Well, it’s a rainy chilly Easter Sunday, perfect for staying in with a nice cup of a tea, a book and a few episodes of “Project Runway” and “Man vs. Wild” on the DVR. I am planning to venture out to raid the bookstore for a few new reads and who knows what else, to create my own Easter Basket.

I’ve read some seriously crappy stuff recently, but there have been a few gems mixed in. Here are a few things that Have held my attention recently.

Tales of The City” Arnistead Maupin. Blame it on the fact that I find myself falling more and more in love with San Francisco each day that I live here, but I went on a kick with these and read the first three of the series. The can get a bit soapy, but are fun easy reads.

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of A Lifetime” John Heilemann. If you aren’t tired of the constant political squabbles and found the election season fascinating on both sides, pick up this book. No candidate makes it through unscathed (though don’t you kind of expect people who run for president to be a little narcissistic and slightly out of touch?).

I’m about a quarter of the way through “City of Theives” by David Benioff. Heavy subject matter, but I love his writing style so far and the story is beyond intriguing.

So if you’re looking for something to read, check one of these out. Okay, off to add more books to the pile!

Honestly, I don’t know how it keeps happening.
But I’ve done it again.
Another cookbook.
The Best Recipes in the World: More Than 1,000 International Dishes to Cook at Home” by Mark Bittman

The problem is this amazing store: Omnivore Books.

It’s a food lovers paradise. Cookbooks and all books food related.

So despite my promise that no more cookbooks would come through the door, this one snuck in. I can’t wait to try it.

In the meantime, In celebration of the wonderful weather and springs arrival, I made a killer shredded bbq pork last night in the crockpot. It was DELISH. While I’m normally not a huge pork fan, I make an exception for pulled pork sandwiches.  I was feeling to lazy to make my own sauce, so I used Bull’s Eye Hickory Smoke. Despite the store bought sauce it turned out really well, though it can’t compete with the best bbq joint in the midwest- Pappy’s.

As a side note, apologies for the lack of posts recently. A weeks vacation followed by a weeks worth of catching up at work leaves very little time for blogging!

Have you heard about Swirl? It’s Daily Candy’s sample sale site. They email you info about limited time sales from various designers.  They have had some really cute stuff with a great selection, and it doesn’t all seem to sell out as quickly as the other sites (I’m looking at you Idelli).  Anyway, a few weeks ago I ordered a fantastic pair of jeans, not only are they really cute, they were disturbingly cheap (60 bucks, orginally 180. Seriously. I don’t remember the last time I’ve purchased a pair of jeans that fit properly for less than 100 bucks.  Reason 101 it sucks to be nearly 5’10).

I do a lot of online shopping. While I love it,  I like the small touches you get from shopping.  The instant gratification, the fun bags,  the ability to try things on.  But Swirl has managed to bring a little charm to the otherwise sterile online shopping experience. Look at how cute their packaging is:

Okay, so the packaging isn’t the only awesome part. The jeans are super cute too. Check out these buttons:

And the pile continues to grow....

This is only the pile of actual books in my living room, not counting what is stored on my Kindle.  I have a 7 hour flight next week (hence the huge amount of chick-lit in this pile), so I should be able to make a pretty significant dent in my “To Read” list.  Is anyone reading anything good? I can always use more suggestions!

Clearly I haven’t been posting much lately. I blame laziness and an unusually packed schedule.  Work, friends in town, shopping for an upcoming trip and life in generally have kept me away from the computer.

Now, the shopping.  I’m headed to the beach so I needed to pick up a few things.  In picking up a “few things” I’ve realized I have too much crap!  It’s weird to think that seven months ago I arrived out here with 14 boxes and felt like I had given up/sold/thrown out the majority of my possessions.  But somehow the stuff seems to have mutlitiplied, especially the clothing.  It’s everywhere! It’s pouring out of my drawers closet and wardrobe.

While crusing the library a few days ago I found what I think might help.

It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan For Living A Richer Life With Less Stuff” by Peter Walsh.

While I’m not really the self help type, I’m also not the organized type so I’m willing to take the plunge.

So far, so good.  I’ve only gotten as far as my clothing, but that’s the major problem.  I’m taking his suggestions to heart.  If it hasn’t been worn in 6 months (and is in season) it’s outta here. So far I’ve filled up a bag for goodwill and one for the garbage  from my winter clothing.  Next up: cosmetics and accessories. After that, kitchen organization. The idea of it makes me cringe a bit.  Despite the total purge that my move forced me to make, I’m not good at giving things up.  I’m always afraid that I’ll need it, or want to wear it, or it has some sort of memory attached.  This book is making me brutal.  I’m cutting to the chase.  If in doubt I’m throwing it out.

The new rule? For every clothing item that comes in, one needs to come out.

I’m hating it.

But I’m loving the fact that my drawers will close.

Pete (yeah, I’m calling him Pete. I figure if I make him seem like a buddy I’ll hate what he is saying less) has debunked all of my excuses, so I guess I’ll have to take his motto to heart: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”.  While I do think all of my clothing is beautiful, and my lip gloss and millions of lotions and potions are superb, I’ve got to thin the herd.

I have a feeling I’ll end up hating Pete, but loving the results.  Clutter be gone!!

It finally stopped raining in time for the weekend.  Saturday wasn’t exactly gorgeous, but it was dry enough to head out for a hike.  It was a little on the gray side, and the sun was nowhere to be found, but I wasn’t discouraged.  The only unfortunate part was that it was freezing.  The pictures aren’t great, but we were actually trying to summit, so we were moving kind of quickly.

Of course we have purchased a few more fun things, so those got used too.

And of course the finished product! As a side note, it was actually not bad, but then again I was really hungry.

I’ve walked by this building twice a day for the past six months on my way to work, but it wasn’t until I walked on the opposite side of the street that I actually saw how stunning it is.

Someone already has their flowers out in the window boxes.  Spring might actually be around the corner.