Random Wednesday… oops, Thursday

It’s 12:46am, I’m laying in bed waiting for sleep to overcome me, and sadly, it just isn’t. Darn that ten minute nap at 7pm!

I figure it’s a good time to blog.

In lieu of a real post that actually has some thought behind it, we’re going with randoms from the last three days on the iPhone tonight/this morning. And let’s be honest, my posts are always a lot more amusing when I don’t think them through first.

Up first, the Captain Holz. I’m finally getting around to editing these (so sorry, Melody!) and I’m having a ton of fun with them. Mel’s concerned that people will get the wrong idea based on Holz’ face here, but let me clarify that this face is the “Captain Holz” face, and not a “oh, no, I’m having a girl!” face.

Since we’re gearing up to launch our new website in about three weeks, Chris has been researching all kinds of goodies we’ll need for our new branding materials. He decided we needed a stamp. This one here though is our personal logo, not our business logo. (That’s right, we’ve got a personal logo. We are just awesome like that.) He says we’ll use this on all our correspondence. I’m going to use it on the only piece of mail I send anymore, our HOA bill at the beginning of the month. I think they’ll be impressed.
Monday night we walked down to Outback Steakhouse for dinner and dessert while I talked Chris’ ear off about my lesson demo from that morning. We split the Sidney Sinfully Sundae, but I think they shorted us, because I remember it being HUGE last time.
Yesterday I made us ultimate shrimp barley bacon salads for dinner. I have never had such a huge salad in my life. It’s really hard to gauge the size of a salad when all the ingredients are in their own separate bowls. I still ate the whole thing.
The Tony’s! I heart them! And Neil Patric Harris. Life should be a musical, Neil. I would have so much more fun if I could express myself with a heartfelt song every five minutes.
Pinterest fail: make ahead oatmeal smoothies. Blech. But mason jars for the win! I shall put my tried and proven green smoothies in them instead.
More business prep: sample business cards from moo. They let you print cards with a variety of backgrounds which is rad. Seeing them all scattered across the desk makes me miss the days of yore when we actually printed our photos…
There was a lizard on our screen when I came home yesterday. 
That’s all.
I finally began playing around with the iPad. Chris gave me permission to fill the bookshelf (with free books), so I’ve been busy hunting down public domain books, especially ones my kids read in high school that I never read or haven’t read in a long time. I’m a little in love with reading on the iPad now. I tried so hard not to get into digital books, because I feel like I’m personally shooting Borders and Walden’s and Bookstar in the face, but I love me some digital stuff! It was inevitable…. ūüė¶
They have discovered drawers and how fun it is to pull everything out of drawers. It started with my pajama drawer. Then my sock drawer. Then my underwear drawer. Today it escalated to the kitchen drawer where we keep all the dish towels. You’ll notice this picture is not our kitchen. That’s because along with pulling things out of drawers, Sawyer also has a love of dragging things from one room to the other. I’m a little impressed that he kept up with his little project long enough to pull six towels across the house.
My new workstation! I realized I hadn’t grabbed a picture of it yet, and it’s been a couple weeks since my darling husband created me a workspace to match his. The giant monitor is my new favorite thing, next to free iPad books. He even went out and bought me a Mac keyboard to complete the look. I’m loving this new space, though I’m thinking of sprucing it up a bit with some flowers or an interesting picture frame. Maybe during my summer break (read: week of July 4th, darn year round school)….
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Short and sweet

Busy weekend.
Capstone project in progress. (Two more weeks!)
Lesson plan demo is taking up my entire weekend. (Hard to make a perfect lesson plan when you’ve never seen the classroom, kids, or curriculum.)
Saw the Tony’s finally. (Bright spot of my night.)
1:09 am: Should be asleep. Still thinking of lesson demo. (Taking over my entire weekend. Even sleep hours.)

Sigh. Next weekend will be better, yes?

Dinner + Exercise

These are the only photos I took today.

My theme for dinners this week was No going to the store. Not for anything. Meaning even if I found a cool recipe I wanted to try out, I had to use what was on hand as a substitute or wait. I’ve gotten into the bad habit of running to the store for that one spice, or sauce, or broth, and then when I’m at the store I end up stocking up on pantry items. Had to get through some of that stuff finally. So tonight’s dinner was spicy thai shrimp stir fry with a side of barley. I successfully used up the rest of our barley, a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, and a bag of sliced peppers. Our fridge, freezer, and pantry are getting lighter!

After dinner I had the sudden urge to go running. Hate when that happens. Also, I love it, because otherwise I would have gone right to sitting at my computer desk, and that burns negative 200 calories thanks to the snacks I bring with me. Speaking of running, I tried on Nike Frees this weekend when we were shopping at Plaza Bonita, and apparently the shoes I’ve had for years are absolutely ridiculous. Who knew? (My husband will say he knew, and that he’s been trying to buy me nice shoes for years. I think I might let him this time.)

The Haps: April 2012

She spent her spring break organizing the house and learning Adobe Captivate via lynda.com.


He only got a Good Friday break.


They¬†did the recycling, got the car washed, and hit up the La Mesa farmer’s market on his day off.

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She¬†is on her third Master’s class. And is kicking it’s behind, thank you.


She loves that there are zero essays and plenty of technological projects.

He has his own homework: keeping track of all the business expenses.

He¬†is also a wiz photo editor. (Four week turnaround? Try 1.2 weeks. He’s just that good.)

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They have been making lots of green smoothies lately, because they are trying to be healthier.


She is getting good at making salads, but almost smoked the house out making a curry last week.


He is getting good at eating whatever she makes. (Even if it has eggplant in it.)


He texted her today that she should be proud: he ordered a veggie sandwich for lunch.


She¬†didn’t text him back that she’d gotten a $.69 coke from McDonald’s that morning.

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He is a craigslist stud and found two of the cameras they wanted, in amazing condition, for amazing prices.


He is currently reading up on the D700 manual before bed.


She¬†hasn’t gotten to play with her D700 yet. (Sunday’s newborn shoot will be the first play date.)


They¬†finally came to a compromise on their new logo and website. (It’s going to be awe-some.)


They¬†have booked six weddings so far this year. (It would have been eight, if it weren’t for everyone getting married on August 11.)


They are planning a road trip vacation before all the weddings start.

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She had an interview for a teaching job on Tuesday.


He brought her their wedding flowers on Wednesday.


(She¬†hasn’t heard anything, but the flowers are bright and cheerful.)





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April the third

Well, my pictures uploaded backwards, so we’ll start with the end of the day! Chris and I met his co-worker Jasmine for appetizer and drinks at the Riviera. We talked photography, work, and tater tots.

Earlier that day, I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to finally load up on some much-needed spice containers. Our cabinet had become filled with little bags of spices from Sprouts that had no permanent home. (And I still had a bunch of 20 percent coupons to spare, as you can see.)

I also got rid of tons of old spices we had. I hear spices are bad after like six months, and I’m sure most of the spices we had in there were at least 3 years old. I won’t ever buy in bulk again, unless the jar it comes in is super cute. (Like the organics brand at Sprouts. Love those glasses.)

Got a new pair of sunglasses. I apparently left mine in the abandoned field near Courtney and David’s house last night. Sigh. I totally broke the ‘No Dumping’ rule!

And to start off the morning, we had Jack’s wake up call. It’s hard to escape it.

And there we have it: April 3rd in reverse!

Rainy Sunday.

I don’t know what it was about today, but as I lay in bed here, trying to get sleepy enough to actually go to sleep, I just feel like it was so wonderful.

Chris and I stayed in bed until noon, sleeping and cuddling, kicking the cats out for getting wild, then letting them back in when they started mewing pathetically outside the door.

Eating two meals at our kitchen table, instead of in the office over work. First was lunch, where Chris made us giant sandwiches, and second was a collaborative effort for dinner, where Chris made egg drop soup and I steamed some asparagus stir fry.

Getting a bag of veggies and fruits from Sprouts and planning out the week’s meals. Thai chicken lemon soup is something we’re looking forward to…

The smell of the crockpot cooking chicken for the week.

Enjoying rain from the comfort of our home. Holing up in the office with our space heater while the rest of the house froze. Being delighted with the sound of sporadic hail throughout the day. (Waking up suddenly at 3am to the deafening sound and trying to figure out why we could only hear it on one side of our house; it was beating sideways against our sliding glass door in the living room and sounded like we lived under a waterfall.)

Working alongside Chris in the office. Paying off a big chunk of our car payment and getting rid of other bills. Talking about our next vacation. Giggling and kissing whenever he said something funny.

Watching him edit a maternity shoot with so much love. Seriously. He loves his job as a photographer.

Getting an email from a potential wedding client that she wanted Next to Me Studios and was so bummed we were already booked on her wedding date.

This is our little life. Sometimes it’s nice to have those sweet little stuck-at-home days to really remember how awesome it is.

March the second

Today was ridiculously productive. Somehow having a good four hour chunk of time, along with four backed up episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on sidereal does wonders for productivity. I finished most of the most recent book interior I’ve been working on for awhile. With the completion of my research paper last night, that’s two of my big projects done. Woo-hoo! And my next big projects are photo editing families, which is just so much more fun than research papers and book design.

Since Chris worked late tonight, I even managed to get to some much needed chores. The kitchen is once again clean and the sink is clear. Our floor is vacuumed. I’ve got more clean clothes than I had at the start of the day. It’s good to clean.

Another big productive thing that happened today was that I finally figured out where all the hair ties I give Jack end up going. Jack loves hair ties. He will amuse himself for hours with a single one. But inevitably, he loses them, within 24 hours. It had gotten to the point where I had to go buy new packs at Target because I no longer had any for myself. So he had gone through three in the last day alone, so I began searching again, even though I’ve looked in every nook and cranny of our little condo already. They’re really aren’t many places these things could go. I was searching behind the TV stand, in all the cords from the TV, DVD player, Wii, etc., and I noticed, in the glass of the stand, the reflection of black and brown circles. Jackpot. It still took me a bit of time to figure out where the reflection was reflecting from, and after moving some of the consoles on the bottom shelf, I finally found them. They’d been sliding under the glass and getting stuck under the stand. So glad to finally have that mystery taken care of. And Jack was overjoyed to have ten hair ties all at once. Though he’s probably got them all stuck under there again.

Here’s the whole setup. Can you spot the hidden hair ties? ūüėČ

Sunday Funday

Picture(s) of the day for February 19th
Since Kris and Becky were in town, Chris and I lugged our sorry behinds out of bed early (for a weekend), and met them in North Park for breakfast. Because Chris is trendy like that, he picked a hip, tiny cafe called Parkhouse Eatery. It turned out to be pretty cool, but I’m glad we got there early: otherwise, we would have been standing in the street waiting for a table, like the poor schmucks you can see in the picture below. Sorry, poor schmucks. I did feel a little guilty as we sat around talking for about half an hour after they’d cleared our plates, but hey, we got up early (for a weekend) to get that table.
Kris and Becky wanted to walk around Fashion Valley for a bit before getting in the car for their long ride back, and we stopped at Robbin’s Brothers along the way to get our rings cleaned, since it’s so close to Fashion. Since I now have a cool camera phone, I took a shot of the bathroom door, something I’ve always wanted to do at Robbin’s Brothers because of this:

(This morning, Chris asked me in a weird voice: “Do you know you’re tweeting pictures to Next to Me Studios?” And I said “Yes, of course, I think I know where I’m tweeting, sheesh.” And he replied that Robbin’s Brothers had re-tweeted my picture tweet, which we both thought was pretty cool. And also? Free publicity to a diamond ring store. Heck yeah. If that’s not awesome fortune for a photographer, I don’t know what is.

At home: I tried to mimic Sam the Cooking Guy’s salt and pepper shrimp, only it came out awful because I used the same amount of salt and pepper that the recipe for a pound of shrimp called for, even though I only had about 15 shrimp left in the bag. Because I’m a smartie like that. Chris came in and discovered a shrimp on the floor, that Jack must have jumped on the counter to get and disliked enough to knock it off and then run away. Chris rinsed away the salt and pepper and broke it into pieces and then Jack was all over it. Sawyer, on the other hand, kept looking at Chris like, “Are you freaking kidding me? I’m not eating that,” every time Chris held it out to him. I think he’s very sensitive to the garlic smell. So Jack ate the whole shrimp by himself.

Later that night, Ryan came over and the three of us had a good old fashioned camp out at the dining room table with our laptops. I got through almost half of Trinity’s newborn photos while we dined on carrots and broccoli, Trader Joe’s cookies, and delightful peach champagne. Chris also taught me how to use the remote on our new cameras, but those are pictures for another day. The cats, meanwhile, spent a rewarding night creating epic scenarios involving the two bags Ry brought with him. I don’t know why we spend money on real cat toys.