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Monday, June 25, 2012

SUMMER LOVIN'

I am no great gardener to begin with, and have not done a stellar job with the hydrangeas I planted all over the yard when we moved in. But despite my neglect, they have managed to survive, and even produce some beautiful blooms:


Pure luck. Happy summer :)

XOXOXO
ABC
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Monday, June 18, 2012

LITTLE BLACK BOX

We have trouble, in this house, keeping track of the car keys. We always have, but it's recently gotten a little more serious since I* lost my keychain that had keys to three of the cars on it (yes, we have four cars; no, I am not entirely sure how this happened). As a result, we only have one key each for the two cars that really matter, the ones we use the most. So when one of them goes missing, it's a bit of a problem.

I think a contributing factor to this whole thing is that we've never really had a place to put your keys when you walk in the door. Coincidentally, while I am still in love with my gracious entryway, I also sort of felt like something was missing from the tabletop. Which is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night. Though as I suffer from crazy insomnia, it really doesn't take much.

Well, friends, I have killed two birds with one stone. Or, more accurately, with one black lacquer box from the The Container Store:


It doesn't look like much on its own, but check out the big picture (pun totally intended. Puns are awesome):


It's not a big box, but it's perfect for holding the car keys:


And because it has a top, you don't have to LOOK at the car keys:


So not only will this cut way down on the amount of time that I spend frantically searching the entire house for the car keys every morning, but I also no longer feel as though something is missing from the tabletop:


Yay! Two problems solved, and all for the bargain price of $12.99. Ted will be so proud.

XOXOXO
ABC

*Just for the record, "I" did not lose my keys. Someone who shall remain nameless (Sissy) borrowed them, and due to an unfortunate series of events, they went missing. Just so we're clear. I fuck up enough on my own, I'm not taking the blame for losing shit that I didn't lose.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IF I WEREN'T AS LAZY AS I ACTUALLY AM...

There are a few things that really, really bother me about my house. I mean, there are about a million thing that bother me, but most of them can only be fixed with the application of liberal sums of money, and considering I just had every last credit card removed from my wallet after Ted got the bills today, those changes are going to have to wait.

But there are several small jobs that I could do myself with just a few dollars (or even - gasp! - for free) and some actual physical labor. For example:

1. I hate (and I do mean hate) the color of the walls in William's room. I called an audible and changed the color at the last minute and have regretted it ever since I saw the first brush stroke applied. It's still a green, but instead of the interesting, slightly unusual green with some edge that I was planning to go with all along:

Benjamin Moore Georgian Green
which looks kind of muddy here but I promise is not in real life, I choked and went with a paler green that is probably perfectly nice in plenty of rooms all across the world, but which I absolutely cannot stand covering the walls of William's bedroom:

Benjamin Moore Kittery Green
It's so babyish and pastel-y and just...Ugh. Barf. And I have lived with it for coming up on three years now because I am too lazy and unmotivated to take one day out of my life and repaint the goddamn room. It would take one can of paint and a Saturday, and I can't seem to get off my fat ass to do it.

2. My office does not have a large filing system. In fact, it has just one file cabinet with two drawers that I purchased at Pottery Barn about a million years ago when I was a carefree, single lass whose biggest concern was getting to work with two of the same shoes on (I am not kidding, I actually showed up at the office one day with two completely different black boots on. Good times). Here it is, clearly having weathered the years a bit better than I:


Back then, a single filing cabinet was more than sufficient (what the fuck did I have to file, anyway? My take-out dinner receipts?), and the fact of the matter is it should still be more than sufficient. But I have gotten lazy about going through shit, and throwing away paper that has no business being in my house, let alone FILED, like it's all important or something. Sooooo, this has happened:


What's that? Oh, that, dear readers, is the stacks of shit that are currently gracing the chest of drawers in my dining room. THAT is the stuff that should be in the file cabinet in the office, because if there is one thing that drives me crazier than I already am, it's stacks of shit lying around my house. I can't take it. I think it's a holdover from growing up in a house with random stacks of shit EVERYWHERE, but I can't take it (my mother thinks I'm a neat freak with OCD. Which I am not). Want a better look? of course you do:


Just looking at these photos has got me reaching for the Xanax:


I mean, how long would it really take? A couple of hours? An afternoon? I could probably take care of it one evening when I got home from work instead of sitting around on Pinterest. But pinning photos of what you want your house to look like takes a lot less energy than doing any work to get your house to look like the photos you're pinning. You know what I mean? I know you do.

3. Speaking of Pinterest, here's a photo that you see quite often if you spend any time there at all:


Linen closet perfection, right? This is what I dream about at night, if I'm lucky. I mean, it doesn't look so hard. You fold the sheet set and put it into one of the pillowcases that goes with it. It's not rocket science. Yet (and I can't believe I am actually showing you) this is what MY linen closet looks like:


Which, although I guess things are folded...sort of...let's not kid ourselves, is pretty sad. And trust me, you don't want to get up in that business looking for a complete set of matching sheets. You'll end up with three different flat sheets, pillowcases that go with none of them, and a fitted crib sheet. I mean, those tan things aren't even bed-related. They're curtains, for fuck's sake! And the sari next to them? I don't know. Again, this would take, what? An hour, maybe, to fix? But somehow I never have the time.

So there you have my shame, the dirty secrets of my house that keep me awake at night but clearly don't bother me quite enough to actually DO anything about. Although I feel like this post could be the start of something new. I've motivated to write about it, after all. Who knows what could be next? Besides, you know how I feel about a good Before and After, and all three of these would be stellar in that regard. Well, maybe not the filing so much, but whatever. The other two would be awesome.

Wish me luck.

XOXOXO
ABC




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Friday, June 8, 2012

MY DAY JOB + FACEBOOK = GOOD ADVICE

I love Facebook. No, I mean I really love it. I spend A LOT of time there. I am that person who will go through all 536 photos in all of your albums, including the one from that trip you took to Sweden to see the grandparents.

But I love Facebook for non-stalkerish reasons, too. It allows me to stay in touch with my step-brother in a way I could't otherwise, with a window into his daily life and the ability to watch his kid grow up. It gives me the chance to be in touch with people that I miss, but live far away. It also lets me stay connected with people that I like, fine, but don't need to see for drinks every week.

I love Facebook so much I even like Timeline. I know.

Clearly I'm all in favor of Facebook. But you have to do it right. If you just leave all your settings alone, people like me, with whom you are perhaps not even friends, can sit down with a drink and peruse YOUR photos and posts and stuff.

So watch this video, and then DO what it says. Keep your shit private and enjoy the awesomeness that is Facebook in peace, knowing that creepy pervs aren't ogling that photo of you in a bikini that your "friend" put on your wall after your trip to Vegas :)





XOXOXO
ABC
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Monday, June 4, 2012

COME INTO MY BEDROOM. AGAIN.

When Ted and I moved in together I didn't ask for much in the way of new furniture, but I did insist that we get a new bed. Not a new frame, but a new mattress and box spring. The one he had was from college. And I went to college with Ted. So I was well aware that I was not the only lady friend of his to have spent time on said mattress (I'm trying to put this as politely as possible. I mean, my mother reads this). Not that my own past is pure as the driven snow, but I did think it might be nice to get a new mattress/box spring set and start fresh, so to speak.

So off we went, to Macy's, or Bloomingdales, or some department store, to lie down on what seemed like a million mattresses and try to choose one that we wouldn't hate in ten years. And I guess we succeeded? Sort of? I mean, we don't exactly HATE our bed, but it's not the haven of comfort and sweet dreams for which one might hope. I think the main mistake we made was opting for a pillow-top mattress.

You see, Ted is a man of substance. I mean that both figuratively and literally. He is a gentleman and a scholar, has a strong moral compass, well-considered opinions, and a forceful, if very friendly, personality. But he is also a big guy. Not fat, exactly, but big. Stocky. Husky. A manly man with the muscular forearms of a Disney prince, and legs that put Russian weight lifters to shame. It all comes together in a very attractive package (if I do say so myself), 6 feet and 235 pounds of pure sexiness, but what I'm getting at is that his side of the bed has its work cut out for it.

So, over time, his side has formed sort of a shallow dip, if you will. We spin the mattress every now and then so that there is an equal dip on each side (I'm 5'4" and weigh about a buck twenty soaking wet), but because it's a pillow-top, we can't flip the mofo. So after almost 10 years... Well, take a look for yourself:

Sad Mattress
See what I mean? It's pretty obvious. There's like two hollows where Ted and I lie, and a ridge in the middle! Aside from the fact that it looks ridiculous, I don't want a ridge between me and my Smoochie Bear in our marital bed! But since buying a new mattress (why the fuck are mattresses so goddamn expensive anyway???) is not in our near future, I had to come up with another solution.

Tangent (sort of): something else that has always bothered me is that the box spring on our bed doesn't have a cover. I know, who cares? Guess what. I DO. A LOT. I don't spend hundreds of dollars on sheets and shams, bother to have them monogrammed, and get super sweaty making the bed just the way I like it, all so that in the end the naked box spring is sitting there on display. But the only box-spring covers I had ever seen were from places like Pottery Barn and cost upwards of $100. And that's just in-fucking-sane.

Enter Amazon. In short order, I found exactly what I needed to fix all my bed-related issues. Well, almost all of them. The rest, I hear, can be solved by reading Fifty Shades of Grey (also available at Amazon, BTW). Here is what I purchased for the box spring:

White Box-Spring Cover, $40

It's OK. I was too lazy to wash it before I put it on (big surprise) and it's a little loose - I have a feeling it would have shrunk a little had I washed it. But it looks a million times better than the naked box spring. And for the mattress, I found this:
Memory-Foam Mattress Topper, $80
It's a two-inch think memory-foam mattress topper! I exercised what I consider to be remarkable restraint, and did not buy the more expensive three-inch thick one (mostly because I was a little worried about our sheets fitting over it, truth be told). But I was convinced that this could solve the Great Divide going on in our current bed, and eliminate the need to spend a fortune on a whole new mattress.

And it did! Mostly! Here are the results (forgive the less-than-stellar camera work; I am still learning how to work this bad boy):

Bed From My Side
Bed From Ted's Side
It's not perfect, but it's MUCH better. Right?:


Now for some more photos that don't really have anything to do with the new mattress topper, but they look pretty and highlight my monogrammed sheets, so here you go:



And while we're here, let's take a look at the bedside table and prints that hang above the lamps, shall we?:




In all seriousness, I am fully in love. If it's possible to be in love with a memory-foam mattress topper. It is like sleeping on a cloud. A cloud knit from expensive cashmere by your grandma who loved you best of all the grandchildren. This mattress topper has changed my life.

As for Ted, he's away at a cancer conference in Chicago and won't be back until Wednesday, so we'll have to wait and see if his life is also changed. I have high hopes, though. High hopes indeed. Also, he's supposed to pick me up a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey at the airport so who knows what sexy times we'll be getting up to on our new mattress topper!

I leave you with this:


I may never get out of bed again.

XOXOXO
ABC
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

TATTOOS: THE LATEST ADDITION

I got my first tattoo at the end of my senior year year of college. In fact, my boyfriend at the time and I got matching tattoos (the Chinese symbol for "peace." Although for all the Chinese I know, it could be the symbol for "silly white girl"). It's on my left hipbone:


Although I have never regretted mine (I mean, peace? Who's not into peace? Assholes, that's who), I often wonder if the boyfriend got off as easily (his was much larger and in a more obvious place). I hope he doesn't regret it. And for all you crazy kids out there reading this (Shut up. You don't know my demographic. I'm down with the young peeps of today, yo!), don't go out and get a matching tattoo with your boyfriend. It rarely works out as well as it has for me.

As soon as I got that first one, I knew I would get more. There is something addictive about tattoos. I mean, I'm not going to end up with a sleeve, or a Mike Tyson special, but I definitely get the appeal.

Years later, I was out one night with friends and we all ended up at a tattoo place on the Lower East Side (as one does), everyone watching while I had an ankh (an Egyptian hieroglyphic that means life and love) put on my ankle:

When I was maybe twelve, my father came back from Cairo with a necklace for me, an ankh on a chain. I loved it, and wore it every day for years until the chain snapped and I lost the ankh. When I found myself in a tattoo parlor at 2 AM, I was 25 and my father had recently died. I figured that this was one way to get a replacement ankh I couldn't lose.

Ignore the Imprints of My Jeans on My Leg From Sitting Indian-Style for 4 Hours Straight
It was a long time before I went any further, tattoo-wise, although I thought about it often. By the time I was ready, we had moved to the country. But luckily, I came across a tattoo place one town over in Dobbs Ferry (I know! WTF?) ) and went with T-Dawg to check it out:


It might not look like much from the outside, but it turns out that a tattoo parlor is a super fun place to hang out, especially when the guy who does the tattoos looks like this:

Matt, the Dreamy, Talented (and Taken), 22-Year-Old  Tattoo Artist at Tattoo Me
So we ended up making several visits to Tattoo Me before I decided on my next installment of body art.  I went with my zodiac sign in a circle on the inside of my left wrist:


I loooove both my birthday (December 15th) and my sign (Sagittarius) and figured I'll be a Sagittarius forever. I mean, it's not like my birthday's going to change, right? So I'm safe. WRONG! Literally the week after I get the fucking tattoo, the powers that be decide to REDO the astrological calendar and ADD a sign. I shit you not. As a result, not only am I technically no longer a Sagittarius, I'm now some phony-baloney made-up sign (Ophiuchus? Seriously? Fuck that noise). So now I have the wrong sign tattooed on my fucking wrist! My response has been to ignore the whole change and pretend it never happened. Which seems to be what everyone else is pretty much doing, so at least that's working out for me.

But I never planned on this small circle being the only tattoo on this wrist - I pictured a few circles, touching, with different symbols inside them. But tattoos are not free, and what with our new budgetary strictures I had to save up. For some reason, Ted doesn't see tattoos as falling into the same category as, say groceries. Go figure. And Matt was unwilling to accept sexual favors in return for his work. Again, go figure. Also, I had to find something I liked enough to put on myself permanently. 

I really wanted something that meant "joy." I feel like joy is something that we could all use a little more of, right? But you'd be surprised how few symbols there are for joy. And I didn't want another Asian character, figuring I had that covered already. But then I found something perfect, just perfect - a Sanskrit symbol that stands for "the joy within you.":


It's purple in a black circle, my first foray into color, and I love it. And I love that it stand not just for joy, but the joy that we all have inside of us, that is so easy to forget about.

But I wasn't finished. I knew that I needed a third one to balance out the whole design. So when Ted and I changed our Memorial Day plans, deciding to leave for the shore later to avoid traffic, back I went to Matt and Tattoo Me. 

Except I forgot to mention any of this to Ted. So at about 5:30 my cell phone rings and Ted's like "Where are you? Still at the office?" and I'm like "Oh no no, we got out early, so I went and got drunk with Theresa! And now I'm at the tattoo place with Chris getting a new tattoo!" Ted was like, "Um, OK! You having fun? Great! See you when you get home; I love you!"

Yes, I realize how lucky I am to have found quite possibly the only person on the planet who could be married to me and think that HE's the one that got lucky. 

As for the new tattoo I chose a Viking rune that means strength. Green in another black circle:


And for now, my right wrist is finished. Well, "finished" in the same way that my office (or any other room in my house) is "finished." Which is to say, who knows what changes I'll be making? Stick around and see :)

XOXOXO
ABC
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