Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Never Ending Story

Whilst the world sits "agog" watching the Olympics (apart from in India where their power system has crashed), Greece is just about to run out of money again!

Top JULY Posts at Honey We're Home

Hi guys!   Here's a look back at some July highlights at Honey We're Home in case you missed them.  Click the picture to read the post. 

Summer Mantle

Getting in FRONT of the Camera

Our 4th of July Party

New Bench (Under $300)

Dinner Planning & Organization

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Secret Bankers' Meeting

Apparently, last Tuesday, there was a secret meeting of the CEO's and Chairmen of some the UK's leading banks.

The purpose of the meeting was to address the reputational damage from the industry's ongoing spate of scandals.

Mark Kleinman of Sky News reports that the meeting at HSBC's head office discussed Liborgate, as well as the payment protection insurance and interest rate swaps mis-selling.

It is regrettable that it has taken the banks so long to start to try to address issues that have been in the public domain, and the source of much public contempt, for such a long period of time.

The meeting also discussed the appointment of a successor (an outsider) to Marcus Agius as chairman of the British Bankers' Association (BBA).

Given the BBA's dismal reputation it would be better that they simply shut it down and set a new organisation up.

Dinner: A Love Story (Dinner Planning & Organization)

I need all the help I can get with my goal of making healthy family dinners at home.  About two weeks ago, I found a HUGE help in the form of a new book (and new-to-me blog), Dinner, A Love Story.

I hadn't heard of either until I was browsing one of my favorite sections of the bookstore, the Cooking section.  The cover of the book got my attention, but what kept me reading further was the description on the back about the author and her husband:

Jenny Rosenstrach, and her husband, Andy, regularly, some might say pathologically, cook dinner for their family every night. Even when they work long days. Even when their kids' schedules pull them in eighteen different directions. 

They are not superhuman. They are not from another planet. With simple strategies and common sense, Jenny figured out how to break down dinner—the food, the timing, the anxiety, from prep to cleanup—so that her family could enjoy good food, time to unwind, and simply be together.

I devoured this book in two days.  

And this other tidbit about Jenny fascinated me: she's been keeping a "Dinner Diary" since 1998.  Wow. 

via Dinner A Love Story

How did her book help me the most?

She nailed the biggest problem that often prevents a home-cooked meal from being prepared at our house- the dilemma of "what to make."  I don't know why that's such a challenge for me, considering I have no less than 50 cookbooks on hand, the internet at my disposal, and a host of pinned dinner images.  Since I enjoy the actual cooking process, the before-the-cooking part is the hardest for me.

But, Jenny says, "MAKE A DECISION."  In her house it seems to be a little easier because, now, her husband and kids often request a certain meal.  Here, it's always been pretty much up to me.  So, I am making a decision about what we are going to eat for dinner on the weekend, writing it down and putting it on the fridge, doing the shopping, and then making those meals on their specified days.  The end.  Well, sometimes, what I planned for Wednesday, we'll eat on Tuesday, but you get the idea.

To help me make the decision about what to eat, I created a computer document with a list of dishes that we like so that I can easily review it when I'm in a rut- and I can easily add to it.  If the meal was from a cookbook, I added the cookbook initials and page number for easy reference.  It's still a work in progress with my 2 year-old because he is such a picky eater.  I just keep trying. I still need to start making him smoothies- we haven't yet invested in the Vitamix blender.






*Thai salad

*Whole roasted





*Hot chicken salad

*Oven baked

*Chicken w veg soup

*Mozz/goat cheese, basil


*Roasted carrots, onions, tomatoes







*Green beans




*Apples w peanut butter









Ground Beef/Steak/Ribs






*Stuffed mushrooms

*Thai steak tacos

*Beef bourguignon

*Steak au poive

*Steak sandwich 




*Roasted new

*Potato skins







*Linguine w pesto, tomato


*Fried Rice

*Fish tacos

*Grilled fish 

*Crab cakes

*Crab legs

*Shrimp/pineapple skewer

*Seared tuna 








Garlic bread


String cheese

Cheese cubes

Cheese w crackers

Graham crackers

Chips w hummus

Animal crackers

Fig newtons


*Thai chicken

*Chicken Ceasar

*Greek spiral pasta



*Cucumber, feta, tomato

*Fruit, nut, goat cheese

*Cobb Salad w/ honey mustard (F&E p.140)

*Vietnamese Herb&Noodle (F&E p.88)


*Baked ziti

*Ricotta stuffed shells


*Lasagna with summer veg&ricotta (F&E p.186)


*Pasta w/Tomato pesto (F&E p.106)




*Egg salad


*Grilled cheese

*Chicken salad

*Ham and cheese


*Chiabatta pizza (F&E p.100)



*French toast

*Eggs w bacon


*Egg McMuffin

*Hard boiled egg

*Breakfast tacos 

*Raisin bread

*Muffins (bb, banana, bran, coffee cake)


*Blueberry&cream cheese muffins (F&E p.36)

So, now you'll find me on the weekend, sitting down to determine, IN ADVANCE, what we will be eating for at least 4 days of the week.  Some days there will be leftovers and, of course, we'll eat out or order in sometimes too.

The OrganizHer grocery list with a weekly menu planner on the side is something that I now cannot live without.  I've always liked these pre-printed grocery lists, but the one below is super cool because I can write out our meals for the week, then check the items I need for each dish.  Then, I can cut off the weekly meal plan and stick it on the fridge so I don't forget what I had planned for each day. 

The nice folks at OrganizHer sent me a few other organizing products to try and the dry erase magnetic weekly planner is also a favorite of mine. 

I'd love to hear what works for you and your family regarding your dinnertime planning and routine. 

* * * *

Thank you to everyone who entered the Kirkland's $100 Giveaway.  

The winner is Kristal!  Congratulations!  Please email me at: honeywerehomeblog@gmail.com 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sponsor Shout Out

Just popping in on this Saturday to give a shout out to Honey We're Home Sponsors:

* * * * * 

If you are interested in advertising on Honey We're Home, 

email me at: 


Google Analytics Report (Last 30 Days)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bundesbank Shoots Draghi's Fox

Yesterday Mario Draghi, head of the ECB, was making all sorts of rash promises about the ECB doing whatever was needed to prop up the Euro etc.

I noted:
"Draghi then reverted to type, and promised that the ECB will "do whatever it takes to preserve the euro".

This of course is patently untrue
Today the Bundesbank has verified my conclusion, by stating that it remains opposed to further bond buying by the ECB.

Whatever Draghi might like to do, the Bundesbank won't allow him to do it; ie they have shot his fox.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

NatWest Online Crashed

NatWest online has just crashed, and apparently NatWest debit cards are not working either!

As per NatWest site:
"We're sorry but online banking is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

If you continue to experience this situation please contact the online banking helpdesk for further assistance.

For a list of helpdesk numbers, please see our page of contact numbers
They fail to mention that their debit cards don't work either!

Oddly enough, Nationwide are also experiencing problems.

Mario Draghi On Euro Break Up

Mario Draghi, the head of the ECB, has spoken about the possibility of a euro break-up
"When people talk about the fragility of the euro, very often non-euro members underestimate the political capital that has been invested."
Ironically, for once, he was speaking more or less truthfully. In the sense that because so many politicians have a vested interest in maintaining the Euro in its present form, they will fight tooth and nail to keep it.

Sadly, for countries such as Greece, this means that their economies, democracies and social order will be sacrificed to appease the politicains' vanity and egos.

Draghi then reverted to type, and promised that the ECB will "do whatever it takes to preserve the euro".

This of course is patently untrue.

Greece will exit, and the politicians will scramble to preserve the Euro in another form.

Organization at Honey We're Home

Hi all! In honor of my friend Courtney's (A Thoughtful Place) Organization link party, I've rounded up my Top 3 favorite organized spaces in our home.  You can click on the picture to read the full post and see how I keep each space organized.

Thanks for hosting Courtney! See ya there!

Chalk Love

* * * * * *

The WINNER  will be announced Monday, July 30, 2012.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

UK In Double Dip Recession

UK GDP has contracted by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2012, thus bringing the UK into a double dip recession.

However, this figure needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, ONS figures are out of date and are invariably wrong.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kirkland's GIVEAWAY $100

Hi all! As promised, I'm back today to announce a 

And $100 at Kirkland's can get you some pretty awesome decor items for your home.  I showed you yesterday some of my recent finds.

I'm also crazy for some of their new furniture.

And this lamp and mirror.

*Visit Kirkland's WEBSITE

*Like Kirkland's on FACEBOOK

*Follow Kirkland's on TWITTER

*Follow Kirkland's on PINTEREST

*Tweet, Facebook, or Post about this GIVEAWAY.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Summer Mantle (via Kirkland's)

Our mantle naturally seems to get a change of decor with the seasons.  I may be a little late with the Summer Mantle, but there's nothing like a gift card to Kirkland's to get your summer decor inspiration on!  (And I'll be excited to announce a GIVEAWAY to Kirkland's opportunity for YOU tomorrow!)

Lucky for us there is a Kirkland's not too far from our house, so after dinner out on Friday, the whole gang headed to Kirkland's for some summer decor.  On Saturday morning, I got busy changing out the Spring mantle for this new summer version.

As soon as I walked in the front door of Kirkland's, I spotted this awesome pale aqua and white chevron vase.  It was on sale for just $29.99!  It set the tone for the entire mantle because I then picked up a package of vase filler cylinders in natural colors to go with it.

I ended up adding a few shells that I spray painted gold, and also added a touch of aqua and light blue spray paint to compliment the colors in the mantle.  

I found the "Peace Love and Sandy Feet" painted block at Barnes & Noble last year.  They have some similar blocks out this year with different sayings.  I bet this would be a pretty easy DIY project. 

The ombre candles are a Michaels find, which perch on top of clear glass candle holders.  

And while I was at Kirkland's picking out these new mantle pieces, I found this adorable pair of pillows with red coral on them.  They are the perfect addition to our living room for the summer.  

Tomorrow I'll be announcing a Kirkland's GIVEAWAY

so come back to enter! 

* * * * * *

I received compensation for my Sizzling Summer blog post. Kirkland’s partnered with several bloggers like me to raise brand awareness in the month of July. All purchases and content are on my own accord and reflect my personal opinion and style. Kirkland’s blogger outreach policies abide by the I WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

IMF Cuts Greece Adrift

Ahead of this week's visit to Greece by the Troika, the IMF has signalled that it will stop paying further rescue aid to Greece; ie they want Greece to leave the Euro, and have given the Europeans the opportunity to push Greece out if it does not go of its own accord.

Greece is due to make a Euro3.1BN bond payment in August, it is not clear how this can occur though.

The BBA Tries To Rewrite History

Zero Hedge have revealed that the hopeless, hapless and despised British Bankers' Association (BBA) has attempted to rewrite history, and is trying to pretend that it had no regulatory role wrt Libor.

Specifically, as per Zero Hedge, here is an extract of the BBA's current governance documentation:
"There is a named individual at each bank responsible for submitting the daily bbalibor rates to Thomson Reuters and this will be the person responsible for the bank's cash - usually their title is 'treasurer' or similar. There is written guidance on what information that person should take into account when calculating that day's rates for his or her bank. As all contributor banks are regulated, they are responsible to their regulators, rather than BBA LIBOR Ltd. or the FX&MM Committee, for maintaining appropriate procedures for contributing, including the maintenance of internal chinese walls."
This is the "same" paragraph a few weeks ago:
"BBA LIBOR Ltd. receives the fixings and underlying contributor data at the same time as all other live data recipients and monitors all submissions into the fixing process. Any anomalous rates are queried with the submitting bank, and a log of these queries is kept and given to the FX&MM Committee on a periodic basis, who may choose at their discretion to follow up these queries in line with established governance and scrutiny procedures."
Now that the arrest warrants are being prepared, the BBA is doing everything it can to distance itself from Liborgate.

Too little too late!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bank of England Releases Libor Emails

The Bank of England has released further information and correspondence in relation to the BBA Libor Review in 2008.

As per the Bank of England's website:
"At the hearing on Tuesday 17 July, the Treasury Committee requested papers relevant to the Bank of England’s interaction with the US Federal Reserve and with the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) Libor Review in 2008. To allow the Treasury Committee to see the full context, this submission contains all papers relevant to the BBA Review. It provides a brief commentary and timeline of the events around the BBA Review in 2008, together with the supporting documents.

In 2008, the Bank of England worked closely with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) and the Financial Services Authority to input into the BBA Review of the Libor system.  The Bank of England and other central banks were concerned to influence the outcome of the BBA Review. 

Because the Libor system was, and is, a private sector arrangement and was not subject to financial regulation, it was not appropriate for the public authorities to endorse or determine the outcome of the BBA Review. When the amended proposals were adopted in December 2008, the Bank was not aware of any dissenting views expressed by the official or private sectors.

In reading these documents, it is important to distinguish between three issues. First, allegations of wrongful behaviour by Libor panel banks. Second, concerns about the operation of the Libor process in times of market stress. Third, the need for any system based on self-reporting to be alert to the possibility of “accidental or deliberate misreporting”, as referred to in the Geithner memorandum.

The Geithner memorandum contains no allegation of wrongful behaviour and relates to the second and third of these issues. At no point did the FRBNY draw the attention of the Bank to evidence of wrongdoing in the setting of BBA Libor. Indeed, with the exception of the memorandum sent by Mr Geithner to the Bank in early June 2008, none of the other documents published on 13 June 2012 by the FRBNY had been shared with the Bank.

The attached timeline gives a detailed account of the interaction between the Bank and the Federal Reserve and the BBA.  The broad outline of events is as follows:
  • From May 2008, the Bank of England encourages the BBA to conduct a global review of Libor and banks to engage with the review at a sufficiently senior level.  It also begins to discuss these issues with the FRBNY.
  • The Bank considers the points in the Geithner memorandum and ensures that those points are taken on by the BBA.
  •  The Bank and the Federal Reserve work closely together behind the scenes to influence the consultation paper issued by the BBA on 10 June 2008.
  • The Bank also continues to work on influencing the outcomes after the consultation paper is published until the BBA publishes its final report on 18 December 2008." 

The relevant documents can be viewed here.

Greece Spiralling Downwards

Costas Mitropoulos, the chief executive of Greece's privatisation agency, resigned on July 19.
In an open letter to Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras he notes that the new government has not given him/the agency the support needed:
"In order to accelerate privatization and to carry out the projected result, the government must provide full support for the administration of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), facilitate all actions, and promote privatization as planned. This will give a message of reliability, professionalism and commitment to those looking to invest in Greece. The newly elected government has not given the support needed... 

Instead, they have indirectly yet systematically reduced the prestige and credibility in the eyes of potential investors. 

Furthermore, no set date has been given to the Chairman of the Board to resume meetings and indeed accelerate the privatization program. 

In these conditions I can no longer work professionally and effectively in my role as CEO entrusted by the state in July 2011."
Given that privatisation is key rebuilding the Greek economy and to ensuring that it honours its bailout commitments, the lack of progress indicates that Greece will not meet its commitments and that the economy will continue to spiral downwards.

Time to Rest and Recoup

A summer cold has knocked me out the last few days, so I guess my body is telling me I need to slow down and rest. My two-year old son keeps seeing me and saying, "Mama's sleeping."  "Mama needs to blow her nose."  He even tries to help by bringing me Kleenex- sweet boy.

Thankfully, I am starting to feel better.  So, Friday and this weekend I will try to slow down and recuperate.  I will prioritize my mile-long to-do list and make SLEEP the #1 priority.

Are YOU getting the rest you need?  My Grandma always tells me, "Take care of YOU!"

 via                                                                                   via

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's in My Bag?

I believe we can tell a little bit about each other by what we carry in our bags.  I like to keep mine well-organized, but it doesn't always stay that way.  Every few weeks I have to empty everything out, and get rid of unnecessary papers, receipts, trash, and old snacks for James.  After a thorough purse purge, I feel 10 times better!

Here's a peek at my "must-haves" that I always carry in my bag:

1 Tory Burch Tote

2 Tory Burch pink Wallet

3 Blog business cards via Made By Girl

4 Kleenex

5 Curel hand lotion 

6 Toothbrush and Toothpaste 

7 Mascara for touch-ups

8 Michael Kors gold makeup case

9 Juicy Tubes lip gloss

10 iPhone with Tory Burch case

11 Notepad and Papermate pens (my fave!)

I think the only thing I left out was my favorite Sugarfree Bubble Yum gum, which I buy several at a time, although I don't like to chew it very long.  Just enough to keep me from eating dessert after lunch everyday. 

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My friend Courtney's (A Thoughtful PlaceJoss & Main Curator's Collection is going live today!  I can't wait to see what she chose (and make some purchases for myself!)

You need to be a member to shop the Joss & Main site, but it's FREE to join, you just need an invite, which I've included for you HERE.   If you sign up through my invite and make a purchase, Joss & Main provides me with a $15 credit to their shop.  So, if you've signed up and made a purchase through my invitation- Thank You!!  They'll give you $15 too, when your friends sign up and make a purchase via your invite.  And the shopping cycle continues:)