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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blairsden Mansion Tour: Part 2


52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

This is Part 2 of a multi-part series.  
Are you ready to see a few more rooms 
of this incredible mansion?

In case you missed Part 1,
I'm taking you on the mother of all house tours...
at Blairsden Mansion, in Peapack-Gladstone NJ.
which was the site of a  

Designer Showhouse fundraiser, back in May.

Believe it or not, we barely made it 
past the front door in Part 1. 
Today's tour continues along the main floor.

Want to follow along with the floor plan? Click here
The rooms are numbered, 
and I'll reference them as we go along. 
Let's roll.

Main Hall
Map Location 9

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

This hallway is so long,
it could use one of those moving sidewalks 
like they have in airports. 
OK, I jest, but it is huge.

Look at that magnificent architecture...
and the limestone walls.
I'd love that floor in my front hall.
So elegant...

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

I couldn't help thinking that if it were my house,
those high ceilings would really lend themselves
to a basketball hoop...

And I could see half a dozen boys 
skateboarding from one end of the hall to the other.
 
52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

This looks like a nice space to open the mail...

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

Or rest, if you get tired along the way

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

Anyone need a potty break?
There's a powder room down at the other end of the hall.

Powder Room
Map Location 2


52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

We'll make a quick pit stop, to powder our noses.

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

Isn't this the most fabulous floor?

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

Now that we're all freshened up and presentable,
we're ready to go to the Grand Salon.

The Grand Salon
Map Location 43

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

The photo above isn't the greatest, 
but it's the only one I have that shows how long the room is.
Both sides of the room are mirror images of each other.

Here's one side...
(you can see the Drawing Room that I showed you last time, through the doors .)


52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

And here is the other side.
(The doors lead to the library, which we'll get to soon). 

I'm not usually a "gray" person,
but how fab are those teal accents?

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

Mr. Goo Shoes could be entertaining 
Mr. (or Mrs.) President on one side...

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

While I engage in witty banter with foreign dignitaries 
on the other side. 

"That noise? Oh, it's just my son and his friends
shooting hoops in the hallway."

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

By the way, what are you doing New Year's Eve?
I'm having a party right here in this room,
and I'm inviting every one of you!
It's black tie, of course. 

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

Not to worry, it won't be "stuffy."
We'll be swinging from those magnificent 
Baccarat chandeliers by midnight.
(I do pity the person whose job it is to clean them). 
52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

Well, looky, looky!
 Even in a mansion, 
they throw in a little animal print
I'm telling you, it works everywhere! 

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

It's time for something a little more zen-like.
Fortunately, there's a room for that
just down the hallway. 

The Balcony
Map Location 8


52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

This will do very nicely as my morning coffee room.

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

The water feature would be the perfect
"background" music for reading the paper. 

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

The gauzy drapes would blow in the breeze...

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

While I squeeze in a little meditation.
Oh, look! There's champagne for our mimosas!

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

I'm claiming this spot as my own little haven.
Mr. Goo Shoes would probably choose 

the next room on our tour.

The Library
Map Location 44

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

This would be quite the man cave, no?
Oh, wait, where's the TV?

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

Mr. Goo Shoes would "retire" here after dinner,
with his high school pals from Brooklyn.

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

The butler would bring them port and grappa,
and place it on the white ottoman.

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

I hope they won't spill their drinks on the white upholstery.
But they will. 

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

I'm having second thoughts about this being a man cave.
It's so cozy.
Maybe no one will notice me 
if I hang out in the corner over here,
sipping hot chocolate.  

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes


That's all for this time.
What were some of your favorite things on today's tour?
Next time, we'll finish up the first floor,
with the kitchen, lounge, another balcony and dining room.

Here's a little preview.


52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes


Until next time...


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Corn and Peach Salad...and I'm Frazzled!

Corn and Peach Salad

You know how sometimes, you have everything under control?
Whatever comes your way, you say...
 "I Got This!"  

I don't know exactly what happened, 
but suddenly, I Don't Got Anything.

 I've come undone. 

I think it is the it's-getting-dark-at-7:36pm-holy-crap-school-is-next-week-I-haven't-started-my-summer-projects-yet-please-don't-snow-every-other-day-this-winter blues. 

That, and I was just asked to be the chairperson of the Fundraising Committee at my synogogue. 

 
You know, the one responsible for raising all the money 
so they can pay the staff, buy supplies, and keep the heat on.
Stuff like that. 

Yeah, no sweat.

Corn and Peach Salad

Don't get me wrong...
I am honored to have been asked...
it is a "mitzvah" to help my temple,
and I really want to do this!

But, have I mentioned that I have NO fundraising experience whatsoever?

Actually, I was asked to be the co-chair, 
but they couldn't find anyone else to partner with me,
so now I am not a co-chair, I'm the whole darn sofa. 

And I'm having a little confidence crisis. 

It's days like these that 
I need Aibileen Clark to come over for some tea, 
look me in the eyes, and say,
"You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

I wouldn't mind a hug from her, either. 
That would be just peachy.

Corn and Peach Salad

Speaking of peaches,
(go easy on me on that segue...
remember, my confidence level is on thin ice),
this is a great recipe for late-summer peaches
and end-of-season corn...
and perfect for Labor Day Weekend.
I'm well aware that everyone else has moved on to 
pumpkin recipes, but hear me out.

Junior Goo Shoes asked me yesterday if he could have 50...
FIFTY...
camp friends sleep over on Friday night for his birthday including girls...
so I hope you can understand why I am a little too frazzled 
to be thinking up pumpkin recipes.

Not that we said yes. 
Fifty kids???
So. Not. Happening.

I mean, 50 kids don't look like much out here 
in the wild, wild west... 

Photo courtesy of camp counselor

But can you imagine them all in my basement?
(I'll be right back. I need some valium Advil).

We agreed that he could ask just the boys, 
hoping that because it's Labor Day weekend,
it will keep the response rate to a reasonable number. 

And if they misbehave,
I'm going to serve corn and peach salad,
until it is coming out of their little teenage ears...
and make them each give me a donation to the 
Fundraising Committee.  

Corn and Peach Salad

 OK, where was I?
The recipe...yes.

(which is from Better Homes & Gardens, by the way).

Because I was lazy, 
I used frozen corn kernels and steamed them. 
It would definitely be better with fresh corn.
The original recipe called for radishes, 
but I used tomatoes, since that's what I had on hand.
The next day, 
I decided to toss in some blackberries, 
and not only did it look pretty,
it tasted amazing. 
I highly recommend that you add them,
or some blueberries. 

Corn and Peach Salad : Add some blackberries!
Extra yummy with blackberries!
CORN AND PEACH SALAD
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens 
4 ears fresh sweet corn
1 cup chopped fresh peaches
1 large tomato, diced
1 cup blackberries or 1/2 cup blueberries, optional
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
salt and pepper

1. Cut kernels from cob (about 2 cups). Steam the corn until cooked, but not mushy.
2. In a bowl, combine corn, peaches, radishes, and mint. 
3. For dressing, combine oil and vinegar; add to salad; toss to coat. 
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Top with berries, if using.
Serve immediately. 
Makes 4 cups or 8 to 10 servings.

Make ahead: Assemble salad without mixing. Cover; refrigerate up to 24 hours. Add oil and vinegar. Toss before serving. 


Corn and Peach Salad

Oy, I have a lot on my plate lately,
and it ain't just Corn and Peach Salad.

Excuse me while I go take a few yoga classes 
before all those kids get here.

Ommmmmmmmmm....

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekend Travel Inspiration: Lighthouses


Lighthouses  ---- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Lighthouses on shore
Beacons of light shining out
Love guiding us home.
                               Raymond A. Foss


Lighthouses  ---- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Santorini, Greece

Lighthouses  ---- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Hudson River, Kingston, NY

Lighthouses  ---- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Paradise Island, Bahamas

Lighthouses  ---- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, NJ

Lighthouses  ---- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Montauk, NY


Lighthouses  ---- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Lake Erie, PA

Lighthouses  ---- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Hudson River, Ulster Park, NY

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