Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Weekend adventures

The Man and I are off for a Turkey-Holiday weekend adventure!

We are packing up the car and heading to south to Savannah, GA. 15 hours of driving for a much needed break from normal life. We will be staying with great friends and hanging out with the Man's family. A few stops along the way, seeing even more friends. I really hope our paths cross with Mr & Mrs Hookah....It is so hard to have dear friends move away (but both of our honey's are GA Boys, so we are trying to coordinate family schedules for at least one evening of fun!)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgivigng Holiday, spent with those you love! I will be thinking about you while away, and I will be sure to be safe and tell those you love how 'thankful' you are for them!

Ciao Lovies, see you next week!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

currently jaming to....

I am currently loving and rocking out to this song.... I HRT it!

Kid Cudi - The Pursuit of Happiness

Monday, November 23, 2009

splurge or save - Belt Addition

I am totlally into the skinny belt fad right now. Like SO into it! But you never know how long they will be 'cool' so I am not sure how I feel about buying a version that may break the bank.....Look at how similar these two are....

This is my lust at J.Crew (of course!) They have quite a few cute ones right now, but for some reason the gold is top on my list. (Retails for about $30)

And this is BEAUTY is from F21....and such a DEAL!!! (retails for $4.80 for BOTH!!!)

I SAVED!!!!!!!! Now I have a silver and gold (oh wait and the mustard/teal combo, and the black/royal combo....whoops!) But seriously folks, 6 belts for less than the price of ONE, I think that is grrreat!

What do you think???

Pics from the stores websites.

I WIN!!!!!!

OMG....I won!!!! I won!

I just won 4 tickets to the Indie Wed show in January!!!! All courtesy of Edyta Szyszlo Photography! I lust after her photos and stalk her photo blog for new pictures daily! I am still in shock that I was chosen (it was completly random, but still I feel loved!)

Indie Wed is a show/showcase of local vendors, artists, etc catering to the modern, edgy, eco young Midwesterners planning their pending nuptuals. This sort of forum is new to the midwest, I have seen them all over NY and LA...and now here is Chicago's chance to get in on the action. (You can check it out here) Indie Wed will have its show January 30th at the Ravenwood Event Center (which looks stunning btw!).

I am soo excited! I know I am NOT officially engaged, but there have been some 'behind the scenes happenings' with the Man and and....sooner than later I will!

I can not wait, and if you know me I am completly mad for event planning. I plan on doing as much as I physically can, all on my own, to make our wedding just the way I want it. So this show will be the perfect opportunity to meet some local designers/artists/vendors and see first hand wha tthey are all about!

I have marked my calendar!!!

Anyone else going???

Friday, November 20, 2009

catalog envy

Oh J.Crew Winter 2009 tease, you tantalize, you make me drool, you make me shop, you make me need new make me NEED YOU!!!!

I go the latest catalog in the mail earlier this week, I devoured it in one sitting. I folded over pages, spent far too long oggling the different colors online. I am stopping by the store on Saturday to try a few items on....Thank You Corporate America for the gift cards!!!!


I am always extra happy when it is 'Jeans Day' at work...I mean who wouldn't be!

I needed a comfy cute look for today, since after work I am getting my first filing...EVER and want to be comfortable while getting tortured at the dentist! But still fashionably cute & office appropriate.

So today I am wearing:

Tunic - Zara
Jeans - Super Skinnies from F21(these aren't the exact ones, but really close and same price...I need these ankle version now!)
Boots - Via Spiga from Nordies
Necklace - Tiffany & Co
Ring - Etsy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

table envy....

As I 'grow-up' the more I want to sit aorund the table and nosh & chat....with the Man, with my girlfriends, with our friends. However our current Bistro style table does not allow for that. Technically there is only 'real' seating for two. (I will post pictures later to explain) I say 'real' because you can eat dinner on the couch with plenty of room, but do not try to eat steak or balance corn on the cob on your knees - it is challenging, I am only getting the hang of it after many years of practice.

I want a table for four.....cuz I want to set it like this!

And this....

And this....

And like this.....

And especially like this for this coming Christmas - when the family is here!

This is my next mission!

All pictures form Young House Love Blog (which I LOVE!!!!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

shrimp po'boys

So a couple weeks ago I snuck outta work an hour early to spend some much needed TLC-time with the Man. We bonded and reconnected over an afternoon in the kitchen.

We made Shrimp Po' Boys....and boy were they simple and delicious!!! Here is our simple-make-shift recipe.

One small loaf of French Bread (half for me, half for him!)
A couple of pieces of lettuce (We use two ribs of romaine)
Mayo (the dress the bread with)
About a cup or so of flour
Olive Oil (enough to fill the bottom of a saute pan)
Seafood Marinade (we choose a Red Wine Dijon flavor from the seafood section at whole foods)
Raw shrimp (about 1lb or two)
Salt N Pepper
Seasonings for the flour (umm cajun and Lawry's?!)

How to:
- First you want to peel and de-vein the shrimp

- Put the cleaned shirmp into a bowl and cover with the marinade
- While that is working, fill the bottom of a medium to large saute pan with olive oil and turn on med-high heat.
- Pour your flour into a flat dish (or tupperware, what ever makes you happy!) then season with the salt and peper, and other seasonings you may have on hand - extra flavor is always good!
- Take the shrimp covered in marinade and dredge them in the flour. Get them nice and covered!
- Test the oil to make sure it is hot enough (I learned while watching Rachel Ray (dont' judge!) that if you turn a wooden spoon upside down in the oil it will bubble around the submerged part when ready)

- Put in a few shirmp down at a time - don't want to crowd the pan.
- Now they will cook quickly (maybe a minute or so a side), flip and then place on a plate with a paper towel. Repeat until done.
- Dress the french bread how you like - we are mayo, lettuce and maybe a bit of tarter too kinda people! Top will you delicious shirmps


thankful for.....

Here are a few serious, some are light hearted, and some a very important things to me, all of which I am thankful for this year!

What you do get joy out of? What are you thankful for?

In 2009, I am thankful for.....
- An amazing Man in my life. He truly makes me happier than anyone or anything. He pushes me to be better for myself, he lets me be me (the nuerotic cleaning-organinzing fanatic, or goofy/silly girl trying to make him laugh). I never feel afraid to tell him exactly what my mind is thinking, for I am truly at ease when we are together.

- For Grayson, our little pooch, aka 'Doggieman'. His eternal love and devotion. This little guy always warms my heart!

- For good music - the kind you blast when you are angry, or the kind you play when you need to relax, or the kind you play when you are getting ready to go out, or the kind you listen to while cleaning or with you girl friends..... music is such an expression of your mood, and over the past year I have really let myself experience the emotion of it, not just a background noise.

-For the gym - a great stress releaver, and if you are good to it it will be good to you....finally getting proud of my hard work, enjoying the skin I'm in! (name that product?! LOL)

- For a good Taco (well... ALL Mexican food in general) - It makes me happy from a really deep a part in my soul!

- For the ability to shop - In the economic downturn, I still have a job and the ability to purchase 'items' as I please..... I am thankful to not be struggling

- For the ability to express my creativity - I am really following and doing what I enjoy....insterad of letting it sit idle. I am out taking pictures, sewing, making things, drawing, and painting again... doing the things I love

-For true friends - you really figure out who you are, and what good friends mean to you as you get older. I am creating the friendships that will stand the test of time with those who truely mean the world to me. Near or far the ones who matter will always be important to me!

- For Sunday morning brunch - it is just one of those things that feels so right!

- For good bottled water - maybe I am a water snob (is there such thing?!) I am partial to Evain, Figi, and Smart water....I could do without Dasini and Aquafinia - yuck!

-For my family - they are always there! For my mom who is becoming a best friend and not just a mom. My brother who tests me, inspires me, he is some one I want to be like when I grow up. My dad, because our relationship is 'different' but he never stops trying to show me how important I am to him.

- For this blog! It has given me the ability to be me, no judgement, no fears....and it turns out a few people read it! (I swear I thought it was only my mom....But you guys make comments and I SMILE, BIG SMILES!)

-For a good book - The kind you can read mindlessly to escape into another fictional world. And also the kind you read that inspire you to do more, become more, and teach you about our world.

- For trashy TV - I am a slave to the trash after a long day at work

And those folks, are a few ...jsut a few of the things I am thankful for this year!

What about you?

Monday, November 9, 2009

not into the pumpkin thing....of sorts

So after being bombarded by Pumpkin flavored foods for the past few weeks I can not stop myself from sharing, not sharing?who's showing up in well, just about everything! and I thought I should share my distaste for it (Becasue it's Monday and I can!). Most times it doesn't really taste good (to me at least!) and seems even a bit forced. I know the whole seasonal thing, which I love, but for some reason the pumpkin thing is driving me nuts this year.

Pumpkin Lattes, Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin dougnuts. All these thing I feel may be a little better off, without pumpkin. It is especially the far-out or stretched intrpretations of what "should" have some pumpkin for the holidays. Now don't get me wrong I love pumpkin pie, carving pumpkins but that is the extent of it. But really should Jamba Juice have a pumpkin smoothie?!?!?! The Pumpkin Smash....uggh! I think they should stick to fruit!

Ok sorry for the rant...but I couldn't help myself - feeling a bit fiesty today! :) HAPPY MONDAY!

soo Mad (Men)

Season 3 of Mad Men ended last night....and I think I could shead a tear! I looooove that show!

The clothes, the sense of decourum. I want to know what is going to happen next....Will Betsy try running back after she realizes what she has done? Will Don tell everyone who he really is? Will Don rat on the congressman? Will Peggy and Don get it on (I feel like there is an underlying sexual tension with them)? Will Peggy start to stand up on her own? Will 'Big Red' Joan come back? What is going to happen with Connie? ugghhh How long are they going to make us wait for more?!?!?! (I think I read August!!!!!!!!!!!)

Until then, I want to buy these, so the Man and I can get a little 60's Mad Men on our own!!!!

Both from Banana Republic....and ooo so cute!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

back in action

Getting back into the swing of work wasn't bad after such a WOOOOOOnderful vacation. I forced myself to sleep as much as possible on the flights home. Although I am already ready for my next jaunt abroad, especially with the amount of fun I just had!!!!

Amsterdam is sooo beautiful, it is such a picture-esque city. Bike ladden, with people flying by, certain 'herby' smells wafting out of tiny coffee shop, and loads of old world romantic, magical European charm.

Yes, I am in love. In love with the slanty row homes (Most of the rowhomes pitch forward to appear bigger, and functionally to allow for furniture to be hoisted into the different floors without damage to the lower floors - they do this becasue of the narrow stairways and hallways!). With the bikes, pleasant people and general good natureed feeling there.

Here are a few shots form teh trip...sadly, and oddly Mom and I did not take ONE single picture together!!!! Not one! Guess we will have to go back so we can take some....ok Mom?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

fresh takes

Blog hopping is one of my favorite past times....I like to roll from one to another to another, getting lost in the inspriation, imaginations, style, and outlooks of others. I am so happy is stumbled and hopped onto this article/blog this morning. I find it truly inspriational as I, a budding photgrapher...lover of pictures, one trying to figure out my complicated DSLR camera... I happily devoured the article. This is true about life, not just about taking pictures.

From the Blog Photo Dino (to which I am now addicted!)

What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know

These are my thoughts, nothing more and nothing less.

I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Here’s my answer.

- Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don’t look outward for your style; look inward.

- Know your stuff. Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on. It’s like money; you only have it when you don’t need it.

- Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus.

- Say no. Say it often. It may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your clients. Turn down jobs that don’t fit you, say no to overbooking yourself. You are no good to anyone when you’re stressed and anxious.

- Learn to say “I’m a photographer” out loud with a straight face. If you can’t say it and believe it, you can’t expect anyone else to, either.

- You cannot specialize in everything.

- You don’t have to go into business just because people tell you you should! And you don’t have to be full time and making an executive income to be successful. If you decide you want to be in business, set your limits before you begin.

- Know your style before you hang out your shingle. If you don’t, your clients will dictate your style to you. That makes you nothing more than a picture taker. Changing your style later will force you to start all over again, and that’s tough.

- Accept critique, but don’t apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn’t not make you ungrateful, it makes you independent.

- Leave room for yourself to grow and evolve. It may seem like a good idea to call your business “Precious Chubby Tootsies”….but what happens when you decide you love to photograph seniors? Or boudoir?

- Remember that if your work looks like everyone else’s, there’s no reason for a client to book you instead of someone else. Unless you’re cheaper. And nobody wants to be known as “the cheaper photographer”.

- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.

- It’s easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you’ve got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don’t spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you’ve outgrown your current equipment and you’re being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.

- Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.

- Never forget why you started taking pictures in the first place. Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.

- Never compare your journey with someone else’s. It’s a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never “arrive”. No one ever does.

- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.

- CJ