seven fun things

Daylight’s savings ends next weekend (I wish they’d do away with it once and for all) so it’s time to break out the soup pots and twinkle lights. 

This morning I strung new lights (I’d ordered several strands in advance of the Christmas rush) above the living room hutch and atop our wardrobe, and just minutes ago I ordered these globe lights to dangle by the coffee maker in the kitchen. (UPDATE: Do NOT buy the globe lights. Turns out they are a weird greenish-yellow and they’re battery-powered. Clearly, I stink at reading product descriptions.)

On a less-fun note: I’ve had terrible luck with candles recently.

candles that burned and didn’t stink, and munchins of yore

I bought a whole bunch of duds at the thrift store (at least the money goes to a good cause) and then three of the four candles that I got in a Costco pack had a chemically smell to them that pricked the inside of my nose even though they smelled good in the store. (I’m donating them to the aforementioned thrift store, so candle buyers, beware.) 


I love, love, love seeing what other people eat, so this video of a girl documenting what she eats at her Nonna’s house for a whole week makes me inordinately happy.

And then she posted a video of what she ate at her other grandmother’s house in Maldova, the best part of which was the wedding. Seriously, you have got to check it out. The endless feasting makes our little three-hour weddings look positively impoverished. (Warning: don’t watch the video on a full stomach.)


After I posted about our painful mattress situation, my cousin(-in-law) gave us a used mattress topper they had in storage. It made our bed softer, but the body imprints accentuated the divide between us and my husband still woke up sore.

My husband’s face: “Stupid fancy mattress is as hard as these boards.”

He fussed until a couple weeks ago when he finally realized I wasn’t going to do anything about it (I was more or less okay with it) and fell down the research rabbit hole. And then he ordered a new topper for 200 bucks

Folks, it’s AMAZING.

This is how we feel about the topper.
photo from my cousin’s wedding last month

I feel firmly supported all over when I sleep and the best part is that there is no longer a mountain range between us (which means I’m constantly encroaching on my husband’s space, ha!). My husband says he wishes it were a wee bit softer, but I think it’s perfect.


Have you seen The White Lotus (HBOMax)?

It’s a perfect blend of mystery, comedy, and trashy-fun, and the acting is superb with a plotline that has us guessing, constantly analyzing the characters and discussing the different directions the story might go. (My husband can hardly handle the cringe-factor — he hates shows that center around entitled rich people like Downton Abbey and Inventing Anna — but he’s hanging in there with me. If it weren’t for him, I’d probably binge it.) 


My mother said I might enjoy this Fresh Air interview with NYT Cooking food writer Melissa Clark, and she was right — I loved Melissa’s fast-talking energy, as well as her solid cooking sense, flexibility, and lack of airs. Afterward, I looked up her videos on YouTube. Thanks to the one on apple pie, I’ve now started adding lemon zest, fresh nutmeg, and ginger to my pies (and they’re better for it).

And then I found this video where she gave a tour of her kitchen:

Those spice drawers! The salt collection! I may have watched it three times.


My mom developed an aversion to plastic coffee filters (she doesn’t like putting hot drinks/food in plastic) so last year for her birthday I got her a stainless steal coffee press, zero plastic.

But turned out she preferred her own hand-sewn coffee filters, so she gave it back to me, which was kinda what I’d been hoping she’d do all along. Children, take note: if you want something, buy it for your parents and you may eventually inherit it.

Now I use the press, but for loose-leaf tea, not coffee, since I already have three coffee makers (an aeropress, a regular coffee pot, and an espresso machine). Obviously, I don’t mind plastic.

On chilly mornings after I finish sipping my plastic-infused coffee, I tumble some mint tea leaves into the stainless steel canister, add a bit of honey or some sugar, and then top it off with some boiling water.

After it steeps for a few minutes, I push the plunger down. The tea stays warm for as long as it takes me to drink it all up. 

Thanks, Mom!


My daughter is dogsitting a rat terrier-esque dog this weekend, which inspired our last night dinner guests to show us this video on ratting terrier dogs doing their ratty work.

It’s weirdly satisfying to watch. 


Have a great weekend, friends!

This same time, years previous: brisket in sweet-and-sour sauce, the quotidian (10.28.19), cilantro lime rice, listening, watching, reading, the business of schools, the quotidian (10.28.13), the quotidian (10.29.12), under the grape arbor.


  • Thrift at Home

    Ok, a more uplifting comment: I really love Melissa Clark. She’s a food genius and so approachable. I have her cookbook Dinner, which I highly recommend. I also love her kitchen tour!! I will check out your recs!

  • Cheryl

    I was under the impression that next month would be the last month that we “fall back”, until I googled and found this:
    “If the bill were to pass in the next year, as it’s written, permanent daylight saving time would take effect on Nov. 5, 2023. In other words, we would move our clocks forward again in March and keep them there. Until the bill or another like it passes, however, we’ll be sticking with clock changes twice a year”.

    I loved watching that young girl and what she ate in a week. Fascinating! The first gramma aka nonna was quite the worker (that’s a lotta pasta!), until I saw the other gramma. There was no take out meals for her, lol. My grandparents were from Ukraine and the people from Moldava sounded a lot like them when they talked in their native tongue (which was every time they didn’t want us to know what they were saying, lol.) Little pitchers have big ears! So I googled Moldava and it’s right next door to Ukraine!

    I couldn’t really handle watching the rat terriers…kinda creeped me out! lol!

    Thank you so much! You share the most interesting things!

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