Lifestyle

Nothing Fits

The jeans made it on eventually, but it was NOT a pretty process.

Over the weekend, I went into American Eagle to pick up a bra. The clerk asked me what size I was, and I told her that I honestly had no idea, because nothing about my body is as it was the last time I shopped IRL (say, oh, a year ago). When she measured me, it turned out that I am...um...bigger.

On Tuesday, my kids and I played hooky and drove up to Santa Barbara. After sushi and ice cream, I bribed them with my phone so I could spend a few minutes browsing in a consignment shop. I need new denim shorts, because denim shorts are my thing, and my denim shorts don't fit. The clerk asked me what size I was, and I gave her what I thought was a decent range.

Lifestyle

Mostly Just Talking

Me and Dad, 2016, somewhere in California. (Photo by my son.)

My father, as with many men of a particular generation, can be a tough nut to crack. He's just so opaque.

A holiday - a birthday, say - arises. A question is voiced - "Is there anything you want?" And the response, every. single. time?

DIARY

The Quietening

Read all my posts about divorce here

On Valentine's Day afternoon, I took a nap with my kitten (pictured above having mixed feelings about this choice). I sat on a patio in the valley with my friend Margo, and ate some good sushi. I Facetimed with the kids, who were spending the weekend with their dad. I asked him to handle their Valentine's Day presents, and didn't beat myself up about opting out of this particular task. I fell asleep again only a few hours after I'd awoken from my nap, then woke up at 11PM, watched some bad TV, and went back to bed. Everything I did all day long - from the breakfast I ate to the midnight show that I watched - was my choice.

At some point during the day I posted this picture to Instagram, and thought about how happy I was when it was taken. I thought about what a difference a decade makes. I thought about how happy I am now...except I'm not even sure I'd call this feeling "happiness" - it's easier to define it as the absence of sadness. I think it's the kind of feeling I've spent my entire life both searching for and running away from.

Home Projects

Organize All The Everythings

I have historically been a performatively neat person, as opposed to a legitimately neat one. My throw pillows are always in the right place (having been repositioned approximately 1,302 times per day because to my dog, they are a pile of glorious autumn leaves that must be leapt upon regularly), my counter is (almost) always wiped down, and my dust bunnies are Roomba-ed multiple times a day...but should you open a drawer of any kind: Oh dear.

Basically: If I can't see it...is it really a problem?

Like everyone else, though, I have spent the past year being confronted with my most slovenly tendencies, because I cannot get away from them without defying, you know, federal orders. A few weeks ago, after an especially frustrating hunt through my kitchen in search of the third pair of AirPods I have lost this year (AUGH), I finally broke, and bought All The Organizing Things.

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DIY

My 10 All-Time Favorite DIY Projects

Remember back in 2009, when I decided that I was the kind of person who should write a website about cooking, DIY, and home decor, and that it should be called “Domestic Bliss”?

Yeah, I have no idea what I was thinking either – other than, perhaps, “fake it ’til you make it” – because for the first few years, “faking it” is exactly what I did. At the time, my idea of a homemade meal was store-bought pasta with jarred tomato sauce (to which I’d added onions and mushrooms – you know, to make it fancy), and was wildly impressed with myself for completing “DIYs” such as…swapping out drawer pulls. Putting up a sticker decal was a feat worthy of a full video tutorial (OMG WE WERE BABIES), and I thought that my idea of using teacups to serve soup during parties was the height of inspired entertaining.

I still think that serving soup in teacups is pretty neat, but a lot has changed since the halcyon days of wallpaper-wrapped lampshades and green chalkboard refrigerators. I’m still no Ty Pennington, but after renovating two homes and working on a home construction and design show, I now know about 20,000 times more than I ever thought I’d know about all things DIY. Below are ten of my all-time favorite projects, all of which I promise you are more than capable of taking on yourself.

Lifestyle

Five Right-This-Moment Favorites

I'm currently recovering from eye surgery while parked in the guest bedroom of my extremely tolerant BFF, Erin, who is at this very moment making us coffee. I haven't had anyone bring me coffee in bed in three years, so even though the situation on my face is rather uncomfortable, I have to say: For a parent of two small children, coffee in bed is some next-level relaxation. (Also, last night I dreamed that I styled Kylie Jenner - "GIRL, that dress is hitting at the exact wrong spot; here, try this one!" - so...I don't know what that means, but I did not dream that I was in the middle of one apocalypse or another, and that's new, so I'll take it.)

Related Read: Erin teaches me how to do a "German Smear" 

Related Read: A Full Bathroom Renovation...For Less Than $700

Decor

How To: Layer Your Area Rugs

Gorgeous layered rugs in my friend Elise's mountain home (full tour here)

You know the layered-rug trend that's been all over Pinterest these past few years? I always liked the way it looked, but never really thought of doing it myself, because rugs (or at least the ones I usually like) tend to be expensive, and if I'm buying a fancy rug I'd like to see...well, all of it. But lately, my fancy rug is having a rough go of it. Since life has been more than a little exhausting lately, by the time dinner rolls around I am ZONKED, and usually just plonk all three of us down in front of the TV to eat.

I know, I know, TV during dinner = bad, but what-EVER. I grew up with two parents who worked full-time in office jobs, so dinnertime was usually our first chance to actually see each other; had we all zoned out in front of the TV while we ate we would have cut down the time available to actually interact with each other by half. But I interact with my children a lot these days. And I also really, really love watching TV while I eat dinner, and I am the boss, and so TV during dinner it is.

DIY Projects

I Do Not Need These Things (And You Don’t, Either)

I spent the entirety of New Year's weekend living my very best life, by which I mean I watched all seven episodes of The Queen's Gambit while Marie Kondo-ing every inch of this house. You guys, my Tupperware is organized. WHAT. (Related: How is it that I have reached the age of nearly forty years old, and have only just realized that the tops of Tupperwares click together for easier storage?)

One of my favorite things about being single (and there are many, starting with shared custody that permits the aforementioned living of one's best life) is that I have total and complete control over what comes into this house, and what goes out of it. In non-toy-related categories, at least. K is a lot more sentimental about possessions than I am, so there was a constant push-pull over what could and couldn't be tossed. As an example, I do not keep my children's artwork. I keep *some* of it, sure - the really special pieces, to the tune of, say, ten per year per kid - but anyone who has ever had a preschooler knows that they regularly get sent home with foot-high stacks of "artwork" that mostly consists of paint splotches in varying shades of purplish-brown, which is the result you get when you're thinking less about color theory and more about mushing your brush into the paper as hard as possible.

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