Sunday, January 9, 2011

Monday Morning Quarterbacking: AZ Shootings

I don't know why I feel the need to put this here. This is not meant to be that sort of blog. But I want to at least try to eloquently express my view of the AZ shooting because I'm tired of the words "witchhunt" and allusions to (still! how can people PAID for their opinions STILL be using such violent imagery?) political fire.

I don't think any reasonable person is making the claim that Palin or Glen Beck or Obama or Joe Biden or any outspoken individual is directly to blame.

However, in light of what happened, the tastelessness of such a website, and of a lot of the violent rhetoric coming from both sides, is shown in sharp relief.

I don't understand the aversion to connecting this to a political motive born of a troubled mind and spurred by misinterpretation of off the cuff remarks and deliberate vocabulary. This was a politician who held some unpopular opinions in her state and who had been the target of violence and vandalism before.

Further, truthfully, no one knows the motives here but the troubled young man with the gun and perhaps law enforcement. So why, at this point, is one side any more right than the other? It's just something to think about and consider. Humans debate. Humans speculate. It doesn't have to be sides. And, as someone who has not, even in jest advocated violence toward those with a different interpretation of the matter, I am troubled by the divisive, and, frankly, still-violent imagery being used.

"It may be free speech, but it is not without consequences." -Clarence Dupnik, Pima County Sheriff's Department

I am not advocating censorship so do not even think of taking that argument with me. If you know me AT ALL, you know how repugnant the idea is to me. However, people need to start some self-regulation. To THINK before they speak. To those of you in power, people LISTEN to you, okay? They listen to your voice and they read your words ... and they take them and they DO things with them. You may be frustrated by roadblocks, but it's time to stop thinking in terms of enemies and crosshairs and accusations of treason just because someone wants something different than you do. THINK.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Now for something completely different: Pantsless Subway Ride!

Last January, I was in a weird place. Standing on the edge of something, to be so cliche. Newly divorced, 27, a whole city of people and places and experiences open to me.

So what's the first thing I did?

I took my pants off on the subway, of course!

Look, I wish I could say I did it for charity, or for awareness, or just simply for something. But here's the truth. I did it for me. I walked into Alewife station, up to a mass of strangers, introduced myself, met people, and then we took our pants off on the subway.

And it was awesome. It was perfect. It was selfishly just what I needed for me. Raising awareness that I was different and new and changed, if you will.

I handed my phone to a stranger and said "Hey, take a picture of me?"

I was paired up with someone I had never met before. Turns out disrobing on the subway is a bonding experience

And then, the group of us headed over to Beantown Pub for drinks, snacks, pool, and confusing patrons.
Not a bad way to start the year.

And tomorrow, I'm going to do it all over again. Alewife. 2pm. Be there.

(PS: That's me in the picture! In the red coat, just above the word "pants")

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pretzel Bites!

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the fabulous Food Mayhem's fantastic mixer soft pretzels. Make them, you won't be sorry.

This weekend, that same friend and I were planning for a New Years Day cheese fondue party at her house and inspiration struck! What if we made THE PRETZELS, as we've come to call them, but in a more dipping-friendly form?


I was charged with whipping them up and, to ensure freshness, I decided to do it the same day (neglecting to take the inevitable New Years hangover into account ... ahem ...). I made the recipe the exact same way through to the dough rising. Then, instead of dividing into 12 parts and rolling and forming the pretzels (something I SUCK at), I floured my hands and pulled off bits of dough, rolling them between my hands to form .75"-1.25" balls. I dipped them in the baking soda solution, same as the recipe, and put them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (oh god I love parchment paper ...) and baked for the same amount of time. When they were done, because I was in a hurry, I just put them in a big bowl, dumped in some melted butter, and kosher salt, and shook them around. I still prefer the pastry brush method for aesthetic purposes (plus I just love pastry brushes), but this worked just as well in flavor.

And you know what? I think I'll make these WAY more often now that the hard part of getting the stretchy, sticky, unwieldy dough to form pretzel knots is out of the way! The possibilities for party food are endless! I mean, everyone does mini-quiches and pigs in a blanket, right? Well let's make pretzels and pub cheese the next big thing!

(note, these are on a tiny app plate, not a full-sized plate! They're about 1.5-2" diameter)

I should note that if you want TRULY bite-sized pretzels, stick to the .75" ball of raw dough. These puff up pretty well. 

Thanks again to Jessica at Food Mayhem for this insanely popular recipe. And go check out her far superior blog!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Hey there! Looks like it's about to start snowing any minute (har har har). Come on in!

This was the result of my nerdy project. I (with a bit of help) cut all of these out after seeing someone do something similar. Then I ran a string of white lights along the floor to light them up at night:

Take a look at my sweet tree set-up, the centerpiece of the decor:

One of my favorite ornaments, a UFO my mom gave me when I was in high school.

Another nerdy relic, hung prominently front and center. Also, the bow I picked up at Target. I love it so much. I've always been a star girl, but now I may never go back.

The stockings all hung on the bar with care. Also featuring Rodney the Reindeer and Max, the Grinch's woebegone pup, a gift from a college roommate. Check out Jason's sweet Lego Man stocking and awesome glitter-writing done by me.

Coffee table centerpiece:

Dining room tablescape, dressed up for Christmas:

Christmas cards and my little Avonlea Presbyterian Church set up:

And, finally, for fun, I received this scorpion paperweight from my secret santa and named him Sergio. Sergio promptly got loose and terrorized Avonlea. A tragedy!

Happy holidays, all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Here's my big one. I am terrible about letting clean laundry build up in a basket and I basically live like pull things out of clean basket, get dressed, throw in dirty basket. Sometimes if I do a small load, I'll fold and put stuff away, but after awhile, the majority of my clothes are out of the drawers. Every few months I get fed up, wash everything whether it needs it or not, and reorganize. I always feel so much better when everything is properly put away and I realize when it's all done that it's really not that bad to put things away. I get really hung up on small details like where to put things away and how they'll fit and how to organize that I can't see the big picture and just DO it. But the truth is I have a lot of storage space now. More drawer space than I've probably ever had in my life. I have one 6-drawer MALM chest and one 4-drawer MALM all to myself. There is no need to stress myself out anymore about trying to jam things in.

So I'm going to make an effort to just put laundry away like a normal person and be less of a slob in general. I've also found I've felt so much more motivated and productive these past couple of weeks because I cleaned the hell out of my apt for my friend's visit last weekend, then I made an effort to keep it that way (company ready) knowing another friend was coming over this past weekend and it's been really cool to know every day that I don't have a cluttered living room or bedroom or kitchen to deal with. When I sit down and watch TV, I truly have nothing else to do. I want to keep that feeling going.

SO. 2011. Less slob, more daily picking up. I know myself and I know I can handle little things. Hell, even when I finally get around to conquering the mountain of laundry, I wind up dividing it into piles (t-shirts, short sleeved shirts, long sleeved shirts, sweaters, jeans, pants, skirts) based on how they're organized in my drawers and it's much less overwhelming. I need to remember this and make it stick this time.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fits and Starts III: Teal and Orange!

Where were we? Ah, right. Crafting. Now it's time for more of the apartment!

First, the kitchen. The kitchen is pretty small and narrow. However, it's surprisingly functional as well. I love all the counter and cabinet space and how the cabinets on the left hold dishes and glasses and the ones on the right hold food and I can basically stand in one place and rotate from sink to stove.

After going for a red/black motif for my last two kitchens (or trying to. MAN can blue wallpaper really kill that), I wanted something totally new. I started seeing a lot of brightly colored accessories and linens around late 2008/early 2009 and finally, this year, had a chance to make it happen.

It works especially well with my Fiestaware love. Over there on the right, serving as a utensil crock is my beloved peacock disc pitcher, in fact! Not many links to include here unfortunately, as the plates up on the wall came from TJ Maxx and the sun and moon were bought in Mexico. Potholders were from Target and I hate their lack of thumbs. Apron was also from TJ Maxx.

The other view isn't too exciting. Orange platter from TJ Maxx. Dishtowel from Target. Canisters on clearance from Pier 1.

NOW. Finally. At long last. The plate collage. Tada!

Now here's the whole dining/bar area. The bar is made of LACK shelves from, surprise! Ikea. The poster is from AllPosters. It needs a frame, but I was so excited to have something to put up and we were having people over, so I just stuck it up there with white tacks. How dorm room of me, I know.

To the left of the bar is a huge open space where our Christmas tree will go. Then, after Christmas, we'll finally get some bookshelves! Hooray!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fits and Starts II: Crafting!

Awhile ago, I talkked about making some artwork for above the bed. I finally got around to it a few weeks ago!

First, I painted some tree branches on the canvas:

Then I made the flowers using 4 little squares of Sculpey III in some sort of shimmery pink color and a flower cutter I got at Michael's in the cake section (Sculpey is sort of like fondant, right?):

That was the first batch, all made with the medium cutter. I then arranged them on the canvas to get an idea for how they'd look:

At the time, it seemed kind of bare, so I made some more flowers, this time with the large cutter. Now I go back and forth between loving it and thinking it's now too cluttered. Oh well.

I googled and researched and tried to find the best glue for bonding Sculpey to canvas. In the end, I wound up just grabbing a bottle of Weldbond at Michael's and it's worked perfectly. I left the canvas leaning against the wall for awhile and none of the flowers fell so I'm reasonably (fingers crossed!) sure none will be bouncing off my head in the middle of the night.


And, while we're at it, my exceedingly girly dresser. The frame has always been a bit of a sticking point because I love it, but it has no wall hanger, only an easel back, so I'm forever searching for places to put it with enough room for a sizeable 8x10 frame. Turns out it makes a perfect backdrop for my perfume bottles! Right now that's just an old Revlon ad, but I plan to either order an 8x10 vintage cosmetic/perfume ad off the internet or perhaps find and old Vespa ad.

The pink bottle and dresser are from Ikea (dresser is the 6-drawer Malm chest in black-brown). We also have two four-drawer Malm chests right next to it and I love the sleek effect.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fits and Starts: Thanksgiving

That's been the case for both my blogging and my decorating.

But now I have a slew-lette of pictures to share! It's been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks. We spent 5 days in lovely, fun, kid-tastic Disney World where I was free to be my usual child self. I insisted on waiting in lines to meet characters. I skipped. I grinned like an idiot. I ate chicken nuggets for dinner. I had a blast.

And then two days after we came home (today) my lifelong BFF and her husband were stopping by on their last pre-baby getaway to Boston so things had to be not only clean but NEAT and also decorated to the best of my ability. That's where the blog benefits! I will warn in advance that I have been too lazy to take "real" pictures and have been instead relying on my phone. HOWEVER, the iPhone 4's camera is vastly superior to the 3G's so they shouldn't be too offensively pixely.

Wait, maybe I should start with Thanksgiving. Yeah, I'll do that. Plans changed and it wound up being just the two of us.

Here's the table all set:

These are the Lenox "Chirp" placemats and napkins from this post, with some Ikea Salong vases, these birdie S&P shakers I picked up at Pier 1 awhile ago (an awesome bargain!), and my great-grandmother's silver candlesticks (loved getting to use them, especially on Thanksgiving), all on this basketweave placemat from CB2.

Here's another shot of the "tablescape." Sandra Lee would be so proud!

But unlike Aunt Sandy, I also focused on some damn tasty food!

Okay, that's enough blogging for now! Stay tuned for Fits and Starts 2 & 3, coming soon to a theater near you.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Three weeks ago or so I got two DRONA boxes in teal. I posted them in my August 14 post. Went back to Ikea today intending to get two more, as it turns out I need more storage. Turns out, THEY NO LONGER MAKE THEM IN TEAL. Ugh. So frustrated. I got two black and I'm sure they'll look fine but ugh. WHY.

I've been a terrible blogger lately and I'm sorry. Haven't done much and it turns out I left my camera cable at my old place when I moved out so I gotta get that. Why does the iPhone camera suck so much? Grr.