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December 2010
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February 2011

Kitchen Envy

image from

Walking to the spa to have a massage today, I stopped and peered in the window to gawk at this gorgeous huge designer dream kitchen at Kartell, as seen above.

It makes me frown when I see these huge display kitchens. Why? Because I already have a bad case of kitchen envy.

Our apartment is spacious by San Francisco standards, but it has a teeny galley kitchen designed for short people who don't actually cook any food from scratch. Every inch of my three countertops is covered with appliances -- toaster oven on one, kitchen aid mixer on another, coffee maker and bean grinder on the third.

The cramped quarters mean that you'd be claustrophobic while cutting up veggies if the kitties are underfoot eating their dry food.

Some day, I'll have a kitchen big enough to cook and take pictures in. With an effective hood over the stove and with a window for airflow. But until then I'll suffer silently with my kitchen envy, frowning at the model kitchens I encounter as I go about my day.

Taking Care of Yourself

stained glass detail, scotlandI don't think I am the only one who finds it hard to make time to take care of herself.

I console myself with that thought as I tally up my seemingly never-ending to do list.

I had the big reality check on this topic a few weeks ago. We were out running our Saturday errands, and the clerk at BevMo wouldn't sell me the case of assorted wine I'd picked out. Why? Someone didn't have a valid ID.


I mean, I have a passport, but didn't have it with me. But my state issued ID was well over a year expired. How'd that happen? As a non-driver, it wasn't a priority to get it renewed when it expired. My work has been crazy busy for the past two years, and when I've had a day off or a vacation week, it hasn't synched up with being able to get an appointment at the DMV.

It's one small thing but it's a symptom of a larger issue. I've been coasting on fumes on the whole. Putting off doctors appointments, putting off calling neglected friends, putting off career development, putting off anything not on fire and needing immediate attention.

When you feel stretched too thin, it's easy to keep putting things off, regardless of their importance.

But I am putting a stake in the ground. No more putting off taking care of me. All the other stuff will still be there waiting.

Getting Comfy

most adorable slippers ever

I found these super awesome slippers in my Christmas stocking this year. I'd been ogling them in the Garnet Hill catalog for a few months. Santa is pretty observant! Or Santa was tired of seeing a barefoot me walking around all winter complaining about how cold our apartment is. *cough*

I hadn't seen any slippers I'd liked in months of idly looking around while we were out and about. Then in one issue of this catalog, I saw several that I would happily wear. The ability to find something fun and different is exactly why I don't automatically trash all the fun catalogs that hit my mailbox during the holiday season. Typically, I flip through the paper catalog, then order online. I like avoiding the mobs of shoppers downtown, and the ability to more readily surprise someone with something they haven't seen before.

As I sit here typing this post, I've been doing a quick tally in my head. And I can say that I purchased almost all my holiday gifts -- except for a few foodie items from the Ferry plaza Farmers market -- online. With the bulk of those purchases, from folks who put out catalogs.

I blame my catalog shopping impulses on J. Crew. I am pretty sure they're the ones who got me hooked on it, back in high school. Now, if I can order it online or via a toll free # instead of traipsing out to purchase it, I do.

Here's a short list of my favorite places for procuring unexpected presents:

  • Boden. Girly clothes that are casual, but nice enough to wear to work.
  • Giant Robot. Pop culture toys and t-shirts.
  • Anthropologie. More girlie clothes and interesting housewares. Pretty much all of my favorite pieces I wear to work are from here.
  • CB2. Crate & Barrel's hipper and more affordable sibling. Lots of great housewares.
  • MoMA Store. The Museum of Modern Art in NYC is a great source for all sorts of fun accessories, housewears and prints.
  • DeYoung Museum shop. This is our local museum, and one of my favorite places for looking at (and taking home) jewelry.
  • Dean and Deluca. I don't think I've ever made a trip to NYC -- no matter how quick -- without stopping by one of their shops. I use the catalog and online store to get my fix of their coffee and treats.
  • Muji. I seek out these shops whenever I travel in Europe. Love their plain, non-branded housewares and stationary items.
  • Think Geek. T-shirts, desk accessories, and technonerd items all in one place.

This is how I got all my holiday shopping done well before the holidays, and without leaving my comfy chair. RAWR!