Monday, May 31, 2010

When Life Gives you Lemons...

Today I stopped for a 5 cent cup of lemonade at a stand being run by kids that live around the corner from me. I gave them a couple bucks, figuring it would go towards whatever video game they were saving up for. (I certainly remember selling Crystal Light in Dixie cups to my neighbors with high hopes for a new slap bracelet back in the day.) As I was about to continue on my way, the 4 year old proprietor said, "We made lemonade to help the animals in the oil spill."

I was so touched that someone so little was out braving the 90 degree heat - not for toys, snacks or iPods - but because their parents taught them that they can help make a difference ... even with a pitcher of lemonade.

I'll drink to that any day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ode to My First Job

Way before my days of morning meetings and desks with fancy swivel chairs, I spent several high school summers working in a supermarket. My first real paychecks at the age of 15 came from 8 hour shifts wearing an over-sized pink smock, scanning groceries next to 60 year women named Roz and Pam. They were lovely, but we didn't really have much in common. Those summers were a blur of praying I didn't have to use the microphone to ask for a price check, asking the manager to void my millions of mistakes (gala or fuji - who knew?!) and having a crush on a bagger who only said "yo" and wore a gold Nike chain.
I really should have worked at the mall.

But to this day, every time I go to a grocery store, I give the cashier a knowing look. It communicates many things:

"I'm aware that strategically organizing my groceries in a paper bag is mind numbing, yet kind of fun at the same time"

"When people give you a "better than thou" attitude, you should totally "accidentally" smush their bread."

"I feel your pain when cheapskates tell you that 3 lemons are really 98 cents, instead of 99."

"I know you didn't choose to wear that smock. It's totally not your style. I'm not judging."

Looking back, I realize that being a cashier really wasn't so bad. I recruited a couple friends to keep me company, and learned some very important facts about produce ... and people. If you've ever had to take on an 80 year old woman who insists Borscht is on sale, then you can handle anyone. 

What was your first job?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Puppy Love

I miss my dog Jake. He lives in Cleveland. He's probably one of the few residents there that actually prefers winter over the summer. You would too if you looked this cute sitting in the snow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"I Can Do Anything Good"

My friend Courtney sent me the cutest video, have you seen this?! I wish I was this enthusiastic about my pajamas! While I have no clue what this kid is saying in the first sentence (she may or may not think she's a shark...), it's really adorable. Little Jessica loves her school, dad, cousins, aunts, mom, hair ... and of course, her haircuts. Clearly, the ledge of a bathroom sink doesn't seem to be the best place for a small child to experiment with song and dance, but she makes it off unscathed. If your Thursday night happy hour/bitch session didn't make you feel better about your life, this might...

She ends with this line, "I can do anything good. Better than anyone."

Good for you kid, I like your style.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Flower Power

If my life were a Nancy Meyers movie, I would be the owner of a charming little flower shop. How great would it be to spend my days creating creating beautiful arrangements and bouquets that serve one purpose -- to make people feel happy and special. Since I know very little about flowers and I'm not a 55 year old woman in a bizarre love triangle with Alec Baldwin or Jack Nicholson, this is probably not in my near future.

However, thanks to a photo gallery assignment for, I am learning a whole lot about wedding bouquets from the best in the biz. I found some fabulously talented florists from across the country who gladly shared images of breathtaking bridal bouquets. Since I only use about 12 images in a photo gallery, I thought I would post some extra pics here too, and of course on The Dubious Bride blog next week (so be sure to check that out)!

Florette Designs
blush peonies, hydrangeas, lilacs, "caramel antique" garden roses, scabiosas, veronicas, ranunculus and sweet peas.

La Partie Events
Pink peacock feathers, peonies, ranunculus, spray roses, sage
Photo: Erin Hearts Court 

Modern Bouquet
china mums, anemones and kale (yes, kale!)
Photo: White Haute Photography

No weddings in your future? These gorgeous color and flower combos can inspire some lovely arrangements for your home too... Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thanks for Saying Thanks

I just finished a week of shooting a web reality show for a client in LA. (I can't say what it is yet, but stay tuned!). It was so much fun to be out of the office and out on the town filming in sunny CA. While I was hoping to see Ali Lohan's insane eyebrows in person or another strung-out starlet being trailed by TMZ, my only celeb spottings were James Cromwell at Art's Deli and Darlene from Roseanne at Katsu-ya in Studio City (which is incredible sushi, FYI).

As our crew was packing up today, we all thanked each other for the hard work this week. And then one of the camera guys brought up a really good point... He said that the thing he loves about this business is that people are always so appreciative and thankful for what a production crew does. They get paid like the rest of us, so why the extreme gratefulness? Why do they get enormous gourmet candy apples and goodbye hugs, in addition to their paycheck? No one gets all that jazzed about people that slave away in front of a computer all day, right? No fair.

Maybe it's because they have to lug around so much equipment ... or know how to work $25,000 cameras ... or the fact that their expertise will ultimately help make you and your final product look and sound good (whether you're a producer or talent). Who knows...

Point is -- it's nice to feel appreciated. And we should all take the time to thank the people we work with - the people that help us do a better job - more often.  Just keep the hugs to a minimum, it may creep people out.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cheap Date Night In

From apps to drinks, dinner for two can set you back big bucks. That’s why most couples are opting to save cash and spend some date nights in. But if you’re bored with board games or the typical take-out and a movie combo, there are plenty of ways to make a special occasion out of just hanging out at home.

Go South of the Border
It's simple to create a Mexican fiesta in your living room. My husband and I are big fans of this "theme" night. Whip up homemade guacamole, margaritas and a taco bar with all of your favorite fixins. Invite your amigos over and have them bring food or drinks for a great low-cost evening in.

Wine and Wii
Nothing pairs better with Merlot than Mario Kart. So, get your game face on and challenge your sweetie to a little friendly virtual competition instead of just zoning out in front of the TV.

Night at the "Winery"
Clearly, vino is often a key component to a successful date night in. Swing by Trader Joe's (they have a fabulous selection of budget-friendly bottles) or your local liquor store and pick up a few varieties of wine. Have your own wine tasting at home with your man, or invite some friends over to partake in the drinking festivities. If they each bring a bottle, you'll have quite a spread to sample. Discuss the wines you like best and find some new faves to keep in the wine rack. Good bread and several hunks of cheese are a must. Tip: If you're not a wine drinker, try beer, cheese or chocolate … anything goes!

Click over for my article with more budget-friendly date ideas.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do You Have Bachelorette Envy?

The other night I was out with some of my girlfriends, one of whom just started seeing a new guy. They were exchanging flirty texts and arranging where to meet up later. As I was helping her craft the perfect response back to him, I felt a brief wave of nostalgia for my single gal life. Don’t get me wrong, marriage is awesome and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But sometimes, even the most happily married ladies miss certain things about flying solo (which I got the scoop on while writing an article for

Like total control of the remote...

It takes a lot of bargaining to claim the TV for six hours to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians when it’s not just your TV anymore. (My husband actually feels physically ill after catching even a glimpse of that show.) Alternatively, you will get stuck sitting through really boring political commentary (sometimes I feel like Keith Olbermann might as well be eating dinner with us), war documentaries, football and cartoons made for grown men. While having someone to share your life with is one of the best parts about marriage, it’s not always easy to share your TV... or the computer… or the bathroom…

Click here to check out the rest of my article on 

I also wrote a follow-up to this on things married women don't miss about single gal life. So stay tuned for that one!