Showing posts from November, 2011

New York, New York

I have been visiting New York a lot lately, and even though I grew up there, the city never fails to amaze me. Even while walking down Broadway, navigating the annoyingly quintessential swarms of tourists, I recall fond memories of years past. My high school was located in downtown Manhattan, and before the high-rises took over the coveted real estate, we were spoiled with the view of the Hudson river. The school was minutes away from the Twin Towers, and we spent many afternoons in the Borders store there, taking over the floor space and browsing the book shelves for hours. I still can't believe the towers are gone. I went to college in Manhattan as well, and I got to live on campus all four years. We changed dorms every year, "upgrading" our room options with seniority. One year, my windows faced a psychiatric hospital. Another year, I lived across from a fire station. In my four years on campus, I became immune to sirens. I completely tuned them out - there was no ot

So about those Mason jars...

Remember how I said I was letting go of the Mason jar? Yeah, that didn't exactly happen. But I did let go of the idea of a vintage Mason jar, or even a pretend-vintage version. I still liked the shape of the jar, and my inner bargain hunter was not prepared to declare defeat. So I drove over to Kmart and bought myself a pack of these : Twelve 16 ounce Mason jars for under ten dollars. That's less than a dollar each! I don't think I could find a better deal even if I shopped at Good Will. Thanks to Kmart, and a little bit of compromising, I'm on my way to staying well below the venue decor budget. Score!

Bargain Hunting: Statement-Making Mirror

Did you know that bargain hunting is one of my superpowers? When it comes to decorating our place, I relentlessly search for the best deal until the cows come home. That is exactly what I did when I got it into my head that we really need a round, statement-making mirror in our living room. You see, a long time ago, I fell in love with West Elm rolling cubic shelving . I thought that the 3x2 version in dark brown would look great in our living room, while providing us with valuable storage. But I couldn't bring myself to shell out four hundred bucks for it. I scoured Craigslist like it was my job, and my efforts eventually paid off. We found the exact shelving we wanted for only seventy dollars. The cubic shelving provided great space for displaying little knick-knacks and pretty books. But our living room was beginning to look very angular. Most of the furniture in the room has right angles, and I thought that putting something round above the shelving would be a great way to so

How to be a woman - dying my hair

My favorite sane wedding blog, A Practical Wedding , recently held another one of its world-wide book club meetups, and the book we read and discussed was aptly titled " How To Be a Woman " by Caitlin Moran. The book is a humorous (but serious in its message) take on feminism and what it means to be a woman, on a practical level. For example, there is an entire chapter devoted to hair and the constant battle that women have with it. During our local APW book club meetup, we talked about how some of us (or most of us) feel that in some aspects, we fail at being women. I personally don't think it is even possible to fail at being a woman if that is what you are. It seems to me that to say that we are failing at being women, we have to define the criteria that make one a "successful" woman. Based on our discussion, it appears that inability to put together a fashionable outfit or ineptitude at applying makeup could result in being a failure of a woman. If so, I

Organized Bedroom Closet

So I got my ass into gear uncharacteristically fast and took some photos of my bedroom closet. As promised , I am sharing these photos with you, along with some bits of "wisdom" about how to keep a closet organized. Our bedroom is so tiny that to get this photo of the closet, I had to stand on the bed at the opposite wall of the room. As you can see, it is a standard issue small bedroom closet. The closet has sliding doors, which I am not particularly a fan of, but I've learned to live with them. Regular doors that swing open would not work in this tiny space. And yes, I could theoretically replace the doors with pretty curtains, but we live in a rental apartment, and I would have to keep those doors somewhere until we move out, and we have no extra storage. So, I live with the doors. When you slide the right door open, you get a peak into my obsessive-compulsive personality closet. As you can see, I tried to use the vertical space in the most efficient manner

Closet Organization Inspiration

I've been on an organizing kick lately. A couple of weekends ago, I spent an entire day reorganizing our kitchen. It's not quite done yet, and I am still tweaking it, but it's way more organized than it has been for the past year and a half. Poor D can't find anything in our kitchen anymore because I've moved everything around. Hopefully, he will get used to it soon. I promise to share photos once the organization is a bit more complete. Meanwhile, I am contemplating tackling our closets. Some of them are already in pretty good shape, but some need major help. So, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. My search for closets came up with tons of inspirational and completely unachievable scenarios. It just so happens that I don't have an entire room dedicated to storing my shoes. Also, I own more than three pairs of pants. Is this somehow unrealistic? Because you would think, judging by most of the closet pictures I found, that people either own t

Letting Go of the Mason Jar

While considering decorations for our wedding, I gravitated toward elegant, simple, and affordable. (For some reason, I've seen "elegant and simple" as common wedding descriptions, but "affordable" isn't usually mentioned in the same sentence). Since we are DIY'ing the decorations ourselves (with some help from the family, of course), I figured that "easy to make" should also be part of the requirements. And then, I read a lot of wedding blogs with gorgeous photos. And I browsed Pinterest like it was my (full-time) job. I discovered crafty brides rebelling against the Wedding Industrial Complex with their beautifully hand-crafted crocheted napkins and burlap table runners. That was when I fell in love with the mason jar. My Pinterest wedding board is dotted with images like these: Found here Found here Those vintage blue mason jars had me at hello. What could be more elegant and simple? And they couldn't be too expensive, right?

Women's Rights Under Fire

How naive was I to think that in the twenty first century, fighting for women's rights would be a thing of the past, a done deal? Very naive. I'm sure you've heard about the sexual harassment allegations raised against Herman Cain. Well, apparently, some very special people don't think sexual harassment is ever real. Check out this article that talks about the denial that is going on about sexual harassment. Basically, women are portrayed as crazy, off-the-wall bitches that have no ground to stand on when it comes to these allegations, and all they want is easy money and fame. As the author of the article sardonically retorts: "Just think of all the famous sex-discrimination memoirs you’ve read recently ." Yeah, exactly. (I realize that it's not just women that could be a target of sexual harassment, but this particular article specifically talks about women.) Well, sexual harassment is certainly an important issue, but it gets worse. The same Herma

Labcoat Fridays: Climate Change and Public Perception

"Do you believe in global warming?" This misguided, but thought-provoking question was the basis of two articles in a recent issue of Physics Today , a publication of the American Institute of Physics . One of the issues with this question is that when it comes to climate change, it's not about belief. That global warming is happening, and that humans are its primary cause, is a conclusion rooted in facts and evidence. The majority of scientists that work in the areas of climate and climate change have come to this conclusion. And when I say majority, I mean more than 95% - the topic is not up for dispute in the scientific community. Yes, there are some outliers who have different views, but that is the case in any scientific field. Regardless, indisputable data unequivocally demonstrates that global warming is real, it's happening now, and we are mostly responsible for it. The other issue with the question, of course, is that it is precisely the kind of convers

Setting Goals: Healthy Lifestyle

At the end of September, I sat down with my journal and wrote down two goals for myself. I'm not talking about New Year's resolutions type goals - that would be setting myself up for inevitable failure. I've tried those resolution types before. They always follow the same trajectory. In January, I am all excited about my newly established goals, just itching to get started. By February, I am congratulating myself on keeping up with my goals thus far, while a small but definite thought begins to gestate in my subconscious that tells me this won't last much longer. By mid-March, I am already dragging my feet, dreading the hour of the day, the day of the week that I have to spend on pursuing this never-ending goal. By April, I pretty much quit and by May, even the guilt quietly subsides. Basically, I feel like this . (I know that link has been going around the internet forever now, but it's totally relevant and you should check it out if you haven't seen it yet and