Lighting Round

IMG_5315These past two weeks have been nuts. NUTS. If I had more time, I’d blog about it all, but the insanity continues, so here’s an update in 200 words or less:

  • I got a promotion at work to Senior Account Executive, which means my brand new business cards are already outdated (sorry, rainforest)
  • IMG_5323Ruby got stung by a bee/had an allergic reaction to something in the backyard that necessitated an emergency vet visit (my baby!)
  • I now work on three separate restaurant clients, which is good for my career, bad for my feeble attempts to not get fatter
  • I went to the gym for the second time this week. Okay, YEAR. (Baby steps?)
  • IMG_5350I learned that nothing satiates frustration quite like ripping out weeds with your bare hands.
  • Aaron won his first trial (Now we can get married!)
  • I found out my excruciating jaw pain is not (or at least not entirely) TMJ – but instead a dying tooth, so I now have to get my very first root canal! HOORAY!
  • I bought stamps. Which I agree is rather unremarkable, but I was happy to discover that spring had sprung in the most unlikely places – the US Postal Office. Goodbye, ugly patriotic bells and flags. Hello, forever flowers.

Arts and Crafts and Minor League Baseball

I love a good craft show. Especially when it’s biking distance a short drive from my parents’ house, at the brand new (well, semi new) Skeeters minor league baseball stadium that, previous to this blessed event, I had not been to (leave it to cheap knick knacks and fried food to get me somewhere where sports happen.)

If there were a Sports Center for craft shows, this would be it. Here are the highlights:

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My absolute (tied-for favorite) favorite booth by Knick Knaks Cypress  – bought the orange clock, loved the retro trunk turned side table (and chalkboard).

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IMG_5128Super cute booth setup + shabby chic pillows by Kiwi Girl Creations

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When I passed this booth, I instantaneously reverted to childhood and just stood there mouth open (and blocked by plexiglass) for ten three minutes while these mini crack cocaine dough cakes made their way through what I can only imagine was a very short-lived attempt at one-upping the Easy Bake Oven. Dear Lord in Heaven, if ever a time comes where there is an event in my honor in Houston, someone please call Niky’s Mini Donuts.

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And the weird award goes to… (besides myself) HAT HUT which claims to be “Wearing Tomorrow’s Hat Today.” Apparently, tomorrow’s hat looks a lot like an origami table centerpiece, and can’t be bothered by silly considerations like rain (or good taste). Actually, the scariest part was that the hats didn’t look all that bad on people trying them on. Or we could have all been suffering from heatstroke, there’s really no way of knowing.

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Saving the best for last, here’s the booth where if I had been in possession of both the funds and closet space, I would have made everything in it mine all MINE.  The business is called Pickins Vintage Finds, but to my dismay the Esty page it routes to doesn’t have an active shop. Lament.

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Easy Greek Salad

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I make it all the time. Which is really saying volumes, since we’re talking about basically nothing but vegetables.

Salad:

  • 1 English cucumber (you know those kind that come in the plastic?)
  • Baby/cherry tomatoes. Or heirloom tomatoes.
  • Red onion (only about 1/4 of it, MAX)
  • Sweet peppers. Or if you don’t have them, buy a jar of peperoncinis. I like to add both.
  • Slice it all up. Any way you like it so it’s easy to eat. I have a mandoline slicer I got at the dollar store that does the job swimmingly. (Especially good for the cucumbers and onion – for what may or may not be obvious reasons, don’t use it on the tomatoes.)
  • Feta. Good feta. And by good, I don’t mean you need to spend $10 on a 4 ounce block, I just mean that you shouldn’t buy pre-crumbled because it dries out and loses flavor (kinda like when you buy the pre-shredded cheddar.) Buy it in a block and cut it into chunks.

Dressing:

  • Even parts Red Wine Vinegar and EVOO (depending on size of salad – you may want a tablespoon of each, or 1/3 cup of each)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oregano. I like a LOT. I’d say start with a tablespoon and go from there…

Birthday Boy

 

 

As of last Friday, I can say I am officially married to a thirty year old. So I decided to celebrate Aaron’s first official year of having to admit he is, in fact, an adult by overloading on sugar…

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…and using helium voices to sing the birthday song…

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….and embracing the whole country theme (if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?)….

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….and allowing a five year old to make Aaron’s cake – oh wait, that was me (I’ve got mad skills, huh?)….

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…and sporting rad handlebars…

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…and surprising him with his best friend coming in town for the weekend.

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So happy to celebrate another year of this wonderful, funny, crazy (adult) man! Here’s to thirty (times two) more!

Eye Candy, Candy Candy

Really the best combination, or at least my two favorite senses.

When I was little I had an Eloise-like dream of living in a luxury apartment above a coffee shop with grates in the floor that allowed for continuously scrumptious aromatics wafting from below.

Revised dream – to also have said coffee house apartment decorated in the style of Crave, plus ya know, have my neighbors baking them daily.

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When Work Piles Up

I suppose what proceeds this statement will undermine my own credibility when saying this, but work really has been piling up. In the PR world, Spring is event season. And event season means a whole lotta work season.

Lucky for me, I am overrun with restaurant clients, which meant sometime last week I found myself working at my computer, overrun with post-photoshoot cocktails, waiting for 5:30 to come so I could sample at my leisure.

So I had to take some photos. Because I really don’t enjoy pinching myself that many times to make sure it’s really happening.

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Homecoming

So, I’m in Houston this week for work, and to take care of my mom while my dad is out of town. Living in your childhood home when you’re almost 30 for 7 days solid always seems to conjure up some memories/chores/revelations that (as filled with love as they may be) you’d almost rather not explore.

Revelation #1 – I know how much I really love my family. And animals. And it is a LOT. Last night, for the first time in maybe my entire life (at least in my reference set of recallable, unsuppressed memories) I scooped a litter box. I’m sure this is not a big deal to some-odd 40% of Americans who love cats, and I realize no one finds this task enjoyable, but for me it requires coming in contact with two of the most vile things in human existence – excrement and kitty litter. Words cannot express how much I hate kitty litter (to give you an idea, it’s more than that other thing I mentioned) and after the photo (56)experience I’m pretty sure I’d be much more willingly take a bullet for the family than do it again.

Revelation #2 – My family may or may not have begun the practice of employing propaganda do undo my earliest childhood traumas. I find that hatred and/or fear of clowns is fairly universal, but the fact that I find them only mildly creepy after being allowed to watch Stephen King’s “It” when I was about ten years old is quite an accomplishment. Perhaps because this sticker has been on my parent’s fridge for over a decade?

Revelation #3 – I’m finally old enough (and apparently turned out okay enough) for my parents to openly admit that my pre-teen rule-breaking is actually now a useful skill. Remembering that I was once very good at faking my dad’s signature on my brand practice card/time sheets, my mom approached me last night to sign something for her, laughing off my skill as if I’d acquired it through less disreputable activities.

 

Mecca & Marshalls

Since I’m in Houston for work this week, I decided to catch up with a few old friends. Starting with Nordstrom in the Galleria.

Let me preface this window-shopping adventure by saying that since moving away from Houston, I’ve put my family on a very lean financial diet, in the interest of being an adult and actually making sense of where our money goes and where we want it go in the future. My family is by no means in dire straights – the pain is self-inflicted, and therefor should not elicit nor deserves your sympathy. Please continue on to enjoy the fabulous eye candy below.

After wandering penniless amongst the shoes, stopping occasionally to admire and touch as if in a petting zoo (while weeping on the inside) I decided to take photos of what I think we can all agree is a rather “aspirational” wish list.

Behold, the objects of my desire:

Coach “Lesa” pump in bright citrine and black patent, Coach “Kayson” Sandal

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Always love a designer with my name or  initialsLK Bennet “Nelly” Sandals

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Tory Burch ‘Robinson’ Patent Saffiano Leather Envelope Clutch in Emerald City

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Ted Baker London ‘Bow Crystal’ Matinee Wallet in Mint

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Marc Jacobs wallets – various (any will do 😉 )

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After leaving proudly, yet dejectedly empty-handed, I decided to bump down to Nordstrom Rack and Off Fifth the following day, to experience much of the same out-of-range finds:

Rebecca Minkoff

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Olivia Harris

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Anzie

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Lovesick and discouraged, I ended the day at Marshall’s, and things began to look up:

Kenar lace top in mint (didn’t end up buying, but still very cute)

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“For Cynthia” linen blazer, Kenar blue sleeveless tunic, navy Rafaella pencil skirt (bought all three)

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And of course that delightful Ralph Lauren crossbody I wanted to buy just a couple of weeks ago, reduced even further to an irresistible price:

IMG_5118Cute fashion at reasonable prices? Mission accomplished.

Finding an outfit to wear to the Houston Modern Luxury Magazine work event next week that isn’t screaming “$20 and from Target“? Done.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to walk into the Nordstrom shoe department like I own the place (and leave having pretty much accomplished that), but everyone needs something to aspire to, right? 😉

Irony from the 80s

Last night I got sucked into the movie Working Girl on We. I blame my mother.

What’s sad and ironic is that the movie is about a woman’s attempt to break through the glass ceiling and be seen for her mind not her looks, yet I’ve never seen it before because I always assumed it was about a hooker.

Do you think that was intentional when they titled the movie? Or they were just being literal?

(According to late 1980s Hollywood, a Working Girl is a woman who wears business suits and writes a prospectus and a Pretty Woman is a girl who puts on tall boots and gets picked up by men on Hollywood Boulevard.)

I guess women’s equality (at least in how society refers to us) hasn’t really changed that much in 25 years?

All I have to say is thank goodness fashion has. Half the entertainment was the parade of blue eyeshadow, AquaNet, shoulder pads and Sally Jesse glasses:

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A Bright Idea?

I am completely enamored with the idea of finding something inexpensive and turning it into something of value. Especially when the transformation is artistic. Enter the $9 Goodwill lamp –

DSC_0691And a grab bag of embroidery thread I picked up for $2.99 (then compulsively organized by color into my typography shelf) –

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To make the lamp a little less seventies, I taped it off and spray painted the whole thing – shade and all – an ivory off-white, with plans to use the shade for what it instantly reminded me of – latch hook canvas.

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I’m not sure about the design yet – if I should keep it simple and weave various colors across in straight lines, or try something a little more complicated and mathy with triangles like this:

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Embroidery Hoop Art from yinsteadofi on Etsy

Thoughts? Am I nuts?

I Love the 90s – Evolution of Shakira

Oh the nineties. A time when Shakira was more like a rockin’ spanish-singing Alanis Morissette:

And singing one of my favorites:

Before giving us the song that just wouldn’t quit:

Then following it up with a short-lived (oddly catchy) Ziggy Stardust phase:

And finally settled (most abysmally) on a recent collaboration with Pitbull which I refuse to embed and a much more exciting collaboration as a coach on The Voice:

Despite myself, I loved them all. I suppose once your seventh grade teacher requires you to memorize the lyrics to “Ciega, sordomuda” you’re pretty much done for.