Friday, July 30, 2010

Are You Sure You Want To Eat That?

I've learned that I have a little too much to say about fashion. And even though we're wrapping up my first ever themed-week of blogging--food--I wanted to get a little fashion fodder in.

Well, at least fashion-related fodder.

Since we are about as far away from Girl Scout cookie season--a season I look forward to very much--as you can get, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this "vintage" sugar cookie recipe, and to get into the bigger idea of "vintage" food.

And, I think we can all agree there is a difference between "old" food and "vintage" food, so I won't go there.

Anyway, I really enjoy learning about the foods eaten by people from a different time and even a different culture. I have this same fascination with vintage fashion; how people dressed for the time and place they were in was always so fitting and flattering. With food, every people has worked with the natural ingredients around them to develop culturally relevant (and very tasty) food. But, as the world marketplace has grown and food is flown around the world, plus the modern kitchen's capabilities (read: microwave), we've modified what we eat and when we eat it.

In a very similar way, we've grown out of "vintage" recipes (like ones requiring you to baste a roast for 6 hours) in favor of newer ones (or, ones that other people prepare for us that we reheat and consume.)

However, being that I can't easily let anything go (or is it that I want to eat everything in sight?), I want to give some classics a try. Much like my desire to revive classic drinks, certain recipes shouldn't be discounted just because that same "food" comes in a convenience form (read: wrapped in a plastic tray and heated on medium for 5-7 minutes.)

Going beyond cooking in one of these, I think reading something like Fashionable Foods (which looks fabulous) may better fit my desire to blend vintage fashion and food into my modern kitchen.

Do you have a recipe for some classic but gone-by-the-wayside dish that's worth the extra effort?

Oh, and how did you like the themed week? Was it as fun for you as it was for me?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can I Have Some Land Now, Please?

We recently purchased our very own "bistro set" (a mish-mash of clearance pieces from Target, if you were curious). So, the balcony is now primo real estate.

And even though it can be like, 99 degrees at 7 p.m., I would still like to make better use of the patio. I want it to work for me.

I would like to start growing some herbs or other edibles in a box out there. It would be awesome to grab some parsley or basil from 20 feet away when I want it for my dinner preparations. I would feel so Provencal.

I hear that people do that kind of thing. I hear that they study the growing conditions of the type of herb or manageable veggie that they want to grow, buy some seeds, plant those seeds during the correct season, supply them the right soil and watering conditions, generally nurture the suckers, and--BAM!--food!

I also hear that, in general, the plants stay alive.

Unfortunately, I have never been green-thumbed. I think plants with roots shriek with anxiety when they see me coming. The cut flowers just give up.

But herbs wouldn't be too difficult, would they? I mean, I'm not trying to grow a fig tree. Herbs are a manageable size and look like they are revive-able if I blow it and forget to water them. And I hear mint just takes over like a weed. They have to stand a whisper of a chance in my hands.

I also feel like I could seriously take on the Topsy Turvy Planter for tomatoes. Just add water! In fact, I'm one step ahead of "Just add water!": people who know what they are doing in the dirt told me to put shiny things up, like silver ribbons, to distract the birds and keep them from pecking at my hard work.

I don't know about you, but it would have taken my several seasons to figure that kind of thing out.

I know you people are way more educated about gardening and growing than I am. The patio stays sunny, like, all the time. As you know, autumn is approaching. I can follow a watering schedule (OK, I will try really, really hard to follow a watering schedule). What could I possibly grow out there right now? Besides shiny ribbons, are there any tips you can share?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spoiled in Summer (and All Year Long)

It took a dinner last week for me to realize how truly spoiled I am.

We roasted potatoes in herbs and a bit of olive oil. We sauteed fresh green beans with toasted almonds and heirloom tomatoes. We grilled up some steaks. And, we bought pretty much all of it at a farmer's market.

Stephen and I are big fans of these markets. Every summer these markets will crop up around the Fresno area with the best tasting selection of produce this side of, well...I guess the rest of the year.

Fresno has farmer's markets year round. Which means, you might be as spoiled as I am.

For the few months where fruits and veggies like blueberries, tomatoes and summer squash are in season, you can enjoy them knowing they didn't travel very far to get to you. At other times of the year, equally in-season, super-healthy and ultra-flavorful food, grown down the street from where you live, awaits consumption by YOU, you lucky duck.

We live in such an agriculturally-rich area. I'm as guilty as anyone else who often doesn't realize that what is grown locally, in season, is way better than what I can pick up at the super market, year-round. And, living a block away from the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market means that I get all the benefits of the farmer's market year-round by looking out my window. Plus, they take credit cards.

The more time Stephen and I spend cooking for ourselves, the more we realize that we miss certain foods when they are not readily available (or affordable!) This circumstance must be that much more difficult for those who don't have access to fresh fruits and veggies grown in the valley, or must wait for shipments to arrive to their local megamart. We're finding that a lot of food is worth the wait.

A favorite farmer's market of ours is the Old Town Clovis Farmer's Market, which runs every Friday (5-ish to 9-ish) until September 10. You can make a day of going to any of the farmer's markets in town, since many offer entertainment and ready-made meals, too. Make sure to take a visit if you haven't before (or in a long time).

It's one thing to want to try new recipes involving produce any time of the year, but it's another thing completely to take advantage of the summer fruits and veggies while they're around. I want to know: What are your favorite recipes using summer produce? Do you have a go-to seasonal dish that is worth using the best that summer farmer's markets have to offer? Please share!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway!

I interrupt this food-themed week of blog posts to bring you...


As if my fashion-related posts weren't getting you into enough trouble already...

Shabby Apple (you know, the fabulous online dress retailer) is having a giveaway through the fabulous blogger Betty Beguiles!

Fabulousness abounds!

I think that the only way to make this all better would be to add ice cream.

Does that make this post food-related? I think so.

I'll share the love with you all; access the contest here!

Organizing Memories

My wonderful Grandma passed away in 2007. She was so full of love that thinking about her always brings a fond memory to mind and a bit of a heavy feeling in your heart from missing her.

However, Grandma was also plotting trouble. I know this because I have been tasked with organizing this trouble.

You see, Grandma could cook.

Not like how everyone's grandma cooks well. She was GOOD.

Every once in a while, I'll be walking somewhere, catch a whiff of SOMETHING, and it just TAKES OVER.*

"Brain no function on task. Must get food."

These scents that remind me of her great food, cooked with love, have this way of stopping me dead in my tracks.

Anyway, her recipes are those you want to treasure, document, learn, and make every Sunday. Like any good chef, she had flexibility. She worked from a variety of source materials to make her traditional and new creations: cookbooks, recipe cards, squares of recipes scraps ripped from magazines, video tapes of celebrity chefs' creations, and good, ol'-fashioned memory.

It is now my duty to finally buckle down and organize all the recipes. This means I must look through every single page, including those I believe were put there to sabotage the whole project (i.e., the handwritten, very faded and frequently illegible notes that are also apparently recipes).

As I begin this task, sometimes I think Grandma knew I would never be able to read every item. "Is this a recipe for gravy or the directions to the mechanic?" Looking at a relatively new 3X5 with very faded writing I wondered, "Was she trying to hold the pencil two feet away from the note card while writing, slipped, and accidentally got some words on there? Was she trying to write it from the underside? Why is it so faded?!"

Some don't even have measurements, just random ingredients taunting you. I bet Grandma was thinking, "Ha! Just try to guess how much ricotta to put in that cheesecake!"

Alas, I guess that isn't too bad, really. Most of the recipes will make their way into a family "cookbook," and some will just forever be associated with her memory and the sneak-attack aromas.

How should I do all of these memories justice? I mentioned a family "cookbook," but I'm honestly not sure how to best organize everything. Do I do it scrapbook style? Take it into Kinkos? Something fancier? All thoughts are appreciated!

*You know how serious I am because of the prevalence of all caps.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blogging With a Side of Catsup

Welcome to my first themed week of blogging!

By opening this page, you have invited yourself into a week of adventure, romance and mystery!

Bet you didn't know what you were getting into.

The blog theme this week will be...FOOD!*

I will be discussing various food topics this week that have been on my mind and part of my life.

Recently, I have come across more people who choose to blog about food full time. While I might spend a whole lot of my time thinking about food, and part of my time writing about food, I don't know if I could make food blogging my job.

But when you have such passion for food, I guess you can't not share it with the world. That's why I really enjoy reading and following blogs of multiple food perspectives, like...


Smitten Kitchen


Kelly the Kitchen Kop**

and the local TasteFresno

I hope this week you do find the adventure, romance and mystery you unexpectedly stumbled upon here. You may also find a recipe or two you like, or a blog you'd like to follow.

Just make sure to chew before swallowing.

*You can pretend to be surprised if you want, but I'm not hurt if you weren't.

**Don't be upset with the misspelling of "cop." It took me some time to get over, but the site is definitely worth a visit and your forgiveness.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Unpretentious Dress

I wanted to take this Fashion Friday to discuss something pretty important to me: dressing modestly.

I'm not going to lecture anyone reading this. If you were ever a teenage girl (which applies to maybe, I don't know, half of my readers), you've probably been lectured to, at least once in your life, by your mom/grandma/other authority figure about modesty.*

Instead, I want to help you make modest dressing a reality.**

Today, I want to discuss--naturally--the clothes. Too often, I don't know where to look for the modest pieces I have in mind. Too often, I've walked into a store, found a great piece (say, a navy, V-neck, cotton, seemingly-knee-length cocktail dress--just for example) and discovered when putting it on that it would be appropriate only when swimming. And, too often I've looked for modest clothing, but the retailers have only supplied "dumpy" or "tent-like" clothing.

You ladies know this struggle.

So, I wanted to help you find garb you won't have to second guess, and won't make you self conscious.

I know I've already linked to Shabby Apple, the modesty-focused women's online dress retailer, but here are some other online retailers to cover your basic modest fashion needs.

Shade Clothing

DownEast Basics

Sweet Innocence Dresses

Christa Taylor

I seriously have dozens of thoughts and resources on modest fashion, and it will be a topic I revisit often. In the meantime, do you have any go-to modest retailers? Or, thoughts about modesty in general?

I do not receive compensation from any of these retailers.

*If you were ever a teenage boy, and this was a prime issue of discontent for you, let me know. I'm curious about guy's struggles with modesty, or how they feel about "modesty."

**To me, there's a lot more to modesty than selecting the right clothes versus the wrong clothes. It's really a mindset. Modesty is about understanding your worth. It's about helping people see you, and not getting distracted by the clothes you've halfway wrapped yourself in. It's really a topic that I enjoy discussing from many practical perspectives. (A couple resources discussing modesty that I found helpful/interesting are here and here.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rosary

Last night, Stephen and I attended the rosary for the a family friend we lost last week.

The rosary is such a beautiful prayer that most times I begin to pray it, I get mad at myself for not making more time to pray it.

It's a good thing.

So, partly because I am attending the funeral this morning, and partly because I want to share the rosary with those unfamiliar with it (or those who could afford to learn more about it), here are a few resources that may be helpful for you.

How to pray it

A brief history

A discussion

Some not-so-FAQs about the rosary

And if you're a prayer, please pray for the family and the repose of the soul of Dexter Aquino. I know they appreciate it--and so do I.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Apple-ing Games to Life

At the beginning of the week, I didn't think that I'd discuss board games more than once. In fact, I didn't think I'd write about them at all.

But, it's only Wednesday, and here's time #2.*

Brother-in-law and girlfriend (a.k.a. Adam and Heather) came over for dinner yesterday. We decided after dinner to play Apples to Apples (which is never not fun). If you're not familiar with it, you can learn more here.

However, to those already versed in the rules, you know what I mean when I say it is not a strategy game; it is a game of knowing your neighbors.

While playing it with strangers or new friends can be fun all on its own (unless you are competitive, in which case it is frustrating), playing with people who you reportedly "know well" will either confirm you in that belief or make you question how the two of you got along in the first place.

It's really fun to learn little things about your family and friends in games like this. I, for example, learned a long time ago that Stephen will never select the card that is most accurate. He plays "Apples to Apples opposite," his own version of the game. With him, irony wins. He doesn't end up with good cards, but that's OK with him.

You learn who the sore winners are ("In your face!"), and the sore losers ("What?!? Not catnip/Gladiators/Al Sharpton?!?")

You also learn that you enjoy laughing at these reactions.

Hilarity in general.

But anyway, learning these little things about the people in your life is nice. I guess that sometimes we need stuff like board games to do that.

Do you have any experience with this game? Can you think of another "bonding" game? I'd love to hear about it!

*I should really stop trying to predict what I am going to write about. One of these days, I'll have to take you readers through my blog-posting process.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Special Delivery: Stress

I came home from work on Friday to a special delivery.

My apartment complex called me up at work, informing me that two packages had come for me.

Since I had ordered two skirts (which are fabulous in real life!!), I figured they each arrived at the same time. Sweet!

However, they arrived with a friend.

I opened up the first package and it was the two skirts that I had ordered--together.

My delight was greeted with sudden curiosity.

"What did 'bonus package' have in it?" I wondered. "A treat?"

No. It had responsibility.

It was someone else's order. A violet swimsuit waiting to head to its destined home in Columbus, Ohio, to Taryn B. The package had erroneously been sent my-a-way.*

My immediate reaction was "Uh-oh! They sent it to me by mistake. Sillies! Surely the company will fix this!"

Then I realized, the company likely have no idea, and it is up to me to fix this mess. Taryn B. is in need of her vintage-inspired purple product, and must unknowingly rely on a fellow consumer with plucky enthusiasm to make things right.

After calling the company, they told me how to get a free return label on their Website with no shipping cost to me. I'll package the suit up and should be able to get it shipped out this week. Then, it's up to the company to get it to the proper owner.

I can only wish Taryn B. luck.

Have you been saddled with this responsibility before? How did you handle it?

*Without naming names, some people in my life are trying to get me to just keep it. Bad role models.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Revelations

In revelations that seem to come all at once (remember X Does Not Equal Y)?, I have learned much more about life.

Busy weekend.

Here's what I will share:

Always make sure to dust before opening up old cookbooks.

When cleaning your kitchen, make sure to not leave freshly-cut cantaloupe exposed.

Air conditioning is absolutely necessary in a second-story apartment in Fresno on a July afternoon. No matter how strong you think you are, you will be broken.

Mint juleps are potent. Be prepared.

I am not a fan of strategy games when I do not know the strategy ahead of time (see here). Also, I am not a fan of strategy games that go on for two-and-a-half hours. Ever.

While bug bites may not have the same social stigma as zits, they are, in fact, just as annoying. And, seven times itchier.

There is no getting around waiting at the DMV. Even its Website is in no hurry to help you.

When you are waiting for something, it just takes longer to get here.

Summer--and tomato season--means that I get to make awesome stuff like this.

It is really important to stay close to family.

Any weekend revelations you'd like to share? I'd love to hear 'em!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hats Off

That's right folks: the intuition that tells you my cheesy title reflects what I'm going to talk about today is spot on!

I have the smartest readers around.

I think that the dissolution of hats in modern society is a huge bummer for us all.* Not a generation ago, hats were a staple of everyday life, making their way into the urban, suburban and rural communities. The farm worker and the president each relied on the hat for their jobs.

Now that is breaking down barriers.

But just look at what the world is like now: Fashion suffers because there are fewer accessorizing options. Our hair gets bleached. The sun gets in your eyes.

It's nearly tragic.

Since I love me some vintage styling, I have linked you to some fine vintage-based modern options (other than a baseball cap when you're dashing off to a haircut) to help repair the void hat-absence has left. Here's a brief list of generally enjoyable head gear**:

Hat 1

Hat 2

Hat 3

Hat 4

And here's a vintage video with some of the stars of yesteryear wearing their millinery best. It's pretty fun.

Have a hat-full weekend in the heat!

P.S. I'm not alone!

*Stephanie, we need to "bring hats back!" (*snickers*)

**No, not that type of head gear. Sorry to give you scary orthodontist flashbacks.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

French Failure

So, I think this might be failure week.

I was planning on having a French-themed week soon to give me a chance to talk about the beauty, the culture and the country that has entrapped the world's sense of romance. Good times, I thought.

Alas, because I didn't look at my calendar ahead of time, I have missed the perfect opportunity to share such a week.

Chalk that up to busy married life I guess. I really need to get on the ball.

Having totally missed Bastille Day, I am going to try to give you an idea of why France is in my top five places I'd like to visit list. And since I am doing this on an equally important French holiday,* I know you will enjoy.

The French live in a country full of history, and, in particular, religious history (which is a big plus for me). My first stop would be here, followed by this place. Wouldn't it be cool to swim in the healing waters of Lourdes?

The French get to eat great food. They also get to have great food named after them--and drinks, too! They also don't gain any weight from eating said food, which makes me quite jealous indeed. At least we can eat off of something like this, and if you live in Fresno you can eat here or here.

The French sleep a certain way and exercise a certain way--and it's all better than how America does it! Their fashion history is unparalleled** (although we can try to dress as well as they do), and their musicians (though lived through tragedy), were awesome.

Honestly, even their homes look better than ours.

While they may have a distaste for others, and some Americans (and English) say we are justified in a distaste for them, the French, the English and the Americans can all agree on this.

See, wasn't that fun? Sorry again that I missed the opportunity to make it more politically meaningful for you.

You now have two missions: 1) find me a personal assistant that can keep me abreast of the calendar, since I seem to be unable to do so on my own, and 2) go have yourself some eclairs!

*The Ides of July, natch. Who says the Romans are the only ones who can celebrate the middle of the month?

**I had too many Chanel links to fit into the post; find more fun info here and here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

(P)homeless, Part Deux

Dismiss any thoughts you may have had about the Huertas being perfect.

Both of you done? Ok, good.

When I wrote about our home phone debacle last week, I didn't realize that I set a jinx into motion.

Stephen and I mostly agreed that we would just hold on to our cell phones for the time being. We have them already, so why not use them?

Well, had.

Stephen lost his phone. And while "lost" might not be totally accurate (he's pretty sure he left it somewhere where it isn't anymore, and thievery is likely to blame), it is no longer in our possession.

Trust me when I say that this is rare for Stephen and way more common for me. I am the messy one, and I am the one with the poor track record. I've lost watches on floors of department stores, and "misplaced" recipes mid-meal-production.

While the phone may be gone for good, we've learned a few things.

The big one is that the cost to replace the cell phone is minuscule when compared to the forgiveness of each other's faults. Stephen is way more forgiving of me when I "misplace" something, so it is only right that I start to do the same. Remember, I am working on Jennifer, Version 2.0. With a little bit more prayer, I will (through God's grace) keep moving forward.

The other things we've learned? 1) Life does not end when you can no longer text your significant other, and 2) AT&T is a powerful place with powerful people. Do not mess with them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Can We Call This a Bonus Post?

Due to an unexpected bout of have-to-go-to-the-doctor-ness, I am not going to be able to get to my regularly scheduled blog post.

Fight back your tears.

I'll get a real post up as soon as possible.

In the

Call your mom. I bet she misses you.

UPDATE: Just so everyone knows, I am healthy and everything is fine. I really appreciate the prayers, thoughts and "get wells." In general, you rock.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Bridal Odyssey

I love dresses. No news here. In fact, I think I may have started another blog with this exact same sentence. Well, not quite.


Anyway….This weekend I got to be around one of my favorite type of dresses—wedding gowns!!

I was asked by the wonderful ladies at Elegant Bride in Fresno to be a model for their show this weekend. The show was part of a huge bridal convention titled A Bridal Odyssey in Visalia.

And odyssey it was.

I drove down there in a half-stouper, hoping that someone would magically drop coffee through my moon roof. I had forgotten just how heavy my nuclear-bomb-resistant makeup case is, and trekking through muggy rain (in July!) didn’t start my day off great. I spent a lot of the day hanging around, not reading Jane Eyre, and convincing myself that it wasn’t doing me any favors to eat the complimentary doughnuts for the models.

We models then rehearsed by walking around in various patterns on the stable but shady-looking stage; I think seeing more seams in it than any of the wedding dresses we were going to wear makes anybody a little uneasy. After rehearsing, I spent a good portion of my morning creating the perfect hairdo that said, “I might look loose, but I’m rock solid. You should see how much hairspray is holding me together. You want to try a veil? Just try to get that headpiece out once you stick it in.”

Hair has a lot to say, apparently.

Overall, the show went really well, and you could tell the audience had a good time checking out all the gowns.

I think that when I was the engaged gal, full of excitement and endurance, I was able to make it through those bridal shows with a little bit more energy at the end of the day.*

Instead, I feel like I was run over by a Hummer limo driven by all of the angry grooms forced to the convention during the World Cup finale.

Perhaps it’s because my own wedding is already over and I’m burnt out on bridal stuff. Maybe it was the fact that, at 23 years old, I was the OLDEST model at that show**. Or, maybe I miss anticipating my own special day (with my wonderful now-husband), wearing my own wedding dress (which comes with a story so stupendous it merits its own post).

No matter the reason, I was glad to help out Elegant Bride, and to wear some gorgeous gowns. I don’t know what it was this weekend that made me so exhausted, but I hope I can get whatever it is out of my system so that they will ask me back.

To share in more complementary doughnuts, of course.

*This was my fourth or fifth show with Elegant Bride.

**I had forgotten what giggly high school girls were like. In case you have forgotten, too, it’s loud.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Foodie Fashion

Lately I've been talking about fashion on Fridays, but today I am thinking more about food (skipped breakfast=grumpy goose).

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I may have not done a very good job planning what I wanted to discuss today.*

However, someone has come to my rescue--and they didn't even know it.

When I opened up Twitter this morning, the combo I didn't know I needed was staring me in the face.

I follow Alisa Manjarrez (@alisa_m_), a Fresno gal who always has something cool to share. Today, it's food you can wear.


While not a new concept, my experience is that the costume creations are always original, and never stay together longer than 17 minutes. Good times all around, I think.

Since I am hoping to do a food week coming up here soon, and hit a lot of different topics, her post produced the perfect storm for me to share it. Plus, it's funky.

Take a look here. I dare any of you to actually wear this stuff.

What? Oh, when you heard "food blog" and thought you would get a recipe? Well, she's submitted recipes through @TasteFresno before, so this might get you through the weekend.

Now, if I can just get someone to buy me breakfast.

*They are totally unrelated. Don't give me that look.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Adjusting My Gratitude

"Thank you."

It's a phrase that's becoming increasingly rare, both given and received.

I had planned for this post to talk about writing up thank you notes for the wedding gifts and cards that our family and friends had given us. I planned to complain about having to make plans to write up the notes, since making time for something like this seemed so stressful with the million other things I had to do. I planned to express my worry about not getting them out earlier. I planned to go a whole different direction with this post.

But then, I read something that changed my attitude.

I read one of Meredith's notes. Meredith, who is the writer we all aspire to be, wrote about her feelings on thank you notes in a recent Facebook Note (but because I didn't seek writer permission, I am not linking to it). But if you take my word for it, she brings up a pretty interesting point in a very amusing way.

In all, it made me think about gratitude in general, and how as a person I need to express a more grateful attitude. It certainly won't always need to be expressed by my sending a little note to others, but I think I need to make a better effort to express how truly thankful, and truly blessed, I am.

So, I'd like to say this: I apologize for the super lameness in not getting thank you notes out sooner. If you have given us anything, including a gift or card for our wedding, thank you. Please know that we appreciate everything that you have given to us. Really.

I hope to express it better from now on.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We are unreachable as a couple.

Not that you can't get a hold of Stephen or me.

I have no fewer than five e-mail addresses, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a blog, and a text-ready cell.

You are privileged if Stephen answers his cell when you call, but he will get back to you. Eventually.

No, apparently you can't get a hold of us together.*

As a modern (read: cheap) couple, we do not have a home telephone. We figured we didn't need one right now because everyone we regularly communicate with would contact us some other way. Yet, I can't help but feel like we are missing out on the cute, "You've reached the Huerta's!" answering machine messages that those classic couples (read: any newlyweds from the 90's) enjoyed.

We wanted to wait until we got into our own brick-and-morter house before we broke down, spent the extra twenty bucks and got a permanent Team Huerta number.

Stephen, as an unwilling blog participant, broke down our thinking: "The pros of not having a home phone are 1) we're already paying for cells (which we use), 2) no telemarketer spam,** and 3) we save some green. The cons are that we can't open the gate to our apartment complex from our unit without a landline, and that we have no single family number. Now, what are you watching?!"***

Anyway, what do you think? Should we revise our plan and get a landline now, wait until we're in our first house, or are we never going to need one?

*Yes, even though I have created a family e-mail address.
**This is what Stephen calls it, but it has to have some other, official name. Anyone?
***I was watching Smart House. You know you remember Smart House. Don't even pretend you don't.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Lately, I've tried to behave a little better. I follow all traffic laws. I let Stephen watch what he wants on TV. I am really trying to be an improved Jennifer.

Part of it is driving me nuts.

Why is it driving me nuts? Well, not really for any of the above reasons, but for a different one: typos.

A big part of my current job is finding typos. I look through big, scary, and important grants, making sure our clients don't look like buffoons because they can't spell "funders." I have to find those hidden extra periods, commas and spaces when someone's hand was a bit too heavy. I basically have the last set of eyes before anything goes anywhere.

What's the big deal? Trying to turn this off when I get back into the real world.

Newspapers. Blogs. Restaurant menus. EVERYTHING has typos. I feel like my house is scattered with items where I've used AP Stylebook notations to fix already published works. Sometimes I find myself talking to my computer because I can make no such corrections on the screen (yet...). I can't stop.

So, I ask those of you, who have been in the real world longer than me, how do I switch out of work mode (where I edit everything in sight) and turn back into a normal reader? Because right now, it is keeping me stuck in Jennifer, Version 1.0.

P.S. Trying to edit your own post about editing other people's work has the same amount of pressure as trying to remove your own tonsils.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sick, But In Love With Glasses

Today I am feeling a little under the weather. I don't know if partying for America hit us all a little too hard yesterday, but today definitely feels like a day of recovery. Instead of a new post, I will share my current video obsession.

The Girls With Glasses Show looks like the cutest new show to grace Webisode nation, and I seriously get giddy every time I hear their promo with theme song (poor Stephen is also familiar with their theme song, but against his will). A few critics have cited that the show is perfect for smart women, without being all negative. The Girls explain it themselves much better in the "Get Smart" section of their site.

While it's still in development, I can tell by perusing their Website that I will be setting aside as much time as necessary to watch it. I think I most agree with the critic that says "I kind of want to be them." This show is going to be a huge hit with me.

So, if you care to share in the joy, for at least two minutes, take a look at the video below.*

Tell me you don't love this.

*Yes, that is Brooke White, of American Idol fame. She and Summer wrote and perform the song. Awesome!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dress, or Repress?

Because I keep my promises, and because I recently received my Shabby Apple order (thanks for all your guidance, readers!)*, I am in the mood to talk dresses.

I seriously love them. Growing up, I was a little bit of a tomboy, and if I hadn't been in Little Hoopsters and received all those white T-shirts, I don't know what I would have worn to school.

But now, I wear dresses whenever I can, especially at events where people give me that concerned face that says, "Hmm, I'm not as dressed up as her--am I missing something?"

Why you ask? Well, you had to know that I would answer you in list form!

Dresses rock because:

a) They are the skirt and beyond: A dress is a skirt plus a top--you get all the benefits of wearing a skirt, yet you have limitless possibilities for tops (sleeveless, blousey, multi-colored, etc.) Did you hear that? LIMITLESS!

b) They are classic: You know all those outfits your grandma claims were her favorite, that she took such good care of, and that lasted for three decades? Yeah, those were all dresses.

c) They're occasional: I don't mean infrequent. I mean that for the big moments in your life, it's a dress that gets the job done. Prom: dress. Wedding: dress. Afternoon tea: dress (and fabulous hat!)

d) They are it: I know that like me, you have struggled--nay, agonized!--about trying to match the darned (but very cute) skirt with something in your closet. And, sometimes, you are just not up for the challenge. Ergo, dress. It comes with a top--attached! The dress eases an aching brain, and for that, I love it.**

And now--that's right--the linkadees to my favorites. The most fabulous dresses on the internet (at least for this week):

The Basics
Cute for the office

The Colorful
Blue and loving it
Fifties with flair
Let in the sunshine

The Food-Related
Pistachio ice cream, huh?
I think when you wear this dress, you have to eat cupcakes. With sprinkles.

Just Plain Fun
Safari vs. urban jungle

Anyone think of any other attributes of dresses that make them extra awesome?

I do not receive any compensation from any of the retailers featured in this post.

*Yes, I know I need to upload some photos soon, and a photo of the dress will be included. It looks pretty much like the ad, except for being life-size.

**I am counting a) and d) as totally different things. I do not want to hear any complaints.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Going Fourth (Hungry)

We've reached the point in the week where I share an obligatory post about the next holiday.

We both knew it was coming.

This year, we're celebrating the fourth in stages over a series of days and alongside lots of other events. And lucky you, you get to hear about all of them!

(This is where you feign enthusiasm).

For kicks, though, I thought I would throw you a bone.

I've included a recipe (or two) with each day to give you an idea about the type of food we will eat, or that I wish we will eat.* That way, this blog is a resource for tasty treats instead of my own personal calendar.

Aww, you're welcome.

Here's the breakdown:

Thursday (today): We have dinner plans with some family friends we met up with when we traveled to Chicago a couple years back before Stephen headed to Iraq. (Wow, that's a long sentence. Maybe I'll shorten it, maybe not.) So, we might eat this, or, maybe they will bring this!

Friday: Get name changed with the SSA. (Again, this is where you feign enthusiasm--because I had to). Then, I will finally see some actual human friends that I haven't seen since the wedding (coming up on nine weeks ago).

Lame, Jen. Lame. I plan on having this to recover from my failure.

Saturday: Celebrate Heather's return to the U.S. of A. at her graduation/birthday/no-more-being-in-New-Zealand party. Seriously, just throw the fourth in with it. That way, we can celebrate you being back in America by eating this.

Sunday: Hang out with family and friends, and go to the Grizzlies game (with everyone else in Fresno). And, of course, eat these.

Monday: Recouperate.

What fun things are you up to for Independence Day?

*Because, heck, why not?