Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 26: We Interrupt This Program To Bring You Photos Of Food

I swear, this was not supposed to be a food blog.
But here I am posting pictures of the food I made today. I made up a batch of cinnamon apple muffins on a whim. By the time I got them in the oven it was almost lunch time. I was not looking forward to another bowl of soup or grilled cheese sandwich (or cleaning the grill for that matter), so I searched for some different lunch ideas online and quesadillas popped up. So I made a veggie quesadilla.It's really not that burnt. I should have put the other side up on the plate, but I wasn't planning to take a picture at that time. It just looked so good I had to before I took a bite.

Diced tomatoes are a requirement for veggie quesadillas. I went from being the girl who had never bought a tomato in her life to the girl who always keeps a tomato or two on hand in the fridge, ready for such circumstances as these.

I did spend the morning cleaning the bathroom, but if you look closely at the muffin photo you can see how horribly disgusting and food-encrusted my stovetop is. It's embarrassing. This kind of thing never used to embarrass me. I guess that means I've improved. Baby steps.

Now back to my quesadilla.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 25: I Want To Fly

Lately I've been trying to figure out just what is it that I'm supposed to be doing with my life. I don't know how we humans can spend most of our lives cleaning, vaccuuming, washing dishes and then getting things dirty and doing it all over again. Surely there is more to life than cleaning all the time. So I spend too much time on the internet trying to figure out what else I'm supposed to be doing. And when the weather gets warm enough, I grab a friend and go out hiking and look for stumps shaped like lions.
That's pretty much all my life consists of right now. Minus the cleaning, which I don't do hardly at all. I can't stay on top of things. I know that this is not right, but I can't quite get things together to change it for good.

When you were a kid, did you ever wish that you could fly? I can't say that I did. At least I don't think I did. But these past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind and I caught myself looking at birds and envying them.
Like this guy here. As soon as he gets tired of sitting in this tree, he can hop to another branch (like he did when I opened the patio door to take this picture), or he can fly away and find a new tree. Maybe something with a nice view of a lake, or on top of a mountain. And he won't have to clean up after himself, unless he leaves a present on my car on his way out, in which case I will hunt him down and shoot him out of whatever tree he lands in next (just kidding, I love birds...and besides, it might be his nest in this tree).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 13: A Trip Back In Time

I feel I must apologize to my loyal readers for my continued lack of updates. So, here is a bonus post that I should have put up last Friday.

Thursday I did not end up going to work, because the museum closed down for the rest of the day. Hubby got home early. Friday morning was just as bad and neither of us had to work. When afternoon rolled around we were so sick of being inside and the sun was out and melting the snow off the roads so rapidly that they were steaming (wish I had gotten a pic of that) so we went shopping. The goal was to locate some cheap poster frames for artwork such as this:
It is now framed and hanging on one side of the formerly bare hallway.

While out shopping we got a call from a friend with some unclaimed Avs tickets. So, we made a bit of a U-turn and picked up a pair of row 11 VIP tix and a parking pass and booked it downtown. Didn't have time to stop for dinner so we got some seven dollar nachos at the game. At first I was mad about the price but once we got our food and found our seats and started chowing down, we both decided that they really were seven dollar nachos. Much better than Taco Bell. Saw a friend from our old workplace while there but didn't have time to chat. We had a game to watch!Here we are at the game waiting for something exciting to happen. Sorry for the horribly washed out photo; I wasn't quite done adjusted settings when the guy behind us offered to take our pic. This picture cost him nearly half a bag of popcorn which he spilled while getting the camera from Merlin. Guy behind us, if you happen to read this: thank you for your sacrifice!

The game was terrible. I won't even tell you the score. Let's just say that the zambonis were much more exciting. There was the Coors zamboni, not pictured here, and the Frontier Airlines zamboni. There were mini blimps shaped like Chipotle burritos, the Denver Post (RIP Rocky Mountain News), and a Coors Light can (booooring - give us a New Belgium blimp!). The Chipotle burrito blimp dropped some kind of coupon in our section. A hockey puck beaned a kid in the face in our section too (brave little guy - he was A-ok as far as I could tell). So, the evening wasn't entirely devoid of excitement.

Since then I've been working, reading, and doing absolutely nothing with the new apartment other than trying to stay warm. We got another mini-blizzard last night but not much stuck. Everyone's windshields were iced over this morning.

Since this post is out of order and since none of the above had hardly anything to do with our new place, I offer one more photo:

I made almond cheesecake brownies today. Hungry yet?

Day 19: Officially Moved In

You're not really moved-in until you have one of these babies:
This is a commercial-size SpeedQueen. A friend hooked us up with a friend who hooked us up with this washer-dryer set. The load of clothes currently in this machine is nearly four times the size of the loads that fit in the stackable washer that came with our old apartment. And as you can probably tell there is room for more. I decided to set aside a few clothes for the next load so this load won't take quite so long to dry (and so the really bright new colors won't bleed since I am a bad housewife and I put whites and darks together - the whites are all on the bottom so you can't see them here).

I don't think I will have any major problems drying them anyway, since the dryer is quite cavernous as well:

But what should I do with the cozy little space between them? I suppose the mop bucket and perhaps the broom will be rehomed here.
I suppose that's a minor question in comparison to my other burning question of the day. How the heck am I supposed to organize my pantry?
I'm ashamed to post these. I really am. I'm also ashamed that I have two bulk-sized packages of paper towels on the top shelf. One day I went to get out a new roll of toilet paper from a brand new package (at the old apartment) and discovered after opening the package that it was not toilet paper but paper towels. I thought I was out of paper towels so I had just purchased another 6-roll pack. And I thought I had a brand new package of toilet paper so I purchased none. So now I have two HUGE packages of paper towels and once again I'm down to just one roll of toilet paper. Has anything like that ever happened to you? Leave it in the comments.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 12: Snow Day

I hate being cold. I don't get things done when I'm cold. And I will probably have to drive to work during the peak of this late March blizzard.

I was planning on taking lots of photos of all the spring blooms this weekend. I suppose that won't be happening now.

Day 11: Decorating

I couldn't take it any longer. Plain white walls everywhere! Time to fix this.

I spent yesterday putting up pictures and arranging vases throughout the house.

Decorated walls:

Plain walls:

I still have a lot of work to do, but I only have a limited amount of framed artwork left. We did some frame shopping last night, but walked away with nothing. Michaels always has affordable frames, but I think I'll wait for a sale or coupon to make them more affordable. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

Any decorating ideas/advice for my remaining plain walls? Leave 'em in the comments.

I looked through my digital photos a bit to see if any were frame-worthy but I just don't know what fits with our decor. Looking at the bathroom photos reminds me - we do need some sort of towel bar in the bathroom; brushed nickel towel rings (to match the rest of our brushed nickel hardware) are a whopping $13 from Walmart.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 10: Drawer Dilemma - The Exciting Conclusion?

After a long hiatus due to busy schedules and severe lack of sleep, some of which I attribute to the dog-coyote hybrids that our next door neighbors apparently own, it's time for an update on my silverware situation.

Congratulations. The majority of you (57%) picked Drawer #3. Here is a view of that drawer from a slightly different perspective:

Thanks to everyone who put in their vote for me to keep my silverware in the bathroom. Apparently the distance from the kitchen and the reduced sanitation levels do not faze you.

Some of the other suggestions I received were a magnetic knife strip (not sure how silverware is supposed to stick to that), a caddy, and to do away with silverware entirely (thanks Greg - you can come make our peanut butter sandwiches). No one voted for drawers 1 or 2, which are the only drawers that are actually in the kitchen.

I guess it's back to square one. I like this square and I'm thinking of getting it: Shesham Flatware Caddy from Crate & Barrel. Although it is a bit pricey for a silverware caddy, it does have space for all my salad forks and spoons whose names I haven't yet figured out. Let me know what you think in the comments - should I go with this, or keep trying?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 5: Finance Day

Yesterday was a lazy day; in fact it was so lazy that I didn't even post anything. I was so tired of organizing and moving stuff around that I decided I was going to take it easy. I spent most of the day researching finances, mostly savings accounts but also Roth IRAs and 401(K)s. I did leave the house once to mail a book and see if I could solve any more storage problems with a trip to Walmart, but once again I walked out empty-handed.

I did make myself some interesting lunch:
This is just a scrambled egg thing with leftover turkey seasoned for tacos, red and green bell peppers, quesadilla cheese, and some salsa. Sorry, it looks kind of gross. It really needed some onion but I was too lazy to chop it up. I also resolved to buy jalapenos or some other sort of hot chile pepper every time I go to the produce market (once a week, more or less).

Today is another semi-lazy day, although I rounded up laundry to do tonight and I'm making a salad for a BBQ we're going to tomorrow night. I already made the honey mustard dressing and I just finished washing a head of lettuce. Now I need to go round up today's lunch so I can eat and head off to work.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 4: More On Cat Storage

Since so many of you enjoyed my usage of cats as a unit of measurement, I thought I would continue on the topic of cat storage today. I spend a good deal of time reading about how to declutter, organize, and optimize small spaces. had a great post recently about what to do with tiny kitchens (without violating the terms of your lease). I was intrigued by a suggestion to remove cabinet doors. I filed this interesting cabinet hack in my little brain attic (a la Sherlock Holmes) for later.

After agonizing about what the heck to do with the stupid litter box for a few days, I came up with this:

Hubby actually put the plan in motion after I told him about the crazy idea I had. As you can see, he left the hardware attached to the cabinet. I will need to go back at some point with a screwdriver, detach it, and reattach it to the door for proper storage.

He put the box in facing the front, but it was a little high for her to reach from the floor and I felt she would track litter out of the box too easy that way, so I turned it sideways. It's a tight squeeze but she can make it in ok and it seems much more private for her. If she complains too much I'll turn it back the other way, but so far so good.

Plans are in the works for a curtain and a litter-catching mat, but there are many, many more parts of our apartment to organize first.

I had hoped to solve a few organization issues with a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond earlier today but walked out with nothing. I did find some beautiful shelf liner and Pyrex prep bowls that I may have to go back for at some point, but it's all about priorities for now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 3: Breaking in the Kitchen

Although the silverware drawer situation has still not been sorted out as of tonight (there's still time to vote!), we went on a pretty massive grocery shopping expedition last night and I now have food in the house that can be cooked. Perfect timing, since I cleaned out the leftovers from Mom's moving day lunch for our dinner last night. We ate out on the patio since the weather was so beautiful. Last night felt like late spring.

Today felt like summer. It smelled like summer. Hot tar has a very distinct smell to it.

Turkey tacos were tonight's dinner. The least I could do after roping hubby into taking me grocery shopping late at night was to make his favorite meal. I was feeling pretty good about having washed the dishes before dinner so I made the tacos extra special by sauteeing the bell peppers and onion. Once we finished dinner I washed the dinner dishes, too.

I never wash dishes twice in one night.

But, whenever I have a clean kitchen I have to find a way to mess it up. I made cookies.

I am addicted to Picasa's collage feature, it appears. These are Pioneer Woman's famous Oatmeal Crispies, quite possibly the best oatmeal cookie on earth. I've made them several times already, which defies reason. It defies reason because (a.) I hate oatmeal cookies and (b.) I hate using the same recipe over and over. Booooring. But Oatmeal Crispies are far from boring.

I should note that mine are actually cherry walnut oatmeal crispies. Usually I stick dried cranberries in these babies and leave out the pecans, but I wanted to follow the recipe as close as possible this time. I was doing great until I got to the walnuts. I meant to measure 1/2 cup. Instead I sort of dumped in the crumbs from my walnut bag, stopping when I had what I deemed a close approximation to 1/2 cup. Then I really screwed things up and dumped what may have or may have not been 1/2 cup of cherry chips.

I am eating one right now. It's awesome. But I do miss my dried cranberries.

Before I ate it, I washed my cookie dishes. For the record, tonight I washed dishes more times tonight than I usually do in a week.