Friday, April 29, 2011

Launch Delayed

Well, I was certainly hoping to post launch pictures for everyone today, but unfortunately Endeavour's launch was scrubbed due to some APU failures, which means non-functioning fuel-line heaters.  The current scrub is 72 hours, so the next planned launch attempt is Monday, May 2 at 2:33 pm.  However, the issue will require engineers and technicians to access the aft flight deck of the orbiter, which requires installation of platforms (and subsequent removal of platforms when finished), not to mention they don't know the actual issue yet, they still need to troubleshoot.  So the rumor around here is it may actually be closer to a 5 day delay, rather than just 72 hours, but we'll have to wait and see.

I was at the press site for a while today and gave a number of interviews.  I haven't been able to track any of them down online yet, but I'll be sure to post when I do.  In the meantime, I did actually find an interview that aired in China from the previous mission in March!  Check it out here!  And keep checking in for more shuttle updates!

(photo from here)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Endeavour to Launch


Endeavour is set to launch tomorrow on her final mission.  Launch is scheduled for 3:47 ET, and you can get up to the minute news at SpaceFlightNow. Record crowds are expected at Kennedy Space Center and in the surrounding areas to see the second to last shuttle launch ever.  In addition, President Obama has arranged to view this launch as well, which I find slightly hypocritical (if you truly believe it is such a wondrous sight that you must view it in person, then why would you choose to cancel it???)

I will be spending tomorrow, once again representing Boeing at the Kennedy Space Center press site!  So be sure to keep an eye out for me on the news, an eye out for me in print, or an ear out for me on the radio :0)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Early Birthday Present to Myself

My birthday is coming up on Saturday, and since (assuming the shuttle launches on time) I will likely be spending my birthday on an airplane headed out to Houston for a weekend of work I decided to treat myself to an early present to me. So yesterday I slept in, went to another watercolor class, splurged on a pedicure and a UV gel manicure (I love them, they last forever and don't chip!), and then finished off my night with dinner and bowl of strawberry ice cream while watching an hour and half long Glee!  All in all I had a wonderful day!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Sorry I'm posting so late today.  I had a lovely weekend filled with shopping, friends, family, and food.  And then I got home and J and I went into cleaning mode again.  And then today I just couldn't wake up.  I was so sleepy!  I'm up and about and productive now, but the slim pickings in my refrigerator this morning didn't offer the amount of food I typically need to fuel myself properly, so I'm still feeling kind of lazy.  Kind of wishing I could just spend my day like this....

(picture from here)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter Weekend

 Although I don't observe Easter, J does and so we will be celebrating with his family this weekend.  To send a completely cute and original Easter card, check out this blog.  In addition to getting to decorate eggs, which sounds so fun to me, it's delightfully adorable and quirky.  Enjoy!

And have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Let the Sun Shine

I'm not sure if it's the upcoming arrival of summer or the influence of Kate Spade's color of the month for March (I'm leaning toward the latter as summer in Florida means excessive humidity, mosquitoes, and hurricanes - hardly the types of things that provoke "sunshine-y" feelings) but I've had an affinity for all things yellow lately.  The bright cheerful color has been on my radar when it comes to clothes, shoes, and a multitude of other random items.  Here are a few things that have caught my eye:
Cardigan | Camisole | Blouse | Dress
I absolutely LOVE the cardigan.  And I've been eyeing the camisole and blouse for a while too.  It's probably good thing J won't let me buy anything until after my birthday...
Wellies | Pumps | Sandals
I've been wanting a pair of wellies for quite some time now, but hadn't been able to splurge on the expensive Hunter pair I was contemplating.  This option is much more affordable and still looks very well made!
Purse | Butter Dish | Tea Towel
I had been lusting over this purse in orange originally, but then switched my affections to the yellow as I feel it would go with more in my wardrobe.  The owl butter dish is just fantastic, though it probably wouldn't actually be used to house butter, and the saying on the tea towel seems so much better than just plain lemonade!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

By chance while looking through my Fandango app last weekend I came across a listing for Atlas Shrugged.  They're making a movie out of one of my favorite books??? How did I not hear about this sooner!?!?  I quickly looked up the trailer and sure enough, it seems to be a modern take of the novel and fairly true, from what I can tell, to the plot.  In telling J about it, he confessed that though I have told him many times to read the book that he's never really had much of an inclination to do so.  I'm trying to catch him up on it as much as possible in hopes of reeling him into it and getting him to see the movie with me.  I'm so excited!

p.s. Note to film studio - what happened to promoting movies???

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Passover!

Passover is the holiday in which we celebrate the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt after the plagues passed them over.  Since the first night of the eight day holiday was mid-week I was unable to celebrate the Seder with my family in south Florida.  However, last night I celebrated Passover by making a modified version of my grandma's chicken soup with matzo balls and a batch of homemade macaroons.  It was so yummy, here are the recipes:
Chicken Soup
- 1 whole chicken (I get the kind that's already pre-cut into breasts, wings, etc)
- 2 32 oz cartons of chicken broth - I used this organic, low sodium, gluten free kind
- 6 cups of water
- 1 medium diced onion
- 4 parsnips medium diced
- 4 carrots medium diced
- 3 stalks of celery, medium dice
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 large handful of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 handful chopped fresh dill
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- onion powder
- garlic powder

Rinse the chicken and place in a large stock pot with 6 cups of chicken broth and 6 cups of water.  Start heating this on high while you dice and add the vegetables and herbs.  Add two large pinches of salt and approximately a teaspoon of onion and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Once you have started to simmer the soup, mix the ingredients for the matzo balls (I follow the directions on the box but substitute 3 egg whites for the 2 eggs and I add a large pinch of both salt and pepper to mine) and let sit on the counter.  When there is about 40 minutes left on the soup, start the water for the matzo balls.  When it comes to a rolling boil, roll the balls into about 1 inch rounds and drop in and let cook for about 30 minutes.

At this point, remove the chicken from the soup and remove the meat from the bones.  Chop into bite size pieces and return the meat to the soup (I usually only chop about 1/2 of the chicken and leave the rest out for other meals).  Check the seasoning of the soup now as well.  I usually add more salt, more onion and garlic powders, and about a tsp of pepper at this point.  Season to taste then add the matzo balls and serve!
I got the Coconut Macaroon recipe from Ina Garten on the food network.  They are ridiculously easy to make and super delicious.  You can find the recipe here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Super Productive Weekend

J decided that since we've been in reorganization mode that we should tackle our backyard.  Until this weekend we never spent time in the backyard other than to store the kayaks and take out recycling.  And even then we did it as quickly as possible because, to be frank, we were scared of walking around back there amongst the weeds and layers of dead leaves, not knowing what animals may be lurking underneath (our big fear is snakes, which we have seen in our neighborhood before).  So we went on a major overhaul this weekend, sweeping the patio of all of the accumulated grime, converting a rusty, dirty, unused grill stand into an outdoor food station, installing pavers next to the patio where the gutters deposit all of their water and create a huge dirt divot, creating a rock covered container garden area, and replacing the layers of leaves with fresh topsoil and grass seed.  Until the garden and grass start growing, it's not quite picture-worthy yet, but it is a HUGE improvement over what we previously had.  And we can't wait until we can start using home grown herbs in our cooking!
In addition, J is expecting friends at our place in two weeks for the launch, so we've started to tidy up the odds and ends left from our major indoor overhaul over the last couple of weekends.  I spent Saturday morning working on the kitchen and we now have surfaces that are actually usable in food preparations, and we've finally hung the closet hooks and hallway shelves that have been waiting around for us.  Overall a hugely productive weekend!  Next step: clean up the piles of laundry that have accumulated over the past few weeks while we've been working on everything else...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Decorating Idol

I didn't actually watch HGTV's Design Star reality show, but I am completely, 100% in love with the stylist who wound up winning.  Emily Henderson is my dream stylist - I idolize her.  I love each and every room she designs on her new HGTV show Secrets From a Stylist.  It is on on Saturdays on HGTV at 9:00 pm ET - I highly recommend you watch!  They play some reruns of her past rooms over the course of the week as well, so look those up too.  All are incredible, I swear.  She also has a blog where she shares her personal thoughts and sources for each design - also well worth a look.
This is a photo from Emily's own house.  She always finds the most incredible couches.
The creator of the TV show Glee is a close personal friend of Emily's and also her first show design make-over.  This was my favorite part of this design, a tiny, cozy nook of a bedroom.
Like I said above, she finds absolutely amazing couches.  How incredibly gorgeous is this one!?!?
I'm also a big fan of how she mixes patterns and styles.  This room was a huge mish mash of patterns, but it worked.  And she has industrial vintage mixed with mid century modern mixed with modern.  Fantastic.

(all photos from Emily's blog)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beach Bound

My mom worships the sun and turns a lovely golden tan within minutes. I however, was not blessed with these genes.  I am pale and turn a painful shade of pink when I spend too much time outdoors.  Last time I went to the beach my spray sunscreen was partially blown away by the wind and I wound up with red zebra stripes on my legs that unfortunately have not completely gone away yet.  Despite my lack of love for the skin effects brought on by our closest star, I have been swept up by the warm weather and am currently craving a new swim suit.    I typically prefer one piece suits (they have a retro, sophisticated feel that I like), but this season some incredible tribal inspired bikinis have also caught my attention.  My solution to this sunburn vs seasonal clothing dilemma will be a floppy straw hat, sunglasses, and an umbrella.  Here's what's on my radar:
purple halter - gray cross back - mint halter - red halter - blue one shoulder
I actually already have the gray one and I love the way it sucks me in.  I have worn it so much it's time for a replacement.  And I just cannot resist the seahorse pattern on the blue option. 

Here are the absolutely gorgeous bikinis that I'm seriously tempted by, even though they'd look ridiculous with my pasty white torso (since I always wear one-pieces).  Both are by Mara Hoffman.
blue jungle print - black ethnic embroidery
And finally, something to protect me from the sun's scorching rays:
hat - sunglasses - dress

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fish Fry

It has always seemed like far too much work to actually fry my own foods and therefore I never have - until last night.  J and I saw a show hosted by Tyler Florence about fish and chips, which used rice flour.  Since it looked absolutely delicious on the show and rice flour is definitely allowed (and happened to be on hand) per my elimination diet we decided to give it a try.  We didn't do the chips part, just the fish, and we served it with a side of celery root and sunchoke garlic mash and a salad.
YUM!!!  The fish was crispy and flaky and just absolutely delicious.  Try the recipe here (on the show he used rice flour for the whole recipe, not all purpose, which is what we did too)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shuttle Announcement

So after 30 years of Space Shuttle flights, the final orbiters are getting ready to make their last missions into space.  30 incredible years of firsts, technological advances, breakthrough discoveries, and awe inspiring accomplishments.  Today's announcement was supposed to bring us a sense of pride, but it was definitely sadness that was the prevailing emotion.  I'm glad I was there to witness it, especially the momentary overwhelming sense of joy that lifted the crowd of KSC workers to their feet when it was announced that Atlantis would remain in Florida. 

As has been predicted, Discovery is going to the Smithsonian in DC, and the LA area, near the hangers in which the orbiters were built, will get Endeavour.  Smithsonian's current ownership of the Enterprise test orbiter will go to New York.  This is last one is the only one I really question, though I understand from a tourism standpoint it will get more attention.

And to finish my post off, here is the quote of the day from a conversation I had with my friend and coworker Erin after the announcement.

me: What is all of this shmutz floating around?
Erin: It's ash.
me: What's burning?
Erin: Our hopes and dreams....

Shuttle Worker Tribute

This is a video that was made by one of my NASA coworkers as a tribute to the workforce at Kennedy Space Center.  Some of my USA coworkers also participate in the background vocals and one of them creates the awesome dot artwork.  These pictures are all of people I work with and see on a daily basis in the areas of Kennedy Space Center that I regularly work in, and a handful of them are good friends as well.  You can briefly see me in a sea of orange shirts around 10:40 into the video as well.   Sadly a large number of the people depicted in this video have already been laid off...
Also, the NASA administrator is going to be announcing where the retired shuttles will be displayed at after the program ends around 1:00 today.  Stay posted!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What a Weekend!

There was so much to do this weekend and I was so busy that last friday seems like weeks ago rather than days.  The yard sale went okay - not what I was expecting.  Yard sales where I live now don't work quite the same way they do up in the Chicago suburbs and we wound up taking a lot of the bigger furniture pieces to Goodwill.  Either way, we cleared them out of the house, so we're happy.

I also got to use one of my holiday gifts from J this weekend.  He bought me a day long watercolor class - and it was SO wonderful!  I don't really have a lot of room in the house to put toward my artistic hobbies and so when I get an opportunity like I did yesterday to spend an entire day learning how to use a new artistic medium it is just heaven to me!  Check out the final result:

Composition is a bit off, but I was thrilled with the way the sunflower turned out.  Thanks again baby!

Friday, April 8, 2011


I've reached over 1000 views on my blog as of today!  Thanks for reading everyone!!!

(photo from here)


Sorry I've been MIA, but it's been a CRAZY week!  I wasn't feeling well Wednesday, I have a big report due at work, J and I have been getting everything prepped for our YARD SALE! this weekend - and NOW there's this whole potential (getting more and more likely) government shutdown thing that has thrown Kennedy Space Center into situation in which they are looking to shut down the whole center.  And yes, this will affect my job.  Yikes!  So that's why I flaked on the blog for 2 days.  I'm back now and will be blogging next week from locations currently unknown...

(photo from here)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quarterly Tune-Up

While my car is about 2,000 miles overdue for an oil change, I'm much more fastidious about getting my body's tune ups on a regular basis.  And by this I mean my quarterly acupuncture treatment for my headaches.  If I avoid egg yolks I can also avoid migraines, but this doesn't prevent the frequent stress headaches I also get (in typical Jewish fashion I blame my parents.  Both are headache and migraine sufferers and it is genetic).
I've been getting frequent headaches since college and over time I became practically immune to ibuprofen and tylenol - not good.  In my hunt for another source of pain relief I came across acupuncture and I haven't looked back since.  It's amazing.  When I first started out it would only last for about a week.  Gradually I spaced my treatments out to two weeks, then monthly, and now I'm up to about every three months!  In addition to the four needles that are inserted (one on top of my head, one between my eyes and one between my thrumb and forefinger), I get an hour of uninterrupted meditation where I concentrate on deep breathing and relaxing my body.  I walk out and feel headache free and rejuvenated.  I'm a total baby when it comes to pain, so I can guarantee it doesn't hurt (sometimes a slight pinching sensation).  Let me know if you're thinking of trying it or have any questions.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Too Much Stuff

J and I went on a crazy cleaning/reorganizing spree this weekend and I can't believe how much stuff we threw out and are getting rid of.  We actually have enough furniture/house extras that we feel we can properly sustain our very own yard sale, which means we have a lot of stuff.  However, J's clothes have finally been integrated into the master bedroom closet and dressers (he was using the floor and the laundry room before), all furniture surfaces in the bedroom are actually visible, J's man cave is amazingly immaculate (we can actually open the door!), and our downstairs hall closet is no longer threatening to explode on us every time we open it!  Once we have the garage sale on Saturday (most of the stuff is nice and in good condition, we just don't have room for it anymore), and we have a full width upstairs hallway again I think I'll finally feel like our house is at a sustainable cleaning level.  So excited!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mid Century Metalwork

West Elm drew me to their sale page today with an extra 15% off sale merchandise coupon.  They've always had very cool modern designs, but I actually found some excellent mid century modern inspired furniture and artwork on their site as well.  Specifically the metalwork sculptures by John-Paul PhilippĂ© and the office furniture designed in collaboration with the Pratt Institute.  All but one of the following are on sale for very tempting prices, plus an extra 15% off.  I'm currently warring with myself as to whether or not to make the purchase or follow J's strict order to stop buying myself stuff until after my birthday...
This is the really cool metalwork art by John-Paul PhilippĂ©.  The wall hanging is shown styled on the site mounted to a painted wood slab and I love the effect.  I'm torn on the free-standing sculpture because I'm enamored with it, but I already have so much stuff cluttering the surfaces of my house.  And the mobile isn't on sale but is probably my favorite.  I absolutely adore the idea of a mobile because it's so non-standard in homes today and the mid century modern design seals the deal.
And here's the Pratt collaboration on office furniture.  I really don't need the desk, so I'm not personally considering it, but I do love it's lines.  And the file cabinet is just fabulous and I'm seriously thinking about getting it to replace the nightstand I have in my guest room.  I really like that it could work dual purposes.