On Reading-ish

Okay – I know I have been slacking about posting.  School this semester is *so* much busier than prior semesters – I took on a research position, one class has regular exams, and another has regular writing assignments – and I have some other stuff going on.  But, hi!  I’m here!

One thing that is kind of miserable about my schedule (beyond the lack of sleep and the whole hardly seeing The Boyfriend except for during the commute to school and a brief hello between classes some nights), is that I don’t have time to read.  I used to read everything I could get my hands on.  Seriously – everything.  I would spend hours going through the old Readers’ Digest issues at my grandparents’ house as a small child.  I read stacks of National Geographics that my dad had and all of his Hardy Boys.  Middle school saw me reading the classics and in deep adoration of Atticus Fitch (side note: is that why I ultimately ended up in law school?).  I spent high school collecting vampire novels and taking college literature courses and my twenties collecting books about murders and religion.  Throughout all of it, I have maintained an intense love of current events and reading the news.  And then I started law school and I wasn’t able to keep my reading for fun.  And I have to tell you, seriously, it sucks.

However, there is a bright spot – a tiny, shiny, bright spot.  I discovered audiobooks.  I spend hours in my car every day between going to work and going to school and while there are some days I really feel like listening to The National’s Boxer on repeat (seriously, such a good album), most days, I want to pull in as much information as I possibly can.  I listen to podcasts and highly recommend (some of) them.  But I missed reading.  I missed reading about horribly depressing religious experiences.  I missed reading interesting and somewhat dark fiction.  I missed reading light and funny memoir.  And so I subscribed to an audiobook service.

Frankly, I love it.

I know it’s not really reading, but it’s as close as I can get right now.  And for that, I am grateful.  I go through two or three books a month. Most recently, and so far one of my absolute favorites, was Amy Poehler’s Yes Please.  I adored it.  It made me laugh.  A lot.  It made me cry (more than a comedienne’s memoir probably should).  It was simply fantastic.  Ms. Poehler is so sweet and so relatable and so… rah-rah-girl, that I seriously wish she could be my bestie.  Listening to her made me want to be a better, slightly less snarky version of me.  She is amazing and funny and adorable.  And I highly recommend everyone read her book – but especially recommend the audiobook.  I’m sure there are differences, and I do love the sensation of turning a page, but I really loved having her personality come through in the audio.  I loved Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, but I think Yes Please takes the proverbial cake.  It is even better than the hype and deserves all of the ink spent on it.  (Also, it made me *really* sad about the impending end of Parks and Recreation – I want Leslie Knope to be my spirit animal.)

I finished the book this morning, a little sad to not have more.  Tomorrow, I’ll start listening to Jon Krakauer’s Prophet’s Prey.  Something tells me it will be a little less fun, but hopefully compelling nonetheless.

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Our Cottage

Unsurprisingly, school has interfered with my blogging abilities this month.  Posts will be intermittent at best until mid-May.  Not that anyone is reading anyway, but still…

When I started this blog, I wanted it to reflect my life – equal parts family life, DIY house projects, delicious cocktails (we’re trying a new one tonight in advance of hosting the neighborhood for a cocktail party next weekend last weekend – so busy!), and probably random rantiness.  So far, I’ve had a cocktail, an introduction, and a rant about family life.  I’m lacking in the house stuff department.

We bought our house last summer after a long search.  Seriously, I think our realtor was happy to be rid of us when everything zipped up.  It was a long process – full of tense negotiations, roadblocks from our legal team, and issues with our rental that we were leaving.  When we finally moved in, I got very sick on our first night in the house and ended up losing that crucial first month to illness.  Having just passed a milestone related to the illness, I’ll likely be posting about it in the not-distant future.  I had such high hopes for moving in and spending the summer putting the house together – I’ve moved a lot in the last several years and moving in is usually a quick process for me.  This time, getting sick messed that all up and the poor Boyfriend had to handle all the furniture set-up and initial unpacking alone.  By the time I felt better, school had started and I didn’t really have the time to dedicate to unpacking or painting or even wallpaper removal (OMG, the wallpaper!  It is everywhere in varying degrees of horrible).

We still have boxes.  None of our walls have been painted.  But, we have managed to complete the powder room on the main level, which was a huge project for us.

When we moved in, it was all country cottage – oak cabinets, oak shelves with heart cutouts, pink-beige wallpaper with tiny flowers.  In short, it was horrible.  I knew it was going to be our first project.  The room is small and it didn’t need that much work…  (Haha, I laugh now.  The beauty of hindsight, I suppose.)  Just before school started, a friend sent me a link to Flavor Paper in Brooklyn.  I fell in love with their City Park pattern.  However, I didn’t love any of their default color options.  Lucky for me, they customize, so I picked my own color (3145 opaque, a deep teal) on a white background to coordinate with the ultimate aesthetic goal for the house, a somewhat more fun beachy cottage look.

I found a chandelier at Wayfair that I loved (I love chandeliers – I got teased a bit about putting one in a bathroom, but, in fairness, the ceiling is perfect for it and since it’s only a powder room, the electrical requirements were less stringent than in a full bathroom), a high-efficiency/low-flow toilet and pedestal sink that I adore and found online at eFaucets for less money (a lot less, actually) than at our local big box home improvement retailer, and to top it off, a beautiful, vintage styled bridge faucet from Vintage Tub & Bath.*

I love that the paper looks like a traditional floral until you get a better look at it.  The Boyfriend’s family was over for a large family gathering at the holidays and a few people passed through the powder room before a cousin and aunt really looked at it and laughed about the parking meters and hydrants.  I had to point out the rats and the pigeons.

It’s such a difference – there is white bead board on the bottom half of the room and all of the fixtures are nice and white – it’s so bright and clean looking compared to the beige that was taking over the room before.  The Boyfriend, being more tech-savvy than I (at least when it comes to Excel and iPhone photo apps) put together a before and after of the room – it’s pretty striking.  We did leave the beige tile – that would have made it too big of a project.

Powder Room Before and After

 

*A note about my links to retailers – I’m not endorsing these companies in any way, just putting their names out there as resources for home stuff.  I happened to have pretty good experiences with everyone I dealt with, but YMMV.