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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Introducing Blitzentini the IV

Bit of a shoddy iPhone picture, but regardless, here it is: Blitzentini IV.

This is Wilbur and I's third tree together, and second tree that we have carried for six blocks on foot from Cole Hardware. We officially decided this was the best of the three thus far.

Happy Christmas, everyone!

The Felt Craze Continues!

Though minus any actual effort of my own - please see "About Me" regarding projects. However, the same cannot be said of my far more felt-devoted mum.

Here are some pictorial updates of her latest felt creations ....

Stylin' dog coat for Elwood (in progress)


Pretty in Poinsettas Pillow


Matching Table Runner

And matching stockings for Wilbat and I to appease my monogram obsession! (I cut out some of the shapes so I helped a teensy bit)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hooo, Hooo's Feeling the Felt Love?

Apparently every major home retailer and design blog out there, that's "hooo."

Inspired by my famous Grandma Graham's feltariffic endeavors of the past and nostalgia for holidays spent with her, my mom and I have embarked upon a full out felt bonanza of crafting goodness. We both have fond memories of her creating beautiful, multi-colored felt doves to grace her tree and thought we would keep the tradition going. However, as per usual, we got a little carried away. Naturally, by carried away I mean that felt doves turned into further plans for felt partridges, felt owls, felt tree skirts, felt table runners, fanciful felt dog coats for Elwood, and felt stockings. Felt is to us, as Shrimp are to Bubba. The kitchen table is a DISASTER area.

My favorite of the felt projects so far are these cute little felt owl ornaments, which is not surprising, given my odd obsession with birds. Inspired by the smaller versions we saw at Crate & Barrel, we drew a quick template, picked up some felt, bargain quilt squares, googley eyes, and Aleene's Craft Glue, and stitched them up with a touch of stuffing. I love the whimsical mix of colors!


My mom also made these gorgeous felt doves to decorate her wreath - love the "JOY" stitched across the center bird!


More felt goodness to come when tree skirts, stockings, pillows (forgot to mention these above!), and dog coats are completed ... Moderation is for suckers!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Logan's Visit

Occupying one of my recent weekends was Logan's very first, all by himself, grown-up visit to San Francisco. When company comes to town, I frequently rely on San Francisco's surplus of swanky watering holes to occupy some time, but naturally this is not an option for my 15-year old little brother. Thus, we just about wore holes through our shoes trekking around and seeing all the age-appropriate fun the city has to offer. Being a bit on the taciturn and quiet side - okay, not a bit, he bought a house on that side - Logan offered neither praise nor censure for San Francisco directly to me, but when my dad asked him what he thought about the city, he replied that it was "hecka cool." I'll take that as a compliment.

Some of our stops included Chinatown, where Logan posed with an equally lanky statue, the deYoung museum where his neon pants made him easy to find in the crowds, discovering his new favorite stores in Union Square (H&M and Urban Outfitters), and a scenic drive around the Legion of Honor and Presidio, ending with a stop at the Palace of Fine Arts (Elly Smelly in tow).

And when I asked what his favorite attraction was? In true teenager fashion: "The Mall." Fair enough. Our mall is extremely awesome, sick, cool, or whatever the current form of highest teenage praise may be. The dome at the top floor, decorated for Christmas, does indeed take the cake.

Chicken Chilaquiles and Catch-Up

Ready. Set. Post.

Between holidays, visitors, and professional insanity, I have done a terrible job keeping up on my blog, a fact I hope to remedy right about ... now. Fortunately, even when my virtual pen comes to a stop, I am always armed with my trusty iPhone to capture whatever nonsense I may want to share when I snag a moment. In other words, I'll be relying heavily on visuals in my attempt to catch-up. :)

To start, here's a snapshot of one of my more recent culinary conquests, Chicken Chilaquiles. Thanks, Martha Stewart! Surprising, no?

UPDATE - link to the recipe by clicking here.

Gratuitous Whiteware Usage OR My Thanksgiving Wrap-Up Post

During all Thanksgiving's past, my concerns have been primarily gravy-centric. But this year, as I have found myself haplessly entangled in a net of interior design obsession, I paid a little more attention to what I was actually putting my gravy in. Thank you to Design*Sponge and Martha Stewart for making me feel inept were I not to make placecards for my dinner table for two or spray paint mini-pumpkins.

Random sidenote, I took Martha Stewart's "What Thanksgiving Sidedish Are You?" quiz, with the uncannily accurate result of "Mashed Potatoes & Gravy." Damn straight. Moving right along. After a quick trip to the craft store and gassing Will out of the kitchen with some 14K gold spray paint, I was able to whip out a cute Autumnal table in about half an hour!

Step 1 involved spray painting several mini-pumpkins gold, as well as a few of the faux fall leaves I picked up.

Step 2 was to make some quick napkin rings. Unfortunately, walnuts in the shell are hard to find on the fly on Haight Street, but I luckily remembered my dad gave me some unshelled pecans that worked just as well. I spray painted those gold, as well (shocking), wired each to a gold oak leaf, made some quick gold tendrils with beads and wire, and voila! Autumn napkin ring. Did I say Gold?

A few more gourds, pumpkin spice candles, some placecards, and leaf scattering later, I had myself a Thanksgiving table that would impress even my far more design-savvy mom!

Much to Will's displeasure, I took advantage of the Macy's sale on Martha Stewart Collection whiteware to pick up a few things ... and by a few things, I of course mean two cake stands (I really needed these), a pumpkin serving dish, and a gorgeous pedestal bowl. (The gravy boat hails from Crate & Barrel.) I had the pleasure of appreciating for the first time that everything on the table actually matched! Which is one of the virtues of whiteware that I have attempted to explain to Will from time to time ... It turns out the pumpkin serving dish, with its nice lid and capability of being put in the oven, was The Bomb for keeping mashed potatoes hot (a serious peeve of mine).


















If it was not obvious, this year was more about aesthetics than food, but we still had a robust meal of roast turkey (it is freakishly limbless on purpose - so fast!), mashed potatoes & gravy (obviously), pineapple-cranberry sauce, roasted seasonal vegetables, corn, cornbread & sauge stuffing, and those really, really unhealthy white rolls. Mmmmm.

Last but not least, was the Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Butter pie. Williams-Sonoma had me at bourbon. I saw the recipe on their site while deciding I really needed their fall leaves piecrust cutters. The leaves were actually way more fun to cut out than eating the pie.

















And finally, after dinner was cleaned up, the table decor transitioned nicely into entryway table decor. Phew! Who's ready for Christmas?!

Friday, November 20, 2009

You are the Cream in my Coffee

(Another charming phrase from one of the many charming prints in the Keep Calm Gallery.)

Alas, Starbucks, you do truly have a pulse on my weaknesses. Recently, I developed a habit that is pernicious to both bank accounts and waistlines: the afternoon coffee break. Around 3:30pm every day, without fail, I struggle not to fall asleep at my desk. Though I could probably get more done while dozing than some of my less fastidious co-workers, I am not yet ready to forray into that area of professional apathy. Maybe someday. But not this week.

The thing about the afternoon coffee break is that it is the official gateway to frivolous drinks. Caramel mochas. Eggnog lattes. Pumpkin Spice lattes. The list goes on. This past Monday, Starbucks punched me in the face with Christmas. Seriously, the extent of the alteration in the entire store was that startling. While I do actually LOVE all their felt decorations (my mom, grandma, and I decided felt was all the rage at Christmastime twenty years ago long before Crate & Barrel came around this year, for the record), it was the premiere of their brand-new drink that won me over.

What do you get when you mix two of my favorite things, espresso and burnt sugar, together? The Creme Brulee latte. Are they serious? What diabolical person sits around all day dreaming up new ways to get me? Well played, sir, well played. The little burnt turbinado sugar sprinkles they put on top of the whipped cream (again, extremely helpful for the waistline) are like little chunky, sugary bits of heaven. Try one today! (I wasn't even paid to write that.)

Catoflauge

If you look very carefully, you may be able to discern a small beast lurking among the foliage.

Do you by chance notice a recurring theme in my wall art choices?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh, Deer!

Guilty as charged: I treated myself. And not a moment too soon.

A couple months ago, I was feeling particularly bummed out at work, so I decided to visit one of my favorite websites to pine over their wares: keepcalmgallery.com. What better place than one commanding me to "Keep Calm" in a moment such as that? I first discovered the site, which sells the most incredible prints, tea towels, and post cards on the planet, through my beloved Domino. On the last page of each issue they would ask some fabulous, stylish woman to list off her Top 10 favorite objects. One woman selected the "Keep Calm Carry On" print (guess where it's available?), and I instantly fell in love with it. I cannot imagine a phrase better suited to remind me daily in a stiff upper lip, eloquent, British sort of way to basically ... Chill Out.

Per the website's description, the poster was "produced upon the outbreak of World War 2. The original poster was issued as a means of allaying public fear. The poster was held in reserve for use only in times of extreme crisis. Although thousands were produced, only a handful ever saw the light of day." Good sense and a nice dash of history all in one! Loves it. I was extremely dismayed to discover that not only does the site have a stable of these gorgeous prints in all different colors and varieties, they also sell a zillion other incredibly unique, cheeky, interesting, colorful prints that I am dying to own.

Given that the "Keep Calm" poster is a staple of said stable, it is not going anywhere. The other limited edition one's however.... As I found myself perusing, I read them cleverly and enticingly notifying me that one I particularly loved (below) was the last one in stock! Hmm, I love it, it is the last one of only eighty in the world, it is signed, YES, I am going to need to get that. But by my logic, if I'm already paying the flat rate for shipping, why not order another print I have been admiring over the past year since I discovered the site and get more bang for my buck? This is the sort of logic that knicks away at savings accounts and exacerbates Mastercard bills. But why work at a job you hate if you aren't willing to buy something for yourself now and again? Hence, Oh, Deer! (in gold) came into my life, as well.

The reason for bringing up this two-month old purchase is a perfect recessionista confluence of circumstances: one morning as I looked at the prints, sadly rolled up in tissue paper I wondered if I ever, ever would get the things framed? It did, after all, take me - not exaggerating at all pathetically - nine years and countless moves to frame a gorgeous La Boheme print. That same morning when I got into work there was e-coupon waiting for me in my inbox for Cheap Pete's Framing. Must do it this weekend!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers ...

.... are the death of my blog posts!

My organization's fearless leader who I'm convinced, though heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement having served as MLK, Jr.'s chief legal counsel, fully embraces fascism and just a couple weeks ago sent down orders from upon mount high to hold an event in San Francisco.

Command 1: Let it be centered on ensuring that children are included in the current health reform bill exactly as this, one of the many children's advocacy organizations in the country, would like it.

Command 2: Let said event create tremendous sway over the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Command 3: Make sure THOUSANDS of people show up!

Command 4: Do it all with virtually no staff resourcse!

Thus, this Sunday the "Champion's for Children's Health and Stroller Brigade Rally" shall commence. I am not feeling the occupational love today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bee Roll

Yep, I'm one of those. Happy (almost) Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Decrepit Dahlias

While I am on the subject of Martha, I will admit that not only do I purchase her products, I steal her ideas, as well. More realistically, the ideas of her large, extensive, talented team of home professionals that I curse as I sit behind my desk.

I was looking for creative, chic Halloween decor ideas, so I perused her website in hopes that I would find suggestions beyond orange and black streamers and bat confetti. Voila! Spooky flowers - I loved this idea. I picked up some orange and deep purple dahlias at Trader Joe's, arranged them, and Halloweenified (look it up) them with cobwebs. Simple, elegant, and creepy - that's all I really ever ask for.

Fondue for Two

After three years of ownership and at least two moves without ever opening the box, I finally broke out my Martha Stewart fondue set last night! No, it is not necessarily the domestic aspect that got me excited, it is the triumph involved. Slowly but surely, I am getting around to each and every one of my myriad kitchen gadgets to prove to Will that they are useful and I do use them. So there!

Thanks to Trader Joe's ready-to-go fondue mix which already includes emmantel and gruyere cheeses and, of course, the indispensable white wine and kirsch ingredients, it was pretty much a snap - other than the twenty minutes I spent trying to figure out how to actually use the fondue set. Thanks for the great directions, Martha.

Alright, I already know what you're thinking: Martha would be so ashamed of my packaged fondue mix. (Are you also trying to imagine what it would look like if she registered emotion on her face?) I would like to point out in my defense a few items for your consideration: 1. Martha is worth approximately one bajillion dollars; 2. The tiniest little piece of gruyere costs about $15; 3. The Trader Joe's mix was $5.49 and delicious. Recessionista wins in a landslide!

Further triumph was achieved through the usage of my pretty, 99% of the time useless rectangular platter, which was perfect for displaying steamed asparagus, yellow potatoes, green apples, and chicken sausage for dipping. That is why I needed it, Will. Although the TJ's mix already contains kirsch (cherry brandy, for those unfamiliar with it, as I was), I picked up a little bottle of it so I could throw in an extra splash (or three) to, um, improve the consistency.... 90 proof cheese, anyone?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Everybody Dance Now

My Aunt Suzi sent me this blast-from-the-past picture the other day of my cousin, Desi (right), and me playing dress-up and apparently getting our dance on. Too funny not to post - thanks, Aunt Suz!

I have to say I think we look shockingly coordinated. As usual, it appears that I chose to affect the sullen child look the moment the camera was whipped out.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bats in our Belfry!

Ok, more realistically bay windows. Other than my yearly traditional carving of a cat-o-lantern (it is exactly what it sounds like), I have never really decorated for Halloween and suddenly felt in the creepy spirit. Not that we will receive any trick-or-treaters in our not-so-child-friendly neighborhood, but I thought it almost a duty to decorate at least a little in our often ghoulish and reputedly haunted 'hood (we have actually seen groups of tourists taking a haunted tour before).

I started with some eerie orange lights to give the living room a nice, creepy glow. Then, based on the overwhelming success of my 99 cent rubber bat scaring the hell out Will when he came home and saw it nailed to the door, I picked up a few more and strung one up in each window with fishing line. The total cost was only $7 and I am quite pleased with the spooky result. I'm looking forward to coming home this evening and seeing them floating in the windows.

It's Officially Raining

It's coming down in torrential bucket-fulls, actually. So much so that it merited pulling out Elwood's rain slicker for his morning constitutional.

Cute little Elwood is our family dog who is going to stay with me for awhile. It has already been a week, and he has proven himself to be a wonderful little houseguest!

Monday, October 12, 2009

You Say Tomato

Ta-dah! Behold, the literal fruits of our "garden"; in other words, the small collection of pots living on a tiny patch of concrete landing outside of our kitchen window. Isn't it darling? I almost don't want to eat it. This is tomato #2 of our plant, but it is by far the cutest!

Last night I asserted that this tomato is our own, home-grown "organic" produce, but Will disagreed, given that I have been watering the plant with Miracle-Gro .... I know, cheating. However, this plant receives virtually no sunlight, lives in a terra-cotta pot, is the victim of space-cadet, under-watering owners, and I'm pretty sure our colorful, drunken neighbors above threw a champagne bottle at it last month. I think of the Miracle-Gro as just balancing out these inequities; it's like affirmative action for city gardeners.

On a related note, why, oh why, didn't I plant a pumpkin?! Just think how pretty nice green vines and tendrils would like outside our window.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Peace, Love, and Cleanliness

I love the sound of a pressure-sprayer in the morning!

To know Haight-Ashbury is to know filth. I could not have been happier this morning to see this crew of upstanding gentlemen armed with hydraulic lifts and high pressure hoses giving our building on the infamous intersection a well-deserved scrub. Since we moved in last October, I have routinely lamented the quarter inch thick layer of yuck on our front windows, mostly composed of the exhaust from the six or so bus lines that run by and goodness knows what else that floats up from the nether. I have often pondered devising some ingenious contraption to clean the outside of the windows, or pulling out some monkey-like moves to crane around the bay window openings, but usually the intimidation factor of the eighteen foot drop gets the best of me.

Lately I have been on an absolute cleaning tear with the goal not just to have the house clean on the surface, but really deep, feng shui clean; in other words, underbed storage boxes have been banned, kitchen cupboards have been wiped out and reorganized, and possessions mercilessly reassessed. Now the apartment will truly be clean inside and out, and I can ditch a pet peeve. Most excellent.

I cannot wait to go home and see the windows! Now if only people would stop using the planters out front as urinals, I'd really be thrilled ....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Couch Coup

Recently, I accomplished the greatest feat in my young career as a consumer: the Couch Coup.

Flashback to October 2008: Will and I had just moved into our new apartment and were bewilderedly wandering through the Macy's furniture department on a desperate quest to find the perfect couch. Having already been, well, pretty much everywhere, we had discovered that there is no such thing as instant gratification when it comes to couch shopping. Apparently, we had our assumptions incorrect: find apartment, then find couch. Not so. Word of advice: go into Crate & Barrel six months before you plan to move, then maybe - maybe - your couch would be ready by the time you moved in. Horse-hockey. Exasperated, down-trodden, tailbones aching, it began to feel like we'd be sitting on the hardwood floors forever, and we were at the point where we'd be happy to take any darn couch in stock. And so we did ...

Flashforward to circa now: the couch sucks! There are few days that go by without me verbally expressing my hatred for the boxy boat anchor. I felt it was time for action. My new couch longings were largely catalysed by an overwhelming desire to organize our living room furniture, which is challenging in our awkwardly shaped, narrow rectangle of a room. Furthermore, the genuine issue was also the rapidly sinking cushions, slovenly appearance, and my inability to sit on it without back troubles. Dilemma: all back comforts aside, how does one justify obtaining a brand-new, preferably significantly smaller couch when you pretty much just paid off the old one? In other words: WWRD? What Would a Recessionista Do? Exchange it! After two weeks of daily phone calls to the their store (and sometimes their India-based call center), one visit from a technician who wanted to open the cushions and stuff them (like reverse lipo for a couch), and one very impassioned, logically-fallacious appeal to Macy's sense of tradition and quality, I made it happen.

Zip! Out with the old and in with the new this Saturday. Goodbye boat anchor, hello gorgeous! Full refund on the old couch and money to spare on our exchange credit. Who needs a new cake tip set? You guessed it.

P.S. Is it a bad sign that this is the most exciting thing that's happened in recent memory? :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bizarre Obsessions OR… These are a Few of My Favorite [D├ęcor] Things

You may not have aspirations to own a taxidermied bat pinned onto silk damask gracefully framed in a shadow box, and for that, I applaud you. If, on the other hand, you are like me, you may be wishing you had the one available at Nena’s Flowers and Gifts on Haight Street, a really strange little curiosity shop specializing in the unique, macabre, and antique. Given that said taxidermied bat is a) $120 and b) utterly distasteful to Will, it doesn’t look like I’ll be picking it up anytime soon.

Here are a few other oddities and knick-knacks I just keep inexplicably loving:
Deer – really, I LOVE them; Ravens and other black birds; Sparrows; Birds in general; Trendy wallpaper; Matroyska dolls; Yellow; Woodland touches (e.g. a waxed tree stump for an end table); Anything even slightly reminding me of Alice in Wonderland; Teacups (see previous); Bees; Seahorses and starfish; Bell jars; Silhouettes; Blue; All things vintage and retro, especially if given a modern twist; Melamine, particularly if any of the above is on it.

Seeming as though they set out to accommodate my odd tastes, the designer Thomas Paul and the L.A. home store Show have made about 1,000 things among them that I would love to own. Here is a montage of images from their online stores that are a few of my favorite things…

THOMAS PAUL :: designer of the most incredible pillows I’ve ever seen, not to mention awesome melamine plate sets (I actually bought the Matroyska doll set on eBay awhile back and love, LOVE them – Will even does, too!)


SHOW :: I love pretty much everything they sell. The alabaster stage in large is the first thing on my list!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Posting for Posting's Sake

I'm still here! But, phew, what a whirlwind past couple of weeks. I got pulled into a project at work that was a) not remotely part of my job and b) super time-consuming. Long story short, this past weekend I ended up renting a minivan, driving 5 kids to a youth training in Santa Barbara, and staying at a camp where I had to kill spiders in my plywood bunk. Now it's back to a comfortable bed and hot showers with water pressure - hooray! (Though I do miss Bambi and Deerkins, my new deer friends).

The best part of the trip was the peaceful drive through Salinas on 101 while all the kids slept. I never knew how gorgeous that area is! Makes me want to read some John Steinbeck or Jack Kerouac and eat produce. TTFN.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Poor, poor, Petey.

Peter lacks the admirable quality of self-restraint; thus, I must force it upon him in the form of an ego-bruising plastic cone. The little bugger has inexplicably starting gnawing on his tummy and refuses to stop. He has now successfully removed all fur from the area. Gross. He may have an allergy that would require steroid treatment, but my cat-loving friends let me know that those can lead to kidney infections, which at 11 or 12, give or take a year, Peter may be more susceptible to. So I'm giving this more humiliating cone+cortisone cream approach a shot. Wish him luck!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Almost Here

Seasonal change is a subtle art around here. Seasons do not smack you upside the head as they do on the East Coast ... or virtually anywhere else. One has to look for the faintest clues of change. And I, friends, fancy myself the Sherlock Holmes of Autumn. Though Fall in San Francisco is almost infalliby just a version of Indian Summer, making it possible at last to venture outside sans cardigan, it is still most definitely Fall. My favorite. My first Doyle-esque clue of its onset this morning? The faint haze in the air. I'm sure an astronomer could explain it to me in terms of the Earth's shifting axis, or something, but I can't pretend to understand. I just love it. Again, it's very subtle, but even amidst the sunshine - it's there. It just puts me in a wonderful mood. I think Tom Hanks' character in "You've Got Mail" (you know you like the movie) put it perfectly when he wrote to Meg Ryan, "it makes me want to send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils." Though Spring always claims the virtue of rejuvenation, I cannot help but think that for those whose year still revolves around excitement over new books and lined leaf paper, Fall is the true season of new possibilities, excitement, and hope.




Monday, August 24, 2009

It's time to break out in Singer.

I am in full-blown domestic mode. It happens sometimes and quickly passes with little action on my part. But this time I mean business. Will is slightly less than thrilled that I ordered a pressure canner from Amazon on Friday. He muttered something about "botulism" and shook his head. So there's a start on that front.

Next up, sewing! Now this is something I sort of used to know how to do. I have no idea now. And the great news is, my mom had hopes that I might actually follow in her and my grandma's footsteps of knowing how to do useful things, and purchased and refurbished a lovely Singer sewing machine for me. Granted, that was probably eight years ago. However, I am ready to pull it out of the Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs, blow the dust off, and make something of and for myself.

The inspiration? The lovely sheeny gold jumpsuit below. Ashley Simpson rarely inspires anything in me but a bit of indigestion; however, no one can argue with a sweet looking seventies-style jumpsuit. It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine. The main problem with having a fetish for designer duds and simultaneously working in non-profit is quite obvious. When trends come up that aren't worth robbing a bit from my savings account (like a classic trench coat I'd wear forever, etc.), I usually go the $20 route at Forever 21. The result: an ill-fitting, ill-made thing that looks cheap because it is and, in this short jumpsuit's case, might make me look like a bit of a harlot. These items inevitably end up in the Goodwill bag with a "what was I thinking??" look of disgust.

Thus, it is time to learn how to sew. Then I could take that $20, head to Britex, find the perfect fabric and make it fit perfectly! Cheers to a desperate attempt not to run out of steam on this one.

Loved it!


I went to see Julia & Julie yesterday with my mom. It was so cute! We both loved it. And I daresay it gave me new blogging energy (please note the increase in today's number of posts).

Next step, order Mastering the Art of French Cooking from Amazon!

Take note, ladies: a candy advisory notice.

It's 3:25pm. Thus, I have just come back from my daily pilgrimage to the downtown Oakland Long's (now CVS, though I refuse to recognize its legitimacy). I go for two reasons: 1) That little splash of afternoon sunshine makes me feel a little less dead inside after going on 7 hours at my desk. 2) While I sometimes justify the pilgrimage because I need bodywash, deodorant, etc., I more often need a little bit of chocolate to get me through the next 1.75 hours.

Those misguided financial gurus who think you'll be a millionaire by thirty if you don't buy that daily latte would seriously judge me for this little habit. Sure, I probably lose a couple hundred dollars a year on Twizzlers, InStyle magazine, and generic brand ibuprofen gelcaps, but can you really put a price on sanity?

Anyhow, I started out with a point, and it was not my dysfunctional approach to finances. As I've settled into my 26th year, I've noticed the remarkable change in my metabolism. All those years of over-indulgence in fried chicken and cheesecake while scoffing at passing joggers are truly a thing of the past. A few months ago, I started doing the unthinkable: looking at food labels. What an eye-opening experience. How it is I haven't gone in for a triple bypass yet is beyond me.

Still not to my point. It is this: a standard package of plain M&M's contains 10 grams of fat. That is horse-hockey! Are you kidding me? There must be 1 gram of fat to every individual M&M. And they aren't even that good. Today, I rediscovered a far better classic: the York Peppermint Pattie. 2.5 grams of fat. Pure pepperminty heaven. Enough said.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Results are in, Amigos! What's Left to Ponder? Woo!


Hooray! I found out I passed all four of my CSET Single Subject English exams! I'll be on my way to inflicting Pride & Prejudice, Hamlet, and Sylvia Plath on unsuspecting teens before I know it. As many know, I was incredibly stressed about passing these extremely tricky and challenging exams in one shot. Do you know what 'creolization' is? Yeah, me neither until I had to learn it, among many other random things, for these odd tests. I walked out of there with absolutely no feelings of certainty whatsoever about my passing status. I couldn't be more relieved!

Special thanks to..........
* Mom, for the great book summarizing the top 100 classic books.
* Rach, who took them all before and scared the heck out of me so that I studied like mad.
* Dave, Jill, and Will for driving me to a random testing site in Daly City.
* And, last but not least, Thomas (pictured here on my book) for being absolutely useless and bothering me while I studied.

Amazing Article


This is a really wonderful article about how improving the lives of women can have a positive impact on the entire population, both socially and economically. It is from an upcoming book called "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide," written by a husband and wife duo of journalists. Can't wait to read it!

Click here to read the article in the New York Times.

Check out the description (and maybe order it!) on Amazon.

Bea-uti-ful!


Sheridan has been putting her big heart and copious artistic talent to excellent use at San Francisco's Family House. The mission of Family House, Inc. is to serve children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and their families, by providing physical comforts and emotional support free from financial concerns.

The beautiful murals you see are her labors of love over the past two years. What a wonderful environment for kids who are enduring so much to get to play in - well done, Sher!

Wisdom Teeth ... I'm Not Feeling Clever


My teeth - or where they used to be, I guess - still really hurt. I feel like this.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cute-Off


For the record, I do prefer more hard-hitting journalism than this, but it's 5pm on Friday evening, and I have to stick around at work until 8pm. Enter the "Who's the cutest in the animal kingdom?" slideshow on the NY Daily News. You win, little baby red panda.

Smoking Haute

Will and I finally - FINALLY - get to have our guest room! I will post pictures soon, but it's already painted (thanks to my mom, I'm of little help in that department) and has a few surprises waiting in it for Will, like a comfy leather club chair I found for an absolute steal on good old Craigslist.

The guest room is actually a guest room/library/smoking room. Good thing I don't work for ACS anymore, or that last one would never fly. One of the things Will has really wanted is a very classic old heavy crystal ashtray. eBay to the rescue! This one is on it's way. :)