took full advantage and learned some lessons for this year. I’m starting to make plans for this year’s trip-so that *hopefully* I can find a hotel room along the way. I learned from last year to pack a TON of water, not just a few bottles, and to bring some more substantial food because the towns and restaurants are few and far between. The biggest lesson I learned was to grab it when you see it. Almost 1 year later, I’m still thinking about a yellow wire egg basket that I could have bought for $12 and have seen on Etsy for $35+. 

The deals, the people and the stories are so much better at WLYS than at any yard sale, estate sale or antique store. We met so many people who just pulled some boxes from their attic and set them out on a card table in the front yard. And there were some gems in those boxes, many of which hadn’t seen the light of day in decades. 

Here are pictures from the sale and some of my finds:

Mason jars & milk bottles, an old wooden box, pristine 1940s fabric, teapot, little watering can, juicer, an old thermometer, a jar of jam, and little rusty door from a PO Box.

So let me know if you are interested in coming!

— 3 years ago
Volunteering

Let’s face it. We all should be spending some time each week volunteering. It’s a way to get out into the community, do some good, invest in the things you are passionate about, and help the people/causes/pets/etc that need it the most.

I, for one, have not been good about doing my fair share these past few years. In high school I was a member of several organizations that required community service. Had fun, felt good about it, but got burned out. By the end of college it was the same thing. Overextending myself to help others, not such a healthy way to go about doing things. 

I’ve got the itch to get out there again, start REALLY being a part of my community, and do my part. I’ve been a member of Georgia Organics for about 3 years now and last week I finally went to one of their volunteer table training sessions, where they show you how to set up the table display and go over their procedures. I’m excited  now I’m ready and able to man one of the tables and share Georgia Organics’ mission. Which by the way is:

Georgia Organics is a member-supported non-profit organization working to integrate healthy, sustainable, and locally grown food into the lives of all Georgians.

I also started volunteering at the Decatur Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. I’ve been once, and I just helped clean up the area where the farmers set up, and helped unload and set up tents and tables. It’s not hard work at all, but it’s just a little something to help the farmers out, plus I’m hoping to learn a bit from them as well! The farmer’s market is on Wednesdays 4-7pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm across from Chick-fil-A.

**Tidbit learned from Duane who runs the market, to prevent blossom-bottom rot on tomatoes, add lime to the soil.

One more fun thing that I just learned about is CropMobATL. Basically, a group of volunteers descend on a farm and do a bunch of work (weeding, putting up trellises, planting, etc) that the farmer needs gettin’ done. It’s a way to go full circle with your food, helping out the farmers who feed you. They usually have some pretty sweet food for lunch (i.e. Miller Union & Farm Burger). 

 

— 3 years ago with 2 notes
#volunteering  #Georgia Organics  #CropMobATL 
A little of this and a little of that

Imbibe magazine is embracing cocktails of the South. I’m especially interested in the Bufala Negra and the Jimmy Dean. Might use this week’s passage of House Bill 10, which gives voters the right to choose whether their city or county sells alcohol on Sundays as an excuse to raise a glass.

Thanks to a recommendation by Decatur Metro I downloaded the free iPhone app “Decatur Dash”. It is loaded with events, restaurant and retail info, and gives the low-down on parking, transportation, WIFI, etc in the area. 

Though I hemmed and hawed about it (see here), I joined Twitter. Now, I’m addicted. Like I needed yet another site to follow (i.e. Bloglovin, Pinterest, Tumblogs, and now this). Totally awesome though. Here are some of my favs: @DebsMichaud, @cl_atlanta, @blissfulglutton, @ATLDealSites, @Angiemosier, @BeshaRodell and @ATLStreetFood

Loving these free desktop wallpapers from Willem Pirquin via Design*Sponge. I downloaded one of a little pig balancing on a stack of ladders, stools and a Thermos.

This week my coworkers and I baked up a storm and by the end the counters were full of at least 5 types of cookies, devil’s food cupcakes, homemade marshmallows, and “cookie-nola”. We donated all the goodies to Cookies for Kids Cancer. They’ve got a bake sale table on Saturday at the Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park, so stop by and have a snack for a good cause!

— 3 years ago with 35 notes
#Decatur  #Cocktails  #Twitter 
Gone for way too long.

Hey ya’ll,

Sorry for the extended hiatus, it’s been one…ok 2…of those weeks where I just couldn’t stand the sight of my computer ONE MORE SECOND after I was done with work. So here’s some of the stuff that’s been happening since I’ve been gone.

The last post was a photo of chocolate and strawberries. I was making those for our good friend Michael and his new wife Catherine. See, Michael and Vince have been best friends for ages and lived together for several years after college. They are truly the odd couple, but somehow it works for them. I love Michael and he’s like the brother I never had. He is unapologetically himself. He loves and accepts Vince, and always has. Almost 3 years ago when Vince and I got married, Michael was uuber thoughtful and gussied up our wedding night suite. He set out champagne and wine, covered the room in rose petals and candles. So we, of course did the same thing for him. I forgot to take pictures of the room, but here are couple from the wedding.

The bride and groom (and Vince looking very serious in the background)

Trouble 1 and Trouble 2

I’ve been learning a new skill, but I can’t share that with you yet. That’ll be another post coming sometime late next week.

Tomorrow, Meghan of Sweet Toothed and I are headed down to Sweet Grass Dairy in N. Thomasville, GA for a course on making fresh cheese at home. We’ll tour the farm, learn the basics and make some fresh goat and cow cheeses to take home! So excited about this! We’re planning on making a long day of it by driving down Highway 3 and hopefully stopping off for some good road food and antique shopping along the way!

So, what have you been up to? Any plans for the weekend?

— 3 years ago with 1 note
Chocolate + Strawberries (Taken with instagram)

Chocolate + Strawberries (Taken with instagram)

— 3 years ago
Kitchen Remodel: Done!…..pretty much

I *heart* Craigslist. Here’s why.

We had an old, admittedly cruddy-looking, GE dishwasher. It worked fine other than not really drying the dishes. My dad and Vince unhooked it during demo and parked it in our make-shift kitchen during the remodel. We finally got to the point where our appliances were being reinstalled, and the dishwasher started leaking out the side of the door. Grr. We had the guys look at it for 2 days and try to figure out what was wrong (pump…weather stripping…etc). Still, it leaked. 

So off to Brands Mart we go, because at this point what’s another couple Benjamins? (Is it dorky that I had to Google who was on the $100 bill? I should have known “It’s all about the Benjamins baby”) Vince and I must have earned some good karma along the way because we wound up getting a fancy new $500 dishwasher for half price! 

I couldn’t bear just trashing the old dishwasher—maybe somebody could fix it. So I posted it on Craigslist last night at 11pm. By 7:30am when I woke up, it was GONE! Totally freaking awesome. Like little dishwasher fairies.

RIP Ol’ GE

…and H-E-L-L-O fancypants dishwasher!

(ha ha…can you see me in the reflection?)

Enough of my chatter. Here’s what you really want to see:

There are still a few things left on the to-do list:

  • Install hook so is chandelier centered over table
  • Install ceiling fan that was in the space over the table (pre-demo) in the sitting room
  • Putty & paint moldings
  • Re-install 2 of the cabinet doors 
  • Install end piece of granite against the wall by the door
  • …I think that’s it!
— 3 years ago
Kitchen Remodel: Final Week…Continued

Alright, so I may have been a little ambitious to outline that schedule last week, but I’m excited. Last week was a bit slower than the past weeks have been, but we did have 1 major accomplishment: COUNTERTOPS!!

Here’s a close-up of the hardware we chose. I really like its simplicity and how it feels. 

Here is our gigantor sink with our new beautiful faucet and totally awesome air-switch garbage disposal. The faucet came with the soap dispenser, so I’ll have to get used to filling that up. I am glad that there will be 1 less thing on the countertops! This was a debate in my office-are you a 1-bowl or 2-bowl sink person? As you can see I am FIRMLY a 1-bowl sink person. I like to be able to move my dishes around, easily fill and later clean large pots and pans, and I think there’s less opportunity to have the sink fill up with dirty dishes. What are your thoughts?

(yes…I know there’s a knob missing…)

I know you can’t really see it, but right behind the faucet the countertop was either cut (from the quarry or the countertop guys) a little bowed. By that I mean the ends of the countertop were flush against the wall, but in the center-right by the sink-there was a pretty significant gap. I was a little concerned because I didn’t want water to be able to splash down there and rot/mildew the cabinets. We talked to Spencer and he said they would just add a bit of sheetrock to the area and once the backsplash was in, we won’t be able to tell at all. Here’s hoping!

The other project that was started was replacing the moldings around the doors, windows and floors. We’re just having them install them and Vince and I (aka likely just me) will putty and paint. Here’s a shot of the door with new molding.

It is really amazing how open and (dare I say…) huge the kitchen feels now that busy-looking oak cabinets aren’t crowding the door anymore. 

More updates tomorrow…and it’s a biggie!! 

— 3 years ago with 1 note
Run Less, Lose More | Women's Health Magazine →

My friend, Jana, sent me this article and posted it to her Facebook page. It surprised me how many people commented on this! 

For me, I can totally relate to the description in the first paragraph: rows of women running on treadmills and months later the same women are still there but don’t look that different.

My sister, Debbie, and I are members of the Decatur-Dekalb YMCA. We meet most weekday mornings to run and lift weights. Last summer we were practically running circles around the Y and Decatur Square, but I lost no weight (heck, I probably gained some!). Reading this article, I feel like I’ve learned why. I was running long distances at a basically comfortable pace. 

Working out should be a challenge for your body, whether that be speed/intensity, incline, etc and it can also make a difference whether you lift weights before or after a run! Who knew?

I’m totally motivated now to integrate some of these tips into my work out.

What is your take on working out and running? What challenges are you facing?

— 3 years ago with 2 notes

This is what just happened in the doorway of my office. Sometimes I just love my job.

— 3 years ago
Kitchen Remodel: Final Week

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. If all continues to go according to plan, we’ll be able to move back into our kitchen this weekend and do our final walk-through with Spencer on Monday. 

Here’s the rough plan for this week

  • Monday: template for countertops
  • Tuesday: countertops fabricated
  • Wednesday: countertops installed
  • Thursday & Friday: install backsplash, moldings for windows and doors, hardware, lighting, & appliances
  • Monday: walk-through

No new pictures today, but I’ll post more as things keep changing!

— 3 years ago