This home tour is special to me because the foyer and small powder room (formerly a coat closet) are laid out just like our home! Radiator on the right, similar stairwell, everything! I have a bit of mud room envy. What a charming home tour. It's neat to see a house miles away in Rhode Island that looks like our humble abode.
I would love to be featured on Apartment Therapy. Well, at the very least, I'd love to take the time and energy to photograph my house in its best light; even if those photos were just for my readers and I to enjoy.
Would you open your house up to praise and criticism on a site like Apartment Therapy?
Here's a view from the stairs leading up to our home. The poppies bloomed and I had to capture them in photographs.
Sometimes when you work for a grocery headquarters you get very hungry in meetings. Yesterday I was in a two hour meeting where we talked about food at length. One type of food discussed: Hamburger Helper and its spin-offs. I haven't used a kit like that to cook a meal in a while so I decided to grab a Tuna Helper after work and add a few vegetables to make it a bit healthier. I used the Creamy Broccoli box as my base.
image via generalmills.com
In addition to the basic ingredients, I added halved cherry tomatoes, cut fresh baby spinach, lemon juice and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese at the end.
The sodium level is a buzz-kill but the meal was really good, quick and easy to prepare and made a lot. I have leftovers for lunches!
Do you utilize a lot of meal starters and quick-fix meals or a crock pot to help prepare dinner most nights? We cook in a variety of ways. Speaking of which....I am looking forward to grilling season!
P.S. Bow Chicka Wow Wow ~ ABC figured out that women have sex drives, thanks, no doubt, to Fifty Shades of Grey. Have you seen commercials for Mistresses? If they are truly mistresses engaged in extramarital affairs; I'll be interested to see how accepted this is or isn't by the American public. Kyle said it looks like a new version of SATC.
Often it just sucks. It sucks for people who died in a factory fire in Bangladesh. It sucks for the fact that just because you pay more an item or look for the Made in Italy tag it doesn't guarantee you're not paying folks working in the same awful factory conditions. It sucks when items only last for a week or month then you throw them away and buy more, contributing to the cycle.
I ordered these sandals by Zara recently. I must have had a mental glitch because I thought it said they were leather in the composition. They weren't. When they arrived in the mail, they smelled awful and looked like the fake suede that they are. The embellishment is gorgeous but I was underwhelmed. They were returned. I can find something of higher quality for $80 or pocket my hard-earned money.
My first ever (disappointing) Zara purchase made me think about all the crappy clothes and shoes I see when I browse in person (anything can look nice on a website). Seems that don't line up properly, polyurethane trying to pass for leather, off-center designs. To be sure, these things are a product of their environment. Americans demand low prices, people at the top of companies want to cut costs, people in factories are pressed to work quickly and for low wages.
What is the answer?
The Bangladesh Fire brought public outcry and there will be regulations (article 1, 2) put in place but I don't foresee a true turnaround.
This house featured on Hooked on Houses goes out to my friend Laura who loves Kiawah Island.
Put some lipstick on. You look so pretty with lipstick on. (The words of Beth's old salon manager.) That is what I want to say to a certain gorgeous and talented blogger who looks a bit washed out with the nude lip she's been on a streak with. Ladies, be careful when blonde, wearing foundation and skipping lipstick. It can make your mouth look blue/purple/grey-ish and your face look washed out. You can fast forward to 3:20 of this tutorial by Shaina Azad if you want to cut to the lip session.
Thanks to my friend Erin's rave review, I am going to give this sucker a whirl. The Silk'n SensEpil is supposed to help eliminate and lessen hair growth. I have tried many different tactics and am looking forward to advances in technology and science so that one day I will never have to shave again. Amen.
I love reading well-written things. Here is an excerpt from Danielle Sacks Fast Company article on J.Crew executive creative director and president Jenna Lyons: She has created a high-low look that reflects her own boy-girl style--androgyny with some sequins and a dash of nerdy glasses.
That sentence makes me smile.
The piece also had an excellent insight from Lyons when it comes to managing creative folks. Having worked with many designers, I know this to be true: "When someone creates something and puts it in front of you, that thing came from inside of them, and if you make them feel bad, it's going to be hard to fix, because you've actually crushed them."
Jenna is an awesome business role model. Please enjoy this empowered statement (this gives me a flashback to the book I read in 2006 The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much): She traces her ambition to her parents' divorce when she was in the seventh grade. "I'll never forget my mother standing in the tuna-fish aisle thinking, Are we going to get tuna fish this week?" says Lyons. "Feeling like I never wanted to rely on a man, I was like, I gotta work my ass off."
On a lighthearted note, If I could only have one thing from J.Crew's recent style guide it would be this blazer....or the whole suit if you can count that as only one. I think the construction and unique scalloped "closure" are fantastic.
I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Don't be afraid to spend the week working your butt off so that you never have to rely on a man. )
Over breakfast, Kyle asked what size fruit or vegetable our baby is now.
I said "the emails tell me in pounds and inches now. We're past fruit. The baby is about two pounds."
"It's like trout fishing," he said.
"What?" I replied, not making the connection.
Kyle stated as a matter of fact: "You know, they have to measure the fish to see who wins the competition."
So there you have it folks, my loving husband compared our Little One to a trout. When I found out how many inches tall our baby is in the delivery room, I might have a flashback to Kyle comparing it to a trout.
I wish my grandmother Shirley was still living because she would love the illustrations and guide to setting a table properly from Style Me Pretty Living. All of my grandparents were extremely wonderful, hard-working people. Shirley was a nurse. She was a homemaker. She loved to cook. She was probably the first person I chatted with about fashion. We used to enjoy watching awards shows and analyzing the celebrities styles.
She taught me practical things like how to set a table, how to properly make a bed, how to take a quick sink bath if you're in a rush, what it would be like "becoming a woman" (a polite euphemism for going through puberty), what to watch out for with men and how to choose a good husband.
Shirley had a warmth and grace about her. She hosted my mom, brother and I almost every Thursday night for family dinner while she was living. During this time, she taught me to set the table. She used to say "Question!" then pause to get our attention and ask us the question. She was fiercely proud of my brother and my appetites and willingness to clean our plates. Looking back, I'm glad I wasn't a pescatarian then because it would have rattled her a little to have her menu limited.
After dinner and dessert (Granny and Pappy always had dessert), we'd wash and dry the dishes. Usually she washed them and tasked my mom and I with drying them.
Shirley was such a caretaker and definitely a part of the statistic with women taking care of more housework even when they worked outside the home.
On Saturday, I had fun hosting a lady's brunch to celebrate my friend Lisa's birthday. While I was bustling around I thought of Granny and how she would have loved to be there with me helping spruce up the house.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Spring has been gorgeous in Pittsburgh!
Negotiating can be intimidating. However, it's very worthwhile. According to The Wage Project: "Over her working life, a woman will earn $1 million less than a man simply because she is a woman."
Attitudes about take-home pay are sometimes still stuck in the past. I literally had a Director of a past employer ask me if someone I referred for a job was married and could accept a lower salary. No, she was a divorced, single mom whose husband left her for another woman. I am not sure if any steam came out of my ears as I heard that sexist, completely HR-unapproved question.
The first time I asked for a raise was in college. I worked part time in an Arthritis research clinic. The doctor I worked for awarded me the raise. When I accepted my first job out of college, I did not negotiate a better starting salary. In retrospect, this was dumb, but I believed the line they fed me that everyone starts at the same level. In my second job out of college, I counter-offered on starting salary and received more than the initial offer. In my time with that employer, I asked for a higher title and to understand what I could do to be considered a "senior" account coordinator instead of just an account coordinator. By asking and committing to working hard and producing great work, I was awarded a raise and higher position.
Now, it is ingrained in me to counter offer. I feel more comfortable doing so and with my sales pitch for why I should earn X amount, receive more vacation time, etc. Keep in mind, you may want to negotiate your bonus structure, vacation days, salary, flexible schedule, perks and more.
There are resources available to help you see if your pay is in the right range and provide suggestions for what to do (and what not to do) when negotiating. It's also good to get outside of books and web links and have conversations with friends and industry colleagues to hear what has worked for others and learn what compensation is given to others in similar roles.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Advice on asking for a raise from The Wage Project President Evelyn Murphy on Katie Couric:
Once you're pregnant, many of your favorite undergarments will no longer fit.
My favorite bras quickly became a museum pieces soon after I became pregnant. Although there is no child in sight, mother nature gets a head start on breast growth in order to feed the baby one day. You may find yourself, as I did, in a lingerie department, lost in a sea of choices, combing through large cup sizes and wondering what will contain your new jugs. You may get double boob in a size you thought was unfathomably large. Your husband may refer to the twins as "personal flotation devices" prior to your vacation in Jamaica. You may feel suddenly drawn to comfort call-outs like "wide straps" and "no underwire." You may mentally curse your growing nips for ruling out your former favorite demi cuts and directing you towards cups that look like large yamakas. Put on your yamaka(s), here comes bra-shop-ika...
from Nickelodeon "Vital Information"
Moving south. There is not much better than finding the perfect thong, hipster and brief to have at-the-ready in your underwear drawer. I have my favorites and my back-ups for when the favorites are being laundered. Little did I know that some of these darling base layers would turn on me once my belly started popping out. Gravity is real, people! Once my belly became big, all but the lowest-rise underwear started to cascade lower and lower because my stomach is so far from flat. I've been reduced to memorizing which ones will fit comfortably, buying a few pairs in larger sizes, and when needed, hiking up the back-up briefs and hoping no one notices my awkward readjustment.
This concludes our third edition of Pregnant Indignities.