Today is International Women’s Day! YouTube decided as a way to empower ourselves and other younger women, we should send a message to our younger selves. Here’s mine;
My Last Week wasn’t as crazy hectic as I thought it would have been. It was still pretty eventful though!
- Monday was my mother in law’s birthday. We didn’t have a giant party, but her co-workers gave her lots of cupcakes. So much that we’re finally down to the last one today.
- On Wednesday I had no idea what I wanted to eat until I checked my Youtube feed. I saw Soft Boiled Eggs and Toast and since I hadn’t had soft boiled eggs in a long time, I made it. Boy was it worth it! They came out perfect.
- Friday I enjoyed some wonderful food at STUFFED Burgers. I wrote all about it here.
- Saturday and Sunday tend to alternate between a chill day and a cleaning day. I enjoyed this Sunday being lazy with my son while Otto was at work. I love and cherish these little moments I have with him at this age. After a while I went with Otto’s sisters for them to have their taste of STUFFED Burgers.
About 3 years ago, I had the privilage of going to my very first soft opening at BurgerFi in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I’m pretty sure you’re wondering what a Soft Opening is. Often, when restaurants plan to open in a new place, they will invite friends and family of the employees and others in the area to sample their food completely for free! Skip ahead to last Friday where I got to do it again. This time at this new place in Montclair, NJ named STUFFED Burgers – 100% Grass Fed.
My wonderful Otto grabbed the opportunity to work with these guys recently and our family was invited to their soft opening. I fell in love when I found out they had house made Bacon Jam.
Yes, I said it. Bacon. Jam.
As a matter of fact, they have a Bacon Jam Burger. It’s a 100% Grass Fed Burger stuffed with Havarti Cheese on top of a bed of arugula topped with Bacon Jam and Roasted Garlic Aioli. All of that deliciousness inside of a Brioche Bun. This burger? It’s heavenly. The Bacon Jam has a sweetness that reminds you of a summer BBQ.
The Havarti cheese is smooth and holds all of the flavors together. The arugula adds a bite that compliments the aioli. To make things even better, the Bacon Jam leaves a wonderful sweet and smokey sauce behind that you can dip your burger in afterward. Yum!
I also had the privilege to try their Portobello Mushroom Sandwich. It’s a smokey Portobello topped with a Balsamic glaze, Havarti Cheese, Tomato, and Arugula. No gas, this sandwich made me want to start eating vegetarian. If I could have this sandwich every day I would, that is.
The restaurant was decorated by the owner Dan’s mom, herself. From what I was told, a lot of work went into making this location look just right. My favourite part of the restaurant was the lighting fixtures that were chosen. They help add to the atmosphere giving a calming effect.
While waiting on my food, I decided to redo their logo in my sketchbook. The owner loved it!
On Sunday I returned with Otto’s younger and older sister for them to try the burgers. This time I decided to try their Montclair Blue Cheese Burger and their Bacon Jam Fries. I was so excited for the burger that I got halfway through it before remembering to take a picture. Oops!
The Bacon Jam Fries reminded me of a southern BBQ loaded baked potato. It makes sense considering that this restaurant started as a food truck down in Austin, Texas.
While at the soft opening, we had to place a private party sign in the window because of how often regular customers began to walk in. By the end of each night their tip jar was full. You know you’ve got good food when your customers want to pay despite their food being completely free. Great job you guys! You’re going to do very well in the Montclair area from what I can see. Congratulations and Good Luck!
- It’s often forgotten that not all leaves turn the normal brown, golden orange and yellow that most are used to. Up here in New Jersey, the back yard has some leaves that turn a dark red or a light pink. This home and workspace capture that idea completely. Spots of pinks and reds are arranged in a way that reminds you of the first snow in Autumn.
- As soon as fall rolls around, soup becomes my number one food. It’s warming, comforting and I could eat it for days without a problem. Here we have a slightly narrowed down list to, what I feel, are the essentials to help bring in fall.
- Bonus soup! I found this when is was looking for the things I can do with a Jack Be Little Pumpkin. I plan to make this for the first day of fall this Wednesday!
- You should always try to cook with the freshest ingredients. That being said, looking for what’s abundant during each season or month would be your best bet. I found out that September is Fruits & Veggies Matter More Month. Keep that in mind when you’re cooking this month!
- Children tend to not like eating their veggies. One way to get them to eat would be to play games with their food. Allow them to learn the colours and textures.
- Normally hearing the word cleanse makes me want to run away as fast as I can. I automatically think of women drinking odd mixtures of seasonings and water to try to get skinny in a short amount of time. My personal trainer even says that those things aren’t good for your system. Apparently, someone hasn’t told Beth of Tasty Yummies, and for good reason. She’s compiled a delicious list of seasonal healthy ways to cleanse your body of toxins. Her recipes are gluten free and will definitely help cleanse your system to make room for the Thanksgiving goodness coming up.
Here’s a timelapse of a recent project I did for Denessus, a gamer on Twitch.
- How do you fill your creativity offline? Do you go out for a walk? Do you take a drive? Erika Brechtel, a brand stylist, lets us know what inspires here offline. What inspires you offline?
- This blog puts some things into perspective. A lot can change in 30 years and these images prove it over and over. Some stores have changed while others have completely closed or moved on. Empty lots have been filled and other buildings now covered in graffiti.
- I feel that in about 5-10 years, Marijuana is going to become widely available across the U.S. People in my generation and the next are much more liberal and understanding when it comes to that funny green plant. More and more people are realizing how harmless yet helpful this herb is to many people. It’s hard to admit this out into the blogosphere, but I’ve smoked before and I still smoke. Yes, I said it. It helps me focus. I’ve got a terrible focusing problem. My mind wanders very easily and I can’t sit still. Smoking helps me calm down and focus on whatever task at hand. I’m fully functional and rational at all times and it doesn’t hinder me as a mom whatsoever. I fully stand by what Joe Rogan is saying. But in a year or so when people realize how wrong they are; Kids of this new generation are going to vote against making it illegal and everyone is just going to have to deal with it. There’s going to come a time where I’ll have to talk to my son about the benefits and dangers of it and put rules on when he can or cannot smoke it if it comes to that. That’s just the direction this country is going and nothing can stop it. We might as well just prepare for it.
- Monique Glover of Antisparkle gives us all a guide to simply get shit done. This guide will help you plan out any goal you have in mind from the original idea to breaking it down into tasks. You even get to create an award system to treat yourself after completing tasks! Good job, love!
- (NSFW) – This photo shoot features models and natural women alike. BIKO of Visuals By Biko does a great job capturing these women in their most natural forms. These images are inspiring and I’d very much like to work with Biko one day!
- Let me start by saying. I. Can’t. Stand. This. Song. But this was done nicely. I love that she laughed the entire time. You could tell how much she loves him.
Even though no one in our little family is actually going back to school (yet), I’m still super pumped for Back To School time! This has always been my favourite time of year. I’m such an office supply nut, that I would pick up all sorts of extra pens and notebooks during back to school time. It’s the best time to stock up for art supplies! This wishlist won’t include any school supplies, though. Instead, I’ve included all the things I would like to buy especially for lunch time!
Five things right now
Scary Movies –
- For the last few weeks, I’ve been watching a lot more scary movies. I used to be terrified of them but I guess since I’ve grown up, I realize they’re not real anymore. I have to prepare myself for when Ducky needs me to check for the monsters under the bed. I can’t wait for when he’s that old.
- Speaking of scary, even though it’s not, have you ever noticed how much Harry Belefonté is played throughout this movie? It feels totally random even though it would be odd if it were removed.
- I’d like to really hold a bonfire. I’ve never made real smores before. I was thinking about having a smores bar and just having an overall good night. It would be perfect to bring the fall in.
6 Months –
- I can’t believe Otto and I have been married for six months already. It feels like it’s been years, but at the same time we only got married a few days ago in my mind. I haven’t quite figured out what I want to give him for the anniversary though. I have to brainstorm quick!
- I also have to brainstorm who I’d like to get presents for. I don’t want my list to grow too large. I really feel like taking the time and making a lot of my presents this year.
But right now my main focus is on..
..fall time. This is my favourite time of year. In Florida, it’s sunny with a beautiful breeze all day. Up here in New Jersey though? Trench coats, boots and tights all day. I can’t wait to build my wardrobe for fall and winter. I can’t wait to genuinely need a sweater or hoodie because it’s chilly out. I can’t wait to dress Ducky for fall. I can’t wait until September 23!
Looking around at other artists and designers for inspiration, I came across a blog post done by both Shayla and Breanna about looking at where you are now. That got me thinking.. ’Where exactly am I right now?’ I’ve been reading a lot lately and I found that living in the now instead of freaking out about your future and living in the past can drastically help you zen out. So here I am, living in the now. This is where I am.
MAKING sense out of my portfolio and graphic design side of life.
COOKING something delicious tomorrow, hopefully. I’m in the mood for something, but I haven’t figured out just what yet.
DRINKING water, water, water! I need to keep hydrated for my little Ducky!
READING The Fault In Our Stars, soon. Highly recommended by Blueberry and apparently the rest of the world.
WANTING some new art supplies, and new headphones. And to renew my spotify! Soon.. Very soon.
LOOKING for more inspiration! I always need to be inspired.
PLAYING The Incredible Hulk. I haven’t seen it in what seems like ages.
WASTING a little time being lazy and enjoying this last bit of relaxation I’ll get before Ducky gets here.
SEWING nothing, yet. I’m sure I’ll have to learn to hem pants that are too long and repair small holes.
WISHING that I could see my little Ducky sometime soon. He’s due Sunday!
ENJOYING the quiet night time that I’ve got right now. It helps get so much more work done. I can think at night.
WAITING to hear from clients for approvals. That way I can get to the next few steps.
LIKING that my love for design has returned. I haven’t designed in ages and for some reason it’s back in full swing. I’m not complaining!
WONDERING how I will get through the labor part of things. That’s what I anticipate and dread the most.
LOVING my husband, Otto. His support and love help me get through so much right now.
HOPING my little Ducky arrives safe and sound with no complications.
MARVELING how well I’m doing on my moodboards lately. I’m getting better!
NEEDING to get to bed. It’s 5am and I still want to work even though that’s not always the smartest thing to do at this particular time.
SMELLING the watermelon I just recently ate. Getting back into healthy food is wonderful.
WEARING one of the most comfy outfits known to man.
FOLLOWING really old people. I need to broaden my horizons and branch out. Network!
NOTICING that I really do best at night for work. That’s gonna have to change when Ducky gets here.
KNOWING that the next few planned moves are necessary and that I’m pretty excited for them.
THINKING about whether or not I should go to bed. I need to do more of my portfolio but sleep is also important.
BOOKMARKING new fonts! I feel like i can never have too many.
OPENING a new Evernote tab to write down my website FAQ. Fuck it, resistance is futile!
GIGGLING at how much of a nerd I am for that last statement.
FEELING like I can do it all. Is that a good thing or no?
And it didn’t start that way!
Around here, if you don’t have a car, you need to take a bus to get anywhere unless you have hella money to take a cab. The nearest Walmart/Supermarket is about.. 27 or so minutes away. So they have a pick up service for my area where you can call and they take you to where the major busses are. Then from there you go where you need to go. But that’s beside the point.
I had to go to the doctor today and in order to make my appointment at 3pm I needed to leave my house at 10:45am. Yes, it takes that long. No, I don’t like it, but it needs to be done. Especially in the event that the cars aren’t here because of work situations.
Anyway! My sister had been home, which is rare, and suggested since I have to grocery shop as well as go to the doctor I should take the bus I had booked for that time and grocery shop then she would pick me up from Walmart and take me to the doctor. That idea seemed reasonable since after the appointment we wouldn’t have time to shop and get on the last bus on time to get back into my part of town. Which is guess when? 6pm. That’s the last bus.
So grocery shopping went rather smooth. We went to Publix first to get some good meat for the next few weeks and some essentials at Walmart. That part went quite wonderful. We saved some money, got more than we usually do and had a mostly good time (except for walking across the street and two large parking lots on a hot day with a 38 week tummy on you. At least I was able to use the carts for those with disabilities which I felt I was at the time!).
My sister picks us up, we drop off the groceries and make it to my appointment at 3:03pm. Then we wait.. and wait.. and waaaaaait until I’m finally seen at 4 or so. I get my vitals checked, and I’m asked to go back into the waiting room because no rooms are available at the moment. When I finally get one I’m told since I need to take my test to change into my paper napkin gown and sit on the bed thing until it’s time. Granted, I was told the last time I would also need a blood glucose test as well and to check Ducky’s heartbeat as we do every appointment.
Please note the glucose test involves drinking a super gross juice drink, waiting an hour, then drawing about 5 vials of blood from my body. So all in all this appointment would have at least taken 2 hours. At least.
So why on this beautiful green earth did they decide to wait until the last minute to see me? The health department closes at 5 and I didn’t even get to take any of my tests because we had to hop on the last bus at 4:55pm to get home. Or at least to make it to the last bus that drops us at the house by then. It was 4:45pm before I’d gotten fed up and gone to the nurses station.
When I spoke with the woman about my time woes she simply said “Well, the tests won’t take you 10 minutes..” Then when I had to get going, they tried to get me to make another appointment. With less than 5 minutes for me to get to the bus stop across the street from their building. It seems like a short walk, but it’s not. They have a very large parking lot. It takes me at least 3 minutes or cross it. I asked if I could do it over the phone and the nurse simply shrugged giving me an “I guess” face.
On another note, I don’t even know who my doctor will be since the doctor who has been seeing me took time off to see her son before he’s off to the Marines and won’t be back until after I’ve given birth. So when I asked who this doctor will be they said whoever is on call. This last test was going to be one where they need to check my.. ahem.. insides and I don’t even know who was going to be poking and prodding around in there. They say they’re short staffed, but they have at least 10 nurses running around and I’ve not seen a doctor besides mine in there, once.
We were supposed to get free day bus passes from them because of our riding situation. I was told that when I’d gotten to my bi weekly appointment, we were supposed to get them almost automatically. No one told me this until I’d gotten down to my weekly’s. A doula who ran the birthing classes, did everything in her power to get them to us and leave them at the health department for us. We got them after waiting for 3 weeks, opened them, and found that they were for mainly.. Polk County. We live on the edge of Polk County so we still take a majority of Osceola County busses. Apparently they’re not even the same thing because when we handed it to the bus driver, he looked at us sideways and told us they weren’t day passes which we were promised. He tried to take them as a one time only use which would mean we would have a harder time getting back out to that stupid doctor’s office. He only let us keep them because I looked like I wanted to destroy someone and cry all at the same time.
I hate how spread out this place is. I spent the bus ride home ranting and half crying because I just couldn’t deal. What’s wrong with Polk County? Never go to the Haines City Health Department. Ever.