January 2011

Yes, I’m aware that not every post title has to alliterate. I can’t help myself.

Do you guys have those really small, annoying, probably-easy-to-fix-but-I-forget-the-damn-part-every-time-I-go-to-Home-Depot problems in your house? ME TOO!!!

Probably-easy-to-fix-but-I-forget-the-damn-part-every-time-I-go-to-Home-Depot problem #1:

Obnoxious. And all because the faucet is missing an aerator, a <$5 part.

But after buying the wrong size a couple of times, we had a winner! Observe the beauty of a straight stream of water:

The installation involved unscrewing the old one and screwing on the new one. Why do I wait 1.5 years to do these things??

The next one is embarrassingly even easier.

Probably-easy-to-fix-but-I-forget-the-damn-part-every-time-I-go-to-Home-Depot problem #2:

$2.68 and 1:23 and a greasy hand later:


To me, these small victories are worth posting because… well, I don’t know why. But I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless, and I hope you’ll tell me:

What are some of the small annoying easy to fix but also easy to forget projects around your house? I can’t be alone…

I apologize for breaking my “Wedding posts only on Wednesdays” rule but I have a quick question that I need help with from the Blogosphere. Living Social is offering a vintage photo booth rental for $300 (regularly $700). I don’t even know if I can do it (if my venue has a spot for one, etc) but if I could do it, should I? Have any of you ever been to a wedding with a photo booth? Worth it? Lame? Fun? The life of the party? Even though it’s a pretty good discount, it’s still an extra $300. And if I get a good photographer, do I really need one? I only have two days to make the decision, because that’s how long the deal lasts. Help?

Monday, I’ll get back to being Hip House Girl instead of Hip Wedding Girl, I promise. Have a wonderful weekend!

I know- when do I ever post twice a day? But Stan got the hiking pictures to me, and I can’t resist. She’s so cute.

While Blanche is timid and unsure of herself indoors (proof), she is a raving lunatic outdoors. We took her hiking in the snow, and you’d have thought she’d died and gone to heaven. She’ll shove her face in a snowbank and sniff around for a while, then she’ll take off at full speed down the trail, then catch a whiff of something else buried deep in the snow, shove her face back in there, sniff around, and emerge looking like this:

She lazed around for the rest of the day after that, exhausted. She also slept most of Sunday.

I have Fridays off, because I work four ten-hour days each week. As awesome as it is, a lot of times I’m so tired from go-go-going all week that all I do until noon is sit and dink around on the internet.

Jesse loves when I do that- it gives her ample time to sit on my lap and admire me.

(I may or may not still be wearing my doggie pajamas.)

The next day, we went for a hike with Blanche, but the fancy camera is at Stan’s house so I can’t show you the awesome picture of her with snow caked on her face. I’ll make it up to you.

So here’s the wedding part: I feel like I’m missing something.

Am I supposed to be freaking out? We booked the venue and I bought a dress, and I know I’m a little behind on other things like the photographer and getting my dress altered, but I’m far from freaking out, and I’m just wondering if I’m missing something big. Maybe my wedding won’t be that awesome because I’m forgetting a bunch of stuff? I’m kinda worried.

It’s funny, too, because when I tell people when the wedding is I get one of three reactions:

  1. “WOW! How are you going to plan a wedding in only six months??” (47%)
  2. “Oh wow- why are you waiting so long? (47%)
  3. “Oh fun. A June wedding!” (6%)

Response #1 makes me feel like I should be freaking out about something. Response #2 makes me giggle a little bit, because it’s such a cultural thing (here in Utah, weddings happen ALL the time, and they often happen fast- as in, within 1-3 months). Response #3 makes me want to high-five that person and say “I know, right?”

(And in case anyone is wondering the answer to #2, it’s because Stan is in school so we don’t want to cram it in during the semester.)

So answer me this, readers: How long was your engagement? What’s a “normal” amount of time for an engagement where you live?

In high school, I had a car that was affectionately (and simultaneously distastefully) known as “The Fridge”. It was a junky white Pontiac, and the hood had a bad case of peeling paint. When I would whine about driving a junker, my dad would say, “Well why would we get you a nicer car, when you can’t even keep this one clean?” He had a good point. Just because it had peeling paint and the ceiling upholstery was falling down, didn’t mean that the back seat had to be littered with school papers and lunch bags and drink cups. Aren’t teenagers gross?

Anyway, my laundry room was resembling The Fridge. Clothes were piled on the washer, detergent had trickled down and made a gooey mess on my beautiful front loaders, and there was dust everywhere. It’s like my teenager self had decided that if I couldn’t have an awesome room, then I was going to have absolutely no pride in it. I’ll show my parents for not giving me a nicer car!

So I cleaned it up. Yes, the walls are still cracked and have some death-liquid running down them, and the uneven cement floor has peeling paint (much like The Fridge! see how good at metaphors I am?!), and the stud wall offers me a great view of the water heater, but that doesn’t mean it has to be disgusting.

Since I don’t really know how to level a cement floor, frame in walls, or sheetrock (and I don’t have a “laundry room fund” set aside at the moment), it may be a while before my laundry room looks like this:

For now, this is the best I can do:

(Trust me, you don’t want to see a “before”.)

And it beats the heck outta the laundromat.

I used an old Ikea rug to protect the tops of the machines, and wiped everything down. I displayed the kitschy laundry painting, because my dad picked it out and I can’t bear to get rid of it.

I know it’s no mega makeover, but it feels so much better! Maybe I can inspire one of you to “spring clean” a depressing area of your house. It feels gooooood!

And along those same lines, I also washed all the windows. Whew! But it’s such a wonderful, cheap way to let in more light, especially on dark winter days.

And lastly (because this post is already all over the place), I made this delicious tomato soup. It’s what you should make if you too are longing for summertime tomatoes from the garden, but it’s January.

(Adapted from this recipe)

2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 14.5-oz can vegetable broth
1 generous tsp dried basil leaves
2 tsp sugar
1 cup half-and-half
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil

Heat tomatoes, basil, and broth on the stove until boiling. Reduce heat and cover- simmer 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir until butter is melted.

Eat with a big drippy grilled cheese (PS- the secret to a perfectly melty grilled cheese sandwich is to not put the other piece of bread on until the cheese is melted- put a lid on it to speed the melting process). And if you look at the other recipe, you’ll see I’ve cut the fat quite a bit, so I think that calls for a little grilled cheese indulgence. 🙂

Happy, happy Monday.

Yes, EIGHTH. Well, not my eighth nephew, but my eighth niece/nephew. (I wish English were like Spanish and there was a collective word for nieces and nephews.) Even though I’m really bad at remembering all their birthdays, I love each and every one of my little sobrinos so much.

Anyway, on to the cuteness.

Newborn pictures crack me up because I try to imagine what they’re thinking. “Whaaaaat the efffffff just happened?? Not cool. It’s cold out here. Turn out that light. Kthx.”

“Okay, I’ll wave. Like this? Is this how I wave? A little help here?”

Joseph Michael was born yesterday morning, and my crazy awesome sister went to a birthing center. NO EPIDURAL. Um, ouch. However, this is her fourth baby and she says “going natural” is the way to go. Apparently the recovery is easier and they don’t just try to get the baby out as fast as they possibly can, and they actually explain to you WTH is going on. I’m glad the pain was worth it for her! It seems like when you already have three kids at home you can’t really afford to NOT have a good recovery.

Anyway, thanks for indulging me again with a birth announcement.

And if you’d like to see the home Joe (Joey?) came home to (including a chicken coop), you can find it here.

Happy Friday everyone!

I know- who goes out and buys a rug for their dog? Me, that’s who. I’ll tell you why in a sec.

I was actually quite enjoying my rug-less living room. It was easy to clean, and the tiny room didn’t really need to be “cozied up” by a rug.

What does Blanche have to do with this? Well, she has a problem. It’s surely in the DSM IV- is there a term for “scared of hard floors that make noise when my toenails click on them”? No? Well then she’s just special.


And somehow walking backwards makes it less scary? Weirdo. (Sorry about the annoying voice- I was trying to be extra encouraging.)

So anyway, I’d be hanging out in the living room, and I’d hear this pathetic low growl coming from the end of the hallway. She would stand there on the edge of the hard floor as if she were about to dip her toe into hot lava. She desperately wanted to hang out with me (who doesn’t?) but not bad enough to brave the terrifying clicky floors.

So I bought this jute beauty from World Market, and Blanche has been a much happier dog since.

She even hangs out in the living room now.

I’ll admit that the rug was kind of a hasty purchase, so it wasn’t my best bargain. But I really liked it. I liked it!

And Blanche no longer whines on the edge of the lava/laminate floor while I’m trying to watch Arrested Development on Netflix so it’s a win-win.

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