Sunday, July 31, 2011

Job Posting: Position: Future Happiness

I've been ignoring you. I am a bad lady. It's true. Don't hate me.....

This week I was having drinks with a co-worker. She is a bit older than me and single. For all practical purposes there is no reason she is single. She is beautiful, good at her job, has a great figure, and is a charming and funny individual. She was not lamenting her single gal life, but was a bit bummed by her single status. As we enjoyed our $14 Capitol Hill cocktails she asked me how I was doing in my transition from single gal to married gal. We chatted a while about the intricacies of commuting, planning a wedding and running a small business while working a full-time job (here's the inside scoop- it's hard, that's why I've not been writing in this blog). We also discussed our similar ideas about our careers. One thing in the conversation led to another, and she asked about my mental place when I was first internet dating. Apparently I had a unique take on it. I looked at it as a job application. The job: my future happiness.

Huh? Yep. When I was dating I looked at it as a job application and interview process. Think about it....

When applying for a job you put your best and (if you are doing it right) most honest foot forward. You don't flatly lie about your abilities, you don't accept a position that wouldn't make you happy, or that doesn't meet your needs. When talking to a future co-worker you are honest with yourself about what you need to get out of the relationship, and what you can bring to the table. You interview a company as much as a company interviews you. If you have lots of experience it is looked at as a good thing, although you will need to be flexible and willing to compromise. If you are just starting out in a field, you accept that you need to learn a few more things about the position you are applying for, and do some research.

The actual dates are really just an interview. First phone date: you are making sure you are both offering something you can live with. First cocktail date: you are having your initial job interview. You talk about your life experiences, and get to know each other a bit better. First dinner date: You make each other an offer-- this is what I have, this is what I expect. From there it is just contract negotiations. If you can both come to a contract that you agree upon and are happy with, negotiations are over and a probationary period begins. Once the probationary period has been met and you both are happy with progress- you can take the next step and enter into a binding contract. Life.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

10 Most Important.

This week Mr. SmartGuy and I booked tickets to Florida to pick a venue and date for our wedding. We have also been to several events over the last weeks where I have come to the conclusion, that I am the worlds worst bride. In. The. World. I actually told some lovely early twenty year old girl at a family BBQ that right now I didn't really care about the wedding, I was more concerned with the marriage. She got married last year in a blow-out event that was (I'm sure) a dream wedding for her and all of her friends. I'm sure she worked for hundreds of hours on the wedding.

I'm an ass.

As a little girl I didn't dream of what my wedding dress would look like, I never imagined that I would walk down an aisle with white bunting covering the walls, or that I would be surrounded by my 15 favorite friends all wearing matching dresses. I imagined someday I would meet a guy and we would shack-up and maybe someday we would escape to the courthouse and quietly get married and send out a postcard with a little note that said something to the effect of "we got married!" When we got engaged, I called my parents and said "We're getting married!" My Mom's first question was- "okay, but when? Not tomorrow, right?" I believe that is a serious case of parents knowing their child.

As it becomes very clear that we *are* having a wedding, I have been struggling with what I want. Mr. SmartGuy has a pretty firm idea of what is important to him, however I feel a little scattered. I was chatting with a co-worker who is about 15years older than me. She has been to many weddings. She suggested that I figure out what are the 10 most important things about this event that I want, and will make the event fun and memorable to me. I've been thinking about it for most of the week, and so far- this is what I've got.

1. I want to be married to Mr. SmartGuy. He is awesome, I love him, and I never have to worry about him tweeting pictures of his junk to girls on twitter (he hates social media, and isn't an idiot).

2. I want someone I know and trust to perform the ceremony.

3. I want to make most aspects of the wedding decorations. I love a handmade aesthetic, and I wouldn't feel right about buying things for our wedding. It just wouldn't fit.

4. I want people to walk away from the wedding talking about how non-wedding-industrial-machine the wedding was. I hate the look of matching linens and invitations, and chair covers, and bunting, and giant wasteful floral arrangements, and a huge cake that is covered with chemical crap that really isn't food, but food science.

5. I want our families and guests to have fun.

6. I want to wear something that is flattering, fun, and not something that you can buy off the rack, that will go out of style or date the wedding to mid-2012. I want something vintage and charming. I want my friends to make it.





That's all I have for right now. I'm sure as the weeks and months go by and the time gets closer I will care more about the wedding. For now, all I care about is marrying my best friend, the party is just an outward expression of our inward style.

As a very smart person once said- If people worked as hard on their marriage as they did on their wedding, there would likely be fewer divorces in the world.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Delicious Vietnamese Inspired Noodle Salad

About 2 years ago I had Vietnamese food for the first time. I was immediately hooked. I don't think you could convince me that there is a more delicious cuisine out there. It ranges from healthy salads and soups to sinfully delicious fried things. This salad is inspired by bun (pronounced buun) and it is a great healthy summer salad. Best part- it's very low-fat, so if you are watching your fat intake or just don't want to feel like you ate a dumbbell it's a delicious summer dinner or fancy lunch.

This makes 2-3 servings, depending how hungry you are. Omit or make substitutions as you like, this is just a good starting place.

You will need:

1 large box of salad (I use the spring mix, you can use whatever you prefer. Romaine is a great option)
2/3 pound of fresh steamed shrimp. You can substitute grilled tofu, chicken, or fish if you prefer
1/2cup shredded carrots
2 green onions
1 cup mung bean sprouts
4oz uncooked rice noodles (available at any asian grocery store) I like the double golden fish brand vermicelli size
Hoisin sauce (optional, and available at any grocery store)

2Tbls sugar
2Tbls Lime juice
4Tbls Water
2Tbls fish sauce (waay optional)
1tsp (or 1 clove) minced garlic
1Tbls minced pickled ginger (I get this from the international aisle at the grocery store)
1Tbls minced mint (fresh or otherwise)
1Tbls minced Basil
1Tbls minced Cilantro
a few drops of Siracha (this is crazy hot sauce, available in the international aisle)

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and let sit for an hour or more. Or if you have a food processor you can dump all the items in and whirr it together. This dressing is also a great non-fat all around salad dressing. If you can't have sugar- omit it and substitute with agave nectar or Splenda.

Soak your uncooked rice noodles in a large bowl for 1-2hours. To cook the noodles, boil water and using a colander or sieve dip the noodles in the boiling water for 30seconds to 1minute while shaking to keep the noodles separated. They will cook rapidly. dunk them in cold water to stop cooking. Drain well. Put them in the bottom of your bowls. Add lettuce, veggies/garnishes and protein. Drizzle sauce over the top and add hoisin sauce to taste.

Freakin' delish.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pile of Whaaa?

Oh yeaaah.

To take a little travel away from my recent marriage-engagement and the fact that I live in suburbia now, let's talk crafts. I am a vendor in the Charm City Craft Mafia's PILE OF CRAFT, or as a few of my friends said: Pile of WHAAA?

The Craft Mafia is a crafty group that started in Austin, and have "mafias" in cities across the US and internationally. They are known for putting on some of the most well-attended craft shows in the country, and I am super thrilled to be included in one of their shows. I can only hope that this will open me up to getting a spot in another Craft Mafia show sometime in the future, but I wouldn't want to jinx it by assuming.

So what am I planning for this awesome show? Oh baby! A whole new display, some great new bags, and a bunch of awesome new products (like recycled vegan belts!) As almost anyone who has read this blog before knows, I make pretty cool stuff, but I suffer from what I call dis-play-ability. I try to make something great, but the merchandising never looks *quite* right to me. Maybe I am too harsh, but I feel like a crappy display really kills your chances of getting invited back to a show, and I've never felt like my displays are anywhere near as good as my pieces.

Sooo in an attempt to remedy my lame displays Mr. SmartGuy and I made a trip to Lucketts Va for Lucketts Antique Market. It's no where near as big or great as my beloved Brimfiled, but it served it's purpose. I purchased some printers trays, an antique suitcase, some old hardware drawers, a vintage step ladder and drooled over the astonishingly ugly antique chickens that were abound. Add in some overcast skies (so my translucent skin wasn't crispified) and it was a perfect day!

My spoils from the day are still in the trunk of the car, but in coming weeks I'll post some pictures of my display, and maybe you can offer suggestions about how to make it even better!

*oh, and blogger is being cranky, so I can't throw any links or pictures in this post, so get creative and use google*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Engagement

So the question has been asked many times, and this is the general outline of how it goes with people who don't know either one of us very well.

Them: So did you know?

Me: ummm know what? That I was going to marry this guy as soon as I met him? Well, not exactly as soon as I met him, but it didn't take too long...

Them: No, silly! That he was going to ask you!

Me: Well, yeah, we talked about it a whole lot, and we planned to go out for an awesomely memorable dinner in Chicago and get engaged. It was perfect. He gave me my Grandmother's ring, I gave him this super cool ring I bought online *which seems appropriate* and it was totally perfect. I am the happiest girl alive!

Them: Oh, you knew? So I guess that's modern

Me: Well I wouldn't want to marry someone I couldn't talk to about our engagement. It seems silly.

Them: Well I guess if you feel like you're engaged, then you are.

Me: (on the inside) Fuck You.

The way it usually goes with our closer friends is something like this:

Them: Holy Shit! you are wearing a diamond!

Me: Yeah, it was my Grandma's, look you can see the groove her wedding band wore into the side of it. Cool huh? Oh, and I got him this really great ring online, and he is totally excited, and I am totally excited, and it's great.

Them: That is freakin' awesome, so when was the wedding?

Me: We aren't sure yet.

Them: You mean you didn't elope?!?, Wow you really must love this guy and want to start this out right.

Me: yup.

So there you have it. We talked about it, and decided to get married. I shopped for a ring for him (because I'm not the only one getting engaged) and we decided to go out for an awesome dinner, propose to one another and drunk dial almost everyone in our cellphones from the top of the Hancock Building in Chicago. It was awesome. It was perfect. It was totally modern, and totally us.

Here are a couple of pictures of the view that night. It was amazing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blog, resurrected

Remember when I used to write in this thing on a weekly, sometimes daily basis? Remember when I used to tell you all about my crazy crafty life? Well, I am working on getting back to it, because I have a big announcement, but before I tell you, here is a little update.

The skinny on the past year: I moved to the suburbs (I live in Mr. Smartguy's condo), and now I commute about 30 miles to and from work. You might say, Katie! That's not so bad!! Everywhere in the country people commute that much. Except here in the DC metro area, that translates to anywhere from 90 minutes to 4 or 5 hours depending on traffic- each way. Let me say that again. EACH WAY. I have a part-time job as a commuter. I am going to try to harness that time and whatever creative energy I have left to work on blogging, and also my big news:

We got engaged! I'm marrying Mr. Smartguy. Yes! the very one who's giant brain made me swoon. The very one I met on the internet! The very one who is the only man that could ever drag me kicking and screaming out of living in a city! That one!

It just happened last weekend, but it seems to be important enough that I'm resurrecting this blog to tell you all about the upcoming nuptials. As you might imagine, it's not really going to be a traditional wedding, so hang on! because it might be a bumpy ride.

So here is my promise, oh readers of this blog (if there are still any) I promise to write to you about what is bound to be a crafty, if not crazy event.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'll just draw a diagram.....

One year ago I met Mr. Smartguy. Or, rather I met him in "real life". We had been chatting on the interwebs for about a week before the grand meeting took place. The night of the first date was crazy. It involved a neighbor falling out of a window, a blown fuse, a haz-mat spill, several traffic violations, and 3 Republican National Convention lawyers. Sometimes, it's just easier to draw a diagram.

Here is how it worked out: