The Lost Year

Oh, hey guys! Long time, no chat.

It’s a huge understatement to say I’ve been sufficiently busy for oh, the past year (yep, that sounds about right). In a nutshell: we moved into the new house, work has been a super fun and exciting non-stop wild ride, we added another puppy to the mix, and are nowhere near being able to stop and take a breath. And you know what? It’s GREAT.

As a side effect of my job, I’ve also been getting crafty. Which mostly means my stack of UFOs keeps growing while my stack of finished projects is essentially non-existent.

Until tonight.

Image

BAM! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS?! 

That is called a FINISHED PROJECT my friends! It only took a month, but it’s finished!

The deets: Colette Sorbetto dress made out of Jay McCarroll Center City fabric. Mostly I’m really excited about the contrasting pockets and how it’s leaning toward the family of “mumu” which is my sweet spot. I have another less-mumu-y one in the works, but wanted to finish them in the order they were started.

So there you go. A year in review, but mostly insane handmade-pride. 

Adventures in Cooking.

Have I mentioned in this space how much I hate to cook? I can cheerfully bake all day long, but cooking is something I really prefer not to do. I find it stressful, difficult, and thoroughly unenjoyable. Yet this is the second time in a week I’ve volunteered to cook for The Mister, perhaps due to the success of Easter Brunch.

On the rare occasion I volunteer to cook, I scour the Internet looking for recipes that I think I can manage. Seeing as I have zero faith in my culinary prowess, these recipes tend to be casseroles or something with minimal difficulty. This morning, however, I asked The Mister if he wanted me to cook dinner tonight. He agreed, as long as we used ingredients that we have on hand. Since he is the actual chef of the family, he quickly ran through a mental list of things we had in the kitchen and requested pasta with chicken, lemon, and capers.

chicken picatta

Sounds easy enough, right? I’m sure it would be if you’re the type of person who is comfortable in the kitchen, i.e. not me. I have minimal cooking confidence to begin with, so not having a recipe terrifies me. Luckily, the Internet exists. I’ve found a recipe I think I can manage to make chicken picatta. It’s a little more work than something I would normally make (pan frying! deglazing!), but I’m going to go for it.

Though the recipe isn’t *technically* gluten free, it is easy enough to modify with gluten free all-purpose flour (I’ll probably use gluten-free Bisquick) and quinoa pasta (or your favorite gluten-free pasta). I doubt my concoction will look as pretty as the meal above, but as long as it tastes good it will be considered a success, right?

If all else fails, there is always wine. Lots of it.

May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.

I rarely play the lottery, and yet I now have two MegaMillions tickets and have jumped in the office lottery pool. I know the odds are negligible that I will win anything, and to be honest I feel like I’m in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Do I hold a golden ticket? Probably not. Do I expect to win? Absolutely not. Have I been thinking about what I would do with $500 million all day? You betcha! (Side note: If you match all 6 numbers but don’t have the multiplier right, you only win $150 for matching 4 numbers. Wah wah.)

Charlie's Golden Ticket

I'll have to hire an Uncle Joe to sing to me if I win.

That’s what is fun about playing the lottery — not the realistic hope or explanation that by 7 PM tonight I’ll be halfway to the billionaire’s club (that exists, right?), but the suspension of belief it allows you to think about what exactly you would do with that money.

Here is my list:

  • Buy a lake house and pay my parents to be its caretakers.
  • Pay off my student loan debt, then pay off the student loan debt of my siblings and siblings-in-law.
  • Set up college funds for my niece and nephew.
  • Take care of The Mister’s debt (and finish the New House, with my name added to the title!).
  • Get the Ford Edge I’ve been drooling over for the past few months.
  • Donate to some of my favorite organizations – Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List, and Girl Scouts of the USA, just to name a few.
  • Break the piggy bank and buy the Burberry trench of my dreams! And maybe some Chanel.

That’s my initial list. All things considered, it’s not really that unreasonable. And all of this is after talking to lawyers, financial planners, and all that fun, responsible stuff, of course.

What about you? We all know you have the winning ticket, not me. What would you do with your jackpot?

“Have a Lemon” – Life

Did you know that building a house is expensive? Like really, really expensive? And then when you’re done with the main building part, you get to do all the finish work, which costs even more money. Floorboards, lighting, closet systems, and so on and so forth don’t come cheap. Especially when you have my incredible knack for falling in love with the most expensive thing in the room.

Basically, all this is to say that, despite closing on the home loan and getting a permanent certificate of occupancy, the house isn’t ready to move into yet. Despite hoping it could be done by May, it probably won’t be for a while. Since “a while” is such a vague term, especially when it comes to saving money in order to do all the finish work right and without a time crunch looming over our heads, The Mister and I are taking this bunch of lemons life just handed us and making sweet, sweet lemonade out of it.

Which is why we now get to figure out how to fit my 850 square foot apartment of stuff into his 1200 square foot house that he currently resides in. By May 1.

I’m excited to move over to the Highlands and to start living with The Mister and the dog. I’m not excited to pack, and I’m most certainly not excited about having to make some tough decisions about my stuff, but that is my new project for the rest of March and April. While The Mister packs up some of his stuff to make room for mine, I get to organize my belongings into three categories: things to move into The Mister’s house, things to store for the new house, and things to get rid off.

Those of you who know me know how much I hate getting rid of things.

However, part of the compromise of living together is cutting the clutter and being respectful of shared space, so that’s what I’m going to do. Some things are easy to decide–my sundresses are all getting moved over to The Mister’s house; my KitchenAid, television, and couch are going to be stored for the new house; and most of my kitchen stuff will be given to Goodwill. Then there are the hard decisions–the coffee table, my bookcases, (some of my) clothes and shoes. Not everything will make the cut, and it’s going to be a war zone around here until I make my final choices.

It will all be worth it in the end. While it is disappointing not to be moving into the new house sooner, it is exciting to think about all the possibility it holds. Ultimately, waiting to do the finish work is the best decision, and in the meantime it forces me to reevaluate my possessions.

This isn’t the 36th Avenue adventure I was expecting, but that’s the point of an adventure–you never know what’s coming your way. The countdown to May 1 (coincidentally my birthday) begins now!