What’s on My Mind 11.21.2020

An awkward corner in my dining room now includes a moon phases mobile and picture ledges

Welcome to another What’s on My Mind roundup of things I’m excited to share. I have a lot on my list this week, so let’s get right to it:

  • Do you remember the awkward corner from my dining room tour? I finally sorted out what to do with it. We needed more lighting in the room (the overhead lighting sucks) so I bought a lamp from a cool small business called Sorano 7. I built picture ledges to serve as storage for some of my less frequently used cookbooks, and then I hung this moon phase mobile from the ceiling. The mobile needed some kind of anchor in the empty space above the shelves, so I painted a yellow sun-like thing on the wall with some paint left over from our bathroom renovation. I’ll do a post on the bathroom once it’s done, but for now you can follow along in our Instagram stories. And as a reminder, here’s what the corner of the dining room looked like before:
awkward dining room corner
  • Since Thanksgiving is this week, I wanted to mention that the best way I’ve found to cook a turkey is to wrap the turkey in butter-soaked cheesecloth while it bakes. The cheesecloth bastes the turkey the whole time it’s cooking, and it helps the skin get crispy and keeps the turkey from drying out. More on this method from Half Baked Harvest.
  • After hearing Sherry from Young House Love rave about how her BlueAir air purifier helps her allergies, I decided to give it a try. I have terrible allergies, especially this time of year. I get allergy shots, I take Zyrtec every day, and it barely helps me manage them. Normally I benefit from the heavy-duty filtration of office buildings but…2020. We got the 211+ for our bedroom, which is supposed to be for a medium-sized room. The thing is comically large, and is sized for up to 540 square feet, so we’re going to move it into the living room and get the smaller 411 for our bedroom. Usually in the fall I’m waking up with my sinuses burning from all the congestion that settles overnight, but this has been helping me breathe a lot better.
  • I love apple cider in the fall, and I’ve been making a chai-spiced version that feels more special than regular cider. I boil my cider for about ten minutes with a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves, and 3 cardamom pods. Yum!
  • Greg and I recently watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix. It’s a documentary about how social media algorithms are designed to learn how to capture our attention more and more effectively. The result of that is it ends up sensationalizing what they expose us to over time, and can polarize our perspective and opinions. It’s definitely not a happy film, but it was eye-opening. I think the awareness is offers into our own behaviors gives us the opportunity to take back some control of our psychology, if we want it. I highly recommend watching it.
  • I recently learned that Biden’s dog, Major, will be the first rescue dog to live in the White House. That sent me down an Internet rabbit hole that led to this Wikipedia article about presidential pets. Read it if you need a giggle-there have been some weird animals living at the White House over the years.
  • I just made this recipe for Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara from Half Baked Harvest (can you tell I love HBH?) and it was DELICIOUS. It has this rosemary bacon on top that is mind-blowing. I highly recommend this if you want an easy comfort-food recipe that feels a little fancy.
  • Another Netflix documentary I thought was really interesting- Blackpink: Light Up the Sky. It’s about Blackpink, an all-female K-Pop group that made history when they played at Coachella in 2019. I didn’t know very much (or anything) about K-Pop before I watched this, but it was interesting learning about the system that builds and trains K-Pop groups. These girls have been living in dorms and training to be performers for years, taking singing and dance lessons. It was cool getting the glimpse behind the curtain of something I knew nothing about.
  • I’ve been more into candles lately, and I learned there’s a correct way to burn them (who knew?). Apparently the first time you light a candle you’re supposed to let it burn long enough that the wax melts completely across the top. I didn’t do that, so now some of my candles are burning unevenly. This Apartment Therapy article told me everything I need to know, and even had tips for how to even out the surface of the candle.

What have you been loving lately? Anything you recommend we check out? We’d love to hear from you, either in the comments below or on social media. You can also sign up for our email newsletter to get updates about new posts.

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