Archive
To-Do

I know, Fritz is absurdly cute. It’s sick, really. The eyebrows, the underbite, the ruff, the fancy ankles…too much. Sigh.

I have to get some stuff done today. This is the first weekend in forever that I haven’t done any freelance work, and as nice as it was to sit around a bit yesterday, now I have to get moving!

TODAY:
Laundry
Vacuum
Clean bathrooms and kitchen
Rake leaves and clean up outside
• Goodwill (next weekend!)
Grocery shopping
• Unpack the suitcase filled with random items that’s sitting in the hallway (next weekend!)
• Measure dining room wall to plan new bookshelves

Speaking of people getting stuff done, have you been over to Daniel’s blog lately? I seriously do not understand how he manages to do all of this stuff. I mean…I know Daniel. We hang out often, and never once have I seen him wearing a cape or lifting train cars, so I’m pretty sure he’s not a superhero, but somehow he’s managed to get done in just a few months what would take me a few years. Is it just the wonder of youth that makes him so efficient? Whatever it is, it’s impressive. He’s my power animal.

TODAY:
• Work.
• Dust.
• Vacuum.
• Laundry.
• Organize.
• Work.
• Cook.
• Eat.
• Work.
• Iron.
• Work.

It’s pretty much like that these days.

And just like that, it’s Saturday evening! I have so much to do in the next 15 or so hours. All of a sudden I’m in a bit of a panic, and I figure I’d better make a to-do list…

TONIGHT:
Clean apartment
Freelance work
• Order backup drive & pen drive
• Brew iced coffee
Manicure and pedicure
Make sure clothes for tomorrow are in order

TOMORROW:
Laundry
Buy (??) belt (??) and/or bag (??) to wear with dress (??) (I’m a little unsure, haha) NO TIME!
Apply bandages to feet
Break in new sandals as much as possible
Head out to Brooklyn for Gordy and Lisha’s wedding party!

So yeah, the new sandals! I shared this photo of them on Twitter and had a lot of questions about how I like them, and the answer is a whole lot. They’re Swedish Hasbeens (high braided wedge heels, specifically), which I got at a huge discount from ASOS (it was the last pair in this style, but there are others still on sale). The leather is quite hard, so until I fully break them in I do need to wear a few Band-Aids to stave off blisters, but aside from that the sandals are really comfortable to walk in and don’t seem to hurt my back at all. Hurray for wedge heels and platform soles! I love the natural-colored leather, too. Really nice for summer, and because there’s not much contrast with my (pasty-white) skin, my legs look a little longer and less stumpy.

A warning about Hasbeens: They tend to run a little on the narrow side, so if you have a wider foot, you may want to go up a size. If you have the opportunity to try them on first, do!

When I buy shoes, my goal is really to get something that’s very well-made and that won’t need to be replaced for many years. The somewhat “disposable” nature of shoes made from synthetic materials is what’s kept me from cutting out leather footwear (despite having a fully vegan diet, I actually don’t identify myself as a vegan—but that’s another subject for another post!!), so whatever I do buy has to be repairable and durable. I’m really hard on my shoes since I walk so much, and cheap shoes have a way of winding up in the trash after one season on my feet—I’m trying to avoid that. Last year I finally bought a pair of really good quality ballet flats. An investment up front, yes, but I’d much rather have one pair of shoes for a decade (or more) than to toss a pair of cheap ones in the trash every year.

But enough about shoes! I’ve got stuff to do and wedding parties to attend. Happy weekend!

Ah, that brief period of time while the purple sandcherry in our front garden is in bloom, and the Japanese beetles haven’t taken over yet…and when there are weeds every where because it’s been raining constantly and I’ve been too busy to get out and stick my hands in the dirt.

I gotta do some gardening today. I know we complain about this every year in the northeastern US (and of course New Yorkers in particular loooove to complain about the weather…okay, and everything else, too), but did we just go straight from winter to summer and skip spring completely? I don’t understand why we never have temperatures in the 60–65° range, for example. It’s like it’s 45° and disgusting one day, and then it’s 85° (and still disgusting, just in a different way) the next.

But today is nice. Really nice. So I need to get out there and take advantage of it. I already spent an hour pulling some teeny-weeny little weeds, and there’s lots more let to do!

TODAY!
pancakes
laundry
grocery shopping
pull weeds in front and back garden
turn compost
• trim grass strip next to sidewalk?
rake/sweep
iced coffee ♡♡♡
put away winter coats
FREELANCE WORK
• manicure/pedicure
• write up a planting plan for the back garden
• figure out how many bags of rocks/mulch we need

Oh yeah, and check out how crazy and bouncy and BRIGHT GREEN the creeping Jenny is looking already this year! Having our porch gutter drain directly into this corner of the front garden (via our rain chain, which has been working like a champ for a year now) was such a good idea. The Jenny is a-creepin’ like nobody’s business, and this pleases me greatly.

oliver
Oliver, 2001 // Photo by Patricia Katchur

Cute, isn’t he? No, he’s RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE. That’s my old friend Oliver, the last of 20 pet rats that have been part of my life. He died in late 2003. He was quite a character—a hairless rat with Dumbo-style ears, a white blaze on his forehead, curly whiskers, and mismatched eyes (one red, one black). I miss having pet rats. They really are like tiny dogs, disposition-wise.

My to-do list this weekend is limited to a few odds and ends around the city apartment that I’ve been meaning to take care of for a while now but never seem to have the time, along with the usual errands and such. I only wish the weather were a little nicer. We had a few spring-ish days for a while, but for the past week it’s been quite cold again. There was even a bout of snow and hail a few days ago!

SATURDAY:
change lightbulb in bathroom
re-mount smoke detector
grocery shopping
clean apartment
buy wood for the top of the fauxdenza
manicure/pedicure
freelance work

Okay, yeah, I cheated. I made a list of things I’ve already done today just so I can cross stuff and feel satisfied. Please, like you’ve never done that!

SUNDAY:
laundry
• figure out whether to stain or oil the wood on the fauxdenza
freelance work
watch a movie
freelance work
• freelance work
• go to bed at a decent time

There is only one thing on my to-do list for today, and it does not involve sitting in a patch of sunshine on my favorite chair over by the window.

SUNDAY TO-DO:
• Finish cleaning the house

But since I like to over-complicate and procrastinate, let’s break it down room by room…

KITCHEN:
Clean on top of fridge and cabinets
Organize cabinets, drawers and pantry
Clean freezer
Vacuum & mop
Clean windows (inside)

DINING ROOM:
Put away the giant pile of folded clothes that’s been sitting on the dining table for the past month
Iron those stupid pillowcases, already, and sew on that button
Find the right spot for the Kubus candleholder

DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY:
Put away all of the piles of stuff lurking everywhere
• Clean out that basket next to the trash can
Clean and re-seal the marble top on the credenza
Vacuum

UPSTAIRS HALLWAY:
Bring the painting supplies down to the basement
Vaccum

OFFICE:
• Deal with that bag of “miscellaneous items” that’s been sitting under the desk for the past year
Take measurements for a rug
• Figure out what we need to do to turn the room into a comfortable music studio for Evan
Yes, you guessed it, vacuum

GUEST BEDROOM:
Put the clean sheets back on the bed
Change the bulb in the ceiling light
Vacuum

BIG BEDROOM:
• Make some kind of decision about what to do with the two unused dressers that are STILL sitting in there waiting to either be refinished or given away
Put the aforementioned ironed pillowcases back on the pillows
Yeah, vacuum

DRESSING ROOM:
• Figure out what’s going to Goodwill, and put it all in bags
Put everything else away, including extra sheets
Vacuum

Okay, so, it’s noon right now. Do you think I can get this done by 4:00PM? I’m going to give it my best. I think if I stay away from the computer and don’t get obsessive about over-organizing (this is always my downfall—I get way too thorough with boxes and drawers, etc., and never make any progress), I can have a truly clean house by late afternoon. I’ve been really bad about cleaning lately (probably because I’ve been spending so much time down in the basement), and living in a state of total disorder and dust is really starting to make me a little crazy.

EDIT: Well, it’s just about 8:00PM and I’m still not done, so I guess I really have no idea how long anything takes. I can’t believe I spent my entire Sunday cleaning, and I still didn’t finish. Sad…

coffee cup
My Dad’s old drawing table & my favorite mug from Design House Stockholm.

Evan and I (especially Evan) have both had a couple of really busy weeks at work, and we’re both looking forward to having as low-stress and restful a weekend as possible before we have to do it all over again on Monday.

I know it might sound weird to a lot of people, but I actually find lying on the sofa and doing nothing incredibly stressful. It’s one thing if I’ve decided to watch a good movie with Evan and we’re all curled up together with the dogs, but mindlessly vegging out with my eyes glazed over rarely makes me feel good. My free time is so limited, and as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing more satisfying—and yes, relaxing—than completing a project.

What I need to avoid, though, is setting myself up for failure by making overly-ambitious to-do lists and then running out of time to get through everything. The worst feeling is when it’s Sunday night and I just have a bunch of half-finished projects and various messes to clean up, and I know I’ve wasted the whole weekend.

REALISTICALLY:
Laundry, cleaning, etc.
Grocery shopping
• Trim and mount two ENJE shades for the kitchen windows
Devote two solid hours to basement organization (baby steps!)
• Watch The Road with Evan
• Clean up dressing room/bag up clothes for Goodwill
Make the lasagna recipe in Appetite for Reduction
• Iron the pillow shams that have been lying in a wrinkled heap in the dining room for 3 weeks
Figure out what that weird wire in the backyard is (We’re pretty sure it’s an old, inactive phone line)
Get some decent sleep

snowy garden

Look how much snow there is in the garden! I love how pristine it is. Not even a single squirrel has ventured to cross. I know I should probably bring the Hardoy chairs into the basement during the winter, but I always forget. It doesn’t help that our basement is such a crazy mess; I’m not even sure where we’d put them. (By the way, I’m determined to clean up the basement this spring. I think we need to take a week off and just spend 10 hours a day down there cleaning and organizing and scraping and sanding and maybe even painting. It’s basically a dungeon at the moment. I hate going down there to do laundry.)

The weekend is already slipping away, but I’m determined to make a little dent in my ever-mounting list of winter projects. I’m not sure how realistic this is (I blame the dogs—they’re just sooooo warm and snuggly…), but I’m going to do my best.

BY TOMORROW AFTERNOON:
• Clean out/organize the kitchen cabinets and pantry.
Sand plaster on ceiling in upstairs hallway.
Install new medallion and change light fixture.
Caulk, prime, and paint ceiling/medallion.
• Measure and cut shades for living room windows. (I did one!)
Have Mommy and Bernie over for dinner.
Grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, etc.

Not so crazy, right? I figure if I can do everything but the shades and the priming/painting today (i.e., within the next five hours, in order to have time for dinner guest), I’ll be in pretty good shape.

Tonight I’m going to make Eggplant & Lentil Chili Mole from my new favorite cookbook. I asked my mother to bring dessert, and I think it’s going to be baked apples. My mother is one of those people who can make something delicious out of any two ingredients that happen to be in her house, so I’m sure they’ll be super yummy.

P.S.: I have a tiny blurb over on the Elle Decor blog this week. I don’t usually do things like that, and this is a perfect example of why—all of the other “design insiders” commented on, well, things related to decor (which makes sense, of course), and I shared a link to a blog about pencils and talked about my affinity for school supplies. Sigh. Once a nerd, always a nerd.

posters
Posters: Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names, Pop Chart Lab // Apple Papple, Elisabeth Dunker

And then, alas, there are the days when I somehow manage to get nothing done. The days when I look at the clock and it’s 7:00 AM, and then I look again and it’s midnight.

Where do these days go? Such grand plans, all washed aside by…what?

Bruno had a teeth-cleaning appointment (he’s fine, just really tired), we went grocery shopping, and we bought wood for the chair rail. And…that’s it. How did that wind up taking 17 hours? I have no idea.

Here’s a reasonable list of things I’d like to get done before Friday:

Paint and install chair rail above the wallpaper.
Touch up paint on baseboard molding.
Go to IKEA; buy picture frames and window shades.
Frame some posters and hang them up.
• Cut window shades to fit, hang in living room.
Put the white cover back on the sofa.
• Empty small dresser in dining room, move to basement.
• Paint the antique oval mirror that’s been gathering dust in the closet for four years.
• Try out Kathleen’s stuffed delicata squash recipe.
• Write and send thank-you cards.

That’s not so bad. I can do this. I can, I can.

vegan pecan pie
The vegan pecan pie I made for Thanksgiving was completely delicious. The recipe is definitely a keeper.

Remember that overly-ambitious to-do list I drew up a couple of weeks ago? Yeah, well, either it was really overly-ambitious or I have no ambition at all, because I haven’t gotten anything on it done yet (well, we did just watch Grizzly Man, so I guess that’s done). This is a long weekend, though, so I’m going to try again. For real this time.

TODAY:
Observe Buy Nothing Day.
Measure the not-so-new-anymore closet and plan out shelving.
RAKE LEAVES (front of house).
Stain the crates black. Or maybe oil them instead? (I stained them black.)
Do laundry and vacuum.
Change the battery in the kitchen clock that’s been dead for at least a month and a half now. Or not, since we’re apparently out of batteries.

SATURDAY:
RAKE LEAVES (back of house) and move mulch bags.
Buy materials for closet shelving. (Not necessary, as I was able to re-use scrap materials. Yay!)
Go grocery shopping.
• Wallpaper the upstairs hallway. ← We all know this isn’t going to happen.
Sharpen kitchen knives.
Glue loose drawer pull.

SUNDAY:
Bring the air conditioners upstairs. (!!!)
• Make Fritz sign a contract that he won’t chew on anything upstairs, then take down the baby gates.
Plant something winter-friendly in the pots on the porch. Plants were too expensive, so the pots are going in the basement for the winter.
Finish document shredding.