Thursday, August 21, 2014

The $1143.75 Knife

Against my better judgement, I recently went ahead and renewed my subscription for Bon Appetit.  And, because I have the will power of a 7 year old with an empty bag let loose in a Sweet Factory, when they asked if I wanted to subscribe for two years, for only 88 cents per issue, I actually said yes.  Since most people probably don't understand why this was such a bad life decision on my part, I am here to explain to you the pitfalls of Bon Appetit.

Whenever a new magazine arrives in the mailbox, it sits on my bedside table, where I read it page by page over the next days in the few minutes before the lights shut off before bedtime.  And there I was, just a few nights ago, new magazine propped up on my knees, leafing through slowly when I came across the following page:

2014-08-21 10.06.29
So many knives...

Seems inconspicuous enough, right? Seven pretty knives, one would assume sharp and effective to cut your steak, stab your potatoes or pick your nails, or any of the other mundane activities that one might perform with a small handheld knife.  All of this is straight-forward, nothing to get your panties in a bunch.  But, let's zoom in a second here:

2014-08-21 10.07.58
This was about the moment when my jaw dropped to the floor

That's right.  That 2nd pretty knife on the left there?  It is just north of $9000 for a set of 8.  Yes, my friends, that would be a steak knife that costs (drum roll please....) $1143.75.  A knife.  I think that all my wedding china TOGETHER didn't cost $1143.75.  And this is just one knife.  A set of 8 is going to set you back $9150 (plus tax, of course).  And Bon Appetit knows this!  And is apparently ok with this...

2014-08-21 10.12.55
Um... those are my options?  Steak knives vs. a used car?  Cause used car wins, EVERY TIME

In the midst of my outraged rant that you could feed a thousand elementary school kids for a week as opposed to buying 8 $1000+ knives, Ben just shrugged and said "That's not their audience.  Their audience is opulence".

Anyways, this is why I worry about my life decisions.  When I, in full knowledge of this insane standard and rational (cause sterling silver trim is so worth it) of the Bon Appetit editors, make the conscientious decision to renew my Bon Appetit subscription for not only 1 year, but two.  Because that was the cheapest per magazine option.  I think there might be some irony there.  In conclusion, I don't know if I'm more ashamed of myself or of Bon Appetit.  Or maybe it's just the shame of my $4 steak knives.

Any one else make any poor, first-world, life decisions lately?

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Letter to Myself, 6 Months from Today

Dear Future Liz -

I know right about now you are probably cursing the frigid wind as you are attempting to scrap the ice off of your car in the work parking lot before your hands completely freeze through and lose all feeling. You are probably angry at your husband for deciding to go to school somewhere where it is normal for 3 feet of snow to fall in one night and where it is known to be so cold that they have to create words like "polar vortex" in order to describe the subzero temperature, instead of, you know, Texas.  You are afraid that this cruel practical joke will last forever, that your friend the sun, who you knew so well while growing up in Arizona, has decided that this long distance relationship just can't work and has finally left you for good.  Or you would think that, if you brain was not a frozen tundra at this moment in (future) time.

What you need to know is that winter is only a season. Even if it seems like this frozen hell is never going to end, it will. Granted, it may last till April or May. But it will eventually end. Eventually. And it's going to be beautiful when it does. 

I need to remember this.  When it is early February and I hate everything, I need to remember that the sun exists, that summer exists and that beauty still exists.  And when I do inevitably forget this golden nugget of knowledge, it looks like this:

Runs through shady paths
Bike rides with the hubby
Picnics on a blanket with goat cheese and fresh bread
And, of course, trips to New Glarus, complete with wonderful views and fabulous beer
To summer, long may you reign!  (I am totally reading way too much Game of Thrones...)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gracias, Danke and Thank you

Friday marks the 5th brilliant month that I have been married to my lovely fool of a husband.  More importantly, it also marks the dreaded "1 month left!" date of how long we can officially wait to finish the thank you cards from the wedding before decades of etiquette labels us as ungrateful heathens.

I used to love these cards.  Now, they just kind of annoy me.
After dinner on Monday night, I put my head down and powered through.  I had 11 left to write and I was not getting up from the kitchen table until I had accomplished all of them, until the last name was crossed of the list.  And I did, all 11 complete, addressed and stamped.  And despite the hand cramp and ink smudges on my left hand (the bane of all lefties everywhere), victory had never tasted so sweet.  While Ben still has to finish up his (it must be said, smaller) half of the thank you card list and while I will probably guilt myself into helping him, I am still considering myself 100% over and done with the task of writing "thank you", "appreciate" and "wedding" in the same sentence, while trying to change up wording.  

We did have a wide variety of things to be thankful for.  A few favorites include, but are obviously not limited to:

Rachel Ray's infamous Lasagna Lugger:
Lasagna not included

This beautiful wine rack (and the same wine glasses pictured!)
Wine, very sadly, not included, but was soon acquired.  
And the juicer to end all juicers:
It doesn't get more impressive, or shiny, than this

All joking aside, we are incredibly thankful for both the generous gifts and (more importantly) the number of friends and family who traveled great lengths to come share our day with us.  We had quite the party going to help us celebrate becoming a "Mr. & Mrs" and we will always be eternally grateful for the time, money and travel headaches people endured for us.  It was an amazing day, made all the better by being able to share it with those we love the most.

Happy Hump Day Kids!

Monday, August 4, 2014

If this isn't dirty, I don't know what is...

This weekend, Ben and I spent some good quality time rolling around in about 1.6 million pounds of grade-A quality Wisconsin mud.  Now, before you go there, we participated in the Warrior Dash up in Johnson Creek, WI.  It was an exhausting mess of a run.  It was 3.3 miles, with several good climbing obstacles, gallons upon gallons of mud and even a small line of fire we were required to jump over.  It was fun, although at the time, you couldn't have paid me to do it again.  Look how happy we were when we were clean!

Before the mud bath
Admittedly, I was just as happy after the run, but that was largely due to the fact that I had a "free" beer in my hand (those of you who pay these race entry fees understand the meaning of "free") and the wisdom of knowing that my future was relatively free of giant, slimy mounds of mud that needed to be scaled.

The scary aftermath

By the end of it, after splashing down into a muddy pound and then floating our way across another length of mud, under some barbed wire of course, it was safe to say that there was mud in places that mud had never been before.  Including, but absolutely not limited to the nostril, my ears and a healthy handful that settled into my sports bra.  I easily walked away from there 3 pounds heavier, and it was all dirt.  Or mud.  Or clay.

The hardest part for me was hands down the so called mud mounds.  So picture this:

except, those pits are filled with brown water up to your thighs and the mounds aren't dirt, but straight slick clay.  I basically was a beached whale trying to claw my way over (you know, should whales have hands and claws).  Not only was it an intense work out, it was also definitely a lesson in learning to rely on your fellow members of the human race (and not caring that there was some random dude's hand on your butt shoving you up and over the 7 foot mud hill). Because, when it comes to surviving the warrior dash, we are all one, unified, dirty brown mass.

Ben said that next up is the Tough Mudder, I said that I needed more beer.

Hope your weekends were just as fun, not as dirty and preferably with no mud in places that mud should not be.