waysideviolet

how to clean a kettle

In past years I have tried to be a cleaning whirlwind and spring clean my house in one insane weekend.

I don’t love this method. It’s kind of the worst. Instead, I have created a weekly cleaning ritual and a few built-in reminders on my calendar app that remind me to do little things that I don’t need to do weekly like change the air filter or clean the coffee grinder.

coffee ritual

So back to kettles. I use my kettle everyday multiple times a day. It is such a workhorse and needs a little extra attention every once in a while. This method has worked well for me:

Mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.

Fill kettle with mixture and let stand for 1 hour. When an hour has passed turn on the heat and bring to a boil.

Empty kettle and refill with clean water, boil, and then empty. You’re done!

I do this every 3 to 4 weeks and it keeps my nice little kettle bright and clean and without build up.

podcasts

My top two favorite podcasts at this moment are The Longform and You Must Remember This.

The Longform Podcast is all about longform writing explored through interviews with writers and journalists. There is a lot of conversation about narrative and the approaches that the interviewees take when working on a piece of writing or reporting. Some of my favorite episodes are #175: Brooke Gladstone of On the Media*, #174: Venkatesh Rao, and #129: Rukmini Callimachi.

These are just three interviews that have stuck with me. I’ve enjoyed a great meaning more of them and I always feel like I have learned something. Sidenote, episode #129: Rukmini Callimachi is an excellent companion listen to the current season of Serial.

the stars

I found You Must Remember This because of The Longform Podcast’s interview with its creator, Karina Longworth. I would highly recommend taking a listen to Longform Podcast #161 before starting You Must Remember This, but that’s just my personal preference for understanding the context that a thing was made in. Okay, onward!

I have become a You Must Remember ambassador. I find myself encouraging the topic of podcasts in conversation just so that I can bring it up and sing its praises.

What’s that you say? You went to see the film Hail, Cesar! last night? Why have I got the podcast for you!

You Must Remember This, in Karina’s own words, “…is a storytelling podcast about the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century.” And it is so good! Each episode expertly weaves together true life tales that often sound stranger than fiction. The method of telling each story is so engaging you might find yourself devouring all 70+ episodes of past and current seasons within a week….like I did. A new season has just started and it’s about the blacklist and the McCarthy era. Very timely considering recent releases of movies like Hail, Cesar! and Trumbo.

*On the Media is another podcast and show that I look forward to each week. If you are interested in the workings of the media or in how news is reported you should check it out, but I’m guessing you already subscribe.

four (monochromatic) things

I’ve gotten out of the habit of blogging, but I think it’s time to get started again.

four things

One // Two // Three // Four

zilker botanical park

Even after living in Austin for three years there are still lots of places I haven’t been to yet. During Courtney’s visit last month, we (finally) went to Zilker Botanical Garden. I had driven past the gates lots of times, but never explored all the different gardens.

There are waterlilies, roses, all kinds of cacti, and a lovely zen garden filled with streams and bamboo. A frontier village with lots of info on historic gardening methods. I want to go back for the annual orchid show!
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lately

The 4th of July always feels a little like milestone to me. Summer is no longer young, but we are filling the days with peaches and nectarines and flowers and lots of walks with Cors.

It also makes me realize how much I have done since the semester ended. I have: done lots of yard work, rescued a little viola (photo below), painted the bathroom, completely re-organized the office/studio, did lot of great Austin things with my sister during a visit from her, and started a new job!

viola

I really love my new job! I’m the Fulfillment Coordinator for Son of a Sailor. I’ve been following them since their early days on Etsy and now I’m a member of their nine person team! I take care of packing up all of the orders and also do some project management and customer service. I really enjoy working in the studio with this bunch of crazy-fun folks!

three things: greenery

I’ve been slowly working on our little garden. Mostly it has been a lot of prep work like clearing out weeds and tiny trees that have planted themselves in unwanted places. It already looks so much better with just a little attention.

I’ve also been doing a lot of  research on what plants would be best to add. I want to get a few roses and maybe a few irises to plant in the fall. I’m still learning what plants are best here in central Texas.

One // Two // Three

thumbprint cookies

Memorial Day in Austin was a rainy and stormy one, as you might have heard. Thankfully for us our side of town had no flooding and the lakes are filling up. Lakes filling up is A good thing after years of droughts.

Of course it’s not good for our south-western neighbors who have an unwelcome amount of water on their land or in their homes. If you feel like helping you can donate here.

We spent the day inside watching Mad Men reruns. After seeing a plate of cookies in one of the episodes I started looking for cookie recipes from the 1950-1960s and ended up making a feast of thumbprint cookies. They might be my new favorite thing!

thumbprint
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renegade craft fair

It’s that time of the year again, friends! Renegade Craft Fair is back in town this weekend!

I am very happy that they’ve moved the fair to the east side of town. Make sure you stop by and check out the new venue and all the fun!

Renegade Craft Fair

For more details click here.

spring cleaning

One of the good things about living in a small house is that it forces you to edit your things on a regular basis. I personally love going through my things smiling at stuff that carry memories and sending other things on their way.

To that point, I’m getting ready to part with old issues of ReadyMade magazine (remember that ol’ thing!?) and a few other odds and ends. You can check out my online yard sale over here.

bouquet

It’s been a busy and tiring season lately. It feels like I’ve been chasing to-do lists and deadlines for a few months now. Just another week or so of busy times and then I’ll have a few weeks of freedom. Can’t wait!

Last weekend we celebrate the wedding of my lovely friend Tiffany. It was such a fun day! I’m still enjoying my beautiful bridesmaid flowers in a little different arrangement. I took it apart today and gave it a little makeover.
rearranged bridesmaid bouquet
rearranged bridesmaid bouquet
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