Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vacation

Sorry for the radio silence but I'm on a little vacation right now.  We have been busy on this trip and this is the first time in several days that I've had time to get online.  When I get back home I have several posts lined up, including recipes for a Phillipe The Original copy cat french dip, and a pineapple coleslaw.  I've also got a few photos and other posts to share.  Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

As Promised...

Remember how I mentioned a birthday celebration in my last post?  Yeah, don't ever tell me you DON'T want to celebrate your birthday, I'll show you how wrong you are.  My boss, "Jorge", turned 30 last week.  In the weeks leading up to his birthday he repeatedly requested that we not celebrate on his birthday, that we do not decorate on his birthday, or do anything birthday related on his birthday.

He needs to choose his words more wisely.  We decorated and celebrated the day before his birthday.  And since he had mentioned that he was a little bit freaked out by turning 30, we decided to play it low key...Bwahahahaha, just kidding, this is me and I don't do anything low key.  We went for a lovely black and silver motif with skeletons through out.









See?  Look how happy he is!




Friday, June 21, 2013

Talking Fruit

To start with, does anyone happen to remember this show from high school french class?



Ouis, c'est tres vrais, je suis un ananas.  C'est possible!  And then there's Swedish Chef.



We all know that everything on television, movies, and the internet is true, so obviously talking fruit and vegetables is a very real phenomenon.  But don't worry, they come in peace, I think.

My friend A. and I gave one of our co-workers a magic sock.  It was right around Christmas time and we decided this one fuzzy red sock should stay up all year round and magically get filled with things.  Things like candy, office supplies, clif bars, and other miscellaneous objects.

Earlier this week I had a ripe banana with me.  I didn't feel like eating it.  What's a girl to do?  Oh yeah, it went in the magic sock...along with this plastic skeleton that was left from a birthday celebration last week (oh you better believe there is going to be a post about that, just you wait).


In case you missed it, that was a banana with a lot to say.  Yes I am 5 years old, yes I do write secret messages on bananas, it's a thing...let's not make a big deal out of it.  Here's what it said.



Yesterday we were having a food day and I brought lemon cream fruit dip and some fruit to go with it.  I scratched "EAT ME" into one of the bananas.  It started an all out talking banana war.  Behold, the great banana conversation of 2013.





And then driving home from work I was stuck behind this Ragnar team SUV.


Which of course reminded me of this gorilla chasing a banana along Alii Drive in Kona during the 2012 Ironman World Championships.


Which in turn reminded me of the first photo I ever posted on this blog.


I'm beginning to think that I may have a banana problem.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sheldon's Quest For World Domination - Part 5

Well, he's at it again.  Sheldon has sent another email.  At least he hasn't started an all out war yet, I was a little worried about that when I got his last email.
"Dear Minions,

It is almost like some people don't WANT to be helped.  I was escorted out of Jerusalem and asked not to return.  The nerve of some people.  While touring the Israeli countryside I happened upon an archaeological dig and decided to offer my assistance.  At last I felt like I could contribute my vast experience and knowledge gained from studying Indiana Jones.  Imagine my annoyance when the Beit Lehi dig had neither Nazis nor aliens, and certainly not spear wielding natives.  It really is a lot more boring the movies.  I've decided to return my efforts to Science and leave archaeology to the amateurs.  My decision has absolutely nothing to do with a certain wild goose chase the archaeologists sent me on in the "donkey stable".  I'm beginning to believe there was no donkey, it was like high school all over again."

Sincerly,
Dr. Sheldon Cooper, MSc, PhD"
Here I am exploring the large columbarium.



What kind of a dig are they running here?!?  Tourists can just waltz right in and take photos.  I can't work under these conditions!

Here I am examining Salome's tomb.
Here I am searching for that mythical donkey in the excavated stables.


Who keeps a donkey in an underground cave/tunnel system anyway?



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Portrait Project - Part 1

I want to take better portraits, so I'm practicing.  To help in the process I've made a goal of making at least 1 portrait a week for the rest of the year.  I've been asking for volunteers on facebook.  The first volunteer is my friend K., she came over this morning.

K. was brave enough to come with a clean face, no makeup.  Macklemore is right "..the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing women that they look better in their makeup..."  She looks fabulous, and I'm so happy with these photos.  I need to edit a few more, I couldn't get my lighting and white balance down the way I wanted.

Here are a few of my favorite shots.











Saturday, June 15, 2013

I got nothing, except...

When you start to feel bad about yourself, just remember this tweet:


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chinchilla Names - Take 19

Today I went to the Summerfest Art Festival in downtown Logan.  I was there to pick up a hammock swing for a father's day gift for my dad (Totally unpaid and unsolicited plug for these hammock swings, THEY ROCK! http://dreamweavershammocks.com/).  While browsing through the various vendors I came across Jamison Rae Jewelry, and I fell in love with every piece they had on display.  Although I really wanted one of everything, I restrained myself and only purchased one item, this "Kissing Circles" necklace.


When I was making my selection I had the overwhelming urge to yell "MY PRECIOUSSSSS!" every time I found a new piece that struck my fancy.  I'm in love with the whole line of jewelry and feel the desperate need to go back and get some earrings to go with this...and maybe a set of stacking rings...and a bracelet.  this is why I need adult supervision, someone please lock up my credit cards.


So in honor of my latest jewelry fascination I am renaming the chinchillas.  Now they will be known as: Golem and Smeagol.
  1. Gwynn &Cuibhan
  2. Leopold & Loeb
  3. Moto & Guzzi
  4. Lem & Phil
  5. Whip & Lash
  6. Chocolate Chip & Cookie Dough
  7. Honey & Badger
  8. Ebenezer & Jacob
  9. Pete & Repeat
  10. Grinch & Max
  11. LEGEN & DARY
  12. Yin & Yang
  13. Whipper & Snapper
  14. Crack & Head
  15. Scavenger & Hunt
  16. Johnny & Tarr
  17. Legless Pooch &; Headless Jensen 
  18. Pinky & The Brain 
  19. Golem & Smeagol

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Feel Like A Cool Kid Now

I'm happy to say that the photos that I took on Sunday of the sipping jars from Butcher's Bunches have made it onto their Open Sky listing.  Check it out:

https://www.opensky.com/butchers-bunches-handcrafted-preserves/product/sweet-vintage-summer-sippers-party-stemware

It is always flattering when someone else thinks your work is good enough to use for their promotional material or project. 

This must be what it's like to sit at the cool kids table.
Now I just need someone to help me figure out how to watermark my images in the future.  You all know I have about as much digital savvy as an orangutan. 

Adventures In Baking

I made a cake for a co-worker's birthday last week.  It was a cake that I'd seen a while ago on tastykitchen.com and had been wanting to try out.  You can see the recipe here: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/dark-chocolate-coconut-fallen-cake/

The cake looked good when it was finished, and it tasted good, but it wasn't what I had expected, in fact I think this cake was out to get me from the start.  Said cake was weird in the making, and it seemed bent on creating chaos in my little kitchen.  Take my whisk for example...


This loop of the whisk broke loose and by the time I finished 2 more had broken loose.  And then take a look at the eggs...


I separated them and put the yolks in this bowl.  All six yolks were whole when I put them in.  Then I turned my attention to the whites.  When I turned back to the bowl, one of the yolks had disintegrated.  Then I opened a can of coconut milk, this was the milk after shaking it for a good two minutes...


It had a weird smell and was so solid that I could barely make a dent, so I made a run to the grocery store for another (and a replacement whisk).  But despite all this the batter looked the way it should have...


And because I'm the worst blogger/foodie in the world I totally forgot to take a photo of the finished product, which actually looked pretty darn good.  I enjoy cooking and baking, but the more I do it, the more I'm convinced my kitchen kind of hates me.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sheldon's Quest For World Domination - Part 4

When we last heard from Sheldon he was kicking scientific butt and taking names in the Big Apple.  Now he's apparently moved on to greater heights and possibly an escalation of tensions in the middle east.  Let's hope he keeps moving before he starts WW3.

"Dear Minions:

Since my original quest to solve the Middle-East Crisis never fully came to fruition, I've decided to give it a second shot.  This time before I attempt to build an exact replica of Jerusalem in the Mexican desert, I've decided to do some field research.  At least in the real Jerusalem people aren't always telling me to "Go Away"...at least I don't think they are, I can't understand a word anyone says.  A few more days of gathering data and I'll be well on my way to that Nobel peace prize.  Now if only I could figure out how to get people to stop yelling "Histalek!" and "Imshi!" I could get some real work done.

Sincerly,
Dr. Sheldon Cooper, MSc, PhD"




Sunday, June 09, 2013

A Little More Local Love

Liz Butcher is the creator of Butcher's Bunches, a no sugar added jam company based here in Logan.  They make fabulous jams, no sugar added grape juice, and a new balsamic reduction called Drizzle.  In addition to these products they have also started selling sipping jar sets.  You can purchase a set at the Cache Valley Gardener's Market.  They are offered in sets of two or three in a decorative wooden crate with extra straws, prices range from $7 to $10 for the gift sets.

Photo courtesy of Butcher's Bunches facebook page.
 Here are a few more photos that show the different drinking straw styles they have available.

Photo courtesy of Butcher's Bunches facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Butcher's Bunches facebook page.
In addition to the gift sets you can also purchase the jars by the case.  They come 12 jars to a case and include the daisy cut lids and a dozen straws in the design of your choice.  It is $29.99/case to purchase them online from BB's, which is a steal when you consider that Anthropologie is selling a very similar product for $48 (with taxes and shipping it is closer to $55).  You can see their set here.

You can buy them from their booth at Park Silly Markey (Park City), SLC Downtown Farmer's Market, or the CVGM...or you can purchase them through BB's Open Sky account (it's like etsy meets pinterest).   If you are in the Cache Valley area and want to pick them up in person you get the local price of $25 a case!  She also gives discounts for bulk orders.

I recently purchased a case from Liz and had some fun photographing them.  I plan on keeping some for my own personal use, but I'm going to set some aside to give as hostess or wedding gifts.  Here are the photos.




Of course just photographing the jars was fun, but I wanted to give you some ideas on what you could do with the jars.  Here's my idea for putting them together for a picnic or a fun hostess gift for the next BBQ or party you are invited to.



And if you're entertaining you can use them as sipping jars, utensil holders, bud vases, decorations, or just about anything else you can think of.






Another great idea is to use them as place cards and party favors rolled into one.  If you are having a sit down dinner you could make name tags and hang them around the mouth of the jar and then let your guests take their personalized jar home at the end of the evening.  These are just my own ideas on how to use the jars.  What would you do with them?





















I love a bargain and I love shopping at local, independent companies.  When those two worlds collide I am a very happy girl.  Liz, thanks for the inspiration, I had a great time shooting these photos of your jars.

PS - Since I've only returned to SLR photography this year after about a decade hiatus, I need critiques.  If you have any comments, editing/composition/lighting/styling suggestions, or ideas that would help improve my photography, please share!