Monday, December 27, 2010

New Old TV

After a long weekend away for Christmas, I return to find an old TV dumped in my yard. What the heck? Who dumps old appliances on residential lawns? Now, I'm eyeing some of my neighbors suspiciously and dreaming up retaliation schemes that I would never actually carry out.  

My options for disposal include paying $5 for it to be picked up or taking it to Best Buy for a fee of $10, but then receiving a $10 gift card.

I need to stop looking at this picture, because my annoyance is turning to shades of rage.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Warby Parker Bandwagon

I would like to jump on the Warby Parker bandwagon. All the hipsters are doing it. And I want/need new glasses. For $95 you get lenses and frames, plus before you buy, you can do online try-ons and in-home try-ons for free. My cheapy glasses from Zenni Optical have treated me well, but now it's time to upgrade.

One of the issues with ordering glasses online is that you need to know your pupillary distance (PD), which is not often included in your prescription (and I'm too chicken to ask my eye doctor for it). Back in the old days, I had to measure my PD with a millimeter ruler. This time around, I found an awesome online measurement tool from One Specs in the UK.

57.5 mm...4.5mm more than what I'd measured by hand.
Here are the five pairs I'm planning to try on at home. Based on online reviews, some of the proportions on the virtual try-on can be a bit off — with glasses appearing smaller than they actually are. It's a good start, though.

Warby Parker Finn - virtual try-on. I like these best so far.

Warby Parker Zagg - virtual try-on

Warby Parker Roark -virtual try-on
Warby Parker Nedwin - virtual try-on

Warby Parker Langston -virtual try-on

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've been doing this stuff

In addition to not updating my blog, here's the other uninteresting things I've been up to lately.

I've been using up my supply of hotel and sample toiletries. This is just a fraction of the supply. I have an entire gallon-sized Ziploc bag full of these.

I read the fifth Harry Potter book really, really fast after going to see the seventh Harry Potter movie with my neighbor. (Pic)

I've made several variations of this pasta. If you make it, add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the pasta water when you add the greens. You'll get a creamier sauce when it's all done.

I shopped for new glasses, but didn't make a purchase.

I took some pictures of Penny.

I hosted a little dinner party a month ago and have finally uploaded a picture here to prove it.

I stressed myself out over shopping for the perfect gifts for my office's gift exchanges. This is an annual occurrence; I'm too indecisive. I considered buying some Pottery Barn ornaments, but then succumbed to the almighty indecision.

I've been doing Facetime with Dave (I won an iPod Touch a couple months ago, which has made said Facetime possible).

Clearly, I have failed my 2010 New Year's resolution to re-purpose my blog.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bark Test

Speaking of Dogs Decoded (clearly, it spoke to me). Try this test to see if you can identify the meaning of different dog barks. I got four out of six.

Dog Pile

Dave and I recently watched an interesting little NOVA episode called Dogs Decoded. One thing the program mentioned was that petting your dog releases oxytocin in your brain and your dog's brain, giving both of you neurological warm fuzzies. Can you imagine the amount of oxytocin pumping out of Penny's brain as a result of this dog pile?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fake Flowers

Real flowers, move aside. The next generation of fake flowers is here and they are awesome.  I found these in a random catalog (Signals. Never heard of 'em.) I received in the mail.

1. The coffee table book to end all coffee table books: Paper Blossoms by Ray Marshall. It's pop-up art for the adult set. Please give this book to someone on your Christmas shopping list this year. 

Pics from Amazon where these books ship in 1 to 4 months. Months! Try a different retailer.
2. Felted wool bouquet. Cozy and no watering required. I found some similar bouquets on etsy, but none were quite this pretty.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Red cat

One night last week, Penny suddenly took an interest in the red wooden cat on the top of my TV. She stared. She whined. She tried very hard to reach it by stretching up on her back two legs. Alas, in true cat fashion, the cat showed no interest whatsoever in Penny.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Penny staged

The memory is fading, but I'm pretty sure I staged this pic. All the elements were there — Penny and the netbook were already lying casually on the bed — how could I not just push them closer together?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living room: Upgrade

My sad slip-covered love seat (it's blue country plaid underneath) has finally been kicked to the proverbial curb. As of last Friday, it was demoted to my spare bedroom where all my misfit belongings go to die. That was the day my new chairs from Overstock arrived. The only sad thing about them is that I bought them one day before a 5% off seating sale started. AND, now when I went to fetch the link for this post, I see they are 10% off. HRMPF! I do wish I wouldn't have seen that. It pains me not to get the best deal.

In other living room news, I also spray painted my crummy MDF TV stand Krylon's Ivy Leaf.

BEFORE. This is a lame before, but it's the best I had and it does a good job of showing the sadness that is the love seat.

AFTER. New chairs. Night-time lighting.

AFTER. From a different angle this time. Still night-time lighting. Also, no flat panel TV here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New color for the kitchen

After two years, the orange I'd painted my kitchen was just too...well, orange. The room glowed radioactively with its orange-ness. After I saw this kitchen's paint color, I knew mine couldn't stay orange for much longer. So, I painted it Behr's Mocha Accent. It's a pretty perfect brown-gray-green and my kitchen feels grown up now.

Does anyone else google paint colors to see how they look in other people's homes before taking the plunge? I do.

Before. Yes, there are bananas everywhere because I just re-used this pic from a previous post. Oh, and before before.
After. I know how it looks, but that "N" is not for Nebraska; it's for November.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The most depressing thing

The most depressing thing in the whole world is not natural disasters, divorce or death. It is when Dave leaves the house.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review: Little Bee

Here goes, my inaugural book review. Before I begin, I think you should know a few things about me: I appreciate clever, witty writing and endearing stories. I gag on cheesy dialogue and ridiculously implausible story lines (I'm looking at you The English American).

Book: Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Stars: 3/5
Quick summary: The lives of a teenage Nigerian refuge and a British working mother collide.
Should I read it? Sure, but don't rush out to get it. If and when you get around to it is fine. 
My take: The story has some smart, spry writing, but don't be fooled -- the subject matter is serious and can be a bit grim. I was happy to be done with the book because it had just a little too much sunshine-covered sadness for my daily commute.

Pic from Barnes and Noble.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Dave won't allow me to dress Penny in clothes or cosutmes, although, sometimes I'll sneak some things. So, inspired by Suds, I turned to the Internet to get Penny in the Halloween spirit. Be afraid.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I spent last Tuesday through Sunday doing repairs, deep cleaning my house and cleverly staging things to hide imperfections all in anticipation of an appraisal on Monday (I'm re-financing). And then the appraisal lasted less than five minutes. That's it. I suppose it wasn't all for naught, though. Who can complain about a clean house?

Now, here's one of the repairs I did. With the help of my brother and advice of my dad, I fixed an old water spot on my spare bedroom ceiling. NOTE: The entire ceiling is crappy and there's a poor patch job by the previous owners that looks extremely obvious in these photos. My patch is within that patch.

BEFORE. I scraped off the stained parts of the popcorn texture.
DURING. I secured parts of the sagging ceiling with drywall screws and fender washers.

AFTER.  I patched the ceiling with mesh tape and joint compound, applied new popcorn texture, and painted.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Close-up from last week just in case you hadn't seen enough of these two on a couch.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Same dude, same dog

One week. Two couches. Same dude. Same dog.

Take 1
Take 2

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yay books

In Shelfari, I've just surpassed the 200 mark on the number of books I've read! This makes me happy because books make me happy.  Seriously. I look forward to solo car rides because I can listen to my audio book and I dutifully read my book club's pick each month so I can chime in on the discussion.

I don't think I'll ever get around to re-purposing my blog, but if I do, I might just start doing really short book reviews to help steer you toward enjoyable reads and away from Jodi Piccoult. Really, what else am I doing besides posting lots of fluffy cuteness on Fridays? 

Yay books! Those books with two stars = miserable.

Friday, October 8, 2010

In the clear

Penny has successfully completed her heartworm treatment! She's now in the clear to exercise and get excited. Yet, here she is, still just lounging around.

Friday, October 1, 2010


She's got her eye on you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'm watching this guy for my brother and sister-in-law for a few days. His name is Kodiak. I introduced him to that tennis ball and now we are BFFs.

So eager!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Almost there

Just three more days to go for Penny's mandatory 4-week rest period! Then, it's back to the vet for another shot and maybe more rest.

Deja vu?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Parting Thoughts on Iceland

Warning: Long post ahead. You can just scroll down to the pics if you like.
  1. For those that suffered from the blues after watching Avatar, they need to go to Iceland. Eighty-five percent of the stuff on Pandora is there. 
  2. Waterfalls are everywhere. 
  3. It's a good starter place for someone who wants to put his/her toe into the waters of international travel.
  4. You only have to do as much hiking as you want to do. For us, that was minimal.
  5. Egils Gull beer (one of Iceland's home brews) tastes like Busch Light or Natural Light. Not so good.
  6. We didn't need to have any Icelandic kronur on us. We could have made it through the entire trip with just credit cards.
  7. To pay at the pump with a credit card, you need a PIN. 
  8. I didn't feel self-conscious about not being able to speak the native language, because there's only about 320,000 people that speak Icelandic.
Strokkur Geyser

Waterfall and me -- refreshing!

Gray and overcast, just the way Iceland should be.

Sheep -- with crazy eyes


Blue Lagoon

Church in Reykjavik. The name begins with an H and is really long.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    You know

    You know you missed her last Friday. No worries. Penny is back. Still resting, but she's back.