Sunday, June 22, 2008

Random Thoughts: Insulating Felt Panels? and Apartment 2.0

I saw these felt wall panels on Oh Joy! the other day. They're from British designer Selina Rose, and I think they're kinda gorgeous.

I doubt I could actually afford these particular hangings, but I wonder if I could do something similar. Windsor Button sells some pretty big swatches of felt. With a simple stencil and an x-acto knife, I bet I could craft something fun.

I wonder if these would help insulate windows during the winter? I'm SERIOUS! Yes, I know it's summertime. A gal's gotta think ahead is all I'm saying.

The Engineer and I are making a real effort to redecorate the apartment and make it feel more like a home. Until now, we've been fairly happy with the odds n' ends that we've picked up at Goodwills and yard sales over the years. Happy in that everything functioned (with the exception of certain toasters who will not be named), was in fairly decent condition, and wasn't overly unstylish.

But with "Moving-In-Together: Take 2" we're thinking it's time to upgrade. The Engineer is calling this new phase "Apartment 2.0." Because he's a geek like that. So sweet.

Looking around the apartment, we realized that everything--with a very few exceptions--has been given to us by family or been acquired for less than $10. We're talking the couch, our lamps, the fairy lights over the door frame, the poster in the entryway, everything.

That's kind of sobering. And it makes me feel a bit sad. Don't get me wrong--we've been incredibly grateful for the generosity of our families over the years. But it's a strange thing to look around and realize that nothing is really ours. I would like to live in a house that feels like ours.

On top of this, I had the startling realization the other day that I no longer qualify as a "recent college graduate." While I'm not the type to fret about growing older, this does still strike a certain resonance in me. It's a bit like shedding a too-small pair of pants. Or cleaning your glasses after being caught in rainstorm.

It's disconcerting, though. I mean, if I'm no longer defining myself as "A," then what becomes "B"? I guess you could call this a feeling of nesting. Or settling down. Or growing up.

So. There you have it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

School's Out! New Shoes, Itty Bitty Birdies, and Spanish Tortillas

A brief glimpse at my first few days of life without school...

Flip flops! Because now that I'm not either perpetually going to or coming from class, I can actually where something other than clogs. Hey, did you know it's summer?

Side note: I have to mention that this is actually my first ever pair of flip flops. I know! First! Ever! Crazy! As you may or may not know, I grew up in the Midwest where there was a distinct lack of what you might call "beaches." And lake shores are NOT to be confused with beaches. Lake shores tend to be very different beasts requiring such sturdy footwear as Teva Sport Sandals and Water Moccasins and what not.

So no, aside from the occasional shower flip flop, these are in fact my first. Fancy!

We're not sure what this guy's story is, but after a heavy rain a few days ago, the Engineer and I found him (her?) in our holly berry bush. He seemed a little...confused. This impression was mostly based on the fact that he (she?!) allowed me to bring my camera within inches of his personal space.

The Engineer was quite concerned that something was wrong and that we should do something. We found a wounded baby bird in front of his house a few weeks ago that ended up dying and I think it affected him more than he let on. Cuz he's a softy, but doesn't like to admit it.

There didn't seem to actually be anything wrong with this bird, though, so we decided to let it be. We checked a few hours later and he wasn't there anymore. Phew!

This was one of the first 'new' meals I've made at home since starting school. This past year, I've depended on a rotation of tried-and-true, make-it-in-my-sleep recipes to sustain me. It's fun to page through cookbooks again for the sheer enjoyment of it.

"This" is actually a Spanish tortilla (what, you can't tell?). Not exactly the most shining example of my new chef skillz, but whatever. I'm tired. It's potatoes, caramelized onions, and cheese in an eggy custard, kinda like a frittata. Exactly like a frittata, actually. Only with a Spanish tortilla, instead of putting it under the broiler to finish cooking, you do this flip thing so that it finishes cooking.

Anywho, it may not look like much, but it was mighty tasty!
So that's what I'm up to these days! Oh, and also sleeping. I've been sleeping a lot. It's like I've been running a marathon or something. Huh!