Battleview Orchards

Its been a while since I crossed something off the dusty ol’ life list, and to be fair… it still is. I actually went apple picking for the first time two years ago with my very pregnant friend Stephanie, my mom and my goddaughter Riley… but we had camera issues and all the photos came out white. On principal I haven’t crossed off apple picking from my list because I couldn’t show my work. Now I feel better about doing so.

Amanda insisted that she, Christina and I have a ladies day in the apple orchard, so this passed weekend we took a brief road trip to New Jersey and picked us some apples. It was Chris’ first time and mine and Panda’s second. Chris and Panda were obsessed with the idea of scoring some golden delicious, despite the only ones being at the tip top of the trees. They may or may not have broken a few branches to get what they wanted. I on the other hand was in my glory with all the rome apples. Yum. I brought home twice as many apples as the girls… but I was picking for two. Panda was much more interested in acquiring some pumpkins and sadly paraded back and forth through the mostly barren pumpkin patch hunting down the perfect specimen. Chris and I just stood in the dusty field watching her frantically searching, we made up for it by hitting up all sorts of pumpkin stands back home. We scored some very cute pumpkins… and I got a sugar pumpkin so I can make pie again soon.

Battleview Orchards was an awesome place. I hope to go once more before the season is over, the apples were gorgeous and tasty. The pumpkin situation was less than ideal… but its ok, they had a bunch of pumpkins over at the shop across the street. The shop is open all year round and sells all the crops from the farm as well as some AMAZING cider. If you’re very patient you can also wait in line for some of their apple cider donuts, fresh and warm from the fryer. Even if I don’t get to go apple picking again this season, I will definitely be stopping by the store to grab some cider and donuts… so good.

Outfit details for Ana: Dress, Tights, Shoes (similar), Sweater, Purse
Outfit details for Amanda: Sweater, Boots, Jeans, Purse

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Grounds For Sculpture

This weekend Amanda took Christina and I out to Grounds For Sculpture in New Jersey. We had a great, if not a slightly overheated and dehydrated, time. We played with all sorts of scantily clad art pieces and snapped loads of pictures. I didn’t bring my tripod and had to get seriously inventive with some trees to get group shots of us. We strongly recommend for everyone to go. Just don’t forget your sunblock and maybe wait for the spring and fall to spend time walking the huge grounds. We plan on going back in Autumn to see the rest of what we missed, its so big. I’ll br sure to bring my tripod and maybe a few more friends next time.

These are just a small handful of my favorite pictures snapped on our adventure. We took over 200 photos and I edited around 60, if you want to see more you can visit my flickr page.

Bully Inn

I wasn’t in a big rush to add a new dog to our family since losing Dutch, but in the last 14 months we’ve housed 3 strays… and Terrence has wanted every one of them. Unfortunately for him, along with the help of our amazing friends, we have found a loving home for each stray that’s come through our door. This isn’t one of them, this is Queen Sizzle, she belongs to my brother Paul.

Whenever I’d attempt to open my heart to one of our strays something in me shut down, I couldn’t do it. I’ve developed quite a reputation for being the witch that won’t let Terrence have a puppy. For a while I was convinced that I’d never get over Dutch and be able to have another dog. That is until Paul asked us to watch his puppy, Queen Sizzle, two months ago. I seriously didn’t want to give her back. Sure she was annoying and I had a few complaints about her lack of training. Her most obvious flaw being that she wasn’t accustomed to going for walks and as a result would keep me walking around my neighborhood for several hours a day with no finale. But what she lacked in training she made up for in good behavior and personality, so we threatened to keep her captive anyway– she was adorable.

Somehow my brother is trusting us again to watch his girl while he and his family are off on vacation. Terrence is already plotting to keep her and I’ve been spoiling her rotten. Thankfully Paul listened to my advice since her last visit with us and she’s learned all about being walked and what’s supposed to happen. She’s still rusty on her commands, but those are easy to correct. I’m hoping to teach her to lay down before our week is up. Yes, our time will come to an end. I don’t actually want to keep my brothers dog, sure it would be nice, but my nephew and nieces love her too much. I mean c’mon, they gave her this regal title to carry along.

Queen Sizzle has awoken something in me, she makes me want my own pup. She also makes a few of our friends want one as well, the ladies got charisma. Dogs like Sizzle are great for pit bulls, I wish every skeptic could know a bully like her. Dutch had that same charisma, he turned a lot of skeptics in his day. Currently we’re waiting until after all the commotion with the wedding, my holiday rush of orders and Terrence’s tech traveling season to end before we seek out our own puppy. Although we’re getting more and more impatient, we know it would only be fair to our future dog. In the meantime, her highness over here is welcome whenever she wants.

Our weekend in Instagram

We had ourselves a full, fun and delicious weekend. Saturday started at the annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party in and around Madison Square Park. We go every year, and every year its amazingly delicious. If you’re a carnivore, I strongly recommend it. After we had our fill of meat, we sought out dessert uptown at Ladurée for the best macarons in the city (as far as we’re concerned). Since we were nearby, we decided to walk over to Central Park to sit and eat our dessert with the Alice in Wonderland statue. We capped off Saturday with drinks and a light dinner at the Beer Garden in Battery Park, where we met a very curious little bird. Saturday was an awesome NYC day. My friends and I plotted out our plan to tourist it up this Summer. We’re all born and raised New Yorkers, but none of us have ever taken full advantage of the sites. For most of us tourists are irritating, we’d never want to be mistaken for one. This summer that will change, we fully intend to do as much tourist stuff as we can fit in, I’ll be documenting our adventures with the hashtag #mistakenfortourists. Also, Amanda and I will be hashtagging our random adventures together with our new duo name, #pandana (sadly a ton of people use this hashtag, we might have to come up with a new one).

Terrence left for E3 in L.A. early Sunday morning. So Sunday was all about the ladies. Amanda and I had planned to go back into the city for round two of the block party and do some shopping. Unfortunately, we got a late start and had to skip it. Instead we were tourists on our own island. We went to Willowbrook Park and rode the carousel then strolled around looking for cicadas (no luck). Then we picked up my mom to head into Manhattan for lobster rolls at Luke’s Lobster and a bit more tourist fun. After a quick dip in the city we came back to Staten Island and I showed my mother and Amanda parts of the waterfront around the ferry that they’d never seen before.

Finally, we ended the evening with pizza and Game of Thrones. Good weekend. I hope to have more like it this summer. You can find me (@anapetree) and Amanda (@iamanda123) on instagram this Summer to follow along and see the sites.

P.S. I forgot to mention that we stumbled upon an impromptu Krishna parade on Saturday. Don’t get confused, Amanda isn’t enlightened or anything.

Shop Update: The Photo Finish.

Etsy Shop is now fully loaded!

Donkey Kong

The Barrels Level

I started my morning early, I set up my room to take photos and I planned on starting to write up my etsy listings. As I was writing horrible copy for my afghans I was being getting messages and comments from Etsy, twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. I wasn’t too confused at first and went along with my business… and then I noticed my gmail inbox was filling up quickly. I refreshed my dashboard for this site and saw the view counts in places that I’d never achieve in a million years on the merit of my rantings alone. And then the hunting began, the hunt for the source. I’m assuming we, more Terrence than I, unearthed the beginning of the crumb trail.

www.it8bit.com

At the time that I’m writing this there are over 800 notes on tumblr in regards to my work. A few weeks back Terrence’s bff couldn’t contain himself and excitedly posted my crappy mobile phone preview photo of the Donkey Kong blanket onto Reddit. It’s gotten over 6,000 views… which would sound exciting to me, but only a sliver of those people actually came to my website and no one contacted me. My point is that these 800 notes mean more to me than the 6,000 views. Big thanks to it8bit.com, more specifically Pacalin for thinking my work is neat.

I started this rant with another point in mind. Ah yes, with all of this attention I had to scramble to finish all of my listings and post them immediately. I initially planned on updating Tuesday, I’m a fan, Tuesday breeds excitement in my heart. Its because of all the eager bus and train rides to music stores early on new music Tuesdays, its a warm memory. Today has been a whirlwind of photo editing, crappy copy writing and shipping rate hunting. After the crazy was over I treated myself and my girlfriends to a night of delicious froyo at Red Mango and a moonlit walk under the Verrazano bridge.

And now for the rest of what you really came here for… shop updates…

Pac-Man + Ms. Pac-Man In Love Throw

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Space Invaders Throw

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Princess Peach Hearts Mario Throw

FYI, clicking on the images will link you to each individual item. Just in case. Oh, and tons more photos can be found on flickr, here and here.

And now that it is just about 2am, its time for a much needed sleep.

My new favorite drug(s).

I’m sorry for my absence, I’ve become sort of consumed by instagram. Its just so much easier to post a picture than to articulate with… words.

I can’t blame my disappearance entirely on my phone, Terrence recently became a gaming addict and took over my computer for weeks on end. Between Diablo and now L.A. Noire I can’t seem to get near my pc, unless it’s to look over his shoulders. On the other hand I also can’t say its all his fault, I did get a little bit wrapped up in the Sims, it comes in waves. Not to mention a few rough spots in my social life.

Needless to say, I’m a shitty blogger.

Here are a thousand words about my household to make up for being AWOL…

phew…

(photos care of instagram/@iamduckydale)

A nose by any other name.

Today I wanted to focus on one of my favorite parts of Miss Pussycat, her nose.  We believe our kitty to be the most beautiful of all kitties, and this teeny detail may be the biggest reason.  When she was a kitten she had ringworm on her nose, and even then it was still adorable. Disease ridden, but adorable. She only got slightly irritated by me taking incredibly close range photos of her today.  Penny let me know when she was done by putting her little paw on the camera lens, damn cute kitty.  I then stopped and played some games with her, then gave her a couple of treats as payment for her hard work.

Merry (belated) Christmas!

The initial idea for this years holiday photoshoot came from a picture of Terrence as a wee tike.

In just about every prepubescent picture of Terrence he is wearing red suspenders and a tie. For years I’ve joked with him that he always looks like he just got back from a Macy’s shoot. So I had to, for his mother, get him back in these suspenders. Since he was getting decked out in a childlike way, I figured I would follow.

Not that I dress all that differently as I did when I was a lass. My mother usually had me in tent dresses and saddle shoes, ruffled underpants. I stayed away from the ruffled panties this time around, I wanted to stay classy. I was simply going to have us standing in front of the tree in our tike outfits but Terrence thought the clothes wouldn’t make sense, by that he meant he wanted people to understand that he would never wear red suspenders unless there was a clear reason for it. That reason wasn’t clear enough so I had to quickly come up with some sort of photo story.

The more pictures we took, the more agitated Terrence became about his outfit. He was being a little brat, which I guess was him staying in character. So this is what my brain came up with for our Christmas card…

All in all I feel like we could have done better, Terrence was so ashamed of his silly suspenders and the lost concept that he didn’t send out his holiday e-cards until about ten minutes before midnight on Christmas day. Next year I suppose we’ll go back to a simple photo in front of the tree and leave the ill fitting suspenders in the past.

Outfits: (Ana) Dress/The Velvet Bird, Bow/Red Velvet, Shoes/Spring (Terrence) Suspenders/UO, Shoes/Puma, Pants/Zara, Tie/Vintage, Shirt/H&M

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Carambola, Cherimoya and Pepino… oh my?

I haven’t been doing a good job at keeping you all posted on my Life List achievements, but I assure you I’m doing them.  All the ones to do with food are seriously being taken care of, mostly with the help of Terrence.  The Boy has always encouraged me to try new things, and since I made it abundantly clear that I was ready to be more food adventurous he has been pushing me all the way.  He brings home a strange fruit or cheese every time he goes shopping.  Saturday mornings he wakes up early and heads over to our local farmers market and returns with arms full of treasures.  He usually enjoys them more than I do but I’m putting in the effort.  I keep forgetting I’m supposed to be photographing most of these things I eat… but here are a few from a while back that we found in our local supermarket.

Carambola or Start Fruit as it’s better known. I thought these were delicious, but I couldn’t finish one. Terrence also didn’t enjoy eating them in any larger quantity than about 3 slices. The carambola were crisp and watery, I honestly don’t remember the exact flavor though (maybe why I should post these sooner after consumption). All in all they were weird, but tasty. Thankfully Dutch LOVED the star fruit and ate all that I gave him.

Cherimoya fruit was my favorite to look at, but not my favorite to eat.  It was weird… the texture was very creamy. Terrence loved it, but found it a bit overwhelming to eat the whole thing.  Thankfully we live across the street from his foody parents, who are always more than willing to try whatever weird shit we bring over.

The Pepino Melon I really disliked, but to be fair… I think we waited too long to eat it.  This one definitely deserves a second chance. They were very juicy though, but made me scrunch up my face and do a little shake.  But I’ll still try another one if I ever come across them again.

Now I’m all sorts of hungry.  Wish me luck on finding more oddity fruits, maybe I’ll hit up the Asian Food Market later and score some.  They’re very instrumental in my fruit eating over there. Yum.