wednesday wonderfulness

Hm. No discernible theme this week, lovelies.

Finally, though, wether you hate them or love them, I kind of adore the "Loser" song from Glee.


walking on the beach

Once in a great while I both feel like taking pictures for the heck of it AND have the time. At such moments, opportunity must be seized. Unfortunately, it was too chilly to stay out long.


self portrait

project 52, week 47
project 52, week 47

Hard as I try, I cannot shake my love for the eastern shore. I've lived far away, but I keep coming back. I wish I lived in the city, I really do, but I also know that no matter what, there's a part of me that's only alive when I smell the marsh and feel the wind off the water.


wednesday wonderfulness

What what? Is it wednesday ALREADY??? And less than a month until tax day? Time flies, yo. ok, well, lots of good stuff on the internets this week. Pinterest is the bestest inspiration place ever, right?
No long reads this week, I'm sorry!


self portrait monday

project 52, week 46
project 52, week 46

Growing up playing dress up was my favorite activity, and my mother indulged this obsession; we had the best collection of dress up clothes of all our friends. She would hit up the thrift stores on dollar days and collect all the craziest gowns and fluffy dresses. None of those poorly constructed "dress up packs" for us: we had real clothes, although a little big mostly. We even had our own place to play; a huge basket in one of the outbuildings kept all our hats and dresses and gloves and shoes, and rainy days or sunny days of lonely days or visits from friends found us outside creating elaborate tales of royal courts or beauty pageants, trailing across the yard, decorating the pony cart, using puppies as our minions. When I acquired a camera, these play sessions would turn into photoshoots, the proof of which still resides stashed in albums.
Now, twenty years later, I'm still playing dress up. I collect all these clothes that still don't fit me, and I find myself, like yesterday, spending hours at a time creating an alternate world, one in which the light is magic and paper hats are worn and flowers are everywhere. They say to be careful what you wish for; I seem to have gotten it.


in which a road trip is taken

I can't believe I haven't shared these photos already; I think I meant to? But spare moments last week were spent prepping for the photo shoot. (Which, by the way, went well.) Anyway, last sunday and monday we made a flying--and I do mean fast--visit to Ohio to pick up a lawn mower for le hubs. I went along for the ride because, well, I hadn't seen the kids since thanksgiving, so we spent 16 hours in the car for 13 with them. It was a good trip, and I took a couple of fun pictures.
I may have amused myself by torturing the dog. (Not torture, really. He was just embarrassed.)

Won't be needing THOSE for a while. The whole drive out it alternately rained and snowed, depending on which state we were currently in.

The view from my lap: dog and coffee.

Finished on the ride. EXCELLENT book, btw.
Starbucks stops are an obligatory beginning to every trip. Americanos = NOM.
Lensbaby! I love how it almost looks like I used a tiltshift here. Almost.
Aren't these trees fantastic? We couldn't stop marveling.

I know, boringness. But I have to post these somewhere or I'll forget them.


only the best cookies in the world, that's all

Fact: I have about three cookie recipes that I use. Seriously. I just kinda rotate through them. And this? My husband's favorite. (Ok, he loves snickerdoodles, too.) And everyone else loves them, too. I don't think I've met anyone that can turn them down. The best part? They're super-easy, and the recipe makes about seven hundred and twenty-three. So now I'm sharing with you.

So without further ado: here is the amazing amish molasses cookie recipe.

Preheat oven to 350. Melt 2 1/4 c shortening. (I prefer vegetable shortening, personally.) Mix in: 3 cups sugar, 3/4 c molasses, and 3 eggs. Stir in 6 c flour, 2 tbl soda, 1 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 tbl cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp salt. At this point the recipe offically says to chill the dough, but I never have time. So I just scoop it into balls, roll them in granulated sugar, and bake for 9 minutes. The sugar rolling and short baking time are KEY: they give you a very crisp outside with a moist delicious middle. Pull the cookies out while they are still puffy and let them at least partially cool on the cookie sheets. Makes about six dozen.


wednesday wonderfulness

Well, loves, that should keep you busy for a while.


project 52 continues

Project 52, week 45 (Side note: I am so far behind that it's slightly ridiculous.)
project 52, week 45

A long time ago, there was no Starbucks on the Eastern Shore. Not even a hint of one. Not even a Barnes & Noble with a cafe. It's not that no one had *heard* of such a thing, it's just that, around here, the best coffee for your money was at Wawa. Across the bridge it was a different story, of course. But here? Yeah. Cappuccinos were slightly chemical-tasting and poured out of a machine next to the fountain sodas.
About that time-ten years or so ago-I picked up a book called "Pour Your Heart Into It." I knew what Starbucks was, of course, and I'd been there, and I loved the coffee, so I wanted to read the story behind it. Well, I read the book and I fell in love with the idea of Starbucks. This was a company that had virtually created an industry within the US (prior to Starbucks, coffee shops were exclusively the hangouts of college students) by having a single clearly defined goal: create a third place. I LOVED that idea. Immediately, "barista" went onto my list of "jobs I want to have someday, just to say I did."
A lot of stuff happened after that. I worked in Oklahoma for a few years, I traveled with a non-profit for a while, I got married, moved to Ohio, worked in a library (yep, that one was on my list too), traveled a lot, stopping at Starbucks every time. Somewhere along the way I stopped drinking venti Frappucinos (I'm ashamed even now), switched to black coffee, and then changed again to black americanos. I love locally owned coffee shops, but their espresso can be sketchy.
Eventually my husband and I moved back to the Eastern Shore, and I started looking at the help-wanted ads in the paper. I had an interview at the local newspaper, working as support staff in the sales department, and, seeing an opportunity to check something off my life list, I dropped off an application at the local Starbucks. The manager there knew my sisters as VERY regular customers, so he called me in for an interview and called about 4 hours later with a job offer. The next day I got an offer from the newspaper for a full-time, full-benefits position that would start at a third more per hour.
I chose Starbucks. At the time, it seemed like a really silly thing to do, but it made sense to me: I thought that long-term, I could probably be more creative working at Starbucks. (Also: I hate sales, which is what I would have done at the paper.)
At this point I'm probably losing some of you. I know a lot of coffee snobs hate Starbucks, considering their beans over-roasted, their drinks over-priced, and their culture shockingly reminiscent of McDonalds. All of these are valid concerns, I'm sure. But the fact remains: I get health coverage at twenty hours a week, I get a pound of coffee a week, and I own shares in the company. Also? My manager is freaking awesome. Six months after I started, I was promoted to shift supervisor, and after a few months of working 40 hours a week and trying to manage my rapidly exploding photography business, I went to him and tried to quit. There was NO FREAKING WAY I could handle everything. Instead of letting me quit and get rehired in the fall, he arranged for me to work one shift every 30 days over the summer, keeping me active as an employee until wedding season slowed down.
He rocks.
I have the coolest coworkers in the world. I have the most amazing customers ever. I really really love my job, and I've worked for this company for 3.5 years and I still believe in it. Do I think I could beat Howard Schultz on bar? Absolutely. Am I pretty sure that we've seen some craaaazy schemes and will see many more? You betcha. Do I know that there are really bad Starbucks out there? Uh-huh. But I also know that my job, every day, is to "Create inspired moments in each customer's day." I. Love. That.
Happy 40th birthday, Starbucks.


an ordinary day

It was gorgeous out here the other day, so I found myself ignoring my desk and instead wandering outside with my camera, watching my husband work on his bike and my dog trot around giving me dirty looks for refusing to put down the camera. It was a good day.

all the pretty things

I'm sure you've already gazed on all the gorgeous gowns over at B H L D N, the wedding department for Anthropologie, but have you seen the other lovelies? Specifically: the lingerie. I love how sexy and yet genuinely beautiful these pieces are. And the prices aren't ridiculous at all. How perfect would these be for your next lingerie shower?

Knotted Gamine Bra and Thong

Collins bra and knickers


the best article I've read all day

"I write this as and for the women who spend more time trying to improve their bodies than their minds and who feel it’s more important to have a great rack than an open heart, or flawless skin over deep wisdom." - Chela Davison, "I Heart My Vagina"

wednesday wonderfulness


what she is attempting to read

When I cleared out the bookshelves a few weeks ago, in addition to getting rid of a couple of hundred books (I think), I uncovered a solid pile of books I've purchased that need to be read, but always get pushed to the bottom of the priority list because, well, there's no late fees if I don't. A couple are borrowed, but most aren't. Since most of these are a little more enriching than relaxing, it doesn't take much for me to get distracted by a new novel or suggestion. I know. I fail. But really? I'm seriously working on these.
From the top, literally.
::the girl with the dragon tattoo:: I CANNOT get into this. I know. I fail. May cave and watch the (swedish) movie so I can move on to the rest of the trilogy.
::bloodsworth:: On loan from a sister. About a guy acquitted by DNA. (I think.)
::interpreter of maladies:: By the same author as The Namesake. Which is why I picked it up.
::manic:: On loan from a different sister. A memoir of being manic-depressive.
::the reluctant fundamentalist:: I think this was one I thought I should read. Still haven't.
::reviving ophelia:: Suggested by one of my sisters.
::motherless daughters:: Have started this one, learned a lot, but it's kinda depressing to read. Really need to, though.
::7 habits of highly successful people:: I KNOW. Have never read the whole thing. Need to be more effective, hence...yeah. About that.
::the boy who harnessed the wind:: On loan from a customer at work. Excited about this one.

What's on your reading pile?