Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Digs Wish List

I'm moving in one week, which naturally means I've been window shopping up a storm. New digs = new stuff needed to nicely fill out the space, plus between living with Andy and living with a roommate before that, there's some essential stuff that I've never had to buy before now. A lot of these babies will probably be coming home with me soon!

1. Food Processor - I'm pretty sure this has appeared on some wish list on this blog before, and here it is again. I had a budget food processor for a while, but after the motor burning out on me twice, I gave up on it and decided I needed to spend some real bucks the next go around.

2. Spice rack- Every renter who cooks knows that with each new place comes a new spice solution. This is supposed to hold around 18 bottles, and I'm thinking I'll probably get two of them and that should cover most of my regular use spices. There's some wall space right next to my oven, so I'm thinking this will be a good fit!

3. Dish Drainer- Is is weird that I'm kind of excited to get a pretty new dish drainer? When it's just you it takes too long to fill up the dishwasher, so I see myself handwashing a lot, and this drainer looks like it would look nice on the counter as well as being functional.

4. Kitchen cart- There's a space between where the kitchen counter ends and the stove starts that I need a nice little cart for, and I'm leaning toward something like this. I would love to thrift something more affordable, but if I have to splurge, I think this is versatile enough that it will serve me well in future homes as well.

5. Knife Set- This one is really well reviewed on Amazon, and seems like a good, mid-priced set. I don't want to throw away money on knives that can't be sharpened (serrated) or that will get rusty too quickly, but I also don't have the big bucks for a professional set. This one should serve me nicely!

6. Anti-Fatigue Mat - Once, years ago, Andy and I were in a local kitchen store and we went up to the cash register and they had an anti-fatigue mat there and we both instantly noticed a difference in how we felt as soon as we stepped onto it. I remember my back stopped hurting and my body just felt less heavy. That one is like one hundred and fifty bucks, which I would gladly pump into my local economy if I could, but this just isn't a "necessity" that I can spend that kind of money on. I found some cheaper versions online, so I'm hoping one of those will give a similar effect. I'd love one for in front of my kitchen sink and one for in front of my bathroom vanity!

7. Streaming Entertainment Device - It's finally time to stop watching TV on my laptop. I'm trying to decide between the Roku, the new Amazon Fire device, or a Blueray with streaming capabilities. Tell me what you have and whether you'd recommend it!

8. Air Mattress - Because I'm moving into a one bedroom and I don't feel like my couch is good for sleeping on. Every apartment needs an air mattress for guests, right?

9. Tool Kit- Because I have very few tools. I don't even own a hammer!

10. Bathroom storage- My bathroom is nicely sized, but doesn't have a ton of built-in storage. Right now I'm thinking something like this (and it's for a great price at Bed, Bath, and Beyond right now!), though I may end up thrifting a wood piece instead. Just want some good shelving for toiletries and towels.

These are the top ten needs I'm looking to address right now, but I'm also in the market for low-light plants, new artwork, and a couple of other little things. What's on your household wishlist?

Yours Truly, Jen

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, fair readers! I have spent the week working way too much, so I'm appreciating my day off. Plus, I found out this morning that I won this awesome giveaway, so the day is off to a great start!

Since my house is full of boxes and some of my best Blacksburg friends are out of town this week, I'm keeping this Fourth of July low-key this year. There will be mimosas and ham steaks and home fries and fried eggs and toast for brunch and so many grilled hot dogs and potato chips and beers for dinner. Hopefully there will be fireworks tonight, and between brunch and dinner I might finally get to finish watching this season of Orange is the New Black.

Independence is always something to be celebrated. Let me know how you plan to spend the day!

Yours Truly, Jen

P.S. I'll be back next week with some more Friday Favorites. Blogger decided not to save most of mine this week, so we'll take a break from the regular schedule for the holiday.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Favorites (6)

Packing is in full swing, and I'm hosting my very first ever yard sale tomorrow! I have a couple of friends who are getting in on the action, so between us it should be a pretty sweet (and fun) yard sale. I'll post deets later on! For now, here are some of my favorite links this week.

This video reminding women that we shouldn't apologize when there's nothing to apologize for.

How to pronounce designer names. Because, you know, just because something is out of your price range doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to pronounce it correctly. Or maybe that makes it even more important?

35 practical steps men can take to support feminism. I had to share this immediately after reading on my personal Facebook page because I feel like I know so many people who really need to read this, and I have to say, reading this also made me so much more comfortable with my own ideas about what I can/should expect and deserve out of a healthy relationship. I feel like before I thought things like sharing household chores and parenting equally were fair and right, but we probably weren't there yet and I couldn't really expect it to happen, whereas now I definitely feel like I don't want to be in a relationship with anyone who isn't willing to at least put thoughtful action towards this. Dating had caused me to really start thinking about what I want and need in a relationship and a partner, and this list helped me add a few things for sure. In some places I think the author goes a little overboard, and I definitely don't support the idea that men should be put in second place after women, but I think people need to be more thoughtful about evening out time and fiscal responsibilities.

This article debunking stereotypes about fat people is everything.

I am so glad more stuff is coming out about the influence the things you say as a parent can have on your kid, like in this video. Being a parent is hard, and anything and everything you say has the potential to shape your child's future. Being thoughtful about how the things you say makes your kid see him or herself is so important. The same video could (and should) be made for boys being pushed towards the sciences and away from things like theatre and art.

The Daily Show on sexual assault. Jessica Williams knows what's up.

Yours Truly, Jen

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Favorites (5)

I took a little break there, even from the Friday Favorites posts, so some of these I've been saving for a couple of weeks. Still worth sharing, I think! Check out some of my favorite links from around the web below!
Finnish designers have created a stunning range of swimsuits specifically for women who have lost a breast through breast cancer.

5 Truths About Body Love. Yes!

This fat girl dancing. I don't care what you think when you hear that phrase, just click on it.

Swimsuits designed specifically for breast cancer survivors. Most brilliant thing ever.

This Then & Now video. With blogging and Youtube and the internet, people often only see people at their best, most confident, most beautiful (and that translates to homes, jobs, etc.) and they don't get a good sense of what your life is really like, and they compare themselves to where they are to where you are. That's so tough, so I think this conversation is really important to have about the falseness of being on camera (not that you're being fake, but that it is a purposeful, edited entity) and developing as a person.

Alexa Chung doing her own eyeliner. I'm just going to watch this over and over again until I can get mine to look just like hers. Which of course it impossible, because her eyes are shaped much differently than mine. But a girl can dream.

This makeup look. So perfect for summer.

This site for affordable, print at home art. Plus they have a new free piece each week!

What are your favorite things from the web this week?

Yours Truly, Jen

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What I'm Reading (2)

So of course I'm done with grad school and the first two books I pick up during the summer are totally things I would have read while I was in grad school. And by "pick up" I mean purchased on Audible, and by "read" I mean listen to. But whatever. I have real plans to get a public library card (gasp! So retro!) and actually browse through the library and get shushed for giggling or what have you and come home with a stack of books that I can't possibly read in the alotted time and get late fees and continually keep re-checking out the same books all summer. And by that I mean I have real plans to actually bring home a book and lay my eyeballs on it and actually read it. Not physically lay my eyeballs on the book like physically, like taking them out of my head and just laying there like some corny horror film, but...we understand each other, right?

True story: when you go to grad school for an MFA in English, you read a whole heck of a lot. Student papers and the work of your peers and your advisors and feedback on your work and the feedback you've written for others and it's a lot of writing and reading and reading for pleasure becomes not so much a thing. Because these eyeballs can only take so much strain in one day. So all of the pleasure reading. Recommendations please!

B.J. Novak has a book, and it's surprisingly delightful. Joanna had lovely things to say about it, so I was like okay, I'ma give this a go, but I honestly didn't have high expectations for it. The audiobook is great because the author actually narrates most of the book, and he has great guest readers like Katy Perry and Mindy Kaling. There are really short microfictions, there are longer stories; all of the stories are a little funny, smart, somewhat ridiculous, and at the end of each story, I had to think, did I like that? What conclusions can I come to? Is this a story? And I loved that it was fun and also made me think. When you pick up this book, you can expect to read about a rematch race between the tortoise and the hare, what kind of music people listen to in heaven, how to get over an ex, the greatest advice in the world, the best way to utilize missed connections, and much more. Also, check out the book trailer.

I'm about halfway through this book by Sloane Crosley and so far I definitely feel like I liked I Was Told There'd Be Cake better. Did anyone else feel this way? I like this book, but I was definitely more taken with the other one. This is an interesting problem/question for personal essay writers: do you inevitably use up your best stories in your first book? But shouldn't you also be better at writing a book of essays, since you've already done it before? Are subsequent books less interesting because the style of writing is no longer new and fresh and exciting and we start to recognize all of the ticks in your writing and how weird your metaphors are? When I finish this book, I'll check back in. But this is how I'm feeling now.

What's on your summer reading list? And/or what have you read lately that's super good? I have a pretty long reading list, but I'm actively searching for recommendations to add to it. Tell me everything I'm missing!

Yours Truly, Jen