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Friday, January 31, 2014

friday link love

#truth

Happy Friday, friends. It’s Super Bowl weekend and even though my beloved Pats lost to Denver in the playoffs, I’m still excited to watch the game (and eat the food). Are you rooting for Denver or Seattle?

We’re nearing completion in our kitchen, and by that I mean the kitchen is 85% there. We still need that sink Ikea still hasn’t restocked (and no visibility on that); we need to get a few hinges at Ikea for our contractor to finish the job. Knife strips and pot rack need to go up. The transition between tile/wood on the floor needs to be fixed, and a few other things that have to be done here and there. My big project this weekend is to drain the water line in the fridge. Apparently, you need to drain 2 to 5 gallons of water before it stops dripping (more on that in a home-focused post).

Today, we are getting our marble sealed, which will make it much more stain resistant. I don’t much care about marble showing its age, but I’d like to take the best care of it possible, and after that I can start unpacking the kitchen stuffs. You know what’s crazy? I have no idea what is going where! I don’t know if that’s normal, but we’ll see how the unpacking goes. I’m excited.

And lastly, while a little unrelated to this blog, still an important announcement to make: Andrew starts a new job on February 10 – at Mashable – covering climate and weather. He’ll miss his current team at Climate Central, but he was ready to try his hand at something different and the opportunity at Mashable sounded exciting. There was a fancy press release announcing his move and he managed to make Mediabistro and NYPost Page 6! I’m not one for wearing my heart on my sleeve but I’m really proud of him.

And with that, I wish you all a good weekend. If you’re a football fan, enjoy the game and the snacks! I’ll be unpacking, cleaning, and writing (as deadlines are fast approaching) – and going to a Super Bowl party. I hope you have a relaxing couple of days.

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, January 24, 2014

friday link love

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Happy Friday, friends! I no longer can distinguish between a weekday and the weekend – it’s all become a blur, and that’s merely a week after our vacation which was amazing. Amazing despite the fact that I came down with the mother of all colds and spent the entire week congested and achy. At one point, it felt like my eyeballs were itching on the inside and all I could do was to rub them. Nothing helped, my skin hurt to the touch, and I would fully fall apart around dinner time. Needless to say, my margarita consumption was pretty weak; I stuck to water and tea with honey. Whatever attempts I had doing any kind of work on books evaporated, and despite my best efforts, I felt too crappy to get much done. Still, being sick in paradise beats being sick in your own apartment which is currently a construction zone.

Speaking of which, the marble is in! I’ll write more about it at length in a different post – but it’s beginning to look like a real kitchen. Hoping to get tile and grout this weekend and maybe some time next week, we’ll have a backsplash, eh? Small steps, people, small steps.

And with that, I’ll leave you with today’s links. Not too many this time, but some are a little long – and definitely worth your time. I hope you have a great weekend ahead. We have plans to spend some time at Home Depot and the rest of the time, I’ll be in my tiny office working on manuscripts – good times!

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, January 10, 2014

friday link love

Oh, Central Park, you are so pretty at dusk. #latergram

Happy Friday, friends. For most of you reading this, it’s a little more pleasant outside compared to what we dealt with a few days ago with the polar vortex. For those of you still confused on what polar vortex is, Andrew spoke to David Green on NPR’s Morning Edition mid-week, and provided rather this very helpful explanation.

Construction has started on the kitchen. Well, first it was demolition, and it was so loud that at some point during the day, I had to gather my things and escape to Andrew’s office where, luckily that day, there was an extra chair for me. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the workers failed to show up. There were calls; there were promises; there were explanations – none of which brought me any closer to a completed kitchen. Yesterday, contractors were there and made some progress. They plan on finishing stage 1 by end of day today, and by that I mean, all the cabinets should be assembled and up. Sometime this afternoon, the marble people are showing up to get a precise measurement, and then we wait for the stone fabrication, installation, and only then can contractors finish their job: install doors, do the backsplash, and so on.

A quick housekeeping item: there’ll be no Friday links next week, because Andrew and I will be curling our toes in the sand. We used a bunch of points and miles and we’re fleeing the coup for a week! I’ll be back the following week with more renovation posts. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and week ahead!

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, January 3, 2014

friday link love

Normally, the view outside my tiny home office ain't much, so this is quite an improvement. #hercules #snow #newhome

Happy Friday, friends. And for the folks affected by the snow, happy snow day! Not too many links this week – slow’ish news week because of the holiday and I’ve been a little distracted by all the logistical kitchen / apartment stuff. The littlest things take the longest time. On Monday, demolition of our old kitchen starts, also we’re getting a used dishwasher delivered. Once it’s in our apartment, I’ll tell you the story of how we acquired a fancy dishwasher. After I hit publish this post, I have to call the marble people and talk money. I think the marble countertops post will be really useful to you guys, I’m gathering careful notes, so when the marble work is done (a few weeks from now), I’ll write a comprehensive post, but there are ways to save money even on something as pricey as marble. I’ll also talk about why we chose marble and not wood, Caesarstone, granite, etc.

It’s funny how now is really not the right time, financially, for us to be doing the kitchen, but given its very poorly functional state at the time of the move-in, we had to just jump into it. We’ve yet to hang curtains! We’ve yet to learn how to hang curtains! We have a broken couch that needs to be replaced. Eh, you get the drift. It’s an ongoing effort over here. I haven’t even mentioned work – so, so, so behind on my work on books.

Oh, and Andrew surprised me with a vacation that starts next Sunday. He used mostly our hotel/airline points so we’re not spending much money on it, but still, it’s not ideal timing to be spending any money. But yes, vacation! In Mexico! With an ocean! And a beach! And my trusty computer with work, but that’s okay. Hope you have a nice, cozy weekend ahead!

Continue reading friday link love.

Friday, December 27, 2013

friday link love

Cookbook shelf about 95% unpacked. #moving #newhome

Good morning and happy Friday, friends! We moved! We survived! We’re still unpacking (and looks like we’ll be at it for some time)! Forrest, our neurotic, can’t-leave-the-apartment, i-don’t-go-into-cat-carrier super coddled cat was transported wrapped in a blanket with the help of our friend Tina. Huge, bottomless thanks to her for helping with this part of the move. Forrest’s first day in the new apartment was spent wedged between some Ikea boxes and our fridge (currently in the living room), but he emerged the following day (much to our surprise) to explore for a little bit and then to take up residence in the lining of our couch (raccoon-style). Anyway, we are slowly settling in. Our books are largely unpacked and my cookbook shelf is almost all set up. The sad part is that I can’t cook until we’re done with kitchen renovations. I didn’t even bother unpacking our kitchen boxes, so currently, we’re eating off two plates and two bowls, with plastic spoons and knives (I have no idea where the real silverware is). Mornings are cereal or yogurt with coffee; lunches are turkey or peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches with apples, carrots, and hummus for snacks, and dinners are largely cheap’ish take-out. I miss cooking so much, it’s making me batty. Also, not knowing where all my kitchen items are is oddly disorienting – like I don’t know where true north is anymore.

I did, however, find our coffee grinder and maker, so mornings aren’t too traumatic. Until yesterday morning, I was, largely, offline, which was nice, but now I feel horribly behind on work. So hoping to make up for a lot of time lost these few days.

Yesterday, our Ikea kitchen cabinets arrived. Today, Andrew and I will take stock of what is and isn’t here. But the number of pieces matched (I think!) the manifest slip, so that’s good. I have a longer post in the making about what it is like to get Ikea cabinets delivered and how to go about checking everything. It might not be up for awhile as I may still learn a thing or two about the process, but I’m carefully taking notes and making observations for folks who might want to do this in the future. Hopefully, the lessons I will have learned will be helpful to others.

Not too many links today, given my current unpacking and work preoccupations, but some things I found interesting and wanted to share – hope you do too! I hope to post before the New Year, but in case I get caught up in work and home things, here’s wishing you all a happy and healthy 2014 ahead!

Continue reading friday link love.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

one simple change – a giveaway

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I met Winnie Abramson by chance a few years ago at a blogging conference in Atlanta. Somehow it came up in conversation that she didn’t have a room and was going to sleep on a cot in someone else’s room, and since I had two queen sized beds and was using only one, I just up and offered it to her. I didn’t know her very well, but she was friends with my friends, and I wanted a friend of my friends to be comfortable.

This decision was really how Winnie and I became friends. We spent the following morning sitting around in our pajamas, drinking tea, and talking. I think we might have even missed the morning session, which was fine by both of us. I told Winnie about trying to make a transition to food writing full time, I learned about Winnie’s parents’ restaurant, her passion in nutrition and whole foods, her family, and aspirations. The entire time I kept thinking, “This is such a healthy approach to eating and thinking about food – we need more of it.”

Continue reading one simple change – a giveaway.