Monday, February 28, 2011

My New Favorite Breakfast


Hey-oh! I hope you all had a delightful weekend - truly.

Holla at ya, weekends! You are a real lifesaver, you are.

When it comes to weekends, I love a good breakfast. Monday - Friday I am a bowl of Cheerios gal, but weekends present the cherished opportunity to sit back, relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy the first meal of the day.

My love of breakfast foods is across the board - I mean, please - it's all kinda delish BUT, I have a new favorite. And it's so simple, it's not even funny.


Here are the four ingredients:

2 Multi-grain Eggo Waffles (don't judge)

2 - 3 T. REAL Maple Syrup

1 Banana, sliced

5 - 8 strawberries, sliced

Toast waffles. Heat syrup in microwave for 20 seconds and pour on top of toasted waffles. Add sliced bananas and strawberries on top of waffles. Eat. Love. Surf Internet. Watch DVR'd Oprah episodes. Watch DVR'd Glee episodes. Drink more coffee. Get ready only when you feel like it. Feel free to not get ready at all. That's what weekends are for.

***Three Notes***

1) You could totes use real waffles but I have a thing for Eggo waffles. They are totally awesome and perfect and easy and quick.

2) I am the first one to defend imitation maple syrup. It has a permanent place in my life, right next to Splenda and Pace Picante salsa, but I highly recommend real maple syrup for this one. It brings out the natural sweetness in the fruit in a way that imitation maple syrup just doesn't do.

3) You must pour the syrup on the waffles before adding the fruit. It soaks into the waffle and is just the best way to do it. Don't doubt me on this one.

Happy Monday, little lovelies!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meetings About Meetings

After I graduated from college I worked at my Dad's insurance brokerage. I had worked there on and off through college and it seemed natural to move into a full-time position once the demands of school had ceased. Their plan was to train me up through the ranks, making me a full-blown insurance professional. At the time, I didn't really know what I wanted but I fully embraced the job and was excited about the opportunity.

Not long into my training, I got invited to my first meeting. A real meeting. With executives. And suits. And a boardroom.

Important issues were discussed.

People got angry. There was tension.

I nodded along the entire time, playing the role of a business woman, pretending to understand the insurance jargon that filled the room.

As I left that meeting in my 4 inch heels, herringbone pants and notebook in hand, all I could think was, "That was SO COOL!"

I bloody loved it.

A real meeting with real business-thingies being discussed. It didn't seem to matter that I understood the business about as well as I understood quantum physics - all that mattered was that I was invited.

Okay...now fast forward a few years. I ended up getting a call from a Portland based film production company that wanted to give me a job working on their new film, which was what I went to school for. I took the job, worked on the film, met my now husband and am now working for the same company on their second feature film.

It's been about 4 years since I left insurance and let me tell you, my views on meetings have CH-ANGED. My day is one meeting after another and, while I love what I do, I could never have imagined the amount of meetings. Meetings about everything. Meetings about problems. Meetings about solutions.

Meetings about meetings.

The meetings come and the meetings go but one thing is for sure - there will always be more.

If I ever hear the words "We are going to have this meeting but you don't need to go - we will just fill you in," I cherish that moment. It is a beautiful thing.

I know...I have joined the ranks of the jaded. It happens to everyone, I suppose, but, there is something sad to me about that. I loved the experience of feeling grown-up and that I was actually being taken seriously. To suddenly have adults around you, including you in their business and giving you validity is one of the best feelings a 22 year old can have.

Now I cherish moments of goofiness and uncontrollable laughter. The moments of playing pranks and flinging rubber bands.

The moments that make me feel like a kid again.

With no real business whatsoever.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Need Hair Help


I hereby declare the following truths about my hair:

1) Hair does not get straighter than my hair. It really doesn't. There is not even the smallest amount of wave, curl or natural volume. Any hair style I have must take this into account as even the slightest misstep with a pair of scissors shows up drastically.

2) I have never dyed my hair and I don't have a plan to in the near future. I used to hate my reddish/brownish hair as a teen but my Mom would never let me touch it. Now I am so thankful for that as I actually like the color of my hair. Until I see those little grays popping through - coloring my hair is not an option.

3) I am so very, very bored with it. Double bleh.

Over the past few years I have developed a predictable habit of growing it out, then cutting it all off - time after time.


5 years ago my hair looked like this. It was an A-line cut and I think it suited my kind of hair. However, I went through a super traumatic break-up around this time that caused me to instantly want to change my hair (something that I later learned is really common). I wasted no time in growing it out. Silly break-ups.



As it grew out, it formed a layered bob which I think worked alright too.


Fast forward a few years and, after 4 years of growing (with intermittent trims of course) my hair looked like this. This photo was taken last June, a few months after my wedding. My hair was the longest it had been in years and while I liked the options it gave me, I got tired of always having to deal with that much hair.


This is about what my hair looks like now. It is a little below my shoulders and...well, that is about it. I am feeling the urge to chop it off again into another A-line, or something like that - but I'm scared. It took years to grow my hair out and I just don't know if I'm ready to do something so drastic - ya know?

This hair business can give a girl STRESS!

So - here's the deal. After work today I am getting my hair cut and I cannot decide if I am going to do something drastic or just get a trim. What to do, what to do...

I need some help y'all. How do you decide when standing at the haircut crossroads?

Any advice?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Seasons Are Changin'



On the morning of Wednesday, February 16th, the view from my back balcony was snowy, cold and flirting with all shades of gray.


On the morning of Saturday, February 19th, the view from my back balcony was sunny, warm and full of color.

This is a game the weather, here in Oregon, will play for the next few months. We are quite used to these alluring teases and know that it will change again soon - but the feeling a day of sunshine brings after a dark and gloomy winter is one of life's little pleasures.

Today, the clouds have rolled back in and Dan and I are heading up to the mountain for a day of skiing. We might as well make the most of it since Spring is clearly on it's way.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Love

I love how the days slowly get longer as Spring delicately plans it's envied return.

I love when I manage to eat only healthy foods for an entire day.

I love staying in hotels.

I love salmon.

I love that in a few weeks I get to go to a birthday party where the theme is 1930's films and you have to dress as a film character from that era.

The Wizard of OZ came out in 1939. I love that.

I love weekends away at the coast with my husband.

I love to travel.

I love my friends.

I love bright pink nail polish and mascara.

I love when I am walking in the wind and, for only a second, I can smell the sent of my shampoo.

I love the smell of new leather shoes.

I love having brunch on a Sunday.

I love French Cinema.

I love the red telephone booths all over England.

I love crossing items off my to-do list.

I love cooking.

I love unexpected snow storms.

I love that it's a 3-day weekend.

I love.

How about you? What are you loving these days?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Oh La Le Creuset



When I was about 8 or 9 I got my first real bike with gears and brakes on the handle bars. It was white with pink Pollock-esque paint splatters.

At least that is my recollection.

I still remember coming out Christmas morning and there it was, perfectly upright with a shiny new kick-stand, illuminated by the tree's lights.

For weeks I would get so excited thinking about it that I would run to the garage, swing open the door and stand there, admiring my metal freedom while contemplating my plans for the summer.

It was Christmas magic. A childhood feast for the imagination. Perfection.

Many years have passed since that Christmas, but I recently discovered that it is still possible to feel that joy, that bliss, that excitement.

Let me introduce you.



Oh, hello, you. Little darling, you are.

I have wanted one of these for years and Macy's recently made me a deal that I just couldn't refuse. Never pay full price for anything at Macy's - it will always go on sale eventually.

That is a lesson for the ages.





Layer by layer, my Le Creuset emerged.



In the words of Randy Quaid from one of my favorite films, Christmas Vacation, "She's a real beaut, Clark."


Oh the soups and the stews. The breads and the roasts. The meals big and small.

I love my new French oven. I can't stop looking at it. To many, it may just seem like another kitchen pot, but to me it is a vessel of opportunity.

Now, the question is - what to make first...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Heart Day



I have never been super into Valentine's Day.


I liked that the day made you stop and think about those you love, but I always felt like you should do that every day and I didn't like that it made some feel sad.


In years past when I was single or miles away from my love, I always made a determined effort to stay happy on Valentine's day, no matter what.



Because the truth is, there is so much love all around. Always.



But I must admit, on this day...


...with my husband here by my side...



...and our families healthy and strong...


...that I am definitely feeling the love.

May you all feel the love in your life today - no matter where it comes from.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Love Beautiful Buildings: Part I


Every time I visit England, I spend months afterwards thinking about how beautiful it is. I feel as though I have been to many, many beautiful places but there is something about England that has me totally enchanted.





A large part of my unabashed love for the place lays in the architecture. It is beyond idyllic. I must have hundreds of photos of English buildings, but I can't stop myself. Imagine coming home to little places like these!!


While visiting in December, Dan and I had a day of sight-seeing in a town called Chester. Chester is walled town which means the original castle walls, that were used for protection, are still standing. Any excursion to a new place usually gets me excited, but when we arrived in Chester, it took my breath away. Towns in America definitely do not look like this.





The buildings ooze charm and are dripping with history.



Sometimes I almost feel like I am in Disneyland, in one of their master-planned little worlds - it is all so perfect looking. But this is a real place and the buildings were actually built in the middle ages. See how this one is leaning? It's because it's been there since about 1610!



And this place? It's a pub that has been there since the 1420's - before America was even discovered. That's right folks - before the U.S.A. was even on the map, the English were sitting it pubs drinking lager :)


Oh, and this building - it's the oldest standing building in Chester, built in 1274. 1274!!! I think Dan gets tired of my obsession over how old the buildings are, but I can't help but think about what things were like when the building was built and how many generations it has stood over, through time.







Ah yes, Chester is indeed a beautiful town.



See those beige, curved raised beds that look like planter boxes? Well, they are actually ruins of a Roman amphitheater, because you know, no town is complete without them.



And some ruins of a Roman garden, pillars and all.



Then there is the cathedral, which is in the center of town. The churches in England are as abundant as they are beautiful and I find the architecture of them totally breathtaking.



My goal is to explore a new English town each time we visit. There is so much to see and I have fresh eyes to lay upon it all. If you ever find yourself in NW England, I highly recommend a day in Chester - it will not disappoint.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hello Again, My Friends


It's been awhile - this I know.

Life has been...full of life. Since Dan and I returned home from England, where we spent Christmas, a lot has been going on. I haven't posted in over a month, which has been both unintentional and unplanned. So far, 2011 has been off to a "full-speed ahead" start and we are still fumbling for our seat-belts.

Here is what's been UP:

1) England

For the first time in my 28 years of life, I spent Christmas away from my family in Portland, OR, USA. Dan and I spent Christmas with his family in England and it was lovely. We were only there for about 10 days, which is really not quite long enough when traveling so far, but I think we made the most of it.





This is where we were: Dan's Mom's house. Uhm...is it not beautifully beautiful? These pictures were taken on Christmas day. There was one of the biggest snow storms in England's history while we were there and we reveled in it.


It was the most perfect day. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and the snow was like powder.


With the amount of time Dan and I have had to spend apart, we delight in being able to be together on a holiday - especially Christmas.




One of the things we always have to do while visiting Dan's house is say hello to the horses. There are stables on the property as well as about 5 horses. Horses are so beautiful, especially against the snowy backdrop. This particular horse came right over to us and made my day. I am equally amazed, humbled and terrified by these magnificent creatures.

Our trip to England went by in a flash and before we knew it, we were back in Portland, year 2011, which leads me to my next little section.


2) Work

I know, I know. Work. Bleh. Boring. However, it has been so very, very consuming as of late. For those who don't know, Dan and I both work in film and we are currently working for a company that makes feature stop-motion animation films. We met working on the film 'Coraline' and are 25 weeks into our second feature production together. Since we arrived back at work in early January, the movie has moved into full swing with us working between 10 - 12 hours each day. It's hard to explain how much working on a film takes over your life to anyone who has not fully experienced it, but I recently wrote a haiku about it for a competition at work that goes a little something like this:

Never-ending grind
No life, no sleep and no love
The film must get made

I am still trying to figure out how we are going to balance our work with our life for the next year or so. I will keep you updated on that one...


3) Thinking About/Putting In An Offer On A House

Now, this was not something I expected. It all started out so innocently.

Dan and I live in a apartment complex at the top of a large hill. On that hill, there are a lot of townhomes. One of those townhomes happened to have a 'for sale' sign in front of it one day and Dan and I, out of pure curiosity, looked it up online.

Never, ever look things up online.

We liked what we saw and decided to see if we could have a look inside. Once inside, we liked it even more. Uh oh.

We showed our parents and they liked it too and told us to go for it. Double uh oh.

"Oh well, the bank probably won't even approve us for a loan," we said.

The bank did approved us for a loan. We had no choice. We made an offer.

EEKS!!!!!!!!!!

As much I would like to finish this story with a "WE GOT THE HOUSE" exclamation, there is a little kink in the story which is this home is a short sale. That means the home is on the way to foreclosure, but more is due on the house than it is currently worth, so the bank is trying to sell it before they have to go to the expense of foreclosing the home and prepping it for auction. That way, they can try to get as much out of it as possible. What this means for us a lot of waiting. Waiting for sellers to agree. Waiting for the bank to decide. Waiting, waiting, waiting. There is every chance in the world that this whole thing could fall through, but right now we are just excited and hopeful that this home is meant for us. Fingers crossed.

So - there you have it. That basically sums up the last one and a half months of my life. It has been pretty manic and ridiculously quick, but exciting and hopeful at the same time. I feel I will have a lot to share in the coming months, which I look forward to sharing.

It's good to be back.

'Till next time...

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