That time I was a model

I thought about starting this post with some bit about how I was officially too famous to acknowledge you all, but then I remembered that I’m not actually famous (yet), so alienating the few fans I have is probably not the best career strategy.

Plus you know I love you all. Truly. Deeply. Madly. And in other Savage Garden-esque ways.


So the photo shoot went well! I arrived around 9:30 in the morning and was quickly ushered into hair and makeup. (Le sigh… the trialsome life of a model!) I actually know a couple of people who work at the magazine from back in my own journalism days, so it was nice to say hi (even with the added awkwardness of having someone fiddle with my hair while we caught up…like I said, trialsome).

Next I got to pick out a dress (trust me when I say it’s freaking adorable…I wanted to steal it…but I didn’t…because it’s wrong to steal…but mostly because they were watching me like a hawk and I never would have gotten away with it because I was also wearing SUPER awesome shoes that were way too high to run away in…but also, you know, cuz it’s wrong…).

The stylist kept asking me which dress and shoes I wanted, which just made me really uncomfortable for some reason. I kept flailing my arms in this weird shrugging motion and being like, “Um, I don’t know! *giggle* Um…which do you like?” You would think I had never dressed myself before in my life.

But come on! This is going to be in a national magazine! Loads of people are going to see it! People who have known me at all stages of life! Friends! Enemies! Old classmates and co-workers! Perfect strangers! I canNOT be trusted to pick out my own shoes.

Finally, I was dressed. With a final makeup touch-up (including putting foundation on my legs) and one last hair fluff, we were off to the shoot location. (I had another girl with me, so I didn’t have to be entirely self-conscious.)

It was a little awkward at first, but still pretty fun. After getting fussed over for two hours, my new goal is to be rich enough to hire someone whose only job is to brush my bangs out of my eyes. It was certainly handy to have.

I do feel a little bad for the 100 or so tourists who thought we were famous because we were getting our pictures taken, and therefore took pictures of us themselves. Later analysis will surely bring on some disappointment. Sorry, not famous. Just me.

Without giving too much away, we had to stand in a public space and look like we were having a grand ol’ time. Which is more difficult than it sounds in 5-inch heels. The photographer reeeeally wanted to get a photo with one of us popping our foot up, and because the other girl had apparently never worn heels before, I was the only one who could manage it. He kept yelling things like, “Ok, one, two, three! Now HOLD it!”

I couldn’t hold it. Five. Inch. Heels. I am not a machine.

But he seemed satisfied at the end of the hour and a half. (Photo shoots take a mad long time, yo. I can only imagine how long these things go on for actual models and celebrities.)

But then we were done and it was back to real life. Which, honestly, I was fine with. It was cold, my feet hurt, and I was a bit late for work. But, all in all, a really cool experience. I’ll be in the January issue, so watch for it mid-December sometime. Hopefully it will be online somewhere so I can post pics for those of you who don’t get American Glamour. (Looking at you, random European and Australian readership! I got you.)

The rest of the day went well, albeit less glamorously. (See what I did there?) Work was fine, and the hubster and I had a lovely dinner, after which we met up with my buddy Erin to go see Kevin’s show. Laughs were had. (Erin was actually crying with laughter at one point…though it may have been less to do with the show and more to do with the hilarious reaction a guy sitting behind us had at one point…to-may-to, to-mah-to.)

Today, I’m back to plain old me. Actually, probably even more run-down than regular me. My feet (and back..and hips…damn 5-inch heels) still hurt, I overslept so I’m wearing a speck of makeup, and my outfit was thrown together in about 30 seconds. My hair, oddly enough, still looks pretty fab. Now if only I could find someone to brush these flyaways out of my face…

Oh happy day

Morning, lovelies! I am in a great mood today. Why? Well, let me tell you!

First, I found my wedding necklace last night. Remember this pretty thing?

I literally have not been able to find it since we got back from our honeymoon, oh, six months ago. The only thing keeping me from freaking out was my near certainty that it was buried somewhere in the apartment. I even had this vague, dream-like memory of sticking into some kind of bag and thinking, “Yes, this will be a safe way to store this.” And then promptly forgot where this “safe place” was.

In short, I’m an idiot.

Well, last night I decided to buckle down and root out the sucker if it killed me. Fortunately, it really only took looking in about four places. Turns out I had decided the Coach bag looked the safest. Brilliant.

The point is, it’s found and happily mine, and I’m even wearing it today. Go me.

The second thing that’s making me happy? Well, I should start by telling you that I’m currently on a train en route for the city.

I know what you’re thinking: WiggaWHA?!?

And trust me, no one is more surprised than I am. But my reason for venturing back into Manhattan is tri-fold, two of which are exciting.

The first exciting thing is this: I’m going to be in Glamour magazine.

Crazy, right? I can’t disclose the specifics, but suffice to say I had to write a little essay to be selected, and I did, and I was.

I’m planning to post my little essay here after the article comes out, just because I’m not sure if they’ll use any of it. And, you know, don’t wanna scoop myself (or Glamour). You might have to wait a bit, though, because the article is for the January issue. Ahh magazine schedules…

I’m also going into the city for a work thing. Less exciting, but still a nice change of scenery.

And thirdly, I’m going into the city to see a reading of my friend Kevin‘s musical murder mystery. He wrote, scored, and directed it. It’s just as impressive as it sounds.

The hubster is actually coming into the city to meet me for the third thing, so we’ll make a nice little date night out of it. And you KNOW I love an excuse for a date night.

So there you have it. All the reasons I’m in a good mood. Here’s hoping the day lives up to the hype!

Bruschetta Brush-Up

I’m having another Hoo-Sha Day. But this time it’s just because literally everything I have tried to do today has gone wrong. EVERYTHING. And I’ve gotten lost driving at least six times today. SIX.

And I just feel slightly off-balance. Aboo.

BUT. There are still things to be positive about. (Said the eternal optimist.) For one, I’m working on a semi-secret project to celebrate my upcoming THIRD blogiversary (better name for that event to come). I’ll probably tell you if you ask me on a not-public forum, but I’m going to keep it under wraps here for a bit. Suffice to say, I’m super excited, and so far have received mostly favorable responses.

Second, I have a cooking post for you!

So yesterday I was just kind of cold and tired and feeling like I could possibly be getting sick. Naturally, I wanted something warm and comforting for dinner. So I decided to make Italian wedding soup and bruschetta.

Both of these lovely recipes are courtesy of my momma, via the cookbook she HAND-WROTE for me as a wedding present. Gotta love that woman.

So you already have the soup recipe, but here is the quick and dirty on how to make the bruschetta.

First, slice a loaf of Italian bread into 3/4-inch slices. Put them on a baking sheet and spray the top side with olive oil. Put them in the oven for 5-11 minutes at 350 degrees or until they’re golden brown.


While the bread is toasting, mix a pint of diced cherry tomatoes (or just three regular guys like I used), 4 cloves of garlic* diced, 6 large basil leaves diced, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium-sized mixing bowl.



Once the bread is done, top each slice with 2-3 spoonfuls of the tomato mixture. Sliced fresh mozzarella is optional.


And that’s it! A completely nom-worthy appetizer. After the bruschetta and soup, I felt like a new woman. And you will too! (Unless you’re a man. In which case, you hopefully will still feel like a man.)

*The reason I only used one clove of garlic is because that is one giant piece of garlic. It’s called elephant garlic. The ONE clove actually ended up being a tiny bit TOO MUCH garlic. So…wield your elephant garlic wisely.

New thangs.

Remember way back when I had plans to finish the photo collage above my couch? I had the one thing professionally framed? Well, I finally got it back yesterday.

First of all, can I just say how freaking expensive professional framing is? I had wanted to get it matted to, but there was simply no way to have matting AND keep the price under $100. And that was WITH a 55% discount. Ridiculous. If anyone ever wants to get me a gift, buy me some A.C. Moore gift cards so I can do some framing. Because that would be a gift I would use.

Anyway, the point is, it turned out adorable.


So cute, right? (Want one? GET YOUR OWN!)

I’ll post more photos once it’s hung up with the others. I really need to buy nicer picture frames anyway, but I’m trying not to spend money this month. It’s no fun.

Apparently my addiction to making over my home isn’t confined to my apartment. As you know, I’ve been making a lot of design tweaks to the ol’ blog. Yesterday I rounded it out with a new badge (that you can share on your own blog lolz!!!111) and a new Twitter follow icon. And I learned how to do all that with a simple Google search.

Nerd FTW.

I also rearranged the widgets, but that probably not noticeable to anyone who HASN’T spent a solid hour nudging things around (AKA anyone who isn’t me).

Then, in a flurry of redesigning fervor, I hopped over to the ol’ (neglected) “professional page” I created and gave that a little shine up too.

They match! Adorbs, right? Well, at least my resume page is updated.

At least this kind of redecorating doesn’t cost me anything.



That is my feeling about today. In its entirety.

Let’s start with the basics. It’s raining/misting/Nature is having her period today. You simply can’t wake up without sun. I have no idea how people function in Alaska. Hats off to you.

Plus, I didn’t have coffee this morning. We’re out of creamer at home, so I’ve been buying coffee almost every morning. This is a dangerous habit to fall into (not unlike crystal meth). So I had this valiant thought as I got ready this morning that I would just bring tea and make it at work.

Welp, it’s NOT the same, folks. NOT THE SAME AT ALL.

Thirdly, my attire is less than…ambitious. I mean, I’m wearing a black pencil skirt and my (faux) pearls. But then I went and topped the whole thing with a straight up flannel shirt. Business on the bottom, lumberjack on the top. And the “pencil skirt” is actually a black denim business from Gap a million years ago. So…weak.

I think when I was putting it together I had this thought of, “Oh, it will be charming and Anthropologie-esque!” But now I’m just like….lumberjack/hipster in a corporate setting. Wah.

But let’s get down to brass tacks, shaaaalllll we? The thing that is really throwing me off is that I’m wearing my glasses today. And not even my professionalish small frames. I’m wearing what I lovingly refer to as my Grandpa Glasses because they are a million times more comfortable than the other pair. They’re a little big and a lot wonderful. But unlike elbow patches, not really a grandpa trend I see taking off.

The problem is that my eyes have been KILLING me lately. So dry. And while allergies played a part, it’s really the contacts that are the culprit. I may have to spring for the pricey Oasis contacts next time. And MAN are they expensive.

I was supposed to get LASIK surgery the year before I moved to New York, but it turns out my pupils are too big for LASIK. Is that not the most bogus thing you’ve ever heard? I call it the Disney Princess syndrome. The walk-o-thon is next week.

So, basically, blech. I’m going to the gym after work, so maybe that will snap me out of the funk. Anyone else feel like hibernating today?

It would be cute if I was a dog.

I think I need a haircut.

My hair is getting full-on Rapunzel these days (as in, the ends reach my rib cage). Like, I like to pretend that it looks like this:

Via Pinterest

But sometimes I’m worried it really looks more like this:


Which is just too much, yaknow?

I’m kind of into leaving it longish just because it’s in decent shape and who knows when old age will kick in and steal my (hair) youth, but I definitely need a solid two-inch trim if only to get the dead stuff off.

In other news, I had a triple grande latte and my one Starbucks pumpkin scone of the season (the calories/fat grams are too ridiculous for me to eat more than one, but it’s too delicious to go without completely) this morning, and I’m sort of sugar/caffeine buzzing.

Let’s DO this, work day!

Dream House Dreaming

I’ve been thinking a lot about the house I would like someday to own. (Ok, it’s more of an on-going thought, obviously. I blame Pinterest.) I feel like I just need to get it out once and for all in written words and shoot it out into the universe so I can move on until I am actually in a position to own a home.

So here it is, Justine’s Dream Home Checklist.

1. I don’t want an especially big house. You know what big houses need? Lots of cleaning. And maintenance. And stuff to fill them. Not into it. I don’t like lots of stuff. (Which is why my apartment’s current messy state is driving me crazy. How is it never really clean?) I would like two bedrooms (I guess three wouldn’t be awful in case we had a baby and still wanted a guest room, or we could just put a pull out couch in the…), office with one full wall of bookshelves, a big living room, a kitchen, a dining room (or at least that living room better be big enough for a dining area), a laundry room (or area), and two bathrooms.

2. In the kitchen, I want a big island with the range on the island. At the very least, I want something like this:

(Via Pinterest)

With the big counter looking out into the eating area? Great for entertaining? Questions, comments, concerns? Big cabinets are also good. (And a disposal, of course.)

3. Lots of closet/storage space. I always stare at our dining room now (um…no one else stares at empty rooms? Moving on…) and wish we could make one whole wall of it built-in storage. It would be so awesome! And we would finally have a place to keep toilet paper bought in bulk and extra glasses and serving pieces and whatnot. So I want that in the someday house.

I also have this idea to make one wall of the bedroom a closet. I hate things being squished into deep closets. I like everything spread out so you can see it. Like this:

Or this:

(Both via Pinterest here and here.)

But really more the first one because I’d like to be able to close the doors. Sliding doors would probably be better to save space, even though I hate sliding doors on principle (they ALWAYS get off the tracks and are just cumbersome and blah blah blah). It would also have some kind of dressing table in the middle with a big pretty mirror like that second image. Obviously I put a lot of thought into this.

4. Convenient and functional entry way. I’ve just accepted that our current entryway is no good for the way we live our lives. My husband tends to just do this thing where he walks in the door and explodes (not literally, of course), shedding his shoes, keys, wallet, mail as he makes his way to the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/wherever he needs to go. And I tend to drop my handbag on the nearest surface, though I do try to hang up my keys and coat and put my shoes in the closet (which is a whole other nightmare, thus the dream above).

We need some sort of solid organizational system, preferably in a mud room (slash laundry room!). I really like the look of this:

(Via Pinterest…of course)

Gah that picture just makes me feel more serene. Picture it facing a washer and dryer. Dreamy, right? Even if that room got cluttered, it would help keep the living room neater. (What? You want to see my idea of a dream living room? Well, check it out.)

And if I’m really dreaming, I also love the look of white or tan houses with black roofs and scarlet front doors.

Naturally, I have even more specific ideas about what I want than what’s even written here. If that kind of thing interests you, feel free to follow me on Pinterest (where I obviously spend too much time). WHAT? You don’t have an account? Leave me a message and I’ll send you an invite. You WILL thank me.