Thursday, February 25, 2010

One more day to get your photos in!

Just a reminder that you have until tomorrow night to submit your photos to my Tiny Kitchen roundup.  If you want to show off your sweet, small space, then get out there, take some photos, and email them to me at kimskitchensink [at] gmail [dot] com.  And spread the word!  :)

I'll put together a slideshow this weekend and post it on Monday. There you go; it's a promise!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Kitchen Cure

Remember how, eons and eons ago, I promised to write a post about tiny kitchens? And I asked you to send in photos of your awesomely small (or wonderfully large) kitchens? And I was going to take all those photos, put them into a slideshow, and share them on this blog?

Yeah, it's taken me a long time to get around to it. As it goes, life got in the way, over and over again, and I just haven't made good on that promise. And for that, I apologize. (I know you've all been wondering what happened to the post. Yeah, right.)  Here is an old picture of my Tiny Kitchen as a little "look! it's cute and small! don't be mad at me!" offering.

Anyway, I have just decided to partake in Apartment Therapy's Spring Kitchen Cure, which I hope will motivate me to get back in kitchen mode and finally do that Tiny Kitchens wrap-up post!

In case you've never heard of The Cure, basically (from what I can tell, anyway) it is a way to stay on top of your game if you have a project to accomplish. People join, state their goals (in my case, more organized kitchen cabinets) and The Cure sends out weekly (I think) emails with assignments. It appears that the first assignment will be to take a picture of your kitchen with all the doors open, but that hasn't been officially announced yet.

Anyway, in more detail, here are my kitchen goals:
  1. Have organized storage cabinets. There are three: the baking dishes/supplies cabinet, the misc pots/pans/tupperware cabinet, and the misc stuff cabinet (random serving dishes, big measuring cups, etc)
  2. Have an organized fridge. This will probably take 20 minutes, but I need to do it regularly. Cleaning out the food that's going bad, arranging what's good so that it actually makes sense when I look inside.
  3. Maybe maybe maybe get a second rack for the oven. It currently only has one rack, which makes for slow cookie baking and such (if there were two racks, I could double the amount I bake at one time). I haven't gotten a second one because I haven't done any research into how much this would cost, and if it's more than like, $20, I don't want to spend the money. If I owned, sure. But for this crappy rental where the landlord doesn't even fix things on time? No way. The oven also needs to be recalibrated or something I think...but I don't know if that's a me job or a landlord job. Basically, it always heats up to a temp that is way higher than what you set it at. That was a horrible sentence. But it is a horrible situation. Stupid stove. Plus, it's inconsistent, so it's not like you can just set it 50 degrees lower than you want it or something. Sigh.

Anyway, that is that. And because I am turning a new kitchen leaf, and because it feels like Spring is coming, and because that puts me into a fresh and new mood...I'm going to put one last "it's really final this time, guys" deadline on photo submissions for the Tiny Kitchen Roundup.

I have pictures from 8 of you, which is just wonderful. And to those of you who submitted them back in December, I humbly apologize for my slackitude. For the rest of you, who were maybe also lazy about taking pictures, or who didn't know about it because you're a new reader (hi!), or for whom life just got in the way, here's your chance!

Send pictures of your tiny (or not) kitchens to me, at kimskitchensink [at] gmail [dot] com. I will put them all into a little slideshow so we can all be inspired by each other and not let the size of our kitchens stand in the way of delicious meals!

Please send all photos by Friday, February 26th. That's the first day of the Spring Cure, and I think it's as good a day as any to get my act together with this Tiny Kitchen post!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunshine to tide you over

I will post a lovely recap of the Valentine's Weekend Getaway in a bit, but for now, I hope these pictures of the lovely California sunshine of the past week will keep you around until I get my act together. It's supposed to be all rainstormy this weekend, but for the last few days at least, I've been enjoying this almost Spring-like weather.

Cherry blossoms are my favorite

How can anyone resist these blooms? I just love them. Love love love them.

And lastly, what I saw when I left work last night at 6pm.

See that orange? That's the sun setting. As in, it has not yet set. As in, it was not dark out when I left work. For the first time in a long time.

And I am happy about that.

Oh yes, I am happy about that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

For you, dear readers, on this day of loving, I present my favorite of Shakespeare's sonnets. We should always tell those we love how we feel, but since we don't always take the time to say those special words, let this day serve as a reminder. Happy Valentine's Day.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ah...weekend of love

Five years ago today, I met a guy named Will. It took us a month to decide whether or not we wanted to take the leap and date long-distance, knowing that we both had another year and a half left of school before we could potentially live in the same city. I'm glad we decided to go for it, because here we are, five years later, not just living in the same city, but sharing an apartment. We don't usually do anything too big and special for Valentine's Day, and I am sort of torn about the whole "one special day to celebrate how you feel" thing anyway...but this year, we both felt that we should go on a little getaway, just the two of us. It's been a little last-minute in the planning, but I am very excited about the upcoming weekend!

Tonight, we're going to watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics. Tomorrow, I'm going to get a pedicure with my lovely friend Dana while Will goes to the Cal Basketball game. And then, we head down to the Historic Sand Rock Farm for a little romantic Bed and Breakfast time; how romantical. The owner is helping us to get a reservation at a romantic little restaurant, and our room has a private entrance and access to a hot tub. A gourmet breakfast in the morning, and perhaps some wandering around the grounds (redwood grove? awesome!) before we head down to the Elkhorn Slough for a three-hour kayaking tour. I'm told there are sea lions, seals, tons of birds, and best of all...sea otters!!

After our little adventure, we'll head back to Berkeley for Will's hockey game on Sunday night. We both have Monday off (hooray!), and right now, the plan is to stay home and (finally) organize all of our books and magazines.

I'm looking forward to what looks to be a very relaxing and even slightly romantic Valentine's Day weekend! Pictures to follow...eventually.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Talking Cats that Are Not Creepy, Just Funny

I do not know why YouTube won't let me embed this video, so you'll have to click here to go to YouTube and watch it. It's funny. Sent to me by a coworker.


In case you need a little Wednesday laugh.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

11 Presidents - 1 Queen

Someone sent this to me a while back, and I don't remember who it was, but my mom just sent it to me again, so I thought I'd share. I love this. Photos of Queen Elizabeth II with the last eleven United States Presidents. Because she has been Queen for that long. Because she is great.











Sunday, February 7, 2010

How to Ride a Bike

Today, I learned how to ride a bike. You may recall that this was one of my New Year's resolutions, and I am proud to say that I can check it off my list! Class met at REI in Berkeley at 9:45am, where we piled into the REI Outdoor School van and drove to the El Cerrito DMV parking lot. The parking lot has a driveway with a (very) slight incline, which allowed us to get a little speed without having the instructors run along behind, pushing your bike. You know, like your mom or dad probably did when you learned how to ride as a kid.

For the first few hours (the class was 4 hours long), we rode our bikes without pedals, our seats low enough so our feet could rest flat on the ground. We started at the top of the incline with a bit of a walking/running start, and just sort of coasted down as far as we could go without stopping. The instructors called this "gliding". We practiced gliding until we could get all the way down the incline without stopping; then we practiced continuing with a right-hand turn and coasting through the parking lot down to where the van was parked. I'd say the whole stretch from the incline to the van was a couple hundred feet? I am bad at guessing these sorts of things. Here's a map of the parking lot, with the path marked in yellow arrows (click to enlarge).

Once we had become comfortable gliding through the yellow-arrow path without stopping three or four times in a row, our seats were raised about an inch. This repeated until our seats were raised to their full, pedal-ready height. This is the height at which you are kind of on tip-toe when you put your feet down. This is incredibly awkward for getting on and off the bike if you are not used to it. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I was ready for pedals around 12pm - an hour ahead of schedule, according to the instructor! I was pretty stoked about it; at the beginning of the day, I had no idea how I would do. Turns out, I found the gliding to be pretty easy, and my balance was better than I thought it would be. By the time the instructors said I could move on to pedals, I was ready! I walked my bike to the top of the incline, glided down, turned right, and placed my feet on the pedals. In just a few seconds, I was riding! I pedaled my way all the way back to the top of the incline! Such freedom! I think the best moment of discovery for me was when I was at the top of the incline and had a runny nose. My tissues were all the way back in the van...but I realized I could ride my bike over there in about 10 seconds! Thrilling! I know it's silly and small, but it was a big deal to me to realize that now I can just jump on a bike and get where I need to go. I will have to learn how to ride in traffic/urban areas, and perhaps how to ride on uneven terrain as well, but I feel confident in my ability to do so. Let me restate: I Can Ride A Bike. For someone who has spent the greater part of her adult life feeling left out from this particular part of society, this is a big deal.

I highly recommend this class to anyone who is hesitant to hop on a bike. REI instructors really know what they are talking about, and this particular method of teaching was very successful. After having learned this way (starting with no pedals), I feel like the whole training wheels method is sort of backwards and counter-intuitive. I mean, why start someone on four wheels if you are only going to take two of them away eventually? That way, you don't learn the real balancing thing, since you have the crutch of the training wheels. This makes so much more sense to the adult me anyway. Start off learning how to balance and turn on the bike, just going down a slight incline. Then, once you have control of the bike, add the pedals. I could not believe how simple and fun it was, and I am just so glad that now I can join the rest of the bike-riding world!

And now, a short video of my "Victory Lap". We each did one at the end of the class, at whatever level we had reached by the end of the lesson. For some, this was simply gliding, sans-pedals, all the way to the van. For some, this was gliding and then pedaling back to the starting point. For me and one other woman, this was biking down and then weaving through the cone course the instructors had set up for us. I cannot believe that I went from not being able to ride a bike to doing a difficult cone course in under four hours, but I did it! As you can hear in the video, the instructor was proud of me - and I was proud of myself too!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ohmega Salvage

As you may know, I have occasionally been writing for a local website called Berkeleyside. One of my primary contributions is a column called Scouting Berkeley, in which I cover my local adventures, scouting out cool new places in this fair city of mine.  My most recent post covered the trip Emily and I took to Ohmega Salvage, and she took so many wonderful pictures, I wanted to share some here, since they didn't all make it into the slideshow on my post.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm Honored. No, Really.

It's been a little bit since my last post.  I feel like I say that a lot - too frequently these days.  I have so many ideas for things to write gurgling around in my brain, and yet by the time I sit down to write them, I am often too tired, too distracted, too disinterested, etc.  I need to be better about putting pen to page (or fingers to keys, as it were) as soon as the moment strikes so I don't lose those good ideas (or the motivation to do anything with them).  I've also been writing for Berkeleyside - check out my articles, yo!

I have been pushed back into productivity by my lovely blogger friend, Junket Juice, who nominated me for this silly little (awesome, ego boosting) thing called the Beautiful Blogger award.  I'm pretty sure this is just the blog-world equivalent of one of those chain letters that goes something like "This is a Beautiful Rose Letter! Because you are a Beautiful Friend! Send this to 124092385230958 Beautiful Women in your life!"  It comes with rules (below), which is partly why I think it's a blogger chain email.  Most awards don't come with rules, methinks.  I don't care though; it's forcing me into writing something - anything - and there are several wonderful bloggers out there I would like to recognize.  Including the lovely Miss Junket. Thanks, by the way. You are hilarious and warm-hearted, and inspirational and awesome, and I'm so glad that we found each other through the Dooce Community.

On to the rules of this award (awards should not come with rules, btw, so we should really call it a "shout out party" or something):

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award. - CHECK.
2. Copy the award & place it on my blog. - CHECK. Am I supposed to put it in the sidebar? Just in the post?
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award. - CHECK.
4. Share 7 interesting things about myself. - Here we go...

  • I once cut of 16" of my hair. Yes, that's sixteen inches. Yes, I donated it to Locks of Love. Yes, I took an awkward picture of me holding the severed hair. 
  • I (not so) secretly kinda sorta wouldn't mind being a stay at home mom someday. Financially, I know this is highly unlikely, but I have this weird longing  to do the housewife thing.
  • I worked at Google for a year and a half.  I worked at Pixar for 6 weeks.  I was unemployed for 4.5 months.  Now I work at a recording studio.   That is not so much interesting as it is factual.
  • I cry while watching TV.  A lot.  Like, when the 19th Duggar was born. Or when Ellen gives away money to deserving families.  Or when...well, just about anything sentimental happens.  I am a very emotional person.
  • I love pudding.
  • I did that thing that's all trendy on Facebook right now where you search your name on Urban Dictionary, but I will not post it as my status message.  In case you wanted to know, "Kimberly is a sweet compassionate girl that finds the beauty in everything.  She is always willing to give a helping hand.  Everyone loves her as soon as they meet her.  Tends to be very sexy and confident." Kimberly, FTW, everyone! I rock!
  • I am annoyed that the quote above did not include a comma between "sweet" and "compassionate", and also that the sentences were so choppy.  Obviously, Urban Dictionary needs a better editor.  On that note, I cannot stand when publications (books, magazines, etc.) have grammatical errors.  I'm not talking personal publications like blogs/facebook/etc*; I'm talkin' professional works that someone was (presumably) paid to edit.  Inexcusable.  *Although please, everyone, stop with the "CUL8R"-type text-speak.  It annoys the bejeezus out of me.
5. Nominate 7 other beautiful bloggers. - Indeed.

  • A Serious Girl: We went to the same high school, though she graduated before I arrived. Our theatre teacher insisted we meet when she came back to attend a performance of The Sound of Music during my sophomore year. We lost touch (or, really, were never in touch), until reuniting via the teacher's weekly email roundup (sent to alumni) a few years ago.  Nowadays I consider her to be a dear friend, though we live 3,000 miles apart and have not officially seen each other in person since we met 10 years ago.  Side note: TEN years ago. WHAT!?! She is a beautiful writer, and this blog is her latest project. And it is lovely.
  • She Shall Have Music:  I met Cath on a temp assignment this summer - we were administering surveys to students in Oakland and bonded over the arts, unemployment and cupcakes.  We don't live in the same city anymore, but I'm so glad we met last summer.  She writes about home, loss, and unexplainable feelings so divinely, I often feel like she is inside my head.
  • Shonelley Belly Laughs: Shonelle does not write nearly enough, but when she does, it is hilarious.  I often find myself wiping away tears of laughter when I read about her cats, her husband, and her experiences working at Whole Foods in Santa Cruz.
  • Crazy Aunt Purl: I don't actually know her, though we have emailed a few times.  She is another laugh-till-you-cry blogger.  She lives in the Valley with her cats and takes pictures of LA traffic during her commute.  What's not to love?  Plus, she's just started cooking and posting pictures of her exploits in the kitchen.  She's like me, except with published books.
  • Food Loves Writing: I don't think I can say enough good things about Shannalee.  I have already written about her on this blog, so I won't go crazy on you again...but she is great.  We have been blog buddies for about three years, when she started out with a personal finance blog.  Now she writes about food in a way that is best described in her own words: I talk about food to talk about everything else".  Well said, Shanna.  Well said.
  • Product Body Blog: The blog for my favorite-ist body products ever.  Sexy Laundry Day.  Just do it.  Jo is super nice, and loves to hear from her customers.
  • The Salty Spoon: Bria is another blog friend - I'm not even sure how we "met" initially.  Probably through someone else's blog, or a Twitter comment, which is how these things tend to go.  Regardless, she posts some delicious recipes.  I love that her recipes include a rundown at the beginning so you can see what you're getting yourself into at a glance. Genius.  Also, a very reliable source has revealed to me that there will be a special cooking challenge this month, so I would visit her blog if I were you!
  • Between the Words: One last bonus one, because I couldn't stick to seven.  This is my mom's blog.  She is a marvelous writer, and has recently taken to blogging as an outlet for her creative words.  I enjoy it immensely, and I'm just so proud of her for taking something she's passionate about and putting it out there!

Thanks for indulging me as I take part in this Beautiful Blogger Award thing. I wish we could all have a big party!