pinterest in real life + Young House Love

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of real fall, meant to show you what's going on behind the scenes as your favorite bloggers frolic through apple orchards and make out with their pumpkin spice lattes. 

Today, along those lines, I want to show you Pinterest in real life.

Ever since some genius crafter discovered that - gasp - dry erase markers work on glass, Pinterest has been full of pinners posting their dry erase frame creations.

I decided to jump on the bandwagon, putting a frame in our bathroom (on those shelves that I fought so hard for).

Brushing our teeth is usually the last thing each of us does in the morning before work, so it would be perfect for the love notes we were dying to leave each other as we parted ways.

Or  helpful reminders-

Not that I would ever have the foresight to package up leftovers for Y's lunch.  But that's the thing about Pinterest - it's supposed to make you perfect. 

But, readers, my husband is not John Petersik*. So instead of love notes, this is what I got:

*John Petersik: co-blogger of Young House Love who seems to be open to any and all DIY projects and doesn't incorporate voyeuristic whales into home decor. 

Edited to add: I actually met John and Sherry, the couple behind Young House Love last night at West Elm for their book signing. 

I'll share more later -- they are as friendly and real as their blog suggests -- but I thought this little story was relevant. You see, this exact project (sort of) happens to be in the YHL book. I showed John and Sherry Y's whale, which they, of course, loved (how could you not?! Look at that face!). 

And then, because I was at the back of the line and I think everyone in the store was a little delirious, John wrote this in my book:

My copy of this book is going to be worth millions one day. 

what causes radon: the truth

Being married to a resident can be kind of humbling.

Like when you realize that no matter how much you have to do at work, no matter how annoyed your boss is, when something happens to your house there is no argument: you don't have lives to save. You are the one staying home with the repairman.

This has its perks. Like... hanging out at home with the dog.

It also has its downfalls. Like, staring at an unfinished bedroom that would look a million times better if a) there was a picture ledge on the wall*, and b) there was no underwear on the floor.

But mainly it has its perks. My favorite: getting the real story from the repairmen. 

Recently, while sitting at home entertaining the people who were installing our radon mitigation system,  I got the inside scoop on why our basement has so much radon. I made sure to share with Y. 

Apparently, insinuating that Y caused a poisonous gas to emanate from our floors is the way to his heart. Just a few days later, our bedroom looked like this:

some other bedroom shots:

By the way, this is what our bedroom looked like when we looked at the house:

*I screw up every time I try to put something in our walls. Otherwise, I would have hung the shelf myself. 

the complexities of bubble baths

I can't wait to go home and de-stress with a glass of wine and a bubble bath


For some reason, I've always felt like this is what real adult females do when they get home from work. I don't know where I got the idea -- a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson? A book with a pink cover? -- but I've always felt like I wasn't truly a grownup because the bathtubs in my rented places were too disgusting to ever dream of sitting in.

Then, we bought a house of our very own. With a bathroom we owned.

And it had a disgusting bathtub.

I resigned myself to a life without bubble baths. It was hard to do, guys, but I did it. I know, I know: I'm so brave.

And then we discovered that the lack of tile in our shower was causing the water to rot the walls. 

And, as the popular children's story goes, if you tell new homeowners they need new tile, they're going to want a new shower head. And when you give them the shower head, they're probably going to want a new bath tub. 

The first order of business in our shiny new bathtub? I was taking the freaking bubble bath I had been deprived of for so long. 

But there are things you realize when you take the first bath of your entire adult life. Things like, you have no idea how to take a bath. 

As Y said after he was forced to take a bath before the shower head was fully installed, Am I supposed to wash my hair in the same water I wash my asshole?

Valid question. I haven't taken a bath since.

I'll miss you, neighborhood

Every time Ike and I take a walk, three little kids on my street stop climbing trees/riding bikes/riding scooters to come say hi. I'll let you soak that in for a second. Kids... are playing outside. I didn't realize they did that these days.

Anyway, the kids' excitement over seeing Ike never wavers. They scream his name, tell him to sit, ask him for kisses, and then say, "Well, we should probably let Ike finish his walk." or  "It's always good to see Ike!"

With no sarcasm whatsoever, I can say I'll miss those kids. 

Our neighborhood is interesting. If you head in one direction, you're 2 blocks away from some of the nicest houses in the city. Another direction and you're a block away from a snooty tennis court. But in the other direction? Let's just say you don't want to go there.

A few other things I will, rather sarcastically, miss:

  • 7 pm phone calls to a friend/neighbor  to ask if she thought that noise was a gunshot or a car backfiring.
  • Finding the 3 B's of sketchiness on the sidewalk while walking: bullet casings, brass knuckles, and boobs. Yes, I once found porn on the sidewalk. What, you never have? Where do you live, Pleasantville? Agrestic?
  • Neighbors stopping by to let us know that a man with a chainsaw was spotted on our street at night.
  • Domestic screaming matches at 4 am. Bonus: if they end with a man leaving the house at 6 am, shirtless and double fisting Bud Light.
  • My car getting broken into. Although it did force me to clean it out, so... thank you, person wearing Y's TJ Maxx coat and wondering why that GPS you stole won't work (HINT: you forgot the charger).
  • Getting stopped on a leisurely Sunday walk around the neighborhood by a driver asking us if we've found Jesus. I guess we looked lost.
  • Domestic screaming matches at 4 am at a different house. This dispute was apparently solved, because the next day I saw the couple shaving themselves together on their front porch. Which is a sure sign of reconciliation.

fall decorations for under 5 dollars

I'm not a big seasonal decorator, but this year three unexpected things happened that added up to some easy fall decorating.


You guys. The acorns this year are on steroids. At least, the ones falling off one tree on my street and one tree on my dad's street. I tried to pick some up without looking like a total weirdo -- which is a lot harder than it sounds. I think I managed to grab a few handfuls without being noticed and stuck them into some empty Starbucks Frapuccino bottles. Insta-fall!

2. I followed through with a thought I had last year.

That would be saving all of the thank-you cards I received. Can you think of a more appropriate Thanksgiving decoration that you already have on hand? (Note: cornucopias don't count. Don't lie, you do NOT have a cornucopia on hand.)

I'm proud of this one for two reasons. A) Spending more than five seconds on an idea is not something that comes naturally to me, much less waiting a year to implement it. B) I think I came up with this all by myself - not from a blog, not from Martha, not from Pinterest. My own head. That rarely happens anymore, right?

P.S. Do you love our pomegranate dish as much as I do? It was a wedding gift, and the pomegranates are from our neighbor's tree.

3. Y bought me flowers.

Y is not the type to buy things like flowers. But one day he unexpectedly came home with the perfect fall-hued flowers that promptly replaced my dying basil plant on the windowsill. (The French Lavender, however, is still going strong.)

wasps, home repairs, and grown ups

Life is hard right now. Not just because of the whole residency application thing, but for reasons that transcend med school. Over and over, we ask ourselves the same question: 

Are we grown ups yet?

Sure, we pay our bills on time and get paychecks (or loan checks, as the case may be for one of us).  And we go grocery shopping and take care of a living, breathing creature. 

But our methods of dealing with home repairs has me thinking the answer to the grown ups questions is  a big, fat no.

Take our strategy for dealing with pests. 

Stepping into the shower one morning, I noticed a wasp flying around my bathroom. For some reason, this didn't bother me, but had I seen a roach running across the floor I would have cried and probably ran out of my house naked looking for help. I hate roaches. The thought of them makes me feel the need to wash my hands.

Anyway, since this was a wasp and not a roach, I reacted sanely and sprayed it with wasp spray, flushed it down the toilet, and continued my shower. End of story.

The next day I saw this on the outside of my bathroom window:

Either the wasp knew I had killed its father inside of this very window and was plotting its revenge, or wasps always made their home in the bush outside of our bathroom and one happened to find a way inside. 

By the way, did you know that wasps have faces? Look at this guy's, doesn't he just look angry? 

Anyway, I told Y about the wasp outside the window and we both shrugged and forgot about it.  Day after day, the wasp continued to sleep under a leaf on the bush.

Until one night, when Y got serious about our little situation. In the middle of the night, I woke up as he sat straight up in bed and said something along the lines of, "the wasps are coming."

I rolled over and fell back asleep, and the next morning in the bathroom noticed this:

Apparently, Y had dreamed that there was a hole in our bathroom window, and wasps were flying in and attacking us. Being that it was a dream, the wasps were bigger, badder, probably some kind of robot, and poisonous. In a semi-asleep state, Y found the duct tape and taped a piece arbitrarily on the window. And we were safe.

We have friends that I consider actual adults (they have a dining room table!), and I know if they thought there was a hole in their house they would call a handyman. What do you think -- is the official test of adulthood the end of your reliance on duct tape? Owning a solid wood dining room table? Something else?

My iPhone battery is draining at a ridiculously fast pace, I'm thinking of incepting some sort of phone battery emergency into Y's dreams so he'll help me fix it. Any ideas?

ooey gooey


There is one household task that, without fail, I always end up doing. We don't have a garbage disposal, and our sink tends to clog. It has become my job to reach into elbow deep water and pick out the bits of food that got stuck in the drain.

It's my job because it makes Y gag.

How is it, I wondered, that Y can perform rectal exams and dig around inside of long-dead human beings without blinking, but he can't scoop up some wet bread and a few smushed cherries with his bare hands?

And then I figured it out.

A long long time ago (circa the 1960s) "Officer" Don Kennedy, an Atlanta TV personality, invented a game to play with the studio audience at his children's show "The Popeye Club". He placed several paper bags on a turntable and stuck prizes in a few of them. In the rest, he dumped raw eggs, flour, mayonnaise, ketchup -- anything that would make a kid squeal if he or she stuck a hand in it.

One of the children from the studio audience was selected and blindfolded. As the turntable went round and round, the child stuck their hand in a bag, hoping it was the one with the prize. If not, everyone yelled Ooey gooey!

At this time, my dad was a teenager growing up in Atlanta and apparently bored enough to watch children's variety shows.

I'm imagining he came home from a round of golf with his dad, flopped down in front of the TV and realized "The Popeye Club" was the only thing on. Reluctantly, he watched the Ooey Gooey segment and filed it away under Games to Play at My Future Little Girl's Birthday Parties Twenty Years From Now.

(Kind of like how I'll occasionally watch "16 and Pregnant" and file it under My Future Little Girl Is Never Allowed to Date, Ever.)

And sure enough, twenty or so years later Ooey Gooey was a staple at my birthday parties. I was positive that my dad, the smartest man in the world, had come up with it all by himself. It wasn't until the other day, when I made the connection between the game and my sink and asked him to explain how he invented Ooey Gooey, that he crushed my dreams and told me about Officer Don.

Regardless of where the idea came from, I'm thankful I was made to stick my hand in raw eggs and ketchup as a child. It was useful in teaching me a very important adult skill, right up there with financial planning and laundry.

Here's to my next house having a garbage disposal, so I won't have to put that skill to use anymore.

dandy happenings: cocaine, crazy cat ladies, and more!

Because I'm in the midst of a terrible case of blogger's block (and Ike hasn't really done anything especially exciting lately), I'm going to lump together what's been going on since we last spoke. A refresher: my husband has the same shaped head as Abraham Lincoln.

In a shocking twist, we've decided on a new doppleganger for Y. (I know, I know, Doppleganger Week was months ago. Where did Doppleganger Week even come from, anyway? And why haven't there been any subsequent "weeks"? Burning questions...)

Y has actually been told more than once this week that he looks like Josh Lucas from Sweet Home Alabama. One of those times was by one of his patients. Bet you didn't know that elderly war veterans enjoy rom-coms. Can anyone resist Dr. McDreamy?

Whew, glad we got the incredibly important doppleganger issue settled! Moving on.

Ike enjoyed the premier of the new OKGO video.

And we attended the most sophisticated party I've ever been to -- even if it did end with the host can-can-ing to Lady Gaga. Happy birthday D&D!

We moved our couches around for a living room makeover that shall be revealed eventually -- I know, right? Please at least try to control your excitement. Here is what was underneath one of them:

The final count: 6 tennis balls, 18 Q-tips, 23 half eaten dog treats, 1 spoon. And a, sadly, empty bag of Starburst jellybeans. I totally would have eaten them.

So Ike and I have been walking a lot lately.

I'm so glad I bring my camera with me everywhere, because yesterday I found this:

No way, I thought. No way did I just find a bag of cocaine on the ground. If it is, the dealer has got to be new. And what is he doing dealing drugs? He's obviously got organizational skills that would make some company really happy.

I kicked it over to see if, by chance, any white powder was underneath it.

Just a test. Boring, but still exciting for a walk around the neighborhood with your dog.

Ike was less interested in the cocaine test and more interested in this:

That house had SEVEN cats in front of it. There were two more across the street.

You might be thinking to yourself, wow, cocaine tests and crazy cat ladies? I will NEVER be visiting the Dandy House. Psh. I haven't even told you about my crazy neighbors yet.


The other day, this arrived in my mailbox:

There was no note, so naturally, I assumed it was laced with anthrax. No matter that it was the day after my birthday and several people had asked me for my address and one of those people happens to be JUST the type of person to send a plant with no note.

before I put two and two together, but after I determined that the plant was not anthrax and didn't seem to be ticking (because I assume all weapons are made by Acme) I started to feel bad for this lonely plant. Like it had wandered onto my doorstep, whimpering, desperate for a home. I had to take care of it. So, I did the only thing I knew to do: watered it, dressed it up in Anthropologie, and named it Bob.

Of course, eventually I realized that Bob The Plant was a birthday gift and it hadn't chosen me to nurse it back to health. But I like my story better.

the odd couple

Some girls say it's hard for them to deal with their new husbands' sloppiness. I have to say, I didn't have that problem.

Before you ask, I have no clue why I have a picture of my messy
room circa 2005. I guess I knew I would need it for my future blog?

I think I've done a pretty good job reforming myself since then, and Y and I are the perfect cleaning team. When he cleans, he goes for the germs. When I clean, I make sure everything looks pretty. (See previous entry about the branch in the bathroom. Y probably scrubbed that branch with disinfectant and then put it back on the floor, whereas I might have put the branch in the trash, fluffed the towels and left the residue from a used q-tip on the sink.)

I prefer my motto: What? Salmonella? But look how nicely those jars are lined up!

far more than Y's motto: Yay! A germ free bathroom floor!

that would be his underwear... 5 minutes before we had people over.


So, it's been awhile. But only unblogworthy things have been happening. If you don't believe me, just the other night, Y dreamed that his toenail fell off, and when I fully woke up 30 minutes later I rolled over onto a severed toenail. And
that was the most interesting thing I could come up with.

In other unblogworthy news, we did our taxes. My W-2 was apparently on the mail truck next to a shipment of bacon.

We reorganized the bookshelf:

And rearranged the refrigerator magnets:

Even Ike is bored.

Here's to a more exciting week... WHO DAT!

house tour, stop 1: the bathroom / nature observatory

Since, for some unknown reason, none of my family wants to come visit fabulous Shreveport (ahem, DAD, ahem) I feel like some house pictures are necessary. Oddly enough, I feel like I'll be able to supplement them all with an entertaining (to me) story like this one:

I used to hate the pink tile on our bathroom floor, until about 10 minutes ago, when I realized it was a thing. I mean, it has a name, Mamie Pink -- named after first lady Mamie Eisenhower. There's even a blog about it. Who knew, right? Our eyesore was suddenly a vintage treasure. I showed Y.

Y: let's take a picture of the bathroom and send it to the blog! Clean the bathroom!

Me: Psh... you just want me to clean the bathroom.

Y: NUH UH. I'm just saying, we probably should pick up the branch on the bathroom floor before we send a picture into a blog.

Me: Um... branch?

Y: Yeah. Duh. The branch on the bathroom floor.

Me: Why is there a branch on the bathroom floor?

Y: I dunno. It's been there for about a week.

Me: Soo... you've been noticing this branch for a week, and you didn't think to pick it up?

Y: ...

And, that concludes another episode of When Med School Eats Your Brain.

The rest of these bathroom pictures are for my sister, who can't believe any bathroom of mine would exist without trash and empty shampoo bottles everywhere. I've moved on, sister, apparently to branches.