Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A lovely porch

I know Wisteria can be a pain in the butt, but look how gorgeous it looks on this porch.  I drove by this house about a week ago and was so taken by its charm that I had to stop the car and take a picture.  Just lovely.

I told you there was news...

You may have noticed that over the last few days, I've begun to use Disqus as the commenting interface on this little blog o'mine.  It's not just because I've suddenly gone fancy on you and decided to veer away from the commenting interface that comes pre-installed with every Blogger blog.  No, my friends, it is because as of September 20, I will be working for the small-but-mighty tech startup!  You heard me, new job!

I'll be starting out as their Office Manager, while also taking on some more General Manager-y tasks and helping to develop their internal Human Resources programming.  They are a true San Francisco tech startup in the sense that their staff is comprised mostly of engineers, and the time has come for the company to hire someone to manage the day to day workings of the office while helping to build a solid foundation for growth.  Enter: Kim.

I am beyond excited about this opportunity, which seems like a great combination of using my current skills in office management, organization and communications while developing myself as a Human Resources professional (ooh fancy).  Some of the things they have expressed an immediate need for assistance with are New Hire Onboarding (a particular passion of mine), Office Organization (both physical and structural), and Corporate Culture - they are expanding from what was once a small group of buddies building a product and want to ensure they maintain a consistent message (including training, communications, and general environment) while they grow.  So yeah.  All things that sound great to me.

And oh, did I mention that the office has a ton of windows? One of the hardest things for me about working at the recording studio is the lack of natural light; I didn't realize how much better I feel when I can see the sky.  I will also be commuting via public transportation, and will be getting about two miles of walking in a day, including a nice 10 minutes or so walking lakeside on my way to and from the BART station.  I'm also planning on going back to school part time to earn my Certification in Human Resources Management through the UC Berkeley Extension program.  I recently attended an information session, and was absolutely thrilled at the prospect of taking these classes.  I haven't been this excited about the prospect of going to school since I started my Freshman year at UCLA.

Sorry to tease for so long about the news, but if you're following me on Twitter, you got some of the information already.  :)  And a big hello to my new coworkers, some of whom helped me get Disqus going on my blog (hi, Giannii), and some of whom have been making me feel welcome via Twitter.

Quitting my job was difficult, and there are definitely things and people I will miss when I'm not at the Studios anymore, but I am very excited about this next step in my career.  I'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Winner!

Congratulations to DG, who is the lucky winner of the latest $30 CSN Stores Giveaway!  Thanks to everyone who entered and shared your happy thoughts - they really brightened up my inbox (and my days).  Hopefully CSN will offer another giveaway soon, but until then, happy reading! :-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Patio Garden

As you might remember, our new apartment has a fabulous patio.  The view is...of the building next door.  BUT, it is spacious and sun-lit, and is really quite lovely.  We've made quite a little transformation to it since moving in, and I figured it was time to share.  :)

Before we moved in (as landlords were moving out)
Working on a little dead-root-excavation project.
That thing was intense.

The patio garden as it currently stands.
Ignore the lanterns on the ground because
I haven't figured out how to hang them yet.

Tomatoes (were already growing in this pot)
and yellow squash (starter plant bought at Whole Foods).
They can live together, right?

The zucchini plants I started from seeds.  Just a couple weeks
and they're as big as the starter squash plant!  Hope they don't
outgrow the pot too soon...

Just for fun, a little houseplant progress. I've moved this dude
outside for now, because I don't know where to put him in
the apartment, and I think he likes the sunshine for now.

Remember when he was only this big?

So yes.  On our patio we have:

  • 1 Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree
  • 4 basil plants (one good, three clippings from a dying plant that I'm trying to rejuvenate)
  • 1 mint plant, 1 oregano plant, 1 parsley plant (all sort of not liking the recent heat wave)
  • 2 tomato plants (left by the landlords, sort of dying, trying to save them)
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 pot full of zucchini.  
We also have two houseplants, a dusty miller that somehow perseveres though it is constantly threatening death, and a little pot in which I've planted one of those "this business card is embedded with seeds. plant it and have pretty flowers" cards - so far, no blooms.  Maybe it's too old?

And lastly, a plea for aid: Today I noticed these weird little bugs hanging out on one of the tomato plants.  Does anyone out there know what they are and how to get rid of them without harmful chemicals?

Please don't eat my tomatoes!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not Yet

Oh, boy do I ever have some big exciting news to announce (which, erm, if you follow me on Twitter you might already know about).  But not yet.  First, kitchens. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I love a good kitchen picture.  Lusting over cabinets, back splash patterns and counter tops is one of my favorite daydream activities.  Don't get me wrong; I love my new kitchen.  I love the openness and the counter space and the garbage disposal.  I love the fridge and the dishwasher and the fact that I can see out into the living room from the sink, even though its "bar" is littered with random odds and ends we've unpacked but not yet put away.

But of course, beautiful kitchens still catch my eye, and there are quite a few that I've been saving to share when I have that elusive "more time" we're always talking about.  I'm finding myself with a few spare minutes, so without further ado...the kitchens of my recent daydreams:

via The Kitchn
via TheKitchn

via TheKitchn

via TheKitchn
via TheKitchn
via TheKitchn

Just lovely.  And oh yeah, don't forget to enter the $30 CSN Stores Giveaway!  Contest ends Sunday at 11:59pm (PST).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Could it be? Another CSN Stores Giveaway?

I'm feeling pretty lucky these days. Many things are going well, which I will tell you about soon, I promise, but for now, I will share the luck and tell you that CSN Stores contacted me again about doing yet another wonderful giveaway! Hooray! In case you don't remember, you can get just about anything from the stores in CSN's network...I am particularly interested in their dutch ovens right about now.

One lucky reader will receive a $30 promotional code to be used at any one of their (over 200!) stores, and you can apply the $30 towards a more expensive purchase if you want, too.

How do you enter? Simply comment on this post and tell me something that makes you happy. It can be a joke, a product, a story, anything. Summer has finally arrived in the Bay Area, and I'm in a good mood today, so just say something nice and happy and help spread the sunshine. :-)

For extra entries, you can tweet this giveaway, or mention it anywhere else online (facebook, your blog, etc). Just leave a comment for each extra thing you do. For example, if you comment a happy thing and tweet the contest, you'd leave two comments. Easy peasy? I think so.

Happy entering!

Ed Note: Thanks to Carolsue for pointing out that I didn't post an end date for this contest.  Contest ends at 11:59pm, PST, on Sunday August 29!  Get those entries in, and spread the word!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spammy comment!

I got some very spammy-looking comments on old blog posts today, which is funny because I have anti-spam measures in place! That little "captcha" phrase you have to type when you comment is supposed to stop spammers, because they are likely bots and not people.  Does this mean spammers are getting more creative?  I've posted the spammy comments (since removed from my blog) below, because it was just too funny to keep to myself, and I've removed the potentially hazardous links.  Enjoy.
kimberly has left a new comment on your post "A warning against Vistaprint":
This blogs is absolutely amazing!!! i really liked, i think all the information contained in this blog are very useful and very interesting. i really enjoyed reading. i am very curious for everything, usually i want to know new things. this is the reason why i like to know. so, i will know more abut sink.
buy viagra 
kimberly has left a new comment on your post "Squishables":

This blogs is absolutely amazing!!! i really liked, i think all the information contained in this blog are very useful and very interesting. i really enjoyed reading. i am very curious for everything, usually i want to know new things. this is the reason why i like to know.
buy viagra 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

20-Something or other

There is a really interesting article in the NY Times Magazine today about 20-somethings and the universal struggle to find your way towards adulthood in this weird space between college and Being A Grown Up.  It's nothing new; people have been talking about this for ages - I know it's a conversation I've had with my peers more than once over the last few years.  For me, turning 20 was shocking.  Even though I was still in college, I had this sudden sense of "Holy cow. I'm supposed to be growing up now."  It seemed like once I hit 20, I was supposed to Get Serious, and think about a Career Path.  And I had no idea what I was doing.

Growing up, my parents always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up. They supported me, whether I was serving bagels or belting out showtunes, and were proud when I received my degree in Theater.  I was incredibly lucky.  My mom stressed that when she graduated from college, there were fewer options for women.  Now, she said, I could do anything.  Our generation is lucky; most of us are taught from a young age that we can do more, be more, expect more than our mothers and grandmothers could.   We are to follow our passions, but finding and pursuing them is another story.  

Being blessed with many interests and the opportunities to pursue them doesn't necessarily translate into finding Your One True Passion, and even when you figure out what "it" is, finding the time, energy and financial means to make it your life's work is tricky.  A 25-year old quoted in the article says that “there is pressure to make decisions that will form the foundation for the rest of your life in your 20s. It’s almost as if having a range of limited options would be easier.”  It's like she read my mind.  

I have thought about this a lot in the last few years, particularly when I was unemployed.  The downside to having so much freedom and seemingly limitless opportunity was the pressure to eventually pick something.  Alas, how are we ever to settle down if we are encouraged to keep looking?  That's the trend these days (erm, among the privileged, middle-class, etc.), though, right?  Go to college, experiment, work lots of different jobs until you find something that fits.  Volunteer, take on hobbies and extra-curricular clubs until you feel something stirring inside you.  Turn that into a full time job.  Just like that.  

I suppose careers are like relationships in that regard. You try out a bunch of different jobs (or partners), learning little things about yourself along the way.  You tweak what you love and hate into what you can live with and what you can't live without.  You learn where you can compromise, and where you find fulfillment.  And hopefully, you end up with something that combines a couple of your interests with something you feel good about.

Anyway, this article didn't really tell me anything new, but it was interesting to read.  I don't know about you other 20-somethings out there, but I find it's nice to be reminded that I'm not alone on this journey of Emerging Adulthood.  We are all struggling and creating and building and growing and developing and learning and figuring it out as we go along.  And (shhh) I don't think this journey ever really ends. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What Do You Do With Magazines?

Ok, readers. I am in a bit of a conundrum here, and I need help.  Hi.  My name is Kim, and I am a Magazine Hoarder.  I owe a special thanks to Dooce (and this post) for reminding me of this particular affliction...oh, and the fact that we just moved.  Nothing like moving to show you how much crap many awesome magazines you have, right?

For the last 3 years or so, I have made fun of Will for his overwhelming collection of New Yorker magazines. For those unfamiliar, the New Yorker comes weekly, and is a very dense read. The only way I can keep up with the subscription is to read it on my lunch break, for an hour, almost every day of the week. Obviously, I do not do this every week, so I miss out on a lot of articles.  He reads less often than I do, but he reads more articles (I tend to skip things I don't find particularly thrilling while he reads cover to cover), and the moral of the story is that we have approximately 50923852398572948 copies of this lovely magazine, many unread.

About two years ago, we organized them into two boxes: Already Read (and saving for some reason) and Partially or Not At All Read (and saving to read, obvi).  Plus the pile of the most recent four or five (or ten) issues that always land on tables or by the bed.  So yeah.  A lot.  We've talked about just saving the covers of some of them for a mysterious magazine cover project he will some day do (Wallpapering a room? I don't know), but for now, they sit in their pretty plastic boxes waiting for something to happen.

But I digress. I was supposed to be writing about MY Magazine Hoarding (though one could argue that one of the reasons his are still around is that I don't want to be a hypocrite).  The point of all that babble was that after three years of making fun of him, he finally got to turn the tables and mock my own MH (see how I abbreviated it? Like it's a real disease?).  You see, when we moved, he discovered my hidden stash of Real Simple magazines, tucked away on the bottom shelf of the bookshelf, the view of which had been obstructed by the couch.  Whoops.  Oh, honey, you didn't know that I haven't thrown away a single issue since I began subscribing a few years ago?  I never mentioned that?  I did also have approximately 15-20 back issues of BUST, but I donated those to someone on Freecycle when we moved (I knew I wouldn't go back to read them again, lots is available online, and I had a moment of awesome  will power).

Since I am currently at a standstill in the War of the Magazines, I look to you, dear readers, for advice.  I should probably just put of my beloved Real Simples all in a box and donate them somewhere or recycle them or something.  Most of the content is available online nowadays, and though I say I'm saving them for the awesome tips and recipes, I'm sure you know that I have never once opened a back issue to look something up.  The (delicious) Real Simple recipes we've made have all been from the most recent issues that are sitting on the table.  The plan I've thought of for moving forward is to never keep more than two issues out at a time.  When a new one comes, the oldest one on the table gets recycled, and if there's anything I want to save, I must do it then and there.

BUT - do I just start that now and get rid of the other 30 or so magazines that look so pretty in their white magazine holders (with their perfect white spines with pops of colored lettering)?  Or do I take the time to go through each one, tearing and saving things that I truly want to keep (and storing them neatly in an organized Real Simple binder of my own creation?

There's something appealing about just purging them all and starting fresh, but I've hoarded saved for so long, it's hard to imagine not clipping all those "for someday" articles.  This seems like it will take an enormous amount of time and may not actually be worth it in the long run, though it could be fun.  Maybe?  I might just need an intervention.

What do you think?

Presenting...The Lincolnsaber

My friend Nick is having a rough day, and posted the following on Facebook: "Someone photoshop a picture of Abraham Lincoln with a lightsaber for me, please. That's the only thing that could cheer me up today."

Ok, Nick. I accept your challenge. I'm always looking for quick exercises to improve my Photoshop skills, and if I can cheer up a friend in the meantime, well then it's a double-win (not to be confused with a double-rainbow). This wasn't particularly challenging, as the lightsaber was already available as a free .psd file, but it was fun to make!

I liked the results so much that I decided to share them with the rest of the internet - or the slice of internet that reads my little blog, anyway. Enjoy. I hope this brightens your Thursday.


Legalish Note: Both images (Lincoln and Lightsaber) are from Google Images - I do not in any way mean to harm the original posters of the photos, nor will I be profiting from these images. Just trying to make a friend smile. :)

Ed note: Nick just emailed me with the following photo. Do you have your own Lincolnsaber photo to share? Link it in the comments!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The First Round of the Pictures...

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the whole "we're all settled and unpacked" situation, because, well, life got in the way, and sometimes there are more important things to do than unpack every single box (thanks, Will, for reminding me that it doesn't all have to be done yesterday).

I was finally able to upload some pictures from Moving Day though, so here you go...some pictures of our empty, clean, beautiful new apartment!

The view from the kitchen sink (how appropriate).
The nicest landlords ever left us flowers.
And Triple Karm.

The view from the living room (remember all those "from the couch"
pictures I've been posting? Well, this is what it looks like empty).
I don't know why Blogger won't let me import this picture
vertically, so you'll just have to turn your head. Or not.
Pretty floor.

Having a hallway makes the apartment feel more spacious.
Also, it's 200 sq feet bigger than our last place.
That could help.

The view of the living room from the dining area...you can kind
of see the patio out back.  It's nice.
Me saying a blurry bye-bye to our old place.
Yes, I painted it myself (with help).

A celebratory mimosa-filled brunch with cousins.
Not pictured: Will
Guess who was the designated driver?
Hint: he was also the designated photographer.

So there you have it.  Moving Day 2010.  We are about 2/3 of the way unpacked at this point, which at only 10 days into the month is not half bad (get it? because it's more than half? I slay me). Last night, I closed the linen closet door for the first time, which I'll count as a small measure of success. I'd like to be fully unpacked and settled in by the end of the month, but I am also trying to work on just relaxing and not stressing about a few more boxes.  Because (and maybe you know this already) there is more to life than that.  Such as: walks around the lake, photo shoots with Em the Gem, seeing my favorite 10-year old in a play, and last-minute trips to Cafe Biere for Taco Tuesday (if it seems like we're there a lot...well...we have been going a lot in the last two weeks. so you're right).

You know what?  It's all going to be ok.  :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

I promised you pictures...

...and pictures you will get. I finally found the cord that connects my camera to the computer, but alas, we do not yet have internet at home. I will try to get those photos uploaded as soon as possible, but until then, here's a little preview, courtesy of my iPhone.

Before. The view from the couch on Sunday, August 1, 2010
After. The view from the couch on Sunday, August 8, 2010.
What a difference a week makes.

Also? We have a lot of books.

Friday, August 6, 2010

BlogHer 2011?

So.  In the last couple of years, I have become aware of this little thing called BlogHer.  This year, the annual conference is allupinmyface, because I read AimingLow, and those chicks are all over BlogHer2010, and I follow them on Twitter, and they won't shut up about how awesome it is.  I love it, I do.  But I am kind of crazyjealous that I'm not there.

I just found out (thanks, Berzerkeley) that they've announced that tickets are on sale for next year's conference.  Which will be in San Diego.  Which is much closer to me (and in theory, much more affordable) than is New York (where the conference is this year).  I am seriously considering going.

I know I'm not a famous blogger, and I don't make money off my blog, and I don't have any awesome sponsors paying me to promote them (yet!), but I did do two of those CSN Giveaways, so I feel a little bit special.  Not that you need to be special to attend - there are no rules about number of readers or endorsement deals or whatever.  Anyone can go as long as they pony up the money (from $75-$600 depending on who you are and when you sign up).  Which brings me to the next point.

Even though this isn't for another year, and Early Bird (read: discount) pricing doesn't end until late February, I am still not sure I can afford it.  I mean, for me (I'd want to do the full two days, and I'd register early) it would be $200.  That's two hundred dollars, to attend a blogging conference for women.  Which, don't get me wrong, seems totally worth it.  But I am still cheap, and not making a lot of money, and have to pay for things like rent and bills and food.  And that 200 buckaroos doesn't include the hotel or airfare or dinner (though um, cocktails count as dinner, right?).  Even though I will definitely start saving and budgeting (and hopefully freelance-writing) to allow for this, it would certainly help to have a little extra money coming in from somewhere.

So.  Here's my question.  Is it totally tacky to post a "Send Me to BlogHer 2011" donation button on my site and take donations through PayPal?  I'm not sure how that would all work for tax purposes or anything (does it count as business income if it's a donation?), and I don't even know if anyone would even contribute a dollar, but honestly, every little bit would help. Realistically, this could end up costing me over $600 ($200 conference, $200 hotel, $200 flight, plus extra food and stuff), and it's not like I'm made of money.

If you would be so kind as to fill out this quick survey, I would be very, very grateful.  You might have to click through to the site if you are using a feed reader.  Sorry.

Link Roundup - Plus, Free Advertising!

I haven't done one of these link roundup posts in a long time, and I've got a few things to share, so here you go.  Happy Friday.
  • The Top 11 World's Coolest Jobs - I don't know if it's more entertaining or tortuous to read this little article, but I enjoyed it.
  • With my "gentle" persuasion, Josey flipped her Type A personality upside down and made a delicious dinner without a recipe, for the first time.  I am so proud of my blog buddy!  
  • If you haven't seen Tavi's awesome roundup of "Sanctuaries" (pictures of classic teen chick flick movie bedrooms), check it out.  So many memories.
  • Mekanism posts a weekly roundup of "crap" they like on the internet.  Check out this week's.

PS - In case you missed my announcement yesterday (it was, after all, at the end of a very long and blabbery post), I have an ad, and I want to put it out there.  It's 150 pixels by 150 pixels, and it's cute (designed by my awesome friend Cheshire).  I'm advertising this month on The Soap Bar (she's doing a super cheap deal this month), and I can't really afford to pay to advertise somewhere else right now...but I would definitely be open to doing an ad trade.  So if you are a reader, and you have a blog/website/etsy page of your own that you would like to advertise, I am offering a FREE AD EXCHANGE.  That is, I'll put up your ad if you put up my ad.  I don't know if this is something people actually do, but I figured I'd give it a shot.  It's my blog, so there. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Two Kitchens That Are Not Mine (also: Way too many parentheticals)

Obviously, they can't both be mine. I can't have two kitchens (or can I...).  But actually, neither of these are mine.  They are just pretty, and I thought I would share them (as I am wont to do).  ("wont to do" is one of my favorite phrases in the world, by the way)  (parenthetical!)

Even as we (slowly but surely) (what is with the parentheses, Kim? jeez!) get settled (last night, I unpacked the linen closet, which was thrilling to me, but probably boring to most. let me know if you really want to see pics and I'll post them), I find myself daydreaming of other people's kitchens.  I do that a lot (see Tiny Kitchen Roundup, circa March 2010), and if you hate looking at other people's kitchens, well, then I just don't understand you, and maybe this is not the blog for you. Or you can just ignore all of the posts labeled "HouseLust".  But I digress.  (PS - that's two sentences starting with "But".  And this is parenthetical number 10.  Eesh)

Since I haven't gotten around to uploading and posting (or even taking, since the weekend) photos from The Great Unpacking, I'll just keep sharing pretty kitchens and such from other people's lives.  Because sometimes, when we're living in Cardboard Castle, even if we are pleased as punch about our new home, we just need a little break.  (and yes, that's the royal "we" - y'all know I'm talking about myself here)

In case this week has been getting you down, or you too are just crazy tired and wishing it was Friday, here are a few beautiful distractions (or inspirations, if that's your thing. I prefer to be distracted).  Oh, and apparently today is International Beer Day.  Guess where I'll be after work?  Hint: here.  (ok, that wasn't so much a hint as it was an answer. so sue me. no wait, don't. I can't afford it.)

I am extremely charmed by the fake window over the sink.
Check out the before pictures (via TheKitchn)
and you will be even more impressed.
I love the floors, the cabinets, the sink, the decor...sigh
Isn't this just yummy?
(via TheKitchn)
This is now the third time I've used this phrase today, but
"I want to go to there"
(via the same post on "window treatments" at TheKitchn)

PS - Starting today (and for the next month) I am advertising on The Soap Bar.  You may know of my love of Product Body, and this website is the soapy goodness (aka "soap porn") roundup of sorts from its owner.  If you found this blog from that ad, let me know!

PPS - The ad was made by my lovely friend Cheshire, who turned my "oh my god this is the worst ad I've ever seen I did not know I lacked so much artistic talent even using Photoshop I am embarrassed to even be sending you this" sample ad into the thing of beauty you see in Joanna's sidebar.  In fact, I like it so much I am now looking for other places to put it.  Unfortunately, I can't justify spending any more money on advertising right now.  Any bloggers out there want to do an ad-posting trade?  I'll show you mine if you show me yours?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Moving? What?

I've gotten a few concerned emails from you wonderful people, asking how the move went and if we survived, hoping everything is ok.  Really, you shouldn't be concerned when I miss 4 days of posting updates.  You should know me better by now!  :-)  I really do appreciate it though, because BOY HAVE I WANTED TO FILL YOU IN!  If you haven't been following me on Twitter (which you should), then you missed a few updates (with pictures!).

Such fun things as:

So you see, it was a busy day.  And a busy weekend.  And yesterday, when I was getting all, "Woe is me, we have so much to unpack, how have we lived here for so long surrounded by boxes?!" I was reminded that it was only Tuesday.  And we had, in fact, moved in a mere three days prior.  Hello time, it seems we need to be reintroduced.

We made a fantastic dent in the unpacking on Monday night, and as of last night (still only Tuesday night) we had almost unpacked the entire kitchen.  The bedroom is unpacked; though we still have to install some lights, it is fully functional.  On Monday, I wore Crocs to work (cute ones though) because they were the only shoes I could find, aside from the EasyTone tennies I had been wearing for the last 48 hours.  Note for anyone planning to move: pack yourself a duffel bag with outfits and shoes for the first two days or so after the move. It will make your life less stressful.

Anyway, it's been exhausting.  We had an absolutely terrible experience with our movers. We have way more stuff than we thought we did.  But we love the place, and it feels great to be getting settled.  

Hopefully I'll find the camera-to-computer cord soon...I have moving day pictures (pre-Cardboard Castle, so it's nice and clean and empty), and by the end of the weekend, I should have some settling-in-progress pictures too.  :-)