Friday, March 28, 2014

friday link love

Was getting distracted at home - in my spring cleaning phase - so camping out here until I make a good dent. #bookwork

Hi friends, happy Friday! I’m currently awaiting comments from the chef on the manuscript, and after that, I hope, the delivery to the editor will be a speedy one. I took a little break on Wednesday to have lunch with one of my middle school English teachers. We’ve stayed in touch over the years, and it was really lovely catching up over some pizza. I even roped him into sharing a kale salad with me. We had lots to talk about. Immensely relevant things such as, which classical music composer, who died rather young, was the biggest loss for humanity in terms of further work we could’ve expected? My answer was Mozart; his – Schubert. And boy oh boy did we get to geek out over singular pieces of music, like Beethoven’s 7th symphony (my favorite!), his dislike of Lizst, and my indifference towards Haydn.

But most of this week has been somewhat of a blur. When I get to the final stages of a book, there’s a lot of nitpicking and fixing things here and there. Things like comma placements and rearranging various groupings of words. Things like order of the table-of-contents matching those of chapters. Are there any TKs left over in the manuscript that need to be filled. All fairly arbitrary stuff, but stuff that I feel makes the work, on the whole, better.

I was also sad to learn that one of my all time favorite sites, Television Without Pity, is getting shut down. NBC, which owns the site, pulled the plug (also pulled the plug on Daily Candy as well) citing funding issues of sorts. As long as I remember living in NYC, TWoP was a faithful companion to my limited television watching. I loved reading their recaplets in the morning following an episode, and then longer, 15-page snarky analyses a few days later. I had always admired the writers for TWoP – they had the kind of ease and eloquence I always wanted to have. And now – the site will be no more in about a week. Sad. I hope that given the site’s fervent following that someone scoops it up and rescues it from demise.

And on that note, I’m going to wish you all a happy weekend. I was going to do absolutely nothing – I feel like after this work-filled winter, I totally earned a weekend of sloth-like behavior. But, at the last minute, something very time sensitive fell into my lap, and well – there go my Saturday and Sunday. But tonight, tonight I get lucky – and see a dear friend who I so wish lived next door. Or across the street. And Sunday, we get to host some friends for brunch. All good things.

Continue reading friday link love.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

kitchen reno – overhead and undercabinet lighting

Morning light. Also - slept in until 7:30!!

Before I do the “big reveal” with the kitchen – not that you will be very surprised – I wanted to talk about lighting. I’ve been questioning doing the “final” summary post, but I suppose it’s always good review everything, list total costs, and do a retrospective: lessons learned, mistakes made, etc. I think that for those of you following along and reading this, the last post might be the best one to read first. Get the full scope, the big picture, and then start drilling down into specifics.

Before I get into the lightings specifics, I think it would be helpful if I gave you a bit of a background because it will help you understand why I made the kinds of decisions I made in regards to lighting.

When I was dreaming of my future kitchen, I had a huge deal-breaker stipulation. Since my previous kitchen didn’t have any windows, the next kitchen had to have beautiful, natural light. I talked a big talk.

When we started looking at apartments, I took a first stab at it without Andrew. I had a more flexible schedule back then and it was harder for him to be away from the office during the weekdays. Given how crazy open houses tend to be in New York, I decided that my “first look” was going to be pre-open house.

Continue reading kitchen reno – overhead and undercabinet lighting.

Friday, March 21, 2014

friday link love

Help there, little fig sapling. Welcome home!

Happy friday, folks! One week to go – I’m in the home stretch. Yesterday was a marathon fifteen-hour work day. Today should be no different, and this weekend too. But, at least, I am making progress and it feels good to somehow take disparate recipes and chapters, and behold – a book starts to take shape.

That photo above is our new fig tree. Or rather, technically, it’s a sapling that we need to keep in water for a month before transferring it to a giant pot. I’m told to expect fruit next year. Next year! This might the the most exciting March event! Also – spring! Happy spring, everyone! It’s been a long, difficult winter, and I’m glad we’re onto longer and warmer days.

Last weekend, I took a few hours off from writing, and Andrew and I went to get a rug for our living room. For some reason, I only want to surround myself with century-old rugs. The modern stuff doesn’t feel right in this home and I like blending together the old and the new. Our modern couch against the threadbare rug feels right to me. That I want to buy more rugs from Sharktooth Club is an understatement – that small store carries so many beautiful things and Kellen Tucker is just the nicest. We also fell in love with this 1940s wool blanket and it had to come home with us.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend – I’m hunkering down, but I might go for a quick run tomorrow – it’s supposed to be beautiful out. Until next week, and then I have so much more to tell you: kitchen things, food things, other kinds of things!

Speak soon! xo, olga

Continue reading friday link love.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

friday link love

At it again.

Hello, friends. Can you imagine my waking up this morning only to realize it’s Friday? I blinked and Monday became Friday – how? It’s the end of the week, said Andrew to me, rolling over in semi-awake state, The weekend begins tonight.

I’m jealous of the term weekend because until late-March-early-April, there are no weekdays or weekends – there are just days, and I have to use them to finish a manuscript. No pressure or anything. The sheer feeling of anxiety along (never mind all those other feelings I have to sift through) is enough to render me a little paralyzed. And yet, one word at a time, I keep reminding myself.

Yesterday, despite being plunged into Arctic chill, was great. You know why? Because I got to test more ice cream recipes with one of the amazing Van Leeuwen founders. Our testing days are long and intense, but so much fun, and really, who can complain having to taste different kinds of ice cream throughout the day. By about noon, we tasted a few batches we had churned a few days prior, and ice cream before noon, I must say, is pretty great. I was running to the subway at nine something en route to Greenpoint, to test, and saw some men pile into a corner bar that’s right by the subway stop. And it wasn’t even ten o’clock! Is drinking before noon way worse than eating ice cream before noon? Or am I just trying to make myself feel better? In any case, ice cream testing – hugely fun and I highly recommend it. Also recommended? Stretchy pants.

I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead. Outside of my book work (and finishing testing for it), I have high hopes to buy a rug for our living room floor. We were gifted some Amex cards around our wedding time, and we hung on to them to get something for the home. There’s a fantastic little textile shop in Boerum Hill (soon to be in Williamsburg, I believe), Sharktooth Club, and I’m a touch obsessed with their offerings. Beautiful, older, threadbare rugs that have so many stories to tell, so much history behind those threads. I certainly hope that we can grab one of them and continue their story at our home.

Have a great weekend!
xo, olga

Continue reading friday link love.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

the trend is upward; the days are longer

Making some notes before some more custard deep diving.

Hello there, greetings from the land of panic-stricken nail-biters. From the island of post-its and stacks of paper everywhere. As of this moment, I have a little over two weeks to finish a manuscript for a book. And let’s just say I’m not where I want to be. Not even close. And instead of working on the book, I’m writing a post here. How’s that for procrastination? In a little while, I’m going to go to the kitchen and make some pie dough. On my marble counter. I don’t think a marble counter is christened until you make some pie dough on it, doesn’t that sound right?

I have slowly, cautiously, redipped my toes into cooking again. That stove/gas-leak/no-stove sitch managed to make me a little skittish. I can’t just up and start making souffles and think it’s smooth sailing from here on out. What if we get another lemon? What if?

Continue reading the trend is upward; the days are longer.

Friday, March 7, 2014

friday link love

In a search for a beautiful planter, happened upon this at my neighborhood favorite shop, Collyer's Mansion. Looking forward to replanting our little plant in there. Also, ready for spring! Also, I ordered a fig tree!

Hi, friends, it’s Friday again, which means Friday links post. Without further ado, I’d like to make an announcement: We have a 98% finished kitchen with a working (knock on wood!) stove! The inside of the oven is a beautiful indigo, and while looks aren’t important, it is rather pretty when I open that oven door. So far, it’s been roasting like a champ, and while I have yet to get an oven thermometer to see if it runs hot or cold, I’m pretty pleased. The one funny feature of the stove is that it plays a MIDI song when it hits a desired temperature. Yes, MIDI. I haven’t heard MIDI since the late 80s when they were super popular in greeting cards and, also, mugs! But LG is a Korean brand, and from what I’m told MIDI there is hotter than ever. Come to think of it our rice maker also sings a song too, but it’s made in Japan. So maybe, it’s just not the US countries? I find it pretty amusing – it’s as if my oven is happy!

I have but a few short weeks to whip the Marc Murphy manuscript into shape. For me, these few weeks are always the hardest. Not because I wait til last minute – I’m a good planner with documents, spreadsheets, what have you – but because something always happens in these last weeks when separate chapters, seemingly existing on their own, come together to form a comprehensive work. When a somewhat shaped lump of clay emerges as its own thing, a voice – that is always somewhat anxiety-inducing. But as with all seemingly insurmountable work, it’s just one foot in front of the other, or in this case one word at a time.

This weekend I’m going to hang out with my Van Leeuwen team and we’re going to play around with custards and ice creams. We’ve got two intense days planned and hope to get a lot done. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead. Don’t forget, we lose an hour on Sunday – so set your clocks one hour ahead Saturday night! While I’m sad to lose an hour, if it means that Spring gets here sooner, I’m all for it. Right?

Continue reading friday link love.