Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I'm thinking of making some changes here at the blog, so don't be surprised if the archives just disappear.  That would be because I deleted them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Perfect Infant Outfit

Stop the presses. Get out your wallets. If you're having a baby or you know someone having a baby, your search for the perfect infant outfit ends here.

The Infant Kimono Wrap by Westcoast Baby is everything your newborn needs. It doesn't have to be pulled over the head (babies hate that), there's no complicated button/snap/zipper closing system (convenient for the millions of diaper changes in those first weeks), and it opens easily for skin-to-skin contact without leaving baby completely naked or tangled up in a blanket. Also, it's oh so easy on the eyes for parents.

They're currently sold out in 'wasabi' and 'mandarin,' but with any luck they'll restock those gender neutral colors soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Best Children's Room Ever

I've been checking out Apartment Therapy because Amy and Dave's nifty DIY bed was featured there recently.  Anyway, through a series of clicks (what the young people call "surfing the net"), I wound up face to face with the most beautiful corner of a children's room I have ever seen.  Even better, according to its owner, it's for her two children, who share a room, just as mine will be doing in three short long months.  Mostly I'm posting this to remind myself to repaint the room this way.

As if that wasn't enough, these incredibly crafty and stylin' folks used cork trivets (!) to make functional art on the wall above their office. I will be stealing this idea one of these days when I get around to it. (Instead of random placement, I'm imagining them lined up 3 x 3 or something. In fact, this would go well not only in a home office but in a kid's room.)

Bamboo Tea Bag Box from Crate & Barrel

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of tea.  While this would not come near holding all of it, it would certainly enable me to keep certain amounts of it outside the cabinet (and therefore remind me to drink it more often).

Ways in which this would make my life better:  (1) I would drink more tea, and tea is wonderful in many ways; (2) my guests would drink tea with me (their flavor options would be right there in front of them!); and (3) my guests and I would then discuss all manner of tea-related topics.

What is your greatest weakness?

Basically the most painful question an interviewer can ask.  A friend of mine was laid off on Monday (boo!) but already had two phone interviews this morning (yay!).  He claims to have bombed both of them, citing his response the most dreaded question in the history of job interviews:  "What is your greatest weakness?"  Apparently he said "um" for a minute before the interviewer just moved on.  Probably not the best response.

So he doesn't get caught off guard by the question again, I went a-googling and found this incredibly helpful blog post.  Basically the idea is to answer the question by showing the interviewer that you were aware of this weakness prior to the interview and that you have already implemented steps in your work routine to overcome it.  The author also provides examples of how you might phrase specific weaknesses.  Not that I have any plans to be interviewing any time soon, but it's always good to be prepared.  Here's my 100% truthful answer:
I tend to become overwhelmed if I think I have too many projects going on at once. My solution to this is to create a to-do list so I can see what I have to do still as well as the progress that I've made.
The author also offers the funniest answer he's heard:  "Kryptonite."  And one of the commenters claims to have said "Chocolate cake," which made the interviewers laugh (he was hired).  In fact, a funny answer may make you a more memorable candidate if you can provide the interviewers with a genuine chuckle.  All the same, best to have a real (and honest!) answer prepared before you show up.  Feel free to leave yours in the comments.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Declaration of Independence

We were at Milwaukee's lakefront last night for the city's annual fireworks as we are every year, and they were fantastic.  My 2 1/2 year old son, who for the first time was really able to enjoy the fireworks, kept repeating "Oh!," "Wow...," and a very awe-struck "Oh my gosh..."  My favorite comment of his though was "It sounds like a dinosaur!"  Though I hated the fireworks through my teen years (nothing personal: I hated everything), I have really come to love them in recent years (and if we ever move from Milwaukee, our lakefront gathering will be an annual tradition I will miss).  The all-American loving spirit of Frank Capra wells up within me and I always think how awesome it is that *this* is the way we celebrate our nation's birthday, with giant outdoor gatherings of all our towns and cities across the country to watch fireworks.

Josh Patashnik at The New Republic explains that he likes to reread the Declaration each year on the fourth of July to remind himself what it's all about.  Then he asked readers for their favorite grievances against King George (a key list within the Declaration, but you already knew that, right?), which I admit I cannot provide because I don't know enough about what the colonists were so aggrieved.

I'll be taking early American history during the Spring 2009 semester, so next summer I plan to have an answer to the question, but in the meantime, I did sit down and reread our nation's founding document, which I encourage you to do as well today before you head off for barbeques and pool parties and parades.  I liked the last line of the second-to-last paragraph:  
We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
Note he didn't say, we're declaring our independence from these jerks and enemies we shall be until the end of the time!  No, he was cool with just being friends if King George would be cool with that too.

You can read the Declaration, view high-res images of the original, and probably get more background info that you thought possible from the nice folks at the National Archives.