Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bad Gemini

Darnit. I wish I could get a bigger version of this picture, but I got tired of looking. No surprise there, if you read my magnet. I actually have this magnet somewhere, but I can't find it. Again, no surprise. It's so cheeky, I love it. It basically highlights all my faults, and really most of them are true (that's not easy to admit), especially the ones I circled.

See, Dave and I are both Geminis (our birthdays are 1 day apart), and well, two Geminis in one house can have its disadvantages.

In our day to day lives it's little things like deciding where to eat, or what to to eat, who should drive, what we should watch on tv, and who should take Georgie out. Okay, this is stuff every couple deals with, but where it really messes us up is in the home improvement area.

As I mentioned here, Dave recently moved into his grandmother's house. The house has good bones (Mom Quote), but needs a lot of work. The fact that we have pretty much no money for any major renovations leaves us with lots of small improvements to work on in the meantime. The problem? We cannot even decide what to work on. That's right, forget deciding on a paint color, we can't decide on whether or not to paint!!

Now that would be problem enough. Except sometimes we do decide to do something. And when that happens we do it. We just do it. We don't really research it, we don't really talk it out. We don't explore other options. Dave is worse than I am (sorry hunny!), but it's still that indecisive and flighty quality in both of us that hurts us.

Sometimes it works to our advantage, like the paint color in our bedroom. (More on that later) But most times it doesn't, like remodeling the fireplace. After we tore off the fireplace doors we realized the fireplace wasn't deep enough not to have them. So now we can't have fires, and have hideous gold fireplace doors just hanging out in the hallway.

With all of this comes my New Year's Resolution. Yes, I could stand to use a few pounds, and I should show my sneakers what the outside of my closet looks like. But for the better of humankind, err, Quirkykind, I am going to become more organized.

Here come detailed lists of any and all projects, pros and cons lists, detailed spreadsheets, and budget calculators. We're going to order a bed (no more sleeping on the floor on a mattress), clean the fireplace (you have to do that before you pain it, we discovered), and a new kitchen back splash.

We'll see how it goes.

Happy New Year!

A. Quirky

Thursday Obsessions

Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara.

Now remember, I haven't achieved that "Perfect Smokey Eye" yet in my life, so I am not the be-all, end-all opinion on mascara. My day to day make-up consists of moisturizer, lip gloss, and mascara...and now blush, natch!! MAC Blush. I know, I'm moving on up! But until I get all the way on the MAC Bandwagon, I'm sticking with my Covergirl Lash Blast. It doesn't clump. It doesn't flake. It does smudge, but I think that's because I rub my eyes all the time.

So, until I stop rubbing my eyes, or master the "Perfect Smokey Eye", Lash Blast it is :)


A. Quirky

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowed In Cinnamon Rolls

A blizzard of sorts hit the East Coast this past Sunday, which just added to the do-nothing, laziness I was feeling after Christmas. And when it snows, I get hungry. Some people know it's going to snow because they feel it in their knees. Me, I feel it in my stomach.
I'm usually a salt girl, but for whatever reason, I was craving a sweet treat. Enter "Easy-Peasy Cinnamon Rolls", renamed for this post as "Snowed in Cinnamon Rolls". These rolls are so easy because they don't require yeast to make, but are still pure deliciousness.
Nevermind my photography skills, these rolls are much better than their pictures :)


2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup milk

Filling (aka the best part):
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 milk

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

1. Do the filling first. In a small bowl, combine all filling ingredients to form a soft, crumbly mixture.

2. Sprinkle about half of the mixture over the bottom of a greased 9x9 pan

3. Prepare your dough mixture: Mix together flour, baking soda, sugar, brown sugar, and salt.

4. Cut in softened butter. (I use my hands for this part)

5. Stir in milk. You should now have formed a soft dough

6. Flour a surface to roll out your dough. Roll out your dough into a rectangle-ish shape. Your dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.

7. Spread your remaining filling into the rolled out dough.

8. Roll up the rectangle into a long log. Cut the dough into about 16 small rolls.

9. Place them in the pan. I like to make sure that the rolls are covering all of the mixture I put in the pan, otherwise you're just wasting that mixture. The rolls will expand a little bit, but don't get too huge.

10. Bake the rolls at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. If you like your rolls "doughie", bake them for about 18-20 minutes.

11. While they're baking mix the powered sugar and milk for your glaze. I like my glaze thicker, so I use a lot of powered sugar. If you prefer a lighter glaze, start with a 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and work your way up to taste.

12. As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, plate them and drizzle your homemade glaze over top. I plate mine upside down, so that the filling faces up. They look tastier that way.

Lastly, sit near window, think to yourself, "I'm so glad that I do not have to be out there in said blizzard", and eat tasty roll. Try not to eat all rolls in one sitting.
Enjoy :)
A. Quirky

Monday, December 27, 2010

Favorite Gift

I was a lucky girl this Christmas. I got some really good stuff :) I was also able to gift some fabulous, yet practical, gifts this year. (The mixing bowls were a hit).

My mom got me the newest edition of Photoshop Elements (yeah, still figuring out how to use it), and gift certificates to my favorite stores were many, but Dave especially spoiled me this year. I got a new pair of sparkly, georgous, sophisticated, and stylish diamond studs. I. Love. Them.

What could be better you ask? You may be surprised. My favorite gift of Christmas 2010 is a different sort of pair. A pair of black Hunter Rainboots*! These were on my "I Need to be More Stylish" checklist, and also happened to make an appearance on my "I Must be More Practical" checklist.

These babies are stylish and functional, and in black, oh so classic. I even got to wear them in the snowstorm yesterday! See, I'm almost-er quirky and stylish and grown-up-ish post Christmas 2010**

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

A. Quirky and The Hunter Twins (my new best friends)

*For the record, my most favorite gift was the wine and food I got to share with the ones I love the most here in Jersey, but that's not as fun to read about!
**I'm still only Almost Quirky because a real quirky person would have remembered to call rainboots wellies, and well, I didn't. Damnit.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And So This Is Christmas

I had to share my favorite Christmas song. I love this song because it totally puts me in the Christmas mood when I hear it in December, yet it's message is so simple, lovely, and important, I could listen to it any month of the year.

Happy Christmas !

A. Quirky

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Obsessions



I love the way cilantro looks and tastes, but I really love the way it smells. The other night I made Chinese Chicken Salad, and added cilantro on a whim (it was hard to resist in the grocery store all misted up and lovely looking). Let me tell you, it was the (not so) secret ingredient to the best Chinese Chicken Salad ever.

Cilantro is even delicious in drinks. Buddakan makes a cilantro martini, and it is perfection.

That's all for now :)

A. Quirky

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meet Georgie

I've mentioned a few members of my family in a post or two, but until now, I've left one very important gal out: Georgie :)

Georgie. Georgie Girl. Georgina. Pumpkin. Pumpkin Pie. Miss. She goes by anything really. In Philly my roomate's boyfriend christened her Jorge. To my brother she is George. To Dave she is Dog (my least favorite nickname, but he's almost as in love with her as I am, so I let it slide).

As you can see, Georgie's sported a few different cuts and colors in her lifetime (just like me :)). When I first got her, she had brown ears, a brown patch over her eye (pretty much why I picked her), and a few more patches on her back and tail. The brown faded to what I refer to as latte (why? I don't know) over time, and has pretty much dissapeared now that she's 2. There's a small hint of it left behind her ears.

Even when she's naughty (which is a lot...) she is pure innocence, and the biggest lover of any animal I've ever come across. All in all my family has 2 other dogs, and 4 cats (Mom and Dad's House together). I love them all, but Georgie....Oh Georgie.

I love you kid :)

A. Quirky

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gifting, the not so quirky way.

Christmas is a only one, very short week away. It totally snuck up on me this year. I planned on being done with my Christmas shopping by the first week of December this year. Let's just say I've adjusted my goal to being done with my Christmas shopping by, well, Christmas. It's not all my fault, though. No one in my family would give me any gift ideas, and while I love to discover the perfect gifts for loved ones, regardless of their wishlists, this year is a little different.

My mom (the most amazing woman in the world) is a certified teacher, but is only able to find subbing jobs in NJ right now. Thank you Chris Christie. Merry Christmas to you too. Not. Anyways, sufficed to say, she's not rolling in the dough, and would really appreaciate practical gifts this year. Digital Camera and new mixing bowls? Check.

My brother, a recent college grad has also fallen victim to the economy. Since he graduated in December of 2009 he's worked as a server, in a bagel shop down the shore (his summer job since highschool which he loves, so don't feel sorry for him there), and some "corporate sales" job that I swear was a pyramid scheme in disguise. Most recently, he applied for jobs at a bank and stocking shelves at Target. No luck even there. Money? Check.

My boyfriend recently moved into his grandmother's house, when she moved into his family's house. It's actually the house I refer to as my house, because, well, someday it will be mine as well. Also, without me, the house would be decorated with Bud Light cans. Seriously, there was one hanging from the Christmas tree when I arrived the other day. Anyways, back to gifts. Dave needs basically anything you would find anywhere in Home Depot, Lowes, HomeGoods, or Ethan Allen. I won't say what I got for him, because he's hinted that he has "found" my new blog. I didn't know anyone had yet! But because he's a sly fox, I never know. Let's just say... his gift...very practical.

My Dad's gift is a little less on the practical side because he owns everything he's ever needed, or wanted. He loves electronics, but the ones he loves aren't in my budget. Really cool coffee table book? Check.

And lastly, my sister. She never asks for practical things. So I do what any semi-quirky gal would do. I give a practical gift, disgused as anything but. This year? A giftcard in a mustache pint glass. The girl is obsessed with (fake) mustaches!

What kind of gift-giver are you? Purely Practical? Or do you treasure-hunt all year for that special gift? Are there any situations in your life this year that change the way you gift?

Either way, Happy Gift Giving. Isn't it fun?

A. Quirky

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Philly Inc.

What a clever and quirky title to this post! Get it? I said I was going to show you how I planned on incorporating Philly into my house? Get it...Incorporate Philly...Philly Incorporated? Well, I like it :)

As someone who is semi-quirky, as well as semi-stylish, and semi-resourceful, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE . I mean, it's a serious love affair. So naturally, when I was looking to incorporate (there's that pun again!) some Philly into my house without putting up a poster-size picture of the 2008 World Champs or a Chase Utley signed baseball, I knew exactly where to go...

I love this illustration by Etsy Shop birdAve. It looks very retro the way they have the illustration photographed here, and while I love it, I tend more towards a cozy look, so I would probably group it with some other items on one of my bookshelves. I also love the orange-ish shade. It's more unexpected than say a blue or gray.

The shop also has a print that my boyfriend would love. And since the quote comes directly from Ben Franklin's lips, it's an even more subtle nod to Philly than the print I love.

Another Etsy item I love is this necklace from seller BathtubJungle.

True, it's a necklace. But, the seller says that she can make it a pin if one so prefers. If I ordered it as a pin I could stick it into a corkboard, or into the corner of a frame. A frame holding a picture of Dave and I. A picture of Dave and I in Philly. Genius. Or, I could leave it as a necklace and drape it over said frame, or other object. But, I wouldn't wear it as a necklace. I'm just not that quirky ;)

Priced at $45.oo, it seems a bit steep to use as a pushpin, but it's also pretty cool. I mean a skyline. A clawfoot tub. It doesn't get much cooler than that!

I totally fell in love with all the items in architette's shop. Check out the Project Cupcake Cards to use as a "where the hell did you get this" birthday card. Architette draws skylines of hundreds of cities in the United States, as well as other countries, and even the 7 Wonders.
Lucky for me, she has 2 versions of Philadelphia. I already ordered a set of her notecards. I'll frame one, and send the rest to friends. I love them so much, they might replace post cards when I go on vacation. I'll just order the city I'm headed to in advance, and pack them to send when I arrive. Hey! That's cheating! No, it's not. It's love.

These items are only the tip of the Liberty Bell as to what I found surfing Etsy. I didn't even include any of the items I found that paid tribute to our beloved Sports Teams. Which reminds me, welcome back to Cliff Lee, lucky number 33 :)

I'll include other items somewhere along the line, as well as photograph the items that make their way into our home. Until then, I encourage you to head on over to Etsy, and find some subtle, quirky nods to your favorite city.


A. Quirky

*I am in no way endorsed or paid by etsy or any of the shops I have listed. I just love their stuff <3>

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Facebook and Philly... A. Quirky falls in love.

As I said in my very first post, I have a wonderful boyfriend named Dave. We "met" through my brother, but if we're being honest, we really got things rolling on Facebook...

He friended me. I accepted. We snooped and stalked each-other's pages, until eventually, I got the guts to post on a comment of his; something about a free lunch at Famous Dave's if your name is Dave, and how that would be a cheap date. One comment lead to another, and soon our status commenting evolved into Facebook Messaging... Eventually, he got the guts to get my number, call me, and arrange our first date. That's the abbreviated version of our Facebook Romance, but it seems a little juvenile already, and the details would really make you roll your eyes. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. It worked for us.

Dave and I have been together for a little over a year. While we were dating I was living in Philly, and it really was the perfect location for a budding romance. There were no awkward "meeting of the parents moments" until we knew each-other pretty well. There was however, an awkward meeting of the roommates, and I was nervous enough still that I had to drink a glass of wine before dates 1-7.

But anyways, Philly. I love the city, and pretty much all of our "getting to know each-other moments" were there. Our first date was at Bridget Foy's, a really cute place in Headhouse Square on South Street. He got the crispy chicken sandwich, I got the turkey burger, and we each ate about a bite of our lunch.

Our second date was a Phillies Play-Off Game with 2 of his friends. I thought the date was going to end disastrously when the Phillies fell behind late in the game, but Jimmy Rollins may have saved the fate our romance when he hit a walk-off triple to end the game.

Our love evolved over beers at the Irish Pub during the World Series, museum exhibitions, discoveries of local bars and restaurants, and spring and summer walks to Rittenhouse Square with my puppy, Georgie.

There's no doubt when we tie the knot that Philly will somehow be involved. I also want nods to Philadelphia present in many aspects of our life together. I'll have a future post dedicated to how I plan on doing so.



Monday, December 6, 2010


Hello there!
My name is Halle. I'm a twenty-something who looks like a teen-something. Really. I have a job I sort-of love, a dog I definitely love, and a boyfriend who definitely loves me (luck for him I feel the same :) )

So, the title of my blog? It pretty much says it all. I always feel like I'm the edge of quirky. I have an almost quirky sense of style. An almost quirky personality. Come to think of it, I'm on the edge of a lot of things. The edge of being a great baker. A talented cook. A one-of-a kind teacher. (there's the job I sort of love!).

When I walk down the street, or through the store, because living here in NJ, I don't walk down the street much, I see people who look like they have mastered something. The girl with the smoky eye? She definitely mastered the make-up course of life. The lady I work with who wears the trench coat and riding boots? She mastered the "10 Classic Looks Every Women Must Own" skill. My friend who has the most abstractly-perfect, don't match anything, yet they match everything" drapes? She has the quirky, cozy, home decorator down.

Don't get me wrong. I do not go moping around wishing I was trench coat lady, or look at my drapes and consider hanging myself from them. I just wonder if someday I'll be the drape lady in a trench coat with a smoky eye. It's certainly worth a try.

My hopes for newborn blog are a lot like any parent's hopes for their newborn (real, breathing) baby. I want her to be the best she can be. I want her to follow her own path, even if it's not the one I originally set out for her. As a parent to a newborn baby blog, I want to enjoy every moment, and be proud of my little girl :) I don't yet know how exactly this blog will turn out, just like a real baby! (The comparisons keep working!!) Happy Birthday Almost Quirky!! I can't wait to see what you become! And with that... goes quirky.

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