Saturday, August 27, 2011


Just when I was getting the hang of what size I was in the UK and Europe, we moved. That's right, it only took 5 years. Now that we're in the US, I was falling back on my fail-safe knowledge of 8 US=12 UK, 10 US=14 UK, etc. I hit the shops and everything is in S/M/L. What the heck?? A large can be anything from a US 10-14!  I think the only garment that still uses proper sizing is trousers. Not to mention it makes it a little difficult when you want to order something online. Personally, I find the European sizing charts the most accurate when it comes to clothing and shoes. A UK 14 could range anywhere from a European 38-42, which is a huge difference.

Has anyone else noticed this about the US? Is this a new thing that I missed while I was away? Is it because we're all fatties and seeing a number might make us feel bad? Personally, I'd just like to have proper fitting clothes!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hey, what are you doing on Monday??

I'm going to WORK!

That's right, people!!! DUN DA DUNNNN!!! It only took 2.5 years of constant searching and eventually switching countries for me to finally become gainfully employed!!!

I get to buy new work CLOTHES! We get to buy a CAR! We'll have HEALTH INSURANCE! My bank account will actually start seeing DEPOSITS again! I get to wake up at the crack of dawn and make the hellish commute to our nation's capitol every day! See, it's not all sunshine and roses. For those of you who know where I worked prior to leaving the US five years ago, I'll be working there again, just in a different office. Unfortunately, they consider me a new employee, which means I have to go through orientation all over again. Meh. I guess enough has changed in the past five years that I'm sure to learn something new!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I baked!

Well, I bake things all the time, but today I actually baked a PIE! I've never baked a pie before. I'm afraid of them. I think I'm actually afraid of the crust. I need to just jump into it and realize that eating the mistakes isn't such a bad thing!

Since it was my first go, I skipped the fruit pie (which truly terrifies me) and decided to go with a chocolate pie. Specifically, this chocolate pie posted on Lovely Jubbly London's blog today. The thing I liked about it was that it was easy and the ingredients were all in my pantry. Well, all except the...erm...refrigerated pie crust I ended up using. Yeah, I wimped out!

The best part was that I got to use these!

It all looks brand new, right? Don't be fooled...I've owned this stuff for probably 6 years or so.

I had to blind bake the crust, which is something I've never done before. I felt very Martha Stewart with my beans.

I baked mine the full 45 minutes, but I think next time I'd stop at 40, like LJL did with her pie (I got caught up in a House Hunters International marathon). Her pie looks WAY better than mine! I need to practice crimping the edges and making it look pretty.

I served the pie with squirty cream (not nearly as nice as the Irish version of this), and Wes gave it the 'grand sure' stamp of approval!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Can oval braided rugs be cool?

I'm not sure why, but I've recently become interested in oval braided rugs. We had them in our house growing up, but that was 1980. I guess I'm looking for something a little interesting, but I also don't want to 'countrify' our house. This is an example of what I've been looking at:

Image from

We'd have one in front of the sofa and a larger one under the dining table (since they're in the same room).

To give you an idea of the furniture, this is the chair we have:

And this is the style of couch I'm considering (perhaps in a dark green color, but that's TBD).

Image from American Leather

What do you think? Will that rug look okay in front of those? Otherwise, I was thinking about an old standby from Pottery Barn. I'm planning on painting the walls a very light brown color.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Guest bedroom - decorating opinions

We're having a house guest from Ireland coming in November. Yahoo! Before I moved I had a lovely guest room, even if the walls were a bit, um, bright. What can I say, I love yellow! Before my last tenant moved in I had the house painted, so now the walls are all a builder's off-white. I'd like to paint the room and get some furniture for it again. Get this, I had a little glass side table next to the bed. Well, I have the frame, but I can't find the piece of glass that goes on top. I've searched everywhere and no luck. The frame was in storage and presumably the top went in there too. What the heck?? Anyway, I think I can get a piece of glass from the shop where I bought it and it shouldn't be too expensive. I have a bed (black brushed metal headboard), but I'd like to get some sort of small armoire/drawers for the room as well.

My question is, what color should I paint the walls? Here is a picture of the bedding:

There are two windows in the room, so it's quite bright. The carpet is a light oatmeal color. There are white faux wood slat blinds on the windows and I have white gauzy curtains that go on black rods and fall to the floor with black metal pull backs. All the trim and doors are white. I was thinking of a tan/light khaki type color, but I need opinions!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bedford, PA

We went 'camping' again last weekend. This time we met up with my parents in Bedford, PA and stayed with them in their mansion on wheels. Bedford is the town where my dad grew up and my grandparents and great-grandparents lived there the majority of their lives, so we went there A LOT when I was growing up. I was going to say that it's evolved a lot over the years, but really, it hasn't. It's like driving into 1950 when you turn onto Pitt Street. Sure, some of the shops have changed or turned into antique dealers, but the buildings are all the same.

One of the most amazing buildings in Bedford is the historic Bedford Springs Hotel. It seems that every trip to Bedford involved a drive out past the Springs. It's a beautiful building that was, sadly, mostly empty during my childhood. It was finally bought in the late 90s restored in 2007. Yes, I wanted to get married there and yes, of course my sensible husband said it was too expensive. Pfft! Fortunately, the re-opening of the Springs has brought a lot of interesting little businesses to town, particularly restaurants. There is the Green Harvest Company and Bad Boyz Bistro (which was featured on the Food Network). We had lunch there and we all thought it was delicious (well, except my mom who wimped out with a tiny cup of soup and a side salad). The sandwiches were served with home made potato chips. Yum! We stopped and got some treats at the new Hot Buns Bakery on Pitt Street. We got there kind of late in the day, but they still had a great selection of goodies for us to choose from. I can confirm the chocolate chip cookies are tasty.

It wasn't all about eating though. We looked around at the various antique shops, in particular our favorite one that used to be the big Murphy's store in the center of town. My great-grandma used to work at the candy counter there! :) Mom and I popped into a fair trade shop that had some lovely things. Wes and I got a bottle of wine from the Briar Valley Winery shop. The winery is about 6 miles outside of Bedford, but we haven't had the chance to go just yet. On Sunday morning Wes went for a run around Shawnee State Park. We didn't camp there on this trip, but we used to camp there all the time when I was little. My parents play golf when they go as there are a couple of nice courses in the area. Of course there is Old Bedford Village and the Fort Bedford Museum. You can take a stroll past the square and old courthouse, past all the beautiful, old houses on South Juliana Street. Oh, and of course George Washington slept here. This stops getting exciting the more time you spend in western Pennsylvania. That guy was everywhere!

If you'd like the 'History of Kim' tour, email me and AT NO COST I'll send you a map of the playground of the elementary school where we played 'spaceship', the church where I was baptized, the 'gingerbread house' my parents lived in just before I was born, my grandparent's house with the barrel stools we would sit on in the carport eating ham and cheese sandwiches, my great-grandparent's house where we would do beads or play Uno while drinking from aluminum cups, the amazing house with the wrap around porch where my cousin's lived, and I'll include a picture of me, my sister, and our cousins in our matching shiny rollerskate jackets. Hot.

If you're looking for a weekend getaway, I highly recommend Bedford, PA. It's about 2 hours from Harrisburg, just on the PA turnpike and it's a straight shot up I-70 from Baltimore and Washington, DC (only 150 miles). If your budget doesn't include the Bedford Springs, there are more reasonable chain hotels and some B&Bs. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just some observations

  • Why do people wear visors during their class at the gym? The lights are really not that bright in there. 
  • Pricks in Porsches who think they deserve to park in the 'No Parking' spot. Don't be that stereotype.
  • Nothing like a good anime convention to bring out all the freaks. Wes saw a ninja in the Inner Harbor.
  • You can't buy anything at a store without a 5 minute promo from the sales person. What is your email address? What is your phone number? Do you want two free issues of this magazine? If you open a credit card today you'll save 15%. There is a survey at the end of your 3 foot long receipt. Take it and save $5. Do you want to donate money to this good cause? It's all very annoying.
  • I think our neighbor is actively avoiding me. Wes thinks I'm paranoid, but I know avoidance when I see it! She was walking towards me with her dog and she turned around and went back to the park before I got too close. Okey doke!
  • A dill pickle served with a sandwich will never get old. I will never take it for granted again!