Omigoodness, Free Books!

Over my last vacation, we organized all of our books on our bookshelves (I know, very exciting). We scanned them into Delicious Library (I LOVE, LOVE this program), arranged them alphabetically by author, returned those books that weren’t ours, etc. After doing all that, I’ve come to realize that I have a lot of books! That’s quite of bit of money tied up in four bookshelves in our extra bedroom. So, I’ve decided to put a stop to my addiction. No more purchasing of books. If I really want to own a book, I’ll just put it on my wish list and cross my fingers that someone will gift me with it. If I’m dying to read a book, I will utilize this place called the St. Louis County Library. Apparently, they loan you books for free, that’s right, free. I can’t believe it! And what’s even better is that you can request books to be sent to a specific library for easy pick-up. Amazing!

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Supper Club: January 28, 2009

This week’s Supper Club was different but in a good way. Since Kate had the main dish this week, she decided it was time to try a new restaurant. The restaurant of choice: The Wedge, down on the Southside.

Appetizer: Onion Rings with Cajun Aioli. Crunchy, tasty onion rings. The aioli was a bit too spicy for me but Bob thoroughly enjoyed them.

Entrees: Stinky Pizza with Proscuitto, Stinky Pizza with Clams, Deluxe Pizza and the Hot Hot Pizza. If you’re an adventurous pizza tryer and you’re willing to drive down there, you need to come down to this place. It’s a dive, hipster bar where you can get cans of PBR for $1.75. It seems like a place where the same people come to hang out. I’m sure you can get a general idea of what’s on each pizza from the name so I won’t bore you with descriptions. All I will say is that all the pizzas were delicious. The gorgonzola overwhelmed the other cheeses, but I did have slight pockets of goat cheese in each bite so it was good. I love the stinky cheeses!

Dessert: Coldstone Creamery. It’s Coldstone, there is nothing but good stuff there.

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“It’s All Too Much!”

When the New Year came around, I thought, like millions of people, it was the perfect time to start fresh, begin some life changes, purge, blah, blah, blah. I decided that I would start with my life, more accurately, my home. When I looked around my 1084 square foot home (with no basement), I realized I needed to do something about the chaos if I was going to stay there for a couple more years. So I took a step toward decluttering my home by reading Peter Walsh’s book, “It’s All Too Much” for guidance.

After reading this book, I realized something about myself: I’m not that bad! I’m sure he told stories of his most extreme cases to emphasize his point, but all it did was make me feel better about how I’m doing. But there were some interesting pieces of advice/tips that he had that I’m going to share so we can all live 2009 clutter-free or just more organized.

  • If you haven’t used something in 12 months, get rid of it.
  • If it does not belong to you, it is time to return the item(s) to their rightful owners. You are not their free storage space.
  • Reverse the hangers in your closet. When you wear a piece of clothing, flip that hanger forward. After 6 months, you can easily see what you haven’t worn and you should really think about getting rid them.
  • Get rid of “wish” clothes (clothes that you would like to fit into when you lose weight). When you get down to that size, then you can celebrate by buying new clothes.
  • Group similar items together, whether it’s clothing, DVDs, CDs, etc. It’ll be easier to see what you have or don’t have.
  • Get rid of junk mail as soon as you walk into the house with it.
  • Purge your cupboards and fridge every 6 months to get rid of old/expired food.
  • For each thing that you bring in, one thing goes out.

It pretty much comes down to the fact that you have to put his ideas into practice, which will be hard. He really emphasizes that we, as a population, consume too much and things that we buy/bring into our homes soon run our lives. So what I’m going to take from this book is to buy less, purge more and to organize. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The Heat Is On, Again.

Okay, so it was always on but not consistently. As you may remember, we bought a new heating/cooling unit last year. Well, this winter, we’ve been noticing something strange: our heater wouldn’t keep the temperature constant and would shut off before it reached the appropriate number. Well, after reading through the manual, it said that our unit had an automatic shut-off so that it would prevent the coils from overheating. Okay, I guess that was a good enough explanation until I woke up one morning and it was 56 degrees in the house.

Well, my co-worker’s husband heard about my ordeal and ordered me to call our heating guy because that was not right. So, the guy came out on Saturday and diagnosed the problem: the ductwork installed by morons. Apparently, our cold-air returns weren’t working and not enough air is being returned to the heating unit so it’s overheating, hence, the automatic shut-off. But it was an easy solution and it was fixed this afternoon so now maybe, just maybe, I won’t have any more heating problems.

Stupid homeownership.

Supper Club: January 21, 2009

Appetizer: Potato Skinnys. I really don’t know why these are considered healthier for you, maybe the less-fat cheese? Maybe no frying? Well, they turned out well, but definitely not as good as Friday’s.

Entree: Jasmine Rice-Stuffed Peppers. This was a delicious stuffed pepper recipe, I didn’t really miss the cheesiness that other stuffed pepper recipes included. And Bob would like to say that it tasted just as good the next day for lunch.

Side Dish: Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad. This was a light vinaigrette that I had to ask if there was any dressing on it at all. Make sure you get sweet pears, it really pairs well with the blue cheese in the salad.

Dessert: Red Wine Pear Crisp with Spiced Streusel . You can’t tell from the photo, but the dessert came out more purplish in color. We had it over ice cream which, I think, mellowed the wine flavors. It was a nice dish but like we always say with dessert crisps, DOUBLE THE CRISP.

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