Taylor has loaded all of our music onto a server at home that I can remote into from work. This has been great for me to have something to listen to at work, especially albums that I may not have listened to in awhile. I discovered Damien Rice my sophomore year of college and loved the emotion he conveyed through his songs. His Irish accent also seemed to help. The first song I heard was “The Blower’s Daughter”. The use of the cello is really beautiful.
“I can’t take my eyes off of you.”
Another Irishman Taylor and I discovered while we were dating was Glen Hansard who is part of the duo The Swell Season (which was the basis of the movie Once that won an Academy Award in 2007). They manage to create a wide range of music with just a piano and a guitar (and sometimes only use one instrument). One of my favorites is “In These Arms”.
“You are restless
I was somewhere less secure
So I went running to the road
And so now that the longest of places I was
I quit my rambling and come home
Cause maybe I was born to hold you in these arms”
About 4 months ago, I saw this DIY project and decided I should do it. I promptly went out and bought the supplies. Last week, I finally made them.
They were actually pretty easy to make. The most difficult part was cutting out the styrofoam backing and I probably deserve that for using a product that kills polar bears.
Now, onto something to make you laugh.
Taylor and I just renewed our lease at our apartment for another year. While the idea of staying in the same place for a third year may not be that exciting, this is the longest either of us have stayed in one home since we left for college. And that is exciting because it gets very old having to move your crap every year to a new place.
We have tried to be aware of how much stuff we’re accumulating because it becomes very easy when you stay in one place to not assess what you are actually using. As a result, Taylor and I have made multiple trips to Goodwill to drop things off. While some people donate stuff to be nice, we are just doing it because it’s one step above throwing it in the garbage, which is wasteful. We have learned that once you start to make a pile of stuff to donate, it becomes very easy to find more things. Our rule of thumb is “have we used this in the last 6 months?” If the answer is no, we put it in the pile to donate. If the answer is no but it is something we are really hesitant about, we leave it. I’d rather donate it later and feel more comfortable about it then regret giving it away without fully thinking about it. You don’t want to be that guy frantically looking through the Goodwill store for his Pokemon card collection.
Another way we have tried to re-energize the place is by rearranging our living room and guest bedroom furniture. Now, I am not like my mom who rearranges furniture every week without any notification. My childhood felt like a Stephen King novel – I would walk into a room and the couch would be up against the wall but when I came back 10 minutes later it would be in the middle of the room with a new slipcover. While we would much rather move to a new place, donating stuff and rearranging furniture to make it seem “new” again is a lot less of a pain.
I found this website where you can essentially find out where your dairy products come from. It’s called “Where is my milk from?” and all you need is your dairy code to find out – that printed number that is usually next to the expiration date. We’ve only tried it with our regular milk – from Tyler, Texas which is an 1.5 drive from here – but apparently you can do it with yogurt, ice cream, and even soy milk. They have a section where you can find local dairies but it isn’t very good – Taylor and I know of several small dairies in Dallas that are not included on the map. The website is a cool idea but I feel like they could definitely do a lot more with regards to how to find more local options but maybe that isn’t their objective. Enjoy seeing where your cottage cheese comes from!
Taylor found a color IQ test about a month ago (take it here). There are basically 20 tiles of a very similar color that you have to arrange into a gradient. It makes your eyes feel fuzzy after awhile but you get a score at the end. The lower the score, the better. I got a 7 while Taylor got something in the 20s. I was pretty proud of my 7 until I read all the comments in the Apartment Therapy article discussing it. They all pretty much said “I got a zero!” so 7 didn’t seem so cool after that. Taylor and I did think that my lower score is why I am so good at puzzles. It drives him crazy that I’ll pick up an all-blue piece that looks to him like 20 other blue pieces but I know exactly where to put it.
I recently discovered an app for my phone that has helped me tremendously around the house. Taylor and I split chores and I have ones that need to be taken care of weekly, twice a month, and monthly. I have the hardest time remembering when I last did one, especially for those extended chores. With this app, I can define how often I want a chore to take place and it will give me reminders as the due day approaches. Once I complete the chore, I will check it off and it will remind me to do it again after the same time period has passed. If for some reason I do the chore earlier or later, it will remind me to do it the next time based on that date. That way if I forget to vacuum on Wednesday and do it on Friday, it won’t remind me again until the following Friday. A minimal thing that has made a huge difference for me.