first5times's Profile

Display Name: first5times
Member Since: 2/28/08

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A screwdriver would have been nice to have this past weekend when I went camping. The tent stakes got stuck in the hard earth, and I think my S.O. used a knife to get them out.

I would add that if you go camping more than once a year, have your things organized by purpose. And the big blue Ikea bags are so nice to use! I put the tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and pillows in one; grilling/eating things in another. Pull the already-packed bag out of the closet and right into the trunk, then right out at the campsite. So convenient!

And I can't echo the reserve ahead of time suggestion. This has saved so many headaches for me as a lot of the campsites have been at capacity every weekend here in Wisconsin. I even reserved a campsite at Yellowstone over 4th of July last year, which saved having to roam the park in search of a place to lay our very tired heads!

One more thing I have to add--you don't need to have a huge car or SUV to enjoy camping. I packed a tiny Toyota Yaris full of all the things needed (including all food and drinks in a big cooler) for the stay in Yellowstone, with room to spare!


The Beginner's Guide to Car Camping Tips from The Kitchn
7/24/14 11:18 AM

Leaving the root on! This is what I've been missing. I seem to be able to do the horizontal and vertical cuts just fine (and makes for a nice, fine dice if I do two horizontal cuts), but I always found the pieces to completely fall apart about halfway through cutting. The root end would keep those suckers in place. Thanks!


Video: How To Dice an Onion Video Tips from The Kitchn
4/8/14 08:55 AM

I would suggest making a big frittata with tons of vegetables (seriously, pack those suckers in there...they cook down a lot, so you can use way more than you think), slicing it into wedges and enjoying all week for breakfast. It's so good, and you can keep it very healthy if you don't add cream, tons of cheese or oil. Fruit...I just like whole fruit on the side. A fruit salad is ideal.


Cure My Cooking Problem! Help Me Eat More Fruits & Vegetables with Breakfast The Cooking Cure Spring 2014
3/27/14 02:47 PM

This is exactly how I feel! I buy the bran shredded wheat as well, though I do toss in some cinnamon sometimes to spice it up. I find it hard to control myself when I have Honey Nut Cheerios or anything yummy and sugary. I'm also guilty of topping off my cereal if I have excess milk (which is always).


What's Your Favorite Breakfast Cereal? (And I Don't Mean Oatmeal.)
3/6/14 12:11 PM

I was popping my own kernels in a paper bag in the microwave, and while it had no oil it was barely edible. This post prompted me to pop kernels on the stove with good old vegetable oil. Life (or at least mouth) changing, and absolutely worth the extra calories and fat.


Can You Make Stovetop Popcorn With Water Instead of Oil? Putting Tips to the Test in The Kitchn
2/14/14 09:00 AM

Veggie shepherd's pie with lentils and a sweet potato top for dinner and a sweet potato hash with poached eggs for brunch. (someone bought too many sweet potatoes this week...)


What's Cooking This Weekend? Weekend of September 14-15, 2013
9/13/13 04:31 PM

I have two glass containers (one medium, one larger). All leftovers get put into Glad or Rubbermaid "disposables" (that have lasted for a very long time), and into the fridge or the freezer. When they get taken to work, leftovers get slipped into a glass container to be reheated in the microwave.

This saves a ton of money in having to have dozens of glass containers (I have a LOT of left-overs!) and if I have to reheat in a plastic container now and again, I figure it's not the worst thing in the world. They say they're BPA-free, so I'm not too concerned.


Making the Switch From Plastic? The Best Glass Food-Storage Containers to Buy The Sweet Home
9/5/13 09:03 AM

Definitely keep it simple. I've made the following for larger get-togethers that worked well:

* caprese salad kabobs (can be made the night before and chilled - drizzle with balsamic & oil just before setting out)
* spiced nuts (my favorite are these: https://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/view?recipeID=177) - set next to a nice cheese board with sliced pears, grapes, crackers, etc.
* crockpot mini meat of some sort--mini meatballs, chicken wings, mini Italian beef sandwich filling...something for your friends who like more substantial food, but that can sit on warm without having the oven running
* tiger shrimp on ice -- I don't cook seafood, so I let my boyfriend handle this one. Surprisingly easy, and when kept in a bowl that's kept on ice, it was no hassle. Serve with cocktail sauce, of course.
* Chips and homemade (or good quality purchased) salsa
* pretzels and an assortment of mustards
*crudites--I will never be bored with crudites as long as there are good dips paired with them
* mini desserts - if you're not a baker, Whole Foods (and many other places) have delicious "two bite" desserts. Get an assortment, place on a fun platter and no one will care that they're not homemade!

As far as refreshments go--have an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic, but no need to have a fully-stocked bar. And get what YOU like because there's bound to be leftovers.

Most of all--have fun with it. People will have more fun and feel more relaxed if you are.


I'm Throwing My First Housewarming Party! Any Advice? Good Questions
8/29/13 10:10 AM

Yeah, my heart jumped in my throat when I saw $75 for that dining set.


Crate & Barrel Hennessy Sofa - $850
Chicago Scavenger

12/16/10 02:47 PM

Smashing Pumpkins / Billy Corgan


High School High Design: Whose Face Was On Your Walls? | Apartment Therapy Chicago
6/7/10 12:37 PM

I was dumbfounded by the shoe wall until I saw it was part of a vintage shoe sale. Still, cute idea.


Well Organized Collections Inspiration Roundup | Apartment Therapy San Francisco
5/6/10 09:30 AM

Sounds like Bucktown is where you need to go.

I've only lived in Lakeview (East and West), and I would never leave. I absolutely love my neighborhood.


Goodbye Silver Lake — Similar Neighborhood in Chicago? Good Questions | Apartment Therapy Chicago
4/30/10 03:21 PM

Huge? Let's not get carried away. The average home in the United States is about 2,500 square feet. While they aren't that small, they're definitely not huge.


Great Small Spaces: 900 to 1200 Square Feet Inspiration from Small Cool 2009 | Apartment Therapy DC
4/8/10 11:25 AM

I have the Marimekko Kaiku shower curtain and even with the rod nearly at the ceiling, the bottom touches the floor. I think they're all 79" long.


Extra Long Shower Curtains | Apartment Therapy Los Angeles
3/24/10 01:52 PM

I like the idea of hanging a group of paper lamps from open ducts. I have a similar duct that bisects a huge living room that has no overhead lighting. I think the only problem would be how I would get them up there...


Sonia & Mike's "Quaint & Cozy" LoftHouse Call | Apartment Therapy Chicago
3/22/10 11:29 AM

Holy buckets, I had no idea baking soda came in 12-lb bags! Where have I been??


How To Make Scented Laundry Booster Home Hacks | Apartment Therapy Chicago
2/22/10 04:14 PM

Are you kidding me? $48 for EACH? You could buy three small garbage bins and set them side-by-side. Or small laundry baskets. Or some sturdy reusable grocery bags that could be washed out.

A problem with this system is that you would have to constantly have tons of paper bags on hand, which means you aren't using reusable bags, and probably don't care too much about recycling anyway.


Recycling Made Easy Good Finds | Apartment Therapy San Francisco
2/9/10 03:22 PM

Stars! <3


Stacie's DIY Bedroom Art | Apartment Therapy Boston
2/9/10 12:34 PM

I really love Little Green Notebook. http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/


10 Crafty Blogs We Love | Apartment Therapy Chicago
2/1/10 03:12 PM

I do the same with my week of work clothes. I come home, take them off, and lay them right on top of my dresser which is right next to the closet. Somehow the extra work of trying to decide if something needs to be washed, then either throwing it in the hamper or hanging it up seems impossible after a long day.

I also let magazines pile up until I go on a reading binge. Same with mail on the hall table.

There's also a layer of pet hair on just about everything all the time. I'll vacuum it all up about once a month, or when my allergic friends come to visit. Otherwise, my husband and I live in fuzz. It's pretty gross, but I have no desire to vacuum every week.


When No One's Looking: Fess Up Your Odd Home Habits | Apartment Therapy Los Angeles
1/14/10 03:44 PM