Friday Things


1. Duke is continuing to grow like a weed! I’m knocking on wood like a mad woman, but I think we have finally gotten over the hump with house breaking. He’s been going to the door for over a week now and has only had one accident (which was fully our fault – he was at the door and we didn’t let him out in time).

2. One of the trees in our backyard started dropping what looked to be some sort of fruit. We’ve been cursing that tree because, of course, Einstein and Duke are absolutely obsessed with these things on the ground and we’re constantly pulling them out of their mouths and trying to round them up and throw them over the fence everyday. We finally broke one open this week and, lo and behold, they’re actually PECANS! What?! I didn’t even know that pecan trees grew in this area! Apparently Einstein and Duke have pretty advanced palates πŸ˜‰ Now we’re going out in the yard and picking them up instead of trying to get rid of them!

3. The new treadmill that we got has a TV attached to the top of it, so I’ve been watching Beverly Hills 90210 reruns while I walk each day. It seems as though it’s on pretty much all day, every day. Ahh, high school memories! I was totally a goody two-shoes Brandon Walsh girl. What about you? Were you in the Brandon camp or the Dylan camp? Steve or David?

4. October sky sunsets are beautiful!

October sky sunset

5. I have a ridiculous amount of Valrhona chocolate sitting in my Amazon cart right now. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I need an enabler to help me πŸ˜‰

6. What I did pull the trigger on this week, though, was a pair of Frye boots.

Frye Melissa Harness Boots

I have had my eye on Frye boots for the better part of two years, and after spending two winters with various pairs of less-expensive boots that I really didn’t like, I finally decided to make the investment. They should be here later today and I can’t wait to slip them on!

7. I am finally caught up on the first two episodes of Homeland… ahhh, such a great show! Now I just need one more episode of Boardwalk Empire and I’m all ready for Sunday night. I still need to catch up on all of the new episodes of Parks and Recreation, too. So much sports to watch lately, TV has taken a back seat!

8. I just got my StitchFix shipment for October and it may have been the best one yet. I kept four out of the five pieces. Really loved this month’s selections; I am working on a post to share the clothes with you, since I know many of you have been curious about the types of clothes that are sent and the price points. Stay tuned!

9. I am probably WAY late to this party, but I just discovered the fabulousness that is the Pittsburgh Popcorn Company this week. They make some outrageously delicious popcorn flavors and rotate different “flavors of the week” throughout all of their locations. They have the standards, which includes aΒ chunky chocolate caramel (oh my God, delicious! I’ve been eating it all week!), but their flavors of the week are so genius. I’m talking s’mores, cinnamon toast, vanilla cashew, thin mint, jalapeΓ±o popper… and that’s just the beginning. If you don’t live in Pittsburgh, you can still buy online.

10. TGIF! I hope you get to enjoy some wonderful fall weather this weekend!



58 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Johanna Thompson on October 11, 2013 at 1:00 am

    l love reading your “Friday Things”
    First your dog is adorable, I have a little Maltese named Cayman too. Second, I love those boots..too pricey for me right now. Third, If you pulled the trigger on those hot boots, I think you can pull the trigger on the chocolate you have sitting on Amazon.

    I love your blog page. I visit every week.. I’m a new blogger, and I look for inspiration on other blogs.

    Have a fantastic Friday!


  2. Shannonanon on October 11, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Valhrona is (I think) the kind of chocolate that The Back In the Day Bakery uses in their awesome chocolate bread recipe so pull that trigger! I’ve always wanted Frye boots myself but have never been sure about making the investment; please do share whether or not they’re worth the price so I can justify it. Your puppy sounds like a really smart, really good boy! Congrats on getting on the good side of housebreaking, it’s such a challenge and takes so much patience (not that I have to tell you!)


  3. Pieliekamais on October 11, 2013 at 2:03 am

    I too love Friday things.
    Love the boots, and awww Duke’s paws πŸ™‚


  4. Lyn Lyon on October 11, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Oh my! You are just a doll! I love keeping up with the puppy growth! So glad you are happy! A new husband,house and dog! What blessings!


  5. Becca @ Crumbs on October 11, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Aw the picture of you with the 2 of them is so incredible!


  6. LJ Dubois on October 11, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Hi Michelle,

    What a lovely photo of you and the “boys”. Love the boots—buy the chocolate! Happy Autumn *_* XO

    PS Sorry about the Pirates—our fave team didn’ t even make the post-season this year (we are originally from the NYC area so we are NYY fans).Time to focus on the Pats and the Bruins. So many sports teams to keep up with right now……


  7. Shana on October 11, 2013 at 3:55 am

    I’m very intrigued by StitchFix, so please l’ll be looking for your post!


  8. Clare on October 11, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Hi Michelle,
    I just love your Friday things too! I am an AVID follower of yours, and love all your recipes which inspire me no end. Your dog, and puppy, Duke are just beautiful, as are you!! Love the boots! Love your sunset. I love America, having a daughter who lives over there, and miss it all very much. We are getting terribly hot here in South Africa, and in for a drought. Keep up the good work, and the lovely baking! Thank you so much for sharing all your lovely ideas etc.


  9. Charlene on October 11, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Love your Blog! Only one I read daily! Loving the puppy pics as I have an extreme fondest for Goldens, since I have two myself. We had 3 but we lost one last year. I refer to them as my “Golden Girls” . Love the boots, enjoy! As for the chocolate, go for it. Indulgences make life worth living!! Have a great week. Look forward to “baby pics” each week.


  10. Eli on October 11, 2013 at 6:27 am

    I’d like a pair of Frye myself πŸ™


  11. Lori S H on October 11, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Your dogs have the sweetest faces! I really enjoy your blog, and look forward to reading your Friday things post! I too have been dreaming about a pair of Frye boots!


  12. Jenny on October 11, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Hi from a fellow Pittsburgher! πŸ™‚ The popcorn company is amazing. I have that exact pair of boots…bought them during the Nordstrom anniversary sale. No regrets; they’re amazing. Enjoy!!!


  13. Laura on October 11, 2013 at 7:25 am

    I’ve switched to using Valrhona cocoa powder exclusively in my baking. It adds such a depth of flavor, and there’s no going back. I like to use Valrhona baking bars too, but those are more of a treat, due to the price point and volume of chocolate I go through. But you won’t regret that purchase.

    You also won’t regret investing in the Frye boots. I happened upon the Jane boots on sale in January 2012, and I’ve worn them SO much. They are so comfortable and well made. I’ve already had to get them re-soled from how much I wear them. It’s worth it!


  14. Jodi Pavlik on October 11, 2013 at 7:29 am

    The dogs are as cute as ever! I need some boots, I may consider the Frye’s! As for me, I as a Dylan girl all the way. I must try this popcorn, I am a sucker for specialty popcorn. I am very jealous of your new treadmill, I worked out on one like that when we stayed at the Venetian in vegas last year, LOVED IT! I still haven’t tried Stitch Fix…I would like to soon, I can’t wait to read your post about it.


  15. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on October 11, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! Duke is just so darn cute!!! Why can’t I take cute pictures of my dogs? As soon as the camera faces them, they jump at it! or bark at it! But they don’t mind when I take photos of food! lol The boots are gorgeous! Well worth the investment! Have a great weekend!!


  16. Prudy on October 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Pull the trigger!!
    Yet another awesome post. I truly look forward to this on Friday’s…I’m sitting here at my desk with a cup of very sweet and creamy coffee.
    What I need to pull the trigger on is Stitch Fix. I’ve filled out the form, picked out what I think trend I am… but I’m worried that it’s just going to be too expensive, and I won’t be able to justify it.
    Have a lovely weekend… it’s going to be a beautiful one here. We’re spending the day at my brother in law’s house and making chicken chowder. πŸ™‚ Should be a great day!


  17. GBTtown on October 11, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Foxes beware! You’ve got the hounds and now you have the boots. Will there be a horse grazing in your backyard next?


  18. EBPitcher on October 11, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Your mention of the pecans made me laugh out loud! If they drop early, then they will be covered in the outer green wrap and truly don’t look much like pecans. I also seem to remember that they don’t necessarily produce ever year. Enjoy them! And a warning, we use to have squirrels pick the pecan and bombard us with them when we were out mowing and such in the yard.


  19. Katie G on October 11, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I signed up to Stich Fix after seeing your posts and get my first shipment next week- so excited. Reading your blog is one of my favorite things to do every morning- keep up the great work and keep posting puppy pics. Dogs are the best! Have a great weekend!


  20. Martha in KS on October 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Pull the trigger – order the chocolate! Your puppy has grown so fast. In TX there are places where people take their pecans to have them run through a hulling/cracking machine. Sometime you feel like a nut…

    Have a great weekend.


  21. Ellie Delancey on October 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Pittsburgh Popcorn was always a highlight of a Saturday morning trip to the Strip. I can’t wait to come back to the burgh to visit that place again!


  22. Robin Christensen on October 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Oh my GOSH! Duke does look like he’s grown in the first picture, but the bottom picture really shows just how much! He is adorable! And that last picture of the three of you is precious!


  23. Sara on October 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Duke is such a handsome boy! πŸ˜€


  24. Julie Cruz on October 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I have those boots!! I bought them last year on Zappos (I am a Zappos freak!) and I love them. I wear them with dresses or jeans – you are going to love them.


  25. Marsha on October 11, 2013 at 10:16 am

    You have certainly found your nitch! Your blog certainly inspires so many people, me included. Thank you for sharing.


  26. Marla on October 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Shame on me for not writing this earlier when you were in full potty training mode! If you have a fenced yard, you should check out Hale Pet Doors for their double-flap in-wall version. Einstein and Duke will thank you forever! (and you won’t need to be quite as worried about being there to let the pup out.) I don’t know what my dogs would do without it! In case you’re thinking “that’s too big a hole in my wall” – my door is a tall medium & my big dogs (a Lab and a Lab/Saluki mix plus my daughter’s German Shepherd) fit through fine. I just checked their website and they do have dealers in the Pittsburgh area. One more thing, they totally customize to your situation! Sorry if this sounds like a commercial for them, but I just love the independence it gives to my dogs.


  27. Sharon on October 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Michelle, I copied a link of fruits, vegetables and nuts that are harmful to pets. It lists what can happen, symptoms and outcomes. I too am a dog lover and hope this will be helpful to you.
    Have a great weekend!


    • Michelle on October 11th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you for sharing!


  28. Betsy on October 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Could Duke be any cuter??? Does he still have puppy breath? Call me strange, but that is one of my favorite things!!!! LOL!


    • Michelle on October 11th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      His puppy breath is almost completely gone. We were just talking about that yesterday!


  29. Danielle @ on October 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Oh my goodness, your puppy is SO adorable! They grow up so quickly. Don’t you wish they just stayed that small forever? Too cute.


  30. Karin on October 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I am an admitted 90210 ADDICT (the old ones, not the new ones) and watch those re-runs whenever I can, usually on the weekends when I’m messing around in the kitchen. Glad I’m not the ONLY one!
    Your puppy is adorable–makes me ALMOST want another one. We have two full grown German Shepherds, not sure I’m ready for a baby anytime soon! But I love seeing the photos!


  31. Lucy on October 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Happy TGIF and thanks for another great read, love the Friday Things! I love your Frye boots, those are great looking boots. I was wondering if anyone out there watches Cedar Cove? I LOVE that show! The season finale is on tomorrow night and I will be so sad to see it end, it was renewed for a season 2 but not until next year sometime. πŸ™ I have never tried that chocolate but thanks for the information, I’ll have to buy some. Is it cheaper on Amazon? I want to try your brownie recipe sometime, there are a lot of ingredients to buy though! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!


  32. Karen L on October 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I, too, love your Friday Things because of the updates with Duke and Einstein. This weeks picture looks like Duke has been waiting for this day to come because he knows his picture is going to be taken. It looks as though he is posing.
    I live about an hour from the Pittsburgh airport (Atwood Lake) on the Ohio side and I did not think that pecan trees would survive this area either. How wonderful for you. The popcorn sounds inviting too. It has been a while since I’ve made a trip down to “The Strip” and to Robinson Towne Centre. I miss it tremendously. I need the 4watt light bulbs that only Ikea carries and they won’t let you order them online either. Bummer!
    Thanks for all the great things you post. I’ll keep tuning in!


  33. Jen on October 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    i can’t wait for your recap of your stitchfix order. i’ve already told my hubby i want this for christmas. i hate shopping and desperately need some cute things to just show up on my doorstep!


  34. Betsy Kise on October 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I always enjoy your Friday Things! Very cute pup! Hang a jingle bell from a piece of ribbon on the back door knob, low enough for pup to reach. It took us only three days to teach our Cocker Spaniel pup to ring the bell to go outside. You can hear the bell even if you are in another room. Nine years later, our pooch still rings the bell to go outside! Good luck!


  35. Sarah Lockard on October 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Aww….I am your biggest new fan. My mom and I are so loving your blog. Thanks for all you do! P.S. The pumpkin oat bars are cooling off right here in Philly as I type…cannot wait to try them! :)S


  36. Jaclyn on October 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Love those boots! I bought what I’m sure is a knock of version of them but you are seriously making me want to get this pair :). And very cute pic of you and your dogs! I can’t wait to get a puppy!


  37. Steph in Lex on October 11, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I have 20 episodes of the old 90210 from Soapnet waiting on my DVR! The last season–I’m working through that one before I start over at the beginning again (which were the best ones, of course). I was and still am a Dylan girl (but only when he’s with Brenda–boo to Dylan and Kelly πŸ˜‰ ). Have you seen Luke Perry lately? He’s probably like 45 years old and he STILL looks good! But seeing a few minutes of one of the episodes from the second season earlier today reminded me just how hot he really was in his heyday!


  38. Tieghan on October 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    The boots and the last pic! Love them both!! So cute!


  39. Kate on October 11, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I hope you enjoy your Frye boots as much as I enjoy mine but let me give you a tip. I had some trouble getting them on the first time (oh it was a scene) but then I read that putting plastic grocery bags on your feet help you slide in and out easily. Put a plastic grocery bag on your foot, pull the boot on, pull the handles of the bag up over your leg (bag is broken at this point obviously). After doing this about three times my boots were broken in. You will LOVE those boots! Totally worth the investment.


    • Michelle on October 12th, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Hi Kate, They were a little stiff putting on for the first time, but I had read that they can take a bit to break in, so I wasn’t too worried. Thanks so much for the tip!


  40. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen on October 11, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    LOVE those boots and the photo of you and your little fur baby boys! Have a fabulous autumn weekend, girl! xo


  41. Shani on October 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm


    I always looked forward to your Friday posts to see Einstein, and now with Duke in your family too – I can’t even tell you how much I love it! He is so sweet looking that sometimes I get a lump in my throat – he’s the epitome of a puppy in general, and also a golden puppy! Thank you for sharing him with us!

    And you chose well on your Fryes! I have three pairs, all very different in styles but I love them. My one pair are a low suede boot that I’ve had at least 8 years and they are my fave and probably the least recognizable as being Frye. They are quality boots and the style you chose is classy and versatile. Have lots of fun rockin’ your killer boots!


  42. Cynthia on October 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Life is too short not to buy Valrhona chocolate, but before you pull the trigger you might check out the Chocosphere website and do a price comparison ( to be sure you are getting the best deal. Prices are usually favorable and selection is excellent. Do you ever buy the wafers (Les Feves)? Such a joy to work with and no need for chopping if you are melting them. Also the perfect snack size (this can be a con with a hubby in the house).


    • Michelle on October 12th, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      How did I not know about this Chocosphere website?! Thank you for introducing me! Checking prices right now! Yes, I was planning to get the les fever pieces.


  43. kittentoes on October 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Those boots are terrifically sexy. I am envious.


  44. Rena on October 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Love that pic of YOU with the dogs! Good to put a face behind the blog…youre gorgeous πŸ™‚ Have a good rest of your weekend!


  45. Sykora on October 13, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Hmmm….seems to be hidding the belly while huggin the dogs. Naaaa….couldn’t be….or could it? Is there a need for an ultra sound?


  46. Choclabz on October 13, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Both your dogs are beautiful! You made me laugh since we are picking up our choc lab pup next Sunday, Cardan. We have a 10 yr old female, Caliper and 7 yr old male, Camber. Been quite a while since we’ve done the puppy thing.


  47. espie on October 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Lovely photo. Did I miss the wedding photos?
    Cheers from the warm Philippines. πŸ˜‰


  48. Kitty Flint on October 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Do you always bake with Valrhona, Michelle? I did once about 30 years ago, can’t remember the results. I’d be very interested to know if you love it and why. I absolutely love your recipes (my husband just wolfed down 5 Pepperoni Pizza Bites!) Thanks so much for all you do for us. BTW, your dogs are gorgeous!


    • Michelle on October 14th, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      Hi Kitty, I love the flavor, I think it’s superior to supermarket brands of chocolate, but it’s not readily available unless ordered, which is why I don’t use it regularly.


  49. Anna on October 14, 2013 at 8:20 am

    THE BABY DOOOOG!!!! omg I die haaha, thanks for sharing!


  50. RobinS on October 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    That’s what I’m saying!! Pull the trigger already!! Get that chocolate!
    Your dogs are sooo cute especially Duke, He makes me want to go out and get a dog but I can’t have them where I live now.


  51. Laura Dembowski on October 17, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Working out on the treadmill without TV is nearly impossible. Its when I keep up on food shows :). How cool that you have a pecan tree! One of our neighbors has a walnut tree. Beautiful sunset photo!


  52. Laura on October 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    So are you liking the boots?? I have been eyeing those myself, and I even have $200 of zappos gift cards, but I can’t decide if I should buy those and still spend $200, or look for cheaper boots that my gift cards would basically cover the cost of. Did you find they fit true to size?


    • Michelle on October 23rd, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      I absolutely adore them! I wear a 6 or 6.5 shoe, depending on fit. I ordered the 6 and they are slightly tight in the heel/ankle, but I’m wearing them around the house for a bit, since every review I’ve read said that Frye boots definitely need breaking in and might seem tight at first.


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