Arm Chair Restoration: Part One

I mentioned in the February update that I was working on a thrilling new project. So thrilling in fact, that I’ve had to take several breaks from working on it in order to contain my excitement.

Kidding. I’m merely dawdling my way through this project as usual, keeping up my renovation MO.

I do think it’s a little thrilling though! This chair has been dragged with me through seven moves in the last four years, sitting lonely since it landed in its last spot– our spare room– last summer. But as cumbersome as this thing was, I refused to ever leave it behind. Solely because it’s The Perfect Arm Chair.


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Big News!

February was an off month for us with the blog.

But it was totally an on month with so many other things. We were constantly on, constantly going, constantly running from one activity to the next. Just to give you an idea of our month, here is a series of shots (some double-featured from instagram):


^^^ lunch at Damask, a new Mediterranean restaurant find

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers

I have always loved reading. My family still jokes about my Grandfather’s “threat” of taking away my book on Sunday afternoons when I was being a little too anti-social for my elementary age self. For years I found books to be windows into a deeper world. But unfortunately, because I took a college level English class in high school, I read my last work of serious literature in 2007. And even though I would argue– ask Tyler– that my “cozy mysteries” are legit publications, I don’t think they are quite on the level that invites deep analysis. I guess the lack of extrinsic motivation proved “my love of reading” only went so far. But as with many lost hobbies lately, I am working for a revival.

A few months ago, I saw reviews of a book titled “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity”. I thought it looked good, but I’m not much of one for purchasing books– or anything for that matter– full price, so I passed on it. Several weeks later, I saw it on the clearance table of a university bookstore, where I just happened to be perusing, passing time waiting for Tyler.

behind beautiful forevers

I snatched it up, and then suggested it to Tyler as a “Christmas present.” The only downside was that I had to wait til Christmas to read it. To console myself in moments of impatience, I told myself that I could read the whole thing in one sitting, over Christmas break. I didn’t end up doing it in one sitting, but I did devour it all during those two weeks of vacation. And I loved it. There are so many wonderful quotes, so much depth and yet such simple truths, a universality that surprises when the content is so foreign… too much to fully explore here, though I’ll try to give you a taste. 

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Souvenir Shelf: Part Two

So the shelf itself was pretty much complete in the last post, but the main attraction– taking center stage– was yet to be finished.

All the bowls we have collected are special, reminding us of the adventures we’ve had and the blessing it is to travel.  However, the largest bowl we have (as of yet) came from our wedding– the start of the biggest adventure of our lives– and it is incredibly special.  We used it as one of three guest book alternatives, to remember our wedding attendees.

bowl collage from wed

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Cook the Book: Jerusalem #2 (Chicken Sofrito)

One of the reasons I love cookbooks is because of the pictures. You just can just flip to page after page and not only dream of the possibilities, but see them as well. If I’m cooking from a cookbook, it is most likely because I saw the picture of the dish in the book and decided I wanted it in my mouth. So, you’ll be surprised to see that this is what the recipe photo for Chicken Sofrito looks like in the cookbook:


I mean, that man seems nice and all, but….not really appetizing. However, after I read the description and realized I had most of the ingredients on hand, I decided that I was going to give this one a shot. And let me tell you what is appetizing…Chicken Sofrito. A perfect comfort dish of tender chicken, fried soft potatoes, and 25 cloves of garlic.

Oh, and wait until you see the picture of the finished product. Then you’ll see why they didn’t include a picture in the cookbook. But first, let me show you how its done:

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Life on Purpose: Mission Statement

“To see the world, to know humanity, and to feel the reality of God.”

A couple of years ago, I contacted an old college professor and asked to meet with her to pick her brain about graduate school programs in international development.  She graciously agreed to get together for coffee, and after some trivial small talk, she opened with a question that caught me completely off guard.  Instead of following the anticipated sequence of discussion, she turned the tables on me and asked a probing, personal question. “What is your life mission statement?”


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Souvenir Shelf: Part One

Project throwback!! There’s no hiding it this time.. this project took several months to reach completion. We are now in January, and this post shows our start back in the summer. (Man, I wish I could still work out on the back deck!)

The goal for this project was to create an attractive and functional way to display our souvenir bowls. We collect these bowls in all of the places we live or major places we visit. We wanted to be able to see and enjoy them as the collection grows.


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