Monday, September 14, 2009

I've Moved!

Although I'm not deleting this blog (I can't bear to lose the posts about Max), I have started a new one on Wordpress.

Please follow me over there, and comment freely!

Friday, August 28, 2009

6 Months!!

Six months ago, at a castle on a hill in a village in the French Alps, Flavio asked me to marry him. It's been a very L O N G six months. But it also marks the halfway point of our journey! (Because if he doesn't have his visa by February, I'm giving the finger to USCIS and moving to Italy.) It's taken half a year, but I'm finally starting to feel like a bride. Why? Because I started my registry! We're registered at Target, and although there aren't a ton of things we need (please, NO MUGS!!), we have found a few things that would be nice to have.

I think my mom is really getting into her role as mother-of-the-bride (and also mother-of-the-groom, because my brother is getting married in May!), because the day after I set up the registry, she went out and bought us two of the things on it. We have pots & pans now!! If you followed my flurry of tweets on Monday, then you know that while I have 31 mugs and 5 springform pans, I didn't have any cookware. What I didn't mention on Twitter was that this wasn't an accident--I've been looking for the perfect cookware for the past 5 years! Do you have any idea how hard it is to find stainless steel, copper-bottom cookware with glass lids at a reasonable price? I finally found two sets--in the same week, and both at Target, actually--one by Paula Deen, the other by T-Fal. I chose the Paula Deen set for 3 reasons: insulated handles, nonstick interiors on the skillets, and full-copper bottoms (the T-Fal just had weird copper squiggles). After inspecting (okay, playing with) them last night, I definitely made the right choice. They're heavy and solid and beautiful. And her story on the box--about designing stainless steel, copper-bottom cookware because that's what her mother used when she was growing up--made me cry, because it's exactly why I was looking for them.

Choosing the things for our registry (and sorting through the things we already have) has made this whole marriage thing so much more tangible to me. The past six months have been so difficult, especially being apart, and at times it's felt like the future is this unattainable dream that we just can't catch. But it's beginning to feel so real to me, like it's just around the corner, and after all of these hard months, we'll finally get the big payoff. We'll be together. Cooking dinner together with these pots and pans, sitting down to dinner at this table, drying the dishes with these towels, snuggling under this quilt. It's an amazing feeling.

My grandparents recently bought a new dining table, so they've given the old one to us!

The 8-qt. stockpot (foreground) and 10-in. skillet (background). Isn't the gleam of the copper so lovely? The 12-piece set also included 1-, 2-, and 3-qt. saucepans (with lids), an 8-in. skillet, a lid for the stockpot, and a couple of utensils. We've also registered for the matching 12-in. skillet and 3-qt. stack & steamer pot w/ insert.

Ok, so, I love the cookware. But this is my favorite gift so far! A 3.5-qt. porcelain enamel cast iron casserole dish (also from the Paula Deen collection). It's SO HEAVY! This will be great for baking mac & cheese. Yummm!! (A side note: the Paula Deen stuff is seriously great. Besides being beautiful and reasonably priced, the quality is amazing. Everything looks & feels so durable. I know I'll be using these things for years--maybe even the rest of my life.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coming Soon to a Breakfast Table Near Me!

Playing around with our new (to us) table, taking stock of our kitchen equipment, & imagining A Very Ordinary Morning in the (Hopefully) Near Future.

at my place setting: orange spice tea, hand-painted tea bag holder from the Smithsonian's African Art Museum, "I Do" bridal mug, small bowl of grapes, "Seize the Day" breakfast plate with peach

at his place setting: a newspaper article about a robot exhibit at WSU's Ulrich Museum, cereal in a monster bowl w/ "Start Your Spoons" cereal spoon, cherry juice glass, St. Dalfour wild blueberry fruit spread, espresso cup & saucer w/ a tiny spoon

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lights! Camera! You get the idea...

There are a hundred and one things that need to be either fixed or replaced in my house. Today we made one small step toward the ultimate goal of Fixing Everything. My grandparents hired an electrician, and last week we went out and bought 5 new light fixtures: a lantern-style porch light, 2 simple flushmounts for the bathroom, a glittery pendant for the dining room, and a cone-shaped mini-pendant for over the kitchen sink. The final effect is so lovely...the house looks so much more modern! Next up, we'll be replacing the old ceiling fans (three of which are broken).

The new lantern-style porch light. Omg, it works!!

One of the new bathroom flushmounts. This one is in the wall, over the sink; the other one is hanging from the ceiling.

The glittery pendant in the dining room. Click here for a picture of the old chandelier.

The mini-pendant over the kitchen sink. Click here for a closeup.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Things I Love:
  • food shopping, in general
  • but more specifically, when I find things I didn't know I always wanted
  • like cocoa roasted almonds
  • and meyer lemon sorbet
  • and I especially love sweet old men
  • who tell us about unadvertised deals on deli meat
  • and give us free baby swiss ♥
Things I Hate:
  • bookstores that change their layout
  • without any warning
  • and don't label the travel section
  • which is now with the money management section
  • like I need a reminder that I suck with money
  • I just want a vacation!
  • and I don't like people who aren't readers
  • especially when they're in bookstores
  • because they TALK
  • just go sit in the café and drink your $6 beverage
Also, I wish I'd been able to find a book that I wanted. I know I'm going to finish the one I'm reading pretty soon, and even though I have a bazillion unread books waiting to be consumed, I'm just not in those sorts of moods. Ideally, I'd like to read something else by Louise Shaffer, the author of the book I'm currently reading. But Borders didn't have any of her other books, and I'm not patient enough for Amazon. Maybe I can find something to kill time with until A Lion Among Men comes out in paperback on the 25th.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sweet Sunday

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. It has been for years...since high school, at least. It's such a sweet, quiet day. A wonderful day to be at home. To clean, or bake cookies, or read a book. A great day to listen to the radio. A day to be thoughtful. I hate that I work on Sundays now, especially in the morning. Today is the last Sunday of my leave of absence, and I'm really trying to get the most out of it. Sunday is "grocery day" in my family, so this morning I went to the market with my mom. I had a coupon for these lovely roses, which were already on sale, so I ended up getting them for half price. And they look so pretty in the vase my aunt gave me while I was recovering. ♥

After the surgery, I completely lost my appetite for a couple days (and I hadn't eaten at all for 2 days before the surgery). Now that my appetite has come back, I'm trying to be more mindful of what I eat. Avoiding cholesterol and fat, increasing fiber and water. It's definitely a work in progress, but actually a lot of greasy, salty foods that I used to like don't even appeal to me anymore. I've found that writing down what I eat and how much water I drink really helps me. I'm not counting calories or anything, but keeping a list has encouraged me to make more thoughtful choices. I feel really great. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


calla lilies from much prettier in person!

It's been 9 days since my surgery, and I'm recovering really well. The pain is gone, my appetite has returned, and I haven't had any post-op complications. I'm still a little sad about missing my trip, but I've emailed the airline to try to get a credit for future travel.

One of the best side effects of my recovery has been the increase in my water intake. Initially, I was drinking lots of water because I needed fluids and nothing really appealed to me except water. Since then, it's become almost a habit to reach for my water jug whenever my mouth feels a little dry. And holy cow, I can't believe the effect it's had on my skin already! My face feels so soft and smooth.

I'd just like to say one more thing... My spirits have been so buoyed by all of the love I've felt from my family & friends this past week. Emails, phone calls, cards, flowers, and visits...they've all really touched my heart. Thank you. ♥