Jan 30, 2007

merriam-webster word of the day:

katzenjammer \KAT-zun-jam-er\ noun
*1 : hangover 2 : distress 3 : a discordant clamor
Example sentence: The morning after the wedding, Pamela woke up with a blinding katzenjammer.

i am in love with this word. i will be using it every chance i get from here on out. you've been warned.

i've been away, mostly because i had a terribly debilitating cold that really, really kicked my ass. i was in bed (on the couch) for three and a half days, and i'm still a little stuffy and weak. i think i read 7 cookbooks in between sleeping on the couch, and came up with some great recipes that i only had the energy to make two of on sunday when i was feeling a little bit better. i will post those soon.

speaking of which, i'm thinking of throwing in the towel to the uneducated chef, and just using this forum for my general bullcrap with some recipes and reviews and food stuff thrown in. i can't keep up with two blogs. i am so not cut out for web 2.0.

i am missing girltime and am getting a drink with a friend tonight (i sure hope i don't have a ripping katzenjammer tomorrow!) and maybe a girlie movie night next week. another friend of mine is pregnant (wtf is going on with all of these pregnant people right now?) and i need to hang out with some friends who are not reproducing for a while and drink wine and celebrate our empty wombs and ability to wake up with killer katzenjammers without the guilt of poisoning anyone but ourselves. woo!

Jan 19, 2007

random fridayness:

richard sweeney is incredible and amazing. and kind of cute.

in 24 hours i am FINALLY going to hot dougs. i'm already drooling in anticipation of the duck fat fries.

in two months, i am FINALLY going to schwa. finally. oh my god two months is so far away!

i just learned that there is a le creuset outlet in aurora. anyone want to take a road trip (after my credit card cycle starts over)?

i'm just glad it's friday and tomorrow i can sleep in.

Jan 17, 2007

so, in a little less than 3 months hubb and i will have been married for 4 years. for our 5-er we are planning a trip to europe (and an addition to my ring finger, hopefully), but for this year we're not quite sure what we'd like to do. at one year we were very very poor, but hubb still surprised me with dinner and a night at the sofitel. for year number two we were also very very poor and hubb was oh-so-inconveniently sent to italy for a business trip, on a plane that was scheduled to depart on our anniversary. so i sucked it up and popped on over to hawaii to visit my best friend for a week. we spent our wedding anniversary exactly half the earth away from each other. last year we made up for it by taking an amazing trip up the west coast, from los angeles to san francisco and had a blast. it will be hard to live up to.

this year there are four options:
1. portland, oregon. never been, great food scene, wine country nearby.
2. san diego, california. never been, it will be warm, the ocean is nearby.
3. montreal, quebec. never been, hear it is "paris of north america", out of the country!
4. guadalajara, mexico. never been to mexico, it will be warm, tacos, the town of tequila is nearby!

we're leaning towards hightailing it out of the us, though not far, so quebec and guadalajara are our top runners right now. unless a fifth option pops up, or someone (that's you, reader) gives me some pointers......

Jan 15, 2007

i had probably the most girly weekend ever. a friend came into town friday to suprise one of my closest chicago friends at her birthday dinner on saturday, then we suprised that friend AGAIN with a party with 20 of her closest friends at my house after dinner. then ANOTHER suprise with ANOTHER out of town friend and her fiance. THEN....pedicures and shopping and eating lots of food on sunday. which was also....a suprise for the birthday girl. it was really wonderful and smiley and happy, and now suprising people is my new favorite thing. i think we made her 30th birthday the most memorable one yet, which is exactly what girlfriends are for.

i ate way too much food, drank far too much champagne, wine and cocktails, and didn't get nearly enough sleep. so i'm a little out of it today, but at least i have freshly painted toenails and new boots.
in other news, i cracked a tooth and i have to get a cap. luckily my tooth is in good condition (other than the fact that it is falling apart) so a root canal is not necessary. i've done that once and i hope to never go through it again, thank you very much. in the meantime, my dentist has filed the edge of the chipped tooth so that it doesn't cut my tongue, (which it does anyway) so i now have a huge gap in between two of my teeth for food to get stuck in. so i'm getting shit stuck in there, which irritates my gums, so i floss, which irritates them even more, and i can't get into the damned dentist again to be fitted for the cap for another month. if i appear grumpy you now know why. and i will be much grumpier two weeks after that appointment when i have to go in to have the cap put on and then pay nearly $400 for the damned thing.
i had some other nice things to share, but i'm pissed off now thinking about my stupid tooth. maybe someone will suprise me and cap it for free while i sleep tonight.

Jan 11, 2007

so, in november 2004 hubb and i purchased a sofa from room and board. and we loved it. a year later the cushions started to pull apart at the seams. and we were upset. hubb called customer service to ask about the warranty, to learn that there is a lifetime warranty. yay! so they sent a sewer out to hand sew the cushions back together. a few months later they started to pull again. another phone call was made, and voila! we are now in the "reselection process" to exchange our 2 year old sofa for a new upgraded piece. room and board definitely knows what they're doing here. two years ago we purchased a low end sofa, what we could afford at the time, and now, on top of the credit we're receiving from our original purchase, we're spending nearly the same amount to upgrade to a nicer couch. but where else can you get all your money back for a piece of furniture TWO YEARS after you bought it? i don't know. which is why room and board has two loyal customers for life now.

we're going for a more vintage silhouette, and a louder color. we're not afraid of being vibrant anymore, and a bright paprika red sofa is just the thing to finish off our new living room.

we should have it by the end of the month! we may have to have a new sofa party to celebrate. so now, (not wanting to spend $200 on pillows,) i'm on a search for that black and white damask fabric so i can make some new pillows to put on my new sofa.

Jan 4, 2007

To carry on with tradition:

Top 5 things I learned in 2006:
1. i should not wear heels over 2" in height.
2. we CAN buy a house!
3. when you own your house, you have to fix things yourself.
4. i'm not ready to have babies, and that's ok.
5. not everybody has ulterior motives all the time. don't be so suspicious.

Top 5 most wonderful ingestions of 2006:
1. rhubarb gimlet at lula cafe. so good it should get 3 of the top 5 spots here.
2. Pan-Roasted Skate Wing, Peruvian Potato, Hericot Vert & Beurre Noisette at the underground restaurant.
3. pozole rojo.
4. milliondollarcheese (ash marbled chevre from Capriole).
5. goat cheese truffles.

Top 5 events I participated in in 2006:
1. seeing the west coast for the first time in about 15 years. visiting sf for the first time ever. napa, sonoma, san luis obispo, santa barbara. i couldn't have asked for a better anniversary.
2. swapping christmas ornaments with total strangers, knowing that my crafts are around the world and receiving some remarkable items in return.
3. hosting my second ever thanksgiving, this time in my own home. having unrelated family and friends from all three coasts meet to eat at my house.
4. Phoenix at the double door.
5. watching our friend from boston, Alex, run the chicago marathon.

Top 5 sad things of 2006:
1. the loss of my great aunt Ve. she will always be missed.
2. learning of Settimana's closing. it will be missed.
3. hubb getting hit by a car. he was ok, but it was terrible nonetheless.
4. the flood. very scary for first time homebuyers, less than a week after closing.
5. saying goodbye to four good friends that moved away. - chicago misses you guys!

Top 5 happy things of 2006:
1. buying a house! we. own. our. home. it's a feeling i'm still not quite used to, but i am in love with the fact that we can break or replace or paint or install whatever we want in our very own little piece of chicago. (and hiring movers. best decision we made during the whole process.)
2. 3 new babies in the family, my cousins having babies less than two weeks apart last spring, bringing us a little boy, Carter, and a sweet little girl, Sophie, and my sister having her first child in october, little Brenae.
3. hubb and i reaching a personal financial milestone. i won't talk specifics, but we're much better off than we ever have been and it's quite comforting to know so.
4. learning of friends' engagements (3), marriages (2), pregnancies (4), and births (1).
5. getting in better touch with my family. spending time together and making plans for the future.

Top 5 discoveries of 2006:
1. De Martino 2004-05 organic Cabernet
2. Wheach. oh my god, Wheach.
3. pozole rojo.
4. felt.
5. i-go.

Top 5 blogs of 2006:
1. go fug yourself
2. fancy toast
3. etsy
4. design sponge
5. tiny showcase

Top 5 excitements for 2007:
1. my girlfriend lindsay having her first baby this summer.
2. my best friend gina's commencement in atlanta in may.
3. losing 10 pounds. COME ON, EMILY, YOU CAN DO IT!
4. getting a new couch.
5. an addition to our little family.....maybe we'll get a dog?

Jan 2, 2007

Resolutions. (and how well I did)

1. Get in shape. (Didn't actually gain much weight, but didn't get fit, either.)
2. Be less judgmental, less critical, and more accepting of others. (learned to forgive others, ignore faults, and accept people for who they are, but remained painfully critical.)
3. Monthly budget. (Nope.)
4. Find better employment. (Got a better job, quit exactly one year later for a better better job.)
5. Be more adventurous. (Moved into the city (gasp!), got a new job, tackled scary New York City.)

1. Get in shape. (Actually gained 10 pounds)
2. Be less judgmental and less critical. (Got in trouble with my judgmental and critical self, hurt some feelings, and made a total ass of myself.)
3. Spend more money paying off loans and less on new crap. (Bought lots and lots of new crap, and paid the loans down just a little bit. Saved nothing.)
4. Be more crafty. (Learned to make jewelry.)
5. Be less controlling of my kitchen domain, and let Hubb do some cooking. (Let Hubb cook maybe one meal. When I wasn't home.)

1. Lose 10 pounds. (Joined a gym. Gained another 5 pounds.)
2. Drop the snotty attitude and just plain enjoy people. (I actually think I did pretty well with this one.)
3. Buy fewer things, but nicer things. (Bought lots of things. And a nice house. And a Le Creuset soup pot that will likely outlive me.)
4. Make more jewelry and sell some of it. (Made less jewelery, but made a lot of things with felt. Which I gave away.)
5. Learn how to cook something fancy. (Learned that I can actually bake pretty well, that braising is not scary but actually pretty easy and wonderfully delicious, learned how to make truffles and biscotti, and discovered how to make the perfect pork loin.)

And now for 2007
1. Lost 10-15 pounds. (use my gym membership, eat less cheese, drink less wine)
2. Be responsible and more knowledgeable about the large purchase we made in 2006, especially the tax implications. (read our condo docs, talk to our lawyer)
3. Sell something I make. (etsy)
4. Travel somewhere new. (Montreal, anyone?)
5. Let things go. (keep reminding myself that I cannot possibly control everything, all the time.)

And a bonus: Watch my friends have babies and stop feeling guilty that I'm not ready.

So I think I did ok last year, except for the weight thing, but isn't that everybody's resolution every year? I'm pretty comfortable with myself, just a little camera shy sometimes, and I still refuse to throw away some of my favorite clothes that I know aren't particularly flattering on me. But I want to be in a better shape so that I do not get winded as I run to catch the train, pull muscles as I carry groceries or walk up more than about a dozen stairs. And fit into my skinny jeans again. I miss those guys.

Happy 2007, dear friends. Hubb and I had a wonderful (though long and tiring) holiday in Virginia, and we're glad to be back home to start the new year. This year will likely be less momentous than last year, but that's a-ok with me. A calm and uneventful year is just what we need, I think. That way I can concentrate on making time to go to the gym.