Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weddings and Jewelry

Last night, I hosted a Royal Wedding Watching Party (and Stella and Dot trunk show). Now, I don't have one big ole group of girlfriends, so whenever I have a party, the guest list tends to be a bit eclectic. Last night was no different: old friends, new friends, friends of friends...I think there were about 15 people there, and everyone seemed to have a good time. I actually think it's really fun to host a party where most people only know one or two other people there - it makes people socialize a little more, and it makes for a lively evening!  Ok, I sound totally like a 50's housewife (or a stereotypical Briton) with my whole "lively evening" spiel, but seriously.

We feasted on a delectable array of treats, including some delicious homemade scones (thanks, Dana!), which I polished off this morning. Sadly, I didn't take one single photo at the party (bad blogger!), mostly because the drinking started around 5pm when my friend Katherine and I realized how much chopping and stirring and food prep and cleanup we had to do before guests arrived. Thanks again, Katherine. Definitely couldn't have done it without you.  If anyone took pictures, please email them to me so I can add them to this post.  :)

The only picture I have from the party.
Thanks to whoever lined them up like that.
Totally made me giggle.
I took this picture this morning.
We did a good job, guys.
We also tried on some gorgeous jewelry from Stella and Dot. If you couldn't make it to the party, or if you came but didn't buy anything, guess what? My "party" is still going online, and you can still place an order! They have a lot of great jewelry under $50, and even quite a bit under $40 (and a bunch of stuff on sale for less!).  I tried on several necklaces (and earrings) that would be perfect for jazzing up a casual outfit or for wearing for fancier occasions - I know I sound salesy, but I really do love their stuff.  Like, a lot.

Here are the instructions for ordering:
  1. go to
  2. click on "find your hostess" under the "Stylewatch" tab
  3. type in Kim Weisberg
  4. start shopping!

(Full disclaimer: if people buy stuff, I get a discount on whatever I end up buying, so...there's my ulterior motive. but let's be honest. I'm buying stuff anyway. Because this jewelry rocks. Let me know if you want to host a trunk show of your own and I'll hook you up with Rosemary!) 

It really was a lovely night.  Thanks to all who came!

How about you, readers?  Did you celebrate the Royal Wedding?  Did you cry? (I think we all know that I teared up a little) 

PS - Congratulations to two of my dear blog friends who BOTH just got engaged!  You can read their recaps (and ogle their rings) here and here.

Update: photo from Kelsey
Chocolate fountain, fruit, cookies, scones, cucumber and
cream cheese sandwiches, crudites, cheese and champagne
fondue, spinach artichoke dip, pickles...

Photo of the spread from Dana. The empty dish in the chafer
was the spinach dip, which was still in the oven at the time.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Passover Winner!

Well, when it comes to Passover, there are no losers (except Pharoh, booya!).  But when it comes to the Passover Giveaway at Kim's Kitchen Sink, there can be only one winner!  And that winner mom!

I promise I didn't rig it; here is a screenshot of the Random Number Generator for proof:

So congratulations, mom!  Thanks for supporting my blog and entering the contest.  :-)

And thanks to everyone who played along - it was fun reading all of your Passover facts.  Stay tuned, because another giveaway is coming soon!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Passover Giveaway!

Ok, so all y'all know that I love my saucepans that I got from CSN Stores*. I love me some CSN Stores. And they love me,  apparently, because they want to do another giveaway here at my little blog! Do you want to win $30 to spend at CSN Stores?  I bet you do.

To enter: 
  • In honor of Passover this week, you must leave a comment here telling me one thing (anything at all!) that you know about Passover.  How's THAT for missing the message? In honor of my people's freedom, I command you to tell me about it! Nobody ever said I made sense. 
  • Tweet, blog, facebook, digg, whatever - tell The Internet about this giveaway.  Then come back here and leave a comment for each thing you do, telling me that you did it.  There is no limit to how many times you can enter!  Well, ok, you're limited by the amount of social networking you do.
Photo from this blog that I found through Google Images.
Check it out if you're looking for a Passover fact to use
to enter the contest. Or, you know, use Wikipedia.  :)

Chag Pesach Same'ach and happy entering!

*yadda yadda, yeah I know that link doesn't take you to the saucepans. But I have to include it to give you guys the giveaway. And yeah, I know that doing so helps CSN Stores' page rank in Google searches. I'm ok with that, because A) it means you guys get a giveaway, B) it means that I get a little CSN credit for myself if I write a review of the product, and C) I like CSN Stores and I don't mind helping their page rank.  They are super useful! And super nice! Hi, CSN!

Ed Note: I always forget to say when the contests are going to end! This one's running for the whole week of Passover! I'll pick a winner on Wednesday, April 27, since I think Passover technically ends at sundown on Tuesday the 26th.  And no, now you cannot use this as your fact :)

Patio Improvements and More!

Ok, so that's a pretty boring title.  But this weekend was not boring. And this post will not be boring.  Promise!

First things first, this weekend held some fun times.  On Saturday, I visited Berkeley Rep's annual costume and prop sale, which was even bigger this year because they're about to move out of their warehouse.  I scored a really cute pair of black heels (and I have been a woman on a mission lately, looking for cute black heels that are less than 2" high) for just $1.  Barely worn, super cute.  I also went home with a great rocking chair. It could use a new coat of paint, and I'm hoping to weatherproof it so that I can use it outside.  I suppose it was only a matter of time before Young House Love inspired me to take on a project of my own.

Le chair. The sticker on the seat? It said $50.
And the $50 was crossed out to say $25.
But they only charged me $5, because they
are awesome. Because they love me?  :)
Close-up on the funky flowers-and-fruit design on
the top of the seat. It may get painted over. 
But this weekend was not just about some bargain theatre shopping, no! Will had decided to have a little BBQ for some hockey folks (it's the playoffs, y'all. so many games to watch!), and I had to stop by OSH for some charcoal and a meat thermometer.  While I was there, I stocked up on soil and flowers and got all stoked to do some gardening later in the day (side note: I love this OSH. And Ellen, who works in the gardening department, is the best, most helpful person ever).

OSH was selling "color bowls", which are basically just a
bunch of flowers planted in a bowl. But it was so pretty, and
it was, like, $12.99. I just stuck it in the pot that used to have
zucchinis before they all died.  Instant garden!

I bought all of these to plant in one of the half wine barrel
planters I bought recently. But I ran out of soil, so they're
still sitting in their pots from the nursery. How long can
they stay there? A week? More? Less? Help?

Since we were in Berkeley (Will was working on campus), we stopped by the fabulous Berkeley Bowl for groceries. I haven't been there in months, and I had almost forgotten how wonderful it is. Especially in the springtime. Aisles upon aisles of fresh fruits and vegetables. It feels so good to have a fridge full of good stuff. Mmm. Stuff.

The BBQ was a success, full of friends and kids. While we don't have kids, many of our friends do, and our house is pretty kid-friendly. We have coloring books and Connect 4, and this time, we had a few big pieces of bubble wrap for the kids to jump around on out on the patio. And when the kids got really bored, I had them help me with the gardening.  General rule of thumb when dealing with kids: if you make it sound like a fun project, they'll probably want to help. Wheels successfully screwed onto the larger of the two half wine barrel planters, it was time to plant a lemon tree!  The kids really liked helping me with the dirt, and it was seriously fun.

Our little lemon tree in its new home.
It looks slightly different back here than it did before?
A little bonus rosemary, with a white flower whose name I
have forgotten. It appears in my color bowl, and it grows here
on its own, like a weed but pretty.
Ellen at OSH told me its name and I promptly forgot it.
I've never been good with names.
We BBQ'd again tonight, since it was nice out and we had some chicken sausages and veggies in the fridge. BBQ'd sweet white onions...heaven. Because the condo was a bit messy after last night's party, we spent some time cleaning up, which always makes me happy anyway. The floor has been swept and mopped, the laundry has been started, the trash has been taken out, the kitchen is clean, the bedroom has been straightened up. I separated old gym clothes into keepers (Google tshirts and other "keepsake" type of shirts) and Goodwill (a whole bag's worth of stretched out/no longer fitting pants). Even the linen closet is tidy - it's pretty nice in here right about now!  And while I didn't get to buy the soil I needed (would you believe that each half wine barrel requires 3 cubic feet of soil!?) because the garden store was closed, I got a pedicure and did some light grocery shopping, and tonight, I'm feeling pretty good, like I'm ready to tackle this week.

Though I may still cave and hire someone to clean the tub.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Corralling the Cords: Part 2

I have made significant progress in Project Corralling the Cords, so I thought I'd post a little update. I purchased a cord cover kit and (with the help of my trusty garden shears) cut them down to size. They were super easy to install, and things are looking much better. See for yourself!

Ta-da! Don't remember what it looked like before?
Click here.

I mean, wow, right?  Such a difference! For some reason, in this photo, the distribution of picture frames makes everything look a little unbalanced.  It doesn't look that right-heavy in person.

Close-up of the side table that holds the Xbox,
cable box, and this little basket of joy.
Purchasing this basket was one of those tiny little things that (for me) makes a huge difference.  Before the basket, our video game collection and spare controllers just sat in a pile on the floor.  It bothered me every single time I looked at it, all sloppy and Jenga-like, threatening to topple over at any second.  Plus, I'm one of those people who loves to see everything in its place, and I think things just look so much neater when they're in baskets (you're welcome, mom).  Seriously, when I brought that basket home and loaded it up?  
Happy sigh...

There's just one more thing to do, but unfortunately I purchased the wrong tools with which to do it.

The last cord that needs wranglin'
I recently bought an HDMI cable that would be long enough to reach from the TV to the cable box in something other than a diagonal line that is ugly and hard to hide. This one is even a silvery gray which blends in a little better than the usual black cable.  I bought these little Command Cord Clips to just clip it up along the white cord cover thingy, but naturally they are too small and the cable doesn't fit. So for now, dangling cord.  But at least it's silvery gray and not black, so I can kind of pretend it doesn't exist until I get the right-sized clips!  I might also decide to use a spare piece of cord cover to cover the cord that hangs down from the TV to behind the Kinect sensor, but that's not bothering me too much right now.

Anyway, I'm pleased with the progress. Our little place is really starting to come together :)

Friday, April 15, 2011


Seven years ago, I leased a brand new car. Approximately 4.5 years ago, I decided to purchase that little 2004 Honda Civic (had I had enough money for a down payment back in 2004, I would have just started buying it outright, rather than leasing it for a couple of years, but such is life).

Last fall, I realized that my anticipated payoff date was some time in October 2011.  The thousands of dollars owed on this car were reaching a point where it actually seemed like paying it off was in my near future.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The beginning of a time in which I would not be paying $258.28 a month and racking up interest (albeit at a fairly low rate).  In January, as part of a New Year's Not-Really-A-Resolution, I decided to double my monthly payments in order to save money on interest and pay off the rest of my balance sooner.

After my most recent payment, I noticed that my account balance was under $100.  Under $100! Wow!  I had planned on making a final payment on my birthday, as a sort of symbolic gift to myself (I like to give myself finance-type gifts for my birthday, apparently), but it didn't make sense to wait another month and rack up interest, even if it was only a few dollars.  Why not just pay it off now?  So happy early birthday to me!*

"After making that last payment, your title will be released and
sent to you in the mail, and the vehicle you've been financing
will officially be all yours." -Honda Financial Services Website

*I haven't written about our weekend getaway yet, but I got an early birthday present while we were to see Sarah Silverman (this past Monday), complete with a room service surprise of the most delicious red velvet cake I've ever had and mimosas at 8am :)  And I got Will an early birthday present of the framed team picture from when the Pens won the Stanley Cup in 2009.  It's a year of early birthday celebrations, no?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rosemary Whole Wheat (accidental) Flatbread

Ballet was canceled last night due to the studio being on spring break, and I felt like I needed to do something productive with my evening.  For some reason, I decided that this productive thing would be baking bread.  It's been a while since I baked bread (see here, here, and sort of here), and I suppose I was just feeling like making something out of (almost) nothing. When this recipe showed up in my Google Reader, I thought I'd try it.

Except then I left the recipe at work.  And then when I looked it up again at home, I decided I didn't want to deal with the stand mixer.  And I wasn't in the mood to experiment with bread dough in the Cuisinart (though it comes with a bread dough attachment thingy, and I'm sure it's not hard).  Plus, I wanted to use all whole wheat flour, since that's what I had on hand (trying to go whole wheat, healthier, blah blah).  So, um, scratch that. Try again. I found this recipe after a bit of Googling, and was pleased to find that it was a no-knead bread.  I'm not super confident in my kneading skills, to be honest, and it was already almost 8:30pm anyway.  Don't want to waste time kneading. I wasn't sure what to do about using whole wheat flour, since I've heard it can result in denser breads and such.  I turned, of course, to Twitter. Some said to sift it, some said to simply use less, or use more water, or both...and after a while I just decided to go for it.

this is what they are supposed to look like...
picture via the original recipe
Surprise! Two loaves of flatbread!
picture via my iPhone's bread.  I'll just pretend that I meant to make flatbread, and all will be well in the world!  This is where I turn to you, oh wise friends of life and the internet.  Where did I go wrong?  Here are my hypotheses - let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions for my next attempt at whole wheat bread.
  • My yeast may be is at least two years old.  I've been told that yeast keeps forever in the freezer though, and it's been in the freezer the whole time!  Could this really be my downfall?  Should I try again with fresh yeast? It didn't do the yeasty-foamy-crazyawesome thing that yeast is supposed to do (which, I admit, was disappointing. I like the science-experiment-ness of it), but I thought maybe that was because the water had sugar in it (eh? does this matter?).  The recipe didn't actually say it would do the yeasty reaction dance, so I thought maybe that was ok?  And it definitely doubled in size when it was in the bowl! 
  • I used slightly less than 4c of whole wheat flour, and about an extra 1/3 (ish. I didn't measure well. oops.) cup of water or so, to try to balance it out or something? I don't know; I heard that might work?  It seemed like it was all perfectly perfect when the ball of dough doubled in size in the bowl, but then when it was time to divide it into two balls and put them on the baking sheet, they got all flattened out like big, wet pancakes. Definitely not as compact and, well, risen, as the ones in the recipe post. They were also much wetter than I thought they should be, so maybe too much water?
  • Whole wheat flour might just bake weirdly?  Ok, so I know it's totally possible to make awesome bread with whole wheat flour (duh), so maybe I just did some wonky internet recipe mix-and-matching?
So...too much water? Not enough (or not new enough) yeast? A need to do something totally different when using whole wheat flour?  

I tasted a small piece, and it was actually good.  Perhaps I'll just stick with my "oh yeah, I was totally trying to make flatbread" story and enjoy it like a good foccacia. C'est la vie at Kim's Kitchen Sink!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Just your average Friday

So, I have a crapload of things to blog about (seriously, I need to take a day off work and just sit and blog.  What's that you say? It's called a weekend?  Yeah, well, too bad I am always too lazy busy).  I have blank walls to brainstorm about and gooey cheesy pictures to show you, and yes, the inevitable gardening mishaps. But hey, guess what? Will and I are going to Sonoma this weekend for a little getaway, just the two of us.  We're hoping to kayak in Bodega Bay, and we're getting massages tomorrow night...ahh, to relax. Such a joy. Unfortunately for you (oh I know, I see the tears a-comin'), that means I probably won't blog this weekend, unless I am feeling not lazy inspired on Sunday when we get back.

But oh well.  Because look! I'm blogging now!  Even if it's not what I meant to blog about.  This Friday at work has just had some silly moments, and I've been enjoying myself, and I want to share. Because despite some truly crazypants things that are going on in the world, and in our lives, sometimes you solve a crossword puzzle with your boyfriend, and sometimes things happen that make you laugh, and well, I think those are the things worth sharing.  See how I snuck that whole crossword puzzle thing in there? Yeah, super cool.

Exhibit A:

Yes, I felt the need to include this in our weekly company newsletter.
You may need to click to enlarge to read it.

Exhibit B:

I finally found out why some of the leaves of the plant by my desk look like they were attacked by a five year old with dull scissors.  See: helicopter blades.  See also: inability to control a landing.  Sadly, my iPhone lacks the ability to capture this on video.

I love my job.

PS - We're hiring.  You should work here too.  It's great.  Trust me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review: popchips!

Way back when, I wrote about how I went to this crazy little event for food bloggers where companies hooked me up with all sorts of crazy food.  Here's one of those posts where I tell you about one of the delicious items I tried!

My name is Kim and I love popchips. In all fairness, I knew I loved them before they offered to send me some.  I've been loving on these chips for years...but never one to turn down free snacks, and with the popchips people fully aware that I was already a fan, I accepted.  Note: while they did send these to me for free, they did not make me promise to write a good review (or any review, at that). These opinions are all mine, baby!

Oh Popchips, you are so delicious!

Now, I've eaten popchips all over the place.  I can't even remember when I first fell for the potato-y, crunchy, totally-not-even-bad-for-you-well-not-as-bad-as-regular-chips-anyway delights.  All I know is that they are delicious.  My favorite flavors are the Sea Salt & Vinegar and Salt & Pepper, but seriously? They're all good.

My only recommendation: do not go up to Tahoe bringing simply a large bag of popchips, assuming that the people you're meeting up there will bring real food, or that you won't get too lazy to cook real meals (which, honestly, is weird for us - usually we're eating like kings when we go to Tahoe).  Because once you decide that you have enough food, even if that food is just one big bag containing many smaller bags of popchips, you will probably just eat the popchips all weekend.  And while they are good, this is not a recommended activity.

Printed on the side of the box. Tee hee.

Yes, fine, ok, I recommend popchips much more as a snack than as a full meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner (though I will say that several flavors work very well alongside cheese for a "cheese and chips" meal snack).  Even the box labels itself as a box full of snacks.  Silly me, trying to get by on popchips alone.  They are super good though (we even have them in the office!), especially when you want a chip-like snack without all the fried, greasy, guilt-trippy stuff that's bad for you.  Get out there and get some, because they are delicious. 

And for the love of blogging, stay tuned this week, because I'm hoping to post a couple of fun and exciting things (including another giveaway! omg!) over the next few days!