Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ode to leftovers

most stores don't sell just one chicken breast.  or a 1/3 c of cream of chicken soup.  or a tsp of rosemary.  you have to buy in bulk.  but for meal time - it's just me.  this means leftovers.  lots of leftovers.
i don't hate eating leftovers.  i always try to spice them up with something else added to the meal.  like fresh fruit.  applesauce (i love applesauce).  roasted sweet potatoe chips.  etc.  just to keep it interesting.
the other thing that is great about leftovers is they become lunch during the week which means i save on average about $40 a week.  bonus!
bon appetit as i eat my sunday chicken and rice at work for the third straight day. 

Monday, May 06, 2013

me and the bridge for the final class day

our last photo class homework assignment was to create a series of images about something that we love.  i adore new york and two of my absolute favorite places in new york are poets walk (aka the mall) in central park and the brooklyn bridge.  since i used poets walk for homework assignment number 4, i bet you can't guess what i chose as my subject for the final series...come on, one guess...
i chose the brooklyn bridge on a gorgeous sunshine filled blue sky evening.  the problem that i encountered was that it became quite difficult to compose my photos how i wanted them because the bridge was swarming with tourists.  this was not unexpected but i was disappointed that i didn't do exactly what i wanted.  maybe it's a blessing in disguise so that i can go back again to really get the shots i had composed in my head.
behold, i give you the 'me and the bridge' photography series.

we had to present our series at class.  my teacher told me i did a 'great job'.  woot woot.  i'm totally biased but i thought that my series was the most cohesive of the rest of my fellow classmates.  it had the same subject and color tone.
our last class we spent outdoors practicing our panning technique and learning how to use the built-in flash for those moments when it is absolutely necessary.  it was really funny to practice our panning.  we found a large gap between cars because of a fire hydrant so the 8 of us literally lined up shoulder-to-shoulder on this small stretch of road on 2nd avenue.  our teacher jumped up on the hydrant and would yell "biker, biker, biker" to alert us that a person was about to ride by our camera line up on a bicycle.  then she would jump off the fire hydrant and run in front of us along the street.  we laughed a lot and enjoyed the strange looks we got by people as we would start looking to our right and follow them to the left.

this is our teacher Patricia running back and forth so we can get "the shot"

captured using the focus panning technique
i must say one of the best compliments i have ever received happened while i was chatting with teacher patricia and owner francisco at the end of the very last class.  i've mentioned before that my camera is quite limited because it is over 4 years old.  so we were chatting about which model i should consider grabbing next.  then patricia told me that i take stunning photographs with a lesser camera than the others.  she was very impressed with my abilities when using a camera that wasn't as "high tech" as the others.  i love being praised for something that i have created.
i'm sad that there are no more classes for me in the photography realm right now.  my time and funds need to be focused in another direction.  maybe in a few years, after i upgrade my camera, i'll find my way back to photo uno for some more instruction.  because in a few years i'll have mastered shooting only in manual mode and will need some new challenges.

Friday, April 26, 2013

week 4 homework

so i realized that i only had wednesday night to do my photo class homework.  eeekkk.  i trekked my tripod to work that morning because i wanted to take some shots in central park at dusk.  below are my favorites. 

also a big plug for the greatest visiting teacher ever who left work and found me in the park so we could have our "visit" and she could be my model.  the church is true!

poet's walk

betheseda fountain (notice the silky water effect)

my favorite

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the young married crowd

i'm never going to be a young married woman.  i've finally come to the realization that i'm not "young" and have known i'm not married for quite a while; therefore, if i do get married i will jump straight into the "got married when she was in her 30s and has no children" sphere.  don't think there are many others in that sphere within the mormon culture.  i'm kinda bummed because it looks like so much fun to be part of the young married (with maybe one small child) crowd. 
most of my contemporaries and friends who are my age and married have multiple children, are home owners, drive vans or suburbans and plan play dates at the park.  that is so NOT my life.  i wouldn't change a moment of the time i've had to become me.  but sometimes it is a little depressing to realize that something that looks so fun probably won't be part of my life.  i just can't see my newly married self hanging out with another married couple in their early or mid 20s.  partly because i would probably appear ancient and very intimidating to them. 
the one thing i won't be sad about not experiencing is the young, married and POOR part of that time of life.  priorities. 

personal realization #15 - the dark day is done

last year was a bit rough for me.  it didn't start out well, primarily because of the events that led to the dark day in february.  then my rut, named george, and i had some issues causing my happiness level to be down in the doldrums.  the kicker came when i noticed that my marital status might be my fault.  ouch. 
recently in my life i have been feeling abundantly blessed.  i mean life changing wonderful things have happened lately.  i'm not sure how to embrace all the good that is happening.  i feel like i'm cheating another person from getting their prayers answered because the majority of mine are being answered in a wonderful way.  and then there is a very slight feeling that something horrible is on the way to counteract all of these good things.  thankfully that is a very small, almost insignificant, thought right now because i remind myself that life doesn't work that way.  it also has helped to talk to a therapist.
the biggest recent "woo hoo" occured when almost a year of hard work and the catalyst for the dark day was overcome.  i reached my goal!  hip hop hooray!  strangely i did it by not putting so much pressure on myself and just trying my best.  then voila! i was able to defeat the events that led to the dark day.  in a way the agony and defeat i felt prior made the absolute joy of the moment of acomplishment so much sweeter.  i even cried again but this time the day was full of sunshine, birds singing and me skipping down a new york city street.
i guess the biggest personal realization from last year to where my life is this year is that hard work will pay off but often it takes time, commitment, assistance from others and patience.  lots and lots of patience.  i'm constantly learning how to be patient in my life.  i must have missed the line in heaven where they were handing out patience...instead i went right to the line where organization was being given out.  blast!
good things happen when you don't give up.  now i'm going to go bask in the warm and bright glow of happiness.

week 3 homework

loving my photography class.  especially because i feel like i control the camera rather than it controlling me.   yippee!
my homework from week 3:

i highly recommend photo uno photography school for increasing your skills as a photographer. now trying to determine which course to take next...i'm thinking their "iPhone Photography".  taking this class now means that my photos from the european vacation 2013 with joani and flex are going to be exquisite!  stay tuned.

Monday, April 22, 2013

cherry blossoms 2013

rolled down to washington dc for a little cherry blossom viewing the first weekend of april.  we ended up missing "peak" bloom by like 2 days but it was still absolutely gorgeous.  and with my trusty new skills learned from my photography class i've been attending for two hours every thursday night i was ready to take some snap shots of the nation's capitol in bloom.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

countdown is on!

i'm hitting the wild blue yonder this summer and i couldn't be more excited!!  it seems to be the year for island vacations as i'm going to london and paris with joani and flex.  then about 6 weeks later will fly to the beautiful hawaiian island of oahu with clare.  ecstatic to spend my birthday relaxing on a beach in hawaii.  a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.  

only 65 days until we head across the pond for some quality time with the brits and french.  and 120 days until clare and i head to the beach where we have a condo on the beach and i'm renting a convertible.  again, my life = awesome.  and i'm incredibly lucky and grateful.

why did i wait so long?

i have wanted to take a photography class since i got my pretty SLR camera over four years ago.  i have been able to fake good pictures and think i have decent composition but couldn't utilize the true photographic skill of shooting only in manual, aperture or shutter mode.  i really wanted to be able to use these functions rather than rely on the pretty icons on the mode dial for night, landscape and action shots.  so finally after checking with my friend yelp.com i found a school that had a 6 week course for those such as me who wanted to embrace their inner amateur, but wanting to be professional, photographer.  

my first class was last saturday.  i LOVED it.  soaked up all of the information like a sponge and was probably one of the more engaged of the 9 students in the class.  had so much fun that now i kick myself that i didn't do this earlier.  what was i waiting for?  it makes me happy and wasn't going to break the bank.

can't wait for session two where we learn about aperture.  gotta go do my homework to prepare.  i have homework and i love it!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

gooch, me and NKOTB

my nyc residing cousin gooch helped me embrace my love for the boys who are new on the block as an adult.  we partied it up at their concerts about 4 years ago and also might have memorized their dance routine from their jimmy fallon late night performance.  I still thank her for the fun and joy that we experienced while partying with our favorite 80s boy band, who are now all grown up.
then came a really bad day at work this past week.  just as I was about to eat my weight in chocolate I got an email from gooch with a link to the new music video by NKOTB.  suddenly my frown was turned upside down.  amazing how a little pop/dance music by middle aged dudes in sexy suits can make me happy.  see for yourself below.  (it also didn't hurt that I saw myself like the lead girl in the video...I would totally start dancing around a lame party just to spice it up.)
I can't wait until saturday, june 1st when gooch, netter and I party like it's 1996 at a concert with boyz II men, 98 degrees and NKOTB.  we are also going to spend the day at the beach.  bonus!
now if only 'NSYNC would get with the current boy band tradition and reunite to bilk millions from their now 30-something fan base.  come on Justin, enough with all this "solo" stuff...so selfish.

debit cards seem to like me

crossing the street by my apartment I found a debit card resting peacefully on the ground.  I picked it up and put it in my purse.  the next day I went to the bank it originated from to return it.  the nice bank teller lady thanked me and I continued with my day.  my mommy taught me that "honesty is ALWAYS the best policy".
a couple of days later, netter and I headed to the 'burbs to do some food shopping.  the parking lot at the shopping center was packed so we ended up stalking a spot that was a little ways from where we wanted to be.  I pulled our zipcar into the space, turned off the engine, grabbed my coat and purse and proceeded to open the car door.  as soon as I looked down I saw a debit card literally right next to where I put my foot.  what are the odds?
the next day I made a trip to a different bank to return the debit card.  when I handed it to the business bank teller and explained where I found it, she looked at me incredulously and said "wow.  thank you." 
it makes me sad that a bank employee was shocked that I had returned this lost debit card.  they probably deal with more stolen credit and debit cards then they get lost ones returned.  that is truly tragic.  if only people would treat others how they want to be treated...

Friday, February 15, 2013

a typical tuesday night in new york city

i got free passes to an early screening of the new nicholas sparks penned movie "safe haven".  let me state that i would NOT have gone to see this movie if it required me to pay for the viewing pleasure.  i generally find nicholas sparks adaptions for screen annoying.  my one exception to this rule is "the notebook". 
any hoo...my buddy lauri agreed to accompany me to the screening, which was taking place at one of the largest movie theaters in the city.  so after work i trekked over to 42nd street in times square.  let me paint you a picture of my trek.
  • tourists clogged every inch of space on the sidewalk.
  • "characters" like the statue of liberty, mickey mouse and dora the explorer were out in force waiting for parents to shove their kids their way for a picture that would cost the parents $5.
  • wind howling down broadway so it felt like my coat was a light wind breaker.
  • sirens from two firetrucks screamed through the square as they tried to negotiate speed without injuring oblivious tourists.
  • two NYPD vans parked with lights flashing directly outside the movie theater entrance.
  • about 100 teenagers yelling and holding signs outside the movie theater entrance because some boy band was holding a free screening of their concert film.  pandemonium.
  • about 12 cops barricading the entrance.
  • the wind is now colder because i've ventured closer to the water (aka hudson river)
  • was jostled while trying to make my way to front of crowd to have a little chat with an NYPD officer so i can gain entrance to the theater.
  • finally a movie theater employee opened the door so i could walk through and stand in line with about 80 other women for the screening.
luckily once i got inside all was rosy.  the generous screening promoters didn't just offer us the free viewing but it came with a small popcorn and soda.  boo-yah!  throughout the movie, lauri and i had fun playing the game "guess what happens next".  the majority of our guesses were accurate.  well done us.
so that is a typical february tuesday night in manhattan. 


this is genius.  well done actress, makeup, lighting, writer and director.  a word of warning to my joani - mute the volume at 2:10 but then turn it back up at 2:13.  trust me. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

personal realization #14 - hi kettle, i'm the pot

a little over a year ago i wrote a post about this guy i met at a conference.  he complained about the lack of women to date in new york city.  i had a strong reaction to this piece of idiocy to the point that i wanted to do physical harm to him or completely take the filter from my speech and let him know what an idiot i thought he was.  anyone who knows me is well aware that i have no problem being completely honest when i think someone or something is ridiculous.

any way, on to my latest personal realization...

i was having a conversation with someone i just met and for some reason this topic came up in our short chat.  he made the point that i have essentially done the same thing that this dude did.  i have effectively decided that there are no redeeming men to date in new york city.  i interpreted a direct correlation between a few bad dates and an entire population of eligible men.  basically i am a good old hypocrite and have been living the same way that this dude expressed to me many months ago.  it's not fair to treat all men in this way.  i need to change.  awesome.  i love change.

sidenote - my good friend offered a month or so ago to set me up with a guy she works with...guess who he was?  i'll give you one guess.

a movie marathon for me & nemo

i love how the city literally stops all function when bad weather approaches.  i think there were a total of 8 people in the office with me at 4pm on friday.  most had to depart in time to take public transit home before the blizzard nemo descended upon the tri-state area.  i was lucky to get home with only taking 12 steps outside in the slippery, windy, snowy ickiness.  there are definite perks to living so close to a subway station.

once i got home i realized that i would probably be stuck inside for at least 36 hours.  what's a girl to do?  well if you're me and have hundreds of movies/tv seasons on dvd or bluray, you pull some movies from the collection and set up your movie marathon during the raging storm named nemo. 

i pulled 12 movies ranging from kindergarden cop to roman holiday.  during my sojourn inside i was able to watch 8 of the 12 movies.  

i also cleaned my apartment like it hasn't been cleaned in quite some time.  i mean i mopped the floors, washed all my towels, bath rugs, bathrobe and used a dust cloth and wood polish instead of my trusty swiffer duster.  that is dedicated cleaning.

all in all i think nemo and i got along really well especially since the plows were out in force to shovel away the inches of snow he bestowed upon new england prior to my commute this morning.

Monday, February 04, 2013

fare thee well january

things have been busy.  my work load always escalates in december and doesn't start to calm down a bit until late february.  also, i've decided to keep being social as well as keeping the addiction alive.  and, you know, i went to disney world with netter for her birthday.  it was a good month that went quite quite quickly.

a few pics from the month of january

happy birthday to netter!

ate at the new beast castle restaurant
 first set of headband ears

 a little peek-a-boo with safari ride

 spending lots of time at work means being silly with co-worker

 my new hat for afternoon tea at the plaza

  ed sheeran at radio city music hall
keane at radio city music hall

did some baking...
my friend audrey & i at our friend afton's baby shower

beautiful spread for baby shower
growing out the bangs begins...
gooch came over to hang out
i am wearing skinny jeans, tom's and a grandpa sweater (whoa!)

if only i didn't spend about two weeks of the month super sick with bronchitis, allergies, horrid cough and slight fever.  i think that is why january was kind of a bummer minus the disney world party and back-to-back concerts at radio city to end the month.  fare thee well january.  bring on february.  uggh.