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Discovery Thursday

18 February 2016
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Fun discoveries for your Thursday – favorite kitchen tools, updated recipes, and my latest obsession with BBC Radio’s podcast Desert Island Discs. Desert Island Discs I can’t get enough of the online treasure trove of Desert Island Discs – interviews with public figures broadcast weekly on BBC Radio since 1942. Selections from the vast archives […]

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Sparking joy

13 March 2015
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I haven’t gotten around to the real meat of Marie Kondo‘s improbable bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (the tidying part, that is). But the real magic of the book is Kondo’s simple perspective: hold on to the things you love, or as is translated in the book, things that spark joy. And get […]

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Kitchen geekery

27 June 2014
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The fact that I cannot buy anything casually is tied directly to my hard-knocks immigrant training not to throw useful things away. Anything I buy, I’m likely to keep forever – which means I’d better love it. So the things I geek out over in the kitchen are multi-use, smartly designed items that are priced […]

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Kitchen, the sequel

18 June 2014
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Well, we did it. We finally moved into our new place, more than three years after we bought a leaky old house on a lot with potential. Funny how much can change in three years. Suddenly I’m not the mom loaded down with kids in her arms. My first child just graduated from elementary school, […]

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Construction meditation

14 March 2014
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Observing someone else’s construction project is like watching someone else’s pregnancy – fun, exciting and surprisingly fast – and the actual experience of building is as staggeringly different as experiencing pregnancy firsthand. We began a year and a half ago, and I know I’ve been curiously silent on the project. I have a load of […]

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House update

26 March 2013
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It’s been five months since the hole in the ground. We had a few exciting weeks after we discovered the basement was a foot too short (a calculation error by the civil engineers, who will have to fix the problem later with a whole lot of dirt). But we’ve been lucky with weather and are […]

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Hole in the ground

22 October 2012
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Planning has been in the works for quite a while, but now that we’ve dug a giant hole in the ground there’s no going back: we are building a house. Again. I’m edge-of-the-high-dive nervous. Building a house in California is breathtakingly more expensive than building in Ohio, and chinese grandmas don’t splurge easily. I hope […]

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Bathroom planning guide

15 February 2012
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As life would have it, I’ve done an absurd amount of home building and remodeling in the last dozen years. Chinese grandmas don’t spend lightly, and I thought I’d share some tips on bathroom planning culled from my research. Remodeling or building a home can be exciting, but it is an enormous investment of time, […]

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Never-MT

25 October 2011
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Of all the useful tricks in my dream kitchen, the Never-MT is the cheapest (and most goofily named). It’s the kind of gadget that seems utterly lame to kids but extremely cool to chore-burdened adults: for $10 you can be saved from endless refilling of your sink soap dispenser. It’s ingenious. It’s not like filling […]

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My friend Faith

13 October 2011
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It’s been a strange, volatile week, starting high, plunging low and ending with the realization that most everything is a high compared to the lows that could be. The week began last Thursday with a rare and exciting treat: lunch with a new friend, the lovely, curious Faith Durand, Managing Editor extraordinaire of my favorite […]

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