Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Done Learned It

A few things I have learned lately:

1) Be careful of how you word emails, as the tone can come across totally differently than you intended it.

2) Don't buy the store brand of cottage cheese...splurge on the name brand.

3) When working 70 hours per week, general standards of house cleanliness, to-do lists and social events you usually enjoy must be knocked down a notch. Actually, make that 10 notches.

4) You actually can make money on Ebay!

5) The price of food has seriously gone up. My last grocery bill almost had me on the floor.

6) The only US city in which all sports teams wear the same colors is Pittsburgh, and the colors are black and gold. I bought 'Trivia' string cheese and that was my latest one. I love string cheese - especially when there is trivia involved.

7) Bare Escentuals makeup is making some of their products MUCH smaller, but for the same price. This, I do believe, is total crap.

8) And, this last one I already knew, but just want to say. I love my friends. They know who they are. I haven't been able to see them much lately due to my schedule, but they are so important to me and I cherish the times that I do get to be in their company.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Let The Haunting Begin

Last night while leaving work, there was that smell in the air signaling Autumn is approaching. It's a crisp, slightly smokey and almost indescribable ride of the senses that instantly had me excited for cozy nights by the fire, homemade soups and one of my favorite holidays: Halloween! My mind is now focused on how I am going to decorate our new place for the season and thanks to Martha Stewart and the internets, the inspiration is endless.

Choirboy Squashes - found here.


Bat Lights - found here.


Jack-o'-lantern Candy Bowl - found here.


Silver pumpkins and fun candy display - found here.


Spooky Floral Arrangements - found here.


I honestly can't wait...

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Wildfire Sunset

I think it goes without saying that I have simply not had much time to blog lately, much to my dismay. We are currently working about 65 - 70 hour weeks and what is left of each precious day is devoted to my husband and my house, for the most part. I have a lot of things to catch up on, but will do so when I have a chance to breath for a second...or maybe two...

However, I wanted to share a quick photo I snapped last night with my iPhone.

Dan and I live in a neighborhood that sits at about 1,100 feet above sea level, so we get some pretty nice views. Here in Oregon, we are getting some pretty extraordinary wildfires, about an hour from Portland and, as you can see in the photo below, they are lighting up the entire sky as the sun sets.


Wildfires are not a good thing, but this view stopped us in our tracks on the way home last night and we had to stop the car and snap a picture. I felt thankful for the view.

Okay...that is about all I have time for :) Have a great weekend and take care!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Try These!


Nothing delights me more than discovering a new product that does what it says it will do, especially when it's something kitchen related.

I am still holding out on finding a face cream that performs as promised, but I believe I will continue down that road of disappointment for quite sometime.

Anyway...

I recently made a batch of these muffins, and used Reynolds Baked For You Baking Cups.

My baking life got a little bit better. I'm serious.

Here's why they rock:

1) They come in all sorts of really bright and beautiful colors.

2) The color/grease from the muffin does not soak through, changing the color of the cup. They hold their shape perfectly.

3) When spooning the batter, these things were sturdy. There was no folding, no moving.

5) They are lined with this pretty foil-like paper that creates a non-stick surface so when that moment of indulgence arrives, you waste no time dealing with finicky paper.

6) They came out of the muffin tin super easily.

7) They weren't that much more than the cheaper, regular version.

So, there you go. Try them!

You will like - I promise.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Little Soapbox Moment


I try to not delve into politics or my personal beliefs too much on this site because I firmly believe that everyone has a right to believe what they want and I don't want to push my thoughts onto others, however, this debt ceiling business has gotten me so riled up that it's hard to keep my mouth shut.

I'm going to keep this quick - I promise.

Whenever this issue is discussed, or any issue for that matter, the words 'Republican' and 'Democrat' get thrown around like dice in an endless blame game that ultimately gets us nowhere. Politicians personal agendas trump the needs and desires of the average Joe (like you and me) and all we are left with is a manufactured battle with people taking sides when really, I think if you stopped and looked at it, most people are more alike than we are different - but that is not what Washington wants you to believe.

Sigh.

Remember how when you were a child, you were taught the golden rule?

Treat others how you want to be treated

Whatever happened to that? Why the constant political division? We are all just people, trying to live the best lives we can, and be happy.

My Dad, who often says, "I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat - I am just me," once said to me, "You know, at the end of the day, make sure people have jobs and the rest sorts itself out," and I think there is a lot of truth to that. But no...the political world wants us to feel divided, pitted against each other, and fighting their fights.

Well, I'm tired of it. Some of the people in my life who have left the most lasting impressions are those who see the world in a totally different way than I do, and that is okay.

So, dear Washington - just get your act together, mmmmmkay? Stop the petty arguing and the disrespectful innuendos - we would really appreciate it.

Please and thank you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hi...

I have not posted in a long while.

My schedule has been frenzied, to say the least. I always say that, I know.

The other day I turned to Dan and said, "Why are we always rushing? When are we going to be able to just relax?"

His response was, "I know, but we should be thankful that we both have jobs and a lot of friends and amazing people in our lives to do things with and a house that is ours, that we get to do whatever we want to. I bet we would be a lot worse off without those things."

This is one reason I love my husband - his sense of perspective is always intact and he has a way of lovingly calming me down when I get a bit frazzled.

This coming weekend will be the first weekend at home in about a month, and I am so looking forward to it. I am going to take a copious amount of pictures and share with you some of what we have been up to in our little abode.

Until then, I leave you with and oldie but goodie that I can't seem to stop playing lately.



Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

La Mia Famiglia

Clockwise: Me (in silver dress), my sister Caitlin, Caitlin's boyfriend Joel and my husband Dan

While browsing through some old photos last night, I came across this gem. It was taken last September for my cousin's wedding and the second we saw it, we knew it was a classic. We call it our mob photo. Look at those facial expressions!

Dan, who is pushing my Grandma's wheelchair, looks like he is wielding a gun. My sister and I look like those don't-take-any-crap wives from those mob shows and Joel's suit and shades just finish it all off.

The wedding itself was a very lovely and happy occasion, but this photo just caught us in one great moment of looking like we are out for a hit.

Happy Friday Everyone!

P.S. - Speaking of sisters, mine came over last night just to hang out. We were both on my couch, watching Hording: Buried Alive, when she suddenly said, "God - I really want to barrel punch you in the back right now because I love the sound it makes," then proceeded to laugh hysterically. The weird thing is, I totally knew what she meant. Sisters...such a strange and wonderful bond...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes...

Sometimes...

...I go to CNN.com and read the entertainment section and nothing else.

...I eat peanut butter straight out of the jar...with my finger.

...I wear way too much eyeliner, on purpose.

...I think about opening up an antique shop that also sells freshly baked pie and root beer floats.

...I wonder about how different my life could be had I only made small, seemingly insignificant, different choices.

...I watch things that I know will make me cry just so I can cry.

...I go to expensive online stores, fill my cart with items, and never buy them.

...I look at my husband and think about how much I utterly adore him and it is almost too overwhelming for me to handle.

...I listen to songs on repeat, as if there are no other songs in the world. Here's my latest re-discovery...



...I find myself able to live absolutely in the moment, without thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Those are the best days...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rest In Peace, My Sweet Grandma

My Grandma Fran and me, at my wedding, April 2010

On Saturday, July 9th, my beloved Grandma, Frances, passed away. I can't even believe I even just wrote those words. It is completely and utterly surreal.

The past couple of months had been a fight for her. It all started with 2 broken vertebrae after she tripped at her house and that spiraled into a serious of treatments and medications that her body just couldn't handle. Eventually we were told there was nothing that could be done and we all made our way, one by one, to Lincoln, NE to see her and say goodbye.

It's only been 9 days since I got back from that trip, but I can honestly say that my decision to see her before she passed was one of the best things I have ever done. I will cherish that time forever. If you are ever unsure if you should visit a dying loved one, do it. No excuses. Just go.

My Grandma was an INCREDIBLE woman. She was the kind of person people write books about, overcoming so many obstacles that it would take hours for me to type them all out. However, there is one story that always sticks out in my mind. Living in the small mining town of Butte, MT, she was married at 17 and got pregnant shortly thereafter, having 3 babies in 3 years (the 3rd one being my Dad). During this time, her husband started to drink too much and began beating her on a regular basis. His drinking got so bad that she had to take a night job to provide for the family. One night, after working a long shift, she missed the bus and had to walk home. Upon arriving home that night, after her long walk, she found every single piece of clothing she owned cut into little pieces. Apparently her husband was angry that she had missed the bus. This was the last straw for her and she scooped up the kids, left the house (and everything she owned) and never returned again. She had nothing, but was determined to provide a better life for her children.

Shortly after that episode, my Grandma filed for divorce - something almost unheard of in the 1950's. A devout Catholic, she turned to the church for help, but was shocked to find that they now wanted nothing to do with her. She was a divorced woman, and that was a scarlet letter they did not approve of. Like salt in the wound, her church (that she had gone to her entire life) asked her to never come back.

But she did not give up. She never gave up.

In a story that is much longer than I am going to delve into here, she stayed focused, believed in her faith and did what she had to do. I take so much away from that story. I look at my Grandma as a shining example of how to keep moving forward. How to believe in better things. How to persevere.

'This too, shall pass' was one of her favorite sayings, and I know she knew the truth behind those words.

In the years that followed, my Grandma met Bill, my Papa. He was a wonderful man who took her in, along with my Dad, Aunt and Uncle. He treated them as his own, eventually adopting them. Years down the road, they had a child together. Life had it's ups and downs for Fran and Bill, but there was a deep love that lasted until my Papa's death in 2008. I don't think that it was any coincidence that since the day he died, my Grandma's health has been failing. It is the thought that they are now together again that is helping me more than anything else, as I navigate these murky waters, knowing they are both gone.

Oh Grandma - I love you so much. I don't think you will ever know how much you have inspired me and guided me. You were a feminist in your own time. You were a pioneer, a force of nature. Despite the miles between us, you and Papa were always there - always a part of our lives. Your sense of humor was sharper than a knife and I will forever miss that laugh. I loved that you always had your nails perfectly painted and your makeup applied like a pro. I've said it before but will say it again - we always had the best dressed Grandparents at every event. I hope you know how much you were loved. I look at my Dad, and what an amazing man he is, and I know that we owe it to you. Thank you for being you and for everything you brought to all of our lives. You fought so hard in the end, just as you did your entire life. It was so hard to see you in so much pain. I wish you nothing but the greatest peace, dear Grandma. I love you, forever and always. And, when the pain of losing you feels too unbearable, I am going to remind myself that this too, shall pass.

Have a good week everyone, and take a moment today to tell those you hold dear that you love them. At the end of the day, that is what life is all about.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Little Treasures


Since moving into our new place, it has been difficult to not just go crazy with buying new home decor. Pair that with the fact that Dan and I currently don't own enough furniture to even fill the place - we are pretty much thinking about shopping constantly. With that said, we don't want to just fill our house with random furniture because it is easy. We want to look around, search and find things we really love. This may take awhile, but we are okay with that.

But...that doesn't mean we haven't bought some stuff :) It's part of the fun of getting your first place, right? While we take the time to define our combined styles and find pieces that speak to both of us, here are a few things we have picked up in the last couple of weeks:

1) Ljusas Ysby Table Lamp from Ikea. Love these. At $80 a pop, they are on the more expensive side for Ikea, but still a great deal as far as lamps go.


2) Linen Hemstitch Tissue Box Cover from Pottery Barn. I always like to have tissues by my bed, but hate the way they look. These tissue box covers are so sweet and simple and I love them. I got mine without the monogram, as I am not a huge fan of monograms, but they look cute either way.

3) Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover from West Elm. This bedding spoke to me from the moment I saw it. I thought about it for a few weeks then decided it had to be done. Plus, I got it on sale - so what's not to love?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Mini Catch-Up

Hello there!

So sorry for the lack of posts lately. I keep trying to figure out how to balance my ridiculous work schedule with posting on this blog, which I really enjoy, but can't quite seem to get it right. It seems that, at this point in production, most of my hobbies have taken a backseat to the simple needs of eating and sleeping, which is about all we have energy for when we get home.

With most films that are live action, meaning with real actors, etc., the hours are crazy but filming usually only lasts a matter of months. However, I work in stop-motion animation (think The California Raisins, Wallace and Gromit, etc.) and making a feature-length, stop-motion movie takes a couple of years. We have now been in production for 10 months, with another 8 or 9 months to go, working 12 - 14 hour days (including weekends).

It is during this point in making a movie when you have to keep looking forward. You have to keep your eye on the prize and remember that you are involved in making something special, that will be seen by many around the world. You have to remind yourself what you love about film and the process in which it is made.

You have to take care of yourself. This is a big one.

Dan and I had a talk this past weekend that we need to slow down. We need to say 'No' more often. It is just a basic necessity at this point. We need to sleep when we feel like sleeping. Rest when we feel like resting. Do nothing when we have the chance. It is very easy to adapt a very unhealthy lifestyle while making a movie and since we don't really have the time or energy for working out like we were this time last year, we must do whatever we can to stay fit - both physically and mentally.

Perhaps I sound like I am being dramatic, and I get that - but it is simply impossible to explain our lives right now to those not in it. There is a general bond amongst everyone here at work rooted in the extreme nature of it. Perhaps that is why so many in the film industry marry others in the film industry.

So, I will try to post more. I have so many projects going that I want to share, but I will have to do it in my own time - when I have the energy. In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying your summers!!

Also, in case you are interested, here is a link telling you a little bit about this movie we are working on: IMDB

See you soon...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our New House: An Inside Look...Finally


Wow...has it really been a month since my last post? Holy moly - where has the time gone? Actually, I do know where it's gone. Since moving about a month ago, I have had exactly 3 weekends in the new place. Two of those weekends I was out of town and the rest of the time I have been basically at work or sleeping...and that pretty much sums it up. The last month has been a true whirlwind (hence the lack of posts) and I am now looking forward to a calmer couple of weeks.

So...the new house. I LOVE living in it. I LOVE coming home to it. I LOVE that it's ours. It's a very peaceful place, which is what Dan and I need, especially right now with the hours we are putting in at work. Believe it or not, I have not had a chance to really take some proper pictures of it lately, so the pictures I am going to share are from moving day. Before the moving truck started to get unloaded, I handed my camera to my sister and asked her to run around and take photos. We have already started to change things and make it our own, but at least for now, you can see the bare bones.

The Stats:

3 Bedroom
3 Bath
1,660 Square Feet



Here is the front entry way, and then what you see from the entry way (2nd pic actaully taken when we were viewing the home...aka - that's not our stuff). The house is 3 levels in all, but here you have the downstairs, which leads to a bedroom/bathroom and a door to the garage. This will be our guest suite, as we like to call it.


View from the downstairs towards the front door.


Downstairs bathroom, which is connected to the guest room (which I don't have a picture of...oops.) Planning on some changes to this bathroom.


In the downstairs guest bathroom, there is a door that leads to this outdoor area. It is not very big and quite plain, but for right now, that is perfect for us. We simply don't have the time or desire to deal with keeping up a yard (or garden, for you English folk out there). I think at some point we may put pavers down or add a deck/patio, but we'll see. For now, it is what it is.





Okay...heading back up the stairs now, here are picture of the main living area. The little alcove with the hanging light (which we plan to change) is our dining room. The second pictures are basically taken while standing in that alcove area.


Here is the kitchen (and my Step-Mom, on moving day). There is a big pantry, which you can't see in this picture, that I love. It's not a huge kitchen, but it is plenty of space for us. I love the granite counter tops and that I have a gas stove - whoo hoo! We are planning on changing the color of the cabinets, but that will come a bit later.



Off the kitchen is this little room that is full of light. (Sorry for the darkness of the first pic, by the way.) The owners before us had it set up as a little sitting room, and I think we may do the same. It is just such a cozy little space. We have already painted over the dark red, to try to warm it up a bit, but that will be in another post.

Off the main living area is this balcony, which I adore. Our entire place backs onto this green space full of trees, a little creek and frogs that chirp at night, which I love. Nobody can see into our windows, and that is a rare blessing in a tightly packed, attached townhome community.


From the main living area, there is another set of stairs taking you up to the top floor, where there is the master bedroom, another guest bedroom and two more bathrooms.




Here are a few pictures of the master. The color on the wall is probably not one I would have picked, but I really like it, so I think it might stay.


Here is the en suite master bath. We love the tub (it's big) and there is a sky light, which is nice - but we have plans for this room (and all the bathrooms, in fact). The color of the cabinets has got to go, as does the pea soup paint color.


Last but not least, the 3rd bedroom. Pretty plain and simple. I think this is going to be sort of like an office/craft room/etc. kinda space, which I am looking forward to having. I finally get to be in a house where papers don't have to end up on the kitchen table and the computer printer doesn't have to be next to the couch. Amen to that!

Also - must find a way to cover up that electrical box. HELLO that thing is UG-LY!

So, there you have it. It's a basic look at our new place. I can't wait to show you pictures of what we have started doing to it, and what our plans are. I wish I could spend every second there, but, I am having to accept that not everything will happen right away.

Things like that are hard to accept when you are a type-A, oldest child like myself. It defies my nature, but, that is okay. It's the nature-defying stuff that makes you a well-rounded soul, so I am going to try to just go with it.

See you soon!

PS - I forgot to mention all the bathrooms have heated floors. I didn't even know I needed these in life until now, but I am not sure I can ever live without them again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's Official!

Our New Townhouse

Dan and I are officially homeowners! Whoo hoo! It's kind of hard to believe that I have actaully taken this adult step, but it's a step that feels really good.

We cannot wait to move in tomorrow and start making that place our own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In Living Color

After 5 (almost 6) long months of looking for a house, we are due to close on our first home this Thursday. I couldn't be more excited, or freaked out, but I am choosing to just dance with the excitement at the moment and leave the freaked out alone and isolated in the corner.

You have no place here, freaked out, so move it along now...

One of the things that I am most excited about in owning my OWN house is paint. PAINT! For years I have had to live with white, apartment walls and I couldn't be more sick of it. I have spent hours upon countless hours devouring design magazines and blogs, drooling over rooms with beautifully painted walls. Finally, I get to pick out the colors that I want to be surrounded by and I feel like a kid in a candy store.

When looking for ideas, I find that inspiration is everywhere, which can at times be overwhelming. The good news is that our new place has hardly any paint at all, so we have a blank canvas, if you will. It is very important to me that whatever we choose fell calming and comfortable. With the high-stress jobs we work, our home needs to be as soothing and relaxing as possible.

While I still don't know what we will end up choosing, here are some images that have stimulated my senses:

From the blog Lola B's

I'm obsessed with the grayish/greenish/blueish color on the walls in this picture. This image is from the home of Kasey Buick, whose blog I love. I actually emailed her and asked for the brand and name of this paint. She wrote me back; it's by Ralph Lauren and called Faded Silk. I am seriously considering this as a strong contender for at least one room.

From Remodelista


This combo of the wainscoting with the earthy taupe
paint color actually makes me feel excited. And, don't even get me started on how much I love that rusty vintage mirror and black wire basket. The contrast of old and new is something I definitely am hoping to incorporate into our new place.

From theLENNOXX.com


I am LOVING gray right now and in fact, I am pretty certain we will be painting our main living space some variation of this color. It's an interesting neutral to me and I find that other colors really compliment it in a way that I don't find with neutrals in the beige range. GO TEAM GRAY!

Found here

While I am a bit hesitant to use yellow since it is not a color I am naturally drawn to, I do think that it looks nice used in a bedroom, especially with white linens.

Oh me, oh my - so much to choose from.

I can't wait to get started!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wait...How Much Stuff Do We Have?

Dan and I spent the day today packing up our belongings. If all goes well, by this Friday we should have the keys to our new place - our first home that we own. Ohmygoodnessgracious!!

As I type this, I am in need of a shower and surrounded by a pile of poxes, bubble wrap and tape guns. It's been a productive day.

However, whenever I move, I am amazed by three things:

1) How much I own. I am only 28 yet seem to have accumulated quite a lot since moving out of my parent's homes 10 years ago.

2) How much dust is everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Especially behind the TV - icky. This is the main contributing factor as to why I am currently desperate for a shower.

3) How heavy books are. I love my books and always want to keep them, however I question this sentiment each time I am forced to pack them.

Alright, break over...and time to get back to it. I hope you're all having a lovely Saturday!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just When I Thought I Couldn't Love It Anymore...

It is no surprise to anyone that I love Target.

l.o.v.e.

However, something was always missing; a void in my Target shopping experience.

From time to time, along with my receipt, I would be given a little slip of paper at check-out, asking me to log-on to their website and take a survey about my shopping experience. I would then be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Target gift card. Never one to pass up the chance for some free merchandise, and a lover of surveys (yes, I am one of those people), I would partake.

The last question of the survey would always ask something like, "Are there any additional products you would like to have at your local Target store?" to which I would always type 'Fresh food please."

Well folks, it looks like they listened.


This is what my last Target purchase looked like. Sigh.

Bless and thank you.

Oh and please do not judge the Pace Picante salsa on the conveyor. It is the best salsa ever. Period.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Few Things...

1) Dan and I are getting really close to closing on our first home. YAY! I've been so hesitant to talk about it in fear of jinxing it, but it's looking like it's going to happen.

2) The movie that we are working on had it's official press release today, which is always an exciting moment for any studio. You can read about it here.

3) One of my favorite people ever in the world is coming to visit from NYC this weekend. Her name is Amy. We went to the same high school but didn't become friends until after college. She is amazing and I love her and I can't wait to see her.

4) I think I am going to try to start working-out before work. I know. Kill me now. But, I see it as literally my only option to fit in exercise these days. Don't hold me to this declaration, however...we'll see how it goes.

5) Today is Friday. The Friday of a very, very busy week. Thank you, Friday, for being here today - it means the world.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Reminder to Myself

I have so many post ideas swirling around in my head right now but in all honesty, I am too tired to write them.

Dan and I are both in the thick of production on the current film we are working on and 60 hour work weeks have become the norm. It's hard to fully convey what that means, but I can tell you that each day is full of running around, craziness and intense deadlines which you leave at the end of each day feeling like you've just completed a triathlon and taken the SAT's all at once.

This is the life I chose. I went to film school for a reason.

I need to remind myself of those reasons, from time to time:

1) To be involved in something that moves people. I love how movies make people laugh, cry, feel scared, feel goofy, feel...anything. I don't think there is another art form out there that consistently moves people as much as film.

2) To do something different in life. I easily could have a desk job that is steady, consistent and much less daily insanity, but that is not what I wanted. When I worked at what we call a "real job" it just did not feel right. I needed creativity. I needed to be on my feet. I needed to be in film.

3) To work in a field that genuinely interests me. I love movies. I love seeing them, I love talking about them and I love analyzing them. French and South American films are some of my favorites, but cinema from around the world interests me. Since I was a young girl, I found film fascinating and I suppose, it is that love which is truly why I am here.

4) To meet interesting people. There is no denying that this industry attracts a vast array of people. I currently work with people from England, Iceland, Japan, France, Germany, Canada, Russia, Italy, Ireland and all across the US. I work with artists, architects, producers, accountants, puppet makers, costume designers, editors, directors, sculptors, animators, camera men, cinematographers and engineers. People around me have won Oscars, Emmys, BAFTAs, etc. It's amazing and I know that had I not gone into this field, there is no way I would be routinely surrounded by such an eclectic group.

So - there you have it. Or, rather, there I have it. Those are the big four: my reasons for taking this on. I guess as is the case with anything you love, it's not always easy.

I think I just needed to remind myself of that today, as exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed has started to take over. There is a reason I am here. There is a reason I knew I wanted to do this since I was about seven. And, at the end of the day, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Sorry for the drivel and thanks for listening ;)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Fun


I swore I wouldn't do it, but I'm doing it anyway: posting a pic of the royal couple. I haven't watched much of the footage yet, but I have it all recorded and I can't wait to watch it tonight. I know I've mentioned before that I work with a TON of English people, and I'm married to one as well, and for weeks now there has been mixed reactions by the English around me: those who care, those who don't care, those who say they don't care but do, those who wish they were home for it, those who are just annoyed we aren't getting a day off here in the USA like all of their fellow countrymen are in England - it truly runs the gamut.

I was sort-of somewhere in the middle of it all - not obsessed but certainly curious and excited to witness this pop culture moment of the highest level. However, I must say that when I woke up this morning and watched a few of the highlights, I felt really into it. If there is one thing that England truly knows how to do, it is put on a grand affair such as this. With every detail meticulously planned and her dress...oh my that dress - stunning, it is like nothing I have ever seen in my lifetime. All in all, it is a fun moment in time to get to experience and I think today at work will be a bit of a happier place because of it, which is always welcomed in my book.

In other news, I picked up a very tired husband-o-mine from the airport late last night as he returned after a week in England visiting his family. Before he left he asked me if I wanted him to bring anything back from Blightly, to which I replied, "Just bring me some of the tackiest Kate and William Royal Wedding stuff you can find." To my delight, he DELIVERED on that front. More on that to come...

And, lastly, Dan and I have an inspection tomorrow on a home that we are, I believe, very close to buying. I haven't said much about it b/c we have already lost 4 houses now and I don't want to jinx it, but I am truly excited. Hopefully it goes well and we can continue to move forward. Fingers crossed!!!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm Kinda Over Skinny Jeans


Skinny Jeans.

Skinny. Jeans.

I'm so over them. SO over them.

When these first started to hit the scene, I automatically thought to myself, "Pffffttt - great...as if finding jeans wasn't hard enough already, now I have to be mocked by what they're called."

Then, slowly, I came around to the trend and I bought myself a few pairs. Being a girl with a curve or two, I was pleased to find that even I could wear skinny jeans and I liked how they looked with my flats and heels.

Now, let's speed up to, well...to today, in fact. I stopped by Banana Republic on my way home from work to have a look at the jeans and all they had were skinny jeans. Bleh. I tried on a few pairs and they were okay, but I stood in the dressing room, looking at myself, and realized how incredibly and utterly bored I am of skinny jeans.

I miss flare legs. Wide legs. Boot cut.

I miss the look of really incredible heels framed perfectly by a bell of dark denim.

I miss throwing back to the 70's on a daily basis.

I miss being able to buy jeans that balance out the wideness that are my hips because, let's be honest, skinny jeans don't do us ladies with hips any favors in the world, do they?

The answer is no.

I don't know...perhaps I am totally uncool and old-fashioned but at the end of the day, I know what I like and I know what I feel good in and skinny jeans just aren't it.

Anyone else feeling me on this one? I suppose fashion always circles back around, so I have to believe the trend will swing back in my favor at some point.

Please swing back in my favor.

Tomorrow would be good.

Or today even. Whatever.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baby Watch 2011

No, I am not having a baby. Let's just clear that up right off the bat.

However - if you ask any member of my family, they would tell you that they are hoping, praying, and wishing for me to have a baby every single second of every single day.

Little did I know before I was married, that the minute you become betrothed, you suddenly enter into this new reality where your uterus is not only up for discussion, it is a valuable family commodity.

It comes from every angle. I can feel the laser hot glances if I only order water in a restaurant. If I ever don't feel well or have an upset stomach, surely I must be pregnant. God forbid I gain a few pounds or buy myself a padded bra...

The worst offenders? Ma Familia. Here's a little breakdown for you:

My Dad: After years of worrying about his two teenage daughters, my Dad has now been able to let go of the fear that I would one day come to him, unmarried and still in college, and tell him I was pregnant (I believe this to be the ultimate fear for all Fathers). However, this is one pendulum that has swung so far in the opposite direction that at times, I don't even recognize it. My strict, curfew-enforcing, tough love Dad has become a ball of mush. He wants a grandchild and reminds me of this constantly. To my surprise, he is one of the worst offenders.

My Mom: She is actually the least insane about the topic...I think. Maybe the fact that she actually carried me for 9 months and gave me life gives her a little bit in leniency in this department, but the pressure is still on from her as well. In fact, I do believe it was just yesterday she said to me, "Oh - Easter will be so much more fun when there are little ones around." Mmmmmkkaaaay...

My Step-Mom: She has two favorite tactics that she uses often. 1) "Oh Jocie - you're Dad is so excited to have a little grand baby," and 2) "I will be a full-time baby-sitter so you won't even have to worry about daycare!" Ah yes...the guise of caring, concern and DAYCARE promises! I'm on to you lady!!!

My sister: Okay...this one makes no attempt to hide her feelings on the topic: she wants me knocked up quicker than you can say "baby." As is the case with sisters, there is really no filter. No pretense. No secret messages...at least not with my sister and me. Nope - it is the whole truth and nothing by the truth. "Jocelyn - just have a baby! I will babysit! I want to be an Auntie! Why can't you just do it? I'm really good with kids! I will change the diapers!" Uh huh...

My Brother: Yes...that's right. My brother. My 20 year old, sophomore in college brother. Even he has hopped aboard the baby train. "My roommate is already an uncle and I want to be an uncle too! I will be such a good uncle!" Excuse me, young child, but aren't you supposed to be thinking about girls and cramming for finals and, and, and ANYTHING else besides babies!?!?! What is going ON!?!?!

Now - don't get me wrong - I plan on having kids. I have always known it was something I wanted and something that is in the plans. The FUTURE plans. Last time I checked, I've only been married for a year. Last time I checked, I've only been working on building my career for 6 years. Last time I checked, I remembered how much I love being able to sleep in on the weekends, travel, go for drinks with friends whenever I want to, see movies, stay up until the wee hours of the night drinking Pinot Noir and playing Nintendo Wii bowling with my husband just because we feel like it.

Why doesn't anyone ever tell you about this? It's like a secret society amongst married women - however it's operated more like the draft than the volunteer army.

So, dear family, just back it up a bit. This is not 1955 and there are just a few things I need to cross off my bucket list first.

Please and thank you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cheese Straws




One of my favorite memories as a child is when my Mom would make cheese straws every Christmas. She would keep them in a tin on top of the fridge and my sister and I would beg for them each night; they were so delicious.



Recently I found a recipe for cheese straws on one of my favorite food blogs, smitten kitchen, and decided to give it a whirl. I am delighted to tell you that these taste almost exactly like the cheese straws my Mom used to make and this recipe it a total keeper. It is easy, fast and ridiculously yummy. I took a bunch of these over to my Dad's as an appetizer for Easter dinner and they were a hit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!



1 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon half-and-half (although I ended up using about 1.5 tablespoons to get the dough to stick together)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt an red pepper flakes in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 20 seconds.

3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8-inch by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8 inch thick. With a sharp knife (or a pizza or pastry wheel) cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch wide. Gentry transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment), leaving at least 1/4-inch between them. The dough may sag or break occasionally in the transfer, but don't be concerned - just do your best. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.

4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

5. Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for two days.

Thank you Smitten Kitchen for this fantastic recipe! I recommend doubling the recipe as these literally go so quickly. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Slothfulness

This weekend, Dan is in England. He went home to surprise his Mom for her 60th birthday party, which is great and I am so happy he could be there with her. However, that means I am all on my own - left to entertain myself. I had a list of things to do today, but, well uhm...sometimes lists just need to be forgotten. Or ignored.

What I DIDN'T Do Today:

- Laundry

- Vacuum

- Take out recycling

- Make the bed

- Put away my shoes, which I have taken off in different places around our apartment

- Clean the shower (which I swore I would do today...LEAST favorite chore EV-ER!)


What I DID Do Today:

- Slept In

- Enjoyed my coffee, slowly

- Did some desperately needed clothes shopping

- Napped for about 2 hours

- Watched a boatload of DVR'd shows (See: Oprah, Glee and more Oprah)

- Made myself a really yummy dinner

- Read magazines


Today was the nicest day we have had here in Portland all year (72 degrees) and I know that I should have taken better advantage of it, but I didn't. I was so, so tired from this past week at work and just needed a day of letting my heart be my guide and doing as I pleased - which meant not a whole lot.

On the list for tomorrow? Easter dinner at my Dad's house and other than that - I'm not sure. The shower still needs to be cleaned and the apartment needs some major straightening up, but I'm not making any promises. Sometimes slowing down and letting yourself have a break is far more important than any to-do list.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Blabbering


Thaaaaaaank
goodness it's Friday!!!! This has been a long week with even longer hours at work. Does that even make sense? I don't know.

Anyway...

I need to ramble. It's about all I am capable of at this moment so, without further ado, I give you my rambles:


Have you ever heard the phrase, 'Thoughts Become Things, So Choose Them Wisely?' I think it is a really good phrase and something that I think I believe...at least something I would like to believe. The power of positive thinking. Faith. The Secret. Whatever you want to call it - I like it in it's various incarnations. However, as is the case with most things that matter in life, sometimes it is totally an easier said than done situation.


I am really hating that Oprah is about to end. I mean, really hating it. When I get home after a long day, there is nothing like clicking on the DVR and watching my recorded Oprah. It calms me down and usually teaches me something. However, I must admit the episodes this last week have been a bit lame. I am hoping that they are really going to start to step it up here, since the official countdown has begun. Oprah ends every episode now with saying, "There are only 28 more episodes left," etc. etc. It hurts my fragile heart.


I need some neutral heels. It's just not an option for me to not have them in my wardrobe, I have decided. I need some new black ones too as my current pair, that I adore, are seriously on their last leg...or should I say foot???

Why is it that sometimes, coming up with something to make for dinner is the HARDEST THING EVER!?!?! I swear that Dan and I are always at the grocery store yet we get home and stare blankly into the fridge and have conversations that go something like this:

Me: "What do you want for dinner?"

Dan: "Uh - I don't know, what do you want?"

Me: "I don't know, what do you want?"

Dan: " I don't know."

Riveting, isn't it?

I am sure it has to do with our increasing hours spent at work lately, but it's just HARD sometimes! I just want a chef. That is what this really boils down to. And this is coming from a girl who LOVES to cook.

How long do you think this owl trend will last? Not sure if you have noticed, but there are owls everywhere. I think they are really cute but is it going to be one of those things that is gone in 60 seconds?

Okay. That is all for now. Sorry for this unsightly glimpse into my tired brain. I need to get it on to the page and out of my brain, so to speak.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Skiing in April!


One of the things I love about living in Portland is that we have great skiing about an hour away and often, if the snow keeps falling, the ski season runs into late Spring.

My sister, Dad, husband and I all headed up there this past weekend to take advantage of what's left of the snow. It was a beautiful day with sunshine and some of the warmest temps I have ever skied in.

I took these pictures with my iPhone, so they are not amazing, but even still - there is something so breathtaking about looking up and seeing the top of a mountain.

This is one of my favorite spots. Every direction you look is beautiful and you do feel like you are on top of the world.


I do believe this was my last chance to experience this until Thanksgiving rolls around, and the mountain once again becomes a winter wonderland.

Aside from the ridiculous goggle sunburn marks I had the next day, it was a great time. Thanks to my sister and Dad for forcing me out of bed at 7am Sunday to go - I know that wasn't pleasant for them. And thank you to Mother Nature, for once again reminding me there is so much beauty around, if you just take a moment to realize it.
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