Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ottoman Empire

So there I was at Target, attempting to purchase a toaster off my cousin's wedding registry.  We've already established that I have a thing for toasters, so it seemed like a natural gift.  Thwarted in my gift-shopping aim by the toaster's recall, I began browsing Target's aisles, which is a dangerous thing to do around this time of year.  One might get sucked into, say, buying a large leftover box of completely unneccessary valentine chocolates.  Not me, mind you, but some people might do that.  And they might eat more chocolate caramels in one sitting than one human should really be allowed to eat.
But I digress.  I happened upon an ottoman on clearance, which I felt was fortuitous since I've been wanting an ottoman for some time.  It was obviously not a Pottery Barn ottoman, but as neither my conscience nor my bank account will allow me to spend $900 on an ottoman, I figured it would do.
Ottomans are nice, because they allow you to express your own sense of style.  For example, if you're feeling studious, you might stack a pile of books on the ottoman.

Or if you're feeling sort of casual, you might casually toss a velour throw over the ottoman.

Or you could simply drape a string of weasels over the ottoman.  If you have a string of weasels.  Which I understand, not everybody does.

And of course, ottomans are nice for stretching out your legs.  And having your cat climb over you as if you were the Rocky Mountains.

But all that aside, I've come to realize that this so-called Clearance Ottoman was not the bargain I thought it was.  It did, in fact, come with a price.  And that price, my friends, is an assault on the olfactory receptors.  The thing stinks.  Reeks, in fact.  And since it's been around long enough to become a clearance item, I have a hunch that if the smell was going to wear off, it already would've done so.  So if you happen by my apartment any time soon, bear with me.  Understand that I am not doing aromatherapy experiments gone horribly wrong.  I am not housing toxic chemicals for the government.  I am merely debating the future of a very useful but very smelly ottoman.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kitchen: before and aft

Okay, so last week I providentially stumbled upon Christine's blog and decided to join in with Organize Unclutter 2008.  I think it'll be great to have the accountability and the knowledge that there are other people out there trying to straighten up along with me.  
We're starting with organization of the kitchen, so I thought I'd give you a tour of mine.  It's just a small galley kitchen, so you'd think it'd be easy to keep clean, but I manage to trash it on a pretty regular basis.  Warning:  the first 2 images are not for the faint of heart.  And note, these are before and after pics I took a couple of weeks ago; I still need to work on the assignments for this week.

Niiiiiice.  Love the way the trash is cascading out of the trash can and onto the floor.

Seriously, could I LEAVE any more cupboards open?  Oh, and now you know my secret.  I stockpile boxes of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch.
And I leave hand grenades on the counter in front of the microwave.  Oh wait - my bad - that's a bottle of lime juice.

Now see, how hard was that?  And how much better does it look?  Technically, for this week's assignment, I should stow the toaster.  But quite honestly, the toaster is pretty much just decoration anyway.  I'm not that much of a toast girl (plus, the thing really only effectively toasts one side of the bread), but I'm all about adding character to a room and I think my red retro toaster adds a charming splash of color to that end of the kitchen.  
I'm thinking about removing the rooster (in the corner by the toaster).  Do I really NEED a chalkboard-holding anthropomorphized member of the poultry family in my kitchen?  Probably not...

...but then again, he is sort of cute.  And the paper towels, for which I don't have a holder, hide nicely behind him.  What do you say, people?  Keep the rooster or give him the (figurative) axe?

Holy smokes, you can actually SEE the refrigerator.  Less is more, folks, less is more.
So anyway, I've sorted my kitchen gadgets, and pretty much my only extraneous appliance is the aforementioned toaster.  I need to weed my cookbooks, and then I think I'm pretty much set for this week's assignments.  Although I have some catching up to do, from weeks past.
But hey, there's progress being made in this little kitchen!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Funny Valentine

I received today what I believe to be just about the funniest valentine ever.

Perhaps I should interject here (lest you think I'm receiving mail from people with homicidal, cannibalistic tendencies) that this card came from Bella.  My cat.  I believe my parents may have helped her pick it out.

And I really believe Bella does love me.  Because she never has clawed me to pieces and feasted on the remains.  Not even once.

Happy Heart Day.  From me and the cat.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chop Chop

Hey, Mother, you'll like this.  Yesterday I was in the housewares section in TJ Maxx, and I happened upon a knife display.  They had paring knives, they had santoku knives; and what do you know, they had an 8-inch Kitchenaid Chef's knife for the low price of $7.99.  Now, true, this is no J.A. Henckels knife; it doesn't even have rivets, and it has a cheesy silicone handle.  But I figured it had a few good chops in it.
I decided to have fajitas for lunch today, because all the chopping would be a good test-drive for my knew knife.  
New.  New knife.  Here's the knife with its victims.

Wow, it cuts through green peppers like a subzero wind cuts through a poor, unsuspecting human as she scrapes her car on a Sunday morning.  I know a little bit about that sort of thing.

Hmmmm.  Same story for red peppers.  This is a knice knife.  Nice, I mean.  Nice Knife.

No problem with the onions, either.  Looks pretty good...

Hula Girl thinks so too.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Winter Storm

While it's a balmy 29 degrees, it's been snowing all day, and we can expect a total of 6 - 12 inches.  We must be closing in on 6 already.  Here's what the road to my apartment looked like on the way home from work.

Of course, when I actually got home, there was someone begging to go out and play in the snow.  Well, begging first for her dinner, then for a romp in the white stuff.  Far be it from me to come between a cat and winter sports:

She didn't last long.

This stuff is cold!  I'm outta here...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

GroundHog Day

Here's my own personal Punxatawney Phil.  I can't verify whether she saw her shadow or not, but she enjoyed playing in her overturned perch.  Er, that is, groundhog hole.  
Hope you have a grand day of groundhoggy celebration (sorry, I didn't get my cards out this year)!