September 29, 2010

roses are red...or are they?

Check out this awesome tutorial on how to make roses out of leaves.

I stumbled upon this on from stumbledupon. heehee.

This bouquet is beautiful and looks like it will last a while.

September 28, 2010

book review - fly away home by jennifer weiner

A preamble:

I am a fan of Jennifer Weiner.  I have been for quite some time.  I first started reading for pleasure because of my now husband.  Before we started dating, I didn’t read anything.  I’m serious.  I didn’t read anything.  In high school?  Nope, not if I could help it.  College? Uh uh.  Not until my husband taught me that reading could be fun, as long as you had the right book, did I begin to read every night before I fall asleep.  Now, I couldn’t imagine falling asleep without reading.  Now, I LOVE reading.

When I began reading, I read a lot of fluff. You know what I’m talking about…novels about women who love shopping and men and who aren’t that complex. Now, I don’t have a problem with fluff don’t get me wrong.  The fluff was what got me into reading, so I will be forever grateful.  BUT after reading something that wasn’t fluff…something that had some substance; some umph, I was HOOKED.

Jennifer Weiner was one of the first female authors I read that wasn’t FLUFF.  I know that, some considers her considered a “chick lit” writer.  Now, I could go on for a long time about the words, “chick lit,” but I’ll save you the agony.  All I want to say is that I believe that there is such thing as chick lit (secret: it’s what I call FLUFF).  Chick lit has its place in literature, just like really bad science fiction has its place in literature.  What I’m saying is that there are fluffy novels for both women AND men.  Unfortunately, unsurprisingly, fluffy novels written for women get the term “chick lit.”  So, now I’m done with that.

I believe Jennifer Weiner writes books for women that aren’t fluff.  The characters are complex…they are people you might know.  She’s dealt with subject matter from motherhood to a murderer.  I think she’s fantastic.  She realizes that women don’t just want to read about a beautiful, skinny, 20-something woman working at an ad agency, or publishing company, or magazine in Manhattan who is trying to tackle her career, love life, and workout regimen all at the same time.

Weiner doesn’t do it.  Instead, in Fly Away Home, her main character is the wife, Sylvie, of a cheating politician, Richard Woodruff, a US Senator.  I know all of us have watched an estranged wife stand beside her cheating politician husband and wondered why the hell she wasn’t strangling him, jamming her stiletto into the instep of his foot, and quietly twisting his balls off.  Weiner doesn’t quite explain why Sylvie doesn’t do all those things, but she does take us into Sylvie’s reality.  This reality is one where Sylvie has tried to be the perfect stay-at-home wife and mother (even though she is a lawyer); so perfect that she neglected to notice the people her daughters became, both troubled and unsure of their own identities and places in the world.  She pretended that her reality was perfect.  Of course, it all came crashing down the day her husband’s affair went public.  The story is about how she recovered.  The reader learns that something as devastating as an affair isn’t just over in a day, after a press conference.  The aftershocks seem to last for a long, long time.

We encounter Lizzie and Diana, Sylvie and Richard’s daughters.  The former seems to be a real screw-up while the latter seems to be perfect.  Of course, this reality is also not as it seems.  These women deal with their parent’s role differently and, in a way, treat their realities like their mother does.  They both ignore actual reality and make their own, which doesn’t work out for any of them.  For all of these women, it takes a real shake up for each of them to know themselves.

I thought this book was a great, quick read, much like Weiner’s other novels.  I cared about the characters and wanted them to be happy, and in some cases they were.  Weiner has never left me unsatisfied and that streak has continued.

You can find the book here.

September 21, 2010

(the end of) summertime

A lot of people have been talking and writing and posting about fall. And most of them are happy about it.

Well...I can tell you that I am not. I love the summer. I love being hot. I love all the good things about summer...swimming in the ocean or a pool, popcicles, ice cream, sunshine, long days, waking up when the sun is already up, evening walks, weddings, baby animals, relaxed schedules, family, vacation, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day... I could go on and on. I LOVE summer.

But now, the fog is rolling in.

[caption id="attachment_284" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="on my way to work. I could barely tell where I was"][/caption]

Everyone I read/hear seems to be so excited about the cool weather. But for me, this signals winter. And let me tell you, I DON'T LIKE WINTER. Don't get me wrong, I like it til about December. The holidays are nice. I love the Christmas Flotilla in our town and seeing family. And even until then, it's not too cold. Cold enough for me, though.

It's when it gets past December, it gets to the bitter cold, for me. I know I live in North Carolina, so it doesn't get that cold here, especially at the coast. But let me tell's cold enough for me. By the time March rolls around, I'm so tired of the darkness and cold and being stuck inside for so long that I want to jump out of my skin.

The best part about winter is that I know in just a little while, spring will come and then back to my favorite season.

Today is the first day of fall and coincidentally, the first day that I left home and the sun wasn't already up (sigh).

Beautiful? Yes. Exciting? Well, at least I get to see the sun rise for the entire winter. At least that what I'll tell myself until March. :)

September 20, 2010

hopscotch (part deux)

As promised, here are more pics from the shows, taken from my phone, so they're not fantastic.

[caption id="attachment_271" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="broken social scene on friday night"][/caption]

They were fantastic. Finished their set with an instrumental and blew us all away.

[caption id="attachment_272" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="a marching band opened up public enemy. It was so awesome."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_274" align="alignnone" width="612" caption="the one and only Flavor Flav! Thanking us for our support of his "second job called TELEVISION"."][/caption]

Apparently he's coming out with some Flavor Flav spirits and a bucket of chicken as well.

[caption id="attachment_281" align="alignnone" width="612" caption="me and the hubs at the public enemy show. it rained, but it was still awesomeness."][/caption]

the hubs LOVES public enemy. Since we decided to go to Hopscotch, he's been playing many PE records and "rapping" along to them. It's been mighty funny. I was a bit unaware of PE, but I really did enjoy their show. We had a blast. They were super entertaining (I especially liked the S1Ws, these guys in military uniforms that danced around the stage). The only downside of the night was a very rude man selling PE stuff. I am a huge sucker for concert T's. And because of him, I didn't buy one. I would have loved a "FIGHT THE POWER" shirt, but, this guy's rudeness was out of control.

So, we went our merry way, and had a blast at the show, ate some wonderful food in downtown Raleigh: The Remedy Cafe, the Raleigh Times, last....but BEST was Dos Tequitos.

I was so hungry and tired that I didn't get any pictures, but this was really the best mexican/columbian food I've ever had! Cheers to them, and to you!

September 17, 2010

awesomeness in a pillow

For those of us that can't live without the creative's a way to absorb even more creativity through osmosis while you sleep. I stumbled upon these at product dose.

They can be found here, but the site is temporarily hiss.

September 15, 2010


This past weekend (for our official one year anniversary celebration) we traveled the 3 hours to Raleigh and went to the new music festival Hopscotch.

It was FANTASTIC. We had such a great time.

[caption id="attachment_244" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="our hotel room at the sheraton....and me playing with my camera. As I say to the hubs...the more pictures I take, the better I get at takin\' \'em"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_247" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="playing around. i always try to do this shot...and it never seems to work out...harumph"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_248" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="shampoo AND conditioner! I\'m so spoiled!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_249" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="we could see the main stage from our hotel room. "][/caption]

unfortunately, the hotel had screwed shut the "window" (actually a sliding glass door), so we had to listen through the glass. BUT, it was still a success. We heard many a soundcheck as well as the Rosebud's set.

We went to the coolest restaurant in downtown Raleigh, The Remedy Cafe. The hubs is a vegetarian and we always have issues finding restaurants with more than 2 veggie choices (and most places where we live consider seafood vegetarian, so it doesn't really work out for him that often). But this restaurant was AWESOME. Not only did it have a great selection of meat-eater diner food, it also had a whole page of veggie options, including: a veggie meatball sub (which the hubs had and LOVED), a veggie Ruben, vegan fare, etc, etc. It was fantastic.

Not only did it have an awesome menu, but it had an awesome drink menu. Our drinks included "the elixir of life", "liquid lobotomy", "an attitude adjustment", "anxiety antidote", and the "poinsettia"...

Another post to come soon of the shows!

September 14, 2010

hats....i love a man with a hat

These images were taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. They are some of the only color photographs from the depression/dustbowl/WWII era. They are all owned by the Library of Congress.

I stumbled upon them on

[caption id="attachment_254" align="alignnone" width="490" caption="Faro and Doris Caudill, homesteaders. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress"][/caption]

Don't you just love men with hats?

[caption id="attachment_255" align="alignnone" width="709" caption="Headlines posted in street-corner window of newspaper office (Brockton Enterprise). Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress"][/caption]

I love old pictures. I love to see what life was like before me and before my parents. I love to see what we would call resourcefullness, but what the people in the picture would call a way of life.

September 13, 2010

links about digital photography

I've been reading a good bit about digital photography lately (especially since I got my Canon 450d and awesome 50mm 1.8 lens), so I'm sharing a few links. I will be updating with more soon.

dpreview A really awesome site that gives you almost way TOO much info about a piece of equipment. This is super helpful while looking to purchase as well as after purchasing. I constantly go back to this site to read more about my camera. I know I have a manual, but I love looking at pictures.

Interesting technique in photoshop...digitizing yourself or someone like you

More photoshop from photoschop

digital photography and editing techniques
This website is super good at explaining things like histograms and why they're important (it's what I was looking for when I found it). Also has a lot of good tips on how to use photoshop, lightroom, and different aspects of your digital camera.


Everything you might want to know about photoshop you can find here. Thanks

Check out the photo grandpa. He makes his own cameras and takes super high speed images of water and insects. Very cool.

September 10, 2010

this is fantastic...i can do anything

oh, if we could only be like this little girl all the time.

Thanks, Averi, for this link.

Enjoy your Friday!

September 08, 2010 wherever you may be

I love dance. I love most styles of dance, and in fact, my adult ballet class just started back yesterday.

Dance is slowly becoming much more popular. For the first time, a dancer will be the spokesperson for Gatorade (which means Gatorade is admitting that dancers are athletes BOOOYAH!)

Not only that, but Michelle Obama is hosting a dance series at the White House.

I think this is really freaking cool. You can read about it here and here and you can watch the entire thing below from youtube.

Don't you just love the internet?


PS. It is an hour you should at least skip forward and watch the dances. The commentary is interesting, but more so to me probably, than to anyone else.

GOODBYE EARL!!! (yes, you may start singing the Dixie Chicks song...cause you probably can't help it)

You might know that we had a threat of a hurricane down here in Eastern NC. The hubs and I were evacuated from our tiny little island. We had to tote the cats to a motel on the mainland. Let me tell you how NOT fun that was.

But we're safe and sound, thank goodness. Actually, the storm's bark was much worse than its bite. By the time it was anywhere near us, it was a category two (which is just a joke to us) and we ended up getting a 1/2" of rain. Boo hiss Earl!!!!!

Anywho, here are some pics from the day and then from this weekend.
[caption id="attachment_215" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="black flag day means ABSOLUTELY NO SWIMMING!"][/caption]

And then, it was beautiful, as it always is after a hurricane.

[caption id="attachment_208" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="beautiful, yet i still studied for those stupid tests (more on those later)"][/caption]

All in all, not a terrible weekend. It was our first anniversary. We had a picnic on Monday much like the one we had on our honeymoon...bread, cheese, wine, grapes. It doesn't get much better than that. Now back to work!!!

September 03, 2010

My new (to me) car

[caption id="attachment_32" align="alignnone" width="490" caption="lucy...she was a good car. treated me right."][/caption]

Well, internet, I had a really awesome car. To be honest, I have a really hilarious vehicle history. I’m 27 and my latest car purchase is my fifth. And they have all been my own. I have bought every single one of the five (had some help with car #1, my mom's 1986 Honda accord, and with Lucy).

But my most recent car, the 1994 Acura Integra, was a mighty quick purchase. I was driving home from college around the Thanksgiving holiday (unfortunately, because my Grandmother had passed away). My parents live in the country, and when I say that, I mean, out there. There are bears and deer and who knows what other types of wild animals. They aren’t really “near” anything whatsoever.

So, I was driving home, on NC Hwy 41, somewhere in between Leeland and Harrells and I hit a deer. It was a sad sight. I was very lucky, the deer, not so much (I did shed a few tears for the deer’s sake after the shock passed). I wasn’t hurt, but my car, oh my car. It was gone. You could see the ground in between my front bumper and the radiator (which used to be right next to the front bumper). This is what she looked like.

So sad!

So that car was dead. I needed a new car, ASAP. I had to get back to school that Monday. So that weekend, I found what I would later name, Lucy (named for my grandmother’s middle name…I think she’d like it). She was a bit old, the car that is, and had some wear, but she was still kickin’ it. I bought the 1994 Acura Integra with 150,000 miles on it. I moved up in the world to power door locks and windows and it was a stick-shift, which made me feel powerful ☺.
[caption id="attachment_31" align="alignnone" width="490" caption="had just hit 210,000. I love mileage. I have a real issue making sure I know the gas mileage I get with EVERY tank of gas."][/caption]

I had Lucy for almost three years. She was a great car and I got her up to 210,000 miles. I had to put some money into her, but it was so worth it.

Now……..onto the NEW (to me) car. Here she is…….

She’s a 2007 Toyota Matrix with 54,000 miles on her (and counting). I think I’m going to name her Bonita (after my mom. She’s sensible with some sass and so is my mom, hehe) My mama goes by Bonnie, so this is really an homage.

Things I love:
The back seat folds down conveniently and is covered with hard plastic so I can’t mess up the upholstery, a big plus.
My new stereo! After market is key for me. If you drive as much as I do (2-hours everyday) you need a nice sounding stereo. You can read more about this here.
[caption id="attachment_199" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="the old stereo"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_201" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="the NEW one"][/caption]

Keyless entry!
Automatic transmission!
And STILL really good gas mileage. I don’t have exact numbers yet, but the tank is only about 11 gallons, which is a good sign thus far.
I also LOVE the color. Navy blue is much better than teal (in my opinion). I’m back in the 21st century. woo hoo.

The really best thing about this car, is that it can scoot. I was afraid I'd be losing some pick up when I let go of ol' Lucy, but oh no. Bonita can kick it with the best of them.

I am so excited about this purchase. I love being an adult. There is a real feeling of freedom.

September 02, 2010

this is fantastic

Well, internet, if you liked last week's post, here is a doosy!

Holy Spinoli!  How do they do that?  She promanades on his head?!?!?!  Have a great weekend and enjoy.!

September 01, 2010

My name is......

[caption id="attachment_180" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="the little prince"][/caption]