Thursday, July 31, 2008

A New Facet of the Jordana Project

I'm a multitasker. I enjoy having lots and lots and lots of things going on. I've got two jobs... a job that pays the mortgage (My Mortgage Job) and a job that I LOOOVE (My Love Job). I've got a new husband. I've got my Jordana Project.

OBVIOUSLY, it's time for a new addition. And I am BEYOND thrilled to introduce our new bundle of joy...

(please note that my front door is located under a spire.)

She weighs in at 4 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms and 2,600 sq. ft. And we are beaming parents!

We happened upon her at the beginning of July, a little bike ride on July 5 on the way to Portos for a bit of breakfast. After a quick look around I KNEW we couldn't afford it, but thought we'd call just to get an idea of what things were going for in this particular hood. Lo and behold, it was bankowned. And on the market for two months. And dropped $200K on July 3. WHAT!?

So, we're in escrow and set to close next month. Banks take F-O-R-EVER. Inspection yesterday went fabulously well. She's got good bones and, while a project house, is in fabulous shape.

Chris knows that he's in charge of... well... pretty much all of it. This girl is busy trying to get a new business off the ground! But I look forward to editing on the floor while he is sanding. And painting. And tearing out walls. And maybe even working on some pipes.

{This is the place where I would normally post a million pictures. But the previous owners bought it, and then forgot that they had to clean it. For reals... it's icky gross. Did you know that dust could form bunnies, and then the dust bunnies could CLIMB the walls. They do. The place is disgusting. But I love her like only a mother could.}


I am one freakin' lucky girl. We wrote our own vows for the wedding. And Chris promised to always keep my wine glass full. I've gone ahead and applied this to all glasses though... martini, water, soda, champagne, etc.

And recently, he's been stepping it up a notch! Fresh fruit whipped in the Magic Bullet, mixed with the liquor of the day and a some complementing awesomeness.

A Peach Cocktail. (that ice looks like mold... but it's ice.)

The very first one... A Cucumber Martini. Holy.Crap.This.Is.So.Good. Cucumbers are totally my new favorite thing. I've started adding them to all glasses of water. Makes me feel all spa-y!

But Chris threw in some vodka. And really, vodka makes everything better!

We've also rocked raspberries, strawberries and mango. I feel healthy while being so bad!

Baking: Orange Chocolate Torte

Real Simple does this thing... Fake it, Don't Make It. I'd never done it because I feel like it's cheating. Go big or go home... yes?

However, after my last time crunch/heat disaster, I thought I should try to do something a bit more quickly. I only had about an hour to shower, change, get dressed, bake and get out the door. Enter the Chocolate Orange Torte.

And yet, I STILL ran out of time! There was no muffin mix, so I went with cake mix instead. It took nearly twice as long to bake! And I remembered the cooling issues of the past, so knew that I needed to leave some time for that. But we were already 20 minutes late to our little dinner/The Closer party. So, I decided to improvise. I skipped over to the bathroom and grabbed... are you ready for it... my hair dryer! It has a cooler setting. I rocked it.

The other slight issue. The sauce. Chris made an executive decision while I was in the shower to reduce the crap out of my sauce. And he made it candy.

But again, like last time, it tasted F-A-N-TASTIC! not so much pretty, but tasty as if it were made from scratch. Perhaps this will be one to perfect :-)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


While I realize that the little 5.4 quake that hit yesterday was measly for the natives, I was freaked.the.f.out. My very first earthquake!

I was in a First Aid/CPR class... perhaps the exact place one would want to be in a situation such as this. I was pretend making a tourniquet for our controller when the entire room started to shake. The chandaliers were dinging. The ceiling was creaking. And the floor was rolling.

I always thought I'd know just what to do. Door jam. Triangle of Life. But I just sat there. My eyes darting all over the place. Head frozen in panic. No one else was panicking... why aren't we PANICKING!?

And then it was over. And we went back to snake bites and grease fire burns.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cooking: Glazed Cod with Asparagus and Mushrooms

My second weekend venture: Cod.

I've never cooked much fish, but I'm a big white fish fan. So light and delicate, yet meaty. Fantastic.

Flipped through an old issue of Real Simple (April 2008) to land on this page. DEFINITELY worth a try. Chris even licked his plate. Like, put plate to lips and licked all the way around. Then he licked my plate. It was kind of gross. But also kind of made me happy :-)

The even have the recipe online! I dug some Parmesan couscous out of the pantry and it paired quite nicely. Just the right heaviness.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cooking: A New Plan

I am the absolute worst at pulling some things out of the fridge and making something tastilicious. Chris does it amazingly well. I stare at the fridge. Confused. Frustrated. Then make Chris feed me because I'm too hungry to think about it.

I even started buying all kinds of random things at the grocery store so that I'd have lots of options. It made it harder. And I threw out TONS of food that had icky mold. I also threw out the tupperware, because, well, if mold touched it, it's gross.

So, we have a new plan. Chris cooks during the week and I'll take the weekends. This way, I have time to think and plan and shop. And I will be less frustrated. It also helps in that we need to cut WAAAY back on the eating out, which occurs frequently on the weekends. And it's mostly my fault, the eating out. Chris kind of hates going out and would much rather stay in and make chicken and vegetables. (I'm sick of chicken & vegetables.) Now I'll be excited to get some cooking time in on the weekends! And maybe, just maybe, I'll learn enough that I can pull something out on a Tuesday night and whip up something fantastic. (this is the plan.)

So, my first venture. Real Simples' Chicken & Mango Skewers! SUPPPER easy and tasted amazing. And I'm not a huge skewer fan.

(There are no pictures because I was too hungry to run upstairs to grab the camera before eating every single morsel. Sorry. The Real Simple website shot will have to suffice.)

At the store, I originally couldn't find the mangoes... so I started to substitute. Papaya and Peaches. Then I threw in a mango. Was significantly less expensive and more flavorful. Grilled fruit is simple amazing. Should eat more of it.
All around a wonderful summer meal. We ate out by the pool with cocktails. A fabulous summer evening.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stealing Sandwiches

Ani and I went to Le Pain Quotidien for brunch last week. I pass the one on Ventura all the time, but had never been before. Mostly because I'm not quite sure how to pronounce it and never suggest it whilst in a group situation. Anybody know?

Anyways, had an INCREDIBLY tastilicious Tomato & Fig Tartine. I ADORE figs. Had them for the first time at a fantastic resturant in Malibu... it's famous... I forget which one... (my mind is a hot mess these days). They were wrapped in prosciutto. AHHHHHMazing.

So, thought I'd try it. Wasn't sure what a tartine was... but knew it should probably be some sort of sandwich.

It was. And it was awesome.

Open faced with Ricotta Cheese, honey, tomato and fig. Fantastic. And simple!

So I mixed up my own version the other night for dinner. Added a little salad with chicken. Didn't really want the chicken, but Chris throws a hissy if there isn't any protein in his meal. So, we added chicken. George Forman style with a Pear Champagne Vinagrette dressing.

The Le Pain version wasn't quite as piled with the tomato and fig, but I really enjoy the piling... so I piled.

For breakfast this morning I made another version. All fruit on a French Bread.

Think I might eat these on a regular basis.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gardening: WTF?!

Recently discovered in my potato plant.

Junior wanted to smoke them. Chris wanted to sautée them. I wanted to know what the hell they were doing on my balcony.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Things that Suck: Work Shoes

I just found out that every pair of shoes I wear to work must conform to the following guidelines:

1. closed toe
2. closed back
3. no more than 2.5" in height

I own approximately zero pairs that conform.

And I was denied a raise for shoes.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do I Work for Michael Scott?

My boss just passed on an email from Corporate.

"[The Company] is taking a progressive approach to its yogurt portfolio."

God help me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Friends: Celebration!

There's nothing more awesome than celebrating the major events occurring in your friends lives. And tonight was a super awesome one.

There were oysters.
Big fat nasty oysters (I hate them. ick. like big blobs of fishy jelly.)

And crab legs... lots and lots and lots of crab legs. (Those were fabulous!)

And of course champagne. What's a celebration without champagne?!

Because Stephen was premiering on The Closer!

Congratulations 'Mater on your absolutely fabulous work!

(I've never watched this show before and it was pretty excellent. Although, I'm a sucker for shows based in LA because I feel like they're trading inside information just for me!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The City: Hollywood Forever Cemetery

How have I NEVER heard of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery Movie Screenings!? I've been here for three years and never heard of them. Then, this summer, I'm hearing about it all over the place! Blogs & Friends & Emails.

Natalie planned a little outing for Golddiggers of 1933 and it was fantastic!

Paola made the most adorable (and fantasticly tasting) cupcakes that ever happened.

Junior is visiting us from NY, so he came along.

Natalie & Greg.

Paola & Eric

Rob & Anne.

Mary Patterson

The gates open at 7:30, but the movie doesn't start until 9:00, so Chris and I took a walk through the cemetery to snap some photos.

I wonder how much it costs to be buried in a house?

Since I started really shooting, I don't like to give up the camera anymore! But Chris asked really really nicely, so I let him play with the camera.

The movie was EXCELLENT! Total 1930s cheesetastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it, except for the last 20 minutes, when I fell asleep. Opps.

I made the Margarita Cookies again, but something was different. Perhaps too much salt. The batter was different. And I used a coarser sugar, but I don't think it was as sweet, so the salt was even more potent. And yet, I keep eating them :-)

Friday, July 11, 2008

4th of July Trifle

I realize that at this point it is the 11th of July and I am slightly behind in the blogging. Opps. But really, the 4th of July Trifle could occur on any date.

Martha is responsible for this deliciousness. I made a Martha cake for Christmas last year. Some kind of 10 layer gingerbread debacle. 6 hours after I began, I cursed her name and swore that I would never bake her again.

But the trifle was so amazingly super easy. I would link the recipe here, but I can't find it! Apparently Martha does not believe that the 4th of July Trifle could occur on any date.

So I will do my best to remember. There was a store bought Angel Food Cake (Martha told me to STORE BUY!) You cut the cake into pieces. In a pan, simmer some sugar and lemon juice, to a boil and then paint the angel food pieces with it.

Then there was some cream. I'm guessing it was whipping cream.. and.. probably something else. (I suck at this part, but you could just throw together some cream!)

Then there are layers... fruit, cream, cake, etc.

I kept giggling to myself as I remembered that episode of Friends when Rachel makes the Trifle for Thanksgiving dinner. Hers included Lady Fingers, Cream, Chocolate, Peas, Carrots and Hamburger Meat. HA!

I think next time I would make it look prettier. Lucky for me, the drunk pool party people didn't really have a thing for aesthetics.


Sometimes I have to remember to slow down. To be a little less busy. To sit on the porch with a bit of bubbly, a guitar and my crooning husband.

Hope your weekend is fantastic!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blog Whoring

Anybody want to rent a place in NoHo?

Appreciation All Around

Darci and I "met" when I stumbled across her blog and realized that we were using the same damask pattern for our weddings. And I am all about the damask. I was kind of a freak about how they all needed to match and I had stamps custom made so that the invitation would match the runners on the table. Perfectionist freak. But Darci not only understood, she appreciated it!

When I posted about my new photography venture, she was as super excited as I was! (I love that!) So I sent some stuff over and she blogged about lil' ole me!

I'm a Sales Manager. In sales it's all about next month. Doesn't matter what you did this month, or the month before. If you surpassed a goal by 20%, well, that's nice... but what's happening tomorrow. No appreciation here.

It's so amazing to have someone else out there appreciate what you are doing! Thank You Darci! I appreciate you for appreciating me!

Go check her out here!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Gardening: Babies

My basil is growing babies!

Baking: Apricot Crisp. A THANK YOU!

Thank you thank you thank you thank you to all the comments about my new venture in photography. I am so excited and thrilled and amazingly thankful for how supportive you all are. Thanks!

So, back to our regularly scheduled programming

Smitten Kitchen
strikes again. God I love her. Last Saturday I climbed out of bed bright and early and attempted the Breakfast Apricot Crisp. It was fantastic!

And beyond easy. Probably could have done it with my eyes closed!

The rest of the making process was boring... so no photos.

I decided to add some raisins. I added it into the "crisp" on top. And they got burned. Those things blueberry looking things are actually crispy raisins. Note - if you want to add them, add them to the apricot mixture. More moisture. Less crispy.

I picked out most of icky crispy raisins and served it over vanilla yogurt. And it was fantastic!

There was a bit leftover that I ate all by itself the next day and it was even better.

Today I made a strawberry version (red for Fourth of July!) and it was damn good. So good that we ate it before I remembered to take photos.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Where Have I Been?

I've been working really hard. Deciding what I want to do with my life. And oddly enough, this blog helped me find it!

I've been beyond nervous to share my dream with people. But have decided that I really want to do this and, in order to do that, I have to tell folks.

So, here goes... I want to be a photographer! I've been shooting shooting shooting and spending hours learning, editing, playing and falling in love with what I hope to call a career in the near future. I've been so thrilled with the feedback that I've been getting from the lucky ones who have seen my work so far. Thank you for your encouragement and praise. You've done more for me than you'll ever know!

Here goes...