Sunday, September 16, 2012

The simple things

I love a lot of things. My kids, my husband, my family, my friends, my dog......

And I have lately been struck by the urge to buy stuff I love. Stuff I cannot afford. Stuff from places like Anthropologie and Sundance and Garnet Hill and the car dealership in town (photo to come - I'm working on affording a second car now that the Mini Cooper has been sold).

In my efforts to have a life that reflects the pretty pictures I pore over online and in catalogs, I have been tearing out page after page, saving links and jotting down notes. Here is the first installment of things that have made me smile this week. And some of them were free........

Guys. Have you ever been to the North End of Boston? No? Can you just take a moment and jot this down? NORTH END BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS. Aaaaaaand go.

The North End is one of my favorite places on earth, and not just because it is the place Sam kissed me for the first time. (In swirling snow, on a cobblestone street lit by a gas lamp at midnight on our way to get a cappuccino  Yeah.) This summer we were there several times, and on one trip I went into this tiny store to buy tea and spices. I asked if they would ship, and if so could I have a business card, and the man behind the original wood counter, ringing me up on the original cash register that was all brass and round buttons and clanging numbers, rustled around on the register and gave me one of these:

GUYS LOOK AT THE PHONE NUMBER. I totally want to call the operator and ask for Capitol 7-0786

Okay, speaking of Anthropologie, my mom has finally caught on to my blind devotion to all things Anthro. The esthetique of this company just does it for me, man. So she dutifully went to Anthro to choose an anniversary gift for us me to commemorate 14 years of wedded bliss. It was a copy of "Happier at Home" which is - by all accounts - a wonderful book and I just can't wait to dig in. But first I have to take photos of the packaging it came in. Most notably, the envelope that contained the packing slip.

The blue-lined envelope with sewn edges and string closure. Ermahgahd.

I want to frame it.
Is that wrong?

In other catalog news, an item I bought from Sundance is still making me happy after all these.....months.

I love my bathroom - it is all white, and we ordered a cast iron claw foot tub for it.  Next to the tub is a beat up wooden table (can we just call it shabby chic?) and I put this epergne on top, filled with soaps and scrubs and lotions and towels. It makes me feel so fancy, to sit in my fancy tub and choose a bath salt from my fancy baskets. I should be wearing a tiara.

Okay, enough with the material stuff. I have one last thing to share that made me feel like a domestic goddess today (Minus the domestic. And the goddess, actually.)

I made tortilla chips.

Are you totally underwhelmed? Sorry. For me, this is just a step below hunting and foraging for my dinner. So you go back to canning the homemade preserves you made with fruit from your orchard and have a nice day. You may be yawning, but I am feeling empowered. I don't bake my own bread, or make my own tortillas, and if I want chips for my salsa, I buy a bag. UNTIL TODAY.

It was embarrassingly easy, and way cheaper and more delicious than store-bought corn chips. Probably because I made them with flour tortillas.

First, I poured some oil in a pan and heated it up. While it was heating, I made guacamole. Guacamole is avocado, smooshed with lemon juice, a dash of hot sauce and a sprinkle of salt. Like so:

Okay, is the oil getting hot yet? Good.

Take a flour tortilla

Cut it up

Toss it in the oil (You can cook more than this I just put in a few for the photo)

They should puff up right away. If they don't the oil isn't hot enough.


Cool on some paper towels. You can salt them if you want but I don't think it's necessary. They will be hot for quite a while, so don't get too excited. They need to drain and cool a bit!

A very fulfilling Sunday around these parts. Delicious and aesthetically pleasing FTW. I'm not going to find my house on the pages of any design or homemaking blog, but hey. It works for me.

Here's to taking baby steps!

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