Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

Where do you like to put your feet up to relax?

In our house, it's the den. 

In fact, if you need to find Mr. Goo Shoes and I on Sunday nights this summer, that's where you should look. We'll be watching True Blood.

Although we think the series has passed its prime, we still are faithful viewers.

It's still got some pretty scary vampire stuff going on...

…which makes it kind of fitting to be watching it in our den, because, prior to its makeover, it was a pretty frightening room.

The very first time I saw our house, I walked through the front door, and said, "we'll take it!" The former owners did a good amount of renovation on the first floor, and I loved what they did. 

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

I couldn't wait to see the upstairs. 

OH MY.  

It was like we were in a totally different house. 


More terrifying than running into a vampire in Bon Temps. 

Mr. Goo Shoes was ready to walk right out, but it didn't scare me away. 

And, besides, there was that gorgeous, private backyard.  

Somehow, I convinced Mr. Goo Shoes that the upstairs had potential.

"Potential" in this case involved totally gutting the entire upstairs, down to the studs.  Yes, it was…


It's hard to pick which of the upstairs rooms was the worst of the lot, but the room off the master bedroom was definitely a contender. I have no idea what the former owners used it for. 

I don't want to know.

It had dark, paneled walls and a filthy red carpet. 

It was…

This is the Way Before:

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by
I am laughing hysterically that I watermarked this. As if anyone would want it!

When we moved in, we ripped out the paneling; painted, and put in a beige carpet, and called it our…er, office. 

It was only slightly less horrifying than the Way Before. 

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

I am cringing, as I look at these. I truly forgot just how awful it was. 

After living in the house for awhile, we decided to make a master suite. The Dump was about to be transformed into a Den. 

You can see (above) on the far left side, there is a door, two steps and a little wall. 

We ripped out the door, and the wall…

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

 …ripped out the steps, and put French doors in the center, with wider steps.  

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

Now the dilemma was how to furnish it. I worked with a designer at Ethan Allen. If you buy even one piece from them, their design services are free. We had worked with Cheryl many times before, and she had our style down pat. 

It was an awkward space, and we were clueless. All we told Cheryl was that it had to be cozy and comfy. 

I think she nailed it.

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

The only things Cheryl didn't select were the TV console (it's from Pottery Barn), and the wallpaper. She had picked a fabulous Ralph Lauren black and white plaid, and on the day that we placed the final order…we learned it had been discontinued!

I had a minor meltdown in the store. Cheryl couldn't find anything else that would work. 

I was on my own. 

No pressure…

The worst that could happen was that I would pick the wrong thing, and ruin the entire room. 

I went to a local wallpaper store and found this gorgeous beige and black grasscloth. 

Honestly, I like it better than the original plan.

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

Once again, Way Before:

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

And After: 

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

And from the other angle, a slightly improved Before:

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

And After…

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by

It's hard for me to believe it's the same room. 

Mr. Goo Shoes thinks it is his man cave.

But, I like it, too.

From Dump To Den: Way Before and After by
Linking to:
Suburbs Mama Sunday Linky Party
Nifty Thrifty Things Nifty Thrifty Sunday
By Stephanie Lynn Sunday Showcase Party
Between Naps on the Porch Metamorphosis Monday
BeBetsy  and VMG206 Brag About It Tuesday
Love Grows Wild Time To Sparkle Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday 
Rooted in Thyme Simple and Sweet Fridays
Serenity Now Blog for Weekend Bloggy Reading Fridays

Till next time,

Ms. Toody

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" - Super Easy, Super Fast Cole Slaw

Do you have five minutes? That's all it will take to make this homemade, low-fat cole slaw.

It finally feels like summer around here, and not just because the thermometer (or as Junior Goo Shoes used to call it, the "degree-er") hit 94, but because JGS left for sleep-away camp on Saturday. 

He'll be gone for seven weeks.   SEVEN WEEKS. 

Now, before you go all "How Can You Let Your Kid Be Away From You All That Time" on me, you should know that there is no place on earth that Junior Goo Shoes would rather be than at camp. 

And, as an only child, it's really good for him to have to share stuff, and live with other kids, since he doesn't get any practice with that at home.

As the camp bus pulled away, Mr. Goo Shoes and I clinked our champagne glasses cried our eyes out. 

It's always so hard to say goodbye.

Did I mention that Junior GS came home two days after he left? 


He came home for his 8th Grade graduation last night. 

Usually, we ship him off, and don't get to see him until a few weeks later on Visiting Day
(you won't want to miss my post on that insanity). But, last fall's Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the school calendar this year, so for the first time ever, camp started before school ended.

We didn't want Junior GS to miss the first weekend at camp, so Mr. Goo Shoes and I left at the crack of dawn yesterday to drive 3 hours to pick him up, and then turned right around to drive three hours back.

The things we do for our kids.

Has anyone ever gotten a good picture at a school event? 
Graduation was really special…a milestone that we wouldn't have wanted to miss...worth the 6-hour shlep. 

And what was even more special, was that another parent drove him back this morning. 

When he left, I felt really sad.

But, after six summers of shipping Junior GS off to camp, I don't sob anymore when he leaves, since I know that he's in his happy place.

And it makes for one heckuva seven weeks for me and Mr. Goo Shoes ;)

So, about the cole slaw? When Junior GS is away for the summer, it's an opportunity for Mr. Goo Shoes and I to eat all of the foods that JGS wouldn't touch with a 10-foot fork:  

Quinoa salad. 
Cole slaw. 
Too many other foods to mention.

I clipped this recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Foods magazine a few years ago. As if it isn't easy enough, I had to simplify it even more, by using packaged shredded red cabbage. Yes, I am that lazy...I don't want to bother chopping up a cabbage. I mean, what for, if someone's already done that step for me? 

When I first started making this, the shredded cabbage came in 10-ounce bags. Now, they are 8-ounce bags, and I'm sure the price is more. Funny how that happens.  

Be sure to make the cole slaw at least one hour before you eat it, but I highly recommend that you give it a few hours to have the flavors blend. 

It only makes about 4 servings, so if you're going to prepare this for a crowd, or you're serving super-big eaters, you'll need to double, triple or maybe even octuple it. 
The recipe calls for a half small red cabbage, so honestly, unless you've got something better to do with the other half of the cabbage, just make a double batch. Or, buy the bag, like I do.

The red cabbage and the green cilantro look really pretty, so it makes for an attractive side dish at a barbeque. It would look very colorful sitting next to a bowl of my Black Bean Salad. 

Are you ready to give it a try?

Red Cabbage Cole Slaw 
(From Martha Stewart's Everyday Foods magazine)

1/2 Small Red Cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (or 8-ounce bag shredded red cabbage)
1/4  Cup Reduced-Fat Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons White-Wine Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Coarse Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro

In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, white-wine vinegar, sugar, coarse salt, and ground pepper.  

Add the cabbage; toss to coat with dressing.  Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.  

Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. 

That's all there is to it.

It's so good. It tasted even better without having to hear Junior GS complain about it.


Linking to 
Debbiedoo's Thursday Fun In The Sun Linky Party
A Little Claireification's Best of the Weekend Friday
On Sutton Place's Pinterest Blitz Party Saturday
Barns and Noodles and It's Overflowing Creative Linky Party Saturday
Nifty Thrifty Things for Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Jam Hands Recipe Sharing Monday
Till next time,

Ms. Toody


Friday, June 21, 2013

Emergency Landscaping? Dial 911

You know how you get those phone calls from school, or camp, and as you're answering it, you're holding your breath until you hear the person on the other end say...

"Everything's fine..."

So let me start this post with --  

"Everything's Fine."

You can let your breath out now. 

I wouldn't have exactly called our landscaping project an emergency... but we did end up with two cops and an EMS squad in the backyard. 

You may recall me telling you that the most important thing to us when buying our house was backyard privacy.

So, when we lost our wooded view to a developer who built the gray house, below, we were anxious to do some landscaping to salvage as much of our privacy as possible. 

A few weeks ago, just as I was sitting down with a cup of coffee on the deck, the landscaping crew came to work on the section of the backyard that bothered us most. See that spot to the right of the center tree? 

Here's a closer look. Back in the fall, Superstorm Sandy knocked over a couple trees and crushed our bushes. After we pulled them out, this is what we were left with. Pretty!

We could hardly wait for the landscapers to fix things up. The day they came, it was pretty hot and muggy.  The guys were working really hard...

Dragging trees in…

Digging big holes…

Planting, planting, planting…

Man, they were really working hard.

Mr. Goo Shoes and I had to run out for bit. Just before we left, the guys were taking their lunch break. A few were eating in their truck, one was still working, and one was resting on the grass in the backyard.

He was Really Resting.  As in...


But we didn't know this at the time. 

When Mr. Goo Shoes got back, he was surprised to find two police cars and an ambulance in the driveway. 

The other workers finally realized that Resting Guy had passed out, and they called 911.

His mom was there, too.  She seemed to take it all in stride, but I can only imagine how she felt when her phone rang...I'm sure she held her breath until they told her that...

"Everything's Fine."

Resting Guy was, okay, thankfully…but he went home with mom, and the work continued without him.

At day's end, here's what the new landscaping looked like. 
All it needed was some mulch...

…and a hammock.

Here's the Before…

And the "Ahhhhhh-fter…"

If anyone is looking for me this summer, check the hammock first. There's a good chance that's where you'll find me. 

Linking To:
On Sutton Place and Debbiedoo's Saturday Pinterest Blitz 
It's Overflowing and Barnes and Noodles Saturday Creative Linky Party 
A Little CLAIREification Saturday Best of the Weekend 

Till next time,

Ms. Toody

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Meet Sadie Silverpaws

Just when I started to wonder what on earth my next post was going to be, Sadie and I got invited to a Pet Party at Debbiedoo's. If you want to see some adorable pet posts, head over to the party. You don't have to bring a gift…maybe just a comment or two. 

Sadie is my four-legged daughter, and I think she looks exactly like her daddy, Mr. Goo Shoes.  If he'd let me, I'd put up picture of him so you could judge for yourselves, but Mr. Goo Shoes is camera-shy when it comes to having his photo on blog posts seen all over the entire world wide web.  

She looks just like him, really. You'll have to trust me on this one.

He says she looks like me, but you can see my photo over there on the right. Do we look anything alike? 

Thank you…I didn't think so. 

Sadie is a cockapoo, and is four years old. She is the sweetest little dog. She has to stop to say hello to everyone.  This can get a bit frustrating, since she will just lay herself down in the street waiting for the person who is a mile away to come over and pet her.  I've had to pick her up and carry her on more than one occasion. 

This was Sadie on the day we first got her. She was 12 weeks old.

She loves Halloween...

She is a huge fan of the NY Giants...

And she loves her friend, Speck. 
A sniff hello…

A secret shared…

And a kiss…

When Junior Goo Shoes was smaller, he liked to hang out with her in her room.

Sadie likes ping pong, but she thinks the object of the game is to grab the ball and eat it. 

Her favorite stuffed animal is Black Puppy.  I think she feels a special connection with him.

She's our sweet girl… and we love her!

Until next time…

Ms. Toody
Linking with