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Archive | Jennifer’s Nest

Jennifer writes about discovering her latent nesting instinct.

Finding Happiness in Our Local Lighting Store

sun lighting tucson arizona

Parking lot yoga. It helps her shop.

Our Bathroom Light-Hunting Safari Part 2

By Jennifer

Lighting our half-bath presented a Gordian knot of design challenges: limited space, basic functional requirements, and poor choices at our initial price point.  We can’t expand the bathroom and I don’t intend to give up hope of grooming in there, so price had to give.  We would find a specialty store, thereby resigning ourselves to paying for good materials, thoughtful design and an expert staff.  In this case, it was well worth it.

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Jennifer & Ken Leave the Big Box

Part 1 of Our Bathroom Light-Hunting Safari

bathroom renovation

I think it’s ugly. She thinks it’s tolerable.

By Jennifer

Ken and I realized yesterday that for weeks we’ve been in the grip of what a friend of mine from graduate school calls the Serengeti Effect.  The Serengeti Effect originally described human behavior in relation to the refrigerator in a graduate housing apartment, but the following scenario may sound familiar even if you don’t write J.D. or Ph.D. after your name.

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My Nesting Material: Books, Not Just Moldings, from Tucson

antigone book store tucson

By Jennifer

To hear recent transplants talk, the only true safety in Tucson lies in retreat along the freeway to Vail or Marana, and the neighborhood where I grew up is a meth-crazed wasteland.  For me, part of nesting has been to reject the hype, return to my old neighborhood, and to think very carefully not just about how to create a peaceful home, but about what’s needed to sustain a community.  Part of the answer, I think, can be found at bookstores like Antigone on Fourth Avenue.

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Would Someone Please Sell Me a Color Fan?

jennifer the sassy sensual wifeBy Jennifer

Here’s an odd contradiction about the 21st century: online pharmacies beg to sell me drugs I am anatomically unqualified to use, clothiers dog me from website to website, promising me a discount on a shirt I flirted with a month ago, and ads gibber and dance in the online columns of The New York Times itself, but when I am eager — nay, determined — to spend money, I find that I can’t.

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Picture Rail Pays Off, and I Hang My Plates for $116.39

By Jennifer

hang decorative plates on brick wall[This post is part of Our Kitchen Molding Makeover series.]

I’m not much a shopper, and I find shopping online downright agonizing.  That said, it is strangely gratifying to browse the antique and furniture sections of our local Craigslist.  To the experienced (or simply fanciful) reader, every entry tells a story: a new bride fulfilling her part of a furniture divestment treaty, or a college student desperately trying to unload a couch too heavy to be moved and too shabby to be sold.

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Develop Your Taste

how to develope tasteBy Jennifer

I firmly believe that good taste is not innate; it is cultivated through education and opportunity.  Admittedly, this belief is self-serving, since as a child I papered the walls of my bedroom with calendar art featuring unicorns, and I like to think I’ve progressed.  Chance and opportunity have rescued me, and even family members otherwise inclined to regard me as dangerously volatile admit that I have a good eye for clothing and color.

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Moldings, Mom & Race Cars

moldings mom and race carsBy Jennifer

We stopped by to see my folks yesterday — Ken needed to borrow my dad’s circular saw — and while the guys went out to the garage to inspect the race car, mom talked animatedly about her latest role in Two Old Goats Racing: restoring the interior of the Catalina.  My mom has sewn for much of her life, and is an accomplished quilter.  Auto interiors involve stitching and fabric, but the terms, equipment and skills are radically different, and no less daunting.

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Customize Your Home in Small Ways

beautiuful woman cooking wearing apronBy Jennifer

If you’ve been following the story so far, you know that Ken urges people to make relatively inexpensive changes that have a huge impact.  Moldings and painting are his prime examples of this principle.  But some of the most important customizations are almost imperceptible to outsiders, but provide intense, daily satisfaction.

In the video below, I give a quick tour highlighting several easy, cheap kitchen projects that lower the inertia that can discourage major bouts of cooking.  I’ve provided more details below.

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Our Little Scapegoats

cute cat picture

I didn’t do it.

By Jennifer

No household can be truly harmonious without a cat or two.  Chiefly they serve as fluffy, pettable ventriloquist’s dummies (as in, “Julia says, ‘Is this all there is?  It’s all ashes — ashes!'” or, “Sky told me he thinks you look great in those briefs.”)  More importantly, though, cats’ scapegoat function turns them into the unsung (and unwilling) heroes of many a marriage.

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The Truth About Poodles: The Benefits of Shopping Locally

the benefits of shopping locally

Do you know the truth?

By Jennifer

Whenever possible, Ken and I buy everything from tortillas to Trollope novels from stores within about a three-mile radius of our home.  We get paint and primer from my main man Pablo at a Sherwin Williams three blocks away; I’ve almost entirely sworn off Amazon.com in favor of a nearby used bookstore; and a couple of times a week we pick up flowers, condiments and cheese at a little Trader Joe’s just down the road.  As a result, we know “our” sales clerks and checkers, and feel more comfortable about supporting the companies we do business with.

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Choosing Your Wall Colors III: Color Theory for Amateur Designers

color wheel made from fabricBy Jennifer

Like arguments, decorating schemes can be inductive or deductive: that is, you can follow a concrete example to a general principle or vice versa.  In other words, you can pick a color you like and find others that work with it, or you can pick a concept or palette and rotate colors through it until one set pleases you.  Either way, color theory can help you to create and eliminate possibilities.

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Mr. and Dr. Buckaroo Banzai Meet

By Jennifer

pretty wife with short blonde hairWe met online.  Which amazes my coworkers for two reasons.

First, my hatred of all things digital is legendary.  I print documents out to read them, and edit them by hand.  My favorite way to transport data is what software engineers call “sneakerware” — that is, walking over a hard copy.  My “mood” on the internal instant message system reads “I find instant messages intrusive.”

Once they’ve gotten used to the idea of me dating online — editing and posting my dating profile photographs voluntarily — my coworkers gasp, “Weren’t you afraid?”

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