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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Still Here

Wow! I can't believe it has been almost two months since our last post. Believe it or not, I have been busy for months organizing and decluttering my home. After twelve years and three kids, I had/have a lot of decluttering to do! I wish I had more before and after photos, but my before was so embarrassing, I probably would have never posted photos of it, anyway. But I have made a TON of progress, and have learned alot along the way, so I plan to share my experience with you over the next several days.

See you soon!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

In the Interest of Full Disclosure

I have something to confess. I also bought one of these while shopping at Target last week:

This is the green multi-colored flower mug from Orla Kiely. It doesn't make me smile every time I see it like the Orla Kiely bowl does, but I do like it.

Cute, isn't it?


This Makes Me Happy

I bought this Orla Kiely bowl on a whim while shopping at Target this week. I rarely buy anything on a whim these days. Every dollar I spend is scrutinized to the last penny to make sure I am buying something I really need. So I felt very guilty buying this bowl, as it cost $20+ and I don't NEED it. But oh, I do so LOVE it.

The bowl makes me happy every time I look at it. Really, it makes me smile inside.

Perhaps I needed it after all.


Friday, May 22, 2009


In the midst of my attempt at order and home organization- I saw this. It is the apartment belonging to MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach. It takes the concept of minimalism in home decor to a new level. Yes, he actually lives here. One blogger questions is he a minimalist or just boring? BORING? Uh, I'd say boring would be more like, "Gee, I don't know how to furnish my apartment so I'll just get a beige couch and a Monet poster". This is not boring, it is something else. Extreme, maybe? Obsessive? Dare I say, crazy?
But I have to say that while I find this apartment a little lonely, I do think it is slightly inspirational to see how little one can live with. As I try to cram all my crap into my tiny home, I look at these pictures and think, "can't I part with just a few more things?" I mean, Apartment Therapy's Home Cure is pretty convincing when it comes to clearing out the junk but nothing like this! And honestly, some mornings I wish my closet looked like that. What a time saver!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

This Makes Me Sad

I have been a really bad co-blogger, I haven't contributed in I don't even know how long. And this is how I return-- with a picture of a neon scrunchie. Now, don't get me wrong, I live in a neighborhood full of slackers, hipsters and too-cool college kids; so it's not like I haven't noticed the return of bad '80s style. It's been back for quite some time. But I just wasn't prepared yesterday when I went on American Apparel's website to find scrunchies for sale! I guess this is payback for my love for all things '60s when I was in high school. Now I know how my mom felt. Old. And maybe a little bit sad.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ewwww!!!....And a Great Kitchen Cleaning Tip

Did you know that your kitchen sponge is the dirtiest item in your kitchen? The small crevices of the sponge are the perfect breeding ground for millions of bacteria. When you use your sponge on a surface, you are wiping those bacteria all over whatever you are "cleaning". But don't despair, Sara Ellington and Stephanie Triplett, authors of The Must Have Mom Manual, have a great tip for killing those gross germs. Simply wet your sponge and pop it into the microwave for one minute. You should do this at least once a day, more if you can find the time.
Love, -40

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Boys Adrift - A Must Read for Anybody Who Knows and Loves a Boy

As the mother of two boys, this book has scared the hell out of me. In the book, Dr. Sax states that we are raising a generation of unmotivated, underachieving, disinterested and disengaged boys. Even more frightening is the fact that Dr. Sax cites studies indicating that boys today have half the sperm count that boys did in the 1940's, and that they are going through puberty much later than earlier generations. There are many reasons for this, according to Dr. Sax, but the factors he discusses that hit closest to home were changes in the educational system, video games, and BPA in our food.

According to Dr. Sax, the acceleration of our educational system, resulting in kindergarten being what first grade was decades ago, has harmed boys immensely. Most five year old boys are simply not ready or able to sit quietly and learn to read as they are expected to do in today's society. As a result, the boys are placed on the slow track. The boys pick up on the fact that they are not in the "smart group" and start to dislike school. This dislike of school carries through the grades and results in disengagement and a lack of motivation. (Interestingly, the Finnish educational system has consistently ranked as the best in the world. Finland does not start to formally educate their children until the age of seven.) Dr. Sax also points to the abolition of competition in schools as significantly harming boys, as the lack of competition has taken away one of the main forces which drive boys to succeed.

Another factor causing boys' disengagement from, and disinterest in, the real world is video game playing. The chapter on video games is dense and full of facts, so I won't delve to deeply into it here, but one fact that I found alarming is that studies have found that video games containing violence have the same effect on a boy's brain as do the drugs commonly prescribed for ADHD, which drugs Dr. Sax also blames for the problems boys are experiencing today. One thing to note, Dr. Sax mentions that there is no distinction between "good" violence, i.e. where the player is a policeman killing a bad guy, and "bad" violence. Violence is violence, pure and simple, and all violent video games have the same effect on a boy's developing brain.
The chapter that scared me the most and has kept me up several nights this week is the chapter about the presence of BPA in our food. According to Dr. Sax, BPA, which is found in plastics such as those used for water bottles, acts like the hormone estrogen in males. Needless to say, estrogen in a young boy's body wreaks havoc on his system. BPA has even been found in the bloodstream of newborn males, indicating that pregnant and nursing mothers who ingest BPA are passing it on to their offspring. And the problem cannot be solved by merely quitting your bottled water habit. Look around, and you will realize that plastic touches most of the foods we eat. Cardboard milk cartons? Lined with plastic. Deli paper used for meats? Ditto. Most canned foods are housed in cans that have a plastic liner containing BPA. We use plastic containers at home to store leftovers. Our children drink out of plastic sippy cups.

So what do we do? I have not yet worked out what to do about the state of our educational system. Dr. Sax advocates for same-sex schooling, which really isn't an option for our family. But as for video games, I am going to keep a much closer eye on what my 10-year old is doing on the computer and completely ban those games that contain the slightest hint of violence. I find the plastics issue much more difficult to deal with, but what I have done so far is I have thrown away all of our plastic cups, plates and bottles. I plan to buy glass food storage containers. Absolutely no microwaving food in plastic is allowed. No more water bottled in plastic bottles. And I plan to drastically cut the amount of food we buy in cans and research those companies that use BPA-free linings.

For more information on Boys adrift, visit

Love, -40

Boxes, Boxes Everywhere!

First, let me just say that I have noticed something here in blogging land. And that thing is this - most, if not all, of the bloggers are Type A, motivated, over-achievers who have always been great cooks, photographers, organizers, etc. Don't get me wrong, this is not an insult. Some of my favorite bloggers are those perfect overachievers that know whereof they speak. But I also like to read posts from ordinary folks, those who are not perfect and are just finding their way. Folks like me. Those bloggers make me feel like there is still hope for me. Hope that I will one day wake up and my house will be clean, the children will all have matching socks to wear, I will be able to find the school form that needs to be turned in that day, and there will be milk in the refrigerator for the baby's bottle. Oh yeah, I dream big.

Anyway - you get the point. I am an underachiever. And I am just starting out in my home organization journey. Much of what I will write about will be things that many of you have been doing or have known for years. But, there may still be one or two of you that have not yet made it even to my level. (You poor, poor souls.) It is for you two that I am writing this blog.

Okay, having reiterated my sheer cluelessness, I will now share with you my newest home organization epiphany. Boxes. Shoeboxes, plastic boxes, boxes with handles, boxes without handles. I don't care what type of box you use, just use them! My only requirement is that the box has a lid. I will get to this in a minute.

Boxes make corralling all of your little stuff a breeze. Before I discovered boxes, I didn't know what to do with my kids' miscellaneous STUFF. Bakugan, Pokemon, plastic animals, markers - where to put them all? Boxes, that's where! What about adult miscellaneous stuff? Light bulbs, batteries, toiletries? You guessed it! Boxes are great for several reasons. First of all, they allow you to group like collections and groups of things together. This one is pretty obvious. Secondly, they allow you to corrall items that are not easily corralled, and items that were once not stackable are now in a stackable container. This is my favorite aspect of boxes, and also why you need to have a lid for your box. Last, but not least, once you identify your like items and create a box for them, picking up becomes much easier because you already know where everything belongs.

I have found boxes to be most useful in my kids' bedrooms, but I am also using them in the linen closets, the dining room, my bedroom - once you get going you will want a box for everything.

My system for boxing items is simple:

1. Completely clean out an area.
2. Identify like groups of items
3. Determine what size box these items will need and create a box for them
4. Label the box
5. Find the best place to keep the box

My current favorite boxes are the Kassett boxes in white from Ikea

and the clear plastic storage boxes from the Container Store Both of these boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Now go forth and divide and box!
Love, -40

My New Best Friend

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser has become my new best friend. Have you tried this thing? It is amazing. Amazing like "How does it DO that?" amazing. I have gone through six of these so far - four in my kitchen and two in the dining room. It is so easy to use - just wet it slightly and wipe it on whatever you want clean. The sponge was magic on the exterior of my painted cabinets. Magnificent on my filthy mudroom walls. Amazing on my stainless steel stink. Fabulous on my laminate countertop. (Yes, I said laminate countertop, don't get me started.) Seriously, I have not seen my twelve year old kitchen sink shine in at least three years. It now shines! And the great part is that no elbow grease is required from you. Mr. Clean does all the work. I love Mr. Clean. The only thing limiting your use of this product is your imagination.

Love, -40

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I've never claimed to be perfect, and by now I'm sure you've noticed that I am far from it. Case in point, I promised that I was going to organize and clean my dining room sometime last week and I have yet to check in. I am actually working on the dining room, but it is harder than I thought it would be. Here's the problem - each room builds on the other. When I cleaned the kitchen, it was easy to take items out of the kitchen and say "oh I'll put these in the dining room." Now that I'm in the dining room, I not only have to organize what is already there, but also the new items I've moved from the kitchen.

Making my task harder is the fact that we use our dining room for everything. Our dining room is where we eat, play, create, study - everything but sleep. I am trying to find a way to incorporate into the dining room storage all of the things that go along with these activities.

So please bear with me!

Love, -40

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Love my Lollia Candle

I cannot get enough of THIS:
It is THE BEST smelling candle EVER. Perhaps the best thing I have ever SMELLED. Pricey, but so worth it. I plan to spend my children's college funds (well, if they had funds, I would), get a second mortgage, and hock my engagement ring so that I can fill every room in the house with Lollia candles.

Love, -40

Apartment Therapy 8-Step Home Cure

The book that started it all. I don't know if I love it or hate it, but I have fallen under its spell.


I know, I know. Who needs a recipe for smoothies? Well, I do, for one. I have repeatedly try to replicate at home smoothies I have had out, and always fail.

It is important to me to be able to whip up a good smoothie at home because my kids love smoothies and I find them to be a great way to get a bunch of nutritious ingredients into my kids quickly and easily. They may not always want to eat their broccoli, but my kids have yet to pass up a smoothie.

I found these recipes in Perfect Recipes for Losing Weight & Eating Great by Pamela Anderson. I really appreciate Pamela's no-nonsense approach to cooking and the fact that she offers variations at the bottom of each recipe. I made the Vanilla Fruit Smoothie recipe as written, but omitted the 1 cup of frozen fruit in the Chocolate Fruit Smoothie recipe. The verdict: My kids finished both smoothies and asked for more. A+ in my book.

Chocolate Fruit Smoothies
1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, dark sweet cherries, raspberries)
1 medium peeled frozen banana
1 cup light chocolate soy milk
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Optional flavorings

Drop fruit of choice and banana into a blender. Whisk soy milk, cocoa powder, and optional flavorings in a 1 cup measuring cup. With blender on high, add soy milk mixture through feeder tube, stopping and stirring as necessary, until mixture is smooth. Pour into a glass and serve. Makes 2 cups, or 1 serving

Optional Flavorings:
Chocolate-Raspberry-Orange Smoothie
use raspberries for fruit and whisk 1/4 teaspoon finely granted organge zest into soy milk.

Black Forest Smoothie
Use frozen cherries for fruit and whisk 1/2 teaspon almond extract into soy milk.

Vanilla Fruit Smoothies

1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, dark sweet cherries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, pineapple, mango) - I used Trader Joe's frozen mango chunks
1 medium peeled frozen banana
1 cup light vanilla soy milk
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Optional flavorings

Follow same directions as for Chocolate smoothie

Optional flavorings:
Raspberry-Orange Smoothie
Use frozen raspberries for fruit and whisk 1/4 teaspoon finely grated oranzge zest into soy milk.

Pina Colada Smoothie
Use frozen pineappple for fruit and whisk 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract into soy milk.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Next Up - the Dining Room

I was supposed to clean and organize the dining room yesterday, but I had my 10-year old home sick from school and then I went to work at the library last night, so I got nothing accomplished. So - today I want to get through the dining room and reduce my mountain of laundry to a mere ant hill. Doable? We will see. Cleaning the dining room will mean - clearing off the table so that I can once again see the top of it, cleaning the walls, vacuuming and mopping the floors, emptying, decluttering and organizing the two built in cabinets, emptying the freestanding armoire that I have hated ever since I bought it and finding a home for everything in the armoire so that I can get the ugly thing out of my dining room, finding a home for everything that constitutes the piles laying around the room. (I think there are three piles).

Feel free to join in whenever you'd like!

Love, -40

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kitchen Cleaning

For phase one of my home cure, I decided to clean and organize my kitchen. This meant emptying all of the cabinets and throwing out old or expired food, getting rid of kitchen gadgets that I don't use (I plan to take them to the Salvation Army), wiping down the inside and outside of the cabinets, rethinking the use of my cabinet space, scrubbing the dishwasher, oven, microwave and refrigerator, (inside and out), washing the walls, emptying out a kitchen island that I plan to move out of the kitchen and finding new homes for the five years' worth of accumulated stuff the island was housing, cleaning the countertop, scrubbing the sink - you get the picture.

Suffice it to say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started my "little" project. I wanted to quit halfway through, but couldn't because the kitchen looked like a bomb had exploded in it. If I had thought about it, I would have realized that it would take me more than an hour to clean and organize twelve years' worth of kitchen clutter. But I never would have imagined that it would take me one whole weekend and three Mr. Clean sponges. By the way, if you have not familiarized yourself with Mr. Clean sponges, you need to do so AT ONCE. These things are AMAZING. A few swipes of a Mr. Clean sponge on the outside of my very dirty painted cabinets, and they looked better than I had ever thought possible. I have never gotten my kitchen so clean using other cleaners and sponges. Anyway - I now know why Apartment Therapy gives readers weeks to accomplish their kitchen cure, rather than days.

Next time, I will know better.

As if there will be a next time.

Love, -40

P.S. I will post pictures later. I would have done a before and after, but I was too embarrassed to showcase my before.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Apartment Therapy's Seven Week Cure

Apartment therapy is currently running its eight step home cure challenge. With seven weeks done, and only 1.25 weeks remaining, I am a little late to join the bandwagon. Truth be told, I don't even want to join the bandwagon, per se. The cure is a little to extensive and intense for the likes of me. However, I have been following along on AT's site and have been inspired by the progress that so many have made. AT has many, many, many good ideas about how to organize your stuff, declutter, decorate, and otherwise make your house a home. So - I have decided to start my own private home cure and see if I can once and for all organize the madness that is my home.

Hopefully, 35 will soon find time to join us again. She has been very busy with her little one, working, and her own home challenge. She has made great strides in decluttering and organizing her home. I plan to bully her into sharing her progress on this blog. I AM the BIG sister after all!

Love, -40

Confetti Cakes Cookbook

I have been drooling over the beautiful Confetti Cakes and Confetti Cakes for Kids cookbooks by Elisa Strauss. Ms. Strauss runs an incredibly popular bakery in NYC called - you guessed it - Confetti Cakes. The cookbooks are full of stunning full-page pictures of cakes decorated like purses, shoes, monsters, trains, bouquets - pretty much anything you can imagine. And the cakes are wonderfully and artistically rendered, they are not tacky in any way.

The books each also feature a section on cookie decorating. Over the years, I have fought with many a sugar cookie dough. Except for one very lucky Christmas, the cookie dough has always kicked my ass. But the how to directions in these books made the cutting out and decorating of sugar cookies look so simple, I had to enter the ring for one more round. Stay tuned for the outcome...

Love, -40

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kitchen Encouragement

I wrote the other day about finding inspiration and encouragement in learning about the photographer behind Blissful Images. I would be remiss if I did not mention another blogger that has served as a huge source of encouragement to me.

You see, it is not only in the photography arena that I assume everyone has better gear than I. I also believe this to be true in the kitchen. I have a sorry, old, rundown excuse for a kitchen. The whole room measures 13x9. I have a run of cabinets, which are 60 years old if they are a day, along one wall. There is one drawer in the whole kitchen. And, most importantly, the biggest span of countertop is the area over my dishwasher, between the sink and stove. I believe it measures 2 feet long. I have three lower cabinets, the largest of which is basically useless, as it is beneath my sink. Okay, enough whining, you get the picture.

So - I have been following along with a bunch of cooking blogs, most notably the Pioneer Woman. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Pioneer Woman. I mean, I read her practically every day. But PW not only has a very large, very tricked out, very AWESOME kitchen in her home, she also has a lodge on her property, and the lodge has an even bigger, more tricked out, more awesome kitchen. Perhaps there are some self-esteem issues rising to the surface here, but I began to feel like I may not be able to take my cooking to the next level because I did not have the proper kitchen.

Enter Deb and the Smitten Kitchen.

The Smitten Kitchen is a beautiful website with delicious recipes. And many of the recipes are complicated and involved. Well, it turns out that Deb is cooking out of a tiny NYC kitchen that only mine could rival! Learning this bit of information made me so happy, I cannot begin to tell you. Not that I am glad that Deb is dealing with a challenging kitchen, but knowing that there are others out there who are cooking in kitchens just like mine, yet managing to turn out wonderful dishes, helped to put my head back on straight. Thank you, Deb!

When you start to look around, encouragement is everywhere.

Love, -40.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blissful Images Photography and a Note of Encouragement

I have been on a Spring cleaning/organization tear lately, and one of the resources I have found to be most helpful for finding organization ideas is the website apartment therapy. I cannot sing the praises of this website highly enough. If you have not checked it out yet, please do so right now.

Apartment therapy often links to other blogs, and it was in one of these blogs that I came across blissful images photography. I was instantly drawn to the soft, ethereal quality of the images and the watercolor-like muted colors. I lost several hours browsing the blissful images shop on etsy, the blissful images companion website, and the photographer's blog. Perhaps it is my lack of experience talking here, but I immediately drew the conclusion that the blissful images were captured with a much more expensive camera than mine. Because, I admit, I am still one of those photographers that believes you need a fancy camera to get fancy images.

It was to my shock and delight that I discovered that most of the blissful images were taken with a Nikon D40. A D40! To those of you who are not Nikon people, I will simply say that the D40 is an entry-level, 6mp DSLR. Until very recently, the camera did not even take a prime lens. Many enthusiasts love the D40, and I am sure it is a great camera. However, it is not a camera I normally equate with serious photographers. I stand corrected.

I find it so inspirational that there are people out there making beautiful images, and even selling them, with cameras that most shutterbugs can afford and handle. Thank you, Mrs. French for inspiring me and teaching me once and for all that it is the photographer, not the camera.

Love, -40

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How to Remove Unwanted Images in Your Photographs Using the Clone Stamp Tool

When I first decided that I wanted to tackle the behemoth that is Photoshop, there were two main things I wanted to learn to do: 1.) Get that amazing "eye pop" that Audrey Woulard gets in her photos (I know, I know, she says she gets her shots to look like that straight out of the camera. But some of us need the help of Photoshop; and 2.) Get rid of unwanted objects in my photographs that were ruining an otherwise good shot. I set these two goals when I was still a naive young thing and hadn't yet been exposed to the full beauty of Photoshop. Needless to say, there are oh-so-many more things I now want to learn to do. But I still want that eye pop. And I still want to get rid of those darn things that sneak into my pictures.

Today, I will introduce you to the wonder of the clone stamp tool. This is a picture of my daughter that I really liked, except for that pesky ghosly apparition of my son in the background.

Enter the clone stamp tool. This is a really easy, and fun tool to use in Photoshop. Definitely something a beginning beginner can do with ease.

Open the photo you want to edit. Go into full edit mode. Click on the clone stamp tool. In my Photoshop Elements, Six, it is the eighth icon down on the left hand side of the tool bar. It looks like an "M" shaped stamper. Then go up to the brush selector at the top of the page on the lefthand side (it is a black squiggly line) and chose the size brush you want to use by either moving the slider or entering numbers into the box. I am going to be honest here and tell you that I have no patience. Because of this, I always choose a brush that is way too big and wind up doing alot of "undoing" when I work. Don't be like me.

Now, pick a spot in your picture as close as possible to the object you want to erase. You want to do this in order to seamlessly blend the new area you are about to create with the existing area. After you have chosen your spot, Alt Click on your mouse. By doing so, you have told Photoshop that you want the spots you are deleting in your photograph to look like the area on which you just alt clicked.

Now comes the fun part - click away on the object you want to erase. As you do so, the object will disappear and be replaced with the parts of the picture on which you previously alt clicked. Caution: as you move the cursor around your picture, be aware of the plus sign that moves along with it. The plus is continuously sampling your photograph and using the samples to replace your unwanted object. Keep an eye on it and make sure it is sampling from the correct area(s). I have wound up with a child with three arms and an eye in the middle of their forehead more than I care to admit!

Here is my picture after using the clone stamp tool:

Ahhh.....much better. And my daughter no longer feels haunted by her little brother.

This is such a fun tool. Have fun!

And remember, if I can do it, you can do it!

Love, -40

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Seeing the Light - Finally!

In his book Understanding Exposure, Bryan Peterson talks about the significance of different types of light in photography. Learning to understand this significance, and see the different types of light, has been one of my biggest struggles as a photographer.

The lighting circumstances under which a photograph is taken can drastically affect the photo and can be the difference between a ho-hum picture and a showstopper. One aspect of seeing the light is understanding how the light changes over the course of a day and what this means for your photographs. For instance, sunlight at noon is a very different light than sunlight at sunrise and sunset. Mid-day, the light is harsh and contrasty. But in the early morning and evening, the sun is much softer and warmer. The same subject shot in exactly the same way at different times of day can yield startling different results.

I have been struggling to see the differences with my eyes for months, and, suddenly, it is becoming clear. A few weeks ago, I looked out the window at sunset and noticed that everything looked a pink. Now, everywhere I look, I see the changes in the light. My neighbor’s house is surrounded by a golden glow at 7:00 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., the magic is gone. At 6:00 in the evening, my fence looks like it is on fire. By 6:30, it is back to its normal state.

This is my fence at 6:25 p.m.

This is my fence one minute earlier, at 6:24 p.m.

What a difference one minute makes!

My baby in the car.

And just a few minutes earlier.

Do you see the warm glow in this picture that is absent from the one above?

My wall at 7:30 a.m. and a few minutes later.

I hope these examples help set you on your way to "seeing the light" and that you gain your sight more quickly than I did! Experiment, take pictures, and have fun!

Love, -40

P.S. If you haven't read Understanding Exposure, I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Lest you think I have been remiss about my Cooking Challenge, I thought I would dedicate a post to the duds I have known and loved so far. I have already mentioned two of the duds in an earlier post, but as the duds mount, I realized that if I didn't share my failures as well as my successes, this blog could wind up being pretty sparse.

The first recipe to break my heart was Roasted Chicken and Arugula from Everday Food. I am constantly on the lookout for simple recipes with few ingredients that I can easily whip up with the baby attached to my hip. Oh, this recipe was sooooo promising. Arugula, potatoes, butter - what more could a recipe need? I really, really wanted to love this dish. But no matter how I tried, I could not even muster up an "okay" for this recipe. The chicken was bland, the arugula made my mouth feel as though I had been eating sand at the park all day, (which gave me a better understanding of why my 18 month old is so cranky when we come home from a day of sand-eating), the potatoes were so-so. My dislike for the dish made me even more sad when I realized that this is the first time in 15 years that Martha has failed me. Martha? Why did you have to harsh my mellow?

The next dud came courtesy of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, another cook for whom I have the utmost respect and rely upon to publish failproof recipes. The recipe was for Ina's Outrageous Oreo cookies, which I found published in Oprah's magazine a few years ago. Oprah, another woman who ususally knows her food. Anyway - I am so very sad about these brownies. I can't even talk about it. Just trust me, and don't waste your time cooking this (very involved and time-consuming) recipe.

Last, but not least, we have the Kielbasa, Cabbage and Rice soup from this month's Food and Wine magazine. I love, love, love kielbasa. It's crazy, really. I also am very found of cabbage and rice. Sure, the ingredients list looked a little sparse, but I hoped that this was one of those dishes that was greater than the sum of its parts. And what great parts with which to begin! But it was not to be. This soup was sooooo bland and tasteless, I picked out all the kielbasa and threw the rest away. If you knew me, you would know that this is a HUGE statement.

So that's it for this post. Stay tuned for more fun and excitement in the kitchen! Tonight I plan to bake the Confetti Bakery's recipe for vanilla sugar cookies, which cookies I will then attempt to decorate in an artistic manner. If you knew me, you would know how funny an undertaking this will be!

Love, -40

Julia Child's Home

Apartment therapy, a blog both 35 and I love dearly, had a great post today featuring pictures of Julia Child's Massachusetts home. The pictures were originally featured in a 1976 Architectural Digest article. The post came via the blog Cooked Books. Take a look when you have the time.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sprinkles Cupcakes

I have been eyeing the Sprinkles cupcake mixes for a long while now, but could never justify spending $14 for a cake mix. But when my daughter's half birthday rolled around, I had the excuse I was looking for. I wanted to do something special, but didn't have the motivation to bake from scratch. What better time to blow $14 on a cake mix than for my daughter's (half) birthday?

I bought the mix from Williams Sonoma. They had chocolate and vanilla, I chose vanilla.

Isn't the packaging pretty? I'm a sucker for cute packaging. Especially when the packaging is chocolate brown and pink.

In the box, you will find the cupcake mix and sprinkle decorations.

You need to supply your own eggs, butter, and milk for the cupcakes. If you plan to make your own frosting, you will also need to have those ingredients on hand. The back of the Sprinkles box has a recipe for frosting which is quite good, though a little sweet for my taste.

After you mix, cream, beat and add all the ingredients, you will end up with these tasty morsels of yumminess:

Here's a closer look. I know, I know, the sprinkles make the cupcakes look a little like a part of the female anatomy.

My verdict? The cupcakes were very good. Much better than any I have made from scratch. They were moist, and sweet and tasted homemade. The decorations are absolutely horrible, though. Do not eat them! The frosting is great, too, but very, very sweet.

Here's the deal - if I am using a mix, I want the ease of a mix. I want to dump the ingredients in a bowl, mix everything together with a fork, dump the concoction in a pan and be done with it. The Sprinkles mix had me creaming butter, beating my mix with an electric mixer, and adding eggs one at a time. It was as much work as making cupcakes from scratch. The only shortcut I gained from using the mix was that I did not have to mix any dry ingredients. To me, mixing the dry ingredients is the easiest part of baking. It's the creaming and beating I can do without. So although the cupcakes tasted better than any I have yet to bake from scratch, I plan to save my next $14 and continue my search for the perfect cupcake recipe. In a pinch, a box of Duncan Hines cake mix purchased for $1 on sale will make my daughter just as happy as a $14 box of fancy mix.

For those of you keeping score, the mix and the frosting add up to two new recipes I tried recently. I am so far behind. But don't despair, I have weeks to catch up!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Quote of the Day

Because I have been a horrible slacker all around, my quote of the day is an entire song!
"Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time... Don't live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you'll find love,
And don't forget son,
There is someone up above.
And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Won't you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man's gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

Boy, don't you worry... you'll find yourself.
Follow you heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try.
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied."
-Lynyrd Skynyrd
This is really a beautiful song. This is what I hope to teach my son- keep it simple, don't want too much, love yourself, be happy. Gee, is that all?
Also, this comes after I got to wanting to hear some good ol' Lynyrd Skynyrd the other day so loaded all I have onto my iPod. No, seriously, I love Lynyrd Skynyrd. Why does everyone always think that's a joke?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."
- Joe Walsh
Love, 40

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quote of the Day

This quote comes from a song that 35 and I played incessantly for a while after the movie Pulp Fiction was released. I still love the song, it's a great one to sing and dance along with.

"Being good wasn't always easy, no matter how hard I tried."
- Dusty Springfield

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I'll stop the world and melt with you."
- Modern English


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quote of the Day

"We always did feel the same,
we just saw it from a different point of view."
-Bob Dylan

Friday, February 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

"My biggest mistake was loving you too much, and letting you know."

The Band

Sorry, 35 for making you come up with all of the quotes of the day lately. I have had a weeks-long brain freeze! This one goes well with the last one 35 posted, don't you think, readers? (Mom??? Hello, Mom?)


Library Tales Part II - Something to Think About While Reading Your Library Books

The grossest thing found in a book donated to the library: a used condom.

Runners up: Vomit, fecal matter.

Love, 40

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I love myself better than you
I know it's wrong so what should I do?"
Ugh, I know, I've got to get more creative. This is harder than I thought it would be!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spring Fantasy

I love this Prada dress for Spring. It looks perfect for a warm day with a cardigan or a hot day with nothing. I would wear this dress EVERYWHERE, so it's really not fair that I'll never have it.

Quote of the Day

"Oh yeah, you're pretty good looking for a girl."
-The White Stripes
What does that mean, anyway? But I love the way it sounds, what a great way to start off a song.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Yes, I wish that for just one time
you could stand inside my shoes.
You'd know what a drag
it is to see you."
-Bob Dylan

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quote of the Day

" I wish I was like you,
easily amused."



Library Tales

During my early days at the library, there was a red-headed, sixteen year-old American punk with an English accent named "Joe" who visited the library several evenings a week. Joe was constantly causing trouble. On more than one occassion, Joe was caught trying to leave the library with a backpack full of CD's that he hadn't checked out. He was found in the men's room attempting to pull the security strips off of several DVD's. He would have pizza delivered to the front desk. He was always loud and inappropriate. Invariably, Joe's misbehavior lead to his being kicked out of the library at least once a week. He would always return a few days later, ready for more misadventure. But there was one incident after which Joe did not return. One night, one of the security guards came upon Joe in the upstairs loft, lying on his back, pants at his knees. He was spread eagle and fully exposed, his hand working furiously. The security guard shouted, "Joe, what the f*** are you doing?" as Joe fled from the library. Nobody has seen him since.

Yummy Waffles

I have been trying for over a year to duplicate at home the waffles served in restaurants. Before trying this recipe, the closest I had come to making homemade restaurant-style waffles was when I used a mix. But something about serving my family a waffle that contained more chemicals than natural ingredients just didn't sit well with me, so the search continued. I am glad to say the search is over. This recipe produces waffles that are the right balance between fluffy and crisp, with a wonderful, buttery taste. This recipe comes from my mother. These are the waffles that she and my father used to make for me and 35 on Sunday mornings when we were growing up. The recipe requires a little more time and effort than other recipes, but nothing that is too demanding, and the result is well worth the extra effort.

Yummy Waffles
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
1 stick melted butter
2 large eggs - separated
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Mix together flour and salt. Whisk yeast mixture, milk, butter, egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Add flour and salt. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold whites into batter mixture and let stand for twenty minutes. Heat waffle iron. Prehat oven to 225 degrees. Ladle batter onto heated waffle iron lightly sprayed with Pam and cook until you can no longer see steam escaping from the sides of iron. Place cooked waffles in preheated oven while cooking remaining batter.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

Romeo was restless, he was ready to kill
He jumped out the window 'cause he couldn't sit still
Juliet was waiting with a safety net
He said "don't bury me 'cause I'm not dead yet."

Elvis Costello

Love, -40

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I bet that you look good on the dance floor"

-The Arctic Monkeys

I never said these couldn't be stupid. Hey, what can I say? It's Friday. And don't you look good on the dance floor?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

"There ain't a woman that comes close to you."
Rolling Stones


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

In an effort to add a little variety to our quotes, here is a good one from Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a smart chick.

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How to Get Great Straight Out of the Camera Shots From Your Digital SLR

I mentioned in this post that I would reveal to you the secret about DSLRs. Then I thought, maybe it isn't a secret, maybe it just seemed like a secret to me, because I knew absolutely nothing about DSLRs prior to buying my first one back in July. Either way, I hope this post will stop at least one of you from bashing your head against the wall or throwing your expensive new camera out of a moving car in frustration because you are not getting the picture quality you expected from your DSLR.

I bought my DSLR after my third child was born. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get a good picture of the boy with my point and shoot. The problem was that 99% of my picture taking was happening inside in poor lighting conditions. With the point and shoot, I had two choices, I could use the flash, which completely washed out my son's pale complexion, or I could ramp up the ISO, which invariably lead to a shot so grainy I wound up deleting it. I needed a fast lens and a camera with better low-light capabilities. I needed a DSLR.

Unfortunately, buying a DSLR was not, as I had expected, the immediate answer to my picture-taking woes. In fact, I had new woes. My images now lacked sharpness and the colors were dull and lifeless. Nothing I did improved the quality of my photographs. I was frustrated and upset. I considered returning the camera, since I preferred the pictures I took with my point and shoot to the ones I was now getting. I went back to where I purchased the camera. The salesperson told me that I was expecting too much and would never get well-optimized images straight out of the camera. He told me that all DSLR images need some post processing. I was outraged. I could not believe that I bought an $800 camera that could not produce, without significant work on my part, images that were at least comparable to those produced by my $200 point and shoot.

After much investigation, I discovered that it IS possible to get great straight out of the camera shots with a DSLR. I'll say it again - you can get great SOOC shots! The secret is in the processing, as the salesperson had told me, but the in-camera processing, not post processing. It turns out point and shoots are specifically manufactured to produce sharp, saturated snapshots that are pleasing to the consumer eye. Manufacturers achieve this by setting the cameras' default settings to automatically apply fairly heavy-handed in-camera processing. In other words, the cameras are pre-set to add sharpness and saturation to the images they capture. DSLRs, on the other hand, either apply very light processing, or no processing at all, depending on whether you are shooting in JPEG or RAW. This deficit of in-camera processing allows you, as the photographer, to control how you want your photographs to look. You can control the look of your photographs one of two ways - you can spend time post processing, or you can change the in-camera settings on your camera. Now, I am not saying that you won't want to post-process your photos. What I am saying is that, in most instances, if you get your exposure right (more on that to follow), you will not HAVE to post-process.

Here's what you should do: Sit down with your camera's manual. All DSLRs have menus that allow you to go in and tweak the camera's settings. Learn how to do this. Play with your camera. Decide whether you like the bright, contrasty colors produced by your camera's "Vivid" (on Nikons) setting, or if you prefer colors that are more true to life. Determine how much sharpening you want applied to your pictures in-camera. Is your camera shooting dark? Play with the exposure compensation setting. You can change anything you want. Anytime you want. And that is a beautiful thing.

Quote of the Day

"And I don't want to break the rules
cause I've broken them all before
But every time I see you
I wonder why
I don't break a couple rules
so that you'll notice me"
-The White Stripes
By the way, well done yesterday, 40. I love that one. I often feel that way.

Monday, February 16, 2009

How to Bake Moist, Fluffy Corn Muffins

I have to admit that I don't have a lot of experience with corn muffins. Generally, I make my muffins according to the directions on the back of the Jiffy mix box and call it day. But after trying this recipe from Cook's Illustrated, I'll never eat a Jiffy muffin again. This recipe produced jumbo-sized, moist and fluffy muffins. According to Cook's Illustrated, the secret is using a combination of sour cream, milk, and butter. This recipe is definitely not for those looking for a low-fat muffin, but if you love corn muffins and are looking for a great from-scratch recipe, you need look no further.

Cook's Illustrated Corn Muffins

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup fine stone-ground yellow cornmeal (the cookbook recommends Arrowhead Mills brand)
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
8 tbsps (1 stick), unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (I always use salted butter)
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk

1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to combine; set aside. Whisk the eggs in a second medium bowl until well combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar to the eggs; whisk vigorously until thick and homogeneous, about 30 seconds; add the melted butter in 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add half the sour cream and half the milk and whisk to combine, whisk in the remainig sour cream and mix until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix gently with a rubber spatula until the batter is just combined and evenly moistened. Do not overmix. Using a large spoon sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking, divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, dropping it to form mounds. Do not level or flatten the surface of the mounds.

3. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18 minutes, rotating the muffins from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool the muffins in the tin 5 minutes, invert the muffins on to a wire rack, stand the muffins upright, cool 5 minutes longer, serve warm.

Slather with butter and ENJOY.

Love, 40

Quote of the Day

"She hates her life, she hates her skin, she even hates her friends."

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Love, 40

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

Ha! I stayed up past midnight just to beat my sister to the punch! I'll be sorry tomorrow morning when the baby wakes me up at 6:00 a.m., but I am pleased as punch with myself right now, I tell you! for a quote.......

"How dare you? How old are you now, anyway?"
The White Stripes

This quote/song has been on a continuous loop in my head for about two weeks now. Hopefully, it will not invade your brain as it has mine.

Love, 40

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Coming Soon...

Rather than wallow in my misery about turning 40 this year, I have decided to involve myself in doing some things that I have always meant to do but never gotten around to doing. One of those things is learning more about photography and photoshop and becoming a better photographer. I consider myself my children's historian, and want to be able to provide them with photographs that beautifully and accurately capture their childhood memories. I plan to chronicle my learnings on this blog in simple, easy to read posts. By doing so, I hope to help other family historians and photographers learn photography as well as to help them avoid making the mistakes I have made/will make as a newbie, and track my own progress. Coming soon - the secret about DSLRs.

- 40

Quote of the Day

"You and me
Meant to be
It's destiny
Pure lunacy
But for the last time
You're everything that I want and ask for
You're all that I'd dreamed
Who wouldn't be the one you love
Who wouldn't stand inside your love"
-The Smashing Pumpkins
This is a bit much but hey, it's Valentine's Day. And later, when I have more time, I will explain my love for Billy Corgan.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Quote of the Day Challenge

Here's one more challenge (and hopefully the last for a while since I don't even like challenges, I was overwhelmed with my life before any of these challenges and I hate competition):
The Quote of the Day Challenge. This is where I post a favorite quote (and 40, please feel free to participate, I hope you do. Whoever gets here first everyday wins! By wins, I mean for that day, you know, the privilege of posting the prestigious "quote of the day"). There are no rules to this challenge, simply just that there needs to be a quote every day. It can come from anywhere although I'm guessing that 99% will be from music, and that 75% of that will be Rolling Stones or White Stripes. The quote may be profound or it may be silly or even mean- there may be an explanation as to why it was chosen that day or there may not. Probably most will come with explanations because the art history major in me loves to analyze and talk about it. But we'll see how this goes. I'm going to start simple for 2 reasons: 1) Because you should always start simple and 2)I thought this was a great idea since I have quotes floating through my head constantly and we (the trio- my mom, my sister and I) often speak in what we call "rock speak" which is just quoting songs appropriately in conversation (sometimes inappropriately but whatever...). But now that I have issued the challenge my mind has gone blank.

So here goes:
" The sunshine bores the daylights out of me"
-The Rolling Stones

Not actually a favorite of mine, this one is popular with 40 and our mom. I thinks it's fine, just not my favorite. I'll try harder tomorrow.

White Chocolate and Apricot Oatmeal Cookies - the Recipe

I am sorry it took me so long to post this recipe. I wanted to build anticipation for the recipe, but not THAT much anticipation!

The cookies turned out really well. The white chocolate, oatmeal and vanilla all blend together to form a chewy, sweet cookie. Next time I plan to substitute semisweet chocolate for the white chocolate and dried cherries for the apricots.

Martha Stewart's White Chocolate and Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter (I used salted), softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
8 oz. which chocolate, chopped (I used chips)
7 oz. dried apricots, chopped (1.5 cups)

1. Mix flour, oatmeal and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cream
butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to
low. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs, and beat until well combined, about 1
minute. Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just combined.
Stir in chocolate and apricots. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 30
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking
sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are golden brown around
the edges but still soft in the center, 14-16 minutes. Let cookies cool on
baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. cookies will
keep, covered, for up to 1 week.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday Morning Chuckle

10 year old son, D, to 40: "We learned about the reproductive system in school today."

40: "Oh?"

D: "Yeah, and I have a question."

40: "Uh huh?" (Fighting back panic.)

D: "So, I know that the boy has a cell and the girl has a cell and the boy pees out his cell and the boy and girl cells get together and make a baby."

40: "Okay...."

D: "But HOW do the cells get together?"

40, fighting an overwhelming urge to flee screaming from the room, calmly, and as vaguely as possible, explains to D how the boy and girl cells meet.

D: "That's GROSS!" Waits a beat. "You and Daddy did THAT?!?"

Love, 40

Home Challenge

I have a 2009 challenge for myself, too. I want to get my home organized and clean. I want it to be someplace I love living in. There are a few roadblocks in my way. The main one being that my home is small; really, REALLY small. I like to pretend that this is because I live in a major city and real estate is at a premium. Which is sort-of true. But I don't live in New York, Tokyo or London. I live in a second rate major city in a slightly shady neighborhood. But I love my second rate city and I love my neighborhood. I also love my apartment but sometimes I hate it.
Roadblock #2 is money. I don't have the money I need to make major changes to my home. Let's be honest here- if I had money, I would probably just move anyway.
But I like the challenge of small space living. I also really believe that it can be done and done well. If you don't believe me, check I am obsessed with it. It shows that small space living is not only a necessity depending on where you live, but can be a choice for some people. Let's pretend that's the case with me.
(and my apologies to the city I live in. I don't think you're second rate, it's just the word on the street.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

White Chocolate and Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

Six weeks into my cook-off, I see a problem. Rather than cooking from recipes I already have on file, I instead find myself searching for the perfect recipe to cook for the week. I must rein in this craziness! You can thank Martha Stewart, and my recipe gathering instincts, for the cookies I am baking at this very moment. They smell absolutely delicious. No, you can't have the recipe yet. This is just a preview of things to come. Sorry, but I'm mean like that. Blame it on the girls from my junior high. Those girls were nasty, I tell you. I learned from the best.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Julie, Julia, and Me

On January 1st, I issued myself a challenge Julie and Julia style. But rather than cooking my way through the great Joy of Cooking one day at a time, I plan to cook at least one new recipe a week from my recipe collection. I will do this for 52 weeks. That's right, this is Julie and Julia, the slacker edition.

I am doing this because I recently realized that what I believed to be an interest in cooking is, in fact, a recipe-collecting addiction. The fact that I work in a library makes this problem all the greater. As a library employee, many a cookbook crosses my desk. And, I assure you, not one cookbook has passed my desk that did not contain at least one, often many, many more than one, recipe that I deemed worthy of photocopying. Herein lies the problem. In addition to the dozens of cookbooks I had to buy because I could not photocopy all the good recipes they contained, (I only get 5 free photocopies a day at the library), I have stacks and stacks of photocopied recipes. And stacks of recipes I ripped out of magazines. And stacks of recipes given to me by friends. Okay, you get the picture. So - in an ongoing effort to rid my house of clutter (HA HA), I decided to weed out my recipe collection. But how? By actually cooking some of the recipes I have been hording and determine whether or not a recipe is worthy of saving. I know that 52 recipes won't make much of a dent in my pile, but at least I will feel better about the pile. This may not sound like much of a challenge to you. After all, Julie Powell conquered the great art of french cooking. But trust me, for a a stay at home mom of three, with two part-time jobs, just feeding my family is an accomplishment. Frankly, I have already found myself wanting to throw in the towel. Instead, I have decided to journal my experience and make myself accountable. I plan to include recipes and pictures so that you can follow along at home.

Let the cooking begin!


Has anybody else noticed that the Snuggie is nothing more than a robe worn backwards?

I watched a documentary about Stax Records on Saturday night (yeah, I've got a full social calendar!). Thank you PBS for having cool stuff on sometimes because I don't have cable.

Current Pandora station? Isaac Hayes, of course. Inspired by the Stax documentary. I love him, he's so cool.

Wishing for: New music. My collection of soul is lacking. And maybe to look like Mavis Staples circa WattStax. She looks cool.
Wondering: Where can I get a poster of Isaac Hayes' album, Black Moses? And also, am I too old for posters?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thank You!

Thank you, 35! I was VERY surprised. You see, usually, we talk and talk and talk about our wonderfully fabulous ideas but never take action on them. Basicially, we talk so much that we talk each other right out of thinking we had a good idea in the first place. My little sister was right about pretty much everything, except my age. I am actually 29. Wait, did I call 35 my little sister? I was never very good at math. Anyway, as 35 said, we don't really live remarkable lives, but we think we are pretty funny.

Besides the five years' (Uhm, I mean, six - this lying thing does not come easily to me), difference, there are other differences between us that we thought would add a little humor and interest to our blog. Basically, it goes like this - 35 is a tall, thin, strawberry-blonde who majored in art history and fashion design. She loves all things fashion, and as a child spent hours in her bedroom creating new outfits and playing with makeup. You should have seen her Cyndi Lauper phase! These days, you can find her, dressed in the latest fashion, poring over fashion magazines and blogs. She still disappears into her room to play with makeup. 35 is a city girl. I, on the other hand, am an on-the-short-side, plump, used to be blonde. I majored in psychology and went to law school. I have about three outfits that I wear, none of them fashionable. I do like makeup, though. I live in the suburbs and drive a mini-van. Now, lest you think my sister and I are polar-opposites, I should also tell you that we were once asked if we were twins, our significant others, and sometimes our parents, cannot tell us apart on the telephone, Billy Corgan's voice brings us both to tears, and we are both passionate about the White Stripes, good lyrics, and discussing Mick Jagger's antics. We are both opinionated, and neither of us likes to be wrong. We talk on the phone so many times a day, myhusband asks "What more could you two possibly have to say to each other?" There is more, but suffice it to say that we like to think that our differences compliment our similarities.

And oh yeah, as my sister said, don't expect too much from us at first. We like to set the bar low. But who knows? We might just surprise you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

For Forty

I'm 35. It's how old I am right now, but let's never mention that again. I am doing this blog with my sister, 40. It is up to her if she wants to tell you if that's how old she is. Actually, she doesn't even know I am doing this right now. It's a surprise.
This is a blog about our lives. Our lives aren't very interesting but we think we are pretty funny. Previously, we planned to waste our writing skills on romance novels. Who knows? Maybe we did. We'd never use our real names so only we know for sure.
Don't expect too much from this blog right away, neither one of us is very technologically savvy. 40's husband is, but maybe we'll do this on our own.