Accessing a State of Flow: MyNoise.net

MyNoise.net is a magical place with sound customizations at every level from sub-bass to high treble. It’s a labor of love by a Stephane Pigeon, a sound nerd who is “signal processing Ph.D. engineer with a strong passion for sounds.”

I use MyNoise.net to focus. It’s been truly amazing how much easier accessing a state of flow has been with the right background noise. I used to use SimplyNoise.com which was awesome until I discovered an entirely new and much more soothing world of sounds:

Train Tracks (Railroad)
Fireplace Crackles
Tibetan Choir
B-17 Flying Fortress

Experiment first with the full list of sounds and their presets (see “Presets” halfway down any noise’s page on the right).

Let me know if you love it (or don’t) and how it impacts your work flow.

The best kitchen towels ever.

Source: Amazon.com

Every time I throw away a paper towel, I see a part of a tree going into the trash. I love trees. They take a long time to grow and a short amount of time to destroy. So sad.

In an effort to reduce waste, we switched to reusable dish towels. They’re lint free and bleachable. I’ve tried two types…and both are, in fact, cloth diapers! Who knew!?

These are the ones I like. They don’t shrink in the wash. They retain their thickness after multiple washes. They don’t hold stains. They are absorbent. What’s not to love?

Do not buy the 3-ply ones. They shrink in the dryer. So disappointing.

I purchased two bins at Target, one for the clean ones and one for the dirty one. Once we get low on clean ones, I grab the dirty bin, wash, dry, and, voila, you’ve got clean towels and you’re giving a tree a hug.

Efficient Kitchen Organization

This isn’t a one size fits all recommendation as everyone’s kitchen layout varies, but assuming these dimensions are all fairly standard, these tips can work for you too.


perfectsealsq100592gBulk Items

I researched containers across the web and stores here in Denver and concluded that Perfect Seal Containers (square and rectangle available) are the best storage option. Here is why:

 

  1. The lids are flat. Unlike the ever popular POP containers whose lids are not flat, these are completely flat and can be stacked securely. POP can stack, but it isn’t as tight of a fit (yes, OCD plays a role here :).
  2. The lids don’t take up space. I’ve found that the lids on most storage containers take up to 30% of the total volume (and weight) of the container. POP containers are a perfect example. 1/4 of each container is the lid alone. #wastedspace
  3. The “lip” on these is easy to clean. The rubber component of the lid comes off of the lid (both the lid and rubber seal can be washed in the dishwasher). Other containers have nooks/crannies/edges that are a nuisance to clean.

The final perk is the satisfaction of having such simply designed containers. They are precise and without frill. They do the job well.

P.S. These and the ubiquitous POP containers are equally as easy (or hard, depending on how you look at it) to clean with only half of the container being dishwasher safe.

Dish Towels
We’ve adopted using cloth diapers as dish towels. They come in packs of 10 for $12. They are lint free. They can be bleached. They last forever. The idea of having matching dish towels is a dream to me and the only economical way to do this given the rate we go through them (we use them in lieu of paper towels), is to buy bulk diapers. Thank you, Amazon.

The best way to store and use these is to purchase two open top containers. and put them side by side on a shelf or in a drawer. One is for clean towels and the other is for dirty. You’ll never have to fold a dish towel again.

Pashk Containers

The easiest solution to storing food is these Pashk containers from Amazon. They all share the same size lid and are stackable regardless of size. Plus, they are technically disposable so no guilt if you toss them. (We wash and re-use ours. They last us about a year.)

A Better Recipe Search

My time at Food52.com made much more sensitive to the quality and source of the recipes I allow into our kitchen. AllRecipes has its place and time, but it does not need to dominate every recipe Google search. I made an easy to use modified Google search with all the filters needed to surface truly interesting recipes. Enjoy!

Bookmark this link and modify the start of the query to get truly interesting recipes.