2009 July | Somewhere in Middle America

This is genius for city-dwellers.

I have 1520 messages in my Gmail inbox. I’m thinking that’s too many.

I had a 1989 Pink Betty and a 1986 Lionheart. What Swatch watch did you have? (via Hey Susy*)

“Keep Calm & Carry On” hits the NY Times.

The connection between simplicity and sincerity.

I can see myself living quite happily and comfortably here.

Here’s a recipe for making whoopie… pie!

Don’t find yourself; create yourself. (via S.HOPtalk)

I absolutely love the color combination above.

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J worked on Sunday, so he had today off, which allowed us to get some work done for the business. We signed some important papers at the bank and had a long conversation over the phone with one of our vendors. We even had time to check out the new Blackberry Tour for Verizon, which I desperately want even though it wouldn’t be used solely for business. J also took a liking to the Tour and may FINALLY leave AT&T for Verizon–thank goodness! AT&T’s reception is so poor that he can barely use his cell phone in the house. How ridiculous is that?!

Of course I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m stressing a little bit over the business. What if I have no customers? I’m in the midst of planning to do some advertising and playing around with some marketing ideas, but what if I build it and they don’t come?

I’m also finding it hard to manage two blogs. The Social Life of Paper needs daily watering in order for it to blossom, which means that at times I feel like I’m neglecting Somewhere in Middle America. Call it writer’s block, call it laziness, call it exhaustion. Maybe it’s all three of those things.

If anybody has any words of wisdom to share on starting a small business or on keeping more than one blog alive and well, I’m all ears!

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I’ve discovered where the Old Men’s Club hold their meetings on Thursday mornings — Winchell’s Donuts at 120th and Center!

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Briscoe discovered a new little friend the other night in the backyard–a small bunny who was not afraid to get close to our back door. Our fiesty dog was so excited he almost scratched his way through the glass, but his mania didn’t scare away his new bunny friend. In fact, before we knew it, two more rabbits appeared in the backyard. They were multiplying before our eyes!

After our deliciously healthy dinner Sunday night, J decided he wanted to bake a cake. Not one to object to freshly made cake, I agreed to help. While he prepared the batter following the Martha Stewart recipe below, and I hulled and halved the strawberries. Our teamwork paid off in a big way–a delicious summer strawberry cake. If only we hadn’t forgotten to top it off with Cool Whip!

Makes one 10-inch cake

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
  2. Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
  4. Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.

… but it’s swordfish! Check out the gourmet salad my husband prepared for dinner last, which included fresh sweet corn from the Farmer’s Market and a homemade blueberry vinaigrette.

I love everything about this look… the slouchy clothing… the crafty floral necklace… the summer fedora… the bright red lips. Wonder if I could pull it off?

(image via The Sartorialist)

Learn the 5 C’s to taking better product photos.

Turn your love of stuff into a love of life.

Can you judge a bottle of alcohol by the design of its label?

I’ve always had a slight obsession with stacking rings.

Never thought I’d love fake flowers.

Eleven rules for living an uncluttered life.

Have you checked out my new blog?

Addicted to blogs and coffee?

Ever wonder what other women carry in their bags?

One of my favs, Rachael Yamagata, has a new album out.

Renee Zellweger may transform into Bridget Jones for the third time.

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During an interview with Marie Claire, Stephen Moyer, who plays Bill Compton on HBO’s “True Blood,” said this about Robert Pattinson of “Twilight” fame:

“He’s a pussy! He’s the Slim-Fast, Diet Coke of vampires.”

Hmm… Would you prefer to be bitten by Bill or Edward? I still think I’m Team Edward.

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