Sunday, December 4, 2011

On Productivity

This weekend has been quite productive, one of the most successful "getting things done" weekends I've had in a while.  And with a crazy work week last week, full of multiple to-do lists, none of which are remotely completed, I think I needed this boost of productivity self esteem.  It's amazing what accomplishing a few long-awaited tasks can do for my mindset; I feel just a little more invincible this afternoon, and while I'm glad it's only 4:30, and I still have quite a bit of daytime left, I don't feel quite as worn down.  ed note: It's now 9:50pm.  I didn't work on this for 5 hours; I took a break for dinner and falling asleep on the couch while "watching" football and such. Please note that I am feeling ready to tackle the week but tired enough to fall asleep before midnight.  Yay.

And now...


Christmas Tree
We got our tree!  We found it pretty quickly in the 6-7' section (closer to 7', of course), and the lovely folks at the Delancey Street Foundation sawed a fresh cut, removed and saved a few low-hanging branches, and tied it to our car.  But wait - the story doesn't end there! We got home and realized our tree stand was not wide enough to accommodate our tree.  Will then spent an hour trying to saw the trunk down to a part where it was slightly narrower, and trimming the little nubbins off the side...eventually we he got it down to size and we shoved it into the stand.  It's a little bit of a tight fit, which makes watering a little rough, but it works.  And Reed stayed over and helped us decorate, with hot toddies and our traditional "Will's Christmas Playlist" playing in the background.  We even added a new tradition: adding photos to the tree.  No, we aren't fancy enough to use photo-ornaments -- I just printed some photos (using my sweet "new" HP Photo printer that I won at BlogHer and dude, you can print directly from Picasaweb From. The. Printer. WHAT?!) and we stuck them in the tree. And you know what?  It's kind of fun.  This morning, Reed made us a really cool origami tree topper, and le tree?  She is done!

closeup on the topper

Invitations and RSVP Cards
I've mentioned it before, but we would not be able to pull off this 4.5 month engagement + destination wedding without the help of my amazing friend Aly.  She is our wedding planner, graphic designer, stationer, bride-calmer-downer, scheduler, and ummm breakfast provider?  This girl is seriously on top of her game; some day when she owns her own wedding planning and coordination business, she is going to make bajillions of brides so happy! Not only did she design and build our entire wedding website (if only you could see the silly thing I cobbled together at first), she combined Will's Uncle Bruce's beautiful artwork with some really lovely text.  And made the RSVP cards.  And designed the email Save the Dates.  And came over this morning, with bagels, supplies and an extra printer just in case, to lead the invitation-assembly charge!  We got them all done, and I am set up with a Word template for printing on envelopes when we pull together the last few missing addresses.  Which, btw, is super easy with my fancy new aforementioned printer. I love this printer, yo. Also, did I mention that the invitations are gorgeous?  (thanks to Taylor for providing the confidentiality censorship)

Motion Sensor Light
A few months ago, I realized that at night, it's kind of hard to see the bottom few steps of the stairs that lead from the kitchen down to the basement (where we do laundry).  Especially if you're carrying a hamper and making extra shadows.  I asked our landlord if we could install a motion sensor light, and he offered to pay for it.  I immediately ordered it from Amazon and received it, and it sat in the house for oh, maybe, a month two months?  Ok, it's been busy, and too dark to do it after work.  But still.  Today I finally hung the damn thing, and I'm happy to say that it works perfectly for some reason it does not work.  Soooo ok fine.  But I got it hung!  Eventually I'll get it working?

Spice Rack
Back in August, I installed a DIY spice rack situation in the kitchen.  I was pretty damn proud of myself, but soon we ran out of room.  I bought some new mesh drawer liner things (uhhh over a month ago?) but had yet to install them.  It was annoying both to-do-list and practicality-wise, and finally today I took care of it.  Behold the wonder that is our even more spectacular wall of spices!  Now all of our cooking spices are within easy reach, right next to the stove.  The baking spices (cinnamon and nutmeg and such) are still going to live in the pantry though, because they are used much less often and hardly ever while cooking.

Kitchen Makeover and Office/Guestroom Plans
The brilliant Melissa (of Blitz, the design firm that did the Disqus office, of whom I am completely enamored) came over on Saturday morning to take a look at our back room.  It is currently an office (meaning that Will's desk is in there, along with a ton of boxes) but I want it to be an office/guest room. I don't have a lot of vision for this room though, because it is pretty tiny, and let's face it: I'm not a designer.  But give Melissa a measuring tape and a floor plan and girl can work magic!  For about $1,000 (sofabed, file cabinets, shelves, area rug, throw pillows), we can transform this room into a really cozy, library/study-inspired space, with enough room for Will's desk, a sofabed, and plenty of office storage.  Now we just need $1,000!

While Melissa was here, I gave her my "oh, so by the way, there's some stuff in the kitchen I could use some help with" tour -- and she had the genius idea of moving the microwave on top of the dishwasher (that no, I still haven't hooked up - but I will! I will!) to make room on the built in hutch for my pretty glass jars of grains (and the knives). There's enough room to set stuff down for prepping, and it looks much cleaner too.  And wouldn't you know it? The microwave fits perfectly in the space on top of the dishwasher.  And because I moved all those spices and things out of the way, there is more room on the kitchen cart for chopping and prep (and eventually, to open the dishwasher).  Love it.  So THANK YOU, MELISSA.

...and some bonus decoration pictures made it this far, and tis the season and all!

Dining table centerpiece
The front (living room) window
You didn't think I'd forget about Chanukkah, did you?
Can you find the hidden Star of David?
What about the Mistletoe (ok, so that's more Christmas)?

Decorating is awesome.
Productivity is awesome.
Awesome Awesome Awesome.


  1. You've been busy! My nutmeg stays close to the front of the spice rack because I love it in coffee and some curries, but I can see your point. Re: your light: does it run on the mains? Is it grounded properly? Did you turn the fuse back on after you installed it? Does it require a battery? Did you check the bulb? Does it have three-way settings (off, on, and auto?) I Must Know!

  2. The light is battery operated, and I tested it indoors first -- I think the problem might be that it says it only works "in total darkness", and it is not "totally" pitch black outside. I tested it in a dark room (per its instructions), but looks like we might need to investigate other options. It doesn't have *any* settings - you have to take the batteries out to turn it off (it's the kind where if there is no movement for 30 secs it goes off).

  3. Most definitely a productive weekend! Lookin' fabulous!