Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Five Coats for Three Doors

As previously complained about, I've been getting much fewer hours at work of late. After successfully catching up on sleep, reading and moisturizing, a bee in my bonnet suggested that I repaint the three exterior doors on the 1952 House from black to something more lively. I wanted a color to contrast the boring British Khaki shingle siding. (I never thought I'd live in a khaki house. I usually hate khaki and all the beige cousins, but that's an expenditure for another day.) Standing in the paint aisle of Lowe's, Chad gave his blessings for LaFonda Fireberry. It took five coats of Duramax semi-gloss to fully banish the black doors. I love it! I decorated with lots of warm reds and oranges in the house, so the red doors hint at, and provide transition to, the colors inside the 1952 House. 

Front Door

Side Door to Carport

Back Door to Deck

Monday, January 13, 2014

Radiant Orchid Cupcakes

Pantone's 2014 color of the year is radiant orchid. I had some purple sugar sprinkles in the cabinet (bought for what, I haven't a clue), and decided that they are radiant orchid. I'm so fashion forward that way. I had to bake something on which to sprinkle the radiant orchid sugars: vanilla cupcakes with vanilla cream frosting. The cupcakes made use of almond extract while the frosting used vanilla extract, whipping cream, butter and powdered sugar. The recipe tasted good, but I'd like to try the recipe again with fresh lemon zest and juice in place of the extracts. I wonder if lemon juice will make the whipping cream curdle. I'm trying out some frosting methods with my new piping bag and tips. Admittedly, some cupcakes looked better than others. 

In other news, after working full-time without full-time benefits for approximately eight months at my retail visuals job, my scheduled work hours drastically reduced the past six weeks, typically working only five to fourteen hours per week. The past two weeks, I've been scheduled zero hours with two or three on-call shifts. On-call shifts irritate me greatly. Workers are obligated to call the store two hours before their scheduled on-call shifts to see if they are actually working or not. It's a way for employers to reserve an employee's time (or hold your time hostage as I like to say) without paying employees for that time and without guaranteeing any work during that time. My immediate supervisor (bless her!) took pity on me, and verbally gave me a five hour shift for this week. 

It's near impossible to keep track of sales, promotions and policy changes at my retail employer when I'm only working five hours per week. Consequently, I also feel next to zero engagement or ownership in that job when I'm only there five hours per week.

Part of me thinks I should enjoy these reduced hour work weeks, because it leaves more time to bake, read, exercise, do chores and take tiling classes at the Home Depot. (I took a kitchen and bathroom tiling class Sunday. The teacher said I'm a natural.) Part of me sees the economic reality of working more hours per week if Chad and I ever want to take another vacation and/or want to pay off the mortgage early. Both of which we definitely want to do. 

Stay tuned for probable job search hijinks in the near future.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

But It's Not February Yet

It's tempting to leave the Christmas decorations up all winter to brighten up gloomy days. All good things must come to an end, or risk losing their specialness. Until we meet again, holiday decorations, enjoy the newly organized and freshly cleaned shed.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Let's Talk About Socks

When a Bangladesh clothing factory roof collapsed in 2012 killing more than 1100 people, I could no longer justify purchases from low cost clothing retailers. Plus I grew weary of the semi-disposable nature of disintegrating knits and fraying polyesters. After abandoning bargain brands that likely pose high costs to humanity, Chad implored me with a slight edge of desperation to his voice, "where am I supposed to get basics like socks?" After the tiniest bit of research, I have a few good answers.

Bombas Socks not only sport great design and quality, but also donate one pair of socks to people in need for each pair of socks sold.  Chad received a pair of ankle socks and mid-calf socks from Bombas in his latest Birchbox. The socks are a perfect thickness, soft and shaped well. I wish-listed the grey eight pack for women. I love the pops of color and the bee emblem. I also love that the sock engineers got rid of the seam bump most socks have that typically lines up with my pinkie toe and makes blisters.


Nice Laundry sells multi-packs of color coordinated and pattern coordinated socks. Nice Laundry also offers a luxurious-sounding "sock drawer makeover" of eighteen new pairs of socks for $99. Customers can request a mailing envelope from Nice Laundry to recycle old socks at a textile mill: still usable socks go to people in need while rattier socks get turned into insulation.  The founders of Nice Laundry work directly with their South Korean factory and don't advertise much to minimize overhead costs. My only complaint with these socks is that they are more tailored to men's sizes. I have small feet. These won't work for me, but will be great for Chad.


Zkano Socks are made in Alabama from sustainable organic cotton. Zkano offers oodles of options for good looking socks in many sizes and styles. I love the story about the origin of Zkano socks. I love the photos of the socks. I love the website. I'm about to order a pair or twelve.

Get going and shop for some socks in good conscience!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Major Achievement of 2013

1000 piece puzzle 
pure imagination
Chihuly glass

In November 2012 Chad and I went to an amazing Chihuly glass installation at the Dallas Arboretum. It wasn't until September 2013, that I actually started the puzzle I bought there. Then I didn't touch it for a few months. With only one day left in 2013, Chad and I finally finished the most difficult puzzle we've ever done. 

Yep. It's a non-stop party at the 1952 House.