Friday, January 29, 2010

Not what it seems

I love the idea of masking appearances. When I say that I feel as if I am admitting to a horrible vice because masking appearances seems to hold such negative connotations. But deep down I don't think it is all that bad. Moreover, I believe that being honest about having layers of disguise is more honest than saying that one doesn't have any, because, let's be honest, we all have little secrets!
This week, on Design*Sponge, I saw two (here and here) wonderfully crafted masks, which I immediately feel in love with. Both are items that have been on the top of my brain as of recent and it seemed quite timely that I should stumble upon them now...
The first one is the BookBook sleeve from Twelve South. This computer sleeve looks like a vintage piece of literature, not an expensive laptop and is a lovely commentary on the evolution of visual communication. It's quite ironic that the definition of social status, source of all knowledge and highly regarded hard cover books of yesteryear, which were so carefully stored and revered are now being used as a disguise for today's truly sought after item, source of information, definition of social status, the MacBook. The suggestion that an 'old piece of literature' is a deterrent for thieves is probably making Shakespeare roll over in his grave and Steve Jobs break out in song. Needless to say, these merge old and new words quite perfectly in my mind and lend to a perfect masking of appearances, not to mention that they are beautifully crafted one of a kind items that I'm sure will spur many random discussions!

Via Design*Sponge and Hither and Thither

The second item is a DIY and expands on one of my most performed DIYs (this or something like it!). It's a hidden jewelry box which is perfect for me, with my adverse reaction to clutter, yet my desire to own more jewelry is a perfect merge. I think with this solution I can now have one of these in my room! Now to find the perfect frame and piece of art!

Via Design*Sponge

A quick follow up on my comment on loving masked appearances, what I really love the most about them is the slow unraveling of the truth, and the wonderful surprise once you find out what's below the mask! It's really that element of surprise that gets me every time! (I'm not a master of deception!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paper Bag It

Initially I didn't make any New Year's resolutions. I am pretty happy with things and didn't think I needed to change anything drastically. Since then, I realize I was on drugs and there is always room for improvement!

I have made two resolutions. To read more, and to pack a lunch.

Lunches require a bit of planning. I know that if I don't make a delicious lunch, it will be hard to motivate me to not go buy a wonderful freshly made sandwich. I have been looking around the office and taking notes of any trends from people who regularly bring their lunch, and this is what I have come up with.
  1. Left overs - this is by far the most popular lunch. Most of which are a one bowl type meals such as stirfrys, and pastas or rice.
  2. Assembling lunch at work - Especially with salads and sandwiches, people bring the ingredients but assemble them at lunch. This is great for me since I love tomatoes in my sandwiches, but can't handle soggy bread!
  3. Toasting the bread in your sandwich. I love this idea! BLT here I come!

I'll start the year off with a great recipe that I learned from James, and which is sure to make great lunch leftovers! (I just tried this last night and it was a smash hit! It wasn't as good as James' but it was a great start, and sitting in my lunch bag as we speak!)

Via Goodlife.Eats

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Roast at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes:
Red, green and yellow peppers
Sun dried tomatoes in oil
Generous splash of oil from sun dried tomatoes

Cook pasta

With 10 minutes left add:
Artichoke Hearts

When vegetables are done, mix pasta and vegetables.
Add fresh basil, and some white (or red or balsamic) vinegar.
Optional: add capers, Parmesan cheese and other fresh herbs (I used oregano)
Season with pepper (you probably won’t need salt because of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes.)

Via Fresh from the Oven

(I planned to take pictures of the miracle that is me cooking, but a- I was concentrating on the cooking too much and forgot and b- it really didn't look half as good as these ones I found here and here !)

Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 has begun?

Wow, where have the past few months gone? My monthly to-dos, ten loves, easy eco Mondays and any resemblance to a post have completely gone by the wayside... My apologies for anyone who checks here on a somewhat regular basis.

I can't even tell you what I have been up to for the past little while. I would like to say that work has consumed my life, but that is really not a valid response since everyone is super busy with work, and its not like I have been working 80 hour weeks! So what has taken up my time? Well, I have pretty much gone activity wild, going skiing, and hiking and cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing and and biking and swimming whenever I've had a free moment. The weather this winter has been so nice (warm) and sunny (!!) that I couldn't bare to say no!

It all caught up with me in January when I feel ill with a nasty little cold that wouldn't go away. I am just now recovering from it, feeling my energy levels rebound ever so slowly!

Anyway, enough with the excuses, onto better, more exciting topics! The first one of 2010? New Years Resolution. To read more. I came across this list of 100 great books from the BBC. Apparently most people have only read 6 of the 100 books. I don't think I am much above that, so if I were to try and tackle this list, are there any book suggestions? (I've place an x next to the books I have read)

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x (1/2)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible –
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger x
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis x
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini x
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres x
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden x
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery xxxx
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding x
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan x
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel x
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon x
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x (I think I have...)
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Inferno - Dante
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker x
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom x
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I've only read 18 (or possibly 16 and 1/2). I do have 4-5 books on my shelf from this list. I think I will start with those!

New Year's Resolution # 2 will come tomorrow!