Wednesday, December 30, 2009

27 Goals for 2010

In the style of everyone else who made one of these lists, here's my list of 27 goals for my upcoming 27th year:

1. Blog once a week
2. Do some semi-major work on the house
3. Investigate alternative proteins at Whole Foods
4. Unsubscribe to all the crap emails I get (15 down, about 1000 to go)
5. Sort out the storage disaster happening in the laundry room
6. Try to learn the basics of a foreign language
7. Take pictures for fun
8. Make a summertime wreath
9. Make a headboard

Wow. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Umm...

10. Use my stove top espresso pot
11. Use the vegetable steamer
12. Cook vegetable curry without burning everything
13. Buy a new flash
14. Read one book a month
15. Really mop (not Swiffer mop) every room in the house
16. Run a 1/2 marathon in the Spring
17. And again in the Fall
18. Hike some sort of mountain in Colorado
19. Visit the Stanley
20. Take pictures of all my nieces and nephews on their birthdays
21. Buy a button maker and make buttons
22. Drink more green tea
23. Finally clean my office
24. Reduce my book collection to only my favorites
25. Be a vendor at a bridal show
26. Throw a dinner party
27. Sell a bunch of my vintage clothes on Etsy

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Real Estate Doesn't Make Sense

Real Estate in Omaha just doesn't make any sense to me. Look at this house.

8300 square feet
7 bedrooms
Historic landmark home


Excuse me? What?

And Now I Want a Shed for Christmas

I just saw this awesome shed on Design*Sponge and now I want one. Can't Santa just tie one to the back of the sled and drop it off?

Right now we have a nasty ass shed in our backyard that's currently housing spiders, a pile of fertilizer and an old computer monitor - courtesy of the former owners. I would love to have a studio or a little office back there. It would free up a lot of room in the house. Currently we don't really need the space, but in the future we plan to spawn and I hear kids take up a lot of room. I mean, I'm all for putting a crib in the spare bedroom with the book shelves, unused furniture and piles of clothes but I think it would be nice for our future children to have actual bedrooms.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Feel Like an A-Hole

I experienced my first dining out meat trauma tonight. Matt and I went out to dinner with my family for our annual pre-Christmas family night out. We went with Mexican. Safe choice, right? Err. Ya.

I ordered a bean burrito and about five bites into it I came face-to-food with a pile of ground beef. I had my sister look at it to make sure I wasn't hallucinating beef, and sure enough. Beef burrito. I flagged down the waitress and told her I couldn't eat the beef burrito. I didn't say, "I don't eat meat" or "I'm a vegetarian." I just said, "This is beef and I can't eat it." She apologized and took it back. But I felt like a giant asshole. I sent food back. I hate sending food back.

She came back with a true bean burrito but I was too freaked out to eat it. Plus, I suspected that the beans weren't vegetarian. They were way too good. I took a few bites then passed it on to my sister to take home. I instead ate the remainder of my nephews cheese pizza. Yes, in Nebraska you can get pizza at Mexican restaurants. Don't ask me why.

Am I really one of those people now? Am I going to have to declare to my waitstaff that I don't eat beef, poultry or pork and to please I beg you make sure it isn't on my plate? I've always thought that people who make a big deal about being vegetarians while eating out were just assholes who liked to be difficult. But I'm seeing now that they're probably just doing it to make sure they don't get handed something with meat hidden in it. And even if I'm not really a vegetarian, is it safer to simply say that I am when ordering out? When I can't see the prep process of my dinner is it better to take the precaution and look like an asshole?

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Pioneer Woman...

...knows I exist in this world.

More or less.

I submitted this photo to one of her challenges and it got posted this morning right here.

My list of accomplishments in life is now as follows:

1. Marry a loving, talented, adorable man who thinks I'm the best and lets me shop without question.
2. Start myself on a path to self-employment.
3. Get posted on Pioneer Woman's blog.
4. That's pretty much it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hello, Nice to Meet You

I found this designer, Sam Edelman, yesterday. I'm sort of in love with him right now. I would wear any of the above were it not for the fact that I can't handle 5 inch heels, and I don't have several hundred spare dollars to spend on ankle-breaking shoes. But wouldn't any of them look fantastic with my $700 DVF dress that I posted below?

I also really like these for some reason:

I would wear the shit out of those umm... snow shoes? Cosmonaut boots?

I warned Matt that if he ever makes us rich I'll probably blow all of our money on furniture and clothes.

In other news, by the end of the week I should be listed as a local vendor on The Knot. I'm not really a huge fan of the way they go about pushing the "dream wedding" on girls, but I do think that it's a really great place to start your search for wedding info. They've got crap tons of resources on there.

I'd also like to have a feature on Offbeat Bride since the kooky gals need love too, but those are a little pricier and the Omaha market is considerably smaller on there. And by "considerably smaller" I think we're talking maybe 10 people total. But I love them and they don't discriminate against any type of wedding. Most of my weddings so far have been pretty unique: a park, a hospital chapel, an old school Italian restaurant... so I'd like to make sure my bizz has exposure the non-traditional market too.

Monday, November 30, 2009

One Holiday Down, Two To Go

Matt and I hit the no-land-meat milestone of Thanksgiving and rather than consume as much turkey as we possibly could, we decided to keep on going. Today is officially one month without meat for me. (Fish not counted. Baby steps, you know?)

As non meat eaters we kind of overdid our first Thanksgiving. We cooked some stuff to take over to Matt's family's dinner and for some reason I was under the impression that I needed to cook as much food as possible. I made a double batch of mac and cheese and a triple batch of cornbread stuffing. Big. Mistake. We took home an 8x13 pan packed with leftovers. I forgot that everyone else would be chowing down on the giant turkey and wouldn't be going back for thirds of mac and cheese. We also made corn casserole and Bakerella's pumpkin cheesecake pie. There were miniscule leftovers of those which we were sure to steal because they were freaking tasty.

We ended up freezing small containers of the mac to use later as Americanized lasagna. And after three days of eating it, I'm officially giving up on the stuffing. I can't possibly eat anymore of it. I didn't think I'd ever say this, but I'm tired of eating carbs. I'm carrying around a little bread and pasta gut right now. I think I'm sticking to broccoli and carrots for the next week...

Family time was great. Matt's family decided to simplify Christmas this year and draw names instead of buying gifts for everyone. Instead of ten gifts for the adults we only have to buy one now. Technically, two between the both of us but we drew names of a married couple so they're getting one big gift. :) We still have 6 nieces and nephews to buy for so there's plenty of crap to be purchased over the next few weeks, regardless.

Not much else went on this weekend. I did four photo shoots over the weekend, plenty of shopping, a birthday party, not enough work to really catch up... I've still got Deb's wedding hanging over my head. I need to finish that up this week which is near impossible (or at least feels that way). I need to sort through about 200 photos every night this week to make that happen. Umm. Not sure how that's going to happen with my busy schedule of passing out in bed at 8:00. Did I mention I have a cold? Cause I do. It blows.

Monday, November 23, 2009

3 Day Work Week!

Thanksgiving is this week! Obviously, right? I'm pretty excited for it this year. Matt and I (okay, just I) are contributing a few vegetarian dishes to the table this year. I'm making baked mac and cheese, cornbread stuffing, maybe some kind of green veggie dish and possibly a pie I just saw on Bakerella this morning... If I'm feeling a little crazy.

This is completely off topic, but I learned this weekend that Bac-os don't contain any actual bacon. They're mostly made of soy and science. Bac-os are a little gross but I'll gladly put them on certain items to give myself the illusion of a bacon experience.

The real reason I'm excited about Thanksgiving though is that it marks the point that I'm allowed to decorate the house for Christmas. I love decorating now that we have a house. I'm going to put up the tree, watch the old skool Grinch cartoon and maybe Christmas Vacation.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fuji Instax

I've been seeing the Fuji Instax camera everywhere the last couple of weeks. It's definitely a trend that I needed to get in on.

I think it's such a fun little gadget in today's overly teched out world. People get such a kick out of it too. I took it out last weekend and laughed every time I took a picture. I was also wasted though... so that might explain the giddiness.

I like that it's a one time little piece of art. You can't reproduce it 1000 times. You only get one. Ever. It also makes me stop and think about what I'm actually photographing. Instead of being able to take 8G of photos in one evening, I can take maybe 5. Plus, I'm a little impatient so the instant aspect of it is ridiculously satisfying to me.

I have some ideas to incorporate the camera into my wedding photography... I have a little plan that I think would be really fun. I'm waiting to find an awesome bride to try it out on.

These are of Omaha band Rock, Paper, Dynamite playing at the fall Omaha Entertainment Awards showcase... or something or other.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

WTF, Cynthia?

My first experience with Cynthia Rowley = Epic fail

I ordered this really adorable Cynthia Rowley dress online. It's short, tie dyed, has a bow tie. What's not to like? All the reviews said her dresses run small so I bought up a size just in case.

I got it in the mail yesterday. It's totally beautiful. One problem though. Its proportions are completely whack. The top fits perfectly but the bottom is apparently sized for a woman whose thighs are smaller than her knees. And that woman also likes it when her dress is pleated to create a giant fabric bubble over her ass.

It's getting sent back and the refund is going into my Ridiculous San Francisco Shopping Spree money jar.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meat Free: Day 10

Today is day 10 of our meat free (disclaimer: unless you consider fish a meat... which is clearly is) experiment. We haven't been too creative with our meals so far. Just the basic stuff reworked. I did buy a great cookbook, but haven't actually cooked anything out of it because that would require a meaningful and thought out trip to the grocery store. Overall, it hasn't been too much of a challenge. Matt and I have bravely faced fried chicken, bacon, a cheeseburger joint, and a bag of frozen meatballs without caving. I think we're going to extend the fast until Christmas, or Christmas Eve in my case. Three words: homemade Swedish meatballs.

I couple points of interest about non-meat life that might be worth sharing:

1. Not eating meat has resulted in lots of meat dreams. I'm fairly certain this is a me-specific result of a change in my eating habits and not an overarching issue that plagues vegetarians - but I'm sharing anyway. I've had separate dreams where I've eaten beef tacos, steak and bacon. Each time I know I'm not supposed to eat it, almost like I'm eating it on accident. Then, Matt usually walks in and I either shove the rest of what I'm eating into my mouth or throw it away and try to act casual.

2. Giving up meat (land meat?) is kind of like quitting smoking. You can insert your own "cold turkey" joke here. Every part of your brain has to be ready to let it go. At first, I thought in terms of, "I only have to get through this one meal. I can handle that." But now I'm thinking long term. Who knows what will happen. Matt is completely ready to give it up. I think I might need some more convincing before I swear off of it for life.

3. I'm terrified of telling my parents. I'm already the freak of the family. Telling them, "Matt and I are taking a meat hiatus to further explore our political/dietary views on meat," may send them over the edge. My dad does have a really great sense of humor though when it comes to my liberalness. He always tells me, "I didn't raise you to think for yourself." It probably won't be that bad. If they panic about the no-meat thing, I'll just throw Cat under the bus and remind them that she has tattoos, which is way more freaky. :)

4. I tried buying frozen meals for office lunches and my options were pretty much the following: pasta, pasta, pasta, pasta, pizza, pizza, pasta. This is also how I discovered that salt is considered an adequate substitute for flavor in most "vegetarian" dishes. I feel bad for real vegetarians when they're trying to eat outside the home. They kind of get the crap end of the stick .

5. Everyone keeps commenting that they/me would loose like OMG so much weight on a vegetarian diet. Umm... hello? Have you met my friend Cheese? He likes to hang out with my other friends Potato and Noodle.

6. Yes, fish it totally cheating but I don't really care. I tend to do things half-assed. We limit it to twice a week though as recommended by the FDA.

Anyone else considering or doing some kind of change in diet/habit? What are your reasons?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Temporary Pescetary

Anyone familiar with the McCartney song, "Temporary Secretary?"


Ok, moving on.

Last week I read a pretty disgusting article by Johnathan Safran Foer on about the horror show that is factory farming. You too can read it here, if you dare. I shared the article with my lovely husband and it also sufficiently freaked him out, a grown man who can eat a one pound burger in a single sitting.

We have been throwing around vegetarianism - more specifically pescetarianism - for a while. We're not giving up fish and seafood. We talked it over and decided that starting November 1st we would take a temporary meat break. Err... break from meat. Our trial period is set to expire on November 26th which just so coincidentally happens to be Thanksgiving. Funny how that works! We're not ready to give it up permanently, just long enough to forget the majority of that God forsaken article. Honestly, the article was just the tipping point. There are other factors that went into our decision.

1. I feel bad eating pigs. They're so smart. H1N1 is pig retaliation against all the years of hell we've bestowed upon them.

2. My cholesterol is rounding the peek into the danger zone. That as well as high blood pressure run in my family. Fried chicken, bacon and burgers are probably killing me (us). Time to cut the cord.

3. I cooked some drumsticks last week and attempted to de-skin them before cooking. Have you ever peeled the skin off of raw chicken? I don't recommend it. One of the legs had some of the yellow foot skin at the bottom and looking at it made me gag. Repeatedly. I ended up throwing it away.

4. Umm, where was I. I'm all grossed out now. Oh yes, green reasons. I think it's completely insane that I live in Nebraska, literally minutes away from a cattle farm, and yet who knows where my beef is coming from. I've never stopped to ask. And that right there is a problem. Same goes for chickens, eggs and the majority of my produce.

5. I'm tired of everything in my cooking repertoire. I'm ready to learn some new recipes. 80% of my cooking choices revolve around which piece of meat out of the freezer will thaw the fastest.

We'll see how this little experiment goes. I haven't eaten meat since Friday, and in four days I haven't wanted to eat it. I also haven't gone to a restaurant, smelled bacon or thought about Swedish meatballs in those four days. So, take that for what it's worth.

The intended outcome isn't to become vegetarians, it's to become more aware of the food we put into our bodies and where it comes from. I'm still not against returning to omnivorism, but only if it means being able to buy/eat meet from local family farms that are ethically managed. We're also making an effort to only buy wild caught and sustainable fish and seafood, as well as free range eggs. It's more expensive than running to the grocery store and grabbing what's on sale but we want to be able to rely less on meat as the main ingredient in our meals (see item #5 above).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wedding Photo Blogs. What gives?

I'm developing an issue with all the top wedding photography sites... They only feature completely outrageous, styled to death weddings. And they technically don't even feature the "wedding" part of the wedding. 90% of them only post photos of pre-wedding stuff, detail shots and bridal portraits. Rarely do I ever see photos from the ceremonies and receptions. It's driving me crazy because those are the areas of the day that I want to see examples of. I want to see how other people make it happen. I photographed a wedding on Saturday and everything was inside. Portraits, ceremony, reception. I got the couple outside for some couple shots but really that's about it. I want some clues as to how other people work around the less than ideal situations.

I understand that the photos featured on wedding sites are the best of the best. They're expensive weddings with mad crazy designers at the helms and they only show the extraordinary material from the day. That's great and all, but where it the authenticity in that? Where are real weddings? Where is the wedding shot inside a dim church? Or inside a banquet hall? How do those photographers make it work? How do you take an everyday, real wedding and make it look dreamy and extraordinary in photos?

Answers? Anyone?

Maybe I should start my own wedding photography blog and only feature the photos of real couples and real weddings. Not only do they kind of pick and choose the most exceptional looking weddings, they also pick and choose the most exceptional looking brides. It's so.... wrong! With the exception of Offbeat Bride and Rock and Roll Bride, I never see featured women who are not size four and Caucasian.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Studio Space

October "The Month of Crazy" 2010 is almost over. Thank gawd for that. Only two more bookings this month and I will have survived. I'm sitting on ten sessions that need to be edited - but since none of them are currently late I'm marking it down as a win.

The last few months have really shocked me. I didn't know I possessed such a driving force. I feel like I'm making a lot of progress both in my talents and abilities and in knowing what I want for the future. I never thought I would want any type of studio space but I'm starting to see a need for one. The summer and fall were great, but what about the winter? Where will I shoot? I'm also stuck with the issue of having to cancel sessions on rainy days. It would be nice to have a backup plan. I've been very lucky with in-home shoots so far. I've never had a situation I couldn't work in, but it would be nice to have more control over the lighting situations.

So, that brings me to a studio space. I don't exactly have the income or the business stability, or the income, to sign a lease on a place of my own. I also don't know anyone who's subletting and/or giving it away for free out of the goodness of their heart. I doubt I would qualify for an artist's co-op. That only leaves our spare bedroom...

Yep. You got it. We're thinking of using our spare bedroom as the world's tiniest photography studio. Honestly, I think it might work with some minor changes. The floors are hardwood and it has windows on the east and south so already we're in decent shape. I'm thinking about installing a brick veneer on one wall and buying a couple backdrops and a stand for some variety. Pick up a settee, some chairs, non-vomit inducing props for kiddos... Change out the light fixture, add a couple studio lights... We've got a working studio space. A 10x11 working studio space, but beggars can't be choosers at this stage.

Note: No posey-posey bullshit will be taking place in this studio. It's still business as usual - just inside.

I'm really only looking for an area that I could use for shoots with babies, children and small families. I live up the block from a park and there are plenty of outdoorsy areas around where we live so I could do half a session in the studio and half a session outside, weather permitting, and offer even more options to clients. For probably less money than I would pay for a month's rent in a studio, I could have a space in our house. It's not an ideal solution but I don't even know what I really need at this point. And who knows, it might be a total flop. I might hate it. It might also be awesome and I decide I want a real space in the future. Either way, I'm ready to take the next step with this learning process. I don't want to be limited to only photographing in certain places/scenarios.

Thank you for reading what has essentially been my inner dialogue for the past three days.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2009 Omaha Marathon

Last month I ran the Omaha 1/2 marathon with two really great friends.

It was my second time running the 1/2 and my third consecutive year running the event. This year though was the first time I didn't feel like I wanted to die ten miles in. I think we were actually very well prepared.

Poor Jen in the pink though looks like she might be in quite a bit of pain. That's because she's an effing rock star and (unknowingly) ran it with a stress fracture. Just thinking about that makes me a little queasy. Aside from that minor little tidbit the run was pretty uneventful. We finished with a good time and plan on shaving some minutes off when we run another 1/2 in the Spring. We already have a game plan to cut about 20 minutes off:

1. No eight minute port-a-potty stops.
2. No running on stress fractures.
3. More bacon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm Just Not That Into It

I watched He's Just Not That Into You last weekend. If this movie were a man and we were out on a date, I would have faked going to the bathroom and snuck out the front door after fifteen minutes. But since I was home watching it on a Friday night, in bed, with two beers, and the remote was broken, I ended up watching the whole movie. Reluctantly.

I could go on and on for pages about how bad I think this movie really is. But for the sake of time and the sake of your waning interest at this point, I will just focus on two major points of hatred.

Point One: Ginnifer Goodwin's Character

I can't remember the character's name and the fact that I don't even want to bother hitting up IMDB for the answer should tell you how awful she was. Not Ginnifer. Oh God no. I feel terrible for that poor woman. It's her character that I couldn't stand. Whatever her name was. I found her to be one of the least likable non-villain movie character EVAR! She whined and fussed and crazied her way into a relationship with a man who found her completely obtuse and unattractive for the first 120 minutes of a 128 minute movie. I would really like for someone to explain to me how that happens. I thought the point of the movie was to explain to women why they shouldn't cling, stalk, OMGwhyisnthecalling and daydream about dudes who have no interest in you. And then, at the end, she does all those things and the guy falls in love with her.


Point Two: WTF??? (Serious plot spoilers - like you should really care.)

Seriously? What the hell? I thought this movie was supposed to be a lesson to women about men and dating. The first 3/4 of it was very cram-it-down-your-throat lessony about the obvious signs when a man isn't interested. But in the end, everyone threw the lessons out the window and just did whatever they felt like doing.

-Jennifer Aniston finally gave up on the man who wouldn't marry her for completely BS reasons and then he asked her to marry him.

-Old Blue Eyes pretended to be a nice guy, cheated on his wife, told her, was forgiven and still acted like an ungrateful bastard.

-Eric From Entourage took advice from the gays and it turned out wrong BUT EXCUSE ME the gays are NEVER wrong.

-Ginnifer McCrazypants freaked the fuck out on the Mac guy and then he fell in love with her. Doesn't that completely dispel every one of the points that were being made in the movie and book? A dude treating you like crap equals a dude who isn't interested unless of course you get all psycho on him and pretend you're his live-in girlfriend at a cocktail party, cock block him, yell at him, and then try to forget about him. For some reason that's the winning combination to his heart, then and only then will he show up at your door with an apology and a cheesy romantic gesture. The end.

Point Three: I Lied About Only Two Points

Scarlett Johansson still sucks at acting. I understand that she's hot and all, but they could cast a cardboard cutout of her in movies and I doubt anyone would notice.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Haircut

I basically have this haircut now.

I don't have a picture yet of my own head to show you. My friend Leslie might have one but I'm also wearing a fake baby belly in the picture and that's not really something I need to be posting on my blog. I think I started enough rumors by just wearing the belly. I don't need to go posting it on the interwebs.

Back to the hair... I cut it all off a couple weeks ago. I started seeing a new stylist that was raaaaaved about by nearly my entire family. My last haircut was awful. I'm pretty sure the girl who cut it was on drugs. She looked dead in the eyes like one of the possessed townsfolk on True Blood. She washed, cut, dried and shoved me out the door in less than 25 minutes. She didn't even show me the back. Just put down the blow-dryer, took off my smock and handed me my purse. So, I went to the new girl. She kicks ass.

I found these pictures in October's issue of Real Simple. There's a style guide in there for different hair lengths. The directions make styling look really easy, but let me tell you. It's not. Their directions for all of those styles are essentially as follows:

1. Put a glob of mousse in hair.
2. Comb/finger comb hair into place.
3. Let air dry.

How exactly you're supposed to get four unique hair styles out of that is beyond me. I really like the middle one on the right, but I'm not that good. I did try out the top right one and it looked decent. I wore it with dark red lipstick which made me look like a cross between a flapper and one of the chicks from a Robert Palmer video. I looked simply irresistible. (Everyone with me on that?) So, now of course I think I should buy a flapper style dress and just rock the house with it. Maybe I'll learn to do the Charleston too.

$100 Bathroom Makeover

I'm having a little Design on a Dime challenge with myself. I want to restyle our bathroom on a $100 budget. The bathroom was renovated before we moved in, so overall it's in great shape. It's just... boring. So far I've spent $28.86 on a shower curtain and a bamboo tray for the counter. I'm guessing paint is going to cost around $24, so that leaves me with about $47 for rugs, a couple hand towels, and maybe a soap pump or a new toothbrush holder.

It might be time to hit the clearance shelves.

I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the month so I can submit it to the Design*Sponge before and after book.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Photos

Lots of fall goodies happening over on my photo blog.

I'm also really excited to put up some Halloween decorations. I'm going out this week to buy a few new things. The foam headstones I bought last year didn't hold up. Hopefully, I fine some plastic ones that will last a couple years. I'm also going to run to Walgreens and pick up some severed arms and legs, on sale for 2/$10. That is soooo not a joke. Also on the agenda, making ghosts out of some old muslin fabric I have at home.

Story about the muslin... a number of years ago I bought a crap ton of cheap muslin for a photo project. I wanted to drape an entire room in fabric and photograph it. My ambition quickly faded (I was 18, what can I say) and I never went through with it. I have since seen someone else do something very similar so there's no point now in saving 10+ yards of muslin. Might as well make some ghosts out of it...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Ex Factor

I may have lifted that title from a Sex and the City episode. It sounds like a very Carrie-esque play on words.


While the list of dudes I've "dated" might be checkered and lengthy**, the list of "boyfriends" I've had is pretty short. Therefore, is it really too much to ask that the small collection of men I've loved in the past remain bachelors for the rest of their lives? I'm not harboring unrequited love for them, nor do I want any of them back. I just hate the idea that they feel there's someone better than me out there in the world. I want to believe that I am the pinnacle of their lives and without me, they are nothing. Selfish and delusional? Yes. Irrational? I don't think so.

I have, what I consider to be, three exes:

One ex I had no desire to stay in contact with when we broke up. He was a strange man. Our love was more of a friendship-based thing so I'm happy for him if he's moved on. I still don't need to know about it though.

The next ex I genuinely hope stayed/stays single for the rest of eternity. Or just ceases to exist, taking with him all memories of our time together. Whichever. I wish him the best in life as long as "the best" doesn't include a hot wife.

The last ex I genuinely believed would stay single for the rest of eternity. I feel like the last half of our relationship was a giant mind fuck. He was a man child. I left the relationship bitter and assuming he would never grow up. (We both needed to grow up but that's completely beside the point.) Turns out he got married recently and it's annoying the crap out of me.

I just celebrated my one year anniversary and I'm extremely happy and in love with my husband. Obviously, relationship number four was the right one. Comparing the other boyfriends to Matt is like comparing a giant pile of steaming crap to... do I even need to finish that analogy? Still, I don't have to like the fact that my exes are out there walking around with the general population. And I really don't have to like the fact that they're married. I am simply one of those people who is incapable of remaining in contact with exes. It just can't happen in my world. My head would explode. I prefer to think of them as celibate monks, living in isolation on a remote mountain in Asia somewhere. But not all together on the same mountain. That would suck. There are only so many things they could talk about before the conversation inevitably turned to me. And if there's anything I want less than on of my exes getting married, it's one of my exes befriending another ex over the topic me and my failed relationships.

**And I will deny ever having met 90% of them.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fabulous Retro House

One of my favorite time wasters if browsing available real estate for funky gems. I found a really great one a couple months ago. Check out this next one. It's so fabulously bad! I want to move in and leave everything as is.

Can you believe these bedrooms? They simultaneously make me want to gag and make me a little bit jealous. They're just so outrageously mid-century hip. I want to set my hair in curlers and lounge on that bed in my house coat while I cook a pot roast and wait for my husband to get home from his job at the phone company.

For real? Gold plush carpet?

I also found this house that piqued my interest. I don't so much want to move in, but I would like to meet the people who are selling it. Judging by their home decor, I think we could be friends.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Power of Social Networking

Can I update you on my little business that I'm running? (Jen and Cat, you're my only readers and you already know all this, so just go along with it mkay?)

I've had a surge in photography clients the last few weeks. It blows me away every time I think about it. I'm humbled that people actually pay me want me to take their photos. I have a ton of stuff booked for the fall, and last week something strange happened... My friend posted a response to a girl on The Knot, recommending me as an affordable wedding photographer. Evidentially, other brides saw it and starting emailing me for prices and availability all the way out until October 2010! Good lawd! I am now officially a bona fide wedding photographer... who is still terrified of the mountable flash, but I'm working on it. (One word: Fong.)

I'm learning the awesome power of word-of-mouth quickly around these parts. "These parts" being Omaha of course. My first bride alone has generated five bookings for me by simply showing people my blog. I did her son's one year shoot, her brother's family, her co-worker's maternity pictures, future booking for the co-worker's newborn baby, and a future booking for a second co-worker. I need to start paying the girl commission! It also proves how important blogging is these days for upstart businesses. I edit a handful of pictures, send the client a link, and within 24 hours I usually have 30 hits to my blog. I sent out a link this morning and had three new bookings before noon! God bless the holiday season and everyone scrambling to get their Christmas card pictures taken before Thanksgiving...

I'm really having fun with this. I'm still so grateful for finding a job that makes me happy. This morning, I had the mom from my maternity shoot email me and say that the pictures I took of her son made her cry. Ya, ya, pregnancy hormones. Whatever. The point is that a picture I took elicited such a strong reaction from a parent. That is exactly why I love doing this.

Inspiring Wedding

Today is just going to be the day where I link to other peoples' stuff. Am I technically still a "blogger" if I stop writing my own content and just post to everyone else's? I guess we'll find out. It's not my fault that everyone else is so much more effing creative than I am.

Seriously though, click this link:

Idaho Wedding Filled with Style

Easy and Beautiful Home Idea!

I am sooooo doing this to my office and dining room. It reminds me of Eloise...

Easy Pelmet Boxes

...Which in turn reminds me of this: Betsey Johnson to Design Plaza Suite.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

By The Book

I'm on a mission to find some new cookbooks and expand my culinary horizons. Right now I get most of my recipes off Pioneer Woman or I frankenstein recipes out of Better Homes and Gardens. I also have the Top Chef cookbook, which frankly is a joke. My eyes glaze over at the directions in there. The food, however, is amazing.

I sent out a call to friends (thanks, Facebook) and I got two recommendations:

The Secrets of Jesuit Soup Making and Moosewood Cookbook.

I don't trust the Amazon reviews. Taking food suggestions is like taking movie suggestions. You really have to make sure people know their shit when they advice you on such topics. For instance, one person was complaining about a book I looked up, saying that the recipes had too many ingredients in them and the soup took too long to cook. WTF? Soup cooks all freaking day when you make it from scratch. You can't make a soup from the stock up in 30 minutes. It's just not going to happen. Another reviewer was complaining about the obscurity of ingredients that Julia Child uses. Do I even need to explain how stupid that is?

These are not issues with the quality of the books, these are issues with the quality of people's patients. And those are definitely not people that I want to take food advice from. I have my quick and easy recipes and I make meals that come out of boxes. Sure. But when I want something yummy and soulful, I look for a complicated recipe with 87 ingredients and I enjoy myself. After all, that's what cookbooks are for.

In addition to the two books above, I'm also looking for a really good Jewish-American cookbook. I want old school NYC deli food. "Old people food" if you will. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who is knowledgeable about that genre of food, so it's just me and Amazon on these ones:

2nd Avenue Deli, Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook, Junior's

Anyone else have any cookbook recommendations?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Right Around the Corner

This fall is shaping up to be a busy one. I have things booked every weekend between now and the beginning of November. I'm thinking of blocking off this upcoming Saturday so I can take advantage of a spa day gift certificate Matt gave me. And speaking of Matt, he was featured in an article for the new Beatles Rock Band.

I love the fall. I love nearly everything about it.

All you can eat apples.
Booze in my coffee.
Great TV.
Staying in bed all day Sunday.
Football snacks.

The restlessness of Summer is over and I'm just ready to relax until Christmas rolls around. I feel more energized and happier. More hopeful about the future. And maybe this year will be the year I finally convince myself that I need a cloche hat and driving gloves.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bought Time.

Well, here it is. It's finally 09.09.09. Beatles day. I no longer have to listen to every man in my family talk about this day like it is the second coming of Christ. Matt went and picked up his Beatles swag at midnight, came home and played until 1:30am, then woke back up at 9:00am to play it some more before work.

Aside from a pile of Beatles merch, we also picked up season five of The Office and I grabbed my new lens. We sat down to watch a few episodes last night and I spilled a full grande pumpkin latte on the carpet. Entirely full. I didn't even take one sip of it. I spent 30 minutes trying to clean an orange pumpkin syrup stain out of shag carpet. Not even a combo of Resolve and a Little Green Machine could clean it up. Doesn't that seem a little strange? Whatever is in that coffee is full of so much artificial garbage that it stained brown carpet! WTF??? I may be off pumpkin lattes permanently.

Anyway... Since our purchasing habits over the last few weeks have been so out of control, I've decided to make a headboard instead of buying one. I found one on target for $300, but it makes me nervous to buy furniture from them. A lot of the reviews make it sounds poorly made. I'm looking for something upholstered, colorful, inviting. There are tutorials all over the place online. I don't think it will be too hard. Here are a few pics I'm using for my inspiration:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday's Mission

Monday's Mission: Figure out where this dress comes from. Determine whether or not I can afford to buy it.

Labor Day Weekend

It has been an eventful weekend thus far. And I still have an entire day left to enjoy.

On Saturday, I had a photo session with a family at 9:00. I've found that portrait sessions with little kids work best early in the day, unfortunately. So, they met me out at a lake to take some outdoor pictures. There was a ton of dew on the ground and all parties ended up covered in mud. It makes for some great pictures though when moms and dads aren't afraid to get dirty.

Later in the morning I went with a Jen and Kate down in Kansas City. We tried to go to some baking supply stores but they were all closed. Bummer. We also hit up a mall where I learned the dangers of entering a Nordstroms. I ended up buying a pricey (but loooooovely) grey wool DKNY coat. It is knee length with a ruffle collar and very, very chic. Ooh la la! I can't wait for it to get cold out. We also hit up the Betsey Johnson down there. It was ahh mazing. The jewelry counter was to die for. I regret not buying a few things I saw. But really, how much animal themed jewelry does one need? I already have a bird necklace and a snake ring. Do I really need the matching snake bracelet, a giant lobster ring and a pair of gecko earrings? Probably. I intended to bring my camera and document our little trip in proper blogger fashion, but I forgot. Whoops.

The shopping trip was fun but next year I think we're going to Minneapolis. A few reasons as to why: Free place to stay, H&M, Ikea. Both H&M and Ikea are filled with cheap crap, but every now and then you can find something really great. Same thing goes for Forever XXI even though that's a little off-topic. I've bought dresses at both that are sewn together well and have really nice lining. Then again, I've also bought tops that fall apart in the wash after the first time I wear them. But I digress.

In the wee hours of Sunday, I met up the with ladies again and we did our ten mile training run. The 1/2 marathon is in three weeks so we needed to get it in. We all were lacking in motivation but we stuck it out and finished in just under two hours. I'm feeling the last three miles today though. My back is aching like a mofo. I think that's more the fault of my jacked up spine than the running though.

Sunday afternoon I went to my bro and sis-in-law's house for some family hangout time. I got to see all my nieces and nephews which always makes me happy. I finally got to spend some time with little Jackie. She's about six months old and smiling and alert. Plus, she's big enough now that I'm not afraid to break her.

I tried and tried to enjoy my last three-day weekend of the summer by getting drunk, but I couldn't make it happen. I blame it on the cheeseburger, hotdog, sausage and pile of dessert I ate. Normally I'm a two drink drunk, but I think I drank at least five beers and four mixed drinks and I was still sober yesterday. The only thing that probably would have done the trick was tequila shots, but it's not really worth it when it comes to that point.

That's about it. Today I have some cleaning to do, errands to run, work to finish. We also picked up the forth season of weeds so that's going to need to be watched today too.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We Are Triathletes!

Last Saturday, Jen and I finished a mini triathlon. Like, super mini. But it counts.

It's freaking cold out and we're about to jump in a lake! Thumbs Up!

FYI: These are less a series of pictures documenting the event, and more a series of pictures documenting how awesome I think it is to give a thumbs up.

The event consisted of:

100 yard swim
2 mile bike ride
1.5 mile run

But don't let those numbers fool you. It was freaking exhausting.

First and foremost, I am not a swimmer. Before Saturday, I had not swam since junior high gym class. Considering that fact, I was a little apprehensive about jumping into a lake and um not drowning so I shamelessly completed the swimming portion with a lifejacket strapped securely to my chest. Thank heavens for that life jacket. Without it I don't think I would have made it more than 20 feet before giving the "I Quit This Bitch" arm-flail signal to the lifeguards.

Praise Jesus I found this spare life-jacket and I won't die today! Thumbs up!

We did our swim and then grabbed our bikes for a two mile ride. Again, I am not a bike rider so 2 miles was a little... rough? I had seriously grand plans a couple years ago to switch from running to biking and complete a century ride. Ya. That never happened. Two miles on a bike and I couldn't sit down for 72 hours.

After biking was running. Pshew! Easy! Nothing to it! Oh wait, I just got off a bike... It certainly wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. It was sort of like when you go roller skating and then take the skates off and try to exit the building. Your legs don't understand what the hell you're doing and it feels like you're walking through Jello. Same thing applies to biking/running.

But it was only 1.5 miles. So we survived with flying colors.

I just tested my athletic stamina with a series of consecutive cardio based exercises! Fuck the thumbs up, we are champions.

P.S. I recently disabled the link from my professional blog to this blog so I feel a lot more free to use foul language now that potential clients and co-workers won't find this. If you've ever held a conversation with me you know I have a dirty mouth, so I feel that the odd "shit" here or a "fuck" there really provides a sense of authenticity and better reflects the person I really am. Hope you don't mind! Smooches!

Fall Fashion Wist List

Are you ready for a completely pointless and self-indulgent post?

Good! Here are my fall wardrobe wants:

I dream of having a really chic, funky wardrobe full of black, white and denim clothing. Then I would funk it up with stripes, polka dots, and brightly colored accessories. It's kind of tough but girly, sophisticated but rockin. Plus, it feels like getting ready to leave the house in the morning would be so much simpler if everything in my closet matched everything else.

Anthropologie Shoes - These are the ultimate in girly hipness. They deserve to be purchased and then left in the box so they never get dirty. Then, 60 years from now my grandkids can bury me in them and I'll get to spend the rest of eternity wearing them. Is that weird?

Old Soul New Heart Necklace & Whiting and Davis Clutch - I saw Old Soul New Heart on a blog yesterday and I looooove it. I am a sucker for anything with a bow on it. It also perfectly matches the Whiting and Davis box clutch that I've been trying to justify buying. As of right now, I have yet to successfully do so but I'm working on it.

Forever XXI Shorts and Tunic - What's rock and roll fashion without (faux) leather? And what person doesn't want to be festooned with sequins every now and then? Both are pretty impractical in terms of "Where the eff would I ever wear that?" but at $23 apiece I will probably buy them anyway. I'm all about the cheap thrills.

OPI Nail Polish - I'm not a big fan of OPI, but they always have the perfect shades. I have some Cover Girl Boundless Color polish that I think lasts longer than OPI. The color selection isn't as big but it's half the price and lasts twice as long before chipping.

Matt and Nat Crossbody Tote - A big giant stylish bag. I can always find a use for one of these. I'm especially fond of Matt and Nat bags. They're made with fake leather but look and feel like the real thing. And it's the perfect size for carrying around my new box clutch for an easy day to evening transition. Not that I'm ever in need of easy day to evening transitions. This is Omaha after all.

Kate Spade Dress - The whole Kate Spade fall collection makes me cry. It is all so adorably perfect. This dress is my favorite though. I would commit serious crimes in exchange for it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stuffed Poblanos

I made a really quick, cheap meal last night that I feel is worth sharing. There are no pictures because I ate it too fast.

Hungry + Staring at tasty food = Impatient

Tuna Stuffed Poblanos

3 large poblano peppers (aka Anaheim peppers)
8oz block of softened cream cheese
2 cans of tuna
1 white onion
shredded cheese

Cut the peppers in half length wise and clean out the insides.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, tuna, 1/2 a diced white onion and garlic to taste. Poblanos are a pretty mild variety of pepper, so if you want to add a little heat to the recipe chop up some jalapenos and mix them in too.

Spoon the mixture into the peppers. Crack fresh pepper and sprinkle paprika over the tops. Then, top everything off with a layer of shredded cheese.

Heat in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009



My wedding bouquet is included in a post on sfgirlbybay this morning! How cool is that? I love her blog. It makes me crave another trip to San Francisco. (Pssst. I might get to go in January.)

I met with a couple friends last night who are starting a business that specializes in designing closet systems for shoe gals. I helped them out with some photo services so they're going to help pimp my 8 cubic foot closet.

Of my list of 5 things to finish this week, I've so far finished 3. Niiiiice.

I'm going to Kansas City to shop with a couple girl friends over Labor Day. Better get some of those invoices sent out so mama has some spending cash...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Well, hello!

Oh, hi there, Dottie Girl Tote!

How are you?

I'm well.

What's that? You want me to buy you?

Okay... If you insist... Just don't tell my husband, okay?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Khaki Dreams

I had a truly funny dream last night that I was dating the fictional man Vincent Chase, not to be confused with the real person Adrian Grenier. We were at some fancy restaurant with Ari for lunch and the waitress started coping attitude with me. She was saying that I wasn't "a ten" and shouldn't be with Vince, she wanted to bone him, blah blah blah. I said to her, "You think you should be with him, not me? Then explain to me why I'm having lunch with him and you're serving us iced tea in pleated front khaki pants."

Aw snap! That'll teach slutty waitresses to mess with my man. Also, who knew my hostility toward khaki extended that far into my sub-conscience?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Easiest Freaking Homemade Ice Cream in the World

I cannot believe this. Sugar free, fat free, everything free, one ingredient homemade ice cream. I will be stopping at the store today to buy the ripest bananas I can find...

How To Make Creamy Ice Cream With Just One Ingredient

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chicago - Day Two

The next morning we filled our guts with Dunkin Donuts blueberry coffee and checked out of the hotel. How awesome is it that it cost $89 for the room and $22 for parking? We didn't really have anywhere to go or anything to do, so we drove downtown and just walked around for a while.

We walked to the Navy Pier...

Where I had my picture taken standing on yet another pier.

What is it about standing on a dock overlooking a body of water that is so interesting to those of us that are land locked? Seriously, here's pretty much the exact same picture of me in San Francisco at Pier 39:

Navy Pier is boring so we left and thought we'd go up to the new sky deck at the Sears Tower but we chickened out after viewing the building from the ground.

So, we went and got Portillo's instead.

I have to pause for a minute and explain what Portillo's means to my family. My mom's family lives outside Chicago and from the earliest memories I have of visiting them, I remember eating Portillo's. After stopping at my aunt and uncle's house, it was always the second place we would go when we got to Bolingbrook. Then after the invention of cell phones, it became the first. We'd pull onto Boughton Road, call and get everyone's order, and pick it up on the way to their house. Portillo's hotdogs and Italian beefs are two of the most delicious things in the world. Bar none.

After eating we were ready to go home. Leaving Chicago is a pain in the ass though. It took about 90 minutes longer to get home than it did to get there. But we got to check out the Iowa sunset on the way home so that was sort of okay.

Chicago - Day One

Matt and I went to Chicago on Thursday for a Brendan Benson concert.

Ahh. Mazing.

The drive out was uneventful, other than paying roughly $84.75 in road tolls and me screaming, "OMG, Kate Spade outlet! Shut Up!" somewhere outside Chicago. But otherwise, a boring seven hours.

We stayed at the City Suites Hotel since it was blocks away from the show. It was an average place - not nearly as nice as it looks in the photos but not scary enough to make me run screaming from the premises. They did have some amazingly beautiful charcoal gray velvet duvets that I was afraid to touch. I did give one a little pat and it was super soft. Probably covered in semen and staphylococcus, but yes, super soft.

After we got everything settled in we walked around the corner to The Chicago Diner. I read about it on Princess Lasertron's blog and then it turned out to be right there, so we checked it out. Matt had seitan enchiladas and I had sweet potato quesadillas. His was fantastic and mine tasted like someone put baby food in my lunch. I would definitely eat there again though. The beans, guacamole, and salsa were fantastic.

After eating we took a nap in our room, watched part of Cocktail (the worst movie ever made thank you very much 80s Tom Cruise), and got buzzed on a bottle of wine. Then the following series of events took place which resulted in my husband being the happiest man alive:

(Sorry, Jen. If you're reading this you'll have to deal with hearing this story one more time.)

We were planning on walking to Schuba's where the show was, but after talking to my dad and having him essentially convince me that I would be abducted and murdered if I walked anywhere in Chicago, we got a cab. So we took the 45 second cab ride to the bar and got there 15 minutes earlier than planned. We sat down in the last 2 seats at the end of the bar, ordered beers (Chicago loves its Stella), and as we were reaching into our pockets to pay for them... the power for the entire block went out. Brendan Benson had two shows that night, and the first show was in its encore when it was cut short. It was about 8:50, we weren't sure what was going on, it was chaotic... I turned around to look out the window behind me just as Brendan was walking behind us. I nudged Matt to turn around but he ducked into the back room through to a door next to us.

Then he stuck his head back out.

And then my husband yelled to him, "You're the shit! We drove here from Omaha to see you tonight."

And Brendan said, "Thanks man, that's awesome!"

And then my husband fell a little bit more in love with Brendan Benson and called all his friends in the dark to tell them the story I just told you.

It took about 40 minutes for the power to come back on, but if it hadn't gone out in the first place, Matt wouldn't have gotten to give a shout out to his idol. Everything starting with the phone call to my Dad to the power going out was one huge case of happenstance.

The show was super fucking fantastic. We were about four feet back from The Man as evidenced by this grainy camera phone picture:

Turns out I could have brought my entire camera set up into the bar and no one would have stopped me. But that's okay. I didn't really need photos. I stole the gig poster out of the bathroom and had it in my bag. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Yawn. Monday Morning...

It's a short workweek for me. Matt and I are going to Chicago later in the week to see Brendan Benson...

Friday night Matt and I saw District 9. (I kept calling it 9th Ward. Oops.) For the first time ever in my experience, the movie didn't start on time. It started nearly 15 minutes late. It was like being stuck in a plane on the runway with 500 teenagers on board. (Loud, hot, cell phones going off, everyone getting tense, no alcohol.)

Saturday night I went out with some girls. It was declared to be a Dress to Impress night, which in Omaha equates to upgrading your black flip-flops to the pair with glitter. No one ever dresses up in this city. Which, don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate a Sunday afternoon. But sometimes a girl just wants to look good. I went all-out and wore my birthday dress, black Betseyville shoes with big plastic bows on the vamps, a snake cocktail ring, oversized pearl necklace, polkadot purse, and bright red shiny lipstick. I looked like a hybrid of goth/pin-up/Minnie Mouse. I officially managed to impress one man at a bar who told me, "Your dress is fucking awesome." Mission accomplished.

Later Saturday night (approximately 11:00PM - officially marking my oldness) I shed my Hot Topic couture in favor of pjs and sat in bed with Dingo eating Sonic onion rings, watching DVRd episodes of LA Ink. It was heavenly.

Sunday morning I ran with Jen. We did 7 miles in 66 minutes which is probably a world record or something. I never payed attention to my time in the past, but that's because a 7 mile run took me 90 minutes. I never thought I'd be able to run at this pace, ever. At least not without a bionic leg transplant. We also decided to register for a mini triathlon with the UNO women's athletics department. It's a 100 yard swim, 6 mile or under bike ride, and 1.5 mile or under run. There are no times or awards so we thought it would be a good way to test out a little triathlon to see how it goes. Lifejackets are allowed in the lake so you can bet your ass I'll be taking advantage of that. I have not swam since junior high and I'm not going to rely on memory to keep me from drowning in a dirty lake.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Don't Need to Pay the Mortgage, Do I?

This morning I found the website and my life was forever changed. It's like google for clothes. I've been looking for The Perfect Leather Jacket that will revolutionize my style, make me feel chic, get me back stage at a Kings Of Leon show, prove my status as a rock wife, and otherwise ooze awesomeness. I want something that is, in a word, rad.

And I found it on ShopStyle.

It's exactly what I want. Cropped, black, slim cut. I can wear it with dresses, skirts or jeans. I can wear it to work even.

A couple of problems though...

1. It is from Juicy Couture. I cannot knowingly contribute my money to a brand of clothing that popularized printing words like "JUICY" across a woman's ass. I simply can't. Juicy Couture is for rich girls who want to look kicky when they run for coffee on a Sunday morning. It's for Pussycat Dolls and lovers of Kathy Zealand bags. It is not for me... except I want it so bad right now.

2. This jacket costs $898. Yes, seriously. For that.

Oh. Dear. Jesus???

I sincerely apologize to everyone in advance for the images you are about to see...

These images give me a serious case of the heeby jeebies. WTF is up with a giant crucified Jesus statue in the dining room? Keep in mind that this is someone's HOME! Can you imagine getting up in the middle of the night for a drink of water and having to walk past that thing???

Don't take it personal, Jesus. I have no problem with someone wanting to display religious art in their home. Knock yourselves out. But this? This is downright freaky. A giant statue of any man, regardless of his level of holiness, hanging on the wall in the dining room is effing weird.

I stole these from Apartment Therapy. Clicky the linky if you wish to see the full house tour.


Can you guess what I made from looking at this picture (and ignoring the post title)?

I made ratatouille!

It was sooooo good. I was thinking about the movie Ratatouille and I wondered what exactly was in ratatouille. I googled it, then looked in the fridge and it just so happened that I had everything needed to make it. (Everything minus red wine, but I figured I was close enough.)

To start, sauté onions and green peppers in olive oil. I only sautéed mine long enough to make them a little transparent because I'm ridiculously impatient, but they would probably taste fantastic if I'd browned them.

I then threw in Italian parsley and garlic and about 3/4 of a jar of sauce. Heat that up a little bit and then throw about a cup of the yumminess in the bottom of a baking dish.

That looks good enough to eat on its own...

Slice an eggplant, green zucchini and yellow zucchini. I had the world's biggest zucchinis, so only used about a third of them. I chopped and froze the rest and I kid you not, the remainder filled five baggies. I could feed a 3rd world country for a month with the zucchini in my freezer.

Toss the sliced veggies in the pot with the sauce and heat it for about ten minutes. Now, I actually put the eggplant in first for about five minutes because it takes a little longer to soften up than the zucchini. So, the eggplant got ten minutes and the zucchini got five.

Slice up your tomatoes (as many as you'd like) and grab the baking dish. Layer the slices of veggies and tomatoes in the dish and pour the remainder of the sauce over the top. I think I then cooked it for about 40 minutes at 350. You could leave it in there for an hour if you have the kind of self-control that I am obviously lacking.

Yumm. Yumm. Yumm. Grab a big scoop of it and sprinkle some parmesan on top. I intended to eat it over rice but realized I didn't have any as I was boiling the water for it. I went for garlic bread instead, which I feel ended up being an excellent choice.

I think this would also taste amazing as a real stew or over chicken, pasta, a piece of cardboard, anything remotely digestible by the human body. As a little bonus it's also a seriously easy and delicious vegetarian meal. You could even make it vegan if you left off the parmesan, but really? Why would you want to do that?