Sunday, August 28, 2011

This and that

 Another incredibly hot weekend in SA... good for laying low.  We went into a lovely furniture/home decor store yesterday and I lamented to the salesperson about THIS ROOM!  in our house that just does not work for any of its duties: living room; reading area; piano room. 

View from dining room; note blocked-off doorway

View from front door

Between dining room and front door
It has the front door, an archway, two side doors, a window and a fireplace.  Logistically very challenging to envision as a cohesive room, serving our needs (tv-sitting-piano) in an aesthetically pleasing manner.  It turns out the salesperson, Melissa, makes house calls!  For a fee they will come over, take measurements, see what you have to work with and draw up ideas for the room.  (The fee goes to purchases from the store, if purchases are made).  She came today and had such great ideas for unifying this room, using mostly furniture we have already.  It turns out she and I have the similar taste so her suggestions were enthusiastically received.  (She mentioned Jonathan Adler, and what was sitting on the table, picked up from the library yesterday?)
Love him.
So we were simpatico re: colors, taste and goals for a rental house (no highly specific or expensive pieces that cannot be parlayed successfully into the next house).

Very excited about this project-- this room just elicits groans from me.  One half is empty, one half is packed with stuff.  No color, a paucity of mementos, no personal taste, just cluttery.  But now, a plan!

What else is happening.... Luke is recording songs this afternoon, to be available online and in CD format.  (My contribution was bringing hot tea for his throat on my way back from the gym this morning).  He has several shows lined up in September and is going back to Chicago this week to reunite with the Flavor Savers for a music video filming and a show.  He is pretty thrilled about escaping the heat for a while, and seeing his friends and family; it is quite an adjustment to move and get married (moreover: be married) without the social network of friends one is accustomed to.

I am developing a steadfast brand loyalty to America's Test Kitchen ( I am prone to this sort of commitment, having only purchased Le Mystere bras for the last six years.  Everything else is just too loosey-goosey).  The recipes always turn out perfectly!  I recently checked out

Amazon link

from the library for a trial run and have made stuffed shells with tomato-vodka sauce; Asian spiced ribs and noodles; chili mac and tonight, enchiladas.  Luke raved about the chili mac and Asian noodles ("it's good cold too")

Checks <--->  balances
These I just bought outright.  Anyway, I have been dabbling with recipes from different sources and those from ATK always turn out perfectly - and often provide the food science explanation for different steps, which I find edifying and intellectually satisfying.

I leave you with a couple of products I am pretty thrilled about these days:  Kiss My Face SPF 30 sunscreen for its almost complete odorlessness, usually the chemical odor of sunscreen is a necessary evil, but no more; and H-E-B Mootopia milk.  Somehow it's lactose free, high protein (12 grams/cup) and reduced in sugar and carbohydrates and yet is delicious and creamy.  And I don't even like milk that much.  According to some websites I just glanced at Mootopia is a designer milk... I don't know what that means.  I do know that I can drink and actually enjoy 1 cup of chocolate Mootopia with 1 scoop of Central Market whey protein for 30 grams of protein I would otherwise have to choke down.  Breakfast plans are set!

So crafty


  1. Chad from our local Ethan Allen revolutionized our living room and helped us finish our den - when they do home visits it is the BEST!! Have fun!

  2. good luck with the've done a really nice job though with the layout....can't wait to see what the designer comes up with. :) fun to see the magazine holders we gave you in action! :)

  3. I am so pleased that Melissa had ideas for the room-- I thought it was *hopeless*. But I should know that there is very little that a pencil to paper and a few thousand dollars can't fix! :)