Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Open Letter

Dearest Escrow Company,

I hate your stinking guts. You make me sick.

Your job is to make my life easy. You're supposed to gather and organize. You're supposed to know your shit. This does not include calling me 20 minutes before I'm scheduled to arrive at your office and suggest that maybe we sign on another day. This does not include calling me at 12:30 in a mad panic to get paperwork signed (that you forgot to include in the original signing, so it's your fault really) by 4:00 and then never emailing it or returning my multiple phone calls. This does not include forgetting to get the deed from the seller until the day before we close, thusly pushing closing back to the next business day which is essentially four days due to a holiday weekend.

I hate you.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baking: Scones

I don't think there is anything I love more than scones. They're so freakin' good. And to be completely honest, a fairly new discovery for me. We were doing a Tea Tasting for work and this little bit of heaven passed through my lips. And I'm not much of a breakfast sweets kind of girl. But I could eat these for breakfast every day.

I've eaten them many times since that day, but I've never made them! So, I went directly to Smitten Kitchen and searched for scones. There was only one entry, and I was heartbroken to begin reading that she HATED the recipe. But I kept reading... there had to be a "but..." And there was! Another recipe that was perfection. At it was.

Technically, this is the second time that I've made this recipe. The first was for Janices' bridal shower. I cut them out of the dough cookie cutter style with a shot glass. Tiny little round goodness. But I forgot to take pictures of them.

I had some leftover heavy cream, so I whipped some up on Monday morning. For the first time in nearly three weeks, Chris and I had an entire day off together. It was a beautiful day full of refrigerator shopping, termite work inspecting and reconnecting. We REALLY needed it and it was perfect! (In other news, did you know how expensive refrigerators are?!) Back to the point... I wanted to make a nice little breakfast to start the day. Scones & fried eggs. Excellent.

These are FANTASTIC! Seriously, go make them. Now.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We Signed!

(holy crap)

Yesterday was the loan doc signing day! Chris got a Power of Attorney notarized so that I could sign for him. Apparently leaving the set for an hour to buy a house is looked down upon (kidding Chris. I love you.) He's working absolutely crazy hours. Coming home at 3 am, leaving by 8 am. And that's if he even comes home! I leave at 6:45 for work these days... so we're kind of just sharing a bed for a few hours a night. sad.

Anywho, by some miracle of God he had Friday off! His first day in almost three weeks! Which was awesome for me because apparently it's not as simple as signing my name and then signing his name. It's signing my name and then some ridiculously long sentence about who I am and who he is and why I'm signing for him. On every page.

Seems like there were fewer pages for these loan documents than the last time. But honestly, we are both such exhausted human beings at this point, we could have potentially bought the Empire State Building and not realized it.

Last time I took pictures, and this time I forgot. I had the camera and everything. And I forgot. I was somewhat stunned that the Notary was sharing all kinds of information with us about the births of her four children. And what birth control she was on when she got pregnant. And how she got her tubes tied. And what it's like when you're in labor. And that we should have four kids too. Why is that when you get married every person on the planet feels the need to give me a little punch in the arm and ask when the kids are coming with a big goofy smile?! My usually excuse is "We live in 667 square feet! Where the hell would I put it?!" But now we have 2,600 square feet... that's probably enough space for a kid. New excuse "I have two mortgages. If a kid costs more than $10 a month, I'm not going to be able to afford it."

So, closing on August 29 :-)

(holy crap)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Most Ridiculous Extravaganza

So, last Friday the sales staff had a bit of training in the morning. I was feeling ick, so in an attempt to turn my frown upside down, I threw on my favorite Louboutain wedding shoes (totally not fit for the new dress code, but there hasn't been a formal memo yet, so I'm toeing the line.) I haven't worn them since the wedding and they just needed to come off the shelf.

Photo by Rob Holley

Anywho, our training was all about having fun at work, choosing to be happy that we're here, and being a team. We watched a video that profiled the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle where they throw the fish at each other in an effort to keep it light and fun and happy. And honestly, watching them have fun lightened my mood a bit.

At the end of the discussion, my Director of Sales handed out aprons and gloves... can you imagine where I'm going with this!?

The three of us moved out to the parking lot while our DoS disappeared into the kitchen. We're standing there. Heels, skirts, pearls, plastic apron and gloves. She walks out. With a tray of whole Tilapia. For real!? Then, we proceeded to throw gutted fish at each other. In the parking lot. Outside my office. I was barefoot. In a suit.

Christian sat far away from the debacle and looked at me in disgust/fear.

However, it was kind of fun in a weird way. Team solidarity in the face of ridiculous experiences.

Body: La Di Da Di

I was so super good last week. This week, eh, a bit here and a bit there. But I'm feeling less jiggly so that's always a good sign! I think I did some sort of work out 4 times last week. But I pulled a double class on one of the days and that felt awesome. I hit a pilates class and a yoga class... I forgot how much I missed those classes. How amazing the simple relaxing/breathing can feel after pushing my body through triangles and circles and planks. I haven't really stretched like that in a very long time and I felt leaner, longer and stronger. Should work that into my regimen.

I went through lots and lots of technology errors last week with my photography blog, so I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with Go Daddy instead of at the gym. I must say, their customer support department is beyond phenomenal. I think I called every single night, for at least an hour a night and they were the most helpful people I've ever dealt with (except the two guys on Saturday night who were pricks. And I hate them.)

Another slight issue... I'm shooting. A lot. So, I'm out a lot in the evenings, or driving home late at night. And I've gotten into a slight habit of fast food dinner. bad bad bad bad bad. Most of the time I'll just get a hamburger and a diet coke. No fries (being healthy and whatnot.) They taste so freakin' good. DEEEEEElicious! But this is going to be a bad habit... last week, I had three! (lots of shooting = good. lots of fast food = bad.)

But, I'm down another one! Slow and steady wins the race, no?

Weight: 127

Goal: 120

Weekly Change: -1

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Polaroid Camera

How freakin' cool are polaroid cameras!?

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Photography Blog Moved!

Don't worry! It's still there... it's just here now instead :-)

Update your readers!

And because I hate posts without photos... and little snapshot of the beautiful sky last night on my way home from the gym. I kind of miss the clouds and rain and thunderstorms back on the east coast. Only kind of though. When I remember the many afternoons trekking home in the pouring rain, I remember how fantastic seasonless weather can be. Then I remember those cute galoshes I have sitting in the back of my closet getting no play for the last three years... ahhh... memories.

Anyway, sunset. With clouds. Stunning, yes?

(Thank You iPhone!)

Everything Is Illuminated

You know what I love? Netflix. What a fantastic service!? Love it. We've been watching all kinds of movies lately. I usually fall asleep. Because I'm old and tired like that. But, I get the general gist of things and am really enjoying a departure from the networks.

Chris' sister recommended Green Street Hooligans, so we added it to the list. (It's an excellent movie, and super highly recommended, but that's not what this post is about.) There was a preview for a film I'd never heard of, Everything is Illuminated. It's about a young Jewish collector who travels to the Ukraine to meet a woman in a photograph. The trailer was so hilarious and heart wrenching that I knew I had to see it. It fled up to the top of my Netflix queue.

We watched it last weekend. It was a fantastic film! Of course, I fell asleep. But for the first time in a long time, I NEEDED to see the middle parts that I missed because I was asleep. I knew the end, but I had to experience the middle for myself.
Go. Now. Rent it, buy it, netflix it. You will absolutely laugh, cry and be touched by this amazing experience.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Decor: Chairs

I've got decor on the mind. I've got all these rooms to decorate as I see fit and I'm beyond excited! The house is quite, errr, eclectic. Like the previous owners watched too many design shows. Then they decorated each room in a totally different manner.

The front bedroom, formal living room and dining room are quite Spanish. Beautifully high rounded ceilings, thin plank light hardwood floors... all delicious! Then, there's the kitchen, which is a totally cluster and I wish we could rip out the day after closing. Seriously, they didn't clean in it at least 3 years. It's ickity ick ick. The living space is off of the kitchen. It has wide plank, knotty, light wood floors. With deep ridges. And a chair rail. And exposed beams that don't quite match up to each other. And it looks like they accidentally bought too many kitchen cabinets and so they placed a set in the living room. For real, it's weird as hell.

So, the decor. I'm starting with chairs. I've been wanting a high backed wing chair for as long as I can remember. But I didn't have the space. OHHHH but I wanted one so bad. I wanted a vintage one. An icky disgustingly upholstered one. One that I could make my very own. But it had to be the right shape. And it had to be solid.

And last weekend, I found it!
This is the Craig's List photo. I would have taken my own, but the chair has been chillin in the back of my car since Sunday. I have no where else to put it! And I'm too tired to go downstairs, pull it out, take a photo and then get stuck not being able to put it back into the car because it weighs a million pounds. So, I apologize for the crapiness of the Craig's List photo quality.

I love love love the rounded seat. The height of the back. The perfect little legs. Sigh... love her! I'm thinking something funky cool but classic for the fabric. A print. Blue, beige, perhaps some yellow. Joanns was sucky. But I've got swatches coming from Mood.

Next step... find an upholsterer. Recommendations!?

House Update

I'm kind of amazed at how smoothly things are running with the house buying situation we have going on over here. The emotional side of it is a totally freakin' disaster. I work myself up into a tizzy at least every other day. Who do we think we are?! What are we doing?! What are we getting ourselves into!? We're going to lose all of our money and have to live on the street in a giant cardboard box. AHHHHHH! And on the days that I'm not working myself into a crazy hurricane, Chris is.

But the part that's supposed to be the hardest... the inspections and the loan and the paperwork crap has been surprisingly easy. The gathering of the stuff was difficult. But that's over.

We had a termite inspection. The place is nearly 80 years old. And there's lots of wood. Obviously it has termites. But there was a lot of work needed to make it perfect. Two days ago, my Realtor sent me an addendum that required them to pay for it. All of it. All $5,000 worth of wood work and spraying and shiza. And I kind of giggled. There was NO way they were going to pay for that. But, I figured she knows more about buying houses than I do, so I signed it.

And this morning, they signed it. WTF! Why would they do that! I'm psyched beyond belief. Dummies. :-) I'm pissed though... they're not going to paint. (Kidding)

And today, more totally unexpected news. I'm thinking... it's all going to well. The loan bank is going to come back and say "haha, you guys suck. We're not giving you money. That would be dumb!" And then they didn't. Today, we were approved! (Holy Shit)

It still doesn't feel real though. Even though I have our living room and bedroom and my office totally designed in my head. And it's stunningly gorgeous.

We take a lot of walks. And lately, we've planned our walks to the house and back to our condo. It's a good 3-4 mile walk and we have such amazing talks. Anywho, on our Sunday walk to the house, we stood in the driveway and stared at our house. Wow, our house. And Chris pointed to our tree. And a beautiful dove was sitting on one of our branches. Looking at us. Bringing us peace. Peace at our house.

(Holy Shit)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's Official

I'm an old married lady with a new last name and a disgusting photo ID.

My old one was an angry poofy haired version of myself. But at least it was exposed properly.

Cooking: Pan-Seared Steak Au Poivre

Last night was Chris' last night at home before the ridiculousness of production starts. There are lots of 18 hour days in his future and lots of PB&J sandwiches for me!

So, as our last hurrah until September, I thought I'd make something super special. And nothing screams super special like Filet Mignon. I love me some filet and order it at every steak resturant I encounter. It's just so fantastic. And I always thought it would probably be quite difficult to recreate at home. So I thought it was worth the heftier pricetag.

Guess what? It's freakin' not! And it's easy and probably the most awesome dinner I've ever made. Ever.

Another Real Simple miracle! So super easy and simple. One of the most tender and delicious steaks I've ever had. I threw some asparagus in a pan with olive oil and pine nuts and sauteed for a bit. I should have put in some garlic. because, well, it makes everything better. There was also some rice pilaf, but it was too watery at photo shoot time. One of those Near East boxes that are so delicious and are highly recommended!

I'm sure the cooking recipes are going to come to a halt for the next few weeks. I mean, is anyone interested in PB&J and cereal photos? ... Didn't think so!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Body: Getting Back Into the Habit

Slowly but surely, I'm getting there. I didn't work Monday - Wednesday of last week (and it was amazing) so I hit the gym regularly. Morning, afternoon, no traffic, empty rooms. It was fantastic and I don't want to have my mortgage job anymore (more on that at some point in the future.)

Monday: 24 S.E.T.

Tuesday: Hiking

Wednesday: Zumba

Thursday: 24 L.I.F.T

Sunday: Walking

It was a good workout week... and by Friday I was feeling svelte again. And then I hit my nemisis. Mochi.

It's a problem. I woke up on Saturday CRAVING it. And bounced over to the fridge with frizzy hair and a stupid grin on my face. Ice cream at 9 am! And Chris had eaten the last of it! It was gone. My grin vanished and I was sad.

So I hit Trader Joes for a Strawberry and a Mango box. Somehow, between the two of us, there is no more mochi. Two days, twelve balls. Crapper.

So, no more mochi. Chicken & Vegetables & things that are good for me. Eh, Chris is working production for the next month... 18 hour days. So I'll probably dig into the PB&J and cereal... that's good for me, right?!

Weight: 128

Goal: 120

Weekly Change: -1

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cooking: Pancakes

I.Love.Pancakes. They're awesome. All kinds of awesome. But I don't make them that much because it's a lot of work for a Saturday morning. I usually use my grandfathers' recipe. He was an amazing cook and it's like a family heirloom. But it's got all kinds of stuff that I didn't have in the house... crisco and whatnot.

So, to the computer I went to google "pancake recipe" and this little one popped up. Easy enough. Followed one of the commenters thoughts and reduced the salt to 3/4 tsp and added a tsp of vanilla.

I used the flat side of this grill aparatus. It covers two burners and get's hot all over. Lots of room for pancake making. I made them tiny for faster cooking and more adorableness.

Topped with some raspberries and ready for eating!

They are delicious! The vanilla adds the perfect bit of scrumptiousness. I would definitely ditch the heirloom for these again.

I just have to add this little contraption. It's a pancake dropper. Honestly, it was a whim registry item. Thank You Thank You Thank You to Miss SamEd for the gift. It's the first time I've use it and it is awesome. Perfect tiny little pancakes and no mess! An excellent addition to your kitchen. Go get it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cooking: Fake Fried Chicken and Garlicky Baby Zucchini & Potatoes

I'm a Southern girl. And I make a damn good fried chicken. But it's bad for you. And oil splatters all over the place. And I need to be less fat.

SOOOOO.... fake fried chicken. It's actually super easy. And tastes pretty awesome.

I had baby zucchini (how cute are they!?) and potatoes, so I found a recipe that would use both. Some of my potatoes were purple. Funky. If I hadn't read recently that those kinds of potatoes exist, I may have thought that they had gone horribly bad. All in all, they taste like regular potatoes.

Chris is working super late these days, it seems rude of me to wait for him to come home and then make him cook. So I've been picking up his slack :-)


My blog is celebrating it's very first birthday :-)

I should have made a cake...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cooking: Brussels Spouts

I will try anything once. I was always forced to do it as a kid, and it has served me well in my adult years. However, the only thing I was absolutely positive that would never be put on my plate was brussels sprouts. My step-father, who eats everything, HATED them. And if he hated them, then my mom never made them. (I hated pork chops, but had to eat them all the time.)

So I grew up thinking that brussels sprouts were the devil and bad children were allowed to eat nothing but brussels sprouts and they were disgustingly awful.

But, a few weeks ago, I had dinner with a blogging buddy, Diabolina. She RAVED about the brussels sprouts. At first my nose scrunched. And then I thought, "What the hell!" (Keep in mind, I've never actually eaten brussels sprouts at this point in my life... I've just heard their nasty stories.) These were prepared with bacon and really, everything with bacon is pretty awesome.

And they were F-A-N-TASTIC! Amazing. I have dreams about them.

So, just a few days ago, I'm strolling up the aisle at Farm Boy and spot some adorable little brussels sprouts. For reals, how cute are they!?

I found a roasted brussels sprouts and bacon recipe and went to town.

And it was easy and delicious and I will be making them much more regularly! Maybe even for my step-father... muahahahahaha!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's a Saturday.

I'm in the office.

Body: Ickity Ick Ick Ick

I was like a rockstar before the wedding. Or a socialite. My willpower over food was fantastic. My dedication to the gym was superb. The lifestyle of a lady with a rockin' bod was cleverly integrated into my own!

Now. Ick. Motivation = 0.

I started posting about it as a motivational tool... but then I got slack/lazy/blah and just stopped posting.


5 pounds.


So, I'm back. I'm going to rock it. Because I hate hate hate my jiggliness.

The plan:
Lifting Sessions - 2 per week
Cardio Sessions - 2 per week
Outdoor Workout Sessions - 1 per week
Sit on my bum so I don't burn myself out and gain 10 more pounds - 2 per week

There we go! TKB/Treadmill on Monday & Wednesday, 24 Lift/Self-Motivated-Lifting on Tuesday & Thursday and Hiking on Saturday or Sunday. Maybe even a Friday TKB, but only because I love Shilo so much I might want to have her babies. I don't think I've ever been so excited to attend a gym class as I am when I know she's teaching.

Updates will be coming on Tuesdays. I'm required to. Forced by myself.

Happy weekend!