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.