Tuesday, April 26, 2011

work work work

I've been doing a lot of work on my new lesson plans. Now all I need is a space in which to teach...preferably one that allows me to get paid yet doesn't cost an arm and a leg to rent. That type of space is LA is actually hard to come by. I could teach my little heart out at this cute little community club house/meeting place....but they don't pay their presenters and well since I'm a professional I need to be paid for teaching my art. I know it is flattery but I have already seen knock offs of my style out there in photos, and that's fine but it does make me think twice before I just give away my trade secrets. Also most places here are really expensive to rent, then you have to find seating and teaching aids and staff to man the door and make sure everyone gets all the paperwork done...all that kinda stuff. But I feel that any minute now an opportunity will present itself and I will have a space to share my workshops with folk.

I miss teaching so much. It feels like a lifetime since I taught a proper class and I've been ready to return. I do have a four-hour spot at a trade show at the LA Convention Center in a month or so. That will be nice! I think I will be able to do a nice demo and get the word out about my art and classes.

I've also been doing a lot of planning on some other projects to come...and this time I'm armed with a team of pros who have been in the industry for a while and know what they are doing. It's scary to think that I might actually be able to pull off what I am planning. But I am going to damn well try.

In the meantime I have to work on losing weight! I've put on stress weight since the holidays and it's not looking pretty haha. But no matter, I am learning patience and so I think I can handle this.

Pin It!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Tradition Revisited

Yesterday was Easter and it was the first time in a while that I dyed Easter eggs. Big thought it would be nice to dye eggs this year and celebrate a proper holiday together. I thought it was a great idea because I love holidays so much, plus he and I are rarely together for holidays because of his travels. I thought it was cute that he wanted to do this.

Our Easter was very domestic and quiet. Not at all exciting or worth note, millions of people celebrate Easter in a very similar way...however I lived such a nontraditional life for such a long time that sometimes going along with tradition seems a bit "kinky" to me. See there? See how I can't even post about something as innocent an innocuous as Easter without using the word kinky.

So yeah, back to our day. It was so cute! The only thing that would have made it perfect would be to add my friends and family from back home. I miss them so much!

When we got up Big made coffee and took me to the grocery store to buy eggs - that's love right there, you'd have to do some hefty convincing to get me to drive to the grocery on easter sunday to buy eggs! Eggs in hand we returned to the apartment where I made bacon cinnamon rolls for brunch and big made a nummy bloody mary for us and then prepped his marinade for the t-bone steaks to come later for Easter dinner. He's old school Italian where it's tradition for the men to do the cooking, it reminds me of Gran Gran, my grandfather, who would also cook the big family meals and I loved it.

The rest of the day is spent playing wii, dying eggs, and watching excellent movies like Beverly Hills Cop and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and lots of conversation and cuddles until it was time for Big to make Easter dinner. The night before, Big and I were at the Lil Wayne show where we were working it back stage with the tour manager for Nicki Minaj who's meet and greet party was nuts. There were both kids and adults crying and she was sweet and hugged each one and posed for photos, there was a pink confection table and it was just adorable...but it was nice to kick back at home the day after all that and enjoy a holiday.

Here's the eggs yall. Because you have to look at them. Each one. It is mandatory. And thusly is deemed so.
Big holding an egg!
See those pink bunny pot holders? Big picked those out.

I made this one with swirlies and rainbow stripes

Big's egg, he's so sentimental!
I made this multicolored one with paper flowers and hose
springtime yellow!
My attempt at sentiment, think I'll stick with the swirlies
We made one each with fishnets, Big added a flower to his green one
We both worked on this one, it's orange and pink and swirly and speckled and it's my favorite one.

Pin It!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Creation - Scrapbooked Recipe Box

The other day I decorated a recipe box and I wanted to share the tutorial I made for it. 

I am really proud of this new home that I am creating and I wanted to make sure my things reflect this. I have seen some designer recipe boxes with motivational quotes and pretty designs, but I didn't want to spend over $20 on a recipe box that may or may not reflect my personal style - so I went ahead and made my own! I used an index card file box that I got from the dollar store and scrapbook paper and embellishments that I had lying around from a previous project. I even got the glue gun and glue sticks from the dollar store too! My project cost about $3 all told. Not too shabby huh!

Sometimes I take my surroundings for granted and I barely glance at household things that I use on a daily basis...but now that I am starting to practice awareness and gratitude I am noticing that my visual surroundings are important to my state of mind. It is not vain to decorate your home or to add your personal flair on your things, that's what makes them truly yours after all!

I also created my own recipe template with Photoshop so that I could type in my recipes and print them neatly on gorgeously designed cards. There are beautiful and affordable recipe cards out there, so you don't have to design your own, especially if you don't have a design program like Photoshop. However I hate my handwriting, I write like a hurried doctor (which I am definitely not!) and it doesn't seem right to ruin those pretty cards with my crummy handwriting so I just made my own so I can print them out with my printer. Also, having the recipes typed out on my computer also gives me an instant backup of my recipes just in case. Here's a random recipe card that I designed and I think it came out pretty good!

Pin It!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm proud of this week

Today I enjoyed a wonderfully productive Sunday after a very productive week.

I got my van officially registered in the state of California, and my California driver's license is on it's way in a couple of weeks!! I was smart about it and got an appointment at the DMV to cut down the waiting time. In the course of getting the van registered I had to get a smog check, so I left the DMV intent on getting my smog check and getting straight back to the DMV to finish everything up for the day.

But I had no such luck!

My van passed the smog check just fine and I drove back to the DMV. As I turned on the street where the DMV is located, I hear a loud POP and my van just stops! My boyfriend pushed me and the van to safety and he stayed with the van until AAA came with a tow truck. Meanwhile I walk to the DMV to take my Driver's Test for the license. I ace it and walk back to the van just in time to meet the tow guys.

The tow folk take my van to the transmission shop where she recently had a rebuilt transmission installed. As it happens, a rod split clean in two in a freak occurrence; in fact the mechanic said that I had a better chance at winning the lottery than for that particular part to snap like that. Also some metal shavings got into the transmission works and it needed to be taken apart and flushed. Since it's such a freak thing the parts aren't as readily available and sure enough I had to go an entire week without my van!!

No matter, I rented a car so I could get to and from work...and good thing too! I got to work with an industry legend and I was very honored as she is married to a legendary artist of my trade and rarely works with others. The rental was also needed because the shoot locations were so far away I never would have been able to get a ride, and I wouldn't have wanted to miss a single day. I got to work in this mega mansion in the sticks, but it on on the side of a mountain with an amazing view. I love working in these places, it reminds me of the dangers of excess, yet on the other hand it gives me wonderful experiences of being in places like that, enjoying the materialistically-awesomeness of it without having to actually deal with or upkeep it...and I get to do what I love to do while in those places.

The very next friday I finally get to get my van from the shop! My mechanic is awesome and only charged me for the parts, even though it was at least 10 hours of work all told. I went straight to the DMV, this time without an appointment, and waited for the rest of the day but finally I got it all taken care of. Yay!!

Then Big and I went thrifting and found a 50% off sale at a Salvation Army that had some pretty nice furniture. I got this adorable white shabby chic bedroom set that came with a dresser, mirror, bookcase hutch, vanity, and vanity chair. The apartment is really coming along and starting to feel like a real home. Which is nice because I've been missing that feeling for a while.

Last night I performed on stage for the first time in a while. I shared the stage with some wonderful friends and I had a fun great time just playing, doing what I do...no script, no choreography. Typically I just pull performances out of my ass, which is kinda hard considering I perform with other folk, at least one partner...but I love what I do and I am really very good at it so it comes naturally to me.

Today Big and I slept in a bit but then we went on a cleaning and organizing spree that left us both feeling refreshed and renewed. I finished up a lampshade I've been working on and I also did some crafting - in fact I was so productive that I video taped it so I can share it with you on another blog post!

Right now Big is doing his magic on the grill out by the pool. He's making beer can chicken street tacos tonight and I'm making dessert with fresh strawberries, lady fingers, and homemade strawberry caramel sauce. We are going to eat and watch a movie and then hit the sack early because we have to leave for the airport at 4:15 am to get him to his flight on time. Ugh!

Tomorrow I have to overnight my van's old tag back to NC and take the heart monitor that I've been wearing for the past two weeks back to the doctor. I don't see him again until next week, hopefully then he'll be able to give me an idea of what is going on with my heart.

As I sit writing this entry my face is warmed by the sun and the California breeze plays through my home office window, including me in the wonderful day that is going on just outside. I am alive and well, I have air in my lungs, and I am happy because I deserve to be happy and I accept nothing less in my reality; I am truly blessed.
Pin It!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Adorable Life

For the past two weekends Big and I have walked to the grocery store to do our shopping. He voiced the idea first and I really go for stuff like that so I jumped on it. That might not be such a big deal for some, but for me it has been a romantic scenario in my mind for a while. I don't like random walks for no reason, I prefer a utilitarian effort...so Big suggesting we take a walk to the grocery store fulfilled my unspoken desire.

It was such a nice experience to take a walk and enjoy the wonderful California weather with Big. We got to talk and just muse for a while; truly enjoy each others company. In a way it also helps us to manage our spending because we can't buy a lot since we are carrying everything home. I like to call that the makings of Domestic Bliss.

Yesterday I spent about 14 hours in front of the computer working on a major agenda and lesson plan. I'm really proud that I was so productive. I've already written and rewritten and revised and revamped my drafts and I'm still not finished, but to be sure it will be amazing once I am.

While I was working Big took a lazy Sunday on the couch by me. It was nice knowing that he was there. Lately we've been getting slowly into healthy cooking and I will probably be posting some recipes on this here blog I'm sure.

Also...I just had to add, Big is so sweet. One of my favorite things is for my coffee to be served to me and I've never told this to Big, nor have I asked him to serve my coffee...but he will do that every now and then just because he thinks about it and brings it to me without me having to ask. Today he made a fresh pot of hafcaf and brought a steamy new cup and took my stale cold cup from me and it was just so sweet of him. I think that kind of thing is romantic. I mean it's nice to help me or do nice things for me when I ask, but it's altogether different when it is unprovoked and done exactly to standard (especially when that standard isn't even known beforehand). And then tonight he served me a beer while I sit here at the computer typing this blog entry. What an adorable life.

As I strive to be mindful each day of my blessings I try to look to these small things, things that I have taken for granted in the past, as reminders and living proof.

Pin It!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How-To: Bacon Cinnamon Rolls - Blog Spotlight

Reposted from RainyDayGirl's blog. I simply couldn't help myself! You've got to check out her blog post, she's really funny. Plus the recipe is amazing!! Why didn't I think of this before. Brilliant!!

Essentially you partially fry up some bacon and then wrap them in pillsbury grands crescent rolls and bake. Yum!

Pin It!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Going Out and Coming In

You know, sometimes I think I look forward more to coming home after a long night out and about.
Don't get me wrong, it's fun to get dolled out and hit the town with your man to meet good friends and have good times! But to be honest I really enjoy the after-after party that happens when I finally get to come home and go through the ritual of stripping from the night's trappings.
Nothing feels better than slipping off your heels to release your tired sore feet or stepping out of those constricting hose or unzipping that tight dress. I had an add-on to my late night ritual; when I lived in NC the family (roomies included!) would go get some awesome junk food at cook-out which was open 24/7. These days I'm not doing the late night face stuffing bit but I still enjoy coming home.
I got to wear a knockout dress to a club the other night with big to see some friends. The dress code was very strict, and even though I was on the VIP guest list we still had to comply with the dress code so I went all out.
Once we got to the club we were escorted in and went to the VIP section where we enjoyed free bottle service in our area and a great view of the dance floor. My friend was going to be performing, but her show got canceled so instead we just sat and hang out a bit.
Later they all wanted to go to an after party. And I always go out with them after we get together. But I was just really looking forward to coming home and getting in my pjs and getting some sleep. And I'm ok with that! Once we were home big and I cuddled and cuddled until we fell asleep, it was very wonderful and much needed, definitely the high light of the night. 

Pin It!


The other day Big and I had a glorious day together. He made one of his patented picnics and we drove to the beach. He had an errand to run on the way so we decided to make a beach trip out of it.
It was so lovely being out in the open air and the sand with him. It was also nice to get out of the house. Though I must say the new dwelling is coming along nicely. He and I have arranged and rearranged the meager furnishings we have until they were placed perfectly, it was nice that he gave input into the decorating. I also made a bunch of things and crafted many pieces for the new house.
I made a flower arrangement out of pink gerber daisies that looks like a little flower cupcake, and I decorated some tulip shaped votive holders and turned them into a pretty matching bath caddy set to hold tooth brushes and toothpaste. Little things like that. I like nesting. I will be the first to admit it. It makes me happy to create things for the house that I live in, it just makes things feel much more comfy to me.
I have been toying with the idea of creating a blog to document the things that I create. It really is such a wonderful outlet for me, and for the most part I create things just one time to give as gifts so I rarely keep them around and consequently I forget about them. It would be nice to have a collection of videos to remind me what I made and how I made it, in case I ever forget.

Pin It!

Reading at Night

I always had this silly little thing I wanted to do with my mate...I loved the idea of us both cuddling on the couch and taking turns reading a book to each other. I told Josh of this thing I wanted to do, I described how we could make it a reality and how much it meant to me. All he gave me was the permission to go to bed alone to read because it was hard to concentrate while the tv was on...he'd rather watch tv downstairs without me while I read alone.
Fine. I figured that was just the way it was supposed to be and I let go of my silly idea.
However Josh did gift me with my favorite book in the whole world. I love him for that even to this day. I was bragging to Big how thoughtful Josh was in finding that book for me and how much it means to me.I loved that though Josh wasn't willing to read with me he would support my reading in such a meaningful and thoughtful way.
Big is not a reader, at all. However the other day he mentioned how nice it would be if he and I took some time out at night to read back and forth to each other out of the same book. It was like he reawakened this desire of mine, just like that. Could it possibly be something I could have in my reality?
At first he thought he could make one night a week reading night. I was fine with that. So we took turns reading a chapter together. The next day, with a big grin on his face, he told me how much he enjoyed it and how he thought we should try to read like that each night. I was overjoyed! I still can't believe it.
I love how this is my idea, but it's his idea and not something I have to force or bitch about in order to get.
For the past couple nights he and I have read to each other and it has been wonderful. We are three chapters in and I've gone to sleep to the sound of his voice. I've always wanted to be told a story at night, since I was little, and it hasn't happened - I was always the one to read or tell stories to others. I don't think he truly understands just how much this means to me...especially since it came from him and wasn't something I had to force. I feel so grateful.

Pin It!