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.