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Let's talk about the raclette, retro step-sibling to the fondue pot

Last month, our friends, the hot architects brought their vintage raclette over to have dinner. (Yes, the same hot architects whose wedding I crashed last summer. They've become friends, and in fact we're hiring them to help us with our condo remodel). So, have you ever seen one of these things before? I had not. It's basically this portable double-decker hot plate, with these special little dishes you use to melt a shit load of cheese over veggies and/or meat. You then scrape the hot, oozing, deliciously cheese-greasy mess onto bread (or I guess just straight into your mouth).

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Please use the OTHER guest bathroom

We have two bathrooms — both of which are equidistant from main gathering areas (kitchen and living room). Although both bathrooms are equally awesome, for some reason guests tend to head to the bathroom that we use! I would really prefer it if our bathroom stays off limits. How do I politely or subtly let guests know which bathroom I prefer them to use?

25

Wàiguórén family dinner: how I preserve my identity while living abroad

My name is Nicole, or Nikki to my friends. But, every day for the last 15 months, my name has been 外国人 (Wàiguórén) — "Foreigner." In America, I was the oldest sister to three brothers. I was the chick at the bar all by her happy self, reading a book while drinking beer. I was the girl who went pale at the thought of starting a conversation with a complete stranger (and for a rather dark-skinned African-American, that's a feat). But here in China, my identity has come down to one word. Wàiguórén. Foreigner. Outsider. One who does not belong. But I'm also the one who, every few weeks, hosts a family dinner. For me, and I think for many of us, those family dinners are a safe space.

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Everything's better on a stick!

Whether it's foods, drinks, or decor, being on a stick makes it portable, fashionable and fabulous. Here's our savory, sweet, and sometimes even swanky roundup of all things Offbeat Home & Life… on a STICK!