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Friday, February 28, 2014

friday link love

Toast. Aka breakfast (and lunch) of champions who don't have a stove. #kitchenreno

Hi friends, happy Friday to you all. Short dispatch today and not too many links due to a busy week and a deadline I’m trying to meet this am before leaving in an hour. In case some of you are wondering, we still don’t have our stove, because Home Depot delivery service got delayed and called up at 7pm on Wednesday to let us know that the delivery wasn’t happening that evening. Our next available delivery date is Tuesday since we’re away this weekend. Anyway, it’s been an adventure. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that all will go well on Tuesday.

Tonight we’re going to a wedding of Andrew’s friends (and mine now too!) and we couldn’t be happier for them. And with that, I’m going to sign off, and wish you a fabulous weekend. See you next week!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

friday link love

Good morning.

Hello, friends, happy Friday. Dispatch here from the land of stove/oven-less with much to report, but I’ll save the drama for a post especially dedicated to our stove woes and the shockingly terrible customer service we’ve received from Samsung. It has taken me all week of pleading, calling, being put on hold, being hung up on, threatening, screaming, pleading again, and so on – but we’ve almost resolved this issue. Hint: it’s a new stove and it’s not made by Samsung. I can’t tell you how many hours went into this process, how much time has been lost forever (and work not done), and so this fine weekend that marks my 25 years living in America (whoohoo), I will be writing, writing, writing. A lot of it will be editing and tweaking. But most of it will be writing. My alternate plans were to start taping receipts to pieces of paper in preparation for tax season (gulp), but I’ll have to save this thrilling activity for another day.

I hope you have an excellent (read: fun) weekend ahead and I hope to post more next week with updates to kitchen progress, the saga of the stove, and so on. Cheers!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

friday link love

Working on a ice cream book is not the worst thing in the world.

Happy Valentine’s Day Friday, friends! We’re not big Valentine’s Day people here, and our typical way to celebrate is to exchange cards and cook a nice meal at home. We had plans, folks, oh such lofty plans. There was going to be chocolate mousse – Dorie Greenspan’s secret mousse from yesterday’s All Things Considered. But no more. We found out we have a gas leak in our new stove (bump!) and Samsung needs to come and repair it. We called National Grid, and they came and, using their tools, told us where the leak was coming from and gave us a report. Our stove is now shut off as we wait for Samsung repairfolk to come on Tuesday (because that was the earliest they could see us).

Look, I get it, these things happen. Sometimes, during transport, things get a bit unsettled and bits and bobs get loose. But what I found odd during my conversation with Samsung customer support folks was a lack of alarm. “You don’t want a gas stove because you smell gas,” a rep asked me. He didn’t speak English well, and I thought it was an odd job for a man whose job it was to hear customer concerns.

“No,” I said, “I just don’t want to smell gas. I want my stove to work as it should.”

Ugh.

Gas leaks, I know, can be fatal. Thankfully ours wasn’t, but you could definitely smell gas, and we had to shut the stove off. I worked all day in the apartment (like I always do) and was light-headed and a little out of it by the end of the night; we had to disinvite friends for dinner; we’ve groceries going to waste; we’re spending money we don’t have on takeout. This goes beyond mere inconvenience. And while I get that things happen and sometimes new appliances break, what I think makes or breaks a customer’s experience (and what with social media now) is how responsive the company customer support is. So, let’s see how Samsung responds today. Maybe they’ll get someone out to us today or maybe this weekend! I’d be happy if they exceeded my expectations.

I hope whatever you think of Valentine’s Day you have a great day and weekend. I’ve never much made a big fuss over the holiday because it just puts so much pressure on people. Single people to be coupled up, coupled up people to pony up impressive and romantic gifts, and so on and so forth. Our holiday will be spent eating takeout and probably watching reruns of West Wing. That is unless Andrew monopolizes the television and binges on House of Cards. Now, if that’s doesn’t sound dreamy, I don’t know what does.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

friday link love

Our first bouquet in the new place. Thanks, trader joes for inexpensive ranunculus. Or as andrew calls them - ridiculouses. #newhome

Good morning and happy Friday! I wanted to write about what it’s like to cook in a kitchen that’s not quite completely finished; how familiar and unfamiliar it is, and how for someone like me, any deviation from the norm is an anxiety-inducing feeling, but as I started writing, I realized it would make too long a post. So, I’m saving it for another day and keeping this here short and sweet.

Never underestimate the space-saving and organization power of a well-placed pot rack and some magnetic knife strips. I feel so much more organized even if I’m still fumbling around in the kitchen. While I’m unpacking and finding a place for everything and everything in its place (takes awhile!), I’m sticking to pantry basics and cooking in such a way that I use what I have without having anything go to waste. So far – it’s been mostly successful. But I’m still wrestling with the water dispenser on our Samsung fridge. I’m supposed to “drain” it of the air bubbles in the water line – which according to Samsung customer support – means I need to drain 2 to 5 gallons of water! Who has time to stand there and do that?! So I’ve been draining cup by cup when I’m in the kitchen, but I feel like I should be, at least, close to being done and the water dispenser is still dripping when the waterline is connected. If anyone just happens to be a refrigerator (esp Samsung) expert reading this, I’d love your opinion!

I’ll keep things brief today. I hope you all have a restful and fun weekend. We may have to go to Ikea – groan! – again. Andrew starts a new job on Monday. I’ll continue to unpack and work on the books. And I hear there are some sporting events being televised, so we might watch that. Have a great weekend, all!

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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.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

friday link love

IMG_0351

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!

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