But I will say that Jane Eyre at the Guthrie was wonderful. It was yet another take on a fantastic story. I’ve watched the BBC miniseries (my favorite), read the original book (not so excellent, but must be appreciated for the beauty that the story is, even if I didn’t care for the writing), and now seen the stage version. All were special in their own way. I thought the miniseries was more true to the book than the stage version, but the modifications for the stage made sense for that medium. I highly suggest seeing it if you have the money and time and opportunity. We got $10 off one of our tickets because of the student discount, and they didn’t even ask to see my ID (though they said they would).
Jane Eyre is a similar story to Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, but I think I like the Jane Eyre storyline better. Of course, Jane Austen’s writing is much preferable to Charlotte Bronte’s in my opinion, but that’s just me. I haven’t actually read an Austen book that I didn’t like, though her short stories were insufferable. and I were talking about how authors really are good at one thing and not so much at the others. Austen should have stuck with books. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, should have stuck with short stories (I finally gave up on The Beautiful and the Damned). Other authors we discussed were good at screenplays, first drafts, etc. And yet they all seem to try one of the other formats. Oh well. Just goes to prove that they aren’t complete geniuses, but simply people who are very good at a specific thing, just like the rest of us.
I have a headache this afternoon. The printer broke as I was printing envelopes, and is out of commission until the repair man comes. Tonight is having some friends over, and after dinner I’m going out to buy fabric for the rollerblinds (unless my headache doesn’t go away, in which case I’m going to “take to my bed” like someone in one of Austen’s books) and go to the gym (barring headaches, which are only made worse by going to the gym in my case, though argues that it’s helpful because it opens up blood passages or something).
Tomorrow we’re going to go get a storage unit and move a bunch of the stuff from our house that is already in “storage” to official storage. That’s the first step before being able to do lots of other things, like painting, fixing the windows, installing carpet, etc. I’ve got a paint color picked out for the spare bedroom (a lovely shade of “linen” I believe), as well as an idea of the fabric for all the rollerblinds. Once that room is clear and the floors are clean (our cleaning lady, aka Grandma, is coming today), I can hem all the curtains with my new machine and then get to work on making pillows out of the leftover fabric. Our kitchen is looking excellent (if you haven’t read my post from yesterday about it, you should, because that was a ton of work!), we have curtains in the downstairs that I love, and I think we’re generally on-track. I decided not to do too much with the furniture refinishing before the move. Everything will get sanded and primed and painted white, but that’s it. I’ll deal with picking accent paper, hardware, etc, including the top coats of shellac that will make them durable, after the move. Often furniture like that gets dinged up in a move anyways, and really all we need to do is have them look presentable. So it’s the bare minimum for them. I’d do more if the list of things to do weren’t so long, but that’s the way it is. There are only 24 hours in a day.
Yesterday I bought an issue of “Everyday” with Rachel Ray, or whatever her magazine is called. Like some others have said, I have a love-hate relationship with the Rayster (I don’t think I can call her “Rach” as she calls herself). I find her completely obnoxious and then suddenly found that I’ve watched (and enjoyed) an entire episode of her show. The magazine I didn’t like at all. I’m bringing it Tuesday to SNB and hope that or can get some use out of it. There weren’t any recipes in it that I wanted to make, except for a reference to Alicia Silverstone’s “Crispy Brown Rice Squares” that I might have to try (but the recipe wasn’t in the magazine – it’s on the website).
Anyways, back to work and attempting to make this headache go away.
When I’m not listening to my “Unranked” playlist (a Smart Playlist of 25 random songs from iTunes that I haven’t yet given a rating to, for the purpose of listening to them and ranking them, and consequently getting the bad songs permanently off my iPod and the good songs permanently on), I’m listening to my 4s & 5s playlist (A Smart Playlist of all the songs I’ve ranked 4 or 5 – my ranking system is very sophisticated but I won’t go into detail right now). [Editor's Note: if you want to know how to set up Smart Playlists or how to set up playlists in general on your iPod so that you use it in a good way, just ask and I'm more than willing to share the genius of my system.] Generally speaking, I rarely have to skip a song that comes through the shuffle when listening to this list. Last night I was treated to Journey, for instance, which is a cause to smile in and of itself. This morning, I listened to:
- Mambo No 5 by Lou Bega
- Fall Into Me by Emerson Drive
- Prayin’ For Daylight by Rascal Flatts
- Hot Stuff by the Pussycat Dolls
- My Happy Ending by Avril Lavigne
- If You’re Not The One by Daniel Bedingfield
- Meet With Me by Ten Shekel Shirt
- Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow
- A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Presley
- Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain
- There Is No Arizona by Jamie O’Neal
- Everything by Michael Buble
Little room for complaint, really.
Anyways, I wanted to talk about my current “favorite song” (if there is such a thing), “Everything” by Michael Buble. Oh, wow. first introduced me to Michael Buble a year or so ago, and I was relatively unmoved. Maybe it was her gushing enthusiasm that turned me off. I recently rediscovered him and oh my word is his music good (of course, I’m in the right mood at the moment – my other new favorite artist is Andre Bocelli) . “Everything” is a great song – upbeat and light and fun, and I can’t help but dance along when I hear it, and usually end up hitting repeat four or five times before moving on to the next song.
You’re a falling star, You’re the get away car.
You’re the line in the sand when I go too far.
You’re the swimming pool, on an August day.
And you’re the perfect thing to say.
And you play it coy, but it’s kinda cute.
Ah, When you smile at me you know exactly what you do.
Baby don’t pretend, that you don’t know it’s true.
Cause you can see it when I look at you.
And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.
You’re a carousel, you’re a wishing well,
And you light me up, when you ring my bell.
You’re a mystery, you’re from outer space,
You’re every minute of my everyday.
And I can’t believe, uh that I’m your man,
And I get to kiss you baby just because I can.
Whatever comes our way, ah we’ll see it through,
And you know that’s what our love can do.
And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.
And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, You make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything.
You’re every song, and I sing along.
‘Cause you’re my everything.
- Some relationships are meant to last.
- Something country at Sponsel’s apple orchard about three or more years ago is the last concert I saw; it was free tickets that I won from CityPages.
- Spring should be here already, don’t you think?
- Oh no! I forgot to turn on the oven! (Since moving, I have not adjusted well to the fact that our electric oven requires me to turn not one but two knobs, one to the degrees and the other to “Bake.” I frequently set the degrees and walk away, only to find my oven has not heated up at all.)
- I’ve recently started nothing – I have no time to start new things, and in fact have stopped doing “old” things that I love, like knitting and, um, homework, all in the name of getting our house ready to sell.
- Cookies never fail(s) to make me smile.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to buying fabric for the rollerblinds, tomorrow my plans include getting a storage unit, dance class, and moving lots of boxes and Sunday, I want to not hurt too much from the moving, and get my paper finally finished!
Yesterday I had a meeting at work which ended at 2, and I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of parking downtown to return to the office afterwards, so I went home. Later I figured out that since I didn’t have class on Monday afternoon, I didn’t even have to take vacation hours for the afternoon, since I’ve already worked them. Anyways, I was very productive at home. How did I motivate myself to do this? Well, on my way home from Roseville, I stopped in at the Yarnery and picked up my special-order yarn. I got 8 skeins of Louet’s KidLin in lace weight, color Allspice. I plan on making this Lace Leaf Shawl with it. Of course, I’m not allowed to start any new knitting projects, because I have, among other things, two baby blankets to finish. Oh, yeah, and a house to get ready to sell. And homework. So, it sat there on the kitchen table and taunted me. I told myself that I couldn’t even photograph it until I did some cleaning or wrote my paper (which ever one I was motivated to do). In the end, I didn’t even photograph it (for shame!), hence the link above. It really is quite delicious, though.
So what did I spend my afternoon doing? Working on the Kitchn Cure, of course. Here are my before-and-afters (more descriptions on the Flickr pages).
Above the Stove
The troublesome area beneath the “breakfast nook” (after only):
Next to under-the-sink
Above the cabinets
The hard-to-reach corner cabinet
Left side after
Right side after
So, you see, I was quite busy. In all honesty, this is the cumulative efforts of Monday through Wednesday. Yesterday I got the spice cabinet clean, above the stove, the cookbooks area, the dishes, and the skinny one next to under-the-sink.Still haven’t written that paper. Also haven’t sanded the primer on my nightstand. I did go to the gym, however. I’m very sore today – yesterday I was at the point of needing to up the weight on about 3/4 of the machines. So, yeah.
Plus, my dry skin is really annoying me. Yesterday morning, tired of being itchy, I put on a layer of baby oil followed by a layer of baby lotion. By 3 when I got home, I was dry and flaky. After my after-workout shower, I did the same. This morning, I didn’t shower (sorry, hair!), and still put on the 2 coats of moisturizer. And now, at 9:40 am, I am itchy. I don’t know if I can wait until May 8th to see the dermatologist. But what else can I do? There is only so much water I can drink before I spend my entire work day in the bathroom.
Sunday we went to ‘s house for Easter dinner. and were there, and of course . also invited a friend of mine from college, who happens to be the intern at her church right now.
is walking now, and discovered the piano. So and I had fun playing with him.
Such a happy boy!
It’s much easier to catch him smiling for the camera now (though not exactly evidenced by the next two pictures).
The only bib Mom had around was one of my old ones, so Grant got to be "Kelly" during dinner.
Happily waiting for dinner
The cookies, at home on Friday night after baking them all, before icing.
And the finished product on Sunday,
along with some rainbow sprinkle enhanced Rice Krispy treats.
We tried to make egg-shaped ones, but it failed miserably. I wished I had a third hand so I could have photographed what it looked like when we dug our bare hands into the pot and started trying to shape them into eggs. Apparently I missed the part of the instructions where it told us to butter or moisten our hands. I don’t think that would have helped, considering how sticky it was. Oh well. They were still tasty.
Korben is having a hard time figuring out what to do with the new curtains. He's kind of afraid of them, but kind of curious.
has it all figured out, and thinks that they make a great place to hide (and distract herself from hunger).
Over the weekend I finally decided to put the last of the winter decorations away (except that while cleaning last night I saw the Snowman cookie jar I forgot to include), which involved getting a big box to put it all in. What happens when an empty box is introduced to a cat household? Why, a cat has to sit in it, of course.
Just for you, (after you’re done catching up on homework), all the photos are tagged, so you can easily view them all….
Lastly… we have put the cats on a diet. They are both porkers. snores, loudly, while napping on our laps. This is a bad thing. Unfortunately, it means that they are both miserable, hungry, loud, and whiny. They run out of food quickly after being fed and then are annoying for the next 8-10 hours. Conveniently, much of those 8-10 hours we are either at work or sleeping, but it is still a lot of time to spend with these two at the moment. Sometimes, however, it is evident that, if there isn’t any food to be eaten, there isn’t much left to do in the house:
Korben spends more time sleeping. He also spends more time picking on / play fighting with Matea,which sometimes she goes along with and sometimes not. I think he's just trying to distract himself.
Matea has taken to following me lots of places.
These shots were taken when I went to go floss my teeth last week. She apparently has found a new napping spot, on top of our clean bath towels.
I think she looks like she's threatening to jump (if you know what I mean) in this one ("I'm gonna do it! It's just not worth living without food!").
We met up with ‘s mom on Sunday before Easter dinner and she gave us our Christmas present – curtains! It’s what we’d asked for, and we’d communicated back and forth about what we wanted, colors we liked, etc. She delivered above and beyond, that’s for sure. We absolutely love them! I don’t think the photos do justice to the gorgeous color or the buttery texture of the fabric – you may just have to see that in person. But for now, pictures!
This post was started several weeks ago when hardware and curtains for the upstairs windows was purchased, so if it gets confusing, that’s why.
I got the window hardware at Target:
For the main floor, the Fieldcrest Square Drapery Set in Pewter.
I didn't get the tiebacks, but they show the style of the set much better.
And here are the beautiful curtains she made for us:
Another view of the Living Room
Another view of the patio door
Close-up of the grommets
Close-up of the hardware
Another close-up of the grommets
For the upstairs bedrooms and loft
Room Essentials Ball Window Hardware Collection in Nickel.
There were some others I liked (like these Cage ones), but they weren’t right in some way. What I ended up buying was totally safe and neutral and someone else should like them very much (as in, future owners of our house).
The curtains themselves are from Ikea:
For the loft, Merete
For the spare bedroom, Hedda Blad
The spare bedroom (without curtains)
For the master bedroom, Ritva
Another view of the master bedroom
Yet another view of the master bedroom
There will be tons of fabric left over from hemming the curtains, since Ikea makes them all super-long to accommodate most situations, and so some pillows will be made to help bring the look together visually.
Next is recovering / recreating the roller blinds. It should be a fun and relatively easy project. I just have to find the right fabric.
I wanted to use this (Stockholm Blad),
but it was a little too pricey to buy just to cut up (imagine it rotated 90* – wouldn’t it make a nice roller blind in the master bedroom? there’s already a jungle theme in there). There are plenty of instructions out there, including in some sewing-for-the-home books I have (circa mid-1980s, so the pictures are awesome).
Another picture post coming up shortly….
I’m having a problem with my skin. Because I’m pressed for time at work today, I won’t go into details now, but suffice it to say I am often itchy. My legs, specifically. I’ve been using only products with the words “Johnson’s” and “Baby” on them since Thursday, when I was shocked and slightly frightened by large red marks at my waist. Well you know what, baby lotion is not actually all that moisturizing. So my skin hasn’t itched for the last four days because I’ve got an allergy to it, but simply because it’s dry.
I called Friday to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist (after trying to figure out what number to call my insurance company at to see if I could self-refer), and yes, they’re accepting new patients, how about May 8th, since that’s our first available appointment? What?! Of course I took it, because they’re the only place in Eagan and they’ve got at least a dozen doctors there and if they can’t get me in until May they must be good, right? Alas, this means I will be itchy for several more months to come.
I’ll spare you photos of the bright red angry marks at my waist. Suffice it to say I won’t be wearing a bikini any time soon, and not because I’m self-conscious about the extra 10 pounds I’m carrying right now.
- Money :: Love (at first reading, I thought it said “Monkey”)
- Unhappy :: Kitties (they’re so hungry!)
- Joking :: Attitude
- Chipmunk :: Alvin
- Date :: Thursday
- Slideshow :: Photo
- Chicago :: Navy Pier
- Lifetime :: Fitness
- Skid row :: ??
- Edward :: Scissorhands
I may not have much time for blogging today – we’ll see. But, there should be some good photoblogging later this week, so stay tuned!
OK, folks, this may require you to use your imagination a little. If you don’t have any, well, I can’t help you, and consequently you can’t help me.
While trying to figure out exactly what project should christen my new sewing machine, I decided that pillows are a good idea. As I typed those words, I realized that I actually had what I needed, but let’s ignore that for a moment. So I’m in the process of refinishing my nightstand, right? Here are some very rough pictures of it post-sanding but pre-priming. [Editor's Note: when I'm done, I intend on posting a complete description of everything I did, but unfortunately I neglected to take a "before" shot, and and I didn't realize that until we'd removed all of the paint. Oops.]
So, here's the nightstand (upside-down, of course)
What, you need a better shot than that? OK, how about this?
Sorry, that’s the best I can do. If you click to view the larger size, you might get a sense for it (unless, of course, you’ve seen it in person, in which case… who cares).
Here is the wrapping paper I found at Hallmark the other day on clearance that I thought I'd use.
It is very clearly and crisply white and black. So I thought I’d paint the whole thing white, put the paper on the fronts of the drawers, and then do some high-gloss accents in black.
However, as I looked around at other paper (in case what I had wasn’t enough and I needed to find something that coordinated), I realized that the stuff I really like is brown and white. So… what do I do about that? Incidentally, here is the rest of the furniture that will eventually be refinished to match.
Dressers (there are 2 of these) - I hate the ornate detailing on the top drawer, and the hardware is atrocious too.
bought these for me at a garage sale shortly after I moved to Michigan. Yes, there are some issues with them, but basically they’re good pieces ( might argue with this, but the main problem with the one drawer is all my fault). The hardware was originally brass (and ugly), and I spray-painted it silver at one point, which now looks gross. All the hardware needs to be replaced. The second dresser that doesn’t appear in the photo already has the engraved design filled-in (with spackle, not wood filler, much to some people’s chagrin). The tops of both have seen better days, but I think sanding them down will help. Both have been used at one time or another to hold the fish tank, since they are just about the only piece of furniture I own that is sturdy enough for such a thing, and there’s a little bit of water damage, peeling veneer, etc.
Another crappy photo, I know, but apparently I don’t just keep photos of my furniture lying around.
The original instigator of the FleckStone, my parents bought this when I was in junior high and it’s stayed with me all these years. suggested I just get rid of it, but I like its compact size – it fits just about anywhere, and it’s light and easy to use (unless you’ve filled it completely with heavy stuff). The only real bummer about this desk is that the bottom drawer is just slightly too short to be used as a hanging file system. Oh well. It should work nice as my sewing desk, which it will slowly be repurposed to in the next few weeks. Currently, the main unit is a solid cream FleckStone, and the drawer fronts are a darker beige FleckStone (the original color, so the main unit has multiple layers of FleckStone to be removed, unfortunately). Also, the top is formica, so it can’t be painted and has to remain cream. But the sides of the top are paintable, and they are currently glossy cream. The knobs are currently plain wooden ones that I spray-painted silver at one time, which looks awful.
Of course the wrapping paper I already bought can just be used for gifts we have to give in the future. It wasn’t that expensive. I don’t think that I can use it and pretend that it’s really dark brown. I either have to do white and black with that paper or white and brown with new paper. (Technically, I haven’t even finished priming yet, so I can do anything I want, but those are the options I’m currently dealing with.) I like that white and brown is potentially more neutral than white and black. pointed out that because of the combination and how bold it is, it isn’t exactly neutral (white and black, that is).
And if I’m truthful, I don’t really want a white and black decorated bedroom. (FYI, my general decorating idea, however poorly implemented, is to have neutral furnishings so that if I want to “redecorate,” all I have to do is paint the walls, and maybe add a new pillow or something.)
Our current bedroom is shades of khaki (with one very green wall) - all Prince Charming's design, of course.
The new curtains we got are brown. Can you tell from these photos?
In a new house, ideally we’d keep the comforter, and the curtains might stay or go, depending on who buys the house. Yes, that is an Ikea Poang in the second picture, and it is also finished in a khaki-like color, and I’d like to keep that too, though it could probably be easily recovered to just about anything my heart desired.
So what are your thoughts? Brown and white? Black and white? What’s most neutral? What’s most pleasing? Do you need more to go on (because I have quite a few sample papers bookmarked that I could share, but this post is already way too long as it is)? Comments, please!
[Editor’s Note: If you’re wondering how we got here, it’s because I thought I should make pillows, and if I was making pillows, they should match the new furniture, even if it doesn’t really exist yet. But then I decided to make pillows for the spare bedroom that match the curtains we have there, and I don’t really need advice for those. But I still need to decide on this color scheme for the furniture, so… there ya have it. Clear as mud?)
This was my commute to the Transit Center this morning.
I'm not sure you can tell from the photos, but it was hugely snowing this morning.
Snowflakes the size of my fist. Torrential downpours of them, blowing all about my car, as if the universe was trying to say, “stay home from work and take a nap.” Alas, I didn’t listen, made it to the Transit Center, got on my bus, and am now here at work.
Yes, yesterday was the first day of Spring (also my Grandma’s 80th birthday!). Yesterday was gorgeous outside, sunny and a bit brisk, but that’s not bad. Soggy, as would be expected when tons of snow melt all across the land. And yet overnight, Mother Nature decided we were not yet ready for Spring, or perhaps that we hadn’t fully appreciated her efforts (don’t blame me – I was marveling in the sound of birds chirping over the weekend, and enjoyed the good weather by starting some furniture refinishing), or something, because overnight we were blanketed in snow that wasn’t finished falling in time for the morning commute.
When I got home yesterday, I anxiously looked at the mailbox to see if the “you have a package” key might be there. Alas, it was not. I had this idea that my sewing machine would have arrived. Why, I’m not sure, because they told me 5-10 days, which I assumed were business days, which means today through next Friday would be the expected delivery date. And yet, I was convinced it would be there to brighten up my day. I was wrong. And then just after 6, there was a knock on the door, and I went over to see the UPS guy speeding away, and there on my doorstep was a large box from Singer. Yay!
I read through the manual, and… I have no idea how to use it. But that’s OK. I have to find some fabric to play with and some thread and all that stuff is at ‘s in storage, because I figured when I moved that if I wasn’t going to have a sewing machine, why would I need all that stuff? So this weekend I will very selectively find some things to take home with me, since Sunday we will be at ‘s having ham balls.
That’s right, I said ham balls. It’s ‘s in-laws family recipe, and actually not all that bad. I’m not a huge fan of ham (it’s lowest on my list of all meats), but I decided it would be OK and that there would be plenty of other foods to eat. Sweet potatoes and salads and veggies and the like. Plus, we’re bringing desert, so no one will starve.
This also means I get to see this weekend, which is long-overdue. I hear he’s walking all over the place. Tons of fun, I’m sure.
I took a ton of photos last night of our kitchen, planning to do the Kitchn Cure, as part of an effort to get the house sale-ready. But then Flickr Uploader pushed up the photos of the nightstand and the cats, and none of the ones of the kitchen, so I’ll have to leave my running commentary for another day. They wanted “before” shots, and while our kitchen was clean and able to be cooked in, it was definitely in good condition for a “before.” I’d already done some things that I consider Cure work, so we’re a step ahead in that regard. This week’s task is to get rid of all extraneous food – things you’ll never eat, things that have expired, etc. I feel like we’re pretty good in that regard. The fridge is usually in decent shape, though we should go through the condiments on the door (doesn’t that always need to be done, though?), and about half of the cabinets with food in them have been recently sorted. Therein lies our advantage of having recently combined our stuff – it wasn’t so long ago that we were reorganizing spices and finding places for that extra box of whatever.
The coming weeks will be more difficult, when it comes time to look into the cabinets that hold appliances and cookbooks, for instance, and what in the world are we going to do with the top of the cabinets? I don’t even know (or care that much), except that it will all need to come down in order to sell the place, which means finding countertop space or storage space or pantry space or something. Perhaps we will get those shelves put in the closet underneath the stairs we’ve been talking about.
Oh, yeah, I didn’t actually consult the husband before deciding to do this. Hmm. Perhaps that was a mistake on my part. Really, though, it’s just spring cleaning on steroids. Can’t argue with that, right?
I… have to make a decision. I’m not a huge fan of that when it comes to insignificant things (where to go to dinner, what kind of paper to buy for the printer, etc). When it comes to big things, I’m half-and-half. Half the time, I have a gut instinct or a feeling about what the right decision is, or I “just know” the right choice and I do it. The other half of the time, I muddle around in it trying to figure out the best and worst of each option and which one I can live with.
I am also not very good at finishing projects (though I am very good at starting projects, and even better at finding projects I’d like to start), with the exception of schoolwork (which is, at its heart, a project that will take me years to finish). With schoolwork, I am very disciplined and organized and I finish what I start, etc. Everything else… eh.
So here’s how that all plays out at this moment. There are many things going on in my life right now, some more important than others, and not everything is going to be able to be a part of my life. I’m going to have to set priorities. Most likely, this will mean choosing the things that I don’t really care for all that much and neglecting the things I enjoy. Why? Well, because the things that aren’t so much fun are temporary and time-limited. What’s on the list? (Estimated time frame is the next 6 months, give or take a few months.)
- Other crafting (soon to include playing with my new sewing machine, already includes jewelry-making and… collecting crafty things).
- Keeping the house clean and liveable.
- Decorating the house so I feel like I live there.
- Spending time with husband.
- Spending time with friends.
- Spending time with family (this includes spending time with , which almost never happens these days and I’m very sad about that but what is a girl to do?)
- Working out to build strength, muscle, bone density, and fit into my pants better.
- Eating healthy (and yet still interesting and enjoyable) foods to fit into my pants better.
- Refinishing my nightstand, followed shortly by my dressers.
- Organizing things (pick something, anything – I enjoy organizing, and there’s always plenty of things in the house to organize or re-organize).
- Learning new computer skills (currently acquiring knowledge on ASP).
- Baking cookies, decorating cookies, getting better at decorating cookies (not eating cookies – this interferes with an earlier priority).
- Playing video games (I think I’ve reached the end of Zelda, though, and given the length of this list, I probably shouldn’t go out and buy a new game for a while).
- Finding new and exciting things on ebay, Etsy, etc.
- Photographing (and videotaping) the cats (coming in the following weeks: a video of , which is bound to be entertaining).
- Reading books.
- Personal development (I’m sure that I could stand to spend some time on making myself a better person, but I haven’t even thought about what I’d like to work on next).
- Gardening (do I even need to mention again how implausible this is and I should just give it up? but I can’t, and the internet isn’t helping. It’s spring, ya know).
Things that can be done at work (with the exception of learning ASP) have been left off the list, so we’re limited to things I can do at home the other 16 hours of the day plus weekends.
Here’s how I think this should play out. Priorities will be limited to: keeping self alive (so eating, sleeping, etc get to stay), keeping self in school, and getting house ready to sell. I mean, let’s be honest, those are things that are either necessary or time-limited. Technically putting the house on the market is not time-limited, but I think we feel like it is. We have too much stuff for our current house. We are crowded. Plus the market, while not being excellent right now, could be worse – houses are selling, financing rates are low, etc. We don’t have to sell, but it is preferable (by that I mean, we don’t have job offers in another state, there is no baby on the way for which we need a bigger house, and we’re not in any stage of foreclosure like many are these days).
Getting the house ready to sell is no small task. Getting any house ready to sell is no small task, let me be clear. It’s not the state of our house that’s the problem. It’s the idea that it has to be “perfect” for a buyer to want it. There are always things that need to be done in a house, and usually you ignore them, push them past your peripheral vision to the point that you forget that there isn’t a kickboard in the kitchen and that window is broken. Those things have to change, though, for someone else. They’re not going to ignore it or live with it. They’ll just buy someone else’s house.
Plus it means getting your house ready in such a way that it makes it nearly uncomfortable to live in. While model homes (the ideal standard for staging a house) are nice to visit, you can’t actually live in them, because people have crap. Receipts collect in your purse or coat pocket and get tossed onto the table in the entryway. Bills come, get opened, and put in a pile “to be paid” on the counter. Dishes get dirty because people need to eat. You see what I mean?
And, it wasn’t that long ago that I spent an entire summer moving (just over 6 months, actually), and I’m not exactly looking forward to doing it again, in that sense. I mean, I want to move and get all of my stuff back together again under one roof. But the idea of re-packing the stuff I’ve unpacked is kind of exhausting. So you can see why, when I’ve finished my homework for the day, I’d rather knit and watch TV and ignore the list of things that needs to be done. (On the list right now? Make a list. I know. That’s where we’re at right now.)
I feel very fortunate that we have lots of family and friends who are more than willing to help us when it comes time to do the dirty work of carrying boxes and painting and stuff. That is definitely a blessing.
Pottery Barn has these candles, which I think I could easily enough do on my own, given the time. All the craft stores sell the basics of candle-making (wax, wicks, etc), and I'm quite sure you can buy terra cotta pots in minature in bulk. Not that I need any more projects to attempt....
PB also has these doors. Remind you of anything? If you've ever been to visit me (not at my current home), you've probably seen my shutters. I love them. They're currently in hiding in our spare bedroom, because there's no place for them in our house. I always planned on finding a third part or some shutters or something... but never got around to it, or never found anything right. These doors, of course, aren't right, because they're the wrong shade of wood (mine are nearly grey), and honestly probably in too good of condition, but they made me think of my shutters.
Williams-Sonoma has this 3-Tier Oven Rack. It scares me. I don’t think I could handle preparing that much food, all at once, without something going horribly wrong. Multi-tasking in the kitchen is not a skill of mine.
Williams-Sonoma is also selling this strainer right now. It is the spitting image of the one my parents used for years. Design hasn't changed in at least 30 years. My parents always grew tomatoes in the garden, and then at the end of the season made their own tomato sauce. Some years it was better than others, and it was always a lot of work, but I remember it very specifically as part of my childhood. I'm not sure I could do it myself, my distaste for tomatoes and all, but its possible. Of course, we also had a large chest freezer that sat in our garage where they could keep all the tomato sauce.
A girl’s gotta entertain herself somehow, right? Actually, I was online today looking to see if I could spend my Pottery Barn gift card (left over from wedding gifts), and ended up with this assortment of things. Most of them wouldn’t be here if I could manage to get Crate and Barrel to talk to the wists site, but since I can’t get that to work, I’ll have to blog about them instead.
- The Vinca series at Crate and Barrel
- Shower curtain [link removed]
- Brin Vase [link removed]
- Bedding [link removed]
- Sonnet Placemats at Crate and Barrel [link removed]
- Dew coordinating serving dishes at Crate and Barrel [link removed]
- Napkins at Pottery Barn
- Planters (lest anyone think I have completely given over my free will to Apartment Therapy, yes, they did mention these yesterday, but I didn’t check the site until after seeing them this morning on Pottery Barn’s website, so I fell in love with them all on my own)
- Potted Succulent Candles at Crate and Barrel [link removed]. These would be easy enough to do if you could find the candle parts somewhere, which I think I’ve seen. Mini terra cotta pots are uber-cheap and you can get them by the dozens! However, C&B makes it super-easy to just buy their version instead.
- Clearly, stores know exactly how to get to me at this time of the year – green, leafy, bright colors… I want Spring!
- Water Fill Ice Cream Scoop at Crate and Barrel [link removed] – fill the handle with warm water and make ice cream scooping so much easier!
- Star Pop molds at Crate and Barrel [link removed] – almost feels like July, right?
- Hot Chocolate mugs from Crate and Barrel [link removed] – porcelain, but they look like the paper cups! How cute!
- Cirque Cafe Table at Crate and Barrel [link removed] – no idea where I’d put this, but I like it.
- Natalie Champagne Flutes at Crate and Barrel [link removed] – only $2.50 each! I’ve been looking (half-heartedly) for some champagne flutes since got some champagne as a gift. Unfortunately, most of the stuff out there is either sets of 6 (which we have no use for), or if it’s a set of 2, they assume that it’s for a wedding and therefore want to charge an arm and a leg. This very basic, plain design (which is exactly what I’d want) is sold per piece. Genius.
Random decorating things
- Sloan Ladder shelving at Crate and Barrel. I’ve been in love with ladder shelving since it came out a few years back.
- Sausalito Tablecloth at Crate and Barrel. Gorgeous colors. [link removed]
- Door mat at Crate and Barrel [link removed]
- Amelia indoor/outdoor curtain at Crate and Barrel [link removed] – I like the print for a roller-blind, like the one I’d mentioned earlier from Ikea.
Also, Apartment Therapy continues to bring to my mind the idea of decorating with bamboo. Is this trend here to stay, or just really hot right now?
You know those moments where everything is just going right? Well, I’m having one of those afternoons. Granted, I’m not feeling too confident about the exam I just took (multiple choice, matching, and true/false are often fierce foes of mine), but on the way home from class (an hour early, mind you), I called and scheduled a time for the plumber to come, I stopped in and scheduled an appointment for my car to get a tune-up, and got the contact info for the people to replace our windows. Plus, I brought in the mail, which had my new issue of Real Simple in it, and the garbage was just being picked up as I pulled up to the house. Our garbage man actually flirted with me! “I never run over the pretty ones,” he said to me as he was backing up. I was just trying to stay out of his way, since I thought that was polite. Plus, class next week was canceled (and thus the paper that was due is pushed back a week, though I will attempt to have it done this week anyways).
Now I’m going to go downstairs and set the butter out so it can get to room temperature, and thus more cookies will be made tonight. I’d go out into the garage and sand and prime the dresser, but it seems a little damp out to be doing that. It’ll have to wait. So it looks like the rest of my afternoon will consist of shredding receipts and fixing jewelry. Not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon while everyone else is at work.
Because I’m spending all of my time hungry. All of it? Want an example? Check out the links that I’ve bookmarked to share with y’all and notice how many are food-related (you’ll also see that I spend most of my online time at work at Apartment Therapy or Taste Spotting):
- Intellectual Articles (kind-of)
- Daylight Savings Time Wastes Energy says WSJ – might I note that, if I’m remembering my history correctly, Daylight Savings was a creation of Benjamin Franklin who lived when there wasn’t electricity and the available energy sources (candles, oil lamps) were extremely expensive… and so aligning waking hours with daylight made sense. In this day and age, however, not so much. But it does do a lot for one’s emotional state, having more daylight.
- Monks are protesting in Tibet. I’m wondering, how close is the parallel between China and Tibet, and the US and Iraq? I mean, I know we didn’t take over their country and declare them America or anything, but…. I’m not all anti-war (or pro-war, for that matter, I’m kinda ambivalent on the whole Iraq war thing), but as I was starting to write something else about this article, I got to thinking about it and now I’ve just taken this whole mental tangent.
- Interesting article on kids and reading and movement. I thought it was about something else, but it’s good anyways.
- Hand Soap you’ll never find at my house – cute, but creepy.
- I’m loving this outdoor “sink” and really want one. It requires my owning a house with a backyard, though. Not yet.
- Also loving this bookcase / staircase.
- Cute table runner I’d mimic if I entertained more (but who needs a table runner when it’s usually just the 2 of you and you almost never eat at the table?)
- Owls for
- Loving this look of glass containers – what do you think?
- Cuteness for the bathroom (in case you have kids, or are just a cute person)
- Duck Shower Curtain [link removed]
- Duck Bath Toys [link removed]
- Frog Bath Towel [link removed]
- Also nice, this cute elephant blanket [link removed], for the kiddies.
- Nice manly place mats that are still attractive [link removed]
- I want these for the garden / outdoor patio that I don’t have [link removed]. Is that wrong?
- I’m in the market for some drawer hardware, and found this listing for some cute stuff.
- Excellent Resource on all things paint-related.
- For my non-existent garden:
- Plant Box [link removed]
- Matching Watering Can [link removed]
- Same Plant Box, oval-shaped [link removed]
- Why can’t pictures like this look as good in color [link removed]? I don’t want all my artwork to be black and white. This collection of door postcards [link removed] could be fun to decorate with, but I won’t.
- Sexy Broccoli for
- Lemon Bars, a new recipe (sorry, , I know your recipe came from around the world, but it’s not exactly what I’m looking for….)
- Lemon Roasted Chicken
- Tiramisu Trifle – who could ask for anything more?
- Watermelon Strawberry Sorbet [link removed] – is it summer yet?
- Clay Pot Bread – um… I think I need to go buy some clay pots, because these are just too cute
- How could this possibly be bad [link removed]? Just look at the ingredients. (Or help me lose weight? Highly doubtful.)
- Irish Soda Bread – I’m still looking for a recipe that matches what we ate at the Irish Pub in my hometown a few years ago. Or maybe this recipe for Brown Butter Soda Bread. Maybe I just want to eat a loaf of bread right now.
- Smoky Roasted Chick Peas – worth a try? , this seems like something you might like. Plus, let’s be honest, I’m never going to make everything I find a recipe for.
- Pickle Popsicles – not a recipe, but even if it were, I’m not making it for , no matter how much he begs. Ew.
- I bought this ice mat for my lunch bag the other week, and it works great! I highly recommend it. My lunch was almost too cold.
- A review of the Naked Sushi experience that has arrived in the Twin Cities. I’m going to vote no on this, and not because of the sushi aspect.
- Need more carbs in your life? How about seedy twists?
- Or maybe you needed more cookie recipes? Chocolate Hearts, Lemon Poppy Seed,
- Chocolate and Chestnut Mousses – I don’t need to eat these so much as just stare at the picture for a while longer.
- Ultimate Manwich, just for .
- Kitchen Gadgets
- Sweet! This Corn Zipper makes it easy to remove corn from the cob. In 20 years when my kids need braces and still want to eat corn on the cob, remind me of this product, will ya?
- So, we have rubber (or silicone, whatever) scrapers / spatulas that work and are relatively new, but I really want these. They match my dishes! No, I’m not buying them.
- Other fun products
- Microfiber Slippers make it easier to clean your house. I resisted the urge to buy some on Friday when I was at BBB.
- Concept Vacuum Shoes [link removed] – love the part about attaching them to a Segway, as if we need to be any lazier. It reminded me of my co-worker, who’s always pining for a Segway.
- Just for fun articles
- More on gardening
- More on crafting