Monthly Archives: August 2011

I guess the ‘burbs have their perks too

I have quite a deep dislike of the suburbs – the strip malls and sub-divisions and cul-de-sacs.  I have many reasons for this dislike, which could make for a nice post some other day.  So for now, let it suffice to say that I very begrudgingly moved to our apartment now, that it is absolutely as far from the city as I will go, and I would like to move closer to the city as soon as possible and preferably before my head explodes.

However, this weekend the suburbs provided me with three full evenings of music, friends, food, and drinks – helped, of course by the gorgeous weather – as a whole community (as well as interlopers like ourselves, it wasn’t really our ‘burb) came together for food and music.  Pat Benatar, REO Speedwagon, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited.  FREE.


Concert Chairs

We missed the memo about bringing your lawn chair

We spent almost the whole time at all three concerts standing in a packed space with no view of the stage.  It was great anyway.  We made it our goal to see each of the performers on stage at least once, which we managed to do through some sneaky crowd navigating.  Although I do recall spending a few awkward moments firmly pinned between my father-in-law and a very drunk REO Speedwagon fan trying to get through the crowd.

REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon

Creedence Clearwater Revisited

Creedence Clearwater Revisited

Broken Coffee Carafe

not a good start to the morning

All the coffee in Columbia won’t make me a morning person.

~Author Unknown

by way of: the Quote Garden

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Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Which is completely not true – I really like the rain.  But I just watched About a Boy, so how could I not use that line?

Mondays, however, are another story.

When I started planning what I  was going to write about, I thought Monday would be a fantastic day for inspiration, gorgeous photos, and some happy thoughts for the week.  Turns out I would much rather show you the hilarious and amusing things I found on the internet over the weekend.  So we’ll try that for a while and see how it goes!

Today’s amazingness comes from Erin, my one and only commenter so far, who I’m sure will appear in many future posts.

GO, I promise it’s good!

Damn, These Kids Are Cool | Weddingbee.

Friday Finds: Arzberg Teapot

This, friends, is a beautiful teapot.  I have been searching high and low for a teapot (not a tea kettle, which you put water in to boil on the stove), but I keep coming back to this one.  It is bright, clean, classic, and would look perfect on my dining room table surrounded by scones, berries and friends.  And oh, the proportions!  the curve of the spout!  and the handle!  and that lovely little cap on top.  Gorgeous.

It is, of course, inspired by the Bauhaus movement of the early 1900’s, an architectural and design movement that was headed by greats such as Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius.  And I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT until after I decided it was beautiful.

And it’s from Crate & Barrel.  I love Crate & Barrel.


SO, I kind of forgot I was supposed to write something today (I know, a whole 8 days into this adventure and I’ve already tried to mess it up).  Instead, I began a link list of the blogs that I read on a daily basis.  They are overwhelmingly written by women – smart, funny women who say incredibly intelligent things about the same topics I worry about every day.  They make me feel normal (something that doesn’t happen all that often) and like I’m not the only one struggling with issues it seems like no one else talks about.

And they are funny.  Very funny.  Funny in the belly laugh way, funny in the poignant way, funny in the ironic way.  And it always seems to be what I need for that day.  So go, read others, who write way better than I do and have much better stories.  And feel better about your self while you’re at it.


(ED: Jo could not have picked a better time to post this. This is what I’m talking about.)

Updates 🙂


Wine + Tomatoes + Mozzarella + Balsamic = Love

Wine + Tomatoes + Mozzarella + Balsamic = Love

Nate: What kind of wine are you?

I’m a pinot noir – kind of new, kind of trendy, and a little sweet.

You’re more like a chardonnay – classy, classic

Me: and a little bitter?

Nate: (smirks) yeah, and a little bitter.

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Because Coffee and I don’t always get along…

Except for Tuesday mornings, I rarely get coffee.  If I’m having a slow morning, a stressful day at work, or anticipating staying up late, I will get coffee.  If I’m planning ahead, I will walk to the coffee shop down the street.  They have good coffee and are always cheerful.  But more often than not, I will end up stopping at the gas station on the corner, slopping mediocre coffee into a styrofoam cup, topping it off with way too many little creamer containers.

This morning was a coffee morning.  A late-for-work-gas-station-coffee morning.  Yes, it was going that well, and I wasn’t anticipating that it would get any better.

Which it didn’t.

About 30 min. into my mediocre way-to-work coffee, I proceeded as I do far too often, and this happened:

This is not unusual.  In fact, Joe, who sits in the cube next to me, is so accustomed to me spilling my coffee, that he just got up, grabbed a roll of paper towels, and walked them over to me.  Uggh.  Except this time, when he saw my disaster, he promptly turned around, went to the storage room, and got me ANOTHER roll of paper towels.

Which I didn’t need, I might add, but it wasn’t far fetched.  I was soaked from my belly button to my knees.  My chair was soaked, the floor was soaked, my desk was covered, and I felt and looked like I had peed my pants.

As I was sharing my story at lunch, one of the guys said, “Saretta, it seems that you have a problem with liquids.”

Ain’t that the truth.

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Bike Rides and Rain Drops

It’s Sunday, our first anniversary.  We’re pretty excited that we actually got up and went to church, since we spent Saturday night out with our friends, individually.  We follow church with lunch at our favorite coffee shop, come home, and decide what to do for the rest of the day.

We settle on taking a bike ride to a nearby park, bringing some wine and cheese, and opening our anniversary cards.

It’s cloudy and looks like rain, but the weather’s supposed to be clear after 4 o’clock, so we decide to take a nap, then get up at 4 and start our adventure.  I set my alarm and we collapse into bed.  And we sleep.  For 3 hours.  I set my alarm for 4 AM instead of 4 PM.

So we wake up, drag our bikes downstairs (quite an ordeal as we keep them in the guest bedroom of our 3rd floor apartment – behind a pile of stuff) and order Chinese take-out.

The trip to the park is a little longer than expected, and down a lot of really fun hills, but we finally make it, spread out our blanket, and start our picnic.

Nate - Anniversary Picnic

And what a romantic picnic it is. We eat Chinese food, chat about our first year together, building our baby family.  We reminisce about our wedding, make plans for the next year, laugh when it starts to sprinkle, open our cards, talk about how hard the ride back will be.


It rained on our wedding day.  Poured, really, so much so that we have very few pictures of us together after the wedding, and the bubble-blowing occurred in the church atrium.  We talk about this too.

And just as Nate says, “Well, at least it’s not raining that hard,” the floodgates open and we are immediately drenched.

These are the times when you know you’ve picked the right partner.  We laugh. We laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.  Because at this point what else can you do?  Our takeout containers fill with water and we put the cards in our bike bags as quickly as possible.  We watch the people driving by, laughing at us as we stand under a tree, pretending it will shield us from the rain.

Waiting for the rain to stop

Eventually the rain stops.  We watch the steam rise off the pavement and the sun peep out from behind the clouds.  It’s getting cooler, and we ponder how we will get home.

Sun peeping through the clouds

We call for back-up.  And wait.

Nate Waiting

Backup Arrives

Backup Arrives!

By the time we get home, our fingers are wrinkled, all our gear is soaked, and we’re cold.  But we open our cards and drink our wine, and laugh about how now we know that we can weather the storms together.

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Friday Finds

One of the things I simultaneously love and loathe about blogs is the exciting products they introduce you too!  This is kind of ironic coming after yesterday’s post about minimizing stuff, but I hope the products I post will inspire you to either use less or to think more critically about the things you do buy.  That being said, I can’t guarantee that I’m not going to post something just because its PRETTY.  I am a designer after all.

Today I will introduce you to my newest friend:

the Practecol Power Strip with Foot Switch! Brilliant.

I’ve been looking at power strips that regulate the phantom load that our electronics pull regardless of whether they are turned on or not. When I saw this one at on of my (very frequent) trips to Target, I had to try it out.

I’ve only been using it for a few days, and certainly not long enough to tell you if it actually saves any energy.  I sit down at my desk, step on the foot peddle to turn the power on, and do my work.  When I’m done, I just step on the peddle before I get up and cut off the electricity to everything on my desk.  I have a laptop, so it’s easy for me to do this, but I think it would be very convenient for anyone wanting to regulate phantom load.

I haven’t looked into Practecol’s business practices too much, although I do hope to offer complete perspectives on products in the future.  I was impressed with their packaging, however, which provided quite a bit of information about the product and the company.  Their website doesn’t provide a whole lot of company information, but it is easy to navigate and presents many energy-saving devices that I could see being very handy to regulate and monitor the amount of energy use in your home!

De-Brand My Life

The other day, I was taking a shower (I feel that a lot of posts will start like this, as the shower is a great place to think!) and I started counting.  Not randomly, although that does happen occasionally.  I was counting the brands on the products I could see while in perhaps the smallest part of our apartment.


Ten brands in the whopping 2% of our not-exactly-spacious apartment!  Yes, the bathroom is a bit of a brand-heavy environment, but I think that’s a little bit of brand-overload.

So I’m starting a project.  One of those projects that Nate probably wouldn’t see eye to eye with me on so I’m keeping it low-key and seeing how it goes.

I want to de-brand or at least minimize the branding and, coincidently, I think, the STUFF that fills our home.  I’m a bit of a pack rat, so this might be a really good exercise for me.  We’ll see.

To kick things off, I did this:

de-branded shampoo and conditioner

And it makes me very happy every time I see it.