Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top JULY Posts at Honey We're Home

Hi guys!   Here's a look back at some July highlights at Honey We're Home in case you missed them.  Click the picture to read the post. 

Summer Mantle

Getting in FRONT of the Camera

Our 4th of July Party

New Bench (Under $300)

Dinner Planning & Organization

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Dinner: A Love Story (Dinner Planning & Organization)

I need all the help I can get with my goal of making healthy family dinners at home.  About two weeks ago, I found a HUGE help in the form of a new book (and new-to-me blog), Dinner, A Love Story.

I hadn't heard of either until I was browsing one of my favorite sections of the bookstore, the Cooking section.  The cover of the book got my attention, but what kept me reading further was the description on the back about the author and her husband:

Jenny Rosenstrach, and her husband, Andy, regularly, some might say pathologically, cook dinner for their family every night. Even when they work long days. Even when their kids' schedules pull them in eighteen different directions. 

They are not superhuman. They are not from another planet. With simple strategies and common sense, Jenny figured out how to break down dinner—the food, the timing, the anxiety, from prep to cleanup—so that her family could enjoy good food, time to unwind, and simply be together.

I devoured this book in two days.  

And this other tidbit about Jenny fascinated me: she's been keeping a "Dinner Diary" since 1998.  Wow. 

via Dinner A Love Story

How did her book help me the most?

She nailed the biggest problem that often prevents a home-cooked meal from being prepared at our house- the dilemma of "what to make."  I don't know why that's such a challenge for me, considering I have no less than 50 cookbooks on hand, the internet at my disposal, and a host of pinned dinner images.  Since I enjoy the actual cooking process, the before-the-cooking part is the hardest for me.

But, Jenny says, "MAKE A DECISION."  In her house it seems to be a little easier because, now, her husband and kids often request a certain meal.  Here, it's always been pretty much up to me.  So, I am making a decision about what we are going to eat for dinner on the weekend, writing it down and putting it on the fridge, doing the shopping, and then making those meals on their specified days.  The end.  Well, sometimes, what I planned for Wednesday, we'll eat on Tuesday, but you get the idea.

To help me make the decision about what to eat, I created a computer document with a list of dishes that we like so that I can easily review it when I'm in a rut- and I can easily add to it.  If the meal was from a cookbook, I added the cookbook initials and page number for easy reference.  It's still a work in progress with my 2 year-old because he is such a picky eater.  I just keep trying. I still need to start making him smoothies- we haven't yet invested in the Vitamix blender.






*Thai salad

*Whole roasted





*Hot chicken salad

*Oven baked

*Chicken w veg soup

*Mozz/goat cheese, basil


*Roasted carrots, onions, tomatoes







*Green beans




*Apples w peanut butter









Ground Beef/Steak/Ribs






*Stuffed mushrooms

*Thai steak tacos

*Beef bourguignon

*Steak au poive

*Steak sandwich 




*Roasted new

*Potato skins







*Linguine w pesto, tomato


*Fried Rice

*Fish tacos

*Grilled fish 

*Crab cakes

*Crab legs

*Shrimp/pineapple skewer

*Seared tuna 








Garlic bread


String cheese

Cheese cubes

Cheese w crackers

Graham crackers

Chips w hummus

Animal crackers

Fig newtons


*Thai chicken

*Chicken Ceasar

*Greek spiral pasta



*Cucumber, feta, tomato

*Fruit, nut, goat cheese

*Cobb Salad w/ honey mustard (F&E p.140)

*Vietnamese Herb&Noodle (F&E p.88)


*Baked ziti

*Ricotta stuffed shells


*Lasagna with summer veg&ricotta (F&E p.186)


*Pasta w/Tomato pesto (F&E p.106)




*Egg salad


*Grilled cheese

*Chicken salad

*Ham and cheese


*Chiabatta pizza (F&E p.100)



*French toast

*Eggs w bacon


*Egg McMuffin

*Hard boiled egg

*Breakfast tacos 

*Raisin bread

*Muffins (bb, banana, bran, coffee cake)


*Blueberry&cream cheese muffins (F&E p.36)

So, now you'll find me on the weekend, sitting down to determine, IN ADVANCE, what we will be eating for at least 4 days of the week.  Some days there will be leftovers and, of course, we'll eat out or order in sometimes too.

The OrganizHer grocery list with a weekly menu planner on the side is something that I now cannot live without.  I've always liked these pre-printed grocery lists, but the one below is super cool because I can write out our meals for the week, then check the items I need for each dish.  Then, I can cut off the weekly meal plan and stick it on the fridge so I don't forget what I had planned for each day. 

The nice folks at OrganizHer sent me a few other organizing products to try and the dry erase magnetic weekly planner is also a favorite of mine. 

I'd love to hear what works for you and your family regarding your dinnertime planning and routine. 

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Thank you to everyone who entered the Kirkland's $100 Giveaway.  

The winner is Kristal!  Congratulations!  Please email me at: honeywerehomeblog@gmail.com 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bowles-Simpson: What am I missing?

The Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan is causing consternation among people with whom I usually agree.  But it has a couple of important features that I like--it cuts tax expenditures that tend to be both distortionary and regressive (such as the mortgage interest deduction) and it taxes investment income at the same rate as ordinary income.  This second feature essentially ensures implementation of the Buffet rule.

As it happens, the Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution evaluated the distributional impact of Bowles-Simpson relative to current policy.   Here is what they found:

Look at the column entitled "Percent Change in After-Tax Income."  Everyone takes a hit, but the hit in the lowest quintile is near zero--for the top one percent, the hit is almost three times higher than average; for the top 0.1 percent, it is four times higher than average.   This looks awfully progressive to me...


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sponsor Shout Out

Just popping in on this Saturday to give a shout out to Honey We're Home Sponsors:

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If you are interested in advertising on Honey We're Home, 

email me at: 


Google Analytics Report (Last 30 Days)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Can a name depress rents?

I needed to go to the Brazilian Consulate to apply for a visa yesterday--it is located at 8484 Wilshire Blvd.  The building at that address is called The Flynt Building, as in Larry Flynt.  I can't help but wonder if the name discourages tenants from locating there, and whether that in turn means it commands lower rents than it otherwise might.

It would be hard to know--if one ran a hedonic regression, there would not be sufficient degrees of freedom to determine whether the name mattered or not.


So far as I can tell, Casey Mulligan and I have but two things in common: an economics degree, and eyeglasses (he is wearing a pair in the picture on the UofC web site).

I don't know about Professor Mulligan, but I am completely dependent on my glasses.  The first thing I do before I get out of bed is put them on, and the last thing I do before turing off the light is take them off.  I cannot do the basic functions of modern existence without them.  I suppose this reflects badly on my character.

Frank Popper on Academia

He comments on my friend Lisa Schweitzer's blog:

As an alternative to this kabuki, let me describe specific kinds of experiences I see a lot, but that rarely show up in journalists’, academics’ or adminsitrators accounts:
1. Right- or more usually leftwing bigotry to the point where it becomes part of the intellectual air one breathes. A few years ago I took part in a search that produced a candidate who was mildly libertarian. S/he was treated as a Martian. The questions at the presentation were patronizing, extended to actual laughter. The initial daylong interview schedule ended at midday, sending the candidate home early. 
2. The vacuous meetings, where nothing of substance gets discussed and everyone–EVERYONE–would rather be somewhere else. Precisely because the meetings are so comprehensively boring, no one ever admits it at them, though there is plenty of backchat afterward. Somewhere there must be a Balzac of American boredom, perhaps whiling away time in the Ohio Public Roads Department or a backwater of the Gates Foundation or maybe even a university, who could convey all this. We need this person to emerge soon. 
3. The public corridor conversations about students in general, which are public, deeply insulting, and clinical. They seem to get worse when students are in earshot. 
4. The lack of knowledge about popular culture, which of course is most of it and the part likeliest to last. (Shakespeare in his time was popular culture, as was the Bible.) I have run across professors ignorant of Barbra Streisand, Clint Eastwood, American Idol, Saturday Night Live, etc., far into the night and keeping on ’til morning. They invariably have firm opinions about where America or the world is going or should do. It is hard to argue with them because, well, they don’t have much of a fact base and don’t care about it anyway. The comparison with Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck seems inevitable. 
5. It’s startling how much overt anti-intellectualism exists at the middle and top ranks of American universities. I know deans who couldn’t tell you two coherent sentences about what most of their professors do or why they do it. But they can give you precise figures about the grants (some of) them bring in. They actually remark on how dull the professors’ work is, not that they’ve lifted a finger to try to find out about it. Most professors themselves are remarkably ignorant about what their colleagues do and feel no guilt about it. 
6. The mistreatment and bullying of graduate students: an endless topic. One of the (many) low points of my graduate experience was submitting the first draft of my thesis to a committee member, who sneered at me that it read like “a long piece in the New Yorker,” as if that was bad. This fellow told me that I should “look to my education,” his phrase, then refused to be part of my committee. He was for some time quite well-known, and one of the joys of my adult academic experience has been watching the utter eclipse of his reputation. Another faculty member then took me on as a project, told me that part of my problem was that I “wrote better than 95% of our graduate students,” thus arousing controversy others avoided. He gave me tips on how to make my writing better while academically grounding it so as to anticipate people like his grump colleague. My savior died recently, got remarkable obituaries and had a spectacular memorial service, which I went out of my way to attend. 
7. There’s a softness in intellectual culture as universities purvey it. That is, one can get away with studying topics or subjects (in our field e.g., zoning, Chicago, Robert Moses) without having any actual ideas about them. All you have to do is write about them, and after a while you doesn’t even have to do that. One of the results is large numbers of high-status mediocrities who’ve never really done or contributed much and who, like the I-want-out committee member described, typically find their reputations slipping by late middle age and mercifully don’t get to see them disappear posthumously. Other results: dull papers in dull journals, both with microscopic readerships; ditto for dull books published by dull university presses; vacuous presentations at conferences; a general sense that almost anything is good enough for academic work if only it is sufficiently pedantic or obscure; and ceremonial for-wider-consumption overpraise for ordinary work (“This pathbreaking idea,” when no one can credibly tell you what the idea is, much less what the new path is or what old path it supplants.) 
I’m sure others can add further items, but that seems like enough from me for the day.
Let me say one nice thing about my place--I think the profs here really like our students.  It is certainly part of the culture for faculty to spend time with students (and not just Ph.D. students).  The students here are also pretty easy to like--while there is certainly variation in intellectual capacity and work ethic, the students here seem happy to be here, and I hear very little whining.    

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why do lenders and borrowers do things like this?

I was talking with a real estate broker today about the process of short sales, and why they are so difficult to do, and she told me a rather sad (and she said typical) story.  A borrower in Compton had an $800,000 mortgage, and was about to close a short sale for $170,000.

Everything was all set to go, when the lender told the borrower that if she didn't sell, she would get a modification.  The borrower in the end did not sign off on the short sale; she never did get the modification, and was foreclosed on 60 days later.  Both the borrower and the lender would have been better off had the short sale happened--the borrower's credit history would have taken a smaller hit, while the lender would almost surely recover more money.

Organization at Honey We're Home

Hi all! In honor of my friend Courtney's (A Thoughtful Place) Organization link party, I've rounded up my Top 3 favorite organized spaces in our home.  You can click on the picture to read the full post and see how I keep each space organized.

Thanks for hosting Courtney! See ya there!

Chalk Love

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The WINNER  will be announced Monday, July 30, 2012.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kirkland's GIVEAWAY $100

Hi all! As promised, I'm back today to announce a 

And $100 at Kirkland's can get you some pretty awesome decor items for your home.  I showed you yesterday some of my recent finds.

I'm also crazy for some of their new furniture.

And this lamp and mirror.

*Visit Kirkland's WEBSITE

*Like Kirkland's on FACEBOOK

*Follow Kirkland's on TWITTER

*Follow Kirkland's on PINTEREST

*Tweet, Facebook, or Post about this GIVEAWAY.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Could Ted afford his apartment? Probably not.

In the movie Ted (one that I am embarrassed to say I rather liked), Ted has a minimum wage job as a checker.  In Massachusetts, that means he makes $8 an hour, or around $1360 a month (I assume 4.25 weeks per month and no overtime). 

His apartment in Boston is pretty bad, so I am going to put it at the 25th percentile of the rent distribution, which puts it at around $750 per month.  This means Ted is spending far more than  half his money on his apartment (so I am not sure where he is getting his, ahem, beer money from).

Our Summer Mantle (via Kirkland's)

Our mantle naturally seems to get a change of decor with the seasons.  I may be a little late with the Summer Mantle, but there's nothing like a gift card to Kirkland's to get your summer decor inspiration on!  (And I'll be excited to announce a GIVEAWAY to Kirkland's opportunity for YOU tomorrow!)

Lucky for us there is a Kirkland's not too far from our house, so after dinner out on Friday, the whole gang headed to Kirkland's for some summer decor.  On Saturday morning, I got busy changing out the Spring mantle for this new summer version.

As soon as I walked in the front door of Kirkland's, I spotted this awesome pale aqua and white chevron vase.  It was on sale for just $29.99!  It set the tone for the entire mantle because I then picked up a package of vase filler cylinders in natural colors to go with it.

I ended up adding a few shells that I spray painted gold, and also added a touch of aqua and light blue spray paint to compliment the colors in the mantle.  

I found the "Peace Love and Sandy Feet" painted block at Barnes & Noble last year.  They have some similar blocks out this year with different sayings.  I bet this would be a pretty easy DIY project. 

The ombre candles are a Michaels find, which perch on top of clear glass candle holders.  

And while I was at Kirkland's picking out these new mantle pieces, I found this adorable pair of pillows with red coral on them.  They are the perfect addition to our living room for the summer.  

Tomorrow I'll be announcing a Kirkland's GIVEAWAY

so come back to enter! 

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I received compensation for my Sizzling Summer blog post. Kirkland’s partnered with several bloggers like me to raise brand awareness in the month of July. All purchases and content are on my own accord and reflect my personal opinion and style. Kirkland’s blogger outreach policies abide by the I WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jonathan Haskel, Robert Z. Lawrence, Edward E. Leamer, and Matthew J. Slaughter on Globalization and Wages

Read the whole thing.  Here is the conclusion:

We hope that readers will take from our paper three main conclusions about  the recent trends in U.S. real and relative incomes. First, to date there is little evidence that globalization through the classic channel of international trade in goods, intermediates, and services has been raising inequality between more-skilled goods, intermediates, and services has been raising inequality between more-skilled and less-skilled workers. Second, there is at least suggestive evidence that globalization has been boosting the real and relative earnings of superstars. The usual trade mechanisms probably have not done this, but other globalization channels—in particular, the combination of greater tradability of services and larger market sizes abroad—may be playing an important role.  Third, our analysis sheds new light on the sobering fact of pervasive real-income declines for the large majority of Americans in the past decade.  These real-income declines may be part of the same globalization and innovation forces shaping returns to superstars and to capital.  
These conclusions must be placed in the proper context, which is  “there is so much more we need to know from future research.”  A good deal of recent empirical work investigates the effects of trade on the adjustment process of particular workers, occupations, and industries (which simple models ignore), and documents workers, occupations, and industries (which simple models ignore), and documents (the sometimes long-lasting) adverse effects.  Our goal here, however, has been to advance some basic models describing the economywide evolution of, for example, widespread real-wage declines but rising earnings of superstars.  Of course, future research will hopefully explore not only the experience of the United States but that of many other countries as well—both developed and developing.  
For superstars, we do not yet fully understand product prices in sectors that employ superstars relatively intensively. This is both because existing industry data do not distinguish highly talented individuals well (if at all), and because many of the sectors in which we presume superstars are concentrated  consulting, athletics, and entertainment do not have reliable data on product prices (or much else). Nor do we have good data on personal attributes that make individuals potential superstars.  We suspect that for at least some of these superstar intensive industries, globalization has played an important role in boosting demand  for their services—both via the information technology revolution reducing their natural trade costs and thus boosting their tradability, and via fast economic growth around the world boosting demand for their services. But these conjectures await  additional analysis. 
With regard to the sobering falls in real income for the large majority of Americans, our framework does add some new insights.  We agree with Autor (2010a) that explaining falling real income for so many American workers remains a daunting empirical challenge. Much research to date has focused on income inequality, not income levels. We argue that this focus should change, because the post-2000 real-income declines are pervasive, new, and troubling. Our enriched trade framework offers some possible explanations for how globalization and/or innovation work offers some possible explanations for how globalization and/or innovation can boost superstar real earnings yet reduce real earnings of so many others.
 The last paragraph is particularly, as the author's say, sobering.  But it also suggests that the outsourcing debate is more or less irrelevant--I doubt that China and India (other than Bollywood) are much in the superstar business yet.

Time to Rest and Recoup

A summer cold has knocked me out the last few days, so I guess my body is telling me I need to slow down and rest. My two-year old son keeps seeing me and saying, "Mama's sleeping."  "Mama needs to blow her nose."  He even tries to help by bringing me Kleenex- sweet boy.

Thankfully, I am starting to feel better.  So, Friday and this weekend I will try to slow down and recuperate.  I will prioritize my mile-long to-do list and make SLEEP the #1 priority.

Are YOU getting the rest you need?  My Grandma always tells me, "Take care of YOU!"

 via                                                                                   via

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's in My Bag?

I believe we can tell a little bit about each other by what we carry in our bags.  I like to keep mine well-organized, but it doesn't always stay that way.  Every few weeks I have to empty everything out, and get rid of unnecessary papers, receipts, trash, and old snacks for James.  After a thorough purse purge, I feel 10 times better!

Here's a peek at my "must-haves" that I always carry in my bag:

1 Tory Burch Tote

2 Tory Burch pink Wallet

3 Blog business cards via Made By Girl

4 Kleenex

5 Curel hand lotion 

6 Toothbrush and Toothpaste 

7 Mascara for touch-ups

8 Michael Kors gold makeup case

9 Juicy Tubes lip gloss

10 iPhone with Tory Burch case

11 Notepad and Papermate pens (my fave!)

I think the only thing I left out was my favorite Sugarfree Bubble Yum gum, which I buy several at a time, although I don't like to chew it very long.  Just enough to keep me from eating dessert after lunch everyday. 

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My friend Courtney's (A Thoughtful PlaceJoss & Main Curator's Collection is going live today!  I can't wait to see what she chose (and make some purchases for myself!)

You need to be a member to shop the Joss & Main site, but it's FREE to join, you just need an invite, which I've included for you HERE.   If you sign up through my invite and make a purchase, Joss & Main provides me with a $15 credit to their shop.  So, if you've signed up and made a purchase through my invitation- Thank You!!  They'll give you $15 too, when your friends sign up and make a purchase via your invite.  And the shopping cycle continues:)