Monday, December 09, 2013

Dollhouse toilet

So, I got really excited, unnaturally excited, to tell the truth, about making this toilet for my dollhouse.  I've been thinking about it for a long time, gathering my materials, doing research etc.  Suffered a MAJOR, soul-crushing set-back when I LOST my tic tac container...  And the search for the perfect lid seemed to have evaded me, until just as I was starting to build one out of an old credit card and modge podge, what do I see but the lid of my vinegar, which was absolutely perfect.

And that's why you should really never throw lids away, ever.  

There she is - quite simple, really.  I just put white paper in the tic tac thing and hot glued the whole thing together.  But it really looks like a loo, right?  Note my iPhone tub - still looking for the perfect feet.  Occurred to me that I could made some out of sculpy.  Oh, fu' me... I just had a genius idea:  I could get a little lion toy and cut off it's feet and paint them white.  If you have a lion toy, I need to talk to you immediately.

Sunday, December 08, 2013


I don't think I've mentioned that I'm working on this dollhouse... I've been wanting to make one for many many years and I finally just got my supplies together and started a very simple one.  It's made from a wooden wine box, which your local liqueur store might give to you if you ask nicely, and I put in one floor and a wall.  I'm trying to make it completely out of house-hold stuff instead of buying pre-made furniture and stuff.

Here's a little nightstand I made out of two matchboxes and some pushpins.

Adorbs, right?  I don't mind telling you that the whole things is just about the cutest thing you've ever seen. 

Tonight I have finished the coup d'grace, which is not to say that the whole house is finished but that I have finally completed the toilet, which I have been working on in my mind for I hate to tell you how long.  Come back tomorrow for a picture of that, I swear to you, you will not be disappointed.  (:

Oh, I have a nice Pinterest board on Dollhouses if you love tiny houses as much as I do.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Your favorite tree

Last week we spent some time with a few kids we're quite fond of.  M had the brilliant idea to take them to Chuck E Cheese, something I think he remembered fondly from his childhood.  I have a vague memory of going to a Chuck E. Cheese - I remember, mostly, the horrifying, moth-eaten, jacked-up
animatronics. So, we took our little charges out to Niles to everyone's great excitement.  It was a bizarre place, very similar to Vegas, with little kids running around with small plastic cups full of tokens, like elderly people with those plastic mini-buckets at the slots.  And a lot of the games were like straight-up slot machines only you get a ticket if you "win".  Poor little N put a token in a game and then said, "I just threw my money away."

It was very strange and I'm not entirely sure the girls had a good time, although they later claimed it was amazing.

On the way home we played 20 Questions.  M was the person who had the word.  It started like this:
K: is it a machine?
E: Is it an animal?
K: Is it made of metal?
N: Is it a pipe?
N: Is it your favorite tree?

Eventually N says, "Is it silverware?"
E: Is it a knife?
NO - 17 questions
E: Is it a fork?
NO - 18 questions
N: Is it a SPOON???
19 questions....

20 Questions is actually an amazing game and M & I like playing it in the car ourselves. Although, somehow it's kind of cheating because it's almost like we can read each other's minds.  For example,  I was the next person to have the word next and I thought of "moon".  And what does M ask for his first question but "Is it on planet earth?"   (!!!!)

When I put the girls to bed, they gave me the best compliment, which is that our guest room is the "most amazing room in the universe" (I agree!)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

G's Lentil Soup

There's this little dive of a restaurant in Chicago called The Taste of Lebanon - the food is great but it's a total dive.  Me and my friends used to call it The Smell of Lebanon (BOOM!) Anyway, they have this totes ridick soup that is to die.  My friend G recreated it rather handily, and we've been working on re-creating G's ever since.  We've gotten pretty close.  Here's the recipe, mostly for my own well-being - I keep losing it...

2lb Red Lentils
2 large onions
3 cloves garlic
Cumin (1 tbs? To taste)
Paprika (same)
Hot pepper ( to taste)
Tomato paste ( 1/3 -1/2 a small can?)
Olive oil
Black pepper

"Heat lots of olive oil in a large pot(1/3-1/2 c?). Add onions and caramelize for a while. Add garlic and spices, cook until fragrant. Salt. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring often so it toasts but doesn't burn. Salt. Add lentils and stir to coat them all with the oil and other stuff.  Salt and pepper. Add about 10 cups water and cook until lentils soften and start to break apart, adding more water if soup gets super thick. Add salt and TONS of pepper to taste. I also added a little more olive oil to make it nice and rich, not sure how much, to taste.  Add a dash of lemon juice at the end."

G's like a real cook and everything so she really follows her nose and her heart when she's cooking.  Not like the rest of us schmucks who are like, "Now, what does she mean by 'hot pepper'?"  Truthfully, I do not know.  Just shut up and put something a little spicy in there.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

w00t PaWn: Last of Us

I'm trying to get M to tell me some of the details of this video game he's playing. It's called Last of Us? He finds it very annoying to summarize the "complicated" story line. "I guess there's this girl, and she's infected by zombies, and he's immune and some smugglers or whatever help her but the lady gets killed and the guy promises to get her to the scientists and they're just doing their thing." he says.

"Doing their thing????" I say.

"Trying to survive in the wasteland of the United States."

It looks to me like this girl just sneaks around and hides from people. Then occasionally she jumps on some dude's back like a spider monkey and stabs them in the neck! Except one time she was hiding from these people in a gross bathroom? And these guys came in, and she stabbed one of them in the neck, but then some other guys shot her a couple time and she died.  M said the humans are more dangerous than the zombies because they're cannibals.

Cannibalists are just lazy, you know? It's like, eat a goddamn salad, amirite?

 M just got excited because the girl is sneakin' around a pinball arcade. He's really into pinball lately. In fact, he's building his own miniature pinball game out of cardboard and a monitor and duct tape. No joke.

This game is pretty boring from what I've seen. All you seem to do is sneak around and occasionally stab someone in the neck!  Although, I do find sneaking inherently amusing.  Do you know, I am completely unable to sneak up on people?  If I try to do it, I laugh too hard.  I probably wouldn't last too long in a zombie waste-land.  Neither would M, judging by how much he's getting killed in this game.  OH SNAP!  

Here are some sneaking examples that make me laugh:

What in the hell are those kittens sneaking up on?

I just. Can't.  

Monday, October 07, 2013

Basically famous

When my mom was in town a few weeks ago we went to a really fun evening event at the Art Institute for the Fashion and Modernity show - the theme was hats and cloves - here we are.
Isn't that cute? They also took pictures of people as you come into the party - there's one of us on the AIC's Flickr page. Have a look at everyone's crazy hats!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Jack Reacher (round)

We watched Jack Reacher a few weeks ago.  M didn't like it but I did.  What.  So I like Tom Cruise. A lot.

There's this awesome scene where this guy is trying to get him to come to this abandoned place and get ambushed and probably killed, but, instead on the phone he hangs up on them.  Then he calls them back and shouts at them and hangs up again. Then he calls them back and yells and hangs up again! (On a pay phone!) Then instead of them scaring him, he scares them and he's going to come and ambush them and kill them.

I thought that was pret-ty awesome. The next time someone phones me up and tries to mess with me, I'm going to hang up on them and then call them back and say, "On second thought, I'd like to kill you." And hang up on them again! BOOM!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Zion National Park

After we left Bryce, we drove to Zion National Park.  We thought nothing could compare to what we had seen at Bryce, but Zion was just as beautiful and geologically amazing. The mountains looked like they had been carved by sand.  This one is called Crosshatch Mountain.

We went on a couple of hikes that made me feel a bit queasy.  Here's how I felt:

and here's how M felt.

Look at this one - that was so crazy!

At the end of our trip we went to Vegas for a few days.  We just wanted to chill out, go swimming, and see a show.  We saw the Cirque du Soleil show, Love, which is full of Beatles songs and you know, crazyawesome Cirque du Soleil stuff.  

I've got a bunch more pictures of our trip on my flickr if you want to see more.  

We had a great time but we were a little bit homesick, although when we got home I burst into tears because Kaya wasn't here.  That was sad.  Our house is not the same without her.  

We've been busy ever since we got home.  I have a new boss at work, school's starting up again and all my student employees are coming flooding back.  M & I celebrated our wedding anniversary - 15 years!!!!  One of my best pals is moving to Hawaii...  It's been quite a year. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Our Vacation (or, why leave the house?)

After Grandma's party, we hurried back home, stopped by our house, switched out our suitcases and jumped in a cab to the airport for our vacation.  What I thought was a slight hangover turned out to be a pretty bad cold/flu.  By the time we got to Vegas I had a fever and was shivering.  So, that was kind of a bummer, but we still managed to have fun.  Coupled with a small fender-bender, we started realizing why some people never leave the house.  

After a night in Vegas, we headed out for Bryce Canyon, which is a few hours away.  We saw a double-rainbow (#doublerainbowitdoesn'tgetold)

Bryce Canyon is full of hoodoos, caused by erosion and gazillions of years.  

The colors are simply amazing.  The whole experience was sort of spiritual - the hoodoos make the whole area look like a giant, ancient temple.  You can't tell from these pictures, but they're over 100 feet tall.  We got up at sunrise to see the sun slide over the tops of these beautiful structures.  

more tomorrow!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Our vacation a few weeks ago started with my grandma's 90th Birthday party in Indiana.  My grandma is one of the coolest ladies in the whole wide world and I'm crazy about her.  Do you know any other 90 year olds who demand their favorite band plays at their party so they can dance the night away?  The day before the party my aunt rented a giant pontoon boat so the whole family could hang out and swim together.  That was SO much fun.  My nephews and my cousin's kids were sweet and it was terrific watching them go off the slide all day.
here's what the boat looked like.

and here's my beautiful grandma - she knows how to travel in style, doesn't she?

They also let the kids drive the boat.  We were in pretty good hands.  Or feet, I guess.  

my mom made a special batch of wine for the party and did a lot of decorating.  It looked fantastic.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Worry 'boutchor Self

Has everyone seen this video?  Basically all I do is worry about myself, but, it makes me laugh.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Girlish fantasies

I had a nice weekend, hanging out with M, going to the beach Sat. and Sunday.  On friday we saw Wolverine, which kind of ridiculous.  I love going to the movies so much that I'll basically see whatever M wants to see (why did I give him option of Wolverine or the new Woody Allen movie?).  We also saw Pacific Rim a few weeks ago.  Both movies were basically pointless and sort of a 12-year-old boy's fantasy.  But, we still had a pretty good time.  Wolverine really made me laugh, what with those muttonchops and everything.  I also started thinking, how come you never see movies made by women that're a 12-year-old GIRL's fantasy?  I figure 12-year-old me and also thirty-mumble me would probably make the same fantasy movie:


  1. Wake up in a pile of soft puppies!
  2. Snuggle with puppies.  
  3. Go for a long walk with Orlando Bloom through the forest holding hands (he's dressed as Legolas, I'm dressed as a fairy princess.)
  4. Spend afternoon going through my closet with Tim Gunn while he tells me everything I wear looks fabulous!
  5. Ride a unicorn through the sky.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Bling Ring

I saw the Bling Ring after it came out and have been obsessed with it ever since.  I'm a big Sophia Coppola fan from way back (I may be the only person in the universe who actually liked her in the Godfather III).  The Bling Ring is based on a Vanity Fair article turned book - The Subjects Wore Louboutins.  It's about these dumb kids that stole from a bunch of celebrities in LA.  One of the things I really loved about the movie was how it captures this rather particular LA motif, one that was also quite evident in her less well-received Somewhere which was, yes, very very boring but carefully so.  In fact,  a motif in Coppola's work is this exploration of how people behave or react when they have nothing to do.  This movie definitely reminded me of Somewhere due to the LA connection, but more than anything it reminded me of her Marie Antoinette.

What's really fun about the Bling Ring is watching Emma Watson break out of her Hermione role a bit and do things like this...
My god, that girl is so funny.  There's this hilarious line where she says, "I want to lead a huge charity organization. I want to lead a country, for all I know." Which Watson says in this spot on accent that made our whole theatre erupt in laughter.  Turns out the actual thief-girl ACTUALLY said that.  

The kids who break into these houses obviously are driven by this materialistic excess - they feel entitled to this stuff - they might think it came easily to Paris Hilton, so why shouldn't it come easily to me?  Repeat visits and the way they linger in the homes indicates a greater desire, however. That by lingering in their houses, going in and out almost as they please, they can imagine that they were friends with these celebrities - not just that, actually become the person themselves.  

I'm only mildly embarrassed to say that I also engage in a little celebrity obsession and spent a fair amount of time wondering what Sofia Coppola's experience is like - I mean, you'd think someone like her, the daughter of a famous director with untold resources would actually be the last person to be able to shine an objective eye on the world of celebrity and wealth.  Although, while I was (harmlessly?) cyber-stalking this movie, I happened across this rather telling picture that seems to indicate that somehow S. Coppola is more immune to the trappings of fame and wealth than other  people in similar situations.

I have to give PH a little credit though... there are these pillows with her face on them in the movie (scenes in her house were shot in her home), and I found an article where she says, "Those pillows with my face on it were actually a present from my girlfriend for my birthday, and I just thought they were so funny and hilarious." (via)  And now I totally want pillows with my face on them.

Well, I thought the movie was fantastic - I encourage you to check it out and let me know what you think too!  Here's an interview with Nancy Jo Sales, the author of the article, about the movie and the book.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Fashion and Modernity!

This weekend we saw the Fashion and Modernity show at the Art Institute - it was So! Fabulous! There are wonderful pieces from the AIC's permanent collection, of course, as well as a few beauties from Europe like Renoir's The Loge.  Gorge.

They included period clothes and HATS and SHOES OMGUCCI!  I felt like, that scene in the Bling Ring?  Where they break into Paris Hilton's shoe closet?

Like there's this painting, and next to it a dress that looks like this??????

And also there's a very nice show from Prints and Drawings called Undressed: The Fashion of Privacy.  In it are hanging a couple of my absolute favorite pieces from the collection - like Mary Cassatt's Mother and Child and a few prints from Felix Valletton's Intimit├ęs.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


After a very stressful week I managed to have a nice, relaxing weekend.  Sat. I convinced M to see Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Joss Whedon.  This trailer is absolutely fabulous - and while I wish the movie had maintained that sort of frenetic energy throughout, it was still darn good.  (Oh, Rose Rouge, you make everything better.)  Buffy fans, rejoice - all your old friends are there.

Today I went to the beach for the first time this summer.  I had fun playing a game called "Mr Fox" (or something?) with my little, little pals.  After that, I put up my hammock.  Now summer officially starts.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Coffee Tables and Rugs

I've been trying to buy a new rug for a while - and also a coffee table.  Here are some ideas - anyone want to weigh in?

As you can see, all these rugs are quite different styles, but I like them all and think they would look nice.  The bottom one is one of those thick pebbly ones that are really soft.  I truly don't know which one I like best.  ):

I like this table the most but M doesn't like it.  For various reasons he doesn't want a glass top, which I suppose is reasonable.  But.... it's so pretty.  And it would look awesome with all those rugs.

I like this table a lot.  It's from West Elm, the top is light wood.  I think it would look so sick with that pebble rug.  And also the flower one.  And the oriental one. 

This table is all metal from CB2.  Would all metal be too cold for the room?  

Is this the perfect combo of warmth and metal I'm looking for?  It's from West Elm too. I think it would look nice with all those rugs.  What should I do, convince M to get that chrome one?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cures for the blues?

I've still got the blues pretty bad - coming home after a short trip to visit family was unexpectedly sad because it turns out both me & M experienced a mutual moment where we got excited about being close to home and seeing our girl again, then realizing she wasn't going to be greeting us.

One cure for the blues for me is stopping by the bakery on my way home, buying a baguette and putting it in my bicycle basket.  Growing up, the idea of buying a baguette, putting it in a bag or a basket was to me just the height of sophisticated living, and it still makes me very happy.

Hey, check this out!  Clever.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Kaya 1997(?)-May 28, 2013

Last week our darling baby Kaya passed away.  The end of her life was unbearably painful for me and M, but peaceful for her.  We had gone to the hospital to pick her up on Sat. of Memorial Day weekend - expecting her to be sick but improving.  Unfortunately she was in and out of consciousness and unable to control her legs.  So, it was kind of like having a newborn baby - we fed her every six hours, gave her medicine every few hours, cleaned up her pees and poos.  We were happy to those things for her, but unfortunately after three days she wasn't getting better.  
She loved being in the backyard so we took her outside hoping it would stimulate something.  It's hard to express how heartbreaking it was to watch our little girl like that.  I think she knew she was home and that we were there with her, but most of the time it seemed like she was unconscious.  

I count myself lucky to have known a cat like Kaya - she was an amazing creature - she made me & M feel special, she brought so much joy to our lives.  Our house feels empty without her.  

Over time, I hope to forget how terrible her last days were for our family, and remember the better days.  Here's an old picture that M & I love - this is partly why we had a couple of nicknames for her - Belly Girl or just Belly because she would lie on her back like this and her belly looked so inviting.  But, it was kind of a Venus Flytrap situation.  We also called her our Little Rabbit, because you can see how her little front feet curled over - isn't that adorable?  

We'll miss her forever - my darling, beautiful girl... my friend.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

a roiling sea of emotion

The other day I read this really crappy blurb of a book that said it was "nothing short of an adventure through a roiling sea of emotion."  Then I laughed for LITERALLY the rest of the night.  Because I'm a jerk.

Little did I know that very soon I would soon be on my own roiling sea of emotion. Our little baby, our precious little angel, continues to be quite ill. Tues she went in to have a feeding tube put in place, and she had a seizure coming out an anesthesia.  M & I went to visit her last night and she looked so awful - she was twitching and unresponsive... anyway, we were quite sure she was going to die and basically cried continuously for the next 12 hours.  Cut to: this morning the Dr. recommended we take Kaya to a neurologist, who did an MRI and didn't find any major problems, leading us to believe Kaya might pull through this after all.  So, now we wait.  They said she's improving.  Your kind thoughts are appreciated.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


This is us giving Kaya her medicine:

And this is the song Kaya sings to us when it's done:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Until further notice

Well, we just had a hell of a week because poor Kaya's been ill - she was in the hospital for two nights. M & I have spent most of the time in complete hysterics worrying about our little one.  She's not out of the woods yet - we've got lots of pills and even injections ahead of us.  Until further notice, we will be completely bonkers.

Last week in the animal hospital waiting room it turns out I was sitting next to a (person who thought they were a) pet psychic.  I've actually always wanted to meet a pet psychic, but I wasn't exactly in the mood for it at that moment.  She told me Kaya was an "old soul" (duh) and that she "wasn't going anywhere", which is the part I choose to believe even though she was obviously off her nut.

In non-terrible news, I saw The Great Gatsby with a couple of girlfriends and liked it very much.  Bummer of an ending though.  No getting around that.

I wished my mom happy mother's day today and in traditional fashion, I will now make fun of her (that's how my family shows love. What.)

MOM:  You know what one of the problems with cell phones is, that you don't know anyone's number.
ME: What do you mean?
MOM: Well, there's no directory.  What if you want to find out someone's number?
ME:  You just have to ask them.
MOM: What if they're not standing there in front of you?
ME: Well, you send them an email and ask for their number.
MOM: *groan*  And what are businesses going to do?

Sunday, May 05, 2013

I wish I had a pool

oh yeah, I forgot to talk about my favorite part of Oblivion, which was obvs their hanging swimming pool.  There it is... that blue bit...

It reminds me how on Pinterest not long ago everyone was pinning this picture.  It's not real, it's some pipe dream design for luxury apartments in Dubai or something.  And it makes me want to throw up just thinking about it.

Actually, the more I think about the Oblivion pool, it makes me want to throw up too.  Anyway, I really like swimming in pools.

Monday, April 29, 2013


This weekend we saw Oblivion.  I really like futuristic sci-fi stuff but it didn't make a lot of sense.  Looks pretty though.  Aside from all the weird plot holes, there's also this.... So, supposedly this lady and Tom Cruise are like, the only people on the planet, right?  And Tom Cruise goes out every day to do repair work or whatever, while the lady stays at home and works at the computer.  Say you're in the same situation - are you REALLY going to dress like this?

Or, don't you think it's more likely she's going to dress like this, and maybe run upstairs and change 5 minutes before Tom Cruise gets home?  I can assure you that is what she would do, because my husband is extremely handsome in a Tom Cruise kind-of-way, and yet, I look like a total slob most of the time.  

That's what I really found unbelievable....

Anywho, we also finally saw the Picasso show at the Art Institute.  It was quite good, and, it's nice to see a big crowd looking at art.  Although, also, personally, it really sucks seeing art in a big crowd.  Because I hate crowds.  And people.  

This was my favorite:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Worst Week?

What a week.  The bombing in Boston.  The Senate kills a measure on background checks before gun purchases.  A factory explodes in Texas.  There was an End of Days storm in my fair city and a giant sinkhole opened up and swallowed three cars.  WHAT?  Now I have to worry about sinkholes, too?

Jezabel said all this better than me.  (Mom, do not click on that link.)

We've got nowhere to go but up.  In times like this, I look to the animated gif:

Also I've been making my own animated gifs with this really cool app called Motiongraph.  They're almost all of Kaya.  Here she is eating grass, which she has yet to vomit back up...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kids Cryin'

So, at the grocery store the other day I open the milk freezer and it turns out this dumb kid had slid his finger in the crack and I squeezed his little finger.  He didn't make a sound, but I saw him sort of fold into himself so I shut the door real quick and then he found his mom and burst into tears. Oh boy, did I feel terrible.  I stood around helplessly telling the mom how sorry I was while she tried at once to help her kid and wordlessly tell me, "It's ok, I know you didn't do it on purpose."  I ran and got some ice, did some more sorrowful apologizing while she again wordlessly told me, "It's ok, just... go away."  I'm very intuitive about these things.

We checked out, but left without getting any dairy products.

When I got home, I still felt like a monster-shit-head and posted on my facebook "Accidentally smashed kid's finger at the grocery and now I want to kill myself."  It occurred to me that somewhere in town, someone was posting, "Some idiot smashed my kid's finger in the grocery and I would like to kill her."  And then that someone I was friends with was also friends with her would read both posts and they would have one of those moments.  like this...

Speaking of kids crying, I found this tumblr called Reasons My Son is Crying, all pictures of the same sobbing boy crying pitiful, snot-drenched tears with captions like, "I closed the refrigerator door." or "I wouldn’t let him drink bath water."  
We suggested that he play with a train. via

At first it was hilarious - I mean, what's funnier than a crying kid that has nothing to do with you that you can't even hear?  But then I started thinking, maybe every picture should be followed by the explanation "My parents are asshats" or, eventually, "I have an undiagnosed psychosis."  I don't understand why people aren't interested in protecting their own kid's privacy.  Oh well.  What do I care? It is pretty funny.