Move over, Ming Tsai

Seven Tired Takes

1. Of course, on his second day back in the office, Phillip has his late night server update whatever-it-is. Thank goodness this was the best day Jack's had since we came home, because Molly is (I think) teething and refuses to be put down or left to her own devices for any period of time. She wants me to carry her or walk her around all day long, which means I have acquired killer biceps and a strained back.

2. I just got an email from the library saying Envy, the third Luxe novel, is waiting for me. FINALLY. I am out of books, which is very boring. Of course, TV is picking up again. Everyone is twittering about the Office right now, but I can't watch because Phillip isn't home. There are few shows he really wants to see and The Office is one of them. Glee? Project Runway? Not so much.

3. Okay, this is really bugging me. We saw Julie & Julia this weekend (LOVED THIS MOVIE) (HATED THE BOOK) (even Phillip liked it! It's husband friendly!) and Julie/Amy Adams wore her wedding ring on top of her engagement ring. I know that's a dorky thing to notice, but there are all these typing scenes and it's just THERE. You NOTICE. And it BUGS because I wear my engagement ring over my wedding ring, as does pretty much everyone else I know. I should note that my mother does not have an engagement ring and I never paid any attention whatsoever to engagement rings until AFTER I was engaged, so it's entirely possible that I live in a bubble and I have no idea about anything. Also, it makes more SENSE to wear your wedding ring on top. ALSO also, I fully understand that the proper way to wear your wedding/engagement rings is: ANY WAY YOU WANT. But still, I must know: is the majority at least on my side? Seriously, it's been a week now and I'm STILL BUGGED.

4. I tried to get a lot of cleaning done today because we're having a party on Saturday and I'll be gone all day tomorrow. I know I'll have time to clean on Saturday, but I wanted to get the annoying stuff out of the way, like dusting. I also cleaned the kitchen, picked up/organized toys and Swiffered about half the floor. I know those are all things I'll have to do again on Saturday (and, to be honest, I already did them again TODAY) but I thought I'd get a head start. But I just walked into the kitchen after putting the kids down and I can't tell that I cleaned the kitchen floor AT ALL. Honest. There are spots (from the soap spray?) and lines from where I pull the Swiffer back (which was my beef with the Swiffer to begin with) and, well, I know if I got down on my hands and knees with a wet paper towel, I'd wipe off a bunch of grime all over again. So now I need to stop swiffering and go back to my sponge/bucket method, which was better except for the fact that I NEVER DID IT. I hate this, Internet. It gets me so incredibly horribly down. At least with dusting you have a few days before it starts to look awful again. But the floors - I CANNOT KEEP UP. It doesn't even look nice ten minutes after I finish! I've been doing so well keeping my counters clear and clean, but the floors, the toys, the general crazy clutter in my living room, all of that isn't going so well. I started thinking about my housekeeper idea again, but that feels 1) self-indulgent and 2) CRAZY as HELLO we are now paying TUITION BILLS. But on the days when the floors make me cry... I don't know. I want to be self-indulgent and crazy.

5. Thanks for all the sushi links. Phillip made a practice California roll the other night and if I were into eating fake crab I'd say it looked yummy. Phillip seemed to think it was all right. Have you been to one of those conveyor belt sushi places? I like everything that does not contain fish. Even cooked fish. I don't know. My four-year-old palate is no SURPRISE to you people. But I love pretty much everything else on the conveyor belt. Anything with tofu or eggs or just veggies or (my favorite favorite favorite) TEMPURA VEGGIES. So I have a little box of tempura batter on my counter and we shall see how that turns out. I'll also be making chicken katsu, which I've never made myself, but used to watch my Hawaiian roommate make on a near-daily basis. (Along with spam musabi, which, again, I am not going to eat, but will not judge if YOU do.)

6. And thanks for the wedding links. One of you in particular, I owe a big email all about how my mother cannot stop talking about how you decorated and all of your ideas and maybe WE should do what that BLOG reader did because her wedding was BEAUTIFUL! I think you know who you are! Anyway, I think we have been planning this wedding for all of two weeks? And most of it is done. I KNOW. I mean, there's still a lot of WORK, but all the big decisions? Pretty much scheduled, reserved, DONE. My sister will now give a short polite nod while everyone slow claps in amazement.

7. I should make Phillip a birthday cake, but he doesn't want a chocolate cake and I don't have a good not-chocolate-cake recipe and I cannot bear the thought of beating twelve egg whites into an angel food cake, which doesn't even TASTE like cake and is the WORST vehicle for frosting so what is even the POINT of angel food cake... I digress. I have a bunch of nectarines in the fridge and this appears to be a very easy fruit cobbler recipe. I don't mind experimenting on our guests, and Phillip is one of those annoying people who prefer fruit and vanilla and light and airy over my typical death-by-chocolate preferences. So I think it will work. I'll let you know.

More quick takes here.


Jen @ The Short Years

Several responses to your several takes:

1. I have heard that you are supposed to wear your wedding ring below your engagement ring because (get ready for the cheesiness here) that way it is closest to your heart. And therefore that's the way I do it.

2. My floors are also the bane of my existence. My kids are 5, 3 and 1. My kitchen floor is WHITE tile. It's horrid. I have to mop all the time. My husband recently told me maybe we ought to get new flooring in the kitchen just so I would stop complaining about the floors every day. (Also, the Shark Steam Vac is fast and works moderately well--not as good as mop and bucket, but better than Swiffer, in my experience).

3. My husband also prefers desserts that are not really that sweet, and mostly fruit based. He doesn't even like cake, or super-chocolatey things. I don't know what's wrong with him. I make him pie for every birthday and we stick candles in the top and he's happy.


3. I LOVED Julie and Julia. All the blogging scenes were just spot on.
I think I'm going to wear my engagement ring on the inside now. I'd rather lose the cheaper of the two rings if any, and it didn't occur to me I could just wear it backwards because I am all about following the rules. Thank you for pointing this out. I don't find it annoying. I find when people have rings on like all8 fingers annoying though.

Morgan S.

Maggie, I so love your blog. :) I have the first Luxe book on order at my library.

So, re: wedding rings/engagement ring order:

I have only one wedding/engagement ring BUT I got another ring when Hadley was born and had her name engraved on it and I wear that one under my sparkly diamond wedding/engagement ring. And the only reason I do that is because the wedding ring is tighter and keeps the Hadley ring on. So maybe that factors into people's ring order decisions.

Salome Ellen

That's my go-to cobbler recipe, except that we like it thinner so I only use 1/2 cup of all the things that it specifies 3/4 cup. But yummy, yummy, and dead easy.


I have some Jewish friends and they wear their wedding rings like that so maybe? I dunno.

Anyway, I love reading your blog....you are so honest and just you....its great!


My MIL has an angel food cake recipe that works great and doesn't use frosting. It uses cool whip and pie filling (usually lemon) and then you decorate with fruit. Sounds horrid but it is really yummy and folks always come back for seconds. And the cool whip spreads like a dream on angel food cake.
Take one angel food cake and cut it in half horizontally. Mix one can (jar?) of lemon pie filling (or other filling of your choice - but the smooth type is best) with one tub of cool whip in a bowl. Use a spatula to spread a layer of the cool whip mixture on the bottom layer of the cake, then put the other layer back on top, smother the entire cake with the rest of the cool whip mixture, and then decorate with fruit of your choice. Smooth out the cool whip with the spatula - you can get a bit creative. We usually use raspberries and blueberries. Yummy AND easy. Total bonus. (Even I could make this dessert - provided I used a store-bought cake - and I hate doing anything that even hints at cooking). If the thought of pie filling makes you gag, you can search the internet for cool whip frosting recipes. I think I've seen strawberry and other ones.


I'm with you on the engagement/wedding ring thing. Wedding ring on the bottom, engagement ring on the top. I fully believe this is the 'right' way to do it.


Traditionally (well, as far back as the tradition of a separate engagement ring goes, which isn't actually all that far in the grand scheme of things), you're right about the ring order. The reasoning is that the wedding ring goes closest to your heart and the engagement ring "guards" it.

Also, for Catholics, your wedding ring is a sacramental, but your engagement ring typically isn't, so the wedding ring needs protecting more.


I wear my engagement ring on the top just because I think it looks better that way. =)


I agree with Jen above - you wear your wedding band close to your heart. :)

As for birthday cake, I love this one: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/07/best-birthday-cake/ But we didn't like the icing. Since he doesn't like chocolate I'm sure FPC could suggest something to go on top - or go to Betty Crocker!


I didn't even know about the engagement ring on top until the day of my wedding. I was told that it'll make the wedding ring closer to your heart and I like it like that. :)


I wear my engagement ring on top too. I think it makes sense with the order of events of the wedding. I put my engagement ring on my right hand during the ceremony so my left ring finger would be bare during the exchanging of the rings. Then afterward I put my engagement ring back on my left hand. Therefore it ended up on top of the wedding ring. That's how I've seen it on pretty much everyone else too.


It ALSO annoys me when people have their engagement ring under their wedding ring. I was always told (by my superstitious odd antebellum Southerner relatives) that your wedding ring is supposed to be the one closest to your heart. Because the whole reason people wear wedding rings on that finger? Is because the Egyptians used to do that and that finger apparently has a vein that goes directly to the heart. Which means that the Egyptians had totally dissected human beings what with all the mummification (ew) and don't hurt your left ring finger because you will DIE!
Also I cannot keep my house clean to save my life. Right now I live with two grown men and my daughter and I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CLEANS (stabs self in eye with fork).


My rings aren't a set, and I have always wanted to wear the (sapphire) band on my left, with the solitaire engagement ring on my right. I think they look better by themselves. But I tried that a few years ago and got annoyed at all the annoying comments. I had a professor that wore her rings like that and I thought it looked nice. Maybe I'll have to try it again and say BAH to the people with opinions. Wear them how you want!


In case Phillip likes carrot cake, I have an *awesome* recipe that I'm happy to share. :)


Birthday cake for P: Have you thought about spice cake w/ cream cheese frosting? Or carrot cake w/ same? I can do without regular choc cake (something fancy from a bakery, yes, but I'm a make a cake from a box kind of girl and the chocolate ones are awful)

Engagement ring/wedding band: Ettiquette (sp? I can't that right) and tradition say you "wear your wedding band closest to your heart" so the engagement ring over the wedding band is correct. Of course, you can do what you want, but that is the traditional thing to do. (Also, LOVED the Julie/Julia movie. Saw it w/ girlfriends and we all loved it)

Housecleaner: Can you possibly afford a once-a-month heavy duty house cleaner? You'd still have to do the recurring keep up, but once a month you can have some one come in and do the really heavy stuff - the floor cleaning, dusting the stuff you can't reach/no one sees, etc. Gotta be cheaper than a regular maid, right?

I keep meaning to send you pictures of my wedding reception, but I can't get my computer to cooperate. You can see some of them on my Facebook account photo albums...


I put my engagement ring on first (I am confused by this top/bottom thing since it makes a difference which way you are looking at hands) because I got it first. And I was wearing it at my wedding. But my mother does it the opposite way and I am told that I am wrong because of that stupid closer to the heart thing.

I use the Swiffer Wet Jet, but I took it apart and voided my warranty. I use reusable pads for it that I bought on Etsy and I refilled the bottle with plain water. I don't know if our floors are different, but with those things, I don't have any of those problems you mentioned. But when I do use the Swiffer liquid, my floors feel sticky.

Sarah in Ottawa

I am another 'closer to your heart, therefore wedding ring on the bottom' fan.

And I ADORED Julie and Julia; I took my Mom and Nonna with me and they loved it too. My Nonna actually thought that Meryl was Julia! I have the book out from the library, though, so I will keep in mind the fact that it may not be as fun. I need to request the Luxe books from the library, too.

As for desserts - I am unconventional and did not bake a cake for Dave's birthday last weekend. I made a double batch of bread pudding with whiskey sauce. YUM!

Happy belated birthday, Phillip. Enjoy the sushi party; we do veggie sushi parties and they are always a hit!

Kate P

I have the first two books of the Luxe series on order for my school's library! They need fiction badly.

That's so funny about noticing the wedding ring--it was bothering me through the movie, but not for that reason. . . I thought that in the book (which I'd read the previous summer) they weren't married, so I was confused! I think a good reason to wear the engagement ring on the "outside" is so you can take it off easily if need be--like my mom does when she washes dishes.

Also according to my mom: angel food cake tastes just as good from a mix and is an excellent vehicle for homemade WHIPPED CREAM. (Sometimes said homemade whipped cream is chocolate, though.)

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