Thursday, September 25, 2008

Turns out

Work is HARD. I can safely say the honeymoon is over at the new job and it's time to roll up my sleeves and get dirty. Seriously. My schedule is packed this week with meetings and consults, not to mention rewrites of several big-deal documents that will have an enormous impact on the organization. And I thought it was all purchasing cards, badges, and parking spots. 

Silly me.

The good news is- I actually enjoy dressing up for work. I always knew that wearing more professional attire subconsciously encouraged me to take myself more seriously, but I feel a greater sense of responsibility, authority, and even accomplishment in a suit than I ever have before. I'm still learning which meetings are better to tone down the business-style for so as not to distinguish myself immediately as management, but my confidence is high and I'm liking that. 

A couple of co-workers live nearby to me and Mr.Mr. and I'm considering joining the vanpool. That's right- van... pool. I'm very cool. I figure it could be a good opportunity to save some money and wear and tear on the car while encouraging me to make casual conversation for at least twenty minutes. In a van. With near-strangers. With no control over the speed or quality of driving. 

Hmmm.  Maybe in a couple weeks. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh, Christian

Look very closely at the hairline on my favorite 80s  n'er do well heartthrob.  I spy some poorly masked reconstructive hair surgery. And if you take a look at the ads for his new show, My Own Worst Enemy, it's clear his trademark combed-back cut is front and center, poised for a comeback- hair plugs be damned. 

It's a shame, really. I spent countless teenage nights wishing some psychopathic vigilante would move to my town, MC a local radio station or join the local police force to help me solve the mystery of my brother's death. Oh wait, I never had a brother. 

Anyway. Time marches on and I'd be willing to bet two dollars that regardless of the rugged Mr. Slater's slowly receding hairline, my finger will hover above the remote for more than a minute the night of the premiere. If for nothing else than to close my eyes and listen to that raspy, sardonic voice and imagine my heroic rescue by a man with a baboon heart.

Ah, romance. True romance.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The joy of not cooking

One of the perks of exploring a new city is trying out new local cuisine. We've been enjoying plenty of good eats but lets begin with Vindalho, an Indian restaurant a few short miles from our house on SE Clinton street. The decor is a bit on the extreme industrial end upon first impression but the seats are comfy and the service is friendly which more than makes up for the massive distance between you and the ceiling. Meeting with two friends, Mr.Mr. and I shared some thin, crisp (sadly, read: fried) crackers called Poppadom with a tamarind sauce and two orders of nan in anticipation of our entrees. My weakness for all things cheese immediately lead me to the Roasted Pepper and Paneer Curry while Mr.Mr. partook of the Kochi Chicken... and "satisfied" doesn't begin to describe it.

You'll have to try it for yourself but I'll tell you right now my top compliments go to Vindalho for serving perfectly-sized portions. My paneer curry came with probably nine perfectly toasted cubes of Indian cheese and a modest pyramid of basmati rice as an accompaniment. Even the nan was far more manageable fitting perfectly on a [approx.] 14" plate. All present were pleasantly full without that pain that typically follows a great meal. It could have been slightly cheaper but I have a hard time putting a price on great food that doesn't rely on quantity to demonstrate its quality.

Oh and recently they were listed as one of the top 101 "best restaurants in the NW" by Ultimate Northwest magazine. Hip hip hooray for them!

2038 SE Clinton Street
Portland, Oregon 97202
Photo courtesy of Vindalho.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Call me grandma

...because I can hardly make it past 10pm these nights. I'm definitely struggling on this new schedule and as an eight hours-a-nighter, I'm in bed at 10:30 and up again just before 7 to make it into the office by 8. But when I was forwarded this link to Saturday's SNL opener, I couldn't resist passing it along.

No one can deny how dead on Tina Fey is as Sarah Palin. Hold your applause until the end but feel free to laugh until you cry. It's so good. Oh so good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Biggest Loser

Seriously? How much do you love it?

I am so completely addicted and I love watching people completely transform themselves. I'd take that over some McMansion Factory show any day. Not to mention Ty Pennington is totally made of plastic. (For the record I find it really odd that he went from Trading Spaces hottie to over-tanned, empowered handy man in the space of like, three years.)

I can even get past the obscene level of endorsement from 24 hour fitness by way of their ubiquitous corporate logo and fervent foisting of the bodybugg on their overweight contestants. Because ultimately it's an opportunity of a lifetime to get some to beat your butt so hard that you drop an average of 10+ pounds weekly. Oh, and there's that gagnormous monetary prize too. That should at least cover the cost of a year's worth of continued support from a personal trainer, which, let's be honest- is basically what it requires to lose and maintain the loss of that substantial an amount of weight.

I myself have been trying to work out more regularly and can't imagine what kind of dedication it must take to keep up with that type of regimen when I can hardly drag myself onto the elliptical machine more than a few times a week. But god bless 'em for getting up there in front of the entire nation (and anybody else with fantastic satellite signals), wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and the occasional ill-fitting sports bra. I'll be watching every week, guilty pleasures be damned.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Professional style

Having transitioned to a much more professional work environment, I've been trying to suss out what to wear and what not to wear. It's amazing (not to mention to a degree, upsetting) how quickly I realized the majority of my former "business casual" work wardrobe wouldn't pass muster. T-shirts? Out. Jeans? Out. the occasional flip-flop on unbearably sunny days? No. No. No.

To add to the change of threads, I've begun wearing makeup on a daily basis which is HUGE. I've never been your typical "girly girl..." painted to the hilt. And to be completely honest, I've had some of the makeup in my bag for more than seven years. ...Hey, when you only wear it five times a year, it takes a long time to use up a tube of mascara. So- I've got new mascara, powder, and foundation, AND I bought a whole new bunch of cleansers and some sunscreen for my face. Basically I figure if I'm loading that stuff on every day, I've gotta make sure I'm taking it off every night and protecting my skin to boot. Lots of changes.

But- my big question for you all is what to do with my hair? More specifically- I've always been a ponytailer. If it was long enough to be pulled back, it went in a ponytail. Even when it was uber short, they called me "paintbrush" in college because the little nub of hair I pulled back made a sort of brush on the back of my head. So I'm wondering... is a ponytail professionally acceptable? Are there height restrictions or looping rules? I know scrunchies are out but is there some sort of barrette or ::gasp:: modern banana clip device I should be using to tie back my tresses?

School me, please because I definitely can't sort it out on my own.

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Don't miss it: Portland

I've been soooo behind in keeping up with my little salties but I have a fun event to reward you for all your patience. Drop whatever plans you have tonight and go to the grand opening of Ink & Peat. On one of our last exploratory trips to Portland before we officially relocated (you know, back when we were using Crate and Barrel boxes as tables...), we stopped by Pam's shop on the suggestion of my sister-in-law and we were wowed. What a beautiful place. I took some quick snapshots just to get a feel for the space but never got around to posting them. So at long last, here they are. Ink & Peat is a great little shop specializing in fresh flower arrangements and home sundries ranging from sweet soaps to clever antique-style containers and baubles. I love it.

To top it all off, Mr.Mr. even found something to satisfy his growing interest in home design/furniture in a book called, "Old House, New Home." You can pick up a copy at Ink & Peat or vicariously enjoy Pam's fantastic taste in books at a distance and pick one up at a store near you.

I'm going to swing by to say hello and you should too if you're in the area. Here are all the details:

Ink & Peat 3808 N Williams Ave, Suite 126 Portland, OR 97227

Don't miss it: Seattle

Grab your debit/credit cards and head on over to Nancy's Sewing Basket for their 30th anniversary sale. All their delicious fabrics are 25% off for only two more days. ALL fabrics are on sale and just for showing up they'll toss you a free seam ripper to boot. This could be a good time to pick up that $75.00/yard fabric you've been lusting over for the last six months or even to stock up on some clever Amy Butler prints. If I were in Seattle today or tomorrow I know I would be poring over the ribbon room and justifying some extra purchases with my 25% savings on everything else.

Just know that I'm super jealous. ...Think of all the new pillows I could make. ::sigh:: Enough said.

Nancy's Sewing Basket
2221 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
9:30 to 6 on Saturday and 12:30 to 5 Sunday

Friday, September 5, 2008

Incredible inedibles

Anyone in my family will tell you that I have no problem pushing the standard boundaries of what's "edible" in the fridge and the pantry. Moldy cheese? No problem. Milk seven days past the expiration date... does it smell bad? No big deal. Homemade, frozen vegetable stock made last year and rediscovered way in the back of the freezer tundra? Sounds delicious. But- when I realized during our most recent move that I still had the packet of Chocolate Cherry Quick Bread I bought (on sale, mind you so it was likely closing in on the expiration date already) at Williams-Sonoma almost two years ago- even I thought twice.

I'm sure the nutritional value was, at this point, questionable. I'm also sure I don't give a hoot about that on a regular basis so why would that stop me with this shelf stable mix? It didn't. I added the water, butter, and eggs, and whipped that baby up as fast as you can say Tallahassee lassie. And I'm still alive and well today. While the experience proves that I am far too stingy to throw out something I paid a good $5.99 for- it also proves that expiration dates are [not always, but often] for suckers.

Okay, it's safe to roll your eyes now, family.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Best buys

Oh baby did we hit the jackpot. Friday afternoon we headed south to Bridgeport Village to visit the nearest Crate and Barrel. I received a gift card for my birthday that I had been hoarding until I could enjoy the tax-free bounty of Oregon state, and we had a couple of items we had been meaning to pick up to flesh out the registry.

So we wandered around the expanse of stuff we likely didn't need. The "engineered wood" and veneer furniture, the newest flavor of wicker baskets for the fall season, and glass baubles that have absolutely no purpose. Now, don't get me wrong. I love me some unnecessary interior items but I try to remind myself that I don't need to complete my collection of "stuff" today. Because really, then how would I spend tomorrow?

And then we found this (but in cognac instead of natural). Copeland Furniture is a company out of Bradford, VT that has contracted with Crate and Barrel for a line of beautiful and functional bedroom pieces. Though they do use some veneers (it turns out almost everyone does from what we can tell), they have excellent craftsmanship with dovetail joints, sumptuous finishes and smart lines. Not to mention, I haven't seen a piece of furniture made in the US distributed by a megastore in - well, I don't know how long. So are you ready for the reveal?


We got it for $399.00.

What did you say?

I know, holy crap! Right? This piece lists for $1499.00 and we got it for the price of the mirror! Turns out, floor samples are occasionally drastically reduced in price to make room for new pieces and when they do- they don't hold back with that red clearance pen. And thank god for that because their willy-nilly price reductions are helping us put together a real, live, adult house piece by piece. Now we just have to keep an eye out for the matching six-drawer dresser (lists for $1699.00) to take a dive in price. I've got my eyes open and my penny jar front and center. Time to start saving.

Oh, and with our gift card and returns, we only paid $294.32 in the end. Isn't that nuts?