Monday, October 22, 2012

Social Media Geekout Moment

I have a confession to make. I had something really exciting happen to me this weekend. I have to admit that most people probably won't be all that impressed, but it was exciting for me nonetheless.

This weekend, I posted a picture of the Chicago skyline that I took while we were taking a walk on Northerly Island onto my Instagram feed. (Northerly Island is a relatively hidden park, walking distance from downtown. It used to be the site of Meigs Field airport that served the immediate downtown, but Mayor Daley had it raized in the middle of the night in 2003 in order to make it into a park. This photo makes it look far, far away, but it's just a short walk down a path from the Museum Campus, which is where the Field Museum, Aquarium, and Planetarium are.) That picture was chosen as a photo of the day on Instagram, and it's already had a ton of views! I'm pretty excited to be featured because at any given time, there are about 41,000 photos using that same hashtag on Instagram!

164 likes in only 1 day!
Some Instagram feeds are run by someone who chooses a picture of the day. By hashtagging your picture with whatever tag that feed uses to find photos, you are in the running to be that day's choice. Someone in Chicago does one called chitecture (combo of Chicago and Architecture, get it?) that chooses a photo every day that can be of anything and everything relating to Chicago architecture using that hashtag.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Have You Seen This?

I can't get over how clever the marketing group at Sears is. This commercial is the funniest one I've seen on TV in awhile. Those darn American Eagle kids just got what they deserved. Though I've now seen it more than a handful of times, it still makes me laugh every time. Also, though we DVR most of our shows, I will actually stop fast forwarding through the commercials to watch this one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Photo Collage: Last Weekend

Clockwise from top left: Bacon & Blue Cheese Fries; Settlers of Catan card game; homemade cinnamon butterhorn rolls; weird fall flower bouquet from the last farmer's market of the year; a peek at the curtains I finished for the baby's room; and a rare moment of the cats lounging together without the little one gnawing on the other's head.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Everybody Has Parenting Advice

That last one is the winner in my book. While it just may be the most accurate advice one can get, it is probably just about as helpful as most advice usually is...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Being Nerdy is Fun

I don't really understand the point of the neon yellow waders, but I really like their dance moves...especially that whole body kick. I'm definitely incorporating that into my next dance opportunity.

Also, this right here is exactly why I loved going to my small private college. Because those are the types of places where this sort of weird but fun activity draws a wide variety of people and encourages them to all let loose without worrying about what it looks like to others. Everyone needs incredible silliness as a college memory.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Conversation #13

Me: (Upon opening my eyes yesterday morning) Oh no, last night I had a vivid dream about doing cocaine. I didn't even know I knew what cocaine looks like. There was a huge pile in front of me.
Him: It was in that awful show last night.
Me: What? Bones? No it wasn't.
Him: No that other one. I only watched two minutes of it, and I remember. The one where that guy proposed to the annoying girl.
Me: ?........Oh, Raising Hope. (As one of the characters leaves the bathroom where four of them were all gathered having a conversation, she says, "If anyone asks what we were doing in there, everyone just say blow.") My dream does have a connection to reality. Yay! I'm not crazy.
Him: Well, you're still crazy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ready for Parenthood


Note I wrote to a friend who is running the Chicago Marathon this weekend. And yes, I meant every word-my poetry comes from a place of truth.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just a Minute: September Edition

announcing...September was the month in which we were given the go-ahead by our doctor to make public that we have a healthy wee McArdle on the way. So far, (sorry baby) I am not really enjoying pregnancy much. Nathan doesn't ever let me use the "I'm pregnant" excuse for anything, which really puts a damper on the whole thing. I'm sure looking forward to the magical second trimester where you (supposedly) feel amazing.

partying…I was concerned that our big news would somewhat overshadow my birthday this year, (just like our wedding overshadowed my 30th. Why do I keep doing this to myself?) but my amazing husband really went all out this year for me. Not only did he send me flowers at work, but he also got me another birthday gift, tiny ice cream cakes, AND he even secretly texted friends to let them know they should send me birthday notes and wishes. Finding out about that honestly was the highlight of my whole birthday.

reading…Just finished the well-written but incredibly hard-to-read, Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. It's nonfiction about Annawadi, a large slum next to the Mumbai Airport. It is devastating to get such a vivid picture of the suffering of some of the world's poorest inhabitants. I kept having to remind myself that these were real people, not characters because my mind just didn't want to accept that this is a real experience for so many people.

...In a last day of the month project, I fixed up a bedside table bought at a recent yard sale. It was surprising how quickly I was able to finish it. I really like those rare projects that provide such dramatic and fast results!

Photo (& Recipe) by
cooking...A friend from work recommended this recipe for the PF Chang Lettuce Wraps to me last week, so I made some on Thursday night. I highly recommend these! Nathan doesn't like water chestnuts, so I left those out. In an effort to replace the crunchiness, I added in bok choy and sliced pea pods, which were delicious. I think I was more liberal on the liquid ingredients when making the sauce, so mine was much more drippy. I also doubled the recipe, but that meant we had days of leftovers, so don't be tempted to do the same unless you are serving a crowd.

Sarah's Muffins by Rhok
baking...I was provided with a valuable baking reminder this weekend. Sure the timer is important when you're baking, but you should equally trust your instincts and your nose. If the muffins smell done, you should take them out of the oven, even if they have nearly 10 minutes to go. Leaving them even five more minutes will mean they will taste like streusal-covered cardboard with a charcoal infusion. I sawed off the charred bottoms and still ate five, but my enjoyment was forced. I ended up throwing the other dozen and a half away because once they cooled off, they had nothing going for them.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Saturday Project

We rearranged our bedroom recently, and with the new layout I no longer had a window ledge to use to hold my stuff. I needed a bedside table. At a recent neighborhood yard sale, I found a cute little beat up bedside table. It was missing some hardware and very scratched, but I realized that with a little paint and some replacement knobs, it would be better than new!

This Saturday I got to work. I picked up a quart of Valspar Sea Wave Semi Gloss from Lowe's and found some small knobs from Anthropologie for $6 each.

I got to work with my sandpaper, sanding down every part of the lacquer on the table so the paint would stick.

I had a little "help" with the sanding.
There was an offer to help paint, but I kindly turned them down.
Luckily the sun was quite strong and my paint dried quickly. I did at least 3 coats on everything, though there were probably five on the top. I screwed in the knobs and soaped up the bottoms of the drawers so they would slide smoothly (you can also use wax), and my project was finished!

I'll post a picture of this table in its new spot soon.