Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ten things to be happy about 8/30/14

It's been a while since I've written a "ten things to be happy about" post and even though I've got a big challenge in front of me, there are plenty of things to be happy about.

1. Jim and I got to spend some time with my grandmother and great grandmother in Tahoe for my birthday. And lunch with this view wasn't too shabby.

2. These delicious little grapes grown by one of our employees.

3. There are 3 freezers full of 400 lbs of fresh halibut, salmon, crab and shrimp from Alaska at work. I am in fish heaven!

4. This cute pup. She's a pain in my ass and mostly the day I took this photo, she was driving me bananas, but isn't she adorable?

5. I got a special birthday package from my pen pal in Germany!

6. As you can imagine from the birthday posts, I had one this past week. I am not one of those people who hates their birthday. I happen to love mine! And I'm also not scared of getting older. I'm not even concerned about my grey hairs anymore. I can't help that I'm getting older, so why not just embrace it?

7. Another birthday one: Pumpkin pie! Baked specially for me by my "lil sis," Ashley.

8. It's almost fall! I can't wait for sweaters and crunchy leaves and everything pumpkin!

9. My husband. He's always in the "ten things" and he always will be. He keeps my world from flipping over on top of itself. He got a promotion at work this month and he's been working his tail off every day for our little family.  He's truly amazing.

10. Life's simple pleasures. Like this old decorative bicycle I found at the venue where we shot our last wedding. Things like this remind me to slow down, look around and enjoy life the best I can.

What are you happy about this weekend?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Crunchy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies. I don't know what I love more: the smell wafting through the house as they bake, eating the raw dough with a spoon straight out of the bowl or the comforting feeling I get when I bite into one, like everything will be okay again because of this cookie. For me, chocolate chip cookies are the ultimate comfort food.

But they don't exactly fit into the category of "healthy," and since I prefer to keep my diet plant-based these days, traditional chocolate chip cookies are not on the menu.

That being said, I knew I needed to find a way to put chocolate chippers back into my life.

Crunchy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 tbsp flaxseed meal
6 tbsp water
1 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oats
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Combine flaxseed meal and water in a little bowl to make a "flax egg"and set aside. With your lovely Kitchenaid mixer that your mommy bought for your wedding (or, you know, any ol' mixer), beat butter until soft. Add coconut sugar and continue beating until combined. Add vanilla and "flax egg."  In a separate bowl, combine flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oats. Add flour mixture to the mixer and beat on low until all the flour is mixed in. Remove the bowl from the base and stir chocolate chips in with a spoon.

Cover the bowl and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer the better.

Spoon dough onto cookie sheet ( have a cool little cookie ice cream scooper) and bake for 11ish minutes.

Remove from tray, dip in milk and enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eight surprising benefits of juicing

I've written here about juicing before, but I wanted to go further in depth about why we love juicing so much. 

Jim and I first learned about juicing last March when we watched Joe Cross’ movie, Fat ,Sick and Nearly Dead. The next day, we cleaned out the pantry, stocked up on organic fruits and vegetables and began our first five day "reboot".

We were so impressed with the results, we made a decision to do a "reboot" every three months or so to maintain a healthy digestive system and keep our bodies free from toxins.  If you’re considering juicing as a means to improve your overall health and reboot your body, consider these benefits:

1.       It cleans the yuck out of your body.

Nobody wants to have toxins running amok inside her body. They slow you down, create nasty blockages in your arteries and intestines and can cause long term problems in your body.

2.       It gives you a crazy amount of energy.

I’m not going to lie to you. The first three days of the reboot were challenging. Really challenging. Our bodies were hard at work flushing out toxins. We were tired, cranky, and excusing ourselves to the restroom far more often than normal. But waking up on day four, we felt rejuvenated, ready to face the world! It was more energy than I’d felt in months, maybe even years.

3.       It makes you lose weight.

If I said the weight loss wasn’t a perk, I’d be lying. It’s a great feeling to step on the scale and see the pounds fall away. Just don’t get too excited. If you’re not diligent about changing your eating habits when you’re done "rebooting", they’ll come right back.

4.       It gets rid of nasty cravings.

I’ve always been a dessert girl. After dinner comes dessert. That’s just the way it’s supposed to be. But after our five days on juice, I didn’t crave sugar anymore. I still rarely even want it. Sure, I’ll still indulge here and there when we’re at a wedding or a birthday party, but I don’t scour the kitchen every night searching for a bit of something sweet to finish off my meal.

5.       It packs your body with vitamins and nutrients.

It’s no surprise that your body functions best when it’s properly fueled. A green juice takes the nutrients of everything you put into it and leaves all the fiber, which slows down digestion, so your body gets a quick punch of the stuff it loves best.

6.       It awakens your senses and connects your brain with your body.

Juicing taught me how to hear my body, what it needs, what it doesn’t like, what it flat out won’t tolerate inside of it anymore. Without all those toxins from refined sugars, white carbs and animal products clogging the airwaves, I can hear what my body tells me and then provide for it accordingly.

7.       It makes your skin glow.

I’ve had issues with acne since I was a teenager. As I’ve grown, it’s gotten better, but on the juice cleanse, I noticed that it had a different type of glow to it, a healthy and nourished glow that I’d never seen before. People actually commented on how nice my skin looked.

8.       It inspires people around you to make changes to improve their health. 

I’m not saying every person you encounter is going to instantly begin juicing along with you, but since we started our first "reboot", we’ve inspired friends, family, neighbors, coworkers to take steps to improve their health. They see the transformation we’ve gone through and more than a few of them have bought juicers and sworn off diet sodas.  

A juice cleanse is an amazing way to jump start a new lifestyle, one that’s filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains and the kinds of foods that make your body run as efficiently as possible.

Cool layering in our old juicer. Carrots, purple cabbage and oranges in this one.

A delicious summer juice recipe:

2 cucumbers
1 bunch of kale
2 sticks of celery
½ pineapple
1 orange

Peel orange and cut everything into pieces that will fit in your juicer. Juice all items, pour over ice and enjoy with a little paper umbrella.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: A Picture

Well, friends, we've made it to day ten of the Ten Day You Challenge, and I'm supposed to share a picture of myself with you.

Day Ten: One Picture

I had a hard time choosing a photo (calling it a picture is weird, being a photographer and all). A lot of the photos I have of myself have someone else in them (usually Jim). I also thought it should be one that I could say more about than just "Me at *Enter travel location here*. 

So I chose this one:

It is one photo of myself that I really like the way I look in. It was on our wedding day, of course, and it portrays to me just how sure of my decision to marry Jim I was, even moments before walking down the aisle. I didn't stress on our wedding day. I knew everything would turn out perfectly, even if stuff went wrong.

My day-to-day life didn't change terribly on that day, but the course of my future did. Jim is now a part of who I am, he's a part of all of my decisions and plans and dreams. He's my partner in this life, and even though we have our squabbles and disagree sometimes, and I can't get him to do the dishes to save my life, I know I chose the right one.

And that, my friends, concludes the Ten Day You Challenge. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me. I had a lot of fun searching my soul for these answers, and I encourage you to give it a try too!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Songs

Today's topic is music. I'll admit: I'm not hugely into music. I mean I enjoy it as much as the next person. But it's not my art of choice. My brothers are both very musical. I, on the other hand, can barely handle medium on Guitar Hero.

That being said, I do have songs that mean something to me, that evoke a memory or a feeling. When Jim and I went on our trip around the country in 2010, we made a playlist of songs that for the car that still remind me of certain legs of that trip. We have wedding songs. There are songs from my childhood and high school years. Although not all of those evoke good memories....

I could list those songs for days and days and days, but since this challenge item is limited to two, I guess they'd better be good ones, huh?

Day Nine: Two Songs

1. On the Road Again by Willie Nelson. Before we left for our month and a half long road trip around the country, I burned this one song onto a disc. It was the only song, and I put it in the cd player of my car without telling Jim about it. My intent was to annoy him to death by playing it every time we got into the car. My plan backfired when he thought it was the neatest idea ever to start each morning's drive with this song. Now whenever I hear it, I think fondly of both my failed prank and our trip of a lifetime.

Have you been to the Grand Canyon at sunset? No? Do it.

2. Save the Last Dance for Me by Michael Buble. It was our last dance song at our wedding, and it was a special moment for Jim and I because we were alone except for the DJ. It was the only time all day that it was just the two of us with no one watching or pulling at our attention. It is probably my favorite memory from the entire day.

Tell me about a song that evokes something in you.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Films

Well, we've made it to day eight. Today we're talking films. I enjoy films, but I can't say that they're as important to me as books are. Even television shows have more meaning to me than movies do. But I do enjoy movies, so I am sure I can pick three that mean something to me.

Day Eight: Three Films

1. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I enjoyed this movie. I own it and I watch it every once in a while, but I include it because the scenes in this movie from Santorini were what made me suggest going there for our anniversary. And we did. And it was amazing, and it wouldn't have happened if it weren't for this film.

Me in front of Lena's grandparents' house from the movie

2. Sex and the City. Yes, yes, the show was ten times better than the first movie and the second movie was a big joke. BUT when the movie came out in...2010? mom and I took a trip to New York and did a whole Sex and the City weekend complete with a tour of places in the city that were featured on the show and the movie. It was one of my more memorable trips to New York with my mom.

It's not even in focus, but that's Mom and I in front of Carrie's building from the movie and show.

3. Role Models. Not exactly one of my favorite movies. Don't get me wrong, it's hilarious and I enjoyed it. But it was the first movie Jim and I saw together, on our first date, which was epic, by the way. We were enjoying ourselves so much we had four dates all in the first night! We went to dinner, to the mall, to play mini golf and to a movie. I always think of our first date when I watch this movie.

What movie has some kind of meaning for you?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Books

Oh how I wish this had been day one. I can think of WAY more than four books to talk to you about. Having to limit it to four only makes it harder to decide which four to talk about.

Day Seven: Four Books

1.Book I'm currently reading: Falling Home by Karen White. I read the sequel before I realized it was a sequel and now I have to go back and read the first one, even though I pretty much know what happens at the end. I really enjoyed After the Rain and I'm really enjoying this one as well.

2. Book I've read the most times: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love this book. When people ask what my favorite book is, I always say this one...largely because it's a classic and I figure that's more impressive than a lot of other answers I could give. Don't worry, that doesn't make it any less true.  Of course for me to choose an actual favorite book would be impossible. I love so many that it would be like asking a parent to choose a favorite child. Actually, if you don't mind a boob selfie, check it out. I'm even wearing my Great Gatsby shirt today. I knew there was a reason I forgot to write this post yesterday!

3. First book I remember loving: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. I remember reading this book with my mom over and over and over again. She would always read with me at bedtime. It's one of my most fond memories of childhood: reading with my mom before going to sleep...and then trying to convince her that I wasn't tired enough to sleep yet and usually being granted extra reading time. *Enter "Stephanie is such a nerd" comments here*

4. My Book: The Girl in the Painting (tentative title) Ok, people. I'm sharing something big with you here. I'm writing a book. Did you know that? And despite the fact that I'm overly critical and terrified that it will never become an actual book, I'm sharing with you today. Because who can have a challenge day regarding books and not share that she is, herself, writing a book? Wish me luck!

Ok, what's one book that's important to you? Or that you simply loved? I'm ALWAYS looking for new book recommendations!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Foods

Food, food, food. What a lovely topic of conversation for this fifth day of the Ten Day You Challenge.

Day Six: Five Foods

1. Serendipity 3's Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. If you've never indulged in this glass of frrrozen (yes, with three r's) deliciousity, you'd better hightail it to NYC (or Vegas) and wait in line for an hour to get yourself one. Well worth it, I'd say...and I do say because I do wait in line for an hour every time I'm in New York. Crazy, you ask? Of course I am.

2. Fish Burgers at Shelter Cove Campground Deli. Fresh fish fried to perfection in a toasted bun, tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato. (I take my onion out). Oh, now I'm drooling.

Sooooooo good!

3. Homegrown Tomatoes. There's just nothing quite like a homegrown tomato. Sure you can get them in the store and they resemble the real deal, but they're not the same. Never. Not even organic. Beside the fact that they taste better, there's a sense of satisfaction in tending to the plants and harvesting your own fruit.

A baby tomato from our garden.

4. Shrimp off the Rover. The Rover is a boat (yes, it's also a Zeppelin song, but in this case, just picture the boat). It lives in Alaska and brings in some of the most delicious fish you'll ever taste. And crab. And shrimp. And all of it tastes better than the stuff you find in the store or in a restaurant, but the shrimp takes it to a completely different level. I can't eat regular shrimp anymore. Alaskan Rover shrimp have ruined shrimp for me.

Not the most appetizing photo, but that's what they look like when they're still in the bucket on the boat!

5. Santorini Cheese Pie! Oh my gosh. I completely lived off this stuff while we were on our honeymoon. This photo only shows one of many variations I ate while we were in Greece. This was breakfast on the last morning before we left for home. Oh, I want a piece so badly right now!

It probably wasn't a good idea to write this post right before dinner when I'm super hungry. Now all I want to eat is cheese pie and fish burgers and delicious shrimp (although I only have to wait a few more weeks for the shrimp)!

What are some of your favorite foods?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Places

Well, hello, day five! I suppose it's time to talk about places. I had a hard time decide how to interpret this. Should I list favorite places I've traveled? Places I want to travel? Favorite fictional places I wish were real? In the end, I decided to use a mish mash of all of the above.

Day Five: Six Places

1. My favorite place to be: Grand Central Station. Yes, we're calling it "station" and not the reclassified "terminal" because I think station has a better ring to it.

Suuuuper old (and not great quality...) photo from a trip to NYC with my friend, Mo (well, her name is really Bekah but she {and I} got the nicknames "Mo" on that trip). This is not the part of it that I love, it's just the only photo I could find.

I wish I could explain exactly what it is about Grand Central that gets me. Maybe it's the architecture, the fact that it was the capitol of Cornelius Vanderbilt's New York Central Railroad, outfitted with chandeliers and marble, a nod to the grandeur of his era. Or the magical mural of constellations painted on the ceiling, which seems to evoke a sense that when you reach for the stars, anything is possible. Maybe it's because walking into the main concourse feels like taking a step back in time, like just as it did in 1913, trains come in and trains go out, delivering people to their jobs, their loved ones, their adventures. I have a strange fascination with train travel and it could be as simple as that. Most likely it's a bit of all of those things all under one roof.

2. Place at the top of my travel wish list: Nova Scotia. This should come as no surprise, considering I have a love of sleepy little fishing towns. Top that with the fact that it has a fabulous autumn and looks like a photographer's gold mine, and it practically has my name written all over it.


 3. Favorite place I've lived: Petaluma, CA. I went to college at Sonoma State University, and during my last year, I lived in Petaluma. And when I was a kid, my family spent our summer weekends at Dillon Beach. Petaluma was the last town before you headed "out to the beach," so I spent a lot of time there as a kid as well. Going back still feels a bit like going home, even though it's grown up and changed so much in the years since I moved away. I love the downtown area, the proximity to Napa and the beach. I have my favorite restaurants and bookstores and coffee shops. If I end up having to spend the rest of my life in California, I'll probably move back to Petaluma eventually.

Downtown Petaluma

4. Fictional place I wish was real: Tie. Cedar Cove, WA and Avalon, NY. Cedar Cove is the setting in a series by Debbie Macomber. It's the perfect small fishing community, the ideal place I'd like to live someday. It's based on Port Orchard, WA, so there's a town out there similar, but places are always more perfect in books (and now there's a TV series!). Avalon, NY is Susan Wiggs' fictional town where The Lakeshore Chronicles takes place. It is also a small town, with a perfect town square and perfect little shops and a library and a train station. There's a lake with the summer camp of my dreams. I believe if it were real, I'd never leave.

5. My favorite place to let life's troubles melt away: The gazebo at Rome Valley Vineyards. If you recall from previous posts, Jim and I were married at Rome Valley Vineyards. It is special to us for that reason, of course, but it's position on top of a hill where you feel like you're watching the world below makes it incredibly soothing. Add to that a glass of their fabulous White Lotus wine and you've got the perfect equation for some serious relaxation.

6. Place I've visited where I wish I could live: Oia, Santorini, Greece. Jim and I actually looked into the cost of real estate when we were on our honeymoon. As soon as we've got an extra million lying around, we are there! I know it would be hard to live on an island, especially a foreign one, but look at this place!

There you have it! Six places that are, in some way, special to me. Care to share a place that you love?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Cameron!

I can't believe that this little guy is four years old today!

In Key West when Cam was only four months old.

Getting ready to blow out the candles on his birthday cupcakes at his party yesterday. 


Happy Birthday, Cameron!

**No child was intoxicated in the production of this blog post.**

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Wants

We've made it to day four of the Ten Day You Challenge and today we're talking about wants. I've always had a hard time with wants. I tend to focus more on needs, but sometimes it's good to indulge in the less necessary, more fun things in life, I suppose.

Day Four: Seven Wants

1. Sustained inner peace.  I have glimmers of it, where I feel satisfied with who I am and the life I live, but I haven't figured out how to make that feeling hang around yet.

2. A house with an ocean view...and a wrap around porch with two rocking chairs and a large yard with a vegetable garden.

3. An old Airstream trailer to restore all cool and retro-like and travel the country in.


Can I just take a pause to note that it's really hard to come up with seven things I want! I've been thinking about it all day, and I've only come up with three!

4. A close group of girl friends. I get totally jealous when I see groups of girls who have been friends forever. Like the Babysitter's Club...or the girls from Sex and the City.

5. A really cool picnic basket. I love picnics and it just feels more authentic when you've got a nice basket to carry your goodies and your blanket around in.

Available here in case anyone remembers my birthday is this month....

6. To be fluent in French. I started learning it a while ago, took a few classes, bought some cds for in the car, subscribed to I just haven't finished learning yet...

7.  To take the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul. I have this strange fascination with trains. I would probably use them as my primary means of getting around if they were not so expensive and slow. And what train is more infamous than the Orient Express? Plus Paris? Yes, please! Istanbul? Totally on my list of places to visit before I die. It's a trip created in heaven.


So, what is it that you want?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Fears

Oh goody. Day eight of the Ten Day You Challenge is about fears. I kind of covered some of these on day one, so maybe today's fears will be a little less serious.

Day Three: Eight Fears

1. High speeds. I HATE being in a super fast moving vehicle. I think it's more of a fear of crashing that the actual speed itself, but there's definitely a correlation between the speed of the vehicle and the likelihood of a crash.

2. Failure. Ok, this one's pretty serious (as in not funny, not as in paralyzing in its severity). I think I let fear of failure get in the way of a lot of things I wanted to do when I was younger. It's not so bad anymore. I'll take risks now that I wouldn't have dreamed of taking five years ago, but I still worry that I won't measure up.

3. This one is VERY specific...and entirely irrational: Hippies on Shelter Cove Road after dark. I'm pretty sure no one but my mom and my husband will get this one, but there's this dark, creepy road that we take the get to my family's house in Shelter Cove. It's in Humboldt County and for some reason I have this irrational fear of hippies (and their abandoned hippie cars) "getting me" when we drive down the road after dark. I have to have the windows rolled up and I get all anxious and fidgety. Feel free to think I'm a crazy person. I do.

4. Foodborne illness. If there's a possibility it's gone bad, I throw it out. I take NO chances when it comes to bad food. I also check all my utensils at restaurants. I REALLY don't want someone else's illness.

5. Getting in trouble.  I was a pretty big goodie two shoes as a kid and it was all because I was afraid of getting in trouble. I got pulled over recently because my registration sticker hadn't come yet and it was expired and I cried when the cop left me with my fix it ticket.

6. Change. It's bizarre, I both love and fear change. It leaves me feeling misplaced when major changes take place, but I still crave change sometimes. Maybe that's normal, I don't know. All I know is that when I was younger, I used to spend HOURS rearranging my room only to lie down in bed, get this overwhelming sense of dread and get up to change it all back before I could sleep.

7. Heights. I have this recurring dream about being on an elevator and it's going up, but it doesn't stop on the top floor. It just keeps going until we've shot out of the building and now I'm high in the sky and so terrified I can't move. In the real world, I won't go near "the edge," but I'll peek over it as long as I have something solid to hold onto.

8. At the moment, Bleeding. I'm on anticoagulants and it's a real problem if I start seriously bleeding because I just won't stop. Once I'm off the medication, this fear will turn to: Blood clots because my blood doesn't clot normally and I'm terrified that once I am no longer taking medication to prevent it, I'll end up back in the hospital.

Well, there you have it. Eight fears. Do share yours with me, won't you? ASHLEY!!!...(and, you know, anyone else who feels the urge)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Loves

Welcome to Day Two of Mr and Meatless' 10 Day You Challenge. Today we are here to talk about loves. This seems a little more fun/less exposing than yesterday's "secrets" topic so here we go!

Day Two: Nine Loves

1. Coffee.  I'm sorry. It's just the truth. I can give up chocolate, sugar, name it, it's gone, but coffee's gonna stay. I've given it up enough times in recent years to know it's a love, not an addiction. I can go without, I just choose not to.

2. The smell of rain. This one probably popped into my head because it's been raining and because I missed it this past winter, but is there a fresher, more awakening, lovely smell than the first rain? Big sigh....

3. Our crazy dog.  Katie makes me smile. She's such a weirdo, but she's brought great joy into our lives and I can barely remember what our world was like without her. I'm so glad that I have a job where I can bring her to work with me every day. She's a pain in the tail sometimes, but mostly she's good company (as she watches me out of the corner of her eye from under her desk).

She sure looooves her carrots! (sorry for the crappy cell phone photo, but it was just so cute!)

4. Writing. I have been carrying on a love affair with writing since I was old enough to know how to construct sentences out of words. I write every single day, whether it be a blog post or an entry in my journal or a section of my manuscript.

My favorite writing quote

5. On the same lines as #4: Reading. If you ever can't find me, check in a well lit corner behind a book. Chances are, there I'll  be. I always have a book with me. When I need a break from a stressful day, I go "visit" my friends in my favorite books. On vacation, I'm reading a book. Waiting at the DMV? Reading a book. Driving to work: listening to a book. When I moved into my first apartment, my youngest brother told me he wasn't helping me move again until I got a lighter hobby. And, by the way, yes, they must be BOOKS. That little flat screen with the words on it, not a book. 

6. Photography. There's a part of me that wants to get more specific, but I can't. I love photographing weddings. But I also love being out in the middle of nowhere shooting something beautiful in a completely different way. When I was young, I wished to God that I could paint or draw or otherwise express myself through art (writing seemed to work, but I wanted to SEE the image, not conjure it in my head). When I discovered photography, I knew I'd found my source of artistic expression. It allows me to show the world how I see it.

7. Traveling. I love visiting new places. Jim and I spent a month and a half touring the United States in my Toyota Corolla in 2010. It was probably the best time of my life. There's something about seeing new places, learning about other cultures and trying different foods that just does it for me.

8. Fresh flowers. There's nothing like having a bouquet of fresh flowers in the house. And it's even better when you've grown them yourself.

9. And, of course, my husband. He's my rock and my best friend. Our relationship is far from perfect, but there's no one I'd rather navigate through life with.

Christmas, 2011, two months after our wedding

Ok, people, I've shared mine, now share your loves with me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ten Day You Challenge: Secrets

Lately I've seen a lot of bloggers participate in this fun looking challenge called the 10 Day You Challenge. I thought it might be an interesting way to share a little bit more about myself with you. You know, in case you're interested.

Day One: Ten Secrets

1. I used to be a chocolate, but now I'm a vanilla. It might just be that I ate so much dang chocolate that I don't have any taste left for it, but nowadays I grab for vanilla nine times out of ten.

2. I don't know if I want kids. It's not that I don't like kids. I have a million nieces and nephews that I adore, but I'm just not quite sure that having one of my own is something I want to do. I'm fortunate that Jim feels the same way. We have talked about it at length and we haven't completely taken the idea off the table, but for right now, we don't feel like there's a hole in our lives where I child should be.

3. I'm a crier. Sad movies, sad books, overly happy moments in either. I fully succumb to the entertainment industry's emotional manipulation tactics. And I'm not ashamed...well, okay, maybe a little.

4. Sometimes I miss sleeping alone. Don't get my wrong, I love sleeping with my husband, but every time I get a knee in the side or turn over to find a hand on my pillow, I miss the days of solitary slumber.

5. I've never smoked. Anything. No cigarettes, no pot, no nothing. I never wanted anything to do with it. I hate the way the smell lingers in your hair and clothes and everywhere you roam you bring a trail of it with you! Ugh. Gag me. Plus, it's really bad for your health.

6. I'm terrified of not having enough money. Maybe it's a result of a being less than well-off as a child, but my fear of not having enough money is ever present. Sometimes I wonder what I'd do if I was free of this fear...

7. I don't want to care what people think, but sometimes I still do.  I grew up with some quite critical, albeit mostly well-intentioned family members and as a result, I'm constantly wondering if I'm doing it right or if what I'm doing is enough. I worry about my appearance, the words I speak, the way I present myself to the world. Sometimes I don't speak because I don't want to be wrong.

8. I have a slight obsession with magazines. I subscribe to, like, ten of them. I don't even know if my husband realizes that! I have photography magazines, health magazines, travel magazines. It might be a problem...

Sorry for the crappy cell phone photo, but check out that mountain! Crazy, right?!

9. I don't really enjoy getting my nails done. I know that kind of makes me less of a woman or something. I like the end result, but I get so bored just sitting there while some woman plays with my toes!

10. I'm a photographer, but I often forget to photograph my own life. It's true. I wish I had more photos of myself and Jim. Often I'll remember to bring the camera and wind up taking photos of more stuff than people. I should work on that.

Well, those are my ten secrets. Care to share one of your own?