390

How do you ask your friend to clean-up when you visit?

My best friend lives 5½ hours away and we love to visit. Every time we visit, though, the house is a complete disaster. I don't know how to approach her about this because I am not comfortable staying there anymore unless it's cleaned up. I love her like a sister, we've been friends for 12 years, and I don't want to stop visiting. But I don't want a fight because we have different priorities. Anyone have advice on how I can broach the possibly-sensitive question of asking her to clean up before I visit?

155

Keeping it classy with a wine jelly recipe from 1896

This may sound extravagant, but this wine jelly recipe published in 1896 was originally intended for those with very little appetite or who had difficulty keeping more substantial foods down. Wine jelly is tasty on top of toast, biscuits, roast beef, turkey, spooned from shot glasses, squeezed from paper cups, and licked from spoons. It's not overly sweet, and it keeps in the fridge for months. It's simple to make, but will take some planning…

96

Friends are the family we get to choose for ourselves

There are a couple of clichés that get that way because they’re so damn true. Some that have been true for our family of two is that friends are the gods’ apology for families, friends are the family we choose for ourselves, and friends walk in when everyone else walks out. My patchwork quilt of family is mostly made of beautiful friendships, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

193

The tiny, colorful studio apartment, that taught me a lot about who I am

Before moving here, I was living in a larger studio with my husband, but moving into this place alone I had to be even more choosy about what came with and what did not. This home has taught me a lot about who I am. I had been in a very codependent relationship, so it had been a long time since I had only needed to worry about myself. Being able to express myself through my space was instrumental in my journey to finding my own identity after I left.