27 February 2010

Quote of the Day

"I have you bookmarked in my Blackberry - and my heart."

     -- My husband Clay, trying to downplay his affinity for his phone. What a cutie!

25 February 2010

Search for the Perfect Hairstylist

I have been searching for the perfect stylist for three years now. Three years. I feel like I should have found someone already. Does this neverending quest mean I'm too picky? Does it mean I am unable to sustain that kind of a relationship?

When my husband and I moved to Fort Worth, I was so focused on adjusting to the newlywed life that I didn't get my hair cut regularly. (Not that I had adhered to a haircutting regimen while on my college student budget.) Then I got a job in the stockroom where no one cared what my hair looked like; I pulled it into a ponytail most days for practicality's sake.

Not long afterwards I began my current job and discovered a lovely little Aveda salon about 8 minutes from where I work. It was new, and right next door to a little bakery/ cafe I frequent. The smell inside was so refreshing (bamboo and eucalyptus!), and they offered you water with cucumber while you waited (never long) for your stylist. I saw the same stylist for three haircuts, and when I called to schedule #4 I discovered that she was no longer an employee. So...I switched to another stylist, whom I came to love. I loved the free bang trims in between appointments. I loved the peppermint scalp massage. I loved the hand massages while in the stylist's chair. I loved the occasional make-up touch-ups. I loved that I could get my hair cut and be back to the office in about 45 minutes. She even cut my hair when I wanted to donate ten inches to Locks of Love.

I saw her for over a year, though our relationship had its less-than-perfect moments. (The receptionist failed to tell me that my stylist had been promoted to the next level - which would cost me an extra 10 bucks. And then there was the time she had pneumonia and they called me 30 minutes before the appointment to let me know I should probably reschedule.) It was a bit more than I wanted to pay - just under $60 with tip for a simple shampoo, cut and style. But it was worth it...right? And then suddenly, last October, I called to schedule a bang trim and discovered that my stylist was no longer working there! No notice, no phone call, no conversation about the break up. And so it ended just like that - without a reason.
The stand-in stylist did a decent job on my bang trim, but she was not a very good conversationalist. And she left those pesky little hairs on my nose (my old stylist would never have done that). So I resumed my aimless search...
A friend had recommended her stylist to me, saying she was fabulous and so reasonable ($25 for a haircut!) and she had the same name as me. Surely all good omens. The only problem was that her salon was 30 minutes away from me - and that's not considering traffic. But I thought for $25, I'd give it a shot. Our first meeting was great, and my hair looked fantastic. On top of that, when I walked out the door there wasn't a hole in my wallet where my money used to be! But then the second appointment had to be rescheduled and I had to settle for a less-than-ideal time. When I showed up for my appointment, I noticed someone else sitting in her chair. She had a blow-dryer out, so I assumed she was putting the finishing touches on this client's 'do. But then she picked up a piece of foil and began painting on highlights - right in front of me! I was so taken aback by this brazen act of infidelity that I got up and walked right out the door. "I don't have time for this," I thought.

That was the final straw. All hope I ever had in the haircutting profession was now gone, and I vowed never to set foot in a salon again.
Well, the "I'm growing out my hair" excuse only worked for so long. I almost couldn't stand to look at myself in the mirror. So I Googled area hairstylists and came up with a place I thought I might try that was close to work. The first haircut went well - until it came time to pay. It was almost as expensive as the Aveda salon AND I didn't get any of the perks! But they did give me a bunch of coupons...so I went back there to get my haircut yesterday. (Even with the coupon, it was still too much.)

It shouldn't be this hard. You see, I am the world's easiest haircut. I always bring a picture. I have naturally straight chestnut strands that do not tangle easily and generally do what I want them to (except curl, but that's another story). I sit still in the chair, never crossing my legs or chewing gum. I can hold up my end of the conversation, but I'm okay if you need to work in silence. I do not have dandruff or any other unpronouncable scalp conditions. I do not color, highlight, straighten, gloss, or perm my hair - which means that a haircut generally takes about 30 minutes.

In exchange for all that, I just want an experienced and reasonably-priced hairstylist at a clean salon that is no more than 15 minutes' drive from my house. Is that too much to ask?

18 February 2010

Vote for #3!

So I am an ee photography groupie. I find a way to enter almost every contest she hosts in order to win a fabulous photo shoot with her. Case in point: The Awkward Family Photo Contest.

Please follow this link and vote for photo #3! Although I think #2 is going to give me a run for my money...

Even if you don't vote, it's worth a good chuckle. :)

16 February 2010

The Fruit of the Spirit's Not a Kumquat

Today I tasted my first kumquat. And I'm not so sure I want to rush out and do it again.

You see, kumquats are these cute little miniature oranges - think grape-size. The magnetic pull from their bin on the citrus display at Central Market was just too strong.

See what I mean?

These little guys are adorable orange "grapes," perfect for popping into your mouth. With the peel still on.

(Just so you know, if you are ever at a party where they serve you kumquats, the proper way to eat them is to put the whole thing in your mouth and chew. Then swallow - quickly.)

I am not usually one to turn up my nose at foods. But this? Eating orange peel (for that is what it really is; there is not much pulp to a kumquat) is something I just cannot stomach. That and eating beets.

Perhaps it makes more sense when we consider that kumquats originated in east Asia - the same region of the world which gave us edible seaweed and sushi (the raw fish, not the roll).

Have you ever tried a kumquat? If not, I dare you!

15 February 2010

It's Rich-Craft!

Bad joke, I know. But being couped up indoors because of the snow has made me a little crazy! I mean, just look at it all:

So, I decided to do what any average working woman without work would do: I got crafty!

A while back, I picked up this book at Barnes & Noble: Simple Sewing for Baby by Lotta Jansdotter. I have been dying to try it out ever since! I mean, just look how cute the cover is.

There are twenty-four simple sewing projects detailed inside, each one cuter than the last! There were bib-kercheifs and cute little pants, simple bloomers and tag blankies, a super-cute diaper bag and bookend buddies. Will there be enough time to make it all? I wondered.

(Keep in mind that I do not have children, nor am I expecting. Apparently I am experiencing what is commonly known as "baby fever." My excuse is that my sister-in-law and a good friend are both pregnant and I need some baby shower gifts.)

I thought I'd try my hand at the stenciled clothing and the burp rags. Simple enough.

That was before I learned I'd have to make bias tape.

I had the fabric...I just thought it magically made itself into perfectly pressed little strips. (You mean it doesn't?!) After a little Google search, I figured out what I needed to do.

A few hours later...


became this!

Bias tape is a booger to make, but these will be the CUTEST BURP CLOTHS EVER! (That is, when they are not covered in spit up.)

I also tried out my stenciling technique, which resulted in the following:

Look at the cute little heart on the bum!

And the adorable alligator. So. Cute.

More of this 'Rich-Craft" to come!

03 February 2010

Why Didn't I Think of That?!!

I generally feel like I am a creative person. I come up with great ideas. All. The. Time. (Sort of.) Below are a few great ideas that I was a little slow in presenting to the world...so someone else beat me to it.

1.) The Julie/ Julia Project Blog. It's a ready-made recipe for success! (And book deals...and movie deals...)

2.) The Snuggie. Backwards bathrobe, anyone?

3.) Porcelain coffee mugs that look like the disposable cups you get from Starbucks.

4.) Emoticons. I am constantly amazed what a little tilt of the head will reveal.

5.) i-Clips magnetic bookmarks. These are so much cuter than the envelope for last month's water bill.

6.) Old Navy's Jacket in a Packet. Cute name and even cuter jacket, which I will need with this week's forecast.

7.) Ugly Dolls. Anything but ugly! I am in love.

Don't worry: the wheels are still turning. You never know what silly little idea might make me a millionaire. :)