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Archive for August, 2012

Second Move-in-iversary

It’s unbelievable how quickly this came up, but yesterday marked two years of us living in this house. I feel like we should celebrate the special occasion somehow, but until we figure that out, here’s a picture of our new outdoor string lights:

You guys don’t even know. I’ve wanted string lights forEVER. Or at least two years.

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STUFF. Blech. Stuff stresses me out. In my perfect world, our house would look like this:

Monochromatic and uncluttered to the extreme. Unfortunately, it’s not really a realistic ideal since Andrew and I sometimes like to do things like watch TV or read or surf the Internet. And we have a dog that requires stuff. And life in general just takes stuff.

I’m not exactly Type A, so organization is a constant struggle. Luckily, I was recently in the land of stuff: my parents’ house, where stuff goes to die. Normally, all that stuff just makes me anxious, but a stack of six baskets – abandoned by my sister – struck me as a possible solution for an empty… hole?… in our TV stand.

I put a few books and a decorative bowl in the bottom left quadrant, but the fourth and final one sat empty for the past two months. I wanted something white or light-colored to put in there, to lessen the black-hole qualities of the unit. And then those white baskets winked at me, and here we are today:

Light and bright? Yes. Clutter control? Oh heck yes. Widget’s toys have a new home.

And of course, that basket had friends.

These couldn’t be a better fit; I think this is what they call “fate.” There’s good stuff in these two baskets. Junk food for Widget:

Junk food for my brain:

How about those Twilight kids, eh? So scandalous.

So that’s three of the six. The other three moved into the multi-purpose closet in our living room. It’s our coat closet/pantry/catch-all storage space.

Those doors need a makeover, and that trim needs painting. At least the inside has begun it’s transformation from a jumbled mess to a semi-sensical…mess.

Reusable shopping bags shoved in there, then that pink bag is full of cleaning rags and there’s some other cleaning supplies shoved back there. Next shelf up is for games and my yoga mat and light weights. Here’s where one of the baskets came in handy to wrangle cards and Catch Phrase.

The other shelves are taken by our toaster oven and random foods, spices and oils.

Then I used the remaining two baskets to corral our hats and gloves: one’s for Andrew, and one’s for me. At some point, I’ll get around to making little labels or something for them so it’s easy to grab the right one.

While we’re talking about contained storage, check out this little box I picked up from Marshall’s for about three bucks

It’s kind of Hermes-esque, right? Ha! I wish. I use it to store my hair ties.

There you have it; that’s how we’re trying to deal with all the stuff life necessitates. As mentioned, organization is ever a work-in-progress for me, so any tips are more than welcome! Send ’em my way. Oh, and Stephanie – if you’re reading this, can I have these baskets? Thanks! Love you!

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Summer’s Last Gasp

Back-to-school happens around here next week, then Labor Day, and then summer is unofficially over. Boo-hoo. I love fall, but where did the time go? Since time slips by so quickly, I’m already looking forward to next spring. I told Andrew I want to have a vegetable garden in 2013, and he’s on board, so we’ve got time to plan ahead.

In the meantime, here’s a little update on the plants around here.

First of all, remember how I didn’t know this plant’s name?

It’s “Mandevilla.”

Check out my cheery little tomato:

I’ve had two dreams about eating this tomato. Isn’t that weird? I keep trying to pick the fruit, but it’s still holding onto its stem pretty firmly.

Here’s my basil plant:

He’ll be yummy with that one tomato when the time is right.

The wave petunias kept out of rabbit-harm’s way:

This one’s going crazy:

And this morning, I woke up to our first gladiola blooms! Amidst this thicket of weeds and yard debris, we’ve got a pink bloom and a yellow bloom.

So those are our plants. I’m glad we managed not to kill everything this year, haha. It makes me excited for homegrown vegetables next year.

Speaking of produce, Andrew thinks I’ve gone hippie because I signed us up for this local service called Friends & Farms. I have looked into joining a farm co-op or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) a few times over the past year; these are organizations where you pay upfront for a share of a farm’s crop, and you pick up your produce each week. If it’s a bumper-crop year, you get a lot of food in your basket each week, but you share the risk with the farm, so if it’s a bad year, you don’t get as much.

All of the local CSAs I’ve found have been pretty pricey, and I’m not sure Andrew and I would be able to eat tons of corns or beans or lettuce by ourselves each week of the season. There are some “premium” CSAs, which might offer meats, eggs, cheese, bread, flowers, honey, or herbs in addition to produce each week, but these are REALLY expensive.

Enter Friends & Farms, which just started service in June. They are similar to a CSA, but they have a full roster of farm providers, so they offer a greater variety of products in each week’s basket, including bread, cheese, protein, eggs, and milk. It’s $51 per week, which I think is completely reasonable for such a variety of food staples, produce, and protein that are sustainably grown. F&F also lets you semi-customize your basket; for instance, Andrew and I opted out of receiving any seafood because we hardly ever prepare seafood at home, and we chose 2% milk over whole or skim.

Our F&F basket won’t replace all of our weekly grocery shopping, but I’m looking forward to having some built-in variety (I don’t know about everyone else, but we end up buying the same things week after week). I’ll let you guys know how it goes. I pick up our first basket on Friday!

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