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I was having a good hair day, so I took a selfie to mark the occasion. 


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A Bright Piece of Paris

Souvenirs come in all shapes and sizes. For me, I was so excited to bring home these inexpensive fixtures we got at Ikea in Paris. They hung in the long entry hall of our Paris apartment and were the first light we flicked on when we got home.

Of course I wanted to hang them in our home when we returned.

The electrician we worked with in our bathroom said we'd need new hardware, as European electric standards are different than the U.S. They recommended these pendants that fit perfectly in the shades. And the electrician spent is last hour here hanging these three lights.

And now they grace our back hallway and finish out the laundry room!

The bulbs give a soft light, so I may upgrade to a brighter bulb for the laundry room for a brighter room. But they're a perfect souvenir to remember our time in Paris every time I look up.

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See details about my Laundry Room project

A Train, Some Domes and a Massive Mistake

It's 1996.

I board a train in St. Paul headed to Rhode Island where I'll be a domestic exchange student (yup, that's a real thing). My boyfriend at the time and sister Liza see me off. I'm a wreck, but I'm confident in my decision to follow my dream and go to college on the east coast.

Even though I've never ever been to the east coast. And certainly never ever been to Rhode Island. And I don't even have any family or friends there. It's completely foreign to me.

And I've never been on a train before but the ticket to Rhode Island was cheaper than air travel (though, this was pre-google so I had a hard time making that comparison), despite it taking two days of travel. It just sounded more "romantic."

So ... I get myself loaded and find a seat and stare out the window and ... I start crying. Sobbing. I sit in the bathroom as the train leaves and I cry harder -- that crying that hurts your belly and produces little whining noises. It takes …

What a Day For a Mow!

Let's overthink my lawn for a post, shall we?

While we were in Paris, my Mother moved into my house (temporarily, as it turns out), fired my lawn guy, bought a gas-powered mower and was planning to take care of the landscaping herself. She enjoys it. But circumstances took her to Florida and now I'm left with no lawn guys and long grass.

No big deal, really. But it started me thinking about lawns. Then I read this article that summed up the environmental issues of our lawn obsession.

We, as a nation, over-water, over-fertilize and over-mow our lawns. And it's having a negative effect on our environment. While, yes, there are absolute positives for having a lawn and taking care of it, we're often doing way too much. Sure, grass is a plant and pulls a little carbon from the air, and is way better than paving or anything else, BUT it's doesn't need to look perfect all the time.

I live in the midwest, so I only need to worry about the lawn a few month each year -- …