Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Laws in the House

My father-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece are staying with us this weekend. Lord, beer me strength.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are You Freaking Kidding Me: Cheese Edition

Last night, after I had gone to bed, my husband ate 2/3 of a wheel of brie. I don't even know how to respond to it.

"Dude, do you know how much brie costs?"

"Do you realize how much saturated fat is in cheese? It was nice knowing you."

"Were you actually hungry, or just bored?"

I'll probably just let it slide though. Living with other people never gets less weird.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are You Freaking Kidding Me: Library Edition

To access my local public library online, even just to browse the library's collection, I need to enter my fourteen digit library card number and a four digit PIN. That means if my wallet got stolen, it would be as hard for the thief to get into my library account as my bank account.

This level of security seems unnecessary. Who do they think is going to break into my library account? As if anyone besides me cares how many people are in front of me to get The Girl Who Played With Fire.

The library doesn't even let me pick my PIN. That means I have to remember a total of 18 numbers just to see if my branch has a copy of Never Let Me Go. Ridiculous.

Have you read any good books lately?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And the Winner Is...

...Lucky number 3 Taryn. (Chosen at

Thanks for everbody's patience. It's been one of those weeks and I haven't had a moment to blog. I plan on spending the weekend catching up on reading your blogs, catching up with my DVR, napping, and hopefully getting ahead on my blog.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Remembering My Dad

Today would’ve been my dad’s 63rd birthday. He died almost three years ago, but I’ve been crying for the last two days anyway. I’m going to bake him a birthday cake and tell you a story about him because I’m thinking about him.

My parents had three kids, including me, and we are all very close in age. When it was about time to teach us how to read my dad tried to persuade my mom that they should teach us to read using a mirror so we would only be able to read in the reverse.

Thankfully my mom did not allow him to do this, but he always defended his idea. I would ask him, “What would we have done in school?” He said we would just bring a mirror to school and he would tell the teacher, “Yeah, they know how to read, but they only know how to do it backwards.” He insisted that as long as we were providing our own mirrors it wouldn’t be a big deal.

I would ask him where he got this crazy idea and why did he even want to do it and he always said, “What’s the point of having kids if you can’t experiment on them?”

What a weirdo! He also used to crack my toes and sing at full volume to the background music in the grocery store and tickle me until I couldn’t breathe. He was my weirdo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Daily Decluttering


I'm still working on decluttering and reorganizing my apartment. I'm taking on smaller projects than I was before, but the satisfaction of completing a small project keeps me more motivated to keep going than getting stuck in the middle of a big decluttering project.

Above you see a corner of a shelf in the master closet. Two crates were filled with Chuk's and my belongings. I took them both down and got rid of everything that was mine except for a photo album from my first trip abroad when I was 15 years old and my diary from elementary & middle school (which is both hilarious and humiliating). Both of these went on a bookcase in another room, which I've already cleared out.

When Chuk got home from work I politely asked him to review the items that were left in the bins. As a matter of respect, I don't get rid of his stuff. Turns out I didn't need to. He took pictures of a lot of what he had and then got rid of almost everything.


This is all that's left: a tub we occasionally use to soak our feet (is that TMI?), two crates just in case we have something we want to store later and in the bottom crate Chuk's old camera and lenses. (His camera case is green so you can't see it very well in the photo.) He's thinking about selling them, but hasn't made up his mind yet. I think he did a great job already, so I don't want to pressure him.

We have lots of extra space in our closet now and are feeling great about how much better our home is looking.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Big Giveaway

I have a $45 gift certificate to give to one lucky reader! All Modern, a CSN Store, has a fantastic selection of modern bedding, furniture, lighting, accessories, and so much more.

You know I've been lusting after new bedding lately. This would match my bedroom curtains perfectly.

Hello, Gorgeous. Do you want to come live with me?

These vases are screaming autumn to me and would transition nicely into winter too.

I seriously need this rug.

I actually use this chair as my desk chair. It is seriously comfortable.

Pretty fabulous stuff, right? Want to win? You have up to three chances.

To enter:
1. Visit the website of any of the CSN stores and leave a comment telling me what you'd get if won the gift certificate.

2. For an extra entry, become a follower of my blog and leave a separate comment telling me you are.

3. Tell readers on your blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post. Leave a separate comment for that too.

I'll pick a winner using the random number generator at 9:00 pm EST next Tuesday, September 21.

Please note, the gift certificate cannot be put towards the cost of shipping, but it's no biggie because almost everything they sell has free shipping.

Monday, September 13, 2010

French Dinner Party

Last week, my friend Rebecca sent out an email inviting our group of friends to a French dinner party at her place. The menu, direct from Julia Child, included

Asperges avec sauce creme
Poulet au porto (This was flambé!)
Gratin de pommes de terre et saucission
Tarte aux peches

The food was amazing, but the company was even better.

As a hostess gift, I embroidered a dish towel with Rebecca's name and presented it with a little plant I picked up from the grocery store for a couple of bucks. It was easy and inexpensive, but heartfelt and practical...all my favorite things in a gift.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Never Forget

This is a re-post from last year. I'm re-posting it because I want to remember that I was supposed to be in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and I want to acknowledge how close I was to the White House. Had the White House been hit, I probably would have been hurt.

My college roommate almost lost her NYC apartment after the World Trade Center was hit. She knew people who died. She talked about how for months her apartment smell like "dead body". She could have died too.

There seems to be more hatred and intolerance this year than last. To address that, as a person who could have lost a lot on that tragic day, I want to say:
It is not a crime to be Muslim.
In my opinion, Islam is no more responsible for 9-11 than Christianity is responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing. Evil people do evil things not because of their religion but because they are sick.

What I walked away feeling after 9-11 was a great sense of national and international fellowship and community. People pulled together and comforted and supported one another. I hope we can get back to that someday soon.

September 11, 2001 I was staying in a hostel in Washington, DC a few blocks from the White House. I had just graduated from college in June and I was planning on moving to the District (as we locals call it) so I was in town looking for an apartment.

I woke up that morning and went to the breakfast room and was eating Honey Nut Cheerios. The room was empty except for a janitor and me. A radio was on but something else seemed off. The janitor said to me, "The World Trade Center has been bombed." I said, "In New York?" He said yes. At that point, it didn't seem like a big deal. I finished my cheerios.

The rest of the morning and afternoon was a blur. I don't remember how I found out about the Pentagon. At some point the gravity of the situation hit.

I had planned on going on a hostel-organized tour of the Pentagon that morning but decided to sleep in instead.

I had borrowed my mom's cell phone for the trip and the lines were jammed all day. I knew my family would be worried and I wanted to get a hold of them. I wanted to get a hold of my college roommate too. She had just moved back to New York and I knew her apartment had a view of the World Trade Center.

That night I went to a bar in Adams Morgan with a bunch of other kids from the hostel. They were mostly British, Australian, and South African. There was a guy from Chicago there too who kept hitting on me. We talked about how strange everything felt. There were military police officers on almost every corner.

A British girl kept saying she wanted to go home. I didn't feel unsafe. I felt very connected to this group of strangers.

I went on a tour of the White House the next day. I still have never been to the Pentagon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Hour at Home: Peach Sangria

Summer may be waning in some parts of the country, but where I am, it's still hot and the grocery stores are still bursting with peaches. For my Project Runway party last month, I made a delicious (if I do say so myself) peach sangria inspired by a white peach sangria at a favorite Spanish restaurant in Chinatown; I know, ironic.

Peach Sangria

1.5 Liter bottle of white wine (I used a chardonnay.)
1 cup of brandy
1/4 cup triple sec or Cointreau
2 cups of orange juice
1 can peach nectar
1 cup of 7-up
4 cinnamon sticks
20 oz. fresh or frozen peaches (peeled and sliced)

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Serve in wine glasses with toothpicks so the boozy peaches can easily be retrieved from the bottom of the glass.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Am A Bedding Addict

I have a problem. I lust over bedding. It is my biggest spending weakness. More often than not, when I'm in a shopping mood (which, in my defense, is fairly rare) I want to buy bedding.

I'm in one of those phases now. I desperately want a new duvet for my bed. However, I have zero need for a new duvet. I'm trying to fight the lure, but it's hard. Hopefully admitting this to you will be cathartic to me. You're like my AA for bedding.

This pillow costs $90.

This pillow costs $143.

This fabric is $17.95 per yard.

Let me know if you want sources for either of the pillows or the fabric.

I should probably stop browsing, right? This could get dangerous.

Whining and Moaning

Several months ago I was buying deodorant but rather than buying my usual brand, I opted for a generic that was cheaper per stick and had a special buy one get one free deal because I didn't think there would be a big difference and I like a bargain.

Let me tell you, it sucked. The cheaper brand totally did not work as well as my usual deodorant. Even though I wasn't happy with it, I kept using it for months because I didn't want to be wasteful. Finally, this week, I ran out of the generic. I don't know that I have ever been so excited to buy deodorant before. I went right back to my old brand.

Here's the thing though: I thought I used to get the "Shower Fresh" version, but apparently I remembered incorrectly because this stuff is really strongly scented. Every time I move my arms I get a whiff of it and think "YUCK!" I might as well have B.O.

So my question to you is: Should I stick it out and use up this overly perfumed deodorant so as not to waste or let myself off the hook and get new deodorant because I've been in deodorant hell for many, many months?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Closing Bags if You're Ghetto

We use chip clips a lot at our house. We use them for pancake mix, frozen veggies, brown sugar, cereal, and, of course, chips, amongst other things. Unfortunately, because they're so well used, we don't have enough chip clips to go around at our house. I make do by simply closing bags using binder clips.

Using office supplies in the pantry makes me feel a little trashy, but not enough to actually go out and spend money buying more chip clips. Binder clips work for me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Adding Storage in the Bathroom

After the drama of the bathroom leak that necessitated the cutting out of half the bathroom ceiling and one of the walls (not to mention the ripping up of the carpet) I never got around to re-hanging three small prints I had on that wall.

Can you see the mold?

Then I found two glass shelves on the side of the road while I was on a walk. I thought they would be perfect for the bathroom and snatched them up. I wound up only hanging one of the shelves, but because it was so narrow I was having a hard time figuring out how best to utilize it.

Then I remembered three little espresso tins I had gotten for free from the cafe next door. As luck would have it, they fit the shelf perfectly. I spray painted them silver and then, rather than using my beloved label maker, labeled them with a single vinyl letter. I think it's more discreet and looks a little more modern.

I'm really happy with the way they turned out, but I'm still trying to figure out how to style the shelf. It looks a little bare with just the tins, but I don't think candles or two of the old prints that were there before look quite right. Ideally, I'd like to see if I could get two more tins from the cafe, but I don't know if they are still giving them away.

If they're not, do you have any ideas of how to style it? I generally like a clean, uncluttered look, but I don't want it to be overly minimalist.

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

This post is linked to:
Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Designs
Spotlight Yourself at It's So Very Cheri
Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog

Monday, September 6, 2010

Saving the Sentimental While Decluttering

I'm still working on decluttering, but I've been having a hard time letting go of sentimental items. For example, the box above housed the my wedding invitations. Obviously, I've already sent out my invitations, so I no longer need the extras, but for some reason I was having trouble recycling the leftovers.

The solution I came up with is to frame one invitation as a keepsake, which I know is not a novel idea, but because I'm such a pack rat I also attached a couple of extras (including envelopes, response cards, etc.) on the back of the of the frame with a rubber band. They're out of the way but I still have some complete sets in case that I can share with future generations, if they're interested.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Now I feel okay letting go of the rest of the invitations. Another box down, hooray.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Jessica, the kindest blogger in the whole wide web, gave me an award. I've had a lot going on, so this is the first chance I've had to thank her and fulfill the "requirement" of the reward, which is to tell you seven things about me.

7 Random Things About Me

1. I am a middle child.

2. I sleep with an eye mask in and ear plugs in every night because I'm prone to insomnia and need total sensory deprivation. Drinking Sleepytime tea while watching bad infomercials or QVC also helps me with occasional insomnia.

3. I don't know how to do a cartwheel.

4. I love club sandwiches.

5. Growing up, my mom and friends from college called me "Meggers" but my dad and friends from high school called me "Meggie Woo". My mom also called me "Muffin" a lot; I actually thought Muffin was my middle name for a long time.

6. When I lived in China, my job title was "Foreign Expert". That's seriously the best job title ever.

7. I have never seen a Woody Allen or Cohen brothers movie I liked, but I have liked every Paul Thomas Anderson movie I've ever seen.

Now, tell me something about yourself, pretty please.